Naples Bay Resort

Finding The Perfect Vacation

Planning the perfect vacation takes a lot of hard work. I LOVE a good vacation (who doesn’t), but if your planning on your own they can be very stressful. Are we driving or flying? VRBO or Hotel? Rental Car or Uber? So many decisions!! That’s why it is so important to read reviews of others experiences and rely on recommendations. Vacation time is limited and you want to make the best of it!! I mean it’s gotta have a fantastic pool!!

Planning Ahead

I am normally the sole vacation planner in the family, however my husband weighs in…and just to be clear, I am not complaining! I am a true planner at Heart! We usually go on vacation during Spring Break, now that the kids are in school. For anyone without kids that is the time to avoid vacations! It’s the peak time of the year, and the prices are high!! Especially in Florida. You definitely need to plan ahead to get the best airfare and hotel accommodations.

Where To Go?

Typically, we go to Florida for Spring Break, and the majority of the time we go to Walt Disney World. So we decided to take a year off and try a beach vacation instead…my kids had never been to the ocean! We had always wanted to go to Naples, keeping in mind it is pricey! I was bound and determined to find accommodations for a reasonable price and we found that at Naples Bay Resort.

Why Naples Bay Resort?

Naples Florida can be pretty pricey. It costs a lot to fly into Naples, and to find good accommodations on a budget can be tricky. During my lengthy search for the best place to stay, I came across Naples Bay resort. We were looking for a condo, with three bedrooms and a pool nearby. They had all of that and more! The condos are privately owned, so the decor differs from condo to condo, but the layout is great, and spacious. They offer one, two and three bedroom options. There is also a hotel on the property, which is on the water at the marina. Wow is it beautiful! Here is a link to their photo album.

The Pool

We spent the majority of our days at the pool. The shallow end is a walk in, which is great for the kids, plus they have a waterfall and a lazy river! There is so much to do for the whole family and when the kids are busy playing I get to lay out! With plenty of chairs for lounging, we always got a spot, but we did get there early to reserve our seats on a few occasions. I always like to be near the edge of the pool to watch the kiddos! One of the things that is a plus is poolside service! I mean, who doesn’t love ordering drinks by the pool??? I have to say they didn’t disappoint! The food and drinks were great, and I am not just saying that!

Beautiful Beaches

When we did leave the resort, we loaded up our minivan rental and went to the beach. Naples Bay Resort had beach chairs and umbrellas you can rent from them! So convenient, right?! The beach was just a short drive away. We spent a lot of time at the beach searching for sea shells, building sand castles and swimming. I can’t wait to go back! With several beaches to choose from, we especially loved the beach near the pier. There is something about piers that just says “vacation”. Plus, there is a snack bar, parking nearby and bathrooms!!

Things To Do

There are a lot of fun things to do in the area. We went to the zoo, did a dolphin boat tour, took a day trip to Marco Island and did a lot of eating! Here is a list of things in the area to do.

  • The Naples Zoo – It was not a large zoo, but fun for the kids and a good break from swimming. I would recommend planning this for the morning hours, or a cloudy day!
  • Florida Everglades tour – We did not actually do an Everglades tour, I was a little too nervous for this. We did however drive from Naples to Miami via Alligator Alley (stretch of I-75) which cuts through the Everglades. We now know why it is called “Alligator Alley”…we probably saw 40 Alligators within 1.5 hours!
  • Sunset Cruise – We opted to do the Dolphin Tour instead of the Sunset tour, but it was run through the same company. There are several cruise companies that offer different experiences.
  • Dolphin Cruise – This tour was great. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable! We got to see the most beautiful homes, while seeing plenty of Dolphins, eagles and other wildlife.
  • Shopping on 5th Avenue – Hello! Who doesn’t love shopping?! Oh yeah, my husband and kids…however this area offers a great selection of stores.
  • Tin City – Locally owned stores and restaurants. Fun for the whole family and within walking distance to Naples Bay Resort!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful! If you end up going to Naples Bay Resort I would love to hear about your experience!

Here are some of my other posts about Travel! Enjoy

What To Buy At Costco?

Costco has to be one of my favorite stores, HANDS DOWN!! But, what do you buy at Costco? And why should you shop there? I get these questions a lot and people often tell me they do not need to buy in bulk. Well, my friends, toilet paper is not going out of style and we can all buy that in bulk!!

Even if you don’t need to buy in bulk they have great deals on just about everything! I always leave Costco with more than I intended to buy, but I really enjoyed making the extra purchases LOL! As you can see my kids also love Costco, but they are getting a little too big for the cart!

The quality of products at Costco is great. I have not seen a brand at Costco yet that has poor quality, even their private label brand, Kirkland! Your saving money by not purchasing a “name brand” but not sacrificing quality.

Now, I know I cannot get everything at Costco, but what do I buy at Costco and why?

1. Simple/Easy Choices

Often I go to the grocery store and feel overwhelmed because there are TOO many choices. How can I choose between 15 different types of toothpaste? Is there really a difference? At Costco, there is usually one choice and it’s in bulk! I have found that I trust Costco enough on the decision to go with a particular brand. I’m saving time (because I don’t have to buy this item for a long time) and money (because it’s a great deal!)! It’s a win-win.

2. Meat Prices

Costco has THE BEST MEAT at the best prices. Ground beef, chicken, fresh Lobster; you name it and it is great! We buy their ground beef in bulk, and freeze 1 lb per ziplock. It always comes in handy and we don’t have to remember to buy it every week at the grocery store. I just spend $19.36 on 6.7 lbs of ground beef at Costco. That is $2.89 per lb. At my local grocery store, the same ground beef is $4.49 per lb. If I purchased 6.7 lbs of ground beef at the grocery store that would have cost me $30.08. I saved $10.72 at Costco just on ground beef!! That is not the only thing considerably cheaper, their Rotisserie chickens are much larger than the local grocery stores and they are between $4-$5! I haven’t seen another store with that price.

The same is true for other meats as well. My husband likes to smoke brisket, ribs, and chicken, and we always buy our meat at Costco. You can get a 2-pack of whole chickens for around $10-$12 depending on the weight! Not only that, they sell the prime brisket (~$4 per lb) at a cheaper price than the choice brisket (~$5 per lb)! Why go anywhere else?!

3. Snacks!!

If you have children who eat non-stop like mine, Costco snacks are where its at! We buy the individual bags of Chips, popcorn, Pirates Booty, Belvita, and Goldfish to name a few. Honestly, buying these snacks at Costco is such a money saver! You get a lot more for your money than buying the regular pack at the grocery store.

4. Seasonal Items

Costco seasonal items are like my Achilles heel. Cute Christmas Moose holding a lantern? I think I need that! Six Foot LED Musical Nutcracker? I definitely need that! I usually have to talk myself out of a few things, but honestly they have items that you most likely won’t see anywhere else, especially for the prices. If your shopping for something like Christmas lights, they have a few choices and I would put my money on it that the quality is going to be fantastic. Your choice is simple, because you don’t have too many options to choose from.

Here are the seasonal items I won’t buy anywhere else:
  • Scotch tape
  • Wrapping paper (it’s thick and doesn’t rip when wrapping)
  • Tissue paper
  • Wreaths
  • Christmas Lights
  • Batteries (BEST PRICE IN TOWN!)

During the summer months they always have great deals on pool supplies, including the chemicals, pool toys, rafts – especially huge ones for the lake! They also have bikes, helmets, golf clubs and camping supplies just to name a few! You need to check it out for yourself!!

5. Costco Photo Center

I always order my photos through Costco. They make it so easy! You go to create an account and upload the photos you want. You then place your order and you don’t have to pay until you pick up! They have great quality – way better than any drug store I’ve tried! You can get any size you want, and they do photo gifts as well – including canvas and metal prints! Did you know they do home video transfers too? They really do it all!

6. Household Items

If your not buying toilet paper and paper towel at Costco you are wasting your money! Those items are never going out of style and are so worth buying in bulk. We only buy these items at Costco and only have to purchase them a handful of times a year. Other household items we stock up on:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Dishwasher Pods
  • Kleenex

7. Costco Gas

I’m sure you have heard about Costco Gas by now. It is usually the cheapest in town. I always fill up when I am near Costco, even if I don’t need to. It’s saving me money in the long run. I will say I do not drive out of my way just to get gas at Costco to save a couple of bucks, but I fill up when I can!

8. Electronics

Costco has the best selection of electronics. They always have some of the latest and greatest models, and name brands at a great price. From TV’s, to headphones, to cameras! We have purchased several TV’s from Costco. I know I can always trust that the choices they have in store are some of the best in the market.

9. Appliances

About a year ago, we remodeled our kitchen. We needed every kitchen appliance. I shopped around and did a comparison of every store and pretty much every brand. We ended up going with the 4 piece GE Appliance package from Costco, it was the best price we could fine and comparably it had the more expensive models in the package. The delivery and installation was seamless and I highly recommend!

$60 is all it costs for a Gold Star Membership!

I hope you have enjoyed my reasons for loving Costco and if you aren’t already a member, maybe you’ll be one soon?!

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Money Saving Tips – For A Busy Family!

If your anything like me, I am always trying to find ways to cut costs and save money. Having kids is expensive, and we all want to be able to enjoy the fun things in life. Most of which cost money – vacations, parties, kids activities etc. With the below money saving tips, you will be able to manage and track your finances, cut costs and save more. These are all things that I have tried throughout the years and have found great success with!


I use (I am not an affiliate) to track my spending and set a budget. This is a great way to see all of your accounts in one place from your checking/savings account to credit cards, loans and mortgages. Once you have configured all of your accounts to they will automatically update every time you log in and you can see everything in one place!! You are also able to set a budget for yourself with the budget tool, and they offer a bunch of different reports to track your spending and income! Additionally, they provide you with your credit score and ways to save money. The best part about it is it’s FREE! I have been using for seven years now and I am obsessed. In addition, I haven’t had any major issues, (just a few connectivity issues here and there with a few accounts) nothing they cannot fix. Without a doubt, I highly recommend using! You may be wondering, how is this a money saving tip? Well, it will definitely shed light on what you are spending your money on and can help you manage you money better!

Here are a few examples of graphs from


I am going to be the first to admit, I have tried meal prepping and it’s not for me. I searched and searched for ways to save money on groceries and everyone raves about meal prepping. Let me tell you, I do not enjoy cooking, and having to take a majority of my weekend to shop and prep for the week was NOT for me. So I discovered that if I take 30 minutes Sunday morning to plan the meals on a calendar for the week, I can save $$$. I was constantly throwing away food that we never touched, week after week. I would go to the grocery store without knowing what we were having for dinners, without knowing what was in our fridge or pantry and would buy way too much or not what we needed. We would end up having the same dinners all the time, because I didn’t give it much thought. Ultimately, I have been saving $50-$100 each week by creating a menu. So whether you shop for the week, two weeks or even the whole month, creating a calendar of meals is easy and helps reduce costs!!


I love to shop at Costco and Sam’s Club. Yes, there is a membership fee, but it is worth it. If you shop at Costco enough you will get money back on the purchases you make and sometimes it will cover the cost of your membership. I usually go to Costco or Sam’s Club once a month and stock up on things we use and eat all the time (listed below). undoubtedly, I also find great seasonal products and lot’s of stuff I don’t need there…It’s hard to pass up their prices!

I’ve done the pricing comparisons and you get a lot for your money compared to the grocery store. It works out great!!! By stocking up at Costco you are paying a lot up front to stock up, but you are saving time and money in the long run. In most cases the amount you get at Costco is triple the amount of the size at the grocery store, but the price is only double or less!

Items we buy in bulk

  • Ground Beef
  • Frozen Chicken
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towel
  • Batteries
  • Bread
  • Individual bags of Skinny Pop
  • Individual bags of Chips
  • Belvita
  • Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars
  • Individual Bags of Goldfish Crackers

Click here if you want to read my blog about Why I love Costco!


I am always looking to get rewarded when I shop, so why would I just use my debit card all the time if I don’t get any cash back or frequent flier miles?! I am not an extreme coupon-er either, it takes too much time for me, and sometimes if I have a coupon I end up buying items I never needed in the first place!! Here are the ways I make my purchases and get rewarded

  • My default is to use my American Express Delta Card (I am not an affiliate). I love to travel and getting miles for every purchase is a win win for me! We have gotten so many miles from our purchases, which equals free flights!!! Now that is worth it! We pay for gas, groceries, child care, kids activities, vacations, and just about everything! They have a great app where they have a pay it now feature for each transaction or you can do payment plans. I try to pay off my purchases each week so it doesn’t get away from me. American Express isn’t accepted everywhere so sometimes I have to use my boring debit card and not get rewarded…
  • The other form of payment I use a lot is my Target Red Card™ (I am not an affiliate). You save 5% every time you shop at Target, which for me is all the time. Target will also send you special coupons for being a Red Card holder and a once a year you get an additional 5% off your total purchase when you use your card! I have been a Target Red Card™ holder since 2012, and this year alone I have saved $287.78!

5. Target Circle ®

If you shop at Target and don’t use Target Circle® (formerly known as Cartwheel) (I am not an affiliate), you are throwing your money out the window! It’s a mobile app and you can scan items as you shop and it will let you know if there is a coupon and if there is it will add it to your account. When you check out, you just have the cashier scan your barcode on the app and Voila! your discounts are applied. The app will also show you additional coupons that are available and you can search items beforehand and add them to your account as well. I became a Cartwheel/Target Circle® member (I am not an affiliate) in 2013 and have saved $745.52 to date. This is one of the easiest ways to saving money, especially if you shop at Target as much as I do!


I know this sounds daunting and you may be thinking, “this is not for me”. Here me out…If I can do it, you can do it! I use Turbotax® (I am not an affiliate) They have made it so easy, you just follow the step-by-step instructions. We used to pay someone to do our taxes and we would go back and forth answering questions, and we paid a lot for the service. To me didn’t seem worth it. So I tried doing it myself and have been doing it for the past four years…It’s less costly and super easy and we definitely are saving money on this one!

The beauty of doing them yourself is you can get them done when you want. You don’t have to wait for someone else, because Accountants get real busy during tax season! The best part is you can do a little one day and some more another day, until you finish. Turbotax® offers a Free service, but the most popular plan costs only $59.99! If your taxes are a little more complex they have higher payment options for that. Give it a try, you will see what I am talking about!!


By the end of the year when I am ready to do my taxes, I often think, hmmmmmm where did that receipt go? Most of the time I find it crinkled in my glove box, or have to sort through hundreds of emails to find it. I donate a lot during the year, to the kids schools, fundraisers for charities and clothing/household items to Goodwill or Salvation Army. It’s hard to keep track of it all! I found an app called Turbotax ® It’sDeductible (I am not an affiliate) that helps you keep track of your donations, at the time you make the donation. This helps you remember what you donated and when. It keeps the guesswork out of it at the end of the year, and you won’t forget about any donations you make! When donating items it you can itemize them and it tells you right then and there how much those items are worth!! When you are ready to do your taxes you can just import the data, easy as that! Genius!


This is a big one! My kids, like all kids, go through a lot of clothes since they are always growing. We get tons of clothes, from birthdays and holidays and back to school shopping. I decided one year to try selling through Facebook. WOW! I was surprised at how much I sold, making hundreds of dollars in one weekend. Just by selling kids clothes through Mom 2 Mom groups and through the Facebook Marketplace.

I usually ask for $1-$2 per shirt or pair of pants. $3-$5 on sweatshirts and jackets. Thankfully there are moms (and dads) on there who will buy the whole lot of what you are selling. It’s so easy. If you advertise PPU or (porch pickup) you just put the items on your front porch and the buyer will pick it up and leave the money under the mat or in the mailbox. If there are items I cannot sell, I donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army. Either way I am making money, either in cash or a tax deduction. Win-Win!

I hope you have enjoyed these money saving tips. Please follow me on Pinterest or subscribe to my website to see what I have cookin’ next!