Happy happy Thursday!
It’s another edition of Shay’s Random Grab Bag!
You know the drill…I pull some of your random questions and answer them all here in one little post.
If you missed Grab Bag #1, I covered everything from Kensington’s daily g-free meals, to where Andrew buys his clothes, marriage advice and more! Catch it HERE. If you missed Grab Bag #2, I cover how I handle crappy days, parenting tips, how I started my travel agency, how I pack my toiletries and how I organize my closet! You can read that one HERE.
Grab your coffee and settle in! Here are the random questions from my grab bag this time…
I received several different versions of this same question…how I plan trips for just Andrew and me, our entire family, when we travel with the Slaughters and when we go with extended family. I also received many about planning trips for my extended family, so I thought I’d break all of those things down right here 🙂 .
Here we go:
Andrew and me: We talk about trips pretty much daily over here at our house. Andrew and I are always itching to go somewhere. Anywhere. All the time. We have a list of places we want to see (some new, some oldies that we love so much, we want to revisit). We also have certain times of year we like to travel and when they fit with our schedule, we make them work. For instance, we love to get away during the fall, so we try hard to make that trip work. I would say that our list is a mix of domestic and international and almost exclusively seasonal (we like to go warm places in the summer, cold places in the winter and where the leaves are changing in the fall). We decide on the locations about a year in advance and then plan accordingly. I plan our vacations, but Andrew totally has an opinion, is super knowledgeable and helps A TON! When we travel just the two of us, the trips are typically shorter than when we travel with our family.
Our family: Well, we love traveling over here, and it’s totally rubbed off on our kids too! Our kids have big opinions about where they want to go for each trip, and we try our hardest to lean into those suggestions as often as possible. We typically do three big trips a year (ski trip over Christmas, spring break trip and summer trip) with other smaller trips thrown in (Smith will snowboard extra, this year, Mades went to Disney World, sometimes Kensington will go to a Red Sox game with me, etc). We now have four kids that want to visit Nantucket every year together too…so, we’re going to try and make that work as well. Basically, we’re six people who love to travel, so we’re always talking about it. For trips like the ski vacations, Andrew is mostly in charge as he’s the “ski guy” in our family. We collectively talk about it things we like to do/see/eat when we’re skiing, and then Andrew pitches us some ideas and we all kind of agree on where to go. For our summer vacations, we spend a lot of time talking about where we want to go since this is the trip where we have the most time. We have a list a mile long of places we want to check off our bucket list and each summer, we try to tackle them one at a time. Our kids are old enough now that they can realllly speak into these trips and help us plan them. Due to COVID, we feel like we’re about three summers behind on our vacation to-do list, but that’s okay…we’re going to just make them up one at a time. For our trip this summer, we’ve already settled on a destination and planned it. Both big kids spoke into this trip quite a bit, so we’re extra excited to take them!
Traveling with these four is basically our favorite thing to do! We love the adventures, the learning, the seeing and doing, but what we love most of all is the time unplugged and away from all other distractions.
Our other favorite people to travel with though are…
…Tab and Erika 🙂 . We love, love, love traveling with the Slaughter adults and…
…the Slaughter kids! I would say that out of all the years of traveling together and alllll the trips (cruises, land trips, cabin vacation, Walt Disney World, etc), Erika and I are typically the ones who talk about it first, pick out the destination, budget and plan for it. Our hubbies are super happy to tag along and enjoy the fruits of our labor. They work hard when planning the ski trips for the families, but Erika and I are the ones who are like “hey, this year for spring break, we’re going ___ so pack your swimsuit and take off work”. Erika and I work really well together when planning these trips. You can hear us talk all about it on episodes 1 and 2 of Season 2 of our podcast, The Bestie Breakdown. We get into super specifics about traveling together and planning our trips.
Trips for the parents and with the parents: Awwwwwwww! Andrew and I LOVE traveling with both sets of our parents!! It’s such a blessing to us that we still have all four parents and that they’re in a place where they can travel with their grandkids. Our parents are dear friends too which makes the whole trip extra, extra special. When we travel with them, it’s always Andrew and me that throw out the idea “hey, do you guys want to meet us ___” for a trip? These four people make things so easy because they don’t care where we’re going or when, they just want to come along too. I also book individual trips for each couple throughout the year too at my travel agency. Right now, I have trips booked for both sets of parents for this year…so that’s extra exciting for them!
Agh! I’m reading books just as quickly as I can! I wish I could read even more than I do, but that’s just not possible. If you’re looking for a good book, make sure you go back and read all of my books from years past. You can find them all linked in one spot (yes, I know, I should have an alphabetical list of every book I’ve ever read and reviewed but at this point, I think that’s over 400 books sooooooo…I don’t have the time to organize that!). You an also search in the search bar here on my blog a title of a book and it will pull up the post if I have read it and reviewed it. My February Book Review is coming up at the end of the month, and so more books will be added then. If you have other suggestions on how I can make finding my book reviews easier, I’m all ears!
I mean, this could probably be a post all its own, but basically, Andrew and I are neat freaks that can’t focus if our house isn’t super tidy, so we are constantly cleaning and picking up…and annoying our kids with our cleanliness. We have a very sweet lady that comes over once a week for the “big” cleaning (mopping, dusting, bathrooms, etc), and she’s amazing. She does the heavy duty stuff, and then, all week long we just maintain. I think my tips are to “clean as you go”…whether that’s when you’re cooking dinner or playing with your kids, as we make a mess, we clean it up. We also do things like wipe down our kitchen and bathroom counters multiple times a day and also vacuum high traffic areas daily too. I like my sink empty and my bed made. These are just things I make myself do each day so that everything always appears clean. We keep Mr. Clean Magic Erasers stashed all over the house and use them for everything. Seriously, there is nothing that cannot do (counters, scuffs on the wall, bathroom sinks, etc). I used to keep them in one location in my house, but now, we buy a big bucket of them and just store them all over (in each bathroom, I have one in my office, etc). So, no major big tips other than we don’t let things get out of control and pick up as we go. I personally function much better when my space is cleared off and clean…I know that’s not everyone, but for me, that’s very calming to me and makes me more productive.
I received this question/comment a lot too this year! You guys, I added all of my outfits of the day (OOTD) to one spot on my blog to (hopefully!) make finding them easier! You can see my daily outfits right HERE!
If you’re looking on your mobile device, you’ll find it here or if you’re looking on your computer…
…you’ll find it here.
Click either spot to find it (or this link HERE!). I also added a highlight to my Instagram to capture the same thing. I hope this helps!
I feel like Kensington is in a weird stage right now! I’m not going to lie…shopping for her is more challenging. When we used to go to stores like Old Navy, Gap, J Crew or Nordstrom, she would easily wear all of the big kid clothes. Now though, she technically can still wear those clothes (they have her size), but those are also the clothes that fit her first grade sister…and she’s not interested in dressing the same as the seven year old…BUT when we go to the adult section (they also have her size), that’s where her mom shops and she doesn’t want to dress like me either. So, it’s hard! We’re trying to find her own niche but right now, it’s a lot of hit or miss when shopping for her. She likes neutral colors (whites, beiges, creams), doesn’t want to wear brights or vivid colors and her shoe size is now the same as mine. Thirteen needs its own clothing line 🙂 .
That wraps up today’s Grab Bag! I hope you all have THE BEST Thursday! If you have other Grab Bag questions, leave them in the comment section below please!
I’ll see you tomorrow! xx