Traveling to Asheville, NC

Don’t get me wrong…I love the beach. But when the Florida heat gets to be too much, it’s time to head to higher ground and cooler temperatures.  My oldest daughter went to camp in North Carolina this summer, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to spend some time in Asheville after picking her up.  Although still warm in the summer, the higher elevation brings cooler nights and mornings, and much less humidity.

Asheville is located in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, and of course, the Biltmore Estate.  We knew this was where we wanted to spend most of our time, so we booked a hotel right in the heart of the Biltmore property at the Village Hotel.  Located in Antler Hill Village, we walked right out the hotel door to find the Biltmore winery, restaurants, historic barn, ice cream shop, live music, and beautiful views.  You could easily spend the day just in the village – my girls loved visiting the farmyard animals, enjoying root beer floats on the village green, exploring the old barn on the property, and sampling “real” homemade grape juice while the adults took advantage of the complimentary wine tasting at the winery.

No visit to Asheville is complete without a tour of the magnificent Biltmore House.  The home was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in 1895 and is the largest privately owned home in the country.  To say it is huge is an understatement!  As a huge Downton Abbey fan, I found the tour to be fascinating.  I was also surprised at how much my kids loved it as well.  We opted to purchase the audio tour device (there was a special audio tour just for kids) and I would definitely recommend it when touring the home.  After the tour, we had a delicious lunch at the estate’s Stable Cafe, where guests of the Vanderbilt’s kept their horses while visiting over 100 years ago.

The Biltmore Estate is a sprawling  8,000 acres and there are so many activities on the property – from Segway tours to horseback riding, biking to fly fishing – visitors could easily spend a week there and still not see and do everything the estate has to offer.  Christmas time is especially popular when the home is decorated with lights and more than 70 Christmas trees!

For more information on visiting the Biltmore Estate, check out www.biltmore.com.

Heather Little

My name is Heather Little and my husband and I have two sweet girls and one crazy dog. We moved to Florida 6 years ago and have loved every minute of it! I enjoy crafting, good food, shopping, and of course travel!

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@Motorishy Backseat Organizer

If you’re like me and traveling in the car with the kids this summer, or even just driving to school or practice, it seems like the backseat becomes a mess before you’ve left the neighborhood! 
Check out this backseat organizer from Amazon now with 25% discount and save your sanity! Eight different size pockets mean just the right place for everything and it easily straps to the back of a seat for easy access. 
For more info click here: http://amzn.to/2t1kqfr

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Traveling Made Easy with Florious Packing Cubes and Neck Stash Review and Giveaway

My family does a lot of traveling to area destinations during the year. Mostly theme park type destinations with 1-3 night hotel stays per trip…this means lots of dirty laundry afterwards for a family of 4! I always think to myself, there has to be a better way then to just throw all the dirty and clean laundry mixed in the suitcases together.

I was contacted by a company called FloriousFlorious has recycled unique products that are perfect for traveling. They offer a 4 piece packing cube/laundry bag set and a neck stash.

 

Florious is not your typical brand

  • Our products are unique. As travellers ourselves, we designed them for the strenuous demands of life on the road to meet our high expectations.

  • We’re proud to introduce our first two products – a 4 piece packing cube shoe/laundry bag set and a neck stash for securing all your valuables within easy reach.

  • We use material made from recycled pop bottles, which dramatically reduces the energy required to make our products and reduces landfill.

  • We invest in organizations that embody our values of community, service and adventure.

 

 4 piece packing cube shoe/Laundry bag set:

Why Do Travellers Adore These Packing Cubes?

You get 3 sizes to meet your packing needs. There are so many ways to use packing cubes, here is one popular solution:

* Large (17.5″ x 12.75″ x 3.25″) for sweaters, pants and other large items
* Medium (13.75″ x 9.75″ x 3″) for shirts
* Small (11″ x 6.75″ x 3″) for socks, underwear, accessories

Tired of finding creative ways to separate out your clean from dirty? Our laundry bag will hold everything you put in your packing cubes. Nice!

Good for You, Good for the Environment

Florious is the ONLY planet friendly choice on Amazon. Made from recycled pop bottles! Buy Florious to reduce landfill and waste. Help keep our planet beautiful!

Each product purchase directly supports a small family run business and their adventures travelling the world, giving their kids an incredible learning experience. You will also support small, underfunded organizations caring for the planet.

This is a limited edition run of our breakthrough Florious Travel Packing Cubes + Laundry Bag and supplies will run out. Grab yours today from Amazon exclusively. Makes a fabulous gift for friends and family who travel anywhere.

 

These packing cubes are perfect for your suitcase! I love how they come in 3 different sizes. I can use the large one for my pants and jackets, the medium one for my shirts and the small one for my socks and underwear. I am very impressed with the material, it is very strong and durable. Part of the front is mesh so you can see what is stored in the cubes. The laundry bag is perfect for carrying our dirty laundry to the laundry room in the hotels we stay at. I just bring the cubes with me along with my dirty clothes in the laundry back and I am all set. I can sort and fold the clothes, and put them right in the cubes and carry back to my room. So easy! The price for his is $24.97.

 

Neck Stash:

Introducing the most advanced stash pouch on Amazon.

Your search for “the ONE” perfect solution for your valuables is finally over! As avid travellers we searched everywhere but couldn’t find what we wanted, so we designed our own. This one delivers you peace of mind and stress-free travel. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Why Do Travellers Adore This Stash Pouch?

Take a look at the thought we put into each one:

* A place for all your valuables – 6 pockets in all! Most of any pouch, sized for large to small items, from passports and phones to coins and cards.

* Made from recycled pop bottles! You get premium quality ripstop recycled nylon, dependable zippers and durable velcro while reducing landfill and waste from production

* Easily adjustable neck strap for tall and short persons and anyone in between. Wear comfortably on the chest or position diagonally under the armpit for extra protection

* Each product purchase directly supports a small family run business while traveling the world, as well as small, underfunded organizations caring for the planet.

This Neck Stash has made my visits to theme parks more easily managed with my money/license/tickets/cell phone. Usually, I would crumple everything up and put it all in my pockets. This neck stash holds everything perfectly. I absolutely love all of the pockets and compartments this has. It is the perfect size to hold my iPhone 6, money, credit cards, park tickets, lip balm and more. When I travel out of the country, this will be a great passport holder as well. The straps are adjustable so I can wear this as long or as short as I want. I can hide it under my clothes or wear it on top of them. It is light weight and not heavy or bulky. The price for this is $14.97.

These products are perfect for traveling. I love how they are made from recycled pop bottles and are highly durable. I feel confident knowing these will last for many travels. Definitely check them out if you are planning a trip soon!

You can purchase both products through Amazon: Neck Stash and Packing Cubes.

Connect with Florious: Instagram  Facebook  Twitter  Youtube

 

****GIVEAWAY****

Would you like to win a set of the packing cubes and the neck stash? One lucky reader will win! U.S. residents only, giveaway ends on 6/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*I received the Neck Stash and 4 piece packing cube set in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own. 

Marijean

My name is Marijean, I live in Sunny FL with my wonderful husband and 2 children. I love Disney, Coffee and Blogging 🙂

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Tips To Keep Kids Entertained and Engaged During A Tour

 

A guided tour is a wonderful source of both entertainment and education. However, a tour may not always be captivating enough for your little one. If you are gearing up for a family tour, make sure you have activities and gadgets that can supplement the fun. Whether it is an art, architecture, restaurant, wildlife, nature or city tour, there are effective ways of keeping your kids entertained and involved. Here are some tips to help you keep your children occupied and engaged during a summer guided tour:

Fun Family Games

When you are on the tour, have some games at the ready. There are classic games that may keep your kids entertained if they are of a younger age, like iSpy or a quantity game where they keep track of specific entities. You can also create a scavenger hunt before you go on your tour, so the experience is one that has an air of competition and mystery. For example, you could create a scavenger hunt for an art museum, where you children must identify different works of art — i.e. paintings by a specific artist, a style of art, a type of sculpture or a piece that’s from a certain time period. This kind of scavenger hunt should be scaffolded, so they are still involved with the tour but also have a side project they can use as additional entertainment. You can also play a quiz game to be administered throughout the tour or at the end of the tour. The quiz can consist of questions related to the tour, which will help fuel your children’s motivation to engage in the content of the tour. Make sure you provide a worthy incentive — a coveted prize — if they perform well on the quizzes.

Essential Gadgets

Your digital natives will crave technological stimulation while they are on the tour. Luckily, there are ways you can integrate tech devices into the experience. Ask the tour company that is guiding your experience if they have any devices your child can use during the tour. Museums and city tours will often have tour guide headsets that let your children explore in-depth information about what they’re seeing. This kind of gadget is perfect for children who have a natural curiosity and are active learners. However, if your children aren’t stimulated by straight-forward knowledge and require a more creative outlet, you can provide them with a tablet where they can create a visual depiction of what they are seeing. Tablet art and drawing programs make it easy for your child to draw their own art in response to the content of the tour.You can also provide them with a smartphone for looking up relevant facts and streaming videos. Avoid having to worry about data overages and bring a phone featuring a 4G LTE network.

Designated Photographer

Have your child act as the official photographer of the tour. You want a documented account of the experience, and this is a great way you can preserve your memories, as well as involve your child. A smartphone camera is probably the most age-appropriate option as it is a user-friendly device with an easy-to-access camera. Lend your kids a durable smartphone that can capture quality photos and video. Provide your child with some direction of the kind of photos they should aim for, so their photos are tour-focused. You could brainstorm this list with your child before you embark on the tour, involving them in the planning process. You could also map out video plot frames, representative of events that will likely occur on the tour. They can then record the tour with intention, so they may later edit the video and present it to the entire family.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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How to Keep Your Dog Healthy While Traveling

Whether you are travelling with your dog for a weekend getaway, camping, or for moving to a new part of the world, ensuring his health as a responsible pet owner becomes extremely important. If you happen to be traveling with your dog for the first time, you might want to check with your vet and properly discuss your plans with him briefly. He will surely be able to prescribe you with medications for common problems, like anxiety and motion sickness.

Apart from that, you will need to take care of your canine friend on your own so she can also have a healthy and happy trip. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

Foods

When travelling with your dog, don’t just stuff him with easy-to-obtain and inexpensive foods as they can mess up his health. Instead, opt for more natural options like cranberries and blueberries, as they are full of antioxidants and fiber. A couple of fresh, frozen, or dried cans of berries can be a healthy treat and it has long been believed that cranberries can help with the health of urinary tract.

Apple cider vinegar is also a great option for balancing PH levels and helps the digestive tract. One teaspoon is sufficient for most dogs. Lastly, pumpkin also makes a great travelling food for your dog as it is high in fiber, minerals and antioxidants. It relaxes an upset stomach, softens hard stool and hardens loose stools.

Additives

Probiotics can be useful during stressful times as they keep the intestinal flora healthy and balanced. Another great additive is spirulina, which has been known to strengthen the immune system, and is full of protein and micronutrients. Add this health supplement to your dog’s diet while on the road and even at home.

Bring the Essentials

It is important to keep your dog calm during the travel or he might be stressed out, creating trouble for everyone. You can do this by ensuring all his favorite things are in place with him, such as his blankie or his favorite stuffed toy, chew bones or any other item that your dog loves and derive comfort from.

If you dog is an emotional support animal, make sure to bring the proper legal documentation along so you dog is able to travel with you on the airplane, stay with you in your hotel, and keep you company on  any form of public transportation.

Anti-Allergy Medications

Travel situations can prove unhealthy for your dog, as they are full of pet allergens including foods, like milk and corn, airborne particles like dust, mold spores and pollen, and chemicals like detergents. It is important that you limit your dog’s exposure as much, also carry anti-allergic medications, and other preventative measures like tick brush.

Be Vigilant

Wherever you keep your dog, make sure there aren’t any loose collars, leashes and other similar items around as they can result in a choking hazard and prove to be extremely dangerous. Another important thing to be smart about is the amount of time you leave your dog alone. Whether you are in a plane or a car, don’t leave your dog alone for more than 15 minutes or your dog might freak out due to separation anxiety.

Don’t Be Dramatic

If you are travelling in an airplane and dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t make a big deal out of it by creating a dramatic goodbye scene. Avoid using sentences like “Mommy will be back soon!” as this will only make your dog more aware of the temporary farewell and upset him.

Travelling with your dog can be an entertaining experience for both the pet and the owner. Just be sure that you are prepared in all the right ways and smart about your decisions.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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