The Best Beaches of Martha’s Vineyard

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Here is a run down of the top beaches on Martha’s Vineyard, take your pick, they are all amazing.  Edgartown and Oak Bluffs have the most accessible public beaches, if you are planning your vacay and want to be near the beach, plan to stay in one of these two towns.

South Beach
The best all around beach on Martha’s Vineyard is South Beach, 3 miles outside of Edgartown.  South beach is accessible by both bus and bike route.  It is a beautiful white sand beach with moderate waves.  Classic New England and one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.  There is a one mile stretch of the beach (along Atlantic Drive), that has lifeguards and facilities (port-a-potties).  You can access additional (less crowded) parts of the beach, if you buy an oversand permit for your SUV.  The waves and currents can be strong at south beach, so this is not always the best beach for young kids.  We usually bring a big shovel and dig a mini kiddie pool up from the shore break to give our toddlers a place to play in the water.  For bigger kids, bring the boogie boards, the waves are awesome.  There are no places to buy food/beverages near the beach, so stock up on picnic supplies at the Katama General Store on your way out, or visit the Right Fork Diner for lunch and watch the old planes take off and land (about 1 mile away on Herring Creek Road).

Top 5 Activities in Singapore With Kids

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Singapore has so many different activities to offer, it is hard to decide what you want to do.  We love getting outdoors (regardless of the Singapore heat), so spent our week there, in May, partaking in all the great outdoor opportunities that existed.  A couple of tips before you decide exactly where you are going and what you want to do:

Wanderlust Photo Diary: Singapore Gardens by the Bay

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The Gardens by the Bay were the highlight of our trip to Singapore.  There is such a variety of activities in the gardens, that we visited every day of our five day trip, and still felt like there was more to do.   The Gardens were finished in 2012.  As part of the Singapore government’s desire to turn Singapore into a “City in a Garden”, they held a competition to create a design for the Gardens by the Bay space.  The results is a stunning 250 acre park that is largely free to the public and full of fantastical sights (Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, and Supertree walkway require tickets).

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies You Will EVER Make

I am not one to brag about my recipes.  I enjoy cooking and cook a lot, but there are not a lot of things I make that are my “signature best”, except for my chocolate chip cookies.  (Trust me, and if you don’t trust me, ask any of my friends, family members, or co-workers.) Chocolate Chip Cookies are probably my biggest weakness.  Nothing beats a great chocolate chip cookie.  Whether it is homemade or from a bakery, I am not too picky, I love them all.  Here is my (now not-so-secret) recipe for the BEST home made chocolate chip cookies you will ever make, adapted from the Quaker Oats recipe, with a few key modifications.

Minimalist Mom: How to Declutter With Kids

IMG_6530A few years ago, I discovered “minimalism”.  Not that I became a minimalist, but I started to learn more about minimalism and embrace it in small ways.  Maybe it was a reaction to having kids and all the “stuff” that comes with them, or maybe it was just defining something that already resonated with my core beliefs.  Either way, I find it really inspirational.  Minimalism at its core is about decluttering your life of the unimportant things/activities so you can focus on what is important and lead a more intentional life.

Wanderlust Photo Diary: Bhutan

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We were lucky enough to be able to go to Bhutan in 2008.  With the recent royals visit to the country, I was reminded of what a great trip it was and  wanted to share some of my favorite pics from our Hope Pre-Kids trip there.   Bhutan is one of the 25 least touristed countries in the world.  The Bhutanese government purposely limits the number of tourists by requiring you have a guide and imposing a daily fee of $250 per tourist to cover accommodations, food, and services.  The goal of this is fewer “higher value” tourists and less impact on local culture and environment.  On the personal level, it feels very “untouristy” and authentically Bhutanese; I hope they are able to keep this feeling forever.  Bhutan is known for its adventure trekking (not us), hiking, unique culture, and festivals.

What Surprised Me Most About Singapore

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Singapore has not always been on my wanderlust wish list.  I didn’t know much about it, but I also hadn’t had a lot of friends or family members who had visited and raved about it.  We decided to go to Singapore because Mr. H had a conference there (this tends to dictate a lot of our travel destinations) and the kids and I had never been.  I figured why not?

Once we decided that we were going as a family, I started asking around to get friends and family member’s ideas of what to do in Singapore.  What were the must see sights?  What experiences had people had that they loved?  I was disappointed to hear that it was primarily shopping and eating.  “The Singapore malls are AMAZING!” “There is great dining.”  “Shopping and eating are a national sport in Singapore.”

San Francisco Weekend Fun: SFMOMA

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently reopened after being closed for three years.  The newly expanded space is now the largest museum of modern art in the US!!  The new building gives ample wall space for some of the HUGE new additions that are on 100 year loan from the collection of Don and Doris Fisher.  I went to an event there this week and wanted to share some pics.  The thing I noticed the most, was that the art has its own space.  There are a ton of great LARGE works of art and they don’t feel crowded.  Many walls only have one or two pictures.  There is a lot of empty wall space, which invites meandering, to check out all the great new art.

Bali Travel Budget for a Family of Four

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Even with pretty expensive plane tickets, Bali is a relatively affordable international vacation for a family of four.  Here is a little insight into how much a week in Bali costs for mid-range accommodations and eating.  There is definitely much cheaper backpacker options for everything listed as well as much more expensive, higher end food and hotels.

Tips for Dealing with Toddler Jet Lag

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One of the big reasons I hear people talk about not wanting to travel with their toddler is jet lag.  Outside the three hour time difference from US coast to US coast, the time change for toddlers can be big from six hours from New York to Europe to nine hours from San Francisco to Europe or more if you fly to Asia.  So how do you deal with the jet lag?