7 Things NOT To Do When Visiting Havana Cuba

Planning a trip to Havana Cuba?

Wondering if it’s really possible to travel there from the USA?

At the beginning of this year my wife & I took a kid-free trip to Havana Cuba (thank you grandparents).

Below is what we learned during our time in Havana Cuba – specifically what NOT to do.

When you’re done with this, here is everything you need to know about Havana Cuba including:

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

You might be wondering HOW we were able to visit Havana Cuba from the USA.

Obama created 12 legal reasons US citizens can travel to Cuba.

Many of them are very abstract, such as “support for the Cuban people” (not sure how long these rules will apply under Trump.)

You just have to pick one and fill a form for the airline, but that’s it.

When you come back they may or may not ask in the airport where you just came from.

As bloggers, my wife & I simply visited as journalists.

We bought this travel guide & you want to buy it ahead of time (there are NO STORES there – more about that below).

This map is a life-saver too. 

You can view all our trip pictures are here: Havana Cuba pictures.

What NOT To Do When Visiting Havana Cuba

It’s easy enough to get there, but what we found when we arrived was TOTALLY different than we expected.

Here are 7 things you should NOT do when you visit Havana Cuba.

Don’t Check Your Luggage

I highly recommend NOT checking your luggage.

Why?

Our luggage didn’t arrive on our plane…

It arrived 36 hours later!

This is a BIG deal in Havana Cuba because there are NO shops – NONE.

Want to buy toothpaste? Sorry.

Forgot your deodorant? Too bad.

If you must check your luggage, at least pack a few toiletries & change of clothes in a backpack…

Whatever you can’t survive the trip without should be in your carryon.

Bring basics like these handiwipes and tissue packs.

You will thank me later!

Don’t Take Where You Stay For Granted

We stayed in an Airbnb in Havana Cuba – and Airbnb didn’t let us down at all.

They were fantastic actually.

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

Here’s a picture of our street.

The reality of life in Cuba means you might need a little extra support & our Airbnb host gave us a cell phone to use to contact him during our stay.

Now, he wasn’t able to help us with the missing toothpaste or deodorant, but I’m sure he would have if they actually had stores.

Don’t Forget –  You’re In A Communist Country

The propaganda was ridiculous.

In a beautiful square they played COPS-style videos to the crowds.

Related: Travel Photo Album – Havana Cuba Pictures

Meanwhile, the public infrastructure has been sadly neglected leading to falling down buildings & insufficient sanitation.

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

Some buildings being held up by sticks while families still live in them (notice the laundry!).

Others collapsing completely.

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

How beautiful these buildings would be if they’d been properly maintained.

Here’s hoping one day they will be restored to their full glory.

Don’t Assume There Are Stores

OK I know I told you earlier that there are NO stores in Havana Cuba.

Actually, we saw 1 store.

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

This is a picture of their version of a CVS pharmacy.

This strange shop (likely owned & operated by the Cuban government) had no essentials.

If you forget to pack your toothpaste, you’ll have to find someone willing to share (lucky for us, the family staying in the other room of our apartment had some to spare!).

There is no CSV or Walgreens or Cuban version of a convenience store.

The locals have to wait for their rations, so they don’t have any left to sell or share with you.

Don’t Skip A Classic Cars Tour

It’s a fun way to see Havana Cuba & if your driver/tour guide is half as friendly as ours, you’ll be all set.

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

You can book them for short or long tours & have them drop you off somewhere convenient for you.

Don’t Pass Up A Drink In Each Famous Bar

Yes, they’re packed full of tourists, but they’re also full of great music & serious bartending.

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

La Bodeguita Del Medio – Havana, Cuba

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.
 
 
The show & the prize!
 
Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.
 

El Floridita – Havana, Cuba

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

 

Crowds again, but so worth it!

Havana Cuba: looking to travel to Havana Cuba? Here’s what NOT to do along with tips & photography from our 2017 trip to this vintage destination. There are lots of things to do on your trip to Havana Cuba. Here’s everything from architecture to photography to hotel to food to decor. If Havana Cuba is your destination, here’s what NOT to do.

Don’t Worry Be Happy

This seems to be the motto of the people in Havana Cuba.

One good thing about visiting a communist country is that there is virtually no crime, so we felt very safe walking everywhere at night.

It’s a massive cultural shock to American consumers used to having “stuff”.

But WOW were we impressed with the resilient Cuban spirit.

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Highlights Of Our “Hurrication”

 

We spent this past week on a “hurrication” (the “vacation” you take while running away from a hurricane!).

Here are some highlights of our 2017 “hurrication”, thanks to Hurricane Irma.

2017 Hurrication Highlights

Living in South Florida is mostly fantastic, despite the hurricane scares.

This year was a little different.

Predictions of a direct hit from Hurricane Irma freaked us out enough to pack everything into our mini-van & make a run for it.

We stayed in a number of hotels along the way, but we kept moving as Irma’s path changed.

We made it all the way up to Alabama before we finally felt able to relax – safely out of the storm’s path.

our hurrication story

Spending days on the road meant eating out more than we would like!

Once we checked into our hurrication hotel in Alabama, we hit the local Publix in search of our favorite snacks.

My wife loves that Liberté is an organic snack & I love the adventurous flavors!

I always pickup the coconut flavor for myself, but we usually grab a few of the mango flavors too.

We settled back into our hotel to watch the storm from a video camera in front of our house.

The power stayed on almost all of the time, so we were able to see the wind & the rain.

our hurrication story

Once the worst was over, I attempted to catch up on a few work emails missed during the last few days…. which wasn’t easy to do with the kids going stir-crazy!

We needed to get outside ASAP!

our hurrication story

Luckily there was a park right next to our hurrication hotel, so we spent a few hours exploring Alabama’s great outdoors.

our hurrication story

FINALLY, after a week, it was safe to drive through Florida & go back home.

We drove to Georgia in heavy traffic & spent the night.

The plan was to sleep early & wake up early to hit the road & beat traffic.

Believe it or not, the highways were packed ALL NIGHT.

This is a picture we took at 4am!

our hurrication story

Our 6 hour drive turned into an 11.5 hour drive, but the kids were fantastic.

our hurrication story

While the hurrication itself was stressful, it was replaced by the RELIEF to be back home to a house fully intact with AC, water & electricity.

Our only “damage” was a blown-over fence.

WE WERE LUCKY & grateful to be home.

Thank you to Liberté for sponsoring this post & helping cover some of our hurrication costs.

our hurrication story

Hurricane Evacuation To Ross Bridge Resort, Marriott Birmingham

We live in South Florida, so when Hurricane Irma rolled in, we rolled out… all the way to Alabama where we will spend the weekend at the Ross Bridge Resort Marriott Birmingham.

Now, Alabama wasn’t on my bucket list, but the Ross Bridge Resort more than exceeded my expectations.

It took 45 minutes to travel the last 15 miles of our journey (3 out of 4 license plates were Florida tags), but this Marriott Birmingham hotel rose up to meet us.

 

ross bridge resort marriott birmingham hotel

Helloooooo curb appeal!

We did look like a bunch of evacuees as we piled out of the mini-van with our kids – their toys & snacks literally falling out of the door when it slid open.

As always, Marriott’s friendly, professional staff makes us feel right at home.

I used my Marriott points to book the room, which came with a big balcony & this stunning view.

ross bridge resort marriott birmingham hotel

It’s a relief to have plenty of entertainment here for the kids – restless after spending 3 days in the car.

Once the golf course closed, the kids loved walking the paths, collecting pine cones, and chasing birds.

The hotel grounds are stunning in every direction.

ross bridge resort marriott birmingham hotel

I expect we will do the same every night, as it’s a great way to end the day… the sunset walk is beautiful, yes, but mostly we go to wear the kids out!!!

ross bridge resort marriott birmingham hotel

In the mornings we stuffed our faces with a ridiculously delicious breakfast – biscuits & gravy, mountains of fresh fruit & a honey-baked ham.

Then we hit the pool, where the kids spent the day going down the waterslide.

ross bridge resort marriott birmingham hotel

We aren’t sure yet how long we will need to stay at this Marriott Birmingham hotel – we’re watching to see where Hurricane Irma is headed.

Even though we don’t yet know where we will go next, the Ross Bridge Resort has provided a welcome sanctuary as a home away from home…

Now, if only we could actually GO home.

A Day Of Go-Karting, An Evening Of Pain Relief

 

Who knew a fun day of go-karting would turn into an evening – actually a weekend – requiring pain relief?

That’s when you realize you aren’t as young as you used to be!

The day started innocently enough – a welcome day out of the office racing coworkers around the track.

We raced not only to record our best time, but also to beat each other’s best times.

Oh yea – this was serious business.

Maybe it was the intensity of the competition or maybe it was the adrenaline of speed, but once I arrived home, I realized I was in PAIN!

After limping around for a few hours, I admitted I could use some pain relief.

Always on the lookout for products with ingredients that are safe for the whole family, my wife handed me PROCure Epsom Salt Gel Rub.

I’ll admit it – I wasn’t convinced about this chemical-free approach to pain relief – but luckily this gel really works!

Go-karting was insanely fun & now that I know I can handle the pain, I’m ready to go again.

And because this is so easy to use on-the-go, I can keep one at my office for next time.

Make sure you have PROCure Epsom Salt Gel Rub when you need it – order it on Amazon here.

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It?

Recently we stayed at the Legoland Florida Hotel, which is immediately next to the Legoland Florida theme park.

If you’re wondering whether it was worth the cost to stay at the Legoland Florida Hotel, keep reading!

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It?

Not only did we take the kids to Legoland… we took the grandparents too!

Legoland is not only a fun theme park for the whole family, but it’s much less crowded than many of the other major theme parks, making it a better overall experience!

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

The Price Is Right

Believe it or not, the Legoland Florida Hotel is much less expensive than you might imagine.

We’ve looked many times into stay on property for other theme parks, but usually the cost is astronomical. Not so for Legoland Florida!

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

And, if you get the Awesomer or Awesomest annual passes (also very reasonably priced – especially if you’re Florida residents like we are), you get a 10% DISCOUNT on your hotel stay too.

Location Location Location

Staying on property gives everyone the flexibility to enjoy the day.

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

We like the idea of being able to go back & have a nap in the middle of the day… With grandparents & toddlers this can make or break the day.

Luckily our toddler managed to completely knock out in the stroller.

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

 

Staying on property means we can enjoy the theme park even from our room!

We could see some of the rides & caught a huge fireworks show just before bedtime.

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

Early Admission After Breakfast

Staying in the hotel comes with a full buffet breakfast and early admission to the park.

 

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

We get up EARLY with kids, so we definitely used this perk.

More Entertainment Inside!

The kids were obsessed with the Lego decor & activities inside the hotel lobby: bricks, bricks, bricks!

Legoland Florida Hotel: Is It Worth It? We took the kids and the grandparents to the Legoland Florida Hotel to stay on the property. Here's what happened: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/legoland-florida-hotel-review/

I can’t believe we managed to get out of the hotel without taking any pictures of the rooms!

There was a treasure hunt inside the room with free lego toys for the kids to build & keep.

Plus, the bunk beds & kids lego movies playing in the room – it’s heaven for the kids & the adults.

Since we bought the annual passes, we will just have to go back again to get you those pictures – stay tuned!

10 Best Gifts For Travelers: 2017

If you’re looking for the best gifts for travelers in your life, get them something that makes the time they spend away from home just a bit better.

As business traveller & citizen of the world, traveling can be everything from fun & exciting to mundane & exhausting.

If you’re shopping for a frequent flier, there are some fantastic gifts you can choose from at all different price ranges.

If you’re looking for the best gifts for travelers in your life, get them something that makes the time they spend away from home just a bit better.

Looking to let the traveler in your life know they are on your mind?

Here are the best gifts for travelers 2017!

 

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you use them, I will make a commissions at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Best Gifts for Travelers

These picks address different needs and are fantastic choices for travelers of all different ages and personality types.

And, because not all travelers’ needs and budgets are created equal, I’ve made getting the specific gift you’re looking for as easy as possible.

The High Roller

The traveler in your life probably has some amazing stories to tell… and photos to go along with them!

A small but powerful camera is a must-have, and the Canon Rebel provides portability without compromising excellent quality – all for a fantastic price!

With several different styles and features available, there is something to meet every need and budget.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

best gifts for travelers 2016

Tumi is a brand that most travelers know, and the reviews are a great place to go to see why.

Durable, solid, and attractive are just a few of the words that happy customers use, and I couldn’t agree more.

Carry on options like this one are the envy of every traveler.

 

best-gifts-for-travellers-tumi

Being able to drown out the noise around them is something that all travelers can appreciate.

These Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones are amazing for many reasons:

  • Noise canceling feature allows you to hear over the airport or airplane noise
  • WIRELESS for on the go convenience & sleeping comfortably on the plane
  • Long battery life!

Check out their fantastic reviews & pricing here.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

 

Traveling is stressful, and having a relaxing place to unwind in the midst of all the travel woes is so important.

With options all over the globe, there are quiet airport lounges waiting to welcome your traveler with their Priority Pass nearly anywhere they travel.

Check out all the Priority Pass options here.

best-gifts-for-travelers-3

Traveling can get lonely, and what better way to keep spirits up than listening to some favorite music.

A portable wireless Bluetooth speaker like the JBL Xtreme makes every traveller feel at home on the road.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

 

Bang For Your Buck

Shock resistant, water resistant, and magnetic resistant, the G-Shock watch is designed to withstand nearly everything.

There is a unique style for everyone, so your toughest decision will be which cool watch to choose.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

 

The Kindle Fire 8 is affordable and loaded with features that make Amazon’s top choice.

With a 12 hour battery life and 16-32 GB of storage, it’s a traveler’s dream!

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

 

A frequent travel will agree you can never underestimate the value of a good toiletry bag.

There are many toiletry bags to choose from, so there is something for everyone.

This Tumi bag is one of my favorites.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

Low Cost, High Impact Gifts

You find amazing gifts that will make a big impact in the life of your traveler, no matter what your budget.

And because looking sharp while traveling is important, why not take help where you can get it?

There is nothing better than no wrinkle dress shirts for someone who travels.

Short sleeve, long sleeve, patterned, solid, and so much more, Amazon can’t be beat when it comes to finding these no ironing needed shirts.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

 

If you can’t afford the Kindle Fire 8, save the money & go for last season’s model – the Kindle Fire 7.

Fast, reliable, and durable, it has both 8 GB and 16 GB options available.

best-gifts-for-travellers

Looking for a wireless speaker that delivers on sound but doesn’t cost a fortune?

This portable wireless Bluetooth speaker is a favorite among travelers.

Water resistant with remarkable sound, it has a lot to offer for such a small price tag.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

Budget Friendly

Here are a few more fantastic gifts for travelers that won’t break your bank.

One of the most popular & most desired gifts is this external battery. Why? Because there’s nothing like getting halfway to a destination only to discover that you’ve got a dead battery. Never again!

best-gifts-for-travellers-charger

While you’re at it, throw an extra cable in with your charger since you never really can have enough phone cables!

With weight restrictions on luggage, travelers need to know their luggage is under the limit BEFORE heading to the airport.

This hanging luggage scale provides an easy fix.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

When it comes to packing efficiently, packing cubes are the way to go.

Convenient and high quality, these have been part of my traveling regiment for years.

Want the BEST gifts for travelers? This list is brand new for 2017 & has the best gifts for travelers no matter who there are or what your budget. Click here to find the best gifts for travelers 2017: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/best-gifts-for-travelers-2017

If you enjoyed this list, please SHARE it.

Am I missing your favorite gift? Let me know below in the comments.

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IMSA SportsCar Championship Race Is COMING

IMSA SportsCar Championship Race Is COMING


Spring Break may be over, but IMSA is ready to turn this guy’s frown…

imsa race car

Upside down!

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Race is COMING soon – on May 6th!

IMSA races are exciting for sports car freaks like me because they combine of F1, NASCAR and Indy Car all in one race!

Yes, that’s right – Audi, Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, and Porsche…

imsa racing

 

They will all go head to head!

The fastest, top of the line unique cars are racing together on FS1 – Saturday, May 6th from 7-10pm ET.

This time the race will be in Austin’s amazing Circuit of The Americas – a counter-clockwise circuit with 20 turns & home to the only Formula 1 race in the USA.

 

And if you’re looking for an excuse to attend the even in person – the ticket prices are ridiculously decent: $49 for day pass & $79 for the weekend.

But if, like me, you aren’t lucky enough to make it in person this year, you can still catch all the action on FS1 from 7pm-10pm ET, with the entire race simulcast on FOX Sports GO.

imsa race

Click here for all the details about this & other IMSA races.

Fresh Pasta Recipes: How To Make

Fresh Pasta Recipes: How To Make

In Italy, eating fresh pasta is a true pleasure! People stop to enjoy the experience of a meal, from the cooking to the tasting.

Fresh pasta: looking for fresh pasta recipes? This homemade fresh pasta dough is so easy! With sauce or without sauce, fresh pasta makes delicious dishes! Storing fresh pasta is so easy too! http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/fresh-pasta-recipes-how-to-make

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Fresh Pasta

Without sounding completely cliché, I love pasta!

Although pasta is considered a main dish to us in the US, in Italy you’ll see it as a Primo, or “first course”.

Any country where its socially acceptable to follow a plate of pasta with a main course dish is definitely in my top three!

Making pasta from scratch is not only easy, but fun too.

It’s a great activity to do with your entire family on Sundays, then sit down to enjoy it together.

fresh-pasta-how-to-make

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups flour

 

Directions

Make a pile of flour on your clean countertop.

I suggest cleaning with vinegar since its natural and doesn’t involve chemicals.

Make a hole in the middle of the pile with your fingers and add your egg mixture.

fresh-pasta-recipes

Use your hands to knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes.

At this time, take the dough and cut in three pieces.

Make three balls and wrap them in saran wrap.

fresh-pasta-dough

Let them sit for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove the three balls from the saran wrap.

Using a pasta machine, roll dough out to desired thinness by gradually increasing the level on the roller.

fresh-pasta-drying

Use machine or knife to cut into strips of desired width.

Repeat this with all three balls of dough.

Lay out the cut pasta on floured trays.

Cook in boiling water (salt optional) for about 3-5 minutes.

Strain and toss in your favorite sauce.

Made too much? Storing fresh pasta is easy! Just take the cut pasta, toss it into a ziplock & freeze.

Then when you’re ready, remove from freezer & cook as usual!

Andiamo a mangiare!



How To Help Families In Need

 

Expecting a new baby was always an exciting time for our family.

But preparing for a new baby can also feel overwhelming – especially if finances are tight.

I just found out that 1-in-3 families struggle to provide diapers for their baby & there is something we can do to help with Huggies.

How To Help Families In Need

From today until April 29 2018, any purchases of Huggies Diapers or Wipes at any Walgreens, both in-store and online at Walgreens.com, Huggies will give an entire day’s worth of diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network for families in need.

how to help families in need

The goal of this program is to donate 1.5 million diapers and 250,000 wipes nationwide to the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN).

The surprising stats about the lack of diaper and wipes access make this an decision if your family is wondering how to help families in need.

We all want to make sure our little ones have everything they need at home, and simply purchasing Huggies from Walgreens can have a huge impact on a family.

 

In our house we buy Huggies wipes in bulk, so ordering them at Walgreens.com was an easy decision.

In addition, we bought extra diapers and wipes to donate to a nearby hospital, as I know they also are happy to receive donations.

how to help families in need

Will you join us in supporting families in need?

Will you place your next order of diapers or wipes from Walgreens.com?

Be sure to share this program with others, so they can learn how to help families in need too.

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The Best New Healthy Frozen Yogurt Is….


This year, my wife and I decided to clean up our eating at home.

This doesn’t mean eating only raw fruits and veggies like a family of cavemen, but more like being mindful of the list of ingredients on any foods we purchase.

We said goodbye to ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and growth hormones.

Which frozen yogurt fits this bill?

Looking for a new healthy frozen yogurt? Here's a DELICIOUSLY healthy frozen yogurt you can find in the grocery store sourced from family farms!

Best NEW Healthy Frozen Yogurt

I could practically eat frozen yogurt every day for every meal.

This probably stems from my time living in Italy where gelato is its own food group.

So, last time I stopped in our local Winn-Dixie grocery store, I wandered down the freezer aisle craving a sweet treat for me and the kids.

As I starting picking up frozen yogurts & reading labels to find a cleaner alternative, I came across a new product by Kemps called Yo².

I picked up the Mudslide flavor and at first glance I noticed it didn’t have any of the things we are trying to steer clear from (added growth hormones, artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup).

Kemps Yo² is made from natural yogurt sourced from family farms and infused with simple ingredients to create six delicious and fun flavors.

 

I left Winn-Dixie with the Mudslide flavor of Kemps Yo², and I couldn’t wait to get home to taste it with my kids.

My youngest daughter and I took our first bites and were blown away.

Looking for a new healthy frozen yogurt? Here's a DELICIOUSLY healthy frozen yogurt you can find in the grocery store sourced from family farms!

Other frozen yogurts we’ve bought have been hard to scoop, bland and we would have to get very creative at home with toppings to make it interesting for the kids.

The gooey chocolates, caramel and other infused flavors inside Kemps Yo² was a serious game changer for our family and no toppings needed.

Can’t wait to have one of my famous BBQs to share Kemps Yo² with my friends and family!

Looking for a new healthy frozen yogurt? Here's a DELICIOUSLY healthy frozen yogurt you can find in the grocery store sourced from family farms!

Why This Super Car Fan Loves Sebring Raceway

We live only 2 hours from the Sebring Raceway in Florida, but luckily you don’t have to live near Sebring, FL  to catch the upcoming sports car super race.

This 12-HOUR RACE from IMSA is a super car fan’s dream with everything from Ferrari to Lamborghini to Porsche to Aston Martin & more all racing together for 12 hours to win the coveted prize.

sebring raceway

It’s as much about the super cars (there will be 46 of them from 13 different brands) as it is about the Sebring Raceway.

Sebring Raceway Will Exhaust Drivers

The Sebring Raceway is America’s oldest road race track & was originally used as an airport during World War II.

The significance for this weekend’s race is that these high performance cars will have to prove themselves on 65-year-old worn & torn concrete!

After 12 hours of that, the endurance of both the cars & the drivers will be seriously tested.

Did I Mention The CARS?

I don’t know of any other race where F1 cars, NASCAR cars & Indy Car all race together on the same track!

We’ll be able to see inside the cars with the IMSA mobile app streaming LIVE from in-car cameras.

Whether you love racing, love cars or just want to tune in to catch the excitement, there’s no reason to miss this race.

The Sebring event weekend has already started with the grand finale – the WeatherTech Championship race – beginning at 12.30 this Saturday, March 18th & ending at 11pm!

You can catch it LIVE on TV with Fox Sports 1.

 

It will also be live online at Fox Sports Go.

 

 

Click here to learn more about IMSA & the event this weekend.

 

Niagara Falls Video

We were in nearby Buffalo for a wedding earlier this year & couldn’t miss a few trips over to Niagara Falls.

niagara-falls-videos

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Niagara Falls Video

It was September, which is a perfect time of year to visit Niagara Falls.

First we saw it from the USA side.

niagara falls video usa side niagara-falls-video

Then we had to get down into the falls.

And get closer still!


It’s a terrific view even as the boat leaves Niagara Falls!

A few days later we passed back by from the Niagara Falls Canada side.

This is one fantastic waterfall!

It was cool to watch the boats try to approach the falls!

Halloween Treat Ideas For School

 

Halloween is coming & who doesn’t love Halloween treat ideas for school lunch boxes??

My girls are still little, so I can’t go as SPOOKY as I would like.

Here’s a quick & easy lunch box or after school treat that is super easy to make.

It will make any dad look like a rock star.

I love that making it gives my girls the opinion of a healthy AND delicious treat.

Halloween Treat Ideas For School

Halloween Treat Ideas For School

I got this idea as I was headed to Target and saw that Babybel were on sale & all dressed up in their Halloween costumes!

Halloween Food Treat Ideas For School Snacks

Babybel is a MUST for my family & we always fight over the last one.

We love that they are 100% cheese & full of calcium and protein – just what growing kids need.

This quick lunch or after school snack doesn’t make much prep.

Here’s what you need:

  • Your choice of Babybel (I picked up both the original & light because both taste fantastic!)
  • Bagels – we had leftover pumpkin bagels and decided to use those for this recipe

Halloween Treat Ideas For School

All you do is spray your waffle maker, slice your bagel and use 2 of Babybel’s of your choice and place them on one bagel slice and cover and cover for 3-5 minutes (depending on your waffle maker)

Halloween Treat Ideas For School

Once you are done open and slice and pack your kids’ lunch! I took an orange and made it into a pumpkin. (I used an edible inked marker even though the orange will be peeled.)

Halloween Treat Ideas For School

To make the napkin ghost I just used a piece of washi tape and packed it in the lunch box. So easy to make!

You could also add additional fruit or cold cuts when making the Waffled Babybel sandwich for your older children or yourself.

This makes a great weekend breakfast or Halloween lunch too.

Healthy Halloween Treats

Of course Halloween Babybels also make great treats on their own.

My kids love this delicious healthy treat anytime they want a snack.

How do you enjoy your Babybel?

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Peruvian Ceviche Recipe

When you think of Peru, you automatically think of amazing food like Peruvian ceviche.

peruvian ceviche tilapia fish recipe

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Peruvian Ceviche

Ceviche is the national dish of Peru and can be found on every restaurant menu when visiting the country.

There are so many variations of the dish using local fish and shellfish.

This light and refreshing dish may look intimidating, but it’s probably one of the simplest recipes to master.

ceviche-fish-recipe

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 4 fillets of fresh Tilapia
  • ½ purple onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Tobasco hot sauce
  • 12-15 Fresh limes

Directions

Start by cutting the tilapia in ½ inch cubes. Place them in a flat bottom dish, like one meant for casseroles.

ceviche-tilapia-recipe

Cut the onion in half and in thin strips. Add sliced onions and chopped cilantro to the dish with the chopped fish.

peruvian-ceviche-recipe

Squeeze 12 limes, or enough to barely cover the fish, onion and cilantro.

peruvian-ceviche-fish-recipe

Add salt, pepper and tobacco to taste.

Mix it together, cover it with saran wrap and place it in the fridge.

Remove thirthy minutes later, stir and put it back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.

Serve with a side of baked sweet potato slices and corn on the cob for a more traditional experience or just some fresh corn tortilla chips for snacking.

Buen provecho!



Amsterdam: Places To Visit

I hope Amsterdam is on your list of places to visit.

Traveling to Amsterdam, Netherlands? Looking for tips on hotels & food during your visit to Amsterdam? Find your top 10 bucket list things to do in Amsterdam here: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/amsterdam-places-visit

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Amsterdam: Places To Visit

We went a few years ago & while I wouldn’t suggest going in February (don’t we look cold!), Amsterdam is full of beautiful scenery & lovely people.

I usually plan out our entire trip ahead of time, but honestly for Amsterdam I didn’t do much travel planning.

We were living in London at the time, so it was cheap & easy to jump on the Eurostar & head to Amsterdam.

One thing I suggest is picking up this Top 10 Amsterdam Travel Guide.

It’s full of pictures, covers all the highlights & is small & lightweight, so it’s a handy reference.

Here’s a little video montage of our Amsterdam visit.
 



 

If you need a complete guide to Amsterdam NOW, you can download the ebook here from Lonely Planet.

Traveling to Amsterdam, Netherlands? Looking for tips on hotels & food during your visit to Amsterdam? Find your top 10 bucket list things to do in Amsterdam here: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/amsterdam-places-visit

 

If you are planning ahead & want more detail than just the Top 10, order the book to be delivered to you here.

Traveling to Amsterdam, Netherlands? Looking for tips on hotels & food during your visit to Amsterdam? Find your top 10 bucket list things to do in Amsterdam here: http://www.jetsetdaddy.com/amsterdam-places-visit