Our Visit to SEA LIFE Aquarium in Tempe

I received complimentary tickets to SEALIFE Aquarium for my review, however all opinions herein are my own.

On the same day that we got to visit Lego Land in Tempe, we got to go right next door and check out SEA LIFE Aquarium. Who would have thought that some place so cool could be right smack in the middle of a shopping center? SEA LIFE Aquarium is filled with amazing sea creatures and even has a tunnel that you can walk through and have the sharks swimming right above your head! I love that part!

Our group included 8 of us, my husband and I and our 3 children (ages 14, 11 and 2) and also my brother in law, his girlfriend and 7 year old son. We all loved this aquarium. I don’t think that we loved it quite as much as we loved Lego Land, but c’mon, that place was epic!

I am a big lover of aquariums and sea life though. I love seeing them float through the water and interact with other sea creatures. There is just something so peaceful about it. Watching the sharks swim above you in the tunnel is fun and peaceful, yet a little bit scary and thrilling. Watching the stingrays glide across the bottom of the water was so interesting as the seem so perfectly in tune with the water. I don’t know, I probably sound like I am babbling, but I just love watching all of these amazing creatures move around.

There were quite a few fun little portals that the kids could stick their heads into to make it feel like there were in the water with all of the neat sea creatures. My two year old and my 7 year old nephew loved this part!

I will say though that this aquarium was on the smaller side and was quite busy, so I am thankful that I didn’t bring my stroller with me, because I feel like it definitely would have been a hindrance to our experience.

One thing I loved about this aquarium and honestly, most aquariums that I have visited is how much you can learn while there. There are informative signs throughout the entire aquarium. You can learn about the creatures themselves as well as threats to their entire populations. It is intriguing and helpful to teach children about the importance of sea life and the health of our oceans.

If you happen to be in the Phoenix area, and you are looking for a fun afternoon for the kids, I highly recommend taking them to SEA LIFE Aquarium and LegoLand next door. It is a fun and educational way to spend the day with the kids. They will love the fun rides, the neat sea creatures, the awesome exhibits and they can even watch a fun 4D Movie while they are there. Plus, all you need to do is head on over to their websites and you will probably find a discount or two. 😉 For example, right now you can save $5 off of your entrance fee to SEA LIFE Aquarium, and I believe you can find further discounts if you buy your tickets to both attractions at the same time.

Have fun, my friends!

LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Tempe, Arizona

I received complimentary tickets to LEGOLAND Discovery Center AZ for my review, however all opinions herein are my own.

We recently took a little vacation to Arizona which I will tell you all about soon, but one thing that we did in Arizona that the entire family loved is our trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Tempe. On this vacation there were 8 of us, my family of 5 as well as my brother-in-law and his family of 3, including his 7 year old son. When I first reached out to LEGOLAND about this trip, they told me that LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER is really marketed for kids up to age 10, meaning that my older kids (11 and 14) may not like it as much. For this reason, we kind of expected this trip to be solely for the little kids, which was fine because we wanted them to have a blast after all of the traveling (we all know how much little ones love airports and planes, am I right?)

Let’s back up a little first. We landed in Phoenix on a Wednesday morning with plans to visit family on Wednesday, travel to the Grand Canyon and Sedona on Thursday and Friday and then come back Saturday morning to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SeaLife Aquarium that day before we flew out Saturday night. Well, let’s just say that Mother Nature did not want to cooperate with our plans. That’s right, the road to the Grand Canyon was covered in 2 feet of snow, and our Sedona tours got cancelled. So.. instead of a quick stop on Saturday, we decided to take as much time on Friday as we wanted to explore LEGOLAND and SEALife Aquarium which worked out perfectly because it was super rainy that day, making it the best day to be indoors.

I couldn’t be happier that we were able to dedicate more time to visiting LEGOLAND because, my friends, it was fun! I’m not just talking about the little kids either, every single one of us (ages 2, 7, 11, 14, 24, 26, 39 and 43) LOVED this place. The LEGO builds were amazing, the rides were fun, the indoor playground was a blast and the 4D movie was a hit! Trust me, getting a 2 year old to sit through any length movie is a feat and boy did this do the trick. Between the fun glasses, the realistic characters popping out of the screen and the water and bubble effects, we could have easily stayed for another showing. 🙂

I have never been to the big LEGOLAND theme park in California, but I have heard good things, so I was excited to visit a compact version of it in the Tempe LEGOLAND Discovery Center. I knew that there would be a couple of rides, but I assumed they would just be for the little tikes since it was indoors. The first ride that you come across is Kingdom Quest and all 8 of us hopped on! You are each given a little lazer gun where you practice your target shooting skills! It was actually really fun for all of us. The next ride was Merlin’s Apprentice and oh my goodness, the kids loved it! It was two people per car and the faster you pedal the higher you go!

There was also a restaurant/ food court there and while we didn’t eat there ourselves, there were quite a few people that looked like they were enjoying their snacks.

If I had to say anything negative about LEGOLAND Discovery Center it would be that I struggled to let my little one play in the brick pits only because I tend to be a bit of a germ-o-phobe. However, kids were having an amazing time in there so that is probably just me.

So, if you are here because you are looking for a LEGOLAND Discovery Center reviews, I highly recommend this place for big kids and little kids alike! You are going to love it.

Cute Bird Egg Bath Bombs

We all love self-care gifts, don’t we? Or, am I alone in this? Seriously, I love opening gifts to find bath bombs, sugar scrubs and bath sets. It always makes me super happy. How about you?

Speaking of bath bombs, are you looking for a cute DIY Valentine’s Day or Easter gift that won’t break the bank? Bath bombs are that gift! Especially these cute, Bird Egg Bath Bombs. These work so great for gifts for any occasion, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Anniversaries…you name the day and I can almost guarantee that a bath bomb will make a great gift!

Homemade bath bombs are awesome and way better than store bought kind. You can make them any scent you want and you know exactly what is inside of them, so you don’t have to stress about any hidden ingredients.

As an added bonus, they are much easier to make than you may think!

DRY INGREDIENTS

1 pound baking soda

½ pound citric acid, fine grain

½ pound Epson salt, fine grain

.5 ounce kaolin clay

1 ounce Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (SLSA)

¼ to ½ teaspoon micas – in your preferred color

WET INGREDIENTS

1 ounce sweet almond oil

1 ounce essential oil of choice (I used equal parts peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary for the birds nests and equal parts lavender and magnolia (this is a harder one to find) for the bunnies)

.5 ounce Poly 80 (for micas)

¼ to 1 ounce alcohol

Measure out the dry ingredients in a container except for the mica powders.  A plastic shoe box works well for this. 

Mix the ingredients well. 

Combine the essential oil, poly 80 and sweet almond oil in a glass container and stir to combine. If the scent seems too light, add a little bit more essential oil, but not a lot because essential oils do contain medicinal properties and you can overdo it. 

Pour the scented mixture into the dry ingredients, a little at a time and mix well with a spoon or a gloved hand.

Add the alcohol to the mixture ¼ ounce at a time.

Mix well after each addition, again using a spoon or gloved hand.

Continue adding the alcohol 1/4 ounce at a time until the mixture looks like wet sand. Normally one ounce is plenty, but if the mixture is still too dry, add a little more alcohol.

Once the mixture looks like wet sand, pick up a handful of the mixture and squeeze it together to make a ball shape. If it does not hold together, there is not enough moisture in the mix.

If the ball holds together, hold the ball above six inches above the bottom of the bowl and drop the bath bomb ball into the bowl. If it stays together, the mixture is ready to press into the molds and if not, add a little bit more alcohol until the mixture holds together.

Remove approximately 1/4 of the mixture and put it in a second container. 

Measure the blue mica powder and add it to the new container. 

Stir or use a gloved hand to combine the mica powder with the mixture. 

Now add the green mica powder to the container with the larger amount of bath bomb mixture in it.

Stir or use a gloved hand to combine the mica powder with the mixture. 

When both mixtures are ready, place a small amount of the blue mixture into the bottom of the mold.  This mold set works awesome!

Finish filling the mold with the green bath bomb mixture.

Make sure to use enough bath bomb mixture to fill the mold, but do not overfill it*.

Now fill the other side of the mold with the green bath bomb mixture. 

Be sure to add a little extra to the center of the mold so when you press the mold together both sides will adhere to one another.

Allow the bath bombs to dry overnight in the mold, then remove one side of the mold so air can circulate around the bath bomb. 

Leave the other side of the bath bomb in the mold. It is ok to remove it just for a moment and then put it back if you are worried about the bath bomb not releasing from the mold.

Set the mold containing the bath bomb aside and let it dry for two to three days, then remove it from the mold.

Your bath bomb is now ready to use or if you are not ready to use it, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it away from moisture and sunlight.

What to Pack for Your trip to the Oregon Coast

So you finally did it. You finally pulled the trigger and booked your vacation to the Oregon Coast. Yay! First of all, let me just say that you are going to love it. Let’s make sure you know exactly what to pack for your trip to the Oregon Coast to get your vacation off to the right start!

I’m not a world traveler by any means, but I have been to beaches throughout Oregon, California, and Texas and I have to admit that the Oregon Coast is by far the most beautiful. I’m not just saying that either, it’s true. What part of the coast did you book your vacation? My personal favorites are Pacific City and Newport. They both have some amazing beaches.

Okay, enough of me gushing about my love for all things Oregon Coast, it’s time for me to get to the point. If you have not yet been to the Oregon Coast, you might be wondering what you should pack for your trip to the Oregon Coast and I am going to help you with that. Yes, you are headed to the beach, but you need to be more prepared then just having “beach attire” with you.

What to Pack for Your trip to the Oregon Coast:

  • Swimsuit or shorts
  • Hoodies or jackets
  • Sandals or slip-on shoes
  • Sturdy shoes if you plan on any exploring any tide pools or walking on rocks
  • Hat, beanie or hair tie if you have long hair (lots of wind, you will want your hair up)
  • Sweats or pants that can easily be pulled on over shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Cash or card (in case you want to visit a cute shop nearby)
  • Blanket for covering up, especially if you will be there at night
  • Bag for collecting rocks and shells
  • Beach toys for the kids
  • Kites
  • Volleyball, football, etc.
  • Cooler with food and drinks (you don’t want to have to leave and get food, so make sure and bring it with you).
  • Camera or cell phone for stunning pics
  • Camp chairs (we splurged on these last year and it was so worth it!) or a beach blanket (we have a dedicated old king size comforter that we bring along on our beach trips)
  • S’mores goodies
  • Firewood, paper, and matches (assuming it’s not fire season, you can have a fire on the beach at most beaches in Oregon and it is a blast, so don’t forget your firewood).
  • Hand sanitizer and hand/baby wipes
  • Garbage bag for collecting your mess before you leave. Leave it better than you found it!

I’m sorry to disappoint all of my friends and readers who were expecting to go have some sunny and warm beach days, but you need to be prepared to be chilly when you visit the Oregon Coast. The Oregon coast is stunning and fun, but not always warm. Even on sunny days, there is often a breeze that can be quite chilly so make sure you are prepared to warm yourself up! I live in Oregon, about an hour and 15 minutes away from the beach, so you can find our family at the beach often, and we never go without a sweatshirt at the very minimum.

oregon coast

You want to make sure and bring these items along with you, because like all tourist locations, items are more expensive there. We went on a recent trip to the beach with some family members who drove off without their sweatshirts and ended up spending $100 on 3 sweatshirts for their family while they were there.

This list may seem a bit excessive, and I do tend to be an an over-packer, but I believe in being prepared and I don’t like to spend money unnecessarily. Plus, knowing what to pack for your Oregon coast trip can take a little bit of pressure off of your vacation plans. I know that before my last vacation to a new place I looked up lots of tips on what to pack.

TIP: If you are staying in a hotel, you might want to bring duplicates so you don’t have to find a laundromat to wash and dry your clothes. If you do jump in the water, it’s not always easy for your clothes to dry in the chilly breeze.

Nitro Circus: A Wildly Fun Family Night

(We had a great view of the show, but our seats were being a baseball net and pictures were not easy to get)

So I told you all a while back about Nitro Circus coming to our neck of the woods, well we went and boy oh boy did we love it!  We went to the show in Bend, Oregon which was held in the Vince Genna Stadium (home of the Bend Elks).

I have to be honest with you, I fully intended to go to this show for my children’s benefit only.  I figured they would have a great time watching the motorcycle tricks and that would be that.  Boy was I wrong!  I had just as much of a good time as the kids did and I would go back again in an instant!

First of all, we were lucky enough to land at a show that Travis Pastrana was at!! According to others who have seen the show and Travis himself, he doesn’t make it to many of them, so this was awesome.  Maybe it’s because I remember watching Travis ride on TV when he was just a teenager and being so impressed by that, but him being there just made the night that much more exciting.

There were so many tricks done by motocross racers, BMX bikers, and skateboarders that it was non-stop action. I was even mentioning to a friend last night that I even loved the crowd there.  It was a mixture of fun-loving adults and excited little kids.   In fact, the only thing I didn’t love about the night was that the Vince Genna Stadium has very little parking and we had to walk probably a half-mile to get there, but even that wasn’t so bad.

In this stock photo, it shows what was, in my opinion, the best part of the show.  All 20 of the athletes were in the air and upside down at the same time.  I have seen it on television before, but it was heart racing excitement to see in person.

I will end my review with this.  I WILL definitely be buying tickets the next time Nitro Circus comes to town.

 

We received these tickets in exchange for our honest review. 

Top Ten FREE Healthy Kindle Cookbooks

Looking for an easier way to bring some new healthy meals into the house?  Here is a list of the best FREE Healthy Cookbooks available on Amazon right now.

 

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Prices on Amazon change often, take advantage of these freebies before the price goes up!

Anyone Want to Guess How My Morning Started?

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Well I think I have mentioned that I live in a small town and yes I do mean small.  I believe at last check our population was somewhere near 1,000.  So with the small town life comes many oddities.  One of which is a flock of wild turkeys that we see every single morning on the way to take the kids to school.

Today, sadly we met one of these turkeys on the wrong corner.  He jumped in front of my car and I simply could not stop in time.  It made me so sad to have started my morning that way and now my children get to tell the story of how “Mom killed a turkey this morning.”

I guess I shall take from this that I appreciate that my car wasn’t damaged and this is just a part of small town life.  I have lived here forever, so you would think I would remember that, but still this was my first turkey accident…

*Reminder* CVS: FREE 24 Count Extra Strength Pain Relief! Starts 11/10

cvs pharmacy

If you are a CVS shopper, starting Sunday, you will be able to get a FREE 24 count CVS Brand Extra Strength Pain Relief (24 count).  Starting 11/10 make sure you scan your extra care card at the Coupon Center and you can get $4.99 off  Instant Coupon for CVS Brand Extra Strength Pain Relief (24 count), which will be priced at just $4.99, making them FREE!