Pure Cleaning with Essentials

The past week has been a tough one in our house. Mom tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday and we’ve been trying to keep things cleaner than ever so everyone stays safe. The use of disinfecting wipes has always been essential in our home, but we really ramped that up. And the timing, if possible, was perfect because our latest shipment ARM & HAMMER™ Essentials™ Disinfecting Wipes had been delivered. We are a brand ambassador with Arm & Hammer in 2021 and receive product and compensation as part of our partnership.

Now is a time that we not only need to keep the house clean on our regular schedule, but it is also a time we’ve been really thinking about how we can do some pure cleaning. We’ve always known that chemicals can be harsh and toxic, and who hasn’t scrunched their noise at the smell of strong cleaners? Yet at the same time, we want the confidence that what we’re cleaning our homes with is safe.

Arm & Hammer has taken some of that guess work out for us. While it isn’t 100% natural like a cloth + water + elbow grease, the products in this line are safer and kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. That sure makes mom feel a bit better with the germs around and is the way we’ll be cleaning here for awhile.

Essentials Disinfecting Wipes

With two fresh scents (Lemon Orchard and Renewing Rain), these disinfecting wipes also come in 40 or 80 wipe containers. Our go to has been Renewing Rain because it is a (good) unique smell that makes us think spring.

Also, for those of you with sensitive skin it is good to note that you do not need to wear gloves when using these wipes – with no harsh chemicals or Quats (Quaternary Ammonium Compounds). If you have any concerns about the ingredients, check out the product’s ingredients list.

How We Use the Essentials

Mom went through four wipes cleaning down the surfaces of her office as she prepared to go back to work. This was the place she was most often before getting sick, so it made sense to wipe everything in there down extra carefully. And yes, you can use these wipes on electronics – just be sure to wring the wipe out before using on screens and keyboards.

disinfecting-wipes

In addition to the office, these wipes can be used on doorknobs, in the car, and in the bathroom. They’re great for classrooms (psst, Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up) and gyms, too! We got the whole family, including the twins, in on the fun of cleaning with confidence as we went around the house wiping everything down.

(And yes, everything included the kitchen. Food contact surfaces do need to be rinsed with water after using these wipes.)

After this past year of being in and out of quarantine / stay-home-orders, the bottom line is we parents want to keep our kids safe from not only germs but from chemicals. These wipes give us that simple balance without having to worry about the protection we know we need. Arm & Hammer is a brand name that has been in this family for a long time (anyone else have the box of their baking soda in the fridge growing up) and a name we can trust.

Aside from cleaning products, what is something that has been essential to your daily live in the pandemic? Comment below and be sure to follow us on social media for more fun.

5 Things You MUST Spring Clean in 2021

Out with the old, in with the new. Spring is here and it is time to rid our homes of the stale, stagnant funk that the winter of 2020 has left behind. I know it isn’t just our house – the past twelve months have left so many things feeling “ick”, right? Listen, you’re a busy parent juggling virtual school, working from home, keeping up online social connections. We get it! But there are 5 things you must spring clean to start this new season off sparkling. And even better, what we’re suggesting is a list of chores perfect for your ‘tweens and teens!

Spring Cleaning with Enzyme Cleaners

Before that list, it is important that we address the need to safely clean your home. In this house, we are fans of trying to be as non-reliant on chemicals as we can be, but let’s be honest – with 6 humans, 2 fur babies, and the occassional frogs, cave crickets, and snails inhabiting our rooms, sometimes we do need to clean with more than water and our elbow grease.

That’s why our family is spring cleaning with enzyme cleaners this year. These cleaners break down stains that come from proteins and bacteria – like human and pet bodies. We are not ashamed to say that we live in our home and that involves some funk, bloody noses, sweat, grass stains, and more.

5 Things We MUST Spring Clean

Hand me downs!

Not only do we need to wash the size 5/6 six bins of summer clothes we’ve saved for seven years to hand down to the twins, we need to organize them! Anyone else struggle with their kids keeping the rainbow-organization that you fell in love with while binge watching pandemic Netflix? Sigh.

The twins’ hand me down summer clothes will simply go in our HE washer with 1/2 a scoop of Biz powder. Even though the clothes have been in totes in our attic, the blend of enzymes will help to dissolve those odors and even stains.

Sports Gear

With three kids in soccer and one in softball, the grass stains are real. Before our seasons begin next week we will be putting together a solution of some Biz powder and water to scrub the mud and grass from the fall season (hey, it was a busy time for us) and get ready to sparkle on the field.

The Entry Carpets

Pittsburgh winters bring salt, water stains, and mud onto our entryway carpets. It took the days of abundant sunshine recently for us to realize just how stained these areas have gotten. We’ll be spraying the foot and paw prints with KidsNPets Stain & Odor remover!

Beach Towels

We are more than ready to plan a getaway to the beach. Our beach towels will need a good run through the washing machine to freshen up – they are stored in our kids’ bathroom and have been known to smell a little mildewey at the start of the season.

Bath Towels

It seems redundant, but with the spring weather, we are washing towels far more often…and with more sun we have more sweaty days. Adding Biz to every few loads of towels helps keep that fresh feeling in our active lives.

Our Tools of Nature

We need cleaners ready to tackle these messes, so we’re armed with two stain fighters (Biz and KidsNPets) that help speed up the stain fighting process. These products are natural and non-toxic (making them safe for our humans and pets). They are part of a family of household products that consumers know and trust. Both are part of how we’re tackling the things we must spring clean this year.

Our blog has partnered with them in order to bring you this information, but as always we are open to hear your best cleaning hacks. Make sure to comment below with one thing you will be spring clearning this season.

Life is Messy

With four kids and two dogs (and let me be real, two adults), I’m really not sure why we have so many soft surfaces in our home that are white or light gray. Life is messy in a house like ours – mud, chocolate, spaghetti sauce, and aging dog accidents have left several spots in our home showing it. That is why this year I’ll be giving a few new-to-me products a try: Biz and Kids ‘n’ Pets. Both come from the Scott’s Liquid Gold family…and are now part of ours!

Biz: Saving our Clothes from Stains

biz-laundry-boost

Biz is a stain-fighting laundry detergent booster that comes in a powder or liquid formula. What drew me in to give it a try had nothing to do with our kids or pets…but a few white shirts I bought in the fall. Along with battling some continued pains, I’ve been sweating like crazy and at the same time moved to an aluminum free deodorant. Basically, I stunk and my shirt armpits suffered. Laundry detergent alone wasn’t working to rid the yellow.

When adding Biz to the tough to clean laundry loads like my white shirts, I add this booster along with my regular detergent. For tough stains like Greg’s yard work jeans or Evan’s soccer shorts, we straight up replace the detergent with this booster. There is also an option to pre soak these clothes to add to the stain fighting.

As we approach the warmer days of spring and summer, stay tuned to see how we are using Biz on the regular.

Spray for Oops: Kids ‘n’ Pets

kids-n-pets-steps

All the foot and paw traffic in our house has led to some fairly interesting stains. Spaghetti sauce on brand new shirts. Grass on canvas shoes. Hot sauce on our white couch. Coffee and doggy dribbles on the white living room carpet. All pretty normal in our house but they leave me wishing for a quick fix that doesn’t involve professional cleaning tactics.

Kids ‘n’ Pets is what I’ve been calling the “spray for oops”. It is great at fighting stains on clothing, but we’ve also found it helps attack the occasional dog urine or coffee drips that attack our carpet. It can even help in getting gum or putty off of clothes (I think every kid has done this). 

Wonder what ways our family will challenge the stain fighting power of these products in 2021? What stains are you interested in fighting? We will be continuing to share our experience with Biz and Kids ‘n’ Pets throughout the year.

Make the Season Sparkle the ZURU SPARKLE GIRLZ Way!

The twins just unboxed a whole lot of sparkle and are super excited to show you what they got a sneak peek at! This gifting season, ZURU is launching their Sparkle Girlz line – super affordable (starting at $4.99) dolls that bring your little ones fun, fantasy, and fashion!

Isn’t this basket full of dolls super fun?

So many sparkling options!

Ava and Isla were wowed by all of the options in their box of Sparkle Girls from Zuru. Truth be told, they didn’t even know where to begin. Thankfully I narrowed down the choices for them and got the first glance at the box we were sent. Yinz. These girls were spoiled with the sparkle! We put a few back to go to some of our Christmas giving endeavours to pass the blessing on, but you can check out their initial reactions here.

Zuru Sparkle Girls line has so many sparkling options to bring fun, fashion, and fantasy to your home this holiday season. Check out the information on the line that our pals at Zuru shared with us, each with a tidbit of love from the twins following.

Sparkle Girlz Set of 7 Princess Collection

Featuring seven unique and individual dolls, the  ZURU Sparkle Girlz Set of 7 Princess Collection is the perfect gift!   Touting a message of kindness and courage, and encouraging others to believe in themselves and the magic of dreams, Sparkle Girlz inspires magic, imagination and sparkle!   Featuring long soft hair complete with a magical sparkle highlight, each articulated Sparkle Girlz Princess doll is dressed in beautiful, sparkle and colorful outfits that can be swapped with one another down to the shoes!  Ages 3+, SRP $29.99. Available at Walmart.

source: Zuru
sparkle-girls-princesses

Isla’s first reaction to this set was that the princesses were in a “rainbow of skin colors” and that there were girls with skin like hers and like Ava’s and likely any girl would find a doll that looked like them. “Mommy! The red head looks like your friend Amber!” – Ava was quite excited to point that out ad she’s not wrong!

Sparkle Girlz Unicorn and Unicorn Set

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Baby Unicorn are the perfect pocket-sized friend for magical adventures.  The bedazzled unicorn loves sunshine, rainbows and all things sparkly!  Brush her tail, twirl a bun, and take note of the beautiful sparkle detailing on each unicorn’s horn, adding  an extra magical look. There are 4 different baby unicorns to collect. Sparkle all day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $1.99, available at Walmart.

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Unicorn are a set of 3 brightly colored unicorns with beautiful hair! Each unicorn embraces its unique style and their horns have glitter highlights along with gorgeous details on their hooves as well! Boy they really sparkle! Each unicorn has a moveable head for endless poses and you can pose the medium-sized unicorn’s legs as she can stand up or lie down! Build your sparkle kingdom with the addition of these magical creatures. Sparkle every day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $9.99 – Available at Walmart.

Both the girls loved the ponies/unicorns. Ava wears her hair with a little unicorn swirl, so of course she loved styling these (Mama’s) pocket sized friends’ hair with a twist like her’s! The baby unicorns are the perfect size for stocking stuffers and what a great price point!

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Unicorn Princess Doll

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Unicorn Princess Doll is ready to ride towards a magical adventure. In the sparkle kingdom, Unicorn Princesses are guardians of magic and they love to play and explore new places. Each doll’s outfit is beautifully detailed with sparkle and color and are easily removable to swap with other Sparkle Girlz. Brush and style the doll’s beautiful long soft hair and let that magical sparkle highlight shine! With moveable arms, legs and head, there’s so many ways to have extra imagination fun! There are 4 Unicorn Princess dolls to collect.  Sparkle every day at an amazing value! Ages 3+, SRP $4.99. Available at Walmart, and there are also fairies and individual princess dolls to choose from!

The girls just LOVE unicorns if they hadn’t told you that already. They love the swappable outfits and how much these dolls sparkle!

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Mini Cone

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Mini Cone collectible dolls are the perfect pocket toys to create your very own fantasy world! Each doll comes with a beautiful removable skirt and features articulated arms and legs and bright colored hair! There are princesses, ballerinas, superheroes and fairies to collect! Build your very own fairytale store. Perfectly packaged in a convenient cone, these gorgeous mini’s make the ultimate party favors and gifts for friends too! Sparkle every day at an amazing value! Ages 3+, SRP $1.99. Available at Walmart.

Another great stocking stuffer option! The twins recommend these minis for playing in the car or giving to friends.

We didn’t get a chance to review the following, but they are also in the line:

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Doll Carry Case Wardrobe

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Doll Carry Case Wardrobe is a reversible sequins carry case and the ultimate accessory for every sparkle girl! This beautiful doll comes with a fully removable trendy outfit and brushable long her to style. The carry case also comes with reversible sequins on the outside for you to flip back and forward to reveal the different colors! Inside is a sparkle wardrobe where you can store and carry your Sparkle Girlz and all her accessories wherever you go! Collect Sparkle Girlz accessories (sold seperately) so that your whole wardrobe is ready to go and step out in style with this amazing Sparkle Girlz Set. Styles may vary. Sparkle every day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $10.99. Available at Walmart.

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Cupcake Princess

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Cupcake Princess is an adorable toy for girls on the go! Waltz into the sparkle kingdom where this cupcake princess rules with kindness and compassion. She loves to spend time with her friends in her royal estate and her mini size makes it perfect to carry and have playtime just about anywhere! In the world of Sparkle Heart, princesses are strong, brave and make the perfect fashion companion. Each princess comes with colorful, sparkly outfits that can be interchangeable with other Sparkle Girlz Cupcake doll outfits and other fitting doll clothes (sold separately). There are 4 royal cupcake princesses to collect. Sparkle every day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $2.99. Available at Walmart.

Alright, now tell us which of these are your favorites that you’d love to see under the tree!

You’re Pulling My Leg

Covid-19 sure has made this a year to remember. In our house, we’re playing more games and using video calls more than ever. The kids seem to be very resilient to these changes and are learning some skills that we probably wouldn’t have thought to teach without being “stuck” home all these months. This week, we’re joining a blogging book tour for the release of two books geared to exactly that. In his “You’re Pulling My Leg” series, author Allen Wolf gives adults and families a way to play a unique storytelling game together – no matter where they live.

youre-pulling-my-leg
source: Morning Star Games

Since we’re a family blog, we checked out Wolf’s adaptation of You’re Pulling My Leg! game with the Junior version. It came at a great time – right before a road trip. In this book turned game, you and your loved ones will be presented with [age appropriate] questions to answer and then the other players vote if the story was true or made up.

Educational Benefits of You’re Pulling My Leg

Not only does a game like this pass time and help to build relationships, there are some educational benefits that your kids will pick up:

  • Promotes interaction
  • Develops interpersonal skills
  • Develops positive relationships
  • Develops storytelling skills
  • Promotes positive self-esteem
  • Motivates players
  • Encourages higher-level thinking

How to Play

First, you’ll need to decide which version of the book to pickup. If you’re going to play online, don’t worry you only need one person with a copy of the book. The adult version is for ages 13+ and Junior is for ages 9+ (but from our experience littles can answer these questions too).

You’ll also need a coin (or a coin-flipping phone app) and a way to keep score (there are also score pages at the back of the book).

Each player gets 7 points for voting (is the storyteller pulling my leg or telling the truth) and then the questions begin. The storyteller picks from three questions to answer then flips a coin and based on heads or tails tells a true story or makes one up.

Let’s Give it a Try

Here is Card 42 from the “You’re Pulling My Leg Junior” book:

TELL ME ABOUT…

a time when you were afraid of something in your closet or under your bed.

OR

a pet you wanted but didn’t get.

OR

a time when you did something that was difficult.

We’ll pretend I am the storyteller and I’ve flipped a coin to tell me if I tell the truth or a made up story. The question I’ll answer today is: “a pet you wanted but didn’t get”.

One time my parents were so frustrated about the pets my brother and I wanted – we already had a dog, cat, bird, and turtle and had been asking about a bunny. Mom said no more pets…but she said it like “No more 2 legged, 3 legged, 4 legged, 6 legged, 8 legged pets in this house!”

We started to scheme. I thought a snake would be a great idea but my little brother didn’t want to get in trouble with mom and he thought the snake might eat my bird so he changed my mind.

Now, you’ll go to the comments section and vote if you think I was telling the truth in this story or pulling your leg!

Each book contains over 600 questions and can be played over and over with the different people in your life. Spin up a video call with the grands who live far away and start asking questions. If you’re on a road trip or headed to a coffee shop, bring it along. This is a great in person or virtual game that helps challenge players and is guaranteed to make you laugh.

About You’re Pulling My Leg!

You can find out more about both versions of this book game through their publisher, Morning Star Games. Follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive information on this and other games. You can purchase either book on Amazon (adult, junior) with MSRP at $12.99.

Ultimate Par-TEA with Itty Bitty Prettys

In our house, we celebrate many “days” like National Hot Dog Day or National Friendship Day. This Saturday, August 8, we’ll be celebrating World Tea Party Day! Just in time to celebrate, ZURU has set the table for the ultimate par-tea with Itty Bitty Prettys ™ Tea Party Surprise!

World Tea Party Day – August 8

Aren’t tea parties with friends just the best? Remember bringing your dolls or stuffed animals, dressing up the dog or your ‘lil brother and pretending to sip on steaming hot tea? Maybe you added pretend cookies or donned your best dress and gloves.

This Saturday, August 8, 2020, is a great days to let your ‘lil ones celebrate and pretend, too! Zuru, an award winning toy company, has released a modern take on the traditional tea party and will be celebrating with an ulimate par-tea with Itty Bitty Prettys Tea Party Surprise.

We have joined up with ZURU to bring you all the details about how they’ll be celebrating friendship, fun, and fashion. Keep your eyes on social media (including Instagram and YouTube) to hear from us + other influencers as we celebrate inclusivity, encourage kindness, and discover this just launched line from Zuru!

Itty Bitty Prettys – Time to Par-TEA!

These collectible dolls are perfect for kids who love to unbox mystery bags, search for rares, and trade with friends. Our twins were very excited to have their ultimate par-tea with their new doll friends, mom, and The Bigs. They dressed up, brought their dolls, and enjoyed some cookies while unboxing their new friends.

Check out how it went:

What we LOVE:

  • The GLASSES! One of our twins wears glasses, so she LOVED that the dolls all had them, too.
  • The inclusivity! Our twins have started to pick up on toys looking “just like them”, loving that there were some dolls in several shades of color. The twins picked the surprise dolls that matched their sister – extra sweet!
  • The outfits! Super adorable fashion accessories come with – earrings, shoes, skirts, crowns, and capes. ZURU did not miss a DETAIL here!
itty bitty prettys

Parental Warning:

These dolls come with many small pieces and some bags of dough. Additionally, you’ll need to be there to help with the water/tea bags/fizz and to put the clothes on. We made it a family event! Listen to the age suggestions on this one and watch your feet for those ‘lil parts when the par-TEA is over. BUT DEFINITELY add these toys to your kiddos’ collection!

Itty Bitty Prettys – The Details

Here are the details that Zuru shared with us about these adorable dolls and information on how YOU can get your own set!

The Itty Bitty Prettys range includes thirteen stylish Itty Bittys, plus one super rare Royal Tea doll, each touting a distinct, modern party-prowess bring the latest fashion and swapability factor to the par-tea. A complete party-in-a-cup, Itty Bitty Prettys Tea Party Surprise includes surprise magic tea bags and fizzing sugar cubes that, when mixed with water reveal jewelry, accessories
and other surprise necessities to help dress and style an Itty Bitty Prettys dolls and host a party!

The layers of fun also include compounds that allow for molding and making treats, working teacups and saucers, and more. The Itty Bitty Prettys Giant Teacup Playset includes everything one needs to host the most epic tea party. Available in two surprise friendship themes each with two dolls, the respective
themed playset features more than 25 surprises including a convertible table, spoon, working teacup and teapot, stylish accessories including shoes and jewelry, two Itty Bitty pets, dissolvable tea bags, fizzing ‘sugar’ cubes and more. Four dolls plus a rare Itty bitty Pretty can be found in the The Giant Teacup Playset. Designed for ages 4+, Itty Bitty Pretty Little Tea
Cups will be available for $29.99

Itty Bitty Prettys Little Tea Cup features 12 surprises and eight fabulous dolls to collect. The Little Tea Cup includes a working teacup, a saucer that also serves as a doll stand, an Itty Pretty doll, a swapable doll outfit and a set of stylish accessories including shoes, jewelry, eyewear and more. Additional tea party must-haves include a magic teaba, fizzing cube, cotton candy dough and more. Designed for ages 4+, Itty Bitty Prettys Little Tea Cups will be available for $9.99.

ZURU Toys Press Release

Itty Bitty Prettys Tea Party Surprise is available at Walmart and Target.

For more info, visit www.zuru.com, and
follow on Facebook @ZURUToys, Twitter @ZURUToys and Instagram @ZURU.toys.

itty bitty prettys tea party surprise

Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” Activity Pages (FREEBIE!)

Family movie nights are becoming a regular occurence around our house – anyone else feeling the same? With the early release of Disney and Pixar’s “Onward”, families can enjoy an adventurous film ahead of schedule! Released last week on Movies Anywhere and on Disney+ yesterday (April 3), this film is full of delight and surprise. Keep reading to get your FREE “Onward” Activity Pages, too!

Source: Disney Pixar

In ONWARD, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, embarking on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.

Source: Disney Pixar
Source: Disney Pixar

Our family (with kids ages 5 to 11) laughed, cried, cheered, and danced all throughout the movie. The next morning, the kids even asked if they could watch it again! As a mom of four, might I say that I’m loving all these Disney and Pixar storylines about siblings being there for each other?

“Onward” Activity Pages

Not only am I excited to share that “Onward” can be watched at home, but Disney and Pixar shared these “Onward” activity pages with me to give to you as FREE Printables!

I don’t know about you, but right now I’m loving being able to hand my kids coloring pages and let their creativity SOAR between home lessons. These have been great for brain breaks and morning work. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Check Out Onward

You can buy “Onward” digitally and on Movies Anywhere (for $19.99) OR catch it with a Disney+ subscription.

Vacation Myrtle Beach – Condo Giveaway

This post contains information shared to ‘lil Burghers through our partnership with US Family Guide. They’ve teamed up with Vaction Myrtle Beach to get the word out about their “Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway Contest” and asked that I’d share with yinz. All opinions are 100% my own.

A rainy Pittsburgh day always makes me miss the beach and today was no exception. It might not have helped that I got some awesome news to share with you from our friends at US Family Guide. They’re partnering with Vacation Myrtle Beach (aka one of our favorite travel destinations, the place Greg and I fell in love, and our “2nd home) and want to get the word out about a current contest they are running. Of course I wasn’t going to think twice about sharing them with you – this is a big YES in my book! Check out all the details and then be sure to enter to win.

The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway Contest

Vacation Myrtle Beach is Giving Away an Oceanfront Condo, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner’s choice)!!! One lucky winner will own this condo (this is not a timeshare).

Win this beautiful Oceanfront Condo and Change Your Life! Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest providers of family vacation accommodations in Myrtle Beach, SC, is pleased to announce the launch of The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway contest, which features the grand prize of a furnished oceanfront condo at The Caravelle Resort located in Myrtle Beach, SC, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner’s choice)!!! One lucky winner will own this condo (this is not a timeshare). Other lucky winners will receive a 7-night stay or a 3-night stay at one of Vacation Myrtle Beach’s oceanfront properties.

The newly renovated, oceanfront efficiency condo offers room for up to four guests and includes a fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to its prime Myrtle Beach location, the resort provides convenient access to all of the area’s major attractions, restaurants, and things to do. Families and couples enjoy a wide variety of on-site amenities including an indoor pool, a block-long poolscape complete with a large pool, whirlpool, lazy river, kiddie lazy river, kids’ pool, poolside bar, and plenty of relaxing deck options. In addition to everything you need for fun in the sun, the resort offers an array of dining options as well as an opportunity for rejuvenation and relaxation at its on-site spa.

The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway sweepstakes is now open for entries.

To enter or for Official Rules and more information about Vacation Myrtle Beach properties and deals, please here: https://woobox.com/hsfeoo?source=usfam

Source: US Family Guide & Vacation Myrtle Beach

Wowza, right? Now if that isn’t a contest to be sure to enter, I don’t know what is. All the sweet tea, sun, sand, and surf you could ever want in one place. Sounds amazing to me. Now as much as we love yinz, what are ya still doing here? Head over to enter today!

Vacation Myrtle Beach

A Winter Break: Castaway Bay

We received an overnight stay and waterpark passes to Castaway Bay in exchange for sharing the post below with our readers. All opinions are 100% our own. Read all the way to the bottom to hear how you can enter to win your own #CastawayBayGetaway!

Pittsburgh, we’ve had enough of the snow and cold this year, haven’t we? I know spring is really right around the corner, but I am anxious for everything it brings with it. To help combat the season, we loaded the family up in the van and hit the road for a quick (three-hour) road trip to Sandusky, Ohio for an overnight stay at Castaway Bay.

A Winter Break: Castaway Bay

Because we left on a Friday after work and school, we didn’t get to take full advantage of the resort’s 4:00 PM check-in time, but because the indoor waterpark is open until 10 PM (check their operating hours to plan your visit), we got plenty of time in after dinner and checking in. (You can get your wristbands as early as 8:00 AM on your day of arrival – we’ll definitely do this next time!)

The 38,000-square foot waterpark is fully enclosed (always 82-degrees) and a perfect place to spend a winter break! The theme is a tropical Caribbean one and it flows from the park to the on-site restaurants to the hotel rooms. There are water attractions for all ages – slides, a toddler pool/splash pad, an indoor/outdoor Grotto spa, wave pool, and more.

Wondering where Ava was? Attached to Mama!

The Bigs especially enjoyed the waterslides and water roller coaster. They’ve both grown up so much and had the courage to try every single one. Isla (almost four) stuck to the toddler pool and the shallow waves but did go down two todder friendly slides. Ava (also almost four) is usually pretty confident in the pool felt a bit overwhelmed by the (light) crowds and stuck to mom. (I mention crowds, but it really was not packed at all – she just gets clingy in unfamiliar places.)

Pro Tip: There are lifevests for your ‘lil swimmers. I couldn’t find them at first but look for the boat by the wave pool and there your treasure will be! Arr, matey!

Pro Tip: To get great photos of Castway Bay, you’re going to want a waterproof phone pouch. I recommend this one – just order it with Amazon Prime before your trip! You’ll regret not having your phone for photos and meeting up with the family during your time at the park.

Where to Eat: Castaway Bay

All that swimming and relaxing will make you hungry. Thankfully, there are a few options right on the property for you to get your grub on and the hotel rooms have a refrigerator and microwave! The hotel features a Quaker Steak & Lube, a deli serving Starbucks coffee, breakfast buffet (we gave Mango Mike’s a 6 thumbs up for their pancake bar and visits from Snoopy), and snack shack (right in the waterpark).

Other Experiences at Castaway Bay

Prepare for some time outside of the waterpark – you’ll want the break from riding the waves as tough as that sounds! We used our spacious suite for a nap and a (chilly) peek at the birds on the bay off of the balcony. There is also a game room, souvenier shop, and our favorite spot on the resort, Club Castaway! At Club Castaway you can make your own souvenier (t-shirts, pillowcases, bags), watch movies, play games, or meet Snoopy. It was a great place to just chill and the lighting was amazing even on an overcast day.

Ready for Your OWN #CastawayBayGetaway?

We loved our trip to Sandusky and Castaway Bay and think you would, too! Try to get out there before the winter is over or combine your stay with a trip to nearby Cedar Park. (Castaway Bay is an offical hotel of the park.) For all the details on day passes, hotel stays (with park passes), and more, visit Castaway Bay’s website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And speaking of Instagram, let’s get you entered in a GIVEAWAY for a family four-pack of passes to Castaway Bay! To enter, head over to our Instagram and enter to win on this photo. Giveaway will end on March 13, 2019, so act quickly! >> sorry, giveaway closed in 2019. Watch our site for more fun!

Run! Deal on FitBit Versa Smart Watch – only $89.99!

*articles may contain affiliate links*

Act FAST! My favorite sports/smartwatch, the FitBit Versa, is only $89.99 on Amazon today. You can get the FitBit Versa watch in black or peach and YES it is available with Prime’s free shipping (though note that the scheduled delivery date is between January 15 – February 7.) Shipping time aside, this is a GREAT price, normally they are $200.

Check out my FitBit Versa in my running posts on Instagram