The Friday Five #5


Another week, another Friday FivePlease join me in answering these questions. I'd love to read your responses! :)

1) If you could be either a fish or a bird, which would you be, and why?

I'd be a bird. I'm not sure why. I guess I like the idea of soaring over everything.

2) Would you rather it be 10 degrees too hot or 10 degrees too cold? (Does your answer change if that’s indoors or outdoors?)

Too cold. Always. I live where it is already pretty hot, so "too cold" is probably like 20º or 30º F in the winter and 70º or 80º F in the summer. Indoors? I live at 70ºF, so 60º or 50º isn't too bad. I like blankets and sweaters. Of course, it's hard typing when your fingers are freezing, and fingerless gloves don't seem too appealing. Maybe a hot glass of tea or hot chocolate would suffice? So long as I don't spill it on my laptop!

3) What is the best thing that happened to you today?

It's 7am, so not much! The best thing that happened to me this past weekend? (I'm blogging ahead. It's Monday morning.) Finding and buying a mostly sold out dress. It's the wrong size, but I'm going to get it altered. I also spent time with friends and family. Went wine tasting. :) 6 types and one port. We paired them with a three course meal. And then we ate homemade pizza last night. Yum! :)

4) Is youth wasted on the young? (Follow-up: are you old or young?)

I'm not sure. I'm not particularly old. I definitely wouldn't want to be a child again. And teenagehood wasn't that great either. There are things I wish I had realized or done at a younger age that I have done or realized since that have impacted my life positively. But was my youth wasted with naivety? Was my time and energy wasted?  Doubtful. Ask me again in 20 years.

5) Pasta salad or potato salad?

Depends on if I'm in Hawai'i or not. Pasta salad goes with everything in Hawai'i. Potato salad goes with barbecue, burgers, or KFC. Both can be good.

Do you have any special plans for the weekend?

9 Tips for Smoother Travel Adventures with Young Kids


Today, I have a very special guest, Daniel Sherwin of DadSolo.com, who has offered to write a guest post about the best ways to travel with young children. He has some awesome tips to help keep your whole family happy whether you are taking a road trip just a few miles down the road or flying to another country with your little ones!

Adventuring with the family this summer? Get ready for some fun in the sun! Here’s how to keep everyone happy, entertained, and safe during your journeys.

Travel with Toddlers

Little people like to explore… everything. Build in extra time to accommodate additional bathroom breaks and side-trips to keep your stress levels lower.

1. Whether you’re motel-hopping or camping, book ahead. Nothing’s worse than arriving at a destination with tired, cranky kids to find everything filled to capacity.
2. Give your littles an inexpensive easy-to-use digital camera. It’s fun to see the world from their point of view.
3. Consider the climate where you’re headed. Water shoes protect tender feet from crunchy shells at the beach. SPF rash guards and longer boardshorts cover more skin.
4. Still potty-training? Pack pull-ups especially for long plane and car trips.
5. Try public transportation — it’s another experience for toddlers to interact with different cultures, especially if your kids rarely travel regularly by train or bus or boat.
6. Get a child locator. These GPS devices strap to belts, shoes, or wrists. You keep the transmitter or download an app to your phone.
7. Pack antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer for wiping down utensils, seats, and toys. 

8. Put together a traveling first aid kit with kids’ Tylenol, antiseptic wipes, sting and sunburn treatment, a thermometer, Neosporin, Band-Aids, and a few ice packs.

Travel with Elementary-Age Kids

Encourage independence when your kids pack for the trip, but check their bags to verify they’ve remembered the essentials.

1. Whether you’re journeying by plane, train, automobile, or a combination, don’t just count on electronics to keep them occupied. Pack a selection of battery-free activities like puzzle/activity or coloring books, travel games, mini-packages of slime, or Play-Doh.
2. Give your kids a travel journal, where they can write about and draw pictures of the trip. As with younger kids, encourage older kids to use their iPods or other digital cameras to visually document their adventures.


Don’t Be a Stickler for Rules

It’s true that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limited screen time for little people; however, if you’re on a transatlantic flight, delayed in an airport, or stuck in traffic, a Disney movie on the iPad or an extra hour of Minecrafting won’t hurt. Have ice cream for lunch, and let the kids watch television in the morning for an extra hour so you can relax on the deck with your coffee and book.

Talk About Budgeting Before You Go

By age 5 or 6, kids can grasp the idea of budgets, especially if you have simple discussions as part of everyday life. Before heading on your trip, decide on the amount of money your kids can spend on souvenirs. If they earn money doing extra jobs or receive a weekly allowance, suggest they bring some of their money to spend. If you’re headed to a specific destination, like Disney World, you can purchase a gift card with a specified amount for kids to spend with the understanding that when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Healthy Car-Friendly Meals and Snacks for All

Sure, you could go with the standard PB&J or crackers and veggies with hummus. Wrapped sandwiches and protein boxes are good, too — but what about the taste? Your road warriors don’t have to sacrifice taste if you’re replacing traditional road-trip fare with healthier options. 

Protein-filled foods like mozzarella string cheese and apple slices or hard-boiled eggs are excellent examples of meals to eat in the car. All-natural beef jerky’s a win, too. We often snack from boredom, so offer carrot sticks and grapes which last for miles and miles. Make air-popped popcorn for complex carbs, fiber, and antioxidants.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Traveling with kids is never dull — but if you’re a wanderer at heart, don’t let a larger family slow you down! Expect the unexpected, cultivate a healthy dose of flexibility, give yourself permission to go with the flow (even if it’s not part of the itinerary), and enjoy the adventure!

For those of you with young kids, are there any tips here that you plan on incorporating during your next vacation? Is there anything else that you think would be important to keep in mind that may not be mentioned in this post?

IWSG #7


– Figure out the RAID system, decide how much it will cost, and when we will purchase
✗ Is there a better way to organize my pictures?
Finish July travel planning.
✗ Work more on Egypt planning.
✗ Rotate truck's tires.

Additional Successes:
• Worked on September travel planning to NYC.
• Spent more time spring cleaning. Got rid of a lot. Organized.
• Checked another item off of my 101 in 1001 list! (It's slow going these days…)
• Took on additional duties at my job.
• Continued helping my mom by cleaning out another coat closet.
• Washed my car, rotated the tires, waxed it.
• Started organizing the spare bedroom and the garage.
• Opened a new email account. (My school email account is closing and it is one of my most used accounts.)
• Bought a wedding gift 3 months in advance! Woot!

July Goals
• Continue Egypt planning.
• Prepare for August Break.
• Take a much needed break from life by going on vacation.

IWSG Question: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

The answer to this question is twofold: I would like to get paid for my writing, and I also would love for my writing to improve over time.

Writing a fiction used to be my goal, but I have since changed. Now, what I would really like to do, is either make money from writing about my travel accounts with my blog (which I have failed at doing recently), get noticed for putting together research (I love to research!), or put together a nonfiction accounting of my travel in a nonfiction book. I'm not sure I'm fast-paced enough to write for a magazine, and I don't think I have enough interest in writing anything fictional.

As for improving in writing? I've been too busy to think about it recently. I have several books with writing prompts that I was working through and you guys (gals) responded quite well when I used those writing prompts to create blog posts. But responding to writing prompts is fairly time consuming, so I've put it on the back-burner. I'm finding it's hard to balance everything I want to do + my writing. It's important for me to spend time with family, travel, and maintain my income, so writing often comes last, whether or not I want it to.

Your Turn

Do you ever find yourself putting goals on the back burner when life gets in the way? What goals take precedence in your life over others?


Click here to learn more and
link up with IWSG!

The Friday Five #4


Guess what?!?! Another Friday Five!

I've been really enjoying participating. You never know what questions will be asked and I think that's what makes it fun. Please join in. I love reading your responses to these questions! It helps me get to know you better. :)

1. Describe your favorite outfit. Winter sweaters and jeans. Flowing A-line dresses.
2. Describe your personal style. Girly. A little boho. Simple. My favorite stores are Anthropologie and Free People, if that helps.
3. Approximately how much do you spend on fashion/personal care annually? Maybe $500? I'm having a hard time guessing because I don't shop often (maybe one or two outfits every 3-6 months) but when I do I buy more expensive clothing. But then I have hair appointments twice a month. (Trying to grow it out and clear out all of the split ends that drive me crazy.) I rarely buy makeup. Maybe once or twice a year? I don't have time to wear it … and I don't really know how to either. So why bother? I spend even less on jewelry and shoes. I wear the same things over and over again. I may as well have a capsule wardrobe.
4. Do you dress for yourself or for everyone else? Both? I like cute, comfortable, casual clothing, but, due to my job, I occasionally have to wear something specific.
5. Give us your best fashion/personal care advice. Be yourself. I mean – dress for the occasion, but don't let anyone else's opinion effect your style. If you aren't comfortable, it will come across.

What's new with me? Just last weekend we …
– Bought some shelves to organize and store my husband's tools.
– Cleaned up, labeled, and organized our electronics. Now I know which cords are which.
– Went through the kitchen cabinets tossing old and unused items.
– Trashed a bunch of pictures. If I don't like them, why keep them?
– Took my sweaters to the dry cleaner and, less than a week later, now have them stored neatly in a container under the bed.
– Put together a coat tree and hung a hunch of bags and hats.
– Another box went to Goodwill. And we filled up the trash bins and recycle bins. Yet we still have piles and piles of stuff. What does that mean?
– Ten loads of laundry.
– Sprayed insecticide and poison to keep bugs at bay.
– Opened a new email account. Turns out my school email will expire in a month. I use it as one of my main email accounts. Now I have less than a month to get my email address updated on a million accounts and back up all of my old emails. :(
– Agreed to work extra hours at my job.

Phew! I think it's time for vacation.