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0 In Travel

Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes When Applying for Your U.S. Passport

Disclaimer: I am by no means an authorized agent to issue US Passports, I am solely speaking from experience based on everyday encounters. For authorized, professional information please visit or your local passport acceptance center. 

I hear people applying for their passport all day and person after person comes in ALL day asking the same questions and making the SAME mistakes. ALL of the instructions are on the form when applying for your passport but most people get intimidated because there are quite a few pages and paragraphs of instructions. I don’t have a long intro for this post to make it sound good I’m basically about to tell you the most frequently asked questions/mistakes I hear all day and the answers to those questions. 


1. Fill out your passport application using BLACK INK only. 

It’s literally like the first thing the application says after “Application for US Passport” and still its one of the most common mistakes. No it won’t be ok if you use blue ink. Yes it really does matter. Especially now more than ever the lines when applying for your passport are LONG and you WILL get sent to the back of the line with a blank form to fill out again. Don’t waste your time. You can also fill it out online ahead of time and print it out at

2. The bottom part of the first page that says STOP…. really…. STOP. 

That portion of the front page has to be signed and completed in front of an authorized passport agent. I promise they don’t need your help. Do not sign ahead….or you will again, be filing out another passport form. 

3. If you’re a minor applying for a passport, BOTH parents must be present. 

The only exception to this rule is to have written, notarized consent from the other parent and it must be signed the same day. You can check out form DS-3053 here for the complete rules regarding circumstances like these. For special circumstances such as sole custody, death of a parent etc., proof must be provided. 

4. Renewal forms are for adults over 16 years of age only! 

If you were issued a passport and you were under the age of 16 at the time it was issued, you have to go through the process as if you were obtaining a new passport. Point blank. Even if you still have your old passport. 

5. You must check online for the appropriate fee for your application! 

There is a separate passport fee and execution fee. Both can be found here. This is the most updated way to get the appropriate fee for your application. 


Dassit! So now, where are we headed? xo.

0 In Travel

5 Instagram Accounts That Will Ignite Your Family Travel Wanderlust

For some reason this post was a lot harder to write than it should’ve been. I really had to sit and question, where are all the black family travel bloggers? If you do a quick search of the hashtags #familytravel or #familytravelblogger the lack of melanin is all up and thru there! I was slightly disappointed and for a minute I questioned if we’re still so busy buying Jordans and “doing it for the gram” that we STILL aren’t providing our children with experiences when it’s becoming even easier to find inexpensive ways to do so. 

Anywho now that my short little rant is over I have to say I’ve been bit with the wanderlust bug. Of course now, I’m 8 months pregnant and I can’t go much of anywhere so I’m hoping this baby comes a little early so we can fit in a late summer trip. But while I’m waiting these families on Instagram are giving me all the feels and reminding me that #blackfamiliestravel. 

1. @themomtrotter

Aiden: "Mom, can you take a picture of me under water?" . With the weather in the 80's yesterday, this guy spent all day in the pool. —- He starts his summer swim lessons next month and is super excited about it 🏊🏊🏊 —- Do you know how to swim? Do your kids know how to swim? And At what age did they learn how to swim without floaters? . . . . . . . . . . . #GoProHero4 #GoProKids #UnderWater #LosAngeles #HomeSweetHome #SummerReady #KidsSwim #JetsettingKids #FamilyGo #FamilyAdventure #TravellingFamilies #FamilyTravel #FamilyTravelBlog #TravelKid #ToddlerTravel #KidsTravel #TravellingWithKids #TravelWithKids #TravelKids #KidsWhoTravel #ThingsToDo #OneStateAtATime #FamilyOnVacation #WorldSchooling #TakeYourKidsEverywhere #ShowThemTheWorld #HaveKidsWillTravel #WeAreTravelMums #TakeTheKids #BringTheKids

A post shared by K @ theMOMtrotter (@themomtrotter) on

2. @thepreciousmommy

3. @thetravelingchild

4. @seejettfly

5. @heathergd

Loved the bright colours on the streets of #Cascais #art #instaart

A post shared by Heather Greenwood Davis (@heathergd) on

Are you following any of these beautiful traveling families? Who are some of your favorite family travel bloggers? 

0 In life/ Travel

I Rode My First Rollercoaster at 26!

Thank you to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom for providing us with complimentary admission in exchange for this blog post. All opinions expressed belong to me =)

A couple weeks ago I FINALLY had a day off from work and was able to take a day trip with my boyfriend and friends to Dorney Park. We went on a perfect day, being a Tuesday (which Dorney recommends on their Trip Tips page) the wait time in line was MAYBE 10 minutes the longest. 

I was excited, but secretly terrified all at the same time LOL. I had never done the rollercoaster thing. The last time I went to an amusement park I was in …… EIGHT grade? Soooooo over 10 years ago. And even then I was too chicken to ride any rollercoasters. I was excited, it was my boyfriend and my 6 year anniversary and I was ready to face my (for nothing) fear!!

 Out here being a winner.... Though I didn't actually win anything LOL

Out here being a winner…. Though I didn’t actually win anything LOL

If you can’t tell by the name, Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom are two separate parks, in one location. They have the majority of their water rides separated from the dry rides still allowing you to get the best of both worlds. Saisha and I were ALL READY for the water rides, but the guys weren’t as thrilled. After two rides (and the two of us spending some time in the kiddie area LOL) they were ready to go to the other side of the park. 

 Idk if my boyfriend is dancing... playing the drums.... I have no idea. LOL

Idk if my boyfriend is dancing… playing the drums…. I have no idea. LOL

 In line for the Wild Mouse rollercoaster... which is one of their smallest coasters, yet it's the one that gave me the biggest heart attack.

In line for the Wild Mouse rollercoaster… which is one of their smallest coasters, yet it’s the one that gave me the biggest heart attack.

When we first got to the park The Talon was being worked on and we didn’t think we would get to ride that particular roller coaster. It ended up being the last ride we went on and my favorite from the entire day. I’m glad I got over my fear, tried something new, and enjoyed the experience with some of the people I love the most! I can’t wait to make another trip to Dorney! 

I ended up taking most of pictures on and of the actual rides on SnapChat (follow me) and forgetting to save them, my boyfriend also was convinced his phone case was waterproof, took pictures, and the phone didn’t survive to share LOL. So sorry for the stock image of the coaster but the one below has part of it in the background!

What’s your favorite amusement park? Do you have a roller coaster fear? What other parks should I visit?


0 In Travel

Day Trip to Sesame Place in the 2016 Mazda CX-5

I received this car courtesy of Mazda in partnership with Driveshop to drive for a week free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

At the end of April we had the opportunity to attend opening day at Sesame Place! I hadn’t been in forever so my excitement was REAL. It’s a little drive from NYC so when I was given the chance to drive the 2016 Mazda CX-5 I literally wanted to JUMP in. I was too hype on drop off day and of course I couldn’t wait to start posting pics on Snapchat!! 

The CX-5 was a beautiful Soul Red just like the Mazda 3 I reviewed late last year. The inside was a cream and black leather interior and it was soooooo nice I almost didn’t want to let RJ in it (cause you know, toddlers!). 

After RJ and his daddy got everything situated in the car, we drove our 2 hour drive to PA in comfort! The heated seats in the front definitely came in handy when we were on our way home and it was chilly outside. I love some heated seats! LOL. The CX-5 came equipped with blindspot detectors, auto-windshield, SIrius XM radio and a whole lot more that made me feel extremely fancy! I loved driving the car in “Sport” mode (you’ll love it too if you like to drive fast, hehe). 

So ya’ll know I always have to talk about the gas mileage since my own car is a guzzler. The CX-5 boasts an impressive 35 highway MPG giving you the change to “conquer more highway on less fuel”. I was super excited when I was able to get half a tank of gas for $10… that’s with NYC gas prices! The only struggle I had during my week with the car was figuring out how to open the gas tank…. are they all on the floor now?! LOL 

Starting at $21,795 the Mazda CX-5 is the perfect family car and an amazing compact SUV. To learn more about the CX-5 visit here.

0 In Travel

Our Super Quick Staycation – Split Rock Resort

My family was provided complimentary accomodations at Split Rock Resort to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Last week our family went to visit a friend in Pennsylvania and even though we have a family house up there we wanted to take a “staycation” and take in some new scenery away from work and pretty much everything that was familiar. We had an amazing overnight at Split Rock Resort and I while I was actually pretty sad that we had to come back so soon, it was SO worth it.

 Excuse the grainy snapchat screenshot. This was the first thing he ran to though.

Excuse the grainy snapchat screenshot. This was the first thing he ran to though.

Pretty much anything you can think of that you would WANT to do, you can do at Split Rock. You pay a small resort fee and you get access to all the amenities and equipment that the resort had to offer. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend that much time exploring outside because it was a rainy ugly day and it was super late once we got back from visiting with our friend.

 H20ooohh Water Park! 

H20ooohh Water Park! 

H20ooohh! is the resorts indoor water park which boasts over 53,000 square feet of attractions. During the off season the park is open Thursday – Sunday and we were there on a Tuesday so we didn’t get to go in. We definitely plan to revisit. 

Split Rock has a variety of accommodations, and during our stay we got to stay in one of their bigger suites. Our room included a full kitchen, a living and dining room area, a separate bedroom  with an in-suite tub. It was beautiful and definitely one of the nicest rooms I’ve stayed in (sheltered life)! 

 This was my favorite part of the room! And RJs too! He loved taking a bath in the huge tub.

This was my favorite part of the room! And RJs too! He loved taking a bath in the huge tub.

The hotel has a couple different options for food so the morning we checked out I headed to Split Rock Grill for  breakfast. BABY!!!!!! Everything was delicious! The food was ready in about 10 minutes and I took it back up to the room since the boys didn’t want to get out of bed til the LAST minute. I enjoyed my breakfast silently… I’ll spare y’all the after pic but I did post it on snapchat. LOL. When they finally did get up we walked around the resort some before we had to head back to NYC and real life. 

 His little self was so excited and overwhelmed with the arcade. He didn't know which button to press first.

His little self was so excited and overwhelmed with the arcade. He didn’t know which button to press first.

Even though our stay was super short, we enjoyed being away from home. Most times when you stay away, you’re ready to go back home. This was not one of those times. We’re definitely going to look into visiting again in the summer when we can do more things outdoors and hopefully have a chance to visit the water park. If you’re looking for a quick staycation, a getaway from NYC, or a great place to visit on the east coast then Split Rock is it! 

0 In Travel

Birthday Cruising in the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Special thanks to Driveshop and Mitsubishi for providing me with this vehicle free of charge to drive in exchange for my honest review. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

Yea I know what you’re thinking, my birthday was in February. This post is super super overdue and for that I have to first apologize because life had me a little bit behind and I’m just now pulling it back together.

Anywho thanks to the holiday and some other scheduling related things I got the chance to drive the 2015 Outlander Sport for a little over a week and it was FUN. We all drove into the city to see Sesame Street Live and then over the following weekend my boyfriend and I drove to Atlantic City to celebrate my birthday weekend a little early. 

The panoramic sunroof was one of my favorite features of the car (other than the super low gas mileage, it was less than $25 to fill our tank up in New Jersey!). Since the sky was so clear it made me feel like we were on vacation somewhere with nice weather, rather than driving around in cold NYC!

Ample trunk space for Target trips is a MUST! This was one of our lighter trips. There was plenty of room for more groceries!

One thing that was a negative for me about the Outlander is that it does not have the LATCH safety feature for carseats in the middle. RJ is still rear facing and we like to put him in the middle for safety but he LOVED being next to/looking out of the window.

And with the convertible car seat rear-facing the car had to be pushed VERY far forward in order for the seat to be installed correctly. Not that practical if I wanted to drive and my boyfriend wanted sir in passenger seat … his legs definitely wouldn’t fit (sidenote:… breastpump in the cup holder? Ok Tanay….. LMAO. SORRY YALL! HAHA). 

I’ve definitely concluded that I am an SUV girl! Is it the mom in me? I need one! Had RJ been forward facing already we would not have any spacing issues in the Outlander and this car would be perfect size for our family! I couldn’t get enough of the sunroof, the heated leather seats, GPS navigation and Sirius XM radio and all the other bells and whistles!

Starting at $19,595 the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is definitely an SUV after my own heart. What kind of car do you drive? For more information about the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport visit their website, here.

0 In Travel

My First Overnight Away from Baby in the 2016 Mazda3 s Grand Touring

 *Thank you to the amazing people at DriveShop for the opportunity to test drive this beauty for a week in exchange for my review. As always all opinions belong to me :-D*

Before all the holiday madness commenced I went to DC overnight and spent my first night away from RJ since he was born! Almost 14 months old and can you say…. separation anxiety???? I mean… he was fine but me…… as soon as James and I drove away from the house it became apparent just how much this kid is my life. You know on tv when the parents finally get to go on a date without their kid but they spend the whole time talking about him anyway??? Yea, after about an hour of just talking about the baby I realized I needed to focus on enjoying the moment we were in… baby free… because who knows when we’ll get another!  

Our poor car Luna is sooooooo over worked so I was excited when I reached out to Driveshop and got the 2016 Mazda3 to drive for the weekend. And the Soul Red?! Beautiful!

I loved driving this car! Absolutely loved! I’m a small girl so compact cars are my thing when I’m driving alone (rare) and I definitely didn’t mind that it took less than $20 for us to fill up the tank when we were in DC! That’s a super win! 

 This is the closest I've been to the Washington Monument. I was excited.  

This is the closest I’ve been to the Washington Monument. I was excited.  

The Sport mode, the all leather interior with heated seats, and the navigation are only the beginning of all the amazing features the Mazda 3 had to offer. For more information on the Mazda 3 s Grand Touring click here .

0 In explore - nyc/ Travel

I Fell in LOVE!!! – 2016 Kia Sorento SXL

I was given the opportunity to test drive the 2016 Kia Sorento SXL for a week free of charge thanks to the amazing people at Kia and Driveshop! As usual, all opinions expressed belong to me :). 

So let me tell you this past week or two has been pure madness!! My sweet little boy turned one October 23rd and we threw him a big party the next day so I had a gazillion and one errands to run and just could not find the time to update. I didn’t think it’d be right to give y’all a half-rushed/poorly written post just as a filler. So forgive me please! I’m back :). 

When I was given the opportunity to test drive the Sorento for the week I JUMPED at the chance because I was looking forward to all the extra space we’d have! Kia did not disappoint! 


Let me tell you when they say FULLY loaded! They mean it! Everything I could think of, the Sorento provided right down to the heated steering wheel  and the blind-side detectors that beeped to let you know if it was unsafe to switch lanes! As soon as the car arrived one of the first things I said was “I love this car”. I truly felt sad when it was time to say goodbye!

So of course mommy-brain and just business made me completely forget to take pictures of just how much space was in the interior of the car but LET ME TELL YOU! RJ got about 50/11 presents for his birthday and we were able to have the third row up, drive with 5 passengers and a car seat and still fit all the birthday presents and most of the decorations from his party. It is THAT spacious. I seriously have no complaints about this car.

One day when I’m about that SERIOUS mom life (read: once I have multiple kids) I told James we HAVE to look into getting a Sorento. I NEEDS THIS CAR! LOL.

*The 2016 Kia Sorento starts $24,900. For more details on pricing/features, visit here.*

0 In explore - nyc/ Travel

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch! – F& W Schmitt Family Farm

We got to go to the pumpkin patch this weekend and I was super excited! It was almost perfect fall weather (the wind was REAL) and I hadn’t had an excuse to go before RJ so of course I was ready for October to get here!

That’s my “Why are we always late?” face. We got to Schmitt Farms around 3:30pm and they close at 5 so I was nervous about not having enough time to see everything that I … I mean RJ… wanted to see. Of course my battery died so I didn’t get to take pictures, but my boyfriend got some great ones.

Schmitt Family Farm is located in Melville Long Island. Other than a pumpkin/vegetable patch, they have a petting zoo, pony rides, airbrush tattoos/face painting, multiple inflatables and a playground. I am super upset about my phone dying because I didn’t get to capture pictures of everything that we did but I can say that everything was super reasonably priced ($3 for the petting zoo, $0.74/pound per pumpkin and free hayride!) and it was busy so I can imagine it’s the go-to farm if you are in the NYC/Long Island area and aren’t looking to travel upstate. I also heard pricing-wise it is more reasonably priced than another farm local to it, but that’s only hearsay since I haven’t been there. My family enjoyed it, even my boyfriend who was resistant at first! I can’t wait to go back next year!

Check it out: F&W Schmitt Family Farm.

Do you have any fall family traditions? What’s your favorite fall acitivity?

0 In explore - nyc/ Travel

Smorgasburg BK

We got the chance to check out Smorgasburg in Williamsburg Brooklyn on Saturday and if you love food, you will be in heaven. Smorgasburg has over 100 food vendors, it’s pretty much a food flea market. They have everything you can think of and foods from all different cultures. It was definitely a fun experience, and I’m ready to go back! 

One thing I would keep in mind if you’re taking the littles with you is that it’s super crowded. Everyone wants in on the food action. We didn’t take this into account and brought our stroller and there was literally nowhere to push it. RJ and daddy had to sit in the picnic area and they didn’t get to walk around and see all the different vendors. It’s definitely a baby carrier type event. 


Ready for picture overkill?  LOL

 Ramen Burger! Yummy. 

Ramen Burger! Yummy. 

 Mmmm. Nutella ice cream sandwich. 

Mmmm. Nutella ice cream sandwich. 

 Stink and his Godmommy. Still eating. Lol. He loved that corn. 

Stink and his Godmommy. Still eating. Lol. He loved that corn. 

 Live Band. 

Live Band. 

 Selfies with daddy  

Selfies with daddy  

How was your weekend? What’d you do?