This site http://www.onebag.com/ has been a huge inspiration to me! It has a bunch of “what to pack” and “how to pack” lists. So I guess I’ll start with some of their lists and then adapt them to my own clothing and style (and destination, of course).
I’ve also been scouring youtube for some advice:
Wish me luck, friends!]]>
Now I just have to make a choice! I’m debating between getting him one of the tablets that’s specifically designed for kids (like the leapfrog leappad or the vtech innotab), or just going for a full-featured tablet like an ipad mini or a kindle fire. If I get him a kid-specific tablet it will be sturdier and far less likely to break. It will also be less expensive… at least for the initial purchase. But I know that they’re not as quick and responsive as the tablets for adults, and I don’t know if the slowness will be too annoying. Or if he’ll even care! The other thing I need to consider is whether he will outgrow it too quickly. I’ve been doing some research, and I don’t know how many years the apps and features on the kid tablets will hold his interest. I’m checking out some reviews for the best kids tablets here. I also worry that purchasing extra programs for the kid tablets will quickly grow to be expensive.
What will be even more expensive though, is to get him a full tablet and then to have it get broken because little hands aren’t careful enough. Dilemmas, dilemmas! Maybe the solution is to find a super protective (and bulky) case, and go ahead and get a mature tablet. I can then spend some time installing parent monitoring software and paring down the apps to ones I am comfortable with him using.
Now it’s time to do some shopping.]]>
I have 5 trips planned for 2014 so far. Unfortunately, my favorite carry on bag is getting too beat up to use anymore! One wheel is semi-broken, one zipper no longer works, and the fabric is getting very worn and scuffed. I’ve had this bag for over 10 years, and it’s been to at least a dozen countries so it’s served me quite well. But it’s time for something new! I need something that will work for every trip and every occasion. Sometimes I travel solo, sometimes with my son. Sometimes I’m gone for 2 days, sometimes I’ll be traveling for 2 months.
I will be traveling to Southern California at least 2 times, just for quickie weekend trips. I will be traveling to Colorado to visit my sister and her husband kids (they have a new house, and I can’t wait to see it!). I will be taking a trip to Ireland with a friend – it will be my first trip there, I’m so excited! I’ve already ordered some guidebooks and started researching flights, destinations, accommodations ,etc. And lastly, I’ll be going to France, as usual, to visit my parents who live there. I take my son, and he stays with them while I also take several satellite trips to see friends in neighboring countries.
I do subscribe to the “one bag” method of packing – so I always pack as lightly as possible. The more I travel, the less I want to carry around with me! But for the stuff I do choose to take, it’s important that my bag be functional, organized, and comfortable to carry, lift, and transport. So my current requirements are: spinner wheels (I’m done with 2 wheeled bags, 4 rotating wheels are so much more convenient!), a telescoping handle, durable poly fabric (preferably in a color other than black! Travel nowadays seems like everything is a sea of black colored bags, so I’d like something slightly different!), a reasonable price (I’m willing to pay for a quality bag, but hopefully the price won’t be exorbitant), several interior pockets, and at least 1 exterior pocket. I’m going to check out a bunch of carry on luggage reviews and recommendations.
One feature that I’d love to have is a bag that has a small, detachable day pack. I haven’t really seen any that I like yet, but I’ll keep looking. Otherwise I’ll have to devote some space inside of my bag for my typical small nylon bag that I use to carry a sweater/umbrella/guidebook/camera/snacks/water/or whatever I think I might need as I sight-see on any particular day).
Lastly – and this shouldn’t even be necessary to mention – it has to have dimensions of 22x9x14 or less, so that I can carry it onto the airplane and fit it into the overhead bins. I loathe the people who bring bags that they have to stuff in sideways – why don’t airlines stop them at the gate?! That’s my favorite thing about EasyJet in Europe actually – they are super strict about the carry on requirements. And it can be annoying, but at least it’s consistent! And it’s not nearly as annoying as seeing people bring far too many bags onto US flights.
Anyway, let the search for the best carry on luggage begin!]]>
After that part is done, I will need to figure out how to decorate an assortment of angry bird and pig cupcakes! I’m not sure if I want to do all of the cupcakes to look like various pigs (king pig, helmet pig, mustache pig, etc.), or if I want to do some angry bird cupcakes too. I think I’ll just mix them all together. My son’s ultimate favorite is red bird – so I’ll make sure to top the cupcake stand with a red bird. Actually – as I write I’m envisioning new ideas. I intend to get a 5 tier cupcake stand, and I’ll make the top tier all various angry birds. The 5 tier stands hold something like 100 cupcakes – which is about 80 more cupcakes than I intend to make! But that’s fine – it will give me a lot of extra space for creative display touches.
So – angry bird cupcakes on the top tier. Pig cupcakes spread out on the lower 4 tiers. And I think I will get some plastic Easter egg containers and spray paint them white. The pigs steal the birds eggs, right?! And then I can fill each egg with candy or small toys and use those as part of the party favors. It will also make the cupcake stand display look extra cute. I’m not sure what other little props I can nestle in between the cupcakes for display. Something to look like grass? Little boxes? Actually yes – I can also make little structure boxes containing toys/candy and use those as favor items too. Then I can just send each child home with a little bag of eggs and structure boxes.
Now I need to go research how I want to create the cupcakes! Do I want to just buy angry bird/pig cupcake toppers? I’m sure I can find something like that on Etsy. Or I can make them myself. Either toppers out of fondant? Or maybe cookies perched on top with royal icing. Or maybe some combination. I need to do some google and blog searching to see what I like best, and also to see what I think I’m capable of getting done in time!
Either way, my son is sure to love the cupcakes and his party.]]>
I’ve been to three continents so far, and seen only a fraction of the sights on each. There’s a whole world left to explore, and I’m ready to venture out, where many people have gone before – but not me, not yet.]]>