Life · Travel

What I made for the Anita Baker Farewell Concert!

I went to see Anita Baker with one of my oldest good-est best friends! Which of course means I had to make something cute to wear. So I made the ever popular Mccall’s 7757 view A and E.

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Then because the pants are so comfortable I made view e again in a different print and paired it with a crop top  from Simplicity 8609! I had to do major surgery on this top though because the finished measurements were 6″ smaller than my bust size.

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The sleeve seam detail was perfect and the pattern went together easily after a full bust adjustment.

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Here I am the day of the concert dressed and ready to go! Getting my obligatory mirror selfie in for the ‘gram. I headed downstairs to meet my friend and that’s when I realized—this outfit is not going to work for this day.

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RAIN and cool temps were in the forecast until 10pm.

So first, I tried to just switch out my pants and shoes and add a cardigan

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That didn’t last long. Because it was too cool and the cardigan i was wearing was too thin and it just wasn’t working. But it’s Anita! So onto plan c.

Old Navy provided me with a water resistant jacket and a cute sweatshirt that literally spoke some positivity and sunshine into the dreary rainy day.

And dammit we went back to the festival grounds dressed appropriately for the weather, armed with out stadium chairs and umbrellas and camped out in the rain waiting on ANITA BAKER!

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While we waited we saw Tevin Campbell, Brandi, Damian Escobar, a tribute to Phyllis Hyman performed by various artist including THE Rachelle Farrell and Regina Bell, Bob James and then the rain stopped, TEN MINUTES BEFORE the QUEEN hit the stage and SANG her face off!

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We sang and danced along with along  with Anita until the show was over and we had to go home.  Great trip with a great friend!

 

 

Travel

How I flew to the DMV for $11.20

A few years ago I got hip to the credit card miles and points game and now can use my points for at least 2 round- trip flights per year. For a family of 4 this is a big deal! Typically, we use our miles for our bigger vacations (spring and Christmas) to cover the cost of at least one of our round-trip flights. However, in this time I flew solo to catch Anita Baker on her Farewell tour.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So how do we accumulate points?

We use our credit card for all our travel and miscellaneous purchases. My Southwest card gives you 2 points for every travel related purchase and 1 point for all others. Southwest also adds points to your account on every anniversary.

Now, I will say that we fly Frontier Airlines a lot! From our city we can get to the Orlando area, Vegas, Los Angeles for less than $400 for all 4 of us. We still earn points on those flights on our southwest rapid rewards account. Which we use for destinations that Frontier doesn’t serve.

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We also have a Capital One credit card that gives you points that you can redeem for gift cards, flights, hotels or cash back in the form of a check or bill credit. This card we typically use while on vacation and apply the points to our statement credit to offset some of our spending.

We could earn a lot more rapid reward points if we switched and began to pay all our monthly bills using the card. However, that is still just outside of my comfort level. Maybe one day!

As someone who once struggled to the point of bankruptcy with poor spending habits, I advise you to monitor your credit card spending carefully. It doesn’t take long to rack up debt, which defeats the purpose of points and credit card rewards. With that said, monitor your spending. Don’t buy more than you can pay off in a billing cycle. If you do have to carry a balance on your credit card, try to keep it under 30%. Let me add — I am only sharing what has worked for me.

Travel

Travel Essentials for a Family of 4

Since we’ve been traveling as a family of 4 I’ve discovered that what I consider as essentials for travel solo vs. travel as a family of 4 is significantly different. So, ive decided to share with you my must haves for traveling.

  1. First up here’s what I need when my family travels:snack bags for each of my kids. Snacks saves lives on flights. Take my word for it! We bring easy snacks like GoGo Squeeze apple sauce, fruit snacks, cutie/tangerine, cheezits, etc. Snacks they like but don’t have too much sugar.
  2. Tablets and head phones. My kiddos have duel port headphones. We use these for the times when they want to watch the same videos. You can find the headphones HERE.
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duel headphones in action

3. Cleaning supplies like Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. You have got to wipe down those airline tray tables and seats. Nastiness happens in those seats!

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4. Mini first aid kit — because I have boys who like to explore scrapes happen so we keep band-aids and antiseptic on deck

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5. Passports and other travel documents. I purchased an RFID passport holder that fits all of our travel docs and identification in one convenient place. I have this one in navy blue.

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We have been fortunate, our kids are really good travelers. They have been pretty even-keel even when we’ve had travel mishaps like missed and red eye flights. They are entertained pretty easily. Not to say they never lose their shit, but they tend to save it until we are trapped in a car or at a hotel room. I figure at least then they are only getting on MY nerves and not the person in seat 16c.

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  • entertaining themselves while mommy shops.
Life · Travel

Las Vegas with kids

This year for my kiddos spring break we went to Las Vegas. I’ve heard that vegas could be fun for families, and with a great flight deal from Frontier airlines, we set out to discover just how much fun it would be!

Flight: $680 for 4 roundtrip adult seats. We checked 1 large bag and each carried on personal items in our backpacks.

Hotel: $286. We used groupon for a 3 night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. And we booked an additional night at the Rio All-Suites hotel, because our return flight didn’t leave until midnight.

Rental Car: $96. We picked up a rental from Enterprise on our last full day to explore the areas surrounding Vegas.

Trip total $1,062 for a family of four for a 5 day 4 night stay in Las Vegas.

If you’d prefer to watch rather than read what we did visit our YouTube channel Vegas Vecation Travel Day

Our Itenary:

Day 1

We had breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. The portions there are HUGE. My kids could have totally eaten off my plate. We each wanted something different though. So there was a smorgasbord of breakfast at our table.

Don’t purchase the souvenir tractors. They are clunky and don’t do anything special. We bought two and “forgot” them at the hotel.

We did the most of our walking on this day. My 2 year napped in the umbrella stroller.

We visited the Venetian Hotel. It’s so pretty. We also took a gondola ride. It’s pricey, but the kids enjoyed th experience and the Gondelier made it special for them!

We also went the mall, had sorbet and had just enjoyed walking in and out of the various hotels.

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Day 2:

We went to the M&M Factory. Had breakfast at Lucky’s 24/7 Diner in the Hard Rock. And ziplined on Fremont Street.

Day 3:

I went CVS and basically back to bed because of a sinus infection. The boys spent the day at Circus Circus and Adventuredome. And we had dinner at Forte Pizza. Being that I was feeling really crappy, there wasn’t much evidence of this day. But you see the little that I captured on YouTube

Day 4:

Pumped full of antibiotics. I picked up the car and off we went on seriously the most scenic ride ever to Red Rock Canyon.

There aren’t many words to describe the beauty of this place.

Then we stopped for lunch before heading to the Hoover Dam.

Megatron wasn’t there.

We packed a lot into this vacation and would have done a lot more if it weren’t for me needing to take a break.

I’d definitely go back to vegas both with and without kids. I would like to drive to the Grand Canyon the next time we are there.

Travel

World’s of fun!