My Everything Bag + Giveaway

Lily-Jade-Rosie-bag-black

When life seems to be in disarray – there are a few things that I try to keep organized – my bedroom, my work space, and my go-to bag.  Now and then, I connect with a band that meshes perfectly with my life. I’m currently on year four of packing my days into Lily Jade designer diaper bags, and I’m absolutely a loyalist.  Even though I no longer have tiny babies, I love how the bags have proven to evolve along with the changing shape of motherhood – making them suitable for anyone who craves functionality, quality and versatile style in her bag.

Lily-Jade-bag-rosie

The backpack carry option is among the features that I love most about Lily Jade – taking the strain off of my shoulders and neck on days when I’m traveling all over the city.  All of  Lily Jade’s backpack diaper bags convert to a handbag or messenger carry option, and the removable baby bag (with 12 pockets!) keeps things organized and secure.  My current new favorite is Lily Jade’s Rosie. The beautiful structure, super luxe leather, and multiple carry options set it apart from any bag that I’ve every owned.

Lily-Jade-ReviewLily-Jade-Rosie-Backpack-Bag

Once packed with sippy cups and pull ups – my Lily Jade bags now safely carry cameras, delicate lenses, my laptop, (sometimes kid’s stuff!) and more – making it suitable for the baby years and beyond.

Lily-Jade-Rosie-designer-diaper-bag

Lily Jade is generously giving away a $350 credit to cover the cost of one lucky winner’s diaper bag of choice! Just leave a comment on this blog post and then enter the giveaway over on our Instagram (post below!). xo

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Family Travel Tips for Parents on the Go

We just returned from an exciting trip with Disney World and Disney Cruise Line, and can’t wait to share the incredible things that will soon come to Disney parks! Since this was a work and play trip combined, I remembered a few helpful family travel tips for parents on the go, to help streamline the process of traveling with kids.

family-travel-Homewood-Suites

  • If Capable, Have Kids Carry Their Gear

I can’t stress enough how important it is to begin this step early!  Whether you’re heading to the beach or getting on a plane, help teach kids accountability by having them carry their backpacks or push a small carry on suitcase through the airport.  Keep the size and weight manageable and stick to this expectation on every excursion.

  • Pick your Mom (or Dad) Bag Wisely

During my hunt for a reliable bag, I couldn’t believe how many brands decided to omit external pockets designed to hold water bottles. I’ve learned to keep my electronics and expensive camera lenses far away from liquids, and have found a solution in sticking with diaper bags.  All of our favorite bags (find great tips on finding the perfect diaper bag here!) are super stylish and modern and in no way scream baby bag! And best of all, they offer, secure places to store large water bottles, stash away valuables, and even tuck in camera lenses.  We need solid compartments galore with comfort and functionality.  I’ve also often gone for neutral colors so my husband can carry the bag when needed.

  • Print and Color Code Calendars

As much as we try to rely on digital calendars, there is nothing like having a clear and concise calendar in a visible spot to keep the entire family informed. On our recent trip, I was required to be in different places than my husband and kids on most days.  A color-coded calendar allowed the kids and my husband to see exactly what was expected of me, and where they’d find pockets of free time along with scheduled family events.

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  • Clear Compartments are your Friend

When a nine-day trip required two hotel changes and a switch to a cruise line, our packing game left something to be desired.  I did, however, pick up an assortment of clear travel pouches from a local discount store.  Having things visibly organized helped a ton! From medications, make-up, electronic chargers, my daughter’s hair accessories, to sunblock and more – not having to search for things saved time while on vacation.

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  • Plan For the Last Day

The final day of vacation is always a drag as it’s time to pack up, head to the airport and face reality! My husband and I gave each other a look when we passed the exact spot in the Orlando airport where we experienced total family chaos just nine months prior, as we tried to rearrange suitcase weights and find warm clothes for the kids. We learned from our mistakes and laid out the kids’ travel clothes the night prior, also packing everything away as concisely as possible. TIP! If you’re leaving a cruise ship, skip the breakfast and order room service the NIGHT BEFORE. As long as the Thermos top is tightly secured, your coffee will be piping hot in the morning, AND you’ll save precious time getting your family off the ship.

Hope these tips are helpful and have fun on your next adventure!

This post is sponsored by Quidsi.  However, all opinions and travel tips are my own.

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Traveling With Tots + Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller Giveaway

We all want our children to travel in the safest way possible – yet over the years some readers have found price points of various car seats and strollers shared on Marino Bambinos to be unobtainable.  We absolutely understand!  That’s one of the many reasons that we were eager to meet with the team at Graco (a brand that we’ve never previously partnered with) to learn all about their top-rated, innovative, safe and affordable gear for tots.  We’re  excited to giveaway a Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller as well as share the scoop on the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat – that keep little ones safely riding in the rear-facing position longer.

As most of you know, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that tots travel in the rear-facing position in a vehicle until at least two years of age. And one of the most common reasons for parents turning their little ones from rear to forward facing positions earlier than recommended is due to a perceived lack of leg room. Graco has tackled this safety issue with their innovative Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat with a three-position extension panel that pulls out to provide 5″ (yes 5″!) of extra legroom when rear facing.

co-Extend2Fit 3-in-1-CarSeatWith a six-position recline, kids up to 50lbs can be comfortably adjusted to travel in the rear-facing position.  That’s not all, the seat functions as three seats in one for rear-facing infants 4-50 lbs., forward facing toddlers 22-65lbs., and big kids 30-100lb.  We just transitioned our youngest (six years, 40lbs) into the high-back booster position, and he still has room to grow in this seat.  In addition to a ton of convenient features, (fuss free harness storage to tuck buckles away, dual cup-holders, straightforward LATCH system, and more) this car seat, most importantly, has a robust safety profile.  And it’s available at a great price point (MSRP $249.99).

Win It: We’re excited to giveaway a Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller (MSRP $149.00) to one lucky reader! You’ll love the one-hand fold, sturdy and lightweight frame, extra-large UV50 protectant canopy, super-sized storage basket and more!

GracoBreazeClickConnect-StrollerThis stroller accepts all Graco Click Connect infant car seats and is suitable from birth up to 50lbs.  Enter via the rafflecopter below.  Best of luck and thanks for visiting.

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Product provided.

 

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Always On The Go: The Perfect Family Bag

Frequent travelers understand the cyclical nature of perpetual packing and unpacking, and perhaps never fully emptying those travel bags.  Adding kids to the mix instantly requires an improvement of one’s organizational game. I’ve been traveling several times per month for quite some time now.  Whether I’m solo on a train, traveling in the car with my husband, or with the kids in tow; I’ve learned that a great versatile bag is an absolute must.  Despite the kids being well out of diapers, I’ve come to rely on the multiple pockets and organizational structure of a few great diaper bags (that don’t scream baby bag!).  Black and white and monochrome have certainly had their day in the baby-gear arena, but we’ve been crushing on a hue that falls distinctly between the two.  When 7AM ENFANT rolled out their palette-pleasing Heather Grey collection and sent us a bag to test, we knew it would be a hit among families like ours who love having functional things suitable for the entire family.

Big Diaper Bag with Pockets in Grey

Longtime fans of the  Voyage bag, now both my husband I can head out in its latest color.  The helpful thing about this bag is the zipper running across the top of the bag, and along both sides. When unzipped, the back portion folds completely down (so you can see everything).  No need to worry about finding that lost paci or missing microscopic Shopkin inside that fully packed family bag.  The interior zipper lined pockets safely store the important stuff.  And sippy cups and bottles can be secured in an upright position to their designated spots – without having a dreaded liquid spill.

Family Travel Bag

This bag is super light (and soft!) and comes with an insulated lunchbox, a separate zippered pouch and a plush diaper changing pad.

Diaper Bag Accessories 7am enfant

Can you see why it’s become our universal favorite?

Great Diaper Bag in Grey

Check out 7AM ENFANT’s entire Heather Grey Collection here. If you have a baby, their snugly footmuffs are an absolute must, along with a pair of WarMMuffs to keep mama’s hands warm.

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Keeping Baby Warm + Bugaboo Footmuff Giveaway

As historic heaps of snow clobbered upon our city, we too joined in the snow-play mid-storm.  The children were bundled up like mini sumo wrestlers because I still go a bit overboard in securing their warmth in frigid temps.  And now, as we trudge to school in Blizzard Jonas’ aftermath, I can’t help but be halted by memory lane, much like an internal version of Facebook’s ‘time hop’ feature.  The kids, in their snow boots and waterproof mittens, would much rather propel off every snow mound in site – rather than stay the course that I keep re-directing them too. And although it was eight years ago when I carefully tucked my winter-baby into her Bugaboo stroller and toasty Footmuff to walk to the pediatrician’s office for the first time – I can remember the details of that snowy day as if it were yesterday.

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Cocooned in warmth, both of my babies would fall asleep during our winter walks, and even if I felt cold – I’d rest assured knowing they were warm.  I love how the Bugaboo Footmuff can be zipped open from both sides to make sure baby doesn’t overheat when you finally have the chance to warm up in a coffee shop or stop indoors mid-stroll.  The water repellent material and bamboo charcoal fiber also wick away moisture to keep little ones dry and comfy.

bugaboo stroller bunting

The microfleece fabric comes in fifteen great colors, and is super easy to secure and remove with a Velcro slit opening that fit all Bugaboo stroller seats.  We’re so excited to partner with Bugaboo to keep a sweet baby warm this winter!

bugaboo footmuff giveawayWIN IT:  Enter to win a Bugaboo Footmuff ($129.95 value, in winner’s color choice) via the rafflecopter below.  Best of luck and stay warm friends!

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Organized Chaos + Lily Jade Giveaway

It’s never easy to be the first one out the door in the morning, or away from my children for just a quick trip.  There are always extra hugs and kisses to dole out, backpacks to double check, and the sort of reassurance that only mommy can provide.

lilly jade rosie bag

Chaos has taught me that organization is my friend.  I turn to the same tools and products over and over again, to help keep me on track when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day available.

Lily Jade Bag Rosie Giveaway

Over the past few years, Lily Jade has frequently popped up here as my go-to-bag – despite my little ones being long out of diapers. I’m at a point in life where I know what works for me, and so I stick to it.  Lilly Jade designer diaper bags are famous for looking nothing like a diaper bag, with top-notch functionality, style, and durability. My Lilly Jade Caroline and Sarah Grace bags have truly withstood the test of time, and my current favorite is the Rosie in camel.

I have a thing for gold and their updated hardware is stunning.

Designer Diaper Bag Lily Jade Rosie

I usually try to plan work functions and meeting during the two days when my kids have after-school classes.  And when I think about it, it’s pretty amazing how NYC’s efficient train system can get me all over the city in a school-days time.  When I’m traveling with a lot of stuff that needs to be well-organized I use the baby bag insert.

lily jade rosie review baby bag insert giveaway

It fits into my bag like a glove.

Lily Jade Designer Diaper Bag Rosie Bag Giveaway Review

Even though I’ve reclaimed by bags, I remember what it’s like to need a wipe or a paci in lightening speed.

From diapering years and beyond – we love Lily Jade.

Win It! Just in time for the Holidays – our generous partner Lily Jade is giving away a gorgeous Rosie bag ($355 value!) to one lucky MB reader.  To enter visit the rafflecopter below. Best of luck friends!

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Thank you Lily Jade for sponsoring this post.  Opinions as always are my own. 

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