backpack for disney

I want to let you all know about a brand I was recently introduced to, Gaston Luga.  Gaston Luga is a Swedish company that creates really well made backpacks.  These backpacks can be used for all sorts of things but, for me, this backpack couldn’t have come at a better time.  I needed something to take with me to Disney!

Packing for Disney was less of a challenge than I thought.  I put together outfits for the girls, divided into labeled plastic bags, and tossed them into the suitcase.  The plastic bag step may sound crazy but it really helped me stay organized as to what they were wearing and on which day.  These were quick mornings of getting ready and getting out the door so this helped a lot 🙂

I desperately needed a larger backpack to take with me for the 8am-7pm hustle & bustle.  I needed to carry diapers, wipes, snacks, extra change of clothing for the girls (just incase), Bea’s meds, snacks, hand sanitizer, suntan lotion, snacks, and more snacks.  I didn’t want anything too bulky so when Gaston Luga told me I could pick a bag from their website, I immediately was drawn to the Praper.  It was big enough (without being too big), super easy to grab stuff in and out, AND the style and color of black made Jordan feel comfortable wearing it.

So, off we went – to the airport, to the hotel, to Hollywood Studios, to Animal Kingdom, to Magic Kingdom and home.  And it was perfect.

If any of you are in need of a super versatile and very well made backpack – check out their styles and colors HERE.

Be sure to use code hillarykweidner for 15% off your purchase!

 

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xo

Hillary

merry christmas

Merry Christmas Eve 🙂  This Christmas season has been an especially sweet one as the girls have totally grasped the concept of Santa and all things related to giving during the holiday season.  It is so sweet to see the holidays through their eyes. I hope you all are experiencing the same.

I also want to acknowledge those that are struggling with experiencing their first, second, or 40th holiday without someone they love most.  This will be our third Christmas without Dad and, quit frankly, it’s still hard to even wrap my mind around.  I finally feel out of the blur of just going through the motions of holidays and have let myself really enjoy this year – despite the giant loss. It is definitely bittersweet – the feeling of happiness and gratefulness to be with the girls, Jordan, and the rest of my family but also knowing it is in the back (or mostly likely front) of everyone’s minds that Dad made everything better and more fun.  And we are missing that.

But you know what makes it a little easier?  Hearing his name, incorporating him into new traditions, and the thoughtfulness of friends who acknowledged we are missing him during this Christmas.

SO – I could write on and on about Dad and all that we are going through with missing him but my main point is that if you are going through this Christmas without “your person” – I am thinking and praying for you.  If this is your first, the second will be better.  If it’s your second year, your next one will get less teary.  While I don’t think the intense longing for them will ever go away, I do think that it gets a little easier.

The past two years I felt like I was trying to survive the holidays – this year I am enjoying them and I hope you are too.  Be grateful.  Be merry.  And tell those around you that you love them.

Merry Christmas from the barn 🙂

Love,

Hillary, Jordan, Beatrice, Poppy, and Baby #3 arriving in April

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disney

First, I want to say that I had nothing to do with booking our family trip to Disney.  Jordan came home from a work trip and from the time he landed to the time he walked through the door – he booked us a trip from December 13th-16th to Disney World.

We had never really discussed taking the girls to Disney and if we had it was always referencing “when they are older…”.  He read an article on an Ultimate Air Shuttle flight, and decided to take advantage of this healthy streak we are on and off we went.

It was an incredible trip.

I could write every single little recommendation and every little thing we did but I am going to save you from it all and just tell you this….

If you are thinking of going to Disney, you need to call Holly O’Dell to book everything.

We were introduced to Holly by a really great friend, Jen, who had just used Holly to book their family trip to Disney.   Holly is FREE to use, as she works for an authorized Disney travel agency.  She helped us book everything – hotel, itinerary, dining, transportation, and booked all of our fast passes.  We just told Holly what we liked and what the girls were into and she took care of the rest.

Holly O’Dell – 513.260.1939 or hollyodell@me.com

Initially, one of my biggest hesitations with Disney was the potential stress….waiting in line with little kids for rides, figuring out how to navigate the parks, where do we eat, etc.  EVERYTHING was taken care of and we had a full itinerary of where we were supposed to be and when – and I am not joking – the trip was VERY fun and we were moving a lot but it was LOW stress and actually relaxing.

Our top 5 highlights and recommendations if you have little ones…

Tips:

Rent a double BOB stroller.  We normally take one through the airport but decided to just rent one once we got there instead.  It was waiting for us at the bellhop at our hotel and I was so beyond happy we did the side by side double BOB so they both could sit and hang.  The place we rented the stroller from also tossed in a free rain cover which was definitely used one morning of our trip.

Hotel.  We stayed at the Contemporary and it was perfect.  Our room had a great view of Magic Kingdom and because the girls went to bed by 8:30pm each night, we could enjoy the fireworks from our balcony.  Oh!  And it was a less than 10 minute walk to/from Magic Kingdom.

Snacks & Ponchos.  We packed in our checked bag a ton of healthy snacks.  Every day I would load a plastic bag full of good options for the girls (and for us) because I knew the days would be long.  If your kids are anything like mine – they were always asking for snacks and I was beyond happy I had some on me.  Also, I purchased a 5 pack of clear rain ponchos (another great recommendation from Jen) which were tiny to pack and came in handy.

Highlights:

Princess Tea at Grand Floridian.  Holly booked Bea and I for a princess tea at the Grand Floridian and it was truly magical.  We had a proper tea lunch, got to meet princesses, and left with an adorable doll, charm bracelet, and special necklace.  It was truly a special experience I won’t forget.  Bea was on cloud 9.

Front row passes to the Parade at Magic Kingdom.  Magic Kingdom parade was so sweet and because we had this certain dining pass, we got front row passes to this special area for the 2pm Magic Kingdom parade.  The girls were OBSESSED with seeing all of the characters, the music and dancing, and Snow White even came over to greet them!

Memory Maker.  The Memory Maker is something that can be booked where you have access to photographers around all of the parks.   These photogs are positioned in iconic places (like in front of Magic Kingdom) and also with each character around the parks for when you wait in line to meet them.  If you have the Memory Maker, these photographers take the photos and they automatically download to your Disney app where you can access them later.  It made me feel so good that I didn’t have to have my phone out every 5 seconds and I didn’t have to always find someone to take a picture of the 4 of us.

Here are some photo highlights 🙂

Oh!  So many questions about their dresses.  Find the monogrammed Minnie dresses HERE and the Magic Kingdom Castle with their names embroidered HERE.

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