Friday, November 18, 2016

What's new on this family vehicle: 2017 Ford Explorer

The 2017 Ford Explorer is on the top of my new car wish list. I love my current SUV, but the poor thing is 11 years old and nearing 200,000 miles. It has a dent on one side (thanks to an ice storm and a mailbox) and several, um, "quirks" in its old age. I've tested a few 2016 and 2017 vehicles in the past year or two, and I am impressed by the Ford Explorer.

The 2017 Ford Explorer has industry-leading safety features like inflatable rear outboard safety belts and front passenger knee airbags. The 2017 also offers an all-new Sport Appearance Package, which features a darker grille, 20-inch wheels, and black roof racks. It's a beautiful and comfortable vehicle!

The most popular upgrade in the 2017 Ford Explorer is probably the new SYNC 3 interface, which simplifies the system for the user. SYNC 3 is the latest version of Ford’s communications and entertainment system. It performs faster and is more intuitive than prior versions. SYNC 3 also has more conversational voice recognition and a smartphone-like touchscreen.


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Note: Ford Southeast is providing my family with a 2017 Ford Explorer for our December holiday adventures in exchange for sharing this info and photos along the way. All opinions are 100% mine. 


Monday, November 14, 2016

Favorite Atlanta attractions with holiday celebrations

It's almost Thanksgiving! Which, of course, means that Christmas events and attractions are open all around the Atlanta area. Our favorite metro family attractions have special holiday lights, shows, and magical fun.

Stone Mountain Christmas

Opened this year on November 12th, Stone Mountain Christmas is back with more sparkle than ever. Over two million lights and cheerful sounds will surround you at Stone Mountain Park. New for this season: character experiences with Rudolph, Clarice, and friends at Rudolph's Merry Little Meet and Greet, the Skylights Spectacular musical walk-through, and Rudolph The Red-Nosed-Reindeer 4-D! Plus, beloved favorites the holiday train, snow angel snowfall, and holiday fireworks have returned.

Center for Puppetry Arts: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

 "Rudolph soars back into town for this faithful adaptation of the wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us." This shows sells out quickly, so do not delay. Contact the Center for Puppetry Arts to see if you can still catch this holiday classic. You will feel like you are in your childhood television!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Perfectly plan your vacation with Disney Fast Pass+! #disney #familytravel

How do you plan your Disney Parks vacation with Disney Fast Pass+? Do you get the most out of your park day by planning ahead and finding the best ways to have shorter wait times?

I am a Disney Parks planning fanatic. We visit at least one Disney park every few years, and I spend a lot of time planning, looking at ride wait times, and scheduling calendar reminders so I can get the Disney Fast Pass+ plans that we need.

(Planning ahead also means we can get the dinner reservations we want - did you know you can make Disney Parks and Disney Resorts restaurant reservations 180 days in advance? For the most popular character experiences, you need to do just that.)

Tips for making the most of your Disney vacation by scheduling Disney Fast Pass+: 

#1 - Know when you can reserve. If you are not staying at an on-property resort hotel, you can book Fast Pass+ 30 days in advance. If you are staying on property, you can book 60 days in advance plus the length of your stay. Look up the details that pertain to your own visit and mark that date on your calendar. I jump on the My Disney Experience app at the earliest moment so I have my full pick of the Disney Fast Pass+ options. This is really important if you want a Fast Pass for some of the most popular attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom or the brand new Frozen attraction at Epcot. Princess and Mickey character meet-and-greets also book up almost instantly.

#2 - Get the My Disney Experience app - and use it. This is your lifeline to planning your Disney Parks vacation. You can book restaurants, experiences, Fast Passes, and keep all reservations and info for your entire family in one place. The app is also the best way to know what ride wait times are like on the days you visit and to quickly snap up any extra Disney Fast Pass+ reservations after the initial ones are used. You can also use park maps to make sure you are not scheduling Fast Passes in a way that leaves you running cross-park several times.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta: a local gem!

The Center for Puppetry Arts provided my family with free tickets to preview the newest show, Old MacDonald's Farm, this past weekend. All opinions, as always, are 100% mine. 


Kermit the Frog and creator Jim Henson cut the ribbon to open the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta when I was just a few months old. What began as a collection of puppets and community involvement has grown into a fantastic museum experience and a jam-packed calendar of shows and events. 

The Worlds of Puppetry Museum offers a few hands-on experiences for the young visitors, plus a perfect mix of history and contemporary entertainment via many puppetry exhibits. I was fascinated by puppets from the 1800s. My daughter was excited to see a scene from the movie Coraline (which, by the way, we learned took 18 months to create and two years of pre-production). Our little guy was especially thrilled to see Elmo and Bert and Ernie. And of course, I have a nostalgic soft spot for the Fraggles! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why your kids should watch the 2016 Summer Olympics on TV

Have your kids been watching the trials for the 2016 Summer Olympics on TV? Our daughter has! Most of the trials are complete now. The USA Women’s Gymnastics team may be one of the most powerful ever. Coaches finalized the roster for the USA Women’s Soccer team yesterday, with seven returning athletes who took the USA to gold in 2012. Michael Phelps will once again compete in swimming events. Over 300 competitions in 28 sports will test the strength, perseverance, and talent of athletes from around the world. The opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics will take place on August 5 in Rio. Make a point for family TV time to watch several of the Olympic events.

 Why should your kids watch the 2016 Summer Olympics on TV?

World Culture – The Olympic Games bring together countries from all over the globe, and it is always interesting to see the differences each culture can bring. Children who watch Olympics coverage on TV can see how truly beautiful it is that we are all so different. They will see athletes with a multitude of skin colors, body builds, hair types. They will see those athletes compete together in one big event that celebrates them all. The opening ceremony, while probably best for kids with the ability to fast-forward (DVR it!), is a great way to observe and discuss the costumes and looks from nations around the world.

Monday, July 11, 2016

LEGO Emmet and Wildstyle are back! LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta

legoland atlanta logoMy daughter and I were hosted at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta so we could update you on the latest additions to the fun, including Emmet and Wildstyle from The LEGO Movie. All opinions are 100% mine.

What is new at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta? A new 4D movie starring the beloved Emmet, Wildstyle, and Uni Kitty from The LEGO Movie and a new-and-improved play space, Pirate Adventure Island.  

legoland atlanta 4d movie

“The LEGO Movie 4D A New Adventure” brings Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, Benny and MetalBeard back to the screen. The LEGO heroes have received a mysterious invitation to a new theme park where all of the rides are based on the characters’ adventures in The LEGO Movie. But they are in for a villainous surprise. Alas, the villian is not voiced by the incomparable Will Ferrell, as in the feature film. However, several of the other voices are performed the original actors from the film.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Not too young for baseball: a Sunday afternoon with the Atlanta Braves! #BravesBlogger

I am an Atlanta Braves Blogger, and my family was hosted at Turner field for an Atlanta Braves game. All opinions are my own.  

I took a two-year-old to an MLB game - and survived! I was unsure about bringing a young and extremely active boy to an Atlanta Braves game during his nap time, and my mama-anxiety was in top form preparing for the event. I traveled to Turner Field equipped with games on my cell phone and a fully charged battery, extra 2T clothing for unexpected messes, and a pouch of his favorite fruity-flavored applesauce.

We didn't need any of it!

The Atlanta Braves game was a lot of fun for my entire family. Both of my children, ages 8 and 2, were interested in the game and watching the crowd via the jumbotron. Occasional inter-inning races and games were hilarious; one child cheered on the giant Home Depot bucket and the other laughed at the Home Dept hammer mascot as they raced and pushed their way to the finish line after the 4th or 5th inning.

The little guy also took several turns in the Scouts Alley "bullpen", showing everyone his arm.

Friday, June 10, 2016

FUNtastic improvements at Six Flags Over Georgia! #themepark #atlanta

Six Flags Over Georgia, located just west of the city of Atlanta, is one of the best all-day destinations for family fun, thrilling rides, entertainment, and water slides. 
Are you a Six Flags Over Georgia Super Fan? I am nearly there! I have enjoyed plenty of screams, laughs, and smiles at the park since I moved here fresh out of college in 1999. This means I know a thing or two about the park, the rides, and all of the new additions that have boosted Six Flags Over Georgia into superstar status over the past 3 or so years.

Here are a few recommendations based on the hot improvements recently debuted at the park...

#1: Definitely bring the kids!
This season, Six Flags Over Georgia opened the all new Bugs Bunny Boomtown featuring seven rides and attractions for the youngest theme park fans (most are 36" minimum height) including Tweety's Treehouse and the Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters. On Memorial Day weekend 2016, the world’s first DC Super Friends themed area debuted with thrill rides that are fast and fun, yet suitable for the entire family. Six Flags Atlanta Properties Park President Dale Kaetzel said, “This area, combined with the addition of Bugs Bunny Boomtown earlier this year, solidifies Six Flags Over Georgia as the perfect destination for family fun.” I toured the new family areas with my daughter a couple weeks ago. Even though she is over 54" and a mega coaster junkie, we still had fun riding the new family attractions together.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hilton Head Island for a family vacation

Hilton Head island, located just over the South Carolina border and under one hour from Savannah, is a natural beauty with family vacation activities for all ages. Hilton Head Island has been named one of the top 10 family beaches in the country, and my family would agree! The island has numerous family-friendly vacation rentals from condos to coastal homes to palatial estates and top brand resorts like Westin and Omni also. You can always find Hilton Head accommodations to fit your needs, regardless of the size of your family or the length of your stay.

What is there to do on Hilton Head Island? The top five activities on Hilton Head listed by Trip Advisor include bike trails, Colingy Beach, boat tours, a forest preserve, and the Coastal Discovery Museum. Our most recent trip consisted of plenty of beach and pool time, some bike rides, a mini golf night, and several delicious meals at top-rated Hilton Head seafood restaurants.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Keep reading fun over the summer!

To help keep children reading over those hot summer months, Scholastic launched the Summer Reading Challenge nearly ten years ago to provide a fun way for parents to keep reading exciting for kids over the summer. Children can log reading minutes online or on their mobile devices over the summer and their reading minutes count toward their school total. Thousands of schools participate each year for a chance to break the World Record of Reading. It is an entertaining and interactive challenge for those summer months!

On the website, the Scholastic Parent section also includes a Daily Digest with book lists, reading tips for kids, book reviews, and more. 

Our household loves to read and we are fans of the Scholastic organization. If you are struggling for ideas over the summer, click on over to the treasure-trove of suggestions, tips, and fun. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

I did laundry and dishes on Mother's Day

Today is my 38th birthday. I am finishing up some of the kids' laundry, doing a bit of work... but later today, I will enjoy an upscale lunch with my dear husband and no kids! So my birthday will have a special highlight today. I will eat chef-prepared food and I won't have to tell anyone to sit down 19 times. I won't have to take anyone to the potty!

Yesterday was Mother's Day. In the Atlanta area, it was sunny and warm and a perfect example of springtime. My family stayed mostly at home. I did some laundry, I unloaded the dishwasher. Was I upset about that? No, I chose it. The best thing about my Mother's Day was that I did not have to do any of that. In fact, my husband reprimanded me a few times for refusing to sit my booty down and do nothing. I had my fair share of sitting and relaxing. I watched a movie with my daughter, played mindless games on my cell phone, and enjoyed a completely stress-free Mother's Day. I completed a few chores because I felt like it, not because I felt the to-do list looming over me. Sometimes I forget that I have a choice. The days are busy and hectic and I try to do it all for everyone. It was nice to be reminded on Mother's Day that I should simply stop once in a while. 

Moms, how was your Mother's Day? Did you relax? Play? Spend the day away from the kids altogether? There are no right or wrong answers here; your day is what you make of it.

I was loved, and I loved it.  

Happy Mother's Day (a day late)!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Childhood classic "The BFG" coming to theaters

“The matter with human beans," the BFG went on, "is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

The BFG is a beloved Ronald Dahl children's book about a big friendly giant and his new friend Sophie. It is a book with character, adorable dialogue, and some memorable quotes. I am excited to say... the Steven Spielberg-directed film The BFG is coming to theaters on July 1st! 

This trailer was just released a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Disney's The Jungle Book - now in theaters everywhere!

In celebration of THE JUNGLE BOOK film opening, Disney sent out an amazing video highlighting the voices in the film including Bill Murray (“Baloo”), Sir Ben Kingsley (“Bagheera”), Lupita Nyong’o (“Raksha”), Scarlett Johansson (“Kaa”), Idris Elba (“Shere Khan”), Christopher Walken (“King Louie”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Akela”) and Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli, the only live action character in the film.

This is a star-studded cast and I cannot wait to see the film!  Is it a film for the little ones? Well, I was not able to attend the screening so I do not know, but my friend Lindsey over at Redhead Baby Mama has this to say...

"There are A LOT of “gotcha” moments when animals seem to jump at the audience, tigers attack and monkeys reach.  You may want to take the movie in on date night and screen it for your young kids to see if they will like it."   

Check out the video below, then click through to read the rest of Redhead Baby Mama's  review here: The Live-Action Jungle Book is Here!


Have you seen the film?! Let me know what you think! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring break in the "top-shelf" 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum! #Ford #Auto

According to professional reviewers at AutoWeek,  
"Ford dumps everything it can find into [this] top-shelf Explorer." 
 This rookie auto reviewer, mom, and blogger definitely agrees. The vehicle is loaded!

Our spring break plans included a short 3-night road trip to a theme park and indoor water park resort. We were thrilled to be able to use a gorgeous, totally maxed-out 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum for our adventure. When your current vehicle is about to reach it's 11-year birthday with a dent on one side, kid crumbs galore, and pretty basic interior gadgets, any brand-new vehicle is exciting and full of special electronic perks. I am fascinated by push-button start, heated seats, massage seats, full-size third row seating with powered up/down/stow, Sirius radio, and a buttery soft leather interior. This new Ford Explorer has all of those luxury features and more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Atlanta Baby and Child Expo - April 2016

The 2016 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo is the annual "premier party for expectants and new parents in Atlanta." The expo has been referred to as “the best baby expo event we’ve attended” by’s area representatives.  Parents and grandparents can find “all things baby” for new moms and moms-to-be, as well as their friends & family.

I attended the expo last year and it was an enjoyable experience. The venue is on the small side, so it has a very intimate feel. Brand and product representatives are friendly and helpful, offering giveaways, coupons, and advice about the latest and greatest baby and small child gear. Alas, my kids are ageing out of the need for most of the products featured, but I absolutely recommend the expo to any expecting or brand-new moms (and grandmas!) in the Atlanta area. You will go home with great ideas, a baby registry wishlist, and a few goodies and surprises. Don't forget to enter to win all of the giveaways!  The list of partners, sponsors and vendors from 2015 can be found by clicking here.

If this is the can't-miss event for you, be sure to buy tickets for the 2016 Atlanta Baby and Child Expo, and visit their website for more information.Advance tickets do sell out and you can purchase them now!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Mommy and Me! Playable Art Park - Sandy Springs, GA #play

I saw this park under construction a while ago, and managed to totally forget about it. So when I saw it featured again on Facebook (via Atlanta Parent) a few days ago, I insisted that we take a little drive over to Sandy Springs for some playtime.

The Playable Art Park is unique, creative, and fun for kids of all ages. No standard playground equipment here! Even the swings are hung on artsy red structures. The trees and shrubs were in gorgeous bloom this weekend, also. Bonus beauty! The park is part of a greenway path for walking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors. On the other side of the parking area, there is a picnic pavilion - and restrooms! (Anyone with small kids knows that park restrooms are a must.)

Click over to 365 Atlanta Family for more info and photos of this great playground park near the city.

I am linked up to Mommy and Me with Really, Are You Serious today! She's been encouraging moms to get in the photos with their kids for more than 300 Mondays!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Choosing summer activities for kids

If you are in the Atlanta, GA area and looking for a comprehensive list of summer camps for the kids, check out the always-growing live list of camps at Field Trips With Sue.

"Mom... I'm boooooored!" 

This is the call of summertime, right? The first week away from school begins with excitement and a lot of TV and playtime. This may last another week... if you are lucky. Then the boredom begins to set in. There's "nothing" to do. The kids graze in the kitchen on snack after snack because they are so bored.  

So, what can we do to entertain the kiddos during the summer months? 

For us, camps are going to be a big deal this year. My children are almost six years apart in age, so they rarely entertain each other. And my oldest, soon-to-be-rising third grader, misses child interaction. She desperately misses her friends. Many of her friends go to full-day camps or they stay with grandparents, so play dates are not always an option. For the second year, I will be enrolling her in gymnastic camp - this year it's going to be two days per week. We are also looking at one week of Monday-Friday art camp also. It is important to get her out with her friends, or at least with peers of her own age. She can create and exercise and be constructive.

When we are at home, I have to set daily no-iPad time. In order to do this, I need to put aside my own electronic devices and get involved. Here are some fantastic Pinterest boards with DIY science and art activities you can try at home: 

DIY STEAM Projects -for elementary school, via GoldieBlox on Pinterest 

Preschool Science - for younger ages, via DV FDHA on Pinterest

Tween Art Projects  - via A Cup of Whimsy on Pinterest

Preschool Art - for the wee ones, via Preschool Ponderings on Pinterest

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Well, this is new... #tween

I had a shocking revelation this week. My little girl is totally a tween. Almost eight years old but mature beyond her years, my creative, sporty, and sensitive child is becoming moody. She is isolating herself more. She has less patience with baby brother, who has somehow captured a hurricane in his little toddler body. She worries... a lot. She studies and writes lyrics to songs. She wants to look stylish. She wants to understand more about love and dating - but she doesn't want to ask me.

Insert mom freak out here... I have no idea what to do with this! 

I have had several years to become comfortable with little kids. My relationship with my daughter has been extra special, and I want to walk that fine line between being #1 fan and being her mom. I want her to talk to me and always know that I've got her back, but I don't want to nag when she just needs space. I want her to love her brother and play with him without a feeling of parental responsibility. It's OK for her to be the fun one in his life, and she is not less cool for hanging out with him. She's actually one of the coolest big sisters ever!

Are you stepping into the world of tweens too? Experienced moms of teens... do you have any tips for smoothing out the bumps in the adolescent road?

In the meantime, I need to study up. Here are a few expert articles that are helpful starting points to guide parents through tween years:

10 Tips For Parenting Your Pre-Teen 

28 Things No One Tells You About Parenting a Tween 
("they will Google you" - I love this.) 

Parenting Tweens section on Huffington Post

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Learning how to lose

I think it is great when children enjoy sports with a bit of competitive flair. Succeeding at a sport builds confidence and keeps our young people energetic and healthy. But one of the most important things that sports can teach us is how to lose.

If you follow BalancingMama on Facebook, you may have seen the recent conversation that came from our volleyball tournament experience. Our six-to-eight-year-old girls had their first tournament the other day to close out the winter volleyball season. The bracket was set up in a weird way, with winners moving on to the championship match and losers playing a consolation match. Not a typical tournament situation, but we all understood the schedule going into the day. Alas, our girls- team did not win their first match, so we were placed in the consolation game.

The parents decided not to play it

The parents felt like it was "pointless" to play again since we could not win the tournament. They mentioned that only first and second place would get medals... so why play that last game?

Um... because it is fun? Because the girls can get more play time? Because it is the last hurrah of our volleyball season? Because it was on the schedule and we all knew what the bracket entailed?

How about to teach our girls how to lose?

I was against leaving that day in a forfeit of the final game. My daughter wanted to play and she didn't understand why so many parents refused to stay. Yes, she enjoyed her ice cream with a few teammates instead, but we could have done that after the consolation game, anyway. 

I know in our youth sports "career", we will probably encounter poor sportsmanship often. I just wish it wasn't so. Kids need to play the sports they love because they love it. They should be proud of their winning accomplishments, but understand that losing is part of the game. There always has to be a loser. Sometimes in life, that loser is going to be you... or us. Losing teaches us how to find the good in a situation and enjoy what we can. Losing teaches us to face disappointment but contain it. To keep it within the realm of that one situation and to not allow it to take over our happiness.

In life, we will all lose somewhere. We can decide it is all pointless and go home, or we can smile and play again simply because it is fun.

Monday, February 8, 2016

What is there to do at the Children's Museum of Atlanta?

Our family received complimentary tickets to view the newly-renovated Children's Museum of Atlanta and the current exhibit, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion. As always, all opinions are 100% mine. 

 My family is new to the Children's Museum of Atlanta. I took a small toddler Amelia there many years ago, but other events, time, and distance kept us from returning. So the entire family jumped at the chance to view the new renovation and Mayan Medallion exhibit this weekend. An Atlanta attraction that none of us had really seen before? Yes! A perfect Sunday morning outing. 

With an almost 6-year age gap between my children, we were curious if the Children's Museum of Atlanta could entertain her as well as our little guy who just celebrated turning two. The museum did not disappoint! It has captivating exhibits and play spaces for all ages. (Even my husband and I played and didn't want to leave!) 

The current feature exhibit is The Mystery of the Mayan Medallion. While a bit over the toddler's head, it was a perfect mini archaeological adventure for our second grader. Andrew did enjoy running in circles through the "cave", as he called it, and peering at insect and arachnid specimens through a magnifying glass in a rotating display, before scampering off to play with the foam darts, magic sand, or to clomp up and down the piano stairs. Did I mention there is a lot of fun to be had at this museum?!

The big hit of the day for my children was the child-sized diner a'la Waffle House in the Fundamentally Food area. Kids gravitated towards this amazing kitchen where they could serve up pretend bacon and eggs, coffee, and (of course) waffles to grown-ups in diner stools or at a classic Waffle House booth. The Diner includes an interactive jukebox filled with kid-friendly music. The children of many ages seemed to play together exceptionally well, and everyone had a great time. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mommy and Me Monday: Snow, Anniversary, Birthday!

On Friday, we had early school closings. The flakes began to fall that night. On Saturday morning, we had more snow - and the kids went out to play! That evening, as is the norm for Atlanta winter, roads were clear and dry and life moved on. I enjoyed a grown-up dinner out to celebrate my 13-year wedding anniversary (today!). Tomorrow, my little guy turns two.

What a fantastic few days of events!

Here we are enjoying our southern snow day...

Linking up with Really, Are You Serious for Mommy and Me Monday! A snow day is a great opportunity for a fun photo with the kiddos.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Vinegar for cleaning: top 5 best uses #home

Do you ever have towels that smell musty no matter how much you wash them or how much snuggly clean, mountain fresh, or floral  fabric softener you use? I just found the solution! One wash with vinegar instead of detergent (and omit fabric softener) can do the trick! This brought life back to our fluffy towels because, finally, they do not stink anymore. I was about to purchase new towels so my 99-cent bottle of white vinegar saved us some cash too.

Do you use vinegar for cleaning at home? You should! Vinegar is one of the most useful items in my pantry. It's not just for salad dressing and dyeing Easter eggs anymore!

Vinegar for cleaning: top 5 best uses at home

(1) Floor cleaner - if you have tile or hardwood floors, you can mop them with watered-down white vinegar. It works just as well as store-bought floor cleaners and it's super easy and inexpensive.

(2) Bath and shower scum remover - A white vinegar scrub can remove stubborn film around the bathtub from grimy kids. You can also get the scum out of shower door tracks/frame by letting some vinegar sit in the grooves for several minutes, then rinsing out.

(3) Removing smells from laundry - As mentioned above, one wash with a cup of white vinegar in the washing machine (instead of detergent and with no fabric softener) can get hard-to-remove mildew odors from fluffy towels. After the vinegar wash, restart another cycle using detergent and softener as usual. Speaking of laundry, a rinse in vinegar can also remove detergent residue that can dull black clothing items.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I forgot how annoying toddlers can be

My little guy is turning the big two in just a few days. He is bursting with new words every day and he is a non-stop ball of inquisitive, noisy energy. I feel like my daughter was a whole lot easier. I mean, she certainly had her awful moments, but I seem to recall that she would sit once in a while.

Maybe I just forgot how annoying toddlers can be. It has been many years since I had a toddler. This recent post on nails it. In 25 things I forgot about having a toddler, the writer hilariously reminds us of the shopping cart Houdini action, never-ending need for door locks, and amazingly destructive powers when it comes to anything the older child holds dear, among others.

She also reminds us that the toddler years fly by quickly. At almost age two, my guy is transitioning to a preschooler faster than I can keep up. He is yelling more and hitting more, but he has decided that chicken is not a method of torture and he will take a bite or three if he feels like it. Progress.

This week? He began an additional day of daycare. He walked into the room on his own today. He grinned at some kids and without tears, turned back to me and said, "bye, Mama!". Progress!

Um... what? That confident little boy walking away from me... when did that happen?


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The only conference where shoes are optional! #BeachesMoms #BeachesDads

Who takes off their shoes at a conference?
BeachesMoms and BeachesDads do!

Social Media on the Sand was an amazingly successful conference and networking event yet again in 2015. Social Media on the Sand 2015 was the second of what will hopefully be a long-running annual experience for social media influencers and their families. See the past BalancingMama BeachesMoms posts to learn about more of my favorite elements of the resort and conference, and enjoy this fantastic video form our friends at Beaches Resorts.

I guarantee it'll make you smile!

This year’s Social Media on The Sand ‪#‎BeachesMoms‬ and ‪#‎BeachesDads‬ ditched the boardroom and set-up shop along the turquoise coastline of Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa. With their feet in the sand, the 150 social media influencers sharpened their skills, created meaningful opportunities for their business and of course, immersed themselves in the Beaches Luxury Included Vacation lifestyle. From ‪#‎throwbackthursday‬ 80’s Party and Sip and Sail Welcome event, to a Trick-or-Tweet Halloween bash, this year’s event was epic!

For more info on the event, check out

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