Christmas is looming near… are you in the Christmas spirit yet?

Christmas is Looming Near

Are you in the Spirit Yet?

Christmas season is shortly upon us. Being as stores have had Halloween merchandise out on the shelves since the week after The Fourth of July. Thanksgiving is undoubtedly not far behind. Then the Christmas rush drops down and we scramble to get everything on that dreaded list.

Let us delve into the new and amazing gadgets, gizmos, toys and games that are hitting shelves this holiday season. If only to occupy our busy days with new and pretty things to distract us more from our ever changing and growing to-do list. Or ya know to make our loved ones happy or whatever the case may be for each of us.

Most of the things I will be searching for will be for my happy, bouncy, beautiful two year old daughter. Who, as much as the family room floor would like to differ, does not actually have every toy known to man woman or child.

Our favorite store to shop, especially during Christmas (a.k.a Black Friday)  is Target.They gave so many great deals. Then when you add Cartwheel (an app that I recommend highly) and the 5% savings with the RedCard, you make out like a bandit.

Second on our store list is (gasp!) Wal-Mart! Now, some people refuse to shop at Wal-Mart at all because they think it is to cheap and beneath them. But, if you do your research you can find a lot of great deals on some really good stuff. And, we don’t have the luxury to shop at the “nice” places/

And then, when we can’t find exactly what we are looking for we move on to our Amazon Prime account. Amazon is great for, well… pretty much anything. I bought a blog plannerand a bag of peach gummi candy in the same order. Progress.

So, without further ado… (whatever that means)… The list of Christmas presents… so far…

I always try to get one Big Christmas gift and a few small ones so it looks like a lot without breaking the bank.

Target:

Learning toys:

 

Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Cube

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Includes 12 colorful shapes and a 3-D hardwood storage cube with removable lid.

 

Alex Toys Bop and Roll

 

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Little hands can grab and bop one of the three brightly colored balls into the hole on top of the base, then watch as it cascades down four levels of patterns and designs. Sturdy wood and convenient ball catch at the bottom ensure baby can keep the fun rolling along

 

Tiny Love Musical Stack and Ball Game

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When the balls are dropped into the cone, Baby is rewarded with flashing lights and music. The balls then come rolling out of the open shoot for time-and-time-again fun. The 4 colorful plush rings stack over the cone, creating a friendly elephant.

 

Kids Electronics:

Hot Dots Jr. Princess Fairy Tales Interactive

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Four 24-page, full-color illustrated storybooks with 11 early learning activities that develop readiness for school success
Hot Dots Jr. Magical Talking Wand lights up and has 17 speech and sound-effect responses

 

VTech Kidizoom Action Cam

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The Action Cam features a 1.4″ color LCD screen and can take regular videos and photos in addition to stop-motion videos and time-lapse photos. Your child can also explore their creativity with fun effects, frames and photo filters. They can download their photos and videos to a computer using the included micro USB cable and share them with family and friends. For even more fun, they can also play three exciting learning games.

 

Super Wings Remote Control Jett

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The easy-to-use controller is designed for little hands, so Super Wings fans can have fun re-enacting their favorite Jett missions from the popular TV show, or creating their own adventures! Requires 5 AAA batteries (not included). “Jett RC vehicle plus electronic lights & sounds Speedy forward motion and 360° spinning action Controller is easy-to-use and designed for little hands

 

 

Kid’s Bikes:

Radio Flyer Kids 4 in Trike

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The 4-in-1 Trike features safety features for the youngest riders, including removable wrap around tray with cup holder, and a 3-point harness. The trike has quiet ride tires and pedals that become footrests for early stages. The height-adjustable push handle and unique stroller-style canopy remove for older riders. The sturdy steel frame and adjustable seat ensure it will last for years.

 

YBIKE Extreme 2.0

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The new YBIKE Extreme 2.0 features new lightweight easy roll wheels and a lighter weight frame. Still equipped with solid rubber wheels

 

Dolls:

Baby Alive Super Snacks Snackin’ Sara Brunette

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She’s a sweet little doll who needs your daughter to make tasty snacks for her. Help her use the reusable doll food and shaping tools to make different kinds of snacks to feed her Snackin’ Sara doll. Then it’s changing time! The doll tells her when she’s hungry, sleepy, or full with phrases in English and Spanish, like “Is it snack time?” You’ll love watching your little girl learn about being a mommy with the Snackin’ Sara doll!

 

Honestly Cute 14″ My Sweet Toddler

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She’s a sweet doll with cute polka dot skirt and pink sweater. Lovely pig-tails that your little girl can brush and braid

 

Wal-Mart:

 

Learning Toys:

 

VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker

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Keeps baby on track teaching shapes, colors, animals, music and how to stand up

 

Disney Minnie Mouse Minnie’s Musical Mat

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Piano spot, music spot and memory game

 

Kidizoom Smartwatch DX

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Video camera with photo effects Voice recorder with voice-changing effects

 

Kid’s Electronics:

HAPPY`S PINK POODLE & CAR COMBO

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Amazing pets that really play with you. Includes 1 Happy’s Pet Poodle Lulu, 1 Happy’s Treat Wiggle Trick, 1 Sports Car

 

DigiBirds Bird With Bird Cage

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Experience the ‘tweet life with DigiBirds! These interactive, tabletop birds are full of animated movements and can sing up to 20 songs! Place your Digibird inside of its Bird Cage and use the included Whistle Ring to activate its singing.

 

FurReal Friends Lil’ Big Paws Snappy the Gator

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This Snappy the Gator toy is a funny pet who’s always good for a laugh! He’s looking for a snack, too. Press his tummy make his mouth chomp! Luckily, he comes with his favorite treat, a crab cake. Feed him his treat and he’ll make happy, funny eating sounds.

 

Kid’s Bike’s:

12″ Schwinn Roadster Trike

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The classic Schwinn trike’s sturdy construction features an extra-low center of gravity frame that helps prevent children from tipping. This Schwinn tricycle will not only provide transportation, but valuable lessons in riding and balance.

 

KaZAM Balance Bike,

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Step-through frame allows for easy on/off, and KaZAM’s patented foot platform sets our balance bikes apart. Our footrest is in a natural position, similar to where they’re feet would be if coasting on a pedaled bike. Having a foot platform that is both comfortable and functional helps kids find their center of gravity. KaZAM balance bikes offer a better alternative to training wheels! With KaZAM, kids learn at their own pace without fear of falling.

 

Kid’s Dolls:

 

Lil’ Cutesies 10″ All-Vinyl Standing Toddler Doll

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The Lil’ Cutesies Standing Toddler Doll will make a sweet addition to your child’s toy collection with its adorable design. This figure has a cute compact size that makes it easy for your little one to take with them on the go. Each sweetly sculpted all-vinyl doll has those chubby cheeks, pudgy little wrinkles and rolls just where you love them most. It features a delightful expression and a cute little caterpillar both on her pink fabric dress and pretend hair tie.

 

MSL 12″ Baby and Rocking Crib with Sounds

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he MSL 12″ Baby and Rocking Crib With Sounds can give your little one a creative option for playing mommy to a little one. With its soft construction, it will cuddle with your child anytime they want.

 

16″ Toddler Doll, Caucasian with Red Outfit

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Your little one will love to play pretend with this doll. Featuring rooted hair and eyes with lashes, the doll comes with a removable dress for hours of fun dress up.

 

Amazon.com-

(if you would like to purchase any of these items just click the image and it will take you to Amazon) (-if you do purchase I will get a comission for these items that will go to the operation and upkeep of my blog. Thank you for your help and support.))

Learning Toys:

The Learning Journey

Match It! Spelling

 

 

This colorful set of three-letter and four-letter puzzle cards provides children with an introduction to spelling They can learn to spell by associating the object with the word and correctly assembling the puzzle pieces The puzzles are self-correcting – only cards with the correct sequence will fit together Match It! Spelling is a fun and easy way to learn this necessary skill 

 

Learning Resources

Gears! Gears! Gears!

Get “little engineers” building with this perfect beginning set that fosters imagination and provides opportunities to design and build structures while experimenting with simple mechanics and science Supports STEM by introducing children to sorting, grouping, counting, designing, constructing, and putting physics into play with spinning gear movement; learning gets more intricate as children’s abilities advance Boosts fine motor skills while promoting reasoning and problem solving as children create moving experiments with spinning, colorful action

 

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

 

Activity table features an interactive desktop and four double-sided cards that introduce numbers, letters, animals, music, people and more Innovative learning table allows you to flip up the kids’ table and create a masterpiece using the easel or chalkboard.

 

Kid’s Electronics:

 

VTech InnoTab Max Kids Tablet

 

 

Children’s tablet combines the best of both learning worlds; features an ever-expanding library of over 650 educator-supported learning cartridges and educational Android apps It tablet has an adaptable design with a tough, kid-friendly cover that can be removed for a more grown-up feel; ever-expanding selection of hand-picked Android learning apps that are perfect for kids of all ages

 

Best Choice Products Kids Electronic Toy Drum Set with Adjustable Sing-along Microphone and Stool

 

 

Volume adjustment knob allows kids to play the toy in either a soft or loud noise environment Drum set contains a bass drum, left and right snare drum, microphone, and a cymbal

 

Babrit Wireless Remote Control Smart Dog Electronic Pet

 

Multipurpose smart dog-Amazing gift for kids and he will be a great friend of your kids. Unique sounds: Different sounds show different emotions.Enjoying the great happiness of playing with the dog.

 

 

Kid’s Bikes:

Huffy Girl’s Disney Princess Bike

 

 

Wide training wheels for added stability The 12 inch Disney Princess features an enchanted doll carriage which is removable for more playtime and holds assorted dolls Princess tires and grips feature hearts and crowns for a royal look.

 

Smart Gear Wooden Smart Balance Kids Bike

 

 

KID FRIENDLY – Riding Toy with: Rugged Tires, Stable Wheel Base for Safety RIDE – Ride All Day With the Comfort of a Cushioned Leatherette Seat UNIQUE – Handle Available to Carry the Kids Toy Around From One Location to the Next with Ease GREAT QUALITY – Outdoor Bike with Easy Assembly. Cool Toy! CHILD SAFETY – Renewable Birch Wood Construction and Non-Toxic Building Materials; Recommended For Ages Two Years Old and Up

 

 

Kid’s Dolls:

My First Disney Princess Sofia Toddler Doll

 

 

Meet Sofia, the Princess of Enchancia! Sofia is the only Princess with a magical amulet that lets her speak to the animals in the kingdom Join Sofia on royal adventures to discover magical fun and friendship!

 

Little Mommy Princess and The Potty Doll

 

 

It’s time to celebrate a major milestone-Potty Training Doll gives girls nurturing, role-play and make-believe fun Features realistic silly sounds and giggly phrases

 

Little Mommy Baby So New Doll

 

This soft and cuddly newborn is all dressed up and ready for her first outing! Doll represents a unique style personality All she needs is a little mommy to take care of her

 

 

These are the things I have been looking at for my daughter for this Christmas. But, as I do every year I’m sure my list will change when the Black Friday Sale ads come out.

It is always a good strategy to have an idea of what you would like to buy for the people on your Christmas list. Hopefully my list will help you out a little bit.

The holiday season is always a very stressful time. But, it is also the season for giving, so remember to be nice to each other 🙂 Merry Christmas season!

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Merry early Christmas!!!

Wishing all of you a great weekend!

Kristen

Allie’s Mommy

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Pinterest… Very very Pinteresting… I must say

Pinterest…. Very Very Pinteresting… I must say!

My intro’s to my blog posts are seriously lacking in originality and fun. <—– (exhibit A)

 

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Pinterest and my lack of pinning knowledge and/or ability…

I am trying so hard to get more into Pinterest so that I can get more traffic to my blog. I do love looking around and saving pins from other really great people I follow. My problem is, doing the work to pin relevant images and descriptions that will efficiently promote my posts. I have so much work to do in general to get myself on a social media schedule.

So, that being said; I would like to share some pinners that I have found and love their design and way of doing things along with their information.

I chose a few categories just to get a somewhat layered representation of different topics. But, these women have so much more going on than just one subject. Please do go check them out when you are finished reading here 🙂

 

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I am listing 3 pinners in each category:

 

Reading:

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Bookbub

Anything Bookish

Smart Mom Ideas

Cooking:

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Ask Anna

Mess for Less

Butter with a side of Bread

Moving house:

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Listotic

House Logic

A Typical Type A

Children:

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Mom Junction

Sunshine and Hurricanes

Kara Carrero

 

Preschool:

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The Measured Mom

One Beautiful Home

Liz’s Early Learning Spot

 

Blogging Moms:

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WFHH: Work from home happiness

Living for Naptime

Smart Moms Smart Ideas

 

 

Now I have some homework for you, while I study these great pinners for inspiration. I would like to ask you a few questions.

How do you organize your pins?

What would be your biggest tip in regards to pinterest?

and…

Do you have any helpful suggestions on Social Media platforms in general?

 

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Thank you so much for reading and helping, it means so much to me!

Have an incredibly amazing day 🙂

 

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Kristen

Allie’s Mommy 😛

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Twitter has gotten me all atwitter: Mom-isms from Twitter

Twitter has gotten me all atwitter!

Twitter…

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Today I want to explore some of the silliness on Twitter. Mostly from mom bloggers who have very interesting things to say about their children and life in general.

These ladies are super funny and also very talented in all aspects of blogging and life.

I highly recommend following them 🙂

Before we get into those, let’s have a little history of Twitter…

Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS or mobile device app. Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world.

The site was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass and launched in July 2006. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with more than 100 million users posting 340 million tweets a day in 2012. The service also handled 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”. As of March 2016, Twitter has more than 310 million monthly active users.

On with the tweeting…

I would like to start with a few that I have already re-tweeted in the past few days. Then I will move on to finding more to share.

Tweeting and motherhood:

 

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Thank you for bearing with me through my silliness 🙂

I hope you are having a wonderful day and enjoy your weekend!!!

 

 

Kristen

Allie’s Mommy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Vacation: What in the world should you pack?

Vacation: What in the world should you pack… and many more tips and ideas!

If you are planning a summer vacation, whether you have small children or not, you need to have a plan. You will go out of your mind if you don’t set a schedule for packing and finalizing all the details. I have compiled a list of tips and tricks that I believe could help. From a small family to a family of 5 or even more.

These tips are just guidelines, you can tweak them to fit your needs. Vacationing should be as stress free as possible. But, who are we kidding with families everything has some stress involved.

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9 Tips and Tricks for packing:

  1. Start rested- As difficult as it may be, try to finish all your packing and arrangements the day before your departure. This lets all of you take a deep breath before the trip begins. From our experience, much of what we’re tempted to chalk up to jet lag or an uncooperative airline agent stems from the stress of having been up half the night tending to last-minute details.
  2. Get excited- Talk about the trip and the destination with your child, and involve him/her in the planning. When she confronts the real thing, the familiarity will be reassuring to them. And you’ll be surprised at what they remember.
  3. Do it together- When packing, let your child help choose her outfits, but make sure you can mix, match, and layer her options. And accept that your space in the luggage will be what little is left over once your child’s every need has been met.
  4. Lighten your load- If you are a chronic overpacker, read Judith Gilford’s The Packing Book (Ten Speed Press, 1998). Then practice what you’ve learned by not packing the book.
  5. Stroll on- Strollers are truly handy-as restaurant seats, as nap venues, and especially as baggage carriers.
  6. Pack a portable potty- Unfamiliar bathrooms can seem pretty intimidating to a toddler who’s learning to use the potty, so carry an inflatable or portable potty seat and expect some setbacks.
  7. Make time for teddy- Often what little ones want most when they’re traveling is what they already know. Schedule a visit to a favorite fast-food restaurant or some quiet one-on-one time with a beloved stuffed animal.
  8. BYO diapers- Disposable diapers are available almost everywhere in the world, but they can be expensive. If you’re traveling internationally, pack up to an entire bag’s worth. Coming back, use the space for souvenirs.
  9. Rent right- Instead of transporting all of your baby items or having the grandparents buy their own, look for a local rental service.

 

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6 great tips If you’re flying with kids:

  1. Don’t stop- Check with a travel agent so you can fly off-peak and avoid congested airports. Generally, off-peak times are Tuesday through Thursday, plus late at night, very early in the morning, and mid-morning.
  2. Sit smart- Travelers with babies and toddlers are often advised to sit in the plane’s bulkhead because it has extra room. We avoid it, though, because there’s no room under the seat for a carry-on bag, and we need easy access to our toys, snacks, drinks, and wipes during takeoff and landing.
  3. Say “I’m sorry.”- Apologize for any disturbances that your children may cause. Generally, it’s not a child’s actions that most irritate other travelers, but the parent’s indifference.
  4. Carry a toothbrush- No matter how short your flight is, be prepared for the unimaginable: Keep enough food, clothing, and diapers with you for a 48-hour delay.
  5. Play with her food- A few days before departing, call your airline to order a kid’s meal. So what if she doesn’t eat it? She’ll be distracted for a few valuable minutes, and you may enjoy it more than your own.
  6. Do it tomorrow- Driving a rental car from the airport into a strange city is a major source of travel stress because most people arrive tired and disoriented. Instead, arrange to pick up the car at a city location or at your hotel after you’ve had a good night’s sleep. (This can also save you money.) Don’t forget to request a carseat if you didn’t bring yours. And if you’re renting in a foreign country, find out in advance if the car has seat belts in the back. Without them, a carseat is useless.

 

Tips for getting to your destination-

  1. Know your way- Use online map services such as www.randmcnally.com to help plan your trip and to avoid questions like “Daddy, do you know where you’re going?”
  2. Pick perfect car toys Leave toys with little pieces at home-unless you want to practice your yoga by bending, turning, and reaching to the backseat floor every 10 minutes.
  3. Be shady- To keep the sun out of your child’s eyes, get some car window shades or hang a towel from the top of a rolled-up window. When you park, use the towel to cover your child’s seat so it won’t get so hot.
  4. Resist reading- If there’s any chance that your older child will get carsick, discourage him from reading. Instead, play games that require looking outside the window. “Count the American flags” is especially rewarding these days. Check www.momsminivan.com for game ideas.
  5. Bring bags- In case your child does get sick, keep plastic bags at the ready. Gallon-size ones are best and can serve a dozen useful purposes. Bring a spare set of clothing for your child. And don’t make the big mistake-as we did once-of not bringing an extra set for yourself.
  6. Pop in a video- Keep the peace on long road trips by renting a portable VCR. A good source: www.drivinsane.com. Or try books on tape.
  7. Don’t “make time”- Trying to shave minutes or hours off the average time it takes to get to a destination isn’t only dangerous-with kids, it’s an exercise in frustration.
  8. Go for the neon- Dress your kids in bright clothing. Pin a card listing their local and home addresses inside their clothes. And if you plan to hike, learn to identify their shoe prints, in case they get lost. This will also prove invaluable at home when you try to figure out who tracked dirt on the living-room rug.
  9. Cruise where the kids are- When choosing a cruise-ship itinerary, remember that most kids want to be with other kids. You’ll find them on shorter, three- or four-day trips, especially in the Caribbean and during school holidays. Lines that excel at these itineraries include Carnival Disney, and Royal Caribbean.
  10. Remember their shots- Well before you leave for a foreign destination, talk to your pediatrician about getting your child any necessary vaccinations, particularly if you’re heading to an area with a high risk of disease. If you run into a medical problem abroad, a valuable resource is the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, which publishes a directory of English-speaking doctors who will treat members. Membership is free (716-754-4883).
  11. Sleep light- It can take several days for children to adapt to a new time zone. So accept that for a day or two you may be reading Green Eggs and Ham at 4 a.m.
  12. Tuck away the memories- Don’t be too quick to rule out experiences that you think your child is too young to remember. What they might be absorbing as you carry her through New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art or pedal her through the back roads of Holland is difficult even for a parent to determine with any certainty. But it is quite possible that she is forming impressions, however buried they may become, that will play a role in making her the unique individual she will always be.
  13. Slow Down- Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt if solo or as a couple. Be realistic about what you can see and do with kids in tow. Don’t try to cram too much into your itinerary. The less you feel you have to see, the more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone.

For the most part, the pace of the trip should be set to what your youngest child can handle. Build into your agenda time for stops along the way for bathroom breaks, snack breaks, and nap time. If you can avoid cranky children it will make for a much easier experience.

 

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Road Trips-

Borrow an idea from the airlines- Purchase or borrow a portable TV/DVD player that mounts on the back of the seat in front. Rent a bunch of DVDs or borrow them from your local library for free.

Take Frequent Breaks– Preferably every two hours. Expecting young kids to sit still longer than that is unrealistic. Find interesting picnic spots, historical monuments, public parks or a playground. Let the kids run around and burn off some energy.

Safety– Pack plenty of water, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight in case you break down at night. Call to make sure your road assistance plan is up-to-date and charge your phone beforehand.

Have your vehicle completely checked out by your mechanic- Oil changes, brake checks, light checks are important to the vehicle’s safe operation. Also, double check the installation of all car seats to ensure they are properly set up for maximum protection.

Determine Your Preferences-

Sit down with your whole family and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member of the family gets to experience something they love. Talk about budgets, expectations, and how you can work with the dollars available to plan an exciting family trip.

Travel experts have found that the most successful family vacations are those that involve both parents and children in choosing destinations and planning for their trip. Through these conversations, you will learn more about each others needs and find destinations and activities to suit the whole family.

Be Flexible on Vacation-

Avoiding holiday periods and traveling off-season can yield big savings on flights and accommodation. Even if your kids are in school, consider traveling just outside of major school holiday periods.

Give yourself the best chance to capture a cheap flight. Leaving a few days or even weeks before or after your ideal date could mean the difference of hundreds of dollars. Think about using airfare sales to help determine your family’s vacation destination and time of departure rather than the other way around.

Pack Smart-

Pack the bare minimum because you can always buy it there. Roll clothes and stuff socks and underwear inside shoes. Wear your heaviest clothes on the flight. Encourage kids to choose and pack their own clothes to minimize complaints and to teach travel skills.

Select versatile and comfortable clothes and color-coordinated separates so if something gets dirty you only have to change part of the outfit. And pack bags with what is needed first on the top — a change of clothes for dinner, pajamas, or what is needed during the day including a change of clothes in case of accidents.

 

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Hotel Tips-

Pick a Kid Friendly Location – Stay in a safe and central area that’s close to local attractions, food outlets, the beach, the park, and all preferably within walking distance. This will save you time, money, and your kids from getting bored.

One of the great features of the Booking.com website is you search by Family Hotels.

Duration of your trip-

Stay More Than 1 Night – Many hotels provide their best deals when you stay over more than one night.

Stay over Sunday – Many hotels receive Friday and Saturday night bookings from leisure travelers and Monday-Friday bookings from their business travelers, so there can be a void on Sunday nights.

 

Other helpful hotel tips-

Check for Family Deals – Always ask about discounted rates, free meals for children, and an upgrade at check in – they can only say no.

A Pool and games room – Kids love both of these options. Does the pool have any special features (like a slide or waterfalls)?

Make Sure it Has a Lift – Carrying strollers, toys, and luggage up several flights of stairs is NO FUN!

What’s the room configuration? – For a family of four two double beds is required or a portacot. If you have a baby make sure this is available, and for free.

Coupons and Discounts – Check out the brochure shelf in the lobby and any tourist literature in your room for ways to shave a few bucks off the price of your family vacation.

Enroll in a Loyalty Program – Many hotel chains are now offering free loyalty programs with incentives like earning free rooms after multiple stays. If you travel often and stay at the same chain, or one of its participating partners, you may save on future family vacations.

Check the Dining Options – Does the hotel restaurant and room service have a kids’ menu?

TV Channels – Does the hotel offer several family-oriented cable stations, like Disney, Nickelodeon, AMC, Discovery and Lifetime? Is there a movie library with kids’ movies?

Bathtub? – You’ll want to be sure that your room will include a bathtub. It’s very difficult to give a child a bath in a shower stall.

Laundry – For longer vacations, check to see whether the hotel has coin operated machines for hotel guests.

Consider a Cruise or All-Inclusive Resort-

With activities to appeal to every generation, food choices to suit all ages, and itineraries that can be full-on or you just sit around and do nothing, a cruise or a resort can eliminate daily decision making that can cause conflict. Look for Kids Eat Free, Stay Free, and Play Free deals.

Consider Apartment Rental-

Most big-city hotel rooms were not built for families with young kids. They usually have no refrigerator or microwave, floor space is at a premium, and neighbors can hear every tantrum. But with an apartment you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, a washing machine, and separate bedrooms.

These extra facilities on a long stay can make your trip so much more enjoyable.

Do a Test Run-

If this is going to be your first serious trip as a family, consider starting with a shorter trip such as a weekend away or even just a day trip to the zoo as a trial run. This will help you figure out packing choices, daily routines, how fast you can move around, and how you all get along and interact together.

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Set a Budget-

Travel with kids does not have to be expensive. Decide on a comfortable budget that works for your family and include items such as souvenirs, entertainment, and a few unexpected activities. Once again involve your kids to make sure they feel comfortable with your travel plans.

Hot Tip: Every now and then blow your daily budget. We go away to experience things and create lifelong memories. Don’t limit yourself to just traveling for the sake of traveling. Go splurge on a famous restaurant, see a big concert, attend a mega sporting event, go on a safari, jump out of a plane, do something incredible.

Build in Some Private Time or “apart” time

No matter who you are, everyone needs a break from each other at some point. While the goal of your trip is to create shared memories, it is also important to remember that children need time to burn off energy and enjoy the company of kids their own age.

Likewise, us parents need quiet periods for rest and some adult company as well. Keep this in mind and be a little flexible on your trip, as children’s moods and interests can change constantly. If you and your children find something you’d rather do, be spontaneous and go with the flow.

Bring a Few Comforts from Home

Allow your children to bring along a few home comforts such as a stuffed toy, reading books, or a portable music player. Activity packs can be a lifesaver on a plane and car rides. Make one with items such as coloring pencils and books, card games, board games, hand held electronic games, puzzles etc.

Capture Your Memories-

Consider giving your child a journal and a cheap digital camera. Pictures can be put into a scrapbook after you return, providing a lasting keepsake of your wonderful experiences together.

Encourage creativity-

If your children are writing a journal, encourage them to draw and list things they see, eat and experience. And how about buying a cheap postcard from each destination and help them to note a memory on the back, or they can create a large collage to place on their bedroom wall once home.

Keep Meal Costs Down- 6 tips

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Food costs can eat up a large portion of the family travel budget.

  1. Go out for Breakfast or Lunch – Try and avoid dinner as restaurants raise prices. OR, have brunch instead of 3 meals a day. Many restaurants offer lunch specials where items on the dinner menu are offered for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for the same meal in the evening. And we find that breakfast and lunch is easier with young kids as they are tired by dinner time.
  2. Eat Away from the Tourist Streets – Just go one street or one block over and it will usually be cheaper and more authentic. Eat where the LOCALS eat. Also, eat at the popular street carts, usually the most authentic and cheapest meal.
  3. Self-Cater Where You Can– On long stays, we make self-contained accommodation with kitchen facilities a priority. Stay in places with a refrigerator so you can store breakfast foods, snacks, and bottled water. Purchasing your own supplies from the grocery store can save you big bucks.
  4. One meal for two kids– Our kids are young enough to share one kid’s meal so on most occasions we only buy one. You can always buy another if they’re still hungry but you can’t send one back!
  5. Free Breakfasts– When booking a hotel look for one with breakfast included. Also, have picnics, barbeque’s, and house parties. This saves precious money.
  6. Take Your Own Food- Always take your own snacks on flights, buses and road trips where practical. Long road trips or flights can leave kids feeling cranky and hungry. Pack plenty of snacks for yourselves and your children. Do not assume that you will be able to stop and buy snacks along the way as airports especially can be expensive and have a limited selection of healthy options.

 

Do the Free Stuff for vacation-

Many things to see and enjoy are absolutely free. See a street fair, concert, or cultural event. Catch a magnificent sunset, take a walk or bike ride, play in the park, swim at the beach or lake, climb a mountain.

  1. Use the Free Days – Attend museums and tourist sites on FREE DAYS or when they are discounted. Most museums have special discount times or free nights. Before you go anywhere, make sure you look on their website or facebook page to find out if they offer free visiting hours or family discounts.

Advanced Planning-

Finding accommodation when you arrive without booking ahead can be challenging with children in tow. It’s definitely worth pre-booking at least your first couple of nights, even if you want to be flexible on your travels: this will allow you to look for other places in a more leisurely way.

After a long flight or car journey, the last thing your family will feel like is hunting around for somewhere to stay and something to eat. Make reservations and map out your first day or two in advance to make the trip smoother.

Sleep Whilst Traveling-

When taking a long flight, train, or bus journey, try and plan it so you are traveling at night. That way, you don’t have to pay for a night’s accommodation.

Learn a New Skill Together-

We believe life is “all about the memories”. By doing something new together, your children will be impressed with your sense of adventure and curiosity. Learn to kayak, snorkel, surf, a cooking class or spot wildlife in nature. Maybe go snow skiing, fishing or roller blading.

Find something that’s new to all of you and share the joy of learning together.

Expect the Unexpected-

Attitude is everything- no matter how much you plan and prepare, things can and will go wrong. Just go with the flow and everything will work out great. Travel is not always easy and traveling with kids can be tough. So just treat your trip like one big adventure and any mishaps simply become small obstacles for you to overcome.

Plan for occurrences such as air travel delays, illness, and homesickness. If unforeseen events happen, stay positive. Your children will learn important life lessons from watching you on this trip.

You Were a Kid Once-

vacation goes to the kids

Try and put yourself in your kid’s shoes. Remember what you were like as a small child, or teenager, and how you liked to travel and be treated and the things you enjoyed doing.

 

Silly tips you already know but a reminder doesn’t hurt-

Shed the excess you won’t need it. Pack light and pack with intention. You’re staying a few days, not a few months.

Book the Rental Car Early It can take a few days of hunting on different sites, but try to book a month out and get a great deal.

Bring $40 in One Dollar Bills- Whether it’s the skycap, the rental car shuttle driver or the bellhop at the hotel, it pays to have a few extra bucks in hand to take care of those that are taking care of you. Be remembered for your generosity, not your nuisance.

Buy Snacks Before The Airport. This can save you a few bucks at the airport while you wait to board the flight.

Be Grateful- Traveling with children isn’t easy. There are fights over beds, electronics and pool toys. There are encounters with waiters, flight attendants and other travelers. Choose to stick out because of your grateful attitude, not your entitled one. Things won’t always go your way, the weather won’t always be perfect and your accommodations won’t always be ideal. But choose gratefulness instead of bitterness. People notice. And, you will all be happier, which matters most anyway.

Put Your Phone Away– Time away needs to be exactly that. Time away. From Facebook, work email, scheduling craziness, Twitter, endless text conversations… the list goes on. This one is hard for me. I try and get the best picture for Instagram, not just the memory. Chances are pretty good that your world won’t fall apart if you leave your phone behind for a few hours at a time.

Dress with the Airport in Mind The dreaded security line with multiple young kids. Wear slip on shoes (with socks, that floor is nasty) and leave the belt in the bag. If you’re leaving cold and headed to warmer weather, wear light layers that you can shed easily when you arrive.

Soak It Up No vacation will perfectly satisfy you, but work to be engaged and present during your short trip. These trips, whether they’re across the world or simply down the road, are opportunities to forge deep meaning into your families. The bills, the work and the chaos will be there for you when you return.

Bring Cards, Books, Even Homework for Flights and Layovers. Especially on the plane. It’s not simply another place to go to watch Netflix or play Crossy Road. Books, playing cards, even homework can do the trick.

Find a Song- play it every single time you’re in the rental car. Windows down, laughing, singing. Music is part-magic, part-mystery. There’s no doubt in my mind that every time your kids hear this particular song, they’ll think of this specific vacation.

10 tips for taking the stress out of family travel-

  1. Involve the kids. Your ideal vacation may not be what your children have in mind. It’s a good idea to get the kids’ input at the very start of the planning process so they will have a stake in making things go right. Above all, make sure everyone is on board with the destination. European opera houses? Wait for your 50th anniversary!
  2. Do your homework. The better your grasp on where you are going and what you want to do there, the more enjoyable the experience will be. You don’t need an itinerary carved in stone, but you really must have an outline. The Web is a great place to get up-to-date information, as are travel guidebooks. If you work with a travel professional, pick his or her brain; a good agent may have a better idea of what you want than you do.
  3. Build in some downtime- Flexibility is the key when traveling with kids. Everyone will have a better time if each has a chance to do his own thing, whether it’s reading a book or hitting the beach. “Alone time” is greatly underrated in family travel planning, as is “grown-up time,” so take advantage of a kids-only movie night to share a special dinner with your special someone.
  4. Watch your budget It’s easy to overspend while on vacation, but by keeping an eye out for incentives, discounts and other special deals, you can have a great time for less. Let your travel professional know of any special events or celebrations you want to include to make your trip more special.
  5. Book smarter.-Traveling in the off-season (or the almost off-season) can help rein in those costs and keep the crowds down. (If you make your escape during school time, remember to get a homework pack for the kids.) Also ask your travel pro to keep an eye out for family-friendly specials, which often are not advertised to the general public. These “agent-only” specials cross my desk many times a week.
  6. Lose the crowd- If you vacation at a busy time, look for ways to avoid the worst of the crowds. Here’s a trick: Go left when you enter a national park, museum or other crowded venue — most people will go right. And go deep — most visitors stop at the first thing they see. This strategy also works very well in the grocery store!
  7. Honor your elders- Older folks like the chance to be kids, too, so why not see if Grandmom or Grandpop wants to tag along, or even foot part of the bill. It is a fantastic opportunity for children to connect with an older generation and learn a little about times gone by. Reality check: This year’s college freshmen do not recall a U.S. president before Bill Clinton.
  8. Reap your reward- If you are traveling with your kids, you might as well seek out reward programs that fit your family’s lifestyle. No sense in accumulating points to buy business class airfare when what you want are free sodas, a souvenir T-shirt and a chance to meet Cinderella. For example, Disney has a flexible rewards credit card, the Disney Rewards Visa Card from Chase, which provides interest-free financing when you book your Disney vacation or cruise with the card, as well as all kinds of benefits to families planning a Disney vacation. You can earn rewards on everyday spending that are good toward theme park tickets, hotel stays, Disney DVDs, merchandise and other special discounts and perks that you can use while on your vacation. If you have kids and a Disney vacation is on the horizon, this is the credit card for you.

Do it immediately-

As soon as you arrive (unless someone in the family is overly cranky or tired), set up your room to make it as close to home as possible. Put the baby in the playpen or hotel crib with a pile of toys and occupy an older kid with a coloring book. Or have your partner take the older sibling out to get the lay of the land while you unpack. Settling in will help you remain organized (and sane) throughout your stay.

Designate a baby-changing station-

Bring a box of wipes, lay out a changing pad and stack a bunch of diapers in one area. That way, you won’t need to chase down the diaper bag when that first big poop occurs.

Create a play space…

Stash toys and books on a low shelf or in a drawer, or keep all the playthings in one corner. Creating a place for your baby to play will make the room feel homey and keep it from looking like a disaster area.

…kitchen

Even if your room doesn’t have a kitchen or bar area, establish a spot where you’ll keep bottles, dishes, baby food, snacks, formula and dish soap. Sometimes the bathroom is best if it has the only sink in the room.

Naps

Your baby needs her naps, but you don’t want to spend your whole vacation watching her snooze. Follow these strategies for squeezing in that daytime sleep:

Walking

Some moms advise bringing the lightest, most compact umbrella stroller on vacation to save room, but I always pack a stroller that reclines completely to make stroller slumber easier.

Wear that baby

If your baby doesn’t sleep well in a stroller, try a front carrier (like the BabyBjorn) or baby backpack. If you’ve never used one at home but think it might be convenient on vacation, try it out a few times before you leave. Not all babies will like it, and it might be too hard on your back.

Drive around

Try taking leisurely drives to check out the area while your baby naps in the car seat. And on some trips, you can coordinate drive time between destinations with sleep time.

Nap-sitting

If your tot isn’t an in-transit sleeper, don’t be afraid to schedule naps back in the room. While it’s a different vacation rhythm than you’re probably used to, an a.m. break and midday siesta can be relaxing for you, too. Just consider your baby’s napping style when booking accommodations; if you’ll need to return to the room often, a hotel near the beach may be a better bet than a spot farther away, even if it’s a bit pricier. If you can, book a room with a balcony or patio so the parent “on duty” can enjoy the outdoors, too.

Smooth Bedtimes

One of the most worrisome things about traveling with a baby is getting your little one to sleep in a new place.

Getting enough Z’s-

  1. Do some trial runs- If you’re bringing a portable travel bed, have your baby sleep in it for a few nights before you leave. That way, it will feel like a familiar, comfy spot to go night-night on vacation.
  2. Give it a few days- While it can be tempting to throw in the blankie and drive home in the middle of a sleepless vacation night with an inconsolable baby, I implore you to power through. Eventually, babies will adjust to their new surroundings and schedule, and sleep. If you can survive a couple of nights, I am (almost) willing to promise happy vacation days ahead.
  3. Book the right room(s)- If bedding down in the same room means no one will get any sleep, consider booking a suite or connecting rooms. A suite may offer the convenience of a kitchen area, but connecting rooms may afford more space at a cheaper price.
  4. Stick to the routine- If your baby’s bedtime ritual at home includes a bath, lullabies and a bottle, do the same on vacation to make up for the change in location.
  5. Get adjusted- Instead of expecting your infant to shift her internal clock and adjust to a new time zone, shift your day: Stay up later or get up earlier than usual by a few hours.

Meals

Sampling local cuisine and splurging on restaurant meals are vacation pleasures I refuse to give up. Dining with babies can be done.

Breakfast in Bed

Because our times to swim, hike, shop or visit an aquarium are limited by morning and afternoon naps, it makes sense for the entire family to eat something quick in the hotel room. So we pack plenty of ready-made breakfast foods like mini-bagels, cereal bars and fruit (bananas, apples).

BYOF

If your baby drinks formula, it helps to pack more than you think you’ll need. To save space, empty powdered formula into zipper-lock plastic bags. Or order heavy staples like diapers and formula—even baby shampoo—from a site such as diapers.com or Babiestravellite.com that will ship to your destination (and since you won’t have to carry the formula, consider splurging on the ready-to-feed type).

Nurse wherever you feel comfortable

You can breastfeed anywhere you are legally allowed to be.

Bend the rules on Vacation

To enjoy dinners out, you may have to encourage what you would normally consider bad behavior. Putting on some Sesame Street for them allows you to actually taste the food we’re shelling out big bucks for.

Eat early

Sure, a romantic dinner would normally be at 8 p.m., but by dining out at 5:30, you’ll likely have an empty restaurant, room to park your stroller, and a short wait for your food. Alternatively, if your newborn loves to sleep in her car seat, make later reservations and then feed her a bottle or nurse her while you wait for your appetizers. Hopefully, she’ll be out for the rest of the meal.

Now, go enjoy! Toss out all your old ideas about what a vacation should be and embrace the new craziness that is traveling with a baby. Laugh at the fact that you’re at the local playground by 6 a.m. and in bed for the night at 8 p.m. Consider all the gear and baby-lugging as great vacation exercise. And then savor going back home to “regular” life that much more.

Review Tips for the whole shebang-

  • Make an Out-The-Door list- Leaving for the airport — as your holiday starts — is one of the most stressful times of any trip. Have a list of things you need to grab as you’re leaving your home. I don’t mean a list of things you need to take (i.e. 2 pairs of pants, 3 t-shirts ). I mean a list of things you’ll need to physically grab. It should be a last minute checklist of all the little (and big) things you’ll need as you are going out the door. There will be the bags of course, the money belt, some water in the fridge for the airport, some snacks on the counter and sweaters for the plane. Plus all the indispensables you’ll want to double-check one last time before heading to the airport: passports, credit cards, cash. There’s a lot to remember — so have a list for it!
  • Put enough in your carry-on bags for the first day or 2 of your trip. This is good advice for anyone but especially when traveling with kids. If your bags are lost you don’t want to be hunting for diapers or a pair of shorts immediately after your arrival in a new city or country.
  • Count your suitcases, backpacks, handbags and keep the number in your head. This is simple and maybe painfully obvious, but it sure helps. You hop in a taxi, “bag count — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 — yep they’re all here”. Easy. (Bigger families may want to conduct a kid count as well.)
  • Use a small digital camera The fantastic shots you think you’ll get of the Grand Canyon, or Taj Mahal or Great Wall of China will be left and forgotten. The really great photos that you’ll love and savor for years to come will be the up-close and intimate shots of your kids and your family. And the key to getting great family photos is to take a lot of them. A ton of them! And the way you do that is to take a small camera, have it with you all the time and take pictures as quickly and discreetly as possible. You might insist, I’ll do all that, but with a bigger better camera. But you probably won’t.
  • Practicalities of Travel
    • Don’t fear — airport security. Security checkpoints force parents to be lean and efficient with their packing. Take what you need but don’t take what is unnecessary. Security can also be a good reason not to take stuff on the plane that you don’t want your kid to have (i.e. your kid’s new water gun). And insisting that you keep all your little bottles and creams in a Ziploc bag — what a great idea!
    • Don’t line up early for trains and airplanes or anything where you have a reserved seat. If you’re one of those people who like to maximize their time on the airplane, by all means, board early, get that seat warm, burn through all your snacks before anyone else has even boarded. How great! You’ll have enough time on the plane without artificially extending it.
    • One parent in charge. Don’t share the burden of any one duty while traveling. Packing for example. One person packs and knows where everything is. Two people pack and no one really knows where anything is. Same with hotels. One person plans them, arranges them, and books them. Do you have that confirmation email or do I? Na-Uh!
    • Get online storage for photos. Besides losing the kids, my photos are what I’m most concerned with losing. Forget your bag on the train platform and there goes your camera — and your photos. You can get free online storage at Adrive (50GB) or SkyDrive (25GB). (You will need a laptop, of course, to upload your photos.) Upload your pictures every night or two and then when you take your camera out on that fishing trip you’re not worried about dropping your camera and losing the last 2 weeks of photos.
    • Hire a car and driver. If you’re traveling in an inexpensive or developing country consider getting a driver instead of driving yourself. Prices are usually reasonable and they’ll know the ways and customs of the road better than you will. (Tip: have the address of your destination for longer distance trips. When you start your trip the driver will inevitably say, “Oh yes, I know where that is”, which translates to “I’ll ask for directions when we get there”. An address, instead of just a name, will help speed the process.)

Being There

Beat jet lag- stay up late the first night. Get outside and do something active. Long walks are good. Parks and playgrounds are great. Kids are usually so excited by their new environment you can get away with doing a lot that at home might not work. One caveat: most people forget — or don’t realize — that meal times can be way off as well in a new time zone. If your child usually eats a big breakfast and lunch but a small dinner at home. This can translate into no appetite at breakfast or lunch and then ravenous hunger at 7pm and midnight. Have a good array of healthful snacks in your hotel room on the first night.

Have a plan for the day- It doesn’t need to be cast in stone – stay flexible and easy going — but you should walk out the hotel door in the morning with a plan of where you’re going, what subway or bus you’re taking, what attractions do you have planned for the day?

Check the website of the attraction just before your visit- It’s amazing how often museums will have closed for renovations, changed their schedule, or have a visiting show in place of its usual exhibits. Sometimes these changes can be nothing more than a nuisance. Other times they can ruin your plans for the day. Checking the website in the days before your visit eliminates most of this uncertainty.

Ask your hotel concierge for suggestions- Depending on the style of hotel asking at the front desk will often get you the owner or management who might have a monetary interest in directing you towards a certain establishment or tour group. A concierge usually has no connections at all and just give good advice.

Don’t do too much BUT don’t do too little either- I think the biggest mistake parents traveling with kids make is doing too little not too much. Get out there. Enjoy. Experience. Wear the kids out and get them tired.

Things to Pack- Essentials:

  1. A swim shirt. These make applying sun lotion so much easier. The back, shoulders and face burn the easiest and this takes 2 of those 3 out of play. But they’re not useful just on hot sunny days. If you’re swimming slightly out of the summer season — or even at a temperate swimming pool — they help keep some heat in and delay those chattering teeth for a little longer.
  2. A great baby carrier or backpack. These are life savers in airports, train stations, cobblestone streets and hotels without elevators. Strollers are something to consider but if you have a little baby with you, a good carrier is close to a necessity.
  3. A fabric high chair. These wrap around pretty much any type or size of chair and hold the baby in place so they can sit at the table.
  4. A flashlight and a nightlight. Street lighting might not be as consistent as in your hometown and you’ll probably have a few nights returning to your hotel down a quiet road or path. A torch or flashlight can come in very handy. And a nightlight for the bathroom: Hotel rooms are unfamiliar and finding a bathroom in the middle of the night can be tricky. If your child — or even you — have to turn on a light it makes it much more likely they’ll have trouble getting back to sleep. A stumble over an unfamiliar ledge in a dark bathroom could make for a midnight visit to the hospital — or at least a lot of tears. A nightlight (with plug adapter if necessary) can solve these problems.
  5. First Aid Tape— aka surgical tape. This stuff is great. Adhesive tape that is so much easier to apply than a band aid and actually sticks to fingers, toes, and the places kids really get cuts.

 

Staying Safe

Most things you do won’t make any difference.

The top 5 that might:

  1. Know the fire escapes. A good practice at any time but especially in foreign countries where the exits and escape routes might not be as well marked.
  2. Drill your kids on swimming pool safety. When staying in a hotel with a swimming pool remind your young kids that they don’t go in the pool without telling mom or dad. Make it the first thing you do after you put down your bags in the room.
  3. Get the necessary vaccines and get them early. Check with the CDC or NHS and get the relevant vaccines and anti-malarial medicines well before departure — some vaccines can require multiple visits and can take a few months to get the entire series of shots. Many adults haven’t had their booster shots, so get those as well. There’s nothing worse than getting a deep cut in place far from a hospital and then having to worry about whether your Tetanus booster is up to date.
  4. Fly longer distances and avoid the highways. Flying is the safest mode of transport. There can be many reasons to drive instead of fly but don’t ever not fly and choose car or bus for safety reasons alone.
  5. Act out scary scenarios. If you’re concerned about your child being lost in a busy market, then act out the scene and what they should do. If you tell a kid what to do when they’re lost, they’ll probably forget it. If you act out what they should do they’re much more likely to remember it. (There’s a reason employers do fire evacuation drills — they work!)

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Final word for vacation-

No matter how much planning you could possibly do there will always be incidentals. Do not stress about the things that will inevitably happen. These things are out of your control. Just know that there is no way you could possibly plan for every situation. You are only human! Just enjoy your vacation. Because, at the end of the day this is your vacation too. 

Enjoy the vacation you planned so well. Your family will thank you for all of the hard work you put in for them.

I hope this helped out a bit. I know I learned a lot in my research.

Thank you for reading. I hope I didn’t bore you to much. Have a wonderful vacation week. 🙂

Kristen

Allie’s Mommy 😛

alliesmommylogo

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Moving: What the heck do you need?!

Moving on up to the east side…….

To a not so deluxe apartment almost in the sky….

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So, this is sort of off the cuff. I did make a rough draft list but most of this is off the top of my head. Honestly, I work better (and calmer) that way.

We are currently in the middle of packing to move. I have been scouring the interwebs trying to find a comprehensive checklist of things we need or don’t need as the time gets closer. Also, trying to find a schedule type thing that is easy to follow and not to in depth. I have failed.

I have decided to put together my own little tips and tricks to make the transition and actual move a little less stressful (I mean there is no way to eliminate all the stress from a move).

I will be jumping around to different checklists and strategies that I have come up with so far.

First of all… I have come up with a system of colored dots on all of the boxes to signify to which room they belong. I had a lot of fun doing this actually. Color coding is one of the things that relaxes me so this was a great idea on my part.

This is my code:

Living room- yellow bar

Dining room- blue bar

Kitchen- green dot

Allie’s room- pink bar

Basement- blue dot

Master Bedroom- yellow dot

Spare room- red dot

moving on up to the east side moving on up to the east side 2

 

I will have corresponding colors on the doors to the rooms for less confusion. We will be having a few friends helping with the move, This system should help it run smoother than it would normally…. hopefully. (I am aware that the yellow and blue bars and dots are pretty much the same but I’m hoping that the shapes will be enough of a difference not to cause a problem).

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Finally, on with the actual lists of things you will need for the first few nights while you are working on unpacking and organizing everything. (at least I know we will need these things) 🙂

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Food/drink type stuff:                                                                                                                                   

milk
sugar
creamer
coffee
tea bags
snacks
water/filter
broom
dust pan
lysol/comet
vacuum

Kitchen:

towels
tea pot
coffee maker
plastic cups and plates
dish soap
sponges
mugs

Cleaning:

baking soda
disinfecting wipes or spray
hand soap
paper towels
window cleaner
rags
bucket

Bathroom:

hand towels
bath towels (1 for each)
shampoo and conditioner
body soap

Personal:

tooth brush
tooth paste
a few changes of clothes
pajamas
deodorant

Kids:                                             

nightlight
pajamas
blanket
bink (if using)
some toys
a few changes of clothes

Misc.

flash lights
batteries (various sizes)
chargers
important documents (rental agreement)
first aid kit
markers
packing tape
paper/post-its

 

Also, take the time to clean as much as possible before you move any large furniture into the house. It is so much easier to do a deep clean when there is nothing in the way. It will feel more like your home if you put that clean touch of yourself in it.

 

I highly recommend…… Cleaning list

 

So, right now this is all I have in the list category. There are a lot of things that need to be done that do not necessarily fit into a list.

 

Make sure to pack things you will definitely need within the first few hours of moving in so that you will not need to search around everywhere in different boxes for certain things. This is easier said than done, but it makes it a lot less difficult if you try to think of the things you are going to need and keep them aside.

 

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Most of all, you will be so happy when you finally get in and settled and can breath a sigh of relief. You are home!

 

I can’t wait for that to happen for us. It can’t come soon enough , because of this I can’t seem to quell my anxiety but that is another post altogether.

 

Thank you so much for reading. I hope I didn’t bore you to much. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Kristen

 

Allie’s Mommy:P

alliesmommylogo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Inspiration Reactions: How does it make you feel?

Inspiration Reactions: How does it make you feel?

 

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I remember being in catholic high school, (well, it was only 13 years ago). So, First thing in Theology class our teacher would have a bible passage written on the board. We would have to copy it in our journal and then write at least four sentences on what it meant to us. Then, we would discuss our feelings and get to know each others thoughts. That was my favorite part of the day. Mostly, because I loved being able to express myself with others instead of being told what something was “supposed” to teach me. It was very relaxing and fun.

So, I would like to take that same idea and apply it to a few quotes. I will give my perspective and I would love if you could add your ideas on some of them. I think it will be a lot of fun and eye opening. Lets get to the inspiration!

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“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you are doing”.

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This quote speaks to me in different ways. It reminds me of what my mom always used to say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”. If you don’t love what you do, you will never put in the work needed to be successful. You will not care about the process or the end result because your isn’t in it totally. Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.

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“Remind yourself that its okay not to be perfect”.

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I picked this one because I hate that word. PERFECT- definition: Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities or characteristics, as good as it is possible to be. WHAT?! Who decides this standard?!?!! This word should never be used for a person in any way! It was made to describe an object. Like, this pen writes perfectly. It has all the qualities a perfect pen needs. People are so different and remarkable that there is absolutely no ONE “perfect”example. I just don’t like it.

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“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”.

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This is a great one Keep your eye on your passion and don’t forget why you started. Strive to reach your goal every day. Don’t be afraid to take a risk to better yourself.You will look back and be so proud of yourself for doing what you never thought you could.

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“View life s a continuous learning experience”.

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I know for a fact of course that I learn not just something but a lot of new things everyday. So many different aspects of life amaze me. My daughter is definitely my biggest teacher. She teaches me so many different things, like how to be humble. How to get back to the basics in life and just be happy with what you have right now. How to love so freely and with out condition. She is my everything.

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“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

I chose this quote because it is my favorite from Dr. Wayne Dyer. He was such an inspirational speaker and all around great person. Change your thoughts change your life. (this is not sponsored but I love his books so much I want to add a link to my favorite. Excuses Begone) If something isn’t going your way change your perspective. Look at it in a different way and see the good in it. There is always a way to make your situation better.

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And one more…. my Grandmother used to say this as she got older.

“Age is an issue of mind, If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter”.

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I always laughed because I never knew what she meant. Looking back now I recall that she never let her age get in the way. It was never an issue for her. She did whatever she wanted right up to the day she died. She has always been my inspiration. It has been 12 years and still everything she did and said resonates in my life. She was a beautiful, smart, loving, wonderful woman who taught me so much about life and what really matters.

So, that is enough inspiration for now. Hopefully you will be touched by one or more of these quotes and want to share your thoughts with me.

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, I didn’t bore you to much. Have a wonderful day!

Kristen

Allie’s Mommy 😛

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Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.

Eating and your Toddler: 27 Tips to hopefully make it easier

Eating and your Toddler:

Getting your toddler to eat can be pretty difficult. If your one of those parents who can’t seem to work it out maybe some of these tips will help you. Hopefully, some of them will give you the confidence to stick it out and figure out what works for you.

I think, I lucked out as far as not having a “picky eater” Allie loves most foods. She will eat pretty much anything I give her. But, I have noticed recently, after only a few minutes she gets bored with it and wants to go play. Now, that may be a result of being able to run around the house easier and get into everything.

I have tried a lot of different things to get her to sit and finish a meal but I have yet to find the right combination that clicks for her and the rest of our family.

I researched a few different techniques and have compiled my own list of tips I think might work for me. Hopefully. some of them will help you and we can share in mutual success 🙂

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  27 TIPS TO GET YOUR TODDLER TO EAT (AND FINISH) A MEAL

  1. First of all, let us just be clear… As long as your child is eating SOME of their food it is a great accomplishment. Especially around age 2 when they want to do anything but what you ask them.
  2. Allow only two to three snacks a day. Such as fruit, cheese, crackers or raisins. Children who over snack will not be hungry for meals. snacks
  3. Avoid to much juice or milk as it takes up their calorie intake for the day. (16 oz. milk and 6 oz. juice) banana-juice-in-glass-13929203836Q6
  4. Give your child smaller portions and only give more if they ask. To much can overwhelm and discourage. Also, giving them this little bit of control will make them want to do it for themselves.
  5. Try to incorporate all four food groups at each meal. (Carbs, fruit, veggie, and meat)
  6. Try, as much as possible, to eat as a family. When the child see’s others eating and enjoying themselves they will want to do the same.
  7. Maybe, change the appearance of the food to peak the child’s interest. (use cookie cutters for fun shapes)
  8. Avoid negative reactions or even positive praise. The child should want to eat to please themselves not anyone else.
  9. If you feel like your child just isn’t getting enough try a multivitamin.
  10. Don’t judge from just one day, as long as your child is getting a variety of foods over a week long period, they are fine.
  11.  As a rule, only make one meal for the entire family.Show that if you are eating the meal everyone else eats the same food.
  12. One bite rule, at least try each thing once.
  13. No substitutes! They must have the same meal as everyone else.
  14. Don’t offer any snacks at least two hours before dinner. To insure they are hungry for the meal.
  15. Get them excited for the meal.  “Almost dinner time, lets set the table!” table-setting
  16. Try to have a tray stocked with anything you might need for the meal. Constant up and down to get forgotten items disrupts the flow and children tend to get distracted fast. eating tray for the table
  17. Offer special rewards for eating a certain amount like stickers or dessert. educational-rewards-prizes-poster
  18. No punishments. but make the rules clear. They must try at least one bite of everything at every meal no exceptions.
  19. Keep your expectations low. These things take time. One day might be great and they eat most of their food and everyone has a great meal, and the next day spaghetti is on the wall and in your hair and the dog ate most of the food. The more you do it and stick to your guns it will get easier.
  20. Keep your eye on the prize. That being, a smooth family experience, not etiquette school. Since it is your house you get to decide what the difference is for your family.
  21. Keep the meal short. As we all know, children have very short attention spans. Get to know your time frame and try to stick within that time slot.  look-blocky-text
  22. Try to make after dinner dessert more of the fruit variety. Cakes and pastries will give them a sugar rush. fruit-mix
  23. Don’t give up! It takes time to form a good habit. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, keep up with it.
  24. Keep offering new and different foods. No matter how many different times, you never know when they will be in the right mood to try and like a new food.
  25. Do not try to put so much effort into the preparation of your toddlers food. They will most likely reject a lot of it. Don’t feel defeated, it happens!
  26. Be sure to have dinner long before bed time. Tired children are notorious for being very cranky and not wanting to eat anything no matter how hard you try to feed them.big-ben-wall-clock
  27. Don’t get to crazy! If you hit the end of your rope its okay to give in and make a PB&J. (but only once in a while)

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Keep your head up! We can’t all be stepford wives 🙂

So, these tips may not work for everyone. But, I do believe they are a great starting off point to find what works best for you and how you would like your meals (and overall life) to be for your family.

That is all.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I hope I didn’t bore you to much. Have a great day and a wonderful week!

Kristen

Allie’s Mommy 😛

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Hello, my name is Kristen Osborne I am a happy mother of one beautiful little girl. Very into the internet and trying out new things.