A Daily lifestyle website. Sharing the latest products on the market, Parenting stories, travel guides, and destination information you can use! Along my travels, I became a Certified Food judge so you can also enjoy Food related posts!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How to Take Small children on a Road Trip

 We often get asked how do we travel so much with our son. I wish I had a magic formula but I think experience really played a huge part. We have been traveling with him since he was a baby and each trip we learn what works for our family. I am rather excited to pass along some tips! They come in extremely helpful when taking long car rides:
Tip #1: Choose hours that you child can sleep whilst you drive. We left at 1a m and he slept until about 7am the first day. Now if you don't like those hour move on to step two. Pack a Snack bag!! I don't know about you but I get cranky when I'm hungry. So avoid unnecessary whining and spending with a simple reusable bag and load it full of snacks.
Tip #2: Make a GO-TO Travel bin ( Here is how I made ours, Click here). I grab a inexpensive bin (it is going to be joggled around in the car no need to splurge) from Dollar Tree. A few activities my son can do whilst we drive. Spelling words with Magnetized letters, games, crayons and coloring books!

Tip #3: Try giving them snacks that will not make them overly thirsty. I pack an assortment of snacks including grapes, apple slices, celery sticks, cheese bites, granola bars and raisins. I also have bottles of water on hand just in case he does get thirsty. I usually purchase the small bottles so he doesn't have to go to the bathroom frequently but still get hydrated. 
Tip #4: Every few hours (maybe whilst you are refueling) let them out! Yes, find a grassy patch and let them run, explore. This five minute stop will have them refreshed, exhausted if you encourage running around. You stretch your legs and they need to stretch theirs. Plus it really help change their scenery and gives them an outlet for energy because as we all know hey have TONS of energy!! 
Do you take your kids on long car rides??
Let us know your tips in the comments!!
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Final stop on the Empire State Road Trip, 1000 Islands, NY

A few weeks ago I was invited on the Empire State Road trip. It travels through Chautauqua, NY to Watkins Glenn, NY and finishes off in the 1000 islands area. A perfect collection of places, easily within driving distance, to visit and experience. If you missed the first stop, Chautauqua County, NY check it out here. Our experiences on the second stop, Watkins Glenn, NY can be found here
Today, I will be sharing our experiences at the final stop on the trip, 1000 islands, NY.
 The drive from Watkins Glen to Clayton, NY was pretty smooth and had lots of green countryside to view. A few rain showers on the way but it opened right up for us with sun once we arrived in Clayton, NY. We checked into the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel then started to explore the boardwalk. My son and I enjoyed watching large boats bringing their cargo by.
I received a free stay to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
On our first day we decided to explore the area a bit. First up was the Antique Boat Museum. Did you know you can explore the Museum's repository of collected works, archived facts and the history of each artifact displayed in the Museum?? This Museum has a lot to offer over their 4.5 acre campus! From racing boats to my personal favorite, a tour of the historic houseboat from the Gilded Age, 
La Duchesse
If you asked my son what his favorite part was he would tell you the interactive concept they have throughout their establishment! He was allowed to touch, go in some of the boats and explore while learning all about them. As a parent this concept is extremely appreciated because many Museums frown upon "touching" of any kind.
Next we explored downtown Clayton, NY. The murals by Kelly Curry are serious show stoppers. Imagine walking around and just being drawn in by artwork set on sides of buildings! Not only are they HUGE but her attention to details really adds to the towns aesthetic.
Next we hopped on the Uncle Sam's Boat tours for a ride to the Boldt Castle. If you know anything about my family we LOVE "Castles". We have an unspoken list of places to cross off as we travel and this destination was one of them! The boat tours are easy to find and about a 20 minute drive from the 1000 Island Harbor Hotel. Just park, grab your tickets and hop on every half hour or so.
I don't want to give to much of the story behind the Boldt Castle away because I think it adds to your experience while visiting! The Boldt Castle was built by George Boldt who had intended it as a gift for his wife, Louise. Because she died before he could give it to her for Valentine's Day the property became abandoned. 
The restoration of the Castle is indescribable. The tragic love story that started this build is felt throughout the still decaying areas that are untouched. The beauty they are breathing back into this place is AMAZING!! I’m so happy we put this on our itinerary it was definitely a highlight of the trip 💕! If you are in the area carve out a couple hours to visit the Castle, you won't regret it.
We packed a lot of exploring while in the 1000 island area. It was a part of New York I have never been. On our last night we decided to settle down and just relax.
We enjoyed conversation over outdoor fire pits with locals while waiting for our dinner. If you happen to stay at any of the Harbor Hotels mentioned on this road trip, take advantage of the outdoor spaces!! They truly are a luxury that makes your stay unique.
We were blessed with a fisherman's Feast cooked much the same way as President Grant would have done! The skillet used is only available to Fishermen through family tradition. Each new generation passes the feast knowledge and equipment down. Only guides can do this so it really is a unique one of a kind meal. All the food was prepared in the same oil including the dessert. The meal was delicious but my favorite part was the Canadian French toast. I have never tasted such mouthwatering goodness coated with fresh local maple syrup. If you are a patron of the Harbor Hotel in the 1000 island you can enjoy this feast as well just check their listing for a schedule. It is another experience I would highly recommend while visiting the area.
On our way out of town we stopped at this fantastic play area! It was the perfect way to end our Empire State Road trip. If you are looking for a fun Summer vacation this is perfect. You can throw in so many stops along your way but this particular trip took us 7 days and 6 nights to complete.
Have you ever been to the 1000 islands area??
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Old Fashion Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

 When I was on Summer break, as a kid, we loved having different sandwiches for lunch. Hands down my personal pick was always Egg salad. It's one of those things that usually people are pretty picky about though. I to this day think my Mother has the best hands down but maybe I am biased.
When we had the hens popping out 4 eggs daily this was my go-to recipe to get them used up quickly! Boy, do I miss having chickens! When we build our cabin in the woods you best believe I will have another chicken coop in my garden!
 What you will need:
12 Eggs (boiled)
1/2 Miracle Whip (some use mayonnaise but I prefer this)
Mustard, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Small onion, diced
 Mix all of the ingredients together. Taste and add stuff according to your taste buds. I added quite a bit of pepper this time around to off set the VERY ripe onion I used.
 I like to refrigerate overnight before I use this mixture. This is a completely optional step. The mixture should be ready to use in a bout an hour or so.
Toast your bread, spread the mixture on and enjoy!!
Do you have a favorite Egg Salad ingredient??
Let us know if you try this Recipe out!!
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Monday, June 10, 2019

Haven't we Seen Enough Tobacco Ads in New York?

Every time I need to fill my vehicle up we pull into these advertisement signs. When my son was younger, he used to ask all sorts of questions about the different cigarette ads displayed. I never realized just how much companies purposely placed their signage to entice even the youngest of kids. Curiosity is what opened up our communication about Smoking. My son is very receptive to these types of adult talks as he gets older. It can be hard at times to say "no" without explaining "why" but as parent we really need to be diligent in encouraging good behaviors! I want my son to make the right choices but also feel comfortable coming to me if he is struggling with things. Peer pressure is a serious motivator to young kids. 
This post was sponsored by Tobacco Free New York State as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
The more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It's really like putting a "DO NOT TOUCH" sign on something. The more you see it the more you want to experience it. We need to have a conversation, several in fact, to get kids thinking why they shouldn't start smoking. As a mom, my goal is to keep my son safe and healthy. Instead of shaming him about smoking, I want to have an open conversation. He needs to explore his opinions as to why smoking isn't for him personally! I want him to realize why smoking would limit his lifestyle. Why smoking could limit his dreams of becoming a hockey player. Why smoking could end up giving him medical conditions down the road that could be life threatening. Every bad action has a negative consequence after all!
Did you know the average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old? From 2014-2018 e-cigarette use grew 160% among high school students. Our kids have seen enough! It’s time to take action and protect kids from being exposed to tobacco products in stores. Signing the , “Seen Enough Tobacco Ads" pledge is how we will take back what our kids see. No more signs, no more cigarette commercials during Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig! 
Young people are almost twice as likely as adults to recall tobacco advertising, and it makes them more likely to smoke. In-store advertising near schools and in low-income neighborhoods is particularly effective. The bottom line is, tobacco marketing is literally in the face of those most vulnerable to it.
If you agree that our kids have seen enough, it’s time to take action and stand up to Big Tobacco by pledging your support. Together, we can make New York a healthier place to live, work and play. Over 25,000 community members have pledged their support to get tobacco out of sight in stores! 

Join them by signing the pledge today at Tobacco Free New York!!
Tobacco Free New York State Facebook:  http://lwww.facebook.com/tobaccofreenys  
Tobacco Free New York State Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tobaccofreenys  
Tobacco Free New York State Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/tobaccofreenys  
Have you talked to your kids about NOT smoking??
What advice can you give to other parents??
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Friday, June 7, 2019

The Empire State Road Trip's second Destination is Watkins Glen, NY

A few weeks ago I was invited on the Empire State Road trip. It travels through Chautauqua, NY to Watkins Glenn, NY and finishes off in the 1000 islands area. It's a perfect collection of places, easily within driving distance, to visit. If you missed the first stop on this road trip, Chautauqua County, NY check it out here. Today, I will be sharing our experiences at the second location, Watkins Glen, NY.
Two years ago, I was lucky enough to uncover this little gem tucked in the heart of the Finger lake Wine Country. It was for another work trip that consisted of three other writers exploring the their wine trail. Ever since I have been absolutely taken by the rolling hills, breathtaking waterfalls, Antique hot rods and delicious wines! 
I received a free stay to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
Much like the first destination, our first stop was checking into our accommodations. The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel is located in the heart of Watkins Glen, NY along side the Seneca Lake. If you are looking to have a beautiful lake wedding or be in downtown Watkins Glen this is the hotel for you! We were extremely lucky to score a balcony view of the Seneca Lake. This is an upgrade I would HIGHLY recommend when booking!! The friendly staff will help you check in, unload your luggage and even schedule reservations for you if needed. They also have an indoor pool that my son thoroughly enjoyed while staying here because it opened so early (6 am)!
Since we had a set itinerary let's begin with my favorite morning adventure! Just four simple words my friends, Watkins Glenn State Park. It houses 19 picturesque waterfalls through a hike/stair trail setting. My advise, right off the bat, arrive EARLY (when they open early). This place fills up fast, DAILY! Because of the staircase layout it can be rather crowded and also slippery. 
The park itself only costs around $8 (for parking) and everyone wants to enjoy it. I would also recommend bringing some water to stay hydrated, wear walking/hiking apparel and maybe bring a camera! They also have an Olympic sized swimming pool and picnic areas if you want to make a day of it. We hiked for about an hour but you can easily stay longer.
Have a need for Speed?? Did you know there is “Racing at the Glenn”? I had no idea you could race around the road course, during off season at Watkins Glen International speedway!! We reached 75 mph and it felt pretty darn FAST with the corner inclines. I could not imagine going 190 mph like the talented drivers in NASCAR 🏁. Especially with fans watching you from over 42,000+ permanent seats!
Not really into adventures this visit? Want to enjoy some of the liquid desserts they have homegrown on over 60 wineries surrounding Lake Seneca?? You have come to the right place! Just stop into the Watkins Glen Chamber for a map of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. We hit Atwater Vineyards, Lakewood Vineyards and Finger Lakes Distilling this trip. All worth a stop if you are venturing on the Wine trail. Need some wine suggestions? Check out my Sweet wine list here.
If you do take a drive along the Wine trail stop and view some of the magnificent waterfalls along the way! I would recommend the Hector Falls and Montour falls depending on which direction you are headed.
I also have to mention you take a drive to the Eagle Cliff Falls. It hands down might be one of my favorite waterfalls in the Watkins Glen “area”. It's located within a campground but easy to find! Each time I visit the area I make a point to stop and take some photos of it. 
(Outfit feature above was thanks to our friend at http://soojin.shop)
After a full two days of exploring the area it is nice to come back to our hotel and just relax. We enjoyed several walks on the Seneca Lake pier. We watched fisherman, local wildlife and also enjoyed the camp fire on the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel outdoor patio.
If you are following the Empire State Road trip the 1000 Islands is your next stop! I will be sharing our experiences while in the area so make sure to check it out!
Ever been to the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel??
What is your favorite memories of this area, let us know in the comments.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

20+ Survival Shows on Netflix

Anyone else enjoy the Alaskan shows?? 
Here is a great list of Survival Shows on Netflix that are very similar. 

1. Life Below Zero-This series takes you deep into the Alaskan wilderness to meet tough, resilient residents as they try to stay one step ahead of storms and man-eating beasts to survive the season.
2. YOU vs. WILD Netflix Original
3. The Survivalist
4. Man Vs.
5. Great Wild North
6. Meat Eater
7. Highway Thru Hell- Watch the Jamie Davis Heavy Rescue company battle the treacherous Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia.

8. Heavy Rescue 401
9. Border Security America's Frontline
10. BattleFish
11. Back Country
12. Man Vs. Wild with Sunny Leone
13. The Bear Family & Me
14. Filthy Riches-watch the ingenious Americans who skirt a conventional workplace in favor of making a living in the deep rivers, soggy mud flats and wild backwoods of the US.

15. The Great Alone
16. 72 Dangerous Animals Asia edition
17. Zoo
18. The 100
19. 72 Dangerous places to live
20. ZNation
21. Wild Alaska
Do you have a favorite Survival Show?
Let us know in the Comments below!
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Friday, May 31, 2019

Chautauqua County, New York is the perfect first stop on the Empire State Road trip

A few weeks ago I was invited on the Empire State Road trip. It travels through Chautauqua, NY to Watkins Glenn, NY and finishes off in the 1000 islands area. A perfect collection of places, easily within driving distance, to visit and experience. We just arrived back home and I am so excited to share our travels with you! It is my hope YOU will be inspired to also take this road trip yourselves. 
Our first stop was checking into the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel. It has recently opened, just last August, to an inviting town. It is a combination of luxury, business class aesthetics mixed with a welcoming staff and modern amenities. 
I received a free stay to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
We had the pleasure of securing a room with a view of Chautauqua Lake, complete with a balcony! If you are interested in staying the night, I truly recommend the upgrade because the views both sunrise to sunset are absolutely amazing!
On the first day of exploring the area, we ventured to the National Comedy Center. Another new development in a pretty well known "city" called Jamestown, NY. Home to Museums, including one dedicated to "I love Lucy", a popular TV series, that offer homage to some of the most famous comedians known. 
The innovation, futuristic technology (A.I. Laugh battle by Microsoft for example) and general care they have put into the National Comedy Center is exquisite. You could easily spend hours, many visits and still not experience everything the Center has to offer. I hope to do a FULL review on this establishment as a mere mention just does not do it justice!! 
If you are in town, please, please, please, do yourself a favor and stop in! 
Next we popped in the Lucy-Desi Museum. Much as you would suspect they have costumes, memorabilia, photographs, replica "I Love Lucy" sets and the history of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. What I found fascinating was the ever growing collection complete with her car and numerous awards! If you are a fan, this is a great place to get some history.
Now, we had a choice to visit the Chautauqua Institute or Robert H. Jackson Center next. Both places, I would recommend but if you are touring the area pick what interests you! On a nice day, perhaps you could enjoy the beach, a delicious meal or listen to theatrical/musical shows at the Institute. On a rainy day perhaps a visit to "the historical center which features interactive exhibits, presentations, and media exploring the universal principles of equality, fairness, and justice". 
Nature is a huge interest to my family. I would be remiss if I didn't include great areas to explore just that! I have written a full review of the Panama Rocks Park, here, a place that might entice some of you hikers! You can also walk the trails at the Jamestown Audubon or perhaps bird watch at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. 
When our full two days of exploring had come to an end we all enjoyed a fancy dinner at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel! I ordered the Shrimp Scampi. It was hands down the best scallops I have ever tastes. Perfectly seared, with just the right amount of sauce👌.

Side note: If you do stop in for a meal, I recommend servers Darlene & Jamie they are rock-stars✨!  
With our first stop on the Empire State Road Trip complete we headed off to the next location Watkins Glenn, NY. I will be sharing, each stop, in the coming weeks.
Have you ever been to Chautauqua, New York. 
What attractions do you find interesting (museums, nature trails, hiking, adventures, golf etc)? Let us know in the comments below!!
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