Travel: San Diego with Kids

Hello, Renae here! Thrilled to be sharing one of my absolute favorite US cities: San Diego. I loved San Diego before I had kids but now that I have a little tike I appreciate it even more. I’ll even proclaim it’s one of the best cities for an epic family vacay. There are so many family friendly options no matter what your age. And even lots of low-no cost adventures. Too many, I can’t even cover it all in one post! But I’ll give you a crash course on my San Diego faves focusing on Coastal Greater San Diego attractions.

If you live in Southern Cali your lucky, because San Diego is a very enjoyable Amtrak train ride along the Pacific Coast with incredible views. One of the stops is a pier on the beach! If your further, I’m telling you, this city is worth it! My hubs, Steve Trevino, performs at least two times a year in San Diego, so we’ve been able to explore so many sites & I’ve come to know the lay of the land pretty well.

I typically leave the name of the comedy clubs out of my posts because it’s not about that, but the La Jolla Comedy Store has become a second home and is such a huge part of the reason my family has so many amazing San Diego memories. I’ve been going there with Steve since I first moved to Los Angeles at twenty-one and we’ve remained friends with the staff through the years, so we have literally grown up together. They even threw us the sweetest baby shower in the club green room.

And this is a total over share, but our son was conceived there. So I think you get it! This club is pretty special. If you find yourself in San Diego on a date night, the La Jolla Comedy Store is the spot to see top notch comedians — like Steve Trevino in a laid back atmosphere with an amazing staff. (Seamless but so honest plug!)

Okay, more about San Diego. We’ve had the pleasure of staying in both Pacific Beach and La Jolla. Pacific Beach is known to be populated with a college crowd and gets rowdy at night. La Jolla is definitely more posh and refined, but still has the laid back beach vibe San Diego is known for. I turned in my college ID long ago, but honestly, even with a kiddo in tow, I still prefer the vibe of Pacific Beach. I love the boardwalk, restaurants and shopping that’s close enough to sneak off to during naptime. We stay near Crystal Pier and it’s a fabulous area with everything you need within walking distance.

You can rent a bike at the little shop at the entrance to the Pier. It’s one of my favorite things to do since San Diego has the most temperate climate pretty much year around. You can follow the boardwalk south to Mission Beach. Here there is an amusement center, Belmont Park, with carnival rides, some shopping and dining. Cut across to Mission Bay and there is a great bike path which will lead to a playground and volleyball courts right along the water.

If your looking to rent a paddle board, jet ski or even a boat Mission Bay is where you can do all kinds of water sports. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself, but you can even rent a pontoon boat with a BBQ grill & hot tub on it. -Seriously! If you’ve got a group, splitting the cost of the boat rental to putz around Mission Bay is a great way to spend a day.

I’ll give away some of my traveling super shopper secrets here. I love shopping in San Diego and always score great stuff on the clearance racks here. The Urban Outfitters in Pacific Beach usually always has a fully stocked clearance section and all along Garnet Ave there are great boutiques. Several of which have a much lower price point than the boutiques in La Jolla. And the Fashion Valley Mall is huge and pretty fabulous. Convince your hubs to take the kiddos to see a movie here so you can shop!

If you want to get up close and personal with Sea Lions or Seals, La Jolla Cove is the place to do it. Don’t ask me the difference between the two. (One has ears and one doesn’t but I have no idea which is which!) While you won’t find a playground in the cove, the rocky coastline offers stunning views, lined with a path perfect for a morning stroll.

You can spot them all up and down Coast Boulevard, but my recommendation is to start at the Cave Store and make your way down to Children’s pool. You’ll see sea caves and a rocky ledge where the mammals like to sunbathe. Don’t worry there will likely be lots of sea lions so you’ll definitely hear and smell them before you miss them. Make sure your kiddos have proper shoes for trekking the sometime slippery terrain. Not sure how I let my kid get so close especially after seeing that video of a sea lion pulling a little girl out of a boat and her dad jumping in the water to save her. But you know me, for the sake of a good pic!

It’s a short walk to Children’s Pool. There is a barrier sea wall you can walk out onto when the waves aren’t too high that’s really cool. You’ll also find a small beach here where seals like to hang out. It’s a little crazy how people and seals all just hang out and play on this beach, but they do. It’s a neat place to stop and stick your feet in the water and every time I’ve been here there has been a lifeguard in the tower.

Playing In Balboa Park is another low/no cost activity. San Diego knocks it out of the park with Balboa Park. It’s another one of those amazing city parks that offers more than you could squeeze in in one day. There is so much to see just strolling around the park. Pepper Grove is a large playground and If your kids are into planes, you can get an awesome view of them right over head coming in to land.

The playground is tucked away right behind the amazing Fleet Science Center. We visited when our little guy was just a year old and while the Science Center did have a designated area for the littles, we could have saved the cost of admission and just gone to playground. The Fleet is perfect for families with multiple or older kiddos or on the rare occasion you end up with unfavorable weather and need to take cover. Balboa Park also offers both a carousel and a train ride, so make sure to bring your cash stash if you want to catch a ride.

And there’s still more in Balboa! The Artists Village is a treat for the eyes with beautifully colored tiles. You can roam each of the little cottages selling art and hand crafted trinkets. The center courtyard has tables so it’s a great place to grab a seat and have a snack.

Then for something completely different stroll over to El Prado, a promenade lined with buildings in the Spanish Colonial architectural style housing 15 museums. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Europe.

My little man is really interested in trains at the moment so we visited the San Diego Model Railroad Museum which boasts being one of the world’s best model train museums. Garrett loved peeking through the glass to check out all of the trains. We spent a lot of time in the Toy Train Gallery, which had buttons to press to make the trains go and all kinds of cool replicas. They also have a room specifically for the littles to build their own trains and offer a train themed story time and craft making on Thursday mornings.  

And if you’ve got a group of animals like me, then the San Diego Zoo is a MUST. Admission is pricey, but once you experience all this zoo has to offer, you’ll understand why. I recommend starting the day with the double decker bus tour that takes you through the whole park. It’s a great way to get a lay of the land and a glimpse of everything because the park is so vast.

There’s a huge sky bridge that takes you through the treetops and even a gondola ride. And this place has a playground and a petting zoo! —I’m telling you, it’s amazing. Even if I didn’t have kids, its an awesome date. It’s a full day attraction, so make sure to take a break, grab a good meal and an alcoholic beverage. There are restaurants where you can actually get food much better than your typical theme park fair so keep an eye out for those cause your gonna work up an appetite with all the walking.

If your like me and love the experience of seeing a live game and eating all the stadium junk food your stomach can handle, check out a Padres baseball game at PetCo Park in downtown. We took Garrett to his first pro game here. Traffic and parking is super congested and tricky downtown, so I strongly recommend taking Uber to the stadium. It’s a gorgeous new facility with a grassy knoll where families can lay a blanket and relax next to a playground so your kiddos don’t feel confined to their seat -I’m telling you, I love this city because kids can be kids and parents can still be big kids too.

Those are some of my San Diego favorites, but there is still so much more! You could spend a day in Ocean in La Jolla and Kellogg Park offers a playground on the beach to keep the kids entertained.

And if your craving a good Margarita or homemade tortillas, Old Town San Diego is a great a place to explore. Walk into Old Mission San Diego Church, explore the Old Town Square with its Western Style buildings and shop in the market selling Mexican Imports.

I’m dying to do Legoland with our little man, but we’re opting to wait till he is older and can really enjoy it. I hear it’s a big hit with the 3-9 year old crowd & crazy moms like me. I know I threw a ton of San Diego sites at you, so feel free to hit me up if you have any questions or want more specifics about any of the places.

Here’s a quick recap on traveling San Diego with little ones:

  • All the parks… San Diego has permanent park weather
  • Beaches
  • Seal and sea lion watching
  • Fleet Science Center
  • The Artists Village
  • El Prado and their 15 museums
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Padres game

And of course there’s Legoland and Sea World!

Till the next city, follow us and our adventures on Instagram!


Out of Africa Wildlife Park

This trip was hosted by Out of Africa Wildlife Park but all opinions are 100% my own and I only share things I love and think you will love too!

This year my word and big goal is to be intentional while also having less things and more experiences. Though we are natives to Arizona, there is still much of it we have not experienced. When we decided on a trip to Camp Verde to visit Out of Africa Wildlife Park, I couldn’t be more excited. I knew my animal-loving, thrill-seeking family would absolutely love this adventure, and I know you will too! 

After we arrived, we checked out the map so that we could schedule our day accordingly. We wanted to be sure to get the most out of our trip, so we picked out some of our very favorite attractions so that we wouldn’t miss out! 

First we hopped onto the safari ride so that we could see, feed, and learn about the animals living at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. We really enjoyed Pilgrim the giraffe.

He was so fun to feed!

After the safari ride, we had a very important meeting with a guy named Bart.

That’s right… Bart is a sloth! And he was who I was most excited about meeting. We scheduled a private visit with him and learned so much about this fascinating animal. Did you know sloths are faster in water than on land? We even got to feed him and pet him! He loves carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes. You can see more of this in our video too!

And of course I had to get a selfie with my new best friend… he was just way too sweet! 

Once sadly parted ways with Bart (lol!), we decided to check out the Tiger Splash show which was so much fun! You’ll have to check out our YouTube video to see how awesome it was… but in person is always better!

After the Tiger Splash show, we walked about and checked out some of the other animals (check out that beautiful lioness!) until it was time for our zip line date with Predator Zip Lines!  We had an absolute BLAST zip lining over the park… what a view! Check out our video for more on that too.

After our zip line adventure, we finished up our day with a picnic lunch and more animal encounters around the park. 

We loved learning about Totter the otter who was rescued from a canal in downtown Phoenix (who even knew otters lived in Arizona?!). When she was found she was underweight, dehydrated, and infested with fleas and ticks. Now she’s as happy as pie and completely healthy. She was so fun to watch playing in her habitat. 

To see more of our amazing day at Out of Africa Wildlife Park, check out our video below. Be sure to visit the Out of Africa Wildlife Park for business hours, more information on the park, as well as location and deals! Would you believe you can enter the park for FREE during your birthday month?! How cool! 


I hope you put Out of Africa Wildlife Park on your must visit list! This is not a government owned zoo, therefore visitors are what keeps this animal sanctuary going. It’s such a fun day trip for the family. Let me know when you visit!

Back-to-School Family Movie Night

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Snyder’s-Lance, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Pop4Captain

Hello there makers! We have had such a busy first week back to school, how about you? I thought we would celebrate the completion of the first week with a Back-to-School Family Movie Night, complete with fun snacks and some simple decorations. With the pre-order of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, we can hardly wait to get our movie watching on!

We are all so excited for the new Captain Underpants movie DVD release. Not only is it the perfect movie for family movie night, but two of my favorite comedians, Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, are the voices of the main characters.

So we decided to theme our family movie night Captain Underpants style, complete with red caps and white underpants. 

We decorated the kitchen table with red pompoms, a table cloth, some white paper clouds, and a couple of fun signs. We also picked up a couple of our favorite movie snacks, Pop Secret popcorn and Lance cracker sandwiches. 

I made red paper capes and white paper underpants and glued them onto small paper bags to hold the Pop Secret popcorn. They were really simple to make and turned out so cute.

We love Pop Secret because it’s a delicious, high-quality snack that people can feel good about sharing with their family… not to mention the great butter taste! Yum! What’s family movie night without the popcorn?!

Lance crackers are one of our go-to snacks.  They have been making little sandwiches for over 100 years with two awesome crackers on the outside with incredible spreads between. Two of my favorites are Peanut Butter Honey and Grilled Cheese! With real peanut butter or real cheese between crispy baked crackers, up to 5 grams of protein, and no high fructose corn syrup, Lance provides a variety of sandwich crackers that are a tasty and satisfying snack solution for your family’s busiest school days. 

To make these crackers even more fun, I added salami capes and pepper jack cheese underpants! They made my daughter giggle quite a bit and they tasted great… mission accomplished. 

After a long week, cuddling up with my favorite snacks and favorite people to watch a fun family movie is just what we needed. 

Want to have your own back-to-school family movie night, too? You certainly can! We bought our Pop Secret popcorn and Lance crackers at Walmart. Plus, the Captain Underpants DVD is will be available in Walmart stores 9/12! Be sure to reserve your copy now by pre-ordering today! While supplies last.

How do you celebrate the first week back to school? Does your family like movie nights? I’d love to hear about it!


Travel: Visiting Cleveland with Kids

Hello! Renae here and I’m happy to be back and sharing more about traveling with kids… little kids to be exact. So today let’s take a trip together! If you are planning on visiting Cleveland with Kids, I’ve got some great tips and places to share with you. 

I’m going to let you in on a dirty family secret. My husband’s tour dates were booked before Garrett (our son) was born, so even though he’d be so delicate, we decided he’d be taking his first road trip at 3 weeks old. At the time, I couldn’t anticipate what a hormonal mess I might be, and I imagined it would be such an important family bonding time that I wanted us to be together no matter where we were. For me, the thought of being on my own with a newborn seemed scarier.  Since we knew we’d be doing a lot of traveling, we decided to introduce a lovey. It was actually a tip I got from a sleep training book. The idea is to introduce a special blanket or animal that comes out at naptime and bedtime to help signal it’s time to sleep. We took it a step further and slept with the lovey in our bed before Garrett was born so that it smelled like us. That way even before he could see it, he could smell it. We figured in a state of constant change, it was something he could always have that felt familiar to comfort him.

And yes, it’s become one more thing we have to make sure to pack, but it’s been really helpful when we’re sleeping in different beds all the time. One of my girlfriends called him Carcass because his body is flattened out with no stuffing which coincidentally makes him easier for traveling. My husband loved the name because it sounded manly, so Carcass stuck.  And somewhere along the line Carcass became such a comfort that he didn’t just come out at bedtime. He was joining us for alot of our daytime exploring. He’s even really helpful on those first sleepovers with the Grandparents, or transitioning to nap time at daycare. My kid might grow up to be like Linus from Charlie Brown dragging around his smelly germ infested blanket everywhere, but for now Carcass is so worth the help he brings at bedtime when we’re sleeping some place foreign all the time. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen Carcass all over Cleveland. He’s a main character in my instastories.

Carcass: Our Dirty Little Secret. Don’t worry, I’ve already scoured the Internet to make sure we have a back up.

So how’d we end up in Cleveland? My husband, Steve, had been out on the road for about a week and it was time to get the band back together, so Garrett and I hopped on a plane by ourselves to meet him in Cleveland. Lucky for me, Garrett slept most of the way. I wish I could offer advice on techniques for how to hold a lap child on a plane without an arm falling asleep or your fingers tingling, but I haven’t seemed to master that yet.

When I told a girlfriend who used to live in Cleveland I was going there she asked “Why?”.  And then right before I got there, I learned Cleveland is referred to as “The Mistake on the Lake” and not just by haters. It says that on Wikipedia too. But, I have to say, downtown is nice, clean, and offers so much to do. With the Kimpton Schofield Hotel as our landing pad, we were able to take in so many sites just walking around with the stroller. And downtown Cleveland offers so many great hotel & restaurant options.  One morning we had breakfast At Yours Truly in the Playhouse District and scoped out the countries largest outdoor chandelier.

And 4th Street is an awesome alley way lined with bars & restaurants with plenty of options and outdoor seating. It’s the perfect combo for a mom & tot. Outdoor seating so you don’t have to worry about disturbing the tables next to you, plenty of great people watching to keep everyone entertained, and a relaxing spot to sit have drink while the little one eats. We loved our dinner at Pickwick.

When your visiting a new city, I recommend grabbing the local paper. I usually find free ones in a coffee shop. Cleveland has all kinds of cool stuff happening down at the Harbor including a summer concert series. It’s a city that embraces music for sure. On our stroll to the Harbor we found cool murals, art & large speakers playing music in public parks.

It’s a nice 15-20 minute stroll from downtown to the Harbor & the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. The museum is packed full of really cool stuff from Elvis, to the Beatles, to Katy Perry and does a great job of walking you through the history of music and its political reflections. We went on a weekend when U2 was in town and the place was packed. If you’re going to do this one with a kid who’s too big to be strapped in a backpack or refuses to stay in the stroller, I recommend visiting on a less busy weekday so you can actually take everything in.  I was super nervous about loosing my kid amongst all the people in the many nooks and crannies of this museum. If you’re looking to buy a souvenir or gift for a music lover, the museum store is huge and actually has lots of unique merchandise.

We also spent a morning at the Cleveland Downtown Aquarium. It’s on the smaller side, but had plenty of interactive stuff to keep our kiddo entertained. There is a decent sized tortoise enclosure where you can get pretty close and we got to pet a knarly looking lizard. There is an awesome “walk thru” tank where you can see large sharks swimming all around you. And if your feeling brave there’s a tank full of sting rays you can dip your hand in and touch.

My son didn’t know what time zone he was in and was awake till an ungodly hour, so I was on the hunt for ways to stay busy after 5pm that were a little more kid-friendly than a comedy club. I discovered Memphis Kiddie Park. It’s a 15 minute drive from downtown, but was super sweet and easy. The park has been around for over 2 generations and definitely has a vintage feel to it. Each ride will cost you a little over 2 bucks and we didn’t have to wait in any lines. They have a concession stand that sells your typical carnival foods.  I enjoyed it because it made for such relaxing evening watching Garrett enjoy himself on the rides… even though his face might not look like it in the photos.

I’m a huge fan of children’s museums in any city, but Cleveland’s was closed for renovations, so we found ourselves checking out the Science Center. Side note: On our travels, I’ve learned that aquariums are typically a little pricier than museums geared for the younger crowd. Just something to keep in mind if traveling on a budget is a high priority. This Science Center is several stories, with an area designated for the under 7 crowd. Our little guy is obsessed with balls so we pretty much split our time between the toddler area and the Lego exhibit. I feel like I’m really doing a stellar job of exposing him to all kinds of germs and building his immune system (LOL).

They also have a great rooftop outdoor water play area. I was pretty impressed with the cafe here too. They had several healthy options and more than the typical concession stand offerings. There’s also plenty of picnic tables along the water if you prefer to dine alfresco. This one was totally worth the cost of admission.

Don’t forget to get a pic with the iconic Cleveland sign in the Harbor. It’s hiding behind the Science Center & Hall of Fame. You can also catch a cruise of the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie from here. I wish we’d had the time to do a boat tour. Cleveland has a ton of cool bridges and I’m sure a sunset river cruise would make for some great family photos.

On a mommy of a toddler note: Garrett peed and pooped in the potty 2x on the last day because he said/asked for the potty and wanted to. Super exciting, but I’ve got some anxiety about how we’re going to keep the progress going and manage it through airports and on planes. Should make for another adventure! Add it to the bucket list.

On the return flight the plane was practically empty, so we got a whole row to ourselves. I realized traveling with a lap child is much tougher. There’s way more freedom when he’s got his own seat. Room to color and play on his own tray so we’re not nearly as desperate for the tablet. And even better, my legs aren’t numb and I can use both hands. Awesome!

Thanks for following along on our adventures. We have lots more exiting trips before the summer is over including New York & San Diego. And I’m quickly learning that travel needs and suitcase must-haves are constantly changing as our little rugrat grows, so feel free to shoot me any questions you have!

Travel take-away: Remember to check out parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, and new restaurants when you visit a new city with the kids! 

Continue following our traveling adventures by following me on Instagram!

Best Eats at Knott’s Berry Farm

Hello there makers! We are back from one of our many California vacations for the summer and we had a great time beating the heat in Arizona for a few days. We spent one day at the beach in beautiful 75* weather and we spent the next full day at Knott’s Berry Farm with our best friends. It was such a fun trip full of laughs, roller coasters, and yummy food. We’ve been lots of times (we love it there), so I thought it would be fun to share some of the Best Eats at Knotts Berry Farm. Because let’s face it, it’s not just about the rides. It’s about the food too!

Ghost Town has a lot of our favorite foods! We each get something throughout the day (before standing in line for another roller coaster) and share! Sutter’s Grill/Funnel Cake and Log Ride Funnel Cake have the most delicious funnel cakes in the history of ever. I especially love it with boysenberry and powdered sugar, but you can get it in a variety of ways.

Calico Fry Co. has delicious fries with a variety of yummy toppings. They serve them in a box, so grab a couple of forks and eat them while you’re in line for a ride or watching a show. 

The Gourmet Churro Factory has delicious churro sundaes that are a MUST try. And also totally shareable. 

Sutter’s Grill also has delicious, hand-dipped corn dogs and waffle fries. Talk about YUM!

My all time favorite treat to get when visiting Knotts Berry Farm is the delicious boysenberry soft serve ice cream cone. It’s seriously the perfect summer treat, but I’d eat it year round, y’all!

Fireman’s BBQ has the most delicious barbecue. My two favorite things to get from here are the fire roasted corn and the turkey legs. I know Disneyland is known for their turkey legs, but I promise you, you’ll be a fan of Knott’s Berry Farm’s as well. 

If you feel like sitting down for a meal with the family, I recommend Ghost Town Grill. They have a great menu. I especially love that the burgers come with a side of boysenberry aioli. Note: you can get gluten free buns or go bunless on your burgers upon request! 

Ghost Town Bakery has fresher baked goods that are must tries. The huge boysenberry donuts are my favorite, but the soft cookie sandwiches filled with boysenberry mousse are delicious too.

If you need a quick pick-me-up, head over to the Boardwalk’s Gourmet Coffee Hut for a Boysenberry Latte. It’s delicious! I recommend asking it for half sweet (2 pumps instead of 4) and it’s the perfect hint of boysenberry in your latte. 

And of course, you can never go wrong with the famous chicken dinner at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. After all, it’s how Knott’s Berry Farm got started. 

Photo courtesy of Hungry In LA

Be sure you stop in at the General Store for all the berry goodness Knott’s has to offer. From salsa to honey to candy to jam… they have it all! I love souvenirs you can take home and eat later. #foodismylovelanguage

So many yummy things to try when you visit Knott’s Berry Farm next! What’s your favorite treat to get when you visit?

We had the best girl’s trip to California and a day at Knott’s Berry Farm only made it better!

This trip was hosted by Knott’s Berry Farm, but all opinions and thoughts are completely my own. I only share things I love and think my readers will too. 





Travel: Visiting Tacoma with Kids

Hi y’all! My name is Renae and I’ll be sharing traveling tips with you monthly here at MFTM! This month I am really excited to share tips for visiting Tacoma with kids. 

When Kara asked me if I’d be interested in regularly contributing to her blog I was thrilled. Since you probably don’t know me, I’ll tell you I often call myself an un-domesticated goddess because when you look up “domesticated” in the dictionary those adjectives frighten me! But truth be told, I’m a DIY, decor loving, homemaker and recently a stay at home mom – A title that’s sometimes hard for my independent spirit to own. And the ‘home’ part isn’t completely accurate. These days we’re a bit of a traveling circus. I’m the primary caretaker for our 1 1/2 year old son and I “run our household” whether it’s in an actual home or out of a suitcase. My situation is pretty relatable, I had a job I loved at an acting school where I felt creative, inspired, and independent — and then I got pregnant. I thought I’d be able to bring the baby to work with me and when that didn’t work out as planned along with the reality of an hour commute each way and high cost of childcare, things got challenging. Our situation gets a little more unique… my husband is a nationally touring stand-up comedian. INSERT SHAMELESS PLUG HERE He’s hilariously funny with a Netflix special to prove it.  I’m actually a producer on this special, and I work for my husband too! (yes, it gets tricky, but that’s a whole other thing!) We quickly learned with him working in a different city every week, we wouldn’t have much time as a family and I would have been single parenting a lot of the time without any family near to help. Something had to give. We decided what made the most sense was for me to quit my job and the baby and I would join Steve on tour as much as possible and #ourtravelingcircus was born.

I don’t know about you mammas, but life after baby was a tough adjustment for me. I knew I had a pretty amazing opportunity to travel and spend this time with my baby and it was a blessing that we were able to do it, but I cried when I quit my job. When I was pregnant I felt like my body was taken over by an alien, and after I had him in the midst of all the hormone fluctuations I struggled to get back to being me. Work was the one place I felt like myself. Sure, an exhausted version of me. But it forced me to get dressed and I got to be creative, joke around with my co-workers, and have stimulating conversations that weren’t all about my new baby and being a mom. And when that was gone, I felt really lost.

But the last 20 months out on tour with Steve, we’ve made some pretty special family memories traveling across the country by plane, RV, & car. We took our first road trip when our son was less than 3 weeks old. -Not ideal for breastfeeding, but you manage.

And we’ve been able to catch up with friends up and down California, all over Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona and Vegas. And over time, I’ve been learning to embrace this time in my life even though its not what I imagined I’d be doing. It’s likely this won’t work for our family forever and he’s already growing so quickly so I’m trying to take every opportunity that allows me to better mom.

I’m really enjoying experiencing these cities through a child’s eyes, But Its challenging to carve out time for yourself when your sharing one room and balancing your husbands weird work hours which is not compatible with a baby’s sleep schedule. So when Kara asked me to contribute to the blog, I thought it was a great chance to take a moment for myself and get back to being creative. I figure it can only help me continue to discover who I am post baby. And I’ve got lots to share about the adventures of traveling with a little rugrat!

When we visit a city and where we stay is often determined by the comedy club. Lucky for me, most comedy clubs are usually located in busy city centers near nice hotels, shopping and restaurants! Tacoma didn’t disappoint.

Travel tip right off the bat here. Tacoma came at the end of a 2 week run for us, so we thought it would be easier not to drag around a car seat. Wrong! Renting one cost us $10 a day. So we ended up paying almost as much for the seat as we did the rental car. If you’ve got a big drawstring bag from your dry cleaner, just toss the seat in it and check it for free with your luggage.

We stayed at Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma which has lots of cool glass art from the Museum of Glass down the street and the hotel restaurant was great too. Downtown Tacoma offers so much to explore within stroller walking distance. There are some hills, so in it’s worth traveling with a stroller that has some storage as opposed to a little umbrella stroller for this trip. Tacoma is beautiful and green and the cherry blossoms were in bloom when we visited. It didn’t rain, so we were able to go out and explore a lot.

If your little one is an early riser there is a Starbucks close by and the University of Washington has a bookstore attached with a quaint little kids area. We hung out there waiting for the museum to open so I could get my coffee fix and Dad could sneak in a little more sleep.

Our traveling circus has frequented several children’s museums and Tacoma has been one of our son’s favorite. It’s not the biggest, but it’s got plenty to keep kids entertained including a water play area and a really cool plane jungle gym structure to climb all over. We found ourselves strolling there one morning and then back again at the end of the day because he loved it so much.

You’ll have to get in the car and drive, but Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has been one of my favorite places to visit in Tacoma too. It’s one of the prettier zoos I’ve been to with interactive exhibits and a nice big playground. Point Defiance isn’t huge, and a lot of the animals were away sleeping, but we saw peacocks roaming and beautiful lions. I’m a fan of the zoo/aquarium combo. Plenty of grassy spaces too if you wanted to lay out a blanket and pack a lunch.

It’s a beautiful drive over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Gig Harbor to have a seaside lunch. We spent a relaxing afternoon doing some eating, bird watching and shopping.

And there is still so much more to do in the downtown area! We ran out of time so the Museum of Glass and Tacoma Art Museum are on our list for next time. I loved Tacoma and hope we’re able to go back. It was one of the easier cities to adventure around with a tot and I totally recommend it.

Traveling Take-Aways:

  • Check in your carseat and use a large, drawstring laundry bag.
  • Stroller with storage room.
  • Check out the bookstores, museums, zoos, and parks in the city you’re visiting.

You can follow #ourtravelingcircus on my Instagram! I’ll be back next month with more traveling tips for you!




15 DIY Backyard Games

Hello, hello! Yay for Friday! 
Allison here once again and it is time to finish out this month’s summer posts today. I am bringing you lots of ideas for outdoor fun! These 15 DIY Backyard Games are sure to make those summer get-togethers even more fun!

There are so many fun ideas out there and here are 15 that caught my eye! 

 How fun are all those games?!
Which one are you going to build this summer for fun with your family and friends? 
Stay tuned next month for a whole new topic!
Your hostesses,


siggie Signature signature allison

The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside


Tips for Taking Kids Fishing

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PrepFreeProtein #CollectiveBias

Hi there makers! We had a great Memorial weekend as a family camping and fishing. My husband took my daughter fishing for the first time and she really enjoyed it. The place we camped at in our RV had a great catch and release pond for her to practice. While we were there, we came up with some great tips for taking kids fishing and thought we’d share with all of you!

1. Prepare your kids. Let them know that fishing takes time and patience. These are great lessons to learn as a child… and even as an adult (I speak for myself of course!). 

2. Get a good starter fishing pole (we got ours at Walmart for $8), bait, hooks, and bobbers. 

3. Bring water! You’ll be at the pond, lake, or river for a bit, so be sure to stay hydrated. 

4. Bring your phone or camera so you can take a picture of the fish you catch! You’ll want to remember your kid’s first catch and so will they. 

5. Pack snacks to bring with you, and preferably with protein. Lorissa’s Kitchen is our go-to when we are camping, hiking, road tripping, or standing in our favorite theme parks’ lines.

Because it’s prep-free, it’s so convenient to throw it into a fanny pack, backpack, or tote. Our favorite flavors are Korean Barbecue Beef and Sweet Chili Pork, but all of them are so delicious. Lorissa’s Kitchen is high in protein, low in carbs, low in fat, has no MSG, no preservatives and is gluten free. It’s a great on-the-go snack to have on hand. We buy ours from our local Kroger store in the snack aisle. 

You can save $1.00 off any Lorissa’s Kitchen product (2.25 oz.) with this coupon from June 1st – August 29th, 2017. There will be a one-day in-store sampling event mid-June at Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, and QFC stores on Friday, June 16th – Sunday, June 19th, 2017. 

Check out Lorissa’s Kitchen on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/YouTube too.  


Have you taken your kids fishing? What tips do you have to add to our list and what’s your favorite snack to bring along?

Christmas Traditions for the Family

Welcome to another edition of Must Have Craft Tips and More! Allison here once again to bring you more great Christmas tips… like Christmas traditions for the family!
My fellow hostesses have shared lots of fabulous Christmas tips this month so just in case you have missed them you can check them out here: Tip 1, Tip 2, and Tip 3.Today, I wanted to share with you some fun Christmas traditions you can do with your family to create loads of memories for everyone!

I rounded up 3 different ideas that are sure to make your Christmas more special for you and your family.

To begin, I will start with the classic advent calendar.

LEGO Advent Calendar from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls // Family Fun Advent Calendar from Simply Sara // Advent Calendar Paper Chain from Activities for Kids //  Reindeer Balloon Advent Calendar from Not on the High Street  // Reverse Advent Calendar from Mum in the Mad House

 Advent Calendars are a fun way to help build up the excitement of Christmas for the whole family but they don’t always have to be the normal, open something and get candy, type of calendar.
Think outside the box. Do something special as a family. Do something special for others in your community. Have fun! Be together! Enjoy the reason of the season! 

I love the idea of doing a random acts of kindness advent calendar. This Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar from Coffee Cups and Crayons will help you along to know just what to do to help out and bring joy to others.

I totally love this idea and I have been wanting to start it but we are still working on our Christmas book collection but this Christmas Book Advent Calendar from Simple as That
is a something that I know my girls would love. Wrap the books up all fun, put a number on each and let one child pick out the book each night, gather together as a family and read the book.

And how about this Christmas Tradition Countdown from Create Craft Love?! 
You can print this one out or create one that works for your family but you don’t have to go over the top to have quality family time that is meaningful and you can do it along with counting down to one of the most popular holidays!

To go along with those advent calendar, it’s the season to spend time as a family and create wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Kids have off from school, hopefully you have a few days off work, so why not slow down from your fast paced life and enjoy each other for a change!
This time of year, make new traditions with family and friends!
Play games, get creative, bake delicious treats, watch movies, and just have fun together!
Everyone enjoys checking out all those gorgeous Christmas lights throughout the town so why not make a fun game out of it?! Check out this Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt from Mine for the Making  and when you go out to check out those lights, see what you can find!

Have a family craft night!
Every year my little family has a holiday craft night. We pick out a few fun and easy crafts that we can all do together and spend the evening getting creative. My girls love it and we have so much fun seeing what we each come up with.
Every year, going back to when my husband and I were still dating, we make ornaments by putting acrylic paint into clear ornaments so that tradition has continued now that we have kids. Last year we also created some fun paper plate trees and the girls got to decorate their own plates with Sharpie paint pens as well.


 If you have little ones that still love the magic of Santa why not make it extra special on Christmas Eve by creating a fun plate for those delicious cookies that Santa will be thrilled to see when he drops off those presents?

This Cookie Plate for Santa from Mine for the Making is created using vinyl and then this Santa plate from A Glimpse Inside was created with Sharpie paint pens and then baked in the oven.Both can be used for years to come!


Lastly, little ones love trees! 
They get so excited to help decorate the tree so why not make a fun tradition by giving them their own mini tree inside their rooms that are all for them. They get to decorate it any way they want, again and again if they are like my girls, and they can admire their own tree for the whole season!


My last tradition is make Christmas morning breakfast special! 
Start the morning with a delicious breakfast but why not make it fun!? 
Create Christmas related shapes with your food and show off your holiday spirit in a fun, unique way! 
Start with a whole meal like with the Santa pancakes or create those Reindeer Donuts for something quick to eat before opening presents and before you larger meal is ready.
I love these Reindeer Pancakes from 365ish Days of Pinterest and I want to make my husband, who is the pancake maker in our house, create this for us this year. Who wouldn’t love to see this on their plate Christmas morning?

 How about these super fun Christmas Tree Waffles from Crustabakes? These are so quick and easy too if you have a waffle maker which gives you more time to spend time with a family.


How about making a wreath like this Crescent Bacon Breakfast Ring from Jo Cooks stuffed full of all sorts of deliciousness?
I want this for breakfast this year too!


There you have it!
I hope you create some new traditions with your families this year and enjoy special time together.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?

Be sure to join us next month when we share a whole new topic full of tips!

Your hostesses,


siggie Signature signature allison


The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside



Camping at Lake Pleasant, Arizona

Hello there friends! Now that it’s summertime, I’m sure most of you are ready to get out and explore our lovely state. Typically families plan their trips and vacations in the summer due to kids being out of school. So I thought I would share some of our favorite things to do as a family around our home state. We love being outdoors and near water, so Camping at Lake Pleasant, Arizona, is a must on our summer bucketlist.

Lake Pleasant6a

There are a few options to pick from when planning your camping trips at your local and state lakes. Though many families go for the corporate owned facilities, we LOVE camping at our state and regional parks. And there are plenty of reasons why, which I will get to shortly.

Lake Pleasant7

Lake Pleasant, Arizona, is located only 35 miles from Phoenix and is the biggest lake in the area with over 10,000 acres of water surface. It’s the perfect place for boating, water skiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and more. It’s the perfect place for family fun and of course it’s pet friendly as well. Just keep those pets on a leash and be sure to clean up after them. 

Lake Pleasant2

Lake Pleasant has 2 marinas, a restaurant, and a few options for camping. Our personal favorite is Desert Tortoise Campground. This campground is right on the water and has options for RV hook ups as well. The above photo is our view from our favorite spot.

Lake Pleasant1

If you’re lucky enough, you may see a Bald Eagle or two fly overhead or even a pack of wild burros while staying at the lake. The beautiful sunsets are a backdrop to the wildlife and saguaro cacti that surround the lake. It’s really a great place to hang.

Lake Pleasant4

Two of our favorite things to do when camping are to go on nature walks and cook over the campfire, both of which can be done at Lake Pleasant. Sometimes when the sun goes down, it’s even chilly enough for a light jacket.

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The next time you consider camping, check out Lake Pleasant and the state/regional campsites. The campsites and bathrooms are very clean, you are right near the water, and the view is unbeatable. Plus, the price of the site is extremely affordable and the money you spend goes back into keeping our state and regional parks clean and well kept.