holiday travels.

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#kiaholiday

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Kia Motors

This year, for the first year since Ben and I have been together, we stayed home (mostly) for the holidays.

Although we really missed getting to spend time with his family, it was so, so nice for us.

Traveling over the holidays, especially with a toddler in tow, can be a little stressful. We’ve learned some tips and tricks through the past two years that have really helped minimize the stress and maximize the fun.

– Organize your car. I’m a little obsessive when it comes to mess. Traditionally on a road trip, I’ll have Ben pull over at least 3 or 4 times to ‘clean out the car’. He thinks I’m crazy. I agree. Somehow when we travel, trash and junk pile up in the car. Between food/drink stops and toddler paraphernalia, our car becomes quite a wreck. Several months ago, I found a pin on pinterest that, at the risk of sounding like a total loser, changed my life: a cereal container turned trashcan!

Seriously, it’s just too much. I can’t tell you how handy it is to keep the clutter to a minimum. I also keep a small diaper bag below PB’s carseat.

I use it to store emergency items, like extra diapers, a couple of water bottles, extra clothes for PB, and some wipes. It’s also a good ‘catch-all’ for the extra toys laying around. I feel much less cluttered when I can toss his toys in a bag.

-Plan for stops. The first roadtrip we took with PB was a total disaster. I think he cried the whole way, and we made about 47 stops. The reason why? Lack of planning. We lived, we learned, and we tried it again. The next roadtrip we made, we planned ahead. We left around PB’s naptime, so he was able to nap a couple of hours. When he woke up, we were ready to stop ourselves. We had a leisurely lunch and stretched our legs for at least an hour. Once we were back on the road, we used our arsenal of toys to keep him entertained for a while. We had planned our last stop at a nice rest area that had a large picnic spot. We were able to let PB run around and burn some energy for a little bit. Planning for our stops has made such a difference when we travel.

-Pack like a pro. And I’m not talking about bags. I don’t know about you, but we’re always hungry when we’re on the road. And instead of stopping 224 times for snacks/drinks and delaying our trip, we started packing snacks last year when we traveled. It has saved us time, money, and hunger pains. I use a small lunchbox with an ice pack, and put string cheese, yogurt, and milk for PB in it. I found a pin on pinterest for easy snack storage on the go.

image via 

I use these to store goldfish, pretzels, and cookies. I like this idea because this keeps your snacks from getting squished or stale. Between my little lunchbox and my 2 or 3 snack containers, we’re good to go on the road!

Do you have any tips for making holiday travels stress-free? Do you have any car organization/storage tips that make for easier traveling?

Have a blessed Friday 🙂

#kiaholiday

merry christmas.

Merry Christmas, dear friends,

and
Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I can tell you, my heart feels so full this Christmas. I am so thankful for God’s blessings. I look at my dear family and I am reminded of the true spirit of this holiday. God sent His only Son to live and die for us – for me- an ole’ sinner. What a love He has for us! 
I hope your Christmas is spent with everyone you love. I hope you relish in your blessings. I hope you have time to reflect on the birth of our Savior, the reason for this season. And I hope you eat a ridiculous amount of food…because I will…and if you do, it will make me feel better about myself!
Have a blessed Christmas 🙂

diy ornaments.

Thank you, so much, for your unbelievably kind words, prayers, and support. I am reminded of the blessings of friendship and love during times like this. Your sweet words provided so much comfort to me and my family. After letting my head rest and my heart heal, I’ll be back soon with my thoughts. 

Two years ago, in early November, I had my sweet little PB. Being totally new to this whole ‘mom’ thing, I had no idea what to expect after I ‘expected’. I do remember being particularly stressed about the holidays. I remember before I gave birth, this little voice in the back of my mind told me to do all of my Christmas shopping and planning before I had my baby, because maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have much time with a newborn on my hands.

And wouldn’t you know, that little old voice was right?
I don’t even remember if I put up a Christmas tree. 
At any rate, my postpartum recovery didn’t go quite like the movies portray it to be, and so by the time December rolled around, I was panicking. I felt about as ready to go Christmas shopping as I did ready to wear a bikini (flaunting the spare tire around my waist, no less). And then there was the whole time issue, and taking a newborn out shopping and all that jazz. Anyway, it was at this point that I introduced myself to the world of do-it-yourself cheap and ridiculously easy gifts. And as luck would have it, I had the perfect little baby boy to be the focus of all these little crafts.

I made our parents a nice little coffee table book filled with pictures of PB’s first year. And then, I made a little ornament with PB’s footprint.

I made several of these, and gave them as Christmas gifts. Our families really liked them, and I did, too. They were easy to make and now I have a sweet little reminder of my once tiny-footed babe on my tree.

Last year, his feet were a little bigger, so 2nd year foot ornaments were out of the question. Instead, I took the same wood slats (from Hobby Lobby) and did this:

We passed these out to family on Christmas and these were a hit, too. This was just as easy to make. The wood slats are from Hobby Lobby. They sell them in the wood aisle. I can’t remember the price, but I know it was cheap, and they come in packs of 3 or 4. I painted the slats and let them dry. I measured my picture and made the cuts I needed to. And then I painted Modge Podge on the slat and applied the picture. After letting that dry, I applied another coat of Modge Podge to seal the deal. I took my drill and added a tiny hole to thread some ribbon through. This is one of my favorite ornaments on the tree, and I’m certain I’ll be making more of these this year.

Do you have any DIY ornaments on your tree? Any more ideas for a personalized kiddo ornaments?

Have a blessed Thursday 🙂