Archive | TRAVELING WITH KIDS

HOW TO LIKE CAMPING, FROM A NON-CAMPER

Did you notice the “LIKE” in the title of this post? “LOVE” would for sure be too strong of a word. Also noted in the title, I’m not a camper. However my family loves it and if I am anything to our family, it’s a team player. Every summer I get a chance to prove it when we get packed up to  go camping on our friend’s amazing beach property on Whidbey Island (don’t you feel sorry for me, LOL?) along with 6 other families. It’s the highlight of the  summer and something the kids look forward to all year long. So many memories are made, good food gets eaten and fun is had during our stay.

Problem is, packing up 7 people for 2 or 3 nights along with tents, coolers, kitchen tools, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, pillows, camp chairs, blankets, food, drinks, flashlights, recreational activities, lifejackets, toiletries, towels, layers of clothing, etc. without overpacking (because it all has to fit somewhere), is sooooo stressful. Then there’s the setting up camp and figuring out where to put all the things you brought. Followed by hangout time which is amazing until it’s time for bed which is my least favorite because we’re out of our normal routine, trying to get everyone to go to sleep while laying under a layer of nylon and then my anxiety kicks in because we’re all spread out (in different tents) and you can’t lock a tent to keep everyone safe and I’m thinking about trees falling (among other things) and whether or not everyone is warm enough (also among other things) so I don’t get much sleep. After that, things are pretty wonderful (aside from the non-sleeping part… and bugs. Ha!). Until it’s time to pack up and pile all the tired, dirty and stinky people into the car :) And don’t get me started on the unpacking process… I’m still trying to catch up on all the laundry. So yeah, the work to fun ration (imo) is about 5 to 1.

But all the in-between time, play time and quality time are sooooo worth it. These are the days and they are so fleeting and camping is a great way to spend time with your babes making memories that are different than staying at a hotel or rental home somewhere. Which is why I wanted to write this post! So if you feel the same as me about camping here are a few things I’ve learned over the years.

5 WAYS TO TO MAKE CAMPING MORE ENJOYABLE:

  1. GET INSPIRED BY OTHERS — Talk to friends that camp often, look up blog posts, watch movies, hop on pinterest, ask the kids what they’re excited for, etc. And maybe even plan a camp trip with friends which also lightens the load… When we camp with our group, we plan and share meals for breakfast and dinner which makes it easier to feed the fam, but it’s also fun seeing and tasting what everyone brings!
  2. GEAR MATTERS — Just like skiing, gear matters. Especially when it comes to a tent, sleeping bags and mats/cushion/air mattress imo. Whatever you can do to make it easier to sleep well at night, the more you’ll enjoy the days. Since we’re not really a camping family we’ve always just gotten by with random hand me downs and a good tent or two. This year we rented a small teardrop trailer through rvshare.com. Having a comfy bed and fan was life changing — at least for Griffin, Poppy and me, LOL. Poor Johan spent most of the nights in a tent with the older kids. Next time I think we’ll for sure spring for a bigger trailer or camper!
  3. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION — it’s fun/nice/convenient to be close enough to a town and grocery store for a little ice cream outing or to replace the toothbrushes you forgot to pack. Oh, and a laundry mat might come in handy too. Comes in handy if it rains which we were lucky enough to not experience this trip but that’s not always the case!
  4. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO — Because there will be sand and dirt and bugs and missed naps and early mornings and _________(fill-in-the-blank)… so know what to expect and just be okay with it.
  5. KNOW YOUR WHY — It’s a lot of work and I will never be cool about bugs in my tent but I can for sure enjoy it for a few nights because I know WHY we’re doing it! The time with our family and friends, and all the adventuring is priceless.

I know I’m being a little dramatic about what I don’t like about camping, and if you haven’t already assumed it, I’m not the most outdoorsy person in the world (HA!), but I did grow up hiking, fishing and staying at our family cabin. Always thought I would be cool with camping but turns out I’m a little on the high maintenance side (gimme all the cabins and trailers!)…. Sorry hun.

What about you? Did you grow up camping? Do you enjoy it now?

XO, Rae

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FAMILY TRAVEL: BEACH GETAWAY TO SEABROOK, WA

Oh, my life is busssssy right now, but I’m hoping it’s just the crazy before the summer-calm. Aside from the kids activities, I’ve been occupied with design projects (a couple I can’t wait to share!). Just wrapped up the major stuff, so am hoping to get caught up and spend more time and fun content with you here next week, YAY! Today however, I wanted to share about our trip to Seabrook, WA. It’s become our go-to beach getaway — we’ve been 5 times (past visits here, and here) and have loved every minute. There is so much to do, the convenience is unbeatable and the houses are all so homey and easy to relax in.  I must have gotten 20 DM’s while we were there last week asking for trip details so I’ll be sure to share my best info and tips below in case you have questions too. Because I don’t want to forget what my favorite people in the world had fun doing the most together, I also wanted to share everyone’s best parts of our visit this time…

JOHAN | had the most fun sleeping in, walking to get coffee and sitting on the balcony that was attached to our room… a feature that is now on his future home wish list, lol.

ME | I loved, loved, loved our beach time this trip and also walking everywhere. It’s always my favorite part of our stay. No buckling carseats, arguing over who sits where or fighting

ESPEN + TILLY | unanimously decided shuffleboard was their favorite. I’ll talk more about it below, but there are a ton of community areas and free equipment rentals at the bike shop in town.

GRIFFIN | give him all the s’mores and hot tub time (there’s several community fire pits and a community pool and hot tub, but this time we had a hot tub and fire pit at our house too!)

POPPY | had the best time flying her kite on the beach.

OZZIE | missed out on another family trip because of school and sports (crying emoji x3) but I’m guessing his favorite part of us being gone was the peace + quiet.

*You guys, don’t ever let your kids grow up! It’s the worst. But also pretty amazing to watch and cheer them on. But also, also, the worst, lol.

We checked into our house (The Blue Lantern Cottage) and immediately made ourselves at home and got familiar with our location and proximity to all the most important things – like the pool, coffee shop, fire pits, etc. While we unpacked and made dinner, the kids checked out their bunk room and the garage which was full of toys and a ping pong table. Then we headed to the pool just to make sure they would be tired and worn-out and happy to crawl into beds and fall asleep.

I no longer hope, expect or plan on the kids being so tired that they’ll sleep in while on vacay (even after a late night and long swim) which makes it easier to enjoy any early risers. This particular morning we got these two early birds out of the house so they didn’t wake the rest (my friend Stacy and her boys were vacay-ing with us too!) and walked a couple blocks to grab coffee and sticky-buns to share.

This to me is heaven on earth! Rolling out of bed and walking anywhere, is my favorite way to start the day. Especially when coffee and warm pastries are involved and everyone is still snuggly and in their jammies. Bonus that the coffee and treats at Red Velvet Bakery are so yummy.

There’s nothing like a little beach time to make you appreciate life and God’s goodness. Not a lot of swimming happening here (maybe later in the summer), but plenty of sand to run and play in. And we obviously like hugging while on the beach, LOL.

Also, that top pic of Tilly mid-kite-flying might be a new favorite of mine.

The 3rd floor of the house we stayed in was a bunk room complete with a bathroom, organized toys, books and puzzles and 8 beds to sleep in. Makes me want to turn our attic into a playroom slash crash pad for sleepovers and get togethers!

Signs of a vacay done right… swimmers drying on a clawfoot tub and a spontaneous nap taken on a beach ball while wearing a crown.

A few tips if you are planning a trip to Seabrook!

  • Eating + shopping: Check the store/shop/restaurant hours when you first get there and plan accordingly as they change depending on the season and day of the week.
  • Picking a house: With younger kids, we prefer staying on the town side (instead of ocean side). You sacrifice a bit of the view but the kids have more freedom to roam and walking to get coffee, swim, etc. is easier.
  • Recreation: Stop by the bike shop to checkout recreational equipment for free during your stay. Also, the pool has life jackets but we usually pack ours from home for Poppy and Griffin.
  • Family + friends: it’s a great place to go with friends… also a good way to make it more affordable.  (here’s a few other tips on the subject)
  • Deciding what to do: get familiar with the map and either walk or drive around the town so you have a good idea of where things are and don’t end up missing out on something your family would love!

I already want to go back!!!

Let me know if I missed anything or you have questions.

See you back here on Monday!!!

XO, Rae

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FREE PRINTABLE LUGGAGE TAGS (FREEBIE)

When your a pint sized traveler, vacationing usually starts once the bags are packed and loaded in the car. But for those of us adulting, it starts long after the security check. Today we’re making the process a little easier on you with some cute luggage tags you can print at home, fill-out and tie to your bags before heading to the airport. Bonus, these cuties will also make it easier to spot your suitcases on the baggage claim carousel!

Details and the download below :)

LUGGAGE TAG FREEBIES

You’ll Need:

  • card stock
  • twine and ribbon
  • do-dads, charms, keychains, pom-poms, etc. (optional)
  • hole-punch
  • scissors
  • luggage tag PDF — CLICK TO DOWNLOAD!

Here’s How:

  1. Download file, print on card stock and cut along dashed line. Hole punch at the top in the circle, fill-out, and hang on twine.
  2. Tie to handle of luggage bags. Add ribbon, pom-poms, trim and other embellishments (see ideas below).

Pom-pom and tassel is from my gift wrap stash of goodies and the monster charm is from HERE.

I decided to design the tags for our trip to Phoenix and love how they turned out. Kinda fun to add a personal touch to our bags!

(suitcase from the Love Taza line at Target!)

What’s the most stressful part of traveling with kids for you?

For me it’s getting everyone, their carry-ons, tech devices, shoes and blankets through security without annoying the mob of people behind us…. I get anxiety just thinking about it, HA!

On the way home from Phoenix (I had all the kids while Johan returned the car), the guy behind us in the security line was so impatient while I unloaded all the thiiiings into the gray bins, that he cut in front of us (!!!). It was 4:45am and we were kind of a circus so I guess I can’t really blame him, LOL. But it was a good reminder to be extra sweet and encouraging to mamas who are traveling, running errands or doing just about anything with kids. It makes all the difference, right?!

XO, Rae

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WE’RE BACK + SOME PICS FROM OUT TRIP TO AZ

Heyyyyyy sweet friends! I hope you had an amazing Easter with family and friends over the weekend! Still can’t get this scripture out of my head, “GOD told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!”‘ (Jer. 31:3). It’s a crazy kinda love we get to experience and not just on Easter, but it feels especially overwhelming on resurrection Sunday to me.

In other news, we’re back from spring break! After a week of sunshine and family time, it was so hard getting the kids up and out the door for school this morning. I think just as much for me as it was for them, but Griffin probably more than anyone. And Tilly’s reaction was priceless when she realized she’d have to put on real shoes instead of sandals, LOL. However, we did come home to a homemade dinner waiting for us in the fridge and an egg hunt all set up for the kids in the front yard, courtesy of the most thoughtful friends ever! Sleeping in our own beds last night was pretty heavenly too.

I got several requests for a “Family Guide to Spring Training” type post which I think is a great idea and will be working with Johan to put something good together for you guys in a couple weeks. But first I thought I’d share a big photo dump today and a few details from our trip… here goes!

Of course it’s not spring training without baseball! We arrived towards the end of the season but was able to make it to 4 games. Because everything about the pre-season is easy and low-key (seats in the grass, play areas and splash pads, cheaper tickets, smaller crowds, etc.) there isn’t any pressure to stay the entire game and the kids have more freedom too!

My parent’s rented a house for us all to stay in and stocked it with food and snacks from Costco before we arrived (spoiled us rotten!) so we didn’t do a lot of eating out, but did manage to make it to Cibo and was so glad we did! The pizza and meatballs were amazing and there is nothing quite as good as being able to dine outside… it’s one of the things Johan and I are always looking for during the warmer Seattle months. We of course also indulged in stadium grub and in-n-out too.

For anyone in the Phoenix area or planning a visit, Stacie from alice and ames shared some more great ideas for food and activities in this post.

Of course, you guys know we can’t go very long without a trip to get ice cream or in this case, gelato! Found the cutest spot, complete with a splash pad and lots of room to roam, at Luci’s at the Orchard. Wish we had something similar by our house… I would probably never leave!

Most of our free time was spent swimming but we also made it to Papago park. So pretty and the kids had fun climbing the giant rock!

Peek Kids sent us some clothes to wear and photograph on our trip… we had fun driving around with the girls while daydreaming about living in the desert and scouting for a fun spot to take a few pics. We wrapped things up with a little walk and fro-yo date.

One of our last outings was to a golf course for some putting and chipping. Couldn’t believe how much fun all the kids had, how well they did and that no one got hit with a backswing (YAY!). Have to say though, that we got really lucky with the time since the main course had just closed and we were the only ones still doing any golfing. Otherwise we probably would’ve been pretty annoying and I’m not sure it would have been quite as successful.

Love the combination of heat, food, and activities that Phoenix has to offer while still being pretty casual and affordable. Not sure my kids would handle the summertime heat very well though… they tend to feel like their melting once the temp goes above 85 degrees, lol.  True Seattleites!

If you have any interest in seeing more, I saved almost all of my short videos from our trip to an AZ story highlight HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I missed anything!

xo, Rae

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LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 3

We’ve been putting the finishing touches on Tilly’s New York themed Birthday party and it occurred to me yesterday that I never shared the last part of our trip! Last June, I took Espen and Tilly to visit my brother and his family who live in Brooklyn and had the most amazing time. My sister in law was sweet enough to capture so many moments from our time with them…  Here’s day 1 + day 2 if you missed them, and below are pics of what we did on day 3!

Everyday we spent in NY was a favorite for different reasons, but day 3 took the cake (literally and figuratively) because I imagine it’s what a normal Saturday would have looked like for us if we lived there. We got to be guests at Logan’s (my nephew) 5th Birthday party, grabbed lunch and bubble tea at Hanco’s in Park Slope, walked through the prettiest parts of Prospect Park, played at a splash pad and then stopped at an Italian Ice truck before walking home. It was a good day.

A kid party complete with balloons, cupcakes, popcorn served in lunch bags and quirky games? Yes please! Ha! But on a more serious side, everyone who lives far away from family probably understands just how special it was that we were able to attend Logan’s 5th bday celebration. Just thinking about it makes my heart burst again.

(LOVE YOU NEW YORKERS SO MUCH!)

Next stop was Hanco’s for Vietnamese sandwiches and bubble tea — our first bubble teas to be specific! I slurped up mine but the kids were not fans. Just look at Tilly’s confused face :)

Next stop was Prospect Park for a walk, picnic and playtime at the splash pad.

(My little brother and Espen! Family is just so sweet.)

Last stop was for Italian Ice on our way home.

Anyone else starting to feel hungry?

A little Pokemon Go on the ride home!

So proud of my little subway pros and loved watching them take care of their cousin like they would (or even more so) their own siblings.

I have always loved looking through “old” pictures and this time was no different. Kinda left me feeling homesick for family and adventure and time together. Daydreaming about our next vacation… hopefully with all 7 of us!

Where do you guys like to travel with your family?

xo, Rae

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LITTLE TOURIST: WHAT WE DID IN NY, DAY 1

We’ve been back for almost 2 weeks now but it’s taken me this long to go through all the pics and process everything we did in NY. I was a little intimidated by the thought of navigating the city with kids when I booked the trip but luckily we were staying with my brother and sister-in-law who have been living there for awhile and are total pros! We crammed so much in during our stay that I’m going to break up our trip day by day.

Day 1 started after a red-eye from Seattle which worked out well with my kids at their ages (Espen 10 and Tilly 8). None of us slept much (despite carrying on pillows, blankets and melatonin!) but the excitement kept us going and our exhaustion at the end of the day made the time change no big deal. Here’s a look at what we did…

First up was a drive-by past Lady Liberty. It was no.1 on Tilly’s bucket list but booking a tour costs a lot and took up most of a day and I wasn’t sure it would hold their attention much. So, my brilliant sister in law suggested hopping on the Staten Island ferry (it’s free!) instead. I googled fun facts about the statue while we road by (there and back) and got plenty of pictures which seemed to satisfy everyone. Bonus that it only took about an hour!

After getting off the ferry we walked over to Battery Park to see the Bull (and rub his balls for good luck :). The SHE statue was also still there which I was so excited about. I’m more of a humanist than feminist, but her addition to the bull gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies.

We also stopped for a ride on the sea glass carousel which was so pretty!

Next stop was a late lunch at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park which was no.1 on my bucket list. Johan and I ate there during our last trip and I’ve been craving it ever since.

The last stop of the day was Rockefeller Center and Time Square where we saw Elmo, a totally impressive subway performer, naked painted ladies in thongs, beautiful art installments (the “x” chairs and piano), a unicorn man and a really cool dance group… definitely not my normal scene or vibe but a lot of fun and totally worth it!

All in all, we ended up doing so much more on the first day and literally went until we dropped. The kids actually dozed off on the Subway ride home!

Thanks so much for letting me share our trip with you! If there are any other details you’d like to hear more about let me know and I’ll include it in the follow up posts.

xo, Rae

*Beautiful pictures snapped by my sister in law Alex, who is coming to Seattle in a couple weeks and will be hosting mini sessions for anyone that is interested, DM her on Instagram!!

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MOM + MINI: WHAT WE WORE IN NY

We’re home! Even though we had the time of our lives (Tilly was plotting ways to stay) it always feels so good to be home. I’m excited to share all the things we did and ate, but thought it would be fun to start with what we wore. I know I’m always on the lookout for cute and easy summer outfits for the kids and me that last for full days of exploring!

As far as packing goes, I followed my usual tips (blog post HERE!). It was nice having an extra top layer (either jean jacket, button up shirt, or sweatshirt), a few accessories and extra outfits to choose from. Although, between adventuring in the city and eating on the go, I really thought we would be changing more! The only other thing that surprised me was how often our days involved swimsuits. Most parks, playgrounds and even The Met had water features or a splash pad and it was always a welcome and unexpected treat for the kids!

Here’s a peek and links to what we wore…

RAE | top, jeans, similar sandals here and here (old from J.Crew), sunnies

ESPEN | crew neck (old from PeekKids), tee, shorts, shoes

TILLY similar crew neck (old from PeekKids), tee, similar shorts (old from Target), shoes

RAE | sunnies, dress, similar jean jacket (old from J. Crew), similar sandals here and here (old from J.Crew)

TILLY | dress, sneakers

ESPEN | hat, tee, old swim shorts from J.Crew (he wore these earlier in the day), shoes

RAE | jumpsuit (wearing a size small and had to knot the straps :), similar jean jacket (old from J. Crew), shoes, sunnies

ESPEN | polo, old swim shorts from J.Crew but think these are so cute (!), shoes

TILLY | tee, similar shorts (old from PeekKids), sneakers

RAE | tee, skirt, belt (thrifted), sandals (similar), sunnies

ESPEN | tee, shorts, shoes

TILLY | tee, similar skirt (old by cat and jack), sneakers

This trip was so good for my soul you guys. I need those full days of exploring and being present with my people, but I’m also so excited to (mostly) be home for the rest of summer (just a couple close rode trips!)… Ready to adventure in our own city.

Are you planning any trips this summer or staying close to home?

xo, Rae

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WE’RE COMIN’ FOR YA, NY!

(i heart ny)

Eeek! In about a month, Espen, Tilly, + I will be packing our bags and hopping on a flight to New York to visit my brother, sister (in-law), and nephew! We’ll have 3 full days to adventure and play around the city and since you guys always have the best ideas I thought I’d ask if you have any must do, eat, or see suggestions for us…?

So far Espen wants to go swimming and Tilly wants to see the emoji movie while we’re there (“Are there movie theaters in NY?” she asked. Ha!). These kids are in for the surprise of their lives and I can’t wait to see it all through their eyes!

Johan and I have been chatting about taking the whole fam bam to NY ever since our visit several years ago (you can see the post here!) for my Birthday, yet have had a hard time figure out logistics (i.e. affording the trip without blowing college funds, etc., etc.). Booking a trip for just the three of us seemed like the next best thing even though I hate to leave the rest of the kids and Johan behind — we’ll miss them soooooo much! — but, I’m glad we didn’t wait any longer to make it happen.

Are there any trips you’ve been dreaming of taking!?

Oh, and don’t forget to let me know if you have any NY food or activity suggestions for us! We’ll be staying in Brooklyn.

xo, Rae

10

HAPPY FAMILY TRAVEL: A SEAESTA IN SEABROOK

We’re back from our long weekend away with our friends Ryan and Emily and their 4 kids, in Seabrook Washington where we played and ate our way through a self-declared long weekend. Considering Spring (aka sunshine!) hasn’t arrived to the PNW yet, a little break from normal life was just what we needed to recharge. I shared bits and pieces of our getaway on Instagram through posts and stories, but thought I would share some little love notes highlighting my favorite parts of our getaway.

Dear Seabrook, you were the perfect spring sea-esta, complete with a slow pace, storybook town, the cutest cottage to call home for a few days, miles of beach, kite flying winds, community pool, lots to do within walking distance, and the yummiest cinnamon rolls and pizza. Fingers crossed, it won’t be long before we’re back!

Dear bubble bath beards, you never, ever, get old. Especially when you are made in the pretties tub, in the prettiest powder room.

Dear friends, time with you sharing meals, playing games, and talking about life was oh so good for our souls. We miss you already. Can we make this a yearly thing?

Dear mamas of babies and toddlers, it’s hard to compete with those newborn cuddles and slobbery toddler kisses, but life with kids just get’s better and better. As they grow, so do their brains and wittiness, and creativity, and heart and friendships and it’s all just so much fun to be around.

Dear cheap kite from Fred Meyer, you were worth all 800 pennies.

Dear Pacific Northwest beach, I’m more of a swimsuit wearing, warm water beach enthusiast, but you are perfect for my kids who love to run, explore, dig and get dirty. For providing the space and tiring them out, I am beyond grateful.

Dear FaceTime, thank you for making leaving behind our 16 year old behind (for baseball games), just a bit more tolerable for this mama’s heart. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of our love affair.

So many highs over the 4 days… It was hard to leave. If you are in the area, I highly recommend visiting Seabrook. We’ve been a couple other times (read about one of the trips here) and still can’t wait to go back!

My stylish and home dec savvy friend Emily shared a few more pics and details of the pretty town and house we stayed in on her blog and instagram and you should defiantly go check it out!

xo, Rae

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HAPPY TRAVELS: PACKING TIPS FOR WEEKEND TRIPS WITH THE FAMILY

The way I see it, traveling with kids is fun and adventurous, but also unpredictable, stressful and the opposite of zen. One of the things I know fo-sho helps with the latter half of that statement is packing well. While I might not be an expert and don’t have all the answers, I do have packing our family up for a trip down to a science and feel like a well packed bag helps balance out the chaos just a little!

Here’s what and how we pack for a typical 3 or 4 day getaway.

PACKING THE KIDS

The Suitcase | Depending on where we’re going and how we’re getting to our destination, I either pack the 4 younger kids into a giant suitcase or 2 separate laundry buckets (Target carries a kind that bends, comes in different colors and has handles that I love but couldn’t find online). After they’ve taken an outfit, jammies, and a few items, such as toiletries and blankies, out of each basket, I combine their stuff and use the empty one for dirty clothes.

Clothes | I pack the 4 younger kids 1 outfit per day, including underwear, socks, and layers, plus 1 or 2 extra outfits depending on our destination and how long we’re staying. Then I throw in pajamas (1 set for every 2 nights), an extra pair of athletic shorts or joggers for the kids to lounge in, and a pair of shoes and either sandals or boots. Best case scenario they put a pair on before climbing in the car too. I’m always amazed at a child’s ability to lose, burry, destroy or forget footwear so packing 3 pairs usually means they will each have 2 wearable pairs for the trip (hahaha!). Oh, and if we’re headed somewhere with a pool then I pack a couple swimsuits for each kid too!

Next addition to their suitcase is accessories which might seem like overpacking but I’ve found that they often double as toys. Little purses (like these!) work great for scavenger hunts and finding treasures, hats are fun to catch things in, scarves make good blindfolds, and sunglasses are just handy to have and look really cute in pictures!

Our oldest, Ozzie (16) packs himself, but often has me participate in the process as he’s laying things out and putting together outfits. Raising mostly self-sufficient kids that still want your input is like the best of both worlds. I love it!

Toiletries | Toothbrushes, tooth paste, travel shampoo/body-wash, bandaids and ointment, children’s ibuprofen, and melatonin all get thrown into a toiletry pouch. I love these carryalls from Ban.do (only $10 for set of 2). The smaller size is perfect for hairbands and clips on trips I remember. Otherwise we’re stuck with whatever hair accessory is floating at the bottom of my purse which surprisingly usually works out just fine :)

Carry On | Each of the kids brings a small backpack with a few items to keep them busy during the ride or after we arrive. You’ll usually find some combination of tech devices, 1 or 2 books, small toys (like hex bugs or shopkins), coloring supplies, small travel games (land of nod has fun ones!) and a stuffed friend. Espen and Tilly are really good at packing up by themselves while Griffin and Poppy need a little more help. On our way out the door  I’ll hand them a snack pack to add to their bags and depending on how long until our next potty break, water bottles too.

PACKING ME :)

The Suitcase | Most 3 or 4 day getaways, I pack my clothes and shoes in a weekend sized duffle bag like this one. If there is a wedding (i.e. fancy shoes and dress) involved or we’re flying I pack in a hanging bag or small roller suitcase.

Clothes | I typically do one of two things when packing clothes for myself 1. pack a mini capsule wardrobe with items that are in the same color palette that mix and match really well or 2. pack the last three or four outfits I’ve worn that I feel cute in. Either way I usually make sure to pack one outfit per day with layers plus one alternate outfit. Then I almost always throw in an extra casual dress (unless it’s freezing out), one or two outfits to lounge/workout in, a swimsuit (if needed) and pajamas. Shoes are the hardest item to narrow down for me and take up the most room. I’m usually wearing sneakers on travel day and then bring whatever else I know will get worn depending on our destination and planned activities.

Toiletries | I throw all my makeup, travel sized lotion, shampoo, etc. and hair products into one of those small lululemon manifesto tote bags that they send when you order on line. It’s probably not practical or efficient but it works and is easy to rummage through and unpack. Actually, I should just splurge on another set of catchall pouches from ban.do for myself!

Carry On | My carry on consists of charging cords, my laptop and card reader, the big camera, my Bible, planner, and a book that rarely get’s read on the car ride or trip, LOL. I also try to remember to include a treat of some kind for when we are in need of a reward, distraction, or something bribe worthy.

Packing for Activities | A few days before our trip I’ll set a basket or tote out downstairs and start filling it with relevant items such as sunscreen, bug spray, towels, a favorite board game, etc.  Johan is really good at gathering and adding recreational equipment such as tennis rackets, kites, etc. too!

I like to think I’ve found my happy place somewhere between minimalist packing and over packing :) Regardless, it takes a lot to keep everyone dressed, playing and comfortable while we’re away but it’s so worth the hassle!

Now if I can just figure out a less daunting and more fun way to unpack, ha! If that is even a thing? No but really, please share any tips or tricks you have for packing or unpacking as we have a few weekend getaways coming up and mom-hacks are always helpful!

xo, Rae

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SLEDDING + FOMO

We’ve been soaking up the last bits of Christmas vacay and while I’m feeling ready to start taking down all the decor, I’m far from ready for the kids to go back to school. Ask me in a couple more weeks though, when their shiny new board games (pie face anyone!), legos and baby dolls lose their newness. In the meantime, excitement is high, kids are entertained, and with the exception of a few outings, we’ve mostly been staying in our jammies until noon.

One of our outings was a day trip to play in the snow and sled at Hyak in Cle Elum. The weather was perfect, the snow was falling and Poppy wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Poor girl cried off and on until I strapped her into the ergo.

Now, I’m not one to complain about getting extra kid snuggles but couldn’t help but come down with a serious case of FOMO while everyone else went screaming down the hill. If Poppy had wanted to snuggle with Johan I would have felt just as left out so I guess there’s no perfect solution. Luckily I was able to start a small snowball fight before we left which made up for it!

Love these four and missed Ozzie while he stayed behind for a basketball game (another reason for FOMO). As a mom I hate that the schools schedule sports during vacation time, but as a former athlete, I totally understand.

Tilly Jane on the hot pink sled and the first to head down the hill!

You’ve probably heard before that motherhood can be lonely, but for me it’s more like FOMO. And it comes up a lot during the holidays. So if you are like me, and have been feeling left out because your nursing a baby or can’t have a glass of wine like the other adults, or have other kid centered priorities like snuggles or early bedtimes, you are not alone. And in my 16 years of parenting trust me when I say that the season will one day change and will most likely be treasured and missed.

Cheers to not having to miss out all alone!!!

Hope you enjoy the last few days of 2016!

XO, Rae

 

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