Thursday, October 31, 2013

G.H. Cretors–My New Favorite Snack & Giveaway #sp

I like food. Who doesn’t. I just don’t have any vices in regards to food. I don’t have to have one certain food in the house all of the time and I don’t get cravings for a specific item. And I’m only talking food. Milk is my one weakness so it doesn’t count.

So I approached GH Cretors to see if my boys could try out their popcorn. I’m just not a popcorn kind of person. My boys love it. In fact, Doodle loves it so much, one time he ate so much he puked. True story. I’m ok with the stuff and if I have it, I prefer the caramel kind.
Well, as any good blogger knows, to give an accurate opinion on a product you’re reviewing, you need to sample it. Ugh, why do I take this blogging stuff so seriously? So, I tried it.
I’m in trouble, folks!

You know how you get popped, flavored popcorn and it’s hard or has a somewhat stale taste? That is not even CLOSE to this popcorn! Let me warn you, you try this popcorn, and you may finish the entire bag in one sitting.
Of course, I started with the Just the Caramel Corn. The boys opened the Chicago Mix and Just the Cheese Corn. My first bite was heaven. I knew right then, all will power had just left the building. As a WAHM, who needs bonbons when you can have Just the Caramel Corn? I knew I needed to try the other flavors, but I wasn’t very willing to pass around the caramel corn. Begrudgingly I did.

I was actually surprised that I liked the Just the Cheese Corn. I’m not a fan under any circumstance of cheese flavored popcorn, but this one made me a believer. I think the biggest thing that made a difference was that it didn’t taste powdery? Like someone hadn’t just shook some powder over it. This tasted like real cheese combined with popcorn.
And then it was the best of both worlds with the Chicago Mix! Who’d have thought to bring them both together in one bag, but YUM!
Ok, so there are all of the yummy descriptions and pictures, but there are other healthy features to GH Cretors that are important to share:

  1. They’re All Natural
  2. No Gluten or GMOs
  3. They’re Kosher
And get this, in 1885 Great Grandpa Cretors created the popcorn machine! He created it, so you’d imagine they’ve perfected it and to me, it makes sense as to why their popcorn is so amazing!
Thankfully I found out they’re at Harris Teeters in my area so I can get my GH Cretors fix any time I need.
Now’s your chance to give your taste buds an absolute treat. I’m doing a giveaway and don’t say I didn’t warn you. You’ll never want to buy a different popcorn again!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Civil War Reenactment

Please be sure to visit Full Time Mama!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Saute Dinner With Friends #SauteExpress #shop #cbias

SoFab Disclosure for Land O'Lakes
One of the things that have been important to me and to Fred is growing our relationships with people from church. One of the ways we’re trying to do that is with some delicious dinner ideas. We want to keep them coming back, right? =)

He and I talked about who we have growing relationships with and would love to get to know better. Since I’m new to the area, I have a very tiny pool of people to choose from. We made a list of about 8 couples.
Saute Express at Walmart #shop
I made a long list of grocery items and I was going to need and I started searching on Pinterest for some tablescape and decorating ideas. I left all of my seasonal decorations back in Minnesota so I was starting over until I can get my stuff here. I headed to Walmart to start off getting things to make the table look fall-ish. Not only that, I needed a couple of serving dishes because neither of us had any. Look, we’re already starting to get things for a future home…awwww

There was a lot too choose from and it certainly wasn’t easy. I had to do all of the choosing myself and thankfully, Fred and I seem to have the same taste, but I’ll admit, he’s fun to shop with.
Saute Express Quick Dinner #shop
Next I went shopping for all of the groceries we were going to need. I wanted to wait until close to the party. I love fresh everything when possible, especially my veggies and meats.

As we got closer to the party, we’d only heard back from two couples. errrr Not good news. I’m determined to have a blow out one day. hahahaha Our party was on Sunday night and had hoped to hear from everyone else before the day showed up.
Saute Express Dinner #shop
Well, we got to church and one gal apologized because she just isn’t an email person and hadn’t seen our email until that morning before church. The night before Fred had heard from our friend, Steve and he’d been in an bicycling accident and wasn’t going to be able to come. After church, Fred heard from another friend who’s wife ended up sick and they were one of the couples we’d heard from who had been able to come originally. That left us with only one other couple coming. Yea, I was a sad panda, but thankful for our friends who were able to come.
Garlic & Herb Saute Express Chicken #shop

Lemon Pepper Tilapia #shop
I headed over to Fred’s so we could start getting our dinner ready. We were going to have:

Potato Slices

I had bought Land O’Lakes Sauté Express® Sauté Starter in Garlic & Herb for the chicken, broccoli, and potato slices. Fred was going to use the Lemon Pepper with his tilapia. When I got to his place, he already had his asparagus cut along with his potatoes sliced. This is a man who is good in the kitchen. This was going to be another “first” for us and that was cooking a meal together. It went really well! He’s so fun to be in the kitchen with!
Vegetables with Land O'Lakes Saute Express #shop
I got my chicken going and all I did was brown my chicken and add two cubes of Garlic & Herb Saute Express so it could saute. While that was going, Fred got the asparagus salt and peppered and melted some Garlic & Herb to pour over the potatoes. He just sliced the potatoes and baked them in the oven with the butter poured over them. He also chopped my broccoli so I could get that ready to steam as we got to the end of the dinner.

The best part was that this entire meal, to cook, took about half an hour. The chicken was the longest to cook and the rest was done in about 15 minutes. I’ll tell you, the last thing that was cooked was the steamed broccoli and added a cube of melted Garlic & Herb and honestly, they’re lucky that it made it to the table. I may have snuck a sample and it was scrumptious!
Dinner is served #SauteExpress #shop
So, I allowed it to go to the table and we were all able to try a bit of everything. We did forget to make garlic bread, but stuff happens, right? What was so nice was our dinner was on the table just a few minutes after our friends arrived. We timed it just perfectly and I’ll admit, that’s something new for me. Usually food comes out a bit at a time and somehow (my Fred) was able to make it all happen on time!

We sat down with Bob and Gail and had an amazing time of fellowship. We oooo’ed and awwwww’ed over the food. I even tried the tilapia. shhhh don’t tell Fred I’m not a big fan of fish. He cooked it perfectly and the Lemon Pepper Saute Express he used made it delicious!
Land O'Lakes Saute Express Dinner
Our dinner together was wonderful and we all enjoyed what landed on our plates. The broccoli was devoured and none of us had anything left on our plates when we were done eating! We even had to wait a while to have dessert because we were all so full.

It was nice because it gave us time to get to know each other so much better. Fred and I had been on the mission trip to Peru with Bob, but there wasn’t a heck of a lot of time to just sit back and chat. As we digested our delish dinner, we talked about everything under the sun.
#SauteExpress from Land O'Lakes #shop #cbias
We finally had dessert and then it was time for Bob & Gail to head out and we needed to clean up so I could head home to my boys. We’re really hoping to make these dinners more of a regular thing and by having these Sauté Express® Sauté Starter cubes in my fridge, I’ll always be prepared in case we want to do something last minute.

And for the record, I’ve bought two more boxes and picked up a box of Italian Herb to try. I think, though, that since there’s also a Teriyaki flavor out as well, our next meal with be with that one! lol

Be sure to visit my Google+ page to check out my shopping trip and more pics of Fred and I in the kitchen getting ready and our dinner. =)

Do you have dinner parties and if you do, what’s your favorite thing to make?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Parenting Tips For Tween Transitions At Halloween

Having a son who has recently gone through this transition of “do I trick-or-treat at my age?” I thought this article was rather timely. I do miss him dressing up, but understand that we all have milestones to cross. This is one of them.

Every Halloween, little princesses, pumpkins and pirates go door-to-door for the annual candy fest. It's a night for kids to be kids and a great time for family fun.

At some point, however, children reach an age when trick-or-treating can feel juvenile. Moms and dads, accustomed to the yearly ritual of costuming their miniature ghosts and goblins, need not be spooked.

Dr. Pam Vincent, a psychology professor at Ashford University, offers insights on understanding children's motivations and parenting tips for transitioning tweens to a more grown-up Halloween. According to Vincent, children usually begin resisting Halloween traditions, especially trick-or-treating, around age 12.

Although they aren't yet full-fledged teenagers, even middle-schoolers may experience what is known as ‘adolescent egocentrism,’ which is a heightened self-consciousness, leading them to assume that everyone else is as worried about their appearance and behaviors as they are.

“They often feel as though they are on an imaginary stage and that everyone thinks they may look silly in a costume or that they are (gasp!) hanging out with their parents and younger siblings,” said Dr. Vincent. “To go out in public – door-to-door – and invite people to look at them can be mortifying at this age.”
Halloween article

The fight for independence from their parents’ rules and routines is another reason tweens want to stop trick-or-treating. "While they still require parental supervision, they are also more self-aware and begin to realize they can make some of their own decisions," Dr. Vincent said. "They're ready to test their limits to see how far their parents will let them go." She offers these tips on what to do:

1.  Communicate - It’s essential to communicate with the child and acknowledge their reasons for not wanting to participate. If going door-to-door isn’t a big deal for the family unit, let it go and have the child help in handing out candy to others.

2.  Reward Good Behavior - If there are younger siblings who still want to trick-or-treat and parents aren't comfortable leaving the older child at home alone, or if there is an event that the whole family is expected to attend, parents should allow their tween as much independence as possible in choosing a costume and acknowledge their cooperation and participation.

3.  Other Options - There are plenty of ways older children and pre-teens can get into the Halloween spirit without going door-to-door. If none of their friends have a supervised party planned, families may wish to throw their own! Otherwise, age appropriate events are oftentimes sponsored by a local library, community center or church youth group.

4.  A Sweet Alternative - If all else fails, put tweens in charge of candy duty. Even if they don't want to open the door, perhaps they'll be willing to make sure the bowl is always fully stocked,
all the while doing a little taste testing for themselves.

Dr. Vincent notes that tweens are just beginning to form their identity, and it lacks the stability of an older teenager. Sure, they'll test their boundaries to see how far they can go, but it doesn't have to be a frightful experience for their parents.

About Ashford University
Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. The University offers practical and progressive associates, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor’s degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit
*This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Big Bugs

So, my brother mentioned he had in infestation of sprickets last year. He lives in Eastern Virginia. I had no clue what he was talking about even though he tried describing it. We came home a couple of weeks ago to see the weirdest looking bug. It had the legs of a spider and the body shape of a grasshopper/cricket. And it was BIG! Like daddy long leg big, but with a mutant body. I know this pic isn’t good, but it gives you an idea of what it is! And yes, it hops! Oh, and can you see the long antennae on it?
Then Fred was over the other week and found the largest praying mantis! It was climbing on his tire.
Praying Mantis
Be sure to visit Full Time Mama and her WW pic!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Family Day at King’s Dominion #KDPlanetSpooky #sp

King's Dominion Disclosure
Last weekend five of us headed down to Virginia to spend the day at King’s Dominion. Fred and Mboy were able to joined us, but Kgirl couldn’t go because she had a soccer game. We headed down a bit late in the morning, but that’s what happens when families try to go places, right?
Kings Dominion Haunt
Wonderful timing to get to King’s Dominion at noon because at the same time Keonté and her crew showed up! So fun to see them right off the bat! We also ended up meeting them at the gate as we all waited for our tickets. I had the boys…I just realized I was the only female in my brood…head in to the park while I got the rest of our tickets and information. Don’t forget parking is an extra cost of $15.
King's Dominion Boys
I had gone to King’s dominion probably 30 yrs prior so this was liking going here for the first time. I don’t even remember the first time I went. This was also the first time we’d gone to an amusement park together. I wasn’t sure what our experience was going to be like.
The guys started off with a couple of easy rides while Buddy and I hung out and watched them get their scary on! I’ll admit, I asked Fred to sit next to Doodle because they were going to go on the Berserker and it took them upside down. I asked Fred to make sure Doodle was safe. Yes, I’m that mom!
Planet Spooky
From there we headed to Planet Snoopy, happily being referred to as Planet Spooky. They have a pumpkin painting patch, petting zoo, foam pit, pedal tractors, a hay maze, live shows and more. I was really surprised at how fun this area was for all of us since the youngest one in the bunch is 10. I imagined that Planet Spooky would only be for toddlers and preschoolers. I was in my element.
Spooky Planet Snoopy
The boys went on the Woodstock Express and immediately wanted to go back on. Fred and I said fine as we sat in the air conditioned Sweet Frogs. I got hungry and we walked over to Chick-fil-A so I could have a sandwich. That bad boy was $6!
Planet Snoopy Collage
Then the boys and I went on the Linus Launcher. Mboy was the good child, (HA!) and said he’d go with me all the while my boys argued that they were going with Mboy! We agreed that it was a fun and comfortable ride. It was actually relaxing and could’ve put me to sleep, but in a good way. lol What I really appreciated about the rides in Planet Spooky was that we could all ride the rides. Ok, there were a couple where we obviously couldn’t ride, but Planet Spooky is meant for the entire family!
Flying Ace
Next the guys all went on the Flying Ace. It made me so happy to see the 4 of them having such a good time together. This ride was probably one of the longest waits we had all day. It was really surprising. And actually, this was a precursor to how the rest of the rides were going to go. Getting there earlier in the day probably would’ve been a better idea and we could’ve ridden more rides. By later in the afternoon, the park was packed! Of course, we were there on a Saturday!
Farm Time
While we were at Planet Spooky, the boys did various activities that allowed them to get some treats and have fun. I have to admit, it was hard getting Doodle out of a the foam pit. He could’ve stayed there all day and not batted an eye. While he was getting his foam on, the rest of us were steps away at the petting zoo. From there we all went through the Boo Blaster on Boo Hill and then headed back out to the parking lot to drop off the goodie bags and grab some grub.
Rides at King's Dominion
We headed back in to do some of the bigger rides. I wanted to get water rides out of the way before the sun went down so we’d have time to dry. That meant we hit the Shenandoah Lumber Company log ride. That again was another long ride and they only had one side open. Buddy doesn’t care for this ride so he just waited for us. While we were in line, they started removing some of the logs and replacing them so that made the wait even longer!

The boys hit the Flying Eagles. That was another extremely long line because you can’t get a lot of people on the ride at one time, but the boys really liked it! I knew we had to get to the Dinosaurs Alive area soon for the boys to do some Trick or Treating. We had done the Dinosaurs when we went to Minnesota Zoo’s Dinosaurs! exhibit a couple of years ago. It was so fun seeing the dinosaurs dressed up in costumes and for the boys to get candy at various points along the path!

Next Fred told me I was going on the Grizzly. I was a little nervous looking at the map because it shows it going straight up in the air. Oh man, it was a wooden roller coaster and I think I’m just not wooden roller coaster material. Doodle didn’t want to go so he just waited for us. The ride operator was absolutely hysterical and entertained all of the people who were in line the entire time. Seriously, this guy needs a raise!

Family at King's Dominion

After the ride was over Fred wanted us to race roller coasters so we went to the Rebel Yell. Unfortunately, only one side was operating so I told him to take Mboy to Volcano the Blast Coaster while we did that one. I knew those two really wanted to get on that ride. I told him after that my boys and I would do the Ricochet. Here we encountered a new problem. Fred had left and when he got to the ride, said it was a 2 hr wait and that his battery was dying. That was the last I heard from him. The boys and I did our roller coaster and then the Ricochet.

Now, I’ll admit, for the record, that I may have said a swear word as we went down the first hill. What I hated (thrill factor for most) was that there were no guards or barriers to give me the sense of safety that the other rides give. Earth to Mimi, it’s a thrill ride. Oh my gosh, will NOT be going back on that ride. If you like to feel like you’re going off the edge of your ride, this one is for you! hahaha

I took the boys up to the Go-Karts because they’d been asking to do them and was bummed to find out there was a charge to go on. The website does state that there’s an extra charge, but not how much. We decided that we’d head over to Volcano.
Log Ride
Well, by this point it’s night time, dark out, and it’s time for the Haunt to happen. People are dressed in costume scaring the nonsense out of passersby. I was so glad I noticed the little person dressed up to look like an evil clown hiding behind the trash can. If I hadn’t I would’ve screamed and that’s what they’re looking for. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected, but was highly amusing sometimes!

We got to Volcano and I sent the boys in to one of the restaurants to eat. We were probably there for half an hour when I finally saw Fred and Mboy emerge from Volcano. Neither looked happy. Right as they had gotten to the front of the line, the ride shut down and they just weren’t going to wait any more. I was so disappointed for them. We went over to eat with the boys. I think by the end of the day people that work at the park are tired and ready to go home because the one we ate at was a mess. Trash cans were filled to overflowing, the condiments were empty or sloppy. We went to get a refill on one of our pops at a kiosk and the guy at the register didn’t seem like he wanted to help anyone. He just sat against the wall looking at the customer ahead of us. She finally asked him for help and he leaned in her direction to see what she wanted. When she turned around her face said that what I thought was happening was definitely happening, just really bad service.
Since Mboy didn’t get to ride Volcano, he and Fred went over to do the Backlot Stunt Coaster. That ride went rather smoothly. From there they wanted to do a haunted house. Another crazy long line, but they were getting people through it. There were just a ton of people going through. Last my boys wanted to go back on the Flying Eagle one more time and from there we headed home. We had been there for almost 12 hours in the blazing heat and boy were we tired!
Halloween Haunt
Altogether it was a really good day. I had a little bit of a melt down when I thought we were going to be late to experience Dinosaurs Alive, but Fred did his best to keep me calm! He is my rock here on Earth! The amount of time it took to ride the rides was waaaay too long and didn’t give us enough time to do as many as we had hoped. Would we go back again? In a heartbeat. There are still a lot of rides I want to go on and take in. I’d probably try to go on a school day and go earlier than we went this time. I’d also have a plan in place for where to meet if phone batteries die or we get separated. Suggestion to the park, have a place where parents can go to recharge their cell phones. lol In this technical day and age, it would be awesome. Plus, we like our air conditioned buildings!

We had an amazing time at King’s Dominion and I can’t wait to go back!

*We were provided tickets to King’s Dominion. Opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Living With Hearing Loss & #HearTheWorld Twitter Party

I’m going to be joining and Hear the World for a Twitter party next week, but I wanted to share how our family has experience hearing loss in a child. This is a sponsored post.

When my youngest son was born, everything seemed fine. He had a slight tongue tie, but he had no issues with nursing. It turned out he had a few other issues that showed themselves over the years. I have four kids and the other three never needed any surgeries, he’s had 3, and thankfully, none were serious.
Spring forward to Doodle being 8 years old. I got a phone call from the school nurse. The wonderful thing about our small school district is being on a first name basis with just about everyone. She wanted to let me know Doodle had failed his hearing exam.

I. Was. Shocked.

It’s such a strange thing to learn your child has a “disability”. We took him to our clinic and we were SO amazingly blessed with Dr. Wendy. One of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She ran all of the tests on Doodle and he had enough hearing loss in his left ear to warrant a hearing aid. He also has hearing loss in his right ear, but not enough to warrant a hearing aid.

She did tell me that he didn’t HAVE to have a hearing aid, but believed it would help him significantly. Well, I’m of the opinion that if something will help my child succeed in school, we’re doing it. Doodle was given the option of design for the part of the hearing aid that went behind his ear. He decided on a clear colored hearing aid. I wanted him to feel like he had some control over what was going on and picking his hearing aid was an easy option.

I have to admit, when I found out he had hearing loss, I wondered what I had done. Was it having the radio too loud a couple of times? Was the tv too loud? Maybe my yelling and my other kids were immune to it? Ok, just kidding on that last one. But for real, I did ask Dr. Wendy if it had been something I actually caused. She reassured me that I hadn’t done anything to cause it, but didn’t have an answer as to why he had the hearing loss.

If he had any hearing loss at birth, I have no clue. He never showed any signs of not being able to hear, at least as a baby/toddler. I could look back to his early elementary school years and remember signs of having to repeat myself or yell louder. I just figured he was being a kid. Thankfully, he did well in school before he failed his hearing test. Not every kid does so well.

One of the most important things for me and my family is to never have treated Doodle any different. Yes, sometimes we have to repeat ourselves if he’s not wearing his hearing aid, and I have to remind people that he does have hearing loss, but he’s still just his Doodley self. He does amazing at school and has quite the little personality. Honestly I wouldn’t want him any other way.

Did you know…

Children with untreated hearing impairment don’t perceive auditory stimuli to a sufficient extent or fail to respond to them at all. This will severely delay their language acquisition and may even prevent them from ever learning to speak. Deficiencies at this stage of development are extremely difficult to overcome later on. Children affected by this often experience problems with interpersonal communication and feel socially isolated.

How can parents tell if their child might have hearing loss?

  • If a child responds unusually slowly to acoustic stimuli or fails to react at all – when being spoken to from outside his or her field of vision, for example – or does not seem frightened by sudden loud noises such as a door slamming, this could be an early sign of hearing loss.
  • If they notice that their child is learning to speak at a much slower rate than other children of the same age or stops uttering any sounds.
  • Monotonous babbling or when a young child produces a more limited variety of sounds than his or her peer.
What can be done to help children with hearing loss?

If parents suspect that their child has a hearing impairment, they should consult a pediatrician, an Ear-Nose &Throat specialist or a pediatric audiologist immediately. Hearing loss can be treated in various ways depending on the type and severity of the impairment.

#HearTheWorld Twitter Party Details

What: Did you know that every year, approximately 665,000 babies around the world are born with significant hearing loss? A child’s ability to hear and speak is vital for emotional and social development. It is crucial to detect and manage hearing loss as early as possible!

We're teaming up with Hear the World Foundation to spread awareness of how to detect, treat and prevent hearing loss in young children. Join this Twitter party to learn about protecting children's hearing and ask questions of expert audiologist Christine Jones, Au.D., CCC-A, Director of Pediatric Clinical Research at Phonak as she answers your questions from @Hear_The_World.

When: Tuesday, October 22nd at 12pm ET
Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #HearTheWorld hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Twtvite:
Hashtag: #HearTheWorld
Prizes: Five $25 Amazon gift cards will be given away to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. (U.S. winners only.)
Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TheMotherhood25, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann, @Hear_The_World

My fellow co-hosts:
Andrea, Mommy PR - @mommypr
Anne-Marie, This Mama Cooks! - @amnichols
Felicia, Go Graham Go - @gograhamgo
Gina, Kleinworth & Co. - @FireFam5
Mariah, Formula: Mom - @formulamom
Mimi, Woven by Words - @MimiBakerMN
Shell, Not Quite Susie Homemaker - @NotQuiteSusie
TerriAnn, Cookies & Clogs - @cookiesANDclogs

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Three Boys

Ok, so I’m a bit lame because I totally wasn’t prepared for Wordless Wednesday so I’m sharing another photo from our weekend last week at King’s Dominion. I wanted to be sure to have a picture of what the boys were wearing in case we got separated.


Be sure to link up with Full Time Mama as well!

Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods Review & Giveaway

Do you wonder if the next toy you get your kid will be the one time when they say, “why would you get me this?” I knew Doodle would be ok if we reviewed the new Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods. What I hadn’t anticipated was Buddy’s response.
They came home from school a week or so ago and I casually mentioned that we had gotten the game from Hasbro. Holy cow, I thought Buddy was going to knock us out of the way to get to the game. The first time I’d heard of Telepods was when I saw the offer to review them, but evidently my boys have known about them and wanted them.
The Angry Birds craze has been around my house since they first gained popularity and I don’t see it waning any time soon. It took a little while for us to get it to work. Telepods don’t work on all devices and we found that out quickly.
Buddy tried it on his Nexus 7, then my Galaxy, and then we went to Doodle’s iPod. We knew it would work on that for sure. It was actually the first game I’ve ever agreed to purchase from the app store. We had issues purchasing the game, and the support I received from Apple was fantastic. We ended up downloading the game onto my Motorola Razr and off they went.
Angry Birds Telepod
What I actually like about the game is that not only does the game work on my phone, but it also comes with a small version physical game. While one of the boys was playing the phone, the other was playing with the game pieces themselves.
So, how does this work? You open the app on your device and with your Angry Bird Telepod on the base and you put it over your device’s camera. Be sure that it’s facing the correct way so that the Telepod can be read. You’ll see your Angry Bird Telepod transport into the game and you can start playing with that piece.
You can do other things along the way like scanning in multiple figures and scan different versions of the same character. One can be a Jedi and one can be a pilot. You can also check out the stats of your bird or pig! It’s really interactive!

When we went to King’s Dominion a couple of weekend ago, Doodle took the Telepods with us to play as we headed down. So nice he thought of that since the drive was almost two hours! So, they’re definitely easy to take around with you.

Now you have the chance to score the same game my boys are having a blast with!
*I received the product for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Learning to Pay Bills With MasterCard #BillPay #MC

SoFab Disclosure Image for #MC
I haven’t paid bills on my own since I was in my late 20s. I have been given the opportunity to try out using my MasterCard with their Bill Pay option. The reason I need to try this out is several fold. First, I know that with the Bill Pay site, I can create a list of bills I pay with my MasterCard and get emails to notify me of payments due. Second, ease of paying my bills since I don’t have a checking account here yet. Third, I stink at using my register in my check book. I haven’t used mine for about 4 yrs.
Paying Bills With Mastercard #MC
So, let’s go back in time a bit. When I married my ex-husband 15 yrs ago, I became a stay at home mom again. He brought in the money and he paid the bills. We tried setting up a way for us to pay them together, but he wasn’t a patient person and it never went very well. He also paid his work bills since he was self-employed along with our personal ones, and honestly, it was all overwhelming to me. He dealt with them all of the time and only brought me in sporadically to help.
MasterCard Bill Pay #MC
Spring forward 8 years and we separated. Thankfully, the one thing my ex did right was to take responsibility for our split and continued to pay all of the bills. I went back to work, but only part time. It was still important for both my ex and I that I continue to be a SAHM as much as possible. I only worked while the boys were in school.
Paying Paper Bills With MasterCard #MC
I didn’t make a heck of a lot of money, but my paycheck went to: gas, groceries and our tithe for the most part. I didn’t have bills to pay, just every day living expenses. When we moved to Virginia, we lived with my parents so again, I didn’t have bills to pay.
Tithing Online #MC
Now, when the time came to make a decision to move to Maryland, I really freaked out. I had to go from living a comfy, good life at my mom’s to giving up over 3/4 of my paycheck to bills. I had to pay rent, which by itself is over half of my paycheck. I’m now paying sewer, electric, cell, and a combined internet/tv/home phone bill along with groceries, gas and tithe. I am completely out of my element. I’m actually scared to death that I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Only time will tell.
My Authorized Bill Pay #MC
This is where the MasterCard Bill Pay is going to come in extremely handy. The other day, as Fred and I were hanging out, he realized that we can pay our tithes online for our church! Doing that payment went lickety split.

From there the other two bills that needed to paid online were my electric bill and FiOS bill. I went to the BGE website so that I could register my MasterCard and guess what I came across? It shows you can use a debit or credit card!
BGE Bill Pay #MC
But once you click to add a payment, ugh, only the option is using a checking or savings account. How is that right when the homepage shows MasterCard as one of my chioces? Blah, very disappointing. I’ll have to call them Monday to see when that option will be available.
Checking Account Payment #MC
Next I headed to the FiOS site and that was really fast and easy to sign up for. lol Only problem I had with making my payment? I don’t have a current bill. I’ve only received one bill so far and because I paid it two weeks ago, I still have a couple of weeks before my next bill will be ready to go. Thankfully I was able to register for the Bill Pay option so we’ll see how that goes when my next bill is ready.
Enrolling with my MasterCard #MC
The other part I’m happy to be using my MasterCard for this month to pay my bills is the MasterCard Bill Pay Sweepstakes! By paying your bills with your MasterCard August 1-October 31, 2013 you’re automatically entered to win $60,000!

I don’t know about you, but I already know know I’d do with that money. I hadn’t mentioned it to Fred yet, but I have an idea of what we could do instead of moving to MN in 7 yrs after Doodle has graduated…get a 2nd home, or more to the point, a cabin. This way, we have a place to spend our summers, and I’ll be close to my daughters and my dear Minnesota friends. He knows how much I’ve been struggling being away from home and having a cabin when you live in Minnesota is a way of life. When my girls start having families, I can go be grandma to them for a few months and deepen those bonds like good Minnesotans do.
Litchfield Home #MC
If you want a chance at winning the $60,000 be sure to click over to the MasterCard Bill Pay Site using the links above and sign up! I know that once my next two bills are ready to be paid in the next couple of weeks, well, at least my FiOS bill, I’ll be paying online. Hopefully I can do the same with my BGE bill by then, too! You can see the other houses/cabins I looked at in my Google + album!

What would you do if you won $60,000

Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.