28 April, 2016

It's The Year of Anniversaries | Schlitterbhan in New Braunfels, Tx

OH.MY.GOODNESS...we went last year to this Schlitterbhan location and it was so much fun! It was my first time going, & it had been a few years for my husband. It was an awesome family day & can't wait to go again with all three of my children!

World's Most Award Winning Uphill Water Coaster, The Master Blaster, turns 20: The Schlitterbahn New Braunfels park is home to a guest favorite, the world famous Master Blaster. Built in 1996, this 2.5 minute ride is over 65 feet tall and sends guests on an exhilarating ride down two, 3 story drops. It is easily the most iconic uphill water coaster in the world. Does your family have any fun memories of riding the Master Blaster?

15 year anniversary of the opening of the Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Waterpark: Built in 2001, this park is home to our Transportainment River system that is designed to maximize time in the water and eliminate lines. This river system connects eight attractions that feature rapids, chutes, and gentle currents. We truly believe that when you come to the beach, you should just be able to sit back and enjoy your tube ride while you tan.

10 year anniversary of the opening of the Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark: Built in 2006, this waterpark is located on historical Galveston Island and has been voted as the World's Best Indoor Waterpark for 8 straight years. This park features more than 33 attractions and a mile long Transportainment River system. To celebrate its 10 year anniversary, Galveston will be unveiling a new ride, which will be the world's tallest water coaster - MASSIV!

What's a Water Coaster? A water coaster is a water ride that has multiple uphill sections, uses a ride vehicle (boat, tube, or raft), and has other ride elements (spirals, fish ladders, water screens, etc.) to deliver a thrilling and fun filled ride. 

Waterpark Tips for Frugal Moms Taking kids to a waterpark can be a lot easier - and you can be frugal too. Schlitterbahn saves mom's budget by offering free parking, free life jackets, and families can bring in an ice chest full of food! Food prices inside the park are reasonable and healthy options abound. We have some fun blog posts about this topic here that you can draw from or link to.

Toddlers and Tweens in Tow: Schlitterbahn is designed to have something for every age - inland surfing on the Boogie Bahn is very doable with a lesson or two, splash zones are designed to be safe for the littlest guests. With free life jackets and kids tubes even cautious moms can feel safe. We have a fun post on this here.

Making Memories Schlitterbahn has been part of hundreds of thousands of great memories for guests - What are your favorite memories at the park?

Waterpark Survival Tips Here's three tips you can share with your readers - do you have any tips from past experiences to share? 1. Swim shoes or flip flops - Schlitterbahn parks are among the largest in the nation, and that means that invariably there will be some hot spots without shade or outdoor carpet. We always recommend wearing some sort of water worthy shoe! 2. Sunscreen - Water rides remove the best in sunscreen. Apply, ride, repeat. 3. Pack a lunch - Schlitterbahn allows ice chests, but no glass or alcohol. Make sure to pack some favorites but leave room for park specialties like funnel cakes and turkey legs!

This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide & Schlitterbhan.  I am not paid for this post, but I will receive free passes for myself and my family in exchange for my honest review.

27 April, 2016

{{Book Review}} The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder | In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city's underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelorgirlhood behind her forever---if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1RRdypX
*My Review*
Rachel McMillan is a new author to me, I found the book "The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder" quirky and sort of eccentric. The characters, Jem and Merinda are very interesting. They go against society by not getting married and becoming a housewife, but instead they decide to solve a murder. There were some funny moments, that made me chuckle...but overall I found that this book was slow in most parts. It wasn't a bad book, but sadly it wasn't a page turner for me. If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes type mysteries this book is for you!

About the author:

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

19 April, 2016

Get 20% OFF your Walkabout carryall TODAY! www.kangeaux.com #kangeaux #thewalkabout #kangeauxwalkabout @usfg

New carrying concept, the Walkabout by Kangeaux Outdoors, is designed to be an industrial-strength and multifunctional carrying tool for the outdoor adventurer and sports enthusiast alike. With the development of the Walkabout, Kangeaux Outdoors has designed a carrier like none other. It is predicted to become a standard for those "In The Field" -- but just as easily, it's ergonomic fit is ideal for the everyday carry. The Walkabout's adaptable nature creates easy solutions for both athletic essentials like sports bottles and baseball caps, as well as everyday items like keys, phones, sunglasses, etc. There is truly no other carrier like the Walkabout. 

Save 20% on your entire purchase! Sign up and stay up to date with our Kangeaux Newsletter and receive a coupon code for 20% off your entire purchase! http:// www.kangeaux.com

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for U.S. Family Guide and Kangeaux and I will receive free product in exchange for this post and a review. All opinions are 100% my own.

18 April, 2016

{{Book Review}} Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma's Heart | God’s love, plans, and promises for you are forever unfolding.

I get it, Momma. I totally get it.
 Every day you wake up and try your very best. You love, give, and pour out your life for the ones who call you Momma. But no matter how much you offer, there are still days you feel as though you come up short. You worry, Am I loving these babies enough? Is this ever going to get easier? Why does it seem like I am the only one who cannot balance it all? 

Sometimes, we just need hope (and maybe a long uninterrupted nap). We need someone to help tune our hearts to the voice of the Father and to remind us that He has not forgotten about us.
In Hope Unfolding, Becky Thompson is a friend who reminds you that you aren’t alone, and that God is still writing your story. She guides you to encounter the Truth of God’s presence that not only fuels you with strength, but also a fresh confidence. And beyond gaining faith that tomorrow could be different, you find hope and purpose where you are standing today.

*My Reivew*
I have to say "Hope Unfolding" is absolutely THE best book I have ever read that was meant to touch a mama's heart. This is book I will keep on my shelf to pick up and re-read, it will be worn over time! Becky Thompson touches every heart that is blessed by the words and stories in this transparent look into motherhood, marriage and being a woman. Thompson easily reaches her readers, you honestly feel like you are sitting down to have coffee with a close friend.

Whether you are a seasoned mom, a new mom, an expectant mother, a mommy to angels,this book is filled with God's love and the hope we earnestly seek as women everyday.

{{Book Review}} Sit, Stay, Love | Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you're ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother's elderly dog, Tippy, he's quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn't thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can't abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal's world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too . . .

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

*My Review*
When first reading the title of the book "Sit Stay Love", you might think it is a training guide for your dog. This book is so light hearted so much fun read.  Tippy is the name of the dog(and star) in the book. Tippy does some really funny things throughout the book. All of the characters in this story seem so real and very easy to connect to. There are some moments in the story that are tear jerkers. "Sit, Stay, Love" is a story about loss, learning to love, learning self worth and reconciliation. I loved reading every bage of this this book.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1W95mqe
About the author:

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

11 April, 2016

{{Book Review}} Pocket Prayers (with various authors; Thomas Nelson, March 2016)

Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.

Short, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:

-Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)

-Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
-Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
-Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
-Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
-Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)

*My Review*
I absolutely LOVE Max Lucado....and these pocket prayers. I have read through all of these books & I cannot wait to give these away as gifts! They are so great. Each "Pocket Prayers" has 4o simple prayers for Friends, Graduates, Moms, Dads, MIlitary life, & for Teachers. 

I have all plans to give away all but two. I'll have to find someone to give those two to. I will probably give them to our pastor to hand out to someone he may know who could use these books! 

Some ideas for when to give these gifts:
  • Mother's Day---May 8
  • Memorial Day---May 30
  • Father's Day---June 19
  • Teachers---first week of May is National Teacher Appreciation Week, firstTuesday May 3 is NTA day
  • Graduation---month of May
  • Friends---June 8 is Best Friend Day - International Day of Friendship is July 30

Purchase your copies: http://amzn.to/1VgCJqv
About the author: 

More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.

07 April, 2016

Our New Hexagon Metal Print From AdormaPix! {{Product Review}}

AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their contemporary metal prints capture memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Because your images are infused right into the metal, and not painted on the surface, their metal prints are extremely durable. Not only will your metal image be water and weather proof, but scratch resistant as well. You can even clean it with glass cleaner. Your memories deserve to live in true, archival luxury with AdoramaPix metal prints.

You can find all the fun gift ideas HERE: 

My readers get to save! 25% off Hexagon #Metal Prints! Use promo code: PXHEXMTL25 expires 06/ 15 /2016

*My Review*

Awhile back I posted about AdormaPix's  9.5 x 11" Hexagon Metal Print, because I did that, I received a free hexagon metal print + free shipping! I've ordered from AdormaPix in the past. I really love their metal prints. I was stunned with the first print(which was just something I made in PS10). 

This hexagon print is from a photo I took when we were in Colorado for our family vacation. When I opened the package, I was again...blown away. The picture that I have does not even come close to showing the true beauty in this print! 

Our print even came with the needed items to hang it & a level(I think that's what they are called!)to make sure it's straight! 

Their site is super easy to navigate, and their customer support is beyond amazing. Karin helped me every step of the way in ordering my print. She even helped me resize the print & we started talking about the snow & the beauty in the pictures(I had 3) that I had sent her. She resized them all for me, and told me which one would come out the best. THAT'S what customer support should be like! 

I honestly have to say that I will NEVER order prints from anywhere else. Being in Colorado around the mountains and in the snow felt....almost magical & now we will have this print to remind us of our time there! AdormaPix has just reassured me that I am indeed a customer for life! I cannot wait for order more of these hexagon prints to add to the colorado vacation collection! <3 

This post is sponsored by U.S. Family Guide & AdormaPix. I received a FREE 9.5 x 11" Hexagon Metal Print in exchange for my honest opinion. I am NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are 100% my own! 

04 April, 2016

{{Book Review}} Back in the Saddle | The prodigal is coming home.

It's been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray's Glen, Washington. He's broke, but not broken, and it's time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.

He doesn't expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest---a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there's more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he's determined to find out what she's hiding . . . and why.
Colt's return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam's right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn't thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch's contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray's Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor.  And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district's wealth and power---or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

*My Review*
I'm going to be 100% honest here, without being too brutal...the first few chapters of "Back in The Saddle" by Ruth Logan Herne did not pull me in at all. I couldn't connect and really just wanted to give up on the book, but I kept on reading. After a few chapters(quite a few actually) the book peaked my interest and I kept reading the book. 

So, even thought I started out wishing the book would just end...I finished the book wishing that the second book in this series was already out. The author did a wonderful job of setting the scene so you could picture the landscape, family drama, town relationships,etc. The importance of family is really emphasized and the overall theme of faith and trust in God is throughout the story. Overall, this was an enjoyable book, and I cannot wait to read more of her books.

 Meet the Author

Ruth Logan Herne has more than half a million books in print, including fifteen Love Inspired contemporary novels. Back in the Saddle is the first book in her new western romance series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York. 

01 April, 2016

{{Book Review}} Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen

Few people know that national pie champion Francine Bryson got her start on the cooking contest circuit at age sixteen with a savory stuffed pork loin—that won first place. In Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen, Francine invites you into her home to share recipes for everything that graces her Southern table: chicken dinners, savory pies, Sunday suppers to serve the preacher, make-and-take casseroles, dips and other redneck whatnots, backyard barbecue favorites—and, of course, three chapters devoted to her celebrated baked goods, including her most-requested holiday sweets. Feeding people is what Francine loves to do, and here are simple instructions for 125 dishes with 60 color photographs to help you to bring her Southern charm to your table.

*My Review*
When I ordered this book I was super excited, because I love food and cooking. Okay...secretly I just wanted to add another cookbook into my collection. When it arrived and I started looking though it, I realized that this is a good but it's not not amazing like I thought it would be!

Each recipe has a little story above it which I love, becaue I like reading about how the recipe is used for her family and why they love it. So, if you are someone just starting out or just looking for some "down home" recipes, this book has some great stories and wonderful recipes I don't know we will try any of these, but we'll see.