Newport Beach, California

I’m still trying to catch up on our summer trips and I can’t believe it’s October already. Where has the time gone! This week was busy, filled with Parent Teacher Conferences for me and tests for Trent but luckily with some days off, I was able to catch up on lots of things. Including this little space here.

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Newport Beach has become sort of a family tradition for Trent’s family. We’ve been coming here the past 4 years and every time has been a complete blast. It’s fun to have a vacation spot that feels like home after a while and we know so many of the good places to explore. This year was no different. We spent time relaxing on the beach, exploring different places and enjoying each others company. It was so much fun!

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We got some good family pictures this trip which is always a plus! I’m still figuring out this whole photography thing and the Wards were all so patient and kind. The beach is definitely a good spot for family pics. Trent probably didn’t know he’d be stuck taking so many photos when he first married me but he is always an excellent sport! I’m the luckiest!

elizajwardphoto (98 of 168)This year, Trent took spear fishing to a whole new level. Last year he tried it out and absolutely fell in love with it and this year he came prepared. He had his dive portable lungs, a spear and all his gear ready to go. He caught a lot of fish and it was fun to watch him do something he loves. He tried to take me with him once but I was a little too nervous, aka I had a complete panic attack out in the waves. Whoops. The ocean freaks me out sometimes. Maybe I’ll be better next year, maybe.

 

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We also gave surfing a try this year! Boy was it hard! We’re used to wakesurfing behind a boat, in fresh water and a lot smaller waves. I got tumbled multiple times but Trent did a really good job! I was super impressed. It’s fun to try something new, even if you fail over and over, haha. Props to all those amazing surfers out there. I gained a whole new appreciation for you. Surfing is tough!

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Love my Janela Bay suit! It’s one of my favorites! 

Sometimes your pictures don’t quite go as planned when this…

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ends up like this…

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Haha, I sure love this husband of mine. It was such a wonderful trip and I completely understand why people love Newport Beach. It is truly a magical place. What a wonderful summer it was.

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Nauvoo, Illinois

Wow, I am so behind…I was talking with Trent the other night about this space and we both agreed it is such a fun journal. So these next couple posts are probably more for us then for you but feel free to enjoy.

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This past summer my sister, Faith, had the incredible opportunity to be a Young Performing Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s 3 months full of dancing, singing, performing and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in Nauvoo. It’s different from a full time proselyting mission in a lot of ways but a truly remarkable experience.

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Nauvoo holds a really special place in our families hearts as we have traveled here numerous times and had some truly sacred experiences. It was so much fun to bring all of our husbands back to see such a special place.

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Our oldest sister, Mary-Martha, was 7 months pregnant during this trip and let me tell you, she was such a trooper. I was so impressed by everyone patience and good humor as we traveled 20 hours across the United States. We had such an incredible time with endless inside jokes and hours of fun.

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One night our phones all went crazy with a tornado warning. All the girls stayed inside while the boys went to go watch the weather! It got pretty crazy but luckily the tornado missed us and we just experienced some wild wind and rain.

Faith did such an amazing job in all of her performances and it was so fun to see her again. I am so blessed to have the most incredible family and siblings. Trent kept commenting on how impressive it was that we were all so nice to each other on such a long journey, haha. It was such a great trip and I will cherish these memories forever!

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Bear Lake, Utah

Bear Lake holds a special place in our hearts. In high school, right when Trent and I were first getting to know each other, he invited my sister and I to come on a family trip with him. To this day he still has no idea why he invited us, Heavenly Father is so good. We went with his family for two summers in a row, we laughed, we made memories, we actually had our first kiss here. Bear Lake is the place where I began to fall in love with this darling boy and his wonderful family.

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We were so excited when we began to plan our Bear Lake trip this year with Trent’s family. Trent and I got off the plane from Mexico the night before and then headed up to Bear Lake the next day. We were a bit exhausted, but it was totally worth it. We got up there later in the evening and had a delicious dinner at Cafe Sabor. It was so fun to be surrounded by family and enjoying the gorgeous scenery up there. The following days were filled with boating and playing on the beach. It was actually quite a cold weekend when we were up there but despite the cold, we all jumped in and had a wonderful time.

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One of my favorite parts of the trip was enjoying Juanito Bandito and Disney’s Tarzan at the Pickleville Playhouse. Juanito Bandito is one of the most hilarious and creative productions I have ever seen. Many of us were crying we were laughing so hard. Trent and I loved it so much we have talked multiple times about returning just to see the show. If you go to Bear Lake, we highly recommend a stop at one of these shows. You won’t regret it.

I’m still working on surfing and thanks to Trent’s sister and brother in law, I’m getting it! Their Brigade Surf Boards are my favorite and I love it every time we go!

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The week went by much too fast, as trips often do. Can’t wait to go back soon!

Playa Del Carmen Travels

Our trip to Mexico was nothing short of a dream. We loved exploring Mexico’s history and seeing all that it has to offer. We were only there for 6 days but we loved every minute of it. I would definitely recommend this vacation. So grateful for the notification from Pomelo Travel on cheap tickets that made this trip possible!

We stayed just south of Cancun in a city called Playa del Carmen or Playa and it was amazing! It’s a smaller city which is nice because everything felt so close. Tropical beaches, hopping 5th avenue and gorgeous views. Playa was amazing!

In Playa we stayed at a darling Botique Hotel called Newport House and we would stay there again in a heartbeat. It was a block away from 5th Ave, where all the shops and restaurants are, so you are close enough to walk there every night but far enough away to relax and have a quiet night if you wanted. The room was sparkling clean, the front desk was a dream to work with and we felt like we were coming home every time we entered our doors. It felt so safe and we couldn’t say enough good things about it. If you come to Playa, this is the place to stay.

Link for Hotel 

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The first day we were there we went and visited the Tulum Ruins. We took an ADO bus (cheapest form of travel) and it took about 45 minutes to get there from Playa. It was so hot and we were both dripping with sweat but it was worth it! The ruins were amazing and it was so interesting to read about their history.

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On Saturday we woke up early and went on an excursion to swim with Whale Sharks. It was an absolutely incredible experience. They picked us up at our hotel around 6:00 a.m. and we drove up to Cancun. Once we arrived in Cancun we hopped on a boat and rode for about an hour. Once we arrived at the place where the whale sharks usually are we cruised around for about 30 more minutes till we spotted them. Once spotted we jumped in the water two at a time with our guide to swim with them. I was a little nervous jumping in at first but words cannot even begin to express what a breathtaking experience this was. The whale sharks were huge, like school bus sized, but they swam in the water with such grace that I was amazed. It was truly unforgettable! After we swam with the sharks for a little bit, we headed back to Isla Mujeres where the crew made us a delicious ceviche to eat and we relaxed on the beach. We were exhausted by the end of the day but it was such a cool adventure. We booked our excursion with Mexico Whale Shark and thought they were a great company to work with.

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Sunday morning we went to church and then Trent convinced me to go fishing with him. Oh man, the things he can talk me into. We found a boat down on the shore, made them a good deal and we were off! We were out fishing for about 30 minutes when the captain yelled that they hooked something! Trent hopped into the fighting chair and reeled in a big Mahi Mahi fish. It was hilarious to watch because everyone was freaking out and I was simply trying to stay in the tiny boat. Trent was on cloud nine. We took the boat back to shore and the crew recommended a restaurant we could take the fish to to get cooked up. The restaurant was amazing and they fed us for two nights off Trent’s fish. It was so good! Best fish tacos I’ve ever had!

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Monday we went Scuba Diving and this was probably our favorite part of the trip! We went with Deep Dive Mexico and I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Thailand Scuba Diving kind of freaked me out so I was a little nervous going into this experience. Our instructor, Marcel, was so incredibly patient and worked with us through everything before we even got in the water. All the equipment was well taken care of and I felt so safe. It is a smaller company which I loved because it was a much more intimate experience. We truly feel like we made a new friend with our instructor! We learned in a pool for a little bit and then went on two gorgeous dives in the ocean. We saw eels and lion fish and other amazing sea life. There is something so amazing about Scuba Diving and this experience made me want to dive more often. We loved every minute! If you are wanting to try out Scuba for the first time, Deep Dive Mexico is the company to do that with. It was amazing!

Tuesday was spent at the XPLOR park in Playa. It was fun to do a different activity than the other ones we’d done that week. XPLOR is almost like an adventure amusement park. They had huge ziplines, drives through the jungle, swimming through caves and some other fun activities. It’s all inclusive, which is nice, and just a fun day activity.

 

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Darling suit from Nani Swimwear

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Everyday when we came home for our day activity we would relax by the pool, swim for a little bit and then head to 5th Ave. There were the most delicious restaurants and the night life was so much fun! We recommend exploring 5th Avenue when it’s cooler at night because walking around in Mexico during the day is brutal.

We had so much fun on this trip and will definitely be back! It was incredible! Please reach out if you have any questions. We would love to tell you more!

Modest Dresses

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Dresses are for days where I’m too lazy to put on pants. Anyone else agree? I find it so much easier to just slip on a dress than find two separate things to wear, not to mention they’re often cooler too! I have two clothing obsessions in life, dresses and swimsuits, and I have way too many of both of them. It’s bad. Trent always teases me when I buy another dress because my closet is full of them but I just can’t help it! Especially when I find a cute and less expensive dress. I’m toast!

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Cleo Madison’s modest dresses are my new obsession and I’m in love with all of their outfits. This particular dress is perfect for church or a more casual day. It fits nicely and the skirt flows beautifully as you walk. Not to mention, it has pockets! There is nothing better than a dress with pockets. They have so  many fun dresses, some more casual and others a bit fancier. Their boutique ranges from shirts, to dresses as well as a few swimsuits and shoes. All of them are $45 or less which is nothing short of a dream come true!

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Check out more of their modest dresses!