Category Archives: Travel

Swiss Family Recor

We spent last weekend in Switzerland and holy cow you guys. There are no words. Pictures don’t do it justice. Video doesn’t do it justice. You have to go. Forget anything else on your travel bucket list and just go to Switzerland. You won’t regret it. That being said, I did put together a little video from our time hiking the Swiss Alps, if you’d like to see.

xoxo, Mallory

How to Travel with Kids (And Have Fun)

How to travel with kids (and have fun) | R.Simple Life

Every time I post a picture on Instagram of Harry galavanting around on vacation, I get someone asking how we do it. How we vacation with Harry and still have fun. I’ve actually discussed this over at The Wise Baby before, but I’ve only focused on the beautiful vacation pictures with smiles on every face on the blog before now! So here you go people, eight of my best tips (pay special attention to number 8!).

Change your expectations. Notice I didn’t say “lower your expectations.” Your whole life had to change when you had that babe, so why wouldn’t your vacations change a little bit too? Instead of spending all day walking around a museum, you might need to throw in a few breaks to a nearby park for running and jumping. Instead of sleeping in and then regretting it when you realize you just wasted half of your vacation morning in the hotel bed, enjoy waking up early with your kid and get an early start on the day (and avoid the crowds!). Just because your vacation is going to look a little different than it did sans kids, doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Just make sure you go into vacation realizing you’re going to have to follow your kids lead from time to time.

Push the rules, just a little bit. I am a stickler for bedtime, and a bedtime routine (bath, books, singing, bed). But on vacation, I push it a bit further than normal. Harry stays up pretty much as late as he wants to, we often skip baths, we eat waaay different than at home… basically, routines and rules are great and all that, but when you’re on vacation, it’s okay to go a little off the crazy side of the line. Just keep it a little under control for everyones sanity.

Know thy child. Seriously, there isn’t a person on this planet who knows your kid better than you do (unless maybe it’s the other parent) so read him! When Harry is having fun running around the big town square with his croissant, I let him do it. We find a quiet spot on the edge of the square and relax while he kills some energy. When I see that look in his eye, you know the one, I know we need to take it easy, probably go to a quieter spot, and distract him with something familiar (books do this wonderfully). You know when you can push your child a little outside of his comfort zone and when it’s best to pull back a little bit – just listen to yourself!

Stay somewhere cool. Hotel rooms are great, but even better are apartments with a separate bedroom (or two!) and living area. That way, when he does fall asleep at 9 PM, you are not tip toeing around the hotel room whispering and pressing your ear to the TV. You can sit out on the balcony or in the living room and be as loud as you would be at home. Airbnb and Kid & Coe are great sources for family friendly rentals (we’ve booked through Airbnb three times this year!).

Take advantage of naps. Whether that means you take a little well deserved rest too, sneak in a romantic lunch with your third wheel sleeping in his stroller, or fit in some work (homework for Jon), just don’t waste those naps. We’ve sat down for lunch or an early dinner, we’ve caught a few winks, we’ve even read and watched a movie during vacation naps. The same concept applies for bedtime – it may be a little controversial, but put that baby in his stroller at bedtime, walk around until he falls asleep, then grab a romantic dinner at a cafe that will seat two and a stroller. (Just remember to check if your nap time activity allows strollers!)

Pack smartly. Some things you can buy when you get there (diapers) so you don’t have to waste suitcase space. Some things you might not really need for a week long getaway (all the books on the shelf – three or four favorites will do). Some things you can borrow, depending on where you are going (a pack and play from your hosts, a stroller from a friend, a car seat from the rental car company). And some things are too important to forget (favorite stuffed animals, small bath toys, noise machine and/or monitor. Think about how you will be living for the next week and what will be necessary and what won’t. Only pack the essentials, because carrying that kid through the airport is already enough extra weight.

Remember it’s his vacation too. Yes, I say push it, but when you kid needs a nap in a bed, give him a nap in a bed. If he needs vegetables for dinner to counteract the sugar high from all the treats, make sure to go somewhere you can get that. Don’t eat at a fancy restaurant every night – grab a picnic dinner and head to the park. Make it fun for your kid, and it will be so much more fun for you.

And finally, just do it. Sure, it might be harder to bring your kid on vacation. But it’s so worth it. He may never remember his trip to Amsterdam but we had so much fun riding around the canals on the “green! bicycles!” with him. Seeing the world through your kids eyes is always the best, so why wouldn’t you want to see vacation through his eyes? There will be melt downs, there will be accidents, there will be exhaustion, but there will also be relaxation, laughter, and amazing memories made. Just take your kid on vacation with you – you’ll figure it all out. I promise.

xoxo Mallory

PS see some more of my tips for traveling with kids (more specifically babies) here.

Harry does Versailles

Harry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeHarry does Versailles | R.Simple Lifeversailles9Harry does Versailles | R.Simple LifeLet me tell you. Germany is a beautiful country. It has surprised me in so many ways, and I can’t believe we’re lucky enough to call it home. But one of the best parts about living here? It’s central location. You can hop in your car and five hours later you’re munching on Pain au Chocolat and wandering around Marie Antoinette’s bedroom.

The first trip we took when we got here was to Versailles, and man I loved it! It was all very last minute, we booked our hotel using free WIFI at a cafe with a view of The Palace. We didn’t read any guide books or talk to anyone who had been there. But it was amazing. And I don’t think I ever realized how high up on my list of things to see before I die The Palace of Versailles is until I crossed it off. Though I will say this, I’m already planning a return visit with a grandparent because I would love to have a few more hours than our littlest travelers attention span would allow for to explore The Palace. Oy, it’s beautiful.

(Parenting Tip: Strollers are not allowed inside of The Palace of Versailles! We planned our day to explore the jardin while Harry was up and running around and then head inside to tour when he napped, but ended up waking him up when they took our stroller from us! My makeshift carrier from my scarf wasn’t cutting it and 30 minutes of grumpy, missed my nap Harry ensued. So plan accordingly (and bring a good carrier!))

xoxo Mallory

PS I always get questions about vacationing with toddlers/babies. Tomorrow I’ll put together a list of all my tips + tricks! We love vacationing with Harry!

Harry Does Heidelberg

Harry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeHarry Does Heidelberg | R.Simple LifeLet’s talk about how ridiculous it is that Heidelberg is an hour from my house. It’s the home to one of those beautiful, decrepit castles with turrets falling down and ivy growing up. Walking around the grounds transports you to another time and you absolutely feel like you’re in a fairy tale. I can just see 10 year old Mallory, head in the clouds as it almost always was, wandering around the castle, imagination running wild. And now I get to see my little boy’s eyes light up at fountains and giant lawns with ducks roaming as he discovers how great castles are. How am I going to take this kid back to the states?

xoxo Mallory

PS That little denim butt!

Mini-Vacations to New Orleans Are The Best

A Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeA Mini Vacation to New Orleans | R.Simple LifeNOLA8

If I’m being honest, last week kicked my butt. It was far too busy, and I felt like my whole life was way out of balance. It wasn’t a fun week. So to rectify that, Saturday morning Jon and I ignored all the work we had, left the house a little messier than I like it, and drove over to New Orleans for the day. It felt like a sunny vacation day, and it was exactly what I needed.

This was the first time we had done The French Quarter with Harry and boy is it different with a kid. It’s BUSY man. So we parked ourselves on the edge of Jackson Square eating beignets in the sunshine and Harry learned to dance to the second line street bands. It was one of those moments that are feeling far too rare lately that time stood still and I felt the sunshine on my face and heard my kid laughing and smelled my husbands hair in the breeze and that was it. There wasn’t anything else floating around in the back of my mind. My to do lists were long forgotten, and I was beyond happy.

Some days you just need a little vacation from it all, and when you get it, it’s good.

xoxo Mallory

Denver Zoo for the Win

The Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple LifeThe Denver Zoo | R.Simple Life

Here’s a little bit of Recor trivia for you… did you know that Jon and I are huge zoo nuts? We were card holding members to the Denver Zoo for all three of the years we lived in Colorado. We were in college and instead of staying out late partying Saturday night, we were waking up early Sunday morning to trek down to the zoo.

So it only made sense that we needed to take Harry there. To show him our old stomping grounds. To visit Dolly the elephant. To check out the new digs for Dolly. And to ride the carousel for the very first time. It was epic.

And thus concludes our Colorado Family Vacation Photo Dump. I’m sorry if that’s sad for you. If you find yourself having withdrawals, you can always keep up with us through my Instagram, but tomorrow we’ll be back to your regularly scheduled posting.

xoxo Mallory

Everyday We’re Boulder-in

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Know this. Jon and I both with to Colorado State University. Which is in Fort Collins, CO. And even though we spent much of our Colorado vacation in Boulder, we’re still Rams through and through. But we did enjoy our time in Boulder, eating at our favorite restaurants, walking Pearl Street, looking at those beautiful mountains, and enjoying lots of snow.

Have you ever been?

xoxo Mallory