Open Doors at The Landing

The Landing, Door County, Wisconsin
This Christmas was a world of new for Athena and I. We decided to spend it with my partner’s family in Wisconsin. (I still haven’t found the “boyfriend” term that fits for me but I’m working on it.) It was the first time Athena and I weren’t in our own home, opening gifts from Santa and family that were placed under our Christmas tree with loving care; but home isn’t your own tree or a familiar room. It’s the people who surround you that make it home. Cord’s family has shown us an abundance of love in the last few months. They opened their homes and their hearts to Athena and I. Even though we spent Christmas day, and the two days following Christmas, at The Landing in Door County, Wisconsin, it was the most at home I felt in almost a decade.  Continue reading

A Day of Exploration at South Coast Plaza

Shops at South Coast Plaza

I love shopping with Athena at South Coast Plaza. It’s huge and filled with a world of bright colors, bold prints, and beautiful sights. It would be easy to go there and spend thousands of dollars and walk out with a couple bags though. Many of my favorite clothes in South Coast Plaza come with high price tags. It is possible to visit South Coast Plaza without spending a fortune. Here’s how Athena and I spent six hours at South Coast Plaza and only spent $60 while enjoying rides, dining, shopping, and taking in the sights. We explored, discovered, and experienced the magic of South Coast Plaza.  Continue reading

The Don’ts of Writing a Bucket List

California Beaches - Vacation

Creating a bucket list is the first step to accomplishing your dreams and using up those vacation days. If you don’t like the idea of a bucket list because you associate it with dying, being old, or even setting unrealistic goals, you can call it whatever you like but call it something and write it down. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve if you dream about the possibilities and set measurable goals. I create a list every year and it’s been a highly successful way to achieve more than I ever imagined possible. The more unrealistic we are with our dreams and goals, the more we are able to achieve. When creating your list, however, it’s important to keep these simple suggestions in mind. Continue reading

25 Travel Books in Time for the Holidays

Reading on the Beach

With a travel book in hand, you can experience a new culture or a new land while seeing it through the eyes of another. The only thing better would be to experience it for yourself. Until you can explore the vast corners of this world, here’s a list of 25 travel books, in no particular order, to take you there. With Amazon’s quick shipping options, you could have a few new stocking suffers in time for Christmas.  Continue reading

He’s a Mean One, but a Charmer – The Grinch Musical

Segerstrom Center - L to R - Brance Cornelius, Serena Brook, Brooke Lynn Boyd, Stefan Karl, Rebecca Prescott and Ryan Knowles - Photo by PaparazziByAppointment

She did it! 90 minutes of no-intermission and not a tear in her eye or a whine in her voice. No, not Athena! She clapped loudly after every scene and sat wide-eyed with excitement as the Grinch won her heart along with Cindy Lou’s.

Last night, we attended Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and it showed me that children are more capable than we give them credit for. Continue reading

A New Christmas Tradition that Doesn’t Break the Bank

IllumOcean LEDLight

Living in Orange County, California, we have endless options for holiday events and activities. I never thought I would have too many options to consider but concerts, ballets, ice shows, and even an afternoon of skating can get expensive. It’s not like we can just sharpen our skates and hop on a frozen lake. We want to create holiday traditions for our family without breaking the bank. Dana Point IlluminOcean is a free event that lights up our hearts with holiday cheers. We drove down to Dana Point Marina last night to view the light show. Minus a few dollars for gas and ice cream treats, IlluminOcean is the cheapest way to ring in the holiday season.  Continue reading

Another Disney Bucket List Dream is About to Come True – Disney On Ice

Minnie's Royal Ball

Growing up in eastern Canada, I had lots of reminders of the upcoming holiday season. I could just look out the window and the feet of ice and snow was usually a good indication that Christmas was almost upon us. While I made up for it with sledding and ice skating, I truly longed for the elaborate celebrations in other parts of the world. Oh how I wanted to see a professional ballet production of The Nutcracker or The Macy’s Parade. And even more than those, I wanted to go to Disney On Ice. Alas, they were just frozen pipe dreams; things like that didn’t exist in Cape Breton. Now that we live in California, I’m a short drive to the snow and even a shorter drive to Disney On Ice. I say we’re going to the production for Athena, but honestly… it’s all for me. Merry Christmas to me; oh and Athena, another Disney bucket list dream is about to come true.  Continue reading