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When Tara Met Blog



Celebrating 13 Years Blogging!



Last Build Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 21:31:45 +0000

 



5 Easy Tips for Staying Fit While on a Cruise

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:44:00 +0000

Cruises get a bad rap when it comes to food and gaining weight. People often joke that you come off weighing more than you did when you went on.You may be picturing cattle lines to the buffet, but that's an outdated image. You can actually be quite active while on a cruise.I've gone on 10 and 15-day cruises and have been able to maintain my current weight and still have fun... and eat extremely well by following these five simple rules.5 Easy Tips for Not Gaining Weight on a Cruise & Still Have FunTake the stairs, no matter if you're going up or down one deck or eight. Bonus, you'll avoid the lines and waiting around for an elevator to arrive and get a workout in the process.Book adventurous shore excursions. From hiking to biking there are more options than just going around on a motor bus. During an Alaskan cruise, we had an amazing tour on kayaks where we spotted bald eagles, saw a salmon hatchery and more. We definitely earned our dinner that day. With Princess Cruises, each shore excursion lists the activity level from easy, moderate to difficult.Kayaking in AlaskaHave breakfast in bed and skip the buffet. To avoid temptation, we fill out the breakfast card in our cabin the night before and hang it on our stateroom door for a healthy meal to be delivered to our room in the morning. The choices on the card usually are minimal and include things like yogurt, cereal, and fresh fruit. We also use this delivery as our wakeup call each morning. Take advantage of a continental breakfast in bedRoom service on cruises are typically free, so why not take advantage? You can order a pot of tea or coffee too and have it on your balcony if you have one. Same goes for lunch. Instead of an over the top buffet, we usually go for another lunch option in the cafe, dining room or the grill area if they have it. When we have less options, we tend to not overeat. Plus, the dinner buffet is usually the best, but even then we tend to opt for eating in the dining room for a more luxurious and fine dining experience.Do a lap or two around the walking track at sunrise or sunset. It's great for breathing in the fresh sea air, taking photos, and can help those feeling seasickTake in the views from the walking and jogging trackGo to the gym on at-sea days. The funny thing is that I don't hit the gym when I'm at home, but I do while cruising. It's usually never crowded and peddling on an elliptical that looks over the ocean isn't much of a hardship.  [...]



Techlicious Smart Tech Product Preview

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 03:10:00 +0000

Heading over to the other coast of Florida for a Lunch & Learn event in Miami with Techlicious and Consumer Tech Association, a group of 25 bloggers and I gathered to discuss how technology is helping make our lives and our homes better. I love tricking out my home with smart home tech, so this was right up my alley.All attendees received a TP-Link Smart Home LED Light Bulb to control your lighting from anywhere via an app. I'm proud to say that I installed it myself and it took not much more effort than screwing in a standard light bulb. I just had to take the additional step of downloading the free Kasa app first and connecting the unit to my home Wi-Fi.From the app I could turn the color of the light from a cool to warm setting. I preferred the soft warm yellow light over the clear, crisp white coloring for the living room where I put it in. You can also control the brightness from 5%, 50% to 100% intensity. As well as set schedules to turn on and off, which is great for when I'm traveling and want to appear at home. You can track power too and monitor real-time energy used to stay better informed on usage.However, it's supposed to work with Amazon's Alexa too, but although I was able to add the skill, my Alexa device did not discover or recognize the smart home device :( Overall though, I've very happy with the product, especially considering that it lasts for up to 22 years and the reasonable price of only $19.99-$34.99 depending on which model you purchase.    frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tarablog-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B01HXM8XF6&asins=B01HXM8XF6&linkId=7ddcf74aa133d1a2086b84d80a76e4e2&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tarablog-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B01HXM8XHO&asins=B01HXM8XHO&linkId=982bd68f3dcfbda67c79341cf2c6500a&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">The big scene stealer though were the fashionable tech bags on display from Knomo, especially their Beauchamp Backpack great for the everyday commuter toting gadgets. Sleek and durable, this backpack is splash-resistant, made of finely woven premium nylon, complemented by leather trimmings. Inside, a padded laptop section fits up to a 14-inch laptop, keeping your computer safe and separate from your other possessions. In front, there is an easy-access pocket with two zippers; the right has an anti-RFID lining, perfect for protecting you from digital theft. A second hidden pocket in front is perfect for storing cables and cards. The inner lining is also red!! LOVE! frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tarablog-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B00LXT3RZC&asins=B00LXT3RZC&linkId=693b53ebb13559a851c505ac79110aa8&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">Another new product that I was introduced to were AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Bone conduction Bluetooth headphones, which delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hearing ambient sounds too. Great for joggers to hear tunes, but to stay safe too. It sits in front of your ear and not in it or on it, resting just below your temples and no st[...]



Mama's Got A Brand New Gig

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:32:00 +0000

(image) I'm excited to share that I now have a part-time gig as a Multimedia Journalist for the new E.W. Scripps publication HelloSWFL.com :)

I'll be covering the parenting beat for the local Southwest Florida area and am doing a lot of on-camera work, as well as blogging and behind the scenes producing too.

It's only been a month, but I'm enjoying being part of a newsroom again, especially one willing to experiment. I also like that it's given me the opportunity to better explore the communities around me and to discover new spots and activities while sharing my experiences with visitors.

Take a look:

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allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xJd0xGO-Ti4" width="560"> allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lcu9On-T94M" width="560">

What do you think?

Besides HelloSWFL and blogging here, you can also catch my adventures at TravelingMom and Huffington Post.





5 Must Have Potty Training Tools

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:00:00 +0000

Looking back on when we were potty training our twins these were the items that we found to be the most helpful. I would highly recommend these to other parents, some we still use even now that they are four.Snap Power Guide Light and Built-In Potty SeatThe SnapPower Guidelight can safely and easily transform a regular outlet coverplate into a convenient night light, which automatically turns on in the dark and off during the daytime by a sensor. It's equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting for perfect nighttime illumination. Installation was as simple as switching out our regular cover plate over an AC outlet. No wiring required! This has been our favorite product since it's helpful even past potty training even as kids get older. I've since ordered one for our guest room bathroom so visitors can find their way at night too. Also, this way you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn off a nightlight switch in the morning, which I was always failed to do.Built-in Potty Seat - Forget the cartoon potty seats! After buying several other seats that my boys would put on wrong, which would then slip off, we went with this built in seat that can be pulled down as easy as a toilet lid. Best of all, it's not bright, bulky or embarrassing to have in your bathroom when guests are over.Potty Stool - We put one of these potty step stools at the base of every toilet in our house. Like above, we still use these stools for by the bathroom sinks now for easy hand washing and brushing teeth. You could also get a squatty potty stool as a twofer.Potty Books - I don't mean books to read while on the bowl, but books that encourage potty learning and explain the process to your little one, so they know all kids make the transition and what the end goal is. We bought three different books, one with Caillou, one with Elmo and a general potty one, all were great. It also helped my boys understand the different terms and vocab we were using too. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tarablog-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=2894508409&asins=2894508409&linkId=ea8bee22783e01ff0499a98b7cae70ed&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tarablog-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=038538369X&asins=038538369X&linkId=448373c1164ece5b5601c47b43cf84c9&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=tarablog-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=1554072840&asins=1554072840&linkId=6d0f460009526f5330e3a66369688b68&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;">Portable Potty - The toilet can be intimidating and out of the way when a child has to go and doesn't want to break from playing. For the first couple of months and would move it around the house to wherever our boys were, by the TV, in their playroom, etc. If going on a driving road trip we would even pack it and bring to the hotel with us. We had a different brand that we used at first, but found that this Summer Infant design was the best for keeping boys from spraying outside [...]