Creating Amazing Photo Books With Blurb

Creating Amazing Photo Books With Blurb

This post contains affiliate links. I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase through them.

Photo books are so important to have when you want to preserve family memories. Blurb gives you the opportunity to make them not only with high quality, but with attractive designs. When I see my family in a photo book that I’ve created, it reminds me of how wonderful our family is and how much fun we have together. I’m really proud to be an affiliate for Blurb, and only recommend products I use and love.

I’ve been meaning to compile the over 10,000 photos I currently have on my camera role and create numerous projects out of them. Photo books seem to be all the rage these days, and are becoming increasingly popular gifts. Not only do I have plans to create and give away photo books to grandparents and relatives, I’m working on my very own eBook, “The Ultimate Blogger’s Handbook.”  I’m more than halfway through writing the book and am now in the process of looking for a reliable service to help me design it.

One of the best services I found was a company called Blurb.  Blurb specializes in custom photo books, trade books, magazines, and eBooks. The great thing about Blurb is that you do the work using their tools. You can either use Blurb’s tool, BookWright online or use other products such as Adobe InDesign.  If you are an Adobe Lightroom user, there is a Blurb-powered creation tool built into the software.

Shop Blurb Online

What really caught my eye when I was researching more about Blurb was their PDF to book formatting feature. Using their specifications calculator, you can turn your PDF into any size book you want. Neat, huh?  Since I already have most of my eBook written in Microsoft Word, converting it to PDF and using Blurb’s book formatting calculator will be a feature I’ll use right away.

Blurb also has their own apps for iPhone and iPad. You can choose from 3 different page layouts, add captions, and auto flow your images to create an amazing picture book! In addition to IOS support, Blurb also provides you with downloadable professional templates to choose from to help you get started. If you are simply overwhelmed with the entire process, Blurb even has professionals on staff to help you complete your project! Or, if you are headed in the self-publish direction, you can complete your own book for as little as $14.99 – not a bad price at all!

Self-Publishing Services

Blurb offers many services to help you as you self-publish your project including:

Photo Book Services

Blurb offers just about any kind of photo book to suit your needs including:

Popular Book Types

Here’s a list of popular book types made through Blurb:

  • Food and cookbooks
  • Photography
  • Memoirs
  • Children’s books
  • Portfolios
  • Business books
  • Novels and poetry

Current Blurb Promotions

Join the Blurb Affiliate Program

If you are blogger looking to join another affiliate program, Blurb is a great one to join. Simply click here and complete the application through ShareASale.

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Perfect Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Perfect Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a small commission for any items you purchase through those links. If you do make a purchase today, thank you for supporting me!  I greatly appreciate it!

Mother’s Day 2017 is in ONE WEEK, guys!  Have you found special Mother’s Day gifts yet?  If not, I do have some great deals I’ve been given as an affiliate that I am going to pass on to you today.  Some of these deals are ongoing, but a handful are only good through Mother’s Day so make sure to read the full details when you click on the specific deal’s link, ok?

MiaMily Hipster Baby Carrier

Miamily Hipster
For moms who have a new baby in the family, the Swiss-branded MiaMily Hipster Plus Baby Carrier makes a wonderful gift. The baby carrier was created for parents who are looking for new and creative ways to minimize the frustrations that come along with parenting.  With the Hipster Plus, mom can carry baby in 6 to 9 different positions, is healthy for both mom and baby’s backs, and comes in 6 different stylish colors.  They also have the MiaMily Infant Insert that allows you to carry your baby from birth!

I really wish we had heard of the Hipster Baby Carrier when we had our last baby in 2014.  While we always enjoyed holding and carrying our little guy, walking long distances can lead to back fatigue and gets tiring after a while. I’m thrilled to be partnering with MiaMily to offer this product to moms all around the world!

In addition to free US shipping, MiaMily is having a wonderful promotion going on for Mother’s Day.  Enjoy $15 off the MiaMily Hipster Baby Carrier using code MOM.  Valid through May 15, 2017. 

Candy Club Subscription Box


If the mom or wife in your life loves candy, I highly recommend Candy Club’s subscription box service. Our family has taste-tested some of the candy, and were blown away at the quality and sweetness it brought into our home. I was very pleased that Candy Club reached out to me to give us a one-month sample of their product.  Check out my review of the box we received.  If you are looking for just one box for mom or your significant other, Candy Club offers a one-time box versus a monthly subscription.

Candy Club has several fantastic deals going on right now just in time for Mother’s Day.  Click the banner above to get $20 off.   Some of their other ongoing deals include $10 off your first order or 50% off plus free shipping.

Book Outlet

Get $5 Free to Spend at Book Outlet
For those moms or spouses who love books, now’s a great time to cash in on some great deals at Book Outlet. With over 5 million books, and new inventory received every day, Book Outlet has something for everyone. Their long list of book categories include Sports, Children’s, Young Adult/Tweens, Computer, Craft, Gardening, Cooking, Health, Parenting, General Fiction, just to name a few.

Book Outlet has many great deals going on right now.  Here’s a list of several of the best deals. Click the link to activate the deal:

Jeulia Co Ltd.

Mother's Day Sale, 25% Off Sitewide
Jeulia.com is one of top jewelry online stores worldwide specializing in unique and innovated jewelry for every occasion and offering more than 1000 flawless jewelry in a wide variety including engagement rings, Black diamond rings and birthstone jewelry, Jeulia special design Skull & Dragon rings, Necklace and Bracelets.

No mom or wife would ever be disappointed to get jewelry for Mother’s Day.  The banner above will give you 25% off your Mother’s Day order throughout the entire site (through 5/15), plus you can also take advantage of the amazing deals below:

StrollerDepot.com


As a parent of 4 kids, I can tell you without a doubt how important it is to have a high quality stroller. If you don’t spend the right amount of money to buy a durable stroller, you will find yourself with a stroller that ends up in the trash bin. If you are a brand new parent, or even if you’ve been a parent for a while, finding the perfect stroller can be a challenge. I love StrollerDepot.com because you can connect with an expert who can direct you to the stroller that best suits your needs.  Yes, you could walk into a store and buy one just the same, but you won’t get anywhere near as big of a selection as StrollerDepot.com offers.  Right now, StrollerDepot.com is offering:

Mother’s Day Flowers

Cyber Florist
What mother doesn’t like flowers? CyberFlorist allows you to send roses worldwide.  For over 15 years, Cyber Florist has been helping people in the United States, Russia, and every country in between make memories. As a premier flower and gift delivery service, they have successfully fulfilled over half a million orders, making it easy for anyone to surprise their loved ones, even across the globe.

Sandwich Generation’s Problem – Coordinating Family and Parents’ Care

Many thanks again to Zara Lewis for providing this guest post!

Sandwich Generation's Problem – Coordinating Family and Parents' Care

What does it mean to be a part of the sandwich generation? Basically, you find yourself in a position when you have to take proper care of your own kids as well as your elderly parents. It’s not something that should be thought of as a bad thing per se, but it is what it is. And it comes with a bit more responsibilities for you. If you have some difficulties in coping with this situation, I’ll be glad to share some of my experiences with you. I hope that you’ll find the following text helpful.

Strict schedule

I can’t stress enough how useful it can be to have a clear schedule and week plan when you’re stranded between your own family and parents, let alone other chores and tasks. Of course, you won’t be able to follow the schedule perfectly every time, but the biggest concern when you have many things on your mind is the possibility to actually forget something. If you use to-do lists and reminders on a daily basis, you’ll be able to tend to various tasks more diligently. Also, I found that time stamped to-do lists work great in minimizing my tension and reducing anxiety. Once you put everything on paper, you can clearly see that there’s enough time for everything and everyone in your day.

What does it mean to be a part of the sandwich generation? Basically, you find yourself in a position when you have to take proper care of your own kids as well as your elderly parents. It’s not something that should be thought of as a bad thing per se, but it is what it is. And it comes with a bit more responsibilities for you. If you have some difficulties in coping with this situation, I’ll be glad to share some of my experiences with you. I hope that you’ll find the following text helpful. Strict schedule I can’t stress enough how useful it can be to have a clear schedule and week plan when you’re stranded between your own family and parents, let alone other chores and tasks. Of course, you won’t be able to follow the schedule perfectly every time, but the biggest concern when you have many things on your mind is the possibility to actually forget something. If you use to-do lists and reminders on a daily basis, you’ll be able to tend to various tasks more diligently. Also, I found that time stamped to-do lists work great in minimizing my tension and reducing anxiety. Once you put everything on paper, you can clearly see that there’s enough time for everything and everyone in your day.

Be honest and open

You may be a people-pleaser, but if you realize that there’s no way to get everything done and to fit a ton of duties in one day, simply don’t do it. This is especially true for sandwich generation comrades who have small kids. And just like you love your child, your parents cherish you and their grandkid the most. Don’t feel pressured to visit your folks every single day if you can talk to them and explain what problems you’re facing. On the other hand, if your kids are old enough to go to school on their own, they will also understand that you can’t devote all your time to them.

Living conditions

Be honest and open You may be a people-pleaser, but if you realize that there’s no way to get everything done and to fit a ton of duties in one day, simply don’t do it. This is especially true for sandwich generation comrades who have small kids. And just like you love your child, your parents cherish you and their grandkid the most. Don’t feel pressured to visit your folks every single day if you can talk to them and explain what problems you’re facing. On the other hand, if your kids are old enough to go to school on their own, they will also understand that you can’t devote all your time to them.

If you’re worried about your parents living alone or are totally against retirement homes, there’s nothing wrong with having your parents live with you. But, it’s essential that you really think this decision through. Is your home spacious enough for two new members? Is it safe for them? What does your family have to say about this? Having your parents stay at your home is very cost-effective but it also means that you will all be living under one roof. Are you ready for that? On the other hand, your parents might enjoy a retirement home more. If you can talk to them about this, by all means do so. If your parents suffer from serious health conditions, it really may turn out to be safer for them to be under constant supervision in a retirement home.

Stay responsible

If you decide to live with your parents or if they’re persistent in their decision to live in their own home, home care services can be a true life-saver. This was definitely the best possible option for me, since it allowed me to spend more time with my spouse and children without worrying too much about my mom and dad’s health needs. It can get really hard on you when you have to face the fact that they are old and weak. Expert services in this area are a must if you truly want to provide the best possible care for your parents. I found immense support in kind professionals who provide home care in San Jose and thanks to them, I managed to get my family life back to normal.

If you’re worried about your parents living alone or are totally against retirement homes, there’s nothing wrong with having your parents live with you. But, it’s essential that you really think this decision through. Is your home spacious enough for two new members? Is it safe for them? What does your family have to say about this? Having your parents stay at your home is very cost-effective but it also means that you will all be living under one roof. Are you ready for that? On the other hand, your parents might enjoy a retirement home more. If you can talk to them about this, by all means do so. If your parents suffer from serious health conditions, it really may turn out to be safer for them to be under constant supervision in a retirement home. Stay responsible If you decide to live with your parents or if they’re persistent in their decision to live in their own home, home care services can be a true life-saver. This was definitely the best possible option for me, since it allowed me to spend more time with my spouse and children without worrying too much about my mom and dad’s health needs. It can get really hard on you when you have to face the fact that they are old and weak. Expert services in this area are a must if you truly want to provide the best possible care for your parents. I found immense support in kind professionals who provide home care in San Jose and thanks to them, I managed to get my family life back to normal.

I really want to make a point that even if you are a mature adult with no kids, but still have to take care of your folks, you too belong to the sandwich party. We’ve all been there and in all honesty, I can’t tell you whether it’s harder to think about yourself and start your own family, or to ignore your needs in fear of neglecting your parents. The best advice I can give you is to do what I did – when you feel it’s time to have kids, do it. Your parents will be happy about your decision as well.

4 Signs You Are Doing This Parenting Thing Totally Wrong

4 Signs You Are Doing This Parenting Thing Totally Wrong

**This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a commission for items you purchase by clicking on the links. 

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Are you doing this parenting thing totally the wrong way?  You could be, and not even know it.  No parent claims to know it all when it comes to raising kids, but there are things that we do as parents that are probably not the best ways to handle things that come up every  day.

When I first became a dad over 10 years ago, I had no clue what I was doing.  The closest I had ever come to being a parent was babysitting my little cousins and my wife’s little sister. Parenting is hard. No one ever said it would be easy, did they? It’s the one job you really can’t train for ahead of time.  You can take all of the parenting and birth classes in the world, but when the big day finally gets here, it’s so different.

I don’t claim to be the perfect dad.  I’m not, and I don’t expect that I’ll ever be perfect. But, there are some things that I think parents do totally wrong that have a huge impact on the growth and development of their kids. I’m guilty of just about all of these, so please don’t think that I wrote this post in judgement of others.

Here are 4 signs I came up with that I think parents do have control over that can greatly impact their kids’ lives. Just because we’ve done one or maybe all of these doesn’t mean that we are bad parents, but we do have the choice to make changes for the betterment of our families.

Can you identify with any of these signs?

  • Sign #1: Bedtime is always a battle
  • Sign #2: Your kid’s meltdown causes you to cave
  • Sign #3: You say “no” to everything
  • Sign #4: Your kids know no boundaries

Sign #1:  Bedtime is always a battle

Ahh, the never-ending bedtime routine.  It always creeps up on us every night, and then we are left to fight the good fight.  My first son really tested us at bed time. He never really had an established bedtime routine. It was always a struggle from the time he was born and to this day he sometimes has challenges falling to sleep at night.

New parents often wonder, “Will I ever get to sleep again?”  The answer is yes! I know it seems like an eternal battle with little ones, but we have to remember they have never been trained to sleep a full night. They are brand new to this world and are dependent on their parents to teach them how to become an independent sleeper. Notice I did NOT say dependent sleeper!

With 4 kids, it’s very hard sometimes to get them all in bed at the same time and to get them to sleep at the same time. Please realize that every night will be different. Our kids’ moods will be different and things going on in their lives impact how comfortable they are in falling asleep quickly. Don’t stress night time. I did for so long. My oldest always got out of his bed almost immediately and it was a repetitive process of carrying him back to his bed. It’s life. It’s parenting. It’s fixable!

You always end up in your kids’ room multiple times at bedtime

One mistake we made as new parents was to keep going into his room after we told him goodnight and turned out the light. The reason that this is a mistake is because it interferes with the child’s ability to learn that lights out means sleep and quiet. If by screaming and crying they find out that mommy and daddy will come back in and pick them up, then the behavior you are trying to teach will backfire.

One way you can train your child to stay in bed and go to sleep is by allowing him or her to be a part of the bedtime process. Let your kids participate in picking out a nighttime story to read. Once the story is over, they know they are to close their eyes and go to sleep.

We know that no matter what we do, our kids will still try to test the process. When you say good night, turn off the lights, and close the door, you are setting the stage for your child to then be independent and fall asleep on their own. When they challenge that process and get out of bed, repeat the same steps. Return your child to his or her bed, tuck them in, say good night, turn out the lights, and close the door again. You may do this for hours. Don’t give in.

No matter what their age, kids need some time away from mommy and daddy.  Bedtime is the perfect time to instill independence and self-soothing. If we are not giving our kids the time and space to self-sooth, they will have the constant need to always be attached at the hip to mommy and daddy.  I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing.  We all enjoy time with our kids.  But, in establishing a positive bedtime routine, we are setting the boundary that bedtime is sleep time, and that mommy and daddy are not in the room with baby.  Going back into the room with baby repeatedly at bedtime restarts the self-soothing process.  This is the opposite of what we are trying to establish.

You put baby to bed with a bottle

Many parents I know, including myself, are guilty of having put their baby in bed with a bottle to keep him or her from crying.  Bottles should never go in the bed with the baby because it teaches them to become dependent on the bottle in order to go to sleep. It is important to always feed the baby outside of the crib.  Dentists have also claimed that babies who fall asleep with a bottle in their mouths increases the risk of cavities.

You keep talking to baby

Bedtime is quiet time. By talking to your baby during bedtime, it teaches that it is play time instead.  It’s so easy to be tempted to talk to your baby while it is bed time, but resisting and continuing to promote a quiet environment is the best course to take. Maintaining a quiet environment is important in teaching your baby that it’s time to go to sleep.

You put baby in bed with you

Regardless of what some parents say about co-sleeping, it is not beneficial to the parents or the baby. We want to instill independence in falling asleep as early as possible.  The longer we hang on to crutches to help everyone fall asleep at night, the longer it takes for them to be corrected. A child that never gets the opportunity to sleep in his or her own room is a child that will probably have issues being independent in other areas of life.

There are times when putting your child in bed with you is appropriate, but those times should be few and far between. There are also stories of parents rolling over on the child.

Putting your baby in bed with you should always be the very last resort. We have to remember that baby is new at learning how to fall asleep so it’s important to let those skills develop without intervening.

Some parents feel that the only way to stop a baby from crying is co-sleeping, and in some cases that has worked, but the long-lasting impacts are actually detrimental to baby. It is understandable that many parents do not like the cry-it-out method, but I am here to testify that it works. It is very hard in the beginning, but it eventually helps baby gain independence and learn how to fall asleep alone.

The marital bed is just that – sleeping space for you and your spouse. A child that is trained to sleep in the same bed as the parents does not understand the need for the separation. Mom and dad need that alone time to continue to make their marriage work. It can’t happen if a child is in the same bed.

Sign #2: You give in to your child’s meltdown

Let’s face it. Every kid ever born is or has had a meltdown at various times. It’s just a part of their development. You tell them they can’t have a cookie – a meltdown occurs. You tell them to go to bed – a meltdown occurs. We need to recognize when these meltdowns occur and to find a trigger that will help calm the storm.

How many times have you been out in public when your child has a meltdown?  It’s inevitable. You feel like the whole word is watching what you do and that they think that you must not be able to parent. I stopped feeling that way a long time ago. How I react to how my kids are behaving in public shows others how well I parent my kids.

Nothing is worse than giving  in to a child’s meltdown. It teaches them that they can get their way by this type of behavior.  A child who learns to get his or her way by throwing a fit will more than likely learn that this type of behavior is acceptable as an adult.

Whatever you do, never yell back at the child who is having the meltdown. As parents, we need to demonstrate how to properly resolve issues, so by remaining calm and steering clear of yelling, we can be successful models of this behavior.

A good way to calm these meltdowns is to allow the child time to vent.  He or she will not listen and follow directions until physically and emotionally ready. Once your child has calmed down, reinforce what the directions are and consequences for not following them.

Sign #3: You say no to everything

If you are one of those parents that says no to everything, it’s time to stop. While we do need to teach our kids that there are boundaries, there is no reason to say no to every request that they ask of us. I have struggled with this in the past, and I can’t say today that I still don’t struggle with it. Our kids need to be able to know that we are flexible parents that allow them to experience new things in the world. We need to use our best judgement on things they ask us and try to find ways to compromise with them.  When they ask you for that new video game, don’t immediately say no.  Come up with ways that they can earn the game. Start a chore chart and a reward system.  Kids love to know that they’ve earned something. We all enjoy that sense of accomplishment!

Sign #4: Your kids know no boundaries

While I talked about not saying no to everything in the paragraph above, our kids do need to know that there are boundaries. This means they need to know that there’s a respectful way to treat others. Kids that are constantly rude to others need to be taught the appropriate way to behave.

Like I also said earlier, kids need to be able to work for things they want.  If we are constantly handing things out to them all the time, this will be impossible. Instill values of hard work and celebrate successes. Setting regular house rules is a great way to show that there are boundaries in the house.  Kids need to know this because there are boundaries outside of the house. Schools have boundaries in place that kids are expected to follow, so setting similar boundaries at home will make it easier for them to transition to outside the home.

These aren’t the only signs

Of course, there are many other signs that you may not be at your best when parenting, but I will touch on some of those in future posts. I thought for this post that I would touch on my top 4.  No matter if you didn’t fit the mold on any of the above, or if you are guilty of all of these, we all have a duty to be the best parents that we can possibly be for our kids. A good goal to set for 2017 is to work on these things for the betterment of our family’s future.

Can you think of any other signs?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

When we had our first baby 10 years ago, I really was concerned about keeping him safe in the car. I can remember being so concerned that I was going to assemble the car seat wrong, or that the bumps in the road would hurt him. I was so afraid I was going to do something wrong driving him home from the hospital. I’m still concerned and think I will always be concerned because I’m his dad. Now with 4 kids, I want nothing more than to do all I can to create a safe travel experience for them. There’s a lot of craziness and danger out there on the highways, so knowing how to best protect my kids is at the top of my list of concerns.

Here are five simple ways we can keep our families safe on the road – especially during the holiday season.

  • Make sure everyone is properly restrained
  • Avoid road rage
  • Avoid distractions
  • Know where you are going
  • Keep your car’s maintenance current

1. Make Sure Everyone Is Properly Restrained

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

Making sure your child is properly secured in his or her carseat is one of the most important ways to protect them in the even of an accident. In the United States, each state has its own laws when it comes to age requirements for rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, and lap belt restraining. The best way to find out the age limits is to check out the Child Safety Law Tracker at safekids.org then seach by your state.

There are several types of car seats. It is critical that all parents understand which seat is right for their children, and abide by the state-specific laws at all times.  Adult lap belts can be dangerous for kids if they are too young to be wearing them.

*The rules below are for the state of Ohio.  All other states’ laws may vary. Consult your local BMV for state-specific laws.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

Babies and young children are required to be in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2, or until they have reached the maximum height and weight specifications of their convertible car seat.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

Kids who have outgrown the requirements of their convertible car seat can now face forward provided they are no younger than 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds. They must use a harnessed car seat until they have reached the height/weight limits of the seat.

Booster Seats

In Ohio, children can use a booster seat once they turn 4 years old and weigh at least 40 pounds.  He or she must use the booster until the age of 8 or has reached 4’9″.

Lap and Shoulder Belts

Once a child has reached 4’9″ they are ready to use a lap and shoulder belt without the booster seat.  Children who are under the age of 15 must use a child safety seat or seat belt until they are 15.

2. Avoid Road Rage

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

This is one of the hardest things for me to do, and I’m sure I’m not alone.  It was one thing to lose my temper with road rage before I had kids, but now with 4 kids in the car, it’s even more important just to let things slide.  Other drivers do some crazy things out there, but being a defensive driver is critical to maintaining safety for all on the road.

It’s often too easy to blow the horn, give the finger, tailgate, or stare down someone when something doesn’t go our way on the highway. No one knows better than me that this type of behavior is childish and doesn’t ever solve anything. Whenever I think about responding to an aggressive driver, I tell myself over and over again to put things into perspective and move on with life.

3. Avoid Distractions

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

Texting while driving has been banned in most states in the USA. Most modern cars now come with Bluetooth technology allowing for a hands free operation.  As parents, we often think we need to respond to an email or to a text right away because we are so busy, but nothing is so important that we have to take our concentration off of safe operation of our vehicles. It can wait!

There are more ways to be distracted behind the wheel than just texting.  With the kids in the car, there’s often a lot of screaming, fighting, begging for a movie to be played, etc. If you are traveling with your spouse, always let the one who is not driving handle the situations that come up inside of the car.

If you aren’t familiar with your car, fidgeting around trying to play a movie, changing the radio, or adjusting the temperature can all be equally as distracting as texting. Get to know your car and all of its features. Most modern cars have adjustments on the steering wheel, or even voice-activated commands to make driving less distracted much easier.

4. Know Where You Are Going

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

It’s so easy these days to rely upon our trusty (or not-so-trusty) GPS devices. With Google Maps, we can basically find our way to just about anywhere we want to go. It’s always a safe bet going to a new destination to know how to get there ahead of time.  I don’t know about your experiences with the accuracy of a GPS, but mine have been interesting.  For the most part, my in-car GPS and cell phone are usually accurate. 5 or 6 years ago, I had the GPS set to to take us to the lake house for our summer vacation, but it literally took us to the edge of the lake – literally.  I could have hung a fishing rod out my window.

I make it a practice to go to MapQuest or Google Maps and familiarize myself with the directions before hitting the road. There have been horror stories of families not making it to their destinations because they only relied upon their GPS and not their actual surroundings. GPS systems can make mistakes, so think ahead and verify the directions are accurate.

If you are using your GPS as a means of getting you to where you need to go, familiarize yourself with all of its features before hitting the road. Many features, such as detour, avoid tolls, etc. can save a lot of headaches, time, and money.  Some GPS units also account for construction, weather, and traffic. Knowing how to use the GPS is important in understanding how it operates.  GPS units are very advanced today, so knowing all about them will help you keep your family safe on the road.

5. Keep Your Car’s Maintenance Current

5 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe On The Road

It goes without saying – a car only runs as well as the condition in which it is in. It is crucial to keep a car’s normal maintenance up to date. Things such as oil changes, tire rotations, fluid changes, brakes, etc. are all important aspects of a well-performing car.  Proper maintenance leads to longer car life and optimal performance.  Traveling with kids in a car that is not well-maintained can put a whole trip at risk, not to mention lead to serious damage and higher repair costs.

As car owners, it’s important that we keep regular maintenance records, and make sure all vital systems are kept in working order. Keeping current with local promotions is also a good way to get multiple maintenance services performed all at once, and for cheaper. Many shops also post coupons and discounts on their websites. Some dealerships now offer coupons and discounts on their website, so staying up to date with the available promotions can help you save money when it comes time for scheduled maintenance.

When taking your car to the shop for regular maintenance, always take it to a place you can trust.  The dealership, while usually higher in price, has specially-trained technicians for your car. Many times, you can get as good of deals with the dealer as you can with independent shops – you just have to look for them. Go to your dealer’s website and try to sign up for coupons/specials. Most of the time, you’ll get something in your inbox you can use. My Toyota dealer usually sends me discounts and specials when they know I’m getting near my next service date.

There IS help out there for new and veteran parents!

All parents have the responsibility to keep everyone safe when traveling. If you are new to the game or have been doing this for years, there is help out there for you.  Here are a few links to get you started:

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First Winter Blast of the Season

First Winter Blast of the Season

Yesterday we had our first taste of snow for the season!  Unfortunately, it didn’t start up until after the kids were at school.  Once they got home, there was enough snow on the ground for them to have a blast.  Here are some pictures of all of the fun!

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

First Winter Blast of the Season

 

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