October 30, 2014

Ubisoft Petz Beach 3DS Game Review #CleverGirls #PetzBeach

This past week I gave a new video game to my youngest kiddo a reward for doing so well on a test in school recently. He's got an Nintendo 3DS and he loves animals, so this game was a perfect fit for him!
Petz Beach is a fun filled game that includes a variety of animals to choose from... everything from adorable cats and dogs to more exotic dolphins and whales! Your child will get to interact with the animals by completing quests, meeting new villagers, exploring and expanding their community. One of the elements my son loved best about this game is that is ever changing. The more your child explores, more areas open up and allow for even more game play. It's not the kind of game that will be played from start to finish in one sitting and then cast off to the side. It held his attention for hours and is still going strong! You can't beat that. My middle child also loved this game, and while she is a bit older... she enjoyed the interesting facts provided by Encyclopaedia Britannica. I am thinking about purchasing her one of these games of her own, since she keeps asking to use her brothers copy.

Petz fans will embark on the ultimate adventure in Petz Beach, where players can care for a variety of dogs, complete quests to expand their village and connect with other Petz owners. There are more than 50 different types of animals in the game and because the environment changes with the seasons, the adventure lasts all year long! As players explore the town and meet new neighbors with their pets, the game expands and grows. Helping new friends will expand the village as the game progresses. Through its partnership with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Petz Beach incorporates learning along the way. As kids care for their pets and complete missions, they’ll learn facts about animals, plants and insects! 
If you like Petz Beach... you might also like to try out Petz Countryside. Same fun experience, but in a new and different environment!

You can purchase Petz Beach on Amazon.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

October 27, 2014

CRYSTAL LIGHT and Miranda Lambert Platinum Rewards Program

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for CRYSTAL LIGHT. I received a gift card to purchase CRYSTAL LIGHT products to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #MC #SPONSORED #CrystalLightWM #RanFan
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CRYSTAL LIGHT has forever been one of my go-to drinks. I love all the flavors and the fact that they are low calorie and have on the go packs that I can just tuck into my purse to add to a bottle of water anytime I'd like. I get bored with drinking plain water, but I know getting enough water each day in essential to good health... with CRYSTAL LIGHT I can drink water anytime and enjoy it! I was so excited to hear about the new "Platinum Rewards Program" recently launched... now you can earn points with each CRYSTAL LIGHT purchase to use toward some amazing Miranda Lambert merchandise! Signing up for the Platinum Rewards Program is super simple. Just follow the directions below and you'll be on your way to earning points for all sorts of neat swag.... song downloads, t-shirts, mugs. There is even a totally sweet signed guitar!

1. First, sign up for the program here using your email address or Facebook account.
2. Purchase participating CRYSTAL LIGHT products at Walmart and be sure to keep your receipt.
3. Go to www.earnplatinumpoints.com in your mobile browser and log in.
4. Click “Snap,” choose “Walmart,” and then click “Select/Take Photo.”
5. Snap a clear photo of your receipt and click “Upload This Photo.”
6. Redeem points for Miranda Lambert rewards.

That's all there is to it! To get you started, use this code:“mirandaic” you will instantly earn 30 free points! The sign up process was easy and my local Walmart had a ton of different CRYSTAL LIGHT products to choose from. I got all my favorites and already earned enough points to get the CD!!! I am so excited and hope you are too... go join and start earning points!

October 9, 2014

Give A Frosty, Help A Child

Foster care adoption is something very near and dear to my family. Our lives have been blessed in ways I cannot begin to describe because of 3 special children that we got to know first as foster children and then later on as forever family through adoption. Watching these 3 kids grow and thrive has been amazing... Did you know that there are more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting to be adopted? I would like to think that every child would one day get the forever home they deserve and Wendy's® and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® want to help that happen by offering these Halloween Coupon Books for $1 each. Ninety cents from each $1 coupon book sold will go directly to the The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!
This year, Wendy’s® aims to give $10 million to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and that means so much to my family personally because of our amazing experiences with adoption. Instead of candy, this year we will be handing out these coupons to each of our neighborhood trick or treat visitors as a way to help support this effort. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® believes that we have a responsibility to be the voice of foster care adoption, so that every child finds a family. As founder Dave Thomas said, “These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.” The DTFA exist to find homes for children who are waiting to be adopted from foster care in North America. Our family agrees... and wants to do whatever we can to help.
Another way I plan to use the coupon books is for our yearly pumpkin carving contest with the family. We all get together and go pumpkin picking, carve them and vote for which has the best design, funniest face, most artistic. These Frosty coupons will be a great prize for the winners! 
I hope you will think about supporting this great cause along with me by visiting your local Wendy's and picking up a few of these coupon books to give to your family and friends... there are too many children out there who need a place to call home and people to call family and we can do this little thing to help. All children deserve a family to love.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

October 5, 2014

Homemade Taco Seasoning and Taco Frittata

We eat a LOT of tacos in my home... I have 3 kids and we all know how much kids love tacos! If I would let them have their way, we would have them several times a week. I usually make 2 or 3 pounds of taco meat at a time, because then it's a quick lunch the next day in a quesadilla or I can use the leftovers to make this delicious, filling and easy taco frittata. I love this one, since it's different than a taco, but uses all the leftover bits from taco night. We top the warm frittata with the same things you might top your taco. Or, you can just eat it as it, without the toppings and it's still amazing.

September 30, 2014

Love Conquers Hate and How You Can Help

This is a sponsored post on behalf of GiveForward, as always opinions are 100% my own.
This campaign is close to my heart because my eldest son has Asperger's and was severely bullied in elementary and middle school. He was taunted and teased so much that finally, when it became too much for him to bear, we pulled him out of the brick and mortar school he was attending and enrolled him in cyber school. My son is intelligent, loving, talented and compassionate. He is also quiet, a bit unsure of himself in social situations and shy. Once you get to know him, he is the kind of kid who will do anything he can help you out. He's funny and silly and loves to make people laugh. But, until he trusts you... he comes off as aloof and standoffish. Being of MENSA level intelligence, he can ramble on at a good clip about how the processor of a computer works or about some theory he has, in language most of us would think is something of another planet entirely. He's not your typical teenager in that he doesn't care about the latest fashions and would prefer to wear the same style "uniform" every single day. He loves music and can be found listening to the same track on repeat all day long while he does his school work or progresses on one of his many projects. He's mind has to be constantly focused on something. He is always thinking, playing ideas out in his head, putting them to paper or actually physically making them happen. He is all about habits, routine and following a sense of order. Do something that sets his normal pattern out of balance and he becomes lost and regaining his equilibrium is something that takes days. Rolling with the punches isn't something he understands. All of these things made him a target in school and the bullying was harsh and never ending. Can you imagine how difficult life might be for someone like him? Now... imagine having to deal with people who pick on all of those things that make you different. Pretty difficult to imagine how someone handles all that, isn't it?

September 26, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Goat Cheese, Mushrooms and Spinach

I was selected and compensated for this opportunity to work with Smithfield through Sverve, but as always the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

I'm back with another 30 minute meal with Smithfield Marinated Pork! This time I wanted to make something using some of our favorite flavors... bacon, mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. We never get tired of those elements, so I knew this would be a hit and it was so fast and simple... you would have thought I slaved away in the kitchen for hours! I love these Smithfield Marinated Pork products because they are so versatile and help make my weekday meals into something special. Quick cooking, already seasoned and completely delicious.

September 20, 2014

Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Monk Fruit In The Raw. I received product samples to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Did you know that September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month? When I found that out, I decided to see what I could come up with to make some treats for my family using Monk Fruit In The Raw to replace some of the sugar in the recipe to reduce the calories a bit, but still retain all the delicious sweetness. Over the past month we've been trying to use Monk Fruit In The Raw on our cereal, in flavored coffee, in iced tea and on fruit and we have found we didn't miss regular sugar at all! I've started making over the switch to using Monk Fruit In The Raw instead of our usual sprinkle of sugar because even those few calories saved add up over time.