Building Our Story

Friday, May 29, 2015

Family Travel Tips - Sweepstakes from Atlantic Luggage!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Atlantic Luggage for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

We love traveling as a family and currently we have a couple of big countdowns for travel, more on that later, and I have to be pretty boastful I feel like we travel pretty awesome as a family!  Packing and traveling with children can be stressful but there are some tips I would like to share that has made our trips a lot easier as a family of 4.  

Atlantic Luggage wants you all to enjoy some time away too.  Start your countdown now and enter the Sweepstakes from Atlantic Luggage.  You and your family or friends could enjoy some much deserved time away with the Trip to Orlando Florida Sweepstakes   !

visiting Portland 2014

Family Travel Tips:

1.  Documents

Have your paperwork handy and all in one place.  If you are traveling with children make sure you are bringing birth certificates or passports in order to get lap child tickets and verifying ages for tickets.  Print tickets ahead of time in and check in before heading to the airport.  Create a folder that is easy to remove from your bag/carry on that has your itinerary, tickets, hotel information, car rental paperwork and identification information.  This will allow you to feel organized.

2.  Snacks

Bring all the snacks!  Okay, not all of them but bring some portable treats and snacks that will help your children stay way from melt down mode.  Make sure they are mess free, some examples: crackers, cookies, fruit snacks, trail mix, ect.  Also bring a reusable water bottle and keep it empty until through security and fill it with water.  Great for on the go vacations too!

3.  No Wrinkles

Having children to pack for means more luggage but if you are smart on how to pack and use the Atlantic Luggage you will be able to cut down on your suitcases!  Atlantic Luggage is magic - you would be amazed on how much you can pack in the light weight suitcases!  Now, to keep those clothes wrinkle free you have to choose your clothes carefully and roll them in tight paper towel like rolls.  

4.  Entertainment

Bring the portable devices.  Tablets set up to be ready for easy travel with favorite TV shows, movies and even games will help your kiddos settle in for the trip.

5.  Planning is Key

Think it out.  Give your family plenty of time to get your your destination with out stress.  Do not forget to build in time for food and bathroom breaks.  Slow down and enjoy your time with the family and kids.  

Teagan's first airplane ride - fast asleep!  2013

All About Atlantic Luggage:
Atlantic Luggage has been pioneering great luggage since 1919, making family traveling easier with their lightweight, versatile and affordable luggage collections. With a range of varieties in color, style and features, Atlantic Luggage makes packing for family trips easier no matter where the destination.
You will be amazed how much you can fit into each piece, ridding you of the hassle of multiple pieces of luggage to carry or to worry about in the airport. Atlantic Luggage has innovative features such as the Link2Go™ system, which allows you to connect multiple pieces of luggage for easy one handed rolling. Or, their 360-degree 4-Wheel Spinners allows for easy guiding and steering through busy terminals. Atlantic Luggage has thought of it all, taking the struggle out of traveling for the whole family.

Atlantic Luggage wants to make sure we all have the opportunity to get out and enjoy some traveling. Currently they are holding an amazing Sweepstakes that you must take advantage of!  Check out the information below!

Enter Sweepstakes today! 
Fill out the sweepstakes form here.  Trip to Orlando Florida Sweepstakes   

Sweepstakes runs May 15, 2015 – June 15, 2015
Winner will be chosen within 7-10 days following the close of the sweepstakes.
Grand Prize trip must be booked by March 31, 2016 and travel must be completed by June 30, 2016.

Win a family trip for four to Orlando, courtesy of Atlantic Luggage!
The trip includes round-trip airfare for four, 3 nights of hotel stay, four two-day admission passes to 34 of Orlando’s best attractions, $150 spending money and 4 carry-on pieces of Atlantic luggage Total prize value of $4,270.


Pretty amazing sweepstakes to be entering!

If you won the prize who would you take on your adventure?

Visit Sponsors Site

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Introducing Pouch Pal {Review & Giveaway}

Disclosure:  Sponsored post - we received compensation for sharing this product review. 

Baby food pouches have been dominating the baby food scene for the past few years. Parents love them because there’s no need to spoon-feed and they’re easy to toss in the diaper bag. Unfortunately, as most parents know, their darling little angels squeeze those things all over the place. And those caps, colorful as they may be, tend to get lost, leaving parents with a mess waiting to happen.
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There is a brand new product called Pouch Pal that was created by a mom to address all the pitfalls of food pouch feeding. It’s the natural evolution of food pouch feeding. Pouch Pal is the non-squeezable, mess-preventing, cap-keeping, time-saving food pouch case. Simply load a food pouch into a Pouch Pal, and your little one can eat all the contents independently without squeezing it everywhere! The nifty cap-saver space at the bottom of Pouch Pal holds the cap in case the kiddo’s up for round two later. Pouch Pals curves are easy to grasp and foster independence as babies learn to self-feed. This miracle in turquoise fits in a cup holder too.

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Pouch Pal is great for when Baby is in the car, stroller, or shopping cart. It allows you to get all of the benefits of food pouch feeding with no risk of mess! The key to Pouch Pal is its pinch and push technology. The food pouch is loaded so that its sides are pinched in slightly and its bottom is pushed up, which means that no vacuum seals can form. That also means that parents don’t need to constantly roll or readjust the food pouch. 

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This product was invented by a mom for parents everywhere, so that food that would have previously ended up all over the car, carpet, or clothing, gets where it belongs – in babies’ tummies! Pouch Pal is top-rack dishwasher safe, BPA-free, and phthalate-free. 

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Giveaway Time!
The lovely people of Pouch Pal would like to share the love.  Enter the giveaway form below for your chance to win a turquoise Pouch Pal and 5 assorted food pouches.

Rafflecopter Form:

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Snack Out Loud POWER PUFFS and No Melt Downs {Giveaway!}

Disclosure: I was provided with POWER PUFFS and compensation for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

The sun is shinning, well sometimes between all the rain, and we are ready for our summer adventures!  Summer adventures means we need snacks to prevent melt downs!  Over Memorial Day weekend we took a special surprise trip to a local amusement park called Heritage Square in Golden Colorado.  The kids love going to this park because so many of the rides are perfect for their age.  We love it because it wears the kids out and it is affordable!  

As I was packing up our wagon for the trip I knew that with warmth and rides we would need some fuel for the kids, and us, in order to prevent those crazy melt downs.  We are fans of supporting local companies and Snack Out Loud is exactly that.  I love Snack Out Loud's thought process on snacks.  They agree with all of us - we shouldn't feel guilty about enjoying a snack that tastes good!  Snack Out Loud has a new product that is perfect for our family, and yours.  We need snacks and these POWER PUFFS are exactly that - snacks that will prevent those melt downs for everyone!  

Jude and Teagan's favorite ride at this amusement park is the snack roller coaster, I honestly have no idea how many times they went on it.  So much fun - especially for Jeremy! HA!  Memories made!  

"Our POWER PUFFS™ snacks rescue snack time with taste, flavors and nutrition never before seen in snack puffs. Made with navy beans, brown rice and coconut oil, POWER PUFFS snacks deliver protein, fiber and healthy fat that fuel the superhero in all of us. You’ll be amazed at how these mighty puffs conquer even the fiercest snack attack."

After a couple of weeks of crazy amounts of rain and no sun we were all so happy to see blue skies and sunshine.  It is so fun to see Teagan enjoying all the rides this year.  Last year she wasn't tall enough for a lot of the rides but this year she was all over the park!  One happy girl!  

Benefits of POWER PUFFS:
  • 4-5g of protein
  • 4g of fiber 
  • Made with coconut oil
  • Unique flavors never before available in puffs
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten free
  • Peanut free 
  • Corn free 
  • Made using 100% wind power

Snack Size Bag MSRP: $3.49

That smile!  I love it!!  But you guessed it.  That smile faded after awhile of fun on the rides and running around the park.  Once that smile started showing a little melt down flavor I surprised the kiddos with a snack!  PUFFS!  I absolutely love the packaging on these snacks - for any superhero fan you immediately feel like those PUFFS are ready to attack that hunger!  

Snack Loud has 3 flavors of POWER PUFFS - we all had our favorite.  


White Cheddar – Our twist on the classic puff flavor, these irresistibly crunchy, cheddary wonders are flavored with the perfect combination of white cheddar, coconut oil and sea salt that will make the whole family lick their fingers.

Sweet & Tangy BBQ – If you love BBQ flavor, these sweet & tangy delights will surely become your favorite snacking sidekick. They start out sweet, then the mix of mouthwatering paprika, cayenne chili powder and Alderwood smoked sea salt will quickly leave your mouth yearning for more.

Sea Salt & Vinegar – Never before seen in the puffs category, these tingly, sea salty puffs have a bite that will make you say, ‘gimme more!’ They’re packed full of scrumptious flavor that’s just the right balance of sea salt and taste bud-biting vinegar.

Well hello pretty smile!  I personally love the Sea Salt and Vinegar, the kids were all over those cheese puffs and Jeremy ate all of the BBQ!  Hey, they really were the perfect snack.  I love that the kids love them because even though they seem like a sinful crunchy snack they aren't! Instead we were all ready for some more family fun with the help of these protein packed snacks!  

I have to say thank you to Jeremy - he went on so many spinning rides with the kids!  Oy!  Memories made, smiles found and fun had by everyone.  It was a great way to spend the day with the family.  I know that I will be picking up some more Snack Out Loud POWER PUFFS Snacks for our next family adventure this summer.  The kids enjoyed them and I felt good giving them the Puffs!  Yummy!!  

Find your POWER PUFFS now!  Shoppers will find POWER PUFFS snacks merchandised in the snack aisle next to puffed snacks, popcorn, and chips. To find an updated list of stores, visit the Snack Out Loud Bean Locator online.

Make sure you check out my first post all about Snack Out Loud's Crunchy Bean Snacks and my Mozzarella Stick creations too!  

Giveaway Time!
Snack Out Loud wants 3 of my readers to enjoy a 3 pack of these delicious summer perfect POWER PUFFS snacks! Good luck!  

Rafflecopter Form:

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wood Watches By JORD - Father's Day Made Easy #Giveaway

Disclosure:  I was provided with a watch from JORD in return for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

Finding that perfect gift for a dad in your life can be really difficult, whether it is for your kid's father or your own father, you want that gift to be special.  I felt like we had gotten into a rut for Father's Day gifts - you know, the traditional tie, shirt and car parts were kind of getting over used.  I started looking for something that would not only be special but something that would totally surprise Jeremy for Father's Day.  I stumbled across Wood Watches By JORD and I instantly knew this was THE gift.  

JORD is a locally owned company in St. Louis Missouri.  They design/produce real wood watches from sustainable materials from all around the world. One word to describe these watches - beautiful.  I had a really hard time picking out the style for Jeremy because they were all so amazing. These watches are all designed in series.  Each series is carefully thought out by the designers.  JORD doesn't want these watches to just be worn instead they want them used.  I decided to go with the Delmar Series when picking a watch for Jeremy.  

When this package came to my doorstep I was so excited to see it. I knew that the watch was going to be high quality but it blew my mind when I opened it.  First of all the carefully packaged watch comes in it's own wooden case for safe keeping.  The next thing I noticed was the color of the watch.  Like I said, I went with the Delmar series - a series that screams a bold and industrial look.  I was drawn to the dark chocolate wood and the blue face plate.  I felt like this was a watch that could be worn with a suit and tie or sandals and shorts.  Timeless is what I was looking for and it came from JORD.   

My pictures do not do this watch any justice.  The watch is light weight and also splash proof - a must have for a dad!  I was intrigued by the nature of the wood, I am excited to give Jeremy a gift of a watch that no one else has - JORD makes it clear that since each piece is created from natural wood, the grain of the wood and even color will vary.  

JORD wants everyone, men and women, to enjoy these watches.  They are priced perfectly.  JORD does the work for you too.  You can measure the wrist of the receiver and they will size the watch to your measurements.  NICE!  

I have a feeling that this watch is going to have people asking Jeremy about his JORD.  I am so happy that we will be getting out of our Father's Day gift rut and give Jeremy this timeless, beauty of a watch on a day that is all about him!  

Make sure you follow JORD on social media for updates on the Wooden Watch Series:


Now, because the lovely people at JORD want to make Father's Day even better for those deserving dads, they are offering one of my readers the chance to win a $139.00 JORD gift certificate!!  Yes!  All you have to do is enter the giveaway on the rafflecopter below.  Good luck!!

Rafflecopter Form:

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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Selection Series - Book Review

The Selection Series:
  • The Selection
  • The Elite
  • The One

The Selection Series - Book Review.  The Selection Series by Kiera Cass, Kiera Cass Author, The One, The Elite

I really should be embarrassed about the time it took me to read all three of these books, but I am not.  Thanks to Kiera Cass I am actually moving towards my 2015 reading goal.  When I was invited to read the first book of the The Selection Series I was really excited.  The moment I picked it up I was hooked.  

I immediately bought the second book The Elite and ran through that one and grudgingly had to wait five days before the third book The One was released!  Guess what, I read The One just as fast.  I love reading Young Adult literature.  There is something fun about it, relaxing and easy.  Makes reading fun.  The way it should!

My review:  

The Selection Series was set 300 years in the future.  I am not a "in the future" kind of reader but that is what was great about these books, it wasn't too over the top.  Kiera Cass is a great writer and let's us into the world of the castes of Iliea.  I felt myself feeling like this series was The Bachelor with a mix of The Hunger Games.  Hey, I like both of those so that must be why I was hooked.   

America is the main character in the first two books and we see her make her way through the selection but also see her blossom into a great woman who wants to make changes in her kingdom even before she is in control.  

So, who should read these books?  Anyone who wants a great summer beach read.  Seriously, these will keep you totally in vacation mode all summer long, although it will not take you all summer to read these.  I am so ready for book four!  Bring it Kiera! 

I have also heard that there is a movie in the works, once you read about the beautiful dresses in this book you will probably be just as excited to see the fashion on the big screen!   

I am proud to say that my goal of 5 books in 2015 is up to 3!  Woohoo!  Look, I know that goal is tiny but things are busy!  Ha!

Have you read any of The Selection Series? 

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Make Bath Time Comfortable For Everyone

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sterling for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I honestly never really thoughts about the design of our bathroom being not bath friendly until we had kids.  Currently, we have a tub with a shower curtain, sure it looks great but really the moment bath time is over we are mopping up water and bubbles from the bath time fun.  

I started doing some research on possibly replacing our shower curtain with an actual shower door but when I said something to my mom she told me the pains she suffered when I was a kid during bath time from her shower door.  That is when I stumbled on the new Sterling shower doors with ComforTrack technology . I immediately showed my mom and her response was just like you would expect - "why didn't they have that when I needed it!"

I know the pain that my mom was referring too.  Those metal tracks digging into your arms!  OUCH!!  The Sterling Prevail sliding door is one of a kind that happens to be available for a tub or a shower set up.  It has a flexible track, which is comfortable, easy to clean, and a smart addition to any showering space.

Our bath time routine for Jude and Teagan is pretty fun and easy.  We are so lucky to have kids that love bath time so we have not had struggles but we do end up with a ton of water on the tile after the fun which is why the idea of adding one of these amazing sliding doors is on our list!

Bath time should be a comfortable experience for everyone.  I love sitting on the tub and playing with the kids, especially when we get the bath crayons out.  So fun to see the creativity. When we started considering the addition of a sliding door I wondered how this would work.  But now that I have found the Sterling Prevail Shower Door I am sold.  Keep the water and bubbles in the tub but still have a fun bath time with the kiddos!!

I am excited to move towards installing one of these in our bathroom soon! Great for bathing kids, washing dogs, lolling in the bath with your feet up, and easy cleaning of the tub and shower with out the pain of the metal tracks.  

How do you make sure to have a comfortable bath time for everyone?

Visit Sponsors Site

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Youfit - It's Where Youfit In!

Youfit Health clubs, youfit gyms, youfit, friendly gym, working out, YouFit

The moment you walk into a new gym you either feel excited or totally out of place.  If you have had the pleasure of walking into a Youfit Health Club I am sure you instantly felt like you fit in!  Recently, I saw this bright new gym open up just down the street from our house.  From the outside I could tell that this gym was different than others.  The Green and Purple decor literally invite you in and make you feel like you CAN do this work out and you WILL do this work out.  

Youfit Health clubs, youfit gyms, youfit, friendly gym, working out, YouFit

The logo on the wall at the Thornton Youfit says it all.  Youfit. It's where Youfit in!  Yes!  A place that has a lot of members that are first time gym goers, a place with fantastic equipment for all levels and a place that you can feel comfortable no matter what your goals are.  I am really lucky that I have a Youfit less than a mile away from my house - have you looked to see where your closest Youfit is?
Youfit Health Club was founded in 2008 by Rick Berks with the philosophy that fitness clubs should be welcoming, not intimidating. From my experience at the Thornton Youfit, his vision is working. Seven years later, the company opened it's 100th location in April in North Providence, Rhode Island! Wow!  That means you must have one close to you too!

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I have a special love for the elliptical machine - and by love I mean I hate you!!  Okay, not really.  I really feel like the elliptical machines really get my body a fantastic all over work out.  The moment I stepped on these ARC Trainer machines with my own personal fan and TV I was in for a great work out!   Youfit Health Clubs offer brand-new weight training and cardio equipment and this elliptical machine is fancy and new!  Love it or hate it in the morning!

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With summer just around the corner I think we are all focusing on those summer fashions and making sure we are feeling our best once the sun hits.  If you are like me, you really feel like you need an extra 2 hours in the day for that extra sleep and work out time.  Youfit understands that.  The hours that this gym is open is perfect for any schedule, not to mention the great Youfit Express Circuit option.  Each club has their own 30 minute express circuit that challenges all areas of your body in a circuit in just 30 minutes!  That means you can easily fit in a work out on those busy days!  Such a great option before you head to work or before dinner.  Time for the focus to change, take time for you - even if it is just 30 minutes.    

One fun tip - for those of you that really want to do weights but aren't that familiar with them you can do it at Youfit no problem!  The Purple and Green is also a color code for the weight machines.  At my gym the purple indicates the machines that are for arms and the green indicates the machines that are for legs.  So switch it up.  Leg day = green and Arm day = purple!  Easy!

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Stop those coffee house runs and invest 10 dollars a month for you at Youfit.  For just $10.00 a month you can have a health club just for you.  The company’s clubs cater to everyday people who simply want to be fit, their way.  So really, this club is for everyone!  That's you!

Need a little help getting started?  YouCoaches are here for you.  Whether you're just getting started or need help getting back on track, our personal trainers are here to help.  A YouCoach can help keep you motivated, provide advice to target problem areas and help you reach your goals.  Such an awesome opportunity.  My YouCoach took me on a great tour of the gym too before I started my first work out.  He showed me around and answered all my questions.  Great experience!

Youfit Health clubs, youfit gyms, youfit, friendly gym, working out, YouFit

Looks great right?  I love this place.  I walk in feeling ready for a great work out and I leave feeling strong and proud of my accomplishments.  Youfit prides themselves on being the health club for everyone but also in being GREEN!  Youfit strives to be the “greenest” gym in America by being dedicated to using recycled materials in its clubs.  The floors are made of recycled tires or Nike “grind” (recycled sneakers) and the heating, cooling, water and power systems are all energy-efficient!  I must say, some of the features are top of the line and make the clubs look so fresh and clean.  

So now what?  How about you start following Youfit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to start.  I promise you will love the interactions and tips for the healthy new YOU!  I am really enjoying finding inspiration and tips on the Youfit Blog Youniverse

Do you have a Youfit Health Club near you?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Youfit.

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