My top 5 Favorite Tropical Destinations in the world

Tuesday, March 21



Being a total lover of all things warm and relaxing, it comes as no surprise that I tend to gravitate towards places that are tropical, especially when I need to kick back and rest! There are SO many amazing tropical places around the world, but these 5 beaches/islands have captured me in a special way and I wanted to share them with you today! I'm sure i'll have like 100 honorable mentions to list, but these 5 places are sure-fire bets to get you dreaming about a fabulous tropical holiday:)

1. Railay Beach, Thailand
I've said it before, and i'll say it again…this beach stole my heart. Thailand has hundreds of amazing islands and beaches, but this one was hands-down my favorite. While many beaches in Thailand have turned into crazy party hubs, Railay has retained it's kick-back feel. Kevin and I would just lay on the beach at night looking at the stars and it was so peaceful. The beach itself is amazing!! Gorgeous sand, crystal clear waters that were warm enough to swim in but cool enough to refresh you from the heat. Railay (and it's sister beach Phra Nang, just a few minutes walk away) are the closest i've ever felt to heaven on earth. That's how much I loved Railay!! And if you are an adventurer, there are SO many fun things to do on Railay (like rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, etc) and then you can take boats to other islands for some top class snorkeling and sight seeing. Something for everyone!
To see my pictures of our time in and around Railay:
Railay Beach
Phra Nang
Speed Boat Tour  & snorkeling {Koh Phi Phi, Maya Bay, Bamboo Island}
Our 3 Week Itinerary in South East Asia

2. Hoi An, Vietnam

Besides just being absolutely obsessed with the quaint little town of Hoi An (and wanting to move there!), the beaches on the outskirts of the town were pretty fabulous. Every day in Hoi An, we'd either scooter or ride our bikes to the beach for some serious R&R. They had great chairs and umbrellas you could rent for pennies, the water was warm but also refreshing, and it was lined with beautiful sand and palm trees. The Vietnamese people are just the best, and we found some delicious food just minutes walking from the beach to fulfill our hunger.  And as a whole, Hoi An is magical. If you've never even heard of this Asian hamlet, then by all means head on over to my posts about our time in Hoi An:
{Day 1} and {Day 2 & 3} and Our 3 Week Itinerary in South East Asia

3. Riviera Maya, Mexico
I think Mexico flies under the radar when people think about traveling to a tropical location. But let me tell you, I was SO impressed with the strip of beaches in the Riviera Maya, below Cancun. Kevin booked our honeymoon at this resort, and it was sheer bliss. The beach was absolutely incredible, with white sand and turquoise waters that were just the right temperature. There is SO much to do in the Riviera Maya…we went zip lining, snorkeled in a gorgeous lagoon here, and explored the ruins at Tulum which was fascinating. If you've never given a thought to the Riviera Maya, then you are missing out. I'm already dreaming about when we can return:)

4. Bora Bora, French Polynesia


Kevin and I got the chance to take a once in a lifetime trip this past summer…a yacht cruise through French Polynesia with Inspiration Cruises & Tours. It was unbelievable. My favorite island (by FAR) was Bora Bora, and lucky for us we got to anchor there for two whole days! Bora Bora is gorgeous. What makes it such a special tropical location is not necessarily the beaches, but the reef activities. There is a beautiful coral reef surrounding the island, where you can discover a whole new world under water! We got to swim with manta rays, sharks, and all sorts of tropical fish. I will confess to you that i'm terribly afraid of fish, but even I couldn't wait to get into the beautiful waters and interact with the wild life! While Bora Bora is harder to get to than many of the other places i've shared, it is worth every penny!
To see our pictures of French Polynesia (and in specific Bora Bora):
An Introduction to Inspiration Cruises & Tours 
Our First Day in Tahiti 
Exploring the Island of Moorea
This Island of Ta'Haa
Exploring Raiatea
Bora Bora Day 1 (swimming with sharks and Manta Rays!) 
Bora Bora Day 2 (Luau and fire dancers!) 


5. Bali, Indonesia
Kevin used to coach basketball in Indonesia, and Bali was a $50 plane ride away. The first time I went to Bali, I assumed it would be like the rest of Indonesia…and boy was I wrong. Bali is a magical place unto itself. As you may know, Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population in the world…but Bali is Hindu. There are shrines everywhere (you literally have to make sure you don't step on the offerings) and it is shrouded in a very mystical feel. The whole island is utterly spectacular…from the beaches to the mountains to the terraced farming to the coffee plantations. My favorite places were Ubud (a little mountain town), the beaches at Candidassa, and visiting the coffee plantations that dot the island. And in my humble opinion, Indonesians are literally the nicest people in the world. Just love them:)

What tropical locations would you add?? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Have you been to any of these?  Maybe one day i'll do my favorite beaches, as there are TONS of beaches in Europe that are gorgeous, just not necessarily tropical!

And if you're checking in on baby-watch 2017, our sweet girl is not here quite yet. Today is her due date, so feel free to send up some prayers that she will come soon. I'm SOOOO excited to meet her! Hope you all are doing well! Much love…xoxo

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2 weeks until our sweet baby girl arrives

Tuesday, March 7

After carrying a baby almost 40 weeks, it's amazing to me that we are in the final stretch. Baby girl is due March 21st...exactly 2 weeks from today! Holy Moly! My favorite part of these past few months has been feeling her move inside of me. I sometimes forget there is a tiny human in me, and then she starts to kick and punch and it makes me giggle! Kevin and I love praying, talking and singing to her. We are over the moon to see what she looks like, so crazy!

This past weekend my college roommates threw me a shower down in the bay area. I'll share more pictures from that time later, but it was so incredibly delightful and life giving. Life long friends (like these girls) are one of the greatest gifts in the world. On the way home, Kevin and I saw a gorgeous orchard of almonds that were blossoming so we made a spontaneous decision to pull over and sneak into the orchard for some maternity pics (as i've hardly taken any so far!). I had on no make-up, my hair wasn't brushed, and I literally threw on a dress I got at a thrift store that weekend (that I hadn't washed yet, whoops! ha), and we ran into the orchard and snapped  a few pics. The wind was howling and it was freezing, but oh so fun:)

Any last tips for me as a new mama to a newborn? I'd love your thoughts!! Happy Tuesday dear ones. Today my mama comes over and we will start tackling the nursery, woo hoo!! And then Thursday is my birthday. So all in all, I think it's going to be a good week:) xoxo


A lovely February

Monday, February 27


 February has been a sweet month (no pun intended, hehe!). One of the most fun surprises has been hosting 2 Japanese college students for 3 weeks. We have connected so well with them, and they get so excited about everything…and I mean everything, haha! It makes me laugh when they start squealing with joy over this and that. They've been coming to church with us, and have been so open to hear about Christ's love. They fell in love with that Matt Redman song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord, Oh my Soul…), and so we've had that on repeat at our house, ha! I found it in Japanese on youtube, and they were so excited. Today as we were making lunch together, I turned to one and told her I was going to miss her so much (as they leave on Thursday). She literally burst into tears and came and gave me the biggest hug. What a blessing they have been:)

Valentines day was a ton of fun. Kev took me out to breakfast at a new place we'd never tried, and it was delightful. We're still working through the 100 questions I found online (the ones we started on our babymoon in Tahoe) and had a few good laughs that morning at breakfast. We went on a walk before Kevin had to go to work. Later that night I made a big Valentines day dinner for both Kev and the Japanese girls. I made the girls Valentines and wrote them little notes, and cut out hearts and put conversation hearts in a bowl (I always forget how random conversations hearts are…haha! I tried to explain them in English to the girls, they thought they hilarious). The girls were obsessed with the Valentines (I had some Disney Princess ones, so classy!). That night, Kev surprised me with this necklace that i've been wanting for quite some time. I had no idea he remembered, and his thoughtfulness overwhelmed me with gratitude! We never buy each other gifts for Valentines (besides flowers and chocolates or a date at a restaurant), so opening that gift was so special:)

Weekends have been filled with farmer's market visits with the girls, lunch dates, church, and some lovely baby showers for me. My sweet Aunt Susan threw me one, and my dear friends Rach and Nance threw me one. I couldn't have been more blessed! I'll share more about those after our sweet baby girl is born (3 MORE WEEKS!!! EPP!!), as both were themed according to the name we picked out for our peanut (which I'm keeping a surprise from the internet until she is born, haha…you'll just have to wait:)

I'm finally on maternity leave, and now comes the final prep! On to decorating our baby girl's room, packing our hospital bag, getting in some much needed sleep, and spending lots of time with people:) I have a feeling March is going to change my life:)

How was your February? xoxo


 My frilly black dress is from here // The colored scarf is from here // The grey jacket is from here // The grey shirt with the leather elbow patch is from here