Take a Mommy Timeout with iT’Z Ladies’ Night Out!

Just wanted to let you know that I will be receiving a family 4-pack to iT’Z Family Food & Fun through a partnership with US Family Guide in appreciation for this post and a follow up post I’ll be back to share after our family day of fun. However, all opinions are entirely my own. 

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Ever have one of those days? You know, you work all day long, you have a “real” job, your online stuff, calling doctors and schools, paying the bills and balancing the budget kind of day? Then your kids’ idea of winding down includes you cooking dinner with one hand, trying to get a little more work done with the other, while one child is pulling on your shirt tale asking about her science work and the other is pulling on your shorts eager to tell you about the new game he just downloaded on his phone. Yea, those days. What, just me? I highly doubt that and I believe if I walked into any one of your houses on any given evening, I’d see a similar scene. I love being a mommy and a wife, but I honestly think that women need to take a timeout every once in awhile. And mommy timeouts are just better with friends in fun places.

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Why should kids have all the fun? We take them to amusement parks, water parks, the pool, the beach, go to pizza places with games and an oversized mouse…and we do it all for them. I love doing things for my kids, to see their smiling faces, whenever possible. But what about us? As moms, we work hard so we should get to play sometimes too.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one that sees it this way. iT’Z Family Food & Fun in Pasadena, TX is hosting a Ladies’ Night Out on Thursday, October 2nd, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm CST. For just $9.99 you get to dine at their extensive buffet which includes your drink, you get a $10 game card, and one game of bowling including your shoes. They’ll have vendors on site who cater to women, and you’ll get a complimentary gift bag. There’s way more to do than that if you’re interested. So many fun activities in one location including laser tag, bumper cars, and a laser maze. Sounds like a lot of fun, right?

iT'Z Family Food & Fun, bowling, Pasadena TX bowling, family fun

So Pasadena-area moms, on October 2nd, find a sitter, grab some friends, and head out to iT’Z Family Food & Fun for a night of frivolity. But don’t worry if you can’t find that sitter! Although the $9.99 buffet special does apply to ladies only, full price buffet purchase is available that evening for anyone else that wants to come along too.

Not in the Pasadena area so you’re a little bummed about missing this deal? They have locations in Euless TX, Willowbrook (Houston) TX, Colorado Springs CO, and Albuquerque NM too so there’s a lot of fun to go around and each location will be hosting this event. There are a limited amount of tickets at each location so be sure to reserve yours online today.

If you’d like to see what all of the hype is about, find iT’Z Family Food & Fun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Seriously, you need a timeout. Let iT’Z help you with their Ladies’ Night Out!

Crock Pot Chili: Perfect for Game Day {Low Sodium Recipe}

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Crock Pot Chili. Quite possibly the perfect game day food. Perfect for so many reasons. Easy to make. Perfect for fall. Delicious to eat. Lasts all day long. And hello, bring on the heat, just like the games (that I don’t care to watch). My oldest daughter says I make the best.chili.ever! OK, I’m sure that’s not true, but I take that compliment and run with it. Since I made game day chili (low sodium style of course) on Sunday, I decided to share my recipe here.

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As always, the perfect recipe always starts with the freshest ingredients. Canned tomatoes are SO overrated. Fresh is best and getting those fresh veggies into your babies’ bodies is a bonus point for this recipe.

Crock Pot Chili Ingredients:

  • 12 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 sweet peppers (you can use jalapenos if you want to heat things up)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb turkey burger
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp red ground pepper
  • 5 shots hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can low sodium organic beans (or if you really want to go all out, buy dried beans and soak overnight)

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Crock Pot Chili Instructions:

  • Brown your turkey burger.
  • Chop your onion, sweet peppers (deseeded), and garlic cloves and place in frying pan with burger. Cook until vegetables are tender. Set aside.
  • Quarter 11 of the tomatoes and blend in the blender to sauce consistency. Place in Crock Pot.
  • Dice remaining tomato to add to tomato blend (hey, just like Rotel only no sodium).
  • Add spices and stir.
  • Place meat mixture in Crock Pot, stir.
  • Add beans, stir.
  • Simmer on low for 4-6 hours (again, the longer this simmers, the more flavorful it will become).
  • Serve with tortilla chips (gluten free) or crackers.

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So simple, so delicious (according to them, I don’t eat it so I can’t say), and this full Crock Pot feeds an army. OK, not an army, but a lot of people. It’s one of my favorite go-to fall or football party meals. All the prep is done in the morning and you don’t have to worry about a thing all day long!

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This hearty meal, packed with veggies and protein, is a family favorite and a huge hit at parties. I like it because there’s minimal mess and prep time. It’s a SCORE (ha, get the irony?) for everyone.

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This recipe is sure to be a hit at your next game day party. It’s low in sodium, delicious, and you can customize it to your heat preference. Doesn’t get much better than that! What’s your favorite game time food? Care to share? I’d love to hear it in the comments below. But to be honest, it better be low sodium or we can’t try it! Happy fall y’all!

Picnics are a snap with Schlitterbahn’s Mom’s Ice Chest Challenge {Avocado Spread Recipe}

Just so you know, I participated in Schlitterbahn’s Mom’s Ice Chest Challenge to facilitate this post. We’re planning a picnic and packing a #BahnCooler. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own.

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So, hey! We’re going to Schitterbahn! You know what’s cool about that? Well, other than the awesome water rides of course? Schlitterbahn loves families and the proof is in the cooler. Families can save by bringing their own coolers to the park. In fact, it’s encouraged. Combine that with free parking, and it’s the perfect family day of fun!

Bringing in a cooler does more than save money for your family. It lets you take care of those fussy eaters (so yea, Bubby will be eating P,B, & J) so you can stay all day. Packing a cooler with our kids’ favorite foods and drinks means more time enjoying rides and less time in food lines. Plus hello? Money savings!

The thing about Schlitterbahn is, the ticket price is the end of it. No nickel and dime charges. Pay for the tickets, then bring your cooler full of food and drink (no alcohol please and thank you), and parking is free. There’s a huge variety of rides, some wild, some mild  (something for everyone), and there’s plenty of room for you to set up your own picnic.

We’re stoked about going and since it’s been super rainy, yucktastic, and stormy here on the island, we decided to pick out our picnic food ahead of time and practice inside (hey, mom’s trying to entertain the kids here). We had a picnic in the living room and the kids are even more excited for Schlitterbahn Galveston than they were before.

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If you’re going to Schlitterbahn for a picnic, or anywhere for a picnic for that matter, you need to be prepared. Ready for some tips and tricks? Keep it simple! Sandwiches are the best picnic food. Trust me. Everyone loves a great sandwich, right? Well my family does and it’s the simplest picnic food on the planet. Plus, you can make it even easier by having the right essentials.

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I found this awesome picnic basket at Target. It’s a basket and a cooler, all rolled into one. This gem makes the picnic complete with the whole picnic atmosphere and it keeps your food on ice until you’re ready to eat. Some fruit (pack those in mason jars the night before), some sandwich meat, some sub rolls, cute bowls for serving, with some matching plates and utensils and you’re ready for anything.

Utensil caddy and container ideas

This cute utensil caddy, plus some sturdy cupcake cups, make for the perfect presentation without a lot of fuss and worry. The fact that they are portable and disposable is just an added bonus.

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Throw in some fun drinks, and the most awesome Jimmy John’s knock off avocado sandwich spread, and you WIN! And it’s all so easy. Want to be a hero at your picnic? This is how to roll. Seriously, check out the spread recipe below (and ditch the mayo because…well, gross).

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Whatever you like on your sandwich, sandwiches are definitely the way to go for picnics. We went with ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and the most amazing spread you’ll ever put in your mouth. If you’re headed to Schlitterban, or anywhere else where a picnic is in order, I encourage you to try this spread, and to use these simple tips for a successful picnic. Nothing really says family time like Schlitterbahn and a picnic.

Jimmy John’s Knock Off Avocado Spread

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1/2 tspn dry mustard

What you’ll do…

  • Blend pepper, onion, garlic, tomato, and dry mustard in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  • Smash avocado and lime in a bowl with a fork.
  • Hand mix avocado mixture with above blended ingredients.
  • Spread on your sandwich.
  • Enjoy your picnic!

I hope you enjoy MANY family picnics this summer and I encourage you to be prepared. If you live in the area of a Schlitterbahn…GO. It’s like the best family fun anywhere. You can save a LOT of money because they actually encourage you to bring your own cooler and lunch. If you have better ideas than mine for the perfect picnic foods, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

So tell me, who’s going to Schitterbahn? If you don’t live by one, who’s going on a picnic? Picnics are super fun in the summer y’all. If you aren’t going, you’re missing out!