Wednesday, September 23, 2009

London and Scotland: Part 1

Our trip to London/Scotland was upwards of 2 months ago. So I'm not sure what I was waiting on in getting this post up. I think life got in the way. When we arrived home from London after travelling for too long we came home to a house with no air (for the 2nd time) and woke up the next morning to a sick child. Olivia and I both got the flu, I started a new job and now it is almost October. Here we go....

If you know me at all you know that I take tons of pictures of everything I do. And that number has quadrupled when it comes to Olivia. Therefore, tons of pics from the trip. Which means that you will get to see several posts from this trip. And b/c I simply don't have the patience to upload all the pics I want to in one sitting.

It all started when the US Airways flight went down in the Hudson. It was a tragic thing and thank goodness no one was hurt. But something for you to know is that when tragic things like that happen....airlines put tickets on a major sale. It's sick I know. But we took advantage of it and bought cheap tickets before Olivia was even born. And seeing at the time we didn't know that Olivia would have such a great personality and be a good traveler I made Shawn buy insurance on them in case we had to cancel. Our trip was a success and we really had such a great time.

We chose London b/c we had both been there several times and were pretty familiar with it and wanted a place like that since we were travelling abroad with the baby for the first time. But still had things we wanted to do and see there.

Many people looked at us like we belonged at the crazy farm for flying that long with a baby voluntarily. But we agreed when getting pregnant that we wanted to keep travelling and wanted our kids to be cultured and get to see and do as much as possible. And I knew that unless she went through a complete personality change she would be fine flying. And she was.

We stayed in Nashville the night before so we would have to add any additional travel time on that day and it was great. We played all morning and didn't have to allow 2 hours driving time to the airport. Nville to Charlotte she slept and then we got on the big bird to London Gatwick. The flight was overnight and she probably slept 6 of the 7.5 hours. Now this was not a deep sleep and she would wake up fairly often and fuss for a second and go back to sleep. We switched off holding her and didn't get to eat much or pee....but it was almost ideal. When we landed the lady sitting right across from us said (in a great English accent)..."You're a designer baby really. My boys screamed through all flights." I assume designer baby is good:)

We arrived, cleared customs, and walked straight to our hotel, the Hilton Gatwick. Some pics are below and more later!!!

Before heading to the airport. Shawn was reading the paper and apparently someone else needed to know the headlines too.

One of the smartest things I did on the trip. I bought 2 twin sized $3 sheets at Walmart. I cut them each in half and had 4 "blankets" to take with us to put on floors. I threw them away after a day or two so we wouldn't have to reuse what had been on the airport floors. This let her crawl around w/o me worrying about germs and took up hardly any space in the suitcase!!!

We have arrived, took a nap, took shower, and are ready to hit the ground running!

I thought this was a cool pic. We were at Harrod's and the sky was very cool against the building.

The famous red telephone booths. I ALWAYS have my pic made in front of these! The irony is that they are always disgusting inside and always have inappropriate pics people have put in them.

Day 2 I think? We are strapping her in for the walk to the train. I cannot even explain what a good traveler she was.

We really tried to go to areas we had never been and this pic is in Notting Hill. I had always wanted to go and it was great! They have a famous Portabella Road flea market and it was really cool. Interesting stuff and a great atmosphere. This was a beautiful area of London and I wouldn't mind staying there next time.

Gotta love public restrooms! The cool thing about this is that when someone finishes and leaves water shoots out from everywhere and disinfects it. It was probably one of the cleanest public restrooms I've ever been in. This is one of the many reasons I love Europe.

We are chilling in Kensington Gardens here. Isn't she precious???? We tried to find parks to take breaks in around feeding time. It gave me privacy and let her crawl around and gave us a good spot to change diapers. And it was actually nice to have a slower change of pace on trips than we normally do.

Family shot....Kensington again

So we have moved on from the gardens and are in front of Kensington Palace now. We didn't go in this time but my first visit to London we toured here and it is great. They were doing an amazing display of Princess Diana's dresses. I highly recommend going here! If you look close you can see that Olivia is asleep in her carrier on me. After the first day or so she got used to the fact that when it was nap time we would put her in the carrier facing in and she would go to sleep quickly. I was amazed that the loud noise of the city never bothered her. My scarves came in handy b/c I would use them to cover her!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Annual LaborDayFest

Every Labor Day my mom's family gets together. We always have an amazing time and I think everyone feels blessed to have such a big, fun family. I think this year was one of the biggest b/c some of the cousins who live the furthest got to come. Now that Shawn and I are living in KY we got to host some of my fam at the house and ended up with 5 babies age 2 and under and 9 adults! Now THAT makes for an interesting weekend:) It was chaotic but we had a blast and I was not ready to tell everyone bye. I've uploaded a bunch of pics and will let them speak for themselves.

FYI...don't drink the water b/c there is an unbelieveable amount of babies in this family! By the way...did anyone make it home with our remote???

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ode to Sephora

One of my favorite places ever to shop (or just to look) is Sephora. It is a meccca for makeup, hair, and body products. And there is something about "beauty products" that I just adore. And while I prefer to pay more along the line of WalMart's prices....I will shell it out if it promises to change my life (or hair/skin/face). I get mesmerized by the pretty packaging and the promises to make your skin glow, make your eyelashes long and full, or to make your hair shiny. Does this sound bizarre? Because I'm 100% serious.

Oh and the best part...when I was there a couple of weeks ago and gave them my shopper card they said...oh Mrs. S, you had a birthday and we have a gift for you. What!?!?! I could hardly contain my excitement as they gave me a FREE gift of lip glosses that I now love. So I'm listing some of my favorite Sephora products.

Christian Dior "Diorshow" Mascara. Thanks to my mom I have very fair eyelashes and not that many of them. This mascara is amazing and is well worth the money. However, due to the fact that I have decided that Sephora has a new expensive foundation that I can't live without I have decided to go on a brief hiatus from purchasing this.

And I'm now using this. It hails from WalMart and only cost me $7. It is actually really good and might be a keeper. I will always have a special place in my heart for Diorshow but this is def good competition.

The latest and greatest find is this HD Makeup Forever. It's supposed to make you look good on camera....for all those times I'm on camera. But I truly love this. The person helping me took my makeup off and put this on and it changed my life. But along with this I had to by the makeup brush that helped to change my life. I opted not to buy the expensive primer and now realize that it helped the life changing process as well. But I still love it.

One of my other fave things is this Urban Decay eyeshadow primer. You may wonder why in the world you would need eyeshadow primer. Well, I generally use very cheap eyeshadow or whatever comes in a free gift and therefore it rubs/fades off by like 10am. Not anymore:) This stuff is great.

At this point I'm going to call it a night b/c this is getting a bit ridiculous and I could go on forever. But it is 10:20pm which is way past my bedtime.

One last thing you should know is that she had Avacados for the first time tonight and unfortunately loved them. These are the most expensive and disgusting vegetables. I could have gagged feeding her but am trying to be open minded and feed her things even though I don't like. Avocados....but not bananas? Whatever.