Archive for Travel

Halifax Seaport – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Halifax Seaport

Halifax Harbour

While we were in Nova Scotia, we visited the Halifax Seaport farmers market. We went on a Sunday and I was surprised that is was not very busy. All the boys wanted to do was look out the huge glass bay doors at the Halifax Harbour! The water was quite choppy that day. Not sure this photo does it justice. It was a cloudy, cold day so we did not walk down on the boardwalk near the water or I could have taken better photos. I took this one from inside.

FFR Halifax Harbor at Seaport Farmer's Market


Halifax Seaport Farmers Market

The Halifax Seaport farmers market is a year round indoor farmers market, which I thought was great! I would have loved to have visited every day of the week just to see how much traffic it actually generates. My sister said that when she and her husband went on a Saturday, it was packed, which led me to believe that probably is the busiest day for the market. I was too busy looking around to think to take photos INside the market.

Do you have a year round farmers market near you?

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Falls at Victoria Park Nova Scotia – Wordless Wednesday

We traveled to my native province Nova, Scotia, Canada for a month in November/December 2014. It has been nearly ten years since we have been back “home”. We had an awesome visit. It was sooo good to reconnect with my sisters and have them meet our three younger children. It was wonderful to see my family bond with my children and visa versa.

Falls at Victoria Park_2_

Two of my three sisters each took us hiking. C took us to Victoria Park. Victoria Park has walking trails up a mountain, stairs to offer a more challenging hike, falls, picturesque views, a playground and pool (open only in the summer). Our older children had been there on our last visit in 2005, but our younger children had never been. This is a photo of most of the children overlooking the falls at Victoria Park Nova Scotia. Our oldest son stayed home with hubby to take care of the animals.

Nova Scotia received an inordinate amount of rain while we were home, especially my hometown. Farm fields were flooding, the rivers were high, lawns were saturated and as you can see, the falls at Victoria Park were roaring. Can you believe we were without jackets almost in the middle of December?! We have never been hiking in December, let alone hiking twice in the span of a week and a half!

FFR Falls at Victoria Park 121114

More from our trip later…

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Planning a Holiday Road Trip

With the arrival of Christmas, that means holiday travel. This post is a little late in the season, but are you planning a holiday road trip? Maybe these tips will help you as you prepare to travel with your family…

1. Make lists. Your to-do list before you leave, one for items to pack or bring, include food, clothing, toiletries and personal items, and finally, one for to-dos while on vacation – places to see, people to visit or call, etc.

Map to N.S.

2. Map out your journey. GPS and smartphones are wonderful and I love having them available to me. However, they are not always right. So pack a real life map and gather your children around to map out what roads you will take, which states you will drive through and what cities you will pass by. If you have time, plan some side trips too! If you homeschool, make it a school project for your children to learn something new about the state or city in which you will be visiting. Older children could handle doing this for each state and city you pass through.

3. Reserve your lodging ahead of time. Reserving your lodging ahead of time prevents you from the disappointment, not to mention the inconvenience of possibly not finding any a vacancies at hotels you just happen to stop at for the night. The holidays are busy so plan ahead.

4. Check the weather forecast for your destination, as well as any place in between. This will help you be prepared for winter road conditions, enable you to bring the proper attire and possibly prevent you from driving in any bad weather.

5. Share your plans with your family. This could be the family you are visiting, God forbid they leave for their own vacation, not knowing you are coming to visit! Or this could be family you are leaving behind, just so they know where you are going and how long you will be gone for, in case of emergency.

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Why We Aren’t Taking a Family Vacation #PGeveryday #Sponsored

My husband and I love to travel, so do our children. We have traveled to Texas, Canada, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Minnesota and Iowa on family vacations or weekend trips. We always have fun, make memories and of course face challenges.

Travel Map of USA
Copyright: hamik / 123RF Stock Photo. Used with permission

It has been a number of years since we took a family vacation. Probably 2009, if I remember correctly. Money has been tight, plus we have chosen to become farmers. Summer is our busiest time on the farm with our CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture), markets, egg and chicken business. That is one of the downsides to farming. One of the agreements Robert and I had when we decided to farm was that we’d still take vacations. Well…we didn’t realize how long it would take to recover from a bout of unemployment nor did we expect another season of unemployment so soon.

FFR CSA Week 2 062514

Like the author of this article on P&Geveryday™ titled, Why We’re Skipping Summer Vacation, I admit it is kind of hard sometimes when we hear of others taking their family vacation. I also confess to being green with envy sometimes. But like Christie Tate and her husband, we realize this is the season of life we are in. Extended family vacations are not in the cards for us due to our commitments at home.

That does not mean we cannot take day trips to Chicago to visit museums, the zoo, Navy Pier or the Shedd Aquarium or travel other short distances. It just means it will take a bit of planning on our part to make sure everything at home is taken care of first.

P&Geveryday™ has a section on Travel Tips that will be useful to parents planning trips with children. P&Geveryday™is committed to making every day just a little easier by helping you achieve a life full of rewarding moments. Every day. The site aims to inspire, support and empower you to unlock the extraordinary potential in your everyday life. It offers a variety of topics, helpful articles for family life, delicious recipes for the 4th of July, etc. Check out their informative P&Geveryday Facebook page too.

Do you plan on taking a family vacation this summer? If so, where? If not, why not?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Sharkk Car Charger Review

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Sharkk Car Charger

 

I found a great product!!! Love it … Love it!!

 

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This is a great car charge that charges up to two USB devices in the cigarette lighter of your car. This is a great for charging any technology device. I use it to charge both my phone and my Bluetooth. I am never scurrying to find an outlet… I can just charge both from the car! The best part is that I can drive, use my devices, and charge at the same time!

 

The other great attributes are the changeable non-slip grip area of the charger. You can interchange the grip from white to black, kind of fun… but having that extra grippage while driving if needing to plug or unplug can come in handy!

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Here are the specs of the device!

  •  Charge status indicating 2 color light. Use with your own device charging cable. Good for all portable devices like cameras, cell phones, mp3 players, tablets. Input: DC 12–24 V

 

  • One Output (iPad port) : DC Max 5.0V 2100mA for iPads, Tablets and GOS

 

  • Second Output (iPhone Port) : DC Max 5.0V 500mA for Phone, MP3 players and iPods.

 

  • Dual Output: DC Max 5.0V 1600mA (iPad port), DC Max 5.0V 500mA (iPhone port)

 

  • Sophisticated circuit design with over-heated, over-current, over-charging protection

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There is also a lifetime warranty on the product!

 

Visit Amazon.com to buy now …it is really a great price 5.99… I have seen cheaper versions selling at the local drugstore for 10.00

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIELQG0

 

Please visit sharkk.com for more information on this product and may more techie gadgets! You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

 

 

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Kidoodle TV Free Trial and Giveaway

I participated in a Blogger Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV. I received a promotional item and a free trial as a thank you for participating.

Somehow over the past few years we’ve allowed ourselves to watch more and more TV compared to say the first 15 years of our marriage and being a parent. We still filter much of what our children are allowed to watch. The shows have to be pre-approved. Kidoodle TV offers our kids just that. We found a character I grew up watching, Inspector Gadget, and others include Madeline, Transformers, Paddington Bear, National Geographic and Strawberry Shortcake. Then there were others I did not really recognize. There is a different selection of shows compared to Netflix. Kidoodle is made just for kids and is easy to navigate. No worries about them coming across questionable movies or ads, since it is ad-free.

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 4.03.32 PM

It is really easy to sign up for Kidoodle. Simply create your login, create your kids’ profiles and then select your shows. You can create up to five kids’ profiles, which is the number of children I have that are interested in Kidoodle. The children love the personalized accounts. I think it makes them feel special and grown up or something. Children cannot log out unless their parents enter their four digit passcode, which is nice, but another number/letter combination to add to my ever-growing list. I really like the timer, which is helpful in monitoring usage. I have not really used the Parental Controls since signing up, but it offers age category filtering and title selection and de-selection, which allows you to tailor available content to each child’s needs.

FFR Kids with Kidoodle TV

If you are traveling over the Christmas break, Kidoodle has a mobile application, but we have not tried it yet. It’s on iTunes so check it out.

The Kidoodle.TV Holiday Giveaway Details

Right now Kidoodle is offering a free trial:

Try Kidoodle.TV for FREE and enter by December 31, 2013 to win 1 of 10 tablets or 1 of 10 Kidoodle.TV year-long subscriptions! To enter the giveaway, go to Kidoodle.TV to sign up for a free trial. Follow the on-screen directions and submit!

Feel free to follow Kidoodle.TV on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidoodleTV and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KidoodleTV

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Kidoodle.tv – Dad Central

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I participated in a Blog Blast Program on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV.  I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

By Guest Dad Blogger Scott -

This is best thing next to sliced bread!  I love it!  My daughter loves it!  BONUS!  She loves watching Mario Brothers (I didn’t even know there was such a thing.)

Kidoodle.TV is age appropriate television viewing for your children, that you control.  When first setting it up you choose the age of your child/children.  The next screen will ask if you want to remove or add any addition programs.  Easy Right?

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Ok your child is ready to watch Kidoodle.TV.  You the parent will log on by entering your email address and password.  Then move onto the next screen, choose the child.  It asks how long you’d like to child to watch.  Once that time is up,Kidoodle.TV stops and says…

Kid tv 3 Kid TV 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidoodle.TV is on Facebook and  Twitter click here to follow them!

Even better there’s a free trial going on for December! Try it today! Did I mention if you sign up for a free trial by December 31, you have a chance to win 1 in 10 tablets or 1 in 10 Kidoodle.TV for a year!

Sign up today!

 

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Chicago at Night from Willis Tower – Wordless Wednesday

In October I went into the city of Chicago for a business meeting with Moms.com and after the meeting we walked to Willis Tower. The photos below are of Chicago at night from Willis Tower. It was really cool.

FFR Chicago at night from Willis Tower

Willis Tower, or the formerly known Sears Tower, the tallest building in the United States. Sears was actually the company that built it to house all its employees in one place.

FFR Chicago at Night from Willis Tower 2

The Sears Tower became Willis Tower when a London company rented out a large space in the building and had the option to rename the building in its contract. And that’s exactly what they did.

When you visit Willis Tower you get to watch a little movie on the history of the building before you are escorted up to the Skydeck. On the Skydeck you can walk around, shop for gifts, look through the telescopes and walk out onto the “ledge”. The Ledge is a glass box basically and when you step out into it you can look down at the city of Chicago through glass. I was not brave enough to walk out onto the ledge, minding heights as I do.

I definitely recommend you visit Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) the next time you travel Chicago.

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Chicago Field Museum: 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit

My husband is a history buff and he has passed on his love of history to our children. We love visiting museums. Last weekend we went to the Chicago Field Museum to visit the 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit, which will be here in Chicago until early next fall. We took advantage of one their free admissions day knowing we’d have to purchase a Discovery Pass for the Fair exhibit.

Those of you who live in the Chicago area you may be interested in knowing upcoming free admissions days at The Field Museum:

December 2
December 5
December 9
December 10
December 11

FFR Chicago Field Museum outside

For all the storms Illinois experienced last weekend, it did not deter people from venturing out in the cold and rain to visit The Field Museum.

FFR Entrance Chicago Field Museum 1

What is the 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit about?

The Field Museum was born out of the 1893 World’s Fair and belongs to the people and the history of Chicago. The World’s Fair exhibit are all original collections that were all displayed at the Fair and is the single largest collection of items displayed at the Fair. The truth is, The Field Museum is the legacy of the Fair; scientists conduct ground-breaking research on the ever-growing collections.

FFR Chicago Field Museum World's Fair Exhibit

The Field Museum Tours App

The Field Museum Tours App is available to help visitors with their tour. We had downloaded the app before we got to the museum so all we had to do was connect to “FieldMuseumWiFi” upon arriving. You can download the Field Museum Tours App too. The Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair takes visitors back to that time in history, to the World’s Columbian Exposition – one of the greatest events in the history of Chicago. The exhibit shows visitors what visitors back then saw at the Fair 120 years ago.

Chicago Field Museum App 4

The app is informative as you can see from the following screen shots.

FFR Totem Poles at Chicago Field Museum App

Chicago Field Museum App 2

Chicago Field Museum App 3

What did we see?

We saw more than 200 artifacts and specimens from the the Fair’s ground.

FFR Chicago Field Museum World's Fair Ticket 2

We find it interesting to learn about different aspects and cultures in history. It’s amazing what you can learn! Below is a photo of a small stuffed female lion, but there was also a stuffed male lion as well. One of our sons loves lions so he was interested in this display. He was also interested in the tigers and seeing inside the mummy. There were over 20 mummies! All the children thought the pyramid was really cool to go inside!

The children thought the computer from the World Fair looked like the computer from the show S.H.I.E.L.D Agents. They thought that was really cool too.

Another cool thing they liked was the DNA lab.

FFR B at Chicago Field Museum 2

Below you can see in the display cases a trench drum/log drum and behind them on hanging from the ceiling was an octopus! (Pictured in a photo below in the photo with our children)

FFR Chicago Field Museum 3

There was an Inuit display from a group of Inuits who came to the Fair from Labrador (Canada).

FFR Chicago Field Museum 4

There was an Inca Active Instruments display that had a simulator allowing us to play the instruments. We found that pretty interesting.

Our daughter B was quite interested in the oils and herbs displayed in their original bottles. All from different countries around the world. Her words, “It was amazing! To see Frankincense and Myrrh from all around the world.” None of any of these items have been displayed since the 1893 World’s Fair.

FFR Chicago Field Museum 5

Here is a stuffed Indian elephant with a giant octopus hanging over our children.

FFR Kids at Chicago Field Museum

This last photo is a from a slideshow or video footage.

FFR Chicago Field Museum 6

The 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit was an incredible learning experience and we hope we can go back again before September 7, 2014.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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Jif Sandwich Contest

Magnificent Mole Chicken Torta
Magnificent Mole Chicken Torta

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for Jif. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Do you know what one of our favorite go-to meals is at our house? One that we reach for on busy nights or busy weekends? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Do you know how many sandwiches our family can eat in one sitting? There are ten of us and on average most of us eat two sandwiches, a few will eat three. That’s 20-30 sandwiches!! Yowsa! Talk about needing to buy stock in peanut butter and jelly. We also like deli ham and turkey. Just today we had grilled cheese for lunch. Sandwiches are such an quick and easy meal. We love them. Sandwiches usually mean very few dishes too, which is a definite bonus! ;)

Now through November 8th, Jif Peanut Butter is running their Most Creative Sandwich Contest – challenging families across the country to create an original sandwich recipe that includes two tablespoons of your favorite Jif products! Parents and children with 6-12 can submit their original sandwich for a chance to win a $25,000 college fund and a trip to New York City! The photo featured above is one of the winning sandwiches from last year’s contest – Magnificent Mole Chicken Torta.

You can enter the Jif sandwich contest too by going to www.Jif.com/Promotions/Most-Creative-Peanut-Butter/

Have fun!

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