Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Original Series on Netflix #StreamTeam

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**I received a free Subscription to Netflix to facilitate my 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.
My son and I are avid dreamers of fantasy worlds. Worlds that include magic and mythical creatures like dragons! Ever since the first "How to Train Your Dragon" movie came out we have been hooked! We were both extremely excited for the series Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 1 (Coming out 6/26)!!
Here is a quick synopsis if you are also fantasy lovers: This series is a Netflix original that takes Hiccup and Toothless to the edge of adventure! Hiccup, Toothless and the Dragon Riders soar beyond the borders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon Eye, an ancient artifact filled with secrets that leads them to new lands filled with never-before-seen dragons and Dragon Hunters who will stop at nothing until they seize the powerful Dragon Eye.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rio Brands Total Sunblock 9' Umbrella Review

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**I received a free product 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. 
We were lucky enough to have the Rio Brands Total Sunblock 9' Umbrella  to try out and use! I want to start off by saying we are big outdoors people. From fishing, hunting, camping to sporting events, as a family, we do it all! Last year our Umbrella bit the dust, literally when high winds crash it to it's broken demise! After that debacle I was so excited to receive a light weight easy to compact one! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Steady Plow Farm visit

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 Steady Plow Farm, LLC is a diversified small farm in Sherman, NY that grows produce, eggs, cut flowers, honey, maple syrup, and chicken broilers/fryers.We were invited out to take a look around the farm & take some photos.
They use natural growing methods in order to ensure the best health of our soil, crops, bees and chickens. They have a wonderful strawberry patch that I am really jealous over! Ours is rather small but it was so nice to see a well developed one. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Healthy habit Tips #LISTERINEMom

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“I received LISTERINE® Brand products and a Walgreens gift card from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Brand Totally Taken Care Of program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.” 
 As a mom, I try to encourage healthy habits by taking care of every mouth in the family! I do this by integrating LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE into your family’s oral care routine!! We have been traveling a lot this year for my work. One of the best tips I can give are how to keep your teeth clean! 
Instill your children care for their teeth at a young age!
 Keeping a routine and schedule is my second tip! If your family see YOU taking care of yourself (picking out outfits, fixing your hair, brushing your teeth) they will also want too! My son loves copying what I do! By living a healthy lifestyle myself, I am encouraging a good healthy lifestyle in him as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims

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 From the moment my son was born I vowed to do things the "right" way. I researched how-to care for babies, toddlers up until early childhood. I went to classes, asked friends and then I actually HAD my son. Nothing quite prepares you for parenthood until you actually do it. There is no "magical" formula but rather your motherly instinct which is found from examples you have seen, experience you have had and readings you instilled.
 I have always been a mix of a helicopter parent (worrying about my sons every waking move) to free range go have fun and enjoy life! I see other parents and how they parent and suddenly I have become the expert. I know what should or shouldn't be done. I see children unhappy, unloved and I just give my son more.
**I received a free copy of this book 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 have been really encouraged and learning so much about myself in in this book, How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims. As, much as I love my son, he deserves the right to learn from his mistakes and grow to self-sufficiency.
I want my son to be a leader, a follower, team mate and most of all confident!   "They don’t learn to be confident in their own abilities, and it can affect their self-esteem. The other problem with never having to struggle is that you never experience failure and can develop an overwhelming fear of failure and of disappointing others (says Julie Lythcott-Haims)".
If technology didn't exist how would your child fare in the world without you? This was such a challenging book for me because it really asked you the hard questions. Do I want my son to grow up unequipped to do things on his own or do I want to do everything for him? I know adults who are 27-30 years old unable to do their own laundry or cook. What a disservice to them! This book is such a great read I could not recommend it enough to parents, grandparents, Aunts, uncles really anyone. Children are our future whether you physically have them or not!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Harry Potter Themed Birthday Party

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I grew up with the Harry Potter series books and then movies. From the very first time I read about wizards and witches in a Magical school for children I was hooked. When my five year old started to show interest we took him to Universal Studios to see Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
That was not enough he wanted to bring home the magic for his 6th birthday party. This party took a month to complete with all of the detailed work I created, made, crafted instead of purchasing.
We first started the kids off with a ride on the Hogwarts Express. I wanted the kids to feel as though they traveled to the Magical school just like in the story.
When they arrived at Hogwarts we had them team up and play the famous game of Quidditch! They loved this game so much we actually went back outside and let them play!!
Next we moved to Potions Class.
This was so much fun!! I found some great potions to make on Pinterest!!
Great resource and the kids had so much fun mixing and brewing new bubbly creations.
Since my son is such a Harry Potter fan I had to get all the details very similar. He wanted the Monster book to be incorporated somehow so we choose it for the cake. I simply had the bakery make a cake and chocolate frost it with a "Grass" tip. Then on the party day I went in and added all the details. 
He was so excited, I thought he was going t cry!
He wanted a pinata but we could not figure out what to create this year. I thought perhaps Harry's owl BUT he didn't want to hurt her by hitting it with a bat. So I decided on the Hogwarts Crest. Simply blow up balloons into the figure you want, paper mache and then add streamers to make.
 We added plastic toys, bouncy balls and light things.
 Wands were also a huge hit with kids. 
I created these with drift wood, hot glue and paint!!
 Chocolate Frogs (box pattern found online), labels and every flavor jelly beans.
Lastly we had photo props.
I bought a wood panel and then painted them.
This was one of the best parties I have thrown him in my opinion. I spread the projects out over a month so I didn't get to over loaded. It didn't cost very much since I made pretty much everything.

Friday, June 12, 2015

5 Top Summer Activities

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5 Top Summer Activities for boys & girls
 1. Car wash! Yes, you read that right, have your children start a little car wash. This is a great Summer activity because you can get a little free labor while allowing them to have fun. I love love joining in on the water fun!! It is rather inexpensive the cost of car wash and a sponge or use a wash cloth.
 2. Schedule play dates. Connect with other Mom via Facebook groups! This is such a great way to have your child meet new friends. All ages can play at play areas, parks together while you might just meet a few new friends yourself!
 3. The beach! Kind of cliche but the beach can be so much fun. Runs energy out because they can round around, swim, play with sand toys etc. Plus, the best thing about the beach is it usually is FREE!
 4. Playing outside. You would think this could be part of play dates and it might be. Try to schedule time out in fields and countryside. Let kids explore, learn, grow and ask questions.
5. Boating. This is a fun activity to take your kids out and experience. This one is probably the most expensive of all if you do not own a boat or know someone who does. My advice is to try and do this a least once a year though!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Boardwalk Cornbread Beer Bread Mix

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 Boardwalk Cornbread Beer Bread Mix
What you will need:
 1/2 Stick of Butter
1 Bottle of brewskie (I used Bud Light)
1 Box of Boardwalk Beer bread Mix 
MY SECRET INGREDIENT, Maple Syrup (optional)
 Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Spray a oven bread pan with non-stick spray and pour in the mixture in. Place in the oven and cook until golden brown.
Serve hot (or cold) & Enjoy!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wentworth Wooden Puzzles

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http://www.jigsaws.co.uk/personalised-photo-puzzles/standard-personalised-photo-jigsaws-puzzles/personal14.htm
 **I received a free product 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.
We had the pleasure of receiving a children's Wentworth Wooden Puzzle. Lots of children love jigsaws, including my five year old son!! I customized his puzzle with a recent photo we had taken on our family vacation this past February.
When it arrived I was more then pleased with the quality and luxury to this puzzle! It comes in a pouch for easy travel and storage. 
 "A special feature for these children puzzles are the whimsy pieces are shaped as different animals. This jigsaw has BIGGER PUZZLE PIECES to make it easier for younger children to handle and complete".
Our puzzle had a gorilla, a dolphin, a Bald Eagle, jaguar and some many more interesting puzzle pieced animals!
After a short time my son had managed to put this puzzle together without any assistance! The pieces are a nice size and durable for children at play. I have to say I am rather impressed by not only the quality but the care given to this puzzle!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Outdoorsy Gift Ideas

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 **I received a free product 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.
Since father's day is right around the corner I wanted to offer up some great gift ideas and suggestions for the outdoorsy man in your life! We love to be outdoors whether it is camping, hiking, roasting marshmallows or catching fireflies. With every great outdoors man they need a lantern. BUT not just any lantern a long lasting durable one. We have our trusty Coleman 1000 LUMEN CPX™ 6 LANTERN.
This lantern is unlike any other we have had. It has three settings of light! You’ll get 1000 lumens with a beam range of 20 m on high, efficiently sending the darkness running with a versatile light that’s perfect for camping, emergencies, or using at home. It is also light weight, durable and easy to travel with!
 My next suggestion is some great cast Iron cookware. Even if you do all the cooking anyone can appreciate campfire meals cooked in these! I have several recipes you can try out HERE using these!
 Since we are on the outdoor kick I wanted to also throw in a tent. They come in so many designs, shapes and sizes you are sure to find one for a gift!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bounce Magic Amherst, NY

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**I received  free passes to facilitate this 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.
"Bounce Magic is a high energy play and party facility featuring tons of inflatable bounce houses and slides, video and arcade games, mini golf, gem mining, large toddler only area, family bounce area, great food and family fun....all indoors"!
They have some of the most unique and awesome inflatable bounce houses I have personally ever seen. They have Pirate Ships, a Stage coach, Castle just to name a few!!
They are open every day, and you can play as long as you like. They also have Video and Arcade Games,Indoor Gem Mining and 9 Hole Mini Golf!!
We took advantage of some of the games since adults do not have to pay.
We also had him attempt the rock climbing wall.
What we liked: Great fun for everyone. I love that everything is in a large area to help keep track of everyone in your party. They have plenty of seating and bathrooms located nearby. They serve food, drinks and also have things besides bounce houses to do. I also think the price is very competitive since you can play as long as you want.
What could be Improved: I think maybe having a staff member just walk by the bounce houses to ensure bigger children are using them in the right way.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Canoeing trip & Splenda #Sweetswaps Recipe

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 “I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the SPLENDA® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions and reviews are my own.”
 "Summer is almost upon us, and with that comes more events, activities and tasty dishes that we love". Since we are extremely active, you know we love to be outdoors. We planned a full day outside and then a nice new recipe using SPLENDA®, to try out once we got home. The weather has been nice lately and we have been taking the Canoe out on the pond! School is almost over and it is time to be out on the water, in sunshine and making memories!
 Floating on the water, looking at wildlife, naming different kinds of fish and bird watching is just some of the great things we can do whilst outside. Canoeing is so relaxing and yet I get some exercise at the same time!
I love Summer days filled with family, memories and great food!
We came home to a new recipe I found on the Sweet Swaps websiteI went online looking for simple recipes that can be part of a balanced lifestyle. It was nice to try out a new recipe with SPLENDA®!! Did you know that swapping just one cup of sugar with one cup of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated can save more than 600 calories? We decided to try out the Sweet and Spicy Tomato Sauce Recipe, Check it out here.
After a full day of activities outside we enjoyed this savory meal. The recipe called to puree all the tomatoes but I did leave some diced because we like the texture. It is a nice sweet and spicy tasting recipe. None of our house guests could tell the difference and was pleasantly surprised by the flavoring! You can also Try swapping out spaghetti for spaghetti squash for a lower-carb, faux pasta dish! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the flavoring. This was a quick, easy to make, flavorful recipe anyone can enjoy.
This post is part of the SPLENDA® Brand Summertime Sweet Life Blogger Program by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC and Influence Central, who sent me products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.