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Monthly Goals: March 2017

Monthly Goals: March 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

So, this year, my word is balance. Two months into 2017, and I am reminded everyday as to why I chose it. From the moment I get up in the morning to the moment I go to sleep, there is a constant battle between what my infant needs, what my preschooler needs, blog stuff that needs to be written/scheduled, freelance writing stuff that needs to be done, housework that cannot be put off another day, and actually spending time with my husband.

Most of the time, I feel as if I'm trying to do everything but actually accomplishing nothing.

Breakfast with Pooh + Friends: The Crystal Palace at Walt Disney World Dining Review

Breakfast with Pooh + Friends: The Crystal Palace at Walt Disney World Dining Review | CosmosMariners.com

Now that I have a preschooler, we're really big into Pooh Bear and his friends (they're right up there with Elsa and Anna in my daughter's eyes), so I wanted to make sure that we did a meet and greet with them while she was still in her full-on Pooh Bear phase.

If you've ever been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you know that character meet and greets are serious business. Many characters only do meets at certain places in certain parks at particular times, so, if you're hoping to get some pictures with your favorite characters, it's worth it to do some research beforehand. If you, like my daughter, love Pooh Bear, you have two options to meet him: wait in (a very long) line with dozens and dozens of other squirmy preschoolers over in the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom, or you can book a meal at the Crystal Palace.

9 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography Skills

9 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography Skills | CosmosMariners.com

I've always loved taking pictures, but it wasn't until I bought my first DSLR that I really caught the photography bug. I rarely buy souvenirs from the places that we visit since my photos make for a much better way to remember trips by.

If you're interested in travel photography, know that there's definitely a learning curve. Travel photography requires the right equipment, techniques, and skills. It might seem overwhelming at first, but with some practice, you can have your photos looking breathtaking.

Here are nine tips to improve your travel photography skills:

The Best of Ireland in 1.5 Weeks: A Road Trip Itinerary

The Best of Ireland in 1.5 Weeks: A Road Trip Itinerary | CosmosMariners.com

When I'm planning an itinerary for a new trip, I try to include a driving portion whenever possible. Not only is a road trip often more time-effective than relying on transportation, it can also be cost-effective since you have more flexibility in where you're staying.

For our trip to Ireland last year, I knew we had to see Dublin--but I also wanted to explore the rest of the country as well. We didn't have a terribly long time to stay because of my husband's limited vacation days, but we managed to put together what I think is an incredible road trip that takes in the best of what Ireland has to offer!

Monthly Blog Goals: February 2017

Monthly Blog Goals: February 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

This past month was the first full month that I was completely on my own with both kids. For the second half of November and all of December, I had at least one other adult around me 24 hours a day to help with all of the feeding, cooking, cleaning, and laundry that goes along with having tiny humans in the house. Because of that, I not only managed to keep blogging, but make some serious headway in scheduling, writing, and planning content.

Historic Travelers Who Will Inspire Your Next Trip: 100 to 1500 AD

Historic Travelers Who Will Inspire Your Next Trip: 100 to 1500 AD | CosmosMariners.com

I'm about to tell you something that will rock your world, so get ready:

Travel existed before 1981.

::Gasp::

I know. It's hard to believe that people would be interested in leaving their hometowns prior to Instagram, Facebook, and Polaroid cameras, but it happened. And, given that travel blogs, Lonely Planet, the Travel Channel, and Rick Steves didn't exist a few decades ago, it's a wonder that people found themselves anywhere.

But these historic travelers did go out into the world despite the lack of infrastructure and amenities to which modern day travelers now have access. In many cases, travelers back in the day just packed their suitcases and sailed off into the horizon, hopefully to be seen again. They didn't have hotel reservations (or even a bed in many cases), a guided tour, or guaranteed meals. They either had to be very, very brave or ridiculously stupid (or maybe a little of both.)

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com

The next time you're wishing for a European vacation, look past the obvious choices like Paris, London, and Rome. Instead, consider heading to Eastern Europe and spending time there. Not only will you have fewer crowds to fight (since this part of the European continent is a bit of a hidden gem for travelers), your budget will stretch further as there are bargains to be had throughout Eastern Europe.

Eastern Europe is a term used to describe a number of countries that were formally part of the Soviet Union, in other words behind the Iron Curtain. There is much heated dispute about which countries actually constitute Eastern Europe but some of the better known names are Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania and Moldova. There are many more, and together they offer a huge variety of wonderful destinations.

Here are 4 up-and-coming spots in Eastern Europe that deserve your attention!