SwimOutlet.com – Review

May 30, 2015
Raise your hand if you are ready for some summer fun! There’s nothing I love more than a warm day playing in the water, whether that be at the beach, by the pool, or just running through the sprinklers.

About a month ago, I was contacted by SwimOutlet.com and asked if I would be interested in trying their product and posting about it on my blog. I had never heard of SwimOutlet.com, but it has “Swim” in the name and that’s always a good omen in my book. So I agreed and hopped on over to see what SwimOutlet was all about.

I was immediately drawn in by the cover-ups and beachwear. I picked a few that I really liked but I had to turn off my phone to go be a mom for a minute.

When I got back to my phone, I noticed that SwimOutlet.com isn’t just about the suits or beach wear. They have just about anything you could want for the water! They have competition swimwear, snorkel gear, beach sandals, paddle boards, kayaks, wetsuits, surfboards… Seriously. They have everything!

Plus, they carry all sorts of brands. Addidas, Nike, Body Glove, Dakine, O’Neill, Oakley, DKNY, Hurley, MINKPINK, Quicksilver, Roxy, Tommy Bahama, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, Volcom, and many, many more!

I decided to go with the Avalon Overalls from Seea and the Seahorse Tankini by Hula Star for Chelsea and we LOVE them!

^^chelsea calls this her “colorful suit” and especially loves the tiny sparkles – i ordered her a size 4T in hopes this suit would last until next year^^

^^i used the sizing chart provided by swimoutlet.com and found it to be accurate^^

I love that I can do shop for me and my family all on one site and have so many options plus discounts! My overalls are $95.99 from Seea, but I got them for $66.95 and they’re great quality.

Also, there’s a 10% discount for new shoppers and free standard shipping on $49+ (2-6 days) and free 1-2 day shipping on $99+.

Summer better come quickly because we are ready and waiting! 

Thank you SwimOutlet.com for outfitting the Stange household!

this post has been compensated by swimoutlet.com – all thoughts and opinions are 100% my ownphotos courtesey of Mariasha Rowland Photography


Turning 25 and Disneyland

May 27, 2015
This past birthday was the best yet! I got to spend it with two of my favorite people at the most magical place in the world!

Photo May 15, 6 28 01 PM (1) 

Andrew and I have been so excited to take Chelsea to Disneyland! We made sure to watch and re-watch all the Disney movies we had with her, listen to Disney music at every chance, even watch YouTube videos that give a full tour of the park! I loved when Chelsea would ask me, “Should we go to Disneyland today?” She was so excited!

When the day finally did arrive, we gave Alexa a hug and kiss, packed up our bags with some snacks and other possible essentials at Disneyland, and headed out. If I had a dime for every time someone told me not to take a 3-year-old to Disneyland because she wouldn’t remember it… I’m glad we didn’t listen.

Chelsea. Had. A. Blast.

And she behaved so well! We didn’t bring a stroller, so she was walking or riding on Daddy’s shoulders all day, but it was nice to not have to find parking or pack it up. Of course that also meant there wasn’t really anywhere for her to take a nap, but, somehow, we made it through the whole day with hardly a tantrum or a tear shed! Disneyland truly is a magical place!
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There are a few things we did in advance that I think helped our trip sail smoothly and a few things that I think may have helped, had we thought to do them.

Snacks are a must!

Convenience because if your toddler gets tired, they can rest. Inconvenient because you have to park them at designated stroller parking spots. We made do without.

Give clear expectations!
Before going to the park, tell your toddler what you expect of them and explain to them that it is a big park and a lot of people are there so it would be easy to get lost.

Make it easy to be reunited with your child
We used a sharpie pen to write our phone number on Chelsea’s arm, just in case.
RainThe first bit of our morning was rainy. I’m glad I thought to pack some extra shoes for Chelsea, but my shoes were totally soaked through! I was still able to have a great time despite every sodden footstep, but do your best to be prepared for anything and check the weather!

Happy Birthday Button
If it’s your toddler’s birthday, go get a button from Town Hall to get special attention from Cast Members wishing your toddler a happy birthday!

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Fantasyland and Toon Town
With a toddler, this is probably where you’ll be most.

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^^Also, be considerate of mothers trying to take pictures of their little daughter trying to lift the sword out of the stone #thanksalot^^

Between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, and February through April, especially on weekdays, the park is a lot less crowded than normal.

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Fast Passes

The Royal Court in Fantasyland
This is where most of the princesses hangout.

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Characters are worth the wait!

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Fantasyland Theater Shows
The shows are fantastic and it’s a nice break from all the line-standing.

If you’re planning on staying late, get a fast pass to Fantasmic (you get better seats/standing space). Chelsea LOVED this show! If you and your kiddo(s) can make it, do.

There are photographers all over the park and they usually have an assistant. The assistant will take photos for you with your own camera if you ask!

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We had such a fabulous time riding on all the rides, watching the parade, and meeting some of the characters. I have no regrets about taking my three-year-old, and honestly, I think she will remember the experience! Chelsea remembers stuff remarkably well! And I don’t see how should could EVER forget meeting Eeyore and tickling his nose or Queen Elsa and Princess Anna wishing her a happy birthday! I know I will never forget it!

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So it was a happy birthday to me, but the thing that made it the best birthday ever was that I created a day of magic for my favorite little 3-year-old. I’m so glad I got to spend my special day with some pretty special people.

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Memorial Day – 2015

May 25, 2015
Today, I want to say thank you to all the men and women who served, and who currently serve in the military of the United States of America.
I also want to say thank you to their families, and to Mark and Edith Castro in particular.
Thank you, Mark, Edith, and the long line before you, for serving our country, and for teaching others to love America. Thank you, especially for instilling that love and willingness to sacrifice in your son, Brenden. I didn’t know Brenden very well, but he was always a complete gentleman to me and I know how much he meant to Andrew, and how much their friendship molded him into the man that I married. I’m sure Andrew would not be the same person without his friendship. I’m sure he is grateful and proud of you for loving our family and always taking such good care of us. We hope we are making him proud, too.
Thank you, Grandpa, for serving my country and teaching me to respect and appreciate it.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for letting me have my brother Steven for nine years of my life.
Steven Dodds
Steven didn’t serve in the military, but I always think of him, especially around this time of year.
I remember how Steven would always play with me. I loved it when he would make movies with us, younger kids. He was the best camera-man/director. I especially liked it when he would lift me over his shoulder and walk around the house announcing “sack of potatoes! sack of potatoes!” or lifting me upside-down over his head so that I could walk on the ceiling. I remember hearing the *bam *bam *bam of the soccer ball hitting the side of the house because he was practicing. I am so grateful that before he left for a job orientation in Utah, I ran back to the car to give him a hug.
My mom made a kind of biography of Steven for all of us, siblings to have. So even though I was only nine when he died, I feel like I still get to know him through the words of others, and the words he wrote himself.
May 12, 1998
”If I were asked what I wanted of the Savior, it would be the salvation of my family, or even a guardian angel to protect them. It’s hard to think of anything to ask the Savior, because he has given everything already. It would be much easier, however, to ask what to do for Him.”

Steven’s Testimony
“I have a burning testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have felt the Spirit strongly bare this to me. I have made a solemn vow to never take this for granted. I am a son of God and he has chosen me to live in this last dispensation as one of his elect. I have been born to two parents who love me and teach me those things that I will need to return to my Heavenly Father with honor. I take this as a big responsibility, but I like to think of it as a challenge – a war, if you will. I have declared war against Satan, and although he may throw everything that he has against me, I know that the blessings and knowledge that I receive will outweigh those temptations by far. I only hope that whenever temptations come upon me that I will be able to find the way to escape what he has prepared for me.”
Steven Marion Dodds
August 5, 1980 – May 28, 1999

Steven knew it, and I know it. I take such comfort from these words that he has written. I gain so much strength and faith from his example. I learn from his life and I miss him.
I miss him, but I know that we get to be together forever because of choices that he made while here on this earth, and the choices that I make.
I know that I will see Steven again, beyond a shadow of a doubt. He is my brother. He is my friend. He is my guardian angel. I hope I’m making you proud, Steve. Thanks for looking out for me and my family.
I love you!
Sue and Steve
If you would like to learn more about what Steven and I believe, how you can be with your family forever, or would like to receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon, visit http://www.mormon.org/ , https://www.lds.org/ , or contact the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in your area. They’re the guys in white shirts and ties walking around your neighborhood. You can also ask any member of the church in your area. We would love to talk to you.
click here to read more blog posts including my testimony and faith

Alexa – 10 months

May 22, 2015

I can’t believe you’re ten months old! You’re only two months away from being an entire year old! Time really does fly.

You are so active now! We’ve been working on standing for the past few days and you’re pretty much a pro! You love to practice and hear me, Daddy, and Chelsea cheer for you!

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You’re kind of a petite little thing! Random strangers will still come up to us in the store and tell me that they didn’t think you were real at first. They thought you were a doll!

Your teeth are really coming in! You’ve got four fully manifest teeth on the bottom, two on the top, and two more peeking through on the top.

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You’re getting scarily brave. Unfortunately, that means more bumps and bruises. You took on the stairs the other day while Mommy, Daddy, and Chelsea’s backs were turned. The stairs won, leaving you with a rug burn.

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You’re not breastfeeding anymore, which makes me kind of sad to not have that special time with you anymore, but your smile always brightens my day!

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You are so curious! You love to explore everything! And everything new you find HAS to be explored in your mouth! Including your hair bow.

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You are quite the talker! You can say “hi,” “peek-a-boo,” “Ma ma,” “Da-da,” “Chelsea,” “yeah,” “yay,” “uh-oh,” “got it,” “woof woof,” “doggie,”  you even said “Alexa” the other day!

You like to sing with me, too!

You like to make kissey noises by suctioning your lips together then pulling them apart. It is adorable!

I especially love it when you pretend to be an Indian by saying “aaaaaahhhhhhh” and patting your mouth.”

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You’re still just as cuddly as ever! You’ve recently learned that sometimes when people hug, they pat each other on the back!

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^^these would be especially adorable if i was pregnant^^

I love you so much, my little Alexa! You are such a joy to everyone you meet.

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^^click on any of the pictures to be taken to their corresponding month updates. thank you alexa zurcher for the monthly stickers!^^

Susan is a birth photographer/videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.
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