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Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park: 10 Tips for A Great Family Trip

Want to visit Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park? Now is the time to plan your dream trip to these two amazing parks with my top 10 tips for a great family trip!

 

Our Adventure in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park

 

Last year we bought a camper! After several short and fun camping trips in our local mountains, we decided to test our camping mettle by taking the family to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This past August we loaded up the kids and the dog and set out into the great unknown. Ok, not really that unknown. I have been to Teton once before and Yellowstone a bunch of times. Still, this was our first time taking the kiddos and Koda in the camper. We were ready for an adventure!

 

We had an absolutely fantastic time touring the parks! Along the way, with the inevitable ups and downs of traveling with two kids and a dog, I learned some important things. There are many things that I would do again in a heartbeat. There are also some things I would do a little differently. 

 

Hopefully, you are able to apply my hard-won wisdom to your own family trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton and have a truly memorable time!

 

1. Plan Ahead

 

Ok, so it might seem a little early to start planning a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. After all, you won’t even be there until late spring. However, as I discovered while planning our family trip, it is never too early to start. Yellowstone and Grand Teton don’t have a quota of visitors or anything like that, but accommodations, camping areas, restaurant reservations, and other pre-scheduled activities fill up fast.  As soon as you decide when you want to visit, get on the park websites to see about accommodations, reservations, and all the rest.

 

2. Consider Visiting on a Shoulder Season

 

Yellowstone National Park is the 2nd most visited national park in the country and Grand Teton is number 5. They are literally packed with tourists from all over the world for the months of June, July, and August. That said, the “shoulder seasons” of mid-April to May and September to early October are some of the very best times to visit these parks.

 

In addition to significantly fewer crowds, there are usually milder temperatures and unique wildlife viewing opportunities. In spring, there are newborn bears, wolves, elk calves, and bison calves. Also, bears are particularly active coming out of hibernation. In the fall, you may get to see bison and elk in the rut.

Grand Teton National park

Gorgeous view of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

There are, however, a few downsides to visiting during these seasons. The early spring and late fall weather can be unpredictable. You will want to bring layers and possibly even snow gear. Also, some activities, visitors centers, and roads are not open outside of the summer months.

 

Also, the kids will still be in school during these off-seasons. We homeschool, of course, so it’s no big deal for us. Field trip to Yellowstone, everyone! However, many teachers may be willing to give kids work to take on the car trip or even have them do some sort of report or project on the parks rather than their typical classroom work. Real-life, hands-on learning is always better! Check out my National Park Road Trip Project on Teachers Pay Teachers!

 

For more information, visit Yellowstone National Park Seasons page.

 

3. Bring the Books

Yellowstone National Park

My kids loved reading about all the animals in the park . . . especially the bison (do not call them a buffalo in front of my 7 year old)

The maps and brochures they give you when you arrive at the parks are very helpful. But there are many fantastic books available that can give so much more insight into the history, culture, and ecology of each of these amazing parks. As the family tour guide, I appreciated the extra details provided in Frommer’s Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (Complete Guide) by Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan.

 

This is particularly true for kids. Whether or not your kids are doing a report on the parks or not, some books about geology, wildlife, and history are sure to make the trip more enriching. Spend some time talking with your kids about what they would like to read about the most. Are they fascinated by the Yellowstone SuperVolcano? Are they interested in the pros and cons of reintroducing wolves into the greater Yellowstone ecosystem? Maybe they would like to learn more about the indigenous people of the Teton Valley? My kids enjoyed the books What I Saw in Yellowstone: A Kid’s Guide to the National Park by Durrae Johanek, and  What I Saw in Grand Teton: A Kid’s Guide to the National Park by Julie Gillum Lue.

 

Check out your local library, order a couple on Amazon or Thriftbooks, or wait until you get to the parks and stop by a gift shop, but make sure to have at least a few guidebooks on hand. 

 

4. Stay in the Park

Yellowstone National Park

A morning visit from some elk next to our campsite in Bridge Bay Campground

Both Grand Teton and Yellowstone have towns located only minutes away from their entrances, so it is certainly possible to stay outside the park and have a wonderful trip. Having stayed both inside and outside the parks, I can definitely attest that there is something uniquely special about waking up in the heart of these stunning places.

 

Despite the proximity of the towns bordering the parks, they are still quite some distance from the main attractions within the parks. Travelers who camp or stay inside the parks have these wonders right at their doorstep.

 

My Favorite Lodges and Campgrounds

 

Wondering where exactly to stay? Either somewhere centrally located or near a main attraction is the best bet. Accommodations include tent and RV campsites (some with hookups), cabins, hotel rooms, and suites.

 

For Yellowstone, I would recommend Old Faithful Inn and Cabins, Canyon Village, or the Lake Village area. We camped at Bridge Bay Campground (near Lake Village) and it was a lovely campground and a great location. 

 

In Grand Teton, Jenny Lake Lodge, Colter Bay Village, Signal Mountain Lodge, and Jackson Lake Lodge offer a range of accommodations from rustic to luxe. For tent camping, Jenny Lake Campground would be my pick, and for RV camping definitely Signal Mountain Campground. If you are after a truly unique experience, try the Triangle X Ranch—a real dude ranch in the heart of Grand Teton.

 

While it is technically outside the boundary of Grand Teton National Park, the adjacent Bridger-Teton National Forest is a fantastic option as well. There are both developed campgrounds and dispersed sites.

 

5. Leave Fido At Home

Yellowstone National Park

Koda feelin’ cute in the camper

It pains me to say it, but bringing a dog to a national park is less than optimal. We brought our sweet Koda with us when we went, so it is doable. However, bringing a dog to a national park requires additional planning and some sacrifice.

 

Dogs are not allowed in any of the accommodations within the parks (only campgrounds). They are only permitted on roadways, parking lots, and within a short distance of those paved areas. This means dogs cannot accompany you on hikes, boat trips (with the exception of your personal watercraft on Jackson Lake), in visitor centers, or on any of the boardwalks around Yellowstone. Additionally, dogs must be leashed at all times outside of your vehicle, camper, or tent. After a recent tragedy involving a dog at Yellowstone, these rules will not be relaxed anytime soon.

 

If you absolutely must bring your pup (like us), you will have to make some adjustments. Plan on either staying outside the park or camping. For those considering camping in Bridger-Teton National Forest, the good news is that dogs may be off-leash in the national forest. My husband and I took turns staying with Koda in the vehicle or walking around the parking lot while the others walked short trails or boardwalks or went into visitor centers. 

 

Another great option, if you really want to get in a day hike or some other activity that your dog cannot participate in, is to look for local doggy daycare. Some of the small towns within proximity of the park offer boarding services.

 

6. Pack Your Own Food

 

Food in the park is expensive! Also, unless you have a reservation, restaurants, and cafes have extremely long lines at mealtimes. I recommend stocking up on basics in one of the towns just outside the park. There are plenty of places in the park to buy ice, so just store your perishables in a cooler. That way you will always have snacks on hand for when you get hungry and you can picnic just about anywhere without having to deal with lines and exorbitant prices.

 

7. Make an Itinerary

Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic . . . my Yellowstone “must see”

Before you leave, spend some time researching all that there is to see and do in each of the parks. Decide on the top 5-10 “musts” (depending on how long you are staying) for each park and then plan your days around them. Make sure every family member is invested in choosing activities. For me, it was Jenny Lake and Grand Prismatic Spring that I had to see. My kids were both all about the Bison and Old Faithful. My husband really just wanted to spend some time wildlife watching.

 

If you want to schedule a specific activity like a boating excursion on Yellowstone Lake, plan that first and then arrange other activities and sightseeing around it. Look at a map and plan to see certain highlights that are near each other at the same time. For example, spend the morning visiting Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic and see the Lower and Upper Falls both in the evening. Yellowstone is an astoundingly huge park, and you will spend a great deal of time driving. Make sure to maximize your time.

 

Also, think about what time of day you want to do each activity. Early morning and evening are often less busy times for some of the main attractions. Typical meal times can also be a good time to see a visitor hotspot, as many people go to a restaurant for their meals. For wildlife viewing, early morning and evening are the best times as well.

 

8. Leave Time for Downtime

Grand Teton National Park

Taking a stroll around Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton

There is so much to do and see in Grand Teton and Yellowstone, but you will still want to schedule downtime. It is important to relax, especially on vacation. I found that the busy parts of the day (mid-day) were a good time to return to our camper and let the kids and the dog stretch their legs. Unless you are doing a lot of hiking or other activities, you will spend a fair bit of time driving. Make sure to plan time for kids to relax and run around. A lazy middle of the day cut down on crowds and provided a wonderful opportunity to take a nap, read a book, or walk around the campground.

 

We also cooked our main meal in the middle of the day. Then we just packed sandwiches for a light picnic dinner that we could eat on the go as we explored the parks in the evening. 

 

9. Pack the Necessities

Yellowstone National Park

Wildlife watching in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley

There are some things you should definitely have with you in the parks. While there are places to buy necessities in and around the park, there are often long lines and the prices are much higher.

 

Sun, and Bugs, and Bears . . . Oh My!

 

Bug spray and sunscreen are also important to have. At certain times of the year, mosquitos are absolutely terrible. At high elevations like in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, you can get sunburned quickly even on a cloudy day, so make sure to pack some SPF. A first aid kit is important too. Especially with kids who want to climb on rocks, run down trails, and generally do kid things.

 

Bear spray is probably one of the most important. If you come into close contact with a grizzly or black bear you will be very grateful to have bear repellant. 

Grand Teton National Park

Why you want bear spray . . . the sign on all the picnic tables in the park

Bikes and Binoculars

 

We discovered that Grand Teton has some beautiful paved bike trails. If you enjoy biking, bring yours with you and get a gorgeous view of mountains, wildlife, and lakes without having to deal with traffic.

 

It may seem unimportant, but I would definitely recommend bringing binoculars or a spotting scope. There will likely be many opportunities to view wildlife up close and personal, but some will be quite far away. Binoculars and spotting scopes will allow you to maximize your wildlife viewing. One of my favorite times during our trip was when we set up a spotting scope in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley at dusk and ate our picnic dinner while glassing for wolves. We didn’t see any wolves but we had a great time looking and saw tons of bison.

 

Entertainment for the Kiddos

 

As I mentioned, you will probably spend a lot of time in the car driving to and around the parks, so make sure to bring entertainment for the kids. We watched movies on the way to the parks and also listened to audiobooks. My kids read books about the park and of course colored and drew all the animals they saw. We also had some of those reusable Melissa & Doug sticker books.

 

10. Explore the Surrounding Area

Bridger-Teton National Forest

Just outside Grand Teton in Bridger-Teton National Forest

Finally, if you have enough time, the areas surrounding the national parks themselves are definitely worth exploring. I already mentioned the Bridger-Teton National Forest, but consider some of the towns near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.

 

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, just outside Grand Teton, is a ritzy and picturesque ski town. There are a plethora of restaurants and bars, as well as fantastic shopping. Jackson Hole is also home to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the National Elk Refuge.

 

Near Yellowstone, Cody, Wyoming is a great little town known as the “rodeo capital of the world. There are a variety of rodeos to attend, including a nightly rodeo every evening during the summer. There is also the renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West and a variety of other modern and historical attractions and events.

 

West Yellowstone, Montana is a fantastic town at the edge of Yellowstone National Park. In addition to the great shopping, dining, and outdoor activities, don’t miss the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, the Museum of the Yellowstone, and the Yellowstone GIANT Screen.

 

Until Next Time . . .

 

Our Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton trip is one that my kids will remember forever. It was an amazing time of family togetherness and a wonderful adventure in some of God’s most magnificent creation. I’m sure we will go again when the kids are older and I know I will apply some of the things I learned to our next trip. Sorry, Koda, it’s doggy daycare for you!

Check out these other posts: Bringing Back Sunday Dinner9 Positive Educational Kid’s ShowsFive Tips for a Fantastic Garage Sale

Grand Teton Yellowstone Pin

Top 6 Benefits of Gardening

Have you been dying to start a garden? Or maybe you’ve been gardening for years? Either way, do you know the actual benefits of gardening? Gardening is good for your whole self—body, mind, soul—and good for your budget, family, and the environment to boot. Here are six benefits of gardening (I am sure there are more) that you may not be aware of.

#1. Gardening is Good for Your Body

Great Exercise

Benefits of GardeningWho needs exercise? Everyone, that’s who! Gardening is just one more way you can squeeze a little extra calorie burning into your day. According to WebMD, gardening can burn anywhere between 200 and 400 calories an hour. Obviously, this will vary depending on the particular gardening task. However, I can attest that weeding provides a great opportunity for exertion.

In addition to the calorie-burning benefits of gardening, being out in the sunshine and fresh air is good for your physical health as well. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient our body produces when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight. According to the National Institutes of Health, Vitamin D deficiency can cause problems in bones and may even be linked to diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Getting out in the sunshine (make sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing) can help to make sure you are getting plenty of this vital nutrient.

Getting Your Fruits and Veggies

Benefits of GardeningBesides the physical act of gardening, the vegetables and fruits you grow are important for your health. When you grow your own, you have control over whether or not to use pesticides or fertilizers. What’s more, nothing tastes better than fresh, home-grown produce. Don’t believe me? Try it and see. Grow a tomato (or buy one at a farmer’s market) and compare it to a tomato from your local grocery store. The difference is amazing. 

Naturally, it follows that the better our veggies taste the more we will actually eat. Plus, having so much fresh produce right on hand forces you to be more creative with your cooking in order to eat it all—hello fried squash blossoms, chive blossom cream cheese, and zucchini everything! An article in Medical News Today claimed that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can aid in weight loss, improve mood and memory, reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, and even help you sleep better.

#2. Gardening is Good for Your Mind

benefits of gardening

Planning a successful flower or vegetable garden takes a great deal of knowledge, planning, and creativity. This planning process is a great way to sharpen your mind. I have read hours worth of articles, blogs, and books on gardening. To compare prices and customer reviews, I have poured over seed catalogs and websites. I have even made spreadsheets—yes, spreadsheets—to track my spending, planting times, care schedules, etc. 

All of the planning and decision-making has challenged my creativity and improved my critical thinking. Gardening is an exercise in trial and error and the learning curve is steep. There is always something new to be learned and new challenges to undertake. Read my post Four Simple Tips for Starting Your First Garden to learn more about how to plan your first garden.

#3. Gardening is Good for Your Budget

Reduce Your Spending on Fruits and Veggies

Simple Gardening Tips benefits of gardening

I must qualify this point slightly, vegetable gardening can be good for your budget. If you spend lots of money on your supplies, by seedlings from nurseries, and spare no expense, well, then no, you won’t save any money. However, gardening can be done to fit any budget. And vegetable gardening can certainly save you money on groceries.

The trick is to figure out what you spend on produce at the grocery store in a year and then make sure that your total garden budget is less. There are a lot of ways to save money on gardening too. Investing in non-consumable supplies like raised beds, tools, and a watering system are worth spending a little more on to get started. Although, you would be surprised what you can find at the dollar store, facebook buy and sell groups, and on sale.

Save Money on Consumables

Seed Starting benefits of gardeningWhat you really need to focus on to save money are consumable things like plants, seeds, fertilizer, compost, and water. The biggest money saver is to start your plants from seeds. This is considerably more difficult than just buying them as seedlings from a nursery. However, it can be done (see my post Seed Starting 101 (A Step by Step Guide for Beginners)) and it is a fraction of the cost. 

Things like fertilizer and compost can also get expensive, but you can save money by making your own compost or buying compost from cheaper sources. Some landfills offer much cheaper compost in large amounts—just make sure it has been tested and properly certified for garden use. 

Watering can also cost a pretty penny, but you can reduce costs by using a watering system, like a drip line, to water your plants more efficiently. You can also save water by mulching around your plants. To learn more about water-wise gardening and landscaping, check out this post about The Seven Features of a Water-Wise Garden.

#4. Gardening is Good for Your Family and Friends

Kids in the GardenBenefits of Gardening

If you have young people in your life, whether nieces, nephews, grandchildren, or your own children, they can also reap the benefits of gardening. Invite the kids to help you in the gardening process, they will learn so much. And, if the gardening bug bites them too, they will have a constructive hobby that they can pursue for a lifetime.

Benefits of GardeningThe benefits of gardening apply to kids just as much as they do to adults, and you might be surprised at how much they will enjoy it. My girls (3 and 5) enjoyed helping me pick flower seeds, plant, and harvest. The more fun parts of gardening will engage them and excite them, and the less-fun parts (like weeding) will teach them about hard work and diligence. Need ideas about how to get kids involved? Check out these great activities from KidsGardening.org.

Gifts from the GardenBenefits of Gardening

In addition to children, gardening will benefit other family members and friends. I love to use my fresh produce as gifts. Zucchini and baked goods involving zucchini make great gifts for neighbors and co-workers. I have made herbed cream cheese and butter that make for great gifts as well. Everyone loves fresh produce and tasty homemade goods, they appreciate the extra effort that goes into it.

#5. Gardening is Good for the Environment

Benefits of GardeningControl the Chemicals

What is greener than home-grown produce? Nothing. As stated earlier, when you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you decide what chemicals are used in their production. Making your own organic compost to enrich your soil not only ensures that you will use fewer synthetic fertilizers, but it is also a great way to recycle your table scraps. Read step-by-step instructions on composting in Better Homes and Gardens: How to Compost.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprintbenefits of gardening

What’s more, one of the biggest culprits when it comes to increasing our carbon footprints is shipping. When your produce is shipped from far away, the packaging used to protect it and the fuel used for transportation not only increase the cost but also the environmental impact. You can easily reduce the plastics and carbon emissions put into the environment (albeit in a small way) by growing your own at home.

Help Preserve Pollinators

benefits of gardeningAs any gardener can tell you, bees are an essential part of the growing process. Bees and other pollinators ensure that our plants are able to produce and reproduce. Unfortunately, bee populations have been declining at alarming rates in recent years. While there is much disagreement over the exact causes of this decline and on-going debate about many of the potential solutions, one thing everyone can agree on is that bees benefit from increased habitat. This is where gardeners come in! You can plant your very own pollinator garden and benefit from a symbiotic relationship with bees and other pollinating insects. There are many lovely plants that will attract bees, but for specific instructions check out the Honey Bee Conservancy’s article on How to Plant a Bee Garden

#6. Gardening is Good for your Soul

Benefits of GardeningI saved my favorite benefit of gardening for last. Gardening is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. I have often struggled with crippling fear and anxiety. For me, one of the most important benefits of gardening is managing my anxiety (read more about Coping Strategies for Anxiety). Being outside in nature has been shown to boost your mood, reduce stress, calm anxiety, improve mindfulness, and promote gratitude according to Resources to Recover. Exercise (like pulling weeds, digging, hoeing) and exposure to sunlight are also thought to increase serotonin levels (6 Ways to Boost Serotonin Without Medication).

Benefits of GardeningOf course, anyone who gardens will tell you that, beyond all the science, there is an almost spiritual connection to having your hands in the dirt, working the soil. I can’t adequately describe the profound satisfaction that comes from watching the progress of plants from tiny seeds to little seedling to beautiful flower or tasty veggie. It is clearly the wonder of God’s creation and the beauty of life unfolding before your eyes.

Get  Going and Reap the Benefits of Gardening!

Benefits of GardeningAs you can see, gardening is a truly healthful and relaxing hobby that anyone can do. Whether your garden is as large as half your yard or as small as a single container, there are benefits to be reaped. If you don’t already have a garden, start something today!

Tell me what you think. What are your reasons for gardening? What are the benefits you have experienced? Please comment below, I would love to hear from you!

You May Also Like:

Seed Starting 101 (A Step by Step Guide for Beginners)

Four Simple Tips for Starting Your First Garden

Black Thumb: Diary of A Wannabe Gardener, Day 1 – Getting Started

The Very Best Outdoor Toys Under $50

Summer is here! Kids should be outside enjoying the sunshine. Check out these great outdoor toys under $50! What better way to inspire creative, active outdoor play than with a few new summer games and activities?

** The following post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.**

Nature and Adventure Toys

Adventure Kids Outside Exploration Kit

Empower your little explorer to embark on an outdoor adventure with this great kit. This kit comes with binoculars, a flashlight, a compass, a whistle, a bug collector case, tweezers, and a magnifying glass in a cute little bag. Perfect for summer adventures, this kit also promotes scientific thinking!

Kid’s Garden Tool Set

Have a little gardener? This fun garden toolset will allow your mini gardener to work alongside you or on their own. The set comes with a trowel, watering can, rake, wagon and more. What better way to get your little to eat their veggies than by teaching them to grow their own?

Go Find It Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt Game 

Take the whole family on a fantastic outdoor nature scavenger hunt. You can use these cards again and again in endless combinations. This game is a whole new way to explore your backyard, local park, or the great outdoors. This game is great for families, groups of kids, preschools, and many more!

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How Can Parents Prevent “Summer Slide?”

preventing summer slideSummer is at last upon us—summer, glorious summer! Your kids are out of school, and you might be asking yourself, “Now what?” Should you worry about the “summer slide” and their academic skills over the summer? Is it best to fill their schedules with activities, or give them a lazy summer filled with freedom? Should you plan academic activities to hone their skills, or let them veg-out in front of a screen? How do you find balance? These are my suggestions for having a wonderful (and balanced summer). The kind of summer that satisfies the need for free time, creates lasting memories, and leaves kids ready for school in September!

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Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is almost upon us! It is time to find that perfect gift for the special dads in your life. No matter his interest, or how difficult he may be to shop for, there is sure to be at least a few perfect gifts listed below! I have organized the gift suggestions by interest type. Happy shopping!

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Anxiety Coping Strategies for Christian Moms

Worry, fear, anxiety–a choking sense of doom comes out of nowhere and a dark cloud descends on my mind. Anxiety is the icy fingers of dread resting on my shoulder. It is manifested in the way I snap at my loved ones for no apparent reason. It is embodied by the swirling cycle of “what if’s” fueling my insomnia. Anxiety is the physical symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, fatigue, and muscle tension. It is a constant thief of joy and destroyer of peace. However, it doesn’t have to be. There is hope. There are many anxiety coping strategies that you can learn.

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10 Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets

There are certain kitchen gadgets that I absolutely LOVE! Whether you are a working mom, a SAHM mom, or just love to cook, these kitchen gadgets will make it that much easier to prepare your favorite recipes! These are items that I would highly recommend, would give as gifts, and would definitely buy again!

 

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Bringing Back Sunday Dinner

Remember Sunday dinner–gathering with loved ones or friends to share a delicious, home-cooked meal that was savored slowly?

Can you hear the conversations–the puns your grandpa would make, the chatter of aunts and grandmas, the antics of your favorite uncle? How about the smells of real, homemade food–grandma’s fresh bread, homemade apple pie, the family recipe for roasted chicken that had been passed down for generations?

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5 Simple Homemade Bread Making Tips for the Beginner

Close your eyes. Think back to mom or grandma’s kitchen when you were a kid. Imagine the aroma of buttery, sweet, yeasty homemade bread wafting out of the oven and curling towards you.

Picture the soft, fluffy bread–still hot from the oven–with a dollop of sweet cream butter slowly melting into the pillowy bread. Remember the hot, buttery deliciousness of the fresh bread as you took your first bite. Feel all the feels. Now, imagine that this is happening in YOUR kitchen.

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2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide (by an Actual Mom)

What to get for mother’s day? That is the question so many of us are facing as we look to buy gifts for the special moms in our lives–moms of little ones, moms of teenagers, grandmas,  wives, aunts, friends! This is a list of gifts for a variety of women with different interests (from cooking to gardening and sentimental to functional). The items on this list were carefully chosen and are items that I own, have gifted, or are on my own wish list (wink, wink to my hubby)!

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