Our Favourite Family Vacation Destination-Ko Olina Oahu

Ever since We first visited O’ahu we fell in love with Ko Olina and have since gone back every year! When my mother in law first discovered The Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort, my then fiancé and I were in our 20’s without children and ever since, we’ve been back. We’ve just recently finished a trip with our now two and four year old to give you an idea of how long we’ve been loving this special piece of heaven. It was perfect for us before kids and even more perfect for us now.

30 minutes from the airport situated on a gorgeous lagoon on the west side of Oahu, is Ko Olina. The resort area is a gorgeous place that is home to the Four Seasons, Disney’s Aulani, the Marriott, and the Beach Villas, where we stayed. The Beach Villas Resort currently has one whole lagoon to itself, which is amazing because you never have to fight for a spot on the beach! What’s also great is that you’re able to visit another popular destination called the North Shore in under an hour as well as Waikiki, and other popular destinations like Pearl Harbour.

The Lagoon

The beach villas are perfect for families. They come in two or three bedroom suites with two full bathrooms, a high-end kitchen, and a patio big enough to fit the entire family! The kitchen is fully stocked with all the pots, pans, and utensils you would need. Laundry machines are also provided in each villa. Both bathrooms and bedrooms are very spacious, and the sofa bed provides the extra space to sleep 6 or 8 if needed. Beach chairs, boogie boards, floats, and snorkeling equipment was also provided. You don’t have to buy a thing! You can also email ahead of time if you’re travelling with a baby and they’ll provide a pack n play and a high hair.

Jake in our room with a broken foot. Luckily the room provided a stroller for us!

The beaches are as beautiful as it gets. The water is crystal clear just like you see in travel magazines or photos. And the best part is that they are quiet and not packed with people. You can snorkel in the lagoons and because they are man made they are protected from sharks and giant waves and currents.

The pools on the property are stunning and once again you don’t have to fight to get a seat by the pool. There’s a lap pool as well as several mini pools amongst beautiful landscaping and a little sandy pool for kids that they can stand and play in.

The Kid Pool

The property also has a fully equipped gym, a fully stocked tiki bar and tons of poi fish ponds surrounding the gardens.

The Tiki Bar
Mai Tai
yum!!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, Costco, Target, Marshalls, TJ Max and Ross are 5 minutes away!!!!

As you can see we love it here and we highly recommend it!

Follow the link below to book your trip!

https://www.vrbo.com/en-ca/search/keywords:ko-olina-beach-villas-resort-kapolei-oahu-hi-usa?petIncluded=false&ssr=true

Palm Springs with Kids

Recently my family and I took a trip to Palm Springs, something we do at least once a year. I think a lot of people think of Palm Springs as the place where Grandma and Grandpa go to retire and play golf but it actually is perfect for kids. We always stay in the Palm Desert area in the city of La Quinta. Palm Desert is a popular place for Vancouverites to go as it is super close only about a two and a half hour trip from Vancouver Canada by plane. If you’re looking for a low-key easy-going trip with your children I highly suggest Palm Springs.

 We usually VRBO a house but there are also fantastic hotels that are kid friendly all over the place. We personally like to stay in a house because the kids have unlimited access to a pool, we have access to a kitchen and we can stay home and barbeque and drink margaritas! Also, it is only about two hours away from Disneyland! 

If you’re visiting Palm Springs for the first time with kids, here are a few great places to take the kids while you’re there. 

The Living Desert Zoo

https://www.livingdesert.org

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This zoo is pretty cool! They actually have giraffes, just an example of many of the exotic animals. They do a scheduled feeding where you can literally get inches away from them. There are lots of places for your little ones to run and explore but just remember it can get quite hot as it is in the desert so a hat is a must as well as lots of sunscreen.

The Palm Springs Air Museum

This is a great museum that primarily focusses on World War II era aviation. It has a fantastic collection of historic planes. This museum is a must see for any child that loves planes and anything that moves!

Cabazon Dinosaurs

https://www.cabazondinosaurs.com

These dinosaurs are a must see! They are life size dinosaurs just perched in the middle of nowhere in the desert. You can actually climb into one of the dinosaurs mouth and take a picture.

The Children’s Discovery Museum

Home

This is a great museum that is packed with exhibits for kids to explore and learn. Kids of all ages will enjoy this.

Palm Desert Aquatic Centre

http://www.pdpool.com

If you need a change from your hotel pool or your house pool the aquatic centre is a great place for kids to be able to splash around and play in a variety of pools that have waterslides, diving boards, a splash playground and a toddler pool.

The Jackalope Ranch

https://www.thejackaloperanch.com

Palm Springs is definitely not short on fantastic restaurants but one of our favourites to go with our kids it’s called the Jackalope Ranch. Parents can sit and enjoy a giant margarita and a delicious meal while the kids run and play on the beautiful grass decorated with gorgeous rocks and waterfalls. They also have a great kids menu!

ALSO, if you’re planning on tying in Disney Land visit our stories on instagram and watch Stina at the HoJo. She has fantastic tips on navigating your way through a Disney Trip. @themindfullmommies

Pictures from Our Own Trip

Happy Traveling!


Date Night!

It’s Thursday! And in our family it also means Date Night! I grew up watching my parents rarely miss a date night once a week. It was so important to them to make time for each other and even more important for us as their kids to see it. It must have worked because they have been married for 45+ years! It definitely created a sense of security in my life seeing my parents show their love for one another and putting aside one night a week without the kids to entirely devote to their relationship. In growing up with this I have realized that it might be one of the most important investments we can make for our relationship and the happiness of our family. ⁣

My husband and I have been carrying on the same tradition that we saw growing up with our families. Sometimes it’s not always easy with two small kids and the responsibilities and daily life but it’s an opportunity to catch up on the ups and downs of the week, a time to listen to each other, share our concerns, plan our goals for our family and just time to regroup, recharge and reignite the romance.⁣

Hygge

“Hygge” I’m sure youve heard this word before. It seems to be the latest craze. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word for the art of coziness. A word used to describe a feeling or a moment.

Did you know that both Stina and I are Scandinavian? Stina is of Danish heritage and I am of Norwegian heritage, however I never heard of hygge until I married into a Danish family. We definitely practiced hygge, candles were lit, the fire was on, cozy blankets were around and there was always lots of family but I never actually knew there was a name for this.

When I met my husband’s family I began a whole new appreciation for the meaning of hygge and it didn’t take long before I was regularly practicing it in my house and with my own family.

Here we are having a very hyggelig evening. ⁣
(Cozy, homy, delightfully intimate, often at home with candle lights and warm blankets) ⁣

Today I Almost Threw in the Parenting Towel

Today I almost threw in the parent towel. I went to pick my children up from the spring camp that I had signed them up for. I thought today will be the day I will walk in and I’ll be able to do it without the stroller. We made it in fine with a little struggle. My arms were full with bags and I had a toddler on my hip and one holding my hand but we made it in. When the camp was over I went to pick them up and brought them out and we made our way slowly to the car.

As we were leaving and walking down the steps, all of a sudden whining started to happen, snacks were being requested and they wanted a treat from the store inside the building. I had nothing for them and I definitely was not going to stop for a treat while my hands were full. I thought “Oh no here we go! “I could feel an epic meltdown coming on. So as we walked out to the parking lot I continued to remind them that that we would have a snack when we got to the car but that wasn’t enough. Both, at the EXACT SAME TIME dropped to their knees in the middle of the parking lot and started kicking and screaming. Cars were coming from all directions and my hands were completely full with bags and of course spring art projects that they had made at their camp. I literally froze and didn’t know what to do. I thought to myself, “ How am I going to make it to the car without looking like I am kidnapping these children or that I’m a complete failure as a mother and I have no control over my children?”

As I was trying to pick up the pieces, this lovely lady noticed my struggle and came over, tapped me on the shoulder and in the sweetest voice like an angel from the heavens said, “Can I help you?” I looked at her with I’m sure a look of relief and said, “Yes please. “ as she grabbed one of my kids and I grab the other we made it back to the car.

She talked to me and told me about how she remembers these times and that she was in my place 30 years ago. She said it’s one of the hardest times but you will get through it and you’ll look back and actually miss it. So thank you to the lady from the heavens because who knows what would have happened.

What a great reminder. Instead of judging people ask how you can help.