Native Texan Livin'

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

What I'm Bringing to the Wings Over Houston Airshow

We're heading out to our first Airshow this weekend & I'm SUPER excited!  While some people can just walk out the door & be like, "Just woke up, I'm ready to go," with kids in tow, it's best to be a bit more prepared.

I've actually never been to the Wings Over Houston Airshow before but I do know one's gonna be hot!  Actually, there's supposed to be a front pushing through this week, so fingers crossed that the forecast stays as scheduled, which is to be chilly in the morning & top out at just under 80°! :-)

From my understanding, there will be lots of traffic, long lines, lots of crowds & lots of think Disney World but with no rides. ;-)  Oooh, maybe I can finagle my way onto a ride in one of the Blue Angels!  (hey, a girl can dream!)

So, besides the patience, here's my list of things we'll be bringing with us to make this an easy breezy afternoon!

ear muffs &/or ear plugs - It's gonna be loud with the jets engines & the show explosions & I don't want to hear it...from my kids!

wagon - Bo & I aren't pack mules, so we prefer a little rolling box on 4 wheels to tote around the kids & stuff in. :-)

folding chairs - We have general admission tickets which means there's no reserved seating.

hats & sunglasses - It's in Houston.  The sun will be shining.  And it'll be hot.

sunscreen - Still in Houston.  I'm not a doctor but I heard one time that the sun can burn ya.  Wear sunscreen.

spray bottle fans - Did I mention we're taking the kids?  To an outdoor event?  In Houston?  With no shade?  With the kids?!

cash - There will be lots of vendors selling food & merchandise.  And we're not ones to NOT buy souvenirs! (I wonder if I'll be able to find an ornament?!)
water & snacks - The FAQ section of the airshow site says we can bring stuff in as long as it's not in a cooler & has to be in a clear bag.  I'm sure I'll bring some goldfish or something but we also like to spend money on concessions, so I probably won't be loaded down with snacks. :-)

Have you been to an Airshow before?  What else am I missing?  Anything not on my list that I need to bring?  I can't wait to see all the planes & jets close up!  I'll be back next week with how it all went! :-)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Zaycon Fresh Chicken: My Experience

*Disclaimer*   This post is full of raw chicken but there's no chance of getting salmonella from it! :-)

I did something a couple weeks ago I never thought I'd do.
(Although my husband's probably not surprised!)

I bought chicken.

In a church parking lot.

From the back of a truck.

Now, mind you, I ordered this chicken on purpose & "the truck" was a rather large refrigerated truck full of boxes chicken for me and a bunch of other people. :-)
Zaycon Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts

Have you ever heard of Zaycon Fresh Food?  I kept hearing how amazing & fresh the chicken is & how much you get for your money.  This was my first time to order Zaycon Fresh Chicken & I wasn't sure how the process was going to work.

Zaycon Fresh doesn't offer all the food all the time.  So when I saw the 40lb. box of boneless, skinless chicken breasts were back up, I started looking for a coupon code but there weren't any available at that time, so I kept waiting.  A deal finally popped up to purchase at $1.49/lb!  Score!  Each pickup location has a preset delivery date & time window, so I chose the location closest to me where I wanted to pick up & that's it.  Now we wait.  I waited a couple weeks until my delivery date came up.

The pickup was SUPER EASY!  I drove to my designated location, there were signs in the parking lot telling you exactly where to go & I got in line.  I was probably 7 cars back & the distribution went quickly.  I pulled up, told the delivery person my name, he told another person how many boxes to pull for me, they loaded it directly into my trunk on top of a plastic liner & that's it...I was done!
Zaycon Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts

I got home with my big box of chicken & we dug right in.  There were 4 big bags of chicken in the box.  The box was lined with a thick blue plastic, so although the individual bags of chicken inside weren't sealed shut, there was no spillage through the box.
Box of Zaycon Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts

Inside the box of Zaycon Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts
(spillage in the bag...not the box)

Individual bag of Zaycon Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts

I grabbed a glass of wine & my freshly sharpened Henckels knife & got to work!  While I did leave some of the breasts whole, I was able to fillet most of them in half or thirds!  That's a lot of chicken!  I cut the chicken & Bo bagged the chicken in lots of freezer bags.  We filled each bag with about 5 chicken breasts so we can just grab 1 bag at a time when we're ready to make a meal!  All in all, it took about an hour from start to finish.  Not too bad.
Wine, Zaycon Fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts & Henckels knife

Grabbing a bag of chicken that's already cut to size & has all the fat trimmed has been pretty nice.  I think I'd definitely order from Zaycon Fresh again if we ever run out of chicken! ;-)  Now to start gathering lots of chicken recipes!  Please feel free to send LOTS of recipes my way if you have a favorite!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chick-fil-A Mom Panel 2016-2017 #ChickfilAMoms

Yall Eat Mor Chikin
Yall, I am so so so so so so excited to announce that I have been chosen to be a part of the Chick-fil-A Moms Panel!!!  2nd year in a row baby!!!  I love being a part of a group where the company you're "working for" truly cares about the opinions of real moms!  And to answer one of my friend's questions from last year, no...we're not the reason the coleslaw went away!!! ;-)

I'm hoping I'll get some first hand scoop & let yall know about upcoming events, promotions, etc. (all with permission, of course!) :-)

To all my other #ChickfilAMoms Panelists, please feel free to use my graphic below for a button on your page.  :-)
#ChickfilAMoms 16-17 Panel button made by

It's gonna be a fun year! :-)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wings Over Houston Airshow!

This post has been compensated by goods, however, as always, my opinions are 100% my own.

Houston, we have a problem!  I have a confession to make.  I've lived in Houston my entire life & I've NEVER been to a Wings Over Houston Airshow before!  I's sacrilege!

Well, things are about to change!  I will finally get a chance to be up close and personal to so many amazing planes!  Fun fact...I used to want to be a pilot when I was growing up!  I was amazed at jets, would cut out articles of jets in action & it's always been a dream of mine to actually go up in one.  So....if anyone's offering, I'm accepting! :-)

Wings Over Houston is 1 of only 6 North American Air Shows that will have an actual flight by the F-35 Lightning  AND can I just say 2 words....Blue Angels!

U.S. Navy Blue Angels
(Used with permission by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels)

Tora! Tora! Tora!
(Used with permission by Tora! Tora! Tora!)

To say  I'm excited about this it a slight understatement!

There are multiple types of tickets available for the Wings Over Houston Airshow October 22 & 23, 2016.

General Admission - $25.00/adult; $4.00/child
Family Pass - 2 adults & up to 6 children at general admission $60.00
Reserved Prime View Seating - $58.00
Eagle Squadron VIP Tickets - $150.00
(Check out the ticketing link for specifics on each ticket option.)

And BONUS... FREE Shuttle Service with each ticket purchase!

Join us for a Twitter Party Thursday, October 6, 2016 & 8pm CST for a chance to win 1 of 5 prizes, total valued at over $500!  And the Grand Prize of 2 Eagle Squadron tickets for Sunday.

Don't forget to follow @moneysvgparent @newcreate_write and @HoustonAirshow on Twitter and join in the conversation using the hashtag #WOHAirshow as well as our panelists:

Will we see you at the Wings Over Houston Airshow???
U.S. Navy Blue Angels
"...because I was inverted." :-)

Friday, September 2, 2016

RECAP - Great Wolf Lodge - Grapevine, TX

Well, we got the kids back to school & have been back from Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX for a month now, so I figured it was time to write a recap. :-)

In case this is your first stop ever to my blog, I like lots of pictures!  I'm also a slow talker & like lots of details, so.... this is a longy but a goody! ;-)  BUT, if you stick with me the whole time, you will be rewarded by 2 videos at the end. :-)

We arrived in Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX on a Thursday around 5pm after a 4+ hour drive.  There's a huge covered drive for you to pull into at the front door so you can check in & then there's self parking.  We walked in to check in & the first thing you see is a giant tree, a tree house staircase & the GIANT window overlooking the indoor waterpark! (Which I clearly didn't take a pic of!)

When you check into Great Wolf Lodge, you're given waterproof wristbands to wear for your entire stay.  These wristbands act as your room key & also have the capability to scan to make purchases.  The staff will ask you your preferences for each band, so for us, for instance, I let the girls bands be activated as a room key but NOT for purchases.

We booked the Kid Kamp Suite & the girls were so excited they had their own room!  The room was clean & pretty spacious.  I was kinda bummed that there was so much was "wear & tear" on the outside of the Kids Kamp (see the red/black sleeping bag below) & there was also some peeling theme wallpaper above the top bunk.  I'm guessing kids would climb on that sleeping bag to go thru that little window.  The only other thing wrong with our room was that we didn't have a drying line.  We had the contraption that should've held the string, but there was nothing in it.  We called the front desk multiple times to have them fix it, but it never got fixed.  For the amount we paid for the room, it was a bit disappointing.

After we got settled in the room, we went down to check the place out.  The girls put on their suits & jumped straight in!  Bo & I didn't get in the water the first night because it was already getting late & we wouldn't be able to be in there for too long.  I brought our underwater camera & it was so awesome to have!  Never leave home without it! :-)

These lillypads were Izzy's favorites!  And yes, they actually did make it across them. :-)

After swimming, we grabbed a pizza from Hungry as a Wolf to-go pizza place on site & ate it back in the room.  The girls changed and we went down for story time in the lobby.  The first part of it is called The Great Clock Tower Show...and it's kind of weird.  This animatronic boy talks to some animals & then an animatronic American Indian girl comes out from the shadows (but where you can see her the whole time) and starts interacting.  Maybe it's just me...but I didn't like it.  

After that, they bring out a giant book to read to the kids, Wiley makes an appearance & there's a photo-op afterwards...before the dance party begins.

The next morning, we ate breakfast in the room (remember, we brought it with us) & went down to the waterpark around 9am.  Most of the tables & chairs you see first thing when you walk in get taken pretty quickly.  We were able to find a table over by the lillypads & just left our stuff there for the day.  We could come & go as we pleased, came back for lunch & didn't worry about our stuff.

Since we planned this trip to celebrate our 12 year anniversary (& decided let the kids come with us) ;-) we ate a nicer dinner at the Lodge Wood Fired Grill one night.  The food was really good!  I ordered a crab cake with mashed potatoes, Bo had a steak & the girls both had macaroni.

We pre-purchased a Paw Pass for each of the girls at $79.99/each.  I knew they wanted to do the MagiQuest game & I could've just purchased it separately, but for just a bit more, they got all this stuff:

Package Includes

  • One MagiQuest or Shadow Quest game
  • Choice of classic or color wand, standard topper or belt
  • One Creation Station animal (outfit not included)
  • One Glitz Glitter Tattoo
  • One 6x8 3D Paw Prints photo
  • One 12 oz. Mike and Ike candy cup from Bear Paw Sweets & Eats
  • One Leather Treaty bracelet or keychain from The Name Shop
  • One pair of Great Wolf Lodge goggles from Buckhorn Exchange Gift Shop

Personally, I wouldn't purchase this package again...and here's why...
  • We have the MagiQuest wands now, so if they wanted to play again, I'd just pay to reactivate a new game.
  • They don't even play with their "build-a-wolf" stuffed animal they got.  They'd rather get something they pick out from the actual gift shop.
  • The Glitz Glitter Tattoo is one of those sticker templates you place on yourself & then add glue & glitter. I'm pretty sure I have a kit like this at home from Walmart or something.  When you go to get the tattoo, they'll warn you that it IS waterproof but is NOT chlorine proof & will suggest you probably wait until you're completely done with the waterpark before getting it.
  • 3D Paw Prints photo - you choose between 3 different backgrounds & take a pic in front of a green screen.  They tell you to pose but don't really tell you where to place your hands to "catch the water falling on your head" in the pic, etc.  (I don't even know where these are in my house right now!)
  • 12 oz. Mike and Ike candy cup - We don't need 1 cup of candy, much less 2!
  • Leather Treaty bracelet - The girls actually DO like these bracelets because they were able to put their names on them...and now we don't need anymore. :-) 
  • Great Wolf Lodge goggles - these are fine but the girls still wanted to wear the goggles we brought from home.
Here are some pics of the girls enjoying their Paw Pass activities...

The outdoor water park area was really fun...and really hot!  There are 2 outdoor water slides, more lillypads to walk across, a big "mountain" with a wolf on it that shoots water at random times, basketball hoops & lots of fun kiddie things.

I seriously could not get over how close the planes were flying!
It was awesome!

The Ropes Course!  So.Much.Fun!  The girls & I went out at 10am Saturday morning & Bo cheered us on from the solid ground. :-)  After we climbed & flew for about an hour or so, we went in to enjoy the waterpark & eat lunch.  Later that afternoon, we ventured back out on the ropes one last time.

This is seriously the sweetest thing I've ever seen!  Maggie was scared to cross a certain section (in the pic above) & Izzy comforted her once she finally made it across! :-)

I think this course is a little more Maggie's speed. ;-)  She hung out on this one while we were waiting for Izzy to come down.

As a side note, when you pay for the ropes course, it's good for the length of your stay.  We didn't realize this at the time, so we only signed up for it on our last full day there.

Now, for what you've all been waiting for....THE END!    Just kidding!...there's more! :-)  Enjoy these 2 videos of our fun time at Great Wolf Lodge.  It was a blast & we can't wait to go back again!

Most pics & videos were taken with our underwater camera.  It's a definite must to take one with you when you go to Great Wolf Lodge so you can capture all the fun! :-)