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. 


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