Peace of Mind Essentials for Hotel Stays with Little People

Essentials for Hotel Stays with Kids

I know you remember when spending the weekend or vacations at a hotel was a welcome treat.  The only thing you really had to think about what was what to pack and for how long.  Then, you became a Mommy and all of a sudden it seemed like every news program was feeding into your new found Mommy obsession with germs [esp. in hotels].  And then, in my case, you had a child that was allergic to daylight… (well, at least it felt that way) and had eczema and everything became a battle to avoid  germs.  Unless you are one of the lucky ones who live near all of your family and or can afford your own vacation home, hotels are a necessary evil.  Now, don’t get my wrong I still enjoy my stays at swanky hotels with the hubby, but my mind is not so focused on little people during those trips.

Even though I know full well that this is probably a battle I can not win, there are some essentials that make these trips just a bit more manageable in my OCD Brain.


Lysol – I have a true love/hate relationship with Lysol.  Of course I love the purpose that it serves, but ugh the smell.  My compromise is the lemon scented one, it still has distinct undertones but I can handle it.

Disinfectant Wipes – Wipe down as many surfaces as you can that the kids will touch.  Which if your kids are like mine, that is every thing, lol.

Baby Wipes – Cause you can’t wipe down everything

Ziplock Bags –  Storage for pretty much anything.

Your Own Soap – I don’t know about you, but I hate most hotel soaps because they tend to be drying.

Pillow Cases – I sleep better knowing that the pillow cases we are sleeping on, have been washed by yours truly.

Flat Sheets – another OCD thing.

Garbage Bags –  Hotel garbage bags are always TOO SMALL.

Snacks/Juice/Water – This one is just about saving you from the mini bar/vending machine prices.

Hand Sanitizer – For When All Else Fails.

I know I am not the only panicked Momma going through this.  So I’d love to know what are your go to items for hotel stays with your little ones? Drop them in the comment section below, and if you know another Momma going through a similar struggle please share this post with them.

To read more about my adventures Road ‘Tripping” with Kids follow this link.

Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 -

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote -

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

The Big List of Must Haves For A Day At The Beach

The Big List of Things You Need For A Day At The Beach - You Are Headed to the Beach.  Chances are, depending on where you live, the beach is no where close to home.  That means you need to be prepared, especially if you are traveling with little ones. It’s been a while since we have been on the beach, so we wanted to be prepared.  And, we managed not to forget ANYTHING.  Is the beach on your agenda for Summer 2015? If it is check out this Big List of Must Haves.


Beach Towels

Beach Bag

Big Floppy Hats


Flip Flops

Cover Ups

Extra Large Spray Bottles (to fill with water to wash off your feet before you get back in the car)



Back Up Batteries


Beach Pail and Shovel

Food and Beverages:


Water Bottles



Beach Friendly Food (anything that will do well on ice)

Snack Food (Dry)

Don’t Forget to Bring some Cash for Beach Vendors/Rentals


Beach Chairs

Beach Blanket

Beach Umbrella


Sun Block Lotion

Aloe Vera Gel


Lip Gloss with SPF

First Aid Kit

Extra Set of Clothing

Prepare for A Day At the Beach with Beach Must Haves- You just finished reading The Big List of Must Haves For A Day At The Beach.  Can you think of anything else to add to our list?  Leave your Must Haves in the Comment Section.

Staycations & Road Trips – Spring Break on a Budget

Spring Break Spring Break always brings to mind visions of warm weather, beaches, vacation homes, hotels and lots of sun.  But, what do you do when your budget doesn’t make those things a possibility.  The change in the economy some years back brought to the fore front the concept of Stay-cations (vacations spent at home).  I am sure most people, don’t find that idea to be too appealing, myself included. This year I had grand plans for Spring Break, but due to unforeseen circumstances they fell by the wayside.  So, I was left scrambling to find something to do with the kids to occupy their days while not graying anymore around the temples.

Luckily for us, the beginning of Spring Break happened to fall on Easter.  So we decided to go visit family deeper South.  Yep, that means a Road Trip with young kids.  That is about as terrifying as the whole idea of the Stay-cation.  Check out our post back in October 2013 on Road Tripping with Kids.  Well our kids aren’t that small so you would think, no big deal, but we have a 5 year old, who NEVER has to go potty until we are on the road, with no Rest Stop in Sight.  That lead to two unplanned stops both going and coming, much to the dismay of our less than sympathetic chauffeur aka Daddy.  But, we made it there despite the added time to our trip. Our Trip meant at least one night of hotel stay, and for the kids that was equivalent to heaven.  We were also excited to find out that their was a Fair in town.  They got a chance to experience a good old Country Fair in all its glory.  So we were still scoring, as far as the kid’s were concerned.

The hard part of course was still to come.  We were headed home and needed to figure out what to do with them for the remainder of the week.  So, I pulled out my trusty planner and decided to put together a Pseudo Schedule/Plan so that we wouldn’t drive each other batty.  I penciled in Day Trips to the local kid’s museums, the local zoo, and even some Ferris Wheel and Water Park Fun. Add to that some Easy Craft Projects, and a few inexpensive trips to Local Fast Food Joints, the Farmer’s Market, and Ice Cream Shops.  And, you have a week filled with entertainment and joy for all parties involved.  Or at least that’s what I am hoping.  Keep in mind that you have to take into account that you are planning around the weather, temperaments and time constraints, but it will all be worth it in the LONG RUN.  What are you doing or what did you do this Spring Break?

“Life is to be Enjoyed, Not Endured.” – Create your Own Joy!!

Road “Tripping” with Kids

Recently my family of four packed into our SUV for a 7 hour trip to Orlando. I have had several people ask me how I did it.  I’m not always sure how to answer that question. Since (a) They are too young to stay home alone (b) Gas vs. (4) Plane Tickets is not really a comparison (c) We do what we have to do.  That being said, if the destination is not somewhere I really really want to go (as was the case this trip), I would most likely opt to stay home.


All that aside,  just like everything else I have a process.

1.  Plan Plan Plan – which for me translates to list list list.  Which brings me back to Springpad (A SP Fave App).  I have a running list of what each member of the family needs for trips, this way I don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel.  I pull up that list.  Add or Delete depending on the length of the trip, conditions, etc.  Then print each list and use it to pack and prepare.


2. Matter – Things that Matter – when traveling with little ones you need stuff.  Toys, Books, Crayons, Markers, DVD’s, Pillows Blankets, Tablets, iPads, Mobile Hot Spots, etc etc.   Even if you pack what you think is an arsenal, at some point be aware that the novelty of all these items new or old will wear off.  And, if you have children like mine you will have to deal with some bickering, whining and maybe even some tears.  Disclaimer: My little ones are 8 and 3.

3.  Bathroom Prep – I so love this subject, NOT!!  Let’s face it Public Bathrooms generally SUCK. Hubby and I have talked about creating an App just for this very reason.  But, since I have yet to find it, if its a route you have traveled before make note of the cleaner more pleasant bathroom stops.  And, then BE PREPARED.   I always travel with Lysol, Wet Wipes, Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Garbage Bags.  I wanna add gloves but, I don’t want you all to think I am OCD!!  Even if I am, a little.

4.  Snacks and Drinks – Last. but not least, because this is the most important part, sometimes the only way to get some silence is to put food in their mouths.  Think ahead, try to get the snacks that will create the least amount of mayhem and mess.  Use your own discretion,  I go for Individually packaged snacks, snacks lower in sugar, drinks lower in sugar, and smaller fluid oz, so as to avoid several bathroom stops.

It is by no means, the Road Trips of yesteryear with your girlfriends.  But, even through the tears, you are making memories just the same.