5 Essentials for Summer Road Trips

This last weekend we packed the kids up and headed to Fort Worth for a little road trip staycation. My cousin has been working on Oklahoma and we wanted to meet half way for some fun and sun. Before heading on the road, however, I made sure we had a few essentials. After all, almost three hours in the car with seven children can be challenging if not properly prepared!

essentials for summer road trips

Portable chargers – There are just not enough charger plugins in the car for everyone, but everyone has a device and you never know when one will die. Best be prepared, so everyone stays happy. You can find some at walmart.com for about $10.

Travel with Extra Juice

Car Games – My kids only played on their devices for a bit this last trip before we whipped out a list of good old-fashioned car games. We played the alphabet game and the state license plate game, but there are many more that can keep the kiddos busy for hours. Check out these printable travel games – I’m using these for our next road trip!

Snacks – Pack up some goodies in the Igloo Quantum Cooler ($14.97 at Walmart. The one pictured below is a Coleman.), so as to avoid multiple stops when the kiddos begin complaining that they are hungry or thirsty. Bottles of water, boxes of juice, cheese sticks, and chips or crackers should keep their bellies full.

pack a cooler for road trips

First Aid Kit – I put together our own and included band-aids, pain relievers, after sun care, hand sanitizer, and of course my essential oils (which are helpful in dealing with a multitude of problems).

Sunscreen – I know sunscreen isn’t exactly needed while in the car, but it certainly will be once you arrive at your destination. Our favorite is Banana Boat. I just love the scent and it’s not greasy or too thick.

What would you add? Visit walmart.com to check out some more great ideas in the Walmart ad online!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Laniwai Spa: One of Many Reasons to Visit Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

Along the beaches of Ko Olina, nestled between mountains and ocean of Oahu, Hawaii sits the breath-taking and magical Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. There are many reasons to visit this beautiful oasis that is just outside of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, yet close enough to enjoy all the island has to offer. Laniwai Spa is one of these reasons.

Laniwai Spa at Aulani

Located within Aulani, Laniwai is an 18,000-square-foot full-service spa and wellness center featuring spa therapies, and a variety of fitness options for the whole family from group exercise classes to intense one-on-one training. It is home to the Kula Wai, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor hydrotherapy garden to enjoy before or after spa services that includes herbal pools, six unique “rain showers,” hot and cold whirlpools, and plenty of outdoor relaxation areas.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa  Laniwai Spa

Aulani was voted this year’s “Top Hotel for Families in the United States” by the readers of Travel + Leisure and is one of the only true, luxury family wellness retreats that offers spa, relaxation and spectacular Hawaiian experiences for ages newborn and up. Laniwai meaning “freshwater heaven” in the beautiful Hawaiian language is a word that embraces the Hawaiian connection to nature and its waterfront location.

Cruisin’ on Royal Carribean #SeasTheDay

I am blessed with some amazing blogging friends, experiences, and opportunities. A few years ago, Ray and I went to New Orleans on one of the very first Brandcations – #BOBNOLA. While I had a great time, I was 7 months pregnant and it was oh-so-hot and sticky. I am very much looking forward to my next Brandcation adventure – A cruise on Royal Carribean with 39 old and new blogging buddies!


We set sail in a little over a week, and I have tons to do before then. In fact, I still need to make it to the passport office, do some shopping, pack my bags, and make a quick trip to Cali!

But, let’s not get distracted… On this 5 day/4 night cruise, we will be going to Cozumel, Mexico and will get to see and experience all that the Liberty of the Seas has to offer. I can’t wait to explore the ship and share with you all it has to offer, from ice skating to surfing, and more! We’ll also be getting a behind the scenes tour of the ship, so stay tuned for lots of photos and info.

Liberty of the Seas

Follow along on our adventures – on the ship and in Cozumel – with the hashtag #SeasTheDay. And be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook page and Instagram stream!

Is there anything you’d like to know about cruising on Royal Carribean, or about the Liberty of the Seas ship? MAybe I’ll get a chance to find an answer for you!

Our Visit to Mormon Island at Folsom Lake

While in California, my family and I spent an afternoon at Folsom Lake. Or what’s left of it anyway. It is the lowest it has been in 60 years. And boy, is it sad…

Folsom Lake - then and now

photo source

It may be a sad sight to see the lake so low, but it’s a well-visited area, even now as the boats sit in the parking lot of the marina. The draw? Under all of the water that is usually held back by Folsom Dam, lived an old mining community.

Early in March 1848, W. Sidney, S. Willis, and Wilford Hudson, members of the Mormon Battalion, set out from Sutter’s Fort to hunt deer. Stopping on the south fork of the American River, they found gold. They told their story on returning to the fort, and soon about 150 Mormons and other miners flocked to the site, which was named Mormon Island. This was the first major gold strike in California after James W. Marshall’s discovery at Coloma.  –source

As history would have it, the town was destroyed by fire in 1856 and was never rebuilt. The community completely dwindled after the California gold rush, leaving only a few families by the 1940s. In it’s finer days, however, the population of the town was more than 2,500, and had four hotels, three dry-goods stores, five general merchandise stores, an express office, and many small shops.

mormon island

When Folsom Dam was built, all but the cemetery at Mormon Island – which was moved – was all but destroyed. With the current drought in the Sacramento area, the remains of the old mining community are now explored and photographed by hundreds.

Including us…

Folsom Lake - Mormon Island

Mormon Island - Folsom Lake

Keeping Baby Safe While Away From Home for the Holidays

We plan to be in California for the Holidays. We will be far away from home, in someone else’s home. My parents’ house is really no longer kid-friendly, and I don’t know what I’m getting our family in to wehn we stay with other family members. I plan to be prepared!

Are you and your family traveling for the Holidays? Here are some tips for keeping Baby safe while away from home —

Tips for Safeguarding When You Are Away from Home
By Julie Vallese, Consumer Safety Expert for Safety 1st

The holidays have arrived and whether you are celebrating in your home or as a guest with friends and family, make sure to keep a close eye on your little one.  If you are traveling this holiday season, it’s easier than you think to keep baby safe in someone else’s home.

While you are packing your suitcase, plan ahead and pack a safeguarding essentials kit. In the kit you should include: outlet covers, door knob covers, and corner cushions.  If you are driving and have room in the trunk a gate is another great essential to bring with you.

As this home may be new to baby expect that he or she will want to explore every room. Therefore while celebrating away from home making sure outlets are covered, is an easy a non- intrusive way to safeguard. It’s important to create off limit rooms, such as the bathroom or laundry room.  This is where a door knob cover can come in handy. Easy for guests to still use these room, but harder for baby to go where she shouldn’t.

As a rule someone should be watching baby at all times, but if possible put up a gate in from of all stairs. Additionally, asking your host if it’s Ok to put corner cushions on sharp tables edges will be easier than asking him or her to remove the table. Corner cushions go on and come off easy.

The holidays are supposed to be entertaining so remembering these tips can help keep the holiday safe, as well as fun.


The holidays can be a fun time but there are also many travel and home dangers that are often overlooked. Join us on December 16th at 8pm for a Twitter Party. We’ll be chatting about Hidden Holiday Hazards: Travel and Home, sharing tips on how to keep the holidays safe and happy, and there will be prizes!