We Got the FUNK: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Peter and the Wolf Party Ideas #PeterandtheWolfApp

Disclosure: I am part of a promotional program with MomSelect.  I was provided with party materials for free, in exchange for an honest review.  All ideas and opinions are my own.

This past weekend was fun!  Not only did we have a great time at a birthday party, then the lake and my sisters amazing baby shower, but we also got to have a little party to check out a great app for our Apple devices!

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We invited a couple friends over to share in a little play date to take a peek at the Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood App and enjoy a music filled memorable day.  I created a quick little invite using the HP Photo Creations app and delivered them to our small neighborhood party.  It was nice to keep it small and have a few little activities that everyone could sit around the table and enjoy.  We did this after lunch and nap time which was also perfect! 

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The table set up was awesome.  There were Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood movie posters for each kid to take home, sweet and salty treats and a coloring book and technology station.  

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For food we had Jell-O pools, which were simple to make.  Simply prepare blue Jell-O as directed on the box and pour into clear cups, let sit in fridge and then when set, add little paper umbrellas to the Jell-O!  These were a huge hit with the little kids at the party!

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Another sweet and salty treat were these pretzel flutes.  These are just basic chocolate covered pretzels with sugar sprinkles on them.  I tried to make some look like flutes, because the entire Peter and the Wolf In Hollywood app is musically based and wonderful, however, I failed miserably, so I punted with these.  They still turned out fantastic and the kids (and adults) gobbled them up!

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For the party fun we had a little coloring station set up.  Each kid received a little Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood coloring packet and they just shared a box of crayons.

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Our kids loved the coloring portion of the party.  I am laughing as I type this because my kids intent faces.  They were so serious!

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While the kids were coloring I put on the Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood soundtrack for everyone to listen to and enjoy.  Peter and the Wolf is narrated by none other than Alice Cooper himself and is a great listen!

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After the coloring and snacks were done, we gave each kid an iPhone or and iPad.  In our house we keep our old phones and just use them for our kids, we also have iPad's for each kid too.  I use them to practice reading and writing, but also for some fun and games too!  We have set up family sharing on all our devices.  So if you download the app on one device, it is available for download on all of our family devices!  The Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood App is $4.99 in the iTunes store and to add that to 6 devices for one low price was pretty awesome!

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This application was a HUGE hit, especially in our household.  So much so that we had to put a limit on time because the kids were enamored with the illustrations, the music and the story.  My son who was using one of the iPads was enjoying all the fun games that he could play.  Our littlest was just laughing at the hippie grandpa a lot.  

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When the party ended, our little partygoers were sad to leave, but we sent everyone off with a couple Peter and the Wolf collectable pins, a balloon as well as their own movie poster and the coloring packet they worked on earlier!  

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This app was awesome, the classical music was fun.  I loved the story and so did the partygoers! Please make sure to check out Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood on Facebook and Twitter.

Tell me, have you downloaded this application yet?  Thoughts?

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Patriotic Mantle Makeover

Independence Day in the States is in just under a week, so it is time to share with you, our Patriotic Mantle Makeover!

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After a lull between our Easter mantle and now, I almost forgot to put a mantle together for one of my favorite National holidays.  As soon as I finished putting all the final touches on this holiday mantle, my husband looked at it and said "this one is my favorite".  I wouldn't call it my favorite because Fall, but I do love all the little red, white and blue touches!

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I didn't have much time to shop and gather items, plus our budget was much smaller because our bank account information was stolen in Mexico so we had limited funds, but I was able to accomplish this patriotic look for $20.00!

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The blue votive candle holder is a Target find for $3.00!  It looks so pretty at night with a flameless candle projecting stars throughout the room.  The sparkly hat was a Dollar Tree find along with the blue and silver glittery stars!

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I adore the USA letters and for $3.00 at Target, they were hard to pass up.  I also found the little wooden America bunting at the Dollar Tree!  

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This wooden and fabric American Flag was my favorite find.  It was also the most expensive.  It cost $5.00, but it looks great and adds the perfect Patriotic feel to my little mantle.  To round out the mantle I found the light up stars and wooden star banners to hang from the stocking hooks under the mantle.  Each of those were $3.00.
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I love decorating my home on a budget and giving it that patriotic look this season.  I am sad that I did not put this together a couple weeks ago because I really am enjoying this look!

Do you decorate your mantle?  What would you add?


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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lake Experiences #PLAYfulTrends #SP

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Voice of Play. 

This past weekend was incredibly busy, but incredible.  Saturday was full of birthday party fun and family time getting back to nature!

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We started the day out helping my sister put together the crib for my upcoming nephew.  From there we headed to a fantastic birthday party for my good friends son over at Building Our Story. However, the majority of our day was spent with our kids at one of my favorite spots; The lake.  Each year there is a huge party at the lake with camping, boating, swimming, a band and so much food.  I love coming out here because I spent a large majority of my childhood here; The lake is home.

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This was the first year that both kids were absolutely excited about the lake. Both are little water babies and both love the outdoors.  We took a boat ride when we first got to the lake.  The kids were giggling and laughing the entire time.  Then the husband and the kids jumped in the water.  Our oldest did great swimming around, our youngest was a bit more timid.  It took her about 5 minutes before she decided she was ready to actually swim.  By the time they were all in the water, it was hard to get them out!

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Once they were done swimming the little loves found themselves a huge amount of little frogs.  They started trying to catch them and our son was very successful.  The little guy caught like 5 of them (all released back).  I was so surprised, because he is normally my very cautious child and he just jumped right in and picked those frogs up to show to everyone.  He was so gentle and so happy!

I was so happy to share my love of nature with our children.  It was one of the only days my kids did not ask for TV or any other technology.  It was great to watch them learn about so many things from water safety, to frog life cycles, to the difference between algae and seaweed!  What is even better is that they learned through playing.  

The Voice of Play identified the 8 most exciting PLAYful trends this year to get your family moving! These bring play back into families and learning follows.  Just an hour a day to get moving, bond with nature and experience life outside the home is so healthy for kids.  I am very glad that my family is able to get into nature frequently, that my sons school supports play learning and that my kids are all about moving and getting out of the house.  I encourage all my readers to get moving, get playing and take the time to make new memories.  This weekend is one we won't soon forget!

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Friday, June 24, 2016

The BFG {Review}

In elementary school my teacher read us a lot of Roald Dahl books.  James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and of course, The BFG.
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In my life Roald Dahl is a legend and a man responsible for bringing a lot of happiness and beautiful stories into my life.  I own nearly every movie that has been adapted from a Dahl book and we watch them frequently.  So when I found out that Disney was in production with The BFG, I was on the edge of my seat with excitement.  Let me tell you, after screening it, I am on a cloud of happiness. 

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I will NOT give any spoilers away.  I was impressed at how much of the book was followed in this movie.  The special effects were fantastic and at one point I remember thinking, "so that is what Dahl was describing".  For me the book came to life and although it has been years since I read the book, I remember quite a lot about it.

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Some of the movie was a bit too scary for our 3 year old.  Scary is a terrible word.  She was tired and had not had a nap.  Although she usually does fantastic in movies, this one was not her favorite. Our 6 year old on the other hand, did not take his eyes off of the screen for one second.  He was ooohing and ahhhing all over the place and he loved how the BFG had funny words.  His favorite scene was with the queen while they were eating.  There was A LOT of laughs to be had during this scene.

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Overall, I would recommend the film.  My husband who has never read the book, really liked the movie.  He said the 3D features were great and I would agree.  I would absolutely pay extra for the 3D show because it really was awesome and you felt so involved in the movie.

If you were following along with #TheBFGEvent you would have caught a glimpse at some of my favorite bloggers interviewing Steven Spielberg.  This is a huge deal as it is his FIRST partnership with Disney.  I love this insider photo of Spielberg working with his cast.  He is such a hands on director.  I cannot wait to read the blog interviews with him!

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The BFG opens in theaters July 1st and is not one to be missed.  Take a peek at the trailer and let me know what you think!



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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Race Day Recipes with Mama #RaceDayRelief [ad]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RaceDayRelief #CollectiveBias

Spring time in my parents house takes those sweet, loving, folks below and turns them into fanatics.

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Racing fanatics.  My mom, that stunning, attentive, loving and amazing woman who would drop everything to come to help me, will only do so, if a race is not on.  You think I am kidding. I wish I was but she loves her some racing and it is the only time she has to herself sometimes.  She takes full advantage of race days and closes her home down to watch amazing drivers, go fast and turn left.

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My mama, giving her everything to her family...needs her own downtime 
My mom's love of racing has been around since before I can remember.  The woman pretends she is a race car driver in the car, she quotes race car drivers, she has a race car Christmas tree and she has been to several races and even hung out on the infield.  If there is a race day party to be had, she will be there, however, it is a very serious time and she will be watching that race, yelling at the drivers, plotting their routes and staying focused through the party while enjoying the food. However, there is one issue that my mom struggles with and that is heartburn.  All that party food can really cause some issues for her.

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Nexium 24HR, the new #1 selling frequent heartburn brand*" *Based on IRI sales data 52 weeks ending 11/1/15 among OTC brands.
When the party food causes heartburn, my mama reaches for her Nexium 24HR Capsules.  The capsules are in the new easy to swallow tablets.  The provide all day, all night frequent heartburn protection.  May take 1 to 4 days for full effect.  Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn.  Do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor.  Not for immediate relief.  My mama makes sure to follow these directions and so do I!  

I thought it would be fun to throw a little race day party myself and invite my mama over.  I figured we could all get in on the action together and enjoy some good food, good fun and a little time together...even during her sacred race time! I prepped a couple party foods that could make her heartburn (and mine for that matter!) flair up a bit, so I made sure that I had Nexium 24HR on hand. I grabbed this at my local Walmart in the stomach/heartburn aisle. 

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I wanted some food items that were easy to cook, but could sit out and be snacked on as needed throughout the party.  I decided on some slow cooker Pineapple BBQ Spicy Meatballs, Spicy Southwestern Guacamole (her favorite) and a Zesty Italian Salad.  You can find the recipes below!

Pineapple BBQ Spicy Meatballs:

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Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 1 Package of premade Italian Meatballs. 
  • 1 Cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 can of pineapple tidbits
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 TBS of dry rub


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Directions:
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix the BBQ sauce, pineapple, black pepper and dry rub.  Set aside
  • In your slow cooker, place the meatballs spread out on the bottom
  • Cover the meatballs in the sauce you made above
  • Cook on high for 2-3 hours
Check out the video below for a step by step tutorial!



Spicy Southwestern Guacamole:

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 can of corn
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • 1 diced medium tomato
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 2 TBS of chopped cilantro
  • 1 TBS of minced garlic
  • Salt, chili powder and garlic salt to taste
  • 1 juiced lime

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Directions:

  • Mash up the avocado in a medium bowl.
  • Add the ingredients above as listed.
  • Add salt, chili powder and garlic salt to taste
  • Mix well and serve! 
Zesty Italian Salad:


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Ingredients:
  • 1 head of romain lettuce chopped
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 can of black olives
  • 1/2 can of artichoke hearts
  • 5-6 peperoncini's
  • Zesty Italian Dressing to taste
Directions
  • Simply mix everything together in a bowl and serve
We had a great time watching the races, and the food was amazing.  Our mom is the center of our universe and I love that we were able to steal away a bit of her "me time" to enjoy her favorite past time.  If you are looking to try these recipes but also struggle with heartburn, you can sign up for savings here and enjoy!

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Is someone you know obsessed with racing too?


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Making the Most of Summer #TopYourSummer #SoHoppinGood [ad]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TopYourSummer #SoHoppinGood #CollectiveBias

Teachers are known for spending the majority of the school year with other people's children and they do it gladly.  I am no different, and just like all teachers who are also parents, we do our best to make sure that we make the most of our summers. 

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This summer is a bit different for us.  My husband has been home a lot more that usual.  He is dealing with some things and getting through them, but that has greatly impacted our finances.  We are just being more creative with our family time and coming up with fun things to do at home and be better together.  Our big idea this week?  An outdoor fort with games and ice cream!

Our kids love the outdoors and we have a beautiful backyard.  Although there is not a lot of shade there is plenty of room.  So we thought we would create some shade and take our readers with us as we put together this fantastic fort!

You will need:
  • An old king sized flat sheet (this is the one we use to cover our garden)
  • 2-4 wooden stakes
  • A staple gun with staples 
  • A Fence


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Directions:

1.  Staple the sheet to the top of the fence. I stapled ours pretty tight

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2. Staple the loose ends of the sheet to the wooden poles.  You could also probably tie these or use zip ties. 

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3. Push the poles firmly into the ground to create the lean to fort.

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4. Fill with fun and enjoy!

Oh, FUN!  It has been hot in Colorado.  We are talking anywhere from 101º to 107º and climbing. Being outside in this dry heat can be miserable, but since our kids are big outdoors fans, we thought why not keep them cool with some ice cream and games!

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I stopped by Walmart to grab our favorite creamy and delicious Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and some yummy Smucker's toppings using my Ibotta app.  I went with the Smucker's Microwaveable Hot Fudge Topping, Magic Shell® chocolate topping and the caramel flavored spoonable topping.  After all, ice cream and toppings are better together, just like a family is better when they are together!

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Once in the fort, I used a breakfast serving tray to set up our mini ice cream sundae bar.  I then set up a basket of outdoor fun and games.  In addition, the husband and I purchased a little plastic swimming pool for the kids to play in!

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The games we chose were ones we could either set up in the shade of our little trees or that would help to keep us cool.  Paddle ball, horseshoes, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and water balloons were going to help us make the most of our summer. 

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Once everything was set up I told the kids to run and get on their swimsuits.  While they got dressed, I started scooping our Blue Bunny® Homemade Vanilla ice cream into bowls.  The kids ran outside and immediately jumped into the pool.  

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They hardly noticed I was under this awesome fort, until I yelled "ICE CREAM".  The boys came running, gave me their topping order and sat down to enjoy some scrumptious Blue Bunny® ice cream with Smucker's toppings.  The ice cream sure hit the spot and kept everyone cooler in this heatwave. 

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I stayed in the fort to enjoy the shade and eat all the ice cream.  There is no shame to my mom game. I had shade, ice cream and a perfect view of my family enjoying the day.  Once I cleaned up the ice cream, I joined in for some horseshoes and sidewalk chalk fun.  

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Overall, the day was a huge hit and we definitely made the most of this summer day. 

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I am so glad we chose to enjoy a sweet treat while cherishing our family time.  The sweet teeth in our home are strong, and this was just the fun we needed to keep everyone going in a positive direction. If you are looking to create something like this, please download my free printable below for easy shopping!

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Smucker's believes that you can love your ice cream even more and that ice cream and toppings can make any summertime adventure better together and more cost efficient for families. If you are like me and like earning cash back, make sure to grab the free Ibotta app and use it on the Smucker's Ice Cream Toppings!  This was very helpful for our finances this month and really does help all of us be better together. 

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What is your favorite Ice Cream Topping?

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CANCUN!

On June 5th, we took off on a plane over the ocean (eeek) to paradise. 


In celebration of so many things (my graduation, birthdays and new jobs), my two best friends, my husband, and some of his amazing family gathered in Cancun Mexico for a week of relaxation and laughs.

We stayed at an all-inclusive resort.  The Ocean Coral & Turquesa.  It was a visually beautiful resort, but it was HUGE and that part was a bit unexpected.


The resort had everything you could want.  Areas to relax, indoor and outdoor bars as well as a pool bar, stunning architecture and breathtaking views. 


The grounds were clean and well maintained.  In fact, nothing ever seemed to be dirty and as someone that rarely walks around barefoot, I spent more time without shoes on here then I have in my entire life I think.  


There were tons of little critters.  We saw Iguanas, Anolis, Sea Turtle nests, crabs and then the menagerie of animals that the resort had on hand including many exotic birds.


However, we all came for one thing.  The beach.  The relaxation.  The fun.


It did not disappoint.  Most days the sky was overcast, the weather was humid but not so hot that we could not handle it.  Our days were filled with sleeping in, eating a quick breakfast, heading to the beach, lathering on sunscreen and enjoying the sights, sounds, wonderment of the ocean.  For being such a large resort it did not seem super full or busy aside from one day.

My hair was almost never dry.  Between the ocean, pool and humidity and tons of showers, there was no point to even attempt to dry it.  A big reason we came on this trip was to spend time with each other, sans kids.  Two years ago, the husband and I did an all-inclusive trip with almost the same group and had a wonderful time reconnecting and falling even more in love.  We were hoping that after a rough year we would be able to reconnect much the same way.  I think we accomplished that!


Unlike our last trip across the boarder, this one did not have as much tequila.  I ended up getting sick about halfway through our trip from probably the food.  I spent a good 12 hours throwing up, so overdoing it on tequila was not happening.


We all still had a blast and really enjoyed laughing and relaxing together.  One of the funniest things we experienced was an actual tropical storm.  Our second night at the resort we headed to a restaurant for dinner and midway through dinner, it started raining and then in a split second there was a storm like nothing I have ever experienced.  Rain was coming down in sheets, the lightning and thunder were overwhelming and incredible.  We tried to wait the storm out but the restaurant actually started to flood a bit.  We decided to make a run for it to our resort rooms.  We were maybe 6 yards from the entrance to our room areas.  Just as we stepped outside the thunder hit and the power went out.  SO MUCH SCREAMING.  The power came back on quickly and we took off all 6 yards from the restaurant to our room area.  We were soaked, and laughing and even though it was late we ended up hanging out later that night and laughing a lot while watching the storm from the balcony.


I decided about 3 months ago that I was going to wear bikini's while on our trip.  I have lost 20 lbs since December and although I definitely still have a mommy tummy, I am proud of my body and proud of taking my health back into my hands.  I didn't look half bad and I loved my swimsuits!


We had a couple crazy nights in Cancun.  One particular night is depicted in the photo below.  After a dinner, we decided to catch a show at the Teatro (theater) and it just so happened to be Grease!  I think I sang along to the entire thing while using my ridiculously awesome selfie stick to take photos and videos.  However, after the show things got even more crazy.  We met a couple friends who invited us to a beach party.  We got there and well, no one was on the beach but us and a boat. Finally, our friends show up, with dry wood, a bicycle and some fishing supplies.  We started a fire on the beach (with permission) and had some good laughs before heading to bed.


After being sick and missing another fun night the next day we were ready to just hang out and really spend a day with just the husband and I.  We toured the resort a bit, did some shopping and had a good time laughing.  We needed to grab some more cash, so stupidly I used the ATM at the resort and guess whose card information was stolen and used just days later.  STUPID!  Thankfully my bank shut down the transaction before anything happened, but still, NEVER AGAIN!


Our last night at the resort we did some beach pictures and enjoyed a nice dinner.  We were all ready to get home.  Even though paradise is relaxing, I think getting back into routine and to the dry Colorado air was a very welcomed event. 


Our trip was great.  There were some ups and downs and I am not sure I would visit that particular resort again.  Sure the amenities were wonderful, but the food was meh and it was so large that I feel like we spent a lot of time walking to places instead of experiencing the place. 


Regardless, I am thankful that amongst the chaos of our lives late, the husband and I were able to go on this trip, to experience the Caribbean and to spend time together.  There will be another trip in our future!

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