Category Archives: Partnerships

We Found A Little Paradise At KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort

In partnership with KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort, my family was provided with a complimentary stay for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own as always.

When it comes to a little family getaway, you don’t need to go far from home. Last weekend my family visited the KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort in Illinois. It is not that far from Milwaukee, I say about a 45 minute to 1 hour drive. That’s not too bad for us because we shop at Gurnee Mills and visit Six Flags Great America quite a few times during the year.

The kids and I have always noticed the KeyLime Cove Resort but we never had a chance to visit until recently.

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After arriving at KeyLime Cove, there is temporary parking near the curb within steps of the Guest Drop Off point. Luckily my husband was driving because you have to parallel park and I can’t parallel park to save my life!  I like the idea of not dragging all of our bags in to check in. All the rooms are located in different parts of the resort and this saves time.

When you walk into the lobby, you immediately feel like you are somewhere else. An island maybe?

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We did not have to wonder where to go because the colorful signs are hard to pass up.

After checking in at the front desk, we were not given the traditional card keys for our room. Instead we received wristbands. Orange for my husband and I, purple for the kids.

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Now this is a great idea. I am the one who misplaces the room key or forgets to grab it when we leave the room. The adult wristbands are not only our water passes, but are also the key to our door. Another bonus to using wristbands is you can add money to it and swipe it at cash registers throughout the resort. Another plus is you load up the kids’ wristbands with money that they can spend. What a smart way to stay on budget!

The buildings where the rooms are located were easy to find. The entrances are clearly marked.

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The wristbands are needed to unlock the entrance doors too. There is quite a selection of rooms to choose from when staying at KeyLime Cove for families of different sizes.

  • King Guest Room ( king size bed and sofa bed)
  • King Spa Room ( king size bed and jacuzzi)
  • Queen Guest Room ( two queen size beds)
  • Queen Deluxe Guest Room ( two queen size beds and sofa bed in 1 room)
  • Mangrove 1 Bedroom Suite ( two queen size beds and a sofa bed in separate rooms)
  • Toucan 2 Bedroom Suite ( two queen size beds and one king size bed)
  • Captain Dave’s Presidential Suite ( two queen size beds, king size bed, fireplace, two bathrooms)

We stayed in the Mangrove Suite. TJ loved the big beds, he could really stretch out!

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Lost Paradise WaterPark

With 65,000 square feet of fun available, guests are able to easily find age appropriate splash-tastic activities. It has everything you could ask for from water slides and water dumps to whirlpools and fountains.

Toukie’s Big Deluge

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Tsunmi Washout Wave Pool

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TJ and Kayla enjoyed a relaxing ride down Keylime Creek.

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The tempature was a perfect 84 degrees inside the waterpark.  It felt like we were outstide on a nice summer day. The kids loved that!

 Activities

There are quite a few things for your family to do if you need a little break from the waterpark. Riptide Arcade is open until 12 am and has games for all ages.

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Of course I found a machine that involved bacon!

keylimecove17The first few times my husband won me some candy. But he finally got me a bacon ball! I love my bacon so that definitely made me smile.

You can even do a some bowling if the mood strikes you!

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 Leapin’ Lizards

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Leapin’ Lizards offers your kids an opportunity to get creative. There are sing-a-longs, scavenger hunts and story time. Play checkers or paint some ceramics. The prices were budget friendly and included paint. There is even a coloring contest to enter.

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The craft for the day was making pinwheels for Mother’s Day. It was free and my kids enjoyed it. The crafts only take 10-15 minutes to do.

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Serpent Safari

On our way to check out the arcade, TJ noticed the Serpent Safari. He loves reptiles and these ladies caught his eye.

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After a little convincing we all took turns petting the Albino Burmese Python and bearded dragon. We thought it would be a great memory to take a picture with both. Two pictures were only $15 and are printed on the spot.

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I am so proud of myself for actually holding its’ head in my hand.

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I found we did not need to to leave the resort for anything. There are shops, spas and restaurants all in one place.

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The little things are what can make or break an experience. KeyLime Cove did a good job of making our stay enjoyable.  Kayla put her wristband on too tight and we able to get a new one quickly. Every employee who crossed our paths was friendly and kind.

No matter where we were in the resort, it felt like a vacation. The colors and decor was interesting and fun.

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We had a great time, but it went by very fast. I definitely plan on returning for a weekend stay because I was really impressed. There is so much to do there! The kids had a great time and want to go back!

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I can’t forget the best part of the waterpasses. Checkout is 11am but you can continue to use your passes until 10pm that night. For more information visit the KeyLime Cove website.

Stay Connected!

Become a Fan on Facebook
Follow KeyLime Cove on Twitter

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Having Real Conversations With My Teen About Drinking and a $25 Visa e-card Giveaway #MC

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Anheuser-Busch’s Family Talk About Drinking program. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

A few weeks ago a wrote about parents asking themselves the important questions before talking to their teens about drinking. You want to prepare yourself. The Family Talk About Drinking Facebook page offers great resources when it comes to talking with your teen about drinking. I liked the idea of deciding what I expected from my teen and being clearing about the rules and consequences. It is important that my teen feels she can turn to me if a situation arises where someone is drinking.

MJ Corcoran has worked with parents for the past 20 years and has created a powerful 
parenting program that will help you make the changes to create more cooperation, connection, mutual respect and fun in your family. In 2011, MJ collaborated with Anheuser-Busch to refresh and expand the Family Talk About Drinking guide to become a program that parents can turn to throughout the parenting process, no matter how old their kids may be.

MJ Corcoran shares a lot of great advice. As a parent, you’re the greatest influence on your teen’s choices. In fact, Parents have been the strongest influence on teens’ decisions to drink alcohol ages 13-17 for more than 20 years. The 2014 report shows a 27 percent increase in parents’ influence since 1991.

  • Asking open-ended questions gets your teen thinking about what they would do
    when and if they’re offered a drink – and the potential consequences.
  • Two things you can do to connect with your teen: listen and respect their
    opinion. In turn, they’ll be much more likely to talk with you about the tough
    issues – like underage drinking.
  • When you have a teenager, windows of opportunity to talk can open and close
    fast. Use prom and graduation to continue the conversation around underage
    drinking. Be clear about your boundaries.
  •  When your teen gets invited to a graduation party, it’s the perfect window of
    opportunity to talk about underage drinking.
  • Texting is not enough! When your teen is at a prom or graduation party, check in
    with a phone call instead of a text to encourage greater accountability.

Be R-E-A-L

  • Realize our children need to have a connection with us
  • Examine our own assumptions and prejudices.
  • Always be aware of the other influences in our kids’ lives. 
  • Listen, because all kids (especially teens!) have a deep need to be heard.

I would rather my teens have a connection with my husband and I before anyone else. I always have their best interest at heart. I want them to make smart choices and want to help any way I can.

I should not just expect that my kids know what I want them to do. There is no confusion when it comes to drinking. They are not allowed to do. If they find themselves in a situation where there is drinking, I want to be the first person they call. Their safety is my number 1 priority.

My husband and I are very aware that our kids don’t just listen to us. They have access to the actions and opinions of celebrities, friends, friends of friends and other family members. I want my teens to think for themselves and not follow the crowd.

I try very hard to listen when my kids speak. Their thoughts and opinions are important. I have learned so much in just casual conversation. Like me, my kids can be pretty blunt when it comes to what is on their mind.

I will be posting a on more time about the Family Talk About Drinking Program. For more information about Underage Drinking Prevention, visit the Anheuser-Busch website. Don’t forget to download the Parent Guide for Family Talk About Drinking!

The Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a $25 Visa e-card. This will be a great opportunity for the winner to put the gift card towards quality time with their teenager to jumpstart their own conversations prior to the prom, graduation or high school parties.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Viactiv Yours & Hers: Building Strong Bones Together

Now that my daughters are older, I find myself having more discussions with them about health. The more I learn, the more I share with them, especially Nannah (16) and Jazz (20).

Did you know almost 70% of women, on average, are calcium deficient. That number jumps significantly for teen girls: 86% of teen girls do not get enough in their daily diets. This is a critical time because 95% of bone building happens by age 20.

My daughters Kayla and Nannah loves to drink milk. We actually go through a few gallons of week. Unfortunately when it come to my daughter Jazz and I, we do not drink enough. I barely drink milk at all because I don’t like the taste. It is different for Jazz. She gets so busy with school and working full time, she forgets how important it is to add into her diet. The daily recommended daily intake based on our ages are 1000 mg. Visit Viactiv to see how much calcium you need daily.

I want to find ways to add more calcium into our daily diets. One of the ways to do this is buy adding more calcium enriched foods like fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt or low fat chocolate milk. Unfortunately it is still easy to forget to drink these, especially if you are in a hurry. This is when Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews come in handy. ​

Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews come in two flavors Milk Chocolate and Caramel. After trying both flavors, Jazz does not like chocolate so she likes the Caramel soft chews. That works out great because there is one for me and one for her.The taste is not bitter and is easy to chew. Not exactly what I thought a vitamin supplement taste like. Two Viactiv Calcium Soft Chew taken daily provides 100% of the daily value of calcium for most women plus vitamins D3 & K. Since they are individually wrapped so we can keep them with us in our bags or purses.

I like the fact that Viactiv is part of the three keys to healthy bones:

  • Obtaining an adequate daily dose of calcium from diet
  • Regular bone strengthening exercises
  • Supplementing when is not enough

I am going to start using the Viactiv and American Bone Health Calcium Rule of 300:

  • Many diary foods containing calcium provide around 300 mg-350 mg each.
  • Add another 300 mgs if you maintain a healthy diet on a daily basis
  • If you get three calcium enriched servings a day, you may not need a supplement. If you don’t get the three servings a day or have some days when you don’t, use Viactiv Soft Chews

Viactiv 15th Birthday Bash Giveaway

Each month on the 15th, fifteen winners will be randomly selected to receive two canisters of Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews in the flavor of their choice. They can keep one and share the other with someone special in their life -teen daughter, best friend, sister or mother.

Winners will be chosen on 4/15, 5/15, 6/15 and 7/15. There will be 60 winners in all. The winners will be announced on the Viactiv Facebook Page

Grab some Viactiv Calcium Soft Chews at Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, Target, Walgreens and Drugstore.com .

Get the latest information on Viactiv® Calcium Soft Chews at www.viactiv.com. #ViactivYoursandHers

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received two full-sized canisters of Viactiv® Calcium Soft Chews and a picture frame for my own personal use. All opinions, text and experiences are my own.

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Just Between Friends Of Milwaukee Twitter Party 3/31

This is a sponsored post.  My opinions are 100% my own as always.

During my life of shopping for good deals, I have never attended a consignment sale. I have heard a few friends talk about sorting, tagging and taking various items they own to a consignment shop.  This upcoming Saturday on April 5, 2014, I will finally get a chance to shop at an consignment sale through a Just Between Friends shopping event.

just between friendsJust Between Friends was created in a living room in Tulsa, Oklahoma when Shannon Wilburn, a mother of two young children, and her friend Daven Tackett hosted a sale with 17 friends as consignors and had gross sales of $2000 in 1997.  This led to more sales which caught on with area families and grew—so much so that in 2003, they formed Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc.  Today Wilburn is sole owner and CEO of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc., which has over 130 franchises in 26 states and counting.

Although the event starts officially on April 6th, I will be attending the pre-sale. I am pretty excited to see what I find, I just hope not to spend too much money!

Dates and Time for Just Between Friends of Milwaukee

Sunday, April 6: 10am – 7pm
Monday, April 7: 10am – 7pm
Tuesday, April 8: 10am – 7pm
Wednesday, April 9: 10am – 5pm
Thursday, April 10: 10am – 7pm
Friday, April 11: 10am – 1pm

On April 6 only, there is a $3 charge for admission tickets. April 7-11 admission is free.  Parking is $5 unless you park on the streets. Visit the Just Between Friends Of Milwaukee website for more information.

While I am there I will be sharing pictures of what I find on Instagram and Twitter so make sure you are following me.

#JBFMilwaukee Twitter Party!

On March 31, 2014 there will be a Just Between Friends of Milwaukee Twitter Party.  Join us to learn more about consignment shopping and to win prizes.

I hope to see you there!!

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We Are Standing With CVS On Kick Butts Day 3/19 #MakeTobaccoHistory

This is an compensated post. This does not influence my opinion which is 100% my own.

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I am proud to say I am not a smoker. I tried a cigarette once when I was younger and thankfully did not like it. I talk to my children a great deal about the effects of smoking. It comes up a lot since there are members of my family who do smoke. My kids understand that it is very difficult to stop smoking once you start. It is very addictive and it is just best not even start smoking. I tell them to not even try it. It is not worth it.

Kick Butts Day

kick buttsKick Butts Day is sponsored by The United Health Foundation. It is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.

Every day more than 3,000 kids under 18 try smoking for the first time and 700 kids become new regular, daily smokers. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 people every year.

Back in February, CVS Caremark announced they are banning the sales of all tobacco products! CVS is also supporting the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ Kick Butts Day. My kids were happy to stand up and raise awareness about Tobacco.

stand with CVS
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stand with cvs2 They stand together to Make Tobacco History!!

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You can print your own #StandWithCVS poster to show your support. You can print in color or black and white. Take a picture holding your poster with CVS in the background and share on social media.

Facebook: Tobacco Free Kids and Kick Butts Day
Twitter: Tobacco Free Kids  and Kick Butts Day
Instagram: use #KickButtsDay

The United States is marking the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, and a new Surgeon General’s report found that smoking is even more hazardous than previously thought.

Did you know that 106,000 kids in Wisconsin will die prematurely from smoking if we don’t take action to protect them?  Nationally, 5.6 million US kids alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused deaths. Tobacco companies spend $8.8 billion a year to market tobacco, targeting youth with magazine ads, store ads and discounts, and fruit- and candy-flavored small cigars that look just like cigarettes.

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There are activities going on all over the nation. Here are a few going on in Wisconsin:

March 19: Students at Northland Pines Middle School will broadcast public service announcements they have created over the last months in their 7th grade health classes. Homeroom classrooms will also compete in a poster contest to educate their peers about the dangers of smoking, secondhand smoke and smokeless tobacco products.

Time: 9 AM.
Location:  1700 Pleasure Island Road, Eagle River.
Contact: Bradley Dodge (715) 479-6479 ext. 4313.

March 20th  Student members of Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco (FACT) in LaCrosse are taking a stand against Big Tobacco by creating videos that will feature messages about the harmful effects of smoking. The winning video will be announced at a Red Carpet Premiere held at the Central High School auditorium.

Time: 6 PM
Location: 1801 Losey Boulevard, La Crosse
Contact: Judi Zabel (608) 386-9786.

March 21st Students from Horicon Junior-Senior High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)group chapter will display a pile of shoes to show the fatal figures caused each day in Wisconsin by tobacco use. The school will also host a day-long health fair to educate students and the community about the deadly consequences smoking and tobacco products.

Time: 9 AM
Location: 841 Gray Street, Horicon
Contact: Anne Millane (920) 485-4441

Check out the 2014 Kick Butts Event Map to find an activity near you.

I hope to see your support for Kick Butts Day. Leave a comment with a link to your photo so I can check it out. For more information visit the Kick Butts Day and Tobacco Free Kids websites.

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SPLENDA® 365 #SWEETSWAPS Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

This post is part of the SPLENDA® 365 SWEET SWAPS ™ blogger program by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. and The Motherhood, who sent me products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

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Last week I wrote about SPLENDA® 365 #SWEETSWAPS. Splenda is sharing 365 ways to swap out sugar for their zero calorie sweetener.

I was also a co-host of a Splenda 365 #Sweetswaps Twitter party. We shared different ways to easily swap out sugar every day. It can be used to make homemade applesauce, cheesecake and muffins.

I was sent a variety of Splenda products to try out.

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  • No Calories sweetener, packets
  • No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
  • No Calorie Sweetener, Flavors for Coffee, French Vanilla
  • Sugar Blend
  • Brown Sugar Blend

In addition to trying Splenda packets on our oatmeal and the French Vanilla in my coffee, my family have used Splenda in more meals. Kayla makes a lot of smoothies and she likes adding a little sweetness to her drinks.



We wanted to give Splenda a try and do a little baking. We browsed the Splenda recipe site and there were lots of recipes to choose from. Kayla and Nannah kept coming back to Peanut Butter cookies. After some back and forth they decided on making the Peanut Butter Cookies Bites.

splenda Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

*Recipe courtesy of Splenda.com
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup creamy style peanut butter
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Beat margarine and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy, approximately 1 minute.
  3. Add egg substitute, honey and vanilla. Beat on high speed for approximately 1 1/2 minutes.
  4. Add SPLENDA® Granulated Sweetener and beat on medium speed until well blended, approximately 30 seconds.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, beating on low speed until well-blended, about 1 1/2 minutes. Mixture may be crumbly.
  6. Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls and drop onto a lightly oiled or parchment lined sheet pan, two inches apart. Flatten each ball with a fork, pressing a crisscross pattern into each cookie. Bake 7-9 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Cool on wire rack.

The girls had fun making the cookies. They had never used honey when baking cookies but liked the flavor. The cookies were a little more dense than peanut butter cookies we have had before. While the flavor was different, the Peanut Butter Cookie Bites were delicious!

The Splenda products include conversion charts on the back of the packaging. This makes it very easy when you want to swap out sugar when cooking. I like that I do not have to try to guess how to much to use.

Make sure you visit www.365sweetswaps.com for easy ways to swap out sugar in your life.

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SPLENDA® 365 #SweetSwaps Tips and Twitter Party

This post is part of the SPLENDA® 365 SWEET SWAPS ™ blogger program by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. and The Motherhood, who sent me products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

There is no denying how much I love my sugar. I use it when baking and in my drinks. It is almost an automatic thing when I am adding it. I know I need to use less sugar. I even want to use less. I have tried to do it cold turkey and cut out all sugar but that never worked!

That is the main reason being part of the SPLENDA® 365 SWEET SWAPS ™ blogger program is a good fit for me. I could use a little help cutting my sugar intake. Did you know that experts recommend that women consume less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily, but the average American eats 22.2 teaspoons! That is a really big difference!

splendasweetswapI decided to try my first sweet swap with my oatmeal. My grandmother always made mine with sugar sprinkled on top. When I am not paying attention, my sprinkling can get a little heavy-handed.

This time I grabbed a Splenda packet instead. 1 packet equals 1 tablespoon. I was a little scared to try it! What if it had that weird sweetener after taste I have experienced with other products?

My daughter Kayla did the sweet swap with me and we liked it! It tastes different from sugar but is still sweet. The best part is no calories! I did not feel like I was missing something while eating.

I really like the idea of making small changes and swapping out my food choices. It is not as overwhelming as it would be if I tried to do a big overhaul of my diet. I am looking forward to trying more tips and there are a lot to choose from over at the 365 Sweet Swaps Tumblr page.

Twitter Party

Throughout 2014, SPLENDA® Brand is dishing out 365 ways to swap sugar for SPLENDA® Sweetener Products to save calories all year long! The Motherhood is teaming up with SPLENDA® Sweetener Products for this fun Twitter party to share SPLENDA® 365 SWEET SWAPS™ tips and recipes!

Join us to hear recipes, tips and other simple lifestyle changes that can lead to big results over time!

When: Tuesday, March 4 at noon ET/11 a.m. CT/9 a.m. PT
Twtvite: http://twtvite.com/sweetswaps
Hashtag: #SweetSwaps
Prizes: Prizes will be randomly awarded to five participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Each prize includes a $50 Visa Gift Card and an assortment of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products! Prizes limited to U.S. participants only.
Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe and @EmilyMcKhann

I am looking forward to see you at the party!!

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