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Posted on 06/21/2016

13 New Kids Books to Read This Summer

Home Page/ Social Time/ Travel

It’s officially Summertime— The perfect time for laying out on a picnic blanket with some treats and a good book . . . or 13. Keep up with the Summer reading programs, and keep bedtime routines interesting with these 13 new books for Summer.  Read more

Posted on 06/13/2016

3 Reasons to Make This a Summer of Outdoor Adventure

Adventure/ Home Page

If you’re anything like me the transition to Summer break makes you feel equally excited and terrified — That ever-present question of “What are we going to do today?” looms over my head each morning. To avoid having to add the role of cruise director to my list of mom chores, I’ve deemed this Summer the Summer of outdoor adventure! A time for the kids to go outside for exploration and learning. They’ll have so much fun that they won’t realize that they’re also learning! Keep reading for three top reasons you’ll want to try this out this Summer, too.  Read more

Posted on 05/25/2016

3 Tips For Getting Outdoors as a Family This Summer

Adventure/ Health/ Home Page/ Kiddo Carries

Over 572,000 people pledged to spend time as a family outdoors on May 21 for National Park Trust‘s National Kids to Park Day. This special day in May was created by National Park Trust, whose mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow, as a way for parents and kids to learn more about their nearby parks. I took Savannah to the park since we weren’t able to visit a national park that day, and it was amazing. There’s something about unplugging and breathing in fresh air and the natural surroundings around where you live — It’s good for your eyes, parent-child relationship, and spirit. It’s just not that easy to actually get out and going with the family, though, right? Well, I may not have all the answers but I do have 3 tips for getting outdoors with your family this Summer (and a pretty awesome baby carrier giveaway). Keep reading for more info! Read more

Posted on 03/22/2016

6 Cool Ways to Save Money on Family Trips

Adventure/ Home Page/ Travel

Taking a vacation — or even a day trip — can be tough on your monthly budget if you don’t prepare ahead of time. I’m a fairly frugal person who really likes quality for less so I take advantage of as many offers and tips as I can to get the most out of my excursions without maxing out the credit card using these awesome tips. Keep reading to see how you can save (and earn!) on your activities, stay and transportation on trips. Read more

jelly fish
Posted on 03/02/2016

Family Getaway: Carmel, CA

Adventure/ Home Page/ Travel

Carmel, CA is known for wine, art and dog-friendly businesses, but what can families do during a quick weekend getaway? Turns out a lot! Grab your notebook, or star this page for later reference because this post is all about a few must-do activities for the laid back family. Keep reading after this post for more California-based family travels, too! Read more

Collage showing pictures of Coyote Hills and the Camry SE
Posted on 01/04/2016

A Day at Coyote Hills in the 2016 Toyota Camry SE

Adventure/ Autos/ Home Page/ Travel

School breaks are fun for the kids, but often leave parents wondering how to entertain the kids and still get some work done. Since my sitting at the computer searching for a logo update was making the kiddo a bit antsy, I decided to take the 2016 Camry SE (Starting at $23,840) I was reviewing during Christmas out for a little adventure to Coyote Hills Regional Park with my sister to keep our kiddos entertained.Keep reading for a recap of our day and my take on Camry’s safe family “sport” car.


Coyote Hills Regional Park is a part of East Bay Parks in California and offers hiking, biking, naturalist programs, butterfly garden, wildlife refuge, and picnic fun. According to their site, there’s about 979 acres of marshland and rolling grasslands, so we thought this would be a great sort of nature learning experience for the kids, too. When I was a kid I went to Coyote Hills and Don Edwards Bridge for field trips where we would dissect owl pellets. As I got older it was just a pretty place to walk and use as a backdrop for photos I took of families. I forgot about it for a bit and never took S here . . until now. Neither kiddo had ever heard of a marsh before, so they learned something when we went! Read more

Picture of Shari meeting Marcel Reece
Posted on 12/18/2015

What It’s Like to Meet Oakland Raider Marcel Reece

Adventure/ Family/ Home Page/ Social Time

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting!

There’s a lot going on this time of year between all the holidays, family gatherings and of course, game day. So it’s always important to get things prepared a bit with some pre-season shopping. I headed over to Nob Hill Foods in Alameda on Monday to do just that, and meet Oakland Raiders Fullback Marcel Reece (number 45) who was there with Proctor & Gamble (P&G) to greet shoppers and sign items. Keep reading for a full look at the event, and to enter my P&G Prize Pack Giveaway! Read more

Picture of a cherry red Mazda 6 parked in front of cabins surrounded by trees.
Posted on 12/01/2015

Car in Review: 2016 Mazda6

Adventure/ Autos/ Home Page/ Parent Life

After having kids any dream of that cherry red sports car is out the window, right? Well not necessarily! Mazda has managed to marry a 5-passenger sedan with a sports car for a little zoom zoom that gives families a sense of safety and vroom. I took the 2016 Mazda6 (Starting at $22K) up to Truckee for Friendsgiving recently (yes, I’ve been going there a lot lately) to test out how it fares on suburban, rural and freeway roads with a kiddo and some Friendsgiving treats in the car. I was surprised by this car, for sure, and you wouldn’t guess why! Keep reading for my “Ooh!” and “Hmm” family car breakdown on the Mazda6. Read more

Collage of pictures from Donner Lake
Posted on 10/26/2015

Making a Mother-Daughter Trip to Donner Lake

Adventure/ Autos/ Family/ Home Page/ Travel

Have you been to the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area? It’s so nice. Every time I visit is literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. Traffic isn’t as crazy, there are still a lot but not a ton of people (at least when I go during off-season times), and there’s so much to go do and explore. One of the recent spots I visited with S was Donner Lake. It’s a relaxing spot with something for kids and parents alike, and super easy to get to. I was test driving the gas-efficient 2016 Mazda CX-5 (starting at $22K) during our trip, which made it easier to climb the hills and go on the 3-hour drive to get to the Truckee area for Donner Lake (plus hold all our stuff). Once there, I was really surprised by the lake — There are a few playgrounds right on the beach, several picnic areas with some grills and even benches directly in the sand itself. It’s a peaceful and lovely place to visit. Keep reading for a few tips for your own adventure to the lake! Read more

Posted on 10/23/2015

Tips For Paddle Boarding With Kids

Adventure/ Big Kid/ Family/ Home Page/ Preschooler/ Travel

Water covers the Earth, we know what’s in there, but when you stand at the beach looking out the water seems endless and unknown. It can be incredibly scary for some kiddos (and adults), but also very peaceful (especially if you’re on the water paddle boarding). Some are brave enough to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP) in the ocean, others stick to the lake. I’m not a very good swimmer (and haven’t been out in water in about 6 years), so I tried SUP with my daughter during off-season at Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe — It was magnificent. Everyone masters being in the water differently, though —especially kids — so if you’re thinking about taking your child out to SUP, consider these simple tips first. Read more

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