Visit the New York Renaissance Faire #NYRenFaire

Longing for a break from the routine, but don’t have the time to take a week off right now? Travel to distant lands and faraway time periods, all within a short drive from your home.  We recently visited the New York Renaissance Faire (or if you aren’t local to NY, you can find another in your area- visit the website’s main page for locations and dates) and it was a fun way to spend the day with your family and friends and get away from your routine.

Take a step back in time (but not too far back, it’s just fun and not a serious event) and get into the spirit by dressing up in the time period. Don’t have a costume? That’s OK, there are plenty of vendors there that have items to sell, from clothing to headgear to fantasy peices and beyond. You can be a knight, a princess, a squire, fairy, or anything in between.  We saw unicorns and minotaur this past weekend- really, only your imagination will stop you. There are also fun “theme weekends”, such as Pirate, Celtic, or Time Travelers weekends, where some Faire goers will dress accordingly, and shows will also reflect the idea.

The marketplace has, as mentioned, a fantastic selection of clothing vendors. Yes, you can try on before you buy, and better still, they will help you be fitted and learn how to get into things you might not know how to wear properly. Lacing up a floor length dress is not exactly pulling on a pair of sweatpants, is it? The shopkeepers are helpful and friendly (and usually very funny), so be prepared to have a good time shopping. Yes, guys too.

There are many other fun finds as well. All sorts of jewelry and shiny baubles (of course, what is a Faire without crowns?) to pick and choose from, plenty of toys, swords, shields-  if you are into it, you can even find chain metal and armor.  There are home decorations, spices, and a live glassblower that you can watch and then make purchases from. The kids loved watching him create, and honestly, so did the adults.
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Six Tips for Cruising with Kids

Going on holiday with the kids is as equally rewarding as it can be frustrating. This is especially true if you are trying to travel to a range of different destinations. Corralling little ones onto flights can be tricky at the best of times and this is only exacerbated when you have multiple transfers and connecting flights to make. Fortunately, there’s one way to simplify the process and let the whole family travel to various places with ease – by taking a cruise.

By opting for a family cruise holiday, you just travel to the departure point, get comfy in your cabin and let the world come to you from the comfort of a luxury cruise liner. No longer the preserve of wealthy pensioners, cruise holidays are available to anyone. Whether you fancy touring the Mediterranean, The Caribbean, or even chillier climes – it’s up to you.

Don’t worry if you’ve never cruised before. It’s easy! And to make it even easier we’ve compiled a short list of tips for getting the most out of a cruise with kids. Read on.

Feel free to take the kitchen sink

It is received wisdom these days that it’s best to pack light when traveling. And usually this is the case. However, on a cruise you have the luxury of your cabin as a base of operations throughout the holiday. You don’t have to pack and repack (beyond a day bag for excursions). Combine this with the fact that there are not lots of shopping options on the seven seas, you don’t want to get caught short by forgetting any necessities. So, don’t worry about packing your suitcases a little fuller.
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Top 4 Safety Travel Tips

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Taking a vacation is one of the things that helps make life fun.  In fact, studies show that four out of five domestic trips made are for leisure. Getting away from it all is sure to be ideal for better health and less stress. However, you will want to be sure to make the most of your trip, and this means not worrying about what could go wrong. The ideal way to do this is to be as prepared as you can be by putting specific safety tips into place before you leave. Knowing these tips will enable you to have fun while taking time off work.

Tip #1: Secure your home

One of the ideal ways to ensure you won’t have any issues with your home while you’re gone is by activating your security system before you leave. It’s ideal to rely on this type of security to keep your home monitored when you aren’t there to do this job.

Some of the things you will want your security system to do is alert others if an intruder enters your property. This could involve creating a loud siren noise that will blast the neighborhood when an individual attempts a break-in.

The more advanced systems may get in touch with the police immediately if this occurs or you could even have cameras installed that enable you to watch your property at any time.

Tip #2:  Update insurance

One thing you will want to be sure to do is to update your health and auto insurance before leaving. You may need to simply review your policy or make some major changes to help ensure you’re properly covered. The last thing you want to do is to have to make an emergency room visit away from your local area and not have insurance.
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Fall Family Vacation Deals of 50% at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts

We will be visiting in just a few weeks, and can’t wait to see how much fun Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana is for ourselves. Don’t worry, we will be sharing all the info with you, as well as our thoughts. In the meantime, make sure you are following on social media @HaveSippy on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine and Snapchat if you are so inclined.

We will be posting some Facebook Like for you as well, so feel free to like and follow the page. Can’t wait to tell you all about it! In the meantime, here is some information for you, should you be interested in booking a trip. We have stayed in a Karisma resort before, and it was lovely.

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Karisma Hotels & Resorts are offering major savings for family travel at their top family resorts in beautiful and sunny Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and the Riviera Maya in Mexico. From character breakfasts with Nickelodeon stars and family slimings at the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana to a toy lending library with a menu of toys that can be delivered to suites or the beach at Azul Beach Hotel to Little Eko Chefs at Generations Riviera Maya which allows young guests to gain true culinary skills while learning easy and delicious recipes – both parents and kids can prepare to be wowed.

  • Kids are included complimentary with Sliming Savings at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana! Plus, you can save up to 50 percent on vacations booked between now and October 21, 2016 for travel until December 22, 2017.  Special rates start at $190 per person, per night for adults.  Book at www.nickresortpuntacana.com or 844-733-NICK.
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Traveling With Kids In Hot Weather

Sometimes, travel occurs in the hotter months, or in the summer. This can be hard work when you’re on your own, or with a friend or partner. But when you’ve got a kid, or kids, and are taking them along with you? It is a totally different ball game. Whether you’re traveling to steaming hot sunshine in Hawaii or a hot New York afternoon, you’ll need to be prepared.

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Here is how to make traveling kids in hot weather more bearable for everyone. Here is a clue; It’s all in the preparation.

First off, be sure to give some careful consideration to how you are traveling. Taking your own car is great, as you get to decide when you travel and how. But if that option isn’t available, bus travel is a good alternative. Buses now have good air-con, which will keep everyone cool when it is hot outside. Many have toilets on them too, which can avoid other types of discomfort. Also, be sure to book your bus tickets in advance. You can pick them up on online these days, which is really handy. Get bus tickets from Shofur, for example, and they guarantee clean, safe and pleasant travel. All of which are great words in a parent’s vocab!
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Why Won’t My Garden Grow? Gardening When You Don’t Have a “Green Thumb”

My son and I love to garden, and dad gets in on it as well- at least on the vegetable gardening portion. I’ve always wanted one of those amazing, fragrant rose gardens (of course, with other flowers in the mix as well) and my son shares this dream, perhaps oddly.  He loves to run around in gardens, and now that he’s older, take photos of all of his favorite flowers. Roses top that list.

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We plant seeds inside each year as well, and transplant the ones that can live outdoors outside when the weather is right.  My son loves watching his little greenhouses grow.  They are also fun 4H projects for the end of the year now that he’s old enough to participate in those clubs.  There are all sorts of cute kits we like to try, as well as the traditional seeds and dirt.

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We also grow a fruit and (mostly) vegetable garden every year.  We don’t have a large yard, and neither of our gardens are huge- just rows along the fences. But we enjoy it, and that’s what matters. Some of the plants we grow from seeds, others from “starter” plants from home stores, and this year from these interesting pods from Miracle Gro. (Read about them here if you want.)  I hadn’t seen them before, but he likes them, and most of them are growing pretty well so far.
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Tips for Catching Your Kids on Film

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Getting precious memories of your kids is probably one of the best parts of having a smartphone. No longer do you need to fumble around with film or have to remember to bring your camera. Instead you always have your phone with you, and it’s ready at a moment’s notice. The following are a few tips and tools to help you capture the best smartphone pictures possible:

Modes

For a lot of situations, the automatic settings on modern phone cameras are great at capturing everyday moments. But if you need something more, knowing what other modes you have access to will always be advantageous.

  • HDR: This combines two or more separate shots, one that is more exposed to capture shadow details and one that is less exposed to get the highlights. These photos are then merged together and give better dynamic range to the scene. The downside is that it takes multiple photos for HDR to work. This can lead to artifacts in fast-moving objects, such as children, and HDR also takes a few seconds to process, meaning you don’t have the same burst capability as you would otherwise.
  • Manual/Pro: Here you have access to more settings such as ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation, which gives you control over the look of a scene. If your kid is running around in a dark room, you can increase the shutter speed and the ISO to make sure you don’t get a blur across the frame.
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Rest Rite- Get a Great Night’s Sleep

Disclosure- I received the below in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own and honest. For more, see “I Disclose”.

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As many of you who have been pregnant know, getting a great night sleep after you are to your 2nd or 3rd trimester can be incredibly hard. I can only wish that I would have found this great product with my previous 2 pregnancies. The Rest Rite has been a pretty neat tool to use on my really rough nights.

About Rest Rite:

The Rest Rite Sleep Positioner is an innovative new device that was designed to train your body to sleep in the best position for your needs by repositioning you as you sleep in a comfortable way. It can also be used as an over the counter breathing aid while serving as one of the best home remedies for sleep trouble on the market. It is safe and comfortable.

The product then acts as a “bubble” that gently encourages you to stay off your back throughout the night. It can also be placed on other parts of your body to encourage a different sleeping position.

It can help with:

  • Snoring and Sleep Apnea
  • Pregnancy
  • Injury
  • Heartburn
  • Reflux
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