Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Adventure Company: Whitewater Rafting

We are continuing our Colorado Adventure summer, this time whitewater rafting with The Adventure Company in Buena Vista.

This summer, the rivers in Colorado are flowing beautifully.  As a result of the above average snowpack this past winter and the cooler spring temperatures preventing early season snowmelt, river flows are very sustainable this season.  This makes for really awesome whitewater rafting.

Since 1987, The Adventure Company has been setting the standard for top quality white water rafting. In order to ensure guests have a safe and fun trip, The Adventure Company hires guides that have at least four years of commercial white water guiding experience. As the only company in Colorado with this strict guide experience policy, guests will have an expert guide even on a beginner trip.

The Adventure Company guides are able to share their knowledge of the river, canyon geology, point out wildlife, and tell stories to their guests because their high level of experience and confidence means they are not just focusing on getting through the rapids. Guides know the river like the back of their hand and they give their guests an education and fun experience.

To ensure the safety of our guests The Adventure Company takes extra measures by doing the following:
  • Only hiring guides that have a minimum of four years of commercial white water rafting experience
  • Adhering to state regulations regarding river flow cutoff levels for commercially guided trips
  • Employing an expert "safety kayaker" on trips to direct and assist any guest if they become a "swimmer" and are no longer a "rafter." This helps ease the guest and ensures that their time in the water is greatly minimized.
  • We add a 2nd guide to the boat for added safety and security during high water if our guests are challenged in any way, of a young age or elderly.
  • Keeping our boats on the river close together and establishing an organized sequence so that should a rescue arise, our boats have the ability to help each other very quickly.
  • Training for safety and rescue protocol and requiring our guides to be CPR/First Aid certified. Most of our guides also have advanced certifications and Wilderness Medicine training
  • Ensuring our equipment and rental gear is always updated, maintained and operable.
Are you going to try rafting this summer?  The Adventure Company is currently offering a great special for a free wetsuit with each rafting trip, click here for the coupon.  To book your trip, call 800-497-7238 or book online at

Disclosure: This post was written as a part of my ongoing relationship with US Family Guide. Our family received a rafting tour in appreciation for this post, all opinions are my own.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Madame Tussaud's Marvel 4D Super Heroes Experience {Our California Trip}

We're getting much closer to our post-deployment California trip and still busy finishing our plans.  We actually thought we had it all figured out when we got the opportunity to receive tickets for the new Marvel 4D Super Heroes Experience at Madame Tussaud's in Hollywood.

Now if you know Ben at all (and the husband too), you know this was NOT an activity for us to pass up!  The boy is going to be thrilled to see all his favorite super heroes in life sized form!

Madame Tussauds Hollywood recently opened their brand new, multi-million dollar Marvel Super Heroes 4D theater expansion as they bring their most legendary super heroes to life. The technologically advanced renovation will include innovative 4D experiences with multisensory entertainment including water, smoke and trembles in your seat- allowing visitors to come face to face with the action.

In addition to the theater, Madame Tussauds Hollywood will grant attraction goers unprecedented access to mix and mingle with Marvel's most beloved and idolized superheroes, including: CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, SPIDER-MAN, WOLVERINE, TONY STARK and IRON MAN.

Now really, what almost-9 year old boy would not absolutely love this experience???  I am so excited to see Ben's reaction, I know he is going to love it.

Right now, Madame Tussaud's Hollywood is offering a great deal--kids go free with adult admission!  Click here to get the coupon for your family too.

Disclosure: This post was written as a part of my ongoing relationship with US Family Guide. Our family received tickets to Madame Tussaud's in appreciation for this post, all opinions are my own.
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Enjella Uprooted {Book Review}

A few weeks ago, I got the chance to review the new book, Enjella Uprooted, by Jane F. Collen.  I showed it to Faith who agreed to read it for me and help with the review, since it seemed like the perfect choice for her.  Not only did we receive this book, we received the second one in the series, called Storming Back to Key West.

Faith read them both and loved them, so I asked her to write part of the post:
Enjella Uprooted is the story of how a regular fairy becomes a very special tooth fairy.  Enjella starts out as a tooth sorter, but she wants to be best sparkler on the star.  (A sparkler, in case you were wondering, is the tooth fairy who turns lost teeth into silver coins.)

On one of her sparkling routes, she meets a little girl named Abigail, talks to her and becomes her friend.  Tooth fairies are not supposed to talk to the children, but Enjella wants to help her new friend solve her problems and do what's right.  How can Enjella help her friend and still be a tooth sparkler?

The Enjella series continues in Storming Back to Key West, where Enjella goes on an adventure with her friends to a lighthouse where they go back in time! They experience a hurricane and help a human family prepare for the storm.

Faith really enjoyed the book and said they were a fun, fantasy series.  She's definitely looking forward to another sequel!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rio 2 {Giveaway}

Have you seen Rio 2 yet?  We are loving Blu and family's sequel and their journey to the Amazon where they meet up with Jewel's family.  And we were just a little excited to find out that Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast as Gabi the frog (we're all kind of musical junkies).  We also had a lot of fun on our Rio 2 themed road trip, and plan on taking another big one very soon!

The cast of the animated hit comedy Rio returns, along with a new flock of all-star voice talent,  in this high-flying sequel for the whole family. The party continues when Blu, Jewel, and their three kids take a walk on the wild side and embark on a colorful, comical, music-filled journey through the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit into his new surroundings, he goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law!

We have some cool Rio 2 picks this week, including a yummy recipe and some adorable coloring sheets (click on the small graphic for the printable version):

We're also giving away a copy of Rio 2 to one lucky reader!  Just leave me a comment, via the Rafflecopter below, telling me who your favorite character is and you just might win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to receive an advance copy of Rio 2 and other products for myself and a copy of Rio 2 to giveaway as part of my relationship with Fox Home Entertainment Insiders. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Perfect Pop Secret Popcorn for Family Movie Night

We love having family movie nights.  It's so nice to change into jammies, sit back and relax on the couch, and enjoy a great movie, especially when it's accompanied by Pop Secret Popcorn.  After all, it's simply not a movie night if one doesn't include snacks and Family Movie Night Popcorn is a necessity for all of us.

The only bad part?  When the popcorn ends up burning in the microwave!  It ruins a perfectly good bag of popcorn and the house ends up smelling like burnt popcorn for hours.  Even if some of the bag is salvageable, it no longer tastes like perfect popcorn.  And, with every microwave being different, even the popcorn button isn't always the solution.

That said, Pop Secret Popcorn has just invented the Perfect Pop App!  It's simple to use and free in the App Store (requires iPhone 5+ and iOS 7+).
  • Just download Perfect Pop (“Perfect Popcorn”) for free.
  • Place a bag of Pop Secret Popcorn in the microwave and enter suggested cooking time from the packaging. Note: Perfect Pop is optimized for the deliciousness of Pop Secret popcorn only.
  • Turn up the volume on your iPhone. Point the phone’s speaker towards the microwave and keep within 3 feet.
  • Start the microwave, and then start the app.  While it's running, enjoy the fun facts or just watch the timer and the popcorn pop on the app.  My kids were fascinated watching the clock run out.
  • When the app tells you to stop, take out your perfect bag of Pop Secret Popcorn, put it in a bowl and enjoy your family movie night!

Thanks for all the help with the quick one question survey from Pop Secret Popcorn!  It's completed now!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Pop Secret Popcorn.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Backyard Bug Explorers Kit {Giveaway}

Mr. Ben is obsessed with an ant pile we have in our backyard, and other sorts of creepy crawly things.

I'm calling it summer homeschool science and letting him observe the little critters, before they eventually get relocated by the lawnmower or the sprinklers.  If you think about, he's outside, he's learning, he's enjoying nature, and he's not watching television, so it's definitely a win-win situation.  He's been looking up fascinating facts about bugs too, although he still refuses to help when we find spiders.

Orkin has given me a chance to give away a Backyard Explorers Kit for your own little bug aficionado!  The kit includes The Orkin 9-Page Activity Bug Book , Orkin Bugview Bug Catching Tool and Magnifier and a pair of red and black Summer Wayfarer Sunglasses, perfect for your little entomologist!

Would you like to win a kit for your child?  Use the app below and find out what your spirit bug is!  Then leave me a comment via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post telling me your spirit bug for your chance to win a Backyard Explorers kit.

While you're at it, the new “Bug Wisdom” video series (also featured in the app) is a reminder that some of life’s biggest lessons come from small places. Bugs are smart, curious creatures – we humans can learn a lot from their ways.  Ben loved the ideas and the video!

Ready to enter?  Just use this Rafflecopter to leave your comment!  It makes it much easier to run giveaways with the random draw and contact info handy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received the opportunity to host this giveaway through my relationship with PartnersHub, no other compensation was received, all opinions are my own.
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