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Leslie

Traveling with Two Kids {as the Solo Parent!} to Walt Disney World – Sharing Our Flights and Room Sharing Experience

So a little over a week ago I travelled to Walt Disney World with the kids.

If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook, you are well aware – Ha! #allthephotos

Clearly I needed a bit of a pause after our travels – it’s taken me about a week to get all caught up now that we are back home, but I’m finally ready to blog about it and share our trip with you!

It was a bit of a last minute trip, a little treat to start out the new year with the kids. I went with my friend Kelly and her son, Noah. The two of us travelled with the three kids from cold, snowy Philadelphia down to Walt Disney World.

The House of Mouse! 

It was slightly ambitious to get our Disney on {without the husbands} because Disney can be a bit of a beast, but you know I love a challenge! And when the opportunity comes to take the kids to Disney, you take the kids to Disney!

So I packed all the things, prepped as much as I could and got the kiddos on the plane! I think when getting on a airplane with kids, the hardest part is checking in! Getting the kids, strollers, luggage in the airport, especially when its freezing outside, not to mention 5:00am – its not the easiest thing. But once the luggage is sent to the plane, its just the kids, our carry-on backpacks and the stroller {which we checked at the gate!} A little more easier to manage.

We ended up getting crazy flights – 6:00am on the way there and 8:00pm on the way home. It was slightly nuts in the moment because we had to get up so early on the way there {and so late on the way home!}- but everyone was so excited it was fine! We got through security, picked up some more snacks and made our way on the plane.

My savior this trip: The Kids Kindle Fire! It’s our go-to tablet. The boys got new ones for Christmas, along with these fun cases + headphones {I highly recommend!} and we had fun tablet time on the plane. And this mama got a few moments of silence. Win.

Brooks turns 4 this month and he’s tablet obsessed. He pretty much would do it all day, every day if I let him, which is why when we are at home, it’s pretty regulated, but not on travel days! So he was super happy to zone out, play his apps and chill for the flight. Graham is a bit of a different story. He plays on the kindle on occasion – sometimes for a while, usually not for very long. He would rather explore and be on the move, which is slightly challenging on a airplane. We made some laps up and down the aisle and then eventually it was time to land.

Thankfully with all.the.snacks some previously downloaded movies we survived the flight. And because the flight got us in so early, we were pumped to have the whole day to spend in the Happiest Place on Earth.

When we were brainstorming our 2018 getaway, Kelly and I wanted to go somewhere warm with a quick flight and somewhere that we wouldn’t have to bring carseats! For me, that would have KILLED ME. Trying to get the two kids and their stuff along with the stroller was bad enough. Throw in 2 massive carseats, forget it. I’m not going.

Disney checked off all the boxes for us because we were able to take the Magical Express transportation from the airport to our hotel {and back on our last day} not having to worry about carseats. And obviously all the Disney transportation – boat, buses and monorails – made it easy to get everywhere we wanted to go without having to rent a car! Win.

Side Note: Monorails were the BEST because I didn’t have to fold up my stroller, which is super annoying when traveling with two kids solo. Whenever we rode the monorail, we just strolled right on in! Win!

travel backpacks / rose gold Minnie ears

Our rooming situation was also important to us too because we wanted everyone to be comfortable. My boys usually have a bedtime around 7:00pm but I knew with all of us being in the same room after a busy day in Walt Disney World, this would never stick. But we planned to fill our days with lots of fun, nap on the go and then cross our fingers everyone slept well at night.

Our room had two queen beds with a small sofa that converted into a pull out couch that was the perfect size for Graham. Brooks and I each took the two beds and it was really the perfect set up. The only problem was that Graham rolled off both beds each night we were there! He’s used to tossing and turning in the safety of his crib and went flying off the bed – which was a little scary. Other than that we did bedtime, watched fireworks from our rooms and then everyone got tucked in, including this mama. I chilled in bed with my laptop, headphones and caught up on some Netflix while the littles slept. It was pretty epic.

Most nights ended with one or both boys in bed with me, and of course no one slept in at.all. so we were up bright and early ready to go each day, but thats pretty Disney for ya, right?

Our flight home was at 8:00 pm – WAYYYYY past the kids bedtime. But we figured we would have an extra full day in Disney with this flight time and the kids would fall asleep on the way home. BUT obviously that didn’t happen. Graham fell asleep in my arms about 45 minutes from landing and Brooks passed out as we were landing on the runway. It was nuts he could sleep through that – but they were so wiped and eventually gave in to the sleep.

The only problem then was I was stuck in my seat with two sleeping littles on me. Thankfully we had someone to help us set up the stroller after the plane emptied out – so I was able to take Graham asleep, put him in the stroller outside the plane and then I went back for Brooks. Only problem was it was FREEZING in Philadelphia at 10:00 at night and I wasn’t able to bundle them up before they fell asleep. But I covered them in everything I had to keep them warm and it was a pretty smooth transfer.

All in all we had a really great time. Traveling as the solo parents with two kids was slightly stressful at times, but totally do-able. It was so much more fun {and manageable!} traveling with a fellow mama. Having someone to travel with is always fun, but when you have kids, its the most amazing thing in the world to be able to sneak away for 5 seconds to use the bathroom  and not have to bring all the kids and all the stuff with you all the time.

We had an awesome time, the kids had a blast and I loved it too. I learned a lot about travels with kids at these ages and I think it was a great experience for the kids to go on with me as well. I can’t wait to share the rest of our Disney trip with you! Let me know if you have any other questions about our travels, I’d be happy to share more!

 

My Winter Skincare Routine + Winter Skin Relief Day with CeraVe®

If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook – you will know that I spent the last week in {not so sunny} Florida. We had plans to leave the winter cold and soak up some sun for a few days, but Mother Nature had different plans for us – don’t worry, more on our trip later this week! We spent the majority of our trip bundled up in Florida! Of course it wasn’t nearly as cold as it has been in Philadelphia – I think it was a balmy 9* while we were gone, but with dropping temperatures outside and rising thermostats inside, it’s been so easy to see that my skin is the first to notice the changes in the winter air.

Fun Fact: Today is Winter Skin Relief Day!

Winter Skin Relief Day brings awareness to all the extra attention winter skin needs.  The dropping temperatures outside and rising thermostats inside sap the amount of moisture in the air, and our skin is first to notice. As winter kicks into high gear, Winter Skin Relief Day reminds us of all the ways we can protect our skin under the harshest elements.

It’s the perfect chance to rethink winter skincare routine by showing your skin a little extra TLC. I’m excited to share with you a few of my favorite CeraVe® products, which are perfect for taking care of your skin all winter long. CeraVe® does more than just moisturize the skin’s surface — it’s the first and only brand to offer a full line of products with patented MVE technology containing an exclusive combination of vital ceramides which I was excited to learn that all healthy skin needs.

Here’s a look at a few of my favorite things:

CeraVe® Healing Ointment { in a tube or a jar} / CeraVe® Skin Renewing Day Cream / CeraVe® Skin Renewing Night CreamCeraVe® Hydrating Facial Cleanser

I have been using these products for the past few weeks and I am in LOVE. I even took them with me on my recent trip – they were AMAZING and have totally saved my skin during these super cold days in Philadelphia. The CeraVe® Healing Ointment  is one of my favorites for sure, it comes with the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance™, and it has intense, long-lasting moisturization your skin craves during the winter time. I specifically love that it’s a non-greasy gentle formula, that temporarily protects and helps to relieve dry, chapped and chafed skin caused by the colder air. I have been using it on the boys when they start to get chapped and it clears them right up!

And I am happy to report that I finally found a cleanser that I seriously love for this season – the CeraVe® Hydrating Facial Cleanser hydrates and protects your skin while also containing hyaluronic acid to help retain skin’s natural moisture while removing dirt, oil and makeup. Not to mention it feels amazing when you use it, my skin feels SO CLEAN!

Can’t say enough good things about the Skin Renewing Day and Night Creams – I start every morning with the day cream because it has  Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen and it is designed to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles! I NEVER use a cream without SPF in it, so this was a great product for me to try – glad I did, because I love it! Before bed I always apply the CeraVe® Skin Renewing Night Cream, which also contains hyaluronic acid, ultimately helping reduce the look of tired skin and supporting skin elasticity.

This has been my first time using the CeraVe brand and I am completely blown away. I’m in my 30’s and am a mom of two boys – life is a little crazy and sometimes its hard to make time to take care of myself – but I’ve been stepping up my skincare game the last few years because its important to me! And I can honestly say that after a few weeks out in the cold, changing up my routine with CeraVe has made all the difference!

I’d love to know how you change up your skincare routine in the winter? What works for you to keep your skin healthy and protected during the cold winter season – please share!  

“This post has been sponsored by CeraVe®. All thoughts and reviews are my own.”

All About the New Year, New Stitch Fix + Waived Styling Fee

Oh Stitch Fix – you are my favorite way to start off 2018.

This month I’m super excited to partner with Stitch Fix. I’ve been working with the brand for years, I even got to visit their headquarters during our trip to San Francisco last year. I’ve been a fan and a customer since pretty much the beginning, and I LOVE sharing my Fixes with you on the blog.

Yesterday, I did a video unboxing of what I received in my latest Fix on my Facebook page. It was so much fun to share my reactions of the box with you – I will definitely be doing that again! Be sure to check it out if you missed it!

If you are new to the Stitch Fix scene, let me break it down for you – Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that learns what you like and makes it their mission to send you clothes you’ll love. They carry women’s sizes 0-24W and XS-3X, maternity and petite, and men’s sizes XS-XXL. There is something for everyone! 

With Stitch Fix there is no subscription required, you can get a Fix anytime you want. Either on-demand or on a regular cadence – every few weeks, once a month or every season. You pay $20 to have your Fix curated by a personal stylist, which applies towards anything you keep. If you keep all five pieces, you get a 25% discount on your entire purchase! Shipping and returns are always free and returns are super easy- Keep what you love, send back the rest with your pre-paid shipping bag at any USPS mailbox.

Like I said, I’ve been a fan for years – Here’s a look back at all of my Stitch Fixes since the beginning!

And if you are interested and want to try it out for yourself and #treatyoself in the new year, be sure to use this link to have your fee waived and try out Stitch Fix {it’s awesome} with no risk! 

Ok – now for the reveal of my latest fix! And don’t forget -> If you want to try Stitch Fix out for yourself, please use my referral link to sign up AND check out my Stitch Fix page to get caught up on all my previous Fixes! Message me with any questions you might have!

Here’s what I got in my latest Fix ->

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Le Lis Viv Embroidery Detail Pullover $58

First up is this floral embroidered pullover. When I pulled this out of the box it checked off a few of my favorite 1) Floral and 2) Grey. But once I had it on, I’m not sure it’s really my style at the moment. Not sure the embroidered trend is for me. BUT it was super soft. What do you think about this pullover?

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Pixley Keyana Knit Dress $64

Next up – this dress! How cute is it!? I love the eggplant purple, the fun sleeves and the length. It’s perfect for the cooler days when you still want to wear a dress. As you can see, I did my try on session during a snow day, so it was cold out – hence the pom hat and fur booties! This dress was still super cute – and I paired it with a vest also in the fix {see below} and I think it turned out to be a great outfit!

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Closet Ayisha Bell Sleeve Top $48

Another fun piece in this fix is this floral bell sleeved top! I LOVE how its pretty much the perfect floral for every single season. The navy, coral, mint green and soft yellow are perfect for any type of day. Its bright but muted at the same time – does that make sense? Ha! I’m into it, and the sleeve detail is super cute and makes the top even more fun.

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Madison & Lola Devyn Faux Fur Lined Faux Suede Vest $68

Faux Fur AND Faux Suede in one cute, navy vest?! Yes please! The fur is super soft on the inside and the suede is perfect for the season on the outside. I also love the silhouette of this as the vest is relaxed and casual. It’s a easy piece that I can definitely see myself wearing with so many things in my closet – another reason why I love Stitch Fix – you can try the pieces out with things you own and see what works for you!

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Pistola Audrey Moto Detail Skinny Pant $88

I am in LOVE with these pants. I love the green, I love the detail – I have to say, I’ve tried on these pants from other stores and these feel so good, I never want to take them off. And how cute are they paired with the navy vest and floral top? I love how everything that comes in the box is cohesive and able to be mixed and matched together – makes it easy and fun to play dress up!

Ok – seriously, that was one of my BEST Fixes – and a great way to start off 2018! I’m going to have a hard time deciding that to keep – but that’s the fun part, and you know I LOVE your help!  As always, I love your thoughts and opinions – would love to know your favorite piece {or two} from this Fix!

Take the poll and let me know! 

And don’t forget to use this link to have your fee waived and try out Stitch Fix {it’s awesome} with no risk! If you liked some of the pieces in this fix – you can totally request them!

What Should I Keep?

 
pollcode.com free polls

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If you want to try Stitch Fix out for yourself, please use my referral link to sign up!

Don’t forget to catch up on my past Fixes by checking out my Stitch Fix page, which I just updated in reverse order so you can easily find the more current Fixes!

And just incase you aren’t Stitch Fix obsessed {like I am, duh!} – here’s some information on how you can try Stitch Fix out for yourself – Feel free to let you know if you have any questions!

Stitch Fix Details:

  • Get hand selected pieces fit for your style, shape, and budget straight from a professionally trained stylist along with expert advice on how to wear the pieces in your day-to-day.
  • Add notes for your stylist about the details and life events that matter to you so that she can get to know and better serve you over time.
  • Add a request in your note and share your Pinterest board of your favorite looks so that your stylist can find you exactly what you’re looking for.
  • When checking out of every Fix, leave detailed feedback on each item helps so that your stylist can choose even better pieces for your next Fix.
  • Once you receive your Fix, you have three days to try on your pieces – keep only what you love, send back the rest in the prepaid shipping bag. You’ll only be charged for the items you keep & love once you checkout from your Fix.
  • Stitch Fix knows that fit matters so they work with brands to ensure each piece has exceptional fit, construction, and fabrics across every category from blouses to dresses, denim to outerwear, shoes, handbags, accessories, and more.
  • No matter your style, size or budget, because Stitch Fix has 1000+ brands, including the ones you know and love, new emerging brands and their own exclusive labels, they’ll meet all of your needs. 

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howitworks-11

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Bring on 2018 – Happy New Year!

It’s been a crazy few weeks this holiday season – I can’t believe it’s the new year already! BUT 2018 is already off to an amazing start. We pack up everything from this holiday season and tomorrow we hit the road for a few days in the most magical place – DISNEY!

The boys and I are kicking off 2018 with a magical bang and I am so excited {minus the 3:30am wake up call} but it will be so much fun to leave this 9* weather and head south for a little sun!

I’ll be in and out all week long, be sure to follow along on Instagram + Facebook for all the fun! And be on the lookout for a video recap of our trip, you know I’m packing my GoPro!

Now a question for YOU – any Disney Tips?! Please share!

Kid-Friendly Eats: Frozen Yogurt Fruit + Granola Bites

 It’s been a busy holiday season – full of lots of joy, cheer and tons of eating! We’ve been to and hosted so much fun this month – and we’ve got fun plans for this New Years weekend too. Since I’ve got two little babes, I always plan to bring a kid friendly dish or two anywhere we go.

Today I wanted to share with you a fun little snack I made for the kids that they loved over the past weekend.

Fun Fact: Did you know yogurt freezes?

Sure, I know all about frozen yogurt, but I had never really tried to freeze my regular yogurt before. I was doing a little research online and decided to try to make my own little frozen yogurt bites for the kids.

I took an old ice cube container, added in a bottom layer of granola {or in this case Qi’a Superfood Cocoa Coconut Superflakes – yum!}, then I topped that with my favorite organic Stonyfield Double Cream yogurt {but you can totally use any kind!} and then finished it off with various fruits – raspberries, blueberries and strawberries – oh my!

Freeze for a few hours or overnight and then pop them out when you are ready. They are a nice cool treat for the kids to enjoy – next time I might even add my own popsicle sticks to make them a little easier to eat with less mess, but they are still really good – not to mention my teething two year old LOVED the chilly, healthy snack.

I always have a jug of Stonyfield yogurt in my fridge, it’s a staple item for recipes of any kind! Not to mention its a great substitute for ingredients like oil, mayo, sour cream, butter and more. And now that Stonyfield has announced a sugar reduction across all of its yogurt products – which now have between 25-40% less sugar. Stonyfield’s kids’ yogurts have 2.25g to 3g of sugar per ounce compared to 4g of sugar per ounce in the leading kids’ yogurt – which is something I always look for when shopping for my kids, less sugar!

 Everything Stonyfield makes isn’t just delicious, it’s also made with certified organic and organic compliant ingredients. In a world full of choices, organic makes things simple because it’s always made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides , artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs.

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. All opinions are my own. 

Matching Holiday Pajamas {for the whole family – on sale!}

outfits: mine / boys 

I am a HUGE fan of holiday jammies – it’s something I look forward to every year. Our elf brings the family new pj’s for the season each year the first week of December – and I love not having Christmas pajamas, but holiday ones that we can wear the entire winter season.

I’m super into the green + navy plaid and these ones were perfect the moment I saw them. I love how they boys are in two pieces and I am basically in a onesie – it has a back flap, don’t worry – ha! But I have to say, it is surprisingly comfortable, not going to lie.

So, obviously this week is completely crazy between Christmas and New Years, but I wanted to pop on today with a quick post sharing our pjs because I love them so much and they are ON CLEARANCE – so you should seriously scoop up a pair for yourself and the little in your life {and your husband too if he’s into it!}

Now tell me – are you into matching family pajamas during the holiday season? 

VIDEO: Christmas in DC – Holiday Botanic Gardens Railway, ICE! at the Gaylord, Capitol Wheel & Zoo Lights

Hello! I can’t believe its already Christmas Eve! As you know if you follow along on Instagram or Facebook – the boys and I spent part of the past week in Washington, DC with my MIL visiting my SIL and BIL {mother, sister + brother-in-law} Brooks had off all week in school so we were looking for some fun things to do and it worked out that we could head South for a few days in DC. I am originally from Northern Virginia, about 15-20 minutes outside of DC so I am very familiar with the area, but haven’t been back much since having kids – so this was the perfect opportunity to head to the Nation’s Capitol and see the sights with the boys.

I made this video recap of our trip, you should check it out and let me know what you think!

Spoiler Alert: Graham went SCREAMING down the slide at ICE! at the Gaylord National and I caught it all on video – ha! Worth checking out my #momfail for that if nothing else!

So we got down to DC on Wednesday around lunch, since the boys had just spent 2.5-3 hours in the car, they were ready to go with no naps in sight. So we made our way to the National Mall to let them run around. Such beautiful weather for December, we loved being outside and walking all around.

From there we made our way to the U.S. Botanic Gardens to check out the holiday display and the new train exhibit. It was beautiful and not crowded at all – a great start to the trip and if you are in the area, be sure to swing by it! I definitely recommend it!

You would probably enjoy yourself even more without kids – ha! But they really liked seeing the trains, so I’m glad we stopped by!

After walking around the downtown area a bit more we made our way back to the Logan Circle area where we stayed. We hit up Radiator DC, inside the Mason + Rook hotel and it was great. Outside fire pits, heat lamps and games for the kids – not to mention happy hour for the adults. Win.

The next morning we woke up and headed over to see the ICE exhibit at the Gaylord National. I thought the boys would LOVE this, including a 2 story tall ice slide they got to ride. I think the 9 degree temperature got to them and it was too cold. Maybe that’s why kids 4 and under are free – since they can’t really hang in that temperature. Either way, glad we got to see it, would really recommend for older kids and watch the video for Graham having A Christmas Story moment with his “No Mommy Noooo” as he gets stuck on the slide!

The National Harbor area is beautiful and it was a gorgeous day to walk around and enjoy it. We made our way over to the Capitol Wheel and of course the boys wanted to ride it. I’m pretty afraid of heights, but I put my big girl pants on and got on the ride. It was 15 minutes of major anxiety for me. But the boys seemed to really like it and the views were spectacular since it was such a clear day.

If you are into that sort of things, its definitely something to check out if you are in the area.

Me, I was pretty much holding onto my boys for dear life.

After a busy morning the boys both fell asleep in the car as we made our way back to Logan Circle. After a duo of car naps, we then hit up a local ramen place which was fantastic.

The boys and I were big fans !

 

Then we made our way over to the Zoo  – because what trip to DC is complete during the holidays without hitting up Zoo Lights?! Again, this was so much fun with the kids – they rode snow-less tubes down the hill and had a blast. Check out the video to see the Brooks CAM of his ride!

Have you been to DC during the holidays?

What’s your favorite thing to see or do? I’d love to hear it! 

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