Mom Knows Best : July 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Back To School Time Tips for High School Seniors

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

   Sponsored post: I received compensation from Groza Learning Center to facilitate this post.

  It is hard to believe that my middle son is going to be a senior this year. Time flies by so fast. This is my third time around with a senior in the house so I have learned plenty about helping them prepare for that last year of school. Even though most of the prep for college has happened in his junior year there is still plenty for my son to do. I am so thankful for the teachers who are helping my son to prepare him for what needs to be done in his senior year. I am also glad my son is very independent and will do all this work that is needed. With two younger kids at home, I don't have time, nor the desire to be a helicopter parent.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

 My son wants to attend the Navy Academy but also has other plans in place if he doesn't get in. I know my son has a good chance to get into the academy based on his grades. Proud mama brag time: My son is #1 one in his graduating class!  The competition is tough though so grades alone does not mean he will get into the academy. Now of days academy and colleges want to see a well-rounded student who also is into sports and other school activities. Even then, sometimes even that is not enough but it sure does help. I am glad my son has a portfolio that has many JRROTC and sports events in it as well as volunteer hours.

 Yes, you read that right, a senior needs to have a portfolio 
 A portfolio is very needed for all those college and scholarship applications.  Most people think that your junior year is the best time to fill out all those scholarship applications but there are still plenty to fill out in your senior year.

Take the ACT and SAT tests
 A senior can still take the ACT and SAT tests in their first semester of senior year. My son already took the test twice in his junior year but wants to try one more time to see if he can get a better score. A better score can mean getting into the academy or college of his choice. It can also get him some scholarship money.

Keep the grades up
 Most people tend to slide when it comes to grades in their senior year. That is a big mistake as colleges are still looking at those transcripts. My daughter was neck to neck with several people in her senior year when it came to grades. She became her high school valedictorian because the number one student got a D in a class.

Keep applying for scholarships
There are plenty of scholarships still out there. You can never apply to too much scholarship money. My daughter had a full ride scholarship when she went to college and the scholarship money that went to the college helped pay for her books.

It is never too late to get better grades
 Good grades in your senior year can still help you get into college. There are plenty of prep places and Learning Centers that can help seniors prepare for college.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Have fun
Enjoy your last year of high school. School does not have to be all work and no fun but the smart person is able to balance work and fun. Some kids like to attend the senior prom and while for others it just may not be for them. My son's JRROTC unit has a big ball every year to celebrate their hard work. It brings me such joy to see these high school kids dress up in long gowns and fancy uniforms. It will be bitter sweet to see my son attend this ball and then graduate. My youngest are nine and ten so it will be a while until they graduate from high school.

Do you have any tips for high school seniors?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Liam, the son of Josh Hansen the General Manager of the Dion’s on High Resort Blvd. in Rio Rancho was diagnosed with Leukemia in April. When Liam was diagnosed, many Dion’s employees gathered to support the Hansen Family. When Hansen was asked how Dion’s could help, he said his family wanted to give back to the Children’s Cancer Fund of NM by collecting toys to donate.

 Hansen said, “We were first introduced to CCFNM during our initial stay in the hospital when Liam was diagnosed. Part of its mission is to provide a reward for children while they battle their cancer treatments. Liam’s weekly visits to the hospital are difficult, scary, and emotionally draining for him. He looks forward to stopping by the CCFNM Toy Closet after each visit. Receiving a small toy or prize always puts a big smile on his face and it helps him get through his treatments. CCFNM also brings toys to Liam’s two older sisters, making them feel included.”

 Mark Herman, CEO of Dion’s, said, “Josh has been with Dion’s for over 16 years. His family is our family and we want to help however we can.” Dion’s is helping the Hansen family to collect toys to be donated in Liam’s name to the CCFNM Toy Closet. “Some of the toys that Liam has enjoyed
receiving have been toy cars and action figures. If you are able to donate, please remember toys for little boys as well as little girls who are battling cancer, and prizes or gift cards for teens,” said Hansen.

Small toys and gift cards are being collected at the Dion’s Home Office at 8525 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113. Donations will be accepted starting Wednesday, July 26, 2017, through the end of September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

About Dion’s
 Dion’s is known for its tasty pizza and world famous Ranch dressing, as well as providing opportunities for its employees and communities to flourish. Two years in a row it has been ranked as a top-five quick-service restaurant in the nation based on overall experience by Sandelman and Associates. Dion’s was founded in 1978 by Jon Patten and Bill Scott in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 39 years, the company has grown to 23 stores and 1,600 employees in three states. For more information, visit or call 505-858-1010

Twitter: @dionspizza or Instagram:

Gravity Park Is For Great Family Fun

My family and I had a blast at this awesome extreme recreation trampoline park!

     My kids and I love to visit Gravity Park. This is a cool family fun place in Albuquerque that has tons of trampolines, foam pits, and other fun things for the whole family. Did you know that jumping on a trampoline for an hour can burn up to 1000 calories! 

Sponsored Post: My family was invited to have fun in exchange for this post. 

  When I visit this fun jumping place I get some crazy fun exercise. Usually, the younger boys and I go by ourselves but today the whole family went to have fun jumping. Even my husband got in some exercise and he hates exercising. My husband just could not resist having fun jumping on trampolines.

My teen, I think had the most fun! He was determined to jump high enough so he could touch the yellow and white punching bag. That boy sure does have way too much energy. 
Did I tell you that Gravity Park is a great place for kids to burn off that energy and get some awesome exercise?

          After many tries, the teen finally jumped high enough to touch the punching bag!

There is way more than jumping at this family sports place! My youngest son really enjoyed all extreme air sports. This area of the place looked like one of those obstacles shows that my boys like to watch on TV.  Check out all the photos of my youngest son having fun. My other younger son was being camera shy.

      My son loved that there were a swinging trapeze and a fun foam pit to fall into too.

You can even get some climbing into your workout.

My son is trying out these fabric swings. 

If jumping is not your thing or you need to rest there are plenty of places to get comfy.

                These chairs are just too cool. I need a set of these hands in my house.

Here is a view of the room with all the extreme air sports. This place even has a basket ball court. How is that for fun, jumping on a trampoline while trying to shoot baskets.

I wish this place was closer to my house as I would take this fun fitness class that they offer. I could see myself joining in on this class several times a week as jumping is so fun. It is also a great whole body workout. If you want to see more videos and pictures of Gravity Park then visit the below link.

Would you like to have some fun jumping and getting a great workout? Then visit the below link to see if there is an extreme jumping place near you.


The Leading Innovator in Adrenaline....

Our booming network of extreme recreation parks serves up adrenaline-filled, shareable experiences that challenge action seekers with the massive thrills of aerial sports. Meticulous location scouting, smart management, and continual innovation have led to the successful development of more than 80 parks spanning the U.S., Asia, and Europe, making us the biggest developer and operator of extreme recreation parks in the world.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Took The Deodorant Detox Challenge

                             I stopped wearing deodorant and I was amazed at how I smelled.

  I no longer wear deodorant. Last year I decided to not use any deodorant and it has been a good thing. Now before you start thinking that I must be super smelly and what was I thinking. Well, I did give up mainstream deodorant but I started using an organic natural deodorant, so technically I did not stop using deodorant. I just gave up the chemicals and other toxic ingredients that are in mainstream deodorant products and decided to take The Deodorant Detox Challenge.

So why did I make the switch?
Well, I was worried about putting ingredients like aluminum and phthalates onto my underarms. I had learned recently that these toxic ingredients just don’t sit on my skin but are actually absorbed into my body.  I recently read that if you rub a garlic clove on the bottom of your foot that in a while you will be able to taste the garlic. What an amazing way to see how your skin absorbs things and how they get into your body.

Sponsored post: I receive samples from EO  and Treets to facilitate this post.

Was I concerned about body odor when using organic deodorant? 
 Well, I was a bit hesitant to give up something that made me smell good and stopped me from sweating. Especially knowing that there could be a transition period (up to 30 days) where body odor can actually increase. I also knew that I was trying to get chemicals out of my life and I had to start making these switches. So I took the plunge and decided to try EO Organic Deodorant.

Did I stink?
  I started my day with the great citrus scent from the organic deodorant on my armpits. I then went out running and did the smell test. I noticed a bit of body odor but also some citrus scent. So I just sprayed for of the awesome scented EO Clean Citrus Deodorant and all was good. Throughout the day I did the smell test, trying hard not to be noticed and just reapplied the citrus spray if needed. On most days of the 30-day Deodorant Detox Challenge, I mostly just reapplied the spray after running and I was fine with that as I was already changing my clothes.  As I was two weeks into the challenge, I noticed that I was less stinky after running and did not need to reapply the EO spray, ok a couple times I forgot to. When I did the smell test later in the late, I did not have any body odor. 
 Did you know that the cause of body odor is basically bacteria?   
 When we sweat, the bacteria living on our skin breaks the moisture down into acids and can result in unpleasant odor.  It’s important to remember this when choosing your natural deodorant. An ingredient like alcohol, the main ingredient in EO Deodorant Sprays and Wipes, is effective against the main source of body odor: bacteria.
Check out this article to learn more:

So will I continue to use organic deodorant? 
I sure will continue to use EO Organic Deodorant as it has a nice citrus scent, it also comes in other scents like lavender. I don't mind having to respray the deodorant after running as I am putting fewer chemicals into my body. For now, I have not had the need to reapply later in the day but EO makes these awesome Natural Deodorant Wipes that I can put into my purse to use if needed. I will be taking some of these wipes with me when I go to a fitness conference later this month. 

Want to know more about The Deodorant Detox Challenge?
I found a lot of useful information about switching to organic deodorant at the EO website that helped me to understand the process and it answered a lot of my questions. EO also sells an amazing kit so you can arm yourself with all the supplies that you need to take the challenge. So if you want to stop putting chemicals into your body, then you really must check the website.

Wondering about that other blue container on my shelf?

It is an invigorating scented foaming shower gel and it makes my shower so fun. I just love the way it foams up, my son calls it expanding soap. This shower gel just a great job of moisturizing my skin and I just love the passion fruit scent! This line of products contains natural ingredients too.

The Energising Secrets collection was inspired by natural ingredients from the Amazon that invigorate the senses with their fresh and fruity fragrances. Ingredients like Tamanu, Buriti, Passion Fruit, and Sacha Inchi oil are included to help moisturize and protect skin with the same natural ingredients women have been using in the humid Amazon environment for centuries. This collection includes Foaming Shower Gel, Shower Gel, Body Sugar Scrub, Body Cream, Bath Fizzers, Hand Wash, Hand Lotion, and Hand Cream.

So will you give up deodorant?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Listerine Back to College Savings at Target!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and LISTERINE. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToBold #CollectiveBias”

 College brings lots of new adventures and fun--so as a mom, you want to prepare your kids with all the tools they need to take the school year by storm. With LISTERINE® in their back to school lineup, your kids can face 8 a.m. classes, late-night studying, new crushes, and even the world with the confidence to let their inner boldness shine!

 Send your college kid back to school with fresh breath and a healthy, clean mouth without the intensity, thanks to LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE and LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE ZERO from Target. Use LISTERINE® to take on the new school year with confidence!

Stock up and save!

Offer: From 6/29/17-9/9/17, Buy 3, get a $5 Target Gift Card. The offer is available in-store and online.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Free Kraft Snack Trios

Free Kraft Snack Trios Receive ONE (1) FREE Kraft Snack Trios, any variety (1.5 oz). Available in most stores.

Exp 08/06/2017

This Friday, July 21st, 2017– ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for  Free Kraft Snack Trios 
Although 07/21/2017 is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 08/6/2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Working Out In a Gym VS Exercising Outdoors

  I so love running outdoors and never thought that I would join a gym. When the opportunity came through my husband’s work to join a gym for free, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity.  I loved this opportunity so much that I joined three gyms, hey they were all free. Each gym had different perks so that is why I joined three. One gym was close to my house, only a ½ a mile away and was open 24/7 but was small and did not have many different machines. The gym that I really loved was 10 miles from the house but was huge and had a pool and hot tub. The other gym was three miles away and had plenty of different machines, the truth is, I joined this one as they offered pizza and bagels a couple times a month as well as free haircuts. My teen likes to compare me to a New Year gym sign up person and he might just be correct.  Right now my attendance to the gym in the past 2 weeks has only been three times.  I guess I am so used to running outdoors that it is going to take some time for me to take advantage of the benefits of working out in the gym.

  The one thing that I do before working out in a gym or outdoors is to grab a healthy snack so my body has the energy it needs. I am all about getting extra nutrition in my body and my favorite snack lately is Good Green Snack Bar. This gorgeous green bar has lots of vitamins and minerals added along with some fiber and protein. It may be green, that’s from the nutritious ingredients like wheat grass, spirulina, and broccoli, but it tastes delicious! This bar is my Nutritional Insurance and  Athletic Performance support all in a tasty snack bar. I like to stash a few of these yummy green bars in my purse for snacks when I am on the go.

So what do I like about the gym?
 I like that the machines work different parts of my body. My arms need some toning as running outdoors is great for my legs but not those “Bingo” arms that my teenager says I have. So when I am at the gym there are a couple of machines that have me moving my arms and legs. I can also feel the machines in my abs so that might help with my "spare tire". I also like using the kettlebells after working out to help further tone my arms. The gym is also air conditioned so I can work out any time during the day in the summer.

What do I not like about the gym
I tend to not get a good fast workout on the machines as I get distracted by the TV screens and they slow me down. I am still learning the programming of the machines so I need to up the intensity on them. I also get bored on the machines and watch the clock, I can only look out the window for so long.

What do I like about running outdoors?
 With running I feel I get a better workout as I have a hurry up and get it done attitude. I have a couple of routes that give me four miles of running so I run fast to get to the point of my turn around. Then I have to always run back to get home. I also get lots of wonderful changing views when I run like seeing hot air balloons in the sky or a rabbit running past me.

What do I not like about running outdoors?
I have to get up early in the summertime to beat the heat, I am not a morning person. In the winter I have to wear more clothes in order to run outside, I like running in shorts. Then there is the bathroom problem. If I don't time my running right and I have to go potty, there are no bathrooms outside.

    So as you can see there are pros and cons to each way of exercising. I am just happy that I have both options available to me. Now I just have to figure out a schedule to combine both the gym and my running so I can get the benefits of both. Visiting the gym has inspired me to do some arm work at home. I bought a balance board and found my old weights. So now I do a couple of minutes of standing on my balance board along with some arm exercises. The weights that I have are only 3 pounds so I need to get some 5 and 10-pound kettlebells.

All this talk about working out has made me tired. I need a coffee break.

  To get your hands on these delicious Nuzest Good Green Snack Bars just click HERE. Use code momknowsbest at checkout and save 15% off your purchase.

Nuzest also has an awesome giveaway for the month of July. Five people will win a wonderful prize package that includes Good Green Snack Bars and other goodies. Click HERE for more details on how you can enter the giveaway.

Friday, July 14, 2017

FREE Quaker® Overnight Oats

FREE Quaker® Overnight Oats Receive ONE (1) FREE Quaker® Overnight Oats, any variety (2.18-2.57 oz.). Available in most stores.

Exp 07/30/2017

This Friday, July 14th, 2017– ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for FREE Quaker® Overnight Oats
Although 07/14/2017 is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 07/21/2017

I Joined The “no-poo” Movement

    I recently joined the “no-poo” movement.  No, it has nothing to do with the potty as my boys would like to think that I was potty talking.  The “no-poo” movement instead has to do with co-washing, which is short for “conditioner washing” or cleansing your hair with just conditioner.  This co-washing movement has taken the beauty industry by storm and I decided it was time for me to join in on the “no-poo” movement. My dry hair could sure benefit from just using conditioner only.

 Did you know that some shampoos can be drying? 

Maybe that is why I have to use lots of conditioner after washing my hair with shampoo.

Sponsored post: I received samples from Wen to facilitate this post.

My hair lately has been dry and frizzy, so I wanted to see if just conditioner washing could help.  Having a Cleansing Conditioner that smelled like fresh peaches was all I needed to try this “no-poo” movement. So I stepped into my shower and wet my hair. Then I massaged some Wen Summer Honey Peach Cleansing Conditioner into my hair. I had to remind myself that no lather was ok. It was different to clean my hair without lather or suds but when you wash without conditioner that it how it is. The peach scent was amazing- so fruity. I was craving a slice of peach pie. I got to savor the peach scent while I washed the rest of my body. Then I rinsed the cleansing condition off my hair. When I got out of my shower my hair still had an amazing peach scent.  I just had to know what was in this amazing smelling cleansing conditioner, so I read the bottle. This peach scented product has amino and tea complexes in it along with peach and apricot extracts. The bottle said it could be used on all types of hair too. 

Did you know that most conditioners have a small amount of gentle cleansers in them? 

In the summer time I usually let my hair dry naturally but when I do use a blow dryer, I will apply some type of styling cream. Wen has many other types of hair products including styling cream. The Wen Summer Coconut Lime Verbena Styling Cream also had a nice fruity scent to it. I decided to apply this styling cream as I wanted to blow dry my hair because I had to go somewhere and did not have time to let it dry naturally. I love that the Wen Styling cream protects my hair from the heat of the blow dryer and helps tame that frizz that I get from the blow dryer. My hair felt so soft! Who knew that co-washing could give my hair such great results.  I just can’t stop running my fingers through my hair.

Do you want to join the “no-poo” movement? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Homemade Galaxy Slime

                The color of this non-toxic slime is so pretty.

 Summer is here and I am always looking for craft ideas to keep the boys busy. While looking online for a craft idea, I came across this awesome recipe for Galaxy Slime over at Gina Michele. I really like her recipe as it does not have Borax in it and that means my sensitive skin son can play with it. My boy's really liked that Gina Michele's recipe used glitter glue to give it a cool look and color without food dye. The last batch of slime that we attempted to make used food coloring and it stained my boy's hands blue.

  I had to make a run to the store to get the glitter glue and the contact solution. I was very happy that those ingredients cost less than $5.00. I chose a pretty blue color of glitter glue.

Then the fun began and I let the boys make the Galaxy Slime. The boys enjoyed creating this sparkly goo of slime. I love that the glitter stays in the slime and does not get all over the house! This recipe made a nice stretchy slime and the blue sparkle just begged me to play with the slime. It was so fun and a bit messy for the boys to make the slime, thank goodness we have soap and water. So I sent the boys to the sink to wash their hands with the new Softsoap® Hand Wash Plus Lotion™ liquid hand soap that I just received the other day. This soap is so gentle on my skin and makes them feel so soft. These Soft Soaps have lotion in them so they feel so silky. The Orchid & Coconut Milk is my favorite as it smells so good! This soap also has other scents like Aloe Water & Lime and Shea & Cocoa Butter.

               Sponsored post: I was sent samples of soap to facilitate this post. #SoftsoapTouch

Homemade Galaxy Slime
Supplies needed:
4 oz Glitter school glue, I used blue
1/2 Tablespoon Baking soda
1 Tablespoons Contact lens solution
Container or bowl
Old spoon (that you no longer use for food)

This makes one small ball of slime.

1. Pour all of the glue into the container. My glitter glue came in 3 oz, so I had to add 1 oz of white school glue.
2. Add the baking soda and stir
3. Add the contact lens solution.
4. Scoop the slime out of the bowl and start molding it with your hands. If it feels too sticky, add another spoonful of contact lens solution.

 After the boys played with the colored slime, I sent them off to wash their hands. I am also happy that my youngest son did not get any rashes on his hands from the slime.

                                Hand washing is always a good thing after playing with slime.

Washing your hands not only gets the dirt off but it also takes care of germs. I make my boys wash their hands a lot so I am glad that Softsoap has lotion in it to keep their hands moisturized.

Make sure to store the Galaxy slime in a zipper plastic bag so it does not dry out. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Giveaway~Coconut Apricot Vanilla Smoothie

Apricots are in season!

  I like to start my morning with a high protein smoothie as protein is good to have after running.  I started this smoothie craze two years ago and have seen my body transform in a good way. Over these two years, my body has become more tone and I really think adding more protein to my diet has helped. I don’t eat meat so I think my body was lacking the protein that it needed to form my muscles. I just did not realize that as a runner, my body needed more protein.  To think that all I needed to do to tone my arms and my belly was to add more protein to my diet. To get the protein that my body needs, I use a protein powder that contains 15-20 grams of protein in my morning smoothie. That may seem like a lot of protein but I don’t eat meat and I am a runner.  An average person needs 40 -50 grams of protein a day.

   I recently discovered fermented protein powder and I liked what I discovered. I learned that fermented protein powder is better absorbed by my body and is easier to digest. I liked the sound of that! I prefer plant based protein powder and fermented plant based protein not only means no bloating but also helps with the growth of friendly bacteria. So that means I get a happy gut when I make my protein smoothie from fermented protein powder.

Genuine Health makes a delicious ferment plant based protein powder that makes my Coconut Apricot Vanilla Smoothie taste so good. My friend has an apricot tree and it had tons of fruit on it. So she invited me to pick all I could use. I now have three big bags of frozen apricots in my freezer. So I think I will be enjoying this delicious apricot smoothie for a while. Apricots make a great substitute for mangos in smoothies.

         Sponsored post: I received samples from Genuine Health to facilitate this post.

Genuine Health also makes delicious fermented protein bars and a Coconut Crème Greek Yogurt protein powder. The bars make for awesome on the go snack bars. Click on the below links for more information and where to buy Genuine Health products.

Isn't this the cutest sample of protein?

Coconut Apricot Vanilla Smoothie
8 fresh apricots, remove the pits
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop Genuine Health fermented protein powder, vanilla flavor
2 tablespoons shredded coconut flakes
6 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high for 2 minutes

 Want to win a container of Genuine Health fermented protein powder? Then enter this giveaway for a chance to win!

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depend on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Void where prohibited

Mom knows best