Free Lightroom Presets – Hustle Holidays

We are so excited to offer a free set of Lightroom Presets for our readers.

There is so much exciting stuff happening in 2019!

Not only will we be launching the Hustle Presets, but we are also working on developing several online photography courses! To get our free set of Lightroom presets (compatible with Lightroom mobile) just click the link provided. FREE Holiday Hustle Presets 

Hustle Holidays


5 Festive Things To Do in the Atlanta Area

Looking for family-friendly holiday events this December 2018 in the Atlanta Area? There are so many things going on around town to bring in the 2018 holiday season. Here are some festive and fun holiday events in and around Atlanta. Some are old traditions and some are new, but all of them are family friendly and tons of fun!

1. Macy’s Pink Pig Train:

The Macy’s Pink Pig train at Macy’s Lenox Square in Atlanta, a beloved holiday tradition, runs from now through Sunday, Jan. 6. From its debut in the 1950s as a children’s ride at the downtown Rich’s store to its brief stint at the Egleston Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, five generations of Atlantans have ridden the Macy’s Pink Pig into the holiday season.

Now through Sunday, Jan. 6
Buckhead, Macy’s Lenox Square Mall

$3 a ride

More info:

2. Avalon Ice Skating:

Avalon on Iceis an open-air ice skating rink at Avalon in Alpharetta. The ice skating rink is open daily.

Alpharetta, Avalon Outdoor Mall

Admission includes skate rental, and it’s $18 for adults & $14 for children under age 10. Groups of 10 or more can get in for $15 per person.

More info:

3. Holiday Lights and Garden Nights:

This Atlanta holiday event is a must see! Enjoy the beautiful gardens as they light up and twinkle. Kids and adults can partake in making s’mores over an open fire while enjoying holiday sights and sounds with a downtown Atlanta backdrop.

Atlanta Botanical

Midtown Atlanta

More info:

4. Santa’s Fantastical:

This is the first year for Santa’s Fantastical in Sandy Springs. It is a family-friendly interactive wonderland of immersive worlds where the spirit of the season comes alive through live performances, state-of-the-art technology, and Instagram-worthy moments. Be the first to experience a Fantastical World.

Now through Dec. 24

Sandy Springs (in the old Toys R US building)

$34 for Adults and $26 for Children over 3

More info:

5. Atlanta Christkindl Market:

A fun holiday tradition just like the Christmas markets in Europe, where you can enjoy fun shops, food, and holiday festivities! The Atlanta Christkindl Market™ is an event sponsored by the GAC-Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the education of German language and culture throughout the southeastern the Atlanta Christkindl Market.

Nov.29 through Dec. 23

Atlantic Station, Atlanta, GA

Free Admission

For more info:

12 Atlanta Events to Kick off the 2018 Holiday Season!

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Things to Do in Helen, GA on a Rainy Day

My family and I recently traveled to Helen, GA, to experience the holiday magic and see what the hype was all about. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans for us. During our trip, rain was down pouring literally the entire time we were there! Since we have two small children, trekking around in the cold December rain (bummer it was not snowing!) was the last thing we wanted to spent what was supposed to be a fun weekend doing. Instead, we researched fun things to do inside in Helen. There was not much out there on the Internet about what to do there on a rainy day, so I decided I would fix that! Here is a list of fun indoor activities to do in Helen, GA, if you happen to get stuck inside on a rainy day.

Mine for Gold or Gem Stones: There are a few places you can go for this but they are all covered and the kiddos LOVE doing it. The only downside is it doesn’t take up much of your time, but you can definitely kill an hour if you have them pace themselves.

Escape Room: If you have older kids and adults in your crew, visit Escape Room for an exciting, mentally challenging and fun time. More info here: escape rooms of helen ga

Baby Land General Hospital: This is just outside of Helen in Cleveland, GA, but it is a short drive and completely indoors. Read more about it here: Cabbage Patch Babyland General Hospital: Making Magical Memories

Charlemagne’s Kingdom: Visit the German –themed model railroad exhibit! This elaborate display is fun for all ages. More info:

Jolly’s Toys: This toy store is located directly in front of Charlemagne’s Kingdom and is a blast from the past for parents! So, after checking out the model train hop on over to Jolly’s Toys to kill some time inside the fun little shop. It is super cramped but has some fun and exciting things to pass the time with your little ones.

Habersham Vineyards & Winery: Depending on your children’s ages this may or may not be a good place to visit, but if you think they will sit and stay put for a while bring them with for a fun wine tasting indoors. (Wine for the adults, of course. Drink Responsibly!) Just pack some coloring books or the iPad and you’re set. More info:

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen: There are two of these in either end of Helen’s main drag, but the primary store at 8651 N Main St, is large and has a parking lot — the perfect spot to visit for a sweet treat on a rainy day.

Honestly, there is not much to do in Helen that is indoors besides restaurants. It is a beautiful mountain town with some wonderful parks and family hiking spots, so if you and reschedule your trip for a sunny weekend, DO IT! If not, make sure you bring some movies, popcorn and snuggly PJs so you can snuggle up by a fire and enjoy some family time!

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4 Holiday Packing Tips For Families

Four Holiday Packing Tips You Won’t Want to Miss!

Traveling over the holidays can be stressful and super exciting all at the same time. Here are some of my long-learned travel lessons for families traveling this holiday season.

  1. Start as soon as you can! Holidays are a busy time and will fly by faster than you know, so if you have travel planned pack as soon as you can! Obviously, this is hard if you need some of the stuff but if you live up north and are having a beach vacation get to packing!
  2. Make a list and check it twice: Just like the big man in the red, fur-trimmed suit, you need to make a list and check it twice! This will make packing so much easier for you and will ensure you do not forget anything super important.
  3. Packing CUBES for everyone: These are travel game changers and make it so easy to pack for a family. Read more about why I love packing Cubes here: Packing Cubes- The best invention for traveling with kids
  4. Delay Kit: Winter weather can sometimes delay or even cancel some air travel plans so be prepared! Set aside a “Delay Kit” to put in your carry on. In this kit should be an entire change of clothes, two pairs of underwear and small airline approved size toiletries and deodorant.

Doing these four things have significantly helped me out when traveling around the holiday season. We hope you and your family have a wonderful 2018 holiday season and a safe, joyful family vacation!

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4 Tips for famlies packing

Off the Beaten Path: 5 Places in South Florida to Visit with Your kids.

If you live in or around the Miami area I am sure you have heard of Wynwood and South Beach, The Frost Museum and Bayside. Not all these places are truly family friendly. So before you waste your time and find out the hard way, I am going to let you in on five truly special family-friendly places.  They are smaller, budget-friendly destinations you won’t find on most travel sites.  Any or all of these would make for a great weekend getaway in Miami. So let me tell you where the locals with young children go when they need a family getaway!

Safari Edventure

Safari Edventure is hands down the best animal encounter in South Florida.  It’s part small animal rescue, part sanctuary and part educational facility. Located in the Redlands, about 45 minutes from South Beach, its grassy paths and shaded overhangs provide much needed cover on a hot Florida day.  Safari Edventure has the best one on one animal encounters, such as playing with wolf pups, petting a sloth, holding a baby gator and feeding milk bottles to baby piggies. And the best part – most of these attractions are included with your admission fee or just a buck or two extra.  What a refreshing change from most overpriced and over activity planned zoos! The spectacular one hour hands-on animal presentation, which totally rocks, features staff showing off about a dozen different animals.  The staff provides basic facts about each critter and then walks through the crowd, allowing you and your little ones to pet or hold the animals, except for the dangerous ones!  Beware the dirt paths, so leave the stroller in the car.

Be sure to stop by Burr’s Berry Farm if you visit between December and early May for one of its outstanding shakes or ice cream sundaes.

Adults – $18.00 kids and seniors $15.00.  Take off $3.00 if you’re a Florida resident. Kids 3 and under are free.

Mommy and Kid Travel - Safari Edventure #1

For more Info

Pinecrest Gardens

A real hidden gem in the heart of the beautiful tree-lined suburban town of Pinecrest, FL,  about 30 minutes south of Brickell, is Pinecrest Gardens.  Enjoy the paved paths meandering through the park scattered with turtle and koi ponds, providing a great locale for walking with little people.  It’s stroller friendly, so go ahead and bring it in.  A nice sized splash park in the back makes it a perfect spot to cool off on hot days with lots of sitting areas for parents to sit back and enjoy the squeals of joy as the kiddos cool off.

Picnic tables, a small snack bar, petting zoo and playground complete the park.  Sundays spotlight an impressive Farmers Market and almost every holiday features a special program.

$5.00 General Admission includes the splash pad.

For more info

Jacobs Aquatic Center

For an island-style one day getaway, rent a car, crank up some Jimmy Buffet and take a road trip to the Florida Keys.  The Keys are a state of mind, not just a destination.  At the center of Key Largo you’ll find the Jacobs Aquatic Center, a goldmine of comfort and convenience for families on a hot Florida day.  The complex consists of a 25-meter competition pool, one meter and three-meter diving boards and a pirate-themed splash park. A bathroom and snack bar are also on property.  Fully trained lifeguards are present making this a great place to catch up on summer reads while the lifeguards do their job.

When hunger hits, walk a few blocks over to Sharky’s Sharkbite Grille, a Key Largo favorite for many tourists and locals.  http://sharkeysgalley.comIt’s located on a busy canal which is always buzzing with dive boats and the like.  The kids will have fun waving at the passengers while you enjoy a Rum Runner.   You’re only an hour south of Miami, but you’re on island time so expect slower service.   On your way back to Miami take Cardsound Road and stop off at Alabama Jacks for a quick drink and some conch fritters.  It’s a roadside bar cooking up greasy favorites, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  There’s no website which honestly makes the place even cooler to me, but this site will offer you the basics.

Daily weekday rates are $10 for adults, $8.00 for kids 11-17, and $6.00 for kids 3 to 10.  Rates are slightly higher on the weekends.

For more info

Panthers Game

Everyone knows the Miami Heat and D-Wade, but did you know we have a professional hockey team?  Yep, hockey in Florida.  The Florida Panthers play in Sunrise, FL, an easy 45-minute drive from Miami Beach.  It’s the only place in the country you can wear a jersey, shorts and flip flops and not look out of place.   The games are lively, fun and filled with northerners and Canadians.  The food options are great, for stadium grub.  We often frequent the Pasta Station located on the main level.  Tickets can be had for $30 a seat up to $300.  Check the team’s website for deals and specials.  Be sure to bring the kids and go early as the team sets up a top notch Kids Zone.  Don’t forget a plastic rat, and be ready to throw it if the team wins – it’s a tradition!

Mommy and Kid Travel - Florida Panthers Game #1

For more info

Gold Coast Train Museum

Next to the Miami Metro Zoo is a quaint, yet ramshackle museum called the Gold Coast Railroad Museum (locals just call it the train museum).  It’s super popular during Christmas when it hosts the Polar Express and Thomas the Train days.  Otherwise, it’s empty.  And it’s fabulous, especially for the tykes.  They can run, play, touch, cry, scream and just be kids.  You can board and explore historic trains and there’s a charming Thomas the Train room with tons of toy trains.  For $6.00 per person you can ride a Standard Gauge caboose or coach car, or for an extra $12 per person, you can ride in an Engineer Cab Standard Gauge Diesel-Electric Locomotive.  Schedules and equipment vary, so be sure to call ahead if you crave a particular ride experience.

With little in the way of snacks or drinks available, you should eat before you go.  Don’t be surprised if you see a photo shoot going on.  It’s an excellent place for those black and white, industrial style selfies you see all over Instagram.  Be sure to have a charged phone or camera.

General admission $8.00 and children (2-12) $6.00.

Mommy and Kid Travel - Train Museum

For more info

So you see, there is much more to do in South Florida than Wynwood Walls and South Beach.  Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Keys have a host of interesting and exciting choices to offer your family.

Contributing Writer, Stehli Krause. Stehil is a new travel blogger who loves to find and explore family-friendly destinations. Read more of her travel tips and follow her adventures on her website here: Mommy and Kid Travel

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5 fun places to visit in South Flrodia with kids


Why We Decided NO More TOYS!

It is customary for most families to do a little bit of clearing out the old stuff to make room for all the new toys, clothing and other holiday gifts headed our way. I try to do this more than once a year but the holiday season is always a great time and reminder to get this done.

Our kids have so much these days! To be honest, this topic has weighed heavy on my heart lately. Kids (with means) have SO MUCH! Parents of my generation are so concerned with giving gifts to their kids that they no longer “earn” that new Game Boy or LOL Surprise Doll. We just buy it for them when we find a great deal or we are browsing through Target and they ask for it over and over.

Okay, not all parents of my generation are like this but more and more I am seeing this happen and I, myself, am guilty of this of parenting behavior. I love my daughters and want them to have it all and want for nothing.

I think my answer to this question has changed over time, and now I want my kids to have it all BUT to appreciate what they have and work for what they want. It was after my daughters 4thbirthday that I made the choice of no more toys for the foreseeable future (yup, no more toys). She was playing with friends and the playroom was a mess! New toys and old were all over the floor, and some of the new ones in pieces just one day into having them. When I asked her to clean up we encountered an “issue.” She told me that I could just toss her brand-new Chelsea Barbie house! We had just gotten this for her the day before as a birthday present and she couldn’t care less. It wasn’t her fault she had never really wanted anything. It was in that moment I made myself a promise to change her attitude toward things like toys and other privileges that being an middle to upper-income class family allows her to enjoy.

Learning new behaviors must start somewhere, so we decided to start with toys and other “things” she thinks she “needs” and wants so badly. Going cold turkey is never easy but here are some tips on how to manage the toy clutter and start to shift their appreciation for all the wonderful “things” they have in this life.

  1. Provide your kids with more experiences: Try gifting your children more than just toys! Santa will be bringing a family trip this year and a few small toys for in-flight entertainment. We even convinced our oldest daughter to ask Santa for this and now she has no toys on her Christmas list this year! Read more here: Gift Ideas For Your Kids that are NOT Toys.
  2. Clean out the playroom: Make sure while you are doing the holiday purge you are discussing with them why we should appreciate and respect everything we have.
  3. Donate their toys and clothes: Once we no longer appreciate things we should find someone to give them to who will love and appreciate them. This is a great lesson for kids and an easy way to teach them selflessness and giving back.
  4. Toss Don’t Donate: If there are things broken, toss them and talk to your children about treating toys and belongings with respect. Don’t donate them because if your kids don’t want to play with them why would another kid? Only donate gently used or easily repaired toys and clothes, or better yet take your children shopping to buy new toys for other children in need. Let them take a name off the many “giving” trees around this time of year and help them pick out something for a child they don’t know.
  5. Clean out with them: Discuss why we are doing this and how there are others in need. Most importantly be present in the process. Make it fun and remind them how special they are for being responsible and helping others with their kindness and generosity. Preschool-aged children have a hard time with these concepts but with affirmation and repetition this will catch on quicker than you might expect. Making sure we are always talking about respecting what we have is super important.
  6. Set Boundaries and start saving: No more toys … okay, not everyone has to go this extreme, but make sure they know that things cost money and that you can’t just have anything and everything when you ask for it. If there is a toy that is a big-ticket item talk to them about saving up money for it. My daughter wanted a Cinderella car that was $398! Yikes! We talked about saving up her money so she could buy it herself and she soon stopped talking about it and moved on. This happened all on her own, she could have saved up for it. She easily will have $400 after her birthday and Christmas.
  7. Make them earn rewards: This can be done a few ways. One way is with chores and allowance. Another great way could be through a reward system for their efforts on school work.

Overall, being a parent is not easy and there is no wrong or right way to do things. ALL children learn by example so don’t forget to exercise gratefulness in your own life.

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12 Milwaukee Events to Kick Off The Holiday Season

Deck the Streets of Old Milwaukee Nov. 17th  – Jan 22ndMilwaukee Public Museum

Now through Christmas, join the staff at the Milwaukee Public Museum to see how European Immigrants and turn-of-the-century Milwaukeeans rang in the Holiday season. The unique exhibits on the museum’s first floor are turned into a winter wonderland, with special tours offered for just $4 extra on Saturdays featuring actors that bring the scenes to life. Learn more at

Milwaukee Christkindlmarket – Daily through Dec. 31st, Vel Phillips Drive Milwaukee

Old World Germany meets modern Milwaukee as dozens of artisan vendors fill the Live Block outside of Milwaukee’s brand new Fiserv Forum. Browse unique holiday decorations and gifts, sip some cocoa (or spiced wine for the grown-ups), and take in a new Christmas tradition in Cream City. The market is open now through December 31st. Read more about it at

Candy Cane Lane West Allis – Nov 23rd– Dec. 27th92ndto 95thStreets, West Allis

One of the Milwaukee area’s best-loved holiday traditions, Candy Cane Lane lights up West Allis the day after Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas. This year, more than 300 homes across ten blocks will put on their best light displays for people to drive by or walk through. The lights begin at 6 PM on Weekdays and 5 PM on Weekends, and a donation to the MACC Fund to fight Childhood Cancer is encouraged. Find a map and more information at

125thPfister Hotel Tree lighting – Nov. 25thPfister Hotel, Downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s official tree lighting happened in early November, but the historic hotel’s tree lighting is an event unto itself. The lobby’s 18-foot tree lights up at 5:30, and the event will also include photo-ops with Santa and a festive fire truck from the Milwaukee Fire Department. Find out more about this free event at

MillerCoors Holiday Lites Tour – Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 30 – Dec. 22

 For nearly 70 years, the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee has wowed people young and old with an over-the-top taste for Christmas decorating. In 2018, the tradition continues as the Holiday Lites provide a unique, all-ages experience in the historic brewery. The indoor-outdoor tour teaches about the legendary brewing giant, and gives a music-synched Christmas light show like nothing in the country. Dress warm and leave the wallet at home (except your ID if you’re over 21), as the Holiday Lites are free for anyone willing to brave the cold. Read more about the tour at

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train – Dec. 6th, Downtown Tosa Village, Wauwatosa

Take a trip to the charming downtown Tosa Village in Wauwatosa on December 6th to welcome the Holiday Train. Canadian Pacific railroad takes this special locomotive across the country to entertain kids and kids at heart with a fun and festive holiday experience. The train is covered in Christmas lights, features a stop from Santa, and a few rock-n-roll versions of your favorite carols. Local businesses will be on hand to offer up hot cocoa and Christmas cocktails for people waiting to see the train. Read more about it at

Breakfast and Lunch with Santa – Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23rd, Milwaukee County Zoo

 Even the animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo are on Santa’s list, and he and Mrs. Claus stop by to check on them every weekend in December leading up to Christmas. You can bring the kids to see them for either breakfast at 9 AM or lunch at noon Saturday or Sunday. Read more about it at

Ice Skating at Red Arrow Park Dec 1st– Feb. 28thDowntown Milwaukee  

Starting in December, take a skate around Milwaukee’s iconic downtown ice rink. The rink opens at 11 AM every day, and rentals are $9 for adults, $7 for children 17 and under. Milwaukee County Parks also offer extra equipment for little ones learning to skate or people with mobility issues who still want to enjoy the Slice of Ice. Read all about it at

Kooky Cooky House at the Domes – Through Jan 18th, Mitchell Park Domes Milwaukee

Generations of Milwaukeeans have visited the wonderfully weird Kooky Cooky house back at the long-closed Capitol Court Mall. But the tradition lives on today at the Mitchell Park Domes – a must-see for anyone coming to Milwaukee. The Cooky house features the same fun animatronic cookie factory, with cookies given away free to every guest on weekends. Milwaukee County Residents can always visit The Domes for free from 9AM-noon on Mondays. Learn more at

Send a Letter to Santa – Through December 9th, Cathedral Square Downtown Milwaukee

Now through December 9th, you can give your kiddos a chance to send their wish list off to Santa himself. Head to Cathedral Square downtown and drop your letter into the special mailbox. Include a return address, and Santa will send a personalized letter back in time for the holidays!

Holiday Lights Festival – Through Dec. 27thPere Marquette Park, Cathedral Square Park, Zeidler Union Square, Milwaukee

Milwaukee is known as the City of Festivals, and that name doesn’t stick just in the winter. Tour some of Milwaukee’s crown jewels – the downtown city parks – as they fill up with festive lights for the entire holiday season. Your family will see brilliant light shows set up by local organizations just steps from family-friendly restaurants and excellent shopping. Milwaukee Downtown also offers cheap bus tours of the lights that include coffee and cocoa for the family. Read more about it at

Milwaukee Ballet Sensory-Friendly Nutcracker Performance – Dec. 19th, 6 PM Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Families with children with Autism and other sensory sensitive conditions can face unique challenges during the holidays, but for the third year in a row Milwaukee Ballet is offering those families a chance to experience their own Holiday tradition. For one night, Milwaukee Ballet is taking their storied production of The Nutcracker and re-vamping it to be sensory-friendly – meaning lights will remain on, break rooms will be provided, and sound and lighting effects are controlled for a more relaxed experience. The performance is put on with help from Autism Speaks Wisconsin and tickets are only $20. Find more info at

Contributing writer: Colin Bennett, father of two boys and writer over at Holy Sh*T I’m A Dad. Follow along with his journey in fatherhood here: Blog Link


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