ahh london. it seems like it was all a dream. this trip was somewhat of a last minute thing but i’m so glad i ended up going. i tagged along with some of my close friends and we went to colour conference which was pretty amazing. after a few days at the conference in london i headed south to worthing to visit my british bestie, maggie. maggie and i have been friends for almost 20 years. on my very first trip to england i stayed with her family and we’ve stayed great friends over the years. i spent time with her sweet family, drank lots of tea and chatted and chatted and chatted.
+the colored houses get me every single time. made a super quick trip to the portobello market with a friend. could have spent hours wandering about
+we stayed right in the piccadilly circus area which was perfect. with paul + laduree near by my taste buds traveled to france.
+i brought along my baggu pouch which is my new favorite thing. it was perfect to slip on my wrist and it held all my essentials. i have the medium gold pouch and the neon strap. i’ve been using it almost everyday since i’ve been home too.
+maggie’s mom, Pam Weaver, has written several books and it was fun to see them at the bookstore
so, i had a bit of money saved up for a new couch and i spent it on this trip instead. usually, if given the choice, i’ll take the trip every time. things come and go but memories last a lifetime. my sister, who kept pushing me to go, said i should be able to live on this trip for a good 6 months and i believe she is right. i shared a bit about why i went and i can’t tell you how happy i am that i did. now instead of geting annoyed every time i look at my mangy old couch i just smile.
LONDON! i didn’t want to make it so obvious with an obvious landmark, that is. and, really, because my eyes are going to be looking here and there and everywhere to seek out this type of inspiration. the last time i was in england i was totally mesmerized by all of the colored doors and went home and painted my front door a bright color.
anyhow, i’m here attending a conference and then taking a few days to visit my english bestie on the south coast. i’ve left my computer at home and plan to have a personal retreat of sorts. i can’t wait to fill you in when i return.
you can follow along on instagram and i also have some really great posts lined up right here!
image / Neals Yard
hi lovelies. i’m on an adventure today. one that entails my passport. as these things are usually planned out way in advance this was pretty last minute. i LOVE travel, as it’s always so exciting, but it can make me a wee bit nervous too (so say a prayer).
pop back in tomorrow to see where in the world i’ve landed (i kind of just felt like a cross between carmen sandiego – my favorite childhood computer game – and matt lauer when i said that – ha).
and since we are talking travel….
the last place i traveled to
my tips for traveling with kids
and my travel quirks (do you have any?)
image / La La Lovely
1 / *cardigan 2 / necklace 3 / t-shirt 4 / watch 5 / leggings 6 / *boots / skirt
hi lovelies. i thought i’d share an outfit that i wore on vacation (this was for going out to dinner, the rest of the time consisted of comfy clothes). as i’ve said before, i always overpack and sadly this is a hard habit to break. the pieces in this outfit are great for traveling because, you could just throw in a pair of jeans, a blazer, maybe a printed skirt and one other pair of flats or sandals and you’d have a perfect weekender all filled up.
so tell me, are you an efficient packer? and what do you like to wear on vacation?
more on clothes + glitter boots!
* similar to shown
so, after our normal trip, La La and i snuck over to L.A. (with my mom) for a few days to celebrate her 10th birthday. we had a really fun time. and, although i wish i could have explored, all the places i read about from blogs and my goop app, there just wasn’t time for it. we stayed in santa monica and rode bikes by the beach every morning (gosh i could get used to that), got as close to the oscars as we possibly could (we saw many a black suv’s escorting the stars but no stars themselves), shopped (because that is what girls seem to like to do, even 10 year old ones), went to disneyland, and ate lots of great food. we even got to stay an extra day because our flight got cancelled, due to snow back home (many a tears were shed – tears of joy!). it’s definitley a memory i will always treasure. i’ll take a trip over things any day. memories and experiences are pretty much priceless. i’m hoping to make many ad to my menagerie that i’m carefully curating.
if you are headed that way here are places to eat at that i would return to in a minute:
+blue plate taco
+the ivy by the shore
and yes…. i pretty much need to go on a major diet,
and the only downside to travel is that it only makes you want to travel more. i have a few ideas of where i’d like to go next just not sure how it will happen….yet.
FOR MORE L O V E L Y +
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hi lovelies. how have you been? it’s been a fun two weeks for me. i’ve been popping in from time to time to say hello while traveling. but today, i am back home in the winter wonderland that i call home. i love traveling and i love coming home. i always find myself overwhelmed with a sense of appreciation and find that i fall in love with my home all over again, pretty much, every. single. time. it’s just that feeling of domestic duty that always sneaks back in, within about 90 minutes time, that steals all those lovely endorphins.
but back to the trip. we had a lovely time. if you’ve been reading for awhile than you may have noticed that every year in february we trek out to the desert, tucson to be exact, with our friends. it’s been a tradition for 14 years. we started going before there were any littles and 7 kids later we are still making lots of memories.
i should like to tell you that we climb this mountain, and that one. that we go on adventures and so on, but really, all we do is eat, shop, relax, sit by the pool, take walks and then repeat. it’s pretty great.
+rocco, who slept in the shower all week (memory), was the sweetest.
+the mountains always give me a shot of strength that i can’t seem to find elsewhere, you know.
+we always go rock climbing. liam brave was brave little thing.
+a snowstorm was not what we planned for but it did make for memories + some haunting photos.
+the big kids . . . getting way to big. boo to growing up.
+stopped by one of my favorite stores, bon, again. diane keaton loves it too.
+my beautiful friend jen (who always inspires me to be a better mom) and pax, of #dailydoseofpax fame. he is such a darling, in every sense of the word + i could have just eaten him for dessert everyday.
a few of my favorite places to eat in tucson are:
+and, of course, this midwest girls likes to get her fill of rubio’s + in and out burger, when visiting the west, too.
*next week, i’ll be sharing some photos from a really cool shop in tucson, that i stumbled upon,that sells gorgeous handmade jewelry, that i fell in love with.
*you can see more from our trip over on instagram + post on LA trip to follow in a few!
hi lovelies…as you may have gathered from my instagram feed i have escaped the cold and am traveling. traveling with 4 kids, that is. it’s always a task, but well worth it. i’m sharing a few tips on flying / traveling with littles today. i’ve shared this before, but you may just be new around here! happy travels!
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Traveling with kids differs for everyone. But however you put it or plan it out it is not an easy task. I’ve come to the conclusion, 10 years and 4 kids later, that it basically comes down to luck and money. Not what you wanted to hear right? Luck if you have a well tempered little one (s). Luck if you happen to get the right ticket agent who will hook you up. Luck if the flight is not full and you can stretch out over a couple of seats. Luck if you have no delays or hiccups. Money, you ask? Well, money, can buy you lots of things, like extra seats, traveling nannies or flying private, which of course would be the ultimate easiest way to travel with kids. Yes, I know very far fetched but I’m just speaking the truth. You drive your car right up to the plane. Load anything and everything you want on the plane. You can stretch and roam about and eat catered food. Your kids can even talk to the pilots and see what goes on in the cockpit. Then the nice pilots land the plane. Open the door and viola your car awaits you and you’re off. And this pretty much would explain how Brand and Angelina can travel the world with 6 kids often and easily (that and add in a couple of nannies + an entire staff). Ok, now back to reality.
I’m a planner, and thus I plan, very strategically, on how to make travel as easy as possible. Of course, it doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes it goes way worse than expected + surprisingly sometimes it goes better. None the less, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:
01/ Technology. Load those iPads / iPods up and let them roll. Be sure to bring earphones that work with small little ears (ones that you wear like a headband and cover the entire ear have worked best for us).
02 / Snacks . Bring lots of snacks + then some. Whatever it takes, yes, even candy (suckers last a long time).
03 / Change of Clothes. I forgot a change of clothes once (duh) and of course LB had an explosion. Thank God it was summer time + a short flight. He ended up wearing a slightly stained white onsie.
04 / Pain Reliever. I don’t know if people still give there kids a little “something” when flying, but I always bring a little Tylenol for sensitive ears (do you?). Gum is also a great idea for take off and landings.
05 / Coloring / Craft. Ok, you know you want to bring something like this. Go ahead and do it. I recommendCrayola Color Wonder coloring books + markers (no mess). However, prepared to pull the iPad back out after 3.4 minutes.
06/ Bottles. If you are still nursing or bottle feeding, bring enough milk (or plan to nurse) for take off and landing and extra for in between. The swallowing helps babies ears when you are climbing in altitude.
07 / Buy an Extra Seat. Here is where money and luck comes in. If money is not an issue, by all means, buy an extra seat for your baby. You might not have the best luck and may end up squished between two people with baby screaming on your lap.
Although traveling with children can be hard and, yes, very tiresome. In the end, it is worth it. Hours of pain for days of fun. And lets not forget, memories that last a lifetime. Yes, even those travel nightmares end up being some of the funniest memories and most told stories.
image / les zigouis
hi lovelies. you knew it was coming, right? the ALT recap, just like last year. if you follow along on instagram or twitter than you probably saw a little of this or a little of that. as always it was a really great time.
if i’m 100% honest, i would tell you that i really didn’t feel like going this year. that i was this close to selling my ticket at the very last minute. but i kept ignoring that nagging little voice until it was too late to turn back. and i’m so glad i did. yes i’ve been a few other times and yes, i know quite a lot about blogging at this point (although, i’m a believer that there is always something new to learn) but it is the relationships and networking that just can’t be beat. i’ve made some really great friends over the years and for that my heart is happy (and it’s so fun to meet bloggers you’ve been following for a very long time, like one of my fave aussie bloggers).
i roomed with kirsten grove , promise tangeman, and jasmine star. i know…. 3 amazing women and friends. we had the best time, sharing our stories, laughing, encouraging each other and just being together. my favorite moments were with these talented, kind and generous souls. if you aren’t familiar with their work, you will want to be, i promise!
as always every detail was thought out and executed in the prettiest of ways at ALT. the days were rich with insight and the evenings sparkled with smiles and fashion that left me unable to keep my focus on one person or thing for more than a moment.
i’d love to break up everything i learned in separate posts but i think it’s best to keep it all in one place.
karen walrond’s session on finding your voice really spoke to me. her words on comparison are maybe the best i’ve heard and i’m pretty sure you will want to hear them too.
“when you compare yourself to others you are comparing your insides to their outsides.” yeah. woah. right? she went on to say that, “comparison is something you do and then feel bad. while inspiration makes you want to do better work.”
the other thing she encouraged us all to do is to “name what lights you up.” in other words write down every.single.thing that you like (literally – like she said she wrote down that she likes to let glue dry on her hand and then peel it off – ha – you like that too?). then go back and and answer why? to each thing on your list. you will likely start to see a pattern and then it will start to be easy to hear what your voice has to say. who knows maybe i’ll make my list here on la la and we can start a conversation and you can share your lists too?
then there was the keynote stefan stagmeister, the world famous graphic designer. yes, i admit, i hadn’t heard of him. but i was completely captured by his creativity and his work (and i’m not necessarily talking about the first photos he shared with us, if you were there.. ha). he was warm, interesting, and naturally cool. he shared about his upcoming documentary the happy film. we were able to preview the first 12 minutes and it was captivating to say the least. he measures success by “doing more of the things i like to do and fewer of things i don’t like.” simple. but sometimes so hard to do. his TED talk on “the 7 rules for making more happiness,” covers some of things he shared with us, from what i’ve heard (i can’t wait to watch it).
i also heard my roomie, Jasmine’s session on personal branding was tops (she was my fave last year) but sadly had to miss it as i was off interview jessica alba (as in the movie star). i’ll be sharing about that tomorrow, so check back!
another highlight for me is that my friends from the land of nod were there as sponsor and hosted a swan soiree tea party that was second to none. check out this giant swan boat. i had fun hanging out with my friends from nod and it was super fun to be able to share with other bloggers about my upcoming feature and work with them. they even had a poster of little old me.
besides all the growing and getting to knowing there was a lot of fun going on. smilebooth fun, yes. dressing up fun, of course, and this year a little getting your dancey dance on too!
and you are probably wondering about the business cards from ALT ? they are as pretty and over the top (in the best kind way) as ever. i’ll also be sharing some photos of those this week as well.
and if you are wishing for a few more bits than these words on the subject of work / balance will help your monday, i promise.
+balance isn’t getting everything done. it’s a matter of spending your time in useful ways
+defend your time and start by saying NO
+be a good boss to yourself
+what are your secret energy sources? make a list (some of mine would be writing, reading, going to movies by myself, praying, walking) + do them.
and hey, if you are ever considering going to ALT, then go. i know it’s not cheap. but it’s a worthwhile investment.