CoCo Key Water Park Resort

Recently we had an opportunity to stay at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and CoCo Key Water Park in Kansas City during my boys’ spring break.  It’s about a 4-hour drive from St Louis right off Interstate 70, directly across the highway from the Royals’ and Chiefs’ stadiums.  It’s affordable family fun that gets you out of town in a few hours.

We arrived at the Adam’s Mark Hotel the lobby area was updated and inviting.  Our room was clean and simple no-frills accommodations. The outside of the hotel could use some updating, the good news is they currently have plans in place for an outside renovation. All my boys could think about was getting to the waterpark.

CoCo Key Water Park

According to my boys, CoCo Key Water Park was amazing!  Some hotels pools may have a slide or two, but never a full-fledged water park.  Even if you are not staying at the hotel you can still go to the water park.  It was a perfect fit for both of my boys, who are 7 and 3.  Logan, my oldest, was tall enough to ride all the slides.  CoCo Key also features a lazy river, splash area and lily pad adventure for little ones, and even basketball goals.   There were some local residents who were having their birthday party at CoCo Key. There are cabanas along the side of the pools for rent and a restaurant for food and drinks. No outside food is allowed.

The hotel has a huge arcade. In addition, they host several activities throughout the day, such as movie night, dance parties, face painting and appearances from CoCo the Bird.

For all the details check out http://www.cocokeykansascity.com

Logan’s favorite was: The big slides
Mason’s favorite was: The little kid slides
Mom’s favorite was: The boys slept like rocks after spending most of the day there.

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The weather was not so great when we were in Kansas City but it didn’t matter because Coco Key was inside and heated.  It was a fun place to stay for my kiddos while in Kansas City for the weekend that doesn’t break the bank. My boy’s keep asking when we are going back.  If you are needing a quick fun and affordable family getaway, Coco Key will have you kids smiling the entire visit.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Coco Key Water Park, however, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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I am all about Spring and Summer dresses.  Dresses are always my favorite!!

The days it feels like Spring makes me want to go get a spray tan and wear all the dresses.  Since Easter, graduation, and wedding season are right around the corner I tried on some of the cutest options I wanted to share with you.

This dress comes in such fun colors, the one I’m wearing is berry.  This dress is more dramatic in person.  The top layer is an open chiffon that drapes over a mock neck dress.  It’s flowy and fun.  Would be fun for Easter or a Spring wedding.

Berry Mock Neck Dress

I love love love this red A-line dress with the bow at the neck.  It’s more fitted and less forgiving than a fit and flare dress but soooo sooo cute.  This dress definitely makes a statement and would be perfect for a wedding or summer cocktail party.  It also comes in black.

red a line dress

How can you not have fun if you’re wearing a hot pink dress with this fun ruffle sleeve?  Sign me up for anywhere I can wear this dress. 🙂  It’s a simple crepe dress with a punch of color and that statement sleeve.  F-U-N and flattering.

Pink shift dress with bow

I’m ready to dance the night away in this dress.  It is so flattering, the fit and flare style.  The details of the lace and ruffles and the open back make this dress so special.  The last thing I need is another black dress but this one is perfection.

Lace fit and flare dress

This dress would be perfect for work on days you want to keep things simple.  I love the stripes and the shift dress style makes it super flattering.  Its wool and cotton so it would be great for winter and spring and also comes in a red color combo.

Boden stripe dress

This Kobi Halperin dress is all about the statement SLEEVE.  It fits like a glove.  The fabric is thick and so soft.  The color is Midnight (Navy) with black details

Statement sleeve

Ok I hope you found some options you like.

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Writing love letters to my boys.

Yesterday I was driving home from work on Lindbergh and a motorcycle passed me on the left.  He was ahead of me about 4 car lengths and in front of my eyes out of nowhere, a deer ran on this busy street in the middle of the day and smashed right into the guy on the motorcycle.  He went flying.  A car in front of me stopped to check on him and I pulled over and called 911.  I’ll spare you the graphic details but it made me think how things can change in an INSTANT.

I have a really stressful week of work, working on some major deadlines and managing my boys myself this week so I’ve been overwhelmed, tired, stressed, and trying to do too much.   Then I saw that guy on the motorcycle lying on the road and it clicked for me what really matters.

These precious kids matter.

Logan with chickens

I went to pick up my boys early and decided to be 100% present with them.  We took a picnic to a playground and went exploring and played outside.  I decided to write my boys a letter to tell them how much I love and cherish them.
I love writing them letters throughout the year and stashing them away so hopefully on a very special occasion they can look back on all the letters from important events in their life but sometimes it’s nice to write them just because.

I asked grandparents to do this too.  Babies birth, Baptism, Preschool graduation are all good occasions.

Mason with muffin

This is sentimental to me because I lost my dad a few years ago.  He was the most amazing man and always excited to hear what was going on in my life.  He always had fun stories to tell and was one of those people that everyone adored.  A few months after he passed away my mom brought me a box of letters she found from him.  He and my mom would write to me in college and when I lived in Dallas.  Just seeing his handwriting brought back so many special memories and gave me a sense of peace.  He was my biggest fan and always believed in me.

I want my boys to see in writing how much I adore them.  They are incredible kids.

Here is the letter I wrote to Logan:

Dear Logan

If you need some guidance writing your child a letter, try this.

  1. Tell them you love them
  2. Tell them what you like observing them do, about their talents or what you see in them
  3. Talk about the things you like to do with them, your special relationship

Here is my letter to Mason.

Dear Mason

I have been praying that the guy on the motorcycle is ok.  Thankfully as we were all sitting on Lindbergh one of the people in a vehicle beside me went up to check with the paramedics and said that he was responding.  It was shocking to watch such an event and then to see the paramedics come and do such an amazing job jumping into action to help this guy who woke up not having a clue what today has in store for him.

I share this story as a reminder that tomorrow is not guaranteed.  Tell the people you love how special they are and live each day to the fullest.

XOXO  Sarah

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Instacart grocery delivery

Here is the play by play on using Instacart grocery delivery.  Copy my promo code SSCHUMACHER2B5144 for $10 off your first order.

  1. Copy and paste this link to Instacart: https://inst.cr/t/N7fnYTDuh
  2. Select your store:  Remember if you want to shop at Sam’s or Costco you don’t have to have a membership to Sams or Costco to use them.  Instacart has the membership so you don’t have to.  🙂  yeah.
  3. Select your groceries and other items
  4. When finished select your delivery time.
  5. MOST IMPORTANT STEP Before you hit place order UNCHECK the Service fee Change to $0.  The drivers told me this fee does not go to the driver it goes to the company and it’s not necessary.

Instacart grocery delivery

6.  You can also pre-tip the driver but I usually give it to them in person.
7.  Copy and paste this promo code to save $10.  SSCHUMACHER2B5144
8.  Place Order
9.  Spend time doing what you really want to do by saving time running around the grocery.  🙂

What to expect.

*They will send you a text when they begin shopping to alert you they are at the store if you need to add or change anything.
*They will send you a text saying when your delivery is expected to arrive closer to time.
*If any of your items are not available when at the store they will alert you and get your approval for a replacement.

Enjoy!!  XOXO  Sarah

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Choo Choo,  All aboard the Kozy Kaboose.  Over Christmas break, I took my boys on the ultimate little boy staycation.    I gave them clues to where we were going and when they saw the caboose they couldn’t believe their sweet little eyes.  Spring break and Summer break are approaching and KOA’s campground in Eureka, Missouri has just the answer for those wanting a memorable camping experience without battling the St Louis crazy hot/cold weather.  

Kozy Kaboose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kozy Kaboose authentic caboose has the original Route 66 nostalgic feel.  It was completely refitted to a modern condition.  If your child is a train enthusiast, they’ll go crazy over spending an overnight in this choo choo delight.  It sleeps four people comfortably; 2 adults and 2 children, with a queen size bed and a bunk that my boys couldn’t get enough of.  My youngest spent almost an hour just going up and down the ladder.  

Kozy Kaboose

 

 

The bathroom has a shower-tub combo.  A small fridge is supplied and is large enough to hold some basic food supplies and drinks.  When eating, or playing a fun game of candy land you sit at a cute booth that seats four.  Also, there’s a TV with over 20 channels, and swivels from the dining area to the bedroom location.     

Kozy Kaboose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just steps from the back door, which has a porch with furniture, a grill and there is a fire ring that’s ready for roasting hot dogs and making s’mores.  My guys devoured more chocolate bars than anything else, which made bedtime a lengthy process.  Instead of purchasing pricey firewood, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by going to Academy Sports.  They have these convenient tree stumps, which have a core that’s soaked in lighter fluid.  All you have to do is light the middle and you have a toasty fire that lasts around two hours.  We added some Funky Colored Flames, that are also available at Academy, and your kids will be mesmerized by the variety of colors it produces.     

Kozy Kaboose

 

 We stayed for just one night, but given the chance, multiple nights would make for an awesome staycation.  They gave us a scavenger hunt on arrival the kids could hunt for.  When it’s warmer they have a pool, a playground and tons of fun kid-friendly activities.  For more information check them out at Kozy caboose Eureka

Kozy Kaboose

So, gather your family and get on board for an experience that’ll create great family memories!  If you missed our other family-friendly trip ideas check them out here:  

Echo Bluff state park

Bentonville, AR

Big Cedar Lodge

  • This post was sponsored by KOA but all thoughts are completely my own.

 

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Target has a new line out in their women’s clothing department that has the best basics.  I did a little try on the session today at lunch and found so many versatile must-have pieces.  I tend to have a classic style when it comes to clothing but I love layering jackets and adding accessories to complete the entire look.

The new Universal Thread line at Target has so many great pieces.  In my opinion every wardrobe needs:

  1. Denim Jacket
  2. Denim Dress
  3. Classic solid top
  4. Olive jeans

Universal Threads Navy top and Olive jeans

Target Universal Threads Denim Dress

Target Universal Threads Denim Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universal Threads Olive top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out my favorites here:

 

Some other fun tops and layering pieces I loved.  Check it out here.
 Universal Threads off the shoulder denim top Universal Threads striped top
Universal Threads striped jacket
Denim top with accessories

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Happy New Year.

Each year in January I like to do what I call “Sarah’s Life Edit”.  I try to edit and declutter all aspects of my life:  finances, kitchen, closets, kids stuff, etc.

I like to start with finances since coming from December where there was an excess of spending, parties taxes due, tuition, etc.  So here are some simple ways I edit my finances in January.

Finances:
1.  Cash only in January.   I make saving a game with myself.  I take 1/4 of my normal variable expenses out in cash and this forces me to get creative, plan ahead and be resourceful.

2.  Print a calendar and write down expenses each day.  If you know ahead of time pre-track your expenses.  I like to use the calendar as a visual and challenge myself to stick to my budget.  Add up all your expenses at the end of the week to make sure you’re on track.

3.  Gather all unused gift cards.  Separate into categories:  Retail, Restaurants, and Entertainment.  Plan shopping dinners out and activities around your gift cards.

4.  See if your credit cards have cash back rewards programs.  My credit card gives you an additional 50% bonus if you get the cash bonus deposited back into your account.  No Brainer!

5.  Sign your kids up for a kids club checking account (First Community Credit Union-has one my boys love).  My boys got some money for Christmas and when they deposit up to $250 a year they get a $10 gift card.

 

 

Dierbergs Holiday Appetizers and Cocktails Class

I’m always looking for new and fun experiences.  So when Dierbergs invited me to one of their “pop up” cooking classes, I was thrilled.  This particular class was for holiday appetizers and cocktails, which is right down my alley.  I’ve been to some classes recently for a girls-night-out and work team-building activity, and each time picked up something new.  

Dierbergs offers some of their more popular classes as “pop up”, or last minute, so make sure you follow them on social media.  Their Instagram handle is @Dierbergs, or sign up for their newsletter here so you don’t miss anything.  They do fill up quickly.  

If you’re looking for a unique gift for someone celebrating an anniversary or birthday, these classes would be something interactive and fun.

Dierbergs holiday appetizer and jim beam cocktail class

Here was the menu:  

  • Seared Tuna Skewers and Spicy Avocado Cream & Pickled Cucumber
  • Sun-dried Tomato & Mozzarella Bread Sticks with Olive Caper Cream
  • Candied Bacon Cornbread bits glazed with Sweet Tomato Jam
  • Chocolate Caramel Mousse Cups with Candied Pecans

This class was a demonstration with Chef Christie Maggi.  In demonstration classes, you get to sit back and relax while the chef does all the work.  

What we ate:
While Chef Christie was starting to cook, she passed around a couple of apps from the store for us to sample.  We had a festive olive and salami tray along with a cranberry pecan torte you can pick up from the deli, which makes for a quick party-pleaser.  

Salami and olive tray

torteRecipes and a couple tips Chef discussed.

Seared Tuna Skewers and Spicy Avocado Cream & Pickled Cucumber

This was my favorite appetizer of the night.  Chef Christie had a great tip about working with food on skewers.  Instead of soaking the food on the skewers, she recommended cooking the tuna first, then add the skewer after.  This prevents the skewers from burning and falling apart. 

Seared tuna skewers

Avocado substitution option: if the avocados you were planning on using aren’t ripe, you can substitute with Wholly Guacamole.  

Lemongrass substitution option: use lemongrass puree in the squeeze tube.  

Candied Bacon Cornbread Bits glazed with sweet tomato onion jam

Candied bacon cornbread bits glazed with sweet tomato onion jam

Sarah’s Scoop: These would be great served at a brunch or holiday appetizer party.  The tomato jam is what transforms this from good into an amazing item!


Sun-dried tomato & mozzarella breadsticks with olive caper cream

Sun-dried Tomato & Mozzarella Bread Sticks with Olive Caper Cream

sun-dried tomato breadsticks

Sarah’s Scoop:  If you don’t want to make the dough from scratch, Dierbergs sells pre-made pizza dough in the same aisle where fresh pasta is made.

Chocolate Caramel Mousse Cups with Candied Pecans

Filo cups are very versatile, so pick some up in the deli department.  I love using them for holiday appetizers too (see how I did for my holiday appetizer party here) but using them for desserts is equally delicious.  

Chocolate caramel mousse cups with candied pecans

Chef’s Tip:  This mousse can be made a day or two ahead of time.  A snazzy serving option is putting them in a shot glass with berries on top, or use a martini glass for a larger portion.  

Chocolate caramel mousse cups with candied pecans

 Jim Beam Cocktails

Jim Beam Side Car

Here’s what Stephen, the Jim Beam rep, made for us to sample.

  1. Moscow Mule
  2. Sidecar
  3. Manhattan
  4. Penicillin
  5. Maker’s neat

Up until this point, I hadn’t drank any whiskey since I was in college, so I didn’t know what to expect.  The Moscow Mule is definitely something I would serve at one of my own parties for my girlfriends.  My friend Jana recently served it at her house, and she threw in some cranberry to make it festive for the holidays.  These drinks ranged from light whiskey taste too very strong.  Penicillin and Maker’s Neat are more for whiskey lovers that enjoy the taste.  There were several whiskey enthusiasts in the class, that really enjoyed these cocktails.  The cocktail size was quite large, more than just a sip, so you really got to enjoy it.

This class truly had something for everyone, including dessert.  So, do you prefer to savor a rich decadent chocolate mousse or sip on a warm whiskey at the end of your meal?

Maker's neat and chocolate carmel mousse cups with candied pecans

Jim Beam cocktail recipes

Overall this class was a lot of fun, with a lot of pleasant surprises and fun people willing to learn.  Many attendees were celebrating a special occasion or having a fun night with friends. One couple in the class said they were hosting a lot of guests for the holidays, and wanted to gather some ideas.  They love to go shopping right after the class so they picked up the ingredients of the apps and drinks they liked the best.  Very smart.  Thanks to Dierbergs for such a fun experience.  

Did you know Dierbergs has classes for all tastes and preferences?  Even if you are not a cook.   Check out their list of options for January and February here.  Here are some I’d like to attend:

New Year, New You
Make it- Take it Valentine Spa-tacular non-food class.
Friday Night Dine:  Classy Appetizers and Craft Cocktails (super popular)
Gal-entine’s Brunch
Crock Pot or Not (for those who can’t live without their crock pot)
Puppy Love, Parent-Child Kids Class (My boys love helping me in the kitchen)

Dierbergs is so much more than fresh groceries, my boys love it too. 

We thoroughly enjoy their children holiday events.  We recently saw Santa and did fun kid activities around the entire store; such as sampling foods, getting balloons, face painting, and making ornaments.  It was a win-win for everyone.  

Dierbergs Santa fair

Dierbergs Santa Fair

Dierbergs Santa Fair

Also, I hosted a pumpkin beer and treat tasting with friends this past fall, where I picked up some pumpkin beer and snacks for my girlfriends to enjoy.  If you’re looking for a great place to host, but don’t have the time to do it at your place, this is a perfect solution.  They even have live bands every Friday to make for a really festive atmosphere.  Read all about it here.

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Swag Bag Party Photo Wall

I have always loved taking and having lots of photos so when I was planning my Holiday Swag Bag Party I knew I wanted to do some sort of fun photo wall.

I have an accent wall in my office that is a leopard pattern so I thought I’d start with that.  I rented a “pipe and drape” (poles and drapes) at a party rental store that defines the space a little more for the background.  Then I pushed aside the furniture in my office.

I found some fun photo props at TJ Maxx and got the letter balloons to spell out FUN.  The day before the party I took the balloons to my local grocery and had them filled with helium.  Then Wal-la!  A photo backdrop.

I have loved looking back at these photos.  Life is too short not to have FUN!!  🙂

FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party FUN photo wall Swag bag party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Photo Wall Swag Bag Party | Sarah Out and Aboutpics were taken by @verajeanaephotography

Have you seen the other Holiday Swag Bag posts?

How to host a holiday swag bag party here
Holiday appetizers and drinks I served at the holiday swag bag party here

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