Sunday, April 27, 2014

Family fun! *pic heavy!*

About 3 weeks ago, I was incredibly sick. I had the stomach bug so bad, and was reduced to nothing but tears and zapped of all energy. My house was a wreck, my kids hadn't had an actual cooked meal, and I hadn't been able to stand up for more than a few minutes without falling over due to being incredibly weak and dizzy. I am sure I was severely dehydrated, which certainly didn't help me any.

After I recovered, I decided that we needed to get out on the first nice day. I needed some fresh air, and the kids didn't want to be cooped up inside on an almost 80° day. So, Saturday morning I decided that we were going to go to the Zoo. Because I was angry with my husband, I was not inviting him to attend our outing. Gianna had other plans. She walked up the stairs and asked daddy to come "Daddy! Come to the zoo with us?" He also wasn't feeling well, so I figured he wouldn't be up to the trip. The Zoo isn't far from us at all, but with the kids, it can become an all day thing. He decided to come. So much for that.

We arrived at about 12:50, went through the gates, and started our visit. Sheep, goats, ring tailed lemurs, and this cute little guy. The red panda. My new favorite animal. He's so cute!!!

By the time we passed the cougar, the birds (bald eagles, vultures, owls, etc), and the arctic fox, my husband was really starting to feel worn down and sick. We stopped at the snack shack and got some drinks and pretzels. At that point, he decided he was going to head back to the car and wait for us there. It was 1:30. He didn't think we'd be that long. The Zoo isn't large by any means, but it certainly isn't small. There were still quite a bit of animals left to see, and some of them are rather entertaining.

We went up to the Large Cats of Asia building, which houses a leopard and two gorgeous tiger sisters. The leopard kept walking back and forth in front of the windows, before deciding that she was tired and just wanted to lay in the sun. 
After that, we visited a spectacled bear and then made our way up to my favorite exhibits- the otters and the penguins. The penguins apparently only go in the water once in a great while, so we were incredibly lucky to watch them jump in and swim around. We went into the building so that we could see them underwater. Gianna was so excited to watch them swim! They played with her, through the glass, for at least 10 minutes.
 On one of our bathroom breaks, the kids decided to play with the statue outside.

After that, we checked out the wolf exhibit. We didn't see any while we were inside the building, but I decided to prop my phone up and set the timer so I could get a picture of the kids and I together. I wish it wasn't so dark, but I really like it other than that.

While we were leaving, we spotted the wolves outside of the large area. There were 4 of them, but only one was actually out in the open enough for me to get a picture of him.

After this, we made our way back to the beginning so that the kids could spend some time feeding the goats and sheep again. They really enjoy that part the most. There were 3 new babies, and they were just the cutest little things hopping around! Gianna loved watching the one play. The mother to the twin babies was incredibly loud. Every time AJ would look at her, she'd "BAAAAA" as loud as she could. Guess it was feeding time and she was making sure the zookeepers knew she was there and waiting!

Before we left, we hit up the ZOOvenir shop to pick up some souvenirs for the kiddos. AJ picked some plastic zoo animals, Sofia bought a ring, and Gianna wanted this tiger named Tirney. I put it on her back and used a rubber band around his hands and feet to keep it in place. She loved it!

And, the perfect ending to the perfect day? ICE CREAM from Coldstone!

My new favorite picture of Gianna:

They had a blast. We spent a total of 3.5 hours at the zoo. The kids had a blast, I had a blast. My husband sat in the car that whole time. I'm sure he was hoping that he didn't come, or that we would hurry up. Oh well. We had fun, and that's all that matters. My kids enjoyed themselves and the attention they received. It was one of the best times I've had in a while and I can't wait until the weather warms up some more so that we can do more things like this. I'm hoping to hit up the Syracuse Zoo and the mall as well. I know the kids would enjoy that just as much, if not more, than this zoo.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

**GIVEAWAY** Shaklee Review!

I've not been active lately as I have a lot going on. As you read in a recent post, CPS was over and recently closed their case. Now, I'm battling the stomach bug (yuck!) and it really is wearing me down and taking a lot from me. I am SO thankful that my friend Farrah from A Fulfilled Mommy asked me to help her with this giveaway! Please, check it out and enter!

I received a free product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own. This blog is not responsible for prize shipment.

Shaklee has become a household name in eco-friendly cleaning products. This multi-level marketing company strives to create healthier environments in our homes with toxin free cleaning supplies & other products. Shaklee is a proven name as it's been around for about 56 years. You can also find beauty supplies, skin care products, vitaminds/supplements, and several other products made by Shaklee.

I've been familiar with Shaklee since about 2007. I have always used eco-friendly cleaning products in our home, especially as an asthma sufferer. When I became a mom, I definitely wanted to reduce the number of chemicals I used in my home. We don't use Windex, Lysol, etc. I also do not use paper towels, but rather have a stockpile of wash cloths that we wash and re-use.

 I was able to try out a bottle of Basic H2, a 3 pack of spray bottles, a bottle of Basic G, and a tub of scour off paste. I also received a Get Clean sponge and microfiber cleaning cloth. I really loved using the all purpose cleaner in my kitchen. I have been a long time user of Method, so I was excited to give something else a try.

Sometimes, I feel like I have to scrub a bit more using Method. When I used the Shaklee all purpose cleaner on my stove, it came really clean. The scour off also helped some burnt on residue come off with hardly any scrubbing. Anything that reduces scrubbing time is okay with me. With four kids, I do not have a lot of time for cleaning and I need something that is effective at getting my home clean.

As you can see, Shaklee gets the job done!

*Sidenote: The marks you see in the

upper part of the after picture are scratches in my old glass top stove.
The scour off paste can be used for nasty pots & pans, but I use my dishwasher for all of that. Call it lazy, but again, I'm a mom of four. Sometimes convenience wins! I decided to give it a shot in our bath tub. I had (sadly) been using Toilet Works to get the hard water stains out of it. One must note that living in the country and having well water gives us more hard water stains than the average household. It worked really well and again, I saved time on the scrubbing. I'm so relieved to have this scour off to use for this rather than Toilet Works. Toilet Works is highly toxic and harsh on skin, but I hadn't found anything else that worked until now.

One winner will receive the Shaklee products I tried, plus 10 samples of Basic H. Use the Giveaway Tools form below to enter. By entering this giveaway, you agree to the terms and conditions.