Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So Green! So Good!

The older I get the greener I get.  I've always loved this beautiful earth and have tried to take care of it, but there was  more I could have done.  Now that I have amazing children, I want them to be able to experience the same beauty that I've loved.  This has made me much more cognizant of what part I can play.

Let me introduce you to TerraCycle, a company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products.  These products are all-natural, affordable, recycled, and made here in the USA.  I love that!

So, let me tell you about some of their products that I have tried:

First, I got a very cool watering can!  It works great, and looks totally cool!  So cool, in fact, that my kids actually discuss (fight over) who gets to do the watering!  I got a great planter that is now on my front porch with cute little flowers in it.  It has held up very well to our brutal summer heat and looks great!  The best part for me is it looks like terra cotta, but it's plastic so my son can't break it!  I also am now the proud owner of a Terra Stone Plant caddy!  This baby can hold up to 200 lbs!  When I first got it, my son said, "Wow!  Cool square skateboard!"  No son, sorry... it's all mine!  All of these great products retail for under $16.99.

Speaking of brutal summer heat... well it bakes our ground to a concrete-like consistency.  It's hard to get anything to grow and thrive during the summer (unless you're into growing a crop of tumbleweeds, those do great!)  I have some hearts and flowers in my front planter that are not feeling so well in this heat.  Well, I've been applying TerraCycle's Granular Plant Food and they are looking so much better.  I think the secret is the worm poop that it contains. (I never thought I'd blog about worm poop!)  The poor little wormies that live here in Arizona don't last too long so I think there's not a lot of worm poop in our soil.  Now I can add worm poop into my soil and feed my plants! (Look, I got to say worm poop four times, oops, now five!)  The other thing I love is that TerraCycle Plant Food only needs to be applied every 8 - 10 weeks!

So, now I feel like not only are these great products working for me, but by using them I'm giving a little bit back.  Thanks so much TerraCycle!

Disclosure:  I received these products for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all mine and free of charge!

She's One of the Family

We have been so lucky to have two wonderful dogs be a part of our family for the past 13 years!  Sadly, we just lost one of our dogs to old age.  Lady and Rica were sisters that we rescued.  Now that Lady is gone we try to keep Rica happy as she is definitely missing her sister.

We've always given our dogs treats like Rawhide Bones, Milkbones, etc.  Rica is getting old and her taste is getting a bit more... ah, refined (finicky) so sometimes it's hard to find a treat she likes.  Well, we struck gold when we discovered Jerky Treats from Kingdom Pets.  Rica loves them!

We've given her their Chicken Jerky and the Jerky Twists.  She goes nuts for them!  As soon as she is done with one, she is giving us the "More Jerky Please" look.  I like that they are made with no fillers or by-products, only wholesome natural ingredients.  I love that we found a great treat for our dog!

Speaking of dogs, our teenage daughter has been begging for a puppy to raise and train.  So we've finally consented (given in) and we are looking for a puppy for our daughter.  We are also starting to gather all the supplies that go with having a new puppy in the house.  I remember having puppies as a child and oh, do they do a lot of piddling!  So, our first product to get has been the Absorbz Everyday Convenience Pads.  Absorbz has wetlock technology which means it has a layer that will hold up to 100 times it's weight in liquid, and a layer that will protect my floors and carpets from... well, you know what from!  Absorbz pads would also be great under water bowls or in Pet Carriers.  I love that it will neutralize odors and provides a no-drip disposal (blegh!)

Our dogs have always been an important part of our family and I'm so glad we found some great products for them!

Disclosure:  I received the products for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mustard Day 2013

Did you know that Saturday, August 3rd is Mustard Day?  Did you even know there was a Mustard Day?  Me neither....
Well all you fans of Mustard or Trivia, let me elucidate:

French's Classic Yellow Mustard was first introduced in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair.  Since then it's become the most popular condiment for hotdogs.  Plus, there are new flavors too, like Spicy Brown (one of my favorites) Dijon, Horseradish, Honey, and Honey Dijon.  Okay, I'm starting to get hungry!
Another interesting tidbit, there is a National Mustard Museum.  It's in Middleton, Wisconsin. You can celebrate National Mustard Day there on August 3rd!  They have a whole day of fun planned for this event, including opening ceremonies with Dr. Mustard, French's Mustard Man, and yes, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile!  They'll be live music and free hot dogs, mustard games, and magic.

Can't make it to Middleton Wisconsin for National Mustard Day?  Well, you can celebrate by making some delicious food of your own, using mustard or course!
Here's a great recipe for Super Juicy Chicken:

3lbs        fryer chicken, cut into 8 pcs
½  cup    FRENCH’S® Classic Yellow® Mustard
3 Tsp      McCormick® Grill Mates® Montreal Spice

1. PREHEAT grill to medium heat

2. PLACE chicken pieces on large plate and coat both sides with FRENCH’S® Classic Yellow® Mustard. Sprinkle Montreal Spice on.

3. GRILL over medium heat for 20 minutes till juices run clear or 160F internal.

Makes      4-6 servings


So don't forget Saturday, August 3rd is National Mustard Day.  Go celebrate with some delicious French's Mustard!  Afterall, it's America's #1 mustard brand!

Disclosure:  I will be receiving samples for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Keeper of Reign

I'm one of THOSE parents.... I read what my children are reading.  Not only to make sure the content is appropriate, but also to keep up on the latest books so I can have a decent discussion with my kids when they start referencing characters.  I've noticed that on some of the series I get sucked right in along with my kids, and can't wait for the next installment!

Well, it happened again!  Keeper of Reign grabbed me from the first page and didn't let up until the end!  My kids kept circling round and wanting to know what I was reading that was so good (that, or they were hungry because I was reading and not fixing dinner!)

So, let me tell you about Keeper of Reign.  Emma Right is a Christian author, and Keeper of Reign is a children/young adult fantasy book.

From the author:

Set in the fantastical kingdom of Reign, Right’s vivid chronicle follows a people called the Elfies, who have been cursed to remain an inch in size until they can find a way to reverse their misfortune. Leading them in a quest to return to their former greatness is teenager Jules Blaze and his four siblings, who journey into the land of their enemy, Gehzurolle, in order to find a way to undo the curse. Throughout their misadventures these five siblings and their friends learn important messages about the power of family, friendship and how sometimes it is the hardest things that enable you to grow.

Besides the great story that kept me page-turning with excitement, I loved the interaction of the Blaze children.  I grew up in a large family and recognized a lot from my own childhood.  The characters are well-developed and I felt like I knew them well, and they became friends as I read. I even found myself mourning with them. I'm not giving any plot twists away, but there are some doozies in there!  I wasn't quite sure who to trust.

I really enjoyed Keeper of Reign, but I have to admit I groaned out loud at the end.  Not because it wasn't a great ending, it was, but now I have to wait impatiently for  Book Two to come out!

Disclosure: I received this book for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hi Ho Silver, Away!

I have had a crush on the Lone Ranger ever since I was a little girl!  Yes, I even had my own Lone Ranger mask.  So, to say I've been excited to see the new movie, The Lone Ranger.... well, that's an understatement.  I've been bouncing up and down in anticipation!

I was smart and brought my husband to the premier so I wouldn't fall into a Armie Hammer/Johnny Depp drool-infused stupor.  So let's just put it out there, Armie Hammer is one handsome guy and looks really great in his white hat and mask, and I am a fan of Johnny Depp and he didn't disappoint me in this movie.

So, did I like the Lone Ranger movie?  Overall, a resounding yes!  I loved the camaraderie between The Lone Ranger and Tonto.  I liked that Tonto was so much more than a side-kick, he was the smart one in this film.  I really loved the action sequences!  The final big showdown had me bouncing up and down in my seat loving the action while I hummed along to the William Tell Overture!

What didn't I like?  I thought the cannibalistic part of the villain was a bit too much.  Very gross!  He was a scary guy without that, I don't know why that part was added.  I also thought it was a little long.  It started great and ended great, but dragged a bit in the middle.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Lone Ranger movie!  It kept me interested and in parts I was swept up in the moment.  And yes, I've been humming the William Tell Overture a lot lately!  And yes... my kids may be getting a little tired of me saying, "Hi Ho Silver, Away!" every time I start car.  Personally, I think I'm hilarious!

Disclosure:  I had the opportunity to see this movie for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Despicable Me 2 - Twice the Fun!

I loved, loved, loved Despicable Me!  I want my own minion army.... but that's a whole other post. Ü

So, when I had the amazing opportunity to see Despicable Me 2, it was with great excitement and a little trepidation.  Excitement because I was very much looking forward to more minions, and trepidation because not all sequels are as good as the first.

Well, in my humble opinion, Despicable Me 2 is better than the first.  I think I laughed the whole time... I mean belly-jiggling, tears streaming guffaws!  It is really funny!

All my favorite characters were back in full force, plus some new ones that I love!  Gru the (Former?) super villain is hilarious as ever and actually has a partner this time.  I loved the sub-plot of Gru struggling with his oldest daughter's first crush (yes, the freeze gun comes into play!  I'd like one of those myself, what a weapon against raging teenage hormones!)

I felt like the minions stole the show in Despicable Me 2.  The have a much more integral part of the plot.  Their laugh is contagious and I still giggle every time someone says Mr. Ramsbottom.

I loved the whole movie but the ending scene had me crying I was laughing so hard!  The younger set liked it but those of us who are a bit older found it hilarious!  I won't spoil it for you, but I'm sure you'll love it too!

I'm definitely going to see it again, and own it when it comes out on Gru-Ray! 

Disclosure:  I was offered the opportunity to see this film for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bejeweled Frenzy!

Go on, admit it... you love Bejeweled Blitz!  I most certainly do! So, when I was offered the opportunity to review a new game called Bejeweled Frenzy... well, you know I was all over that!

So, Bejeweled Frenzy from Hasbro is a card game where the players race to match gems and build the largest stack of cards.  There are also Boost Gems (who doesn't love sparkly things!).  Speaking of sparkly, the cards are a little sparkly too!

The basic premise of the game is a lot like Bejeweled.  Players take turns picking a card and try to make a match of three gems.  If you're successful you can collapse your stack and get a gem.  Gems and cards are worth different points.  The person with the most points at the end of the game wins!  It's not complicated at all, easy to catch on and start playing immediately.

The game is rated at ages 8+, for 2-4 players.  The approximate retail price is $14.99

We had a great time playing this as a family.  My son didn't even mind that he was playing with sparkly cards and gems!  We recently went on a trip and spent a lot of time playing Bejeweled Frenzy!  We really enjoy it! Though, I will add that it is more fun with four players, than with just two. We're bringing it to our family reunion and I think it will be a hit there.

So, now I have two different ways to be addicted to Bejeweled!  I think my kids are actually getting a little tired of me always asking them to play Bejeweled Frenzy with them!  Nah..... they love it too!

Disclosure:  I was offered the game for the purpose of a review.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Family - In All It's Forms

As most of you know, my children are adopted.  When they were very little a friend told me, "I know you think you love your children, but you can't really know what love is because you didn't give birth to them."  At first I was pretty miffed, but then I came to realize, she just doesn't understand love.

I loved my children from the moment they were placed in my arms with a fierceness that was almost over-whelming.  I would do anything for them, making sure my arms and our home will always be a safe haven from life's storms. 

That's the thing about love, and families.  It has nothing to do with DNA or genetics.... it's about who you share your heart with, who you serve with unconditional acceptance.  I love my children and my husband more than life itself, not because we share genes, but because we choose to go through life together, through all the ups and downs, the storms and the rainbows.  I am their safe haven, and they are mine.

I had the opportunity to view a trailer for the upcoming movie, Delivery Man.  In the movie, Vince Vaughn plays an affable underachiever looking for his purpose in life, when he finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them want to meet their biological father. 

When I read the description about the film, I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to see it.  Then I watched the trailer.  I loved it!  I watched him learn what being a father is about, in a very humorous way!  It's about family, however unconventional it may be.  I for one, look forward to seeing this film!  I love funny, heart-warming films and this looks right up my alley!

Check out the trailer and see what you think:



Delivery Man comes out in theaters November 22nd.  Maybe I'll see you there!