Tea Discount!

2017-09-16_0006You guys, I’m going to keep this one short and sweet:

The folks over at Tea Collection are giving all of YOU

$25 off on all orders over $50 using code: Jordan25 !!!

So awesome right?!

Here’s the catch…

The code and the deal are active TODAY ONLY!! and in case you’re a little late to the party, that’s Sunday, September 17 until 11:59pm (PST)!

So HURRY on over, click here:Β  Tea Collection and start shopping!!

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And since y’all know how much I LOVE shopping, I even put together a “Girls” and “Boys” Board of my favorite Fall pieces for you. I’m totally stocking up! What about you? What’s your fav piece? I think I’m going to grab some outwear for the kids…or maybe some of those super cute cable knit sweaters…and those brown boots!! ahhh I want all of it!

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Shop these looks HERE

BoysTea

Shop these looks HERE

Happy Sunday, and Happy Shopping, friends!

 

 

And now, more Q + A spam…

(cutest little outfits by, of course, Tea!)

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Friday Favorites!

It’s been a while…and I finally have a few hours of “free (plus an infant) time” now that Cub is in school 3 days a week. It’s only 3 hours, but hey- I’ll take it!

Here are some of my current FAVORITE products for ya!

(Links are in the the titles!)  

For The Girls

 

Plain Jane Play Gowns:

My girls are OBSESSED with their gowns and would wear them 24/7 if I’d let them. Plus, Sarah, the owner, is the sweetest person in the universe AND they just launched all new patterns and styles for fall. I left a few for you to buy…but only a few. πŸ˜‰

 

 

Hazel Village Dolls:

I’ve had my eye on these forever and recently ordered the girls each their own blonde/brunette doll. Annnnd- ready to have your mind blown? The company collabs with cute clothing brands & makes the cutest MINI clothes so the dolls can match your kiddos. Latest collab?? Plain Jane Play Gowns! I meannnnnnn.

 

 

 

Petunia Pickle Bottom Backpack:

It’s basically the cutest backpack ever. The end.

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The Love Bags:

Q needs to bring a lunch AND a snack to school this year. I bought her a big zipper pouch from this brand to use as a lunchbox and these little snack packs for snack time. They are so cute and I love that I’m not flying through ziplocs every week! Plus, I love that I can throw a tiny freezer pack inside & I know it will make it back home again. With plastic baggies it’s a “baby with the bathwater” situation… πŸ˜‰

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Pink Chicken:

This brand is killing it with their Fall line. SOOOO many cute dresses for school…I want them all!!

 

 

FOR BABY

 

Kickee Pants:

My fav baby jammie brand has replaced their snaps with zippers and guess who is the most excited person on the planet about it? This girl.

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Finn + Emma Play gym:

It’s organic, non-toxic, was featured in Vogue, AND my kid loves it. Sold! I can leave this bad boy out in Max’s room and it looks like part of the decor instead of the neon colored plastic eyesore that my girls played with. (Ha! Sorry girls, there are a few perks to being the third child! ;))

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For Both

 

Tubby Todd Bath Products:

Tubby Todd is one of our favorite brands to use on the kiddos. We love the soaps and shampoos and lotions but they JUST came out with conditioner and hair detangler. I know it sounds weird, but lots of the all-natural product lines for kids don’t do conditioners. We’ve been buying conditioner and leave-in spray from other brands, so it’s nice that now we can use one brand for all the kiddos bath needs. Plus, their new Fall limited release is “NYC themed” and is releasing TODAY!!!!! Go, run…

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Letterfolk Boards:

Ya’ll know my love for letter boards run deep, and Letterfolk just came out with these sweet new colors. You know I need both! You do, too.

 

 

Gifties

 

Maileg Dino & Little Unicorn Dino Swaddle

Ok, I recently ordered these for a baby gift and I want to order 10 more for every baby boy I know being born in the next 5 years. The Maileg dino is the softest stuffed animal EVER- so soft I even bought one for Max. It’s like a mini down pillow, for real! Bonus points for it coming packaged in a little cardboard dino egg! Together with the dino swaddle, it’s pretty much the cutest baby gift combo ever. Plus, if it’s a girl gift you are looking for, there are so many other Maileg stuffies that I’m sure would coordinate with the more “girly” swaddle sets!

 

 

Jellycat Bat & I Am Bat Book

Such a cute little combo. I recently bought this as a “big brother” gift (you know how new babies get ALLLLL the attention ::cue dramatic sibling eye roll::) but it would also be so cute for all those little Fall birthdays coming up!

 

For Mama

 

Ect. Bins:

You all know I went on an organization kick recently and these were my favorite purchase! It’s organized and cute on the outside, hot mess of junk on the inside. Perfecto! I’ll take one for every room, please!

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Old Navy Cardi:

I’m pretty much obsessed with this sweater & bought it in both the tan and the grey colors. Its so cute with those little tassels and is light enough to withstand “Texas Fall”, which is pretty much just an extension of summer but with pumpkin everything.

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That’s it for now.

Happy Weekend (and shopping) friends! πŸ˜‰

 

Q Turns Six!

2017-08-28_0013So Q wanted two things for her birthday party this year:

  1. A big “rainbow unicorn party” at the house
  2. Mermaids in the pool-doing tricks

Soooo, instead I offered her option #3: A rainbow party at a local kids gym. Free of mermaids AND messy post-party house. Winning all around.

The place was perfectly “rainbow” themed as is, so all we had to do was add some fun decor, and of course, we can’t forget themed birthday attire!

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Q’s adorable rainbow leotard was custom made from The Leotard Shop and the gorgeous rainbow layered cake (which was pretty much the hit of the party) was from Society Bakery. I mean, it was either the cake or the mountain of candy I had laid out on the kids’ tables…not sure which one was the clear winner. You’re welcome, parents. πŸ˜‰ Since Society Bakery doesn’t do fondant, I ordered this custom cake topper from Sugar Decor by Letty. It was the perfect addition to the cake! I think my favorite details of the day were the adorable sunshine paper plates and cloud napkins from Meri Meri. I just love all of their stuff so much! (They also made the party hats and goodie bags!)2017-08-28_00052017-08-28_0001

For the main table, I made gumball filled “6” centerpieces and then decorated the tables with jars filled with all sorts of rainbow colored treats and candies. Each kid got a takeaway carton with little tags that said either “fill me up, buttercup” or “taste the rainbow”. They filled these up with the treats on the table and brought them home as favors. Again, parents- you’re welcome!2017-08-28_0007

I also scattered rainbow colored glass jars from Hobby Lobby all over the tables and filled them with crayons. I then had coloring sheets and stickers scattered about. Once the kids hit the table, they had plenty to occupy their time and attention while they ate lunch.2017-08-28_0008

For goodie bags, I stuffed each bag with a rainbow lollipop, a slinky, a rainbow crayon, bubbles, and my favorite favor: these adorable tins of scented play dough from ZDough. Working with Kira to create custom doughs was so much fun! We went with rainbow colors and she stamped them all with different sayings like, “Happy Birthday!”, “Thank You!”, “Q”, and “6”. Each dough came with a packet of glitter to be mixed into the dough for extra fun play and they came packed in a super cute paper sack. These favors were a HIT at the party…some of the kids even tore into them at the table before they left the party! I highly recommend these as a fun & different favor idea!!2017-08-28_00062017-08-28_0011

Next,  I worked with the talented A Dancing Baker to create these absolutely adorable rainbow cookies. Quin just about flipped her lid when she saw that the clouds had edible glitter on them!! They were so pretty, I almost didn’t want to eat them. Almost. But good thing I caved, because holy cow…they were DELICIOUS!!2017-08-28_0012

The party room was pretty “colorful” as is, but I ordered this awesome rainbow balloon arch and some other filler balloons from Balloons Everyday! They are in the DFW area and were so amazing to work with…they’ll be my party balloon go-to for all future party needs for sure!!2017-08-28_00102017-08-28_0004

The kids had a blast running around the gym and Q was on cloud nine, so I think it’s safe to say that the party was a sucess…and Q didn’t even miss the performing mermaids in the end! πŸ˜‰2017-08-28_0009

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Q’s Rainbow Outfit Shop Links: Dress (last summer), Boots, Socks, Headband

Cubby’s Yellow Leotard: Alice & Ames

Rainbow Canvas: Home Goods

Paper Umbrella, Letter Q, Glass conatiners, fun letterboard letters, and random decor: Hobby Lobby

White Letterboard: Letterfolk

Pink “Party” Balloon: Pretty Little Social

Happy 6, my sweet Rainbow girl! Let’s take this next year nice & slow! 

Newborn Session

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So, it seemed fitting that since he is about to turn four months…

FOUR! (HOW in the world?!)

…that it was due time to finally post Max’s newborn photos. Don’t judge. Life is crazy, you guys. Mothers of three or more…How. Do. You. Do. It?!?!? Like, besides hiring a personal chef, full-time nanny, glam squad, and a round-the-clock housekeeper…how? Just, how? I need all the answers!

Anyways, without further chatter …(cause I know you’re all just scrolling right past these words to the pics…don’t think I don’t see you.) here are the photos from little Man-Man’s newborn session:

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Note: My poor Q came home from school not feeling so great the day of pictures, with our photographer (the amazing Leah Cook) already there. So, we just went with it. If you think she looks a little less-chipper than usual or is missing from some of the pics, that’s why. Poor babe!

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Gah, look at how tiny he was! He hardly looks like the same baby. These pics make me so sad…sad that he’s already no longer considered a “newborn” and is now an infant.

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Ugh. I struggled so much with these early days. I knew he was our last babe and I wanted so desperately to keep him teeny teeny tiny. But at the same time, I longed for the days when he was just a few months older, a bit less fragile and a bit less fussy. I’ve never had easy babies (not ONE!) so I guess I wasn’t too surprised to learn that Max fell into the same “difficult” category. He’s getting a little better every day, but let’s be honest, he’s still up alllllll night long wanting to snuggle and nurse. Such a Mama’s Boy! πŸ˜‰

2017-08-23_00402017-08-23_00412017-08-23_00422017-08-23_00432017-08-23_00442017-08-23_00182017-08-23_00202017-08-23_00212017-08-23_00222017-08-23_00232017-08-23_00242017-08-23_00252017-08-23_00262017-08-23_0027Watching “Mac” with his little Max has to be the sweetest thing ever. It’s funny how relationships form differently right off the bat. There’s no denying the way Ryan looks at his son…(not to be confused with the “I’m completely wrapped and twisted and tangled and super-glued around your tiny finger” look he gave to his girls!) πŸ˜‰

2017-08-23_00322017-08-23_00282017-08-23_00292017-08-23_00302017-08-23_00312017-08-23_00332017-08-23_00342017-08-23_0039Max’s room was such a labor of love- designed with a beach/surf theme for his Californian daddy. If you want to read and see more about Max’s room with clickable links check out THIS post! πŸ˜‰

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Poor, sweet Q. We all know she would’ve been hammin’ it up for the camera if she was feeling better! Such a bummer…

2017-08-23_00452017-08-23_00462017-08-23_00482017-08-23_00522017-08-23_00492017-08-23_00532017-08-23_0050Sweetest Max, baby. We sure do love you a whole lot. You can go right ahead and stop growing now, ok? 2017-08-23_00472017-08-23_0051

All photos by my sweet friend: the incredible Leah Cook Photography

Back-to-School with Boden- GIVEAWAY

***UPDATE: Scroll to the bottom to see the WINNER of the BODEN GIVEAWAY!!!)***


I’m pretty much in denial about the fact that

A., #1: My baby turns SIX in a few days and

B.,#2: She’s off to kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN, you guys.

And not like Pre-K or TK, or Early K, or day camp…or whatever else I pretended it was last year. I’m talking REAL kinder. Like, at an elementary school! Her day will start at the time I was just waking her up for breakfast last year. And guys, get ready cause I’m about to drop a bomb on you…she has a UNIFORM! I know, I’m dying. Dying over the cuteness of the tiny plaid rompers and saddle shoes but also dying over the fact that I need to purchase moth balls and lay to rest her extensive collection of apple smocked dresses. Say it ain’t so!!!!


The good news is, there’s always the weekend and play dates and after-school for me to dress her up to my heart’s content. And let’s be honest, my years of dressing her head-to-toe are dwindling before my very eyes! Luckily, there are super cute places to shop where I can give her free reign and know that everything will mix and match perfectly- like one of my favs, Mini Boden.

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This year, to prep for “Back-to-School” the girls got to pick brand new jammies and slippers. Cubby prefers to go pantless at bedtime. And really, can we blame her? To prep for the first day, we’ll be reading ALL the “night before” books and making a big deal about packing a special lunch (that bento box is my nemesis). In the morning I’ll make them a big special breakfast as I funnel coffee down my gullet and the whole family will walk her into school and take a million pictures (obvi.) and then we’ll come home and watch the sun rise. Ok, kidding. Maybe it’s not THAT early…but. No, it really is that freakin early. Wah!!

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I know this year is going to be filled with so much goodness and cuteness and new friends and new experiences but I just can’t help but think that this is the beginning of that period of life that just flies by. Like, I’m going to blink and she’ll be going off to college. And damn-straight I’ll still be buying her special pjs and furry slippers as I pack her up and ship her off…

For now, I’ll just enjoy the fact that she still loves to cuddle and doesn’t complain that my pancakes taste like charcoal. Stay little, my loves!!!

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Q’s nightie | Cubby’s pjs | Cubby’s undies | slippers

OK, Now for the big GIVEAWAY:

I’ve teamed up with 6 other bloggers to give away a $1,000 Boden shopping spree! YES, $1,000!!!! Enter using the Rafflecopter link below. Also, be sure to visit their posts for more Back to School styles, tips and fun ideas. Here’s where to visit: The Chirping Moms, Hello Erin, Seven Graces, Sweet Southern Prep, Girl in the Red Shoes and Being Brickner. You’ll love the outfits and fun photos they’ve all come up with! Plus, they’re just pretty awesome. πŸ™‚

Good luck and we can’t wait to announce the winner of the $1,000 Boden giveaway!

Click Here:

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

*****UPDATE: The WINNER is Meghan of @charlie.and.co!!! Congrats Meghan! Enjoy your back yo school shopping spree!!*****



For your pinning pleasure:

BTSMiniBoden

Virgin Gorda


Well, friends- we’re back! Crazy to think that after all that planning and packing and prepping…the trip is already over. BUT- I will tell you, it was worth every second and every penny! Virgin Gorda *might* be my new favorite Caribbean destination!

I received so many questions via Instagram while we were away and with data roaming charges being so high and the internet connection being less than stellar, I figured I’d answer some of them here!

First off:

Q & A’s clothes & bathing suits: I almost ALWAYS tag the shops their outfits are from. Just tap the picture on instagram to see the shop names (I know this seems kind of obvious, but I still get lots ofΒ  “Where is that dress from?” type questions over in Insta-land. So, yeah click the picture for shop names.) If it’s NOT tagged its most likely an old piece or something that is no longer available. OR my shopaholic brain simply forgot where I got it! πŸ˜‰


(Ex: These blue rompers got lots of questions and I didn’t tag them because they were purchased at Old Navy last summer- or even the summer before, maybe! I loved it when I bought it and went back and got one in every size- thus the reason Q & A both fit into one this summer! Yaaaay for being a shopaholic!)


Travel Items: Ok, so I definitely over-packed for this trip (See Travel Tips post!) and I wanted to share a quick list of things I did NOT use while on vaca, things I definitely NEEDED and things I totally forgot to bring!

Did NOT use:

  • The MiFold carseat boosters. Most travel in the Caribbean is done by way of boat or open air taxis so these seats stayed in the luggage the whole time. Boo!
  • Polaroid Camera. The charger got lost early on, the battery kept dying on us, and honestly Q just had no interest. Waste of luggage space.
  • So many outfits! We had a chef come in & we ate at the house a bunch on this trip, so the girls went from bathing suits & coverups straight into pjs most nights. I think we went out to dinner twice. So basically aside from travel clothes, I used TWO outfits for the girls. T-W-O. I will not even tell you how many I actually brought!
  • So many SHOES! I bought the girls THESE slip on sandals by Igor and they wore them every single day. On the two nights they dressed up to go out to restaurants they wore their brown salt water sandals. I literally only needed two pairs of shoes for them. Same for me. I needed flip flops. The end.
  • All those airplane toys. I’m on the fence with this one because the girls mostly watched their ipads on the plane BUT they did play with their toys during down time at the house. So I guess they did come in handy.
  • The Monkey Mat. The kids played IN the sand and Max, wellll- never let me put him down. Never needed it or opened it once!
  • Water shoes for the girls. We brought them for The Baths but the shoes were actually slippery on the rocks and it was easier/safer to go barefoot!

 

Definitely USED:

  • snorkel masks
  • life jackets
  • alllll that food!
  • lots of bathing suit options…and lots of rashguards!
  • alllll that sunscreen
  • 6 packages of wipes! Thought I was over-packing here but, nope!
  • Boppy- for feeding, naps, airplane ride, etc. Used this every single day.
  • Breast pump, lots of breast milk storage baggies, and a small insulated cooler and freezer packs for toting that milk to dinners and on our travel days!
  • Extra bottles! We use glass and one shattered upon arrival…thank God for extras!
  • First Aid kit: children’s tylenol and thermometer were needed and definitely USED!
  • That Aqua Heat travel bottle warmer. That this is Pure GOLD, I tell you!
  • The mosquito net for baby boy. We put this over his rock n’ play every night and every time he was outside!
  • Mesh baby carrier! This thing was awesome for carrying Max out in the sun & water
  • Giant hat for myself. This served as protection for me as well as a tiny umbrella for Max while I was carrying him in the sun!

 

NEEDED but forgot:

  • More diapers- we brought 50 diapers and were running very low towards the end of the 8 day trip. Ohhhh newborn life.
  • Beach toys. We thought there would be a basket of sand toys left behind from the previous house guests (usually the case) but there was not. totally should’ve brought a small package of sand toys.
  • Meds- I always pack a first aid kit but I cleaned out some expired meds before the trip and totally forgot to replace them. Luckily I had children’s Tylenol (needed for when Q & A got tummy bug fevers) but I forgot and NEEDED children’s Benedryl and also saline spray and squeeze bulb for baby boy’s congested nose!

 

Next up, the trip itself! Here are the details, as promised!

Location: Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

House: Villa Aquamare,Β via our vacation club: Exclusive Resorts

Virgin Gorda was GORGEOUS and the house was equally as stunning. The staff was superb and all around the experience was a five-star one. Not sure how any other house or beach trip is going to compare to this one! Do me a favor, if you ever go…please hire Chef Mimi to come cook for you…and request her Key Lime pie for dessert. (I don’t even like key lime pie!) Trust Me!

Tourist Spots:

On Virgin Gorda-

  • Hog Heaven-BBQ joint. This place is located at the top of the island and the view alone is worth the trek. We stopped here for a drink and a snack (french fries) before heading out to lunch. So I can’t speak much of the actual food, but it’s a total tourist dive spot. Aka: showing up in a bathing suit and cover up is totally acceptable!
  • CocoMaya-Asian Fusion. Gorgeous restaurant, beautiful scenery and yummy food! The girls loved the “back yard” (beach with corn hole, giant jenga, and fire pit) they could play on while we waited for food at our table.
  • Saba Rock. Tiny little rock island off the coast of Virgin Gorda. Good food, cute gift shop, and you can walk the whole island in about 10 minutes. Only negative- no walk-in beach access, since the island is basically a big rock. (Water taxi to get there)
  • The Bitter End Resort. Kind of dated, cute shops, good if you’re looking for some fun water sports. (Can get there by land taxi or boat)
  • Chez Bamboo– a local restaurant. We ordered take-out from here one night and were very underwhelmed by the food.
  • Rock Cafe– italian restaurant. Cute place, piano bar inside, we ate outside among boudlers (thus the name). Food was ok, atmosphere was pretty cool!
  • The Baths! This place was phenomenal! Probably wouldn’t recommend doing it with a baby… but it was worth all the “You guys are crazy” looks we got from everyone! The girls had SO much fun climbing through all the rocks and tunnels and the water and views were just beautiful. Plus, I’m convinced we spotted the Goonies…

Out in the BVIs-

  • We did two boat days with our favorite boat captain, Dana Paradise on the Take it Easy 2. We sailed all over the BVIs, stopping to snorkle at The Caves, The Indians and several other hot spots. We hit up Norman Island to eat at Pirate’s Bight, Saba Rock, and Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke. Boat days are kind of our favorite…and not just because of the rum punch! πŸ˜‰
  • Side Note: On our first day at sea, one of the boat crew heard the girls talking about their love for Moana. The second day we chartered the boat, she went out into the caves she knew we’d be snorkeling in and planted a special gift for the girls to find. When the girls went out snorkeling in the caves they found plastic bags with their names on them. Inside was a note “from Moana” along with handmadeΒ  island skirts and flowers for their hair. The girls were completely awe-struck and wore their custom made outfits from Moana for the rest of the day. THAT, my friends, is called quality crew! Miss Alicia, if you ever read this…YOU are the bestest ever! Thank you for making my girls’ day!!!

Any questions, send them my way!

Seriously…best trip ever!

Next up in our summer adventures…New Jersey!

In the meantime…extra vacation pics: ( Cause there’s always plenty of those! 😜)

Β 

Travel Tips

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Brave.

Crazy.

Insane.

These are all things I’ve been called after telling people that we are headed to Virgin Gorda next week with our three children- yes, newborn included. I guess they’re all probably pretty true, but here’s the thing: This isn’t our first rodeo! Ryan and I have always loved traveling and after having Q, we took the 8 hour flight over to Hawaii when she was only two months old. She racked up more frequent flyer miles in her first year of life than I did in my first 10! We figured out the best and worst ways to travel with a baby (some major bumps and “learning experiences” along the way) and we never looked back. Fast forward a few years to Cubby being born and we were cruising around the Caribbean with another 2 month old in tow. So yeah, we’re doing it again.  Because we feel like we kind of have this “traveling with kids” thing down pat by now, but mostly because mama needs to have her toes in the water, ass in the sand….and a cold rum punch in her hand! πŸ˜‰

Anyways, I’ve been sharing some of my packing over on my Instagram stories and I’ve gotten lots of requests for more info so I figured I’d share a little bit about how we travel with the kiddos, and the products that make it a little bit easier!

  1.  Lists and Schedule: I’m an OCD nut so when we plan a trip the first thing Ryan and I do is sit down and write out a loose day-by-day itinerary. Sure, plans change once we are there, but knowing vaguely what we’ll be doing each day helps me with packing. Then I make a list, and then a list of my list and then a master list of all my lists. πŸ˜‰ (Lists are your friend.) I make a page for each family member, Ryan excluded (cause he’s a big boy and can pack for himself) and I write down everything I need to pack for that person- even the most obvious things like “underwear” and “toothbrush” make the list, because you KNOW those are the things that always get forgotten!
  2. Pack in advance: Life is pretty damn crazy with three kids, I’m not going to lie. I get little pockets of “free” time each day when I can actually get things done before getting interrupted. So I start shopping/packing weeks in advance. I take out each family member’s suitcase and lay it in the hallway with their list on top. As I do laundry or shop or see an item I know we won’t be needing to use before the trip, I lay it in the suitcase. Then when the time comes to actually pack, most of what I need is already there, and I can use the list to quickly figure out what still needs to be packed. Packing in advance is key!! I’ve had so many people message me about the packing cubes I use to pack for the kids, so I’ve linked them HERE. They really are game-changers!!!

packing cubes

  1. Planning Outfits: So I’m a bit of a nut with dressing the kids. As in, I enjoy it and I like them to coordinate and look put together (most of the time). The only way this is possible for me is if I literally lay out every outfit- bow to shoes. Once I lay out coordinating outfits and suits, I stack them up together (meaning both of the girls’ “Monday” outfits are in a pile together) Since Max is so young and will mostly be wearing onesies and pjs, he’s excluded from the daily outfit piles…for now! πŸ˜‰ This helps SO much when we are there and the kids are sandy or dripping water everywhere from the bath, and the baby needs to be fed and we are late for dinner reservations- I can literally hand Ryan the “Monday” pile and he can get the kids ready without them winding up wearing two left shoes (which, let’s be honest- is Cubby’s favorite thing to do!)IMG_4369
  2. Plane Entertainment: We reserve ipad time for special occasions so that once on the plane, the kids are actually excited to use them. Before we travel, Ryan let’s the girls pick out a few new movies/tv shows/apps to download onto their ipads. They get really excited about this! Then I let each girl have a backpack. Here are some packs we love!  These are from Herschel and I LOVE them, except they were a bit too small for this trip. I linked them here: Herschel Survey Packsimage3Since this is a longer trip, I grabbed these bigger packs from Pottery Barn Kids. They were on sale for $12…TWELVE!! Since they were “the same” I let the girls pick out their own key chains to individualize them- they like to feel special like that. Aside from being cute and cheap- these backpacks are the perfect size and have cupholder slots on the sides for the girls water bottles (aka one less thing I have to carry!)image2
    I keep a cabinet in the house that I stock with small toys, books, magnet tin games, etc. that are specifically for travel/restaurant use. Target dollar section is my best friend for this! I let the girls “shop” the closet and decide what they want to pack in their bags. They LOVE doing this and again, it keeps them excited to play once they board the plane. Here’s a peek at some of the things the girls chose for their bags: ipad (obvi!), kleen kanteen water bottle (our fav brand), a school workbook for Q, sticker/coloring books, “Grab & Go” coloring Play Packs (Thanks Target Dollar Section!), Some marshmallow clay (this stuff is awesome), a plain notebook & fresh crayons (always a kiddo favorite!), a small pouch of figurines (Cubby especially loves to play figurines! Q packed some shopkins & Cub packed My Little Ponies), a mini Buddha Board (check this out- you paint with water & it dries and erases!), wiki sticks  (so awesome for travel!) and of course, some of the dreaded “surprise packs”! Most of these toys have passed the test of time- meaning they keep the girls occupied for longer than 30 seconds. Anything they get easily board with, doesn’t make the cut!image1
  3. Secret Weapons: Aside from their “quiet bags”, as we call them, here are the secret weapons for traveling with kids: snack, snack, and SNACKS. Seriously, imagine that you are going to be stranded on a deserted island for a month and then pack that much food for your several hour plane ride- trust me. I pack lots of different snacks in small amounts because it’s all about the novelty of “trying a new snack”…with my kids at least. And don’t forget lollipops or something chewy to help pop those ears during descent! I use the snack size ziplock bags and I ALWAYS pack a giant ziplock (or five) to use as my “trash bag” during the flight. It makes keeping our row not look like a stage-5 disaster zone a little easier.
  4. Travel Clothes: We usually fly super early in the morning so the key to getting out the door is dressing the kids in their travel clothes the night before. Crazy, you say? Not with Plain Jane Play Gowns! These adorable and cozy dresses function as a nightgown BUT are cute enough to pass for a dress! I put these on the girls the night before and lay out a pair of sandals and a jean jacket or cardigan to throw on in the morning. Then I pack an outfit in a ziplock that I carry on with me. At some point during the flight I get the girls changed into their real clothes and do their hair. Sounds like a lot of work, but in all reality- it kills a good 15 -20 minutes of flight time! πŸ™‚ If you have little girls and you don’t know about Plain Jane…do me a favor and click that link right there!!! IMG_4792
  5. Sunscreen: I linked a few of my favorite organic/mineral based sunscreen brands to use on the kids. I’ve used them all and find these brands are the cleanest (chemically speaking), the easiest to use, and work the best. Babo Botanicals, Babyganics, Blue Lizard, Alba  All of these brands have  a spray option (besides Blue Lizard) and I know we are supposed to “stay away from the spray cans”, but let’s be honest- practicality trumps all when dealing with wet, sandy kiddos! What I usually do is apply a thick coat of a lotion sunscreen in the morning and once again mid-day, then I use the spray can for all the in-between coverage! πŸ˜‰
  6. Items for the Trip:  I’ve been known to ship an item or two to our location in advance…especially when we have a teeny tiny baby. This time, since we are staying at a house, I went ahead and shipped a rock n’ play. It’s Max’s current favorite & the pack & play they had available just wasn’t going to cut it since it’s not what he’s used to. Plus, I figured the rock n’ play is so light and easy to carry, we can easily cart it down to the beach and then back up the house for naps/bedtime every day! Amazon Prime is my BFF, people. Here are some other items we are bringing. (Sidebar: Most of the time we like to pack any “extra items” (that we know won’t be coming home with us) in a box- this way we aren’t traveling home with extra EMPTY luggage- cause that’s just annoying.

 

 

Monkey Mat

I haven’t used it yet- but look how small it is?! I think it’ll be a perfect beach mat!

monkeymat1

 

 

Kids Snorkel Masks

Ok, if you do beach trips and like to snorkel these are a MUST!!!

The girls absolutely LOVE these!

snorkel mask

 

 

MiFold Travel Booster Seats

Again, I haven’t used these yet but since we are going to be in the Caribbean and our “car time” will be limited, I thought these would be perfect for the girls in a pinch. Look how tiny they are!! (Although I have to say- they are pretty heavy!)

mifold

 

Netting and Foam Fan for Baby

Mosquitos, Zika, Heat…you know.

 

 

Mesh waterproof baby carrier

Max insists upon being carried at all times so  although I love my Solly Baby, I thought this one would be much better suited for a beach trip!

carrier

 

 

Cute floaties: Flamingo float, arm floaties

Because, hello photo opps!

Aqua Heat

The only travel bottle warmer I found that didn’t require you to boil water on a stove first or be plugged in for it to work. This one has a warming packet that you add to the water in the base cup. It heats the water and the stainless steel bottle that goes into it. Takes up to 2 minutes to warm the bottle. I am breastfeeding but I’m still kind of shy about breastfeeding in public and sometimes when Max is really sleepy he does better with the bottle anyways. So we will be bringing a few packs of breastmilk in a little cooler bag and this warmer will be perfect for on the plane/ on the go! But here’s a little warning: there are “hot” packets which will boil the water and “warm” packets- make sure if you get this for bottles that you ONLY use the “warm” pouches!

warmer

 

Yeti Rambler Bottle

Two Words: Rum. Punch.

yeti

 

 

Polaroid Camera

For my little budding photographer. But really, we all have fun snapping polaroids when we are away. I bought some cute little polaroid albums and Q loves collecting all of our snaps. πŸ™‚

camera

 

That’s about it, I think! What’d I forget? Let me know and I’ll add it!

Now, all that’s left after alllllll that hard work and planning is to sit back in the sun and enjoy a frosty beverage uninterrupted.

Bahahah! Well, a girl can dream…

IMG_4708

Happy Travels, friends! xo

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