My Definition of Being Fit + Healthy....

 

If you were to ask my definition of being fit and healthy just a few years ago, my answer would have been super different. My "pre-baby" self would have neglected to touch upon being fit mentally and just how important that is to one's overall well being. I would have talked mostly about the physical aspects such as exercise, stamina, weight-training - but left out how critical it is to practice self-care. It's SO difficult to make time for myself without feeling mega-guilty, but in the past two years, I've realized that it's critical to survival. Dramatic? Not really. If I don't make time for myself, I get overwhelmed and feel a bit suffocated a.k.a. I end up freaking out and it's really not good for anyone ;) ...At first I thought there was something wrong with me, but then I realized that it's completely normal and all a part of life. Do I still think exercising is important? Sure I do, but my life has evolved and so staying mentally and emotionally "fit" is just as important to me. 

So...I'd say that my definition of being fit and healthy is really feeling like I have a sense of balance in my life; physically, mentally and emotionally. Taking time for myself, even though it's difficult, is definitely a big part of keeping me "fit" mentally and emotionally. Setting attainable fitness goals and getting to the gym at least three times a week helps me stay focused without feeling overwhelmed. I used to be REALLY hard on myself...I never took many days off from working out and held a pretty strict diet. Nowadays, it's just not feasible to get to the gym 6 days a week so I set my goal for three and that usually works out. I'm definitely more laid back when it comes to my diet ... mostly because I don't want London to be a stress ball when it comes to food (as I've been in the past, thanks for pageant life!) Plus, it's pretty freaking fun to stop at Starbucks for a treat with Lo, so I just do it. Life's to short to stress about eating a scone (or two!) ;) 

I wanted to share a few ways that I practice self-care. I wish these things happened more on a regular basis, but such is life. Things come up, kids get sick, demands are hight ... so you just roll with it and squeeze things in when you can, or if you're like me, when you feel like you're near the verge of a breakdown ;) ...Kidding (kind of). 

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1. Find a gym. If you don't feel like working out, go anyway. Sit in the whirlpool, take a nice long shower, do your makeup and just relax. Sometimes all you need is an hour to yourself to feel refreshed for the day! (I've linked my gym here for all of my Boston ladies!)

2. Book a massage. This is HEAVEN, am I right? Try to schedule this once a month. It's something to look forward too and trust me, your body will thank you!

3. Grab coffee with a girlfriend. Hit up your local coffee shop, secure a spot in the corner and gab away! It's really cheap therapy :)

4. Treat yourself to a mani/pedi. This is one I haven't done in awhile and I'm definitely due! It's so relaxing and somehow I feel like I've got all of my "ish" together when I have my nails done ;) 

5. Practice yoga. It's good for you; mind, body, and soul. Flow through this practice to soothing music and a calm atmosphere. Hello heaven!

What are some ways that you guys practice self care?

xx, Ashley 

Polka Dots...

 

My Outfit: Swimsuit: Asos (LOVE this one too!) Shorts: Free People (similar styles here and here) | Tote: Asos, only $23 (love this one too!) | Sunglasses: Ralph Lauren (similar style here) | Sandals: Vince Camuto, similar style here

Lolo's Swimsuit: Target

I loved rocking this swimsuit on our family vacation! I love the vintage feel that it has and the delicate ruffles on the shoulder...not to mention the low scoop back! When I found a matching polka dot swimmy for Lo I just had to get it! 

I'm sharing some more polka dot pieces below, because there's something so sweet and feminine about them! Happy shopping and thanks for stopping by! 

xx, Ashley

Easter...

 
Photo taken by my friend, Hailey (Isn't it adorable) 

Photo taken by my friend, Hailey (Isn't it adorable) 

My Outfit: Dress: Victoria Beckham for Target (only $35!) | Shoes: Steve Madden | Purse: Aldo, similar styles here and here


We had the most amazing Easter Sunday! To start, it was 85 degrees ... which always makes for a good day, but we also had such a fun time hosting family and playing outside with our girl. She was so excited to tear apart her Easter basket first thing in the morning and was most excited about her new children's bible and bubbles! Of course, I had to let her steal a Reese's peanut butter cup right away because, well, EASTER! We filled some eggs with yogurt bites and goldfish for a little egg hunt as well, which she loved! For dinner I made a pot roast in the crockpot with carrots and onions (you can find the recipe I used here) and for sides we had brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, apple cheddar biscuits, and deviled eggs! Dessert was a double-decker chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, which I added green food coloring too as "grass" so I could top the cake with mini cadbury eggs! Lolo thought it was pretty cute ;) Funny story ...  I tried to get a head start on dessert the night before so I baked the cake and then realized that I hadn't put the eggs in! #EasterFail

What did you guys make for dinner? We typically do ham, but broke away from that this year and it was pretty nice to stick a roast in the crockpot and forget about it for 10 hours! May have to make that a new tradition :) I wanted to share some photos from our day ... and also my dress which is only $35 from Target. It's from the new Victoria Beckham line ... she has designed so many cute pieces! I also loved this orange one-shoulder shift dress too, but ended up going with the pink because it matched London a little bit better :) I think it would make a great wedding guest dress too! You can shop it above but make sure to check out the photos from our day, below! 

xx,  Ashley 

Ruffles...

Happy Friday!

I'm so excited for Easter weekend with my little family! We are taking Lolo to see the Easter bunny tomorrow and I just can't wait. We have her basket all filled with some of her favorite goodies and plans to go to church on Sunday then host a delicious (hopefully) dinner with family at our apartment :) What is everyone doing this week? I would love to hear all of your Easter plans!

How sweet and feminine are these ruffle pieces? I love that this trend has totally taken over spring! I wanted to share some adorable dresses and tops with just the perfect amount of "ruffle!" I just bought this casual tee with a little ruffle detail that dresses it up! (It's only $15 too!) Happy shopping and thank you for stopping by! 

xx,  Ashley 

Statement Stripes...

 

HAPPY THURSDAY!

How's everybody's week going? It's been so beautiful and sunny the past few days and we are LOVING IT! I can't get enough of being outside with London and she loves exploring and collecting "all the things" a.k.a. rocks, sticks, and leaves. The 10-day forecast looks amazing and seems like we might have turned the corner on spring (FINALLY!) Do you guys have anything fun planned in the next few weeks? I love to hear everybody's spring activities!

Anyway, enough rambling and back to today's post ;) ...

I really into stripes right now and it's a good thing because they're super trendy this season! You can always count on J.Crew for classic striped pieces and their swimsuits are no different! I love the one-piece I'm wearing above which is modest, but also has a low plunge front to give it a little bit of an edge.

I found a few other striped one-pieces for you guys to check out and below those, I've linked some striped tops, dresses, shoes, and another swimsuit that I think are super cute for the warm months ahead!

Thanks for stopping by!

xx, Ashley

Shopbop Sale...

Sale alert!

Today through the 14th, is the "Event of the Season" sale for Shopbop! It's the perfect time to get stocked up on some new Spring and Summer gear! Also, use the code EVENT17 to get 25% off orders of $500 or more! I've rounded up some of my favorite sale items for you below so just click on the photo to shop! Thanks for stopping by!

<

xx, Ashley

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

Easter Style...

 

I can't believe Easter is just around the corner! First of all, I love everything that this holiday represents ... and it's just a little added bonus that we get to celebrate by dressing up in sweet pastel colors or decorating our homes with spring blooms! I've started shopping for Easter and of course, I mainly just want to match Lo with whatever I decide to wear. My mom bought her the sweetest little dress with a few different colors in it, so I'm looking for something solid! I've got my eye on this one ... because I love the Easter egg blue color, and this one for the lace detail! Bell sleeves are so elegant, especially on this dress - plus the blush color is perfect for Spring. 

You can shop a few more dresses, tops, and skirts that I'm loving below...

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.

Fit Friday: Squat Challenge...

 
Photo: Popsugar.com

Photo: Popsugar.com

 

I don't know about you, but with the warm weather creeping up on us I've been more motivated than ever to whip my body into swimsuit shape! We are actually in Florida right now, and while I don't feel totally where I want to be ("swimsuit body" wise), when I return to Boston there's still time to get there. I've been focusing on my legs and glutes more than anything else, and wanted to share a few "squat challenges" you could try if you're in the same mind frame as I am! 

Sometimes, a simple challenge like this can give you a little kick start and push you even further toward your goals. If you recruit a friend to accept the challenge with you, it could hold you accountable but may also be fun too! 

Popsugar posted a really good squat challenge that incorporates 5 different varieties of exercises. It's four weeks long and guarantees you'll notice a difference! *A few tips for you ... shift your weight back in your heels and wiggle your toes - this will target your butt and hamstrings. Also, by varying your stances (ex: sumo squats) you can better target your inner and outer thighs. If you want to make this even more challenging ... grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides or rest them on your shoulders. 

If you like this idea, but are looking to try it a different way, Healthworks posted their own squat challenge and you can find the details on that here

I hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by :) 

xx,  Ashley 

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

(BELATED) Birthday Getaway...

 

My sweet husband planned a little surprise getaway to Maine for my birthday last month and in true New England fashion, we had a blizzard that changed our plans. Thankfully, he was able to reschedule our stay at the Inn By The Sea in beautiful Cape Elizabeth. I had never stayed there before this weekend but had heard such amazing things about it. For my fellow Bostonians, it's only about 1.5 hours from the city, so it's the perfect little escape, even just for the night! 

Everything is done to perfection and there's great attention to detail. They offered us warm apple cider when we arrived and set up spa services for us as well as dinner reservations at their on-site restaurant, Sea Glass. The rooms were so spacious and lovely, as well. We had a beautiful fireplace with a view of the ocean. The shower was a beautiful walk-in with a dual vanity and complete with L'occitane bath products...LOVE! Chris booked a massage for me at the spa and it was AMAZING. The steam room and shower were available to use before or after my treatment, and let's just say, I never wanted to leave. The shower had 8 shower heads and you can adjust the temperature via touch screen. It took me a little while to figure out (I was dodging water from every direction, haha!) ...but once I did, it was amazing! 

Dinner was so yummy and the company was even better; it was so nice to spend some alone time together! We are usually rushing to eat or not even eating at all because we are so concerned with London - so it was nice to take our time and relax! (Although, all we could talk about was Lolo ;) We enjoyed breakfast there the next morning and felt refreshed even after just one evening away. There's something about being on the ocean (and in Maine) that instantly centers me. We love going home, and while we don't get to do it too often together anymore, it's so special when we can. 

Here are some photos from our little getaway! 

xx,  Ashley

Living an Active Life + Chicken Orzo Soup Recipe...

 
Photo credit: Kivalo Photography

Photo credit: Kivalo Photography

Happy Weekend! Can you guys believe we are over halfway through March already? Bring on spring! I am so ready for warmer weather and to spend more time outside with my baby girl!

You all know how much I like to hit the gym and work out. It makes me feel SO much better and gives me that good feeling energy to start the day out on the right foot! I think it's super important to find a home gym that motivates you and makes you feel comfortable and welcome! If you can find a workout buddy, even better! Before becoming a mom I used to have a lot more spare time to spend working out, so on days when I can't make it to the gym, I like to get creative.

There are a few small things you can do throughout your day to make a little difference...

Take the stairs. At my gym, I have to go up three flights of stairs just to get to the workout floor. I am ALWAYS tempted to hit up the elevator, but I just tell myself that it's my "warm-up." :) Park in the spot furthest away. I know, I know...what a hassle right? Parking lots can be GINORMOUS, but make a conscious effort to park far from the front door. It's something simple that can burn a few extra calories. Grab a girlfriend a.k.a accountability partner. Recruit a friend and motivate each other to do something active like a walk or hike. Lolo and I are officially "mall walkers" nowadays :) During the cold winter months, we head to the mall and I let Lo run around for an hour or so to burn off some energy. Chasing her is a great workout! If you need a little boost to get your butt into gear, sometimes making a new "activewear" purchase is all it takes. I always feel better when I've got some cute gear to rock to the gym or on an errand! Check out some of my favorite athleisure / activewear picks here

I've also gotten a few questions about the chicken + orzo soup that I put on my Instagram story, so I wanted to share it with you all. It's SO incredibly easy. Anytime I can use my slow cooker, I'm a happy girl! I think you'll enjoy it, so give it a try! 

EASY Chicken + Orzo Crockpot Soup

Photo cred: Delish.com

Photo cred: Delish.com

  • 1 - 1.5 lbs chicken (I used boneless tenders)
  • 64 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 package frozen peas + carrots
  • 1.5 tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • garlic to taste
  • 2 cups dried orzo

Directions: 

Add the chicken, broth, onion, peas + carrots (and any other veggies you'd like to use) to the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours (I did 3.5hrs). Stir in the orzo for the last 45 minutes - 1 hour. ENJOY! 

xx,  Ashley 

Feature: Sugar Shacks Teepees...

 

Playing "hide and seek," building forts with blankets and pillows, reading books, and having tea parties ... These are a few of London's favorite things! When she was about 18 months, we went to a friends house and they happened to have a teepee that Lolo discovered and NEVER came out of. She was obsessed, so I knew we just had to get her one of her own. When I started to research "play teepees" online and on Instagram, I came across the most BEAUTIFUL designs from Sugar Shacks Teepees and instantly fell in love! They're so delicate and detailed + I also loved that they were neutral to fit into any space in the house! Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love lace - so that was a large reason why we chose the Isabella Teepee! It's just so gorgeous and sweet. 

It took us about 60 seconds to put the teepee up (so easy!) and we couldn't wait to decorate it! Sugar Shacks also sells these adorable flower toppers which add a little something extra to the top of your teepee. You can see mine in the photos above and below - the pink floral garland :) We also added our own pillows and a blanket to make it extra cozy. (You can shop Sugar Shack's teepee mat here!) London loves her new little space ... I think she feels like it's her special spot. She brings all of her stuffed animals inside and reads to them, or even her tea set so she can have tea parties. It's really adorable to watch. She uses it so often, that the teepee is in our family room, but I don't mind because it's so gorgeous that it only adds to the room! 

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You can shop for your own Sugar Shacks Teepee here and make sure to check them out on Instagram! Thanks for stopping by! 

xx,  Ashley 

Denim Under $100...

BOYFRIEND

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5


BLACK

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5


TREND: RAW HEM

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5


SKINNY

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5


WHITE

1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend! We skipped up to Maine for a little (belated) birthday surprise, which I'll be sharing later in the week! It was lovely to get away, even just for a night!

I'm sharing some of my favorite jeans today. I love the "raw hem" trend that's everywhere now, so I added some cute pairs above as well! You can shop them by clicking on the designated number under each graphic. Enjoy and thank you for stopping by! 

xx,  Ashley 

Checkered Shirtdress...

 

My Outfit: Dress: Max Studio, similar here and here | Booties: Report, similar styles here and here | Sunglasses: Joe's, similar here | Clutch: H&M, similar here and here (both under $25!)| Hat: Gap, love this one (only $31!) | Lip color: Sephora Lip Stain in "Flame Red" (under $14!)

We are totally snowed in (right after I thought I was in the clear to do a "Spring Style" post!) I'm not going to lie, our trip to Florida can't come soon enough! I am SO over the cold and shoveling our driveway ... not to mention just being stuck inside with a 20-month old! Can you say stir-crazy?! Ahhh! Do you guys have any indoor activity ideas that I can try with London this week?

In other news, I love shirtdresses :) Actually, you already knew that too (if you've been following along!) They're just so cute + comfy, and obviously I'm all about that! The one pictured is old but I've linked a few similar and a few more below for you to shop as well! I LOVE these booties too (I found a similar pair under $65!) ... they're so cute and perfect to pair with a dress like this or with a pair of boyfriend jeans

Shop this look below! Thanks for stopping by! 

xx,  Ashley 

*All photos courtesy of Kivalo Photography

8 Tips For Flying with a Toddler...

 
Lolo asleep on our flight from Charleston...

Lolo asleep on our flight from Charleston...

(Disclaimer: Mamas, please know, I do NOT consider myself an expert on traveling with kids, and I know, I only have one child - but I simply wanted to share some things that helped us along the way in hopes that they can in turn help you!)

Airplane or no airplane, traveling in general is very stressful. It feels like you literally have to pack your entire house up even for just one overnight and if you're going away for multiple nights, forget it, you should probably pack your life away! Sometimes it seems easier to just stay home. I know for me personally, I am always happy to have a change of scenery though, and yes, while it is stressful - I'm super excited once we reach our final destination! London and I are very used to road trips. We have been road warriors since she was just two weeks old when her Daddy would go on work trips and we'd head three hours north to Maine. Flying, however, we've done much less of. Lo has been on five flights in her short lifetime, but all have been actually quite smooth and (dare I say) FUN! I am definitely a "plan ahead," type-A mom, so I did my research before her first flight + since it was a success, have followed the same sort of "protocol" in preparation for each trip.

Here are a few of my top tips for flying with a toddler. If have a young baby, I shared a few helpful hints on that last year, here

1. Book non-stop. Even if you have to pay a little extra ... it's a small price to keep your sanity! Once you're on the plane and settled in with all of the 'ish' that you brought, the last thing you want to do is MOVE. Trust me on this one, if you can swing it, it's worth it!

2. Make sure one of your seats is an aisle seat. This is super important. If you're flying solo, just go ahead and book the aisle seat because you definitely don't want to feel trapped by the window or like you can't get up and down as needed! I walked the aisles for basically the entire three hour flight to Florida last year and while it was exhausting, London was happy and most importantly, quiet! 

3. Plan your flight during nap time. We do this as best we can and when we have flown during London's nap, it has worked out well for us. As soon as the "fasten seatbelt light" goes off I walk the aisle with her and rock her to sleep. Just recently, she slept the entire two hours from Charleston. Also, I think the hum of the plane's engine kept her asleep longer! Score!

4. Bring all of their favorite snacks...and I mean ALL of them. If you want to know the way to a toddler's heart, it's with yummy snacks! Here's a list of what I brought on our recent trip: Raisins, goldfish, grapes, Ritz crackers, applesauce, graham crackers, and string cheese. Thank goodness I have the world's best diaper bag from Skip Hop that has a million compartments, all of which were used on this trip! (I love their backpack too!) 

5. Download your kids favorite show and/or movie. My rule for traveling is: THERE ARE NO RULES. Whatever keeps them happy or satisfied (as long as it isn't harmful) is basically fair game. The iPad was my best friend on our flight from Boston! It ended up taking longer than expected, so the fact that we had Frozen and Mickey Mouse ready to go really kept Lolo happy and me, sane! If you need children's headphones, Amazon sells some really cute ones for kiddos! 

6. Buy a small new toy or book for the trip. I recommend waiting to show them their "surprise" until you're on the plane. We bought Lo a Frozen microphone that plays the songs from the movie, and she loved it! It was perfect because it was small and easy to pack. Any book with flaps is a good idea and if you can find one with a lot of pages, even better! Karen Katz books are always a hit; we love this one and my mom bought this one along on our latest trip.

7. Have a sippy cup or chewy snack ready for take-off/landing. I was really worried about the altitude and how it would effect London's ears, but she seemed fine. I gave her raisins, which I figured is the next best thing to gum and she went to town ;) I also had her sippy cup filled with apple juice, which is a treat for her. 

8. Bring a stroller for the airport and check it at the gate. I don't think we could have survived without our stroller; this is really a must! We love our Graco Fold Jogger because it has a big compartment underneath to hold all of our stuff - but if you're looking for a smaller one that may be better suited for travel, I've heard great things about the Quinny Moodd stroller and the BABYZEN YOYO+ stroller as well! The BABYZEN YOYO+ is just 13 pounds, easy to fold up and carry with ONE hand. We are traveling to Disney World in a few weeks, and I think we're going to bring this one along! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

xx,  Ashley