The Most Beautiful And Diverse Beach In Texas | Mustang Island State Park


For those of us here in Texas, especially those of us that live near the gulf coast, labor day weekend saw some unusually clear water in Galveston. What many are not talking about, however, is the clear water further down south. During that weekend, our family made a trip down to Mustang Island State Park to kick off our ambassadorship program with the Texas State Park and Wildlife Department ( TPWD). This is by far one of my favorite partnerships I've done and it couldn't have been a better time. The water in the area was nearly, or just as crystal clear as the water from Florida. Us Texans have clearly been underestimating our own treasures. We are excited to have the opportunity and privilege to be helping out Mustang Island and doing what we can to bring awareness to this beautiful part of the Lone Star State. Better yet, we get to drive there with the new Highlander SE thanks to Toyota; they are one of TPWD's sponsors!

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast, there was devastating damage across the Gulf region. Unfortunately, Mustang Island was near the eye of the storms' landfall and received major damage throughout the park. To this day they are still working on their infrastructure. Restrooms were washed away, headquarter heavily damaged, and some roadways were nearly washed away completely. Thankfully, there has been extensive work done on the park to get it back to full operation and do outreach and interpretive programs throughout the park. 

As close that we live to the coast, we have taken Mila only a handful of times, so this was a memorable trip for her. We still can't get over how clear and blue the water was that day. The water was enticing and to my surprise, the park looked like nothing ever happened. It was clean, little to no trash at all, and plenty of beachgoers. This makes my heart happy. Growing up my mom always wanted me to work with one of the State Parks. I even wanted to be a Marine Biologist at one point so this partnership is pretty close to making a childhood dream a reality. This obviously won't make me a biologist, but it does allow me to give back to the environment and play a part in conserving the ecosystem. 

Whether you are an outdoors person or not, we can't ignore the importance of our natural resources and ecosystems. This brings our family closer to conservation efforts, beach cleanups, educational and interpretive programs, and the beauty of the wildlife that call these places home. This is a great opportunity to teach my daughter about the environment and why preserving wildlife and environments is important to me and everyone that depends on its resources. I'm excited to be heading back out there pretty soon and enjoying some of the best stretches in Texas.

We'll be taking over Mustang Island State Park's social media accounts so be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook! We hope you get an opportunity this summer to visit the park and look forward to what everyone shares while visiting the park!

Thanks once again to Toyota USA for being a sponsor of Texas State Parks and allowing our family to drive down to the park in the new 2018 Highlander SE AWD! 

Capturing The Fleeting Moments Of Fatherhood

This is a sponsored campaign with Fracture on behalf of their #FocusOnMoments campaign, however the memories are all mine. Check them out HERE, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Traveling is one thing many families look forward to throughout the year with many trips planned for the summer. Our family is no stranger to spontaneous adventures and road trips, we all look forward to the next adventure once the weekend comes back around.

Fatherhood has many beautiful moments and it’s not only important to capture them as you go but to share them with the family to bring memories back to life through the emotions felt in a fleeting moment of fatherhood. Whether you are traveling out of the country, out of town, or out of the neighborhood, there are hidden places all across the world.

My daughter knows when we are about to go on a trip before we even tell her. It has become like an instinct! I am sharing this with you all today in hopes of inspiring you to get up and go on an adventure with your kids in one of these upcoming weekends. It really doesn’t have to be a trip of a lifetime, but you better believe that any trip you take with your children will be one that will live with you for the rest of time.

Before I get into what this photo means to me and my family, I want to share something with you to reflect on. Out of all the moments shared with your children, how many of those memories have you captured? Is there a photo your family can look at together and relive the emotions felt through that particular moment in time? Not to be confused with taking a photo of your children every second of their lives either.

We’re talking about those special moments that can’t be replicated no matter how hard you tried. The moments that bring back emotion when you look at them on a frame. The fun and beautiful moments filled with laughter and joy. Those are the ones that always make you feel something when you look back at them. And so what does this picture have to do with this and what’s the importance behind it?

To set the scene for you, this was a photo of my daughter and I in Dallas, Texas while visiting from Houston. On our last 30 minutes in town, we wanted to take in the sights. Scenery wasn’t really an option around that part of town but we love the scene left behind by talented artists at the Bishop Arts District. Murals are expressions captured by the artists, just like we as parents capture the fleeting moments of our kids.

Going to new places and seeing different things makes my daughter run with joy, literally! In this scene, we are walking across a mural painted over some construction barriers. It was a beautiful mural. I say was because these were only temporary murals to be taken down soon after construction was completed. It wasn’t so much the mural as it was the candid moment of my daughter pulling me to see more of the murals. It was a scenic moment for us. Also, it is important to note that taking pictures of kids is not always the easiest thing to do, so when you do capture the moment, it makes it so much more special! It was our last stop before heading back home and because we did, we now have a unique and special moment we can look back at and relive together.

Because adventures and creating memories go hand in hand, I want to offer you all an opportunity to create your own memories on an adventure of your own! There are so many beautiful moments in our lives and now your family has an opportunity to go on an unforgettable family vacation!

Thanks to Fracture, I can see all of our past memories and remember them as if they were yesterday. More than likely, you have heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, which I believe is true. Not only true, but also full of emotion. And it is those emotions that spark the lovely memories created. I see my daughter grow right in front of my eyes and I know that she won’t be this small for long. That is why I see the importance of capturing the moment because after all, it’s not only about adventures and creating memories, but also capturing the moments that matter most!

Simply enter HERE, then post one of your favorite family moments to Instagram using the #FocusOnMoments hashtag and you’re in the running!

Keeping New Teen Drivers Safe On The Road - 100 Deadliest Days | DadTalkThursday


Did you know that in the month of August, nearly 362,000 will be turning 16, becoming the month when most teens start to drive? According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, new teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. In fact, there is a concept called “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when the average number of deadly teen driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year.

I still remember the days when I was learning how to drive and I did come across some situations that could have turned out really bad if my parents had not taught me but also the technology that was in the vehicle. It is a fun and exciting time to get the keys for the first time, especially when you have the whole summer to enjoy and hang out with friends, but learning about the car you are driving is what can save a life in some situations. It is unfortunate that we have periods of time where a certain age group is more prone to dangers, but it is the reality. Teen drivers often forget about the dangers that appear out of nowhere. They have not been exposed to them and in most cases, have no idea how to avoid them. Technology is on the rise and a lot of features are now standard in some vehicles but something as simple as not having a seatbelt on or speeding can take a life. Here is what we can do.

1.       Create awareness: Take the time to sit down with your loved ones and make sure they’re aware that car tragedies peak during the summer. Knowledge is key, so be sure the whole family knows the statistics and takes the time to get to know their rides, maintenance needs and in-vehicle technology.

2.       Remember the basics: While newer vehicles offer advanced safety technologies, recent research from NHTSA shows that deaths resulting from speeding and lack of seatbelt use are on the rise. Just these two incredibly simple things – observing speed limits and always making sure everyone is wearing a seat belt – will help you and your family stay safe.

3.       Remind your family to speak up: Encourage your children to speak up if they are in a situation where safe driving practices are not being demonstrated. Summer often means your kids will be in the car with friends and family without you. No matter what age your children are, they must know it’s OK to remove themselves from dangerous driving situations.

4.       Put your phone away: We know it can be tempting to pick up your mobile device while in your vehicle, but don’t do it. Make use of your vehicle’s available connectivity features like Bluetooth and hands-free calling and keep your eyes on the road. And remember your kids are watching everything you do, so modeling good behavior helps them develop good driving behaviors, too.

5.       Take advantage of all the tech available: Having a teen driver today can be extremely stressful, but thanks to some of the latest technology, it’s also filled with less uncertainty than it used to be. Vehicles today have the ability to provide a report card of your driving’s behaviors and send text alerts when your teen’s vehicle has gone outside of a pre-determined area. Vehicles also have features to help remind parents that they may have left something in the back seat. Making sure you’re aware of everything your car can do to help you keep your family safe is key.

This is why educating and informing about how to be responsible when driving is vital for both parents and young drivers. All drivers are advised to take full advantage of the cutting-edge technology such as that found in new Chevy vehicle models such as:

"Teen Driver" Technology
This innovative technology works like a digital report for parents. It allows parents to monitor young drivers and provides a safety report including: the speed, if they fastened their seat belt, sets speed limits and even controls the volume of the stereo. This report can serve as a way to initiate the safety conversation with adolescent children.

Hot Car Incidents
For almost 20 years and in more than in any other state, children in Texas have died inside vehicles that reach extreme temperatures. The new technology "Rear Seat Reminder" reminds the driver when something is left in the rear seats, whether it’s children, pets or other important things.

Active Safety Features and Advanced Cameras
This technology brings parents a peace of mind knowing that they, as well as their children, have the technology that guides them. These safety features warn the driver of all possible hazards around them, such as the Surround Vision Camera where the driver has a 360 degree view of the entire perimeter of the vehicle. It also includes lane departure warning, frontal collision warning and sensors that indicate the distance between the car in front.

As a dad and a young son, I have experienced plenty of dangerous situations on the road. The day my kids drive will come soon enough and I would be very nervous, almost hesitant to let them get on the road. This is why as a dad, I feel it is very important to have a great communication with our kids and be open about the real world dangers. By informing our kids about safety maneuvers, safety features, and technology we can have some peace in knowing that they are a bit safer on the road.

Join the conversation on Facebook through this Facebook LIVE talking about the 100 deadliest days and kids left in vehicles.

What are some tips or advice you would share with new or teen drivers?

Big Cargo Space For A Big Move | 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS


We have moved!! That's where we have been hiding and working at for the past week! Moving is one of those things that I could never find myself liking but it needed to be done. Ashley is halfway through the pregnancy and wasn't going to be lifting anything heavy. Thankfully, Ashley's cousins moved into town around the same time and I had a good amount of help moving the heavy stuff thanks to them. I was thinking of making a whole lot of moves but in reality, thanks to the all-new Chevrolet Traverse RS, we were able to move everything in 5 moves. We were even able to fit a whole couch and other smaller boxes because of the spacious 98.2 feet of cargo space. The Traverse was a major part of our big move but also a big realization at the end of driving it for a week. I'll tell you more about that at the end.

Just a few weeks ago, we were driving the new 2018 Chevrolet Equinox through the heart of Texas, one of our favorite places. We are familiar with Chevy vehicles, but not the new ones, so it was great getting up to date with the new features and design. I spotted a couple of Traverse RS models and was hooked. All I could think was, " I need to get into that vehicle". Seriously. It looks great but also proves very useful for our daily lives and lifestyle. With us moving soon, and Mila's 3rd birthday, I wanted the cargo space for a road trip and moving our things. It worked out and I am thankful for the awesome team behind the face of Chevrolet making things like this possible. We did not make the road trip happen due to some setbacks and change of plans that came out of nowhere, you know like it always happens. I was a bit bummed out since we were going to a dinosaur park and both Mila and I love dinosaurs. It was ok though because we had a lot to do. 

The Traverse is a 7 passenger CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle), not an SUV, even though it is more like the latter. It carries the same chassis as this vehicle we really loved too! For a large vehicle, it is quite light on its wheels thanks to a higher torque output thanks to the turbo. Being an RS trim model, you would think it would have the same V6 engine as the other Traverse's do. This is actually the only one to have a 4 cylinder engine. Instead of the 3.6 Liter V6 producing 310 horsepower and 266 Lb. Ft. Torque, it makes 257 Horsepower, down 53 hp, but up 29 in torque. The torque is easily accessed in the lower power band which is perfect for city and everyday driving. Also one of the reasons why it feels lighter than what it actually is. Moving all of our belongings didn't weigh down the Traverse much and still felt agile.

Dare I say, the move was somewhat pleasing. Easy and efficient. I was very impressed by the vast amount of room with all the seats down. Even behind the third row, you still have 23 cu. ft. of cargo space with some additional storage under the floor. The second-row captain's chairs can slide forward to give the third row some additional leg room. For what we do, our family, and places we love to go, the Traverse is a great vehicle. It may be the best family hauler on the market today! Not only is it spacious, a new redesigned and sporty look, but it is also great on gas mileage. I averaged 23 miles per gallon city/highway combined and 27.8 on highway miles. This was actually slightly better than its EPA rating of 22 Combined and 26 Highway. Earlier in the week, I drove a bit more happily and of course, had a lower mileage average. It all comes down to your driving style. It is hard to come across a large CUV/ SUV with good mileage, but this Traverse is ones serious contender in the ever-expanding CUV market. 

My final verdict on the RS, is that it is lovely to drive, great and useful cargo space, minimum exterior noise, good mileage, and great looks. If you're looking for a large passenger vehicle, that is sporty and utilitarian, look no further and go test drive one of these. The RS package adds cosmetic changes like the black 20-inch wheels, black bow tie, and black leather interior. The only downside to some is that you get a FWD layout instead of All Wheel Drive. The 4 cylinder turbocharged engine is like Chevy threw a curveball at us. We would have expected the same V6 as the other trim models, but needless to say, the torque with this engine, makes the drive a whole lot better. After all, it is torque that gets you moving!

Thank You Chevrolet!!

Creating A Fresh and Soothing Environment For My Family


This is a sponsored post by Febreze ONE. These are my own true and honest opinions. 

There are many factors that affect our state of mind, one of them being sense of smell. It’s all around us and some are pleasing while others can get in the way of our enjoyment. Activities throughout the day and a busy schedule take a toll on us, physically and mentally. That’s why having a fresh smelling environment is important in keeping the harmony and state of mind together. Don’t even get me started with the kids and the mess they make. Having a Febreze ONE fabric & air mist nearby keeps our home smelling nice and helps me and my wife get into a #ONEStateOfMind . 

There are many reasons why Febreze ONE has been a peacekeeper in our home, per se. From unwanted cooking odors to sweaty workout clothes, the soothing and relaxing scent of mandarin keeps my wife at ease. This time around, pregnancy morning sickness has been no joke, and there are certain odors that we have to be vigilant for and when we come across one that can trigger my wife, I keep it away from her! Febreze ONE comes in three different scents: Orchid, Bamboo, and Mandarin, and they aren’t overpowering like some other air freshener might be. In fact, this mist controls odors with no aerosols, dyes, or heavy perfumes. That is a win and an added bonus for our family. It allows you to love the air and environment you are in which helps keep us in a #ONEStateOfMind . 

Before I came across this campaign, we were constantly watching out for odors and things that just took away from the peace and experience of our home. We were seeking a harmonious balance in our house to create a sense of calmness and peace. This is not an easy task when you have toddlers running about, but Febreze ONE’s ultra-fine mist without the use of aerosols definitely helps with this.! e enjoy nature-inspired scents and all the unwanted smells are no more. Keeping a bottle around in the restroom, on the nightstand, and living room help keep our house smelling nice and fresh.

In a recent survey that Febreze did, more than half of Americans typically avoid using strong aerosol sprays, but 91% would be interested in trying one that did not contain aerosols, dyes, and heavy perfumes. For some people, like my wife, strong perfumes can cause headaches. The survey also found that over 90% of people say a fresh smelling environment gives them a positive state of mind, and sometimes even improves their mood. Our family lives with Febreze ONE and can say that I’ll continue to do so. We can use the bamboo spray to help feel calm, the mandarin one to energize the environment, and the Orchid for a soothing experience. With their 2-in-1 formula, you can spray Febreze ONE on fabrics and in the air. A great way to keep my wife happy!

Car Shopping With Autotrader | The Most Complete Online Car Shopping Experience


This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Autotrader and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own. #shopallthecars

Spring is a great time. Not only because we have nicer weather or the flowers are blooming, but it is also time for spring cleaning, which means, out with the old and in with the new. On top of all of that, many will start to receive their tax returns which makes it a prime time for car shopping, that should come to no surprise though. I think most of us think about various ways to spend our returns and getting a new car probably come to mind when we do. I’ve partnered up with Autotrader, the most complete online car shopping and buying experience, to share some insights and tips on how to shop for your next car and find the best deal.

Autotrader launched new features in early 2018, with more updates coming later this year, and now has a new mobile-first homepage. Now you will find a seamless shopping experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile through a new sleek look and faster loading times. The efficient experience helps connect the consumer with the cars they are looking forward to buy. Our family is in the market for a new car, and shopping for a new vehicle takes some time, especially when you know you can get a better deal. This is why Autotrader is such an awesome tool that helps simplify our shopping experience. Car shopping online saves you valuable time and narrows down your choices. There are some cool features like the Kelley Blue Book® Fair Market Range, the only third-party listing site to have this feature. This gives you the confidence to make a purchase with expert, up-to-date- and data-driven pricing information from the most trusted resource. By having this information, I can look at all the eligible cars and make a purchase backed with confidence and the information thanks to Autotrader.

By having a modernized search experience, Autotrader helps drive the consumer to their search faster by sorting listing according to shopper search input, previous shopping history, and a combination of distance and value. With more features coming later this year, the more you use Autotrader, the more refined your search becomes and your shopping experience become more personalized. This is, in my opinion, the most time-consuming part of car shopping, so having these features and tools available, make the whole experience frictionless. With the vast choices of vehicles on the market today, it can be a difficult to make a purchase simply based on word-of-mouth. Getting accurate data and information is key in making the best purchase for you and/or your family.
Once we are ready to make the final purchasing decisions, we can make that call from By having access to more information, we can close the gap between car shopping and making an actual purchase. Once we get to that point, we can make a deal online which shortens the amount of time we spend at the dealership. If there is one thing I really don’t like to spend time on, it’s going to a dealership and leaving without closing a deal. Save some time, and do your shopping online with Autotrader ! #shopallthecars

How To Travel As Parents | Dad Talk Thursday

How do I travel with kids? Are my kids too young for this trip? As a parent, how do I prepare for travel? Have you ever found yourself asking yourself this question? I sure have, and many times! This was before we even dared to start traveling with our daughter and only dreamed of being an adventurous family. We have let go of the fear of traveling as parents, whether with or without kids and never let parenting hold us back from doing what we wanted to do. 

Most of our travels are together as a family (all except the conferences we get flown out to speak at) and as a dad, I have never seen the kids as a slow down or limiting our experiences. In fact, we have enjoyed our travels so much more with the kids because they see things we can easily miss and they have the best reactions when they see something new or different. We see many people across social media that travel either with a group of friends or a significant other, but not many parents, especially those with small children or toddlers. So how do we travel as parents of toddlers? 

Our very first trip was when our daughter was 3 months old. That's right. Months, not years. It was also a camping trip, which some love and others not so much. That's beside the point, but it was the middle of summer and our major concern was the Texas heat. So step 1, figure out what you believe will be the biggest issues on the trip and work on finding a solution. What did we come up with? We brought along a small inflatable pool to keep our daughter cool and bather her at night before going to sleep. We also bought a battery operated fan that we could hang inside the tent. Without these, the trip would have been chaotic, but because we anticipated and planned ahead, we had a successful first trip. Out of all tips we give out to parents wanting to travel with small kids, this is one we share the most.

I believe that traveling early has made it easier for the kids. The majority of the trips that we go on are mostly road trips around Texas. Sitting down for a couple of hours with a fuzzy toddler isn't the best experience for anyone, so plan a stop or two along the route, even if it is a 2-3 hour drive. We drive to San Antonio and Austin on average, 2 times a month. Rest stops are great for a mid-trip snack, stretch your legs, use the restroom, diaper changes, or walking your pet companions. We recently went on a trip to the Texas Hill Country and there are some great stops for food, history, and scenic views! I used to want to gun it straight to our destination, and even though it worked in some of our shorter trips, it was not the best for the passengers, especially the kids. So plan your trip ahead whether that is stateside or abroad.

Probably a way of travel most parents dread is flight. This is understandable, and we were worried on our first flight together. We had no idea how our daughter was going to react. She was a relatively calm baby so we hoped that would be the case throughout the entire flight. Fortunately, that went well for us, but all kids are different so plan on buying snacks, a pacifier, a bottle, at the bare minimum. Once in the air, there really isn't much a parent can do and I think that is what holds back a lot of parents from traveling earlier on. As mentioned before, the kids get used to traveling over time, maybe start with a few road trips before going on the first flight.

The potty training stage is an interesting and fun time to be a traveling parent. I see it as being a firefighter or first responder of some sorts. Once you hear the words " I have to pee, I have to pee!" you stop whatever you're doing and head to the closest restroom available to you. As a parent you are on the ready for that moment you have to make a dash with your kid. The kids enjoy running through the stores for the restrooms, it's not too bad really. We still carry diapers with us for instances were there won't be restrooms for a while. We also found a really handy portable potty seat that we carry in our backpack. It is one of the coolest little seats, We lay it over a normal toilet seat instead of having an arm workout holding our kid in the air. It's been a lifesaver. In a recent instance, there were no restrooms available where we were going to, so we brought along an actual potty seat trainer. We did use it once, so it was worth bringing it that time. 

Whatever it is you want to do or wherever you want to go, work out a plan on making it happen but don't get stuck on planning the whole trip. I have always loved traveling and being able to share that with my family has been fulfilling and a beautiful experience. As a dad, I want to show the world to my daughter and learn about different cultures, traditions, and food. We all have our different reasons to travel and get away from the daily life. Find a reason, even if it is just to go on vacation for the summer when the kids are out of school. The only real difference in traveling with kids, particularly younger children, is having a watchful eye and keeping them within reach and away from any potential dangers. 

I wanted to share this with you all so you can not only enjoy the outdoors but also make a learning experience where the family can learn together. I have found myself in many conversations where parents would not travel for years waiting for their kids to grow into their teen years. Sharing some tips and advice can really inspire some to just go out and explore. As a dad, I want to share ways that other families can enjoy the outdoors and work around their fears or frustrations of traveling. I hope there were some useful pointers in this article and would love to hear your stories and questions in the comment section below!

Jeff Segura


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