The Garden District of New Orleans is a neighborhood full of adorable mansions. We took the trolly from the French Quarter to the Garden District where we went to the famous Lafayette cemetery, did the mansion foot tour & ate at the Commander's Palace. We saw some houses that they used in different t.v. shows & movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button & American Horror Story, we also saw the house that Anne Rice lived in while she wrote Interview with a Vampire. Rumor has it Sandra Bullock lives in the Garden District. The Garden District got it's name because all of the houses originally had gigantic gardens surrounding them & they still do, they are just a bit smaller. The walking tour is a couple blocks long & goes around all of these amazing historic homes, the architecture is so pretty, it totally made me fall in love with the South.


My camera died within the first hour of being in New Orleans.. apparently I forgot to turn it off before getting on the plane! So be ready for a lot of iPhone pictures.

My mama is turning the big 6-0 this April so to celebrate, she invited all the *adult* girls in the family for a girls trip to New Orleans. We flew out early Thursday morning & celebrated the whole weekend. It was so cool going to New Orleans. I have been really interested in going since I was in college & had to make a road trip itinerary, mine was a road trip through the South & it sparked a desire to go. This was my first time ever going to the South & it did not disappoint.

The first day we got there we went to the hotel, checked in & headed out on the town to see the sites & grab some dinner. We spent our trip site seeing & eating, the food was so good & the beignets were amazing (I'm still partial to disneyland's beignets though!), we tried as much of the local foods that we could find & I can honestly tell you I liked everything I tried, even the fried crocodile. We went on a ghost tour where we learned about the haunted spots in New Orleans & the story of how vampires made their way to America through a ship from France that stopped over in Haiti. Who knew that vampires entered America through New Orleans? I didn't. There is a pretty big vampire superstition there though which adds to the fun (fun fact: Anne Rice who wrote Interview with a Vampire grew up in New Orleans). The tour guide gave a lot of great history on the town which I loved learning, I love all the history that comes with an old city, I think it is so interesting to learn about.

Our hotel was in the French Quarter right off of Bourbon Street. If you don't know anything about New Orleans the French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans & is a bit of a party place, especially on Bourbon street. It reminded me of a more charming Las Vegas. People go to New Orleans to party & that is exactly what they do. During our four day visit we saw a parade happen every single day, there were beads being thrown everywhere, live music on just about every corner & a lot of people having the time of their life. New Orleans is a very pretty city, but be warned if you are going to the French Quarter that it is extremely dirty, it's pretty but not quite as charming as I would imagine other southern towns to be, or even different areas of New Orleans, but it is totally worth going to.


via Pinterest

I am sleeps number one fan. I'd even go as far as to say that sleep is one of my favorite activities. I love getting cozied up in a blanket & snuggling down to go to sleep but, then again, who doesn't? Pre kids I had no need for a sleep schedule because I didn't have two little people depending on me day in & day out, now that I'm a mama that has totally changed. It has taken me a while but I have finally accepted the fact that I don't get to sleep as often or whenever I want, which makes it all the more cherished when I actually do lay down. It has also been difficult to realize how important a nighttime routine is & I'm not talking about one for my kids, but one for me.

It sounds a little funny, an adult with a nighttime routine, but it is totally beneficial & helps out SO much. It's hard for my to turn my brain off, to stop going over my forever long to-do lists, to not worry/stress over whatever it may be & to simply  just relax. Here's an idea of my nightly routine:

Grab a cup of water to take with me
Write in my journal
Read /watch a show

I always take water with my to bed, it says a thing I've done since I was in high school, I like to have it on my side table incase I wake up at night & it is something that has just stuck. Writing in my journal is another habit I've had for years, it helps me to unwind. I don't write a lot everyday, sometimes just a quick blurb, thought, quote, or something cedar has said to me that day. Writing has always been a good way for me to unwind. After writing I a lot of times will watch a tv show or read, just do something I can sort of shut off my mind for & then I follow it up by meditating. I think meditation has been the biggest help in my sleep. When I do this I wake up each morning feeling so refreshed, it's sort of amazing. Another reason I really like this routine is that it's totally transferable, no matter where I am I can do accomplish it. Having a routine to get me mentally prepared to go to sleep has helped me fall asleep quicker & has even helped me get into a deeper sleep & has most definitely made me a better morning person, which is so helpful as a mom of two that wake up early :). One of the most important parts of a good sleep for me is having a good mattress. I love ours so much but if you're looking for one I would totally recommend a Leesa mattress. They are really one of the most comfortable mattresses plus they donate 1 for every 10 they sell to homeless shelters.


I have craving a morning at the beach lately, I love starting my days off at the beach so we got up & moving quicker than usual the other day & headed straight to the beach. I had heard from a couple of friends that Point Dume was covered in yellow flowers & I really wanted to go see them so we headed there & it did not disappoint. There was a thick layer of fog laying on top of the beach which made the yellow pop even more, it was so pretty. We normally don't go to Point Dume so it was really fun exploring a new beach. There was a pathway through the flowers to a staircase taking you to the beach. On a normal day there are lots of little tide pools, which means I'm going to have to go there more often, but today it was a high tide & they were covered up, but we did manage to see a sea lion in the water while we were walking down the stairs. Cedar was SO excited about the sea lion. Octanauts is his favorite tv show right now so he is all about sea creatures. We played along the beach, ran to & from the waves trying not to let it get us & played octanauts (Cedar assigns everyone a character to play & I think it is so fun!).

Later this week I'm going on my first ever baby-free/husband-free trip. Ever since I had Cedar I have only had one night away from both him & Austin & it was for a school thing, so I don't really count it. I haven't been on an airplane without a kid for almost 4 years! How weird is that? I used to fly alone all the time & I loved every second of it. I'm pretty excited for this girls weekend but I'm definitely also a little sad to be leaving the boys, even if it is just for a few days, I'm such a sucker for them. Austin included :) It's nice to have a getaway though. I'm going to New Orleans with my mom, my sister & my two sister-in-law's for my moms upcoming 60th birthday & I am really so excited cause I have wanted to go to New Orleans for a long time. Until then, I'm soaking up all my time with these three.


Isn't it funny how you can live so close to such iconic places but never go? I have been all over the world but I feel like I never experience the places that are close to me. When we moved to California Austin & I came up with a huge list of places we wanted to go in California & we have been slowly chipping away at that list. Today, Austin played hooky from work & we packed the kids up & went to Venice to check out the canals. I have been to Venice soooooo many times but had never gone to the canals. I've seen pictures of them & heard about them from so many people but had never personally gone, so I was pretty excited to go.

Before heading to the canals we walked around the boardwalk, checked out all the fun people that Venice has to offer (which is a lot, if you have never been), watched the skaters do their thing & just hung out. Venice is such a cool, different vibe & it attracts the most interesting crowd. After hanging there for a bit we got the most delicious Mexican food at Plancha Tacos, if you're every in the area definitely eat there! From there we went to the canals. I'm not really sure where I thought they would be, I guess I figured they would be more difficult to get to since I had never been... but they're literally right next to everything else, if that makes any sense. It was maybe a 5 minute walk & bam! We were there. They are pretty cool to see because they're so random! They were originally built in 1905 but a lot were filled in to create roads in the 20s & fell to total disrepair by the 40's. In the 80's the houses existing around what canals were still added to the National Register of Historic places & were then reconstructed in the early 90's.

Cedar loved running the sidewalks surrounding the canals & going on all of the bridges connecting them. Pus, there were a lot of ducks which he was really excited about. It's pretty cool to see them in person & that they were created at all. Definitely check them out if you're ever in the area.


We threw Milo a fiesta for his first birthday party this weekend & it turned out just how I had hoped. We had a piñata, pin the mustache on Milo, tacos from Taco Bell (we went all out) & stick on mustaches that were a big hit with the kids. The party was just my family, two more baby friends & Austin's parents that came to town & it was so much fun. The older kids loved the piñata & thought pin the mustache on Milo was pretty funny. 

My favorite part of any first birthday party is when the baby gets their cake. On Milo's actual birthday we gave him a cupcake & he ate it within 2 bites, seriously it was so fast so I expected the same with his cake but he seemed weirdly cautious. After we gave it to him he looked at it for a couple minutes before my sister gave him a bite & he finally decided to go after it & all the babies decided they wanted in. Milo was sitting in a chair & the babies kept coming around & taking handfuls of his cake, it was pretty cute & funny. 

I still can't believe he's 1, it's so bittersweet.