5 Essentials for Summer Road Trips

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on June 30, 2015

This last weekend we packed the kids up and headed to Fort Worth for a little road trip staycation. My cousin has been working on Oklahoma and we wanted to meet half way for some fun and sun. Before heading on the road, however, I made sure we had a few essentials. After all, almost three hours in the car with seven children can be challenging if not properly prepared!

Portable chargers - There are just not enough charger plugins in the car for everyone, but everyone has a device and you never know when one will die. Best be prepared, so everyone stays happy. You can find some at walmart.com for about $10.

Pocket Juice portable charger

Car Games – My kids only played on their devices for a bit this last trip before we whipped out a list of good old-fashioned car games. We played the alphabet game and the state license plate game, but there are many more that can keep the kiddos busy for hours. Check out these printable travel games – I’m using these for our next road trip!

Snacks – Pack up some goodies in the Igloo Quantum Cooler ($14.97 at Walmart. The one pictured below is a Coleman.), so as to avoid multiple stops when the kiddos begin complaining that they are hungry or thirsty. Bottles of water, boxes of juice, cheese sticks, and chips or crackers should keep their bellies full.

Pack a Cooler for the car ride

First Aid Kit – I put together our own and included band-aids, pain relievers, after sun care, hand sanitizer, and of course my essential oils (which are helpful in dealing with a multitude of problems).

Sunscreen – I know sunscreen isn’t exactly needed while in the car, but it certainly will be once you arrive at your destination. Our favorite is Banana Boat. I just love the scent and it’s not greasy or too thick.

Must haves on Road Trip

What would you add? Visit walmart.com to check out some more great ideas in the Walmart ad online!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Laniwai Spa: One of Many Reasons to Visit Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 16, 2014

Along the beaches of Ko Olina, nestled between mountains and ocean of Oahu, Hawaii sits the breath-taking and magical Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. There are many reasons to visit this beautiful oasis that is just outside of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, yet close enough to enjoy all the island has to offer. Laniwai Spa is one of these reasons.

Laniwai Spa at Aulani

Located within Aulani, Laniwai is an 18,000-square-foot full-service spa and wellness center featuring spa therapies, and a variety of fitness options for the whole family from group exercise classes to intense one-on-one training. It is home to the Kula Wai, a 5,000-square-foot outdoor hydrotherapy garden to enjoy before or after spa services that includes herbal pools, six unique “rain showers,” hot and cold whirlpools, and plenty of outdoor relaxation areas.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa  Laniwai Spa

Aulani was voted this year’s “Top Hotel for Families in the United States” by the readers of Travel + Leisure and is one of the only true, luxury family wellness retreats that offers spa, relaxation and spectacular Hawaiian experiences for ages newborn and up. Laniwai meaning “freshwater heaven” in the beautiful Hawaiian language is a word that embraces the Hawaiian connection to nature and its waterfront location.


Cruisin’ on Royal Carribean #SeasTheDay

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on March 21, 2014

I am blessed with some amazing blogging friends, experiences, and opportunities. A few years ago, Ray and I went to New Orleans on one of the very first Brandcations – #BOBNOLA. While I had a great time, I was 7 months pregnant and it was oh-so-hot and sticky. I am very much looking forward to my next Brandcation adventure – A cruise on Royal Carribean with 39 old and new blogging buddies!


We set sail in a little over a week, and I have tons to do before then. In fact, I still need to make it to the passport office, do some shopping, pack my bags, and make a quick trip to Cali!

But, let’s not get distracted… On this 5 day/4 night cruise, we will be going to Cozumel, Mexico and will get to see and experience all that the Liberty of the Seas has to offer. I can’t wait to explore the ship and share with you all it has to offer, from ice skating to surfing, and more! We’ll also be getting a behind the scenes tour of the ship, so stay tuned for lots of photos and info.

Liberty of the Seas

Follow along on our adventures – on the ship and in Cozumel – with the hashtag #SeasTheDay. And be sure to keep an eye on my Facebook page and Instagram stream!

Is there anything you’d like to know about cruising on Royal Carribean, or about the Liberty of the Seas ship? MAybe I’ll get a chance to find an answer for you!

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Our Visit to Mormon Island at Folsom Lake

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 14, 2014

While in California, my family and I spent an afternoon at Folsom Lake. Or what’s left of it anyway. It is the lowest it has been in 60 years. And boy, is it sad…

Folsom Lake - then and now

-photo source

It may be a sad sight to see the lake so low, but it’s a well-visited area, even now as the boats sit in the parking lot of the marina. The draw? Under all of the water that is usually held back by Folsom Dam, lived an old mining community.

Early in March 1848, W. Sidney, S. Willis, and Wilford Hudson, members of the Mormon Battalion, set out from Sutter’s Fort to hunt deer. Stopping on the south fork of the American River, they found gold. They told their story on returning to the fort, and soon about 150 Mormons and other miners flocked to the site, which was named Mormon Island. This was the first major gold strike in California after James W. Marshall’s discovery at Coloma.  -source

As history would have it, the town was destroyed by fire in 1856 and was never rebuilt. The community completely dwindled after the California gold rush, leaving only a few families by the 1940s. In it’s finer days, however, the population of the town was more than 2,500, and had four hotels, three dry-goods stores, five general merchandise stores, an express office, and many small shops.

mormon island

When Folsom Dam was built, all but the cemetery at Mormon Island - which was moved - was all but destroyed. With the current drought in the Sacramento area, the remains of the old mining community are now explored and photographed by hundreds.

Including us…

Folsom Lake - Mormon Island

Mormon Island - Folsom Lake


Keeping Baby Safe While Away From Home for the Holidays

December 12, 2013

We plan to be in California for the Holidays. We will be far away from home, in someone else’s home. My parents’ house is really no longer kid-friendly, and I don’t know what I’m getting our family in to wehn we stay with other family members. I plan to be prepared! Are you and your […]

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Plan Your Next Family Vacation on Travel Saturday

November 29, 2013

Travel Saturday is the Black Friday of travel deals – available exclusively tomorrow, November 30th. Myrtle Beach area businesses have come together to offer Travel Saturday, a day that features a selection of heavily discounted deals on accommodations, entertainment and attractions for the upcoming 2014 travel season. Deal seekers can log online on Saturday, November 30th […]

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My Afternoon With Garth Brooks Rocked! #BlameItAllOnMyRoots

November 28, 2013

I want to tell you all about Garth Brooks’ newest boxed set, Blame It All On My Roots, due to release tomorrow, but will you bare with me as I gush about my afternoon with him first? When I started blogging, what seems like ages ago, I had not a clue that so many great […]

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Trying to Stay Cool?

September 12, 2013

Are you looking for something to do with the little ones in the Austin area these next couple of weeks? If you have small children and want to stay cool, the Quarry Splash Pad in Leander at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park is just the ticket! At just just $1 per child, it’s a super […]

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Summertime Fun At The Austin Ice Cream Festival

August 17, 2013

There are certainly no shortage of fun things for the whole family to do in Austin… We were excited to discover that this weekend was the 7th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival. Ray and I thought it would be a great way to spend one of the last Saturdays before school starts, so we decided […]

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Travel With Little Passports {without ever having to leave your home!}

August 16, 2013

Have you met Sam and Sofia? These two travel the world and send your kiddos goodies from a new place every month. With Little Passports you can inspire a love and understanding of the world as your child learns about a geography, history, culture, and language in a fun and memorable way. Little Passports sent […]

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The Ultimate Road Trip

August 5, 2013

It will be two weeks tomorrow since we pulled into our new driveway. While we sorely miss our friends and family back in Cali, we are well on our way to feeling at home in our new place. But, to get here we had to take the mother of all road trips… Ray, two of […]

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Social Media for Social Good on the Jersey Shore #JerseyLove

July 2, 2013

Not a day has gone by in the last several weeks that I haven’t thought of my trip to New Jersey. If you recall, I went with 39 fabulous social media moms in hopes to bring some social media love to a place that had been devastated by hurricane Sandy. But, what I experienced was a bit […]

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Tweet With Us for a Chance to Win a #D6SurfSkimmer

May 31, 2013

I shared with y’all a while back that I was joining an incredible group of women to help bring a bit of social good to the Jersey shore. Well, we’re packing our bags and getting more excited every day, as we prepare for a fabulous few days. In the midst of all of our excitement, […]

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More Disney Magic

May 21, 2013

There are some big things happening at the Disneyland Resort! Will you join me (here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) as I attend Disney’s media event this week? Here’s a preview of what we will be checking out – Fantasy Faire – an enchanting, immersive storybook world that extends Fantasyland. Disney Princesses await Disneyland park […]

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A Magical Day with Janice (@5minutesformom) and Julia (@JulzBGiggles)

May 11, 2013
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Merida’s Induction Into the Disney Princess Royal Court at DisneyWorld {Video}

May 11, 2013

Merida was welcomed on stage by the entire Disney Princess court and was crowned by her mother, Queen Elinor, in a touching moment of love and respect that highlighted the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. And we were there! That was just the beginnging of another magical day here in Florida… Check out our […]

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Fun with Julia at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

May 10, 2013

Do you sometimes wonder what to do with all of those photos and videos on your iPhone? Well, wonder no more. Disney has just launched a brand new app that will compose your memories in to a beautiful story. Disney’s Story app is free! I’m already addicted!! Full disclosure: I was not compensated in any […]

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A Moment Of My Day {#BlogEveryDayinMay}

May 9, 2013

Julia and I are playing in Florida this weekend. Thanks to the wonderful Janice, who has adopted us as her family members for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! It’s a hard life! – Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Finding Balance on Vacation with #TMOM

May 3, 2013

There is so much to think about when planning a vacation. All of the many things I think about here at home, I have to keep in mind on the road, too. As the mom of a large family, it’s vital to find accomodations that are comfortable enough for all of us. Is there a place […]

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Best Hotel Amenities When Traveling with Kids {Guest Post}

April 10, 2013

With so many hotels around the world, sure, there are lots of choices to decide on. From the simplest hotel to the most luxurious and – the weirdest accommodation, travelers will never find it hard looking for a place to stay. For those who are on a tight budget, smaller hotels are suitable options. Meanwhile, […]

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Social Media Moms And NJ Digital Moms Join Forces To Give #JerseyLove

March 30, 2013

What do you get when you bring 40 powerful women together for good? This — A few of our group members are Jersey residents and saw firsthand the devastation that Sandy created. We felt their fear as the storm thrashed their home towns. We heard the stories of the community pulling together to rebuild after […]

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Silly :: Julia’s Middle Name

February 6, 2013

Just before Christmas, while in New York, we visited America’s First Pizzeria and this is what Julia does… Classic!

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