May 2018 / Carmen Varner // Lifestyle Blogger & Social Media + Blogging Coach


How to Survive a Family Vacation as an Adult

Monday, May 28, 2018

This post is sponsored by Perrier® Carbonated Mineral Water but the content & opinions expressed here are my own.

Family vacations are just peachy when you're a kid, but surviving a family vacation as an adult is something else entirely. When you're young you can fall asleep in the stroller & get shuttled around to the next destination by your parents. As an adult, sorry buddy, but Mom & Dad won't be rolling you around in an adult-sized stroller anytime soon. When you're a kid on a family vacation, you can spend time with your cool aunt. When you're the adult on a family vacation, you are the cool aunt! Here are my tips on how to survive your next family vacation as an adult.

1. Schedule time to yourself 

It's vital that you allow yourself time to be alone on the trip. That might be an hour each day of your three-day-weekend getaway to the woods or that could be an entire day to yourself on the month-long family voyage. You set the rules. While the family went out for Sunday brunch, I stayed in our ocean view rental, popped open a Peach Perrier, & blasted music on my laptop. It felt nice to breathe in the salty ocean air, feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, & be by myself. I drink Perrier because it surprises my tastebuds & inspires the unexpected & my family has been drinking carbonated mineral water since before I can remember.

2. Do a Snack Run Immediately

Grab snacks with the entire crew (harder task) or make a couple people buy some supplies at the nearest store (easier task). Having some water & food is always a good option. There's nothing worse than 12 people coming back to the rental after a long night out with absolutely no food or water. We had a supply of bread, peanut butter, jelly, bananas, & oranges to curb any hangry moments. 

3. Bring games

Card games. Board games. This is the 21st Century so you can even download game apps to your phone. After a couple days of bickering, nothing beats the hilarity that ensues after a game of family poker. Try it. We played games until 1 a.m. & laughed the entire time. Games can help cut the tension, allow people to get to know each other, or simply facilitate good old fashioned family bonding time.  

4. Keep your perspective

If your family is pestering you about your career or relationship or life choices, remember that this family vacation is a small blip in life, a small moment in time, & you never know when the next trip is. My last vacation with cousins was 11 years ago. We were kids then. Now we're grown-ups. Some of us are married, some have kids, some moved across the globe. Things change. This family vacation is a tiny part of your life, enjoy the details.

Enter to win a year’s worth of Perrier flavors! Perrier’s new Peach flavored carbonated mineral water is a sparkling fusion of air & water. Add zest to your morning or serve as afternoon refresher, or enjoy it while your family is out to brunch like I did. Here's hoping you'll survive your next family vacation. :]

* Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Perrier® Carbonated Mineral Water. As always, all opinions are 100% mine aka Carmen's. Learn more about my disclosure. :]

One of the Best Views in San Francisco: Pier 14

Friday, May 18, 2018

Itching to see something different on your trip to San Francisco? Stop by one of my favorite spots in the city! Pier 14, baby! San Francisco has its hustle & bustle, just like any city, but it also has its moments of peace & beauty & splendor.

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Why you should visit

Pier 14 offers some of the best views of the city & the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. Stroll across the entire pier & then take a seat to peer at the landscape. Water on one side, the city on the other. It's absolutely magnificent. Great for nature shots, cityscapes, selfies, meditation, & more!

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Bay Bridge is 4.5 miles long & averages a daily traffic of 270,000 vehicles? 

How to find Pier 14

Pier 14 is located a short walk from the Ferry Building. If you're standing outside the Ferry Building, walk in the direction of the large bow & arrow sculpture — the sculpture is called Cupid's Span by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen. I was initially walking toward Cupid's Span, but lost steam & walked down Pier 14 instead. Pretty happy with my find. :]

Want to get this look? Heck yes, my friend! Items linked are similar, not exact (except for the jeans). These are affiliate links. Read more about my disclaimer.

Tell me YOUR secret: where is your favorite spot in San Francisco?

Learning to Love My Body: Stretch Marks, Cellulite, & All

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

I was 122 lbs at my lowest weight & 193 lbs at my highest. At 193 lbs I felt self-conscious & unhappy. But here's the thing, I felt self-conscious & unhappy at 122 lbs too. I look back at photos of me at my lowest weight & I remember how I felt at the time: insecure, unhappy with my body & my looks - even though I was at my leanest, I felt fat! 

It takes a lot of strength to ignore someone's negative opinion of you. It's one thing when someone comments on your life, your relationship, your job, but it's so discouraging when someone makes a negative comment about your body. It takes a lot of strength to change your own attitude about yourself too.

After losing & gaining weight all my life, I decided to focus on being happy, healthy, & present. I’m curvy & loving life & actively working toward feeling comfortable in my own skin. Sometimes I have to tell myself, "shut up with your negative self-talk!" The world is cruel enough, I don’t need to do it to myself.

I focus on health & feeling fit. It's not about the number on the scale or the size of my pants. It's about how I just ran a mile without stopping, something I haven't been able to do in years. It's about quieting the negative self-talk when I'm going grocery shopping without makeup even though my cheeks have some acne scars. It's about embracing the moment for what it is, rather than holding back.

Studies show that youth are consistently dissatisfied with their bodies. Adolescent girls want to weigh less while the boys want to be bigger & stronger, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Their self-perception is swayed by the media & cultural standards in their search for the perfect body.

How about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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