Thursday, June 26, 2014

Go Shopping and Eat out with the Smartphone Isis Wallet #mc #sponsored #PaySmarter

I don't know about you but I always have my smartphone with me when I go shopping, eat out or hang out with family and friends. I use it as my address book, calendar, photo album and more. Sometimes I wish that I could just take my phone in with me at the store and leave my huge purse in the car. Guess what? Technology is catching up with my dreams. I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Isis Wallet. I received a promotional item to facilitate my review.

There is a new smartphone app called Isis Wallet which is a free mobile wallet app for Android and IOS users. For the IOS Apple 4s, which is what I own, I have a sleeve which looks just like a phone case and is needed to use the app. 



Installing of the sleeve, downloading the app and registering my account took all of 5 minutes and I was out the door with my phone to go shopping. The wallet is compatible with American Express, Chase or Wells Fargo cards. It is super easy to add the cards into your app. The enhanced SIM card protects your payment information. My smartphone is now even smarter with its tap and go contactless ability to pay. It is super easy to Pay with Isis and places like Toys 'R Us, Walgreens, McDonalds, vending machines and more! I have used mine at Walgreens and McDonalds. 

Besides the tap and go ability to pay, the Isis Wallet offers access to savings and deals including free smoothies from Jamba Juice, discounts at Verizon, as well as a $1 back for every tap using the American Express Serve card. I'm really excited to see more stores accept this form of payment especially some of my favorites like Target, Starbucks, Kohl's, Movie theatre, Walmart and Sonic. I love that we can get discounts and freebies with the app and can't wait to see stores jump in on this soon. 



I really think that this app would be great for teens, too! I have 3 teens and I can see how this app would be helpful for them to have when they go out shopping. You can add a set amount of money in the app and even set up a safe guard amount incase they spend over the amount in the wallet. As money is spent a current balance is given. I can see how this would be helpful for the teens to see how much they are spending and even saving with the app. As a parent I love that I can give them their allowance, money to pick up groceries or add gas to the car right on their phone. 

Is this something you would use with your teens? Does this app sound like something you would use with your smartphone? Check out Pay with Isis and download the app to see what all you can do with the wallet. In the mean time I'll be out using my wallet and collecting my $1 rewards from American Express Serve card and free smoothies at Jamba Juice. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Walgreens Deal while celebrating US Soccer at the World Cup #sponsored

This year there seems to be a lot of hype surrounding the World Cup Soccer in Brazil. Are you caught up in the hype? I get caught up looking at all the colors and patterns at soccer matches as well as the well trained athletes. I have friends who are participating in pools as to which team will win as well as setting the DVR so that they do not miss any of the games. I'm 100% for our US World Cup Team and love watching them play. All my girls were soccer players and I always loved watching them play, too. Are you cheering for Team US? Are you a Super Fan for the US World Cup Team? This post is sponsored by Global Influence and my own personal opinions are expressed here. 

Walgreens Balance Rewards

I'm excited to share a super fan deal with you this summer involving Degree Men and Walgreens! They are celebrating and cheering on the US Soccer Team. Did you know that Degree with MOTIONSENSE is the Official Deodorant of the US Soccer Team? The new and improved Degree MOTIONSENSE is the only antiperspirant that releases extra protection when you move it for up to 48 hours! Amazing and I can't wait to pick up some of this for my family. 

US Soccer Team

Because of this, Degree wants to reward fans who do more, move more and cheer more this summer! Head in to Walgreens 6/29-7/5 and get your 1,000 Balance Rewards points when you buy 2 Degree Men Deodorant products! Nice deal, right?

I hope you have an active summer planned and keep cheering for our US Soccer Team at the World Cup. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Enter to Win a Trip to NYC from Dove and Family Dollar #FDBeautyis #sponsored

Who inspires you to be a better woman? I have had a lot of role models in my life so this question wasn't easy for me to answer. Just as I wanted to share this post about how to win a trip to New York City I encountered a young teen who truly inspires me to be the best woman and mom that I can be! This person is my youngest teen, Emily. This is a sponsored post through Global Influence but my own opinions are expressed here. 

New York City

This spring I took on a challenge to run one mile a day for 40 days. I've been living a healthier lifestyle for 2 years now which includes going to the gym 3-4 times a week. Since February, Emily has been going to the gym with me. She is very enthusiastic and loves working out. She inspires me to go and be the best that I can be even on days when I do not feel like going. 

To top off her inspiration, I was at the gym on Day 26th of my run streak running on the treadmill. I accidentally wore the wrong workout pants which were way too big for me. For 1/4 of a mile I had to concentrate on running the treadmill while holding and pulling up my pants. It wasn't pretty and I was so irritated that I got off the treadmill. When I found my daughter she said she could help. She ran out to the car to find something to fix my pants. She came back in with a chip clip! The 15 year old teen did some fancy work at the back of my pants and I was able to finish my day 26 run streak. I got back on that treadmill and finished my mile for Emily. She truly inspires me and believes in my goals so much that she removed a barrier! I'm sure the pants were not very pretty in the back or fashionable but they made me feel beautiful! Thank you Emily. 
Healthier Lifestyle tips
Chip Clip Fix and teen doing pulls ups! 

How does this tie in with a trip to New York City? Dove and Family Dollar want to know how you value real beauty. You can enter to win a trip to NYC by snapping a photo or a video of yourself with an inspiring woman in your family. Share this with the hashtag #FDBeautyIs in your caption on Twitter and/or Instagram. It is that easy to enter this contest.

Family Dollar and Dove want you to show off your real beauty! 


Entering is easy, here’s how:

Step 1: Snap a picture of you and an inspiring family member

Step 2: Upload that picture to Twitter or Instagram


Step 4: Post your picture URL for an extra entry each day




Instant DEAL for everyone!

Then go in-store to save $2 instantly when you buy any 2 participating Dove items at Family Dollar. Offer available from 5/29–6/26.

Monday, June 16, 2014

I'm a Discover Boating Ambassador #DiscoverBoating #MC #Sponsored

Beautiful weather is here and for many that means getting out on the boat. Can you relate? Do you spend some of your summer out on the water? I'm excited to share with you summer boating ideas with my involvement as a Discover Boating Ambassador. I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Discover Boating. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.



summer on the water

As soon as the weather warms up friends are posting all over Facebook of their time spent on their boats. I love looking at their photos and reading their stories. Boating almost always means fishing for food and pure family time enjoyment. We do not own a boat but I'm always fascinated with boating. I do prefer ocean water over lake water but that is difficult because we do not live by an ocean.  My husband has brought up the subject of owning a boat several times.  I clicked over to the Discover Boating Boat Selector Tool to see what boating options are available and could not believe all the choices! There are over 20 choices depending on what you are wanting to do.

If you own a boat I'd love for you to let me know in the comments below. Feel free to share a memory with me. Grab some tissue and check out, Good Run, which is a touching story of a man and his boating memories. 



If you don't have a boat you can check out Testing the Waters on the Discover Boating website where you will find out how you can test various boats before buying. I actually love this option and have already shared it with my husband. I would love for him to do this instead of justing going out and buying a boat without really knowing which one he wants. 
summer water ideas
Favorite canoe trip - hubby and friend out on the water and their canoe tipped
in the sluggish water. 
How do you hope to spend your summer on water? Every summer we get invited on canoe and boating trips by our friends. We have a beautiful lake near by and friends go for fishing and for pure pleasure. Our church has a lot of boat owners and once a year we host a huge event where all the boaters go out together. It is a day full of fun, food and sun! I love looking at all of the photos everyone takes, too. Do you take photos when you go out boating? Discover Boating is hosting a Facebook Contest and they want you to submit your best Independence Day boating photos for their contest. It runs mid-June through early July. 

Besides the links provided, you can also follow and learn more about Discover Boating on social media. Check them out on their websiteTwitterFacebookPinterest, and now on Instagram

Family Time in the Outdoor Oasis and Giveaway #Pier1OutdoorParty #Sponsored #MC

Do you have a fun outdoor space to hang out with family and friends? Is it inviting and comfortable? How often do you sit out and enjoy it? We have a great outdoor extension to our home but it was in need of a little TLC. My teen daughter and I went shopping at Pier 1 Imports and gave our outdoor porch some new life. I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Pier 1 Imports. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Outdoor Oasis

Our space was green and boring. We have good furniture but lacked fashionable decor. On our trip we decided to create an outdoor oasis which would be great to host brunches, an up and coming bridal party, Father's day celebrations and even an after school party. Since our current color was green we decided to add blue and orange and yellow to the color pallet. Emily and I picked out coastal colors and products to fit our theme. We found beautiful lanterns, pillows, candles, and a fun coastal blue outdoor rug which tied the entire porch together. 


Our shopping trip was successful! Our porch is now beautiful, comfortable and everyone loves hanging out together. Ever since the decor was added there seems to be someone on the porch all the time.
Outdoor Oasis Recipes coming this week on the blog. Check back to get our new outdoor summer favorites!

For our outdoor oasis family party Pier 1 also had this large, 2 gallon Mason Jar serving drink container and individual mason jar glasses to be personalized with chalk for the guest. We made a fruity lemonade which went with the decor of the porch. Everyone enjoyed the fruity drink while waiting for the food to be served.

We made fun summer foods for our gathering. It was a perfect day for easy summer recipes.  The food included BBQ Ribs, Bacon Potato Salad, fresh veggies, fruit salad, Zippy Coleslaw and German Chocolate Cake. We also served wine. It was a great afternoon of family time. It isn't always easy to get everyone together for a meal so this party was a lot of fun. 

I have to say that our favorite product is the outdoor rug because it pulls the entire area together. Besides that we love the Mason jar serving container and individual jars. These products will be enjoyed for years! While shopping, my daughter and I created a few wish list items to add to our new outdoor oasis. We are saving up money for them.

When was the last time you shopped at Pier 1? Are you having your own outdoor oasis party this summer? I hope you consider shopping at Pier 1 and check out their Imports Outdoor Collection. You'll be instantly inspired! Stop on over at the Pier 1 Imports website and see what is in their collection. 



We want to help you plan your own outdoor oasis party by giving you a chance to win a $25 Pier 1 Imports gift card. This gift card will get you started on planning your own party. 

Enter in the rafflecopter form and on my Facebook. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 14, 2014

{Get Social} Weekend Social Media Link Party

Are you ready to get a little social with us this weekend? We decided to change it up a bit this weekend because this is more than a link up and run event. We want to know a little bit about you and want you to take the time to follow back the host, cohost and others who have linked up. This weekend social is only as successful as you make it!

Welcome to another week of the Weekend Social, we're gonna change it up a bit. Thanks again for my lovely co-host ladies, you gals rock! Link up & meet new friends :)

pix 

Don't forget to follow our hosts & co-hosts for their answers :)

Untitled-3
Simply copy these questions to your blog, answer them & snag the button at the bottom. ?Then drop your link to your blog post in the linkup :)

This week's questions: 3 Things...

3 things you love about summer time
3 things you have in your purse currently
3 things you don't leave the house without
3 things you look forward to this summer

Here are my answers

3 THINGS YOU LOVE ABOUT SUMMERTIME: Relaxed pace, Busy doing outdoor things and outdoor grilling.

3 THINGS YOU HAVE IN YOUR PURSE CURRENTLY: Hand sanitizer, toothpicks and hair ties

3 THINGS YOU DON'T LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT: Water bottle, protein snack, cellphone

3 THINGS YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SUMMER: Planning daughters wedding Labor Day weekend, Planning Bridal Shower next month and exercising outdoors more.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Celebrating Father's Day with Wine and Giveaway #sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for The Calling Wines. I received a product sample and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

My girls have the best dad ever. We always do something special for him on Father's Day which traditionally involves food. He loves to eat anything I cook so this year we are staying in and eating ribs and all the sides! To top off this delish comfort food meal we'll also be serving him a bottle of The Calling Pinot Noir wine. We are excited to have this wine for him which makes for a great Father's Day gift to give and or to receive. What are you doing for dad on Father's Day? Any special traditions? Dishes? Gifts? I'd love to know in the comments below. 

The Calling Wine


Perfect for Father's Day, I'm sharing with you the partnership between sports commentator Jim Nantz and wine industry entrepreneur Peter Deutsch. Both had wonderful father's who taught them many life and business lessons along the way. Jim co-authored a book on the struggles of Alzheimers with his father which Peter read before meeting Jim in person. Jim and Peter met by accident one night while dinning with friends in Greenwich, Connecticut. This was the beginning of their partnership where they have created and built up the ever successful brand, The Calling. The Calling is all about pursuing a passion, inspiring others, and making a great wine. 

Fathers Days Ideas

I challenge you to take a few minutes and check out the wonderful site, The Calling. You can find out more about the two business men and the wines they have created. We'll be toasting Father's Day with The Calling Pinot Noir which is made with grapes sourced from Dutton Ranch Vineyard. 

Alzheimers


Enter to win a signed copy of Jim Nantz's book, Always By My Side. 

Easy Entry - Leave a comment and tell me something special about your dad or a fun Father's Day tradition.

Giveaway ends Sunday, June 19th. 
Rules: Make sure you leave a contact email addy. Entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstakes as part of a campaign sponsored by Dad Central Consulting.




Monday, June 9, 2014

Easy Summer Recipes for those who are Lactose Intolerant #mc #BeyondLI #sponsored

Do you have anyone in your family who experiences discomfort after eating dairy foods? In my family, I'm the one who struggles with this gastric discomfort because I'm lactose intolerance. This type of sensitivity to dairy doesn't have to limit dairy because the LACTAID® Brand has a milk option that is real dairy. This allows me to incorporate the needed dairy into my diet without the discomfort. If you have someone who is lactose sensitive or intolerant, what do you use to provide with them the required dairy in their daily diet? I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for National Dairy Council and the LACTAID®Brand. I received product coupons from the LACTAID® Brand to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
summer dairy recipes
Summer Dairy Recipes

Did you know that there are between 30-50 million Americans believe to be lactose intolerant. Many of them, including myself have learned to cut out dairy from their diet to avoid the unwanted gastric symptoms. This avoidance isn't necessary.  According to the National Dairy Council our diet would be missing key nutrients without dairy. Did you know that milk provides 9 essential nutrients including protein, calcium as well as vitamins A & D? These nutrients are key for strong bones, muscle contraction, healthy nervous system as well as aid in the building and repair of muscle tissue. 

Since being a young adult I was thrilled to know of the LACTAID® Brand products to give me the needed nutrients without the gastric symptoms. Some of their products include pills, milk, cottage cheese and ice cream. These products provide the same nutrients with the added natural enzyme lactase which can help diary digestion and prevent the unwanted gastric symptoms. 
Lactaid Milk

I personally love the LACTAID® Calcium Enriched Fat Free Milk because it provides me with protein, vitamins A & D and even more calcium to make sure my body is getting the required daily needs met. I consider this a very important part of my healthier lifestyle especially with my exercise schedule. I use this milk in my after gym protein shakes or anywhere milk is needed in a recipe. The LACTAID® website also has tasty recipes which would be great for summer such as Berry Custard Brûlée, Lemon Ginger Pudding and Fresh Mango Frappe
Lactose Free Recipes

Lactose free recipe
Click on photo to see a larger recipe for Smore Cheesecake 

Enter below for a chance to win 2 free LACTAID® product coupons.

To enter: Leave a comment below and let me know if you have family members who are lactose intolerant. Are they already familiar and use the LACTAID® products? If so, what are the favorites? Do you use the products with recipes? On the other side of these questions I'd also love to know if you don't use these products and if you want to try them for yourself or a loved one. If so, which one. 

Easy giveaway will end June 12th.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Weekend Social Media Link Up! Join the fun

Welcome to our weekly weekend social! We would love for you to link up your social media channels with us and follow all the host/cohost. Follow others, too! This is a great way to meet new bloggers, grow your social media channels and help others grow, too!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day {June 4}

Happy National Running Day to all the runners out there! I'm a runner and love it. I do not think running is the sport for everyone but I do think that if you want to run you can. I say that everyone can run and I believe it because I have lived it. Two years ago I started on a healthier lifestyle journey where I could not even walk 2 times around our gym track without stopping, sitting and out of breath (18 times around is 1 mile). Now I run and can't believe there was a time when I couldn't even walk 2 laps. So yes over time anyone can run if they want to. Keep in touch with me and join my FREE Fitness Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/MakeTime4HealthierLifestyle/

My first race

So being National Running Day I wanted to let you all know that I joined a Summer Running Challenge that began Memorial Day and RUNS through 4th of July. This is a 40 day challenge to run 1 mile a day for 40 Days. Never have I ran more than 1 day in a row or even 7 miles in a week. As I write this post I'm on day 8 so 8 miles of running in 8 days! It is all very exciting for me because I really want to be a runner and have been preparing to run for 2 years at the gym. I already do cardio and strength training so my body has been ready to run. How about you? Do you run?

*You can follow my 40 Day Summer Running Challenge on Instagram and also by using the hashtag #RWRunStreak*


If you know where to buy this shirt please let me know!

I have found that I respond to exercise challenges. How about you? If you need a challenge do something for 40 days in a row! You will either love it more and develop a strong habit or you will find that you totally hate it and move on to something else.

If you are interested in running and/or exercising here are tips, advice, healthy eating tips and more for you to explore. IF you want to get inspired, follow my blog for more ideas. If you want easy access to me and others who are trying to keep motivated to exercise, join my MakeTime group on Facebook.


Top 10 Exercise Funnies
It is Easy to Get Fit At Home
Best Exercise Equipment to Workout at Home
Tips on How to Choose the Right Exercise Shoes
Tips to Exercise in Comfort and Style

Exercise Challenge
Get Fit with Heart Rate Monitors
Top 5 Zumba Products to Get You Fit
Tips and Ideas to Get the Family Fit!
Tips for Working Out While Pregnant

Tips to Fall in Love with Running
Nutrition and Exercise Tips
30 Day Plank Challenge

NEED help getting started running or want an accountability partner? Connect with me below:

  1. Joining this ab challenge which includes 4 different exercises to do daily.  Anyone can do it. It also involves squats which work your leg muscles. (more on that at a later post) Follow the Make Time for Abs challenge group to get inspired and have accountability partners.
  2. Clean up your every day eating so that when it comes time to go to parties you can enjoy the company, holiday spirit and food without gaining the average weight gain. Follow the Make Time for Clean Eating challenge group to learn more.
  3. Learn about overall health and nutrition and join our FREE Fitness GroupMake Time for Healthier Lifestyle.
Do yourself a favor and do this today! Why not be above average and ahead of the weight loss group at the office by starting to get healthy now instead of January 1st. Either way you can find me here and at all of the above groups to help inspire and motivate you daily.

My first 5K Run was a Zombie Run! Challenge yourself to a 5K even if you just walk the run! Get a group together or have a partner to do it with you. Commit to at least one to see if you like it and what you need to do to improve! 

As promised, here are some of our healthier recipes. Enjoy! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Festive 4th of July Party Cupcakes and Toppers

Cupcakes are the perfect on-the-go treat for picnics and parties! I love them because they are no fuss on serving. Everyone can take one whenever they want and no cutting a cake. These patriotic cupcakes are fun for the up and coming 4th of July picnics! The cool thing about these toppers is that you can change out the ribbon and use this easy topper for any occasion.



For these particular cupcakes I did use the Bowdabra to help me create this bow. If you have ever used a Bowdabra or a Mini Bowdabra then you will know how easy it is to make the perfect bow. 

Instructions on the toppers which I used the Mini Bowdabra

1- Cut 18″ of Bowdabra Bow Wire and fold the wire in half.  Place the wire into the Mini Bowdabra. Add a 5 inch piece of ribbon into the Mini Bowdabra. Then with the navy blue ribbon I will be making an actual bow. Place 1 inch into the Mini Bowdabra 


2- Fold the ribbon at the 1″ mark to make your first loop. 


3- Fold the ribbon back over at the 1" mark to make the second loop. 

4- Then add in other matching ribbon pieces as you wish.  (see below). Scrunch down the ribbon with the Mini Bowdabra Wand. Thread the two tail ends of the wire through the loop. Pull the wire tightly.  Remove the bow from the Mini Bowdabra and knot the back. Tie the bow onto the cake pop stick. You can trim off the extra wire or wrap it around the stick for more decoration. 


ANOTHER option is to fold over ribbon on a cake pop stick and staple the ribbon together close to the stick. Very easy! We also wrapped red, white and blue ribbon wire around the cake pop sticks and the cupcake liners. Easy and festive. 
You can buy the cupcakes and then make the decorations. I prefer to make my own cupcakes and have the Best Ever Cupcake Recipe for you to try and well as our own Best Ever Butter Cream Frosting Recipe. Click over and check them out. 




Easy cupcake decorating tip. Add your frosting in a ziplock bad. Snip off a small corner and give it a whirl around the cooled off cupcake. Top off with sprinkles.

Find more 4th of July recipes here!!
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