New road trip essentials

We’re headed out in a few weeks for a road trip across three states and straight into the middle of Texas. It’s going to be very fun, but very hot, and we are staying at four different hotels. With that in mind I got a few new items to help consolidate supplies and make the trip easier. First up is a new toiletries tote:

Before I was using three different totes to hold makeup, skin care, and brushes and it was ridiculous. This holds everything together and has movable Velcro dividers. Here is a peek at the brushes and mirror…

See! Everything in one spot, so easier and quicker for me to find what I need. My second task was to consolidate our shower and bath supplies. Previously in several totes, now in one hanging bag that I can put on the robe hook in hotel bathrooms…

 

And despite all this stuff it does actually fold up completely!

The label on the front is a bit twisted, but other than that it’s a sturdy tote. Lastly, I’ve consolidated the boys’ on the road trip supplies…

They mainly watch movies and J plays his iPad, so I’m limiting the amount of “stuff” we are bringing. Shareable card games, sticker books, magnet boards, and a few coloring supplies for creativity boredom. A fidget spinner, small squishy Tsum Tsum, and squishy basketball for stuck in a booster seat boredom. Books to read at night in the hotel room and neck pillows for in the car. They each will have a back pack, but it’s for their books, 3 stuffed animals, neck pillow, and blanket. And finally here are a few extra road trip tips that I have learned for our family are…

1. Bring smart water. It has electrolytes so it helps prevent dehydration on the road, and can help settle stomachs. You can buy it cheaper at Wal-Mart.

2. Bring all the medicine you think you’ll possibly need. All of it. Going to a Walgreens at 2 a.m. in an unfamiliar city is a pain. Trying to get a prescription filled in an unfamiliar city is even worse. Believe me. We’ve done both.

3. Sturdy, not cheap, ziplock bags with a zipper that you can access quickly. You’ll thank me later.

4. Snacks, lots of them, but not goldfish with extra cheese. Or anything labeled “extra cheese”.

5. Lollipops for on the road and at events that you need to settle kids who have decided they are now starving despite eating all the snacks earlier. As evidenced below…

This was right before he insisted he was starving. After he’d had snacks. Many of them. Lollipops are your friend.

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Best of road trips

For being a family that doesn’t always road trip well (motion sickness sufferers unite!), we have taken over fourteen plus road trips with the boys. As we’re planning for at least four road trips this year, I thought I’d share some of our favorite road trip past recommendations!

Recommendations if you’re going to the beach and staying at a condo…

If you’re sightseeing in the city with toddlers…

If you’re packing a backpack for each kiddo…

If you’re staying at a hotel

Essentials for on the road

And my necessary car items

If you’re packing for yourself and kiddos (including kids under the age of two)…

Carry-on essentials for myself and the boys on flights…

The reason we always carry two backpacks and my ultimate packing list.

Happy road tripping!

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Tsum Tsum Love

We are headed to Disney this summer! It’s the first time we’ve really been back (save for a short stop with A when he was 1 and a 1/2), since B and I’s honeymoon ten years ago. This is also our first vacation where just the four of us are going. The boys are incredibly excited and so are we! And J was especially excited because guess what Disney has? Tsum Tsums. And guess what J collects? Tsum Tsums.

Tsum TsumHe has been going through the Disney store on-line making his little list of ones he wants to find, and I have to say I’m excited about finding them too! Here is his current list:

Tsum TsumA also likes Tsum Tsums, but is also excited about the many Disney decorated office supplies:

Tsum TsumAnd J thinks I definitely need a Minnie Mouse, and I have my eye out for a few other items:

DisneyI’ll be sure to share all of the details, restaurants, and places we went after the trip! It is definitely going to be one of the highlights of our summer!

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What’s in your carry-on?

Carry-on essentialsSince I shared the boys’ carry-on essentials a few weeks ago, I decided to share mine, especially after finding a terrific tote for everything. I went back forth for a long time trying to pick a carry-on, and I finally settled on an on-line only tote from Target. Besides the obvious items (phone, wallet, sunglasses), I picked out a new book (Mindy Kaling’s “Why not Me” because I loved her previous book), a new magazine, and of course snacks for myself and the boys.

B always carries most of the electronic stuff in his back pack, so I carry extra supplies. I’m most excited about being at stage where I don’t have to carry everything for them!

I always carry a larger scarf (similar here) because I usually freeze on the plane, and I have to share my serious moment of glee when I found that NARS was making my discontinued favorite pot o’ gloss in the a lip gloss. It was a “I can’t even” moment, if you will.

So that’s it! All my carry-on essentials in one neat little tote. For your holiday traveling approval! The holiday’s are coming, ya’ll. Target started putting out Christmas stuff this weekend. Seriously!

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Carry on essentials

Carry On EssentialsFrom traveling by plane to traveling by car, I’ve started compiling a list of necessary essentials that are enough to keep the boys entertained, but without bringing every thing from home. I mostly pack for them, as they tend to bring really random stuff if I don’t….like half a pair of socks. Here is a round-up of our usual items.

The necessary: Favorite peeps (2-3 small stuffed animals), small pillow, small blanket, flashlight, small bag of snacks (I avoid cheddar snacks…too messy), one treat item (lollipops, skittles…I avoid chocolate snacks…they melt).

Non-Electronics: lightweight books (we avoid hardback books on trips), crayons, coloring pad, sticker book, small activity book, quart size bag of little cars or figures of their choosing, small puzzle box (put into a ziploc for J), small Lego bag (put into a ziploc for A)

Electronics: headphones, iPod for A to listen to music & books, original DS with 3-4 games, iPad with two movies (Lego Movie & Winnie the Pooh Movie)

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Cold Weather Car Essentials

As it is already dipping below the freezing mark, I started switching over our baskets in the house and items in the car for the lower temps. Gone are the summer essentials of sunblock sticks, bug-off wipes, and beach towels and I replaced them with cold weather car essentials.
Car Cold Weather Essentials1. Tissues, lots of tissues. We keep a large box in the car, but I also keep travel packs on hand to grab for my work bag, to stick in A’s backpack, etc.

2. Gloves. My hands hate the winter with a passion. It’s the number one reason I couldn’t imagine ever living somewhere like Minnesota. My hands might just dissolve completely, ha! I keep little cheap gloves in the car in case I forget my good ones.

3. Hand cream. And with those gloves I also have a super rich hand cream that I keep in my glove box, and in my work bag.

4. EOS Lip balm. I have lots of different lip balms, but I like this one for the car because I know it won’t freeze and get ruined.

5. Honest hand spray. As everybody knows (and we know oh so well) it’s a germy time of year. Both of the boys have hand wipes below their seats that we use, but I also keep this spray on hand for myself.

6. Extra hats for the boys. There are times when we go out and it doesn’t feel quite as cold when we are in the garage than we reach our destination and it’s freezing. It’s great to have a few cheap ones in hand behind each of their seats to grab.

7. Blanket. For when we go somewhere and the boys are “freezing” on the way home. Also essential if you get stuck out. It’s the be prepared mantra I have carried over from my parents.

And that’s it! Stay warm on the drive!

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A trip with boys is….

DC TripTiring. On the way home from our trip in the very last half hour (right before we ran smack into a huge thunderstorm), the road was dark and it was absolutely filled with fireflies. A and J could not have been more excited. A said “Oh, I didn’t know this trip was going to end with fireflies, this has been a great trip!” Such a little thing, but we learned on our trip that little things are sometimes better than big things. Letting the boys move at their own pace, doing less, and being mindful of their interests was the best plan. So on that note, here are some of their very favorite moments from the trip…

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Trip Essentials: A tale of two backpacks…

Two backpacksAfter hemming and hawing over what to carry on our trip, I was debating two options at DSW last week. One was a messenger and one was a striped backpack. My sister and I decided against both options because the messenger was two different colors of leather (and not in a good way) and the striped backpack was a bit young looking. However, I kept going back to this picture and decided I was going to go for it. So, now that backpack is on my list for before the trip shopping this weekend. Along with my backpack choice, I finished up my packing list for our vacation if you’re interested…

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