Author

Julie - "Girl on the Move"

More Than An Earthquake

Ayiti.

Land of Mountains.

Pearl of the Antilles.

Long held public perception of Haiti is that it is a country filled with destruction and mass poverty. People imagine millions upon millions of Haitians living in tents unable to feed themselves or their families. People imagine piles of rubble from the buildings that collapsed in the earthquake. People imagine a country only able to survive with the help of outside organizations.

And there are kernels of truth in those perceptions. 25% of Haitians live in extreme poverty. Haiti ranks 163rd out of 188 on the 2016 Human Development Index. The literacy rate hovers around 60%. Haiti is prone to natural disasters and it is indeed a third world country. There is corruption in the country.

But it is also so much more.

It is a country filled with serene beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, vibrant art, and valuable history.

It is a country filled with people working hard despite limited opportunities.

When Haiti gained its independence on January 1, 1804,  it not only became the first black republic in the world, but it became the first country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery. There is so much rich history to be gleaned as the Haitian Revolution is the world’s only successful slave rebellion.

Haiti was a major tourist destination in the Caribbean after World War II and people came in droves to visit this island nation. The art, the music, the culture, the beaches drew people in to this nation occupying the western portion of Hispaniola.

Several natural disasters and a tumultuous political period have left pain, heartache, and uncertainty, but they have not extinguished the beauty.

Sans-Souci Palace

The ruins of Sans-Souci Palace, built from 1810-1813, look different than when King Henri I was in residence but what remains nestled in the vibrantly green mountains are worth seeing (And on this point of interest I’m slightly biased because this is where my sister and brother-in-law got married).

Wedding photos courtesy Hunter Kittrell Photography

Ile à rats

Ile à rats, translated Island of Rats, is a serene escape with a misleading name as there is not a rat to be found! However, there is a grove of trees in the center surrounded by fine white sand and snorkeling in waters whose color is not found in the 8-pack of Crayolas but only in the 120-pack!

Haiti travel will reveal a country filled with serene beaches, vibrant art, valuable history and people working hard despite limited opportunities.

Citadelle

The Citadelle sits on top of Bonnet a L’Eveque and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti.  The trail to the Citadel is 7 miles and can be travelled on foot or horseback. The top of the fortress offers breathtaking views in every direction and throughout the fortress you’ll find more than 160 cannons and tens of thousands of cannonballs resting in piles.

Haiti travel will reveal a country filled with serene beaches, vibrant art, valuable history and people working hard despite limited opportunities.

Haiti is so much more than an earthquake and it is open for business. I would highly encourage you to explore the idea of Haiti travel in this beautiful country. The Haitian Tourism Board says it best, “If you like history, culture, adventure and you want to be stimulated by the new and the different, it’s time to EXPERIENCE HAITI.”

Haiti travel will reveal a country filled with serene beaches, vibrant art, valuable history and people working hard despite limited opportunities.

As with most of my posts, some links may be affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you buy through the link.

If you’d like to experience Haiti travel, I wanted to give you some additional reading I’d encourage you to explore…

Reading about Haiti

Haiti Tourism 

Day in Labadee

NY Times Haiti Tourism

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Orange County Christmas Bucket List

After publishing a much loved Orange County Bucket List (seriously y’all…I love seeing your posts checking things off the list!) I decided it only made sense to create an Orange County CHRISTMAS Bucket List!! I am obsessed with the holidays and I love everything about the entire months of November and December. And Orange County has a lot to offer during the Christmas season…surfing Santas, tree lightings, ice skating, sledding, boat parades and the list goes on! So without further ado, the Orange County Christmas Bucket List…

November

Explore the Winter Wonderland of the Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy (Laguna Beach, tickets required, five weekends beginning in November)

Santa watching at the Surfing Santa Competition (Laguna Niguel, FREE, mid-November)

Attend Fashion Island’s Holiday Tree Lighting (Newport Beach, FREE, mid-November)

December

Attend the Seal Beach Christmas Parade (Seal Beach, FREE, early-December)

Go sledding at the Christmas at the Mission (San Juan Capistrano, tickets required, early-December)

Take a candlelight walk at Heritage Hill Historical Park (Lake Forest, tickets required, mid-December)

Head out on the water for the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Cruise of Lights (Huntington Beach, tickets required, mid-December)

Holidays Around the World (Costa Mesa, mid-December)

Watch the Huntington Harbour Boat Parade (Huntington Beach, FREE, mid-December)

Attend the Golden West College Nutcracker Performance (Huntington Beach, tickets required, mid-December)

Snoopy House (Costa Mesa, FREE, mid-December)

Travel the world at the International Celebration of Christmas (Huntington Beach, FREE, mid-December)

Watch the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights (Newport Beach, FREE, mid-December)

Drive through the Living Nativity Drive-thru at First Christian Church (Huntington Beach, FREE, mid-December)

All Season Long

Drive through Christmas lights displays (Throughout Orange County, FREE)

Go ice skating at the Downtown Disney Winter Village (Anaheim, village is FREE, ice skating requires tickets)

Enjoy the falling snow at Knott’s Merry Farm (Buena Park, tickets required)

Visit the Joyeux Noël Christmas Boutique at Roger’s Garden (Corona del Mar, FREE)

Sledding at Winterfest OC (Costa Mesa, tickets required)

Visit The North Pole at South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, combination of FREE and tickets required)

Watch A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, tickets required)

Experience the Magical Flurries snow shows at Bella Terra (Huntington Beach, FREE)

Visit the Gingerbread Extravaganza at the Ritz Carlton (Laguna Niguel, FREE)

Have a cup of tea at Yuletide Tea at The Resort at Pelican Hill (Newport Beach, tickets required)

Ride the train at Irvine Park Railroad Christmas Train (Orange, tickets required)

Explore the Science of Gingerbread exhibit at the Discovery Cube (Santa Ana, tickets required)

An Orange County Christmas Bucket List for the season! Boat parades, tree lightings, festivals and more ways to celebrate Christmas in Orange County

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Mission San Juan Capistrano

When I published my Orange County Bucket List and began making plans for how I could start crossing things off my bucket list, I knew one thing with certainty.  I had to begin at Mission San Juan Capistrano.  This mission is considered the birthplace of Orange County so it seemed fitting.  The Mission was the 7th of 21 missions and was founded on November 1, 1776 and is considered the Jewel of the Missions.

As with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

I have vague recollections of visiting a couple of missions in 4th grade as we studied California’s history but don’t recall visiting many missions since then.  Now I regret this and I realized I should be planning a road trip to visit all of the missions.  One of the biggest things I walked away with after my time at the mission is the importance of studying history.  And not just from a textbook where I’m absorbing facts I can find in any number of books.  But actually exploring history and studying the people and places of our past.

The stories of the passion and conviction of the priests in their missionary work.

The stories of the way of life for the Acjachemen people.

The stories of how the priests and Acjachemen people co-existed.

These stories helped me understand a piece of California’s history and I think when we take the time to truly study history we’re able to build connections between what was, what is, and what can be.  And those connections are what help us learn from past mistakes, repeat past successes and gain a better understanding of people and culture.

Whether you're a 4th grader studying California's history or if you're planning a trip to California, here's planning tips for Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Whether you are a 4th grader (or the family of a 4th grader) working on a project about the California missions or just planning a trip to Southern California, I would highly recommend a trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Tips for planning a trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano

*Go early.  I was there right when Mission San Juan Capistrano opened and it allowed me to enjoy the first hour or so in peace.  I could spend as long as I wanted at each exhibit and never felt crowded.  And I could capture pictures without other people in them.  This is especially valuable if you’re working on a mission project for school!

*Take advantage of the resources.  There is a complimentary audio tour available and there were docents throughout the mission.  Both were an excellent source of information and provided stories I would not have heard had I only explored the mission on my own.

*Plan your trip.  Head online before you go to the Mission San Juan Capistrano website and browse the schedule of tours, exhibits and hands-on opportunities.  There are days when you can pan for gold, try your hand at basket weaving, hear from descendants of the Acjachemen people and more.  So if you’re able to plan your trip around things that are interesting to you, I’d highly recommend it!

*See the swallows.  If you’re able to time your visit to go in March during the Swallows Day Parade you’ll be in for a treat as you learn about the legend of the swallows.

Have you ever been to any of the missions in California?  What is your favorite?

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The Best Girl Scout Cupcakes

If you’ve spent any amount of time here on the blog or on my social media then you know I love cupcakes!  Like they’re my favorite y’all!  A world with cupcakes is just a better world.  But I have discovered a way to make them even better…use Girl Scout cookies to make them!  So I figured it would be the kind thing to do to gather up all of the best recipes for Girl Scout cupcakes and share them with you.  This way you can take your cupcakes to the next level.

As with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

The great news is, if it’s not cookie season you can order them from Amazon (each type of cookie has a link where you can get them on Amazon).  Which means you can make these cupcakes in the middle of summer.  Even if you’ve already eaten the last box of Thin Mints you stashed away in February!

Samoa Cookies

Samoa Cupcakes from Baking Mischief

Decadent Samoa Cookie Cupcakes from Virtually Yours

Tagalongs

Tagalong Cookie Cupcakes from Inside Bru Crew Life

Tagalong Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction

Thin Mints

Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes from “Cents”able Momma

Thin Mint Cupcakes from Your Cup of Cake

Thin Mint Cupcakes from Just 2 Sisters

And if these Girl Scout cupcakes aren’t enough cupcakes for you, you can find more cupcake inspiration, go check out my Cupcakes board on Pinterest.  This is a carefully curated board filled with hundreds of yummy ideas!  And I’m certain hundreds of cupcake recipes is always a good thing.

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BONES TV Workout

If you’ve been around Girl on the Move for a while then you’ll know I love a good tv workout!  There’s just something about working out while you watch a tv show that makes you feel a little less guilty.  Since Bones on Fox is one of my favorite tv shows (I could re-watch Bones and Friends over and over!) I thought it was time I created a Bones TV workout!

As with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

From the pilot episode (go buy the season one dvd’s if you haven’t yet seen this show…season one) Booth, Dr. Brennan and the rest of the team have entertained us while solving some of the craziest (and seemingly unsolvable!) crimes…all while making us want to invite their characters over for Christmas dinner. So whether you are currently watching the final season or are binge watching the first 11 seasons (because you really should make sure you watch…and maybe re-watch…all the episodes!) enjoy a great workout while you watch…guilt-free!

Don't be the person who skips the gym and just watches TV! Instead, exercise while you watch Booth, Bones & the rest of the team with this Bones tv workout.
fyi: My goal was to create a workout that would work for all of the seasons, so some character references (Zach Addy, Lance Sweets) are removed since using them in the workout would allow you to shorten your workout depending which season you were watching…and we can’t have that!

I’d love to hear what you think of the Bones TV workout in the comments below…and what other things should be added to the list?

Other TV Workout posts you might like:

New Girl workout (starring real life sister of the Dr. Brennan actress)

The Bachelor workout

Gilmore Girls workout

 

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Orange County Bucket List

I recently came across this Los Angeles Bucket List as I was browsing Pinterest.  And while I love traveling and have a pretty extensive travel bucket list, it got me thinking about all of the things to do right here in my own backyard!  So I started doing some research (which included asking my friends and family for suggestions on Facebook and over Christmas dinner) and put together my Orange County Bucket List.  The list includes 150 things to do in Orange County that go beyond just the beach and Disneyland (although those are on the list!).  There’s also a bonus Cupcakes in Orange County section because it really wouldn’t be a Girl on the Move list if it didn’t include cupcakes!

As with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Did you know Orange County has more people than 21 of the states in the US?  It is a county rich in history, filled with gorgeous views, and full of lots of opportunity for adventure.  So grab your Orange County map (Because I think adventures are more fun with actual maps!) and start checking things off the list!  And if you want to follow along with my Orange County Bucket List adventures you can find them on Instagram.

I’d love to hear in the comments section…What would you add to this Orange County Bucket List?  Is there anything on the list you’ve done that you’d recommend I’d do as soon as possible?

Cruise down PCH in a convertible

Eat a colorful bagel from Bagels & Brew

Have a bonfire at the beach

Have a popGelato from popbar

Visit all five of Orange County piers

Go biking at the beach…any beach!

Eat a sandwich at Mendocino Farm (multiple locations)

Build a sand castle at the beach

Eat a Signature 50/50 burger from Slater’s 50/50 (multiple locations)

Enjoy a lobster roll from Slapfish (multiple locations)

Eat a waffle sandwich from Bruxie (multiple locations)

Hike Holy Jim Falls

Orange County Bucket List: Aliso Viejo

Picnic at Soka University

Orange County Bucket List: Anaheim

Go to an Anaheim Ducks hockey game

Stroll through Downtown Disney

Go to a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball game

See the Disneyland fireworks

Progressive Dinner at Anaheim Packing District

Attempt to eat “The Beast” at Blake’s Place

Ice skating at The Rinks (the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks)

Take flight at Flightdeck

Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland

Movie at Oak Canyon Nature Center

Enjoy a Dole Whip at Disneyland

See a concert at Pearson Park Amphitheatre

Have authentic beignets in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

See a show at the Royal Theatre in Disneyland’s Fantasyland

Orange County Bucket List: Brea

Take a trip to the Redwoods at The Redwood Grove at Carbon Canyon Regional Park

Orange County Bucket List: Buena Park

Eat a boysenberry funnel cake at Knott’s Berry Farm

Eat a chicken dinner at Knott’s Chicken Dinner

Mine for gold at Knott’s Berry Farm

Orange County Bucket List: Corona del Mar

Have tea at the Sherman Library and Gardens

See Disneyland’s original bandstand at Roger’s Gardens

Orange County Bucket List: Costa Mesa

Shopping at South Coast Plaza (3rd largest mall in America)

Shopping at the OC SwapMeet (Costa Mesa)

Spend a day at the Orange County Fair

See a show and eat a themed brunch/dinner at The Segerstrom Center

Eat a waffle at The Iron Press

Eat a donut from Sidecar Doughnuts

See a show at the Costa Mesa Playhouse

Stop by The CAMP in Costa Mesa

Orange County Bucket List: Dana Point

Go whale watching out of Dana Point

Visit the Ocean Institute in Dana Point

Explore the tide pools at Dana Point State Marine Conservation Area

Eat dinner with a view at Cannons Seafood Grill

Dinner at Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point

Orange County Bucket List: Fountain Valley

Spend an afternoon at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley

Orange County Bucket List: Fullerton

Spend a day at the Fullerton Arboretum

Enjoy a picnic at Laguna Lake Park in Fullerton

Orange County Bucket List: Garden Grove

Enjoy the architecture of Christ’s Cathedral (formerly Crystal Cathedral) (fun fact: this was the venue of my high school graduation!)

Afternoon at Atlantis Park in Garden Grove (note: neither adults nor kids may go without the other!)

Enjoy strawberries at the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

See a show with Shakespeare Orange County

Orange County Bucket List: Huntington Beach

Dinner during sunset at Pacific City in Huntington Beach

See the sunset at the Huntington Beach Pier

Go surfing in Huntington Beach

Visit the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach

Stroll through the Tuesday Farmers Market in Huntington Beach

Attend the US Open of Surfing

Attend the Huntington Beach 4th of July parade

Kayak in Huntington Harbor

Watch a movie on the beach in Huntington Beach with Beachfront Cinema

Progressive Dinner at Food Truck Thursdays in Huntington Beach (Beach Blvd & Stark)

Eat a donut from The Donuttery

Bird watching at Bolsa Chica Wetlands

Stay overnight at Paséa Hotel & Spa

Take a trip to Europe at Old World in Huntington Beach

Orange County Bucket List: Irvine

Take a tour at the ChocXO Chocolate Factory and Tasting Lab

Ride the big orange balloon at Orange County’s Great Park

Ride the Giant Wheel at the Spectrum

Take a produce tour at Tanaka Farms

Explore the University of California, Irvine Arboretum

Eat tacos from The Lime Truck

Take a walk along the Walkable Historical Timeline in Orange County’s Great Park

Have a milkshake at Strickland’s Frozen Custard

Orange County Bucket List: Laguna Beach

Stay overnight at The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Drinks at Splashes Bar at the Surf and Sand Hotel

Enjoy First Thursdays Art Walk in Laguna Beach

Take a selfie at Heisler Park

Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach

Hike to the Top of the World in Laguna Beach

Take an art class at the Sawdust Art Festival

Have a cocktail at the Lobby Lounge at Montage Laguna Beach

An afternoon at 1000 Steps Beach

Drinks at The Rooftop Lounge

Spend an afternoon reading a book at Treasure (Goff) Island Beach

Hike Laguna Coast Wilderness park

Explore Orange County’s only lighthouse – Pirate Castle

Walk the streets of Laguna Beach on a Historic Bungalow Tour

Visit St. Francis by the Sea (once the smallest church in the world)

See a film on a third Thursday at California’s oldest museum, Laguna Art Museum

Eat a short rib grilled cheese from Three Seventy Common

Take a food tour with Flavors of Laguna

Pool day at Montage Laguna Beach

Listen to music at Reggae Night at Sandpiper “Dirty Bird”

Enjoy fresh gelato from Dolce Gelato

See a play at The Laguna Playhouse

Eat Brulee French toast from Break of Dawn

Orange County Bucket List: La Habra

Explore history at the La Habra Historical Museum

An Orange County Bucket List for your trip to California with 150 suggestions to help you plan things to do, beaches to visit, hikes, and cupcakes to eat!

Orange County Bucket List: Mission Viejo

Enjoy a wine tasting at A Hidden Vine On The Lake

Explore the Butterfly Garden while hiking Oso Creek Trail

Orange County Bucket List: Newport Beach

Brunch at The Beachcomber Café

Fruity Pebbles French Toast from Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Spend a night at the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages

Go stand-up paddle boarding in Newport Harbor

Spend an afternoon at Newport Dunes Waterpark

Enjoy a milkshake at Ruby’s Crystal Cove shake shack

Take a ferry to Balboa Island

Take a boat ride in Newport Harbor

Enjoy a frozen banana from Dad’s on Balboa Island

Spend an afternoon at Balboa Island Fun Zone

Watch a movie Newport Dunes’ Movies on the Beach

Enjoy the pink sauce at Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

Orange County Museum of Art

Explore Balboa Village

Relax for a day at The Spa at Pelican Hill

Take a gondola ride with Gondola Adventures in Newport Beach

Have a glass of wine at Orange Coast Winery

Watch surfers at The Wedge in Newport Beach

Enjoy a picnic at Inspiration Point in Newport Beach

Shopping at Fashion Island

Eat a ham and cheese croissant from Seaside Bakery in Newport Beach

Orange County Bucket List: Orange

Aquacycle ride in Irvine Park

Hike Peters Canyon

Ride the wine trolley in Old Town Orange

Antique shopping in Orange Circle

Eat dinner at Orange Hill restaurant (note: this is where my parents got engaged!)

Step back into history with dinner at the Filling Station Cafe

Have a soda at California’s Original Soda Fountain – Watson’s Soda Fountain Café

Eat pancakes from Flappy Jack’s Pancake House

Orange County Bucket List: Rancho Santa Margarita

Take a walk around the lake and enjoy sunset drinks with lake views at the Blind Pig

Orange County Bucket List: San Clemente

Go running on the San Clemente Beach Trail

Build a burger at Riders Club Café in San Clemente

Eat crepes at the beach at La Galette Creperie

Attend an event at Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens

Watch surfers at Trestles – the “Yosemite of Surfing”

Take a trip to the South with dinner at Iva Lee’s

Enjoy a cheese plate or board from The Cellar

Orange County Bucket List: San Juan Capistrano

Visit Mission San Juan Capistrano

Orange County Bucket List: Santa Ana

See the monkeys at the Santa Ana Zoo

Progressive dinner at 4th Street Market in Santa Ana

Explore Discovery Cube: Orange County

Attend a performance at Orange County School of the Arts

Learn about the history of Orange County at the Heritage Museum of Orange County

Visit the Lyon Air Museum

Explore the Bowers Museum

“First Saturday” Artwalk in Santa Ana

Orange County Bucket List: Westminster

Dinner at Little Saigon in Westminster

Orange County Bucket List: Yorba Linda

Visit the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

An Orange County Bucket List for your trip to California with 150 suggestions to help you plan things to do, beaches to visit, hikes, and cupcakes to eat!
Bonus!!! Orange County Bucket List: Cupcake Edition

Susie Cakes

Casey’s Cupcakes

Patty’s Cakes and Desserts

The Perfect Circle Cupcakery

Bubba Sweets

Simply the Cupcake Store

Rockwell’s Bakery

Sprinkles Cupcakes

French’s Cupcake Bakery

Sweet N Saucy

B Candy

Beverly’s Best Bakery

Hapa Cupcakes

Frostings Cupcakes

Wonderland Bakery

Sugar Blossom Bake Shop

Frosted Cupcakery

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