Simple City Life

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pineapple Infused Summer Spritzer {plus an Honest Fizz Giveaway}

Although today is grey and cloudy, we have had some extremely lovely days lately. We are slowly headed into my favorite season- summer! I can not wait for the heat, the constant sunshine and the lazy days with my kids. Days spent with out a schedule, exploring our city and for the most part, not having a care in the world. I am not that mother who signs up the kids for a zillion activities over the summer. I prefer a summer spent together enjoying the change of pace. 
Summer. Backyard dinners. Scott fires up the grill and we enjoy fresh veggies and meats cooked to perfection nighty. It is simple and delicious. It is a evening of social interactions with our wonderful neighbors. There are kids jumping the fences together and playing endlessly in to the evening. Soon the evenings will include firefly catching. We will have jars handy to collect these little friends for a closer examination before releasing them and watching them dance in the evening sky. 

On special nights we may treat our tired souls to a delicious beverage. It's a high five to a hard workday, or a little treat for the countless hours of parenting.  

I decided to play around with some of the tasty items I had on hand the other night and create a lovely refreshing summer beverage. About a week ago I saved the scraps and the core of a fresh pineapple. I stored them in a canning jar with added vodka. Within a weeks time the alcohol took on a light pineapple flavor. This mix can be left for as long as you would like to achieve a stronger flavor. 
Bitters are another great addition to your cocktails. We have been using them mostly with our Soda Stream seltzer water, but you can add a little to give you drink a little kick. We use Top Note bitters. They are a local Milwaukee company and have such a perfect tonic flavor. We have purchased and enjoy all three flavors- Bitter Orange, Bitter Lemon and Gentian Tonic. 

Clearly Kombucha and Honest Fizz are both excellent for adding that light, bubbly spritzer element. You can enter below to win a case of Honest Fizz for your own summer cocktails and backyard fun. 

Pineapple Infused Summer Spritzer
1 oz. Pineapple infused vodka
1/2 oz. Top Note bitters (Gentian Tonic)
1/2 cup Asian pear Clearly Kombucha
Honest Fizz ginger ale to top off your glass
Chopped pineapple for garnish
Fresh Lemon juice

Add Vodka, bitters and kombucha to your 8-16 oz glass. Add Honest Fizz ginger ale, about a 1/4- 1/2 C. or until desired flavor is achieved. Add a squeeze of fresh Lemon juice, stir to blend and bring out the out the flavors, garnish with chopped pineapple and lemon slice. 

To enter to win a case of Honest Fizz, fill out the rafflecopter form below. Thank you and best of luck! 

Happy Summer Dreams!
Courtney

Friday, May 15, 2015

Celebrate Father's Day and Support March of Dimes #MoDSquad #imbornto


I am one of 39 bloggers (39 representing a full term pregnancy.) who have had the honor to help promote the beautiful care taking endeavors through The March of Dimes. Every year, more than 450,000 babies are born too soon in the United States and in nearly half the cases, the question is still "what went wrong?" Research is working hard to help with those answers.


At the end of April I posted about the fantastic  #imbornto campaign with March of Dimes. The opportunity for everyone to join with  March of Dimes partners like Bon Ton, Martha Stewart, Kmart, Blue Rhino, and several others to help raise money for the wonderful research and ongoing care for sweet babies and their families through March of Dimes. I'm born to (#imbornto) helps connect millions of consumers (that's you and me) to the campaign partners by shopping, dining, and donating during Mother's Day and continuing into the Father's Day. The March of Dimes believes every baby is born to do something wonderful and unique and they want to help make sure every baby is born full-term and able to make their purposes possible. With statistics like 1 baby being born premature every minute in the United States and approximately 72 babies dying every year before reaching their first birthday or 15 million babies die too soon worldwide, the fight to see these babies born at full term is a true battle.

So consider if you are in  New Orleans, Las Vegas, Charlotte or Orlando during Father's Day, you could chose to dine at a participating Chef Emeril Lagasse restaurants. Chef Emeril has teamed up with Martha Stewart Living to help raise at least $30,000 for March of Dimes by giving customers the option to add a donation to their meal check. This partnership will run from June 7th till June 21st. You can also be apart of the #thx2u movement where people are sharing their thankfulness for moms and dad's. For every baby photo uploaded on twitter with the hashtag #thx2u Martha Stewart Living and the Meredith Corporation will be making a $10 donation. To learn more visit
www.marthastewart.com/thx2u

If your guy is like my guy and would rather have some delicious dinner from the grill at home on Father's Day then head over to a Blue Rhino store who is also a supporting partner with the #imbornto campaign and find a location near you to fill up your grill tank. One of my personal favorite partners who is supporting March of Dimes this spring is Bon-Ton. Customers of the The Bon-Ton stores and any of their 7 nameplates, like the Boston Store here in Wisconsin are offering a $10 off coupon for every $3 donation to the March of Dimes at checkout or if the donation is made online instead it will be a 25% off coupon.


There are even a few partners helping the #imbornto campaign past June like A&E Jewlers which is another great company from Wisconsin. Now through December 2015 with their special collection, ranging in cost from $39.99 to $99.99. A&E Jewelers will donate 20% for each of the Charmed Stories -Enchanted and Timeless Collection "Healthy Beginnings" jewelry pieces. Each piece is stamped with the March of Dimes.

Remember those cute bangles from my last post? They are from Alex and Ani who is donating 20% of the purchase price from each Special Delivery Charm Bangle sold, with a minimum donation of $25,000, between March 2015 and December 2015, to the March of Dimes. So if you are looking for a few gifts for new mom's, birthday presents or even Christmas, consider giving towards this amazing opportunity!



I highly recommend taking a few minutes away from facebook, twitter and even our blog and head over to the imbornto website and read all about what March of Dimes is doing, how they started in 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat polio, what they have been doing the last 75 years, and even read testimonials from family's who have had premature babies and those babies have become healthy and strong. A little warning though, it may make you tear up a little and you will become a cheerleader for The March of Dimes! 

So a belated Happy Mother's Day to our mommy readers and Happy Father's Day to you guys out there and remember we are all born to do something great and all babies should have the opportunity to be born healthy and strong!

Cheers,
Abbie

* I am a blogger with the Motherhood and being compensated for my promotion of this campaign all opinions are completely and 100% my own!*


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Travels to Kansas City- Schlitterbahn Water Park

Let's all welcome Kendra- our guest blogger today! Kendra is a mother to three young kids here in the Milwaukee. She loves to travel and is excited about taking her kids to Kansas City this summer. 

Before I tell you about some of  the cool things that this water park offers I need to first tell you that I am committed to riding this beast of a waterslide. I am going to do it. Don't try to talk me out of it! 



I am exciting to be going there with my young children next month! Schlitterbahn saves my budget by offering free parking, free life jackets, and we can bring in an ice chest of food! Food prices are reasonable and healthy options abound. We usually save a little room in our budget for treats like ice cream or funnel cakes. In addition to our protein packed lunch and snacks, we will pack a few waterpark survival items - like water shoes, ample sun protection and a set of dry clothes for my impatient kids who do not like to wait for the sun to dry their swimsuits!


While I plan on tackling the World's Tallest Waterslide, my children will enjoy the comfort of the splash zones designed for the very youngest guests. If you are towing a teen you can keep them busy with lessons on inland surfing on the boogie bahn. If your teen is more studious than athletic you can fascinate them with facts about the park including how most of the water in the park is recaptured, filtered and reused. Or that the park in South Padre is built our of wood reclaimed from the wildfires that took place in Austin.


Shlitterbahn will inspire imaginations, both young and old. Each of their park's locations has its claim to fame:

 New Braunfels: World's longest tube ride; voted America's Favorite Waterpark. 
South Padre: World's first Transportainment system where interconnected rivers are queue lines for rides. 
Galveston: Voted world's favorite indoor park. 
And yes, Kansas City, where I am headed to boasts the midwest's longest tubing adventure, and home to the World's Tallest Waterslide (gulp).

With it's many notable innovations (uphill watercoaster, boogie bahn and more) we know we are in for a unique experience that will shape our memories of this summer. 


If you are in the Kansas City area will you be heading to Schlitterbahn this summer? Will you dare to ride the World's Tallest Waterslide?! 

Safe Summer Travels! 
~Kendra


This post is sponsored by UsFamilyGuide. My family will be receiving admission to the park in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.