Stocking Stuffer Idea for Travel Moms

The wallet that will change your life!

Juggling work, school and family can be challenging so anything that makes life easier is much-needed! Introducing the CardNinja!

The CardNinja is a spandex pocket with 3M adhesive that attaches to the back of any smartphone or case and keeps your ID, cash and up to 8 cards secure. Pick from six great colors (Black, Gray, Gold, Eggplant, Magenta and Blue) and new patterns (Hawaiian, Paisley, Cheetah, Zebra, Gold Polka Dot) to match your phone and your style.

card ninja

It’s the perfect lightweight solution when you’re on the go and don’t need to carry a bulky wallet or heavy purse around. Maybe a crowded club, workout, or a large event where security is tight and purses aren’t allowed (ex. concerts or sporting events).

card ninja at event

U.S. on high security and purses banned? No problem. Everything we need to enjoy the game is all here!

CardNinja retails at $9.95 and is available online and in over 7,000 locations nationwide including Amazon Prime, CVS, select Verizon stores and all Microcenter locations. CardNinja is the perfect present for anyone and everyone, even YOU!

 For more information or a sample, please visit

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TRAVEL PRODUCT REVIEW: Superfood Treats to Replace Roadtrip Sweets

The holidays are almost here and keeping kids fueled through long and hectic travels to grandma and grandpa’s house can be a chore.

Feeling guilty about them eating Grandma’s famous cookies or those tempting candy canes? Don’t…

Because on the way to Grandma’s house (and in between holiday treats) you can offer them a healthier, but fun, option.

Introducing Slammers Snacks, tasty, superfood greek yogurt snacks designed to fuel kids with organic fruits and vegetables.

slammers snack slammers box slammers in lunchbag

Each flavor introduces kids to fruits such as mangos, acai, yumberries, kiwis, and pomegranates, and serves as a great source of essential vitamins. Two flavors introduced this year also come packed with seven grans of protein – perfect for active kids (note: the protein enhanced smoothies have a slight whey protein taste so are best for active kids who are used to protein shakes).

Most importantly, kids love the flavor! My kid-testers gobbled these up!

Slammers and kidsAvailable at Target and Meijer stores.


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Art + Community + City = #NewCMA

This fresh museum is where creativity and daily life in the city of Columbus come together.
Why expand? In 1931 CMA owned 500 pieces of art and had 10 gallery spaces. Today, the collection has grown to more than 10,000, yet the same 10 galleries remain, and the endowment has more than doubled in size. The expansion will allow the museum to highlight the collection, welcome exciting special exhibitions and nurture the culture of creativity in Columbus. 
new cma new cma 2 new cma outside
A few notes about the Museum:
  • In 2013, the Columbus Museum of Art received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service for its dedication to making the museum a hub for lifelong learning.
  •  Sundays are FREE
  •  the Center for Creativity is a family-friendly experience, complete with hands-on activities, such as sculpture making, a Creativity Challenge, and an interactive Wonder Room, where visitors interact with art as well as create art. (this space was super engaging)wonder_room
  • Embark on a scavenger hunt, imagine yourselves inside a painting, or discover a work of art that tells a family story during Family Adventure Tours.
  • Browse for art kits, illustrated books, coloring books and artsy toys that cultivate creativity in the Museum Store.
  • Savor a quick treat or snack in Schokko Art Cafe with a special $5.00 Kids Menu.

CMA and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 p.m., and until 9:00 p.m. every Thursday. Museum admission is $12 for adults; $8 for seniors and students 17 and older with valid ID; $5 for students 6-17; and free for members and children 5 and younger. Admission is free for all on Sundays.

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Travel Product Review: Waterwipes

WaterWipes is the world’s only chemical-free baby wipes – just introduced
into the U.S (from Ireland.)


They can be comforting on a new baby’s skin during the hot summer months, as
they contain only two ingredients: 99.9% water and a tiny droplet of fruit
extract. They also can help avoid diaper rash and won’t irritate other
sensitive skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

Personal testimony: “My (now) teen son has had eczema most of his life. He gets rashes easily…especially in extreme environments like dry cold weather or humid, sweaty hot weather. When we’re on the road, these are perfect for freshening sensitive areas like the neck, elbows, face and behind knees.”


Personal testimony: (Erin J) “I love that they are thick enough to stay moist, but still gentle! I also like that I can use on her mouth, bum, whatever!”

Perfect for road trips and travel as wipes can also be used on hands/faces, etc.

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Travel Product Review: Goodwipes

No Shower? No Toilet Paper? No Problem! – Goodwipes.


Need to freshen up while on a layover?

At a Festival? Port-a-Johns only option? Concerned about TP running out? Or, want better than sandpaper toilet paper?


When would you use these Body Wipes?
Traveling . Outdoors . Post-Gym . Hiking . Running . Crossfit . Camping . Music Festivals. Forehead Swiping . Obstacle Courses + Mud Runs .


Cleansing wipes come in handy when…
You’re Traveling. Outdoors . After Exercise . Camping . Hiking . Surfing . Skiing . Commutes . Port-a-Potties . Festivals . Restaurants .

Goodwipes are made from eco-friendly ingredients like tea tree oil, chamomile, lavender and peppermint. The cleansing wipes have similar ingredients plus a light fragrance…different for each gender. Lavendar for ladies. Musky for men.

Freshen up your neck, back, face, underarms, and body with goodwipes Body Wipes. Toss them in your carry-on bag to remove dirt, sweat, oils, bacteria and body odors that naturally build up during the day. Starting at $8 per pack of 10 for Body Wipes. $7 per pack of 30 for Cleansing Wipes.

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Travel Product Review: Personalogy Card Game

New Travel Game Helps People Get to Know Each Other Better…and Quickly!

Two entrepreneurially-minded women have created a fun and addictive card game that dramatically increases the speed at how well people get to know each other…and passes time while kids are waiting on meals at restaurants.

So the idea evolved and they created and published their first game called Personalogy: The Original Party Edition, around Thanksgiving 2013.

It was a hit.

“People want to feel connected. We want to feel like we matter to one another,” says Burke.


Personalogy comes in two editions. One is for adults and is an absurdly provocative fun situation card game for thinking people. The other is the Family Fun Edition; it’s the laugh-out-loud discovery game for the whole family.

Each game consists of over 100 topical and intriguing questions, each with multiple-choice answers.

Players are challenged to guess what answer their opponent will most likely select and why. Questions cover everything from lifestyle, pop culture, psychobabble, to sports and dating.

Playing often turns into a laugh-out-loud experience.

I played with a few preteens…middle schoolers…who traditionally utter one word answers while they’re eyes are set on their phones. Not with this game!


We had a 20 minute wait on our order one day, and it was hard to put the cards down. As a matter of fact, we decided to continue throughout the meal. The kids decided, not me.

“The goal, says Michelle and Liliamani, “is to spark off fantastic conversations where people happily reveal more about themselves and learn more about other people, than anyone could ever imagine.”

Next stop, a family reunion!

Personalogy Family Fun Edition List $20

Personalogy Card Games are small enough to fit in your purse, backpack, glove box, or pocket.  They can be played with points for competitive players, or as a fun and easy conversation starter.  Moms love them for car rides and long lines at amusement parks.

Available on Amazon.  For more information visit



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Product Review: Solar Media Player

Solar Media Player by Secur Products is a Rainproof, Shock Proof Speaker that Doubles as a Solar Charging Phone Case

Cell phones batteries can last for days ­ if you are not running any apps or streaming music. Using these features on a phone can zap a battery in less than an hour. Secur Products has created a solar cell phone case that can charge phones while protecting them from drops, water and dust.

Solar Media Player 1

While camping in the woods, relaxing in the backyard with friends, waiting for the next act at a music festival, or enjoying nature in another way the only music source available could be a phone.

Just this weekend we used ours while waiting for fireworks on July 4th! (you know the drill, hurry up and get a prime spot on the lawn, lay out the blanket, grab a treat…and then wait an hour or two for the main event!)

And how many times do you go to a cookout and the host tries to blare music from a sound system indoors which ends up muffled outdoors?

Plus, we’ve had several times when we were outdoors, far from any electrical outlet to recharge…and our battery dies! Now, sun or clouds, we have a portable charging station that is light to carry and the size of a large glasses case.

Secur Products Solar Media Player1

Simply unzip the Solar Media Player, connect a phone or MP3 player, zip it closed and the Solar Media Player will simultaneously function as a speaker and solar phone charger. The Solar Media Player is rainproof, dust proof and shock proof. Once a smartphone or MP3 player is safely stowed inside, it will be protected from the elements and accidents.

Geek Facts: The 7.28 inch by 3.74 inch by 1.77 inch Solar Media Player is large enough to hold most smartphones including the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. It features two 3-watt stereo speakers, a built in 2000 mAh power bank and a 5.5V solar panel. When a phone is connected to the Solar Media Player it can draw power from the power bank, or the solar panel can charge both the phone and the power bank at the same time. Other features of the Solar Media Player include a battery light indicator and a carabineer that can be used to hang the speaker.

The Solar Media Player has an MSRP of $49.99. For more information visit

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Moms everywhere are planning their family vacations for the year.  Destination Toledo and Ohio State Parks are here to help mom out by providing a slew of great ideas for a family getaway to Northwest Ohio!

Start your journey at the Toledo Zoo (KIDS LOVE OHIO pg 217), one of the nation’s top-ranked zoos and the number one attraction in Toledo!  Immerse yourself in the heart of Africa on the Safari Railway through a 5-acre African habitat teeming with giraffes, zebra and all the wilds of Africa.  Grab lunch at the Carnivore Café before enjoying your whirlwind trip through the Arctic Encounter, Hippoquarium, Nature’s Neighborhood, Museum of Science and Aquarium…your journey is endless! The new aquarium was funded by locals, so it’s their pride and joy. I particularly loved that the zoo keeps many old structures and recycles them. For instance, the old lion and tiger cages are now the Carnivore Café – indoor seating in actual barred cages!


Take a break and relax with a view of the beautiful downtown Toledo skyline at one of several restaurants located at the Docks (22 Main Street, Enjoy the picturesque riverfront on the outdoor patio of Real Seafood for an afternoon nibble and a cold drink. They bring in fresh seafood from the Atlantic, Pacific and Great Lakes. Many rave about their crab cakes. I liked their selection of locally caught Perch or Walleye. Lunch runs $10-$13. Dinner runs about double. Entrees include two sides. I recommend you try their blue cheese vinaigrette coleslaw with any fish entrée. All kids meals include a beverage and the entrees (shrimp, burger, tenders, spaghetti, etc) run $5.95. On a nice day, try to get a patio seat. Really good view.

Get ready for some fun in the sun!  Head out to the 1,850-acre Maumee Bay State Park (KIDS LOVE OHIO pg 220) and play on the beach on the shores of Lake Erie. Rent a jet ski, kayak or a banana boat and venture out on the water.  Take a nature walk on the marshland boardwalk teeming with wildlife, or bike along one of the winding trails with stunning views. Options include the Nature Center, geocaching, court sports, horseshoes, children’s activities, swimming (inside or out), hot tubs, children’s soft play area, fitness room, game room, corn-hole, shuffleboard, fishing, canoeing and paddle boating. And dad will love the 18-hole Scottish Links golf course!

OSPL_MB Kids fishing on lakewall 1

The fishing pier is tiered steps leading right into the water. Once you’re down in there, you escape the resort view and feel like you’re at a favorite fishing hole!

maumee bay indoor pool

Indoor waterplay space

OSPL_MB Kids soft play area 2

Soft play area

OSPL_MB Kids at nature center 6

Nature Center is very hands-on.

OSPL_MB Kids in indoor splash area 3

Indoor splash pad area.

OSPL_MB Girl in outdoor pool

OSPL_MB Kids playing in sand 1

A nice beach for swim and play.

OSPL_MB Kids in game room

After an afternoon of sun and fun, it’s time to check in at the Maumee Bay Lodge & Conference Center. Whether you opt for one of the fully-furnished cozy cottages, or select a loft-style room at the lodge, your stay is sure to be a delight. Simple furnishings for old-fashioned fun.

No need to leave the park for dinner!  Water’s Edge Restaurant encompasses a breathtaking glass wrap-around view of Lake Erie with a variety of choices to suit every appetite. This is not your typical state park dining. The chef uses mostly local ingredients and prepares gourmet entrees that have appealing subtle look and flavor. If you’re there for brunch, it’s so diverse. Come hungry. After dinner, hang out at either the outdoor or indoor pool, or soak in the warmth of the relaxing whirlpool or sauna. Then, watch a feature movie inside or a bonfire and roast s’mores outside.

OSPL_MB Kids at ice cream shop 1

The ice cream shop was hopping! Veryyyy large portions!

OSPL_MB Group making smores

A bonfire and smores – at dusk. Perfect ending to the day!


Well mom, what did you think?  We hope you enjoy your family getaway to Toledo and Northwest Ohio!  For more ideas for your next adventure, visit or

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Moms everywhere are planning their family vacations for the year.  Destination Toledo and Ohio State Parks are here to help mom out by providing a slew of great ideas for a family getaway to Northwest Ohio!


First stop on our Playtime tour is an art museum? The contemporary art show Play Time (Toledo Museum of Art, KIDS LOVE OHIO pg 219, FREE admission) poses a serious question about a seemingly unserious topic: Is play—the spontaneous, unstructured time found to foster creativity and problem-solving skills—strictly for kids?

“As we grow up we tend to trivialize play and relegate it to childhood, but it’s an important element of life that we wanted to explore in this exhibition,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, the Museum’s Mellon fellow and associate curator of contemporary art. “This show is not only about play in the traditional sense, but also the idea of being in the moment, of inspiring wonder, of invoking your natural curiosity.”

And we were in the moment…giggles, smiles, and awe…as we interacted with art instead of just looking at it.

IMG_20150607_135959IMG_20150607_132140 IMG_20150607_133816 IMG_20150607_134533 IMG_20150607_134540

And the rest of the museum isn’t too shabby either. Probably my favorite space is the Glass Pavilion. The Glass Pavilion is—in itself—a work of art. All exterior and nearly all interior walls consist of large panels of curved glass, resulting in a transparent structure that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces. You are greeted by a clear glass “fish-looking” Chihuly sculpture and then drawn in further by the live glass-blowing artists at work.


Toledo’s newest attraction, the National Museum of the Great Lakes (KIDS LOVE OHIO pg 216), reveals the haunting and fascinating history of our treasured Great Lakes that happen to make up 84 percent of the fresh surface water in North America.
The main emphasis is on the new museum at the Toledo Maritime Center with a complete experience for visitors of all ages to include: original artifacts (some from horrific shipwrecks like the Edmund Fitzgerald); over 40 hands-on exhibits (for example: direct your own submersible through the wreckage of a lost freighter or keep your own ship afloat by operating a real bilge pump); the real life-size S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship sits outside the museum for touring; and for waterside wonderers – A beautifully landscaped 3.5 acre maritime-themed park.

great lakes museum

Ever felt the whipping winds of a hurricane? Step inside the hurricane chamber at the brand new Imagination Station (KIDS LOVE OHIO pg 215) and your answer can be ‘Yes’.  This brand new attraction promises to engage visitors of every age in a multi-sensory experience that’s as fun as it is educational.  Defy gravity as you ride the High Wire Cycle, or bounce on the BOYO, a human YoYo. We especially liked the science experiments where it was “old-school” science museum – kids and parents helped make the tests work! I even beat my athlete son at the Pendulum Pull. Brains over Brawn…


Batter up!  Family fun is waiting for you as the Toledo Mud Hens (KIDS LOVE OHIO pg 217) play ball at Fifth Third Field!  Grab some popcorn, cotton candy and a cold drink and settle in to this unique ballpark situated in the historic downtown landscape of the Warehouse District.  We love and support AAA ball…it’s so fan friendly for the price. Not only do you get to see MLB up n comers but it’s likely you’ll see major league stars playing off the dust during rehab. We liked the way this park was setup too. Any seat ticket holder can enter the Club Level Lounge to cool off, catch some stats from other games being played, or grab some upscale food that’s fairly priced.

Well mom, what did you think?  We hope you enjoy your family getaway to Toledo and Northwest Ohio!  For more ideas for your next adventure, visit or

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Teens Do Country in Nashville

In Nashville, it is truly all about the music. Music is woven into every corner downtown.

So we ventured around town with our teens for a day or two trying to catch that country vibe best…(and stayed within 4 blocks on/near Broadway)

Country Music Hall of Fame (PG 32, KIDS LOVE TENNESSEE, 232 Fifth Avenue South, has a lot more interactive areas than we remember from previous visits. Now kids and teens can really engage their talents with inspiring creative activities and scavenger hunts…

cmhof giant guitar

cmhof interactive station

Expansion: The new Taylor Swift Education Center is a “learning lab” as well as a children’s exhibit gallery…perfect for the younger set.

cmhof youth center

Johnny Cash Museum – 119 Third Avenue South. The museum is dedicated to “The Man in Black”, which, btw, is a super cool legend to teens. Lots of interesting never before seen letters, costumes and instruments reside in themed displays while Johnny’s music plays in the background.

GooGoo Shop – It’s a Honky Tonk for your taste buds! (across street from Johnny Cash Museum).  116 Third Avenue South. Invented in 1912 in a copper kettle right here in Nashville, the GooGoo Cluster is the world’s first combination candy bar. The Goo Goo Shop is more than a shop. It’s also a museum, a candy kitchen and a piece of Nashville history. Open daily.

Honky Tonk Highway – Music City’s honky tonks line both sides of Broadway and pump live music into the streets all day, every day. There’s no cover charge but the tip jar gets passed around for those wanting to appreciate the musicians. The music starts at 10am with the party lasting until 3 in the morning. Many clubs require ID after dark so enjoying this “highway” is best with teens to catch lunch or early dinner. Tootsie’s and Tequila Cowboy were our favs!

Wildhorse Saloon – (pg 50, KIDS LOVE TENNESSEE) 120 Second Avenue North This famous hot spot features hot bands, good food, fun drinks and line dancing fun! Our baseball team of teens joined us for dinner and dancing and…though reluctant at first, they loved it! (probably didn’t hurt there were pretty country girls in boots smiling at them from the dance floor)

wildhorse saloon 2

Wildhorse is one of few venues playing live music evenings that is family friendly.       (youth are allowed entrance evenings accompanied by an adult)                                        The parents tagging along had as much fun watching our kids as we did learning a new dance step or two…

wildhorse saloon

Clarion Hotel Nashville Downtown – 211 North 1st Street. The biggest draw to this lodging – the free downtown shuttle service and the fair price – about $120/night. Other perks: free deluxe hot breakfast buffet, mini fridge & micro in room, indoor pool & fitness center, lobby bistro & bar, nice renovated rooms. The staff were very welcoming and helpful as we tried to navigate the shuttle and all we wanted to do while downtown.

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