Be sure to read to the end to learn about our giveaway with True North Ring Slings.
When a new baby joins the family, the pace of life inevitably slows. The priorities shift to feedings, diapers, cuddles, and nap times. One thing that doesn’t go away is the daily routine of meals, errands, laundry, and tidying. Mom’s hands are full and her plate just got fuller.
I remember well how overwhelmed I felt as a first time mom four years ago! Simple tasks like folding laundry suddenly seemed impossible… they needed to be done, but not at the expense of sacrificing time with my baby.
Enter the time-honored, global tradition of babywearing. I loved that I could snuggle my baby and still stay on top of the daily happenings. With my second born, I discovered another plus: it made snuggles easier during those long, hard days of teething. Now, with my third baby, I’m loving that I can still keep up with my toddlers and keep my baby close by.
What carriers have I tried? What are the pros and cons?
Wrap Carriers. My wrap-style carrier (think Moby, Solly, etc.) was my initiation into babywearing. It gave me the courage I needed to go grocery shopping for the very first time alone with the baby.
Pros: Soft and stretchy. Readily available. (Even stores like Target and Walmart offer this style)
Cons: Hot. Difficult to use. (Unless you like feeling like a ninja all while juggling a baby)
Soft Structured Carriers. After becoming frustrated with the complicated wrap carrier, I purchased a soft structured carrier (such as a Boba, Ergo, Lillebaby, etc.). It was a great experience, but lacked a few conveniences I desired.
Pros: Supportive. Great for long carries and bigger babies.
Cons: Bulky (you can’t just toss it your diaper bag). Difficult to safely situate newer babies (who often want to be worn more frequently).
Ring Slings. My third baby has been much more picky about being worn. He’s had some pretty difficult tummy issues and needs a lot of Mommy snuggles, but my wrap and structured carriers were met with very low tolerance. At the suggestion of my midwife, I pulled the trigger and purchased a ring sling. He slept for two hours the very first time I wore him. I’ve tried a few different ring slings for fun since they’ve worked so well for us and can safely say, linen (from a company such as True North Ring Slings) is my favorite. The sling took babywearing from something I did for convenience to something I did because I truly loved wearing my baby.
Pros: Even picky babies seem happy in a sling. Easily adaptable from tiny newborns to toddlers. Quick to adjust (I love having an alternative to lugging around a heavy car seat). Strong supportive fabric that’s still soft enough for delicate babies. Compact (can easily fold and stash in your diaper bag for on-the-go days).
Cons: Slight learning curve (well worth it!). Needs a short breaking in period (there are lots of great short cuts and resources for this!)
I strongly believe that next to a quality car seat, my ring sling is the most worthwhile baby equipment purchase we have made. Hands down.
We are THRILLED to be partnering with Alberta-based True North Ring Slings to bring you a giveaway! I recently purchased a beautiful gray ring sling (with to-die-for rose gold rings) from this amazing company. I’ve been nothing short of impressed by their quality and their customer service. I’ve received almost instant responses from them when I’ve reached out with questions – and they’ve been so personable (even giving me the fun fact that I was their first Texas customer!).
Using high-quality linen sourced from Europe, they offer a wonderful range of colors from classic neutrals to vibrant hues. They are unique in that they offer several lengths to choose from (no worries if you’re tall or broad shouldered! They’ve got you covered!). Their slings meet all safety standards (both mandatory and voluntary), so you can rest easy knowing that your baby is safe. More than anything, I love that is company is mommy-owned!
True North is partnering with us to GIVEAWAY a $50 STORE CREDIT* to one lucky reader and a 10% OFF COUPON CODE to all the rest of you!
To enter the giveaway, head over to Instagram and follow us (@canvasandtable) and then (@truenorthringslings). Tag your friends on our Instagram about this baby wearing blog post (you’ll receive an entry for each tag). For a bonus entry, “regram” our post to your personal Instagram!**
To save 10% on your order, simple use this code when you check out: canvasandtable. Offer good through April 20th.
Do you “wear” your baby? Leave a comment below and tell us.
*$50 store credit is CAD (Canadian dollars) as True North is based in Canada.
**Find complete entry instructions on Instagram post
In our last post, we gave a few suggestions for simplifying the Christmas season with young children in the house. Today, I want to follow that up with some ideas that are fun, simple, require very little expense or preparation, and build loads of fun traditions and memories.
1. Do some form of Advent with them. I realize this is the third time (at least!) I’ve mentioned Advent this season, but it is so essential for keeping the season in perspective. We’ve given several suggestions on our Advent post. Maybe you have young toddlers or even babies in your home. I recently heard a fantastic suggestion for Advent-ing even with them! Take a couple minutes each night and sing simple Christmas carols, such as Away in a Manger or Silent Night. This can slip right in to a bed-time routine, but keeps the Christmas Story in front of them.
2. Have a special baking day. If you have little ones that are old enough (personally, I feel like the 3 1/2-4 year old range really opens up options for activities together), set aside a day to tackle one or two special baking activities. If you need something similar, why not create little Christmas baskets for your neighbors with packets of hot cocoa, disposable hot drink cups, wrapped candy canes, etc.? — all things little hands can easily put in a basket.
3. Decorate a small tree with them — just for their room. There are some adorable little Christmas trees out there. My boys had SO much fun picking out a blue tinsel tree this year, choosing a few non-breakable ornaments, and decorating their tree. It’s a fun time to relax a little bit on your perfect Christmas tree decoration standards and just enjoy watching them go to town on their little tree.
4. Set aside an evening to look at Christmas lights. You can definitely go for a drive in nearby neighborhoods to look at lights, but I’d also suggest just strolling through your own neighborhood… This might be a great alternative for youngsters who don’t do well in the car or for those kiddos who are still rear-facing in their car seat.
6. Go caroling to your neighbors. We caroled with my in-laws last Christmas season… just a few neighbors on their street. It’s a fun evening and people really do appreciate you taking a moment to make them feel special.
7. Christmas PJs! One of our favorite little traditions is to choose new pajamas for our kids to give them on Christmas Eve. (You could give their PJs to them earlier in the season, too.) This doesn’t have to be overcomplicated or expensive…. This year our boys are getting matching pajama sets…. that I bought during a “buy one, get one” sale.
8. Collect a stash of Christmas books. We have a small stack of Christmas books that we have out only during December. Some families wrap their Christmas books, unwrapping one each day leading up to Christmas. I love that idea, but this year we’re choosing to keep our books available in a special “Christmas book basket” for simplicity. Again, this doesn’t have to be expensive! All except a couple of our books were purchased at Half Price Books. They have a special holidays shelf in the children’s section, which makes finding great Christmas books easy and inexpensive. Since we intentionally do an Advent program with our boys, most of our Christmas books are purely festive. Some of our favorites are Little Blue Truck’s Christmas, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, Fa La La, and the classic Caldecott medal-winning Polar Express.
Leave a comment below and share your favorite Christmas tradition with your youngsters!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a referral commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support Canvas & Table and helping us create fresh content!
I’ve had a few experiences lately – from a stranger who told me genuinely that I was doing a good job as a mama (with a shopping cart full of restless toddlers) to having someone offer to return my grocery cart for me – and they really served to remind me that sometimes it’s the smallest, simplest things that impact your day. Everyone could use a little added sunshine in their day, don’t you think? A growing trend in recent years has been the concept of RAOK (random acts of kindness). There are lots of ideas and suggestions and we wanted to add to the trove by sharing 25 free (or almost free!) ways that you can really brighten someone’s day.
1. Look them in the eye when you’re talking. (A simple way to engage in conversation and show them that you’re listening!) 2. SMILE! (It really might be the highlight of their day.) 3. Compliment their name. (This recently happened twice in one day to me…. and it truly made my day!) 4. Tell them one thing you like about them. (i.e.- I love your smile, You have the greatest sense of style, etc.) 5. Ask how they’re really doing. (And than take time to listen and accept honest answers, be they good or bad.) 6. Let them go ahead of you in the check out line. (It’ll only add a couple extra minutes to your shopping trip.) 7. Pick up the tab of the car behind you in the Starbucks drive thru. (Because free coffee or tea is guaranteed to make anyone’s day!) 8. Hold the door for them. (Take time to put someone else first!) 9. Show interest in them — ask them questions and give them permission to talk about themselves. (This is such a great way to instantly make connections with people!) 10. Pass up the better parking spot. (Walking a couple extra feet ain’t gonna kill ya!)
11. Call them by name. (Growing up my mom always told me that people love to hear their name! She’s right! It honors others and shows that you value them to take a tiny second extra to call them by name.) 12. Give them “just because” flowers. (Sunshine in a vase!) 13. Ask how their family members doing. (Show some genuine interest in their lives and the people they love the most. Bonus: See how little you can talk about yourself.) 14. Take them a plate of cookies. (Cookies are a universal love language.) 15. Leave an anonymous note of encouragement. (A note on a co-workers desk? “You’re beautiful” scribbled on a sticky note in a public restroom?) 16. Ask how work is going. (Show some interest in the thing they spend the majority of their time doing.) 17. Offer a sincere apology when you mess up. (Be specific, ask forgiveness, and – if you have the courage – give them permission to keep you accountable in the future.) 18. Buy a homeless person a hot meal. (Another idea could be to keep a fast food gift card or two in very small amounts to have to a person in need.) 19. Give them your full attention – put your phone down when you’re talking with someone. (And for pity’s sake…. please show a little respect to your cashier by extending them this simple courtesy!) 20. Tell a young mom that she’s doing a great job. (I had a cartful of restless toddlers – and someone took the time to genuinely encourage me! That meant the world in a stressful moment!) 21. Offer to unload an elderly person’s grocery cart at the check out. (I actually had an older man unload my cart for me at Sam’s a few weeks ago! Such a kind gesture!) 22. Drop a “thinking of you” note in the mail. (Notice… I didn’t say text. I didn’t say e-mail. Snail mail. It’s a rare effort these days and people REALLY appreciate.) 23. Leave a thoughtful comment instead of automatically clicking the “like” button. (It only takes two extra seconds to leave a personal note!) 24. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. (Wouldn’t it be nice to actually wave and say, “Hi, Joe!” instead of awkwardly smiling across the street?) 25. Leave a bottle of water for your carrier in the mailbox. (We did this a couple times during the summer – leaving a frozen bottle out in the morning, so that it was thawed and icy cold by the time she came by – and she left a really nice THANK YOU note the next day! Again… amazed at the big impact little things can have!)
Leave a comment below and tell us about something simple that someone did that completely made your day!
Choosing gifts (and wrapping them) is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I totally understand and take to heart that Christmas is about FAR more than gifting, but it is a special part and I love taking the time to really think through what that person would like and what would make them feel special.
My favorite gifts of Christmas are stocking stuffers! While I realize this is different in each family, for us stockings has always been a highlight of Christmas morning. It can be hard to come up with ideas for stockings stuffers that are both unique and affordable, so I’ve come up with a list of 101 (ONE HUNDRED AND ONE, folks!) ideas to get you started!
15. Gas Cards (I don’t know a person on earth who likes paying for gas, do you? Give them a happy Christmas and cover a few gallons for them)
16. Starbucks (Christmas cheer in the form of a warm cup of joe or tea)
17. Half Price Books (You can make even $5 go a long way here!)
18. Fast Food Restaurants
19. Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Jo-Ann’s (For the “crafty” person in your life)
20. Lowe’s or Home Depot (For the homeowner or Chip/Joanna Gaines wannabe in your life)
21. Wal-Mart or Target (Groceries might be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear these, but since those stores carry pretty much everything, you’re basically giving them whatever they want.)
22. Amazon (Everyone has SOMETHING that caught their eye and has taken up permanent residence on their wish list.)
23. iTunes (Give them some new jams)
24. Movie Theater (They get to pick the movie and the time, you get to treat them to the tickets)
25. Ulta/Sephora gift card
26. Best Buy gift card
27. Braum’s/Cold Stone/Marble Slab gift card
28. “Combo” restaurant group gift card (such as the the Red Lobster/Olive Garden or On the Border/Maggiano’s gift cards)
29. Five Below gift card (if you’re not familiar with Five Below, they managed to make the dollar store concept cool and relevant)
30. Dominos/Pizza Hut gift card
31. Whole Foods/Sprout’s (a chance to buy something unusual or gourmet they wouldn’t normally purchase)
32. Cheesecake Factory (give them dessert out!)
33. Teavanna (or other chain tea shop)
35. Shutterfly/Snapfish (for that person who takes tons of pictures…. and never has them printed out)
36. Main Event (or maybe a local bowling alley)
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a referral commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support Canvas & Table and helping us create fresh content!
I’m a people watcher. I’m really not trying to be rude… I’m simply intrigued by the personalities various people have and the way they interact with others. So, not surprisingly, I found myself people-watching in the slow-moving check out line at Wal-Mart one day. Directly in front of me was a mother and a couple of her teenage daughters. As they emptied their overflowing carts onto the conveyer belt, the following conversation ensued: “Ugh! Look at all of this crap food. It’s embarrassing!” You could tell they felt that the food they were buying wasn’t the best and regretted the effect on their health, but likely their reasoning would be the belief that it costs much less than healthier options.
Next to the belief that a gigantic bowl of “whole grain” cereal is a healthy breakfast, I think the greatest myth we believe when it comes to food is that eating healthy means added expense. Eating well does not have to cost you any more – and with a little work, will likely cost less. Case in point: Three years ago we made some pretty major eating changes. As I piled my cart with more protein and produce and fewer packages, I really anticipated my grocery bill to be higher. Instead my bill was less on average. What?!
So, what are some easy tips to follow to make eating healthy a possibility on your budget?
Choose your store wisely. Shopping at Aldi has been the single best decision for our grocery budget. On average my grocery shops are about 30% less than I would spend for the same thing at any other grocery store. Obviously, not everyone has one located conveniently, so consider your local options for budget friendly shopping.
Shop in season. It’s not new advice, but it can save a lot of money to enjoy produce that’s currently in season
Shop the ads. Plan your weekly menu around the weekly specials where you shop. Remember: the goal is eating healthy food. Focus on those produce and protein pages of the flyers.
Cut the junk food. Junk food isn’t good for you, doesn’t truly fill you up, and it’s expensive.
Consider shopping at Sam’s or Costco on a regular basis. Prices for meats, fruit, and veggies can be hard to beat at these stores. Let me advise you to make a list before you go and really stick with it! It’s super easy to get sidetracked and overly attached to seasonal gift sets, beautiful (and giant bottles) of shampoo, etc. That kind of shopping won’t save you money.
Take an honest look at your fridge and pantry and determine whether you NEED to go shopping or not. How often have you (or I!) stared into the refrigerator and bemoaned the fact that there was nothing to eat… when really there was. Before you go shopping, look through the food you already have and honestly evaluate what you have to work with. You’ll most likely find that you have plenty of meals waiting for you to put together.
Comment below and tell us your favorite grocery budget-slashing, health-increasing tip!
For years, I had been wanting to create a vision board before I bit the bullet and created mine. I don’t know why I waited so long- it is something I love having in my office every day, reminding me of why I do what I do and inspiring me to keep at it. There were some very helpful things that made my vision a reality (pun intended) and today I want to share those with you.
What is a vision board and why should you make one? A vision board is some sort of board you can hang things on to serve as inspiration and reminders of the “why” behind the “what” you are a part of and working towards! It can sometimes be called a dream board, inspiration board, or mood board, but I most prefer vision board because I found in the project something I could connect my vision with for each area of my life in a visible way. This serves as a tangible reminder each day for the vision behind these activities.
Throughout my long process, I’ve collected a lot of tips and information! Find below some of the best tips and tutorials I’ve discovered and come across!
Just buy a board that works- don’t overthink it. I searched and searched and searched for the “perfect” board for almost a year before going with a black-rimmed cork board. It has worked wonderfully and in retrospect, I think I kept putting off buying the board so as to not feel guilty about not starting it because I was making it too hard.
Don’t make it too hard. Sacrificing on the cutesy factor a bit for the sake of getting it done isn’t a bad thing if you won’t do it otherwise! (Case in point: I put mine off for almost a whole additional year after buying my board(!!!)- and only got it done when I decided to just start with the basics and not try to do something I didn’t have time for.)
Make time to get it done. It’s worth it!
Make sure to include inspiration for all of the things you have your hands to. For me, that was school, work, ministry, personal development, future, and relationships! Now, when I’m in the midst of a busy season across all areas, I have inspiration that serves to remind me of any I’m doing what I’m doing!
Close to My Heart presents a streamlined process for creating the content of your vision board, and ultimately I very much copied the entire look of the vision board presented here! Check it out here to find out how to get started with the plan for your vision board.
Cover a cork board in fabric for a lovely look that adds beauty to any space! Homemaking Rebel provides all of the info on how to do this here.
Go simple and chic with a monogrammed board. Landeelu does a spectacular job of making a beautiful board very simple here.
Get fancy with fine frames. Bachelors Way has a great tutorial on an easy way to upgrade your board here.
Go for another type of frame with this one from the House of Smiths. Find out step by step instructions here.
Get burlapped! Learn how to create this rustic look curtesy of All Things Heart & Home here.
Use printables- Dawn Nicole Designs has some beautiful ones that easily add inspiration to your board! Check those out here.
Set practical content in front of you with this fabulous example from The Fit Switch- find that here.
Take a look at this formula for inspirational success from Studio McGee to take your board to the next level. Find that here.
Go more simplistic and understated with this beautiful example from Nicole at the Odyssey Online here.
Which of these is your favorite? Have you done a vision board before? Tell us in the comments below!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a referral commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support this blog so that we are able to continue creating fresh content!
The great outdoors. Sleeping under the stars.Hiking.Cooking on an open fire. S’mores. Crisp nighttime air. Two toddlers.
Whoa, Nelly. Hold it right there. Toddlers? Camping? Are you crazy?
Yep. And we’ve been crazy three times. That is, we’ve taken three camping trips with our little brood. Our first trip as a family was just a weekend away at a nearby state park with my husband’s family. Our boys were 6 months old and 2 1/2 years old. The second trip was a weekend away – just the four of us – for my husband’s birthday. Our most recent camping trip was a 9 DAY event – it was an organized retreat of sorts. For perspective, our definition of camping is tent camping at a water/electric site.
We’ve learned a lot from each trip and today I want to share those things with you, so that you can also enjoy successful camping trips with your youngsters.
–Pack extra flexibility. Expect overtired kiddos, early naps, a restless night here and there, and lots of memories. Pull out the flexibility to make them good memories. Your camping trip will be different from your pre-kid trips, but they’ll be fantastic if you come with the right expectations.
–Careful campsite selection. If you have potty trained littles, pick a spot within just a short walk of a bathhouse. I prefer clearer spots away from water and brushy areas…. just for peace of mind. We also try to avoid busier areas if possible. Toddlers are going to wander a little – even under close supervision – and if we can avoid them wandering to busy streets, we can all rest a little bit.
-Which brings me to another point… Take a sharpie and write your camp site location on your toddler’s hand. That way – God forbid – should they wander off, they can easily be returned to their family.
–Dirty kids. This is something we’ve got to improve our game in. Expect your kiddos to get grimy – and enjoy letting them have the opportunity to do so. Just bring along a plan for a way to wash them. Both of my boys are gun-shy around showers – which is about all you’ll find in a bathhouse. My plan of attack next time is to bring a simple plastic bin to prepare some warm (an electric kettle really simplifies the camping life!) soapy water and a big stack of clean wash cloths and towels so we can make sponge baths happen nightly and have clean kids without the unpleasant shower experience. Also, bring SEVERAL changes of clothes. I can’t count how many times our boys have gotten muddy or wet to the point that a change of clothes was mandatory.
-Bring a collapsible high chair or a booster that will securely strap to a picnic table or folding chair. This most recent camping trip, we had some major issues with our youngest (21 months) playing the old popcorn game (up and down, up and down…just sit down and eat already!) during just about every meal. It dawned upon me – too late- that he’s used to being confined in a highchair during meal time and he’s just not ready for the freedom of sitting in a chair without straps during meals. Also, think through a plan for a table of some sort (If your child is in a booster, they’ll have a tray of some kind). My 3 1/2 year old’s lap isn’t big enough to balance a large paper plate. We found it helpful to drag an ice chest over next to his camp chair to make a little table for him.
–Pack snacks. Lots of snacks. Camping usually involves a LOT more physical activity than most of us are used to at home… which means ravenous appetites. Granola bars, yogurt cups, applesauce pouches, and crackers all make quick and easy snacks. I’d also advise packing some juice boxes. My boys are great water drinkers, thankfully, but I still find it helpful to have something extra (and tempting for them!) to encourage them to stay hydrated. If you’re concerned about the extra sugar, the Honest juice boxes can be a good option, as they’re not nearly as sugary.
-We enjoy picking out a special camping chairs and sleeping bags (for those old enough to not sleep in a pack-n-play) for our kiddos. It makes it fun for them and makes them more likely to sit/sleep in their designated spot. We found some cute patterned items at Walmart for great prices and they’ve held up over several trips.
–Pick your season wisely. We’d take a chilly fall camping trip over a warm spring/summer trip any day. It’s darker sooner, which means greater bedtime success and it’s cooler, which means our boys sleep better/later because their warm, snuggly blankets feel so good.
–Camping with little ones isn’t the time to go hardcore and really rough it. Don’t hesitate to pack a small space heater to warm your tent up before bedtime, if you expect cold nights.
–Take a sound machine. It can drown out so much noise – cars driving by, new arrivals setting up camp, or the loud card game going down at the campsite next to you.
–Prepare for the elements and unexpected, like rain or bug bites. Rain boots, Crocs, or flip flops can really help if there are puddles to splash in or mud to run through. A lightweight hoodie is going to be a lot more practical and effective to keep heads dry, rather than trying to keep an umbrella over them. As far as unexpected ouchies and itchies, I make sure to pack my most used, diverse essential oils. Quick, easy, and they don’t take up much room.
-Just like any out-of-town trip, make sure you set your kiddo up for success by packing their favorite (and most critical) routine items… this is not the time to leave the paci, bottle of warm milk, or special lovey behind.
–One thing that we’ve found challenging up until our last camping trip was naptimes! It can be so challenging to young children to halt play and be stuck in a sleeping bag or play pen in broad daylight. I’m not sure I’d sleep very well, either. This last time, I finally found something that works (at least for our kiddos). We buckled our child (only our youngest naps at the moment) into the stroller, laid the seat all the way pack, gave him his nap time usuals (paci, milk, and stuffed puppy), and went on a shaded walk. Each time he was out cold within minutes. You can continue the walk or go back to camp and park in the shade at your campsite for the remainder of the nap. Obviously, this is what worked for one baby…. and the solution for your child might be different, but think about your plan before your ever leave home and set your toddler up for success.
-If you plan to do some light hiking, come prepared with either a good stroller or baby carrier.
-For two of our camping trips, we had a baby who was not yet walking. Having a pack-n-play for the baby to play in helped keep him happy while hanging out at the camp site. Also, bringing along a cushy picnic blanket to put on the grass helps give them a clean and protected area to crawl around on.
-For us big people, sitting around and drinking a cup of coffee might be enough entertainment, but little ones need variety. I pack a variety of outdoor toys when we camp… a ball to kick, trucks to roll around, and something to dig in the dirt with will all be helpful.
–My in-laws are awesome campers. Seriously. They’ve spoiled me forever. One of my favorite things they do is set up a large tent to be the kitchen. It’s a great place to store ice chests, prepare a cup of coffee (again – an electric kettle will be your friend!), contain kiddos while you tackle food prep, etc.
– Danielle C. tells me that when they go camping they have a small tent (2 person size) that is the designated game tent. They clean up the kids, get them ready for bed, and then let them go to town with games, flashlights, coloring books, etc.
-Rachel reminded me of a great tip… Pack a TON of baby wipes. They’ll make clean hands and freshening up before PJs so much easier.
-Holly and Rachel both suggested keeping a toddler potty at your campsite. That sounds like a really great and simple solution if you’d rather not venture out for 2 am potty trips with your kids.
-Ashley suggests the following, “As for bathroom issues, we camped close to the trees and the boys just went and did their business there during the night. I have a woman’s funnel that I bought off Amazon called a P-Easy that [my daughter] and I use. I know! Weird! BUT it works Amazingly well! I would just use an empty water jug with a lid to use the bathroom in and keep a Thieves cleaner bottle close to clean everything. I don’t like getting up during the night so it saved me from having to make a lot of noise leaving the tent .”
-Danielle P. agrees that bringing an abundance of outdoor toys will be helpful. She says her kids especially enjoy having every kind of sports ball available for play time. As a bonus tip, she suggested making sure each child has their own flashlight. (We’ve found some good little ones for $1 each at Walmart.)
-Camarell suggests simplifying your trip by doing as much food preparation ahead of time as possible. Some tips she offers are premixing pancake batter or cracking eggs into a container before you ever leave for your trip.
–But will my children sleep? Yes. They will! Just remember to set them up for success – don’t leave behind their normal bedtime routine, pack a sound machine, bring favorite blankies and lovies to make their sleeping bed or pack-n-play feel as much like home as possible. We’ve had a cumulative two weeks or so of nights spent camping with our sons and have had maybe two rough nights. Your children are going to play SO hard that they will be completely wiped out come bed time.
–What about campfire safety? We teach our boys to not go near the fire pit, even if there is no lit fire. While on our most recent camping trip, however, I saw a family that have built a barrier – a short fence of sorts – out of scrap wood (it wasn’t this sophisticated, but here’s an idea to get you started). Just be sure to do enough to prevent little ones from toppling over and getting hurt. But ultimately, if you’re nervous about this aspect of camping, skip the fire. There is not set-in-stone law that requires a campfire and there’s nothing that says that you won’t have a fun trip without the campfire.
Leave a comment below and tell us YOUR best tips for camping with toddlers!
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Should you order through these links, we will receive a small commission off your purchase from Amazon. Don’t worry- this does not affect the purchase price of the product. Thank you for helping support this blog so that we are able to continue bringing you fresh content!
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been a part of some fun, themed potluck dinners with a ministry we serve with. As the weeks have gone by, coming up with a solid list of dinner theme ideas can serve to stump some, but I have loved it! If you’re looking to hold a themed potluck-style dinner, look no farther for an extensive list of affordable, simple, fast, & fun ideas. We have you covered!
Let this list get the ideas rolling in your head. Pinterest serves as a great way to provide meal ideas to go along with these themes. There’s no limit to how creative you can be and how much fun you can have with friends and family!
We all have those times that, try as we might, we end up at this point where there’s a lot of work to be done and not a lot of free time to be had. Yet, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, so if this summer you aren’t able to go on one of those vacations to some beach on a coast, try these ideas on for size to keep your summer awesome.
Make a list of the fun things you want to do that are feasible this summer. My sister and her kids started doing a “summer fun list” a few years ago after finding the idea somewhere on Pinterest. This encapsulates the goal here- think of some ideas that are fun that you want to do this summer. Going somewhere new in your state, planning a movie weekend, or trying out that restaurant you’ve been driving by for years are all acceptable things to get down on your list!
Be intentional about your free time. A big key to having a great summer when you have no epic vacations planned is to plan fun into your free time! No epic vacation planned probably means no vacation time, so you’ll have to redeem the time when you aren’t working for some of those fun things on your list.
Make up your mind that your summer at home can be amazing. If you’re a summer vacation kind of guy or gal, it might be a big bummer that you aren’t traveling. What’s more, if you’re at home because money is tight, for health-related reasons such as surgery, or with a new baby, you might be tempted to be a bummer about it. However, if you decide your summer is going to be great and go about trying to make it wonderful, with family and friends that are close by, you can have an amazing summer! What kind of time you are going to have is heavily dictated by the mindset you have, but that’s something you can control.
Now, go ahead, make that list! My hubby & I usually stick to our Alphabetical Date Nights plan, so for us, a summer with no travels is a time to be spontaneous and unique and deviate from that. Try organizing friend outings, trips to the lake, an overnight trip to somewhere nearby, and movie nights to start with. Make the most of those three summer holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day) and aim for doing something fun on a weekly basis (at least 😉 ). Some of the ideas on this list might be a great place to start!
What things do you love doing during your summers at home? Comment below!
We are coming up on our one-year anniversary next week, and are celebrating with a “Top 5” posts covering the 73 blog posts we have published year to date. Of course, what else would we look at other than the posts that have gotten us on the map- without further ado, here are our top 5 viral blog posts:
Alphabetical Date Nights Our Alphabetical Date Nights post was published just a few weeks into the lifetime of this blog, and it immediately took off. To date, this post regularly continues to come in at first or second for daily views, attracting readers with it’s long list of unique date ideas for significant others, family, or friend dates.
DIY Laundry Scent Booster This laundry scent booster pic took Pinterest by storm with practically no help, popular for the beauty and ease of this recipe. It was months after this post was published that it started popping up on our daily stats, but since it has shown up, it hasn’t slowed down.
8 Fun Ways To Celebrate Leap Day The concept of this post really resonated with viewers, quickly gaining popularity by taking that one day we have to remember every four years and turning it into an opportunity to make memories.
Luscious Locks Spritz Another post to gain popularity months after it was published, this recipe is an especial favorite of Essential Oils users who are looking for an easy, practical DIY recipe that really packs a punch!