Adventure approved gear for little travelers from Wildkin

Sponsored post Wildkin off to see the worldIt’s a big day in our house – our oldest has made the transition from kid suitcase to real-deal “luggage”. This has been on my list to do for years now as her tiny going to grandma’s style suitcase has proven to be too tiny for all her clothing and gear as well as accommodating her natural ability to collect treasures wherever we go.

Her beat up old suitcase has been all over the world with us, but it was time to retire it for something that can hold more than a few changes of clothing and a book. Ideally the replacement would be wheeled so she wasn’t stuck carrying it across airports, colorful and fun so it would be fun to take with us, and it would grow with her so we won’t have to buy yet another suitcase in just a few years.

Our solution? Wildkin bags, backpacks and suitcases that have all the fun designs I love while still being uber practical and easy to travel with. Wildkin portrait

Read moreAdventure approved gear for little travelers from Wildkin

Stylish Quilted Koala “Mommy & Me” totes keep you organized on-the-go

Sponsored postIf I could name one thing that keeps me sane as a mom of three kids, my answer would undoubtedly be “organization”. Gone are the days of happy-go-lucky Leanne where I would simply grab my purse and leave the house. Now going anywhere requires a few lists: the must-haves, the would-be-nice-to-haves, and the if-I-have-time items. I’m constantly organizing things into small piles each night, prepping what I can ahead of time so that our mornings and days run a little smoother, and for the most part I would say that I’m pretty well organized and we haven’t had any major catastrophes in terms of planning.

And, while I never committed to a full diaper bag with my two older children, I’ve reached the point where the “mom purse” is getting out of control. As if leather purses weren’t already heavy on their own, I’ve been known to find full-fledged rocks in my purse but there by my little darlings. Rocks, people. I carry around rocks in my purse.

Obviously, a mom purse is not the right solution to keep us organized on-the-go. What I have been searching for is a bag from Quilted Koala, the makers of the perfect lightweight 100% cotton tote bags totes to organize everything I haul around each day. Mother Daughter Quilted Koala Totes

Read moreStylish Quilted Koala “Mommy & Me” totes keep you organized on-the-go

Clean up in seconds with Lay-N-Go ~ a totable mat for everyone in the family

Sponsored postNow that we’re in the early stages of re-baby proofing our house for our new little one, I’m realizing more than ever all the small choking hazards that litter my floor as the kids play. Since getting rid of toys that have small parts isn’t really an option with a LEGO fanatic and a whole house full of miniatures, I’ve been brainstorming ways to corral the toys and keep the little ones safe. Tiny toys in their placeI’d be mad at all the little pieces everywhere but it’s not entirely their fault as our current system involves dumping bins which causes small pieces to scatter. And, in all fairness, they are actually quite good about picking up the pieces when they are done playing, which is why the bin system works for us. It was an obvious improvement upon the toy box system which had little pieces in thin layers along the bottom of the box, but clearly neither option is going to work well once we have a mobile baby.

While looking for something that allowed the small toys to be put away while still allowing them to be accessible, I found an awesome company called Lay-N-Go. Not only do they solve the problem of how to store all those small toys, their products also add the benefit of giving the kids a safe place to play with those toys, and an easy clean-up process.

Read moreClean up in seconds with Lay-N-Go ~ a totable mat for everyone in the family

Enjoy a hot lunch anywhere with Lava Lunch

Sponsored post basic disclosure
I’ve become quite the expert lunch packer in the past 6 years. I have my method down to an exact science to make sure everyone always has a healthy lunch with all the food groups in it.

My planning starts on Sunday when I wash fruits and veggies, prep cheese and yogurt, and place each into reusable containers in the drawer of our fridge, as well as pre-portion items from the pantry for every day of the week. Then, on the morning of, I’ve got ice packs, a container in the fridge for each family member, and loads of insulated totes at the ready to make lunches only take a few seconds.

But, sometimes those lovingly packed lunches come back to me just exactly as I sent them because hubby or the kids was offered a hot lunch instead. Not that I blame them, there’s something really satisfying about a nice, hot lunch. If I’m being truly honest, I prefer hot over cold lunch any day of the week, especially during the winter.

In fact, I’ve even attempted to send hot lunch once or twice… and, unfortunately, haven’t succeeded yet. So, when I read about Lava Lunch, I was immediately excited about the idea of hot lunch on the go.

Lava Lunch logo
Melissa Zimberg, the owner of Lava Lunch, explained that in addition to just being nice on a cold and rainy day, hot foods are also more nutrient dense, have more flavonoids, and are easier to digest. She also described how hot food signals the satiated response sooner, so it also prevents overeating, which makes a lot of sense.

Lava Lunch makes sending a hot and hearty lunch possible without worry of spoiled food or cold and tasteless food. Instead of ice packs, Lave Lunch offers you something not available in other lunch bags – warmth. By combining proprietary insulation and Lava Rocks that provide additional heat, Lava Lunch bags can keep food warm for up to 6 hours, which allows you to pack all sorts of healthy and flavorful foods that were never possible until now.

Lava Lunch photo

Read moreEnjoy a hot lunch anywhere with Lava Lunch

Deuter Fox 30 kid’s pack fosters a love of the outdoors from tot to teen

My daughter likes nothing more than to match hubby and me.  While this is completely adorable, it makes shopping very difficult as I have found that it’s almost impossible to find matching items for us that we both really like.  In her size we find cartoon characters and excess amounts of pink, and adult sizes don’t go small enough to fit her. 

Thank goodness there are companies like Deuter that specialize in both adult and kid’s gear that is the real deal.  No frills, no cartoons.  But, that doesn’t mean they scrimp on features, in fact quite the opposite. 


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We got to review the Deuter Fox 30 backpack for our little explorer this month and she was beyond thrilled.  She had been eyeing it at REI for quite a while and talking of all the reasons she needed it, so it wasn’t surprising that she was jumping up and down excited when she realized she got to try one out. 


Adventure awaits

While our next serious camping trip is still a few weeks away, we’ve already gotten a ton of use out of this amazing bag.  From weekend trips to days out, the Deuter Fox 30 has been a lifesaver carrying the kids gear, their toys, or just the large amount of stuff we seem to require for all-day excursion. 

Whenever we can, we let my daughter pack her own stuff in the bag and then she can help carry any gear we have, any souvenirs {AKA rocks, sticks and other treasures} she picks up, and can access her stuff whenever she wants.  We also went out and got her a Camelbak hydration pack that can fit right into the Deuter Fox 30 so she can drink through the straw secured at her shoulder all along the trail instead of having to stop for each sip.    

Little kid packpack from deuter

Read moreDeuter Fox 30 kid’s pack fosters a love of the outdoors from tot to teen

Travel must-have: The Scrubba Wash Bag

As people who travel a lot, we have learned that it pays to pack light.  No one ever brags about how much luggage they had to haul around on vacation, but ending up with no clothes to wear halfway through vacation is no one’s dream, either.  At this point, we’ve gotten our packing down to … Read more

Targus Demolition 17.3” backpack

In my home, there is absolutely no such thing as “just a bag”. Having grown up with a mom who was a luggage and handbag aficionado and then having married a man who knows more about heavy-duty multipurpose bags than most people selling them, we don’t own a cheap bag in all of our collection. … Read more

The Builder Bag

In terms of great educational toys, you really can’t go wrong with building toys. You just can’t beat the learning that happens when you let your little ones create whatever their heart desires with no rules but that of gravity and physics.  I love watching my kids build and manipulate all the small pieces to … Read more

Briggs & Riley BRX Adventure Travel Gear

Get Out and PLAY Event – Day 35 While in San Diego for BlogHer, I received what is quite possibly the coolest email ever and made me a hero in both my husband’s eyes and our daughter’s.  My mission: go to an outdoor retailer and shop for luggage.  But, not just any luggage… the Briggs … Read more