top: Megan Nielsen Rowan top, cropped with added band
fabric: light pink athletic knit from Blackbird Fabrics
When we go hiking, I prefer to wear leggings over any other hiking type of pants. And I loved my last pair of yoga waistband Virginia leggings so much, I wanted to make another pair for our recent camping and hiking trip! and I purposely bought a bit of extra yardage of this Blackbird Fabrics athletic knit with the idea to make a cute little matching fitted/athletic tee.
Actually, my original idea was for the top to be a bit shorter with a built in shelf bra/lining so that it was more of a tee-style sports bra. But I was racing against time to finish the set before the trip, so I just left it as a basic tee, sans built in bra. But it’s fine because it works just fine over top a sports bra. I used my favorite Rowan bodysuit/tee pattern to make it. Just cropped it and added a band along the bottom edge, similar to a sports bra, to help it stay in place better and not ride up.
I quite like how it turned out! And it was comfy to hike in. The only thing I would say - definitely need to wear nude colored undies with this light fabric. I thought, even though it’s a light color, because it was a thicker knit maybe it wouldn’t be a problem. But the first time I put them on, I was wearing polka dot undies, and there was definitely no hiding it haha. But nude ones did the trick, so no problem!
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 ;)
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!
We made our annual trip up to NH to see the Ice Castle this past weekend. I get so excited for this trip every year! P was really little when we went last year, but she was able to understand and enjoy it more this year which was so ridiculously cute. She loves snow, and the little mini ice slides were a hit!
Every year when I post our pictures (see 2015-2017 here), I get a few questions about it. So I thought I'd share a few tips if anyone else decides to visit for themselves! I think there may only be a couple weeks left in the season for NH, but you could always plan ahead for next year, too!
The ice castle we visit is in Lincoln NH, but there are other locations in Utah, Minnesota, Colorado, and Canada (visit there website for info). Our experience is only at the NH location, but I'm sure a lot of my tips apply to the others, as well.
The biggest thing, that is pretty deceiving from all of my photos, is that it actually gets VERY busy and crowded. SO...
- Buy your tickets online ahead of time. Standby tickets aren't always available.
- Try to get your tickets for the earliest timeslot of the day (this year on a Saturday it was 11am). AND get there early. We were 20 min early and lucked out because they opened the gate early. This is how I get most of the good pictures. We try to be some of the first people in there and get most of the picture taking out of the way before the wave of people start pouring in.
- UNLESS you want to see it lit up at night, which is a whole other experience. We never do this so I don't really have any tips. #sorryguys
- If you're a stickler like me about not wanting a million people in your photos, you just got to have a lot of patience. It takes a lot of strategic framing and cropping, waiting your turn for the most photogenic spots, and a little photoshop to remove the random strangers ;)
- Wear good boots. The ground is all snow and can be a little difficult to walk on without proper footwear.
- Dress the kids in full snowsuits/snowpants. And warm gloves. They'll want to crawl through the tunnels and go down the ice slides and sit on the ice throwns!
- Speaking of kids, don't bring a stroller. You'll never make it on the snowy ground. Bring a sled with a string to pull them around. And wear small babies in carriers.
- I think they may list appearances on the website, or you may just get lucky and be there when Elsa and Anna and Olaf make a visit!
- This isn't about the ice castle itself, but every year we head to lunch at Gypsy Cafe after we're done there. It's our favorite spot! Try the grilled cheese fondue and cranberry mac and cheese.
P.S - this is not sponsored at all. I just love this place and thought I'd share what I've learned over the years! Now scroll and enjoy some more photos. I think this year's photos may rival 2015 as my favorite set.
Doesn't it look like I'm sitting in front of some fake background? I swear you guys, this was real life. But being there in person was, in fact, UNREAL. So ridiculously beautiful. And a total Elsa moment.
I've been wanting to visit one of the Ice Castles locations since we missed our chance last year. So I made sure we didn't miss it this year, and we drove the couple hours up to New Hampshire on a random Wednesday evening. You know what? Other than the crazy crowds of people, it was every bit as magical as I expected. Seriously magical. We stuck around until after dark to see it all lit up, too. And as cool as it was, I much preferred it in the daylight. I mean, just look at those photos!
P.S - If you are ever in Lincoln, NH, stop at Gypsy Cafe and get the grilled cheese fondue. You won't regret it.
hat: Urban Outfitters
cape: American Apparel
On Saturday, Boo and I embarked on the quintessential New England fall day. We drove all the way up into New Hampshire, over to Maine, and then back down into Massachusetts. All in one day. We took in the changing foliage, came across a small town farmers market, climbed to a few waterfalls, ate lunch overlooking the beautiful view above, stopped for some pumpkin donuts and maple popcorn and apple cider, and took sooooo many pictures.
It was one gorgeous day, I tell you :)