4 Tips To Make Travelling With Kids Easier

Taking trips with the kids on my own is nothing new to me. The Captain was often working whenever there were family weddings, reunions, and other getaways, so I’ve been heading off on adventures alone with the kids since they were babies. And each time, I get a little more clever and find something else to make the trip easier.

On our recent camping trip to BC, these 4 tricks saved me a lot of time and hassle.

  1. I typically plan and pre-cook most of our meals, so that most of the work is done beforehand. But this time, I avoided all of that and went the path of least resistance…and work. Haha…It was a 5 day trip and I packed convenience foods and snacks that all fit nicely in an *under the bed* size tub.


camping food made easy these are your days making memories traveling with kids

Kraft Dinner, Ichiban {Ramen}, Bear Paws, Cheese and Salsa {Tortilla Chips in a separate bag}, Trail Mix, Honey Nut Cheerios, Plaintain Chips, White Bean Crackers, Campfire Popcorn, Oatmeal, Cup-a-Soup, Fruit Source Bars, and I ended up buying Hot Chocolate, Tea and Hamburger Helper as well

2. I packed our clothes in laundry baskets for years, which I love but over the past couple of years I’ve switched to packing in reusable grocery bags. Trust me, it’s a much better solution! Even better, this time I used our MASSIVE Ikea bag. It held clothes for the 3 of us for the 5 days plus towels and there was still room. Plus the handles make it super easy to carry.

Ikea bag packing camping traveling with kids these are your days

                         This photo was taken after the trip, with the first load of clean laundry, but you get the idea. lol

3. I hate not having something to put dirty clothes in. When I used to pack in laundry baskets, we would use it if we were somewhere with dressers {hotel, condo, etc.}. But now that I use the reusable bags, I grab Brooklyn’s old collapsible laundry basket and it’s completely awesome. It doesn’t take up any room AND keeps everything off the floor, which is especially important in a tent.

Added Bonus: Since I always wash everything after a trip {especially camping}, worn or not, there needs to be a reasonably easy solution that doesn’t take up more space. This trip, I emptied the dirty clothes back into the Ikea bag, collapsed the laundry basket and was on my way.

collapsible laundry basket packing camping these are your days traveling with kids

This pop up hamper was from Walmart – similar

4. We set off on our trip a day early to shorten the trip a bit and stay in a hotel. I’m sure you’ve all been there before – vehicle nicely packed and no real interest in mucking around. We were staying over for one night and our main purpose was to enjoy the pool so we really didn’t need a lot. I LOVE these small lululemon bags and use them for so many things {like my lunch at work} and knew they’d be perfect for this.

lululemon these are your days packing made easy camping traveling with kids making memories

I packed:

1 bag for each kid – Swimsuit, pyjamas and clean underwear. I added mine to one of the bags as well. You could fit the next day’s clothes in as well, but we just wore our same clothes again to make it easy.

1 bag is our permanent goggle/swim bag

And the blue bag {I clearly need to shop at lulu more lol} was for my toiletries.

Heading into the hotel was super easy and even if you have small kids, these bags are easy to carry for them too.

What tips and tricks do you have that help make travelling easier?

Tag me on Instagram @theseareyourdays

There are no whales in the toilet

It’s one thing I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember. So when Travelocity listed Whale Watching in Santa Barbara as a YEAR ROUND activity, I was sold.


It is so stunning

I have a tendency to get car sick so had some concerns about getting sea sick, but didn’t want to buy Gravol for just one use. I asked my cousin if she had any to bring, but she didn’t. Our host family even looked in their house for me but to no avail. So I chose to hope for the best.

I made the wrong choice.


While I was still upright

The real mistake for me was going into the café on board. It’s the area of the ship with the most movement and as I waited for my burger {thinking I was hungry}, I could feel it happening. Just one bite of my burger {which was delicious honestly} and I knew I was in trouble.

That delicious $7 burger with one pathetic bite out of it, found it’s way to the garbage after my first bathroom visit, and I proceeded to spend the last half of the trip either hovered over the toilet or laying on a life vest storage bench on the back deck.

The breeze and sunshine sure felt nice though.

whale watching condor express santa barbara seasick these are your days making memories

My opinion on the whales? Well, Gray Whales are boring {case in point: see above}….we did see a baby which was fun but they really do nothing beyond breaching. And there weren’t any dolphins at all, which was a real bummer for me personally. At one point there was a Humpback Whale, though within seconds of getting up to go see, I was finding my way back to the bathroom. Haha…

The company – Condor Express – was fantastic and despite this experience, I will definitely book through them again. I’ll be booking my trip around Humpback season though as they are arguably much more exciting to watch. I will also be taking Gravol BEFORE and will never make the mistake of eating a protein cookie beforehand or ever again actually {It was the last thing I ate before boarding the ship and the very last thing that came up….after an hour of being sick…and the nastiest, thickest sludge ever….sorry for that….just keeping it real lol}.

Whale Watching Nap These are your days making memories seasick grey whales

While I was able to recover with a 3 hour nap afterwards {Honestly, I died}, the truth is that queasy feeling didn’t go away the entire rest of the weekend. So although I’m definitely glad I went, I’ll be doing things much differently the next time around.

Photo credit: Eternal Reflections Photography, except for the last photo…the grainy one, courtesy of my iPhone. lol



Another Amazon Swimwear Search for Girls

Last year I posted about all the cute swimwear on Amazon, and even ordered a couple for Brooklyn which I LOVE! But it’s time to add to her collection once more.

I’m pretty picky with the bikinis I like and buy for her, and have discovered a love for the ruffle or flounce tops. And Kanu has really knocked it out of the park. I want one of each.

Kanu Surf Girls Allison Nikki Chloe these are your days swimwear beach ready

    Allison * Nikki * Chloe 

Kanu Surf Girls Hannah Karlie Kelly these are your days swimwear beach ready

    HannahKarlie * Kelly

But why stop there? Here are a few other gorgeous swimsuits worth checking out.

Arshiner Gossip Girl Attraco these are your days swimwear beach ready


  Arshiner Floral * Gossip Girl AztecAttraco Rainbow

And it continues – you really can’t have too many 😉

A Snail Named Georgie

Well, we finally got a lake day in.

these are your days making memories be a yes mom pets georgie the snail lake like 4

I love spending the afternoon watching the them kayak around. I mentioned them on Instagram as well, but if you haven’t purchased these kids kayaks from Costco yet, they are a must for next summer! Seriously, even your little 3 year olds can maneuver them! Major win with this purchase!

these are your days making memories be a yes mom pets georgie the snail lake life 3

As I was loading our stuff into the vehicle, Jonah was sitting at the shore just playing in the water. And of course, he found a little friend.

And of course he begged to bring her home.

these are your days making memories be a yes mom pets georgie the snail lake life

And OF COURSE, I said no.

*But she has a mommy she needs to stay with*

*She’s going to die*

*You aren’t bringing her into the house*

*Please don’t bring the snail home*

*She’ll miss her friends*

But of course, in the end, none of that really mattered {unless she really is missing her mom now…and I suppose if she dies as a result….oops} and I decided to simply #beayesmom. And now we have a pet snail named Georgie.

these are your days making memories be a yes mom pets georgie the snail lake life 2

Jonah’s heart couldn’t be happier.

I love hearing your #beayesmom moments, so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @theseareyourdays


Brooklyn’s Cookies are Better than Mine

I love having my kids help in the kitchen so any time they ask if they can make something or help me, I do everything I can to make it happen. Brooklyn wanted to make cookies this weekend so we pulled the margarine squares out Friday night to soften and when she woke up Saturday {AFTERNOON!! 115pm…haha}, it was the first thing she did.

Kids who bake these are your days making memories kitchenaid presidents choice chocolate chip cookies

I grabbed the bag of chocolate chips and figured she would just follow the recipe on the back, but I had no idea she had found a recipe herself and had it saved on her ipod – {Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies from Life Made Delicious}. I gave her some tips {getting out all the ingredients first, mixing the margarine fully with each ingredient before adding the next, etc.} and then I left her to it, wanting to see how she’d do.

Kids who bake these are your days making memories kitchenaid presidents choice chocolate chip cookies 3

My heart melted seeing her buzzing around the kitchen, doing her thing…AND wearing the dish towel over her shoulder just like I do.

Kids who bake these are your days making memories kitchenaid presidents choice chocolate chip cookies 2

The dough looked {and tasted} delicious, but we all know that can sometimes be deceiving.

Kids who bake these are your days making memories kitchenaid presidents choice chocolate chip cookies 4

Though not in the case because Brooklyn totally rocked it and the resulting cookies look better than any I’ve ever made. #truestory

Kids who bake these are your days making memories kitchenaid presidents choice chocolate chip cookies 5

She’s hired.

I’m Glad My Kids Went Away For the Week #notwhatyouthink #18summers #theseareyourdays #makingmemories

Last Friday my cousin texted to see if I was willing to have her 4 kids for the night. {Obviously I said yes – I honestly love her kids and having extra kids over in general}. Then she even sweetened the deal, offering to take my kids back home with her for the week. #partyofsix

Say what?!

It’s usually difficult for me to accept help so my first reaction was to turn down the offer, but something stopped me. I knew I needed it….not a break from them. Not that at all. I needed them to have a fun week.

For the first time since going back to work 3 years ago, I’m hating that I’m working during their summer break. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my job {seriously} and it’s only part time so I will still get time and lots of fun with them, but I want my stay at home mom time freedom back again. I hate that the bulk of their day is spent at the mercy of my working. The ability to get out and do fun things always has to wait until I’m off.

these are your days laura taylor photography summer fun making memories 1

18 Summers, my friends.

We only get 18 summers with our kids {if we’re lucky}….and I’m spending half of this one in the office, NOT with my kids. *cue tears* ~ I know I’m being dramatic, but let me. I know where my heart is and where it wants to be, and that’s making memories with my kids. I believe in living in the now…and feeling like I’m missing out on some of that is hitting me hard this year and simply making me feel the feels.

these are your days laura taylor photography summer fun making memories 2

BUT, knowing they were making memories with cousins and being sent daily photo updates plus nightly texts from my kids was the very next best thing. Because even though I may have been missing out, knowing they weren’t fills my cup in more ways than I can count.

Quite frankly, I have the best cousins. And so do my kids!

these are your days laura taylor photography summer fun making memories 3

{Haha…my cousin has never known a child to sleep like Brooklyn. She text me the third photo and said, *Should I be worried? Do you think she’s dead?* Bahahahahaha}

**A HUGE thank you to my amazing cousin, Laura of Laura Taylor Photography for taking my kids and providing me with these fabulous {iPhone} photo memories**



The Magic of Trying to #beayesmom ~ #theseareyourdays

It’s not the first time I’ve talked about this great piece of parenting advice I heard years ago, and it likely isn’t the last. It’s amazing the opportunities that present themselves, yes of course, usually during the times you are the most tired and worn out…but that’s also when the magic happens.

Case in point: My weeding day.

Do you remember these photos from my Instagram?

these are your days be a yes mom parenting making memories gardening

Let’s just first take a minute to consider not only the transformation, but how absolutely brutal this flower bed was to start. *covers eyes*

Now let me tell you what was going on behind the scenes and how this turned into a magical #beayesmom experience.

As I started to weed, Jonah asked if he could bring his cars out to play. I know, it sounds so simple and I have no issues with him playing outside or even, in some cases, bringing toys outside, The problem was, I didn’t want those toys to come outside, get dirty and then find their way back into the house.

So I tried to convince him not to.

For several minutes we went back and forth until it occurred to me…if they got dirty, he could always add a follow-up activity and bath {wash} them in the sink. Problem solved.

Of course, Jonah – bring out the toys!

And as a result, this was my view while I did the weeding. *cue heart swoon*

theseareyourdays making memories be a yes mom gardening

Happy to be outside playing, happy to be making memories and happy to be together.

Just like that it became one of those magical parenting moments and easily one of my favourite memories from that week. And to think, I just about missed it.

*I want to hear about your #beayesmom moments – tag me @theseareyourdays*


I Rented a Car for the First Time EVER! #enterprise #santabarbara #theseareyourdays #yearofme #madetoholiday

Shortly before my trip, I decided to look into renting a car instead of relying on cabs and my pretty little feet. Am I ever glad I did because for just $18/day my cousin and I had the freedom to go where our little hearts desired. It was easily the best decision of the trip – and going through Enterprise {car rental at the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport} was a brilliant choice.

First, booking online was EASY! And second, the staff were amazing and so accommodating!

The only trouble I had was trying to decide which size of vehicle to book. I ended up going for a full size which I quickly realized was not the best choice for me. I’m little so long cars are just awkward.

First up – The Buick Lacrosse, a beautiful car but just a bit too big for me. And, we’d soon find out, a little too big for the driveway cove we had to park in at our rental.


Making me laugh about being old ladies with our Giant Buick. Hahaha

So, the next day we zipped back to the airport to see if there was something smaller that might work better. I wish I remembered the name of who helped me {same each time} because he was so great and got me set up right away with this smaller and also beautiful Chrysler 200.


Totally more my jam {though truly I’m a small SUV girl through and through} – and $16 to fill from empty. SIXTEEN! Boy did I feel like a fool pre-authorizing for $40. hahaha

**Funny story: I went into the gas station to pre-pay and the gas attendant took my credit card and said, “So go fill up and then when you come back in we’ll charge your card.” – I sort of scoffed and said, “Oh, I’m not leaving my credit card with you! ~ Can’t you just pre-authorize it?”

His response, “Um yeah, I can.” **

Hahahahaha…Be careful people…I’m not saying he would have done anything, I’m just saying don’t take any unnecessary chances.

Final thought – Use Enterprise! {And don’t leave your credit card with random people} lol

I Got Propositioned at LAX #truestory #makesmelaugh #theseareyourdays #yearofme

Standing in the security line at LAX, anxious to make it through to my connecting flight, I started chatting with the lady in front of me, who was probably not much older than I am {mid-late 30’s}. Nothing unusual as I tend to make friends at every pit stop along the way any time I travel. She was beautiful so I told her {a habit I’ve resurrected from my younger years} and then we got chatting about where our travels were taking us.

She was heading to Costa Rica to spend a week with a friend of hers who lives there 6 months of the year and the other 6 somewhere here in Canada. She couldn’t remember where he worked/lived here which I thought was funny and a bit odd.

She told me I should go to Costa Rica and I agreed that it was on my list of places to see. Then she suggested trading personal information after getting through the line. Again, I agreed because it’s always fun to make new friends.

Then she suggested she give me her friend’s information as well so I’d have a contact if I ever made it there. Okay so I thought that was odd because I assumed they were a couple of sorts, but she put all the pieces together for me when she said,

“He’s so nice, a really nice man. He’s retired…”

And it all made sense.

We did not exchange information, though honestly I had zero time to even look for her after as I had to figure out how the heck to get to my connecting flight. But I couldn’t stop giggling about it.

Looks like this girl’s still got it 😉

snapchat filters meow these are your days makes me laugh lax propositioned made to holiday year of me discover


4am Travelling Isn’t My Jam #palmtoforehead #makesmelaugh #theseareyourdays #santabarbara #yearofme

My instagram post during my day of travel to Santa Barbara:

4am travel these are your days applause santa barbara yyc year of me made to holiday

4am travelling is clearly not my jam:

Shuttle driver asks what airline I’m flying 

Kiosk won’t read my passport 🙄

Typing error makes for a flight not found 

Goes to wrong line 

Drops passport 

Half trips over suitcase trying to pull luggage and turn phone off at the same time 

Buuuut I made it to my gate and now I wait! Also, I realize I look freakishly alien like but dude, 4am and just 2 hours of sleep *zz*

**Also, to add insult to injury, I banged my head on the overhead luggage getting off the place in Santa Barbara. Ha! You know the plane is tiny when….**

But it was all worth it to arrive to these:

palm trees santa barbara municipal airport these are your days made to holiday year of me