Native Texan Livin': September 2016

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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! :-)