Getting Ready for Disney Social Media Moms with Magic At Play Clothing from Kohl’s (Giveaway!)


I’m so excited to be attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference again this year! It’s an unbelievable opportunity to learn from industry experts while having fun at the happiest place on earth! This year the conference is at Disneyland and there have been hints that some of the speakers will include Maxine Clark; Build A Bear, Doug Bowman; Twitter and Donald Driver; Super Bowl Champion. An awesome speaker line-up, the opportunity to network with incredibly talented bloggers and social media experts AND the chance to play at the park with my family? Dream. Come. True.

Needless to say, my family and I can’t wait to go next week…but we need to start packing. Preparing for a family vacation to Disney combined with a conference can be tricky. We don’t want to forget any park essentials (water bottles, back pack, sunscreen) along with conference must-haves (laptop, camera, mobile chargers). Check out some preparation and packing tips I posted about our Disney World trip last year.

And then there’s the most important part…what to wear!

We like to show our #DisneySide at home with Disney-themed clothes featuring Princesses, our favorite movie characters and (of course) classic Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Wearing Disney-inspired clothes at Disneyland is a must, so we were thrilled to learn about Magic at Play, a clothing collaboration between Disney and Kohl’s that came out April 3, 2014. I was given a gift card to Kohl’s so I could check out the apparel line by Jumping Beans for infants, toddlers, boys sizes 4-7 and girls sizes 4-6x and share what I thought with you.

kohls disney clothes

Annie had so much fun, but admittedly had a hard time deciding which pieces to choose from because there were so many options available at Kohl’s in stores and online. In the end she selected three tops, a pair of shorts, leggings and a dress. We loved the blinged out Mickey shirt and the subtle hints of Minnie on the sundress. A major plus….many of the pieces go together, giving you more outfit options. Also, Kohl’s often offers many sales and coupons so you can maximize your dollars. When we went, the entire Magic at Play Jumping Beans clothing line was 30 percent off. We also had an addition 20 percent off coupon AND a $10.00 off coupon that you can use if you spend $30 in apparel for children. Saving money on cute clothes makes me so happy.

kohls annie

What do you think…pretty cool, right? Want to make your dollar stretch even further so you can get more from the collection? How about a giveaway for a $50.00 Kohl’s giftcard?!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Kohl’s for giving us a gift card to purchase Disney Jumping Bean apparel in order to review. No other compensation was received and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


How to Make the Best of a Rainy Vacation (Review of The Woodlands Resort)

The Woodlands community is just a short drive from where we live in Houston, but with the beautiful scenery…. it feels like a million miles away. When my family and I were recently invited by The Woodlands Resort for a visit over Spring Break, we were thrilled. We all really needed a break and we were curious to check out what new things will be unveiled at the resort this summer.  We were especially excited about the chance to play on the water slides and relax pool side with good food, live music and other entertainment they had planned for Spring Breakers of all ages.


Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. Mother nature – you can be cruel sometimes. It was cold and rainy during our entire two-day, one-night stay. Not ideal for outdoor fun…but we still got to enjoy the resort, find out about their renovations and we learned a couple of tricks about how to make the best of dreary weekend weather.

The Woodlands Resort is in the middle of a $60 million dollar expansion including the addition of a new building with 184 guest rooms …plus they are renovating their existing rooms. Check out the new look coming soon!

 woodlands resort rooms

They are adding a 900-foot lazy river that will wind around the property’s existing Waterscape pools and play area. We can’t wait for this new addition which will be ready in time for summer fun!

In addition to many other renovations and additions, a new steak house is being built to overlook the 18th green of Panther Trail Golf Course as well.

Even with all the new and exciting changes on the horizon, The Woodlands Resort is already a great place to relax with your family and friends. One of the things we enjoyed the most was the excellent customer service and even with the less then ideal weather conditions, we still had fun.

Tips for Making The Best of a Rainy Vacation

1. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em 

Swimming in rain

It’s hard for kids to be so close to beautiful pools and water slides and not dive in. While it was a chilly 60 degrees (that’s cold for Houston!) the  Woodlands Resort heated their smaller pool in the back. When the heavy rain slowed down (and there was no sign of thunder or lightening) we let the kids enjoy some time in the water. The nice staff members even let our kids go down the water slide in the front pool (which wasn’t heated – brrr!) once or twice so they could experience it!

2. Enjoy the Rhythm of the Rain

Our room had a balcony overlooking the Forest Oaks Waterscape. While we couldn’t enjoy lounging by the pool, we loved sitting on the balcony with a good book. Protected from the raindrops, we were able to enjoy the outdoors without getting wet.

3. Fun Indoors

photo 1-9

The Woodlands Resort moved some of the Spring Break activities they had planned by the pool inside one of their ballrooms including clowns, balloons, live music, games and a movie in the evening. We also played a family game of pool and shuffle board and enjoyed some live jazz music in the lobby. For moms and dads, there’s also a fitness facility and spa. (I definitely intend to take advantage of a massage the next time we visit the resort!) When we had enough of the indoors, the Woodlands Resort shuttle took us to nearby Market Street to enjoy some shopping and dinner at Tommy Bahamas restaurant.

4. Good Food and Conversation


We had a late and lazy lunch in the resort’s dining room. With great views of the property…we enjoyed yummy chicken lettuce wraps. We laughed, acted silly and took our time enjoying our meal. This is a rare treat in our world of rushing from band practice to cheer leading and lacrosse in the evenings. It was really relaxing. Next time we might not even leave our room…we might just put on a good movie and order room service!

What are your tips for making the best of bad weather on vacation?

Many thanks to the Woodlands Resort for treating us to a nice stay at their resort. While some of our expenses were covered in order for us to review the property, all of the thoughts and opinions (and lazy Saturday afternoon) are all my own!



Daddy’s Girl

 photo 1-6

They can take any name that I’ve made for myself

They can take any pride I’ve got as well

There are some things that I can’t afford to lose

I could be nobody as long as I’m someone to you – Andy Gullahorn

Last weekend Ed and Annie attended a daddy-daughter dance. Annie picked out a fancy dress in her closet to wear and started counting down the hours until it was time to leave, the moment she woke up Saturday morning.

I rushed around all day running errands which included a stop at Target to get some tights for her to wear with her dress. I stopped by the jewelry department (because, jewelry!) and saw some earrings that I knew she would love.

When I got home, I gave Ed the box.

“Those are cute, but why don’t you just give them to her,” he said.

“No – these need to come from you,” I told him.

Later…after Ed gave them to her and I helped her put them on; she ran to the bathroom to see how they looked. I saw her smiling in the mirror as she pulled her hair to the side to get a better look. I could tell she felt pretty, but I knew it was more than that.

She felt loved.

I live vicariously through the relationship my daughter and husband have together. While my mom was awesome at taking care of three girls by herself, I missed moments like these growing up without a father. I’m so grateful that Annie has a dad that loves her with all his heart.

He is there for the daily stuff…getting ready for school, homework, cheer practice. He wipes her tears when she gets hurt and captures proud moments on film…first steps, learning to ride a bike, singing in a school play.

Annie and I are very close, but I know that the bond between a daddy and his daughter is special.

When it was time to go, they walked hand-in-hand out the door. I followed them out front and watched Ed take her to the passenger side of the truck and open the door for her. She looked back at me and grinned from ear-to-ear, she couldn’t believe the royal treatment!

And I saw it in her eyes as they drove away. Our old Toyota pick-up truck was her carriage; the driver…her prince. And my heart broke in a million pieces, in the best possible way.

I stood in the drive-way long after they were out of sight. These moments in life…they take our breath away.

daddy daughter dance branded.jpg


I Need Some Soul Comfort…Do You? (Giveaway)

The last two weeks have been quite an adjustment for my family. I accepted a new position with a company that requires me to work outside of my home. I’ve been working full-time for the last six years, but my office was based in my house which offered me a little more flexibility with scheduling.

Don’t get me wrong, there were challenges with working from home as well. I would find myself working almost all the time because I didn’t have a clear start and end to my work day. My kids complained that I was always on the computer and I often found myself working all hours of the night.

And I know I’m blessed. The company I’m working for now is wonderful. The people are so nice. The work is great.

But it’s still a change and change of any kind can be stressful. I feel guilty because I’m not at home as much with my kids. And finding time to work out and eating healthfully is definitely more challenging. The days seem shorter and my to-do list is longer.

I’m not unique. These are issues many parents struggles with.

Do you?

Brave girls soul comfort

I heard about a recent online class called Soul Comfort offered through an extraordinary organization called The Brave Girls Club and they’ve graciously given me free access to their class and the opportunity to share the news with you along with the opportunity for YOU to attend for free!

Soul Comfort is a fresh new concept using art and journaling as a means to relax and comfort yourself and to get grounded while dealing with the craziness of every-day living.

This course if full of beautiful projects to fuel your creativity in very simple and easy ways that are meditational and relaxing , beautiful comforting things that will have your soul infused into them so that you want to keep them forever.

The instructor, Melody, promises to teach you some new habits of creativity mixed with simplicity (I love, love, love to create…it’s so therapeutic!) and that all the supplies you will need will fit into one fabric tote bag so that you can take it with you where ever you go! You’ll learn new ways to journal and the process will be relaxing, fun and simple. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with other participants through a private Facebook page.

I can’t wait to attend! Here’s the down low:

  • Supply List - simple, inexpensive supplies
  • Register Here - tuition $99
  • Class begins September 24. Access the online classroom through January 2, 2014.
  • Divided into 4 segments, with a new one released every two weeks to give you lots of space to breathe

soul comfort 2

A Giveaway!

Doesn’t this class sound wonderful? How would you like to attend for free? One lucky reader will get a pass to class at no-charge. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what is it about ‘Soul Comfort’ that makes you want to take this Brave Girl class?

That’s it…easy, peasy! I’ll pick a winner at random on Sunday, September 22, 2013, at noon CST.

The Brave Girls Club and this class fits perfectly with my motto:

Be Brave, Be Fierce, Believe.

Remember my friends, you are awesome and deserve to make time for yourself and to follow your dreams. I believe in you!

I am so grateful to the Brave Girls Club to be given the opportunity to attend this class free-of-charge, share the details with you and offer a free class to one, lucky Still Living The Dream reader. 


Sprint Tri Success! (Massage Envy Review and Giveaway)

I did it!


On Monday I finished my first Sprint Triathlon – a 400 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run event.

My friend, Tanya, and I have been training for most of the summer and I knew I still had SO much room for improvement, but I finished strong and…

It. Felt. Great.


My swim was definitely my weakest link. I knew that going into it. I finished next to last (21st out of 22) in my age group (40-44 year old women). But then I picked up speed during transition and passed many people in the bike portion…moving up to 13th in my age group.


Then…the run.

It was one of the hottest runs I’ve ever done (it’s still summer in Houston!) and after the 12-mile bike ride my legs felt like bricks. I thought I was running close to 11 minute miles but I found out afterwards that my pace was 9:05! I finished the run in 8th place in my age group…11th place overall.


I’m hooked! Soon, I’m going to sign up for swim lessons and start working towards my next one.

People have asked me how I prepared. I didn’t follow any certain plan but two things I attribute to my success:

1. Having a friend to work out with. Working towards a common goal with Tanya helped me stay motivated, focused and made the process more fun. I couldn’t have done it without her.

2. Taking it a bit easy during the week before which included an hour-long massage!

I worked out intensely for an extended period of time, so taking it a bit easy the week before helped me regroup. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be treated to a massage by my friends at Massage Envy Spa in Houston. They treated me to a 60-minute massage at one of their 29 Houston locations. It was a great experience.

massage envy

The timing for their invitation was perfect. I had no idea how much I needed it until I was done! I thought I’d be in for a relaxing experience…which it was. But when you arrive at Massage Envy you fill out paperwork that helps them get to know your needs and what areas to work on. When they found out that I was preparing to race, they paired me up with a massage therapist, Melissa, who has experience with stretching and deep muscle massage.

The experience was almost like a combination of yoga, stretching and massage. She worked out the kinks in my shoulders (from leaning over on my bike’s aerobars), released the build-up of lactic acid in my legs and stretched out my muscles. It felt so good. I truly felt like she was helping my body heal and prepare for Monday’s event.

One of the reasons I don’t get massages more often is because of the cost. Massages at most spas can be very expensive but Massage Envy Spa offers member clients a monthly massage  for just $59.00, plus any additional massages for the month at just $39.00. While they offer massage at a discounted price, the visit for me was even better than I had experienced at some spas that charge two or three times the amount.

The environment was relaxing (the tranquil water-fall room was so peaceful!), the staff was knowledgable, experienced and caring (they asked me questions about the race and cheered me on…even the folks who worked at the front desk!) and Melissa (my massage therapist) was a pro.


Thank you, Melissa, for taking my health in your hands and taking good care of me last week. I know that I was better prepared for my big day because of your help!

Whether you are preparing for an athletic event, have a problem area that needs addressing or just want to relax and nurture your body and soul, I highly recommend Massage Envy Spa. A great day to go to Massage Envy would be September 18, 2013 when the 29 Houston-area Massage Envy Spas will donate $10 from every one-hour massage or facial to the Arthritis Foundation during their Healing Hands for Arthritis Event.

A Giveaway!

How would you like to be treated to a free massage? Thanks to Massage Envy, one Still Living The Dream reader in Houston will score a free 1-hour massage. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me why you need to relax. One person will be selected at random on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. CST to receive a massage at one of Massage Envy Spa’s 29 Houston locations.

Do you follow me?

Yes? Well, you rock! For every one below you score an additional entry. (If you don’t already do one or all below then no worries. You can still get extra entries by signing up. Just leave a separate comment for each that you do.

  1. Follow Still Living The Dream on Pinterest
  2. Follow Still Living The Dream on Twitter
  3. Like Still Living The Dream on Facebook
  4. Tweet this: “I need to relax with a free massage from @MassageEnvyHou @jpatrickcomm”

Thank you to Massage Envy Spa Houston for sponsoring this review and giveaway and offering me and one Still Living The Dream reader a complimentary massage. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Help the Arthritis Foundation by Going to Massage Envy!


Only 6 more days until my sprint triathlon and I’m getting pretty nervous.

I’ve been training pretty hard for the past 6 weeks or so but I still feel like I’m not quite ready. Last Saturday I ran 6-miles and then on Sunday I participated in a pre-race clinic. My friend Tanya and I had the opportunity to swim and run the actual race route. It was good to get a feel for the course, but the swim is going to be harder than I thought. At times, I felt like I was actually swimming backwards as the wind moved the waves over my head!

I think this week I’m going to take it down to just a few mild work-outs and start to rest.

On Thursday, I have an appointment to get a massage at Massage Envy! I’m so excited…it’s the first one I’ve had in more than a year and the perfect way to relax before the big day. I use to get massages every other month or so and they helped with my joint and back pain so much before I lost weight. I know that once I go to Massage Envy on Thursday, I’ll be back again soon….especially on September 18, 2013.

massage envy

On that day Massage Envy and the Arthritis Foundation are hosting the third annual Healing Hands for Arthritis, a one-day national event to build awareness and raise funds to fight arthritis. On September 18, 2013, the 29 Houston-area Massage Envy Spas will donate $10 from every one-hour massage or facial to the Arthritis Foundation which supports arthritis education, research, advocacy and other vital programs and services. Murad®, Massage Envy Spa’s exclusive skin care partner, Wyndmere and BioFreeze will all also donate 10 percent of all sales from their products sold at Massage Envy Spa locations during the event. Over the past two years, this one-day nationwide event has raised over $1M for the Arthritis Foundation.

Massage Envy Spa and the Arthritis Foundation share a common understanding about the devastating effects of arthritis on the body and the potential for massage therapy to relieve and control certain symptoms.Striking one in every five adults and 300,000 children, arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. Massage therapy can play an important role in alleviating the pain and swelling caused by arthritis, improving flexibility and circulation and reducing stress and anxiety.

What are you doing September 18th? Will you help the Arthritis Foundation by relaxing at Massage Envy? You can find out more information about the Healing Hands for Arthritis event here.

After my massage this week, I’m going to post a review and will offer a massage giveaway for one, lucky Still Living The Dream reader –  so be sure to check back soon!

Thank you to Massage Envy for sponsoring this post. I will have the opportunity to have a complimentary massage at Massage Envy, but will receive no other compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


My Kids Make Me Smile! – A #FABsmile Giveaway!

Summer is almost over which is really bittersweet. While it will be good for the kids to get back to a routine and I personally love the fall season in general, I also enjoy the extra time I get to spend with my kids during the long break from school.

With less than two weeks until school starts, I decided to take the kids on a last soiree to enjoy the sun and sand in Galveston last weekend. While I was packing I asked my kids Jackson and Annie, to bring me their toothbrushes. When they finally brought them to me, I was shocked. The condition of these brushes made it clear to me that they were being used way past their “expiration” date. Matted down bristles with reminents of old toothpaste caked on the bottom. Um – gross.

The American Dental Association recommends flossing every day and changing out your toothbrush every three months. Clearly these were way older than three months and there wasn’t even a bit of floss to be found in the kid’s bathroom. Pretty weird that they didn’t tell me we were out, right?!

Not my best “Mother of the Year” moment! But in my defense, it is hard to remember to change toothbrushes out regularly….right?

Luckily I had heard about a unique program that makes it easy for you to have floss and new toothbrushes on hand. My friends at provided me with a free kit which included a new toothbrush and roll of floss for each of my family members to try out. The clean teeth gods must have been looking out for me because the package of dental goodness arrived the day before we left for our overnight trip!

For just $1.00 per month, per person, ships a box of fresh, quality toothbrushes and floss to your home every quarter. Shipping is only $1.00 per person, but orders of three or more brushes ship for free!

You don’t have to think about when it’s time to get a new brush or count on the kids to tell you when you are out of floss, they just arrive. They offer four different packages including one for adults, one for youth and one for small children that each include an age-appropriate toothbrush and mint, waxed floss…plus a package for $2.00 a month that also includes a carbamide peroxide whitening gel with potassium nitrate (which helps eliminate sensitivity) that can be used with your own tray or one you can purchase separetely from them. By the way Still Living The Dream readers can purchase a whitening tray from for 25 percent off! Just use code “tray25″ when you check out. You can find the whitening trays online here.


We received GUM brand toothbrushes (all in different colors which makes it easy to know which one belongs to each of us) and 60 yards of minty floss.


Seeing my kids smile makes me happy. Knowing that because of I might have a chance at winning Mother of the Year (or at least regarding good oral hygiene!) NEXT year makes me feel like a better parent.

A Giveaway!

How would you like to win a Prize Package worth $107.00?! One, lucky Still Living The Dream reader will receive both a free annual FAB  membership (quarterly toothbrush and floss delivered to your door) AND a free annual FAB plus White4Life Membership (FAB’s professional grade whitening gel to be used in a custom whitening tray provided by you).

Entering is Easy!


1. Sign up for’s mailing list.


2. Visit FAB’s Pinterest page and repin an image for any one of the Smile Boards and include the #FABsmile hashtag and a description in your pin that explains why the image makes you smile. In order to enter you must sign up for the mailing list and share your photo link in the comments section of  this post. A winner will be chosen randomly on August 23, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. CST.

I received three regular FAB memberships as well as a FAB plus Whitening Gel Package in order to review for this post. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions (and clean teeth!) are my own.


Enjoy a Bug-Free Summer With A Prize Pack From Cutter (Giveaway)


Thank you Cutter for sponsoring this compensated post and giveaway!

I went to the park to drop off Annie for swim practice last night without spraying Cutter Insect Repellent on first.

Big. Mistake.

Seven mosquito bites in five minutes. At least someone loves me, right?!

Did you read my post from earlier this week about how we spent our (bug-free) Memorial Day Weekend thanks to Cutter?


A Giveaway!

Yup. Mosquitoes are definitely here in Houston. Are they bad where you live? Want to give them the heave-ho with products from Cutter…for free? I’ve got a great giveaway for you. A Cutter Prize Pack worth $55.00.

Here is what one, lucky Still Living The Dream reader will receive:

  1. Cutter Natural Personal Insect Repellent
  2. Cutter Dry Personal Insect Repellent
  3. Cutter Skinsations Personal Insect Repellent
  4. Cutter Unscented Backwoods Repellent
  5. 2 Cutter Backyard Bug Control Sprays
  6. 4 Cutter CitroGuardTM candles

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment stating why you hate mosquitoes. Easy-peasy! One person will be selected at random on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Want more chances? I get it. Mosquito bites stink and you want it to stop. Leave a separate comment for each additional thing you do below!

  1. Follow Still Living The Dream on Pinterest
  2. Follow Still Living The Dream on Twitter
  3. Like Still Living The Dream on Facebook
  4. Like Cutter on Facebook
  5. Follow Cutter on Pinterest
  6. Tweet this: “Mosquitoes bite. I want to win a Cutter Prize Pack so I can enjoy the summer outdoors, bug-free! @jpatrickcomm”

This post was sponsored by Cutter. While I received compensation and products to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 



Memorial Day Weekend Fun With Friends (but no bugs…thanks to Cutter!)


We were pretty busy last weekend and took full advantage of the three-day holiday by packing in lots of outdoor time with family and friends. Fun outside in Houston is great, but it can get hot and the spring/summer months also bring uninvited guests (bugs!) to events. Thank you to Cutter for sponsoring this compensated post and providing us with Cutter products to keep mosquitoes from ruining our plans!

StillLivingTheDream swim team collage with text

On Saturday Jackson and Annie participated in their second summer league swim meet. We love swim meets because in addition to the friendly competition and great exercise for the kids, we have the chance to set up tents and visit with friends. I’m not going to lie, Saturday morning meets start really EARLY and usually run about seven hours. In the outdoor Houston heat, it can be draining and since we are a volunteer organization, we all chip in to help with timing, running the concession stand, getting kids sorted at the ready bench, etc. BUT…it’s such a great time to gather with friends in the neighborhood and visit.

In between races, the kids toss around the football or frisbee, play on the playground and make bracelets. Adults get time to chat and catch up as life with young kids takes us in a million directions. In addition to plenty of sunscreen, we also made sure to spray everyone with Cutter Natural Personal Insect Repellent. It’s great for the entire family, especially young kids, because it contains all-natural ingredients including essential oil derived from geraniums proven to an effective alternative to DEET.

StillLivingTheDream mudrun adults

I ran the Original Mud Run 5k Saturday morning so I left the meet a little early. Nine parents decided it would be fun to give it a whirl and formed the “crazy mudders” team. I loved the idea because I’m always looking for ways to get more active and have fun doing it…especially if we can include the kids.

We worried that our plans were a bit over ambitious when we arrived and saw the course…but we jumped in head first (literally!) and ended up having so much fun. We helped each other up, around and over muddy obstacles that challenged us physically and mentally and although we got dirty, we had good, clean fun (except for a couple of bad words I may or may not have said trying to get over the 20 foot cargo net obstacle!)

StillLivingTheDream mudrun kids

The kids joined us later in the day for a shorter fun run just for them. Our lil’ crazy mudders were so cute…from our girls in first grade to the 5th and 6th grade boys…they all had a great time. We set up a couple of tents and hung out during and after the races. Thankfully it was overcast so the heat wasn’t too bad.

Since there was going to be a lot of standing water and obstacles in the woods, I made sure to bring along Cutter Unscented Backwoods Insect Repellant to keep mosquitoes at bay. Backwoods has DEET and works for up to 10 hours, which makes it good for prolonged activities. (After an outbreak of West Nile virus in Houston last year, we want to do whatever we can to protect ourselves.)

StillLivingTheDream BBQ party

After a full day of swim team and mud running, my kids (and me!) feel asleep early Saturday evening. Then on Sunday we went to a friend’s house for a pool party and BBQ. Debi had plenty of hot dogs and burgers and we all added to the buffet by bringing a side item. Cutter CitroGuard, EPA-registered citronella candles by the sitting areas and pool helped keep mosquitoes away so we could enjoy the night outside. Plus, they looked really pretty. I love the different decorative containers they come in and they make great hostess gifts for those outdoor events you attend this summer!

 StillLivingTheDream familypicnic

On Monday, we were all a bit tired and the kids weren’t feeling so well. I think the sun and water finally caught up with them. We let them hang out inside watching movies while Ed and I worked on the yard. We mowed, edged and trimmed and then followed up by covering Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray Concentrate over the lawn.

Mosquitoes seem to be really bad in our backyard. I’m trying to make sure we don’t have any standing water and to pre-treat the lawn before we spend time out back. Cutter Backyard Spray attaches to the hose and treats up to 5,000 square feet for mosquitoes, fleas, ticks for up to eight weeks.

Plus – mosquitoes just love me. I can be standing outside and get tons of bites and someone else standing by me won’t get any. Some say that those with fairer skin (I’m very light skinned) are more attractive to mosquitoes as well as those who give off more lactic acid and carbon dioxide. I don’t know what it is with me, but I was only out back for just a minute and got three bites before I sprayed myself with Cutter Skinsations Personal Insect Repellant. After that, nothing! I think this one is my favorite repellant from the line because it smells good and contains vitamin E and aloe to moisturize the skin.

In the evening when things got a little cooler (and the lawn was dry from the Cutter Backyard Spray) we let Buddy (our miniature dachshund) back outside to play, cooked hot dogs on the grill, steamed some snow crab and had a little picnic in the back before turning in early for the night. Just one more week of school and we’ll be ready to tackle more outdoor fun activities on our 2013 Family Summer Bucket List Challenge!

Check out Cutter on Facebook for more information about how to enjoy the outdoors bug-free this summer and check back with Still Living The Dream soon (hint: I’ll be giving away a huge Cutter prize pack just like I got!)

What outdoor fun have you and your family been up to? What do you have planned for the summer and how do you keep mosquitoes from crashing the party?

This post was sponsored by Cutter and while I received compensation and product for review, all thoughts and opinions (and extreme dislike for mosquitoes!) are my own. 


Floss Face: Keeping My Teeth and Gums Healthy With Oral-B


I participated in this sponsored campaign for One2One Network. I received monetary compensation and product to facilitate my post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Lately I’ve been paying more attention to good oral hygiene. Jackson gets his top braces off today…phase one of many (pricey!) treatments down the road to correct his bite/straighten his teeth. Monthly visits with him to his orthodontist have made me more aware of how just brushing in the morning and evening isn’t enough to take care of my teeth.

I should have had braces when I was young. I have a very crowded top row of teeth and if I don’t floss, food can get easily trapped in those tight spaces. I admit I’ve been a bit of slacker in the flossing department.

Until the last couple of weeks.

Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health Clinical renderings

Oral-B made it easy. They gave me a bottle of Scope Dual-Blast rinse, a package of Oral-B Glide Floss, Crest Complete Multi-Benefit toothpaste and a shiny, new Oral-B toothbrush. So I made a promise to myself that I would not only brush, but also floss AND rinse with mouthwash every day. It has been a big difference in how my mouth and teeth look and feel.

Not all floss is created equally and because of how close together some of my teeth are, some floss literally comes undone when I try to floss. Oral-B Glide Floss promises to slide 50 percent more easily than other leading brands which I found it to be true…no broken and frayed floss!

Now I carry a package of floss in my purse because when I’m out and about and have a meal, I want to make sure nothing is left behind and protect my teeth against cavities and bad breath. Because at my age, cavities usually lead to crowns which lead to even more expensive and painful and anxiety filled dentist visits.

 floss face

Check out my floss face. I don’t look glamourous but I’m stopping the cycle, ya’ll! Bonus – I’m setting a better example for my kids. Jackson actually asked me if he could borrow my mouthwash and floss last night. He asked me!!

Show Off YOUR Floss Face

Enter the Oral-B Floss Face Contest! Every first-time entrant gets a tote bag with Glide product (while supplies last …up to 5,000 units, so hurry, ya’ll!) and every two weeks from now until July 7, 2013, the Oral-B Glide Floss Face app will award a grand prize of one iPad.

Good teeth AND free stuff. Score!

Do you have problems with your teeth? What do you do to take better care of your teeth and gums?