Family-Friendly Cities Your Kids Will Love

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As a mom that loves nothing more than seeing the world, I want to be able to show my kids as much of the world as possible. In a utopian world, I would love to hop around the globe with them in tow, jaws on the floor as we take in the sites of all 195 countries. Of course, right now, this remains a pipedream and leaves us wanderlust parents with the tricky decision of knowing where to prioritise.

For us, it has to be cities. It has to be exploring the gorgeous beating hearts across the world, where culture and diversity and history all come together like great oceans meeting. That’s where we want to start, by showing our kids the world’s most breathtaking metropolis’, starting with these kid-friendly cities:

  1. San Diego

Of all the places to start and end your day, nowhere is more special than the Omni San Diego Hotel in the downtown district; it has a heated rooftop pool, entertainment in every room and, best of all, a walkway to Petco Park, one of the most family-friendly baseball stadiums in the world. As for attractions to see, Balboa Park is must-pop-into-place and their legendary zoo with amazing parks and 14 museums should be on every list as well. Oh, and so should the New Children’s Museum, Air & Space Museum and SeaWorld.

  1. Paris

Once again, you could throw a dart at Paris and land in a nerve-janglingly beautiful hotel. However, or advice would be to stay in the Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel. A trip to Paris should be memorable, and this luxury hotel will certainly help you achieve that. What makes it such an amazing city, though, is the fact you can explore so many of the major attractions, parks and museums without having to travel too far – they’re all within walking distance. As for must-see spots, you have the Eiffel Tower, Cites Des Science, the Champ Elysees, the Catacombs and, just 45 minutes by train, Disneyland Paris.

  1. Portland

The heated pool at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower is what makes this the place to stay (not to mention the free breakfasts, that will make a light lunch a lot easier on the pocket). Moving onto what it is like as a city, though, it is about as relaxed and easygoing as anywhere on earth, which makes it perfect for those with toddlers or tinies. You have the Oregon Zoo, submarine tours at the Museum of Science and Industry, a planetarium, the Japanese gardens and, for dinner, some of the most mouth-watering eateries you can imagine (mmm hmmm, we’re talking about you Grilled Cheese Grill).

  1. Seville

If you want a rich cultural experience where everywhere you look throws up yet more colorful places for your eyes to gaze, then you need to board a flight to Seville in Spain. You can waltz around the Real Alcazar Palace feeling like royalty or get transported back centuries by taking in the Barrio Santa Cruz and introduce your kids to some of the most delicious foods anywhere on the planet, such as the local delicacy that is tapas.

Everyone Should Visit the Incredible Ice Castles in Colorado 

For the first time ever, Ice Castles are in Dillon, Colorado. Our family was so excited when we arrived and saw the ice sculptures for the first time. We were so curious what it would look like once we were inside. There are many areas to visit and two slides the kids loved going down over and over. We had so much fun taking pictures in the different viewing areas. This was a fantastic family adventure we would recommend for people of all ages. Check out their website icecastles.com to make your reservation today!

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens was Scary Family Fun!

Our family wanted to go to a special place to celebrate Halloween and we all agreed to go to Elitch Gardens in downtown Denver.  We always have a blast when we go there, but we have never been there during the Halloween season.  There theme this year was called Fright Fest!

It was so much fun to see our daughter dressed up in her costume, just like many other people attending the park and park employees dressed in scary costumes.  Our daughter really enjoyed the unique trick-or-treating she was able to do there.  The haunted house we visited was so scary our daughter almost started crying before we finished walking through it.  We all had such a great time and this event really put us in the Halloween mood this year.

Preparing For A Fabulous Future

Thinking about our future can seem like a daunting exercise. Especially if we are bringing up our own family as well as looking after our parents. We can find that we are being squeezed from all sides. How can we make sure that we catering to the needs of everyone? One minute we might be worrying about our baby’s high temperature, the next we are ringing our mom to remind her to take her medication. When we think about our future there is so much that we need to consider. Not only do we need to think about our needs, but we need to think about our children’s needs, our parent’s needs and our partner’s needs too.

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Preparing For Our Parent’s Future

We don’t like to think about the day when our parents might need additional help. However, we do need to prepare for that day. Their health and safety should be our priority. It would be a good idea to have a meeting with them. Discuss with them what their wishes for the future are. Where would they like to live when they are older? Would they like to stay in their home and receive senior care services, or would they like to move into an assisted home? This is not a conversation that you want to drop in as you sit around the dinner table. Set some time aside to discuss it properly.

Preparing For Your Children’s Future

You want to think about the best schools for your children as this will be a determining factor for the neighborhood you choose to live in. If you are in the process of buying a house, you need to research the local schools and check that you are happy for your child to attend them. Later in life you may need to pay for their college education. Finding the money for this expense can be challenging.  You might want to start a tax saving plan so that you can prepare for this expense. You should also do some research and find out if you are eligible for any support.

Preparing For Your Retirement

It is never too early to be thinking about our retirement. We need to start thinking about it today so that we are prepared for the future. You might want to start building up your savings now. You could also think about where you see yourself spending your retirement. Do you want to retire abroad? If the answer is yes, then you could be looking into investing in property abroad now. You could then rent this property out and earn an income from it. Then when you are ready to retire you will have a property waiting for you.. You could also check to see if you are eligible for tax breaks from the IRA as this will help you prepare for your future financially.

The younger you are when you start saving for your pension, the more you will be laughing when it comes to retirement.

We might not like to think about the future as we never know what is around the corner, but we really do need to think about our future and the future of our family. Start planning today and you will be able to give your family a fabulous future!

Prepping for the Holidays with modern Samsung Appliances at @BestBuy @SamsungUS

The holidays are coming and surely your kitchen would again become the busiest place in your house. Coming up with the list of luscious delicacies would be your priority to prepare for quite a number of gatherings. Having these and all, wouldn’t be cool if you have the techies appliances in town? During this season, time is of the essence and of course convenience.

Fortunately, when it comes to home appliance and technology, Samsung Appliances at Best Buy are readily available. One of which is their cool Refrigerator where you can update your grocery and shopping list and get reminders for expiration dates right within your smartphone. How cool is that? Nothing goes to waste with this feature. Especially at this time so that you can save 10% When You Buy Four or More Samsung Kitchen Appliances. Grab the opportunity and save some bucks for holiday giveaways.

If you are not convinced yet, how about getting their awesome oven where you can turn on/off, preheat, and adjust the temperature remotely through your smartphone. Those wacky holiday pictures which is most of the time you are not included is over. You can enjoy the chitchat with the family while waiting for your baked goodies to finish.

More of these smart appliances from Samsung aims to make your daily life easier to bear. Whether you are a bachelorette, a career woman on the go or a stay at home mom with energetic kids, you will love the latest Samsung appliances.

This is the real advantage of incorporating technology in your everyday home appliances and lifestyle. Modern living will always give you that extra time you need for your love ones. These smart appliances allow you to manage your time to save for more important moments with the most important people in your life.

Check out Bestbuy.com or any store nearest you and get the modern Samsung Appliances you’ll surely enjoy!

#Fall Festivals Great for Families + $25 gc Target #GIVEAWAY!!!

Fall or Autumn is the time of the year when the weather is just right. Not too hot like summer yet not too cold like winter. It is just somewhere in between. In most places, it is also the time for harvest and when many fall festivals are being held. Every state has their own colorful activities for all ages and if you’re planning a family holiday getaway during this time, you should keep reading and take note of the dates.

Adirondack Balloon Festival – get to experience an awesome hot air balloon ride in Glens Falls, New York. They come in lively bright colors and riding them will give the chance to witness the breathtaking view of the Adirondacks. This year they are celebrating their 45th Anniversary, so make sure to plan for September 21-24 in your calendar for this event.

Cranberry Harvest Fest – the entire community of Wareham, Massachusetts is set to have this fest every 7th and 8th of October. Expect a colorful display of harvest, helicopters rides, cooking demonstrations and a whole lot more for the entire family.

Autumn at the Arboretum – if you’re a pumpkin lover, then this is the festival for you. You will be able to see an entire pumpkin village in Dallas, Texas, which is made up of more or less 75,000 pieces of pumpkins, squash and gourds. The festival will start from September 23 until November 22.

Coffee fall festival in Ohio – For all coffee lovers in and near Ohio, this would be the perfect place to be! Many great tasting coffee vendors gather to share their fresh coffee. This event is from Sept 30 to Oct. 3 and you will surely enjoy and pick the best brewed coffee for upcoming cold and wintery days. You can easily find out from HER Realtors page regarding events like this.

Oktoberfest Cincinnati – how can an Oktoberfest be left behind right? Cincinnati, Ohio will definitely sweep you off your feet as you will be able to experience their German Heritage. You will be able to taste authentic foods, hear music, great variety of beers and a lot more as they are being branded as the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S.! If Ohio is too far from you, maybe your own area will have your own version as well.

Great news for all of my lovely readers! How would you like to win $25 gift cards from Target? It’s easy to enter, simply join this giveaway and you’ll get a chance to win $25 gift card from Target!

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U.S. Travel Destinations Your Family is Sure to Enjoy

Remember the days when you and your spouse would go on a leisurely vacation, spend hours by the pool and gaze into each other’s eyes over a nice quiet dinner? Now that you have kids, it may seem like you’ll never have those romantic vacations again; but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make lasting memories with little ones in tow. In fact, it can be a downright fun and exciting adventure that won’t soon be forgotten!

Here are some of the best travel destinations across the country to plan your next family vacation:

Orlando

Why? One word – Disney. It really is a magical place where adults get to be kids again. There is so much to see and do, you’ll have a hard time deciding what to do first. There is an endless selection of attractions, rides, restaurants and souvenir shops to keep you busy the entire time you’re there.

There are other sights as well, aside from the Disney Park, that are suitable for both adults and kids of all ages.

Sights you don’t want to miss: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, Epcot Center and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Older kids will love Orlando’s Science Center.

Hollywood

Why? Where can you sightsee, shop in world-renowned fashion houses AND spot celebrities all in one day? Hollywood, that’s where! Not only does Hollywood offer great entertainment and night-life, it offers a great family vacation. Little ones and older kids alike will delight in all there is to see and do.

Sights you don’t want to miss: There are plenty of things to do in West Hollywood, such as the Halloween Carnaval, a free event that takes place on October 31st.

Stroll down the Sunset Strip where you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and even some wine tasting events.

There are plenty of museums to check out, as well as Universal Studios Hollywood, an attraction for kids and adults alike.

San Diego

Why? If you’re going to be in Hollywood, take the two-hour trip down to San Diego; you won’t regret it!

Sights you don’t want to miss: The world-famous San Diego Zoo is sure to delight everyone in your group. Home to more than 3,700 rare animals and species, it’s also home to more than 700,000 exotic plants.

For the Lego lovers in your family, a trip to Legoland California is a must. Plan on being here for the whole day!

SeaWorld San Diego is a popular attraction with both animals and plenty of rides for the thrill-seekers in your group!

Grand Canyon

Why? If you don’t want the hustle and bustle of the city, the Grand Canyon offers an excellent alternative. Ride along the Colorado River, marvel at the stars, or hike on the Bright Angel Trail.

Sights you don’t want to miss: Take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon for a unique look at Mother Nature’s finest; Desert View Drive offers breathtaking views of the canyon. There are many guided tours that take you along the edge of the Canyon for an up-close and personal look. For the very adventurous, walk the Grand Canyon Skywalk, with a glass floor, and views from 4,000 feet.

Washington, D.C.

Why? Because this city is fun AND educational! It’s estimated that the city sees more than 6 million visitors on business alone, but the capital city is also a popular family destination where kids can see their leaders in action. Aside from the obvious White House attraction, there are plenty of other museums and sites that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Sights you don’t want to miss: The National Air and Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Holocaust Museum, and of course, the White House. Tours and sightseeing excursions can be booked online or in person.

Traveling with kids in tow can require a bit more advance planning and plenty of patience. But making memories as a family is priceless and you’ll treasure the memories for years to come.

Copper Mountain Witchcraft Event

Our family always looks forward to the fall season and Halloween. This year, we attended the Copper Mountain Witchcraft Event at the Copper Mountain Resort and we all had a great time! The drive there was gorgeous seeing the fresh snow on the mountain tops and the trees turning to fall colors. Our daughter, Rachel, was so excited to take her first hay ride and visit her first haunted house.

After we arrived at The Copper Mountain Resort, we walked into the festival and saw so much to do. Rachel wanted to find something that she could enjoy with other kids. She really had fun in the Bounce House playing and jumping around. She was dressed in her Wonder Woman costume for Halloween, so it was always easy to find her when she was bouncing around from side to side. After that, we had fun with the Apple Launch trying to get those apples in the target, my hubby won that contest of course. Then, Rachel said she was ready for the Haunted House. We really didn’t expect much, but we were really surprised! They really did an excellent job designing and setting up several areas and rooms that were so scary for Rachel and even for me I will admit. My hubby and I agreed this was one of the best Haunted Houses we have even seen!

Before we looked for something to eat and they had a lot of choices, we decided to take Rachel on her first hay ride. She really enjoyed the ride up up the mountain and had fun hanging out with the other kids on the ride. Our whole family really had so much fun at The Copper Mountain Witchcraft Event that we are looking forward to going again next year!

#TexasdeBrazil will be your favorite restaurant, incredible food & amazing service!

We wanted to go somewhere special for my birthday dinner, so we made a reservation at our favorite restaurant, Texas de Brazil.

It’s always a memorable evening when we enjoy the unique and amazing dining experience they create with their best salad you will ever see and the carvers who bring you their savory meats right to your table.

For me, it’s a challenge to save room for the incredible selection of meats after I visited the salad bar that included salmon, sushi, shrimp salad and lobster bisque. My hubby and daughter really enjoyed the salad bar, too. My hubby loved the fresh salad, green olives, cheeses and breads. It truly is the freshest salad bar with the best selection I’ve ever seen.

Then, we started to enjoy and savor the amazing and tasty meats their carvers brought to our table that included: Filet Mignon, BBQ ribs, pork loin, lamb chops, bacon wrapped chicken and sausage.  Also, the side items such as garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas which is my favorite and brazilian cheese bread are all really very good.

You really need to bring your best appetite with you when you visit the Texas de Brazil because the salad bar and meat carvers offer you such a great selection. Also, the service provided by our waiter, the meat carvers and the general manager is first rate. We really appreciate the complimentary dinner they provided our family in exchange for this review.

Our Summer Family Adventure at Copper Mountain Resort

Our family had a BLAST at the Copper Mountain Resort since we had their summer activity pass. They have so many activities to do that any family would have a great time. We started with the Go Karts since it was located where we parked.

My hubby drove our nine year old daughter, Rachel, in a Go Kart and I was driving in my own Go Kart. We had so much fun ‘racing’ each other around the track lap after lap.

After that, we took our Rachel to the Zip Line that goes over a small lake. This was her favorite activity even though she also really had fun on the rock-climbing wall, the Bumper Boats, Hydrobike and the Bungee jumping that is secured to the ground. Also, we really enjoyed riding the chairlift up the mountain to see incredible views and to take some fantastic pictures. Our family adventure at Copper Mountain truly was a memorable time for all of us.