Friday, October 30, 2015

Five "do's" for a girls' weekend at a family resort

Let's assume you are a busy mom, a multi-tasking master, fulfiller of all snack requests. Assume you need a break from it all; a chance to slow your pace and find your inner "me" again. It is not very difficult to imagine, is it? You are likely living it. The pace, the needs, the taxi service that you seem to be running. The dream of stepping away from it all, for just a moment, to catch your breath.

What you need is a girls' weekend. Or a whole week! Leave the children with your capable husband, maybe an in-law or two, and go. I was able to do this last week when I traveled, sans family, to Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos for the second annual Social Media on the Sand Conference. I arranged to bring a friend to fill in for my family - and what a fantastic time we had!

Can adult women have a luxury experience at a family resort like Beaches Resorts? Yes! Here are my five "do's" for a successful and refreshing girls' weekend at a family resort:

#1: DO find an ideal quiet spot. Silence is probably scarce at home with children. To fully recharge, spend some time in your favorite resort relaxation spot. At Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos, it was easy to turn a corner or two and find a mini oasis with shade, comfortable seating, and few other humans. I loved the serene charm of the open-air Veranda House in the Key West Village. My friend enjoyed a hidden piece of the Italian Village, tucked behind the shops, that she discovered on our second day. Even though it is a family resort, Beaches Resorts Turks and Caicos offers many peaceful escapes from the beach, pool, and water park.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Want to go pro? It's not about you. #Blogging

I had the privilege of speaking at the Type A Parent Conference in Atlanta in 2015. I co-presented "Attention-Grabbing Brand Pitches", sharing my experiences and advice from over 15 years of experience as an advertising and media planning professional. The group of bloggers who sat in on the session were smart, inquisitive, and attentive.

Even better than the session? The post-session conversations. I hope my speaking partner and I were able to assist at least a few on their path towards getting noticed and respected by some of the pros on the ad side.

The biggest head-nodding moment of the session was probably when the room quieted and (I hope) contemplated this thought: "It is NOT ABOUT YOU."

Repeat after me...
It's. Not. About. Me.

Many totally get it. Others may not. Think about this...

Monday, October 12, 2015

All things Harry Potter: for #Halloween!

My book worm of a daughter is starting to get into Harry Potter. She began by watching the first movie, and now we are starting her on the brand new illustrated Harry Potter book series! The stories are incredible without illustration, but as a young yet highly advanced reader, my 7 1/2 year old really enjoys pictures to go with the story.

She is also ready to hit the neighborhood in her latest Halloween costume: Hermione Granger. With just-past-the-shoulder curly hair, she looks the part perfectly once she dons the long black Hogwarts robe and Gryffindor necktie. Just last week, my friend at posted a DIY Harry Potter magic wand tutorial... check out this magical handiwork! Here's her DIY Harry Potter wand Pinterest pin as well. 
Image: (click for full post)

So we are all set on the costume front! If you want to really make a Hogwarts-type splash for the upcoming holiday, investigate some of these amazing Harry Potter decorating and food ideas from Pinterest:
Image: Buzzfeed (click for full post)

Image: Over The Big Moon (click for full post)

Happy October! Halloween will be here soon! Trick or Treat?!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Four reasons why Disney Cruises are better for #familytravel

We went on our very first Disney Cruise the other week!

We have been cruisers in the past and we have traveled on three other major cruise lines. All cruise lines are a ton of fun and we don't have major complaints about any of them. However, you always seem to hear that Disney Cruises are the best! We thought about those proclamations throughout most  of the week because honestly, Disney Cruise Lines usually costs more than the others.

Is Disney Cruise Lines better?

In many ways, YES. In some ways, I'd say it's a tie. And in other ways, I think it depends on the ages of your children. My oldest is not into characters or princesses anymore and she didn't want to go to Kids Club on her own (note to self: travel with friends the next time). Our youngest was still too little to understand much of the excitement, but this mama really loved the optional nursery care.

So... in what ways did my family find that a Disney Cruise was better than others?

#1 - Service. We were asked about service by various managers and staff at least twice per day. They always wanted to know about our experiences and if we had any problems at all. We had no problems, but I am sure if anything had come up, it would have been addressed happily and quickly.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Football eats from my favorite home chef

My friend Karen, over at In The Kitchen with KP, is my favorite home chef! She is always creating and sharing delicious snacks, simple family-friendly dinners, and mouth-watering desserts. I am lucky enough to know Karen in real life, which means I have been a willing taste-tester a few times. Perks!

Football season is upon us, and most of my fellow college grads are cheering on their teams on Saturday afternoons. My Tennessee Vols suffered some heartbreaking endings, which meant I needed feel-good munchies to soothe my broken heart.

Check out this huge football eats roundup from In The Kitchen With KP and many fellow food bloggers and make plans for your next delicious weekend. Don't forget - Super Bowl Sunday is coming up on February 7th!

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