Family Travel Tips

January 14, 2020 at 6:51 am (Family Stuff, travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart. But, it’s totally possible to have an awesome time and not lose your sanity! We are living proof. I have a few simple tricks to keep it all together when traveling with a crew. My family of 5, mom, dad, 17 year old, 6 year old, and 1.5 year old, recently traveled to Florida and not only survived, but also had an amazing time. (Read about Florida ideas is previous post!) Here are some things that worked really well for us that we recommend and will be doing again.

Packing Cases- We got each family member a different color set of packing cases this time. Especially helpful since plane tickets no longer come with a checked bag any longer, as we decided to pay the extra fee for only two large checked suitcases between the 5 of us. This set of packing cases, which we used, are decently priced, come with 6 pouches per set, and had plenty of color options. They are a bit cheaply made, but did a good job for us. Lots more options for these on Amazon too! I divided each person’s cases into groups, like one pouch for shirts, one for bottoms, one for undergarments, etc. I also think it may be helpful to divide by outfits rolled together. At least this way there were only 6 options for where your swim suit could be located on the chaos! 😉

Nacuwa Bottle- If you haven’t heard already, all airlines now only allow liquids in 3.4 oz bottles and these need to be in a quart sized ziplock baggie. To simplify things, use the Nacuwa bottle! All of our necessities can go in one bottle. It’s even TSA approved! Tip- add a ziplock to each bag. You might bring home a hotel lotion, or find that you had a little perfume in your purse without a baggie. Each person is allowed one, so make sure you are prepared to take advantage of this! We use the Nacuwa travel bottle for camping and cabining as well! So handy!

Bubble Bum Seat- Got kids in the booster seat age and size range? You need this. Its handy for all the things, travel, grandma’s car, carpool, etc. We loved having it for the rental car. I know rental cars can provide carseats, but they add an extra expense. And, I’ve heard rumor, that sometimes they don’t have the size seat you requested on hand, or it is outdated or dirty… Save yourself extra trouble and get this guy. He fits in this bag shown in my hand, then blows up to the seat B is holding below. It meets and exceeds all safety standards! Plus, B says it’s super comfy.

Spirit Airlines- Ok, hear me out. This may not be the airline of beat choice if you are taking a super long flight and need extra comfort… but they have their perks if you are ok with very basic and are hoping to save some money. Perk 1- they allow you to bring a diaper bag on free, in addition to the one personal item each traveler is allowed. Thank goodness! Perk 2- they also allow you to check a stroller and carseat for each child for free. We checked the toddler’s carseat (again with the rental car issue) and gate checked the stroller. This means we drove it all the way to the gate with kiddo in it, and it goes right in the door of the plane and off to meet us. Perfect! Perk 3- they combine weights for your suitcases, whereas other airlines don’t. Each checked suitcase is allowed to be 40lbs without extra charge. With Spirit, one could be 20lbs and one could be 60lbs then. Less stress worrying about how to split things up!! Perk 4- you can bring your own snacks and drinks! They do not serve anything for free on the flight, adding to your lower prices, but this also allows you the freedom to pack what and how much you want! Some airports will not allow you through safety checks with drinks. Chicago did, because Spirit’s checkpoint was separated. However, Jacksonville did not, as all airline were checked together. Snacks were fine. Exceptions are always made for breastmilk, formula, etc.

Carseats– I mentioned above that I believe in the perks of bringing your own carseat when renting a car. Here is something you should get. A strap to attach the carseat to your wheeled suitcase. So handy to not lug another parcel through the airport. We wheeled the carseat to baggage check. Then we packed it in it’s own travel bag to be checked. The second picture below is how the carseat bag rolls up into it’s own pouch to pack. Pack this in an outside pocket of your suitcase and you will know where it is before you check bags.

Last tips- stay organized, go with the flow, don’t see it all, and enjoy the little things. Dad says- pack lots of snacks. You will have a blast! Safe travels!

Anything you would add?

XX,

Jess

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Coolest New Gadget

November 4, 2019 at 6:40 am (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have a new gadget. I’m in love. Meet Lollipop baby camera.

This thing is so cool. We have always loved our baby monitor and it did a great job for years. But the battery is dying and we knew we needed something updated. Six years is quite a long time to use and abuse an electronic. We had heard awesome things about the Lollipop baby camera and really wanted to try it. So glad we got the chance!

First of all, how cute is this design?! I love the modern, simple look. They come in this blue, a pink, a yellow, and now they have a new gray cover option too.

The lollipop itself is bendable and can be posed or twisted to suit your needs and space. You can wrap it around the crib rail or twist it to perch on a shelf. It also came with a little branch to attach to the wall to wrap it around and an attachment that holds the end wrapped around a crib rail. This is what we have used here.

So not only is this guy cute and fun, but he’s also so versatile! This actually makes traveling with this monitor much easier than with our old one. We can simply twist and place in a new location, no charging station or monitor screen to bring… because of the other perk… it shows to an app on your phone!

Yes, that’s Barrett all curled up in the corner. 🤣 Silly goose. But I can see him, hear him, and monitor everything, right from my phone.

And since you use wifi… you can even access the picture when you are away from home! What?! I can check in on the kiddos even when we have a sitter!

It also alerts you of room environment factors like temperature, and if the baby is crying. You can zoom in. And you can record snapshots or video clips of what is going on.

I’m in love. It’s been a huge help for us! Check them out on IG!

Xx, Jess

(I was gifted this Lollipop baby camera to try and review, however, all opinions are my own!)

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Boys’ Room Reveal

August 8, 2019 at 7:22 pm (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve worked on it for a year and I can finally say it’s as done as it’s getting right now. 🤣 When we moved to this house a year ago and I was pregnant, we decided the boys would share a room. This way I could have an office, and the office would double as a play room/workout room, so that kids could be in there while I worked if needed. I also knew that I wanted an outdoors-y theme that could work for both a baby and a young boy. Brantley already had a farm theme as a baby, with many pieces we wanted to incorporate, and he asked for camo bedding in his new room. If you’ve been here before, you also know that when we moved to this house it needed a lot of work. A lot. We ripped carpet out of this room, added electrical outlets and a light fixture, painted… and we still have more to do…eventually. But for now, here it is!

Each of the boys has a bit different theme on their side of the room, but with light gray walls, tree curtains, tree decals, and some animals throughout, it seems to flow for now.

Barrett’s baby shower theme was woodland animals, knowing that I would use the animal and nature idea for his room.

Brantley has kept some of his farm theme and added the camo to just be plain outdoorsy!

I made both of the boys’ mobiles, which Brantley has outgrown the need for, but are both too cute to get rid of for now.

What do you think? The way we organize clothes will change as the boys grow and we remodel some more. The room currently has no closet. Thanks, old 1862 house. It’s an evolving work in progress. But the boys love having their own space and even love sharing for now. 😆

XOXO,

Jess

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A Nursery!

September 16, 2014 at 7:35 am (Our New House) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

So, this big news was big a year ago. Oops. But, the nursery is still cute, so I wanted to share!

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I just love how it turned out! The blue walls became a soft gray, we added barn board shelves to hold a collection of John Deere tractors, I made a mobile from small shed antlers, and the giant bull poster from the Angus producers ties the farm colors together!

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I love the vintage games and trucks and tractors on the book shelves. Don’t worry, the green lamp did eventually get a little white shade!

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And a stash of cowboy boots and cloth diapers to boot! 🙂

So, like I mentioned, this was news a whole year ago. So here is a peak of what else a year can do.

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😉

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Toy Box

April 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm (Projects, Shop Items) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A project done!  The abused vintage toy box started out like this:

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The white is actually wood filler, added by me.  But, you get the picture.  It was old, and rough, and needed lots of wood filler and love.  I sanded and filled and sanded some more.  Finally I chose turquoise paint and white for the inside.  Not as creative as I originally sought out to be, but it turned out fun so I left it there.  I antiqued the edges a bit and roughed up the “wear spots”.  I like how it turned out simple and fun!

After:

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What do you think?  I think it turned out super adorable.  I was going to replace the handles, but the old ones are vintage ceramic and actually cleaned up nicely.  I’m even tempted to keep this one!  Why keep a toy box? … more news to come! 😉

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Farm House Tour- The Upstairs

November 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have been wanting to show a mini tour of the new farm house, and finally got started! These are “semi-before” photos, as we already have our things moved in, but these our not our paint colors and mostly not our curtains.  There will be many more changes to come, and I wanted a way to show the progress and changes.  So, lets start with the upstairs!

Here is the view at the top of the stairs.

There are some frames in the hallway and the book shelf I redid…

At the end of the stairwell is an old antique wash cabinet from my granparents…

The view back towards the stairwell…

Next is the room on the left of the stairwell, next to the old wash cabinet.  We call this the “kid room,” which used to be a little girl’s room…

The other side of the room…

And on the wall by the door there is a chalk drawing of Dora! lol

The door in the last photo goes to what we call the “baby room,” which will one day be a nursery…

The other side of the room has chalk spiderwebs, which were for a little boy…

Here is the view back towards the “kid room”…

Next is my walk through closet that leads the master bedroom. This is across the stairwell from these rooms…

I still can’t wait to have the time to paint the closet the dark navy I have picked out!

The jewelry area…

Next you walk through the closet door and into our sunken bedroom…

The walls are currently yellow, which is fine, but we plan to paint them a nice gray at some point.  The little white shabby dresser was found in the back of the house and makes a perfect TV stand for us…

The wooden shelf above the chair is a barn board we found…

Recognize the blue chair from the old office? It was too big.  The next photo is of the antique dresser from my grandparents that matches out bed…

Our bed…

The shelf by my side of the bed we made out of another barn board that we call the “cow board,” because its front is smooth and wavy due to cows rubbing on it…

Our stained glass window and exposed rustic beams…

Next is the main bathroom.  This shot is a view in the doorway from the closet…

The blue and flooring aren’t really our first picks, but they will make due until we can paint and spruce…

Well, thats the upstairs.  What do you think so far?  A lot to do, but so far we love it! 🙂

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A Glamorous Nursery

July 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm (Inspiration) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

N, I’m not expecting.  But, when I ran across this glamorous nursery, I immediately knew what I’d like my baby’s nursery to look like someday!

Absolutely lovely!  The room is from Emily Henson’s home, which was featured at www.anthologymag.com.  Check out the rest of her beautiful space!

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