Monday, June 30, 2014

#redwhiteblue #4thofJuly layered cake

#redwhiteblue #4thofJuly layered cake


The 4th of July is only a few days away and I just realized I didn't have any desserts made for our party!  Not only did I not have a dessert I had no clue what to make!
After a little debate (begging) from my kiddos I decided to make them a layered cake.


Please note I do cheat.  I never make cake from scratch.  I will make icing from scratch, but I'm yet to master cake.

What you need:
Box of red velvet cake
For icing:
1 tsp gelatin
3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 8-oz container mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Sugar sprinkles (Optional) 

Directions:
Make your Red velvet cake according to the box. (Sorry again I don't have yummy cake recipe)

For the icing:
~Place a half cup of water in a dish and sprinkle the gelatin on top. 
~Let sit for 5 minutes
~Then place in the microwave for 10 seconds remove and stir.  Do this until all the gelatin is melted.
~ Let this sit for 8 minutes

~In a separate bowl mix heavy whipping cream, mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar.  Beat until soft peaks form.

~Slowly add your gelatin mixture to your cream mixture.  Keeping your mixer on high and blending them.  Beat on high until hard peaks form.

~ To start layer you must cut your cake into triangles.  For the bottom layer you simply take them and fit them into your trifle dish.  You may need to cut them to make them fit.

~ Next you make a layer of icing.  This can be done by just spreading it even or even using a pipe technique. 

~ Add another layer of cake.

~ At this point I took some of my icing and placed it in a separate piping bag.  I then put some blue dye into the rest bowl mix to turn the icing blue.

~  I made an even icing layer of blue on top of the 2nd cake layer.

~ Lastly I took my set aside icing and just made dollops around the outside.  You can add whatever you want at this point my little guys added blue and red sprinkles.

And ta-da you have a fun and easy to make layered 4th of July cake!

Wings: Sky Force Heroes review

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review.  All opinions are my own.

Wings: Sky Force Heroes review



Josh Duhamel (Transformers) is back as Ace in the thrilling story about a heroic pilot seeking redemption in the DOVE-approved family adventure, Wings: Sky Force Heroes, arriving on DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet) exclusively at Walmart, Digital HD, Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View July 8 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Synopsis:
 In the sky-high follow up to the animated feature Wings, an all-star cast including Rob Schneider (Grown Ups), Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Jesse McCartney (Alvin and the Chipmunks), Hilary Duff (A Cinderella Story)Dallas Lovato (Birds of Paradise) and Russell Peters (Source Code), all return to help firefighter Ace remember why he loves being a hero. 
When Ace (Duhamel), a cocky young firefighter, defies his Colonel's (Skerritt) orders and recklessly attempts a solo mission, it leads to disastrous consequences.  Ace, along with Fred (Schneider), his trusty co-pilot, quits Sky Force and resigns himself to hauling coal for Mr. Steinway (Peters), until one day a fire breaks out in the mines! With the help of his friends:  Windy (Duff) and T-Bone (McCartney), Ace must overcome his fears and become the hero he was destined to be.
Timed to the theatrical release of Planes: Fire and Rescue, the Wings: Sky Force Heroes DVD features all-new bonus material including a look at the making of the film and a sneak peek at award-winning Miniscule shorts.

My review:
My boys LOVE it!  I'm sure I said it before but anything that involves planes, cars, trucks and/or trains they love.  Not to mention they are huge action fans.  Wings: Sky Force Heroes offers all of this.  My boys spend all day outside running around its nice to have DVDs for them to watch when it gets dark out....  This mama needs a break after 8 hours of swimming, hide and seek and w/e else game they drag me into :)

If you wish to learn more please see my link below:
Wings: Sky Force Heroes

Friday, June 27, 2014

Betsy Farms review

Disclaimer:  The opinions in this article are my own.  I do not work for, or with any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

Betsy Farms review


Lucy, Rufus and Emma...  And of course Jekyll are all members of my family.  Even though they can't talk, read, pick up after themselves, feed themselves or even bathe themselves they are still important members of my family....  Even if they do try to steal my food and they get hair EVERYWHERE!

As with all members of my family I want to make sure they are living healthy full lives.  In order to do this I have to make sure they eat right.  This includes their treats.
I know we all seen the headlines about food being recalled from china and about all those poor sweet pets getting sick.  If possible I want to do everything in my power to avoid this.  
When I was contacted by Betsy Farms and was told by them that their product are not only made in the USA, but all the ingredients are produced in the USA I knew beyond a doubt I found a must try pet treat company!

I was able to try 2 types of Jerky with my dogs.
Chicken Jerky and Turkey Jerky.  They also have Duck Jerky.

I can't tell you how it taste like I said before my pups still have not mastered the art of talking ;) lol
I can say they all came running whenever I picked up the bag and they stood around waiting for seconds.  And I did smell it and want to mention it smelled good!  Even by human standards.  They use real poultry that is first cooked, grounded and then mixed with other ingredient and cooked again.  This helps avoid harmful ingredients.  As if Betsy Farms wasn't already amazing they also have No artificial flavors, NO artificial colors and no wheat!

They are available exclusively at Walmart and Sam's club.

We all love our pets.  We all want to do what is best for them and to give them only the best.  Betsy Farms is a great way to give your pup a treat without the worry of whats inside :) 

If you wish to learn more please see my link below:


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blue Apron review

Disclaimer:  I was provided products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review.  All opinions are my own.

Blue Apron review


My oldest is a picky eater.  And even though I have a few tricks to get him to eat the foods he needs, he still doesn't try many new things!
My hubby and I miss the days were we could add lots of ingredients and make food taste amazing!  Now that summer time is here my little guy has been going to my dads a lot.  He sleeps over at least once a week and its that one night when the hubby and I get to make meals together. 
Here is the thing....  After years of cooking for a picky eater we forget most of what we knew about cooking.  We needed someone to help us.
That is where Blue Apron came to enter my life! 
Blue Apron allows you to create delicious, chef designed recipes at 
home.   They deliver all the fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. 


 No trying to guess measurements.  Everything is measured in perfect proportions.  No trips to the grocery store and no waste from  unused ingredients.  You also get the recipe card to give and show you step by step instructions.  I loved this!  Just because someone understands a certain cooking term doesn't mean I will.  So it was nice to see it in a photo.  

  Also when I signed up I was able to pick what types of food we liked.  We are not seafood eaters, so I was glad I got to take any type of seafood off my menu.  And if you are a vegetarian you can choose that also.
 They send three meals per week for two, four or six people. 
 Meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping.  And you get to pick your shipping date!  
 Blue Apron is available nationwide they ship to over 80% of the country. 
Blue Apron recipes are delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you're not at home when your package arrives.

Flank Steak au Jus with Roasted Dijon Cauliflower, Pickled Baby Turnips & Watercress
Au jus is a French culinary term for “with juice,” usually referring to meat served with a pan sauce. When cooking steak, drippings and browned bits usually get left in the pan. But wait, there’s flavor there! Deglazing these bits with demi-glace and simmering with just a bit of water create a rich sauce that enhances the dish. It’s complete cooking, putting every bit of flavor right back into the finished steak.



 Chicken Tsukune Spring Ramen
This recipe features fresh ramen from Sun Noodle, America’s premier noodle manufacturer. Sun Noodle has been making these delicious, springy strands of heaven for 30 years, and today we’re proud to bring them to you. What separates these noodles from the pack? It’s simple: they taste better than anyone else’s. For this recipe, we custom ordered a thin, straight noodle that’s perfect for slurping. It’s also specially designed to complement the flavors of our rich broth and tender chicken meatballs.
Mixed Mushroom Toasts with Lemon-Basil Mayo & Tomato Salad
This “toast” to summer showcases the season’s freshest produce. You’ll be using tender, earthy mushrooms, aromatic basil and the first local, plump, delicious tomatoes. These are the simple things we’ve been waiting for. Served with a fresh, zesty aioli, we raise our glasses to this filling dish with rustic charm.
This is my hubby's favorite!  He LOVES MUSHROOMS!  So the fact that mushroom was the star of the course made his day.

If you wish to learn more please see my link below.  The first 50 people to use my link will get 30% their first Blue Apron Box!!
Blue Apron

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Purr-Packs

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review all opinions are my own.

Purr-Packs



I am not a cat person.  When given the choice I will claim to be a dog person....  Cats are snobby, don't like love and ignore their owners.... (Please keep reading if you are offended my opinion has changed dramatically) In October of 2013 I was walking through my local flea market/auction and I came across a sign for free kittens.  I see this a lot and normally just walk right by, without even thinking about it.  For some reason that day an unnatural force persuaded me to walk over and look at the free kittens.  I told myself it was morbid curiosity....  I walked up to the cage and see this tiny kitten looking back at me with a half orange half black face.  

And some strange explainable feeling came over me... Could this be me thinking a cat was cute!!  (Insert Alf here making some sort of gross noise over me being a cat lover.)

  But here I was for the first time ever looking at a cat and thinking what my life would be like with her.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TriCalm stop the itch!

Disclaimer:  I was given product in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review.  All opinions are my own.

TriCalm stop the itch!


Summer time brings a lot of things....  Including bugs, poison ivy and sorts of other icky summer time rashes!
No matter how much bug spray I apply to my kiddos, they still been itching and scratching ferociously at their arms and legs after their outdoor adventures. 
I hate having to put stuff on their skin, I look at the ingredients and think to myself 'if I can't pronounce 90% of what is in it how the heck can I feel safe applying it to their skin!!'


TriCalm hydrogel is a dermatologist-recommended anti-itch product that provides rapid relief to summer skin irritations that come from insect bites, poison ivy and itchy rashes. It is a safe, steroid-free gel that decreases the sensitivity of the nerve receptors in your skin responsible for sending signals of itching to your brain.  No more ripping their little skin apart trying to get rid of an itch!
Because the gel is steroid-free and does not thin your skin like other ant-itch products, it may be used on sensitive skin and reapplied throughout the day.  Not only is it great for kids, but adults too.  My sister has eczema she suffers from sensitive skin year round and has to be very careful what she uses.  She was able to use TriCalm without any negative reaction

Its hard it is to find products that are safe enough for kids!  With TriCalm I can feel good knowing I'm giving them much needed relief without placing something harmful on them!

If you wish to learn more please see my link below:

#DIY Cookies and Cream ice cream pops

#DIY Cookies and Cream ice cream pops

Need:
Oreos
milk
cups with lids
spoons

Directions:
Crush your oreos in a bag.  



Place crushed oreos in your cup (I used oreos feel free to use w/e cookie you want!!  Chocolate chip would taste awesome too :)!!)

Fill the rest of the way with milk

Place spoon inside


Use hole in lid of cup to center the spoon


Freeze


Finally enjoy :)

Oh and not only does that lid help center the spoon it now helps the catch any drips that may fall when your little one is eating :).








Monday, June 16, 2014

#Flashgiveaway The Lego Movie on Blu-ray GIVEAWAY

Disclaimer:  I am working with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to host this giveaway.  I was not compensated in anyway

The Lego Movie on Blu-ray giveaway 

I'm really excited to have the chance to giveaway The Lego Movie!  I myself have not seen the movie, but my kiddos went to see it in theater and LOVED it!

About The Lego Movie 

The LEGO Movie, the first-ever, full-length theatrical LEGO adventure, directed by Phil Lord & Christopher Miller is an original 3D computer animated story that follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. He is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. Chris Pratt (Moneyball) stars as the voice of Emmet. Will Ferrell (The Campaign) stars as the voice of his primary adversary, President Business, an erudite, anal-retentive CEO who has a hard time balancing world domination with micro-managing his own life; while Liam Neeson (Taken) voices the president's powerful henchman, known as Bad Cop, who will stop at nothing to catch Emmet. Starring as Emmet's fellow travelers are Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby), as Vitruvius, an old mystic; Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Emmy nominee for 30 Rock), as tough-as-nails Lucy, who mistakes Emmet for the savior of the world and guides him on his quest; Will Arnett (Emmy nominee, 30 Rock), as the mysterious Batman, a LEGO minifigure with whom Lucy shares a history; Nick Offerman (NBC's Parks and Recreation) as a craggy, swaggering pirate, obsessed with revenge on President Business; and Alison Brie (Community) as a sweet, loveable member of the team, with a powerful secret.

Okabashi Shoes

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review.  All opinions are my own,

Okabashi Shoes


My kids love summer between the beach, amusement parks, shopping days, block parties and so much more summer is full of endless fun.  My poor feet on the other hand have enough by week one.
I needed a new pair of shoes that could keep up with my kiddos.  Which is when I discovered Okabashi! 
Okabashi is a family owned business that has focused on designing and manufacturing extremely comfortable shoes for more than 29 years.
Besides being made in the USA, Okabashi shoes are 100% recyclable, designed with superior foot support and a massaging insole, anti-microbial, dishwasher safe, and backed by a 2-year guarantee. 
They sell both men and women shoes and have them in all shapes and sizes.  That had to be the toughest part for me, picking a pair.  With so many awesome choices how could I possible narrow it down to one!

In the end I chose Womens Cross Strap Sandal in brown.

My review:
I love that I didn't have to give up style for comfort.  I love how the straps cross over the top of the foot, giving my shoe a stylish look.  The material is also nice I read on their site its Microplast.  So my shoe is waterproof which is a must with 2 little boys.  I don't have time to throw off shoes when they decided to make a run for the beach.  You have no clue how many times I walked away with soaked feet.  Now I have a waterproof shoe that will dry in seconds.
They are also anti-odor.  Not that I have stinky feet, but like I said my boys go from dry land to wet land with no caution.  Normally wet shoes smell horrible not my Okabashi shoes!  They can take whatever my boys throw their way :).

The comfort is the best part.  The Cross Strap has a wider foot bed, massaging insole and superior arch support.  All of this makes my day a bit easier.

As if making a comfortable, stylish, earth friendly shoe wasn't enough Okabashi went the extra step of making them affordable!!

You can have a shoe that does it all without breaking the bank!

If you wish to learn more please see my link below:
Okabashi

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sports Unlimited Giveaway

Disclaimer:  I was not paid in anyway to post.

Do you have a sports fanatic in your home?  I'm surrounded by them... Myself included :)  Today The Simply Me Blog is helping to promote a Sports Unlimited giveaway!  See below how to enter and good luck!!

Sports Unlimited Giveaway



Hosted By:
Proudly Brings You The:

Sports Unlimited $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway

1 - Winner



Holiday Contest and Sweeps is pleased to bring you the "Sports Unlimited $100
Gift Certificate Giveaway. One lucky winner will have the opportunity to go on
a $100 Shopping Spree at Sports Unlimited, your place for anything Sports.


Sports Unlimited carries a vast assortment of sporting goods including Baseball,

Football, Hockey, Volley Ball and much much more. They also carry a excellent
selection of Sports Apparel for the entire family. If your planning to go to a major
league sports event in the future,  then check out their great selection of Fan Zone to
get your game on in style.


If your looking to get in the team spirit other than apparel, check out their selection
sporting gifts for the Home and Office, Kitchen & Bar, Bed & Bath, Tailgating, Personalized Gifts, Golf Accessories, Car Accessories, Collection & Memorabilia and more.



Don't miss out on this great opportunity to win a gift certificate for $100
on Sports Unlimited. Get your entries in today for your chance to win.
A Big Thank You To Our Sponsor, Sports Unlimited!
 




This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be
18 years of age or older to enter. This giveaway is in no way associated, endorsed
or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site.



This giveaway will begin 12:00 AM 6/15/2014 and 
will end 12:00 AM 7/15/2014


Holiday Contest and Sweeps did not receive any compensation for this
giveaway. Sports Unlimited will be responsible to the awarding the
 prize directly to the winner. Winner will have 48 hours from the
time the prize notification email was sent.Failure to reply within this
time frame will result in another winner to be drawn.


 


   
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 13, 2014

J-Animals review

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review.  All opinions are my own.

J-Animals review 


Parents we all seen those super cute cuddliest plush playthings on TV.  You know the ones:
 HideAway Pets
 J-Animals 
Tummy Stuffers
They come from best-selling international toy manufacturer, Jay at Play.  We all know they are great for sleepovers, camp, travelling or just hanging out all summer long.

Well guess what parents they will soon be available at major national retailers!!  And when I say soon I mean soon, be on the look on for them June!

I personally was able to review a J-Animal
Jam with J-Animals!

Each of the irresistible new “wearable stuffed animals” in the J-Animals collection transforms from a fuzzy friend stuff animal into an incredible one piece “wearable stuffed animal!”  How awesome is that that kids of all ages can now become their favorite stuffed toy! And when it’s time to put the suit away, J-Animals simply roll right up into a conveniently compact, pillow-like plush pal. A perfect fit for slumber parties, sleep-away camp and just lounging around the house.
The all-new J-Animals “zoo” features five of today’s hottest character styles:
 a su-purr Cat, 
zany Zebra, 
paw-sitively awesome Dog, 
groovy Giraffe 
 magical Unicorn! 
They come in small, medium and large.  Making them perfect for small kiddos and bigger kids :).

My review:
My kids are in awe of the J-Animals!  They can't believe that they have wearable stuffed animals :).  I was impressed with how soft the material was and the fact it easily rolls back into its original form.  My little guys can't wait to sleep over my dad's house so they can show them how their stuffed pet comes to life!

If you wish to learn more please see my link below:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide Giveaway

Disclaimer:  The Simply Me blog is only helping to promote this giveaway.


The Simply Me Blog is excited to promote another fun giveaway!  This one is for all the dads out there!





Here are a few of my favorite gifts for dad, just in time for fathers day!


System mechanic
  System Mechanic is An easy to use software that cleans out and speeds up PCs, System Mechanic is the perfect gift for parents that use a computer, but don’t know how to keep it running smoothly. The world’s leading PC tune-up software, System Mechanic takes just minutes to install and can quickly optimize a PC.  Check it out Here and enter to win a copy below

Lynda.com
lynda.com is an online learning company that helps anyone learn software, design, and business skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. With a lynda.com subscription, members receive unlimited access to a vast library of high quality, current, and engaging video tutorials. New courses and topics are added every week at no extra cost. Check it out Here and enter to win a 1 month subscription below



The Central Park Map Tie is made of 100% silk and features a map print of some of the most popular areas of the Park. Locations featured in the design include Bow Bridge, Bethesda Terrace, Belvedere Castle, the Great Lawn and many more.  
Dad will look great in this tie and if gets lost in Central Park, he can find his way back to civilization!


Central Park conservancy  Here








Store your data in style with this handpainted flash drive. Adorned with a simple color block of bold color, each drive is handpainted with care. This 2GB drive with a magnetized cap is bamboo with your choice of turquoise, copper, or cobalt blue. Find it Here

Who wouldn't want a unique and handsome flash drive to store pictures of Mom and the kids on the latest family adventure?





Do the locomotion while dad gets a back massage!
Railroad Play Mat T-Shirt for Dad
 The flip side of Mommy or Daddy is definitely the best place to play!

A great "hands-on" play experience. Know the kids are there and busy doing something productive by their movement and vehicle sounds.


find it Here




Want to win  great stuff?  Enter the giveaway below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Pretzel Crisps® review

Disclaimer:  I was given products in this post for the purpose of review.  I was not paid in anyway to write this review.  All opinions are my own.

Pretzel Crisps® review 


The Pretzel Crisps® catch phrase is Rethink Your Pretzel
After I had my first taste I understood why!
Before my review I want to tell you a bit about the product:
~ 0G Trans Fat
~ 0g Saturated Fat
~0mg Cholesterol
~ And only 110 Calories!!!
~ Lots of flavors to choose from
~ Resealable bags. 
~  And to top it off they are a company you can trust.  The Wilson family has been in the food industry since the 1970's!

Pretzel Crisps® have so many different flavors it hard to choose a favorite.
I got to review:
Original - I paired these with almost everything!  From  cheese, dip and even chocolate


Sesame
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
Chipotle Cheddar


Buffalo Wing - So good with a little bit of blue cheese!  Tasted just like my favorite wings :)


EveryThing - Tasted great with a bit of cream cheese and some chives.

Honey Mustard and Onion - My hubby placed ham and Swiss cheese on these and said it was amazing!

Jalapeno Jack
Garlic Parmesan


And I got to try 2 flavors of the all new minis!
Same great taste as the Pretzel Crisps® normal size, but these are mini! Making them perfect for my little guys small fingers :)
I got to try
Cheddar
and Original!


Also they are so versatile, you can put almost anything on  Pretzel Crisps®!
 We tried them a few different ways!  Turkey and cheese, cream cheese and fruit, chicken and cheese, just cheese, and honey mustard.  My brother even put his buffalo chicken dip on his.
We were amazed  each time with the taste!   A few other things we tried was peanut butter, my husband tried every fruit you can think of with cream cheese.  Also he put blue cheese on the Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps®, and he loved it he said it was like eating a hot wing. Like I said these are only a few choices you can eat almost anything on them!!!

They are great for a quick snack, on the go, or to put out for a party. 
They are the perfect finger food and since they are so versatile you can make them fit any party theme!

 They are healthy and they taste good!  They really do make you Rethink Your Pretzel!! 

Want to learn more about Pretzel Crisps® check out the links below: