GIVE HAPPY – Taking My Kiddos to My Hometown

I’m not gonna lie, traveling across the country with a toddler and an infant is not easy. But even though it was really challenging, it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! Getting to spend time in my hometown with my family has been the absolute best. I know many of you guys saw my blog post earlier this week saying that Kevin and I are considering moving out of California. And being home with family right now is reinforcing that even more for me (although we have sooooo much to plan and think about before/if we actually do it). We wouldn’t move back to Massachusetts. I need to be closer to a city than where my mom lives (she lives at least 3 hours away from the closest city). But it definitely got me thinking more about moving to the Chicago area to be near Kevin’s parents. And then I will only be a short two hour flight from my mom, my brother and my sister’s family.

MOLLY AND BLAKE’S OUTFIT’S

1. SWEATER DRESS | 2. CABLE KNIT LEGGINGS | 3. BRONZE BOOTS

LENNON’S OUTFIT

1. HAT | 2. FAIR ISLE SWEATER | 3. JEANS | 4. BRONZE BOOTS

RILEY’S OUTFIT

1. POLAR BEAR ONESIE | 2. BOOTS

Anyway, this trip has been such a gift. Molly has gotten to spend lots of time with her little cousins. They’ve had dance parties. They’ve been playing a ton in the fall leaves that have fallen all around us! (I love the Northeast in the fall!) The kids went to a park. Molly got to visit some chickens! She calls them Hei Hei (from Moana. Ha!) And Molly is just obsessed with everything her cousins do. They were all thrilled when we put them in matching Gymboree outfits! (BTW – Their whole site is on sale right now. The prices are soooo good! Most things are 50% off – many even more! Like Riley’s Polar Bear onesie– it’s OVER 50% off!) And these smiles on their faces are absolutely perfect because this blog post is all about Gymboree’s GIVE HAPPY initiative!

The idea behind this campaign is that the holidays are the time of year to be with family, think of others, pay it forward and spread love! Overall it’s the season to – GIVE HAPPY! And the way we are doing that this week is by giving Molly and Riley the gift of family. There is truly no better gift.

But this is just one small way that we are choosing to GIVE HAPPY to our kids this week. Really the act of giving is something that goes beyond giving to our kids. We plan to give to charity throughout the holiday season and I encourage all of you to do the same! And one really easy way to do that is if you are shopping at Gymboree this holiday season (in store or online) to get any of their super cute kids clothes, while you’re there you can make a monetary donation to Baby2Baby! Even donating a dollar helps! Baby2Baby is a nonprofit that provides low income children everything from diapers to clothing to all of the basic necessities that every child needs and deserves! So Gymboree is supporting them by collecting monetary donations in store and online! So head on over to their website and get a super cute outfit as a gift for a kiddo in your life and support Baby2Baby by making a donation at the same time!

I dress my kids in their stuff all the time! In fact, Molly, Riley and their cousins (Lennon and Blake) are all wearing outfits from Gymboree! Molly and Blake are in matching sweater dresses that are sooo cute I can’t stand it! I put little red cable knit leggings underneath for warmth. Riley is looking as squishy and cute as ever in his polar bear onesie. This little polar bear with his chunky cheeks is ready for hibernating! Ha!

And Lennon’s sweater matches the girls’ sweater dresses. They wore these outfits yesterday and did NOT want to take them off at the end of the day. It seriously makes me so happy I could cry to see them bonding like this and wanting to stay dressed alike 🙂 And they all have the exact same boots on too! That’s another thing I love about Gymboree. Their clothes come in a ton of sizes so it’s easy to have your kids match. What mom doesn’t love that?! Hello photo ops! And they are just really great quality clothes.

And Molly and Riley are wearing Gymboree in the other  below pictures too (the ones with the chickens and them on the swings). I will link all those clothes below the photos! Riley’s “dude” jacket might be my favorite thing he has ever worn (on sale for $22)! And Molly’s cable knit sweater is just the sweetest and on sale for under $20 right now!

MOLLY’S OUTFIT

1. HAT | 2. PINK SWEATER | 3. STRIPED SHIRT | 4. LIGHT WASH JEANS | 5. STAR SNEAKERS

RILEY’S OUTFIT

1. DUDE JACKET | 2. LONG SLEEVE SHIRT | 3. SKINNY JEANS | 4. CUTEST BOOTS EVER!

Today we are taking the kids to a farm in the country to see animals. Loving every minute of this time with my family. I think all in all, it was important for us to do this trip, as challenging as it was to get here, because there is nothing more important than family. And I realize that more and more the older I get. So one day our plan is to be closer to them. Hopefully sooner than later.

Anyway, I would LOOOOVE it if you guys would comment below and tell me how you plan to GIVE HAPPY and spread love this holiday season! This is such a feel good thing to do and talk about so I can’t wait to read all your comments! I will read EVERY one and try to respond to as many as I can!!! Luv you guys!

A bunch more super adorable photos of the kiddos below!

Thoughts

57 thoughts on “GIVE HAPPY – Taking My Kiddos to My Hometown

    1. Ali. Welcome home to Massachusetts, hope u have warm coats and hats , it’s a very frosty one thus morning, Frday 11/9, my backyard in South Hadley MA (just outside Springfield was all frosty) I would really enjoy meeting you and ur family if you’re available, congrats on a successful flight x-country , Enjoy 😊

        1. So happy for you and your family Alie. If I misspelled your name my apologies. Enjoy the cold weather it’s so different but it’s a change to experience different climates in another state. Beautiful family take good care of them because there all you’ve got in this world and they need lots of love. Great family pics and keep exploring never stop, there so much out there for the kiddos. There fortunate to have you as a mom. Keep doing what you’re doing. Xoxo Alie😀

  1. I’m glad you are getting this time with your family! The relationship your kids have with extended family is so important. I hope the move works out for you guys🙂 And what could be better than being able to go to Cubs games all the time?! You’re kids are absolutely adorable! Enjoy your trip and safe travels.

  2. Hi Ali, I am so glad you get to see your family before the holidays! You came to the Berkshires at the right time it is beautiful and hasn’t been raining the past few days! I hope you guys have a great trip while you are here, I highly recommend Hancock shaker village for the kids.
    P.s. it would be so cool if we got to meet while you are here

  3. Hi Ali welcome home to Massachusetts!! Hope u have your warm coats and hats , it’s a frosty one here in South Hadley MA, (outside Springfield) would enjoy meeting you and ur family,

  4. Doesn’t it make you so happy seeing your kids playing with your sisters kids? Family is the most important. Money and fame will not buy you happiness. It’s the family time. I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I think it’s a great place to raise your family.
    I want to teach my kid the importance of giving back. that’s why this holiday season we will pick up tags from the Christmas tree at the church and buy something nice for those in need.

    1. That’s so great that you are doing that with your church. So important to give back. And you are so right. Family time is EVERYTHING!

  5. This is GREAT! Family is EVERYTHING, Ali. If you can be closer to them that is great for the kids and for you guys. My family means the world to me and i can’t see myself moving somewhere far and not having my kids grow up with cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. You can make a home ANYWHERE, whether it is a huge house or a tiny cottage! Those memories with family will mean more than anything else. I think deep down you’ve made up your mind 😉
    All the best!

  6. I absolutely love the cousin photos! My kids and grandkids live in Virginia, in Orlando, in Japan (3 year military assignment) and thankfully some here where I live. So……my grandkids (the cousins) don’t all get together very often. But when they do, they pick right up where they left off and have the best time ever! So we don’t have ALOT of cousin time, but what we have is definitely quality! These days, families can’t all be together like the old days when nobody moved away, and certainly my daughter who is married to a Navy Lieutenant Commander will always be moving around. But we make it work with trips and family events and all the kids LOVE the cousin time! Idea: print some pictures and make Molly a little photo book with her pictures with her cousins for her to flip through and talk about when she gets back home! And again, SUCH sweet sweet photos!

  7. Hi Ali! I just have to tell u my thoughts..

    I didn’t know u until I heard ur name from Kevin from Valentine in the morning. My family went to see them at a moment’s notice once at the station early in the morning during the summer. (not sure if Kevin remembers). Anyway, when I learned u were a bachelorette, I thought maybe Kevin and u will just be casually dating as most “artificial” Hollywood people are. But as time went on and I have followed Kevin on social media (and peeking at urs too), I realized that both of you are very down to earth and normal people as anybody else. Thus, as the saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I love how honest and loving both of you are.” Sure, life struggles are there, but you are so blessed (like I am) to have a partner like Kevin (and I think Jill is too with Ryan). They seem like 2 very well brought up young guys. Kudos to their parents.

    I hope you don’t leave LA but having grown up in a farm in the Philippines myself, I know how precious it is to bring up kids in a different setting with family around and close knit community. If you need some little bits of suggestions in life, just shoot me a note. I have 2 kids (11,15) myself and I’d like to believe that we have raised them good (and luckily, smart) people. At the end, that will be my ultimate pride to say I’ve done a good job.

    Having said all that, enjoy ur family. Don’t worry about life’s troubles. You are blessed and you should be proud of yourself and your young family. Raise them well and everything else is just LIFE.

    1. Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment Bernadette. And thank you for supporting Kevin on the show! And him being on the shoe is the main thing that has kept us in LA. He truly loves it! And thank you for the sweet words about our family. We are grateful beyond words!

      1. I’m not always on social media. I’m just off today that’s why I had the luxury of “browsing”. I just felt I had to say something coz I went thru ur latest blogs and saw that recently u had parenting issue.

        Parenting Tip: (of course, to each his own. This is just mine)
        – your kids (esp Molly) are still very young, at a moldable age. (Riley will just follow how his sister is when the time comes) This is the time u have to put an impressionable image on her. Show her that YOU (and Kevin) are the bosses. She doesn’t know what’s right and wrong yet. You do! Don’t let her run the house. What you say sticks! Learn how to have a stern face and voice. I know you are pretty and it might be hard but put on a straight face when you say “No”. If it means you sending her to the corner until she stops crying or until she says sorry, sure! Don’t give in. At the end of every tantrum, as long as she gives in (and she will), you hug her and tell her you love her and explain what she did wrong so she doesn’t do it again. That will make her think and remember and try not to do it again. She will be fine, trust me. You can also try a trick to help the “sending in the corner strategy”. While she is there and has calmed down a bit but still defiant, either you or Kevin goes to another room, and the remaining one tells her that that person she loves is upset or crying. That’s the put on the guilt strategy. Hahaha.

        Remember, you are the boss! Not her! And I’m getting the sense that she has a strong personality so it’s not a problem for her to be able to speak up in the future. That means you are not repressing her by being a totalitarian. You are just making her behave at home so she can behave in the society. Our world would like to see more behaved people nowadays. I would appreciate it if Molly and Riley will be additional to the shrinking number of decent people when their time comes so it can be he norm again, not the exception.

    2. Bernadette you said it perfectly, I couldn’t have said it any better!
      The Fedtowsky’s are doing a beautiful job raising their little family and I love, love, love their true heart and soul! One thing we can all be grateful for as we age is the beauty of knowledge, and be blessed that age shows us that money and materialistic will come and go but family is your rock and is always there! I praise them for seeing this, and I’m sure that if they do make the move that the transition will go smoothly as they are both strong and work as a team.
      Good Luck Fedtowsky Family!

  8. So fun getting to see family! I wish my kids lived closer to their cousins- there’s nothing like seeing your kids and your siblings kids play together. I love the rare times we get together! How great if you moved to Chicago and had one family close and the other a short plane ride away?

    This year we’re spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my family in Pennsylvania and then flying down to Florida for Christmas dinner and New Years with my husband’s family. A little nervous to be doing all that traveling with a newly 2 year old and a 6 month old but I know it means a lot to both families! Wish us luck! 😅

  9. Sweet pics of your kiddos with their cousins! Lennon and Blake are so darling and I loved all of the precious pics of just Molly and Riley! What a fun time for your family to be together!❤️ I remember many a flight with our two sons, now 29 and 34! often w/just me, and whew, not easy! Safe travels home!

  10. I remember how in love with Lennon you were when she was born. It must be so special to see her with your own little ones now. Cousins are so special. <3
    Have a wonderful time with your family and safe, easy travels home.

  11. Welcome home! I’m in south county (Great Barrington to be exact) and love following you online, especially about little ones! I have a 2 year old and a newborn so I’m right in your boat. Anyways, enjoy your time home and the amazing Northeast fall season!

  12. My kids absolutely love spending time with their cousins!! We also don’t live i the same city, but not as far, and when we r together for our holidays we cherish every minute!! Enjoy every second with the family.

    1. We just got back from all the girls visiting the neighbors chickens. Ha! It was so cute so see molly calling them Hei hei (from Moana)

    1. I just don’t want to move back to my hometown. Too far from a city. We want to move to suburb of Chicago someday. An hour from Kevin’s parents. A suburb of Boston is 3 hours from my mom.

      1. Yeah the northeast is hard not being so close to the city. I live on the northeast now and totally understand the hometown thing. I visited Chicago last year and absolutely fell in love! And cubbies games are always a plus!

  13. This is the cutest thing ever! Their matching sweaters are the cutest things ever!! Thank you for sharing! Cousin love is the best 💕💕💕
    Enjoy your time!

  14. Ali , I’m so glad you are visiting family. I live in Michigan and as much I don’t like the cold I love being around my family. I do have a question though. If or when u move will you leave H&F. We’d certainly miss you there. I really enjoyed it when you cohosted. You bring what I call “ real” to the show , not Hollywood.

  15. Ali, this post is so cute! Cousin love is seriously the best! I loved growing up near my cousins … we are still best friends! My husband and I lived far away from family for a long time and moved back to MA to be close to our families once we had a little one of our own! There is nothing like family <3 We will give happy this holiday season by introducing our little one to all our extended family and making memories! And by giving back to our community. Happy holidays and enjoy the rest of your time in New England!

  16. I love that you matched your children’s clothes up with their cousins! I do the same thing and my kids love it! This is the time of year we all have to give thanks for everything we have been given in our life, whether it is an animal, beautiful baby, or gained a new family because of marriage! Everyone needs to soak up the special times in life and family will always be apart of your life no matter how far away they are! Thank you Ali for keeping the mean of “thanks” going! Also the girls dresses were adorable and Riley’s onesies outfit was super cute! PS you have two beautiful little ones!

  17. Hi Ali!
    I love seeing photos of your kiddos!! We live in LA too, and all of our family is in CT. How do you handle the time change with the kids?? We try to keep our 1 year old on her CA schedule, but it can get so tricky!! For the holidays we are planning to continue to donate what we can to the south la animal shelter! They are always super thankful ☺️ my daughter is obsessed with dogs!! We need to take her to your farmers market so she (and I) can play with the baby goats!!

  18. Love this post! My son is 4 and has the same boots as Riley. They are so stylish. I completely agree with you that having family time is the most important. I’m 30 and married with two kids and I realize now that I really want to enjoy my extended family. Not just for myself but for my kids to make memories with their cousins and aunts and uncles.

  19. What great timing for this trip, to reinforce the importance of family as you think about moving!
    I moved away from home for college and stayed in LA for 10 years. I remember thinking I’d move home eventually, but just knew the timing wasn’t right yet. Eventually it just hit me. Any benefit that LA brought to my life no longer mattered, and could not outweigh the experience of being close to my family. I moved home to Oregon 2 years ago at 28 years old and it was the best decision ever. I’ve gotten to spend so much time with my sweet nieces and nephews, be present for my little sisters’ final year of high school, and so many precious birthdays, holidays, and just everyday moments. Having missed out on all that for a decade, it’s all so valuable to me now. Trick or treating with my niece and nephew this year was another one of those moments where I just soaked up the moment and was so thankful I get to experience this with them. I can’t wait to have my own kiddos and watch them grow up alongside their cousins. I’d say the only hard part about the move was career-wise, it felt a bit like starting over. I had an established career and reputation in LA and I sort of had to leave all that behind and start from scratch. It’s so worth it though, and since you have pretty widespread recognition I’m sure it won’t be so challenging for you!
    I’m really excited to follow along as you guys make this dream come true. Thanks for always inviting us in on your life!

  20. Nothing like time with cousins! Adorable matching outfits! I did the same with my baby and toddler and took them across country by myself (no hubby he had to work) for 3 weeks with their cousins! All the memories made were worth it:)

  21. Hi Ali! I just read your beautiful post and it put a smile on my face. Family is important. My husband and I is originally from San Francisco, CA but it was just us and than we had both kids. My daughter is now 5 and my son is 3. We loved it in the city but know that the best place to probably raise them is back in Texas where my family is so my kids can grow up with their cousins. His family is in San Francisco but we rarely do any family stuff with them. We had to make a heart breaking decision by moving our family and our entire life back home to Texas where we bought a house and the kids are able to ride their bikes in front or play soccer in the back yard and where they are close to my family as well. But I vow to take them back to San Francisco at least once a year so that they still know where they are from. I wanted to take the kids to the store to each picked out a toy, and explained to them that we are going to donate it to toys for tots this holiday season and I want it to be our annual thing. Until when they are older than we can do more charity work but until than, this will have to do for now. Please continue posting! Love you and your family so much!!

  22. Welcome back to MA! It’s been a little rainy, but glad you guys had a wonderful day out with your family! A way I’m Giving Happy this holiday season is through Operation Christmas Child! Already sent my shoebox out in the mail. My parents also run a toys for tots fundraiser Christmas party for their work every December, so I’ll be volunteering during that as well. I love spending time with my family and friends throughout the whole year, but I just can never stop thinking of others that aren’t as lucky as I am. So giving back is the best way to hopefully make a stranger smile; thank you for speaking publicly about it and using your platform for the good that you do!

  23. Nothing like cousin time! Just moved from Cincinnati to East Longmeadow, MA and left all of my family behind. They are coming to visit for the first time for thanksgiving and the cousins will be reunited! So glad you guys had such a great time!

  24. I remember u posting pixes of Lennon when she was baby/toddler. So it is good to see her again. She has grown big…looks like her pretty mama, Kirby.
    Holidays are about creating memories. Am glad cousins are having fun and creating memories.

  25. So adorable thank you for posting the links to everything.It looks so beautiful their, for giving back this holiday season so many people have been displaced because of these horrible fires in calabas and Malibu or lost their homes I want to help them this holiday season this community has been hit hard with the shooting and fires so that’s my goal enjoy your family time with lots of love 💕

  26. I remember u posting pixes of Lennon when she was baby/toddler. So it is good to see her again. She has grown big…looks like her pretty mama, Kirby.

    Holidays are about creating memories. Am glad cousins are having fun and creating lifelong memories.

  27. Ali! I love your blog! I went to Williams, and though it’s remote (so I understand why you wouldn’t want to move back), Williamstown has always had a special place in my heart. I got to take my 4 and 6 year olds there for the first time this summer, and they loved all of the nature and going up Mt Greylock. We are giving happy by “adopting” homeless kids and buying them Christmas gifts from their wish lists. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip and have some cider donuts for me (and maybe the egg salad sandwich at Pappa C’s)!

  28. Where is Riley’s hat from? My son is a couple months older than Riley and also has a big head:). I love the kid clothes you post!

  29. Isn’t fall the BEST in New England?? I love in NH and wouldn’t wanna be anywhere else! Good luck with all your new moving plans, family is so important!! Molly looks like she is having a blast!!

  30. Such beautiful picture and family!! I too am from ( and still live in MA)!! I love it here. I love your post about charity. It’s so important to give to those in need and it’s something I really want to teach my daughter. She is too young to understand now, but once she is old enough I will have her pick something out each year for us to give to those less fortunate around Christmas time. This time of year makes you realize how fortunate you really are and how sadly, so many are so less fortunate. What a great charity to contribute too. Thank you for posting this to help those in need. 💖💖 Enjoy your family and MA GO PATS!!

  31. Oh, I miss Gymboree! I used to love having my girls match and their clothes were always so comfy. Enjoy every minute with your babies. I feel like I blinked and my oldest is a senior in high school now.

  32. Loving the matching outfits!! Fun family time!
    Have you ever considered moving to NY? Even if Manhattan would be too much with the kids- tons of a little bit more suburban areas 15-20 mins from Manhattan that are gorgeous and have tight knit communities. ( And also close to Mass!!). Manhattan is the capital for entertainment!! Lol

  33. Hi, Ali!
    Such cute outfits! Where is Riley’s hat from? My little guy is almost 4 months and Ive been looking for a hat like that. We are here in the Chicago suburbs and are already gearing up for winter 🙂

Shop Ali's Feed

Click an image to shop
@alifedotowsky