WFMW: Driving with Kids

Last week, my ghetto mom van was in the shop for over a week. We had a few issues the dealership agreed to fix on our paid-for 2006 van and we weren’t about to turn them down. Because we like free. A lot. In exchange for my minivan, they gave us the tiniest car that seats 5 people.

I never thought I’d say this: but I missed my big white stinky, crumb-filled automobile something fierce.

Because noise and smells are magnified in a small car and the little people are VERY close to you.

For a split second, I rethought the whole driving for days and miles in a recreational vehicle.

The tight space reminded me that I really needed to have some activities ready for the long drive (it also reminded me to wash my son’s shoes).

Moving on.

A couple of years ago, I wrote this mega post of travel tips while on-the-road with kids. I thought I’d share it again with y’all:

  • Audio books (my library checks them out) or you can download them here
  • Ice chest w/drinks
  • DVD player, preferably with movies that haven’t been seen
  • We’ve been driving our smaller less gas-consuming car that doesn’t have a built-in TV.  So, we strap our laptop on an ice chest with a bungee, so the kids can watch a movie. (Yeah, we are THAT family).
  • Bag or backpack with coloring books and small toys for each child.  
  • This site says pack a plastic box for kids personal things and then use the lid as a tray to eat on.
  • Lap Desk for writing and drawing
  • Headphones for MP3 players and/or DVD player
  • Kid’s camera
  • Sketch pad/pencil
  • Extra change of clothes, separate from luggage.  Because if it can happen, it probably will.
  • If you’re traveling with a toddler, leave when they are tired.  If you leave first thing in the morning, this is their active time and they don’t make the best travelers
  • A package of pipe cleaners (to bend, twist and create)
  • Pack paper towels, wipes, and a couple of blankets.  Remember, we’re talking kids.
  • Buy $5 Tape Recorder and ‘Read’ stories to your kids in your own voice
  • Put a trash box in the back seat
  • Travel Journal
  • Sing silly road trip songs
  • Travel games from the store  (Target has some great ones in the stationary section that are cheap and magnetic!)
  • Travel freebies-links to free stuff for traveling
  • Play the I spy game with license plates
  • Wipe-off white board/marker
  • Magnetic sets (paper dolls, fire trucks, found in book sections)
  • Snack bag filled with pre-portioned zip-lock bags of non-messy foods
  • Kid’s music
  • Tin foil for creations
  • Play Go Fish
  • Make string figures
  • Check out these awesome games (like Noah’s Ark, Build a Story and Fooler, Fooler) to play in the car!
  • Kids pillow and blanket
  • Treasure Jar
  • Rest Stop Box-stock with jump rope, frisbee, inflatable beach ball and Nerf ball, according to July’s issue of Parents Magazine.
  • They also encourage travelers to ‘crank up the radio, open the doors and have an outdoor dance-a-thon).
  • Printable Car Trip Check List
  • Child-safety scissors and paper (it worked on a long flight w/my preschooler)
  • Invisible markers/Magic paper
  • Chalk Cloth Oil Mat
  • Moon sand on a tray
  • Post It Notes-draw on them, then decorate the car (Women’s Day, July Issue)
  • Spill-proof Bubbles (yes, in the car.  My toddler loves this).
  • Printable Car Bingo
  • Stickers
  • Band-aids (again a toddler-pleaser)
  • Leapster, DS Lite or hand-held game
  • Magna Doodle
  • Cookie sheet with magnetic alphabet letters
  • The following incredible ideas came from MomsMinivan:  travel tickets, surprise packages, and more (Actually EVERY idea on this site is amazing!)
  • Printable Boredom Busters
  • I spy bags/jars
  • Ear plugs for when the “how much longer questions begin”

What works for you on road trips?
Thanks for joining in, you can read the WFMW guidelines here

The Lovely LaBella Jewels {Giveaway}

*UPDATED with WINNERS* Congrats to Darla Baerg and Lindsey (Behind the Bur)!

La Bella Jewels has been one of my longest sponsors. She made a lovely necklace to memorialize my daughter’s water baptism and created a one-of-a-kind necklace for the work of Amazima (Kisses from Katie). My mom bought this one from her with her grandchildren’s names.

Her work is beautiful:What do you like?

Please let me know and that will be your entry. Two winners will be chosen from the comments to win a $50 gift certificate!

This giveaway ends Thursday.

*Shop early for the holidays because Mrs. LaBella is closing shop from November to January to welcome her new baby bundle.

What I’m Learning in this Itty Bitty Living Space

They don’t call it a recreational vehicle for nothing! What I’ve learned the last couple of days:

  1. I love my family all the time.
  2. I like my family. Sometimes.
  3. My home (2,000 sq ft) is huge, luxuriously big.
  4. You really can’t have enough cans of air freshener in an RV.
  5. The big bed over the driver’s seat is totally worth fighting over.
  6. We don’t need half the stuff we think we need (we’re getting by on just the basics and doing fine!)
  7. That is one tiny shower.
  8. I might need a vacation to recover from my vacation.
  9. I rock at Uno (the Handy Mandy version).
  10. This is way more fun than I anticipated!

Does a vacation like this appeal to you or definitely not? People usually feel strongly either way. (I’ll let you know if I’d do it again!)

Blogging from a Recreational Vehicle

We leave tomorrow for the next week of vacationing in an RV, while our friend house sits and takes care of pets. We will be traveling through Texas and stopping in Oklahoma to visit Maureen (who is speaking at Student Life Camps this summer). She and I have become very close thru Facebook and I can’t wait to hug her neck and introduce her to my family!

Then we’re off to Arkansas where we will camp a little and visit with Amber and Seth. I’m sure we’ll talk deep into the night about Africa. It’s sure to be a great getaway and we might even spend some time educating ourselves on the art of unclogging the commode in a recreational vehicle (since our 3 year old “can’t wait to go potty” in an “RB”).

And we’ll play Uno, lots of Uno.

I can already hear my children fighting over who gets the bed above the driver’s seat.


P.S. I won’t have my normal Links I Love post up this weekend. But I do have ONE LINK, I’d love everyone of you to read. THIS *THIS* is why I blog.

WFMW: Bulk Grilling

I don’t know about y’all, but by the time dinner rolls around at my house in my part of Texas, it is hot outside. Like a million degrees, give or take one or two. The last thing I want to do, is bake at 350 (no offense, Bridget).

Here’s what we’ve been doing: bulk grilling.

I marinated a couple of pounds, seasoned another pound and put barbeque sauce on a couple of pounds. I grilled them (or my hubby did to be exact) and we just used the grilled meat in different recipes all week.

It works for me!

View WFMW guidelines here.

  1. How to Decorate your Mantle for Summer
  2. Smockity Frocks (No Fail Deodorant)
  3. Coolest Kids Rainbow Birthday Cake Ever!
  4. iDreamofClean (Watermelon w/o the mess!)
  5. The Diaper Diaries (Reading GIVEAWAY)
  6. Purposeful Kitchen (Healthy Breakfasts)
  7. How to Create a Gift Bin (itscome2this)
  8. Saving & Giving (No-Clutter Souveniers)
  9. TidyMom {Easy Photo edit Tut}
  10. Parenting Miracles (Corn Syrup)
  11. Julie From Inmates (Decorating)
  12. Lady Why (My fitness routine!)
  13. Increase Your Odds to Win Blog Giveaways
  14. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet (Grammar Tip)
  15. Tara (10 things to do w/a bundt pan)
  16. Getting Freedom (Using Pop-Tabs)
  17. Mommys Idea Book (Homemade Popsicles)
  18. 5 Easy Steps to Record YOUR youth -Janna
  19. Lynns Kitchen Adv(homemade frappuccino)
  20. Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial
  21. Home School Dad (Skills Round Up)
  22. Finer Things – Unmedicated Childbirth
  23. Milehimama- must have to cook with kids!
  24. Avoid previews & ads.
  25. Kara @ Home W/Purpose (Jesus SB Bible)
  26. Decorating Tops of Kitchen Cabinets
  27. Rachel @ T+E: Making Base Recipes
  28. It Feels Like Chaos (summer fun)
  29. CFM-Freezing Cheese
  30. FUN at the Dinner Table!!! @ MarytheKay
  31. How to Get FREE Childrens Books!
  32. LMDL *Marking Items in Your Freezer*
  33. Great Beach Family Portraits
  34. File this under "S" for Storage
  35. Heathers Hodgepodge (small toy storage)
  36. $40 CSN Giveaway
  37. 3 Tips for Planning Place to Visit
  38. Simple crafts for kids (Mulberry Spot)
  39. Healthy Banana Muffins
  40. QUICK LAUGH!Best Sign Ever @ MommyTopics
  41. How to make a swimsuit
  42. Organizing fabric
  43. GROCERY CART CHALLENGE (reuse crayons)
  44. ElizabethG (Summer Care for Pets)
  45. How to Remove Permanent Marker w/Eraser
  46. Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry
  47. Being Honest About Real Food and Big Ag
  48. Household6Diva – Junking in Germany
  49. Soft Pretzel Bites @ Momma Go Round
  50. The Caffeinated Globe ~ CAMP BREAKFAST
  51. Low-Sodium Cooking looks good!
  52. Amy Matthews – Kids Art Gallery
  53. Alison (Sloppy Joes w/ hidden veggies)
  54. How to Make a Memory with a Beachy Life
  55. Above & Beyond {Words of Life}
  56. Sweet & Sour Chicken (+ giveaway)
  57. Mediterranean Chicken
  58. Shiny Sink
  59. Alison (Easy way to bread zucchini)
  60. Tiffiny Felix, The Bake-Off Flunkie
  61. Back 2 school @ Frugal-living-skills
  62. Working DIY with children (ilovemy5kids)
  63. so much shouting/laughter: Mason Jars
  64. Trip to Blog Conference (SBS)
  65. Washer Necklace w/removable Broach
  66. laundry soap
  67. Flour FunFrugality in the HudsonValley
  68. Kids Craft, Cork Boat, Red Ted
  69. Kids Craft, Cork Boat, Red Ted
  70. T to Halterneck, Red Ted
  71. Tara @ Not So Perfect (Carpet Magic)
  72. The Messy Mom (Potty Training)
  73. 8 Things to Hate/Love about Kumon Math
  74. Mrs. Wright Gone Wrong- Swim Bag!!
  75. Kids Fruit Challenge
  76. Ten in the Bed Kids maths game
  77. How To Make Any Vegetable Taste Amazing
  78. Phone Savings @ Frugal-Living-Skills
  79. 10 Healthy Teenager Tips
  80. Deviled Eggs (Carol @ simple_catholic)
  81. Se7en Steps to Getting the Mending Done.
  82. Get Your Holiday Prep On
  83. The perfect bath puff!
  84. Laundry Hater Tip – White Vinegar
  85. AnnieKate: Free Month of Online Learning
  86. Review: Real Food on a Real Budget
  87. Dry Brushing the Boo-tay (Melissa @ CI)
  88. Monica @ DailyDwelling (clean-up party)
  89. Debbi Does Dinner – Amish Banana Bread
  90. Childrens Museum Membership
  91. Thrifting and "GoodWill Hunting"
  92. Garden Tee Pee Playhouse Tutorial
  93. Everyday Im Away Surprise Bags
  94. mistie-pleasegiveadvice
  95. Fish Hunt Game – Homemade Mamas
  96. Homemade Meatballs (The Local Cook)
  97. Flower Pens – Homemade Mamas
  98. Necklace Tutorial + GIVEAWAY!
  99. DIYbabyblocks
  100. WOW! Zucchini Cakes
  101. Shelley @ MAHM (Simplify Your Kitchen)
  102. Easiest & Adorable Tie Appliques @ LTC
  104. Sandra- time saving laundry tips
  105. Make Maternity Pants from Pants
  106. How to reuse Caprisun Juice Pouches
  107. Feeding Four -Keep Tomatoes From Rotting
  108. Rachel @ Must Share. . . Remember to Pray
  109. Family Camping. . . and A Lesson Learned
  110. Indiana Shannon – scratch & dent deals
  111. Cloth grocery bags – good, or not?
  112. Simple Morning Oats {LikeABubblingBrook}
  113. Molly Green @ Econobusters (Brown Sugar)
  114. Cupcake center piece{{SUPERCUTE}}
  1. Watch me. . .
  2. A Frugal Baking Tip @ Fiskerelli Bellies
  3. Secret for Beautiful Feet – A Young Wife
  4. Loads of Fun!?!
  5. Helpful tip for nursing mothers!
  6. Keep Up with the Kids Video Games
  7. Toddler Harness Backpacks
  8. See Jamie Blog: Bar Keepers Friend
  9. Choosing a good cantaloupe~A Dusty Frame
  10. Thriftcore- 1 Year, No Shopping!
  11. Kristen @ Hope Abound: Lemon Green Beans
  12. Ideas to make thrifting fun for kids.
  13. MainLineMoms Tricks: Baby w/Stuffy Nose
  14. Scrunchy Pillow Case
  15. Crock Pot Baked Potatoes (YUM)
  16. 400 Things: Pop-Up Tape
  17. Amy Lynne @ Moms Balance (Hard Work)
  18. Yummy Mango Salsa! (September the March)
  19. Smokey eye tutorial
  20. Make a Morning Sickness Kit
  21. Pillow Covers
  22. UNBLEACHED flour {Bake at 350}
  23. Process and Let Go
  24. Vintage Apron Revival
  25. Mari (using Priceline)
  26. You Need a Neti (Bitterroot Mama)
  27. Hummingbird Homemaking: Use the Roaster!
  28. BBQ Pizza from sassychicken
  29. Gen X Moms (Remembering Reusable bags)
  30. Easy, Easy homemade baby food ~saves $
  31. money saving tips @ Small Change adds up
  32. Fantastic Fast Fat Free Banana Bread
  33. Fried Green Tomatoes
  34. Amy @ Tiny Blessings ($3 wall art)
  35. Antiqued Watering Can
  36. Burlap Trimmed Slipcover
  37. $100 at a Spice Store??? (KitchenStew)
  38. Using online coupons
  39. Using The Last Bit of Soap
  40. Poof Pillow Tutorial @ WhimsiKel
  41. Frugal Granola (Natural Mastitis Remedy)
  42. Pizza with Gratitude at Heart and Home
  43. HomesteadMomma-Doctoring up plain yogurt
  44. (Veggie) Easy Adaptable Cobbler
  45. Homeschooling Mission and Goals
  46. Our Busy Homeschool – Stations!
  47. Summer Reading with kids
  48. Saving Time and Money @ Grocery Store
  49. Retro Ice Cream Bar @ MooreMinutes
  50. Creative and FREE Summer Fun Ideas!
  51. Learning Tools: Using What You Have
  52. Jenny @ Just Jennifer
  53. Wonder and Will (breaking rules w/ pops)
  54. snap up some breakfast progress
  55. Life, as it is
  56. Stopping Tattling
  57. Centerpiece from the garden @ Simply Rea
  58. k12 online school
  59. Elaine H – Home Alone
  60. PJs All Day (Cold Water)
  61. Mod Deer Coat Rack @ Potholes & Pantyhose
  62. Lindas Lunacy – Crock Pot Cheeseburgers
  63. Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy (labels)
  64. Brick-paved street (EnviroBecca)
  65. daily greeting for campers. . .
  66. CUTEST onsie + Giveaway!
  67. Clams 3 Ways @ theSingleNester
  68. Cheese Its Activities – ACTIVITY MOM
  69. Organizing My Online Finds
  70. Kids Handcrafted Jewelry
  71. the bank of mom @ ellosy. com
  72. BIRRRDY house
  73. Easy Upholstery Project
  74. Freezing Go-gurt!
  75. DELICIOUS Blueberry Buckle!
  76. OLbD- organizing rewards cards
  77. A Purse Just Like Mommys!
  78. 90 Minute Cinnamon Rolls & Caramel Icing
  79. "Free" Coupons
  80. oreo ice cream cake
  81. flower necklace and giveaway
  82. Grocery Shopping & Menu Planning 101
  83. Rebecca @ Turned Loose (get more done)
  84. Charm Necklace at Every Crafty Endeavor
  85. A Real Sweet Deal!
  86. Treating Eczema Naturally
  87. Crochet Market Bag Free Pattern
  88. Patience is a Virtue. . w/picking ur face!
  89. Emergency Binder (Becky at NeverBored)
  90. New Linking party at My Craftie Life
  91. 15 EZ Blogging Tips
  92. My Alternative to Expensive Scents!
  93. DIY Silverleaf a Starfish!
  94. Faux Window Grillework
  95. Best kids shoes ever! (Belle Squeaks)
  96. The Duklings (Educational TV Shows)
  97. Monetizing Your Blog
  98. Grass Fed Butter
  99. fr. . fr. . frugal part numero uno: Coupons
  100. Paying off debt motivation tip
  101. annies home = make your own brown sugar
  102. WashBrushFlossFlush {bathroom decor}
  103. Little Framed Note
  104. Everything Moms – Clean up tip!
  105. Turn up the AC to cut down the bill!!
  106. My View From Glenridge Cottage
  107. Toddler Bucket Hat Tutorial
  108. A Slob Comes Clean -Roadtrip Packing Tip
  109. Crystal science with kids
  110. Elegant Hair Stick Jewelry Making Howto
  111. Cooking on the Grill
  112. Help With Food-on-the-go for kids
  113. Using baby food jars for spices.
  114. This linky list is now closed.

I Hosted the Ultimate Summer Sandwich Party! {Giveaway}

At our house….

We love summer. We love sandwiches. We love parties.

So, the other night, we  hosted The Ultimate Summer Sandwich Party just because (see above).

To make the perfect sandwich (hot or cold), you need goodies, as my hubby would say:

The hit of the night was a little creation called The Avocado Bacon Panini on Rye. Oh. MY.

Recipe: The Avocado Bacon Panini on Rye

Rye Bread, cut into slices

Fresh tomatoes, onions, sliced avocado

Pancetta (it’s like a thin bacon, usually found in the deli dept) with choice of condiment (hot pepper relish and sweet and spicy mustered were a hit!)

and the secret ingredient……Deli Deluxe‘s new Bacon Cheddar slices.


Panini It (can I make that a verb?):


Want to host your own party or just panini your way to a full stomach?

Tell me what ingredient you would add to the Deli Deluxe Bacon Cheddar, Jalapeno or Sharp Cheddar to make an ultimate sandwich and you’ll be entered to win one of the following FOUR prize packs including: a Panini grill, four (4) sandwich holders, Deli Deluxe aprons, three (3) Deli Deluxe product coupons : Approximate retail value: $125

Disclaimer: I was one of five bloggers selected by Deli Deluxe to host a “Ultimate Summer Sandwich” party and giveaway. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my “Ultimate Summer Sandwich” party. But as always, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments saying I love cheese. Because I do. Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this giveaway at no cost to me.  This giveaway is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by Kristen Welch.

This giveaway ends on Friday.