Search This Blog

Monday, January 31, 2022

Winters with Whitney - Getting Outside in Winter with Kids

If there is one thing I have learned from a life as a New Englander, it's this: you have to find something you love to do in every season. Summers in the northeast are insanely special but there is a bit of magic in every season. Short days and cold temps often mean that winter is a dreaded season but I'm hoping this post changes your mind. 

If you are reading this and thinking "why would I go outside when it's below freezing", there are a few good reasons and it starts with changing your perspective. Winter isn't "cold stay inside" season, it's "get outside there are less people and no bugs" season. Solitude and not a mosquito in sight is the break we all needed from crowded parks and bugspray.

Monday, January 24, 2022

On The Go - Baby In Tow (Day Trips)

Leave it to a global pandemic and parenting to really change the way you travel. Before I had a baby, travel was a big priority. I spent my 20s taking my hiking boots to anywhere my budget could accommodate. I had some big-ticket trips like sipping champagne in Paris, hiking through Iceland, or scuba diving in Bonaire and they were grand 20 something adventures. As lovely as it was to get on a plane a few times a year, a lot of my travels were pretty local. Life as a weekend warrior who worked a 9 to 5 meant that I became quite skilled at packing an adventure into a long weekend or even the day.

A lot of my trips were with a day bag packed with snacks and a full tank of gas. COVID made local travel even more important as the world struggled with understaffed flights, access limitations and testing requirements. 

The pandemic changed the way we travel and being a parent changes it even more. Now that we have a baby, we plan a lot more day trips to small scenic towns and head out for exciting hikes throughout New England. 

Whether you are heading out for the day, the night, or the week, traveling with a baby requires a different mondset. It isn't always easy and there are plenty of frustrating moments. I promise that it is all worth it, worth the Xtra packing and planning to share our favorite places with Whitney and to discover new spaces with him in tow. It's also a skill you improve with time, the more you go, the more you know. but before you set out on your next adventure, there are a few foundations that make it all run smoother. Today's post is my non-expert advice, my tips and tricks to get you out on the go with a baby in tow - the day trip edition. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Mt Ascutney - a Vermont Winter Getaway

I am great at traveling but I have to admit, I am terrible at relaxing. Lazy days aren't in my wheelhouse and if there's a quiet day on my weekly planner, you know I am going to fill it with something (a new house project, a house deep clean, etc). There is nothing like the holidays and getting sick to show you just how run down you are. I also took a few new projects for work which added to my work and stress load. Holiday hustle, work, and back-to-back colds left me worn down. I was all ragged edges and little patience, so much congestion and attitude, all just in time for another COVID surge. 

Winters can be long and dark here in New England. The only way to survive is to find something you love to do in the winter. For me, it's skiing and we planned a winter ski trip in January, strategically placed before Adam's parents head out for a month-long trek to Florida. We bought Epic passes, so excited to ski after being pregnant last winter, only to forget we were running really low in the childcare department. We invited Adam's parents to stay with us (and watch the baby while we skied) and it could not have worked out better. They were happy to hang out at the condo, we snuck away to ski, and we all spent the afternoons and evenings relaxing. Vermont is a perfect place to unwind, to acknowledge that winter is a season of stillness. That you can spend cold bright sunny days enjoying the mountains but when the sun goes down at five, it's time for stillness.  The landscape reminds you to slow down as you drive down its windy roads. No traffic, just long drives through small towns that beg you to pull over and admire a covered bridge or winding river. Four nights in Vermont recharges your batteries. It was slow mornings, easy days, and lazy afternoons. We went out to dinner one night and the rest of the time, opted to stay in the condo, cooking meals and enjoying the slow pace of life. Nowhere to be, nothing to do, no project to be completed. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

A Neutral Nursery

I think most women who want children someday have daydreamed about what a future nursery would look like. When we started renovating this house (and before we found out we were expecting), we started calling this room in the corner "the nursery". It was sweet and dreamy, to be sitting in this terribly old outdated and dirty room in the corner of the house, thinking of all its potential. We peeled wallpaper and painted walls, installed new windows, and redid the floors, envisioning how this room would all come together when the time came. And then, it did. 

There are so many themed and styled nurseries now, ranging from safaris to unicorns and while they are fun, they just aren't for me. When I found out we were expecting a little boy, I knew I wanted something more neutral. I didn't want anything decked out in bright blues and dark greens and figured a neutral nursery would also work for a possible Baby #2 down the road, regardless of gender. 

Future planning aside, planning a very neutral nursery was something I wanted to do for me. My thought was this - he isn't going to know or care what the room looks like as a baby so I may as well make it a calming room I love, a room that matches the rest of the house. When he's older with opinions on decor, I will embrace planes and trains on the wall.  But for now, I wanted something neutral and calming that matched the rest of the house which is a simple clean Scandinavian neutral design. I didn't want to invest insane amounts of money into decorating this room, but knew I needed a few solid staples. Here's what we came up with for Whitney's room and how it became my favorite room in the house.