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A Travel-Themed Homemade Holiday Gift Guide

A Travel-Themed Homemade Holiday Gift Guide | CosmosMariners.com

Ready to gear up for the holidays? I've broken my years-long streak of waiting until the last moment to buy presents since I'm pretty sure that a newborn + toddler + Christmas shopping don't really mix. I'm actually completely finished with Britton's holiday gift shopping, which makes me prouder than I probably should be. 

If you're still on the lookout for the perfect presents for the traveler in your life, I'm here to help! Instead of listing my favorite travel products from the past year (as I did in both 2014 and 2015), I decided to go in a different direction this year.

Traveling while Pregnant: Expectations versus Reality

Traveling while Pregnant: Expectations versus Reality | CosmosMariners.com

While I had this blog when I was pregnant with my daughter three and a half years ago, I wasn't really into the whole blogging thing.

Honestly, I was a bit of a mess blogging-wise: I would forget that I even had a blog for weeks at a time, I actively refused to make a Twitter account, and I had no cohesive theme or focus. If you look back at those posts (while I hang my head in blogger shame at how ramble-y and unreadable they are), you'll see that I sometimes talked about my pregnancy and sometimes I talked about my travels, but never together.

Odds + (Week) Ends: Volume 17 {Big Sister Weekend}

Odds + (Week) Ends: Volume 17 {Big Sister Weekend} | CosmosMariners.com

I'm slowly checking off the things that I need to accomplish before I head to the hospital, which is keeping me from spazzing completely at this point. I have just over 2 weeks at most since I've already been scheduled for a repeat c-section at 39 weeks. (If you're wondering why a repeat c-section, read my daughter's birth story here. We're looking to avoid all of that this go-round!)

One of things on that very long to-do list was to show our 3.5 year old just how much we love her. I know that sounds silly because obviously we love her, but we're about to turn her life upside down.

Apple of My Eye: Tips for Visiting Sky Top Orchard, Flat Rock, North Carolina

Apple of My Eye: Tips for Visiting Sky Top Orchard, Flat Rock, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com

Here in the South Carolina Lowcountry, we don't have much of a fall. And by that, I mean that the trees stubbornly hold onto their leaves well into November, only to give a great sigh around Thanksgiving and discard crumbling, brown bits on the ground around Thanksgiving without any of the colorful pomp and circumstance found elsewhere in the country.

We don't have real pumpkin patches, but rather ones where the pumpkins are shipped in and sold rapidly before they start to mold in the 80 degree weather.

How to Come Back in a Big Way after a Blogging Break

How to Come Back in a Big Way after a Blogging Break | CosmosMariners.com

Blogging breaks are essential from time to time. Sometimes, you'll have a big moment in life you want to focus on (like a wedding, honeymoon, or birth), while other times blogging breaks just happen when life speeds along faster than you can keep up.

As someone who took a much-longer-than-was-prudent blogging break earlier this year, I am in the midst of cranking my blog back up. Thanks to a combination of my daughter's preschool letting out, early pregnancy woes, and general blog burnout, I stopped working on the blog back in May and left it to its own devices until about 6 weeks ago. (Oops!)

From Edinburgh to London: 11-Day Itinerary through Scotland and England

From Edinburgh to London: 11-Day Itinerary through Scotland and England | CosmosMariners.com
The ruins of St. Andrews Castle, St. Andrews, Scotland

One of the first major trips that my husband and I took together after we were married was to the UK. I was (and still am!) an Anglophile through and through, having been to the country multiple times before this trip, including a study abroad stint in London during college.

My husband, on the other hand, had only been out of the country once--on our honeymoon cruise to the Caribbean--and had no idea of what awaited him on this trip.

Odds + (Week) Ends: Volume 16 {Hurricane Matthew Edition}

Odds + (Week) Ends: Volume 16 {Hurricane Matthew Edition} | CosmosMariners.com

The end of last week and this past weekend didn't quite turn out as I'd planned. You might have noticed that there was no post last Wednesday or Friday, but I was so busy with packing that I just didn't get around to it.

Having lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for the last three decades, I know there's always the chance that we might have to evacuate during hurricane season. Thankfully, we've only had to evacuate twice since I moved back in 1996: once for Hurricane Floyd, and then this past weekend.

Monthly Blog Goals: October 2016

Monthly Blog Goals: October 2016 | CosmosMariners.com

While the months-long blog break that I inadvertently took this summer was nice, I'm now remembering why it's often a good thing to push through those times when you want to quit blogging. 

Over the last month that I've been at blogging again, I've felt as if I'm running in slow motion as I try to get this thing (and all of its associated social media) going again. Although my blog was on autopilot for a while, I can see where my pageviews and reader interaction dropped (and understandably!), and it's tough not to obsess over the numbers. I know they're going to go back up, but I have to restrain myself from checking Google Analytics multiple times a day.