The Magic of Trying to #beayesmom ~ #theseareyourdays

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about this great piece of parenting advice I heard years ago, and it likely isn’t the last. It’s amazing the opportunities that present themselves, yes of course, usually during the times you are the most tired and worn out…but that’s also when the magic happens.

Case in point: My weeding day.

Do you remember these photos from my Instagram?

these are your days be a yes mom parenting making memories gardening

Let’s just first take a minute to consider not only the transformation, but how absolutely brutal this flower bed was to start. *covers eyes*

Now let me tell you what was going on behind the scenes and how this turned into a magical #beayesmom experience.

As I started to weed, Jonah asked if he could bring his cars out to play. I know, it sounds so simple and I have no issues with him playing outside or even, in some cases, bringing toys outside, The problem was, I didn’t want those toys to come outside, get dirty and then find their way back into the house.

So I tried to convince him not to.

For several minutes we went back and forth until it occurred to me…if they got dirty, he could always add a follow-up activity and bath {wash} them in the sink. Problem solved.

Of course, Jonah – bring out the toys!

And as a result, this was my view while I did the weeding. *cue heart swoon*

theseareyourdays making memories be a yes mom gardening

Happy to be outside playing, happy to be making memories and happy to be together.

Just like that it became one of those magical parenting moments and easily one of my favourite memories from that week. And to think, I just about missed it.

*I want to hear about your #beayesmom moments – tag me @theseareyourdays*

 

I Rented a Car for the First Time EVER! #enterprise #santabarbara #theseareyourdays #yearofme #madetoholiday

Shortly before my trip, I decided to look into renting a car instead of relying on cabs and my pretty little feet. Am I ever glad I did because for just $18/day my cousin and I had the freedom to go where our little hearts desired. It was easily the best decision of the trip – and going through Enterprise {car rental at the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport} was a brilliant choice.

First, booking online was EASY! And second, the staff were amazing and so accommodating!

The only trouble I had was trying to decide which size of vehicle to book. I ended up going for a full size which I quickly realized was not the best choice for me. I’m little so long cars are just awkward.

First up – The Buick Lacrosse, a beautiful car but just a bit too big for me. And, we’d soon find out, a little too big for the driveway cove we had to park in at our rental.

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Making me laugh about being old ladies with our Giant Buick. Hahaha

So, the next day we zipped back to the airport to see if there was something smaller that might work better. I wish I remembered the name of who helped me {same each time} because he was so great and got me set up right away with this smaller and also beautiful Chrysler 200.

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Totally more my jam {though truly I’m a small SUV girl through and through} – and $16 to fill from empty. SIXTEEN! Boy did I feel like a fool pre-authorizing for $40. hahaha

**Funny story: I went into the gas station to pre-pay and the gas attendant took my credit card and said, “So go fill up and then when you come back in we’ll charge your card.” – I sort of scoffed and said, “Oh, I’m not leaving my credit card with you! ~ Can’t you just pre-authorize it?”

His response, “Um yeah, I can.” **

Hahahahaha…Be careful people…I’m not saying he would have done anything, I’m just saying don’t take any unnecessary chances.

Final thought – Use Enterprise! {And don’t leave your credit card with random people} lol

I Got Propositioned at LAX #truestory #makesmelaugh #theseareyourdays #yearofme

Standing in the security line at LAX, anxious to make it through to my connecting flight, I started chatting with the lady in front of me, who was probably not much older than I am {mid-late 30’s}. Nothing unusual as I tend to make friends at every pit stop along the way any time I travel. She was beautiful so I told her {a habit I’ve resurrected from my younger years} and then we got chatting about where our travels were taking us.

She was heading to Costa Rica to spend a week with a friend of hers who lives there 6 months of the year and the other 6 somewhere here in Canada. She couldn’t remember where he worked/lived here which I thought was funny and a bit odd.

She told me I should go to Costa Rica and I agreed that it was on my list of places to see. Then she suggested trading personal information after getting through the line. Again, I agreed because it’s always fun to make new friends.

Then she suggested she give me her friend’s information as well so I’d have a contact if I ever made it there. Okay so I thought that was odd because I assumed they were a couple of sorts, but she put all the pieces together for me when she said,

“He’s so nice, a really nice man. He’s retired…”

And it all made sense.

We did not exchange information, though honestly I had zero time to even look for her after as I had to figure out how the heck to get to my connecting flight. But I couldn’t stop giggling about it.

Looks like this girl’s still got it 😉

snapchat filters meow these are your days makes me laugh lax propositioned made to holiday year of me discover

ME-OW

4am Travelling Isn’t My Jam #palmtoforehead #makesmelaugh #theseareyourdays #santabarbara #yearofme

My instagram post during my day of travel to Santa Barbara:

4am travel these are your days applause santa barbara yyc year of me made to holiday

4am travelling is clearly not my jam:

Shuttle driver asks what airline I’m flying 

Kiosk won’t read my passport 🙄

Typing error makes for a flight not found 

Goes to wrong line 

Drops passport 

Half trips over suitcase trying to pull luggage and turn phone off at the same time 

Buuuut I made it to my gate and now I wait! Also, I realize I look freakishly alien like but dude, 4am and just 2 hours of sleep *zz*

**Also, to add insult to injury, I banged my head on the overhead luggage getting off the place in Santa Barbara. Ha! You know the plane is tiny when….**

But it was all worth it to arrive to these:

palm trees santa barbara municipal airport these are your days made to holiday year of me

My First Experience With United Airlines Wasn’t Terrible… #united #santabarbara #theseareyourdays #yearofme

Of course most of you know how my return trip went, but for the purpose of this post, I’ll just tell you about my initial flight with United Airlines – heading to Santa Barbara.

It was completely uneventful. haha

Shortest post ever.

But seriously, took off from Calgary on time, caught my connecting flight {barely but that’s because LAX is the worst airport on the planet to navigate and it knows I think that so it does everything it can to ruin my life. I know I’m not the only one}, and landed in Santa Barbara without any issues at all. None.

In fact, I think we even landed a bit early. Gotta love that.

And within a short half hour, after getting off the plane and picking up my rental car, I was sitting at Goleta Park Beach {right by the airport} enjoying this view:

goleta park beach santa barbara these are your days year of me made to holiday

And I knew Santa Barbara and I were going to get along just fine.

 

I Live for the Applause {Applause, Applause} #yyc #theseareyourdays #applausehotel #yearofme #hotwire

Hotwire got my cousin and I through a 3 week road trip in California about 6 years ago, and I know we’ve both used it several times since then. So when I decided to stay over in Calgary the night before my flight, it was the only place I checked.

I searched for hotels near the Calgary airport and, finding one under $100, booked right away. I had never heard of the Applause hotel but from what I could tell in my google search, it seemed nice.

The truth is, while I’m an easy sell for my hotel wins, I was blown away. It was stunning!

applause hotel calgary airport these are your days made to holiday year of me santa barbara eternal reflections photography travel blogger

Photo from website

The outside is new and modern looking, but really it was the inside that got me all smitten.

From the fun carpets {I told you I’m an easy sell haha}:

applause hotel yyc airport these are your days santa barbara hotwire

To the Gorgeous Room {complete with bedside tic tacs!}:

clique hotels and resorts applause hotel these are your days yyc calgary airport santa barbara year of me made to holiday

You can see a bit of it in the photo above, plus the LED light control remote for the

GLOWING BEDS!

applause hotel glowing beds yyc airport these are your days santa barbara hotwire

Seriously – glowing beds! How cool is that!?

And then the luxury bathroom *swoon*:

clique hotels and resorts applause hotel yyc calgary airport luxury bathrooms these are your days year of me santa barbara made to holiday

Yes I should have removed the white towel from the shower door {covers eyes}, but check it out….luxury shower, complimentary toiletries {two toothbrushes, two loofas, makeup remover wipe, shower cap, etc} ~ I can honestly say I’ve never before taken so many things from a hotel haha,  fluffy white oversized bath towels, a ridiculously comfortable bath robe that I slept in, and a fabulous tv to watch whilst in the shower.

Sigh.

And then the gym ~ I absolutely love a hotel workout and this was no different:

applause hotel gym yyc airport these are your days santa barbara hotwire

Considering I haven’t been to the gym since {gasps}, I am sure glad I took the opportunity while there!

**My son is really wanting to stay at this hotel because of the glowing beds, but for those also considering the same, it’s worth noting there are just two hot tubs and no pool. I really think it’s intended to be more of an adults only hotel**

 

Planning My Santa Barbara Vacation #santabarbara #theseareyourdays #yearofme #madetoholiday

santa barbara youtube these are your days year of me made to holiday eternal reflections photography travel blogger

Photo Credit: EF Santa Barbara on YouTube

Planning a trip is half the fun – I love figuring out not just where to go but what to do when I’m there, along with finding a place to stay, etc. I know for some this process can be stressful and even prevent trips from happening, so I thought I’d share what I did in the hopes of helping ease some of that stress and burden. You don’t have to think it’s as fun as I do, but it really doesn’t have to be complicated. 🙂

Here are the steps I took – posts dedicated to each topic are on their way!

Flights

Google Flights these are your days united airlines santa barbara made to holiday discover

This was the deciding factor for choosing Santa Barbara over LA or San Francisco. The flights weren’t cheaper but were comparable so I didn’t feel like there was a reason not to choose it {except with American and Alaska – *gasps*}. Using Google Flights was so easy, and for those of you who are leery of online purchases, the final booking and payment is done through the actual airline’s site. So awesome!

Accomodations

This was the tricky part. Hotels in Santa Barbara run an average of $300/night which for this trip was completely out of my budget. I wasn’t wanting a splurgy getaway but rather an affordable and stress free one. So I knew I was going to have to think of something else….and thank goodness I did because I discovered my new love, airbnb.

santa barbara airbnb these are your days made to holiday year of me travel blogger eternal reflections photo

Photo credit to

Radelle of Eternal Reflections Photography

Seriously, check it out. I was immediately sold and within just a few days had places saved all over the world for future getaways and family holidays. To save costs, I chose the lease expensive place which was a guest room in a couple’s home. Because my cousin decided 4 days before to come along, I ended up cancelling my first booking to book a place with two beds instead. Still it was a guest room in a couple’s home and honestly, it was awesome! I will not hesitate to book that way again for solo (or duo lol) getaways.

Part II

applause hotel calgary airport these are your days made to holiday year of me santa barbara eternal reflections photography travel blogger

Photo from website

When I booked my flights, I chose the earliest one which meant I was leaving Calgary at 6am. It made the most sense to stay over in Calgary the night before and because of the early time, I did not want to rely on family or friends in the area. So I did a search on  {another fave site of mine} and was quite pleased to discover a lovely little treasure close to the airport that I can’t wait to tell  you about.

Parking

Again, because my flight was so early and I was staying the night before, I decided to try out the park and fly options around the airport {Park2Go is the one I chose}. It was absolutely the best and most convenient decision and also incredibly affordable.

Transportation

Because Santa Barbara is a pretty small city and easy to stay somewhere within walking distance to both the beach and downtown, I originally planned to just rely on that to get anywhere. But about 6 days before my trip, I decided to look into car rentals and within half an hour had one booked through Enterprise. haha

Activities

I really didn’t want my time to be jam packed with booked activities. This was not that kind of getaway, but I also didn’t want to go without any idea of what Santa Barbara had to offer. So I took to my friend Google and found my way to Trip Advisor, a fabulous resource no matter where you are heading {In fact it’s what I used to make my ridiculously long list for New Orleans}.

Condor_Express_blue_whale_fluke santa barbara these are the days eternal reflections photography made to holiday year of me travel blogger

Photo from Website

Aside from the beaches of course {oh so many amazing beaches}, I found The Condor Express, a whale watching tour company that had excellent reviews. It’s an item that’s been on my bucket list since I was a teenager and I was so excited to be able to finally do it. I decided it would be my one planned activity and spent the rest of the time focussing on where I wanted to eat. haha

Food

I had so much fun with this – Santa Barbara has SO many options for food, including 4 restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I can’t be the only one who dreams of trying out all the wonderful places and food seen on that mouth-watering show!

savoy cafe and deli santa barbara these are your days made to holiday year of me travel blogger diners drive ins and dives

Logo photo from website

As it was, I tried just one of the four and the rest of the time my cousin and I googled and just made a random selection from the choices that came up. Seriously, also a really fun way to do it. Meals were enjoyed at Savoy Café and Deli {featured on DDD}, FisHouse, Garrett’s Old Fashioned Restaurant, Finch and Fork {in The Canary Hotel}, a local grocery store for on the go items {that I can’t remember the name of waaaa}, Opal, and the Santa Barbara Public Market.

Be prepared for Santa Barbara to take over my blog posts for the next while…there is so much to share!

 

Father’s Day Giveaway with JORD! #jordwoodwatches #jordwatch #wearJORD #beyou #theseareyourdays #giveaway #worldwide

It started with a gorgeous watch sent for review, followed by a personal purchase for the Captain at Christmas….and now a beautiful partnership that’s officially beginning with a Father’s Day giveaway just for you!

delmar series red sandalwood red carbon jord wood watches these are your days giveaway fathers day year of me

Delmar Series: Red Sandalwood & Red Carbon, $149

Follow THIS LINK for your chance to win a $149 voucher to Jord Wood Watches ~ the perfect gift for Father’s Day! Open Worldwide!

Contest closes June 5th so get those entries in!

Why I Chose Santa Barbara #theseareyourdays #madetoholiday #yearofme #discover

Well if you follow me on Instagram you are probably aware that I was planning a trip to New Orleans. What you may also know is that I didn’t go to New Orleans {yet!} but instead went to Santa Barbara.

Seems an odd switch, I know, but I truly believe it all unfolded the way it should.

New Orleans won my heart quickly and the more instagram accounts I followed, the more I knew I needed to get there. The colours, the culture, the people – the fooooooood! Oh my goodness. I started looking into things to do there and my heart continually exploded with excitement. And then I looked at flights – which ultimately became the deciding factor to tackle this amazing city another time.

I’m sure the timing was a factor, but the flights were all sorts of wacky and it was going to take a day and a half to get there with an overnight in LA {not a big deal}, but it would leave me only a day and a half of NOLA time. And that was just plain cruel.

So I reconsidered, then went back to New Orleans convinced I NEEDED it now, then reconsidered again. I tossed around LA and San Francisco, but when a friend told me that Santa Barbara is nice – relatively quiet and not too busy, beach with mountains – I had to look into it further.

And my google search of images only confirmed what I already knew – Santa Barbara was/is the place for me

**Photo courtesy of The Canary Hotel, which I actually had the pleasure of seeing and falling in love with – it is so gorgeous and full of character!**

And then the fun of planning began…

My Word for the Year #discover #wordfortheyear #theseareyourdays #yearofme

For the past several years I have made a point of choosing a word as my focus for the entire year. One year was Simplify, last year was more of a declaration with Year of Me and this year is

DISCOVER

This is the word that came to me late last year as I reflected on my time focusing on me, things I wanted to accomplish and plan for. It seemed the most fitting follow up and is something at the core of who I am. I want to spend this year discovering people and places and having new experiences and trying new things. Few things excite me more than the opportunity to discover. I’ve made no secret that travelling is one of my favourite things to do – it’s something I need and something I was made for. Even simply the planning stages of a getaway fill me with excitement. There are so many places I want to see and experience and so many people I’ve yet to meet.

I dream of province and state wide getaways, spending the time discovering all the little gems within the cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Raleigh. And of course bigger and longer getaways to farther away places like Fiji, Italy, and Australia. Here’s hoping I live to be over a hundred so I have time to see even a fraction of the places on my list.

edit lake louise lethbridge los cabos santa barbara these are your days made to holiday travel blogger discover year of me                  

I’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair amount already throughout my life and already this year have spent time in Los Cabos, Lake Louise, and Santa Barbara, plus a one night staycation here in Lethbridge! It’s amazing what can happen when you put it out into the universe. Isn’t that the Secret? Well, I’m a believer and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year holds.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey to discover!

Travel discover these are your days year of me made to holiday travel blogger santa barbara lake louise los cabos

**Special mention to my super talented cousin, Radelle from Eternal Reflections Photography for her gorgeous capture of the Santa Barbara night sky **