The (First) Vision Board Dress

The (First) Vision Board Dress | FashionByMayhem.com

Daydreaming about tropical vacations used to among my favorite pastimes.

Truth be told, once upon a time, I even sold travel. On the side. For a few years. It was fun.

Pre-Mayhem, we were developing the habit of vacationing in places that required we do a whole lotta nothing. Crystal clear water, white sand, and a drinks replenished before we could finish the one in hand. The all-inclusive vacation worked for us. Falling asleep on a lounge chair reading a good book during the day followed by a casual dinner and listening to the waves roll in to finish out the day seemed just about perfect.

Enter Mayhem. There was never a doubt in our minds that once we felt she was old enough, we’d pack her up and head to one of those Mexican or Caribbean resorts. Not that we had the illusion we’d be falling asleep in those lounge chairs, but playing in the sand in the sun or hanging out in the pool all day long doesn’t sound too shabby either.

Enter the food allergy diagnosis. My daydreams of heading to one of those locales came to a screeching halt.

The (First) Vision Board Dress | FashionByMayhem.comThe fear that we may not be able to effectively communicate the severity or extent of Mayhem’s allergies with staff in order to find “safe” meals for her was second only to the terrifying idea that she may need medical attention. And of course,  not being able to communicate effectively with medical personnel.

So I’d pretty much given up on the idea of that tropical vacation. For a while anyway.

But fresh off our second Disney trip, in as many years, I’ve decided it’s time to revisit the tropical vacation dreaming. (Don’t get me wrong, Disney is a fabulous vacation with kids, but it’s not what I consider relaxing.) So I pulled out a stack of Travel & Leisure magazines and started tearing out my ideal vacation images.

Which I turned into a vision board. A la a dress for Mayhem. Hey, if the kid is going to follow me around all day, at least she can bring the vision along.

This time the dream is to find a place where we can have a full kitchen, be able to fix our own meals, and feel confident about the ability to communicate (as well as the medical care available). AND still spend our days playing in the sun, sand and crystal clear water. I’ve asked around a lot. And a rental in Grand Cayman may be Mayhem’s first tropical vacation. We’ll see. But I do plan to go ahead and secure that passport for her just in case an amazing opportunity arises sooner rather than later.

The (First) Vision Board Dress | FashionByMayhem.com

In the meantime, this is the dress I’m making her wear everyday. You know, because vision boards are important.

Have any advice for us? We’d LOVE to hear your suggestions for family friendly tropical vacation rentals! (Preferably in a primarily English speaking locale.)

 

Comments

  1. says

    I’m confident when you’re ready for that big tropical vacay, I can help you out with some suggestions ;-)

    (Also, every day I think I’ve found a new favorite and then the next dress—and, OK, mainly the pose—eclipses its predecessor.)

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Yes! You’ll be the first I actually consult! We may need to come to Nashville to sit down and do some research with bourbon in hand ;)

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Hawaii would be awesome – but the travel time and time difference feel like they’d be a bit of a challenge with our preschooler. But it’s definitely on our list :)

  2. Tina says

    Have you heard of or considered Adventures by Disney? I’m don’t know a whole lot about it, but it may just be a possibility for you and your family.

  3. Kait says

    Have you considered a Disney Cruise? It’s got the all inclusive thing (except drinks), you visit a variety of tropical locales and it has all the amenities that Disney has to offer. If they were helpful in catering to Mayhem’s allergies in Disney World, I’m sure they’d be just as accommodating on a cruise. Best of luck planning a vacay!

  4. Christie says

    First time visitor – found you via the huff post article.

    I have a 4.5 yr old (peanut allergy) and a 2.5 yr old ( dairy, egg, beef, shrimp, whitefish and possibly sesame allergy). So I have great sympathy for what you are going through.
    I’ve been dreaming of when my youngest will be old enough for an island vacation. My plan is to revisit my favorite vacation pre-kids – a house rental on St. John in the Virgin Islands. You have your own kitchen, you can actually bring a packed cooler of food as one of your pieces of luggage which seriously cuts down on costs, and 3/4s of the island is national park so you can just relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches and the awesome snorkeling/scuba opportunities.
    Love the dress!

  5. Alice C says

    How about British Virgin Islands? Or US Virgin Islands.

    Hawaii is also a good bet, or Puerto Rico.

    Good luck getting away to the tropics! We are hoping to bring our little guy somewhere tropical soon too!

  6. Islandgirl says

    Just came upon your blog, and love it. So creative. As for island Paradise, you can’t go anywhere better than St. John in the US Virgin islands. There are plenty of villa rentals where you will have a full stocked kitchen to cook in, and can even have it provisioned before you arrive. Its english speaking with plenty of national park to explore and swim in. I live here and its truly paradise!

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      A good friend recently suggested St. John – must be time to start exploring villa rentals :) Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Lisa D says

        My suggestion as well – we went there on our honeymoon and loved it. As non-touristy you can get on a “public” island, relatively short travel time, especially if you’re on the east coast and still reasonable rentals. I believe the rental we stayed in is still the same price as it was in 2004. It will be plenty exciting – you have to take a plane AND a ferry to get there, but it’s English speaking, has a grocery store on the island (the prices hurt, but it’s still less expensive than eating out), and very, very tropical. Also, almost never gets hit by hurricanes.

  7. expatmommy says

    Curacao! We lived there for almost 5 years. You will not have any problems – and they have great medical care if, heaven forbid, you do need it. :-)

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Good to know! I’ve had friends who’ve vacationed in Curacao, but never even thought about it for us…. hmmmmmm :)

  8. LK says

    This is one very talented and special little lady. Her creations are wonderful. Even if she doesn’t stick with fashion designing as she ages, I am sure she will be a creative success in any profession she tackles in life. Good luck and God Bless this little angel.

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Thank you so much! And thanks for “getting it” … I truly have no idea whether she’ll ever want to pursue design as a career, but my husband and I agree that the world needs more creative thinking problem solvers and we’re just doing our best to try to raise one :)

  9. Cass says

    Wanted to let you know that I just discovered your talented, adorable child & her artistic creations – I’m smitten. I was the kid who made doll houses out of cereal boxes and masking tape. I <3 reading about your fashion adventures together, I can't wait for more :-)

  10. says

    I can’t help on resorts that are good for food allergies but I’m totally digging the vision board dress. Seriously, if my kids wore my vision board would I be more motivated to see it through? I might just have to try it.

  11. says

    We went to Hawaii last winter, renting a condo with our then-two-year-old. It was great! Not exactly exotic, but definitely tropical, safe, and familiar, home-cooked food (and options to eat out if you so desire!).

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Good to know! Hawaii is definitely on our list, just not sure about the travel time and time difference with our early rising preschooler … I have visions of her getting up everyday at 2am local time and me losing my mind ;)

  12. says

    Hi just came across your blog and I couldn’t control myself on how cute she is and how amazing the construction process must be sharing it with her. I do work in the fashion industry and I wonder if this activity will result in the next Coco Chanel :). For the vacations I can advice you visit Puerto Rico, I live here! Amazing beaches, lots of sun and beautiful places to visit. Can’t wait to see the rest of the dresses this year! Visit our webpage http://www.luis-antonio.com or find us on Instagram: luisantoniomoda to find inspiration for future dresses. xoxo Lala

  13. says

    Hi just came across your blog and I couldn’t control myself on how cute she is and how amazing the construction process must be sharing it with her. I do work in the fashion industry and I wonder if this activity will result in the next Coco Chanel :). For the vacations I can advice you visit Puerto Rico, I live here! Amazing beaches, lots of sun and beautiful places to visit. Can’t wait to see the rest of the dresses this year! Visit our webpage http://www.luis-antonio.com or find us on Instagram: luisantoniomoda to find inspiration for future dresses. xoxo Lala Hope to see it soon!

  14. says

    I just came across your blog and I find this amazing. The construction process must be super interesting as she learns with each dress new techniques and more complicated patterns. I do work in the fashion industry and I’m pretty amazed by this and wonder if this will result in the next Coco Chanel :). Please visit our website http://www.luis-antonio.com or finds us on Instagram: luisantoniomoda to find inspiration for future dresses. For the vacations I can advice to visit Puerto Rico. I live here!! lots of sun, sand and amazing places to relax. xoxo Hope the see the next dress soon! att. Lala

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Thanks so much for the kind words – we’re just 2 girls having a little creative fun everyday :) And I WILL check out Puerto Rico!

  15. says

    1 word – Barbados
    2 words – English speaking
    3 words – Great medical care
    4 words – You will love it! : )

    We even have a radio show called ‘Morning Mayhem’ lol (Food allergy wise, we have gluten free, dairy free, dye free, etc. various food options)

    • Jeannette Carrington says

      I agree with SunnySpecialK. Barbados is a wonderful place for all of those reasons and then some! My husband is from there and we have vacationed there several times since we go married.

  16. Catherine says

    My best friend from college has a very severe nut allergy – had to leave the lecture hall if anyone opened a bag of nuts, wears a mask that filters air in airports, only flies airlines that don’t serve nuts, no Thai food in the apartment we shared – severe. She’s certainly older than mayhem, but she amongst most well traveled of my friends. She had travelled extensively throughout the developing world, and has lived in Cuba, Argentina, and Nigeria. I saw first hand living with her how much of a challenge real but allergies can be, and how frustratingly ignorant the public can be, but I wanted to give you hope that real travel will be possible with your daughter eventually if not soon.

    And if you are looking for an English speaking tropical vacation, I would recommend first and foremost Hawaii. There’s a lot of travel to get there, but having the comforts of families American standards of care would be comforting.
    Belize is a beautiful country in Central America where English is the national language and many resorts that cater to American standards.

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Great suggestions! I’ll have to check out Belize. And I do hope that the travel anxiety lessens for us … actually, I’m confident it will :)

  17. Liz says

    Before I even read Grand cayman – it’s exactly the place I was thinking! I lived there for 3 years. They have some great condos out East in Bodden town – look at Turtle Nest Inn. Everything on 7mile is going to be a resort – with no kitchens – unless you look on vrbo.com – hope this helps!

    Ps – I’m in love with all these dresses you & your daughter make! Amazing!

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Thanks so much! And I WILL check out your referral – I have family that rents on the east side as well. They go for 3 weeks every year and LOVE it! They’ve mentioned the exact same thing about 7 mile beach, so funny :) Thanks for the tips!

  18. Elizabeth says

    I saw the article about you and Mayhem today and have been all over your instagram account! Coolest mom ever! Anyways, I saw this and just thought I could tell you my experience from someone who has lived and traveled with severe and life threatening allergies without too much trouble! I read your post about Mayhem’s allergies. My brother has a very severe peanut allergy and carries an epipen for emergencies. He is as severe as Mayhem, we can’t go places with peanut dust on the floor, a smear of peanut butter could cause anaphylaxis, etc. He also has severe allergies to all tree nuts, legumes, shellfish, and many mild allergies as well. I myself have a Dairy allergy, although only mild. However, with all of my brothers allergies, as you are experiencing with Mayhem, is a challenge. (He doesn’t have her soy allergy though, which does complicate things for you in a way that it didn’t for us.) However, when my brother was about 10 or 11, we traveled to China, a place where his allergens (especially peanuts) were used in almost every dish and there was a language barrier so that we wouldn’t be able to know where cross-contamination would occur. Our solution was to bring an extra suitcase full of food for my brother. We packed a lot of dehydrated backpacking foods and were able to have safe, allergen free, non contaminated food for him. Things like dry ramen noodles, oatmeal, anything that we could bring from the US and reconstitute with water were all very good options. If you want to travel with Mayhem, that is a very do-able solution! The great thing about this is that you don’t need a full kitchen like you were talking about renting above, you just need a hot water pot, which you could bring from home, or possibly find there (seriously there’s a Wal-Mart just about everywhere!). I just would hate for someone to feel so constricted by allergies that they felt they could never travel! My brother has traveled from China, to Mexico (many times over), all over the US and we have never once had to use an Epi-Pen! He’s 19 now and I also just want you to know that as Mayhem gets older, she’ll get a really good understanding of her allergies and will be able to make sure that she’s eating safe foods for her! My brother has had this instilled in him from such a young age that by early elementary school even, he knew his boundaries and what was dangerous for his health and what wasn’t. I hope that you get a chance to travel safely with Mayhem soon and that you are able to find safe food alternatives for her! Good luck and I hope I maybe gave you some information that might make you more comfortable traveling with severe allergies!

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Thanks so much for sharing – sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience with allergies yourself. I have complete confidence that we’re helping her to develop habits that will not only keep her safe, but will keep her healthy as well. And we just did the vacation with a suitcase full of food for the first time last month … made me laugh watching it go through security :)

  19. noe says

    How about Hawaii? Lots of vacation rentals available with full kitchens, and medical care is as good as anywhere else in the us. And it’s definitely beautiful and tropical!

  20. says

    I’ve just discovered Fashion by Mayhem and it’s the greatest! I love the creativity of Mayhem and am so thrilled that you’re helping her engage with her interests in such a wonderful way :) Hope your family manages to catch a vacay soon – I’m sure it will inspire her even more!

  21. chuhyon says

    thank you for sharing all those awesome pictures! my son likes making clothes out of paper too, but i found construction paper is too harsh on him to wear. i only thought of giving him tissue papers, but i find it sort of limits his creativity. could you please share what types of material you use?

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      So glad your son has fun doing this type of activity too! We use construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, tulle, silk scarves …. pretty much anything that can be found around the house is fair game :)

  22. says

    Cute blog! Grand Cayman is nice, and a similar lifestyle to what you’d find in the US. Also, Aruba is great. A lot of hotels along “Palm Beach” in Aruba would be similar to what you’d find in Florida. Hawaii is always enjoyable too. Hope you’re able to travel soon!

  23. says

    Love the dress.

    For your holiday, check out Hamilton Island in Australia. You can get self-catering units, there’s a tropic beach, pool, drinks etc, English speaking and a hospital just a short flight away if really needed.

  24. Ericalina says

    This dress? Is too perfect.

    You guys might like Sanibel Island in Florida. Amazing seashells, lots of nature, great beaches, family friendly (both on Sanibel and then in Naples and Ft Myers nearby), and English speaking for the allergy concerns. We took my two year old here last year and had a wonderful time: http://www.casaybelresort.com/. But there are lots of non-resort options too if you start looking.

    • says

      We also love Sanibel and travel with our food-allergic daughter there (peanut, tree nut, sesame, fish). There are lots of great condo options where you can have your own kitchen.

      That said, I completely sympathize, because I know full well that it’s a “trip” more than a vacation, especially when you’re staying in a condo, which means still doing all the cooking and cleaning!

      • says

        P.S. I know everyone totally means well, (and I’m not trying to offend anyone by saying this), but I am giggling a little at all the cruise suggestions. A boat out at sea = the opposite of comfort for this food allergy parent. ; ) I’m guessing you know what I mean.

  25. Stacey says

    Have you considered Australia? Cairns is lovely and you can stay at a place that has a self contained kitchen so that you could do your own cooking.

  26. Gabi says

    Though its quite a trip, Stradbroke Island in Australia is amazing. My family and I rented a condo with an ocean view, and about a two minute walk to the beach for a great price. Everything about Stradie is laid back (:

  27. Crystal says

    What about the US Virgin Islands? I went to St. Croix with family in January and it was incredible. Very tropical, still feels quite “virgin” to tourism and is English speaking. Check it out!

  28. P.R. says

    We love St. John in the US Virgin Islands. White sand beaches, warm water, English-speaking, USD currency…. and so many fabulous villas to rent with full kitchens. We have used VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner) many times to find a condo/villa on the island. Good luck!

  29. says

    So we’ve followed one another on instagram for a while now, but I only TODAY learned the background on Mayhem’s dresses TODAY (in HuPo’s piece by Ilana). NOW I LIKE THE PICCHAS & DRESSES SQUILLIONS BETTAH! What a FUN way to pursue … fashion? Make believe? Imagination??

    GOOD for y’all! Makes me wanna rewind the clock w/my own baby girl (now 21) and play a little differently with all those Barney box supplies.

    GREAT story…and after reading more about you/your family here, I won’t just be looking at your insta pics :).

  30. Courtney says

    You said you’ve been to Disney, but have you been on the Disney cruise line? It’s fabulous! Not only will it be super fun and safe for your daughter, but it’s relaxing for adults too, plus Disney has it’s own tropical island in the Bahamas (Castaway Cay) that’s perfect!

  31. says

    We took our baby moon vacation to Turks and Caicos at the Grace Bay club. It was FAB and our room was a 2bdr suite with a kitchen (major upgrade during off season). The coolest is that there was a kids side and an ‘adults only’ side of the resort, so you end up with folks aligned with your interests, which in my case, was to enjoy my last vacation pre-screaming, splashing kids.

    Would love to have Mayhem wear one of our dresses recreated by you. Your insta is awesome

    Lanie

  32. christine stavrou says

    i love all her outfits for the reason most of them are unique and outstanding keep up the good work
    how can i follow the rest of her fashion show lol
    she is gorgeous too by the way

  33. says

    Lovely!

    I found you today on Huffpost and am completely charmed by the paper dresses!

    For tropical vacations, I believe Costa Rica has some of the best medical care in the world and when I was there nearly everyone spoke English and it was very easy to get around (granted, that was a few years ago now…but I’m guessing English fluency is only on the way up with how big tourism is there). You can find wonderful rentals there and pretty much anywhere via Airbnb (airbnb.com). I traveled full-time for about a year and a half (before recently settling down a little in Switzerland) and used Airbnb all the time. I’ve had mostly really good experiences with the site and the quality of the apartment and house rentals.

    Hope that’s helpful.

    Cheers to tropical vacations!

    Gigi

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      A friend of mine has used Airbnb several times … how have I never thought to check that out for a tropical trip?!?! And thanks for the tip about Costa Rica :)

  34. Sara says

    Key West is a perfect tropical vacation locale without having to leave the United States. Hotels and vacation rental properties abound – you might want to check out VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) for some options!

    btw, I love the tropical dress (and all of Mayhem’s creations!)

  35. Marilynne says

    Best tropical vacation ever – queensland Australia especially around the Great Barrier Reef.
    We have sun, beaches, hospitals, speak English and have a solid understanding of food allergies – health food stores, organic food, cafés that cater for allergies etc.
    I have food allergies and issues and live in Victoria and visit family in other states successfully.

  36. Brandi F says

    Our girl has allergies too. I HIGHLY recommend Disney cruises!!! Tropical and safe! Glad to see the site back up and running!

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Good to know! I’m one of those people who is extremely hesitant about cruising though. I have motion sickness issues and I just KNOW I’d be miserable if I could feel that movement… But Disney does everything so well, that IF we decided to cruise, I’d jump at the chance to go Disney!

  37. Haleigh says

    If you enjoy Florida, why not the Florida Keys? You can rent a house near the beach or in a resort.
    You still get the crystal clear water, white sugar sand beaches and all the amenities you are used to.
    This is a family tradition for us started when me and my sister were toddlers, and now we will start going this year with our 1 year old :)

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      The Keys was on our short list for earlier this year, but we didn’t make reservations soon enough. I also found that a LOT of the rentals are monthly (rather than weekly) there. Which means we just need to make more money so that we can take an entire month off next year, right???? ;)

  38. Paula Schmit says

    Thank you for bringing back wonderful memories of my grandmother, Hattie. She made me dresses from crepe paper when I was 3-4 years old. Whenever I smell crepe paper today at 67, I immediately return to those wonderful times. My favorite dress was sleeveless pink crepe paper with rows of ruffles. I looked like a fluffy pink bell.

    You and Mayhem keep making those wonderful memories and skills. I’ll be checking in every now and then.

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      I just love this! Such a great story and I’m happy we could bring back some fun memories for you. I hope Mayhem always has great memories of these times we’re sharing, because I know, no matter how old my little girl gets to be, these times are going to be very special memories for me :)

  39. Katy says

    Give it a few years and have her allergies retested also. My son was allergic to peanuts, soy, rice, a couple of other foods, dogs, and dust. By first grade he was allergic to dust. Dr’s said keep an eye on peanut butter as that one could come back later in life but at 14 he’s still allergy free except dust.
    Cruise ships would also work with you on the allergens :)

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      We’ll definitely have her tested again – but our allergist said not until she’s 8. Fingers are crossed that at least some will have disappeared…

  40. Nico says

    Aruba is a really great place to vacay. White sand, amazing blue water, beautiful weather, English speaking population. You can rent a car and drive around the whole island. People are friendly and it’s very safe too. :) I’m dreaming of my next getaway too.

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Well, maybe we’ll see you in Aruba ;) Thanks for the recommendation – fingers crossed you get that next trip sooner rather than later!

  41. Angela says

    Go on a Disney cruise. I once saw them close down the entire theatre for a kid with sever allergies could watch a film in the cinema without having a crazy reaction to popcorn. May ham can pay in the pool or the kids clubs and you can do nothing but sip drinks all day.

  42. Candicakes says

    Another vote here for Turks & Caicos. The Sands at Grace Bay is gorgeous, affordable, and has units with full kitchens!

  43. says

    Come to St. John , usvi ! I live here and the beaches are amazing! You can rent a villa and have your own kitchen. I tell people to mail themselves some priority mail boxes. People speak English and there is a clinic here if you should need it.
    I love your dresses. Sewing was my favorite class in high school :) I look forward to
    Trying this out with my daughter when she grows up a bit :)

  44. Grouchiegrrl says

    Has anyone suggested Australia? Long flight I know, but English speaking, brilliant and free medical, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Check out dunsborough or Margaret river in WA – fab wine and food region, lots of stuff to do with kids, world class beaches.

  45. Shanna says

    My family loves vacationing in the Caribbean! We’ve done the all inclusive thing and we’ve rented homes/condos for our stay.
    The Bahamas are great for all inclusive and everyone speaks English! The people are wonderful.
    Cozumel and Play del Carmen are both great options too, and there are very large “touristy” grocery stores that make shopping just as easy as at home.

  46. Kelly says

    Try Malaysia’s Langkawi Island or Perhentian Island? The former has faster access to medical care I think and the locals largely speak English :) plus we got more sun than you can shake a stick at…

    • Mayhem's Mama says

      Fiji is a dream for sure! Probably not practical for us just yet with a preschooler in tow, but a dream destination for sure :)

  47. says

    Hi! Just found your blog and haven’t made it very far yet so I’m not sure what Mayhem’s allergies are or the full extent of them. I have food allergies as well, and love to travel and have found the cards from selectwisely.com incredibly helpful when traveling to non-english speaking countries. Hopefully this is helpful!

  48. Shannon says

    I’m sure someone has probably mentioned it already but airbnb.com has some incredible options for wherever you choose! Your little lady is an inspiration!

  49. Leanne M says

    Australia! We have sun, sand, rainforests, countryside, bush, outback, dessert, mountains…
    Specifically Queensland, up north is tropical and we speak English! There are theme parks, water parks, adventures to be had… :)

  50. Kate says

    I LOVE the dresses and can’t wait to try them with my niece. As for vacations i second (third? tenth?) any of the US or British Virgin Islands. But, if you wanted to dip your toe into the idea before committing to such an expense, I’d suggest the next time you think Disney, you stay at WDW 2-3 days and go to Siesta Key, Fla. for 3-4 days. It’s a 2 hr drive from Disney/Orlando int. apt., just off the coast of Sarasota. Most beautiful beach in America for my money! :)

  51. karen says

    The most relaxing vacation we’ve been on is a Disney Cruise! We’re going on our 4th soon with baby + preschooler. They’re amazing about food allergies and have medical staff on board if need be. They visit tropical destinations too :)

  52. Ashley says

    Love your blog! I have a little four year old girl as well so it’s been fun checking out all your creations!

    I currently live in Grand Cayman (but I am Canadian) and we actually are a vegan family (by choice, not medical reasons). So, should you decide to vacation there, please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! I know a lot of great places to eat and I can certainly point you in the direction of a supermarket that can suit your dietary restrictions. I’ve got a lot of beautiful pictures of Cayman in my Instagram if you care to see: ashdwb

    Good luck!!

  53. Renee says

    The Gullwing Resort &/or Point Estero Resort (sister resorts next to each other) in Fort Myers Beach FL became our annual go to vacation spot after our son was born in ’07. We used to love the all-inclusives too but when he came along we needed space & a kitchen. We love it there … beach is gorgeous, grocery store & CVS right down the street. Check Tripadvisor for reviews. I highly recommend. Btw, your daughter & her dresses are completely ADORABLE. Thanks for taking the time to share your creations.

  54. rach says

    “Don’t stop believing! Hold on to that feeeeaaalinnggg” VBRO! Vacation rentals by owner. We are tropical junkies! My hubs and I hooneymooned in Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita { highhlllyyy recommended} and both places we stayed had full kitchens/markets we could walk to and beach front or close by access. Don’t stop believing. If you do go to Sayulita { again, SO recommended} look up “Beach Break suits” AMAZING.

  55. Marissa says

    Hi! I am a 22 year old senior at UCLA who has lived with anaphylactic allergies to all nuts, and serious allergies to legumes, shellfish, fish, certain fruits my whole life. Yet, I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to nearly 20 countries, without ever ending up in the hospital. Yes, these allergies have been things I’ve had to be mindful of at all times, which sometimes gets annoying, but I have led a completely normal life. I had a completely normal childhood. I could still go to birthday parties, and have sleepovers, go to summer camp and even go on vacations with friends’ families. My parents, just as it seems you are doing with adorable Mayhem, emphasized and re-emphasized throughout my childhood the severity of my allergies, and showed me how to make people understand, and know the right questions to ask to always feel comfortable eating. However, my parents were never overly vocal with their concern, and I never was scared to just be like the rest of the kids. I will always be so appreciative of this. If I have one piece of advice that my parents definitely didn’t think of, have a plan for when Mayhem could be potentially kissing boys…even in spin the bottle haha.

    As a graduating senior who is moving to NYC in June to work at a major fashion magazine, it seriously sounds like you have a special little girl on your hands. I’m sure she will be equally as intuitive with her allergies as she is with her creativity and overall presence :) I can’t wait to see what she does with her life! I’ll be following the journey.

  56. Camille says

    Have you tried the website airbnb? It has rental places all over the world for a great price! Then you can have a wonderful vacation with a kitchen :) I also remember traveling to Belize as a kid and loving it. Have fun!!

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