Do you have kids that love LEGO? My son is almost 10 and he loves anything and everything LEGO. That’s why when I spotted that Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience is coming to Portland I knew I had to take him! But guess what? If you want to take your kids, you can save some money using the promo code I have listed below.
Are you in the Portland area check this out: August 19-20 LEGO lovers rejoice! The Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience is filled with hands-on attractions and activities built to inspire, educate, and entertain.
DATE AND TIME
Sat, Aug 19, 2017, 9:00 AM –
Sun, Aug 20, 2017, 6:00 PM
Portland Expo Center
2060 N Marine Dr
Portland, OR 97217
MY READERS SAVE! Save $3 off tickets with promo code USFGTHREE
Enjoy an amazing LEGO world where you can marvel at giant creations and even build some of your own.
The Brick Fest Live LEGO Fan Experience provides a venue for LEGO lovers of all sizes to celebrate, build new creations, and see some truly mind-blowing LEGO sculptures to help set the imagination free.
The Brick Show Experience: Meet popular YouTube LEGO show hosts from The Brick Show and be featured on in an upcoming video.
Brick Fest Derby: Build and race your custom built LEGO derby car down one of our 35-foot long timed tracks!
Collaborative Building Activities: Contribute to large-scale mystery floor mosaic.
Inspiration Stations: Add to existing LEGO cities and make them your own by building custom creations.
Video Game Arena: Have a favorite LEGO video game? Come challenge your family or make new friends in the Brick Fest Gaming Arena playing your favorite LEGO title head to head.
Mini Golf: A miniature golf course built to inspire! Take your game to the next level on the Brick-Links.
Brick Fest Theater Trivia & Entertainment: Participate in LEGO trivia all while taking a break from what will be an overwhelming amount of awesome!
Mosaics: Using a colorful variety of LEGO bricks, build a piece of art to proudly display for other attendees.
Shopping: Find new, vintage, rare, and custom LEGO sets and merchandise from one of the many merchants in attendance.
MY READERS SAVE! Save $3 off tickets with promo code USFGTHREE
More Info and tickets here
Hungry? If you want to keep your kids eating healthy snacks this Summer, make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand. These chocolate energy bites are a favorite around our house!
Chocolate Energy Bites
- 1 Jar Peanut Butter (16 oz)
- 3 Cups Oatmeal
- 1/4 cup of chocolate chips
- 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (we use Orgain Chocolate Protein)
- 1 cup of raw unfiltered honey (I bought local honey at a nearby Farmer’s Market)
- 1/4 cup of chia seeds (We use Food to Live)
Mix ingredients well, forming into balls once mixed.
Did you know that June is fresh fruit and veggie month? I have seen countless photos on my social media timeless of my friends out picking fresh berries and fruits. Sometimes picking fruit is pretty obvious. I mean, no one wants a smushed (according to spell check, smushed is not a word. I’m still going with it 😉 ) strawberry or a bruised apple, but sometimes, it’s hard to know if the produce will taste great when you get home or not. So how do you know if a particular fruit or vegetable is going to be good? Well, there are some tips that will help us decide if something is ready or not.
Here is a list that you can follow to help you pick the perfect produce:
- Watermelon –
- The watermelon should always feel heavy for its size
- There should be a hollow thud when you thump the melon with your fingers
- The yellow spot (where they have laid on the ground) should be creamy yellow
- Like the watermelon, a cantaloupe should feel heavy for its size.
- It should smell sweet, yet slightly musky
- The rind should look raised netting
- A honeydew should be a pale yellow color, avoid green honeydew melons as those are not yet ripe
- It should also have a dull appearance. A shiny appearance indicates that it is not yet ripe
- A pineapple should be firm to the touch
- The leaves on the crown should be green
- A Coconut is another fruit that should be heavy for its size
- Any sign of wetness or mold on the outside are a bad sign
- Spaghetti Squash
- Spaghetti squash should again, be heavy for its size
- Look for a rind that is dry and has no cracks or soft spots
- Acorn Squash
- Acorn squash should have a good combination of green and orange color in the rind
- Should be heavy for its size
- Rind should be dull without any cracks or soft spots
- Butternut Squash
- Butternut squash should be beige in color
- Avoid butternut squash that has any brown spots or deep cuts
- The perfect avocado is dark green
- Yields to slight pressure
- Broccoli should have bright green heads
- Stems and stalks should be very firm. If you hold the broccoli up, the stalks should not droop
- Look for tight clusters of the florets, if they are more open that means they are past their prime
- Cauliflower should be a creamy white color
- Look for tight clusters of the florets
- No brown spots or wetness
- Make sure to smell for any musky or moldy odors
If you are wanting to start planning your Summer outings now, be sure to plan some trips to the $1 Summer movies!! I take my kids to these every year.
Here is the list of movies that will be playing this Summer! Don’t forget that this program starts on different dates throughout the country, so be sure to check this link for your area’s start date.
For each week, both movies play on both Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 a.m.
- Week 1
Kung Fu Panda 3
Ice Age: Collision Course
- Week 2
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
- Week 3
Penguins of Madagascar
- Week 4
- Week 5
The Secret Life of Pets
- Week 6
Kubo and the Two Strings
Ratchet and Clank
- Week 7
The Spongebob Square Pants Movie: Sponge Out of Water
The Adventures of Tin Tin
- Week 8
Happy Feet 2
Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
- Week 9
The Lego Batman Movie
You can feel good knowing that you didn’t spend a lot, plus what you did spend partially goes to the Will Rodgers Institute.
We are a very active family and we occasionally have some sore muscles. Okay, that was a lie…it is definitely more than occasionally.
Our big kids are both very active in sports and often have sore muscles. Plus, as we get older we find that we get sore muscles from the simplest of things. I am always happy to try and help my family feel better so I was always willing to try and massage out the muscle pain. I’m not big on lotions and oils though because they have countless ingredients that I cannot even pronounce. I was looking for a good alternative, when I thought why not make my own homemade massage oil? Because it’s what I had on hand, I decided to use coconut oil and Lavender essential oils to create an oil/paste to use for those sore muscles. I
My husband had a muscle injury last year that I like to massage for him so I figured who better to check out the new massage oil on. The verdict? It’s a hit. Because it is oil based, it helps make it easier to massage. Plus, it is all organic so I don’t have to worry about the chemicals that are seeping into our bodies. Lavender is known for its relaxation qualities so we used that to help relax the muscles and ourselves (I find it useful for sleep).
Here’s how I created this All Natural Massage Oil:
I mix them together into a paste and that’s it. It’s time to massage.
I have also decided that I’m going to be creating this for gifts for this year’s holiday season, so I just ordered these containers to put them in.
While it does depend on personal experience, I always end up with 2-3 uses with this amount.
Over the last couple of years we have been trying to do a lot of traveling on a budget. That means that we have been taking a lot of local/semi local road trips and exploring the super awesome stuff that Oregon has to offer. I plan to talk about some of our many adventures, so I figured why not start with Camp 18 Restaurant.
We took a small trip to Seaside this week and we had a blast, but we were wanting to explore outside of the area as well and my in-laws had recommended that we go to Camp 18 Restaurant.
Camp 18 Restaurant is logging themed restaurant located on Hwy 26 which connects Portland to Seaside. It took us about 25 minutes to get from Seaside to the restaurant. Camp 18 is located in a Log Cabin Style structure that is amazing in itself. It was built in the 70’s by Gordon Smith and features authentic materials such as an 85 foot (4 foot in diameter) ridgepole that is the largest that you will find throughout the country. It is simply amazing. We couldn’t stop looking at it throughout our meal.
Our meal, oh my goodness, where to begin. My son and I each ordered a cheeseburger. They were absolutely delicious and so much food. My one complaint is that they were messy! The fries were cooked just right, not too greasy or salty. My husband had the clubhouse sandwich, which was probably the best one I have ever tasted (he shared a bite with me). My daughter ordered the biscuits and gravy breakfast (served until 2) and they came out with 2 plates of food for her! The biscuits and gravy on one plate; eggs, bacon and sausage on the other and she ate every last bite. I didn’t taste her food, but she says it was delicious.
The food prices were pretty much what I expected. For the 4 of us to eat (baby doesn’t get his own meals yet), it was around $50 with drinks.
The adorable little old ladies at the table next to us had one of the famous cinnamon rolls delivered to them once their meal was done and wow! The one cinnamon roll took up the entire plate and it smelled delish! We were too full to even consider it, but I can’t say that we will pass next time.
The outside of the restaurant was almost as exciting as the restaurant itself. They have lots of authentic and antique logging equipment, train cars, etc. They even have a little hiking trail. Luckily we went on a beautiful day in May so we got to stroll around and check everything out and even went hiking. 🙂 (okay, it’s only 3/10 of a mile, but it’s beautiful!).
If you are traveling from Portland to Seaside, definitely consider stopping by and if you are going to be in the Seaside area, head East and have fun!
We are a family that is trying to get healthy! Several years ago, I lost almost 40 pounds and while I kept it off for a while, I did have another baby and life happened. Now I am back to working on getting the weight back off. When I lost weight before, one major change I made was reducing the amount of complex carbs (breads, sugars, etc) that I eat.
Here is one of my favorite recipes that was a staple for the first time around and will be again!
Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers
I mix the following ingredients to create my turkey burgers:
- Ground Turkey – 16 ounce package
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tablespoons Tapatio sauce (yep..I like my burgers spicy)
Mix ingredients together and cook over medium heat. Wrap in a leaf of Romaine Lettuce and serve with your favorite toppings.
*My burgers are topped with a thin slice of cheddar, tomatoes, peppercinis, mustard and occasionally ketchup.
For years now I have been a big believer in alternative treatments. I suffer from horrible migraines and have visited countless chiropractors and naturopathic doctors to help. I have experienced pretty decent results from those treatments, but over the weekend was suffering from a horrible migraine and spent a majority of my day Saturday in bed.
My husband’s family often gets together to make a trip to the cemetery on Memorial Day and I didn’t want to miss that, so I decided I was going to suck it up and deal with the headache. While at the get together, my uncle-in-law could see that I wasn’t feeling well and offered to perform a “Reiki Massage” on me. I had no idea what that was so I politely declined. He pushed on and explained to me what it was and frankly at this point I was desperate and ready to go home, so I conceded. I have absolutely no regrets that I let him show me what Reiki was all about!
I finished the massage feeling more relaxed then I have ever felt in my life and honestly my headache was almost gone. The relaxation continued well into the night and I woke up completely refreshed. I am now very intrigued and plan to study up on Reiki and teach myself some meditative tricks! I loved it!
Do you have any experience with Reiki or other alternative treatments?
(This was several years ago, but I have only learned to love Reiki even more since then) Have you tried it out?
Everyone wants to be debt free, right? I know we do. We’ve been in the debt spiral before. Up to our eyeballs in bills with not enough income coming in. Sure we did some things to ourselves (spent too much, etc), but we also had some stuff happen to us that was completely unexpected (disability). Anyway…it took us a long time to climb out of that hole and we were determined to never let that happen again. So since those days we have been trying to live as simply as possible while working toward being debt free and one of those goals for us was to own a home outright. That’s right, no mortgage. Sounds crazy right? But guess what? In less than 6 years, we have accomplished that goal!
Here is our mortgage portion of our debt free journey…
Living in a rental was driving us crazy. We are the type of family that loves to have their own space, if I wanted to paint the walls I wanted to be able to do that. If I wanted to plant a garden, I wanted to be able to do that too. The fact is we simply wanted to start paying toward something of our very own that we could create a home with for our family. The real estate prices in our area during this time were skyrocketing and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to pay $1000+ per month for a place to live, especially since we had experienced disability before. We never wanted to be in the position that we couldn’t afford our house payment.
We began discussing the desire to buy a home and started keeping track of the real estate ads in the local newspaper and on Craigslist and I even become a stalker of the local Multiple Listing Service website. We just weren’t seeing anything in our area in the price range that we were looking for. So, one day we decided to simply drive around the area and see if we could spot any for sale signs. We did see several, but we also saw what appeared to be an empty house with an overgrown yard and no signs that anyone had been there for a while. We decided to keep an eye on the property for a week or so and we drove by daily to see if we could spot anyone there. When it became apparent that no one lived there, I began to do a little bit of digging to find out who owned the property. I went on to our county website and researched the tax records to find the owner and I decided to write them a letter.
I initially wrote a letter to the lady listed on the tax records and in my letter I stated that it appeared as though the home was empty and I asked if she was interested in selling it. I got a response about a week later from that same woman stating that she was about to lose the home in tax foreclosure and it wasn’t in great shape so she didn’t think we would be interested. In my next correspondence I stated that I was, in fact, interested and asked for permission to go onto the property and check it out. She was right. It was not in good shape, but we have never been the type to shy away from hard work.
We decided that we wanted to move forward and we offered her half of the home’s (county appraised) value, but since the house couldn’t be financed due to its condition, she also needed to carry the contract for us. Again, the home was about to enter Tax Foreclosure, so we set a plan to pay the taxes of $2500, taking that away from the price we offered her. Also, because of the work that needed to be done on the house we requested the first 8 months to be mortgage free. Because she didn’t have the money to pay the taxes or do anything with the house, she was more than agreeable to our offer. Not only was she no longer going to have a tax foreclosure looming, she was able to relax a little bit and now she would now be receiving a monthly check. She was thrilled and quite thankful that we happened to drive by the house that day.
It is now six years later and guess what? We just sent in our last payment! Remember that 8 month delay? That means that we have actually paid off our home in just 5 years and 4 months! I don’t know about you, but I know very few people who are mortgage free and this is a goal that I never knew I would reach in my lifetime. As a mom, I love having the peace of mind in knowing that no matter what, we have a home forever and my children always have a home to come back to. No worries about what may happen in case of unemployment or disability because my home does not belong to the bank and no one can take it from me now that I have this deed in hand. Of course we still need to make that property tax payment every year, but believe me, when you compare that with a monthly mortgage or rent payment, it’s nothing.
We aren’t done yet though, hubby and I are looking for a new deal to work on! And p.s…I still stalk the MLS website.