Travel: Camping in the Sahara Dessert

March 11, 2014   

By our contributor: Paola Sanchez

Two months ago my boyfriend told me that he wanted us to take a trip and I immediately jumped onboard; I just never imagined that we would end up in the continent of Africa in Morocco! I have travelled to many countries, but my trip to Morocco stands out for one particular reason. We decided to hire a company to take us through a road trip of Morocco in which one of the nights we camped in the Sahara Dessert. We trekked on a dromedary (an Arabian camel) for 2 hours to reach our camp site in the middle of the Sahara Dessert.

I must admit that the 2-hour ride on the dromedary was exhausting and made my body soar the following day from the all the jumping up and down in the sand dunes. At the same time, the complete silence combined with the beautiful sunset falling upon the dessert that seemed taken out of National Geographic gave us the perfect opportunity in which to fully disconnect from the rest of the world. Upon our arrival on the camp site, Chicken Tajin was served which is a tasty traditional dish of the country followed by live music as we all sat around the fire.

 As you can imagine, in the middle of a dessert, star gazing is incredible as everything is visible when no city lights are dimming the sky lights. Our remarkable day ended with star gazing where we saw more shooting stars than I had ever seen in my entire life…7 to be precise.


Tips for Taking a Toddler to Disney

October 24, 2013   

By Contributing Writer: Natalie Howell

Planning a 4 hour road-trip with an almost 3 year old "big girl" can be a daunting task. That's why it is essential to be prepared with the right tools to keep your toddler entertained.  A portable DVD player to play some of her favorite movies, along with some of her favorite toys can make the car ride less taxing on everyone. This particular trip is a very special one which mommy.... I mean, she, has been waiting for all her life!  She is about to experience something she may never forget. What is this magical trip I speak of? Why it's the obligatory trip to Disney World of course; and it's on her birthday no less!  From 
the first Disney storybook to the now well worn Minnie Mouse plush doll that she can't be without, this trip has been a long time coming. 

On the day we arrived at the resort, a birthday greeting from Mickey and Minnie themselves awaited her in our room. She got a real big kick out of that. I was worried that she wouldn't really grasp how truly magical this place was but those worries were quickly put to rest.
My little princess got to meet all her favorite Disney characters and the whole line of Disney royalty. Seeing her live through the whole experience was something I will treasure forever. Every ride or attraction throughout the park brought on yet another smile. Disney really knows how to go all out. A wonderful light filled parade and an amazing fireworks show was the perfect way to end each evening.

It all went off without a hitch. It helped that mommy did some prep work before the trip of course. Every good mom needs the essential survival kit. The car ride isn't the only time you need to plan ahead for. Make sure you remember to take a lightweight umbrella stroller, a relatively small bag to carry water, some SPF50 and of course some cash for those "must have" souvenir emergencies.

Keeping these things in mind really helped make things easier and let us focus on simply enjoying ...the most magical place on earth.

Travel: Hawks Cay

June 12, 2013   

Fedora: Target: Top: Old Navy; Swimsuit: The Orchid Boutique

This past weekend we headed to Hawks Cay, a gorgeous resort located in Duck Key, it's about a thirty minute drive from Key West, Florida.  It was the baby's first beach vacation and we had the best time. Our days were filled with eating, relaxing, going to the pool and catching up on some books. It was probably the first time in a while that I've slept eight straight hours--haha. There's so much to do at the resort, from swimming with Dolphins to several restaurants on-site, so we didn't have to leave once, which is great especially if you're traveling with a little one. There was even a wedding taking place at the resort while we were there.

Here are few photos from our mini vacation.

bathing suit c/o The Orchid Boutique

Our room had a patio deck that led straight to the pool. Countless hours were spent on this lounging chair. I wore this printed monokini from The Orchid Boutique, which has some of the best one-pieces, monokinis and bikinis I've seen. 

We would eat lunch in this cute restaurant that overlooked the water. It felt like we were somewhere else, like Mexico. The lunch was severed in these baskets, which according to our waiter was to keep the birds away. They literally had no problem going up to your food and stealing a french fry.

My two favorite men enjoying a day in the sun. They both have their shades on.

It was so great to get away, even if it was just for the weekend. We'll never forget our baby's first beach trip.

10 Things I've Learned from My Mom

May 14, 2013   

Mother always did know's my latest Babble article on 10 Things I've Learned from my Mom.

1. Friends will come and go, but your family will always be your family.
2. Pat yourself dry with a towel, instead of rubbing yourself dry with a towel--it's better for your skin.
3. Do good deeds, without expecting anything in return; life has a way of thanking you later.
4. Always wear clean underwear, you never know when you might get in an accident.
5. You are beautiful just the way you are, don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise

To continue reading click here.

What is the Right Age to Have a Baby? 20's, 30's, or 40's

May 8, 2013   

When my husband and I first started talking about having kids, I’m not going to lie, but I freaked out a little. I was 28 years old, and for some reason I just had a number in my head–that number was 30. I wanted to be 30 when I had my first child. Yes, I know, I wasn’t too far off.  Between the time spent being pregnant, I would have been 29 when my baby was born. But not being 30 made me uneasy. I spent hours searching the internet looking up the topic “what is the right age to have a baby.” It was as though I was looking for an affirmation, an article that would tell me “It’s okay Carmen to have a baby at 29.” I had been married for six years, was financially stable  and was settled in my career–what else was I waiting for? I soon learned there really is no right or wrong age to have a baby. Sometimes in fact, you’re never REALLY ready. As a new mom (at the age of 29) I couldn’t be happier. I interviewed six amazing moms, who became moms for the first time ranging from their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s and they share their perspective.

My Story: 29

Why was it the right time: I had been married for six years, so really got to enjoy that time with my husband. We traveled and I was also able to build my career in my early 20s. We were financially stable and had bought a house 3 years prior in the hopes to grow our family. My husband (who is 32) started getting the baby itch, so when I was 28 years old we decided to start trying to have a baby, surely enough, 2 months later I was pregnant!

Pros: We want to have 2 children and it's great not to feel rushed to have a second one right away. If we wait until our son is 3 years old, I'll still be in my early 30's (32). I had also heard stories from friends who were having a hard time trying to conceive, so I didn't want to wait too much longer. Also, having my first son at age 29, I was also able to work on building my brand and blog, Viva Fashion. 

Drawbacks: One of the things I feared the most was not being able to continue my career or having to put things on hold. Luckily this hasn't been a drawback.  I've never been more busier with work and believe it's all about having a strong support system. My husband stays with the baby (on his days off) while I work. Life does change though, but you just learn to multi-task :)

To continue reading my article on click here.
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