Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Holiday Pictures

One way to find great ideas for your pictures is to check out you local parks. Often you can do “location scouting” by looking a the websites for the parks. I decided to take our picture among the birch trees after reading this blog.


Another thing I love to do is pack at least one set of color coordinating outfits for vacation and have a photo shoot. You never know when you are going to get that great picture.

Where do you take your holiday pictures?


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Here are some random things I found during my two hours of alone time on vacation.

I fell in love with this bakeshop. The food looked delicious and it was wonderfully decorated.

They had the cutest decorations. The circles in the background were made of paper and they went around the entire store.

I couldn’t resist a key lime tart and a coffee.

At an antique shop I found two telephone desks. I bought one a few months back and haven’t gotten around doing anything with it yet.

This one is mine. I got it for $7.00.

They had these yummy cookies at a local deli. I purchased a few for the kids. They loved them.

Linked to:

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You have a vacation planned. How do you save money while you’re there?

1.) Kids meals: I got tired of paying for expensive kids meals at restaurants. They always seem to charge more at tourist hot spots (six dollars for chicken nuggets and fries). We get kid friendly food for the house and make the kids meals and we order out for ourselves at different restaurants. That way the kids get what they like and mom and dad can try out the local cuisine. The other benefit is the kids are end up getting fruits and veggies instead of fries and nuggets. One of the kids favorites is chicken salad rolled in a tortilla and I’ll pair that with carrots and grapes. Also, we are not paying for tips and drinks. We easily save thirty dollars a day doing this.

2.) Activities: Do some advance research on your location. Websites will often have a free activity section. If it doesn’t have a free activities section do a search for “free activities in XX”. You never know what you’ll find. Do you have a membership to a local zoo or museum? See if they have a reciprocal agreement with places where you will be going. Sometimes you can get in free or you can get a discount.

4.) Supplies: If we are going away I try to pick up nonperishable snacks and other items in the weeks before we go away. It’s a great way to spread out the cost and it lets you purchase you supplies when they are on sale.

See Budget Travel part one


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There’s still time to take a vacation this year.  Even if money is tight you still might be able to go away.

1.) Are you’re kids young? Consider going off season to a beach area. The prices of house rentals drop once the kids go back to school.

2.) Check vacation rental sites, if the week is approaching and the house has not been rented yet they sometimes drop the rates. You can also email an agency to see if they will drop the rate on a house if you see that it is still available.

3.) Plan to stay for a mini-week. Hotels sometimes offer a discount if you are staying Sunday to Thursday. They tend to be a little slower on those days.

4.) Stay at home option. Join a local zoo, museum and botanical center. You will have activities for the week and you can visit for the rest of the year. To keep costs down pack you own lunch.


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Here is a way to incorporate the little shells that you find on the beach into a great memory frame.

I took a wooden frame that I bought a few years ago that I ended up not using. I painted it with some acrylic paint that I had around the house. The color was Butter Pecan. Next I stamped OBX for the Outer Banks and the year on the frame in ink. Finally I hot glued shells that we found on that trip around the frame.

I then took a picture of my son and rubbed a little tea dye distressing ink on it. I love the way it changes the picture.

Hope you like the finished product. You could do this with shells, rocks, tickets, etc. from a family vacation.

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This year I had the opportunity this year to visit the place where I went to celebrate the Forth of July in when I was a child. My husband didn’t think that it would live up to my expectations. When we were kids we would spend the day at Lititz Springs Park. My parents would take us to the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory and we would twist pretzels. We would go to the Wilbur Chocolate Candy store and get Wilbur buds. Then we ran around the park until it was time to put candles in wooden displays at run along the channel in the park. Later we would watch them light the candles and then walk over to the fireworks. The fireworks are amazing they go on for a long time and are choreographed to music. 

 Well did it live up to my expectations…. 

Well when you’re twelve running around a park without a care in the world you don’t have to argue with your three year old that the regular bathrooms are preferable to the port-a-potties. Your older children aren’t telling you that they are bored.  Heaven forbid there is no DS to play. The kids got into the spirit with the candle lighting and the fireworks amazed them. A twelve year old girl cannot anticipate the joy that she will feel when her three year old shrieks with delight with each flash of light.


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I’m already dreaming of the summer. One of my favorite past vacations was a trip to Jekyll Island, GA. It was a 13 hour drive but it was well worth it. We got to explore the beach, visit the Sea Turtle Center, play golf and even day trip to Savannah. The rental house was discounted because we went during the low season. The local school’s started in mid August but my children didn’t start until after Labor Day. It’s always a good idea to check when low or mid-season is in different locations because then you might be able to get some real discounts.

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