Posts Tagged With: decorations

Shanti’s final baby shower!

Once I got back to Florida for the long stay, my mom threw me an intimate baby shower that had all of my favorite childhood food, a “mom-mosa bar” and a group of amazing women.

Planning it and setting up with her was just as memorable as the actual day of celebration. I’ll hold back the details of our hilarious moments considering none would be as funny as they were in the moment, but here’s the final set up before the guests arrived!

Games, gifts, hugs and love… everything was perfect and all one could wish for!

Thank you to all of the women who took time to come and celebrate this new beautiful life about to meet the world. A special thanks to my mom… all of your thought, effort and attention to detail made this event exactly what it was!

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White Christmas… snow or sand?

Who do you spend your holidays with? 

Relative: a person connected by blood or marriage.

Friend: a person who you like and enjoy being with; one who is attached to another through affection.

Family: a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation (in my opinion it’s a combo of the above).

If I were to get a little emotional in my writing, I’d tear up as I tell you how lucky I am to have gotten to spend several holidays with some of the most amazing people I know. You’ve seen my dearest family in Oklahoma in which this time of year calls for freezing rain storms and an abundunce of sweet treats. Then there’s my incredible mother who so eagerly makes every occasion so special with our time in Florida. My childhood friends in California never fall short to extend a welcoming invite to spend the winter days with them as seen in the holiday 5k run and Dream-catcher with the hawk. I’ve even been fortunate enough to have celebrated abroad like St.Patricks day in Argentina, Thanksgiving in Japan and the unforgettable Easter in Panama.

This year I wasn’t in Florida with my mum for the actual holiday but it wouldn’t seem complete if I didn’t mention our Christmas festivities (which is summed up by the photos below). I love you mom!  


Christmas in the Caribbean is surprisingly more similar to what I knew as a child back in the states.  There’s jolly carols playing in most of the shopping areas with random decorations lining the malls and public buildings. Store attendants have Santa hats on and St.Nicholas may appear randomly throughout the weeks leading up to the 25th.  If I had to outline the differences from what I can remember in the cold USA to the island life now, it’s obviously the weather and possibly the stockings.  Aside from candy, we got gloves and mittens, flannel pajamas and little trinkets.  Here they get Catch bars, sunglasses, flip flops and surfboard wax. Instead of snow angels, it’s sand angels and the pine trees that are brightly decorated in the front windows have been imported from overseas, instead of hand cut down on a visit to the mountains. 
Here’s a tiny snip of some of the scenes around here on the magical island of Barbados.


In regards to dinner, the typical meat served around here includes fish, ham, turkey or good ol’ fried chicken. The sides range from macaroni pie, sweet potatoes, plantains, greens, boiled vegetables and other random family recipes. If you’re lucky there will be some fried okra, homemade cassava rolls and breadfruit! Like a bit of spice? I wouldn’t pass on the local pepper sauce! Is your mouth watering? Check out all of the posts listed here for a much clearer canvas of the Bajan food that I have fallen in love with.  

 This Christmas I was welcomed into a variety of meals, toasts and family affairs that left me overflowing with love!  

In respect of all lovely people I encountered and homes I visited, I’ll keep this portion private and simple. (I also fear that if I begin to mention all the names of the hugs that I got to embrace that I’d leave out someone and we don’t want that). So for what it’s worth, here’s a just a small bundle of an entire day of joy! 

 I’ll close with some fun by taking a look at past and present winter photos. Wonderful to think that while some are strapping in snowboards, others are on surf boards and when a bunch of you decide which scarf to wrap up in, others are debating on which swimsuit to wear. Warm veggie soup verses a freezing fruit smoothie, snow boots or sandy toes… The list could go on and on!



  Ok, so the 25th has passed and all is quiet on the island… 

                                                       Yeh, if you’re the only one that lives in a cave! 

Next post will expose what is now one of my favorite events that takes place on December 26th, look out for Boxing Day!

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Salzburg, Austria – done in 24 hours

I’m not sure if it was the excitement of arriving to a new place or the unmarked streets, but this place was a bit tricky to maneuver around. I don’t think we came to an intersection that had any 90 degree angles, but that just added to the character of this city. Stores built into sides of mountains, caves sitting outside of castles and uneven stone work has an enchanting look to it.

Most of the following pictures were taken from the car as we entered the city and swerved in and out of traffic, pedestrians, one way streets and bike paths.











This photo was taken during an uproar of laughter as we had circled the same path over and over looking for a way out. We finally came to a stop light that would lead us in the correct direction and as we approached our ever so desired right turn, we saw this. All of those signs are shouting, “you will not turn here!”, Hilarious!


After completing the maze of Salzburg, we spotted out a long strip of walkable streets and thought we’d give it a try.
The ambiance through here gave us both the feeling of “the holidays”. All of a sudden I had the craving for a hot beverage, a blanket and the sound of family and friends talking of old times by the fire.
The neatest part of the is quaint city is all of the hidden passage ways. If you blinked you may miss a minature doorway, or tiny alley leading to another road with more hidden paths. We decided to take a chance and see where it led…an open market, score!














To the 100% success rate of finding an Irish pub in every country… Austria, check!



Inside this pub looked like a scene from a movie. Small little arches decorated with stone and wooden columns, tiny chairs surrounding rock blocks and tall tables coming out of the ancient walls.






We stopped in to rest the feet and on our way out, Marshall says a simple hello to a girl sitting by herself. The smile that illuminated from this kind woman was felt instantly and then it began…

Meet Niki, she’s from Budapest, which happens to be one of our destinations on this road trip! What a great opportunity to get some suggestions from a local. Here are some snap shots from our evening that started with a hello and ended dancing till the sun was peaking over the castle on the hill.



Jay is the name of the gentleman next to me. He’s from Boston and added even more of a great vibe to the evening. I do believe he was the one that pointed out that we were in Austria, listening to American classic rock, watching euro futbol, in an Irish pub with a Hungarian and Belgium being served by a bartender from New Zealand. How much fun is that?!




By the end of the night sweet Niki had invited us to stay at her place when we get to Budapest and she would show us the local side of Hungary… Priceless!

The morning brings us stretched out in our car-o-accomidation with the idea of a quick hike before we depart for our next stop.

Real quick story: we wanted to climb to the top of this hill that had almost 400 stair steps and a stretch of hills. Remember the tricky roads? Well, trying to find a parking spot near the bottom was not looking possible. Through Marshall’s “Bond” moves, we find an open lot that had no signs. Were we legally allowed to park here… Would they tow our car?

After 30 seconds of debating the consequences, we both smiled and said “Let’s do this!”. Forget the casual hike to the view point, we have a time limit now to prevent the car from being locked up on the back of a monster truck. I truly wish there would have been a film crew following this 8 minute trek that should of been a peaceful hour of panoramic views.

To give you the best idea of this event, I’ll post every attempt to capture a view while sprinting up hill weaving in-between tourist. When viewing these pics, try to imagine the sound of “happy” coming from us, you know, the kind of laughter that force your eyes to water while searching for your next breath.









A sprint back down the hill and off we go. Next stop… Vienna!

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