Monday, December 22, 2014

A Weekend in Los Angeles

Last weekend Hank, the boys and I headed out to Los Angeles for a fun family weekend. When we returned home that Sunday it felt like a whirlwind- it was a jam-packed four days, but as busy as it was, it was so much fun!

We flew out of our small local airport into LAX on Thursday evening. It's a quick one-hour flight, so it's not bad for the kids, although it can be very bumpy at times. This time we got Charlie his own seat so we could have him in his carseat while flying, and it worked out well. I get nervous about the turbulence and him not being strapped in safely since its a small place, so it made me feel better to have him secured. We use the Orbit Baby toddler carseat and it's very easy to use on a plane- you just pop on the side rails and it quickly can be used right in the airplane seat (and then later rear-facing in your rental car if need be). Because we travel a lot, and especially by car, Charlie is very used to his carseat so flying for an hour in it was no thing. The carseat also clicks right into the stroller base so that's how we do it- check Henry's seat at the ticket counter, gatecheck the stroller, and carry Charlie's seat on the plane.

The next few days were full of a lot- I worked in the Ergobaby office on Friday while it rained and rained and rained. Hank kept the kids busy, and when I got back to the hotel we headed over to the Farmer's Market at The Grove for dinner and our favorite treat, Pinkberry. The next morning we hiked around Griffith Observatory and we all absolutely loved it. It was our first time there and not only was the post-rain view breathtaking, there were so many great hiking paths we could all enjoy. I definitely recommend adding this to your "must-see" list if you plan on visiting L.A., with or without kids.

Later in the day was Crafting Community's Handmade Holiday event at the Lombardi House, and we spent a couple of hours hanging with friends, enjoying delicious treats, and crafting (of course!). It was a really special day, and my first experience with Crafting Community. It's hard to capture the entire afternoon in a paragraph, but I was so impressed with every bit of the event. There was something for everyone, and Henry and I had the best time making and creating gifts for the people we love. Crafting Community's mission is to create experiences where families can play, grow and be together...and we did just that! I felt so happy being around so much beauty, and I left feeling very inspired, full of fun ideas to do with Henry, and best of all HE had the best time. What a day!

The rest of the trip zoomed on by, and we ended it Sunday at the beach. It was a quick visit, but we managed to squeeze in some beach running, boardwalking, and Mexican food eating. All in all, it was one of my favorite weekends to date.

Thanks for the fun weekend, L.A.! Can't wait to come back again soon.

Here are some photos- from both my iPhone and regular camera. Enjoy. xo

*this post is in partnership with Orbit Baby and Crafting Community.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Strolling

It's that time of the year again here in "Arizona's Christmas City," where front yards are decorated, houses are lit up, and everything seems just a little more magical. This year's holiday season has flown by way too fast, so we've been trying to soak it up a little more in this last week leading up to Christmas. One of our favorite things to do is take a walk downtown right around dusk. The lights are just beginning to come on, and although it's absolutely freezing, it really does feel like a holiday wonderland!

When Happy Family contacted me about putting together a post for the holidays I immediately said "yes!" We have been enjoying their products for years- both Henry and Charlie love their stuff, so it was a no brainer to want to work with them. On any given day (or any given stroll!) there's a good chance you will find a pouch or some sort of Happy Family snack in one of the boys' hands.
And on this particular day we headed out about an hour or so before dinner, so I grabbed some yougurt bites and rice cakes and we were good to go. One of the biggest things I've found about being a mama of two is that I have to plan. And snacks are a must! If you were to take a peek in my bag right now you'd find a million different snack options...and sippy cups and board books and probably a rogue sock or two also. hah.

So I bundled my babies up, we snacked and strolled and took in all of the lights. The look on Charlie's face as we walked past some of the bright displays was the coolest- all wonder and awe and pure happiness. Even though this is technically his second Christmas it kind of feels like his first as I watch him discover everything as if it's new again. I feel lucky I get to experience all of this through my childrens' fresh perspective, and I feel extra grateful I have these two boys to remind me that sometimes the simplest things- a walk with the people you love and some yummy snacks- make up the best kind of nights.


A couple of things: Visit the Happy Family website to learn about organic baby and toddler food with the added benefits of DHA and probiotics, and join Happy Family on Facebook and enter to win during December’s #TistheSqueezin giveaways! Also be sure to click here to Enjoy a $1 off coupon for Happy Family baby food pouches. Happy snacking!

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*This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Happy Family Products for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Card Photos 2014

I've been sharing these here and there on Instagram, but I wanted to post the rest of our favorites from last month's shoot with our dear friend Lauren Ristow. She has such a knack for capturing the sweetest moments, even when I leave the session wondering how on earth anyone could capture anything with all of the chaos that went on. And if you've ever done a family session with two (or more!) children you know what I mean by chaos. But every time we get our photos back, she's somehow managed to work her Lauren magic and pull out smiles and genuine happiness and that glowy beauty that can be found in everything she touches. I just love her.

We wanted to do a session for our Christmas cards, so we headed out to one of Lauren's secret spots and she snapped away for a good hour or so. She gave me back so many lovely images that it was hard to pick one for the card. I went back and forth on whether to do a fold-out one with numerous photos, or keep it simple with one, and in the end simple won out. And to see which one made the card, scroll to the bottom! We went with Tiny Prints for the fourth year in a row and as always I'm SO happy with how the cards turned out. A little plug for them too- it's not too late to get your holiday cards by Christmas Eve either- just order in the next two days! A few years back I ended up missing that window and ordered New Year's cards instead, and I almost like that idea better, since people can keep them up throughout the entire next year! Pretty neat.

Anyway, thanks for taking a trip back through these photos with me. I tried to narrow it down the best I could, but Lauren is so good I would actually love to share them all, but I think you'd get pretty sick of our faces by then. ;)

p.s. I always get a lot of questions about this dress- you can find it here.


cards c/o Tiny Prints
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