Hi there! We are the Reese Family and we are so happy you stopped by!

Our story started almost 17 years ago when a boy walked into a restaurant and a girl saw him from way up above, while she was standing on a balcony overlooking the downstairs area. The girl leaned over to her friend and said “I’m going to marry him” while pointing to the boy. Later that night the boy asked the girl on a date, and the rest is our history.

Fast forward many years and three kids later and life just keeps getting better! It helps that we both believe in working hard and playing even harder! In 2014, It’s a Lovely Life! grew from a site published solely by myself, Heather Delaney Reese, into one that the whole family is a part of. In that same year, we began a journey of traveling 150+ days a year. We realized that there were other families out there that had the travel bug too, and we set off to showcase and share the best family travel destinations and resorts. You won’t find any adventures of us roughing it and camping here, but you will find some amazing places to visit, memory making activities, and ways to make your family vacations extra special.

When we are not off on a new adventure, we are loving life at home! We live in a beautiful part of Southern California on an avocado grove with a distant ocean view. We fill our time at home writing about products and services that make life better and easier, including the latest tech gadgets, delicious foods (vegetarian and vegan), life tips, inspirational quotes, everything Disney and more!

Get to know us each better…

Meet Heather Delaney Reese

As you read this I am probably wearing a dress with fancy sandals, drinking an unsweetened ice tea, planning our next travel story, while thinking of ways to convince Pete that we should grow our family with one more baby, and a couple more cats. 

I joke that Pete saved me from a solitary cat lady life. I would have 10 of them if I had the opportunity, but I am happy to settle for the 3 adorable kitties that we have now. I grew up in Orange County where I spent my pre-teen and teen years as a junior zookeeper at the Santa Ana Zoo. When I was younger, I thought for sure that I would have 10 kids and be a world famous small primate expert after I returned from expeditions to Africa and South America. I also had a serious makeup, picture frame, dress, shoes and nice purse habit that couldn’t survive off a zookeeper’s salary, so tough choices had to be made….I decided to study my other love, journalism in college. I’ve always loved storytelling, and after Maddie and Ashley were born, I started looking for a way that I could use the skills I learned in college while still being a full-time stay at home mom. Blogging had just started in those days, and I found my dream doing it. I started writing online in 2000 and over the next 17 years, I turned a hobby into a full-time career for my whole family. Being able to create and share our family fun together, as we do now, has been the highlight of my life. These are the days!


pete-180x200 Meet Pete Reese!

As you read this, Pete is probably wearing either a business suit or CrossFit clothes. Thankfully he doesn’t mix and match between the two. He is most likely sitting in front of two computers. One is editing our daily video, and the other has real estate listings pulled up. He is most likely drinking a cold brew coffee (black), while thinking of ways to distract me the next time I ask about “just one more baby… or cat”. Pete is pretty awesome and the reason we laugh and smile all the time. He is pure fun and the world’s best husband and dad.

Pete works here on It’s a Lovely Life full time and is a well known San Diego Real Estate Broker specializing in residential investment properties. He absolutely loves real estate, CrossFit, and traveling! He brings the adventure to our lives and is always encouraging us to make our dreams come true and be the best we can be! He has an awesome eye for photography and many of the pictures you see here are his. All of the videos are his as well. He loves to showcase the adventurous side of our travels in his videos and to create highly engaging (and often humorous) videos featuring clients products and services. I’m often staging a shot and he’s the one taking the picture. He’s the one that instilled the deep wanderlust we now have running through our veins, and when he’s not working on the next real estate deal or working out, he’s helping to plan our next family adventure… and thinking of all the topics we need to make sure to cover, so that our readers feel like they are along for the fun!

dude ranch fun for kids Meet our youngest, Emily

She’s not so little anymore, and her personality is bigger than life.  Even though she is 6, Emmy will always be our “little one”. She loves every color of the rainbow and ice cream. If she had her way she would eat pasta and fruit for every meal, every single day. She is our expert traveler from the viewpoint of a preschool/early elementary aged child and is not shy about sharing what she loves about everywhere we visit. She enjoys helping us review new vacation spots, toys, recipes, adventures and more! She’s happiest with her iPad in hand, and her camera ready!

Meet Ashley!

Where to start with this kid! She is a power house! If she is not at home, she and Pete are most likely doing CrossFit. At 14, she lives to exercise and eat healthy food… with the occasional treat too! New for this year she will be moving over to an independent study program so that we can continue with our 150+ days a year travel schedule, and so that she can train more for CrossFit competitions. She too is a huge photography fan and often helps me put together any fitness posts. She’s even started her own challenge to visit 100 CrossFit Boxes before she turns 18. We will be adding as many stops as we can on our travels to help her accomplish this! She is also our Instagram pro and loves to help us tell the story over there. She is the teen behind our reviews and her middle name should be fun… You can follow along on Ashley’s Instagram page.

maddieMeet Maddie!

Maddie was born at 34 weeks weighing in at just 4.5 pounds when she came home from the hospital. We knew she was here to accomplish big things the second we saw her, and her sheer will to survive. True to all that, she said her first word at four months old and was reading long chapter books at 4. She is fluent in Harry Potter, a devout vegan who loves going to concerts with Pete, and has a way with words like I’ve never seen before! At 16 she is starting her senior year of high school (after skipping 8th grade) while taking some courses at the local college.  She too does independent study so that she can travel and see the world. Nothing holds her back! She is our entertainment expert, writing the majority of our movie and amusement park posts. Her teen perspective helps us review travel destinations, books, tech, vegan food, music, movies and more! She is also our resident Pinterest expert and pins 99% of what we share. We’ve been named one of the top vegan boards on Pinterest because of her!