Friday, March 8, 2019

Tips for Maui on a budget AND Maui with young kids

Tavis and I have traveled all over the place, but there's something so amazing about Maui. It's perfect year round weather, luscious green terrain, lovely warm blue water, great snorkeling, the island is clean and kept up well, there's a nonstop flight from Seattle which is convenient. AND The kids LOVED it. Our daily schedule consisted of 1) watching Moana 2) beach 3) lunch and naps 4) beach again 5) sunset + dinner. A Hawaiian vacation is expensive no doubt, but I felt determined to not make it any more than it had to be. We didn't break the bank, didn't have any post-vacation overspending regrets.... but we still had SO much fun. Watch this video.... doesn't it look fun!? 

One week in Maui for a family of 4 for $2000.
Here's how:

  1. Use a credit card with travel perks. Essentially, all of our flights felt "free" because we used miles.  Our card also has a $350/year "travel allowance" which we used on our rental car... also felt "free" - We flew Hawaiian Airlines... highly recommend. They give a complimentary meal on each flight too!
  2. Stay in a Condo with amenities. full kitchen, laundry, and ours came with baby and beach items too (stroller, high chair, sand toys, beach chairs, body boards). So it was like a home away from home and we didn't spend ANY money on extra activities. (We stayed at the Aina Nalu)
  3. Make the beach your vacation activity. We went to the beach every single day. We took our snorkel gear from home, used the body board from our condo, and just played in the water and sand! There are lots of excursions on the island, but for a family of 4 you're looking at a min. of $150 to sign up for those, so we just decided to make the beach time our activity! :)
  4. Spend *almost* the same amount of money on food as you would at home. To do this, we had to eat every single meal at our condo. (excluding Starbucks... and we got a few treats that we all shared) For some, not eating out might take away from the vacation experience.... but I just bought some tropical island food at the store instead :) There's a costco right by the airport. The fruit generally is WAY more expensive than here, but they have those deli dinners which are very reasonably priced and yummy.
  5. Set a spending money allowance. We spent ours on a beach umbrella ($25), Dole Whip $5, Shaved Ice $5, Eating at a taco truck in Hana ($35), a 20 piece chicken nugget & large pop from Mcdonalds ($6) key chain souvenier ($1) Starbucks ($50) - priorities :)
  6. Don't buy any souvenirs. I'm not going to lie, when I walked past all the hawaiian attire at Costco I was tempted to get a cute new dress, but realized we didn't NEED anything. So my desire to save money outweighed my desire for new Hawaii wear, haha. If you DO want souvenirs, buy them at the Walmart by the airport for cheap.
  7. Don't pay for parking. There are a few paid parking for the beaches but you can usually find free parking nearby.
  8. Skip the tourist attractions + excursions. When we went to Maui in 2014 (not this time) we did a Luau and it was kinda cool... but not really worth the price. There are some free little hula shows at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. We have also paid for snorkeling excursions before but honestly, if you can swim, a self guided snorkel is way better! You're not surrounded by 50 people the whole time, you don't have to follow their schedule, and Tavis' #1 reason to not excursion: you don't have to get seasick on a tiny boat :) 
  9. Don't pay full price. If you do decide to book an excursion or activity never pay full price... there is an online coupon for everything. 
  10. Use the Yelp app to help you save: Example: The main tourist areas have restaurants for $20 min. per person.... if you look on yelp you can find hole in the walls for more like $10 a person, etc. Also, not this trip but on a different one we skipped the $200 hotel spa massages and got $30 massages at the Ahola Message School or something... totally worth it!!

Free Must see/do on Maui:
  • Road to Hana- stop at the black sand beach at Wainapanapa State Park! And watch for rainbow Eucalyptus trees 
  • Walk in downtown Lahaina (along the water at sunset is fun) - for a treat our FAVORITE place is: Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice
  • Visit the Banyan tree in downtown Lahaina 
  • Snorkeling at Black Rock (free if you bring your own gear)

Have fun!!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

WPPI 2019 Promo Code and FREE expo pass

We are speaking at WPPI at the end of February and we would love to see you! Use this link for a FREE Expo Pass or receive 15% off a Platform Pass or an All Access Pass. Feel free to share with friends too!

I wanted to post this blog because I remember the days of googling things like:
  • Free Expo Pass WPPI 2019
  • WPPI Expo Pass
  • WPPI Coupon Code 2019
  • WPPI Promo Code 2019
  • Discount WPPI 2019
  • WPPI Platform Class Code
  • WPPI Master Class Code 
  • WPPI Discounts
So here you go! Click the link to access the WPPI promo code! :)

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Naches Wedding at Fontaine Estates Winery // Sydney + Thomas Marble

Fall wedding in Yakima

Tavis and I photographed this wedding at Fontaine Estates on November 2nd. Sydney and Thomas were a joy to spend the day photographing, and this was an exceptionally memorable wedding to photograph because we know the bride and her family! It is obvious that Sydney and Thomas share a Christ centered relationship. Thomas is from Mississippi and Sydney is from Yakima. They met in Boise through church, and now people refer to Sydney as his translator due to his notorious mumbling and also his accent :) That being said, they truly are a match made in heaven. The way they look at each other, or rather, get lost in each others eyes, is so special to see.

A very memorable moment from the day was as Sydney and her dad shared a first look. Family and bridesmaids gathered around to watch as everyone's eyes filled with tears. Before the ceremony a special prayer was said over the Bride which was another very touching moment as well. During the ceremony the couple performed a feet washing ceremony just like the selfless act in the Bible where Jesus washed his disciples' feet. As mentioned earlier, the whole day and marriage was centered around Christ which was awesome to witness!

Thomas proposed in an orchard and their first look on their wedding day was in an orchard as well! We had a fun time taking them on a little date during couple portraits. It was such a sunny day! (We just won't talk about the portraits at sunset when it was about 30 degrees outside) :) The photos below are some of the highlights of the day. Click HERE to view ALL of the edited wedding images - available 4 weeks after the wedding!

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Marble!

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Tieton Wedding at Mighty Tieton Warehouse // Jill + Michael Boehlke

Sage Green, Cream, and Grey Wedding

Keith and Cloey photographed this wedding at Mighty Tieton on September 22nd. Jill and Michael reside on the west side of the state in Kent. Jill grew up in the Yakima Valley, and moved to Kent for her job. She works as a nurse, which just so happened to be how she met Michael. His daughter, Aurelia, was one of her patients. Now they make the most darling little family!

The day began at A La Mode Spa where the girls got all dolled up for the big day. Once their hair and makeup was finished they proceeded with any last mite touch-ups at Jill's parents house. Guys, their property was absolutely stunning! Jill and Michael's first look took place down the road in an apple orchard. It was so dreamy.
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Upon arriving at the wedding venue, Might Tieton, you immediately felt as if you were stepping right into fall (which was perfect, since it was the first day of fall). Family and friends worked alongside Jill and Michael to make her vision come true. Including apple crates, pumpkins, apples, gourdes, fresh cut greenery throughout the building, and they even hung old windows on the ceremony background of apple bins. Kerri's Cakes made a delicious cake wrapped in greenery all around to match this fall theme.

This couple combined their favorite beers, Hefeweizen for Jill, and Bud Light for Michael to symbolize coming together as one during their reception. They even drank it...Everyone had a good laugh from that! Michael's dad, Mike, gave his toast by starting out with, "I'm crying", but he had a straight face on and obviously wasn't crying. He followed up with, "No, I don't cry". How could you not chuckle when he said that?! The night led to non-stop dancing thanks to Entertainment Plus.

We had a wonderful time capturing Jill and Michael's wedding day. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Boehlke!

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We love weddings! Please contact us for more info and availability.

This Couple's Tieton Wedding Vendors:
 Tieton Ceremony & Reception Venue: Mighty Tieton Warehouse
Photographer: Memory Montage Photography
Flowers: Something Blue Floristry
DJ: Entertainment Plus
Bridal Makeup: A La Mode Spa
Bridal Hair: Chair 9
Wedding Dress: Calla Bridal
Cake: Kerri's Cakes
Catering: Debbie's Catering Services

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Naches Wedding at Fontaine Estates Winery // Katie + Nick Rodriguez

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Light Pink and Navy Wedding

Tavis and I photographed Katie and Nick's wedding on September 22nd at Fontaine Estates Winery in Naches. The Bride's vows were pretty unforgettable, so I thought I would share them with you :)

"Nick, I promise to drink an unimaginable amount of wine, binge watched too much TV and nerd out to too many video games and board games. We are so much alike and I love doing everything with you even if it's absolutely nothing. I promise to make you feel special and loved everyday. I promise I will do my best to cuddle with you more, and stop talking with my mouth full. As long as you promise to put up with my cats, and stop leaving me your laundry anywhere but in the hamper. Dr. Seuss once wrote, 'We are all a little weird, and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.' You are my best friend and the person I want by my side forever. I cannot wait to start our married life, to learn and grow together and start a family. I love you so much, thank you for choosing me."

Obviously, Katie and Nick are a great match! After meeting on Tinder a few years ago, to pursuing a relationship, they were glowing with love on their wedding day. Katie and Nick were a delight to spend the day photographing! A flower wall was made, which made a great prop. Katie and her sisters, Lyndsay and Mackenzie, were such a fun group of girls. We made sure to get lots of pictures of the three sisters, because it was obvious they meant the world to each other :) The sisters also made a great speech during the reception! Nick's touch of sports on his wedding day was not to be forgotten...after he took the garter off Katie, he put it around a football to throw it to the guys. However, the football didn't quite make it there. It got stuck in the rafters! Two gentleman came to the rescue in order to bring it down.

What a fun time we had capturing Katie and Nick's wedding day! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez!

This Couple's Naches Wedding Vendors:
 Naches Ceremony & Reception Venue: Fontaine Estates
Photographer: Memory Montage Photography
DJ: DJ Nahum Ray
Hair: Naches Barbershop
Wedding Dress: LaineeMeg Bridal
Wedding Rings: Marci Jewelry
Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Catering: Cascade Catering
Wedding Planner: Meghan Braun
Videographer: New Diamond Productions

 Yakima Wedding Photographers
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