Thursday, September 21, 2017

Our Experience at Panama Rocks, NY

 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

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!
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

  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

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.
-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?

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

 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
Chuck roast
2 Garlic cloves diced
Flakes of parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Friday, September 1, 2017

Are you ready for the Fall Season?

 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

  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
Garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
lemon juice

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Visiting Penn Dixie in Hamburg, NY

 I love finding new activities to do with my family, while saving money. Groupon has built themselves to be a money saver website. I head to the Groupon Coupons tab and search by location for deals. They have over 55,000 free coupons from more than 9,000 retailers. These are all well know stores and businesses you already purchase from! Some of the daily deal retailers include Starbucks, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target
While on the website, one day, my friend found Penn Dixie, NY.
 I am a member of US Family Guide. All opinions expressed are my own.
My son LOVES collecting rocks and finding fossils. Penn Dixie was a former cement quarry in where visitors can collect and keep Devonian Period fossils including trilobites.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

9 Back to School Tips

 Back to School time is fast approaching and in some Southern States already started. I remember the days when my son first started school and I was a wreck. I thought my little four year old just was not ready for classes and spending an entire day with out his Mom. Would his teacher know he loved to color, read and would stop for extra hugs and kisses? Would his teacher help him open his milk at lunch time or remind him it was "ok" to go to the restroom when needed? On second thought, maybe I was not ready for him to go to school just yet. Now, that my son is entering third grade my thoughts and feelings have changed. I now feel comfortable in sharing some words of wisdom that helped ME get ready for the school year!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

What's the #Kindness Rock Challenge ?

 Have you seen a bunch of painted rock photos flood your Facebook Feed? At first I saw a few here, there and thought that looks like fun. After which I saw a friend of mine post a photo in a Facebook Group. I was curious and joined the group. What I found was the Kindness Rock Challenge. Now we are hooked!
 Basically, families paint rocks, hide them around different parks, venues and shops. Other families hunt for the hidden treasures. After which many rocks have a hashtag or tag to share on social media. 
This way you can see how far the rocks travel. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My Nitro Circus Review

 At a young age many parents present you with a bike. Teach you to ride until the training wheel come off and you can do so on your own. I remember riding my bike all over our neighborhood with friends. This was before Cell phones were a "thing" and parents encouraged you to be outside! As you bike some of your friend would do tricks. We all know someone like this in our life. You know the one that made you smile with these wacky moves and epic falls when they went horribly wrong. In my teen years we graduated to motorcycles. When the Nitro Circus was coming to our area I felt rather excited to share those thrills from my childhood with my son. He may not be into all these fancy tricks but he can appreciate the athleticism that goes into it! 
Think bikes, tricks & grandstands!

I am a member of US Family Guide. I did not receive compensation for this post, but they did provided me with tickets to facilitate an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Expect to get there early. We shot for around an hour early and waited in line for around twenty minutes just to park. The merchandise line was manageable coming in so try and do this first! Also shoot for some sponsor tents, our location had "Napa" for example. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

16 Tricks to Camping with Kids

Camping is one of those activities you either love as a passion or could not care less about. When I told my friends we were taking the boys for a family camping trip the reactions were priceless. I guess most people think traveling with children under a certain age automatically make you a bit "off your rocker"?! Personally, I find it rather easy to camp with kids and felt I should give some of the tricks we use. Maybe some of these will encourage you to take your kids camping! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ways to Tent Camp Comfortably

 This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bestway and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.
Camping has become a pass time I enjoyed as a kid. Now my son enjoys it as much as I do. While some might not consider it relaxing, we love it. Honestly, tent camping is worth the effort if you have the right camping equipment. You just have to tackle the basics first. Food, water and shelter. I bring all of our food a prepare campfire meals throughout our stay! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Grilled Pesto Sandwich with Roasted Walnuts

  First off this is NOT my recipe. I got this from a Blue Apron box we enjoyed. If you are interested in this meal box enjoy my review hereThis recipe right here sends me into a wonderfully tasty food coma! Hands down the easiest recipe and packed full of flavor! Grilled Pesto Sandwich with Roasted Walnuts!!
What you will need:
Crushed Walnuts
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Sour dough bread slices
Parsley flakes
Creamy butter
Olive oil
First start by roasting crushed walnuts in a pan with parsley flakes, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Once they are nice and crispy place in a bowl to scoop onto your sandwich.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hidden Gems in Doylestown, PA

I have always been intrigued with the eerie tone of "hidden" things. After all it is the story behind objects and places that can make you jump from ordinary to fascinating. While visiting Doylestown P.A., we encounter so many "hidden things" that I felt they were worth mentioning. I am sure some of you are also interested in the spooky, creepy and history driven stories I am about to tell. Where do you look for such things while on vacation? I felt it only right to visit Henry Mercer's buildings as he helped found the area itself!
Some would consider Henry Chapman Mercer to be a hoarder. If you have wandered any of his locations you will soon realize why. He collected and saved everything. He did collect a lot of stuff in his lifetime and frankly I'm glad. It gives you a sense of History, kids can learn from these objects and it is downright interesting. Personally, I loved walking through the Mercer Museum. You can find hidden things, like these paw prints pictured above. They can be found at all three locations... (Hint: Great activity for kids to participate in).
The crafted Moravian titles for instance, are adorned on the walls, ceilings, floors could easily be marked as a hidden object. Some create themes, spell out Latin phrases or are part of a collection masterpiece. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

15 Fishing Related Shows on Netflix

 Since so many of our friends enjoy the great outdoors. I thought I would share some of our favorite Netflix fishing related shows, movies we watch when we are not outside! I know not everyone enjoys catch and release fishing (If you don't that is fine enjoy several other Netflix related posts I have created instead). 
1. The Ultimate Fishing Experience
2. Linder's Fishing Edge
3. Salmon Fishing
4. Finding Dory- My son claims since it its fish related, I had to add it to the list!
5. Monster Fish- Love this show

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Recipe: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese

I love making super easy, quick dinners for my family on school nights. All week long I dread trying to come up with fancy meals and sometimes I need a break. Here is a family favorite I think you will enjoy and it is super easy!!
What you need:
Velveeta Cheese black
Half & Half
Bacon (optional)
Extra Sharp cheese
Macaroni noodles
Bread crumbs or Panko
Boil your pasta as the box instructs. While that is happening fry up some bacon. I just leave the bacon grease once they are done  in the pan.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Open a Door with HopeLine from Verizon

Have you heard the saying: "When one door closes another opens?" In my adult years I have found this to ring true. At a young age I was abused emotionally, sexually, physically and mentally. I didn't let it stop me from exceeding at things. I fought to do something with my life and part of that is writing. Even if I do struggle, from time to time, with grammar or spelling. It is an outlet for my thoughts, experiences and stories. Because, I have been blessed with such a great platform I want to use it for good. In doing this I want to share with you a program I am so proud to support and work with! 
  I partnered with Verizon. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
"In the United States, one in every four women and one in every seven men have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner1, and each year more than 15 million children witness violence in their homes".
While I talk about this program I will be showing you through pictures, a schooner ride, we enjoyed in Watkins Geln, NY. 

As a domestic abuse survivor myself, it is so imperative to take the time for myself. Knowing my limits to get out to clear my thoughts and mind. I want to help and support others in my shoes but I can't do that if I don't help myself first! With that being said, I hope this opens a door when it seems one has been shut! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

15 Camping Inspired Netflix Shows

 Camping has been a past time that I enjoy through my childhood and now enjoy in my adulthood. I have passed the love of camping down to my family. When ever the weather allows us we escape to different camp retreats and enjoy nature at it's finest. As I set the campsite up I allow my son to stream Netflix on our tablet. This allows some screen time but allows me time to get everything ready! While out camping this past weekend I thought I would share our favorite Camping inspired shows we just adore watching.
 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. Rock the Park- This has grew our LOVE of State Parks!
2. The Way- A sad but worth a watch movie.
3. Robbin Willams in RV
4. Small is beautiful, a tiny house documentation.
5. Meat Eater- if you do not like hunting this is NOT for you.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My Infertility Journey

I have shared some personal things lately about our rainbow son Mac. You can enjoy his birth story here. What is a rainbow baby you ask? That is a living child you birthed after you have suffered a miscarriage or death of a child. Today, I want to talk about my infertility journey that luckily lead to our son Mac.
“This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC. All opinions are my own.”
About 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility. Many of these couples require different treatments, procedures or medications to conceive a child. None of these are a happy experience unless of course they result in a child. If you have struggled with infertility you will understand just how humbling it is. I understand! I was were you are reading this about 10 years ago. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Creating a Viking Themed Party

Training fire breathing dragons, battling off enemies or hiding treasure were just a few things happening at my son's Viking themed Party this year! He loves swords, shields, ships and anything chain mail. Knowing this I starting to look for great decorations and prompts for his party. These types of things can get expensive and or you can't find what you are always looking for.
Most stores did not have the theme we were going for so we created some. 
This sign (pictured above) for example, I created from cardboard and some paint. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

7 Summer Sport Essentials for Kids

"Practice Makes perfect". That saying has been drilled into my mind when I was a kid playing sports and to this day that still drill it in our young. My son luckily love sports and doesn't mind. From Games, practices or to just playing scrimmage with strangers at the park we are always on the go. Here are some great essentials for any parent with active kids!
This post is sponsored by BODYARMOR as part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. In the Summer humidity you really need to keep your child hydrated throughout the day! BODYARMOR sports drink is easy for on the go and comes in a variety of flavors. It is packed with electrolytes, coconut water, and vitamins and is low in sodium and high in potassium. BODYARMOR contains natural flavors and sweeteners and no colors from artificial sources. My son's favorite flavor happens to be grape, I found it at our local Wegmans (grocery store).

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Weekend stay at Sherkston Shores Resort

A few weekends back we were lucky enough to escape the hustle of the city and retreat to a beach view cottage. Checking in for a long weekend at the Sherkston Shores Beach Resort was exactly what I needed. The resort itself is about a 36 minute drive from the Niagara Falls. I don't know about you but I love a trip to Canada! Perfect to location if you want visit some tourist sites but don't want to stay in the neighborhood!
I was rather excited for the beach life. Something about sandy shores, sun views and waves crashing send me into vacation-relax mode. 
These cottages are so wonderfully decorated and equipped with essentials you will need. I can see why so many people purchase the cottages once they stay in one! If you do fancy a little Summer escape cottage, you can view fully furnished models near the entrance of the Resort. They have realtors to answer any questions and will even give you a tour of the grounds!!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Viking inspired Birthday Invites #HPSmartMom

Most people would consider me a "crafty" person. Personally, I think anyone can go online or Pinterest and get "Crafty". Whether it is a talent or not printing your own invites is so easy. I swear anyone can do it and all it takes are your phone/laptop and printer. We have the HP Envy printer for reference.
I received the products in this post from the wonderful HP, as part of HP Smart Moms Panel, with Mom Select.
My son wanted a "Viking" themed party this year and like most years I couldn't find invites for it. I decided to head over to Hp and explore their templates. Although they did not have any pre-made ones they had a fun "Make your own" feature that appealed to me. I simply loaded a photo of my son, pictured above. Wrote out all the details of the party and as my son would say "BOOM" done.