5.22.2016

America the Beautiful: Hotel Savings for Summer Travel for National Park's 100-Year Anniversary

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016.  Now is the perfect time to plan your summer getaway to one of America's National Park.

National Parks turn 100 in August 2016
 
Many hotels are putting packages together that make it easier for you to plan. Hotels.com debuted the America the Beautiful section this month. It is a great guide and I encourage you to browse through it for planning. I don't have plans this summer to travel to a National Park, but I did book a hotel on hotel.com this weekend for an Asheville, N,C visit for July, and it was an incredible saving. Incredible. The hotel room was going for $777 per night, and I snagged it for about $280 per night. Same type room. Same hotel. It pays to search.

300x250 - National Park Lodging


This booking site is good for all budgets, and I think they have designed this section to put you closest to the park entrance, depending on the park you want to visit.

I had fun looking at Jackson Hole. The Four Seasons Resort there is currently going for $2,700 per night for a two-bedroom.  As Will would say, "Dream on, baby!"

Four Seasons in  Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole/Hotels.com site

Let's get that price down a little bit, shall we. Based on six other properties that were over $600 a night, I think the Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa-A Noble House Resort is a great snag at $489 per night on Hotels.com.

Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa in Jackson Hole, Wy


Guys, I'm trying hard to get your budget down. The Alpenhof Inn is just over $300 on hotels.com. It had me with its Austrian look. This is cute.  I'm linking the hotel website,  too so you can learn more. I have to say I love the character of this, but of course, you all know I'm smitten with Europe.

Alpenhof Inn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming -European Luxury


I find that sites like Hotels.com or Tripadvisor help me see what is in the area. Researching an area is half the fun.

If you go to a park this summer, let me know. If you want to go to  Asheville, N.C, I definitely suggest checking out Hotels.com on my site because the deals are hotter right now than what is on hotel websites.

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

We invite bloggers to our community to share their best posts to inspire our readers to read, eat, create, live and blog well. The linkup is open all week long so bloggers can celebrate the best of their blogs anytime!

Ways You Can Follow Your Hosts:

Your Small Victories Sunday Linkup Hosts: Mom's Small Victories, Sunshine and Sippy Cups, The Mad Mommy, Frugal & Coupon Crazy, Keystrokes by Kimberly, Tidbits of Experience, Hines-Sight Blog, Daily Momtivity, Oh My Heartsie Girl, O Taste and See, and One Hoolie Mama

Echo from The Mad Mommy (family/parenting, humor)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Gail from Frugal & Coupon Crazy (saving money) | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Google + Tanya from Mom's Small Victories (books, food, chronic illness)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly (lifestyle, travel, entertainment) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Crystal from Tidbits of Experience (family, entertainment, books) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Leigh from Hines-Sight Blog (lifestyle, food, travel) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Shannon from Daily Momtivity (parenting/kid-friendly fun/DIY) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ Meagan from Sunshine and Sippy Cups (lifestyle) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Karren from Oh My Heartsie Girl (food, crafts/DIY, blogging tips)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Danita from O Taste and See Blog (food) |Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Google + Michelle from Divas with a Purpose (inspiration, lifestyle and entrepreneurship) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Suzanna from One Hoolie Mama (family, recipes, fitness)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Featured Bloggers

Congratulations to this week's Featured Bloggers as chosen by our readers. Here are the top 6 most read posts from last week:
  
Watergate Salad by O Taste and See 
Muffin Tin Meals by Daily Momtivity
Moist Marble Banana Cake by Treat-n-Trick
9 Twitter Tips for Beginners, Part 2 by The Professional Mom Project

* Follow your hosts. * Grab the Small Victories Sunday button and place it in your sidebar or the post you are linking up * Share up to 3 of your favorite blog posts you want to share. Enter your link below and let’s celebrate our small victories together! Please refrain from linking up posts with mature themes like erotica, new adult or offensive language. * Please comment on 2 posts for every link you enter. This linkup only works if we support one another, your visits are crucial to encourage fellow participants as you want to be encouraged too. * By linking up, you are giving the hosts permission to share your post and post images on their social media pages and our Featured Blogger collage. * By linking up, you are giving the hosts permission to email you notifications when the linkup is open. Your email addresses are not shared and you can unsubscribe to emails at any time. *
Add and read other posts  LINK HERE:


Disclosure: I am an affiliate partner with Hotels.com. Any hotel stays purchased will result in a small commission. Opinons about the hotels are my own.  Thank you for supporting the HinesSightBlog. 

5.17.2016

Southern Parenting Tale: I think we're in a Family Crisis.That's what I would tell Myself, anyway!

Before my second child was born, I had things together pretty well. Dinners were on the table by 6:30 p.m. Jack was in bed at 7:30 p.m, at the latest. I was in bed by 10 p.m. Yeah, there were a few years that he woke up with nightmares every night straight for a year, but other than that small fact, it was pretty much easy street. I didn't think that though.

Of course, if someone told me this was the easy street  phase back in the year 2007, I'm pretty sure my response would be something like "You don't know the "bleepity bleep" what you are talking about. This is hard."

Source Pinterest. Credit: http://curiano.com/post/83399381423/live-life-quote


After Liza was born, things got a little more tricky as Jack entered elementary school. Dinner crept a little later. Bedtimes also got a little later. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad.  I think I would call it mediocre street now.

However, if someone told me it was mediocre street in 2012, I would have shot daggers from my eyes.  Going from preschool years to having Cub Scouts one night a week was hard at the time because it was new.

In 2016, there is no doubt in my mind that we are in a "bleepity bleep" family crisis. Both kids are in elementary school now. They get home at 4:30 p.m. Neither one wants to touch a homework assignment as soon as they walk in the door. They want to eat every snack I have in the pantry and veg in front of You Tube. I so miss "Jessie" and "Witches of Waverly Place".  Shows that I complained at the time were too old for them. Now, I just get some English guy with a gazillion You Tube followers who plays video games for a living and children watch what he does in awe. I don't get. I just don't get it. It's a slow sign that I'm aging and turning into my mother. She never got why people wore thong underwear. I don't get YouTube.

As my children have aged, extra-curricular opportunities have surfaced. I am finding myself leaving our home at 5:30 people for karate twice a week and dance twice a week. One night we have Scouts at 7 p.m.

These activities are not things I force on my children, but I do think it's better than sitting at home watching a grown up on You Tube playing games. We now have martial arts twice a week at 5:45 p.m.  My son is thriving. He loves it. It's awesome to see a child who really just wanted to play Minecraft and computer coding now doing push ups, sit ups, kicks and doing it all with a smile on his face. He never complains to go and is always ready to go.  Liza loves dance class, too.  She wanted to learn to do a cartwheel so we added ACRO for a short time period which added an extra day of dance and craziness to the mix.

Source: Pinterest

You get the idea here. With all of these extra things, dinner gets later. Bedtime gets later. I get grumpier. Homework gets later once they finally reveal that they do, in fact, have homework.

My bedtime gets later. Later bedtimes means no one wants to get moving the next day. We are slow. Sloths could beat us to school. We try to accomplish way too much in a short amount of time in the morning, and honestly, I'm just one stoplight away from road rage as I rush to beat the carpool line closing.

This is the new norm and I don't think it's just me. If I talk to other moms they can fill in the blank that they have  piano, soccer, baseball, church, or gymnastics on any given night for their kids.

No parenting doesn't get easier. It gets more challenging and busier.

New parents tell themselves that things will get easier when they get through the clingy days and sleepless nights. Folks, it does not get less hard as children age.  It just gets harder in a different way. Yes, I can pee alone now most days, but I have no time to get dinner on the table due to my new job as chauffeur. It may get easier when they are out of college, but I can promise you that you will still worry about them even if they have a family of their own. Life may slow down for you, but there will also be new worries and challenges.

It's now my goal to tackle this frenzy lifestyle and do it much better this upcoming school year. I'm next year's PTA president. I can't have the Principal and staff always seeing my station wagon with fighting kids fly over speed bumps to get to the carpool doors before they close them to late parents. On a daily basis, I'm just this close to running over the "Stop, Get Out the Car. You are TARDY" sign as we finish the last 20 days of the school year.

Source: Pinterest


I know I'm not alone. In the past semester, as I've been in this stage, I've stopped in Moe's, Jersey Mike's, Chic-Fil-A...for dinner because I haven't planned meals after these classes. I know I'm not alone.  Tables are filled with American families with children over the age of six. Eating out several times a week is just not smart. It's tough on the pocketbook. It's also  not good for the waistline. Mine.

I think I have a solution. In the winter, I tried HelloFresh.com with a free trial for one week.  I really liked it. I liked it a lot, actually. Jack loved it and begged me to sign up. He loved every meal and raved about the service.  But,in Jaunary, we were busy just one night a week after school, NOT FOUR.  I thought HelloFresh was maybe too much of a luxury for us and I questioned the $100 weekly expense.  I wondered, "Do we really need this?" Do we need it now? Yes, I think we do. I'm signing up today.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver develops many of of the recipes for the boxes. Each box comes with portions and ingredients measured out. There is ZERO waste. Some times, you get leftovers off a meal to eat again. I tried three recipes, and it's been so long now and I'm so frazzled that I have forgotten them by their official names,  but I am pretty certain that Chicken Milanese was one of the meals after going through the archives today.

Courtesy:  HelloFresh

I also remember this entree. Tuscan Sausage Linguine. It was so good that I told myself that I should recreate it one day. I tell myself I should do a lot of things, but yet I never do them. Sadly, I've not recreated this meal either, even though it was one of my favorites.

Courtesy: HelloFresh

The third meal was a chili. Of course, Will thinks no chili on this earth is better than his. I am going to give him some bragging rights, but this chili was good. I enjoyed it.

Courtesy: HelloFresh


Liza was hit and miss on some of the meals, but it scored a home run with Jack. He liked every one. And if we must be truthful, Jack doesn't like a lot of things I cook so for him to love this then that is really good.

I think if I supplement the week with these meals and then plan on my Papa Spud's produce delivery to serve with chicken or fish one night then I will be in a better place, at least in the kitchen. I may need to serve dinner earlier like at 5 pm a few night a week.  Sounds crazy, but it may be a good option. HelloFresh prides itself on working with farmers for the best ingredients.

The HelloFresh box comes in the mail with lots of ice packs. There is a little bit of waste there or extra garbage, but if it helps us get our sanity back, it will be worth it.  I'm going to sign up for the family box. It is three meals a week for $105 with free shipping. I think it is my family crisis solution.

If you are in family crisis mode like me, HelloFresh created a code just for my readers to get $35 dollars off your first box. Use Hines35 at checkout. They'll know I sent you.

Disclosure: I tried HelloFresh in January  for a one week delivery with three meals for free. I've thought about the site now for three months and have decided that I'm going to become a customer. No other compensation, partnership or incentive influenced my decision. I'll keep you posted. 




5.15.2016

The 4-minute oversized lunch for those who like big portions, but need to watch weight

My biggest problem when I try to drop pounds is portion control. I like big portions I cannot deny. It is a Leigh issue and one I must tackle and face.  I can't eat just one slice of pizza. I want four. I don't want one sandwich at home. I want two. I don't want just half a sandwich when I'm out. I want the whole thing.  I've been like this my whole life. When I was a child, I would eat a whole can of biscuits. Back then, it did not matter. I was so skinny that I needed to eat two cans.  In my 20s, I would eat half a pizza plus a beer and it would not impact me one bit.I also lifted 50 pounds of TV equipment in and out of a car about five times daily.

In my late-40s, a bigger portion is my enemy. I cannot keep those habits. Maintaining a healthy weight has become an issue for me. Realistically, I would like to lose ten pounds.

Quick and Easy Healthy Lunch

Now that fresh produce is in abundance, I've come up with a lunch that is big and satisfying.  You can tailor this to what you like, but I use a very large pasta bowl as the bowl for this salad.

It takes less than 4-minutes to chop and put this salad together. I love it.  I also stay full most of the day.

1 large cucumber (quartered so it makes a lot of slices or chunks and fills the bowl)
1 large slicing tomato
Half a red onion, sweet onion or green onions (whatever you have)
Half of an avocado
Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, 1 tsp of olive oil and 4 to 5 drops of Lime Vitality Culinary Essential Oil (You can also use the juice of one or two fresh limes).
Toss your salad.
Sprinkle with Feta Cheese.
Enjoy.  I love this.

Easy lunch with fresh produce


I've been using the Lime Vitality Culinary Essential Oil because it's easy, I like it, and I've been a Young Living member for a year which is where I buy the product. This culinary line is new with the company and debuted earlier this year. Per FTC guidelines, I must disclose that as a Young Living Member and if you purchased the oil from this site, I would make about $1.80 in commission. If a miracle happened and 500 people bought Lime Vitality Culinary Essential Oil, I guess that would be a bigger deal in terms of revenue and why bloggers need to disclose so you can weigh our opinions to make sure we are not influenced by revenue. Commission like this is available to all members who use Young Living products and is not exclusive to me or this blog. If you want to know more about the company, I will be happy to tell you more for your information.  We have a facebook group where we share how we live a healthier lifestyle and bounce ideas off of each other. I do not share what I use with Young Living with the sole purpose to make a commission. I am sharing my lifestyle and what I use, and honestly, I consider this  post editorial, but under FTC guidelines, this disclosure needs to be shared. We fall under different rules than magazines and newspapers. 

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Small Victories Sunday Linkup reflects on the small victories of the week that passed and look forward to the week ahead. We invite bloggers to our community to share their best posts to inspire our readers to read, eat, create, live and blog well. The linkup is open all week long so bloggers can celebrate the best of their blogs anytime!

Your Small Victories Sunday Linkup Hosts: Mom's Small Victories, Sunshine and Sippy Cups, The Mad Mommy, Frugal & Coupon Crazy, Keystrokes by Kimberly, Tidbits of Experience, Hines-Sight Blog, Daily Momtivity, Oh My Heartsie Girl, O Taste and See, and One Hoolie Mama

Echo from The Mad Mommy (family/parenting, humor)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Gail from Frugal & Coupon Crazy (saving money) | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Google + Tanya from Mom's Small Victories (books, food, chronic illness)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly (lifestyle, travel, entertainment) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Crystal from Tidbits of Experience (family, entertainment, books) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Leigh from Hines-Sight Blog (lifestyle, food, travel) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Shannon from Daily Momtivity (parenting/kid-friendly fun/DIY) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ Meagan from Sunshine and Sippy Cups (lifestyle) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google + Karren from Oh My Heartsie Girl (food, crafts/DIY, blogging tips)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Danita from O Taste and See Blog (food) |Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Google + Michelle from Divas with a Purpose (inspiration, lifestyle and entrepreneurship) | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Suzanna from One Hoolie Mama (family, recipes, fitness)| Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Featured Bloggers

Congratulations to this week's Featured Bloggers as chosen by our readers. Here are the top 6 most read posts from last week:

The Year of the Counter Offer by Savvy Working Gal
Hey, It's OK...May by The Mad Mommy
How to Improve Sleeping Patterns by Tidbits of Experience
April: What I Read by Simply Save

* Follow your hosts. * Grab the Small Victories Sunday button and place it in your sidebar or the post you are linking up * Share up to 3 of your favorite blog posts you want to share. Enter your link below and let’s celebrate our small victories together!  * Please comment on 2 posts for every link you enter. This linkup only works if we support one another, your visits are crucial to encourage fellow participants as you want to be encouraged too. * By linking up, you are giving the hosts permission to share your post and post images on their social media pages and our Featured Blogger collage. * By linking up, you are giving the hosts permission to email you notifications when the linkup is open. Your email addresses are not shared and you can unsubscribe to emails at any time. * Stop by our Small Victories Sunday Linkup Board on Pinterest and like and repin the posts to your boards. * Spread the word! The more you share about the linky, the more visitors you will get to your content too. Please use the #SmallVictoriesSundaylinkup hashtag so we can find your posts and share them too!
We have over 6,000 pins on our Small Victories Sunday Linkup Board. Be sure to follow our board and repin your favorite posts to your Pinterest account!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...