Sanity Saving Family Road Trip Tips


Sanity Saving Family Road Trip Tips

We just returned from an amazing road trip through Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and Salt Lake City to the Young Living Convention and we could not have done it without a few goodies that we took along for the ride.

I’ve taken road trips before – but this one was by far one of the better ones, and I attribute it to the supplies which helped keep us sane!

I do have to share this amazing photo in the Grand Tetons. We stopped at Jackson Lake Lodge for lunch and were met with this amazing view!

View at Jackson Lake Lodge

Okay, now for the road trip tips!

Have a Car Bucket

This may seem old hat for some, but we needed a “throw-up bucket” for our trip because my son’s tummy can get a bit queasy. We were thankful we didn’t need it for any of the tummy queasiness, but it worked fabulously for a trash can. We could easily toss things in, empty it out, even rinsing it if things spilled. A true lifesaver!


Melissa & Doug Activity BookI am still the old fashioned mom who rarely lets her child watch endless movies on the road. Our guy was limited to one movie a day, so that left a lot of time to listen to music, chat, or do activities. Here were a few that kept him busy and happy (which is a big bonus) – Hidden Pictures Discovery Activity ZoneMelissa & Doug Water WOW Coloring Book – Animals, and National Geographic Kids Cool Animals Sticker Book.


I love my essential oils, and diffusing some Stress Away in the car is divine for everyone! I purchased two of these mini diffusers and they worked like a charm and I loved the compact size. They were easy to have out of the way and no spills!


Coleman 40 Quart PowerChill(TM) Thermoelectric CoolerWe normally take a portable cooler in the car and have ice in it, but this time we decided to purchase an electric cooler and it was SO MUCH BETTER! We purchased this Coleman 40 Quart PowerChill(TM) Thermoelectric Cooler after my husband did some research and it was one of the best investments. We even were able to use this in our hotel room as well because it has dual adaptors for car outlets and electrical outlets. This saved us money because we were easily able to keep snack items cold and accessible.

Easy Packing

I purchased some new packing accessories before our trip and they were great. I needed a new toiletry bag that kept items upright and also completely closed, but was roomy enough for all my items. I found this Travel Toiletry Organizing Bag met my needs great. I loved that it had wonderful ratings. I used it throughout my trip and am really happy with it. In the months to come we will be doing more traveling and I will need to have a sturdy and durable toiletry bag.

I also purchased some Shacke Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes on the advice of a friend and these were Shacke Pak - 4 Set Packing Cubes - Travel Organizers with Laundry Bagthe bomb! I loved that I could pack clothes I wouldn’t be needing for the first part of my trip inside the larger cubes and have them set aside in my suitcase. I didn’t have to weed through clothes, it was easy to be organized, and it kept my clothes neat and tidy. I used several smaller cubes for my son’s underwear and socks, which always seem to end up everywhere in his suitcase, so it was a relief when this system worked like magic.

Road trips can often times put FEAR into us moms – but let me just say, these tips were so great! We managed a 10-day road trip and we all still really liked each other at the end of it!

Here we are at Yellowstone, one of my favorite places in the park – the Grand Canyon area.

Us at Yellowstone
Do you have any road trips planned this summer?

Fun Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Family


 Fun Valentines gifts

Yummy Treat!

Spend an afternoon making a fun treat to keep or to give away.  Every now and again I indulge on things I don’t normally and this would fall into that category!  But look at it…. so yum!!


Find the recipe HERE:  Valentine Confetti Candy mix

Because I Love You:  66 Blank Love Coupons

This is perfect for splitting and sharing with the whole family.  You can use some for your hubby, your kids, a friend – they are great!  You can customize each coupon, which I have found to be the best, as most coupon books you purchase already have ideas on the coupon, and some are just not my style.  


You can for example give one day of no arguments, a romantic walk, one night of stargazing, a breakfast in bed, a free wish, one big bear hug, a massage, a weekend getaway, a kiss, a day to yourself to do whatever you want, a soothing foot massage, get out of one household chore, or a coffee date.  Use your imagination.  Of course, you could easily make a homemade version, but again, I am not a big DIY person!!


The many reasons why I love you LOVE NOTE {Free Printable}

So adorable and perfect for spouses and kiddos!!  Print this out, take some time to fill it in and surprise them with it sitting at the breakfast table.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have everyone read it outloud and share what is so great about them and why they’re loved?



Mr. & Mrs. – Love Notes & Mugs Gift Set

I have had these mugs for years and love them.  Now I see that you can get the mug set with sweet notes too – this will cover the entire family!   I especially love the scripture on the mugs:  I found the one my heart loves.  Song of Solomon 3:4 NIV   You can grab it this week for 30% off  – Just use code MRANDMRS at checkout.   Hurry – Sale ends Feb 5.


CLICK HERE and type in Mr and Mrs in the search bar – you might even find some other goodies to get from Dayspring – I love to stock up on their bulk greeting cards! 

For other Frugal Valentines Ideas, you can check out this blog post!

Family Fun Traditions Matter



Memory making and family traditions  are important for building strong unity within the walls of your home – especially when you are a blended family.  It is critical.

Six years ago I ventured to my husband’s hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico for the first time and had the amazing opportunity to see the International Balloon Fiesta where hundreds of balloonists come in to compete in different events and has taken place every year since 1972.  

Since that visit six years ago, I’ve been back two more times, bringing my son and now my 4 year old, rounding out the elements of a family tradition.  I am sure we will be back again.

If you have never heard of this International Balloon Fiesta – you’ll want to check it out and perhaps even put it on your bucket list!  My photos will not do it justice – by any means – but they are great memories for our family and I wanted to share with you things from my view point.

Being on the field when hundreds of balloons are blown up right in front of your eyes and lift off a matter of feet from you is amazing.  

This year was especially fun and I hope you enjoy the photos I could share here.  If you are looking for some really incredible photos please check out their Facebook page or their website.  It is certainly an event to try to make it to with your family.


When you arrive at the field it is VERY early and dark!  {5:00 AM}  At around 6:30 AM the first few balloonists take to the sky to check the winds – they are the DAWN patrol.

From the website: The Dawn Patrol began at Balloon Fiesta in 1978, when two California balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off in the dark and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. Fellow balloonists appreciate the Dawn Patrol because they can watch the balloons and get an early idea of wind speeds and directions at different altitudes. On mass ascension days, about a dozen Dawn Patrol balloons perform the Dawn Patrol Show, a choreographed inflation and launch set to music that has been part of the Balloon Fiesta since 1996. Dawn Patrol inflations begin, weather permitting, at about 5:45 AM, with launch around 6:00 AM.

BF-2The balloons are cold inflated with fans and then get stood up by using a burner- which also ends up lighting the balloon up creating a really incredible sight in the early morning hours.  They take a different sort of beauty.

It truly is amazing as you stand and balloons are being inflated all around you – literally ALL around you!!



I stood at the end of this balloon as they began inflating it, from the basket base.  They use big fans to begin inflating and it takes only about 5-10 minutes to get the air in it and begin to take shape.


One of our favorite times is during the special shapes inflation!  There are so many incredibly shaped balloons – it makes it a favorite for the kids {I loved the special shapes too!}


We had the extremely privilege to stand right next to the POW*MIA ballon while their team inflated it.  My four year old was invited into the balloon basket to pretend like he was flying – a one of a time experience for sure!!  We watched the process from start to finish and waved them off as they went on their way.

What special family traditions have you kept alive? 

Firework Safety Tips



Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Thirty

The 4th of July is a time of celebration – family, friends, food and of course loud, bright and sometimes dangerous fireworks.  We will be at the beach, which makes the tasks of lighting fireworks and allowing kids to be involved somewhat easier, but if weather conditions aren’t just right, it can cause problems too!

One piece of advice – Adults should be in charge of any type of fireworks display. In order for you to enjoy the days’ festivities, the National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends the following: [Read more…]

Movie Night with Benefits



Welcome to the 30 Days of Summer – Go-To Guide for Moms!

Day Twenty One

A school break can be an ideal time to read more books and watch more movies – and if you coordinate this kind of fun into a family activity, there may be far more benefits for your children than what first meets the eye.  I wouldn’t say that I want y kids watching a bunch more movies, but stay with me here…….

Why not pick a book to read as a family, then take an evening to watch the movie and have a discussion regarding what was different in the movie versus the book?  This could provide some incredible insight and talking points! [Read more…]