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Mommy Sabbatical 2014

It’s time for my annual Mommy Sabbatical and I’m off to the most secluded place I could find on earth armed with my usual arsenal of journals and books.

Fregate Island

I am looking forward to this time to reflect, recharge and face some spiritual challenges I’ve been struggling with.  I realize what a luxury and a gift it is to be able to go on a sabbatical, much less to one on the other side of the world.  I am humbled by my husband’s support and generosity in encouraging me to take this time away for myself.  I don’t naturally take time for myself and I’m going to be challenging myself on why that it is during this Sabbatical.

Although I have missed writing I know that I want my words to matter and to encourage or inspire.

I hope that when I return from this Sabbatical I will do so with a fresh perspective and the words and images that will both encourage and inspire you.

I’ll be back with a full report and a special announcement on March 31, 2014.

I promise.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas

Palazzo Suite Venetian Hotel

Accommodations at the Venetian Resort

The Piazza One Bedroom suite at the Venetian Resort is breathtaking and beautifully appointed. This spacious room has everything you could need and plenty of room to spread out and get comfortable.  I originally booked the Luxury 1 bedroom suite but was upgraded to the Piazza One Bedroom upon arrival.

Although you cannot walk through any casino in Las Vegas without experiencing second hand smoking, you can request a truly non-smoking room at the Venetian.

The housekeeping department does an excellent job and the bathroom amenities (toothpaste, tooth brush, shaving cream razor, q-tips, cotton balls, sewing kit, mouth wash etc) are thoughtful and on point.

Room Service was a breeze thanks to their online ordering system which I LOVED.  You can even preorder breakfast and it actually shows up on time and looks like the picture on the website.

Although it would be a shame never to leave the hotel, there is quite a bit at the hotel to keep you occupied.

Be sure to check out the Suite Value offer on the Luxury 1 bedroom suite.

Shopping at the Venetian Resort

Grand Canal Shoppes

The first thing you notice when you enter the Grand Canal Shops is the Gondoliers.  Yes, it’s all kinds of Vegas Touristy but the Gondola Rides are at least something to see, if not do.  If the kids were there we would have definitely had a ride.   Although it doesn’t compare to actually being in Venice, it is pretty and makes the shopping at the Grand Canal Shops a little more interesting.

My favorite stores at the Grand Canal Shops:

7 for all Mankind

Barney’s New York

Bottega Veneta

Camille Flawless

Chapel Hats


Christan Louboutin

Herve Leger

Houdini’s Magic Shop (great place for kids)

Tory Burch


Restaurants at the Venetian Resort

The Venetian Resort offers a variety of Fine dining and Casual dining options.

Instead of Starbucks try Cafe Press where I had the BEST Vanilla Chai Latte I’ve ever had.

If you’re in the mood to try a Gastropub then Public House is where you want to go. I prefer it for lunch and I highly recommend the Prime Rib French Dip and the seasonal oysters.

Try Cut if you’re in the mood for a really good steak, you won’t be disappointed.

AquaKnox has a fantastic raw bar and is the place to go if you are in the mood for seafood.

Sweet Surrender has the most amazing cupcakes! Try the Birthday Surprise or the Red Velvet cupcake. It’s not a restaurant, more of a kiosk but they will package it to go for you.

Espressamente Illy has a large selection of delicious sweet treats (among other things) but I didn’t get past the macaroons. Don’t go there without trying a few.


Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian Resort

If you like to indulge in spa treatments you cannot go wrong with the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian Resort.  I was able to get same day appointments for most treatments and their gym also included a rock climbing wall!  If I wasn’t here for an education conference I would have spent more time in the spa.


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Hello from Ireland

Marlton Hotel

This week I’m in Ireland with the Road Warrior on a 9-day business trip.

My wonderful sisters have flown in for babysitting duties and our children are now  enjoying being spoiled senseless by doting Aunts who love them unconditionally and think a 7:30 bedtime is really more of a loose guideline than a set time.


The scenery and weather in Ireland is exactly what you’d imagine: It’s very green, gorgeous, cool and damp.

It has taken me 2-days to get over the jet lag (being the unseasoned international traveler that I am) and I’m finally starting to feel awake and coherent.

Which is a good thing since tomorrow is the only open day of our trip (and also our 13 year wedding anniversary).

In celebration I’ll get to spend 10 glorious hours alone with my husband, exploring Ireland.

I won’t lie though. Everything I see reminds me of our children and I wish they were here to see and experience it all too.

Light House at Old Head

If you’d like to follow along I’ll be posting pictures from Ireland on my Instagram account.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

5 reasons to stay at South Seas Resort in Captiva

This past week the Beech Conference was held in Captiva Island at the South Seas Island Resort.  Our family loves this resort and so when I heard that the Beech Conference was going to be held there, I knew there was no way I was attending  without my family.  As if my children would ever allow that anyway.

Marina at South Seas Resort in Captiva Island


5 Reasons families should stay at South Seas Resort in Captiva Island

 Saraya at South Seas Resort, Captiva Island

There are many different types of accommodations in various price points.

No matter the size of your family (or budget) you can most likely find the perfect room type for you.  The first time we stayed at South Seas we rented their 2 bedroom Beach Cottage.  Although it was nice, we realized that we prefer being closer to the main pool.  This time we rented a private house and were spoiled by having extra space, our own pool & hot tub along with close proximity to the main pool and Marina.

Catching Fish Captiva Island, Florida ~ @KarinKath

There is no shortage of things to do, it’s impossible to be bored.  

The resort offers a wide variety of resort activities.   This year our kids enjoyed fishing for the first time (off the T-Dock) and our twin boys had their first sailing lesson.  There are also 2 pools (1 with a fun slide), a Kids’ club, a must-do Scavenger Hunt, arcade, put-put golf, 9-hole golf course, kayaking, a nature center along with a variety of daily activities that you can drop in on or sign up for.

Fishing in Captiva Island


The sunsets are amazing and so are the cocktails.

South Seas Resort Sunset


The shells you can find on the beach are incredible. 

If you venture off property be sure to visit the Shell Museum (in nearby Sanibel) so you can have a better appreciation of the shells you will find.  We like to take a laminated shell card with us to the beach so that we can identify the shells we find.


The family memories you make will keep you coming back for more. 

There are some places you visit just once, and other places that keep you coming back for more.  Captiva Island is like that.  South Seas Resort is like that.  One visit will undoubtedly have you hooked.  This is the place that family memories are made and traditions begin.

Kids with 1,000 piece puzzle

 Other places to visit in Sanibel/Captiva Island

The Bubble Room is an institution in Captiva. It’s known for it’s quirky atmosphere and cake.  The Road Warrior would like you to know that it doesn’t offer milk shakes.  Don’t say he didn’t warn you.  I highly recommend the Napoleon Bonaparte sandwich and the Red Velvet Cake.

The Shell Museum in Sanibel is truly worth a stop.  They have a fantastic display of shells, including Sailor’s Valentines.   A visit to the Shell Museum will give you a better appreciation of the shells that you find on the beach and the ability to identify them and impress your friends and family!

The Mucky Duck is a fun place and worth the wait.  Sit outside (open seating) and take in the sunset and warm weather.


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Our Costa Rican Family Adventure

After delaying the trip one year we are finally here, in Costa Rica.  I cannot stop pinching myself.

Costa Rica is everything we wanted from a vacation destination with the kids and a little bit more.  Who knew we’d have pictures that made us feel like we were National Geographic Explorers?

Or  Crocodile Hunters?

Or Adventurers who can do anything—even ziplining across a rainforest?

Beginning in August I’ll post more on our travel adventures including our tips and suggestions for planning your own Family Adventure in Costa Rica.  In the meantime, you can follow along on my Facebook page for more pictures.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.