Do your kids love to have a lemonade stand? Mine do. And while we usually have them to teach the kids about earning money and get a very elementary look at running a business, this time we did it a little bit differently. We partnered with French Bull for Cheeky Home to share ideas on how you can hold your own lemonade stand and make a difference in someone’s life.
Beach days are the perfect summer activity. There is always so much action and joy found at the beach. I thought it would be the perfect spot to try out my new camera. I was totally right. You guys! This camera is amazing and every mom should have one! Read on to find out about this rad new 4K technology which means you’ll never miss THE shot!
I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Panasonic. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
I just got a new camera, the Panasonic LUMIX G7. Although I have a large DSLR camera that I shoot all of my blog posts with, I’ve been looking for a lightweight camera to take with me when I travel, attend blog events and when I take my kids out on fun adventures. I was super intrigued by the G7 because it has something called 4K technology. I’m not techy and don’t keep up on advancements in digital video. But this sounded super cool. This is one of the only cameras to have this which means it is on the forefront of modern photography. That’s a really cool thing. The G7 takes short 4K ultra HD videos where you can go back, after the fact, and pull the perfect “moment” from it. By “moment” I mean, 8-megapixel still image. SO COOL! I brought the G7 along with us when we headed to Laguna Beach a few weeks ago. Because the camera was new, I played around a little bit in regular mode. I love this shot. But I probably could have had a better shot had it been in 4K mode. Moms need the 4K option for shooting all their summer fun. Kids rarely sit still and this lets you stress less about getting the perfect shot. This camera would be perfect for sports photos! Aside from the 4K technology this camera is super awesome. It’s compact, lightweight and takes really great pictures! The lens is mirrorless which gives you great quality without the bulk of a standard DSLR. There are several lenses and accessories available for this camera making it customizable to your photography needs. And I’m in love with the touch screen! Being able to touch the screen makes setting the modes super easy but I also love it for selecting the focus area.
The focusing is super fast and the camera seems really smart with its automatic features, like auto tracking and switching between using the camera screen and eye piece. The camera can be used in a fully automatic way or fully manual. And with built-in wifi, it makes it super easy to share these images on social media. The camera works along with the Panasonic Image App for easy viewing of images, social sharing and even remote shutter access (it’s like a remote control!).This is a more close up view of the image directly above. I mean, look at that face! So much emotion. You can’t always catch that with a regular camera. I was able to go through the 4K video footage to get this shot where it looks like he is floating! So fun! I don’t want people to be intimidated by the 4K technology. I have to be honest, it took me a minute to figure it out and get used to how it works. It wasn’t until I got home and was able to review the 4K footage and pull some still shots, that I got just how awesome this is. Before I tried out the 4K settings I shot in regular burst mode.
Burst mode is the closest thing to 4K videos for most cameras. You get a bunch of frames to choose from and you can often find a pretty good shot, like the one above. But this shot is one of my favorites. And it came from 4K footage. Look at that eye contact, look at that joy!
Thank you for supporting the brands, like Panasonic, that let me do what I love like take pictures of my kids!
We are currently on summer vacation with these crazy kids. My parents and sister and her kids have all met up in the mountains to hang out for the week. Of course we have taken tons of photos but then we found an even better way to capture all the adventures for the week. We made a movie!
*This post is in partnership with Netflix. As a #StreamTeam member I share cool posts with you every month based on new shows or themes. This month we’re excited about the new Netflix series Dragons: Race to the Edge based on the How to Train Your Dragon movies. Netflix sent over a fun viewing kit that we took along with us on our vacation.
The first day here, my oldest son asked me to help him make a movie. We used iMovie (the coolest app, $5) on my husband’s phone and it couldn’t have been easier. The movie (well, really a movie trailer – but you can totally make a full movie if you have the time and energy) included his cousins and was about superheroes. And then I realized that we could include our beautiful surroundings, family and our new fun Dragons toys to create a vacation keepsake that will have us smiling long after we return home. And now, for your viewing pleasure…
Looking for some adventure closer to home? Check out Dragons: Race to the Edge! And don’t miss other Netflix favorites, How to Train Your Dragon 2, National Treasure, Planet Earth, and new episodes of Marvel’s Hulk and Agents of S.M.A.S.H. season 2 (starting 7/28) and Turbo FAST (starting 7/31) begin soon!
Thank you for supporting brands, like Netflix, that allow me to share fun family activities with you! This is not sponsored in any way by iMovie, we are an Apple family that thinks you’ll love this app too!
Who wants to win a ‘daycation’ to this gorgeous Laguna Beach location? The answer is ALL OF YOU! Click through to enter the contest to win your own day use of one of the private beach bungalows at The Pacific Edge Hotel in Laguna Beach! And be warned, you are going to super jealous of the fun family beach day I had there last week!
This rad view is what you will see off your private patio in front of your private bungalow. What is a bungalow exactly? It’s like your own private living room only a few feet from the ocean!The Pacific Edge Hotel (a Joie de Vivre Hotel – the same cool peeps that own the Saguaros in Palm Springs and Scottsdale!) is located about half a mile from Main Beach in Laguna Beach. Their hotel rooms have recently undergone a refresh but what I’m super excited about, especially for you locals, is their private bungalows! The hotel has 5 bungalows, each designed by a local company that you can rent for day use. Arrive right at 11 am to make sure you get the most out of your beach day. And since you don’t have to “check out” until 8 pm, you will really get to take advantage of your ocean view. The hotel recently invited a few of us bloggers, and our kids, to come spend a few hours at the beach to check out the bungalows. Every single detail is thought of. From the crazy cool designs in each room, to the attendants that make sure you are well taken care of. This is THE way to do the beach. And you can enter the hotel’s giveaway for a ‘daycation’ below!Local jewelry designer, Gorjana Griffin, recently did a refresh on their bungalow and it is absolutely stunning! Everything in the room was coastal inspired with all these great layered textures and the prettiest color palette. The rooms seriously look like they are straight out of a home design magazine. The rooms are not huge, but have seating for at least 7 people plus you have a private patio right outside the door with deck furniture. The rooms are super comfortable and I have no idea how they keep everything looking so nice considering these are being used by people getting wet and sandy on the beach below. (You can see a better view of this full room in Mary’s instagram post – bottom right corner).Each room has air conditioning and a flat screen TV making this a great spot for the kids (or you) to take a break from the sun (although I didn’t check to see if they get Bravo…).The rooms also feature a kitchen area with fridge stocked with beverages to keep you hydrated. No outside food is allowed, but The Deck on Laguna Beach (one of two restaurants that are part of the hotel) can take care all of your food and beverage needs. This bungalow is designed by the Sailor Jerry Rum company. Notice that the colors are a bit darker and more masculine and a totally different vibe than the one I previously shared with you above. How relaxing does this look!!!! Hotel staff says that people rent these bungalows for a fantastic family beach day but also for bridal showers, or sometimes even to watch Sunday Football! I might even watch football if I got to watch it in one of these. The other three bungalows are designed by Fox, Billabong and XS. The Sailor Jerry room also has this cool vintage pinball machine that the kids couldn’t get enough of.And each room comes with a legit bathroom. This is strictly for use by those people in your bungalow with you. Which means this isn’t your typical beach bathroom. Like a normal hotel room, shampoo, conditioner and soap is provided. How awesome that you can take a quick shower to clean up before dinner if you want! My kids rinsed off in here after getting super sandy at the beach which meant I didn’t have to return home with half the beach in my car. Once you arrive at your bungalow, you don’t need to go anywhere, for anything. You will have a server to help you with all your food and beverage ordering. The food from The Deck on Laguna Beach was SO delicious! This is certainly not how I usually eat while at the beach. But guess what, now that I know it’s available, I think I only want to do the beach this way…Because cocktails. Alcohol is not allowed on the sand (although you can get food and regular beverages delivered right to your lounge chair), but you can enjoy one of the Deck’s specialty cocktails in your bungalow or on your patio. I mean, that view totally doesn’t suck. The drink didn’t either.There are lunch options to please everyone including the kids. This caprese was fresh and perfect for a beach side lunch. The burger looked crazy good and that mac and cheese was good enough for me to steal from my son. Did I mention dessert? Along with the plated dessert options available on the menu, they also have ice cream bars for the kids. The kids definitely enjoyed the cold treat on a this hot day! Getting to have an attendant set out a beach lounger for you is such a luxury. And look how close you are to the water. This is the perfect situation for sitting and relaxing while still being able to keep your eye on your kids playing in the water.
It’s the best of everything. You get waited on and your kids get to get crazy in the water. This beach is private for the hotel so although there are people walking past, the area in front of the hotel is not that crowded. I have to be honest. I have never really taken my kids to the beach. And we live 20 minutes away. There is so much to schlep. With my skin cancer issues I shouldn’t be in the sun and I don’t understand how to lug and use a beach umbrella. You have to take lunch and snacks and drinks. And you are usually parking a long way from where you will end up. But THIS makes perfect sense to me. While we can’t afford to do this all the time, it certainly makes the idea of the beach possible for me. Seeing how happy my kids were playing in the water confirmed that we need to visit the beach more. And seeing as I got married in Laguna Beach, this is and always has been our favorite beach. But then this makes me think otherwise…We had such an amazing time getting to check out the bungalows at The Pacific Edge Hotel. Thank you to the hotel and staff who treated us like VIPs all day long as we enjoyed the surf and sand. Check out the hashtag #pacificedgelaguna on social media to see more pics from our fun day!
Now let’s talk pricing really quickly. The rates for these bungalows change based on the time of year and the day of the week. At the moment (July, 2015) rates start at $250 for weekdays and can be about $500 for weekends. Remember you can fit about 10-12 people per bungalow so you could easily split this cost among families or girlfriends. This price does NOT include food (again, minimums depend on several factors), gratuities or parking (over 1 car per bungalow). It’s best to check with the hotel for exact pricing and availability I just wanted you to know going in what the costs are so you can plan accordingly. I’m in the process of planning a girl’s day out here and the cost is totally worth it (as long as no one flakes out and I’m stuck with the remainder of the bill…)Don’t you want to spend a beach day in one of the bungalows? Enter the contest via the hotel’s rafflecopter widget below! And if you win, you have to invite me…ok, you don’t but it would be way cooler if you did.
*I was invited to spend a day at the bungalows to review them. All opinions are my own. Also, this contest is only sponsored by Pacific Edge Hotel. Head to this page to read all the rules and exact prize.
And are you as obsessed with Snapchat as I am? Here is my Snapchat Story straight from the beach! Bear with me, I’m new to Snapchat, youtube, videos etc. Not sure why there is a big black hole in there. Or why my voice sounds like I was on helium…
Please tell me I’m not the only one who wants to cry when I have to take my kids on errands with me? I usually try to get all the hard ones done while they are at school. But it’s summer which means they will be with me all day e’ry day. My kids aren’t bad. They actually play together better, when we are doing errands, than when we are at home. The trouble is they amp each other up and get CRAZY. Their playful tickles turn in to full on wrestling on the post office floor. They make up crazy songs and block the aisles at the grocery store. It makes me sweaty. So I really tried to think of a way to keep them entertained on our errands to make it easier on me (I HATE hearing myself holler at them the whole time and I’m sure everyone else does too) and make sure they are out of other people’s way. So I came up with these ‘Do me a Favor’ bags. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree with these two and they love sweets. I know that if I keep a snack with me, ready to whip out at the height of their craziness, I’ve bought myself at least 2 minutes while they enjoy their surprise. I’m super excited about these OREO 2-packs. They are the perfect sized snack, easy to keep in my purse. This size is perfect to keep at the ready in the snack cupboard so I can just grab a multipack for whoever is going with me. And you know I always put a pack in for me. Because, OREOs. Duh. These 2-pack multipacks are sold in a box of 18 and can be found at your local grocery store. They also come in Nutter Butter! When I was thinking about how to keep the kids entertained, my head kept going back to favor bags that kids usually get as they leave a party. No matter how much candy, sugar or cake they’ve had, there is always a few minutes of quiet in the car on the way home as they carefully sort through their loot. So I am calling these ‘Do me a Favor’ bags because really I’m just hoping they will do me a favor and be cool while we are on our errands. Are these perfect? No. Sometimes it takes more than a bag of tricks to keep the kids from behaving like wild animals. But they are helpful and will work more often than not. The bags contents should be different every time. I always try to keep the kids wondering and excited about what they might find in their bag. I try to include some blank paper and markers in case we have to be in one place for a while like the DMV. They can draw, play hangman, write letters, whatever they want. It’s super versatile. I give the kids different colors so they can swap. Stick on eyebrows are a must. They can double as a mustache and are always good for a laugh. And you always want to try to make the other grocery shoppers laugh since a few aisles from now, the boys are probably going to be in their way.This May, OREO launched a new 2-pack size which are super convenient as a grab-and-go snack for busy schedules. These OREO multipacks fit perfectly in to your purse, jacket pocket and oven overnight bags headed to grandma’s house. They are fantastic for when the kids start complaining that they haven’t eaten in hours. I’ve tried to explain to them that it is ok to be hungry but they just aren’t buying it. And I always try to include something that they aren’t familiar with or will give me something to chat about with them. Take this California Raisin figurine. The boys had no idea who the California Raisins were but, boy, did I get to share with them how obsessed I was with them when I was little. Hence the Christmas themed figurine which mom my practically forced on me when I moved in to my first apartment and could remove it from her holiday decorating treasures. I was able to distract the boys by telling them all about how these super cool Raisins sang Motown with choreographed dance routines. And how I had a huge clock on my bedroom wall that looked like a watch that had the Raisins on them…Nerd alert. In the other child’s bag, I put a small hand buzzer from a prank kit. I know that seems counter intuitive when trying to get through errands calmly but if I can direct their attention to each other and away from the breakables, it’s less stress. These ‘Do Me a Favor’ bags are super easy to grab and easy for the kids to keep their treasures in. You can even keep a few of them already made so they are there when you need them. These would also work in a pinch if you have a playdate over, or are trying to entertain a little guest that has dropped by. How do you manage to get through your errands? All I know is that OREOS make everything better, including errands!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
School ends this week and then we can start thinking of and planning for all the fun trips we get to take this summer! In the past, we haven’t really scheduled vacations but just kind of took small trips throughout the summer. This year, we have several getaways on the books and so I’m already thinking about how to best plan for those trips. There is some menu planning to be done, swimsuits to buy and of course some new summer clothes to be shopped for. We try to take a family trip to Palm Springs every year. The kids love spending long, hot days in the pool and my hubby and I love watching them explore and indulge in Icees and new activities. I’m beyond excited that this year I get to introduce my kids to a place that my dad vacationed as a child and where my family went I was a little girl. June Lake is in the Sierra Nevada mountains and it is beautiful, quiet and so different from where we live. My parents recently started going back to this well-loved vacation spot and decided that we should all go this summer! My boys are going to love it. They get to go fishing for the first time, ride in a boats, go on gorgeous hikes and swim in the lake. And I’ll get to show my husband the tiny town area, and take him on a date to the only bar in town. So many fun memories from this lake. The days are warm and the nights are cool, which means lots of clothes to pack. A fair amount of purchasing will be done prior to our departure. Since we will be staying here a week, we will need to stock up on groceries, things to keep the kids busy and wine. Always wine. And the low sides of these boats are already giving me a little bit of anxiety as I think about my kids standing up and leaning…And then there’s the bears…I’m not really sure why they call it a family “vacation.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m traveling with my kids there isn’t all that much relaxing going on. Of course I still have a ton of fun, but it’s totally different from when you go away without your kids. But I just found out about the Discover It Miles card. YOU GUYS! It’s genius. When you make purchases with this card, you earn 1.5x miles! So you can buy all the supplies and items you need for your family vacation all while earning miles that you can use on an actual vacation! And those miles never expire! So when I buy a new summer hat and bikini, I’m earning a vacation! When I buy a fishing license for my kids, I’m earning more travel! When I buy Dramamine for the car sickness we’ll experience on the way to June Lake, that is going towards a mom time out moment. My favorite vacation, so far, was the 10 year anniversary trip my husband and I took to Cabo a few years ago. It was all tropical drinks and lounging around. With the miles that we earn from using the Discover It Miles card, we could fly any airline, any time to get to another amazing beachy location (just buy a ticket and use miles to credit your statement). And there is no annual fee so this just seems like a win, win to me. There are no foreign transaction fees when using the card and there is a $0 fraud liability guarantee where you are never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card! It’s totally stress free travel. AND they credit you up to $30 each year to be used in in-flight WIFI purchases. Awesome. Maybe it’s just me, but I really feel like for every family “vacation” you take, you should earn a kid-free vacation. Kids don’t let you get massaged on the beach. Or they might, but since the hut has no walls they are totally going to ask you for ANOTHER virgin pina colada during your massage. Of course you can use the miles you earn to go visit family in other parts of the country, but they don’t always have hammocks. The good thing is that you get to decide how to where the miles take you. So remember that next time you are grocery shopping. If you put it on your Discover It Miles card, you are that much closer to a trip! Don’t get me wrong, I think summer travel should be a mix of family memories and extreme relaxing. And Discover can help you get to wherever it is you want to go with whoever you want to be there with!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.