Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer Reading Takes You Outdoors with Arbordale Publishing

With school ending and summer vacation in full swing, Arbordale Publishing is once again kicking off their summer reading program. This year they have 10 dual-language ebooks free on the website, paired with activities to inspire outdoor fun.

Arbordale Publishing has handpicked 10 books that showcase animals found in your backyard and others that might require a trip to see. Either way, learning about nature is always fun. Go from the screen to outside for a scavenger hunt, start your own kids' book club, or learn about seashells even if you can’t get to the beach!

Looking for book giveaways? Follow on Facebook (Arbordale Kids), or Twitter (@ArbordaleKids), as they will be hosting giveaways throughout the summer for Summer Reading participants. #ArbordaleLovesSummer

I received no compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with Arbordale Publishing.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Jarlsberg Cheese - Specialty Cheese Review

Whether as a snack or included in a main dish, I like cheese.  I'm pretty open to flavors and varieties.  Although they've been around since 1956, I only recently learned about Jarlsberg Cheese.  How did I not know about this company until now?!

Jarlsberg® is famous around the world for its characteristic mild, sweet and nutty taste and its large round holes.  As part of the legend, the recipe is a big deal of being a guarded secret in Norway. Jarlsberg® Cheese is endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem. All Jarlsberg Cheese varieties are naturally lactose and gluten free.

In addition to specialty cheese, Jarlsberg also crafts cheese snacks and Cheese Crisps.  I served both to my Small Group one Tuesday evening.  The individually wrapped cheese snacks were perfect to grab, unwrap, and eat.  I dumped the Cheese Crisps into a bowl and they offered delicious taste with a crisp crunch.  Small Group lasts a little over two hours and that's all it took for both kinds of cheese snacks to be gone.  They were a hit!

Have you ever tried Jarlsberg Cheese?

Which flavor of Cheese Crisps would you like best:
Chipotle (the flavor we tried)
 Rosemary & Olive Oil
 Garlic & Herb or 
 Mediterranean Sea Salt?

Friday, June 15, 2018

Alex & Me - #AlexandMe Blu-ray Giveaway

I will receive product in exchange for this post from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains embedded widgets.

Get ready to fall in love with Alex & Me!  It’s an inspirational tale for the whole family.

Soccer superstar Alex Morgan scores her movie debut with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in the full-length feature film Alex & Me on Blu-ray™ & DVD June 19, 2018. Also featuring Nickelodeon star Siena Agudong (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and the upcoming Star Falls), the film follows the uplifting story of a young female athlete who learns how you need passion, determination and self-worth to make all your dreams come true.

Alex & Me will be available on Blu-ray (SRP $24.98), DVD (SRP $19.98) and Digital (SRP $14.99).

About Alex & Me

Teenager Reagan Willis (Agudong) has one dream – to play soccer like her hero, Alex Morgan. Her bedroom is a shrine to all things Alex, including a life-size poster of the Olympic gold medalist. Yet in the Willis house, Reagan lives in the shadow of her prep football superstar brother, Logan. When Reagan fails to make the cut of the premiere local soccer club team and is humiliated by her rival Claire, she’s certain her ship has sailed. But after accidentally hitting her head, Reagan’s poster of Alex Morgan suddenly comes to life and everything changes!

An Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion with a penchant for goal scoring, Alex Morgan is one of the top soccer players on the planet, currently playing forward for the United States Women's National Team and the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League. Away from the field, Morgan is also an accomplished author of “The Kicks” series, a collection of chapter books filled with wonderful messages of empowerment for young girls. The first The Kicks book, “Saving the Team,” debuted at No. 7 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Eric Champnella (Thunderstruck, Mr. 3000, Eddie) wrote the Alex & Me screenplay and is also making his full-length feature debut as the film’s director. Alex Morgan serves as co-producer. Producers are Mike Karz (Blended) and William Bindley (Mother’s Day). Todd Williams (The Illusionist) is the executive producer.

Jerry Trainor (iCarly) also stars as Nigel, a less-than-reliable youth soccer coach, alongside Matt Cornett (Bella and the Bulldogs) as Reagan’s brother, Logan; Colin Critchley (Legends of the Hidden Temple) as Reagan’s soccer-playing pal, Ben; Chuiti Tiu (Nashville) as Reagan’s mother, Ann Wills; and Jim Klock (True Detective, Scream Queens) as Reagan’s father (and biggest fan), Joe Wills. Jessica Treska (HBO’s upcoming Sharp Objects) plays Reagan’s arch-rival, Claire.


• Getting to Know Alex
• Aspire to Inspire: Success in Hard Work
• Soccer, Script to Set: A Playbook on Alex & Me
• Outtake

Alex & Me Soccer Emoji Creator Blog App:

• Create your own Soccer Emoji and share it with the world! Pick your player's look, signature move, and fun tagline.

• Setting goals is key to success, and the sooner your kids learn that the better they'll be prepared for life. Download the Family Goal Chart and have your kids set and mark off goals.

Win It!

One person will win Alex & Me on Blu-ray.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA. Each household is only eligible to win Alex & Me Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go Organically's Four Creative Ways to Celebrate Father's Day

With Father's Day quickly approaching, here are some creative ideas on how to celebrate Father's Day, courtesy of Go Organically Fruit Snacks. Though traditional gifts have their place, most fathers could probably do without another "World's Greatest Dad" mug or hobby-themed tchotchke (we're looking at you, golf ball statue!). So in the name of doing away with dust collectors, Go Organically has put together these four creative ideas for celebrating Father's Day that dad is sure to love.

Take a hike. Buy dad a cool piece of hiking gear—like a trendy, insulated water tumbler or an old-school compass—and attach an invitation to go hiking together that very day. After all, what better time to hit the trails than a Sunday in June? Up the stakes by printing out Nature Bingo cards that let you check off items as you see them—from squirrels to berries to ant hills and beyond.

one of our favorite memory books

Make a memory book. Get those pics off your phone and into dad's hands! While social media is convenient, there's nothing like showcasing photos and preserving memories in a tactile, hard copy format. Print a dozen or so favorite family snapshots, and paste them in a mini scrap book along with handwritten captions and mementos like ticket stubs or hand-drawn artwork. Dad will be proud to display the book on the family coffee table or at his workplace.

Have a "favorite foods" feast. Make a meal out of all of dad's most-loved eats—even if they don't seem to go together! Set the table with a plate of bacon, a bowl of mango, a side of potato chips and a meatball sub...or whatever suits his fancy!

Send him on a wild goose chase. On Father's Day morning, present dad with a rhyming "clue" written on an index card. One clue should link to the next clue, ultimately leading dad to the final destination—and his gift! For example:​​​
Clue #1: "It's Father's Day morning. Get up and go! Start your day with a cup of joe."
Clue #2 taped to coffee pot: "Breakfast in bed is what you crave. But first wash up and have a shave."
Clue #3 taped to bathroom vanity: "You're on the trail and your gift is near. Behind the wheel is where you steer."
Clue #4 taped to car steering wheel: "We couldn't get you a brand new ride. But open the glove box and look inside!"
Inside glove box: Include a Happy Father's Day note along with a handy car accessory, such as a gas card or a USB phone charger.

Which of these creative ideas do you like best?
Have you tried Go Organically Fruit Snacks?

I will receive products in exchange for this post.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Watermelon Smash - #WatermelonSmashChallenge Game Review

Hot days call for cool toys.  For a fun twist to the water roulette challenge, take a chance with Watermelon Splash.  It's a new game introduced by YULU Toys.  Players take turns spinning the spinner to determine their fate. Following the spinners' instructions, players press the watermelon against their head. When the watermelon opens, that player is out of the game and wet with water. 

The plastic watermelon comes in two pieces.  There is a rectangular bar on one piece and a hole in the other.  When the two are connected, the watermelon is one whole piece.  No batteries are required.

Players take turns spinning the spinner.  Whichever number it lands on is the number of times the player must tap the watermelon against their head.  That's where the suspense begins!  If timing is just right, the watermelon will "crack" and the player will get wet.  The player who is dry at the end wins.

Kids seem to enjoy playing Watermelon Splash and I love to hear them squeal in suspense, waiting to see if they'll get wet.  The watermelon doesn't pour out enough water to drench someone but does pour out enough that it gets the player a little saturated.  

If you want to play inside, there are plastic watermelon seeds included.  Instead of water, the seeds will spill out when the watermelon cracks.

Will you end up dry or getting splashed when the watermelon gets smashed on your head?!   That's the fun of Watermelon Splash!

I received product for review from YULU Toys.  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.

Claire's - Show Off Your Stars and Stripes for 40% Off

Claire’s is an iconic brand known for being a fun and exciting fashion accessory destination for kids and teens to embrace their own style.  Customers can find a whole host of products such as jewelry, hair accessories, beauty, sunglasses, cell phone cases, bedroom d├ęcor, and more.

Right now you can shop Claire's 4th of July accessories and receive 40% off.  This offer expires June 18, 2018.

This post contains an affiliate link. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MySoftsoap: Customized Hand Soap - Review

I'm a sap for personalized products.  Whether I'm purchasing something as a gift for someone else or as a keepsake for myself, I think it's got a cooler effect if it's personalized.  Personalized details make all the difference, especially when it comes to adding the right accent piece to your home or throwing the perfect birthday party. What better way to tie a party’s theme together than with a custom created MySoftsoap bottle to accent every sink in your home.

I'm a fan of Softsoap hand soap to begin with, so I was super excited to learn that I could customize my own hand soap with that brand.  Choosing all the details was easy. 

First, you select a scented formula out of four available.  There's Fresh Scent, Wild Basil & Lime, Peony & Plum, and Jasmine & Mint.  I chose the latter.  Then you choose which layout and pattern you'd like.  There's many to choose from.  Photos, monograms, and messages can be added based upon which layout you choose.  Some of the pattern categories include wedding, kids, and holiday.  I went with a floral design.

If you want to include a photo, you will need to upload it from your computer.  I used a photo of me and Jason that was taken in the Spring.  The next step is adding text.  You even have the option to select which color text and font you want.  Mine has "The Heck's" written in red cursive font.  Once that step is complete, you can review your design and place an order.  MySoftsoap will create two bottles of the same design, so you will receive two hand soaps for a little over $20. 

I am super pleased with how MySoftsoap turned out and how it adds flair to my home decor.  One bottle is in my bathroom and the other is in my kitchen.  I've received numerous compliments on them.  Once the liquid hand soap is gone, I can refill the bottles to use again and again.

How would you customize MySoftsoap for yourself?  Which photo, pattern or message would you use?
I received products for review from Colgate-Palmolive.  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.