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7.31.2018

Travel Style: What to Wear for a Vacation in Paris, France


Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase using the links, I may receive a commission.  This does not cost you anything additional, and helps me to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!

My husband and I went to France earlier this month to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  Instead of my usual monthly What I Wore #OOTD round-up, this month I am rounding-up the outfits I wore in Paris.  Now, if you know anything about me at all, you'd know that fashion and travel are both important parts of my life.  Therefore, it should come as zero surprise that I was planning my outfits for Paris well in advance of the trip.  In fact, I even had a few pieces purchased before the trip was even booked!  And since Paris is especially Instagrammable (see my friend Katie of Kalanchoe's post on An Instagram Guide to Paris here for some great photo location inspo), I put a lot of love into curating the fashion that I would wear and photograph during our vacation.  

If you're deciding what to wear for a trip to Paris, I hope this helps you plan what to shop and pack for your Parisian trip.  Keep reading for details and shoppable links for all the looks, plus the location where the pictures were taken.  Be sure to pin these to your Paris inspiration boards!


Look 1
Location: Château de Versailles
Outfit details: The dress is the Eyes On You Black Maxi Dress from Haute Rogue.  The shoes are the Sita slingback pump from JustFab.  If you're not a member of JustFab yet, click here to join so you can get the VIP pricing on the shoes.

7.27.2018

Celebrate Summer with a Family Grill Night - in Your Backyard!


This post is sponsored by Lightlife.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Our family LOVES summer.  Traveling, water fun, lots of time together, cooking outdoors, long days... what's not to love?  Well, I guess the only thing not to love right now is that we only have a bit of summer left!  But we are going to make the most of it!  One idea we had was to have an outdoor grill night, cooking over the fire.  It's too hot to spend a weekend camping (though we love to camp), so we decided to bring some of our favorite parts of camping to our backyard instead, with Lightlife.

I first met Lightlife at the Mom 2.0 Summit this year.  They were grilling up some Smart Dogs, which I remember smelling so good, you know, that tantalizing smell of meat cooking over an open grill. I didn't even realize they were plant-based at first, and was even more surprised with the taste when I built myself a masterpiece at their vegan chili dog station! I couldn't wait for the rest of my family to try it.


7.25.2018

Free or cheap non-screentime ideas for keeping kids engaged during the summer

I have been compensated for this post by Oros. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

It's that time of summer where it's getting harder to keep the kids engaged. Is it just me, or do you also worry about them losing a lot of what they learned during the school year while they laze around the house in front of any number of screens? It's become a real concern for me, especially as the temperatures rise, which seems to increase my kids' screentime as their outdoor time becomes more limited. Since the new Oros messaging app (which you can download for free for iOS or Android here: http://bit.ly/fab-everyday) has become my go-to for all sorts of tips, not just for restaurant recommendations and local expert reviews, I decided to put a question out there to the Oros community.  

Oros puts real recommendations from real people in the palm of your hands quickly, saving you a lot of time Googling and checking review sites. Its simple question and answer function allows me to target users in a local area or by other interests and demographics for their recommendations. It connects me with local experts in minutes! You can read my full review of the Oros app here, and see how I crowd-sourced ideas for the ultimate family date day in Austin using Oros here

Last week I asked parents of school-age kids on the Oros app about non-screentime ideas for keeping kids engaged, ideally in an educational and/or creative way, during the summer. As always, I asked, and Oros delivered! Here are my top tips sourced from Oros users on non-screentime activities for kids during the summer. A bonus is that they are all free or cheap!

7.24.2018

Scenic Loire Valley Chateaux Driving Route from Paris to Amboise


When my husband and I were planning our 10th anniversary trip to France, one of my prerequisites was to stay in a chateau.  I wanted to live that princess life!  In doing research, we learned the best place to stay would be the Loire Valley for the huge amount of chateaux available to visit or stay in.  More to come on the chateau we ultimately chose for our accommodation, but today I am sharing the scenic chateaux drive we took to get from Paris to the Loire Valley.  We rented a car on our way out of Paris and drove this route ourselves in a single day, but the itinerary was inspired by this comprehensive, six-day Loire Valley Chateaux tour from Esprit de France

Driving in France (outside of Paris) is not very intimidating, with well-maintained roads, so I recommend renting a car and doing this scenic Loire Valley drive yourself.  Not only is it a short drive from Paris to the Val de Loire, having a car also gives you the flexibility to stop and tour different chateaux on your own schedule. 

Here's our recommended scenic driving route starting in Paris and ending in Amboise, with five chateaux you can visit along the way.  This takes you off the main freeways onto a more scenic route without adding too much time to your driving itinerary. 


Stop 1: Château de Chambord.  Why not start big?  Chateau de Chambord is Loire Valley's largest chateau.  Currently celebrating its 500th anniversary, there is a lot of history, along with architectural marvel, in this chateau and its grounds.   

7.20.2018

Lessons in Home Canning and Preserving + Honey Cinnamon Pears Recipe


I partnered with Ball® Home Canning for this post. The opinions are my own based on my experience. I was not financially compensated for this post. 


It's canning season, and Ball® Home Canning is highlighting why canning and fresh preserving is "time well spent."  They are sharing tips and monthly recipes on the Time Well Spent site here.  This month, I decided to try this Honey Cinnamon Pears recipe, which are great to eat with oatmeal, on top of ice cream, or even just on their own straight from the jar!  

New to canning?  You'll want to see last month's Mixed Berry Jam recipe and Canning 101 tips here.


7.17.2018

What to do during a long layover in Iceland: Blue Lagoon + DIY Golden Circle driving tour


On the way home from our anniversary trip to France (more on that later), my husband and I had the chance to explore a bit of Iceland during a long layover in Reykjavik.  Today, I am sharing our tips on getting the most out of a long layover in Iceland, including a visit to the Blue Lagoon and a DIY driving tour of the Golden Circle route.

Our layover was 22 hours long, which allowed us to spend the night.  We decided to rent a car, which I recommend, as taxis are quite pricey, we arrived too late for the Flybus to take us where we needed to go, and it allowed us to DIY our sight-seeing tours based on our timeline. 

Check out this YouTube video of our DIY Golden Circle driving tour, and save it for quick reference:


7.13.2018

Top Private and Exotic Locations You Can Visit

I have worked in collaboration with one of our partners to provide you with the below post.

Queues and crowds like those found at the beach hardly make for a relaxing and exotic holiday. Many people prefer to enjoy private holidays with their significant other. When one has the money to spend on their loved ones, they can afford a private and exotic vacation away from the hassles of the crowded world. There are many marvelous spots in the world that offer private vacation to those who crave seclusion and comfort. However, finding these spots and choosing one for a private and exotic holiday isn’t easy. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for people who wish to enjoy a private vacation in the company of their loved ones. 

For people who are looking for a luxurious and private vacation, we have identified the top private and exotic locations on earth. 

1. Fogo Island
Located off the coast of Newfoundland, the Fogo Island can only be accessed by a ferry. The luxurious Fogo Island Inn is an ideal spot for those who seek an exotic and private location. The hotel features 29 suites which are all modeled on traditional homes found in Newfoundland. Two lavish saunas located at the rooftop provide magnificent views: south-facing sauna offers the view of the Fogo Island while the north-facing sauna offers a marvelous sight of the sea. 

2. Lastovo Island 
Lastovo Island, located in Croatia, is another ideal private and exotic location. It takes about four to five hours to reach the island from a ferry. Technically, 46 small islands make up the Lastovo Island, but the majority of inhabitants live on the main island. Lastovo hasn’t caught up to the main world yet, which makes it perfect for a private holiday. Wi-Fi and phone signals are non-existent. But, people who visit the island won’t need these things as there are a lot of national parks, beaches, orchards and vineyards to keep them occupied. 

7.11.2018

Kicking off our summer of family fun in Texas in the most epic way at Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie


Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark hosted my family to a visit for review purposes. The opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated for this post.

Though we’ve lived in Texas for over seven years now, there is still so much to see and do in our state!  This summer the #FabFam has decided to do as much as we can here locally, and really explore the great things our state has to offer.  We are calling it “the summer of Texas fun,” and a few weeks ago we kicked it off, well epically, with a visit at Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark.  


Epic Waters, which just opened in January 2018, is located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (in Grand Prairie, TX).   It is easily accessible from north or central Texas.   There are a lot of things that make it epic (more on that below), but arguably the best thing about Epic Waters is that you can enjoy it year-round.  The 80,000 square-foot indoor waterpark has a retractable roof and a climate-controlled interior, meaning you can be comfortable in it whether it’s the blazing humidity of summer, or the golf ball-sized hailstorms of winter in Texas.

7.05.2018

6 Accessories You Need for This Fall

I have worked in collaboration with one of our partners to provide you with the below post.

These long summer days will soon be coming to an end, which means fall (and all things pumpkin) are just around the corner. With its cool air, vibrant leaves, and the scent of holidays in the air, fall is our favorite! Boots and sweaters and hoodies, oh my! It’s time to pull out those autumn favorites and dress them up with some fun accessories you’ll love for fall. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


1. Blazers
Blazers aren’t just for work anymore. They’re perfect for all occasions. You can wear them with just about anything. Put one on over jeans and a tee for a casual daytime look. Or pair it with a cute dress and Coach clutch for a dressier look. Find a tailored style that is flattering and it’s sure to become a favorite.

2. Scarves
This one kind of goes without saying, but we can’t have a fall accessories list without mentioning this fall fashion must! Scarves are unbelievably versatile. Have you seen the YouTube videos that show you umpteen ways to wear a scarf? Definitely worth a watch, if not. Also, try wearing them as headbands, or tying them to your favorite tote for a little pop. Check out stylish scarves from Novica.com.