A Personal Review Of My FHI Flat Iron – Model 207 RVI

After 3 years of continuous use my old CHI stopped working. I really loved using it and thought I’d replace it with another CHI, but then a friend of mine recommended a this flat iron – she had one and said it did a great job of straightening her hair. I liked the way her hair looked and I liked the price of the FHI, so I went ahead and bought one, and despite one tiny little flaw, I’m really pleased with my purchase.

True, my hair isn’t the thickest or the longest but my old 1″ ceramic CHI flat iron did a great job of straightening my hair. If there was only one criticism, it would have to be that it didn’t have variable temperature control; sometimes I just wanted to ‘touch up’ my hair and didn’t really need a very hot iron.

But after 3 years it just stopped heating up. I needed a replacement, and fast. My friend, Stephanie, had just bought a new hair straightener and I really liked the way her hair was looking of late, so I gave her a call and asked what she was using. I’d never heard of a FHI flat iron but I wanted to know more, so I called round to her home and tested out her iron.

I really liked it. It was lighter than my old CHI flat iron and it just felt easier to use and it did a great job of straightening my hair. However, I was still going to buy another CHI, but then Stephanie told me how much she paid for her FHI flat iron; it was a fraction of the price of a CHI.

After going online and checking things out, I decided to buy a FHI flat iron. However, I chose a different model to Stephanie’s – she has the 1″ ceramic, model 205 RFI, which doesn’t have temperature control. I bought the 1″ ceramic with variable control – model 302 RVI. It cost $90 – $30 more than the 302 RVI – but I’m glad I paid the extra for variable control. By the way, the CHI model I would have bought costs around $140 – so I saved myself quite a bit.

I’ve been using it now for 6 months and it straightens my hair perfectly, every time. One thing that really impresses me is that it heats up in just 10 seconds. My old one took over a minute, but I know newer models all seem to heat up quicker now. It’s also a very hot iron; its temperature range is 140F – 450F (60C – 232C). I never use it at maximum temperature – way too hot for my hair – the CHI flat iron has a maximum temperature of 356F.

Like I said, I’m really happy with it but after just a couple of months of using it the logo, that’s stuck on at the hinge, fell off. It’s a minor point, but I hope other bits aren’t going to start falling off. Anyhow, my FHI flat iron works just great; I just hope it last as long as my old one did.

Organic Latex Mattress

Once upon a time there was a woman whom we will call Vanilla that loved the outside and everything natural. She ate granola, and was a vegetarian. She slept on an organic latex mattress and each product in her property was as organic as they come. She preached organic to all of her nonbelieving friends, who were somewhat receptive, although not totally obsessed about the idea.

1 morning she awoke from a wonderful sleep on her organic latex mattress and decided that she would get back to the life of nonorganic. It had been such a long time that she had lived the approach to life of the nonbelieving, nonorganics that she needed to see whether there was anything in it for her and just retry it for a time to see if she was actually passing up on the typical lifestyle that her close friends engaged in.

Well, it was surprisingly okay mostly. She knew she couldn’t do without her organic best latex mattress since it had turn out to be a friend to her, however the hamburger she had was delicious. Actually, it was from a cow that hadn’t been injected with steroids, and also the milk she drank wasn’t filled with growth hormone or antibiotics, but she felt she had an additional balanced life. She in fact had extra energy to undertake things during the day. Not everything in her house was organic anymore, although she still didn’t use a microwave or drink from plastic containers mainly because she knew they leached chemicals into the liquid and messed up her hormones.

Vanilla actually tried sleeping on a typical latex mattress that was some type of a blend of synthetic and natural latexes, but she found herself itching and congested. She speedily returned to her mattress, and figured that had been the very best balance for her. One thing though that she relished in this new and extra balanced life was some good old processed milk chocolate every once in an even though, but for the most part she still ate carob or dark chocolate instead when she had a hunkering for chocolate.

The moral of Vanilla’s story is usually that there is always an equilibrium in life, and you can get to extremes. Needless to say she still kept her organic latex mattress for the reason that it served her most effective. There is nothing wrong with win-win situations, and for the most component in her life she felt she was a winner simply because she was serving herself even though serving nature at the same time. But what she realized was that here on God’s green earth that we are here to make choices and that when we are moderate we tend to be peaceful the most. There is certainly not wrong with leaning 1 way or another to a certain degree. Her organic latex mattress was a symbol of keeping to the great techniques that she had learned, whilst also living a life that wasn’t too constrained.

Trampoline Basketball

Trampoline basketball can be one of the funnest activities you can play on a trampoline. Back in the day I remember trying to find a good trampoline basketball hoop to no avail. Now, however, with a little searching online you can find some great trampoline basketball hoops available at pretty reasonable costs.

Of course, playing trampoline basketball can be fun, you just have to decide how you want to set things up. Do you want to play trampoline basketball like they do in SlamBall? If so, then you are going to need more than just a regular trampoline and a simple basketball hoop. In fact, you will need a completely different type of trampoline, and I would also recommend a very thorough check up with your doctor—SlamBall can be very dangerous.

However, if you are just the normal person looking to play trampoline basketball for fun, then it’s much simpler. You will need to decide which hoop to buy, but that may not be the first thing you want to consider. Playing trampoline basketball on a round trampoline can actually be quite difficult, so you may want to consider purchasing a square trampoline instead.

One other piece of trampoline equipment to consider when wanting to play trampoline basketball is a good trampoline safety net that goes around your trampoline. It is much easier than you think to bounce off of (or BE bounced off of) the trampoline while playing trampoline basketball, and for this reason, most people will look for a good safety net to protect their child and friends.

Actron CP9449 ABS Diagnostic Scan Tool: a great car scanner

Modern cars are way more than just four wheels, a frame and an engine, they are state of the art and very complicated machines that are in fact equipped with high tech computers in order for all their components to work together properly!

Actron CP9449This may be good news for road safety and ride comfort, but it’s also bad news when it comes to maintaining them! You see as anyone who is into technology can tell you, the more high tech stuff means more stuff that can go wrong or break down!

This problem is made even worse by the fact that most cars are equipped with just just one warning sign  for pretty much all their problems: the dreaded “check engine” light!

There are many different reasons that can cause this light to turn itself on  and they range from false alarms and generally easy to fix problems, to downright catastrophic or dangerous ones, such as an imminent engine failure! The real problem is, that unless the problem is really common or obvious, you can’t tell why that blasted light came on and how serious the problem that caused this is!

This leaves you with only one option: a trip to the car repair shop! The mechanic there will simply use a vehicle diagnostic scanner, or a code reader as some people call them, and he’ll figure out what the problem is in just a few seconds!

The reason for that is that all cars built from 1996 onwards, and many more before that, are equipped with a special system and protocol that stores all problems and malfunctions as soon as they occur in the car’s CPU, in the form of special codes.

The Auto Scanner tool is used in order to retrieve these codes, read them and see what specific problem they correspond to! These auto code reader and scanners are really affordable and easy to use nowadays, which means that you too can buy and use one and save some money by avoiding unnecessary trips to your car mechanic or repair shop!

In this car code reader review, we are going to take a close look to one of the best diagnostic scan tool models on the market: the Actron CP9449 ABS Diagnostic Scan Tool! Let’s find out why makes it so good and popular!

Actron CP9449 vehicle diagnostic scanner

 

Actron CP9449 Description

After great demand, by both car enthusiasts and professional mechanics alike, industry leaders have come up with a revolutionary and very versatile car diagnostic tool, the brand new CP9449 engine diagnostic! What sets this amazing car code reader apart from the competition though? Check best double din head unit

Unlike other car scan tools, the Actron CP9449 will do more than simply retrieve and display trouble codes from a car’s CPU! It will also use Actron’s unique BraskeScan technology to fully diagnose every component of a car’s ABS breaking system as well!

Actron is a company famous for making the first car code reader for commercial use and the Actron CP9449 BreakScan tool, is definitely one of their greatest products and achievements!

Actron CP9449: The amazing Features

  • Retrieves all codes and definitions!

Being a state of the art code reader for cars, the Actron CP9449 Brakescan will easily and quickly find and retrieve all the trouble codes stored in your car’s CPU! You can then use this data to make the most detailed and accurate diagnosis possible, regardless of your level of expertise in the inner workings of a car!

  • ABS Scanner!

Apart from collecting standard trouble codes, the Actron CP9449 car diagnostic scanner will also provide you with diagnostic data for just about every part of you car’s ABS system! This feature is usually only found on professional grade diagnostic tools made specifically for this purpose!

  • Great compatibility!

The amazing CP9449 by industry leaders Actron, is fully compatible with all cars made from 1996 onwards, regardless of maker or country of origin!

  • PC Updateable!

You can keep the Actron CP9449 always up to date, by connecting to your PC by using the special  USB connection cable! This will also ensure compatibility with all future models!

  • What’s in the box?

Inside the package of the Actron CP9449 you will find the unit itself, a specially designed OBDII connection cable, an easy to understand quick start manual and a very durable and extremely practical carrying case that you can use to store the unit and keep it out of harm’s way when it’s not being used!

Actron CP9449 engine diagnostic

 

Actron CP9449: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Really easy to use!
  2. It will retrieve all trouble codes and definitions fast and easily!
  3. It can provide you with diagnostic data regarding all parts of the ABS System of your car!
  4. It can be updated easily by using the internet!
  5. It’s fully compatible with all cars built from 1996 onwards, as well as with many before that!
  6. It comes with a really durable and handy carrying case included in the package!

Cons:

  1. It won’t provide you with a fix for the problems it finds, so you’ll have to figure out yourself how and if you can fix them.
  2. A bit on the pricey side.

What Is The Best Toilet To Buy

The best toilet to buy should have these features:

  • It should be a Gravity-type (less noise no over-flow) toilet with siphonic-action that has direct-fed jetted (push the waste from bowl to trapway) bowls with NO holes in the rim (clean, seamless, full-volume) so water can maintain its force, 3 to 4 inches full-glazed trapway (pushes waste down faster with no choking section).
  • It should have a Maximum Performance Test Rate of 500 grams (if its using 1.28 gallons per flush) and 1,000 grams (if its using 1.60 gallons per flush)
  • One-piece toilets for no leaking, easy cleaning and installation
  • It should be an ADA Height complaint for a comfortable toilet time, its good for adults
  • Elongated bowls are a lot better so you have plenty of area supporting your weight as you sit on the bowl and have longer space for men to aim as they urinate
  • Bowl finish should be a Sanagloss or Everclean, these are supper smooth and anti-bacterial
  • Double Cyclone flushing system is modern, powerful, quiet and efficient
  • 360 degree bowl and rim cleaning through powerful whirl-pool force
  • Look for a bowl rim that has no holes, its clean and look seamless
  • Flush Valve should be 3 to 4 inches
  • Trapway should be 2 inches higher and must be fully glazed

 Ways to check for the Best toilet to purchase

  • Check for the best rated toilets by amazon customers
  • Look at the best flushing toilet videos, if they are perfect
  • Toto and American Standard toilet brands are highly recommended

I hope these helps you decide which toilet brand and models is the best toilet to buy for you. Amazon.com is the best place to buy a toilet online,  you can order toilets online some with free shipping, it will come safely well-packed.

When to Buy Firm, Soft, or Artificial Ground Soccer Cleats or others?

After you have your firm ground shoes, the other styles are really nice to have in certain situations. Here’s when the other styles really come in handy:

Soft Ground (SG) (aka “Studs” or “Screw-ins”)

Soft Ground Soccer Shoes

Soft Ground Soccer Cleats

Soft ground shoes are for when it’s wet. Soft ground shoes have removable studs for cleats, and you can get different length cleats to swap out based on how wet the field is. The wetter the field, the longer the studs you’ll need.

If you live in an area with a lot of rain and you play outside most of the time, soft ground cleats are probably worth the investment . Goalkeepers, too, often prefer studs to firm ground cleats. Some keepers find the added traction helps them grip the ground when they push off to dive or make the other extreme changes in direction peculiar to their position. Check best soccer goalie gloves

Artificial Grass Cleats

Artificial Grass Cleats

Artificial Grass (AG)

If you play a lot on modern field-turf style artificial surfaces (the kind with the fake green “grass” and rubber-pellet infill), then an artificial ground shoe is a good addition to your equipment bag.

Nike leads the way here with their distinctive AG soleplate. The little hollowed out conical cleats grab and mold to the rubber infill pellets you’ll be playing on better than any other AG shoes out there right now. That said, the other manufacturers have some nice options too. In most of those configurations, the soleplate has more, somewhat smaller cleats than their firm ground counterparts.

Personally, I’m a big fan of the Nike AG shoes. It’s a subtle difference, but I’ve found I do feel a little more balanced in these shoes at my indoor complex, which installed artificial grass a few years ago.

Artificial Turf Soccer Shoes

Artificial Turf Soccer Shoes

Artificial Turf (AT) or Hard Ground (HG) (aka “Turfs)

Turfs are a versatile design that can work well on either hard natural surfaces or a variety of artificial surfaces.

The defining feature of turfs are the little short rubber “knobs” on the bottom of the shoe. They tend to be a little lower profile than either artificial grass or firm ground shoes, since they don’t have traditional cleat plates.

For outdoor play, turfs can make an amazing difference for those who regularly train on sun-baked, hard as a rock surfaces. On artificial surfaces, they work really well if the turf is relatively flat. That is, if the little nylon “grass blades” are really short, or if they’re all trampled down, then turfs might be the perfect choice.

Indoor Soccer Shoes

Indoor Soccer Shoes

Indoor Shoes (IN or IS) (aka “Flats”)

Flats are specifically designed for flat carpet surfaces. If your field looks like it’s a reincarnation of the Astrodome surface from 1976, then make sure you bring your flats. You’re going to need them.

One huge thing to watch out for. The shoes are labeled “indoor,” but that doesn’t mean their right for all indoor surfaces. Many indoor facilities have now switched from flat carpet surfaces to modern artificial grass. And indoor shoes on artificial grass is about as effective as indoor shoes on natural grass. Just be sure to check with your facility to see which surface you’ll be playing on before you go out and buy something new.

Futsal Shoes

Fustal Soccer Shoes

Futsal Shoes

Futsal shoes are for use on anything resembling a basketball court. Often this means a hardwood or hardened rubber surface. Either way, it’ll be flat and fast.

The key feature here is to make sure they say “non-marking” sole. There’s no quicker way to get kicked out of a league than to wear shoes that scuff up the playing surface.

What does consensus mean?

What does consensus mean? It means to get a majority of any opinion. For more http://sentencehouse.com/category/m/

Examples: –

  •         When the jury had reached the consensus, they pronounced the defendant to be guilty, and they were let loose.
  •         It is a very fortunate even for most of the households that the new water tax had not reached a consensus amongst the party managers. This has led to a sensational amount of delay in the planning of acquiring tax from the people.
  •         When the scientists pondered a lot and was still unable to come to a consensus on the project, they thought it best to let the entire issue go.
  •         It is the duty of the politicians to always of reach consensus on any subject, particularly if it is of a national interest. They have that moral obligation towards all the people that voted for them.

·         After going through tons of debate on the different types of things to do in this election, the general consensus was that it would end up wasting a lot of taxpayers money and hence the total issue was dropped. http://sentencehouse.com/category/n/

Choose your artificial Christmas trees wisely

Now that you have made a decision to purchase artificial Christmas trees from the wide variety found in the market, what do you do next? How can you make the right decision on purchasing the best artificial Christmas tree which will be able to find a place in your house?

Well, the first thing that you do is to go online and check out the different brands that are selling the artificial Christmas trees. Find out the ones that have a good reputation, and go through a few customer reviews. Of course, this will lead to the natural selection of a few brands that not only stand out from the crowd, but also ensure that you can get the maximum benefit when purchasing those products.

If possible, get yourself to a store that sells the best artificial Christmas trees and have a look at the quality of the product in question. That way, with proper physical interaction, you would be able to see the quality of the product which will adorn your house during the holiday season.

The next thing for you to do is to fix a budget and stick to it when purchasing the artificial Christmas trees. Of course, the flexibility of $ 20 is necessary in order to purchase a product that justifies the excessive cost. However, anything more than that and you are setting yourself up for a hard time in the Christmas season.

KID LICKS EDIBLE ORGANIC NAIL POLISH REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

Take a look at our Kid Licks Edible Organic Nail Polish Review and Giveaway!

I love how you can be on opposite ends of the world and still meet and strike up conversations with people on social media. It’s almost as if it makes the world just a little bit smaller. Well this is exactly how I met Audrey, the co-owner of Kid Licks edible nail polish. Just a random Facebook chat that turned into an opportunity to review this amazing product that both she and her husband worked together to create. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I wanted to try it for my Miss Fashionista – seeing that she needs to repaint her fingernails and toenails at least twice a week! It’s a great product! Interested in learning more? Scroll down for our Kid Licks edible organic nail polish review and giveaway details. Here’s to another We Love Wednesdays Giveaway!!!

Kid Licks Edible Organic Nail Polish Review and Giveaway

 

Brief History of Kid Licks

 

Audrey and her husband Josh tell of how they first came up with the idea of edible nail polish. Their oldest daughter began to have an interest in nail polish but noticing how many unhealthy chemicals that were in the products available; they wondered if it was possible to create an organic nail polish out of fruit and vegetables. After multiple tries, they came up with three successful organic, non GMO, and vegan nail polishes for nails of all sizes. Yes, parents, this includes you! Currently, you can purchase Beet Red, Sour Carrot Orange, and Barley Grass Green but it seems like they have more in the making and I’m pretty excited about that!

How Does It Work?

 

You apply Kid Licks nail polish the same way that you would apply any other nail polish. The difference is that instead of a strong “open-every-window-in-the-house” type of smell, you have a light fragrance (depending on which polish you’re using) that goes away fairly quickly. Due to the fact that there all-natural ingredients used in the polish, it is recommended to store in the refrigerator after each use. To remove, rub under running water. They suggest to use a little elbow grease and, considering that you don’t want it to come off right away, a little extra rubbing seems like a good trade. Especially because it would mean not having to worry about nail polish remover!

Do You Eat the Nail Polish?

 

Ummm… no. The point is that this “edible” nail polish is not harmful to your child if they put their fingers in their mouth, but I wouldn’t recommend planning a snack around it. lol!

Did We Like It?

 

Yes! From the moment that I opened the package and saw the cute little bottle of Beet Red nail polish to reading the great ingredients and hearing Audrey and Josh’s story. My positive opinion just grew from there. We opened the bottle and were surprised by the smell. I’m so used to bracing for the chemical smells (even other kid-friendly nail polishes we’ve used have a slight chemical smell), but Miss Fashionista thought this smelled like berries and I picked up smoky bbq fragrance. I have no idea where I got bbq from… The polish was thick and easy to apply. Just a small amount is needed, which is nice because the bottle is small. You really feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. The Beet Red edible nail polish dried after about 3 – 5 minutes (we did a double coat) and still maintain a nice finish. We really liked it! The only concern that I have is that it is water soluble. While great for removal, this poses a potential problem when you’re washing your hands often but are not trying to remove the polish yet.

 

How Did the Beet Red Edible Nail Polish Taste?

 

Miss Fashionista said it tasted like bbq (maybe picking up the slight smoky aroma… or just from what I’d previously said), but I couldn’t taste a distinct flavor. It wasn’t bad and didn’t have me gagging, but neither did I want to eat it off my fingers. A good balance, I’d say. If you’re child puts their fingers in their mouth, they’re not getting harmful chemicals or a disgusting taste but neither are they encouraged to scrap it off their nails because it tastes so delicious. Lol!

 

Would I Purchase This Edible Nail Polish?

 

Fortunately, we were able to try this product out for free in order to write this review. However, I would purchase this edible nail polish. For the simple peace of mind in knowing that my daughter can express her fashion sense and personality without worry about harmful effects that can come from using chemical-filled products. And with it being only $13 for an organic, vegan, non-GMO, and cruelty-free bottle of nail polish; I’d say it’s definitely worth trying out.

 

Giveaway Time!!!

 

Now that I have raved about Kid Licks Organic Edible Nail Polish, I want to give you an opportunity to try it for FREE! Thanks to Audrey and Josh, we have a free bottle of Kid Licks Organic Edible Nail Polish to give to one awesome viewer. Will it be you? I sure hope so!

This giveaway is simply a way for us to say “Thank You” to our subscriber friends. So, if you’re interested in subscribing and becoming apart of The Little Tourist family, enter your name and email address in our lovely giveaway box!

Fruit Kabobs with Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt Dip

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it’s the beginning of the weekend, but lately Fridays has turned into family baking/making day! At first it was Finger-Licking Powdered Donut Puffs and the latest is our Fruit Kabobs with Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt Dip. One thing I can say is that both of these food projects turned out deliciously!

We made our own homemade strawberry vanilla yogurt dip to go with our fruit kabobs. Of course, you don’t have to use the dip, but it is a nice added touch. Fruit skewers or fruit kabobs are really easy to make and only require fruit and skewer sticks. This recipe is great for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays, Holidays, Parties, and almost any other special occasion you can think. Or you can do what we did and just make it because you feel like it!

Fruit Kabobs with Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt Dip

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what you need:

  • Fruit Kabobs
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Mini cookie cutters
  • Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt Dip
  • 1 c. Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 c. Fresh Strawberries

 

what to do:

Open the packages of your grapes and strawberries and wash thoroughly

We like to use all natural fruit and vegetable wash

Set aside

Grab a sharp knife and cutting board that you can use for the watermelon and cantaloupe

Cut horizontally on both of these fruit

Once the watermelon and cantaloup has been completely sliced, use your mini cookie cutters to make shapes

These decorative pieces of fruit will go on your fruit skewers

Slice the washed strawberries in half (you can leave them whole, but they can get a bit heavy)

Now that everything is prepped, all that’s left to do is to put together the kabobs

The children really enjoy this part – they can make patterns or fill the skewer with their favorite fruit

For the yogurt dip, simply pour 1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of yogurt into a blender

Mix until fully combined, but don’t over whip

Pour into a bowl and set it next to your fruit kabobs for easy dipping!

 

lil’ extras:

These fruit kabobs are just a nice variation of a fruit salad and can be added to any meal

Enjoy a frozen yogurt recipe? Pour our Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt into a popsicle molds for a cold treat

You can use greek yogurt, low fat yogurt, or any yogurt brands for this yummy dip!

Melt some chocolate and use that as your fruit dip!

WHY YOU’LL NEVER BUY POPSICLES AGAIN

Popsicles are a regular food item in our house. They’re especially a favorite during the warmer months, but it’s not unusual to have a stash in the freezer during the cooler months. There are so many different varieties of brands, flavors, sugar levels, and colors. You have popsicles that specifically for parents made with favorite flavors of chocolate, truffles, white chocolate, toffee and the like. Then you have those geared towards children that are a color explosion just waiting to happen. Either way, these little ice treats are enjoyed by ages young and old. So, what’s wrong with them? Why am I listing reasons why you’ll never buy popsicles again? Because you’ll benefit from it, of course!

Why You’ll Never Buy Popsicles Again

Image result for WHY YOU’LL NEVER BUY POPSICLES AGAIN

Okay, so let’s put out the fires before they start. You can totally buy your favorite brand of popsicles if you like. They are pretty healthy, for the most part. Although, a couple weeks ago, my son took his red popsicle into his room (which he knew he shouldn’t) and spilled some of the juice on his freshly shampooed carpet and then tried to hide it. Dad found it later on that evening and attempted to clean it up, but the red would NOT come out! I even got a well-known brand of carpet cleaner and tried scrubbing it out… the stain won that battle. If the stuff in popsicles stain carpets and refuse to move no matter muscle power you put into scrubbing, I have to question what in the world they are putting into our children foods?! I’m just saying.

Moving on, the reason why you’ll buy popsicles again is because it so easy to make them yourself! Like super duper simple or easy peasy lemon squeaky, as my daughter would say. Here’s what you need to do. Stop by your local grocery or home goods store and purchase two or three popsicle mode containers. I even picked up some decent ones at the Dollar Tree for $1 each! Then, grab your favorite fruit juices (feel free to dilute if that’s your thing) and pour into the cleaned popsicle containers. Replace the tops or handles on the container and freeze for 2-3 hours. Having multiple containers make it easy to get a good rotation going. As soon as one is emptied, refill and freeze. That’s it! Talk about the money and trips to the store that you’re saving yourself! A box of popsicles cost about $4 – $5 per box, maybe even more depending on the brand, and you can get a whole jug of juice for less than this!

Not really a juice drinking family? That’s cool. Blend up a smoothie and freeze it for a healthy, nutritious cold treat. Or keep it super simple by freezing flavored water and fruit infused water. Gatorade, lemonade, and even tea works! The possibilities go on and on and require very little from your pocket and time without having to wonder about ingredients that stain carpets with a vengeance! Put your kids to work and let them join in the fun of making their own special popsicles. Maybe even have their own popsicle containers and be responsible for refilling it once it’s low. One less thing for you to worry about. :)

Simple never tasted so good.

3 Important Tips for Moving With Kids

I always knew that moving to a new home in a new part of the city would be a transition. I knew that it would be a transition for me and for the kids, however, I didn’t realize just how much of a transition it would be. During the whole house searching phase, in the back of my mind I knew that the kids would probably take it a little hard leaving their childhood home and backyard basketball rim. When we finally found our new home in the heart of the city, I knew that the kids would miss seeing their next door friends who would enter through our side gate and walk right into our house. When we moved in, I knew that the kids would need to see that there were parks near our new home and plenty of kids on our new block. What I did NOT take into account was the affect this transition would have on me! The wear and tear and the lessons that would come from it. Over the past weeks, I’ve learned 3 Important Tips for Moving With Kids. Tips that will affect them directly and indirectly, but that will have a huge impact on the way your entire family experience the start of this new season in your lives.Related image

The New Place

I’d been so concerned about how the children would respond to this new move that I didn’t allow the space for my own processing. Our new home is beautiful, on a picturesque street, and filled with friendly neighbors but… it’s still new. It’s very different from our old home in space and age, with most of it’s decorative wood finishes dating back 200 years or more. 12 foot ceilings and 10ft windows that welcome in light from the early morning dawn to the last glimmer of dust. Another difference is in the space. Older homes usually mean great design features but smaller rooms. Not a big deal and definitely no reason to complain (this is not complaining), it’s just different. New. How to say goodbye to a home that I’ve lived in for almost eight years? A place that was the only home I’ve ever lived in. Like ever. Yet, as life and seasons change, so must we. And that’s just what we did.

Where am I now after having finished a full week of living in our new home?

Making my way. I’ve had a couple silent melt downs after being confronted with yet another box that needed to be emptied. Got a little discouraged at needing groceries and having no clue as to where there nearest store was. Completely overwhelmed when my 3 year old got strep throat (probably a present from a friend!) and wanted to be held for two days straight. And definitely worn out when my two older children both spiked over 102 degree fevers at the same time (thanks to little brother!). Yet, I also experienced gratefulness when I looked out at my clean and organized living and dining room – let’s not talk about the other rooms yet. lol! I felt comfort laying on couch and watching a movie with my hubby after the kids had gone to sleep. And I felt excitement at knowing that our new location will allow my husband to arrive home a whole hour earlier than before! Give and take. Step by step. Breathe, feel, and then find something to be grateful for. That’s where I am.

What I’ve Learned and Tips to Share

I don’t know if moving is ever an easy feat. Whether you’re moving from one floor to the another (we’ve done this before), moving to another city, state, or country. Moving is hard! Yet there are ways that you can make this time go as smooth as possible… especially when you have little people in tow.

3 Important Tips for Moving With Kids

 

1. Pack Ahead of time!

Don’t wait until the week of to start packing. You may think, “There’s seven days in a week, surely that’ll be enough time.” It’s not! Start packing two or three weeks ahead of your move date. Depending on the size of the home, you may even need a little more time. Something that I found helpful was to go room by room and figure out what needed to be donated or thrown out. This way, after all of those things were removed, I knew everything that was left was going with us to our new home. This goes for the bathroom cabinets and even the pantry! You’d be surprised at what expired “gems” you’ll find all the way in the back corners.

Boxing up out-of-season clothing, bedding, and anything else that you won’t need for a while will help with your early packing, too. Then as you get even closer to moving day, maybe a week before, pull out outfits and items you’ll need for that week and box everything else up. It may sound like a lot of work (and it is), but spreading it out and packing ahead of time will help balance getting ready for your move and taking care of the everyday demands that are sure to continue.

2. Get Help!

You ARE Superwomen! You ARE Supermen! However, even superheroes need help from time to time and believe me, moving is one of those times! ha! There are numerous ways you can get help with your move. You can gather a group of your most awesome friends to come help with cleaning, packing, loading, moving, and/or unloading. Hire a moving company to take your packed boxes and furniture to your new location. Or Hire a moving company to do it all! There are companies who will pack up your entire house, take it to your new home, and unpack everything for you! Crazy, right? Definitely a price difference between this and ordering a couple of “thank you” pizzas for your friends, but it’s still an option.

Another way that you can ask for help is with childcare. Be sure to reach out to family members, close friends, or neighbors that you trust and ask if you’re kids can hang out with them for the day or overnight. Having time to direct all the movers and unpack some boxes without breaking up fights or answering the same question 20 times in a row is so worth it!

3. Give Grace

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, moving is a transition and transitions can be difficult for both children and parents. Give each other grace. Give grace your child as they jump with joy about your move one minute and are clinging to you in tears that they will miss their old room in the next. Give grace to yourself when you realize that your living space will be different or that you will have to find a new grocery store, community center, sport camps for your kids, and group of friends for yourself. Moving = growing. Internally and externally and, although exciting, it may will time to find your “familiar.” (Totally preaching to the choir on this one!) So, before the big day arrives, start the conversation and let grace be a BIG part of it.

Ahh, moving. It’s like a huge piñata covered in bright cheery colors. Enticing and yet filled with so many different emotions and experiences. Nevertheless, it’s another family adventure and one worth taking. So, grab a stick and break open that box because it’s time to move!

Did you find these 3 Important Tips for Moving With Kids helpful? Let me know in the comments below.

HOW TO TAKE AMAZING FAMILY VACATIONS ON A BUDGET

My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Mexico to celebrate our 13 year wedding anniversary. The best part about this trip was that it was child-free! I love my children dearly, but it is nice to get away with just the hubby. Gotta continue to pour into the marriage side of things, you know?! While there, we encountered something that left me a little troubled and wondering how to take amazing family vacations on a budget. I have a few ideas, but I want to learn a bit from you. How do you take great vacations with your family on a budget??? Let me back up a little and tell you the full story..

My husband surprised me by booking a beautiful all-inclusive resort by the ocean in the lovely country in Mexico. This was our first time staying at this resort and we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was one of the best resorts in that city. We had no idea and totally lucked out by waiting until the last minute to book. Not by choice, mind you. We weren’t even sure we’d be able to pull it off this year because we just moved, celebrated two birthdays, his parent’s anniversary, and had one more birthday coming up. Funds were a little s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to say the least. Nevertheless, we were becoming teenagers (13 yrs) – we had to celebrate! In comes the last minute vacation booking by the hubby.Image result for HOW TO TAKE AMAZING FAMILY VACATIONS ON A BUDGET

We arrived and were whisked away to get our room information and to sign up for any excursions that we might be interested in. In addition to this, we were offered a romantic dinner and two couples massages for taking a tour of the hotel and listening to a brief presentation. Two free 50 minute massages? Done deal. We signed up, did the tour, and listened to all the wonderful features that this hotel chain offered for it’s “members.” Of course, nothing really mattered until we started talking numbers. (I’m a numbers girl, baby. Tell me how much and I’ll tell you what I can do.) In the end, the pay out (not including the monthly pay) was just too high for us at this season in our lives. Was it something that I would’ve wanted to do? Yes!!! This is still a sore spot for me because what they showed me were numerous opportunities for me to expose my children to different parts of the world and cultures. They showed me how I could take my only living parent and my in-laws, who are like my second set of parents, on amazing vacations and spoil them the way that they spoil me. And they really got me when they said that I could save more than half of what I’d normally pay to take these same vacations. Half?!?! Remember, I’m a numbers girl and, so far, the numbers were looking really good.

It wasn’t until we started talking about down payments in addition to monthly payments that things took a u-turn. That light that I started to see began to fade and with it, a little bit of my joy. I know that they are plenty who are able to pay what was being asked with no problem, but we we’re just not at that place right now. Does this mean my children can’t see all those wonderful sites? Or that I can’t splurge on my parents? Or that I can’t take amazing family vacations without spending an extreme amount of money? If so, then this revelation is bordering on some serious discouragement.

 

The only thing that came to me was that there has to be a way! And my determination of finding them just revved up even more! I have a few ideas, but I know many of you are doing it already. Many of you are traveling the world with your family and learning and making memorials that will last a lifetime… on a budget! I want to learn from you. We (other parents feeling the same the thing) want to learn from you! Maybe there will come a time when we won’t have to worry about the price of things, but right now we do. So, how do you do it? In the comment section below, share with us how to take AMAZING family vacations on a budget… because everyone, no matter the amount in your bank account, should be able to experience the world they live in.

There are many more ways, but here are a six to get the list started. Add on!

How to Take AMAZING Family Vacations on a Budget

 

1. All-inclusive vacations – booking off season will add to the savings

2. Vacation Rentals – save a ton on housing and live like a local

3. Take a group trip – traveling and staying with friends or additional families can help bring the total cost down

4. Take advantage of discounts – be aware of special deals going on for your location of choice

5. Road Trips – Driving can shave off a pretty penny when traveling with kids. They are also great for last minute trips!

6. Visit friends and family – Have friends or family in different states? Crash their place! Even offering to help out during your trip will be cheaper than having to pay for housing and food by yourself.

HIKING IN HOCKING HILLS STATE PARK

One of my family’s favorite ways to spend a day is hiking and photographing in the Hocking Hills State Park.  We have visited so many times and it seems there is always something new to see and so much beauty soak up.  Which area to hike in is left totally up to what kind of challenge you are willing to take on and there are some fantastic options for families with even small children.

Hiking in Hocking Hills State Park 

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Ash Cave, which is a really large recessed cave/cliff area, is one great option.  We have been able to visit this cave since my children were toddlers because of the ease of access. It has a flat paved path that leads to a sandy cave bottom that my kids have always loved. For this visit though, we chose to enjoy Old Man’s Cave and Rock House.

My children are getting older which makes me more confident in their ability to maneuver stairs, bridges, and their ability to stay on and navigate somewhat rugged trails. This also makes the activity of hiking in Hocking Hills State Park more feasible. The Upper Falls part of Old Man’s Cave isn’t far from the parking area and it’s quite picturesque with a stone bridge and waterfall.  It’s easy to see why this is the park’s most popular area.  We spent a lot of time photographing and exploring the waterfalls and natural formations of Old Man’s Cave. There was a tunnel (my kids loved it!) and lots of stairs on the rest of the hike to the lower falls and on through it’s course.  This trail would have made me nervous with smaller kids because there were a couple of areas with steep drop-offs.

It rained just before we arrived which created a nice steamy foggy atmosphere and everything was so fresh and green. I was glad I packed ponchos and that the kids and I had on hiking sandals. Hiking sandals are great for kids because they are comfy and my little ones like to stomp around in the water. The sandals dry quickly and make for a decent grip on the slippery parts of our path. I was also glad I packed the bug repellent too because it was the perfect humid weather for mosquitoes.

The sun poked back through the clouds by the time we made it back to the car. We found a picnic table and ate our packed lunch while watching birds and squirrels in the trees around us. Such a lovely scenic place! Then we were off to Rock House. This trail loop was pretty short but definitely felt more like serious hiking with some steep ups and downs. It was well worth it because we all loved the beautiful sandstone cave.

 

We will definitely be returning soon for a new adventure and to enjoy more of the beautiful things at this amazing park. If you haven’t already, try hiking in Hocking Hills State Park! It’s a wonderful way to spend the day with your family!

BUILDING SKYSCRAPERS AT LEGOLAND

We celebrated our big boy’s 8th birthday this summer. This was one year that we didn’t have to ask over and over again what he would like to do to celebrate. He had planned it out 3-4 months in advance… Legoland! We invited a few of his close friends, along with his two siblings and grandparents, and set out on our latest exciting adventure building skyscrapers at Legoland!

Building Skyscrapers at Legoland

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I’d never visited Legoland before but I was looking forward it. It was a bucket list family outing that we had trouble finding time to actually go and do. Planning it for a birthday celebration was the perfect solution. Upon walking up to Legoland in Schaumburg, IL, you are immediately greeted by a giant giraffe named Lela. You have to walk under her body to enter the building. After getting your tickets, you have the option of standing in front of a green screen and taking a photo that will be available for purchase at the end of your time there or moving on to the first exhibit.

The first exhibit is a small lego version of the city of Chicago that includes Navy Pier with boats and the ferris wheel, skyscrapers, concerts in the park, the Chicago Theatre, construction sites, and more. The kids had a fun time pointing out places they recognized. Just before leaving that area, President Obama makes himself available for family photos and selfie shots (lego-inspired, of course).

At the entrance of the Jungle Expedition, Indiana Jones welcomes you to come explore large life-like tigers, monkeys, hippos, and snakes. It’s a little dark in there, so little ones may need a hand to squeeze. A room with a BIG lego table just begging to be touched and played with is just on the other side of the jungle. Tall building structures take up the middle part of the table while small chairs and hundreds (if not thousands) of lego pieces are supplied to let the imagination run free.

Legoland also has a movie theater with a 4D feature showing for all it’s guests. The movie was about 15-20 minutes, but was pretty entertaining… especially when watching the kids almost jump out of their seats as animals seem to escape the screen. I totally laughed a couple times. lol!

There is an indoor playground complete with climbing tunnels, water play area, and rides! Here is one of the two rides that are at Legoland and what I like about them the most is that parents can get on too! Totally not ashamed. I fully embrace the inner kid in me as often as I’m allowed.  Besides, it was fun! Also in the playground section are snacks and seating if you need a little break.

 

We had a wonderful time building skyscrapers at Legoland.. and watching the cool movie and going on rides and seeing cities built out of legos AND building some awesome structures of our own. Both of my two younger children are already planning their birthday parties at Legoland. I guess we’ll be heading that way again – very soon.

Interested in checking out Legoland for yourself? Visit their Legoland Discovery Center website to find a location near you!