My first time on Whole 30

On April 1 of this year, my beloved hubby and I embarked on our first-ever Whole 30 challenge. You know the one - it's basically the cult of clean eating. I never dreamed I could do it, because nutrition has always been my #1 vice and nemesis, but I just had to get that sugar demon off my back for good. The end result is that I absolutely loved the experience! Here are my honest, in-progress reactions and experiences from the journal I kept during our Whole 30 in April. Day 1: I didn't plan … [Read more...]

European travel with an 8 year old

Our lucky little family has just returned from possibly our most fantastic travel adventure yet: 10 glorious June days in Europe spread across three great cities. We visited London, York and Paris - each with its own marvelous look, feel, culture, cuisine and personality. Best of all, we connected with members of my extended family on two of our stops, rekindling relationships with my dear cousins whom I hadn't seen in more than 20 years and introducing them to E and Z. It was a joy! I'll … [Read more...]

Her first REAL summer

I have experienced daycare guilt - a particular brand of mom guilt found within the working mom guilt sub-category - every summer of Zoe's life. It's gotten worse each consecutive year. As her friends grew browner and more golden-tanned each month of summer, Z always stayed about the same thanks to being cooped up in daycare most of the week. Sure, we take a nice family vacation here or there, and I take a day off whenever possible to spend with her at the pool - but that never seemed like … [Read more...]

Lessons from Little House on the Prairie

An old standby from my childhood has become a cherished staple in our house this year: the classic Little House book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the late 1970s/early 80s TV show based on the books. We unfortunately began 2018 with a lot of illness and missed school, so Z has plowed through more seasons of the TV show than I'd like to admit. Likewise, we've read through six of the books and are continuing to read them together nightly. I love the sweet, old-fashioned values showcased … [Read more...]

Who’s ready for Monster Jam?!

Full disclosure: our family will receive free tickets to Monster Jam and yours can, too. We were provided four tickets to give away here. Read on for how you can win!  And now for something completely different. Who's ready to see giant monster trucks battle it out amidst huge piles of dirt and deafening roars? We are, that's who! Check it out: Unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable!  Monster Jam®, the most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today, returns … [Read more...]

Paradise for families: Beaches Turks & Caicos

It was tough not traveling for spring break this year, but I was warmed by memories of last March. After literally years of wishing and planning, our family had THE dream spring break trip last year: a week at the incomparable, all-inclusive Beaches Resort in the beautiful Turks and Caicos islands. It was the trip of a lifetime and we're all still talking about it - especially our 8 year old. And it was special for so many reasons! E and I were married on Grace Bay Beach on Providenciales in … [Read more...]

Fun in the Jungle – and in Oz!

Indoor play spaces are critical for keeping kids active and sane in the winter - and sometimes, these Ohio winters seem to drag on interminably. Good news: not only does central Ohio have a great selection of indoor play places, but there are always new ones popping up to check out and explore. This winter, we've discovered two that we absolutely love: one was the temporary Wizard of Oz exhibit at Easton Town Center and the other is a new permanent play space/entertainment venue in Sunbury, … [Read more...]

Cruising: a perfect multi-gen family vacation

We had a blast with our extended family cruising the Mexican Riviera over Christmas 2017 on the Norwegian Star. If you're looking for a trip the whole family will adore - from kiddos to grandparents - consider a cruise. Modern cruise lines truly offer something for every age and interest! The route We flew to Los Angeles a few days before Christmas, spent a night at my folks' house and then set out with them the next morning for the LA cruise terminal to board the Norwegian Star. We … [Read more...]

Skunk-pocalypse 2018

In the midst of our skunk problem, I wouldn't have used the terms "skunkpocalypse" or "skunktastrophe" because it was no laughing matter. Now that I've got a little distance from the issue, it does in fact seem funny on some level! You see, in mid-February (which, it turns out, is peak skunk shenanigans season), a wild skunk moved in under our basement crawlspace and began making our lives a living hell by waging chemical warfare on our entire house. I wish I was exaggerating. The stench was … [Read more...]

Our favorite boots ever

Our darling daughter is growing faster than the speed of light. I swear, every time I turn around she needs new shoes or pants - she's shooting right up like a fairytale beanstalk! There's no doubt she'll be taller than both her parents, and have feet bigger than mine. I'm happy about this (and proud - yay breastmilk! We've pretty much maxed out her genetic potential!) but also sad for one very silly reason: this is her LAST season ever to wear our favorite boots - the incomparable Karinne … [Read more...]