Tuesday, August 7, 2018

NEW
Mom Lifestyle/Review blog

**thanks to the pr representative who sent complimentary items for review. I was not compensated for this post beyond those items. This is my experience and opinion. Others may have a different experience or view. 

Friends, it's that time of year when we begin gathering all the things for the school year. Our kiddos have lists of things they need and they have other needs that we're trying to meet alongside the lists, yes? 

This year I have something on my mind that has been eating away at me until just recently. Maybe you can relate? Hear me out. 

My oldest kiddo is 11 and he was diagnosed with ADHD a few years back. We've found medication that works to help him but the hard part about that is he won't want to eat lunch at all due to the side effect of appetite suppression. It's been such a battle this summer to find what he will actually eat even though he doesn't feel like eating. 

I should also mention that my poor boy has a major issue with dairy products. We've had to completely eliminate dairy from his diet to keep him from having really uncomfortable IBS flare ups. With this, my problem becomes "What will he actually eat for lunch at school that has loads of protein in it and is also dairy free?". 

It has been difficult to narrow this down but he has found the thing that he will actually eat and also agrees to have some fruit with it as well. Thank heavens. Meet the NuGo Dark bar!


Mom Lifestyle/Review Blog

My Gluten free and Vegan friends will also rejoice! We stumbled upon one single flavor of NuGo dark at our local grocery store and I grabbed it on a whim, asking my boy to try it and see how he likes it. His eyes got big as he let out the biggest "MMMMMmmmmm!" I've heard in a long time. He declared it was like a candy bar and ate it really quickly. 

Luckily, my friends over at NuGo heard my story and asked me if I knew they had more than one flavor of NuGo Dark bar. Um...no?? They sent us quite the variety and my boy couldn't wait to try them. 




Mom Lifestyle/review blog
Mom Lifestyle/Review Blog
Mom Lifestyle/Review Blog

He's been trying them out and secretly saved the flavor Chocolate Coconut for last because he was afraid he wouldn't like it. Silly boy. After taking a few bites, he excitedly told me that Chocolate Coconut is actually his favorite flavor of the ones sent to us.

OK. Time out. Can I just tell you what something like this does for my Mama heart? I want to find delicious and protein filled things for my growing man cub to eat but it is not so easy. NuGo has helped him to keep on eating and growing and has brought happy tears to my eyes. These bars are made with real dark chocolate, no fillers. That makes them delicious with real benefits.

Mom Lifestyle/Review blog

And just look at this boy! What mama wouldn't love to see such a happy reaction? This was taken right after his first bite of his first bar from the variety box we were sent. After he took this bite, he went on and on about how delicious it was and how thankful he was to help me in reviewing them. 

I want to be clear about something. NuGo Nutrition offers more than these NuGo Dark bars. They have other varieties of bars for you to consider if dark chocolate isn't your thing. Personally, I'm hoping to try Protein Cookies and Egg White Protein Bars next. 

Hop over to the website and find your favorite. You can go ahead and order them right there to be shipped to your door or you can use their search engine to find the store nearest to you that carries NuGo. 

We are so grateful, as always, to be able to team up with NuGo. *Tell me what your favorite flavor may be from their line.* Also, please be sure to share this post with your friends so they can learn of this wonderfully nutritious brand.  (There are share links right at the bottom of this post.)

Thanks!!
~Amy

Back To School Snacking Made Healthy with #NuGoBars

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018


It's been one project at a time over in my new home. There are things I want to add or change or tweak in every room. But if you're anything like me, you understand how things can't just be done at the snap of a finger when you're also caring for 3 kiddos.  

And that's OK. I don't really mind taking things slow. It helps me enjoy the process a bit more and gives me time to edit photos so I can share them with you!
(PS: If you ever want to check out the other projects I've done, whether part of this Farmhouse Flip or not, you can just type DIY into that search bar at the top of the page.)

Alrighty, lets get to this project. 

So. Mercifully, all the walls in my home are of a neutral/gray tone. I love that. It doesn't make me feel like I need to paint each room before I start to nitpick details. That is the color tone in my front dining room as well.

But y'all. This chandelier. 



While I loved the lines of it, I did not love the brass color. Really, nothing makes me cringe quite as much as a brass chandelier clashing with a chalk paint finish on the dining room table. 

Now, since there were no window treatments on the front bay windows of the room, I had picked out these simple black rods and white curtain shears. I didn't want to take away from the daylight or the beauty of simplicity in that part of the room and felt these little touches worked perfectly.

(If you're interested, I found them at IKEA and they were very inexpensive.)

To keep in the theme of simple black touches, I grabbed a can of matte black spray paint and took my chandelier outside. I don't think the brand you use is as important as the finish and if it's formulated to paint metal. If it isn't, it will chip and that's no good.




I'm not going to lie. When I first began painting, I wondered if I was making a HUGE mistake. Like the kind of huge that would mean this project is going to cost me more than the price of a can of spray paint, huge. Thankfully, when I saw it drying I was elated. It was exactly what I hoped it would be.



Now, if I could only get a few more pictures on the wall and a bit more chalk paint to finish painting the chairs. For now, I'm loving the simplicity of matte black details. It's a timeless look and I'm pretty smitten with it. 

PS: Do you like my La Croix on the table as much as I do? LOL This is how you KNOW it's my space. There's either coffee or La Croix sitting around, somewhere. 

I'll be painting another chandelier, soon. This one is over my breakfast table. The style of it is a bit different so I'll be changing another thing about it as well. Maybe I'll have to come back and share about that one, too. 

**What is something you would like to update in your home?**

~Amy 

From Brass To Class Just Like That: Farmhouse Flip

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

**this post contains affiliate links. I may make a percentage of each sale.**

From now through August 2 (2018), Dayspring is having a Customer Appreciation sale where you can get 25% OFF ANYTHING you like. I spent some time last night going through the page and finding my picks. 

If you'd like to shop the sale, click the banner and get right to it. 




Here are a few of my favorite things (and their price before your discount)! 

Beautiful Floral - 2019 18 month Agenda Planner $29.99
May This Kitchen Be Blessed - Cookbook/Tablet Holder $41.00

Life Is Full Of Blessings - Wooden Tray $29.99
Steadfast Love - Tea Towel $9.99
Large Floral Stainless Steel Tumbler - Light Mint Green $27.00
Hello Beautiful - Hand-Thrown Mug $9.99
Your Unfailing Love - Natural Canvas Framed Wall Art $89.99
Faith Over Fear - Blue Live Your Faith T-Shirt & Mug Gift Set $37.98
Be Strong And Courageous - Prayer Box Pendant Necklace $30.00
A Hug For Your Feet - Giving Socks, 1 Pair $20.00
Multiply Kindness - Mobile Phone Case $24.99

Which are your favorites? Head back to the top and click the banner to get shopping. There is so much more than I could share.

~Amy

Grab Your 25% OFF At Dayspring! Here Are My Picks (affiliate)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

**thanks to Jellystone Mammoth Cave for hosting my family for a stay. I was not compensated for this post. This is my experience and opinion. Others may have a different experience or view. 

Have you ever taken your family to a Jellystone Park campground? Before my recent stay, I had only visited one on a youth group campout...some years ago. 

My family was recently invited to stay at Jellystone Mammoth Cave so we decided to head down there for a Father's Day weekend celebration. (Cool gift, huh?)  We didn't know exactly what to expect but we were so looking forward to our time there. 

We don't own any camping gear...ok...maybe a couple sleeping bags. Does that count? 

But if your'e like us, you're in luck! Jellystone Mammoth Cave has quite a few cabins available to rent at different sizes and price points. We stayed in the Cindy Bear Cottage and found it to be quite comfortable. We had 2 bedrooms, 1 with a Queen sized bed and 1 with twin bunk beds and another Queen bed. We also had heat and central air, a full kitchen, a full bath, a gas fireplace, a tv with limited cable channels, a deck with a picnic table, and a fire pit at the bottom of the porch stairs. We literally couldn't have asked for anything more and loved our stay there. 

Family Travel Blog

Our first night there, the kiddos were begging to go fishing. We hopped in our golf cart and headed down to the pond with our fishing gear after a quick stop to the Ranger's Station for worms.

As a quick side note: When you reserve your campsite or cabin, that is the perfect time to also reserve your golf cart. The grounds are huge and there are hills. I saw a few families who wished they had reserved one when they arrived and found there were none left available.

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

This is where we came to fish. It was peaceful and we could hear the music playing from the pool/ splash pad just on the other side of the pond. It was a perfect night for fishing fun.

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

After we finished up with our fishing, we headed over to the Pavillion for movie night. The movie playing our first night there was Trolls. Can you see those tired eyes watching the movie? My kiddos were so tired from driving and fun that they all voted to head back to the cabin early.

Family Travel Blog

Our second day at Jellystone took us off the grounds for a bit of family fun locally. It was a super hot day and all I kept hearing while we were out was "Once we get back to our cabin, let's get in our bathing suits and go swimming".

Family Travel Blog

New to Jellystone Mammoth Cave, is this wonderful little lake and the Wibit. If you're a guest there, this is free for you to use, lifejackets are also free (and required). The water is shallow enough that you can walk out to the Wibit to get on and then enjoy the obstacle course(s) from there. There are different levels of difficulty to try that are clearly marked.

My kiddos played on there a bit and while they did, I found a giant tube to float in. All the "Yes" to relaxation while the kiddos play.

There are also individual boats in another roped area. Alex, Eliana, and the hubster enjoyed those for a bit and then joined me in the giant tube. (For real. It was massive. My entire family fit inside of it.)

This area is now open to the public for a paid entry fee. It may make it a bit busier than when we were there but there are lifeguards all around the lake to keep people safe. And while it wasn't opened yet while we were visiting, the plan is to have a restaurant down there as well as easy parking access for the camper's golf carts.

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Just on the other side of the trail from the lake, is the water slide. My boy really had to work up his nerve to try this out, but once he did he didn't want to stop. He went on and on about how fun it was and how glad he was that he was brave enough to try it. He also told me about a couple tricky turns that could flip you from going feet first to head first if you're not careful but said that was part of the excitement. As I watched him, I noticed that there was a line of kiddos all taking turns again and again. The slide had life guards at the top and bottom who would switch jobs in shifts to keep them alert to what they were in charge of. 

Family Travel Blog

Right behind the Ranger's Station, we found the arcade. My kiddos love a good arcade and winning prizes. This one was pretty fun, reasonably priced, and had small toy and candy prizes that my kiddos were quite pleased with.

I'm going to pause right here and talk about this next photo. When you check in at Jellystone, you'll receive a list of scheduled activities going on throughout the day. Most of the activities are free, while some have an additional, yet reasonable fee to cover supply costs (like tie dye, for example). Look forward to meeting characters, doing arts and crafts, dance parties, movies, karaoke, contests, and more. There are things happening all day long and you can sign up for text alerts so you don't miss the things your family was looking forward to.

After we found the arcade, my daughter and husband left my other 2 kiddos and me to head up to the pavilion for a Gummy Bear eating contest. Since it was Father's Day weekend, all the contests were themed to be the kids against the Dads. As you can see, my girl has metal. She beat her dad and was so proud of herself.

Family Travel Blog

This same afternoon, the hubster was also challenged by Alex in a chocolate syrup arm wrestling match. How fun!! Here are some pictures from that. (You can watch it as it happened in the video at the bottom of this post)

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog


After the arcade, we drove ourselves over to the pool and splash pad. My girls had so much fun running around here while the hubster and my son headed over to the pool. Again, in the video below you can see them running around while the big sister was trying to spray the little sister with the water guns there. The laughing was unending.

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

After we dried off and got ready to sit down to dinner, a very special guest came to our cabin.  YOGI BEAR CAME OVER! I knew about the arrangement but my kiddos had no idea and they were so excited and surprised. They took turns giving Yogi Bear hugs and Yogi gave them a s'mores kit. The best thing about this? Anyone can set up a visit like this. When you make your reservation or after you arrive, you can ask about scheduling a special birthday visit and which character you would like to stop by.  The smiles and memories made are definitely worth it.

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Family Travel Blog

Don't forget to spend an evening playing put-put golf! We headed over after dinner when the foot traffic was a bit lighter and the temperature was a bit cooler. There are 20 holes to play and had a great time. The smallest of us even got a hole in one! 

Family Travel Blog

Just before we left on our last day, we drove over to the flagpole for the flag raising with Boo Boo Bear. There were so many kiddos waiting to see Boo Boo. After one of the kiddos there helped in leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance, all the kids lined up for their photo opportunity with Boo Boo Bear.

Family Travel Blog

We had an absolute blast at Jellystone and my kids are begging to go back and spend a full week there next time. They've been telling all their friends about it and have convinced a couple of them to head down this summer.

Within driving distance of the campground, there are many places to visit, eat, and shop. And don't forget about Mammoth Cave...or any of the many caves in the area.

Below is a picture of the development that was going on right behind the new lake. From our cabin, I could also see work being done to expand the camping area further out. And none of it surprises me.

The staff at this campground are very friendly and professional. They "get" that your family vacation is important and they support that and show that it's important to them, too. I saw a pretty serious confrontation at the check-in desk over a golf cart (I'm telling you, reserve one at the same time as your campsite or cabin reservation) and the girl behind the counter was calm and extremely patient. And you know where there are a ton of kids things can get a bit crazy, right? The staff here makes sure to protect their having fun while keeping everyone safe at the same time.

We will be back for sure.

Family Travel Blog

**Have you ever stayed at Jellystone Mammoth Cave? Tell me about your stay!! 

~Amy

Jellystone Mammoth Cave: Start Planning Your Trip! (review)

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