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Detoxing and Dry Brushing

Yesterday, I confessed that I am 10% hippie and love OP.  Today’s post is along the same vein.  Over the years I’ve learned to love a good cleansing detox in addition to regular exercise.  I’ve been married for almost 9 years and in that time I’ve had a few weight fluctuations.  The first one was stress and “love pounds” during the first year of marriage, then again with each kid.  I never feel comfortable when I’m carrying some extra weight around.  It’s about that time that I start to look for ways to kick start my weight loss.  The first time I did this was a super unhealthy situation when I was trying to drop a few LBs (like 3) before my big wedding day.  I totally did that “Hollywood Miracle Diet” drink, you basically dilute some disgusting (most likely toxic) juice with water and drink it for a few days.  It was terrible and unhealthy.  I do not condone or promote it.  And have never done it since.

While working as a wedding planner at an awesome facility, I started to learn all about raw eating, juicing, and why one needs to eat to live and not live to eat.  This is also where my love affair with wheatgrass shots began; liquid sunshine!  I did some guided juice cleanses while there and always loved the results.  Yes, I lost a few pounds, but the benefits went far beyond that.  My tastebuds were re-set, my skin cleared, I had more energy, I slept better and on and on and on.

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Detox for Women by Natalia Rose

After my daughter was born, I was having a hard time getting the last 10 pounds off so I started to research different cleanses.  At that point, I didn’t think a strictly juice diet was going to work at that time, so I started to seek out other options.  That’s when I found this book: Detox for Women by Natalia Rose.  I really liked it because it’s a set plan with recipes.  Natalia’s book tells you what to do everyday for 28 days and beyond.  You actually eat, but you juice in the morning with homemade green lemonade.  Love that, I still make it!  I’ve done the 28 day detox several times.  When I’m not doing it, I still make the salads, juices, and a few of the root vegetable bakes.

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Another detox I’ve done is the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox.  It’s great because he gives you a shopping list to take to the store and you don’t need any special equipment – just a blender.  You drink four smoothies a day.  I still make the breakfast one from time to time.

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Photo Credit: Soulstice Juice Facebook

If you’re not into the DIY cleanses, there are several options where someone else does all the work for you.  Soulstice Juice is a local company where you can pick up your custom-made cleanse.  This mother/daughter team is in located in El Dorado Hills and you NEED to follow them on Facebook so you can see what they’re daily offerings are.  Follow them here.  They are organic certified and cold press their juices.  I’ve had a few of their juices and loved each one.  I also like that they tell you the purpose of each ingredient.  Plus, helloooooo, local business – LOVE that!

The biggest thing to come out of Detox for Women by Natalia Rose, aside from the Green Lemonade, was DRY BRUSHING.  It’s so simple, takes very little time, is painless, and the brush is cheap!  Exfoliation is just the tip of the benefits you can get from dry brushing, it also stimulates the lymphatic system, increases circulation, and is said to improve digestion and kidney function – beat the bloat!  But the biggest reason I dry brush is that it reduces cellulite.  Yes, it’s true.  And you don’t even have to break a sweat!

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Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush

This is the type of brush you need.  It was like $8 and I bought mine at Whole Foods.  While you’re there stop by the juice bar and get a large Green Buzz.  Yum, my fave!  Then, every morning, right BEFORE the shower when your skin is dry and the brush is dry follow these instructions:

Stroke each area of the body two times towards the closest lymph center.  For example, when you brush your legs, stroke each area as though you are shaving in upward strokes toward the knees, then on the thighs in upward strokes toward the groin.  The back of the legs and buttocks do not need to go toward the groin but they will receive a nice ‘lifting’ of flow that will eventually improve the contour of that area.  I recommend making circular strokes around ‘saddlebags’ or any areas plagued with cellulite.  For the arms, start by stoking the palm of the hands to stimulate the reflexology points, then move to the tops of the hands and then, as you did with the legs, make strokes up the arms (two strokes on each ‘strip’) all toward the armpits.

Natalia Rose , author of Detox for Women

Seriously, do this for two weeks and tell me that you don’t notice any difference.  I dare you!

XOXO
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Oil Pulling


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Oil Pulling: it sounds absolutely nothing like what it actually is.  Basically you use coconut oil as a mouth wash.  A natural mouthwash that has more and different benefits than say, Listerine.  Not bashing Listerine.  I love a fresh mouth and I believe in Listerine and Listerine strips.  Seriously, they rock!  But I’m talking about an all natural mouthwash that has an antioxidant in it (Vitamin E) and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (lauric acid and monolaurin).  It also has tons of vitamins: A,D,E and K.  Basically all the vitamins add up to being good for the immune system, protecting against UV rays, promoting strong bones and teeth, and better blood-clotting.

For whatever reason I have brought this topic up in different social settings with different groups of ladies and most of them haven’t heard about it, some have but don’t know what it is, and everyone seems to be curious.  So I thought I’d break it down for you!

This is a fairly newish practice, so little studies haven’t been conducted to see what actual long-term benefits are.  However, this is the list of benefits that most people swear by: whiter teeth and healthier gums, better breath, more energy, less headaches, better sinus health, clearer skin, more “normal” menstrual cycles, less or no allergy symptoms, better sleep cycle, improved lymphatic system, and a clearer mind.  I’ve also read that it can help people that get strep throat.  Some people also say it’s a great hangover cure.

I try to do it every morning.  Usually while I’m typing up all these lovely posts.  You take one tablespoon of UNREFINED and ORGANIC coconut oil and pop it into your mouth.  It’s best to be unrefined because the refining process can take out some of the enzymes that make this stuff the bomb.com.  Then just swish away.  You do not want to be too aggressive with your swishing because you have to swish for 20 MINUTES.  Yep, you read that right.  It’s a long time to go when you can’t talk if you have little kids.  That’s why I do it while they are still asleep.  When you’re done be sure to spit it out anywhere but in the sink.  The oil will turn solid again and clog your drain.

I started doing this about 4 moths ago because I like a good natural cure for things and because I’m 10% hippie.  On my mom’s side.  My brother went whole hog, I mean, he bought Birkentocks before they came back into fashion and he is fond of Patchouli oil.  Anyway, also because I have bad dental genetics (incidentally it’s from the same cousin) and I have some veneers.  If you have veneers then you know they cannot be whitened professionally, they say it’s bad for them and it won’t really work.  But I believe I can get stains off.  Like red wine from the night before.  When I do this after I’ve had red wine there’s evidence of it when I spit.  Yuck, I know.  But to me it’s proof that it’s working!

I recently “dry shaved” my legs with this stuff and it was amazing even on my super sensitive legs, (What?  I was in a hurry!), friends say they actually consume some of this and it’s really help with allergies, it’s great for cooking, shiny hair, moisturizing the skin, cooking with and added to smoothies. We can now add OP to the long list of amazing things coconut oil can do.

XOXO
A

 

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The world is big

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Our family’s annual trip to Yosemite is just around the corner.  It’s a time that kids and adults alike look forward to throughout the year.  When I tell people that I tent-camp for a week every year, they are pretty surprised.  When I tell them that I’ve been doing it for almost 12 years with my kids when one was eight months and when the other was two months, they are shocked.  But the secret is that I actually have it really easy.  My mother and father-in-law really know how to set-up a campsite with all the bells and whistles.  They have tried and true methods to make sure everyone feels comfortable.  From welcome mats at the tents to area rugs for kiddos to stretch out on, there are touches of thoughtful convenience that feel less like “roughing it” and more like “glamping” at a 5 star resort complete with blended drinks at a daily cocktail hour.

Each year we head out for a week filled with nature and with about thirty family members and countless Yosemite friends.  My mother-in-law has been to Yosemite every year of her life.  Throughout that time she and her siblings made friends with several families that also made Yosemite their annual vacation.  They still have those friends and they all still go to Yosemite, only now with their kids and grandkids and great grandkids.

We make new memories while we hear stories about fire falls, camp dances, marriage proposals, that time the squirrel snuck into the cabin and the year it rained every day.  We learn how to play new card games and forget all about TV shows and apps.  We rave about the fresh air, the way the morning sun glitters on the granite cliffs, and the way the breeze sounds when it blows through the trees.  Though my husband may have seen close to everything Yosemite has to offer, when exploring with the kids it’s like he’s seeing it all for the first time.

Make plans to explore nature and make memories of your own, whether it’s a day trip for a hike, a weekend in a tent, or a whole week of roughing it.  You’ll have memories that last a lifetime.

XOXO
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Meet Jen

This Friday I have a funny, beautiful, and super stylish mama for you to meet!  Jen is an easy going girl that enjoys a good time.  Never a dull moment with her, this girl has some stories!  She has been a regular at our Momtourage Night Outs for many months now and always has an interesting story or a funny experience to share about her life.  She looks far too young to have had all the life experiences she’s had, but that’s all part of her charm.  I do have to warn you that after putting this post together I have added several items on my shopping list….

Meet Jen

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Hi, my name is Jennifer Wells. I live in El Dorado Hills.

I grew up in San Jose, CA and moved here in the summer of 2006.

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I have three beautiful, amazing children. Nicholas is 16 years old (from my 1st marriage), Brooke is 4 ½ years old, and Alexis is 20 months old. I realize I’m getting old when I tell people I have a 16 year old (I will be turning the big 4-0 this year).

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I am married to my kind, caring, generous, funny, loving husband, Michael. We have been together for 9 years and have been married for over 5 years. We met on a street corner in East Oakland, CA while I was working. I’m sure you’re wondering why I was working on a street corner. Ha! I was a Police Officer (for 10 years) and Michael is a Police Officer. I was conducting a car stop on the corner of 96th Ave. and Bancroft Ave. Michael drove up in his patrol car (we worked for different agencies). I gave him the universal hand signal that cops give to other cops to let them know everything is ok and no assistance is required. But, Michael decided to stop anyway. He later told me that he thought I was cute so he wasn’t going anywhere. He likes to tell people that he saved my life because if he hadn’t stopped who knows what would’ve happened during that car stop. Shortly after that we started running into each other during work and the rest is history. So if you’re at my house and see a 96th/Bancroft street sign in my backyard, you’ll know the significance of it.

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I have been retired now for four years. When we moved here, I transferred to a local agency and while working there I started getting chest pains. This happened on an off for quite some time. The cardiologist who was treating me finally decided it was best for me to not return to full duty so my department medically retired me. This was very hard for me because it was unexpected and wasn’t my choice. I absolutely LOVED my job. Even though it is still a little hard for me, I am doing ok health wise. Plus, I get to stay at home and spend more time with my family and I don’t have to miss my kids’ school functions and sporting events.

Currently Coveting:

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Right now I think my answer is going to be hardwood floors in our family room. When we bought our house, we tore out the carpet in our formal living room, dining room, and hallway and replaced it with hardwood floors. I was 6 months pregnant with Brooke at the time so we decided to just replace the carpet in the family room with new carpet so she could roll around and crawl. The carpet we chose ended up being a little lighter than we thought and gets dirty easily in the heavy traffic areas so we have to have it professionally cleaned often. Now that we don’t have little ones in the crawling stage anymore, I can’t wait to rip the carpet out and put the hardwood floors in that room.

I really love…

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My jeans. My friends know I LOVE to shop. I thought about starting my intro like this… “Hi, my name is Jennifer and I’m a shopaholic”.   I have over 50 pairs of jeans in my closet. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but I do wear jeans often. I have lots of different brands but lately have been wearing rag & bone, Paige, and Joe’s the most.

photo-35 rag & bone Jeans $198-$275

I first started seeing the rag& bone brand about a year ago all over Pinterest, fashion blogs, and in fashion magazines. One day I was at Nordstrom (which by the way happens to be my favorite store), and I saw a pair in the store so I decided to try them on to see what all the hype was about. I loved the way they fit so needless to say I decided to add that brand to my collection.

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 rag & bone Kinsey boot $300

I also really love the rag & bone boots. I coveted them for quite some time. They are so comfortable and versatile. I could walk in them all day and night. My favorite styles are the Classic Newbury, Harrow, and Kinsey boots.

Guilty Pleasure…

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After I put my girls to bed, I pour myself a glass of wine and watch Reality TV. Most of the reality shows I watch are on Bravo.   I LOVE watching the Real Housewives series. I know some of them are crazy, but I just can’t stop watching! I also started watching the Ladies of London. I like Flipping Out, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, and Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and New York.

Fave beauty item:

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Tarte Amazonian Clay blush $26

I have a few. Most days I don’t wear any make-up, but when I do I like Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes. I love the colors and they do seem to stay on my skin pretty well throughout the day.

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Tarte LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Tint $24

I recently bought the Tarte LipSurgence skintuitive lip tint. It claims to respond to your skin’s natural pH and energy, and give you a personalized tint that is your own unique shade of pink. I like the color on my lips and it doesn’t dry them out, which is a bonus.

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Jane Iredale Mineral Foundation $52

I also really like Jane Iredale Mineral Foundation. It’s so quick and easy to use and matches my skin well.

Recent mommy moment…

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When you have kids you end up with quite a few embarrassing moments. We recently bought new couches for our family room. While we were at the furniture store my 20 month old started going through my purse and taking stuff out. I was busy talking to the sales guy so I didn’t see what she had. I knew I didn’t have anything dangerous in my purse so I wasn’t too concerned. I figured she was looking for my iPhone. But when I looked over I noticed she had taken my emergency stash of tampons and panty liners out of my purse and set them down on the couch we were looking at. I’m sure the sales guy saw them too. Oh well! This is not the first time and I know this won’t be the last time my wonderful children embarrass me.

Thank you for letting me share some stuff about myself!

Jen

OMG!  Love those booties, I’m dreaming of fall now.  Also, I need to run out and buy that Tarte LipSurgence.  I used something similar from Smashbox for a while, but I really like Tarte’s sticks.  You have a beautiful family, those girls are adorable and your son is so handsome.  Thanks so much for sharing a little bit of your life with us, Jen!

Have a great weekend!

XOXO
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Keep Your Summer Lovin’ Sanity

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Are your kids driving you crazy yet?  Mine are.  Love ‘em, I really do.  Near the end of school I thought, “No, I don’t want them to go to summer camp.  We have a few vacations planned and I want to do some day camps plus I just want to be around them as much as possible.”  It was all roses and happy faces.

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My how the times have changed!  Now I’m thinking, “Summer camp really could have been good for them and me.”.  Here’s a couple of sad sacks in a double time out the other day.  The time out is their fault, they were working together in a little civil uprising.  I had to put the cabosh on it to save my throne.  But what is not their fault is the snippy attitude I had later that day.  We’ve all been there right?  Please say yes…  After one vacation, several day trips, and potty training I think I’ve had it.  I honestly think it’s just where we are at in the summer.  Most of us moms haven’t had much time to ourselves and we’ve been busy creating the “Best Summer Ever!” for our little yahoos angels.  So we’re tired.  Pair that with kiddos who are used to a pretty regimented schedule with school or daycare and all and their confused and acting like jerks just doing the best they can to find their way.  Anyway, after talking to a few different moms who were experiencing something similar, I thought I would research some things to keep the kids busy and out of trouble all while saving our sanity!!!

For more inspiration you can follow my board Kids Craft/Acticity Ideas.  You can find all my boards and pins here.  Enjoy!

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Back yard Shaving Cream Fight Fun via Pink and Green Mama

This looks like a good time!  One rule: out of nose, eyes, and mouth.  One tip: use Barbasol.  You can typically get it at the Dollar Store.  Just hose them off and hand them a towel before they come in.

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Back Yard Water Park via Learning 4 Kids

I know, the water police will be mad about some of this.  But the Shaving Cream Pit looks awesome!

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Rainbow Tag Game via Spoonful

A fun spin on “Capture the Flag”.  Oh man, that takes me back!  My brother and I used to play that with our neighborhood buddies Matt and Nick.  Too much fun!

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Soap Clouds via Our Best Bites

I have done this before.  It’s awesome!  You just microwave a bar of soap.  FYI – it has to be Ivory soap or it doesn’t work.  Trust me, I’ve tried others.  You can let them play with it outside.  Just beware, the soap turns into something similar to dust, so it makes a mess.

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Summer Fun Paint War Party via Hub Pages

Another messy kind of fun!  Maybe take these washable paint and water filled balloons to a local park with a large grassy area and do it there.  Just be sure to pick up all the pieces left over from the balloons.

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Glow Stick Lanterns via Lil Blue Boo

I’ve been wanting to make these.  I guess now is as good a time as any!

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A Drive In Movie Night via Homemaking Fun

This looks awesome!  A movie and a craft.  Invite some friends over and make it a party with popcorn and candy!

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Marble Race Track via HomeSpunThreads

The possibilities are endless with this idea.  The noodle can be bought at the dollar store.  Your kids can race the marbles into the box!

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How to make a Naked Egg via Imagination Station Toledo

We did this a when Lyla was two.  She thought it was very interesting then.  I need to do it again.  B would love it and I’m sure L will have all new questions.  FYI – this takes a few days before the shell comes all the way off.  But it gives them something to “check on” daily.

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Use Your Noodle via Parents

Too cute!  This is great for all ages.

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Hot Rocks via eighteen25

Painting rocks is one of our favorite camping activities.  This is an interesting twist where you put the crayons in the over or microwave first.  Then use the melty crayons to “paint” the rock.

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Friendship Bracelets via Parents

We were making these last year while camping.  They were harder to do than I remember.  Lyla could sort of do it last year with guidance.  Maybe this year she’ll be a little better.  I mean, she’s had tons of practice with her rainbow loom.

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Marshmallow Straw Structures via Make and Take

I love a free form craft that requires little of the parents.  This is fun because they can eat it too.

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DIY Water Fall via TinkerLab

Slow down water police!  I have an idea for the water.  When you and your family warm up the shower or bath, put a bucket in to catch the water.  Then use that for this cool Water Fall wall.  Let the kids decide where the bottles should be placed.  Fun!

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Easy Kids Mural via The Phillips Family

Great outside activity!  I love the scraps of tissue paper for the flowers.  They could paint recycle paper too.

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Printable Bored Checklist via Simple as That

If all else fails, print out this free printable.

If you need more inspo you can follow my Kids Craft/Acticity Ideas board here, and find all my boards and pins here.

Stay cool ladies!

XOXO
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Date Night In

10360464_145636342273452_3305957842271388988_n I am so excited to tell you that Sacramento Parent Magazine published my article!  Woohoo!

When they contacted me and asked me to write about the importance of group date nights, I felt a little bit like a liar.  While I absolutely agree that date nights in any form are very important to a relationship and a persons psyche, I don’t get to have them as often as I should.

I have a good friend that has a standing babysitter every Friday night.  I think this is an awesome idea if you can swing it.  She and her hubby don’t have a date night each Friday, sometimes it’s a group thing, and sometimes she goes out with her girlfriends and he with his buddies.  Either way, they are able to cut loose and realize that there is more to them than the kids, work, and the stresses of everyday life.

Writing this article really made me realize that I needed to focus more on making moments with my hubby count.  While I love getting to try a new spot or see a new movie, I don’t think you need to go out to have a date night.  There are too many nights when my hubby and I are home, but doing our own thing, sometimes in separate rooms and sometimes sitting right next to each other.  We need to have more Date Night Ins.  These are no sitter required.  Just make sure your kids get to bed by 7:30 or so.

Here are a few of my “Date Night In” ideas:

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Romantic Questions: 264 Outrageous, Sweet, and Profound Questions $8.99

  • Get a book!  When Nick and I were first married I bought this book of questions.  The questions in this book covered a ton of topics from money to romance to personal history.  I new some of his answers and other’s I thought I knew but was wrong.  We would choose a number at random and answer five or so of the questions in succession.  I always wrote down the gist of both our answers.  Throughout the (almost) nine years we’ve been together we’ve gone back and used the book.  It’s so interesting to see how our answers have changed over the years.
  • Play a board game!  Yes, a two person board game.  There aren’t many of these, but we’ve put together puzzles, played cards, Boggle, Trivial pursuit, Sequence, Scrabble, Imaginiff, Cranium, and Balderdash.  A lot of these are for more than four players. but you just have to make it work.  It’s more about having fun than following the strict rules.  Twister anyone??
  • Make a goal board.  From time to time, I feel like my personal goals change.  I know it’s the same for my hubby’s personal goals and for our goals as a couple.  Over a few weeks start to stalk pile some magazines.  Buy a poster board and draw the inner lines of a peace sign on it.  Get two pairs of scissors and some glue.  Sit at the kitchen table with your spouse and cut out images or words that mean something to your goals right now.  Show them to each other and talk about why that’s important to you.  Also, make a pile of common goals or goals you each want for your relationship or shared future.  Then glue them on your poster board in your respective spaces and your family space.  Hang it in a place where only the two of you (or your kids) will see it.  It’s personal and it’s something to work hard for.

What do you do for a Date Night In?

Join us for a super fun group date night August 9th at Harlow’s in Sacramento for the Mustache Harbor Show!

XOXO
A

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Go See Do: Raft the Truckee

 

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Over the 4th of July, I was lucky enough to spend some time in Tahoe.  Lake Tahoe, specifically the north shore, is very dear to my heart.  One thing I have loved doing over the years is rafting down the Truckee.  You can rent a raft through one of the rental companies.  I recommend Truckee River Rafting.  You can bring your own raft, but then you don’t get to take advantage of the free ride back.  Plus, their rafts are so much sturdier and easier to maneuver, it’s a must when you have young kiddos.  If you use Truckee River Rafting you can book online to get a discount and if you book an early time, you get another discount.  Plus, kids 2-5 are free.  I took Lyla last year and she loved it so I thought Brady would enjoy it this year.  It’s a 2-3 hour tour ride that spans about 5 miles from the “Y” in Tahoe City to River Ranch by Alpine Meadows.  It’s slow and there are some rapids, but they’re not crazy.  Plan to pull over several times to get out and cool off.  Pack a lunch and a water gun or two.  I did not bring my camera, but I brought my phone in a hard case that was waterproof.

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They give you life jackets, but approve of the kiddos wearing the puddle jumpers.  Truth be told, Lyla is a strong swimmer so I let her take her jacket off after a little while.  It was pretty uncomfortable.  But B kept his puddle jumper on the whole time.

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This is a disgusting pipe that bridges the river known as “Gum Bridge”.  It’s been like this as long as I can remember.  Yuck.  The kids thinks it’s funny.  You’ll go under about 4-5 bridges.  The kids always think it’s exciting!

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The kids got out of the raft a lot to goof around, climb on rocks, and wade in the water.  There were plenty of awesome photo ops!  It makes the trip a little longer, but also way more fun!!  There is a current, but it’s not that strong.  Of course, I was still yelling, “Brady, don’t get too far away from me!  The river will take you!”.  Yeah, I think people thought I was a whackado.  Oh well.  I put the kids in water shoes, but Lou kept taking hers off.  Also, I had to pull over to put B in time out.  He was being a real crabby patty for the first half of the trip.

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We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed it on the side of the river.

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There are a few port-o-potties along the way for your convenience.

There was also this guy selling son cones.  FYI – he only takes cash.

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There were several logs to climb on along the way.  The kids wanted to stop at each one.  This one was in about waist-deep water.  I was holding their hands and walking them along it.  I didn’t bring my water shoes, so I was barefoot and this was a really rocky part of the river.

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The rocks weren’t that painful until I lost a toenail.  Ouch!

IMG_7814 We made it to River Ranch!  You could walk to River Ranch Lodge and have a drink or a meal and watch all the people come down the river.  It’s actually very entertaining.  The area behind us is like a whirlpool with the water moving in a circular motion.  It’s dumped from the toughest rapids on the ride (not really tough).  When people ride the rapids and get dumped into the whirlpool at River Ranch, they have to work hard to get their raft to a specific spot to turn it in at the rental company check-ins.  It’s not always easy and the rafters on this river aren’t typically pros.  So it’s pretty fun to watch!

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I think B could have skipped the raft ride altogether and just rode a bus instead.  This was his most favorite part of the day!

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They have a photographer at the beginning that take your group pic for you.  You can buy them at the end for $10.  It’s a good moment and probable the only group shot you’ll get on your raft the whole trip.

Make some memories and Raft the Truckee!  It’s a fun time!

XOXO
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