Monday, July 24, 2017

15 Camping Inspired Netflix Shows

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 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

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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

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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

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"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

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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

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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. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Creating a Diaper Cake #SharetheLuv

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 Have a friend or family member having a baby? Trying to think of a creative gift to give them? I love creating these fun diaper cakes you see all over Pinterest!  When I first saw one, I just about fell over, thinking is was too hard! My friends, it is not as hard to make one, as you might think!
“This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.”
What you will need:
❊ Diapers ( we use Luvs because they are great for sensitive skin, have the absorbent night lock preventing leaks & are easy to roll) You can use any size!!
(for this cake I used two packages)
❊ Small rubber hair bands- I found these Goody brand at Dollar Tree!
❊ Large rubber bands
❊ Ribbon & Decorations - again you can use any color, size etc.
❊ Luv diapers are softer and more absorbent than ever before, with large stretch tabs for easy fastening, ultra-leakage protection and a money-back guarantee!!
 ❊ travel size wipes, powder, baby trinkets to add as decor
❊ two baby bottles if you make a three tier cake.
 First roll the Luvs diapers one by one. Wrap rubber bands around them as shown above. Do this in three different locations, as shown above.
 This is the most time consuming part! I wrapped some, got up, stretched, did laundry, came back to break it up a bit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Our Stay at 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast

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Have you ever needed to take a break? Just shut off your phone, close your laptop and relax? After a stressful couple of months with a major health scare with or son we needed just that! To rest, relax, recharge and reconnect. I searched around our area and found the 1837 Cobblestone Cottage bed & breakfast! Nothing could have really prepared me for the weekend we were about to have.
 The establishment sits alongside the Canandaigua Lake and is minutes from downtown. As we drove up the driveway to check in I saw some deer in the yard! I knew this would be the place to leave my technology aside and explore!
 I threw my small bag, I packed, in our room and was ready to recharge my batteries by relaxing with a cup of coffee on the front porch! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Is your child reaching their Milestones?

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As your child begins to grow it is expected you have worries. As a parent you worry if they are growing up too fast, not fast enough. You worry about if they are eating enough meat, fruits and vegetables. Another fear you may have are if your young child is reaching his or her milestones. I want to introduce you to a program that will help you to know if your child is hitting milestones at the right time. It also provides invaluable checklists, videos, and activity ideas will set your mind at ease, letting you when to expect important developmental milestone as well as what to do if you have any concerns.
This post is made possible with support from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” program. All opinions are my own.
Let's take some time and explore the age of a two year old. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

12 Top Medical Shows on Netflix

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Have you ever realized all those Medical dramas on TV? There is so many and I never realized we were so addicted to them. It wasn't until Netflix homepage stated "Shows you might like" and every single one was medically themed. So if you are like us and enjoy them here are 15 Top Medical Shows on Netflix you might also enjoy!
**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. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken & Rice

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 I have gotten a few new things for my kitchen in the last week that I wanted to try out and use. First up I got some new Moore's Marinades to play around with and create new recipes for our weekly meal plan. 
Second, I got this amazing VitaClay Rice Cooker that has been all over my Social Media feeds and inter-webs. Along with some great products from Lundberg Family Farms to help create this recipe! I swear everyone has one of these and I might be the last to jump on the band wagon but so glad I did! This thing is pretty awesome and makes my busy Mom life super easy to manage!!
What you will need:
2 eggs ( I just cracked and whipped them in a bowl)
Pancko Bread crumbs
1 Cup flower
Boneless Chicken breast
Honey
Moore's Buffalo sauce
Lundberg Family Farms Short Grain rice ( I love the flavoring of this)
Something to cook rice in, I used my VitaClay Rice Cooker

Monday, June 12, 2017

Family Fun in Fort Wayne, Indiana

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 During Spring Break we decided to try a new location. 
Experience new things with my family and we picked Fort Wayne.
Where to stay? We decided to take the advice of some locals and stay at the Ramada Plaza/Hotel Fort Wayne. It was conveniently located near many of the vacation activities we booked as well as by many restaurants for easy meal choices.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

DIY: Teacher Appreciation

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As a fellow education professional and Mom, I believe appreciating our teachers is vital. They help our children grow. If you are super lucky to have one that your child adores as well even better. After getting our new HP ENVY we put it right to work! Also find more ideas here.
 Teachers are so important we should take the time to "Thank Them". 
 What you will need:
A straw
Ribbon or Straw string
Tape
"GROW" Printable 
Plant 

Monday, June 5, 2017

How we enjoyed Toledo, Ohio

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Traveling is such a vital part of our lives. Only 25% of US workers take all the vacation that they are entitled to. Come on, people – use your vacation days! For Spring Break this year we broke out of the norm and decided to go somewhere new. I searched around our area and found some locations closer to home that offered activities we enjoyed doing. Toledo, Ohio was on the way to our final destination. I didn't realize when I booked a few nights how much we would enjoy the area and want to stay longer.
On our first day we visited the Toledo Zoo. Now, I wrote a full review on them but I still want to mention a few vital points in case you missed that post. First up it is HUGE! Plan a head to be there for a good day. Actually we could spend more than one day because there is so much t see, do, experience, touch and feed!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Let's Celebrate Donut Day

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Happy Donuts Day! I had never heard of national donuts day until last year. I was introduced to my all time favorite donut flavor, Maple bacon. Ever since I have been all about anything "donut" related. Here are some great examples of some fun donut themed items you can use everyday!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

How Planned Parenthood Services caught my Cancer

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My grandmother, Helen, was an instrumental person in my life. She was blessed with both beauty outside and in. She helped found a Christian Camp, that services hundreds of young adults still to this day. She worked to build what is now the Seneca, five Nations in Allegheny, NY. As a small child she taught me so much but it wasn't until her battle with breast cancer I would learn hard life lessons. Beauty and strength comes from within. She fought daily as she lost parts of her women hood. I remember riding to her treatments listening to "He has the whole world in his hands" thinking she is so brave.
This post is made possible with support from the Mission List. All opinions are my own.
My grandmother lost her life to cancer but through it changed mine forever. I hope to be a fraction of what she was to me to someone else. My first step was getting a breast exam and pap smear when I became of age. Planned Parenthood has many of these great services you can utilize. Cancer has run in my family and let me tell you getting tested can be vital. I am not a doctor nor do I have medical training but from what I have experienced early detection is key.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What to pack on a Stay-cation

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Everyone needs to take a break. To rest, relax and recharge. This past Holiday weekend I decided to get out of town with my spouse. We tried out a new Bed & Breakfast closer to home. It was to the Canandaigua, New York area we had never visited before. As I was getting ready for the weekend I decided to talk about some of the items I packed. Since it was a quick trip I did not need to many toiletries! I hope you fine these suggestions helpful.
I received a free product to facilitate my 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.
My phone was a MUST have. Since it was a trip without my son I need my phone for any emergencies that may happen while we were gone. I also like to call my son and say good night" to him daily. Since it was in a more remote area in the Finger Lakes I used my Verizon MotoZ Force on the Unlimited plan. I have to say we seem to always have service and I enjoy the fixed monthly charge! I also brought along my Hasselblad zoom camera attachment so I did not need to lug my DSLR camera. I could get great photos without packing more camera equipment. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

9 Kid Friendly Activities in Las Vegas

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If you have traveled to Vegas having your kids along with you probably is far from your mind. I am here to tell you there is so much more to Las Vegas (in my opinion) than casinos. We certainly had fun on our last trips wandering the Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. I hope you enjoy these family suggestions and if I missed some add them in the comments below!
1. Explore outside of the Las Vegas area!! The mountains are beautiful and probably one of my favorite parts of our trips. The first time we ventured to the area we stumbled upon a wonderful little town, Boulder City. Picture antiques, hot rods, fun street art murals and sculptures. Great things to see, purchase and overall it has several things for not only kids but adults too!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Is your clothing ready for Summer Adventures?

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A few months back I introduced my friends and family to a new clothing company I was ecstatic to work with, prAna. If you missed my post check it out here. Let's just say being a busy working Mom presents me with some challenges to always look my best. When I am out on writing assignments I never know what adventurous hike I will be enduring next. I love it the uncertainty. I needed clothing that can keep up with me and our fun adventurous lifestyle.

10 Great Chick Flicks on Netflix

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I love cuddling up with some comfy blankets on our couch after a long day. I just love vegging out and watching TV. For years I spend my days watching cartoons and educational shows during the day with my son. At night I often watch the suspenseful or horror flicks my spouse enjoys. Sometimes I want to watch a Chick Flick. If anyone else enjoys these from time to time. Here are ten great choices on Netflix you will be sure to enjoy!
**I received a free service 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.
1. Cable Girls- 1920s girls coming together for life, love and Independence.
2. Grease, Grease 2, High School Story, Chicago- An oldie but a good musical. I love watching musicals!
3. Twilight- Ok, this is a young adult film but I cant help it.
4. Safe Haven- I love reading Nicholas Sparks books and watching the movies are equally fulfilling!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Things I love about Watkins Glen

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 The Watkins Glen State park is open and I am ready to go back and visit! It it so hard to believe just last year I discovered this little gem tucked in the heart of the Finger lake Wine Country. When I now talk to people about the area, they have visited or heard of it. I wish I had only know sooner how incredible this area was! Now, I can visit frequently and tell all my friends about it including YOU! 
 In this day and age I feel like we look at photos on or cellular devices and that is the extent of our "travels". I do it trust me! I have a few seconds to spare or take a break and there I am eyeing up the amazing travel photos on Instagram.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken with Mango Rice

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Teriyaki Chicken with Mango Rice is a great recipe for dinner you will be sure to enjoy. It even has my son's stamp of approval which can be a bit tricky.
What you will need:
Package of boneless chicken
3-5 splashes of French's Worcester Sauce
2 TBS. Teriyaki Sauce ( I used one from Aldi)
Few shakes of Paprika
Sliced Mushrooms ( optional)
1 Mango diced
1 Small red onion diced
1 Roma tomato diced
1 Lime 
1 can of crushed pineapple
1 green pepper diced
Few chopped cilantro (optional)
Rice ( I used half a box but my family eats a fair amount)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Our visit to the Toledo Zoo

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 This Spring Break we decided to ditch the main stream travel destinations we had visited in previous years and try out areas around us. I had never been to the Toledo, Ohio area before but decided to stop on our way. I decided instead of spending a whole week in one area we would split the week. The first thing we officially did was visit the Toledo Zoo. I won't lie I have been to many in my life. As a child we always went to them because they ran on the cheaper side of things. Even as my son has grown up we visit them. Through my writing career a Zoo is always on the itinerary. Having said all that the I can make a pretty heavy statement: the Toledo Zoo is hands down the best Zoo I have ever visited! I say that with complete confidence for several reasons I will explain throughout my post. Be prepared to see lots of pictures including all types of animals, reptiles and aquatic life.
 I was sent tickets to help facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive experience. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.
As you enter the park you can visit Africa or travel across the bridge to another section of the Zoo. We went when Spring had just arrived (back in New York it was still snowing). They are open year round which I thought was rather neat. When walking you are greeted with many photo opportunities with your family. 
 Some of the Zoo was down for construction which was understandable considering the weather and they are making some habitats larger. I will never complain when a Zoo expands because animal deserve as much space as they can get!

Friday, May 12, 2017

8 Fun Games for Families

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I have so many games in my house it is a wonder we play with them all. After having a few game nights with friends and family members I realized not everyone has games. I decided to make a list of FUN games for the family that you SHOULD have in your home!