8 Tips For Camping With Kids

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I was for sure nervous about bringing the kids camping. I worried if they would sleep good, would someone fall in the fire (it’s like my biggest fear in life), eat good, or just all around hate it? All in all though, we had a pretty successful and super fun weekend away in Lake Placid. We booked 3 nights but because it was suppose to rain all night the first night and we weren’t going to get up there till late anyway, we decided to just head up early Friday morning instead. 2 nights ended up being a good amount for a first time camping with the girls. I will admit they were beat by the 3rd day. I think we could have gone another night if we had planned for that 3rd day being super chill and relaxed, with some actual naps and downtime for the both of them. The other days there were go, go, go. Lots of hiking, friends, swimming, late nights, early mornings and no naps for Miss Finley except in the stroller, car seat or backpack. Our kids are really go with the flow and are used to mixed up schedules and late nights so it wasn’t too big of a deal. They were generally in good spirits having so much fun.

On the second night as I was putting Rowan to bed, she told me she didn’t want to sleep outside anymore. I said that was ok and that we would be going home in the morning. Then she started crying because she didn’t want to go home. hahaha. Go figure. Both kids slept really well for the most part. Both slept through the night and woke up around the normal time they get up at home. Maybe just a tad bit earlier. Once one is up though, everyone is up. Our tent is a larger tent that you can put up 2 dividers in to create 3 tiny rooms. This was super helpful. We used one of them to create a little room for Finley. She was the one I was worried about not going to sleep if she could see everyone else. It was always well past their bedtimes each night so that was helpful. Everyone was very tired and ready to sleep. We would put Finley to bed first. Let her fall asleep while we quietly got Rowan ready and brought her down to bathrooms to brush her teeth and go potty. Once Finley was asleep, in Rowan would go. Her and I shared the air mattress because she can not keep a sleeping bag on her and would wake up balled up in the corner of the tent with no blankets. Kev or I would just lie with her till she fell asleep and then it was campfire, drinks, and late night chats for Kev and I (my favorite part). When the fire would die out off to bed we would go. We brought our trusty 4moms Breeze playard for Finley to sleep in. Man, I love that thing. So easy to set up and travel with. The only thing that was a bit difficult was keeping Finley covered up. I should have brought a heavy sleep sack for her so I didn’t have to worry about her all night. The first night it got down below 50. I kept waking in a panic that she was freezing. She moves around all night, so it’s impossible to keep her covered. Lots of layers that is all I can say.

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We didn’t cook all our meals because there are some awesome restaurants around Lake Placid, but we did bring a cooler with some food. We cooked breakfast, brought items for lunch, and food for one campfire dinner. Our cooler had milk, eggs, cheese sticks, yogurt, a bag of cut up veggies, apples, cherries, hummus, veggie burgers (and a real burger for Kev), ketchup and sweet potatoes. We also brought paper plates, bowls, utensils, cups, cereal, honey, bread, peanut butter, olive oil, grater, knives, apple sauce, 1 frying pan.
Breakfast: Cereal & milk, scrambled eggs, sweet potato hash.
Lunch: Packed for hiking. pb&honey sandwiches, veggies and fruit
Dinner: Veggie burgers, chips, veggies and hummus

I think anyone can do it! It really is a lot of fun and your kids will think it’s pretty dang cool. The girls thought it was awesome to cook the food over the fire. They loved all the exploring and I loved building family memories together. I just kept thinking about being able to show them these pictures when they get older and tell them stories of our first camping trip together. It felt really special to me. I think if you go with no expectations you will be better prepared. You really do have to just roll with the punches and have fun. And be prepared for all the laundry when you get home. Oooooh the laundry.

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Here are my take away tips….

1. Like I just said… Try to just roll with the punches. Nature, kids and camping can all be unpredictable. You will have more fun if you don’t set up expectations of how it will all go. Just have fun, enjoy your kids, let them get dirty, stay up late, really live the experience.

2. Pack lots of layers for everyone. If you are camping up north like us, the weather can be unpredictable. Hot during the day, super cool during the night. Lots of blankets and light layers to wear.

3. Pack simple but healthy food. Things that are easy to prepare, cook and clean up. Prep as much as you can before hand. Cut up veggies and bring them in a ziplock bag, etc… I found lots of great options of things to bring at Trader Joes. Lots of great snacks and packaged food (veggies burgers, salads) for meals.

4. Start small. If you are feeling nervous don’t dive in head first. Try a night in your back yard first, or even one night close by. It will give you the confidence you need to take a longer trip. It will also help you figure out exactly what you might need to bring.

5. This light up ladybug was an AWESOME addition to our tent. It was the perfect night light for the girls when they fell asleep but also it was a great light to turn on when kev and I got into the tent. Not too bright, didn’t wake up the girls but also let us see what we needed to get.

6. Be prepared for everything. I MEAN EVERYTHING! to smell like campfire. I just threw in another load of laundry and it was like a campfire punched me in the face. hahhaha. Man, that smell is strong. It’s great when you are beside one but at home, ugh! You will have to pretty much wash everything that you bring camping with you. So… because you now know that, just let your kids re-wear clothes. If they aren’t terribly dirty than I just let them wear items again the next day. Why make something else dirty? They don’t care. Neither do the woods.

7. Bug Spray. Sun Screen. Socks. First Aid kit. Tylenol. Matches. Wipes. You may not need it but at least you will have it.

8. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Really! If it doesn’t go smooth the first time around, don’t give up. Try again another year. Maybe the next time it will be better.

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camping at night…

so here are the 3rd set of photos from our trip… the night ones. We had a great time playing with sparklers (who doesnt love them?) and cooking taking sunset paddleboat rides. The picture of kev where he looks like is is breathing sparkler came out awesome- it was such a fluke shot- Mikes flash went off just as a took he picture and it lit my picture awesome.


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how erin keeps warm
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everyone has to have a fire picture from camping
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erin and kev
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kevs bat sign from the tent
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Last night we went to the first official summer bbq party with friends. It was awesome. I love being surrounded by friends, good conversations, food and bon fires. There is something about summer that makes time not matter. Like in the winter I feel like we say things like “we should go- its a work night” a lot but in the summer its like there is no time. You know you would just rather sit out side by a campfire with everyone than be anywhere else, no matter how tired that means you are going to be in the morning. I like that feeling. I am excited for this summer. I feel like its going to be a good one. I am a little sad that there will be no rollercoasters, ziplining or other adventurous things on my part but I am looking forward to good weather and sharing time with good friends and camping!! (although I am having a hard time picturing sleeping on a air mattress with this giant belly-hehe).

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

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Dress: Heritage 1981
Vest: SIlver Jeans (hand-me-up from my sis)
Peeptoes: Thrifted in Hawaii
Necklace: Forever 21

Over the Weekend Pt.1

So I am a little behind this week so far. Sorry. I had lots of cleaning and unpacking to do yesterday that needed to get to first. Anyways, our trip to the Poconos was awesome. We had amazing weather and great company. Our campsite was in the most perfect spot and other than getting soaking wet wood that we had to deal with all weekend for fires the weekend was a success. Kev made his “gentlemen’s game” the night before we left and it was actually super fun to sit around the campsite playing. It involves throwing bottle caps into a hole he cut out of a board. (haha not very complicated but super fun). Saturday we went to Bushkill Falls and hikes around there for a couple hours. It was very beautiful and the waterfalls were actually quite big. Saturday night we celebrated the 4th with huge sparklers and lighting off fireworks in an open field we found by our campsite. It was awesome!! I love camping! (hehe and fireworks) To see all our camping pictures you can click HERE to go to the camping flickr set.

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best camp breakfast… eggs cooked over fire mixed in with cinnamon toast crunch
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4th of July | Lake Placid

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We packed up the car on Saturday and headed 2 hours north to Lake Placid for the holiday weekend. We love Lake Placid and were all totally stoked to be up there camping for 3 days. It was Orion’s first camping experience and overall he did pretty good. One of my favorite things to do in Lake Placid is head up to the summit of Whiteface Mtn. It’s one of my most favorite spots. The view is just beautiful (like stunning!) and it’s easy enough to get up there with the kids. There’s a short hike once the road ends but totally doable (although a tiny bit nerve racking) with little ones. Finley loved climbing all the rocks to the top. They’re becoming such great hikers, I love it! We spent the morning hanging out on top of the mountain and then headed into town to watch the parade and fireworks. We feel so very lucky to live so close to the Adirondacks. I highly recommend everyone coming and checking out the area at least once in there lifetime. There is just so much to see and explore. New York is really a cool state. It took sometime to win me over when we first moved here but I have to say I am a total convert. New York you have my heart.

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and our little parade goers…
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Random Pictures, Random Thoughts

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1. I have super bad eye sight (like -6.25). I used to just wear my contacts daily, but I’ve been leaning more and more towards glasses lately to give my eyes a break. I will be honest and say, I do love my trendy, cheap eyewear but I’ve found that with constant wear they’re starting to feel stretched out and too big. They’re always sliding down my face. The lens aren’t the best either. They always feel like there is a slight film over them. I’ve been looking for something more high end and was excited when DAVID KIND eyewear approached me to try out their home try on service. You fill out a style questionnaire and then they’ll send you this lovely case of glasses to try on. What really caught my attention was their commitment to quality lenses. It really makes a difference for someone who is going to wear their glasses a lot. You should definitely try them out!! I loved almost all the glasses they picked out for me.

2. Ballet. Ballet. Ballet. Rowan loves ballet. We like to watch ballet videos on You Tube and Netflix and then dance along with them. Anyone know of cute ballet lesson type videos? She takes ballet but not during the summer and I think she misses it so much. How cute was she at her recital?

3. These mosaic kits (above) are like the best thing ever. They are made by a bunch of different companies and in a bunch of different styles but Rowan just loves them. She will sit for like an hour putting all the stickers on. It’s really cute and a total life saver on the plane! Here are a bunch we like on Amazon.

4. We’ve been keeping life pretty busy around here. I think it’s so we don’t sit around stressing about all the changes that lie ahead. Everything is done on our end for the foster care certification. We are just waiting on our social worker to finish writing our home study. Being in the limbo stage is weird and if I find myself sitting around too long, I start letting my mind wander to all the “what if’s”. Keeping busy with fun adventures has been a great distraction. Also, I just love spending time with my family.

5. Grocery shopping has been such a bummer for me lately. I have favorites from a bunch of stores and I try to buy organic and unprocessed as much as I can, but there isn’t just a one-stop shop to get all these items at a good price. I am spread out over Trader Joes, Whole Foods, BJ’s, weekend farmers market and our normal grocery store. The problem is that I hate getting the kids in and out of the car all day long. It’s exhausting driving all over town with them just to get our grocery shopping done. How do I figure out a better plan? Just go grocery shopping at night when Kev gets home? Just suck it up, pay more and shop at one place? Whole Foods would be the most well rounded place to get all the things I need I guess. There is only one Whole Foods in our area and it just opened. It kind of makes me all ragey on the inside when I am in there though. It’s packed, the aisles are too small and some people are just wackos. Hahaha. This really isn’t a real problem, I am just venting because we literally spent ALL DAY trying to get all the items we needed for the week. It just feels like a waste of time. Can we please make eating healthier less of a hassle?

6. Camping this past weekend was so fun! I have a whole post planned with some pictures but also tips on what worked for us with the kids. Is there anything better than being away from it all? No service on your phone, lots of stars, a good beer and a roaring campfire? I think not.

7. Why are decisions on where your kids go to school so difficult? Oh boy! I’ve struggled with what to do for Rowan next year for PreK. Mornings? afternoons? 4 days? 3 days? closer school? better program? The list goes on and on. And don’t get me started on kindergarten. Anyway, seeing her graduate preschool was about the cutest (and most ridiculous) thing ever. The family picture up top is from her graduation a few weeks back.

Cheers to a random post on a random Tuesday night in July.

The Lemonade Stand

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With the summer winding down quickly, we are trying to pack in as much as we can before the schedule of school starts. We’ve been marking items off our summer bucket list as best we can. Top on Rowan’s list was a lemonade stand. She’s been talking about it for months! She made a whole business plan for the stand including name, logo and how she was going to get customers to stop and buy the lemonade. #ladyboss in the making. The stand was called The Lemonade King. She only charged 1 penny for the lemonade, which of course everyone took pity on her poor (or super smart) asking price and gave her mostly dollars instead. The neighborhood policeman came by for thirds even. We made the lemonade from scratch by juicing a whole bunch of lemons and making a simple syrup to mix together. After getting out a Pink-a-licious book from the library where she makes pink lemonade, Rowan knew for sure she wanted to have that option for customers as well. We just added some crushed up strawberries to the lemonade to make it pink. It was a super fun day that actually brought out a ton of neighbors we hadn’t really talked with before- it was awesome!! I love that things like this bring people together. By the end of the day the girls were full on dancing on the street to try to get people to stop. It was pretty dang cute!

I know we won’t get to everything but I’m still hoping to accomplish…
1. camping
2. zoo
3. more bonfires
4. drive in
5. make a pie

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IMG_3626^^waiting for customers can be tough…

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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Jen Loves Kev
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