Mazatlán Airbnb

I absolutely love the Airbnb studio apartment I rented for my recent trip to Mazatlan. It was in a quiet neighborhood just a few blocks from the Golden Zone, walking distance from restaurants, the beach, and public transpiration (although I still used Uber most days to get around if it was too far to walk.) 
The apartment is hosted by a lovely woman that only speaks Spanish, but her daughter manages the online bookings and speaks English very well. It is gated and secure, and fully equipped with towels, fridge, coffee pot and small kitchenette. If you prefer, you can even have it cleaned for an additional 100 pesos per day (about $5.50 US). 

It has a cute outdoor patio space, although in the 90 degree humid heat of August, I spent most of my time in the air conditioning. 

The best part is that it cost a fraction of what the hotels in the area charge. Here is a link to the listing:
I imaging the price fluctuates a little but I paid $32 US per night for my…

Knock offs

Usually I'm not the type of girl who likes knock offs. I prefer quality over quantity and would rather save up and spend more on name brand items than risk getting a sub-par product. I own a coach purse, I buy Buckle jeans, and my iPhone charging cords are Apple certified. 
However, spending hundreds of dollars on name brand perfume just isn't in my budget - at least not right now. Which is why this little perfume store was on my list of places I needed to visit on this quick trip back to Mazatlan.

It is located in centro (the downtown area) and the prices are... affordable. You select your perfume from a list provided to you at the counter. They are all in generic containers on the shelf and you can smell any of them that you like. 
My favorite right now is Coco Mademoiselle. Here is what it looks like and costs in the US.

At the perfume store in Mazatlan, you select your size and concentration, and they fill a container for you right there. 

Although I'm fairly certain the co…


Some of the things I ❤️ about Mazatlan...

👉🏼 Fresh seafood... this shrimp was probably caught this morning!  👉🏼 Tacos 🌮 (no explanation necessary)  👉🏼 Micheladas 🍻 (beer on ice with limón, spices, and my favorite addition... Clamato) 👉🏼 All if this, plus chips and salsa, for only $7.20 US
The restaurant, F.I.S.H., is located in the Golden Zone. The service was excellent and the food and drinks were just what I needed after a long morning of visiting schools and trying to get my temporary residency visa at the local immigration office. 

Stay tuned for more reasons why we love Mexico 🇲🇽

A new idea in wedding photography

I believe that pictures and videos should be the most important part of your wedding day. Everything else will fade away with time, but photographs allow you to cherish the memories forever and pass preciois heirlooms on to your children.

But wedding photography has become so expensive! 10 years ago, we spent $3,000 on our wedding photographer (about 1/3 of our total wedding budget.) Today, packages with well known professional photographers can easily cost upwards of $10,000. And in this digital day and age when everyone has a camera phone, and many of you have professional or prosumer level cameras, it is easy to cut professional photography out of your budget entirely and just rely on well-meaning friends and family to document your most important day.
But what if there was another way? Did you know that a huge portion of what you pay for professional wedding photography is attributed to what we in the photo industry call "post-processing"? It's the time us photograph…

Temporary Residency in Mexico

Almost anyone can travel from the United States to Mexico 🇲🇽 on a Tourist Visa. Usually all you need to do is fill out the paperwork on the airplane and you can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. This is what we did last winter when our family of five spent 6 months in Mazatlán. 
We enjoyed it so much that we have decided to return for an entire school year this time, in hopes of giving our kids a jump start on becoming bilingual. But to stay for longer than 6 months, and have the kids enrolled in school, we needed to apply for "residencia temporal" or temporary residency visas, instead of the tourist visa we obtained last time.
The process went relatively smoothly, aside from one minor hiccup that required an extra trip into the Mexican Consolate in downtown Portland that could have been avoided had we fully understood the instructions.
First of all, we live in Oregon (and our children were born in Oregon). I'm sure the process is different for each state. We were requir…

Being back

I've been back in Oregon for almost a month. For those of you who haven't followed our travels, my husband and I, along with our 3 kids (age 3, 6 and almost 9) spent the winter living in Mazatlán, Mexico.

(To read more about our reasons for going to Mexico to begin with, click here.)

We returned stateside 🇺🇸 in May, and while my husband had to be back here in Oregon, the kids and I were able to spend a month at my dads property in North Idaho. But now we are all back in the same area where we spent 10 years of our lives together. 
But we aren't living together. And we don't have our wedding rings 💍 on. So of course people are gonna talk. And it sucks that they have to ask my friends "what's going on with us" instead of just asking me.
But I understand that asking can be awkward too so I'm just going to do my best to explain things here:
Rob and I love each other and have probably become better friends over the last year than we have ever been throu…

Oaks Amusement Park

Looking for something fun to do with your kids while they are on summer vacation? Oaks Amusement Park in Sellwood has a two for one tickets every Tuesday. For just $15.75 I was able to get both of my kids limited ride bracelets that give them access to all the rides that are perfect for their ages. My son is 3 and my daughter is 6 (although most of the rides are based on height and not age).
The lines are shorter earlier in the day. There's lots of shade and you can bring in your own food and drinks... so pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it! Your kids will think you're the best! At least mine do ☺️
For more fun videos from our day, follow me on Instagram and view my "story" at the top! (But only for the next 24 hours!)