Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GO OUTSIDE!! #CleanItForward {Sponsored}

For my final post in the #CleanItForward Campaign by Finish Power & Free Alliance of Moms (which is a network that explores a new product line, Finish Power & Free, featuring less harsh chemical formulas, without sacrificing the power of Finish results – a win for even the tiniest members of your family! ), I want to discuss my family's favorite thing. Something I think all families should spend time doing. That is, playing outside.


I really truly and completely believe there is a lot to learn from the outdoors. I am 25 years old and I'm STILL learning things almost every time our family goes on an adventure. If not about the adventure itself, then it's something about my surroundings. Take my 25 years in comparison to my daughter's (almost) two years (which makes me want to cry) and you know that there is a wealth of knowledge for her to attain just by stepping outside. And when we DO get outside, it's almost PAINFUL to come back inside! From the minute the weather is bearable after a long cold winter to the moment our snot starts to freeze, we get out as often as possible.


We do several things outside as a family. Baseball, the zoo, parks, picnics, camping... The one that comes to mind immediately is gardening! Now I will say this, it takes several years to decide what you do and don't want to plant and what you will and will not eat. For example: I HATE lettuce from my garden. It tastes limp and gritty. Not my cup of tea. But I LOVE snap peas and fresh beans. Heck, even my baby tomatoes have yet to see indoors this year because they are DELICIOUS and so easy to just pop in my mouth right when they are picked. The food is heavenly. More than anything though, I LOVE watching my daughter's shock and surprise when she sees the garden after a day or two. She's astounded that her PEAS keep growing! Gardening has been such a great experience for us all.



Also, because I can't do a post without thinking about food or sharing a recipe, try this:

Sauteed Bacon Beans



1lb fresh green beans rinsed and ends snapped off
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 c fresh bacon bits OR chopped bacon (browned)

Heat up skillet (medium heat) and simmer garlic in olive oil until JUST browned. Toss in beans and cover, stirring every couple of minutes until the beans soften. Add bacon and continue simmering (covered) until beans JUST start to brown. Serve HOT! Soooooooooo good. Last time we made it (late last week) the main course was blackened salmon served over brown rice. Excuse me, my mouth is watering.

Speaking of blackened salmon, have you TRIED it?! Oh my word. My recipe is here. Get that grill out and make it. While you're at it, take off your shoes and run around in the grass. Nothing like the soft green blades of grass between your toes. And what a SENSORY experience for your tiny tot!

Moving on. (And you have to move on like Kylie is (with style) in the top right photo below.)


Our family also loves CAMPING! Even Kylie! We have been campers ever since I've known my husband and we hope that Kylie loves it as much as we do. It's great exercise and (as I have been saying) she's learned SO much! Last year she learned that eating sticks was not OK and I imagine that when we go camping this next weekend, she'll learn new, more valuable lessons. Like starting a fire or hunting for food. I'm totally kidding. But really, I hope she sees things that will amaze her. Like waterfalls and rivers and lakes and trails. Man, sometimes I really wish I could see things through her eyes.



I really believe that fresh air is good for the soul. If you don't have a yard or a garden, simply take a walk. I would suffice to say that at least 3 days a week, we pop Kylie into the jogging stroller and take her for a walk around town, often stopping at a park (or ice cream shop) or two. It makes for the very best memories (and pictures).


You'll never see today again, so the least you can do is appreciate it, learn from it, and remember it. Get outside, people!


To clean our grilling supplies and camping (food) gear, I have switched to Finish® Quantum. It has been SEVERAL months now since I made the switch and it was such a SIMPLE transition. In fact I rarely think about it anymore as all I have do is grab a tablet and toss it into the dishwasher! That easily I can control (and limit) the harsh chemicals I am using to keep my dishes AND Kylie's eating necessities clean. That's right - Finish® Quantum is mild enough to use on NUKs and bottles!!!  I like to say that I (try to) keep my kitchen a germ-free zone and Finish® Quantum has been an integral part in that.

You can help put Finish Power & Free to the #FinishMoms test! Share the news of a "less harsh chemical formulas" dish washing product and help us #CleanItForward!!

Learn more about the Finish brand from my previous Alliance of Moms post and my SMART SNACKING post!!!

Now, because this is the FINAL  post in the #CleanItForward Campaign by Finish Power & Free Alliance of Moms,  Finish® has decided to host a GIVEAWAY! Probably the best one I have ever done on my site. One lucky winner will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card!!!! Entry options are simple.

  1. Comment on this post with your favorite outdoor activity AND what you would use the gift card for. (Leave your e-mail in the comment so I can let you know if you've WON!)
  2. For extra entries follow the listed social media sites below. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen at random on August 6th. This contest is open to US residents only. Entries will be verified. If I do not hear from the winner within 24 hours of announcing (and e-mailing them), a new winner will be selected at random. GOOD LUCK!

disclosure: i received product and payment in exchange for my open and honest opinions/review of Finish Quantum products. These opinions were not swayed in any way, but simply reflect my experience with the product.

46 comments:

  1. Going to the pool is my favorite! And I'd use it towards taking a vacation this fall! xo

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  2. Having water fights outside is my favorite outside activity. I would love to use the money to treat my husband to something special, since he never buys anything for himself!

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  3. My boys love to live outside, camping, exploring, climbing "mountains" (or as I like to call them, hills) but they really love to four wheel. and get messy! Being the end of July the gc would go towards back to school stuff. This year all three boys are in school for the first time and even though I've started buying supplies its getting PRICEY!

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  4. We love to swim. We also go on a LOT of walks.

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  5. And, I think I'd use it for my outside toys. We'd love a water table.

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  6. My husband and I aren't very "outdoorsy" but we live very close to the Mississippi River and we love to go to the wildlife preserves along the banks. If I won, I would put it into MORE birthday gifts for my son who will be 1 in September. Maybe a new jogging stroller!

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  7. Yay for camping, and YAY for being active outside! We LOVE soaking up this summer weather with anything we possible can :)

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  9. Our new family activity is a splash pad just 2 blocks from our house we can walk over there after dinner and play around before its time for bed. I would take the family out for ice cream

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  10. We love swimming and hiking. I'll use the gift card to get new outdoor gears for the whole family.

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  11. We don't do a lot of out outdoorsy things but we love BBQs. Especially being a former country girl, I love being outside. If I won the giftcard I would buy something for my husband's birthday coming up!

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    1. My email is classysassymrs@gmail.com :)

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  12. Heather Hayes PanjonJuly 30, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    My Favorite Family Activity Is Fishing, I'd Spend The Gift Card On Camping Supplies For Our Next Fishing Trip!
    hthr83heather@yahoo.com

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  13. My favorite outdoor activity would be relaxing on the beach and exploring forts and such! :-) I would use the gift card for a day date with my husband. Email address is dksimply12 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  14. Our favorite family outdoor activity is visiting our local parks and lakes. We love the water. We would probly use the gift card to take the kids to a local water park.

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  15. T LOVES being outside, just like every other kid in America I think! She could just be sitting on the porch eating a snack; for whatever reason, everything is more fun outside! Lately, we've been having fun catching fireflies! We have tons in our back yard. Her faves are the pool and the local water park. We're taking a family vacay to the beach over labor day, and I can not wait to see her reaction to the sand and ocean! I'd use the gift card for some new goodies for our trip. I saw the cutest cookie maker sand toy set, and little Crew needs some swimsuits and hats. :o)

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  16. This summer our favoirte outdoor activity has been sprucing up the backyard and house! We are paiting, fixing the deck railing, adding arbors, new patio furnitior, a pergola, and patio! It all probably wont happen this summer!! We love having friends and family over and entertaining in the backyard, so this was a no a brainer for us to do! I would use the gift card to host a cocktail party with our friends/family once it's all finished!!!

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  17. My favorite outdoor activity is walking! Especially walking along the beach (which I haven't done in years). I would give this to my son so that he could buy some supplies for his year at college.

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  18. We like going the beach
    I would use the gift card for school shopping

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  19. My favorite outdoor activity is during the summer months to be by the water or in the water. I would use the gift card to purchase a much needed baker's rack for my kitchen.

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  20. We love to walk together as a family. I would use the gift for a family weekend in the city.

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  21. My favorite outdoor family activity is going to the beach. I would buy clothes with the GC.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  22. We love going to the beach and taking boat rides..

    We would use this money towards a family dinner.

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  23. would use it for gifts for my sister's birthday gift. and we love to go swimming and barbeque with friends!!!

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  24. Our favorite outdoor activity is playing ball in the yard or going to the waterpark. I would use this gift card to buy clothes for my son for back to school.
    reklaw422 at hotmail dot com

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  25. we love swimming and would go to the beach for end of summer!

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  26. We like going to the park or to the beach play volleyball and BBQ

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  27. i like swimming with my son and riding bikes and i would use this gift card for christmas

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  28. We like to take hikes. I would use the gift card to take a trip to the aquarium.

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  29. My favorite outdoor activity would be going to the lake with the family. I would use the gift card to buy stuff I need for my babies.

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  30. We love to swim and garden, and I would use the card to buy seeds for next years garden!

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  31. I love when we have picnics in the park together and then go for a walk afterwards. I'd use the money for groceries and gas.

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  32. We like hiking. I would use it to buy back to school supplies

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  33. Oh, forgot to say we would take a weekend road trip using the gift card.

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  34. we love to go camping and swimming. I would use this for a family outing

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  35. we love to go on bike rides. and I would love to get my kids some new clothes for school.

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  36. Playing volleyball at the beach and I would use the gift card for my kids fall school clothing

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  37. We love to go camping and that is what we would do with it.

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  38. we like to go swimming. I would use this for back to school shopping.

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  39. My favorite family, summer activity is the time we spend at the river. We go almost every weekend, cookout, canoe, swim and fish. Sometimes, we camp over night, making s'mores around the fire pit. If I won, I would use this on groceries for our end of the summer celebration/cookout on Labor Day. :)

    pinktaz60(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  40. We love to go swimming! I would use this to buy beach towels and pool gear!

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  41. My son and I play ninja turtles outside a lot. I would use the gift card towards a mini vacation.

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  42. Hiking in national or state parks.

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  43. Forgot to add -- I'd use the gift card for one last summer fling during Labor Day weekend for my hubby's birthday.

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Thanks for your sweet words!!

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