2015 Holiday Gift Plan

Streets Of Tanasbourne Tree

It’s that time of year again when we start to think about the holidays and the fun things we want to do and the gifts that we want to give. Last year we attempted to go 70% local and we were fairly successful and we also set a $250 max budget. I’ll be honest while we stayed “in budget” regarding our out-of-pocket cost we did spend more with the help of rewards points so I would say with that we were closer to $350.

Our 2015 Budget for our family of 4–> $350 max total (ideally we will be able to come in under budget).

Gift Categories*:

  • Wear
  • Want
  • Read
  • Create
  • Gift to us from the kids/Gift to each child from one another
  • Plus Stocking.

This year we decided to up the budget a bit because we also had our first full year of not purchasing gifts for other holidays with the exception of Edith and Alder’s birthday when each received one gift and a day filled with fun. We are also really re-evaluating the things that we buy and while things do not have to be more expensive we are looking at quality items so we have decided to increase the budget to match what we spent last year in out-of-pocket plus rewards points.

What kind of budget do you have for gifts? 

*We also don’t do Santa so these are all the gifts plus any of those from friends and relatives.

Date Night | Broadway in Portland – Riverdance

I don’t know what it is, but finding a reliable sitter has been a challenge for us. So, getting to go out on a date night is a rare treat. Friday night we finally had a long overdue date night that included a trip to Keller Auditorium to see Riverdance.

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We didn’t really know what to expect, except a whole lot of Irish step dancing. Neil was open to going, but a little less enthusiastic than I was about the whole thing. But, in the end we had a really great time.

We arrived a bit early and were able to grab a drink, chat and just enjoy each others company. Once we found our seats we just soaked up the time sitting together having an uninterrupted conversation before the show started.

Once the show started, I was instantly drawn into the music and the dancing. While Irish step dancing isn’t really my thing I couldn’t help but be impressed by the dancers; how in sync they were, how fast their feet moved and just how beautifully choreographed the production was.

When intermission came, Neil and I both took out our phones (I know not so date night appropriate) but we were curious to learn more about the show and started googling the back story of the show and how it came to be. Once we learned a little more we put our phones down and picked up the program and read all about the amazing musicians and dancers.

The show started back up and once again I was hypnotized by the dancers quick feet. It was almost like they were floating at times. The second half of the show included our favorite scene, Trading Taps, which was a tap off between the Irish step dancers and two American tap dancers. The two American tap dancers were so engaging, hilarious and talented. The entire scene had us laughing and clapping because it was just fantastic.

Overall, I was very impressed with the show. It was so well done and the music director/fiddler was both of our second favorite parts of the show. Just so much talent in one show. I definitely left the show with more of an appreciation for Riverdance than I had come in with.

Don’t forget to check to see if the Riverdance 20th Anniversary tour is coming to your city!

We had a wonderful date night out at the theater and we can’t wait to return again!

Holiday Events This Week In PDX | 11.23.15

Who is ready to to kick off the 2015 Holiday Season? We are! I have been taking stock of all of the fun activities going on in the Portland area this week and thought I would share a few with you.

Neil&EdithMacysParade

November 26th: You have probably heard of a Turkey Trot but how about a Tofurky Trot? Join Tofurky for a 5k pre-Thanksgiving dinner race. Especially great for plant-based families!

November 27th: It’s the annual My Macy’s Holiday Parade on Friday morning. This has been a yearly tradition of ours and we are looking forward to attending once again this year. The parade runs from 9-10am and goes through downtown Portland – you can find all the route details hereTip: DRESS WARM. I don’t know what it is about the day after Thanksgiving but it is always freezing in Portland so make sure you dress nice and warm for this parade.

November 27-28th: This is one of my favorite weekends of the year because Little Boxes! Little Boxes is a city wide event that really takes Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to a new level. This event encourages you to check out participating local shops and they make a game out of it by including a raffle with really amazing prizes.

November 27th-January 3rd: Another annual event for us is Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo. Another event to bundle up for but it’s so much fun to see all the lights, ride the train and visit the bats. Also checkout their value nights if you are looking to attend but want to save a few dollars.

EdithLindsayZooLights

What holiday events are you looking forward to this year? If you’re in Portland what are you favorite holiday events?

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’d like me to post one weekly for this holiday season let me know! 

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with Kids

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOf the two of us Neil is the outdoor explorer. He is the hiker, the backpacker, the adventurer. For him it’s a passion. Me? I love camping and hiking but usually only after complaining or looking for excuses to bail on things. That’s until we had children. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsHaving children put the outdoors in the forefront of my mind. I want them to spend as much time as possible enjoying the great outdoors, exploring, getting dirty, breathing in the fresh air and using all of their senses to become more familiar with the world around them. So about a 8-months ago I decided that we would have at least one dedicated nature walk each week on top of the neighborhood outings and weekend family adventures. Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOne of our more recent adventures was to Mount Talbert Park in Clackamas, Oregon. I hadn’t planned this outing in advance but after a few long days solo parenting and a cranky afternoon I threw my hands up and said “we are getting out” so I packed us up and out we went. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsIt was a chilly day but the fresh air was just what we all needed and the kids were geared up in their Cozey 7 Trailhoppers so they were cozy and warm. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsThere is a small loop just to the right of the picnic area that was perfect for both A and E to run around and explore. They spent time drawing with sticks in the dirt, playing with the gravel and chasing each other. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsWe also made our way to the paths on the left which were a little steeper and rockier. The path was on the skinny side which is a little more challenging with littles but we made it up about 1/2 a mile before heading back down to have a snack and to do the loop once again. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOf course we had to stop and say hello to the squirrel friend as well. 
Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsOverall I really enjoyed this nature area however I will say to do the paths that go up in the woods I would feel a little more comfortable wearing A and/or having Neil with us to do those paths but the loop is great and I love that their is a covered picnic area.

Disclaimer: Cozey 7 provided us with their trailhoppers at not cost. We were not required to review them but I’m sharing them because I think they are fantastic.

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with Kids

Why do I love Cozey 7 – the trailhopper? I love the wide neck on them that allows them to be worn over most anything without restricting the neck. I also love their little carrying bags and just how high quality they are. Also they run a bit big but that’s a good thing because it allows them to fit over even bulkier clothes and will last your little ones longer. For reference Edith is around 38 or so inches tall and 28lbs and she fits perfectly (with extra room) in the 18m-2T size.

Adventures at Mt. Talbert Park | PDX with KidsYou will surely be seeing them regularly on our blog and instagram over the cool months.

Cozey 7 has a kickstarter running right now and I encourage you to check them out. If you love spending time outside with your family and you want to keep them nice and warm these outfits are perfect!

Evening Walks & Rockin’ Baby Sling

Rockin' Baby Slings -4

One of the things that most appealed to us about our new neighborhood is the walkability. Three to four evenings out of the week we eat dinner and then make our way outside for a family walk. We stroll through the neighborhood stopping to check out plants and chat with neighbors. We often walk just for the pleasure of getting outside together and other times we stop into the local grocery store to pick up a kombucha or a treat. If we are feeling particularly crazy we head down for a scoop of vegan coconut milk ice cream.
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Whether we walk to a particular place or just head out for a stroll we really love soaking up the family time together. Sometimes the kids like to talk or ride their bikes but most nights they snuggle up in a carrier and I have to say that is my favorite time because there is nothing better than baby/toddler-wearing especially at the end of the day.

Rockin' Baby Slings

Lately we have been rockin’ this beautiful floral Rockin’ Baby Sling on our (almost) nightly walks. I have to say that this print while floral makes swoon when my hubby wears it. I mean I think he looks pretty great in floral. Rockin' Baby Slings -6

I have to say this sling is one of my favorites for back carry and Edith loves riding in it on the back as well. The fabric is super soft, and the sling is just beautifully made. Both kids feel safe, secure and supported all things I personally look for in a carrier. I also love that it has an extra little pocket for my keys and some cash.

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Another reason I love Rockin’ Baby is because for every sling you buy one is also donated to a mother in need in Hati or Kenya. I mean how can you not love a company that allows you to give back with every purchase. A beautiful sling for you and a beautiful sling for another mama.

Thank you Rockin’ Baby for making this post possible!

Do you have a nightly tradition? How do you unwind at the end of the day?