South Dakota Vacation

Have you ever taken a trip and loved it so much you have to go again in the same year? Well that’s how I feel about South Dakota.. If y’all recall I went back in May with Hudson and my little sister, Eulalia. We had so much fun we had to go back but this time I was taking Hudson, my Husband Brent, my Father in Law Charles and my step-daughter Marret. None of them had ever been to South Dakota and always thought it was desert-y.. Man were they in for a surprise..

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I planned the whole trip and booked the same Roosevelt Inn we stayed in earlier in the year because it was so amazing! We made the 5 1/2 hour drive from Colorado to Keystone, SD (The BEST city to stay in because it’s 3 miles from Mount Rushmore and about 25 miles from Rapid City but it still so quiet and gorgeous!) We arrived at our incredible hotel, Roosevelt Inn and were as usual greeted by the amazing staff there (They even recognized me!) and made it up to our amazing loft bedroom! Two queen beds downstairs and two twin beds upstairs.. The kids were SO excited to have their own space… And TV 😉

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We didn’t want to waste anytime at all so we headed straight out from the hotel to see the sights.. We headed through the gorgeous black hills to the famous Reptile Gardens, it holds the world record for most reptile species on their grounds.. The gardens are gorgeous and so well taken care of.. Even in the beginning of the cold season their flowers were blooming and beautiful.

They’ve got incredibly large tortoises for the kids the pet and pythons to feel.. Inside their monster dome they’ve got the most beautiful exhibits holding scary yet amazing snakes, crocodiles, alligators and more! It was SO cool for the kids to see up close!

After exploring for an hour and a half we decided to head out to Rapid City for a look at their Dinosaur Park (Y’all know how obsessed Hudson is with dinosaurs 😉 ) They were HUGE statues made in 1936 for the incoming tourism and the kids are able to climb, learn and slide down their tails! It’s at the top of a large hill smack in the middle of Rapid City so you can see the city in all directions. It was awe-inspiring!

We decided to head back to the hotel after a long day of driving and exploring – When you drive into Keystone you feel like you’re in a quiet, nestled mountain town with cute shops and amazing food.. But the best part is driving up to our gorgeous light house looking hotel.. The Roosevelt Inn is exactly how it sounds.. A hotel inspired by Theodore Roosevelt.. With quotes on the walls, decoration inspired by his interests and even a “Selfie with Teddy” spot 😉

We settled in and headed down to their wonderful heated pool and spent an hour splashing and playing without anyone else! It was a wonderful way to unwind after a long fun day..

The next morning we were greeted by amazing smells coming from the lobby. They’ve got a complimentary breakfast every morning and it’s amazing!! Always stocked, always delicious and always something different!

After filling our bellies with a hearty breakfast we began our next day adventures! Our first stop was right down the road at Mount Rushmore.. It was a little chilly outside so it was actually really quiet! We parked and walked up to the monuments and took in their grand and glorious faces.. It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen and won’t know until you see it!!

We shopped at their decently priced gift shop then headed to our next fun-stination (See what I did there? 😉 )

I’d ALWAYS wanted to visit the Cosmos Mystery Area.. I’d seen it in a text book when I was younger and always found it’s story so fascinating!

Their history states: “In 1952, two college boys searched the Black Hills looking for the perfect spot to build a summer cabin. Upon their search, they stumbled into the mysterious world of the Cosmos.

The old cabin areas especially piqued their interest as the laws of logic and physics seemed to be turned upside-down. They continued to experiment and develop the demonstrations until they eventually opened their discovery to the public in 1953.

Come experience for yourself what continues to amaze and baffle visitors for over 65 years.”

It is just as mysterious as it sounds.. Balls rolled upwards, water drained up, people were taller standing on different but same levels and it was so disorienting your head would spin! It’s like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else..

It was my step-daughter’s favorite part of the trip because it was just so different!! They had friendly staff and a cute dog named Albert to meet you once you were finished too 😉 We’ll absolutely be back next time we visit!

Once we left we had some delicious lunch at The Front Porch and it was some of the best food we had the entire trip!! ❤

After a quick nap at the hotel we walked around Keystone’s cute little shops for a few hours then ate some delicious dinner at the Ruby House for my birthday dinner! It’s a gorgeous old fashioned parlor themed restaurant with old paintings and guns hung all over the wall.

We were exhausted from the day so went back to our hotel and snuggled into our comfortable warm beds eager for the next days adventures..

We woke up to another morning of amazing breakfast which kickstarted our last day of fun!

I’d never seen so much fog than we had that morning! It was dense and really hard to see but we weren’t going to let that ruin our fun.. We drove into Rapid City for some sight seeing then on our way back decided to stop at the Dinosaur Museum.. They had over 50 life size dinosaur replicas.. Hudson was in HEAVEN! There was also a spooky mirror maze the kids wanted to go through and it was crazy cool! We were all so disoriented haha!!

After our dinosaur adventure we headed to my favorite part of our trip… Bear Country USA! It’s a drive thru park where animals roam free.. We had bears in the road, wolves ran right passed the car, elks were grazing and so much more… The fog had lightened up just a little but it actually made the experience a little more creepy and COOL! It was $55 for our vehicle but it was SO worth it.. Never will we ever get a chance to see a bear up THAT close again.. (Hopefully :p ) *I’ll add the bear photo as soon as I get it from my Husband’s phone :P*

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We wrapped up our trip and headed back to the hotel for naps, swimming and their game room!

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We were sad it was our last day.. So we went to do one last fun activity with the kids.. Some cosmic putt-putt at Putz n Glo.

After a fantastic night’s sleep we had one last breakfast, said our goodbyes to our amazing Roosevelt Inn staff and headed home.. This is a trip we’ll always remember.. It was the perfect weather and it was the end of their season so everything was quiet and slow.. Now that we’re back to fast paced Colorado living I’m already missing the sights and lifestyle South Dakota brings but we’ve decided to make a trip up every year as a new tradition.. And another tradition will be for us to always stay at the Roosevelt Inn because it was by far the most beautiful hotel we saw the whole time and added to the experience with it being president themed..

We highly recommend these adventures to anyone.. For only 5 1/2 hours away from Denver it makes for a perfect quick weekend getaway for families, couples or anyone wanting to slow down a little!

Thank you South Dakota for the best family vacation we’ve ever taken… We’ll be back!

Boulder Clean Natural Cleaners

In our household we exclusively use eco-friendly, kid-safe products. As I’ve said many times before I believe that it is just as important what you put on your body as what you put in it. Our skin can easily absorb harsh chemicals – You wouldn’t ingest bleach would you? Then why spray it all over your home only to have it produce harmful fumes and toxic surfaces?

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My kids play in every inch of our home, so I would never want to douse it with chemicals I knew could easily get onto their hands and possibly in their mouths/eyes/nose/whatever! All of these and more are reasons to choose a natural cleaner. After trying all of the different natural cleaners I could I found that my favorite was always Boulder Clean. They’ve got all the items needed to tackle any type of house cleaning project: Laundry items, dishwashing products, soaps, cleaners and more!

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My dishes always come out cleaner, my clothes always come out smelling fresh and are safe for my kids’ skin, and their cleaner sprays smell amazing all with different surface cleaning specialties!

It took me awhile to adjust to the natural cleaners when I first got into it because I always thought bleach means clean but once you do your research and realize how much of a difference it makes for the environment and your families health you’ll never go back.. And Boulder Clean has their ingredients transparently listed on their website so you know exactly what you’re using!

Now, I want to help jump start some of y’all’s future in eco-friendly natural cleaners with a…..

GIVEAWAY!

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With back-to-school around I want to help you give your kids some fresh, amazing smelling clothes they’ll feel comfortable and irritation-free in! I’ll be giving away an entire laundry bundle to one lucky winner! This will include their Original Natural Laundry DetergentFabric Softener Dryer Spray, and Oxi-Smart Pre-Treat Stain Remover SprayI use these for my family and they’re incredible (Especially the Stain Remover Spray! I actually spilled red wine on my favorite white shirt and it took it out like friggin’ magic!)

Giveaway is hosted on my Instagram so head there to enter! Contest will end September 29th at 12:00PM MST so get those entries in! ❤

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Rollin Greens

Obvsies y’all know we’re a healthy eating family. I hate the idea of sending my kids to school or activities with a stomach full of processed gunk. We pack the healthy lunches with energy producing sides to make sure they don’t crash and can continue to thrive in school… Well what about when they get home? You’re exhausted from your day and your kids are bouncing off the walls..

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It can seem difficult to find the motivation to prepare a nutritional meal for your family but when there are options that are healthy and just as easy as processed foods then you’ve GOT to choose the healthy route – There’s not excuse at that point!

Currently, my favorite healthy side for my kids’ dinners are Rollin’ Greens’ Millet Tots!! They’re delicious tater tots made from only good ingredients and millet, an ancient grain! They taste delicious, take the same amount of time and are easypeasy! (And what don’t tots go with? 😛 )

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So if you’re looking for a delicious side alternative for lunches or dinners try the Rollin Greens’ tots! There are three delicious flavors so you can switch it up and see what they and you like best!

They’re available in the freezer aisle at your local Sprouts Farmers Market!

↓ They’ll be changing their packaging soon so be on the lookout for these beauts! ↓

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(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Winc Wine Club

I had the pleasure of getting to try the Winc wine club and it was incredible. I was able to choose which wines I wanted and was even able to throw in a delicious cider! You choose 4 bottles of wine (or cider) and have it sent directly to your door. No waiting in line at the liquor store or being overwhelmed by aisles upon aisles of different options. You can make your choice based on tastes you prefer and mix them up every month!

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Winc is not your traditional wine club: we are a direct-distribution global wine company that personalizes the entire wine experience – We are perfecting how wine is made, distributed, perceived and purchased via our Palate Profile quiz that recommends wine based on your unique tastes and I’ll add enjoyed on behalf of a new generation of wine drinkers.

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It takes the hassle and guesswork out of picking a bottle from your local liquor store and delivers the perfect bottle directly to your doorstep. We do all this as part of our quest to improve the experience for consumers, create a platform for artisanal winemaking, and build a grape-to-glass supply chain that’s sustainable for the planet. No more intimidating language and steep price points, and more joy in the act of sharing a bottle.

$22 Off Your First Month of Winc Wine – Bottles start at $13 each. www.trywinc.com/usfamilyguide

Good Samaritan Medical Center

It’s a pretty tough decision choosing the right hospital for your labor delivery. If you ask another parent they’ll all give you hundreds of different suggestions.

When I was pregnant with Hudson in 2015 I decided I wanted it to be solely my decision based on what I believed was most important for my son and myself.

After doing a lot of research I decided Good Samaritan seemed like the best fit because it was designated Colorado’s first Baby-Friendly Hospital by UNICEF. They were very pro-breastfeeding which was something I’ve always been so passionate about due to the plethora of health benefits it provides your baby.

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I did a hospital tour after making my decision to ensure it was in an area I felt safe and would feel proud to have my family come to to meet my gorgeous baby boy.

Upon arriving my Husband and I were in awe. It was absolutely beautiful – Tucked in the town of Lafayette there were mountain views, modern touches, delicious food/drink shops and the classes they had consistently running were such an amazing perk. We decided then and there this was the hospital for us.

On November 22nd I began having my contractions and we were off to Good Samaritan! It was such an exciting ride. Once we arrived we were pleasantly greeted and placed into a beautiful, comfortable room waiting for our little Hudson to grace us with his presence. After 10 hours he was ready. This was my first baby so I was terrified of labor but the nurses were absolutely incredible and my Doctor was so helpful that it made the whole experience a lot less stressful!

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Once Hudson was born the caregivers were there every step of the way! A lactation specialist came in and assisted in teaching me how to get him to latch and came in every few hours to ensure it was still going well. I had a free post-labor massage which was AMAZING and we had some delicious food!!

We stayed for a few days then when we were getting ready to head home were given a humungous bag of food so we didn’t have to worry about cooking for a few days! We were also scheduled a nurse to come to our house a week after taking him house to make sure Hudson was healthy, I was healthy and that breastfeeding was still going well. I love how breastfeeding focused they were!

We still talk about the wonderful experience we had at Good Samaritan and plan on using them for our next baby’s delivery as well! Highly recommend them to anyone looking for a comfortable, breastfeeding encouraging hospital in the Denver area!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Flower Child Begins Serving Up Healthy Food in Boulder August 22

Flower Child – a restaurant that serves made-to-order, healthy food in a fast-casual setting – is opening on Wednesday, August 22 in Boulder at 2580 Arapahoe Avenue! The restaurant offers conveniently nutritious and delicious dishes, including salads, hummus, soups, plates, bowls, wraps and a kids menu in a light and airy environment with modern bohemian decor. Flower Child is celebrating its opening by donating a portion of proceeds from grand opening day to local non-profit Boulder Food Rescue and providing several local-inspired giveaways for its first customers.

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“Our mission at Flower Child is to provide healthy food for a happy world, and to us, that starts at the community-level where our restaurants are located,” said Sam Fox, Founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts. “We’re excited to be in Boulder and support locals’ active lifestyles with our nutritious menu. Similarly, our partnership with Boulder Food Rescue is a natural fit as they are focused on a less wasteful food system and providing healthy food options to low-income individuals.”

To invite guests in on opening day, Flower Child will be hosting several giveaways on August 22 including: 

●      Handing out complimentary flower bouquets from Boulder Gardens Florist to 300 lucky guests

●      Distributing flower seed lollipops from Amborella Organics. Eat the lollipop and plant the stick in your garden for a flower or herb surprise!

●      Sampling Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha throughout the day, which is available on tap daily at the store

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Flower Child features vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free menu items. Guests also have the option to add all-natural chicken, sustainable salmon, grass-fed steak and organic non-GMO tofu to their meal. The menu is divided into six categories including: Salads, Hummus & Soups, Plates, Bowls, Whole Grain Wraps and a Healthy Kids menu. Guests can order organic juices, organic cold brew on tap, coffee, seasonal lemonades, organic wine, local beer or signature kombucha on tap. Each menu item is made-to-order, fresh from scratch in a full-service kitchen.

Some signature dishes include:

●      Skinny Cobb Salad  romaine, arugula, red cabbage, avocado, tomato, cucumber, crunchy corn, pickled onion, smoked almond, gorgonzola vinaigrette 

●      Mother Earth Bowl – ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, charred onions, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette, hemp seed

●      Vegan Poke – marinated beet, avocado, pickled mushroom, cucumber, radish, wasabi pea, smoked dulse, brown rice, spicy ponzu

●      The Rebel Wrap – grass-fed steak, charred onion, port salut cheese, arugula, horseradish yogurt

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The restaurant space seats 68 and includes decorative tile, painted brick, bright stone tables, and greenery throughout. A large mural is painted on the outside wall of the restaurant next to the patio, which seats 28 customers.

For opening day, Flower Child has partnered with Boulder Food Rescue (BFR). The non-profit organization’s goal is to create a more just and less wasteful food system. BFR facilitates the sustainable redistribution of healthy food to agencies who service low-income individuals and participatory No-Cost grocery programs.

To further celebrate its opening, the restaurant is hosting a lemonade stand on Saturday, August 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of McGuckin Hardware, giving away free lemonade samples and Flower Child swag. McGuckin Hardware is located at 2525 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder.

Flower Child will be open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 2580 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder, Colo.

For more information visit http://www.iamaflowerchild.com, follow them on Instagram @eatflowerchild and like them on facebook.com/eatflowerchild.

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Tummy Shield by Safe Ride 4 Kids

“Automobile crashes are the largest single cause of death for pregnant women and the leading cause of traumatic fetal injury mortality in the United States.” U.S. National Library of Medicine

My biggest fear when I was pregnant with Hudson was getting into a crash. I was petrified. What would happen if the airbag hit my tummy? What would happen to my boy? I avoided driving like the plague. Unless I absolutely had to I would stay at home. I really wish the Tummy Shield was around when I had him because I would’ve felt comfortable driving ALL the time.

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What is the Tummy Shield? It is the ONLY crash-tested pregnancy seat belt adjuster that actually protects baby in the event of a crash, the Tummy Shield:

  • has a patented design that redirects the seat belt away from the pregnant belly, securing the seat belt at the leg, not the across the low belly where it can injure your unborn baby
  • is constructed of a stainless steel plate and anchor that attaches securely to the car seat and holds the seat belt firmly in place, without dangerous slippage or excessive slack
  • was successfully crash tested showing the seat belt continues to comply with current safety standards
  • was engineered to be at least as strong as the seat belt.

A little piece of insurance and a lot of peace of mind!


 

Thank goodness I planned ahead and got this before my next baby.. I won’t have to worry when the time comes.. 🙂

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)