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Showing posts from July, 2013

Top 5 Disney Cruise Necessities

I know we all define necessities different. Just going on a Disney cruise is quite the treat blessing, but if you have a little extra time, creativity or money the things on my list of "necessities" will make your trip that much more fun.

#1 - Fish Extender

Funny name, but the little plates next to stateroom doors on Disney have a hanger in the shape of a fish. Somewhere along the way someone had the nifty idea to hang a bag from the hook and use it as a place to drop off fun gifts for other people. Now they've gotten super fancy or you can make your own. But I would definitely recommend everyone participate in this volunteer activity so you can enjoy all that Disney has to offer.

Sample FE by EmbroideryByEmilyLLC.

#2 - Fish Extender gifts

Now if you hang a fish extender outside your door, then you will also need to sign up for Disney FE groups so that you know who to drop off to and who will be dropping off to you.

And once you're a part of the group then you have to …

HOT: Hawaiian Falls - Just $5!

It's hard to believe summer is already winding down. There were so many things I had planned on doing with my kids and the time has just flown right by me. 

One of the things they really wanted to do was go to Hawaiian Falls. We drive by one on a regular basis and I hear pleading, begging, and questions about when we are actually going to go. Hawaiian Falls was gracious enough to give us tickets so that I can take them and come back to tell you all about the fun we have.

Well, now I don't have any excuse and neither do you - FREE tubes and life jackets, FREE parking,  and coolers ARE allowed! 5 convenient locations – The Colony, North Garland, Mansfield, Roanoake, and Waco - means there is a Hawaiian Falls Waterpark near you!

AND Right now you can  Slide After Dark every Friday Night for only $5! Seriously - Friday Night Slides admission is only $5 from 8 pm – 10 pm and FREE for Season Passholders!  You can also upgrade your daily ticket for only $5 and stay until 10 pm on Friday…

HURRY: 70% Off Clearance at Thirty-One Bags!

Oh my, if you have discovered the wonderfulness of Thirty-One bags . . . or if you haven't . . . you need to go to Thirty-One bags RIGHT NOW and grab up some of their 70% off clearance. There are literally some prices under $5!!

And a great thing about this sale is that Thirty-One is donating one item to the Toy Drive for Kids for each item purchased from the Outlet sale through tomorrow, July 19. But from what I saw, there may not be anything left long before then!

Van A/C Went Out and My Washer Broke This Week . . .

Ugh, when it rains, it pours, as they say.

This week the air conditioning in my van started being temperamental . . . and then completely went out on a one-hour drive across town. On the day that it was 102 outside. Yep, that's my luck right there.

Then I was working on household chores trying to get caught up when I thought I heard my children causing a terrible ruckus in the other room. Of course, I charged in ready to put someone in their place when I realized the noise was coming from the laundry room and not the upstairs area. It was my washing machine - on the spin cycle, but not spinning. Instead there was some sort of loud rattling noise. So with a load full of white clothes and bleach water, my washing machine was officially broken. I had to wring out the clothes by hand to get them into the dryer. 


Don't you wish there was an easy, simple fix when this kind of thing happens. What do you do?

I typically:
get really aggravated at being put outgripe to my husbandhope…

Eat at Gourmet Restaurants for Discounted Prices During DFW Restaurant Week!

If you've been around MelissaStuff for awhile you know that I'm a fan of Restaurant Week. You can read more about my past experiences here and here.

The simple version is every year, over 100 DFW restaurants participate in Restaurant Week - offering a preset menu each evening for a week for a flat rate of $35. Your menu will include an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. This year you can participate in lunch offers at some of these restaurants for $25 and eat at some even "nicer" restaurants for $45 at dinner.

This year Restaurant Week is August 12 - 18. One of the best parts of this is that 20% of each meal is donated to the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home. Last year alone raised $760,000 for charity.

If you're at all interested in participating, you'll want to make reservations NOW. Some of the restaurants are already booked up and remaining spots at many of them are filling quickly.
Hope to see you there!

The BEST Way to Get 2 Servings of Fruits and/or Veggies

Did you know that only 1 percent of adults and 2 percent of kids meet both the fruit and veggie recommendations each day? 

I know sometimes it's really hard for me to get enough fruits and veggies in my kids . . . and even more difficult for me to get mine in sometimes. But one thing I love? Smoothies! Even better? Jamba Juice fresh juices!

There are several new smoothies - including the Jamba Juice Tropical Harvest™ and Jamba Kids™ Berry Beet It!™ Smoothies Not only do these drinks taste amazing, they include fruits AND veggies. That makes them  nutritious and delicious. 

Nice for me, they are low in calories and a plus for me when I let my kids have them, they contain no added sugar. It's great knowing that it’s better for your child—and they’ll love the taste. 

I totally appreciate Jamba Juice providing us with these smoothies so we could try them out ourselves. I can't send you your own gift card, but right now, you can get a $2 off coupon when you sign up for their mailin…

Low Carb Recipe: Potato Salad, Except Not

Okay, so I just started eating low carb a couple of weeks ago. I've already lost 5 lbs and this time around I'm actually enjoying the food. So I'm going to share some of the recipes I love with you . . .

For July 4th, my husband barbecued - which is obviously fine - but I needed some sort of sides. Now I'm not hard core low carb. I'm very free with fruits and vegetables and allow most sauces. So I cut fresh tomatoes, had a plate full of carrots, pickles, grape tomatoes and Ranch dressing.

And I made this Cauliflower Potato Salad . . . that seriously tasted like the real thing except the consistency of the cauliflower and the potatoes is different. But even my husband and friends ate it and they're not eating low carb.

I Have Learned So Much . . . A Personal Post

The last few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life - challenging to me as a friend, as a believer, as the parent of three boys who will one day be making their own decisions and going their own direction.

If you're new to this blog, you might want to go back and read - Extravagantly, Love. Follow. Be Like Christ, and Messy. They will give you a good idea of who I am and how I live my life. You might need that foundation to understand this post.

Music draws me in. It speaks to my heart when talking to others is no longer helpful. It connects me on a different level to my Savior and His comfort, His love, His embrace. Someone posted this song the other day and I clicked on it because I like the band, and then I proceeded to cry through the song . . . listen for yourself - Worn by Tenth Avenue North.

 The song begins with the words:

I’m Tired. I’m worn.
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels…

Best Date Night in a Long Time

Okay, so I know I said that The Improv was the best event I had attended with my husband in a long time. BUT we had a friend with us so while it was a hilarious, crazy fun night, it wasn't really a "date" . . . not the kind where you can kiss and laugh and cuddle and remember why you got married in the first place.

But last night, just Joey and I attended a special access event to experience the new Dave and Buster's location on Central Expressway in Dallas. They let us try out their new summer menu - complete with all kinds of food and drinks. Just take a look:
@DaveandBusters is doing some food the right way at — MelissaStuff (@melstuffblog) July 3, 2013
Tell me that doesn't look good! — MelissaStuff (@melstuffblog) July 3, 2013 And they have a whole new set of games they have rolled out just for this summer . . . they are addictive and if you have kids it's going…