Portland Maine - A Truly Enchanting City

November 2014
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There are so many beautiful places and states to visit while in New England, but there are a few you really don’t want to miss for example: Portland, Maine. A beautiful city right on the water, bustling with locals and travelers. Part city, part seaside town. A great mixture of everything you would want on a trip to New England.

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The Best Summer Vacation Option For Your Money!


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When thinking about theme parks to visit this summer there is only one that I am thinking about, but it's probably not what you would think! The place I am dreaming about has a huge theme park with some amazing rides, an aquarium, a theater, bowling alley, Barbies Dream House, mini golf, rope course, tons of amazing food options and more! Can you guess what it is? If you guessed the Mall of America you would be right! Nope it's not Disneyland and that's ok because it's better! If you haven't checked out what the Mall of America has hurry over here to check them out and then come back here to read about my experience! Smile

Cost is of course a huge factor in my summer vacation planning, but that's definitely not the only factor. I need something that will please every family member and we can all walk away from it knowing the money we spent was well worth it for everyone. The only option that fits that for our family is Mall of America. There really is something for everyone! The last time we visited my five year old couldn't wait to see the Barbie Dream House, my 3 year old wanted to see the amazing LEGO store, my husband wanted to see Spiderman 2 in 3D/D-box Motion seats and in all honesty I just wanted to see everything! For those that haven't been there before this is not your typical mall (as you can see) you can't just stop by for a little visit (this isn't your Grandma's mall!) you need to plan DAYS to see and do it all! It truly will be an amazing vacation.

We first decided to check out the theme park and all the rides. Right away I could see we wouldn't be able to get to everything and we had only planned one day. I knew we could spend the whole day on rides alone! I was really nervous about how long the lines would be, but the longest wait was 5 minutes tops and most of the rides we immediately got right on. That fact alone makes me want to go back! I can't stand waiting in a line for 40 minutes just to be on a ride for 2 minutes. They have a great range of rides as well for any age level. My 3 year old hates rides most of the time and will only ride calm rides, but my 5 year old loves roller coasters and they were both super happy with the rides available. The whole park has a Nickelodeon theme and is so cute and the kids loved it! You can find rides with all your favorite characters and even a crazy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ride!

When visiting other theme parks it's always a huge challenge to find affordable food options, luckily MOA has you covered with low cost options in their food court and they also have nicer restaurants for those looking for something more. The only negative? There was so many options I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to eat for lunch! We decided to use the awesome MOA coupon book and grab a really cheap lunch and then we had a nicer dinner.

Most theme parks are outdoors which is nice for about an hour and then you start to feel the heat beating down on you and you are desperately searching for a tree or the nearest sliver of shade! MOA was built with Minnesota winters in mind, the theme park is located below a huge atrium that lets the sun in but you still stay nice and cool and if you decide to visit in the winter it's one of the best places to get some vitamin D without freezing out in the snow! Sunlight without any harsh weather!

After the amazing rides my little girl couldn't wait any longer to see the Barbie Dream House so we headed off to that. Here are just a few things that this amazing attraction offers:

:: A dream kitchen including colorful appliances, interactive cupcake stations and more

:: The Dreamhouse™ living room includes a library, fireplace and even more interactive stations
:: An endless closet and shoe room where guests can virtually try on Barbie doll’s® outfits
:: Virtual elevators that transport guests from room to room
:: A make-up studio where guests are prepped for their own Barbie™ experience
:: A 6,500 square foot entertainment area where guests are the stars of the show. This area features costumes, The Pop Star Stage, The Fashion Runway and more!

And a whole lot of PINK! My daughter was in heaven! She really loved the cupcake making station in the kitchen and the virtual closet that lets you dress up in all of Barbies favorite outfits!

We didn't have quite enough time to check out the Aquarium, but our friends went through it and said it was pretty amazing. It was named "The World's Best Shark Encounter" by Discovery's travelchannel.com and "the best shark exhibit on the planet" by Animal Planet. Pretty AWESOME!

Which about sums MOA up! PRETTY AWESOME! You have everything you could possibly need for endless family fun all located in one spot! So when you start to plan your family vacation be sure to check out the option that gives you a ton more for a lot less, the Mall of America!

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How to Make Your Summer Vacation Not Just a Vacation, but an Adventure!


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(I participated in a campaign on behalf of Go RVing, I received compensation as a thank you for participating. All opinions are my own)

When it comes to family vacations sometimes the options can be extremely overwhelming. The kids would probably choose Disneyland or another theme park 9 times out of 10, but then you have to ask yourself "is that what I want?" or "would that be the best option for the whole family?" Don't get me wrong... I absolutely loved our time we spent last summer at Universal Studios, but we have younger kids and I can honestly say that I don't feel it was completely worth it. The kids went on a few rides and from there just continued to melt down in the hot summer heat and we found ourselves scrambling to find a decent meal that didn't cost an arm and a leg. So we wanted to kick off this summer with one of our most favorite ways to travel, by RV.

I wrote a previous post about all the myths and misconceptions of traveling in an RV that you can check out here, and in that article I talked about all the real concerns most travelers have about taking an RV trip. I could go over some of those again, but instead I want to show you what our RV vacations have been like so you can get a real feel for what traveling down the road in your home is like.

We have traveled in many different types and sizes of RV's and it doesn't matter what the differences are between each one of them, but what makes them the same and that is one word... home. When you are traveling in an RV you have all the comforts of home with you all the time! In all our travels the closest we have been able to get that same experience is when we have stayed at a vacation home, but even then we have to pack up the car at some point to head to any attractions or activities. RV travel is your all inclusive pass to see the country! Everything you need at any time is right there.

Unfortunately this is how unorganized my fridge at home is as well. lol I hate that while we are traveling I am trying to come up with more healthy options for our family and I usually can't find them. When RV traveling though you can eat whatever you want whenever you want! I was able to still get my family the fruits and vegetables we want without paying a lot because I am able to stock up at the grocery store.

We even were able to bring a game system with us for when the kids got a little bored, which they absolutely loved! I personally like to "unplug" while on vacation, but sometimes kids get a little home sick and need the comforts of home as well.

On our last trip we were able to see Chicago, the Mall of America, MT Rushmore and several states we had never been to all in one vacation! If we had flown in and stayed in a hotel it would have been at least 5 different trips! If you add up the flight cost alone for that many round trip flights it would be crazy! And that's why our family will always choose RV travel if it's an option. When else can you do so much in just one vacation?

Here are some amazing little highlights of our last RV trip:

For the first time we stayed at a Jellystone park, which was so awesome! The kids loved seeing all the Yogi Bear stuff! This was in Austin Minnesota, definitely a place we wouldn't normally think of going but I am so glad that it was on our route and we got to check it out! With RV travel you will end up in some places you might never have thought to go, and these places will surprise you!

We then headed on to the Mall of America, also AWESOME! Theme park, mall, bowling alley, movie theater and more! This was definitely a huge highlight on our trip and it was an amazing place to visit, especially in an RV. If we got tired, hungry or

needed anything else all we had to do was head out to the RV! So if you are planning a vacation to a theme park you might want to look into using an RV to get there and to make your vacation more convenient.

We also saw MT. Rushmore and Crazy Horse on this trip and so much outdoor beauty!

As you can see an RV can give you a vacation you just can't experience any other way. It's definitely the absolute best way to see our amazing country and I can't wait for our next RV adventure! Visit GoRVing.com to learn more about how to make your summer vacation not just a vacation, but an adventure!

Also check out Go RVing here:

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The New KIA 2014: Makes You Feel Young Again and It Feels Good

November 2013
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If you are a mother of 2 kids or less it can be difficult to find the right vehicle for your family.

Do you get the over sized minivan for just a family of four?

Do you cram into a smaller vehicle to save on money?

You want space, but you don't want to look in your rear view mirror and feel like your kids are a million miles behind you. For our family finding the perfect car is a challenge. Although it appears that KIA has read my mind! They have the perfect vehicle for smaller families that gives you plenty of space and leg room, but it's still under $25k. That car is the 2014 KIA Forte. As soon as we put the car seats in and started to drive to the store I knew this was the perfect fit for a smaller family. Usually once we stick those car seats in we feel like there is no room for anything else, where do the groceries go? Where do the parents go?! 

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2014 KIA Cadenza: Redefining Luxury

November 2013
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When you think of luxury vehicles KIA may not be the first car maker that comes to mind, but KIA is changing that. KIA is looking to be a huge name for luxury cars by 2017, and they have started with the Cadenza. 

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