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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wilderness Aware Rafting

Wilderness Aware Rafting offers white water rafting in Buena Vista, Colorado. We offer outstanding guides, 39 years of white water experience, and a unique knowledge and appreciation of the natural environment forged by our many years of living and working on various rivers as well as our educational background in Environmental Interpretation and Wildlife Biology. 

Our raft trip options include the Arkansas River, Colorado River, Dolores River, Gunnison River and North Platte River.

Call 800.462.7238 or book online at www.inaraft.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

60mm Compact Refractor Telescope by Gskyer

This post contains sponsored links.

As a homeschooling mother, I love to find new ways to get my kids excited about learning.  One fun item I was able to review recently caused me to have to drag my kids inside because it was way past their bedtime.  We have never owned a telescope before, and truthfully, it was the first time I had ever even used one.  This was really as exciting for me as it was for the kids.

Last night was the perfect night, as it was a full moon.  We had tried for quite a while, but rain and cloudy nights mixed with sickness seemed to prevent us from taking it out.  So, we went out into the yard and played with our new telescope.

A little about this telescope from Gskyer.

  • Style:60AZ Refractor,Aperture:60mm(2.4"),ActualFocal Length:700mm+50mm power refractor telescope & Permanently mounted StarPointer. & Erect image optics - Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use
  • Multilayer Glass Green coated optics for enhanced image brightness,protect your eyes
  • Free includes 2 separate Interchangeable eyepieces and A 3X Barlow lens to increase viewing power & Pan handle Alt-Az control with clutch - for smooth and accurate pointing
  • Includes erecting eyepiece, A180° diagonal, moon filter , Astronomy Software and a sturdy adjustable Aluminium Alloy tripod- Good Partner with accessory tray,and Quick release dovetail attachment - no tool setup, very clear to View Moon and Planet Just At Your Home-with Handy Bag
  • Warranty:1-year limited lifetime warranty

Optical Design: Refractor
Aperture: 60mm(2.32in) 
Focal Length: 700mm(27.55in) 
Focal Ratio: F11.6
Eyepiece1: 25mm(0.98in) 
Magnification1: 28X
Eyepiece2: 10mm(0.39in) 
Magnification2: 70X
Max Magnification: 210
Finderscope: 5*24
Zenith Mirrors: 48°Erecting prism
Mount: U Altazimuth Mount
Optical coating: Antireflection Green Film
Barlow lens: 3X
Resolution: ≤4.1
Angular Field of View: 1°21"
Tuble connection: U Altazimuth Mount Screw
Tripod: Aluminium Alloy Tripod
Shipping Weight: 5Kg(176 ounces) 
Item Dimensions:33.5in*12in*4.33in

Overall, this is a really fun telescope.  Now, I'm not experienced with them. However, it was rather simple to follow the directions and put it together.  It fold up easily when not in use, and folds back down with the tripod very easily.  It is pretty sturdy and stable, although a tiny bump of the tripod will knock it out of alignment.  The lenses are so easy to switch out, and I was able to do it while keeping the moon and planets still aligned with the telescope.

I did struggle a little with the spotter scope, but that is my lack of experience.  I was able to find the moon and planets with the scope, but struggled to get it where it would be in the center cross hairs when it was in the center of the telescope view.  Once I get used to it then I will get that fixed.  For now I know it's in the bottom right quadrant of the scope.   The different lenses are a lot of fun to switch out, and to see the difference between them.  I will say that the full moon was very bright.  It was amazing, and I really wish I could have gotten a picture of what we could see.  All the kids from 3 to 14 were outside looking through it to see the craters and mountains on the moon.  It was so amazing, and really one of the most awesome sights I've seen.  It got my kids talking about Galileo and exploring the solar system.  It has opened up so much for the older and the younger children when it comes to exploring and studying what they had always seen, but had never really "seen".

I received this in exchange for my review.  If you are interested in finding out more about this telescope, or purchasing it, you can find it HERE on Amazon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Graco Fit4Me 65 Car Seat

This post contains sponsored links.

As a mother of 9, and soon to be 10, I have been through a lot of car seats.  I've tried many out over the 18 years of being a mother, and I've learned a lot about car seat safety.  I've learned about the straps and how tight they should be, and how you shouldn't wash them.  I've learned about not using the head cushions you purchase in stores.  I've learned about the chest clip height.  I also discovered over the years that my car seats have expiration dates.  There is so much more, but those are the basics.  
I was able to try out a new car seat with my son, Zechariah back in September of 2015.  The car seat is 9 months old now, and my thoughts are the same now as when I first got it.  It is still his favorite car seat.  It is so comfortable for him, and he loves to go places so he can be in his Graco Fit4Me 65 car seat.

I am really impressed with the Fit4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat.  The first thing I noticed when I pulled it out of the box was how cushioned it was for my baby. He was 17 months old, and 22 pounds. It fits babies and kids rear facing from 4 to 40 pounds, and 20 to 65 pounds forward facing, so I knew it will last him a long time. It is so comfortable feeling, and the head cushion is really nice, but very easily removable by just sliding it out from behind the headrest. I debated taking it out, but my little guy really liked it, so it stayed in. He was so excited to get this seat. Before we put it in our van, if his bigger sister or brother tried to get in it he would cry, as you can see in this picture.

He is much happier when she isn't trying to touch his car seat.

I absolutely love that the height is easily adjusted with the handle on the top. I don't have to take the seat completely apart and move the straps. This is a huge plus for this seat. I did have a little trouble figuring out how to move the buckle by his legs that the other belts click into. I finally figured it out and got it quickly changed to the correct spot for him. The belts are easy to loosen and tighten, but they don't move unless you push the button by baby's feet where the belt adjustment is located to loosen or pull to tighten the belt for him.
The ability to recline the seat with the pull of a handle is great. I have to have it reclined when in the rear facing position in my van. I put him in it, and was able to adjust the the correct position in seconds.
The cup holder is just too cute. It's perfect for holding a bottle, sippy cup, snacks, spit up rag, or even toys or a pacifier. It's nice to have that extra spot where something can be held within reach of baby or of someone sitting next to baby. The pattern is just lovely. I really like the blue of this seat. It's not too bright, and very pleasing to the eye.
Last, but not least, is the easy to remove cover. It is made so that you can easily take the cover off to clean it in the situations that always happen with sick kids, diaper blow outs, spilled drinks or snacks, or just gets dirty from normal use. The seat is attached in different areas with touch tape, and can be removed and reattached without the huge hassle that other seats have always had. This is the easiest car seat I've ever owned when it comes to getting it all adjusted for correct positioning. Everything is so simple and very user friendly.

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to try this car seat. I received it free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Amore di Mona Vegan Chocolates

This post contains sponsored links.

I love trying different types of chocolates.  However, this is one type of chocolate that I hadn't tried before.  I received 2 boxes of chocolates from Amore di Mona.  The big thing that made these chocolates different is that these are vegan chocolates.  They are GMO free, and Non-GMO Project Verified.  They are also free of gluten, sesame seeds, wheat, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and tree nuts, as is the facility they are made in.  They are organic, all natural, kosher, Fair Trade, preservative and artificial coloring free, and sweetened with raw, organic, Fair Trade Madhava agave nectar.

In my box I received the Amore di Mona Connoisseur Collection Dark Chocolate & Caramella Gift Box, and the 3 Piece Party Favor Gift Box.

I must say that I really love the boxes that these chocolates came in.  They are very elegant and beautifully packaged.  They come wrapped very securely and sealed with a wax seal (which I'm pretty sure is actually rubber as it doesn't break when bent).  The chocolates, when removed from their main box, are wrapped in paper and with the gold seal, and the Amore di Mona Connoisseur Collection Dark Chocolate & Caramella Gift Box was also wrapped with gold foil.

The Amore di Mona Connoisseur Collection Dark Chocolate & Caramella Gift Box is lovely.  The candies in them are very tasty.  I was actually very surprised at how much I liked these, as I wasn't sure what to expect with vegan chocolate.  The chocolates are very different in flavor from one another.  In the gift box I received 4 heart dark chocolate, 2 heart dark chocolate with currants, and 2 heart dark chocolate with coffee beans.  I also received the rectangular chocolates in the flavors of caramela, caramela with cranberries, caramela with cherries, and caramela with coffee beans.  

The caramela with coffee beans were my favorite.  I am a huge coffee fan, and these hit the spot. They are a little chewy, with coffee bean pieces that gave it a really nice coffee flavor.  The cranberry and cherry flavors give the caramela a nice extra bit of sweetness to the dark chocolate.  The hearts with the coffee and currants were also very good.  The coffee was perfectly balanced with the dark chocolate, and the currants added a nice touch of sweetness to the bitter of the chocolate. The regular chocolate chocolates and caramela were good, but probably my least favorite.  Only because they were more of an unsweetend flavor than I am generally used to.  I love dark and extra dark chocolates, but they needed just a little more sweet added to them for me.  

I also discovered that I liked these partially soft.  I usually freeze or refrigerate my chocolates.  I tried that with these, and they tasted almost grainy.  When I left them out on my counter in the warmer room, they were soft and the texture was completely different.  The softness of the chocolate made it more creamy and a much better feel in my mouth.  

The box came with a tag that showed all the different flavors of the chocolates, so you can easily distinguish between the flavors and pick out the ones you want to try first.

The 3 Piece Party Favor Gift Box was one that I enjoyed quite a bit.  There were 3 different flavors in there.  One I picked out immediately was the chocolate with coffee bean.  The nice flavor of the coffee was distinct and I was able to pick it out quickly.  The others were the caramela and the caramela with cranberries.  Both were very good.  The caramela was a good chewy texture, and the caramela with cranberries was a little sweeter than the other 2 in the box, making it a nice finish.

These are perfect for little gifts, or even as a very lovely wedding box for guests to put in gift bags or at the tables at the wedding dinner.  They are elegant, sophisticated, and they taste very lovely.  They are also vegan, non GMO, Fair Trade, free of gluten, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, dairy, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, and sweetened with raw, organic, agave nectar.  Making them perfect for most people.

I received these free in exchange for my review.  If you are wanting to see more chocolates from Amore di Mona, click HERE to visit them on Amazon.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hall's Candies - A Delicious Variety of Candies

This post contains sponsored links.

I love my occasional sweet treat.  Sometimes I share them, and sometimes (being a mother of 9 and get tired of only getting a piece or two out of all of my treats) I will hide them.  Every lady needs her own secret stash of sweets.  They are our special little treat for a hard day of work, a terrible day, or just for a happy moment of sweet delight.

I was overjoyed when I opened my box last week and found the most amazing surprise.  I had a box of, not just 1 treat, but 4 different candies from Hall's Candies.  I found that not only could I share with my family (believe me, they were thrilled), I was able to stash away my own special treat of my favorite sweets.

Let me talk you through this fun box of goodies.

I was able to try out Hall's Assorted Fudge , Peanut Brittle, Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallows, and Assorted Salt Water Taffy.

The Assorted Fudge was really amazing.  I have made fudge, and I have purchased all kinds of fudge.  Making fudge is a little tedious, and the kind I make requires it to stay cold.  Otherwise it melts.  Some of my more recent experiences with the fudge I've purchased has been a fudge that was more of a strange chewy texture.  When I opened the box of Hall's Assorted Fudge, I was wondering what type of fudge I was going to eat.

I will say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by the taste, texture, and quality of this fudge.  This was right up there with the high quality fudge I had purchased in expensive fudge shops.  The fudge was delicious.  I had to try the Chocolate Walnut first.  That is my all time favorite flavor.  The fudge was moist, yet it broke apart when I bit it.  It wasn't chewy like caramel, as I had with other brands.  The walnuts were good sized and spread throughout the large piece of fudge.

There were 8 varieties of fudge in the box.  I had 2 pieces of Chocolate, Vanilla, Chocolate Walnut, Maple Walnut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Layered Peanut Butter (chocolate on bottom and peanut butter on top).  Then I had 1 piece of the Panuche Walnut.

I loved each one of these.  The Chocolate was perfectly chocolaty.  The Maple Walnut had a good maple flavor that reminded me of breakfast and maple syrup.  The Peanut Butter flavors were a lovely surprise, as they were not overly peanut buttery in flavor.  They were the perfect strength for me.  Overall, these are my top favorite fudge I've had.

These Chocolate Covered Marshmallows were very good.  The box had 19 chocolate covered marshmallows in it.  They were actually very delicious and a nice sweet treat.  I could tell very quickly that these weren't just store bought marshmallows.  They were a richer and almost chewier texture than store marshmallows. They had that homemade taste, and with them covered in the silky milk chocolate, it was delicious.  The marshmallow melted in my mouth, and the chocolate covered my tongue and mouth with a delicate and wonderful chocolate taste and feel.  The chocolate was smooth, and not grainy.  

These are a perfect little snack when you just need to grab a little piece of something sweet, but not too sweet.  My kids loved them too.  As you can see, I had a little hand snatching them up as I was trying to get the pictures.  The box was also amazingly empty by the time I was able to get the picture of the inside of the marshmallow.  My kids and husband were quick to help me eat these candies.

I am a big peanut brittle fan.  When I opened the box of Hall's Peanut Brittle, I was surprised at how much you get with the 13 ounce box.  It comes in a heat sealed plastic bag, so I poured it into one of my storage containers to keep it fresh.  The peanut brittle was fresh and crisp.  When broken, it gave a good snap and had a nice crunch as I ate it.  The brittle had the perfect thickness, and the amount of peanuts were perfectly spread out throughout the brittle.  

The sweet and salty mix of the peanut brittle is great.  It gives you that satisfaction of when you want to have that sweet and salty snack.  One piece is perfect, and sometimes it's nice to grab another just in case you need that extra indulgence.  The pieces are varied from large, to little sized for smaller treats or to share with your little children (if you want to, but it's not required).  

Last was the Assorted Salt Water Taffy.  This was an assortment of 8 different flavors of salt water taffy.  Each piece was individually wrapped in wax paper to protect them from sticking together.  I got one long piece of each of the flavors of Chocolate, Banana, Creamsicle (orange cream), Cinnamon, Strawberry, Tutti Frutti, Vanilla, and Watermelon.  

The salt water taffy was very firm, but gave a nice long, sticky stretch as you pulled it.  Every flavor was unique, and some were flavors I had never tried before.  The cinnamon was a good strong flavor, and perfect for the cinnamon lover.  The chocolate and vanilla were so interesting.  I had never tried those flavors before in salt water taffy.  They were very good, with the actual taste of chocolate and the vanilla flavor.  My favorite, though, was the creamsicle.  I love orange, and the orange cream flavor was magic in my mouth.  It brought me back to my childhood at my grandmother's, eating the creamsicle ice cream.  It was wonderful.  

I received these for free in exchange for my review.  If you are interested in checking out Hall's Candies, you can find there HERE on Amazon.