Featured Strong Luv

Blessing Bag Checklist (Printable)

The Blessing Bag Checklist is here as promised!  I hope it gives you a good idea of some useful items to include in your blessing bags so that whoever gets it will feel super blessed!  I did call the Union Gospel Mission to find out what homeless people need the most.  They have free access to things like shampoo and lotion but some of the more ‘unnecessary’ items such as hair gel, facial wipes, warm gloves, etc. are in high demand.

This is the simplified blessing bag checklist.  If you want to put together a blessing bag with a lot of stuff in it, check out the Blessing Bag Backpack Checklist.  It is cost prohibitive for most of us to put together a bunch of backpacks full of items.  What direction you go really depends on personal preference, budget and personality.  We did two large backpacks, 3 medium size blessing bags, and about 10 of the smaller basic bags.

I see the basic blessing bags as the ones that we will try to have on hand in the van most of the time so that if we see someone who needs it we have it readily available.  They are also an ideal size to throw in your purse or backpack if you are going to be walking around downtown.  The backpacks and medium size blessing bags are a little more extravagant and have some non-essentials — for the holiday season.

Whatever your budget, don’t forget that no gift is too small.  And helping even one person is still significant!  If you don’t believe me take Mother Teresa’s word for it.  Think of it like the widows mite and do it with all of your heart!
blessing bag checklist printableCLICK TO PRINT  *Since every resource I provide on the blog is free, the only thing I ask of you is to please share it with your friends on FB, Twitter or Pinterest (the buttons to do so are below my signature) – Thanks in advance!

I know that there are a lot of things that you can add to a bag like this, but I hope this proves to be a useful resource to get you started. If you are wanting to do something a little more elaborate don’t forget to check out my Blessing Bag Backpack Checklist. Put your personality into it and have fun!

Update: See the Blessing Bag project completed and a host of other resources!

Do you have some ideas to make the Blessing Bags extra Special? I’d love to hear them, so make sure to leave a comment so my readers can hear from you too! Also, I have recently added a homeless board on Pinterest – Make sure to check it out and don’t forget to follow my boards if you like what you see!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Featured Strong Luv

Mother Teresa Inspiration – Blessing Bags

Blessing Bag InspirationAs you know my family has been working hard on putting together blessing bags for the homeless.   I was recently introduced to an awesome band by a friend and wanted to know more about them.  On their website I saw a quote from Mother Teresa and it really moved me regarding this blessing bag project because all I keep thinking about is that putting these bags together is really a small thing to do in light of the hardships that homeless men and woman face.

Mother Teresa said:

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

I can’t think of a more inspirational example of someone who has given her life for the needs of others than Mother Teresa.  She spent her life poured out for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”

I may never be as awesome as Mother Teresa, but the more I give myself to value the things she valued – which is really just the things that Jesus himself valued – the more I will be broken over the needs of those whom Matthew 25 refers to as “the least of these.

mother teresa quote

These blessing bags won’t “feed” a hundred or wipe out poverty in our city but they will make a difference for someONE.

I’m in.

If you want to make some blessing bags of your own, you can download a printable checklist of items for Basic Blessing Bags or Blessing Backpacks!  I created a blessing bag board on Pinterest which you can link to those from the button below!

emily oak


Featured Strong Luv

Blessing Bags – Helping the Homeless

homeless blessing bag
Have you ever passed a homeless person in your car or in the city and felt your heart sink knowing that you should do something but weren’t sure what?  Its similar to the feeling you get when someone you know has a miscarraige, loses a family member or gets sick.  You aren’t close enough to them to know just what to say or do — so you wait.

It will come to you.  You fear doing the wrong thing or saying something insensitive in your attempt to reach out.

A week goes by, still nothing.  A month — and you’re drawing a blank.

That profound idea you are waiting for or the right phrase to write in a card never quite reveals itself.  Now every time you think about that person or see them you get a knot in your stomach.  You feel a pang of regret, wishing you would have done something…anything.  But now it’s too late, the window has closed.

That is how I feel sometimes when I see a homeless person.  I feel absolutely incompetent.  The need is so great.  What could I possibly do to help?  Paralysis by analysis sets in and I do nothing at all.  Fear of failure, fear of being misunderstood, fear of doing it wrong, fear of what they will think, fear of…..

Well, this season we are setting fire to fear and going to do something as a family to reach out to the homeless in our area.   We are putting together “Blessing Bags” to give away.  It’s small in comparison to the hardship that someone living on the streets faces.  But it’s SOMETHING.

Our road trip exposed us to how wide spread and desperate the situation is for homeless people — which is one of the reasons I think traveling with children is so powerful.

These Blessing Bags are our little way of saying:

“I see you”

“You are valuable”

“We are the same”

“It could be me”

I feel a profound sense of unworthiness to say these things.  I am a healthy, middle class, white woman — who drives a minivan and is baking cookies while I write this.  I am lucky enough to stay at home with my 3 year old while my two boys catch the bus to go to their suburban school with a mountain view.

homeless man blessing bag“You are beautiful”

“You are worthy of love”

“I’m sorry that life is so freaking hard and unequal”

Isn’t it a little insensitive for me to say when I get to come home to my flip of the switch fire place, Tempurpedic king sized bed, and the arms of my husband wrapped around my body when I fall into him at night?  I mean they are on the street — sleeping on hard cold ground, likely alone.  I have no right.

Then before I talk myself out of it I remember the story of the starfish.  And making a difference for just one is still valuable — for that ONE — and I know I have to get over myself and do SOMETHING.

No one would choose to live on the streets.  No one.  Somewhere along the way life circumstances hit them squarely between the eyes and they found themselves there.  For some, the unimaginable came in the form of horrific abuse as a child, for others because of some kind of loss well into adulthood.  Each one has a story.  Just like every one of us.

There is not one box we can put all homeless people into to tidy up the epidemic as a means to wrap our minds around it.   If we see them as human instead of an addict, whore, or runaway we might start making some headway.

We are all homeless in one way or another.  For some it’s obvious, for most of us it’s not.  No amount of self help books, yoga sessions, or charity can bring us home.  It takes a family.  A brother, a sister, a father, a mother.  A hand from someone saying “you belong,” “I am for you,” “you matter.”

So even though accusations rail against us until we turn away long enough to forget there is a problem or convince us that we are somehow disqualified to help — we have to fight those lies and do SOMETHING.  Anything.

homeless helpI love what the book of Matthew in the new testament says about helping the needy:


The uncreated God made each one of us.  We are his handiwork.  We are brothers and sisters from the same family.  Each of us has a beating heart and a desire for love and respect.  A face, a story, some indescribable pain, and hopeful longing.  A need to be acknowledged and accepted.

Every time we reach out and do something kind for someone poor, needy, maligned –with no intention of getting something in return — we acknowledge their value.  Their equality.  That we could be right there in their situation had the cards been dealt differently.

So in the posts to come I’m going to cover the SOMETHING that we are doing in the form of Blessing Bags for the homeless.  I hope that you will feel inspired to do something of your own.   Because your voice matters.  People need to hear you say {with your actions} “I see you,” “I am for you,” ” you are precious beyond belief,”  “you are worthy of love.”

My brother is a photographer and did a series on the homeless {the photos in this post are from that series}.  It is stunning and brings so much dignity to the issue.   If you are planning on doing something like this with your family it may be helpful to watch the video or look through some of the pictures with your kids and talk about it together.

To make this project as easy as possible, I am creating a check list of helpful items you will be able to print out and have on hand if you want to make blessing bags of your own.  Update: See the final blessing bag product.

Lastly, I am a newbie to social media.  If you like the information we provide on this site it would mean a lot if you would share it on FB, Google +, or Pinterest {the buttons to do so are below}.  Thank you in advance!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Featured Travel Tips

Healthy Snacks for the Road {Gluten Free}

healthy snack gluten freeIt can be a challenge to find healthy snacks when you are on the road — and being gluten free makes that task even more difficult.   Stopping at the gas station is mind numbing and if you have the audacity to ask the clerk if they have any gluten free options most likely you will be met with a confused blank look staring back at you.

These are some of the gluten free, healthy snacks we like to have on hand when we hit the road:

Healthy Snacks for Bead Box OR Snack Bags

  • Whole or slivered almonds
  • Banana chips
  • Craisins
  • Dried fruit
  • Pistacios {shelled}
  • Any thing gluten free you find in the bulk section
  • Gluten free cereal like chex
  • Gluten free pretzels

Healthy Snacks for Travel Containers with Lids

{We like to pack these with cut fruit/smaller fruit like grapes OR cut veggies.  After those have been eaten we can then use the containers to hold the other items listed}

  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Snap peas
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Gluten free cereal like Chex
  • Gluten free pretzels
  • Chips from larger bag
  • Popcorn

Healthy Snacks that Don’t Need a Special Container

  • Seaweed
  • Applesauce squeezers
  • Fruit & Nut bars
  • Lara bars
  • Yogurt on the go {obviously needs to be eaten on the front end of the trip – we freeze ours before we leave to extend the life}
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Nectarines
  • Gluten free beef jerky

Peanut Butter in a Jar with Celery

{You can use a mason jar or any lidded jar/container that you like}

healthy snacks road trip

healthy snacks road trip

gluten free healthy snacks

Not Technically “Healthy Snacks” but Necessary for the Road

  • Individually wrapped dark chocolate
  • Fruit Snacks {not technically “healthy snacks” but I figure if they ate all the other good stuff…plus I like to bribe reward my kids for good behavior}

I hope this gives you some good ideas of healthy gluten free snacks that you can pack next time you hit the road.  I also shared my current favorite healthy gluten free snack — fat burning popcorn —  so make sure to check that out too.  Do you have favorite gluten free snacks that are perfect for traveling with that I didn’t mention?  If so, make sure to leave a comment and tell us about them!

Also, if you are new to the site and like what you see, please join us over on our FB page, like us on Pinterest and/or circle us on Google + {all of which you can do below}.  I’d love to connect with you!!!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Education Featured

Education — Getting the Most out of the Junior Ranger Program

Junior Ranger TipsIn Junior Ranger Program {Part 1} of our Education Series, I told you about why I geek out over the fun park program that is absolutely FREE and how much our kids love it.   I mean, not only do they get to explore fun things like volcanoes, underground caves, and the open wilderness, but they get super cool badges to show off too!   If you have no idea about what I’m talking about regarding this resource you may want to go read {Part 1} before you move on.

One way we found to help our boys get the most out of each new place and opportunity for greater education was by doing a little prep beforehand.

There is so much to learn that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the information bombarding you when they get there.  If you have time,  make sure to do some research prior to discovering the deep forests or ferociously looking over dinosaur bones.  Depending on which park you go to, your child will be exposed to something special to that region.

So let’s look at an example on how this could work:

Let’s say you are planning a visit to The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Here your Junior Ranger will have an exciting opportunity to help be a part of protecting important wildlife, like turtles and birds. They will also have the big responsibility of keeping the water clean and protecting the historic features. They can explore the national park and get an education about the history, geology and nature in the area- and even find a hidden treasure!

If your kids are anything like ours, they may be so busy filling in the Junior Ranger Packet while you are at the park that they miss the essence (and education) of the place.  To avoid this, you can conveniently download the fun activity packet online before you get there so they have a chance to get familiar with the information and know what things to pay attention to.

Besides perusing the activity packet, one way to get your future Junior Ranger ready is to have them research the topic a bit. If they are old enough have them write a small presentation to present to the family after dinner. If possible, see if there are podcasts, Youtube videos or perhaps a documentary about the area at your local library. There are even fun links on some of the National Park websites that help prep your child to learn about the area.

Doing a quick Google search for fun activities for them to do is also a great idea. Here, here, and here are a few FREE educational resources that offer worksheets and printables to help engage your child in learning about a new part of the US or the world!

Having them prepped for exploration is not only a way to help them expand on their knowledge, but it also gives them huge boost in confidence! Helping them gather some basic information about the unique qualities of the park before you arrive can go a long way.  I know my boys thrive on the opportunity show off their skills, ask interesting questions, and earn badges like a pro!

Lastly, I am a newbie to social media.  Apparently there are about a zillion rules to follow — I am stumbling my way through and pretty sure I am breaking exactly all of them.  If you like the information we provide on this site it would mean a lot if you would share it on FB, Google +, or Pinterest {the buttons to do so are below}.  Thank you in advance!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

family fun Featured Travel Tips

Staycation Ideas – For the Fall

staycation ideas for fallHopefully after reading {Part 1} and {Part 2} of our Staycation Series you are inspired to plan a staycation of your own!  I am currently planning a “Seattle Staycation” for our family now that we have settled in the Pacific Northwest.  After creating this series I am even more excited about our time “off” than before.

I am really looking forward to turning the electronics off and getting in some good quality time with one another.  We are also working on a unique way to help the homeless during our staycation.  I’ll write about that in future posts:)

Without further ado, here are 20 creative ways to connect with each other and enjoy your time off this season:

  • Create a family meal together and eat it by candlelight
  • If they are old enough, give the kids the reigns on one special activity.  Have them plan it from start to finish.
  • Bundle up for a nature walk {collect acorns and colorful leaves to use in an art project}
  • Get lost in a corn maze
  • Make a homemade apple or pumpkin pie
  • Set aside an hour or two for a family art project – if craftiness isn’t your thing consider buying a pre-made art kit.  Perhaps you can make a few Christmas gifts like candles in a mason jar,  handmade cards, or a custom decorated picture frame for grandma!
  • Go to a drive in movie
  • Make caramel apples
  • Take a hot-air balloon ride
  • Take a tour {winery, chocolate factory, local museum}
  • Build a bonfire {roast marshmallows and make s’mores}
  • Pitch a tent in the living room and tell stories to each other in the dark
  • Get a massage
  • Make a “thankful tree”
  • Choose one book the entire family will enjoy and take turns reading it aloud at night, or while you’re driving from one place to another
  • Paint, carve, or decorate a pumpkin based on a character in the book you are reading
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Go zip lining
  • Start your Christmas shopping
  • Help the homeless or less fortunate in some way

I hope this gives you some great ideas for ways to really enjoy this season together as a family.  Things can get so hectic with school schedules in full swing, extracurricular obligations and the holidays just around the corner — so wether you are planning a staycation of your own or not, make sure to do something to steal back some time with your family and do something special.  Time with our little guys is precious and slips by so fast, doesn’t it?!

Lastly, I am a newbie to social media.  Apparently there are about a zillion rules to follow — I am stumbling my way through and pretty sure I am breaking exactly all of them.  If you like the information we provide on this site it would mean a lot if you would share it on FB, Google +, or Pinterest {the buttons to do so are below}.  Thanks in advance!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Featured Travel Tips

Staycation: Reap the Benefits of Vacation w/o Ever Leaving Home {Part 2}

stay-cationIn {Part 1} of our Staycation Series we looked at both the benefits and the obstacles to carving out a little rest and relaxation time for you and your family without ever leaving your hometown.   I hope that after reading about the advantages of a staycation, you have warmed up to the idea and are ready to jump in with both feet and plan one yourself!

Regardless of if you have two days to tack onto a weekend or two weeks off of work, devoting yourself to connecting with your loved ones and rediscovering your city is sure to pay off.  But remember, the key to a successful staycation is in the planning.  Avoid the temptation to ‘wing it’ and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

staycation tipsThese tips will help make your staycation as close to a “real” vacation as possible!

  • Stay Close:  The activities you do during your staycation should be close to home so you can sleep in your own bed at night.  Don’t over extend yourself and try and go somewhere too far.  The exception to this is if you want to go for one night to a fancy hotel in the city or a bed and breakfast nearby that you’ve been dying to try.  Splurge one night and save money by staying home the other nights.
  • Get Unplugged:  Leave the computer in the office and make it off limits for the duration of your staycation.  Don’t cheat!  Work can wait.  It’s vacation time baby!
  • Do Something You Haven’t Done:  We often ignore the places nearby and put them in the back of our head as things to do “someday.”  Well, someday has now come.  Or maybe there is a place you don’t even know about yet.  Research your city to find something everyone in the family will enjoy.  Paintball?  A museum?  The local dinner train?  A different beach?  A family picnic at the end of a hike?  A theatre production?   Let each family member pick one thing and work your “itinerary” around those affairs.
  • Don’t Over Do It:  You want to do fun activities on your staycation, but don’t run yourself ragged.  Don’t book yourself up with a bunch of things to do to the point where you are completely exhausted.  Factor in some downtime so you can be refreshed after your time off.  This is especially important if you have kids!
  • Splurge:  Yes!  Since you’re saving a bunch of money by sleeping at home and not going far — treat yourself.  Don’t be afraid to splurge on a nice dinner for everyone or enjoy a little R&R with an afternoon at the local spa.  There have to be a few things you have been wanting to do but were just slightly out of budget or you haven’t made time for in your daily life.  Here’s your chance!

One way to nab a fabulous {and thrifty} staycation is by using one of the popular deal sites like or  Look up what deals are going on near you now and receive email updates for new offers that become available.  Costco is another great resource.  The wholesaler offers discounted tickets to popular attractions and restaurant gift cards in your area.

Staycations are an excellent alternative to vacation and you still get that break you so desperately need.  It’s an easy and cheap way to do something special, get your mind off of your daily grind — and best of all — to connect with one another.  A little pre-planning will help ward off the temptation to do house work or anything else non-staycation related.  I hope these tips help you enjoy every minute of your time off!

In {Part 3} of our Staycation Series, I’m going to give you some creative ideas and fun activities to do no matter where you live.  I am passionate about helping others connect and forge deeper relationships with those they love — and think that taking a staycation is a great way to do that — so stay tuned for that!

What is your experience with  staycations?  If you have had one, what would you do differently next time around?

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Featured Travel Tips

Staycation: Reap the Benefits of Vacation without Ever Leaving Home {Part 1}

staycationSo you have been working your tail off for months, you or your spouses’ vacation time is still 4 months away, and you are about to lose it.  I totally get it.  The answer to your problem is closer than you might think — as close as your backyard in fact!   What you need, my friend, is a STAYCATION!

A stay-what?

A “staycation” is a vacation without leaving your home or city.  If this doesn’t sound like a vacation to you?  It’s probably because you’re not thinking about it right.

Let me help you with that.  First let’s start with the pros and cons.

Here are a few things that I love about a good ol’ Stay-cation:

  • They are a great alternative if you need to “get away” but don’t have much vacation time.
  • You are still taking time out to connect with your family in an intentional way.
  • No wasted time packing and waiting in airports- or in the car.
  • It’s cheaper because you’re sleeping in your own bed and don’t have to pay for a ton of gas or an airline ticket.
  • You are supporting local businesses.
  • You get to play tourist for a day — minus the getting lost part!  It gives you a chance to do the things in your city you have always wanted to do but just couldn’t find the time for.
  • You still get a break from work (even if it is just a day or two extra tacked on to a weekend) which will energize you and hold you over until your next vacation.

The downside is that if you don’t plan it right you will set yourself up for dissapointment because:

  • You might be tempted to work a bit since you didn’t actually leave town.
  • You will still be spending extra money.
  • You might lose the staycation vibe when you see a pile of laundry or think about the other jobs you need to take care of.

A staycation can be as fun and relaxing as any vacation, or just as hectic as any other day.  How well you plan for it will make or break your experience.  In {Part 2} of our Staycation Series I will give you all the tips you need to help you safeguard your family time and avoid the common pitfalls people face when they plan a staycation of their own!

On a personal note, after living out of our suitcases for 10 months we recently bought an moved into our new home!!!  We are so happy to put down roots again!  Instead of going away during our time off, this year, we are currently planning a staycation of our own here in the Seattle area.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

How about you — have you ever had a staycation?  What was your experience?  Also, if you are finding our content useful, and want to follow what is going on here at don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest, and/or add us to your G+ circles!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Education Featured

Business For Kids – Encouraging Budding Entrepreneurs {Part 2}

how kids can make moneyHopefully you read Business For Kids {Part 1} and have had a chance to wrap your mind around why encouraging your kids to launch their own “companies” can provide a profound learning opportunity for them as well as set them up for success in the future.

Let’s pick up where we left off….remember that they had the Water Boys business idea but no money to launch it.  They decided to sell their red wagon to solve that problem.  Here is how it played out:

After snapping a few pictures of the boys with the wagon and helping them post it to craigslist it was a matter of hours before they had $20 of seed money in their little hands to fund their very first Kid Business project.

After we reached our first destination we stopped at the dollar store and picked up poster board for a sign to serve as advertisement and then dropped by Costco so they could buy some bottled water.

After doing some math with them and deciding which bottles they could sell for the most profit they decided to go with the flip top bottles because they seemed a whole lot nicer than the small ones with the standard screw top lid.  We discussed the importance in giving people real value so they decided that they would attempt to sell one bottle for $1 or sweeten the deal by selling three bottles for $2.

Marketing 101, check.

After making the sign and chilling the water they were in business!

kids business

I will never forget the looks on their faces when they came in with daddy after their first trip to the park as salesmen.  They were grinning ear to ear! They felt accomplished and their confidence soared.  They couldn’t wait to get back out there!

They talked about what strategies worked and what they wouldn’t do again.  Who seemed to be most interested in buying (grandmas) and what demographic was less eager.  They even bartered with other kids on the playground, and recruited a salesman (a young boy) along the way!  They paid him in ice cold water!!!

Did they make enough to purchase those tickets to Disneyland? No.  But they did make enough for tickets to Legoland-which for them was just as exciting{proud mama}.

If we defined the Water Boys’ success by Harvard’s definition of success(meeting set projections), which I talked about in {Part 1}, then the boys technically failed since they didn’t make enough for DisneyLand tickets.  But if you factor in the new skills they aquired along the way — it was a HUGE success!   These newfound skills will be foundational for them as they expand their horizons as budding entrepreneurs!  And I couldn’t be happier for them.

I look forward to seeing what ideas they come up with next and fostering those ideas into reality.

Next in this series, I’m going to give you my Top 15 Business Ideas for Kids, so stay tuned!

What is your experience?  Are your kids interested in a start up of their own?

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Education Featured

Business For Kids – Encouraging Budding Entrepreneurs {Part 1}

how can kids make moneyMany of us have thought about starting a business of our own but how about a business for kids?  Your kids!  I know it may sound strange at first but seriously, have you ever considered helping  your child start their very own “kid business” but weren’t sure if it was too early or a good use of their time.

I mean, for most of us, our kids have a lineup of sports and other activities in the queue already — and everyone knows that sports are imperative for emotional stability, socialization, and learning how to work as a team, so how exactly can a lemonade stand possible prepare them for the future?

And what about the money?  Doesn’t starting a business, other than a lemonade stand, cost a pretty penny?  You never thought about yourself becoming a venture capitalist!  Or perhaps after giving the new idea some thought you’re worried about the blow their self-esteem would take if they poured their energy into something that doesn’t end up working out.

According to the Harvard Business School, 95% of all new businesses fail- if failure is defined as the inability to meet set projections.  If the failure rate is so high, is it smart then to let your kids explore entrepreneurship so young?

We think so and here is why – It is said that the best way to succeed is to increase your failure rate.

So why not get those failures out of the way while they are young!   By the time your child reaches adulthood they could, in theory, have a pretty good thing going.  Or, at least, have a huge leg up on their peers.

Their First Business:

David and I are nerds in that we’re always talking about business ideas.  We must own at least 20 domain names for businesses we might start someday.  The boys have apparently inherited our passion and often throw out ideas on how they can build a business and make some money of their own.

Our oldest son has always been particularly frustrated by the fact that he has to wait until he is fifteen before he can get a “real” job.  Apparently allowance isn’t cutting it!

Days before our big move a few years ago, and our official start to road-schooling, the boys came up with their first business plan.  They decided to sell their red wagon and use the proceeds to fund their first venture.  A water business we affectionately called “The Water Boys!”  They were 7 and 5 at the time and their idea was to buy water bottles, chill them, and sell them on sunny days at parks while we were on the road.

With their earnings they wanted to buy themselves tickets to Disneyland!  If you’ve checked Disneyland prices lately you know that tickets into the Magical Kingdom can be a small fortune.   We wondered if it was wise for us to support them in this goal or if we should try to lower their expectations.

Eventually, our entrepreneurial spirit won the day, we threw caution to the wind and let them get to work.

Read Business for Kids {Part 2} to find out what happened!  Also, I just added a kid’s business plan worksheet which you can print out if interested!

Emily Oak


Featured Our Travels

Dogs in Costumes — Howl-O-Ween in Park City, UT!

dogs in costumesDogs in costumes are pretty cute, right?  Park City, Utah has cuteness in spades at their annual doggie dress up event called “Howl-O-Ween!”

And let me tell you — you don’t know people that LOVE their dogs until you have been to a mountain town like Park City or Vail.  These people are serious about their four legged friends.  A halloween event for dogs?

And, yeah, the kids are invited too.

So funny to me.

I love that no matter where you go you get a sense of what people value almost immediately.  Don’t get me wrong, dogs are my favorite animal.  Before I had kids I signed our Christmas cards with our dog Paiges’ paw print and hand made her clothes out of fabric remnants.  Uh huh, don’t judge.

Paige got knocked down in the family ranking a bit as soon as E arrived.  It’s just how it goes.

We love her and she is an important part of our family but we have yet to throw an event in her honor.  So thank you Park City!

Did you know that you can travel in airplanes and stay in non-pet friendly hotels with your dog if you get a note from your doctor to do so.

Paige is actually an “emotional support animal ” and has the special vest and everything so when David went to take her out for a bathroom break on halloween everyone thought she was in costume!

He didn’t correct them.  Probably because he was by himself and when you tell someone you have an emotional support dog they look at you all sideways and try to figure out what is wrong with you.  When it’s the entire family, no one knows who’s got the issue!

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Dogs in costumes, free normal size chocolate bars, cotton candy, and a great story. What’s not to love?!!

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the other way we celebrated halloween on the road.
Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

Featured Our Travels

Brick or Treat Halloween Celebration at LEGOLAND San Diego CA

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It was a nice surprise to stumble upon the Brick or Treat Halloween event at LEGOLAND San Diego, CA while we visited the southern west coast.  Celebrating holidays on the road was one thing we didn’t even think about before we sold our home and set out on our open ended road trip.

Even though halloween is not a holiday we typically go all out for, the familiarity of costumes and candy was nice in a time when these five faces, our van and a few personal possessions were all we had.

Legos galore, an unexpected celebration, free loot, and happy little faces — that makes for a perfect evening.

If you are planning a trip to LEGOLAND, you may want to check this page to see if any shows or special events will be taking place while you are there.

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Brick-or-Treat haul

How do you handle holidays away from home?

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road