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    August PopSugar Must Have Box Turns 5 + Special Code

    August 16th, 2017

    I am a sucker for subscription boxes. Are you? I love the mystery as well as the need for discovering new products.

    I received this box for free so I will be sharing my thoughts on the contents, thanks to PopSugar. Some affiliate links may be present that help this blog stay up and running.

    August PopSugar Must Have Box Turns 5

    If a subscription has been going for this long it could only mean one thing. It means that it is doing so well and it is so popular that people love the contents. I have been able to receive two previous boxes and I have to say that this current August box is one of my favorites. While I enjoy posting about food, I do love everything that has to do with jewelry, stationery, makeup and more. I just do not feel like I am an expert at those subjects.

    This August box marks Lisa Sugar’s 5th year in curating her and her team of editors favorite items for subscribers, readers and more! This month’s box features surprises from some of Lisa’s favorite brand obsessions to celebrate POPSUGAR Must Have’s birthday! Want to check out the contents?

    must have box

    August PopSugar Must Have Items

    First Aid Beauty – 5 in 1 Bounty Mask that is ideal for firming and making skin brighter. I am not much for adding creams to my skin, but I am sure this will be a popular product amongst women.

    Pastel – Cheers Lacquered Tray – I definitely was very excited about this tray because it looks festive and elegant for any bar cart or even for simple entertaining. I will be using this often but in the meantime I think it will look nice on my coffee table.

    Dogeared – Friendship Bracelet with Small Open Heart – Oh , I love jewelry so much so this delicate bracelet is perfect for this mom. I am not much for wearing anything bulky so this bracelet will be a nice addition to my wardrobe.

    Meri Meri – Gold Glitter Candles- These are a nice change from the small candles. These are long and tall and very elegant. I might save them for my husband’s birthday in November or maybe even New Year’s Eve.

    Fringe StudioFree Spirit Journal – buying journals and finding new ones were always a must for me but I have been meaning to get back to journaling especially since I changed my lifestyle. Here’s to starting one with this shiny covered journal. Thanks Jeep!

    Goodie Girl Cookies – Since I have removed sugar from my diet, it is hard to find cookies with minimal sugar. These cookies are something special because they are gluten-free and great for anyone watching their weight. There is definitely no guilt when enjoying a bag of these.

    Shoptiques.com gift card – I looked through the site and I am quite excited to order something with the gift card that came in the Must Have Box. I think this is quite a deal! This is a top I have in mind.

    must have box

    Become a Subscriber to Must Have Box

    Many of you might have heard of the box and others might already be signed up. If you are a current subscriber or if you SIGN UP in AUGUST, you are eligible to win some great prizes this month.

    Weekly Giveaway Details

    Week 1: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Pehr Designs

    Week 2: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from First Aid Beauty

    Week 3: Limited # of lucky subscribers will win something from Kendra Scott

    Week 4: Limited # of lucky subscribers subscribers will win something from Tarte cosmetics

    Week 5 (8/31): 5 Grand Prize! Limited # of subscribers something from Cambridge Satchel Co + 1 year Must Have

    What are you waiting for? If you use my code PARTY, you get $10 off your first MUST HAVE BOX. Not only that but you are also eligible to win one of the prizes as listed above. Code is only good until 8/31.

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    Family Fun at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom (Giveaway)

    August 3rd, 2017

    This is a sponsored post through Blog Meets Brand. Thanks to Dorney Park for hosting our family. All reviews are my own.

    It is always a good day when my girls hear that we are going to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. Do you have those memories as a child? I am very aware of how my girls will remember their childhood. I remember the occasional visit to a theme park during my  years in middle school. It always made my summer more memorable, doing something our family did not do as often.

    Families with Young Children

    When we first started planning on where to take our kids that was local, we were not quite sure how Dorney Park would fit the needs of a family with young children. When it comes to attending a theme parks, it really is not about the adults but more for the kids. Since we started visiting Dorney Park last year, we have not been disappointed with our visits. In fact, the park grows with us as our girls get older.

    Our girls have enjoyed Snoopy’s area with age-appropriate rides and even this year my youngest, age 2, could ride several with her sisters and some with me and my husband. Wildwater Kingdom is so much fun with little ones because they love water so much! Parents can easily monitor kids in Wildwater Cove while taking in some sun. It is really fun to see many firsts with my girls, especially with them riding their first water slide. My almost 6 year old was the most disappointed that she could not do the older kid rides. Oh well, there is always next year. She is growing fast.

    Fun New Activities

    I can always count on some new event that is going on at Dorney Park. Whether it is for a good cause like Lemon Days for Alex’s Lemonade Stand or Food Trucks with a well-known chef, there are always special events, new rides, or new shows.

    Here are a few new things:

    o   Dodgem: Back by the popular demand of Dorney Park guests….bumper cars! Get behind the wheel of this midway classic and take a crash course in family fun.

    o   Kaleidoscope: A circular ride sending guests on a counter-clockwise trip of weightlessness and acceleration. Riders will experience weightlessness, strong accelerations, and side-to-side movement on this new ride to be located on the main midway. It’s scheduled to open in Mid-May.

    o   Cirque Imagine: This thrilling 30-minute live show, perfect for families and guests of all ages, features acts including Trampolines, Cyr wheel, Aerialists. We are very much looking forward checking this out!

    Click here to view all new park experiences.

    Special Events

    The Summer Culinary series is going on now through August 20th on every Saturday and Sunday. With each admission you get to enjoy a buffet of themed food for the weekend. Not only do you get to enjoy the park but also the yummy food provided through this special event.

    How about taking a friend to the park? From September 2nd through the 4th, each pass holders can bring up to 4 friends each. Buy online to save on this deal. In addition to this, season pass holders can enjoy character breakfasts. For more information, check out the EVENTS page.

    Giveaway

    Interested in visiting Dorney Park? Get your visit in before Labor Day because I have a Family 4-pack of tickets to be used before Labor Day. Simply leave a comment below of your fondest memory as a child. Giveaway is provided by Dorney Park and winner will receive electronic tickets to attend. Giveaway ends in a week, August 10, 2017 at midnight.

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    Summer Splash at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

    June 15th, 2017

    Summer activities

    It is safe to say that summer is finally here! It taunted us at the end of May but after several weeks of rain and cool weather, it looks like heat and sun has decided to stay. Now that our kids are out of school we have more time to start our longer road trips to fun places. We surprised our girls, announcing that we were going to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. My girls LOVE swimming and being in the water, so they were so ecstatic with the news.

    It has been a while since we have taken a road trip because it has been a busy season for us. Reminding the girls that an hour drive is shorter than going to the beach makes the process easier. The anticipation of arriving is non-stop. As we approached the area, the girls screeched as the saw the rides in the distance. As a parent, it is fun to hear your child’s excitement. It fills my heart and makes me happy!

    When we arrived we noticed a lot of school buses so we were scared it was going to be too crowded but it was not bad at all. We put our items in a locker and enjoyed some rides before going to the water park so it could be warmer. After a bit the girls just wanted to get in the water so we all changed into our suits!

    This year the girls were a little taller so they had a few more options to enjoy. Last year I had a third baby who enjoyed the water, but this year I have a toddler who was so excited to follow after her sisters.

    Families and kids of all ages

    Many moms who have the same age kids have already asked if there are plenty of activities for toddlers. I have a 5 1/2, 4 and 2 year old that were 42-inches tall or under. Here is what they enjoyed:

    • Kids Cove

    • Island Water Works

    • Lollipop Lagoon
    • Splash Landing
    • Runaway River
    • Wildwater River
    • Wildwater Cove
    • Wave Pool
    • Jumpin’ Jack Flash

    This is a large list of options for toddlers. My 2-year old enjoyed the Splash Landing a lot more than my older two girls in addition to the Kids Cove, although my youngest was a little scared of the slides. I think it is because the water was cooler than we thought.

    First time experiences

    The newest ride the two older girls got to try was Jumpin’ Jack Flash. It was their first big girl ride because they could not go down the slide with daddy.

    These girls love adventures and at times they were frustrated that they could not go on the ones that required them to be 46-inches tall. I told them not to rush getting older. Good thing there will be many years ahead for these girls.

    The girls also had a chance to try cotton candy for the very first time! I was afraid of the sugar use but I gave them the choice of trying fluffy candy or funnel cakes. Cotton candy definitely was a winner. See their reaction below:

    Do you think they got to finish the whole bag? Heck no, but they sure were excited to keep it for another day.

    Slide show

    Get a little more of a feel of our experience by watching our slide show. Thanks to Blogger Meets Brand and Dorney Park for sponsoring us and allowing us to have a lovely day at the water park.

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    Air-Fryer Parmesan Truffle Fries with OXO Chef’s Mandoline

    June 9th, 2017

    Kitchen adventures

    I enjoy being in the kitchen a lot. I love creating meals that my kids and my husband will enjoy especially ones that are healthy. Most of the time the creating requires little time because the kiddos tend to be needier than usual. Moms know what I am talking about for sure. Meal times tend to be trickier for us moms.

    Sometimes I feel like I am on Food Network doing one of those food basket challenges. I have 30 minutes to bring something from nothing. At least that is how it feels especially when I have no meal plans in place. Now that we focus on eating a lot more fruits and veggies, meals seem to come together a lot quicker. Thank God!

    OXO Chef’s Mandolin

    I had a chance to put a mandoline to the test thanks to OXO. I have to say that I have been a little scared of using a mandoline for fear of losing a finger or two. Luckily, I read through my product directions and went on my way testing and creating with my fruits and veggies. I have heard that when veggies are sliced in fun shapes kids are prone to eat them more. I think it is safe to say that fact is pretty accurate.

    The OXO Mandoline creates up to 21 different cuts with thickness settings in 0.5-mm intervals, straight and wavy blades, and built-in julienne and French fry blades. There is a knob on the side of the mandoline that changes the width of the blade. The blade can easily be removed to go from straight slices to wavy slices. Easy clean up is also great! The handle is easy and comfortable to hold while the other hand focuses on slicing food. A spring-loaded handle protects hand from blade by grabbing the food in place.

    Foods that Love the Mandoline

    I tried a variety of vegetables and I almost had a love/hate relationship with the mandoline. It really does have to do with where you are standing facing the mandoline while slicing. If I stood parallel to the mandoline, I had the hardest time finding the right rhythm to slice foods. When I stood perpendicular to the mandoline, I was able to up and down rhythm as opposed to a side to side rhythm that made things a lot more difficult.

    I sliced sweet potatoes, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, jicama, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples. I loved having the perfect slices for my food especially if I was going to have a dinner party. Having uneven slices of anything is just strange. I made crinkle zucchini that seriously tasted better because they were sliced up so nicely. 🙂 I tried making sweet potato waffle fries but those seemed to give me a hard time. Want to know what I fell in love with?

    Air-Fryer Parmesan Truffle Fries

    The French fry setting was so much fun to use. I did not think I would get anything at first but as I sliced and finished, I had a perfect pile of evenly sliced French fries. I created a quick recipe for an appetizer that I normally would love to order at restaurants. Truffle fries are my weakness so I decided to make my version using an air-fryer which means it has a lot fewer calories.

    Air-Fryer Parmesan Truffle Fries

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 15 minutes

     

    Ingredients (2 cups)

      Air-Fryer Truffle Fries

      • 2 large gold potatoes, peeled
      • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
      • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      • 1 teaspoon black pepper , crushed
      • 1/2 teaspoon truffle salt
      • olive oil spray
      • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

      Instructions

      Using a mandoline with a French fry setting, slice whole potato using the spring-form handle to slice in to French fries.

      Place sliced potatoes in a bowl and spray with olive spray for about 3 seconds. Add garlic powder, black pepper, parsley flakes and add to air fryer basket.

      Cook for 7 minutes on 392 degrees. Take out basket and flip fries in order to evenly cook the fries. Cook another 8 minutes and remove and add to a bowl. Sprinkle with truffle salt and parmesan cheese.

      Powered by Recipage

      Disclaimer: I received this product to review. My opinions are my own.

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      Sun Basket: Delicious Meal Kits for Busy Families

      June 7th, 2017

      I received these meal kits for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

      Motherhood is no joke

      Nothing has changed around our household other than the fact that I am no longer holding a full-time job as a pharmacy technician. Despite not having that job since September, my work load seems to have doubled. Perhaps it is mostly in my head but when you have three little kids running around and the house looks like a disaster, cleaning seems like number one priority. Now I know that is not remotely possible but I know there are a lot of mothers out there like me.

      One of the things I purposed for myself is to relax and have fun with my kids. Now that summer has started for my family, activities are steadily adding to each day. I never imagined motherhood to be so busy. It is one that requires juggling many roles and doing them with a good attitude too! That is hard for me truthfully but I am a work in progress.

      meal kits

      Mealtime craziness

      I love cooking which is why I have a blog. I wanted to share the recipes I make on a daily basis. Some days, I am like any other mom who doesn’t feel like cooking or coming up with a meal. When Moms Meet challenged me to review Sun Basket meal kits, I knew I had to try them. When it comes to dinner time, it is mostly when my kids are the most demanding. It is  crazy but I have chatted with other moms expressing the same frustration. Would it not be nice to have a kit that had all your ingredients ready for you to put together within 30 minutes?

      This also gave me a chance to also get my kids involved in the kitchen with prepared bags to make into a meal. There is nothing like dealing with stress before having a meal. It should be a relaxing ordeal but this meal kit sure gave me a nice break from coming up with a meal plan on 2 days.

      meal kits

      Sun Basket Meal Kits

      These meal kits are delivered in 100% compostable and recyclable packaging which contain organic, non-GMO produce from the best farms and sustainably-sourced, hormone-free meats and seafood. Here are a few things that it features:

      • Kits include kid-friendly, easy, healthy 30-minute recipes designed for minimal cleanup.

      • Recipes are developed by an award-winning San Francisco chef.

      • You can choose any recipe you like each week, regardless of your meal plan.

      • All recipes are approved by an in-house nutritionist.

      • Packaging is carefully engineered to sustain freshness even after it arrives on your doorstep. Box should be refrigerated within 8 hours of delivery

      What I really liked about it is the fact that they offer family menus that feed 2 adults and 2 children with 2 recipes that I chose from their weekly menu. Since I started on Weight Watchers I have been vigilant what exactly I am eating. Sun Basket offers gluten-Free, paleo-friendly, vegetarian, breakfast and chef’s choice recipes. The recipes came with nutritional information as well and allowed  for me to pick and choose even what I put in my own plate.

      Meals for our Family

      The first meal we enjoyed were the Turkey Kebabs with Carrot and Snap Pea Salad with Tahini Dressing. This came with couscous as an additional side but it was just too many carbs for me to enjoy. My kids enjoyed the new “pasta” with the kebab especially fun since they were stuck with a stick. It was quite amusing. Middle Eastern food is one of my favorite cuisine so this recipe won my heart. It was super easy to prep and cook. The Carrot and Snap Pea Salad required a little more work because I had to make carrot ribbons with my peeler. That was fun. It was just a fresh and delicious meal all together!

      I chose a vegetarian meal as our second choice because we try to have one meatless meal a week even though I would like to have more than one. The Vegetarian Ramen Bowl was a nice tasty surprise. Before I had kids I used to eat a lot more tofu but after kids it all went away due to an aversion. Slowly I have tried to bring it back because it is really a great source of protein. The recipe from Sun Basket was great in many ways. I love international cuisines so this bowl hit the spot with the savory and spicy aspects. The tofu was baked and placed in a hot broth ending with a soft-boiled egg on top. The ramen noodles were the only thing I did not eat in excess. I had only a quarter portion and subbed with zucchini noodles. It was a great lower carb option and no extra work for me.

      Special offer for Readers

      Anyone interested in trying Sun Basket can now save 50% on their first order!! What a treat to try this meal kit service to make life a little easier especially when it offers healthy options. Click HERE to be directed to the site to order directly and save on your first order!

      Check Sun Basket on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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