Saturday, February 25, 2017

15 Ways to Keep Kids Occupied On Long Car Trips

We have taken a few family trips with our kids.... and I have found, if you have some fun things to keep kids occupied with, the trip will be much more enjoyable for everyone! 

Here is a list of idea's that my kids love.... 

1. Camera - I give each kid (I started doing this when my youngest was 3 yrs old.) a camera. Make sure it is charged or has fresh batteries (take the charger along with your overnight bag and charge while your sleeping so it will be ready to go the following day.) I let my kids take pictures of anything that interest's them. When we get home, I delete the fuzzy or blurry pictures and use some of their good pictures, along with some of mine, to make a keepsake book for them to look through to remember the trip by. 

2. Silly Putty - All kids, all ages love silly putty! You can also buy different colored silly putty. Just keep it off of clothing! 

3. Bingo Car Game - this works great for middle school kids that know how to read.... My mom always had these for traveling when I was a kid! We have a few different sets. I bought mine at our local Rural King store. 

4. Water Wow Books - My two youngest kids (ages 6 & 9) loved these! They are no mess and reusable, which I love and water to fill the pens is so easy to come by on a trip! 

5. Figurines - I bought each of the kids some Figurines to play with ( I thought these were cute since our trip this year was to the ocean!) Any figurines would work, as long as it's something you kids are into. 

6. Sponge Ball Shooters - My kids also love playing with these Sponge Ball Shooters - they are perfect in the car, as the foam balls are attached to a string! 

7. Silly Neon Rubbery Monsters and Plastic Magic Springs and Sticky Hands make for fun car toys also. I got these for Our trip out west and the kids liked them. 

8. Glow Necklaces and Bracelets and Finger Lights are fun to have if you are going to be traveling at night. I forgot these for our last trip and wished I'd have had them. 

9. Books - I let each kid pick out a couple favorite books to look at on the trip. 

10. Notebook and Pen or Activity Book and Crayons. Each of the kids had their own notebook and pen to draw with. If your kids won't keep the pen on the paper when using it - this may not be for you. Older kids could keep a journal of the trip if they wanted to.

11. Stuffed Animal - everyone is allowed to take their favorite stuffed animal, although my youngest is the only one that takes a stuffed animal with her now. 

12. Stick Bots - I bought a stick bot for each of the kids. They are pretty cool in general, but the teen especially enjoyed playing with hers using the stick bot app. 

13. Pillows and Blanket - Each kid takes their own bed pillow or a neck pillow (depending on how much room we have) and a small fuzzy blanket. We love the small lap blankets and use them all the time here at home. It makes tired kids feel cozy and helps them to sleep. 

14. Music and Audio Books - We love Sirius XM and have it in our home and our car! No more commercials and no more flipping channels. It's well worth a subscription if you are taking a long road trip! I also check out audio books on CD at our library for the kids to listen to stories. We like Laura Ingalls Wilder Series and Magic Tree house

15. Electronic Game - If your kid has a tablet or DS, a new game for their device will keep them busy - just remember to take a car charger with you. (We have a rule that if we are driving long hours on the interstate, they may play on their games, but if we are sight seeing - the games have to be shut off) - I want them to experience the trip as much as possible! 

  • I usually open all the toys from any packaging and put them in a container for the trip. We have a SUV, so the two youngest have the container between them on the seat and the teen keeps her stuff in a book bag with her in the back seat. 
Other things to do on a trip is to stop and let the kids get out and run around a bit. Take a jump rope, sidewalk chalk, or a ball for them to kick around at the rest stop. Stop for an ice cream cone! 

Always keep a water bottle for each child beside them. I also always put together a basket of snacks for the trip and keep it within reach while we are driving! (See my list of snacks here.) 

Most of all, remember that kids are just that, kids! Traveling wears them out and sometimes you need to give them extra grace on a road trip! Make sure you are making memories!

*Note. I generally don't recommend Dollar Tree toys, because they are cheap and often don't hold up well - but for trips, they have worked out great for our family - the kids are excited to get new toys and I love that it's not costing me an arm and a leg!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Snack Ideas for Long Road Trips

When we are traveling - I like to take our snacks with us. It cuts down on stops and on the cost of buying snacks at convenience stores or gas stations. I try to pack a mixture of sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, healthy and not so healthy snacks..... I want snacks that are easy and that don't make a huge mess! I try to get snacks that my kids don't have on a regular basis - it gives them something to look forward too and makes the trip more fun! Here we go!

Nuts - honey roasted peanuts, cashews, and roasted and salted almonds are our family favorites!

Fruit Snacks or Fruit Roll Ups

Shaklee Snack Bars - choose from crunchy peanut butter, cherry and almond, chocolate and coconut, or toffee and chocolate crunch.

Snack Crisps - my personal favorite is the barbecue flavored ones.

Beef Jerky

Trail Mix

Raisins - little individual boxes work great!

Starburst Minis - my kids love these and there are no paper wrappers to deal with!

Green Matcha or Pomegranate Energizing Tea (just mix with a bottle of cold water, shake, and enjoy for a great pick me up!

Combos - I like to mix the cheddar and pizza combos together before the trip.

Dried Fruit - Apricots, Banana Chips, Pineapple, Papaya, Kiwi - it's all good!


Energy Chews - a great pick me up for the driver - 

Cheez-its or Goldfish Crackers for the kids

Animal Crackers


Popcorn - sometimes I pop it at home and put into an airtight container. Sometimes I buy the Puffy popcorn. And sometimes, I just take microwave popcorn for a snack after we get to the hotel!

Soda/pop - we usually take a few 16 oz. bottles and split it between us all.

Mini Choc. Chip Cookies - you can get these for $1 at the family dollar store.


Skittles or any candy that you or your family enjoys.

Small individual boxes of assorted Dry Cereal - you can use dry as a snack or use for breakfast at the hotel.

Chex Mix

Little Debbies - swiss rolls, zebra cakes, or oatmeal cream cookies - these are a treat as we very rarely buy them.

Snacks that are better in  a cooler:

Protein Balls - this is a healthy snack you can't go wrong with!

Pudding Cups - I stick with the vanilla, as it is less messy than chocolate!

Cheese Sticks

Frozen Grapes

Yogurt cups or Squeeze Tubes

Juice (try to stick with clear juices that won't stain bad) or Milk boxes/bottles

Always take extra Water Bottles - we love our Shaklee Get Clean Water here at home, but on trips, it's nice to have recyclable water bottles within easy reach that you can toss! If you have room, a small cooler of ice is great also.

Lunch Idea's: If you are wanting to reduce the cost of eating out on a trip - pack a cooler with chicken, egg or ham salad, or lunch meat, cheese, lettuce, and miracle whip. Add a loaf of bread (or round Ritz crackers), a bag of chips, and paper plates and fix your lunches to eat at a picnic table at a rest stop or park.

For Breakfast - keep the cost low by:
1. Mixing up a protein shake or a meal shake for the kids. It's quick, easy, nutritious and keeps tummies full! 
2. We usually always have one morning where we get donuts and milk for breakfast. It's become a family tradition!
3. Buy milk to pour over dry cereal - (don't forget paper bowls and spoons). 
4. My sister always packs an electric skillet and turner and takes eggs to cook her family for breakfast in the hotel room. I personally don't want to cook while traveling so I skip that, but it is a great idea!

I always put these clips in my snack box - they come in handy for open bags. (I also use these at home - they are my favorite bag clips!)

Other things to include are plastic cups (they can be used to drink out of, or as individual containers for snacks), and plastic spoons.

Remember to take wet wipes for wiping sticky hands and a small box of Kleenex. In our SUV - both can fit perfect in the glove box within easy reach.

I also try to include a couple gallon and quart zip-lock bags, plastic grocery bags, trash bag and a hand towel - those things have come in handy multiple times!

Note: We always take our vitamins with us! It helps keep us healthy and feeling good, so that we can enjoy our trip to the fullest!

You can see a list of great ideas for keeping kids occupied on long car trips here!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Man I Love

Happy Valentines Day! Today, I want to celebrate my hubby! I have been blessed with a good man! Let me tell you my top ten favorite things about the man I love.

He always does the right thing -even when it's the hard thing to do. He is a man of values and good moral. He is polite, not just around others, but here at home around me and the kids.

He is a man of few words and uses his words wisely. I love hearing him talk. When he speaks, people stop and listen because they know he has something important to say.

He always treats me with respect. I am his equal. He asks and values my opinion, He lets me choose where I want to eat. What I want to do. He always puts me first in the bedroom -enough said! He can tell when something’s important to me, and for the most part, he lets me run wild with my (crazy) ideas.

He is a hard worker. He provides well for our family - we lack for nothing. He is a successful mold maker by day. But he also works hard around our property. He can fix, remodel, and build anything..... and he is extremely good at it. He helps me around the house.... he helps wash dishes, he scrubs the floors, and keeps things looking nice. In all the years we've been together, I have never washed the windows.... he does that for me!

He is a good dad. I love watching him play with the kids. I love that my kids beg to drive to recycling or the gas station with dad. He talks with them about life things -dating, saving and investing money, history, teaches them right from wrong, and to think for themselves. He turns up the music and has dance parties with them in the living room. He takes them on bike rides and for ice cream in the mustang. He spends every Tuesday afternoon and evening with the kids while I volunteer at the local pregnancy center and do my weekly grocery shopping.

He always has my back. It doesn't matter if it's a family member, a business client, or a stranger.... he always stands up for me! He has my back when the kids try to play us off each other, or if they start taking me for granted. He gives me grace, even when I don't deserve it.

He loves me unconditionally. It's no secret that some days life is hard for me- I struggle with autoimmune disorders and chronic stress, and on such days, he physically takes care of me. Even when I feel at my worst, he tells me I'm beautiful. I never doubt his love for me.

He has a great butt and the sexiest smile in the whole world. If I am upset, his smile can make me laugh....

He protects me. He is always ready to shield me from harm. His arms are my safe place. Outside worries melt away. I always feel safe when he is by my side.

He is romantic. Not in the 'go out to a fancy restaurant, bring home chocolates, or plan an extravagant getaway kind of way'. No, he's romantic in the everyday kind of way. Holding my hand when we go on walks, sitting beside me when we eat. Snuggling with me on the sofa every night. Still opening my car door after all these years. Coming up behind me and wrapping his arms around me while I'm washing dishes or cooking supper.

What are some things you love most about your hubby? Brag about him in the comments below!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Best Protein Snack Recipe

Is your family getting all the protein that they need? If they are like the majority of Americans, they most likely aren't! My kids don't enjoy drinking protein shakes..... but they LOVE this Protein Snack! Even adults can't resist!

~ Recipe ~

1 cup (dry) oatmeal or crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup Chocolate or Vanilla Shaklee Life Energizing Protein

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut/almond butter

1/2 cup honey

(You can also add other ingredients like flax seed, chia seed, raisins, nuts, etc.)

Stir until everything is moist. Press into 8×8 pan or roll into bite sized balls. Keep in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Around the world, millions of people don’t get enough protein. Protein malnutrition leads to the condition known as kwashiorkor. Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.

Protein is the single most important food we eat. The name comes form the Greek “protos,” meaning “first place” or “takes first place.” Every cell in our body contains and needs protein to survive!

All Protein Isn't Alike!

The quality of protein is measured by the balance and amounts of the essential amino acids it contains. If the protein contains all nine essential amino acids in proper amounts to support your body’s health, it is called a complete protein.

Not only does Shaklee’s Protein Powder have all nine essential amino acids in the proper amount and is a complete protein, but Shaklee products also go through rigorous safety tests, to insure you are getting the highest quality protein available! Order your Shaklee Protein here!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Taking Care Of Me - Relaxing

This year, I am choosing to take care of me......

and that means I've been enjoying some time in the sun.....

walks on the beach...

watching the kids (and the hubby) play...

laying at the pool...

walking under the moss covered oak trees...

exploring the island...

seeing the beautiful views from our hotel balcony...

listening to the waves crash...

playing in the sand...

watching the sun rise over the ocean...

finding sand dollars and shells...

watching the tide come and go...

enjoying the warm breeze...

spending time with my family...

and simply enjoying life..... 

...... I think I could get used to this......


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