Racing to summer - Jack's brand new bike!

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In honor of National Bike Month, my friends at Dynacraft sent Jack his very first bike! I remember my first bike and it was a red Schwinn that my parents said at the time was more expensive than a lot of the things they owned. I still have fond memories of riding my bike to so many places in Wilmette, IL and was so happy once I got the training wheels off when I was five. I felt similar joy when I got a new bike when Jack was a baby - these photos just melt me.

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Jack got this awesome 16" Hot Wheels Bike with a special "Rev Grip" that makes it look, sound, and feel like a real motorbike! I wish I had captured Jack's reaction after it was put together because it was truly priceless. He now wants to take it for a spin every single day. The steel BMX frame and all-terrain tires help young riders race through all types of road conditions safely & smoothly, and make for hours of biking fun! We took it for a spin at the beach and I was so grateful to have Stephanie from Ographr in tow to capture the smiles.

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The Ographr app makes it so easy to find and book affordable, professional, vetted photographers in a flash. It's been my go-to lately and it's been wonderful having such a great resource at my fingertips.

Thanks Dynacraft for the awesome 16" Hot Wheels Bike - we love it!

4 Ways To Pack Light & Travel Like A Pro

4 Ways To Pack Light & Travel Like A Pro

Life’s a trip... and when you’re traveling you don’t always have the luxury of checking a suitcase! Although packing light can feel a little limiting, it actually gives you a ton of freedom. You won’t be tied to a heavy bag, you won’t have to endure long check-in lines & you can forget about dealing with that post-flight waiting game at the luggage carousel.  Below are some helpful tips that will make your adventures breezy, comfortable & fabulous!

Roll with it!

When it comes down to it - folding your clothing physically takes up WAY too much space. The trick is to roll everything from your jeans to your t-shirts into tight & neat bundles. This technique will help maximize space while still keeping everything super organized. The one thing you need to remember is to avoid clothing that wrinkles easily. While most hotels provide irons - this added step can be kind of annoying & eats away at precious vacation time!

Get Back to Basics

2018's chicest look is, "model off duty." This style is clean & simple. Just stick to great fitting basics like solid color t-shirts, that perfect pair of jeans, a tailored moto jacket, neutral sneakers & of course a classic LBD. The great thing about packing these basic pieces is that you can mix & match them - the outfit possibilities are endless. For a day at the museum, you can wear a white tee under the little black dress & finish it off with the sneakers! For a nice dinner on the town do the dress solo with the jacket thrown over your shoulders - instant perfection!

Utilize Space

Say you’re going to the mountains and you want to bring your hiking shoes! Although these kicks take up a little more room than you’d like - make them functional! Stuff the interior of the shoe with socks & underwear! It’s a great way to keep things organized & take advantage of available suitcase space!

I.C.E.

Let's be honest: when you visit a new place you're gonna wanna shop. Between local crafts & bringing home souvenirs, there's so much to buy & so little room to pack it all up in. This is where your I.C.E (in case of emergency) tote comes in handy! This collapsible bag is made of squishy fabric, therefore, can be folded into a tiny square. Not only is it great to use for long adventure days, but if you end up buying more than your carry-on can handle just open up this lifesaver, and throw it over your shoulder. This fashionable purse puts the fun in functional.

Photography by  LISH Creative

Photography by LISH Creative

There you have it... some solid tips on how to get the most out of packing light! In closing remember this - while it's nice to have the perfect travel outfits & accessories - the most valuable things on your voyage are the memories being made. Breathe it in!

This post is sponsored by Alaska Airlines. All opinions and experiences I mentioned are my own. My creative partners and I really appreciate your continued support! 

With over 90 daily nonstop flights within the state of California at super low fares, I had no problem zipping up to San Francisco for the HEYMAMA San Francisco launch. You can read more of my favorite travel tips on heymama.  

DIY Valentine's Cards

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

One of my fondest memories of Valentine's Day when I was a kid was exchanging cards with everyone in my class at school. I love encouraging Jack to make cards for all occasions and will have him add his handwriting to the back of these super simple Valentine's Day cards to share with his preschool pals! In collaboration with Fiskars, this DIY can easily be replicated no matter how many friends and family you are sharing the love with.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

You will need: white cardstock, several rolls of washi tape (red and gold used here), shipping tags, foam pop dots, pencil, typewriter, stamps, gold ink, red brush marker and scissors. I used both the Fiskars Original orange-handled scissors as well as the Total Control Precision scissors (great for curves and details).

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

Begin by placing varying patterns of washi tape over the sheet of white cardstock until it is completely covered.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

Next, flip the cardstock sheet over and freehand sketch hearts and the letters "X" and "O" with a pencil.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

Take your scissors and cut out each of the traced shapes. The non-stick blades make it easy to be precise when cutting through the layers, and the thumb-activated cutting motion maximizes control and limits fatigue.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

From there, type out a sweet sentiment like "You are just my type" onto the shipping tags using a typewriter.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

Using my cross pattern stamp, add texture to each of the cards by stamping the design a few times using gold ink.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

Finally, adhere each of the shapes using the pop dots for dimension to the shipping tags.

Fiskars Valentine's Cards | Amy Tangerine

Jack can't wait to pass these out to his friends on Valentine's Day!

This post is in collaboration with Fiskars, all ideas and opinions are my own. As always, my creative partners and I appreciate the support.

Kidbox LOVE

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

This little guy has been full of smiles and silliness lately. Four is such a fun age and what a delight it has been to see things through his eyes. He's really into making up jokes (and cracking himself up), asking lots of questions, playing Uno at dinner, Legos, and having photo shoots with Ann-Marie! Recently we got some really happy mail from an amazing new kids' clothing subscription company called Kidbox!

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

Kidbox is the most convenient, cost-effective and exciting way to get the surprise of style, hand-picked by a stylist, for your child 5 times a year. Each seasonal box includes 6-7 items of clothing and only costs $98. (Be sure to check out the discount code at the bottom to save even more!) Best of all, you only pay for what you keep! With sizes starting at newborn and going all the way up to 14, there's something for every age. 

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

After taking a short style quiz, each Kidbox is customized to your child's personal preferences based upon the answers. The whole process only took me a few minutes and when I opened the box, I was thrilled with all of the selections!  

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

Jack clearly loved them, too!

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

For every box you keep, Kidbox will clothe a child in need...how great is that? We have always tried to infuse the values of giving back in different ways, and this is such a wonderful way that even a four year old can understand. We ended up keeping the entire box, which was a total of 8 pieces and valued at over $200. All the pieces mix and match so well too!

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

Kidbox is going to be my new go-to present for baby showers and birthday parties; it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox
Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

Each box comes with stickers, crayons, and postcards packaged neatly in a reusable zippered pouch. His love of arts & crafts continues to evolve and grow almost daily, which makes this crafty mom very happy!

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

Jack loved coloring the box and spelling out his name with the letter stickers!

Amy Tangerine x Kidbox

DISCOUNT: To receive 20% off your first Kidbox order, use the code JACK20 at checkout. Happy shopping!

This post is in collaboration with Kidbox, all ideas and opinions are my own. As always, my creative partners and I appreciate the support.

Our visit to the Pumpkin Patch!

Growing up, I always loved Halloween. Most of the excitement was built around getting dressed up in costume, going trick-or-treating, and most importantly, eating ALL the candy. Though our family didn’t have traditions like going to the pumpkin patch or carving pumpkins (can you believe I carved my first pumpkin in my thirties?!), now as a mom, after my birthday on the 5th, it’s full on Halloween mode. JC’s birthday falls on the 26th and he is really into Halloween. Since we moved into our house and had Jack, JC has made it a priority to make the holiday really special for us all.

We just got a few more pumpkins and plan on carving them a few days before Halloween - the hot weather in LA doesn’t bode well for the survival of the carved creations. In years past, I have taken plenty of pictures, but I really wanted to document Jack going to the pumpkin patch in his adorable PAW Patrol Marshall costume this year.

PAW Patrol Marshall + dog costumes

As you may have seen in this blog post, we got a head start on celebrating Halloween this year with the PAW Patrol Pumpkin Push-In Kits. This time, Jack decided to dress up as Marshall from one of his favorite shows, PAW Patrol.  He was all too excited about the fact that his costume (only at Target) talks and says some of Marshall’s favorite phrases like, “I’m fired up!” I also couldn’t resist ordering some costumes for our pups too. Bamboo was content dressing up as Skye while Buster decided to go as Chase. As we got ready, Jack played with his set of PAW Patrol Pirate Pups Plush toys, PAW Patrol Pirate Pups Action Pack Gift Set figurines, and his PAW Patrol Pirate Pups - Pirate Vehicles and set them up to bring them along to the pumpkin patch. Our house has become Adventure Bay!  

He was a little sad that Buster and Bamboo couldn’t join our little outing to our favorite pumpkin patch, Mr. Bones. However, he was excited to bring the PAW Patrol Pirate Pups Plush along. We met up with our friend Harper, who was dressed as Shine from another Nickelodeon favorite, Shimmer and Shine!

Jack smiled when he saw her and said, “Mama, I seen that show before. I like it.” It was so cute watching him make the Marshall costume talk numerous times for Harper. She also gave the Skye PAW Patrol Pirate Pup Plush a super cute hug and kiss as soon as she saw it. Harper is a huge PAW Patrol fan too! There were so many adorable moments at the pumpkin patch. Here are some highlights from our awesome adventure. You can also see it all unfold in the video below and catch the exclusive talking feature in Jack’s new favorite costume!

They had so much fun at the petting zoo and running around in their costumes. Between the excitement the kids enjoyed snacking on PAW Patrol Fruit Snacks - lots of them. You can check out the way Jack and I documented the pre-Halloween fun in under 30 minutes in my traveler’s notebook.

Would love to hear if you have fun Halloween or pumpkin patch traditions in the comments!

You can snag your very own PAW Patrol Halloween costumes with sound, along with PAW Patrol Pirate Pups plush, PAW Patrol Pirate Pups - Pirate Vehicle Set and more only at Target!

PAW Patrol Marshall costume

Some photography by Kate Haus | This post is in collaboration with Nickelodeon, all ideas and opinions are my own. As always, my creative partners and I appreciate the support.