Everything You Need For The Perfect Family Road Trip

I know a lot of people with children who wouldn’t dream of taking their kids on a road trip. It’s easy to see why - traveling from place to place and always being on the move is a challenge when you have little ones.

But with a little planning, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a vacation on four wheels. And, in my humble opinion, you should try it! A simple road trip can be a fantastic opportunity to teach your kids about having an adventure, seeing the country, and experiencing wildlife from a close distance.

It’s also worth pointing out that a road trip will cost you far less than a ten-day stay in a hotel! With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to consider when planning for the perfect family road trip.


Consult a map

First of all, it’s time to go old school, pull out an updated map, and plan your route. While road trips can be fun, you will find yourself under a lot of pressure if you are driving blind.

You will need to stop every few hours with kids in the car, and also nightly - preferably in a child-friendly motel, hotel, or camp site. Finding an RV park or two is also a good idea - they are cheap, and most will have all the amenities you need to freshen up in the morning before you set off again.

Don’t forget to research good places to eat while on the way. Finally, it’s best to underestimate the distances you will travel. Traffic, inclement weather, or even a burst tyre could hold you up, so give yourself some breathing space.


Family packing

The great thing about packing for a road trip is that you can be less picky than if you were flying by plane. The more room you have in your RV, the more you can pack - it’s as simple as that.

Obviously, you need to pack plenty of clothing for the kids, but you should all have a small overnight bag each, too. It will save you a lot of time from carrying all your luggage into a hotel or motel every night. Clothing aside, it’s essential to bring enough toys, games, and books for the kids, so they avoid distractions. At some points, they will be just as amazed by the scenery you drive through as you will be - but they will have moments where they need some other stimulus.

While it’s tempting to let your kids plug into a tablet or smartphone, use them sparingly - it’s a great chance to promote things like conversation and storytelling.


Bring snacks

Don’t forget snacks - and keep them healthy, too. You will be amazed by a number of times your kids complain of hunger and thirst, so plenty of tasty treats and lots of water will be essential.

String cheese, pretzels, vegetable sticks - they can all go in a simple cooler bag. Stock up on some reusable containers, too. They can keep all your healthy snacks fresh while in the cold box.

And there you have it - it’s that simple. As long as you plan your route well and have enough on board to keep the kids interested and satisfied, there is no reason why you won’t reach your destination without a hitch. Good luck - and enjoy your trip!





Gift Ideas for Kids


if you have a child that wants to help in the kitchen, this set and interactive cookbook from Curious Chef makes the ideal gift for kids age 4 and up. I love this because the cookbook is hands on and my early reader has had a ton of fun checking out recipes and completing activities. The 17 piece measuring set is perfect for a beginner in the kitchen to get hands on with.





    If the force is strong with a kid on your shopping list, the Star Wars Lights and Sounds Model Kits are the way to go. Each kit takes approximately 1 hour to assemble and will leave the kids wowed for numerous hours.  Choose from

    ·      Revell Star Wars SnapTite Build & Play Rebel U-wing Fighter
    ·      Revell Star Wars SnapTite Build & Play Imperial Star Destroyer
    ·      Revell Star Wars SnapTite Build & Play Imperial AT-ACT™ Cargo Walker.

    Retailing from $20-$30, these kits are more than just a model because they have the bells and whistles of star wars included.The three plastic model new kits are available at Toys R Us, Target and Hobby Lobby stores and online at Amazon. Batteries are included.







                




    Lava Lamps are kind of like the gift that keeps on giving. You can add a stylish and mesmerizing touch to a bedroom for under $30 that will be used and admired all year long. Perfect for tweens and teens, lava lamps are available in many fun options such as the volcano lamp and the sandcastle lamp to add a groovy soothing touch to any bedroom.





    If you want to encourage learning, you can't go wrong with a STEM kit from Magnaformers. We loved the Robot kit as it encourages hands on learning through play. Featuring 7 geometric shapes and 8 accessories this is a great kit for both boys and girls this holiday season. Retailing at about $80, this is an all in one gift for learning, growing and playing.
        
    Paper trax is a fun and eco friendly gift option for any matchbox enthusiast!  Made with recycled materials, Paper Trax  is a gift that is good for the planet and is even better for playtime, on the tracks.                                              
    If you are looking for a toy to get the kids up and moving, the super wubble ball is a great  gift idea. This is a tear resistant ball that is like a great big bubble. My kids LOVED this toy and they completely exhausted each other chasing the wubble around!





    Grape Nuts Bark





    The holidays are here and it is time to savor the moments with family! My family has been crafting, decorating, watching Christmas cartoons and movies and of course, eating all of the yummy holiday goodies we can get our hands on!



    We can't help but be a little excited, thanks to all the peeks we have been getting of the trailer for the new film hitting theaters, SING©. My kids think this should be one of the films we head to see this holiday season, and I can't agree more. Taking in a few movies as a family is one of our many holiday traditions!

    I can't help but agree with them. We have to go see SING© and I have made a treat that the kids are singing in delight for. The adults I know also sang with pleasure and appreciation for their waistlines. With the help of Grape Nuts© at my local Kroger I was able to make an incredible and easy snack that indulges the sweet tooth while packing a wholesome punch that is downright crunchy crave-able!



    To make your holiday traditions a little sweeter, head out and grab a box of Grape Nuts so you can try this yummy Grape Nuts recipe. It is so easy, all you will need is chocolate candy coating and Grape Nuts.



    First, melt your candy coating in the microwave or in a double boiler. Stirring often.
    Second, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.



    Third, spread your melted chocolate on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.


    Last, sprinkle Grape Nuts over the melted chocolate. Place the cookie sheet into the fridge and allow to harden, it will take about 20-30 minutes. When the chocolate is hard, break it into small chunks for an incredibly delicious and wholesome Grape Nuts Bark!



    If you are excited to see SING© starting on 12/21, you are going to want to  redeem this coupon on your purchase participating Post Cereal Brands and enter the SING© Sweepstakes for a chance to win the $100,000 grand prize plus the chance to instantly win lots of prizes including movie tickets, speakers and more.



    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Promotion starts 11/1/16 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 3/31/2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, 18 years of age or older. See Official Rules for instructions on how to enter, how to obtain codes without purchase, prize details, restrictions, odds of winning, etc. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor:  Post Consumer Brands, LLC.


    30+ Gifts That Will Have Her Seeing Stars

    This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.




    Galaxy hair, galaxy suckers, galaxy leggings.... it is no secret that chicks like me are seeing stars!
    Lucky for you, if you want to buy me, or a special girl on your nice list, an out of this world cool gift, I have compiled a list of a gift ideas that will leave everyone seeing stars!

    Galaxy Print Leggings

    Galaxy Dress

    Galaxy Hoodie

    Galaxy Sneakers



    Meteorite Wall Clings

    Galaxy Shower Curtain

    Nebula Plasma Ball



    Rotating Galaxy Night Light

    Star Projector

    Galaxy Pillowcases

    Galaxy Sheet Set

    Galaxy Quilt

    Galaxy Throw





    Galaxy Lollipops

    Astronaut Ice Cream

    Galaxy Chocolate

    Planet Pops



    Nebula Cell Phone Stand and Grip

    Galaxy Mousepad

    Space Shuttle in Perpetual Motion

    3d Solar System



    Galaxy Printed Duct Tape

    Galaxy Gift Wrap

    Galaxy Fanny Pack





    Space Inspired Bracelet

    Galaxy Earrings

    Nasa Photo Nebula Necklace

    Nebula Pendant




    Geek Sparkle Nebula Make Up

    Galaxy Chic Make Up Kit



    Which of these ideas is your favorite? I am crazy for all of them!

    25 Awesome Gift Ideas for Walking Dead Fans


    This post contains affiliate links.

    If you have a walking dead fan on your shopping list, you are in the right spot. I have found 25 Awesome gifts that they will love to receive! From apparel to fabric by the yard, this list has something for everyone!

    I think these are pretty fun ideas. I am loving the zombie slippers! I know a few guys who would adore the Zombie Apocolypse Survival Kit. No matter which gift you choose, your going to make someone really happy!





    Clothes






    For Him




    For Her


    Walking Dead Charm Bracelet




    For the Home








    For Fun










    Which of these gift ideas do you think the Walking Dead fan on your list will love the most? I would love to hear if you have an idea for an unforgettable gift idea for the fans in my life!












    Eco Chic Holiday Gifts for Her

    Santa Claus is coming to town, but this year, why not save him a little work and pick up a few environmentally friendly gifts for the special eco chick on your shopping list.

    Promotional consideration was given to the sponsors who sent products and this guide may include affiliate links.



    If she likes to garden and or cook, you can't go wrong with a gift from Back to the Roots. They offer unique gifts that are good for the environment, and the human body too! This year I am loving the Mushroom Farm which allows you to grow fresh oyster mushrooms from a box and the garden in a can options.



    If she likes to cook, she is going to love these Bamboo Utensils. They are stylish, durable and verstile.



    Urban Market Bags offers a convenient and stylish reusable bag system she will love to use for all of her daily needs. These bags are washable and really durable. I love that the set contains 3 bags, which is perfect for a trip to the market!



    This book stand will come in handy the next time she is trying a new recipe! She will love referencing her cookbook on such a chic addition to the kitchen.


    If she is always on the go, and seems to tote a lot of things with her, this adorable zippered tote from ThirtyOne Gifts. I love the size, durability and numerous ways to make this tote a bag that is as unique as the chick on your Christmas list! 


    If you are making her a gift or goody basket filled with eco-friendly sweets and treats, a pretty and reusable package with show her just how much you care! I love these options from ThirtyOne.


    This paper ornament kit makes a fantastic way to bring festive flair to her Christmas tree year after year!


    What are you getting the eco-chick on your shopping list this year?


    Taking the Smell Out of the Holidays

    This review was made possible by iConnect and Febreze.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.



    The holidays are here! I mean, they are really here you guys! This is such an exciting time of year. The food, the family and all of the fun, but there is one thing about the holidays, things can get kinda stinky. It is a good thing that Fabreeze is here to spread holiday cheer while freshening things up!

    In the spirit of the holidays, Fabreeze has brought back the hit song, #12Stinks of Christmas to spread cheer and smiles!

    Doug E. Fresh, “The World’s Greatest Entertainer,” and social media sensation @ItsDougThePug kicked it old school and released the second installment of Febreze’s “The #12Stinks of Christmas.” Don't miss this rendition of a fun holiday song!

    What is your favorite smell from the holiday season? For me it is freshly baked cookies! What about your least favorite smell? It is of course, the smells that happen after someone over indulges on those same cookies!

    There is nothing better than family at the holidays, weird smells included. This year, have a smile with your smelly relatives and check out the video for the #12stinks of Christmas today for a good laugh!





    'Tis the Season for Portraits!

    This conversation is a part of a sponsored partnerships between Sweet Silly Sara and Portrait Innovations, all opinions are my own.

    ‘Tis the Season for Portraits!

    Last week my family decided to do something different, something that our family has overlooked every single year. Family portraits! I think in this age of smartphones, we take so many photos that posing for professional portraits is something that many families, like mine, doesn't consider as often as we should.

    We headed to our local Portrait Innovations studio and put on our biggest smiles. Unsure of what to expect, I took a go with the flow attitude and let our friendly photographer work her magic, and magic she did! Both of my kids had a ton of fun smiling for the camera!

    We had such a good experience that I have to share this info with you guys, because these offers are so sweet, you may have a toothache from smiling over them!




      Free $25 gift mug or ornament with 42 Portrait Package for only $14.99 – ends November 20

      Two Weeks Left! Be one of the first to capture this year's Holiday family portrait with our Early Bird Special. Save $10 now!

    This 42 Holiday Portrait Package is only $14.99 (Regularly $24.99), plus a free gift of your choice (Regularly $25).



    Choose between an 11oz Mug or Holiday Ornament, yours free!

    Our Portrait Package includes 1-10x13 Wall Portrait, 2-8x10s, 4-5x7s, 4-3x5s, 16-2x3s, plus, 5-5x7 Greeting Cards and 10 Gift Tags.

    Never any sitting fees. Portraits and cards are printed in studio within minutes. Hurry, schedule your appointment today!

    Portrait Innovations specializes in giving customers a customized portrait studio experience with creative options for beautiful, professional portaits and personalized photo gifts and keepsakes.

    Photogprahers at each studio have been trained in the newest posing and shooting techniques and work with newborns, children, families, graduates, religious milestones and large groups. 

    When gazing back through old photo albums, do you cringe every time you get to the classic family Christmas photo? You are not alone! Terrible and awkward pictures can be a result of tons of factors, including inexperienced photographers, camera malfuncations, and kids who refuse to sit still for more than a moment. 

    This holiday season, preserve memorable moments in the best way with Portrait Innovations! • Find your closet Portrait Innovations studio, visit http://www.portraitinnovations.com/Find-aStudio. 

    I will be back again to share more info about our experience at Portrait Innovations! If you have had a photo session with Portrait Innovations I would love to hear more about it in a comment!


    Slow Cooker Dinner Rolls and a Giveaway

    This conversation was sponsored but the recipe is from me to you, no strings attached, because I know you will love it!

    This slow cooker dinner roll recipe is perfect for when the craving for bread hits but you are short on time.


    I love to bake bread. It is one of those things that relaxes me and returns me to a simpler life, the aromas that come from my kitchen as the bread transforms from simple ingredients takes me back in time to my childhood, on Sunday mornings when my grandfather would bake fresh bread.

    I had never baked in a slow cooker before so when Hamilton Beach offered to send me their awesome Professional Sous Vide and Slow Cooker I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Something different, something simple, something anyone could make without fail.

    Slow Cooker Dinner Rolls! This recipe also works well for oven baked bread.


    Slow Cooker Dinner Rolls

    3 1/2 cups of flour
    1/2 stick of real butter, softened
    1/4 cup of sugar
    1 teaspoon of salt
    2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
    1 cup of warm milk
    1 egg
    1 teaspoons of butter flavored crisco

    Take a large mixing bowl, 'grease' it with Crisco and set it aside.

    Add warm milk, sugar and yeast to a medium size mixing bowl. Stir it up and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
    Add butter, egg, salt and 1 cup of flour to the milk mixture, stir to break up butter and egg.
    When those ingredients are incorporated add remaining flour.
    As the mixture begins to form dough begin mixing with your hands, let that turn to kneading.
    Knead the dough for about 3 minutes or until it is soft and pliable in your hands.

    Transfer the dough to the greased mixing bowl and allow it to rise for about 30 minutes.



    For the next step, I turned to my Hamilton Beach Professional Sous Vide and Slow Cooker, as it was cold in my drafty old house and you need a warm environment to successfully raise bread.



    I liberally rubbed butter on the sides of the slow cooker pan, next I tore off handfuls of dough and formed it into balls, lining the slow cooker with the balls, spaced about 1/4 apart.
    I turned my slow cooker on low for a 4-hour setting.
    This allowed my dinner rolls adequate time to rise, then bake.



    My rolls came out nicely. They had a delicious golden brown crust but they were as soft as cotton inside and out. The appearance isn't quite as gorgeous as traditional oven baked rolls, as it seems they didn't get as puffy, but the flavor is just as great.



    This is a great way to bake bread when you have a busy day planned, or when your oven is tied up. If you happen to not have an oven, you will be so thankful to have this easy and delicious slow cooker dinner roll recipe for the next time a bread craving hits you!

    I am crazy about the Hamilton Beach Professional Sous Vide and Slow Cooker, let me tell you what I like about it.

    It holds 6 quarts, so it is perfect for cooking for a crowd, it does double duty on cooking capabilities, acting as both a sweet slow cooker and a sous vide cooker, which is a wonderful way to cook with water. It is easy to use, easy to clean and it has a timer! That is so nice!

    This slow cooker makes a great gift option this holiday season and is available at Target for about $130.


    I have been so happy with my Hamilton Beach that I want to give one to you guys! This giveaway will end on 11/30 and is open to US residents aged 18 and older.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Sweet Savings Opportunity with #GEFuelPerks16

    This conversation has been sponsored, but as always I only share the good stuff I know you want to learn about!

    The holidays are creeping closer every day. There are cookies to bake, trees to decorate and cards to sign and send. It doesn't end there, don't forget the countless trips to the grocery store and all of the gifts that need to be planned, purchased and presented to the special people in our lives! It sounds.... expensive doesn't it?

    No worries, I am going to give you an idea that will save you time, energy, and best of all CASH! 

    Gift cards are maybe the best option for those hard to buy for people on your list because they can buy whatever they like with a gift card! If you dash into Giant Eagle now thru 12/7, you can rack up some awesome fuel perks and take care of some holiday shopping!



    For every $50 in gift cards you purchase at Giant Eagle, you will earn a reward of 20 cents per gallon off of your gasoline purchases!  Think about this, making shopping easier, saving time and bringing the cost of gas down all from one trip to the store?! Count me in.

    It gets even better you guys, if you use your credit card to purchase your gift cards, you are double dipping into sweet savings.

    To find a Giant Eagle store near you so that you can dip into these sweet savings on gasoline and gift cards like Sears, Toys R Us, Visa, Fandango and more, you can visit this handy dandy store locator link.

    I am going to stock up on gift cards this year simply to take advantage of that gasoline savings opportunity! What about you?

    If you are feeling lucky, we have a great giveaway to share with you! 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Easy DIY Puzzles for Preschoolers

    We love puzzles, but it seems like my kids lose a lot of the pieces in a short amount of time. When I learned about making our own puzzles a while ago, we were hooked. If a piece gets lost it is not an issue as we can make a whole new puzzle for pennies!

    This is such an easy project you are going to wonder why you have never made these with your kids before!  It requires basic supplies and only a few moments of time to create. There is no prep time to speak of, and best of all your kids can make these on their own!


    All you need to make puzzles are:
    Clear tape
    Classic Washable Markers
    Craft Sticks


    First, tape the craft sticks together.



    Then draw a design on the opposite side.


    Color in the background.


    Peel the tape off of the back and scatter the sticks. And there you have an Easy Puzzle for toddlers and preschoolers. If you have older children, you might want to check out my idea for an easy DIY photo puzzle

    These make a great gift idea for anyone wanting to give a sweet gift for a little one on a tight budget.


    6 Awesome Gift Ideas for Walking Dead Fans

    This post contains affiliate links.

    The holidays are here and I am filled with fun gift ideas to share with you this year! If you have a serious Walking Dead fan on your shopping list, you are at the right place! I found 6 awesome gifts for Walking Dead fans that you are going to want to check out. 

    From bracelets to wow her to slippers to comfort a fan during an episode, this list has fun ideas that are affordable, as easy as to obtain as clicking a link and visiting Amazon and that will bring big smiles to the faces of the recipients!





















    Which of these awesome gift ideas for Walking Dead fans do you like the best? I am crazy for that Survival Edition of Monopoly!