What’s in My Citi Babies Diaper Bag? | Day Trip to Central FL Zoo!

Hey guys!

I’m so excited to share this post with you!

Hubs has this entire week off to spend with us so, we’re kicking things off with a day trip to the Central Florida Zoo! It’s not far from us and being that this will be our first trip since re-instating our annual passes, I knew we’d need a pretty stocked backpack for a full day!

When our Citi Babies Explorer backpack came in last week, I couldn’t wait to pack it full for a day full of adventure! We’re always going with the boys so, I knew this backpack would be perfect for our active family!

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Let’s get into our packing list:

  • Hats for each boy
  • Swim Suits
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Drinks for the little boys
  • Water Bottle for us
  • Snack Cup with Trail Mix
  • Towels
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Wet Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby Powder
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Changing Bag *Included

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Honestly, I couldn’t believe anything more than 2 huge beach towels fit inside this backpack. I rolled each towel and pushed them to the bottom which left tons of room to continue stacking the rest of our necessities for the day!

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I wasn’t exaggerating, look at the size of just one of those towels compared to the backpack’s size! You seriously wouldn’t think anything more that two of those would fit!

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I’m a huge sucker for organization so, the fact that this backpack has 5 internal pockets, a zipper section, plus two exterior open pockets, and two exterior zipper pockets, quickly gave the Citi Babies Explorer and A+ in my book!

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Check out that exterior front pocket! Each of the cup holders are insulated so, we filled the boys’ cups for the day before heading our and they stayed cold during our outing! We’re usually packing an additional lunch cooler to keep drinks cold so, the insulated cup pockets were a lifesaver!

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WENTWORTH FAMILY TAKEOVER | Greenville, SC

All this Florida heat has my heart aching for another trip to Greenville like the one we took last Fall!

As a top contender on our bucket list for the South East, we knew our official “See The Trees” trip for 2017 would be this beautiful South Carolina town! Since we don’t get to see too much of the jaw-dropping Fall colors in Florida, our entire fam jam looks forward to our Autumn road trips!

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The first box on our list of things to do was marked off when we wandered through downtown and took in all of the breathtaking historic buildings, statues, and clock!

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The weather was perfect for exploring and traffic was light so, wandering on the sidewalk was less risky with three littles as we walked through town! Along the road were full trees worth of leaves laying on the ground waiting for a couple of boys to toss and kick around! I bet you can guess who was first in! K was in heaven and couldn’t resist laying in the fallen leaves!

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As we made our way through town, we could clearly see the beautiful Falls Park on the Reedy!

Equipped with tiny cafe’s, a suspension bridge, stairs, waterways full of ducks, and incredible falls right in the center of town, this spot definitely made for a family favorite!

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See that bridge up there? It’s called the Liberty Bridge and it’s 345 feet of onlooking views of some seriously awesome cascading falls!

This bridge was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in life so far! Being that it’s suspended by cables and it was a bit windy on this day, you could feel the entire bridge sway! The boys spent most of their time running from one end to the other and looked down on the rocks in the falls below!

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The boys were obsessed with the rock walls and climbing structures throughout the park so, prying them away was a chore and thankfully I had a little surprise up my sleeve that hubby and I knew was coming up in our explorations!

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Not far from the Liberty Bridge is the edge of the park that is home to exposed roots of the Medusa Tree. Yes, you read that right. This tree literally looks like someone flipped Medusa upside down and shoved her into the side of a small mountain!

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After touching almost every root of the tree, we were ready for a quick Pizza pit stop! We stopped into a small mom and pop pizza spot on our way back through town and filled our bellies before heading out for more adventure!

At some point in all of our trips, we like to just pile into the car with snacks, blankets, pillows, and spare clothes to hit the road and explore! It may sound a little scary but, we always make the best memories pulling onto the roadside and finding hidden streams, hiking trails, and parks!

This adventure found us under an old gothic stone bridge collecting leaves and and splashing in a creek!

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This bridge is called Poinsett Bridge and it’s the oldest bridge (built in 1820) in South Carolina and presumably the oldest standing bridge in the South East! If you trek atop rocks in the creek, you can stand under the 14 foot tall arch and see well off past the bridge where the creek continues to flow!

Finding the bridge was easy, as it was on the side of the road and clearly visible after a major curve in the mountainside!

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This was definitely a high in our family travels list and we will definitely be going back this year for more adventure!


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HYATT REGENCY | Sarasota, FL

Last year before having our newest little guy, we decided our fam jam better take as many family trips as a quartet as we could!

One of our favorite Florida trips ever has been our stay at Hyatt Regency in Sarasota, FL! We spent the weekend Kayaking (included in resort fee), shark tooth finding, shell picking, pool splashing + swimming under waterfalls, aquarium visiting, and digging into some really amazing bites (hello, room service!)!

The resort sits above a beautiful waterway and has an amazing breeze when you walk into the lobby! The boys of course were itching to get in the pool or to the closest beach so, after check-in we headed straight for the pool!

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Once we let them get their feet a little wet, we had a super fun surprise! They had never been kayaking in the ocean before so, I knew with the option to do so included in our stay, we had to take them for a swing out to the resort’s private beach!

K was a little timid at first and had to sit right on top of me but, after we got to the open waterway from the canal he was totally into it!

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The private beach was amazing and there wasn’t another soul in sight! We collected seashells, swam, and caught some rays!

After our drive down, pool play, and private family time kayaking, we were ready for some serious grub! Room service is always our go-to when we’re ready to just shower, chill, and fill our bellies! So, we ordered the kids pizza, and shared a Shrimp + Grits dinner and some yummy dessert!

One day two of our trip, we visited Blind Pass Park on Manasota Key to shuffle through the sand for Shark Teeth! We left with a cup FULL of shark teeth of all different shapes and sizes and the boys still bring them out to play, examine, and count them often!

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The water on Florida’s West Coast is stunning! We could have stayed forever if the world would have let us!

Once we had our fair share of sun for the day, we went to visit the MOTE Aquarium back in Sarasota! The boys spied on some super strange and really amazing sea creatures, touched a baby crocodile, watched manatees kiss their tank, played with otters, and saw caimans for the first time ever!

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We wrapped up our trip from the MOTE Aquarium with another order of, yet again, in room dining, and made our way back home bright and early on day 3! This was such a beautiful memory that we made as a family of 4 and I can’t wait to see what this same adventure will bring now that we are 5!

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6 Ways to Stroll with Evenflo Pivot

A huge thank you to Evenflo for gifting this stroller to our growing family in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

Florida, sweet Florida!

There aren’t many places that you can spend the first weekend of March in swim trunks and flip flops and for that reason, we’re so happy to raise our babies in this sweet Sunshine State! For us, March calls for open windows, fruit picking, diving into the questionable temperatures of the pool, and renewal of our annual passes to the Central Florida Zoo!

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Over the weekend, we hopped in the car and made the short trip to visit the zoo! I’ve been dying to test drive our new Evenflo Pivot Travel System since it’s arrival and knew the zoo and all it’s terrain would be the perfect spot (even though the cheerios on the tile and our super plush shag rug did offer substantial terrain on the night of our new stroller’s unboxing).

What I really loved about pushing the Pivot around all day is the “toddler seat recline to bassinet” action. (Side note: We have a luxury brand stroller that I had to have JUST for the bassinet and to tell you the truth, the whole seat removal and replace with a bassinet and vice versa, is a TOTAL pain.) With the Pivot, there’s a lever on the back of the seat which reclines it ALL.THE.WAY. down to a bassinet. I really just can’t get over how much of a time and energy saver that is. How do you get it back into seat mode? Pull that lever and lift up. Seriously, it’s that easy! There’s a buckle on the back side of the seat to give the seat shape and keep it stable. I’ve got to give it to Evenflo for making it so easy and affordable to leave the extra bulky bassinet behind and transform your stroller from sit to sleep mode in 2 easy steps, WITHOUT the hassle of unlocking, removing, and storing a bassinet!

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Not only does the seat transform into a bassinet but, it can be unlocked and reversed for a parent-facing stroll. This was perfect while we waited in the long line to renew our membership before entering the zoo! The belly bar is easily removable and has an awesome snack tray which occupied little K with carrots and cucumbers during our wait!

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Once we got into the zoo, we just flipped the seat around and he was content all the way until he needed to exercise his bitty legs when we entered the petting area!

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Going through two toddler stages, several strollers and wagons, tons of terrain and adventure, and the constant feeding of growing boys while on the move, I think it’s safe to say that we’re pretty experienced when it comes to knowing a good push to bad push in a stroller and the severe need for a well thought-out stroller basket.

Knowing that we’d be spending our entire day at the zoo, changing from play clothes to swim suits and back again, and snacking during our visit, the large and realistically functional basket on the Pivot, was a HUGE plus. It’s super easy to get in and out of, with a large enough space for two towels, a wet bag, lunch box, and more! I can’t thank Evenflo enough for creating this stroller with such an easy to access basket! TOTAL LIFE SAVER.

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Now, let’s talk about the push!

I’ve had my fair share of stiff wheels, blow outs, terrible turns, and squeaky strolls when it comes to strollers. Five years ago, being a first time mom, I was so excited to have an over the top, drop-in, majorly bulky travel system. BIG mistake, HUGE.

Going into our second baby with a toddler on the run, I REFUSED a travel system and instead told myself I’d be a baby-wearing feign. WRONG. (I mean, I love wearing but, I’m certainly not an 80% of the time baby-wearer. Heck, I’m not even a 30% of the time wearer.) Eventually, I caved and purchased a Sit and Stand…TERRIBLE. The idea was great but, the push was so difficult that we never used it.

Now onto my third baby, with TWO toddlers CONSTANTLY on the go and a storage unit full of mom knowledge acting as my brain, it’s easy to know what works and what doesn’t in only a matter of minutes (BEFORE purchasing and exiting the store to find you’ve made a huge mistake weeks later). Even my husband can appreciate a good stroller with an easy push and after our day trip, we both agreed that Evenflo has totally nailed it with the Pivot! Each of us had a chance to push through dirt and rocks, over boardwalk trails, water covered walkways, and mulch with ease!

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We wrapped up our long day filled with tons of snacking, playing in the sun, petting and visiting our favorite animals, and test driving our newest addition and I think it’s safe to say that every one came home a happy camper!

After a little thought, hubby and I have both decided to let go of our luxury stroller (with the bassinet) and replace it’s spot in the back of the mom mobile with our new Evenflo Pivot!


Want a full list of the 6 Ways to Stroll with the Evenflo Pivot? (Of course you do, that’s why you’re here!)

  • Front Facing Carseat Drop In
  • Rear Facing Carseat Drop In
  • Outward Facing Bassinet
  • Parent Facing Bassinet
  • Front Facing Seat
  • Parent Facing Seat

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Because each system comes with a SafeMax Infant Car Seat which features an Anti-rebound bar, we can’t wait to install it in our family car to bring baby #3 home!

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5 Reasons to Visit: Ravine Gardens State Park

Last week we crossed another Florida State Park off of our family’s bucket list: Ravine Gardens State Park. It was BEAUTIFUL and totally worth the trip!

So, the boys and I collabed and came up with these TOP 5 reasons to visit the park THIS SPRING:

1. ELEVATION, ELEVATION, ELEVATION! There aren’t many places in Florida that you’ll find much elevation and this park DEFINITELY offers it! Make sure to climb the tall set of concrete stairs up to the bike trail and look down on the ravine. It was a hike for this pregnant mama but, so worth it.

 

2. The suspension bridges ROCK! Okay, so this was the boys’ FAVORITE part of the park, for obvious reasons. Neither of them could resist running across the rickety bridge from one side to the other love the ravine.

 
3. Azaleas are in FULL bloom. EVERYWHERE. Make sure to bring your camera along for the trip. The park hosts a monthly photo contest for photographers and momtographers alike and this month’s theme is Azaleas. The park is full of beautifully blooming purple and pink flowers that are simply irresistible.

 
4. The perfect picnic spots. Pack a lunch but, don’t pack an entire cooler. You’ll need something to carry up and down the steps throughout the park so, a thermal backpack or soft lunch box would be my recommendation! There are several shady spots throughout the park perfect to picnic!

 

5. Downtown Palatka (Specifically, Magnolia Cafe). So, this isn’t entirely relative to Ravine Gardens State Park BUT, only a FEW minutes away from the park is Historic Downtown Palatka. Home to the amazing and super adorable Magnolia Cafe. After out hike, all of our bellies were ready for something delicious and Magnolia Cafe offered the perfect brunch menu for our little family. This clean little spot had a menu filled with Crab Cakes Benedict, Belgian Waffles, Sandwiches and Wraps, and the tastiest “Redneck Benedict” you’ll ever put in your mouth. The eggs were poached to perfection and we all left super full!

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WENTWORTH FAMILY TAKEOVER | Great Smokey Mnts. Summer 2016 Re-cap!

Another “toss the boys in the car, pack as much as you can in 20 minutes, and hit to road” trip was on our agenda for this weekend! North Carolina was calling our names and the Florida heat was unbarable so, we packed up, and hit the road for our favorite trip yet!

Clingman’s Dome has been on hubby’s bucket list for quite some time now so, that was first on our list! Before we knew it, we were elevating to 6600 feet in no time but, made a few stops on the way!

If you’ve never visited the Smokeys, add it to your bucket list NOW! It’s the most amazing thing we’ve ever seen. There are river rapids you can view from the mountain side’s winding roads, waterfalls gushing out of the side of the mountain, and driving through clouds and tunnels dug out of a mountain is something that never gets old._Q7A1067lookout 4

_Q7A1076_Q7A1081While on our drive up, we spotted a super cool 9 story tower that was only .50 cents a person to climb and free of any other people. So, we pulled over and climbed it! The boys loved the view and the climb was easy enough for our tiny legged two year old to take it one step at a time!

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After our pit stop, we piled back into the car and headed further up the mountain. As I said before, there are these breathtaking river rapids that you can see from the road. When we first approached them, they looked pretty treacherous but, peeking further, we could see fishermen in our sights down below in the river! So, we pulled over to a somewhat-hidden start of the trail paralleling the river and walked down to the water for some exploring!

_Q7A1106_Q7A1107_Q7A1109This was hands down one of my favorite experiences of our trip and really, of my 27 years on this planet. As you follow the trail, you come up on this wondrous view of the rapids under a bridge, i swear, it was straight out of a “Tom & Huck” movie. The boys didn’t hesitate to take their shoes off to dip their feet, toss rocks, and splash around while enjoying the sights under the bridge! The river rocks were HUGE and the water was more refreshing than any Florida spring that I’ve ever visited. (You can also rent tubes and ride them down the river, this is a must for us on our next trip back!)

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Back in the car and elevating higher. After taking in all of the mountainside views, we finally reached the start of our hike up to Clingmans Dome. The cool thing about the hike is that a. It’s FREE and b. You have the option to hike on the pavement or through a wooden, dirt trail (Appalachian Trail). We hiked up the paved road and down the dirt trail (which was deff best of the two). When we reached the top, the clouds were heavy, normally you can see somewhere between 5 & 7 states from the top of Clingmans Dome but, on a hazy day like ours, you could only see the tops of the trees. So, we will be back ! The dirt trail down was my personal favorite. The rain started pouring down and the lush dirt was starting to puddle. One of the best things of being a mom is to see your kids having fun in nature so, to see mine jumping in dirt puddles and hiking through the rain down the side of a mountain was something I will treasure forever.

 

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We hid under a tree for a few minutes as we took in the surroundings, listened to the birds, and created a plan to finish our hike down. I hiked up with little Keke on my back in our carrier up the mountain and Little Man was ready for a break on the way down so, I traded them out, hubs carried Keke and we made a run for it through the pouring rain! The rain was cold, refreshing but, cold and worth the soaking wet clothes by the time we reached bottom! The boys had so much fun hiking down through the rain and most people were huddled up under trees on top of rocks so the trails were clear of people, minus a few here and there!

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After a long day or hiking, and a few car naps on the way back to our temporary home, we headed out for dinner and rested before our drive back to the Sunshine State! (Did I forget to mention the amazing herd of Elk on our way back?! Like 10 feet away from us stood these beautiful elk some with uber huge antlers! We had to wake the boys up to see “Santa’s Reindeer“! They loved it!!)

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Our original plan was to stay 3 nights and 4 days but, we get home sick easily and wanted a relaxing day back in town to gather our thoughts and unpack before the work week started! So, we rested for a few hours, got up in the middle of the night and headed home! Even though we were really only able to enjoy the mountains for a full day, our 16 hours in the car was all worth it! We will absolutely be back and can’t wait to see what the next Great Smokey Mountain adventure brings us!

Take a peak at our trip in the video here and follow along to see more of our adventures!

 

 

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