Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Obsessions Boutique {Giveaway} – Closed

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

I have found this new obsession with online boutiques/shops. It’s so convenient to shop straight from your living room couch. And the best part…receiving something fun in the mail to come home to. It’s like my new favorite thing! The only fear I have with online shopping is how it will fit. You can’t try it on, you can’t see the exact coloring. Good thing most shops offer free returns/shipping now. But still, it’s no fun to be so excited for your adorable top coming and then have to send it back because it just doesn’t fit or it’s not how it looks online.

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Now cue in magical music… Obsessions Boutique has taken care of all your online worries. Obsessions Boutique is an absolutely adorable online boutique that offers the most darling clothes and accessories. They have the trendiest items and the best part is they offer all variety clothes for every season. Ever since moving to Utah, I am having trouble finding online stores that offer things for winter and summer. Most just offer just one.

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I am seriously swooning over this whole outfit! The leggings are so fun and right on point with the fun colors. Like I said, I just get so nervous ordering sizes with online boutiques. Obsession Boutique does not disappoint in this category. They offer a sizing chart on their site and they are very true to what they say. I ordered a size small (what I normally am) and my skirt fit perfect! So no worrying about sizing issues with Obsession Boutique.

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I love how classy all of their pieces are. Right now I am having a polka dot obsession (no pun intended ha!) and I immediately fell in love with this top! Actually I immediately fell in love with many of their pieces. But I honestly am now obsessed with my new Obsessions Boutique Skirt!

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I love that I was able to pair it with some bright summer colors and the skirt still looked summery. You guys, this is probably the most comfortable skirt I now own! It has an elastic band, which does not squeeze to tight at all! (Perfect for growing baby bellies!) It is so light weight and perfect for the summer heat.

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My favorite part of this skirt is the ruched knee. I love that they took a very simple maxi skirt and pulled that into it. At first I thought it would be kind of tight around the knee part and be hard to walk in, that is not the case at all. It is perfectly roomy and tightens up in all the right places.

Obsessions Boutique checked everything off my list for a great online boutique. What you see is what you get. There are no guessing games with this shop. Everything they offer is so darling and lots of variety for different styles.

I am so excited for today’s giveaway, because not one of you but 3 of you will win one of these skirts I am wearing in one of their three colors they offer. Red, Black and Brown. So, I wouldn’t miss out on this one ladies! Get entering 😉

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Little Tikes Garden Chairs {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Can you tell that we like to read?

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Yes, we like to read lots.

All winter long and into the early spring we were shut ins around here.  So all of our reading took place indoors.  We didn’t even venture out to the library.  No siree.  Why is that?  First, it was super cold outside.  Second, it was super cold outside.  Third, it was super cold outside.  Okay you get the idea.  It was super cold outside.  Then… Don’t even get me started on the amount of snow that was dumped on us.  Loads and loads.  All winter long.  I thought that it would never end.  We even got a snow storm when I was postpartum in the hospital with Cache.  Oops. I think I must have left that out of Cache’s birth story.   Yes, I know that I forgot to put that part in.  Basically a HUGE snow storm decided to come rolling in the day after he was born and we weren’t sure if we were ever going to get to leave the hospital.  For some reason when it snows in St. Louis the ENTIRE city shuts down.  Does that happen in other cities?  Anyway, back to our love of books… Now that the weather is simply glorious outside (not too hot and not too humid yet) we can take our reading outdoors.

My friends over at Little Tikes sent Banjo and Ruby these adorable garden chairs.

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The chairs are the perfect size for their little tushies and are now their favorite reading spots in the backyard.

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I LOVE that my sweet littles LOVE books.

Now… for the giveaway!!!

The winner of this giveaway is going to

receive TWO garden chairs from Little Tikes

in the colors red and orange!

(Enter on the Rafflecopter below.)

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*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, June 23rd and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by Little Tikes, but all opinions are strictly my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Little Tikes Picnic Table {Giveaway} – CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

We finished our patio late in the season last year, so we didn’t really get to enjoy it before it started to snow.

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But this year we were ready for the spring and summer!  In fact we have been dining al fresco for quite a while now.

littletikes6Basically as soon as it stopped snowing.

That’s why when my friends over at Little Tikes  (Yes, I said LITTLE TIKES *squeal*) offered to send us a picnic table for our kiddos I jumped at the chance.  And of course you know what that means…  If I get one then one of YOU gets one, too!  *SQUEAL* from you, right?!

The Easy Storeâ„¢ Picnic Table with Umbrella is amazing.  Seriously dandy.  As soon as it came Banjo had to open the box immediately.  He even starting dragging the pieces from the front entry to the back patio.  Fortunately for me it require no tools to put together.  I’m all about the ease of things like that.  The entire table just snaps together and the instructions were super easy to follow.

Here we are at snack time:

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And then dinner time with cousin H:littletikes

My kids cannot get enough of their new table!

What’s more???  It stores aways really dandily.

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And now… The moment you have all been waiting for…

The GIVEAWAY!!!

The winner of this giveaway is going to receive an…

Easy Storeâ„¢ Picnic Table with Umbrella

from Little Tikes!

And the crowd goes wild!!!

(Enter on the Rafflecopter below.)

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*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, June 16th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by Little Tikes, but all opinions are strictly my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Party with Dandy Giveaway!

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Ladies and Gents, I’m throwing a party!!!

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Summer Emerald

 

Tuesday, June 3rd at 8pm CT there will be a *LIVE* party on Facebook.  It’s going to be way dandy with fun and prizes!  Be sure to join in on the pre party.  Each day (leading up to the big party) I’ll be posting information and games on the party page.  By participating in the pre party you will earn extra raffle tickets for the prizes!

Request to join the party page here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/239076436283080/

Can’t wait to party with you and I hope to see you there!

Mermaid Maternity {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

Raise your hand if you cringe when I say the words “maternity swim suit.” It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, or how “tiny” or “wow, are you  having twins?” your stomach is, most maternity swim suits are just horrible! They’re unflattering, uncomfortable, unfortunate, and you inevitably end up feeling dumpy and large. Well, ladies, rejoice! I have found a company that will forever put that stereotype out of your minds: Mermaid Maternity!

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Mermaid Maternity is a swimwear company dedicated to offering well-made, supportive, super cute maternity swim suits. Believe me when I say I like all of their designs and had a really hard time picking which suit I wanted to review! They don’t have a million to choose from, but that guarantees that they have taken the time to truly perfect the styles and patterns of the suits that they do offer.

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Their basic model is this: you pick a top you like, then pick a style of bottoms you like and voila! you have a swim suit. In tops they offer a V-Insert style, a Halter V-Insert style, a Bandeau style and a Wrap-Around Bandeau style. For the tankini top, you can choose from three different patterns or four different solid colors.  The bottoms are all black (a smart, flattering choice, in my opinion) and come in several styles of briefs, shorts, skirts and board shorts. They vary in length of the short as well as length of the maternity panel at the top. They also offer a few Rash Guard tops  and a selection of Plus Size swim choices.

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I chose to review the V-Insert Top in Raspberry with the Fold-Over Panel Maternity Swim Shorts, and let me just say I. LOVE. THIS. SUIT!!! First of all, it’s comfortable. The top is supportive and gives me the coverage I need while still feeling like a swim suit. The V-Insert style is flattering and I love the knotted details in the fabric along the shoulders. The adjustable straps can be worn straight down the back (like a bra) or crossed in an X. I like the X because I feel like it gives me that much more support, which I need with this pregnancy chest! The fabric is thick and stretchy and feels like it will last through several more pregnancies (assuming I have any more!). The best part of the suit, however, is the tie on the side. Every Mermaid Maternity suit comes equipped with this drawstring hem to grow with you as your belly expands, and the tie allows it to conform to your shape as well as stay down in the water when you’re swimming (unless you like your top floating up and around you like a skirt underneath your chest…).

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The bottoms are another favorite part of this suit. They are tight and short enough to look like bathing suit bottoms but not so tight and short that I feel uncomfortable in them. My legs (especially my upper thighs) are definitely not my best feature, and these little shorts allow me to cover them right up! Plus, let me tell you how awesome is it to not have to worry about trimming up around the sides every time I’m going to go swimming…you know what I mean, ladies!

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I’ve already worn this suit to the pool a few times and to the beach once, and I’ve chased around my two kids and walked miles in the sand in it, and I’ve yet to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. In fact, I feel great in this suit! I’ve gotten several compliments on it from both friends and my husband, and every time people are amazed at the quality and craftsmanship that have gone into this swim suit. That said, they’re not cheap. The tops run between $60-68 and the bottoms are anywhere from $32-52, depending on the style. DON’T LET THAT DETER YOU! This is one purchase worth spending the big bucks on! Trus me when I say this suit will not fall apart or stretch out after one pregnancy/summer. I fully intend to wear this suit at least twice a week all summer long and still get more use out of it in a few years. Mermaid Maternity’s customer service is superb, so if you order something from their online store and discover you don’t like it, they will work with you to help you find the perfect swim suit for your beautiful, pregnant body. Now go do some shopping! And then enter to win $100 to their online store!

Win $100 to Mermaid Maternity and pick out the suit of your pregnant dreams!

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of May 20, 2014, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Mermaid Maternity, but all opinions are strictly my own. The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.

Caralase {GIVEAWAY} CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

With the season change and Spring being so short, I like to look for things that can easily transition into Summer also. I feel like the key to a great spring/summer outfit is comfort and versatility. If I can wear a shirt 3 different ways then you better know I am buying that sucker! If that shirt is going to stay in place and I am not constantly tugging and pulling at it to make it from showing to much then it will definitely end up in my closet!

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Caralase has all of that and more! Comfort, versatility and just about the most darling clothing items ever. When they asked me which item I wanted to review I probably sat on their website for a good hour trying to figure out which one I would wear the most (which happened to be 99% of them) and which one I could transition from Spring to Summer.

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Two words came to mind when I saw Caralase clothing line, Soft and whimsical. Everything you see looks so comfortable and light and airy. Perfect for the cool Spring day and then bring them right into a breezy Summer night. Now that’s my kind of boutique!

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What I love most about Caralase is that they have the basic things you need in your closet (tee’s, boyfriend tee, long sleeve) but they aren’t just plain jane. Like this Pink long sleeve tunic above, ooo I am just swooning over the lace finish. And every girl needs a fun maxi. The fit on this one is so slimming with the fun bright print!

I also really like how they offer a variety of pictures of the item. The other day I was looking at a shirt on another site and there were no pictures of what it looked like on. I was immediately drawn away from that site. I like to see what it looks like on from different angles so I can get an idea of how it will fit.

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I love love LOVE my cobalt draped slub cardigan . The fit is amazing. Especially around the arms, sleeves in cardigans never tend to hit my wrists but this one hit at the right spot. Making it look like it actually fits haha. I love that it is so light and airy (I told you!) and I can wear it in the Summer time for those late night BBQ’s or hanging outside chatting.

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I think I’ve already worn this cardigan 3 or 4 times and each time in a different style. I’ve worn it with a skirt and heels (my favorite) and as you see, in a more casual way with boyfriend shirts and chucks/flats. Like I said, anything that you can wear multiple ways is a win in my book!

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Caralase is giving away a $50 giftcard to their shop! I am a little jealous and am stoked to see what they giveaway winner purchases! Enter below!!

Spring has FINALLY sprung!

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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I don’t know about where you are, but here in St. Louis the sun is shining.  The flowers are blooming.  The grass is turning a brilliant shade of green.  Yep.  It simply glorious outside.  The spring has finally sprung around here!  I knew this day was coming eventually, but I also knew that the weather wouldn’t just suddenly change over night.  Especially not after what we dealt with for what seemed like eternity.  We had the LONGEST winter ever here!  I’m sure this sentiment resonates with the rest of the country; except of course for places like Florida and California.  Most of the country is highly envious of those types of places.  I’m talking the raging, green-eyed monster.  For St. Louis at least there have been signs of the coming days of honeysuckle and lilacs for quite some time now.  Albeit very slowly, but it has been warming up and the forecast hasn’t been predicting any of those crazy snow storms.  In fact the recent thunderstorms and even tornadoes (scary as those are) in the St. Louis area led me to believe that spring really was on its way.  Yes, I believe it’s FINALLY here!

With the spring weather also comes the need for some spring fashion.  That very need actually sent me to the mall last week, but I returned home with much disappointment.  I only made one measly little purchase.  A somewhat (long sleeved; mind you) spring blouse that definitely won’t carry me into summer.  All of the stores must not have been catching on to the hints of spring, because they only had winter clothing in stock.  Heavy sweaters galore, but nothing for spring.  It’s possibly that they are now stocked for spring this week, but I was at the mall LAST week.  I don’t have time THIS week to go back.

In my desperation to have something that I could fit in (remember I just had a baby 9 weeks ago) for this warmer weather I turned to my old standby.  Online shopping.  I will admit that typically I’m a little hesitant with clothes shopping online.  It’s difficult to often know the sizing or how the item will fit.  Generally I’ll only shop online at stores that I’m familiar with already.  Or ones that my friends have recommended.  So it took A LOT of bravery on my part to place an order on a deal site.  But after this purchase:

photo-90I will be purchasing a lot more off of that deal site!

I’m absolutely in love with this top.  I found it on the Jane deal site for only $19.99!  Isn’t that a steal of a deal?  I’m talking waaaaayyyy dandy.  It has these faux buttons up the back.  Seriously going to be my favorite all spring and summer long!

Jane features boutique clothing items for up to 80% off.  Each deal only lasts a matter of days or until they sell out.  So some of the more popular deals are only be around for a few hours!  Like these two deals:

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GONE.  Totally gone.  I shouldn’t have waited so long to make my decision.

Good thing they still have plenty of these cute maxi skirts!

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Click here…

Don’t miss your chance to get a deal at Jane!

Now… What did you see at Jane that you’ve gotta have?

*I am part of the Jane affiliate program, but I really did purchase the above blue top with my own funds.  All opinions are strictly my own.

New family members!

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

The end of July we went on our annual vacation to Lake Powell.  It’s in Utah/Arizona and always a family reunion of sorts.  ALL of us stay on a houseboat for an entire week and there are A LOT of us.

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This time around there were 28 of us.  Again… all on one house for a week.  Fortunately for us it’s a big houseboat.  🙂

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It’s always a fun trip, but this year it was also very eventful!  The second night we were all surprised when my niece’s boyfriend (who joined us at the lake this year…brave boy) proposed!  It was great news and we were all very happy.  After that how could the trip get even more eventful you ask???

Well, the very next day my brother-in-law and his wife received a phone call (on the boat) from the adoption agency they have worked with in the past.  They have been on the waiting list for quite a few years to adopt again and to no avail.  Out of nowhere a birth mother selected them to adopt her 10 month old twins!  It has been over 5 years since their last adoption and we were all ecstatic by the fabulous news.  So now in addition to their two girls they have another girl and a boy!

My friends over at Joovy wanted to be involved in the blessed union of adoption and welcoming the newest additions to our family.  They are the experts on baby gear and knew that twins require double the gear.

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Joovy was nice enough to send my brother-in-law and his wife a fantastic welcome home gift for their twins.  The Caboose Too Ultralight!

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1 14   1 15

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Aren’t they adorable?  My sister-in-law said that it’s the perfect stroller for doubles.  It’s really light weight and the back seat can easily be converted to a tandem for when the babies are older.  Most importantly due to the positioning of the seats the babies aren’t able to pull each others hair!  We were able to officially meet the little cuties last weekend at the wedding of our niece.  They of course had their Caboose stroller in tow.   🙂

Oh and here’s a picture of the bride and groom with the happy parents of the bride looking on admiringly at all of their children.

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Love them all!

Thanks again Joovy for sending the stroller to my family and helping to congratulate them on their newest additions!

DaVinci Gourmet {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

 When we were going to school full-time, we were living in a college town in Washington state — you can only imagine how important the local coffee shops were to most of the students on campus.  Between the college setting and being just over an hour away from Seattle, coffee was king!  I don’t drink coffee, but many of our study sessions or get-togethers after class or work took place at a coffee shop, so I needed to find something there outside of hot chocolate for the warm summer months.  Enter Italian sodas!  I loved having a fun fruity drink to order, and I especially loved being able to try multiple flavors and mix and match over the two years I lived there.

I found a great post for Italian sodas on one of my favorite foodie blogs at the beginning of the summer, and it took me right back to these fun times with friends!  I added “fruit flavored syrups” to my shopping list so I grab them at the grocery store, but there were NONE to be found — some vanilla, caramel, and chocolate flavors to add to coffees or hot chocolates, but no fruity flavors for Italian sodas.

 

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I headed online to see where I could purchase these syrups online, and I came across the new Fruit Innovations Syrups offered by DaVinci Gourmet!  “The Fruit Innovationsâ„¢ Syrups are specially formulated for making refreshing cold beverages.  Give lemonades, ice teas, and sodas a unique twist by adding one of our gourmet syrup flavors.  These delicious syrups are made with pure cane sugar and ultra-filtered water.  Easily mixable Fruit Innovationsâ„¢ syrups naturally compliment many cold drinks without adding overwhelming sweetness.  So stir in one of our nine new flavors into your next drink recipe and get that fresh-squeezed fruit taste anywhere, anytime!”

pomegranate  strawberry raspberry peach Mango

We were sent the Pomegranate, Raspberry, Strawberry, Peach, and Mango flavors to try, so we invited some friends over for dessert and games and pulled out all the fixings for Italian sodas!  By the end of the evening, we had sampled all five flavors and were pleased with all of them.  Peach, though, was a clear favorite, with raspberry coming in right behind.

DaVinci Gourmet also offers Honey Melon, Kiwi, Mandarin Orange, and Tropical Fruit in this new Fruit Innovations line — they all sound amazing!  DaVinci Gourmet also provides a plethora of recipes that use these  Fruit Innovationsâ„¢ Syrups, such as Asian Citrus Sorbet, Summertime Strawberry Lemonade, and Peaches and Cream Soda.  I would highly recommend these great  Fruit Innovationsâ„¢ Syrups to add a fun twist to lots of different drinks!

In addition to these great new summer fruit flavors, DaVinci Gourmet also offers Classic Syrups, Sugar Free Flavored Syrups, All Natural Flavors Syrups, Gourmet Sauces, and Tea Concentrates.

Online Website / Facebook / Newsletter Sign-Up

**This review was sponsored by DaVinci Gourmet, but all opinions are strictly my own.

RIO Brands {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

 When we lived overseas, we would travel toward the northern end of the island to stay at a military resort that was right on the beach.  Our cabana was literally feet from the beach, and we would spend all day going to the beach to play, then heading back to our room to eat or take a nap before heading right back out again to kayak or ride the banana boat.  Because we were so spoiled in this way, I really don’t remember going to the beach to just play for a couple of hours and I certainly can’t think of a time that we went to the beach for the entire day.

Since moving to North Carolina, though, and living 30 minutes from the beach, we’ve made plenty of trips to and from and the beach for a couple of hours — it’s about all that we can handle!  I know that some of my friends have been able to head out there in the morning and stay clear until the sunset, but we’ve not made that jump just quite yet.

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One of the first times that we went to the beach, we were so completely unprepared!  Looking back, I blame that on my experiences of being able to race right back to our oceanside cabana to get anything we needed — we had some of the fun essentials (buckets and shovels, boogie boards, etc.), but we forgot to bring snacks of any kind, and we didn’t have any sort of sunshade.  I’m so glad we had good friends who have been going for years since we were able to share their goodies from their cooler, and they let us borrow one of their beach umbrellas.

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When I was given the opportunity to review for Rio Brands and I noticed their beach umbrellas, I was ecstatic at the thought of having our own umbrella to use for this very last month that we’ll be able to enjoy the NC beaches!

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We were sent the Total Sun Block 7′ Umbrella to review, and, again, my husband pulled it out as soon as it arrived in the mail.  The poles were sturdy without being too heavy, making it easier to carry down to the beach.  The anchor part at the end of the main pole allows for the umbrella to basically be screwed into the ground, which was perfect for getting the pole into the ground in the first place!  It can easily be set up at the beach, at the park, in your yard, whatever!  The shade itself blocks 99.8% UVA/UVB rays and the unique square shape seemed to fit our family of four (albeit two little kids!) just fine. 

Along with this great sun block umbrella, Rio Brands features other chairs and sun shades for all day fun at the beach or outdoors in the summer heat!

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Easy In-Easy Out®-Tropical Rainforest

 cooler

Big Boy Backpack with Cooler

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Total Sun Block Beach Shelter

Online Shop / Facebook / Pinterest

**This post was sponsored by RIO Brands, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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