Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving break at home is turning out to be a balance of getting a few projects done, time with family, and a couple Friendsgivings filling our grateful hearts!

I found time to finish our vacation video from the last trip we took this summer! I still have our spring break trip to document, but if I don’t get around to creating that video, I’m happy having printed photographs. Our kids love going through these videos, and it’s clear to us how much it helps retain their memories. I recently switched to youtube for sharing my videos because my Vimeo account is maxed out.

I hope you can find the time to choose one simple photo or video project to organize, print or create.

If you are looking to create a video, I’ve shared video tips here.

If you are looking for a much simpler project, I’ve shared my favorite way to create simple albums here.

Happy Thanksgiving! I so thankful for this space allowing me to share all that I love.

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Memory keeping with travel journals

We leave this week for a road trip with a few very special destinations ahead of us.

If you'd like to follow along, I'll be sharing my favorite road trip survival tips on Instagram.

 Our daughter's journal while in Maui. We've found this is a great activity while waiting in a hotel room while everyone gets ready or at a restaurant waiting on food.

Our daughter's journal while in Maui. We've found this is a great activity while waiting in a hotel room while everyone gets ready or at a restaurant waiting on food.

Creating travel journals is one of our favorite ways to document our travels!  In the past, each kid had their own journal while traveling.  On our last vacation, I noticed how inspired they each were by looking over what their siblings wrote about.  Some write, some draw, and some just like to comment on the other person's storytelling.  

 Typically our journals are a DIY with paper, a hole punch, and string.

Typically our journals are a DIY with paper, a hole punch, and string.

This next vacation we plan on sharing one journal with 4 perspectives.  I can't wait to see what they come up with!  My contribution is printing photographs on my Instax Printer so they can use instantly in their journals.  This tool is my favorite way to encourage children to write, and such sweet instant gratification.  

Their perspective on life is such a fresh and beautiful one!  I always wish to include in our family's storytelling.

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Hawaii memories on video

I make it a goal to put together a short video from every trip we take.  What inspires me most is watching how these videos help our children retain their memories.  Our children can recall moments on vacation as young as 3 years old.  I believe occasionally looking over photos and video is partial to thank for this.  

I often hear people say they want to wait until their children get older to travel so their children can remember the vacation.  I respect this, however, my husband and I have always done the exact opposite, for many reasons. 

First, the only guarantee we have in life is our current moment.  Of course, we need to plan and budget, but make those memories you've been dreaming of happening sooner than later.  Don't wait for the perfect time, because there's really no "perfect time".  

Second, My husband and I believe that these adventures live inside of us and make us who we are, from the very youngest age.  I've watched my 1 year old fall in love with the Colorado Mountains and I've watched my 2 year old fall in love with dolphins.  And through their eyes, I've fallen in love with each and every adventure we've taken.  

Third, it doesn't matter that they won't remember, we will never forget.  There's value in any trip.  Like the closeness it brings, and the little moments my husband and I share adoring our children, and each other.  

Document your adventure.  Then take the time to watch and relive your adventures.  I'll be sharing details soon for those of you curious about our Hawaii itinerary.  

The water and zip line video was shot with my gopro and the rest with my iphone.  

If you are interested in my other short vacation videos you can see some favorites here and here.  

This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  Learn more here.  

 
 

travel essentials

 
travel essentials.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker
 

I make an effort to pack light traveling as a family of 6.  Isn't vacation a wonderful time to realize we really don't need that much? As long as we have the right tools for the job.

I'm always concerned I'm forgetting to pack the essentials.  This check list is perfect for someone who likes lists and since using it for our last few vacations it's simplified my packing.  Absolutely my favorite packing tool.  

I have been searching for the right travel backpack for a long time and I think I finally found it!  And it's super inexpensive.  Not all women's backpacks have side pockets to hold water bottles and this was essential for me.  It's light weight, lots of pockets, and my favorite part is it opens big with a doctor bag style zipper top.  

In my bag:

I sprayed this Pixi mist on my face at least a dozen times on the flight to Hawaii.

Origins Peace of Mind is a lovely peppermint relief.  It has cured a pressure headache in seconds and I never travel without it.  

Sweet and healthy Apple Chips, dark chocolate and gum

My Fab Fit Fun aloe infused fluffy socks and cozy poncho made for a comfortable flight.  The poncho worked as a blanket for a couple of us and an extra pillow.  I've officially used everything that came in this awesome subscription box!

A good book 

My camera and iphone

My favorite Young Living oils

This lip balm.  

This Malin & Goetz hand lotion was from a hotel and I'm now obsessing over the entire brand.  Full of natural ingredients, vitamins and fatty acids.  

My husband uses this travel pillow that takes up minimal space in his cary on.  And this is the best travel pillow we've ever experienced for our kids and it worked great for me also.  If your child falls asleep it gives you more control on head/chin placement.  

Yes, all that, and several of my kids things, fit in my new travel backpack!


This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  Learn more here.  

Camping is not a vacation.

Camping is not a vacation.  It's deeper than that.  Different than that.

Camping is simply a time for connecting. 

I camp to connect with people, nature, and myself.

camping is not a vacation.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker

When we disconnect from the modern technology-filled world and join the outside world it makes one realize how simple life really is.  Once your basic needs are met - food/water, shelter, and love - you realize how focusing on the basics makes everything else seem insignificant.  

I also appreciate how camping naturally makes us exercise.  The best type of exercise, in nature, unaware that we are even exercising our body because we are having fun.

camping is not a vacation.  lovely matters blog by Heather Walker

Problem-solving, team work, mentally present in the moment, social atmosphere, the benefits are endless - you get the idea!  

There's something about camping that makes me crave it again.  Even though I sleep miserable and miss taking a shower and don't love bugs.  I plan our next trip because I crave the closeness.  We can hear each other thinking.  There's a calmness in our souls.  There are moments while camping I think to myself "maybe this isn't for me" but then there's something much bigger than that as we sit under the stars sharing food, stories, and songs.

camping is not a vacation.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker

If you aren't sure if camping is your thing just give it a try for one night somewhere nearby.  Just make sure you bring a good sleeping bag (we use two of these zippered together for additional body warmth) and a camp pad is a MUST.  Or you could go glamping in a cabin or rent an RV.  I think gifting someone with camping supplies and a scheduled date to go camping would be such a thoughtful Christmas gift idea!  And if you still need convincing here is scientific proof on the benefits of camping.  

camping is not a vacation.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker
why we camp.  Lovely Matters blog by Heather Walker