Hello, 2020!

I’m back – hello, 2020! Anyone else think we’d for sure have flying cars by now? ;)

We got back late on Friday night from our adventure in Aspen and were happy we had the weekend to get organized before rushing right back to work! We had quite the adventure in Colorado – more on that on Wednesday so stay tuned. 

On Sunday morning, I got in my first run of 2020 with my friend Kathleen. It looked beautiful out, but man, was it cold and windy – it felt like we were running while someone held a band around our waists!

running around washington dc national mall

I thought I’d be all strong-lunged and feeling awesome after spending a week at high altitudes, but I felt pretty tired on this run – I was glad I had good company or I would not have made it nearly so far!

I did a really hard boot camp class before we left for the airport on Friday morning in Aspen, so maybe my body was still worn out from that + skiing + all the traveling with a toddler madness. 

Kathleen is also doing the DC Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon, so we are going to start upping our mileage and training together – exciting! 

As for food this weekend, we kept it low key. Friday night we got back so late we all had some quick peanut butter toast and went to bed. We were all wiped – Riese won’t nap on airplanes/in airports and it was wayyy past her bedtime, too – you can imagine what mood she was in by the time we got home…

peanut butter toast dinner

For lunch both days this weekend we had a hummus, guac, chicken, tabouli, and arugula wrap with string beans:

chicken hummus guac wraps

On Saturday night, our friends Heather and Mike invited us over – their toddler is the same age as Riese and everyone always has a lot of fun at their place, so we were excited to see them!

We snacked on some cheese, crackers, salami, and beers that we brought with us and then enjoyed some vegetarian chili soup + salad + brownies for dinner:

As for Sunday night, Matt, Riese, and I were out running some errands in the afternoon after her nap, so we decided to grab dinner out. I was craving pizza! We tried a new-to-us spot called Lena’s that has wood-fired pizza. 

Salads + beers to start:

lenas pizza salad appetizer

And we got two smaller pizzas – a roasted veggie with fresh mozzarella and a balsamic glaze, and a classic pepperoni. 

lenas pizza alexandria

I just cracked open my new 2020 planner and am looking forward to getting back into a routine and catching up on life this week! 

I’m thinking about sitting down and doing some intention-setting for the new year as I’ve been feeling a little lost work-wise lately and think that coming up with some goals/plans will help… what are your intentions/goals for 2020? I’d love to hear them!

Have a nice day and I’ll see you guys back here on Wednesday with some Aspen fun! 

p.s. If you need some easy dinner inspiration for the new year, check out my mix + match sheet pan dinners post!


  1. 1

    Happy New Year! Glad to hear you had a great vacation!

  2. 2

    How did you plan your flight timing with Riese? We’re flying to PHX from BOS with my wild 18 month old and I’m kind of thinking we just plan daytime flights vs trying to do night flights and hope she’ll sleep, bc she doesn’t sleep really on planes either! How did the time change go for you guys? Happy New Year!

    • 3

      I would also love to hear any tips about this! We’re doing an international flight when my son will be 16months and I’m kind of terrified for it. He has never slept on a plane before, but we’re unavoidably flying overnight. Just trying to be prepared as possible and would welcome any advice!

      • 4

        At 16 months, I would definitely recommend doing a carrier in the airport, and on the plane if he will be into it… we did a lot of babywearing at that age and that helped with napping. It might be worth buying a seat for him even though he’s under 2 if it’s a really long flight, because if they have their own seat on the plane, you can use one of those car seats that are made for a plane – they are a bunch of collapsible cheap ones on the market and Matt and I REALLY wish we had bought one for our travel extravaganza… we didn’t think we’d need it but since we were flying on and off allllll day long, it would have been amazing to have a way to keep Riese more contained and to encourage her to actually nap and not be an overtired hot mess, which is what we ended up with, ha. So next time we would def try to get an airplane car seat situation! I think you can also just bring your normal car seat and use the plane straps to strap it in, too… and then you have your own car seat on hand for the car later, too.

      • 5

        Hey there – I live in Australia and have travelled back to Europe with my toddler a few times. I have some tips if you are interested?
        Our little one a small toddler when we flew 17 hours from Perth – London…..a long flight! A few things that helped us. We booked her a seat – which I realise is not an affordable option – but would do again in a minute. We also brought her car seat on board and strapped her into that. You just need to contact the airline in advance to say you are bringing it. Not having to have her in my lap was really helpful….she slept well and I think it was because of that. We also used an item called a cozigo – it’s a blackout shield thing you can put over a car-seat / pram etc. That was a lifesaver also as if she did stir it was black and she wasn’t distracted by the lights etc. We also used this at home when we wanted her to nap in her pram on the go – are usually available secondhand on local pages.

        I brought a bunch of toys and activities for her and she wasn’t interested in anything really……too young I think….so don’t stress and spend too much time on Pinterest looking at ideas. Snacks were the best hit – savoury to save you the sugar rush but whatever works!
        People here often use antihistamines for long flights with kids……Australia is far from anywhere! I will leave you to do your own research on that as I am sure I will get ‘feedback’ for even suggesting it.

        Good luck with it – worst it is a long flight, you don’t get sleep. but it will end and most people are patient with babies x

        • 6

          Love these tips, thanks for sharing! Definitely checking out that blackout shield for next time… and for SURE bringing a car seat next time too! I think Riese actually would have slept…

    • 8

      Since it was two long flights we were basically flying all day long… so there wasn’t much strategy to be had there besides surviving ha! For one flight vs. all day travel, I’d def plan the flight NOT at naptime/bedtime because that way if they do sleep it’s an awesome bonus, and if they don’t they should still be in relatively good spirits. :)

  3. 9
    Roadrunner says

    Glad you have started the New Year right, with workouts and running! Well done!

    And goals/intentions for this year? “Essentialism!” I.e., focusing hard on the most important professional and personal relationships and tasks. Focus is key!

    • 10

      Essentialism/the disciplined pursuit of less, I like it! I agree that focus is key and eliminating/not wasting time on non-essential stuff makes a big difference with giving your overall most important goals the time they deserve. That’s something I did a lot of last year and I’m going to focus on it this year, too! Helps with burnout, too.

      • 11

        Happy new year,
        Glad that you guys had a nice holiday season in an awesome place!
        I hope Riese had fun as well

        All the best!

  4. 12

    I follow you on IG so know how epically awful your trip to Aspen was!!! I am glad the flights home went smoother. Good call to come back early so you had the weekend to get back on schedule/prepare for your return to work. I hate coming back from things on a Sunday, but we did come back from a big family gathering this past weekend on Sunday. We got home in the morning, though, so that helped!

    My goals for 2020 are to complete a reading challenge (10 different book categories that are set by a book blogger) and to workout 3 x’s/week. I’ve struggled to fit working out in after having a child as I’m gone 10 hours/day and don’t have it in me to get up at 5am to work out before work! But 3 x’s week is decent and doable as I can do workouts on Sat/Sun and one week night workout.

    • 13

      Ugh it was suuuuuch a hot mess travel-wise haha. So thankful we had the weekend to decompress! Matt and I usually screech in on Sunday night and coming back on Friday was soooo much better – definitely doing that again!

      Good luck with your goals – the reading one sounds fun! And I like that your workout goal is doable – I feel sometimes people tend to go all out with goals (aka I will work out 7 days/week) and then if they don’t do it they just stop entirely. Achievable/realistic is key for goals!

  5. 14
    TrackBuddy says

    My top tip for traveling with a toddler is to have a change of clothes for YOU as well as for them. First trip with oldest daughter when she was around 2 years old, and BOOM, she managed to overflow her diaper on me right before the plane took off. Of course I didn’t have a change of clothes. Parent fail! I hear melatonin is useful for time changes but I’m not a doctor so don’t quote me on that – just something my friends have done with their toddlers.

    Re: New Years’ Resolutions…I love this time of year for that, but sometimes I just know the area that I want a resolution on, and the actual details of the resolution take months to come into shape. For example, last year I resolved to have a “family adventure” with all four of us (this is surprisingly much harder than just doing something with 3 of us) once a week. We didn’t achieve it exactly, and we nuanced it as we went (read: lowered our standards – so, playing a board game now “counts” – doesn’t always have to be a bike ride or hike or something :-) ).

    • 15
      TrackBuddy says

      Oh wait! I forgot my other new favorite toddler travel tip. I just learned this from a friend of mine who has a kid who is NUTS on planes. She buys a bunch of Starbucks $5 gift cards and hands them out to people when the kid is kicking the seat or screaming or hassling people or what have you. SO FUNNY and brilliant.

      • 16

        Hahaha I love it! I’m sure people around us would have appreciated those during some of our flights this past week… yikes haha

    • 17

      I love your idea of evolving resolutions… makes a lot of sense! Great tip re: travel, too – Matt and I were huge fails in terms of the backup clothing situation for us OR Riese and it would have helped a tonnnn when our luggage got lost for 3 days on the way out there, ahhh. Also, tons of extra diapers would have been useful – we just had 5 in the diaper bag and all the rest were in our luggage, ugh!

  6. 18

    Lena’s is one of our faves! My seven year old loves the arancini. I totally use it to bribe good behavior, don’t judge.

  7. 20

    Traveling with babies/toddlers is so hard! No way around it. We love traveling but since having a kid, I’ve adopted a new mantra, which is “the first day doesn’t count” (aka you can have a horrible travel day and still have a good trip). In your case it sounded like it was a rough couples of days…

    People hit all my best travel tips (esp change of clothes for everyone, extra plastic bags, tons of extra diapers). I have to say I rely a lot on snacks/screentime to minimize the pain for all involved. Another tip I’ve found is that my child LOVES reading, but lugging 15 books around on a trip is really heavy, so I make sure when I buy books we buy a mix of paperback and hardback and only the paperback books come on the plane.

    Random unrelated question – how is your stroller working out now that you have a toddler? We need a new stroller (ours is on its last legs after 2.5 years) and I’d love to get a running stroller instead of a regular one. Now that Riese is bigger, do you find your stroller is still good for errands around town, travel (in the car), running, etc? Any regrets? I don’t want to spend a lot of money so it seems like it could be good but I noticed the weight limit is only up to 50 lbs so I am trying to figure out how much time I have until we hit the 50 lb mark! Thanks for any insight.

    • 21

      We relied a lot on snacks/screentime, too… whatever works in those situations right?! I love your “the first day doesn’t count” mantra… I will adopt that! In this case ours would have been “the first two days don’t count”… yikes! Good tip on the books, too… Matt’s backpack was SOOO heavy with all her books and of course she wasn’t even interested in them anyway for more than 5 seconds!

      Re: the stroller, we are still loving the two that we have, which are a small easily foldable umbrella stroller (this one… it holds up to 50 pounds and has been durable even though it’s so cheap) that lives in our car and also is what we use when we walk to dinner or walk somewhere where we will be going inside/in a smaller space and don’t want a big stroller in the mix. For the daily dog walks and also any runs, we are still loving our big running stroller (this one — looks like it also holds up to 50 pounds)… it has done a lottttt of distance with us and is still in great shape. It’s a nice smooth ride, the front wheel can lock if you are running, etc. The only things I don’t love are the console area (wish the cupholders were deeper) and the fact that it’s a big large/bulky. We just keep it on our porch and never fold it down because it’s kind of a pain to break down/carry around. But that’s what our umbrella stroller is for! Riese is only about 26 pounds so I think we have quite awhile to go before we hit the weight limit… plan to continue to use both strollers until they break! :)

  8. 22

    I MISSED YOU!! Glad you had some fun and getaway from the everyday . Happy 2020. !!!

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