California is a state so large, so grand, and so overwhelmingly wonderful that it takes a long time to explore. California is a number of different kinds of destinations all in one state, so a road trip with the family to explore this spectacular state is a choice well worth making.

If you’re going to soak up all the wonders of the Sunshine State in a single vacation, then you’re going to need a route that is planned with maximum efficiency in mind. The average length of a vacation for American families is just four days, but how much of the best and brightest of California can you really enjoy in such a restrictive timeframe?

A lot more than you might expect, especially if you’re prepared to rent a vehicle for the duration of your stay. Below is a busy but exciting itinerary

DAY ONE

STARTING POINT: San Diego

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No trip to California is complete without a visit to San Diego, making this vibrant city the ideal starting point for your four-day family trip. There are so many options as to what you can see and do in this fantastic city, including the world-famous zoo or an educational trip to the State Historic Park, so choose your activity of choice. In fact, this itinerary is designed to allow you the majority of the day in San Diego, so you can choose two sites to enjoy!

Around 6pm, it’s time to make a move— you won’t be spending the night in San Diego. Jump in your car for an hour and a half’s drive to…

NEXT STOP: Cleveland National Forest

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This rather confusingly-named forest is northwest of San Diego, and the route to get there is pleasantly simple. After a day spent in the bustling San Diego, the calm tranquility of Cleveland National Forest makes for the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing, as you enjoy the panoramic scenic views.

You can camp in the forest itself, or head to one of the nearby towns to spend the night. There are plenty of hotels in La Jolla Amago, which is perfectly placed for exploring the forest itself the next day.

After a night’s rest, it’s worth jumping back in the car again the next morning. Half an hour from La Jolla Amago (or less, if you’re camping at the forest itself) is the incredible Palomar Observatory. Take a tour of the facility and allow your kids to learn about how the three telescopes are being used to map the skies; a truly wonderful morning trip that the whole family will love. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy the stunning views offered by the forest, exploring the trails and perhaps even hiking Palomar Mountain if you’re in the mood for a challenge.

Just remember to leave in plenty of time to make the two-hour journey to…

NEXT STOP: Huntington Beach

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Huntington Beach is truly one of the most delightful places in California. After your time spent in the wilderness, you’ll be back at the seaside, and able to spend the evening wandering along Huntington Pier and enjoying the stunning seafood cuisine. While you’ll likely to arrive a little too late for swimming in the ocean, you can nevertheless enjoy the view of the sun setting over the waves.

Get a good night’s rest, as tomorrow will bring forth (what your children, at least, will consider to be) the most exciting day of the vacation…

NEXT STOP: Anaheim

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Realistically, Anaheim is only known for one thing— no offence to the city itself, but most people can’t name much about it… except for the fact it’s home to the Disneyland Resort. After a couple of days spent enjoying the natural wonders of California, now is a great time to indulge in something lighthearted and familiar.

The journey from Huntington Beach to Anaheim is pleasantly short, at just over a half hour. When you arrive in Anaheim itself, you can check into a local hotel if you don’t want to stay on the Disneyland resort itself. With your bags checked, you can head to the park for an incredible fun family day out.

Telling you what to see and do at the Disneyland Resort is largely pointless. First and foremost, the park is so varied that it’s impossible to choose just a handful of collections to visit, and your choices will largely be dictated by the age of your children. So you’re best to plot your own route, using an online guide. This will allow you to ensure you get to see and do all the things you want; the park is sprawling, so you’ll need to keep a careful check on the time.

After a day filled with excitement, head back to your chosen hotel for a quiet evening spent reminiscing about the time you’ve enjoyed so far.

LAST STOP: Los Angeles

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As with San Diego, no visit to California is complete without a trip to Los Angeles. Not only is the city one of the most vibrant and exciting in the world, it’s also home to LAX Airport, which should allow you to travel home on a direct flight.

The journey from Anaheim to Los Angeles is less than an hour; with good traffic, you should be able to make it in around 45 minutes. If you choose a night-time flight, then you’ll be able to spend the day exploring LA itself, which can be a nice cherry on the top of a thrilling vacation.

You could head to the beach, or stay in LA itself to walk the famous “Walk of Fame”. Alternatively, if the Palomar Observatory excited an interest in astronomy, then the Griffith Observatory is one of the most well-known attractions in the state. If you’d rather pick up some souvenirs, then heading for the shopping districts and The Grove can also be a pleasant way to round off your vacation.

In conclusion

The above route tries to take in all that California has to offer, from sandy beaches to rugged mountainous terrain. Enjoy your travels!

Post Comment Love

Indulgence is everywhere. From your local doughnut chain store to the wide array of Netflix specials that are released. From the comfort of your home living room to the relaxation of your favorite book. Some of these could be classed as indulgences and activities for growth in the same fell swoop, so distinguishing between them can sometimes be hard. However, if you feel your life has become mostly filled with indulgence (at least in your free time,) it’s easy to feel like you’re not progressing anywhere.

Brighter Pastures

Pexals

In order to empower yourself, you must partake in the journey of life with your eyes wide open. It means taking an adventure regardless of your age, because that is just a number. It means pursuing your goals to the extent that you find them rewarding. It means instead of sliding into comfort as the dominant exercise in your life, you get out and challenge yourself in a way that means the most to you. Empowerment is defined by how well you are able to face the unknown and hold your strength in its presence.

If you’re a mother, you’ve held a career for a period of time, or you’re simply a good person, you can absolutely state that you have the inner strength and power to become empowered beyond your wildest dreams. Here are a few methods for doing so:

Drop Everything And Adventure!

Do you ever get the feeling that the routine and order of your life is getting slightly stagnant? It might not be, but the continual repetitiveness of it might be bringing you down just a little. Heading on an adventure can wipe your fatigue slate clean, and come back grateful for the comfort and security you have built for yourself. However, how should you begin? Climbing Kilimanjaro? Trekking around Everest?

These sound like pretty massive endeavours for someone who might not have ever partaken in an expedition like this. How on Earth are you supposed to organize this yourself? With services like Kandoo Adventures at kandooadventures.com you might not have to. Adventure needn’t be over complicated or risky, using many services that provide you with an organized yet adventurous and unrestricted experience can help you take your first tentative steps around the world. Upon your return, it won’t be long before you’re bragging to all the other ladies at the hair salon.

Implement Slow Change

It could be that you may not feel entirely happy simply heading to pastures new straight away. We are creatures of habit, and that means understanding how to implement small change to veer the course of our life. It could be that instead of relying on online dating, you head to a speed dating venue once a month. It might be you decide to become more social attending music events or simply arranging nice events for you and your extended family. Other people are often a great predictor of adventure because learning about them is often the most complex and enticing thing you can imagine.

That being said, try to implant yourself into new social situations! You’re never too old to join a new hiking group or join a book club. If you’re interested in writing, why not join writing communities on Reddit and Facebook and contribute to them often? You can never tell just how wide spanning your hobby could truly get, and what new, wonderful people could become a fixture of your life.

With this in mind, you are sure to enjoy the unknown of adventure, both social and physical. The Netflix series can wait.

Pink Pear Bear

Falling apart on become a mum is not unusual really. Becoming a parent is a overwhelming experience filled with a mix of positive and negative stress. Childbirth is a shock to the system and then you are thrown into so many new demands that can take their toll on your physical and mental wellbeing.

Falling Apart

What is unusual or at least was until recent times was mums being honest about falling apart either at the time or looking back on their life experiences.  My belief is that we bloggers need to give a true account of women’s lives so that history can report it properly for starters. It is also important to counter-balance the fakery out there presenting apparently perfect lives.

So I am grateful to Laura who shares how she fell apart and then rebuilt her life one baby step at a time. Laura set up Worditude where she helps business-builders write the words for their website.

“I didn’t want to be the boss.

Every self-employed person I knew when I was growing up such as my neighbour, the shop-owner who employed me on Saturdays and my grandparents were stressed out, overworked….and kinda stingy.

I didn’t want to be that person.

So I threw myself into corporate life as soon as I could.

I clawed my way to a first class business degree and then joined a management programme for a financial services company just weeks after my 21st birthday.

I was Little Miss Career-Climber.

In just a few years I made it to a middle management position with a salary I hadn’t dared dream of.

And then came the babies. Like little pink bombs detonating under my corporate world, shattering my plans, and leaving me with shards of shrapnel, from which I needed to rebuild a life.

I love them. I wanted them. But I was in no way prepared for the impact their presence would have on me.

Due to a medical condition my second son couldn’t go to a nursery or childminder. He needed to be with a parent at home.

He clearly hadn’t read my two kids plus full-time childcare script.

So I walked out on my job. Literally. I just left one day and didn’t go back because I felt so out of control at how my life was unfolding.

For two depression-riddled years, I was so so lost. I didn’t know what was important to me anymore (apart from my sons). I didn’t know how to make a meaningful contribution to the world (because even as a full-time mum, I was still overlooking the value of mothers). I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

I spent hours and hours researching online for ‘work from home opportunities’.

I thankfully managed to dodge the scams – goodness knows how, there were enough of them.

I settled on blogging as a potential source of income. And then I loved setting up my WordPress website so much, I started to make websites for other people. And then I loved helping them write the words for their websites so much, that I ditched the website building and focussed on copywriting instead.

And here I am now helping entrepreneurs write their own website content through my templates and tutorials.

As I’ve built my business, I’ve learned to rebuild myself.

The books, the training, the seminars, the meetings. Combined they formed a crash course in self-development I never would’ve undertaken had my little ones not completely destroyed my plans and identity 10 years ago.

It all worked out in the end.

I can’t go back 10 years and tell myself that.

So instead I share my story as openly and honestly as I can, so that other mothers, who fear their identity is irreversibly crumbling can know that sometimes when things look like they’re falling apart, they are actually falling into place.”

 

Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.

 

Tammymum
Pink Pear Bear
ethannevelyn.com


If you had a choice would you prefer to stay by the sea or in the countryside perhaps near mountains or moors.

With miles and miles of stunning coastline and countryside, we’re spoiled for choice in the UK when it comes to choosing a city, town or village for our next break away from home. But how do coast and country breaks compare? Do you prefer to feel the sea breeze in your hair and sand between your toes, or is the peace and quiet of the countryside far more tempting?

The team at Cottages in Northumberland, a coastal cottages and country breaks holiday lettings agency based in Northumberland, is here to reveal the pros and cons of being beside the seaside and escaping to the country. Whatever the highlights of coast or country, do ensure you visit Northumberland if you have not already done so because I guarantee you are in for a real treat.

There is nowhere on Earth quite like this county. I first stayed on holiday there as a child with my parents staying first at Haggerston in a coach house. We loved it so much that we returned the next year staying in a farmhouse a few miles inland.

Coastal breaks

With breath-taking sea views, delicious food and plenty of family-friendly things to do, it’s no wonder that a staggering 38% of the top ten holidays involved trips to the beach last year, according to research compiled by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

And these aren’t the only things that the coast has to offer holidaymakers. A coastal break is also therapy for the mind, body and soul: relax by listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the coastline, sleep well from fresh sea air, and soften your feet with a walk along the beach. In a madly stressed out world these days where most of us have busy lives both online and off, it is great to take time out and just be in a beautiful place.

Heading to the coast is also a chance to relive happy memories. From eating take-away fish and chips, making sandcastles on the beach, and rolling up trousers and sleeves to paddle in the sea, the percentage of trips to the beach last year shows that all the way through life, people love heading to the coast. My parents always took me to the coast all year round and it is beautiful in every season. When it was too cold for a picnic outdoors, we would have a feast in the car with mum’s famous sausage rolls, fresh tomatoes and the like.

Coastal breaks do, however, have their drawbacks. More expensive than their countryside counterparts even in the off-peak season (from around £450 for seven nights, compared to £360 in the countryside), taking a coastal break in peak time also means that the town or village where you choose to reside will be much busier people-wise than a stay, at any time, in the vast, open countryside. This is something to bear in mind in these  times of austerity and if you take the more affordable option accommodation wise, you can then have more treats when you are there.

Country breaks

While seaside breaks become part of our lives at a young age, escaping to the countryside is very much the idyll of these two types of holiday.

For many of us living in the UK’s densely populated towns and cities, the main draw of a break to the country is to fulfil our desire for peace and quiet. But the pleasures of the countryside don’t stop there, rural stately homes, picturesque landscapes, Britain’s darkest skies, and an abundance of walking and cycling routes all make the countryside the best places to relax and unwind from the stress of everyday life.

Country breaks are also a great opportunity to get closer to nature. Dig out your binoculars and observe beautiful birds, butterflies, hedgehogs, foxes, rabbits, and even deer in the countryside. There are so many fun ways to learn when spending time in the countryside.

While this all certainly sounds worlds away from urban life, the remoteness that comes with a countryside break is something that some city-types may find unnerving. I know when I first moved to the countryside I was amazed at how loud it can be at night with strange noises from the wildlife which I was far less used to than people and traffic sounds.And we don’t just mean that people-wise! If your smartphone is in your hand at all times, you may find an issue with the distinct lack of Wi-Fi and phone signal in the countryside. You might also find yourself travelling much further to pick up the evening’s dinner than you might at the seaside due to the lack of supermarket superstores and express shops alike. Having  said that, do check out the country pubs and restaurants often serving amazing local produce.

So, what’s it to be? Whether you see the seclusion of the country as an advantage or prefer the thought of old-fashioned seaside fun, there’s a world of choice at your fingertips right here in the UK.

What destination would you recommend to my readers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy At Home

Me, Being Mummy

I would like to thank Su from Ethan and Evelyn for nominating me for the Sunshine Award. I am tasked with revealing all by answering some questions set by her.

Sunshine Blogger

I will then be nominating some other bloggers and giving them 11 questions to answer.

Q1. Your blog’s name – why have you given this name to your blog?

I guess I have an ego and wanted my name in the blog title. Also I did not want it to have mum or any variant of that in there as I feel I am more than a mum. I looked up some phrases with words that rhymed with Kate in them and somehow with my mad life of wobbles and overcoming them, Kate on Thin Ice seemed just right as Goldilocks would say about her porridge.

Q2. When did you start blogging?

I blogged a couple of times when totally depressed about my situation as a stay at home mum who just felt she could not cope. I started blogging regularly in 2009.

Q3. What prompt you to start a blog?

My mum came to spend Christmas with me for the first time in 2008. She sat up till the early hours one night drinking her favourite tipple Bell’s Whisky. She told me she thought I should write as I had always wanted to be a writer from childhood. I think she thought it would help me feel better to have that creative outlet. She said “even if you just keep a diary”. I thought about getting a pretty notebook or diary but then thought my young daughter would pinch it so I chose to blog instead. There was no master plan.

Q4. Name one favourite blogger that you are a big fan of right now.

How can I pick just one? How about Letters to my Daughter for just one of many great favourites.

Q5. Why is she/ he/ they are your favourite blogger at this moment in time.

I like the female focus and the sharing of experiences and lessons learned.

Q6. Where one place on earth would you go if you received an invitation to go traveling without money bring the limit? & Why?

I have always wanted to visit Moscow. As a very young child I wanted to visit Moscow and own leather sofas. I have done the leather sofas so Moscow is next!

Q7. What is your one favourite cheer up food when you are feeling down in the dump?

A beautiful cheeseboard with everything except blue cheeses and it must include goat’s cheese.

Q8. What’s your one favourite thing to do with your family?

Walking and enjoying nature together.

Q9. What is your dream job when you were young?

I wanted to a barrister after watching Crown Court a lot on the telly and also because my Dad had legal experience as a police officer and an insurer.

Q10. What is your dream job now?

I would still love to write a novel one day.

Q11. If you can to give back to the world – what would that one thing be?

I would wave my magic wand and get rid of all abuses of power in life including in domestic, education, housing and employment situations.

The rules

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:
•Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
•Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
•Nominate other bloggers and give them 11 questions to answer
•Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
•List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

Copy and paste the following questions and answer them in a blog post.

1. What is your favourite childhood memory?

2. What is your all-time favourite book?

3. How much do you spend in an average month on make-up?

4. How many hours per week do you spend on housework?

5. What is your most hated housework task?

6. What is your perfect night out?

7. What is the skill you are most proud of?

8. What is the personal quality you are most proud of?

9. Who is your hero?

10. What is your favourite word?

11. How would you describe parenting?

Nominating some very lovely bloggers ….

http://www.ramblingthroughparenthood.com/

http://www.adventuresofariotgrrrl.com/

http://www.missljbeauty.com/

http://stressedmum.co.uk/

http://www.ricecakesandraisins.co.uk/

R2BC at Mummy from the Heart

”My

Cuddle Fairy