April Recap: Phoenix, Lantern Fest, & Baseball

I haven’t written in a while, it’s been a little hectic over here in Colorado. April has just seemed to fly by and somewhat in a good way.

About mid-month, Ryan and I packed and headed to Arizona for a lovely wedding. It’s actually been our first wedding that we’ve been to as a couple, other than our own. We kind of like to joke because we have one friend getting married this summer, but other than that we only have a couple close friends in long term relationships. We’re like the old married couple, but without kids because we aren’t wanting those yet.

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The wedding was great! It was for one of my closest cousins, and I’m just so happy he found such an amazing gal. Since Ryan had never been to Arizona, we did some exploring. We had a great time in Downtown Scottsdale. You have to go to Sugar Bowl. Delicious, delicious milkshakes and malts!

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And . . . calling all Baseball fans . . . there is a store called Baseballism. They only have 4 (I think) locations, and let me tell you the CUTEST clothes for baseball fans.

When we got back from Arizona, we had a good time relaxing for these past few weeks. It’s been so hectic lately, I swear we’re going a 100 different directions. But, we did get to attend Lantern Fest that was held in Dacono, Colorado.

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This festival was breathtaking. If you’ve ever seen Tangled, you’ve wished you could be part of the lantern festival, and it was worth it. People were stopping on the freeway to see the lanterns. Click here to see if they’re headed to your city, you won’t want to miss it. Tip: You don’t have to show up early, you could show up an hour and half before dark and still get the feel.

And, now it is May 1st, and I cannot believe we are in the fifth month of this year. These days are literally flying by. I also get to head to Cali this month to see my little brother play some of his last baseball games. It’s probably one of the most bittersweet moments, he is moving on to pursue a career in ministry and be around the one he loves. Yet, it is a closing of the baseball chapter that was such a huge part of his life, as well as our family’s life.

I cannot wait to see him play and hang with my lovely mother on Mother’s day!

– the Helm Household

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My California Birthday Weekend: Hollywood Sign, LeBron James, & Baseball

For my birthday weekend, Ryan and I headed to sunny California. My little brother goes to school outside of LA, and my parents were flying down from Washington to meet us. We kind of had a wrench thrown into our plans when my dad had to be rushed to the ER the day of the flight, so my parents had to stay home (he’s okay, don’t worry!). Honestly, my husband and I think he is avoiding us because in January, when my parents were coming to visit us in Colorado, my mom is the only one that came because my dog had to go to the ER, too.

My birthday weekend was now just going to be the three of us. It was okay, though. A bummer, but okay. We should be seeing them in April for my cousin’s wedding, only if no one goes to the ER.

We were visiting California to celebrate my birthday but also to see my brother play baseball. On my birthday, we went on a hike near the Hollywood sign! The boys put up with it because I just kept repeating, “It’s my birthday!”

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After our hike, we drove down Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive since Ryan had never been. While driving, we were all talking about if we were going to see a celebrity or not . . . AND WE DID. This is kind of how it went:

Me: “Holy crap, that’s . . . what’s his name . . . gosh, what’s his name . . . oh, LeBron James!”

My brother: “No, it’s not.”

Me: “YES IT IS!”

My brother: (Actually looks) “That’s LeBron James! Holy crap, we just saw LeBron James!”

During the conversation, my husband didn’t say a word. But, he did snap this photo! It’s the best we could do since we were driving down the street. 

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If I’m really honest, the celebrity I was hoping to see was someone from Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives, or if I’m really lucky Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars. But, I guess LeBron James will have to do.

For my birthday dinner, we went to Pono Burger in Santa Monica. And oh my gosh, if you live in the area or are visiting . . . it’s delicious! It’s a pretty small restaurant, you sit in something that looks like a greenhouse, but it is the best burger and fries I have had in awhile. Definitely worth the visit!

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We also got to watch my brother play some baseball, which was awesome! And . . . I hate to break it to you . . . I have seen more baseball games than you. And, I know more about baseball than you. This isn’t the life I chose, it chose me! Haha, but seriously, I’ve watched more baseball games than I can count, and it’s always great to see the “little” guy play. He is up to bat in the picture below.

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For my last birthday adventure, we were going to go to Magic Mountain. But, it ended up raining when we could do it, so that didn’t happen. Instead we went and saw Zootopia, which I would probably rate like a 6.5. I felt like they showed most of the funny parts in the previews, plus I’m still on that Frozen bandwagon.

It was a great vacation to see my brother’s school, celebrate my birthday, and just have a nice little getaway. Only three more weeks until our next adventure in Phoenix! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay updated.

– the Helm Household

Why you need to move in your 20s

I remember being 20, I had just graduated from college, and I was moving to Illinois from Washington. See my boyfriend of 8 months, now my husband, lived in Illinois and was still in school. He flew out for my graduation party, and we packed up and were on the road in the next couple of days.

Let’s just say I balled my eyes out the first night in the hotel. Like balled. I’d miss my family, I didn’t know anyone, what was I thinking moving in with a guy I’d only known for 8 months? Side note: 8 months of living in two different places, and only being around each other for maybe a month of it. 

That was in 2012. Now, it’s 2016, and since then, I’ve lived in Illinois for 2 years, Washington for just over a year, and now Colorado for 5 months. And, I haven’t even turned 24 yet.

It’s kind of unbelievable how much we’ve moved, it’s really been an adventure. Honestly, I’d never want to do it with kids, but since we just have us and our dog it’s been pretty easy.

But why is it important to move in your 20s?

  • Maybe where you grew up, really isn’t where you want to live forever

Shocker! I know. But, if you don’t allow for yourself to move away, you won’t know that. My husband is a great example. He grew up in a town of 1,200 people, and he thought he would live there forever. He then met me, and I ruined that, but he currently loves Colorado. If he hadn’t been okay with moving, he wouldn’t know that.

  • To explore! 

Let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound awesome to live in the middle of Illinois. At least it didn’t to me. But, when we lived near Springfield, we were 3 hours from Chicago, 1.5 from St. Louis, 3 hours from Indianapolis, 6 hours from Nashville, and 5 hours from Cincinnati. Sounds a little bit better, right? We were able to see so much of the United States from just being there and being in such a close driving distance from everything.

  • Living on your own and relying on yourself

This can be either with a significant other or if you are moving just by yourself. Colorado is the first place where neither of our parents are. We’re relying on each other to do everything. Who knew boarding your dog cost so much? Or that it sucks when your car gets totaled and you only have one car for an entire week?

Let me tell you, you might hate it at first. But, allowing yourself to embrace it is much easier. I had to learn that the hard way moving to Colorado. I did not want to be here at all. I wasn’t ready to move from Washington and near my parents, we had only been there a year.  And, I was mad. Everything about Colorado made me mad, but then I decided to embrace it.

I realize we aren’t going to live here forever, and my husband loves it. But, we do have this time now to explore, and I’ve been realizing it’s been good for us. You can always move back or settle down when you decide to have kids. But, when you’re in your 20s, it’s your time to explore.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

 

-the Helm Household

Exploring Colorado: Garden of the Gods & Celestial Seasonings

Since moving to Colorado in October, I haven’t had much time to explore. One of the major reasons is that I traveled for over a month for work and Christmas. But the last couple of weekends, I’ve been able to wander around Colorado.

Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods is about an hour and a half from where we live, and it is south of Denver. I hadn’t been south of Denver, and it is gorgeous there! If I didn’t work closer to Boulder, I definitely would move south of Denver. It reminds me more of Washington than where we currently live.

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We took our little fluff and got to hike around. Originally, we thought there was only the path on the inside where everyone was walking in heels and with strollers. But, you could really take a good three hours and hike on the opposite side of the road and get a decent workout in. It also has great views on this hike.
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We definitely will have to bring family here when they come out in the summer time. It’s gorgeous and worth the drive. I highly recommend bringing a few towels though if you bring your dog, our little guy got more than messy on the trails!

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Kissing Camels

 

Celestial Seasonings

This weekend my parents were supposed to come out, but our family dog was having some issues, so my dad had to stay home. Which means, our plans to go to the Coors Brewery tour would be put on hold.

So, I was looking up things to do in Boulder, and I found Celestial Seasonings. If you’re a tea drinker, this is the tour for you! It’s a great, free tour that is about 45 minutes long. You get free tea, you get to go in the mint room, and you can buy their tea Fast Lane that is only sold there; it has more caffeine than a cup of drip coffee, which is awesome!

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Just an FYI, men if you have any type of facial hair you get to add a beard net to the already awesome hair net.

I’ve had a few great back-to-back exploring weekends in Colorado. And, currently I’m just trying to stay warm from the never-ending snow.

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-the Helm Household

Recap from Charleston and Savannah Road Trip

My favorite thing about a road trip is just getting time to spend with my husband. It’s such an easy way to trap him a car and make him talk to me! Haha, I’m just kidding. In our second month of being together, we took a 5 hour road trip from eastern Washington to Seattle area without any music the entire time. So, it’s safe to say they hold a special little place in my heart.

Our latest road trip adventure was from Orlando to Savannah to Charleston.

Orlando is mostly Disney World. Ryan only joined me for a couple days of that trip, due to the fact that it was a work trip. We did get to enjoy a night at Hollywood Studios, though, and I definitely don’t recommend that park if anyone in your group gets motion sickness. Epcot is definitely the park for you.

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and headed to the airport to pick up our rental car. And, we were off! It’s about a four hour drive to Savannah–not too shabby. We only had one night in Savannah, and we chose to do a Haunted Drinking Tour of the town. It was actually more fun than we thought it would be.

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We weren’t sure where to eat dinner. Normally, I’m a planner . . . I mean a PLANNER. But, this trip, I honestly just didn’t have the mental capacity to plan anything, so instead we asked locals. We were told to try out the Public, it was SO good. Totally worth the trip! The venue was gorgeous, but it was kind of small (just an FYI).

The next day, we packed up and were headed to Charleston. But, we decided to stop by Hilton Head first. And, let me say, I wish I was retired because I would move to Hilton Head in a heartbeat. I think if I moved there now, I’d pull the average age to possibly 40. It’s gorgeous! We walked on the beach and just drove around the island for a bit.

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Next stop: Charleston. We were able to stay at the Francis Marion, which is right on King Street. And, every second Sunday on King Street, it shuts down. Only pedestrians and so much great shopping.

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A couple highlights from Charleston was the carriage ride we did around the city. I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to do it, but it was definitely worth the money. It’s such a fun way to understand the history of Charleston.

We also went to Folly Beach, which I highly recommend. It was kind of chilly, but it was fun to walk on the Pier and finally see the ocean again! Being from the Seattle area, I’ve been missing my ocean views now that I live in Colorado.

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For a restaurant, I recommend Fleet Landing. It is on the water, and it is definitely walking distance from King street. We drove just because it was cold, but the food was great I had fresh scallops and my husband had swordfish. I didn’t check if they had many options other than seafood, though.

It was a great road trip. Our conclusion was we would definitely go and vacation in Charleston, again. We liked Savannah, but it just seemed more of a party city, and we’re old and married.

Our tour guide in Savannah said it best: “Savannah and Charleston are sister cities. Savannah is just the rebel child with tattoos.” Truly was a great analogy after visiting both.

Currently, my top cities (not including my hometown) are Nashville and Charleston. Hoping my next road trip is to Waco, Texas because who doesn’t love Fixer Upper?

Follow me on Instagram to stay updated on all things the Helm Household!

-the Helm Household

Road Trip: Orlando, Savannah, Charleston

I’ve never told you what my day job is, so I will now. I’m a Marketing Specialist for a Software Company. It’s been the only job I’ve had since college. One of the great perks is that we do retreats twice a year. Since we’re a semi-virtual company, it’s the easiest way for everyone to get together.

And, this January . . . it’s at Disney World. Yes, Disney World. I’m so excited! We’ve only been to Disney World one other time, January 2013.

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My husband is coming for the last half of the week, and this is going to be our first real vacation since our honeymoon in July 2014. We’ve been a little busy since then: bought a house, sold a house, moved to Colorado, etc. So, we are really excited.

We have a plan . . .

Thursday & Friday Night: Disney World

Saturday Night: Savannah

Sunday & Monday: Charleston

We plan to drive from Orlando to Savannah to Charleston. And, we’ve both never been to Savannah or Charleston, so if you have any tips . . . send them our way! I’m so excited for our little getaway. It’s probably the cheapest way for us to do a little vacation, the only thing we will miss is our cutie lil puppy: Koda.

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I’m so in love with Savannah and Charleston from pictures and stories from those that have been there . . . it’s somewhere I think I could live, yet I’ve never been there. So, this is our first chance!

Our goal this vacation is to stay on the cheap end. Being newly married, the money definitely isn’t flowing in like it could possibly in our 30s. So, I plan to do a recap of the cost of our trip and give you an overview of how we paid for it.

Please comment any tips you have for Charleston and Savannah! I’d love to hear them. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see all our vacation pictures!

-the Helm Household

Travel Tips this Christmas Season

Traveling for Christmas can be a blessing and a curse. It’s tainted with crowds, irregular travelers, and grumpy people. But, the majority of us have to do it! At least to some capacity.

My husband and I are in that group. We live in Colorado, his parents live in Illinois, and mine in Washington. We’re headed everywhere this Christmas, we will be in Illinois prior to Christmas, then Washington for the week of Christmas.

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With all the Christmas cheer, it’s important to keep in the Spirit! There is no need for traveling stress. So, here are some tips to help your travel:

Attempt to find a ride to and from the airport

Parking at the airport can be crazy during the holidays, finding a ride from a friend or Uber can cost you less and diminish stress. Plus, then you don’t have to scrape your car windows when you get back from your trip!

Give yourself extra time

I travel a decent amount for work and to see family. But, during the Christmas season, a lot of people traveling don’t travel that often. They might miss the 10,000 signs that explain you have to take your shoes off. Or, possibly forget to take their laptop out of their bag? Allow for that when getting to the airport.

Be nice to the airport employees and flight attendants

During Christmas, everyone is normally in such a good mood . . . but then you get to the airport, and every single person turns into the Grinch. Don’t be the Grinch! If something has gone wrong and you have to wait in a terribly long line, I promise if you start with a smile—you will get better customer service.

Download a Christmas movie or two for the flight

Stay in the Holiday Spirit! Why not order a hot coco from the flight attendant and watch a Christmas movie? My personal favorites are the Polar Express and Santa Claus.

Bring along a Christmas treat

If you’re traveling with your significant other, friend, or family, bring something to eat that reminds you of Christmas. It could be as simple as candy canes. Anything that reminds you why you’re traveling, even if the day has been stressful.

Hope these tips help with your flights for Christmas! Follow me on Twitter @HelmHousehold to stay updated on all posts.

– the Helm Household