Jetsettin’: Hey Maldives heeeyyy

It’s no secret that the bots don’t exactly know how to navigate themselves in the water. Despite that small detail, the Maldives has always been on my bucket list. More specifically, a water villa/bungalow. The Mr. and I agreed that we would check that off our bucket list for our 10-year anniversary in 2017. To my surprise, he made the decision to move it up several years and we would go right after Dubai. His decision was both financially driven and of course romantically driven as well. You see, going to the Maldives from Dubai is both a shorter flight and less expensive than traveling from the states. WIN!

I managed to find deals on the flights to make the entire trip around 700 euros but we decided to pay the extra money and take Emirates airlines. We took Emirates to Thailand and we were so impressed with their planes and their service we wanted to travel in both style and comfort.

On all 4 flights we hit the jackpot and got the entire row to ourselves. Parents, you know what I’m talking about. Heck, who wouldn’t want an entire row to themselves?! I’ll let you in on an obvious secret we used. We normally book the window and the isle seat or both isles if you’re in a 777 and larger. NO ONE wants the middle seats so we normally luck out and get the row to ourselves. If it happens to be a full flight and some poor soul got stuck with the middle seat they will be more than happy to switch with either one of you.

We skidded our way into the Male airport early in the morning. The runway to the airport leaves no room for overestimation so it was rather a terrifying landing. We quickly found our resort representative and boarded our boat. After a picturesque 30 minute rocky boat ride, we made it to Hudhuranfushi Island. The weather was gloomy with sporadic rainfall. Low tides made our bungalow look a little sad but I was so tired it didn’t even faze me. With little to no sleep, all I wanted to do was sneak in a couple, ok, 3-6 hrs of sleep. So that’s what we did: ate, slept, ate, and slept. Bliss. We did an all-inclusive package at the resort so there was no shortage of some stuffing my face action.

For some reason, I woke up early enough to watch the sunrise. The remainder of the day was absolute sunny perfection. The water was pristine and the sounds of the waves rocked us to sleep. Words can not even paint a picture beautiful enough so here are some pictures for you to gawk at.

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The rest of the trip was eating, swimming, eating, sleeping, relaxing and repeat.

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So all in all, we had an amazing time and would do it again the first chance we get. Like when get enough rewards points or win the lottery. Ya know, whatever bone we get from the universe – we’ll take.

Oh – and if you’re going to do the Maldives before it disappears from the face of this earth, spring for the water bungalow. You won’t regret it.

If you have some time to waste at work or feel like neglecting your family, the vlogs are readily available to you below.

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Ittybot’s Dubai/Maldives Must-Haves

Yesterday I posted about my Dubai/Maldives must-haves and today, I will share what I consider Ittybot’s must-haves!

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1. Backpack (Skip Hop/Target): Ittybot is finally at the age where he doesn’t require a bunch of stuff and he will somewhat tolerate a backpack. I’m excited to pack all his stuff in his very own backpack and have my bag be much lighter.

2. Lifejacket (Seasquirt/Amazon): While Ittybot is a natural in the water, it’s time for us to loosen the reigns and see how he does on his own (under our supervision obvi). So I picked out this ADORABLE life vest so he can be a little more independent. Best part of it is that it has a fin in the back. Yes.It.Does.

3. Swim Trunks (Name it): For the obvious reasons

4. Water bottle (Skip Hop/Target): I expect it to be extremely hot so we gotta keep Ittybot hydrated!

5. Swim Diapers (Huggies Swimmers/Target or Amazon): To catch his poo in the water. Even though I’m pretty sure it still leaks. Gross.

6. Sunblock Stick (Burts Bees/Target): I like to carry this with us for touch ups throughout the day.

7. Sunglasses (Primark): Cheap sunglasses to help keep the sun out of his eyes. He will only tolerate them for a short period of time though 😦

8. Tablet (Asus/Amazon): Our last line of defense. This thing is a life saver when he is inconsolable.

9. Sunblock (Coppertone/Target): Layer this bish on him like butter.

10. Water Shoes (Amazon): Because I’m an overprotective mom and I don’t want him cutting his fat feet in the sea.

11. Snacks (Goldfish Crackers/Target): Our first line of defense when he gets cranky. Also useful to keep the Mr. happy too.

12. Bug Repellant (Johnson’s baby/Amazon): I got this in Thailand, but I have seen it on Amazon. This stuff works GREAT on babies AND adults. I’ve heard that bugs are relentless in the Maldives so I figured it wouldn’t hurt ot bring it along.

13. Toy (Balloon Car/Flying Tiger): I bought this SUPER cheap toy as a surprise when Ittybot starts to get bored on the flight. I figure a new toy that he hasn’t seen will distract him a while. I don’t like to buy toys that cost more than a couple euros because he will get sick of it soon and I normally toss them after the trip. Note: stickers are great too!!

Hope these ideas will be helpful on your next trip! Next time I write, I’ll be in someplace much warmer than I am now!

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Travel Must-haves: Dubai & Maldives Edition

In just a few short days we depart for another fantabulous getaway. This time, we are traveling to Dubai and Maldives. Such a dream come true!! Today, I started to gather stuff together to pack and I thought I’d share some items I consider “must-haves”.

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1. Sarong (purchased in Positano, Italy): Because I’m not gutsy enough to walk the beaches in just my bikini.

2. Clampless Curling Iron (Remington/Kruidvat): For the beach waves!

3. Flip-Flops (Havaianas/Amazon.com): Finally retired my sanuks and bought these cute flip-flops from amazon.

4. Bikini (Pull and Bear): Um, duh. Why else?! I packed 8 and I hope to buy more while we are there. Hi, I’m Dana and I’m a bikini hoarder. Nice to meet you.

5. Sunglasses (H&M): I don’t bring expensive sunglasses because I’m notorious for breaking and/or losing them. I love H&M’s affordable sunglasses.

6. Passport (H&M): Frequent travelers should dress up their passports. Just sayin’.

7. Mascara (Younique): I hate dealing with falsies while on travel. Younique’s 3d mascara is perfect for length AND volume without all the fuss. Get yours here.

8. Eyeliner (Rimmel/Kruidvat): I mean, you just gotta!

9. Highlighter (Benefit’s Sun Beam/Sephora): There is no sun in Holland right now so I need to enlist a little help. I LOVE Benefit’s Sun Beam. It gives me a little golden shimmer for the beach so I don’t look so bleh.

10. Hair goodness (Healthy Sexy Hair: Soy Renewal): I bring this along to tame my frizz and add some texture to my beach waves.

11. Chapstick (Berry M: Cor Balmy/Boots): This stuff is amazing. It’s both hydrating and it gives my lips a little shimmer. It smells so good I could just eat it – maybe I do.

12. Hydrating Mist (Juice Beauty/Ulta): I like to carry this with me while I travel so I can give myself a spritz when my skin needs a little refresher.

13. Nail Polish (Beyu/Douglas): Chose mint and white nail polish for this trip so I’m bringing these bad boys along just in case my nails need a touch up.

14. Contouring Kit (Sleek/Sleek.com): My go-to contouring set while I’m on the go!

15. Blush (Kiko Milano Glow Touch in Intuition Peach/Kiko Milano): To add some quick color to my cheeks before heading out to the beach! Good for cheeks AND lips! Another tidbit, I scored this for only 3 euros. I like cheap.

16. Fuji instax Camera (Amazon): I’m on my 2nd smash book and the instax camera is great for doing quick pictures to throw in there. And who doesn’t love instant cameras anyways?!

17. Sony nex 6 (Amazon): Saved the best for last. I cannot go on ANY trip without a camera. I downsized from a Canon 7d to a much lighter Sony nex 6. This little guy doesn’t do too bad!

Tomorrow I’ll do a post for Ittybot so stay tuned!

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Traveling with a baby or toddler: Amsterdam edition

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We have been in Holland for an entire year now and I STILL have not written about how child friendly or unfriendly Amsterdam is.

While Amsterdam is known for their red light district and their coffee shops, you are still bound to see families out and about enjoying the more child friendly sights. Heck, I’ve seen toddlers stroll down the district. It’s a cultural norm here and I’m not here to judge.

HOWEVER, today I am here to judge how child friendly the city is. Check it out.

Stroller Friendly? – If you stay on the main roads then you are perfectly fine with a stroller. However, if you plan to venture off to the alleys and discover some hidden gems then you may find that your little one will be on a bit of a bumpy ride. The streets of Amsterdam get rather crowded as well and if you are as impatient as we are, we feel that having a stroller slows you down a bit. I may have or may not have purposely nudged people out of the invisible fast lane.

Restaurants – While the restaurants adore and welcome our Ittybot into their restaurant, the space is usually quite snug to say the least. If we have our stroller, we usually have to ditch it at the entry way and bring Ittybot inside. Our little guy is quite curious so he likes to check out the scene but unfortunately for him, there isn’t much to see or much space for him to wander.

Diaper Changing Stations – This may be the most frustrating part of Amsterdam for me. Finding a place to change Ittybot is such a huge pain! We have to a plan a special path and schedule in order to change him. Many restaurants don’t have a changing table, which is normally fine with me. I usually bring a changing pad with me so I can change him on any surface. But that’s the thing – the space is so snug that there isn’t much room for the both of us to fit, let alone for him to lay down for a diaper change.

There is good news though. “2theloo” is a paid restroom service located in the midst of Amsterdam’s shopping district. If I remember correctly, it was 60 euro cents to use the service. Another good place to visit for a diaper change is the “Bijenkorf” located across the street from Dam Square. Their restrooms are free to use and they have a big restroom with a changing table. YAY! We try to stop by the Bijenkorf whenever we can. Because we like free.

I’m not ashamed to say that on nice days, we laid down Ittybot in his stroller and changed him right there when we were in a pinch.

Activities – I can’t say that there is an abundance of activities for children in Amsterdam. At least, I haven’t discovered them yet! You can always hop on a boat and do a canal tour. You’ll have better odds traveling about an hour south to Rotterdam where there is a zoo and an aquarium for the tiny tots.

Transportation – The public transportation system is great. Getting baby from point A to point B using any train or bus isn’t bad at all. Most (not all) of the train stations have an elevator for your stroller.

I hope this was useful information when it comes to planning your next trip to Amsterdam!

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The Mr: Tech tips while travelling

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It’s been a while but I’m back to give a few tech tips that are useful during travel.  In today’s age where the smart phone is arguably one of the most important pieces of technology you can carry, it is important to know some basic tips to help maximize the usefulness of the smart phone. Of course you can travel without one but it is pretty convenient to have in areas that are new.

When traveling abroad, do you extend your mobile coverage or explore other options? It really depends on how long you will be at your travel destination and if you will be doing a lot of exploring. If you are in a country around 2 weeks or more, I would highly recommend just getting a prepaid sim card (in the destination country) with data and or minutes. You can get these sim cards for relatively cheap (20 euros). This allows you to use your phone for navigation, finding recommended restaurants/activities, making reservations, using related travel apps, and etc. while on the go. Otherwise, you can always hope to find a Wi-Fi area…good luck. 

If you don’t really need or care for having data coverage while traveling, I do recommend using the “OK maps” feature in Google Maps. “OK maps” is a feature that allows you to save map views for offline viewing. While you have data service, search for the areas that you will be traveling to. When you zoom in the area of interest, type in “OK maps” in the search field. This will allow you to save the map for later viewing offline – no need to buy maps! For more info, please see this article.

The only downside of OK maps is you cannot save Points of Interest in the offline view; however, the work around for this is to take a screen capture of your phone as you have the Points of Interest custom map pulled up. You can add Points of Interests or My Places to a Google Map by creating a custom map. See here for more details.

 

That’s all for now!

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You other mothers can’t deny…

As sir mix a lot would say…

You other brothers MOTHERS can’t deny:

  • Baby wipes are the world’s best invention
    You know you are a parent when you use those wipes to clean EVERYTHING. I may or may not have used a wipe to give my son a quick midday bath…
  • That it’s the best feeling to relieve the boobjuices (only applicable if you are/were a nursing mommy)
    TMI? Get over it. It’s natural. When a nursing mom is engorged, the boobage is hard as a rock and sore like no other. When those juices are relieved, it’s beyond bliss.
  • That when you have enough time to get dressed, it’s a win for the day
    Enough said. If there is enough time in the day to get out of my pajamas, I have conquered the world that day.
  • That it’s total horsesh!t when your partner says, “take a break”.
    Because really, that’s a lie. The chores will simply sit there until you get back from the “break”.
  • Some days, you just want to kick your partner in the nuts
    Because of the above, there are just some days that kicking them in the nuts seems to solve some of your lingering frustrations.
  • Chores never seem to end
    Is it just me or does the housework NEVER end?! I feel like I’m doing laundry nearly every day and the kitchen is like a spaghetti explosion every single day. I don’t get how the house is such a disaster all the time. I clearly recall only needing to clean the house once a week prior to baby!
  • You almost forget what it’s like to use the restroom without someone pounding on the door or fingers shoved underneath the door
    Your #2s are just not the same experience anymore.
  • Forgetting or not having the time to eat is a normal occurrence
    So why am I not supermodel thin?!
  • That the mirror is no longer nice to you
    That mirror is my worse enemy I tell you! Ever since that baby burst out of me, the mirror has been unkind. It’s like I see another human being in the reflection. Everyone will say “Omg, you look great!” and they may mean it, but it’s hard to see through the milk stains.
  • That their little face(s) make all of the above tolerable.
    I can’t deny that his little face dismisses everything above. Because being a mommy trumps those tiny little problems.

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