Feb 10, 2016

Packing for San Diego

I am so excited to get out of Utah and into warmer weather for a week and I've been thinking about what I need to make sure I bring from past vacations- so I thought I would share if any of you are taking a trip soon.  

Parents of little kids know you never go on a long road trip without this ;)  Another thing I do for long car travel is stop by the Dollar Tree before we leave and spend about $20 on toys and other things to keep the kids entertained in the car.

Ever since I reviewed this stroller last summer I have reached for it over the other 2 strollers I have every time I've gone somewhere with one.  I have even used this stroller jogging a few times.

3. Portable Phone Charger
These always come in handy and especially on vacations where your phone is being used more as a camera and video recorder.  When it is THAT important for me to have my phone for this purpose I ALWAYS want to make sure to bring backup battery.  This THINO charger is in production phase and looks amazing- can't wait to get my hands on one.

4. Healthy Snacks
I definitely don't want to ruin my healthy eating resolutions with a vacation, so to do this I HAVE to make sure I stock up on healthy snacks before we leave.  We always bring a cooler when we travel- takes up a little space but totally worth it!  I'll share more about what I've been doing for my health and fitness in a later post because I have been loving my regime! 

5. My Faux Birkenstocks
These sandals I bought last summer have been amazing for my feet!  I absolutely can't wait to pull them out of hibernation for a week!!!

I'll share more on the trip and how I got some amazing deals later on the blog!  Hope you all get a little break from winter somehow- I know personally this winter has been dragging! :(

Feb 3, 2016

5 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Wow this winter has SUCKED in Utah.  I DO NOT like this much snow.  It's pretty and fun for the first 2 months, then it just gets REALLY old.  If you can't tell this winter has been difficult for me- not just because of bad weather but because I haven't felt great.  The last month has been a time of trying some new things to help with the tiredness, boredom, sickness, etc.  I think I have found some great tips that can help beat those winter blues:

1. Vitamin D

This has to be the thing I've done that has made the BIGGEST difference for me.  I went to the doctor because I had gained 5-10 lbs and every day at 2pm I was SO tired I had to just lay in bed because I felt like I couldn't do anything else.  My doctor found my vitamin D levels to be pretty low and suggested me taking a supplement.  I have noticed a HUGE difference and I think it mostly has to do with the Vitamin D, along with a little more/different exercise I have added to my daily regime.

A FUN way to get the Vitamin D you need is through these Adora chocolates.

2. Make Plans

I have found that if I schedule a date night for me and Trey, I look forward to it all month- it makes dealing with daily annoyances (aka children) easier ;)  Another thing we like to schedule is movie night with the whole family (and sometimes just me and Trey.) When we make one night a week movie night the whole family its an opportunity to snuggle, get warm, relax, and only costs the price of a redbox and doesn't cost you any calories too.  The kids LOVE movie night and get excited for it days before.  Even better- make movie night plans with your family and friends or just get together for dinner with all of them for a fun night.  For me having all my favorite people around = happiness.

4. Exercise

This is something I love to be consistent about doing, but can hit a plateau on so easily.  Lately I have been adding more sprinting into my treadmill runs. along with weight lifting/circuit training and it has made a lot of difference in my energy.  I also do 2 workouts a day on the days my husband works late so I can get caught up on my shows and not feel guilty about being lazy ;)

Our Disneyland trip from last year was SO fun and made the winter so much shorter- getting outside also helps my mood, but not so much when its 20 degrees, which is why a warm winter escape is so amazing and rejuvenating. 

5. Plan/Go on a Vacation

Vacations don't have to be really expensive or extravagant and can make a WORLD of difference in breaking up the long months of winter.  Anytime we have company come or go to visit a friend or family I look forward to it all month.  And, anytime we plan a really fun trip to CA or somewhere else warm in the middle of winter I look forward to it for months!  I am planning on a post talking about how I get the best deals on traveling soon- I will link that here as soon as I do!  Basically, I like to save up money from Christmas and part of tax returns to go on a trip in Jan-March and it works out pretty well.  Even just planning a trip gets me excited and helps beat those long weeks of winter.

I hope you are all finding joy in the little things and not letting the winter blues get to you!

More tips for dealing with winter here:

Jan 8, 2016

5 Ways to Make Winter Easier with Kids

It is SO much harder to get out in the winter.  Especially with kids and ESPECIALLY with snow.  I have plenty of both...so here are a couple tips to help you get out and stay away from cabin fever!

1. Buy Memberships and Outings for Christmas Presents

I will admit I have not done this myself yet, but I have many friends that buy memberships to local spots that their kids love.  Some examples include the zoo, aquarium, Thanksgiving Point, Discovery Pass, Pass of all Passes, etc.  You get the idea.  A lot of times you can find similar passes and deals on Groupon, Living Social or Amazon Local Deals.  KSL has some too for those in Utah.

These make great gifts for Christmas and you don't have to store them in the toy bin ;)  I gifted Allie a Groupon Manicure this year and girl's day out and I think it may have been her favorite present!

2. Play in the bad weather!

This is the first year having lots of snow that my kids are finally old enough to go out and play in the snow without me having to be with them!  It is so good for them (and me) to get out in the snow and play!  I have always been the type to make things easier on myself and stay inside in bad weather, but I am learning to enjoy it more and there are ways to help with that too- which leads to the next tips...

3. Have the right gear

When it comes to winter weather it makes a night and day difference to have the right clothing!  I am obsessed with these Stride Rite snow boots "Snoots" Macsen uses currently.  They keep his feet toasty warm and dry, are easier than others for him to walk in (hence the sneaker-boot combo), and they fold down which makes them 100x easier to put on.  If any of you have a foot-finicky kids like I do (very particular about socks, shoes, and very sensitive to anything being not perfect) you know how big of a deal this is haha!

I also just bought myself a cute pair of rain boots this year and they make a world of difference in the dirty, wet snow when I am running errands!  Another thing I just bought with my Christmas money was a fleece shell for inside my coats and that has made being outside SO much easier for me!

4. Keep blankets in the car

Half the issue for me of getting out in the winter is the COLD!  If I am running errands or driving to somewhere indoors I don't want to wear all my heavy winter clothes- and especially dress the kids in theirs, not to mention it is less safe to put them in their car-seats with a heavy coat.  SOOO, blankets are the answer for me!  I love the lightweight fleece ones that are still very warm and easy to wash (they will get dirtier easier with kids shoes and such from having them in the car)  If you park your car outdoors you could also start it a few minutes before leaving, or you can pull it out of the garage and start it.  Make sure you don't run it in the garage though ;)

5. Hand Sanitizer

Besides the cold, the other biggest problem holding me back from getting out a lot is all the GERMS! I am a little paranoid so I like to keep hand sanitizer in the car, my purse, and anywhere else I can use it at any time I need it! Besides keeping your hands germ-free there isn't much else you can do to control getting sick in the winter. Just accept that you will get sick and be okay with it, or you will spend way too much time and energy stressing and worrying. And stay home when you are sick and 24 hours after having a flu bug for goodness sakes!  ;)

Now go get out there and have some fun with your kids!