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!

Eco at Heart

Anyone else part of the Anti-Plastic Straw movement? In our household we’ve officially given them all up – We’re huge recyclers and it really bugged us how bad for the environment they are! My Husband uses straws everyday for coffee and wine and I use them for my tea and smoothies!

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SO. We decided we were going to buy some reusable-goodfortheEarth straws! We found Eco at Heart on Amazon and they had such amazing reviews we decided to give them a try.

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We just got ours last week and we LOVE them. They’re not too long (Which is a problem I’ve seen with some of the stainless steel straws) and it comes with a brush so they’re really easy to clean!!

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They come with five so our whole family can have their own and we’re teaching our children to think about the Earth and not to be wasteful. I highly recommend the change to anyone – Especially in honor of Earth Day!

(Put one in your car and tell Starbucks, McDonalds, etc. to skip the straw!) You’ll feel better because you’re actually making a difference!

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

Happy Spring Y’all!

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I love Spring! The trees are blooming, green grass is beginning to show, I get to TAN, and my family and I spend so much time outside together! It’s amazing and I’m so excited it’s finally here!

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Now that warmer weather is here I decided it’s time to plan a fun family mini-cation – I think we all could use it! So I went online to Great Wolf Lodge and booked us a room in May which includes full access to their amazing water park! We haven’t told the kids but we’re SO excited to have time for all of us and not have any other worries in the world!

I bought everyone new swimsuits (Got an adorable Mom appropriate swimsuit here, LOVE it.) and now we play waiting game.. But, my Husband and I have something super exciting to look forward to everyday and it’s really fun for us!

You deserve a mini-cation too! Book something for your family or for yourself! Something you can look forward to that excites you for Spring and new experiences!

Coobie Seamless Bra and Giveaway

Y’all.. Ever since I’ve gotten my Coobie Seamless bra in the mail I’ve worn it every. single. day. It’s claim of “Most Comfortable Bra Ever” is 100% TRUE. It’s literally the most comfortable bra I’ve EVER worn! It has great support, soft fabric, is washable (with easy to remove pads), is really classy (I got the lace one!) and doesn’t look like a bra so can be used to look like an undershirt when layering!

28I’ve got only one but will soon be getting more because I can’t even stand my underwire bras anymore hahaha! AND I love them so much I am hosting a giveaway for TWO lucky winners to receive their very own!!571Want a chance to win? Comment below with which bra you’d choose and you’re entered! Winners will be chosen Saturday, December 16, 2017! Can’t wait? Use code USFG on their website for 30% off your order!

(I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own!)

@usfg #shopcoobie #coobieluv #comfort #bra #usfamilyguide

Paleo Cinnamon Rolls

We’ve started a new tradition. And it came from the CRAZY craving we’ve had for cinnamon rolls. We had plans this last weekend for a trip to try the most famous cinnamon rolls in Colorado but decided we were feeling so good we didn’t wanna splurge that day.. Especially with all of the holidays coming up, we wanted to save it for something really decadent 😉

SO. On a whim I decided to try and make them myself (They looked so complicated non-paleo so I couldn’t imagine making them paleo but took the risk)

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 10.30.12 PMAs most of y’all know, paleo dough can be rough but in Colorado at a much higher altitude it can be SO FRUSTRATING. After tweaking and kneading (and kneading, and kneading, adding water and kneading AGAIN) I finally found the PERFECT texture. It rolled like normal dough and I felt like crying.. ⤓⤓ The rest is below in my recipe ⤓⤓pexels-photo-302544

 


Paleo Cinnamon Rolls

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  1. Add your water, sea salt, maple syrup and coconut oil into a small pot on medium until it begins to boil, then remove.
  2. Put mixture into a bowl and mix in your tapioca flour.
  3. Once cooled add your coconut flour and egg.
  4. Mix with your hands til doughy and stickyish (I added 1/4 tsp water to make it moldable and less dry (like coconut flour and tapioca likes to do!)
  5. Now place dough on a piece of wax paper (I sprinkled tapioca starch on top) and knead dough until it feels like it’s ready to be rolled!
  6. Sprinkle tapioca flour on top of dough and place a second sheer of wax paper over the top and then roll the dough to desired length/width. I like mine thicker so I rolled mine to 1/2 inch thick by 7 inches wide and 10 inches long. Was the perfect size!
  7. As stated in the ingredients you can use whatever filling your heart desires – Just make sure it’s thick enough of a mixture so it doesn’t make your dough too moist! – I used toasted coconut flakes, finely chopped roasted pecans, 100% maple syrup, water and cinnamon! It was DELICIOUS (Next time I wanna try an apple and cinnamon one!!)
  8. Now spread your mixture onto your dough just be sure to leave an inch on each edge so it doesn’t come spewing out 😉
  9. Then roll your dough slowly and tightly until you’ve got it completely into your log!
  10. Then cut to your desired thickness (I did 1 inch pieces. And used a serrated knife! I tried the fancy-shmancy floss trick and paleo dough is just too thick.)
  11. Lay down new wax paper onto a pan and place your beautiful (by paleo standards 😉 ) cinnamon roll pieces down flat and put into your 350*F oven for 30 minutes, remove and place on plate.
  12. Mix your frosting in a blender so it gets really whipped (I NEVER knew how amazing this worked til now!)
  13. Once your cinnamon rolls have completely cooled COVER THEM IN FROSTING AND ENJOY!

Obviously they aren’t like normal cinnamon rolls but they tasted INCREDIBLE and stomped out every craving we had! Now for the tradition part. I will officially be making these with/for my family every Christmas morning now. I heard of the tradition but obviously is mainly done with traditional cinnamon rolls. I want to show my kids that healthy eating/cooking can be fun, rewarding AND taste just as delicious!

🎄 CAN CHRISTMAS COME ANY SOONER?! 🎄

Penwizard Books

Hey y’all – Be prepared for a ton of gift idea posts because IT’S SO CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS I CAN SMELL IT! One gift I am so so so excited for is one for my Step-Daughter. I found out about Penwizard which is company that makes amazing personalized Children’s book that adds your kiddos INTO the action of which story you choose.

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They’ve got my step-daughter’s two favorite cartoons as options (Peppa and Paw Patrol) so I had a super hard time deciding but the Peppa book gives you the option of even creating a little avatar of them, sooo… Decision made — I am SO excited to see her reaction!

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It isn’t often you get to read a book with your little that’s all about them.

Each and every book Penwizard prints is unique, just like your child! Founded from a love of children and children’s books, Penwizard set up a company that took children’s publishing to the next level.

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For more than 10 years, they’ve used their skills and expertise to push the boundaries and create inspirational books where children actually appear in the illustrations. You can get 15% off* your entire order or personalized books at Penwizard, just in time for the holidays! Use code HOLIDAY15 at checkout. *Valid until 12/25/2017.

I CAN’T WAIT TO GET IT! Pictures to come once I do 😉 

Coobie Seamless Bras

This is not my usual type of post (Even though I do want to start doing a little more fashion 😉 ) But I am SO excited to get my Coobie Bra because I’ve heard SO many great things about them! After becoming a Mom you realize how much your body changes and you need new types of bras. This has been such a problem for me lately. Been looking for a supportive yet comfortable bra for ages so was very intrigued when I heard Coobie deemed themselves with having The Most Comfortable Bra Ever.

Their reviews are outstanding and they’ve even got nursing bras for those expecting/breastfeeding! (I’m all about the #NormalizeBreastfeeding movement so love when companies have actual Mom-friendly bras!)

They’re perfect for everyday wear with their versatile one-size fits 32A – 36D, available in 7+ styles and 70+ colors/patterns, with adjustable straps and removable pads!! As most of us Moms do I’ve already got one for myself for Christmas from my Husband hahaha I cannot WAIT (May have to wear it til Christmas then box it up for myself last minute. Just too excited)

PROMOTION: My readers can save 30% on their entire order at http://www.shopcoobie.com Use code: USFG

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Try one with me, you’ll love it!

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