What Are the Most Common Sources of Hidden Calories?

Obesity and diabetes are two of the most common chronic medical conditions from which people suffer. It is important for everyone to keep an eye on their weight because this plays a critical role in their overall health. At the same time, it can be challenging for people to make dietary changes. That is why everyone needs to take a look at the resources that have been made available on GoEatRightNow.com. If you are looking to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. What can you do to cut calories from your diet? It may be helpful to take a look at a few of the most common sources of hidden calories.

Read more

Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit, totally worth the trip!

A couple weeks back a good friend of mine texted me about taking the kiddos to a new place in Detroit. I figured what the heck; I am always up for an adventure! Besides, I will let you in on a little secret; I always have a backup plan. This time my backup plan was to take the kiddos to the Hands on Museum in Ann Arbor if this Outdoor Adventure Center place was a total bust. So, needless to say, my expectations going into this Outdoor Adventure Center were extremely low. But I am happy to say there was no need for a backup plan. In fact I just have one word for Detroit, BRAVO!!!

Read more

Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy?

All dog owners aim to provide a suitable environment for their fuzzy friends. From what they eat to grooming, taking good care of your dog makes it healthy and happy. Consequently, spending time with a dog helps reduce stress and anxiety, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. So, to reap such benefits, you should ensure your dog gets quality nutrition and plenty of exercises.

Read more

Blue Heron Bay Splash Park

Blue Heron Bay Splash Park

Why hit up just one splash pad when you can visit an entire Splash Park!! If sunny with a chance of splash is in your forecast then Blue Heron Splash Park is the place to be! The park comes complete with a toddler zone, family zone, slides for the older kiddos, perfect photo op under the spider in the tween zone, concession, tables’ w/shade, chaise lounges with full sun exposure, gorgeous view overlooking the lake…literally something for everyone! 

Read more

3 Things To Prioritize When Homeschooling Your Kids

Homeschooling isn’t always walk in the park, especially when you combine it with working remotely. Interestingly, as of 2019, about 2.5 million children were homeschooled, representing about 4% of school-aged kids in the US. While your child derives significant benefits from homeschooling, it’s vital to fully acknowledge what is (and isn’t) age-appropriate for your child. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to focus on what is more critical with your priorities set right. That said, here are three things to prioritize when homeschooling your kids

Read more

Tips for Traveling with Kids

“Are we there yet?”,  “I have to go to the bathroom!”, “Mom, he’s looking at me!”, and then there’s the one all parents dread hearing, “I don’t feel so good”. Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart. As parents we try our best to make the most of our children’s summer break and that often means fun day trips, adventurous road trips, extended weekends, and family vacations. Each requires travel time, and it doesn’t matter how long, far, or how you are traveling, as a parent if you are not prepared you will hate yourself. What’s more, you’ll miss out on an otherwise awesome opportunity to make the most of the journey. So, how exactly does a parent prepare to travel with kids? We asked the experts, parents!! Parents who have been there, experienced the whole, “I don’t feel so good” scenario and lived to tell you what to do so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. You’re gonna wanna grab a notebook, this is some good stuff, like legit quality advice that only those who have navigated these treacherous roads before you know about, these parents have experienced the tantrums, meltdowns, accidents, etc. and refuse to go back to their amateur ways. 

  • “DON’T DO IT!  JK, I love traveling with my kiddos! I always find one small new thing to bring with us, especially if we are traveling by car for long periods of time. We also keep it old school with DVDs and a DVD player, which gives them something to figure out. Most importantly, we talk about our upcoming trip, what to expect when traveling, etc. this helps set the expectations in advance. Obviously, you can’t do that with babies. With babies, just bring everything and hope for the best”- Miranda Louise 
  • “We play the alphabet game- try to find every letter of the alphabet outside the car (signs, license plates etc.), see how many licenses plates from different states you can find, name that tune (connect your phone to Bluetooth and play random songs), and travel bingo, hangman and tic tac toe!”- Lori Johnson Stammen
  • “Hotels: Flip the trashcan over to use as a step stool for the sink. Bring Lysol wipes to give the tub a good scrub before baths. Sound machine. Pack a Paring knife for cutting fruit for snacks and get a huge jug of water when you arrive. Planes: Band-Aids and stickers, give them new things in waves, not all at once. emergency backup “if all hell breaks loose” candy, pop rocks, favorite suckers. iPads and headphones work wonders. Headphone splitter if you only have one iPad.”- Ashley Balester
  • “Headphones and snacks. Lots of snacks. You also need more snacks.”-Michele McFarland
  • “If you have a little bit older kids give them a roll of quarters and if they act up on a car trip then take a quarter away, when you get where you’re going take them to an arcade and whatever quarters they have left that’s what they can use. Helped us recently on our road trip we took!!”-Rachel Woronec
  • “We’ve been to lots of places – Disney, Myrtle Beach, then last year we did a long weekend in Dayton. That ended up being my daughter’s favorite trip (even over Disney!). She said it was because she got to spend more time with us and it was a more relaxed vacation. Get your kids involved in the planning of things they want to do. She was much more willing to try our ideas when we let her have her days too! Also, stay at Drury Inn if you can, and if you are looking for a hotel! They have great breakfasts! They also have a dinner each night that is included (adults get 2-3 adult beverages also)! Pop machine is always open for drinks. They are well kept as well. Pre-Covid they also had popcorn in the lobby for snacks at a certain time”.- Jennifer Carner
  • “When I was a kid my Mom always bought me comics to read in the car and those books that had pages with “invisible ” answers to puzzles and you rubbed the pen over it to get the answers. We also played car games like seeing who could find license plates from the most states. Headsets are a must! Pillows for a long car ride. Always try to have a backup plan in case places are closed or because of weather. We always reserve a place that has a pool and plan at least one evening to swim and relax. Kids need a little down time. Don’t over plan things and allow a little down time, after all it is a vacation” .-Judith Schorling
  • “Their own backpack for phone, headphones, book, toys, etc. Put snacks in individual bags with their name on it. A small blanket. Take advantage of rest areas to stretch and maybe geocache if your family likes that bc there’s lots at rest areas. Expect to get there a lot later than an adult trip would take so plan accordingly on when to leave lol”-Jessica Dudek
  • “Pipe cleaners. Quiet, clean, creative. My kids played with these for hours in the car. I got really good at guessing what they made.”-Kristie Reighard
  • “Feed the kids in the car (pb and j or something like that) so when the grown ups stop for food, the kids can run around and it doesn’t become a battle to keep kids seated and get them to eat”-Hannah Apple
  • “Baby wipes for all the clean ups. Individually packed snack assortments and extra water in the car to fight hangry attacks, and a change of clothes. Assortment of distractions (toys, coloring books/activity books, etc.), sunscreen, hats. Fave blankets or stuffed animals for the car. A DVD player for the car works wonders if your travels involve a drive. Forethought into some good eye-spy, tongue twister, distraction word games to play”-Sara Jane
  • “Magnetic toys and dollar tree cake pans are awesome toys to keep young ones busy”-Kendra Stamy
  • “Tell my daughter to take a nap, we will get there faster, works every time.”-Angie Battle
  • “Stop at parks, etc. to wear them out with exercise.”-Susie Brazeau
  • “All the snacks!!!”-Melissa Mcdonald
  • “Stay calm and do not overpack!”-Nichole Schneider
  • “Travel at night when they’re sleeping”.-Jen Weiland
  • “Be prepared for anything but be willing to be flexible. And baby wipes. Lots and lots of baby wipes” -Lindsey Kile
  • “Dog poop bags!!! Quick and easy garbage bags, hold soiled clothes, wet swimsuits, you name it. All in a tiny roll.”-Amanda Clampitt
  • “Snacks, drinks, portable potty for toddler age, some sort of entertainment…movies, phones, etc. pillows, blankets, and patience, lots of patience!” – Niki Schultz
  • “I packed school workbooks in the car for my 3rd grader and PreK and for every page they finished, they got a piece of candy. I was impressed by how many they did. But also videos from the library!!!”- Melissa Wehrman Householder
  • “Headphones for their tablets. Snacks & drinks ready Togo at their beckoning and a side of sanity for mom and dad” -Joshua D Knudsen
  • “We started traveling with our kids when they were babies so they are used to it and behave really well for the most part. If we are traveling a long distance by car I plan a stop or two at someplace to break up the drive and get their energy out. Like when we drove to Colorado we stopped at the Arch and did a river boat ride and stayed in a hotel and then continued our drive the next day. On the way home we stopped halfway at Legoland.”- Melissa Crosby 
  • With several round trips driving 3 kids ages 2-9 to Florida under our belts, I would say leaving a few hours before bedtime helps. We usually leave at about 7pm. This allows most of the drive time for them to sleep. We always rented a minivan until we bought one. The extra inside space keeps kids separate or store n go seats allow for more leg room inside. Lower expectations if long trips or cramping to many activities during the trip. Know limitations! It will take longer, they will be crabby-ier, more stops than planned, take advantage of big spaces of area during stops i.e. if you stop at the gas station or rest areas let the kids play for 10 mins. Bring a ball, Frisbee and bring out during those times. We buy a new movie they’ve never watched but wanted too. Grammy always surprised them with a bag of goodies, snacks, activity books, surprises, little toys. Kept them busy.-Amber Lynn

My favorite place to grab Breakfast in Toledo & win a $100 GC to your favorite Breakfast spot in Town!

Just saying the word, “brunch”, instantly lowers my blood pressure. Think about it, what comes to mind when you say the word? A leisurely morning that slowly lends itself to a soft afternoon? Perhaps lowered expectations? Or long conversations? Whatever feelings the word evokes, I think we can all agree that brunch is meant to be shared, it’s more than just a time of day or a meal, it’s an experience. An experience that requires accompaniment with family or friends, amazing conversations, and epic food, we most definitely can’t forget the food. What does one eat for brunch?  That’s simple whatever the heck they want, lol!  The only rule I have with Brunch is that there are no rules…there’s no counting carbs, calories, etc. the only thing that counts is how much that food comforts your soul. And there is one place in town that comforts my brunch soul more than any other, Al Smith’s Place.

Read more

Wauseon Community Pool

Temps rising, sun blazing, & you forgot to make reservations in advance for the waterpark?  The struggle is real this summer. Thankfully the amazing community of Wauseon, Ohio has been kind enough to extend an invitation to their local pool to all visitors. Which, let’s be honest, this is kinda a huge deal, especially when they totally had the option of only including individuals from their local community. Thus, that being stated, when visiting please extend your gratitude, thank them for opening the pool to visitors, practice your best poolside manners, & most importantly, HAVE FUN!!

Read more

Rolling Hills Water Park

It was late July and I had just posted a meet up with our playgroup, our destination, Rolling Hills Water Park in Ypsilanti, MI. As a mom I was slightly terrified, how was I going to watch all three kiddos go in three different directions at a water park? Turns out one of the best thing I ever did was to make the event a playdate meet up! Many eyes and hands make for light work when it comes to watching children. Playgroup moms are like an extension of oneself. We each divided and conquered the water park that day. Two moms took a group of kiddos to the lazy river, another two took kids to the water slides, two stayed by the splash area with toddlers, and it was such a relaxing, enjoyable, and fun day for all of us, moms and kiddos. Seven years later and we are still continuing the tradition!

UPDATE: OPENS June 21st, ALL tickets must be purchased ONLINE!!

Read more

Father’s Day Gift Dad will Love & it Doesn’t Cost a Dime

Money a little tight? Has dad reached his tie and coffee mug limit? Looking for something entirely original that dad is sure to love and treasure for a lifetime this Father’s Day? Why not make him a video? A short film, skit, or like we did, a music video. Nothing says “I love you”, you’re appreciated, and extra special than giving your quality time.  Worried it won’t be good enough? You won’t after you see ours, lol!  I mean, dads love unconditionally so he’ll understand that it’s the thought that counts. 

Read more

Help Support Our Local Ronald McDonald House & Enter a Giveaway

Every year, McDonald’s restaurants in the Toledo, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Lima areas bring back the coveted koozie cup sleeves for their large beverages. These Sleeves retail for $5 each and all proceeds from purchase are donated back to the local Ronald McDonald House chapter. Supporting families in need at RMHC is a big priority for McDonald’s and I’m teaming up with them to help them spread the word & giving away 2 koozies cup sleeves to 5 followers as an appreciation for helping spread the word.

Read more

Summer 2021 Busy Bag for Kids

“Mom, I’m bored!” “Mom, the Wi-Fi isn’t working!!” (This legit just happened to us the other day, modem and router died at the same time and it was practically the end of the world as we knew it, lol!) “Mom is it cool if we surf down the stair on sleeping bags?”  For those  moments during Summer Break when you need to bust their boredom, when the Wi-Fi goes out, or when their imaginations highjack all common sense, busy bags to the rescue! So, what exactly are Busy Bags? Busy Bags are bags filled with age appropriate activities, arts, crafts, games, etc. to occupy your kiddos.  If the thought of having to research various activities and purchase all those supplies to place in your kiddo’s busy bag sounds overwhelming and totally something you don’t want to be doing I am right there with ya!! Which is why I invited other mommas to participate in a Summer Busy Bag Swap, after all, many hands make for light work! A couple years ago was our first Busy Bag Swap and it turned out so successful that we did it again and again…and with so many families opting to Staycation for Summer Break this year I’m looking to do this again! Who’s interested? 

Read more

Taking The Time To Appreciate Your Best Friend

Best friends are vital. For someone to earn that coveted title, they must have a deep and intimate understanding of you, to have stood by you through hard times and good times, and to add real value to your life. For that reason, it’s important to find ways to express how valuable they are to you. Here, we’re going to look at a bunch of little ways you can show your appreciation for your best friend.

Read more

Never say this to a Stay at Home Parent

“Must be nice!” This comment really gets under my skin. Just in general it screams, you’re privileged and I’m not, you just get everything handed to you and I have to suffer, in general it’s just an extremely rude comment to make about anything but especially a comment to a stay at home mom or stay at home working mom/parent. It alludes to the idea that what that mom/parent does at home doesn’t carry much value & that they’re basically flaking off all responsibility because they’re at home. Well, to be fair, it’s the tone and often snarky insinuation that accompanies the comment. As if that person stating the comment is the hardest worker in the entire world while the person at home is just binge watching shows & eating bonbons. Here’s some hard facts…

Read more

Neighborhood Photo Scavenger Hunt Kids can Play with Friends even from a Distance

Who’s up for some friendly competition? I think we might have actually started a new tradition during lockdown last year. This was  originally posted March 23, 2020. And the kids had so much fun they keep asking when we can do it again, thus, I’m adding this to our Summer Bucket List!

Original post…..

In an effort to stay positive, get kiddos out of the house for some fresh air, & allow for some social fun while still practicing social distancing we’re challenging you, your kiddos, & your kiddos’ friends to this Neighborhood Photo Scavenger Hunt!! Read more

How To Move During The Pandemic & As Mandates Lift

The pandemic has caused many shifts and uncertainties that left us all trying to navigate this challenging time together.

Unfortunately, major life events like weddings, international travel, and baby showers got put on hold — but we’re trying to move on with life as much as possible.

While mask mandates start lifting and our environment starts to go back to “normal,” the repercussions of the pandemic are still here.

So how can we move forward?

Read more

Purging Kids Toys, Books, & Clothes? Repurpose, Swap, and Sell!

This anxious feeling came over me this morning as I glanced at the calendar and realized the kids literally have one week left of school!! How can that be, it feels like they just went back to school. Oh wait, they did, lol! After being home for what seemed like an eternity and then hybrid learning for a minute, I blinked and their in-person learning for 5 days a week is practically over, which means they’re gonna be home, AGAIN!! What’s a mom to do? I don’t know about y’all but this momma isn’t wasting one second, I’m PURGING STAT! I’m getting rid of everything they grew out of almost two years ago, all the books they no longer read, toys they no longer play with, etc. I’m officially in that “everything has gotta go” mentality. But where is it going?

Read more

El Vaquero Five-Person Family Meal Packs To-Go

This is a game changer! You know when you’re super tired after a long day and you realize you forgot to thaw dinner? Or when you schedule a picnic in the park with the fam but didn’t have time to run to the store? Or ya know, when your tired Tuesday happens to also fall on taco Tuesday and ya just need a break? El Vaquero has you covered! They now offer the super convenient, easy to order online, economical, and delicious family style meals to-go. The hardest part will be trying to decide which meal pack to choose from…

Read more