Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Road Trip Essentials for Kids

Whether you're planning a cross-country spring break road trip, or just a hop, skip, and jump to the lake for the weekend, packing the car can be a daunting and overwhelming task for anyone. 

Road trips during college (or pre-kids) were actually something I couldn't wait for - I always set my alarm clock extra early, jumping out of bed on the day of embarkation, feeling rested and refreshed to get the show on the road.  Snacks were always picked up at the gas station on the way out of town (White Cheddar Popcorn, Sour Patch Kids, and a Diet Cherry Pepsi - because calories don't count on road trips).  My freshly burned (thanks Napster!) CD was appropriately titled "CAR JAMS" and filled with songs from soundtracks like "Legally Blonde" and "Crossroads", and I was ready to hit the highway!

And then, kids!
Road trips are kinda different now.  They are fun and exciting, but now it's filled with goldfish and juice boxes, Itsy Bitsy Spider sing-a-longs, and 97,000 bathroom breaks.  

We have a few kid-filled road trips under our belt, and we are headed out for one next week (to Florida!), so I thought I'd share some of my kid essentials that I've packed for our family.  

Tissues - We probably go through an entire box of these on our road trips.  They clean up spills, wipe up runny noses, hold snacks, dry tears, and are just completely necessary.  

Hand Sanitizer - Self-explanatory.  We can get pretty filthy in the car, and we snack almost the entire time.  So this is essential. 

Sunglasses - Everybody gets the sun in their eyes at some point on a road trip.  And almost everybody will complain about said sun.  These are a must.  And the kids think they're kinda cool with their sunnies on :) *we love these!*

Water Wow - A mess free coloring/activity book.  Great for toddlers!  All you need is water, and it can provide hours of entertainment.  

Lara Bars - These are more for the adults, but they are my favorite snack, and the kids love them too.  Made from only 3 or 4 simple ingredients, they have replaced the junk food favorites I used to rely on in the car.  

Cheese Squares and Pretzel Sticks - I have found that everybody loves these two snacks.  They are easy to hold, easy to eat, and not too messy.  I wouldn't try to introduce a new snack for a road trip - they may not go over quite as well as your classic favorites.  

Crayons and Paper - For toddlers or school age kids, these are always a great activity.  We were given these cute personalized holders (soap containers from the dollar store!), and I love how portable they are.  Each child can have their own, and they are able to just focus on the colors in their container, no messing with 264-count crayon boxes.  My 1-year-old likes taking out the crayons, and then putting them back in one-by-one over and over again.  Until she decides she needs a snack. Then she eats them.

Jelly Beans (or a fun new candy!) - Just because.  They'll make your kiddos realllllly happy :)  Get something that takes a long time to eat. (Suckers are good too!)  I love jelly beans because they aren't sticky, won't melt, and there are different colors to look at, providing a little bit of entertainment. 

A new toy - This can be anything!  Preferably something that is some sort of activity.  The newness and novelty of it will give your kids the excitement and entertainment they may need, say half-way through the trip.  I scooped up these great travel magnet sets from the $3 spot at Target.  I think they'll be a great surprise!  


Now although this next item isn't completely mess-free (at least for my toddlers!), we ALWAYS bring them along for when we stop for potty breaks and lunch!  They are easy, compact, and can be filled with all kinds of yummy and healthy goodness!
These pouches are a staple on our road trips for sure :)  
{Especially when Chick-Fil-A kid's meals might be all they are eating for 12 hours straight.}

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into our road trip bag!

What are your road trip essentials?

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Let's Shop! One-Piece Swimwear

Although there are a million cute bikinis out there on the racks and on the bods of many gals, there are SO many great one-piece options out there!  Personally I'm in the stage and phase where full-coverage swimsuits just seem to be best ;)
These are some of the ones I'm loving!
Let's Shop- One piece Swim!
TOP ROW  (L to R): 1//2//3//4//5
BOTTOM  (L to R): 1//2//3//4//5 (in white)

{and here's  a *more affordable* option for that black scalloped one-piece}

Last year I bought this one (in black) I LOVE it! It's so flattering and well-made...!
and you can't beat the price!

Do y'all have a one-piece that you love?
Or one that's on your wishlist? 

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Easter Basket Goodies

Have you started shopping for your kid's Easter Baskets this year?  I love this time of year, and filling baskets is just one tradition that I've enjoyed continuing with our kiddos. 

 I also loooove making these Resurrection Rolls on Easter morning - they are a great way to tell the beautiful Gospel story in a hands-on and yummy way!  

Here are some fun goodies I've picked out to help you with your basket filling!
(We are including thisthis, and this book in ours! Along with some $ spot goodies from Target of course - I can never pass those up!) 
Easter Basket Fun!
1 - This classic tale now comes in a board book!
2 - I love this natural and fun egg-dying kit!
3 - This adorable apron set is perfect for little kitchen helpers!
4 - How cute is this unicorn cupcake/muffin kit?!
5 - These sweet ballerina bathtime toys are on my list! ;)
6 - Jellycats are our favorite!  Love this one with an attached blanket
7 - I love this idea for making colored play dough!  Throw a few boxes of the secret ingredient in their baskets, and then make the play dough together!  Scroll down for recipe.
8 - We got these fun sippy cups from Target last year, and I think they are back again!

This recipe went totally viral a while ago and it's no wonder - it's smells wonderful and so silky smooth - my kids' absolute favorite!

Super Soft Jell-O Playdough Recipe

 ~ 1 cup of white flour ~ 1 cup of warm water ~ 2 tbsp of salt ~ 2 tbsp of cream of tartar
~ 2 tbsp of cooking oil ~ 13 oz pack of Jell-O

 1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan until most of the lumps are gone.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough.
3. Place the dough onto a floured cutting board and wait for it to cool.
4. Once it is cool (at least 20-30 minutes) let the little ones knead it, adding in flour until it is no longer sticky (about 1/2 cup).


To fill those adorable unicorn muffin cups above, try this yummy and healthy recipe!

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

~2-1/2 cup old-fashioned oats ~ 2 extra ripe bananas ~ 2 eggs
~1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I use organic from Trader Joes)
~1/4 cup wheat germ (totally optional)  ~ 3/4 cup plain yogurt ~ 1 teaspoon vanilla
~1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder  ~ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda ~ 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with spray or butter or use muffin liners.
3. Using a food processor, grind oats until fine. They should have the consistency of flour.
4. Add all other ingredients, and pulse until the batter has a smooth consistency.
5. Distribute batter evenly in the muffin tin or liners (fill about 2/3 full). 
6. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the tops gently bounce back when touched and a toothpick comes out of center clean. 

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

February Favorites


1. Cauliflower Pizza Crust (via

I go through these phases of cutting out bread from my diet (especially around beach season!) and I'm currently on a somewhat modified Whole 30 as we speak.  So I've loved finding new recipes that are yummy and healthy!  
I found this pizza crust recipe on Pinterest, and made it last week.  It was seriously good, even John and kids approved!  We are making it again tonight!  (I topped mine with pesto, basil, and chicken!)

2. Omelets

I've been eating some variation of an omelet every day for breakfast, 
and this is my current favorite combo.  
Two eggs, a dash of almond milk, baby spinach, a dash of garlic salad dressing (my fave), turkey bacon, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of feta! Delicious and fills me up! 

3. K Cups  

These Archer Farms Buttery Caramel coffee pods are my absolute favorite lately.  I wake up so excited to make my coffee!  I've cut back on creamer, so I needed something with good flavor - these are perfect, a little sweet and a little salty.  The perfect combination in my opinion!  

4. Snacks

My go-to snacks lately.  I've been loving these on an every day basis.  Lara bars are my jam, and I love this flavor.  Also, the Choc Chip Cookie Dough, and the Banana Bread are amazing!
These crackers are the crunchiest, yummiest crackers!  I love them with hummus and turkey piled on top, or just plain for an on-the-road snack!  (I found both at Target!)


1. Lipsense!

My sweet friend, Kelly, introduced me to Lipsense a month ago, and was so sweet to send some my way!  She explained that Lipsense is a unique product that molecularly bonds to your lips, and does not budge, smear, rub off, kiss of, etc. ALL day long.  I was skeptical at first, but definitely wanted to give it a try!  I used to love wearing lipgloss and lipstick, but I hardly wear it now, because I don't want to fuss with reapplying, smearing, or getting it all over myself and the kiddos.    

First impression:
I applied in the morning (first the color gloss (Beige Champagne), then the clear top over it), and I fell in love with the color!  It felt great on the lips too!  Not drying at all.  Throughout the day, I reapplied the clear gloss occasionally, as my lips needed a boost of moisture.  The color lasted ALL day long!  It was beautiful, and stayed throughout eating, drinking, smooching, playground-ing, 
and a quick work-out too!  

Well, I'm hooked.  And I have already ordered more!  Just a week after using Lipsense, Ellie "misplaced" my set, and I literally TORE the house apart searching for my latest obsession!  It was nowhere to be found.  I immediately ordered the exact same set again, because I honestly don't want to wear another lipgloss or lipstick, now that I've tried this!  

*This is Beige Champagne on my lips*

Have y'all tried Lipsense?  Let me know what you think!

2. Milani Blush

Image result for milani luminoso

This gorgeous (and affordable!) blush is an oldie but a goodie!  I've loved it for years, and I always bring it back out during the spring and summer months.  It's the perfect pink color with a hint of golden glow!  There are several high-end blushes that I've tried in this color, and I always go back to this drug-store option!  I find mine at Walgreens or Target. 

3. Anastasia Brow Definer 

Image result for anastasia brow definer

This may look like a repeat offender as well, BUT it's a newer product to me.  I used to love the Anastasia Brow Wiz, but then she came out with the Definer, which is absolutely amazing!  It gives my brows the color, shape, and hold that they need throughout the day, and the angle of the product is perfect for a precise and quick application.  
(My brows are pictured above - and I'm wearing Soft Brown). 


1. Ball Drop Earrings

I have been ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the adorable the Crispin earrings from BaubleBar after seeing them all over blogs and Instagram.  But I was a little reluctant to fork out almost $50 bucks for a trendy piece of jewelry.  So when I wandered into Charming Charlie (I was waiting to meet a friend for lunch!), and stumbled upon THESE look-a-likes, I had to scoop them up!  And I love them!  I wear them all the time!  
*I can't find them on website, but look in your stores! I think they were $12.99!*



Thanks to John, my Dad, and IKEA for this amazing transformation!  
I'm so in love with this organized and wonderful space! 

Do you have any recent favorites of the month??

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