Archive | December, 2014

Annie, A Must See Over The Holiday Break

22 Dec

We LOVE the original Annie. When my oldest first saw it, we watched it over and over. Every time we got dressed in the morning, she would belt out You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile”. And in the afternoons, she would make her sister re-enact “It’s A Hard Knock Life”  or “It’s a Hard Enough Life” as she would sing. That Halloween she insisted the family dress as the characters. She was Annie, her little sister was Sandy, naturally I was Ms. Hannigan (she insisted) and my Husband was Daddy Warbucks.

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When I heard there was another re-make of Annie, I was skeptical that my girls and I would like it and questioned whether we should go to see it. Thank you to the The Moms and Norwegian Cruise Lines for the opportunity to see it because we loved this new adaptation of Annie. While there were plays on the original, there were many changes to make it more modern-day which made it more relative to my girls. It shows scene from the New York they know- the Freedom Tower, taxis, running through the parks of battery park and more. The orphans are now “foster kids” and there is use of social media. Quvenzhané Wallis was amazing as Annie and Cameron Diaz who plays Ms. Hannigan was hysterical.

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What my oldest,6, thought:” It was AMAZING! Ms. Hannigan was much better in this movie.”  

After the preview the girls got to meet some of the cast, the foster girls, and learned what it was like to be part of the movie and how their child acting careers began.  It was an exciting afternoon!

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While the original still holds a special place in our heart we definitely recommend seeing Annie the movie It makes a great family outing over the  winter break!

Annie (2014):

Annie is a foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Fox) makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.IMDB

Thinking warm thoughts for a great family getaway? Learn more about Norwegian Cruise Lines here and what we thought about our day onboard the Norwegian Getaway.

The Moms host many wonderful events and am thankful to be apart of them!   Learn more about The Moms here.

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Appetizers For Your #HolidayMenu

18 Dec

The Holidays are here and the New Year will be here shortly after. It’s time for parties, family gatherings and lots of Holiday cooking.  I recently had the opportunity to work with California EndivesNudo Olive Oil, and Rios de Chile Wine to come up with some starters for the Holiday season.

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Endive is a great alternative to bread, chips, and crackers.  Because our Holiday meals are so heavy, having a lighter/ low carb starter is a great alternative to loading up on chips and dip.  There are endless ways to use endive. You can put them in a salad, spread your favorite dip on them, or “stuff” them.  These two starters will please your guests this Holiday season:

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Endive Stuffed With Cranberry, Quinoa, Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese

This recipe is so simple to make.  Chop butternut quash into small cubes.  Make the quinoa according to instructions however use chicken stock instead of water to give it added flavor. While the quinoa is cooking, use a little Nudo Olive Oil, water, and fresh garlic to saute the butternut squash, cover for a bit to cook.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Once the quinoa and butternut squash are finished cooking, mix together in a bowl, adding in the cranberries and goat cheese.  Spoon into an endive leaf and plate. Drizzle a little Nudo Olive Oil on top and enjoy.

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Taco Endive Boats With Sriracha Sour Cream:

Another easy recipe and I had most of the ingredients at home already.  Cook ground turkey with fresh garlic, onion, cayenne pepper & a bit of Nudo Olive Oil. While cooking, chop avocado into small cubes. When the meat is done cooking, mix in corn and cheddar cheese.  Spoon into endive leaves and top with avocado. In a small dish (I used an egg cup), mix sour cream & sriracha to taste.  Spoon a small amount of sriracha sour cream on your “taco boat” and enjoy. These are also perfect for football Sundays.

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Once your appetizers are complete, set out on your table and enjoy with a glass of Rios de Chile Sauvignon Blanc.

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Click here for more great endive recipes!

About California Endive: Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole, frisee and curly endive. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness — great served raw or cooked.  Click the image to learn more.

About  Nudo Olive Oil: Ideal for drizzling, dipping and holiday cooking. Nudo Olive Oils are produced in the Marche region of Italy so it is easy to impress your guests with the freshness and flavor of 100% Italian olives.  Click here for more information or to order.

About Rios de Chile Sauvignon Blanc ($10):  It comes from the Central Valley Region of Chile.  Tasting notes say that it is a very fresh wine with an intense aroma of tropical fruits with fine mineral notes and citrus accents.  It has a lively palate and pleasing finish.  I am no wine expert which is why I used the tasting notes.  I really enjoyed the taste and thought it was refreshing, especially after being in a hot kitchen.

 

Happy, Healthy Eating This Holiday Season!

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received samples of products to come up with sides or starters for the Holiday season.  All images unless noted are my own.  All information in italics came from the home site linked in the about sections or from press.

Wowza Giveaway #WowzaGiveaway

10 Dec

It’s Giveaway Time, and Suburban Wife, City Life, Globetrotting Mommy, MommaLew, and Tastefully Childish have teamed up with some favorite brands to bring a giveaway like no other. It’s so good we’re calling it the #WowzaGiveaway!

What’s better is we’ve broken it down into 5 different prize packs so we’ll have lucky 5 winners! So scroll down to check out the prize packs and enter today!

 

Strolling Stylishly Prize:

High fashion meets high function in the Affinity Stroller by Britax. This refined, innovative design combines exceptional comfort and durability. Mix and match frame and Color Pack help create a stroller that is both elegant and enviable. Add the Cozy Toes to keep your little one warm and you’re set! Winner gets to pick frame and Color Pack! For a closer look check out Suburban Wife, City Life’s thoughts at the Britax Affinity Launch Here

 

Wake me up Prize:

Say Hello to the Keurig 2.0 K550 Brewing System. The first system that features revolutionary Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology which is designed to “read” the lid of each K-Cup or K-Carafe pack to brew the perfect beverage every time. The K550 brewer allows you to brew a 4-cup carafe with the same ease and convenience of brewing a single-serve cup – all at the touch of a button. It’s so smart, and so simple! Check out Momma Lews thoughts here.

Cuddle Up Prize:

When it comes to decorating for the holiday Teleflora puts thought into each item they create. This is not only a beautiful arrangement, but you’ll be able to store your treats year after year in this adorable cookie jar. Decorating for the holidays is easy and festive with Teleflora and since they use local florists it will be hand delivered and smelling wonderful in no time. For some Teleflora Holiday Decorating Tips check out Suburban Wife, City Life.

2 jars Original Peanut Butter, 2 jars Peanut Butter & Chocolate.

Getting your peanut butter fix just became a whole lot easier. Just add boiling water to make Peanut Hottie at home, work, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Available in Original Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter & Chocolate flavors it should be on everyone’s Wal-Mart shopping list.

We’ll Always Have Paris is a delightful mother-daughter travel memoir by Jennifer Coburn. Jennifer processes her dad’s death while navigating her way through motherhood and around Europe with her daughter for eight summers. Their adventures are full of colorful locals, visits to familiar tourist sights and many unexpected moments. See Globetrotting Mommy’s review here.

This Christmas is a three-novella collection by Jane Green, Liz Ireland, and Jennifer Coburn

 

Mom & Me Prize:

Help meet the unique needs of families worldwide and receive this gorgeous draped beaded necklace. This necklace is handmade by an artisan
in Bali who helps children get the education she never received herself. 

A NYC centric curated children’s boutique specializing in the most thoughtful, unique gifts for those looking to set themselves apart from giving the typical presents to kids. You’ll find the perfect “it” gift that includes a dash of nostalgia and a taste of your own personal past brought to life with the collection of kid tees, toys, music, books and more.

Lightweight, durable and soft, the quilted Cary Love Tote is not only the perfect diaper bag, but it is also an easy everyday tote overall. For each Carry Love Tote Diaper bag sold, 5% proceeds will be donated to Every Mother Counts. Check out Globetrotting Mommy’s thoughts here.

Time for Fun Prize:

This will be a hit with any junior fashionista on your holiday list. The kit contains an array of art supplies and fashion template so kids can create their own designs. From there, the designs come alive on the virtual runway thanks to a coordinating app. So much fun for kids and adults too! See what Globetrotting Mommy thinks about it Here!

More than just a watch, VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch lets young photographers take photos and videos. Plus, play mini learning games and tell time for learning fun on the go!
Wowza, right! We’re so excited about all the items available and hope you are too. So click on the rafflecopter below and start entering! Open to US entries only. Must be 18 or older to enter. Items can not be guaranteed in time for the holiday.
Click to enter to win!

5 Gifts That Give Back

9 Dec

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the Holidays because we focus on what’s going on the “list” or where Snowflake will be the next morning.  I try to teach my girls, especially during the Holiday season, that there are many children and families that aren’t as fortunate to have good health, a home, toys and food.  Every year we take part in coat drives and toy drives during the Holiday Season.  You can give gifts to family and friends that also give back to those in need.  Here are a few of my favorite Gifts that Give Back:

World Vision has more than 250 items, ranging in price from $10 to $39,000. They are available online and in the World Vision catalog to help improve quality of life for women, children, and families in the U.S. and around the world.  One of my favorite picks for this Holiday Season is the Balinese Multi-Strand Necklace, handmade by an artisan in Bali who helps children get the education she never received herself.  It’s a beautiful piece that is perfect for your mom, your sister, or a friend.  It’s the perfect necklace to wear with jeans and a t-shirt or a maxi-dress during the summer days.

 

Image from World Vision

Image from World Vision

MD Anderson Children’s Art Project has a wide selection of gifts with the artwork created by children in the pediatric center at MD Anderson in Texas.  Through the sale of merchandise featuring designs created by young cancer patients, the program funds important programs that touch more than 26,000 pediatric patients and families, current or past to help them return to normalcy.   Every year, new artwork is selected, voted on, and turned into new products for the shop.  We have found many gifts for birthdays and Holidays (click links for more information).  This year I love the Presents Ornament Frame with our favorite Holiday photo to give to grandparents.

Image from MD Anderson

Image from MD Anderson

Headbands of Hope: A beautiful stocking stuffer for the Holiday Season. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.   I love the option to Create Your Own and the Chiffon Bows.

Image from Headbands of Hope

Image from Headbands of Hope

Stella & Dot has so many wonderful pieces of jewelry.  When I was at the Stella and Dot showroom for the Momtrends Holiday Event, I learned the beautiful Stella & Dot Enlighten Bracelet benefits Every Mother Counts.  Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. A great gift for a mom or a daughter.

Image from Stella & Dot

Image from Stella & Dot

FEED’s mission is to create good products that help FEED the world.  I love this FEED + Links of London Bracelet.  The impact of giving this gift is 500 days of clean drinking water for one child.

Image from FEED

Image from FEED

 

Have a wonderful Holiday season!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a sample from World Vision however this did not change my opinions. All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics are from the sites linked.

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Holiday Gift Guide: All Things Frozen

2 Dec

We went to Disney on Ice Frozen last week and it was pretty magical. My girls were singing the songs at the top of their lungs with all the other girls, boys and parents in the audience. I know our love for Frozen isn’t going away any time soon (or ever) so this gift guide was inspired by that. Here are our Frozen picks:

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Frozen Nightgown from Target
Olaf Pillow Pet
A Sister More Like Me
eKids iHome Frozen Headphones
ROXO Frozen Charm Bracelet
Olaf’s in Trouble by Hasbro
Olaf Waffle Maker
Olaf Snow Cone Maker

Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: This was not a sponsored post. I did receive one sample for posting however this did not alter my opinions. All opinions expresses are my own. All images came from the linked sites!

Holiday Gift Guide For Girls

1 Dec

Happy December!
It’s hard to believe the Holiday Season is in full swing. This morning our Elf Snowflake Chippy made her big arrival from the North Pole reminding us there are only 23 more days. This week, I’ll be sharing a new gift guide every day. Today’s guide is all about my girls wish list. Whenever we go shopping or see a friend with something they like they add it to their list. Here are some of their picks:

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Ozobot Robot
Glow Pets
Hasbro Littlest Pet Shop Style Sets
American Girl Isabelle & Accessories
Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror
Stella & Dot Mini Mariposa Necklace
Lands End Monogramed Girls Lily Cozy Boot
Gap Kate Spade Girls Purse

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. I received some samples. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.