Corresponding with Elves year-round

Our family dove head-first into the world of Elf on the Shelf when our daughter was about four. Each year, her bond with Emmalina, her Elf, grows stronger; she's been known to cry real tears when Emmalina departs back to the North pole on Christmas. We received a special dispensation from Santa right from the start which allows Zoe to hold and hug her Elf. Maybe that's why she and Emmalina have grown so incredibly close? Emmalina has even made special arrangements to stay with us a few days … [Read more...]

Why we foster kittens

Last summer, our family took on a special project as a way to give back, celebrate our love of animals and help make the world a better place. Between July and September 2016, we fostered a total of 12 kittens (including one sweet mama of six who was barely more than a kitten herself) from the Capital Area Humane Society and Humane Society of Delaware County. Fostering kittens and cats is an amazing experience - it involves a bit less work and time than fostering puppies and dogs, yet still … [Read more...]

Dream Big! Disney on Ice is back

Full disclosure: our family will receive free tickets to Disney on Ice and we were also provided four tickets to give away here. Read on for how you can win!  Longtime readers know that I'm a huge Disney nut and a big fan of the Disney on Ice productions. I'm thrilled to report that Disney on Ice is skating back into Columbus late this month - and you have the opportunity to win a family 4-pack of tickets right here on this blog! This year's Disney on Ice show is called Dream Big and … [Read more...]

Our little rescue dog, Dani

Our family recently adopted a tiny rescue dog from Cause for Paws Ohio. Formerly known as Pistol Annie, our daughter renamed her Dani and she's adorable. Near as we can tell, Dani's a Shih tzu/Yorkie mix - aka Shizorkie. She has utterly stolen our hearts in a very short time! I was initially very against the idea of adding a second dog to our family. We all adore our Goldendoodle, Autumn, and consider her a near-perfect canine and cherished member of our family. I feared we had no chance of … [Read more...]

The awesome rainbow ball

Our little family of three just had a wonderful getaway to Sandusky, Ohio, including a day at Cedar Point and Soak City and an overnight stay at Castaway Bay. We loved all of the above! I'll blog about it all soon. For now, I just want to tell you a story about one part of our happy end-of-summer, pre-back-to-school getaway. It's a story about an awesome rainbow ball and the power of childhood magic. We surprised Zoe with a weekend away to celebrate the end of summer and give her a good … [Read more...]

Year-round fireworks in Ohio

If you're a fireworks fanatic who didn't get enough of the snap, crackle, pop and BOOM! over the 4th of July, you're in luck. Our beloved daughter didn't get to go see any fireworks this year due to other family obligations, so she was feeling slighted and deprived. She made a compelling case for why we owe her some big-time fireworks after cruelly robbing her of this vital childhood summer experience. And if you think I'm exaggerating here on any level, you need to meet Zoe, who could … [Read more...]

Storybook Village comes alive 6/18

On Saturday, June 18, you and your child can wander around a magical Storybook Village and interact with beloved characters from popular kids' books and TV shows. For this one-day event, Ohio Village at the Ohio History Center transforms into Storybook Village to promote early childhood literacy. If, like me, you've not visited Ohio Village before, it's a "living history museum" -- a life-size replica of a small Ohio town in the 1890s, complete with streets, buildings, actors in period garb … [Read more...]

5 things I love about Snapchat

If you're a parent, you likely hear the word Snapchat and recoil in horror - it's that "disappearing content" social network that teens and college students use to send naughty photos and videos. It's something I thought I would NEVER want my daughter to use. And yet, you may be surprised to find that I've recently begun using some of Snapchat's features with said daughter - and we're having an absolute blast doing it. Here's what you need to know about Snapchat as a parent - and why you … [Read more...]

Fun, free events for kids

Raise your hand if you're going stir-crazy and are in desperate need of spring. Or at least spring break. That's me in a nutshell right now! Fortunately, we've found several fun, free family activities that are getting us through the doldrums of winter. Yes, even though we're having an unseasonably mild winter, it still drags on - so some extra free fun outside of the house is always a bonus. Check your local stores or websites to be sure these classes are offered near you, too - and note … [Read more...]

Winter hiking in Hocking Hills

This blog post originally appeared on my agency's blog, the Rhumba Room, as part of our #FHroadtrip travel series. Follow along all this year as we explore what there is to see, do and eat across the great state of Ohio! I’ve never gone winter hiking before. In fact, I’ve always secretly thought that people who hike in cold weather are a little crazy. But, after a recent weekend getaway with my family in Hocking Hills, I am officially a winter hiking convert. It just takes a little … [Read more...]