Cruising Together: Cute Styles for Boat-Bound Toddlers

I’m still mentally on vacation… Or maybe I’m just in denial. While friends and loved ones are bragging about their upcoming spring break trips, I’m winding down from our early vacation aboard the Disney Wonder. It was first time cruising with the littles ones, and it was a huge success all around (Disney really has this vacay-thing down to a science!).

Still, one of my favorite parts of the trip happened well before we left the port. I had the greatest time shopping for deck-ed out (get it?) styles for my family of vacationers. From sun hats to sandals to bathing suits and sunscreen, I especially loved curating cruise-ready ensembles for my littlest people.

Since lots of y’all seem to have spring break approaching in April (quit gloating about it–will ya!?), I’ve rounded up some of the sweetest, cutest, and easiest, breeziest picks for sailing in style. Cruise into your local store or shop from the links below to get your boating babes ready to “sea-ze the day.”

Top left to bottom right: “Sea the World” Graphic Tee, $9/ “I Run This Ship” Long-Sleeve Graphic Tee, $9/ Sailboat V-Neck Tee, $12/ Shark Fin Patch Tee, $12/ Striped Sailboat Shorts, $15/ The Cerulean Life Tee, $11

Mermaid at Heart Tee, $17, Set Sail Tee, $17, Sun and Surf Tank, $36/ Hey Tropical Glitter Tank Top, $5/ Flamingo Shorts, $48/ Mini Boden Dress, $45, Miss Adventure Tee, $34

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Spring-Break Essential: The Best Sun Hats for Little Vacationers

Hello, spring. (Well, hello officially, at least.) We’ve been dreaming about you, and counting down the days until you’d peek your sunny little head out from behind winter’s bleak and cold and cloudy horizon. Alas, here you are! The Vernal Equinox—could we love you any more?!? The day that signifies the change in seasons. Of course, the weather is still rather unpredictable (is that snow I see in the upcoming weekend’s forecast?). At least, we know the temperature will slowly but surely rise, and the sun will steadily make more of a regular appearance. We’re counting on you, spring!

While we may have to hold our breath a bit for more spring-like conditions, one thing is fast on the way: spring break! Time to go somewhere beautiful and exotic (unless, of course, your a ski fam), and get a sneak peek at the summer weather on its way.

My crew cut out a bit early for our own officially unofficial spring break vacation last week in Florida and the Bahamas. Sunny days, balmy nights, sand, surf, and warm-weather fun—it was exactly what we needed to recharge our tired bodies and minds.

Seeing my two babies soaking up the rays (protected with SPF and wide-brimmed hats) warmed my heart and soothed my Vitamin D-deprived soul. Not only did they look adorable rocking big straw hats in Boca and Sarasota and Nassau, they stayed shady, calm, and cool. So don’t forget to pack your favorite kid-friendly sunscreen, some flip-flops, and a few haute little toddler sun hats (I mean what more could you possibly need?… ahem, diapers?), if you’re headed somewhere tropical these next few spring-break weeks!

I’ve rounded up a few fashionable and functional toddler sun hats for your smallest spring breakers. Enjoy!

  1. Osh Gosh “Poolside” Floppy Sun Hat, $8 / 2. Janie & Jack Color-Block Floppy Hat, $26 / 3. Children’s Place Straw Kitten Hat, $ / 4. Gap Chambray Panama Hat, $ / 5. Cat & Jack Straw Bow Hat, $8 / Janie & Jack Sun Hat, $26

  1. Old Navy Straw Hat, $14 / 2. Children’s Place Straw Bear Hat, $ / 3. Gap Shark Bucket Hat, $20 / 4. Janie & Jack Striped Boater Hat, $26

This is not a sponsored post. It may contain affiliate links. All opinions are our own.

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Travel Inspired Style

I’m experiencing some major travel envy right now. It’s February break and it seems that everyone is on vacation… Everyone but me, of course. Facebook and Instagram are  chock-full of amazing family getaway pics—bronzed moms lounging on the beach with sleeping babies, fearless toddlers belly-flopping into palatial pools, and happy dads sharing rapidly melting mid-day ice-cream cones with their giggling littles…  Meanwhile, here I am typing away on my couch, huddled under a blanket and sipping tea. Wah. (Can you say “first-world problems?”)

Okay, okay. My winsome whining is obnoxious and unnecessary; I just can’t help but feel a pull to hop on a plane and escape the February blahs. I’ve got a major itch and a serious case of wanderlust. I’m thinking tropical thoughts… And those phenomenal 61-degree days we’ve had in New York lately are a total tease.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I think Nicole’s passion for ski travel is incredible. (She makes cold weather look good!) And I have immense admiration for her commitment to get families out on the slopes… But, um, right now I’m, personally, craving the beach. Palm trees. Beaming rays. Balmy breezes—sand and surf and sunshine. I want to trade out my thick boots for flip flops and my heavy sweaters for gauzy tops and tunics.

Yes, I’ve been on the hunt for some vacationy looks for an upcoming Florida trip (yay!), and I think I hit the jackpot. Nautical stripes, billowy peasant-inspired skirts and maxi dresses, pretty palm prints, and tropical hues are inspiring my style, fueling my fervor, and fanning my wanderlust.

  1. Old Navy Bon Voyage Sweatshirt, $25 / 2. Forever 21 Palm Print Maxi Dress, $25 / 3. J. Crew Florida Destination Art T-Shirt, $40 / 4. Old Navy Cold Shoulder Dress, $38 / 5. J. Crew California Destination Art T-Shirt, $40 / 6. Tory Burch Skirt, $350 / 7. Vineyard Vine Painted Stripe Dress, $168 / 8. Lily Pulitzer Pants, $138 / 9. You, Me, & The Sea Shirt, $17

I’ve rounded up a few fabulous pieces I’m loving. Planning a spring-break trip or just day-dreaming of a warm weather getaway? You’re going to want to pack in yoru real or make-believe suitcase…

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Packing Tips for Easier Spring Break Travel

Who’s ready for a spring getaway? Whether you are heading by plane, boat or car, heading to the snow, beach or a far-off city, hopefully you are taking a spring break somewhere wonderful. Here are three packing rules I’m following this year.

PACKING TIPS

Tip 1: Choose a suitcase that fits your travel needs.

suitcase

A good suitcase is imperative for packing. I like one with lots of compartments and the ability to expand. I’ve also recently been converted from a two-wheel suitcase to a four-wheel suitcase. HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?! A four-wheeled suitcase like this Tarmac AWD 25 from Eagle Creek has been life-changing. It’s much easier to pull through an airport, can change direction as quickly as I need to with kids, and – bonus – my youngest can sit on it while I roll it! I also love that it has a top and bottom compartment that I can pack separately or share with my husband, and a quick-access top outer pocket with a pull-out coat keeper (also works well for kid blankies), a detachable cargo net for when someone no longer wants to carry his special stuffed animal anymore, and a key fob with a bottle opener because, let’s be honest – traveling with kids can be stressful.

Tip 2: Organize & separate with packing cubes.

Packing Cubes

I have three boys, and while I love to pack them all in one suitcase, I hate how all their clothes get mixed up after Day 1. I’ve found a solution with packing cubes. Available in a wide variety of sizes and colors, packing cubes make it easy to keep everyone’s clothes neat and organized – even if they are sharing a bag. I’m especially loving this Pack-It Specter™ Compression Cube Set that not only allows me to separate my boys’ clothes, but the second zipper lets me compress the bag, fitting even more into the suitcase. This stack of 8 shirts went from 5 inches down to 2 inches! Get each kid their own color so it’s always easy to see whose shirts are whose.

Tip 3: Pack multi-tasking outfits only.

wardrobe

Whether I am packing for a few days or a few weeks, I always like to pack multi-tasking apparel like these outfits shown here. We are talking both about pieces that can do double duty – like that dress that works as beach cover-up or classed up with a cardigan, necklace and heels for dinner – and pieces that can mix-and-match color-wise. You can get more spring break packing inspiration with other capsule packing ideas like this, this or this.

Where are YOU headed this Spring Break?

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Spring Break Swimwear Style

cute swimsuit with rashguard

Who’s shopping for swimwear this week? Are you going someplace warm for spring break and need a new look for the beach? I was recently in Costa Rica for a warm-weather getaway and found some stylish finds that I wanted to share.

Slimming Swimsuit

First, let’s talk swimwear. I’m a huge fan of MiracleSuit and MagicSuit I’ve ben wearing the slimming suits for years. I just love how the structured suits sort out all the mommy bits that have shifted as I’ve gotten older. This purple Fiona suit from MagicSuit is so sleek and modern–the cut out at the neck was my fashion statement. The rich eggplant color is sophisticated and I loved the fit. I was extremely confident poolside in this design.

swimsuit with rashguard

To give myself some style options, I also brought along a two-piece. On a recent visit to the showroom I saw another line that the company designs called EcoPeace. It’s younger, with a lot less structure, but super cute. The fabrics are all made from recyclable material. Since I was headed on an adventure trip, I loved the idea of this rashguard top paired with bikini bottoms. There’s nothing more annoying than worrying about your top falling off when you are trying to have fun with the kiddos. It’s the perfect suit to pair with jean shorts and will make you feel sexy and confident while rafting, surfing or paddle boarding. One weird design flaw…it didn’t come with a bikini top. I ended up buying a solid color top to work in with this suit. You can see the full collection at aquagreen.net where you can find out more about where to purchase and get detail about how all these eco-designs are made.

Mommy and me coverups

I also needed a new cover-up. I was at the Soma Intimates showroom back in December to see the new swimwear line they have developed. They were lovely enough to send along this sweet white cover-up with embroidery. Cover-ups are essential–especially at swank resorts. I don’t want to go to a nice poolside lunch in my bikini. This Embroidered Cotton Tunic Swim Cover Up has a bit of beading and a lovely fit. In our mommy and me photo, my daughter rocks her cover up too! Look at this one–my daughter has her Snapper Rock cover-up on and we are chilling in the swing chair at the El Mangroove in Costa Rica.

soma coverup

My last find to share is from Hadry. My friend Erica Diamond is the clever mom behind this brand. These hair wraps are gorgeous and chic, but they are also a secret weapon to protect your hair against humidity and the sun’s harmful rays. I’m not going to lie, I spend a ton of money on my hair color. It’s an investment I want to protect.

hadry hair wraps

I’m wearing the Animal Tie Die Sophisticated Woodstock print. HADRY uses an innovative fabric to protect hair from the elements. This fabric locks out the humidity, is breathable, and is also water resistant (while both keeping hair dry and protecting it from harmful UV rays). I’m wearing the HADRY Scarf. You can tie it into a long knot, a short knot, a bow, or wrap around. HADRY is also available in two sizes: Small/Medium (for short thin hair) and Large/X-Large (for longer thicker hair, this is the size I have).

Hadry scarves are really easy to style. Unlike most scarves, they are specifically designed for your head. They don’t slip off. There’s not a lot of “scarf management” going on with these.

beach style for moms

Resort dress code is pretty easy when you know where to start. I’m psyched to have added these cute, packable pieces to my travel wardrobe.

This is not a sponsored post. Samples were provided for review.

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Spring Break “Staycation” for the Family

Spring Break Staycation.jpg

With Spring break just around the corner, we know that many people won’t be going away. You can still have a great time with your family by enjoying a  “staycation.” Check out these fun fitness options for a fun and fit holiday close to home, from Shana Schneider, fitness expert and founder of FITWEEK, a fitness company dedicated to helping women “turn their week into a fit week.”

Play old school games. Remember things like red light/green light, Simon says, duck-duck-goose, musical chairs, or freeze tag? These are lots of fun, and free! Or, for older kids, go to an arcade. See who has the skills for Pac Man or Skee Ball.

Head to the park. Find a list of all the parks in your city and make a plan to visit as many as you can during the break. As part of the fun, pack a picnic. This way, your kids can still run around outside and you’ll all be ready for a nap afterwards. Check out the playgrounds or the trails, and then when home, place stickers on a map of your city identifying each parks and playgrounds you have visited.

Watch a movie marathon.  The key here is to make fitness part of the viewing. Here’s how it could work – assign a character to each family member; that person has to get up and sit down, or do some exercise each time the assigned character comes on the screen. It’s pretty funny to see people randomly get up and down throughout the movie. There’ll be some giggles involved, which can get your abs working, too!

Visit a museum. They usually run walking tours and will often have activities for kids. If you’re in the Connecticut area, check out the children’s museums, which are interactive fun for the whole family. And no one has to worry about not touching the exhibits.

Cook in the kitchen, and use that elbow grease. Do something out of the ordinary like making bread or pizza dough from scratch. When getting those ingredients together, remember no electric mixers allowed!

Learn a new sport or activity.  Try yoga for the first time together, or take a dance class. If someone in the family is an expert at a particular sport have them teach the others how to play it.

Host an active video game tournament. If you have a video game console, set up your own family tournament and compete in a different sport each day. Need more people involved? Invite the neighbors or other friends over to join you. Choose from – golfing, tennis, boxing, snowboarding, dancing and the list goes on.  You can even divide up the groups so you have adults play one game and kids another. The point is you want to pick games that get everyone moving!

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What to Pack for Spring Break

For those of you who are headed out of town for a spring break vacay, your kiddos are going to need some basic essentials packed in their suitcases! Their must haves are pretty much the same as ours. We all need a great swimsuit, beach towel and sunnies on spring break, don’t we? Well, if you’re planning a ski trip instead of relaxing on sunny shores, you may not be shopping for swimwear, but then again, there’s always the hot tub right? Haha!

spring break essentials

Kassatax Spiaggia Ombre Beach Towel / Snapper Rock UV50 Rash Top / Snapper Rock UV50 Swim Shirt / Kassatax Spiaggia Marina Beach Towel / Snapper Rock Boys Board Shorts / Snapper Rock Girls Board Shorts  / Roshambo Baby 90210 Sunglasses / Roshambo Baby Rainbow Brite Sunglasses / Stride Rite Marlin Water Shoe / Sperry Top-Sider Wet Tech Fisherman Water Shoe

I usually have at least two swimsuits on hand that fit my kiddos at any given time…especially when we’re on vacation. That way one can dry and one can be worn. It amazes me how cute kids’ swimwear is these days. And I really love the suits that provide UV protection. Here in Florida, shielding delicate little skin from the sun’s rays is uber important and if you’re headed anywhere with that kind of intense sun too, I bet you’re looking for as much protection as you can find for your kids.

Along the same vein, you’re never too young for sunglasses. Peepers need to be protected from the sun too and what’s cuter than a wee one rockin’ a sweet pair of shades? My kids have been wearing them since they were teeny tiny with little protest.

If swimming is in your kids’ spring break future, a beach towel and water shoes should land in your suitcase. The towels that hotels provide never seem big enough and you’ll inevitably have to leave the water for a potty break, so having a pair of shoes that you can slip wet tootsies into are worth their weight in gold.

So, where are you headed this year for spring break lovelies?

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On the Road: Family Travel Favorites

Family Travel Favorites.jpg.jpg

Families across the country are getting ready for spring break and summer travel. But traveling with kids is not always easy where you have tons of stuff to pack and even more ideas of what to do when you get there. Check out our recap of some of our favorite go-to resources for travel to make your trip as smooth as possible.

Bathing Suits and Flip Flops:

Once you hit sunshine, you will practically want to live in your bathing suit and some of our current favorites are the Button Chevron One-Piece from Lime Ricky and the Guess – Found Gilty One Piece Swimsuit from Swimspot.  For pregnant mamas, we love the Navy Spotted Halter Neck Maternity Tankini from Seraphine Maternity.

As for flip flops we love the bright styles and patterns from Havaianas with some of our favorites being the TOP LOGO METALLIC and the LUNA. We are also big fans of Sanita and their cute sandals like the Carise style for the summer.

To-Do:

To calm the chrous of “Are we there yet?” we suggest getting cool kid headphones from eKids. Featuring characters like Marvel, Disney and Nickelodeon, we love how soft and durable these over-the-headphones are that produce a high quality audio sound where you kids can listen to music, movies or games. Additionally, the eKids Disney Creativity Studio features step-by-step instructions from real Disney artists for kids to learn how to traw, trace and color their favorite characters – mess free! When they’re done with their masterpiece, they can send along to Grandma and Grandpa.

When you are on the road or flying we also like to make sure that we have an ample amount of healthy snacks and some of our favorites are the healthy Crunch Pak Sliced Apples and their Dipperz line featuring the Sweet Apples with Peanut Butter, Carrot Sticks with Ranch Dip and the Sweet Apples with Vanilla Yogurt Dip that makes it so easy to eat while traveling.

We are also fans of the new line called PRESSELS™, a new better-for-you pretzel chip.
Available in three flavors, Original, Everything and Sesame, PRESSELS is non-GMO certified with no food coloring or artificial flavors, no cholesterol, no preservatives and zero Trans fat.

Another favorite is the portable Welch’s PB&J Snacks, a new way to enjoy peanut butter and jelly. This includes delicious jelly flavors like grape, strawberry that is mixed with creamy or crunchy peanut for a tasty snack that is packed with vitamin C.

Organization:

To keep your bags organized, we love the Luggage Labels Pack from Name Bubbles. Laminated for durability, these labels are waterproof and weatherproof and make it easy so that you won’t loose your items at the airport.

As for the bags, moms will love the new 3 piece traveling system from Free Like Birdie Travel System. This includes a Quick Change Diaper Pouch with Deluxe Changing Pad, Quick Change Clothes Bag and Weekender bag that is also free from phalates, pvc, lead and chlorine. We also love how the bag contains odor and liquids so you can place your dirty items in one section and the clean ones in another for an easy unpacking job when you get home. We are also fans of the emerald green that is a unique and fun color for travel.

Vera Bradley is another one of our favorites where you will find functional and stylish pieces like the Frame Travel BagGrand Traveler, and the Laptop Travel Tote for us digital mamas.

When you are traveling the last thing you want to think about is your cell phone battery. To ensure that your phone is charged so you can take pictures galore, we recommend the portable battery from the Original Pocket Port. This heavy duty battery works with any phone or the iPad where you can charge up to two ports that holds power for months when in standby mode.

Sunscreen:

Stay safe this summer by slathering your skin with derma e’s new Antioxidant Natural Sunscreens for Face & Body. This powerful Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 Oil-Free Face Lotion and Body Lotion is designed to shield skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, oxidative damage and premature signs of aging.  With clear, nanoparticle-free Zinc Oxide, these formulas provide safe, chemical-free broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.  The sunscreens are fortified with antioxidants Vitamin C and Green Tea, which are nutrients that have been shown to offer an additional layer of UV protection, help skin recover after sun exposure and curtail signs of aging for vibrant, younger-looking skin.  Ideal for daily use, these formulas glide on evenly, absorb quickly and leave a sheer, lightweight, non-greasy finish. Both formulas are hypoallergenic, clinically tested, dermatologist tested, sensitivity tested, fragrance-free, paraben-free, gluten-free and 100 percent vegan.

For babies and kids, we love babyhampton, an organic line of sunscreen and sunstick. I love how the company uses certified organic ingredients, including grape-seed extract, green tea and rose hip antioxidants, shea butter, and extra virgin olive and jojoba oils, to moisturize the skin while protecting from the sun.

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Girls’ Swimwear Roundup

It may not be summer quite yet, but it’s almost time for the kids to have spring break. So, now is as good a time as any to talk about swimwear. If you’re headed somewhere a bit warmer, I bet you’ll all need swimsuits! And even if a tropical vacay isn’t in the works, summer will be here before you know it, so why not get a jump on things?

We don’t have any big spring plans apart from doing some fun things close to home, but we do start swim lessons soon and my lil’ lady bean will be going for the first time this year, so I want to get her an extra special swimsuit or two. She’s not exactly a fan of the pool. I’m expecting a lot of shrieking. Le sigh. So, I’m hoping I can distract her with a pretty new suit and coverup ensemble. Haha! Just like her mama, she just has to have a chic coverup! I have much more fun shopping for my summer caftans than I do my swimsuits, but I digress…And it’s also a lot more fun shopping for teeny tiny swimsuits! I shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one…

Snapper Rock

One of our newest favorites for the little ones is from Snapper Rock with their fun and stylish UV50+ swimwear line that keeps kids and tweens looking cool and protected while they play in the sun! This includes a current line created by skin cancer survivor Victoria Larson, Snapper Rock offers beachwear accessories and swimsuits for kids ages 0-12+ in a variety of bright colors and fun styles such as the 1 PC SWIMSUIT /W RASH TOP – GARDEN FLOWER and the SWIMSUIT & RASH TOP SET – MULTI STRIPE. This includes innovative fabric technology that blocks 98% of UV rays, providing parents peace of mind while their little ones hit the beach in style!

girls swimwear, swimsuits, kids swimsuits, spring break, millions of colors, gap, floatamini

Gap Mix Print Three-Quarter Sleeve Rash Guard Two-Piece / Gap Seersucker One-Piece / Floatamini Stripe Front Ruffle Romper / Millions of Colors Two-Piece / Floatamini Floral Print with Ruffles One-Piece / Millions of Colors One-Piece / Gap Printed T-Shirt Dress / Floatamini Chevron Print With Ruffles One-Piece / Gap Skinny Stripe T-Shirt Dress

It was easy as pie to round up these gorgeous goodies. I’m a big fan of little girls looking like little girls, especially when we’re talking about swimwear. They have their whole life to look grown up! And what’s sweeter than little lady swimsuits in pretty prints? You can’t go wrong with ruffle details either in my opinion. Of course, I love a classic stripe too. Ahhhhhhh, there are SO many cute suits…How will I ever narrow them down? Brands like Floatamini, Millions of Colors, Snapper Rock, and Gap have really brought their A game this season.

So, have you started swimsuit shopping too lovelies?

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Last-Minute Spring Break Destination: Luna Park

Living in NYC means that you don’t have to go that far to experience an adventure with your kids. Being that is is Spring Break we have been exploring the city and we just love Coney Island where we can stroll around the boardwalk, sample some delicious food and enjoy the fun rides at Luna Park.

From now until April 15th, Luna Park is offering a special deal where guests can buy a pass for $26.00 for 4-hours which will give them unlimited access to the various rides. The amusement park, now in its third year, has over 19 rides (including the legendary Cyclone) that cater to every level of thrill seekers. In addition, the park is located steps away from various shops, restaurants, the new and improved boardwalk, the famous Wonder Wheel and the New York aquarium to boot.

Luna Park at Coney Island
1000 Surf Avenue Brooklyn
New York 11224
Phone 718-373-LUNA (5862)
Email info@caiparks.com
For more information, please visit: http://www.lunaparknyc.com/

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