The Minimalist Traveler + A Dog & Baby

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | |

Making the transition to living minimally has proven to have many benefits. Everything in our home has purpose; our closets are cultivated specifically for multiple outfits with a basic number of pieces, we utilize the space in our small one bedroom apartment, and we never bring anything in without donating, selling, or ditching the things we no longer use.

By living this way it’s helped me reevaluate the way I travel too and this week we’re flying for the first time with not only our baby, but our Murphy in tow as well.

How To Be The Minimalist Traveler

Traveling, even without a baby or a dog, is stressful. There’s getting to the airport in enough time, getting through security, finding your terminal, meanwhile navigating around every other person who is trying to accomplish the very same thing you are. Not to mention bearing those ridiculously long lines to get that essential cup of coffee or to get that last pee in before your flight (thanks to said coffee). Furthermore, the holidays make this an especially stressful task due to the number of people flying the same day you are.

However, traveling with a minimalistic attitude helps cut down on those unnecessary stressors such as fumbling with your (often too many) bags or not having things like your wallet, boarding pass, or keys easily accessible. Simply reevaluating the way you pack can easily eliminate those stressful aspects to traveling.

Here’s how we are flying with two adults, a baby, and a dog all in a duffle bag and a backpack.

Be Prepared

I’m starting with the obvious task here and that’s simply being prepared both with your time and with how you pack. When catching a flight with a baby and dog in tow, timing is of the upmost importance for us. Packing ahead of time and having those key items within reach such as our wallets, I.Ds., and boarding passes will save us so much time in the long run.

Tip For Family/Pregnant Travelers: once you find your terminal, speak to one of the people at the desk to see if you can board first before they call the groups so that you have time to get settled. We do this all the time when we travel with our dog, when I was pregnant, and now even moreso with Greyson. It’s rare that they will ever turn you down.

The Golden Rule of Packing

Whether your packing for a quick weekend or a weeklong trip (like us) it’s important this golden rule of packing: only take the essentials. Leave everything else behind or purchase them when you arrive to your destination. There’s no reason anyone should have to check luggage the size of their body regardless of how long you’ll be traveling for. I used to be one of those people and have since learned how much easier it is getting in and out of the airport when I only travel with my essentials. So, what are these?

Essentials: toiletries, makeup, wallet (even invest in a special wallet case for your phone), phone, devices & their chargers (iPad, Laptop, etc.), clothes, socks, shoes, and anything absolutely needed for the trip or while on the plane.

Even though checking a bag takes it off your hands while navigating the airport, in the end you risk losing it or at the very least standing in the myriad of people attempting to pick it up after your flight. For me, it’s never worth the hassle. By cutting out checking a bag we’re able to quickly move throughout the terminals, board and deplane quickly, and get on the road once we arrive at our destination. It’s all in how we pack that makes this simple even with a baby and dog.

The Backpack Diaper Bag

Traveling with a backpack is almost as great as rolling carry-on luggage – but better. It only requires super packing skills and a determination to bring just enough to fit in the bag. For our trip, we decided that Greyson’s diaper bag will be this backpack. I should mention that we are very fortunate enough to have much of what Greyson will need already stocked at my husband’s family’s house. This really helped us cut down on the number of things that we would have had to take with us on our flight. Anything Greyson would need in addition to what we bring will just be purchased once we arrive in San Antonio.

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | |

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | |

I am using Ziploc bags to keep his packed items clean and easily accessible in his backpack. I also made sure to pack new toys for the plane so that it’ll keep his interest during the flight.

Nonetheless, packing for baby follows the essentials rule too! We are only packing him items for:

  1. diaper changing
  2. one bottle with enough prepared formula for two bottles and snacks like Puffs
  3. a couple of his favorite toys and books to keep him busy
  4. his infant Tylenol, his favorite Wubbanub pacifier, and lovey

This is in addition to the few outfits and socks we packed for the week and spare clothes for any blowouts that may occur.

We are utilizing our Baby Tula carrier instead of bringing our stroller so that it keeps our hands free and is less to manage once we’re at the airport. My husband will carry Greyson like a backpack, I’ll have his diaper bag backpack on me, then it’s just our shared duffle bag and Murphy in his dog travel carrier. Backpacks are the way to go for anyone who needs to move quickly and at the airport it’s essential to have mobility!

Two Adults In One Bag

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | |

Because I’m wearing one of my outfits on the plane, I’m saving so much room in our carry on!

This is when minimalism combined with a capsule wardrobe comes into play and becomes a huge benefit when traveling. Having a capsule wardrobe already in use helps me narrow down just a few items to pack, which includes:

  1. 1 pair of jeans/pants
  2. 3-4 tops including sweaters
  3. my new outerwear jacket
  4. 1-2 accessories including a scarf
  5. 1 pair of shoes (which I’ll wear to the airport)
  6. 1 sleep/loungewear outfit

This also take into consideration what I plan to wear for our flights, which should be comfortable but with practical use too. I also plan to pack any camis, bra, and underwear for the week. We share a toiletries bag, but I do have makeup of which I’ll need to make room for. It really helps when my husband can get away with packing one pair of jeans and multiple shirts and be good for the week – helps save more room for me 😉

A Story Of Traveling Minimally + A Dog & Baby | |

Shop this travel look below! My cargo vest and black skinnies are from my recent Stitch Fixes but I have included similar items.

I hope you all have a joyous Christmas weekend and enjoy the company of family and friends! Be sure to follow along with me and my little family on social media!

The Minimalist Traveler: See what tips & tricks I have found to be the best way to fly in one carry on and a backpack with dog and baby in tow. | |

What are your favorite flying essentials? What tips & tricks do you have flying with a baby?

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Scenes From Our Saturday | vol 1


Anytime we can grab our tiny family and head to Santa Barbara it’s a good day. Saturday was a free day for all of us and in need of something fun to do out in this gorgeous weather a trip to the Funk Zone would satisfy that itch. When we found out a few weeks ago that our favorite craft beer company, Topa Topa, was opening their second location in downtown SB we had to pop in for a visit (I mean, we already know we love the beer). They’re nestled in between the wine tasting rooms and trendy restaurants that lead you in the direction of the water. I like that they’re almost off the beaten path and was quite impressed with just how large their new space is. I love their Ventura location, but it is on the smaller end – a quality that makes tasting there so comfortable and welcoming. It’s almost a feeling of visiting a friends house for a few beers to unwind (or wind up) from your day. So tasting in such a wide open space with this awesome backdrop of the mountains makes you feel right at home.

Scenes From Our Saturday ||

You may have noticed my new ink. So proud of this one as the baby fox is reflective of Greyson and the time points to his time of birth. Such a cherished tattoo of mine #momswithtattoos

Scenes From Our Saturday ||

Scenes From Our Saturday ||

After our first tasting at Topa Topa we were off to find some food- something vital if you plan to properly day drink. This fun mural was at a small pizza and sandwich shop called The Lucky Penny (and if you’ll notice their exterior walls are made from pennies!). Their pizza was delicious and the hubs got a pulled pork sandwich, which was also pretty tasty. I highly recommend this place if you’re looking for something delicious, quick, and prefer to eat outdoors!

After some food we mosied on over to do some wine tasting at our favorite spots such as Kunin, Santa Barbara Winery, and Municipal Wines. We took our time over the course of the day and it was fun to get out and enjoy what this life has to offer us!

Scenes From Our Saturday ||

Happy weekend all! What kept you and your family busy this weekend?

This post is also a part of a series called NaBloPoMo 2016 hosted by BlogHer. NaBloPoMo is short for National Blog Posting Month and it challenges writers and creatives to post on their blogs once a day (at least) for the month of November.

Feel free to join in and share your post either here or on my Facebook comment thread for each day’s post! I’d love to see my fellow blogger friends join in!

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23 Things I Learned When I Moved To California

Learning my new surroundings and the culture that goes with it took some time, but here’s my list of the things I've learned while living in the Golden State

This month officially marks the two year anniversary of my transplantation from an east coaster to a west coaster here in sunny California thanks to all the Facebook memory reminders! I can’t believe it’s been a whole two years; yet since making roots here as a family it’s almost difficult to remember a time when we didn’t call California home. Murphy was just a month old when we moved and Greyson was born here so in a way this place will forever be a place I cherish. However, that doesn’t mean I love everything about this state considering it’s quite different from anywhere else I’ve lived…and that’s saying something having lived in D.C.

Learning my new surroundings and the culture that goes with it took some time, but here’s my list of the things I’ve learned while living in the Golden State:

  1. It will take you living in CA for more than a year in order to fully understand its seasons.
  2. You’ll see the word season used loosely. Depending on what part of CA you live in hot and hotter may be your only variation in weather. However you can travel to your seasons and experience fall or winter in NorCal.
  3. CA is much bigger than you or your out-of-state relatives and friends think it is. Just because a minor earthquake was felt in San Francisco doesn’t mean I’m feeling it in L.A. Same goes for weather reports…
  4. You will learn that not all apartments come with air conditioning or washers/dryers in the unit.
  5. Eventually you’ll begin placing the word “the” in front of all interstates and freeways. Also, “the 1” is also known as the “PCH”, never called the “Pacific Coast Highway” in conversation.
  6. You will be able to spot tourists a mile away due to the increase of entry-level convertible Chevy Camaros or Ford Mustangs on the road. No local actually drives those let alone a convertible with the top down.
  7. Parking can be nonexistent in some places. The parking signs are even harder to decipher. Always go with Uber or Lyft when in downtown L.A.
  8. You’ll never go to the beach as often as you think you might, but it won’t stop you from Instgramming the crap out of sunsets and palm trees whenever you do go (see photo above).
  9. You’ll become excited to throw on a sweater and a scarf the moment the temperature dips below 70 degrees.
  10. And you’ll consider it a heatwave when the temperature outside is a balmy 75 degrees.
  11. Whatever concept you had about rush hour no longer exists. Be prepared to sit in traffic, in both directions, during all hours of the day, all day, every day. And forget it if there’s construction.
  12. Invest in a hybrid or electric car due to point number eleven.
  13. No matter where you live you’ll stick to your side of the hood due to the traffic. You will socialize, eat, work, and play in places that are within walking distance or you can Uber to. Live in L.A. but a friend in Malibu wants to hang out? #girlbye.
  14. You won’t run into celebrities as often as you’d think. Unless that is you’re hella rich and can afford to live or socialize in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, or Malibu. Then maybe you can borrow a cup of sugar from a Kardashian or have dinner next to Gwen Stefani.
  15. Speaking of celebrities, don’t be surprised when all of your friends or strangers you meet are some kind of model, actor/actress or otherwise trying to make it in the “biz.”
  16. Taxes will get you every year no matter how well you spend or save your money. California is one of the highest taxed states in the country and the cost-of-living is insane.
  17. It never really rains here so get comfortable with growing succulents instead of an actual garden. But, when it does rain be prepared for mudslides and horrible drivers.
  18. Speaking of horrible drivers, Californians don’t seem to understand what merging is or traffic rules in general. That’s why the 101 and the 405 are always backed up.
  19. SigAlert will be your best commuting friend. Oh, and Ryan Seacrest as you make your morning drive to work.
  20. Fires and earthquakes are real concerns and so is that whole water drought thing. You have to specifically ask for water for it to be served to you in restaurants since water is scarce.
  21. People from California are really proud. Like, Texas or Boston proud…almost. So don’t be surprised to see a lot of L.A. referenced tattoos and or an affinity for the Dodgers and the newly returned L.A. Rams. So, start liking baseball and football if you don’t already.
  22. You will drink wine by the barrels and learn to truly appreciate the artistry that is California wine. You’ll find craft beer here too, as they’re on the rise (especially in Ventura).
  23. Once you make your transition living in California you’ll scoff at the idea of moving back home or living anywhere else. Regardless of all these things listed, life is pretty great when you live at the beach.

Where do you live? Are there any funny nuances of living in your state? Share in the comments!

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I feel as though I am always in a constant state of wanderlust. My husband is guilty of this too. Our minds are always thinking about the next place or randomly looking up if a certain hotel is pet-friendly. Our little family travels as a pack and it’s rare that our Murphy-dog doesn’t tag along with us wherever we go. Travel is in our blood and I am thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to move around thanks to that husband of mine and we’re both excited to share this with our son as he grows up.

Upon meeting my husband I’ve traveled only a little bit from all around the east coast to as far as Paris. On the other hand, and many thanks to the U.S. Air Force, my husband had the chance to visit all around EUROPE, Greenland, and don’t even ask how many stateside cities he’s been to/lived in. His travels were amongst the first conversations I had with him when we met – I just sat there in awe of where he’d been and where he’s looked forward to going to next. Our first trip together was to New Orleans and that is still a city close to my heart and can’t wait to return. Since then we’ve been to Turks & Caicos for holiday and returned on our honeymoon, Las Vegas to get married, and have lived in D.C. and now find refuge in good ‘ole California.

Although put together we’ve managed to rack up quite a few memories, there are still places that leave me in wanderlust. Here are my top cities I look forward to traveling to the most…

Charleston, S.C. – Having lived on the east coast for my entire life up until now, I’m kicking myself for never making it to Charleston. If you follow Nelle from Vintage Simply Love she’s all the time venturing all around North and South Carolina! She has me with such wanderlust envy! I love the southern charm it has and just to walk around the rows of houses with flickering gas lamps and ivy and moss creeping along the exposed brick exterior just makes my heart so happy. As with anywhere my husband and I travel it’s typically planned around food and I know Charleston is home to more than just a cold glass of sweet tea. My mouth salivates at the thought of Food & Wine Magazine’s list of must-eat restaurants!

Portland, Oregon – Aside from seeing Portlandia and loving the scenery from the show, I’ve always wanted to visit Portland for that east coast seasonal feel it seems to have. Living in CA for two years now I’ve learned to say goodbye to fall and winter since I traded it in for constant sunshine and 70-80 degree weather (seriously, I can’t complain). We get some rain from time to time, but for the most part I’m left with pining for a little variation. Portland seems like a fun city to venture around in and anywhere I can throw on a scarf and frolic with a coffee from a local coffeeshop is fine by me!

Seattle, Washington – Theres something mysterious about the misty PNW that is just alluring to me. I’ve always wanted to visit during the sunny seasons if there is such a thing even though I’m NOT AND OUTDOORSY person by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve watched my fair share of Grey’s Anatomy and sipped on a Starbucks a time or two (hear: sarcasm) and to visit the homeland of both of those things would be a moment for sure. Of course there’s other places around town I’d love to see like the Public Market, take in the mountainous views, go whale-watching, and eat my weight in seafood.

Chicago, Illinois – I’ve always wanted to travel to Chicago for their laid-back city lifestyle and of course to take a picture in front of the famous ‘bean.’ I have to try one of their Chicago-style hot dogs and even a slice of their deep dish pizzas. Can you tell I love food? I know there’s a bunch more to discover in the city but I feel like that’s a good place to start.

New York City – Although I’ve been a couple times before, I’ve only been to Times Square and once at Christmastime to see Rockefeller Center and the Christmas trees. And as great and touristy as midtown is, I have always wanted to venture all around to take that Sex & The City tour (if it’s still around), take a walk through central park, and eat at Katz’s Deli, Grand Central Oyster Bar, and many others.

Linking up with Bailey for day 9 of the #blogtemberchallenge!

Where would you like to find yourself?

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