Gulf Coast-Inspired Easy Shrimp Tacos

This easy shrimp taco recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SoftsoapTouch #OurCaringHands #CollectiveBias

Be ready for summer with these easy Gulf Coast style Shrimp Tacos! They're so easy to make and absolutely delicious. Feel the Gulf Island flavor-- shrimp, taco shells, and plenty of flavor. #OurCaringHands [ad]

The clock is ticking, y’all. I am just weeks away from the event that I look forward to all year long. I’d say I’m practically packed, but we all know I’ll end up doing that the night before I leave. I’m talking about summer vacation, and for me, oh, it’s so much more than just a little break. See, for almost two decades now, summer vacation has meant something a little bit different for my family. It hasn’t just meant beach, and sand, and the sun, but it’s meant a whole lot of family time.

Every summer, we make the trek down to the Gulf Coast, to a tiny island called Dauphin Island, Alabama. If you’re a long-time reader, you’ve probably even seen me talk about it every summer for the past several years. This year we will be driving about 16 hours like we do every summer. Why? To enjoy the beach with our family, who live in another state.

To save money, we split condo costs. We also make sure to cook and eat meals family-style in the condo, rather than going out to eat a lot. That doesn’t mean we never visit local restaurants…. We totally do! There are so many great options for Gulf Coast flavor. Restaurants there serve up fried fish platters, po’boys, and of course, delicious shrimp tacos.

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End Of Summer Road Trips from Kansas City

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias

Summer may be almost over, but there's still plenty of time to sneak in a little last-minute road trip. If you're from the Kansas City area, there are a ton of nearby options for places to travel, so you can sneak in that family bonding time before back to school hits. #RoadTripOil [ad]

I cannot even handle the fact that we’re over halfway through summer. I mean, I looked at the calendar, and we have like… 3 weeks left of the pool being open for the year. As much as I’m looking forward to my fall favorites returning in just a few short weeks, I also know that I want to squeeze out every last drop of summer I can. It’s about this time of year every year that I itch to take a little road trip, a short end-of-summer vacation, a last hurrah before the fall returns and we remember that school is just around the corner… and when you’re from the Kansas City area, you’re incredibly blessed with tons of nearby places that are really awesome to visit, without having to go too horribly far for a last-minute road trip. That means it’s not too late to visit them now… just hop in the car and enjoy!

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8 Ways to Rock Your Next Vacation (With Your Smartphone!)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

Going on a spring break trip or family vacation? If you're taking a road trip, you definitely want to check out these travel hacks and special uses for your smartphone that will bring your family together on your next road trip... when you've been in a car together for WAY too long, you'll wish you had checked this post out! #DataAndAMovie [ad]

Spring break season is almost upon us… I can’t believe I’m saying that, but now that January’s over, it’s officially time to start planning those spring break trips. And while you’re planning, you definitely need to make sure your smartphone has a great data plan, because I’ve got eight smartphone travel tips for your next road trip that will bring your family together on the road, and make your life a whole lot easier.

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Top Fall Activities Across the USA and Canada!

Looking for a fun fall activity to do? No matter where you live in the US or Canada, there's something for you! Check out these great ideas for fall fun around the country. What's your favorite? #Fall4SoFab

So you remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared my favorite fall activities in Kansas City? Well, it’s finally starting to really feel like fall here, and my son and I are tackling quite a few of the activities on my list of favorites. But, I recognize that not everyone is from the Kansas City area (as cool as Kansas City is, of course…), so today, I’m back with a list of, well… lists… from the Social Fabric community, which I’m so happy to be a part of. Each list contains some great things to do in specific parts of the USA and Canada, (and heck, even some stuff to do if you’re in the UK!), so wherever you’re hailing from, you’ll find something fun to do with your family.

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Must-Have Annual Memberships for Kansas City Families!

Looking for the perfect gift or great summer activity for your family? If you live in or near Kansas City, here is the run-down of what memberships to get (and which ones to skip!) so you can spend your money wisely, and save by getting an annual pass!


This winter, I had what many of my friends referred to as my “grinch year.” I was up to my eyeballs in too many toys, and I put a ban on the entire family– NO. TOYS. PERIOD. I was not going to let another toy come into my house when we were overloaded even after getting rid of a bunch. Instead, I encouraged my family to consider ideas that might be more long-lasting and educational, but still fun (like subscription boxes or annual memberships). I also put my money where my mouth was and got my son an annual pass to SeaLife Aquarium, the Legoland Discovery Center, and to Union Station, 3 places we visited last fall and loved.

And this summer? I’m so thankful for my grinch year, because the memberships we have now are perfect for our summer fun, and we’ve been getting tons of use out of each. So, now that my son and I are well-versed in what memberships are worth it in the KC area (and which you might want to skip).

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Beach Bag Mom Essentials!

Packing your beach bag for summer fun? Don't forget to pack these essentials when you head to the beach on your summer travels! Vacation time is hectic and it's easy to forget-- but this list will help you out!           #Sponsored #CleverGirls #OREOMultipack

Summer vacation is always a ton of fun, but for moms, it can be a ton of stress. It seems like before we go anywhere– the museum, the beach, the park– we have to make sure we’ve got everything for all of the kids. I’ve been prone to forget things again and again, so I’ve now got a tried-and-true list for what must go in my beach bag every time!

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How to Get Your Car (And Family!) Road Trip Ready!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#FueltheLove #CollectiveBias

Are you road trip ready? It's more than just packing a few snacks-- it's total car re-organization! Don't miss these must-have checklist items to be sure your car AND your family have everything they need for a safe and fun road trip, whether you're traveling 3 hours or 18 hours!    | travel | traveling with kids | #FuelTheLove | #Ad

Every year, we take several summer trips– some are close (an hour to the Kansas City), and some are far (18 hours to our favorite island destination). All of these require a little bit of planning to make sure our car, and the kids, will get there without breaking down or totally losing it on each other. After a few summers, I think we’ve got this down to an art, so I wanted to share my best road trip tips with you so you will be totally ready for your summer vacation!

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Our ASTC Journey: Visiting the Discovery Center of Springfield

If you're traveling with kids, a membership to an ASTC affiliated children's museum is a great idea-- admission transfers to over 300 museums world-wide, including the Discovery Center of Springfield in Springfield, Missouri. This great museum has some wonderful hands-on activities for kids, making it the perfect field trip or summer activity. Here's an overview of some of the exciting exhibits!

Awhile ago, I mentioned Zach and I’s plan to use our Union Station membership, which is part of the ASTC Passport program, to visit other ASTC-affiliated museums. We recently had the opportunity to visit the Discovery Center of Springfield in Springfield, Missouri, which had some incredible hands-on exhibits for children. The entire four-story museum is filled with great activities for kids to enjoy, and we couldn’t wait to share our trip with you!

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My Busy Mom “Go Bag” Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChangingPrepaid #CollectiveBias

As a busy mom, there are some things you just shouldn't leave home without! Here are my busy mom bag essentials that I'd never think to head out without-- read why they made the list! #ChangingPrepaid #Ad

Mom life can be hectic sometimes, and it feels like between gymnastics, soccer camp, visiting our favorite museums, and just hanging out at the park, we are always on the go. Even though I’ve never been much of a purse girl, our on-the-go lifestyle has made it so I pretty much have to have a bag on me at all times. And that’s where our “go-bag” comes in– our essentials are all in one spot, and that definitely helps. There are some things I always have on hand.

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Managing Car Care (When Your Toddler Won’t Cooperate) with Pennzoil

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DropShopandOil #CollectiveBias

You want your car to be safe when you have kids, but when do you have time for the maintenance like oil changes? It's surprisingly easy, you just have to #DropShopandOil. #ad

Having a toddler is not at all what I expected. While I do truly savor every minute of it, I also cannot figure out how to squeeze in things like breakfast, or shaving my legs, or, y’know, oil changes, on a regular basis. At the same time, as a mom, I’m not satisfied with my car maintenance not being taken care of when it should– an unsafe car is NOT an option when you have a child riding along. Short of hiring a sitter so I could get an oil change, I was really clueless about what to do…

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