Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Doing Disneyland on a Budget with Babies!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

We just got back from Disneyland for the twins second birthday. Many people say it’s a waste of money to take babies to the magical kingdom, but I say you can’t afford not too! They are FREE until they hit 3, so for us that cuts the price of admission in half, and they really really love their day. Plus did you know there are major benefits to visiting with a baby? I’m talking shorter lines…read on friends!

boxwood clippings | disneyland tips with babies

There are so many little tips and tricks to maximize your time and money, here are what we like best:

One Pass, One Day, One Park: We say one fully packed day is better value that spending triple time taking it slower. Plus Disneyland is exhausting, a nice day on the beach the day after is both free and relaxing! There’s way too much to see and do trying to jump between parks, so we feel picking a park and getting as much done in one day is the best approach.

Baby Swap Pass: The magical thing about Disneyland is that babies and parents can enjoy rides together, having said that many of the popular rides have a height limit and babies/toddlers can’t ride. This can be to your advantage if you do the baby swap system while they nap! One person stands in line like usual and gets a pass for the person with babies to then skip the line. This works really, really well when you’re with a bigger group. We were with a group of 10, so we fast pasted 5 tickets and the first group rode, then the second group did after with baby pass. No one then has to stand in line more than 10 minutes or so. We only fast passed half the tickets because you can only do one fast pass at a time per ticket, so we fast passed half the tickets on one ride and half on another, there’s no need to spend all the fast passes on one ride when you have babies with you. Hope that makes sense!

Food: We never enter the park empty handed when it comes to food and water. Water bottles are a must, as they can be refilled for free anywhere in the park. We also like to bring in snacks and treats, nothing to heavy to lug around (strollers are so handy). We eat a good breakfast, and then have a later lunch around 2 to avoid bigger crowds. Rancho del Zocalo we think is the best value for money (menu HERE) and fills us for the whole day. Dole Whips are our favorite treat to enjoy in the cool Enchanted Tiki Room that has been one of the girlies favorite attractions!

Souvenirs: They have amazing shops at Disney, but if I’m there one day that’s not how I want to spend my time! I always hit the Dollar Tree before our trip and get lots of little Disney bits and bobs like coloring books, pencils, little characters, story books…these come in handy for the whole trip and nice to bring some into the park. The Glow in the Dark Wands were a real hit once the sun goes down, and for $1 they really can’t be beaten.

We also got the girls a Mini soft toy before their first visit. I think we paid about $10 for it at Hobby Lobby where as in the park they go for $30. We attach their toy to a binky clip so it stays with us the whole day. We put them away when we got home and pulled them out again for this trip, they are such a novelty, but they don’t miss them when they go back into storage!

boxwood clippings | disneyland tips with babies

Our favorite souvenirs are these adorable silhouettes. They are hand cut and are just the cutest! For $10 you get two copies of the same portrait so I write on the back of one about our day at Disney to save for the girls and frame one for me.

boxwood clippings | disneyland tips with babies

Clothes: I love seeing all the little princesses around the park, and other creative ways people dress up. For us, I stick the the classic Mickey and Mini look. I pull some black and white clothes from our closets, somethings that can layer easily and are comfy. Add a pop of red and ears and we’re there!

boxwood clippings | disneyland tips with babies

Baby Lounge: The first time we took the girls they were 9 months old and I was still pumping full time and was panicked about being out the whole day. Then I found out about the baby lounge….sooooo dreamy! It’s at the top of main street by the corn dog stand and it’s basically a baby heaven. Nice and cool, quiet and has everything a baby and mummy needs. Feeding/pumping booths, high chairs, microwave, changing stations. It’s really all the comforts of home, I’d highly recommend taking a ‘time out’ in there with your little one to regroup, change and feed. Plus the decor in there is charming!

Our favorite part of the day is the light parade and fireworks. The girls were loving every second and it’s fun for them now to begin to recognize characters and point them out. The 60th celebration firework show was fantastic and worth the $99 entrance fee alone!

We hope we’ve inspired you to visit Disneyland, to make wonderful memories and to save a few bucks here and there. We’ve just had the best experiences there WITH BABIES, and now young toddlers…I’m wondering if it actually gets harder once the kids are older, or if it will be even more fun since they can enjoy even more. Either way, we’ll be going back soon!

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Traveling with Kids: Activity Backpacks

Monday, September 28th, 2015

You guys! Sarah, Brock and the twins just returned from England!

They headed to the homeland to introduce the lil ladies to their great grandma, uncles, aunties and countless cousins!

TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT with TWO TODDLERS!

Deep breath!

boxwood clippings | traveling with kids: their activity backpack

Sarah made the most amazing activity backpacks to help with the long flights.

THESE mini backpacks were the perfect size for the twins, and the leash attachment was ideal for when the airport was extra crazy and crowded.

boxwood clippings | traveling with kids: their activity backpack

Sarah kept the backpacks light with just a few books, snacks and a cuddly toy.

A few new toys from the dollar store such as pipe cleaners and stickers held the girls interest for longer than expected.

And a sucker for take off and landing to help with ear pain worked wonders.

This pic was taken the day before they left on the big adventure….they look a little suspicious that something was about to happen!

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Bon Voyage little ladies!

A Little Keepsake for Big Memories

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

We were so excited to bring our girlies to the California Coast over Memorial Day.

2 Babies, 1 long road proved to be pretty amazing.

We loved the little stops along the way and of course the fabulous landscape!

boxwood clippings | california coast

I could have written journals about all our little adventures, but who has time for that?!

So I settled on a new tradition for my girls.

boxwood clippings | california coast

Just a postcard each from a favorite spot, and a few words about our trip and what the baby experienced.

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Placed safely in their memory box once we return home.

boxwood clippings | postcard for memory box

A 5 minute project to last forever.

boxwood clippings | california coast

How fun would it be to do this for every trip and put them all in an album together?!

A lifetime collection.

WOW!

Tips for Traveling with Baby

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

If you follow us on Insta you saw that we went on a last minute trip to Hawaii!!! We got super cheap flights we couldn’t pass up, but the deals all had connection flights making for long travel days for six-month old Jane.

Here’s a few things that really us make this an amazing and happy trip for all of us.

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1. Do Your Homework

We made a doctor’s appointment two days before we traveled to make sure Jane didn’t have an ear infection. Landing in particular is sometimes uncomfortable for infants even without an infection, so we wanted to make sure she didn’t need an antibiotic. It takes about 24 hours for an antibiotic to start working, which is why I made it two days prior to travel. Luckily we got the all clear, and the doctor even gave us a travel size Ibuprofen just in case we needed it while traveling, yay for leaving the large one at home!

Flight rules and restrictions are changing all the time. Check your airline and TSA for rules for traveling with baby. Airlines can help you decide where best to sit on the plane and even put an ‘infant block’ on a seat, which won’t be taken unless the plane is 100% full. Most airlines allow you to check a car seat and stroller free of charge. Woot, woot!

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2. Pack Smart

The less baggage you have the less you have to keep track of and the easier it will be to move around the airports and planes with your baby.

This is obviously way easier to do when you are traveling to a warm climate, we managed just to bring carry-ons for the three of us.

While packing light for you is ideal, packing extra for baby will give you extra piece of mind. I stocked my diaper bag like always (HERE) and added extra snacks, water and extra outfits.

Bring only baby gear you will need. Most places you visit, you’ll need a stroller, I think a beach vacay is the exception. We managed great just with the baby bjorn.

3. Dress in Layers

I dressed both Jane and I in lots of layers. Sometimes on planes you can be freezing or way too hot, it’s always a guessing game. I dressed Jane in a onesie, and jammies, mostly so I didn’t have to keep track of socks/shoes etc. I also packed both a muslin swaddle and heavy fleece blanket in the diaper bag.  I wore jeans, basic shirt, a swing cardigan which was perfect to keep me covered while nursing Jane. I also wore my comfiest, slip-on loafers, which made security a breeze while holding Jane.

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4. Arrive Extra Early!

Easier said than done right?! There’s always an unexpected blow out/spit up and being stressed out worrying about missing your flight while baby is being fussy is the worst! It’s worth waking up early for extra time. I have to add 30 mins to the time I think I need with this little one. On the way home from HI we couldn’t find the car rental place and ended up arriving later than we had planned to the airport, so stressful!

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5. Love Your Layovers

Usually I despise layovers, but I actually loved them traveling with a baby, even LAX! Layovers give the perfect opportunity to change, nurse and have a little play time. On our way to HI we stopped in San Jose, CA which even had nursing rooms…perfect! On the way home, we stopped in LAX which was crowded and under construction. I found a quiet corner and nursed and changed Jane there and even let her have a little floor time on her changing mat. 1.5-2 hours layover was about the perfect amount of time we all needed.

Traveling with Jane was a great experience, everyone was extra nice and accommodating.

Try to remember even traveling is part of the vacations, and I realized when I was relaxed and enjoying myself Jane was too :)

Packing for Holiday Travel

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Sarah’s post inspired me to write a little about packing for holiday travel. Don’t you hate the way you feel when you travel? The one time I want to look good is when I’m seeing people I haven’t seen for years, and despite the best of efforts it seems that even my eyelashes don’t want to cooperate while traveling.

At first, the obvious solution was to pack more…more clothes…more make-up…more hair products and tools. Result? Still icky.

Now I’ve realized feeling and looking good away from home is all about packing the right things, not more. So here are a few of my crucial travel tips:

#1 Water bottle with filter=Hydration

When I first saw bobble water bottles in the store I was so mad I hadn’t thought of this invention! I’ve discovered the number one trick in feeling good while your away is hydration. It costs a lot to keep buying bottled water and for those water snobs like me out there, this filter can ease the fears of tap water away from home. Seriously one of the best inventions EVER to always have in your purse.

#2 Blanket = Sleep

Some people have their pillow or something else they can’t sleep without and I have never understood this logic or having a child dependent on a sleep aid until now. Different sleeping environments really can affect your quality of sleep, so when I started bringing my Restoration Hardware blanket on trips, I slept a gazillion times better. Really? A little embarrassing, but this blanket is amazeballs and Sarah’s find at Costco is just as lovely.

#3 Slippers = Comfort

It’s official and obvious that I’m now 30, as I am listing slippers as a travel essential. But seriously comfort equals joy at a hotel or anywhere when I bring my lovely mocs along. If you haven’t tried bringing your slippers along, give it a try.

#4 Curling Iron Cover = Worry-free Travel

No one wants to arrange travel plans by how quickly their flat iron can cool down before leaving. I finally bought a curling iron cover, and now can get ready and leave quickly without worrying about burning clothes planes/houses etc.

#4 Chocolate + Gum + Perfume = Refreshment

Sarah is the best little packer and surprised me at the airport one time with our favorite Ritter chocolate. A delicious treat always helps with flight delay frustration!  I always make sure I’m am stocked with a fresh pack of gum and a travel-size perfume (free from Bath + Body Works coupons) before leaving on a trip. They work like a charm to detox from airplane air. As Sar mentioned, our favorite is refreshing and not too fruity or overpowering,  “White Citrus“.

Okay, just one last thing…this might not be an essential but wouldn’t travel be a little easier with a new wool weekender?

I saw this at the Sundance Outlet, and am in lo0ove. Wouldn’t it be smashing for holiday travel? 50% off, but still $199.

Will you be traveling for the holidays? What are your packing essentials? Read more of our travel tips HERE and HERE.