Life in Photos

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Trying to Get Out of Vacation Mode

It’s too quiet. This is a phrase I’ve rarely uttered in the past 2.5 years, but today, in the still of the afternoon heat with Aveline asleep to the hum of the fan, and the house strangely Lauren-less, I find myself whispering, “It’s too quiet.”

My second cuppa gone, I try writing a to-do list, but it’s hard to get back into working mode after so much time off. A whole month in Minnesota — and week here with my best friend — definitely spoiled me.

Starbucks and Fries Apartment Stairway Mexican Blanket and Books on Floor Intentional Blur Self Portrait

What do you do to get back into the groove after time off?

Summer Vacation Tour

TRAVEL :: Heidelberg, Germany with Amanda: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour

So far on this virtual travel series, we’ve explored two cities in Germany — Frankfurt and Hamburg, thanks to Sylvia (Artsy Ants) and Alyx (Every Day is a New Adventure). Today, we add a third to the list, as Amanda tells us all about living in Heidelberg!


A bit more about Amanda
I grew up in Ohio and moved to Florida a couple months after I turned 23. I lived there for three years and didn’t really plan on leaving. Then I met my husband, a medic in the Army, who was stationed in Georgia. I moved there the month after we got married. To our surprise, a month later, we found out we had orders to Heidelberg, Germany. Three months later, we were living here. So far, we have explored Heidelberg and several cities in Germany, and we plan to visit several more. We also plan to visit other countries, although we haven’t gotten to do so yet. I blog about our life and travels abroad at Overseas Adventures. Today, I’ll tell you a few of my favorite things about living here.
Continue reading “TRAVEL :: Heidelberg, Germany with Amanda: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour”


TRAVEL :: Long Live Summer: San Francisco with my Sister

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly’s Long Live Summer photo contest.

When I was in Sacramento recently, my sister(in-law) and I spent a day in San Francisco. Orlando in July is, like Jim Gaffigan says, truly like the surface of the sun, so it felt SO good to put on a jacket and escape into a cool Bay Area summer. There’s nothing in the world like that Pacific air! And Grandma watched Aveline, so it was just sister and I playing tourists in our own backyard. (Well, her current backyard. My old one.)

Window Display in Union Square, photo via Oaxacaborn dot comDoesn’t this look like a still from a movie? I wish I had paid attention to which storefront this was. Does anyone know? Union Square is gorgeous, by the way — as is the walk from where the Powell-Mason cable car line starts, to the top of Nob Hill.
Shopping in Decades of Fashion on Haight Street in San Francisco, photo via Oaxacaborn dot comAh, this was so fun — Decades of Fashion on Haight Street. Literally a century’s worth of clothing here, all the way back to 1880. They had a ton of beaded flapper dresses from the 1920s, you guys! on Haight Street with IRLOMashup card from TicoandTina dot com, photo via Oaxacaborn dot comAnd yes, of course we had to venture into the Lower Haight and snap some obligatory pictures next to street art. ;) The card I’m holding is part of’s clever race to see which team’s card will travel the most miles!

Powell Street in San Francisco, photo via Oaxacaborn dot com

Ah, now I have a serious hankering to go back. Actually, who am I kidding? I am ALWAYS in the mood for California. ♥

Guest Blog, Summer Vacation Tour, Travel/Moving

TRAVEL :: San Antonio with Amanda: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour

Most of the recent Summer Vacation Tour stops have been outside of the U.S. Today, though, Amanda of is taking us on a thoroughly American tour of San Antonio, Texas. (P.S., Amanda? You’re a natural at this travel writing stuff!)


A little more about Amanda

My husband and I want to be citizens of the world and travel the globe with our 3 young children. However, my heart will always belong to Texas. I grew up near Houston, TX, but now I have lived in San Antonio, TX for 14 years. This is where most of my family lives and where I have made lifelong friends. Let me tell you about where I hang my hat (or where I would if I wore a hat).
Continue reading “TRAVEL :: San Antonio with Amanda: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour”

Guest Blog, Summer Vacation Tour, Travel/Moving

TRAVEL :: Costa Rica with Tico♥Tina: A Stop on the Summer Vacation Tour

You are fantastic, readers — thank you for the great feedback on the travel series so far! Keep the comments, tweets and shares coming. I appreciate every single one!

Today we’re leaving Europe briefly to virtually travel to Latin America. Our guest blogger has a lot to say on the topic, especially when it comes to Costa Rica…


Tico♥Tina - Top 5 Things to Love About Costa Rica

A little more about Tina
My husband is half Tico (Costa Rican), and grew up there until he was 20 years old, when he came to the States and promptly met me! :) Our love story is, of course, a long one with many ups and downs, but we eventually made it! And now we’re a passionately creative multicultural family who believes everyone should live an adventure. We’re on a mission to inspire people to go after their dreams, and we’re sharing our crazy journey on our blog, hoping to encourage others along the way.

Being self-employed and location independent has allowed part of our journey to be Costa Rica, where we have spent two of our winters so far on some pretty great “workations”. I wanted to feature Costa Rica because I hope to someday have dual citizenship there! My husband is already a citizen of both Costa Rica and the United States, and on our trip this past winter we went through the process to make our kids dual citizens as well. So now I am the only one in our little family who isn’t Costa Rican, and I can’t wait to change that :)

Tina’s top five things to love about Costa Rica

Why is Costa Rica a completely awesome and amazing country?

  1. It’s so DIVERSE! You can go to the mountains, the beach, volcanoes, or the jungle all within a couple hours of each other. There is a compelling mix of extravagant luxury and extreme poverty that constantly confounds and fascinates your senses.
  2. It is BEAUTIFUL. Insanely, breathtakingly, amazingly beautiful. God really pulled out all the stops when he created Costa Rica :)
  3. The FOOD. We live for garden season here in the States, so being able to go to the feria (farmers’ market) with its huge smorgasboard of fresh fruits and vegetables every Saturday is one of the highlights of living in Costa Rica!
  4. The pace of LIFE is so refreshing compared to the insanity of living in the US. I don’t really quite know what it is, because it’s not like Costa Ricans aren’t busy, but somehow it’s so much easier to relax there. Just the fact that they tend to have a coffee break every afternoon? Yeah, that :)
  5. It’s SEXY. Seriously … sorry, I don’t know how else to say it :)

Tico♥Tina - Top 5 Things to Love About Costa Rica
Tico♥Tina - Top 5 Things to Love About Costa Rica
Tico♥Tina - Top 5 Things to Love About Costa Rica
Tico♥Tina - Top 5 Things to Love About Costa RicaFeel free to come visit us at Tico♥Tina and follow our myriad adventures!
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This post is a part of the Summer Vacation Tour, a virtual travel series hosted here on To ‘travel’ to other locations while I’m taking a brief break from blogging, click here. (Want to be featured in the future? Email me!)