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Monday, April 23, 2018

Courtyard by Marriot | Myrtle Beach Broadway (a Hotel Review)

Myrtle Beach Courtyard by Marriot
(This photo courtesy of Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway)

Cheer competitions take us to multiple hotel accommodations across our region, the Southeast region.  We've stayed in some great places. Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway is definitely one of my favorites. The Myrtle Beach Convention Center is only three minutes away from this hotel. The beach is five to seven minutes away. And, Broadway at the Beach, an outdoor entertainment center with restaurants, shopping, live shows & family attractions, is right across the street. Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway is conveniently located to all of the hot spots in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Courtyard Marriott at Broadway Myrtle Beach, SC


Courtyard Marriott at Broadway Myrtle Beach, SC

Our room was on the first floor, facing the hotel pool. We had a semi-private patio just outside our sliding glass doors. Had the weather been even a little bit warmer, our girls would've jumped into that pool as soon as they got their cheer uniforms off! 

Myrtle Beach Courtyard by Marriot
(This photo courtesy of Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway)


Courtyard Marriott at Broadway Myrtle Beach, SC

The sink and vanity area is separate from the toilet and shower, so you could be brushing your teeth or putting on your make-up, while the kids are taking a bath or hubby is "reading the newspaper."

Courtyard Marriott at Broadway Myrtle Beach, SC


Courtyard Marriott at Broadway Myrtle Beach, SC

I loved the Tea Tree shampoo and conditioner provided by the hotel. But, take my advice, when you see containers like these, upon entering your hotel room make sure they aren't empty. Otherwise, you'll get up at 5:00am, be in a hurry to get your daughter to her cheer competition, and the conditioner bottle will be empty. (womp, womp)


Myrtle Beach Courtyard by Marriot
(This photo courtesy of Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway)

As you enter the hotel, theres a large restaurant and bar area perfect for unwinding after a long day. Order a few finger foods, enjoy a refreshment, and spend time with your family or friends. Or, enjoy the free wifi offered by the hotel and grab a cup of coffee. This particular Courtyard serves Starbucks coffee. (I'm not sure if that's a company wide offering.)

Myrtle Beach Courtyard by Marriot
(This photo courtesy of Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway)

See that orange throw pillow? After a LOOONNG day of cheer competition, I came back to the hotel, took the girls to the lobby, so they could hang out with their friends and play a game on the lobby computers, and I sat right there enjoying conversation with other moms. This little section of the lobby is enough away from the main lobby bar/restaurant area, that it was more quiet and felt more intimate.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Courtyard by Marriot in Myrtle Beach, SC. The staff were all very friendly, our room was ready for us upon check-in, and our room was clean. I would absolutely stay here again and recommend it to my friends and family.

Have you ever stayed here? How was your stay? Did you make it across the street to Broadway at the Beach? Let me know in the comments. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Laundry Made Easy with LG's TwinWash System - Available at Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

LG TwinWash laundry_Family

We have a large family; two adults, five children, one dog, and two hamsters. In our family, we play hard. In the fall, two of my boys play football, and my girls both participate in competitive all-star cheerleading. In the spring, cheerleading is still going on, but baseball season kicks off, as well. We're a large, BUSY family. And we create a LOT of dirty laundry! 

In our house, at least two loads of laundry is washed a day, yet we're never ahead. I mean, think about it, after each person comes home and takes off today's clothes, I instantly have two new loads of laundry; lights and darks. Add to that their sports clothes, pajamas, and bath towels. I have given up on the thought of ever being completely caught up on laundry. What's that saying? "Enjoy the chaos now. Before you know it, all of the kids will be grown and gone." Maybe I just made that one up, but you get what I'm saying; before long I'll be wishing for dirty cheer uniforms and grass-stained baseball pants to wash and practice clothes and school uniforms to fold. 

I was so excited to learn about LG's NEW TwinWash system! With LG’s TwinWash system you can wash TWO LOADS of laundry at the same time.  For small loads that can’t wait (the sweatpants after hot yoga, the red shirt in a pile of whites, the dirty school uniform on a Sunday night) there is the LG SideKick pedestal washer. You can even use it simultaneously while you do a bigger load up top on your LG Front Load Washer
Remember how I said I did two loads of laundry a day, yet never stayed caught up on dirty laundry? Now, I can double that to four loads a day. Maybe there's hope for me yet. LOL
Not only do these washers have mega capacity to tackle any size load, they are energy efficient while giving you the best cleaning performance. No wonder more households have chosen LG laundry over any other brand!

SAVE NOW: Today through April 25 receive up to $500 off a LG laundry solution for your home.

How many loads of laundry do you think you have each week? Would the LG TwinWash system make your laundry life much easier? 

7 St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Kids

St. Patrick's Day may be the most overlooked holiday in my home. Well, there's Arbor Day and Groundhog Day...but, do those count? I should probably care more about Arbor Day. Trees give us oxygen. We need oxygen to survive. I digress.

I like to think of myself as a pretty crafty mom. I enjoy doing crafts with the kids. I LOVE to hang their art up around our home. I was once told that my house looked more like a daycare than a home because of all of my kid's art. And to that I think to myself, that's okay. My kids LOVE seeing their art hanging on the four walls that are their safe place. {Do you hang your kid's art? In one place or all over?}

St Patty's Day Kids Crafts


This year I plan to do more St. Patty's Day crafts! Today I've gathered 7 St. Patrick's Day Crafts that you and your kiddos can do together. I love each one of them for a different reason. But, my favorite is probably the last one. You'll see why!

e_tp_leps_white

/1/ Toilet Paper Roll Leprechauns - There's something about his yarn beard that caught my eye. I can't wait to make these with my kiddos!

IMG_9803blog

/2/ Eraser-Stamped St Patrick's Day Tee - Did you know you can use freezer paper to create cute tees?? You totally can! This tutorial shows you how.

rainbow pony bead bracelet 420

/3/ 5-Minute Rainbow Bracelet - McKinley LOVES making and wearing {and gifting} jewelry. This bracelet would be perfect for every little girl. And her friends.

cereal-box-leprechaun-hat-goodie-bag

/4/ Cereal Box Leprechaun Hat - These hats will be cute on your St. Patty's Day table OR you can use them as favor bags. The glitter buckle is my favorite!

stPatsPotofGoldActivity

/5/ Fruit Loop Craft - Remember when crafts were simple? A piece of paper and some dry cereal? Some days I like to do those kinds of crafts with the kids. Simpler days, I tell ya.


rainbow-party-invitation-pull-out-2

/6/ Mail a Rainbow - The original idea is for party invitations. But, who wouldn't want to receive a rainbow in the mail? Snail mail, for the WIN!

mickey-and-minnie-st-paddys-headbands-craft-photo-420x420-clittlefield-D

/7/ Mickey and Minnie St Patrick's Day Headbands - Headed to Walt Disney World or Disneyland this month?? Make these cute ears before you head out!

Do you do crafts for St. Patrick's Day? I'd love to see. Share a link in the comments!

Want to see even more festive St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Kids? Check out this post!






Friday, January 26, 2018

Drive Safe Challenge for Parents and Teens | Sponsored by Mercury Insurance

This post is sponsored by Mercury Insurance. In exchange for this post I was compensated monetarily. All opinions are my own. 

#DriveSafeChallenge for Parents and Teens

Do you have a teenager? Are you counting down the days until they can drive themselves to school, or go get you a gallon of milk from the store? Chances are, if you're reading this, you do have a teenager, but you're reluctant to begin counting down the days until they can drive. 

Let's take a trip down Memory Lane, shall we? Do you remember when you started driving? You and I simply had a car. There were no cell phones. Specialty radio stations weren't around for us to fiddle with. There were no back up cameras or GPS's. Todays distractions weren't around when we started driving. We, at best, had beepers. Remember beepers? While you were driving down the road, someone might "beep" you, you would either stop at the nearest pay phone or you would wait until you got home, to call the person back. Life was more simple. Now, think of todays distractions and add to that...drugs and alcohol. 

Thanks to Mercury Insurance for hosting a much needed event for every teenager. A couple of weeks ago, Jake and I travelled to Tampa, FL to the Mercury Drive Safe Challenge. Mercury was teaching participants how to to handle a vehicle when it begins to spin out of control. Participants were shown the safe way to slam on the brakes and avoid an object or obstacle in our path. They also showed participants how distracted driving makes driving incredibly difficult AND dangerous.


Two police officers from Tampa PD came in and spoke with us all on the importance of first, not drinking underage, but also not driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. One of the police officers shared his story of being a victim of driving under the influence. He has lived with the scars, that he was once bullied for, and told how he turned those scars from shame to heroism, whether he sees himself as such or not. 


MADD also gave a presentation on the importance of abstaining from alcohol until at least 21, if you choose to drink at all. 


Mercury Insurance #DriveSafeChallenge

Mercury Insurance #DriveSafeChallenge

Mercury Insurance #DriveSafeChallenge

The vehicle shown in these photos belonged to a young girl who had to be rescued from her car with the Jaws of Life. It was important to me for my son to reflect upon this vehicle and think about how important it should be to him to drive with ZERO distractions! (When he starts driving, of course.)  Jake and I had a long conversation on the way home about everything we learned that day. 

Do you have conversations with your teenager on how important it MUST be to them to drive undistracted? Are you an example to your teenagers? Meaning, do you text and drive while they're in the car? Mamas, do you put your make-up on while driving? I'm guilty of all of it. But, I certainly have a different view on these things after seeing the statistics on such behavior. I challenge you to talk to your teens. Today. 

Watch the video below to see the defensive driving tactics we learned. Together, Jake and I had a great time. It created a wonderful dialogue for the three hour ride home. :) 



Visit Mercury Insurance to read and sign the Drive Safe Agreement. You can also read important statistics for driving teens. I assure you, they are eye opening. These stats will further drive home the importance of talking with your teen NOW.  


Distracted Driving: It’s Not Worth It

Unfortunately, it happens every day. Millions of drivers get behind the wheel and endanger themselves and the lives of others by shifting their focus to things other than driving. A text message. An Instagram post. Fast food meals in the car. All are not worth a life.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders {a Hillshire Naturals Review}

Hillshire Farms Plated Sandwich 1

With cheerleading season in full swing and baseball season beginning, I'm often at a loss of what to feed the kids; I need something quick and easy, but still quasi healthy. Of course, I can think of lots of things to feed them, but feeding them something they won't grumble at is a whole 'nother story! I love the simplicity of this Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders recipe. I assembled the sandwiches in only a few minutes, baked them for 10 minutes and we devoured them in less than the time it took to make them! My boys were asking for more...but, they were all gone.

Hillshire Farms Main Ingredients

First, gather the ingredients for your sliders. 

You'll need:
1 pkg. Hillshire Farms Naturals Honey Roasted Ham
1 pkg. King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
6 slices of deli Baby Swiss cheese
2 Tbls. of Mayonnaise {not pictured}

Hillshire Farms Ingredients

You'll also need these few ingredients for the topping:
1/2 Tbls. onion powder
1/2 Tbls. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
3/4 Tbls. dijon mustard
1/4 cup melted butter
Hillshire Farms Cut Bread

To assemble sliders, begin by cutting your rolls in half. You could cut each one individually, or leave them as a loaf, like I did. Then, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the inside of your bread.

Hillshire Farms Loaded Ham

Next comes a layer of Hillshire Farms Naturals Ham. You can put a single layer or double it up...we like a lot of meat, so we doubled it up!

Hillshire Farms Swiss Cheese

Last step of your slider prep, add a layer of Baby Swiss cheese. I say Baby Swiss because it's less pungent than other Swiss Cheese. You're gonna want the ham to shine through in this little slider! 

Hillshire Farms Top Bread

It's looking good, huh?! You could stop here and just dig in...but, wait! This last step puts these over the top!

Hillshire Farms Finish Sandwich

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While waiting for oven to heat, mix all of the ingredients for the topping and brush or pour over the top of your sliders. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. After they've sat, put them in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. remove from oven and ENJOY!

Hillishire Farms Sandwich

Now, watch your family devour the ooey-gooey, goodness that is this Hot Ham and Cheese Slider!

Disclosure: I'm required to disclose a relationship between my site and Hillshire. This could include Hillshire providing me w/content, product, access or other forms of payment. This recipe was adapted from KingsHawaiian.com

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

DIY Disney Autograph Book

We're leaving for Walt Disney World in three days. THREE DAYS!! Some days I think I'm more excited than the kids. I can.not.wait!

DIY Disney Autograph Book

One souvenir that was always a favorite when I was a kid was an autograph book. I can remember getting one each time my mom and I would go to Disney World. Standing in line with my book and pen in hand waiting to meet the characters was THE BEST! {of course, the rides were great, too!} I figured I would pass that tradition along to my kids. But, being the crafty gal that I am, I needed a DIY version of the autograph book. And, it needed to be personalized. Because, well, you know, everything is cuter when it's adorned with your name!

DIY Disney Autograph Book

The first page has our family name and the date.

DIY Disney Autograph Book

There's a section for each theme park we'll be visiting on this trip. {I also included a couple of pages with the resort name, just in case there's a character sighting there.}

DIY Disney Autograph Book

The back cover has Mickey's famous saying, "See ya real soon!"

DIY Disney Autograph Book

Since McKinley is a girly-girl, I added bunches of ribbon to hers. Just as I suspected, she LOVES it!

DIY Disney Autograph Book

DIY Disney Autograph Book

These were really simple to make. An added bonus, there's enough extra pages inside that the kids can later add pictures of themselves with the characters that signed their books!

With a little knowledge in Microsoft Word and having a printing shop nearby, you can make these, too!

Here's how:

1. Create your pages in Microsoft Word or similar program. I downloaded Waltograph and Brady Bunch fonts for my words. {The Mickey heads were added later with a black Sharpie pen. The Mickey and Minnie stickers were purchased at Michael's Crafts.}

2. Email your pages to your local print shop to be printed. Be sure to send them as a PDF file. I made the mistake of not doing that the first time and the font was way off.

3. Cut your pages to size. I learned after asking the gal to trim my pages to 5x7 inches that EACH cut is $1.10. Cutting each sheet was going to cost $4.40. For real. So, I made sure to bring my own cutter to the shop and used the great big table they had available and cut my own pages to size.

4. Laminate your front and back cover sheets. {This is something that the print shop will also do. It's like a one-stop-shop!} I think laminating the covers are going to make this keepsake something they can actually keep. :o)

5. Have your book spiral bound. OfficeMax also does binding. Ask if your shop does this.

Total cost of each of my books was under $10. Maybe the same cost as the one you can purchase at the park gift shops...but, way cuter!

This idea was adapted from Dixie Delights.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

9 DIY Hearts Crafts for Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day. All things hearts and red and pink and Cupid. Oh, Cupid, that cute little guy!

Each year I have good intentions to decorate my mantel and hang a heart-shaped wreath on the front door. Each year I peruse blogs for fun crafts. And each year I don't decorate my mantel or hang a heart-shaped wreath. Not this year! I vow to make at least one of the following crafts AND hang a wreath!

Below I've gathered nine lovely heart ideas that are perfect for anyone to recreate. Grab a chair, your latte and a notepad and pen to make a list of the supplies you'll need to get started!

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/1/ LOVE Bowl - It has SPARKLES...need I say more?


9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/2/ Heart String Art - This could be a pretty mindless activity. Grab the needed supplies and park yourself in front of the TV. Catch up on The Bachelor. Or Downton Abbey. Whatever drama show is your vice.

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/3/ Heart Pincushion - The sewist in me LOVES this craft. Make one for someone you love who sews!

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/4/ Heart Pom-Pom Wreath - Did you make pom-poms when you were a kid? I did. A million of them! I would wind and wind the yarn around a piece of cardboard, tie it off and then trim the strands until it was a cute little pom. Now you can find a fancy pom-pom maker at the craft store for less than $10. Give this wreath a try today!

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/5/ Red Heart Shaped Ice Cubes - Wouldn't it be fun to surprise the kids on Valentine's Day morning with these ice cubes? And the sprinkles trimmed glass? Be still my heart!

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/6/ Heart Shaped Bookmark - SUUUUPEEERRR simple craft for the book lover in your life!

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/7/ Burlap Valentine's Gift Bags - These would make great little bags to give small Valentine's treats to the neighbors, the mailman and your children's teachers. Fill them with candy or hot cocoa mix.

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/8/ Lighted Marquee Heart - The tutorial for this marquee is amazing! Use it to make the pictured heart or a letter. Wouldn't one of these be a great addition to a child's room? I love it!

9 DIY Hearts Crafts @jonahbonah

/9/ Heart Bokeh - As a photographer, I'm always looking for new ideas to take unique pictures. Heart bokeh? Yes, please!

Which of these heart-shaped crafts is calling your name? I'd love to see what you make! Will you share with me? I'm @jonahbonah on Instagram or leave me link to your blog  in the comments.

Wanna see more great crafts with hearts?? Check out this post I wrote on BlissfullyDomestic.com.