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 while earning a high six-seven figure income from this blog. 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 and how they too can work online from wherever they are in the world. 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 all while running a family business together from our computers all over the world.
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 how to make money blogging!
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 18 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. I love helping others start a blog to make a full-time income too.
As you read this, Pete is probably drinking coffee. He is most likely sitting in front of two computers. One has one of our videos up that he is producing, and the other has a screen pulled up where he is answering questions from our start a blog students questions. He is most likely also 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 (on hiatus) 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. He's the one that instilled the deep wanderlust we now have running through our veins!
Emmy is awesomely 8! 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 tablet in hand, and her camera ready!
Where to start with this kid! She is a powerhouse! If she is not at home, she and Pete are most likely doing CrossFit. At 15, she lives to exercise and eat healthy food! She attends an online 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 our 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.
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 18 she is already in her second year of college (after skipping 8th grade). She too takes her courses online 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 college-age 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!