COM0014 – Blog #1: Bring on Disney – Now this is a vacation!

 

Photo courtesy of gify.com

Everyone always talks about how fast your kids grow up.  Take it from an expert. (Mother of 4 girls)  Blink and they’re gone.


This past Oct, I  realized my girls would soon be heading to all corners of the world…well Ontario anyway.  My oldest was in her third year university at Queen’s. (Bragging rights) and the next was ready to head off to University of Ottawa. (Make way for the proud mom).  My younger two were in grades 10/7 respectively and seriously, I blinked and couldn’t figure out where the time went.  So, in my infinite wisdom, I planned one last family trip before my babies scattered to the wind.

Years ago, my husband and I would take the kids every year to Disney.  My older two have fond memories of this time, but the younger two, not so much. So…. Road trip!  Seriously,…we drove to Florida. (24 hrs in a van!)  But the ride was part of the fun and makes the trip much more affordable.  We also picked up a kid.  My oldest’s BF had never been to Disney and when we told him we were going…well the look on his face made me invite him along.  This was actually a good idea since he has a driver’s licence!  Ulterior motive? Maybe.  But he’s actually a good kid and we all like him a lot.  He fits in well with the group.  The son I never had, the big brother they never had.  It all worked out.

 

First up….Hollywood Studios

The thing I learned.  Take lots of snacks.  Disney is expensive!  I thought I packed enough food for the day and only planned to buy dinner.  We were staying from open to close to maximize the park and the limited time we were staying in Florida.  I ran out of food about noon! Luckily, Disney has lots of water fountains and we didn’t need to buy $5 water.  Food total for the day was about $200 American.   Yikes!  Oh and make sure you do the Tower of Terror! Amazing thrill ride.

 

 

Next up…Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has a new area dedicated to the Movie Avatar.  Hint:  use your Disney fast past for this and book early…I mean like 6 months early not 2 weeks early.  The wait time without it was 2 hrs!  Luckily, I brought lots of snacks. Oh, make sure you do the Dinosaur ride!  It is probably the best ride in the whole Disney Park…I kid you not!

 

What I learned from this trip

Memories are precious. I wish I had of thought of this before now.  However, live and learn. I am already planning my next family vacation with just the two younger ones.  The other two can come of course. (And any add ons J)  But just because they may not be able to come, doesn’t mean I am going to forget making memories for the other two.  One more blink and they will be gone as well.

 

Here are a couple of links to help you plan your trip to Disney. click here, and here. Oh and don’t forget, Disney often offers discounts to Canadian residents at different times of the year.  Make sure you check out their website for dates and offers. I also found this wonderful in depth blog post for the economical Canadian traveller.

So what about you? What is your favorite vacation spot?  Any hints for making each trip memorable?

Fortnite: Battle Royale – What happened to good old games like Super Mario?

      

photos courtesy of giphy.com

Ok when you put them side by side, I can see the appeal of Fortnite. I’m not much of a gamer, but when I heard that Fortnite: Battle Royale was all the rage with all the kids,  I decided to check it out and do some research.  What I learned, is that anyone between the age of 8-18 knows what this game is, and what it’s all about.  Since I don’t fit in that demographic, I had no clue! Shocker!  Lol  I come from the Nintendo generation and never really got into fighting games.  But I do like games. So with an open mind, I gave it a shot and downloaded the game.

Keith Stewart, from the Guardian wrote a really neat post on it here, calling it “a bright, brash multiplayer shooter… It was released last year, and is now one of the biggest online games out there, drawing mounting concern from the mainstream media.”

The premise: 100 players drop out of a bus that’s hanging in the air (yup you read that correctly) and they fight till there is only one player left. Yikes! Can we say Hunger games anyone? I pictured gory, bloody, massive amounts of violence. I don’t want my kids playing this game! But again I decided to see for myself. I am an open minded person who does not prejudge. Well except when it comes to food. Beans! Blech! I digress…

Check out this YouTube trailer of the game…

 

What makes this a great game?

  • Its free
  • Bright graphics
  • Silly fun to watch and play
  • Can team up with other players
  • Always adds new stuff
  • cool dance moves
  • Anyone can play, not just for gamers. It is free for download on PC/Xbox/PlayStation/Smartphones and Switch.

The game looks to depict some really graphic violence, but it isn’t bloody and/or graphic.  Things blow up and you do die, so the concept is there, but it isn’t as graphic as some of the other games out there. I want to say sugar coated, brighter more colourful, less visually graphic, hunger games? Still sounds a bit alarming but it does come with an age rating of 13+, and when you consider the other games out there…well you should probably judge for yourself before letting your kids play.

My thoughts?

Meh, I’m not really into this type of game.  (I prefer Super Mario!)  It is a little technical and fast paced.  You have to find stuff to build a fort, and find weapons to fight with, all the while trying not to get shot at or blown up or anything else dramatic. I can see why it has an appeal for young players. The graphics are pretty cool and I did like watching others play. If you are interested in playing, I did find some cool hacks and tips for the slower (*wink- older) folks for keeping up with the kidlets.

 

What about you?  Have you played this game?  Did/do you like it? Any other games that you would recommend to us (*cough) older folks?

 Fortnite: Battle Royale…a game for the young or at least young at heart. https://wp.me/p3QRy0-jWS

 Fortnite: Battle Royale. A Jump, build, shoot, don’t die game! https://wp.me/p3QRy0-jWS

 

 

Do it yourself….Well Everything!

 

See the source image

Photo by animated graphics.com

The one thing I love about the internet and social media these days is how much DIY stuff there is available. DIY has been around for a long time, but it seems like it only really took off in the last decade or so. It is very empowering.  I mean you can practically google anything and figure out how to make it, bake it, fix it, whatever you want it! I recently had to replace a broken thermostat and I hate dealing with electricity (freaks me out!) but I googled it and wham…I installed a brand new thermostat all by myself!  🙂  And yes it really works! lol

Now I am also a sucker for DIY crafts, especially this time of year when Halloween is just around the corner.  Halloween is my all time favorite holiday. It practically throws up on my lawn every year…

Photo by me (Halloween 2017)

So…this year, I wanted to try some new things…you know, in with the new, out with the old.  So I searched the internet and found a tonne of DIY Halloween décor sights!  Scary outside, cool indoor ideas and lots and lots of other ideas.  There are simply too many to put on this blog!

Pinterest is the most amazing website for all kinds of things.  Social Media meets DIY in a most amazing, crazy, awesome and extremely creative way.  I love this site. Pinterest of course also has some really cool DIY ideas for Halloween and pretty much anything Yay!  🙂

So with my frantic search of the internet for some creative outdoor Halloween decorations this year, this is what my DIY creative looking found.  The winner is….

   Idea found on Tumbler

And my other winner to make it not quite so freakish for the kids!

Idea found on Sunset

So I am all set for Halloween decorating.  I can’t wait to get started.  What about you? Any crazy DIY ideas to help me out?  Any DIY stories that you would like to share?

Do It Yourself Halloween and more https://wp.me/p3QRy0

 

Crazy DIY Halloween ideas https://wp.me/p3QRy0

 

Update! …..  Halloween 2018 photos.

  

photos by me

Happy Halloween Everyone!

To Online Date or Not to Online Date…That is the question!

 

See the source image

Photo from Collegetimes.com

In todays dating world, on-line dating had become the norm.  Gone, it seems are the days of meeting someone at a bar, church, friends party etc.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, however but with all the dating websites out there how do you choose?

Well, I asked my 20 yr old daughter and her friends and they came up with a list of what is popular with millennials.  *I’m a little too old for dating websites…not to mention my BF wouldn’t appreciate the on-line research required 😉 

  •       Plenty of fish
  •    Bumble
  •      Tinder
  •     OkCupid

And the winner is…..Bumble!  

       

Photos courtesy of Jenn (used with permission)

  Why? Let’s review the positives about that site that push it over the edge of success…

1.      It has photo verification technology.  No more catfishing! How the tech works

2.      Girls make the first move. Remember the days of waiting for a guy to ask you out?  Well that’s not how Bumble works.  Bumble is empowering women to reach out (if they want) and approach the guy with a clever catch line.

3.      The men on Bumble make the effort to actually go on dates and not just get in your pants.  Tinder is more for hookups. (*as cited in an interview with Jen) 

4.      It’s not just about dating.  Bumble is an all encompassing app for dating, friend finding and career building in a single platform.

5.      Bumble is also for same sex connections not just heterosexual relationships.  This is a step in forward thinking.   

Need to know more about Bumble? Click the link to go to their FAQ page and discover why other young women are finding this site a step above. Tell me more

Before I leave I wanted to share some success stories with people using Bumble. Please click on the link to see Bumble love 

So what about you? Any stories (good or bad) about on-line dating that you want to share?  Have you tried Bumble? Or now want to? 

 

  Top Dating Website for Millennials.   https://wp.me/p3QRy0-jQr

Get in on the #Bumble Action.  https://wp.me/p3QRy0-jQr

Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat oh my! Social Media is a Parent’s nightmare!

Photo credit Cynthia Stacey

As a parent I am constantly bombarded with the social media frenzy and the questions that accompany it.  What age should they be allowed to use it? How do I monitor it? Helicopter parenting vs full on trust that they can handle it?  It is a never ending circle of advice, scaring tactics and information overload that would send anyone toppling over the edge of insanity.

I’ve learned over the years that my job as a parent is to teach them right from wrong, arm them with the skills they need to make their own decisions and let them age appropriately deal with issues on their own.  This applies to social media as well. My kids are on various social media accts and so far they have been successfully navigating this world and even teaching me a thing or two.  That doesn’t mean I let them have free reign.

 I have rules.

  • I subscribe to every social media acct that they do. They have to follow me and I follow them.
  • I monitor what they are posting. If I don’t like it, they take it down.
  • All security settings are in place so they are never just public domain. Friends only.
  • I teach them about the very real dangers of being online. Don’t talk to people you don’t know. Don’t post where you are. Don’t give out your email or phone number or any personal details.
  • They have to show me their unlocked phone anytime I ask. I check who they are talking to and what they are posting.
  • My favorite rule of all: If it feels wrong, it probably is. When in doubt ask me.
  • I limit the use of it as well: homework first, not at the dinner table etc.

 

One of the advantages I have is that my kids inadvertently rat each other out.  I actively listen to what they are saying, even to each other.  “Did you see Becca’s Snapchat story?”  hmm…I didn’t see that…”Becca show me your phone. Why am I not getting your Snapchat story?”  Please explains can be very scary concepts. (*giggling to myself at my own ingenuity!)

Thoughts?

So what about you? What are your thoughts on kids and social media?  Any tricks to keeping them safe that you want to pass on?

 

Should your child have a social media account?

5 Reasons You Don’t Need to Worry About Kids and Social Media

Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids

 

Facebook Logo  Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Oh My! Social Media, is a Parent’s nightmare!  https://bit.ly/2NTZch7

Twitter Symbol  Twitter, Instagram, snapchat oh my! Information overload! https://bit.ly/2NTZch7