Our Recent Visit to American Girl Overland Park, Kansas

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014 in Family Travel

Our Recent Visit to American Girl Overland Park, Kansas

Let me let you in on a not so-secret secret. My ten-year-old daughter is a huge American Girl doll fan and collector. Since the age of 7, she has been collecting the dolls and now has 10 of them in her room. As a mom, I am also a huge fan of the brand because it celebrates the girl power in us all and also gives girls a peek into history with their historical dolls and books. She can play with them and learn from them too, which is a win/win. Since she’s been an American Girl fan, we’ve been able to travel and visit the Chicago store three times, the New York City store, and the Kansas City store twice. A few weeks ago, we took a quick roadtrip and traveled to K.C. for a little fun, and also stopped again at the Overland Kansas store. I made it clear that she wouldn’t be getting any dolls, but she could purchase some accessories and clothing for her dolls if she wanted. She managed to find a few outfits for her dolls alongside some hair accessories and earrings. She also purchased a skirt for herself to wear (yep, if you didn’t know, American Girl sells some of the same outfits the dolls have in real girls’ sizes). If that wasn’t enough, her doll, Lola, got a nice updo at the AG Salon. Lola was her first American Girl doll and we bought that one at the Chicago store. Part of our travel plans have to include American Girl. My daughter enjoys seeing the different store layouts and her goal is to visit every American Girl store in the U.S. Not sure if that is going to happen, but she can dream. The Overland Park, Kansas store is a little smaller than the American Girl in Chesterfield, Missouri. It doesn’t have an American Girl Cafe Bistro like the other locations we have visited, but does have a salon, a t-shirt printing area, and a book and arts and crafts area. This location is nestled in a mall, which may account for the lack of size. The one here near St. Louis is also located at a mall, but you have to walk outside of the store to get entrance to or out of the store. The Kansas store has direct access to the Oak Park Mall. The staff was friendly and helpful as always. I’ve been told other than working for Disney, this is the best place to work. And by the looks of things, I totally believe it. Here are two pictures from our AG Overland Park, Kansas...

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Tips for Traveling with Pets

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Travel

Tips for Traveling with Pets

When we got our dog, we never thought about what we would do with him when we travel. Of course, we could always pay for him to stay at some pet hotel or have a friend stop by to check on him. But what do you do when you want to take  your pet on vacation with you. When we first starting traveling with our dog, I had no clue about the do’s and dont’s. Sure, I knew we had to make sure the establishment was pet friendly but that’s all I really knew. I learned the hard way when we took our dog with us on a vacation last year but didn’t check the dog in. Hell, I thought as long as the hotel said pet-friendly we were all good. Well, we weren’t and they wanted to charge us $350. After some talking to the manager that was quickly reduced to $50. So here is what you need to know when traveling with your pet. Check to see if the establishment is pet-friendly. Ask what is the pet policy, some hotels charge a clean up fee. Also, make sure you check your pet in, if you don’t this could lead to an even heftier charge. Most airlines will allow you to travel with pets, contact the carrier in advance to get their policy as well. Most won’t charge a fee but they must airlines require they be in a carrier. Make a travel list for your pet. Don’t forget to bring poop bags, leashes (depending on the pet) and food . I swear every time we don’t  make a list, we forget something our dog needs. Make sure to get the name and number of a veterinarian close to your destination in case your pet begins to feel ill. Make sure your pet is caught up on all their shots/medicine etc., and don’t forget your tags in case your pet gets lost. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! We love taking our dog with us. After all he is a member of the family, plus he hates when we leave him. These are just a few tips, do you have anymore to add, leave them in the comments...

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Essie Color Boutique Makes it Easy to Get Fab While Traveling

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Health and Beauty

Essie Color Boutique Makes it Easy to Get Fab While Traveling

While flying out of  Oakland International Airport last week, I saw something that caught my eye when walking to my gate. It was a beautiful vision for someone like myself who loves beauty items, fashion, and style. It was an Essie Color Boutique filled with Essie colors. Essie is one of my favorite nail color brands, and I loved seeing that they had incorporated their polishes in a cute self-serve beauty kiosk that is perfect for gals on the go like myself. What a treat! I’ve seen plenty of self-serve kiosks whilst traveling. Best Buy, Straight Talk, and even Benefit Cosmetics are ones that I see the most often at the airport. But Oakland’s Airport was the first time that I had seen Essie’s offering. It had me at hello! Essie Boutique is complete with a touch screen that lets you see the color swatch and select which colors you want to purchase. It is user friendly and offers the latest in their nail color collections, plus standbys and old faves that we can’t get enough of. A nail polish vending machine? Why didn’t I think of that? Essie’s polishes are $8.00 each (in the machine I saw). This is perfect for long layovers flights. Simply purchase a color of your choice and do your nails while at the gate, or while in the air. I say brilliant! What are your thoughts? Would you purchase nail polish from the Essie Boutique at the airport? Or do you think it’s a little too much fabulosity? Chime in below in the comment section. 🙂 There’s an @essie “boutique” in the Oakland Airport. Swoons! #travel #BlogHer14 pic.twitter.com/2fStkEHPt3 — Danyelle Little (@TheCubicleChick) July 27,...

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Roadtrippin: Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, IL

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Family Travel

Roadtrippin: Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena, IL

This past weekend, I took a road trip to Galena, IL to stay at Eagle Ridge Resort. The drive was less than 3 hours from Chicago, so I considered it a mini-vacation, a quick getaway for me and the boychild. This was our first time visiting Galena and I can’t wait to go back. Slower than the fast pace I’ve become accustomed to here in Chicago, Galena is the place to go to when you just want to get away. The drive down was so peaceful, the scenic route was amazing, perfect for those who love nature. On the drive over, I remember thinking, if you ever wanted to know that God is real just drive to Galena. The rolling hills, the cows, the cliffs, everything was just so beautiful. I really could’ve spent a few more days in Galena, I know when the snow falls it’s going to be even more beautiful. While in Galena, we got a chance to stay at a 2-Bedroom house at Eagle Ridge Resort. We had our own little house in the hills and I loved it! We got up every morning, cooked breakfast and headed off to explore all the activities that Eagle Ridge had to offer. I’ll tell you more about what we did this week on Swa-Rai.com. The best part was going out on to the back porch, and seeing turkeys in the woods. It truly was our time to be one with nature. And to be honest, I’m not really a nature girl, but in Galena, I felt at peace.  If  nature doesn’t get you the staff and people of Galena will, they were nothing short of amazing! They were so nice and helpful, I immediately felt at home.  Who knew a self-proclaimed city-girl like myself could be changed. I think the boychild was in love with Eagle Ridge even more than me, he didn’t want to leave. It made my heart happy seeing him run around the house and outside just having a ball, not having a care in the world. Somehow Eagle Ridge managed to steal a piece of my heart, as I type this I wish I was still there. It was also fun to get out and explore the City  of Galena as well. If you love shopping, Galena has a wide-assortment of little shops for you to explore. While you are in downtown Galena, stop by one of the restaurants and enjoy a meal. Galena is perfect if you are looking to spend some time with the kids or looking to spend some time with that special someone, you are bound to have a ball in Galena. If  you do plan on making a visit, you must rent a house from Eagle Ridge Resort and don’t forget to tell them I sent you! Disclosure: I was provided with a 2 night stay, however all...

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