So Many Babies On A Plane (How To Make It Through A Long Flight With Kids)

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YOU GUYS.

WE DID IT.

WE FLEW ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH A TWO-AND-A-HALF-WEEK-OLD AND A TODDLER, AND EVERYONE IS ALIVE AND AT LEAST HAPPY-ISH, AND ALSO WE DID NOT GET DIVORCED MID-FLIGHT.

Sorry for all the caps. I feel like this one deserves them.

Truth? I was sort of hoping that what happened would happen – which was that our son watched his iPad 100% of the time and our daughter either slept or stared at shadowy spots on the wall and made cute gurgling sounds when she was hungry – but I didn’t want to jinx us by saying it. But it was totally fine, approaching “awesome” (there was even one point when I NAPPED, and again there are those all-caps because you do not nap with two children on a plane, and yet: I did), and I have emerged from the experience with lots of ideas for how you, too, can fly across the country with kids and emerge with at least some portion of your sanity intact.

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1. Oh my god, be so organized. Make a list for everything: what goes in the diaper bag, what goes in your purse, what chargers you need to bring…everything. Make lists for your lists. Be a weirdo about it; you will be happy you were weird later.

2. Snacks and snacks and so many more snacks. I wish I had taken a photo of the lunchbox I packed for the trip, because it was kind of spectacular and probably the most Pinterest-worthy thing I’ve ever done. Basically, I just filled a million snack-sized Ziplocs with a million snacks (veggie sticks, cherry tomatoes, cereals, pretzels, et cetera) – variety is key – and whipped them out like a ninja any time my son made even the slightest peep.

3. Do not forget the surprise toy. The surprise toy will save you. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be wildly exciting. You know what your child gets excited by. Bring one of those. (I also did some serious talking-up of animal crackers in the week leading up to our flight – our son’s facial expression up there is actually less “grumpy” than “please get me on that plane RIGHT NOW so that I can eat these magical crackers that apparently you only get to eat while flying.”)

4. Keep the clutter under control, lest ye perish buried under a pile of GoGoSqueez tubes. I always tuck a couple of plastic bags into the diaper bag and hang one on the back of the seat right when I board, and then use it as a trash bag so that all those wrappers and tissues and such don’t pile up in between visits from the flight attendants. Having an organized, clean seating area makes me feel like I’ve got it all under control (or at least look like I do), even during those times when I…don’t.

5. Offer Bottle Service. During takeoff and landing small children will likely have trouble clearing their ears, so either nurse or give your kids something to drink during those times.

6. Be kind to your seat mates. My children were tiny angels on this particular trip, but this has not always been so in the past. When meltdowns happen, as they can and do and will, sending over a cocktail to the lady who just got whacked in the head with a crayon will do wonders. Also: no seat kicking. Seat kicking is the worst, and “no seat kicking” should be a hard-and-fast rule.

7. Be lovely to your flight attendants. They are your best friends when it comes to travel and children, and will likely do everything they can to make all of you happier and more comfortable, up to and including giving you a hug if you really need one (which, after five hours in a confined space with a toddler, you might).

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8. Don’t forget to appreciate the view. Even if you usually shut the window shade and tune out on flights, try to take a moment to take a peek. There’s nothing like showing a few clouds to your children to remind you just how magical it is to fly.

Home.

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#aah

(4Moms Space Egg)

Speaking of 4Moms (that’s their space egg – a.k.a. the Mamaroo, but I prefer “space egg” – pictured above) – I have to tell you how funny it is, bringing our awesome Origami stroller out in public. I mean this literally: CROWDS GATHER. We basically caused a forty-person pile-up at the security line of people needing to talk about it and ask questions about it and try it out for themselves and touch it…and I don’t just mean the passengers; the security people were chasing us around asking what this crazy thing was called and where could they get one for their wives.

Wandering around with this stroller is probably the closest I will ever come to feeling like Beyonce.

(If you missed my stroller video, click here to see what I’m talking about.)

A Super-Simple Skincare Routine For Your Very Busiest Days

It’s almost Fashion Week!

I’m keeping my trips into the city to a minimum at the moment, but still: this time of year is busy in StyleLand. And also a time when I would prefer to at least appear as though I’ve put in a tiny bit of effort – meaning switching out my t-shirts and sweatpants for things like heels, and clothing that has most definitely been washed recently, and maybe even some dramatic makeup.

And so it’s also a time when everything that can be streamlined should be. My skincare routine, for example? There’s no time right now for labor-intensive procedures or multiple products – let’s just get it done, get the makeup off, and get into bed.

Now, please.

simple skin

When time is of the essence, here’s the barest-bones skincare routine ever (just two products!):

Morning:

If my skin isn’t feeling oily (which it rarely does at this time of the year), it’s fine to skip the AM face wash once in awhile. What not to skip: moisturizer. Ever. Go for a product that’s targeted at long-lasting hydration, like Simple Skincare Nourishing 24Hr Day/Night Cream, and then rub the excess into hands and cuticles to spruce them up, as well.

Evening:

Even when you’re exhausted and want nothing more than to fall instantly into bed, makeup removal is a must (I learned this the hard way in my twenties, when I constantly went to sleep in full makeup…and constantly bore a slight resemblance to a troll come morning). How to make sure you get every single speck off in one step: go for an exfoliating cleanser like this Smoothing Facial Scrub – it evens out skin texture and primes skin to absorb extra moisture overnight (extra helpful during the fall season, when most people’s skin starts requiring a little more hydration thanks to dryer weather and heavier face makeup application).

Another dose of Nourishing 24Hr Day/Night Cream, and you’re done.

Two products! Doesn’t get faster or easier than that.

The End Of The Road

country style

Looking back over my posts this summer…

Man, I’ve been such a mushball.

All you need is love and family and et cetera et cetera. But honestly: that’s how it’s felt, like we’ve been existing in this little just-us bubble, and it’s exactly what we needed after a year of being separated more often than we’ve been together. I know the summer has to end – and it is ending, in just two days – and that’s OK; it’s definitely time to get home and back to reality…but I’ll miss it. I want to take a piece of it with me.

So I think I will.

The thing is, I didn’t come out here expecting to spend these ten weeks being especially happy. I expected to “get through it,” and sure, I hoped to have a little fun along the way, but I didn’t go into this thinking that it would be what it turned out to be: the best summer of my life.

And I think the reason why it was so great is that it started with a “yes.”

These past few months – years, maybe – I’ve been saying “no” too often. In my twenties, I took a lot of pride in being the girl who always said yes to everything, was always game for whatever adventure came my way, but since I’ve been a parent…I’ve kind of put that on hold. So often, it seems easier to just pass on things – turn down the dinner invitation, skip the party, stay home instead of going away – because with kids there are so many uncontrollable variables, so many things that can (and probably will) not go the way you expected. So it’s easier to just say no, and stick to what you know will work.

But this summer we said yes, even though we were scared, and it’s true: nothing turned out the way we expected.

It was better.

So that’s what I’m taking home with me at the end of it all: a promise to myself to say yes more often, to stop trying to wrestle my life down into bite-sized pieces, shapes that I can recognize. To once in awhile take a turn that I’m not entirely certain will lead us to the place where we want to end up…just because it looks like a really cool drive.

out west

cowboy hat

western style

empty road

breastfeeding

fringe scarf

On Me: Anthropologie Provo Scarf; A Pea In The Pod Tank; Free People Leather Hat; Alexandra Moosally Carrot Necklace; Melinda Maria Turquoise Earrings; Nine West Vintage America Boots (similar styles); Kendrick’s Belt.

Ten Transitional Summer-To-Fall Pieces

Ten perfect pieces to help you slide smoothly from summer into fall – each of which looks just as great right this moment as it will in a couple of months.

1. Distressed Black Jeans. Wear them now with barely-there heeled sandals and a sleeveless tank; wear them later with…well, everything. These are a must-own for fall.

2. Shirtdress. A chambray shirtdress looks adorable in the summer with flat sandals, and is a great layering piece once the temperatures drop (try it with chunky tights, riding boots and a knit vest).

3. Boyfriend Cardigan. The ultimate summer-to-fall must-have…especially if you can find one in an unusual shape, like this great knit style from J.Crew.

4. Oversize Scarf. Perfect for adding texture and color to simple summer outfits, and for layering over sweaters and tucking into jackets come autumn. (Love this print for a summer-to-fall piece.)

5. Western Booties. Wear them with cutoffs now and with bootcut jeans later, and watch every single person you pass on the street stop you to ask you where you got them (especially if you get a Freebird pair; speaking from experience here).

6. Cropped Knit Sweater. If you choose a light knit, you can wear the piece over a summery maxi dress or with shorts, and then pair it with some high-waisted trousers come fall.

7. Army Jacket. A fun alternative to the standard black leather or denim jacket, an olive-green military jacket (and especially one with leather panels) looks equally great over a t-shirt and jeans or a cocktail dress.

8. Jumpsuit. Go for a simple cut in an elegant fabric (the one pictured here is silk) and you can wear it solo in the summer, and with a sweater and heels in a month or two.

9. Over-The-Knee Boots. I’m going to insist that you pick up a pair of these if you don’t already own some (either the classic 5050s or the sliiiightly-higher-heeled Reserves pictured above) – try them with shorts and a light sweater now, and over leggings and skinny jeans all fall (and winter) long. I promise: once you own a pair you’ll barely wear anything else.

10. Mock Turtleneck. I love love love this cut (and this color) at the moment – try it with high-waisted shorts and flat sandals on a cool end-of-summer evening, and then with a floral maxi or pants (again: high-waisted with this cut) later on.

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