Tag Archives: Travel

Crafting DIY - Giveaway - Scrapbooking

A Disney Vacation Countdown and a Vacation GIVEAWAY!

October 3, 2016

*This post does contain affiliate links, thank you for your support.

disney-crafts-using-expressions-vinyl-and-enter-to-win-a-disney-vacation-1I’m making a Disney vacation countdown for our trip to Disneyland this coming Summer and my kids can’t wait! This was really easy and even easier for you because you can grab the cut file here and it was so easy using my Cricut Explore.Create your own Disney vacation countdown using a shadow box frame and vinyl.Supplies – 

What you’ll want to do is cut out each shape. Each shape is color coded and ready to go so just load your vinyl into your Cricut Explore and set your smart dial to vinyl. Peel away any extra vinyl and then lay your transfer tape over the top of your image. Create your own Disney vacation countdown using a shadow box frame and vinyl. You will then lay the vinyl on top of the glass and apply in order. Next, remove the backing from your frame – attach and size the scrapbook paper to fit the background of your frame. Attach it using the included pins for a softer background shadow box or just attach with Glue Dots.Create your own Disney vacation countdown using a shadow box frame and vinyl.You’ll want to use your vinyl applicator and get all the bumps out. For any bubbles in your vinyl that won’t go away, use a small needle and poke a hole then press the air out. I didn’t smooth as I went along so I had a bit of an issue. I’m planning on using the buttons and a chalkboard marker or dry erase marker to put my number of days we have left for the trip. We can’t wait for Summer!

*Giveaway CLOSEDDisneyland GiveawayTo book your Southern California vacation, visit Get Away Today for great deals.
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1. Lion King shirts by Play Party Plan

2. Jack Skellington Ears by A Pumpkin and a princess

3. Nemo pumpkin from C.R.A.F.T.

4. Disney coloring shirt by Artsy Fartsy Mama

5. Belle framed art by Crafting in the Rain

6. Miracles free cut file By Dawn Nicole Designs

7. Autograph shirt by the Pinning Mama

8.Disney countdown by Frenchi Wraps

9. Girl dress up by Over the Big Moon

10. Spirit animal shirt by Smashed peas and Carrots

11. Customized Minnie Ears by Inspiration Made Simple

12.Winnie the Pooh quote from Where the Smile Have been!

13. Modest ariel from Kiki & Company

14. Jack Skellington coin purse by Tried and True

15. Minnie Mouse purse by A girl and a glue gun

16. Disney ornaments by Happiness is Homemade

17. Girl Boss shirt by Sweet Rose Studio

18.No Sew Minnie tutu by Sugar Bee Crafts

19. Haunted Mansion door design by Simple simon and Co.

20. Minnie Mouse bow shirt by Girl loves Glam

21. Mary Poppins design by the Crafted Sparrow

22. Cinderella hand lettered shirt by Pitter and Glink

23. Jack Skellington shirt and pumpkin by the Scrap Shoppe

24. Beauty and Beast book sign by Flamingo Toes

25. Hat hair shirt by Polka Dot chair

26. Vintage Disneyland by Persia Lou

Baby Malakai - Crafting DIY - Kids

What to pack in your summer swim bag? Plus see how we make ‘Life a beach’

June 29, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. This post is sponsored by Huggies Little Swimmers. All opinions are mine alone. #WaterThemDailyCB #CollectiveBiasWant to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Babies and summer are hard. There is so much to remember and you can’t always find a cool place to hang out so what we love to do is head to the pool. I’m going to show you what to pack in your summer swim bag and also how to make a personalized saying so you don’t get it mixed up with your neighbors..or lose your pool key (that may have happened today)Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.I used some Iron-On Vinyl and my Cricut Explore to make the saying ‘Life’s a Beach’. They have a Heidi Swapp font now available that is to die for and so of course I had to use it. I used some teal glitter Iron-On and placed my iron on medium settings so that it won’t burn. To see the entire ironing process, head here. It’s pretty easy, just be sure to apply pressure and when you’re going to wash the bag, be sure to turn it inside out.  Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Now that we go to our community pool weekly, I needed a bag that would house everything and nothing that I’d have to transfer, I needed a dedicated swim bag for my baby. Older kids, smolder kids – they are important but you just need less stuff when you go out so lucky me, I’ve got this bag now. Here are my 8 essentials that you’ll need in your summer swim bag.

  • Huggies Little Swimmers – The swim pant has adjustable tabs on the side that are great for quick changes. They come with new characters from Disney•Pixar Finding Dory, possibly the best movie to be released in a while!
  • Camera – You want to catch those sweet moments at the pool. Just remember that a camera is replaceable – your child is not.
  • A thin blanket – You want one that’s breathable so that the breeze can cool your baby down once you’ve decided to remove them from the pool. Muslin or cotton is a great choice.
  • A useful toy – You don’t want a toy that your teething baby can’t grasp or put in their mouth. There is such a better selection of toys nowadays and I’m sure they’ll just get even better.
  • Food – Whether they eat formula or they’ve moved onto finger foods, having some food is good for everybody involved.
  • Sunscreen – Be sure to put sunscreen on you and your babes. This is so important and more important to me now. I’ve recently had some moles removed which were one step away from being malignant. Just because my kids are bi-racial, it doesn’t make them immune to skin cancer. Start them early!
  • Change of clothes – You don’t want your baby to be freezing if the older siblings are still in the pool but they’re ready to get out. Be sure to have some extra clothes and diapers in your bag to get them all warm and snugly.
  • Your phone – Malakai’s therapist always used the light on the screen to help him with his head and eye movement so it’s got some purpose other than entertainment. You also want to have your phone available for emergencies in case any arise.

Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.

For worry-free water fun in the sun, look for Huggies Little Swimmers with new Disney•Pixar Finding Dory characters at a retailer near you, and follow this link to download a coupon for $1.50 off your first pack of Huggies Little Swimmers – for a limited time – and find other Huggies offers.

About My Life

Our North Shore Hawaiian Vacation

May 6, 2015

Polynesian Cultural CenterIf you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a few weeks ago me getting my tan on in the Hawaiian sun. We went as a work incentive trip with one of the vendors that my mom and husband use for their local franchise, Budget Blinds.

Laie coastWe first set off to Oahu and that’s where these photos are from. We were much more adventurous in the two days we were in Oahu than the four days in Kona. I was looking for a getaway and Efi wanted to go all over the place. Mixing destinations was a perfect alternative for us.

Efi on the North Shore of HawaiiThe first day we went exploring the entire North Shore to see where we wanted to go the following day. We already knew that most of it would be spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center but we wanted something outdoorsy too. It was hilarious because we were driving along and there was this weird music that we couldn’t figure out the source. We then realized it was our own personal guide from Mr. GPS. It started talking about the Dole Pineapple Plantation and I was telling my husband how there is always a lot of people here but I really can’t figure out why. We stayed for 20 minutes and got out of there but it was PACKED! I mainly wanted a Dole Whip and then to see how the pineapple actually grew. They have a ton of land though and we got some fun photos!

Hawaii Dole Plantation

Dole PlantationWe then headed down the street to Haleiwa. Totally beautiful and has an old town vibe. I wish we had stayed there longer because theses are the parts of places I love to see. We did stop by the beach and hang for a while. No kids=a lot of free time that we just don’t know what to do with anymore.

Oahu North ShoreIt was around 7pm that we decided to head on over to Efi’s uncles house. He was very generous to allow us to stay there and that’s really what I love about Polynesians, they don’t care when you show up or who, they’ll give you somewhere to stay. The next morning we headed over to Waimea Falls. I was expecting this giant waterfall considering the hype of this place but the walk up to the falls was very easy for a non-hiker like myself. It was fun to see all the plants that reminded us of my MIL home back in Tonga. We saw some remakes of ancient Hawaiian villages and I also swore I saw spots that were filmed in Lost, like that weird guy who got their parachute stuck in the tree. I know I saw THAT tree! lol.

Wamea Falls Tour

Waimea Falls

Waimea Falls Hawaiian Village

Waimea Beach

On the way back, we stopped by Kahuku and had some bomb scampi shrimp and mac salad, find a similar recipe here. I wish we had eaten more like that over there but we were in such tourist stricken places, it was hard to get off the beaten path. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center next where we ran into some neighbors from Tonga who work there now. By far Tonga and Samoa were the funnest islands. Tonga had the most crowd participation and just teased to their hearts content. It’s kind of the best. The Samoan village guy…hilarious. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I really wish my sister was there because we have similar laughs and she would have laughed even harder. Here he is making coconut milk and he held this pose for about 15 seconds so everyone could get a picture of him. He just made jokes the whole time and they were hilarious.

Samoan Village Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center Entrance

PCC StatueThe feet, everyone has them but no one has them worse than Polynesians, lol. I took this picture to make comparisons to my husbands feet just to give him a hard time. I’d say my husbands toes are about 1/2 the length of this guys! I also ask if he wore tissue boxes for shoes as a child. All the kids have them, they’ve even passed on to my kids and they’re just the worst!

The last day before our flight to Kona, we headed to the Laie temple which is a few blocks from the PCC and to BYU Hawaii. It was actually graduation day when we were leaving so it was fun to see some of the different leis everyone was getting. We were also able to run into more family that we hadn’t been able to find those few days before so it all worked out. Before the airport destination, we made a quick pit stop to Waikiki Beach. I don’t know how Efi felt about it but I just loved the low key vibe that Laie gave me and the hussle and bussle of Waikiki kind of gave me anxiety. Plus, we found out our flight was leaving an hour before I had thought. That can contribute to anxiety too!

Laie Hawaii Temple

BYU Hawaii

Waikiki Beach

On one last note, I hope that if you make the dive to Hawaii, you’ll enjoy it as much as this Fekitoa family did!

Fekitoa

Kids - Life Lessons

5 Ways to Make Your Travel Less Stressful

March 31, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias

5 Must HavesI am programmed to be high stressed. I don’t know what it is but I can’t take it easy and it’s not an automatic thing for me and my family suffers. I’ve learned throughout the years to travel near and far with certain essentials (for me) that make my life a little easier and I wanted to share with you these 5 tricks on how I make travel less stressful for me.

  • A Brush – Yes. Brushing your hair is something you probably shouldn’t have left the house without doing but with three kids of my own, it doesn’t get done no matter how many times I’ve asked…yelled, really. Usually the detangling ones are the best and sometimes the more money you spend, it isn’t always the better.
  • Lipstick and Mascara – again, things you shouldn’t have left the house without doing but I find myself doing it all the time. With my ginger hair, my eyelashes are non-existent and really making myself look just a little bit put together, I feel a little better.
  • A change of clothing for everyone – I am not the best example of this but I have many times found myself either wishing or stopping at an actual store buying clothing or underwear. I’d suggest just an overnight bag in the back or trunk with also a plastic bag of sorts to keep the soiled laundry in while it’s waiting to be cleaned. If it’s something that it pretty repulsive (mom’s ;))…toss it. Your dignity is worth more than a $1 saved.
  • Cash – I’ve talked before about how my husband can be a bit of a stickler and sometimes I do appreciate it. I have my sneaky ways of spending money but cash has really become an essential way to learn how to manage money for me. You are more conscious when you are spending cash rather than using a card. You can actually see your funds dwindling away. If you are going to use a card, I would most definitely recommend you take your check register with you so that you can balance your account to also see those dollars dwindling.
  • Chocolate – Last but most definitely not least is some chocolate. I’m not talking any old stuff though…the good stuff, SNICKERS® Almond. Have you found that you’ll buy the less expensive chocolate thinking it’ll satisfy your cravings and it never does. It all goes hand in hand with giving in to your indulgences. SNICKERS® is my chocolate indulgence and I love their new campaign slogans, “You’re not you when you’re hungry”. I most definitely get the most peace when I can find a moment away to myself and relaxing and pretty much chocolate is that sense of relief for me. I usually always grab them from Walmart because I can get the best price there, too.  

Travel less stressfulI know for myself, motherhood has been a learning experience and I have to take it day by day. In life, nobody is perfect and I hope that no one makes you feel that you have to compare your weaknesses to their strengths. The world of the internet can make you feel like you don’t have it together but if you take it one day at a time, things all work out.

Snickers Almond

Also regarding SNICKERS®, they are having an awesome contest where you can submit a photo or a .gif about how you’re not yourself – I told you this campaign is awesome! See the details below cause I know I’ll be doing it myself cause I think it’s so fun and they are always some of my favorite commercials. You can also get delish SNICKERS® recipes on the SNICKERS® Social Hub

  

 

About My Life - Kids

Connecting through Vacations

August 8, 2014

A hard thing to do with family is travel but it can have some of the most rewarding results. You can definitely get on each others nerves but you also are in a situation that you’ll be able to make memories that will last a lifetime. If you read my post about how we just went to Tonga this last December, you will read how it was the most teaching of all lessons of my life.

Loews Portofino Bay Standard Queen Room

Minion Mayhem Suite

Loews Portofino Presidential Suite

When you’re on vacation, you want to make sure that you’re having fun! The best way to do that is to choose a destination that you know will satisfy all. My kids aren’t aware of where we’re going just yet, but they know it’s Florida. We were able to score a family package with Mom It Forward to attend workshops to strengthen us as a family and to attend Universal Studios Orlando. We get to stay on site at the gorgeous Loews Portofino Bay Hotel which has killer standard rooms, so if you want to upgrade you’re in for a treat or if you have kids like I do, they’ll definitely want to stay in the MInion Mayhem Suite.

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Life this year has been rough on our little family and I really can’t wait for this vacation to bring us closer together, to teach us more about each-other and to just have fun. I remember taking this vacation as a teenager with my parents and it was some of the most fun we ever had. I’m hoping that for my kids. I’m hoping they will remember the lessons that will be taught to them and that they will remember how much we love them and that we don’t take them for granted. I love them and it’s nice to be nice sometimes.

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XOXO, Lindsay

About My Life

Our trip to Tonga

May 7, 2014

Okay, so it’s been a while… Life has been great, it’s been awesome, it’s been CRAZY!!! I’ve been trying to catch up on a few projects going on around the house. I’m planning for my daughters birthday in the middle of May. I’ve been planning some fun giveaways. SNAP! couldn’t have been more inspiring and more informational.
Fekitoa Family Tonga
So in the middle of all this craziness, I still need to let you all know what’s going on in my life. If any of you have seen my last name, you’ll notice it’s not a typical last name. It is Fekitoa, pronounced Feh-key-TOE-ah. My husband is from the Kingdom of Tonga. He was born and raised there and his mother is still living there with most of his brothers and sisters. He comes from a VERY large family. There are 7 boys and 7 girls and he is the third oldest. The youngest is our oldest sons age. In fact, they are 3 weeks apart. We are so blessed that we have the opportunity to go and see them every few years. It is an expensive and long trip so when we go we stay a long time, at least 4 weeks. Luckily our kids are in year-round school, so it makes it easy to figure out when we can make that happen.

This last time we went, we decided to go over Christmas break. We decided that since our Grandma was going to be turning 80 years old, we’d have a family reunion! I don’t think that all the kids have ever been together being that there is such an age gap between them all. There is one brother in France playing rugby, two siblings in New Zealand, us, and a sister here plus 2 siblings that passed away when they were young. So if you lost count (I don’t blame you), there are only 7 siblings left in Tonga. Our father also passed away in 2006 from liver cancer. Our mother is fascinating. She has been doing this alone with no job, no help, just alone and we’re always helping her financially whenever we can. She doesn’t ask us for anything. I know without the Gospel, things would be a lot harder in her life but she’s such and inspiration, truly.

About 2 weeks before we left, we got word that our Grandma was sick with pneumonia. The doctors weren’t doing anything for her so we were all hoping that we’d be able to get there in time. Unfortunately we didn’t. She passed away a week before we were supposed to leave. We were so looking forward to seeing her and talking with her but God had a bigger plan.

When you go, you can fly through Fiji or Samoa. Samoa to get there faster but Fiji is usually cheaper. However, when going through Fiji, they only go to Tonga on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Make sure that you remember they are a day ahead! If you leave here on a Sunday, you’ll get there Tuesday! We had a 10 hour layover which is average, I guess you get what you pay for, lol! I’d rather save $400 a ticket for 5 of us and spend 10 hours in an airport. It’s worth $2000 to me.

Finally, we were off to Tongatapu, the main island. This is where it is at. They have grown so much since we first came here in 2006. We stayed the night in a hotel called Little Italy. They have an Italian restaurant downstairs and some pretty great rooms upstairs. The room was around 200TOP. A great rule of thumb is just remember that the USD is pretty much half of the TOP. In reality our room was an average of $100. A pretty great deal if you ask me.

The next day we were off to my husbands island of Ha’apai. The plane is small and the airlines are small so the communication was hard. We ended up having to take 2 separate flights, the girls on one and the boys on another. It’s about a 30 minute flight and it was just the worst. This plane sat 7 people and one of them had to sit in the co-pilots seat. We were all laughing and just saying “only in Tonga”. Now I have found out that the plane has crashed, it looked like the landing gear and I’m not surprised one bit.

We arrived and the island is just beautiful. It is small, it is serene and just not very developed. They have about 7 main stores downtown but they all have the same stuff. They do carry Tip-Top ice cream and that was really the only important thing! My husbands home is very Americanized considering that most Tongan homes have one main common room that everyone sleeps in and an outdoor kitchen. Our house had a shower, a flushing toilet, a bathtub, an upstairs, 5 bedrooms and 2 family rooms. It’s very large. When my father-in-law was alive, he worked for the LDS Church. I was told he made around 13,000TOP and that’s very good over there. Could we survive over here with that? No way!

Those first few days we spent focusing on the funeral. Tongan funerals are no standard funeral. You wear black, you mourn, you wail, you cook like crazy, you eat, you make sure that everyone is taken care of, and you don’t rest until that happens. We were so very fortunate to have this woman in our lives. She raised our father as a widow since he was 6. She lost her own daughter as a baby. She did eventually remarry to a wonderful man, Malakai Tua. She will be forever missed.

Siaki and Nofo
Fekitoa Family
After the funeral, we spent vacationing. The kids went to the ocean any chance they could get. We would go into the bush and harvest coconuts to drink from. Word to the wise, don’t buy the off the road coconuts. It makes a huge difference when you drink the fresh ones! I feel like I’m such a know it all when it comes to Tonga. Truth is, I know nothing. I pretty much know all the bad stuff and what not to do.

Our second trip in 2009, I was pregnant with our third child and that was what I call “my trip from hell”. It was probably my worst life experience. I dreamed about cheeseburgers, I had to go to the hospital and it took all night to give me one bag of IV fluid. I counted mosquitoes in bed, got the WORST sunburn complete with blisters… I just have to emphasize that it was the worst. It was our joke this time that my expectations for this trip were so very low. Needless to say, my mind has been changed! I will for sure go back, lol.

Siaki CoconutDSC_0407
On this trip we really spent time getting to know our cousins and brothers and sister-in-laws that we’d never met before. I’m so impressed with who our family has chosen. If you ever have a chance to spend any time with any Tongans, you’ll learn very fast that they are a culture who love to tease each other. It is never out of malice or ill intentions, it is solely out of love. You really have to know how to take a joke. We spent a lot of time laughing and teasing like no other. How fun it is to have family that we can do this with and the in-laws, including myself, just joined right in.

preparing the pig

I learned some Tongan cooking about making keke (kay-kay), lu pulu (lou poo-lou), otai (oh-thai) and my favorite, chop suey (soo-ee). We had brought some things over in a 8’x4′ crate that we sent on the boat in October. Lots of food and clothes. We had brought some food that we know the kids would have wanted to eat. One day we had made spaghetti but they don’t have ground beef over there, so we made it meatless. Well, my family likes meat. We had a lot of leftovers that first time. The next time we made it I found some hot dogs, let’s just say the kids went for that one. Four packages were gone within 30 minutes. We had my mother-in-law making rolls with all the kids one night. They loved it and she was so patient. That would not have been me, I would have lost it.

Sita and Meleane
Fekitoa Horse
Fekitoa Family
For Christmas we didn’t have a Christmas tree. The best part was is that we cut a branch off a tree and stuck it in a hole in the ground. We used scrapbook paper and cut snowflakes and some lights I got on clearance last year. We tied some balloons on with yarn, it ended up looking great and we all had a part of making it. We played games on Christmas Eve and it was a blast. We did some Minute to Win It games. We did the one with the Oreo on the face where you have to wiggle it to your mouth. The kids had a dance off.

We all just spent many nights outside under that tent reminiscing on the 2 who weren’t able to make it there and the 2 siblings who passed and especially our father. We are so very blessed to have our health and happiness. Everyone has beautiful children and are working hard to achieve their dreams.

We had a dance and invited the village to come. There were family members that came from as far as you can come on Ha’apai. It takes about 30 minutes to reach from end to end. We danced and had trains and my nephew did a pretty great impression of Will Smith, circa 1992. He matches the ears, smile and everything.

Fekitoa Siblings
This is their summertime so it was really hot. When it rained, it got hotter. The humidity is out of control. You basically sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat from and you smell like sweat all the time. You’re dirty all the time. You get used to it. Tonga is right on the International Dateline. They get the first ever New Year! It’s pretty awesome to experience those things there. When and if you can, I suggest you stay over that time. When could would you be able to have an opportunity to experience that?
Fekitoa Family
Fekitoa Family silly
The ocean here is like something you can only dream of. The sand is white and the water is clear. The beach closest to my Husbands home is called Houmale’eia and there is a sandbar that moves all along the coastline. It reaches probably a 1/4 mile into the ocean and you’re able to walk out there but if you step off of it, you’re a good 15ft. deep into the ocean. The palm trees swaying in the breeze are pure perfection. Add your family, a bbq, some otai, some chocolate cake and it’s going down!

I really have to say that this trip really exceeded my expectations. We had so much fun and it left us loving our families so much more. The Tongan people are so giving and so willing to share whatever they have no matter how large or how small. It really opened my eyes how much we have when I can really do with so little. I’m spoiled and I’ve always known that. I need to learn to change my ways. I have exceeded my wants and that’s what I’ve seen has seemed to be the American way. I know I am so fortunate to live here and to have the opportunity that we have here but it is such a grounder to go there and to see what we can really live without. I’ve never felt the Spirit stronger and love better than being there in Tonga. My husband was raised by some pretty amazing people and the Tongan people are some pretty amazing people. Also, apparently your eye can swell if you’re allergic to mosquitoes!
Siaki Tonga
I hope you learned something from my trip to Tonga! We took so many pictures that I’m sure I will be posting again with more and more.

XOXO,
Lindsay

 



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