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Taking the family on vacation is a special thing. It's a time
for happy memories to be made. It means spending quality time and experiencing
new things together as a family. And it means leaving enough room in the suitcases
for all the crap you're going to bring back home. Because there are some things
that we parents just cannot resist buying for our kids when we're on vacation. Here are all
the ways we blow our hard-earned cash on stupid souvenirs.
Kids make us so sentimental, dammit. Do any of these look
familiar to you?
You know you've bought at least one. And you needed to buy
it because THE LOOKS ON EVERYONE'S FACES! It doesn't seem so funny once you get
the picture home and set it on the mantle. But you were sure a low-res photo of your
family on a log ride with two complete strangers seated behind you set inside a
loud cardstock frame would look so good on your mantle.
2. Anything with your kid's name printed on it
Personalized souvenirs are the best. The fact that it has your
kid's name printed on it is good enough reason to buy a miniature Arkansas
license plate or a pocketknife.
3. The paper silhouette portrait
Let's be real, does the silhouette portrait that the talented,
nimble-fingered artist quickly cuts out while glancing up every now and then at
your kid EVER really look like your child? Or does it always just look like a
young human child of the same gender? It doesn't matter though, we'll take one for each kid!
4. The photo where you are superimposed in front of
a famous landmark
You all laugh and laugh until you see the shocking price of ... $49.95 for a 5x7?!
After hasty instructions for one of you
to lean far back and the rest of you to stretch your arms out toward the
leaner, the flash pops off and VOILA you are about to fall off the Hoover Dam into
the Colorado River and your family is trying to "save you." It doesn't look a
smidge realistic, but it's always funny, and you all laugh and laugh until you
see the shocking price of ... $49.95 for a 5x7?! "That is appalling!" you say as you pull out your wallet.
5. The pic where your kid poses with the parrot on
his arm. Or the boa constrictor around her neck.
And it's taken in a place where that parrot or snake would
never naturally be found. They are just the pets of some dude in a pirate suit.
But then you see your kid wearing a big ass snake around his neck. Forget it.
You can't pass that shit up.
6. The souvenir shop T-shirt
Because you haven't been there unless you have a T-shirt to
prove it. And also, they are always buy two get one free.
7. Getting corn rows for your daughter in the
And also for yourself. And your mother-in-law. And your
long-haired nephew. It's a cool look. Hard to resist. Not sure anyone can.
8. The souvenir cup
You know, the one with the giant Buzz Lightyear or any other
character sitting on top and costs more than a case of Capri Suns at Costco. Also it never fits in any cupholder, is awkward for
your kid to carry and is heavier than a large geode. You have at least three of
them in your cupboard taking up space, making you so mad at yourself.
9. The generic teddy bear wearing a shirt that dons
the name of the place you're visiting
I can't pretend that my daughter
doesn't have one of these bears in her room that is wearing a T-shirt that says
oversized pen that says the name of the place you visited
Or some other janky toy, like a yo-yo or clapper hands, that
your kid just has to have. It's all right though because it saves you from
spending more on something more expensive, like a hoodie or stuffed animal. But it will
definitely break within four to six hours of buying it and lead to a tantrum and the purchase of another new souvenir, so do that cost-benefit analysis.
Ah, the magnet souvenir is a favorite as it's relatively inexpensive and doesn't take up much room in your bags. At one point you had the idea to cover your fridge in magnets
representing every place you've ever been. That ended when you realized that
the magnets welcomed fridge door display of your child's art. Goodbye, magnets.
traditional cultural outfit
Your daughter may get to wear that traditional Peruvian dress made from Alpaca wool on cultural
appreciation day at school, but it's likely that she may never wear it any other time.
Yes, your 8-year-old needs that mini Eiffel Tower. It's the
only thing she's ever wanted. Until she gets home from vacation and sets her
sights on real toys like American Girl dolls and My Little Ponies. That
mini Mt. Rushmore that was a real must-have will be set on her dresser next to
the mini Statue of Liberty and mini Golden Gate Bridge. And honestly, she will
never even notice when you throw them out.