Building Our Story Yum

Monday, August 21, 2017

Five Tips To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

This post is sponsored by Royal Canin™and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share information about National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, but Building Our Story only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this article.


We are a cat family and we talk a lot about our cats Sophie and Sundae.  They are part of our family and we want the very best for them, our furbabies.  As pet parents we have the responsibility to make sure that our cats are healthy and taken care of.  It is our personal choice to keep our cats indoors all the time because we feel like they are safer and healthier with that choice.  Thankfully, both Sundae and Sophie are really great and patient cats!

Pet nutrition, Vet visits, Cat health, Veterinarian, Preventive care, Pet owners, Five Tips To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy, Tips To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

While keeping the cats indoors is one of our top tips for keeping our cats happy and healthy, here are a few more that we make sure we add to our pet parent routine.  


Five Tips To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy 




1.  Nutrition.


Cats need to eat but not just any old table-scraps or cheap food.  Find great wholesome food for your cats and stick to a brand so that their tummies do not get upset to the changes. It is important to talk to your veterinarian to find out how much you should be feeding your cat every day and they could also give you some great food options specific to your cat's needs.   We make sure to limit the treats we give to our cats as well, they truly should be treats, not an every day thing for them.  


2. All the Cuddles!! 


We are so lucky with Sophie and Sundae, both of them are lap kitties and the love when we finally sit down for the evening so they can snuggle with us. Be sure to treat your cat with a lot of one-on-one time with you. This could be many different things depending on the personality of your cat - it's playing, petting, grooming or just hanging out. Your cat will love spending time with you. Plus, that purring you hear from your cat is therapeutic after a rough day...at least for me it is.



3. Regular Veterinary Care.

Some people are surprised when we tell them that we take our indoor cats to the vet.  We have always been the cat parents that take our cats in for their yearly exams and shots. We find that it is important to keep them seeing their vet just as much as we, humans, should be going to the doctor every year.  Preventative care will only benefit our furbabies!


Cat Vet Facts:
  • Half of all cats do not see a veterinarian on a regular basis.
  • Only one cat is seen by a veterinarian for every five dogs, despite the fact that 10 million more cats are owned in the U.S.
  • August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day

Take Your Cat To The Vet Day is the perfect day to raise awareness to the importance of taking your cats to the vet. Have you made your cat's vet appointment yet? Now would be a great time to do it!



Royal Canin® and Frankie’s Friends have partnered together to help cats get the veterinary care that they need. So, on this special cat day you can help other cute cats get some preventive care they need! 

Here is what you will need to do, for the month of August share a photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram of your cat at the vet or even tips on taking your cat to the vet with the campaign hashtag, #Cat2VetDay. Royal Canin will donate $5 to Frankie’s Friends! Frankie’s Friends provides grants to help with the cost of life-saving or life-enhancing emergency or specialty care for pets whose families cannot afford the full cost of treatment.



4. Playful Moments. 

Cats need to play, no matter their age. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem "new" and more interesting to your cat.  We enjoy making them homemade toys that are safe and colorful. It is a fun family craft and activity.  Plus the kids LOVE playing with Sophie and Sundae.  



5. Clean Teeth and Ears.

Have you brushed your cat's teeth recently or looked in their ears?  Sure, it can be a struggle but just like humans, clean and healthy teeth and ears are so important!  There are a few ways to keep teeth clean without brushing, which might be easier!  Some options would be teeth wipes, dental sticks, drinking water additive and chew toys.  For their ears, you will want to look inside them before jumping to cleaning them.  If you find that they are dirty, simply use a damp cotton ball and gently wipe her ears.  DO NOT insert the cotton ball into the ear, this could hurt the cat.  Most of all, be gentle!  



These are our tips for keeping out special Sophie and Sundae happy and healthy!  We know that taking the time and investment listed in these tips will only let us enjoy our cats for years to come!  


Stay Social with Royal Canin via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!



If you are a pet parent, do you take your pet to the veterinarian for regular check-ups?



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Royal Canin. The opinions and text are all mine.



 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to School Celebration - $20 Paypal Cash #GIVEAWAY

 
Well here we are, the season is official!  Back to School!  I don't know about you but we seem to spend a ton of money on preparing for back to school.  Between the school supplies, new clothes, new shoes, new backpacks, hair cuts, and school fees we are feeling it!  I am sure you all do as well.  


Today, lets celebrate this season and give you all the opportunity to win a little spending cash of your own, you deserve it!!  



$20 Paypal Cash!!  Simply use the rafflecopter form below to enter!  Good luck!!  


Rafflecopter Form: 



Happy Back to School!!! 


 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Friday, August 18, 2017

Explore Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone at Snow Mountain Ranch

Disclosure: In return for our honest review my family and I were guests at Snow Mountain Ranch for a weekend of fun. All opinions are our own. 

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

Last weekend we took our annual summer weekend trip to Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park, Colorado.  We have been taking this trip for 3 summers now and we have no plans in changing this growing tradition.  While the weekend is anything but relaxing, it is always a weekend built on fun, activities and refreshing mountain air!

What is Snow Mountain Ranch?

Located near Winter Park Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park & Grand Lake; Snow Mountain Ranch offers a wholesome environment where friends, families & groups enjoy a tranquil setting, more activities than anywhere else & quality time together.

You can fill your day and nights at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA with our programs and activities. Every season brings fun and excitement for the entire family. Whether you are looking for adventure or a relaxing stroll, we can set you on your way.


snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations


Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone at Snow Mountain Ranch


  We were so excited to hear about the newest addition to Snow Mountain Ranch, Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone, and we could not wait to visit as soon as we get there.   Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone is right next to the tubing hill at the ranch.  It is a great open space park and playground perfect for all ages and abilities.  There are a number of playgrounds around the grounds of the ranch but this is truly an adventure zone!  

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

Some features include:

  • VIP Swing
  • Small Zip Line
  • Twisted Log Ladder
  • Climbing Wall
  • Climbing Structures
  • Slide

Jeremy even got on the VIP Swing with Jude.  Fun for all!!  

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

We started our morning off at Spruce Saddle and spent almost an hour there.  The kids loved checking it all out.  I loved that this was a great way to get them exploring and climbing. Even with a good amount of kids on the playground, there was plenty of space and features for every kid to play on.  

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

While the VIP Swing was a hit, it was pretty obvious what all of the kids loved the most.  The zip line, while not huge, was a ton of fun for Teagan and Jude.  They loved it!  So many giggles and laughs.  

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

This adventure zone is 2 levels, the top of the zone has the zip line, swing, and tons of climbing items.  The lower level has two climbing walls and a few fun climbing items like a giant saddle and moose but the best part about this design, is that the two levels are connected by a fun slide!  What a great creative design for a park!!  

We visited the Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone every day we were at the ranch for a least an hour.  The kids gave the new adventure zone 5 stars!!  

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

The official grand opening of Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone will take place on Sunday August 27th.  If you happen to be at the ranch please make sure you attend.  After coming to Snow Mountain Ranch for 3 summers now, I do love that they are continually adding and upgrading the ranch and activities.  I know that the kids will be asking about this adventure zone for the year to come!  Summer 2018 cannot come fast enough!  HA!

Just like we always do when we visit Snow Mountain Ranch, we had our weekend booked full of activities.  This is why we love coming up to the ranch.  It is a great place for the kids to stay busy, try new things and explore.  


Activities at Snow Mountain Ranch:


Snow Mountain Ranch offers many activities on the property including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, zip lines, fishing, archery, climbing wall, crafts shop, roller skating, mini-golf, swimming, both summer and winter tubing hill and more, making the destination an affordable and adventurous getaway for the whole family. (Most of these activities are included free for guests.)

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

Teagan was able to try archery for the first time and she did great.  She let Jeremy help her for a few rounds but then she was determined to do it on her own.  While she didn't hit the target she was very proud of herself for trying.  Love that little lady!  Jude did great with archery once he got back into the habit.  Since Teagan was old enough this summer, it was a whole family affair.  It was fun to show Jude that mommy can hit the target too!!  Thanks to years of Girl Scout Camp!!  HA!

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

Crafts!! We love crafts. In typical Colorado mountains fashion, we had a bit of an afternoon rain storm so we decided to head inside for some crafts. Jude decided to do a Rocket Ship mosaic craft and Teagan did a stained glass raccoon and designed her own water bottle. The crafts do cost extra but are VERY affordable for families. So many options for the kids to choose from too.

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

If you visit Snow Mountain Ranch in the summer you will have the opportunity to go Lollygagging with Llamas!  Yes, llamas!!   We experienced this last summer too and the kids loved learning all about llamas but did not make it on the whole family hike.  I don't know that we even made it halfway!  This year, we did it!!  The easy 1 1/2 mile hike was perfect for them both.  Up hill for part of it but once you start downhill, you see an amazing valley!  Wow, Colorado, you amaze me!!  The kids learn to pack a llama and general facts about the animals and then they get to walk the llamas during the hike.  What fun!!  

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

Now for the highlight of our trip.  The tubing hill.  This activity is talked about year round in our household.  The kids LOVE it and honestly, so do the adults.  We had our reservation right before lunchtime which was perfect.  We visited the Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone and then started our tubing fun.  Like I said, the adventure zone is right next to the tubing hill so it worked perfectly for us.  

One big change for our family this year was that Jude was old enough to go down the hill on his own.  We let him do that one time, he loved it.  

Tubing Hill - General Facts:

Snow Mountain Ranch guests can use this tubing hill free of charge!

The prices for day visitors are as follows:
  • 13 and older: $35 per person
  • 6-12 years old: $25 per person
  • 3-5 years old: $15 per person
  • *A full-day activity pass is included in this price.
  • *Members of YMCA of the Rockies or another YMCA (with proof of membership) can use the tubing hill for $15 per person and receive a complimentary day pass.
snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations


Reservation, rules and amenities information:

Guests staying on-grounds can reserve their time slots for the tubing hill 3 days in advance at the Programs Building. Day visitors can reserve their time slots the day of their visit at the Programs Building. We highly recommend that guests book their time slot 3 days in advance. If you are a day visitor, please call the Program Department the morning of your visit to check on open times: 970-887-2152, ext. 4135.
  • Helmets are available for no additional cost.
  • Children ages 3-6 must ride with an adult (children 2 and under cannot ride).
  • Flip-flops are not allowed; shoes must be secure. Please do not wear loose clothing or hats.
  • A concessions and bathrooms house will be at the top of the hill for guest convenience.

Make sure you check out our first Summer Tubing Hill experience from 2015 and more information on what to expect. 

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

Snow Mountain Ranch is not just for summer! Snow Mountain Ranch is a year-round destination and winter activities include dog-sledding, Nordicskiing, snowshoeing, sledding (on real snow!) and indoor activities like archery, climbing wall, roller skating, crafts center and more. Also, Snow Mountain Ranch is located between the alpine resorts of Winter Park/Mary Jane and Ski Granby Ranch for families interested in downhill skiing or snowboarding as well.

If you are looking for a day camp while in Colorado Snow Mountain Ranch has an affordable and convenient summer day camp on-site for ages 5-13 – like kids club. Kids can attend for one or two days or a full week. Keep the kids busy and enjoy one of the more challenging hikes or mountain biking trails or just grab some grown-up time. We all love some grown up time don’t we!?!

snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations

General Information:

Accommodations range from lodge rooms, cabins of all sizes, yurts and campsites in the summer and even 8 bedroom reunion cabins that sleep up to 40 guests – perfect for a family reunion or corporate retreat. Plus, YMCA of the Rockies has on-staff retreat specialists to help plan large events. There is also an Estes Park location which is the place to be in the fall to see the Elk up close. 

For more information on Snow Mountain Ranch make sure you check out our visits from the past two summers as well.  



snow mountain ranch, snow mountain ranch ymca, ymca in colorado, snow mountain ranch Colorado, Snow mountain ranch Winter Park, Winter Park Colorado, YMCA in Winter Park, YMCA Winter Park, Family weekends in Colorado, Mountains, Colorado vacations


Stay Social with Snow Mountain Ranch:



Have you every visited a YMCA camp like this with your family?


 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jude's 1st Day of FIRST Grade!

Doesn't seem possible that we are starting school or that we have a 1st grader!   Yesterday, Jude started 1st grade and he was so excited!   We started the day off with our traditional first day of school chalkboard picture on the front porch.  This year, Jude decided he wants to be a Scientist when he grows up.  Honestly, this does not surprise me!  He love science!!

back to school signs, first day of school chalkboard, first day of school picture idea, first day of school picture, chalkboard for first day of school, sign for first day of school, sign for first day of school picture

After 3 years of Preschool/Pre-k and 1 year of Kindergarten, this guy is so prepared to tackle 1st grade.  He is in class with 3 of his buddies he has been in school with for 3 years plus a new friend.  We are blessed with a great student to teacher ratio at our school!  5 kids in first grade....all boys again this year.  I know he will be getting some great one on one with this ratio.  What a great education opportunity!  

back to school signs, first day of school chalkboard, first day of school picture idea, first day of school picture, chalkboard for first day of school, sign for first day of school, sign for first day of school picture

I think Jude is most excited to have his own desk to put his own supplies in!  Such a change from the Montessori curriculum he has had for the last 4 years!  ha!!  

back to school signs, first day of school chalkboard, first day of school picture idea, first day of school picture, chalkboard for first day of school, sign for first day of school, sign for first day of school picture

Jude decided on a Pokemon backpack and lunchbox this year, I know that is surprising to you all!  Pokemon is life to this kid!!  And his shirt of choice was a bright yellow polo - his favorite color.

back to school signs, first day of school chalkboard, first day of school picture idea, first day of school picture, chalkboard for first day of school, sign for first day of school, sign for first day of school picture

And for a little throwback picture of Jude.  This was in 2013 for his very first day of school!!  That excitement and willingness and urge to learn has not changed, instead it has grown!!  I love that Jude loves to learn.  

back to school signs, first day of school chalkboard, first day of school picture idea, first day of school picture, chalkboard for first day of school, sign for first day of school, sign for first day of school picture

Jude's first day of school was great, he came home with smiles and stories.  We are looking forward to a great year ahead!!  Bring on 1st Grade!!!  Do well turtle!!!  



What did your kids say they want to be when they grow up this year?



Post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!


 photo signature_zps997af43a.png

Get Widget