Congratulations Clarissa, and thank you all for entering!
I have sent you an email and hope to hear from you within 48 hours.
Today was the perfect evening to test it, the kids were playing outside with their neighborhood friends and I was watering the garden and grass. We live in south Texas and mosquitoes are always around. I also know how bad spraying my children with insect repellent every time they go outside can add up to negative consequences for their health. As Nadia said there can be phthalates, a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics more flexible or resilient and also as solvents in bug repellents that we are putting onto our skin. Back to the Thermacell because I really like that it can protect my kids without me having to spray or slather them up with anything.
I put it together in under 2 minutes tops, it was really quite simply to assemble. It was working in under 5 minutes and no sign of mosquitoes the whole time we were outside.
Thermacell is something I would recommend for everyone to have when outside. I would have loved to take this camping earlier this summer. I can’t wait to bring it to the beach and daycare playground the mosquitoes are terrible there. I hope it keeps the flies away too! Next time we cookout I will let you all know.
Thermacell has the perfect design for your outing whether your relaxing in your own backyard, camping, or hunting.
You can grab you and your family one now and use code “FamilyGuide2016” at checkout on Thermacell.com for 20% off your order of $40 or more!
Click here to get yours now!
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I was sent this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
I first stumbled upon the chef Michael Symon on The Chew when I was still caught up watching Days of our Lives. He is the full of life, great big ol’ laugh, fun-loving guy who is always doing things the easy way.
One of my favorites on the show! When I was offered the chance to review his book I jumped on it. When it arrived I was like a kid at Christmas rushing to the door when the UPS driver arrived. I ripped open that booked and flipped through every page taking in the vivid, fresh photographs. I love that the book is broken up by seasons because I love to garden and eat what’s in season. I also really appreciate how every meal has half the ingredients dedicated to fresh fruits or vegetables. He even added some great holiday recipes and some that use leftovers from your ham and turkey for breakfast-genius! I have yet to complete one of these recipes in the book but I will very soon so keep an eye out on instagram, facebook, and twitter.
A few on my list to try:
Fried Eggplant Sandwiches with Harissa
Spicy Fried Shrimp
Sweet Corn Fritters
Chicken and Couscous with Snow Peas, Garlic & Ginger
Grilled Skirt Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Asparagus with Sesame & Orange
Rey and I obsessed over a marathon of Life or Debt this past weekend and really snapped that our families finances have seriously been neglected since we first moved to Texas. It’s been over a year that we have examined our budgets and financial plan. Clearly it’s a chore we both like to avoid and not one of our strong points.
I have always been a pen and paper kinda gal. I loved taking notes in school with all my different colored pens and decorating my planner till it looked like unicorn vomited on it. That had always been me, until I realized my family financial binder was failing our family and my paper planner couldn’t keep up with my hectic schedule. I needed to go virtual in order to get the time-saving tools I need, as well as the life saving email and text reminders.
I began my search for the best family calendar app. I wanted one that I could access from my laptop and cell phone. I wanted one that could link our entire family. I wanted one with great widgets and reminders. I wanted the impossible-as my hubby always says. Thank goodness I found Cozi because they have truly made it all happen! I learned about Cozi a few years ago and tried it out then but I wasn’t ready to leave my planner yet.
Cozi keeps everyone’s schedules and all your lists in one place the whole family can share. Check the family calendar, set reminders, and see lists from any computer or mobile device (PC/Mac, iOS, Android). Cozi is rated 4.5 stars in Google Play and iTunes and is the winner of multiple awards and accolades: Appy Award for Best Family App, Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal, Named Best App for your Personal Life by Mashable, Named Best App for a Better Life by NBC’s TODAY Show, and more. Cozi remembers everyone’s appointments, makes sure schedules are coordinated, and keeps track of shopping and to do lists—so you have more time for the fun stuff.
Cozi has so many great features!
A few I love:
Check out Cozi in this video!
Now that our schedule was in order I could manage our time better and actually plan time to discuss our financial situation.
I tried Mint in college and decided to look them up again. I googled them and they rated really high on most sites. I logged in, and input all our accounts and instantly got the big picture. IT WAS AMAZING! It saved me SO MUCH TIME! I can access everything and watch everything at the same time. I absolutely love it! I can literally see where every penny goes. I control it all-it’s very empowering!
Watch the video and give it a try! You seriously have to try it-once you do you will see the light and you will never go back.
I am able to create a budget for everything our family needs. Track those budgets easily and make adjustments to keep us on track. I really love that I can set goals for travel, the kids college savings, and paying off college debt.
They also have a MintBills which is equally awesome, give them a try to see if they can help your family avoid late fees.
I hope one of these services can help you and please share what you use to help keep your family organized.
I love watching Shark Tank and can’t wait to test out this product!
Monkey Mat, AS SEEN ON SHARK TANK, allows you to make your space, any place! Originally inspired by an unexpected six-hour layover at the airport (constant cringing while two babies crawled all over dirty floors!), and also by overall active lifestyles, this go-everywhere large mat in attached ultra-compact pouch gives you a clean space on the go – no more bulky blankets! Perfect for all ages, all places – park, beach, concerts, dirty airport/hotel floors, camping, hiking, sports events & more! http://www.monkeymat.com
My readers get to save! Use coupon code “USFAM” for $5 off + Free Shipping!
Click here to SAVE NOW!
Find Monkey Mat on:
I was sent this product in return for an honest and truthful review.
Our skin is damaged each day due to environmental pollutants, oxidative stress, and chemical laden cosmetic products. The amount of free radicals waging war on the skin quickly depletes our natural protective resources.
Our premier formulation is backed by scientific research into the efficacy of each of the natural ingredients we have carefully selected.
Our proprietary blend of *skin super oils compliment our 20% Vitamin C base, leading to a powerful antioxidant treatment. Each natural ingredient was chosen to support and enhance Vitamin C’s efficacy on the skin, leading to more well-rounded serum to add to your daily skin care ritual.
Our Even Glow Serum will repair, refresh, and renew your skin; restoring evenness to your complexion, giving you an extra boost of confidence each time you look in the mirror.
We know this all sounds too good to be true… but soon you’ll see. 🙂
Vitamin C: With a 20% concentration does more than boost the body’s immune system; it also provides many benefits to keep the skin tight, smooth and looking ageless. Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to reduces the effects of sun exposure on the skin, including sunburn, sun spots, redness and wrinkles.
In addition to helping reduce the signs of aging, Vitamin C is essential for everyday maintenance to strengthen and smooth out the skin, as well as neutralizing free radicals before they can damage the skin.
***Our additional Key Ingredients below were all selected for their ability to enhance and support Vitamin C’s effect on the skin.
ORGANIC ROSEHIP SEED OIL & ORGANIC SEA BUCKTHORN OIL – These oils promote skin hydration and lock in moisture to protect your skin from signs of aging and improve its beauty and youthfulness. Rosehip Oil specifically has been used in medical communities around the world for those with serious skin ailments and only recently has North America learned to embrace natural solutions from our ancestors. These two organic oils are full of antioxidants and therefore act as the perfect supporting cast for our best friend – Vitamin C
RESISTEM (Plant Stem Cells) – This provides the perfect mix of protection from stress-related aging and promotes skin detoxification. Resistem will help your skin regenerate faster while protecting it from environmental stressors.
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GREEN TEA EXTRACT- The catechins in green tea are a potent antioxidant which also contribute to the overall anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits of this ancient health and beauty secret.
98% Natural Ingredients (see below for a description of our Key Ingredients chosen specifically to enchance Vitamin C efficacy on the skin)
EVENS SKIN TONE: Vanquish dark spots and skin discoloration with this new generation Vitamin C Serum. Quickly refresh uneven and ill-textured skin with smooth, wrinkle-free skin that leaves you looking flawless and ageless.
INCREASES GLOW & RADIANCE:
Revitalize your skin with essential fatty acids that leave skin smooth and visibly brighter. Smooth skin capable of reflecting light will give your skin a youthful glow and a brilliant shine for that well-rested and refreshed look.
Moisturizes skin due to the capacity of the hyaluronic acid to absorb water, thereby increasing fluid between cells, giving your skin a smoother and younger appearance. This intense water absorption means no more dry, peeling or cracked skin, even in extreme weather.
BOOSTS COLLAGEN PRODUCTION:
The presence of Organic Rosehip Seed oil to support Vitamin C increases collagen production so your skin retains the elasticity responsible for a youthful appearance and prevents skin sagging associated with aging. Enjoy smooth and supple skin that takes years off your appearance.
REDUCES WRINKLES & FINE LINES:
Reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles with the help of our foundation 20 % Vitamin C. Special ingredients such us Hyaluronic Acid and Organic Sea Buckthorn oil work to plump up the skin, which reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin so it is smoother, clearer and younger.
I was able to try this product and really enjoyed the experience. I was worried to put what looked like oil on my face but my face thoroughly enjoyed it and thirsted for the moisture and vitality it gave my skin. This serum has sky rocketed me into the serum world. I used the whole bottle and then started testing out other serums.
Now that I am finishing up this post I see how much better my skin was back then and I want to go find this product on Amazon. My skin was so full and healthy!
It’s the 15 year anniversary of the opening of the Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Waterpark! Isn’t that AWESOME!? It was built-in 2001, and this park is home to the Transportainment River system that is designed to maximize time in the water and eliminate lines. This river system connects eight attractions that feature rapids, chutes, and gentle currents. It really keeps the park continually moving along the river. Schlitterbahn truly believes that when you come to the beach, you should just be able to sit back and enjoy your tube ride while you tan.
To celebrate this 15th year Anniversary Schlitterbahn is waiving their venue fees for Quincaneras this year! Amazing right!?
In honor of the 15th anniversary we took a trip to Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island to experience it ourselves. And lucky for us this trip landed on our sweet Sadie’s 7th Birthday. It was a surprise trip for the kids and they LOVED it!
I have learned so much experiencing it first hand. I can’t wait to share all my tips and tricks to help you and your family have the best experience possible.
I love saving money, on everything and a trip to a water park can be pricey or you can choose to be frugal. Click here to see ticket pricing. And if you had your first day in the park and decide maybe a second is worth it-because there is so much more you want to do take advantage of the added savings! Whenever you have the receipt or the wristband, the prices are $27.99 for an adult and $22 for a child.
Get a group together to get the group rate. This requires a group of 15 or more.
Be sure to check the weather for the day you are going. Also check the park calendar (online or by calling) and make sure there is no big event happening on that day or it will be super crowded and lines will be longer than normal. Click here for dress code.
Plan to arrive early at least 30 minutes before the park opens (10 am here at SPI), for good parking and a good spot to picnic. There are many great free places around the park to picnic. When you first walk in there are umbrella tables. Towards the back there are wooden picnic tables under the palm trees. And if you have little ones a table with shade by Sand Castle Cove or the Lily Pad is a must! Also when planning on being there all day don’t be afraid to let your little ones nap. A quite break will energize them for more happy play later.
Don’t forget sun hats, towels, and cheap sunglasses it is really bright. I wear prescription glasses and almost lost them a few times from overhead spraying so secure them with a cord.
Of course at a water park you need sunscreen but you also need to apply it at home to give it time to fully dry before hitting the water. Lesson learned the hard way we all are a little sun burned. Another tip is to get the kids long sleeve water shirts trust me if you don’t want to track them down to reapply sunscreen and let it dry they need these! Also make sure to have water shoes the cement does get really hot.
Another thing we did to save money was pack our lunch, water, and drinks. YES! You can bring in food and drinks. No glass or alcohol. We packed two ice chests one with drinks and the other with food. They both fit perfectly in our wagon to make walking from the parking lot with little ones easier.
Check out my Pinterest board for packing if you don’t want to stick to simple sandwiches. The pepperoni pasta salad is a kids pleaser. Next time I will individually package everyone’s portions so it is just easier when we are at the park. Don’t worry there are plenty of trash cans. Next time I might even wrap some ribs in foil the sun will keep them warm while we play! Click here to find more great packing tips from the Schlitterbahn blog.
We actually brought in cupcakes, balloons, and a pretty plastic tablecloth since it was Sadie’s Birthday. It was really cute and I really recommend a tablecloth. The cupcakes melted in the heat-that was a bad idea.
You can also choose to head to the park without a worry over arriving early for a shaded area by renting a cabana and leave the ice chest at home because you can get catering straight to your cabana. Another dinning option especially for teens is giving them splash cash. Here are some of the dinning options and prices you will find in the park.
The restrooms are located at the front of the park along with a shower area. There is also a small two stall restroom on Cabana Island.
This park is known for Rio Adventura, the parks river transportation system from this river you can access the Storm Chaser, Sea Blaster, Pirate’s Plunge, Agua Blanca Tube Chute, and Gale Force. All from your inner tube! They even offer double tubes, and double tubes with a hole on one side and a seat for smaller children on the other.
We all enjoyed riding on the tubes in Rio Adventura. It took a while to find two tubes with seats for Ezra and Dad and Sadie and Caydence, but once we did we just floated around the whole park 4 times, which took up most of our morning. They loved it so much! At first I was little terrified for the girls to go alone, but me being on a single tube made it easier to paddle towards them.
Squid Row has the softest flooring and was the best place for Ezra while he was warming up to the park.
Click here to see all the attractions Schlitterbahn South Padre Island has to offer.
See the park map here to help you plan.
By the time we were done the little ones were due for a nap and Sadie was super energized then fell fast asleep on the drive back home. We had a wonderful, fun-filled day or in Sadie’s words, “It was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!”
I hope this post inspires you to plan a Schlitteriffic Day for your family!
When we were given the opportunity to move to Texas we were thrilled. Big open spaces, beautiful grasslands filled with Texas Bluebonnets were what I pictured. In the part of Texas we live in, I haven’t seen too many Bluebonnets, but lucky for me Purex has created a special Fresh Bluebonnet Detergent especial for Texans. At participating HEB’s in Texas you can find the New Purex Fresh Bluebonnet and enjoy the light fresh scent for Texas’s Pride and Joy!
I usually start my laundry on the weekend then finish up on Monday morning. With the 7 of us laundry is a momentous task but thankfully I have helpers. The kids and I have truly enjoyed this scent and hope you will too!
You can connect with Purex here and find more information and coupons too:
“We believe that what you put in your candles matters. We use only the highest quality natural soy wax, pure fragrance oils, and cotton paper wicks in our candles. All candles are hand-poured right here in the USA.” Old Factory Candle.
These Old Factory Candles are sold exclusively on Amazon.com. These candles are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming cotton candle wicks, and premium fragrance oils. The Old Factory Candle Gift Sets each contain 3 different scented candles. Each candle burns clean and even for 20 hours. The subtle jar design makes it the perfect complement for any decor, and any room of the house – kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, family room, great room, and basement. Each gift set is themed around a group of related fragrances. So everyone is sure to find something perfect for every occasion, every room in the house, and all the special someones in your life.
Since Valentine’s is right around the corner, I got the Romance Set which includes the Dark Chocolate, Champagne, and Rose Petals candle scents.
There are so many awesome combinations to choose from if you remember I did review the Winter Wonderland Set. I am so excited to say you get to enter to win a set! YAY! I LOVE that you all get to win awesome things that I get to review! All you have to do is click the link below to be taken to my Facebook page then follow the instructions on there and in 24 hours we will have a winner!!
Happy New Years!
Date: Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 4th at 6:00 PM MST
Open to US residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
Prize: 1 winner gets 1 box of Old Factory Candle Gift Set.
Click the link below to be taken to the Facebook commenting post.
Disclosure- Mom254321 was not compensated for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own. Open to the US, must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Entrants must only enter with either one email address, IP address and/or Facebook account, anyone found violating these rules will be disqualified. It is at the sole discretion of the admin of the giveaway if the winner has met the rules or not. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of the giveaway. Sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions about this giveaway or to have me promote your product, Please email Mom254321@yahoo.com.
Have you heard of the new LeapTV gaming system? It is truly amazing! We were lucky enough to be able to review it this holiday season and we are so thankful! This new gaming system is everything I have ever wanted in a gaming system and I can’t wait to share it with you!
When it arrived at the door the children and I were CRAZY excited! They couldn’t wait to set it up and test it out! The set up was super easy well all except moving the TV to plug it in. I was able to put in each of the kids names, birth dates, and grade level so they would each have their own profile. They were each able to pick a profile picture which they were so proud to do! Once we go it start the fun and learning began! They played for a good two hours until dinner time! I was so amazed at all the different subjects they games helped them practice.
My favorite part of this gaming system is that they are not just all sitting around playing but up having fun and learning. Oh and the best part is once they pick a game it lets the kids know who’s turn it is and every time it switches players it caters to that player age and grade level so for example when it’s my preschoolers turn it ask her to add 2+3, when my kindergartener turn it asks her what’s 8+7, and when it’s my nephew’s turn, who is in 2nd grade, it will ask him what 15+30. This whole system just blows me away-everything is just so awesome!
My LeapTV Praises:
We love the new LeapTV gaming system and it makes the perfect educational game for the child in your life!
Thank you so much LeapFrog for allowing us to test this awesome toy!