Vimbly Keeps Moms Connected!

* I was provided compensation for this post about Vimbly, but all opinions are my own.

vimbly_logo

 

Do  you LOVE trying new things?  Looking to plan fun date nights, or events for you kids?  If you are, you have to check out Vimbly.  Vimbly is an awesome website that shows open time slots for activities, classes, & date ideas by listing different businesses on a single page and letting you book your activity directly.  These activities include dance, cooking, glassblowing, pizza making, wine tasting, intro to cigars, learning to DJ, improv, scotch pairing, samurai sword fighting, persuasion class, and thousands more.

If you are a NYC mom, this is AWESOME, because there is a whole section just for activities for NYC kids.  I went looking for an art class for this weekend (this post is written on Thursday afternoon).  I found FIVE options, including a seriously cool “Kids Circus” class, a dance class, a violin lesson, and a boxing class!  How great is it that you can schedule something at the last minute for your kiddos!  The prices are very reasonable too – the boxing class was 50% off and only $15!  There are even free events listed!  Vimbly is a great site to “have a life” and still stay on budget!

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And don’t worry – there are plenty of activities for adults too!  I searched for “wine” events in NYC this weekend and found everything from wine tastings, wine tours, to a Beginner’s Tango lesson with wine!  Does it get any better than that?  Vimbly is extremely easy (and fun!) to use and explore, so head over to see if your city is listed!

Even if you don’t live in one of these 18 major cities where Vimbly hangs out, this is perfect for the traveler! I occasionally travel to Chicago and NYC, so I definitely plan on using Vimbly to plan fun evening activities while I am in town!

 

And don’t sweat – if your city isn’t listed and you don’t travel, Vimbly expects to establish a national presence in 2015.

Win an all-inclusive stay at Skytop Lodge + Great Easter Deal!

 

I love traveling with my kids, but as you know, traveling with children can be EXHAUSTING.  One of my favorite ways to travel and to eliminate some of the hassle and stress is to travel to an all-inclusive resort.  Skytop Lodge is just the kind of resort that I like to travel to!  Skytop Lodge is located in the Poconos Mountain in Skytop, Pennsylvania.  This is a beautiful and awe-inspiring property that has just about everything you could possibly want.  From skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, spa activities, fine dining, golf, and a new The Adventure Center, Skytop Lodge is sure to have something that will appeal to you and your family!  They have been recognized by Resorts & Lodges as being the #1 Luxury resort in the countries, and was also recognized by Travel & Leisure as one of the United State’s best all-inclusive resorts.

 

 

Skytop Lodge has some great deals that can help you make your family’s Easter special, or help celebrate the coming of spring!  Skytop Lodge is offering a 20% OFF PLUS KIDS FREE midweek special offer that would be great to combine with an extended stay over Easter and Spring Break.  There are many fun Easter activities planned through the week, including egg coloring, an easter egg hunt, lawn games, and an Easter Egg Nature Walk.  Rates start at $352, which includes accommodations for two, including 3 meals per night’s stay, Easter Brunch, and many activities!

If you already have spring plans, you have a chance to win a great tip to Skytop Lodge.

Enter to Win a Trip to Skytop Lodge

You have the chance to win a weekend getaway for a Family of Four, which is good for 1 year (Not valid in July, August, or on holidays, based on availability, and some restrictions may apply.).  You have the chance to win one room accommodation, three meals each day, and many of the activities that Skytop Lodge offers.  Make sure to enter right away, as a winner will be randomly chosen on May 10, 2013!

ENTER TO WIN A FAMILY GETAWAY!

 

Disclaimer:  I received the chance to win a trip to Skytop Lodge to help advertise their spring specials in conjunction with US Family Guide.
I received no other payment.  The Mama Games is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Traveling with Dogs + $350 Visa Gift Card Giveaway from Subaru #DogTested {Giveaway}

SubaruDogTested_Toby

 

 

Do you travel with your dogs?  We definitely travel with Sunny in car trips – we haven’t worked up to flying yet.  She’s a still a little nervous in new places even though we adopted her from the rescue over a year ago – I’m pretty sure a trip in the baggage compartment of a plane would make her a nervous wreck.   But car trips are perfect for her, and when we purchase our next car, we will take a look at a Subaru, like the dogs in this video  did…check it out, it’s pretty funny!

Sunny is definitely a pro in the car at this point, but here are a few tips that we follow to make sure that her trips are successful.

*  Take your dog to places besides the vet, the groomer’s or boarding kennel.  We take Sunny all kinds of places, whether it be on a longer trip, or just a trip out to the barn, horse shows, etc.  But we never have to fight her to get in the car because most places we go are pretty fun!

*  Bring your dog’s crate on long trips.  This is a life saver for hotels, and dogs are safer if they are crated or harnessed while driving.  Buckle up!

*   Stop for breaks.  But be careful about feeding your dog before you leave until you know if they get motion sickness.  You don’t want to be cleaning THAT up.

And don’t forget your dog’s driver’s license!  If your dog doesn’t have a driver’s license, make sure you visit Subaru’s Facebook App and create your own!  Here’s Sunny’s!

 

Sunny Driver's License

 

Make sure that when you are using Subaru’s Facebook App that you use a fake address.!  While Sunny is a New Yorker, we don’t live in Woofersville, although that sounds like a pretty cool place!  Plus, you don’t want all of your dogs party animal friends to get your address of Facebook and show up at your house!

While you’re there, make sure you check out their other cool features such as Ask an Expert (Subaru live experts will answer your burning questions), Put Your Dog in a Subaru, and a Dog Matchmaker.  And of course, the Dog Driver’s License Creator!

The wonderful dog lovers over at Subaru are also sponsoring an AWESOME giveaway!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $350 Visa Gift card OR a $150 Visa Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by Subaru. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Dog Tested. Dog Approved.™ campaign, but The Mama Games and Sunny the Dog only shares news for things we support..  The Mama Games is not responsible for prize shipment.  

 

Wordless Wednesday – Flying High

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My Christmas Day was spent flying high…looking forward to celebrating with my girls tonight and tomorrow!

Airline Etiquette for Traveling with Children

 

airline etiquette

Photo by nitelife-d http://www.sxc.hu/

 

I spend a lot of time of planes.  Between heading back and forth to Oklahoma and Texas to visit my boyfriend and drop off my daughter for visitation with her dad, I’m on a plane an average of once a month each year.  As such, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on airline etiquette.

Sometimes, I spend time on planes with my children.  I work very hard to make sure that my children don’t annoy the hell out of everyone around them  behave.  Admittedly, it is easier now that they are older.  I have had my fair share of breast feeding, diaper changes, and crying jags on a plane.  My youngest puked up banana.  Everywhere.  I have all the sympathy in the world for traveling parents.

However, traveling with children requires some etiquette.  Flying over Thanksgiving, I felt incessant kicking on the back of my chair.  I turn around.  What do I find behind me but two small children, both under the age of three.  Where were the parents, you ask??  Sitting across the aisle, watching movies on their Ipads.  Seriously??  Forgetting the massive annoyance issue, what happens if we need to wear our oxygen masks?

This past weekend, while flying to Lubbock to see my guy graduate from Texas Tech (yay!!) a woman literally let her screaming baby continually drool on me and pull my hair.  This was in a small express plane with only two seats per side.  Then she failed to change his diaper for about 30 minutes past the time he needed it.  When she finally decided to do it, I stood up to let her out.  After she passed, the elderly gentleman behind me reached up and patted my hand.  The guy next to him looked at me with such sympathy you would have though my dog died.

These are clearly both EPIC travel fails on the the part of parents.  So here’s some traveling tips to help make sure that your fellow passengers don’t wish to throw your kids out the window have a nice flight as well.

Plan Ahead

1.  Help Crying Babies Cope:  It’s hard to guarantee that you’re going to be able to keep your baby from crying on the plane.   Babies’ ears are more sensitive to the pressure changes on take off and landing.  If your children are old enough, bring lollipops or hard candy.  If you have an infant, try to plan feedings around take off and landings.  The swallowing action provides both relief and a distraction.

2.  Consider Medication.  Consider speaking with your pediatrician regarding giving your young children or infants Benadryl.  I would NEVER have considered medicating my babies for the sake of a fellow passengers, but when my ped heard I would be flying with my infant, he actually suggested a dose, as the stress of flying can be a lot for a baby to manage.  So talk with yours ahead of time and see if this is something they would recommend.

3.  Pack Toys.  This is kind of a a big “duh” but it seems like a toy that will entertain a child for HOURS at home has the lifespan of about 30 seconds on a plane.  For toddlers and older children, make sure that you bring enough amusement for them.  When you think you have packed enough, double it.  Consider going to the dollar store and creating little “bags” of cheap amusements.  Pull a new bag out and you have at least a half an hour of new found entertainment.  Plus, if you lose it, no biggie.

If your child has a favorite stuffed animal that they sleep with, fortheloveofGod do NOT forget it it or check it.  A toddler who refuses to nap without their  teddy is a recipe for airplane disaster.

4.  Be Respectful with Electronics.  Headphones.  Use them.  When I am traveling without my children, I don’t want to hear Spongebob.  When I am traveling with my children, you will irritate them because they aren’t watching Spongebob.  They may or may not kick your seat in retaliation.  I’m kidding, but respect your fellow passenger’s airspace as well.

5.  Plan for Food.   Make sure that you have snacks for your kids.  When I travel with my youngest, especially, I make sure that I have a small meal for her with me.  She has food allergies, and I know that in the event of some of problem (getting stuck on the tarmac, etc.) I will have something safe for her to eat.

6.  Book Early Flights.   You may think an overnight trip is best.  Trust me, it’s not.  Airplanes can be like crack to toddlers – new sights, new sounds = amped up 2  year old at 3 am.  Not pretty for anyone involved.  With an afternoon flight, you run the risk of both overtired toddlers and overtired fellow passengers.  You are more likely to find tolerance and sleepy children in a morning flight.

 

Respect Your Fellow Traveler’s Space

1.  Thou Shalt Not Drool on your Neighbor.  This should be a basic commandment. I am an admitted germaphobe.  I don’t want to touch anything or anyone while in public.  I did too much work in evolutionary biology in college to be anything but a germaphobe.  I know EXACTLY how viruses work, and it ain’t pretty.   People may think that our children are adorable, but they surely do not think that their bodily fluids are.  I know we don’t mind when our children drool on us, but other people do.

If you are traveling solo with your child, put them by the window.  This minimizes your child’s blankie, pacifier, or toys from ending up in your neighbor’s lap.  I know the middle seat sucks.  So does stranger baby drool, so take one for the team if you can.

2.  Buy your infant their own ticket/seat.  If you have a lap infant, please consider purchasing them a seat.  A baby is much safer in their FAA approved car seat than in your lap.  They will be more comfortable, and your arms will get tired.

3.  Stop the Seat Kicking.   Provided that you don’t want to use duck tape, seat kicking can be a huge annoyance.  Even the most diligent parent won’t be able to prevent every little bump.  A good tip?  Take your kids’ shoes off.  Not only will it make them more comfortable, it can make kicking the seat less fun.  Hopefully, your little ones are so engaged that you

4.  The Aisle is Not a Playground.   Don’t allow your toddler to use the aisle as a racetrack.  Not only is it irritating, it’s just not safe.  On a flight yesterday, we hit such a sudden burst of turbulence that a running toddler would have had to be peeled off the ceiling or out from underneath someone else’s seat.

Take a Breath

No matter how hard you try, it’s pretty likely that your kid is probably going to irritate someone.  My 11 year old is extremely well behaved but we sat next to Ebeneezer Scrooge a man one time who huffed and puffed and seemed to be utterly disgusted by everything she did, which basically included sitting in her seat reading or playing on her DS with her headphones in.  He finally was so rude about his glaring and huffing that she noticed.  She looked up at me and we both busted up laughing.  Which of course, irritated him more.

If your child does misbehave, apologize politely and do what you can to fix it.

Bottom line – some people are going to be irritated by your children no matter what you do or how well behaved they are.  Some grown ups are more irritating than your children.  But by prepping for your flight and doing your best to keep your children quiet and happy, you are more likely to have a successful and peaceful flight!