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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Cirque Italia is Coming to San Antonio!

Cirque Italia is going to be at Ingram Park Mall from February 7-10th. Have you ever DREAMED of visiting ITALY? Well, in it's NEWEST production, Cirque Italia is bringing the towns of Italy to you as our majestic ship sails from port to port. Don't miss your chance to board in SAN ANTONIO, TX! Each year since its beginning in 2012, Cirque Italia has strived to bring a new, UNIQUE experience to the people of the many wonderful towns of the United States. This year in our show, we have decided to bring along some Italian towns. You don't have to travel to Europe for a taste of Italian culture - we brought it to YOU!
So what exactly does this "sailing" adventure have in store? 

We have transformed our stage into a large ship for this year's water circus experience. As always, we will continue to feature our unique water stage, but this year we have brand new Bellagio style fountains included!
Just as Italy offers a wide variety of food, culture and personalities, Cirque Italia is pleased to offer an amazing variety of acts featuring performers from around the globe. We don't want to reveal too many of the surprises we have in store, but some of our magnificent acts include: contortion in a BUBBLE, mesmerizing magic, heart-stopping archery, elegant aerialists and the always exciting Wheel of DEATH. Not only will you see breath-taking acts from world class performers, but each act will have a unique theme associated with it. The themes are based on the port towns we have decided to visit on this enchanted adventure. For instance, when we stop in Venice you will definitely see some beautiful Venetian masks!
Manuel Rebecchi, president and owner of Cirque Italia, is tremendously proud of his Italian heritage and feels extremely privileged to be able to share it with you in such a fun and memorable way. Our COO/Producer, Chante DeMoustes, has visited several Italian cities herself, and has helped tailor this new performance to reflect a unique attribute from each one.
Cirque Italia continues to contribute to the modernization of the performing arts and the circus industry by abiding by a strict animal free policy.
For more information visit www.cirqueitalia.com and make sure to check all our social media accounts.
When: February 7-10
Where: 6301 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78238
At: Ingram Park Mall
Near: In the parking lot near Sears

Under the grand, swirling White and Blue tent!

* February 7 THURS: 7:30pm
* February 8 FRI: 7:30pm
* February 9 SAT: 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm
* February 10 SUN: 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm

Box office hours:
The box office opens on-site on Tuesday, the week of the show.
Non-show days: 10am - 6pm
On show days: 10am - 9pm

You can purchase tickets through our website (cirqueitalia.com/tickets) or by phone: (941) 704-8572. We also respond to text message.

Non vediamo l'ora di vedervi allo spettacolo! Let Your Imagination Wander...and come DIVE into the Magical world of CIRQUE ITALIA.

My Readers Receive - FREE Child Ticket to Cirque Italia at Ingram Park Mall - Feb. 7-10. Use Coupon Code: FREE to receive One Free Child with each Regular Adult Admission Ticket in Level 2 & 3. https://cirqueitalia.com/tickets @cirqueitalia

Win a pack of 4 FREE tickets! 
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Monday, January 14, 2019

True Love Doesn't Need a Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is fast approaching. Stores were putting out goodies before Christmas had even passed. Now we are seeing red and hearts everywhere we look. 
It is the one day a year that most people expect to be shown exceptional love. Sadly, most of these people are shallow and don't realize they are missing out the rest of the year. Ever notice how much effort is put into showing off how they were spoiled on that one day? I'm happy to say that my husband spoils me every single day. No, he doesn't buy me expensive chocolates so that I can complain about gaining weight. He's smart enough to know that fresh flowers are not going to last and that the mess they leave doesn't bring me joy anymore. I'm not the type that wears jewelry often. And of course, even if I wore jewelry more, diamonds wouldn't be preferred. I'm a pearl, silver and costume piece sort of girl.

Learn the Love Languages

So what is left for him to do? The things that matter most to me. He knows my love languages. He and I learned them during our pre-marital counseling. And he has learned to speak them fluently. He takes out the trash for me. He helps change diapers for me. Let's me nap or sleep in when I'm having a hard day with my pain. Showers me with kisses and hugs me as often as he can, but more so when I am finding I don't have the strength to get through the day. He leads our family with God as his inspiration, doing daily devotions with the children and then with me. He encourages me whether I show signs of needing it or not. My list could go on.

Take the Time to Know

He knows that I don't take empty words. My previous marriage taught me that a guy will say anything to get what he wants and to break you down to dust afterwards. Love is not a feeling. So show me how you feel about me with your actions. I like gifts, but make them meaningful. Something I not only want, but things I truly have use for. I'm a minimalist at heart, so I don't like clutter. However, the flip side is that he won't give me a treadmill, no matter how often I talk about needing to lose weight. Or a vacuum, when ours breaks. Not as gifts. Show that you listen and understand, but don't throw something like that at me as your way of "love" gifts. He has more class than that. I know, women are fickle, right? So what gifts does he give? He took me on lunch dates, when we could afford it. He bought me the Purple Pillow to help with my neck and head pain. And I LOVE that pillow! It has brought me better sleep than before. He made sure I got padded floor mats for the kitchen since I loved to cook and bake, but couldn't stand on the concrete floors long enough to do it. So what does your significant other like?

Don't Judge Your Relationship by Social Media Standards

I used to be so jealous of my friends, thinking they had dream marriages with the perfect family dynamic. Today, I can tell you that no matter how fairy tale-ish their lives are through their social media posts, they have nothing on us!

My husband and I don't fight. No need to. Ever. We are both intelligent, logical-thinking beings. We talk through difficult decisions and pray. And we made a conscious choice before we got married about disagreements. You see, when we were in counseling, we were asked about conflict resolution. How would we handle an impasse? First, we talk. Boy, did I have to learn on that one... I like to bottle things up and say, "I'm fine" while inside I feel like dying. But now, I'm able to say anything and know that he can handle it. Then we pray. God leads our marriage. And we trust in Him to guide our paths. If we still are not completely in agreement, he makes the ultimate choice and I back him up. It doesn't happen often, but it is a decision that we made in counseling and I have held to it since. I don't always agree, but I stand by his decision and own it as my own. I respect him. More often than not, his choice turns out to be the best one. 

So what does Valentine's Day mean to you? 

Be completely honest with yourself when you try to answer this one. It means nothing to me. We don't need Valentine's Day. I still say it is more Single's Awareness Day. A chance for ooey-gooey fools to taunt those who have not. For single people to be pressured by the belief that everyone needs someone else. They will spend their billions, according to USA Today. But the stigma stays that most of it is done with the belief that they will get something out of it in return. So what good is Valentine's Day then? 

For a while, when I was growing up, my family didn't think of Christmas as a holiday to celebrate. It is over commercialized and has moved away from its original meaning. Instead, we celebrated Valentine's Day. Gave each other meaningful gifts then. It was the holiday associated with love after all. But now, we are celebrating Christmas. We have returned to the true meaning. As for Valentine's Day... For my husband and I, it is just another day. Another day to profess how much we love each other. To continue doing what we do best. Love one another as no one ever has before. Better than anyone would ever love us again. 

Don't use Valentine's Day as your catch up for the rest of the year. Not as an excuse to buy something or do something nice for your love. Live every day as though it is your last. Morbid, you say? Or is too harsh a reality for you? I've witnessed the loss of someone as young as 4 years old, a woman who just turned 21 and a young man in his 20's. All in excellent health and vitality. But within a moment, their life was gone. They hadn't planned on it. Life just happened. How much more so for you? 

So what do you do? 

Tell them you love them. Often. My husband and I say it so much more than once a day. And it never gets old for us. It's not just words. There are true feelings behind them. How do I know this? His actions back up his and my actions back up mine. 

Show them how much you love them. Love is an action. So put your actions forward. Do the things you know they wish you would. My husband loves when I hug him after a long nights work. Or when I have lunch ready when he wakes up in the afternoon. I appreciate it when he takes out the trash and changes the baby for me. Or how about when he washes the dishes for me after dinner? 

Learn their love language. My husband is big on Physical Touch. Most men are. And I'm not just referring to sex. It brings him joy when I reach out to hold his hand, when I pull him in for a close embrace or even when I take his arm as we walk together. It is simple, yet says so much. Acts of Service are on top for me. Don't tell me, show me. Nearly 8 years of being lied to in my first marriage taught me that words mean nothing when they are followed by abusive actions. 

Don't get upset at them when they don't do or say XYZ unless you first let them know it is expected. Do you know that one of the biggest issues in a relationship these days, is lack of communication? I'm talking true conversations here. With both parties actively listening. Nope. Most couples split up because they don't know how to truly listen. They don't know what is expected or why. Why? Because the other person doesn't know how to say it and just gets mad instead. 
And the most important part of loving someone? Don't do it and expect reciprocation. If you truly love someone, you will find yourself doing things to make the other person happy as that is what brings you happiness. Otherwise, you get cranky when you didn't get what you wanted in return. That isn't love. That's just an exchange. That is like the couple who buys something for the other to justify spending money on themselves. "I bought you a $100 camera, so I can buy myself a $500 toolbox." "I spent $60 on a video game for you, so that I can spend $150 at the salon." That isn't really love, sweetheart. And if you show this person that you are doing things to make them happy because it makes you happy to see their joy, chances are good they will reciprocate. Especially if they really love you back. Not saying this always happens. Not all relationships are two-sided, no matter how much you wish it were. And maybe this will bring that to light. 
I'm not holding back love to be given more on one day than the rest of the year. I'm keeping that fire roaring every single day, for as long as we both shall live. In every way I possibly can, I will show him that his happiness brings my own happiness. And I will revel in the love he shares with me. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Getting Naked in Public with the Undress!

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not big on show and tell. Changing in front of anyone except my husband or in a place where I might be seen, makes me very uneasy. More so now that I'm not a well-toned size 8. That is what excites me about introducing you to the Undress. I can change any where, any time, without worrying about who will see!

*Disclaimer: I was sent these products free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinions are my own.*
Being a Mom, I have had plenty of moments where I needed to change. Quickly. Discreetly. And not a single place to change was nearby. Like the park for instance. Everything from a leaking diaper to spilled snacks and drinks - leaving me in a rush to get home and change. But then that takes away from the fun the kids are having. No way do I want to drive back to the park. Or how about being out and about and forgetting about the party I'm going to? Yep, meant to get home in plenty of time to change, but after losing track of time... well, I get to the festivities late and not looking my best. It can be embarrassing. 
Ever had to duck behind the bushes after nervously looking around? How about having girlfriends hold up the towel so that you can shimmy behind it? You rush and blush all at once. Just wanting to hurry up and get it over with! What about trying to get dressed in the car? Not only are you fighting a small space, but checking the windows to make sure no one is coming around. Public bathroom changes... can I get an 'ew yuck'!? You don't have much room to put anything down and they are usually pretty gross.
So someone decided to do something about it! 

A creation was born that would change how we look at this. Change how we handle getting undressed and dressed in public. Whether you are a Mom like me who needs help in crazy situations, or maybe you are on-the-go and need to save time for other things! Whatever your day brings you, there might come a time when you want to change quickly without making yourself and others uncomfortable. This isn't just a dress, it is a mobile changing room! 
Good for all ages! 

They come in 3 different sizes, A is for Youth 8-13, B is XS-L (which is what I'm wearing) and C is for XL-3XL. I love the versatility in doing it this way. There are great features to this dress as well. Like built in bra padding (petals) and hidden pockets. A self-packing pocket that makes it easy to fold up and take with you. They have adjustable straps to make it fit your style too. Empire waist, belted, loose and fitted. I prefer to go loose.

What did I try out? 

I chose the Undress V3 - Red Sport Bamboo dress. Looks cute enough to wear out as an everyday dress, but I can also doll it up for fun outings as well. I was thinking a cute blue jean or leather jacket for lunch dates in the cooler weather. The material is breathable and soft. 
They are currently slicing prices. Dresses used to be $99, but are now $79. You can also check out the new styles they are offering as they have gone from being a Kickstarter product to Indigogo. Facebook is just one way to keep track of new products!

What do you think? What is the best part of this dress to you? Would you have a use for it? Like changing after a workout of yoga session during your lunch break perhaps. What else can you think of? Leave me a comment below! 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Not Wasting Time on Tying Shoes This Year

If the first three months are going to be any idea of what the rest of the year holds, then we are going to be on the go a lot. With 4 kids, that means a lot of waiting on shoes to get tied. Well, it would. If we didn't have Hickies to help! 
*Disclaimer: I was sent these products through my association with US Family Guide in exchange for my honest review. I was not otherwise paid or endorsed. All opinion are my own.*

Hickies take the hassle out of shoe tying. Hard enough keeping track of their shoes, let alone in making sure each one is tied. My kids are 10, 8, 6 and 2. The oldest two really tried my patience while teaching them how to tie their shoes. More times than I care to recall, I had to stop and get them to tie their shoes or I had to tie them. When you are in a hurry, this makes things difficult. Or how about those cool super hero shoelaces that refuse to stay tied?? Oh yeah.... 
So how do Hickies help Parents? 

You slide these rubber straps in place and fasten. Then your kids only need to slide their shoes on. Voila! You are ready to go. They save you time and energy.  I chose the Red and the Black and Silver Metallic ones. Each pack has enough laces for a pair shoes. Depending on you lace yours up, you may even have some left over. 

Check out these awesome features:
Works in any shoe with eyelets.

One size fits all.

Elastic material keeps shoes secure yet comfortable.

Never tie again! Play is uninterrupted.

Fun look, without the messy knots and bows.

Adjustable tightness.

Quick and easy - simply slip on and off. Especially if you want to switch out colors to match your outfit!
Good for adults too! 

Do you run a lot? Do your shoes come untied sometimes? This will keep that from slowing you down! They include a guide that shows you how to use them in various styles so that you can wear them tight or wear them loose.

 Get your savings here!

Never tie, never worry. Get Hickies Never Tie Laces on hickies.com, with 20% off using code USFAM. 
Would you use them? How could they be useful to you? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you like most or what ideas you have for them!