Camping with Toddlers & Free Camping Checklist

5 Tips for Camping with Toddlers plus free downloadable camping checklist

We went camping with Emerson this past weekend and she loved every minute of it! The weather was perfect. Warm during the day but cool at night. We cooked on the fire, went hiking, and swam in a chilly river. I wanted to share my top 5 tips for camping with toddlers:

  1. Always pack a well equipped first aid kit, including remedies for your baby/toddler. The time you think you don’t need infant ibuprofen is the one time you will need it. It’s always better to be prepared in terms of safety than to be under prepared. Your kit should include things such as: band-aids, gauze pads, medical tape, antibacterial ointment, anti-itch cream, tums, acetaminophen/ibuprofen, pepto-bismol or similar stomach medicine, allergy medicine and other baby related medicinal items such as Aquaphor or teething tablets.
  2. Bring any favorite sleeping items. This is a must. Sleeping in a tent is so exciting, but at the same time you’re also abandoning the comfort and structure of home life. We made sure to pack items that would help Emmie feel secure when falling asleep in the tent, just as if she were falling asleep at home. We made sure to pack her very own pillow, her favorite sleeping blanket and both sleeping security items (lovey & sleep star). We extended bedtime and all went to bed together to help eliminate any bedtime anxiety while camping.
  3. Bring easy to serve snacks/drinks/foods. We like to cook our food over the fire pit but this means it can take a while before everything is ready. Toddler are notorious for having little patience when it comes to waiting for food. We made sure to pack easy to serve foods and drinks. We had things like single serving fruit cups, granola bars, cheese sticks & milk boxes all for easy serving. We packed a prepared jar of grapes for a quick healthy snack. We stopped any whining or fussing simply by having quick, nutritious snacks readily available.
  4. Pack versatile layers & store some in the tent. Temperatures drop overnight so while you might be comfortable and cozy in a packed tent, the moment you step outside you’re greeted with the chilly morning air. Packing versatile layers is essential for keeping toddlers happy. I made sure to bring an extra long sleeve shirt & sweatshirt into the tent when we went to bed knowing I wouldn’t want Emmie to leave the tent before layering up in the morning. As the morning warmed up we were able to strip down layer by layer and didn’t have any issues with being too cold.
  5. Get a toddlers version of everything. We bought Emmie her own sized camping chair, her own water bottle and she brought her very own owl lantern. I also had a small flashlight for her to use but she stuck with her lantern. By giving her her very own camping items she was much more apt to leave ours alone. It helped her feel like an equal part of the camping crew. Having her own items definitely eliminated any tantrums over “needing” something that we didn’t want her to mess with.

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We enjoyed camping so much that we have already booked a longer stay in a few weeks. There’s even been some talk at attempting a backpacking trip! If you’re looking to go camping with your little one anytime soon make sure you download my free camping checklist below.

Family Camping Checklist

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Master Bedroom Decor

There are always challenges when moving. One of those challenges for me is always feeling the need to switch up decor and furniture. What worked for one space doesn’t mean it will translate well into the next house. However, living off of one budget means that I can’t just chuck everything and start fresh, no matter how much I’d love to.

Another challenge in decorating after moving is the fact that we’re renting. With every rental comes a new set of rules and a new list of things you can’t change. We really lucked out in Baltimore as we rented from my Mother (thanks Mom!) so we had a lot of flexibility in what we were able to do. This house? Not so much. Enter the need for rental friendly decor.

I’ve hit the point in my pregnancy where I’ve finally started getting the nesting urge and no space is unscathed in this process. I mean, we don’t even have all of our pictures on the walls yet…but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming and scheming up ways to change, update and restyle our spaces in a budget & rental friendly way. First on my list is the master bedroom. I’d love to DIY a new headboard, mount some wall lights, and have Emmie help me with some abstract art to hang above the bed. A new crisp duvet and a pop of color through an accent pillow and we’re well on our way to a cozy, rental friendly space.Now all I have to do is get the hubster on board and I’ll be golden.

Master Bedroom Decor

 

What are some of your go-to’s to refresh a space?

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Dear Emmie

Dear Emmie,

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. You’re growing so quickly, it’s hard for me to even remember the last time I stopped and appreciated all the little things you do.

Your attitude is very much on par for a classic two year old. Some days you are sweet as punch, and other days, you scream to the point of hyperventilation because I threw away an old piece of floss. Yup, basic toddler.

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You’ve picked up quite a few cute sayings lately. You’ve grasped that “excuse me” isn’t just for passing gas. You constantly say, “excuse me, Ollie” “excuse me, Mom” as you push us out of the way. It’s so hilariously cute since you’ve managed to be so extremely polite and rude all at the same time.
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And speaking of being polite you’ve also started to go overboard on the apologizing. I am constantly hearing, “sorry Mom!” “sorry Ollie!” “Ooooh sorry Daddy!” for things that don’t even warrant an apology. Although, maybe they do in your toddler mind.
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You’ve become quite the helper. Just the other day in the self check out lane, you handed each grocery item to me so I could scan it, and you know what? It was actually helpful! Also, it was pretty hilarious when you started panicking calling me, “Hewwwwp Mommy! Hewwwwp!” and I turned around to find you trying to haul the full gallon of milk over the side. Yeah, you’re still freakishly strong – that hasn’t changed.
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What has changed is your ability to say,“NO!” Oh. My. Word. You say “no” constantly. Some days you drive me absolutely bonkers. I swear there was one day where you said absolutely nothing but “No.” It makes for extremely long days and definitely tests my patience.
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You’ve been doing a really great job at the gym lately. In fact, the other day while tucking you into bed, I asked you what your favorite part of the day was. You responded with “Mommy workout. Emmie plaayyy!” I responded aghast, “Your favorite part of the day was playing at the gym while I worked out??” “Mmmhm.” Confirmed. I think teaching you a little song has really helped you get over your fear of me leaving you. You now sing “Emmie play’s and Mommy comes back” all the time. You still feel a little anxious every time we arrive and you give me an extra tight snuggle, but we’ve surpassed the super clingy and crying phase.
Let’s see what else can I tell you about yourself. Oh,how could I forget, you love to swim. I mean, you’re wild for it. You love being in the ocean with Daddy. You also love the wave-less pond. You love being in the water so much that no matter how cold, how much you’re shivering or how blue your lips are you do not want to leave. You just can’t get enough. You really like it when Oliver can come swimming with us. You are always quick to help find a stick to toss to Oliver.
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All in all, you are such a sweet girl, always one to offer a hug. Still a little shy around groups but you’re really finding your own personality. You’re pretty silly and you love  to goof it up for your grandparents.
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Destin Vacation

 

Last weekend we welcomed my in-laws down for an amazing vacation. We spent a good majority of the time playing in the water, either jumping the waves of the Gulf or splashing in the resort’s amazing pool. Emmie was spoiled with attention, ice cream and lot’s of snuggles. There’s nothing like a weekend with family to fill your heart with love, gratitude and relaxation.

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Rice and Beans: Dinner On The Table in 30 Minutes

I am always on the hunt for dinner recipes that take under 30 minutes. And dinner that’s ready in 20 minutes? I’m sold. I mean, I typically only have about 22 minutes of uninterrupted toddler free time , thanks Daniel Tiger! So I’m always trying to find ways of getting delicious, healthy vegetarian dinners ready in 30 minutes or less.

One of our staples is Rice and Beans. This recipe fills you up and doesn’t break the bank. It’s super easy to prepare, especially when utilizing a rice cooker. It’s a great base recipe and spicing it up, or mixing up the flavors, is a breeze.

 

Here’s our typical go to Rice and Beans:
1.5 cups brown jasmine rice
1 can of black beans
1 small red onion diced
2 cloves minced garlic
fresh cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt & pepper to taste
squeeze of fresh lime
fresh green onion

 

1. Cook rice following directions on the back of the package. We use a rice cooker and it’s amazing. I add water & rice, press a button, and viola! Rice is done in 20 minutes.
2. While rice cooks throw some olive oil in a large skillet/ wok and saute garlic and onions until browned/ slightly blackened. I like to cook over high heat to really sear the onions without making them too soft.
3. Rinse the black beans and add them to the onions.
4. Add spices and mix well.
5. Add cooked rice into bean skillet and mix until rice is evenly spiced.
6. Add a squeeze of lime juice, fresh green onion and fresh cilantro.
Serve and enjoy!











Some other favorite add-ins for our rice and beans:

  • Pineapple/mango, almonds & some cinnamon for more of a Jamaican jerk style rice& beans
  • Andouille sausage (for me), green pepper, red pepper flakes & cayenne pepper for New Orleans style dish

 

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First Trimester Must Haves For Your Second Pregnancy

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I wanted to share the things that really helped me get through the first trimester, the second time around! I consider these the 1st trimester must haves for your second, or third, pregnancy.

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1. Water Bottle for you and for your little. Staying hydrated is so important when you’re pregnant. Not only do you need the extra fluid to start making extra blood, amniotic fluid, and help flush out toxins but staying hydrated can make sure you’re combating pregnancy fatigue to the best of your ability. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish & slow. A thermos, or water bottle, is the perfect way to always ensure you have something to sip on. If your little one is anything like mine, having a second – smaller- water bottle can help curb tantrums and help your first baby feel special. Plus, if your nausea is out of control you can easily hide ginger ale in your water bottle while serving water in your little’s bottle.
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2. Doggie Bags. Towing a toddler around is trying in by itself, but have you ever tried to actually get somewhere fast with toddler in tow? It just doesn’t happen. Especially when it’s important. By keeping a roll of doggie bags you can feel assured that you always have a fail safe plan in case that “morning sickness” sneaks up on you and the nearest bathroom might as well be back at home. It’s not the most glamorous but works well in a pinch! I tote around these scented bags.
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3. Lotion. The second time around your body knows what it’s doing. Muscle memory from the first pregnancy takes over and you start growing sooner. I found my skin to be much itchier this time around simply due to things expanding earlier! Regularly applying lotion helped keep the itchiness at bay.

4. A great-smelling candle. During the first trimester my gag reflex is so much more sensitive. Combine that with a heightened sense of smell and a toddler on hand… well, I often found myself lighting a candle to help mask the smells of daily tasks such as making my toddler lunch or changing a diaper.
5. Snacks. Keep them with you at all times. I loved things packed with protein to keep my blood sugar levels stable. I tried to find snacks that I didn’t mind sharing with my toddler. I saved the Oreos and Doritos for nap time.
 
6. A soft, stretchy cami-styled bra. Again, your body remembers pregnancy this time around. With my first pregnancy my chest grew slow and steady over the whole 9 months. This time around? Not so much. I’m already at the same size I was when my milk came in with Emerson. Needless to say having a larger sized, soft, stretchy cami-style bra has been essential. It doesn’t feel restrictive like a traditional underwire bra, and having the lightly lined soft cups has been helpful for my sensitive and itchy skin.
 

7. Meal replacement drinks. I always find these handy to keep around for those days when you just can’t eat a single thing. You still need to get high quality nutrition, but if you can’t keep solids down, this is the perfect solution. Some of my favorites are Svelte and Orgain.

What were your must haves for your second pregnancy?
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Tea for Two: A New Baby is Due

Tea2Bfor2BTwo2B12BwordsTEa2Bfor2Btwo2B32Bwords2B2 tea2Bfor2Btwo2B42Bwords2B3 Tea2Bfor2Btwo2B72Bwords2B4Tea2Bfor2Btwo2B62Bwords2B5 Tea2Bfor2Btwo2B82Bwords2B6 tea2Bfor2Btwo2B132Bwords2B7That’s right! We’re expecting baby girl #2 in early February. We’re very excited to add a new addition to our family. I’m currently 18 weeks along and finally feeling good. I struggled a lot more with morning sickness this pregnancy and lost a bit of weight, which for someone with Cystic Fibrosis is the worst! I’ve finally managed to gain it back so we’re headed in the right direction. I was so thankful during the first trimester that Emerson is still a great napper because first trimester exhaustion was a struggle! Beth2B2BKyle2B3Beth2B3
All in all, we’re all very excited and looking forward to baby girl’s arrival in the new year. I hope you’ll follow along as we continue on our new journey as a soon-to-be family of 4!
PS: We had a blast taking these pictures for our announcement. Emmie thought our tea party was the most amazing thing of her life.
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Fall Capsule Wardrobe

August is officially over and September has graced us with pumpkin spiced everything, deep maroons and the promise of cooler temperatures. We slowly start to trade our shorts, sandals, and summery dresses for our comfy cardigans, booties and army green jackets. Yes, it’s that time. Fall is here! But what should you wear?

As a stay at home mom do you ever feel like you almost never leave the comfort of your yoga-pants, beat up t-shirts and worn down sneakers? I certainly have those days. It’s usually on those days that I run into someone I know at the grocery store and I leave the impromptu interaction feeling self-conscious and frumpy. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! Dressing yourself in the morning can totally change the way you feel throughout the day. Wearing things that make you feel good can really go a long way. Dressing up doesn’t have to mean sacrificing functionality or comfort! To prove this I’ve pulled together a sample capsule wardrobe for this fall season.

The key to a capsule wardrobe is finding pieces that serve you and your lifestyle. As a Mom, being able to run after my toddler is a top priority so I choose articles of clothing & footwear that allow me to do so. I look for comfortable, easy to care for fabrics and a figure flattering cut.

SAHM Fall Capsule Wardrobe | The Overdeeps
Fall is all about layering! Temperatures vary greatly so you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of options for layering. A base wardrobe should consist of mostly neutral colors with a few pops of color for interest. In this capsule I decided to stick with taupe, cream, grey and olive for my neutral base and added in some mustard, maroon and deep teal for my pops of color. By keeping a mostly neutral palette you can be assured every piece in your wardrobe will be complementary, making getting dressed a snap.

 

Your capsule wardrobe should always include at least a couple of basic t-shirts, a pair of jeans, one dress or skirt, and a basic button up. Then, add in your seasonal items: long-line cardigans, over-sized sweaters, flowing tunics and we can’t forget the staples like a classic trench and distressed denim. Indulging in a few seasonal trends, like a comfortable pair of over-the-knee boots, can really make you feel current and confident.

 

Just because we spend our time wiping boogies from noses, cleaning up spilled milk, and chasing kiddos around the park doesn’t mean we should sacrifice ourselves. As a mother we already give so much to others. Shouldn’t we take a few minutes to make ourselves feel as amazing as we really are? For me, a capsule wardrobe helps me feel put-together, organized and ready to tackle the day. I’d say it’s almost as important as coffee…. almost. 

 

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Cheap to Chic: How to make your clothing look more expensive than it really is

Being a stay at home Mom means my family lives off of my husband’s salary. This means I don’t have the luxury of buying my dream wardrobe full of designer labels and costly price tags. Now there are certainly pieces I feel are worth investing a little more money in, like a great fitting jacket for example. Things that will not fall out of style and will be worn for many years. Yet, for the vast majority of my closet, investing in higher-end pieces just doesn’t make sense. Just because I can’t spend a lot of money on my wardrobe doesn’t mean I want to look frumpy or cheap. I figured I can’t be the only Mom on a budget so, I decided to share some of my go-to secrets in how I make my affordable, and sometimes down right cheap, clothing look more expensive than it really is. 

To illustrate these tips and tricks, I decided to show you what a cheap dress (less than $10) can look like styled poorly and styled well.

There are a few rules I generally follow in order to enhance the appearance of my cheaper articles of clothing. In this first picture, I’m breaking all the rules!  The dress is fresh from the dryer but is super wrinkly. Undergarments were chosen poorly and visible bra straps are distracting. My accessories are presenting conflicting messages. I have a glamorous bracelet and earrings, but my flip flops suggest a casual style. The long necklace draws focus to the fact that the eyelet lace is wrinkled and misshapen. The soft structured bag accentuates the softness of the dress, but not in a positive way. And lastly, my hair is a mess which just reiterates the whole idea that my outfit is messy. 

Now, let’s look at the contrasting photo. Right away you notice the dress doesn’t even look like the same dress in the previous photo. A little starch and a hot iron go a long way in making clothes look their best. This is the first rule: take care of your clothing. Cheaper articles of clothing tend to be made with cheaper fabric. This can mean that the item won’t hold up well to washing or drying. Wash only when necessary and wash according to the stated directions on the tag. When in doubt, gentle cycle and hang dry. After washing, iron that sucker. Again, read the care tag! It will tell you if your specific item can’t be ironed or needs a cool iron setting vs. a hot iron setting. 

Rule #2: choose the right undergarments for you clothing! White dresses, or sheer dresses warrant a slip. In addition to a slip a nude bra & undies set will eliminate the see-through appearance. Choose the right bra style for your article of clothing. Seeing a rouge bra straps detracts from the overall quality of your outfit presentation. If you want the best bang for your buck, make sure your wardrobe has a nude convertible bra. That baby will have you covered  no matter what you choose to wear.<pun intended>

Now, let’s talk accessories. Rule #3: choose cohesive accessories that work for you. Think about the overall aesthetics of the outfit you’d like to create. Are you going somewhere casual? Somewhere more formal? Or perhaps somewhere in-between? All your accessories should correspond to where you’re going and what you’re going to be doing. You wouldn’t wear a ball gown to go gardening would you? Well, maybe you would, but be consistent in choosing cohesive accessories!
For my second, well polished look, I chose well-constructed but understated items to help make my dress the star of the show. A simple set of earrings and matching bracelet. A well structured bag, and well kept, detailed wedges help boost the level of chicness. By choosing not to wear a necklace I leave the focus on the pretty eyelet detail of the dress along with the crisp boat neckline. 

1. Ironed, well kept & well fitting dress 2. Cohesive accessories 3. & 4. The correct undergarments for the outfit 5. Cohesive accessories

Lastly, let’s talk fit. When choosing something to wear, regardless of price, it should fit your body. Go ahead, be picky! Do not fall into the trap of only buying it because it’s a bargain. If it doesn’t fit you well, and you don’t feel great in it… it’s just not worth it – no matter how cheap it is.

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Park Adventures: Exploring Florida Style

We’ve been exploring lately: finding new parks, new playgrounds, and new beaches. Exploring is why moving can be so exciting. You never know what you’re going to discover! Lately though, thanks to the mid-August heat and the overwhelming humidity, we have been finding ourselves saving our outdoor exploration until the sun is lower in the sky. There’s something about packing up the family after dinner for some dusk exploring that makes you really appreciate life. 

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