7 Essential Travel Must Haves

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Traveling with children is amazing. They get to see and experience life in a whole different way when it’s right in front of them, rather than seeing it on a screen watching other people travel. But packing for them is quite a feat – Which is why I am not covering it in this post – ha! I will in another one, soon, though, promise!

This post is all about Mom/Dad. These are my top 7 travel must haves when it comes to packing. Everyone is different but I know this list will definitely resonate with a few!

  • 1. Eco-Friendly Pill Organizer – I take a few different vitamins and medications so worrying about my basic pill organizer popping open in my checked bag is a real anxiety. This food-grade plastic, cereal shell fiber case is eco-friendly and incredibly safe with it’s double locking feature. The large capacity is amazing for travel and even for having at home.
  • 2. Fitbit Versa 3 – I don’t go anywhere without my Fitbit. It helps me ensure I’m getting the correct amount of steps in, lets me know if I’m getting an important call whilst driving and keeps me up to date with my sleeping / stress habits. The new versa 3 is pretty amazing with all of it’s new software and capabilities!
  • 3. Larq Self Cleaning Water Bottle – This is my favorite water bottle ever. I have a little bit of a water bottle obsession and it has ended with this one. It uses UV-C light to neutralize bacteria in water. That means you could even gather stream water and it’ll disinfect it to make it safe for drinking. That’s survivalist gear at its best! I love this bottle, seriously, and take it with me everywhere. It even has a little carrying sleeve for convenience.
  • 4. American Tourister Luggage – I loveee hardshell luggage bags. I get so anxious that it’ll be crushed or damaged when it’s in the plane’s cargo hold but having a hard-shelled bag makes me feel so much better knowing my souvenirs aren’t getting crushed ;P This bag is cute, has amazing wheels that don’t get caught when you’re trying to wrangle the kids and again, it’s hard-shelled!
  • 5. Samsung Galaxy Pro Buds – Chances are whether you’re taking a flight or going on a road trip, your kids will be watching their tablets in order for you to gain a little bit of your sanity back. If that’s the case pop in some of these amazing ear buds and treat yourself to some self-love with a favorite song, an audio book or that podcast everyone has been talking about.
  • 6. Selfie Stick Tripod – OKAY. Before you start virtually throwing things at me, hear me out… You’re on a trip by yourself with your three kids and you want to take a photo of all of you (cuz you never get photos of yourself with them) but there’s no one around. This tripod holds all types of phones, cameras, and video devices using different heights and angles! It comes equipped with a remote so there’s no running back and forth and then there’s the selfie stick aspect which you don’t have to use if you don’t want to. 😉
  • 7. Hanging Travel Toiletries Bag – I used this on my last trip for the first. time. ever. I have no clue how I made it this long without using one of these. Having your toiletries, medicine, makeup and jewelry in ONE place where your kids cannot reach is a literal GAME CHANGER. If you don’t have one already I highly recommend investing in one. These’ll last you years and you’ll never go back to separate toiletries bags!

What other must haves have you found? I’ll be doing a Kid’s Travel Must Haves soon because that one is a doozy.

Kid-Friendly Ideas on Galveston Island

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Galveston is by far one of my favorite places in the world. With its Texan vibes and island carefree spirit it’s the most comfortable vacation destination for my family and I. It feels like home! This last month, I took my 5 year old, Hudson, on a Mommy and Son vacay to stay on the island because he’s never seen the beach before. By the end of it, he was begging me not to take him back to Colorado.

We only stayed for 4 days but it was enough to leave a lasting impression. Although we weren’t able to do everything, I made sure we still got a good chunk of touristy stuff in along with just beach chillin’ but I wanted to share a few things we did and didn’t do that I know would make for a memorable experience for your littles!

Where to stay:

Casa Del MarWe had the cutest little condo right on the beach with incredible views and ocean winds that blew across your lanai in the mornings while you’re enjoying your first, or second, cup of coffee. The rooms were decorated super beachy and colorful so when you settled in for the evening you still feel as if you are soaking in the island vibes.

It comes equipped with 1 bedroom and 1 full bath that is fully stocked with everything you need. The 1 bedroom has a queen sized bed and a twin bunk bed is located in the main hallway, perfect for kiddos (and some peace and quiet at night).

Interested? Call or text Reed at 412-337-9963 and he’ll hook you up with an amazing rate and the housekeeper Traci will make sure your every request is promptly taken care of, day or night! An amazing place with an even more amazing staff!

Where to eat:

Rainforest CafeObviously, the rainforest cafe is a HUGE hit with the kids. The deep forest ambiance and animatronic animals excite the kids while they dig into their rainforest themed foods and mega sized souvenir cups.

Fish Tales – Amazing food across from the Pleasure Pier. The balcony gave for amazing views of people buzzing about on the beach and making memories in the amusement park. Seriously.. The best clam chowder I’ve ever had.

Downtown Aquarium at Kemah – A little pricey but worth it being right on the water and inside an actual aquarium where you can see live fish and shark swimming about your meal. Also, another mega sized souvenir cup to take home, yippeeee…. But still, delicious.

Where to be touristy:

The Strand – A fun and classy shopping strip filled with eclectic and fun stops placed in older buildings. It’s a relaxing, fun place to grab a drink, some Galveston Island souvenirs and a dipped apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!

The Beach – Of course you’ll have to stop at the beach. We went everyday for hours. Sitting on the shore, eating McDonalds while watching the waves crash, scavenging for seashells and crabs, building sand castles and swimming in the water. It’s an incredible place to relax, unwind and watch the pure elation in your kid’s face. I’ll never forget his face when he built his first sand castle.

Where to visit:

Kemah Boardwalk – An amusement park on the beach. It’s an amazing way to take in the views and get some funnel cake while riding a carousel. There’s face-painting, carnival games and a train that takes you around the boardwalk. It’s an amazing place to spend some money, have some laughs and tire them kiddos out 😉

Moody Gardens – We didn’t get a change to stop here, sadly. But we heard nothing but amazing reviews. Placed inside three pyramids are three different exhibits. Rainforest, Aquarium and Discovery. Each of which hold unique experiences and attractions!

Galveston Ferry – In order to make it from Galveston Island to Port Bolivar you’ll need to take a ferry. An experience I’ve never had but loved it – You drive your car onto the boat and head up to the deck where you can watch the waves beneath the boat and the seagulls flying nearby. We even saw dolphins!

Schlitterbahn Water Park – Sadly this place was closed because Hudson has been wanting to go here for ages and it was even a little cold outside when we were there, so probably for the best! But check it out, it’s a huge water park known for it’s amazing rides!

Galveston Historic Seaport | Home of the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA – We wanted to see this SO bad but it seemed to be closed.. I think, was really hard to tell. COVID has made things difficult but we’ll be sure to see this next time we’re in town.

What to pack:

If you choose Reed’s place at Casa Del Mar you’ll be equipped with beach chairs, beach towels, squirt guns, and more so no need to bring beach stuff! (Besides sunscreen 😉 )

Seashell bag. We got one from jane.com and it was the hit of our beach ventures. He was able to use his own little bag to hunt for shells and he felt so cool wrapping his bag around him and venturing out.

Flip-flops AND normal shoes. Cuz, walking and beach combing.

Wind-breaker. Sometimes that ocean wind is CRAZY cold. You never know 😉

We LOVE this Sand Castle pack. Wasn’t cheap and made amazing castles!


This was such an amazing trip, so much so my son has already been asking to go back asap. I know I missed a ton of other amazing activities but with only a few days we didn’t have a ton of time to do everything. Add your favorites below so we can help spread the word!

St. Patty’s Day with Jane Boutique

We are a holiday crazed family – Any and all holidays we can celebrate we do and we go all. out.

And while shopping on my favorite online boutique, Jane, I found some leather shamrock earrings and a leopard print shamrock shirt which inspired me to do a little recipe / item brag ;). The t-shirt is currently my favorite right now because it’s super cute and crazy comfortable! Grabbed both for under $20, y’all know how thrifty I am so I’m mega proud of these finds and that’s why I wanted to humble brag 😉

Every St. Patty’s Day I do an amazing paleo shepherds pie and a special drink for the kiddos. They love it and look forward to it every season! They help me grab all the ingredients for their leprechaun sorbet and run around me as I bake their shepherd’s pie. It’s a tradition I’ll never forget from their younger years and I’m trying to relish in the craziness. 😉

I made them early so I can share the love and maybe help you start a new tradition with your family (especially with this cold snap). Enjoy and let me know if you try it and what you thought/what you tried differently!

Did I mention I also got that fab shamrock garland from Jane, too?! After this amazing meal we enjoyed our usual leprechaun sorbet and they loved it!

It’s simply ::

mint ice cream, sprite, whipped cream, green sprinkles, and rainbow gummies!

All of this thanks to Jane Boutique and this fun season! Happy St. Patty’s Day, everyone!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own!)

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Hey y’all! I’m teaming up with my Realtor, Kris VanBuskirk, to promote a great opportunity she is offering! A Valentine’s Day dinner, delivered straight to your door!

𝐓𝐨 𝐄𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫:

✔ You must be following me (@simplykaraliz) and my friend over at (@Kris_Sells_CO) on Instagram.

✔ Find this photo on @kris_sells_co page and post/comment with your Valentine’s Day plans 💋

✔ Tag a friend for an extra entry


• Winner will be chosen on February 10th
• Restaurant options will be provided depending on the location of the winner
• Dinner amount will be covered up to $100.
• 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒏 𝒏𝒐 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒂𝒔𝒔𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒎. #giveaway

Manscaped

This Valentines Day SAVE 20% at MANSCAPED.com, the first and leading men’s below-the-waist grooming and hygiene brand, offers a full line of products that have quickly become a staple and daily ritual of more than 1,000,000 consumers in the U.S., plus thousands more in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

The Shears 2.0 set includes:
– Slant Tip Tweezers
– Rounded-Tip Scissors
– Fingernail Clippers
– Medium Grit Nail File

The Lawn Mower 3.0 + The Perfect Package 3.0 — Essentials for Below-the-Waist Grooming
The Lawn Mower 3.0 is an ultra-premium trimmer designed for groin and body trimming. ($79.99 on manscaped.com)

But Wait, There’s More: If you are looking for only the best tools and formulations for your nether regions, we suggest The Perfect Package 3.0, our carefully crafted kit that houses all the essentials for properly tending to the groin area. ($79.99 on manscaped.com)

The Perfect Package 3.0 includes:

The Lawn Mower 3.0 – The cornerstone of a refined & elevated grooming regime
Crop Preserver – Ball deodorant uniquely formulated to help reduce odor for up to 24 hours
Crop Reviver – Refreshing ball toner spray infused with cooling aloe perfect for active lifestyles
Magic Mat – Set of three disposable shaving mats
The Shed – Luxury travel + storage bag
MANSCAPED Boxers – Get comfy in these soft, chafe-relieving boxer briefs

**NEW** The Crop Care Kit – Just the Lotions & Potions
Already have The Lawn Mower 3.0 trimmer? Then this bundle is a must. Housing all of MANSCAPED’s best-selling formulations this line-up is sure to take your grooming routine to the next level. ($44.99 on manscaped.com)

Crop Preserver- Ball deodorant is a thing, and it’s life-changing.
Crop Reviver- Ball toner is also a thing. Spritz spritz!
Crop Cleanser- Hair + body wash done right.
Crop Mop- Portable wet wipes for balls, butt, and body.
Foot Duster(free gift) – Foot deodorant to show the feet some love, too!

The Weed Whacker Luxury Nose + Ear Hair Trimmer –
Introducing our revolutionary electric ear and nose hair trimmer, The Weed Whacker. This premium trimmer is a technological masterpiece, redesigning the traditional nose hair trimmer by focusing on maximum performance and comfort, and offering a sleek, ultramodern design. ($39.99 on manscaped.com)

Standout Features:

Proprietary SkinSafe Technology helps prevent nicks, snags and tugs.
Powerful 600mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery lasts for up to 90 minutes of use.
Premium 9,000 RPM motor powers 360-degree rotary dual-blade system.

Our intelligently designed and developed product range includes precision-engineered tools, unique formulations and accessories that ensure a simple and effective male grooming routine.

Go to https://www.manscaped.com/gifting and automatically receive 20% off all orders

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Lessonface Violin Classes

For Christmas I got a violin – I’ve been wanting to learn for years but I always made excuses that I wouldn’t have enough time. I was surprised when I opened up a large box for Christmas and saw a beautiful Maestro violin staring right back at me. I was so excited I immediately tried playing it, much to my Husband’s chagrin.. Obviously I needed classes.

I looked around at virtual classes and worried none of them would work for me, how could someone be able to coach me, a complete newbie, properly via zoom? Didn’t seem right (Apparently, I’m old) but I read reviews about LessonFace and they were raved about. So I gave them a try.

They do 1 on 1 lessons and passes (group classes that meet every week to build on previous lessons). So I jumped on a group violin class and immediately loved my teacher. She was patient, helpful and was able to help me tune my violin and correct my posture. This was only in my first lesson and I already felt more comfortable and way more excited for more lessons.

Learning a new instrument part of your New Years resolution? Sign up for the Master Pass, for access for your household to all 300+ live classes per month with phenomenal teachers. The Pass is only $19 for your first month, then $49/month going forward. Take live classes in music, language, and more, join warmup sessions on a daily basis, and make great progress along with your fellow students and teachers.

They have so many different instruments to choose from with an amazing deal to help get your littles (or yourself) familiar with music lessons that they can do from the comfort of their home. Super convenient and a great sense of normalcy, especially during these times! Great teachers, great classes, guaranteed!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Lifetime Fitness

This quarantine has been rough on the waistband. Like, really rough. Between stress eating, happy eating and the holidays being in the mix it’s been a struggle not to binge. Binge watching the Mandalorian with a bag of personal popcorn is pretty legit but I was feeling myself becoming foggy brained, sluggish and slow. I had no energy and no motivation. I’m sure most people felt this way – It’s been rough, hasn’t it?

I kept telling myself I couldn’t workout because I’d be interrupted by the boys and my old gym still hadn’t opened their kid’s center. But at one point when I looked around the house and saw piles of untouched mess I realized I needed to get off my butt. I deep cleaned my house, donated toys, clothes, and restarted a nightly beauty regimen. I was starting to feel like myself again, but I still wasn’t liking what I saw in the mirror.

I decided to make a change. I went back to strictly eating paleo and decided to look around at gyms. Due to COVID I was limited in my options due to the restrictions on child care and with three boys and a working Husband there was no way to make it work unless I found some help.

Then I stumbled upon Lifetime fitness.. They said their Kid’s Academy was open so I decided to tour it. I walked into a gorgeous facility that radiated class. It was clean, professional and pristinely high end. The staff at the Kid’s Academy had classes planned, safety/health precautions in place and made the kiddos feel so welcome.

There were so many wonderful classes to choose from and an array of amenities available. This place felt too good to be true. And that was a month ago. I signed up on the spot and have been going multiple times a week ever since. Hudson has been having a blast participating in events like Polar Express Christmas Eve party, New Years Eve party and so much more. It’s been like another home for all of us. With a built in spa, a cafe, and a pool (with kid’s swimming lessons, I might add) It’s felt like a little bit of normalcy again, for all of us.

I can’t say enough about how incredible this has been for all of our mental health – And I have more energy than I can ever remember having. Eating better, drinking more water, exercising regularly and mental health in check, this place has been a lifesaver.

This is not even an ad, only a referral because I know so many people would benefit from the effects this place brings. You’ll never want to leave. Especially the in-locker-room hot tub.

Start your journey today, here. To better mental health, more energy, and you time. I mean, we love time with our kiddos but they love having them time too, you know?

An International Camp Experience!

Give the gift of soccer camp this holiday season! After being stuck in quarantine, the coaches at Challenger Sports are excited to get back on the field playing and teaching the game they love! Hudson is so excited to get back on the field with these amazing coaches, especially after a long year of no sports.

Sign-up in December and receive a free custom player poster that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your child’s face! Along with your free poster, you will receive a jersey, camp t-shirt, and soccer ball! We still have our soccer ball from years ago because it’s such high quality and I may have gotten a jersey for myself too because they’re so comfortable and cute 😉

Register today at https://www.challengersports.com/summer-camps/

#ChallengerSports #EarlyBirdOffer

Boiron Meltaway Tablets

Y’all – These holiday treats have been crushing me. I love pecan pie more than the next guy but I’ve got no self control lately! I’ve been having to take some heartburn relief lately but had trouble finding one that actually worked that didn’t have crummy ingredients. Thankfully found Boiron! They had a wide range of comfort tablets that have been a lifesaver.

Heartburn relief for me and gas/bowel tablets for my Father in law who has been happily eating all of the holiday treats I bake 😉 Alongside the Boiron tablets I’ve been trying to make my comfort foods a little less.. Comfort-y 😉 Sharing my paleo green chili recipe. This healthy recipe helps with all of those digestive issues and is delicious but happy I had Boiron – I’m sure I’ll need it again for Christmas 😉

Simplykaraliz’ Paleo Green Chili

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  • 1 lbs of Shredded Pork or Any meat of your choice (Mine was leftovers from Crockpot Pork I made)
  • 7 Hatch Green Chilis
  • 2 1/2 cups Organic Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Cilantro, half bunch
  • 1 can of diced green chilies
  • Handful / Or 1 Full Jalapeño
  • 2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt
  1. In a large pot, melt your coconut oil and add your diced onions and minced garlic. Cook until your onions are brown.
  2. Add the cumin, paprika and black pepper to the mixture and combine.
  3. Add your chicken broth and meat, bring to a boil.
  4. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer.
  5. Cut up your chilis and peppers (if applicable) and throw into pan. Cook them until blackened.
  6. Put chilis, jalapeños, juice from your lime and cilantro into the blender to desired consistency (I like mine smooth but a little bit chunky)
  7. Add your blend and your can of diced green chilis to the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour.

(Anymore time will make it really dry, can add more broth at any point if needed)


Chebe Bread – Rolls

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  • Chebe Focaccia Bread Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Almond Milk

Follow directions on the box – However, if you want the rolls: Oil a muffin pan and place pieces of the batter in the bottom of each muffin tin and spread till it fills the bottom. And bake for 25 minutes at 375°F.

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Hello Bello Diapers

This is not a paid ad. I’ve been using Hello Bello diapers for the boys since they were 1 month old. We were initially gifted Huggies and Pampers, both of which caused allergic reactions and leaked terribly. We searched around and tried Honest diapers, which were fab but way too expensive for twins diaper buying.

That’s when we found Hello Bello diapers. They are plant based, hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, chlorine free and started this company with the motto that everyone deserves premium diapers, not just those who can afford them.

I fell in love with their philosophy.. Also, when I realized it was a company created by Dax Shepherd and Kristen Bell I was ecstatic.. Have I mentioned I’m a big Kristen Bell fan? So we gave them a try and have not turned back since.

We buy all Hello Bello products from their diapers, wipes, lotions, body wash, etc. Their items have never caused reactions to the boy’s sensitive skin and we are signed up for their subscription service so we choose our adorable prints every month and they’re delivered right to our door so no last minute outages and store runs with stinky baby in tow.

Again, this is not an ad, I just genuinely love this company and their products so wanted to share the love and my referral code for $15 a Hello Bello diaper bundle! I promise you’ll never wanna go back to another brand.

I mean.. How cute are these prints?!