Friday, July 31, 2015

That Time When Your Heart Hits Your Stomach

My kids aren't young'uns anymore but that doesn't make me any less protective.  I've allowed them to spread their wings and fly but I'm there in a New York minute when one of those wings is broke.

Last night I got a call that most every parent dreads.  My 17 yoa son had been in an accident........with my vehicle.

The Trailblazer was the least of my worries.  I had to get to the scene to see for myself that my boy was okay.  The drive was a little over a million trillion twenty minutes and time dragged on F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  I started breaking out in hives and thought my heart was gonna come out my colon.

Once I made it on scene and knew for sure that my boy was okay, I was able to breathe again.  He had been driving on the interstate with a friend and hit loose gravel when he went to get at an on-ramp.  The vehicle took a dive down a deep ravine.



I may not have been that dramatic on the outside, but definitely felt that dramatic on the inside.

By all intents and purposes, from witness accounts, both boys were very lucky to come out unscathed.  The only repercussion is the strong possibility of poison ivy because Logan came in contact with it.  We'll know for sure in a couple of days.

Logan started bawling when I saw him.  He thought I'd be mad that my vehicle was a'goner.  Mad wasn't even in my vocabulary.  Scared and worried were.  Vehicles can be replaced; lives can't. 

I have no doubt God was watching over the boys.  The scenario could have played out a hundred different ways.  My vehicle is more than likely totaled.  Not to mention that I only had two payments left before it was paid off.  Guess it's a sign that I need to go car shopping, sooner rather than later!

Lasting Effects Coverage with McKenzie Westmore

I will receive product 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.


Founder of Westmore Beauty, McKenzie Westmore made her 9th season entrance as the host of Syfy’s #1 show Face/Off Tuesday night!   In this competition/elimination series, special effects make-up artists participate in elaborate challenges for a grand prize and the honor of being Hollywood's next great effects artist.

There's very few shows that I will make a point to watch, but Face/Off is one of them.  I've been a fan from the beginning and am in awe of the creations the artists come up with. 

Westmore’s family history in the art of special effects make-up allows her to bring a passion for this art and approach it with a knowledgeable perspective. Not only does she use her legacy in special effects makeup as the host of the show, but also placed it within her cosmetics line, Westmore Beauty (exclusively on QVC). Her staple product, the Lasting Effects Coverage Perfector, is a 2-in-1 foundation and concealer which allows for flawless, airbrushed and comfortable coverage that lasts for over 24-hours! It’s a must-have product in Westmore’s beauty routine on and off the show –this product is buildable and ideal for a regular day at the office or, in McKenzie’s place, behind the camera!

Do you watch Face/Off?  What's your opinion about McKenzie Westmore and her cosmetics line?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hormel Foods Progress and Goals - #HormelFamily

I received products as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program.  The opinions within this post are of my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
I've been a part of Hormel Foods blogger program for some time now.  It's a company that I've grown to know more about, from the brands they carry to their business conduct.  The business keeps working towards progressing as a leading corporate citizen in its industry.
 
Last month, Hormel Foods launched the 2014 Hormel Foods Corporate Responsibility Report, which helps serve as a foundation for how they create value for society. 
 
Here are just a few of their milestones and achievements for 2014:
 
In fiscal year 2014, Hormel Foods donated more than $9.1 million in cash and products, and continued their domestic and international commitment to end hunger.  This included donating hams during the holiday season to charities.
 
In August, Hormel Foods acquired CytoSport Holdings, Inc., the maker of Muscle Milk products.
 
Hormel Foods worked on several sodium reduction projects, and saw success with their SKIPPY natural peanut butter spread that does not contain preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
 
 
Some 2020 Goals for Hormel Foods include:

Reduce product packaging by 25 million pounds.

Reduce 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduce 10% of non-renewable energy use.

Reduce 10% of solid waste sent to landfill.

Is there anything you'd like to see Hormel Foods work towards?  What Hormel Foods brands do you consume?

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales - #BerryTales DVD Giveaway

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

The spotlight shines on the importance of being true to yourself in Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales. Join Plum in “Snowberry and the Seven Berrykins” as she learns to believe in herself when putting on a small and simple play for a young audience. In “Berryella and Prince Berry Charming,” Huck agrees to be in a production, but then quickly realizes that he’d be happier behind the scenes. Strawberry, Lemon and Raspberry star as three princesses on a quest to rule a kingdom in “The Littlest Berrykin,” and realize that they can never succeed without kindness and generosity. With berry important lessons, it’s curtain up on good times and friendship!

DVD release date is August 11, 2015.
Win It!

One person will win Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales on DVD.

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prehistoric Playthings and Delicious Dino Treats - HABA Review

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.
One of my fondest childhood memories is making chocolate suckers with my mother using plastic molds.  She was very intricate with detailing and made sure I was meticulous with creating the suckers as well.  I enjoyed the quality time with my mother, making the suckers, but the molds were made of flimsy plastic.  They were hard to wash and would crack after just a few uses. 

HABA, a manufacturer of high-quality toys, games and room d├ęcor, is feeding the dinosaur craze with themed toys, games, and treats.  One of those is the Dinosaur Parade Silicone Chocolate Lollipops Mold.  Six edible dinosaurs can be simply created.  The lollipop sticks do not come with the mold.  They can be purchased at almost any craft supply store.  I've created edible lollipops by pouring melted chocolate almond bark into the dinosaur shapes on the mold, then setting them in the fridge to harden.  They've been a big hit with my nieces and nephews.  The mold allows me to make super easy and cute dinosaur-shaped lollipops.  This is the first I've used a silicone mold and I like it much, much better than the flimsy plastic material.

Another dinosaur-themed item by HABA is the Digging Claw.  Designed to resemble the claw of a dinosaur, children can put it on and dig in the sand.  I suppose they could dig in the dirt with it too but that might make it stain.  The Digging Claw slips over a person's hand and fits like a glove, with spacers for the fingers.  A Velcro strap allows for adjustment and good fit.  The Digging Claw can fit up to a small adult hand.  Digging in the sand is fun as it is.  Using the Digging Claw makes it more fun.
 
 
What is your child's favorite dinosaur?  Have you ever purchased from HABA?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd - #MaddingCrowdInsiders Blu-ray Giveaway

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

Carey Mulligan stars as a headstrong Victorian beauty in this sweeping romantic drama, based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy. Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdene, an independent woman who attracts three different suitors: a sheep farmer (Matthias Schoenaerts); a dashing soldier (Tom Sturridge); and a prosperous, older bachelor (Michael Sheen). This timeless story of Bathsheba’s passions explores the nature of relationships, love and resilience.

Blu-ray Special Features

• Deleted Scenes + Extended Ending
o Smokey Caravan o Fanny and Troy at Barracks
o Valentine Inquiry o Boldwood Learns of Elopement
o Troy and Bathsheba in the Morning
o Tears of Regret o Boldwood’s Ring
o Troy’s Funeral
o The Wedding (Alternate Ending)
• Bathsheba Everdene
• The Suitors
• Adapting Far From the Madding Crowd
• The Look of Far From the Madding Crowd
• Gabriel Oak
• William Boldwood
• Sergeant Troy
• The Locations of Far From the Madding Crowd
• Thomas Vinterberg
• Theatrical Trailer
Win It!
 
One person will win Far from the Madding Crowd on Blu-ray.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Friend Cayla - Doll Review

I received product 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.
My younger nieces think their aunt Terra is cool.  Especially when I introduce them to new toys.  Recently, they were able to play around with My Friend Cayla.  It definitely upped my coolness factor when they got to interact with My Friend Cayla.
 
My Friend Cayla is a hard plastic doll that interacts with users via Bluetooth with a special app.  Some of her fun features are being able to talk and interact with you, play games, share photos, and read stories. 

Before interacting with My Friend Cayla, users first need to follow some instructions.  An Apple or Android device is needed for the doll to fully function.  Then you need to search for an download the "My Friend Cayla" app, which is free.  An adult needs to install three AA batteries in the slot located on her back.  The batteries are not included.  For My Friend Cayla to work, the On/Off Switch needs to be in the ON position.  After those steps are completed, users can launch the app after syncing up with Bluetooth.  A heart charm will light up when Cayla is listening.  The microphone is located on her chest and the speaker is located on her stomach.
 
Survey says that even grown men will play with dolls.
  (Actually, Jason is using the iPad to launch the app and sync with Bluetooth.  And playing with the doll!)
 
An internet connection isn't required for all functions.  A lot of it can be done offline.  Cayla's software system, VIOLET, prevents any conversations involving nasty words or inappropriate topics. 
 
Cayla's interactive response time works best with a strong and moderately fast WiFi signal and updated smart device.  When our WiFi signal was weak, we noticed that Cayla was hard to understand or would break up in speech.  When the signal was strong, Cayla's words came out clearly.
 
Children can ask Cayla loads of questions with some examples being "Do you like the color orange?", "What's the population of Spain?", and "Who is Mickey Mouse?".  She has some pretty interesting answers, and likes to tell stories about her life. 
 
There's a photo album section and story time section on the app that further allows children to interact with Cayla.  There's also a Games section, but there's only two games.  One is a matching game and the other is Tic-Tac-Toe.
 
speaker on stomach of doll
 
My Friend Cayla comes with a mirror and brush.  Her clothes can be removed and fit with standard doll clothes.  Her arm and leg joints are movable and she can stand or sit on her own.  Her eyes open when she's sitting or standing and they close when she is laid down.

I think there could be some minor improvements made for My Friend Cayla to be a top-star doll but we continue to have fun with the unique way we interact and engage with her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Morris the Cat Q & A: How to Hang Out Like A Kitty

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

Morris the Cat is known throughout the world as the star of over fifty 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s up through today. He gained even greater notoriety when he became an advo-cat for kitty adoptions with his “Million Cat Rescue” initiative, and just this year, he took a trip to South by Southwest as a feline technology correspondent.

It seems America’s favorite ‘charmingly choosy’ feline is always on the go, but I recently had the chance to catch up with him to talk show biz, naps, and how he’s giving back through his new effort called ‘Live Well & Prospurr.’  Morris was kind enough to take some time out of his day to answer questions.

You’ve been a TV star since the 1970s and yet you look as vivacious as ever. How do you keep your youthful glow?

  People ask me all the time if I’ve had work done. But in fact, my whiskers stay perky thanks to a disciplined regimen of napping, sleeping, napping some more, eating (9Lives, of course), and just generally hanging out. I want to emphasize this last one because even though it’s categorically important for our health and happiness, it’s also the easiest to forget as we go about our busy lives. That’s why I developed my Official Guide to Relaxing, Chillin’, Unwinding & More. (I had to take some time away from hanging out to write it, but I hope you’ll agree it was well worth it.)

  Are humans allowed to know what’s in this guide or is it for felines only?

Oh no, the guide was written for all species, both two- and four-legged. And let’s face it, cats are pretty good at hanging out already. I know relaxing can be daunting—what with work, kids, errands, and chores—but that’s why I created the 5 levels of hanging out. Even the most stressed out person can master Level 1: Kicking Back. Then, as people get more comfortable with the idea of just relaxing, they can move on to the higher levels and ultimately achieve what I like to call Prospurr.

  How does someone know when they’ve achieved Prospurr?

Excellent question, Terra. Prospurr is the Holy Grail of hanging out. It’s not so much an action as a state of mind, but purr-haps I could describe it best like this: It’s like the moment you flop onto the couch after a hard day, mixed with the tingling sensation of getting scratched behind the ears, rolled into the drool-inducing taste of a bowl of 9Lives. You humans out there probably haven’t tried 9Lives, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. For more tips on hanging out, go to this website that I built with my own four paws: http://prospurr.9lives.com/

I know working in show biz can mean very long hours. How do you keep to your hangout regimen while you’re on set?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Just like Brad Pitt or Liam Hemsworth, I have a stand-in who sets up all my shots for me. That way I can rest in my trailer—ahem, carrying case—until the cameras start rolling. My stand-in is polyester and has a tag that says “Made in the USA,” but he does the trick. All I have to do is show up and look handsome… which is easy since I’ve spent the whole day getting my beauty rest.

  Certainly the entertainment industry, and the world in general, has changed a lot since the 1970s. How do you keep up with the times?

  I chase the times like a red-laser dot, and I’m always on the lookout for cool new tech gadgets that help cats and humans live well. One of my new favorites is the Apple Watch—it lets me track how much time I spend ‘napping’ versus the time I spend ‘sleeping.’ AND, today it told me that I took 19 steps going from my bed to my food dish—nothing like working up a sweat before a big meal.

What is the best advice you could give to someone who wants to live a better life?

Watch cat videos! A recent study conducted by some really smart people at Indiana University found that after watching a clip of Lil Bub, Nora the Piano Cat or of course, yours truly, participants felt increased levels of joy and energy. Science doesn’t lie, people! Bonus points if you watch said cat videos curled up in bed or on a fluffy couch.

If a cat watches cat videos, does it have the same effect?

Yes—in fact, the effect is multiplied. It’s like topping 9Lives Super Supper with even more 9Lives Super Supper. Some days I’ll watch cat videos the entire four hours I’m awake.

It seems like you’ve got a pretty nice life, Morris.

I’m very lucky, but to me, being a celebricat isn’t about paw-ty hopping or head-booping Hollywood royalty. It’s about enjoying the simple pleasures that let me live well—and helping others to do the same. You may not know this but I was actually a rescue cat in Chicago before I was ‘discovered.’ This year, with your support, I’m donating a million meals to the ASPCA. Every time you tweet using #MorrisFeeds I’ll donate a bowl of 9Lives to a kitty in need. And I haven’t forgotten about my human fans: Go to http://prospurr.9lives.com/ for a chance to win $300 towards a relaxing getaway… You deserve it!

Little Caesars - #Pretzel Crust Nation 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.
 My family loves to get our grub on with Little Caesars pizza. It's one of our favorite pizza chains, both for taste and affordability.  In September of last year I was able to try their Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza.  It gave us another reason to like Little Caesars. I wouldn't necessarily say it tastes like pizza but it's delicious nonetheless. The golden soft pretzel crust is salted on the edges and the yellow cheese sauce is deliciously warm and creamy. Topped with cheeses and pepperoni, it was a new take on pizza that we all liked. The ingredients were fresh and the overall taste combination worked.

Little Caesars Soft Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza has been re-released, at the great price of $7.  The Soft Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza is a large specialty pizza that starts with a flavorful, buttery, soft pretzel crust made fresh daily in store. It is topped with creamy cheddar cheese sauce, a blend of 100% real cheese, and pepperoni, and then finished with an irresistible four-cheese gourmet blend of Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, and White Cheddar cheese.

We ordered one and it was just as delicious as the first time we tried it.  Also, new to the menu, is CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS for $3.49. Little Caesars new CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS are 16 savory pieces of buttery, salty, toasted, soft pretzel bites served with a side of warm, creamy cheddar cheese dip.  They were soft, fresh, and oh-so-yummy.  Dunked in cheddar cheese dip, they were a satisfying appetizer.

Tired of the hassles of online ordering? Walk into Little Caesars and walk out with a large, Soft Pretzel Crust Pepperoni Pizza for just $7 plus tax! No need to call ahead, it’s HOT-N-READY every day between 4 & 8 PM or order anytime. And if you love the taste of pretzel, add an order of delicious CHEESE-N-PRETZEL DIPPERS for just $3.49 plus tax. Available for a limited time at participating locations. 
 
Little Caesars just started a sweepstakes called Pretzel Crust Nation. There are great prizes such as a GoPro Camera and Little Caesars gift cards.  Sweepstakes ends August 31, 2015.
Win It!
 
One person will win a $15 Little Caesars gift card.
 
*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wordful Wednesday - My Grandkitties

My 21 yoa daughter is on the "no desire to have kids" plan.  Which I'm okay with.  For now.
 
A little over a month ago she adopted two kitties from an unstable home.  Since my husband is adamant that he doesn't want to own any cats, Shelby brings hers over to visit me once in a while.

Grandkitty #1 is Shadow Mogwai. 



And grandkitty #2 is Anastasia Simon.
 
I could spend hours just watching them play and pounce around.

Do you own any pets? 

Me and My Guy: The Longest Ride Date Night - #TheLongestRide

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.
Although there were a few interruptions, Jason and I cuddled up on the couch to watch The Longest Ride on Blu-ray.  While we watched the movie, we snacked on Chex Mix and Orville Redenbacher popcorn. 

Based on the bestselling novel by master storyteller Sparks, The Longest Ride centers on the star-crossed love affair between Luke, a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and Sophia, a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, Sophia and Luke make an unexpected connection with Ira, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple. Spanning generations and two intertwining love stories, The Longest Ride  explores the challenges and infinite rewards of enduring love.
It's not often that I'll pick out a romance movie.  I'm more into the action and adventure genre.  Although the action and adventure wasn't of high caliber in The Longest Ride, I'm glad I watched it with my husband. 
 
The story tells of a studious college girl who meets a champion bull rider and they have an instant connection.  After some contemplation, Sophia meets up with Luke for a date.  She is struck, both by his looks and his gentlemanly ways.  He seems to fall hard and fast for her too until he learns she will be moving in a couple of months.
 
On the way back from their date, Luke and Sophia come upon a burning car and save an elderly man from the wreckage.  Sophia also pulls a box of letters and memorabilia from the car.  During hospital and rehab visits with the elderly male, she reads the letters aloud.  They spark the man's memory and the story of how he met his wife and wooed her is told. 
 
The storyline goes back and forth between Luke and Sophia's relationship and the relationship that Ira had with his wife.  As time goes on, Luke and Sophia realize they have quite a lot in common with the other couple.  
 
The Longest Ride is strong in storyline and interesting in plot.  It shows that love can endure through tough times and tribulation.  Although I wouldn't normally watch this genre, I have to say that my husband and I really enjoyed The Longest Ride.  If you're a romantic hopeful, I think you'll find this movie to be gratifying.

Chex Mix and Orville Redenbacher popcorn was the perfect snack for our date night.  We garnished the popcorn with Kernel Seasonings movie theater butter and white cheddar seasoning.  Yum, yum! 
 
All of the items that I received are available at Target, and are accompanied by Target Cartwheel offers. Consumers receive special savings through this app! Visit the Target Cartwheel app and look for additional savings on all of these great items.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Music and Memories

My life is full of randomness.  You won't see much structure here.  If you'd like to link up your randomness, join in at Stacy Uncorked.
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My mom has entered the 21st century....sorta.  My son gave her an off-brand tablet a couple weeks ago.  The only thing she knows how to do is play Bejweled on it.  Once she masters how to turn it on and off, we'll show her how to access more games.  Baby steps.
 
Yesterday my husband taught my mom how to work the CD player she got for Christmas.  I come downstairs from a dead sleep to hear Crazytown blaring.  You know, the rap metal band from the late 90s famous for Butterfly and Lollipop Porn B*tch.  Our next endeavor is to get her a new compilation of CDs.
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Speaking of music, I had the pleasure of visiting with my uncles Saturday afternoon.  I don't get to see them often, but always enjoy it when I do.  One played the mandolin while the other played the acoustic guitar. It was an hour of folk and bluegrass music.  I could've spent an entire night listening to them play.
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Jason belongs to a men's small group and gets together with them on Monday mornings before work.  There's usually 5 to 7 guys who get together to pray and study the Bible.  Yesterday was a birthday for one of the guys.  Rather than receiving presents, he gifted each of the guys in the group with a birthday card and $60 cash.  Although it was his birthday, he felt it was better to give than receive.  I thought it was a very nice gesture.
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Logan and Shelby spent the day together Saturday at Six Flags.  The two siblings had a fantastic time and even came home with a gift for me.  It was a souvenir photo of them depicted riding the log flume.  As you can see, both of them made sure to look goofy for the camera.  It's definitely a pic worthy of framing!
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Logan is gone for the week at church camp.  It's his first year attending.  He's spending time with 200 other teens socializing and getting to know more about Christ.
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Jason asked me to help him with the drag car the other day.  I went in full pit crew mode and donned his jacket and helmet.  Had to look the part, ya know!  Not only did I help with the valve covers, I also made sure the horn worked. (Never mind the fact that he was under the hood while I did that!)
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Well, that's about it for this week.  What's your randomness?

Three More July Winners

Three of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the PhillySwirl Frozen Novelties giveaway is #22, Tamra Phelps.

The winner of the Happy Ocean Mandala Designer giveaway is #15, Fiona N.

The winner of the Just For Me Bible giveaway is #9, Sue Hull.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out and enter my currently active giveaways, listed at the top left hand side of my blog.  There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Check It Out: Backyard Fun in the Sun Sweepstakes

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

Supercharge your kids’ summer with a Step2 climber for some backyard fun in the sun. One grand prize winner will receive Step2 prize suite worth $1000, a year’s supply of Dial® Baby Body + Hair Wash™, and Purex® Baby laundry detergent.

Ten second-place winners will each receive a bottle of Dial Baby Body + Hair Wash and a bottle of Purex Baby laundry detergent.

The “Backyard Fun in the Sun” Sweepstakes is open to residents of the USA and ends July 29, 2015.

Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip - Recipe

A recipe taken from Frank's Red Hot Sauce, I made RedHot Buffalo Chicken Dip.  Although I've eaten it at parties and events, I've never made it myself before.  I paired it with Tostitos Scoops as a tasty appetizer.  The only variation was that I used a generic brand of hot sauce.

Ingredients

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup hot sauce

1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

COMBINE all ingredients and spoon into shallow 1-quart baking dish. BAKE 20 minutes or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

Serve with crackers and/or vegetables.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bzees Shoes - #lightfeelsright Review and Giveaway

I received product 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.
 
Simply put, I like shoes.  My husband owns one pair and I own about thirty pair.  He reminds me of that fact from time to time.
 
As much as I can't disagree that the bottom of my closet looks like a shoe carnival, I do have my own personal standards on what kind or design of shoe I wear.  I won't sacrifice myself for fashion, so I refuse to own any shoes that will cause my feet pain or any that are super uncomfortable.  Nope, won't do it.  I don't care how cute the shoe is.
 
Recently, I was able to add to my shoe collection with a pair of slip-on shoes from Bzees. 
Bzees is the simple and stylish footwear choice to add a spring in your step through your day’s highs and lows. Easy-to-wear and easy-to-wash, they’re your ideal companion for everyday reality.

Truth be told, I like almost all the shoes that Bzees has to offer.  The designs and colors are fashionable and all the shoes look like something I could comfortably wear.  I own the Lavish Slip-On Pink Shoe and have been wearing them often.   
The Lavish Slip-On sandals are slip-on style with a round toe and have a one-inch heel.  The color is a swirl of pink and purple with gray and white outlines.  The cushioning insole is gray with white swirl design.  It's an upbeat sporty casual look.  I've received several compliments on my shoes, with people commenting on the look of them and inquiring where they can get a pair.  I'm super happy with them, both for their color design and how I can just slip them on and go.  They fit just right and don't hurt my feet after walking for a long time in them.
 
 
Bzees offers several style of shoes, from sandals and slip-ons to wedges and athletic footwear. Bzees shoes are made with molded, low density, EVA soles that have micro-cellular air bubbles trapped within that enables them to be lightweight, extremely soft and bouncy resulting in excellent flexibility and cushioning. Every Bzees shoe is designed with a dynamic fitting stretch upper material over/across the top of your foot that enables your foot to move freely and naturally but have the necessary support.  In addition, a viscoelastic memory foam arch support provides a compressive customized fit to accommodate a wide range of arch heights.  They are also made with wash-friendly materials.  I have yet to test out how well my shoes do in the wash, but I'm super happy with how they feel on my feet.

Win It!

One person will win a pair of Bzees shoes in choice of style and size.

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dial Rewards Program: Join For Fun and Prizes

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

Dial Rewards is a new, easy and fun way to interact with the Dial brand, with a chance to win huge prizes. As a member you win and gain points for participating in various monthly activities. These points can be used for chances to win exciting prizes like a $10,000 cash sweepstakes, gift cards, Dial products and more!

As a member of the program, points are accumulated by purchasing product, playing games, watching videos, participating in surveys and logging into the website each day. Each month the activities, point values and prizes can change. How fun, right?

You can become a member of Dial® Rewards by visiting DialRewards.com and following the instructions to register for an account. Once you are registered, you can sign into your account with your email address and password.

I've been a member of Dial Rewards for a short time now.  It's easy to earn points for rewards.  You don't have to go through a whole rigamaroo to complete a survey or watch a video.  Sign-up is just as easy.  So far, it's been one of the easiest rewards programs I've joined.

If you do sign up for Dial Rewards, enter unique reader code W42ZD in the code entry form to automatically earn points with no strings attached.

And the Storm Came Rollin' In

pic of the storm clouds
 
Monday night, with very little warning, we received a storm with strong straightline winds.  Whoop, there it was!  Right on us, fierce and strong.  It only lasted for about half an hour, but it left its fair share of damage.

My sister's privacy fence isn't so private anymore
 
A large majority of our community was hit.  Trees were the biggest culprit.  They were everywhere.  You couldn't go down a street without branches and trees blocking the streets.  Luckily, there was no bodily injury to anyone.  Several homes and cars were damaged.

 
Power went out immediately for a large portion of the town.  We were completely without for one day.  The second day a friend brought a generator.  It kept the fridge and one box fan going.  It was hotter than the seventh level of hell.

Our town of 40,000 was declared to be in a state of emergency.  I did not work during the actual storm but came in a couple hours after.  The 911 calls kept on comin'.  It was one the busiest nights I've worked.

I'm impressed with how quick the power company got things up and running.  Even though we were without power for a couple of days, it could've been worse.  Adam, my teen son, saw a crew working hard to clear trees and ran down there with fluids for hydration. 
 
He wasn't the only one with good deeds.  Most of the community banded together to get branches cleared and make sure people were sheltered from the heat.  During this time of disaster, our community showed great kindness and teamwork.

large tree uprooted just two houses to the west of us
 
Things are still somewhat in disarray, but it's getting back to some normalcy.  As far as storms go, I'm good with not seeing another one this year.