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The Traveling Sisterhood

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THE TRAVELING SISTERHOOD

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FLASH IN THE PAST, AN AMAZING DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE #FASHION
#OLDHOLLYWOOD






I've been working on my bucket list:
Make a new recipe every day for a week  ✓
Get a pedicure and a foot massage ✓
Go ballroom dancing ✓
Fly first class ✓
See a Broadway play ✓
Attend a grand opening ✓
Go snorkeling in Hawaii  ✓

Sell 1,000 copies of a book ✓
Receive fan mail ✓
Be asked for my autograph ✓

Find a long lost relative ✓
Have a pinup photo shoot at Flash in the Past...

And was that ever incredible!

The photographer, Ramsey Borrego, is an artist. Truly, she made every
photo of me look like art. I had a blast trying on different
outfits--each shoot has a theme and mine was 1950s Fashion. After
three hours of playing dress-up, having my hair styled into a
bombshell wave, and posing for hundreds of pictures in the downtown
studio we had all to ourselves, I was feeling exhilarated and already
dreaming of what I'll wear when I do it again. Definitely the funnest
thing on my bucket list so far!




If you want an amazing experience, you need a photo shoot with FLASH
IN THE PAST
!
One of the absolute coolest things I have ever done.

Check out Flash in the Past on FACEBOOK
for all their booking
information, incredible photos, and amazing discounts! 




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LOCAL 14 YEAR OLD AUTHOR'S NEW FANTASY SERIES: COME AND VISIT UNICORN
RANCH






Last year, our then 13-year-old daughter published her first chapter
book, UNICORN RANCH
!
After receiving raving reviews, she decided to write a sequel which
has just been released.

Back Cover Synopsis for Book 1: When Amy has to move to a new city,
she never imagines the adventures in store for her. New friends, a
faraway journey, and a lost princess quickly weave themselves into the
story of her new life. And it all begins at ... Unicorn Ranch! Perfect
for girls ages 7 and up. If you want to support our budding author and
also show your kiddos they can do anything they set their minds to,
you can buy it on AMAZON HERE
.
Shipping is free with Prime!


__

_My daughter was instantly pulled into this book and couldn’t put
it down!! _
_
_
_We LOVE this book! Hope there will be more books by this young
talented author!_

_My daughter loved the book, she read it in two days and couldn't put
it down. Hope to see more stories soon._

_My oldest got it in the mail yesterday and devoured it on the way to
Mass and then re-read it on the way home. She really enjoyed it! She
laughed aloud in several parts and there were a lot of, "Wait; listen
to this..." portions she shared with us... She was relieved to hear
there is another book in the series coming out soon._ _ _

_ _ _ _

_The book arrived yesterday. I read my daughter one chapter before
bed - she begged for more so I read another two. She was enjoying it
so much I suggested she take it up to bed with her. She has never done
that before or been interested in reading on her own before, other
than poetry. My husband found her under the covers with the flashlight
reading late last night, and she came downstairs this morning proudly
telling us she had read a few more chapters. I can’t tell you how
huge this is!! She has so many special needs that makes reading
challenging for her, yet I have always hoped that she would one day
discover wanting to read and the pleasure there is in not wanting to
put a book down because you are enjoying it so much. This book has
done that for her. It is the perfect book for a reluctant young reader
as the story is engaging yet easily read, with short chapters and
words, if you don’t know them, that challenge yet don’t frustrate,
because they are spaced out enough between the more easy to read words
that the story can flow even if you have to skip a word here and
there. I hope this young author is busy writing her next novel!_ _ _ _
_

_
_

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PARTY AT THE INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE MUSEUM! #TUCSON #TRAVELARIZONA



Special thanks to the wonderful people at the International Wildlife
Museum for providing my bestie with a party discount to facilitate
this post!

Over the weekend, I piled up the Kia with Mema, a coupla
presents, four excited kiddos, and my also-admittedly-excited self to
head to the Catalina foothills and attend the coolest kid's party I've
ever been to!  The party was hosted by the INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE
MUSEUM , and the staff did such an
incredible job of accommodating us and helping us pull everything
together.

Every kiddo there was smiling and laughing and being entertained and
interested for pretty much the whole 120 minutes--some of them
longer, since they stayed as long as they could.  What did they say
when I asked them how they liked it?  Well...




"MY FAVORITE PART WAS LEARNING ABOUT THE ANIMALS AND PETTING THEM. IT
WAS THE BEST ANIMAL PLACE I EVER WENT TO!" -ZOEY A.  




 







"IT WAS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH!  BETTER THAN THE ZOO!" -LULU J.




"I LAUGHED SO MUCH!" -OLIVIA J.




 "I LIKED IT!  IT REMINDED ME OF NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM!" -LUKAS M.










"THAT GATOR WAS _FIERCE_!" -LANI A.




AND WE MEAN REALLY FIERCE!

As far as the birthday packages go, you can check out everything that
entails HERE .  There
are a couple of options that range from $150 (totally a deal
considering I just spent $160 on a bowling party last week which
wasn't nearly as fun, another museum in town starts at $175, and the
zoo is about $300--yikes!).  As I was saying, it's a great deal
considering what you get--admission for 25 guests, all paper goods
and decorations, a scavenger hunt, the pleasure of everything being
prepared and put away for you, and 2 hours in the dining area.  You
can also add goody bags for all the kiddos and (the coolest part!) a
live animal presentation.  We learned about and got a chance to pet a
box turtle, a baby desert tortoise (_so_ cute!), a bearded dragon, a
python, and a bunny.  The live animal presentation was really
cool.  Loved it!




"I LIKED IT A LOT.  IT WAS SUCH A FUN BIRTHDAY PARTY!" -ALEX A.




The photos tell the tale--all of these kids had a wonderful day. 
And that's what it's all about: the kids having fun, right?  But the
thing is, I'm pretty sure--no, I'm absolutely certain--that I had
just as much or more fun than _ they_ had.  Last night during an
adult bible study, the teacher asked what kinds of things make us
happy.  I didn't say anything at that moment because a million
things ran through my mind.  _So_ many things make me happy. 
Everything going better than planned--that makes me happy. 
Learning.  Seeing my kids smile.  Watching them laugh with their
friends.  Standing on a bridge overlooking the water.  Discovering
dragon flies with my littles while the wind blows a gentle breeze. 
Surrounding myself with God's amazing creation.  Being able to spend
time with people I love.  Realizing that I'm living such an
abundant life.   And I had the opportunity to do all of those
things and reflect on them and more last weekend.  Pardon me if I
get a little sappy, but you've got to really like a place that
can inspire such joy.  So do I recommend that my Tucsonan
readers venture over to the WILDLIFE MUSEUM
 for a birthday party or just to
spend the day?  I totally do!




YOU CAN FIND
THE INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE MUSEUM ON
Facebook
Twitter
PINTEREST

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TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH LITTLE PASSPORTS! A GLOBAL ADVENTURE DELIVERED
TO YOUR DOOR






My kiddos and I will soon be receiving a package from Little
Passports and I am thrilled! I've heard great things about them from
other moms in my homeschool group.




Each month, Little Passports sends a box based on your kiddo's age
range.  The contents inside are meant to inspire them to learn about
the world! I love this way of doing geography!  Each month, they get
to explore a new world theme as packages arrive filled with
activities, stickers, souvenirs & more. And...




...they also have a USA edition so your kiddos can travel the 50
states of our country! 




Doesn't this look cool? My map-loving kids are going to have a
blast!  The subscriptions start at only $12 a month which is
definitely affordable.  They're made for kiddos 3-12 so mine fit
perfectly within that age range! Can't wait to receive our kits in the
mail!




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THE BEST OF BLOGPAWS! AMAZING BRANDS, GIVEAWAYS AND MORE






We just returned from our very first bloggers' conference! Back in
March, my pooch, Lucy, and I were notified that we'd won the grand
prize in the Blog Paws or Bust Conference: roundtrip airfare to
Phoenix, AZ, a 4-night stay in the amazing Sheraton Wild Horse Pass
Resort and Spa, and complimentary conference admission. We had such an
amazing time!  We made some new friends and networked with over fifty
different pet brands. I narrowed it down to our absolute favorites out
of 57. There were four companies that really stood out. They are some
amazing brands with great people behind them!  Definitely stop by
their pages, follow them, and enter their giveaways. Without further
ado, here they are in the order in which they popped into my head.

#1 ROCCO & ROXIE SUPPLY CO




Rocco & Roxie is a family-owned company that sells natural pet
shampoos (the one they gave me for Lucy even contains argon oil--I
can't wait to try it with her!) and jerky-style treats that Lucy is
smitten with. They're a family-owned company--their employees are
their kids. I met the father and the daughter and they were both super
sweet.  Rocco & Roxie also sell an absolutely incredible stain and
odor spray. Let me just tell you about a little mishap we had that
made me very grateful for said spray...




As you can see, our darling pooch is a bit spoiled. Relaxing on the
bed, eating her delicious pig's ear, cozy in the pet friendly hotel
room. It seemed fine to leave her to her contentment and comfort while
I took the kid's down to the Exhibit Hall to meet Jack (you'll hear
about him later).  However, she's a small dog and couldn't get down
from the bed when she needed to tinkle and we came back to a nice
surprise on the bed. It went all the way through the sheets to the
very incredibly comfortable, I'm-sure-also-very-expensive mattress.
The stain was huge and very noticeable to the eyes _and _the nose. I
could just imagine the hotel charging me an arm and a leg to clean the
mattress besides imagining the next people sleeping on it, unbeknownst
to them. I grabbed the first bottle in my swag bag (not Rocco &
Roxie's) and used most of it on the stain. It didn't do a thing! Eek!
I tried Rocco & Roxie's next and was not prepared to be so amazed. It
got out literally every bit of yellow stain and you couldn't smell it
at all! It was incredible. I already loved this company before, but
after that, I'm totally sold!

GIVEAWAYS!
Follow ROCCO & ROXIE'S FACEBOOK PAGE
. They have giveaways
for their products every single Friday! Come back here and let me know
if you win one!

#2 MERRICK PET FOOD




Even before Blog Paws, Merrick was our favorite dog food brand. I
love it because it's made with real, natural ingredients and is
tailored to my pooch. Their small dog variety is perfect, and they
have a wide variety of different types of food for any variety of dog,
small or large, young or old, you name it. Lucy loves their food
because, apparently, it's delicious.  She loves their dry dog food
and their moist food both, and we were super blessed to be given 2 big
bags of small variety food and tons of moist foods at Blog Paws! I
like them even more now than I did before, if that's possible.

 GIVEAWAYS!
Follow MERRICK PET CARE ON FACEBOOK
. They always have great
giveaways with tons of winners! They just ended a contest so I'm
thinking there will be a new one soon. Keeping my eyes peeled!

#3 THE LUCY PET FOUNDATION




The Lucy Pet Foundation is a non-profit created by Joey Herrick, the
previous president and co-founder of Natural Balance Pet Food. He sold
his very successful company to Del Monte not very long ago and needed
something new to do, and really wanted to start a non-profit so he
created The Lucy Pet Foundation. Of course, they had me at "Lucy"! But
when they told me that all of their profits go toward saving dogs and
cats from euthanasia, that impressed me. I spoke to Mr. Herrick at
length. He was so nice, sincere, and down to earth.




And the Lucy products are incredible! They offer wonderful shampoos
and spray-on conditioners (I use their blueberry on Lucy and she is so
soft afterward and her fur smells so nice!) _and cat litter that
doesn't smell_ (for real, this guy, Little Box Bob, walked around for
4 days wearing a used litterbox and you couldn't smell a thing!) I'm
not even exaggerating a bit, you guys. This cat litter is incredible
and will be available at Petco and local pet stores in the very near
future. You can find it easily in this clever and resourceful bag
shaped like a cat.
  




CONTEST!




The Lucy Pet Foundation is taking a tour bus around the country to
find the best surfing dog who will be part of a float in the 2017 Rose
Bowl Parade! How cool is that?! Head HERE TO SIGN UP
for
information on the tour.

#4 WOOFPUP




My kiddos' pick, Woofpup, is a brand new company that is,
essentially, a continuous contest. Upload your dog's photo and you can
win "Woofpup of the Month"... with a limited-edition, collectible
stuffed toy made in their likeness and a prize of $500 for the winning
family. Here in this pic is their sample of a Goldendoodle. So cute
and so Goldendoodlish!

CONTEST
Enter your pooch's photo at WOOFPUP.COM and
come back and let me know if you win!

And there you have it, out of 57 brands, our 4 favorites! Follow
them, love them, and enter their giveaways. 
I sincerely think they are wonderful! 

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VISITING THE TUZIGOOT RUINS AND LIVING HISTORY






Crowning a desert hilltop is an ancient pueblo. One thousand years
ago, perhaps a child stood there scanning the desert landscape for the
arrival of traders. On the day this photo was taking, my children did
the same. From the rooftop of the Tuzigoot pueblo it was easy to
imagine such a moment.




The Tuzigoot ruins are an ancient village built by the Sinagua
people of Arizona. They were farmers and artists with trade
connections that spanned hundreds of miles.There's a trail to walk,
homes and worship centers to explore, and a museum. There's a Ranger's
Program which our kids participated in and it's all free!




Our kids loved this place! We're always visiting national parks and
they are just getting so much appreciation for the outdoors, history,
and taking care of and preserving our past. It makes me a proud mama!




You can actually go inside the main feature of the ruins! Walking
through the different rooms, you can imagine what life was like there
for people who really weren't that different than we are today. People
have always been the same--living, loving, caring for their family,
their friends. I love imagining what it would have been like to be a
young wife and mother in such a place! And, yes, I feel so blessed to
have all the modern conveniences we have today!




Maybe Arizona isn't anywhere in your neck of the woods but I
encourage you to SEARCH OUT NATIONAL PARKS
or monuments in
your state or a neighboring one. They make such an incredible field
trip and are often free, especially if you are a veteran family or
military.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE NATIONAL PARK OR HISTORICAL LANDMARK? SHARE WITH
ME! WE LOVE ROADTRIPS AND ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW PLACES TO VISIT!

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HOMESCHOOLING AT THE GRAND CANYON: NATIONAL PARKS AS CLASSROOMS






A trip to the Grand Canyon with the kiddos seemed like the perfect
opportunity to teach them so much about Geology, southwest history and
archaeology, as well as plant and animal biology! We also visited
another nearby national park, Montezuma's Castle.  I found a variety
of free resources so we focused our homeschool lessons on those topics
the entire week before the trip.  Each National Park also has a free
Ranger Program.  When you first arrive, head to the visitor's center
to let the desk clerk know you'd like to sign your kids up.  There's
a short and really cool little ceremony where the kids raise their
hands and take a Junior Ranger pledge.  They receive a coloring
book/activity guide and the family receives a schedule of the talks
that will take place at the park throughout the day.  We attended one
on deer and moose that everyone found so interesting!  All in all,
our vacation was the perfect opportunity for our kiddos to experience
everything they'd been learning firsthand. 




Little guy in the wilderness!  Pic by Daddy.




Montezuma's Castle, Cliff Dwelling in Northern Arizona

FREE NATIONAL PARK EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
The Grand Canyon offers many educational resources--videos, lesson
plans, and free printables for a variety of age groups.  You can find
those HERE .  But
the Grand Canyon isn't the _only _national park that offers these
kinds of tools.  Google for the national park website you want to
visit or BROWSE THEM BY STATE
to discover amazing places you may never even have known existed.  At
each park's website, you'll find a column to the left with various
links.  Click on Learn about the Park and then on Education, and then
on Parks as Classrooms.  You'll find a variety of resources!  

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JAPAN FUN BOX: "VISIT" ASIA WITH CANDY DELIVERED MONTHLY






This week, we learned about Asia.  I planned this knowing that we'd
be receiving a Japan Funbox in the mail any day.  What's that, you
ask? It's a JAPAN ES
E CANDY & SNA
CK BOX !




THE JAPAN FUNBOX is a monthly
subscription service stuffed full of Japanese snacks and there is
always free shipping worldwide!  We were excited to open it and snack
on the contents during a movie about Asia.




Six bags of snacks and candy were included in our box.  The kiddos
were especially excited to see the pink candy whistles! They love
those!  Our other favorite treats were the chocolate bar and the
Tomato Pretz, similar to pizza-flavored pocky sticks. All in all, it
was a super fun taste experience with a theme that was the perfect
compliment to learning about Asia!

 

















As you can see, the box really was packed full, especially considering
this was the "Mini" version of the box. You can get Mini (5-7 items),
Original (15-20 items), or Family (25-30 items)!

DISCOUNT
Use the code REV10PA to get 10% off any JAPANFUNBOX
plan!

Special thanks to Japan Funbox for this review opportunity!  All
opinions are honest and our own.

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