Arkansas’ Summer Fun Place

Lazy River at Wild River Country

This is a sponsored post by Wild River Country. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

As a new teacher, I’ve relished in my first summer break since I was in college (long, long ago). My kids and I have just been hanging out, having playdates, visiting family, and enjoying lots of pool time. So for my last week of freedom (my school starts mid-July), we decided to go to Wild River Country again. Quinn, Maya, Lucy (Maya’s friend) and I hurried out the door, and we were the first in line to get in when the gates opened at 10 a.m.

Wave Pool at Wild River Country Continue reading “Arkansas’ Summer Fun Place”

Sounds of Summer

playing in wave pool

This is a sponsored post by Wild River Country. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

child playing in poolWhat does summer sound like to you?

  • Crickets chirping while you camp under the stars?
  • A boat motoring across the lake?
  • The beeps and booms of video games?
  • The crunching of grass and rocks under your feet as you hike a state park?

Continue reading “Sounds of Summer”

Summer is the Season for Kidnappings

kidnapping kid

By: Gloria Marcott, Soul Punch Self-Defense

2017 Statistics identify that the number of children abducted or that go missing every day in the United States is 2,160. That is enough kids to fill an entire large population size school that do not return home every day.

The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrown Away Children (NISMART) has found that 41% of abductions occur during the summer months of June, July and August. 74% of non-family child abduction victims are girls and 80% of child abductions by a stranger occur within a quarter mile of the child’s home.

kidnapper in the park

Continue reading “Summer is the Season for Kidnappings”

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea (and Giveaway!)

Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa gift card

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa. They hosted me and four other influencers on April 20th to lunch, tour of their place and a free service – but all opinions here are my own.

Mother’s Day is a week from Sunday, and I still haven’t gotten anything for my mom. I’ve thought about it. I’ve had good intentions. But, honestly, I’ve been so consumed with work/kids/house/life to just do it. My May has already been packed: got a new dishwasher after my old one flooded the kitchen floor, took kids to two doctor’s appointments, helped with Teacher Appreciation Week at their school, hosting a Wildtree workshop at my house tomorrow night, and getting Maya ready for the Mini Maker Faire to promote her art (ALL DAY next Saturday … OUTSIDE). So needless to say, Mother’s Day hasn’t even been on my radar. Continue reading “Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea (and Giveaway!)”

Nicaragua, here I come!


I’ve had it on my mind for quite a while now to take Madison (13) and Maya (8) on a girls’ vacation this summer somewhere exotic and out of the country. My sister-in-law, Ines, is from Nicaragua, and she and my brother have vacationed on the beach there a few times. I started researching the country — not only does Nicaragua have the beautiful beaches, it is home to coffee and chocolate farms. HELLO! Beaches, coffee and chocolate all in one small country. I was sold. Continue reading “Nicaragua, here I come!”

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, 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.

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.

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