A Must Do Family Activity in Topsail Beach NC: Ecological Marine Adventures

We just returned from our most recent vacation from Topsail Island, NC.  This is one of our fave vacation spots for lots of reasons.  We did a lot of things on this trip that we couldn’t fit into our schedule last trip.

Ecological Marine Adventures let’s you connect with the marine life in a new way.  They offer everything from 1 hour ghost crap hunts to week long summer camps and homeschool opportunities.  They even do parties.

We went to Topsail May 21 – 28.  When we looked on the site we did not see any ghost crab hunts available to schedule. When I visited their facebook page they had an update about someone finding a ghost crab. I decided to message them to see if they have any ghost crab hunts available. I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask?  They were so nice and accommodating.  They opened up a date for us.  I booked it for my family immediately.

When the day came there ended up being two other families with us. The other families were so much fun and all the kids had a good time.  Our instructor educated us on ghost crabs, their evolution, and other interesting facts. They provide all the equipment you need for the ghost crab hunt.  All the kids had a chance to collect at least one crab but most caught multiple crabs.

Everyone from my 5 yr old to my 14 year old son had a good time.  Our group caught 42 crabs. Our instructor told us that the record was 44 but we set the bar for this year.   When my daughter caught her first crab she was so excited she started running in place and clapping her hands.

This activity is educational, it’s an active activity, and it’s fun for families.  If you’re wonder yes it was catch and release.  They were collected in a bucket and counted then released at the end of the hunt.  They also have surf and stand up paddle board classes, half day camps, and whole day camps .  They even host free classes on Tuesdays.

Check out Ecological Marine Adventures facebook page for updates on free classes and to see pictures from their classes.

Seas the Day Giveaway Hop: Goliath Games Zoom Ball Hydro and Shark Bite

I received the below mentioned product at no cost in order to complete this post. Any opinions expressed are my own. Prize is sponsored by Goliath Games LLC.

This Hop is hosted by MamatheFox

It’s July.  The weather is getting warmer and the kids are getting bored.  Send them outside with the Zoom Ball Hydro.  Works like the original Zoom Ball with a splash.  Yep they can actually cool off while they’re playing.  The Zoom Ball Hydro holds water balloons that break randomly during use.  So there’s an element of surprise to playing with the Zoom Ball Hydro as well.

You fill the Zoom Ball Hydro with water balloons (included). This provides the random splash.

Then you need two players.  Simple slide the Zoom Ball Hydro back and forth until the water balloons burst. As we found out, if you  put more than one in, you might get a couple water splashes out of it as they don’t all break at the same time.

The smaller ones had a harder time with it. They just couldn’t seem to get the zip it needed to go back and forth. My older boys had a blast with it.  Here’s a short facebook video clip I shared of my older boys using the Zoom Ball Hydro:


I don’t know about you but my family and I are big fans of Shark Week on Discovery channel.  I keep saying that one of these years I’m going to have a shark week party.  What is the perfect game to keep the kids entertained during Shark Week (or any day really)?  Shark Bite from Goliath Games. It’s fun for all ages, not too any rules, and again has an element of surprise.

The game comes with everything you see in the pictures.  The “fish” go in the open sharks mouth.  You roll a dice to tell you how many fish you need to catch.  Hopefully you catch all your fish before the shark chomps your fishing line.  See I told you, simple yet fun.

Here are my kids playing Shark Bite:

Where can you get these and other Goliath Games.  Click here for Goliath Games retailers


1 Luv Saving Money reader will win

a Zoom Ball Hydro AND Shark Bite game!


Seas The Day Giveaway Hop: Goliath Games

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MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Dr Jacobs Naturals Review and Free Shipping Code!

I received the below mentioned products in order to complete this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

It seems more and more companies are making the move to “natural” products. Except if you don’t really understand “natural” or “organic” some companies try to pass off products as organic or natural but really aren’t.

Dr Jacobs Naturals have always done it.  Using the same castile soap recipes developed by Dr Jacob, a Swiss chemist in the 19th century.  Dr Jacobs naturals offers natural castile soap products with multiple uses.

I received several Dr Jacobs Naturals products to try myself.


All of these products had a wonderful scent.  I’m a fan of almond scents but I don’t seem them as often as I’d like.  The almond honey castile liquid soap was awesome for body wash, facial cleanser, or and soap.  It uses natural ingredients, essential oils, and fragrances. A little went a long way.    The bottle was rather heavy so it made it a bit slippery in the shower, This might be best used to refill old bottles?

The Coco Loco Limade loofah exfoliating castile soap bar was the perfect thing to take on vacation with us on our trip to Topsail Island, NC.  Perfect scent for a beach vacation (or if you want to imagine you’re there in the shower) the exfoliating properties with the lime peel was great for dry and peeling skin to keep my skin beach ready.  Another benefit is minimal packaging and the wrapping on these bars if made from recycled paper!

Hubby and I on a beach side date night

I used the peppermint sparingly because my husband has some weird peppermint aversion lol.  But seriously he doesn’t like peppermint much not the smell, not the taste. If you want to gross him out give him some mint chocolate chip ice cream (which my middle son and I love by the way).  Because the castile soap uses peppermint essential oils it’s a pretty strong peppermint smell.  The pump bottle makes it convenient for hand soap, face wash, or body wash though.

Dr Jacobs Naturals Castile Soap line is 100% Made in the USA!
Free Shipping Now! – Free Shipping on all Dr. Jacobs Naturals products totaling over $20! Use code freeship20


We Attended British Soccer Camp

One of my children received free camp tuition through US Family Guide in exchange for this post. I did pay for the other child to attend because they both wanted to. Any opinions expressed are my own.

My littlest ones, ages 9 and 5, love soccer.   They play in the AYSO league locally.  My oldest son also had the opportunity to play indoor soccer in the fall through a different league. Anything soccer, they are into it.  We had heard of Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp before but this is the first year we gave it a try.

My daughter did the “First Kicks” program geared towards learning basic soccer skills for the little ones. She had a small group with only two other little girls but she made friends with these girls and had a blast.  Every day when I’d get home from work she’d ask “Is it time to go to soccer camp yet?”

First Kicks was only an hour long so it was a perfect program for 2- 5 yr olds.  They got a lot of individual attention and coach Abby and Coach Jason knew them by name after the first day or so.  The coaches were so good with the kids and my daughter just loved them.  My daughter is very outgoing and friendly.   They answered her questions, listened to her stories and goofed around with her when she would try to play.

My 9 yr old son did one of the half day camps.  We chose the evening half day camp since it worked better with our schedules.  My son is the opposite of my daughter personality wise in that he is rather shy and tends to keep to himself.  But my son had already made a friend on the first day and he was just as excited to go back each day as my daughter.

There were more kids in my son’s age group with a mix of boys and girls.  Kids from several different school districts were there so my son met a lot of new people.  The older kids were also given homework.  One night they had to research a country and give 5 facts about that country.  They had a to pick a country in the World Cup.   Another night they had to make a flag for their country they chose.  So they learned a bit too.

The half day camp for the evening was 3 hours.  They had so many activities, games, and skills to do with the kids that it seemed they were playing a few new ones each day.   It was neat to see how the games incorporated certain skills of play.


I have a video of my daughter in the First Kicks program too on Facebook:

The first day of camp was super hot for us here in Pennsylvania.  It was in the low 90s.  After that it rained every day so they did the rest of camp in the school’s gym that was hosting it.  It didn’t seem to matter to the kids one way or the other.

At the end of camp they gave all the kids a certificate of completion with a hand written note of encouragement and it pointed out their strengths which was really nice.

Because we registered early the kids got a British soccer camp soccer ball, T-shirt, and two different soccer jerseys.  They also have access to the skills app.    So if you ask me if the cost of the camp is worth it. I say, definitely yes.  Learning new cultures, skills, making new friends, being active for 3 hours a day at least.  So many benefits.

There are still camps available. Check the site to see if there is one in your area. REGISTER FOR CAMP & GET A JERSEY, BALL, T SHIRT & NEW SKILLS APP AND 20 FREE VIDEOS!
Enroll in the most popular soccer camp in North America! British Soccer Camps have programs for all ages and abilities and feature an innovative curriculum full of skills, drills, and thrills! Register now and you will not only get your free British Soccer game jersey (value $34.95) shipped to you for free immediately, but you will also get our brand new skill development App and 20 videos to help your child practice at home. Your soccer ball, T-shirt & poster will be given out at camp. USE CODE BSC18 at check out to get free shipping.
To Enroll: https://www.challengersports.com/british-soccer/

Natren Probiotics from the “Mother of Probiotics”

I received several Natren product at no cost in order to complete this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.  This post is not intended to give medical advice.  Prize is sponsored by Natren. 

I’ve mentioned a few times on this little blog that I have ulcerative colitis and IBS.  I see a GI doctor regularly and take prescription medication to manage my diseases.  I’ve had conversations with my doctor, with a dietician, and with others dealing with GI issues. I realize there is not a cure for my issues but there are things I can do to reduce symptoms and flare ups.

One thing is my diet.  Eating certain foods can irritate me and prompt certain symptoms for me.  Taking a probiotic can help maintain my “gut” health. There is also info out that that links GI issues to issues such as depression which I do have.  So things like proper sleep, exercise, etc can help as well.

If we circle back to probiotics though, you find that there are so many on the market  now. It seems a new brand is popping up all the time. How do you know which ones to trust? How do you know which ones will do what they’re meant to do?  How do you know you’re not getting things added into your probiotics that you probably don’t want in there?

Natren probiotics has been around for 30 years! Natren founder, Natasha Trenev along with her father, brought the idea of probiotic yogurt and acidophilus liquid to the US.  Natasha is known as the “Mother of Probiotics” in the early 1980’s she introduced the term “probiotics” to the health food industry.  You guys she is literally the reason we know about probiotics in the US today!  She was the first to arrange refrigerated sections in health food stores just so her family could sell their probiotic yogurts in stores.

In the 1980s and 90s Natasha actually established the entire probiotic category within the natural food industry.  Natasha created many firsts in regard to probiotics.  Natasha has written books on probiotics as well.  Natren is one of the only probiotics that has received International cBMP certification through Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) at the pharmaceutical and medicinal food level.

You can visit the Natren site to read more about the info, history, and science behind it too.  I could type it al. here but, why hear it from me when you can go straight to the source?  Here’s a helpful video about Natren as well:

Today Natren offers probiotics for all ages with many different product even in chewable for for kids and products for baby.


They have options for all stages of life. With Vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options.  The Healthy Tummy chewables my 9 yr old has been taking.  It says they are vanilla ice cream flavored.  He says they taste good. I’ve been using the Healthy Start system which is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, No GMOs, and No FOS.  They all arrived to me in glass bottles.

Natren products are shipped to you cold because they do contain live probiotics.  I also received a handy booklet with lots of info about Natren.


1 Luv Saving Money reader will win

a Natren probiotics prize package

US only

Natren Probiotics