Food, Travel

Snack Foods You’ll Want to Take Camping

I have partnered with the following brands for feature

Snack Foods You'll Want to Take Camping

We bought a new Toy Hauler last year and we love taking weekend camping trips here in the Pacific Northwest. I pretty much have packing and food prep down to a science, but when we first started RV camping it took some research and planning to make sure I packed everything we need and minimize store trips into towns. The first weekend of new RV owners we took it to a very local campground for a weekend as a trial and learn what we were missing.

Our first weekend out I realized some of the things I wish we had were cleaning wipes (boys and toilets in tight spaces), smaller kitchen garbage bags and more snack variety. The snack thing was tough because with boys and us we sort of got bored with our options by day 2 and found ourselves overspending a tiny grocer near camp so we can find some different snack ideas. I am always prepared with some guilt-free snacking options.

Here a few favorites I have stashed aside for our Memorial weekend RV trip. My son LOVES Snikiddy’s Grilled Cheese Puffs. We actually leave on his real birthday (Friday the 25th) so I geared a lot of snacks for him and the friend he is bringing along. He also loves Bare fruits in his lunches at school and I have the apple packs packed in the RV.

My husband is a Jerky loves so he has some Country Archer Jerky packed. We just tried the honey chipotle flavor and I was a bit skeptical trying it but I like it. Not too much of a heat kick and still addicting.

My personal favorite is Pop Corners. I love all of their flavors and having the Kettle Corn flavor is the most snack dangerous for me. I cannot stop eating them. Of course, I love a good potato chip when we grill hot dogs. To me, you can’t eat hot dogs when there are no potato chips handy and I feel much better munching on the Good Health Avocado Oil chips as opposed to those cooked or fried in unhealthy oils. I use avocado oils to cook with so these are the chips I choose.

We also need grab and go snacks for by the lake or polls on site and the Enjoy Life Grain & Seed bars make a great snack. They love the chocolate marshmallow flavor best! When you pack snacks, remember you will be eating more than an average weekend at home. It just always works out that way so make sure the snacks you choose are on the better side of ingredients and oils. It makes you feel a lot less guilty in the end after a weekend of food and fun!

Father's Day, Gift Ideas, Graduation Gift Ideas, Travel

Nomad Cell Phone Accessories for Father’s Day

I have partnered with Nomad and samples were sent for feature

Nomad Cell Phone Accessories for Father's Day

Dad’s are always at the back burner it seems. They are no less important than Mom, but tell that to a young child! I have had a lot of gifts float through here and none have hardly turned my husband’s head like the Nomad products that arrived.

My husband loves quality and never settles for less than what has the best reviews or what will be the most durable when it comes to anything he buys from tools, accessories and even cars. That’s why Nomad is one I am excited to share in my Father’s Day Gift Guide.

Right away you feel the quality! Not just in the packaging but the leather in the cases and even the wireless charger stand is wrapped in premium leather! Below is the inside of the phone cases..a note that says the leather is genuine. The outer color was slightly darker than the image on the box and it will age but I love the color once I opened it up.

I really thought my husband would not care much for the Leather Folio but once he felt it, he immediately put his phone in and added some of his most used cards and even can put cash in a slit and he has been using it everyday since! He loves how it feels and also that he doesn’t need to carry his bulky wallet everywhere. It is minimally treated, vegetable-tanned leather from one of America’s oldest tanneries.

Nomad’s new Wireless Travel Stand works fantastic! We have gone through several stands that just don’t charge fast or even fully. This one charges fast! I’d love to show you an original photo, but I went to grab it and my husband told me he had to take it to Alaska with him for the week for work. He was eager to take this with him and use in his hotel for the week with his iPhone 8. It is a classy-looking stand just like the cases!

I can’t recommend Nomad enough for a genuine, classy and quality accessories for Dad’s cell phone! You (and he) will not be disappointed! Visit HelloNomad.com to see all of the available products.

Gift Ideas, Home, Travel

Making Photo Canvas Travel Memories from Canvas Factory

I have partnered with Canvas Factory for this feature

Making Photo Canvas Travel Memories from Canvas Factory

Have you heard the quote, ‘Memories are the Best Souvenirs’? As frequent travelers we know that to be so true. With my husbands oldest 2 boys we were not financially in a position to travel too far. We camped and would spend up to 2-3 years between affording the big travels like Disney and San Francisco. Now those boys are about grown and we have our 9 year old son together. We are in a different position financially and this child has seen so much of our country and it really does leave a special imprint on a young soul who leaves his turf and see other cities and history within our country. I finally found a way that works with our new home decor to create these travel memories by displaying them on the walls upstairs on canvas.

The best local memories I have are girls night at a local canvas class and that was where my inspiration came from to collect canvas of all the places we have visited. When we end the day to head upstairs, we (including our son) walk by all of our memories. I decided to do skylines and I have a few more to collect. We frequent Las Vegas and last summer I took our son to conference in NYC and he fell in love. We are going back this summer and my husband will be coming with us as he had started a new position at work last year and could not see it with us. Canvas Factory just sent us our New York skyline! I have added that to the wall where my Las Vegas skyline I painted myself is hanging.

I am looking to create and hang skylines of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and then find more places to visit and accumulate more wall memories. I chose skylines because they are easy to find and even create in illustration type. I always make sure I add the city name on the bottom corner like my New York and Las Vegas prints have. It just adds to the cohesiveness of the wall. Ordering at Canvas Factory was so easy and they seem to always have specials running so the prices are always fair.

If you have not ordered a canvas print before it is so easy. Canvas Factory guides you every step of the way. Once my order was complete I had emails almost daily with shipping status and it arrived very well packaged and no flaws. I had a skyline print I wanted to use and I was a bit nervous because it was a dark print. They did send me a sample proof to ask if I was happy with how it will turn out to make sure I was satisfied and I gave them the green light. It arrived so much better than I thought it would. It turned out great despite the poor quality I sent in. That made me very happy!

Make sure you head over to Canvas Factory for inspiration on putting your own memories on canvas.

The Giveaway

1 lucky reader will win a code to create their own canvas – 16×20″ in size. Open to US and ends on 4/15. Enter below. Good luck!

Canvas Factory Print Giveaway

Tips and Tricks, Travel

From a GPS tracker to smart queues: The changing dynamics of modern theme parks

Theme parks are one of those areas where technology is there for all to see. Whether you went twenty years ago, or twenty days ago – it’s environments like this which really do get the best out of technology, at least in the eye of the general public.

photo source

For a lot of years it has been the rides which have been heavily focused on, and rightly so. However, we’re starting to see waves of new technology which impact the in-park experience to extremes that we never thought were possible. Here, we’ll take a look at some of these developments, to highlight how hi-tech the theme park really has become.

Keeping track of the kids

From a safety perspective, there’s no doubt that this has been one of the big developments in the industry. With that being said, it’s not the industry itself which have devised the traditional GPS tracker – but theme parks are certainly one environment in which these contraptions can work absolute wonders.

As we all know, in the middle of summer, these places can be so full that you can barely move. We’re talking about tens of thousands of people congregating in one park and suffice to say, it’s quite easy for someone to become lost in seconds.

Traditionally, wrist bands would be handed out to small children in case the above did happen. The rise of the GPS tracker means that this isn’t necessary now – and parents can find their little ones in a breeze by locating them through one of the devices.

The end of queuing?

Next on the list is a serious pet hate for any theme park enthusiast. Considering the fact that the parks tend to contain more rides than most of us have time to go on anyway, the fact that some demand a queue time of two hours or sometimes longer is frustrating to say the least.

This is why we have been impressed by the smart queuing philosophy. This effectively means that people are queuing on their phone, and simply turn up to the entrance of the ride when their designated time is shown.

There will be occasions, especially in peak periods, where it might be a little difficult to orchestrate. However, there’s no doubt it’s come as a monumental improvement for most people.

An app which actually helps your experience

This next point follows perfectly from the previous one we have discussed. For the theme parks that haven’t implemented smart queuing fully, or for those which initiate a charge for utilizing such a service, the apps that are on offer usually solve the problem anyway.

These apps will highlight the quiet areas of the park, telling you roughly how long it will take to queue for each ride. From a time saving perspective this is invaluable, and means the days of traveling seemingly miles across a park only to see that the queue is of a similar length are long gone.

Education, Healthy Living, Parenting, Travel

Staying Active – Avid4Adventure Summer Camps for Kids

I have partnered with Avid4Adventure Summer Camps via US Family Guide for feature

Staying Active - Avid4Adventure Summer Camps for Kids

Attention California and Colorado parents! Did you know about the day camps at Avid4Adventure? In these camps, your pre-K-11th graders of all levels will learn to climb, paddle, bike, hike and thrive in the outdoors. With help from their time-tested curriculum and insanely experienced instructors, they give campers solid skills and character-shaping confidence.

This is a great way to truly embrace the outdoors with smiles and pride lasting for long after camp is over. Just take a look…

Avid4Adventure Summer Camp locations

  • Colorado Day camp locations in Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lafayette, Castle Rock and Colorado Springs. Overnight camps in Bailey and Evergreen, Colorado.
  • California Day camp locations in Burlingame, Campbell, Cupertino, Mill Valley, Moraga, Oakland, Palo Alto and Walnut Creek. Overnight camp locations in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado.

www.avid4.com

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Parenting, Travel

Visiting the Oregon Coast – Seaside, Oregon

Visiting the Oregon Coast - Seaside, Oregon

This New Years we took a drive to the Oregon coast and stayed in Seaside. It has been many years since I have been to Seaside and we know it is plenty entertaining for our son. The weather was gorgeous for heading into January and Seaside is located less than 20 miles from Astoria, Or which is a fun town to stay and shop in and Seaside is also about 7 miles from Cannon Beach which is a gorgeous beach town.

Staying in Seaside, Oregon

We chose one of the several hotels located along the river and only blocks from the ocean. Broadway is the main stretch of Seaside where you find the arcade, shops, restaurants and even a summer fun center with activities so staying on the ocean side of the river and close to Broadway is best. The Comfort Inn was where we chose and the staff were all so fun and pleasant. Not just one staff member, but all of them!

pool hotel

The Comfort Inn on Broadway has a pool, hot tub, sauna room and free hot breakfast. The breakfast had a ton of options like waffles, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, cereals, breads, yogurt and much more. They kept a couple beverage items out all day to stop and and grab if needed. They also put fresh baked cookies in the lobby every afternoon!

Eating in Seaside, Oregon

If you drive to Seaside for a few days you won’t only eat in Seaside. With Cannon Beach and Astoria nearby there are several good eating options. However, with all of our stops over 3 days our favorite was Dundees in Seaside on the main Broadway and walking distance to many hotels. The staff is great and they have TV’s for the games and are family friendly. I had nachos and my husband ordered a pizza. We also had beers and mixed drink. Anthony ordered spaghetti and meatballs off the menu. Warning! The Nachos can easily feed 2 if you add meat!

We did go over New Years so hours of eateries were shortened. But when my son had a late night ice cream craving, the Dairy Queen 1 block over from Broadway was open late to serve. They were closing and loaded up his brownie sundae for him and offered him a bag of fries they were going to dump so he was a satisfied 9 year old.

We spent Sunday watching the Seahawks game at the Public Coast Brewery in Cannon Beach, Oregon. If you love unique brewed beers, they have many and are delicious. If you are not a beer drinker, their root beer is amazing! It was family friendly, order as you walk in and fast service.

What to do in Seaside, Oregon

Besides staring at the ocean? For the adults, there is shopping and good eateries. Located between about 6 pubs within a 30 mile radius you’ll eat well and enjoy some good Northwest beers.

For the kids, Funland about 2 blocks up from the beach is the hot spot! It is a huge arcade attached to a pizza place that has good food. It is called Fultanno’s Pizza and is a hit spot for lunch and dinner while the kids play. It is a ticket arcade so kids can earn fun prizes.

With the beach at my back, I took this shot of Broadway in Seaside. A long street of shops, food, hotels and fun!

In the summer, there is an indoor activity center across form the arcade with mini golf, bumper cars and more. There is no shortage in ice cream and candy shops and there are even swings and bathrooms on the beach.

It is also a pet-friendly beach and town! I think everyone in Seaside brought their dog on vacation with them. There is a dog around every corner and everyone stops to talk dog and owner with each other. With our new puppy, Maya she was in heaven and we got to meet and chat with so many other dog owners on our walks.