Category Archives: families

Parent Bloggers Experience Lexus Safety

I must admit: I don’t know much about cars, but I do know I want to keep my family safe in the car I drive. Lexus understands that. And, honestly, with all the recalls lately, they know they have to get this right and they have.

Last week I traveled to California for the Lexus Family Safety Camp and in four short hours I learned a tremendous amount about how important features such as Anti-Lock Brakes and Vehicle Stability Control are to the overall safety of those driving and riding in their vehicles. I know most of you already know and understand how important these are but for those of us who were at the safety camp we were able to see how cars perform that don’t have these features. Scary!

One of the features of Lexus vehicles that really caught my attention was their Brake Override System. At the end of this year all Lexus vehicles will have the Brake Override System. Essentially, this technology tells the car that even if you are driving and your car is in full throttle if you press the brake firmly your car will stop. Period.

Continue reading Parent Bloggers Experience Lexus Safety

Printable Pumpkin Carving Stencils

iStock_000003004800XSmallIf you’re like me you do everything at the last minute. Have I bought a pumpkin, yet? No. Does that give me angst? A little. How do I plan on carving my pumpkin? With stencils!!

Even though I haven’t bought a pumpkin yet I have done my due diligence to find stencils to make a gorgeous jack-o-lantern whenever I do buy one. I have until Saturday, right?

witchIf you’re looking for printable pumpkin carving stencils like I was earlier today look no further than Better Homes and Gardens. They have a great page dedicated to 38 wonderful stencils that will delight your children from a flying witch to a haunted mansion.

You’re welcome :)

Holiday Baking and Bundt Cakes

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I rarely bake. No. I take that back. I NEVER bake. Bakegoods to me is whatever I pick up from Starbucks and honestly that has got to cease because Starbucks is expensive!

Now that the weather is getting nippy and the leaves are colorfully littering the streets, I finally feel the holidays coming. This Thanksgiving and Christmas I want my daughters to get that real holiday feel where they smell cakes in the oven and see pies cooling on the countertops. That’s what I grew up with. My father always cooked the most delicious cakes and pies. He took pride in it. So this year I’m going to replicate what I had as a child for my daughters. As long as I follow the recipe I should be fine, right?

I saw this beautiful Autumn Leaf Bundt cake tin from William Sonoma and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. If I’m going to make a cake I’d love for it to at least be creative and beautiful as well as delicious. The Bundt pan is a little steep at $34.00. I’m sure it will last forever, though.

On the Net: William-Sonoma.com

Is Your Baby Racist?

NEWSWEEK SEPT 14 ISSUEJust as some believe we are on the cusp of turning the corner to a post-racial society a new study comes out to negate those lofty dreams.

A study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin and written about in this week’s Newsweek in Nurture Shock: Is Your Baby Racist? says children as young as six months judge others based on skin color and that older children often label white people as nice and blacks as being not nice.

Even though the study took place in liberal Austin, Texas researchers found that children often heard from their parents that people are all the same and that God created all of us equal, but these words don’t always match up to the everyday attitudes of their parents and are reflected in children’s emerging racial attitudes.

Although fascinating research, it is just another reminder that we all have a long way to go for racial equality in this country. Read the full article at Newsweek.com.

Adventures By Disney: European Alps – Alpine Magic


In the first of eight posts about Adventures by Disney, I will take a look at Disney’s European Alps – Alpine Magic destination trip for families. Adventures by Disney is expanding its list of itineraries by eight new destinations in 2009.

According to Disney you can experience the Alps like never before with private tour guides and cable car visits to the popular peaks of Northern Italy and Switzerland. The only thing more breathtaking than the view will be the amazing zip line ride through Forest Fun Park.

Adventure Highlights include:

  • Exclusive Junior Adventurers gelato tasting and pony rides
  • Lesson in pasta making, taught by professional chefs in Como, Italy
  • Sample wines with the local sommelier, while Junior Adventurers feast on grape juice and gourmet cookies
  • Relax during a scenic train ride with views of Matterhorn Mountain
  • Descent from the town of Andermatt on a 12 mile downhill bike ride
  • ..and much more

Visit Adventures by Disney to find out more information and to book your trip. 

Adventures By Disney: Eight New Amazing Family Destinations


I had absolutely no idea that families can travel all over the world through Adventures by Disney. In 2009 Disney will be adding eight thrilling new destinations bringing their total to 23 itineraries around the world. The 2009 new destinations are:

  • Alpine Magic — Italy and Switzerland, Zermatt, and Lake Lucerne
  • Beantown & The Big Apple — Boston, Newport, and New York City
  • Bella Italia — Central Italy: Sorrento and Florence
  • Gateway to the Galapagos: Ecuador and Galapagos Islands
  • Golden Path to Yosemite — Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and San Francisco
  • Rocky Trails and Mountie Tales – Montana and Alberta, Canada: Glacier National Park and Banff National Park
  • Safari to South Africa- South Africa: Cape Town, The Garden Route 
    and Kampana Game Reserve
  • Taming the Last Frontier- Alaska: Fairbanks, Denali National Park and Kenai Peninsula

Over the course of the next eight days I will highlight all of the new Adventures by Disney destinations. Tomorrow I will feature Alpine Magic — Italy and Switzerland: Stresa, Zermatt and Lake Lucerne.

Launched in 2005, Adventures by Disney provides immersive, hassle-free and exhilarating guided family vacation experiences in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. In 2009, families traveling with Adventures by Disney can sample some of the most exotic and remote locations in the world – including South Africa, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, the Canadian Rockies, the European Alps and Alaska. Everywhere guests turn on the “Alpine Magic” trip there are new magnificent vistas to behold.

Baby Shower Extravaganza

Even if you are not having a baby yourself, chances are you know someone who is. If so, it’s time to start looking for great baby gifts now.

All veteran moms know that new moms need diapers! Babies go through them in record speed and they are also an added expense to any family’s budget. If you want to be a hit at any baby shower think diaper cakes. Diaper cakes are stacked tiers of diapers made to look like a cake. It is truly an ingenious idea! You can purchase diaper cakes in various sizes and with sundry creative additions, like diaper wipes and baby soaps, balms, and combs. And you can even buy them designed for boys or girls and with various characters to make the diaper cake a delight to receive.

Lil Baby Cakes, a mom-owned and created company, specializes in baby shower gifts. And, who doesn’t like supporting fellow moms, right? Plus, it’s wonderful purchasing from a mom who knows her stuff and understands what will become a great gift for other moms.

Lil Baby Cakes carries everything from classic baby gifts like stuffed animals and photo albums to fabulously-designed diaper cakes and baby gift baskets. My favorites, though, are the diaper cakes. I think it’s because above all else the best gift I ever received at a baby shower was a basket of diapers. Onesies are great. Bassinets are fabulous as well. But, it’s the diapers that do it every time.

Each diaper cake at Lil Baby Cakes is made from scratch (love that!) in a pet-free, smoke-free, clean environment and comes is a choice of three sizes, three, four or five layers.

One of my favorite diaper cakes from Lil Baby Cakes is their 4 Tier Pink Contemporary Diaper Cake and it’s easy to know why. Not only has it has been featured in Better Homes and Garden magazine and the Source Book for Parents, but it is a hit among their customers as well.

The 4 Tier Pink Contemporary Diaper Cake comes with 70 Pampers diapers, a plush teddy bear, two luxury burp clothes, slippers, Burt’s Bee premium brand baby lotions and balms, and a beautiful polka dot ribbon.

You really can’t go wrong with a diaper cake for a baby shower. All of Lil Baby Cakes diaper cakes are beautifully made and will be an instant hit for any mom who is about to be busy with a brand-new baby.

Are you a Co-Sleeper or Thinking About It?

Even though many allopathic doctors warn against co-sleeping I believe there is no better gift than sleeping with your baby, especially if you are breastfeeding.

I breastfed and slept with both of my daughters. Not only did I never miss a wink of sleep, we had a nurturing and bonding sleeping experience as well.

Mothering magazine is hosting a free webinar all about co-sleeping. If you are a co-sleeper or thinking about it, I highly recommend learning about the benefits of sleeping with your baby from those who know.

On the Prowl For New Office Furniture

I’ve always been a sucker for really great office furniture. It can be anything from a well-suited, ergonomic chair to a beautifully fashioned modern desk. Whatever it is, I want it! Since I do so much work in my home office, I rely on well-designed office chairs to keep my work pleasant and productive. Some chairs are certainly more pleasant to sit in than others, to say the least.

As a work-at-home mom I spend countless hours scouring the Net, updating my Web sites, blogging, calling other moms, and scheduling conference calls. It is imperative, then, that I have the most comfortable office furniture around. That also includes really great office desks that are functional and practical and have enough storage space including deep drawers and a long desk drawer where I have instant access to my pens, planner, and paper. And since my children are homeschooled I also have to keep in mind how much they need comfortable and stable desks and chairs as well.

After having moved a few weeks ago I have my eyes set on redoing my entire office and why not? I have a beautiful, huge window where the sun streams in every single day and I want to feel like I am really in an entirely new environment. Changing environments is a great way to change how productive you are in your life and buying a new chair, desk, storage solutions, or even a new rug can usually jump-start forward thinking and creativity in your life.

I think I will begin slowly instead of refurnishing my office all at once. I will begin first with a new office chair because comfort is key! It won’t be anything fancy and it certainly won’t cost me a fortune, but it will definitely do its job well. Then I will move to picking out a new desk, even though I am a little wedded to the one I currently have. It is definitely a nice desk, but I want something a little more modern with simple lines and creative storage space. In fact, I am looking for a lot of storage in a relatively small space. Anybody else have that criterion for a desk? That’s not too much to ask, is it? I want enough storage space so I don’t have to purchase a file cabinet to boot. Wait. Maybe I just need to throw out all my unnecessary junk. Sounds like a plan.