All posts by sambel203

About sambel203

I am a Wife, Mother, daughter, Aunt and loyal friend. I have always dreamed of being an Author. I wrote a couple short books. 3 are mine, 1 is a story my daughter made up and another one I am about to publish is a story my son made up and illustrated. I am currently working on my next book. Check them out in the links. I am blogging because I love writing and it helps keep me sane. I have challenged myself to write one blog every day I have to work for a year. If you follow my blog, I will follow yours! Thank you for taking the time to check out my stuff. Feel free to send me an email if there is something you would like me to write about. Jess@sirjstudio.com

Blogging and me- 8 month check in

Alright.  I’m not giving up on blogging. Not even close. Slowing down for the summer, yes… But I love this.
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My stats are pretty good! I am getting hits from pinterest and twitter and blogging websites. Google blogging lists. Put your blog on all of them. I get one hit a day right now from that. Worth it. Even some searches now have brought a few views. You have to keep creating and building. But. But.
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This is the summer and it’s really hard to sit down and focus. I’m just like in a spin right now. We have camp and work and summer Fridays. Vacations and weekend bbq’s.  Beach days and friend days and book club.  Everything is going good. I’m having a kind of hard time with a friend right now. A close friend. I think we’re growing apart.
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We love each other so much  and it’s really hard trying to figure out how to be friends without a forced feeling right now. And we both know that. So I’m thinking we just need to let it go for a while. But 20 years of friendship is hard to just leave up in the air, you know?
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Anyway. Summer is happening.  Plus my husband and I are dead set on moving to San Diego. That’s our new dream for real. I track the weather every day. It’s gorgeous.  I get emails of rentals and houses for sale.  Also jobs in my field.  Yeah, I’m a little nuts. Don’t you know me by now? Hi. So we’re hoping on making it happen next year. I’m socking everything in savings till then. If we’re gonna move cross country we’re going to need to take a month to get there. Haha.
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 I mean I want to see the middle of the country. I have no idea what’s there.  For real. I don’t think I have ever been to anywhere without an ocean. I drove the entire east coast… Probably 3 times. I’ve been to California 3 times now. But I never ventured inland. Except middle of the state New York. There are some lakes.  And Nevada. I went there twice.
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You know I googled a map of middle USA and there seems to be no common map for that? Anything that’s not a coast is what I would imagine is middle America? Google is laughing at me.
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Holy shit. How have I not traveled to the middle of the country ever? Even my vacations involved oceans.
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Save the whales, bitches.
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Family Review: Spider-Man Far from Home- with Spoilers

SPOILERS ARE IN THIS REVIEW! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE YET!
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Boy (10): Awesome. I loved it. It’s my favorite movie right now. I like the plot twist that it was all holograms. I liked that he was using a voice through the illusion.
Girl (7): (She Stayed awake so it was good) I liked the movie. My favorite character was MJ.
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Mom (37): I loved it. I thought it was really cute. I know some about spider man now from the million movies that they have made, but each version is different. I really enjoyed this one. It’s funny and cute but also you feel for spider man because this one makes me realize more than ever that spider man is 16. You see the struggle and the understand the teenage mistakes.
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Dad (37): I think it was a really good follow up to endgame. It was super fun it had feelings it wasn’t to heavy. Mj was great. Zendayas MJ is great. The cameo in the post credit scene was spectacular. I really liked Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio.  It was very well done. Some of it was kind of a stretch but it was keeping with the character.
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Sister (34): I don’t like that spider-man was revealed at the end. I liked it. Love Zendaya. She’s my favorite. Peter Tingle.
Niece (14): It was good but it frustrated me so much… But that means it was good cause it made me feel something. I was mad at the situation.
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See it and see it in theaters. We also will probably buy this when it comes out.
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July Goals!

Wow. I’m already behind and slacking this month! Surprisingly, it seems like my pintrest traffic is finally picking up. I guess if you just keep pinning, eventually other people do too. Maybe that’s the secret? I also need to redo my boards because they are kind of a mess. So that’s going to be my goal this month. Rearrange my pintrest and try to grow that traffic a little.
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Also, post at least 3 posts per week, keep supporting other blogs and continue with twitter.  I don’t understand how to use Instagram at all but I’ll figure it out this year. Haha. It’s just summer and I am hosting our annual family bbq in 2 weeks. I still have to figure out that menu. I think we’re doing steak, kielbasa, burgers, hot dogs and ribs and then all kinds of salads and fries and onion Rings.  I also have a ham from Easter In the freezer so I might just make that too. I’ll probably do a blog about it once I figure out whats going on. I usually way over cook. There should be at least 20-25 people coming through and I like to send everyone home with a tray.
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Work is slowing down too for the summer. We get ‘summer Friday’s’ which is just a half day every Friday from July till the first weekend of September.  So I took off every Friday cause you use a half day of vacation and get an entire day off.
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I’m on the fence about self publishing my next book. I was going to try to get an agent and then traditionally published… It’s really hard. I feel like I am treading water a little right now between everything. I’m not sinking but I’m not going anywhere. I have to come up with the next story line and I have been hoping to hear something back from the places I submitted to and nothing yet. So, I might just go ahead and self publish this one and start the work on the next one. We’ll see.
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What are your July goals?

CT Things To Do- Family

There is a lot to do in Connecticut as a family. Here is a list of some of my favorites.

Family:

Maritime Aquarium

https://www.maritimeaquarium.org/

We are actually members here because we go so often, and we live close by. This is located right in South Norwalk (SONO). You can easily spend a couple hours here and there’s an IMAX that I would recommend checking out too. The movies are interesting. My daughter, who is 7, loves the seals, otters and turtles. I love the porcupine. My son loves the parrot. They have a jellyfish touch tank and a sting ray/shark touch tank. Check the times for the seal feedings, those are pretty cool to watch too. There is a parking garage across the street, and a smaller lot attached to the IMAX. They’ll be moving the IMAX at some point and expanding the aquarium a bit. There are a lot of places to eat around here (and in SONO in general).

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Stamford Museum and Nature center-

https://www.stamfordmuseum.org/

This place is great to explore. There are trails to hike, a farm with lots of animals to walk through and a pretty cool playground. It has multi-story slides, multiple levels for the kids to run around on, and it’s got areas for different age ranges. Seriously, we spent some afternoons here. Check the website to see what’s going on.

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Mill River Park –

https://millriverpark.org/

 

Located in Downtown Stamford, CT. They are redoing it and just added a carousel and have started having different events. Normally there’s a large pair of playgrounds, a walking track, tennis courts, handball courts, a basketball court, and some volleyball pits.  On the weekend during the summer they have free fit club with different work outs in the mornings. I have a friend that has gone, and she really enjoys them. If you are in Stamford, it’s worth checking out the park to see what’s going on.

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Chelsea Piers-

https://www.chelseapiersct.com/

Located off I95 Exit 9 in Stamford, CT. This place is huge. It has a pool, basketball, squash, batting cages… There is splash zone, Ice skating, tennis. If you want to be active and indoors, check this place out.

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Mystic, CT

Mystic, CT is really charming. If you are coming to CT for a couple days, spend a night here. We’ve stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites. I’d probably book the Hilton next time because it is directly across the street from the Aquarium, which is really cool. We had a blast here. I can’t find the link now, I don’t think the 2019 tickets are on sale yet, but there’s a special called the Mystic pass that we bought when we went. You get admission for the Aquarium one day and the Seaport the other at a discount.

Mystic Seaport Aquarium

http://www.mysticaquarium.org/

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Mystic Seaport

https://www.mysticseaport.org/

The seaport is cool. Mostly outside although there are buildings to walk into with people reenacting the jobs. There is a blacksmith, printing press, a bank and a whaling ship you can walk on and explore. They have a build-your-own boat hut that the kids thought was pretty cool.

Honestly, we had a blast here and we all want to go back again for another visit.

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Lake Compounce –

https://www.lakecompounce.com/

This place is a fun trip during the summer. You should plan on spending the entire day here. The water park portion is huge. Usually we’ll rent a cabana and a locker, so we have a base. We’ll go out and play in the water park all day while it’s 100 million degrees out. (We usually go in August). The water park section closes at 6 pm. We change and then go ride the rides in the other half of the park. Last time we went, we rented a cabin at the campground attached:

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Bear Creek

https://www.lakecompounce.com/bearcreek

We have cabin camped here and we really enjoyed it. The cabins are pretty cool. It is a newer camp ground, there’s a lot of open space (but not a lot of full-grown trees yet). There’s a store on the grounds, firepits next to the cabins, and a shuttle to Lake Compounce itself. Instead of parking at the park, we were able to park outside of our cabin and unload everything. There was a terrible thunder storm when we stayed and I was really thankful for the roof and air conditioner. It was fun. Next time I want to stay another night just so we can stay on the campgrounds and see what activities are like there.

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Essex Steam Train

http://essexsteamtrain.com/

This I’ve never done. I do want to try the dinner train at some point though. My coworker brought her Thomas the train engine obsessed son to the Thomas day. That runs end of April, early May, Check it out here:

http://essexsteamtrain.com/seasonal-excursions/day-out-with-thomas/

 

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Connecticut Beardsley Zoo:

https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/

This is in Bridgeport and honestly, I would rather go to the Bronx Zoo, which is 25 extra minutes each way from us (without traffic), and totally worth it. But, if you are looking for something to walk through in an hour or so, then check this place out. There aren’t a ton of animals or habitats here, but I am honestly comparing it to the Bronx Zoo and that really can’t be beat in this area.

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Quassy Amusement and Water Park:

http://www.quassy.com/

if you’re looking for an amusement park in CT, I prefer Lake Compounce. Quassy used to have a nice picnic area, lots of shade, an arcade, boat rentals and rides. The last time I went I wasn’t impressed. There is a lake to swim in, some waterslides and a splash zone. I didn’t think that there were a ton of rides. It was hot and everyone was kind of fighting over picnic benches that were all squished together. I know some friends who go on day trips here and have a blast.

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Stepping Stones Museum-

http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/

To me this museum is more for preschool-aged kids. It also depends on what the current exhibit they have going on might be. The first time we went my kids had a blast. The second time we went, they were kind of bored. Check out the website for what the exhibit is and make sure you can spend a few hours here because it’s not exactly cheap. There is a playground across the parking lot that is pretty cool too. They have areas that are appropriate for different ages. Usually an ice cream truck sits nearby and there is a splash pad.

https://www.norwalkct.org/1337/Mathews-Park

 

Bruce Museum-

https://brucemuseum.org/

Located in Greenwich, CT right at the bottom of Greenwich Avenue. This Museum is small but interesting. There is a playground directly across the street too that is really fun. They host a lot of art installations, and sometimes have seasonal events, both indoors and out.

 

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Sheffield Island Lighthouse

https://seaport.org/Ferry-Schedule

The Ferry leaves from the port at the Maritime Aquarium. It’s a half-hour ride out to the island. They drop you off and you get to explore for a little bit. You can bring a picnic, buy some snacks there, or just check out the light house and walk around. We brought a ball with us and played kickball and bought a couple hot dogs and explored the lighthouse and the shores. It was about a 3-hour trip. I thought it was a fun thing to do.

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Beaches, Lakes, Hiking trails. –

There are too many to list and they are nice. I would take a day, pick one and make a picnic out of it. Seriously, check out the trails. I can’t tell you which one to pick.

https://www.alltrails.com/us/connecticut

I have always wanted to try to hike some of the Appalachian trail. That’s still on my list of things to do:

http://appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/explore-by-state/connecticut

 

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My favorite beach is Tod’s point in Greenwich, CT.

https://www.greenwichct.gov/facilities/facility/details/Greenwich-Point-Park-69

I grew up there. There are trails, old buildings to explore, a beach, a concession stand. Tod’s Point is dog-friendly in the off season (October through March where entry and parking is free). Low tide is awesome for finding crabs in the tide pools. During the summer it can be pricey. There is a parking fee and a per-person fee. I usually go with my friend who has a parking sticker and I just pay for a day pass for us. I think that’s like $7.00 a day and you can get them on the town website. Or pay at the gate.

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Farms: For Berry, pumpkin picking:

Lyman Orchards-

https://www.lymanorchards.com/

 

Silverman Farm-

https://www.silverminefarmct.com/

 

Calf Pasture Beach is in Norwalk, CT. Pretty much any town on the coast will have a beach. Westport has a nice beach. Check the websites to see about fees and hours.

 

Places to eat in Fairfield county: It depends what you like but here are a few of my local favorites in Norwalk, CT:

 

Mecha – is a Japanese noodle bar. House specialties include ramen and Vietnamese pho. They have really good specials, so I usually get those. My kids love the regular ramen bowl; just noodles and broth.

Kazu – Is really good for sushi. I go here for a lunch date with my husband sometimes. Their lunch specials are pretty good and reasonably priced.

Cafe Social – Has sandwiches. I have had a few pressed sandwiches and a burger. Really good with a laid-back atmosphere.

Makondo- Columbian food. This is a new spot for my husband and me. The chicharron is amazing and the soup is really good.

 

If you are planning on visiting shoot me an email at jess@SIRJstudio.com and I can give you some recommendations.

CT Things To Do Series- Adult

Welcome to Connecticut! My name is Jessica. I have lived in Fairfield County all my life and now I am raising my own family here. I really do love Connecticut. Below is a list of things we love to do and places we love to eat. I’m not that familiar with places outside Fairfield county. We tend to travel into New York if we’re looking for shows and plays. New York is only a 45-60 minute train ride from here! If you do visit and are going for a day trip into the City, I recommend taking the Metro North and subway to get around. Driving in can be annoying and parking is usually expensive. When you visit Connecticut, I recommend driving or renting a car. There’s a train and bus system that you could use to get around but it’s more convenient to have your own car if you looking to just travel back and forth between a few towns. You’ll be able to experience much more in a day if you have your own transportation.

This is my adult version. I will have family and children things to do coming next week!

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Things to do:

For Adults

Mohegan Sun/ Foxwoods – Casinos with slots, shopping and there are shows.

https://mohegansun.com/

https://www.foxwoods.com/default.aspx

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I would check the websites when you want to visit. They have all sorts of shows, concerts and events here. If you plan on visiting CT, and want to hit the casinos for a night, check the shows and see if there is anything you would want to see and then make a day of it.

If you are traveling from southern CT up, there are outlets on the way. My friends always stop to check out the sales and sometimes they find really great deals.

https://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/clinton-crossing

There is also Westbrook outlets and Tanger outlets:

https://www.westbrookoutlets.com/

https://www.tangeroutlet.com/foxwoods

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I personally don’t go to the casinos because I never win. If there’s a great show going on and we can swing a free room, I would go. I went to a symposium one time for school and I stayed away from the resorts because they were pricey. There are a lot of places to stay around the casinos, so if you plan on going and want to spend the night, but don’t mind staying nearby, there are lots of places to pick from.

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New Haven has some good shows too. I went once for a Ghost concert. It was awesome. I didn’t get a chance to really check out New Haven, we do plan on taking a trip there one night to explore. I know there are some museums that are supposed to be really nice and I’ve heard that there’s a lot of good food to eat.

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Wineries:

I have not been to any. My book club is planning on doing the CT Wine Trail at some point. Check out this website.

http://ctwine.com/wineries/

It has all the wineries listed along with events and the hours.

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Breweries:

Connecticut has a ton of breweries. They are popping up all over. I’ve been to Two Roads in Stratford.

https://tworoadsbrewing.com/

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Two Roads was fun. They have a great tour and tasting menu. There is a bar and shop on the way out along with a food truck that changes depending on the day. You can check the website to see what food will be there.

My husband won a private tour, so we took 10 friends. We had a blast. I think I still have the growler we took home too. Now that I think about it, we should go back. Google “Breweries near me” if you’re ever interested in touring one. I do recommend Two Roads because I have been there before. We didn’t check out the area, we had a game to go to at Bridgeport Arena, so we had to keep it moving.

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Bridgeport Arena at Harbor Yard.

http://www.websterbankarena.com/

Usually has shows, events and sports games. I’ve gone for a hockey game and it was a lot of fun. I know they have basketball games too.  They had a ConnectiCon that we went to once and it was really fun. They also host Expos. We went to see Disney on Ice here one winter. That was cool. Check the website to see what’s going on here. After the show, jump over to Fairfield and have some Frank Pepe’s pizza. Parking is good, and it’s right off the highway. I don’t know the area that well, but I wouldn’t suggest exploring if you don’t have someplace in mind to go to. I know that some parts of Bridgeport can be pretty rough, but I think every town has some parts that are a little sketchy. I am not sure where those parts are in Bridgeport.

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That’s if for Connecticut in this post! I will be back again next week with a list of things to do with a family in Connecticut.

Have you been to any of these places? What did you think? Did I miss anything?

Review: Toy Story 4- No spoilers

We went to see this movie on Tuesday night. The theater was packed. These are the reviews from my husband, daughter, son and me when we left the movie.
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Son. It was good . It was predictable but it was fun to watch how it happened.
Daughter. Goood. She actually stayed awake for the entire movie, so I think that she really means it.
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Husband. Good. (I learned it from the kids.)  I liked it a lot. I knew what was going to happen but I enjoyed getting there.
Me. I really enjoyed it. Definitely a few tears. Happy tears though. It was a great feel good movie. I would see this again. I don’t know if you have to see it in the theater, but it is a good story with familiar lovable characters.
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Overall, it was worth seeing. It was a cute story. It held everyone’s interest and we would all watch it again when it’s available at home. I don’t feel like I need to buy this movie, but I would watch it again for free.
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Everyone in the theater seemed to like it too. People clapped at the end. Stick around for the post credit scenes.

LEGOLAND – California Review

We went here for my Son’s 10th birthday present. It was my husband, our 7 year old daughter, 10 year old son and me. We arrived on a Wednesday and spent 2 nights. We stayed in the Castle for 2 nights before traveling to San Diego for 5 nights. San Diego Review will be coming later this week. Spoiler, it was awesome.
We did not go to the park the first day because we were exhausted. We went the 2nd day and the 3rd day after we checked out.
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Hotel Parking.
Not hard to come in. It took about 10 minutes to get the mirror pass to hang.  Doesn’t look like there is much self parking. A lot of valet but valet is not included in the hotel package. I think we were lucky to find a self parking spot.
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Check in.
Very fast and friendly and the employee filled me in on times and made a dinner reservation for us. She answered any question I could come up with.  We were about 20 minutes early but they were able to get our room ready in 10 minutes. We were traveling since 3 am and we tried to wait till 1 ( I paid the $70.00 for early check in) but we just ran out of steam and needed to get to our room. I sent the kids on their first scavenger hunt while I waited for the room. They get one scavenger hunt a night. I read some people had issues with the room safes not being refilled, we did not have this issue.
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Pool.
It was chilly the first day. Hotel pool was nice. Deep end goes to 5 feet. There were plenty of chairs. A waitress comes around to ask if you want anything. They have drinks and food you can order at the pool. You get towels when you walk in. My son loved the huge floating legos.  Hot tub we didn’t use. It always looked packed but it was chilly out so I am not that surprised.
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Dinner.
We made a reservation at check in. Not badly priced for a resort. We ordered the birthday package so we got a cake but we were so tired by the end of the first day we took the cake back to our room and went to bed. The kids liked their meals and we enjoyed ours.
The second night we ordered pizza to our room from Knockout pizza. This was a place recommended by the employees and we thought it was really good.
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Hotel.
I loved the hotel. I love the attention to detail. Like the lights flicker in the hallway like they’re candles. I liked the wallpaper and the carpet throughout. There are lego figures all over and it’s just really cool. There is a store and my son used his gift card from the birthday package here. The employee that worked there was really nice and she could tell what was in the mini figure bags just by feeling them. That was really cool because my son was looking for a couple ones he really wanted and she was able to find them. No need to trade.
Room.
The room is fun and wonderful. We had the deluxe with balcony/patio. Our room overlooked the courtyard. The Kids bunk beds were really cool. I loved that they had their own separate area. The bathroom is huge. I like that there are a lot of places to hang towels, bathing suits. Etc. I like the focus on recycling here. There’s a mini fridge and a keurig. Hot chocolate for the kids and coffee. We got 3 hot chocolates a day and 2 coffees, the will refill daily for free or for $5.00 if it’s the same day. The beds are comfy. We requested more pillows because we love pillows and they eventually brought them.
I really liked the space in the room.
The light in the little mirror in the bathroom didn’t work. That was my husbands only complaint because he tried to use it to shave. We did not report this as it wasn’t that big of a deal on a 2 night stay.
My daughter played with the in room safe while we were there and managed to lock her goggles in the safe. We did request someone come help us but we were in and out of the room most of the day so even if they did eventually come, we probably missed it. We ended up leaving the goggles behind because we didn’t feel like waiting.
The only thing that’s weird is the ice machine/vending and microwave is located in the north side of the hotel. So we had to walk all the way around for ice and microwave. That’s not terrible through.
I forgot my razor.  I always forget something! And they had complimentary disposable ones at the front desk.
There is a number to text to request things.
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Breakfast buffet:
The buffet was really good. It had something for everyone. I was able to have my lox with onions, capers and cream cheese. When you sit down they ask if you want any eggs or omelets and how would you want them cooked. You can ask for a coffee to go as well. I really liked this, as did my husband. The kids didn’t really care about the breakfast, they ate and then wanted to play at the play place in the front and they also wanted to go out to the playground in the courtyard and play there. The playground is pretty awesome.
Lego Land – The Park.
I can’t tell you about the water park the days we were there, it was kind of cold so we decided to skip it and just ride the rides. I heard that there are not towels at the water park. You can buy them or bring them from your hotel.
If you stay at the hotel you get early access into the park. Early access is 9:00 instead of 9:30 and there are a select number of rides you can get on before they open the park at 10:00. I thought that was a little weird because everyone was waiting to get into the rest of the park. You can’t even walk around past a certain point until 10:00 because they had the walkways roped off.
The kids loved all the rides. I am not a fan of roller coasters that go upside down and luckily, there are none of these at lego land. My favorite roller coaster was the dragon coaster. That was cool.  The rides really were fun. I personally loved the mini lego land world. I thought it was so cool to just walk through and see all the lego creations. The kids did not trade any of their mini figures, that is an option when you go anywhere. we ate at the Ramen place the first day. My husband had stir fry and I got the ramen with pork belly. It was yum. We shared each thing. My son loved his Ramen and my daughter wasn’t a huge fan of it. They do sell wine and beer at the BBQ place in the middle of the park. We ate here the second day. My son had the ribs and they were dry but my husband also had the ribs and his were really good. The brisket was amazing. My daughter had the chicken finger and fries which she ended up sharing with her brother. My husband and I got a platter and shared that between the 2 of us. it was $85.00 for the 4 of us to eat , I shared a meal though so it easily could have run over $100.00 for 4 people.
Some of our favorite rides were the dragon coaster, the birthday boat ride, the swinging ship ride and Ninjago was fun. My son loved that they has a place to play lego on playstations. We all sat there a couple times to rest and play.
I really  liked Lego land a lot more than I thought I would. That was what surprised me. I think that we easily could have spent another day or two here. At least one more to go to the water park. We did walk through the aquarium on the way out and it was nice. It wasn’t huge and I thought it was a little weird how all the tanks were just open on top. I’m use to the aquarium by us and everything is closed. The Aquarium itself is nice. We could have probably spent more time here but the kids were getting tired and they wanted to get to the next hotel.
I did read a bunch of reviews on trip advisor that complained of loud noises traveling fairly easily and the walls were thin. We didn’t notice any of that. We are from the east coast and we were still on east coast time (3 hours ahead) so we all crashed around 7pm both nights we were there. We all slept well and I didn’t hear any neighbors.
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I would totally visit Legoland again if my kids wanted to when we visit California again. I think after 12 or 13, the rides might be a little boring for kids but there is something to do for everyone. We spent 2 nights here, I think we easily could have spent 3. Between the food, room, gift shops (about $100.00 on Legoland souvenirs in the park), birthday surprise package, early check in, 2 day park passes, the total for 2 nights, 3 days was a little over $2,000.00.
Next up, I want to go to Universal with everyone so that will be at the top of my list next time.

Gluten Free and Me!

I have some vitamin/hormone/thyroid issues. After the holiday’s I decided that it was time to take better care of myself. Not necessarily for me, but for my husband and kids. So I have been going to the doctors, and a psychiatrist and trying to get more active, take my medicines and vitamins.
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Last appointment my Psychiatrist suggested that I try a gluten free diet. He is happy that I am starting to feel much better and he thinks that going gluten free may help me feel even better. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Disease but my thyroid is still functioning fine so I am not on any medication for it, I just have to go back yearly to check my hormone levels.
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He said since it’s auto immune maybe we can play around with my diet. He suggested I try Gluten Free for at least a month to see if I might feel better overall. But it’s all or nothing. I can’t like sort of be gluten free. He asked if there was anything that would be really hard for me to replace and I said Pizza. Pizza is my favorite thing. He laughed and agreed that there really is no amazing substitute for pizza.
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So I am going to try it. I started yesterday. I did find a place that makes gluten free pizza and there is a grocery store that has a pretty good cauliflower crust pizza… It’s going to be hard but I am going to try this for at least a month.
Has anyone else gone gluten free? What’s your experience with it?

I’m back! Weekend Update

Good Morning Everyone! I took a much needed break to vacation with my family. We went to California, stayed at Lego land for 2 nights and then headed to San Diego to explore for 5 nights. We had a blast and I will have reviews coming up next week. We went to different towns and just explored for 3 days and then the last day we just chilled at the pool and relaxed. I also did laundry so I didn’t have 4,000  loads when we got home.
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My husband and I fell in love with San Diego. This is the first time we ever went somewhere and my husband actually wanted to stay. I always look at Real Estate everywhere we go. Seriously, I get emails every week with houses in Cape Cod, Ocean City, Maryland and now San Diego. So, we’ll see what happens! There would have to be a lot of things that fall into place… Like Jobs, housing, good schools. It’s nice to dream a little though.
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This weekend is pretty packed. We have to deep clean our house tomorrow and then we are heading to a friends house to test out their new Air Fryer. Anyone have one of those things? Have any amazing recipes that we should try? I found one for wings that sounds delicious. I have heard of an Air Fryer before but I never actually looked into one. I feel like I have a lot of appliances in my kitchen already and I need to clear it out before buying anything new. My friend got her husband one for fathers day so he wants to break it in tomorrow. I’m always down for good food, friends and drinks.
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Sunday my other friend is having a Bridal Party. It’s not the shower, it’s a party for everyone who is in the wedding to get together and meet. I am not in the wedding but I have known the bride for 25 years and she asked me to come, so I’ll be there. I know most of the people going, so it should be fun!
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And that’s my weekend! How about you? Any plans for the weekend?

Scavenger hunts – A birthday tradition

It all started when my son was 6. He wanted a lot of little things for his birthday and I was like lets make it a scavenger hunt so that it’s more fun then just opening up a bunch of small presents. So my husband and I wrote out the clues and made a scavenger hunt. We even included a couple small gifts for our daughter along the way as well. They loved it so much and had such a blast. Then my daughter started talking about when it’s her birthday scavenger hunt. Then my son started talking about how he couldn’t wait for his next birthday scavenger hunt… And that is how this tradition came to be. So now every year we get them a couple things and have them run around the house following clues till they get to the big present. As they have gotten older and want more expensive things, they no longer get a present at every clue.
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My son turns 10 this year and he’s been talking non stop about his scavenger hunt this year. I thought about telling him that this is the last year, but I am now leaning more to keeping it going for how ever long he likes. And for my daughter too. It’s fun to watch them wake up in the morning and run to the dining room table to get their first clue. Some of my favorite birthday pictures are them running around in their PJ’s finding the next clue.
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We have discovered that there are a lot of websites that you can find clues to use. One of my favorite things to do is give a couple coupons too for things I know they are going to like. There are lots of free templates for those as well. You just print and fill them in.
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How about you? Do you have any birthday traditions?