5 Tips for a Better Breakfast (and surprising breakfast trends)

Barbara’s, maker of cereals and snacks made from wholesome ingredients,  released findings from its 2017 Breakfast Survey exposing surprising trends about the school morning breakfast habits of families across the nation. The survey, which was conducted with more than 1,000 parents nationwide, found that one in every five children go without breakfast at least once per week, with 38 percent of parents saying this is due to lack of time and hectic mornings. The number of kids who skip breakfast at least once per week surges to 50 percent for those who typically eat on-the-go or in the car, demonstrating a direct correlation between eating breakfast on-the-go and poor nutrition in the morning. Continue reading “5 Tips for a Better Breakfast (and surprising breakfast trends)”

Touring Granada with VaPues Tours

view of Granada from bell tower

My daughters and I were comped two VaPues tours in Granada in exchange for social media promotion and this blog post, but all opinions expressed here are my own.

On day three in Granada, the three of us had two tours planned with VaPues Tours. I had emailed them weeks in advance, and they helped us pick from their selection of tour options. The folks at VaPues were super easy to work with and our tour guide, René, was extremely knowledgeable about Granada history, architecture and ecology. Continue reading “Touring Granada with VaPues Tours”

Thinking back to Italy…

Cinque Terre

Today I was thinking back to my trip to Italy with Maya from back in April 2012. I had dreamed of that trip for over a year. It was going to be me, this my mom, and Maya going — three generations of McBryde women. But then just a few days before we were to leave, my mom found out that she was going to have heart bypass surgery. It was totally unexpected. Then I had to decide whether to cancel the trip or not. After going back and forth, my sweet mom encouraged us to go without her. And we did. It was a glorious holiday. Maya and I had never had two weeks off just enjoying each other like this. She was a trooper — best three-year-old world traveler ever. Okay, that’s not true, but we did have a blast. And thank the Lord that my mom is doing well now. We’re going to take that trip to Italy with her sometime soon, I hope.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnjoying our daily gelato. Levanto, Italy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABike riding along the coast. Levanto, Italy

Today, my Timehop app reminded me of this trip. My Instagram has more pics. I’m sure I’ll post Italy photos for the next several days as I reminiscence about that glorious vacation.


Now I’m in the midst of planning a trip to Nicaragua with Madison and Maya for June. Stay tuned — it’s going to be another one for the record books.

I’m now a cat person.

Angel kitty

Growing up, we always had dogs. My parents got me a Siberian Husky named Niki before I was even born because “all little boys need a dog.” (I was supposed to be Christopher Todd.) Then I had a toy poodle named Chocolate. There was a playful Cockapoo named Chuckie (named after a cute boy at school, not the psycho killer movie character) that was born on Christmas and died on Easter. (True story.) Then of course, I had my beloved Sophia from 1999 – 2016. #RIP

Italian GreyhoundSince Sophia died last year, I tried another dog, but he didn’t like the children, so I found him another home. I resigned myself to be pet-less for the time being.

Then just before Christmas, something sparked me to want to get Madison a cat. Anthony, Kennedy and Madison had cats before, but I never did. One, because I was a dog person; and two, because I was highly allergic. But I had been getting allergy shots for quite a while and had already overcome so many environmental allergies, I thought maybe my cat allergy would be gone too. Plus Anthony reassured me that cats are super easy to potty train. I was skeptical, but then saw a precious kitten on Facebook and knew she was the one. Two weeks before Christmas, Angel became part of the family. And Anthony was right — she used the litter box right away.

Angel kitty

Right away, Maya started asking for her own cat — since Angel is technically Madison’s cat. I put her off as long as I could, not sure she would be as responsible as Madison is. Anthony said that we probably should get another one (if we were going to add another one) while Angel was still young so they would get along. So two weeks ago, we brought home Thunder, this adorable little boy.

Thunder kitty

Angel was not happy — she hissed and stalked him that entire first day. Luckily he was quick and tiny, and could hide in safety from Angel. But by day two, they were playing and fighting like brothers and sisters do. They really seem to enjoy each other now. Here they are this morning…


I really like this new kitty, Thunder. He is such a little snuggle-bug. And I think his beard looks like Anthony’s.

So it’s official — I’m a cat person now.

Journey to Appleville — Children’s Book Review

Journey to Appleville

** I received a copy of this book for free for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Journey to Apple is a multicultural children’s book written by Veronica Appleton. It’s a sweet book about six kids of different backgrounds, each with their own goals. If they can get to Appleville, perhaps the Appleville Fairy can help them overcome their fears to reach their goals. Journey to Appleville My girls really seemed to enjoy the book. It’s a noble first work from Appleton. I applaud her for including children of different races and abilities. Journey to Appleville Journey to Appleville Journey to Appleville

Journey to Appleville is currently available on the following online bookstores: Amazon, Powell’s Bookstore, Hudson Books, Barnes & Noble, Target and iTunes.

You can find Veronica Appleton on Twitter at @VeronicaSAppleton.


Crazy 8 Sale On Now!