Follow:
Browsing Category:

Family Adventures

    Adventures, Family Adventures, Parenting, Tips and Tricks

    Raising Adventurous Kids

    Our latest adventure: CuriOdyssey in the Bay Area. It was our first free Sunday in a long time so we immediately called up Austin’s Aunt and Uncle to plan something fun. My kids are very adventurous and I am always looking for new and exciting places to take them. (You can find my top 10 tips for Raising Adventurous Kids below) While searching online for somewhere local that had indoor and outdoor activities I stumbled upon CuriOdyssey. Yelp doesn’t do it justice! The reviews were so-so and the pictures looked cluttered, but we decided to check it out anyways.

    Coyote Point is a recreational area in San Mateo. CuriOdyssey is an attraction within Coyote Point. There are also play structures, lots of picnic areas, grassy areas to play, boats, ocean trails and tons of other gorgeous things that make this area so incredibly special.

    Upon entering, we went straight for the animal exhibits. It was the perfect size for a three and one year old. Most of the attraction is gated and each area has a closed in structure. There were so many places to explore from the indoor reptiles to the bobcat exhibit. Along the exhibits there were lots of little places for the kids to stop and peek around. We came upon a neat little hut where we had a quick lunch while watching the river otters. 

    We then headed indoors to the hands-on exhibits. There were so many little discovery stations where the kids were able to touch, play, build and stack things. They had a blast! At the very end of the hall there was a light room. They handed us lanterns and we made our way through the dark structures and fun neon lights. Austin danced away as we listen to fun music and played. 

    Next time we visit, we will definitely plan a full day there. We didn't get a chance to walk along the beach and check out the boats or sit and watch the low flying planes. This place is number one on my MUST visit again list. It was fun for all of us and more than anything left both my kids exhausted. Both of them snored all the way home.  I couldn’t be more thankful for such a quick and fun adventure! 

    Top 10 Tips for Raising Adventurous Kids & How to be Prepared

    • Always dress for the weather. Which is hard when the weather in the Bay is constantly changing. We wear layers and prepare for anything from rain to sun! Check out my favorite layering pieces here. Don’t forget hats and sunglasses.
    • Pack snacks and then pack some more snacks and then throw in some water. My kids are hungry animals 24 hours a day. Without food, fun adventures quickly spiral out of control. You can find my post on snacks to go here
    • Find a place that has outdoor space available. We never want to be stuck indoors all day! I always look for places that allows for some real nature exploring. 
    • Pack a carrier or stroller. My biggest downfall when exploring is being stuck carrying one of the kids. Austin weighs over 40 lbs and Charlotte over 20lbs. Its always nice to be able to give one of them a lift when their little legs get tired. Find out why I love to carrier my kids in my post here
    • Be patient!! Exploring takes time. Make sure you plan out a good chunk of time for your adventure and allow for rest times.
    • Don’t forget to be spontaneous - Let the kids guide you. It’s there one chance to go where they want to go, discover what they want to discover and learn on their own along the way. Follow their lead and go with what works for them.
    • Create educational opportunities - Although you are letting them make the plans and focusing on their exploring, make sure to ask questions that allow them to think and brainstorm. Encourage them to use all their senses. Get their hands down and let them smell the flowers.
    • Make a mess - There is always time for cleaning up. We pack wipes and a couple bags for dirty clothe. Some adventures end with playing in the mud puddles and you don’t want to be stuck cleaning a dirty car after that! 
    • Share in the laughs, happiness, and wonders - Put down your phone and just be together. Don’t miss out on these moments. They will happen once and when they’re gone then they’re gone. 
    • Follow up that evening by talking about your adventure and all the things you discovered. Let them tell you about what they loved doing and their favorite parts. Use those cues to plan your next adventure! 

    For more information on CuriOdyssey check out their website here

    This post contains some affiliate links. Meaning I receive payment when you purchase the item. Your support keeps This Mom Life by Rosie up and running. However I only share products I use and love.

    Adventures, Crafts, Family Adventures, House and Home

    December Bucket List

    With the holidays right around on the corner I have decided to come up with my ultimate Holiday bucket list. This has helped me keep my promise to myself and my family to spend more time together and go on more adventures. We are usually rushing from place to place, getting gifts ready and running errands, but not this year. This year I want my focus to be on our family and ways we can spend more time together.  We hope to check each one of these off before the end of December. 

    • Tree Hunting

      This one was done in November! I randomly took Austin to the most precious tree lot and we had the best time running in and out of the trees. But come December we are going to cut down our own tree! A tradition that was destined to start. My husband is a city boy but loves everything about the country. If this doesn't’ scream country I'm not sure what does. 

    • Give Back

      This has been at the top of a couple of my lists. Why? Because it’s so close to my heart. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but showing compassion and love to the world is one way we can make it a better place to live. It’s difficult for my kids to give back at their age but a few ways we are this Holiday season is by donating things we no longer need. Austin has shown interest in getting his dad and grandparents gifts so I am taking him shopping at our local church. The money raised there goes to local families in need. 

    • Tree lighting ceremony

      There is something so magical about going to a tree lighting. Something we did in my small town growing up. There are so many in our area and I am making a point to take the kids to a few. There is also a parade of lights in our local park and we have loved making it a yearly tradition. 

    • Hallmark movies

      Clearly this ones for me! The same movie goes the same way - small town girl trying to figure out her life, falls in love with the guy, ends up getting married. They are just so addicting and it immediately feels like Christmas when they come on! 

    • Holiday Train

      The best thing about living in the bay area is that there are so many wonderful family events. There is a Polar Express train here that you get to meet Santa on. They serve hot cider and snow falls outside the windows. It is so unbelievably magical and special for the kids! It has become a tradition we do with our cousins.

    • Crafts

      We love crafting! Most of the time my kids make a mess instead, but I love turning their messes into little masterpieces. We have so many favorites that we love to do during the holiday seasons. I love to make special gifts for family.  Making gingerbread houses is high up on our list! 

    • Cookie Bake Off

      This is all Austin and me! Our hearts are made out of cookies. Sometimes I feel bad for giving him my insane sweet tooth, but now I have someone to share all the joys in life with! We love baking together (or I love it and he loves sampling).

    • Enjoy the COLD outdoors

      Build a snowman, go ice skating, get crazy with puddle jumping. Whatever it may be (or the weather may give us), I want the kids to enjoy what every season has to offer. It’s cold and yes I would rather be inside eating my cookies, but we need the outdoors. This year we are heading to the snow for Christmas so I am excited to share all the experiences I had growing up with my kids! 

    • Letter to Santa

      We did this every year as a family and it was a tradition I want my kids to continue. I feel like there are so many ways you can incorporate a kind heart into your letters. Austin has already been asking for some toys and I don’t think he needs everything he asks for nor do I want to raise him that way. For our letters we will be focusing on asking Santa to bring peace to whatever it is in their hearts. I know this will be hard as they are younger, but I think it would be great to start now. I want them to really think about what they want and why they want it. My goal is to incorporate some learning lessons into these letters.

    My bucket list will grow, just like our family is growing. These are simple December must do’s but the most important part about them is they encourage us to spend time together. After all, that’s what the Holidays are about, being with and appreciating your loved ones. 

    Whats  on your December Bucket List this year?

    Adventures, Family Adventures, Favorites, Parenting

    Our Thanksgiving

    The Holidays are so incredibly special to us and our families.  For us it’s about being together and making memories with one another. It’s so easy to get stressed out and forget the magic of the season. This is a list of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions, and the ones that we want to remember every year. 

    • Give Back  There are so many incredible ways to give back. We decided  to have a yearly garage sale and donate all the money. It is the perfect opportunity to clean out and to give. This year we went big with our Garage Sale to benefit Sonoma County Fire Victims. You can find my post on it here
    • Come Together  We aren’t super into watching sports but more about doing them! We love to stay active. So we have decided to have a yearly football game. As the kids grow it would be fun to attend a Thanksgiving run. There are so many marathons in our local area and it would be an amazing bonding experience for our whole family. 
    • Express Gratitude  In this family we craft, we DIY and we get super messy! I make it a point to craft every holiday and have the kids make special gifts.  We have found that by doing crafts it give us time as a family to reflect on who and what we are thankful for. For toddlers, this can be SO hard but while we work on our projects we talk about what they mean and why we need these types of traditions in our lives. Check out our DIY Thanksgiving wreath and our Leaf Prints
    • Family Time  There is truly nothing more special than family time. We love to go on leaf hunts. It has quickly become a favorite of ours! As the weather gets colder and our nights get darker, it is harder to come up with fun things to do! The kids are tired, its dark out and its not quite bed time yet. We love to pull out all the pillows and make a giant bed fort, grab out the pop corn and then turn on our favorite movie. Currently, we love Cars 3, Sing and Boss Baby. Although I think we need to throw A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving into the mix. 
    • Gobble Gobble  I like to include everyone in the decision making for Thanksgiving dinner and treats. Although it’s difficult to accept tiny little helping hands that create more of a mess, it’s important for us to make those memories with them. I want my kids to help with cooking and cleaning and to know what hard work goes into creating these beautiful Holiday meals. I also hope this will help them appreciate the food in front of them.  Check out our Pumpkin Protein Balls recipe!

    Serving others is also something I strongly believe in. I have been searching for somewhere for us to volunteer as a family. This year we are hoping to volunteer at one of the local churches but as they get older I hope to help serve our community in a bigger way. 

    These traditions are part of what make Holidays so incredibly special to us. We are blessed. We have a roof over our heads, more food then we will ever need and family that constantly supports us. I want my kids to always remember to celebrate all that we have and to give back to those that haven’t been so blessed.

    Adventures, Family Adventures

    Highway 1 Adventures

    We are so lucky to live in a place with endless amounts of outdoor activities. I find us craving the outdoors more and more as the kids get older.  They both love to run around and explore new things.  With Charlotte beginning to walk, I look for places that are very safe and have an easy path for our stroller.  One of our favorite stops along Highway 1 has always been Wilder Ranch. Easy parking, easy trails and lots of places to explore. 

    Wilder Ranch, if you haven’t been there yet, you must go ASAP! We had the most amazing Fall adventure at this beautiful place. Wilder Ranch sits right between the ocean and Highway 1. There are gorgeous trails for hikers, backpackers and horse back riders. The trails are stroller friendly and for the most part, safe for the kids to run on. The trail towards the ocean has a few cliffs which requires both kids to be buckled in tight in the stroller. 

    Today, we decided to check out the old ranch that is open to the public. Austin and Charlotte’s cousins joined us on this fun adventure! Upon entering there is usually a friendly horse to the right, but today he wasn’t around. We got lucky and watched the cows being fed. The cows were very noisy and the kids were beyond excited to see them up close. After feeding the cows, we moved on to petting the goats. The last time we brought Charlotte she was a few months old, and being able to touch and feel the animals was a whole new experience for her. 

    The kids loved running and yelling under the tunnel that leads to the horse pastures. They could have sat there all day watching the horse eat and stroll. It’s something we don’t get to see everyday.

    We can’t wait to come back and enjoy one of the many events that Wilder Ranch hosts each year! For a list of events and the history of the park check out this link here: 

    https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=549 

    Did you know you can volunteer here? Something Austin, Charlotte and I will definitely be doing when they are old enough! To find information on volunteering at State Parks check out this link. 

    https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28569

    Check out my Strawberry Fields post from last month for yet another Highway 1 adventure that you must do with your kids.

    What is your favorite stop along Highway 1?? Let me know in the comments!

    Adventures, Family Adventures

    Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

    I love Wednesdays! It has become our day for new adventures. Today Eric didn’t work, Austin didn’t have school and there wasn’t a single thing we HAD to do. We decided to become tourists in our favorite town. 

    It didn’t even cross my mind that it was the end of September and the Boardwalk would be closed for the Winter. But our kids could have cared less. At 3 and 1, anything and everything is an adventure. So threw on our favorite pack (similar can be found here ) and we walked along the Boardwalk and looked at all the rides. Austin made sure to point out every ride and rollercoaster that he wanted to go on. It’s hard to imagine the day when he is big enough to ride the Giant Dipper. We loved every minute of our adventure today. With two kids we often feel like a traveling circus but thanks to our City Select double stroller, we were able to contain our circus.


    I have to say I LOVE the boardwalk when it’s closed. It is beautiful and there aren’t people running every which way. It was quiet and deserted. It would be such a fun place to visit in the super early morning when the fog is just rolling in.


    Best part of todays adventure - watching Charlotte walk! She has become so brave and eager to show us what she can do. Austin is the best brother and is always by her side to catch her falls and pick her up. Hands down best decision ever was giving him the chance to become a brother. He has exceeded our expectations of what things would be like with two! 


    Adventures, Family Adventures

    Strawberry Fields

    Our goal was to find a new adventure that didn’t break the bank AND to pack lot’s of snacks to avoid pitstops along the way (i.e. Starbucks, Whole Foods, etc.)

    Anyone else in the habit of loading up for an adventure only to stop 20 minutes later. “Mama my belly hungry see” I hear from the back seat. We get back on the road and realize we forgot water, sunscreen, more snacks, shoes.. and lord knows what else. This was us. Every single time we set out to go somewhere we would stop 2 – 3 times, spend more then we needed in time and money, then show up cranky, tired and ready to go home. So our goal – MORE adventures, LESS money.

    I prepared for strawberry picking the night before – snacks, sunscreen, and outfits all ready to go! 10 minutes in we look back and Austin is starting to crash. NOPE not happening on this adventure. Louder music and obnoxious signing from mom and dad wasn’t enough to keep his eyes open, and of the course the snacks I packed weren’t up to his standards. So what do we do? Stop for a quick coffee and a treat for Austin to keep him up (not starting off on the right foot I know).Back on the road and we arrived 30 minutes later. It only took 10 cycles of “The wheels on the bus” and a croissant to keep him awake.

     

    We all jumped out of the car, full on our snacks and ready for an adventure and what an adventure we had! In the middle of picking strawberries I had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the view and the simplicity of watching the kids pick berries for the first time. The ocean was to the right of us and fields to the left. Austin ran up and down the rows shoving berries in his mouth until his face, hands and clothes were covered in red juice. Even our sweet Charlotte smashed a few berries and licked her stained red fingers.


    After berry picking we headed into the most adorable little shop. They had everything from strawberry jam to strawberry chili. We paid for our little crate of berries and took a quick look around. Then we loaded back in and enjoyed our beautiful ocean drive back home. The best part of it all? The kids slept the entire way home and are still crashed out on me as I write this blog. This is a WIN in my book!