Easy DIY Travel Keepsakes

Every single time I travel I am always looking for fun keepsakes to take back home with me. Whether it’s little knickknacks or home decor pieces, I am always on the lookout for creative ways to show off our travels in our home besides hanging photos or creating photobooks. Having these keepsakes always serves as a reminder of the good times my husband and I have had traveling around the world. Although we have yet to do any big traveling together, we have been able to make it to the most beautiful beaches around.

Our first trip out of the country was when we first started dating and we went to the beautiful islands of Turks & Caicos. If you haven’t been, or even heard of it, you need to Google it ASAP and realize just how easy it is to get there and how breathtaking the islands are. We loved it so much we went back a couple years later for our honeymoon.

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Most recently, we traveled to Kauai, Hawaii, also known as the garden isle, for our one year wedding anniversary (and even came home with an unexpected souvenir). I had never visited any of the islands of Hawaii before and I was so excited to go with my newly minted husband for a week of relaxing, exploring, and enjoying our first few moments of being husband and wife. We ended up packing so much into our trip like hiking, snorkeling, beach-going, eating and drinking – I can’t wait for us to return one day!
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As a side note: another fun way I create a keepsake from our travels (and life in general) is with these Shutterfly photobooks. They’re so easy to make, affordable, and there’s nothing better than looking back through these later all the while having your digital photos from your trips preserved.

While vacationing in Turks the first time, I decided to sneak (even though it’s completely legal) some sand and shells home as a keepsake of our trip (just use an empty water bottle to scoop the sand and shells then pack it away in your bag!). Before I knew it, I was doing this every time we went on a beach vacation. Now I have bags of sand from all over – which is wonderful, but what do I do with it now that we’re back home?

Today I am sharing with you an easy way to show off your travels by collecting sand and making a beautiful candle centerpiece for anywhere in your home. The only materials you need is an imagination, glass candle hurricanes in various sizes, your collected sand, and candles! Here’s how to make an easy DIY travel home decor keepsake:
Today I am sharing with you an easy way to show off your travels by collecting sand and making a beautiful candle centerpiece for anywhere in your home. The only materials you need is an imagination, glass candle hurricanes in various sizes, your collected sand, and candles! Here’s how to make an easy DIY travel home decor keepsake
Today I am sharing with you an easy way to show off your travels by collecting sand and making a beautiful candle centerpiece for anywhere in your home. The only materials you need is an imagination, glass candle hurricanes in various sizes, your collected sand, and candles! Here’s how to make an easy DIY travel home decor keepsake
To create this easy DIY travel keepsake you just need a few, inexpensive, supplies! On my most recent trip to World Market I found these beautiful hurricanes to which I could put my sand and candles in. I love the different sizes they come in and how affordable they are. I love me some Target, but sometimes I feel Threshold overprices some (if not most) of their home decor items. For a glass container I’m only willing to spend a few dollars and these World Market hurricanes work perfectly.
The shells I used with the white candle (a pillar candle also found at World Market) were actually collected by my husband and I in Turks! The ones from our Hawaii trip are actually the shell leis that were given to us by the Sheraton Resort we stayed in while staying on Kauai. I love how they add such a personal touch and not just fake decorations that are store-bought.
Today I am sharing with you an easy way to show off your travels by collecting sand and making a beautiful candle centerpiece for anywhere in your home. The only materials you need is an imagination, glass candle hurricanes in various sizes, your collected sand, and candles! Here’s how to make an easy DIY travel home decor keepsake:
This is a closeup of our Turks & Caicos sand when we visited the island of Providenciales. It’s so soft! On one of our excursions we went to a beach known as Shell Beach for the obvious reason that the beach is literally covered in these small shells. We were able to snag a lot of these tiny shells that day while snorkeling and take them home with us.
Today I am sharing with you an easy way to show off your travels by collecting sand and making a beautiful candle centerpiece for anywhere in your home. The only materials you need is an imagination, glass candle hurricanes in various sizes, your collected sand, and candles! Here’s how to make an easy DIY travel home decor keepsake:
When we went to Hawaii this past summer we came across this cute soap and candle shop named Island Soap and Candle Works and they have hundreds of different candles and soaps, which are handmade right there in the store and are locally sourced! My husband picked out a few candles and even sent some home to his mom. This is the rain pillar candle, which can be ordered and shipped straight from Hawaii.
How do you show off your vacation souvenirs around your home? 

Dear Murphy

Dear Murphy,
If dogs could read and understand emotion the way humans do, I would hope for nothing more than for you to find this letter and truly know what you’ve meant to your dad and I. I remember the first time you came to us. You flew, all by yourself, from Texas to DC. I know it must have been one of the scariest things you’ve had to go through and probably the reason you hate flying with us today. You were the tiniest thing; so fragile. However, the moment I held you in my arms you snuggled right into me and at that moment you made me a fur-mommy.
When you arrived your dad and I had no idea what it took to become a fur-parent. We were just married and both left our jobs right around the same time. The perfect time to add a pet, huh? However, none of that mattered. I knew right away that you were mine and I counted down the days until you came to me. You were scared of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. From people, to birds, cars, and even your own shadow. There were times you were really frustrating; especially when you cried all through the night with no avail. You were scared of your water bowl and therefore we had to teach you how to eat and drink. There were so many lessons you learned within those first few weeks, but you picked it up very quickly.
Eventually mommy and daddy found work but it would take another trip, not in a plane, but rather a four-day trip across the country to California. You were awesome. We snuck you into hotels that didn’t allow pets and you learned how to adapt to new places. You eventually fell in love with daddy’s Jeep and it’s one of your favorite cars to ride in today. Even through you were scared most of the time, I am so proud of how fearless you are today.
We arrived in California and your first beach experience was in Santa Barbara (no too bad, huh?). You were very unsure of what the beach was but you’ve grown to love it so much! Almost so that you’ve become a stubborn-ass on walks because you want to go play in the water so badly. In our new home you officially became house trained, learned to walk on a leash, and even learned basic commands like sit. We swore we wouldn’t allow you to sleep in our bed or lay on our sofa but you see how well that turned out. You’re the only dog that has a tempur-pedic bed. You’ve made new friends and continue to go with us everywhere. Daddy wouldn’t want it any other way.
In conclusion, on your first birthday it may not seem like any other day to you, but know that this birthday is a special one for your mom and dad. It marks a time when you’re not so much that little scared puppy, but a maturing young dog. I am so proud of the growth you’ve made and it’s difficult to remember life without having you in it. I look forward to celebrating with you tonight with dad and the pup-cake he made himself! 
I love you more than words,
Mommy

Styling With Stitch Fix: June + Giveaway

I just received my June fix and this is by far the best shipment I’ve received yet!

but, let me back up…

I had taken a little break from Stitch Fix after a few of my shipments were completely wrong. I had cute items, but they looked horrible on me. The fit was wrong, the colors and patterns didn’t look flattering on me, so I ended up sending everything back. Within a few days Stitch Fix personally (not just some pre-generated email) contacted me to figure out what the problem was and hoped that I would consider giving them another chance to make it right. They paid for my next fix just to prove that they care about customer satisfaction. What business does that anymore?!

I started to realize that it wasn’t so much the stylists fault for selecting wrong items for me, rather it was me who wasn’t being clear enough about what I wanted or needed from my fixes. So, I got to thinking and came up with ways to better communicate with my stylists so that I could ensure that I received exactly what I wanted. For more on how to ensure a great fix, check out my helpful tips here if you’re interested.

this time around…

I requested plenty of fit and flare dresses, bold colors and prints, as well as a coveted layered cardigan. My stylist Whitney heard exactly what I wanted and responded with some fabulous pieces for me. Let’s take a look at what I got in my June fix!

I requested plenty of fit and flare dresses, bold colors and prints, as well as a coveted layered cardigan. My stylist Whitney heard exactly what I wanted and responded with some fabulous pieces for me. Let’s take a look at what I got in my June fix!
This post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.
 I just had to catch this snapshot of Murphy invading my space and successfully photobombing me!


Initially I would have skipped this dress if I were shopping for myself but that’s the great thing about having Stitch Fix stylists. They find items for you that you may never would have tried on in the first place and this dress is exactly that for me. I love the textured print and the bright yellow is a color you’ll for sure be noticed in. My husband loved it even though it was a bit outside my comfort zone.

Brixon Ivy $74.00 | MAYBE?

Initially I would have skipped this dress if I were shopping for myself but that’s the great thing about having Stitch Fix stylists. They find items for you that you may never would have tried on in the first place and this dress is exactly that for me. I love the textured print and the bright yellow is a color you’ll for sure be noticed in. My husband loved it even though it was a bit outside my comfort zone.

What do you think?
This fit and flare dress is so adorable and I couldn’t wait to try it on! I was a bit worried about the horizontal stripes since I’m curvier in shape and that tends to be a tricky print. However, when I tried it on the dress fit like a glove and the material was so soft and comfortable!

Papermoon $68.00 – KEEP

This fit and flare dress is so adorable and I couldn’t wait to try it on! I was a bit worried about the horizontal stripes since I’m curvier in shape and that tends to be a tricky print. However, when I tried it on the dress fit like a glove and the material was so soft and comfortable!
These jeans were very comfortable (due to the stretchy material and no denim is found whatsoever). I asked for a light colored skinny jean and these were a cute cropped version of what I was looking for.  It’s a bit pricier than I would have liked for jeans with no actual denim in them, but cute nonetheless.
 Henry & Belle $148.00 – RETURN

These jeans were very comfortable (due to the stretchy material and no denim is found whatsoever). I asked for a light colored skinny jean and these were a cute cropped version of what I was looking for.  It’s a bit pricier than I would have liked for jeans with no actual denim in them, but cute nonetheless.

I had pinned this item forever ago and it was so exciting to see that my stylist found this on my Pinterest board. Just goes to show that the stylists really do keep an eye on your boards and by filling out personal notes in the description really helps them gauge what you want or need. It fit beautifully and I love that it is a single cardigan but gives the allusion of layering with the soft blush inner fabric.

Brixon Ivy $54.00 – KEEP

I had pinned this item forever ago and it was so exciting to see that my stylist found this on my Pinterest board. Just goes to show that the stylists really do keep an eye on your boards and by filling out personal notes in the description really helps them gauge what you want or need. It fit beautifully and I love that it is a single cardigan but gives the allusion of layering with the soft blush inner fabric.I had pinned this item forever ago and it was so exciting to see that my stylist found this on my Pinterest board. Just goes to show that the stylists really do keep an eye on your boards and by filling out personal notes in the description really helps them gauge what you want or need. It fit beautifully and I love that it is a single cardigan but gives the allusion of layering with the soft blush inner fabric.

It’s a bit pricier than I would have preferred for a scarf but it’s lightweight, something I asked for, and with the American colors it’s perfect for July 4th weekend. I’m loving this infinity scarf!

Look By M $34.00 – KEEP

It’s a bit pricier than I would have preferred for a scarf but it’s lightweight, something I asked for, and with the American colors it’s perfect for July 4th weekend. I’m loving this infinity scarf!

THE BREAKDOWN AND INCENTIVE TO BUY ALL FIVE

Merchandise Total:  $378.00
Buy Five Discount: -$94.50
Styling Fee Credit:  -$20.00
Credit:                        -$5.00
 
TOTAL: $258.50
Total without the jeans (because I thought they were too pricy)…$222.25. For $30 more I could get the jeans and enjoy that Buy Five Discount. However, this time around I am going to stick with just the items I’m in LOVE with and am skipping on the jeans. But isn’t it a great deal? With just one shipment I was able to purchase 4 new items that I love and can’t wait to start wearing.
 
BEFORE YOU LEAVE…
This giveaway has since ended.

Slim Down Saturday + Linkup {6.20}

Where did time fly to?? Seriously. It’s Saturday and it’s absolutely gorgeous outside here in Ventura even though we’re right in the full swing of June Gloom. Luckily it hasn’t been too foggy these last few days and I am soaking up the sunshine for as long as I possibly can.
Sorry I was a bit absent with the linkup last week. If you’re not familiar, I was in Hawaii with the husband celebrating our first wedding anniversary! I tried my best to keep up with my points and continue to make healthy choices even while vacationing. But, alas I managed to gain back everything I lost in the weeks prior.
Even though that’s a super bummer and it means I have to essentially start all over, I am picking myself back up and trying again. Let’s check in and see how week 6 went…
The Results Week Six

Ultimate Goal
My ultimate goal is to reach my goal weight, which is to lose about 40 lbs.

Gain/Loss From the Week
-2 lbs

Total Loss Since Starting
– 2.4 lbs

Positives From the Week
This week I returned from Hawaii and began working the summer program at my school. It’s allowed me to get back on track with a routine everyday. I am packing healthy snacks and upping how much water I drink. What are your favorite healthy snacks for on the go? Any pins you want to share?!
Things to Work On
I love my wine but I also know it’s a killer to my weight loss goals. I drank a lot in Hawaii and told myself, “I’m on vacation.” Well, I’m no longer on vacation so it’s time I start finding healthier alternatives to my favorite alcoholic beverages. Any recommendations or recipes?!
One Goal For Next Week
I still haven’t made it to the gym this week and being active is something I really need to get back into the routine with. Why is going to the gym so hard?!

Motivator
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I know this is a bit graphic but it sends such a powerful message. Each pound lost is worth something and even though I gained last week and lost only 2 lbs this week….I tell myself that it’s something.

Tip or Trick
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Creating a visual that you can see every single day helps you stay on track in whatever weight loss program or goal you have. I found this idea from The Bloated Bride blog. To scratch off every number is a great feeling and makes you realize that even if it’s one pound it’s meaningful.

What is Slim Down Saturday?
This linkup series started as a way for me to share my weight loss journey through Weight Watchers with my readers (see original post). Since fitness and overall health is important to me, I wanted to open it up for fellow bloggers and readers to join in and, in essence, create a community around healthy living and supporting one another in their goals.
Are you on a new fitness regimen or have a weight loss goal you’re working towards? Do you blog about fitness or health and want to share? Feel free to link up with me every Saturday!