Building Our Story

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!

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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.  

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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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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Surprising Foods You Can Grill

The weather is changing, grilling season is here!  Time to keep that oven off and use the outdoor grill as much as you can.  We have become more daring with items we grill and I love it.  I cannot wait to try some other snacks, apps and meals this way soon.  

Surprising Foods You Can Grill, grilled watermelon, grilled pineapple, grilled peaches, grilled bananas, grilled corn on the cob, grilled avocados, grilled artichokes, grilled lettuce, grilled pizza, recipes for the grill,

Check out these deliciously surprising foods you can grill!

Grilled Pizza from Building Our Story

Grilled Artichokes from Fresh Tastes Blog

Grilled Peaches with Honey Maple Mascarpone Cheese from Joyful Healthy Eats 

Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cobb from The Cookie Rookie

Honey Glazed Watermelon from Sugarlaws 

Grilled Caesar Salad from Soffia Wardy

Grilled Pineapple from SkinnyTaste

Black Bean Salsa stuffed Grilled Avocados from Building Our Story

Grilled Chocolate Banana Melts from Tablespoon

Do you have a unique recipe or food item that you love to cook on the grill?

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

3 Ways to Show Your Support this Memorial Day

3 Ways to Show Your Support this Memorial Day

Memorial Day may mean a day off of work and an excuse to get out the grill, but if you are taking the time to celebrate Memorial Day, it’s important that you don’t forget to celebrate the soldiers who should be honored. Here are some fun and easy ways to make sure that you are giving back to soldiers in your community this Memorial Day.

Use Your BBQ as a Charity Event
If you are planning a cookout, potluck, or BBQ for Memorial Day, make it an excuse to raise awareness for soldiers’ causes and to raise money for donation. Here are a few ideas for organizations that collect for soldiers and their families:
  • This organization works to build and restore homes for veterans and their families. According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, on any given night in 2013, there were 57,849 veterans living on the streets. Securing and keeping housing proves to be a huge challenge for many soldiers returning home from duty,
  • Collects money for families of deployed soldiers to help them pay for necessary items like vehicles, clothing, and housing.
  • Donate Frequent Flyer Miles to soldiers so they can visit their families during their R&R periods.

Raise money by setting up collection bowls around the party: on the buffet table, by the couches, even in the restroom. Post explanatory signs about the cause you are supporting and maybe even print photos and stories of families who have been helped by those causes. Other ideas might include:
  • Ask friends with local businesses to donate their goods or services for a raffle. For example, if your neighbor is a baker, she could donate a cake to be raffled. If your friend is an artist, maybe he could donate a painting for the raffle. Hold a silent auction with proceeds for your cause.
  • Set up money raising games for those who want to participate. For example, you could stage a poker match with all proceeds for the charity.
Organize an Event to Benefit Soldiers in Your Community
If you would like to do something a bit more personal this Memorial Day, organize your friends and family to participate in an activity to benefit the soldiers and veterans in your community. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Give your time at a local veteran’s home or a home that caters largely to a veteran and soldier community. Pick up trash on their street, perform repairs around the house, offer to bring over baked goods or a casserole, or just organize your family and friends to pay a visit to socialize. You can put on a fun event like a little concert with some local kids or if you have a particular skill, you could teach an art class or yoga class for free for the veterans. To get into the spirit of Memorial Day and keep the event fun and silly, have your volunteers dress up in fun clothes like an American Flag Tank Top or flag shorts for the day.
  • If you have veterans or families of deployed soldiers in your neighborhood, pay extra special attention to their needs on Memorial Day. If you know that they are in need or have been going through any hard times lately, organize a collection in the neighborhood to help them with their expenses or offer to give them a hand with things like home or car repair. They’re also likely to appreciate a social call if you just want to swing by to thank them for their service! Come over with a baked good and coffee to brighten up their day or invite them to your cookout. Even if you do not know these neighbors well, they are likely to appreciate your consideration on Memorial Day!
Arrange for a Public Memorial
Try to get permission to organize a memorial event at the park or a local school. You could organize a baseball game as a fundraising event for a cause at the elementary school, or you could set up a temporary installation in the park like a memorial wall for fallen soldiers. Of course, for something like this, you will need to plan ahead and get approval and cooperation from the school or park administrators.

If you can’t get permission or you don’t have time to coordinate such a large project, turn your house into a makeshift memorial. Decorate your fence or trees with yellow ribbons. Collect wreaths or flowers for your front porch or front gate as a memorial. Plant a garden in their honor. Print out and post pictures of soldiers who have passed away, especially if they are from your local community. Hang flags from your windows and hang paper stars from your tree or roof overhang.

Memorialize Every Day!
Use Memorial Day to raise awareness about the reality of the situations for veterans and their families all over the country. Now, make it a regular part of your week to give back to your local veterans, national veterans’ causes, and to give aid where aid is needed throughout the year!

How do you plan on spending your Memorial Day?

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Monday, May 18, 2015

We Run On Dunkin' - Saturday Morning Fun! #Giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.  

There is something about a trip to the donut shop as a child.  I distinctly remember going to the donut shop with my grandmother when I was young, she would always let me pick out my very own and then she would fill up a box for all of our family on special occasions.  Such a special memory. 

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Recently, Denver has welcomed the well known Dunkin' Donuts to the area - hooray!!  We love having breakfast out on Saturday mornings as a family but with the addition of soccer for Jude that has not happened much for the last year or so.  Well, mother nature must have known we all needed a little treat because one Saturday last month the rain was crazy and soccer was cancelled.  We took that as an opportunity to head to our local Dunkin' Donuts shop for a donut treat for the kids and some much needed coffee for us.  
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I need coffee - seriously, NEED!  I love Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and while we do have a location relatively close to our house it isn't on my way into work so I do not get to enjoy it that often.  What treat on a rainy Saturday morning for our family.   If I had a choice I would drink Dunkin' Donuts coffee every day, I remember when I first tried my first DD coffee and I was hooked!   Yum!  

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The kids loved picking out their own donuts for a yummy breakfast treat.  Teagan went with a vanilla glazed with heart sprinkles!  

Jeremy enjoyed one of the many breakfast sandwiches for his breakfast.  I stole a bite of the bagel, egg, sausage and cheese sandwich and it was so good!  While I know I couldn't pass on my favorite donut on our next visit, I might have to so I can have one of those sandwiches to myself!  So good!

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Jude went for the well known Strawberry with sprinkles donut!!  So good!!  Perfect for kids and adults!  This kid was so excited when he saw that glazed donut.  

I went for my usual.  A large (give me all the coffee) Dunkin' Donuts Vanilla Latte and my favorite donut - glazed cruller. This is the donut I would pick when I went to the donut shop with my grandmother.  Oh memories.  It was such a fun morning at our Denver Dunkin' Donuts filled with delicious coffee, amazing donuts and fun family memories on our rainy Saturday.  While we love the life of a soccer family, this little break was perfect and much needed.  

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Dunkin' Donuts Denver knows that you all deserve a little break filled with coffee and donuts.  One of my lucky readers will get the chance to enjoy a trip to their local Dunkin' Donuts for free!  Check out the giveaway below and GOOD LUCK!!  

Hey Denver readers - did you know that more Dunkin' Donuts are coming to our area?  YES!!  Make sure you follow the Dunkin' Denver twitter handle for all the updates, openings and promotions!  

Rafflecopter Form:

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Friday, May 15, 2015

Motherhood, Working Out and Depend

I am all about honesty here on the blog and here is some big honest truth for you - Motherhood is amazing!!  It's the truth!!  Now, there are some thing...errr issues that have changed since having kids but they are all issues that I am working on dealing with.  

The first issue that I find myself dealing with and worrying about quite often is bladder leakage.  Yup!  I said it!  It happens to me.  Oh excuse me while I go sit down so I can sneeze - believe me I wish that wasn't a normal routine but it is!!  Yikes.  While it is embarrassing to talk about it really is something that a lot of women my age deals with - sometimes that beautiful gift of birthing babies lead to this lovely issue.  

Here is a fact that surprised me but also made me feel better about the little gift my adorable kids gave me. More people with bladder leakage are in their 20’s than their 80’s!  Crazy right?  Also the average age of someone with bladder leakage is only 52!  Wow!  

So now that I am aware the my bladder leakage is common I needed to find a way to deal with it.  Recently, I found out about a social movement with the well known company Depend.  Depend is entering year two of Underwareness, a social movement and charitable cause to break down the bladder leakage stigma. As part of Underwareness, the Depend brand is encouraging people to show their support for women with bladder leakage. For every photo and video shared using #Underwareness and featuring Depend products, the Depend brand will donate $1, up to $3 million, through 2016 to fund charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage.  Great project right?!

I told you that the gift of Motherhood brought me a couple of difficult issues to deal with - bladder leakage is one of those but so is my lingering baby weight.  Yes, I am WELL aware that my children are NOT babies anymore.  No more excuses people!  This weight has to get under control.  Well, as some of you have noticed I have started going to Pilates and Zumba every week with my best friend and man it is has been great but that other issue keeps me on my toes during my work outs too!  I find that my bladder leakage shows up when I am hitting the gym too.  Not comfortable.  

Since finding out about the #Underwareness project I did my research and found the Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs.  These are not your typical Depend product.  Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs are a new moderate-absorbency brief that feature a thin design for complete comfort with the trusted protection of the Depend brand and a lower rise+ for an underwear-like look, fit and feel. As a category first, the product is available in black and beige colors.  Now I simply pack these with my work out gear and I am set!  

No more excuses!!  Working out, loving motherhood and depending on my Depend Silhouette Active Fit!  Please visit the Depend website for your FREE samples of the Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs.  And if you are ready to support the cause - make sure you join the #Underwareness project!  

Have you found that your bladder control changed after having children?

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