Building Our Story Yum

Friday, July 21, 2017

Helping Grandma and Grandpa Buy a New Car

This is a partnered post with Cars.com. 


My parents are in the middle of looking for a new mini van and they really didn't know where to start. Their very old but very reliable van broke down after years of use and over 200,000 miles!  Crazy.  My parents are retired but watch our kiddos for us while we work, so blessed!  So, this why they are in the market for another mini van, it is a great vehicle for their grandparent field trips. 

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Helping Grandma and Grandpa Buy a New Car


Once it was decided that they wanted a new mini van my mom did a ton of research on which make and model they would be searching for.  Comparing stats and safety and after awhile it was decided.  A Honda Odyssey would be their new car!  Sure, that is exciting but who wants to start that search? Car dealerships can be overwhelming and so pushy, makes it hard to think! Goodness knows these are not small purchases so you must have time to think.  

Enter Cars.com!  When you log on to Cars.com you are immediately given the opportunity to start searching for your next car in your surrounding area.  


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Since my parents have decided on the Honda Odyssey in a 2015 or newer model we were able to easily search for a their new van!  I was surprised that we had over 30 options in our area.  So simple.  Now that they could look over those 30 options we were able to narrow down which dealership to visit.  And with the knowledge of the car options at the dealerships we feel way more prepared to help my parents make this huge purchase.  

Buying a car does not have to be stressful.  Using Cars.com to assist you in this purchase allows you to be more educated and informed on the cars available.  Love that!  

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I cannot wait to share pictures of my parent's new van when they purchase it!!  I know the whole family will be excited about a new field trip van!!  Cars.com made car shopping fun again....for the whole family!


Have you tried using Cars.com for your car purchasing before?

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Life's Greatest Adventures Begin With A Single... LEAP!


Check out the brand NEW trailer from The Weinstein Company’s LEAP!, featuring Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song from the soundtrack, “Cut To The Feeling.”

In LEAP! 11-year-old orphan, Félicie has one dream – to go to Paris and become a dancer. Her best friend Victor, an imaginative but exhausting boy with a passion for creating, has a dream of his own - to become a famous inventor. The two friends flee their orphanage in pursuit of their passions. But Félicie quickly learns that talent alone is not enough, but determined to succeed, Félicie finds her mentor in the tough and mysterious school custodian, Odette who, along with Victor’s encouraging friendship, help her reach for the stars.

This charming animated comedy will inspire the whole family! Parents, kids, anyone who has ever dreamed of following their heart will fall in love with LEAP!. The entire cast captures the spirit and humor of the story and the music will have you dancing all the way home!

Make sure to get your tickets early!

LEAP! opens in theaters nationwide on Au
gust 30th and stars Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff and Maddie Ziegler alongside Mel Brooks, Kate McKinnon and Carly Rae Jepsen.


#LeapMovie




This sponsored post is brought to you by The Weinstein Company and coordinated by Wendy’s Bloggers




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Tips for a Family Road Trip to the Royal Gorge

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripTreats #CollectiveBias

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Jeremy and I are both Colorado natives but there are so many parts of Colorado that neither of us have experienced.  Last year when we were discussing this sad fact we decided that we wanted to make sure that we saw all of our beautiful state and take Jude and Teagan with us on these trips.  When summer approached we started looking at our weekends and decided that our first family adventure would be The Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City Colorado.  Last weekend, we packed up the car and hit the road!  The trip was so much fun and now we cannot wait for our next Colorado road trip! 

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Tips for a Family Road Trip to the Royal Gorge

Since we have returned from the gorge I have been thinking of a few tips for others to use while planning a family road trip to the Royal Gorge Bridge.  I hope that as the summer winds down that you and your family are planning at least one more road trip!  Get out there, see things, go places, explore and make memories!  

Before you head out on your next trip, be sure to enter the Road Trips Treats Sweepstakes for a chance to win over $3400 in gift card prize packs.  Now that is a great way to celebrate a road trip! 

Tip 1 - Plan ahead:  I am a planner by nature but when traveling with the kids I feel like we have to plan even more.  I am not one that wants to miss an attraction due to traffic or run out of gas in the middle of the mountain highways. When we started planning this trip we decided on how long we would be traveling and what stops we would like to make.  Also, make sure all of the extra stops you are hoping to see along the way are going to be open.  These smaller towns have weird business hours.  Some attractions and restaurants are closed on Sunday and Monday.  

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Tip 2 - Car activities:  We are very lucky that our kids do not get car sick, so we do not have to be picky on what we bring on our road trips.  We always pack a bag of books to read, small activity pads, and stuffed animals.  This road trip, we were lucky enough to be in a car with a DVD player so the kids were able to watch a few movies during our trip.  It is important keep the kids busy so parents do not have to hear "ARE WE THERE YET" one million times!  It is a sanity saver people!  

Tip 3 - Clean the car:  Before your road trip, clean your car.  Get it nice and comfortable for everyone.  This is the space you will be spending hours, so you want it to be comfortable and clean.  Every time you stop for stretch breaks or gas, make sure you clean the car out again.  This will keep your car nice and clean but also help you not have so much work to do when you return home. 

Tip 4 - First Aid kit:  Pack a first aid kit for your car.  Do you know how many times a 4 year old can ask for a band-aid while you are driving down a deserted highway for a tiny paper cut?  You don't want to know.  So, pack that kit for the road trip and also for while you are exploring the bridge.  The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park has many dirt hills and broken walkways that will possibly result in scratched up knees.   

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Tip 5 - Take in the sites:  The whole reason for this trip was to see different parts of Colorado that we have not seen before.  When we saw a town, a pretty landscape, a giant rocking chair (yes, its real), or a beautiful running river we would stop, let the kids run, explore and see the sites.  Above is a picture of the Arkansas River that runs through the Royal Gorge, it was fun to sit at the bank of the river and watch kayakers doing tricks.  Plus this was a true educational moment for the kids - yes, that river is the same river we saw from the bridge!  MIND BLOWN!  Mom for the win! 

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Tip 6 - Pack snacks and treats:  For everyone in the car snacks and treats are important.  I love finding great road trip snacks like the Sour Patch Kids found in a 1.9 pound bag that is resealable.  It really is the perfect treat for road trips.  The kids and Jeremy LOVE Sour Patch Kids so it was a great buy for the trip.  I am always wanting something salty on the trip. My new favorite snack is the RITZ Crisp&Thins, so good! They are crispy and yummy plus 50% less fat per serving than the leading regular fried potato chips!

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Tip 7 - Water, water, water!  I cannot say this enough, you must pack water for your trip to the Royal Gorge.  During the actual drive, we all enjoyed our favorite Sunkist® Soda and guess what, we didn't have any spills thanks to the resealable bottles that are the perfect size for a refreshing road trip drink.  But, let's also talk about water you must bring when visiting the bridge.  It gets super hot in this area.  Due to the heat and altitude, it is very important to drink water the whole time you are visiting.  Simply put some in your backpack for the whole family.  The staff at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park will refill your bottles for free.  

Tip 8 - Take a ton of pictures:  I have a habit of leaving my DSLR camera at home but for this trip I brought it.  This whole trip I found places to take amazing photographs.  From the moment you get to the park you will find scenes to take pictures of.  A few years ago, there was a huge devastating fire that destroyed a lot of this park area so when you are driving into the park you will see some burned old trees still from the fire.  While it was sad to see it was also breathtaking.  Seeing the heat of that fire on the trees was something you do not see all the time.  I also found myself taking silly pictures in the car; fun selfies, pictures of the kids sleeping, singing and laughing.  Oh the memories!  

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Tip 9 - Walk the bridge, even if you are scared of heights:  Okay, I am terrified of heights so I had some high anxiety for this trip but I knew I had to get on that bridge.  So, we took the gondolas over to the other side and then walked back over on the bridge.  It was amazing.  Yes, it moves with the wind but I survived!  When you get on the bridge you will see every state flag, stop and find your state flag and take a picture.  It was fun for the kids to look at all of the flags on the bridge too. 

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Tip 10 - Ask the locals for tips:  Now that you have made the trip to the Royal Gorge area it is time to get in with the locals.  Cañon City Colorado has a lot of great restaurants and places to visit and the locals will tell you what to explore and experience.   Its okay to be a tourist and act like a local!  

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You can find these great road trip snack options at your local Walmart.  To make family road trips even more enjoyable have the kids go with you to pick our their snacks and treats.  What a special treat for them!  

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Don't forget to Enter to win over $3,400 in prizes for your family’s summer road trip! Enter sweepstakes here.

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What family road trips have you enjoyed this summer?


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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.



Meet Sundae, she is our youngest cat and goodness she has some character. It is no surprise that we love our two cats so much and treat them as part of the family or that we want them happy! Sundae might be the younger cat in our family but she has certainly tried to be the boss. This crazy lady pushes her luck with our older cat, Sophie. I think deep down they love each other though, in fact we have caught them cuddling once! ONCE! Ha! These cats bring us such joy!




Just like we want to give our kids the best we want to do the same for our cats. When we started feeding Sundae the Meow Mix Bistro Recipes Dry Food we knew she loved it. I always try to pick up Sophie and Sundae’s food when I go to Walmart. Both of our cats love the dry food but the wet food is a special treat. Thankfully, all of the Meow Mix products are made with wholesome ingredients and irresistible taste. Again, we want the best for our lady, Sundae!

For those daily treats, because cats love treats, we make sure to keep the Meow Mix Brushing Bites Treats on hand. We have tried many different types of treats over the years of owning cats but these are by far a favorite of the cats. 



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My kids love to help feed and take care of both Sophie and Sundae so we like to find ways they can really be a part of the cats’ lives. They both love to give the cats treats because of how the cats act when they see the treats coming out of the cabinet for them. The cats meow, purr, follow them, and nudge their legs. It is so cute and the kids love the extra attention from the cats.

My kids had a hard time getting the resealable bag of treats resealed so I decided to create the perfect cat treat jar that was also kid friendly! This is a really easy tutorial that will have your cats treats nice and fresh and allow your kids to be able to easily give the cats a treat when directed by parents.


Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar



Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

Materials Needed:

Small glass jar with flip lid and metal closure
Letter stickers
Paw print stickers
Meow Mix Treats 


Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

Directions:

1. Wash and dry the glass container.



Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

2. Carefully add the letter stickers to one side of the treat jar.

3. Add some extra decorative paw stickers to the jar.



Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

4. Carefully pour the treats into the jar and close the jar for freshness.



Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

Told you, it is super easy! But with the addition of the stickers this is a really fun treat jar for your special cats. My kids love the jar and I love that the jar keeps the treats fresh.



Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

Sundae approves!! Now, when we let the kids give Sophie and Sundae a treat we always supervise to make sure they do not give them too many treats at one time.
While Sundae loves the dry food, brushing bites and wet food we have used a number of the Meow Mix products for the cats. Meow Mix products come in a number of different textures and flavors. Great for any type of taste your cat may prefer. I love that we can buy all of these items for Sundae at Walmart in one stop. It is always easy to shop at Walmart for Meow Mix because all of the options are located in the same spot. A great way to stock up on Sundae's favorites!


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Currently, when you are shopping at Walmart for the Meow Mix products you can save some money by using the Ibotta app. Earn $1.50 when purchasing Meow Mix Dry, $1.00 when purchasing Meow Mix Wet, $0.25 when purchasing Meow Mix Treats. Plus earn an additional $1.00 when you redeem two or more of the Meow Mix rebates.



Create the Perfect Cat Treat Jar, DIY cat treat jar, cat treat jar, easy cat treat jar, cat treat container

Feeding Sundae Meow Mix allows me to give her great food and treats. I love the cuddles I get after dinner time. Happy purr-ful cat!!



How do you make sure your cats are happy?


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