Oct 31, 2009 What's Going On
So I just realized today, the 11th of Novmember 2008, that I was going to post this picture on Halloween. My sister sent it to me and while I’ve seen pumpkins like this before, I’ve never seen quite as good a set-up. The scene is set really well!
So, this post is a time capsule of sorts. Where was I almost a year ago, when I wrote this? Mostly very happy. Still feeling guilty about not being as involved this year in the kids’ school as in past years (but much much happier not being as involved). Thinking about how I could get my acting career back on track with all the other stuff I’m doing and the kids and the house, and coming to the conclusion that I probably can’t. And that I’d have to lose about 50 pounds to be serious about it anyway. Being happy that my marriage is still mostly great after almost 20 years together! Being happy that my kids have reached the point where their default positions are behaving well and misbehaving is the exception, not the rule. Being disappointed that I still don’t have a third child and there’s no indication The Ass will ever change his mind about that. Wondering if this time next year we’ll still be living in only half of our house. Wondering if The Ass is going to get fired. And if he does get fired, wondering if we can drop the kids off somewhere for six weeks and go on The Amazing Race together.
Life is good right now, I hope it lasts!
Originally posted on SelfishMom
Oct 30, 2009 Contest/Giveaway
Be a BudJetsetter
I’ve always been partial to Holiday Inn when traveling because I’ve worked at two of them: one as a lifeguard and the other as a concierge. They’re usually a good mix of value and amenities, and most are very family-friendly. Children under 12 get to eat free off of the kids’ menu in the hotel’s restaurant, which is a huge savings when traveling with kids. Even here in New York City, which is infamous for its ridiculous hotel prices, the Holiday Inn on Sixth Avenue is listed as a “Best Value Hotel in New York,” offering the “most for the money.” Very cool for families that want to experience NYC without breaking the bank.
Holiday Inn has been making a lot of changes recently, including updating their website. Holiday Inn wants you to be a BudJetsetter (get it? Budget? Jetsetter? Jetsetting on a budget?). Whether traveling to see family or going on vacation with your family, there are lots of ways to fit travel into your budget.
Some budget tips that I’ve picked up myself after 8 years of traveling with kids:
- Make sure there’s a pool. I’ve found that my kids will skip all sorts of expensive outings to hang out in the pool all day.
- Ask if a suite is available. In theory, my kids go to bed a lot earlier than I do. So when I’m traveling with them, I try to book a suite. This does not have to be expensive! I stayed in a Holiday Inn in Kansas City a couple of years ago where I was able to get a suite for only $20 more than a regular room. After the kids went to bed in the bedroom, I had the whole living room to hang out and watch TV in.
- Find a free breakfast buffet. Holiday Inn Express is especially great for this. My kids love getting to help themselves to whatever they want, and it usually saves us about $20-25 per breakfast.
- Check out local children’s museums. The admission price is usually pretty low, and even if you go to your local children’s museum a lot, the exhibits will be totally different. And, if you have a membership to your local museum, check and see if they have a reciprocal agreement with other museums – our family membership to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum gets us in to hundreds of other museums across the country, for free!
- You know those huge racks of fliers that are sitting in a lot of hotel lobbies? The ones that I used to walk by quickly so that my kids wouldn’t grab them all and make a mess? There are some fantastic deals and travel coupons in those, plus we often find out about local attractions we never would have found otherwise.
Win iTunes Cards from Holiday Inn
Traveling is always a good time for music, on the plane or in the car. Holiday Inn is providing two of my lucky readers with $20 in gift cards for the iTunes store, so that they can make their own vacation music mixes. When my husband and I went on our first vacation together, to Disney World (waaaay before kids and marriage), we played “Roam” by the B-52s as we set off in his mother’s car. To this day, almost twenty years later, every time I hear “Roam” I think of that trip.
So, what songs would you put on your vacation mix? Put your answer in a comment on this post.
You can also get one extra entry by tweeting about this contest (leave a separate comment linking to your tweet!) Just make sure to mention what the prize is and link back to this page, or you can just copy and tweet this:
Win $20 in iTunes gift cards from Holiday Inn Hotels! Enter over on SelfishMom.com: http://bit.ly/4xZSdt
So, that’s a maximum of two entries per household, please. The comments will close at noon-ish on Friday, November 6th and random.org will draw the winners. For complete rules, please see my Giveaway Rules page. Good luck!
This is a TravelingMom dedicated post.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has Compensation Levels of 3 and 10. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.
Oct 30, 2009 Contest/Giveaway
Congratulations to Rashmi, who won the “Snow White” DVD and Seven Dwarfs plush set. Please let us know how you like it!
Thanks to all who entered. And of course, thanks to Disney for providing the prize! I hope to see many more Disney titles on Blu-ray.
I’ve got a ton of giveaways coming up between now and Christmas, so please check back frequently.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 10. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.
Oct 30, 2009 Amy in the Morning
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Oct 28, 2009 Amy in the Morning
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Oct 28, 2009 Weight Loss
That’s me, trying to do an “ollie” on the new Tony Hawk: RIDE skateboarding game a couple of weeks ago in San Diego. The weekend was a blast. I felt good. I ate a lot, but I always eat a lot when I’m traveling. And I’ve traveled a lot in the last couple of months. To tell you the truth, I haven’t paid much attention to eating well lately. I’ve had some good days, but most days I just ate without giving it much thought. That’s why I haven’t mentioned weight loss in a while. I was very unmotivated.
Actually, I get like that every summer. I hate hot weather, so I end up staying inside more. And whenever I do venture outside (usually because a small child is depending on me) there’s usually an ice cream truck waiting for me.
I didn’t go near my scale for a long time, but when I got on it last week I wasn’t surprised to see that I had gained five or six pounds since the spring. Just for “fun” I plugged my numbers into a BMI calculator. I had gained just enough to nudge myself into the “obese” category. Yup, according to our government, I’m obese. Look at the picture again, please.
I make absolutely no claims to being thin. But obese? I’m a size 14. I can do all sorts of things that I don’t associate with obesity. I can run up all three flights of stairs in my house when we’re late for school and my daughter realizes that she forgot her favorite stuffed animal. I can walk down a narrow airplane aisle without my hips touching the armrests on either side. My blood pressure is 110 over 60. I am completely comfortable in theater seats. Just yesterday I rode my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge. These are not things that I associate with obesity. Still, apparently I’m one of the 72 millions Americans who are obese.
I’m not scared of labels and numbers. And I’ve no doubt that there’s a weight problem in our country. Just go to the DMV and look around. Or a Wal-Mart. Diabetes and high blood pressure are both on the rise. Kids don’t get outside to play enough. Everybody drives everywhere. Yes, there is a problem. But that problem isn’t helped by falsely labeling people with a word that’s chock full of horrible connotations. Think of this the next time you hear that one-third of the country is obese. How many of them are like me? I would have to lose 30 pounds just to get to a weight that the government considers “normal.” That’s ridiculous. I wold love to lose 30 pounds, but only so that I can fit into my size 8 clothes. There’s really no reason other than vanity. And I think the government needs to figure out a different way to define who’s at a healthy weight and who isn’t.
Still think this is much ado about nothing? Here’s my son Jake. The government considers him obese too.
Oct 27, 2009 Amy in the Morning
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Oct 22, 2009 Amy in the Morning
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