Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back-to-School Morning Routine Tips For Family & Pets - #milkbone

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.
Dogs and their human companions have something very important in common: both are creatures of habit. With school starting, it's the perfect time to make sure the whole family gets off on the right paw with the right habits at the start of the day. (And it's so much more fun when the whole family is involved!)

Because I work nights, it's up to the teen boys to take care of the dog, Helen, in the morning.  Once they get up, it's their responsibility to feed the dog and take her outside for a short walk.  When I get home, Helen gets a treat (usually Milk-Bone brand) and goes outside again before heading back in with me for a nap.

Here are some back-to-school morning routine tips for the whole family, including the pet canine:

 1. Get active with your four-legged trainer in the morning.

40% of doggy mommies and daddies do healthy things with their pups at the same time that they do healthy things for their families. By adding doggy exercise to the rest of your family's morning routine, your dog can actually begin to encourage the rest of your family to stay active!

2. Involve your kids in caring for Fido (and for themselves).

Dogs, just like young kids, need role models. 57% of dog parents who also have human children involve their kids in caring for their pet—instilling responsibility and good daily habits like brushing their teeth and taking their vitamins.

3. Make sure your dog consistently receives the nutrients necessary to live a long and happy life.

1 in 3 pet parents are confused about what's needed for proper pet nutrition, meaning many pup parents are unaware that their dogs' diets may be lacking in essential nutrients. Milk-Bone Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats were created specifically to promote your dog's well-being and longevity. So when you're giving your kids their daily vitamins, remember that your pup needs their nutrient-packed treats too. Your dog adds so much to the family—make sure to take care of him/her for the long-term.

Learn more about Milk-Bone's Good Morning Daily Vitamins on their site:

What are your family's favorite morning routines? How do you and your pooch get ready to take on the day?

It's National Trail Mix Day

Trail mix is an ideal snack food.  With endless combinations of different food ingredients, there's several ways for trail mix to be made.

Here's a trail mix recipe using Chex, one ingredient that seems to be popular as an addition to making a mix.

Gluten-Free Honey Nut Chex™ Trail Mix


4cups Honey Nut Chex™ cereal
1 1/2cups lightly salted whole cashews
1/2cup dried cranberries
1/4cup chopped crystallized ginger


1 Stir ingredients together in large bowl.
2 Store in airtight container.


Variation - Add up to 1/4 cup of your favorite stir-ins: gluten-free honey-roasted peanuts, gluten-free pretzels, pumpkin seeds.
Storage - Mix stays fresh up to 2 weeks stored in airtight container.

What foods to you like to throw together to make trail mix?

The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today - DVD Giveaway

Sony Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.  This post contains embedded widgets.

The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today is out on DVD September 6 from Sony Home Entertainment!

In the brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail, Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by herself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization.

Buy The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!

Follow The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today!

• Are you fit for a storybook fairy tale or a swashbuckling high seas adventure? Take the quiz to find out and unlock a GIF!

Win It!

One person will win The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today on DVD.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA. Each household is only eligible to win The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today! DVD 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.*
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Entenmann's & The Great American Milk Drive Partner For Back To School - Review and Giveaway

I received products for review from BBUSA brand.  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.
Entenmann's is regularly purchased and consumed in my household. I know what it's like when a teen is "hangry". To avoid those situations, I keep my pantry stocked with snacks the kids can munch on throughout the day and, a lot of times, that includes Entenmann's.  Most recently I picked up a few boxes of Entenmanns' Little Bites Muffins.  There are five pouches per box, with each one having four muffins in them. Perfectly portioned, they are quite delicious and taste fresh. Although we enjoyed them straight out of the package, the muffins can be heated in the microwave for seven short seconds.  
Back-to-school season is here and Entenmann’s® is partnering with The Great American Milk Drive, hoping to deliver 100,000 servings of milk to children and families in need across the country. After all, donuts and milk are perfect together! Milk can be a delicious and nutritious part of your family’s day, but for some food-insecure families, drinking milk can be a rare indulgence. Entenmann’s® is proud to join The Great American Milk Drive in the “Entenmann’s® Donuts & Milk: Perfect Together Sweepstakes” helping deliver milk to those who need it the most. For every entry received during the “Entenmann’s® Donuts & Milk: Perfect Together Sweepstakes”, one 8 oz. glass of nutrient-rich milk will be donated to The Great American Milk Drive, up to 100,000 servings.

Consumers can enter to win a variety of prizes during the Facebook sweepstakes, which is going on now and continues through October 31st. As part of the Facebook sweepstakes, 25 first prize winners will win a one year’s supply of milk and Entenmann’s® donuts and 100 second prize winners will win four boxes of Entenmann’s® donuts. No purchase is required. For official rules and donation program terms you can go to the Entenmann’s Facebook Page.

Win It!

One person will win an Entenmann’s® Milk Bottle Tumbler,
5 (five) Entenmann’s® Coupons valued at $7 each,
a $25 AMEX Gift Card

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

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Philips Sonicare for Kids Ice Age Electric Toothbrush - 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.

Anything that will give kids incentive and encouragement to brush their teeth correctly is definitely worth a try. Philips Sonicare has partnered with Ice Age: Collision Course to make tooth brushing fun for little ones.

Ice Age: Collision Course was recently in theaters and most children are familiar with the film and characters.  The Phillips Sonicare for Kids Ice Age Electric Toothbrush has Bluetooth® technology that connects the toothbrush directly to its free interactive Ice Age coaching app. With the help of their fun personal brushing coach, “Sparkly”, kids develop a lifetime of healthy oral care habits and get rewards for doing a thorough job each time they brush. Parents can even monitor their child’s routine by reviewing their brushing habits on the separate, parent dashboard and set up milestones and rewards to motivate their child to brush their teeth twice a day.

Included with the toothbrush are several interchangeable stickers.  Kids can decorate the toothbrush with stickers that have Ice Age characters, Sparkly characters, or both.  Also included is a charger.
interchangeable stickers that are included

The toothbrush is fun in and of itself.  It is not required to use the brushing app if your child is not interested or you don't have the proper equipment.  In order to use the app, you will need to download the Sonicare Kids app from the store, then enable Bluetooth on your smart phone or tablet and connect your toothbrush to the app.  The app is free to download.

There is an on/off power button on the toothbrush, and a battery charge indicator that shows when battery needs recharged.  One brush head is included, and replacements can be purchased separately.  There are two modes of brushing - Gentle and Extra Gentle.  Another neat feature is the KidPacer, which uses a series of tunes to alert kids when it's time to move to the next section of the mouth and brush.  The toothbrush moves at up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute, getting teeth good and clean.

If this toothbrush doesn't get kids excited about brushing their teeth, I'm not sure what will.

It's National Just Because Day

Today celebrates doing what you want (within legal reason) just because.  There doesn't have to be a rhyme, reason, or agenda.

So, go ahead and:

Eat several slices of cake......just because

Buy the shoes you've been eyeing.....just because

Stay in bed and watch TV all day.....just because

Buy flowers for your spouse......just because

Pay for someone's lunch.........just because

Sing to your hairbrush.....just because

Dance around the house like a wild woman.......just because

Be you.......just because

Friday, August 26, 2016

It's National Dog Day

I'm going to be honest and put this out there, I'm not much of a dog person.  They're not bad animals; I just prefer cats over dogs.

With that said, I actually do own one dog.  Helen is a Labrabull (Lab/Pit mix).  We've had her for almost three years now, so I'd say she's a part of the family.  Her and the cat go at it like, well, cats and dogs.  Helen looooves people and gets overly anxious whenever someone walks in the door.  All in all, though, she's a good canine and I kinda, sorta like her.

Give your dog a special treat today in celebration of National Dog Day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chore Charts for Children - Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post.  This post is in partnership with sponsor.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Children, for the most part, thrive on structure and visual cues.  Asking kids to do chores can be a daunting task and sometimes it seems we have to fight tooth and nail for them to get anything done.  Chore charts are a productive way to help show children what is expected of them and give them a feeling of accomplishment.

Kristin Norton, owner of, sells chore charts, among other things. She has sampled every product she sells to ensure that it does the job.  She believes that the folders, journals, notepads and more are products that will help you streamline and simplify your daily tasks.

The chore charts that Kristin sells were created by her, and they are available in nine different designs.  They sell for $12 and are available on her site, as well as on Amazon. Each pack has 50 individual, tear-off pages, and each sheet is good for one week.

Win It!

Three people will each win a Chore Chart.

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

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‘TIL THE END - Book Review

I received book 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.

Book Synopsis:

Ryan, Tyler, Avery and Jacob are high school football stars. Everyone looks up to them. They're living the life that young boys and men dream of and are right at the point of having it all: a state championship, college paid for, a chance for big money and even more glory in the NFL. It's all there in front of them; the future they and everyone expects. Then something happens that could bring it all crashing down. And they can't tell the truth because it's even worse than having to keep the secret for the rest of their lives. They make a pact to cover it up and never tell. Hiding the truth fuels their escalating addictions and pushes them in different directions as they try to erase the past, deal with the present and hope for the future. But at some point, in some way, there's always a price paid for lies told.

About the Author:

Joseph Patrick33 is a Michigan author who grew up in Shelby Township, a suburb of Detroit. He earned his bachelor degree and master’s degree from Wayne State University, and his advanced degree from the University of Detroit. He is concerned about the futures of young people in today’s challenging society of addiction and consequences of actions that lead away from a happy successful and rewarding life.

My Review:

With scenes set in Detroit, between 1988 and 1993, 'TIL THE END tells of four high school football stars who have their whole lives ahead of them.  They want for nothing, and their partying ways are glanced over.  The teens believe they are going to win a championship game but it all falls apart with a fumble.

To drown their sorrows, the boys meet up at a father's cabin.  A fight ensues with an outsider of the group and it ends in disaster.  The football stars agree to make a pact to never tell of the murder that happened.

The boys - Ryan, Tyler, Jacob, and Avery - each handle what happened differently.  They go about their lives, but are always haunted with what happened.  Some get tangled in webs of gambling, drug dealing, and alcoholism.

The story doesn't necessarily revolve around the teens and the murderous act.  It goes more into how the act itself haunts them regularly, and how the demons in their head cause them to make poor choices.

Although I would have liked more plot development, this is a good book that delves into how a decision of the past can affect a person's life in the future.

Wordful Wednesday - World Fuel Altered Nationals

Jason's Pontiac Firebird at the crosswalk

If something involves cars, my husband's into it. All things cars, all the time.  As a tradition that's been going on for a few years strong, Jason and I attended World Fuel Altered Nationals at Eddyville Raceway in Iowa.  It was an entire weekend of cars, and lots of 'em. All makes and models were on scene. Of course, the biggest and best were there to compete in the World Fuel Altered Nationals.

Eddie Munster's car

 Jason raced his car in Street ET class and placed fifth out of thirty.  He was beat by 300th of a second.  Crazy!

Believe it or not, there's a lot of science that goes into drag racing. It's not head-on racing like some people perceive. If a car goes too fast or dials in a time on their car that isn't close to how fast they say it will go, that car loses. A car is also automatically disqualified from the get-go if they "red light", meaning they cannot go at any time before the green light. Even if it's thousands of a second.  There's a whole lot of math, mentality, and control that goes into it.
Brenda in the thick of the fumes

We took a couple with us, and it was their first time attending.  I thought Brenda was going to need an intervention from inhaling all the fuel and fumes.  She loved the smells of it all more than anything.
Eddie Munster - Not quite as I remember him

Although I did not personally do a meet and greet, Butch Patrick was there to meet with spectators.  He's known as the original Eddie Munster from the classic TV show, The Munsters.
me standing next to a car I'll never be able to afford

There were cars of all speeds, makes and models at the raceway. 

The weather was perfect, the cars were awesome to watch, and the company was good. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend.
Brenda and I hanging out in the pit area

Have you ever attended a drag race? Does the sound of loud and the sight of fast cars excite you?

It's National Knife Day

Who knew a knife would have its own day?!  Kind of a mundane, everyday object but the knife is a utensil that functions well for dicing, slicing, cutting, and chopping.  

Celebrate National Knife Day with America's Premium Cutlery Boutique.  At New West Knifeworks, National Knife Day is the biggest day of the year. They invite you to celebrate the cutting edge with 25% off their entire G-Fusion chef knife collection.  The sale prices are already displayed - no coupon or code needed.

For those who want to make a statement with their knives, The Ex Kitchen Knife Set is a great tongue-in-cheek conversation piece that would make a great gift for anyone who likes off-the-wall items. (Yes, I owned one!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lippy Marker Highlighters - Review

I received products for review from  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.
School is back in session for many students, and parents are busy buying supplies.  When I was a student, and even now as a blogger, I was excited to get new supplies.  And the more showy, the better.  I didn't want plain, ordinary stuff.  I wanted things that were decorative and fun.

Although the name declares what they mainly specialize in, also sells a great selection of gifts, games, and supplies.  For instance, they carry Lippy Marker Highlighters.  Fun for school or even at the office, this packaged set includes four different colored highlighters in the shape of lipstick.  The colors include orange, pink, green, and purple.  The caps for each lid resemble colored lipstick.  The tips are small and, because of that, you can even highlight exact passages from a book without the markers bleeding over to unintended sections.  They're novel and useful for bringing color to portions of pages you want to stand out.

Three More August Winners

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

The winner of the Applebee's giveaway is #123, Enrique Herrera.

The winner of the 5-Minute Nighttime Bible Stories giveaway is #17, Heather Kelly.

The winner of the Tipsy Elves giveaway is #40, Jamie Leigh Martin.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered.  Be sure to check out the current 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.

It's National Sponge Cake Day

A classic cake that tastes great alone or with toppings, it's National Sponge Cake Day.  Celebrate with a slice or two!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pert Plus 2in1 Classic Clean Formula - 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.

Boys have a lot on their minds during the school year, between getting good grades and talking to the cute girl down the hall. There is a lot for them to think about every day, but one thing should always be simple: hair products. With Pert Plus, the original 2in1 shampoo and conditioner, boys will give their hair the nourishment that it needs.  Pert Plus 2in1 Classic Clean Formula will save time in the shower, by combining both the shampoo and conditioner phase, carrying away dirt and oil and giving hair shine and protection.

Logan and Adams have both been using Pert Plus 2in1 Classic Clean Formula during shower time. The formula of shampoo and conditioner together add shine and manageibility.   All the guys have to do is massage it into their hair, then wash it off.  Logan and Adam don't like to spend a lot of time in the shower anyway, so this lessens it with the convenience of "one and done". They also like the light, manly smell and that it doesn't dry out their scalp.  The product is affordable and the guys have no complaints.

Win It!

One person will win a bottle of Pert Plus 2in1 Classic Clean Formula.

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

It's National Soft Ice Cream Day

Ice cream can be served in a variety of ways, and today celebrates the Soft Serve.  Whatever your favorite flavor, grab you some soft serve ice cream and enjoy the day!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Celebrate 50 Years of Best Buy with 50-Hour Sale

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

Best Buy is celebrating 50 Years! Don't miss out on the 50-Hour Sale.

50-Hour Sale — 50 Years. 50 Epic Deals. 50 Hours Only. Ends Saturday.

Power of Prayer Thursdays - Week 38

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 38. 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, August 16, 2016

PLAYMOBIL Carry Cases - Toy 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.
Traveling with children can sometimes be a hassle. How many times have you been asked, “Are we there yet?” To keep kids having fun all throughout your summertime vacations, weekend travel, or even day trips, make sure you pack some of PLAYMOBIL's fun Carry Cases. These themed, take-along cases will provide the entertainment.  When kids are done playing, all the pieces from the playset can simply be placed in to the Carry Case, snapped close and brought to another destination with ease. 

PLAYMOBIL, one of the top toy manufacturers in the world, remains at the forefront of creative play with a continued mission to inspire children to explore the depths of their imaginations.  The four new Carry Cases have been added to their line of merchandise this year.  There are no batteries, downloads, or remote controls required for the carry cases - just a child’s creativity and imagination.
Each themed set comes with a hard plastic carry case that easily snaps shut.  Based upon which set you choose, the pieces vary.  For instance, the Police Carry Case includes seven pieces and the Fashion Boutique Carry case has 39 pieces.  There is a small booklet with each one that illustrates where certain parts need to be assembled.  The pieces are packaged so they don't fall out when the case is opened the first time.  The Carry Cases are not recommended for children under the age of four due to the size of the pieces.
The Police Carry Case includes one police figure, motorcycle, helmet, flashlight, gun, handcuffs, and police sign.  The Fashion Boutique Carry Case has 39 pieces, some of which include dresses, sewing tools, and clothing mannequins.  The Vet Visit Carry Case has 39 pieces and will delight children as they play with animal figures, an exam table, medical tools, feeding bottles, and more.  The Soccer Shootout Carry Case has 7 pieces, with the main ones being a soccer player figure, soccer ball, and netted goal.

I can see how the PLAYMOBIL Carry Cases would keep kids entertained during travel or quiet time, but they're also quite handy for providing imaginative play at any time.

Win It!

One winner will receive four PLAYMOBIL Carry Cases:

Fashion Boutique Carry Case
Police Carry Case
Vet Visit Carry Case
Soccer Shootout Carry Case

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's National Roller Coaster Day

I am a roller coaster enthusiast so it's always an adrenaline rush to go on the big rides with loops, drops, twists and turns.  I haven't found a roller coaster yet that I don't like.

The roller coasters are just one of the reasons I purchased a Six Flags Season Pass this year.  Unfortunately, I can't go there and celebrate National Roller Coaster Day today.  But I'm super ready to take the coasters on when I head there again next month.

Do you enjoy riding roller coasters?

My Seventh Hollar Haul

This post contains a referral link.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.
Just a few of the things I recently ordered: toilet paper holder, plush Batman duck, scented stuffed animal, and fitness toning wheel

This is stating the obvious, but I have a serious shopping addiction to Hollar.  If it tells you anything, I've purchased from the company seven times since March.  With the exception of their adult coloring books, I've been pleased with everything I've bought.

Hollar is your destination for the coolest gifts and goods starting at just $2. They have everything from dishware and giftware to toys and hair care accessories. Everything is 50-90% off the original price.

Hollar offers free shipping on all first-time orders and on orders over $25 after that for U.S. customers. As an added bonus, you will receive a $2 credit on your first order when you sign up at Hollar.

Their inventory changes often so it's best to buy if you see something you like. Right now they have a nice selection of school supplies, children's pajamas, camping gear, and baby essentials.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Missy's Monkeys - Handmade Sock Monkey 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.
I could spend hours and hours (and lots and lots of money) on Etsy.  It's where you can find handmade creations of all types and sorts.  I'm amazed at the creativity and talent of the people who have Etsy shops.  One that I recently became aware of is Missy's Monkeys LLC.  This girl has got some mad skills!

Missy's Monkeys LLC specializes in handmade sock monkeys, and is based out of Arizona.  They are crafted by Missy Wanamaker, a stay-at-home mom of two.  The monkeys are handmade with all new materials including knit socks, hypo-allergenic fiberfill, buttons, ribbon, and more.  The monkeys are made with a sewing machine and hand stitched using double-ply thread twice over in each area to ensure durability. 

Missy’s Monkeys meets CPSC requirements and creates original Rockford Red Heel Sock Monkeys as well as new novelty patterned, super hero characters, licensed sport teams, Mini Monkeys, and many more fun designs. 
Because we are Batman fans, I chose to receive a Batman Sock Monkey.  A lot of people may have a lot of keepsakes with their favorite superhero, but a sock monkey is most likely not on that list.  Now it can be with Missy's Monkeys!  

The creator of these sock monkeys puts a lot of care and detail into creating them, and it definitely shows.  The sock monkey I have in particular features the Batman logo on its knees, tail, and chest.  A black synthetic cape is added on its backside, and is held on with ribbon.  As you can tell from the pictures, a fantastic job is done depicting a resemblance of Batman.
The sock monkey itself is 25 inches tall from head to toe, with very long arms, legs, and tail.  With the way it's made, the sock monkey can be set down on top of something or it can easily hang from a fixture.  I'm definitely impressed with the quality work of the sock monkey, and it's a great conversation piece.
Win It!

One person will win  a Batman Sock Monkey.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open worldwide.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway