clear membership

How to Skip the Lines at Airports with CLEAR #ToolsForTravel

I don’t know about you, but I hate how long airport lines can be. Last summer I nearly missed a flight out of New Jersey heading back home, even though I arrived 1 1/2 hours before departure time, which is what is recommended. The lines were insane and by the end of it I was running to the terminal barefoot to catch my flight. Talk about a nightmare! I’m certain many of you can relate to airport stories like mine, so I’m really excited to tell you about a new program that let’s you skip the lines at airports! Yes, it’s possible. Read on for more details.

clear membership

About CLEAR Membership:

  • CLEAR is a membership-based service that allows travelers to get through airport security faster.
  • CLEAR is currently in 11 major airports with many more locations opening soon! Current locations include: San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), Las Vegas (LAS), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH & HOU), San Antonio (SAT), Dallas (DFW), Orlando (MCO), Baltimore (BWI), Westchester (HPN), and Miami (MIA) coming soon.
  • Exclusive CLEAR lanes let you breeze through airport security in less than 5 minutes!
  • Membership costs $179 annually, or about $15 a month. You can add a spouse to your account for $50 and kids under 18 are free if they are traveling with a CLEAR member.

[Read more…]

2015 mazda5

2015 Mazda5: An Affordable Family Hauler #zoomzoom

A big thanks to Drive STI for providing this vehicle loan for review. All opinions are mine alone.

2015 mazda5

Are you in the market for a bigger vehicle that can fit your entire crew? Check out the 6-passenger 2015 Mazda5 Grand Touring. It has just the right amount of upgrades to keep the entire family seated comfortably, while not breaking the bank. So what’s included with this sporty minivan?

2015 Mazda5 Grand Touring Included Features:

  • Power windows & doors
  • Bluetooth hands-free phone option
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Cupholders for each row
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Power-sliding glass moonroof

[Read more…]

villefranche

How to Save Money for a Sunny Day

Have you ever heard the saying, “saving for a rainy day?” I’m not sure where this originated, however the meaning behind it seems to reflect a negative tone. Saving money should be looked at positively. You’re in control of your money, your destiny! 

I’m grateful for a frugal husband that thinks consciously before purchases, especially big ones. When we married, we incorporated his method of using one credit card a month for general purchases and then paying off that debt each month. We stick to a budget and make sure to stay within our means, so we do not accumulate debt. Just think of how much money we’re saving by not paying interest charges. This method requires dedication and time to adjust, but it’s definitely not for everyone. It’s just what works for us. This allows us to save additional funds for sunny days, like a trip to the French Riviera!

In 2009 my husband’s family took a Mediterranean cruise that has left my heart wanting more. We had port stops in Italy and the French coastline. It was an amazing vacation, but I really longed for more time to experience each city we visited. I especially enjoyed the Villefranche port and surrounding area, so my hope is to book a family vacation where we fly over and spend a few days enjoying the sights. 

villefranche

What would living for a sunny day look like to you?

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Kia Sedona SXL

Road Trip Worthy – The 2015 Kia Sedona SXL

Who doesn’t love a fun road trip? Especially when you’re cruising in style! Local blogger friends Kim from The Educators’ Spin On It and Penny from Penniless Teacher joined in the fun while we tested out the 2015 Kia Sedona SXL.

Kia Sedona SXL

2015 Kia Sedona Features

The Kia Sedona SXL is a crossover vehicle that screams first class – from the luxurious Nappa leather seats to the cockpit-like dashboard and console. There’s literally tons of buttons to push and play with in the Sedona. One of the coolest features I came across while driving this Multi Purpose Vehicle (MVP) is the Surround View Monitor System which displays real-time camera images with a bird’s eye view. I was certain Kia was somehow beaming images down from space. LOL!  [Read more…]

webadbloggers

I’m Going to the EdExpo 2015 in Atlanta!

This is a partnered post. All opinions are mine alone.

As you all know, education plays a big role in our lives. Not only does Nate currently hold a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, and hope to complete his Doctorate soon, but he’s also worked in the education field for the last 10 years. We focus a lot on providing educational experiences and environments for the boys as well. With all of that said, I’m excited to share an opportunity I will be covering on the blog.

EDExpo is the premier showcase for the latest innovations covering every facet of learning, from instructional materials, teaching aids, and technology products to educational games, toys, and supplies and will take place on February 22-24 in Atlanta, GA.

I will be scouting the Expo for the latest and most innovative products from around the world! Of course, I’ll be tweeting away about all of my great finds, and sharing a recap post once I return.

webadbloggers [Read more…]

TradeWinds resort

Just Let Go at TradeWinds Island Resort in St Pete Beach

Accommodations were provided in exchange for our honest review of TradeWinds property. All opinions are mine alone.

TradeWinds resort

TradeWinds Island Resort is a family friendly beachfront property that has it all! Relax and unwind or play all day – it’s up to you. Located on the island of St. Pete Beach, which was recently voted the #1 beach destination in the US by TripAdvisor, TradeWinds offers vacationers a tropical atmosphere they can truly enjoy.

After checking in, guests head down the garden atrium to their respective buildings. This 8,000 square foot space includes conference rooms, a gift shop, bar, and the Palm Court Italian Grill.

TradeWinds Island Grand

Recently, guest rooms at TradeWinds Island Grand received a facelift reflecting an upscale look with natural stone travertine, nature-themed artwork, and dark wood furniture. [Read more…]

best time to visit Disney 2015

The Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World & Where to Stay

This is a partnered post. All opinions are mine alone.

best time to visit Disney 2015Wondering when is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Florida? I came across this helpful calendar of the Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World in 2015 and wanted to share it with all of you.

If you want to avoid hurricane season here in Florida, I recommend planning your visit to Walt Disney World between April 13th and May 22nd. The crowds are the lightest during that time of year and more enjoyable for you and your family. Summertime is always the heaviest travel season, especially for Disney! If you want to spend the holidays at Disney, plan a visit during mid November or early December. [Read more…]

Cottonelle

Stay Fresh & Clean During Summer Travel with Cottonelle #LetsTalkBums

This post is sponsored by Cottonelle, but my love for their fresh care flushable cleansing cloths on-the-go soft packs is all my own!

Cottonelle

When traveling during the summer months, you always want to make sure you are fresh & clean. That’s where Cottonelle comes in! Cottonelle Fresh Care Flushable Cleansing Cloths On-The-Go Soft packs are perfect for keeping clean during summer travel. Our family kicked off summer with quite the bang, we sold our home and while waiting for new home to complete the building process we’ve been hotel hopping. We spent many, many summer days in the pool, at the beach, and other fun family adventures. 

Being prepared with Cottonelle Flushable on-the-go soft packs has made life easier while traveling. It fits conveniently in the diaper bag, my purse, or the beach bag. Plus paired with Cottonelle Clean Care toilet paper makes the perfect wet + dry combination. 
[Read more…]

Dream vacation sweepstakes

Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes #RCIDreamVacay

win your Dream vacation sweepstakesIf you could pick anywhere in the world to travel to, where would it be? Australia? Brazil? Fiji? Those are definitely on my bucket list. Luckily most of my ultimate vacation destinations have already been fulfilled thanks to my hubby who is a world traveler. We’ve been to Hawaii, Paris, Rome, Venice, Amalfi Coast, and more. Once kids came into the picture, we became more of domestic travelers, but I still have a few places in mind I’d love to visit once the kids are a bit older.
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Beach Essentials

10 Beach Essentials for Families

Beach Essentials
Summer is right around the corner! Get prepared for the beach with these 10 beach essentials for families.

Lightspeed Quick Cabana

 

71PHUi517XL._SL1500_

The Lightspeed Quick Cabana is perfect for the beach, backyard, or any other place you need get some shade from the sun or protection from the elements. With the Lightspeed integrated pole system, the poles are built into the tent, eliminating the difficulty associated with traditional separate pole tents. The revolutionary compression hub system allows you to set up the tent quickly and easily. This sun shelter is both lightweight and compact, making it easy to bring anywhere. Another style of beach cabana that I personally reviewed is the Sun Smarties Cabana by One Step Ahead.

[Read more…]

Million Dollar Arm interview

Million Dollar Arm – Suraj & Madhur Interview #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Who went to the movies this weekend and saw Million Dollar Arm? What did you think? My dad never goes to the movies, like never, ever….how are we related? LOL! 😉 Anyway, yesterday was my dad and step-mothers anniversary and they went to the theaters to see Million Dollar Arm, and thought it was great! I’ve seen it twice, and well you already know how I feel about it. :)

While in LA, our group had the opportunity to interview several of the actors, including Jon Hamm and Aasif Mandvi (coming soon). Today I’m sharing our experience interviewing Madhur Mittal & Suraj Sharma who play the two teenage boys in the film.

Madhur
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Disney's Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm Movie Review #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Disney's Million Dollar Arm
Million Dollar Arm opens in theaters worldwide TODAY, May 16th! I highly encourage you to go see this movie with your kids. It is rated PG. The film is heartfelt, full of spirit, and comical! I’ve already seen the movie twice and love it. 
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JB Bernstein

Million Dollar Arm Interview With JB Bernstein #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite parts of my LA press trip was interviewing the people behind the story of Million Dollar Arm. JB Bernstein is the sports agent who comes up with the plan to seek out new baseball talent in India by hosting a million dollar contest. While there he met Dinesh Patel & Rinku Singh and took them under his wing. The story unfolds on screen and becomes way more than JB ever bargained for. 

JB Bernstein
Interview with JB Bernstein, Dinesh, and Rinku:
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Jimmy Kimmel & myself

Jimmy Kimmel Live with Guests Julia Roberts & Sally Field + Set Tour #ABCTVEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

During my #ABCTVEvent in LA we visited the Jimmy Kimmel Live show for a night full of fun, and lots of laughter. Our evening began with a delicious spread of Cinco de Mayo inspired food, followed by a Q&A with Executive Producer Jill Leiderman and co-head writer Molly McNearney, who also happens to be Jimmy’s wife.

Kimmel had a packed house, which is no surprise considering how entertaining he is. His special guests for the evening were Julia Roberts and Sally Field! Talk about awesome! The ladies participated in the first-ever Celebrity Curse Off, which was REALLY hilarious in person since there were no bleeps. I was shocked at some of the words that came out of their mouths too! LOL!
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Nashville logo

Q&A with Nashville Executive Producers Dee Johnson and Callie Khouri #ABCTVEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Nashville logo
During my trip to Los Angeles last week our blogger group had the opportunity to sit down for a Q&A with Nashville TV Series Executive Producers Dee Johnson and Callie Khouri

While I had not had the opportunity to catch the full season, we did see episodes “All or Nothing with Me” and “On the Other Hand” (the season finale). Yes, we saw the season finale before it was released!! However, we have been sworn to secrecy so sorry I can’t spill any details. :) I can tell you the season finale is REALLY good and our group was doing a mix of gasping and cheering during the episode.
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jon hamm

Jon Hamm Interview #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

While in LA for the Million Dollar Arm World Premiere, our group had the incredible honor of interviewing Jon Hamm on his role in the film. Jon walked into the room looking very dapper, wearing a black suit and hair perfectly groomed for the premiere that evening. He was as cool and collected as ever during our interview, but for us girls, it was a BIG deal.

jon hamm

About the film:

Million Dollar Arm is based on the true story of sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), who makes a last-ditch effort to save his career by heading to India where he comes across two 18-year-old boys (Dinesh and Rinku) who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. 
[Read more…]

me at premiere

Million Dollar Arm World Premiere at El Capitan Theatre #MillionDollarArmEvent

have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

El Capitan

Staying in theme with the movie, Disney’s Million Dollar Arm begins their World Premiere with a pitching contest and tailgate inspired party. I was very fortunate to be invited for the second time by Disney for a movie premiere and can not even begin to explain how exciting this opportunity was. Growing up I had dreams of being an actress, even modeling for a few years in my teen/early 20’s, but never pursued my dream fully, which ironically is what the film Million Dollar Arm encompasses; following your dreams.

Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest
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I'm going to LA

I’m LA Bound for the Red Carpet Premiere of #MillionDollarArmEvent + More!

Disclosure: I have been invited as media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

In just a few short weeks I will be LA bound for the Red Carpet Premiere of #MillionDollarArmEvent

Disney's Million Dollar Arm
In case you have not caught the Million Dollar Arm trailer yet, here’s a quick synopsis on the film hitting theaters May 16th:
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4 reasons to visit the Kennedy Space Center

4 Reasons to Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this Summer

We were invited as media to visit KSC. No additional compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

4 reasons to visit the Kennedy Space Center
Just 45 minutes from Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features many attractions and year-round interactive programs, including meeting real astronauts. Here’s 4 reasons to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this summer.

KSC’s most recent attraction, the Space Shuttle Atlantis opened in summer of 2013. This $100 million dollar exhibit “showcases the priceless, historic spacecraft that tells the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program,” as described by KSC.
[Read more…]

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress at Lake Buena Vista – Resort Review

This is a partnered post.

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Located just 1 mile from Disney World, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress offers and unforgettable experience tucked away from all the hustle and bustle of theme park territory. Surrounded by 21 acres of shimmering lakes and lush landscaping, the resort is an ideal destination for leisure or business travelers looking to unwind. 

The 1,500 acre Grand Cypress resort boasts 1,000 feet of white sandy beach on private Lake Windsong, walking paths, free- flowing lagoon pool, and much more. Upon arriving, you are greeted by the Lobby Ambassador (Merlot), who is more than happy to carry on a conversation with you. [Read more…]

Things to do with the family in Las Vegas

Guest post

 

 

 

 

When selecting a destination for a family vacation, there are many considerations that must be made. Certain families enjoy partaking in certain activities over others. Some destinations can provide quite an array of activities which provide variety for families. One of these destinations that are not normally thought of as a family destination is the city of Las Vegas.

Of course Las Vegas is well known for its casinos, however many casinos do offer other activities at their venue that can appeal to most families. For example, one of these is the Bellagio Casino. The front part of the property includes an immense fountain that provides several daily shows. These shows include a choreographed show along with music that is synchronized with the actions of the fountain. Lights are also included in the display which helps make this an excellent sight to see when in Vegas. The music played with the show comes from different genres. Another sight in which to partake while at the Bellagio is the Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Here many beautiful plants and flowers can be observed. This can also be the site for live musical performances that are held periodically. [Read more…]

Planes now playing

Disney’s PLANES Movie Review #DisneyPlanesPremiere

I was invited as media to attend a 2-day trip to LA for the premiere of Disney PLANES. All expenses were paid. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Picking up where I left off (at the Disney Planes Pre-party), I made my way into the El Capitan Theatre and found my seat. The single theater included a large stage where an organ player welcomed us with Disney film songs. Once the multiple curtains were lifted, the Disney PLANES movie began.

PLANES is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights.

Planes Dusty

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El capitan

Disney’s PLANES Landing Zone Pre-party & #DisneyPlanesPremiere

I was invited as media to attend a 2-day trip to LA for the premiere of Disney PLANES. All expenses were paid. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own.

Red carpet premiere

If you have followed my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feed these last few days you have seen a glimpse of this amazing and magical trip I have encountered with Disney Studios. I am SO excited to share my very first experience up close and personal with celebs like Teri Hatcher (below with daughter Emerson), Dane Cook, Bella Thorne, Hilary Duff, Peter Facinelli, Jason Priestley, and more! 

Teri Hatcher Planes premiere

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Planes poster

Walt Disney Studios Hollywood Premiere for PLANES + THE LITTLE MERMAID Behind the Scenes

 Disclosure: I have been invited at media to attend these events. Expenses have been paid in exchange for my coverage. All opinions are my own.

Planes poster
The little mermaid poster

I am extremely excited to announce that I will be heading to LA for the red carpet premiere of Disney’s PLANES. “Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure about Dusty’s dream of competing as a high-flying air racer—and his decidedly unfortunate fear of heights. The movie includes an All-Star cast including:
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family road trip

How to Keep Kids Entertained While Traveling Sponsored

This is a partnered post.

My family loves to travel, whether on a  plane, train, or in a car we love to see the sites that this amazingly diverse world offers. At the age of two our oldest was able to go to Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence, and the French Riviera. Now that he is older he has begun to talk, and his little brother has picked up on that trait as well. So picture yourself in a car and there is a constant whining in the back with the proverbial, “Are we there yet?…When are we going to get there?… This is taking fooorever!”

family road trip

Well, if you are anything thing like me this can make you go a little crazy. I love traveling, but I do not especially enjoy the getting to the destination part. Like my children, I find myself asking the same questions, but I would not never let them know that. :) But the question is raised, what can I do to entertain my family while traveling? I have come up with some surefire ways to make your travel experiences much more bearable. [Read more…]

eagle nest

Save Up to 30% on Your Crested Butte Colorado Vacation

crested butte logo

Vacationers looking for an off-the-beaten-path Colorado getaway with all the frills of a major resort should head to Crested Butte, a historic town tucked away in the Colorado Rockies Elk Mountain Range. With its affordable accommodations, gourmet restaurants, cozy pubs, and eclectic shops, Crested Butte attracts a devoted legion of repeat visitors year-round! Crested Butte Lodging & Property Management Inc. offers a large selection of quality lodging in Mt. Crested Butte. Choose from studio condominiums to 4 bedroom condominiums in prime locations including ski-in/ski-out or walking distance to the slopes.

eagle nest
[Read more…]

159.1

Tahiti Village Resort & Spa – Las Vegas

Our Vegas experience would not be complete without great hotel accommodations. I was lucky enough to win a week-long stay at the Tahiti Village Resort & Spa, making our trip really affordable! The resort is gorgeous and relaxing. It is conveniently located less than 3 miles from the heart of the strip.

Tahiti Village Resort & Spa sits on 20+ acres and offers 876 suites divided among 3 towers. The grounds show no signs of being in the Las Vegas desert, instead you are surrounded by lush greens, a beautiful zero entry beach pool, and relaxing lazy river. The kids will have a blast making sand castles while you catch some rays. The heated lazy river with tubes included is a great time!

Tahiti Village offers three room styles including the Moorea, Bora Bora, and Royal Tahitian. Our room accommodations were in the Moorea, the smallest of the rooms offering a king bed in a private bedroom, queen sofa bed in the living room, and kitchenette with granite counter tops, microwave, mini fridge, and coffee maker.
[Read more…]