Category Archives: Travel

Easy Paddington Bear Cupcakes

Our trip to Paddington, Paddington Movie Night + Easy Paddington Cupcakes

Paddington was a movie that as soon as I heard about it last year, I was really excited about it. As I remember reading Paddington as a kid myself. Kyle remembers watching the Paddington Bear cartoons as a kid as well. So now that it was coming to the big screen, I was ready to have Lennox love Paddington as well! The movie was a hit, enjoyed by both adults and kids! I knew it would be one that we bought right away. In fact, we bought it the very first week it was out on digital download. You can buy Paddington Digital Download on Amazon now too before it hits the stores! Now that it is coming out on DVD, I wanted to share our trip to Paddington with you as well as some really cute and easy Paddington cupcakes to make for your family movie night!

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While we were in London – the only request that Lennox had, was to bring her back a Paddington bear. So of course, our first full day in London, we had to head over to the Paddington train station and find the statue, take some pictures and buy Lennox her Paddington Bear – straight from the source! 

When you enter into Paddington Station in London, you will find a statue of Paddington waiting to be found after his trip to London from Darkest Peru. He is located on the left platform way in the back of the station. It doesn’t look exactly like the movie, but Paddington really was named after the station in the story book some years ago. Here is that statue.

Paddington Bear Statue at Paddington Station London

The way the movie resembled Paddington Bear waiting in the station, is pretty close, don’t you agree?

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Now that the movie has become a hit, there is a full Paddington Bear store on the upper level near the entrance to the station. It has everything you could imagine from Bears to Books to Rubber Boots – Paddington is everywhere. We picked up a nice Paddington Bear for Lennox, as well as the original chapter book – that we have been working our way through at bedtime each night. They also have this statue outside their store.

Paddington Bear Statue at Paddington Station London

 This weekend we watched Paddington (again!), and decided to make some special treats to go along with the family movie night theme – cupcakes! I was looking for an easy way to make some fun cupcakes for Lennox but at the same time tie in Paddington Bear. And this is how they turned out:Easy Paddington Bear Cupcakes
All I did was take my favorite cake batter (Duffy’s) and make cupcakes. Once cooled I frosted them with Duffy’s Cream Cheese Frosting. I then dipped them into a bowl of rainbow sprinkles. You can only imagine has excited Lennox was about those sprinkles… I then slipped each cupcake into a Paddington cupcake sleeve that you can print out online here and they were ready to serve! Cute and easy!

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If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you really must – it is so great and a family classic. Also, if you are going to have a Paddington family movie night, a Paddington birthday party or any other Paddington themed party, make sure to check out PaddingtonParties.com for lots of awesome decoration ideas, recipes, coloring sheet print-outs and more for free.  

Follow Paddington on his adventures on Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Starz and MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Memory from Paris

When we were planning our trip to Europe, and Paris in particular, I had reached out on Facebook asking if anyone had any recommendations of something we should do while we were there. One of my friends suggested hiring Stacy Reeves from L’Amour de Paris to take some photos of Kyle and I. I wasn’t sure at first, I looked at the pricing, timing and everything else and still was unsure. I started to follow Stacy on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her photos. They were picture perfect – like on the cover of a bridal magazine perfect. So finally, I made the leap and hired Stacy to capture a few moments of our trip to Paris and I don’t regret doing it at ALL! It was the best thing we paid for while on vacation. So since a picture is worth a thousand words – I won’t explain anymore – instead I’ll just share with you a handful of my favorites from our TWENTY MINUTE session (yes, she is that good!).

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So what do you think? I’m so happy with them and I can not wait to get a few of them up on our walls. Now to just pick which ones! If you are planning on traveling to Paris and want  to capture some similar pictures, you really have to check out Stacy and L’Amour de Paris. You won’t be disappointed.

8 Must See Sights in Venice Italy

Must See Spots in Venice, Italy

I’m Back! I have so many photos and thoughts to share with you from our European Vacation – that I don’t even know where to start. So instead of just dumping 100 photos into a post, I decided to give everyone a peek into our trip, as well as some travel tips for when YOU get to visit these places yourself! 

Of all the places we went, Venice is the place I would tell you that you HAVE to go! My grandfather was right when he told me that Venice is the one place in the world you HAVE to visit! So to start off my posts, here are 8 Must See Spots in Venice, Italy!

8 Must See Sights in Venice Italy

Vaporetto Ride up and down the Grand Canal 

If you are like most visitors, you are flying into Venice from somewhere else in Europe. If you are flying in – the Venice airport is very small but very easy to get out of and to the main area of Venice. Once you are out of the airport, follow the path to the Vaporetto / Alilunga Orange Line to the Grand Canal in Venice itself. This line will bring you all the way through the grand canal giving you a great first look at the city of Venice! We stayed at a hotel right on the Grand Canal and I would recommend you do the same! You can take a Gondola ride as well, but we passed on this as it’s very expensive.

Venice Italy Grand Canal

St. Marks Square

St. Mark’s Square is what you will always see when reading or watching something about Venice. It’s the main square at the “end” of the Grand Canal and many tourists can get stuck in this area and never experience the rest of the Venice. No matter what time of year you go – this area will be busy, it will have the most street carts selling souvenirs and touristy restaurants. Make sure you visit as it’s a great sight to see with many important buildings, but make sure you take the time to explore the rest of Venice too!

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St. Marks Basillica

St. Marks Basillica is located in St. Marks Square and is a sight to see. The outside is amazing looking, but just wait until you walk inside and look up. The golden mosaics cover the whole inside of the building and are quite amazing! You can go in for free, but if you want to go up to the over look area and museum (which I recommend) there is a charge of 5 Euros per person. Here is a view from the balcony on top of the Basillica. 

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Doges Palace & the Bridge of Sighs

Doges Palace is located right next to St. Marks Basilica and we visited right after our visit to the Basilica. None of these attractions take the whole day, so if you have a limited amount of time in Venice, you can easily hit quite a few in one day! Time saver tip: If there is a long line to get in – go across the square to the Museum Correr and buy a combo ticket – this will get you into that museum as well as the Palace and allow you to skip the ticket line at the palace. The museum is some-what interesting, and for “free” it is good to look through, but if you are tight on time – you could skip it and head straight to Doges Palace!

Bridge of Sigh Doges Palace Venice Italy Bridge of Sigh Doges Palace Venice Italy Doges Palace Venice Doges Palace Venice

Frari Church

This church is a little hard to find – as it is set back from the Grand Canal but feel free to get lost along the way – it will be worth it! The church itself is a traditional large nave church and has some amazing and different sculptures. The Rick Steve’s self-guided tour helped us out a lot in this church! You can’t take pictures in this church, but the whole area around the church is great too!

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Rialto Bridge

To me, the Rialto Bridge was a bit underwhelming. It is lined with touristy shops, people selling “selfie-sticks” and pick pockets (be careful!) – but the view is gorgeous from the bridge – so if nothing else, go for the view and pick up a few souvenirs for your family back home!

Rialto Bridge at Night, Venice Italy Rialto Bridge, Venice Italy

Getting Lost in the Back Canals – The #1 thing you have to do in Venice is just roam around and get lost! Getting lost in a city that is foreign sounds pretty unsettling but trust me, once you are there – you will find that it isn’t at all scary, it is a safe city and its so small that you will eventually end up back at the grand canal with the ability to find yourself on a map and get back to your hotel! If you are tired of walking by that time, hop on the Vaparetto! We got lost many times – and one of the times (when trying to find Frari church) was one of the best walks we had in Venice. We winded back and forth through some very residential areas of Venice, seeing how “everyday life” was. When we hit the grand canal again, we were right across from the train station and another beautiful bridge. We hit areas on our walk that we would never of seen if we hadn’t gotten lost and I’m glad we did get lost! Pick a direction, make a few turns and just go for it! When in doubt, ask someone to point you in the direction of the grand canal or st. marks square! 

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