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Family, Las Vegas Kids, Las Vegas Moms, Things To Do, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Tips for Creating a Great Summer Bucket List

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Summer is almost here! The last day of school for most of Las Vegas is June 8th and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to keep the kiddos entertained all summer! You don’t want summer to pass you by without having some fun!

Creating a summer bucket list can help!  Since the summer of 2010 we’ve been putting together a family summer bucket list and we look forward to it every year.  What exactly is a summer bucket list? It’s just an awesome way to have an intentionally fun summer with your family and make some great memories! The list doesn’t have to be big or filled with expensive outings to be fun.  Just think of some things you all can do together as a family in the summer, write it down, then go have fun! 

Here are a few tips that have worked for us (through a bit of trial and error) on creating a fun and successful summer bucket list that everyone can enjoy.  

  • Get the whole family involved.  Everyone will be more excited if they have a say in the list, so we make sure to talk about it together. Dinnertime or driving in the car work great.  Kids will come up with some pretty far fetched activities sometimes, so it’s good to give them boundaries and suggestions as to what kinds of activities you can/prefer to do, especially if this is your first time putting the list together.  The key is to get input from everyone and although not every activity will make the cut, they’ll be happy to have had a say in it and will be super excited when it’s time to do their activity!the_emerics_san_diego_california_ensenada_mexico_family_vacation-5
  • Include traditions.  Most of our traditions became traditions purely unintentionally, but now that we have them we are intentional about keeping them.  We make sure to include them each year in our bucket list and look forward to them each summer.  I’m sure you probably have summer traditions yourself already and just didn’t realize it.  Things like, BBQing with friends, watching fireworks, swimming parties, these may all be things you may do each year that can easily be incorporated into your family’s summer bucket list.

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  • Limit your list.  We found that keeping the list to about 10-12 activities is much more realistic than trying to include 20+ things.  Putting too much on your list can get stressful and pricey.  Your list should be about having fun together, not just doing stuff!DSCF8012
  • Don’t be too ambitious.  Every day doesn’t have to be jam packed with activities and weekends don’t have to be spent at a theme park or away from home for it to be fun and memorable.   Kids just want to spend time with you.  Your summer bucket list doesn’t need to be super elaborate or expensive.  This is especially true for younger kiddos.  Some of our fun and simple activities have included: going out for frozen yogurt, bike riding, geocaching, and watching the sunset. Need some ideas? Check out sites like Groupon and Living Social for great deals on fun things to do, like acrades, mini golf, bowling, go kart racing, laser tag, paintball, etc! 

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  • Display your list.  static1.squarespaceOnce you have your activities all picked out, make sure to display the list in a place where it can always be seen.  The last thing you want to do is create all this excitement and then forget about it. Believe me, if you put your list in a spot where the kids can see it everyday, they won’t let you forget about it! Through the years we’ve put it at the bottom of the staircase, on the fridge, and on a banner across the kitchen window. Bonus tip: Get the kiddos involved in creating a fun way to display your list 😉
  • Plan.  Once we have the list ready and displayed, it’s time to set a plan in motion.  Depending on your list, this could require lots of planning or little planning.  Our summer bucket list usually consists of smaller activities (frozen yogurt, water park, hiking, water balloon fights) with 1-2 big ones, such as a trip to the beach or family vacation.  Obviously, planning a trip will require a lot more planning, such as hotel stays, flights, rental car, etc. and most likely you’ll have your dates set for that. But I even find it helpful to at least pencil in the smaller events, just so that they are on the calendar and ready to go! 
  • Document.  Now that you’ve put some effort into creating and displaying your list, you have to go out and do all those fun things!  And, don’t forget to document along the way.  Whether you use a professional camera, a point and shoot, or just your iPhone, it’s important to snap a few photos for posterity’s sake.  We tend to use all 3! Here are a few ideas on places to document your summer: personal blog, special hashtag on instagram (ours will be #emericsummer2017), facebook album, scrapbook, chatbooks, or even a yearly calendar.  There are lots of options!  Whatever you choose, it’ll be great to look back at the end of the summer and relive all the cool things you did!

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So what are you waiting for? Grab the kiddos and start thinking of ideas for your summer bucket list! Your family will look forward to all the big & little adventures you’ll have throughout the summer.  Let’s make this summer your best one yet! 

Feel free to check out our summer bucket lists from the past 2 years to get ideas and inspiration for your own – 2016 and 2015

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January 29, 2017
Family, GIVEAWAY, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Moms, Live Like a Local, Support Local, Things To Do, Uncategorized

{CLOSED} Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N GiveAway

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DSCF0562We’ve got a Deal Alert!

Family Four Pack

Code to be given at the box office “FAMILY”
Gets 4 entries to Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. for just $75!!!
Offer good through April 30, 2017.

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With Spring Break coming, this would be an Awesome place to take them. You might just get that Coolest Parent Award.

 

 

 

 

Our friends at Avenger Station is letting us give away a Family Four Pack!  

To enter:  

Like The Avenger Station Facebook

Like Las Vegas Moms Blog Facebook

Tell us who your Favorite Marvel Character is and feel free to share a Picture (We love Pictures)

All Entries must be received by April 3rd. Winners will be announced April 6th.  Good Luck!

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Did we mention they have an awesome gift shop…IMG_5618

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is definitely Kid Approved!IMG_5634

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Current Events, Date Night, GIVEAWAY, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Kids, Live Like a Local, Things To Do, Vegas Life

{CLOSED} Blue Man Group Promotion/Giveaway

logo_0-bkupWith Spring Break on its way, and the count down till Summer. We got an awesome deal for you and the Family to Check out: Blue Man Group Current promotion at the Luxor! 

Plus we will be holding a giveaway for a family of four pack. Tickets will have a black out for Spring Break week. (Winners will be announced April 15st)  

To enter our GiveAway, Comment below your favorite song you like to jam to (winners will be announced 4/18)

Blue Man Group is comedy, theater, rock concert and dance party all rolled into one. You’ll be closer to the action than ever before at the specially designed Blue Man Theater at Luxor Hotel and Casino. It’s an outrageous multi-sensory experience you’ll never forget. New music, new design, new technology and a new finale to bring the entire audience together for a euphoric celebration of life in full color.

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FAMILY 4 PACK

‭Send your family vibe into overdrive.
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‭Save up to $195 when you purchase 4 tickets to Blue Man Group.
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‭*Offer is only valid on Category A seating.

 

Now’s a great time to catch the Awesome Show!  

 

 

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Family, Kid-Friendly, Las Vegas Kids, Live Like a Local, Reviews, Things To Do, Things To Do for FREE, Travel, Vegas Life

Hemenway Valley Park: Where wildlife meets playtime

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As a newbie to the Las Vegas area, I find myself getting excited about things that most locals have a “been there, done that” stance about. I get it! Having lived in some of the most tourist dense towns and cities in the US, I understand when what once seemed cool is now “meh”. But Hemenway Valley Park in Boulder City deserves our awe. Not only will you be surprised at its size (10 acres) with gazebos, basketball and tennis ball courts, 2 lighted softball fields and horseshoe pits you will find the park to have something for everyone! Especially the animal lover in your family!

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I heard about Hemenway Valley Park from a local animal enthusiast who said he frequents the area during lunch time so he can sit under a shaded tree and enjoy the amazing views of Lake Mead and watch the River Mountain Big Horned Sheep graze. I was skeptical at first, thinking the animals would be elusive or shy. We would probably drive all the way there and not see a single sheep
 but I was wrong. As we pulled into the parking lot we immediately saw around 20 massive Big horned Sheep resting and grazing within feet from the children playing at the playground. My kids weren’t sure what they wanted to do first, see the animals or play! Since they couldn’t touch the animals, they gave in to their energized bodies and ran happily to the playground but kept a watchful eye on the wildlife.

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The playground is so/so compared to some of Las Vegas’s extravagant parks, but the views are unmatched. Lake Mead boasts as you push your child on the swing, the mountains offer an awe-inspiring backdrop as the children take turns on the slide and the Sheep, of course, offer a million different photo-ops as you attempt to get them in a picture with your child, the playground AND Lake Mead, which is possible; see picture below:

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Whether you’re on your way to take guests to experience Hoover Dam, visiting Boulder City for some antique shopping or just want to breathe in the fresh mountain air, make Hemenway Valley Park a destination and you will NOT be disappointed.

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Moms

The Big Game Is Upon Us

This Sunday is the The Big Game. It is called that by everyone who is not officially associated with the NFL. The real name is trademarked so unless you want to infringe, just don’t use it! This is the number one day that people will be found in front of a TV (Read: Best deals on TVs!). Behind Thanksgiving, it is the second biggest eating day of the year! Traditionally, the menu is bar food like hot wings and pizza, but in recent years quite a few gourmet meals have made there way onto the buffet line up.

***Feel free to check out Pinterest board for ways to class it up or keep it traditional!***

SB49_superbowl-2015-katy-perryThe Big Game is literally THE day for advertising, hence the multi-million dollar minutes of local and national spots you will see. Budweiser is the always among the top ads if not THE top advertiser to watch. They have made an art form of this annual tradition and they set the bar extremely high for themselves and their competition. Even if you just watch the commercials all day – it will be a well-spent day in front of the boob tube! You will see a ton of celebrities in attendance and I am sure even our President will comment on the game as it is one of the greatest American Traditions right alongside baseball and apple pie. What I’m saying is: this is a BIG day! The men in your life will appreciate you making an effort to enjoy one of their favorite holidays…In Las Vegas, the greatest attraction to this weekend is, you guessed it! GAMBLING!!!
Not only can you bet on the standard straight win, point spread, or over-under, there are more prop bets than you could ever imagine! Such as, Will Katy Perry will have cleavage showing or Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch after scoring a touchdown. In 2014, the Super Game set a record $119 million in bets at Nevada casinos. This is a VERY BIG weekend for us locals!

Here are some actual prop bets listed HERE!

A lot of fun facts will be mentioned all throughout the game as records are broken and because guys just plain love random statistics, and now you can too…READ THIS!

***Football Newbies: Read “TMI About Football & the Big Game”***

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Family, Moms

Our Hanukkah Traditons

dreidel, Hanukkah, Jewish, traditions, holidays, religious, games, gifts, festival of lights, feast of dedicationHanukkah is a totally new thing for me! I grew up celebrating Christmas and knowing very little about Hanukkah . When I married a Jewish man I knew it was time to learn about my husband’s traditions and incorporate them into our children’s lives. I am very thankful that my husband has done the same and embarrassed all of my Christian holidays. Hanukkah is a celebration of God providing enough oil for eight nights when there was only enough oil for one night. So one very cool thing is we get to make a lot of oily foods! I mean who doesn’t love greasy foods? Some of the foods we will be eating is latkas and jelly donuts. Since there is no way I am letting my kids dine on donuts for eight nights we have our first night of Hanukkah be our night we celebrate with all of the delicious fried foods. Also every night we light the candles and my husband or one of the children say the prayer. The part the kids love the most is every night after the prayer they each get a gift. This part is actually awesome and so much fun. For eight days they get the excitement of getting a gift.

  

They end up enjoying that gift so much more than their birthdays or Christmas because they are not just ripping through them to get to the next one. One of the more difficult tasks for me is making Hanukkah just as special to my kids as Christmas.

There not as many decorations or fun songs like for there are for Christmas, so I am always on the hunt for things that can make this holiday just as fun. This year I was able to find a little stuffed guy called The Mensch on a Bench! He is very similar to Elf on the Shelf and comes with a great story to help teach the kids the importance of being good people.  I am hoping as the years go by I can collect more and more fun Hanukkah decorations.

  

So even though this is very new for me I am loving that my children can learn and celebrate both of their parents’ traditions. I love that they are able to see that it is possible to have a healthy happy home that consist of two different religions. I feel this is a good lesson for them that will benefit them for the rest of their lives .

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Healthy, Support Local

Clean 15 & The Dirty Dozen || Produce Cheat Sheet

PRODUCE CHEAT SHEET

PRODUCE CHEAT SHEETOrganic vs Conventional? Why is it important to choose organic anyway?! Organic options of a lot of our favorite fruits and vegetables are available. Some folks buy only organic, others say it’s too much of a hassle to go organic since there is a difference in cost and availability. Use this cheat sheet to help you decide what is acceptable to buy conventionally grown and what produce should be only bought as organic. Some argue that they cannot afford to buy organic, but I am here to say, you cannot afford to ingest foods that may put our family at risk of unnecessary exposure to pesticides (poison!) I can happily share that it is not necessary to buy all organic produce. It is ideal to buy local and buy organic as this supports the practice and encourages smaller scale farmers to continue to offer their harvest at local farmers markets. This plan also inspires larger brands to take notice of the trend and move toward more organic ways to farm. Since our family budgets are also important, it is nice to know there are options for what you can buy.

The Clean 15 lists fifteen fruits and vegetables that are less susceptible to pesticides and thus, acceptable as conventional. The Dirty Dozen lists a dozen fruits and vegetable that should always only be bought organic. These fruits are more easily susceptible to pesticides so it is unsafe and not recommended that you consume these if conventionally grown.

What you put into your body is important and knowing you are keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy by consuming the best products for our money is a concern to every mom. Having this handy cheat sheet will take some guess work out of the grocery shopping chore!

Printer friendly cheat sheet available here! (You can also Pin to Pinterest!)

Keep in mind too that supporting locally grown fruits and vegetables helps fund more locally grown, organic operations. Stimulating your local economy only helps businesses and schools to benefit as well. There are a lot of options when we shop, but making efforts to move towards a more conscious way of life is a step in the right direction! Happy harvesting!

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Dads, Parenting

Lebron Who? Three People in Your Life Who Might Want to Know About “King James”

BOSTON CELTICS V CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, GAME 4

BOSTON CELTICS V CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, GAME 4

 

Lebron James is a basketball player who was formerly with the  Miami Heat team – now once again Cleveland Cavalier. He is also a four-time MVP of the NBA. James made a formal statement on July 11 to return to his Home state of Ohio in a very controversial free-agency decision. He has been the topic of conversation for any male interested in sports for the past two days. So, ladies – even if you are not the biggest sports fan, there is definitely motivation for you to investigate the buzz.

#1 Your significant other: This is like Grey’s Anatomy but for our male counterpart – Men will not admit it but they get as worked up about drama as women. Just remember how shocked you were when you found out that Weber had a love child with Meredith’s mom?? So this is a great time to attempt to take interest. Maybe he might return the favor.

#2 Your son: If you don’t have a son – sorry you are only getting two reasons out of this blog. -_-

For those of us that do
 There is a high percentage that he likes basketball. Especially if dad does. This could totally be a topic of conversation for all three of you if you’re game. You can be the cool mom if you have an idea of who Lebron James is and a few fun little facts.

double JEN#3 You: I promise there is an actual valuable life lesson in all this. Potentially better than any Lifetime movie.

There is an undeniable destiny element that is so cosmically beautiful that you won’t even care you’re not interested in basketball.  I highly recommend you read James’ letter:  http://www.si.com/nba/2014/07/11/lebron-james-cleveland-cavaliers This was his formal announcement to the world. It is a vivid, genuine testament of his thoughts and struggle with this whole ordeal. It also give you the ammo needed to have those conversations with your boys. In the letter, he is essentially apologizing for leaving his city to play for another team. (This can also be tied into a loyalty lesson with your kids) Oh! And who doesn’t love a man that says I am sorry? And on a social platform to the world? (virtual high fives all around!)

The whole situation and letter not only gives you insight to one of the world’s greatest athletes but a vulnerable man. And I think we all can appreciate that. And also use some positive and uplifting media attention
 no matter the source.

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