Monticello Unplanned – Jefferson’s Palace in the Spring & Tips For Your Visit

monticello, virginia, jefferson, discovery, curious, kids, tweens, education

Our family was reunited with spring last weekend in Charlottesville, VA as we went on a quick trip to visit my brother and his family. I love Charlottesville! If you have not been there, you should go. Home to the University of Virginia, Charlottesville is vibrant cultural hub and the region's hilly, lush landscape is reminiscent of European countrysides.  Long overdue family time happily took center stage for our trip so all of our explorations … [Continue reading...]

My April Fools Prank Turned Strange Obsession – Thanks Google!

Ha, yeah, I ski. I'm The Hoff.

Thinking I was clever (HA!) I played a few pranks on my kids yesterday morning. I stuffed their shoes with toilet paper, put food coloring in their cereal - all of the usual Pinterest suspects.  They laughed a little and enjoyed the fact that I remembered April Fools Day, but you could tell they weren't impressed. Cue McKayala Maroney. So later in the day when my business partner Molly and I were coming up with goofy Facebook posts for our … [Continue reading...]

A Beauty Challenge at Forty. #ProductReview

Snacking on Hershey's Kisses from my #Influenster box while prepping my Kiss Eyelashes.

There are a lot of things in life that I have yet to accomplish. For example conquering my paralyzing fear of heights, enjoying tofu and being an astronaut. Having recently turned 40, I am realizing that some of these things, sadly, may never happen, so I should embrace the opportunities that I do have. So with that, I decided that I need to try new things and take on some challenges. Sky diving? Learn Arabic? A few weeks back I received a … [Continue reading...]

A Wintery 24 Hours in #Vermont: Gymnastics, Cheese and Markets

barn, apple, red, vermont, history, farm, farmer, winter, snow, cold, roadside, travel

Although I was raised in New England there are still a lot of spots in the region that I haven't visited. Since moving back here from Texas a few years ago I made a vow that we'd take our kids to do more and see more in our area. New England is beautiful! It's an outdoor adventure park! It has cows, maple syrup and apples! Mountains, oceans, rivers, forests! I love every ounce of New England's charm and character. Sadly, I admit that we … [Continue reading...]

Bringing Healthy Back…

strawberry, banana, chia, coconut, yogurt, paleo, diet, healthy, walnuts, crate and barrel, food porn, foodie

The days are long and gray. I'm tired. As I struggle to find sunshine and energy during our winter snow fest here in New England, I decided that perhaps starting my day on a healthier note is essential. Sounds like common sense to most people, but being a creature of morning routine, I usually wake up, make my way to the coffee pot, hook up my IV and kick-start my day with a jolt of caffeine on an empty stomach. Food usually doesn't debut until … [Continue reading...]

The Other West Texas Giant

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"You just kind of drive through it. Push on the gas." He was so calm. My jaw clenched,  left eyebrow frowned and good ol' right eyebrow raised high in an arch of stubborn New England skepticism.  My future husband smirked at my reaction.  Although his lilting Texas drawl was bursting with trust, the sheer craziness of "just driving through" a 4' tall, 10' wide gate made of solid steel bars, was anchoring my right foot. We weren't going … [Continue reading...]

So you want to take the kids to the Louvre, eh?

louvre, museum, paris, France, art, art history, da vinci, winged victory, mona lisa, denon, kids, travel, les halles, ste germaine, notre dame, glass, im pei, vacation

"Maybe we should just go get dinner instead..." I sighed watching an endless line snake around the Louvre's famed glass pyramid. The kids shuffled their feet, exhausted after a long, hot day absorbing a city that overwhelmed their young senses. Tourists clattered.  The sounds of a distant cello echoed from underneath a stone entry. Cigarette smoke carried laughter through the air. Feeling depleted, I felt my enthusiasm wane.  I just wanted … [Continue reading...]

What’s In My Bag? Essentials for a (Make Believe) Day Trip.

craft, pen, journal, scissors, glue, color, featured

Let me preface this by saying the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions. Our family is really excited for our holiday break this week and I really want to take our kids on a super fun adventure of spontaneous outings. But in this case we can translate spontaneous into "I've planned nothing" and adventure into, "Guess where we're going? The grocery store!" I wish I had some tricks up my sleeve... sigh. However, since I do try to … [Continue reading...]

White Christmas

winter, new england, snow, white, barn, shed, fence, forest, peace, holiday, Maine

Winter's snow is an unavoidable evil blessing in New England. You know it's coming, but only Mother Nature (and the Farmer's Almanac) knows when it will arrive. This year, we were fortunate enough to have two beautiful, fluff producing storms just 1.5 weeks before the holiday. A White Christmas for 2013 indeed. Happy Holidays! … [Continue reading...]

Spend Less, Play On! 5 Free Family Adventures For Summer.

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Summer break is still weeks away and your family has already said "adios!" to copious amounts of cash for airline tickets, accommodations, kid's camps and new summer threads.  You're wondering what will be left in the bank by the time you're ready to go. Fear not fellow travelers!  Money can take a backseat for these fun, fabulous and free family outings.  You can still get the most out of your summer and enjoy meaningful family experiences … [Continue reading...]