Thursday, October 30, 2014

DIY coffee body scrub from @BeachesResorts Red Lane Spa #BeachesMoms

It has been almost two weeks since we departed ATL for the BeachesMoms Social Media on the Sand conference at Beaches Turks and Caicos. I am desperately trying to cling to the "no problem" attitude and relaxation from being completely pampered by fantastic service.

An aromatic body scrub in a warm bath may help... and it's a good thing that Beaches Resorts invited us to special DIY experiences over the conference weekend. I attended a DIY at the Beaches Red Lane Spa.

Not only did they spoil us with a goody bag of luxurious spa products, they also taught us how to make our own body scrub at home with items from our pantry!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#BeachesMoms via Instagram

I am dreaming of ocean breezes and luxury today, but when I glance out the window, the rain is drizzling and skies are gray.

So, I think this Wordless Wednesday calls for another look at #BeachesMoms!  Some of my adventures via BalancingMama on Instagram:


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Children are our best investment @SaveTheChildren

My husband grew up understanding the power of a hurricane. I have been landlocked for all of my life, so I don't fully comprehend that power. However, I understand how much devastation can come from significant weather events; I've seen the aftermath on the news. The stories of children are the hardest to watch.
 
 
Wednesday, Oct. 29 is the 2-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s U.S. landfall.  Sandy affected 24 states, killed 162 people, caused more than $50 million in damage and damaged or destroyed 650,000 homes and hundreds of child care centers and schools.  It was the day that life turned upside down for thousands of children who suddenly lost everything – including their very sense of stability. 
 
Save the Children is still working with many of these children to help them rebound. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Creative pumpkin designs for Halloween

Let me introduce you to our jack-o-lantern family!

 
 
The ACCIDENT-PRONE pumpkin
This guy has had several run-ins with sharp objects. Carve a pumpkin face with a wiggly mouth. Using a permanent marker, draw on stitches around his face. Hammer in thick screws or nails, and use a red permanent marker to draw blood. Ouch.
 
The ZOMBIE GIRL
Amelia got her idea from an iPad app with monster girls. She painted her pumpkin turquoise, glued on gooly eyes (hot glue gun works best), and drew scars and an angry mouth with pointy teeth. The gooly eyes are too cute on their own, so we colored in slanted eyelids on the eyes. Also scraggly eyelashes. Finally, she glued on hot pink ribbon for hair. In the back, she has a bald spot with no hair and a big scar - this zombie had brain surgery!

The POLKA-DOT CUTIE
I saw some polka-dot glow pumpkins on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. First, you hammer thick screws into the pumpkin:

Space out the holes the way you like them, and be sure to clean the stringy pumpkin goo from the holes so the light will shine through fully. Once I was finished, I thought the plain polka-dots were a bit boring. My pumpkin needed personality... so big googly eyes to the rescue! Now he's a cute polka-dot glow guy.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Teen driving tips from Ford #NationalTeenDriverSafetyWeek



Top Safety Tips for Teen Drivers
Teen Driver Safety Week
October 19-25, 2014


Experts from Ford’s ‘Driving Skills for Life’ offer these tips on how teens (and their parents) can be safer drivers:

1.    Engage in the driving process – As teens get closer to earning/acquiring their learner’s permit, parents should actively engage with them about driving. Talk about safe driving behaviors, practice with them, seek educational opportunities, and be clear that unsafe actions won’t be tolerated.

2.    Buckle up – It’s the law. In a crash, a person not buckled up is much more likely to be injured or killed than someone wearing a safety belt. Always buckle up and require all passengers to buckle up for everyone’s safety.

3.    Never speed – Research done for Ford’s ‘Driving Skills for Life’ shows that if parents speed, their teens are more likely to do the same. Speed-related factors continue to be reported in about one-third of all traffic deaths nationally.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Parenting: it's different these days

I was born at the tail end of the 1970s, so I grew up throughout the 1980s, in all their neon, side-ponytailed glory. While a lot of the toys and fashions are coming back (in a ploy to get the 80s-raised moms to buy for their kids), parenting seems awfully different these days.

Five ways my parenting differs from my childhood:

(1) Stranger Danger
Sure, there were bad guys in the 1980s. But it seemed so much safer back then. My sister and I would play outside alone without my mom having to hover over our heads. I could jump on my bike, kick up the kickstand, and fly down the road bouncing on the big banana seat, as much as three streets over to my friend's house. Today, even in my small cul-de-sac neighborhood of only a few homes, I will not let Amelia play without an adult at least outdoors, listening and making sure no strange cars pass through. It is a different world - and I live in big city suburbs now too, not the quiet of a small city in Tennessee.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How does all-inclusive compare to a cruise? We investigated from @BeachesResorts

If you took a glance at BalancingMama on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook this weekend, you probably already know how I spent the weekend with my husband and daughter: meandering along wooden plank boardwalks nestled within tropical foliage, sinking my toes in the softness of white sand while admiring a water color that, surpisingly, can actually be found in nature. Part of my weekend was spent with energetic people who all have a passion for family experiences and writing all about it. And also with some of the most accommodating, friendly resort employees I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

Yes, our weekend was truly grand. Our weekend was... #BeachesMoms! We attended the Social Media on the Sand conference hosted by Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos.


Beaches Resorts are family-friendly and all-inclusive. As any employee will tell you, the only 'no' you will hear is 'nooo problem' (insert Caribbean accent). As a fan of cruising, I found myself continually comparing a cruise vacation with the experiences we were having at Beaches. Repeatedly, I said to my husband "this is like a cruise" or "wow, this is better than a cruise!".


So, how does an all-inclusive resort compare to a cruise?
My response: You definitely need to put it in your list of options when planning family travel. It may be very well worth it.

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