If you follow me on social media you know we have been traveling a lot this year with Joey. It might look like sunshine and rainbows but I promise it’s not. When I first started traveling with Joey it was absolutely terrifying. I was so unprepared. I will never forget my first time changing a diaper on an airplane (I’ll spare you the details). Whether you’re a new parent or an experienced parent these tips are sure to help (I hope).
Make a list-This might sound so obvious but I didn’t think about it the first time we traveled. I usually end up making multiple lists. I always have 2 lists for each of us (one for our carry on and one for our suitcase).
Extra outfit-ALWAYS pack an extra outfit in your carry on. Remember that diaper change I mentioned earlier?
Don’t pack so much! – I’ve learned that almost every time we travel we always pack more than we have to. I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily need a different outfit every day for everyone. I was concerned that Joey would need so much but she really didn’t. Because our trips are usually for just a few days, I just pack just a couple outfits for myself and a few for Joey and that’s it. If you don’t mind carrying a larger luggage that’s fine but I’ve learned that packing minimally not only saves time but is easily to manage overall especially traveling alone with a toddler (and a stroller!)
Snacks-Traveling isn’t easy on parents or kids so if you can prevent a hangry toddler then why not? I usually stash a few healthy snacks in a carry on bag for Joey (and maybe a few unhealthy ones for me). I don’t go overboard with the snacks because I can always find some at the airport.
Skip preboard-So I have always wondered why do parents preboard? I usually wait until the last minute to hop on the plane. I let Joey burn as much energy as I can before we get on the plane.
Buy a water bottle at the airport- I used to never buy water at the airport because I always counted on the inflight service giving us water but I realize after traveling a lot with Joey that flights can be delayed unexpectedly, you could board but be taxi’d for over an hour with flight attendants refusing to serve us any water until the plane took off (that happened to us! grrr!) or you could be seated at the very end of the plane where it will take about an hour after the plane takes off until they offer beverages (also happened to us!). Plus it’s good to hydrated when traveling.
Inflight entertainment-This has been the most difficult for us to conquer. While I love the idea of Joey never watching Netflix or playing on my iPad it is unrealistic on a long flight. I do however, try to pack a few activities for her. Our current favorites are sticker books, coloring books, and puzzles. Nowadays about a month before our trip, I hide one of her favorite toys (not her absolutely favorite toy haha but others that she wouldn’t notice is missing) and then bring it to the trip and surprise her on the plane. She usually plays with the toy the entire flight! If you have an iPad, download some educational games so you can always whip it out if you need!
Bring something for them to drink- When we used to travel while I still breastfed, I always nursed while we took off and landed so that Joey’s ears wouldn’t pop. Now I make sure to give her some milk (which she’ll drink all at once) as we’re taking off. I’m not sure if it makes a big difference but I’m sure it won’t hurt!
Pack a backpack and if you dare a fanny pack- I ditch the purse when I’m traveling. I always opt for a backpack and a fanny pack as carry on items. It makes wrangling a kid and all of our stuff so much easier. Plus all the pockets make organizing so much easier.
Bring a toddler pillow and small blanket-Flying is never easy with toddlers especially if it interrupts their nap time. I invested in a small travel pillow and a blanket that goes on every trip with us. It has saved us on so many flights.
Pack an empty duffel bag- You never know if you’ll need extra space in your luggage to bring back souvenirs or gifts. We always bring an extra duffel bag just in case and we’ve used it every time!
HAVE FUN-Remember they are only little once. Every time they fly it is going to be a different experience. People are usually pretty anxious when traveling and then adding a toddler to the mix can be even crazier. Try not to get frustrated easily when your toddler doesn’t behave the way you want them to. Being stuck in a small aisle for hours at a time might not sense for your toddler and will sometimes need to walk about the plane or stand on the seat to get a better look at the entire place. Let them do that so that they’re comfortable and understand what the situation is around them. Make it fun and exciting for them as opposed to looking stressed and worn out (even though you feel like it!). I realize that when Joey senses that I’m happy and excited while traveling, she is too. Kids pick up on everything!
Those are my 12 tips but I’m sure other experienced travelers will have even more. If you have any tips, leave them at the comments below! I’m always looking for new ways to make it easy for me and Joey to travel! xoxo
Our sweet friend Hanna from Echo Floral came to teach Joey and her friend Emma some simple floral arrangements. Hanna launched her own floral design studio in Orange County, CA earlier this year and is incredibly talented. If you’re looking for stunning floral design work for your wedding, social gatherings and any other events, check out her website: echofloral.com
We are going to Vancouver, Canada!! May 5 & 6. Can’t believe how quickly tickets were sold out! We’re so sorry if you couldn’t grab a ticket. Sometimes people cancel last minute and if that’s the case, tickets will be available again on the websites so I would check again a couple days before just to see! Excited to meet everyone who reserved a ticket!
I remember when Pinterest first came out and I would spend hours pinning fun crafts that I swore I would make with my future children. Well, that day came and I feel so overwhelmed when I decide to start a craft with Joey. I always worry I am going to go to the craft store and either leave empty handed in shear overwhelm or I am going to end up with an epic Pinterest fail.
When each holiday comes up I get so pumped about making crafts with Joey and this Easter I finally decided we are doing it! I decided to take the pressure off of me and if it ended up being a fail I could consider it a memory we would just keep between us 🙂
I headed to Joann this time around in search of the PERFECT Easter craft. I was so surprised by all of the amazing Spring craft ideas and options they had. I opted to make an Easter egg we could hang up in our windows. Let me tell you this craft was one I couldn’t mess up so you can certainly make it too.
One of my favorite things about this craft is the possibilities are endless! You can virtually stick any little item on the contact paper. Joey helped me pick out some ladybugs which ended up being her favorite.
Stay tuned because this Pinterest WIN might come back again for every holiday. I am kidding but we will definitely be making this at Christmas this year!
How to make an Easter egg sticky wall
Cut out an over from a large piece of construction paper
Stick a piece of clear contact paper over one side of the construction paper
Stick the construction paper onto a flat surface like a table or window using painter tape
Let your creativity go wild and start sticking items on the sticky side of the contact paper
I’m so excited to finally share with you details from our recent Playdate Project! Thanks to our generous donors and friends, we were able to launch our first ever Playdate Project last year right before the winter holidays.
The idea behind the Playdate Project came from me wanting to host a fun playdate event for families to come and enjoy themselves and relax at the same time giving back to a local organization, in this case we wanted to highlight Olive Crest an non-profit org that is dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children, and to preserving the family. I first heard about them from a friend who said they were in process of adopting a child through Olive Crest. As I learned more about them, I found out that they have served our 100,000 at-risk children and families and serves over 1000 in Orange County, CA alone. Because they are run through the support of community donors and volunteers, we decided to dedicate this first Playdate Project to Olive Crest and give 100% of all Playdate Project ticket sales towards them. We held it at FLDWRK in Fullerton, CA on December 17, 2017.
Our friend Kyle from Olive Crest came to receive all the donated toys that our guests generously donated as well and also answer any questions about Olive Crest. If you are interested in learning more about donating towards Olive Crest or even foster/adopt through them, go to their website at olivecrest.org.
Juice Box Media came and documented everything on video. Watch what they put together below!
Happily Ever Etched made beautiful laser-cut signs for us including this amazing Playdate Project sign!
Amy and Hanna set up this awesome nursing and diaper changing room!
Gathre Mats donated these fun AJJ play mats. If you’re ever looking mats that will protect your floors from feeding your baby or doing messy crafts or even for picnicking, check them out. We love their mats! Haba USA also donated to the kids play area some wooden toys.
Our favorite Nugget Comfort donated a couple sets of their foam couches and they were a big hit with the kids!
Wild Child Party came and put together this incredible balloon installation. I will never know how they put all those balloons together like that.
What’s a party without a fun photo booth right? Third Eye Photo booth came and set up a really fun station for all of us.
Miss DJ Bliss was there to set the mood with some awesome beats.
Can you believe this? There’s a nail salon on wheels! It was so fun having the Nail Truck. They generously donated to give any willing kid manicures so of course Joey got one.
Art Camp LA came and set up a really fun arts & crafts table. Because it was near the winter holidays, the craft project was creating holiday wreaths! They have these really fun craft boxes that are filled with art project material so you can make crafts at home without having to go buy everything. Go check them out!
Speaking of wreaths, ReKindle Creative came and set up a wreath making station. They provided all the greens, ribbons, and hardware to make some beautiful wreaths. It was so fun seeing almost everyone walk home with at least one handmade wreath!
Sweetleemade Desserts brought a whole gorgeous cookie making station and that kept most of the kids busy. They also made the cutest unicorn cake pops that went into our VIP bags. If you’re in Southern California and are looking for a custom made cake or any type of desserts really for a party, wedding, whatever, do yourself a favor and book Sweetleemade!
Chasing Linen came and illustrated beautiful custom portraits during the entire event. They were the perfect souvenirs to take home! If you’re ever looking for live art, illustrations or custom stationery, check out Chasing Linen!
Pique Tea kept us hydrated with a tea tasting station and also handed out delicious take-home tea samples to all of our guests.
Juice Plus donated yummy and healthy fruit chewable which were Joey’s favorite!
Whole Foods Market San Francisco donated adorable reusable market bags and also connected us with local brands including Alter Eco who donated chocolates and Back to the Roots who donated cereal and really cool gardening kits as raffle prizes. Peanut also part of the swag bag. If you don’t know who Peanut is, check them out. They’re a really cool app for moms that help you connect with other moms in your area based on common interests! Every mom who came also received an awesome fanny pack filled with hand sanitizers from The Honest Company. Passion Planner, Sweetlee Made, Art Camp LA, and Chasing Linen were also part of the VIP gift bags. Spa lé La, a spa for parents with complimentary on-site child care gave out a gift certificate to a lucky winner. Our favorite dolls, Cuddle + Kind, who is all about giving back donated some adorable dolls for some lucky winners.
Naptime With Joey made an appearance. 😉
As well as Joey + Tot!
Magic Kingdom Mamas came with their adorable kids. They run an awesome blog and Instagram that provides fun tips for families visiting Disneyland Resort in California!
My sweet Guatemalan-Korean friend Sara and her darling Sofia dropped by. Follow Sara on Instagram!
My favorite wedding blogger of all time Jen came with her beautiful family. We go way back when I used to be featured on her blog when I used to work as a wedding photographer. If you’re looking for gorgeous wedding inspiration, GO CHECK OUT HER BLOG.
Beautiful Jen Chae came with her adorable family. She is beauty/makeup guru and is expecting her 2nd baby! Find her on Instagram and YouTube!
I met Lily at a screening for Disney’s Moana a couple years ago and we’ve been friends since. She has the most beautiful family and has the best costume/makeup posts. Follow her on Instagram and on her blog!
My sweet friend Mai and her darling Zooey showed up in style. Go check out Zooey on Instagram for fashion inspiration and Mai on Instagram!
My friend Yolanda came with her insanely adorable Arielle. Check out her Instagram to see the best mommy-daughter matching outfits!
Last but not least, all of these gorgeous photos were taken by my dear friend Sunny. Do yourself a favor and check out her beautiful work at Instagram and her blog. She is one of the most kindest most generous friend I know. Thank you so much Sunny for taking the time to take these lovely photos right after Greyson was born!!
We’re forever grateful for all of the people who donated their time, money, services and goods to making this first Playdate Project happen. Thank to all of our guests who made it that day. We really hope you got to make some fun family memories as well as share in part of “giving back” to Olive Crest. Our family really feels like we did nothing in comparison to everyone’s generosity. We feel very strongly that we were given this platform to share love and also to give back to our community and so we will try our best to do more of these events. We hope The Playdate Project will happen every year for a very long time so we can continue to highlight many more organizations that are positively impacting our local communities. If you are interested in collaborating for our next Playdate Project as a donor/vendor, please email us at hello[at]lauraiz.com! Let’s chat!
I have received so many messages lately asking about what books Joey is reading. I decided to share some of our current favorites with you today. It has been so fun watching how interested Joey is in reading and looking at pictures. My favorite thing about reading with Joey is that it gives us 20 minutes a day with zero distractions. Life has gotten so busy lately so this is a time I treasure.
I also get a lot of questions about how I got Joey interested in reading. This has been a challenge we have really just recently conquered. When we sit down to read a book we always go to the same spot in the house in her playroom, turn on some calming music, turn the lights down a bit and read away. It has also helped significantly that we have made this part of our daily routine (I have figured out routine in key to anything with children).
I hope you find this list exciting and helpful when setting up your library in your own home.
Okay, I have to be totally honest here, how is it already Valentine’s Day? I swear we just put our Christmas tree away. Anyways, this last year holidays have meant so much more to us since Joey can finally be part of the festivities! I spent so much time trying to decide if Valentine’s Day was a “kid holiday”. We put such a huge emphasis on our significant other on this day but rarely let the kids partake in the excitement!
This year I decided we are going to start our first family Valentine’s Day traditions. I thought to myself I could bake Joey a cake, or maybe go do something fun, or perhaps fill her entire room with balloons (trust me I might still do this one). As I made my list of ideas I began to ask myself do people buy their kids gifts for Valentine’s Day too? Well, to my surprise this is a thing! Who knew?!
Once I found this out I stalked the internet for that perfect gift for our little Valentine. I thought I would share some of the amazing gift ideas I found along the way for the rest of the parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents that are stuck like I was.
When I was pregnant with Joey, all I remember was craving nothing but In-N-Out (and Taco Bell). It was so hard restraining myself from eating one of their burgers everyday. My go to is: a double-double, extra lettuce, extra tomatoes, whole grilled onions, extra toasted buns, no salt on the patty and dressing on the side. Augh, just writing this right now is making me want to go get one right now!
My friend Catherine and I did a Target Employee shoot together previously but we wanted to do an In-N-Out one together so this week we took our girls out for some burgers and fries. Joey’s first time trying In-N-Out! Can you tell that they both LOVED it??
You came here for the big news, right? Well before I share that I just want to thank each and every one of you for the last 5 months. We have met so many amazing people on this book tour so far and are sure to meet many more along the way!
I am so excited to share the latest details on our Book Tour! I have received so many messages about where we will be next. Well, I am thrilled to announce we will be traveling up the West Coast and couldn’t be happier because we love the Pacific Northwest!
Whole Foods Market is hosting us for FOUR more book signings!!! Grab your tickets now because they sell out very quickly (usually less than 24 hours). Tickets are only $12.95 and include a copy of my book Naptime With Joey, a Joey magnet, a tote bag other giveaways and some delicious snacks from Whole Foods Market.
So the moment you all have been waiting for! Here are my upcoming tour dates and links to buy tickets. Please be sure to read the FAQ on the link for your city to get all the exciting details! Click on the dates to take you the ticket page on Eventbrite! See you soon!
I’ve been trying to be better about feeding myself. Lately I’ve been just focused on cooking for Joey and then for some reason I’m not as hungry after she eats. Is anyone else like this?? Skipping meals is no good especially when you’re parenting and working all day and night. I found that when I do eat, it’s usually something really quick and not as healthy and I’m seeing the side effects of it already this year. I’m more tired and end up snacking on sweets more during the day.
So I decided to do something different this year and attempt (key word: ATTEMPT) to start eating more salads during the week. Now that a Whole Foods Market opened up close by and I’ve been traveling around the west coast to different WF markets and have been seeing all the amazing produce they have, I decided to do a series on salads. I’m going to start getting more fresh ingredients from my local WFM local store to make myself some delicious lunch salads to motivate me to eat better. I made this salad this week and I’m pretty proud of it because it has 13 ingredients! It was so good that Joey stole some of it when I wasn’t looking! I realize when I make my salads like this, all elaborate and beautiful to eat, it ends up motivating me to make more and eat more salads. Looks like Joey’s not the only one I like to dress up! 😉
Let me know if you want to see some other ingredients featured!
About Laura Iz
Hi, I'm Laura Izumikawa. I'm a stay-at-home-working-mama to Joey and wife to the funniest guy I know. My photos of my napping daughter dressed up as pop culture icons became viral one day and now I blog about our lives because it turns out, people want to know more about us which is totally crazy to me! Thanks for visiting!
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