Hello, I’m Angelica Kajiwara

Welcome to our corner of the internet where we travel to strengthen family bonds, have fun and make core memories together. We learn together as we go. We love Jesus.

  • 5 Reasons to Skip the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge

    No, I’m not a nature hater. My whole family loves hiking and enjoying the outdoors. So, when I heard about the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge, I jumped in headfirst. I downloaded the tracking app and added a minimum of 3 hours of outside time to our daily plans. Soon, I learned that this challenge didn’t inspire us to be outside more. Keep reading to discover why we opted out of the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. 

    The Weather

    After reading There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather, I felt convicted to keep my kids outside in the rain, sleet, sun and snow, no matter what. Here’s the thing, my kids don’t like being outdoors in all sorts of weather. Sometimes, they do, and sometimes they don’t, but I started removing that choice in favor of hitting our 1000 hours outside goal. It turned into whining, complaining and zero fun for any of us. Since we stopped tracking our time outside, my kids go out in all sorts of weather when they want to go, but I don’t force it.  

    Nature vs. Screens

    If you’ve researched the movement, you know many children spend way more time looking at screens than outside. We don’t. In our house, we like TV sometimes; otherwise, we’re always doing something other than screen time. So, we’re meeting that goal in different ways. And screens aren’t the enemy. But, screen addiction is the enemy. Also, I don’t want my kids thinking they have to go outside. I want them to love going outside.  

    The Stress

    As a working homeschool mom of three, I’m all full up when it comes to stress and expectations. Are they learning what they need to know? Do they get enough time with friends? Are they active enough? Great! Let’s add, do they spend 1000 hours outside every year? No thanks. I don’t need another box to check or an app notification to check. Thankfully, I’ve been able to let outside time happen organically, and we’re all a little calmer for it. 

    The Love

    I love being outside. I grew up camping and hiking and swimming in lakes. My heart needs the sun, sand, dirt and breeze. That’s what I want for my kids. I don’t want them to think about being outside as another goal to meet. I want them to fall in love with family time by a fire and tiny ants scurrying across the patio. I hope the outdoors fills them with joy. 

    The Trend

    Last but not least, I’m over the trends. There’s always something shiny and new to chase. Is that really how we want our kids to grow up? If they’re always going after something trendy, they’ll miss out on the tried-and-true gifts we’ve all been enjoying for thousands of years. Nature isn’t new, and it isn’t trendy. It’s God’s gift for all of us to steward and enjoy. We don’t need a timer to enjoy it. 

    Give yourself permission to skip the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. Instead, just enjoy your time together in nature. You might end up outside more than you ever imagined when you all crave it naturally. 

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    Find the Best Homeschool Discounts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

    Homeschool families love to vacation during the off-season. This year, we took our fall trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We planned to hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but we got rained out all week long. So I had to think fast to make sure all of us enjoyed our week away. To my surprise, Pigeon Forge is a super homeschool-friendly town. Almost everywhere we went offered a homeschool discount, and we learned so much together while we had a ton of fun.

    Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

    Of course, we wanted to visit this award-winning aquarium from the start. The aquarium offers many educational opportunities for homeschool families. Your crew can explore the different exhibits throughout the facility, participate in daily lab activities or attend monthly educational programs. Thankfully, Ripley’s franchise offers discounts at all the local attractions, not just the aquarium.

    Homeschool Rates:

    • Aquarium
      • Student & immediate minor siblings living in the household $10.99+tax per person
      • Teaching Parents $19.99+tax per person
      • Children 2-5 $6.00+tax per child
    • Believe It or Not!: $15.00+tax
    • Mirror Maze: $6.00+tax
    • Haunted Adventure: $9.00+tax
    • Super Fun Zone Laser Tag: $9.00+tax
    • Super Fun Zone Indoor Mini-Golf: $7.00+tax
    • Davy Crockett mini golf: $9.00+tax
    • Old MacDonald mini golf: $9.00+tax
    • Moving Theater: $9.00+tax

    Don’t forget to bring one of the following: a Letter of Intent, Attendance Report, School ID.

    Pro tip: I print our school IDs through Homeschool Buyers Co-Op.


    On day two, we decided to check out WonderWorks for one of their homeschool days offered from September through November. This family-friendly museum has 100+ hands-on exhibits everyone will love. My kids had so much fun, but they were bummed they didn’t meet the height requirements for most of the more physical exhibits. 

    • Homeschool Rate – $12.00+tax per person

    We happened to visit on Teacher Appreciation Day. On those days, a teacher and guest get in for free, and everyone else in the group gets in for $10.00+tax. It was packed, though! I wouldn’t recommend visiting on these days unless you’re good with crowds and long lines. Either way, everyone will love this fantastic museum.

    Parrot Mountain

    My oldest daughter loves birds. She told me she wants to be a “bird doctor” when she grows up. So, of course, we had to visit Parrot Mountain during our stay. My kiddos enjoyed the cages filled with gorgeous birds, but the bird feeding areas and the baby bird nursery won her heart in every way. If I’m honest, I’m not a huge bird person, but watching my little ones’ faces light up made my day. Of course, Parrot Mountain doesn’t offer a big discount, but every little bit helps, right?

    • Homeschool Rate: Call for the current rate

    This place is the ultimate rainy day spot for your kids to burn off some serious energy after a morning full of worksheets. They have big and little kid ninja warrior courses, trampolines, dodgeball courts, and so much more. There is a concession stand on-site, but you can bring in outside food.

    • Homeschool Rate: $10.00+tax for one hour

    OK, I’m throwing this one in here without a discount offer, but bear with me. You don’t want to miss this stop with your family. It is a blast! Pigeon Forge Snow is the only indoor snow tubing facility of its kind in the United States. I was worried it was too fast for my little kids, but they loved every minute of it. My husband and I went down at least ten times too.

    We couldn’t see it all in a week, so I’ll include a list of the other places we missed that offer a homeschool discount.


    Special Rates are available to homeschool students & families during Homeschool Days at Dollywood from August through September.

    Reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance by calling 888-428-6789. Payment in full must be made at the time of reservation. Homeschool tickets are not available for purchase at the front gate.

    • Homeschool Rate:
      • Child’s ticket: $37.00+tax
      • Adult tickets are $47.00+tax
      •  Splash Country: child and adult tickets: $37.00+tax
      • Dreammore Resort: $120.00+tax per night

    Alcatraz East

    Homeschoolers and parents can explore the history of American Crime, Law Enforcement & Forensic Science at a discounted rate!

    • Homeschool Rate: $12.00+tax


    • The rate is available only on weekdays when school is in session.
    • These special promotional rates cannot be combined with other discounts or offers and are not valid holidays.

    Titanic Museum

    History, science, geography, language and social studies are fun to learn when boys and girls participate in the “teacher-approved” Titanic Scavenger Hunt at the World’s Largest Titanic Museum Attraction.

    • Homeschool Rate: $13.00+tax

    Comment below and let me know if you found additional homeschool discounts in the area. I’d love to add them to this list!

  • Hidden Rock Scrambling Hikes the Whole Family Will Love

    Hikes that scramble over rocks, around giant boulders and through crevices can be some of the most adventurous and fun for kids. Little ones are often natural climbers, and nature’s playgrounds are fun for the whole family. Grab your sturdy hiking shoes and keep scrolling for our favorite scrambles in the DC area.

    Sunrise Trail, Sugarloaf Mountain, Dickerson, Maryland

    A one-mile hike up and back to an epic view makes this scramble worth every rock. My little ones are 4, 4 and 3 years old, and they made up this path on their own, but not without a few skinned knees. The hike is shady all the way to the top, and the overlook is nothing short of breath-taking. Stop at the family-friendly winery at the bottom of the mountain when you’re finished. 

    Devil’s Den, National Military Park, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

    Trust me; this one is worth the drive. Yes, you can hike around the military park and take a self-guided tour for tons of civil war history, but we spent our entire afternoon scrambling around Devil’s Den. The central rock outcropping is full of climbing spots and dark crevices to explore, but there are lots of other little places to hop around too. The area is in full sun so keep that in mind when you plan your visit. 

    Burnt Mills Park East, Silver Spring, Maryland   

    The hike is fantastic if your crew is up for it. We didn’t make it very far because my kids wanted to climb the huge rocks and splash around in the water. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous waterfall. We enjoyed our picnic on the rocks too. Save this hike for fall because the leaf-peeping is incredible. Park West is just across the street, and there is a picturesque dam to see there too.   

    Cunningham Falls State Park, Cliffs Trail, Thurmont, Maryland

    We chose the upper falls trail at 1.4 miles to take in all the rocks. There aren’t many rocks to climb up and over, but the trail itself is a moderate scramble to the falls. I’ve heard there are quite a few scramble hikes in the area. We’ll have to go back to find some more. 

    Weverton Cliffs, Knoxville, Maryland

    Again, this isn’t a climbing trail as much as a moderate hike full of rocks to scramble over. The views are worth the effort, and there is plenty of shade to keep you cool on your way to the top. My little ones didn’t make it all the way up on a hot summer day, so we’re planning to try again on a chilly fall morning.  

    Elizabeth Mills Riverfront Park, Leesburg, Virginia

    I would save this hike for warm weather because you’ll miss some great scrambling if you can’t get through the water. Don’t be turned off by the walk through the golf course; the area is beautiful down by the river, and the hike is very little kid-friendly. Pack a change of clothes just in case splashing turns to sitting in the water. 

    Worth the Drive: White Rocks Trail, Boiling Springs, PA

    About 1 mile in, you’ll come to a pretty big scramble, and I highly recommend you get everybody to the top. The view is absolutely amazing. I knew we wouldn’t do this entire 2.9-mile out and back trail, but I’m so glad we made it to this overlook spot. We even ate our picnic at the top so we could keep on enjoying the view together.

    We still have a list of places we want to visit. I’ll update the list as we get to each one.

    • Bear’s Den
    • Billy Goat Trail, Great Falls
    • C&O Lock 10
    • Carderock Recreation Area

  • Go Glamping in Mill Creek, Pennsylvania

    Vacation plans have gone from plan A to plan B (or even C) in a hurry, but what is plan B? Hotels are iffy at best with all the safety concerns, and rentals pose the same problem. How about a fresh air option with all the comforts of home? Airydale Retreat is the answer for your next family vacation.

    Glamping is the perfect introduction to camping because they take care of the hard part – setting up camp. We stayed at the Cardinal Glampsite. It is a family-sized tent with a slide attached. How cool is that?

    Our family of five had plenty of room. The queen-sized bed was super comfy and all of the linens were waiting for us (queen sheets, quilt, pillows, washcloths and towels). The twins slept on the bunk bed cots, and we brought a twin-sized air mattress for our youngest. We packed linens and pillows for those beds. Even in the dead of summer, with 90-degree days, it was pretty chilly at night. We ended up at a local store buying extra blankets.

    The owner of Airydale Retreat thought of everything. We had pots and pans, non-stick cooking spray, dishwashing tubs and drying racks, dish soap, dish towels, fresh water, a single extension cord, cooking and eating utensils, mugs, Coleman stove, firewood, kindling, picnic table, matches, coffee, percolator, cooler, lanterns, hotdog and marshmallow roasting sticks, basic first aid kit, a bar of eco-friendly soap, children’s books and two anti-gravity chairs on the deck. We also had bins for trash, recycling and compost.

    We packed clothes, food, toiletries and ice. That’s it!

    Our View

    Just steps away from the glampsite, there is a huge outdoor shower with hot water and a well-maintained porta-potty. I was able to take all three kids into the shower to wash them off. It was fast and easy.

    The area around the retreat is beautiful and very rural. We found a grocery store, ice cream stand, convenience store (be sure to visit Ye Olde Cheese Shoppe – they have ice too) and a farm that sells raw milk. Other than that, you’ll have to drive at least 30 minutes for much else.

    Most importantly, we spent three wonderful unplugged days together. The kids dug for bugs and got super dirty. We chatted over firepit coffee and s’mores. We made amazing memories together, and we’re already planning to go back.

    Trough Creek State Park – Copperas Rock

    If you are looking for fun places to hike and explore, both Greenwood Furnace and Trough Creek State Parks are great options.

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    3 Reasons to Book a Farm Stay Now

    While farmers markets bring fresh food to you, farm stays invite guests to the farm to experience the lifestyle – for a night, for a weekend, or more. But why vacation on a farm? Here are our top 3 reasons to pack up the family and head out to the country.

    Connect with nature

    Where else can you snuggle a baby chick, hand feed a goat, practice your best turkey call and eat under a gorgeous shade tree? Your family can do all of that and more when you vacation on a farm.

    PandA Homestead in Capron, Virginia

    Our family has enjoyed quite a few farm stay vacations, and I’ve never felt more relaxed and more connected to nature. There is nothing like the up-close experience of taking care of the animals, learning about where your food comes from and spending truly intentional family time together.

    Pine Ridge Dude Ranch in Kerhonkson, New York

    Connect with the animals

    This isn’t a typical day at the zoo. Your kiddos will get to care for, ride on and play with their new furry and feathered friends. We’ve watched our children grow in confidence and learn so much from our farm stay adventures. They respect and love the animals they’ve met. They also know exactly where their food comes from.

    Connect with each other

    Family time is precious. Family time away from grind is priceless. A farm stay allows your family to spend time together learning, playing and connecting like never before.

    Blue Hill Farm in Boyce, Virginia

    Some of our favorite travel memories were created during our farm stays together. We do our best to unplug and take full advantage of the beauty around us. It is so fun to watch as our kids explore, get dirty and grow together. Also, our little ones aren’t into R-n-R like we are and it is so nice to have lots to do right outside our front door.

    PandA Homestead in Capron, Virginia

    Next time you sit down to plan your family vacation, visit Farm Stay USA and check out the family farms near you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

  • My Girl’s Weekend in Richmond, Virginia at The Jefferson Hotel

    Last weekend, we set off on a much-needed girl’s weekend – kid free.  I know I know, you’ll miss those adorable faces, I sure did, but the gorgeous hotel will make up for it, promise. We hope you enjoy this review of The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia!


    Our home away from home for the two nights we were in town was in the downtown Richmond area. The hotel itself is absolutely gorgeous. Visiting the hotel felt like stepping into a luxury time machine that transported me back to the early 1800s.  The opulent statue of Thomas Jefferson greeted me upon arrival as well as the kind and attentive staff.


    We stayed in a Grand Premier Guest Room with two queen beds, sitting area, dressing area, and a to-die-for bathroom with dual sinks and an in-mirror TV.


    Seriously, I need that bathroom in my life.


    The room was spacious, comfortable and well-appointed with everything we could have ever needed.  I mean, a mama needs her Nespresso machine, right?


    Another bonus was the location. It is in the heart of downtown Richmond, and the complimentary shuttle can take you just about anywhere in the downtown area. The area is packed full with perfect little restaurants and cafes to start your girl’s weekend off right.


    No girl’s weekend is complete without a little room service and breakfast in bed.  We decided that vacation calories don’t count and went for all the breakfast goodness.  Top that off with one of the fluffy robes, and I think I found heaven on earth.


    I had no trouble enjoying my toddler-free morning in bed, but Susannah decided to take advantage of the fitness center and indoor pool.  To each her own, I guess.  Just kidding!


    We decided we eventually had to leave the hotel, so we drove over to Agecroft Hall.  It is a Tudor mansion right in the middle of Richmond.  It is kind of crazy, but T.C. Williams purchased the mansion in the UK, and after a long political debate, disassembled it, and sailed it back to Virginia.


    The home and gardens are stunning, and the history is super cool.  I highly recommend adding it to your “kid-free” list of things to do in the area.


    We ended up checking out the New York Deli for lunch and found ourselves in the midst of another amazing history lesson. Opening in 1929, and in its present location since 1934, the New York Deli is Richmond’s oldest (any maybe yummiest) restaurant.


    Be sure to bring a few dollar bills for the 50-year-old, black and white photobooth.  It is a great souvenir.


    We all had such a great time at The Jefferson Hotel. It is pure luxury and relaxation.

    You can learn more about this hotel in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and book a room or two here.

    The Jefferson Hotel hosted our stay in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

  • Top 8 Things to Know About Visiting Jurassic Quest with a Toddler

    If your little ones are anything like mine, they love dinosaurs.  Not like normal love, we’re talking complete obsession, total devotion, and unfailing dedication.  This love means we must visit every single dinosaur attraction that comes within 500 miles of our home.  Of course, we had to visit Jurassic Quest, and I am so glad we did.  It was toddler heaven and the stuff dreams are made of.


    Thank you, Jurassic Quest for hosting our family.  We had such a wonderful family day out with the dinosaurs.


    Here are the top 8 things to know about taking your toddler to Jurassic Quest.

    1. It is awesome – I’ve never seen a dinosaur exhibit like this one. There are over 80 true-to-life size dinosaurs.  You can ride on a huge T-rex, pet a baby Brachiosaurus, or marvel and a roaring Velociraptor.  Obviously, my kids went completely nuts.  But the adults were in awe too.  It is epic
    2. Dinosaur rides for all – I love that Jurassic Quest is for all ages. There are big dinosaur rides for kids over 3 feet tall and little dinosaur rides for tiny dinosaur lovers.  My oldest loved the T-Rex ride, and my youngest got to ride on a Lambeosaurus.  My oldest daughter wasn’t interested in waiting, so she decided to dig for fossils instead.
    3. Don’t forget to bring snacks and drinks – The exhibit graciously allows outside food, and we would have had “hangry” fits without it. They have onsite food options, but I was happy we had our own water bottles, pouches, and finger foods.  Goldfish Crackers were an excellent distraction while we waited in line.
    4. Pack the stroller – all of the Jurassic Quest venues are handicap and stroller accessible. We took our Zoe Triple Stroller, and we didn’t have any issues navigating the exhibit.  My Littlest is almost two, and she preferred the stroller over walking since it was pretty crowded.  It also helped me keep track of everyone.
    5. Bring socks – there are lots of bounce houses on the other side of the main dinosaur hall, and you will need socks for your little ones to hop in.
    6. Yes, there’s a gift shop – each Jurassic Quest event is at a different venue so they may not be exactly the same. In Chantilly, Virginia, there was a decent sized toy shop with tons of dinosaur toys to take home.  My kids loved the “pet” dinosaur ($15).  It is a balloon that hovers just above the ground and has a leash for your child to pull.  It is really cool.
    7. Lots of crowds and lines – Jurassic Quest is an extremely popular exhibit, and it often sells out. Just another example of how amazing it is.  With that comes a ton of people, lines and crazy excited little ones desperate to ride a dinosaur.  We arrived about 15 minutes before it opened and there was already a line to get in.  However, we didn’t wait more than 5 minutes to get in the exhibit, no more than 10 minutes for a dinosaur ride, and we walked right up to most of the little kid fun.  Jurassic Quest recommends arriving after 4 PM to miss some of the crowds.  Side note: I highly recommend heading over to the shows very early.  They were lined up 10 people deep, and it is difficult to see if you aren’t near the front.
    8. You can see it all before naptime – We arrived just before 9 AM, and we were all sitting at lunch by noon. I have no doubt you could spend a lot more time there, but we always try to sneak in a nap if we can.  My kids actually spent the most time digging for fossils (basically a huge sandbox).

    I highly recommend checking out Jurassic Quest with your family.  Be sure to buy tickets in advance, and stop at all of the amazing photo ops throughout the exhibit.  You’ll have some pretty awesome memories!



    Thank you, Deana Moreno Photography for these amazing family memories.  We’ll cherish them always.

    Thank you, Jurassic Quest for hosting our family.  We had a great day!

    Check out our daily fun on Instagram

  • How to Keep Kids Busy During Morning Basket Time

    We love Morning Basket time in our house. We gather in our little learning room every morning to read and discuss chapter books, theology, art, music, history and science. Sometimes, we talk about current events or what’s happening in our family. But my kids are 6, 6, and 5, so getting them to listen and comprehend isn’t always easy. So, here’s how I help my kids focus while we read through our Morning Basket. 

    Busy Hands and Quiet Mouths

    This phrase is my Morning Basket motto. I don’t particularly care what my kids do during Morning Basket Time as long as their mouths are quiet (unless we’re discussing something). So, here’s the list of things they can choose from in our learning space. 

    • Playdough
    • Legos
    • Magnatiles
    • Kinetic sand
    • Duplos
    • Foam blocks
    • Wooden blocks
    • Paints
    • Coloring books
    • Bible timeline tracing
    •  Cutting practice
    • Jewelry making 
    • Magic painting
    • Memory game
    • Busy books

    Also, I kept their baby pillows; they’re welcome to curl up on one of those while I read. Suppose our Morning Basket becomes an Afternoon Basket (because life!); they might fall asleep while I read. That’s OK, too. As long as we can all listen together, it’s a success.   

  • Find the Best Family Beach in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

    We’re always hunting for the most family-friendly beaches to splash in the water and dig in the sand. During our recent trip to Lake Geneva, WI, we went into town to spend the day at Riviera Beach. It’s the perfect lakefront beach for families. The beach is clean, not too crowded, close to everything downtown has to offer and near public parking. We enjoyed Riviera Beach in Lake Geneva so much that we returned for a second day.

    Since we traveled up from Chattanooga, TN, we decided to rent all of our lake day gear from BabyQuip. It made it so much easier as all of the gear was delivered to Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Lake Geneva where we stayed. Our BabyQuip quality provider, Heather Stewart brought us a 10 x 10 canopy with sun protection, chairs, towels, a cooler and wagon to carry it all. Everything was spotless and easy load and unload. Definitely check out this rental service anytime you travel. They have everything!

    Riviera Beach – Lake Geneva, WI – Need to know:

    The Riviera Beach is open during summer months, beginning May through September, with Lifeguards on duty from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    • Cost: $8 (over age 6). You’ll need to buy your tickets at a roadside kiosk or at the window at the bottom of the entry stairs.

    Beach Rules

    • No glass containers
    • No alcohol/drugs
    • No smoking
    • Dogs and other pets are not allowed
    • No knives or weapons
    • Food and flotation devices are allowed in the beach area.

    The lake is so clear and perfect for swimming. We’re planning to go back next year if we can. It’s the perfect place to escape the crazy summer temperatures down south. Also, Riviera Beach is unique because it is fenced in and kept very clean.

    Comment on the Instagram post below and let me know if you have any questions about our trip to Lake Geneva, WI.

    ***our rentals with BabyQuip were complimentary. However, we LOVED the service, and plan to use it again as soon as we hit the road for our next trip.

  • 5 Time Saving Life Hacks for Moms

    Being a mom is rewarding work. It’s the absolute best work that you can do. But, that doesn’t mean that it is hard and stressful, and sometimes, you might feel like time (and life) is slipping away from you, before you are able to get anything done. How can we take care of everything (and especially ourselves) with no time? It all comes down to one thing: utilizing hacks that save time + make us better for ourselves and our families! If you are struggling to find time, here are 5 time saving life hacks for moms:

    Create a meal calendar each week

    On the weekend, lay out your week and figure out what meals you need. Do you have meals already planned out of the house, do you have leftovers? Is there meat that needs to be cooked within the next few days? Try to think of it all and then create a meal calendar each week. Some people do this monthly, but personally, I feel like that is a pretty big undertaking, so 1 or 2 weeks at a time, is a little more manageable (but you find out what works best for you specifically). After creating your meal calendar for the week (or month), write down what all you need from the store, to create your grocery list. Then, ask everyone else in the house if there is anything they need from the store. This way, hopefully you will be able to cover everything in one trip and do not have to go back to the store 2-3+ times in one week. This will save time and some money, too. After you get your grocery shopping done, prep whatever you can and make sure you organize your fridge and pantry so that you don’t have to weed through it every single time you take out a meal or a snack. All of these above tips will save you so much time and effort throughout the week – especially if you meal prep ahead of time! 

    Consider grocery meal delivery services

    Now, to follow along with the same topic as above, some people don’t even have time to go grab groceries…and that’s okay; I understand! Meal prepping, creating a meal plan and grocery list, and grocery shopping basically takes a full day to do. It’s a lot of work and it takes a ton of time and effort. Instead of doing it all yourself, consider grocery meal delivery services. This is a great way to save time, but one thing to keep in mind is that you also might be spending a little more money because services like Instacart no only ask for a service fee + tip, but they also mark up prices on a lot of products, too. If spending extra is worth having that extra time so that you do not have to shop for yourself, definitely do it! There are plenty of options now-a-days, such as Amazon (Whole Foods), Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Shipt, and more.

    Reduce screen time

    It is so easy to be sucked in by that TV show that is playing in the background, or your text messages, but screen time truly sucks away a lot of our time and doesn’t give you much back (long-term, at least). Reduce screen time, if possible. Instead of watching TV while you fold laundry, turn on an audio book instead, or play your favorite music. This way, you are still getting some entertainment, but you aren’t distracted by a screen that will cause you to pause to watch while you are getting your list done.

    Forgo DIY projects when you can’t take on more

    DIY projects can be fun and can save you time, but forgo them, when you feel like you don’t already have the time you need to focus on what you need to do and what you want to do. Instead, hire companies that can help you get those projects and tasks done. Like moving – if you don’t have the time for it (or think that your time could be spent elsewhere), hire a moving company instead. Or, even if you need a large piece of furniture delivered, moved within your house, or taken away, that doesn’t have to be done yourself. Companies like Star City Services are there to help. When you support companies like these long-distance movers (who can also help with all things moving and even Roanoke furniture delivery), you are also supporting the local economy, which is huge and so important. Star City Services is a local company with 4 years of experience. They say, “Star City Services is made up of a small but strong, tight-knit crew committed to fostering relationships and building trust with our clients. Our local movers can handle moves of all sizes and work within a 150-mile radius of Roanoke, VA. We’ll do all the heavy lifting for your residential or commercial move. We can also provide labor-only services if needed. Our #1 goal is to simplify your move by taking some of the weight off your shoulders.” So, support local, and support small, family-run companies like this one. It will save you time + effort, and it will help the local economy, too.

    Say “no” when needed

    For some reason, it has become very hard to say “no” over the past few years, but I believe that it’s essential. When you have too much on your plate, when you don’t want to devote your time to something else, or when you just want to focus on your family and home, say “no” to parties and people that will take your time away from what you want to be doing, or what you need to be doing. This is an important lesson to learn!

  • The Best Fidget Toy, According to a Veteran Mom

    No, I’m not sharing a list of random things to pack for your next road trip. Instead, this article is 100% dedicated to the Shashibo Cube. Seriously!

    I stumbled across this fidget toy in one of the deal groups I follow on Facebook. It was a few dollars off around the holidays, but I skipped it because I didn’t think it was worth $21 ($25 retail price). Let me tell you; I’d spend a lot more on this shapeshifting marvel now.

    When I first opened our Shashibo Cubes, I gave one to each of my kids (ages 6, 6, and 4). I figured they’d flip it around for a few minutes and leave it on the kitchen table. I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong. Don’t believe me? Check this out.

    My three little ones played with their Shashibo Cubes for an hour and ten minutes straight. I’m sure it would have gone on for a while longer, but I had to stop them for bedtime.

    I have no idea why this magic cube is so addicting, but since we started playing with ours, my husband and I can’t put them down either.

    Also, I added one of the fidget cubes to a recent birthday gift. And when the birthday boy opened it, all the boys standing around the table went nuts. Who knew? They went on and on about how they had one, and it was their favorite toy.

    We now have a dedicated drawer in our kitchen for our Shashibo Cubes. We take them in the car. We take them to church when everyone needs to sit quietly. We take them to a doctor’s appointment. We take them just about everywhere these days.

    Buy more than one to make tons of cool shapes

    I’ve heard from other moms that these cubes help kids with ADD and ADHD. I’ve also heard they’re calming for neurodiverse children as well. They help me calm down. I know that much.

    If you don’t believe me, check out the 28,000+ reviews on Amazon. People can’t get enough of these awesome fidget cubes.

    What do you think?

About Me

Angelica Kajiwara, her husband, mom and three kids are always up for an adventure. She shares day trips, weekend getaways and family road and field trips within driving distance of Atlanta. This travel-loving mom focuses on destinations and attractions where you can strengthen your family bond and make core memories. When she’s home in Georgia, her life revolves around homeschooling her three kids, loving her Brazillian husband and hanging out with her mom, who lives with them on Lookout Mountain.

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