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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Achieving Balance during a Military Move

Join us Monday May 6 at 9:00pm EST on Twitter to chat about Finding Balance on the Road.  This twitter chat is sponsored by Marriott Residence Inn in conjunction with Travelingmom.com.  Follow hashtag #TMOM to join the conversation.

Achieving balance during a military move is always the impossible task. You've just spent days (more like months) planning, packing, cleaning, loading, out processing, collecting medical records, school records, and about a million other things. Once you've actually pulled out of the driveway and onto the road you are already beyond exhausted and have days of driving ahead of you.

When we moved 3,000 miles with 3 kids from Portland, Oregon to Panama City, Florida we had 9 days. I drove my mini van, my husband drove our Explorer and towed his 1968 Camaro, and my dad drove the biggest U-haul we could get and towed the largest trailer we could get.

The military move was already off to a bad start when we ran out of room in the U-haul and had to get a trailer the next morning, but I knew we had a nice hotel to look forward to as we headed toward Boise. We were staying the night at the Boise Residence Inn near the mall. We had stayed there the previous year on vacation, so I knew it was nice and the perfect place to stay during a military move.
2 bedroom suite

Like all Residence Inns it had

  • pool
  • hot tub
  • evening meals during the weekdays
  • hot buffet breakfast
  • free grocery shopping
  • fitness room
  • tennis court
  • basketball court
  • kitchen in your room

Even better is the room layout, always a suite. The 2 bedroom allowed us to sleep in one room, my dad in another room, and the kids in the living room. Ensuring that us drivers got a good nights sleep.

I got to the hotel hours before my husband and dad arrived. Instead of having to take the kids to eat when I'm tired by myself, we just relaxed at our hotel. We checked in and went to the complimentary evening meal, which included beer and wine. Afterwards I took the kids swimming. Swimming is the perfect way to burn off all the energy they had after sitting in a car for 6 hours and the hot tub was the perfect way for me to recuperate.
Residence Inn Las Vegas South Swimming Pool

The next morning we had a great breakfast and took the kids swimming again to burn off energy before another long car ride. We then headed out towards our next stop the Las Vegas Residence Inn. That's right we drove from one Residence Inn to another the entire trip, because they are always nice with the amenities we need. They also offer military rates.

Residence Inn has a new Family Travel Talk Forum on Facebook. It's a place where moms and dads can discuss family travel, finding balance and making memories. Here you can get advice on how to get the most out of your family vacation and tips for road trips with kids. It's a great resource for military families when they are planning a military move.

Twitter Party
Join Travelingmom.com on Monday May 6th at 6 PM EST for a #TMOM twitter party all about Finding Balance and your chance to win fabulous prizes. Visit the website for more information and to RSVP.

Fabulous Prizes
1 - $400 Residence Inn gift card
2 - $200 Residence Inn gift cards
1 - Cat Cora by Starfrit 12 Piece Stackable Stainless Steel Cookware Set

The Twitter party on Monday is sponsored by Residence Inn. Even though they are our sponsor opinions are my own.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli - Kailua Hawaii

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli
Kalapawai Cafe & Deli (Photo credit: hawaii)
Kalapawai Cafe & Deli
Kalapawai Cafe & Deli (Photo credit: hawaii)
Kalapawai Cafe and Deli is a restaurant in Kailua a city in Oahu. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don't have time to dine in you can get food to go from their deli. In the evening it's a quiet place perfect for a romantic dinner. The have a small wine bar and coffee bar.

We only made it over there for dinner. I had the lemon risotto, which was good and expensive. I think most of the dinner menu is pricey. It's much cheaper for lunch. I would only go back for lunch, because of the cost.

We finished our dinner off with a delicious piece of white macadamia nut pie with ice cream. It's a lot like pecan pie (my most favorite pie). Their version was made with macadamia nuts instead of pecans and it was GOOD.
white macadamia

50 Kailua Road
Kailua, Hawaii, 96734

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli on Urbanspoon

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Keeping Kids Safe in Today's World with Family by Sygic and $100 Amazon GC Giveaway

Disclosure: As a Brand Ambassador with PTPA and Sygic, I received compensation for my participation. However, all opinions expressed on this blog are my very own.”

Keeping your kids safe in today's world is a never ending job and my sponsor, Family by Sygic, is helping parents keep their kids safe with the use of an app. Most tweens and teens have phones and most have phones with access to the Internet. So, it only makes sense to use our phones as part of keeping kids safe.
  • Family by Sygic is an app that lets you share location with your kids and family using the one thing we always carry around – the Smartphone. It keeps you all in touch, lets you see where everybody is in real-time and gives you peace of mind.

  • Family by Sygic was awarded by the largest parent-testing community Parent Tested Parent Approved.
My tween is starting to do things on his own, like meeting kids at a coffee shop, walking to school, and catching buses to other schools occasionally for sports. I get nervous not knowing exactly where he is at all times, so I got the Family by Sygic app for our phones. With this app I'm teaching him to be safe and responsible.
  • Family by Sygic can teach your kids responsibility and self-reliance and give you peace of mind at the same time. You don’t have to keep calling your kids all the time to check on them.  Kids can “check-in” to tell you where they are. The app will send you the parent an “alert” with their exact location.
  • The app lets you setup safe and unsafe zones. If your child goes into an unsafe zone you are immediately notified.

The poor children that suffer from having a lunatic mother.
Recently, I became that crazy lunatic mom and it all could have been avoided if I had the Family by Sygic app on our phones. Here's what happened.

I needed to pick up my oldest son, Noah, from track, but I couldn't find my youngest son, Jonah. He was playing in the neighborhood somewhere. (Yes, that's right. I'm the mom that can't find their kid, because I suck at keeping tabs on him. He's the third child and well.......you know how it goes.) I'm yelling his name, asking the other kids if they know where he is and getting very agitated.

I jump in the car with my daughter to drive around to find Jonah, because we are now running very late. I did not stop to grab my cell phone or put on some shoes. (It's the no shoes part that I feel takes me from being that crazy mom to full on lunatic mom.) We find Jonah and immediately drive to the school. At the school there is not a kid in sight. I'm only 15 minutes late and I can't believe there are no kids around. I have to send my daughter who is a 3rd grader into the school to look for Noah, because I have on NO FREAKING SHOES! She returns without him. I proceed to drive a different way home to see if Noah is walking.

We get all the way home without having spotted him. I am now having a heart attack. I run in the house and grab my cell phone. No missed calls, no texts, no anything. While I put on my shoes I call his friend's mother to see if she has him. She does not have him, but wonders why he isn't at the high school. The high school?!?!?! Apparently a bus picked the kids up and took them to the high school to practice, but I didn't know. Nobody bothered to tell me. We jump in the car and go pick him up at the high school where he was waiting with a bunch of other kids, because they had just gotten done. He has no clue at the drama that had just gone on.

It's moments like these that makes it hard to be a military wife 2,000 miles from family, but at least I have an app now that I can track my kids down with! It was easy to teach the kids to use and they understand it's important for them to use it. You can only imagine how much I love Family by Sygic app and not going to crazy town every time I lose a kid.

Giveaway - Family by Sygic has partnered with me to giveaway a $100 giftcard to Amazon.

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send us an email!

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The Food Company - Kailua, Hawaii

The Food Company is open for lunch and dinner. We had dinner there and if we had been there sooner we would have eaten there several times.

They are not open on Sunday evenings.

Next door is there other upscale restaurant. It is more on the high end and has a different menu. It would be better for a date.

They are known for their delicious Kailua plate lunches and dinners. This was one of the cheapest places we ate the entire time we were in Hawaii.

My husband ordered some kind of fish roll. I can't remember what it was called. He said he didn't like it, but he ate the whole thing!
The Food Company in Kailua, Hawaii
 I ordered the NY Strip and it was fantastic and it came with large fried shrimp. Both were seasoned so good and it only cost about $12.
The Food Company in Kailua, Hawaii
This place should definitely be on your list of places to eat in Kailua.

The Food Company
1020 Keolu Dr 
KailuaHI 96734

Food Company on Urbanspoon

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Nelsott Cafe

Nelscott Cafe is a cozy restaurant in the Nelscott district of Lincoln City known for their hamburgers. On Fridays they have $5 hamburgers. If you have a hankering for stuffed French toast like I did, be sure and get here before 11 AM when they quit making it.
Lincoln City OR
Lincoln City OR
Our kids really enjoyed eating here. Around the windows are lots of games. Our kids had fun playing war and Old Maid while we were there.
Here’s pictures of the delicious food we tried, breakfast burrito, almond French toast, and a hamburger with fried pickles.
 Lincoln City OR Lincoln City OR Lincoln City OR
Can you guess which meal was the most expensive? It was the $10 breakfast burrito.
Nelscott Cafe on Urbanspoon

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