Gone… Vacationing.

If you need me… I will be soaking up the California sun for Spring Break with the family.  Be back soon!

California beach sunset

Flight of the Fishes

Have you ever “run” into someone or something at the airport?  Or maybe met a new friend.  Or even an old one?  We all have funny stories about traveling and crazy situations at the airport.  It seems like airports and planes breed some pretty awesome (and lets be honest… not so awesome) experiences.  But in the end… All of it is worth it when we make it to our destination, right?

Photographs of San Francisco

Last year on a flight to Chicago I had most memorable meeting.  My seatmate decided that a very pungent (I’m going with fish) meal was a great idea to bring on board with her.  She didn’t say anything to me the entire flight besides to ask me if I would like to have some of her meal (apparently she didn’t like the way it smelled either).  I politely declined each time she asked all while giggling inside.  Was this her way of sparking up a conversation?  Did she think her meal was gross and wanted to pawn it off on someone else?  Or maybe she thought my stares her way indicated I was hungry? (I obviously need to work on my repulsed face a little better.) In the end I made it to Chicago unscathed beyond what a little Febreeze could help with.

My story is a little gut-wrenching (literally) and a little funny.  Just like this Connecting Flights video. But unlike my story… It’s also heartwarming.  And has a good dose of hysterical in the form of some good old fashioned physical comedy.  Who doesn’t like to see people smack into things… right?

See?  Gigglefest and awes… All rolled up into one awesome video from Sears.

***This is a sponsored post, I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.  #connectingflights

Traveling Moms 14 Fabulous Fall Getaways

Fall is upon us.  That doesn’t mean you have to stay home and wait for summer to get your travel on.  Traveling Moms 14 Fabulous Fall Getaways has you covered.  Now they only question is… How are you going to fit all that awesome into the few short months left in fall?

Traveling Moms 14 Fabulous Fall Getaways

No Hillbillies Were Harmed in the Making of this Vacation

I almost wanted to title this post “I went to the Ozarks and all I got was this stupid post about how I didn’t see any hillbillies.”  And before you ask, yes I visited every single local Walmart.  I mean I was in NW Arkansas… home of THE Walmart.  (completely off subject but highly relevant… The Walmart across from Walmart headquarters??? Seriously the most amazing, organzied, well stocked, and generally RAD Walmart ever.)

The family and I spent 11 days (3 of which were spent almost entirely in a car.  I know… I’m surprised that we all made it out alive.) on vacation in Northwest Arkansas… Home of the… mmmm… I guess THE Walmart.  And the Razorbacks (Don’t accidentally call them warthogs… people get offended about porklike relatives.  (Have you noticed I am basically making this the hardest post to read in the universe?  It’s kinda like scared straight for grammar offenders.)

walmart museum

Since I drove all around the Ozarks, drove through the Ozarks, and got lost in the Ozarks and never saw one hillbilly we decided hunker down and get our hillbilly on and head on down to the local fishing/swimming hole.

The fun was quickly thwarted by a GIANT, HUMONGOUS, RAVENOUS man eating snake.  Or it was a 5 inch long water snake… either way… WAY TOO MUCH snake for this girl.  So I decided I would try my hand, err… hat, at being a southern lady.

And unfortunately floppy hats add at least 235 extra chins… So being a refined southern “hat lady” wasn’t in the cards for me.  The only option was to become a patron of the arts.  And nothing shows true patronization like recreating scenes from classic films.

And we can’t even do the great Ferris Buehler justice…

So… How did you spend your summer vacation?

Say No To Limits, Say Yes To Boundries

Josh, Xander, and I just took an epic Mother/Son/Son trip to Philadelphia.  We attended Digital Family Summit, a conference full of families just like us… Heaven!  And I think this photo describes how we felt about the conference perfectly.

I have to be honest I was a little skeptical how a conference geared towards families with teens and tweens would work.  But, on a leap of faith I flew across the country with my kids, then I was amazed.  The food, the parties, the sessions, and the activities were top notch.  It was hard to believe this was a first year conference given how few glitches there were.  And YES, if you are a digital family,  I would 100% recommend this conference to you.

Xander and I were invited to speak on a panel called “The Family That Blogs Together” along with the McGraws and the Perrins.  And while Xander doesn’t “blog” he is a digital content creator.  Xander’s YouTube channel is nearing 3,000,000 views and he earns a monthly check through YouTube’s revenue share program.  Needless to say… I could learn a few things from him.  Actually, all the teens on the panel were poised, smart, and an inspiration.

While speaking I was asked a question about our family’s stance on technology limits.  And, we have none.  We 100% believe that technology is the future and why limit the knowledge our kids can gain from access to that?  In fact, the jobs our children will have haven’t even been created yet.  That is how dynamic technology is.  How are they to stay on top of the game with limits?

I know… I know… You are thinking “HOLY CRAP LADY!  You are FREAKING CRAZY! What about all the pedophiles, predators, pornography, and unknown evils that lurk within the grasp of your kids?  What about homework?  I bet they are those kids that text at the dinner table.”   No limits doesn’t mean no boundaries.  We have very strict boundaries when it comes to our children’s access to technology.  Here are some great tips for setting technology boundaries for your teens, tweens, and kids:

  • Time and Place- There is a time and a place for everything.  At school, at the dinner table, and while visiting with family or friends are not the TIMES or PLACES to be using your electronic devices. This can also be called… RESPECT.
  • Speaking of Respect- There is a certain level of respect required when using technological devices.  Respect for yourself, others, and the equipment is beyond important.
  • Age Matters- What is right for a 15 year old may not be appropriate for 5 year old.
  • Know Your Kids- Spend time with them.  Understand their personality.  TALK to them.  Take an interest in what they are doing.  This will help you create boundaries that work for them. Boundaries can vary from child to child.
  • Filters- Safety filters are important for a multitude of reasons.  Online predators and pornography are just a couple of the best ones.  They will also help keep your kids from downloading viruses and spyware.  Many filtering software’s will allow you to set up multiple accounts so you can set specific parameters for each child.
  • Privacy is for adults- Know your kid’s passwords to everything.  Facebook, Twitter, gaming sites… EVERYTHING.  Children are entitled to love, care, and guidance from you… Privacy, not so much.
  • Stay Updated- You don’t have to win at Mario Kart or Just Dance to keep yourself informed about the latest technology.  Know what your kids are using and stay involved in keeping yourself updated on what’s coming around the corner.
  • Schedule, schedule, schedule- Kids should have schedules.  Chores, school, showering, work, homework, exercise, friends, and family and just a few things that are likely on every kid’s schedule.  And those things are important and should be completed before “free time”.  Each day set free time where your kids can explore their interests. Whether those interests are technology, reading a book, or twiddling their thumbs.

So, yes, my kids have no limits, endless possibilities, and a whole lot of structure.

 

 

Fun in the California Sun

When was the last time you were on a family vacation?

When was the last time you were basking in the glow of the California sun?

When was the last time you posed with Mickey Mouse?

When was the last time you got a little frisky with a giant Lego character?

(Totally unflattering pose… and Crocs???  I know… I am that hopeless)

If you don’t know when… Why not make the answer now?  It’s time for you to enjoy a little fun in the sun and enjoy all the amazing theme parks that California has to offer.  I admit that I am basically addicted to Disneyland.  It’s true.  If I don’t go once a year I start to convulse, foam at the mouth, and behave like some sort of wild rabid animal. But, did you know that there are other theme parks in California that you can enjoy this summer:

  • Legoland
  • Six Flags
  • Knottsberry Farm
  • and many many many more

Plus, if you are in Utah like me, it’s a super fun and affordable road trip to soak up some rays.

Do you want to learn more about all the fun in the sun and theme parks that California has to offer??? Join me on Monday for a TravelingMom Twitter Party!!!

  • Monday June 25th, 7PM Pacific
  • The party’s on THE Twitter, Use the Hashtag: #TMOM or #TMOMFUN (@sahans here!!!)
  • RSVP on the TravelingMom Website (There is an iPad up for grabs… HELLO!  an iPad!!!!)

***I am being compensated by TravelingMom.com for this post.  I was however not compensated for my many fashion flubs on our family vacations. 

Got junk in the trunk? #SuzukiMomFest #Giveaway

Suzuki makes cars?  Who knew?  Truly, that is the first thought that came to mind when Kristin told me (and invited me to take her place) about the #SuzukiMomFest event.  When I think about Suzuki I usually think about one of their ATV’s or motorcycles.  I wasn’t even aware that Suzuki Auto made cars… I thought it they made all these all the time.

But my visit to the GORGEOUS St. Charles, IL changed my perception of Suzuki.  Did I mention how gorgeous St. Charles is?  We stayed at Hotel Baker along the Fox River.  It was seriously straight out of a movie beautiful there.  I 100%  understand why Family Circle named St. Charles the #1 city for families… I wonder if I can get Brian to move?  Probably not move.  I am far to lazy to move… You have to pack up stuff you know. So we at least have to go back and visit.  Especially in fall… Tree lined streets full of falling leaves?  Pure magic.  I almost expected to see a unicorn frolicking in the tree tops.

We were lucky enough to test drive some of the Suzuki Auto vehicle lineup while in Illinois.  Taking a long scenic drive is the perfect way to really get the feel of a vehicle.  And while I drove in the Grand Vitara and SX4 I decided they weren’t what I was looking for in an SUV.  I like them huge with a 3rd row seat and cargo space to spare.  While they both had ample leg room and storage capacity they weren’t my cup of tea.  But I know so many people like the smaller “sportier” SUV’s… So they may fit the bill for you.  But as far as cars go I like them cute, fun, sporty, and fully loaded.  That is probably why I liked the Suzuki Kizashi so much. (We are even looking at it for our upcoming purchase of a new commuter car.  Before my trip that wouldn’t have even crossed my mind)

Leslie and I

And nothing says fun and fully loaded like two ladies and a sunroof.  It’s the little things that make all the difference.  The Kizashi was jam packed with all the little things I really want/need in a vehicle.  Bluetooth, memory seats, leather, 8 standard airbags, and so much more….  Like the most amazing keyless entry system.  With the Kizashi’s key fob you can stick the keys in your purse and literally forget about them.  As long as you are very close to the vehicle there is a button on the car to unlock the doors, start the car, and open the trunk.  It’s like my messy purses dream.

Of course the Kizashi had the MOST important feature for any busy Mom.  A place to put our ice cold Diet Coke.  It’s how I stay sane on countless hours of carpool and road-trips.

And don’t worry.  There is plenty of room for all the junk in your trunk… Or all the goodies you got during a scavenger hunt at Target.

And Suzuki wants YOU to win all the junk in my trunk.  Well not my trunk… but the Kizashi’s.  And trust me you want to win all the Junk In the Trunk… because it’s not junk at all.  Up for grabs is over $96 in goodies for the Mom/family on the run including:

  • Umbrella stroller
  • Sippy cups
  • Size 2 diapers
  • Wipes
  • Car seat activity mirror
  • Diaper bag

It’s easy to enter just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite feature in a car is.  That’s all.  Easy huh?

Winner will be chosen at random on 10/23/11 at midnight mountain time.  Winner will be notified via email.

Don’t forget you can like Suzuki Auto and The Daily Blarg on Facebook.  Because we like you!

Suzuki Auto provided me with a trip to Illinois to test drive and learn about their lineup of vehicles.  All opinions are my own.
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