Why Choose Extended Stay America?

When searching for family friendly, pet friendly, affordable accommodations for a trip or vacation it seems like it can be a lot to ask for. We’re a family of 6. Most hotels can’t accommodate all 6 of us so we’d have to book 2 rooms at least. I feel like often time we have to give up amenities just to keep the cost down. In the end it really doesn’t help anyway because most hotel rooms don’t have a way to cook in the room other than a microwave if you’re lucky. Which runs into money eating out for all the meals with a family of 6. If you can find a room with decent amenities to accomodate a family then asking if you can take Fido or mittens along too, you may as well forget it. Then you have to look at hiring a pet sitter or boarding your pet which…again…runs into more money.

There is one place though that will save you all the hassles while being surprisingly affordable. Extended Stay America.

With Extended Stay America you can enjoy the benefits that you’d expect to find in a hotel like housekeeping services, clean rooms, convenient locations, and wifi, mixed with things you’d expect to see more in a condo or vacation rental like: a kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, and stove top, on-site guest laundry.

Think of the money you’d save not having to eat all your meals out. Oh speaking of which, many Extended Stay America locations also offer FREE grab-and-go breakfast so there’s one of your meals taken care of already!

There are flat screen tv’s in all rooms so after a long day of having fun and exploring you can relax with your favorite show before bed or catch the news to plan your next day’s adventures.

While you’re relaxing you’ll notice the upgraded bedding with extra pillows to help ensure a good night sleep. So comfortable you might forget you’re not at home especially when Fido is whining to be taken outside. Which brings me to another point.

Extended Stay America knows a vacation just isn’t a vacation if you fur babies aren’t with you. Or if your staying temporarily until your new home is ready. That’s why Extended Stay America allows up to 2 pets per room at just $25 extra per pet to stay for cleaning service. Even at that, still a lot cheaper than boarding your pet.

With so many locations you can find one close to your destination. I saw there is one in Wilmington, NC. We keep thinking about visiting Wilmington again to check out the beaches. I’d love to go back to the plantation house in Wilmington again. They offer blacksmithing classes that my husband is interested in.

Rooms start at just $65 per night! Honestly I just did a search for June for the Wilmington area and was surprised to see there are still several room choices available and the most expensive one I saw was $114/night but that will all the bells and whistles of daily full service housekeeping and a sleeper sofa in addition to the 2 beds in the room.

Check out Extended Stay America for your upcoming vacation or business trip and book here:

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links. Any opinions expressed are my own.


KiwiCo Box Review: Tinker Crate for Ages 9 – 16+

KiwiCo has been around for a while. I remember subscribing to Kiwicrate when my oldest boys were pretty young. They were great to do on rainy or cold days. It was also a nice option to have when we had unplug time. I am not the mom that comes up with all these creative ideas. I’m the mom that searches Pinterest for ideas with materials I have.

KiwiCo subscription boxes come with the instructions and materials you need for each project. KiwiCo has grown quite a bit and has so much to offer now. When I got it for my older boys it was just craft. Craft boxes are still available but so are: Atlas Crates for Geography and Culture, Eureka Crates for Engineering and Design, Koala Crates for Play and Learn, Tinker Crates for Science and Engineering and more.

I let my youngest son (10 yrs old) handle this review. He chose the Tinker Crate for ages 9 – 16+. He was so excited when it came in, he couldn’t wait to get cracking on it. This particular box gave him the opportunity to build a moving robot!

He started taking everything out of his KiwiCo Tinkercrate methodically. Once he found the directions he started there (I knew he was smart). He sorted through and found each pack of pieces and spread them out on the table. Once he was sure everything was there he begun his project.

He worked so diligently putting his robot together. He carefully punched out pieces, connected wires, realized when he made a mistake and fixed it. It was enjoyable watching him work.

What I liked about it is it seemed to take just the right amount of time. It was challenging enough that he had to figure out how the parts went. But it was not above his level that he was getting frustrated. I waited for him to ask me for help but he didn’t. There was one part where he wasn’t sure about something. Instead of telling him how to fix it I asked him a question “Do you think you have that facing the right direction?” It was then that he realized he didn’t and was able to correct it.

I know I talked a lot about my thoughts here so I want to share some of my son’s thoughts. He told me he really liked the Tinker Crate and said “I wouldn’t mind subscribing to that”. I asked him “So you must have liked it then huh?” He said “yep!” He was so proud of his creation that he made by himself.

There are KiwiCo crates available for all ages and interests. There’s a box for 0 – 24 months called Panda Crate all about Explore and Discover. They go all the way up to Eureka Crate for Engineering and Design and Maker Crate for Art & Design for ages 14 – 104 so yea mom and dad, you could even get one. I love the variety and the quality of the projects. Choosing an age appropriate crate is the key. Some age levels have multiple interests to choose from.

Order your KiwiCo Crate HERE

I received a promotional sample to complete this review. Any opinions expressed are my own. This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission from transactions are completed through my links.


NEW Snail Mail For Kids: Kids Get Personalized Letters in the Mail!

Kids love getting stuff in the mail. I know mine do. Snail Mail for Kids is a new opportunity for them to get something fun and personalized through the mail.

Snail Mail for kids will send your kids a personalized letter once a week. You can choose monthly, 3 month or 6 month plans. You kids or grand kids will receive letters personalized to them with fun things included like stickers, trading cards, souvenirs, and more.

I know my kids would be coming home from school going “Did my snail mail come in yet?” Everyone likes getting something fun in the mail right? Hmm maybe they should make this for adults too lol

I was surprised to see how affordable it was to get weekly mailings. You can get your first box for 50% off!

My question personally was, ok I have 2 kids that would enjoy this I guess I’d have to pay for 2 subscriptions. NOPE it actually says that if you have 2 children it says they can include 2 kids and 2 enclosures at no additional cost. I think that’s awesome. If you have more than 2 kids you can have the letters addressed to the entire family. IE The Smith Family. That’s awesome. As a mom of 4, so often I’ve had to pass on things because I just couldn’t afford to do it for everyone. It’s hard to get a subscription box for one kid then another kids going “Can I get one too?”

While some subscription services can get pretty expensive this one is much more affordable especially for families with multiple children!

I think this could be an interesting way to encourage reading in kids. My youngest is 6 years old and learning to read. She’s doing pretty well but, anything I can do to encourage a love of reading, I’ll try it.

Snail Mail for Kids is also giftable. Just choose the gift option.

This post does contain affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my links.


National Cheese Lover’s Day With Wisconsin Cheese Monday January 2020

When you think about the US and everything it’s known for, a lot of things come to mind. When you think of Hershey, Pennsylvania, for instance, you might think of chocolate. When you think of Philadelphia you might think of cheesesteaks. When you think of Florida you might think of Disney World or the miles of beautiful beaches. When you think of Wisconsin you might think of the Green Bay Packer or cheese. After all, they do call them cheese heads right?

Wisconsin has earned its reputable name in the cheesemaking industry with a legacy of over 175 years – before Wisconsin was even a state! Differentiating itself from other cheese-loving states, Wisconsin is home to one of only two Master Cheesemaker programs in the WORLD – making it a hub for high quality, top-notch cheese shops and enthusiastic cheese lovers.

Here are just some highlights on our virtual cheese tour through Wisconsin today:

–          Andy Hatch’s Uplands Cheese (Dodgeville, WI)

    Upland farm’s location and layout is specified to curate the most flavorful and fresh cheese by producing cheese in accordance to the season. Cheesemaker Andy Hatch spent years making cheese in Europe before returning home to Wisconsin to create his award-winning varieties.

–          Marieke® Gouda Store & Penterman Farm (Thorpe, WI)

    Known for its’ modern twist on family farming and award-winning Marieke Gouda, created by Master Cheesemaker Marieke Penterman who came to the U.S. from the Netherlands and essentially earned her green card from cheesemaking!

Marieke Penterman Wisconsin Cheesemaker

–          Dane County Farmers’ Market (Madison, WI)

   America’s largest producers-only farmers’ market with specialty products from approximately 275 vendors throughout the year, this is a can’t-miss stop overlooked by the beautiful Capitol building.

–          Emmi Roth Cheese (Monroe, WI)

   Visit the leading provider of specialty cheeses inspired by two distinct cheesemaking regions – Emmi, imported from Switzerland and Roth from the State of Cheese™, Wisconsin!

–          Fromagination Artisan Cheese Store (Madison, WI)

   Iconic WI cheese shop that offers an array of artisanal cheeses and leaving guests with a truly immersed cheese-loving experience.

–          Widmer’s Cheese Cellars (Theresa, WI)

   Operating for more than 80 years, Widmer’s is renowned for producing the finest Brick, Cheddar and Colby cheese in the world. You’ll be greeted by Owner Joe Widmer, the third of three generations of Master Cheesemakers in the Widmer family.

–          Carr Valley Cheese Company (La Valle, WI)

o    Operating for over 100 years, with over 8 locations throughout WI, Carr Valley has won a variety of awards on the basis of tradition and taste. Owned and operated by the Cook family, including Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook who is a fourth-generation cheesemaker.

–          Wisconsin Cheese Mart (Madison and Milwaukee, WI)

    Wisconsin Cheese Mart carries over 150 cheese varieties and ships cheese to all 50 states. Cheese Marts efforts to provide its customers with both quality and quantity does not go unrecognized, as they carry an array of award-winning cheeses.

Julie Hook Wisconsin Cheesemaker

–          Roelli Cheese Haus (Schullsburg, WI)

    Roelli prides itself on four generations of Roelli family cheesemaking. Chris Roelli is a fourth-generation cheesemaker and in 2015, became one of Wisconsin’s distinguished Master Cheesemakers – cranking out over 135,000 lbs. of cheese per year at Roelli Cheese Haus!


The New Buzzword Around Dieting “Mindful Eating” But What Is it?

When you see the term Mindful Eating you might have an idea what it means. I thought I did when I first saw it. I guess I did in a simplified version but the more I learned about it, the more it really opened my mind. It also opened a new door regarding the way I eat.

Over-simplified, mindful eating is being aware of what you’re eating and being aware of what your body actually wants. – Angie Beechan LuvSavingMoney.com

If you’ve tried to follow just about any app, diet plan, or “lifestyle change” program recently you may have heard things like “Are you really hungry or are you actually thirsty?” or “Do you really want that chocolate cake or are you eating it just because it’s there?” Things of that nature. That’s part of it.

If you think the opposite way and think about “mindless eating” one might picture someone sitting in front of a tv throwing down a whole bag of chips. Or grabbing a cookie from the cookie jar every time you go past because it’s become habit. They might not even realize they’re doing it all the time, it’s almost become automatic.

I’ve been learning about mindful eating through Noom but I’m seen it mentioned in several places recently. So mindful eating would become more aware of your habits, your surroundings, and your triggers. Learning to slow down and appreciate your food without preventable distractions such as cell phones and televisions. Learning to appreciate the flavors in your food, the textures, the sources and ingredients. If you’re wondering about lunch with friends or dinner as a family, it’s actually beneficial. Sitting around a table eating and talking rather than sitting wherever you land while playing on your phone. Taking in the atmosphere, the smell from the foods, etc.

So maybe that’s an extreme example but it does help me to slow down and enjoy the food more and appreciate it. It’s not inhaling Doritos while writing a blog post (cough cough I have no idea who used to do that).

Sometimes it’s catching yourself when you mindlessly grab for the cookies on the table and you say to yourself, “ok Ang, you’ve already had a cookie but you’re not really hungry” or “I think I want it because it’s sweet and crunchy, l’ll eat an apple instead.”

So I hope this post has helped you understand the mindful eating buzzword a little better.