10/12 October Video

A short but sweet video chronicling a local hike we did in the Santa Monica mountains back in October 2016. It was our first time on this trail and it did not disappoint. I love where we live, and I think we just need a reminder every once in awhile to get out there and see something new. Enjoy. xo

8/12 August Video

You'll notice about halfway through that Aaron is the one videotaping, it's because I fell trying to bike and video and so I was then banned from multitasking haha. So he's in the first half only. In August we took a ton of bike rides because it would stay light so late and we would bike to dinner to the grocery store, or just around the neighborhood for fun. This was one afternoon and we biked almost to the beach but then decided to stop for snacks and return home. We were wimps. Hope you enjoy...

Hiking & 365 Adventures with U.S. Bank


Image: Deborah Harju



Summertime is memory-making time for our family. We often take where we live for granted and the close proximity to beautiful nature trails is ignored for busy schedules and errands. Summer provides time that we so desperately miss during the school year–time to explore. We made a goal recently to go on one hike each week that includes a visit to a new spot we've never explored, and the benefits have been immense. We have seen parts of Los Angeles that we never even knew existed.

This particular week, we went to Eaton Falls, and in every turn we made, we were surprised by how beautiful, and dare I say wet, the landscape was! We are living in a horrendous drought in Southern California, and the thought that there are real waterfalls and creeks just a short drive and hike from our home was pretty exciting for us. This trip met every one of my criteria above. It IS possible! 


Image: Deborah Harju



As much as we love adventures close to home, all year long we crave adventures far from home even more I don't want to wait for summertime to make our memories. I want it to be possible each and every day, 365 days! I mean, why settle for an adventure like this just one season a year? Look at this water! 



Image: Deborah Harju



We are pretty good about budgeting for travel and saving toward a goal. But having some perks like points or rewards that we can cash in from a credit card makes it even sweeter. Previously, my family had been using the same credit card for years simply because the thought of comparing all the available options was overwhelming. But after saving our rewards for years, we were disappointed when we realized our family of five could only purchase one and a half airline tickets with our points–whomp, whomp.

Low and behold, just as I was about to start the research process, U.S. Bank contacted us about their new credit card, U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card. I was all ears. However, I wanted to make sure it met a few of my must haves:

  • Cash back: after years of dealing with points, we really wanted to see a cash flow return to us.
  • No annual fee: I decided I wasn't going to consider a new credit card if it had an annual fee.
  • No expiration for rewards: Expirations stress me out and I feel rushed and uneasy about using them just for the sake of using them up before a deadline.
  • American Express benefit: I wanted to have all of the above PLUS the Amex benefits that allow us access to great specials, venues, etc.
  • Signing bonus: I wanted some kind of qualifying incentive to push me to make the leap.

I figured my must haves were a tall order, and I might never find the credit card that meets everything I desire, but I was wrong. U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card is launching and it met each and every one of my criteria above. It can be done. Check, check, check, check and check! I'm pretty excited to share with you the bonus that they're offering right now: Right now, with the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card, you could earn a $100 customer relationship bonus! The card is offering $100 for customers who spend $500 in the first three months and have a relationship with U.S. Bank. If you do not already have a relationship, you can open one and still receive the bonus if done within 30 days. Very cool! If you would like to learn more about the U.S. Bank Cash 365™ American Express® Card, or to apply, click here!

AND the sweepstakes prize for My Life at Playtime readers–a $100 gift card! Here are the details, friends:           

What travel necessity would you first spend your cash back on? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

Entry Instructions:

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You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

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4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/1/2016– 8/31/2016

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