Travel on your mind?

As we head into the holiday season, many of us will be heading home to visit loved ones or taking a mini vacation to escape the cold. Either way, when it comes to traveling, it can be stressful due to all the restrictions and additional fees now placed when we travel on airlines. And if you are taking a roadtrip, it’s tough to cram everything into your car along with your kids and a dog. So how can you take everything with you and never miss one of your necessities when you’re away? Give these travel tips a whirl and make sure you incorporate them into your next trip!
Carry-on bags: These days, carry-on bags have become the luggage of choice when traveling — especially when we have to pay extra for luggage whenever we board a flight. There are some many stylish carry on bags to choose from that are pretty durable and lightweight too. So, find the carry on that fits your personality and buy one for your travel. Make sure your bag has wheels and fit easily in that overhead compartment — the last thing you want is for a flight attendant to send you luggage to the container below the plane because it’s too big. If you don’t have one, here is a photius nordstrom coupon code to help you buy one at a discounted rate. Check for the wide variety available there and choose one that fits your requirements accurately.
Luggage Tags and Labels: This is very important if you have more than three bags with yourself. At the same time, it helps you classify the bags with what you have kept in it. For example, clothes and toiletry are kept in bag A. If you mark it with a tag or label, you don’t have to waste time in case of urgency.
Space Saving travel pouch: If you have a number of little things, here is an option to keep them at one place. Travel pouches are sturdy and can keep your items safe throughout the travel.
Eye Mask: When you are sleeping, an eye mask can help you get a sound sleep. Buy two and keep it with you just in case a friend or family member asks for one too.
Emergency travel blanket: If you or your family member is not comfortable using blankets offered at planes or at hotels, here is a possible solution. It can also be used as a pillow if you need one, or need an additional one. Zipped properly, it is a compact piece to carry with you.
Shoe travel bag: If you do not want your shoes to get dirty when you are not wearing them, a shoe travel bag is an excellent solution. These bags are big enough to fit up to Women’s Size 11 shoe. If you are looking to buy one, here is a Nordstrom coupon to get it at a discounted price.
Miscellaneous items: If you are carrying a laptop, make sure you buy a laptop sleeve so that your computer is protected. If you are going to a place where rains are expected, take an umbrella. If you want to keep your phone extra safe, keep a phone wallet handy. There are a number of cases available, which are stylish and, at the same time, keep your phone safe. If you have a number of medicines, carry a medical bag. A passport holder is another item that people need. So, keep it with you.
Clothes to suit the weather: This is pretty basic, but before you leave for any trip, check out the weather forecast and make sure you have clothes for every occasion. Sure you can always buy something while you are there, but I find that whenever we go to warm weather locations, I always bring a black or white sweater or wrap to cover up on chilly nights. So even though you might be headed to a tropical island, don’t forget to bring something warm for evenings.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Candy Crush School

Role Daddy, Darin Feldman weighs in on the latest classes he’d like to propose for New York Schools…
New York City will be lifting the ban on students bringing cell phones to school! Its a tremendous victory for the 5 boroughs, Mayor De Blasio and for kids and parents in the region. The significance of such a move, especially by New York city, can’t be understated. Given the timing, I thought it would be a good idea for all communities to look at their school systems and see how educators can make mobile devices more meaningful and functional tools in our children’s lives. Our country’s economic fortunes start and finish with the investment we make in education, making it imperative for us to embrace technology and figure out how we can make our children more productive with it. While I have compiled a list of classes that I believe should be taught for students here in New Rochelle, they in no way are meant to be a “common core” curriculum for schools outside the area. I firmly believe that the technology needs differ by region and that the classes to be taught should be decided at the local level. With that being said, here is the list of classes I am proposing.
1) Texting Lingo 101 – I think we would all agree that its very difficult to teach and equally challenging to learn if we are not coming at it using the same language. Acronyms can be very frustrating to learn at first, especially if not used or taken in the right context. I believe my mother would have benefitted tremendously from such a class just knowing that LOL more often means “laugh out loud” instead of “lots of love”. It was always so hard for me to understand why my mom always ended a text conversation with me by laughing out loud. But she wasn’t laughing, she just wanted to tell me she loved me.
2) Group Setting Socialization and Conversation – When kids are with their friends just talking and hanging out, its important that not all of their attention be given just to the people present. They probably have many other friends and more likely, just acquaintances that are not with them at that given moment. These students need to be taught the finer nuances of acting like you are part of a conversation, but really just engaging in text talk, snap chats or instagramming with other people that are no where in sight.
3) Dating 101 and Breaking Up – The days of working up the nerve to ask someone out on a date, face to face are long over. No one should have to deal with that anxiety when the phone can do the trick. Students need to learn at what point during a text conversation it’s appropriate to ask a person out on a date. How many exchanges should there be? What happens if the person doesn’t text back right away? How long should the initiator wait for a response before resending that text? The closing part of the course should deal with the inevitable break up. I don’t imagine this portion of the class will take too long if the students can learn the acronym INYIM. (Its Not You, Its Me) I failed to mention that this course should only be taken by students that took the Group Setting Socialization and Conversation class. Being able to look at your phone while being out with your date is a critical skill that may not guarantee a long lasting relationship, but will certainly boost the odds.
4) Driving While Blindfolded – Asking teens not to text while driving is just an unrealistic exercise in futility. Instead of making it illegal to text while driving, we should equip them with the skills needed to do both simultaneously. Yes, distracted driving is tantamount to driving while blindfolded. So then why aren’t kids just being taught to drive with blindfolds for certain increments of time? The more our kids can learn to rely on their other senses besides vision while driving, the safer our roads will be for all.
5) Learning how to Tweet – This one is a no brainer. Parents want to be involved in the education of their children. They should have the ability to be part of it in real time. There is no reason to wait until after school to find out how a kid did in class. All classroom activity, by both the teachers and the students, should be recorded via Twitter. Teachers will tweet their questions to the class and pupils can tweet their responses. One basic 30 minute prep class for all students on how to use Twitter on their mobile device is all it takes at the beginning of each school year. Tweets from parents during class should be encouraged, but not required.
6) Candy Crush – The idea of schools still requiring some form of physical education in a student’s curriculum seem a bit archaic given the technology we have today to help occupy their time. More importantly, maintaining gymnasiums and fields is a costly undertaking for all schools. Given that very few students ever become professional athletes, we would probably be better off leaving physical activity of students to the private sector. Those periods of time that are now freed up by the elimination of gym should be used for classes on Candy Crush and other popular mobile device games that teach kids to think on their own and have recreational fun on their own when friends aren’t around.
We have really come so far with technology. Its about time that our schools start using that technology to prepare our children for the future. I would hate to think what the consequences might be otherwise.

Support Women’s Rights on Election Day

Women's Equality IMG_3787-Edit adj.jpgI’m not one to get too political on the Role Mommy blog, but as a female entrepreneur, I wanted to share information about new political party dedicated to supporting women’s rights. For the first time ever, the Women’s Equality Party will be voted on in New York and if it passes, it will be the first political party that can fight to ensure women are paid their fair dues, Roe is protected, pregnant women cannot be discriminated against at work, etc.
Governor Mario Cuomo supports the WEP and has even spoken about it with his daughters. Additionally, former speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn shared this recent message to encourage voters to support this new political party:

New Yorkers have the chance to create the first party dedicated first and foremost to women’s equality. If you, me and 50,000 other New Yorkers cast their vote on the WEP line on Election Day, we will have formed the first ever Women’s Equality Party in the nation, and taken a real, tangible step towards the future.
With your help, we and our fellow New Yorkers will speak with one voice, and establish the Women’s Equality Party as a powerful force in our state.
It’s an answer to the assaults on the basic rights of women. It’s a way to ensure that we elect only candidates who support the issues that matter most to us. It’s a real chance to make history, and codify in votes and laws that women deserve to be treated equally.
What does the Women’s Equality Party stand for?
Candidates who run as part of the Women’s Equality Party are committed to passing the full Women’s Equality 10 point plan:
1. Establish Pay Equity for Women
2. Stop Sexual Harassment in Every Workplace
3. Stop Businesses from Discriminating against Pregnant Women
4. Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws
5. End Hiring and Salary Discrimination Against Parents
6. Stop Landlord Discrimination Against Women Who Depend on Housing Assistance
7. Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence
8. Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Cases
9. Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Laws
10. Apply the full standards of Roe v. Wade in New York
In addition, these candidates also pledge to support passing new legislation that will subject colleges and universities in New York to new oversight and reform how they handle sexual assaults, including incidents involving rape, that are reported on their campuses.
To find out more about the WEP, follow these links and make sure you cast your vote to establish this new political party established with the sole purpose to protect the rights of women.

Take Back the Kitchen: Alma’s Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Shrimp

I love pasta but am not willing to give in to all the unhealthy carbs just for a night of decadence. I am beside myself that spaghetti squash is back in season! No, it is not pasta but it looks like pasta and feels like pasta when combined with our favorite pasta companions like shrimp, oregano, and in this recipe, even sausage. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Shrimp

1/2 of a medium sized spaghetti Squash, baked for 1 hour at 350 degrees
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 oz. medium shrimp, cooked
1 large chicken sausage, cooked and chopped into 1/2 inch dice (can use any kind of sausage you like)
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Take the roasted spaghetti squash and scrape lengthwise with a fork until there is nothing left but the skin. Place squash threads into a bowl.
In a medium sized saute pan, heat up the oil and butter.
When hot, add in the garlic and saute for a minute.
Add in the cooked squash, sausage and shrimp and saute until heated through.
Add in the salt, black pepper and oregano and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Remove from heat and top with the red pepper flakes and toasted pine nuts.
Serve immediately.
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