July 18, 2012 07:00 PM

Thanks for welcoming celebrity blogger Ali Landry!

A former Miss USA, the model and actress, 38, most recently starred in and executive produced Hollywood Girls Night on TV Guide Network.

Landry is also the founder of Spokesmoms, a product review platform for mothers, and is a supporter of SafeKids.org, which works to prevent childhood injuries.

Married to director Alejandro Monteverde since April 2006, the couple are parents to 5-year-old daughter Estela Ines and 9-month-old son Marcelo Alejandro.

You can find Landry on Facebook and on Twitter @alilandry.

Beachin’ it – Courtesy Landry-Monteverde Family

I love those airline commercials, the ones that ask me if I “want to get away”. Although I would love to get away, I already travel so much for work as it is. So sometimes, when I feel like my family and I need a vacation, we settle for a little quality time together at home instead.

You can call it a “daycation” if you want, or even a “staycation.” In fact, there’s probably hundreds of different things to call it, but in the end it’s what can be best for my family when life gets a little too crazy and we need to disconnect from our daily lives — without the travel.

Daycation mornings are spent with Alejandro, Estela, Marcelo and myself all curled up in bed together having our morning coffee (or chocolate milk, for some of us).

While my family cuddles up or plays around, I’m usually on my computer, figuring out what fun adventures we can go on for the day. It’s pretty easy to find a good mommy-approved website to give you some tips on where to spend your day. I also have a great city guidebook that has a wonderful selection of family-friendly things for us to do in and around our city.

Our family stays in bed for as long as possible until — eventually — Alejandro will get up, head downstairs and make us one of his famous Mexican breakfasts. (This is one of the reasons I fell in love with him, by the way.) We put the music on, open all of the windows and doors to let the fresh air in, and set the table on the patio to eat.

We try to set the mood so it feels as though we are in some fabulous hotel somewhere. It’s definitely something we get excited about. If it’s a Sunday, church is a must for us. Luckily, our church has services both day and night so if there’s something we want to do in the morning, we can end our day together at church or vice versa.

Some of our fun California outings have included: pony rides at Griffith Park, a visit to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, exploring Olvera Street or Chinatown, day hikes at one of the canyons (with Marcelo strapped to my back — I like to think of it as hiking with weights), Kidspace Children’s Museum, a picnic at the beach, a day trip to Disneyland, or even just movie day at home or an afternoon outside by the pool.

I’ve realized that when life gets a little hectic and I’m feeling as though I really need a vacation, what I’m really craving isn’t the big elaborate getaway, but the quality time with my family without all of the extra noise that life sometimes creates.

I hope that when my kids grow up, they look back and remember everyone snuggling in bed on the weekends as fondly as they might remember a trip to Disneyland or the beach.

Have any readers taken a staycation? I would love to hear some of your ideas!

— Ali Landry

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