Category Archives: Travel tips

Emotional Preparation Is Important for Families When Moving House

It’s a major step to suddenly pick up your entire life and move to some other place, where you and your family have no emotional connection with. This is perhaps the hardest part after all the logistical stuff is over, to suddenly come to terms that you’re a stranger in your new environment. Emotional preparation is important for families when moving house as developing connections in the new, unfamiliar environment of your new home will take time. But, you can try and make your surroundings feel familiar. There’s no reason why your new neighborhood cannot help rebuild some happy, comfortable connections for you, but of course, it will obviously take time and patience.

Moving day will be hectic, it’s vital that you take time, to emotionally say goodbye to the home and living space you have been encompassed with so that you can feel comfortable knowing you and your family are ready to move on. Not so much as a ritual per se, but there should be a set amount of time, you’re able to go over meaningful things and sort of say goodbye before leaving for your new home. This is especially true for your children or elderly parents if they live with you, as memories for seniors make it tough to say farewell. Children tend to have a hard time letting go of close friends or familiar places too, so giving them some quality moments to work through these emotions in a positive way can help the new journey go that much more smoothly.

 

Pets, children and gardens

 

The garden is one of the few places in the home, where you can actually properly stretch and breathe in the fresh air. It’s also where children play, and your pets are allowed to also release some of their energy. As you’re getting prepared to leave the home, have a day to remember the good times in your garden. You could throw a barbecue for all your friends and family, where their children can run around, play with the dog and be happy one last time in your current home. Homes are all about making memories, and the garden is a place for all members of your close circle to come together and enjoy each other’s company before you move. What would be the cherry on the cake, could be to sit in the garden as the sunsets, and enjoy some good food and fellowship with your close family and children, on the night before moving day begins.

 

Spend time packing together

 

When you’re getting ready to move home, packing is going to be the largest part of the task. By booking a slot with professionals movers, you take away very physically taxing part of the endeavor. The teams will come in and package the heaviest and largest appliances, furniture and fittings in your home so that the lighter tasks can be done with care. Reminiscing with your partner and children, while packing clothes, looking at photos and going through the memories is very cleansing for the soul. You might have had some of the best moments in your home; a newborn baby might have grown up to now be old enough to look at photos of them coming home for the first time. Talking about your possessions and the creative times you had in the home before you move, can be a great way to leave behind any baggage.

Leaving the home you’ve lived in for several years and perhaps even decades can be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s difficult not to, but you develop an attachment to the home you live in because it’s where some of the best moments in your life have occurred. Utilizing some of the ideas mentioned above may help ease the transition as you move and look forward to starting a fresh new chapter in your family’s life.

Love2EncourageYou is happy to have the skilled talents of many different writers collaborating with us and offering some unique and helpful tips on lifestyle, health, travel, and home to make visiting our site more valuable to our readers. If you have any suggestions on which topics you’d like to see more articles focused on, drop us a comment and we’ll be happy to look into making it a reality. Thanks for visiting!

Staying Within A Budget Just Got Easier

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It has been a fascinating journey on the road to financial freedom. Learning new ways to save money and trying to stick to a budget can be both exciting and exhausting! In today’s modern society there are so many ways you can lose track and derail onto a course that ends in ruin. Between enjoying theme parks and family vacation time to eating out and celebrating family birthdays or holidays, these are some of our biggest budget busters. Those special memory-making moments can sneak up on you with the cost and become detrimental to your pocketbook – unless you learn to plan ahead and spend wisely!

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Make a List and Plan of Action

I’m happy to say that I’ve recently discovered a great new way to enjoy my financial freedom staying within a budget and still getting to enjoy spoiling my family on special occasions. I love to be a giver, and the delight I feel in being able to surprise a loved one or friend is worth its weight in gold (not including the look on their faces when they receive the surprise!) I decided to start organizing my family events and holidays in a planner. It’s actually mentally rewarding to jot down lists of items I’ll need to plan the best surprise gifts, outings, or accommodations and destinations for travel adventures.

A Better Way To Shop and SAVE

The great part is, I can do all of this with the click of a button by visiting any one of my latest discovery sites for saving with coupons! Having the ability to shop around from the comfort of my own home and peek at a variety of places that offer coupons or vouchers for as much as 10, 20, 30, even up to 50% off or more is definitely a plus! That’s certainly a better way for me to be investing my shopping time instead of wasting hours at the mall paying full price on most gift items. This way I know whatever I choose will end up giving my family good value and a fair price to stay within our budget.

Broaden Your Search

There are lots of great bargains out there to grab using coupons online for loads of practical everyday items too! You can find some for getting garden products and lawn care items, to acquiring some pretty impressive coupon vouchers towards buying your next TV.  I’ve learned that sometimes to get the best deals, you need to consider buying from companies not only within the USA, but in many areas around the globe who offer delivery to the US. I’m just happy I don’t feel trapped into spending as much anymore when I want to be a blessing to someone. Shopping from home or on your mobile device is a much better way to go these days and finding the right places to save can mean all the difference.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou is pleased to be working with so many wonderful and talented writers. It is a joy to bring you a variety of fascinating topics and helpful info through these articles and tips.

Meet Legendary NASA Astronaut Story Musgrave at MOSI

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Calling all parents, educators, and homeschoolers! This is it, my friends! Your chance to take the kids on the ultimate field trip for Earth Science  or Space Technology, and Meet NASA’s only five-shuttle astronaut at MOSI during World Space Week!

Legendary NASA Astronaut Story Musgrave will share tales from his space missions before special screenings of the IMAX® film Hubble on Oct. 8.

Tampa, Florida – Get up close with Story Musgrave, who repaired the Hubble Space Telescope and became the only astronaut to fly on all five space shuttles, during An Afternoon with an Astronaut at the Museum of Science & Industry on October 8, 2016.

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Musgrave will answer questions and share tales from his 53 days in space – including 27 hours working outside the space shuttle on spacewalks – before special showings of the award-winning film Hubble on the five-story screen of MOSI’s Florida Hospital IMAX® DOME Theatre.

During An Afternoon with An Astronaut on Oct. 8, guests will have two opportunities to hear Musgrave, at 12 pm or 3 pm. Musgrave will give a talk about saving the Hubble Space Telescope and take questions from the audience, followed by a showing of the IMAX® film Hubble. Tickets for this two-hour event are $15, or $10 for MOSI members.

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Something else to consider during your exciting field trip adventure: You can choose an Add-On Astronaut Experience option if you wish. Come enjoy an intimate meet-and-greet while munching on light snacks and drinks. You’ll have the opportunity to talk one-on-one and bring home a special keepsake photo with Story Musgrave to give you and your kids the ultimate astronaut experience! Don’t miss adding this meet-and-greet experience onto your Afternoon with an Astronaut ticket for just $15.

If you are going to be vacationing in the Central Florida area the week of Oct 8, this is a great way to highlight your special trip to Florida and make some incredible memories!

“There’s always something new and exciting happening at MOSI, and we’ll be celebrating World Space Week with one of the most celebrated astronauts in American history,” said MOSI President & CEO Molly Demeulenaere. “When Story Musgrave tells a tale, it’s so captivating because he has seen and done more than most of us can imagine. And he loves answering people’s questions about living and working in space.”

Seating for An Afternoon with an Astronaut is limited; tickets are available now at mosi.org. World Space Week is a global celebration of space exploration, commemorated each year from October 4 – 10.

About Story Musgrave

Story Musgrave is the only astronaut to have flown on all five space shuttles and, with six different college degrees, he is the most formally educated astronaut in American history.

Known especially for his work repairing and saving the Hubble Space Telescope, Musgrave has logged more than 53 days in space and has spent a total of more than 27 hours outside the space shuttle on spacewalks.

Beyond his out-of-this-world work as an astronaut, Musgrave has served as a U.S. Marine; worked as a professional mathematician; and become an accomplished pilot, flight instructor, and expert parachutist who used freefalls to study the workings of the human body.

As a medical doctor and surgeon, Musgrave has written or co-authored 25 scientific papers on aerospace medicine, surgery techniques, and other topics.

Many of the vital tools used by astronauts in orbit over the past 35 years were developed with guidance from Musgrave, including spacesuits, airlocks, and other key equipment. Musgrave performed the first spacewalk in the history of the space shuttle program to test the devices he had helped design.

Musgrave’s spaceflight career includes two flights on space shuttle Challenger and one each on Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavour – where Musgrave’s spacewalks added corrective lenses to the flawed Hubble Space Telescope – and Columbia.

Musgrave came from an abusive family that was devastated by alcoholism, and Musgrave left high school without his diploma. But during his time in the Marine Corps, Musgrave earned his GED, and he went on after his military career to earn two bachelor’s degrees, three master’s degrees, and become a medical doctor.

Speaking about his work to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the greatest tools in the history of science, Musgrave said, “When you’re looking that far out, you’re giving people their place in the universe, it touches people. Science is often visual, so it doesn’t need translation. It’s like poetry, it touches you.”

 

Read Story’s official NASA bio: http://go.nasa.gov/2bE7YOB

 

Reserve your ticket for An Afternoon with an Astronaut: http://bit.ly/2bCTmuc

Pokemon Go App: What are Poke Stops and Where to Find Them

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Pokemon Go App: What are Poke Stops and Where to Find Them

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a terrific time the last day or so taking my children out on walks, bike rides or even driving adventures in the car all for the sake of playing the FREE Pokemon Go App with them. It’s been crazy fun! This new app is very addicting and yet can also be frustrating at times when their servers go down temporarily working out the bugs and improving their server strength (I think they underestimated the popularity of this new app!). Overall though, the new Pokemon Go App is the bomb! My kids ages range from 5 yrs, 9 yrs, and 18 yrs (boys and a girl), and we have all loved the interaction together as a family as we help each other discover new Pokemon for our Pokedex, grab rare items, and learn to navigate the map in our local neighborhoods. Have you ever imagined your kids waking up early (on purpose!) and begging you to take them on walks or bike rides outside early in the morning? I needed someone to pinch me! I was in disbelief, but that is exactly how children all over America and around the world are acting after the release of this new app yesterday.

I, for one, am counting my blessings as I have been dying to find a way to get the kids interested in more fresh air, sunshine and exercise – I just never imagined that would be combined with use of an electronic device in the process. If you are ready to make your kid’s day and wish to surprise them with the best Poke Stops around – check out these tips and enjoy the spoils during your Pokemon Go adventuring!

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Where To Find Poke Stops?

When it comes to making the most of your Pokemon Go excursions, planning ahead is key. You can determine which areas of your neighborhood have non profit or monument type locations that will register as Poke Stops or Pokemon Gyms within the game’s map through Google Maps GPS. If you want to drive rather than walk (which in some areas of Florida in the 110 degree heat index I would recommend), you can simply assign a driver, map your course to head towards a mall, theme park, college campus, public library or post office, or a block with several churches or thrift stores on it. These are a few of the potential landmarks that the Pokemon Go App may view as suitable for a Poke Stop or Gym. College campuses and theme parks alone will have anywhere from three to as many as ten Poke Stops and one or two Gyms on the premises!

 

What is a Poke Stop and What Can You Get There?

What can you find at each of these Poke Stops you ask? Each Poke Stop is in a sense a treasure chest just waiting to be discovered! They give you free items (sometimes rare ones) – anything from potions and revives to pokeballs and Pokemon eggs for hatching baby Pokemon! Use your map feature to locate the 3D icons on the map and click on them as they get closer. You’ll see the image of the company on the center of the circular shape (looks blue or lavendar) and usually the name of the location so you can recognize it and get to it more quickly. Poke Stops tend to be places to find from 3 to ten items – all pokeballs sometimes, and other times a little bit of everything spits out! You just spin the circle image when you arrive at the Poke Stop destination and as it spins these objects/items will come spitting out in little bubbles that begin floating away. Quickly pop each bubble to claim your treasures! Check your items section of your app to see what you ended up with. If you received a Pokemon egg, go to your Pokemon section of the app Pokedex and scroll to the bottom and then swipe to the right – there you’ll see any eggs you acquired since technically they are baby Pokemon waiting to hatch.

Hatching Eggs With Baby Pokemon

Your inventory already includes one incubator, so if you are lucky enough to find an egg at one of your Poke Stops while adventuring, you will want to place it in your incubator right away. This allows it to be utilizing all your traveling (walking, biking, driving – anywhere you move on the GPS) for the purpose of helping to hatch your egg faster. Some Pokemon eggs take 2 miles, some take 5 miles to hatch. You can actually be trying to hatch more than one Pokemon at a time by using multiple incubators at once. You get one infinity use incubator with the start of the app. You can earn other temporary use incubators with certain level ups throughout the game.

If you enjoyed this article, try Pokemon Go: Evolving and Powering Up Your Pokemon

*Check out this local sponsor for any Florida Home Buying or Selling Needs: www.EliteRealtyAgency.com/agent/sara-martin

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Family Vacation Planning Made Simple

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Are you celebrating a special occasion this summer? Have you been tasked with arranging a break away with your extended family? If so, you’re probably feeling both excited and stressed. It can be tough to please everyone and logistics for group travel can be a nightmare. If you’re looking for a hassle-free guide to organizing a trip, look no further. These simple steps will hopefully make the planning process a piece of cake.

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Choosing a date and location

Perhaps the first things you need to do are choose the date and location. Send a message around everyone who is invited and see when people are available. You can use apps and software programs to show dates that suit everyone. Once you’ve got a date in mind, you should also have numbers. You can then start talking about possible destinations. Encourage everyone to share ideas and see which options appeal to most people. If there isn’t a clear winner, hold a vote and go with the majority.

Transport and getting around

Getting a large group of people from A to B can be tricky. But not if you plan ahead. If you’re traveling to a resort, campsite or holiday park, you can book a transfer for everyone. If you’re going to a city for the weekend, you could charter a bus. Check out Shofur.com for ideas and prices. If you can book group travel beforehand, you can usually save money. It’s also much easier to organize private travel than to hire a series of taxis or get everyone on the same local bus or train.

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Accommodation

Wherever you’re going, there’s likely to be options when it comes to accommodation. Have a look online and weigh up the pros and cons of different types of lodgings. If you’re staying in the city, you may find that apartments work out cheaper than hotels. If you’re going for an outdoor adventure, you could consider camping or renting out some log cabins. You may be able to take advantage of group saver rates, so enquire before you book. Booking online can often save money.

Costs

Cost is a priority for most people when it comes to planning a vacation. Try and make sure that you give people a clear idea of cost as soon as possible. If you can, pay a deposit and then the rest closer to your departure date. This will enable your party to spread the cost of the trip. It’s usually easier to ask everyone to transfer money to your account and make a single payment. This way, you don’t have to collect cash from everyone and then pay into your account before making the payment.

Family vacations are all about making memories and enjoying quality time together. The last thing you want is to be stressing out about finding hotels or getting everyone to the destination at the same time. Plan ahead, do some research and take advantage of group perks. Weigh up your accommodation options and look for deals online. Consider your travel options and think about booking a group transfer or hiring a bus. Get the main things sorted as a priority. Then you can relax and look forward to a memorable break.

Disclosure: I’m excited to share that Love2EncourageYou is bringing you this content as a collaborative effort with other parties to contribute high quality content and fun topics to bring you a smile! Lots of great topics and themes coming in the days ahead on a variety of helpful subjects. Please note: I only share articles that I feel are of value or interest to my readers.

Bloom where you are planted

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Greetings my sweet readers!

I’m delighted to share that we are finally settling into our new  home and new city here in Florida. It’s hard to believe how fast this summer and fall have flown by with all the hard work and preparation that goes into showing, selling and closing on a home. We are very glad that is behind us! God is so good in all things though and we are very thankful for His unbelievable provision in all things great and small. He made a way in every circumstance to help us get through without too much stress. Lesson to be learned? God’s got this! Don’t worry or stress about anything. He is bigger than all problems that may pop up and show their ugly face. If you can hang in there, say a prayer and BELIEVE that God is BIGGER than any attack the enemy can send your way, then you will find an amazing peace that passes all understanding. I bet you’ll also find your current trial will suddenly seem very small compared to other things people are going through. Our God is an AWESOME God! He can and WILL be there for you through any circumstance. Trust in the Lord and you will see His miracles come shining through the darkest hours.

It was a joy to be side by side some terrific friends that helped us pack and load the truck during our move to our new home, along with making some new friends from our church near the new house that so kindly volunteered to help us unload the moving truck. A very special shout-out to one family who went beyond the call of duty and not only helped unload the truck, but sent family members to watch my kids, disinfect my cabinets in the kitchen, unpack kitchen items, bought the kids lunch, blessed us with toiletries and other essentials you need when first moving into a place, and let me take a full van of teens to the old house to finish last minute packing and loading of the truck for a second round. What a blessing this family has been to us! You KNOW who you are! 😉 We are forever grateful to EVERYONE who helped us in any way – through prayer, food provisions, financial help, packing, moving and physical labor. You are ALL simply the BEST! May God bless you in a mighty way for all your sacrifices of love towards our family. My only hope is that you will allow us to be there for you one day in your time of need too. You have all been such a treasure to our hearts through your friendship and love.

I’ve always loved the phrase, “Bloom where you are planted.” But it wasn’t until recently when I was forced to make a decision to sell our home that we loved tremendously and move to a new home and new city and new life, that I realized that phrase can be applied to many things. In my new environment – we know not only are we to try to be happy in all circumstances in our life whether rich or poor, in sickness and in health, but we are to strive to live for Jesus and trust in Him no matter how strange or different the new circumstances or environment may seem. Blooming where we are planted could mean to you – being the best you can at a new job and reaching out to coworkers or customers. Maybe it means to another the chance to show their talents of cooking, baking, sewing, craftiness in art, and share with neighbors near their home or in their church. For my family, we were already trying to bloom while stretching ourselves across two different cities and we found it quite difficult. Now God has blessed me with a chance to do it more successfully by only having to bloom in one. We were concerned how things would turn out in some ways, but knew God was directing us to this area for a reason. I’m happy to share we love our new home, our church and hubby loves his job and my son loves his school and college he is dual-enrolled in. The little ones seem to love the neighborhood and all it has to offer. Plus God already dropped a new job on my lap that I can start to stretch my wings and fly with, so as they say – Bloom where you are planted. Realizing God’s plan for our life and taking that step of faith to sell our home has made all the difference. Sometimes you just have to let go and let God! I’m making my new home and city our new garden to thrive in so I can bloom where I’ve been newly planted. 🙂 May God bless us with opportunities to touch hearts and lives in His Name.  I hope He blesses you with the opportunity to do the same.

Splashing Good Fun at Wallaroo Station at Lowry Park Zoo!

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Kiddie Rides That Excite and Delight

What a delightful day! I am simply amazed at how much Lowry Park Zoo has to offer its visitors, but I’m especially excited to share about the FUNTASTIC Wallaroo Station section of the park! We started off with some wonderful kiddie rides such as the Tiger Coaster, Banana Planes, and then the bumper boats and mini cars. I must say the mini cars ride is the most sophisticated and modern version of this type of ride I’ve ever seen! I wanted to ride it – it was that cool! Ever dream of riding on a manatee or a panda bear? Well now’s your chance! This is a lovely carousel featuring all kinds of favorite animals to ride on instead of the typical merri-go-round horses. My kids wanted to keep getting back on to ride another favorite animal the next time around! Did I mention these fun rides are included free with the price of admission? How awesome is that?!!

Gift Shops with Helpful and Unique Items

Next we peeked at some of the nifty gift shops that offer everything you could need to walk around the zoo or play in the water areas with wide brimmed hats, towels, adorable claw shaped water shoes, suntan lotion, sunglasses and more! There’s even an amazing “wings” of a macaw that slides on your arms so the child can flap their wings and pretend to be a bird. Very well made and the cleverest costume prop/gift item at a zoo I’ve ever encountered! My son and daughter wanted to bring it home!

Feed The Goats

There was a squeal of glee from my 8 year old daughter as she spotted the feeding machine for the petting zoo of goats and llamas. I scrounged in my purse for some quarters and we were on our way to feed the goats. The kids laughed and squirmed as the goats tickled their fingers and palms licking up the food out of their hands. I got some adorable photos and video of them. I highly suggest bringing quarters and a camera to be ready for those memorable moments!

Petting Zoo to Pet and Brush the Goats

The kids then wanted to proceed inside the petting zoo area and go in to brush the goat’s fur with these fun little brushes that fit on their hands. My daughter said she felt like she was working on a farm – she loved it! My son who is four years old didn’t want to leave – he was ready to play with the goats up close and personal all day. It’s great to note the zoo has hand washing stations throughout this section of the park so you can easily clean up after using the petting zoo or other areas of Wallaroo Station.

Tasty Cool Treats

We took a short break and cooled off with the excitement of creating their own icee from the huge icee station next to the Tiger Coaster and Petting Zoo. We mixed several tasty flavors such as grape, orange, cherry, blue raspberry, and Mountain Dew! There were still tons we haven’t tried yet!

Animal Shows and Entertainment

On our walk towards the next stop in Wallaroo Station, we saw the horses feeding and getting a wash down to cool them. It was so neat to see the two horses nuzzle each other by the nose as if they were in love. They have shows during the day with the horses and then a different show for the goats doing an obstacle course type of performance.

Bats, Flying Foxes and Upside Pics

We got to go for a walk along the wooden boardwalk type trail in Wallaroo Station that had various animals or birds to see during the trek. We especially enjoyed going inside the bat house area and seeing the flying foxes… they are so huge and colorful yet as my daughter mentioned… kind of creepy hanging upside down and realizing there are flying animals that big like bats.

We got a kick out of the awesome photo opp station in front of the bat house … your child can stand in front of this bat display with its wing coming out around them like they are being held by the bat. The sign is upside down on purpose over their head so that you take the picture and then rotate it upside down when you display it.. it makes it look like your child was hanging upside down with a giant bat!

Fantastic Food and Affordable Prices

That triggered the kids getting hungry for some lunch, so we headed over to the cafe and sat beside the koala exhibits! The koalas were sleeping of course, but it was still cool to see them while we ate in the shade. The food was super! We enjoyed a variety of menu items such as chicken ceasar salad, hot dog and fries, pizza, hamburger, and even a chicken club sandwich and fresh fruit and cheese n cracker cups. The service from the attendants there was great and the quality of the self serve condiments bar was awesome with everything from pickles to tomatoes and lots in between!

Walk About with Kangaroos

One of my favorite spots was the Walk About where you could see the kangaroos gently resting or feeding on veggies. They were so precious and gentle. You just wished you could go up and hug them or feed them a carrot. My kids were fascinated just walking by each one and seeing it hop along or sit up on its hind legs and listen to the sounds in the air. One even hid from the crown inside a rock formation and peeked it’s head out once in a while like it was playing peek-a-boo. Too cute!

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Splashing Good Fun At Wallaroo Station At Lowry Park Zoo

As the day progressed and the sun got hotter, we started to reapply suntan lotion and thought the kids may need a break from the heat. I am pleased to share that Lowry Park Zoo has been so thoughtful to families and made sure to have ways families with kids can have fun and beat the heat during their visit too. It was so awesome to see all the neat things you can do here in Wallaroo Station at Lowry Park Zoo. They have a very COOL water play area right in the middle of it all with fountains, waterfalls, dumping buckets, and spouts that squirt water out of the ground, sides of the wall and even from the mouths of turtles! My kids were just giggling and making friends with the other kids there – all having a splashing good time not minding the heat one bit.

More Tasty Cool Treats

There’s also a snow cone stand right by the entrance to Wallaroo Station that we highly recommend too where you can put your own flavors on! My daughter had so many flavors on hers it almost became a slushie instead of a snow cone. lol. Kids just love when they can do things themselves. Very addicting to keep choosing other flavors to put on the ice of the snow cone.

Isn’t it great to know your visit to Lowry Park Zoo can be filled with exciting exhibits of animals, fun kiddie rides, a petting zoo, delightful shows to watch, delicious food, cool down treats, and even a splash n play area? They’ve thought of everything!

Grab the COUPON

We LOVED our visit to Lowry Park Zoo and can’t wait to go back! There’s so much more than what I was even able to share with you today. I highly recommend using the coupon code below and treating the family to a day at the zoo or even buying an annual pass. That’s what we want to do next! A place this fun will be great family time year-round. Enjoy the Savings with this COUPON! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has offered to give my readers $3 off Zoo Admission!

The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit www.LowryParkZoo.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Want to learn more? Read my previous post HERE.

Have you been to a zoo lately? What’s your favorite exhibit or animal, or other attraction? Share with us in the comments and tell us if you’ve been to Lowry Park Zoo’s Wallaroo Station.

Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou received free entrance to the zoo for the purpose of writing this review. However, I only share items that are of value or interest to my family and my readers. Special thanks to US Family Guide and Lowry Park Zoo.

Visit Wallaroo Station at Lowry Park Zoo

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Howdy friends! It’s my pleasure to share about a wonderful family friendly attraction in the Tampa, Florida area that you can bring your family to this summer during school break or anytime throughout the year!
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On May 11, 2002 Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo introduced Wallaroo Station, a 4.5 acre Australian-themed family area, where thousands of families with young children have enjoyed an interactive Australian adventure. The hands-on, family-friendly features helped the Zoo secure top honors from two national parenting magazines: Parents, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009); and Child, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004).Earlier this year, Wallaroo Station temporarily closed for remodeling – the first significant updating of this award-winning attraction in its 13 year history. Newly re-opened for spring, guests to the “new Wallaroo” can expect this Aussie area to be even more “Auss-ome” with new animals and upgraded amenities, including:* a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna” (a mate for our male “Heathcliff”);

* “Bushland Birds” habitat with feathered friends and Fiji-banded iguanas;

* more water features in “The Billabong” splash ground;

* redesigned cafe with “grab and go” food and beverage;

* expanded dining area with additional seats and shade canopies;

* a new nursing mothers area with baby-friendly features;

* a new and fun ride for young children – Lil’ Joeys Caravan;

* new midway games and activities;

* ponies on parade (twice daily) and a goat show; and

* livestock training demonstrations with ponies and llamas.

EXPLORE

Take a trip to the “Land of Oz” and visit a variety of animals of Australia and its neighbors including koala, wallabies, cockatoos, emu, singing dogs and flying fox bats. Help welcome the newest Aussie additions – a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna,” colorful birds and Fiji-banded iguanas, and take a walkabout with the wallabies in their walk-thru exhibit. The petting area features a herd of friendly goats that children can brush, pet and feed. Adjacent to the petting area, families can step into a barn that houses Haflinger horses and llamas. Don’t miss the new daily pony parade, goat show and livestock training demonstrations!

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PLAY

The newly upgraded “Billabong” water play area takes kids “down under” to an interactive splash zone with in-ground fountains and free standing water features. Try your hand at new midway games with the chance to win prizes and souvenirs, or go mining for gems and fossils at the new Hopper’s Mining Company.

RIDE

Children can take a spin on one of five fun rides: the NEW Lil Joey’s Caravan, Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster, Overland Express Kiddie Train, Boomer’s Flyin’ Bananas and Outback Bumper Boats.

REFRESH

Parents can enjoy added shade while their little joeys cool off in the water play area. Next door is Boomer’s Cafe, a redesigned grab-and-go restaurant offering a variety of freshly prepared foods and drinks. A “mommy center,” designed for nursing mothers, provides shade and privacy for infants and caregivers.

About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has been rated No. 1 by Parents magazine, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009) and Child magazine, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004).

I’m really looking forward to hearing about your visit! Please share with me in the comments if you get to visit or have visited in the past. I’d love to hear about your adventures! Don’t forget to grab the coupon below!!
The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit www.LowryParkZoo.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Also find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.

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Enjoy the Savings! Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has offered to give my readers $3 off Zoo Admission!

Be sure to keep up with all the latest at the zoo by following them on Twitter:  @LowryParkZoo
Rebecca at Love2EncourageYou
Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou will receive free admission in exchange for a future review. However, I only share items I feel are of value or interest to my family and my readers.
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Trampoline Excitement with Airheads Spring Break Spectacular Deal + Giveaway!

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Calling all locals, Florida residents, and vacationers coming to the area during Spring Break!
We’ve got a GREAT deal to suggest for fun family entertainment all week long! Airheads is offering a fantastic Spring Break Fun Pass (7 days in a row) for just $25.95!  To kick off this INCREDIBLE deal, please help us say a special thank you to Airheads for their generous gift to provide 2 complimentary Spring Break Fun Passes to my readers here at Love2EncourageYou in a giveaway! Isn’t that awesome?!!
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My family will be looking forward to being there and we hope to see each of you at Airheads Trampoline Arena during Spring Break week! If you haven’t ever visited Airheads before, be sure to read my review with fun pics and details of all they have to offer. This is a perfect place for families to come hang out by themselves or with a bunch of friends for a delightful time together.
If you are looking to get some exercise in a healthy and safe environment, this is a super fun way to burn calories, get your heart rate going and hear the giggles of the kids at the same time! I love the way this type of work out makes me feel. This is a go-to place to exercise for people of any age. My teen son says it ROCKS, my 4 yr and 8 yr old kids love it with high pitched squeals when I say we are getting to go again, and my husband and I love it for the easy way to please the whole family and get some exercise at the same time!
You can go at a slow pace or take on a full jumping routine to get your body feeling those muscles strengthening. Whatever speed you are up to, you are sure to have a blast and not even realize you are getting a work out while you are having the time of your life with the family! Take advantage of this Unlimited Jumping for 7 Days with the Spring Break Fun Pass for $25.95 and be happy & healthy together as a family this month!
Safety First has always been a core value at Airheads. They made a relatively bold (in relation to the industry), yet
necessary decision in August to no longer allow flipping. We know they made the right move and they feel the same way. Safety is of utmost importance (coming from a mom of three and my husband being a high school teacher) and we support this great decision by Airheads. We applaud them for their boldness and dedication to keeping the environment safe for kids and adults of any age. Even my teen son agrees this is a good choice on the part of Airheads and he feels it will make it even more fun to go there with the new rule in place.
Help me reward Airheads for their right choice and share with us in the comments your thoughts on how important safety is to your family when it comes to family entertainment and exercise options. Do you agree with their decision?
Please also share if you will be taking advantage of this super Spring Break Fun Pass deal and share it with a friend! Thanks everyone! Time to get jumping with the family! Have a blast! #JumpIntoFun
Follow @AirHeadsUSA to get great deals and updates for future jump sessions!
While you’re on Twitter, tell them you support their choice to keep it safe for kids! Thank them for the giveaway too. 🙂
You can visit Airheads at their locations in Orlando, Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
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Enter to Win a Spring Break Pass from Airheads!

 

Prize: Two winners will receive a Spring Break Pass (One week unlimited jump pass for Airheads good for 7 days of jumping)! Value of $25.95 each

Location: Open to USA lower 48

Age: Must be 18 years of age or older to enter
Date: Ends at midnight EST on 3/20. (Winners will be notified  immediately after verification and sponsor will be contacted promptly to send passes.)
Disclosure: Love2EncourageYou will receive complimentary passes in exchange for sharing this post. However, I only share items I feel are of value or interest to my family and readers. Love2EncourageYou is not responsible for sponsor prize fulfillment.

Sure to please Holiday Gift ideas at Best Buy! #HintingSeason

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Happy Holidays my friends! The rush of the season is upon us! Time to get your SERIOUS shopping on!

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With Expert Service and Unbeatable Price these top gifts are on my list this Holiday and here’s why they should be on yours:

Xbox One is the place for games.

What is Xbox One?

Xbox One was built by gamers, for gamers. With the best exclusive titles (Halo, Sunset Overdrive), the biggest blockbusters (Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty) the hottest sports franchises (Madden 15, FIFA 15, NBA 2K15) and top family titles (Fantasia: Music Evolved, Just Dance 15, Skylanders) Xbox One takes gaming to a whole new level.

In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects consumers unlike any other device.  Xbox One enables access to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.  With Xbox One all of your media is at your fingertips when you want it.

Are you a gamer? You don’t have to tell this gamer wife twice that purchasing an Xbox One would make a super surprise gift for any husband, son, nephew or grandchild. I know how much I enjoy playing the games with my family and the guys seem to like it even more! We LOVE playing various multiplayer and online games as a family and with friends afar, and one of our favorites – Minecraft, is now owned by Microsoft. I believe it will become one of the rising Xbox One hits! With so many different games to choose from for the Xbox One, it’s sure to please even those hard to buy for teens on your list.

Purchase the XBOX One at Best Buy!

 

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JBL:

JBL Charge 2– Between the twin passive radiators for deep bass, the massive 6000mAh battery and the hands-free conference speakerphone the key benefit is the Bluetooth Social Mode which allows up to three different users to take their turns to play their own playlists on a single speaker.

JBL Flip 2– Aside from the dual performance-tuned JBL drivers and a built-in bass port, the key benefit of the JBL Flip 2 is the SoundClear echo and noise cancellation combined with the state-of the art microphone system to pick up calls on the speaker.

JBL Reflect Earbud headphones–  Sweat proof ergonomic design.  With a 5 hour rechargeable battery and a reach of about 40 feet, the JBL Reflect BT’s key benefit is the design of the ergonomic eartips along with the built-in magnets which keep your buds on standby without loose cables.

I am constantly facing the choices of which ear buds to buy for pollyanna gifts for nieces and nephews, birthday gifts for friends of my teen or even for my teen son or elementary aged daughter. Do you go through the same problem? Well look no further. These JBL ones are top notch and totally worth a look! Kids love these JBL Reflect Earbud headphones and would make an awesome gift and bring a smile to the kids or adults on your shopping list this year.

Get more details and purchase a JBL at Best Buy today!

 

GO 50 S - lifestyle

Garmin and TomTom

Featuring bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates.  Lane assist, Lifetime traffic and map updates.   Voice Recognition Technology.

·         Garmin 52LM

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

It’s hard to find quality service these days, and when I have questions about technology products like the Garmin or TomTom, I come to Best Buy to find out the latest details and to see the quality of these great gift items. Their employees have been knowledgeable and helpful upon multiple visits for varying gift-giving purchases from Best Buy. This  particular product is very helpful for someone like me who would rather be in the passenger seat than fighting with a book or roll map! I’m not a good navigator, but with the Garmin and TomTom products at Best Buy, I know I will get to my destination safely following the directions from these smart tech devices.

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·         Garmin 2597LMT

o   5.0” display

o   Maps of 49 U.S. states, plus lifetime map updates1

o   Lane assist with junction view

o   Displays speed limit and accurate arrival time

o   Easily find addresses and millions of points of interest

o   Spoken turn-by-turn directions

Fusion TIFF File

·        TomTom Go 50s

  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic: Drive with TomTom Traffic for the lifetime of your device
  • Lifetime Maps (US, Canada, Mexico): Always drive with the latest map

Fusion TIFF File

  • 3D Maps. See buildings and landmarks in stunning 3D
  • 5″ touchscreen with advanced lane guidance

Learn more about the Garmin and TomTom and make a purchase at Best Buy!

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I’m loving all these incredible gifts available for the man in my life. What about you? Which is your favorite: the JBL, the Xbox One, the Garmin or the TomTom? Isn’t it time to treat your husband or loved one to something extra special this year and give one of these great technology gifts from Best Buy? (They make great gifts for the ladies too… just sayin’!)

@BestBuy #HintingSeason @Xbox, @TomTomUSA and @Garmin.

Is the GO 50 S on your list? Tell us about it.  #TomTomGo

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free