I love a good old fashioned family road trip. Snacks, great music and incredible scenery. Growing up the majority of our vacations were on the road as opposed to in the air. Let’s face it, it’s a far more affordable option for tons of families. The one thing that isn’t the same from my childhood mini vacations are the luxury features available in some motor vehicles nowadays. We had the pleasure of partnering with Lincoln on a weekend trip to the mountains. Here are some of my favourite aspects of The 2018 Lincoln Continentalthat make long road trips as a family that much easier:
Sync 3 is a voice activated feature that can easily control your phone. For us, we loved pressing a button, asking for great restaurants in the area and getting a response in seconds. It was like having a little tour guide in the car with us, perfect for a road trip when you’re not familiar with the town or city you are taking a pitstop in.
How very Canadian of me, sharing a winter look when other bloggers in North America are talking Spring! With an impending winter snow storm warning here in Edmonton, I thought it felt fitting to share one of my favourite parkas with you. I’ve partner with Parajumpers to share this cozy look to inspire your next snow day adventure. They are an extremely innovative outerwear collection with highly technological components, designed above all else to be functional. This is my third coat from them in 5 years, I’m a fan to say the least. The Light Long Bear parka by Parajumpers is the perfect parka to keep you warm and stylish in the colder months. It is so light weight and I love the athleisure vibe. The multi pockets help me tote around everything a busy mom would need: kleenex, snacks, diapers and travel wipes! It’s very much the perfect coat for an active on the go lifestyle.
Parka:Parajumpers c/o || Jeans:Gap || Bag:Chloe || Sweater:Abercrombie || Sneakers:Skye Footwear c/o|| Sunglasses: Prescription from Bailey Nelson Photos by the ever so talented B.Grace Creatives for Northern Style Exposure
Here are my insider tips, tricks and hacks for experiencing Disney like a seasoned pro:
A stroller at Disney is your best friend, do not attend without one.Even if your kids are a little too big to use it for it’s obvious purpose. It’s where you will store everything you need for your family throughout the day. And it’ll help you save money in the park on purchases like expensive drinks, snacks, blankets, extra clothing, and extra footwear. You are allowed a small soft shell cooler and a stroller through security… but no selfie sticks! They will be taken away as a forewarning. I suggest filling your stroller with drinks from Target or Walgreens. On average a drink within Disney will cost you between $5-$8! When you can get a pack of 12 beverages at Target for the price of 1. You’ll need a place to store snacks and layers of clothing to put on/ or off throughout the day depending on weather. Especially if you are starting during the day and staying until the evening, the temperature will drop. Strolling parking is available everywhere! Simply park your stroller in a designated spot leaving it to go about your business in that section of the park. It’s as simply as that. I tie a bright coloured bandana or balloon to ours to find it. There are a lot of strollers! A stroller will hold everything you need, help you not make pricey purchases and make you hands free to have fun!
Target is one of the best places to buy just about anything! Stock up on cheap snacks, drinks and apparel. Any Target near Disney will have an a Disney related souvenir and clothing section. Anything from sweatshirts, collectable pins, hats, tees and sweatpants can be found at approximately 1/3 the cost outside the park. They even had Disney rain gear for rides like Splash Mountain. In the park it’ll cost you approximately $8 for one Disney rain poncho, while Target had them for $2. We go on our day of arrival to score many of the expensive extras seen in the park. Plus, it’s a great way to pick up souvenirs at a fraction of the cost. By saving on snacks and tiny extras we were about to let the kids indulge little bit in the park and find amazing toys at the many gift shops.
Work the Fast Pass System!A Fast Pass will save your life with young children that cannot wait in the long lineups. If you are new to Disney, there will be two lines: Regular and Fast Pass holders. Basically Fast Passes skip almost the entire line. The new system has an app that can be purchased for $10 a day and you can do your fast passes electronically through the app. If you were doing Disney for one day it can be relatively convenient to pay the $10 per person per day for the convenience of the new fast pass app. But for us we did Disney several days in a row and we were a large family group. Each person in your group has to pay that $10. For us we could not justify an extra hundred dollars a day to use an app. Instead we would designate one adult as the fast pass holder. They would carry all of our tickets, hustle to a separate section of the park to obtain fast passes for our entire group while we waited in line for a longer ride. By the time they returned with our fast passes they would join us in line. We found the system to work well for our large group, we rarely waited longer than 20 minutes for any given ride. Please note, some rides are more popular compared to others. Unless you get a fast pass before noon for many of the “popular rides,” there will not be any more fast passes available that day. California Adventure: Guardians of the Galaxy, Toy Story and Cars.Disneyland: It’s a Small World, Madahorn, Starwars, and the Haunted Mansion. If a ride is displaying a wait time of 15 minutes or less do not waste a Fast Pass on it. Instead try to use your Fast Passes on rides that have between 30 to 60 minute wait times. You can check the wait times on the app for free or it’s displayed at the front of the ride. Get a Fast Pass for a busy ride, thing on the less busy rides in that section until your Fast Pass window starts.
If you have time, there are several Disney Store outlets in the area.We scored a handful of limited edition stuffed animals, jackets and action figures for 70% off the park prices. If an Outlet day is on the agenda, why not? You will not be disappointed by the prices. Plus, stores like Coach, as an example sometimes will carry limited edition Disney bags and accessories on sale. Luxury Disney does exist if that floats your boat.
Book your dinners well in advance, reservations are key or you will eat dinner at grab and go locations only.Many popular restaurants book up months in advance, especially when your a group of 4 or larger. By saving on breakfast, lunches and snacks by bringing a cooler splurging on a few dinners within the park was totally worth it. Many of them are an experience within themselves, let alone awesome food. And if you are looking for a beer or a wine… those are only available at a few locations in California Adventures, Disneyland does not serve alcohol. Here are a few restaurants to target for reservations: Blue Bayou, Carnation Cafe, Mendocino Terrace at the Golden Vine Winery, Plaza Inn, and Ariel’s Grotto. Continue reading →
I know the assumption when you have kids, you just don’t travel until they are older. Wrong! Luckily we travel plenty with our little ones. BUT I will say traveling with kids isn’t easy, luckily we’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the last almost 4 years that’s made it so much easier. I truly think you can maintain that vacation mode zen and take your little guys along for the ride… it’s all in the little details.
Tip #1: Pack Extra!I know it sounds simple, but you can never have enough diapers, spare outfits, snacks and back up power sources. In all of the above cases it’s better to have too many than not enough. Depending on the length of flight and if your trip involves layovers; I usually pack 1 spare outfit, 3 diapers and 3 snacks for every 2 hours of flight time.
Tip #2: Little People Need Breaks, Pack A Mobile Nap. Weather you are traveling with an infant or a toddler… kids need to get off their feet and/or nap. There is nothing like an overly tired little person in an airport or on a flight. To avoid meltdown mode we travel with a stroller, plane bed box and baby carrier.
Tip #3: Accept Help! Take Advantage of BABY VIP. Most airports let you use the faster security line when traveling with kids… use it! It’ll save you on average 30 minutes in a long line up. Use pre-boarding when applicable. This will allow for ample time to fold up that stroller, get snacks/ movies ready and set up that seat converting bed on the plane. Ahead of time we download Alastair’s fav Netflix series and movies to the app. It’s fast and easy. Then if you are on a long flight that happens to not have TV’s you’re completely set with shows customized to your child’s wants and needs. Best part? You don’t need wifi! Looking for our Netflix Stream Team favs? Check out May’s post for our top picks.
Tip #4: Find the Fun!Most airports have mini playgrounds some where in their terminals. Ask the help desk, if they don’t they usual have free colouring books and little free extras for the kids to have fun or blow off some energy before the flight. There’s no harm asking, they are there to help. Continue reading →
If you followed along with my Instagram you know that I made such an amazing girls trip with my blogging bestie Bonjour Bliss Blog and Vichy. We jet set to France where we got to experience Vichy’s new product release Mineral89. Without giving away too much about the product I will say I am excited to see a mineral water based beauty serum hit the market that contains 89% thermal water! I will be sharing more product details as I try it over the next month or so, I’ll share my progress closer to the release date which is mid June for Canada. Head to my Instagram and scroll my feed if you missed the trip highlights, there were quite a few gorgeous moments you don’t want to miss.
From helicopter rides to see the volcano where the thermal water originates to L’Oreal factory visits, and of course a trip to the spa… we did it all in style with Vichy.
The life tips and tricks that stood out for me were around the concept of all the environmental stresses we experience everyday: pesticides, stress, UV rays, pollution, bacteria and viruses to name just a few. I loved how Vichy shared easy ways to combat those factors and live the best life you can. The new Vichy Mineral89 release will contain 15 essential minerals and help strengthen our skin barrier. It can be used morning or night for that essential first step to hydrate and help skin retain the water it needs daily. They suggested cutting down on caffeine, sleeping 7 hours, and not hitting the snooze button. Splashing your face with cold water 5 times for energy and intensify the start to your day. It relaxes you by decreasing your heart rate, digestion increases and serotonin / endorphins are released in your body. It’s free and simple! Finally, the cold shower tip was amazing! You can burn up to 200 calories by taking a cold shower for 3 minutes. It tightens your tissues, increases immune defences and releases endorphins. Continue reading →