Family Vacation - April 2018

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Well this post is LOOONNGGG over-due but hey, it's FINALLY here! In April my family went on a cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico. It was our first cruise ever and we will definitely be going on another one. They are seriously the best way to travel. We had a blast the entire vacation and it was soo good to have some quality time with the family. But enough chit-chat ... let's begin.

Barstow, California
On Saturday we got up early and headed towards California. Since it's such a long drive we got a hotel room in Barstow, California. It was neat to be able to stop there because I don't know if we ever would unless we were driving the route 66 all the way through. While in Barstow we did a little exploring and headed on over to the Railroad Museum. It was kinda fun to see some really old things and to look at the trains. 

After the museum we went back to our hotel room to go for a swim. BRR! It was WAY too cold in the pool. We didn't swim for very long ha ha. After swimming and cleaning up a little bit we all headed over to Popeye's to grab some food because we were STARVING! So of course since we were right there we HAD TO get a picture by the Barstow Route 66 sign.   

The next morning we were up bright and early to head on down to Long Beach to board our cruise ship! YAHOO! But - side note - if you ever stop in Barstow make sure to stay at the Best Western it was super nice and they even had towel animals! Isn't the elephant super cute?!

Long Beach
Aren't we a great looking group? Ha ha. After getting to long beach we met up with my brother and his wife and kiddo and headed down to port to board our ship. We were all super excited for the adventures of a lifetime that were only moments away.

Once we boarded the ship we had to wait a few hours before we could get into our rooms so we did some exploring to try and find our way around the ship. Mind you this was a small ship and we could still get lost .. so I don't want to know what a large ship is like. HA! It was so neat to be able to be on deck and see all the beautiful views from the ocean.

We were supposed to leave the dock at 5:00 pm but due to an incident we didn't leave until about 8:00 pm. But that was okay! And you sure could feel the ship in the dining room once we did start to move. Thankfully James and I didn't get sea sick. 

Catalina Island
We woke up again bright and early and headed up to eat some breakfast. But of course .. we had to run outside to see Catalina. WOW it is GORGEOUS! Absolutely breath taking. So we quickly ate breakfast and headed down to the other boat to take us into Catalina.

It was beautiful everywhere you looked. Even looking out and seeing all the fishing boats was breathtaking and pretty. I was in heaven taking as many pictures at possible. 

We even played on the beach for a little bit, but brr that ocean water sure is cold ha ha. But it was nice to feel the sand between our toes! 

After playing on the beach for a bit we headed up the road to grab some delicious pizza! If you're in Catalina ever I highly recommend this place it was super yummy. After eating we all split up, some went back to the cruise ship and some went exploring the island. James and I along with my parents rented a golf cart and took it around the island. Which is also something I would recommend doing if you're there!

The views from the top of the mountain on Catalina Island were breathtaking. So pretty to look over the top and to see the blue water with all the neat structures. 

 And ah.. there you have it our Carnival Cruise Ship! That was the bets place to get a picture for sure! And we totally lucked out because the weather was amazing. Not too hot and not too cold.

We ran into the Inn on Mount Ada (which is once of my nieces names) so my parents got their lovely picture in front of it. The inn was beautiful on the outside I can't even imagine what the inside looked like. I would LOVE to go back to Catalina Island again and stay there for a few days to explore even more closely. 

My mom and I couldn't get over how cute everything looked .. even the shopping center was adorable! Ha ha. But Catalina is super pricey on everything .. so I don't think I would ever be able to live there. If I was ever given the chance I would in a heart beat though. 

After a fun filled day in Catalina it was time to head back to our ship so we could go and do the activities they had on board and to eat some delicious dinner!

Carnival Cruise Ship
Back on the ship is was formal night for dinner. So we all got cleaned up and dressed up and headed up to dinner. We were a little early so Chloe and I decided to sit down and watch the water as we headed away from beautiful Catalina Island.

The nice thing about cruise ships is you have an assigned table that never changes! So we knew right were to go to eat. We LOVED our waiters & waitress. They were so kind and funny. And formal night was the most fun night. They sang songs and we even had a dance party. 

Oh and did I mention the food was to die for! Every night it was delicious and I was able to try a ton of new foods. It was a good time to venture out on the food. Needless to say we never went hungry.

And of course ..the cruise ship also did adorable towel animal friends to let us know that they had been in the room for turn-down service and to clean. Every night was a different animal! Talk about fun and a lot of talent.

Ensenada, Mexico 
The next morning we woke up in Ensenada. We had a fun filled day ahead of us. While waiting for our tour guide who was AMAZING we explored a little on our own and found a little play ground. The kiddos sure were excited and had so much fun playing.

After playing for a bit we met up with our tour guide who told us the history of Ensenada and also filled us in with some secrets on our way to the blow hole. 

The blow hole was super cool to see! It is loud though when that water crashes against the rocks. But it was very pretty and we lucked out to be there when someone else was so we could get this super cute family picture. 

The views from on top of the blow hole were very pretty. There is something beautiful in the way the water hits the rocks. Again I was in heaven taking pictures.

I mean look how beautiful everything is! Again we had the perfect weather not too cold and not too hot. Which made the scenery even better.

By the blow hole they have an AMAZING shopping experience. It was so cool to see everything that has been hand crafted. And yes .. we did pick up A LOT of goodies. We couldn't resist and we didn't know if we'd ever have the chance again.

After exploring all day and into the night it was time to head back to the ship. Which was sad because it meant our cruise was coming to and end and when we woke up we were back in Long Beach. But it ended up being okay because we were headed to our next fun location.

Hollywood, California
After leaving the ship we headed over to the La Brea Tar Pits. Which I don't recommend. Super expensive and not that cool. I would recommend just walking around and not going into the museum. In my opinion. But it worked out we had another family photo moment.

After the tar pits we walked over to the Farmers Market and the Grove (where they shoot the finale of dancing with the stars. ha ha!) We ate some lunch and explored a little. Of course we had to stop by the candy store which smells heavenly .. and we got some gummy candy. YUM, I'm craving some now. I think I need to go back to California. 

The Farmers Market was fun because it had a little bit of everything! I wish I lived closer because I would of gone home with some flowers for sure.

After the farmers market and the grove we headed to the Hollywood Walk of Fame because it had been forever since I had been there and James and never been there.

Unfortunately it was bad timing on our part because everything was shut down as they were getting ready for the Avengers movie premiere. So we weren't able to see the Chinese theater or many of the stars on the walk. So our time there wasn't very long at all. 

But that was okay because then we headed to our hotel! Where we relaxed, ate dinner and went for a nice swim. It was fun and a good way to get ready for the big day ahead of us.

Universal Studios, Hollywood
Ahhh, we finally made it to Universal studios to see Harry Potter and of course for my niece to ride the Jurassic Park ride. She LOVES dinosaurs and was so excited for this moment.

But first things first .. we had to stop and grab our wands from Olivanders. Which that was a super fun experience and thing to do.

Then it was off to do the studio lot tour. Which is always a blast. It was especially fun this time because James had never been to Universal Studios before!

It's so fun to see all the cars from movies that have been filmed there! The Flintstones were some of my favorite ones.

And of course James and I were pretty excited to see the town where The Good Place is filmed! AND they were there filming! But we didn't see them. BUMMER. 

After the tour it was finally time to hit up the Jurassic Park ride. Little Miss was super excited! And we got pretty wet at the end of the drop. She got lucky enough that she got to go twice because someone was kind enough to give us fast passes which we used for this ride just for her. Well worth it for sure!

And don't let the placement of this picture fool you .. I think we had about three butterbeers because they are that good. We got the frozen ones which are AMAZING. Yum. Seriously .. I need to go back to California. 

On our way out of the park we ran into my old friend Hello Kitty. Yes, I know it's someone dressed up as her ... or is it really the little girl who plays her? Either way I fan girled. Because it's Hello Kitty! Obviously. 

Are day was long and we were tired and ready to go back to the hotel. We did have to prep for our long journey home.

But of course we had a blast at Universal Studios and we will be returning again hopefully soon. I need about five more butterbeers.

On our way out we stopped by VooDoo Doughnut. We then went back to the hotel and had a doughnut party and tried a little piece of each one. Then it was off to bed. 

I'm so grateful we were able to go on this trip and make the memories that we did. It was a blast and I hope we're able to do more family trips like this in the near future. I love spending time with family and making memories. Especially on vacation to new adventures. Thanks mom and dad for the fun Christmas present! 


Review - Brazi Bites Pizza Flavor

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For this review James and I thought it would be fun to do a taste testing video/review! So please watch the video below and enjoy. Also give the Mr. a shout-out because he hates when I make him jump on camera. Ha ha!

Have you tried Brazi Bites yet? If so what is your opinion of them, if not .. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! 


Guest Blogger - Kindra Black Designs

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Hello friends & readers of The Mr. & Mrs. Blog! I’m quite honored to share a bit of my life with you today. Big shout out to Chelsey. We’ve known each other since Elementary & I’ll be the first to attest to how awesome she is.
My name is Kindra Black & I’m actually not a blogger. I started a blog when I graduated High School & realized it wasn’t for me. I much preferred to read blogs. I am now a Graphic Designer! It’s crazy how life can take you in a million directions to help you find what you are passionate about. SO I’m here to share part of my story with YOU!
I’ve always been an artsy person. When I was little I was always gifted with crayons, markers, pencils, paper, etc. While my Mom would get ready for the day, I’d sit in the bathroom & set up my station & color. One day I was so artsy I stole my Mom’s BRIGHT pink lipstick & my brother helped me apply it ALL over my face. It was a very proud moment for my little self.

Coloring turned to crafting which eventually turned into “coloring” on the computer. I had to make an invite for a party & decided to make it myself because I was poor & knew exactly what I wanted. Later my sister got married & my Mom asked me to make her wedding invite. Over the next few years I would do random projects just because I was capable & didn’t want to have to pay. I would constantly be told by family members that I was “really good at stuff like that.” In my head I always thought in response, “it’s not hard, you just do it.” I truly didn’t think I was doing anything special. I thought everyone was able to do what I did.
Fast forward a couple of years & a Broker that worked in my office asked if I could make him a Marketing Booklet. It took a LONG time. A 16 page booklet of marketing stuff is not easy & here I was with no schooling, no software & no idea how to put this thing together. BUT I said I could do it because it sounded fun & I truly believed I could figure out a way to make it happen & if I couldn’t? No sweat, he’d find someone else that could. Why not give it a try? Well I finished the booklet & he came to me with a SECOND booklet. By this point I kind of knew what I needed to do.
Later that year the company I work for was looking for a new Graphic Designer. I volunteered & said I could fill in until they found an actual designer. They gave me a small project & I think we were both surprised how good the project turned out. They slowly gave me more to “help” with until they straight up said, “We’re not going to hire a Graphic Designer you’ll be our designer.” I was quite thrilled. Being given all these projects was fun & motivating. I realized I truly had a passion for design. From there I started learning Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator on my own. I started taking projects outside of work & have now opened my own freelance business! Kindra Black Designs. (www.kindrablackdesigns.com)
Graduating high school I never would have thought my life would be where it is now but I’m so happy it is. I’m glad I have found what I am passionate about & that life keeps handing me “projects” to help push me & get me out of my own little box.
Always be open to an idea. Experiment with things because you never know how it will affect you down the road.
Be sure to check out my website HERE and/or my Instagram account HERE.


Hello Everyone!

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Well like I have said many times ... I am a TERRIBLE blogger. Ha! I really am trying to do better. Things here have been so crazy and stressful so blogging hasn't been at the top of my list. Whoops! With us preparing to sell our home, going on a vacation next week and working multiple jobs we have felt so overwhelmed but very blessed for sure. So here we are to today ... this will be a look what happened within the last two weeks ha ha. AND like I said next week we're going on vacation so I will not be blogging because we wont be anywhere that has service BUT I can't wait to share all our adventures from our trip and the wonderful pictures. Anyways, with all that being said ... here's the update! Woo-hoo! 

 You all know I am OBSESSED with the dollar store. Well, I've been there A LOT lately. Yes, a haul video is coming very soon, probably on Saturday. They have had so many good things lately that I had to keep going yes, had to ha! Kidding. But it was so nice because I was able to roll out a lot of crafts that I've wanted to do for awhile. 

 Ta-Da! Here is one of the crafts I've wanted to do for awhile. I've wanted some sort of a cute centerpiece but I wanted to make it. So I saw this cute tin planter and was like YES! And then it sat around for a bit because I didn't know what I wanted to put into it then the dollar store brought in some succulents and I went a little crazy. I made another succulent craft .. and that is in my video I think. So be patient if it isn't in the video I'll post a picture on Instagram! 

 Miss Maggie was sent this car seat cover .. and for some reason it made her so sad once we put it in the car. But James and I really like it because our seats are as gross and muddy anymore. Hallelujah! Maggie has now gotten used to and James and I have flipped it around so it is the right way ha ha. We just threw it in to test it out and put it upside down whoops. But yay for clean cars!

We've been hanging out with James aunt Andrea lately and her cute little dogs! They are so friendly. James is holding Daisy May in the picture above and she is the MOST loving dog I have ever met. She loves cuddles and being pet. You pet her once and you will be here bestie for life. Ha!

And this is Leo! He's my buddy. He has really taken a liking to me. Whenever we are over there he always follows me and sits by me and wants some loves from me. It's adorable, I like him!

I found this adorable hat at Walmart and it will be perfect for our upcoming trip so I had to get it! *Hint now you know ... we're going somewhere warm. Also side note .. I HATE wearing hats because I think I look too much like a boy so I tend to not wear them. But this one grew on me and I needed some protection from the sun because you know I don't need to be getting anymore melanoma. 

On top of everything being busy, fun and stressful ... I had to get a root canal. Ugh. Ha! I had a filling done last year and it wasn't sealed right so I got a cavity under it. Fun fact, I never had any pain or anything but my filling was loose so they took an x-ray found a bunch of inflammation and infection and BAM I needed a root canal. Thankfully I was able to get the root canal and crown all in the same day so I am a-okay for our upcoming vacation. WHEW.

The last two night James and I have been going to the hot baths over in Lava Hot Springs. It's been super cold and windy here so they have felt super nice. AND they haven't been crowded so win-win. It's be a lot of fun and we don't go that often even though we aren't that far from them. 

Today the weather has been AMAZING. So Maggie and I ventured outdoors to work in the yard and get it cleaned up. Also I was able to get my fairy garden back up and in a new pot. This pot I got after my grandpa passed away so it is special to me. I thought it would be great for my fairy garden! Below my fairy garden sits my gnome garden. It makes our porch look so springy and ready for summer. 

Well that is it, doesn't seem like much but I feel like we have hardly been home. Also I'm just not good with taking pictures when we're doing things ha ha. This vacation will hopefully be a good reminder why I should document since I do use this blog as my journal. Hope you're all doing well! What's the weather like where you live? Leave a comment below!