Hotels Tonight App w/ $25 off Coupon Code

Looking for that last Summer trip before school starts back up? Save $25 on your next hotel stay by booking on Hotel Tonight with coupon code CKJUSTFORMOMS. It’s a free app available for android and apple. JUST CLICK “apply promotion” in the app.

Want to get away but not sure where to go? Or do you need a last minute hotel? Lucky for you, the more last minute you book with Hotel Tonight, the more discount you’ll get!

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Booking a hotel? Use coupon code CKJUSTFORMOMS to get $25 off of your booking!

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Check out the hot places to go local to you and find the staycation you’ve been wanting!

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Happy travels!

Why I Hate that my Kids Play Pokémon GO

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Ok, well first off… The number one reason I hate that my kids play Pokémon GO is that they hijack my cell phone. MY cell phone. MY Pokémon GO, MY POKÉMON. I caught myself getting visibly upset the other day with my 8 year old when he told me that he changed the name of some of my Pokémon and I snapped. I didn’t mean to, and I felt really silly for it after, but c’mon, it’s my game.

This leads me to my next issue with this app… This is the FIRST THING that made my 8 year old get the idea in his head that HE NEEDS HIS OWN CELL PHONE. Really?! You need your own cell phone now? He has a Chromo tablet of his own, but unfortunately the Pokemon app doesn’t work on his tablet, so now it’s considered a piece of garbage and inferior to my cell phone that he needs to use every waking moment. Again, MY POKÉMON are being trained by 2 trainers. Isn’t it the same with animals, they should have one leader they respect aka the ALPHA? OK,OK, I’m just kidding with that, but he knows better now than to rename my Pokemon and he does help get my walking miles in to hatch my eggs.

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Another thing that tweaks my nerves is that I am the original Pokémon master. Throwback to the 1997/98 saga when it all started. My son walks around like a know it all because he learns everything about Pokémon through You Tube, and schools me when I forget the names. Son, do you know who you’re talking to? I may be a little rusty, but I still have my original binder complete with 1st editions and a holographic Gyarados… THIS was the original You Tube. My binder filled with trainers and organized by type.

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Lastly, it makes me feel OLD. MY Pokémon are now considered artifacts… Some sell on eBay for upwards of $1k for being that old (ok, maybe just the holographic 1st edition Charizard, but still..) I was a pro back in the mid 90’s and now it’s 20+ years later and I’m feeling nostalgic, and ..old(er).

Alright, I don’t HATE that he plays Pokémon, in fact, I am envious. Finding the joys as a child experiencing Pokémon for the first time. I love it that my kids are so into it. It reminds me of myself, a young Pokémon trainer. I still find myself getting giddy when I see a grayed out Pokemon on my radar and I’m trying to figure out what it might be. I love that he loves it as much as I do… He just better not rename my damn Pokémon! 😋 just kidding.

 

 

Disney World trip with the 2016 Mazda CX-5

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This year, we were fortunate enough to be able to take the kids to their first Disney World trip in Florida. I worked with Drive Shop to test out the 2016 Mazda CX-5 for the week while there because we needed something reliable. It definitely did not disappoint!

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The color was excellent for the extreme heat. Glacier White with light beige interior. Perfect to keep the car cool when the sun is beaming down.

 

This crossover SUV fits 5 comfortably and had such a smooth ride. The stylish exterior and interior made driving it around south Florida so much fun. We stayed in Palm Bay which is more on the east coast and had to travel an hour and a half to Disney World in Orlando. The SkyActive technology by Mazda made the gas last the entire week even with the long trips.

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The cruise control came in handy during the long trip on the same road and it had a feature I’ve never seen before. It was a car length sensor that you can set the cruise control to keep the car one, two, or three car lengths behind the car in front of you.

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The center console is where the radio controls are as well as the volume and mute. This system has no power off button, only mute. The large center button is a toggle button. It controls the LCD panel for everything. You can also use the touch screen feature, but when driving the center button is easier to navigate everything.

There is a “sport” button that allows you to easily flip the car into sport mode if you’re on the highway and want to feel some extra “umf”!

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The number one thing is it got us to and from Disney safely! There was a little rain storm on the way there and it drove great in it. One of the best features is when I had to use the brights, it has an “auto” sensor when on the auto feature. This allowed the car to automatically turn the high beams off when there was a vehicle coming, and back on when it passed. I haven’t seen that function on any other vehicle yet.

We had a blast at Disney World and a big thank you to Mazda and DriveShop for providing this vehicle for our travels around south Florida!

 

Andretti Thrill Park Fun in Melbourne Florida

 

Andretti Thrill Park was on our agenda when visiting Palm Bay Florida during vacation this year. We are so happy that we went because it winded up being a highlight of our trip.

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Traveling with children, you need to keep them busy and happy, while also making sure you have fun yourself and enjoy vacation. Andretti definitely pulled that off!

The prices were just right, Groupon had a deal to make all day wrist bands just $28.95 for the day per person. There was 8 of us there so that helped tremendously with being able to afford the day of fun.

We started the day outdoors and ran to the go karts first. It was 98° and sunny out, which is expected in Florida, but we knew to bring our sunblock and cooling towels and I am so glad we did. Make sure to bring water bottles as well to keep hydrated as there isn’t much shade in the outdoor activities.

There are 4 different go kart areas, 3 of which are included in the wrist band price. The first one we to is to the right out of the doors. It’s a basic circle set up and you can choose from single or double karts to ride. The next go kart area is a larger track and a bit faster karts. This was the one we favored the most and went on over and over.

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The next is a junior go kart track and it looked really cute. Smaller karts and a small circle with only 4 karts available. My son didn’t get the chance to go on it, but I’m sure it’s tons of fun. The last one is a larger track with super fast karts. It’s additional fee and you must have a valid drivers license to use them. I didn’t get to go on them but check it out if you get the chance!

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My 4 year old is 40″ so he just made the cut off for all of the rides. He went on his first “coaster” here and he screamed his head off but talked about it over and over after that he loved it.

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The arcade is pretty small but had a lot of games for all ages. You have to purchase tokens on a card seperate than the wrist band. The prices are decent and they have deals for them too. The best part is that the large crane game was actually winnable. Usually these things are so rigged and frustrating, but my son actually won 4 times!

The batting cages were also such a fun experience for all of us. We cheered each other on and had unlimited batting fun.

My oldest son did the rock climing and after numerous attempts he made it to the top! He was so proud of his accomplishment he’s still talking about it.

We did laser tag upstairs and I didn’t notice until later in the day there is also a gym type obstacle upstairs too! There is bowling as well which also did not do.

 

We had an amazing day and all left smiling with shared memories. It was fun to feel like a kid again. The park was very empty I assume because the kids in town went back to school that week. I am not sure how it would be on a weekend.

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The only down fall I would say is the employees they have working the rides there. I felt they were a little rude, specifically the Go kart attendees. They were blowing their whistles constantly and it left us unsure what they wanted. They should blow it for attention, then say what they want you to do. It was a real turn off and you can hear it going on at all areas outside, constant anything whistle blowing. Also while on the paddle boats, my son had so much fun going under the waterfall on the ride. When getting off, the worker said to him, an 8 year old “now you can’t go on the go karts”. I didn’t think that was right to say to a kid having a fun day. The ride is meant to get you wet, and is great during the heat, but that remark was unwarranted. They should have a sign staying wet clothes not allowed on Go karts. He dried off quickly and was able to continue to enjoy the other rides.

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Overall, we had an amazing day and all left smiling with shared memories. It was fun to feel like a kid again. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area with children or adults of any age.

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Andretti theme park address:

3060 S. Babcock St. Melbourne, FL 32901

(321) 956-6706

For more info go to http://www.andrettipark.com

* I was provided with tickets in exchange for this review. All views and opinions are my own.

What’s in your Bag? GIVEAWAY

Hyland’s is proud to be a leader in offering safe and effective medicines for the entire family and I am proud to be working with Hyland’s on this amazing giveaway they’re hosting!  The What’s In Your Bag?” Giveaway has three bags to enter to win: A Baby Beach Bag, a Day-Trip Kid Bag and a Natural Fashionista Mom Bag. There is also a $100 VISA Gift Card per bag! They’ve provided me with products to try and share my feedback with you.

Click on the photo for the bags, choose one or all and you’ll be in for a treat! Each bag offers an interactive overview of each product up for grabs. You can also enter to win each bag and each bag winner will get a $100 Visa gift card as well.

Baby Beach Bag:

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Kid Day-Trip Bag:

KidActivityBag

Natural Fashionista Mom Bag:

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Let’s take a look at some of the brand’s and what my fav’s are!

Hyland’s is well known for its homeopathic remedies and trusted by parents everywhere. I know people will know their teething tablets, but I’m the biggest fan of their Cold N’ Cough medicine. It’s safe for ages 2+ and seems to really help when my kids have colds. I’ve used it the last year since they’ve put it into stores.

Noyah prides itself on 2 things. HEALTH & BEAUTY combined. With all natural beauty products, you can feel good about the products you’re buying. Even better, right now, for every item you purchase and tag online, Noyah will donate a lip balm to the homeless.
SheaMoisture offers some wonderful alternatives to your everyday lotions like b&b and Vaseline. It’s amazing smelling and keeps your skin glowing all day.
Goddess Garden has some bad-ass products! Essential oils, sun repair products and sun screens. They even have a monthly subscription box if oils that are hand picked for you. Everything is free shipping over $35!

Babyganics offers a wide range of organic items for baby. The most well known, and one I love the most is their hand sanitizer. We were stocked on this for both of my children as babies and no one was allowed to touch or hold them until they sanitized! The best part is there is virtually no harsh smell and no alcohol drying out your skin so it’s safe to use as often as you want.
Jack ‘n Jill is representing with the all natural baby toothpaste. I wish i had this when my children were infants. Starting healthy habits young are key.
Ella’s Kitchen has the squeezable foods that are easy for parents and yummy for children. My kids were never a fan of the squeeze pouches unfortunately but I’ve always envied those who has kids who were. Easy to throw in your diaper bag and go!

Ishga Organic Skincare has provided some of the top skin care products to the US. Ish-what? Foreign is usually a sign that it might be some undiscovered secret to us Americans and these Scottish Seaweed skincare products are going to be all the new rage.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s and Promotional Partners. Uses for Hyland’s products are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

 

Fudgy Oreo Brownies

I have a meeting at work and wanted to bring something to munch on and well, make sure it runs smoothly since I’m a facilitator. Nobody has a bad time when their face is full of fudgy brownies… But I wanted to make sure. I decided to add Oreos to this batch because I love oreos and they bake well inside of other baked goods.

I simply used a box mix, the Pillsbury Fudge Brownie mix in family size 13×9. Make per directions and then add a layer to the pan, then oreos, then finish with anther later of batter on top. You can crush them or add them whole, but I prefer them whole so you get the full effect.

Make sure to leave them in until just before done. They continue to cook when first removed and you don’t want hard brownies. I did my 13×9 Pyrex at 350° for 28 minutes.

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Detroit Zoo Family Fun 2016

One of our family trips this year was to Michigan to see family and friends. One thing on our to do list was visit the Detroit Zoo. It’s one of the largest zoo’s I have ever been to, I think it’s 1.7 miles long or something along those lines.

If you are ever in the area, please make sure to visit! It was $12 per standard ticket, but we opt’ed to get the premium tickets that included the train ride to the end of the zoo so you can walk up from the back, Admission to all shows 3D and 4D, and Penguin exhibit early access.

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The first thing we did is check out the brand new Penguin exhibit. It was so amazing to see how great they have it there! Usually it upsets me to see animals in cages because they’re usually sub-par to whet they have in the wild. Seeing the Penguins in such an amazing new habitat made me feel happy that they have the best life there. A large exhibit, and many, many places to swim and walk around. The exhibit was 3 stories high, and you walk like you’re on a ship. Pretty cool to see the walls move and simulate being on a large boat in the ocean, complete with storms an all. There are tunnels to walk under and see the penguins interact with you. It was great.

The coolest part of the visit was an unexpected treat. We were walking following the path in the seal exhibit where you walk under a tunnel and see the seals under water, and all of a sudden, the 11 year old female Polar Bear swam over on top of us and sat on the glass above! The zoo worker said in his 5 years there he has never seen her do this. It was such a special site, I’ve never been that close to a polar bear and they’re one of my favorites. She stayed there for about 5 minutes or so an was looking at everyone below her. She was huge!

The next cool thing that separates this zoo from any I’ve ever been to is the Australian Outback. They have a setup that you actually walk right through, with no gates, no bars, nothing, through the path with wild Kangeroos and Wallabes. They’re very lazy, so they’re off in the distance, but just knowing that there is nothing between you and them, feels very “outback” like and it was really really cool.

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Kangaroos in the distance!

Check out the other photo’s of the zoo;