Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Leaving Kids Behind...

When we went to Hawaii we had to leave 3 of our 4 kids with loved ones. Of course this is the longest I have ever left any of my kids behind. I was so worried. I typed up every little thing about each kids favorites, foods, and routines. I was mostly worried about my 2 year old. What would my kids do with out me for a whole week?
Turns out it was more like what will I do with out my kids for a whole week?! Everything we did I couldn't help but think how my kids would love it. They were just fine with out mom. Now there were a few things I did to make this a lot easier, besides leaving them with family that I trust completely.
I wrapped presents for each kid for each day I was gone. I labeled each one for each kid and each day of the week. Of course they had little reminders about being good on them. Granted I bought all the items at the dollar store. Some of them were a package of 6 bubbles for a dollar wrapped individually for each kid.

The kids loved them! The "sitter" had to set a time each day to open them, otherwise they tried to get into them first thing each morning. I had in my mind that they would get opened at a time of desperation each day, but it worked out better this way.
The kids really enjoyed having something special from their mom and dad every day, and the "sitter" appreciated something that was time consuming.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Yummiest Giveaway Yet

Of all my giveaways this is by at the yummiest one yet! I love Thrive and am looking forward to using there products more and more in the future.

The winner for the freeze dried strawberries is....
# 200 Jenalen Olsen "Thanks for the giveaway!"

Congratulations! I have sent you an email so be sure to respond with in 48 hours to receive your yummy winnings.

Make sure to contact Heidi for all your freeze dried foods or food storage needs.  Not only is she extremely helpful she can show you in the most cost effective options. Make sure you have like her Facebook page to know when her classes, tips or giveaways are.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Surf's Up

My husband couldn't wait to get his surf on when we were in Hawaii. We have wanted to go to Hawaii and go surfing since we were engaged over 9 years ago. Not to mention he has made me watch North Shore more times than I want to admit. At first we had just planned on surfing in Kauai. Since we had some "free time" while on Oahu one morning we couldn't pass up the chance to surf the North Shore!

We went to Haleiwa to rent some boards. It was a little overcast with random rain bursts (typical for Hawaii) but nice for surfing. My husband says any day for surfing is a nice day. I was worried the waves would be too big, but they were quite the opposite. We were where there was lots of reef breaks, and small crests.

My favorite part was the turtles. I just laid on my board and paddled around while watching turtles pop up around me. It was so cool!
Then we went surfing again while in Kauai. rented some boards and went to Poipu beach. These waves were WAY more powerful. Lots of reef, so you have to be careful where you go out and drift too. The waves were stronger than anything I have ever felt before. Sometimes with the water just past my ankles it would knock me on my butt! My husband obviously got a lot more surfing in than me ;) I would go out for a bit, then slowly catch some waves in. Then after catching my breath for a bit try to go out with him again.
My husband has sacrificed so much for me and my family, including his passion for surfing. He always does what his family wants to do with no complaints. It was so nice to sit on the beach and just watch him in his element. It was like riding a bike for him. I wish we would have had more time for him to surf. Next time we want to just rent a bungalow and spend all our time on the beach.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Traveling on an airplane with kids

If your about to travel with kids in a plane make sure you're ready. Sometimes stressing over the plane ride lasts longer than the actual plane ride. Being prepared can help. It won't smooth out all the wrinkles, but at least you'll have an iron and ironing board ready to go. (Yes that's one of my husband lovely analogies).

1. Start out by making sure to read the fine print. Know what the policies are for liquids, baggage, carry on, and so on. All to often we assume or remember the last time we flew. Things change often as do policies from one airlines to another.

2. Plan ahead. Hopefully we are all familiar with the liquids policies. Less than 3 oz, in a ziplock bag, and has to come out of your bag for security check. Make sure you place things like this, your laptop, etc. at the top of your bag. I also always bring an empty water bottle. That way I can fill it up for free after I pass security.

In line to go through security.

3. Anytime someone asks me for advice on flying with kids I remind them about going through security. This sometimes stresses me out more than the actually flying part. You have to take off your shoes, belt, and jacket. All while holding a baby, taking down your stroller, pulling out liquids and your laptop, and trying to avoid the unfortunate pat down. Here are a few security tips:

   A. Make sure that all loose things in your pockets or stroller are in a bag of some kind. This prevents forgotten things from prior adventures, or things falling out when folding up your stroller.

   B. Make sure all baby food is in it's own separate ziplock bag, and that you take them out for security. If the baby food is less than 3.4 oz (like the half size plastic ones) than you should be OK. If you are taking the regular size baby food jars they are allowed in "reasonable quantities." They may require one parent to have a pat down as well if they can't or don't check all the baby food as a "threat."

   C. I also make sure I empty my pockets into my bag before going through as well. Usually as I leave my house for the airport I put all the last minute things in my pockets. 

  D. Make sure to arrive early enough that you don't feel rushed through. Especially with kids or if all of a sudden you have a huge long security line.

4. Kids love new things. I highly recommend a trip to your local dollar store before any kind of travel. Kids are always entertained longer with things they have never seen before. New coloring books and cool crayons are great. I am sure browsing around you will find plenty of cheap cool things to get. You can even wrap them up to make it more intriguing for the kids. Especially for longer flights. They could open a present for every hour while traveling.

5.When we flew I was very apprehensive to fly the 6 hour red eye with a 7 month old. I wanted to buy enough ear plugs with some treats for everyone on the plane. I know some people have done this and I think it warms some people up to being more tolerant. I thought it was cute. Then my husband reminded me that our daughter was a passenger on the plane with a right to cry. As unfortunate as it may be, it's not the end of the world. Whether you want to take the compassionate road or the tolerance road, that's your choice. (As a side note, my baby did great! Hardly made a peep, and I saved all that money, and should have saved the stress as well).

Bonus-  Don't forget to bring earphones, especially for longer plane rides. At first I thought I was being more smart by bringing smaller more compact ear buds. A 6 hour flight with complementary movies sounds really nice, till your ears hurt from ear buds being in them too long. Make sure you look at the length of your flight when deciding whether to bring headphones or earphones. Short flights you may not even need them at all.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Love Zupas!

I will never forget the first time I ate at Café Zupas. It was a magical and addicting moment. A place with yummy and healthy food? How did I not know about this place sooner? That was when they only had 2 places open. Now they have over 19! One of which is opening this weekend. I was invited to join there new store in a VIP dinner party. Being thrilled to receive an invitation is an understatement.

My husband and I went and tried 1 of their 3 new items on the menu. They have a Mediterranean turkey sandwich, pistachio crème brule, and a pomegranate spinach salad that looks refreshing! We tried there pistachio crème brule, which is delicious. It has that nice creamy subtle pistachio flavor with some berries on top for some sweet bursts. I loved it. If you want to try it this Thursday through Saturday, July 11th-13th, at their new West Valley location they are giving free dessert with every dine in meal.
I loved their nice large seating of their new store. Lots of room for sitting. Plus their new menu is big, bright, and has pictures of the food. They are 1 of 3 stores with a window into the kitchen. This way you can see there are no microwaves and may even be lucky enough to watch the chefs prepare the food, if you get there early enough ;) Go visit there new location at 2927 South 5600 West, West Valley City, UT   this Saturday the 13th for lots of fun festivities. If you are feeling lucky here is some of what they have planned:


It’s no celebration without dessert! You’ll receive one free dessert with every meal purchase (must dine-in to be eligible).

    Come early and claim your place in line. The first 50 people will get their entire food purchase at 50% off!

    Yes- you read that right! Every customer that comes through our line will be entered to win free food for an entire year (a $520 Cafe Zupas gift certificate)! That’s enough to eat at Cafe Zupas every week for a year!

    In addition to our drawing for a year, we’ll also be giving away a $25 gift card every 15 minutes! When you order your food, you will become part of a drawing that will take place every 15-minutes. While you sit back, relax, and enjoy your food, we’ll announce the winners for your group!

  • Not sure what to try? I have a hard time choosing myself. My favorite soup is also their number 2 most sold soup, and that is the tomato basil. I have always loved tomato soup. I have had my fair share of tomato soups from several places, and hands down they have the best. However, their #1 most sold soup is the chicken enchilada soup. It is so rich and full of flavor, I recommend at least tasting it next time your in line. Simply because they let you do that. That's right, they let you sample the soups.
    My husband with his favorite- Lobster Bisque

    Café Zupas is my favorite place to eat. I know I am always getting healthy fresh food, that fills any craving! If you can't make their grand opening in West Valley don't sweat it! They have several locations all over Utah, and also in Arizona and Nevada! Be sure to follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date on what great deals and promotions they have.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated with Thrive Life

    I was excited to sit down with Heidi and talk about Thrive Life, which was once Shelf Reliance. I love their new name and the way they have branded their products. Each letter in thrive has a different color that goes with a color coded category. As a person who loves to organize and loves smart marketing schemes I love this part. Thrive has over a 100 different products to purchase.
    Thrive life is a great source for emergency preparedness products. One of the main things I spoke to Heidi about is there freeze dried foods. Not only meant for emergencies, but for every day use.
    How is freeze drying different than dehydrating?
    Dehydrating is done at a very high temperature and takes a long time. Not only does the product shrink in size, but loses nutrients.
    Freeze drying happens within hours of being picked and happens quickly. Freeze drying not only locks in the nutritional value but the flavor, size and color. Because they stay the same size, it makes it nice when adding freeze dried food to a recipe. Freeze drying removes more water than dehydrating giving the food a longer shelf life. Most Thrive  products last 25 years unopened, and average 1 year after being opened. They even have a place for you to write when you opened it. That way you don't question if it's still good and you know how long you family goes through it.

    One product I was intrigued by was their spices. I was always told that spices don't have a long shelf life. I love and use cilantro and basil a lot. The idea of it lasting 25 years unopened and 1 year opened is very appealing. A must have for my food storage.
    On top of all the basics Thrive has sauces and express meals. The shelf life of the express meals and mother sauces are 10 years. I love the idea of quick meals and soups. I always like to have quick meals for days I'm not in the mood to cook, or haven't gone shopping.
    They have so much to offer for people building their food storage. I asked Heidi where she recommends starting.
    1- Top 10 meals.
    Make a list of the 10 things you cook the most and start there. Buy the ingredients for those meals first. Either splurge and buy all 10 meals worth of food or start with just what is needed for 1 meal.
    2- The Q.
    Thrive has a great way to get what you need little by little. Just like your Netflix Queue you make a list of what you want and need. You can customize your Q in several ways. Then you set a monthly budget, and receive items from your Q right at your door.  Rachel from recommends taking the money you save from price matching and using it towards building your food storage supply.
    3- Host a party.
    If you host a show you get all kinds of deals and products.
    Heidi (Thrive Life Consultant) & Jennifer (Queen of Chaos)
    Needless to say Thrive Life has countless products and yummy foods for you. They also offer free cooking shows and a testing room at their warehouse. This was the yummy part. I got to try so many different foods. I can see how versatile many of the foods are. The fruits were one of my favorites. Heidi gave me some pineapple to take home and share with my family. They are too yummy to share with the kids, they are hidden in my secret stash.  I also love the yogurt bites. I am ordering some for the next car ride to snack on for sure!
    I highly suggest getting in touch with Heidi to learn more about what Thrive has to offer you. Not only are Thrive's products cheaper if you go through a consultant, but she can help you get the most out of your products. She sometimes has giveaways and free classes of her own so make sure to  follow her websiteblog, pinterest, facebook or twitter.
    I just scratched the surface of what intrigued me personally the most about Thrive. I am sure as I use and love their products more I can share more in the future. Make sure to get in touch with Heidi for a more in depth conversation of what she and thrive has to offer.
    If nothing else let your mouth water as you go through their yummy catalog.
    Heidi has donated a  pantry can of freeze-dried sliced strawberries to give away. Use the rafflecopter below for your chance to win. When the giveaway ends the winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email, or I will have to pick a new winner. I hate having to pick a new winner, so make sure you respond to my email.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway