5 Things I Would Change About The Manteo Resort #manteoresort #thesearethedays #kelowna

Our stay at the Manteo Resort was fabulous, for sure, but that doesn’t mean that everything met our expectations. It has nothing to do with being difficult to please {AT ALL}, and everything to do with the expectation that comes with paying $300+/night.


So these are the 5 things I would change:

  1. Smack Dab ~ Their in house restaurant, whose slogan is *Crazy Good Food* had okay food, but nothing spectacular. We had their pizza for lunch, which was good, but the crust was SO thin that the piece nearly collapsed as soon as it was picked up. It was very difficult to eat without a knife and fork {and who wants to eat pizza with a knife and fork?}. My cousin tried their fish tacos {$16 for two fairly small portioned tacos} and was less than impressed {size and taste}, though her husband had the fish and chips and was happy with them.  But perhaps my {our} biggest complaint was the lack of options. I felt by day two, there wasn’t anything else that appealed to me. While I understand the simplicity, I felt for the poolside menu, they were lacking some basic, but delicious options. There are about 5 things that I make personally, that I would love to see on their menu, and to snack on while laying in the sun. I just know they’d be instant favourites.
  2. Lack of restaurant options ~ On a resort that large, it surprised all of us that Smack Dab was the only on site restaurant. We had 6 kids between us {ages 3-10), so having a waterfront café, burger or sandwich joint, or even a little ice cream/popsicle stand would have been so convenient for meals and snacks. We ended up ordering Boston Pizza on the first night and Cactus Club the second night, which were delicious, but next time I think we’ll look into more options nearby.
  3. Outdoor pool area ~ Again, based on the size of the resort as a whole, we were surprised the outdoor pool wasn’t larger, even possibly offering two slides. The outside area is designed in a bit of a triangle, with the outdoor pool, kiddie pool and hot tubs in each of the corners. The kiddie pool/splash pad was also smaller than we expected, but perhaps our greatest complaint is that there is no visibility from the hot tubs. There is a partition blocking the view completely, which makes it difficult for someone with children who want to be in different places at once. In an ideal world, every section of the outdoor area would be visible from any given point. In addition, we were also bummed that there were shrubs and a {now unused} gazebo that blocked the gorgeous lake view.
  4. The Villa garages ~ We did not stay in a villa, so this is merely an observation. While the villas looked fantastic {and they sure did}, the garages were too small. I’m not sure who designed them or how this detail was overlooked, but many of the villas had a vehicle parked on the driveway, noticeably larger than the garage. I realize this is an impossible change at this point, but it’d be awesome if they were able to change the garages into a sort of bonus room, additional bedroom, or something like that. But honestly, having not stayed in a villa, I don’t know if this is a feature that has bothered other guests, it just seems like unused space.
  5. Additional Fees ~ {directly from the website}:                                                                      *Manteo offers the “Manteo Resort No Surprise Service Fee Guarantee”. At Manteo Resort there are many pleasant surprises. Like the exceptional service – the extraordinary comfort of your room, the long list of amenities and the perfect surroundings on Okanagan Lake. What you won’t be surprised by is that long list of extra charges. That’s right. No resort fees, no charge for local phone calls, Internet, national newspaper, and parking. Manteo Resort. Be pleasantly surprised!*                                      

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I love not having to worry about additional costs, and for the most part, this was accurate. But unfortunately, there were a couple of things that weren’t:

* Kids Club ~ not including babysitting rates, I anticipated the kids activities to be included just like they are at other resorts. But they weren’t; there was Pizza and Movie night – $25/child, Craft Hour – $3/kid {I think, though could be wrong}, and Sundays Sundaes – $5/kid while we were there. I do think including these activities would be a nice perk, but at the very least, the fees should be noted on the website.

* Breakfast ~ Most hotels, even our *not fancy at all* hotel the first night, offer some sort of complimentary breakfast. But breakfast at the Manteo Resort in Smack Dab {albeit more than muffins and juice} is $9/adult and $4/child. Really, It’s not that the price is outrageous {it’s not)} I just like when things like this are included. Even if it was just a separate table of complimentary muffins and juice, and then still a charge for the Smack Dab breakfast if necessary {it does sound fabulous}.

Our stay was still enjoyable and relaxing, and our time together was fantastic, but these are the 5 things I would change…you know, if I had a say {Especially Smack Dab’s menu and a complimentary breakfast option}. :)

{PS. One thing I would definitely NOT change is the location. It was perfection.}

Manteo resort kelowna cute like me these are the days okanagan





Scarlet and Gold #givegrace #companiesthatgiveback #payitforwardfriday #adoption #infertility #thesearethedays

scarlet and gold give grace adoption infertility these are the days

While I wasn’t the girl who got pregnant on the first try, and Brooklyn is actually a Rainbow Baby, I can’t even pretend that I know what it’s like to struggle with infertility. And although I was adopted and have seen many lives blessed through adoption, I do not know personally what that actually feels like. I can imagine and think I come pretty close to understanding, but ultimately I don’t know.

But I will always support those in their efforts to expand their family.

Which is exactly what Scarlet and Gold has done ~ created an opportunity for me and for you to support the struggles of infertility and the blessings of treatment and adoption, through their fabulous Give Grace campaign.

scarlet and gold give grace adoption infertility these are the days {from the website}:

We believe that God has given us such an amazing platform to inspire and encourage people, and we are hoping to do so with the Give Grace™ Campaign. Some of you may know about our owner and founder Megan Smalley and her struggle with infertility. Blake and Megan have been battling infertility for over two years now. Exactly one year ago today, they began an IVF attempt that ended up failing. As you can imagine, the entire process of IVF is emotionally, physically, and financially draining. Megan and Blake have finally reached the point of being willing to try again, and the Lord has laid on our hearts the desire to do whatever we can to help. The Give Grace™ Campaign is the fruit of this desire.

We as a team at Scarlet & Gold have decided to create a line of prints inspired by Megan and Blake’s story that will be available for pre-order starting Monday, June 15. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this line will go towards sending them to the top fertility doctor in the country. Once we have raised enough money for their treatment, we want to continue selling the collection of prints and donate the proceeds to help more couples struggling to start a family, whether that is through IVF or adoption. You can read more about the campaign here.

One fabulous way you can help is by purchasing items from their shop. I personally have my eye on these adorable temporary tattoos *swoon*

FALLmkGG21212121234123123342321 (1).jpg*swoon*

What a great way to support a great cause! I just love companies that give back!

Coachella Shorts #brotherinnovis #brothercanada #thesearethedays #Coachellashorts

When I saw these shorts made by iCandy Handmade, I was immediately in love.

coachella shorts striped swallow designs icandy handmade these are the days

In fact, I went to the fabric store the very next day to grab embellishments {I’m trying to be responsible and use up fabric I already have…I know, sad!} and purchased the pattern from Striped swallow Designs so that I could get started right away.

coachella shorts cute like me these are the days striped swallow designs icandy handmade

Now let me tell you – the pattern is ridiculously easy. Which is probably why it took me ALL night to figure it out. *sigh* I made some assumptions based on how I thought the leg *flap* worked, and as a result, I did it wrong SEVERAL times over. I mean, SO wrong. Embarrassingly wrong. I’m so glad I didn’t photograph the process.

I finally, FINALLY figured it out ~ by actually following the instructions, who’d have thought ~ and was so excited with how they turned out. I was also incredibly relieved that all my sewing, seam ripping and re-sewing {and repeat} didn’t destroy the fabric. I give all the credit to the fabulous Brother Innovis machine that I’m lucky enough to get to sew with. I promise there are more machine details to come…she really needs a post all to herself!

As you can see, the shorts are a bit big for Brooklyn and she finds the trim seam a little itchy (so I plan to figure out a way to cover it), but aren’t they adorable?!

coachella shorts 2 cute like me these are the days striped swallow designs icandy handmade brother innovis brother canada

I have several other adorable fabrics that I have big plans for in the Coachella shorts department…I can’t wait to do a sewing marathon, sometime in the spring perhaps {when I’m not busy dreading the upcoming snow!}. Brooklyn’s closet is going to be overflowing!

Now I’m missing summer. :(




{Grace and Salt} #companiesthatgiveback #payitforward #thesearethedays #adoption #T1D

grace and salt logo these are the days adoption diabetes

I feel like nothing I say will do this story justice.

My heart is so full for this family and their purpose, and I can’t wait for the day they set foot back in their home as a family of FOUR!

The last two weeks I have featured companies that give back to other organizations, and while Grace and Salt is as well, they are doing so in a different way. Instead of donating their funds to another organization’s good deeds, they are using the profit to help fund their international adoption of not one, but two sweet children from Uganda. {Oh my heart}

photo grace and salt these are the days adoption diabetes

Their original plan was to pick up their newly adopted son, but while there, and after a medical diagnosis of Keary (T1D), they discovered an undeniable need to adopt another sweet child (June Bug), who was also recently diagnosed with T1D. The catch? They had just a month to raise $35,000 for this second adoption.

While Keary and her husband are in Uganda, they are actively trying to raise the additional funds needed for June Bug’s adoption. Aside from accepting straight donations {here}, they also have an Etsy shop filled with adorable printables. They have raised just over $23,000 and have less than 10 days to raise the rest, and every little bit helps…in fact, if every one of their instagram followers donated just .30 cents, they would meet their goal! How amazing is that! It’s not something that has to take massive donations or put anyone out. It’s easy, really easy. AND if you’d rather, you can get one of these adorable prints from their Etsy shop in return {Also, follow their story HERE}

graceandsalt these are the days adoption diabetes

Love Knows No Borders | Be Love | Let’s Adventure Little One| XO

You’re My Favorite| Ampersand | Let’s Snuggle

A Killer #kidtrend thanks to @u_lace {with coupon code} #thesearethedays

Sometimes shoes come with boring laces…and sometimes you just get sick of tying them. Or, like many parents, tired of waiting for what seems like FOREVER, for your kid(s) to tie theirs.

U-Lace has solved the problem in the most fun and customizable way!

hi top sneakers u lace these are the days

This is probably my favourite design and I am desperate to get Jonah a pair of high tops so I can copy it. Ha! For now though, he’ll have to just enjoy the fun orange and yellow combination he’s got.

jonah yellow orange criss cross u lace these are the days

And love it he does! In fact, I thought he’d like to choose from these two options, but he ended up keeping them just like this. Ha!

For Brooklyn, I did the same combinations with different colours. Her new sparkled shoes gave me lots of options to choose from, but ultimately it was pink and green that won.

Brooklyn criss cross sneakers u lace these are the days

Brooklyn loved them but her shoes are already a bit on the tight side, so she found it difficult to get her feet in with the u-laces. She switched back to her {boring} white laces for now. Jonah, however can’t get enough, wearing them as inside shoes at school and for rocking out at dance!

u lace colours these are the days

I can’t wait to try more combinations ~ I  may have to order every colour! Luckily U_Lace has made that even easier for my fabulous readers!

Just use coupon code cutelikeme to receive 20% off your first order!

u lace colour combinations these are the days

*It’s your world, color it  your way*

Tag us on instagram @u_lace and @thesearethedays to show your fun combinations!






The Shine Project #companiesthatgiveback #payitforwardfriday #thesearethedays

I’m not sure how I first heard about The Shine Project, but it was late in 2012 and shortly before I placed my first order. I was attending a work party with a white elephant gift exchange and I wanted to get something practical (stemless wine glasses) and something meaningful (bracelets from The Shine Project). I couldn’t have been more excited and in fact, even got a bit choked up while explaining to my coworkers what the bracelets represent.

the shine project logo these are the days

You can read the full story of how it began, but the bottom line is this, Ashley Lemieux created an opportunity for inner city kids to work and raise enough funds to attend college/university. It started simply with just $500 in supplies, a few simple bracelet designs and a hope that even just one would sell, but within the first week they were sold out. And if you check out the shop now you’ll see all sorts of designs. All of which I want and need in my collection.

Over 40 scholarships have been given since 2011, and 100% of donations given to the non profit go directly to the students.

Threads by The Shine Project currently employees 11 inner city students.

What I love is, in addition to the opportunity to attend school (some of them, the first of their family) they are gaining invaluable life and work experience through being involved in everything from customer service, shipping, jewelry design, t shirt design, new product design, sales, and events. The students who are given scholarships through the non profit are then given jobs through Threads, so they can be mentored and guided every step of the way.

It just makes my heart happy. And these gorgeous pieces would make my jewelry collection happy too!

the shine project these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

 Anchor|Black Onyx Pixie|Feather Stack|Druzy in Silver|Nykelle

the shine project these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday


Ruby Pixie|Blue Green Triangle Druzy|Pink Triangle|Personalized Bangle|Silver Love Stack


Which are your favourites?



Flamingos Are Fun #flamingofun #thesearethedays #notsponsored

A post just for fun, featuring adorable flamingo products from Amazon. Be still my flamingo loving heart!

amazon flamingo duct tape carters caspari these are the days

1{dessert plates}|2|3|4

amazon flamingo 2 edit

5|6 {dog collar}|7|8

amazon flamingo 3 edit


amazon flamingo 4 edit

13|14|15 {Grosgrain Ribbon}|16

I’m in flamingo heaven.

Go Shout Love #companiesthatgiveback #payitforwardfriday #thesearethedays

go shout love companies that give back these are the days pay it forward friday

{from the website}:;

Go Shout Love was started with a vision of doing amazing things for amazing people. We feature a different family every month who has a child suffering from a rare illness and we spend all month long shouting love for them and celebrating them in big ways. We believe in the power of being loud and we hope you will join us in making some noise for these families. Head over to our shop where you can purchase some pretty amazing apparel inspired by our featured families. Half of everything we earn each month goes straight to our featured families to help with medical costs and related expenses!

I’ve been following Go Shout Love on Instagram for several months now, and each month I am both devastated and filled with hope for the featured family. I’ve seen it several times before in real life, families doing all they can to fight for their child’s life, but for the most part, being in Canada means the challenges don’t involve incredible medical bills. For these families, however, this is not the case, and Go Shout love is there to help ease their burden, even just a little bit.

It does my heart good.

go shout love companies that give back pay it forward friday these are the days

Each month new shirts are rolled out with custom designs based on messages the featured family wants to send. In August “Love Saves” was one such message, celebrating the lifelong connection between sweet Lucas and his hero, Olivia.  Lucas is living with a very rare liver disease and was recently blessed with a new liver from 3 year old Olivia, after losing her battle with Cancer. Love Saves ~ isn’t it perfect?!

Love Saves Kid's T-Shirt // Inspired by Lucas go shout love these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

Septembers feature is a beautiful 14 year old girl, Lainey who was diagnosed in May with Glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive brain cancer.

go shout love these are the days pay it forward friday companies that give back

For Lainey, who is doing everything she can to stay positive and hopeful, her message is simple:

Victory Kids Tee // Inspired by Lainey // Go Shout Love these are the days companies that give back pay it forward friday

Head on over to the Go Shout Love shop to see more of the September designs for Lainey, as well as some from previous months {yes, including Love Saves}, and let’s help give back to these families who are dealing with, what is for so many of us, unimaginable.

**Know a family you’d love to see featured? Go here for their nomination form*

A Boy Can Never Have Too Many Swimsuits Either #swimsuitsforboys #thesearethedays #notsponsored

Since I don’t think girls should have all the fun and because Amazon has an awesome selection for boys too,  here’s a collection for them too. After all, Jonah’s drawer is just as full {or over-full lol}.

It’s a real problem you know 😉

Have fun browsing, and shopping. And same as before, if you go to buy one and it’s sold, I’m sorry. *big grin*

adidas baby buns big chill carters flap happy hurley kanu laguna nautica osh kosh solo international us polo association wippette zeroxposur swimwear these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear


adidas baby buns big chill carters flap happy hurley kanu laguna nautica osh kosh solo international us polo association wippette zeroxposur swimwear these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear


adidas baby buns big chill carters flap happy hurley kanu laguna nautica osh kosh solo international us polo association wippette zeroxposur swimwear these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear


The boy section at any store is always so much more blah than the girls, so it was especially fun to see all of these awesome options for the little guys in our life!

Featured Brands:

Adidas|Baby Buns|Big Chill|Carters|Flap Happy|Hurley|Kanu|Laguna

Nautica|Osh Kosh|Solo International|US Polo Association|Wippette|ZeroXposur

A Girl Can Never Have Too Many Swimsuits! #swimsuitsforgirls #thesearethedays #notsponsored

Because if your kids are like mine, they can never have too many swimsuits. Here’s a fun little collection of girls swimsuits from Amazon that is making me all googly eyed. If you try to buy one and it’s sold, I’m sorry 😉

baby buns big chill billabong carter gossip girl hello kitty jantzen lemons and limes maaji nautica pink platinum roxy tiaobu vaenait swimwear these are the days amazon


lemons and limes carters nautica jantzen baby bums roxy vaenait gossip girl these are the days cute like me amazon swimwear 2


baby buns big chill billabong carter gossip girl hello kitty jantzen lemons and limes maaji nautica pink platinum roxy tiaobu vaenait swimwear these are the days amazon


I could go on and on. Oh and don’t worry, boys swimwear is coming up next!

Featured Brands:

Baby Buns|Big Chill|Billabong|Carters|Gossip Girl|Hello Kitty|Jantzen|

Lemons & Limes|Maaji|Nautica|Pink Platinum|Roxy|Tiaobu|Vaenait