Monday, May 22, 2017

9 Fun Things to Do in San Diego with Teens

We've been needing to reconnect with our teenagers lately.  I've got a houseful of teens and tweens so sometimes the face wash, the drama, and the text messages in our home are just maxed out.  I've been trying to remember why I enjoy them so much like when I wrote this post.  We needed some time to just enjoy our teenagers without all their after school activities, friends, and cell phones getting in the way.  So when My Man had a conference down in San Diego, CA I jumped at the chance to make it a family getaway too.  And I'm so glad I did.  San Diego is the perfect place to take teenagers.  So today I'm sharing 10 fun things to do and see in San Diego with teens.

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Get ready to find some fun activities to do with your teenagers in San Diego!

First of all I have to give a shout-out to the amazing resort we stayed at.  They were more than accommodating with all our needs.  We stayed at Loew's Coronado Bay Resort.  This is the same place where my husband had his conference.  Although the rooms were just standard size hotel rooms, it was clean, friendly, and full of things to do--including 3 large swimming pools (heated), tennis courts, ping pong, shops, spa, exercise room, and a shuttle to Coronado Beach (our favorite!).  They even helped us out big time when my daughter lost her cell phone (a traumatic moment for a teen).  So we are grateful to their hospitality.

It really feels like first class living.  Though I have to say, realistically, the food was too expensive for our family to dine regularly at their restaurants and such.  We ended up using the grocery store and restaurants in Coronado City instead.

Also, we purchased the Go City Card through beforehand and loved it.  We were able to go see many sites and parks in the 4 days that we were there.  Just remember that once you start using the pass, you have to go consecutively in a row. 

1. Flagship Whale Watching Tour.  This was a beautiful ride out to sea.  They have volunteers from the Birch Aquarium there to answer questions and help you spot the sea life.  

Most of my kids loved it, even though I got seasick!!  They give you barf bags just in case and warn you to take Dramamine if you are susceptible to motion sickness (and I am).  So take it before it starts and you'll be good.  Once it kicked in we were loving the fresh ocean air, and big whales!

2. The San Diego Zoo.  This large zoo is not just for little kids.  My teens enjoyed seeing all the wildlife, like this large cat, and with our Go City Card we could even ride the sky tram for free.  We only needed a half day for this attraction with my older kids.

3.  SeaWorld San Diego.  Our kids LOVED Sea World.  It's totally worth it.  This park was included in our Go City Card pass.  My kids loved the shows, the rides, and the aquariums.  They left inspired and appreciative for this world and God's creations.  I even have one child who wants to be a dolphin trainer now--way to go SeaWorld, you succeeded.  

More SeaWorld photos

4.  USS Midway Museum.  This was also included in our Go City Pass.  Very cool museum with a lot to see and learn.  They have self-guided audio tours and you get to see how the shipmates lived on this giant aircraft carrier.  There's also tons of aircraft and airplanes to see and look inside.  The best part though--the movie.  It leaves you feeling patriotic and warm inside.

5. Mormon Battalion Historic Site.  This was a free museum in Old Town San Diego.  It totally exceeded our expectations!  It's a completely interactive tour that immerses you into the story.  Kids, teens, and even adults enjoyed it.  It's like a Disney inspired history site.

One of the interactive rooms at the historic site.  Very well done!

6. La Jolla Cove.  Just gorgeous.  And crowded--with people and seals.  The crashing waves are spectacular.  And my teens loved seeing all the seals up close.  Just make sure to get there early to find parking and avoid some of the crowds.  Be prepared for people.  You can also kayak and snorkel here.

7. Petco Park & Padres Baseball.  This was a highlight of our trip.  It was so fun to take our kids to a real baseball game.  We live in a place where professional baseball is nowhere to be found, so it was fun to show them a real game.  Lots of time to talk and watch the game together.  And of course we had to try the hot dogs and nachos.

8.  The City of Coronado.  Coronado is such a cute city next to San Diego.  It's got tons of fun shops and restaurants.  It's a great place to take your teenagers for a stroll and some window shopping.  It's located right along the beach too.  We saw many bicyclists and happy tourists.  Our hotel had a bus shuttle to Coronado, making visits there super easy.  Our favorite place to eat there was good 'ol Panera Bread.  

9.  The Beach.  Any beach will do, but we thoroughly loved the Coronado Beach.  It was not crowded at all in April.  It has life guards, which we truly needed since riptides were present while we were swimming (read about our scary close call with the rip currents).  The sunsets were amazing and it was so peaceful.  The beach is fun for teens because they can play and get out all their energy as well as relax and enjoy the beautiful world.  

I hope you enjoy your trip to San Diego as much as we did.  And may you reconnect with your family members the way we did.

I'm already wishing I could go back.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Patriotic Popsicle Printable

Patriotic Printable Popsicles -- see if you can say that fast three times!  It may be a tongue twister, but it's worth it for how cute these popsicle printables are.  THESE ARE SO CUTE!  I love them so much so I'm excited to pass them on to you.  Theses printable popsicles can be a fun 4th of July or Memorial Day garland and can be used as decor for your American party.  They can also be used for kids as a memory match game.  Simply print and cut out the popsicles and use them as the cards.

Also, be sure to watch for more patriotic printables including some FREEBIES down below!

These cute printables will be available in my ETSY SHOP for a limited time for only $2.99! 

Join my email list to get exclusive discounts, access to printables, and blissful updates!

We used these as a memory match game for kids, but they are cute enough for pretend play and holiday decorations.  There are 8 different patriotic designs and there are two of each design, so a total of 16 popsicles.  My girls especially loved them.

Be sure to get your Free Printable I Spy game in the PREVIOUS post!

And FREE Patriotic Jokes coming soon!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Baby Shower and Wedding Shower Printable Games

Throwing a bridal shower or a baby shower can be a busy job.  I think we've just made it a little easier for you with this printable concentration game for wedding showers and baby showers.  It's a large memory game that a whole group can see and play.  Each game also include some printable parenting advice cards for baby showers and marriage advice cards for bridal showers.  And just to add a FREEBIE for you there's a FREE wedding shower scattergories game printable and a FREE baby shower scattergories printable.   

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Click to access these

FREE Wedding Scattergories Game is BELOW

Check out my


FREE Baby Scattergories Game at the bottom of this post

The Wedding Shower Printables

Here are more details about the bridal shower game printables.  So you get the large bridal shower concentration game, and the marriage advice cards.  The concentration game (sometimes called Memory) is large so that a group can see it and play and there are 20 cards total.  You just have to print and cut as explained in the instructions below.

Be sure to check out the details on this printable bridal shower game pack

Click to get this scattergories game free for a limited time:

The Baby Shower Printables

Like the bridal shower printables, these baby shower printables include the large concentration game to play with a crowd.  There are 28 cards in this set.  Plus you get the parenting advice cards.  The colors are neutral and can be used with any gender.  With these games your whole shower is planned.  Bam!

You'll love giving the expectant mother parenting advice with these cards included in our printable game pack.

Click below to get Baby Scattergories:

Concentration Game Setup:

1. Print memory game cards on cardstock paper and cut out.

2. Mix up cards and write a different number on the back of each card.

3. Attach cards in numerical order on a posterboard.  Use magnets, velcro, or something similar to make it easy to remove and re-stick

How to play Concentration:

1. Players are trying to find the matches

2. Players take turns choosing two cards on their turn by calling out 2 numbers.  The host turns over the numbers they called to see if they match.

3.  If the cards match, they are taken off the board and that player gets a prize or a point.  If they don't match, then play continues to the next player and so on until all the matches have been found.

4.  You can give prizes to the player who found the most matches, or just a give a prize each time a match is found.

How to use Advice Cards:

1. Print the cards and cut using a paper cutter

2. Pass out to shower guests and let them write their best advice to share

How to play Scattergories:

1. Pick a letter of the alphabet (you can roll a alphabet dice or draw out of a hat)

2. Set a timer for 1 minute

3. When the timer starts, players see how many categories they can fill up by thinking of answers that start with the chosen letter.  When the time is up, all players quit writing.  Then they go around the group, answering out loud what they got for each category.

4.  The player with the most answers wins the round.  There is 1 point per answer unless they come up with a viable answer that has two words that starts with that letter.  For example, if the letter was 'W' and the answer was "Wicked Witch" that would count for 2 points.  However, if it is something that doesn't necessarily go together such as "Wimpy Witch" then they would only get 1 point.

5.  Whether or not an answer is right or viable depends on the group you are playing with.  If something doesn't seem to fit the category or subject then the group can dispute it and vote on whether or not that person's answer deserves a point.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to Get Out of Rip Currents and Riptide Safety

When we think of the beach, we always picture a calm, sunny paradise, relaxing waves, and people lounging under big beach umbrellas.  The beach is awesome and I know many of you are thinking of heading there very soon!  And I hope you have a glorious time.  BUT THE BEACH IS DANGEROUS TOO.  Today I'm sharing our scary experience with riptide currents just a month or so ago and how to recognize and avoid riptides.  I want you to be aware of what to do instead and be like I was and not know anything about it.  Safety and being prepared is a huge part of living a blissful life, so pay attention to our scary riptide experience and tips on how to get out of a rip current.  It could save your life.

Last month my husband and I took our little family to San Diego, CA to play on the beach and enjoy a little warmth for spring break.  We have not been to the beach very much since most of our lives we've lived in land-locked areas.  But seriously, we thought how hard can it be to hang out at the beach?  Beaches are the most peaceful places in the world.  No big deal.  So we grabbed out swim gear and went.

Well on our first day at the beach, we took some boogie boards with us.  My teenagers had a blast riding them out in the waves with my husband while I stayed near the shore with my youngest daughter.  I took all kinds of pictures and video of all our fun moments.  Then randomly at one point I noticed my husband was going pretty far out into the ocean.  He was just a tiny speck in my camera lens.  And right at that moment, the lifeguard truck drove past us, parked on the beach near where my husband was.  They were planning to go out and get him.  They could see from the tower that he was stuck in a riptide current!  Luckily, my husband was able to get out of it and free himself of the strong current that kept pulling him out farther into the ocean.  The lifeguards chatted with him to see if he was okay and that was that.  Or so I thought . . .

There's more to this story.  Read on . . . 

This isn't the best picture because I took it with my cell phone and zoomed in, but that is my husband about the time he was starting to be pulled away by the riptide.  I had no idea.  He's that little head out there.  The other person is my daughter.

Feeling safe again after my husband's close call, and feeling grateful for good lifeguards we went back to playing at the beach.  My teens, unaware of what had happened with my husband continued on their boogie boards.  My husband stayed near the shore to build a sand castle with Baby Girl.  And me?  I went to soak up the sun in my beach chair and take a nap (yeah, awesome parenting on my part, I know).   Well, as my husband was focusing on the sand castle, he suddenly had a feeling to go check on my teenage son who was out on the boogie board.  So he got up immediately and could tell right away that my 13 year old boy was struggling in a riptide.  Call it "father's intuition", luck, or what you will, but we call it help from God.  My husband did not hesitate and quickly headed out there.  He was able to grab our boy out of the rip current.  Because the area was still shallow enough for my husband to touch the ground, he could grab my son.  The water was too deep for my son though and he was being pulled out to sea and had no idea what to do.  We are truly grateful that they were okay.  Needless to say, we took a break from boogie boards for the rest of our trip.

This was an important lesson for us to learn.  I am truly grateful to God for watching over us once again.  Beaches imply serenity but need to be taken seriously when it comes to safety.  I want you to know of our mistake, so you can be aware and not make the same dangerous mistake.  We did not know much about riptides.  Now we do.  We've talked to our children about them and helped them know what to do.  Keep reading and you can be informed with the following 5 important tips about riptide safety.

Here's important rip current information and tips for you when you head to beach this summer so you can stay safe:

1.  What is a riptide current?

A rip current is a strong, narrow current that can pull a swimmer out to sea.  It's localized in a certain area and moves perpendicular from the beach.  They can come quickly and unexpectedly near the surface of the water.  It's caused by the actions of the waves crashing on the shore and moving back out to sea.

2.  How to recognize a rip current

There is a lot that goes into recognizing a rip current.  Sometimes they are hard to identify (so check out the video below!)  Some things you can check  for are gaps in the breaking waves where the rip is forcing it's way back.  Also, floating objects that move steadily back to sea or discolored water at the shore.  Rip currents often look like a calm area to swim where there are no waves.  You can sometimes spot them from an elevated position above the shore.  This article explains many details about recognizing rip currents.  You can tell you are in a rip current if you are being pulled quickly out to sea.  Normally, the waves will keep bringing you back to the shore, but with a rip current you are going away from the shore.

3.  How to prevent getting caught in a rip current

First and foremost don't go in the water if there is any known danger of a riptide.  Check with the weather forecast and the lifeguards at the beach before entering and check the signs too.  Beaches will often post signs or flags about the safety of the water that day.  Rip currents are more likely to happen when it's windy but they can happen unexpectedly too.  Make sure and be in the water with your kids (even teenagers).

4.  How to get out of a rip current

Even the strongest swimmers cannot go against a rip current, so don't try.  You cannot swim against it.  The best thing to do is swim laterally, or parallel to the shore, to get out.  Rip currents are usually narrow so swimming sideways help you get out and back to normal waves.  Once you are out of the strong rip, you can swim diagonally back to shore.

5.  If you cannot get out

If you are struggling to get out of the current, even by swimming parallel to the shore, don't panic.  Save your energy and think clearly.  Tread water and float calmly because the current will eventually let up and you will be able to swim back to shore if you have energy.  Also, try to attract attention to yourself so a lifeguard can help you (a good reason to only swim where lifeguards are on duty).

For More Information:

Get more information from these awesome sources as well as this helpful video from Gwithian Academy of Surfing:

The Dangers of Riptides and How to Safeguard Against Them

Rip Currents 101

Learn How to Identify Rip Currents So You Don't Die on Spring Break

Dr. Beach's Survival Guide

National Weather Service Rip Current Photos

Balsamic Glaze Spring Salad Buggles craft I'm not a good mother Easy Frozen Party Ideas
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