Magic Kingdom outfits:
my top: thrifted Madewell
my pants: handmade Named Clothing Ninni Culottes in a light chambray
my ears: Target party section
Penny’s overalls: Pepper Kids
Penny’s tee and sneakers: June and January
Penny’s fanny pack: Target (girls, not toddler. I had to alter the waist strap. And I cut off the glittery bunny ears)
Long, photo heavy post alert!
Disney, year 2! It was so fun this year, with Penny being a year older. While there were still plenty of rides she couldn’t ride, she was more aware of what we wee doing and how much fun it was. She kept yelling “that was so much fun!” or “I like that!” after the rides. Especially the Barnstormer rollercoaster and teacups. It appears we a little thrill seeker on our hands. And dare I say, I may have finally started a liking in her for a Disney Princess! She lists the Little Mermaid ride as one of her other favorites, and she even got a Little Mermaid toy as a prize. You have no idea how happy this makes me! I love that she loves Cars and Mickey, but I was such a Little Mermaid fan when I was little.
At Magic Kingdom, we literally spent all day there. Got there right at rope drop at 9am, and stayed for the fireworks spectacular at 9pm. And surprisingly, we still didn’t hit all the rides that we could’ve, ha. Granted, we did ride some of Penny’s favorites multiple times, and we also stopped and sat down for her to take a 45 minute nap. But we spent most of our time in Fantasyland, hitting up every ride we could there. Also got a good spot for the parade, spent a bit of time on Main street picking out some prizes, managed to squeeze in a few rides in Tomorrowland, and then very quickly ran through Adventureland at the end. We love Magic Kingdom so much! If we only ever went to one theme park ever again, we would have no problem picking this one. Now if only it wasn’t so freakin expensive so we could do it all the time haha.
Scroll down for Animal Kingdom!
Animal Kingdom outfits -
Mickey tees: Target
Penny’s shorts: handmade by shortening a Hello Dear Kids pants pattern
Penny’s ears: DIY here
This was Penny’s first time at Animal Kingdom, since we didn’t do it last year. Even though it doesn’t have nearly as many rides for her to ride, I still think she had fun! We discovered she reaaaaaally loves flamingos (had no idea!). She stood there and stared at them forever, and this girl never stands still. But she she just watched them and watched them, and cried every time we tried to leave them.
She also saw lots of animals on the safari (including a giraffe that walked right next to the jeep!), danced like crazy at the lion king show, helped played the drums with the street performers, met Mickey and Minnie (!!!), and had a blast in the dino dig yard. We did also spend a little bit of time in Pandora, which was pretty cool! I realize now I never took any pictures in that area.
scissors hair clip: Turtle Story
Penny’s dress: Gymboree
both our boots: Hunter boots
We may be kind of crazy, but the day after returning from vacation, we jumped right back in the car and drove over an hour down to Wicked Tulips farm in Rhode Island. I’ve been wanting to visit the last couple years, but they are only open for a short couple of week period each year, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity again!
It was the perfect opportunity to wear my new Ruska dress that I finished right before leaving for Florida. It’s my first make form the Breaking The Pattern book, which I’ve been holding onto since November. I knew the Ruska knot dress would be my first make because it is sooooo my style. Probably the main reason I wanted the book, ha. For having such an interesting detail, it was actually a surprisingly quick sew. I was able to finish it ,from start to finish, in one Penny nap time, which doesn’t happen often. And I also didn’t have to make any modifications! Perfect for me, straight form the pattern. My only regret is not having enough fabric left to make a matching outfit for Penny, of course haha.
Now back to Wicked Tulips. For those of you in the New England area that want to visit next year (I don’t think they are open past this weekend), here are my two tips:
Wear rain boots, or hiking boots, or any boots or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy. Definitely don’t wear fancy shoes. The parking lot, the flower fields - its all muddy. Even in rainboots, Penny slipped and fell right on her butt in the mud…in her cream colored dress.
Expect A LOT of people. My photos are deceiving. The crowd is INTENSE. We went right at opening on a Wednesday morning, and it was still insane. I knew this going in, so I fully expected a lot of people, and a lot of people in the background of my photos. So it wasn’t upsetting. The reason you can’t tell in my photos is because I decided, after the fact, to try out some of my photoshop skills and try removing as many background people as I could! They’re not perfect, but I’m pretty proud of what I did. It was good editing practice.
When I saw that a Happy Place pop-up was coming to Boston, I jumped online and bought tickets ASAP. I knew P would love it, and lets face it - me too. I mean… just look at all this Instagram-perfect content haha. There were so many rooms, including a yellow ball pit ‘pot of gold’ at the end of a rainbow, an upside down room, mirrored walls, ducky bathroom, confetti dome, and so much more. We had soooo much fun and P is still talking about the ball pit. She jumped in all by herself, and it was a big jump for a little girl! (theres a blurry photo below of her jumping)
If you’re in Boston and want to go yourself, the pop-up is around until June 2. My advice: Try to get the earliest time slot of the day and get there early, too. It gets craaaaazy crowded and overwhelming with so many people trying to get pictures. We were the very first ones in line for our group/the first time slot of the day, so we were able to stay a bit ahead of the crowd and even had a couple rooms to ourselves at some points. But that never would’ve happened if we weren’t the first ones in.
Another year, another ice castles trip in the books! It’s so much fun to see P enjoy it more and more with each year. When we left, I asked her what her favorite part of the ice castles was. Her reply? “the ice castles!”. Haha. She loved all of it. Playing in the snow, feeling the smooth ice, going through tunnels, having hot chocolate, and meeting the princesses. Ok fine, maybe she didn’t looooove the princesses (not a princess girl). But she did love the prizes they were giving out so she reluctently took a photo with them. Whatev, at least I got the photo ;)
I feel like I don’t share enough here photos from our day trips around New England, and I’m going to try and do that more! That’s one of the best thing about living in Boston - such easy access to so many other fun states nearby! We’ve visited Providence and Newport RI, Stowe VT, many areas in NH, and Acadia in ME. Before the new year, we decided to take a quick day trip up to Portland, ME for the first time to do a little exploring.
Some highlights from the trip:
visiting the LL Bean flagship store in Freeport- Penny loved the giant boot, the fish tank, all the animals, and the big chalkboard in the kids area!
Coffee (and hot chocolate for P) at Tandem Coffee and Bakery - really fun and photogenic wall, too!
Walking near the water and around Old Port a bit
Lunch at Duckfat (get the thai chili mayo with the fries - yum! and the apple cider and rosemary spirtzer was delicious)
Stopping in for a prize for P (log cabin building set) at Treehouse Toys
Donuts at Holy Donut
a quick stop at Fort Williams Park to see the Portland Head Light
It was kinda of a quick trip - it was cold, and the days are so so short this time of year. It’s dark so soon! But we really want to go back again in the summer when it’s warmer and the day is longer and we have more time to explore! Anyone have any recommendations for other things to do or see that are also toddler friendly? AKA will not bore a 3 year old lol.
We spent a long Father's Day weekend on our first camping trip of the summer! We changed it up from our usual spot in Acadia, ME and headed into the White Mountains in NH instead. We started out with a quick mini hike the first day, survived a long 5.4 mile hike the second day (which included a railroad bridge and a waterfall!), and spent a lot of time hanging out at the campsite.
Penny definitely takes after her daddy, and loves camping. She slept and napped in the tent like a champ, and thought it was the coolest thing ever to sleep outside. And she could play in the dirt all day. We still have more camping to do this summer, and I eventually plan on doing a separate post on camping toddler activities, but heres a rundown on what she did this trip: painted rocks, shoveled and sifted dirt, played with glow sticks, rode her scooter, looked at things through binoculars, "threw" a frisbee, and played hide and seek behind trees. I have a few more ideas for her for next time, so I can't wait!
I didn't include any pictures here, but we also crawled out of the woods one day to go to Story Land - an amusement park for young kids. It's such a cute park, and Penny LOVED that she could actually ride so many rides. Aaaaand She met Daniel Tiger (and gave him hugs!). If you are ever in the White Mountains of NH and have toddlers or small kids, you should definitely check it out!
While we were in Florida to visit the parks in Orlando, we actually stayed with my brother and his girlfriend in Tampa. They took us to Clearwater Beach, we hung out at their community pool, and we spent Mother's day at brunch, walking Tampa's riverwalk, and visiting the children's museum.
P.S - mine and P's matching swimsuits are from Kortni Jeane.
You guys, we came up with the idea of doing a Disney trip the night of my birthday. We booked it the next day and were on a plane a couple weeks later. That's crazy for us because we never do last minute trips! I'm a planner. But we wanted to squeeze in a trip before Penny turned two, so we could still fly her for free on our laps.
Anyway, I wanted to share some photos from the trip! Surprisingly, I didn't take nearly as many photos as I though I would or that I normally do. I guess I was having too much fun to even think about pulling out my camera. Oh well!
We only had one day to spend at Disney, so we chose Magic Kingdom since it is the most toddler friendly out of all the parks. You guys, Penny did SO good and loved every minute of it. I'd been to Disney World when I was younger, but this trip was so much more fun watching her enjoy it. We rode the teacups over and over and over and she thought it was the very best thing every time. She also loved the Dumbo ride and all the singing fish on The Little Mermaid ride! Turns out she likes seeing all the characters from afar, but meeting them up close was disaster haha (see the photo below with poor Goofy). She took a nice long stroller nap while we sat near the castle and listened to one of the shows, and she picked out a Mickey bubble wand and kid's stationary kit as her souvenirs. And that hat. That freakin adorable hat that she kept on her head THE WHOLE DAY. We seriously did not want to leave at the end of the day. I can't wait to take her back again (and take more photos next time haha).
We debated what to do the next day. Should we do Animal Kingdom? Harry Potter World?
Ultimately we decided to do the park hopper pass to Universal Studios becauseas a diehard HP fan, I can't be in Orlando and NOT visit Harry Potter World. We got engaged there 7 years ago when it was only one side of the park, and I've been dying to go back. This time we got to finally see the Diagon Alley side and ride the Hogwarts Express. I highly recommend it to any big Harry Potter fan. It is seriously so magical. I didn't think it was possibly, but the Diagon Alley side is actually even cooler than the Hogsmead side.
BUT. While I'm happy we did it and I LIVE for that place, Universal isn't exactly small toddler friendly. Unlike Disney, even most of their kids rides have height requirements that someone Penny's size doesn't meet. While she did enjoy her first truly leg and taste of bitterer, there were only 2 rides in Seuss land she could ride. She did enjoy the rope course play area in Jurassic Park though, so that come highly recommended from my almost-2 year old if you ever visit.
Like I said, I'm glad we visited this time. But next time (hopefully next year!), I think we'll concentrate on Disney for Penny!
Our heads and hearts are already gearing up fro spring, but mother nature has had other ideas. With one nor'easter after another pummeling us with snow, we've had to find ways to keep busy indoors still. Zach's coworker told him about the fun interactive exhibits at the Peabody Essex Museum, and it was such a perfect snowy saturday trip!
Penny could probably live in that balloon room, and I don't blame her.
P.S - locals, the fun XYZT exhibit runs through April 22nd, and the Play exhibit (with the balloon room) runs through May 6th!