Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why is STEM Learning Vital for our Youth?

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 As a mother you hear a lot about all the things you need to teach your child. Society, the education system, other parents and media flood you with advice on how to raise your child. One of the major educational focus teachers have in the last few years are STEM learning programs. What is the STEM approach people are talking about, you might ask? It centers around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. I often see companies advertising for more parents of daughters encourage their child to enter into engineering because they want more in that field. Luckily for us, our son enjoys these four subjects with absolute GUSTO! He not only excels in these categories, tests high for his age but thoroughly enjoys them. We encourage him to not only learn via text books but handling technology and using these in every day life practices!

 I partnered with Verizon. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
#weneedmore kids to see the world of possibilities waiting for them. In order to compete for the jobs of the future, it's essential for every kid to have access to technology and STEM education. With about 9 million available STEM jobs – and over 4 million available jobs in science and technology alone – our youth need access to education and resources that will prepare them for success in tomorrow’s high-tech world (an excerpt from Verizon Website)".

Monday, November 13, 2017

20 Delicious Culinary Shows to embrace the Holidays

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November is the start of delicious desserts in my family. My mother is one of the best bakers I have come to know. I am not just saying that because I am bias. She has talents I wish rubbed off on me. While I love to cook, baking has never set well with me. She can taste a sweet treat and replicate it without a recipe. It is almost like a work of art! I believe it was her food passion that started my journey down the culinary road. Last year, I officially became certified as a Food Judge and started to work in the food industry. Grading competitors as they tried to win different food competitions while making friends along the way. To celebrate the start of Holiday Desserts, treats and cookies here are some great shows on Netflix centered all around Food! Cooking everything from scratch has really encouraged my passion for creating dishes and these shows help fuel it!
 I am a member of Netflix’s blogger StreamTeam. I did not receive compensation for this post, but Netflix has provided me with a membership and other bonuses for being part of the Stream Team. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Recipe: Pesto & Cheese Tortellini

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First off this is NOT my recipe. I got this from a Hello Fresh box we enjoyed. If you are interested in this meal box enjoy my review here
What you will need:
2-4 cups 2% Reduced Fat Milk
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese 
Pesto- to taste
12 Asparagus 
4 Garlic 
 1/4 cup Panko 
2 Vegetable Stock Concentrate 
18 Tortelloni 
Salt, pepper & oil to taste

Friday, November 3, 2017

NOW that's what I call Music

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Have you ever turned up your music to sing loudly when you were excited, happy or just needed a little pick me up? For some, including myself, music has a way of taking us out of our funky moods and putting us in a positive space. 
  
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Now That’s What I Call Music.
In my childhood I battled with depression, sleep disorders and cancer. I turned to music (still do actually) when I needed to refocus and clear my head. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Capon Spring & Farms Review

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 We took a scenic drive along the Cacapon River to a 19th Century Resort called the Capon Springs and Farms. Many describe it as one step up from camping and I would agree with that to an extent. While you may not have all the modern luxuries this place offers so much more to families. 
 I was hosted as part of a FAM tour to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive experience. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.
While here you can enjoy a home away from home uninterrupted. Put down your electronics and reconnect with your family members again over a game of ping pong, pool, cards or day at the Hygeia Bath House & Spa. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Top 10 Ways to Show your Dog Love

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Dogs are a magnificent creatures. They can become domesticated animals that are around when you need them. They can lift someone up from a disability and become service animals. They fight along side many of our military in combat. What are ways you can show them love in return for such faithfulness?
 “This post was made possible by iConnect and Petcurean. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine."

Monday, October 30, 2017

Wubble Brite Review

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If you have followed my family through the years you might have noticed a partnership with Wubble Ball. Each new product that comes out has something exciting to offer that leaves us with hours of fun together! Over the Summer my son enjoyed the Super Wubble pictured above.
**I received a free product to review. I was not required to write a positive review . The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
When the leaves start to change, we are busy putting together our annual Pumpkin Party. It has become more of a tradition now after all these years! I honestly can't believe when I started doing this, years ago, so many people would look forward to it year after year. I started the annual Pumpkin Party, before I had a child. I saw a need for families who could not afford pumpkins and wanted to change that. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Charge your Samsung Phone On the Go

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What do I do for a living? I started this website years ago with the intent to help others save money. It grew to be so much more than I had ever envisioned. I truly did not think it would take off and people would follow my posts. Something about struggling with grammar, spelling and thinking I was not a natural writer held me back. I have come so far from those first few posts that went live. I can't guarantee I am an excellent speller, that my grammar is on point or that I consider myself a writer even to this day! I will say I have grown and this website has helped me in many ways. I now strive everyday to be a better writer, better photographer and better at expressing my passions on this forum. Often times my job sends me to areas of the world I have never been.
You might not always see the behind the scenes photos of me in action. I promise there is a LOT of action behind these posts. I wish I could just wake up and the words flow on these webpages as easy as my laundry bin fills up weekly. That is NOT the case. I struggle with content at times, writers block or camera malfunction. When I am on Press trips I need my equipment to be on it's best behavior because people/business are counting on me! My family is counting on me and I am counting on myself to not fail them. I love my job and I want to do the best I can to create content that resonates with my personality! I've had trips I left my camera battery at home, forgot SIM cards or just lost charging cords. These things happen and I roll with all the technology punches, trust!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Let's talk about Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I have a few things to say about it! Meet my grandmother, Helen (pictured above). She was an instrumental person in my life. We have those types of people we look up too. You know the one's we run to with our problems and they always know the solution. The people who make even the toughest day seem like a walk in the park! She was my "person". Her beauty shined both outside and in. She helped fund a Christian Camp, that NOW services hundreds of young adults. As a small child she taught me so much but it wasn't until her battle with Breast Cancer I would learn the hard life lessons. Cancer has no "avoid button". It does not care if you are sweet, humble, beautiful or mean. It does not care if you are white, black, purple or yellow toned skin. Cancer does not discriminate against religions or sexual orientation, it knows no boundaries of who it will effect. My grandmother fought daily once diagnosed! She lost parts of her women hood, little by little it took over her entire physical body. I remember riding to her treatments listening to "He has the whole world in his hands" thinking she is so brave.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Northeast Places to Catch Fall Foliage

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 The leaves are changing to vibrant hues of red, orange and yellow all around us. The more I travel, the more I realize not everyone is blessed with this fact of biology. If you want to enjoy some Fall foliage here are some rather picturesque places we have ventured to in the Northeast. 

**Fun fact many of these pictures in this post are thanks to my Samsung Galaxy 8! Some places are in remote locations and I don't dare lug my expensive camera along for those types of trips!** 

I know not everyplace is listed so be kind if your area wasn't. I do plan to visit more places throughout the Fall this season to add to my list for next year! First place, pictured above, is The Great Pumpkin Farm located in Clarence, New York. They have rolling hills to view the leaves changing while you can enjoy a hay ride! This Farm also has a lot of fun Fall activities for the whole family including Pumpkin contests, Mazes, pumpkin picking and more!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scenic trip around the Cacapon River, West Virginia

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 On my last travel post, Historic Romney, West Virginia, I left off turning in for the night at our Motel. The next morning we were bright eyed and bushy tailed, as they say, for a little hiking adventure. First on the agenda was the Ice Mountain Preserve located off country roads about 30 minutes east of Romney, WV. While they are open to the public you do need to reserve a tour/guide because the trails are only accessed through private properties. There are two different trails you can enjoy here: lower trail that leads to Ice “vents” or the top of the peak trail, called Raven’s Rocks.
I would say the trails are moderate hiking level. They have a mountain incline to go down and climb back up. Once you walk down the trail, you enter back in time. The ice "vents" in the ground provide cool temperatures that encourage rare arctic plants to glow along side the tropical plants. These stay cold throughout winter and are the last place to thaw late into the Summer. The plants grown here are not found in this area on normal conditions. They are a complete natural wonder preserved in this mountain side.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Suggestions For Halloween Costumes

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Halloween is an exciting time around my home. Between decorating the house, planning for our annual Pumpkin party or picking out costumes. I asked you all a few days ago what you were going to be for Halloween and was shocked many of you had not decided yet. I personally love dressing up! Maybe I want to hold onto the playful child spirit by dressing up. Maybe it is the look in our son's eye when we go all out to create a costume. It's honestly just plain good old fashion fun for a day! Finding the right costume at a great price is the key though. While I love looking as genuine as I can, no fake costumes here. I don't want to break the bank doing it because it is for ONE day/night only. I thought I would talk about where we got our costumes this year! Let me introduce to you my new favorite Halloween prop/costume place: the Costume Super Center.
I received a free product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. 
While my son enjoys everything mystical and brought up in the Fantasy land he has really stayed away from scary costumes. This year he decided to put down his Gryffindor robes and join the Huffpuff house to channel Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Historic Romney, West Virginia

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It is funny how a place can resonate with you once you arrive to explore it. I had never explored West Virginia, just passed through it. When given the opportunity I jumped at the chance. At a much younger age, I liked the idea of milder winters and rich mountain sky lines. I always thought I would settle down in the Virginia's and honestly still might! Something about the country feeling of nature untouched lures people. Generations flock to the idea of a self sustained way of life. Riding into West Virginia our Host, Jon sang "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver. At first, I thought it so strange. He told us as we traveled through the "S" curves of the back country roads that the area just compelled him to sing it. We stopped to look at Cooper mountain (captured above) on our way to the Potomac Eagle Scenic train ride in historic Romney, WV. Looking back on my trip, he was right, that song does capture the West Virginia spirit!
"Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze"-"Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Recipe: Apple Crumble

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 I am so happy the fall season is upon us. I am breaking out every apple & pumpkin recipe! This is a easy to create recipe with a lot of flavor and my family thoroughly enjoys!
What you will need:
4 apples ( I used red delicious)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup granola
2 tsp of ground cinnamon  
1 stick of butter
Skin and dice the apples. 
Once you have down that add your cinnamon to a bowl and mix together.

Monday, October 2, 2017

15 Zombie Shows to Watch on Netflix

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Are you ready for Halloween? I will admit, I wanted to start decorating on September 1st but held off. Now, that October is finally here, I can enjoy one of my favorite times of year.  I decided to make a Zombie/Undead show list for you. Having Netflix allows us to binge watch so many great shows! Once we finish one we are always on the hunt for the next great hit. 
Here are some suggestions to get you in the ghoulish spirit!
I am a member of Netflix’s blogger StreamTeam. I did not receive compensation for this post, but Netflix has provided me with a membership and other bonuses for being part of the Stream Team. All opinions expressed are my own.
1. Could I even make a list without mentioning the Walking Dead? They just added Season 7! Look at my awesome cup from Tervis showcasing our love for all things Zombie!!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Quick trip to Breezewood/Bedford, PA

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 I am often ask what type of travel is my favorite. For years I thought traveling to a hot sunny beach was my tranquil place to recharge. Turns out I actually would rather not sit in the beating sun and sweat. Nothing against the beach but after becoming a mother, sand does not have the same appeal as it once did. I love the little trips that are shall we say "off the beaten path"? I was driving through the state of Pennsylvania to the MATPRA conference. After searching around on google I found a lovely area to stop and recharge before I started my official "work trip". 
Here is my quick trip the Breezewood/Bedford PA area. 
 Some of you may have heard of this area if you have followed 9/11. It is extremely close to the Pennsylvania field that Flight 93 crashed in. A memorial has been now raised on those grounds in remembrance of that tragic day. Although, not the happiest of things to visit. For me, paying homage to those brave individuals gives me a strong sense of American pride. 
Given this historic area I wanted to stay somewhere that contributed to that. I found the 1788 Bed & Breakfast that was once a stage coach stop on the Historic Lincoln Highway. I will not lie and say I know everything about History but I find it extremely fascinating. Pulling up to the location I knew I picked the right place to rest, relax and recharge.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Secrets exposed from my Living Room

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I have been keeping a few secrets from you all. Nothing drastic but enough to house some guilt on my part. Normally this time of year I am none stop traveling. If you have noticed in the past few days, on my social media accounts, I went from traveling West Virginia to all of a sudden back home in New York. What happened you ask? I came down with a "cold" (pneumonia). Not just any cold, no...no, the one that Moms dread once your children go back to school. Kids come home with these "Colds" that seem normal but turn into something else and knock you down for weeks. Let's just say the four walls of my living room have all I have looked at...for almost a week and a half now. Before I left on my trip to Virginia, we opened the new Wireless speaker from Bose. I never really paid much mind to it until this past week. 
It is after all in my contagious confinement room.
  I partnered with Verizon. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
After getting the kid off to school in the morning, I come home and switch on my Bluetooth. I have a few play lists on YouTube I shuffle between. Speaking of...if you have some suggestion for songs let me know in the comments. Seriously, I am running out of ideas! 
Think four walls to look at day in and day out...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

15 Reasons to Visit the New Whole Foods Market in Buffalo, NY

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 When we found out a Whole Foods Market was coming to our local area excitement entered our bones. We have several wineries, breweries and farms around us but having a place to bring them all together is so beneficial. I wanted to be at opening day so badly but was traveling on a Press Trip. I heard lines stretched out of the store as many locals gathered to see what the new store would bring to our area. From all of the comments, photos and social media sharing it looked as though Whole Food Market did NOT disappoint.
 I was convinced, I too, had to go and experience what the buzz was all about. If you are like me and waited I hope these 15 reasons will encourage you to stop in and shop around!
 1. They are conveniently located and easy to find. Just type in Whole Foods Market in Buffalo to a GPS or google map app and the directions are super simple.
2. The store lay out is extremely easy to shop . Grab a cart and you are placed in the produce section first.
3. They have a few different types of shopping carts perfect for all families, shopping trips and special needs you may have!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our Experience at Panama Rocks, NY

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 After learning about the Wild America Nature Festival on Facebook, I thought a trip to Panama Rocks was in order. I have seen the amazing video they advertise on Facebook and heard so many people talk about the views. Having lived in Western New York my whole life you would think I'd have hiked this "half-mile long ridge of 60-foot high rock forming crevices, passageways, and caves hidden".
 The Panama Rocks Park is easy to find. Just around 10-15 minutes from Chautauqua, NY according to our GPS. Even though the trail is rated a Class 1 you still need to sign a waiver. Once inside you can understand why. While they have an easy trail mapped out for you, most guests including myself, tend to wander through and around these majestic rock creations.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Birthdays On-Demand with Netflix

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Did you know: three-quarters of parents in the US feel the pressure to be “party perfect” for their kids? I have been doing big elaborate birthday parties for my son. After so many years I am a pro at it. I don't expect everyone to do this by any means. I have a creative spirit and this just gives me a personal outlet. I do want to support those parents who have more child, who might not be creative or who do not have the time to go all out for Birthdays. 
We are celebrating Birthdays On-Demand with Netflix this month!
I am a member of Netflix’s blogger StreamTeam. I did not receive compensation for this post, but Netflix has provided me with a membership and other bonuses for being part of the Stream Team. All opinions expressed are my own.
Since we are celebrating, we decided to bake a cake, in honor Birthdays on Demand. Creating a simple cake while suggesting fun Children programs you can watch.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Fieldcrest Maple Series & Giveaway

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  I am rather excited to share that I am working with JORD watches again. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have heard, I would be hosting a Facebook LIVE Giveaway! I have previously worked with JORD watches and was excited when they reached out to do so again.
If you’re not already familiar with JORD watches, they focus on creating timepieces that are modeled after a modern lifestyle. These wooden masterpieces are made for people who don't just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go! Since I am always on the go traveling for work their mission align perfectly with my lifestyle. Today, I wanted to show you my new piece from JORD… and what better place to do this, than when I was away on a Press Trip?!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Secure your Home Electronics from Hackers

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The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
 My laptop gave me the Blue Screen of Death. I can remember the day like it was yesterday. Someone had hacked our internet & my laptop. For a while I had felt our "high speed" internet was running slower everyday. I had called and setup service calls with no luck. It would happen every so often during different times of the day. We found an app that allows you to see if someone is hacking your internet. I was appalled at the results! I work from home and need the highest internet speeds to keep up with my work load. My neighbors had been dipping into this luxury for months. After blocking access I decided to get proactive and find more protection from this ever happening again! After wandering Best Buy we found the CUJO Smart Internet Firewall.
 Protect your home network with this CUJO Smart Internet Firewall, made in USA. Mobile apps let you control your firewall's settings as it protects networked devices and smart doorbells, cameras and thermostats against hackers.
MAIN FEATURES:
-Business level internet security
- Guards ALL devices in your home
-Parental Controls
-Connects to Router with controlled App
-Blazting Fast (built with 1GB Ethernet)
Luckily, it was just our internet. My laptop was wiped but we managed to get all my work back. My son uses our tablets/phones from time to time different educational and recreational games. I wanted some parental controls for those as well. Here are some CUJO Smart Internet Firewall 
parental controls features I fell in love with: 
- parental controls for all devices 
- internet filter - time limits 
- social media monitoring 
- pause internet - alerts and reporting
 - remote administration
 - user profiles and settings

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Have you ever heard of Whole Foods Market?

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Have you ever heard of Whole Foods Market? They are rather popular in the Southern states and I was surprised to read that is where they originated. 
Whole Foods Market is known for their tough quality standards on artificial food preservatives, sustainable seafood, animal welfare, antibiotics in meat and pesticides in vegetables. Which means? They do not allow hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners in any food they sell. To secure this is done while helping the local area they have an entire team dedicated to the region! It’s not just putting products on the shelves,they cultivate local partners and even offer loans help local producers grow and flourish together. They offer digital app coupons and weekly sale flyers! Leaving us customers with a better expectation of what we eat while getting the best value for our money. 
After looking into the Values and mission statements of Whole Foods Market, I am so excited. Why do you ask? A store will be opening in the local Western New York area! Buffalo, NY is located by functioning agricultural dairy, beef and produce farms. It seems only fitting to have one in this area.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Recipe: Instant Pot Stew

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 We have been busy in the kitchen creating recipes! Keeping from using the oven during the heat waves have been tricky. Luckily I was blessed with a Instant pot and have really put it to the test!
Today I created a great Roast stew using a few ingredients I had in the pantry.
What you will need:
1 cup water
1 Pepper
1 onion
Mushrooms
Chuck roast
2 Garlic cloves diced
Flakes of parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Friday, September 1, 2017

Are you ready for the Fall Season?

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 A few years ago I would have sworn my favorite Season was summer. After two years of 100% humidity, I have really looked forward to fall time. Something about pumpkins, scarves and hot chocolate make me smile. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday so this time of year gets me excited to decorate. We headed to at home in Erie, P.A. for some inspiration and spooky purchases!
I figured they were starting to pull fall decor out but I was graced with FULL on Holiday displays! Talk about a kid in a Halloween Candy bowl!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Recipe: Grilled Seasoned Chicken

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  I love to grill out when ever possible. Something about lighting coals and cooking outdoors get my taste buds salivating. The past few weeks I have tried a simple grilled chicken recipe I just have to share!
 What you will need:
Boneless Chicken breast
Paprika
Parsley
Garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
lemon juice