Friday, July 1, 2016

It's National Postal Worker Day - #NationalPostalWorkerDay

I was thinking that I might start a semi-regular "National Day" post on my blog.  Ya know, to feed the fodder and discuss the different things that are nationally recognized each day.  For the 1st of July we've got National Postal Worker Day.

Back in the "olden" days, when snail mail was still the way to communicate I would write and receive letters from friends and family.  I had no shortage of pen pals.  I still have several (and I do mean several) of those letters and cards tucked away in my hope chest.  And, still to this day, it's always nice to receive something other than bills in the mail.

Because I'm a blogger, my local postal carrier knows my address all too well.  Now that I'm moving, there will be a new one I'll become familiar with.

I'm thankful for Postal Workers and believe they deserve a day of recognition.  They slosh through snow, duck and dodge vicious dogs, and have to beat the heat.

Do you enjoy receiving snail mail?  Do you think technology has slowed the postal industry?  Have you thanked your Postal Worker lately?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 31


I believe in a God that hears my prayers and answers them. I've witnessed the miraculous gift of answered prayer. And, I want to pray for you. I've started weekly Power of Prayer post every Thursday. We are now on week 31. If you are needing prayer in an area of your life, please leave a comment and I'll commit to pray for your need or request. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Whether it be for healing, salvation, finances, emotions, or another area of life, I'd like to lift it up in prayer.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Biographie - Jewelry Discount, Review, and Giveaway

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.


With the exception of earrings, I love to wear jewelry.  Whether it be loud and bold or simple and dainty, I believe that quality jewelry can make an outfit complete.  I was recently introduced to Biographie, a jewelry company.  Biographie jewelry is a collection of "fashion fine jewelry" - fashion jewelry intended to be worn every day, but made with the quality materials of fine jewelry; precious metals and genuine gems. 
The one of a kind and limited edition nature of the designs ensures that nobody else is wearing the same jewelry.  The company specializes in rare and unusual gems, and they are especially known for their Opal jewelry.  Other gemstone pieces they specialize in range from blue topaz and pearl to ametrine and moonstone.

I received an Opal Cluster Necklace from Biographie.  This exquisite statement piece is dainty, yet pretty.   Because Biographie creates one-of-a-kind pieces, this particular necklace can't be found for sale.  Three opal charms are individually set, and cluster together on the chain when worn.  The three charms are attached to a beautiful short sterling silver chain.  It arrived arranged in a black jewelry box.  I love the aesthetic of this necklace and how it works well with several of my outfits.  

I also received a Fire Opal Ring.  Because it is being used for giveaway purposes, I have not worn it.  What I can say is that it is equally as beautiful as the necklace and is elegantly crafted.

Biographie jewelry has been featured in several magazines, on TV shows, and on Hollywood's red carpet.  The pieces are beautifully made and noticeable.  The prices on Biographie's jewelry are a little higher than what you'd pay at a mass merchandiser, but the pieces are original and high-end.

Exclusive Discount Code:  Use the discount code HECK at checkout to receive 30% off your entire order.  Code expires 12/15/16.

Win It!

Enter to win a Fire Opal Ring in size 7 from Biographie.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

H2OGO! Color Wave Pool - Review

I received product for review from Bestway, Inc.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

stock photo

After revolutionizing backyard water fun last summer with the launch of the first and only water slide with a built-in inflatable speed ramp, Bestway, Inc. returns in 2016 with an even more exciting line-up of H2OGO! outdoor water toys, with one of them being the H2OGO! Color Wave Pool.  

The summer heat has been a scorcher, so it's always welcoming when we can cool off in the water.  What makes the H2OGO! Color Wave Pool different than other inflatable pools is that it has built-in LED lights that illuminate the walls of the pool in an array of five different neon colors.

For the lights to work, 4 "C" batteries and a small Phillips screwdriver are required.  There's a square section on the pool to insert the batteries and to turn the lights on.  Although you can see the lights during the day, they are not as well-lit as they are during the night.  

It took me close to 20 minutes to inflate the pool with a manual pump.  There are two sections that require inflation.  A built-in drain valve is included for easy tear down when pool is not in use.

This pool has definitely gotten its fair share of use.  I had a group of friends and family over not too long ago and all the little ones wanted in.  The pool safely fit seven small children.  They weren't able to swim, but they were able to kick and splash and relax in the water with ample room.  I was impressed with its stability and how well it stood under pressure with all the kids playing around in it at once.  As for adults, I'd say it safely fits two to three at a time.

Although the pool is fun for daytime use, I really dig how it looks at night.  By pushing the power button, the lights come on and it's quite the light show.  The five colors rotate in cycle and illuminate the pool and surrounding area.  I actually have a waterproof speaker that also lights up at night.  It, paired with the pool, are quite the sight at night!

Monday, June 27, 2016

National Dairy Month: How to Make Anything Taste Better With Butter and Cheese - #finlandiacheese Review and Giveaway

I received products for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.



June is a special month.  It marks graduation, the start of summer, weddings, vacation season.  But did you know that June is also National Dairy Month?  While we fire up our grills in preparation for the summer cooking season, June is the perfect time to incorporate a food group that tastes great and is great for us:  dairy.

Many of us (myself included) eat butter and cheese almost everyday.  But we often forget to consider that many butters contain additives (such as growth hormones, preservatives, and dyes) that can be harmful to us and our families.  What if I told you there was a way to sidestep those potentially dangerous chemicals, embrace all-natural great taste, and take your baking and cooking game to the next level in honor of National Dairy Month? 

 I recently discovered Finlandia Cheese [https://www.finlandiacheese.com/]—a brand that has been crafting some of the highest quality cheese and butter for over a century—and was so inspired that I decided to share a few secrets to help you create some of the best-tasting food you and your family have ever eaten. 
Grilled cheese ingredients using Finlandia Cheese and Butter

SECRET #1:  USE ONLY HIGH-QUALITY INGREDIENTS 
Great dishes are a sum of their parts.  Those parts should be delicious alone AND in your culinary creation.  When I tried Finlandia for the first time, I was blown away.  Not only are their cheeses and butter all-natural and hormone-free, but they taste incredible.  Imported from Finland using milk produced by well-cared-for cows, Finlandia Butter is rich and creamy.  It's nothing like any butter you've ever tasted.  And you could eat Finlandia Cheese straight from the package—no crackers needed.


 SECRET #2:  CARE ABOUT THE SOURCE OF YOUR FOOD
Life moves fast, and most of us don't have time to research every single product we consume.  However, when it comes to products like cheese and butter, which we eat almost everyday, it makes a big difference to be aware of what we're putting into our bodies.  Finlandia Butter is made from pure, hormone-free milk, which comes from happy cows that live on family-owned farms in Finland—the greenest country on Earth.  No hidden chemicals, no factory farms—just pure, creamy goodness.

SECRET #3:  GET THE WHOLE FAMILY INVOLVED
Getting your family involved in the kitchen can help create lasting memories and start an important conversation around nutrition and health.  Baking sheet cookies?  Get out the cookie cutters and let your kids create the shapes.  Cooking a grilled cheese?  Let your significant other butter the bread.  If you're in need of some culinary inspiration, check out the Finlandia Cheese Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/FinlandiaCheese]. 
Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Finlandia Cheese and Butter

I created tasty and delicious Grilled Cheese sandwiches for supper the other night, using Finlandia  Swiss Cheese and Butter.  I spread Finlandia Imported Butter on one side of two slices of bread.  On the other side I daubed cream cheese spread, real bacon bits, and chopped red onion pieces.  Then I slathered deli meat and Finlandia Swiss Cheese in the middle.  I cooked the sandwiches up like you would any other Grilled Cheese sandwich.  They turned out oh-so-good, and the entire family enjoyed their meal.  It was the first time we'd used Finlandia food products in our food and we were quite satisfied. 
  
Use the product locator to find where Finlandia products are sold near you.

Win It!

One person will win a Finlandia prize pack that includes:
A tasty selection of sliced Finlandia Cheese
A baker's supply of imported Finlandia Butter
Finlandia Cheese branded lunchbox

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Eddie the Eagle Bingo Night - #EddieInsiders

I received products in exchange for this post. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is sure to warm your heart and cool down your summer! Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards - an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper, enlists the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an Olympian. This heart-warming tale starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman is available on Digital HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD.  
To celebrate the release of the film, I had some friends and family over for an Eddie the Eagle Bingo Night.  It was good ole' fashion fun.  We first watched the movie in its entirety, with no interruptions.  This gave us the chance to see this uplifting, heartwarming story.  The plot took us back to the late 80s, during the Winter Olympics.  It revolves around a guy with a determined heart whose mission was to be involved in the Olympics, and later decides it's going to be ski jumping.  With an unlikely coach who is rough around the edges, Eddie accomplishes his goal. 
Gary, aka the Mum

After we watched the film, we went a second go-round with it.  Only this time we watched it while playing Bingo, searching for picture clues that are in the movie.  We amped it up by wearing "I'm Mum" and "I'm Dad" tshirts and sipping on hot chocolate in themed mugs.  As you can tell from the pictures, the guys were more apt to be the "Mums" for the night. 

Logan intently focused on getting a Bingo

We used chocolate candy pieces to mark the Bingo cards as we spotted the pics from the movie.  As it was, the guys got more Bingos than the girls. 

The movie itself was endearing to watch but we had a great time as a group, sitting back and enjoying each other's company while we laughed and heartily competed.

Logan gloating as being a Bingo winner

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Finding Dory Fun on the Go - Activity Set Review and Giveaway

I received product for review from Calendars.com.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Finding Dory is one of the summer's biggest movie blockbusters.  It was released to theater just a few days ago and it's already a hit.  With the film being so popular, companies are either making or selling merchandise that fit with the Finding Dory theme.  Calendars.com is one of those companies.

When you first hear of the site Calendars.com I can almost bet you thought the same thing I did. They sell calendars! And, of course, that is true. But wait, there's more! Puzzles, books, games, toys and gifts are also sold on their site.
Finding Dory Fun on the Go is an activity set that will keep kids entertained, especially when they are travelling or waiting for time to pass.  The plastic case with Finding Dory characters opens up to reveal pre-printed activity pages, sticker sheets and mini markers.  The portfolio is about the size of a pencil case, and has a snap closure.  There's a section on the left that holds the markers in place when not in use.  Marker colors include green, orange, blue and yellow.  The two sheets of stickers include characters from the popular movie and underwater life in general.  The activity sheets include mazes, drawing prompts, and more.  When kids are done with one of the activity sheets, they can easily tear it from the clips at top and reveal another one.  It's enough to keep a kid happily entertained for a while. 



Win It!

One person will win a Finding Dory Fun on the Go activity set.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway