Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sky Zone Kansas City Review (Shawnee) #SkyZone

Now that I find myself on Christmas vacation from homeschooling, it's time for another episode of ...

Reviews That Were Due a Million Years Ago

Today's episode focuses on Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline mecca kids would give up candy for. Back here I wrote about being excited to get to review Sky Zone here in Kansas City (Shawnee, to be more specific), so please check that out for more details about this insanely awesome place to take your kids. I wrote that at the end of 2014 and we did our party in January of 2015, which was almost 2 years ago, so the kids sure look different here!

So here is what I loved about our birthday party package we got to review:

You can sign the liability waiver online and not have to mess with it there, which is nice when you have a whole bunch of kids hanging around waiting to jump.

We had an entire TEAM of young ladies helping us out and checking in on us.
Prepping the kids

Jumping. Period. Just jumping. Exercise rocks.















Did I mention the massage chairs?



PARTY TIME!



 

 The Sky Socks were included. They have some grip on the bottom so they are perfect for jumping and probably also keep the trampolines less icky from feet juice.

Lots of different things to do ... jump up and down here. Play basketball while jumping there. Jump into a huge foam pit over there. Play basketball with wee tots over there in the smaller kid area. It was varied so it kept kids entertained.

Parents could also jump if they wanted, and we did. And I have never been so worn out, so it's an amazing workout.

Pizza and soda in the party room after jumping was nice that I could relax for a change instead of playing waitress like I do at home.

They are smart to do the pizza and soda AFTER the jumping because ... can you imagine the other way around? I wouldn't want to clean up those messes.

Honestly, we have not been back to Sky Zone, but it's not because my kids don't want to go. It's because it's pricey for my big family, even on the homeschool discount day. If they could make that homeschool discount just a little bit bigger, Mrs. McLoughlin would be spreading the news and getting together big groups and they would make big bank! All I have to do it mention it at the Open Play at Emerald City and there are a ton of homeschooling moms sitting on the bleachers there ready to head over to Sky Zone another day of the week with their young ones.

That said, Sam and I worked really hard selling his Scout popcorn this fall so he could get 2 free Sky Zone tickets for Sam and a friend, which means I get to pay for another 4 admissions, but they love it so much I will sneak it into the budget.

Here's how to find out about birthday parties.

They even have dodgeball leagues!

Friday nights they turn on the cool music and the black lights and you can GLOW while you jump!

Homeschoolers can come the 2nd Friday of every month from 2-4 p.m. (they really should offer this more often since Friday is usually a homeschoolers busiest day of the week for field trips and activities and also when other places such as Coco Key offer homeschool discounts every other month). The cost is $9.99 per hour so you could jump 2-3 p.m., 2:30-3:30 p.m. or 3-4 p.m. Seriously, knock that price in half and I'll buy a punchcard, baby!

Check out this link (there is more than one page to it as well) for their activities and programs.

Heading there this month with our 2 free passes, so I'll do another post about our experience!

Happy jumping!




Friday, December 30, 2016

Keep Your Car Running Smoothly With These Top Maintenance Tips

Owning a car is one of the best things for your family. A car makes things easier for school runs and practical purposes. Doing the weekly shop will be a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about getting it all home! Even with all these benefits, owning a car can be expensive. On top of insurance and tax, there are the unexpected costs that creep up when things go wrong. Keeping on top of car repair can save you from having to face extortionate costs later down the line. Here are some things every car owner should be aware of.




TIRES


Your tires need checking regularly. You depend on them for getting anywhere, so don’t let your tests slide! You will need to test the air pressure in your tires at least every few weeks. If you notice the pressure has dropped, fill your tires at one of the many available air pumps. If the problem persists, look at the condition of the tires to see if there is any wear. Driving on bumpy roads and pebble drives can lead to tire damage. Keep on top of the problem to avoid the situation getting serious. Tires aren’t cheap. Replacing them as and when they need it will save you having to pay out a lump sum to get them all done. Keep your spare tire in top condition, too, so that it’s always there as a backup!




ENGINE TROUBLE


All drivers dread that moment where something goes wrong with the engine. If you notice a strange sound when you start the car, it might be that something has gone wrong. Do a little research to familiarize yourself with car engines. That way, you should be able to determine what the problem is. Sometimes, it’ll be something small. Knowing the basics will ensure you can solve minor issues on your own. If it’s something more serious, don’t hesitate to contact a mechanic.


ACCIDENTS


Even the best drivers are at risk of an accident. It’s not just your driving you have to depend on. Other drivers being careless is just as likely to make you crash. Staying aware when driving will help you avoid accidents. You’ll be able to react to the drivers around you. Avoid drinking anything before you drive, too. You may think you’re okay to have one drink, but it’s often not worth the risk. Don’t find yourself seeking representation for your DUI case. Avoid the risk altogether!


BRAKE PROBLEMS

Brake problems are one of the most serious thing that can happen to any car. If brakes malfunction, it could lead to an accident and serious injury. Taking proper care of your brakes is the best way to avoid issues arising. Test your brakes to ensure they’re working. Flush your brake fluid at least every two years to ensure it’s effective. Check, too, that your brake lights are in working order. Neglecting your brakes could lead to a major accident. Don’t take the risk with your family!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Anavita Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizing Cream Review

So I am about TWO YEARS late on this review. Wow. I apologize for that, to the company that provided the product for me and to my readers of this blog ...

Here is the original post about how I was going to get this great anti-wrinkle cream to try out. I encourage you to check it out because it lists all the benefits of this great product.

I love that it doesn't take much at all and it really covers well. It's thick and goes on smoothly. It smells amazing! It's not greasy at all, which is wonderful since other products cause my mascara to smudge when I use them around my eyes. Speaking of my eyes, I think my eyes look pretty great for someone who just turned 45 over the summer!*

*I have to admit I only use it around my eyes and still have the original container of it, although it's almost time to purchase another!

Here is how to buy it and, at $29.95 for an anti-wrinkle cream that will last a while, that's a great deal.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve 2016 from the McLoughlins!

My sweet girls waiting for Santa before Mass

My handsome boys waiting for Santa before Mass

Checking out the nativity scene

My precious family! It was really cool because my boys were altar servers and the rest of us were asked to take up the gifts so it was a really special night. I love Christmas Mass!

Don't you love the dresses on the girls?! Those are from my mom, their Tutu!

This is the tree BEFORE Santa comes ... presents to my kids from each other, to and from my husband for each other, for my kids from my aunts and grandma and a huge box of something for the dog!

Tracking Santa at www.noradsanta.org



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Are You Ready For Marriage? Things You Should Consider

Getting married and living a life together should be far simpler than it seems to be. You meet someone, you date and enjoy one another's company, and you fall in love. You build a life together, one of you pops the question and then BAM you get married, have kids and live happily ever after. But, these days there are other factors to consider and sometimes a marriage is far different from a wedding and just enjoying the big day. Marriage is about longevity and commitment, like the marital vows state, for better or for worse and through sickness and in health. Are you ready for marriage? I thought I would share with you some things to consider before answering that question.

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Have you met the one?

I don’t think anyone intends to get married for it to end in divorce, but we can sometimes have our judgment clouded when it comes to making this decision. But I think most people would agree that when you have found that one person, your soulmate, you just know it’s for real. No one can explain the feeling, you may have thought you have felt it before, but when it’s true you are 100% sure that you have met the one. For now, it’s just a guessing game, but the question to ask yourself if you are wondering whether this is it, what does your heart tell you?

Things to discuss before making that commitment

These days it’s much more than just listening to your heart, though, there are important conversations that need to be had to ensure you are both on the same page. You need to discuss the future and whether you have the same family plans? Whether your parenting aspirations are the same and how things might differ in the future. You need to discuss your finances and be honest if you have had financial trouble in the past or owe any debt. Perhaps you know what buttons not to press in the middle of an argument, or when you need to be waving the white flag to make peace.

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Getting engaged, elaborate or simple?

Now comes the crunch question, getting engaged. Do you expect an occasion filled with romance and elegance? Or do you prefer a simple question and surroundings? Perhaps you want tradition and your partner to seek your hand in marriage once permission has been granted from parents. Even getting down on one knee and presenting a ring. Discuss this, and even look at options from yellow gold engagement rings to potential engagement locations. Do you want to capture the moment, or save it as a private memory? Or do you just want to leave this up to your partner or take matters into your own hands? We can’t sit through life waiting for things to happen.

Getting engaged doesn’t mean a wedding is imminent

Let’s be honest, marriage isn’t about the wedding. Of course, it’s a lovely way to celebrate your commitment to one another, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Marriage is about commitment to your future together, and many years of being a partnership. If you are ready for forever with this person, then maybe you are ready for marriage.




Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Definite Proof You Need Some Help With Your Health Issues

It is the nature of being human that we don't always have good mental or physical health. But some people seem to see their own problems as moral failings, rather than conditions that can be dealt with. That is why they don't ask for help when they need it. But there are actually a lot of physical and mental issue that can be improved by getting some help with your health. Read on to find out more.


You feel tired all the time
Feeling tired all the time is a sign that you may need some help with your health. In fact, it can be a symptom of various different health issues. These can include depression, a bad diet, or even having an underlying condition such as pernicious anemia. This is when the stomach cannot absorb the iron that the bodies need, therefore the sufferer becomes very anemic and tired.


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If you feel tired all the time, first look at the health changes you can make in your life, do you need to get more exercise or quit smoking? Could you switch to a diet that is more nutrient dense, and contains less sugar, which is only good for a quick boost of energy? Of course, always a good idea to go to the doctors to get assessed. This will help identify any mental health issues or underlying problems that could be causing this symptom, and will help you get back to full strength again.


You rely on certain substances to get you through the day
Another sign that you could be struggling and that you need some help with your health is if you use the certain things to get you through day to day. We are talking in terms of addition here. So you will struggle to get through the day without using that certain substance. It can be things like alcohol, cigarettes or even food.


So what can you do to get help if you feel that addiction is a problem?  Well, you can choose to deal with the problem on your own. But that might be the hardest option with the lowest success rate.


Or you can speak to your doctors to see what medication and counseling they can offer to help you get your addiction under control. There are even resident centers for things like alcohol rehab. This involves going to stay in the center, where they have trained professionals on hand to help you through the withdrawal stages.


This can be a particularly good idea for people that have a very entrenched problem. As it can take them out of their day to day situation, so removing common stresses and temptation that could endanger their recovery.


You cry very easily
If you find yourself crying very easily, it might be a sign of a health problem. It may be that you are tired and stressed. Or, it could be a sign of an oncoming depression. It could also be that you are dealing with things that are too overwhelming and that you need some help from a trained professional to deal with them. Lastly, it may be a hormonal issue, especially in women,  so it always worth going to the doctors to get your hormone levels checked as well.


Many people are resistant to seeing a professional if they are feeling unhappy, but actually, it is one of the best things that you can do. Not only do they provide an objective ear to hear your story. But they can also provide you with coping strategies that will improve how you deal with the issues in your life. This can help to make you happier and more stable, which in turn will raise the quality of the life that you have.


You have a chronic issue
Another classic sign that you need some help with your health is that you are having a chronic problem. A chronic issue is something that has been present for some time. It may fluctuate slightly in severity but don't really get significantly better.


There are all sorts of chronic issues including skin complaints like eczema and bowel trouble like IBS. As well as emotional issues like anxiety.


Chronic issues by their nature cannot be cured, but they can be managed to such a point that they have minimal impact if your day to day life. To get them to this point you will need to recruit the help of your doctor and other medical professional. So don't be shy in asking for some help with your condition.

Does Your Home Have Purpose? Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Living Space



You love your home, but sometimes, you wish it was a little more organized. It’s not always easy to have designated spaces when you have children, or when you’re busy, yet you know that could help to solve your problem. Although you love your home for the security and warmth it brings to your family; it’s sometimes nice to know that it has a purpose.


When you bring your work home and do the odd bit all over the house, you can sometimes feel like you’re all over the place. If your home is starting to feel a little chaotic, maybe having set rooms for things would help.


Giving your home a purpose and a clever design doesn’t mean you have to take the love out of it. You can still keep the style you love, and it will still feel like yours, but you can add in a little bit of control to each space to show that it clearly has a purpose. And then, you’re guaranteed to feel a whole lot more together.


Lounge
In your main living space, you want to make sure that you can achieve the right atmosphere. Sometimes, your lounge will be the place that you all hang out and watch TV, but it can also be a room that you work in, eat in and where your children do their homework. That can add a lot of chaos into just one space. So, instead, try to see your main living area as a space to relax and wind in. To do that, you’re going to have to move the eating, working and studying elsewhere.


Kitchen
When it comes to your kitchen, it can sometimes give you a little anxiety. Whether you hate to cook, spend far too much time in there or are reminded of your fussy eaters, it can be a room that you love to hate. But, it’s time to change that. Instead, why not create a kitchen design, layout or look that you love. Depending on your budget, you could do a complete remodel, or just spruce of what you have to make it work a lot better. Think of the appliances and equipment you need to make it the right space for you to create incredible meals.




Study
You may or may not have a home office at the moment, but you if work from home at all, it’s important that you do. While it might be okay to work on the kitchen counter, dining table, or bedroom for some, it’s not the most productive way to be. You should be associating your work with a space that stimulates your mind. Now that you know that, it’s time to spruce up that old study or convert a small room into an office space that makes you feel comfortable.


Dining Space
Having a set dining space can be ideal for families. Not only are you teaching your children the proper manners to have at the dinner table, but you’re also able to bond as a family. But, it’s not always an option logistically. So, you may have to judge things around a little. If you’re renovating, then you’ll have no problem, but if you’re not, it might be time for a good spring clean of a few spaces to create some room for dining.




Master Bedroom
When it comes to the master bedroom, you could see it for all sorts of things. It could be your place to sleep, get ready in the morning, do your makeup, read, do your work, watch TV - the options are endless. But, in reality, there should only be one or two - the main one being to sleep! If your master bedroom is messy and full of chaos, you might have trouble sleeping. Instead, transform it into a sleep-inspiring space with soft colors and comfortable bedding.


Bathroom
Your bathroom has a lot of functions, and the entire family uses it. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it into an incredible place. If you love to pamper and want to be able to relax in your bathroom, then why not think about transforming it into a spa? You can add incredible spa like features and designs that will add a level of tranquility and sophistication to create the bathroom of your dreams.




Playroom
In the past, you may not have felt like there was a need to have a playroom in your house. However, as you’re trying to introduce purpose and functionality into every space in the house, you might also want to think about creating one. It might be okay for your children to play all over the house, but it could become a cleaning nightmare too. So, why not create a cool, fun and exciting room that they can play in and to keep all of the toys?


Children’s Bedrooms
At the moment, your children’s bedrooms might have a design you love, or be cluttered with clothes and toys and be borderline out of control. Either way, what purpose do you want to create for each of them? Sleep is paramount, but storage doesn’t have to be (especially now that you’re warming to the idea of a playroom). And, as your children get older, studying will be an important activity too. Whether you choose to create a separate space in the house for this or do it their room, adding student desks can give your children a designated place to study and feel ready to work.




Garden
Adding purpose to your home doesn’t have to be kept to the inside, you can also add a level of practicality to your garden. You might already have a few spaces that you love, but you can always add more. In fact, your outside space can become an extension of your home. Without having to actually build an extension, you can make your garden into another room by using furniture. If you’ve always wanted an outdoor seating or dining space, now’s the time to do it.

Swag Code Extravaganza: Reindeer Games! (US & CA) #Swagbucks



I love when Swagbucks has Swag Code Extravaganzas because they are one of the easiest ways to earn SB! 

What are SB, you ask? 

SB are points you earn on Swagbucks, a website where you can get gift cards for the things you do online - I've gotten almost $400 with Swagbucks! What are you waiting for? 

I have done A LOT of online shopping this year because I don't like crowds, so I have earned Swagbucks with Lego.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, ToysRUs and more!

The holiday cheer begins on Wednesday, December 21st from 7 am PDT/10 am EDT to 6 pm PDT/9 pm EDT. All you have to do is look out for the Swag Code notifications, enter the code, and you earn SB (which can be redeemed for gift cards)! There will be 6 Swag Codes throughout the day worth a total of 30 SB.

Look out for the Swag Codes all over Swagbucks!

Sign up here to grab as many Swag Codes as you can and get your first gift card even faster! 

Christmas Quenchers Collector's Bills #Swagbucks


One of my favorite things about using Swagbucks is that I can get rewards for searching the web through their search engine ... it's fun to be searching for something random for homeschooling or writing or life and get some bonus Swagbucks just for hunting down information.
Every now and then they have "Collector's Bills" worth SB points that you can collect by simply searching the web. Collect them all, and you get an SB Bonus! Once you've collected enough SB, you can redeem them for gift cards to stores like Walmart, Target, and many more!
Here's all the information for this week's Christmas Quenchers Collector's Bills:
Search the web through the Swagbucks search starting Monday, December 19th at 12:01am PT/3:01am ET through Saturday, December 24th at 11:59pm PT/Sunday, December 25th 2:59am ET, and when you get a search win, you may get a special Collector’s Bill valued at either:
  • 5 SB
  • 7 SB
  • 9 SB
  • 15 SB
  • 24 SB
When you get a Collector’s Bill you’ll receive the value of the bill and the bill will be added to your “Collector’s Bills” ledger. Collect all 5 Collector’s Bills and you’ll instantly earn a 20 SB Bonus!

#Swago: Unwrap Your #Swagbucks Bonus and Have Fun Doing It!


It's time for you to unwrap your SB bonus this holiday season courtesy of Swagbucks. This month's Holiday themed Swago board offers a possible 400 SB ($4) Bonus!
What is SWAGO, you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. When you complete a task, watch that square change colors like a twinkling Christmas light. You can then redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great way to learn how to use the site, and it's a lot of fun!
Here’s what you need to know to get your 400 SB Bonus:
  • Swago will begin on Monday, December 19th at 8:01am PDT/11:01am EDT, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Monday, December 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

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