Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Travel Tuesday-Seaworld San Diego

***Disclosure-I am a SeaWorld Wildsider.  Complimentary tickets to SeaWorld San Diego were provided for my husband and I.  Any opinions expressed are my own based on my personal experience.

To be a kid again and see things through their eyes is amazing.  Recently my husband and I took a trip to San Diego and we were able to visit SeaWorld San Diego together for the first time.  We asked many of our friends who travel what is on their list to visit and SeaWorld was on everyone's list.

This year SeaWorld is celebrating 50 years.  The celebrations are going on now. 

I want to share my pictures of our recent trip.  We had a blast and an experience of a lifetime.

From the moment you walk you, you get to interact and be hands on.  Start your adventure at Explorer's Reef...Have you ever touched a shark?  I have!

Then head to Animal Connections...Protect, Conserve, Discover, Share

Meet Peanut-Rescued after a bear stack, sole survivor. 

Do porcupines really shoot their quills?  We found out the answer to this question, always wondered if this was true or not.  And by the way they don't.


This the poison dart frogs, their colors are amazing.  Kiddos will recognize these from a movie.  The girl frog that falls in love.


We got a really could treat because as we were leaving, we saw the Caribbean being walked back to their area.  They do more than just stand around on one leg.  Did you know Flamingos are not born orange?  They get their color from their diet and food they eat.

When we walked in we were handed a map of the park, but I had already been online and knew where I wanted to go.  I kinda outline the park and worked my way by the show times.  But if you are not a planner like I am, SeaWorld has an app.  You can download it FREE.

Next we headed to Wild Artic...a virtual ride and then you get to see the animals.  This viewing is incredible. 

 Next we headed to the Shark Encounter, and what an encounter it is.  You like seeing Shark Week on TV, this will be your spot. 

Right next to this is Turtle Reef.  I love turtles.  My husband rescued a turtle a couple of years ago.  We cared for her until we passed.  We loved Tessa the Turtle.  When we first got her, we did not know what to do.  I remember looking online, going to the pet store, and being clueless.

We were not the only ones amazed with the turtles.  We then headed to the grab a bite to eat.  As we waited in line, I noticed the sign on the door and the Allergy pamphlet.  You can let the cooks know what your or your kiddo's allergies are.

We caught some shows in between, Blue Horizons, Pets Rule, and Sea Lions Live,

All the picture and video taking killed my battery.  Lucky we found this recharge station.  We took a quick break in between shows while we waited in the shade and recharged our phones.  You can carry your USB cord because they have an outlet for that too.

We then headed for another show-Cirque de la Mer,

 and rode the Bayside Skyride.  You can see the entire park from up there.  The breeze is wonderful.

We also rode the Manta.  I got to tell you, I screamed the entire time.  I loved it!  We then headed to the Dolphin Encounter, up close and personal. 

 We didn't Dine with Shamu but you could if you wanted to sit right up front, poolside. 

 But we did get to get a great view.  I also learned that a female's fin curves back.  Dorsal fins are not all alike.  A whale's flipper contains bones similar to those in our arms and hands.

The night was even more amazing when we got to see the Light Up The Night-Shamu's Celebration

 and the Celebrate the Wonder fireworks!!

Stay tuned as I share with you our adventures at SeaWorld Orlando when we take the kids in 2 weeks!  I can't wait to be amazed.  Have you ever been?  What is your favorite show or ride?  Do you have any tips?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fitness Friday Challenge Yourself-Triathlon

***Disclosure-This is sponsored conversation brought to you by New Creative Media.  Any opinions stated are my own based on my own personal experience.

2014 is half way gone.  Yes, gone.  We are in the second half of July and July is almost done too.  Have you challenged yourself this year?  Are you those people that see something and say I wish I could do that?  Maybe next year, I will start tomorrow, I could never do that????  Well that use to be me.  When I saw an athlete, I did not see me.  Never did I think I could do or be athletic.  But never say never.  If you want to do something, challenge yourself and prove to yourself that you can.  The only person stopping you is YOU.

This year I completed my 4th Half Marathon-Aramco Houston never in a million years could I have said I would be a runner 10 years ago.  In order to participate in the Aramco Half or Chevron Marathon there is a lottery system you enter yourself into.  And lucky me has been picked for the 2015 Aramco Houston Half Marathon.  I am currently training for this run in January.  My training has been different this time around as I have started to ride my bike.  I had not been cycling as part of my previous training.  My husband mentioned to me the other day that all I needed to do now is started swimming and I could be a Triathlete.  I started laughing at what he said.  And then I stopped.  Why?  Was this so impossible to imagine?  

What is a Triathlon?


Yes, all back to back.

This is now my new challenge to myself.  I challenge myself to do a Triathlon.  I want to prove to myself that I can do this.  I love the water.  I can swim.  I have been running.  I am currently taking cycling classes at the gym too.  I know this will be hard but I am willing to try.  One of my favorite shows to watch is Extreme Weight Loss.  A couple of weeks ago, one of the contestants changing their life completed a triathlon.  They were not first to finish and bearly made it to each check point but they completed it.  I want to be able to say that soon.

There is one coming soon near me, I did think there were any close to me.

7th Annual Clear Lake International Triathlon is happening on Saturday, August 23, 2014 in League City, Texas!!  

Swimming into Clear Lake, Bike a loop course, crossing the Kemah Bridge and going past NASA back into transition. Run partly shaded course overlooking Clear Lake and South Shore Marina.  Official website: Clear Lake International & Sprint Triathlon

This is actually one month away from now.  How exciting.  I have a couple of friends are currently training for Tri's already.  How crazy and challenging will this be?  Have you ever thought about challenging yourself to do a Tri?  I won't say it will be easy but training is the key to not hurting yourself.  My friends and I are crazy Mother Runners, maybe now we will be crazy Mother Triathletes???

Have you challenged yourself?  Start today?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thirsty Thursday-Happy Birthday to Me

***Disclosure-Sample product was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Today is my birthday!  Happy 36th birthday to me!  Let's all lift up you cups and CHEERS!!

Berries & Basil Summer Punch
Serves 10

What’s Inside:
·         1.5 oz.  SMIRNOFF No.21 Limited ‘American Summer’ Edition
·         1 Can Frozen Limeade
·         3 Cups Pineapple Juice
·         2 Cups Lemon-Lime Soda
·         Strawberries, Limes, Basil

How to Mix It:
Stir together ingredients in large pitcher. Add crushed ice to serve.

The Great American Wine Company is a proud supporter of the USO who will receive a $100,000 donation to support its efforts to provide thousands of programs for US troops and their families worldwide. 

The three varieties offered include:

o   Cabernet Sauvignon- This Cabernet has a bold, rugged character and dark fruit flavors.
o   Red Blend- Zinfandel-based, this blend is balanced and fruit-forward, with luscious cherry and raspberry flavors.

o   Chardonnay-The Chardonnay shows a stone fruit and citrus profile, with soft vanilla tones.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Taste It Tuesday-Kombucha

***Disclosure-Sample product was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my own experience.

With plenty of challenges in any given day, it’s challenging for women to treat themselves without guilt. 

Reed’s Culture Club Kombucha is power-packed with herbs and super fruits like ginger, goji berry, pomegranate, grapefruit, cranberry and hibiscus. Reed’s uses only spring water to brew the tea for their kombucha, and the finished product is the truest, most raw form of the tea.  Kombucha tea is packed with probiotics and beneficial enzymes.

Everyday we have been trying a different master tonic.  The Reed's Culture Club Kombucha is all numbered:

1-Goji Ginger
2-Hibiscus Ginger Grapefruit
3-Lemon Ginger Raspberry
4-Cranberry Ginger
5-Pomegranate Ginger
6-Coconut Water Lime
7-Passion Mango Ginger
8-Cabernet Ginger

According to WedMD, Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sicknesscolic, upset stomach, gas, diarrheanausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.

Other uses include pain relief from arthritis or muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. Ginger is also sometimes used for chest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.

Some people pour the fresh juice on their skin to treat burns. The oil made from ginger is sometimes applied to the skin to relieve pain.

I have had several intestinal issues the last couple of years.  One thing I can never do is burp on my own.  I have been clean eating which includes no sodas.  But sodas help me burp.  I really like the the kombucha drinks have a fizz and make me burp naturally.  I like the different flavors.  Each bottle was only 50 calories.  Each bottle has its own flavor and taste totally different.  I have used ginger in my juicing before so I was use to the taste but if you have not, then just be warned.  Passion Mango Ginger was the one liked the most.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Road Trip Music-Kidz Bop

***Disclosure-Sample product received.  All opinions stated are my own.

What is a road trip without music?  We love to karaoke on our road trips.  Once you hit out of town, your favorite stations are gone and then what?


3-Dark Horse
4-Story of My Life
7-Counting Stars
9-Best Day of My Life
10-All of Me
11-Not a Bad Thing
12-Ain't it Fun
13-The Man
14-Say Something
15-Let it Go

    I like Kidz Bob because it is kids singing the songs.  I am so glad that Let It Go made it on this one because is my daughter's favorite song right now.  We love this song too and sing along with her, if she lets us.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Skin Care Sunday-Bio-Oil

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are based on my own personal experience.

Since 2008, Pregnancy Awareness Month (May) has been empowering pregnant women and new families to easily adopt healthy routines into their lives.  Through education, exercise, nutrition, wellness and nurture, PAM helps women make healthy changes for themselves and their families. 

As America’s #1 selling multi-use skincare oil and a must-have for moms-to-be, Bio-Oil is proud to support PAM for the second year in a row.  Together, PAM and Bio-Oil are helping pregnant women stay healthy from the inside out.  

This is me at my baby shower carrying my daughter.  I was huge but so proud of my beautiful belly.

Did you know that Bio-Oil helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone with the unique formulation of Vitamins A & E, Lavender, Calendula and Rosemary oils, Chamomile extract and breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil.  The essential product treats aging and dehydrated skin and protects against moisture loss. 

I was introduced to Bio-Oil late after my pregnancy and heard of many of my friends who used it and swore by it.  I am still trying to return to my normal self.  

When the body expands faster than the covering skin, the skin tears, forming a scar as it heals. These scars are visible on the surface of the skin as stretch marks.
The likelihood of developing stretch marks varies according to skin type, race, age, diet and hydration of the skin. Those most prone to stretch marks include pregnant women, body builders, adolescents undergoing sudden growth spurts and individuals who experience rapid weight gain.
Stretch marks are permanent in nature, and although Bio‑Oil is formulated to help improve their appearance, it can never remove them.

My total was stretched out and now I am trying to lose all that baby and excess weight I have gained.  

Bio‑Oil should be massaged in a circular motion into the stretch marks, twice daily, for a minimum of 3 months. During pregnancy, it should be applied from the start of the second trimester to areas that are prone to stretch marks such as the abdomen, breasts, lower back, hips, buttocks and thighs.

Even though I may not go to 100% baby smooth skin, next time I will know try Bio-Oil.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer Rescue-TrapStik for Wasps

***Disclosure-Sample product was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Saturday my husband and I were outside doing some outdoors work on our lawn.  He was cutting the grass and I was trimming our shrubs.  My Lil Bit was her little pool enjoying the sun.  Next thing you know, I scream.  I feel an excruciating pain on my leg.  I screamed for my husband and i didn't know know what bit me.

Next thing you know my husband, sees the swarm of wasps that has made a nest exactly where I was trimming.  This big wasp bit me on my leg.  It hurt really bad.  I am so glad it was me and not my Lil Bit.  The bite soon became a swollen spot on my leg.  My husband hurried up and installed Rescue!  A little to late for me but not too late to protect the rest of the family from these wasps around our house.

The TrapStik® for Wasps catches paper wasps, carpenter bees and mud daubers.
The TrapStik® for Wasps uses new VisiLureTM technology to lure these stinging insects with appealing colors and a multi-dimensional pattern. Wasps are attracted by the colors and patterns on the TrapStik®, then get stuck to the adhesive surface.
  • Catches queens and workers, from spring through fall
  • Can be placed near a nest to reduce populations, making it safer to spray
  • Odor-free
  • Pesticide-free
  • Water-resistant
  • Made in USA
Wasps are lured to the sticky surface, and once stuck, they expire on their own.
I hope you don't have these around your house and never get bitten by one.  A friend recommended putting a freshly cut potato, cut side down on my bite to take the venom out after you remove the stinger.  Luckily I had no stinger in me but it hurt like I did.  I took benadryl and it knocked me out so it was too late for me to do this.  Have you been bitten by a wasp?  Do you have a home remedy?  What have you done?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flick Friday-Planes: Fire & Rescue

***Disclosure-My daughter and I were invited to an advance screening.  All opinions stated are based on my own personal experience.

Hitting the movies with the kids is a must in the Summer.  Today Planes: Fire & Rescue comes out.

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is a new adventure-comedy about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire-and-rescue helicopter Blade Ranger (voice of Ed Harris) and his courageous team, including spirited air tanker Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter (voice of Wes Studi), ex-military transport Cabbie (voice of Captain Dale Dye) and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.  Directed by Bobs Gannaway (“Secret of the Wings”) and produced by Ferrell Barron (“The Fox and the Hound 2”). 

Yesterday I got home and picked up my Lil Bit.  I told her we were going to go see Planes and she got so excited.  She kept saying, "Mami, hurry we go catch the planes"!  Planes: Fire & Rescue is in 3D so there was a lot of action flying right at us.  My daughter was telling me, "Look at the green helicopter, What color is that plane, etc"...  And afterwards she was making airplane noises with her arms out, pretending to be a fast plane.  I really liked that this movie talked about fires.  Here in Texas there are always wild fires and on one of our road trips, we actually passed through Bastrop which suffered a lot of damage.  So proud of the real firefighters and rescue workers.  This was a cute movie.  We both enjoyed it.

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” hits theaters in 3D today.  Grab the family and make it a Family Movie Outing!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tasty Thursday-Crispy Green Summer Travel Tips

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Road trips and travel go hand in hand with Summer.  Travel has become a part of our Summer adventures.  I am always looking for vacation travel tips to help our adventures be better for our family.  Sometimes the season traveler can have a tip that will make all the difference. 

Here are the Crispy Green’s Top Six Summer Vacation Travel Tips:
·  If you’re traveling by air, make sure you visit your airline website to equip yourself with full knowledge of baggage rules, potential fees, meal availability, wi-fi, etc. Don’t be blind-sided by extra fees and penalties – read the fine print.

·  Road trippin’ it this year? Reduce the risk of any car troubles by making sure your vehicle is running at peak performance. For those mechanic types, you can do it yourself; however, for the rest of us, stop in at your local auto maintenance center and let them check the oil, tires, filters, etc. (And make sure your GPS device is set up and ready to navigate.)

·  If you’re traveling abroad, make sure you and all family members have up-to-date passports. Just stop in at your local post office or do a google search to find out all the details. It does take time to process, so make sure you check well before your travel dates!

·  If you’re traveling to an exotic destination, you may be required to have a vaccination, OR, there may be some cultural traditions that you need to be aware of. Do your online homework. Everything you need to know is just a few clicks away.

·  For foreign travel, consider taking a Rosetta Stone language study (if you don’t know the language). Otherwise, try one of the many language translator apps available for iPhone and android devices.

·  No matter WHAT method of travel you are taking, you can ALWAYS keep some healthy snacks in your purse, backpack, diaper bag, tote bag or carry-on. Crispy Fruit snacks by Crispy Green are the PERFECT travel mate and will keep the kids (and adults) happy between meals.

Vacations are a big part of summertime for many families. Crispy Fruit snacks by Crispy Green are the perfect, on-the-go, healthy snacks for wherever you are headed!

Because of Crispy Green’s commitment to healthy snacking, all of their products are now Non-GMO Project Verified. Crispy Fruit snacks are also allergy-free, kosher, non-fat, non-cholesterol and less than 55 calories per bag! Crispy Green – 100% fruit, nothing else!

My daughter loves fruit.  But I can't carry groceries bags with me of fruit wherever I go.  These are perfect to pack in her bag.  She loved the apple and banana ones that best.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Travel Tuesday-San Diego Bucket List

I am such a lucky girl, more like blessed.  I once was a single mother.  I worked very hard to get to where I am and God has always looked out for me.  When one door was going to close, he already had another one ready to be opened for me.  I have been blessed to have been working for an awesome company for 10 years now.  I say awesome because they have given me so many opportunities that I would not have had.  Thanks to them I get to visit the beautiful city of San Diego as part of my anniversary gift from them to me.  It also happens to be my birthday week.  How perfect is that!  I remember making a wish once upon a time to travel, see, discover, and have adventures.  My next travel adventure is San Diego.  Never been there, I had no idea where to go or what to do.  But I have complied a San Diego Bucket List of things I want to try, see and experience.

Independentmami's San Diego Bucket List
-Paddle Board
-Take the Coronado Ferry
-Tour a Haunted Hotel
-Party on a Yacht
-Watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean
-Hope Aboard the USS Midway
-Seaworld San Diego
-San Diego Zoo
-Tour an old town
-Hang out with Navy Seals
-Ride a trolley
-Enjoy a Summer outdoor concert
-Tour Caves

Let's see how many I can cross off, and by the way the hubby gets to come on this adventure as well.  The only other time we have been able to get away was our honeymoon and I was sea sick most of the cruise.  I am so excited, this will be a couple's retreat for us.  No kids, No work!

Do you have anything I missed that needs to be added?  Have you been to San Diego?  Tell me more?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Makeover Monday-New Me

This month is my birthday month and normally I do not celebrate for an entire month.  But this year it only seems fitting that I celebrate the triumphs I have been overcoming by doing a makeover.  I really like the song Arianna Grande sings, "I got 99 problems, but you ain't 1 of them"  Basically that is how my life has been feeling lately.  My husband always says that when a woman chops off her hair she is having problems.  I never thought I was having problems when I chopped off my hair.  My hair is thick and it gets to be too much after it is so long.  I wanted a make over for me, not because of my problems.  So i went online and decided to look for a completely differently look that anything I have ever had.  This where my choices after searching for the looks I liked:
Just look at the cut, not the color.  I looked under round faces, thick hair, looks that thin out your face, and etc...and these were the final looks I liked.  I posted it on IG and FB.  #1 got the most votes.  Many told me not to do it.  My son really liked #2.  Eventually I decided I needed all gone and I really liked #3.  Especially the color.  Something different and new is what I was looking for.  So I headed to the salon and they did they work and this is the final product:
The cut is a little different.  My master stylist didn't want me to look like a boy.  She really didn't want to chop it all off but in the end she said it was my decision.  My reasoning is that it will grow out into #1 and #2 eventually.  My hair grows fast, I think?  Anyways the whole point is that this change has really given me a little attitude about myself.  It makes me feel powerful.  Not to many people have the courage to do things out of their comfort zone.  And trust me, this took a lot out of me to go through with it.  Always wanted to do it, but in the end chicken out.  I finally did it and I love it.  Chopping off my hair has set me free!
I really like that my haircut is so playful.  I can style it different ways and if I don't and just wake up, who cares.  It is short and sassy like someone told me the other day.  What do you think?  Would you chop it all off?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Travel Tuesday-Schlitterbahn Galveston

Disclosure-I am a member of USFG.  I wrote a sponsored post Mom's Ice Chest Challenge #BahnCooler and in return I received four complimentary passes to Schlitterbahn Galveston.  All opinions stated are my own based on our own personal experience.

This Summer has been a rainy one, and on our schedule has been a day at Schlitterbahn Galveston.   Rain or sun shine, we were making it a Sunday Family Fun Day
Oh what a difference 1 year makes.  This is my Lil Bit.  Last Summer, she was at 29" and this year she is at 33".  But that is not all that has changed at Schlitterbahn Galveston, the Screaming Serpents is a new addition.
My son and I rode down the this slides that twist and inter twine and when you come out, you aren't where you started.  This was such a fun slide.

On our way to this I hit a part of the waterpark I had never been too, believe or not.  We have our favorite places we normally go to with our first stop being the lazy river.  This time we decided to walk around the entire waterpark and I discovered a whole another side of the waterpark I had not seen.
There is a beach volleyball court.  You can join in a game anytime.  There were games going on all day long.  What was so nice is that you didn't even have to know the people.  Everyone just joined teams and started planning, so much fun!

We were having so much fun, all the water fun, and fun in the sun made us hungry.  We packed #BahnCooler ready with snacks and drinks.  But just one sniff of the pizza and we were sold.  We got a large pizza to share.  We were so full after we ate we needed to take a break.  I was telling my husband, "All that is missing now is a big hammock to take a nap"....and voila!


The weather was perfect.  While my daughter took a nap I was able to ride more rides with my teen.  What a wonderful day we had, until next time.