What to do when You Have Trouble Seeing Close Up

I’m thirty-three years old. Three years ago, I had laser eye surgery to correct life-long nearsightedness. Before the surgery, I had no trouble seeing close up. Books, computers, cell phones and faces in conversation were easy. What caused me to squint were things like street signs, chalkboards and clocks across the room. The doc warned me that my vision may swing the other way after the surgery: based on my eyes and genetics, I’d likely have trouble seeing close up sooner than most people. Surgery could help me travel and navigate airports or roads, but soon I would probably find myself holding reading material and menus further away, struggling to make out words that were right in front of my face.

She was right. 

12 EPIC Reasons to take a Disney Vacation Beyond the Parks

I’m a Disney nut. My childhood memories are filled with Disneyland wonder – but I’m also a fairly independent traveler most of the time. My family likes to camp and go on road trips. I’ve always wondered if it was possible for someone like me to find the adventure I crave in a Disney vacation, sprinkled with some pixie dust. Now that we’ve taken a Disney cruise, visited Aulani, and spent lots of time at the Florida and California resorts, I feel qualified to compare the experiences.

Mix-and-Match Clothes for Boys

What to do when your ‘big boys’ and ‘little boys’ are the exact same size? There’s a four-year age gap between our oldest three kids, but they’re currently ALL wearing a size six! With a 6’4″ former NCAA football player for a dad, this isn’t shocking. Our kids tend to grow in awkward spurts. They go through husky phases and string bean phases and it all levels out in the end. It does make shopping a bit of a challenge, though. We need cool colors and graphics to make the big boys happy, and awesomely-rugged play gear to keep the little one going. How to solve this problem? Mix-and-match clothes for boys!

25 Disney Cruise Line Tips to Know Before you Go

Remember when I told you all we were packing for a Disney cruise? Well, we went. And it was awesome! We all felt a little overwhelmed before we left because this was a BIG bucket list trip for us. I decided to take copious notes to share with fellow Disney cruisers who may feel the same way. Here are the in-the-know Disney Cruise Line tips to help you travel like a pro.

A Tour of our Laundry Area

We still have that quirky outdoor laundry shed that I told you guys about a while ago, with no plans to bring the laundry machines back inside. We get emails asking us how we feel about this setup every few days, and the answer is that we love it! We’ve gone full steam ahead converting the old indoor laundry area into a master bathroom, and our whole family has easily adjusted to using the space opposite the washing machine as our new home stockpile. Since so many people have asked to see the other side of the room where the magical washing and drying stuff happens, we’re bringing you into the mix. It’s time to see how we store ALL the things. Come along and tour our laundry area!

Cat Ruining Couch? Here’s What to Do

I mentioned in my 4th of July pet post that I adopted some more cats recently. Thanks to my friends who know we have space on the farm and like to send me notices of a nearby shelter closing down, knowing I have zero self-control! We brought in three ladies who we call Smoky, Penelope and Twinkle. Twinkle here was named in part because she likes to tinkle everywhere in the house. Particularly in our living room, she pees and poops and scratches and claws. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she would be the death of my go-to hangout spot in no time flat. This cat was ruining my couch.

How we Manage 4 Kids in 1 Room

We fit all four of our kids in one room. True story. It’s not that we don’t have space to split them up – the kids have a dedicated playroom that could easily be converted to another bedroom. For our family, however, keeping one room dedicated to all the kids sleeping and one dedicated to all of their playing? Well, it’s worked perfectly. There have been just a few hiccups along the way, like when we transition each dude out of the crib. Not gonna lie, that part is always chaos.

Here’s Every Gadget in our Connected Smart Home

Smart home gadgets have LONG been a conversation piece around here. We’ve shared how we keep our home running with the help of a smart refrigerator, automated lights, video doorbell, and internet hub. A few readers have emailed asking for a complete list of connected smart home items we use to keep things running smoothly while we travel. Not just one-off features, but an item-by-item list of stuff that helps us keep it all together.

The Graco Uno2Duo Stroller Goes from One Baby to Two

What kind of stroller should I buy? This is definitely one of the most frequent questions we receive from our active readers who are looking to start a family. Most soon-to-be moms and dads have a litany of requirements. They tell me that they plan to baby wrap or babywear when hiking through rugged terrain, but their stroller needs to keep pace from city errands to theme parks. They want something that can have a car seat clicked in and fold without a ton of fuss, and that can grow from one to two babies. That last specification is the real kicker that throws a lot of options out of the running. The Uno2Duo stroller manages to check every single box with ease.