Thailand // part two

We last left you with photos of the best Pad See Ew I’ve ever had in my life and our adventures in the sea.

Well(ish) rested and coordinated (thanks to some amazing gear from Mott 50) we got ready for our next excursion to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.

Once we got there, by way of open air trucks (EEK!), we prepared supplements for the older elephants and got to work by feeding them.thailand2_2018_00013thailand2_2018_00014thailand2_2018_00015thailand2_2018_00017fitzieelephantthailand2_2018_00018Then it was onto the next portion of the day, bathing and washing the elephants!

thailand2_2018_00019thailand2_2018_00003Such an amazing experience for everyone. Seeing these beautiful creatures up close and personal is something I’ll never forget.

After we got back to the hotel we got ready to head down the beach for a nice dinner. Little did we know what kind of an adventure we were in for! So glad we have before and after family photos for this one…

After finishing our meal (complete with a beautiful sunset view) we started our trek back to the hotel. However, we did not take into consideration how much the tide would come in over this time period. Needless to say, we got more than a little wet and we lost two phones to the water…thailand2_2018_00024

There is still more Phuket fun in store. The next post with feature a water park and a change of scenery.


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Friday faves

SnowDay.JPG[we finally got snow]

Heading into a long weekend and looking for something to do here in Iowa? Be sure to check out the Science Center of Iowa on Monday for their annual free day.

On a recent trip to Target I noticed they already had their swimwear out in full force! I know, I know, it’s hard to get excited when there is snow on the ground. While I was casually browsing I noticed that they had a new line, Kona Sol, and it looked amazing in person. Fast-forward to later that night at home when proceeded to order two black suits (this and this) online!

With an impending winter storm hitting near us this weekend, I’m looking forward to spending some time at home with a roaring fire and a good bottle (or two) of wine. Maybe I’ll even get some Marie Kondo-esqe organizing done?

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TTD faves: CycleBar + under $100 fitness finds

There is nothing like starting off the new year with a few fitness goals and some new gear. I try to get to the gym pretty regularly (using the DMU gym is such a great benefit!), but towards the end of last year between work and home life – my workouts took a backseat.


Over the weekend, I tried out the new CycleBar Jordan Creek and upon getting clipped in for the ride I was transported to a night club in Ibiza, minus the fog and foam. I loved the dark classroom and upbeat music. It made the workout, although tough, feel exciting and manageable. If you are looking for something new, you should definitely check them out. Next time I get back in the saddle, I will definitely be trying out one of their themed classes: think Taylor Swift or 80s classics!

But truly, there is nothing like kicking off the new year (and a new fitness routine) with some updated gear. Well, I’ve got you covered!

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew // Nike Fleece Mock Neck Top
Athleta Contender Laser Cut 7/8 Tight // Adidas Originals Flashback
Lululemon Pace Rival Crop // C9 Champion® Neoprene Hand Weights
Athletic Works Fleece Cowlneck Sweatshirt // Lululemon Namastay Mat
Beyond Yoga All For Ties Tank

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Thailand // part one

Jet-lagged like whoa, we arrived in Phuket (technically two days after we departed Chicago) and woke up to this view.

Not too shabby! We headed out our first morning at the Marriott Nai Yang Beach Resort to explore a the grounds and find some breakfast.thailand1_2018_00003thailand1_2018_00004thailand1_2018_00005thailand1_2018_00006Our next stop was the pool which was definitely the highlight for the boys. The lower level rooms at the hotel have access off the deck straight into the pool which they thought was very cool!

[Christmas-y coordinates from Primary]thailand1_2018_00010
[Fitz loved the sunshine and fresh air!]thailand1_2018_00011We walked down the beach to check out the local town area and snagged the first of our many authentic Thai meals. Followed by a sweaty trip to get ice cream with grandpa.thailand1_2018_00012thailand1_2018_00013thailand1_2018_00014thailand1_2018_00015
[I ordered Pad See Ew everywhere I went]thailand1_2018_00016
[more pajama clad breakfast hangs]thailand1_2018_00017
One of our mornings, we decided to head out for some snorkeling. The water was a little choppy and the lifejackets were a little big, but the kids had a good time anyway. And most importantly, Everett snorkeled for his first time ever!thailand1_2018_00018thailand1_2018_00019thailand1_2018_00001thailand1_2018_00002thailand1_2018_00020On our way home, we stopped over at a local beach to swim and have a cold beer (or two). thailand1_2018_00021thailand1_2018_00022Once back on our beach, we proceeded to eat more Thai food (which you will see is the theme of this trip!)

Up next: more food and a bath with a few elephants!


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If you followed along over the holidays with our family on Instagram, you may have noticed the adventure we embarked on.

We kicked off our holiday excursion with a flight out of Chicago en route to Shanghai. Everett desperately wanted to recreate the scene from Home Alone. I did not.

[jammies from Burt’s Bees Baby]shanghai2018_00003
[necessities: headphones + snack sippy cups]shanghai2018_00004
[#daunting]shanghai2018_00005[basic blankets from June & January + sanity/sleep courtesy of JetKids]

Upon landing there, we had a 23 hour layover, so we headed to our hotel in the hopes of getting a few hours of sleep.

shanghai2018_00006shanghai2018_00009shanghai2018_00007shanghai2018_00008shanghai2018_00010We had great accommodations at Les Suites Orient on the Bund and the views did not disappoint! After getting what felt like just a few hours of sleep, the kiddos were up and we headed out to see the sights along the Bund.


With all these kids and blonde hair, we were a bit of a tourist attraction ourselves. The crew loved stopping to take photos with passersby!

Our next stop was The Westin Shanghai for their world renown Sunday brunch. With bottomless Veuve Clicquot and two floors of food, what’s not to love?! It is a MUST if you are ever in Shanghai on a Sunday!


Each weekend is a different theme, and while we were there they were celebrating the food of Great Britain.

When we’d had our fill of bubbles and bites, we rolled ourselves back to the airport to catch our flight to Phuket.


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Friday faves

img_5188[my two sidekicks]


I can’t wait to share details and photos from our amazing trip over the holidays, but for now, I’ll ease in with a little Friday faves post.

Over the holidays it’s easy to get used to that pajamas ’til noon, lack of shower kind of life. Thank goodness I found this gem to revive my day-three hair.

The boys got all sorts of toys and presents over the holidays, but these Magic Tracks are quickly becoming a fave in our house.

I recently got to take the boys to our local Art Center and rediscovered how much I love it. We participated in Books+Blankets and had a blast. Looking for something to do during the cold winter months? Be sure to check out their upcoming family events.



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Happy Holidays

From my tractor-lovin’ family to yours, Happy Holidays.


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