Saturday, September 14, 2019

Tennessee Trip To See My Son

Kickback food from Drury Inn

My son moved to Tennessee at the end of March.  I went with to help him move but hadn't been back since.  In the middle of August, me and Jason took a few days off and headed to see him.  On the way there, we split the drive in two and drove the first six hours before staying the night at Drury Inn in Louisville, KY. 

Drury Inns are the way to go, I tell ya!  The Kickback amenities of free food and drinks during certain hours can't be beat.  They also have free soda and popcorn.

creek in the mountains of TN

The next day we drove the next six hours and stopped by Adam's work to surprise him there.  He's a welder for Rimex and it's his main reason for moving to TN.  I hate, hate, hate that he moved but he's flourishing so much better there than he did here in IL.

Adam in his work wear

assembling the grill
Nothing like putting your kid straight to work as soon as they get off work.

As part of a housewarming gift, we purchased Adam a charcoal grill.  BUT, it was his job to put it together and watch Jason cook meat.  Hopefully, he caught on and can now grill for himself.

cuz I'm still a kid at heart

Throughout the next few days, when we didn't grill, we ate at places that aren't located in our hometown.  We stuffed our faces at Waffle House, Huddle House, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, and Cook Out.  If there's anybody from Cook Out reading this post, you NEED to come to Quincy, IL.  Your food (and prices) are legit!


We also did a Target run.  Don't kill me, but I'm not one of those people that HAVE to visit a Target anytime one is nearby.  It's got some nice merchandise, but I don't get the shakes if I don't visit a Target but once or twice a year.  What got me super excited was that I purchased a Feisty Pet on clearance for only $9.98.  Glenda Glitterpoop now hangs out in my home office!


We attended the Bristol Motor Speedway Nascar Night Race that Saturday.  It was a first for any of us to be at a Nascar event.  I had a good time in general, but Adam and Jason were more into it than I was.  

Sunday was Adam's birthday.  He turned 20 years old.  We visited the church he's been attending since the move, then came back to his house to watch movies (Logan and The Purge to be exact).

The days went by too fast.  I was content with just hanging out with Adam.  Sure do miss him when I don't see him. (If it sounds sentimental, that's cause it is.)

ringing in his birthday at Waffle House

Traffic Cop - Children's Game Review and Giveaway


I've had a few younger friends and family over to play Traffic Cop, a 2019 release from Endless Games.  It's simple to play and understand, yet so fun.  The kids really seem to enjoy the game.  Traffic Cop is a fun interactive action game based on the classic schoolyard game where one player is the traffic cop and the other players try to cross the street safely.

Traffic Cop is a game for 2 to 6 players, ages 5+.  Contents include:

1 Game Spinner
36 foam Crosswalk mats
27 Yield cards
1 Traffic Cop safety vest
1 instruction sheet



The object of the game is to be the first player to cross the street and reach safety.  First, one player needs to be chosen to be the Traffic Cop to start the game.  That person gets to wear the cool yellow safety vest!

Within a fairly large space, arrange the foam crosswalk mats in any configuration from one side of the room to the other.  The Traffic Cop stands on one end and the other players start at the other end.  Each individual player moves along the crosswalk mats, one at a time, based upon what sign the spinner lands on.  Players may have to stop (lose a turn), move right, advance, or yield.  


Traffic Jams and Dead ends mean a player must stay on their current mat.  If a player lands on a mat with a Yield Symbol or if the Yield sign is spun, a Yield card is read for that player.  These cards have fun actions that direct the player where to move and how to get there.  For instance, the player might have to play rock-paper-scissors against the Traffic Stop, or they may have to pick another player to trade spots with while cheering and lifting hands to the sky.  Special Traffic Cop challenges add a mixture of fun into the game as well.  Like mentioned before, the player to reach the Traffic Cop wins the game.

Traffic Cop is an entertaining recreational game for kids to play, both indoors and outdoors.


Win It!

One person will win a Traffic Cop children's game.

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

I received product for review from Endless Games.  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.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Why Philo Has Become A Favorite For Watching Shows


I have basic cable at home.  If it wasn't for the fact that an Internet + cable package costs about the same as Internet alone, I'd cut cable altogether.  I do pretty well with the streaming media companies I subscribe to, with those being Hulu and Amazon Prime.  Not too long ago, though, I added another streaming service, and here's the reason why (Don't Judge!):

I'd been jonesin' on watching MTV's The Challenge.  I've spent several years watching Johnny Bananas, Wes, CT, Zach, Cara Maria and all the other competitors overcome obstacles...and drama.  It's my form of soap opera adrenaline.  BUT, the cable package I have doesn't carry MTV.  Hulu and Amazon Prime don't carry The Challenge.  What's was a girl to do?!  Uncle Google answered my questions with Philo


Philo offers a package of top-rated television channels for just $20. Watch live, save unlimited shows to watch later, or browse a huge library of content available on-demand. Philo is available on all your favorite devices and on the web, wherever you are. 

Since signing up for Philo, I've been using it most to watch movies and shows.  The amount of channels available is pretty impressive.  Just some networks included are: A&E, Animal Planet, Game Show Network, Nickelodeon, TLC, and Discovery.  That's just the tip of the iceberg.

You can watch on up to 3 different devices at the same time. Seven day free trial that you can start in seconds with just a phone number.  Unlimited 30-day DVR, deep on demand library, plus the ability to pause any live channel, start programs from the beginning, and watch programs that have aired in the past three days for no additional charge.

If you're interested in signing up for Philo, you can get one week for free with no strings attached.  If you become as addicted to it as I am, you will receive $5 off your first month's bill. 

Warning....Same some time for binge watching.  You're gonna need it!
Photo by John Tuesday on Unsplash

This post contains referral links.  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.

Check It Out: Savings.com #WinBigAtMacys Giveaway

Win a $500 Macy's gift card!

Savings.com is giving away $2500 in gift cards from Macy's!  Five (5) winners will receive a $500 gift card to Macy’s.  Giveaway ends on Monday, October 7th at 11:59 PM PT.

Also, use coupon code VIP at checkout to receive 15% off your beauty purchase at Macy's.  This offer expires September 22, 2019.

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

Monday, September 9, 2019

Loaded Cream Cheese Corn - Recipe




I really can't remember where I came across this recipe.  I believe it was one shared on FB.  I tried it for the first time yesterday and it was really good.  It's a different way to cook with canned corn.

Ingredients:

3 cans whole kernel corn
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 packet dry Ranch Mix
1 cup bacon, crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Start by draining the cans of corn and placing them in skillet.  Add in dry ranch mix.  Slice up butter and cream cheese, then add to skillet.  Add in milk.  Cook on high until cream cheese and butter is melted.  Let sit to thicken.  Add in bacon and shredded cheese.  Top with sour cream and green onions if desired.



Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Home - Children's Book Review and Giveaway


Publication date: 07/02/2018
Pages: 30
Age Range: 4 - 9 Years

Book Overview:

Miss Olive Finds Her “Furever” Home is the first book in the heartwarming and inspirational series The Doggy Diva Diaries. When we first meet Miss Olive, she is a sad and lonely little pup hoping to find a loving family and her “furever” home. With the help of her magical fairy dog-mother, “Sophia the Doggy Diva,” Miss Olive learns a valuable life lesson: It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. It’s the kindness and love you have on the inside that counts. Your dreams really can come true!

About the Author:

For over fifteen years, Susan Marie has been spreading the word about puppy love through her nationally syndicated weekly radio show, The Doggy Diva Show. On her show, Susan interviews pet care experts, dog trainers, authors and representatives from animal rescue organizations. Past guests include Bob Barker, Dean Koontz, Julia Cameron, Alison Eastwood, and America's Veterinarian, Dr. Marty Becker. The Doggy Diva Show can be heard on Pet Life Radio, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Speak Up Talk Radio.

Aside from radio, since August 2007, the Doggy Diva (Susan’s nom de plume) has contributed a regular column to Suncoast Pet Magazine with her lighthearted look at all things diva-licious in her bimonthly editorial feature, Diva Delights. The column originally came from the perspective of Sophia, a previous rescue dog of Susan’s, and is now penned by Miss Olive. Along Florida’s Suncoast, the name Miss Olive is synonymous with the bringing together of homeless pets to loving families everywhere.

Susan is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators as well as the Dog Writer’s Association of America and the Florida Writers Association. A devoted champion of animals, Susan donates a portion of the proceeds from the Miss Olive book to various animal rescue services. She’s passionate about passing along the love of animals to future generations.



My Review:

A hardcover book with cutesy illustrations, Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Home is the first book in a series.  Loosely based upon true events, this story tells of a dog who wishes to be adopted.  Her wish comes true when she goes home to a family who fosters dogs.  Miss Olive is happy and enjoys being around the other canines.  But then she notices that the other dogs are getting adopted out and she isn't.  Olive wonders if she's not good enough, and if it may be because she has only three legs.  Then, one day, a family chooses Olive as their pet and she has joyful days in her new "furever" home.  

There are two main points to be learned from this book.  One is that all animals need love, and rescuing a pet can be advantageous to both the animal and the owner.  Two, it's okay to be different.  You're not unlovable just because you're not "normal".  


Win It!

One person will win a Miss Olive Finds Her Furever Home children's book.

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

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.
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Sunday, September 8, 2019

Fun Coca-Cola Alarm & Wall Clocks for Back to School


With back-to-school having started, Seiko and The Coca-Cola Company can help get kids up and to the bus on time. At exactly the same time as Kintaro Hattori was planning to open his Seikosha factory and to create his first ever wall clock, Doc Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia created a drink that would soon sweep the world. Both companies are celebrating 130 years in business this year and have collaborated on some clocks that could make a perfect gift or addition to the home.


 More info about the new products:

Coca Cola Wall Clock ($35 ∙ SRP $70/Dimensions: 14.4 x1.69”)

Coca Cola Alarm Clock (Cost $20 ∙ SRP $40): Available in Red or White and features an alarm, snooze function and light

Coca Cola Alarm Clock - Travel Version (Cost $12.50 ∙ SRP $25.00): Available in Red or White or Black and features an alarm, snooze function and light

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.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

MaKynzee's 7th Birthday

birthday girl with some of her gifts

Moving into my first owned home with my husband three months ago has been quite a good thing.  For one, we now have our own place we can do what we want with.  For another, my niece and her three children live just two doors down.  The young'uns have been coming over quite a bit to hang.


MaKynzee, my great-niece, celebrated her 7th birthday the other day with an outdoor party at her home.  I'm not gonna lie, it was nice to roll out of bed after a night of working and just walk a few paces down to attend.

MaKynzee with the tye-dye gang

When I moved into our home, I turned one of the rooms into our office with the computer.  Now it's a combined space filled with toys that I bought just so the littles would have stuff to play with when they come over.  They better remember who the cool aunt is!

Me and my man

So Many Angels: A Family Crisis and the Community That Got Us Through It - Book Review


Book Overview:

Diane Cook’s idyllic suburban life was shattered with one phone call. As she stood five feet away from her two young sons, her husband, Jed, delivered the news: He had just been arrested. For attempted solicitation of a minor male over the internet.

Her world suddenly in shambles, Diane could have fallen apart―but she knew that wasn’t an option. She was a mom; her responsibility was to her boys. So she vowed to herself that she would keep herself―and her children―together. And then, just when it seemed things couldn’t get any worse, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

In the months that followed, Diane struggled to deal with Jed’s scandal, raise her two sons, and handle her new medical condition, all as a suddenly single mother. But she quickly learned that, even in her darkest times, she was not alone: her community was with her every step of the way, always ready to swoop in to support her when she needed it most. Ultimately, So Many Angels is an uplifting story of resilience and strength―and a tribute to the many friends and strangers who helped Diane and her boys survive the greatest trial of their lives.

My Review:

We all face difficult situations.  How we handle them can help determine the outlook and outcome of those situations.  Sometimes, reading about others struggles and how they've overcome them can help us in our own personal struggles when they arise.  So Many Angels is a book that shows a mother's resilience and resolve in the face of difficult times.

Author, Diane Stelfox Cook, chronicles how she faced life when confronted with scandals and sickness.  She is real and raw with her feelings and details of events.  Readers can learn a lot about how to help themselves during difficulty, and how to bring aid to others when they need it.

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.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Check It Out: Savings.com #LillysAfterParty Giveaway

Win a $100 gift card from Lilly Pulitzer!

Savings.com is giving away gift cards from Lilly Pulitzer in support of their After Party Sale.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, September 11th at 11:59 PM PT.  Five (5) winners will receive a $100 gift card from Lilly Pulitzer.
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Get 10% discount on your orders with Lilly Pulitzer's email sign up.

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

Summer Concert: MC Hammer's House Party


My mother rarely showed anger towards me.  She was cool like that.  BUT, there was one time she flipped a lid.  I came home with a 2 Live Crew cassette tape, put it in my boombox and started blasting it.  She ripped that thing out so fast I thought she was gonna injure herself.  She stomped that thing to shreds, making sure I'd never hear from it again.  Many, many years later I've been reminded why she wasn't keen on letting a 12 year old girl listen to the motley rap crew.

About a month ago I got suckered into purchasing concert tickets from StubHub.  They offered me a $10 promotion off tickets (never mind the fact that doesn't even cover the service fee!)  On a whim, I purchased tickets for me and my 21 year old son, Logan.  Since I was paying, it was my choice.  I bought for us to attend MC Hammer's House Party.  It was time to show him what rap was like back in my day.

I've been to a fair share of concerts but this one turned out to be one of the most vulgar and raunchy ones I've attended.  It takes a lot to make my jaw drop but the words coming out of the rappers' mouths deserved some Dawn dish soap.

My mother made this shirt for me about 8 years ago.  I cut the sleeves and neckline, and wore it to the concert 90s style.

Here's my rundown on the old school rappers:

2 Live Crew - I was instantly reminded why my mother had a heart attack when she heard what I was listening to back in the day.  They're just as filthy as ever.  "Me So Horny" is super tame compared to the other songs they spit out.

Biz Markie - I actually felt sorry for this guy.  He needs to hang it up.  The gig is over.  I wasn't sure if he was drunk, high, or half dead.  It was just awful.

Sir Mix A Lot - He was my fave of the night.  He's still got the vocals.

Tone Loc - His deep, gravelly voice is still on point.

Logan and I ate at Denny's pre-concert.  I've always loved Denny's food, but this time was pure trash.  The only thing good was the toast.

MC Hammer - You gotta give him kudos, he tried.  He really did.  Not as bad as Biz Markie, but his days need to soon be over.  At one point, he handed out roses to the ladies in front and I thought I was watching an episode of The Bachelor.  He sang his 90s hit, Pray, and talked about the power of prayer.  Which would be all great and grand, if he hadn't just previously sang about humpin' and pumpin'.  It was all sorts of wrong.

Tag Team - They didn't get much play time but the music was good.

If anything, Logan was introduced to the music I listened to back in the day.  And he was introduced to my mortification that I ever listened to half of it.  But, hey, can't complain about quality time with the son.


Check It Out: Savings.com #ChooseVZW Giveaway

Win a $100 Gift Card from Verizon Wireless

From now until September 14th, Savings.com is having a #ChooseVZW Giveaway.  Five winners will receive a $100 gift card from Verizon Wireless.

The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Monday, September 16th (9/16) via the email address they used to enter.

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

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mammoth Wipes - Eco-Friendly Full Body Wipes Review


After a day of getting dirty or sweaty, I like a nice shower as much as the next person.  But, sometimes, that's just not possible.  Last weekend I went camping in a pop-up camper.  Great for sleeping, but not much else.  I was able to take a shower on Saturday but didn't have that luxury for Sunday or Monday.  Luckily, I had Mammoth Wipes. 

Created using a sustainable, fully biodegradable bamboo material Mammoth Wipes are a massive 25 times bigger than a regular face wipe and an absolute essential for anyone spending a night under the stars, getting back to nature or roughing it out at a Tough Mudder or Spartan type event. With no palm oil, and no harsh chemicals, each super large, super soft wipe is completely paraben-free and safe for sensitive skin.


wipe folded in half

Ideal for festivals and other outdoor events where showers and running water is limited or non-existent, the giant bamboo material wipes are easy to use and easy to pack. Each skin-friendly wipe is infused with a water-based antibacterial liquid, wild lemon-fresh scent and a soothing aloe leaf juice skin conditioner. All you have to do is pull a wipe out and rub it all over your body to leave skin feeling clean.

Mammoth Wipes are also completely plastic free, have recyclable packaging and are fully biodegradable. Unlike smaller face and household wipe counterparts, a used Mammoth Wipe won’t contribute to the thousands of tons of landfill waste generated by similar products each year.


Each wipe measures 120cm x 80cm with two in each pack, making them the ideal size for full-body cleaning. The wipe gently removes dirt, grime and sweat easily, they also incredibly lightweight and easy to pack, making them ideal for off the grid adventures.  If a full wipe isn't what you need, you can always cut it in the size you desire.  I love that these wipes solve a problem and are friendly for the environment.

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 won research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

AKA (Also Known As) Party Game - Review and Giveaway


It is my belief that games sharpen the mind, form bonds, and bring out a healthy dose of competition.
Sometimes it's nice to hang out with friends to laugh, vent, and have fun.  AKA (Also Known As) is a party game to lighten the mood and have a fun time with good friends.  I recently took this game with me on a weekend camping trip and we played it several times.


AKA is the great new party game where you try to guess people, places and things from words that mean the same thing.  The main object of the game is to be the first team to give five correct answers in the Main Round, then outscore the other team in the Final Round.  This game is for 3+ players, with one person being the Host.

Contents of the game include:

324 “Main Round” AKA Cards

162 “Final Round” AKA Cards

1 Wipe-off Scoreboard

1 Dry-Erase Marker

1 60-Second Sand Timer

Instructions

Tasha reading the instructions

The Main Round is played first.  The Host draws cards from the deck and reveals the category and the "AKA" version of the answer.  The first person to raise their hand and get it correct gets a point.  If not correct, the other team has a chance to make a guess for a point.  Once a team gets five points, it's on to the final round.

Jimmy playing part of the Host

For the Final Round, two cards are drawn from the specific deck and the team that won the Main Round gets to choose which category they would like to play.  The other team must play the other category.  One at a time, the host reads "AKA" versions of 7 answers that fit the category.  The round ends when 60 seconds expire, or when their team gives the 7th correct answer.  Whichever team scores the most points between the Main Round and the Final Round wins the game.


I found that it's best to go over a couple examples of the round cards before actual game play so that players get the gist of the game.

A couple examples of a Main Round card are:

Category: 2016 Animated Movie
AKA:  Harass Online
Answer: Trolls

Category: Famous Outlaw
AKA: Joel the Baby Goat
Answer: Billy the Kid

An example of a Final Round Card is:

Category: Jim Carrey Movies
1.  Stupid and Stupider
Answer: Dumb and Dumber

2.  The Harry S. Program
Answer: The Truman Show

3.  Pants on Fire
Answer: Liar Liar

4.  Springsteen Supreme
Answer: Bruce Almighty

5.  Buzz Aldean
Answer: Man on the Moon

6.  The Facial Disguise
Answer:  The Mask

7.  Larry
Answer: The Cable Guy

This game definitely makes you think.  We had a blast playing it while camping and I look forward to enjoying the camaraderie when I play this game again.


Win It!

One person will win an AKA (Also Known As) party game.

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

I received product for review from Endless Games.  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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Granddaughter's Baptism on Birthday


Rahjae became my granddaughter a couple years ago when my daughter married her father.  She and I have grown quite close and have formed a bond.  She may not be blood but she's definitely family.

Rahjae turned 13 years old last Thursday.  Officially a teenager!  She decided as part of her birthday that she wanted to be baptized.  She was allowed to choose who she wanted in the water with her (as long as that person has also been baptized).  I was honored that she chose me.  In addition, she wanted her Small Group Leader, Kristie, in the water.
Rahjae with her dad, George

Towards the end of Thursday night's service, Rahjae proclaimed her faith and got baptized (but not before I spent a few minutes gushing how great she is).  It's definitely a birthday to remember.