Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Best Museums

When people ask why we picked North Carolina to relocate to, I have been known to answer with "The museums! There are so many incredible museums!"

I know, it sounds silly. And you probably think I'm joking. But I'm not. Then again, you asked me why we picked North Carolina, had you asked my husband I suppose he would have given you a more serious answer.

During our brief season of living in Dover, New Hampshire, we lived walking distance from the Children's Museum. It made sense to buy a membership and it was worth e.v.e.r.y. penny. Fast forward a few months to us being on the road full time in our RV and we had used our museum membership in several states and at nearly a dozen museums!

The school year 2016-2017 was named "The year of the museums" in our family... (okay, obviously I'm the only one who called it that.)

This year, as Timehop reminds me of the adventures, I have a longing in me to explore ALL the museums that I can again. Recently, I realized that I hadn't blogged about those experiences/ adventures from last year. And apparently, if I haven't blogged about them, were they even that meaningful? ( I'm just kidding. )

Last year was one for the books.

We lived in an RV, relocated, settled in to a new community and learned to rest. It was a good good year. But I hardly wrote about it because for me, during that season, resting meant very little internet access, watching the three Night at the Museum movies on repeat (the irony, I know!), doing a dozen puzzles, crocheting my heart out and learning to just be present. 

We went over a year and a half without regular streaming internet. 

And it was glorious. 
I read/ listened to more books during those 18 months than I had in the last decade. 
And now that we have had internet for the last few months I realize something- we weren't really missing anything. 

This is your warning blog post!

I will be sharing about some of my favorite museums that we have ventured to, I will try not to totally history geek out on you when I write about Williamsburg #swoon.

I don't want to go to Disney, I just want to go back to Williamsburg!!!

I would love to hear of some of your favorite museums!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

When your husband has to go to Hilton Head Island for work...

My husband does a professional bicycle stunt show and it has taken us to some pretty cool places. In January, he attended a convention (January= fair convention month. Most of his events are booked at these.) on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, so we decided to make a family trip out of it! 

On our way, we spent our first two nights visiting dear friends and their foster kids near Charleston, South Carolina. The next two nights we used Airbnb to stay near Hilton Head Island, allowing us easy access to both Hilton Head and Savannah.

Yes, it was January. 
Yes, it was cold. 
But really, we are native New Englander's... so it really wasn't that bad.
We had a blast checking out the Island, gathering nearly 30 sand dollars (and releasing them), digging our feet in the cool sand, and ending the brisk night doing a dance by the fire at the convention resort. 

A few tips on how we made exploring Hilton Head Island affordable- 
(Note, we just explored one day)
- Airbnb is where it is at! 
We stayed two nights at $60 a night but we had $60 in Airbnb credit from referrals. The resort that the convention was at was about $110 per night, so we saved $160 in lodging. 
- We checked out a local Lidl grocery store and bought snacks and food for the day of exploring and the long drive.
- I searched out "kid friendly things to do" on Google!
- We visited a free animal farm called Lawton Stables. It was beautiful, fun and had nice restrooms. We bought a bag of feed to give to the animals and it was a blast! 
You pay $6  CASH to get onto this part of the Island. It was located within Sea Pines Plantation- basically the main busy road suddenly comes to a toll, so be ready. It's a 5,000+ acre gated community. (As a former Full Time RVer heads up! No RV's!)

It was rather fun to have the beach to ourselves! All the palm trees, alligator (ahhh!), birds and plants made it feel like a totally different world. Exploring Savannah the next day really made it a nice break away as a family. 
Melt my heart! He wrote his name in the sand by himself!

He wanting to bring some sand home to play with.

Visiting Lawton Stables

This sweet horse! His head was SO big!

Our Airbnb had sand toys that we could use!

Hiking a trail that honestly wasn't that exciting. 

My fire dancing children.

At the end of a long day outside exploring, we did school work in the resort lobby waiting for Daddy to finish up.

I'm kind of obsessed with how stinking cute they are when they sleep together! (Airbnb travel for the win!)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Beauty for Ashes Nepal

I had been in the country for less than 24 hours when I was asked, "would you mind leading morning devotions with our women at Beauty for Ashes?" I came prepared with a few talks, knowing that as a guest I would be asked on occasion to "share a word."

Those words that I had prepared, in faith, weeks before were so uniquely applicable that morning, for those women, and my own heart on day 5 in the country. This is the heart of the business-

"We believe poverty is one of the main problems that fuels human trafficking in the world today. To combat this problem, we employ women who are marginalized and those escaping exploitative situations. Our goal is to not only produce stylish and quality wholesale products for you to enjoy, but also to change the lives of the women who make these products by providing a work environment that is Christ-centered and family-oriented."

Meeting the artisans of this company was one of the most memorable experiences. I was able to purchase Christmas gifts for family and friends back home in their show room. Below I'll share a few of my favorite items that I bought!

Go follow Beauty for Ashes on Facebook and Instagram

I wasn't able to capture pictures inside the building but I did snap this one. I had 30 minutes to spare and asked for a project to work on. They had me roll a heaping pile of saris into bundles to be re-purposed.

My absolute favorite accessory has been these headbands made of re-purposed saris. I bought a few, to give as gifts. I should have bought more! I don't want to part with any of them! 
Grab yours at Trade for Freedom. 

I don't have any good photos of me wearing my pair, so I pulled these from the Latitudes website.

I bought each of my nieces a Surrender Bracelet crafted with re-purposed sari material.

It was hard to wait until Christmas to gift these precious Elephant Earrings to Abigail.
I got three pairs (1 gold, 2 silver) of these beautiful Turquise Wrapped Post earrings for my Mom and two of my sisters as Christmas gifts.

Go to these two shops online to find a web store where you can purchase items made at Beauty from Ashes Nepal.

If you are looking for a fair trade business to co-brand with or create custom pieces, connect with Beauty for Ashes Nepal
They work with Love Justice to create these beautiful bracelets Love Justice bracelet

{I was not paid or gifted in any way to write about this business, or any other business that I visited in Nepal.}