Our Sea World Adventure #SeaWorldSmile

Sea World sent over four tickets for my family to enjoy their park and share our experience. This post is all about our mad love for Sea World and our time their learning about their programs, marine life, and bonding as a stepfamily; and is not a paid sponsorship. #SeaWorldSmile

My sister and her family live in San Diego, so when we get the opportunity to utilize her home during a quick family getaway, Hotel de Aunt Cort welcomes us with open arms, a free continental breakfast, and lots of cousin lovin’s. Growing up, my cousins and I were thick as thieves and seeing my kids interact with their cousins makes me heart feel full.

In a blended family, we cannot always vacation with the entire crew, especially with the kids having opposing school calendars and only having our car for transportation (minivan coming in December!). For this trip, we were able to bring along Aiden, Collin, and of course Evelyn. All three filled with excitement and when we saw the Sea World tower, the car jolted with squeals and screams. Once we wrangled everyone of the car, covered each other in sunblock, and armed ourselves with bottles of water for each child, we marched up to the Sea World entrance gates (Collin and Aiden mostly skip-danced), grabbed a map, took our obligatory entrance souvenir photo (because let’s be honest, it’s the only photo you’ll get during the entire day with the whole family in it, hear me Mamas?).

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Our first stop was the sea lion show, which failed to impress my kids. Until the end, when the sea lion jumps up at the audience and makes a garbled noise that’s meant to be a laugh. I believe the shows are geared more towards kids ages 7-13 rather than my little ones who have zero attention span. We nixed future plans for the other shows and instead opted to just enjoy the exhibits and feeding workshops, which were the best way for my kids to learn and experience marine life firsthand.

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The most requested stop of the day was the shark exhibit where the boys couldn’t wait to see real live sharks and shark teeth. Evelyn was not thrilled about this portion of the day and became a little frightened upon seeing those razor sharp teeth extruding from their mouths. The boys, however, thought this was the coolest thing ever.

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One of my favorite parts about the day was seeing the boys discover animals they never knew existed. Collin was completely taken with the electric eel and just captivated by the fact that it stuns it’s prey. The flamingos were a shock to both of the boys when they saw the bright pink birds. “I never seen a flamingo in real life before! What?! They sleep on one foot! Look! THEY SLEEP ON ONE FOOT!” exclaimed Aiden before tossing the provided food their way. Can we also note just how close homeboy was able to get to the flamingo? This guy was the bravest of the brave.

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Feeding the animals was an incredible experience for the kids as well as the adults. The sea lions wanted to get up close and personal with those of us with food and several of them showed off their tricks to earn their treats. The river fish were also a great way for us all to interact first hand with the animals since they swim right up to you and suck off dead skin cells. Jacob rather enjoyed his manicure. Aiden impressed me to no end with his willingness to get close and experience touching and feeding the animals. The manta rays were his favorite and he fed them with zero fear, which is more than I can say for his larger and older stepbrother who was grossed out by the feeder fish.

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We explored the park in it’s entirety from face painting (Aiden rocked the hell out of Spiderman face) to photos with Shamu, to pizza at Mama Stella’s Pizza Kitchen.

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We ended the day with suits in the Sesame Street Splash Pad where the kids were free to roam and get wet while we all enjoyed some cold Dippin Dots and water in our souvenir Shamu cups because I’m always a sucker for souvenir cups.

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Once the ready to leave signals started (you know the whining about nothing, lap sitting, general fit throwing), we gathered our tribe up and concluded the day by asking each kid what their favorite animal of the day was and took them to one of the many souvenir shops to buy a plush version. Collin chose the electric eel, Aiden chose a Shamu, and Evelyn chose a dolphin. We drove back to Hotel de Aunt Cort with plushies in hand and Spiderman face paint melted off. In true mini getaway fashion, the kids were asleep before we even left the parking lot.

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Let’s just admire this before and after photo of the day.

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Did you know that Sea World has participated in over 600 animal rescues (and releases) so far this year alone? Before buying into trendy propaganda, I would encourage you to go see for yourself. Sea World does an immeasurable amount of good for marine life, conservation, and educating families on these topics.

My Medifast Journey | W11

Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences on the Medifast Program. Medifast products and the Medifast Program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness. Any medical improvements noted while on the program are related to weight loss in general, and not to Medifast products or programs.

It’s week 11 and while I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than I can count, I’m counting this week a success. We have been out of town for several weekends in a row. Traveling with kids, enjoying family, and on a mini-vacation, all of which are not diet friendly and offer temptation at every turn. I didn’t want to restrict myself or not allow myself to enjoy the time with my family and children, so I allowed myself to indulge and eat a few treats.

One of my biggest struggles throughout the 11 weeks I’ve been on Medifast is eliminating Diet Coke from my diet. I was a two-a-day-drinker, which is just awful. I was experiencing several withdrawal symptoms, which weirdly made me want to quit even more. Once I saw how much the carbonated beverage was affecting my body, I wanted to quit forever. And I’m proud and excited to say that I have! And if I can do it, anyone can do it. Because I have zero willpower. And I did it.

One of the ways I did it was with the help of the Medifast Energy Drops. I’m an avid caffeine drinker and I depend on it to get me moving each morning. Since I don’t drink coffee, I was getting that fix from Diet Coke. I started to replace Diet Coke with a bottle of water and some Wild Strawberry Energy Drops inside it. It gave me an ever bigger kick than Diet Coke and helped to ease some of my withdrawal symptoms such as lethargy, migraines, and mood swings. I start every morning with my trusty energy drops now and they even came with me when we traveled since they were so easily transported in my purse.

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  • 10/21/2014 (starting weight): 252.0
  • 1/21/2015 (Medifast starting weight): 237.2
  • 4/9/2015 weight: 231.0
  • Total loss = 21 pounds

While my weight went up a little this week, which was expected with vacation treats, you can see a clear difference in my bloat and belly. I didn’t realize just how much the Diet Coke was bloating my body and belly. I think this is a huge difference and was a success, even with the small gain. The before photo was taken in October. I was drinking two to three cans of Diet Coke daily and I weighted my heaviest: 252 pounds. When I began Medifast in January, I had already dropped 15 pounds, but was stuck and couldn’t lose any additional weight. That’s why I turned to Medifast and have been thrilled with the help, premade meals, coaching, and assistance they offer each of their clients.

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Medifast’s Energy Drops are on sale for 50% off right now and I highly recommend them. They taste great and the work. If you’re looking for a way to get rid of soda, this really and truly worked for me. I even added more to my last order because they’re just my favorite!

Interested in starting your own Medifast journey? Medifast has some deals for you! If you use my code, OURHOLLY15, you can receive $15 off an order of $150 or more. Or, use code OURHOLLY28 to receive 28 free meals (a $67 value!) with your purchase of $250+. Limit one per customer. The OURHOLLY28 code is limited to new customers only and not valid with prior purchases, Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts. Both codes expire on 12/31/2015. See website for complete details on program and discounts. Consult your physician before beginning a weight-loss program.

DIY Febreeze, a Simple Fabric Refresher You Can Make Yourself!

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Between living in the dry, dusty desert, my five children and stepchildren, two dogs, and a husband who (literally!) works in a dirt factory, my carpets and linens take a real beating. One of my favorite ways to refresh my home and instantly make it feel cleaner is with fabric spray like Febreeze. It’s also an easy way to freshen up your carpets and upholstered furniture before a party or having guests over. Unfortunately, Febreeze itself can be pricey and at roughly $3 per spray bottle (that only goes so far in my 2000 square foot home), I wanted to test out my own version. A little baking soda and some fabric softener later, I’ll never look back. My musty desert carpets are no match for this DIY Febreeze recipe and it’s easily customized to your favorite scent since you can use the fabric softener of your choice.

To make your own fabric refresher a la you, gather the following supplies: baking soda, fabric softener of your choice, and a spray bottle (I love this glass one).

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You’ll start with some hot water straight from the tap.

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Next, add in some baking soda and a little bit of fabric softener of your choice. I like to stick with all natural products in my home, so I use this Mrs. Meyer’s brand in lavender scent and it’s just heavenly.

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Give it a good shake and you’re ready to spray your home.

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Keeping it natural and fresh makes me feel all kinds of Rockstar Mom. This DIY fabric refresher smells positively wonderful and neutralizes any weird stank in your curtains, fabrics, or carpet thanks to the baking soda. I love to refresh my pillows with this every week or so.

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Tip: Be sure to give it a nice shake before each and every use to ensure the baking soda hasn’t settled.

5.0 from 1 reviews

DIY Febreeze, a Simple Fabric Refresher You Can Make Yourself!
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups water (hot from faucet)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons fabric softener of choice

Instructions
  1. In a water bottle, combine all ingredients.
  2. Shake until well combined.
  3. Use on all surfaces to refresh fabric.
  4. Shake before each use.

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