We’re Going to Surf with Santa and Visit SpongeBob at ICE LAND!

Thanks to Schlitterbahn, Moody Gardens, and US Family Guide, we’ll be surfing with Santa at Schlitterbahn and visiting SpongeBob at Moody Gardens ICE LAND this weekend. As always, all opinions are entirely my own. #BahnHoliday #MGIceLand

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Do you remember over the summer when we had the Bubby dubbed, “best day ever” at Schlitterbahn Galveston? Well, guess what? Dudes, we’re going back for some holiday fun. That’s right, a water park in the wintertime, because our island is cool like that. Santa is inviting kids to a very different kind of holiday party – Holiday Splash at Schlitterbahn Galveston Island. During the park’s Holiday Splash, which takes place weekends and select dates from November 28, 2014 through January 4, 2015, Santa is giving surf lessons to kids on the Boogie Bahn (I’m pocket sized, I’m going to try to slip in the line too). Kids can also make holiday ornaments, swim in an artificial snow storm, and enjoy a sprinkle of holiday cheer.

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Wait. What? That’s not enough to entice you to want to come join us? Don’t worry, there’s more! When you’re done playing in the “snow” and surfing with Santa, you’ll want to grab your parka and head over to Moody Garden’s ICE LAND Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants!

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Now through January 4, 2015, you can visit this Winter Wonderland (since we really don’t see snow here in southeast Texas) and your kids will be thrilled. I know mine are going to be! A skilled team of 31 internationally-acclaimed professional ice carvers from Harbin, China dove into 900 tons of ice (wow, that’s a lot of ice) and transformed them into majestic marvels featuring holiday scenes with the beloved Bikini Bottom inhabitants from Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Chilled and held at a temperature of 9 degrees (oh my frigid bones…but they provide you with parkas, so it’s OK), you can witness these works of art as Galveston makes its holiday transformation into a Winter Wonder Island.

We loved Schlitterbahn Galveston this summer and we can’t wait to go back and visit Moody Gardens this weekend to enjoy some holiday cheer. Plus, Santa and SpongeBob in one place is pretty much pure heaven on earth for my little ones (and me). If you’re visiting Galveston anytime soon, this is one spot you won’t want to pass up. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by. We’d love to see you! I’ll be back next week to share our weekend of fun.

In the meantime, you might want to follow along on Facebook and Twitter to find out all of the other cool stuff that Schlitterbahn Galveston and Moody Gardens have to offer all year long. I love living on this island and I hope you’ll come join us this weekend!

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?

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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!