Monday, March 25, 2013

Inflatable Pools Are A Great Way To Try A Pool Before Committing-Guest Post

Inflatable pools are a great way to try a pool before committing
Most homeowners have a long list of features that they hope to have, or eventually create in their dream home. Whether it's practical features like ample storage and an open floor plan, or specific features that give entertainment value like a working fireplace and theatre room, one of the most popular features that is a true luxury item for many homeowners is the backyard pool. It's not to say that having a pool is hard to attain, but it's a significant cost to add to a backyard and it also comes with upkeep costs. Instead of throwing caution (and budget) to the wind and investing in an in ground pool, a great alternative that water-lovers can try before committing to a pool is to try an inflatable pool. Below are some benefits to trying out inflatable pools before committing to a permanent in ground pool:

You Maintain Your Greenery

Depending on where you are geographically, homes can be extremely pricey per square foot and due to their value and high demand, property lots can be quite small. In fact, in some areas, you are lucky to even have a small backyard, let alone one with a lot of space to run around or to install a pool. By opting for an inflatable pool instead of an in ground pool, you maintain the greenspace on your property that will always be attractive to a buyer. Although a pool is a valuable and enticing feature for some, it does not have the same value as a true natural green backyard, and with an inflatable pool you can still keep that greenery while having your fun in the water too.

No Upkeep Costs

A permanent in ground pool is undoubtedly an attractive backyard entertainment feature, but the costs of maintenance can be enormous. From routine cleaning, to in-between season preparation and transitioning, to added safety precautions (especially when there are children around), to maintenance and repairs, the yearly cost of having a backyard pool averages about $3,000. So unless you're in a part of the world where you can use the pool year-round, it can be a real headache. With an inflatable pool you can have all the enjoyment of a backyard water oasis without the huge undertaking of having to keep your backyard pool clean, safe, and properly functioning throughout the appropriate times of the year.

More Money in Your Pocket

Let's face it, if you're a homeowner that does not currently have an in ground pool, there is a huge cost that comes with installing a pool in your backyard. The actual cost will vary by state, but it can range anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 depending on size, type, and your location. There is no good DIY option, and it's something that you can't just undo without spending even more money. But, if you instead just try out an inflatable pool, you can at least see if having a backyard water retreat is enough of a priority for you to justify the large investment.


There's no mystery why having a real pool in your home's backyard is so desirable - friends and family alike would flock to your house at every chance they get, and it's like having a peace of the oceanic heaven at your backdoor! But heaven comes with a price. So unless you have thousands of money lying around to invest in pool installation, you luckily have the option of trying an inflatable, and less permanent alternative that can give you a least a little taste of heaven before you go all in.

Author Bio
Bob Quigly is a landscaping and family fun enthusiast who writes on a variety of blogs for  Backyard Ocean's above ground swimming pools. Learn more about pool options here. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My 10 Days of Torture

Last Tuesday night, I went about my evening as usual. My husband and I ordered Subway for dinner, and after settling the kids in for the night, I worked on emails and finished the rest of my sandwich. I went to bed around 3am, knowing I had only a few hours before the alarm.

The next thing I remember is waking in such pain I do not even have words for it. I have had 3 children, several surgeries and live daily with Fibromyalgia, I am no stranger to pain. This pain, however, was another story. My stomach felt as if someone were twisting it from the inside while they poured hot lava directly into my bowels. I managed to get my kids off to school and spent the rest of the day huddled in bed shifting between freezing and vomiting every few minutes. I finally went to the after hours clinic where I received a shot for nausea.

Throughout Thursday and that night I felt no better, so I called my MIL to take me to the ER. I was admitted and tested and told I was dehydrated, given an IV with fluids and medicine for nausea and pain. After several hours, I felt better and was released with the doctors telling me it was food poisoning. I went home following the doctors instructions to stay on ice chips and clear liquids only and to continue with the medication for sickness.

By early Saturday morning, less than 12 hours after leaving the hospital, I was doubled over in pain yet again.  I couldn't even manage to eat a few chips of ice without throwing up and there was simply nothing left inside me to come out. I suffered through that day and the next, keeping down nothing at all, and by Monday evening I was back in the hospital again.

I was still dehydrated, needed several liters of fluids and doses of potassium as well as the medicine for nausea again. I stayed for most of the night and went home again with the same directions as last time. I spent the next 36 hours in a daze of pain and vomiting, barely able to do anything more than hold myself upright. My husband had to take on everything around the house, manage the kids and work full time because I was useless the entire time.

By the time he returned from work Tuesday, almost full week since it all began, I couldn't stand it anymore, I went back to the ER where I was admitted again. I endured several sets of blood work, multiple IVs, more potassium, magnesium and multiple bags of fluids again. I endured a barium test, urine and stool samples and every other thing they could throw at me...and still they couldn't find the cause. I spent hours lying on a pad of ice trying to alleviate some of the pain. My kidneys liver, thyroid, pancreas and more soon came under inspection, were tested and dismissed.

By Friday evening this is what my arms looked like. I had bruises on my upper arms and hips from injections, and bruises on my arms from the IVs. I felt like death. I had been doing this for 10 days and I was just done with it all. I wanted to go home. I told the doctors that pending the results of my Upper GI, I was done. When the test came back inconclusive, I signed myself out and went left.

That was almost two days ago. I managed to hold down a single piece of plain toast Saturday morning, followed by another plain piece that evening. My doctor had suggested trying toast, bread or rice and it seemed to be working. I suffered another bad session on Saturday, but forced myself to eat shortly after and have been fine every since. I have eaten normal meals today and seem to be processing everything as if nothing had ever happened.

I real have no idea what made me sick. I had not had anything out of the ordinary or been anywhere different. I had not eaten anything beyond my Subway melt, Pepsi and Munchos chips in the hours before I got sick. Nobody around me had any sort of sickness or contracted it the entire time I was ill. It was just a mystery attack that left me drained, weakened, tired and 14 pounds lighter, and then went away on its own. I hope it never visits again. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Saving Money With Online Coupons

I used to marvel at those ladies who had it all together with their couponing. I would see them in the store with those organized binders, carefully going down the aisles with a list in hand. I imagined myself going on one of those shopping trips and coming home with a ton of stuff for only a few dollars, like I see them do. I would think about doing it, but it just seemed like so much more work than I had time for.

One of the biggest reasons I was unsure of starting a coupon venture was living in a small town. We only have a tiny local paper, so we get coupon inserts only on Sundays, and even that is a small one. The thought of going out searching for papers to get more seemed like a hassle, and an added expense too. For all that cost and effort, I might not even end up with coupons I could use.

 I knew I could add coupons to some shoppers cards, but that meant I had to use them at that particular store and had to drag membership cards along with me to redeem them. This often ended in several trips to different places just to save a few cents on cereal or juice. In the end that just didn't seem a valuable use of time or gas running from store to store.

Of course, throughout my coupon journey, I had heard of printing free coupons online. I saw advertisements for great deals and even received them in my email. I stared to pay more attention to those and quickly discovered the value of using them. The printing process is usually quick and easy, I can set them to print while I do other things, and I only have to clip the ones I am going to need.

I found there are tons of available coupons that I would actually use and it only takes a few minutes to select the ones I want. I can print some for now and some for later, or just the ones I want at the time. I can even subscribe to have them delivered to my email so I always have the newest coupons on hand. This saves so much time over locating papers, sorting through stacks of inserts and clipping them all each and every week. When I am writing my grocery list, I can simply select and print my needed coupons and be on my way. This is sure to add up to more savings in the future and allow me to take advantage of great deals with a lot less hassle.

Monday, March 18, 2013

$150 Country Outfitter Giveaway

Country Outfitter

Welcome to the Country Outfitter Giveaway

With warm weather fast approaching, it is time to clean out those closets and take advantage of your favorite items while you still can. There is still plenty of time to drag out those new boots for a few more nights on the town or to couple a classic pair with jeans for a fun filled day. One of my preferred ways is combined with a wrap and slacks for a look that works anywhere. My husband likes to wear his boots with jeans and a tee for a classic, simple look that he can wear all the time. Any way you use them, boots are a nice addition to a wardrobe.

Giddy up their partner! This giveaway is all those Boot Scootin', Boot Lovin' Cowpokes out there. Country Outfitter is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and there tagline...“We Know Country”! They are THE go to place for all things country not only boots but apparel, handbags and all types of country accessories.

$150 Country Outfitter Giveaway

1 Winner will receive a $150 Gift Card to Country Outfitter. See form for Entry Details. Open to U.S. You must be 18 years old to enter to win. Ends 3/29

Disclaimer: An email address is required to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly through Giveaway Tools and contacted via email. A reply to the winning email is required within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen. One person entering per household please. U.S. only. This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on March 29, 2013.

This event is sponsored by Country Outfitter and hosted by The Review Wire. 2 Monsters and A Princess is not responsible for prize fulfillment. I was not provided with product for this review. I was provided a link on the form in exchange for helping to promote. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by The Review Wire.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Planning for Summer Fun

The warmer it gets outside, the more my kids say they are bored and complain that there is nothing to do. They always seem to forget the mountains of toys, games and assorted pieces and parts that are all over the house. They have no interest in the hundreds of dollars in video games and accessories they have lying around or the piles of books they can read. With all that, they claim they have nothing to do once it begins to warm up a little.

I have been looking for more fun things to do outdoors this summer. We already have a bounce house, but even that gets old after awhile. The kids all have bikes and a Plasmacar and they ride around the neighborhood on those, but when they have visitors, there aren't enough to go around. We have two skateboards and a small scooter too, but it still seems like someone is always left waiting for a turn.

I have been thinking of adding a couple more kick scooters to the mix to even it out a little. If I get some of the larger style scooters, then all of the kids and their friends will be able to use them regardless of age or size. This will give us two more outdoor items for them to play with, and allow more variety when they have nothing to do. I can get them in boy or girl styles, or go for something like red or green that works for everyone.

I am sure this will not be all I need to keep them busy this summer, but at least it will be a start to curing the warm weather jitters. With three children of my own, and all of their cousins and friends here too, finding things to keep them all busy is a full time job!

Best In Class Shutterfly Yearbooks

The school year is almost over, and before you know it, summer will be fully upon us. If your year was anything like ours, it was a mixture of  fun, chaos and activities galore. Class trips, sports teams, dances, events and more make up a school year, and we always wants to remember them all.

My favorite way to preserve a cherished school year of memories is by having them together in a yearbook. I remember being excited to get yearbooks as a child. We would pour over them looking at the class photos, group shots and various other photos throughout the book. At the end of the year, we all used to take them to school to have our friends and favorite teachers sign them so we could keep them forever. Sadly, through events beyond my control, I no longer have those books. Knowing how much I enjoyed them, has made me want to do the same for my children.

I have mentioned Shutterfly yearbooks before and wanted to share the new Best of Class style with you. Available in three different sizes, in hardcover or soft, and with any number of pages, you can really make this book exactly what you need. You can get a quote on group pricing to see just how much these can save you over traditional yearbook styles, or visit the tips and tricks for ideas.

Shutterfly Yearbooks allow you to create a fabulous book with a look that suits your student, class or school and all at a price you can afford. The easy to use templates can make ordering a snap, or take your time and arrange each page exactly how you like it. The possibilities are endless and you are left with a beautiful yearbook that can be enjoyed for years to come.

*This is a sponsored post from Shutterfly. I will receive a code for a free photo book for sharing about the new style. All opinions are my own as a satisfied Shutterfly customer.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful Activity Sheets

Here are some fun printables from Disney's new Oz the Great and Powerful


“Like” OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL on Facebook:

"Follow" OZ THE GREAT & POWERFUL on Twitter:

Visit the website:

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL landed in theaters today!

Noizy Bandz with Coupon

Noizy Bandz Children's wristbands are musical, educational and a whole lot of fun! Watch your children light up as they hear the music and fun sounds coming from their wristbands that they control. First of its kind, expect more from your silicone bandz check out Noizy Bandz and hear the music at Great for all ages and all occasions. Have a Birthday party give a musical Happy Birthday band instead of a card kids just go crazy for them. Check them out at

You can grab your own for $1 off plus free shipping by clicking here

Campbell's Slow Kettle Style Soups

I am not a huge fan of soup in any form, so when I saw the new Campbell's Slow Kettle Style Soups, my curiosity wasn't as much for myself, as for the others in my home. My husband likes a good bowl after a cold day working or when he wants something substantial to eat without a lot of hassle, so I thought of him first.

 I selected the Tomato and Sweet Basil Bisque and he chose the Southwest Style Chicken Chili. I really enjoyed the bisque. I expected it to taste like the traditional tomato soup because it is already prepared soup, but was surprised by the rich taste. The bisque had a nice thickness and chunks of tomato. My husband enjoyed the chili as well, although he said it could have been slightly more spicy.

We have tried several types of single serve noodles and soups, but always run into the issue of having the same few flavors, over and over again. Of course, we can always buy the cans, but when only one of us is eating, we end up throwing out some of it every time. I love that these don't require a can opener so they can be used anywhere. The peel off tab is simply thrown away and you can replace the lid to store in the fridge for later too!

I shared some of these with my sister too but haven't gotten her feedback on them yet. I purchased several more for us to try and expect them to be just as good as these were.

New Coupons- Diapers, Personal and More

Diapers Galore...
Personal Care Food Stuffs Cleaning

Monday, March 4, 2013

Harley Turns 3

Last weekend  we all went to celebrate my niece turning 3. Harley is actually my husbands twin brothers' daughter and she lives just down from us, so we love to visit with her when we can.

Her newest obsession is Lalaloopsy and she had cute characters all over the place.  Her mom used cupcake liners and place mats to make these cute treat centerpieces and also used the liners as holders for the cookie tower.

We gave her a Lalaoopsy blanket and Lalaloopsy game and she received a princess doll, dress up clothes, shoes, a barbie play set, clothes and much more too.

Everyone had fun visiting and watching her excitement as she opened gifts and ate cupcakes, pizza and candy. She loved visiting with her family and playing with all the other kids. I think the favorite was pinning the tail on the donkey.

50 Shades Freed- Book 3 Review

With the danger surrounding Ana and Christian, it is only a matter of time before something crazy happens in this series. Malfunctioning helicopters, dangerous intruders and high speed chases are only part of the drama that unfolds as the series continues.

I was not disappointed by the amount of emotion packed into this final book of the series. You can tell as you follow the story that things will either go horribly wrong, or wonderfully good, but you just aren't sure which one it is going to be.  You know before he does that he is in love, you know that he cannot help himself, but what you do not know is what will she do with it. The romantic in me hoped for a happily ever after, yet I found myself longing for the next bit of mystery to keep the fires burning.

I love watching Christian bloom under the love Ana showers upon him. There is just enough mention of the small, sad child to make you want to hold him, yet plenty of the erotic, raw man that you desire so much more. As always the sexual tension is crackling and the heat is explosive.

My favorite part of the entire story was seeing the beginning from the view of Christian versus the normal viewpoint of Ana. To see how he viewed her the first time was splendid. Experiencing just a bit of the shock and wonder that is falling in love, and to do it from the point of the cold and calculating sex god, was a fabulous final touch.