Thursday, July 31, 2014

July #StreamTeam Netflix Picks

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 I can't even believe it is the end of July. Where has the Summer gone too? I will say having Netflix has been so wonderful this Summer. They have really started to jam pack their network with some very education and fun titles for Mac (my five year old) to watch. 
This month a new season of Orange is the new Black came out!
 along with one of Mac's favorite movies, TurboFast!
 Which they were every so kind to send us some free swag & I wanted to surprise Mac with it so as soon as I got it I tucked it away for the perfect movie night. They also have a educational suggestions list as well as by age recommendations. I have to say this is a really nice feature and one I have been taking advantage of over the month. Here are just a few examples:
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 **I received a free subscription to Netflix to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
I really hope if you are in the market for a new TV provider you give Netflix a chance. 
They offer One free month service and only charge $7.99/monthly after that. Since starting this Netflix journey we have completely gotten rid of conventional TV. No more ads, commercials to wait around for and we can watch the whole season of shows in order!



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New HTC at Sprint #SprintMom, #SprintMusic

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I had the amazing pleasure of attending a HTC/Sprint event about the new HTC One-M8 Harmon/Kardon Edition. I was excited to see what was in store at the Lamb's Club.
The decor was lovely and both Sprint and HTC reps were there to help with all of our questions.
 
 There was some HTC-M8 on the tables and I decided to dig in and do a little playing around with the new phone. I have to say I was not to "hip" on new gadgets and technology. I like simple and easy things to operate. After having my Samsung Galaxy I was turned from a regular phone to a smart phone. So I was excited to see if this phone also measured up. 
Here are some techno facts for you "techie" people out there in the market for a phone:
Operating system: Android 4.4 (Kit Kat)
 Talk time: up to 22 hours 
Display: 5 inch Full HD 1080p (1080x1920)
 Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor 
Memory: 32 GB Rom/2GB RAM
 That is all well and good statistical information but I am a simple Blogger. I fell in love with the music and camera on this phone! With a 5MP front facing camera and Ultra Pixels rear facing. This camera has effect filters, frames and special effects like the one above ("cartoon").
 These pictures are clear, perfectly sharp and crisp. I have to say even the "soft focus" is as good as my $400 camera! You can choose, how much or how little, you want the background to soft focus. This is a feature my camera does NOT have!
 Then we stopped for lunch. 
Can I just stop and say if you visit New York City, the Lambs Club have amazing food!
 They also have friendly staffed and the decor is divine!
Next up Sprint Music Plus, Next Radio and Spotify! They were demonstrating four speakers & dual passive radiators which deliver exceptional performance. These speakers have 5 hours of playback time using internal battery, unlimited playback when connected to power source! Can we say "Hello" my new device for camping out with the family! Sprint also allows you to stream radio too! With Spotify you can stream a whole album and then save songs when you are not using the app.
Spotify Premium, allows you to stream your music everywhere. Just hit play on your device and VOLA! Plane, train or living room! Stream anything you like, or go offline and listen to your saved music. This is better then Pandora in my opinion. We have been trying it out in the Western New York country areas and this coverage lasts! I have to say I am rather impressed with the service coverage, HTC phone and Music apps.
We ended the event with a serenade by The Voice Season 2 winner Jermaine Paul.

 “I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint Sound Session. I received a sample of the HTC One to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”
A Special thanks to Mom Central for inviting us!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shepard's Pie Recipe

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Shepard's Pie Recipe
I just want to take this time out and say this is NOT my recipe. I do from time to time frequent others for inspiration. But I ventured out of my comfort zone and made this dish. 
You WILL not be disappointed, if you also make this!!
 What you will need:
4-6 Potatoes
 1 stick of Butter
1 table spoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 package of hamburger (turkey or lamb)
Small glass red wine
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 packet of gravy powder
1 sprig rosemary 
 half a bag of frozen peas (we used fresh snap peas from our garden)
 Grated cheddar cheese to taste.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the mince and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes until browned. Add the red wine, the chopped tomatoes, gravy and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and simmer. Finally add the peas.
2. Put the potatoes in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes until tender. Drain and mash with the butter. Season with freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Spoon the beef mixture into a large oven proof dish. Top with the mashed potato, cheddar cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling.
It will just down right smell & taste lovely!
Serve & Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beach Day

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I have to say when I first started this Blog is was to help others. Yes, I had the goal in mind to help others. Over the last year I found out rather quickly this blog was not just about helping people anymore. Sure I love to share my deals, coupons, gardening, cooking and family life. But I also like to throw my energies into companies, products and charities. The past few months I have been running around for the blog on some pretty special things to come.  I think it's important to stop and relax. This may get a little emotional but hey I need a moment. This photo represents where I am right now in my life. I am healthy, fit, tone and feeling pretty darn good about myself!
 We headed out to the beach and what a nice day. I have to say this Summer has put up some challenges. It has been either super humid and we can't be outside or raining. On nice sunny days I like to get out and be free form home until the dreaded snow comes back..eeek!
 Anyone else love the beach??
Sand between their toes??? 
 Even the water looks happy when it is sunny out.
 Mac has grown so much this year. Nothing makes me more proud then days like this. When I sit and watch him play around and think PHEW, I did good. Thank goodness! First child, clueless I have to say I was worried from the beginning but as he gets older my worries are not as bad as they once were. I have overcome a lot from my childhood teachings and am glad how I turned out as a mom.
He was in the water this year!! 
A few years back he wouldn't even touch the water or go near it.
And sand HA forget it he would cry if his hand got anything on them. I am so glad he out grew that! So if you are a new mom reading this remember it's OK, they grow out of it!Well, mine did anyways!
If you work a lot of hours, are running around, frantically trying to go from here, there and everywhere take some advice from this Mom RELAX. They are only small for so long. The work and things that seem so important aren't, when it comes down to it. We all need to make a living sure but really when you are around your kids, MAKE time with them. Toss your phone, laptop, kindle, TV and any other electrical device that you have to physically "look" at away and enjoy your kids!
Nothing beats those precious moments when they think no one is watching them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Febreze #Noseblind Review

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 This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Febreze. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine."
When I saw this big box come into our mail, I was excited! First I didn't know what it was but after opening it I figured it out pretty quickly. I threw together a small, "Nose blind" Test with Febreze, movie night. A vast majority of Americans are nose blind to the odors in their homes and cars. Boy is that the truth! Sometimes I walk into my house and think what is that smell? After a while my nose just gets used to the smells around me, hence the term "Noseblind". 
Are you Noseblind? I was curious to see if I was and why!
Let me explain a little more about this term: Noseblind.
 There are three parts:
1. "ODOR ADAPTATION: your nose’s physical response that normalizes new smells. 
You get used to the fishy smell. 
2. ODOR HABITUATION: a re-programming of your brain’s process to all but ignore a smell. Your guests arrive, smell only fish, and judge you for it. 
3. ODOR INFESTATION: what your guests overwhelmingly smell as soon as they walk in the door".
  "Physiological (what your body is telling you), psychological (what your brain decrees), and sociological (what makes your guests judge you)".
 Three types of your body are working overtime to cover up the smells around you. This just makes perfect sense when I think of employees of strong smelling candle stores! How do they work so long in a small store front with all those smelly candles going?
We took the Febreze test and popped some buttery goodness as #Netflix loaded our show for the evening. Nothing beats putting your feet up, watching Saturday Night Live and smelling a sweet fragrance of Meadows & Rain! Febreze formulas eliminate odors to help you treat the "Noseblind" problem. I just want to thank the ladies who came over and tested out the new Febreze products,took surveys, shared a movie and ate some popcorn!
Enter to win a Collection shown above!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Greek Salad Recipe

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 ~Greek Salad Recipe~
What you will need:
1 Cucumber
4-5 Roma Tomatoes
1 large Red bell pepper
1 small Red onion
Olives (add as many as you want to taste)
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
2 tsp. Oregano
1/4 tsp. Salt
** I also threw in diced rhubarb, celery, White onion & Chives because I had them on hand.
Dice everything and place in a bowl.
Add the juices and Mix well!
Refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors combine. 
Then Serve & Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Industrial breakdown, NY

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Jamestown, New York has a few claims to fame. It was home to the actress Lucy Desi from the "I love Luci" Show as well as a hub for industry. If you were to visit this town now however, industry is not what you will see.It has gone down hill drastically from the bombing industry days. This is relatively sad since many of the "Mom & Pop" shops struggle whilst big businesses move in. Having said that one of my favorite hobbies it to just walk around with my camera and photograph old things. I can't help wonder if I should have been born in a different time period. Ever wonder that?
I also wonder what this town looked like in the old days. As it sits now the industry has long since gone from our town and migrated to Rochester, New York. As I stated all the old buildings sit here decaying little by little. I have to say I love photographing it though.
Rust, decay, broken glass, mess, moss, Oh these things call my photo lens!
Even as a back drop this area photographs well. 
What do you think?
It is so sad this town has really started to run down. 
Some of these factories are now condemned and some have been torn down.
I find the older buildings have character as opposed to the modern ones you can find a dime a dozen. Even though they are long past their prime I hope I captured some of their beauty before they are all torn down.
Do you have old buildings in your town?
Do you ever visit them?
I wish I knew more about this building. 
What was it at one time? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Recipe

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 Lemon Zucchini Recipe
**This is a quick & easy side dish
What you will need: 
2 Whole Zucchini
1/4 cup Olive Oil 
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1 teaspoon Black Pepper 
3 whole Lemons, Zested 
Cut the Zucchini into spears. Throw the them into a large Ziploc bag.
 Pour in some olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice & zest! 
Shake the bag until they are all evenly "spiced".
Grill them over mild heat, until they are nice and tender.
Serve & Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Create a Circus Themed Party

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Looking for a great, easy Party theme?? 
Create a Circus Themed Party with these following tips tricks & ideas.
Check out how to create these signs here.
These little bags you can pretty much find anywhere at inexpensive prices. I purchased these at garage sales new in packaging, Micheal's & Dollar tree. I just filled with microwaved kettle corn.
Since this was a Toddler party I kept the games rather "kid-ish". 
Cut this little Circus clown on Dollar Tree board (.69 cents!)
Can toss was another great game we played. 
I just wrapped craft paper over cans. Super Easy & Cute!
The last game we used was Ring Toss. 
Covered Water bottles and tossed pipe cleaners from a craft store molded into "rings".

 Every kids Party needs a "Photo Booth" area. This just gets the kids & adults laughing, smiling and entertained for a good amount of time. Check out local craft stores for props!
Here is what it looked like after all the little pieces were put together.
I just love how this turned out!! Wait until you see the fun pictures we created using this setup!