Thursday, April 7, 2016

LEGOLAND Florida Adventure

This year on spring break, my family had the pleasure of visiting the LEGOLAND Florida Resort.  We had rented a house in Kissimmee, so it was about a 40 minute drive for us to the park.  We found LEGOLAND a little more reasonably priced versus other Orlando area theme parks.  Tickets at the gate are $89 for adults and $82 for kids ages 3-12.  They offer online discounts, but my insider tip is, if you plan on visiting, plan on subscribing to the LEGO Club Magazine.  There are coupons in there for buy an adult admission, get one free child’s admission.  We were able to get 2 free child’s admissions with these coupons (yes they let me use two).  We only purchased one day admission tickets and only visited the theme park, not the water park.

From my experience, I really think the park is geared for kids 10 and under.  To be honest, my 10 year old was a bit bored with park.  He has ridden much larger rides, so there was not a whole lot of rides to entertain him.  He did enjoy The Dragon, Merlin’s Challenge, Lost Kingdom Adventure, Mia’s Riding Adventure, and The Quest for CHI.  He went on the Ford Driving School, but that was way too slow for him (he is used to Go-Carts).

My 3 year old and 7 year old enjoyed the park a bit more.  They were able to ride the rides in the DUPLO area as well as other areas of the park.  The highlight was The Grand Carousel since it has two stories, however we never made it up to the second story since it was limited on the number of horses on that level. 

We did walk the entire park, but were not able to get on as many rides we wanted to near the back of the park.  The other coasters all had a 90 minute wait and two were broken down when we were there.  The other line queues seemed to move well with less than a 30 minute wait. 

Another favorite part of the park was MINILAND USA.  This was the section that had mini cities built from LEGOS.  We were able to see NYC, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and more.  The details were amazing and it was a nice break to walk through this area and view all of the creations. 

Finally, I must say the food prices were very reasonable.  When we ate lunch, we were able to get a kids cheeseburger meal which included fries, fruit pouch and drink for only $6 each!   They also had the ability to buy refillable frozen slushy drinks which are always a hit with my kids. 

We definitely enjoyed our visit and I took a lot of photos at the park.  I definitely recommend this park if you have kids 10 and under.  I do hesitate on bringing older kids, because there is not a lot for them to do or ride on that would keep their attention.  I’m not sure if we would go again since my boys are 7 and 10 now.  The next opportunity we may have, they are just going to be too old for it.  I am certainly glad we went this time though!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Renuzit Sensitive Scents - A Review and Giveaway

I recently had the opportunity to try out new Renuzit Sensitive Scents.  Each scent has been formulated and lab-tested to ensure effective, long-lasting, and pleasing scents without overpowering sensitive noses.  We used ours in our bathrooms.

Personally for me, I do not like the smell of certain air fresheners.  I prefer ones that cover the odor in a more neutral scent.  I suffer from migraines, so often scents are a trigger for me and my migraines.  These new Sensitive Scents were a perfect balance for me and my family.  Renuzit Sensitive Scents come in adjustable cones, universal scented oils, and a trigger spray.  Scents that are available are Pure Water Blossom and Cucumber, Pure Ocean Breeze and Pure White Pear and Lavender.

One luckily Spend Less 2 Save More reader will win 2 free product coupons, enter below!

The Renuzit brand provided me with samples of Renuzit Sensitive Scents in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed are my own. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Broccoli Cheese Soup - Easy, Fast, Kid Approved

This recipe is so quick, easy and delicious!  It is perfect on a cold night with little time to get dinner together!

2 + 4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 can chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
1/2 onion diced
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste.
2 cups shredded cheddar

1.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan.  Add onions and saute until clear.  Set aside.
2.  In stock pot on medium heat, melt remaining butter.
3.  Add flour to melted butter and still to combine.
4.  Whisk in 2 cans of chicken broth.
5.  Once combined, whisk in milk.
6.  Add spices and stir to combine.
7.  Cook on medium high until it begins to bubble.
8.  Add cooked onions and broccoli.
9.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
10.  Stir in shredded cheese.
11.  Serve!  You can also top with extra cheese!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Top Ten Most Frugal Things I Do

I have to laugh at this post because I thought a more appropriate title may be “The Top Ten Ways I Annoy My Husband”.  I always say I am frugal in select ways so that we can spend more money on other things we love to do.  With that being said, some of my frugal ways annoy my husband so much and all I can do is laugh, and say I’m saving money so we can spend it on something better! 

1.        I get every last drop out of every condiment bottle possible.  My favorite is the ketchup bottle and I blame my Mom for this because she does it all of the time!  You will often see a ketchup bottle turned upside down on a new bottle to ensure I got it all out! 

2.       For shampoo and soap bottles, I like to also use every last drop!  I often rinse these out in the sink and use the water to wash my intimates (especially bras).  Is this wrong?  I haven’t a clue, I had read somewhere that using shampoo is the same as using a delicate detergent?  Don’t quote me on that!

3.       I’m a Facebook garage sale site junkie.  I will try and sell anything possible on those sites.  I do keep track of my monthly sales to see just how much I sell every month.

4.       I reuse shopping bags to hold trash in all of the bathroom garbage cans and our recycle cans.  I do not buy garbage bags for these receptacles.  I call this one, saving the environment.  However, I refuse to throw out any shopping bags and my storage area (top of the basement steps) is often exploding with bags waiting to be used (oh yeah, this annoys my husband)!

5.       I pack my work lunches at least 4 days a week.  When you think about how much you can spend on lunch a day ($5-$10), this is a savings of over $900 a year!  I normally grab leftovers out of the Friday or buy a bag of salad that lasts me 2-3 days. 

6.       We normally only eat out as a family one day per week.  I would cut it down to less, but my husband does not let me know.  It frustrates me that I know I can make dinner for about $10 at home and a normal sit down restaurant will cost this family of 5 between $40 - $50 with a tip (and a 10 year old who also eats an adult meal). 

7.       If I shop online at stores that are local to me (Kohl’s, Target, Old Navy, etc), I will add extra items to my cart just to get free shipping.  I then normally return items to the store that I do not want. 

8.       I trade in clothes to local kids resale shops and then use the store credit to buy new clothes for my daughter.  Normally if you choose store credit, the store will give you a percentage more than if you took the cash.  I just completed a transaction this weekend, they were offering me $18 cash or $26 store credit.  I took the store credit and got my daughter two outfits, two dresses, and a top (all pink of course)!

9.       I wash straws. Yes sometimes I do.  You know kids sometimes they take one sip out of a straw and then they are done.  I wash them and reuse them.

10.   I reuse dryer sheets on laundry day (or I cut them in half).  I only use the laundry sheets to reduce the static, I could care less about the scent.  I find they are good for 3-4 loads of laundry.  You do have to find them in the previous load, but hey it is worth the effort.  If my husband does the laundry and I fold it, I’ll pull out those sheets too for the next time I do laundry!

There you have it!  My next list will have to be the top ten things I splurge on, that should be fun!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Seventh Generation 4X Ultra Concentrated Natural Laundry Detergent Review

Recently, I was able to test out Seventh Generation 4X Ultra Concentrated Natural Laundry Detergent at our house.  I received samples of the free and clear detergent from Seventh Generation to try in our daily laundry routine.  We have five people in our house, so normally we do 1-2 loads of laundry a day and just when you think you are caught up.... Think again!

Seventh Generation's mission is "To inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generation."  For 27 years they have been creating powerful plant-based solutions for your home & family.   Not only do their products work, they are concerned about the future of our planet for our kids and their families.  Seventh Generation's laundry products contain no dyes or fragrances.  They also strive to use 100% post-consumer recycled bottles for their packaging.   

My daughter has sensitive skin so I normally choose a free and clear variety of laundry detergent.  When using the Seventh Generation 4X Ultra Concentrated Natural Laundry Detergent in her laundry, her clothes came out clean and smelling fresh.  The clothes also did not irritate her sensitive skin.  I definitely recommend this laundry detergent for everyday use in your household.  I have an HE washing machine and had no issues.

Check out Seventh Generation's full line of products online at their website.

I received free samples for an honest review of the product.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

It Takes A Village (or Really Nice Neighbors) To Raise A Child

There are always those times when you have children that you need an extra hand. Whether it be a "date night" babysitter, an item of clothing to borrow for the school play, or some spice to finish baking that dessert! When we moved to our current neighborhood over 8 years ago (yes, 8 years, this is a miracle for us), we not only found a home we love, but also neighbors and friends always willing to help us out in a pinch!

I needed to share this story in the hopes that others have found the same type of community we have found. The type of neighbors that are willing to help you out as are you willing to help you out. The kind of person you can text or call in a pinch and they come through for you! I am so glad we have that in our neighborhood and it is one of the top reasons why we always consider not moving again. It is the fear of the unknown. Will our kids find other kids that they are able to play with all day on a Sunday? Will we find neighbors that watch our house for us when we are on vacation? Will be find good people that will run over and let our dogs out when we are gone all day? We just don't know, but we know we love our house and our neighborhood.

This week we had a bus incident where my parents were suppose to be at our house to get our youngest off the bus. They have done an EXCELLENT job this year and are NEVER late! Well, its cold, its been snowing and I was at work 45 minutes away when I got the call from the "bus garage" as my phone said. The bus was at my house and my parents were not. I tried to call them and the phone went to voicemail. Of course, my 70+ year old parents don't always remember to keep their phones on!

 I was in panic mode and quickly texted a neighbor, who instantly responded however she was also at work. She then texted another neighbor in which I then got in contact with quickly. This amazing lady, whom I am not direct friends with but only met a couple of times, got in her car and drove down the street to my house. Luckily my parents and then bus were there! What an amazing lady and I am incredibly grateful for her kindness and unselfishness to help someone in need!

I hope you all find this type of community we have found and I hope you are able to have this type of support! It really is challenging to raise kids and sometimes when they don't want to leave their basketball games with friends to run an errand, its really nice to have a neighbor say, "just go, I'll watch them".

Friday, January 1, 2016

Goals For 2016

Happy New Year!  For 2016, I am making only a few simple goals.  2015 was a challenging year for myself and our family regarding some developmental issues for our daughter.  She's on the right track now which is such a blessing.  I want to enjoy 2016 more and I think my simple goals will make it happen!

1.  Declutter - constantly, get rid of stuff we do not need in our house and lives!

2.  Experiences Over Things - I'm tired of things ruling our life, our family needs to have more fun and rely on less new things!

3.  Give More - we are so incredibly blessed and while we donate a lot of items and money, I need to look at more opportunities to give back and perhaps find some ways to volunteer more of our time.

4.  Kick That Student Loan Out of Here - 2016 is the year, my husband's Master degree student loan is getting paid off, END OF STORY!

5.  Serious Job Decision - this is specifically for me.  I made a goal that I would make a change for my full-time job in 2016

That's it!  Plain and simple!

Hope You Have a Wonderful New Year!