We are headed for another camping trip to Yosemite National Park!! Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we are so lucky to be able to visit each year since our first time in 2015. That first trip is when we decided to get ready to hike Half Dome!! And 7 months later we found ourselves at the top!! Now we get to take Ashlyn for her 2nd trip to the park & we dream about the day she will be able to hike to the top of Half Dome with us!!
We are so excited to get started on our next journey!! Let me share with you all about how it our love for Yosemite National Park began, with our hike to the top of Half Dome! Then, in case anyone is thinking about heading to the park or has had trouble getting in, i'll give some pointers & advice to help you have an adventure of your own!
For us, it all started in Feb 2015, when we took our first drive through the park. It was a spur of the moment day trip with our good friends! The road in (hwy 41) is...lets just say, not that great if you have a fear of heights like me! lol! But the views were incredible! Then we drove through the Tuolomne Meadows Tunnel and came out to the view of the valley. El Capitan! Rainbow Falls! Half Dome! It took my breath away! We had so much fun exploring the valley that entire day but we couldn't stop staring at the incredible site of Half Dome. Its so unique and towering above you in the sky! My husband said " we are going to hike that!". Yeah right!!! But he was serious and went straight home to do his research and started planning our trip right then and there! And I lost my first nights sleep worrying about everything that could go wrong! lol
But, we did it!! With 2 other couples, including the one that took us in the first place! We trained and planned and 7 months later found ourselves sitting at the top of half dome!! And I have to say, i am terrified of heights but I was never once scared while climbing the cables! (Sub-dome is a totally different story though...yikes!!!) (If you are thinking about doing the hike, comment or send me a message if you have any questions!!)
After this trip we've gone back one other time, for Ashlyn's first birthday. We stayed at one of the lodges in the Valley (we didn't have our motorhome yet). That was a nice trip but it was late in the season so almost everything was closed. So we are so EXCITED to camp this time and enjoy all of the shops, museums & restaurants!! But I'll tell ya it was no easy feat to get a camping site!
Here's the lowdown on getting a camping site:
I can't wait to share with you all about our trip! This time we are doing some real camping (none of this fancy "water & electricity hook ups" kinda camping)! So, I will try to update you throughout the trip but internet will be spotty. SO if you don't hear from me in awhile, i'll be back in a few days!
Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! But when did Fall get here?? I swear it was Summer on Friday!! But yesterday was full blown jeans, cool weather & the day-light definitely seemed shorter! Yikes! That happened so fast! Speaking of...
We have been going a hundred miles an hour lately with summertime travel & working on the blog! I was letting Ashlyn play in her pool one afternoon in this Super Adorable bikini we got her on her first trip to Hawaii @ The Growing Keiki in Haleiwa, North Shore, HI. While she was playing, I was searching through old photos to use in a blog post (thats still in progress!lol). I saw this picture of her wearing it on that first trip & I couldn't believe how much she's grown up since then! I mean, where did that baby booty come from?? And how long is her hair going to get if it keeps growing like this?
It reminded me to stop and enjoy all these fun times we are having this year! We've gotten to spend so much time together that I don't realize how much she's growing up & how many "firsts" she's getting through! I thought about the little coo-ing sounds that turned in to babbles that are now clear words. And about her little feet that used to fit in the tiniest shoes & are now size 6!! And about how excited we were when she crawled for the first time, then stood for the first time, then took her first steps and now we are chasing her as she runs "fast"!
And now I am realizing that she is making that full blown transition from baby to toddler to kid. Yep, kid. Where did the baby go? Is there any "baby" still left in her? Or has she made the full transition? She recently weaned off her bottles completely, she's starting to get ready to potty train & we are already looking at a toddler bed for her (I'd love some recommendations in comments below!!)! Yikes!! I have not been paying attention to how much is changing! Once that bed arrives, the baby is officially a kid! And its coming. Its coming so fast!!
So, I am going to make sure that I enjoy each of these new steps because I know they will come and go in a heartbeat!! But I am so excited for them! I LOVE watching her grow up & seeing her little thoughts evolve right before my eyes! I love all of those things that are coming for her! And I love that I get to experience them with her!
It's time to talk about wine!!! Yay!! I'm going to talk about some of my favorite spots to visit when we travel to the Los Olivos/Buelton/Solvang area. We didn't get to visit all of them on this trip but I'm still going to share all of them with you! CHEERS!
Here are some of the absolute MUST HAVES that we use when camping! I've provided links below to items you can buy online!! Others are just fun things we've found along the way!
I love to decorate the campsite with fun signs in the windows & outside! The sign we put in the front window was found at the cutest little boutique in Los Olivos!! We literally bought it out of their window!! lol Then I ALWAYS bring fresh flowers with us! It's so nice to sit down with coffee and those gorgeous flowers!!
YETI gear must haves!!! Both of the coffee cups shown above are Yeti Brand. The "O" one is from their custom collegiate collection (say that 3 times fast!!). Yep, I'm a HUGE Oregon Duck Fan!!! The turquoise one on the right is my favorite! Its so big so that means less travel to the coffee pot for refills! lol And they make awesome gifts-we got these as a gift from my husbands parents! A little RV-warming gift!
And no camping trip is ever complete without a YETI cooler!!! This bag is so nice! It is awesome for keeping things cold when we go to the pool or for a picnic but its also nice to carry with us when we go wine tasting in the summertime. It gets way to hot in the car to leave the bottles we buy to keep them cool!! The added bonus is that we use this bag as a carry-on when we fly to Hawaii so we can use it to take lunch & drinks to the beach!! It's fantastic!!!
We were walking around a campground a few months ago and saw that shade screen (see photo above). We don't know how we got away without it! It creates a little privacy, blocks the direct sun & even helps when it gets a little breezy! Now, every time we use it people come by to ask about it! It is truly a MUST HAVE!!! And it's super easy to install each time (after a few "trial & error" issues we had since it doesn't come with great instructions! lol)
Lets talk about that wagon!!! I almost didn't get it but Im so glad I did! It was one of the best things we got when we stocked up the RV! Its ridiculous how much stuff you have to bring with you when you go to the pool with a toddler!! But it has also worked fantastically as a cart for our elderly pup to ride along with us on long walks! Plus, did I mention its on sale, like REALLY ON SALE on amazon right now!!!! Im thinking about getting another one for home to take with me when I go grocery shipping (since we usually walk to the store)!
Last but definitely not least, COOKING GEAR!!!! How awesome is this grill!!!! Its so nice because there are 3 burners so I can cook a HUGE meal if I need to, but it collapses down so its so small!! It hardly takes up any space for storage!!! We added the griddle plate and have never looked back!! You can cook anything in this thing!! We even want one for the house!!
And the DUTCH OVEN!!!! I was so excited to get one and start using it! I LOVE cooking with it! It reminds me of my grandmother when I was little. I always remember her making fresh biscuits in hers! They are SO YUMMY!!!!! I highly recommend you try it! Even if you don't camp, they are so nice to use in the oven.
I hope you find something to take with you on your next camping trip, picnic or other outdoor adventure!!!
Thank you all for being so patient with me while I took some family time!! But I am super excited to share with you all about our trip! Today I'm going to post a lot of what we did with a toddler in a RV for a week!
I am telling you, this $3 coloring book from Target was a life saver!! She colored with it anytime we needed to get stuff done in the campsite-cooking dinner, getting ready to go to the pool, etc... And the pages are so big I rarely had to worry about her coloring off the pages.
Ashlyn absolutely got a HUGE kick out of walking her dogs everyday. She was so proud of herself! We did this several times a day & got to meet so many new friends! And anytime she had a change to go kick the soccer ball or ride her scooter she was a SUPER HAPPY CAMPER!! The scooter she has is so great! Super easy for the little ones to ride! (Ive provided a link below-they come in SO MANY COLORS!!)
Any chance to play in the dirt was well spent! lol Digging, dumping, driving her truck! (I'll be doing laundry for weeks but its all worth it!!) And she always finds time to stop and smell the flowers (she's actually kissing this flower! lol) The RV park we were staying at has so many fun activities for kids & us too! She got her face painted for the first time (I can't believe she sat still!) and got to dance at her first concert in the park!
And Swimming! Lots, and lots of swimming!! lol
Get her swim vest here
She loves to be super active but we also take her to a lot of restaurants & wineries and she absolutely has a blast! (more on my fav spots in the next post) She loves meeting new people & exploring new places and knows that she has certain boundaries & has to behave a certain way there. She does a fantastic job so we get to take her with us almost everywhere!
I have had a few questions asked about what kind of snacks I bring for her. She loves apples & blueberries so I always have those on hand! But, its hard to keep them for a full week so I bring the pears in a jar from Trader Joes so she still gets her fruit for breakfast toward the end of the week. And I always bring her SeaSnax & Sweet Potato crackers (also from Trader Joes) in case we need a little snack between meals. This time I made these yummy little muffins before we left. They were so nice to have on hand!
TODDLER OATMEAL BREAKFAST CUPS
Otherwise, she eats the same thing we eat for the big meals! (Ill also be sharing some of my favorite recipes from this trip tomorrow)!
I've also been getting questions on where she sleeps in the motorhome. We have a nice big King size bed in our RV so when we're on the road she sleeps with us! Its a nice treat for all of us! She is such a huge snuggler!! I actually miss her once we get home and she goes back to her own bed!
I try not to bring too many toys for her because otherwise I'd be packing suitcases of her favorite toys! And I know whatever I bring is going to get dirty so I limit some for that. But I do pack some for her to have just inside the RV. I got a cute little canvas basket and she can fill it and thats it! Her outside toys usually stay in the RV. She has soccer balls, footballs, trucks, buckets and shovels! I love watching her explore in the dirt! She digs and fills her trucks with dirt, then usually gets distracted by a curious bird and wants to try to hug it! lol
Hi everyone!! We are finally here and all settled in for our first full day of vacation! But it took A LOT to get us here! I always think I have everything organized (in my head of course) so it won't take much to get us all packed up. yeah right! hahahaha!!!!! There is always so much to do! I'll share some of my packing hacks that actually have worked for us (and save you the millions of fails!lol)
FIRST: Pack For Ashlyn
I start by paying out everything that I want to take for her. Pajamas, lots of t-shirts & shorts, a couple of play dresses, swim suits, diapers, socks & a couple of "going into town" outfits. I know she's going to be playing in the dirt & getting super dirty so I have to find that balance between enough clothing and bringing every single thing she owns! And the swimming suits are my weak spot. I love them all!! Truly she only needs maybe 2-3 but I pack all 6. I mean, ya never know what suit you'll be in the mood for, right!
In next step, Ashlyn comes through and destroys each pile one by one and runs around with things on hangers (see middle pic). lol. so much for that! hahaha So now I just have a mess of clothes that need to be re-folded & organized!
After chasing her around with each item of clothing, I arrange them in these perfect little bins I got a Target for $.99 each!!!! TARGET FOR THE WIN!!! They are just the right size to hold all of her things & they stack so nicely in the RV!
I was so in love with these Target boxes that I also use them in the kitchen to pack her snacks & pouches. It saves me so much room since we have such limited storage space! They also work nicely for spices & condiments! And did I mention they are only $.99 each!!!!!
I don't know about you mommas but when my daughter arrived I was clueless about diapers! I mean, I knew how to change one but I never had to chose a brand/fit/stlye! (and I thought I was going to cloth diaper....for like 2 seconds! lol).
At my baby shower I was given a bunch of different brands so I could try them all and see what worked for us :) We tried Honest Company, Bambo Nature, Seventh Generation, Pampers & Babyganics.
We quickly fell in love with the Babyganics line (diapers & wipes). They fit really well, didn't sag & she NEVER, I mean NEVER ONCE EVER had a blowout or a middle of the night leak! Thank you BABYGANICS!!!! The only downside was that they were more expensive than brands like Pampers, Huggies or some of the stores generic brands.
That was until I discovered that AMAZON has a subscription service!! WHAAATTTT!!!!!! I can have them delivered to my house each month AND save money! WIN-WIN!! Then I added wipes to the subscription and got an even bigger discount. And I can choose to have them delivered every other month since we don't need them monthly.
I started looking through some of the other things we regularly buy like-healthy snacks (Seasnax), Natures Gate Natural toothpaste, Burt's Bees Lavender lotion, etc... They are also available as a subscription AND the more I added the bigger and bigger the discounts got!
Follow the links below to some of my favorite Subscribe & Save items & try it out!!
How a super cute button down summer dress became my beloved house dress!
We have been pretty cooped up here lately with a combination of heat and all the smoke in the air from the CA wildfires. And I am running out of fun things to entertain a toddler with. I'd love to hear any ideas you have! Share in comments! Lets chat!
In the meantime, here is my house dress story :)
I am so OVER wearing leggings every day! Don't get me wrong, I still wear them occasionally but I got so out of control they were all I wore for the first year after my daughter was born! i wore them at home, on walks, shopping & even "dressed up" for dinner. OUT-OF-CONTROL! So a few months ago I started to look for things to wear around the house that weren't leggings or sweat pants! I realized that if I eliminated those, and jeans (because, well, too hot!), my options boiled down to....dresses. Im totally ok with that because I love a good dress!!
So one day as I was scrolling through my instagram feed, I saw this dress. It was so cute & was just what I was looking for!! But, it was from a company that I didn't recognize and did not pass the Trust Pilot check (I always check trust pilot on instagram ads!!!). So I just kept scrolling. But then I realized that I NEEDED to find a reputable source that sold this dress. I WANTED THAT DRESS! So I searched and searched everywhere!!!
No joke, it took forever but....... I finally FOUND IT!!! I was sitting in the chair getting my hair done, telling my AMAZING hairdresser my dress story, when it just magically appeared on my screen. (well, magically through my amazon account! lol). I instantly bought it & left the salon SO HAPPY!! Amazing hair! Dress on the way! It was a good day!
Then it occurred to me. I just bought a house dress. That is where I am in life. And I'm perfectly ok with that! lol!!
GET YOURS HERE!!!!
How much do your little ones LOVE these snacks?!?!?!!! Ashlyn can't get enough of them! And they are so nutritious!
In the picture she is eating the little sheets, but they also make little seaweed "crackers" with rice flour.
I have been really excited that she loves these so much because she started going through a cracker snack phase. I don't mind giving crackers to her occasionally but I don't like it everyday. But I have NO problem letting her crunch away on these little snacks!
Although these are super nutritious I also wanted to make sure that she didn't get too much of a good thing. And since I'm no nutrition expert, here is what Bon Apetite has to say about it:
"True, seaweed is good for kids: It has lots of Vitamins A, B, and C; is high in iron, calcium, and magnesium; contains anti-inflammatory properties; and packs protein, fiber, and EPAs into each bite. (There are some scary factsabout iodine consumption and hyperthyroidism, so definitely keep the habit under a pack a day.)" Continue Reading...
YAY!!!!! She only consumes a healthy amount every other day or so so I feel so great about giving these to her!!!
And they are ON SALE HERE:
I've been seriously feeling the spaghetti strap summer dress recently! This Free People dress accomplishes that AND its super fun & flirty! ...Now i just need to plan date night with my guy!
This was another incredible find from my liketoknowit app! I found it from following The Salty Blonde (seriously, go follow her!! She's amazing!! ) And if you're not using the liketoknowit app read below and Ill tell you all about it :)
I had so much fun wearing this Free People dress & got SO many compliments! I'm 5'9 and got a size M-they recommend to order a size up because it runs small (but I found that it adjust really well, especially as I've lost weight! and my body has changed)!
I love that it covers the top without falling open! And i've always been worried that all it would take is a slight breeze to send a dress like this up over my head, but that is not the case here! it is designed so well that never happens! It covers really really well! I LOVE THAT!!
Check out the link below to get one for yourself!
Free People: All My Love Wrap Slip Dress
I LOVE THIS APP!!!! its so great you guys! You chose and follow influencers from instagram (or search on the liketoknowit app) and shop directly from the photos!! I love it because you get to see what clothes look like in reality, on real people! I have not been disappointed with any of my purchases through the app!!!!