Minimalist Mom: How to Declutter With Kids

IMG_6530A few years ago, I discovered “minimalism”.  Not that I became a minimalist, but I started to learn more about minimalism and embrace it in small ways.  Maybe it was a reaction to having kids and all the “stuff” that comes with them, or maybe it was just defining something that already resonated with my core beliefs.  Either way, I find it really inspirational.  Minimalism at its core is about decluttering your life of the unimportant things/activities so you can focus on what is important and lead a more intentional life.

Wanderlust Photo Diary: Bhutan


We were lucky enough to be able to go to Bhutan in 2008.  With the recent royals visit to the country, I was reminded of what a great trip it was and  wanted to share some of my favorite pics from our Hope Pre-Kids trip there.   Bhutan is one of the 25 least touristed countries in the world.  The Bhutanese government purposely limits the number of tourists by requiring you have a guide and imposing a daily fee of $250 per tourist to cover accommodations, food, and services.  The goal of this is fewer “higher value” tourists and less impact on local culture and environment.  On the personal level, it feels very “untouristy” and authentically Bhutanese; I hope they are able to keep this feeling forever.  Bhutan is known for its adventure trekking (not us), hiking, unique culture, and festivals.

What Surprised Me Most About Singapore


Singapore has not always been on my wanderlust wish list.  I didn’t know much about it, but I also hadn’t had a lot of friends or family members who had visited and raved about it.  We decided to go to Singapore because Mr. H had a conference there (this tends to dictate a lot of our travel destinations) and the kids and I had never been.  I figured why not?

Once we decided that we were going as a family, I started asking around to get friends and family member’s ideas of what to do in Singapore.  What were the must see sights?  What experiences had people had that they loved?  I was disappointed to hear that it was primarily shopping and eating.  “The Singapore malls are AMAZING!” “There is great dining.”  “Shopping and eating are a national sport in Singapore.”

San Francisco Weekend Fun: SFMOMA


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art recently reopened after being closed for three years.  The newly expanded space is now the largest museum of modern art in the US!!  The new building gives ample wall space for some of the HUGE new additions that are on 100 year loan from the collection of Don and Doris Fisher.  I went to an event there this week and wanted to share some pics.  The thing I noticed the most, was that the art has its own space.  There are a ton of great LARGE works of art and they don’t feel crowded.  Many walls only have one or two pictures.  There is a lot of empty wall space, which invites meandering, to check out all the great new art.

Bali Travel Budget for a Family of Four


Even with pretty expensive plane tickets, Bali is a relatively affordable international vacation for a family of four.  Here is a little insight into how much a week in Bali costs for mid-range accommodations and eating.  There is definitely much cheaper backpacker options for everything listed as well as much more expensive, higher end food and hotels.

Tips for Dealing with Toddler Jet Lag


One of the big reasons I hear people talk about not wanting to travel with their toddler is jet lag.  Outside the three hour time difference from US coast to US coast, the time change for toddlers can be big from six hours from New York to Europe to nine hours from San Francisco to Europe or more if you fly to Asia.  So how do you deal with the jet lag?

Weekend Fun: San Francisco Showcase


I was so inspired by the San Francisco Decorator Showcase this morning that I wanted to share a few pics.  It’s the last weekend to see it before it closes, so if you haven’t already, go check it out.  I loved how the designers were able to embrace the traditional Italian architecture with more modern interior design, and of course the amazing views of the bay help.  What’s on your long weekend to do list?

A Peek Inside My Suitcase: Packing for Kids

TT Packing

Everyone has different strategies for packing.  I am not a super light packer.  If there is room in the bag, I tend to throw in one more layer just in case.  At the same time, it is a balance; you don’t want to be schlepping a ton of stuff you aren’t going to use.  I find it easier to pack lighter for the boys than myself.  I thought I would give you a peek into our packing from our Bali/Singapore trip.

Top 5 Activities in Bali with Kids


Bali was an awesome place to travel with kids.  It is a short flight from Australia, so there are a ton of Australian tourists, but coming from the US, we didn’t know a lot of people who had been to Bali and could give us personal perspective on where to go/what to do. Bali is to Australia what Hawaii is to the West Coast of the US or the Caribbean is to the East Coast of the US.  Because there are a decent amount of tourists, there are great hotels and restaurants, combined with a lot of interesting activities and culture to explore/learn about. We only had 5 days in Bali, and I wish we had more.  I feel like we missed a lot of great parts of Bali, I can’t wait to go back some day, there is so much more to explore.

Favorite Hikes in San Francisco with Kids


We love to hike.  Sadly, our kids do not…yet.  I totally sympathize with them, up until college, I did not really like hiking, I would do it with friends on school field trips or something like that, but it wasn’t one of my passions.  Going to college in Vermont, I learned to LOVE hiking.  Luckily Mr. H also loves spending time outdoors.

Pre-kids and post kids we try and get out and hike as often as we can (which isn’t as often as we would like).  Post kids, those trips are a little less frequent, and the hikes are a little different (shorter, more mellow), but still great to get outside.  Someone once told us that a child can hike the same number of miles as their age (ie. a 3 year old can hike 3 miles).  We have been using this as our guide over the last couple of years and it seems to be a pretty accurate benchmark.

One of my favorite parts of living in San Francisco is the access to amazing outdoor activities within minutes, including hiking.  My current fave hikes with kids are Lands End and Stowe Lake: