Omg, y’all it’s legit Fall!! Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), boots, flannels, sweaters, apple picking, pumpkin patches, pumpkin pies, apple pies, cinnamon & sugar doughnuts, apple fritters, fall festivals, corn mazes, hayrides, and so much more! Fall is when the Midwest shines, but don’t blink, it goes by fast, so tag friends and make plans now! Here is this year’s Toledo Fall Family Fun Guide….
It is always advised that you call ahead and double check that nothing has changed before visiting any orchard, farm, etc.
3 littles, barely any sleep, and I said yes to a segment on the morning show, what was I thinking? Thankfully I had purchased and prepped all the necessary items the night before and sat out my clothes as well as my “assistant’s” clothes. That morning we were running behind per usual, my hair wasn’t cooperating, stupid humidity, and I was praying all the way to the station that God would help me find the words…some mornings the “mom brain” hits hard, am I right ladies? Too bad guests can’t get a prompter.
I’ve been meaning to write this for some time now. It’s long overdue. But every time I escape into the computer room, open my laptop, my fingers barely graze the keys, and a silent alarm must sound altering the children that I’m about to give something else my undivided attention. For they all seemed to beacon before I can even type a word, “Mom, I need help submitting….”, “Mom, my screen froze!”, “Mom, I can’t type on my work in Google Docs”. It’s a miracle they aren’t banging on the door right now. I am currently hiding out in the bathroom, on the floor, with my laptop, fan on, so hopefully I’ll have a few uninterrupted minutes…I took this idea from the “Dad Handbook” ;), lol! So needless to say, this letter has been on my heart for some time, and it embarrasses me that I haven’t sent this sooner. I don’t know if you know this or not, but you’re such an important and significant part of my life. They say that life isn’t measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away and though, an eloquent idea, I’d add that it isn’t just the big moment in life that matters, but the everyday that embrace life’s imperfections. Looking back on my lifetime thus far most of my life’s imperfections, serious contemplations, and happy memories either took place with you or you helped me get through them, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this time to express just how much you’ve played a role in those moments.
Here are just a few of the many awesome local small businesses located in Toledo & the surrounding area. Please be sure to show them your love and “like”, and/or, “follow” them on social media, and be sure to stop in to the brick and mortar shops, introduce yourself, & inquire about deals, yes, small businesses also have some great bargains!
All ornaments are handmade and hand painted….custom orders welcomed, such as names, birthdays, current year, player number for sport related ornaments, and colored glitter. Ornaments cost $10 & $2 to personalize.
Clothing for all ages and sizes! Visit the facebook shopping group to enjoy weekly specials throughout the holiday season! Also contact Em to set up an appointment to shop the Toledo Boutique to take advantage of in person specials!
Find that hidden gem or a favorite popular fiction or nonfiction book for a great price!! They carry books for the entire family…kids, teens, tweens, young adult, adult. They also take clean, good condition books on trade for in-store credit which buys you 25% off purchases!!
Classic meets contemporary in Disney On Icepresents Dare to Dream! Join your favorite Disney Princesses in a celebration of 75 years of Disney Princess stories, including two-modern day princesses, Rapunzel and Tiana; the always elegant Cinderella; and the princess who started it all, Snow White. Laugh at Disney’s hilarious hair-raising escapade, Tangled, as Rapunzel; her unlikely companion, Flynn; and Maximus, the Captain of the Guard’s determined horse; embark on an uproarious journey that takes adventure to new lengths!
Travel to the enchanted forest with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as Snow White escapes from the Evil Queen in her search for her one true love. Watch as fanciful dreams become reality as Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, with a glass slipper fit for an unforgettable fantasy come true. And boogie to the beat of the bayou in a magical, musical journey that celebrates the story of The Princess and the Frog with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.
All your favorite princesses take to the ice in a spectacular finale at the ultimate Disney Princess event of a lifetime! Experience the beauty, sparkle, and spirit when Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream comes to your hometown!
Show Times Schedule: At Huntington Center Toledo, OH
Date Morning Afternoon Late Afternoon Evening
Thursday, Dec. 3 7:00 PM
Friday, Dec. 4 7:00 PM
Saturday, Dec. 5 11:00 AM 3:00 PM 7:00 PM
Sunday, Dec. 6 1:00 PM 5:00 PM
Opening Night tickets are just $12 – No code needed! Kid’s tickets start at just $12! – no code needed
(Discount does not apply to Rinkside, Front Row, or VIP seats. No double discounts. Service charges, handling, and facility fees may apply. Child discount applies for ages 2-12).
As many of you know I am very passionate about living a green and sustainable lifestyle. When my children were babies we used cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and our last baby even refused a bottle and strictly nursed (clearly my favorite! Haha! Just kidding!). My household cleaning products consist of water, baking soda, vinegar, and rags. I read labels on products and look out for any carcinogens, pesticides, toxins, etc. I do not purchase paper towels or napkins (oh the heated conversations I had with my husband those first couple years of marriage, yes, napkins…I do realize how silly it sounds, haha!). I am happy to say that we have been using cloth napkins for 9 years now…he has grown accustom to the environmental and financial advantages. I do not purchase disposable dishes, utensils, or sandwich bags. We have a filter on our faucet for our water and we use water canteens and travel mugs when we need to take water with us. I am a ‘just say no’ to water bottles kind of momma! Now, it should be noted that my mommas is not. In fact she is the complete opposite of me. And we are related, crazy, right!? She has tons of water bottles and basically disposable EVERYTHING! I have been on her for quite some time encouraging less consumption! As of yet I have not made much segue, it kills me when I see all the bottle waters stacked up!! WHY!! Why such consumption?
That Horrific Morning…..
August 2, 2014!!! This day will forever go down in history!! It started off like any other morning. I woke up around 7 pm, made my way downstairs to make some much needed coffee. Turned on the television as I walked through the living room then slide in dog pee as I entered the kitchen (I keep it real folks…and the truth is lately I have been slipping on dog pee at least 3 mornings a week…our dog is a diabetic and currently suffers from old dog syndrome, but damn he’s cute!). While cleaning the pee I overheard the news in the other room. It indicated that we should not drink our water…which let’s be honest it happens sometimes and we just boil it….next phrase out of the Newscasters mouth, DO NO BOIL! My first thought was, what!?! My second thought was, oh crap that means no coffee!!! SH*T just got real!!! I have a family of 5, a diabetic old dog, and household to take care of and I cannot do that sans caffeine!!! So the next logical step was, panic. So I tried it for a minute but it literally got me nowhere so I decided to maintain composure and go in search of caffeine, I mean water. By then my 7 year old son was up so I brought him along thinking between his 7 year old brain and my non-caffeinated brain we should have the equivalent of one working adult brain and I figured we would be back in 15 minutes or so. Little did I know!!!
The Hunt for Caffeine, I mean Water….
August 2, 2014 7:45am we arrive at Kroger’s. We walk in, me in my sunglasses, thinking those are more forgiving than my tired eyes and unwashed face…if only I could just splash a little water on my face! And I was rocking a hot bed hair too…looking back I guess I could have brushed my hair, after all there was no ban on brushing, oh well. We grab a cart and make our way to what WAS the isle filled with water, flavored water, and Gatorade, all of which were gone! We left the cart in the isle and made our way back to the car. On our way to the car a gentleman yelled to everyone GO TO MICHIGAN THEY HAVE WATER! So we all piled into our cars and drove to Michigan (BTW, Michigan is literally 8 minutes up the road so we didn’t go far). We get there and SHOCKER, they are all out of water!! At this point I am feeling like such a failure! There was no way I could go home empty handed. And I am starting to suffer from caffeine withdrawal, I am not going to lie, it wasn’t pretty! So I drove a half hour into Michigan and every stop was OUT OF WATER (later they actually typed up signs so you didn’t have to waste your time getting out of the car). Now the real irony was that I was driving all over the place for water while it was pouring down rain outside…in case you were wondering, God definitely has a sense of humor. Haha! What was initially going to only take all of 15 minutes had tuned into 2 hours, and we needed gas! So I pull into a gas station and I finally had the brilliant idea to grab an iced coffee…what can I say, my brain doesn’t function well without caffeine! And of course I looked for water but they were all out! Thus the search continued!!
Time to Eat some Humble pie….
After 3 hours of searching for water, numerous texts coming in from family and friends informing me not to drink the water and to rush out ASAP to grab some (talk about rubbing salt in the wound) I knew what I had to do. I knew it would not be easy. I knew I would have to take a huge piece of humble pie…well, maybe more like the entire pie. I made a call. I called….I called my water bottle loving momma! And she hooked a girl up! She said we were more than welcomed to her bottled waters, disposable dishes, utensils, etc. And not once did she make mention of my green and sustainable ways not being conducive to the situation or say her way was right, nope, because she is one of the most classy, remarkable people I know…always willing to help, to lend a hand, to build you up. Yep, my water bottle loving momma saved this green and sustainable preaching momma, turns out we might just need each other after all, who knew! And hopefully all her consumption and my conserving will somehow balance out in the end, maybe?!
It Kills me to admit….But I had to….I confess….
So this ‘go green’ momma used disposable dishes and utensil because we were not able to use the water to clean our dishes. Used wet wipes as baths for the kids. Hand sanitizer to wash hands. I used paper towels to clean up spills (dog pee) because we couldn’t use hot water to do laundry. And more bottled waters than I would like to admit to in order for the family to drink, dog to drink, and use for anything else…cooking, cleaning, brushing teeth. It kills me to look at the picture of all those items that go against a green and sustainable lifestyle. But I must admit a little wine in the evening and iced coffee in the morning made the experience much more manageable. And the people, oh, the people in Toledo and the surrounding area were absolutely amazing!!
A Huge thank you to everyone who offered their home to us to get showered/cleaned up, who offered water and other necessities, and to all those who helped others, your generosity truly warmed my heart. After witnessing all the kindness bestowed on neighbors this past weekend it has definitely confirmed what I already knew, Toledo is a great place to live because of the people!! God Bless all of you!
Last week was our daughter’s spring break and we were all itching to get out of TOLEDO!! Since a long family vacation wasn’t in our budget we instead did a mini-vacation and you can too!! Here is how…..
1. Location: Plan your trip around family and/or friends. You know that friend of yours that moved a few years back and she has always been bugging you to visit and stay with them but you feel like your family would be an imposition? Or, maybe your sister or brother just relocated and could use the company? Kindly accept their offer, it is really easy, repeat after me, “Yes, we would love to visit”. We stayed with my sister in Dayton.
2. Set ground rules for your stay. Express to your friend or family any specific that need to be followed during your visit such as nap time, food budget, avoiding souvenir traps, bedtime, etc. But do remember to have this discussion in a kind manner, after all, they are providing a place for your family to stay during the duration of your visit. Also, do not be demanding, be appreciative and kind. Bring your own towels, linens, food, etc. then be grateful for any towels, linens, etc. that are provided. Do bring a small thank you gift for your friend/family, a nice bottle of wine, something from your home town is known for (glass figurine or chocolate) or something your friend/family enjoys.
3. Travel: Keep the travel short and sweet when possible. Try to minimize your travel trip to a location that doesn’t require more than one days travel. Also, if you will be traveling in the car all day locate a park at the halfway point for children to run around and blow off some steam (you will be happy you did so once back in the car).
4. Means of transportation for travel: Gasoline prices are ridiculous so in order to keep our trip within our budget I swapped cars with my hubby. He stayed in town for work and drove around in the Yukon while I took the kiddos on our trip to Dayton in his Cadillac. True, the Yukon has so much more space and it also has a DVD player but it guzzles up the gas. So, instead of using $80 for gas I only spent $45. And since we wouldn’t have the DVD player the kiddos were each allowed to pick out a Playaway View from the library as entertainment for the travel (these are FREE as long as you return them on time). We also played a few games and sang some songs along the way.
5. Food: Traveling can make fast food very tempting, it is at every exit/rest area and it is convenient. Sure grabbing a bag and unwrapping dinner, passing it around, and tossing the trash back in the bag is convenient and requires no pre-trip preparation. However when traveling on a shoestring frequent fast food stops can quickly add up and so does the cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. So, for your wallet and heart’s sake steer clear of fast food. Instead pack snacks and meals for the family before you hit the road. Remember to bring a cooler for any perishable foods. For our trip I packed my version of a kid’s happy meal.
I made PB & J sandwiches; packed carrots, juice box, napkin, and fun Easter candy treat in Easter buckets. The buckets not only contained crumbs and trash but the kiddos thought it was so special and fun. I ate carrots and an apple while I drove, both are eating while driving friendly foods. Also, go through your pantry and refrigerator and pack food for your vacation. Milk, OJ, cereal, fruit, veggies, PB, Jelly, bread, Coffee, and pretzels are my go to foods. Try to limit the food you purchase while on the trip but you are on vacation so be sure to budget in a splurge for dinner one night, a snack another, and of course a coffer or two or even a glass of wine for mom and dad. When dinning out at a restaurant with the entire family it is wise to discuss your budget with your children before you enter the restaurant. If everyone gets water you are already saving money right off the bat. One of the best options for dinning out with the entire family is pizza. On our trip we ate dinner at a local pizza establishment and the large pizzas were only $13. Or, if pizza isn’t your forte splitting entrees is another great idea when vacationing and if you eat your dinner earlier you can usually get the lunch price.
6. Attractions: Seek out local attractions that are free such as mega playgrounds like the one our kiddos enjoyed in Dayton.
Ask around, the locals are always eager to share all the wonderful attractions their town/city has to offer. Like the Yellow Springs Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm we visited…..
My Three Little Piggys
Old McMaxwell had a farm..
These guys reminded me of my kiddos, all they have to say is “ma..ma..ma…
Time for that special treat!!
I love the name.
I had a tough time taking pictures and running after our toddler…this is one of the girls together, cute photo huh?
We just so happened to visit on Family Day. They had a lot of fun activities for the kiddos.
Lastly, checkout your local memberships for reciprocity at other establishments located near you vacationing destination. Our Toledo Zoo Membership got us into Boonshoft Museum of Discovery for FREE!!
7. Mommy Mentality: This is one of the most important tips. As we all know moms are constantly modeling their behavior for their children and vacation is no exception. It is important that moms express enthusiasm for the attractions you will be visiting on your trip. As moms we know the difference between a deluxe vacation and a mini-vacation on a shoestring budget. However moms have the power to make that mini-vacation on a shoestring budget into a deluxe vacation memory.
Spending quality time with family and seeing some amazing attractions while making wonderful memories= PRICELESS
So, where have you mini-vacationed? I would love to hear some suggestions for places we should visit in the future. We are trying to decide where to go this summer, tell me about your home town, should it be our next destination mini-vacation?