Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, Texas

Tyler Rose Garden, Tyler, TX

What: Tyler Rose Garden

Where: 420 Rose Park Drive
Tyler, TX 75702

How Much: Free! My favorite! (Small admission to the Rose Garden Museum–to be featured in another post)

I have always been a roses girl! They are my favorite gift and I adore all varieties from long stemmed beauties to sweet smelling wild roses! We had a huge yellow rose bush along side of my house growing up–somehow it thrived even in Wyoming, perhaps that’s where my love of roses began! You’ve already seen in The Azalea Trail that Tyler is famous for it’s flowers, but did you know it’s most famous for it’s roses?!

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Caldwell Zoo Tyler, TX

Caldwell Zoo Tyler, Texas

What: Caldwell Zoo

Where: Tyler, TX

How Much:
Children 2 years and younger Free
Children 3 to 12 $7.00
Adults 13 to 54 $10.50
Seniors 55 and over $9.25

Out of all the cool things to do in our “new hometown” one of my favorites has to be the Caldwell Zoo! I remember the first time we visited in 2011 being so impressed that a smaller city would have such an adorable and well kept zoo!

Since then my love has continued to grow–so much so that we had Amber’s Birthday Party there this year and even had everyone pitch in to buy us a Annual Family Pass as her “big” birthday present.

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5 Ways to Keep Kids Healthy and Happy While Traveling *Guest Post*

I’m sure you have fond memories of traveling as a child. Those long road trips to grandma’s house or the family road trip every year were fun times. Now you have kids of your own and you want to make sure that their experience is just as fun. Planning ahead can ensure that everyone has a safe, fun and memorable time.

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5 Ways to Keep Kids Healthy and Happy While Traveling

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LEGO®Kids Fest 2013 Houston, TX

LEGO Kids Fest

What: Lego Kids Fest

Where: Houston, TX (but there will be upcoming stops in  Phoenix, AZ: July 12 – 14Bay Area (CA): Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 Portland, OR: October 11 – 13 New England (CT): Dec. 6 – 8 )

Price: Adult (Ages 18-64) $21
Child (Ages 3-17) $19
Senior (Ages 65+) $19
Children Under 3 FREE (remember to surf around for discounts on blogger sites like the one I gave out in my first Lego Kids Fest post!)

Great for: Kids who love adventures and Lego Bricks; and parents who are very in touch with their inner child and love to play!

Bad for: People who have low tolerance for crowds, thousands of kids, and lots of loud noises

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Things to Do in East Texas – The Azalea Trail, Tyler, TX

The Azalea Trail, Tyler, TX

I’m a huge lover of flowers so when I found out that my new hometown Tyler, TX had an annual celebration all about flowers, The Azalea Trail, of course we had to check it out! It was March 15-April 7th this year. There are all sorts of cool events that go along with it from horse drawn carriages to high tea in the garden events. This year as Azalea Trail novices we missed out on all of that, but did enjoy a lovely time of first visiting the Goodman-LeGrand House and then spent a few hours walking one of the most picturesque parts of the two trails!

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Things to Do in Tyler, Texas – The Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum

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This week I’m continuing my series of Things to Do In East Texas. This week we are staying right in my hometown of Tyler, TX! A few weeks ago at the end of the Azalea Trail (more to come on that next week) we decided  to go see a little of downtown Tyler and our first stop was The Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum. (located at 624 North Broadway)

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Things To Do in East Texas – Mineola Nature Preserve

Things to Do in East TX, Mineola Nature Preserve

So first I have to give a shout out to my amazing Moms Inc. group. I loved my MOPs group in Boston so much that as soon as we got down here I stared hunting for a new group to be a part of. Through the MOPs website I found a group that was formerly a MOPs group but this year went a slightly different direction and became Moms Inc. which combines all the best things from Mops, playdates, and Meetup type groups!

A few weeks ago for our table’s playdate we headed over to the Mineola Nature Preserve just outside of Mineola, TX. We had never been there before and I was so impressed with how awesome it was that I wanted to share it with you–if you’re in the area definitely check it out! All kinds of wonderful outdoor fun and it’s free!

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Ten Tips for Traveling With Toddlers

Ten Tips for Flying With Kids

As you know I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks with my family up in Wyoming. Soon it will be time to head back to Texas, however, and once more I’ll be faced with the daunting task of flying with both a preschooler and a toddler alone! Here are my top ten tips that I used to help the flight down here go smoothly!

1. Bring a small bag of open end play toys (small dolls, animals, match box cars) for imaginative play on the airplane tray

 
2. Bring disinfecting wipes for hands and heavy duty ones for plane trays
 
 
3. Snacks. Lots, and LOTS of snacks (can’t stress this one enough-was seriously a lifesaver!! Little snacks that take awhile to eat are the best!)
 
4. When going from a warm place to.a cold one wear your coats anyways. Saves tons of packing room and makes great kid pillows during the flight
 
5. If you have an early flight have everyone (including mom!!) Wear no wrinkle comfy clothes to bed. Then just get up and go in the morning! (grab a bagel for a no fuss eat in the car meal)
 
 
6. Crocs are the perfect slip on slip off shoes, no fuss shoes for travelling. *However* be sure to note that as of late last year kids under 12 don’t have to take off shoes at security any more-yey!
 
 
7. Thanks to all the checking fees Bigger *is* better! Invest in a huge suitcase and pack all everyone’s clothes in it, just stay under 50lbs!
 
 
8. Roll your clothes instead of folding for extra space!
 
9. Bring a heavy duty stroller for hauling carry ons w/ a Gripster attatched for bigger kids
 

10. Bring the largest carry on you can for you, (remember heavy duty stroller) pack it with 2 or 3 complete changes of clothes for each person and any time sensitive items (like clothes for a wedding) When you get to the gate see if you can check it there instead of having to put it into the overhead bin.

Happy Travels!

Living Across the United States

I feel very fortunate because in the 27 years I’ve been alive I’ve already gotten to visit 45 states and now with our move to Texas I’ve lived in 5 {of the best } of them.  One thing that has struck me in our many cross country adventures is just how beautiful this country is! Every different area has it’s own charms and even the spots that I might not be as crazy about I’ve met people who dearly love! Here is a little about each spot that I’ve lived and what was great about it!

Wyoming ~ of course it’s no small secret that I love my home state. In my heart I will always be a Wyoming Girl even if I never live there again! From the breathtaking Tetons to memorizing Yellowstone to wide and wild Southwest Wyoming there is so much to love about Wyoming! I love the smells, the sites, the wildlife! Nothing gets my temper buttons pushed like hearing someone whine, complain, or belittle Wyoming!

Washington D.C. ~ From the wilds of Wyoming to the political metropolis I had quite the culture shock when I moved to Lorton, Virigina as a 19 year old newlywed. The DC suburbs quickly won a place in my heart, however. I loved the hustle and bustle and being just a short metro ride away from the heart of DC was simply amazing. From Arlington National Cemetery, to the Pentagon, to the White House and monuments there is so much to do, see, and experience-and most of it is free which is just icing on top!

Crystal Coast of North Carolina ~ are you a wee bit jealous of my life yet? Our next move was smack in the middle of vacation and retirement land on the coast of North Carolina. With our condo in Morehead City we were just a quick 5 minute ride to stretches of gorgeous beaches with little crowds and free parking. Though I discovered I’m not as much of a Southern gal there was plenty to love about the beautiful beaches and slower paced life on the beach!

Boston, MA ~ Like many of the places we’ve moved, neither of us had ever been in Massachusetts when we found we would be moving there. Hubby ended up working right in the North End of Boston and with us living in the North Shore it didn’t take long for Boston to take up it’s spot in my heart and put some deep roots in there. The mix of the sky scrapers and historic buildings, the business professionals walking along the cobblestones next to the tourists, the ocean and the trees, the perfect mix off all four seasons exactly when they should be, the friendly people and their wonderful accents–I find very little that I didn’t immediately love about Boston! Of all the places I’ve lived since Wyoming this is the one that has captured me the most and felt the most like home.

Texas ~ Hubbies home state and now my latest! Though I may never be a “southern girl” I could feel the beauty and wonderful set up of North East Texas growing on me when we stayed last year for a month. Tyler is the Rose Capital of the world and I find the size to be “just right” for me-big enough to have an amazing zoo, a fun children’s museum, and great shopping and food-but without the crazy traffic and stacked up apartments we had to deal with in our big city lives. While I miss the snow having the kids run around in shorts in the sprinklers in October is not exactly something to complain about either. Yes–we’ve been beyond blessed in our vacation destination living life–and I’m excited to see where my next 27 years will take me!

Land Central American Dream Land Sweepstakes

LandCentral is running a huge giveaway this month–a piece of property worth $3,000! Be sure to enter the main giveaway and check out their website where you can find land for sale in Texas!

King Richard’s Faire

 For Labor Day we headed down to King Richard’s Faire in Carver, MA. We had never been before, so I was looking forward to it but not sure what quite to expect. It was about an hour and a half drive from where we are in Peabody, but easy enough to get to which is always nice. There are huge fields with plenty of parking (which is free–which is great, especially since little else is!)

It was a little after lunch time when we arrived (Faire house are 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM) so our first stop was for food! No outside food or drink is allowed inside, so we hit up the food ticket booths after withdrawing money from the ATM.

Eating was a great experience as we had live entertainment and music (bagpipes to the feel of Drop Kick Murphy’s)

And we got to eat amongst people in everything from period costumes to shorts like us-which is always fun!

The food itself was indeed tasty, but to the price of $20 for a SINGLE turkey wrap and drink (ouch)–I’d *highly* recommend hitting up the nearby fast food joints or eating a lunch in the parking lot *before* you go in–and save the pricey $$ for the treats that are all around.

There were many pretty girls in corset bound dresses selling every color of rose imaginable. Bob warmed my heart by buying this gorgeous purpley pink rose for me!

Much to our surprise Amber made a friend of the moving goblin gremlin statue variety

It was so much fun taking in the sights and sounds everywhere–like this guy who spent the whole day with his mug on his head!

Amber got to choose one special thing to do that cost money–no surprise that it was the pony ride!!!

Throughout the fair there are 8 different stages–all of which seemed to have a different show going on practically all day long. After the “bad guy” from this show came up and talked to us before he went on stage (he was quite hilarious) we decided to sit down and see how our new friend the evil Duke fared.

As always Tyler was happiest when we let him down out of the stroller and he could dig around in the dirt and find acorns. One important thing to note is that the paths are all dirt–so be smart and wear sensible shoes or you’ll be like me and have aching feet and be needing to wash your favorite strappy wedges once the day is over!

A highlight of the faire was getting to see this beyond adorable brand new Tiger! Just made me go aaawww!!! Out loud!

Amber spotted this giant purple guy when we first went in the Faire and spent the rest of the day trying to spot him. Tyler gave him a high five–and remember–my hubby is 6’7″ so this guy was HUGE!

Hubbies not one for going out and about to things like this–but he seriously loved King Richard’s Faire! We both loved how it was set up in the middle of a forest, and all the amazing shops and decorations!

Do we look a little too happy to be in the cage?

There were several carnival style games and rides that you could try your hand at (for a price) Bob decided to give the cannon ball one a whirl with Amber.

We capped off our day with watching the last show that featured all the big cats and several kinds of rare Tigers–I loved seeing the White Tiger (always loved them) as well as the Liger (“A Liger is pretty much my favorite animal” ~ Napoleon Dynamite anyone??!!)

We spent 5 hours at the Faire and everyone was highly entertained the entire time. I’d highly recommend it as long as you plan out in advance how much your budget for the day will be and stick to it!

You can get King Richard’s Faire Tickets on the website and be sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter as well!

Two Lucky Readers will win a pair of adult tickets to King Richard’s Faire! They are valid September 15, 16, 22, or 23 of this year!

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