Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Tedeschi Trucks Band

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Tedeschi Trucks Band is one of my personal favorites to see because of the amazing guitar playing skills that Derek Trucks has. I will admit that I am normally a bass girl but it is completely beyond me how someone does not become mesmerized as they are watching him play. It truly is an experience happening in live music that might not happen again. It is something that you have to see if you are a fan of live music!!

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The band has an impressive line up of musicians touring with them. The band includes Derek Trucks (guitar), Susan Tedeschi (guitar & vocals), Kofi Burbridge (keyboards & flute), Tyler Greenwell (drums & percussion), JJ Johnson (drums & percussion), Mike Mattison (harmony vocals), Mark Rivers (harmony vocals), Kebbi Williams (saxophone), Maurice Brown (trumpet), Saunders Sermons (trombone), and Tim Lefebvre (bass guitar).

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Derek Trucks has been touring since he was just a kid, a kid with an unusually amazing talent. His slide guitar skills have impressed big names in the music world and some of the world’s most famous guitar players have talked about his amazing slide guitar skills. He has played with an impressive line up of artists including fellow guitar legends, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

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As a teenager he formed The Derek Trucks band and toured throughout the US. He averaged over 200 shows each year during his teens. This was an amazing time of development for him as an artist and guitar player. By 1999 he was touring with The Allman Brothers Band. He also played as part of the Allman Brothers Band. He has earned two Grammys for his musical pursuits including one for Revelator and a Lifetime Achievment Award for the time that he spent with The Allman Brothers Band. At his age (he’s just 33!!) he is one of the youngest living musicians to ever earn this impressive achievement.

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Susan Tedeschi has noted for her earthy bluesy sound which has earned her an award. After joining a gospel choir while she was in college she decided to persue her love of music. She has opened for a list of music legends including Bob Dylan (one of my personal favorites!), the Rolling Stones, and John Mellencamp.

Together the pair front the Tedeschi Trucks Band and you can be sure that their music is going to continue to progress and impress the masses. If you have not had the pleasure of seeing them live then I would highly recommend checking them out any time that you can. For me, I will be in the crowds at the Phases of the Moon Festival.


(All photos were taken from the band’s website.)

Phases of the Moon Preview — The Steepwater Band

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Have you ever heard a song that reminded of you of something but you could not quite place your finger on it? Did you try to place that song and end up rationalizing that maybe you heard it in a dream? This is exactly how I felt when I first heard The Steepwater Band’s soulful “Lord Knows.” It was like even though I was hearing it for the first time, I was hearing something that I had already heard.

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The Steepwater Band first got their start back in 1998. They are well known on the Chicago music scene and are a favorite of many. I would highly recommend that you catch them if they are in your area. Their current schedule is pretty busy and they are playing throughout the Midwest. They are even playing our “hometown” on Halloween night so I am going to see if we can get a sitter and head out after we are done trick-or-treating with the kiddos.

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Current Schedule
9/12 – Phases of the Moon Festival Danville IL (I will be live here and am sure going to catch The Steepwater Band.)
9/13 – Backyard BBQ Festival Glen Ellyn IL
9/20 – Maplestock Maple Park IL
9/23 – Uncle Buck’s Salisbury NC
9/24 – One Stop Asheville NC
9/25 – Whitewater Center Charlotte NC
9/26 – Lucky’s Valdosta GA
9/27 – Maple Leaf New Orleans LA
10/4 – Martyrs’ with London Souls Chicago IL
10/15 – Beale on Broadway St Louis MO
10/16 – Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival Ozark AR
10/17 – Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern with Cedric Burnside Starkville MS
10/18 – Rum Boogie Memphis TN
10/21 – Harlem Avenue Lounge Jeff Massey Solo Acoustic Berwyn IL
10/24 – Shank Hall Milwaukee WI
10/25 – Malarkey’s Wausau WI
10/29 – High Noon Saloon Madison WI
10/31 – Limelight Eventplex with Matthew Curry Peoria IL
11/1 – Gas Lamp Des Moines IA
11/22 – The Rathskeller Indianapolis IN
1/3 – Leroy’s Hot Stuff Porter IN

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The band plays a lot of live shows together and averages 140 shows each year. They have averaged this number of shows for the past sixteen years that they have been playing together. The band is original and plays their own unique music. They play something that is completely different than what other bands are playing. They play music that you can not help but enjoy when you are listening to them and seeing them live is a real treat. I am excited to be seeing the band in the next few days and hope that you will take the time to check them out if you are at the Phases of the Moon Festival with me.

Rainy Day Fun with ALEX Toys

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

It’s raining, it’s pouring!!! That’s right it is a rainy day. So now I am stuck in the house with my four children all day long…the dread, the horror….oh wait! I know what we will do…that’s right we will have some rainy day fun thanks to ALEX Toys.

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ALEX Toys has such a fun imaginative line of toys that I love them so much! My kids NEVER tire of their ALEX Toys and I am constantly impressed with the overall quality that the line has. I love that they offer so much that you can really keep kids of all ages busy on even the yuckiest day outside. My kids are active and even they do not get bored when we are playing with their ALEX Toys.
Tips for Rainy Day Fun
Tip 1 – Choose a Toy that Will Help Your Child Use Their Imagination

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The ALEX Toys Color A Rocket ($37.95) is the perfect toy for your child to use to help them with exploring their imagination. This toy is actually created by your child. They get to color and decorate the rocket in any way that they want. Plus they can play inside of it. The durable cardboard allows for months of play and your child is going to love their new play place.
Tip 2 – Choose Toys That Are Age Appropriate

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One of the things that I love the most about ALEX Toys is that I can find something for each of my children from them. This is not common since I have children who are between the ages of 2 and 11. I love that my 2 ½ year old can play with sets like the Crafty Fashion Show ($18.95) with my help. I also love that my 6 year old can use sets like this one and My Pretty Mosaic ($11.95) to entertain herself.

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Tip 3 – Choose Something They Love

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My children love monsters. I love that I was able to find the Paper Bag Monsters ($11.95) set from ALEX Toys. This set is one that we have not used yet but I am sure that it is going to be a ton of fun for my 4 children to create their own monsters.
Tip 4 – Choose Something That You Can Create a Lesson With

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I do not homeschool but many of my friends do.

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I think that homeschool parents would love sets like the Clothespin Farm ($11.95) from ALEX Toys.

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I was able to use this with my four and two and a half year old one rainy day.

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We read a few books about farms, talked about them, and then sang “Old McDonald’s Farm” together.

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Then we created this adorable farm family together. We had so much fun!!

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Tip 5 – Have a Fun Photo Booth at Home

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When things get boring there is no end to what you can come up with from ALEX Toys. One of my favorite things is Silly Photo Booth ($13.95). This set features a number of items that your child can use to create unique photo booth props.


Tip 6 — Choose Something Your Child Can Build

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Another set that I LOVE from ALEX Toys is the My Crafty Cars ($17.95).  I love that this set allows my boys to build their own cars and decorate them.  They can use what is included or even come up with a creative and unique design that is all their own.

Finding great toys to keep your kids busy on rainy days is easy and something that can be so much fun.

It Works, It Really Works!! A Little About My First Two Weeks with Plexus!!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I am going to let you know that I have tried every diet imaginable since Adeline was born. I have struggled so much and have tried everything that seems healthy and even those that were not healthy. What I am going to tell you is that I have finally found something that works for me. I can not believe that the answer was this easy and that I have actually lost 8 lbs in the past two weeks. Now to be 100% honest I lost the 8 lbs in the first week that I was on Plexus. I did it just like I was supposed to, drank the drink each day, and I saw some amazing results.
Now fast forward to the second week. I did not do everything that I should. I was on a ton of medicine for my ear infection and was too busy feeling sorry for myself to be able to eat healthy and do the things that I should. I binged on ice cream, didn’t take the Plexus everyday and still am down the 8 lbs that I lost. I am so beyond excited to know that I have found something that works. I can guarantee you that starting today I am really going to try because I have found what is working for me, what is helping my body and what is really helping me to be what I need to be.

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This month I am taking the Plexus Boost, Plexus Slim and Plexus Xfactor. While I do not plan on continuing with all of them, I will be purchasing at least the Plexus Slim in enough time to make sure that I have it each and every week that I am trying to lose weight.
What I have noticed is that when I drink the Plexus Slim I feel good. I feel motivated to work out. I feel better than I have since Adeline was born. What I have not felt is bad and worn out like I do each and every day that I do not drink the Plexus Slim. It motivates me to want to work out and do better for myself. It does something for me that not other products have ever done for me.

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After all of my continuous struggles with weight loss I am pretty shocked that the answer lies in a drink. I mean, how easy is that? I know that the promise of Plexus Slim is that it is a healthy drink that makes you feel good, helps you lose weight, and helps you to have even blood sugar and more. I have never found something that worked so well while making you feel so great. I can guarantee you that I will not be skipping out on my pink drink anymore and that I will win this battle that I have been fighting for obesity.

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Want to know what’s even better? I am in the running to win $100 for my weight loss journey. That’s right. I joined a 90 day challenge and the winner gets $100 for free just for losing the most weight during their 60 days. I know that I was being dumb last week but my emotions got the better of me and when that happens I self destruct every single time. This time was no different but since I did not gain any weight during my period of self destruction it is making it simple for me to pick up, brush off and jump back on the plan.

If you want your own chance at these amazing results then you have got to contact Shea by emailing at or check out her website here.  I promise that this is one weight loss thing that will not leave you disappointed.  You will feel great and you will lose the weight.

5 Tips for Buying Pearl Earrings

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Whether you’re searching for an eye-popping accessory or just upgrading your jewelry collection at home, you’ll want to make sure that your pearl earrings are of the highest quality. Here are just five tips for selecting a pair that’s gorgeous and durable.

Kozzi-a-mature-couple-on-the-sofa-talking--883 X 5885 Tips for Buying Pearl Earrings

1: Examine Its Surface

The best pearls are unblemished and smooth to the touch. Note that different pearls come in different shapes, so you shouldn’t judge, say, a Tahitian pearl for baroque-style asymmetry. Look instead for cracks, chips or scratches that visibly mar the pearl’s surface. For premium pearls, you can also insist on magnification to make sure there are no imperfections invisible to the eye, either.

2: Look for Quality Certification

AAA quality is one of the highest certifications in fine jewelry, though you can also go a few rungs lower for more affordable prices without sacrificing too much quality. Just don’t waste your time with anything below AA+ certification. Let AA+ be your cutoff when dealing with pearls.

3: Consider Color

Despite the popularity of the small white Akoya pearl, they actually come in a variety of colors. For example, the most famous type of South Sea pearl is the golden pearl, and Tahitian pearls can be everything from blue to black. Don’t limit your options based on what you think a pearl should look like. Explore all shades and shines for a pair of earrings that will make a statement everywhere you go.

4: Think About The Back

How do the earrings fasten at the back? Is there a hooking or latching mechanism? What kind of material is it made from, and what certification is it? Earring backs can differ wildly depending on the weight and style of the pearl, but if you like one kind above all others, you might be able to custom-order your chosen earrings with your favorite back.

5: Pick Your Extras

Unless they’re simple studs, many pearl earrings come with additional features like diamonds or semi-precious stones inlaid around the pearl. They might also be made out of 14-24K gold depending on the brand. When buying earrings with these extras, think about the cut, quality and longevity of both the gems and the pearls themselves.

These are just five tips for buying a great pair of pearl earrings. Visit sites like National Pearl ( for more options, including other branches of pearl jewelry that include necklaces, bracelets and pendants.

Win Your Own Combi Kobuk!!!

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Do you want your child to be as safe as possible? Do you long for the right type of car seat to keep your little one safe? If so then the Kobuk can definitely be the one that you are looking for. We love ours and you can read the review that we did as well as see a little video to see if your child is the right size for the car seat here.

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So right now I am excited to be offering you a chance to win your own Combi Kobuk. This car seat is the best booster seat that I have ever seen or ever used. I am so excited to be sharing the chance for you to have your own.


So cross your fingers (and maybe your toes too!) so that you can hopefully win this amazing car seat for your little one.


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Phases of the Moon — The Things You Must See and Music You Must Hear

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

The Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival is going to be an amazing time of fun for all of those who are in attendance. I am going to be traveling to the festival with some of my favorite people in the world, my husband and our three children. There are so many things to check out at the festival grounds that I thought that I would share some of the must see places and highlights from each of the day’s schedules at the festival.

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Must Check Out Places
The Sanctuary –
The Sanctuary is a must for festival goers as it is going to feature the world of natural healing along with massage and relaxation. I know that this is going to be a must see attraction to unwind and try and find your own spiritual oasis while attending the festival.
Participation Row –
Want to get involved in a great new campaign? Looking for an organization to volunteer your time with? If you answered yes to either of these, Participation Row is the place to be. They will have a number of organizations represented where you can reach out and get involved.
Crescent Moon Kids Camp –
This is the place to be if you are parents. I am sure that we will spend a fair amount of time here in between the music and other live performances that we want to see. So check it out and let me know what you did with your kids there. Maybe we will run into each other and if you have little ones maybe they can spend some time making new friends with my little ones.
Live Painter’s Row –
This is where you can go watch amazing artwork in action. I love to paint but do not consider myself to be an artist although I attempt to be. I am sure that I will be able to find true inspiration in the Live Painter’s Row.
The Further Bus –
If you follow the blog then you probably saw the piece that I wrote about the 50th Anniversary of the Further Bus. This is something that I have to check out and I am sincerely hoping that I run into Zane Kesey while I am there as his father has been instrumental in my discovering myself and who I want to be.
Gong Sanctuary –
Lay down and allow yourself to be immersed in the vibrations from the gongs. This is one unique experience that you might not find anywhere else.
Branches Mobile Gallery –
A mobile art gallery that you can go to and enjoy. The Branches Mobile Gallery is a one of a kind artistic experience unlike any other that you might see.
My Schedule for Music at Phases of the Moon –
Thursday –
2 pm – David Gans & the Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Harvest Stage
3:30 pm – The California Honeydrops at the Full Moon Stage
5 pm – The Revivalists at the New Moon Stage
5:30 pm – Big Fun Circus at Harvest Moon (this is a must for the kiddos!!)
6:30 pm – Chris Robinson Brotherhood at the Full Moon Stage
8:15 pm – Galactic at the New Moon Stage
10:15 pm – String Cheese Incident at the Full Moon Stage
My hubby and I have to switch up the late night shows that we go to so on Thursday after I have the hubby help me back to the campsite with the kiddos I am sending him to check out the following for me.
12:30 am – Soulive at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:30 am – Rumpke Mountain Boys at the Town Square Stage

Friday –
Since my husband is going to the late night shows on Thursday I plan on packing up early and heading out with the kiddos on Friday morning so that he can sleep in a bit. In all honesty my hope is that he will repay the favor to me after I have had a late night on Friday.
Friday morning the kids and I will be checking out the Sound Immersion Experience and the kids camp area. I am not sure that we are going to check it out on Thursday because we are so busy with shows but Friday morning as soon as that kids camp opens I can almost guarantee that we are going to be there.
9 am – Family Yoga at the Yoga Area
10:30 am – David Gans Solo at the Townsquare Stage
12 pm – Dumpstaphunk at the New Moon Stage
1:45 pm – Jackie Green (this lasts until 3:15 pm and I am not sure how much I will catch because of a conflict) at the Full Moon Stage
2 pm – Aerial Gypsies Stilt Parade (I think that the kids will love this one!!) at the Harvest Moon Stage
3:30 pm – Anders Osborne at the New Moon Stage
4:30 pm – Brothers Comatose at the Town Square Stage
5:30 pm – JJ Grey and MOFRO at the Full Moon Stage
6 pm – Matt Schofield at the Town Square Stage
7:15 pm – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the New Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Sam Bush Band at the Town Square Stage
9 pm – The String Cheese Incident at the Full Moon Stage
11 pm – Lunar Conspiracy Landing at the Full Moon Stage (this is going to be amazing since SCI is curating it!)
12:45 am – The Steepwater Band at the Town Square Stage

Saturday –
10 am – Steady Flow at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:30 pm – Jeff Austin Band at the New Moon Stage
3:40 pm – Leftover Salmon at the Full Moon Stage
5:05 pm – Jackie Green at the New Moon Stage
6:25 pm – Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Full Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Nomadic Circus at the Harvest Moon Stage (I am pretty sure that I will be attending this one alone and leaving the kids and husband to watch the show at the New Moon Stage!)
7:45 pm – Tedeschi Trucks Band at the New Moon Stage
9:45 pm – Widespread Panic at the Full Moon Stage (I am pretty sure that the hubs is going to be back at the campsite for this one to give our kiddos a much needed earlier night!)
12:30 am – Moon Hooch at the Harvest Moon Stage
2:15 am – Poor Man’s Whiskey (Dark Side of the Moonshine)
2:45 am – Cornmeal Ramble at the Town Square (I am pretty pumped about this late night and super pumped that this is going to be my late night to hang out!!)

Sunday –
10 am – Poor Man’s Whiskey at the Harvest Moon Stage
11:30 am – Leon Russel at the Full Moon Stage
2:30 pm – Vintage Trouble at the Full Moon Stage
3 pm – Futurebirds at the Town Square Stage
4:15 pm – Robert Randolph and the Family Band at the Full Moon Stage
6 pm – Cornmeal at the Town Square Stage
6 pm – Gov’t Mule at the Full Moon Stage
7:30 pm – Jeff Austin Band
7:45 pm – Railroad Earth

We have to head back home on Sunday night to get back into the bump and grind of things so I see us taking off after the Railroad Earth performance.

Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Gov’t Mule

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Gov’t Mule is a soulful act that features the beautiful velvety smooth vocals from Warren Haynes with some amazing guitar playing skills. I have seen Gov’t Mule quite a few times over the years and have never been disappointed when I have attended a show or festival and seen them live. The band has been one that I have been seeing live and like many of the bands at the Phases of the Moon Festival it is one that I am excited to check out again.

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I will be honest that I am not usually the type of person that likes the rock/blues genre that I feel like Gov’t Mule fits into. That being said there are songs that Gov’t Mule plays that simply melt my heart and take me away to a special time in my life. I am a huge fan of the song “Soulshine.” There is just something about hearing this song that takes me back to the happiest moments in my life. It makes me feel carefree and helps me forget about any of the struggles or worries that I might be facing in a day. If I am having a bad dad I can turn on “Soulshine” for an instant pick me up.
This is one of the songs that has inspired me to travel out into the world interviewing fans, and hopefully soon interviewing artists about the overall impact that their music has. Music has such a connection with me that it is something that I can not live without. I am always listening to music and constantly singing to my children. I love being able to share my favorites with them and to be able to share with them what these songs mean to me.

(from the dAiLaN89 channel on YouTube)
As for the song and my personal stance.  “Soulshine” has been a guiding light on dark paths in my life.  It has been the wind beneath my wings when I have needed to fly.  It has been the spirit that has kept me moving when I did not think that I could go on.  It has been a memory that is distant and then a new memory again.  It has been a song that has meant a lot to my life and one that has helped to carry me through some of my most troubled times.  All in all I so grateful for the band for sharing this song with me.  I am thankful that they put this out there in hopes that the fans would like it because it really has been one of the songs that has been the most life changing for me.

 Gov't Mule

I love that I have allowed the music of Gov’t Mule to take me to new places in my life. I have enjoyed learning about the band and their musical influences as well. I have read a lot of interviews with Mr Haynes that have talked about the amazing musical influence that he found with the Grateful Dead and other bands. The fact that he has been able to move up in the musical world and play with these bands that were such an influence on him have had to be such surreal experiences and times of joy as a fan. They have had to be times when he has felt pride and significant happiness about where his career has landed him.
I am hopeful that I will get to hear my favorite while we are at the Phases of the Moon Festival. I hope to check out what I am sure is going to be a great performance by the band. I am also very excited to be able to have my children experience Gov’t Mule for the first time. I think that they are going to enjoy dancing and I know for certain that they will enjoy recognizing a few of mommy’s favorite songs.

Phases of the Moon Artist Preview — Cornmeal

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

First off I have to let you know that I have been a Cornmeal fan for many years. I saw them for the first time just over ten years ago in Champaign, IL. I continued seeing them for years and was even a member of their street team from 2005-2007. I had so much fun going to shows and telling others all about the amazing music that the band played. I have seen them at festivals, in small bars, going from the Campfire Stage to the bigger stages at Summer Camp. I even camped next to them one year back in the day. So as I have been listening to them I have gotten to experience the evolution of their music. I will admit that I was sad at the departure of the Nowak brothers and Allie. However, I will state that I have been impressed with the continued endeavors of a few of the originals to keep the band together. The new band is impressive to see and if you had not known the original you would still fall in love with them.

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They bring a fun new spin on your grandpa’s bluegrass. They are a fun band and I can assure you that when I see them I will be dancing in the crowd. In addition to my own enjoyment I have three little ones who will be attending the Phases of the Moon Festival with me. They all have grown up listening to Cornmeal and are sure to enjoy these shows just as much as mom and dad do.

(from the cornmealinthekitchen channel on You Tube)

Cornmeal has been an integral part of my growing up. I saw them for the first time before I was 21. I was not not even old enough to drink when I started going to see them. Years later, they are still one of my favorite bands to go and see.


(Photo by Norman Sands and taken from Cornmeal’s webpage)

In addition to being a part of me growing up, Cornmeal has been with me through many really exciting life experiences. I was able to take my oldest to see them on the Campfire Stage at Summer Camp for his first festival. My middle two also got to experience the joy that was Cornmeal at their first festivals. My husband and I went and saw Cornmeal in St Louis for our first show together.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories that I have had seeing Cornmeal with my family and friends. I am hopeful that I will continue to make new memories with the band and that my children will also have their own memories to cherish as they grow up.

Now for some fun. When it comes to Cornmeal, there are certain songs that I am hoping to hear. I’m hoping to hear “When the World’s Got You Down” and “Girl with the Long Brown Hair.”

Phases of the Moon — Packing Tips if You Are Coming with Children

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Let’s face it going to any festival with your children is a little bit more work than the days when you got to go alone. No longer can you fit everything for a weekend into one backpack and one cooler. It becomes a long process to get there but the family memories that you make and create are going to be completely worth the effort that it takes.

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This year I am traveling to the Phases of the Moon Festival with my husband and three of our children (my oldest will be with his dad that weekend) who are between the ages of 2 ½ and 6. Will it be hard at times? Yes. However I can assure you that our children love seeing live music and will have the time of their lives at the festival.

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The biggest tip that I would have for families who are traveling to Phases of the Moon is to be prepared and make your lists now. I know it is more than a week away but you will not be sorry when you have lists ready and know exactly what you will be packing for the trip.
I am going to share my lists and tips here so that they might be beneficial to someone else.
Camping Gear
Camping gear is a necessity when you are camping. We are huge fans of the Kelty brand at my house and here are the Kelty products that we have which make up our camping gear.

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1. A big Family Sized Tent (We love our Parthenon 8 from Kelty. This tent is amazing, has plenty of room for a family, and is moderately easy to set up—we don’t end up yelling at each other during the set up time although I might walk away one or two times!)

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2. A Shade Tent (We love the Bug Blocker from Kelty. Another one that is simple to set up, provides shade, and protection from bugs while you are enjoying the day or evening at your campsite.)


3. A Small “Play” Tent (This is one of my biggest tips for families. Get yourself a small shade type of tent that has a lot of open space. We love the Kelty Cabana because you can leave the entire front open. This is where we keep all of the kiddos toys and stuff for them to play with so that it is not in the way in our main tent.)

little flower 20big dipperwoobie 30 girlsSB20 womens cosmic down 20

4. Sleeping Bags (We use the following Kelty sleeping bags – Little Flower 20, Little Dipper 30, Woobie 30, SB20, Women’s Cosmic Down 20. Each one is perfect for keeping us warm all night long!)

basecamp kitchen

5. Basecamp Kitchen (A basecamp kitchen is a great place to organize all of your kitchen essentials and other goodies. I keep my paper plates, silverwear, papertowels, spare TP, and more in ours so that we can always find everything that we need with ease.)
6. A Table (We love the Kelty Delux Rolltop Table which is the most high quality camping table that I have ever seen. I love that it is sturdy enough for all of us to eat at or that we can play cards when we are relaxing and letting the kids play.)
7. Lanterns (Again with the Kelty gear…I tell you what the gear may cost a bit more but it is the perfect gear for families. The reason that I love it so much is that it can withstand all of the abuse that my children put it through when we are camping and playing around. We have the Flashback, Flashback Mini, and Luma Spot Rhythm as part of our camping gear.
8. Extra Blankets – (We always take a few comforters, sheets, and a blanket for each kiddo in the tent. When attending festivals we take an extra blanket for each kiddo to have at late night shows or when they want something to snuggle up on.
9. Picnic Blankets (We love waterproof picnic blankets. My favorite ones come from Initials Inc. We have two of these and take them to every show that we see. We have enough room for all of us and even a few friends who may decide to travel and camp with us.)
10. Chairs (Chairs are another necessity when you are traveling with kiddos to a festival. My favorite choices are the Kelty Deluxe Lounge Chair—seriously the most comfortable folding chair you could ever find, Kelty Essential Chair, and Kids Chairs. We also take the Camp Chairs with us as we can easily carry these to the festival’s stage areas to sit on there.)
11. Battery Operated Fans (This is another essential with children. We have a few large sized ones and the kids each have their own hand held ones when we travel. They also love the spray bottles with the fans on them.)
I know that this might seem like a lot to travel with but when you have the right luggage it is not that bad. I use the One Trip Wonder (again from Initials Inc) to put all of the sheets, kids’ extra blankets, lanterns, and small gear in. I also use the large sized utility tote from Thirty-One to put all of our kitchen gear in.

Filling Those Coolers
I have easy tips to make filling your coolers simple. Plan a menu! Know what you are going to eat and when. Prepare your coolers this way so that the foods that you will eat later will be the foods that are on the bottom. Use one cooler for food, one for family drinks and a small one for the fun stuff (booze! Remember Phases campers that glass bottles are not permitted.) Personally we take our food for breakfast and lunch. We take all of the snacks that our kiddos are going to need. Then we take plenty of water (a few cases for all of us!!) and make sure that we have Camelbaks packed too!! We also take refillable water bottles (one per person!).
Although I have not finalized our Phases menu I am guessing that it is going to look something like this. This is all easily prepared and stuff that does not have to be heated up.
Breakfast—mini donuts, fruit
Lunch – sandwiches (lunch meat, pb & preserves, cheese, veggies…whatever looks/sounds good at the store), veggies n dip, chips
Breakfast—pop tarts, fruit
Lunch – pasta salad, sandwich
Breakfast – small cereal boxes, fruit
Lunch—broccoli slaw salad, lunchables (not something that I normally let the kids eat so they will be excited!)
Breakfast – leftovers from the former 3 days
Lunch – leftovers from the former 3 days

For the Kiddos
1. Backpack of Toys (We give our kids their Kelty Backpacks…we use the Minnow and the Grommet. They get to fill these backpacks with small toys, coloring books, colors/markers/pens, paper and books to use while they are at the festival.)
2. Waterproof Backpacks (We give our kids each their Trunki PaddlePaks so that they can put what they want for each show into this bag. Then they are taking something lightweight with them when we are walking to and from the festival stage.)
3. Ride On Toys (We like to take foldable scooters with us so that the kids have something to ride on and play with when we are at the campgrounds. These are also great to ride to festival stages and can easily be stored in a wagon or in the bottom of the stroller when we are sitting and enjoying a show.)
4. Stroller (I would highly recommend a stroller that is easy to push off roads. I have not owned one yet but the BOB strollers seem to be the best for this purpose.)
5. Wagon (We have two. If we have room we take our Radio Flyer with off road wheels but if we are struggling to find room we end up with the foldable one. Sadly it does not work as well.)
6. Blanket Bag – (We put one stuffed animal and their extra blanket in a small bag for them. I know that this sounds like a lot of bags but keeping things organized and allowing each child to have a place for their things will keep you sane when you are moving your gear from your car to the campsite. I like to use Thirty-One bags or Get a Grips from Initials Inc.)
7. One Ring Pool (Yes we sometimes take a pool with us to festivals. We bring just a simple one ring blow up pool that is easy to use. It is perfect for the kids to get wet in and cool off. I like to have a bucket with us that we can hall water to the pool in about 2 or 3 trips.)

What We Will Wear
So for clothes I am pretty simple when it comes to festivals. First off clothes need to be old and not too nice. I know, I know that might not sound so fun but my children get so dirty at festivals that it is necessary. I take one pair of Pjs and 3 outfits for each day (2 that are for warm weather and one that is for cool weather). I also take hoodies or sweaters. I take the same type of thing for me but not quite as much. I try to pack each child their own clothes bag so that we an keep them all together. I also take a big laundry bag to put all of our dirty clothes in. I take wet bags (leftover from cloth diapering days) to put wet laundry in. If at all possible I try to lay out wet laundry so that it can dry.

I personally like to bring all of the basic toiletries with me and then a few extras. My list includes the following –
1. Toilet Paper
2. Shampoo
3. Conditioner
4. Body Wash
5. Detangling Spray
6. Sunscreen (lots and lots of sunscreen!! You don’t want to run out!)
7. Dry Shampoo
8. Brushes
9. Combs
10. Hair Ties
11. Headbands
12. Bandanas (These are great for hair but are even better to cover your face with if there is a ton of dust at a dry festival!)
13. Medicine Bag (put all of our prescriptions and medications that we might need in one place)
14. First Aid Kit (you’ll probably need bandaids!)
15. Wet Wipes (bring a BIG bag of these with you, you won’t be sorry!)
16. Facial Cleansing Wipes
17. Basics for skin care and make up! (nothing fancy for this mama but I still want to look presentable so I use the basics…foundation, mascara, and funky eyeliner—it’s just fun to use!)
18. Hand Sanitizer
19. Child’s Potty Seat (something small but seriously once you see those port-a-pots you will be happy that you have somewhere clean for your children to go potty)
20. Lysol Spray (yes I use this when we are forced to use the port-a-pots!)
21. Towels (I just take a few small old towels…one per person and maybe one extra!)

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