Summer camping with an infant & a toddler.

summer camping maggie whitley

summer camping maggie whitley

Friday morning, after Natalie’s nap, we packed up the crew and headed a little north of Santa Barbara to camp for the weekend. This is the second year now we’ve joined our friends Lukasz and Joanna, and their littles Olivia and Tytus, for a weekend of camping. In fact, last year we went with them twice, and both times I was pregnant with Natalie (I was about 12 weeks along the first time (but hardly anyone knew ;)) and about 30 weeks the second time).

kids summer camping maggie whitley

Camping has sort of become “our thing”. Yeah, it takes a lot of prep work to camp. Yeah, it usually means Zack has a crazy schedule at work leading up to our weekend sans technology. Yeah, it is dirty and off-schedule and things are so different compared to life at home. But, IT IS SO MUCH FUN, that it’s totally worth it! Side note: if it wasn’t fun and wasn’t “worth it”, we wouldn’t go.

summer camping zack max maggie whitley

Our family is used to a smaller space while at home (our apartment in Los Angeles is about 600 square feet), and many things have a dual (or trio!) purpose. Living out of a tent while we camp is of course very different than home life, but our daily experience has made tent camping much less difficult for everyone in our family.

kids summer camping maggie whitley

We are used to spending a lot of time together in a smaller space and being creative with the resources around us (hello, daily trips to the park & neighborhood amusements).

max summer camping maggie whitley

max summer camping maggie whitley

My best advice for camping with infants/toddlers is two-part: 1.) give them the chance to adventure throughout the day (fresh air + nature = the best). They love nothing more than to explore what interests them. And 2.) feed them delicious, nutritious food. Both kids fell asleep fast once they snuggled up with their blankets. It was amazing to have a little quiet time at naptime with Zack while they rested, and kick our feet up for a solid 90 minutes.

natalie summer camping maggie whitley

It was a little bit of a challenge to pull Max away from his play to eat, but if all the littles were eating then it was definitely easier to declare, “meal time!” and wrangle their buns to the picnic table :)

Prior to leaving, I prepared a lot of food for easy meals. For dinner, I made spaghetti with meat sauce and carne asada tacos with pan seared corn & black beans. For lunch, we ate chicken salad, fruit, and cheese & crackers. And for breakfast we brewed lots of coffee, and Zack made eggs and sausage for the family. All super easy, but a little different than what we’ve made in the past while camping.

summer camping maggie whitley

I almost love the drive home the best. While the kids snoozed, Zack and I had hours of (mostly) uninterrupted time together to goal-set. During this trip we talked about our financial goals and a way to track our debt-pay off progress (so exciting!), along with a few potential trips to New York for Z.

summer camping maggie whitley

Life, you are so good to us! Pacific Coast, you are gorgeous! Thanks for such a great weekend!

Do you go camping as a family, or take seasonal trips together? Where do you go, and what are your best family travel tips with kids?

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Los Angeles meet-up: August 8th

flowers maggie whitley

Hello, Los Angeles creatives, inspiration-seekers, and/or mamas! I hope you’ll join me for another LA meet-up the morning of Saturday, August 8th. (I’ve found a super delicious coffee shop/cafe/restaurant to meet at!) The conversation we had last month spurred on so many great conversations about books, home projects, and small business, and I can’t wait to dive in again.

Meeting face-to-face has been so good for me :) When we lived in Minneapolis I thrived off this personal time, and I’m so enjoying having it here in Los Angeles as well. If you’re in the west LA area I’d love for you to join us in August. Send me an email and I’ll share the details: maggie at maggiewhitley dot com.

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A podcast on Simplicity.

31 days book maggie whitley

Last month I recorded a podcast on simplicity with Jenn Sprinkle from The {well} Studio. Our conversation was based off a book I contributed to called Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer. In the podcast I shared more about our decision to move to Los Angeles, which was spurred on from a trip to Tanzania, Africa just a few months prior. It was great to reflect on our family’s adventures and the details of how “life” has come together the last three years. I loved the reflection.

Jenn and I also talked about some personal stories on simplicity, our family’s transition to Los Angeles, how we keep our dreams in focus, and that CRAZY (wonderful) thing that happened once I finally launched Caroline-made in February 2014. (I’m not sure I had ever shared this prior to recording the podcast!) It was such a good chat.

Below is our podcast if you’d like to listen, and here is a link to the book.

By the way, it’s been a wonderful experience re-opening the shop! Thank you for being such a great community of supporters. It’s like a confetti of handmade happiness over here :) See ya Monday with another shop update.

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Max & Nat on the swings!

swings maxwell natalie maggie whitley

The kids and I have been stopping at the park to play a few times each week, and I feel like it’s at the playground their growth is noticed the most. Once we get there Max has to check on Natalie first, which makes her SO HAPPY!

The other day I realized I’ve hit gold with the swing set. It’s an activity they both love and it’s a good container for a little blondie I know. When on the swings, Max can’t be pushed high enough and Nat can’t stop watching her big brother. And yes, I know she’s taking notes on life ;) They are forming their friendship, and I’m all heart eyes over it.

Maxwell & Natalie on the swings! from gussy sews on Vimeo.

Having them so close in age is so much fun. But, I’m super relieved it’s gotten easier for me, because for a long while it was HARD. Going about our daily tasks, like getting the kids downstairs and into the stroller with Bauer in tow, are a cinch now. When do I take a shower? Who do I feed first? When do I give Max 1-on-1 time? Should I take a nap today?, these were all serious questions I was asking myself for months.

But you should see me now! Playing, meal time, diapers, creative projects, play dates, exercising, bedtime routines solo, showering — I’m definitely impressed with my progress ;) And on Sunday we began bathing both of them in the tub, and I could hardly handle the cuteness. This mamahood gig is a real treat, that’s for sure.

Los Angeles’ infamous “June gloom” is almost over, the blue sky appears flawless, my creativity is flowing, and I owe it all to running each morning with the kids. Running has been a real game changer for me, more on that soon. (But in the meantime, here’s a post I write on how to run with your kids.)

See you back here at 1pm PST for my homemade pizza dough recipe ;)

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