Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wordful Wednesday - International Flight

Jason wearing his "big boy" backpack

When Jason and I traveled to Ecuador in September for a mission trip, it was his first time ever on a plane and a first for both of us flying internationally.  

Jason enjoyed the entire experience and was as giddy as a goat.  I had to practically fight him to get a window seat at least once.  

Avianca airlines

The entire experience went quite smoothly for me and Jason.  I even got expedited a couple of times through security.  Seems I don't come off as dangerous!

A couple others didn't have quite the luck.  They were a guy and a gal in their 50s who must have had "shady" written all over their forehead.  Their bags were rummaged through on more than one occasion.  

FYI:  Don't pack a lot of water bottles in one suitcase.  They can be suspected as bombs and you will have to go through a big ole' rigamaroo to prove otherwise.  

Because it was our first international flight, me and Jason were introduced to some of the things offered on some airlines.  We were kept entertained with screens on the front of our seats.  We could play games, listen to music (mostly Spanish) or even watch a movie.  I watched the newer Power Rangers movie.  (Was pretty good, by the way)

If we didn't want to go that route, we could pull up a map of our flight and see where our airplane was located.  We could also check out the current altitude, air temperature, and wind speed.

breakfast of fruit, a roll, and ham and cheese crepes

We had a total of four meals served during our flights.  They came out as mini versions of TV dinners.  It wasn't enough to fill you up, but did curb any cravings.  And the food wasn't half bad either.

Have you ever traveled internationally by plane?

Give Back this Season with Go Organically - Giveaway

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with PR firm.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it. For many people, the season of gratitude is a great reminder to give back to those in need—whether it be by donating to a food drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen or giving money to a favorite charity. For parents like us, this season offers the perfect opportunity to teach kids about the importance of giving back to one’s community. And there’s no better way to do it than as a family! Here are a few family-driven ways to embrace this “teachable moment” and set a great example by instilling the spirit of giving in kids. After all, kindness counts!

Donating Goods

Make donating goods a family affair! Here’s how to get the whole crew involved:

·         Food Drives: Have kids go through cupboards with you to identify canned goods and boxed items that your family can donate to your local food drive. Ask older kids to check expiration dates to ensure freshness, and give younger kids the job of sorting or placing items in boxes. Or take a trip to the grocery store together and let kids help pick out items to buy and donate. By loading items onto the grocery belt and helping to bag and deliver goods, they’ll feel like an important part of the process.

·         Clothing Donations: Donating clothing is a win-win. You get to eliminate clutter and help those in need at the same time. Plus, you’re keeping items out of landfills by giving them a second life! Have kids play “fit model” by trying on clothing and seeing what no longer fits. They can also help sort, fold and bag clothing, and/or accompany you to the drop-off site.

·         Toy Drives: Many organizations, such as Toys for Tots, collect new, unwrapped toys for children in need during the holiday season. To get your kids involved, take them to the toy store and have them pick out a gift that they think a little boy or girl their age might like. They’ll love getting to weigh in with a kid’s perspective.

Donating Time

There’s no better way for parents and kids to bond than to do some good together. Here are some of our favorite ideas for pitching in as a family:

·         Visit VolunteerMatch to locate volunteer opportunities in your area. You can filter your search by “kids” to find age-appropriate activities that all family members can participate in—from park cleanups to animal rescue efforts and more.

·         Check with your school, place of worship or community groups to see if they need any assistance with charitable programs. Is the PTA collecting toiletries for a local women’s shelter? Volunteer your family to design, print and distribute flyers to get the word out. Is your child’s scout troop visiting a nursing home for holiday caroling? Dress your spouse and kids in cute matching sweaters and attend as a family to belt out holiday tunes.

·         Don’t wait for a formally organized effort to spread kindness or lend a hand. Pay a family visit to an elderly neighbor who may be lonely, or buy a bunch of craft supplies and sit down together to make holiday cards for the troops. Welcome the new family in town by shopping for and assembling a basket of goodies. Bonus points if you include Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks.

Happy helping from all of Go Organically! Made with real fruit, their gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free kids snacks are a great choice for your on-the-go life.
Win It!

One person will win three boxes of Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks (one of each flavor).

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

List of Great Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals

This post contains affiliate links.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday rapidly approaching its hard to keep track of all the sales and deals out there. However, I wanted to share a few weekend offerings that will have you covered throughout the upcoming holiday season.
Cheers to getting effortlessly glamorous hair with Cuvée Beauty’s weekend deals on

Black Friday: Complementary 3-piece travel kit with all orders - $36 value

Saturday: Buy More, Get More –
$30 purchase, $5 off
$75 purchase, $15 off
$150 purchase, $40 off

Sunday: Complementary signature-scented candle with all orders - $20 value

Cyber Monday: All orders ship free and IG exclusive deal – 40% off Première Treatment w/promo code – 4 hours only

Give the gift of hydrated skin this season with Josie Maran’s exclusive Black Friday deal on

“Whip it Good Kit : $15.00 ($24.00 Value): (2) 2 oz. Whipped Argan Oil Body Butters in Unscented & Vanilla Pear

Also, shop online at Josie Maran on Black Friday for free shipping on every order and 25% off your order, using code SAVE25 at checkout.

Dana’s Bakery has a full weekend of deals to satisfy any sweet tooth on

Black Friday – Sunday: Orders over $50.00 get a free 12-box of macarons

Cyber Monday: FREE box with ALL orders

Zak! Designs

Black Friday:

Check out our Black Friday DOORBUSTER: 50% off a 7pc Confetti Salad Set! Plus, get 25% off your entire order this Black Friday! Shop now at Doorbuster valid 11/24/17 while supplies last - SAVE NOW!

Cyber Monday:

Ready, set, save! Our Cyber Monday sale includes an amazing doorbuster deal, a free garlic peeler with every purchase, and 25% off everything in your order. Shop now at Valid 11/27/17 through 11/28/2017 - SAVE NOW!

dr. brandt skincare

Black Friday

45% OFF Needles No More® No More Baggage

Cyber Monday

Buy 1 and get 1 free: Do Not Age Triple Peptide Eye Cream ($82), Microdermabrasion ($79), Pores No More® Pore Refiner Primer ($45), Magnetight Age-Defier ($75), Do Not Age Time Defying Cream ($132), 2% Retinol Complex Serum ($69)

MIU COLOR Eco-friendly Glass Water Bottle - Review

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

This year I started going to a fitness center and going on walks. I also have a teen son that runs several miles a day.  One thing that keeps us going is water.  We've been using MIU COLOR Eco-friendly Glass Water Bottles to take our water in when we need to stay hydrated.

There are a few things that make the MIU COLOR glass water bottles so special and handy.  I use the 18 oz large glass water bottle with a water drop design.  Logan uses the 24 oz gray 24 oz MIU Color Glass Water Bottle.  Other than size and design, there's not much of a difference between the two.

The glass bottles are mostly shatterproof, so they will unlikely break.  They are designed to take a decent beating.  Sweat and condensation on the outside of the bottles aren't a problem.  These two MIU COLOR glass water bottles have a wide-mouth opening and a silicone sleeve.  A silicone handle makes it handy for carrying, and the lids are leak-proof.  Although I haven't personally tried it, hot liquids can be placed in the bottles.  I've used the bottles to drink cold water, juice and tea.

I've found that washing them with a long handled bottle brush is best.  Due to the design of the water bottles, that's the best way to remove residue from water or other liquids.  The gray water bottle that Logan has features a 100 to 500ml measure line and a see-through area to view how much water is left.  The water drop pattern water bottles don't have that.  Both Logan and I like these water bottles!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Movies and Conferences

Stacy Uncorked keeps us entertained with her Random Tuesday Thoughts weekly linkup.  Join along if you have a bunch of randomness.
Last Wednesday I attended a supper hosted by our church for ICOM missionaries.  The nine missions that we serve were given time to speak about their platform and a monetary donation was given to their cause.  Food was catered in by a local diner.  My favorite part was sitting next to Oscar, the guy who is the founder of Pan de Vida.  He's the one we worked for when I went on the Ecuador mission trip.  He flew in from Ecuador to Illinois to attend the event.

My mother's birthday was a couple weeks ago.  I wanted to do like last year and have the family together for a celebration, but it was colder than a polar bear's toenails.  So Adam and I went out there for a few minutes and ate Tiramisu and a cookie, then bolted.
My bathroom is finally fixed.  Roto-Rooter came out and dug up all my evergreen trees in the right side of my front yard.  So, now I have a big ole' pile of dirt.  Come to find out, the clean-out wasn't located there where they thought it was so all that was done for naught.  They brought in a backhoe and went through my chimney to get to the bathroom and clear out what was causing the problem.  Of all things, it was tree roots that were compacting my toilet!  
My oldest daughter, Shelby, is a local manager for Family Video.  She was given authorization to purchase 20 turkeys for donation.  Her and Jason went to Wally World and picked up the birds, then took them to the church.  The church had a dinner that evening and donated them to those in need.
shirt given to all attendees

I spent a couple of days over a weekend in November attending our church's annual Women's Conference.  We had almost 650 gals there listening to speakers and worshiping to music.  On that Friday night, there were areas with crafts, food, games, karaoke, and a photo booth.  
I've mentioned before that comedy films aren't usually my thing but I had to go watch A Bad Moms Christmas with my gal pals Saturday.  The first one had me rollin' so I knew this one was gonna be just as good.  It was oh-so-raunchy but oh-so-funny.
I'll leave you with this:

What's your randomness for the week?

One Christmas Bear - Children's Book Review and Giveaway

I received book for review from Tommy Nelson.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Book Overview:

Count the joys of Christmas with Christmas Bear and his arctic friends in One Christmas Bear, the new holiday-shaped board book for toddlers and preschoolers by Anne Vittur Kennedy.

My Review:

A perfect board book for the holidays, One Christmas Bear is told in rhyme.  With cute animal illustrations, each page spread has a numeric progression.  For instance, there's two funny foxes, three rabbits jumping, and four flying eagles.  Parents reading this book to their kids can reflect on the fun things that Christmas has to offer.  They can also go over number counts and point out the number of each item or thing featured.  This book is short, sweet, and full of holiday cheer.
Win It!

One person will win a One Christmas Bear children's board book.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Savings: Cash Back Online Shopping with Hoopla Doopla

This post contains an affiliate link. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Coupon Codes and Cash Back at Hoopla Doopla

A lot of people, including myself, do a majority of their shopping online.  Wanna know how to get paid to do just that? is a legit company that offers a totally free membership with cash back opportunities through shopping at over 2000 popular online retailers - which is great with the holiday season upon us! The cash back is deposited right into your account.  It's a great way to save on  holiday shopping purchases (that extra cash can go towards a spa day to recover from the holidays and kick off the New Year!).

If you're shopping online anyways, why not get cash back and great money-saving deals in the process!