Author Archives: Graceful Mommy

5 REASONS PUERTO RICO NEEDS TO BE YOUR NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION

Ah.. I love traveling. It’s where we make the most memories and have the most fun. And while we love traveling with our two kids, Dave and I also love to get away for a few days just the two of us. That’s exactly what we were able to do a couple of weeks ago. And there was no better place to spend our alone time than Puerto Rico! If you haven’t been here yet, you need a trip ASAP. Here are 5 reasons why:

1// The Margaritaville Vacation Club – Wyndham Rio Mar

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know by now that I am obsessed with the Margaritaville brand. We love all of their resorts, their merchandise, the people – everything. So when we were invited to stay at the Margaritaville Vacation Club in Puerto Rico, we were SO excited! This resort is amazing. It’s located in Rio Grande – which is the perfect location in Puerto Rico – we were close to EVERYTHING. We were thirty minutes outside of San Juan, yet tucked between the rainforest and a mile of secluded Atlantic beachfront!

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

The resort had two amazing pools and several restaurants around the property. Our favorite was the 5 o’clock somewhere bar + grill.

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

Dave and I like our vacations to be more on the tranquil side, with a tiny bit of adventure mixed in, LOL. This was the perfect resort for this. 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

I loved this resort because it has studio and one-bedroom resort suites which means it has the comforts of home. We had a fridge, a microwave and even a margarita maker in the room! 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

Margaritaville Vacation Club Wyndham Rio Mar is tucked within the stunning, 500-acre Wyndham Grand® Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa.

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

The resort features miles of hiking, biking and jogging trails, beach volleyball, two championship golf courses, tennis, a fitness center, water sport rentals and much more. There are luxurious pools surrounded by cabanas, a swim-up bar, hammocks, fire pit, and hot tubs! There is even a casino – which we loveeeed! 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

2// El Yunque!

El Yunque is right across from the Margaritaville Vacation Club- Wyndham Rio Mar, which is even more of a reason to stay there! It’s the only rainforest in the United States and it is INCREDIBLE. Dave and I rented a Jeep Wrangler for our stay, and it was so amazing driving this through the rainforest. First of all, it’s completely free to enter – YA! And second of all, it was so breathtaking. The weather instantly changes when you are in it. There are tons of areas to park and then trails throughout to hike different ways. We loved every second of this and you need to add this to your bucket list. 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

3// ATVing in the foothills of El Yunque 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

Another reason to come to Puerto Rico is to go ATVing at the bottom of El Yunque. Carabali Adventure park is less than 10 minutes from The Margaritaville Vacation Club and is SO worth checking out. They don’t only offer ATVing, but they also have horseback riding, go-carts, and other fun adventure-type things! We chose the ATVing, and I am so glad we did – because it was SO much fun! We drove for an hour through the beautiful landscape – it was such a highlight of our trip!

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019 

4// Old San Juan 

Old San Juan is a MUST if you’re visiting Puerto Rico. It’s the cutest, historical city that is full of colorful buildings and so much charm. We had so much fun walking the streets and visiting different shops and restaurants. There are also the two very famous forts to visit. We unfortunately couldn’t visit them because it started pouring! But I’ve only heard amazing things! 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

5// No passport Needed! 

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, so you don’t need a passport to travel here! It’s the perfect place to visit because there is SO much to see and do yet at the same time the perfect place for a tranquil and relaxing trip. I highly recommend adding Puerto Rico to your bucket list and when you do come, stay at the Margaritaville Vacation Club – Wyndham Rio Mar, because it’s the best. 

5 REASONS TO VISIT Puerto Rico 2019

 

BALMORAL RESORT REVIEW

Balmoral Resort Florida Review


Balmoral Resort Florida Review
We just got back from a 4-night stay at the amazing Balmoral Resort in Haines City, Florida and I had to share with you all about this place! We have annual Disney passes + we also had tickets to LegoLand, so we wanted to plan a trip to visit both of these parks! The Balmoral Resort is right in the middle of both of these so we thought it would be a perfect option for us!

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort Florida Review
Balmoral Resort Florida Review

We were so, so, so pleasantly surprised at this resort! Let me tell you some of the things we loved about it.

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort is a vacation home resort and it looks like the most adorable neighborhood. They are more like a horizontal resort, vs. a high rise – and this is something I really liked about it. When traveling with 2 kids, it’s so nice to have a home feel. To me, it helps keep the kids somewhat on a routine and it just gives our family way more space!

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

We stayed in a 6-bedroom home because it was our family of four and Dave’s parents and sister. We had plenty of space and loved having this many bedrooms. Donovan + Gracie each had their own rooms, which made bedtime SO EASY! We also had a washer and dryer – yaaa!

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Another thing I love about staying at the Balmoral Resort is that we had our OWN POOL! This made every day so much fun. We could wake up and just go right to the pool! When we felt like we wanted even more adventure, we walked right over to the clubhouse. The clubhouse is amazing! They have a huge, heated pool and then they have this adorable kids area with slides and even a splash pad! Gracie had the most fun, ever!

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort Florida ReviewBalmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

The clubhouse also has a delicious restaurant, a gym, an arcade (which by the way, you don’t have to pay for the games and this was SOOO fun!!!!), and a giant chess and checkers game outside!

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

Balmoral Resort Florida Review

We loved staying at the Balmoral Resort because they are the perfect location for all the things we wanted to visit. They are only 20 minutes from LegoLand, 30 minutes from Disney, and 15 minutes from the Bok Garden (which you need to put on your bucket list ASAP). Definitely consider Balmoral if you are attending any of these fun attractions. 

Balmoral Resort Florida Review
Balmoral Resort Florida Review Balmoral Resort Florida Review Balmoral Resort Florida Review

I’m partnering with Balmoral to offer you 35% off nightly rates in pool homes + a $35 dining credit at the Bar & Grill when booked by APRIL 15, 2019. (Subject to availability, for stays 3 nights of longer up to December 21, 2019. Book for only 20% down and pay the rest 30 days prior to arrival.) 

Use promo code GRACEFUL when booking, or you can simply click this link.

PANTRY & FRIDGE MAKEOVER

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE // 5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

If you know anything about me, you know I love organizing and I love decluttering. You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo and the whole Konmari method, right? I read her book when it first came out and have been on the Konmari train for a while. It was a system I could understand and I saw results the second I started it! I redid the whole house from the kids toys to our closets and bathroom.

But I never did our pantry and fridge – until NOW!

I just finished with our pantry and fridge makeover and I am so happy with it! There is nothing better than wanting a snack and knowing exactly what you have and where everything is. This project has made cooking SO MUCH EASIER, not to mention we’ve saved a ton of money of groceries simply because we discovered tons of ingredients we didn’t know we had.

Are you ready to see the before photo? Please don’t judge – ha! I promise it’s not usually this bad, but at this point, I hadn’t done a proper clean-up in a while and it really looked bad. 

BEFORE + AFTER PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

BEFORE + AFTER PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

Here is the after. My minimalist heart is SO HAPPY.
BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

Completely overhauling your fridge and pantry takes a couple of hours and a few must-have products, but I’m going to walk you through it all – exactly how I did it!

There is no better time than now to tackle your kitchen projects because The Container Store’s annual Kitchen Sale is going on now through April 7th. You can get 25%-off hundreds of kitchen products you need to accomplish any of your kitchen projects. Everything we used in our pantry and fridge makeover was from The Container Store

5 steps to a pantry and fridge makeover with The Container Store

5 STEPS TO CREATING YOUR DREAM PANTRY AND FRIDGE

1 – Clean it out // Just like the Konmari method, you have to literally take EVERYTHING out of the pantry and fridge. Throw away everything that is expired or things you just don’t eat anymore. I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to mention this, but we had some old canned goods that were like years past the expiration date. EW. I also wiped everything down to give it all a fresh new start. This felt sooooo good. 

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //  5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //  5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

2 – Select & fill organizers // Move most of your pantry items into canisters and bins. This honestly made the biggest difference in our kitchen makeover. By transferring food into see-through canisters and containers, you can actually SEE what items you have. And – they keep your food super fresh! Also, the containers are stackable, which makes organizing the pantry + fridge a breeze! 

I love everything at The Container Store, but some of my favorite bins/containers are The Artisan Jars, The OXO Good Grips POPS canisters , and The OXO Pop Cereal Dispensers.


BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //  5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge
BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

3 – Zone out the space // I took all of my bins, canisters, jars and containers and made zones in the pantry and fridge. Basically, you want to keep foods that are similar together. So, decide where you want your canned goods, breads, dry pantry staples, and cereals to go. This step was tricky, but I think it was the most important. It took me a few tries to get the containers to be in the right spot that made sense, but once I did this, everything fell into place. I wanted the pantry and fridge to not only look great, but be super practical.

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //  5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

4 – Keep everything visible // We had a big problem of not using all of our groceries, simply because we couldn’t SEE them! One tip is to keep your food visible. A great trick to this is to use one of those can stackers from The Container Store. You can easily see all of your canned goods at one time! Another tip is to use the OXO containers so that you can stack them in your pantry instead of letting food slip to the back of the pantry. 

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

5- Utilize snack bins // One of my favorite parts of the kitchen makeover is the snack bins! I dedicated a few bins in both the pantry and the fridge to be for the kids’ snacks. In the pantry, I made sure to put this bin low enough so the kids can reach it! It also makes the pantry so much cleaner because I no longer have a ton of mix-matched cardboard boxes everywhere. I take the snacks out of their boxes and put them in the snack bin! 

BEFORE + AFTER FRIDGE AND PANTRY OVERHAUL WITH THE CONTAINER STORE //5 steps to your dream pantry & fridge

We had so much fun re-doing our pantry and fridge and we are LOVING the makeover! Don’t forget The Container Store’s annual Kitchen Sale is going on now through April 7th. You can get 25%-off hundreds of kitchen products you need to accomplish any of your kitchen projects! 

I can’t wait to see what you do!