Toddler Travel Made Easy...

 
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London and I are taking a quick 3-day trip to Charleston this weekend to watch some of Chris’s games and spend some one-on-one time together! That photo above was taken the very first time we visited Charleston! Lo looks like such a baby!

Seriously, traveling with her is so much fun. Some of you might read that and think I'm crazy - but she gets so excited for the whole experience. She loves being at the airport, going through security (wonder how long that'll last), getting on the airplane...etc. This will be the 11th flight she has taken and each time gets better and better. 

I wanted to share some "must haves" when it comes to toddler travel. I know it can be stressful at times, I get it; but I think if you try to make it as fun as possible than they will feed off of that energy. First things first...I highly recommend traveling with a BACK PACK as a carry-on. Just trust me on this. You need two hands (and sometimes three). I really love this one by Skip Hop and if you’re looking for a cheaper version, this one is under $70.

The next thing that's a "must have" is a lightweight, compact, and easy to fold stroller. Our BABYZEN YOYO+ stroller is an actual lifesaver and I can't say enough about it. It's folds up in literally five seconds and is small enough to fit in the overhead compartment on the airplane. Once it's folded, it has a shoulder strap for easy carrying and it weighs just 15-lbs. I can't tell you how many people comment on it when they see us fold it up or open it; just how easy it is! There's also a pretty convenient compartment underneath to store small items if needed. If you’re looking for a less expensive travel stroller, I’ve heard great things about the Nano Travel Stoller by Mountain Buggy.

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Now, for a few tips while you’re on the plane…

I typically like to time flights so they’re during London’s nap time. Now that she’s older (almost 3.5 years), I just booked the cheapest flights :) She does still nap, but will be able to handle a missed nap for one day. Prior to flying, I alway hit the Target Dollar Bin for some activity books, sticker books, and anything small I can fit in my carry-on backpack for her. I pack a few of her favorite snacks, books, plane-friendly games, and of course – the iPad. Lo is old enough to understand how headphones work and she loves wearing them. I got these Mpow Kids Headphones for this trip - and they’re great.

Important tip: I highly suggest bringing a travel pack of Purell Sanitizing Wipes. It gives me peace of mind to wipe down the germ-infested airplane. I also bought the travel-sized Purell to attach to the strap of my backpack. I cannot tell you how many times I use this throughout the day when we travel!

I don’t leave home without…

Blackout shades; these are cheap paper shades that I always travel with. Actually I just keep them in my car. I use them when we stay at friend’s houses, hotels if needed, etc. They’re easy to fold and carry in your suitcase.

4Moms Travel Playard: Hands down, best ever and easiest set-up. It comes with a travel bag so we just usually check it in for the flight. I’ve struggled HARD with other pack n’ plays, but this one is absolutely AMAZING.

Sound Machine; Another thing I never travel without is this $20 plug-in sound spa. You never know what the noise level will be at the hotel so I prefer to make sure unnecessary things don’t wake my babes! Doesn’t take up a lot of room in your luggage either!


Lastly, as far as I’m concerned all bets are off when traveling. Screen time increases, the amount of snacks can go through the roof and I’m not above a good dum-dum lollipop bribe! You just do what you have to do, knowing that things will return back to normal as soon as you exit the aircraft HA! The moral of the story is to HAVE FUN and try to enjoy what can sometimes be a stressful experience, but doesn’t have to be!

I hope this is helpful for any of you that’ll be traveling with toddlers soon! Make sure to follow along on my Instagram to see our adventures in Charleston!



Beauport Hotel Weekend Getaway...

 
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Last weekend I whisked Chris and London off for a little getaway at the Beauport Hotel! We had been to Gloucester a few times to enjoy the beautiful beaches, but never had the privilege of staying at the Beauport and you guys, it's AMAZING. I feel like it's somewhat of a hidden gem in that it's only a few years old and the proximity to Boston is perfect (it only took us about 45 minutes!) The rooftop pool, delicious food and sweeping ocean views coupled with the standout service and amenities made this weekend one of the best family getaways we've had to date! I'm so excited to share the details with you all!

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Our Room

We had the privilege of staying in one of the Beauport's oceanfront rooms and it was absolutely stunning. Our balcony overlooked the Atlantic ocean and we enjoyed the most beautiful sunset in the evening. Our room was really spacious, as was the bathroom, and had somewhat of a nautical vibe! The hotel provided bathrobes and slippers (even a pint-size robe for London - which was WAY too adorable) and the bath products were my favorite, L'Occitane. Housekeeping did a fabulous job of making sure the rooms were spotless and we loved the chocolate they left after turn-down service! We all slept so well in the plush queen sized beds and even though London was awake at 6:30AM, I was actually excited! I brewed a cup of Green Mountain coffee, which was provided in the room, and drank a cup while listening to the crashing waves. It was the most relaxing way to ease into the morning! 

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Service

One thing I really wanted to mention about the Beauport is their service! Everyone was so warm and friendly to us during our stay. They were very sweet to London and went out of their way to make us feel welcome! The servers at the pool and the restaurant were extra attentive and even the bellman we asked to snap a family photo was enthusiastic! I can't say enough about the staff + how wonderful they were. 

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Amenities

The amenities at the Beauport are a 10 out of 10! We were so impressed at every turn. First of all, complimentary valet parking...HELLO! I felt like there was such attention to detail and all hands were on deck when guests arrived. Our luggage was taken directly to our room while we went to check in so we didn't have to worry about a thing! We immediately made our way to the rooftop pool because London was bursting with excitement about going swimming. I'm not going to lie, when we stepped onto the pool deck the panoramic ocean views kind of took my breath away! I was worried we would be a little out of place with our 3-year old in tow, but was pleasantly surprised to see a handful of other kids there as well; it felt super family-friendly. The bar/tapas service at the pool was an added bonus! I enjoyed a (virgin) pina colada; a yummy way to cool down from the hot sun! There's also a jetted hot tub on the roof deck which was super relaxing! Not only is there a pool, but you can step out the door and right onto Pavilion Beach where complimentary beach chairs are provided as well as paddleboard rentals and service from the Beauport Beach Attendants! If you're one that can't miss a workout, there's an excellent fitness center that opens bright and early at 5AM. 

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Food

Ok, in addition to the rockstar amenities - the food at the Beauport was REALLY impressive. I think overall Chris and I are somewhat picky - mostly because Boston has such an incredible food scene - but we were pleased with all three meals we had during our stay! To start, the staff brought a bottle of wine and a cheese/cracker + fruit board to our room as a little surprise. It was so sweet and not to mention, delicious! The1606 Restaurant, where we enjoyed dinner, breakfast, and lunch the next day is right on site and has an amazing oceanfront dining deck. I won't bore you with every detail of every meal BUT I will say, the portion sizes for all of the dishes we ordered were generous! I ordered the lobster roll for dinner and it was loaded with chunks of yummy lobster meat! I also really enjoyed their breakfast options as well. The fruit was very fresh and the waffle served with warm maple syrup made my pregnant dreams come true! It definitely exceeded our expectations!

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I honestly could go on for pages about all of the things we loved about our stay! Chris and I just kept looking at each other going "this is awesome" and talking about how we can't wait to go back. I loved sharing it on social media too and seeing all of your DM's asking me about the hotel! I'd love to hear from you in the comments below if you have stayed at The Beauport before or if you have plans on going! Anxious to hear what you think! 

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

xx,

Ashley 

 

Father's Day Brunch + Area Four...

 
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This month has already been super busy for us as a family! We celebrated our four year wedding anniversary just last week, we're currently planning Lo's 3rd birthday and also trying to gear up for our move on July 1st! I couldn't let Father's Day weekend pass by without planning something special to honor the best Daddy in the universe! I knew I had hit the jackpot in the husband department but found out pretty early into my pregnancy with London that Chris would dominate the "daddy department" as well! He doted on me the entire time and when Lo was born - he made the transition to parenthood look (annoyingly) effortless! Needless to say, I love that I get to spoil him on Father's Day weekend because he is always taking care of us first before himself! 

We started our weekend off on Friday with a little shopping spree. Chris NEVER buys anything for himself...so I thought it would be fun to take him shopping so he could pick out some new things for summer! Saturday kicked off with an AMAZING brunch at Area Four in the South End! We had been wanting to try it for awhile and it did NOT disappoint! The food was absolutely delicious ... and the cocktails (even though I couldn't indulge) looked so yummy. The staff showed off a few of their creations (you can see the "Malibu Beach Barbie" cocktail to the left!) and the presentation was super unique and innovative! The vibe is also really cool and artsy...with giant windows that bring in lots of natural light. Since Chris is a sports guy, he pointed out that it would be a really fun place to catch a game - and I couldn't agree more. 

Before we even ate at Area Four, I had heard that the cinnamon bun was TO DIE FOR. Well, I can now say from experience that it was without a doubt the best cinnamon bun I've ever had and my husband totally agreed! It made all of my pregnant dreams come true and now I'll be craving it from here on out; a price I'm willing to pay for that amazing-ness! The caramel-bacon frosting (yes, you heard that right!) is made in-house as is the entire bun itself. It was served on a warm skillet and you better believe we ate the whole thing! We were able to try a few entree's as well; the breakfast pizza, the "hot mess," and the breakfast sandwich - all of which were delicious! (You can take a peek at the brunch menu here!)

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I can also say that the staff was super friendly and welcoming! They brought London a little doll and mini blow-up flamingo cup holder, which she just thought was the coolest ever. We were totally impressed from start to finish and can't wait to go back! There's another Area Four location in Kendall Square, Cambridge - so if you can't make the South End, check that one out! 

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After brunch, we continued our Father's Day weekend celebration by heading North to the Beauport Hotel! A full review of that is coming soon! I hope you all had an amazing weekend celebrating the special Dad's in your lives! Thanks so much for stopping by!

xx, 

Ashley 

Beach Day Must Haves: Toddler Edition...

 
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Happy Tuesday! 

London and I spent the morning at the beach yesterday, and it was just gorgeous. I'm trying to take advantage of any nice day to be outside, exploring with her because I know in a few months it'll be a little more challenging to get out and about. Lo makes everything more fun, but beach days are my FAVORITE with her. She loves to be in the water...doesn't matter how cold it is (it's absolutely FREEZING by the way), loves to explore the rocks and tide-pools, and loves to get sand in just about every single place on her body! Ha! 

 I wanted to put together a little "must have" list for parents with kiddos that are planning their first beach day of the year! Like a real rookie, I tried to lug my beach tent, two chairs, our lunch and two bags all while carrying Lo...and it was almost a disaster. Yesterday, I packed pretty minimally and it was SO much better. We were planning to spend just 2-3 hours ... so I didn't bring a tent like I normally would if we were spending the day. I will say, next time we do a FULL beach day - I'll have a beach wagon or cart to help lighten the load!

Here are some things I think you should def have...

1. Beach wagon/cart. THIS IS A MUST HAVE. I have been researching some on Amazon and plan to get one before our next full day. I've seen people with them in action and it looks like they make life a lot easier! The "all-terrain wagon" you see below seems to be pretty popular. I think I'll probably end up getting this one - I think it'll work great for all of our gear (and maybe Lolo too ;)

2. Umbrella or Pop-up Tent: Absolutely need this with kiddos - if you're planning to be at the beach more than a few hours! It's nice to get some reprieve from the sun - and good for them to take a rest if needed in the shade! We have this pop-up tent from L.L. Bean that we love. It literally sets up and breaks down in just a few minutes! It's so easy. I think for shorter beach trips (2-3 hours) an umbrella is totally fine, and I've got my eye on this one

3. Chairs; Not like you'll sit in them all that much - BUT it's nice to have the option ;) I have these from Target, but if you're feeling fancy, get the chairs with cupholders (this one is cute) and pour yourself a wine cooler (or two...one for me ;) 

4. The Proper Swimsuit: I'm usually chasing after Lo, carrying her at some point, and in and out of the water, so I prefer something comfortable (still cute), but that won't leave weird tan lines also! Last summer I bought a few one-pieces from J.Crew (shop it here) and I'm sure that's what I'll be rocking once baby number two comes. If you're looking for a bikini that's cute but also practical, this one is great and it's under $17! I would size up for sure! 

5. Sunscreen you can count on: I've tried a bunch of different sunscreens, but the one I feel works the best is Babyganics SPF 50 (under $10). Lo has never gotten a sunburn while using this...and it's super easy to apply as a spray lotion. We love it!

5. Beach-Friendly Tote: We love our mesh tote because it's super easy to clean/get the sand off from and it's big enough to fit our towels and lunch bag! I also love this straw bag because of the cute rope straps - that look super nautical. It seems like it would hold a lot too - love it. 

6. Toys: Hit up the dollar store for some cheap toys perfect for the beach! Definitely a bucket and a shovel (this one is $2.99). If your toddler wants to build a sand castle, this set has everything you need and it's under $10! Lo is really into kites right now - and they're perfect for a windy beach day! 

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7. Round Towel: I prefer a big round beach towel to a sheet or quilt at the beach. They're easy to brush the sand off and still spacious enough to sit yourself and toddler on. Here are a few cute ones...

xx,

Ashley 

BabyMoon Essentials...

If there's one thing I HIGHLY recommend doing is taking advantage of a little thing called the "Baby-moon!" Someone along the way came up with this excuse for a getaway and I'm their biggest fan. Chris and I went away for four nights before Lo arrived and it was such a wonderful time to relax, unwind and just enjoy each other before baby. Fast forward 3(ish) years...we're due with our second and the idea of a babymoon sounds even more incredible now that we're parents and crave one-on-one time together!

Chris is currently planning our getaway and it's a total surprise to me :) I don't know where or when we are going...I just know we're going! Ahh!! I'm so excited to escape with him and mostly to sleep in (oh, the little things :) Anyway, it got me really into doing this post for anyone who is also planning their own babymoon! Here are some cute style must-haves and essentials to make your getaway all you dream it will be AND MORE! 

Cute + Comfy Dresses

 

Stylish Swimsuits

 

Fashion-Forward Footwear

 

Beach Accessories


xx,

Ashley 

Toddler Travel Essentials...

 
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Lo and I recently took a trip to Walt Disney World with my parents and had the BEST time! Seriously, traveling with Lo is so much fun. Some of you might read that and think I'm crazy - but she thinks everything is the COOLEST and that makes it so enjoyable. She loves being at the airport, going through security (wonder how long that'll last), getting on the airplane...just the whole experience in general. This was the third time we have taken her to Florida and each time gets better and better. We had such a smooth trip, that I wanted to share some "must haves" when it comes to toddler travel. I know it can be stressful at times, I get it; but I think if you try to make it as fun as possible than they will feed off of that energy. First things first...I highly recommend traveling with a BACK PACK as a carry-on. Just trust me on this. You need two hands (and sometimes three). I really love this one from Skip Hop (this one is a close second and less expensive) because it has so many compartments. If you're looking for a bag you can use every day, Anchored East makes a great one for under $50! 

The next thing that's a "must have" is a lightweight, compact, and easy to fold stroller. Our BABYZEN YOYO+ is a lifesaver and I can't say enough about it. It's folds up in 5 seconds and is small enough to fit in the overhead compartment on the airplane. Once it's folded, it has a shoulder strap for easy carrying and it weighs just 15 lbs. I can't tell you how many people comment on it when they see us fold it up or open it; just how easy it is! There's also a pretty convenient compartment underneath to store small items if needed. Anyway, I could go on and on...but you get it :) 

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This airplane experience was one of the best with London. I timed both flights to be during her nap so she would at least sleep for some of it and we managed to get her to sleep for an hour each way – which was a win! For the rest of the time we relied on snacks, books, plane-friendly games/toys, and of course – the iPad. Lo is old enough to understand how headphones work and she LOVED wearing them. We found these $18 volume-limited kids headphones on Amazon and they were perfect! I also snagged this iPad Kids Case which made it much easier for London to hold. 

One more tip: I highly suggest bringing a travel pack of Purell sanitzing wipes. It gives me peace of mind to wipe down the germ-infested airplane. I also bought the travel-sized Purell that you can attach to the strap of your backpack. Can't tell you how many times we used this throughout the day at the airport and at Disney! 

This isn't a travel tip, BUT I've gotten so many questions about this swimsuit so I thought I would share! I really love it for the price ($16.99) I mean, you can't beat it! I wanted an inexpensive swimsuit that I could wear to match London, without too many straps (no tan lines!) I think the color is perfect and the best part is, it comes in black also - which I think I might have to get for summer! I definitely suggest sizing UP! I ordered a medium for my growing, pregnant body - and I'm really happy with the fit. 

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I hope you guys found this post useful for your future travel adventures :) Thank you for stopping by and have a great week! 

xx, 

Ashley 

Moms Day Out...

 
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Last weekend I got a chance to spend quality time with some of my favorite mamas sans-kids for a fun "Moms Day Out" experience! We spent the morning/early afternoon together - enjoying an amazing Core Cycle class at Exhale Boston Battery Wharf and then headed over for a fun brunch at State Street Provisions! It was the perfect Boston day that was MUCH needed for all of us!

Exhale has a GORGEOUS space and spa. I had been to the location in the Back Bay, but really loved the fact that this was part of Battery Wharf Hotel oh, and the valet parking (which you can get validated at the gym). We took the new Core Cycle class and it was amazing! I haven't done a spin class in months, so it felt great to sweat it out for 45 heart-pumping minutes. Our instructor Erin was super motivating and once she shut the lights off and cranked up the music the energy was electric! We were all dripping sweat, but it felt awesome.

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We also got SO many compliments on our matching shirts from Jam Threads (which you can see above!) It was a cute little touch that just made our day even that much more fun! Also, not only are they super cute but the material is so soft; all of the ladies said the same thing! Cute + comfy, for the win!

After class, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful deluxe full-service spa that Exhale has to offer! They provide you with plush bath robes and comfortable slides, and even if you're not booked for a service you're able to use their sauna, detoxifying hammam, the "quiet spa lounge," and rain showers (complete with heated towel racks!) I think the calming zen lounge was super appealing to us mama's, since we all have toddlers :) We enjoyed sipping tea, lemon-infused water and just looking at magazines. A few of the girls LOVED the sauna, which I sadly had to skip because...pregnant! I did take the longest, most luxurious shower I've had in awhile, using the shampoo/conditioner and body wash provided! There are lots of other amenities too such as body butter, hair spray, hair dryers and even mini straighteners to use if needed! We spent over an hour just relaxing and it was incredible. We will definitely be back to enjoy another class/spa experience soon!

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After an intense workout, we were so ready for our yummy brunch at State Street Provisions! The restaurant has a chill vibe and also a large fully-stocked bar! They made me the yummiest "mocktail" and the other girls loved their hand-crafted drinks. The brunch menu is super diverse and it took us quite awhile to decide what we wanted because EVERYTHING sounded so good! I highly recommend the burger served on an english muffin; it was absolutely delicious! We were also surprised with a little dessert from the chef - a cappuccino mousse with orange and almond biscotti. It was the perfect ending to our meal...I think we nearly licked the plate clean :) Not only is the food incredible, but the location is perfect! It's right around the corner from the New England Aquarium, across the street from Faneuil Hall, and walking distance to TD Garden! 

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We had such a refreshing day hanging out in our city and enjoying some "kid-free" mommy time! What are some things that make you feel refreshed?! 

xx, Ashley 

Special thanks to Jam Threads, Exhale, and State Street Provisions to helping to make this day so much fun! 

How to do Disney with a toddler...

 

Where to stay...

We went to Disney with a total of six adults and 3 children, so we were all about renting a house. We went through the Windsor Hills Resort in Kissimmee, located only 10 minutes from the Magic Kingdom parking lot. We LOVED it. For those who want to stay at a monorail-friendly Disney hotel, I've stayed at the Contemporary Resort five separate times and it's fabulous. Very kid-friendly and I recommend trying to book a "character" dinner at Chef Mickey's if you want a great meal and more importantly, if you want you kid(s) to meet Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy and Pluto without having to wait in line :) 

Helpful Tips...

1. Schedule character "meet and greets" ahead of time (see above). Pay the extra money and BOOK IN ADVANCE for a character dinner or breakfast. The characters will come to your table while you eat ... it's definitely worth the money. If you book the character meet and greets at the park ahead of time using your Fast Passes, you should be all set too! 

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2. Invest in a good, "easy to use" stroller. We used the BABYZEN YOYO+ and it was amazing! It's so easy to unfold and fold (you can do it with one hand) and also fits in the airplane's overhead bin. It comes with a shoulder strap so you can carry it just like a purse, and weighs just 15 lbs. I also love that while it's super compact, it has a great storage area underneath. Oh, and did I mention it comes with a rain cover?! It's basically the perfect travel stroller, and you can check it out here

3. Schedule in nap time. We wanted to make sure that Lolo still got her naps so we purposely didn't schedule anything from 12-2:30pm. Actually, we rented a house just a few miles from Disney, so we would leave the park and do lunch/nap at the house. It worked out really well for a few reasons...1. We never had to deal with any toddler meltdowns because she got her normal rest time, and 2. We skipped the hottest part of the day! She did fall asleep one day in her stroller before we could make it to the car so we just walked around with her for an hour or so, and she was fine :) 

4. Bring a backpack as your diaper bag. Trust me on this one, you need all hands on deck not to mention a million snacks, sunscreen, water, your phone, wallet, etc., so you'll need lots of compartments! We love our Skip Hop Chelsea bag, and Skip Hop also makes a pretty awesome backpack for under $60! I also love this one from CoolBell too because it's super functional and has an insulated front pocket to keep a bottle or snacks cool! 

5. Plan Fast Passes in advance. Have a plan of which rides you want to hit and do your fast passes online in advance so you don't have to waste time trying to figure it out at the park.  We made the mistake of waiting to figure out the fast passes once we got to the park and by the time we did, a lot of the rides we wanted to hit were booked up and the wait was insane. The second and third days we planned the night before and it was MUCH smoother. 

6. Bring snacks/lots of fluids. One thing I appreciate, is that Disney allows you to bring your own snacks AND water into the park. (Also, if you pay the extra for preferred parking, they'll give you cold bottles of water before you park the car, which is nice to know!) I brought lots of options for Lo in separate snack bags like grapes, goldfish, harvest snap peas, yogurt bites, apple sauce pouches, and raisins. 

7. Utilize the Baby Care Center. If you need a break from the heat, a sink, microwave, or a clean place to change your baby the Baby Care Center is a great resource! You can also find snacks, diapers, sunscreen, rockers and more! (There are locations in all 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios)

 

General Park -Touring Tips + a few of Lo's favorite rides/shows...

If you're planning a 3-day Disney trip, I recommend two full days at Magic Kingdom and one at the Animal Kingdom. If you've got 4 days, go with 2 full MK, 1 day at AK, and 1 day at Hollywood Studios. If you're going for a toddler-based trip, I'd choose Hollywood Studios because they have SO many amazing rides and shows for kids (Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Toy Story, etc.) We didn't get a chance to go, but definitely will on our next trip! 

Magic Kingdom: It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Under the Sea; Country Bear Jamboree, Swiss Family Robinson Tree House, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise; There are also shows running every few hours or so on the stage in front of the castle. We caught one in the afternoon which included Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and the Frozen characters! 

Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safari, Festival of the Lion King, The Boneyard, Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (walking trail)

Epcot: Meet + Greet with Anna and Elsa, Finding Nemo, Spaceship Earth (it's dark so could be scary for some kids, but Lo loved it), Frozen (it was broken when we were there, but I'm assuming it would have been a fave ;) 

                     Walking trails at Animal Kingdom 

                    Walking trails at Animal Kingdom 

   Elephants on the Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom

  Elephants on the Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom

xx, Ashley

Mama + Me Class: Coolidge Corner Yoga...

Being that I'm a stay at home mommy to London, I think it's so important that I integrate classes in our schedule so that she can be around other children her age! It's also fun to try new things with her and I always seem to meet some pretty fantastic mama's I can relate to as well. We've been taking a music class together since she was 6 months old, but I also wanted to do something active - especially during these cold winter months - to burn off some of that toddler energy! I began researching places in the Greater Boston area and stumbled upon Coolidge Corner Yoga in Brookline! I was so excited when I found that they offered a "Toddler Yoga" class for children up to 3.5 years old. London is super energetic and I like to be active too - so I thought this sounded like something fun to try together...and it was!

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Our teacher, Joanne was super laid back, patient, and engaging (all great qualities to have when dealing with a bunch of toddlers!) The "hello song" that kicked off every class was one that all of the kids seem to enjoy; "Om, London, celebrate London, sing it with an open and a joyful heart..." What a wonderful message - I just loved it and around week 5, London started singing it at home to all of her stuffed animals. Super cute! Joanne led us through some really fun partner poses that we could try with our little ones. Sometimes Lo was really into trying and sometimes she just wanted to run around the room - which was totally fine too! Either way, we were reaping the benefits; I was getting a stretch in and London was burning energy. Also, even though she was running around the room, I knew that she was still listening and observing which is still a win!  

There were a few signature things that Lo looked forward to every class...

1. Animal Puppets. Each class, Miss Joanne would bring a different collection of animal puppets and the kids would go crazy for them! There were poses associated with each animal, which was also really fun. I think London's favorite was the lion :) 

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2. "Down dog at the wall...bat pose" was another favorite class moment. I was so excited the first time London did it! The first few weeks she just took it all in and observed, but by the 3rd week she was doing it on her own and you could tell she felt very accomplished :) 

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3. The cool down. I think this might have been London's absolute favorite part. With the lights dim and the soft music playing, Lo would lie on her mat and ask me to rub her back. She waited patiently for Miss Joanne to come around and rub lotion on her feet. She would be offered strawberry or banana scented lotion (sometimes chocolate) and London would always say "I'd like strawberry AND banana lotion." I thought this was super cute and unique way to calm the kids down and also such a good sensory exercise that they all really loved. 

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I would highly recommend trying this class if you live in the Boston area! It will certainly nourish your child's budding imagination and will be lots of fun for him/her! There are also classes offered for children in other age groups as well and you can learn more about those here. It's worth mentioning that CCY has a sister-studio, Sadhana, in the South End neighborhood of Boston so totally check that out if geographically that makes more sense for your family. They also offer classes suitable for the whole family! As always, if you have any questions about the class - please leave them in the comments below and I'd be happy to answer! Thanks for stopping by! 

xx, 

Ashley 

Vacation Style...

In a few weeks, we are heading south to Disney World for a little vacation time with London! Chris, unfortunately won't be able to make it, but my parents will be with us and we are so excited to escape to warmer weather! It will also be during my birthday week - so what better gift than sunshine + Mickey Mouse? :) I've already purchased a few things for the trip so in the meantime, I put together some cute items to snag if you're gearing up for a little vacation of your own! It's never too early to start shopping for summer either! I like to buy things throughout the year, rather than waiting until the warm weather has already arrived! 

So, here are some cute things to vamp up your vacation style! Enjoy + thanks for stopping by :) 

xx, 

Ashley 

Gifts For The Traveler...

Is there someone in your life (could be you!) that LOVES to travel, book staycations or fab vacations?! This post is for those with a traveling heart! I loved rounding up things for this collage - it got me excited for a few trips we have planned this Spring! A gift that could be really fun for someone who likes to travel is this life planner by Erin Condren! She also sells things like the "on the Go! travel checklist" and luggage identification tags! There's something for everyone there so I thought it was worth mentioning! 

I wanted to highlight a few things in the graphic below! This camera is currently on major sale and under $100! I really LOVE this duffle by Sole Society! We actually got a bag similar to this one for London and it's so great for 2-3 day trips or as an overnight bag! I also thought these Ugg fleece lined socks ($40) were pretty perfect for sticking in your carry on! If you're planning to book a long flight - you can get comfy in these, and of course - don't forget an eye mask! This one is adorable! There's more below! Enjoy :) 

xx, Ashley 

Kokadjo, Maine Getaway...

A few weeks ago we snuck away to spend time at my parents camp in Kokadjo, Maine. It's such a peaceful setting and since there isn't any cell service where we are, we have no choice but to unplug and just enjoy each other's company :) As soon as we start the drive, it's like I instantly relax and take a breath. I love going through each sleepy town on our way there, sometimes stopping at our favorite spot in Monson, Spring Creek BBQ. Passing through Greenville my anticipation begins to mount as I know it's not long until we are to our destination. "Camp" (which is more like a house now since my parents have expanded it and added electricity, running water, etc) instantly makes me want to change into sweats, put on a trucker hat and "rough it" without a care in the world. We love to pile into the back of my dad's pick up and ride around to see if we can spot a moose. Of course, we're guaranteed to see lots of wildlife, but catching a moose is the real treat :) My sweet mother always has LOTS of candy and treats waiting, plus everything needed to make s'mores (which we always do). This time, we brought the Sound of Music by London's request so we could have a movie night. So fun! Now that she's getting older, she loves to explore all that nature has to offer - and there's  A LOT up there! My parents also had a swing built for her with the best view of the lake and the mountains. She's the luckiest girl in the world - so spoiled! 

I took a few photos and wanted to share them with you all! Thanks for stopping by! 

xx, Ashley 

Cape Elizabeth, Maine...

 
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My family and I decided to spend our vacation in the place we love so much...MAINE. Chris and I have vacationed in Maine the past 7 years (could be more? Too lazy to do the math) ...but the moral of the story is, we just can't get enough of it. We typically go to Kennebunkport and stay at a hotel or bed & breakfast, but we decided to rent a house this year!

We have never used Airbnb but have always heard great things about it from friends and family who have! I started sifting through properties throughout Southern Maine everywhere from Kennebunkport to Ogunquit to York, Wells, etc. I happened upon a Cape Elizabeth beach house and immediately fell in love. The reviews showed that guests absolutely loved the home (which has been recently renovated) and that it was a perfect location in reference to the beach. It was also 3-bedrooms which was the perfect size for our little family! We were so excited it was available to book! 

When we arrived there were fresh flowers on the table, a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge and ground coffee from C Salt ready to be brewed. Such a warm welcome! The decor was very "beachy" and modern, with a big farmhouse-style sink, floating shelves, and the prettiest shade of green cabinets in the kitchen that caught my eye! We simply loved every little touch! Of course, London immediately wanted to check out the beach - which was just a short walk. Thankfully, the home owners provided us with the cutest wagon to cart everything down! It was really such a perfect set-up. I had never been to Crescent Beach so I was excited to check it out! It's pretty perfect for little ones because it's so calm, being that it's a cove. There are tons of rocks, which could have kept Lo busy for hours - she loved to throw them and also collect them in her bucket. Kettle Cove is another small beach area where we took Lo to search the seaweed for crabs! 

Not only was the location of the home so close to the beach, but it was also close to Portland, where we had planned to take the 15-minute ferry ride to Peaks Island. We rented a golf cart and were able to get around the whole island in just an hour - even making a few stops to see where my husband attended elementary school and the home that he grew up in! It was so much fun to share it with London, and she absolutely loved bombing around on the golf cart! 

We were able to have a few friends and family members over to check out our little beach home and spend quality time with us which was really special. It's definitely a place we can't wait to return to and build more memories together! I wanted to share some photos with you - and if you're interested in checking out the home further, you can click here!

Thanks for stopping by!

The home...


The beach...


Peaks Island...

xx, Ashley 

Our Weekend...

 

My Outfit: Dress: Tobi (Under $100 and SO comfortable!)| Sandals: Nine West, similar here

London's Outfit: Top: Gap, similar here | Shorts: Gap, similar here | Sandals: Target (Cat & Jacket)

We had Chris home with us for a full weekend so we took advantage and did more "touristy" things in our city! 

Saturday morning we were out of the house early to catch the train to the North End. London constantly asks to go on the bus, train, trolley, airplane, tractor, and any other form of transportation you can think of - so we just had to do at least one of those! (Trolley is next!) We went to the Public Market for coffee + breakfast. Outside they've got loads of fresh produce but inside is where it's really at ;) ...You can find a few of my favorite places in one spot - Union Square Donuts, George Howell coffee, Levend Bagels, and sooo much more! I feel like George Howell coffee is liquid gold ... it gave me energy for the WHOLE day haha! Maybe it's a mental thing, but seriously, you have to try it. 

There's a beautiful green space that separates the Faneuil Hall area and the North End called Rose Kennedy Greenway. So adorable. There are rose gardens, fountains, usually food trucks, and always really fun events going on! We didn't plan on walking from the North End all the way to the Prudential Center, but we did! We went through the Public Garden to show London the little duck statues in honor of "Make Way For Ducklings," one of her favorite books! She loved it!

I'm so happy to have Chris home for a few weeks - it makes SUCH a difference! Sunday we took the bus to Cambridge and strolled around Harvard Square! I didn't take many photos (I try to be "phone-free" on Sundays) but we had so much fun. You can see photos from our morning adventure below. 

Best Playgrounds In The Boston Area For Toddlers...

Hey Boston Mamas! 

I recently wrote an article for Mommy Nearest about the best playgrounds to take your littles too! We live in Watertown, so I included some in the city but also in the Greater Boston area as well :) Enjoy! 

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The playground is the perfect place to let your child burn off some energy, explore, meet up for play dates and get some fresh air. As a new mom, I was so excited when my daughter learned to sit up so she could finally enjoy the bucket swings. And once she started walking I couldn’t wait to watch her toddle around and play on the equipment. I quickly realized that those once relaxing trips to the playground were becoming stressful. I turned into my daughters shadow, trying desperately to keep her away from the dangerous climbing structures and giant slides!

Thankfully, I've been able to find the spaces meant just for little ones who are learning to walk. Think soft surfaces, bucket swings, small slides, tunnels to crawl through and lots more. Here are eight of the city's best playgrounds perfect for your toddler! 

1. Alexander W. Kemp Playground, Cambridge

Why it’s good for toddlers: I’ve nicknamed this one “natures playground” thanks to the design landscape of hills, sand, wooden structures and water features. There’s something for everyone here, including a water table which is always a crowd favorite. Little ones can't get enough of the sand (there’s A LOT of it) and the adults will enjoy that the playground is mostly shaded. It’s the perfect place to let your kids explore their surroundings safely.

Insider tip: There isn’t a parking lot, just metered street parking so make sure to bring some quarters!

2. Victory Field Playground, Watertown

Why it’s good for toddlers: I absolutely love this playground for its soft rubber surface, tunnels to crawl through, and the mini playhouses where little ones can sit and eat their snacks. There are also bucket swings and small slides for even the smallest babes. Not to mention, it’s all fenced in! If you go on a hot day, half of the playground is shaded by trees, which is nice.

Insider tip: Although this is about 15 minutes outside of the city, it's worth the drive. Make a morning of it by hitting the Starbucks just down the road or grabbing breakfast at North 11 Beacon—our favorite diner!

3. Winthrop Square/Minot Playground, Brookline

Why it’s good for toddlers: This park is fully fenced in and offers a large play area for kids, plus a splash pad. There is grass for your little ones to explore and “no dogs allowed” so you won’t have to worry about any unpleasant surprises (if you know what I mean!). There's lots of shade to be found, provided by the surrounding maples, and plenty of benches to catch a break if needed while still keeping a watchful eye on your little one(s).

Insider tip: Pack a picnic or enjoy a snack near the beautiful rose gardens at this park.

4. Ringgold Park, South End

Why it’s good for toddlers: The main attraction of this playground is the park fountain, which cascades water from top to bottom for one hour, three times a day (9-10am, noon-1pm and 6-7pm). Another “perk” of this playground are the walkers and “ride-on” toys that local families have dropped off for other kids to enjoy. Your little one will enjoy pushing or riding them around the fenced in rubber surface and/or the basketball courts next door.

Insider tip: There are always events going on at this park, so check the website for more info! Just recently they hosted a “garden tour” and a musical event for kids.

5. Billy Ward Playground, Brookline

Why it’s good for toddlers: This playground has been recently renovated and now includes a splash pad and sand box area. A wooden toy train structure will be a favorite with your little one, and they’ll love watching the older kids climb up the rock wall! I love that the “tot lot” is separated and on a lower level than the “big kids” area; it lessens the chance of any accidental run-ins.

Insider tip: There are picnic tables on site so pack a meal and enjoy a whole morning or afternoon outdoors.

6. LoPresti Park, East Boston

Why it’s good for toddlers: Let your little ones play while you take in the incredible views and the epic Boston skyline! The playground has the basic equipment (swings, slides, climbing structures, etc.), but the real win is the four acres of green space for kids to run through. It’s such a hidden gem!

Insider tip: The park offers “Family Zumba” every Wednesday at 6pm during the summer months.

7. Charlesbank Esplanade Playground

Why it’s good for toddlers: Located right off Storrow Drive, this playground is large and fenced in which makes it an extra safe place for your little one. The soft rubber surface helps, too! There are two short slides and six infant bucket swings, so it’s likely your kiddo will never have to wait on one. On hot summer days, you’ll be happy to hear there is a splash pad as well.

Insider tip: Parking can be a bit tough due to the location of the playground, so plan ahead time wise (the walk is worth it!).

8. Peters Park, South End

Why it’s good for toddlers: Most playgrounds cater to certain age groups but neglect others—not Peter’s Park! Not only is it great for toddlers with the infant swings and low-to-the-ground structures, but if you’re a parent of multiples, there are larger structures for kids’ ages 5-12 here too. The rubber surface will limit the inevitable bumps and scrapes that come when you’ve got a curious toddler in tow.

Insider tip: Limited shade on hot sunny days so bring sunscreen! Also got a puppy? There’s a dog park right next door!

Do you have a favorite playground that didn't make the list? Please share! We are always looking to try new ones :) 

xx, Ashley 

What To Pack for an overnight Trip with Your Toddler...

 

Honestly, going anywhere with your toddler in tow can seem like a daunting task...but somewhere overnight? Yikes! It can be enough to deter you from wanting to go at all! Given the nature of my husband's job, he travels quite a bit and since most of our family and friends live in Maine, London and I head North as much as possible. She is a little road warrior and I've got packing her overnight bag down to a science! Here are a few tips to help make the whole process easier :)

Designate a separate bag for your kiddo.

When Lo was born I thought I would just pack her things in my suitcase with my own stuff but I quickly realized that wouldn't work. I needed to have a bag specifically for Lo, and thankfully I found Wildkin, which has the most perfect travel duffles and matching backpacks by Olive Kids! They're the perfect size for an overnight trip or weekend away - and the best part, they won't break your bank! (You can snag a matching duffle + backpack for just $60!) They even monogram and personalize them for your kiddos! The print we chose is a mermaid print because she's so obsessed with The Little Mermaid! 

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Make a list.

I'm a lady that needs a list because it keeps me on task and organized; not to mention, it keeps me from forgetting any of the "essentials." A few days before any trip, I make sure I do two things: 1. Check the weather forecast and lay out London's outfits on her floor ready to be packed and, 2. Make a list of all the things I need the remember like her video monitors, sound spa, toothbrush, inhaler, pack n' play, etc. (We use the 4Moms pack n'play and it takes under 5 seconds to open and close! So clutch!)

Actually packing.

Here's what you'll find in London's duffle...

1. Clothes/Shoes already separated into outfits

2. Pajamas with overnight diapers (plus a few extra in case of emergencies)

3. Sound Machine (This is a must! We love this one which is just $20)

4. Music/Lullaby (Another must! It's the same lullaby we have played at bedtime every night since Lo was a newborn)

5. London's "blankie" ... she sleeps with it every night!

6. Other Necessities: children's Ibuprofen/Tylenol (just in case), baby thermometer, body wash/lotion, diaper cream, regular diapers, wipes, toothpaste and toothbrush.

Here's what you'll find in her backpack...

1. A few of her favorite books

2. Snacks/water (The Olive Kids backpack has a little side holder for the water bottle/sippy cup!)

3. Some favorite "stuffies" and other small toys

4. Diaper, travel wipes, an extra onesie and pair of socks

I think the more you travel, the less intimidating it becomes! You kind of get into the habit of packing the same things, the same way -and it totally helps when your kids have their own bags so you know where everything is! London loves to experience new places, and I never wanted the overwhelming feeling of traveling or packing to take away from any memories we could be making! I hope this little guide gives you new ideas or insights into how to make it easier :)

Have a great day and thank you for stopping by!

xx, Ashley

Sunday Funday: Franklin Park Zoo + Nature's Neighborhood...

The weather has been beyond amazing lately and we couldn't wait for a sunny weekend so that we could take our long awaited family visit to the Franklin Park Zoo! London and I took a zoo trip last summer but this time, Chris was able to join us, so we were extra excited! FPZ is a little oasis and escape that be found right in Boston. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and the paved pathways are wide for exploration (and for strollers ;)

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

My suggestion would be to park at the Zebra Entrance of the zoo for direct access to "Nature's Neighborhood," the newly renovated Children's Zoo! Lo is almost two years old (as opposed to 14-months during our last visit) so she was much more engaged and interactive! We had anticipated that "Nature's Neighborhood" would be a crowd pleaser, and we were right! We spent about three hours total at the zoo and I think she could have stayed right there the entire time. It is designed beautifully, allowing children to explore and discover the different ecosystems or "neighborhoods," including Grasslands, Woodlands, Wetlands, and Thicket. We saw some "neighbors" roaming around their natural habitats like red pandas, muntjacs, prairie dogs, ducks, cranes, and other birds! 

More things around "the neighborhood" that London loved...

There's a giant eagle's nest built around an oak tree providing a "birds eye" view of the zoo and kids can also take the winding slide all the way down from inside the nest (London loved it!). There is a grass maze, bamboo climber, two turtle ponds, and caves to explore or sneak a closer look at the prairie dogs as they pop up out of their holes. London also enjoyed "hopping like a bunny" through the thicket and climbing on the rock structures near the oak tree. I love how interactive Nature's Neighborhood is! It's definitely a place that kids of all ages (and adults!) can have fun while learning about some of the cutest animals at the zoo!

A few more places to hit...

Franklin Farm is located adjacent to Nature's Neighborhood and that seems to be another crowd favorite for the little ones. There are donkeys, chickens, pigs, goats, and minature horses - all sure to make your kiddos squeal with delight! Kalahari Kingdom features the lions, in all their glory! Lo has a thing with beards (since her Daddy has one) so she thought the lion had a pretty cool "beard," a.k.a mane! Gorillas, hippos, lemurs, and anteaters are just a few of the animals you'll see in the Tropical Forest exhibit...another one of London's favorites! There are five glass viewing stations just to see the gorillas! You'll see dozens of birds swooping through and hear the swooshing sound of the waterfall as you make your way through the beautiful rainforest. (Don't forget to stop for a photo with the gorilla statue located outside!) If you can make it past the 10,000 square foot playground, you'll run into the Giraffe Savannah to sneak a peek at the giraffes and zebras roaming about. 

Each time we visit the zoo, we discover something new and get to watch Lo discover new things as well. It's the perfect place to let your children explore let their imaginations run wild! We had such an amazing time and can't wait to go back!

If you're planning a trip to the zoo with kiddos, here are a few tips to make life easier...

  • As I mentioned above, there are a few parking lots, but I HIGHLY recommend parking at the "Zebra Entrance" (between Franklin Park Rd. and Blue Hill Ave.) for easy access to the Children's Zoo, Franklin Farm + the playground
  • Grab a map! Trust me on this one ... you'll reference this MANY times
  • There are multiple restroom locations (four to be exact), ALL which have changing stations
  • Bring your own snacks, drinks, and/or lunch for a picnic on-site
  • Forget something? Hit the Gift Shop for sunscreen, first aid needs, umbrellas, etc.
  • HAVE FUN! :)

*Don't forget to check your local library for discounted passes*

xx,  Ashley 

Spring Staycation: The Colonnade HOTEL, Boston

Last weekend, our little family decided to book a "stay-cation" in downtown Boston and stayed at The Colonnade Hotel. Even though we were there for less than 24-hours we had SUCH an amazing time and didn't want to leave! I wanted to give you guys a little recap of our stay and a review of the hotel! I'll just start by saying how friendly and hospitable everyone was! They gave us such a warm welcome and made us feel right at home. London had a great time running around the lobby, making friends with hotel staff! They really went above and beyond to make our stay perfect! 

Location, Location, Location

The Colonnade is located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, walking distance to many of the city's signature landmarks such as the Prudential Center (across the street), the Public Garden, Newbury Street, Fenway Park, and much more! We used to live in Bay Village, a small neighborhood nestled between Back Bay and the South End ... so this area is very familiar to us. Boston is such a walkable city so it's super fun to stroll around taking in all that it has to offer!

The Room

Our room was enormous! We had a two-bedroom suite complete with a dining area and massive bathroom! Everything was meticulously clean, which is always appreciated! The windows run floor to ceiling with an incredible view of the city so I think this was London's favorite part; she loved watching the buses and trolley's drive by from nine floors up! The beds were beyond comfortable...I slept so well until London gave me an early Mother's Day gift by waking up at 5:30am...she just must have been having too much fun, right?! :) 

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The Amenities

Three words...Roof Top Pool. The Colonnade is the only hotel in the city with an outdoor Roof Top Pool and it's pretty glorious. Two years ago, 9 months pregnant with London, my husband and I spent a day there poolside and it was amazing. It doesn't feel like you're in the middle of a bustling city when you're twelve stories up on a roof top! I definitely want to bring Lo there when it opens at the end of this month - she'd love it! There are private cabanas, daybeds and full-menu food service offered poolside all day long as well! The fitness center, 24-hour business center, and French restaurant Brasserie Jo are three more reasons why this hotel is perfect for your city stay!

                                                                                                         Photo: travelandleisure.com

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The Food

Speaking of food, Brasserie Jo is the restaurant located right inside the hotel. The menu is expansive so there's plenty to choose from and lots that even your kids would enjoy! They're very kid-friendly with highchairs, crayons for coloring and cute kids cups! We were there for Mother's Day - so they had a special buffet with food stations, a live jazz band, and "mums for Mum!" Very cute! They also brought Chris and I rose water hibiscus mimosas...and I just about died - SO YUMMY! We also loved how friendly everyone was, from the hostess to the waitstaff and even the head chef, who came to speak to us at our table. They really go above and beyond to make your stay as a whole, memorable! 

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If you're coming to Boston from near (like us!) or far, The Colonnade is the perfect place to stay while you explore everything that the city has to offer! We thoroughly enjoyed our quickie getaway, and hope to return soon so we can enjoy the pool! Highly recommend paying a visit!

Here are more photos from our overnight stay and you can shop my outfits below as well!

xx, Ashley 

 

 

 

 

Disney World...

 

Our trip to Disney last week was absolutely magical! We used to go all the time as a family when I was little, but I hadn't been back in 14 years! I was so excited to share this experience with my husband and daughter; it was just as special as I knew it would be! Watching her face in utter amazement, literally the entire time, is something I will never forget and just gave me all of the feelings I remember having as a kid! There's something about Disney that makes everyone feel giddy and filled with so much joy. 

Walking up and down Main Street, watching the street performers and listening to the music was super nostalgic. I made sure that we visited my favorite ice cream shop, which I have fond memories of ;) There were performances at the castle featuring Mickey & friends as well as the Frozen characters (London was freaking out!) Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Adventureland all had something that London could enjoy!

I plan to do a whole separate post on how to do Disney with a toddler ... because there are a few things we would have done differently in terms of planning the day out. One thing I will mention is that I highly recommend getting a stroller that's compact to maneuver through the crowds, and one that also has some sort of storage compartment. We lucked out with the BABYZEN YOYO+(pictured below) which also came with a rain cover (thank goodness, because it kept Lo dry at the Animal Kingdom during a morning thunderstorm!) I'll do a full review on this stroller in my next Disney dedicated post :) 

We also spent half of a day at Animal Kingdom and half at Epcot. To be honest, I wish we had dedicated a full day to both! There is so much to see! I don't know who was more excited for Animal Kingdom, London or my husband :) Chris loves animals, and while we only made it through the "Africa" portion of the park, we can't wait to go back and see the rest! I highly recommend going on the Kilimanjaro Safari! We must have gone at the perfect time (9am) because we saw EVERY animal! They were all out feeding .. so maybe morning is the time to go! We all loved the Lion King show also. It was only 30 minutes and kept London's attention with the music, acrobats, and animals! As for Epcot, we had sort of a disappointing morning because the Frozen ride was broken ALL DAY. We waited in the heat for 2.5 hours, but it never reopened! They did comp us some fast passes for Soarin' - which isn't a ride for little ones - but if you get a chance to go, it's amazing! There is, however, a Finding Nemo ride that is great for kids! We could have used a full day at Epcot to visit the 11 countries featured in the World Showcase. For another time I guess! (Side note, we ate at the Coral Reef restaurant and really enjoyed it! The food was good and there are huge fish tanks in the restaurant which kept Lo entertained!)

I wanted to share all of the photos from the trip! We tried to capture each aspect ... of course, I feel like I didn't take enough (but my husband would argue otherwise, I'm sure :) I hope you enjoy them! 

xx,  Ashley 

 

This post is brought to you by Disney. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Carry-on Essentials...

We are leaving TODAY for a little family vacation to Florida! We are so excited to take London to Disney World for the first time and the best part is, we'll be traveling with my hubby (of course), my parents, sister and her family as well! I can't wait for us all to board the plane together and start our little getaway! I always feel like I need to pack a million things in London's carry-on (we use this Skip Hop bag) and often forget any of my own essentials! Typical mom life, right?! This time, I made sure to pack my backpack with some of the things I need to make my own life easier. I also try to pack a few items in case we should end up delayed or worse, stranded with no luggage (since that's happened to us all probably at least once!). I've included some travel sized "must haves" as well as some full size clothing items that you could sneak into your carry-on as well! 

Shop my "carry on essentials" below! I also picked up a few new things for this trip, like this $23 "vacay" tote and this polka dot one-piece that's under $40! In case you missed my blog containing tips for traveling with a toddler, you can find that here!


A few full size items you could slip into your carry-on just in case...

1. Swimsuit + cover up (I just bought this cover-up + it's under $30!)

2. Pair of shorts (Love these...)

3. Lightweight sundress (Love this colorblock maxi!)

4. Pair of lightweight sandals (These are cute...)

When I'm traveling, I like to pack a few pairs of sunglasses; black pair, brown pair, and/or my aviators. I've rounded up a few of my faves for you below and as always, my go-to Ray-Bans that fold up are making the trip - I never leave home without them! 

1. Rose gold cat eye || 2. Retro sunnies || 3. Mirrored aviators || 4. Two-tone

Shop all items mentioned in this post below:

xx,  Ashley