Thursday, November 29, 2018

Travel the US in Style with These Hacks

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If there's anything I've learned in the last six year of our adventures around the world, it's that this Earth is a HUGE place, chock full of endless incredible travel opportunities. From hail storms in Tuscan vineyards to water taxi rides in Venice, there is so much to see and do everywhere you go. But it's not necessary to go abroad to make incredible travel memories. Our own little US of A offers some truly incredible destinations that can satisfy the needs and dreams of any travel junkie, right here in the States! Whether it’s the East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Deep South, or New England, our nation has plenty of diverse landscapes to choose from. 
Every year people travel to the US and all around the US in search of fresh adventures and new experiences. Although there are always the typical and most popular American destinations, it's so important to make sure you enjoy everything that that the nation has to offer when it comes to traveling. To truly travel the US in style, keep these travel hacks in mind for your journey!

Explore Some of the Best Cities

There are some pretty amazing cities in the US, and no matter which state you visit there is bound to be a city that you fall in love with. There are a lot of things that play a role in choosing the perfect place to visit, but it’s clear that cities like Miami, New York, and San Francisco are pretty much the pinnacle when it comes to big, popular cities. Big cities offer the thrills of lights, delicious food, and fun entertainment activities, and although they are often pretty touristy, they're definitely worth seeing at least once!

Check Out the Road Less Traveled

Although big cities like NYC are fun, it's also important to get balance, and this means checking out the road less traveled sometimes too. There are a lot of places you can visit in the States that offers you a more open, less crowded experience. There are a lot of hidden gems out there, including places like Durango, Colorado; a drive from Oregon to California, and the wonderful character of New Orleans. Some of my very favorite travel memories are hours of road tripping all around the country, hopping out of the car and taking state sign photos together when we reached a state border. Make sure you check out some of these lesser-explored areas, even if they aren't the "big name" cities.

Have an Open Mind

One of the best ways to enjoy traveling our county in style is to have an open mind. Don't shy away from certain activities or cities just because you think they may not be in your typical comfort zone- you may be pleasantly surprised! While traveling, you'll definitely be exposed to a lot of diversity, as well as people and cultures from all walks of life. After all, the United States is a huge country! This is good, and you never know what unexpected adventure may await you in a place where you never expected it! Don't get too caught up in the plans or expectations and just enjoy yourself wherever you may be.

Stay in the Best Places

Of course, staying in the best place while definitely help you make the most of your travels. While it's very fun to explore places off the beaten path and take a chance on activities that are new to you, you do want to make sure that you feel safe and cozy wherever you choose to lay your head for the night. Do some research on what type of hotel is best for you. Do you want to have an extended stay at a hotel in San Diego, California, or would you rather bop from place to place and check in to multiple different hotels? Each type of trip is great, but just make sure you think about the pros and cons of each option, and definitely choose a place that you know is in a good area of the city or town.

From the rolling hills of the Midwest to the coastal oceans and everything in between, the United States has so much to offer, and you need to explore and make the most of it while you can. Traveling is an incredibly eye-opening, fun chance to make some incredible memories. I have never regretted a single trip that we went on, and the adventures we've found ourselves in are truly priceless. The US is just waiting to be explored, so get out there and make it yours!


Monday, November 26, 2018

Why You Should Hire Security for Your Wedding

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Currently, Kelsie.

If you're in the middle of wedding planning, you know that there are more items to think of and prepare for than you can possibly imagine. You may even be stressed that unexpected bumps in the road are just waiting to throw you off course. Planning a successful wedding can take months, or even years, of careful planning and meticulous preparation- not to mention the cost of a wedding in the United States these days now averages more than $33,000. With all of this time and money invested in a single day, which is a joyous event for sure, you certainly want things to go well and for your guests to be happy and safe while attending your event.

Spending a few extra dollars to hire some private security for the big day is a great way to ensure that the day goes off without any unnecessary safety concerns. Gabriel Sanchez, a Security Manager for ACES Private Investigations of Dallas says, “The correct ratio of security to guest is 1:12.” We see a lot of disruptions at weddings typically at the reception when drinks are flowing,” says Sanchez. There are several reasons to hire private security for a wedding, all with the safety of your guests in mind. A few reasons include:

Keep Unwelcome Guests Out. 

As you probably know, there are many people who make a habit of crashing weddings to get free food and drinks and to do a little partying at someone else’s expense. Ask a friend or family member to check guests at the reception and, if they’re not on the list, ask them to kindly leave. If they refuse, that’s where the security guard is there to step in and take over. It may seem mean, but it will help keep things in order.

Keep Valuables Safe. 

You can hire a security guard to watch over things like the gift table or the money box, as well as to keep an eye on purses and other personal items throughout the event. Ladies often wear very nice jewelry to a formal event like a wedding, and the security guard or guards can help keep an eye on those items as well. If having a guard watch these areas isn't a possibility, try to see if your venue has a locked room where things can be stored during the reception.

Your Venue May Require It. 

Some venues simply require private security at any event where there will be a large number of people, so check with your venue well in advance to see if this applies in your case. Sometimes, the venue will give you a list of security companies that they prefer, but you usually don’t have to stick to the names on this list if you don’t want to. They may also ask you to purchase liability insurance.

Offer Parking Lot Protection.

 If your event is in a metropolitan area or, on the flip side, in a remote location, you can hire security guards whose responsibility is to escort guests to and from their vehicles. This can help with peace of mind and further ensure your guests’ safety. You have enough things to worry about on your wedding day without having to stress over the safety of your guests, and the event in general.

Set aside a few bucks for a private security presence on your special day, so you can have that peace of mind and really treasure and savor what is surely one of the biggest and most memorable days of your entire life. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but the safety is worth it. And remember, the most important thing is that you get married- so enjoy your day and try not to stress!


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Quick Tips For Your Bathroom Remodel

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We all want a bathroom that’s convenient and accessible, but we also want it look nice and reflect our own individual style. It's easy to get caught up in the way it looks, but this important room of the home also needs to have the right fixtures and amenities, ones that are capable of providing function at a good value.

When undergoing this type of renovation, which provides one of the best returns on investment in the long run, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, if you’re going to use a contractor, make sure they're licensed and bonded. You can find a list of approved contractors by visiting the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Here are a few tips to help you along with your next bathroom remodel project:

Initial Planning. 

Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to sit down and talk with everyone in the home who will be using the bathroom. Ask them what they would like, or dislike, in the newly renovated space.

It’s also important that everyone keeps in mind this type of project is not done overnight, but will probably take between one and three months, on average, to complete. Every member of the family needs to be aware of and plan for this- you may have to make a few changes in everyday morning and evening routines, or plan ahead.

The Floor Plan. 

To keep costs down, it’s a good idea to keep the new bathroom’s fixtures and plumbing as close to the existing ones as possible. Research has also shown that adding a second bathroom can increase your home's value when it comes time to sell- that is, unless you or your contractor discovers outdated wiring or plumbing that could cause major problems. In this case, it’s recommended that you remove the old pipes and wires and install new ones. In that case, you’re free to change the locations of anything you like, because extra work will need to be done.

Lighting Design. 

Installing sufficient and sometimes luxurious bathroom lighting is never a bad idea. An ideal amount of light is required for things like shaving, styling hair, and applying makeup, so that's definitely a part of the new bathroom you should give some thought to. Choices include overhead, ambient and perimeter lighting, and it’s usually wise to include more than one type of lighting in your remodeling efforts.

Bathroom Ventilation Solutions. 

This is a part of the bathroom that many people overlook, but they definitely shouldn’t. Proper ventilation in a bathroom is extremely important, and will ensure that your renovation project lasts for years to come.

A bathroom that’s not properly ventilated can cause a number of problems, such as the buildup of mold and/or mildew. This can damage many items in the space, like the walls and even the cabinets. Eddie Sanchez, owner of NXS Home Remodeling San Antonio says, “So many people overlook the importance of ventilation, within one year, mold has settled in and they end up spending thousands of dollars to fix something that was never done right to begin with." Sanchez also says, “Track style homes are all built the same way, if there is one ventilation error in how the builder designed the bathroom, all the homes in the whole community will have the same problem.”

Maximize The Space. 

If possible, try to use all of the space available as you renovate the bathroom. Consider things like glass doors for tubs and showers that can open up the room, as well as pedestal sinks if your bathroom space is on the smaller side.

Pick The Right Type of Flooring.

Popular choices for bathroom flooring include porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles. All look beautiful and are also water-resistant, which is perfect for a space like a bathroom. If durability is the most important thing to you, consider baseboard tiles, which are also known for adding an elegant finishing touch.

Think About The Future. 

If you’re planning on living in your home for many years, keep that in mind when renovating this space. You want something that you’ll still be as happy with five years from now as you are today. And if you’re going to sell your home in the next few years, make sure you’re picking items that will stand the test of time and allow you to recoup your investment when you do sell.

Best of luck in your next remodeling adventure!


Monday, November 19, 2018

How to Be a Happier, Healthier Mom

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As any mama knows, life as a mom is incredibly stressful yet incredibly rewarding. The thing we often forget is that our wellbeing matters just as much as the wellbeing of our children. Like I mentioned in my post The Oxygen Mask Mentality, if want to be the best possible mamas to our kids, then we need to look after ourselves as much as we look after them. It’s important to be the physically and mentally strong parent that our children so desperately need. Here are some tips to help you be a happier, healthier, more effective mom!

Get into a healthy sleeping routine.

It's no lie that being a mom often means that you struggle to sleep properly. This isn’t just a problem for moms with newborn babies who are up all night. No matter the age of your kids, you have to juggle a range of adult responsibilities and duties. Regardless, a busy schedule doesn’t excuse a bad sleeping routine. Your health depends on a healthy bedtime pattern- and it's not just about maintaining high energy levels. Rest helps to keep your immune system strong, which is important when your children come home with colds. Rest also helps to improve your emotional health. Every parent needs to stay mentally sharp in order to deal with the challenges of daily life.

I know it sounds impossible, but you should be getting eight hours of sleep every night in order to maintain a well-rested body and mind. Set yourself a bedtime in the same way that you set one for your kids. Getting eight hours of rest is only one aspect of a healthy sleeping pattern. You also need to think about the quality of your sleep if you want to feel rested when you wake up. And your bed plays a big part in your sleeping routine too- we just recently got our first king bed and I'm AMAZED by how much better I'm sleeping. You might want to click here to look at some new mattresses if you're struggling to sleep well. Giving your body some support while you sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy bedtime routine, and it will help you feel so much better too!

See your friends and family regularly.

Whether you’re a single mother or you have the help of a spouse, it’s always important to find time for your loved ones. If you want to take a night off every once in a while, then it’s okay to accept the help of others. Give yourself that grace and freedom! If you want to go out with your spouse, then you’ll probably find that one of your friends or a family member would love to help you by looking after the kids. Or if you want to go out with your friends and family, then you could hire a babysitter for the night. The point is that letting your hair down and relaxing with your loved ones will keep you mentally healthy and happy. Everyone needs a break every now and then!

Set aside a little time for yourself.

It’s not selfish to do this, no matter how much it may seem to go against the grain of your maternal instincts. Remember, it’s important to prioritize your psychological well-being. If you want to be a good parent, then you need to maintain a healthy mindset, and setting aside some time for yourself is a good way to achieve this. Whether it’s a long soak in the bath when you get home or ten minutes spent reading a book before bed, there’s no denying that alone time can help you to unwind and regain your sanity after a long day. You’ll be able to return to your motherly duties feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Being your best self helps you be the best mom that you can be. No mom is perfect, but you can definitely work on sleeping better, seeing your family and accepting their help, and setting aside some time for yourself. This will help you be the happiest, healthiest mama you can be- which is so great for not only you, but also your kids! You've got this!


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Learn to Love Your Kitchen Again

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If you love whipping up a culinary storm in the kitchen, but don’t feel like you have the equipment, utensils, or environment necessary to flex your gastronomic muscles, you may need to think about remodeling your kitchen! You might fancy swanky new granite worktops, a beautiful Belfast sink, and some high quality appliances. However you see your dream kitchen, you can make it happen no matter what sort of budget you have. For real! Even if money is tight, you can rejuvenate your kitchen area so you can rustle up a whole host of new meals and dishes.

Sometimes, it’s easy to fall out of love with our kitchens, but you shouldn’t resign yourself to having a substandard cooking area that you hate. Your kitchen should be the heart of your home; the place where the kids do their homework while you prepare a family dinner, the place you can chat with friends over coffee, and the place where you can enjoy a therapeutic baking session. If you need to fall in love with your kitchen again, take a look at these inspirational remodeling ideas!


A Range

You don’t have to live in a seventeenth century farmhouse to relish the joys of having a range cooker. Nowadays, you can source modern day twenty first century ranges that are more reliable and can function effortlessly to cook your one pot meals. When picking your range, head to a specialist in professional kitchen appliances for the home, rather than a general kitchen showroom. Here, you'll find the most advanced appliances with great energy efficiency and that aren’t on the high street. Ranges have a knack of being dual fuel, meaning that you can enjoy cooking with electric or with gas - whatever your personal preference. A range cooker can also give you the freedom to rustle up meals for crowds, so you don’t have to worry about cooking multiple courses or running out of oven space. If you have the space for a range, it’s well worth thinking about obtaining one for your kitchen.

Work Top

The simplest way to revolutionize a kitchen style is to install a new kitchen work top. Even if you aren’t changing the units, you could swap your old wooden work top for a granite quartz top! These are resilient and robust enough to withstand scrapes and cuts from even the sharpest of knives. You won’t have to worry about oiling or refreshing the work surface, and the granite itself has its own sheen and finish.

If granite is a little out of your price range, you might want to explore the cheaper human made engineered varieties. While not quite as robust, these examples still exude quality and can create the illusion of a granite work top. Alternatively, you could focus on stainless steel as the material for your work top, especially if you want to emulate a professional kitchen look. You could tie this in to your appliances and industrial themed interior design. If you still adore the wood look and you have a country shaker style kitchen to match, opt for a hardwood that is strong and can withstand knocks and scrapes. You may need to re-oil and sand down your work surface once in a while, but take care of it, and it will last as long as granite.



It’s important to consider how you will utilize your kitchen. If you adore cooking for dinner parties and love nothing more than entertaining and feeding people, you might need plenty of work surface space, maybe an island in the center of your kitchen, and you may want to knock through to make a large kitchen dining room. Perhaps baking is more your thing, or a favorite hobby of yours. If this is the case, you must ensure you have enough storage space for your silicone cake tins, your fondant icing, and your decorating tools. Always ensure that you create the most appropriate layout for your culinary needs.

Creating your dream kitchen is no easy task, especially with the variety of kitchen units, work tops, and appliances on the market these days. Head to your local kitchen showroom to get some ideas, scour online interior design blogs, and get a feel for the sorts of kitchen designs available. If your budget allows, you might even want to get a professional on board to help you design your perfect kitchen! Follow this guide, and hopefully you'll be on your way to the perfect cooking space for you and your home- and you can learn to love your kitchen once again. Good luck, friends!


Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Seasons are an interesting thing- each with its own beauty, each with its own struggles. In fall, we watch the beauty of the changing colors and deal with the pain of raking the leaves. In winter, we cherish the glimmer of the softly falling snow, and dread the hours of sweaty snow removal. Spring brings new life, new flowers, and occasionally those pesky showers. And summer- my personal favorite- brings plenty of sunshine and pool time, along with record temps and blistering heat.

Isn't it funny how seasons change so quickly? In Missouri, literally one day it's fall and the next it's winter, and then maybe back to fall again for a while. You never know what season you'll be in, but all you know is that if you shut your eyes for long enough, it's bound to change. And the same is true in life. Your baby turns into a toddler, who turns into a teen and then an adult. Your four years of college fly by and suddenly you're married and making mortgage payments- adulting and planning for retirement. You never knew how quickly life would go by, and you can't quite understand how the years keep going faster.

At the same time, there are seasons that seem to last forever. They drag on and on, and just when you feel as if there's never going to be an end, never a new change upon the horizon, there is. The snow melts, the heat fades, leaves are bagged, and the rain ends. Just when your heart can't take any more hurt or waiting, things change and you find new hope. And then we appreciate the change all the more, knowing that the season before had to come in order for us to be where we are now.

Sometimes we long for a previous season, a time before, a particular year, or age, or time when all seemed right with the world. When our family was all alive or when our world seemed a little bit kinder and less stressful. But I believe that the best is yet to come, that every tear, every struggle, every season of wait or wishing or confusion is necessary in order for us to fully take in the beautiful one that awaits, the change that we may not even know we so desperately needed.

And so, dear friend, I hope and pray that you take strength in the season you're in. That you find the beauty, however small it may be, in the moment that you're in. That you cherish your time with your people- knowing it will never quite be the way that it is now. And then? Then when the new season gloriously rushes in, I pray that you are overwhelmed by the joy that awaits you- that you yearned for, hoped for, and longed for. For this new season- it is just what has been planned for you since the beginning of time. And just when it seemed like it may never come, here it is. Better than you imagined.

Stay the course. Have faith. Love where you're at, but set your eyes on what's to come. Because oh friends, it will all be so worth it.