Care to Go Bold With Pillsbury’s #GoBold Funfetti Challenge

We are working with Pillsbury and our opinions are our own.

Using the new brightly colored Bold colors of Pillsbury’s Funfetti cupcake mixes and icings we made quite a few bold statements in our house. I made some cupcakes first, they were really large cupcakes and the batter only made five. I forgot about them in the oven so they burned a little bit and when they burn they lose their bright colors so what I decided to do was cute shapes into the cupcakes. I found my butterfly and ice cream cone cookie cutters and cut some really fun shapes after first slicing the cupcake into three horizontally making them thin like cookies.

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The kids at them up like nothing flat. And I can’t wait to use one of the other varieties and see how bright the orange and yellow Funfetti mixes come out. Here are all the varieties we received for review:

Funfetti Aqua Blue Cupcake & Cake Mix 
Funfetti Orange All Star™ Cupcake & Cake Mix 
Funfetti Neon Yellow Cupcake & Cake Mix 
Funfetti Vibrant Green Cupcake & Cake Mix 
Funfetti Orange All Star Vanilla Flavored Frosting with Colorful Star Shaped Candy Bits 
Funfetti Neon Yellow Vanilla Flavored Frosting with Multi-Colored Candy Bits 

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For a little variety I put a few in a straw so we could have fun shapes on a stick. They say everything is better served on a stick. So here are three tips to go bold and different in a quick and easy way.

Use cookie cutters for fun shapes

Use lots of color for decorations

Use straws to serve creations on a stick

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And the giant daddy of them all was this cupcake that I topped with a butterfly. It was AWESOME.

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Please visit the Pillsbury Baking website (www.pillsburybaking.com ) and show how you like to GO BOLD by uploading creations (baked goods, no persons) via the Pillsbury Baking Facebook Page, Instagram or Statigram using hash tag #GoBold and @PillsburyBaking between March 24-April 28, 2014 for a chance to win an assortment of Pillsbury Funfetti & BOLD cake mixes and frostings.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Movie Giveaway

I love super hero movies and one of my son’s favorite characters is Spiderman. Actually I think our entire house is fan of any of the Marvel Super Heroes and this is a movie we will more than likely watch as a family. And if my daughter doesn’t want to see it my husband and son will see it for sure. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out on May 2nd.

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We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

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It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield).  For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone).  But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city.  With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp. image

This group of actors has to be my favorite Spiderman set so far. Emma Stone is amazingly strong as Gwen and Peter is fun as Spiderman should be. I loved the first Spiderman with the two of them in it and can’t wait to see this one as well.

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Be The Pirate Fairy This Summer Just Add Wings With Just Pretend Kids Costumes

The Pirate Fairy came out a month ago and my daughter adores her and the entire Tinker Bell crew so she’s already jumping at the bits to be the Pirate Fairy for Halloween and now that we have the Pirate Princess costume from Just Pretend Kids that we received for a review all she has to do is add some fairy wings.

DSC00242Just Pretend Kids, a new company that makes high quality dress up costumes that inspire children to explore and celebrate their own creative spirit.  While tech toys are certainly a hot trend, it’s important not to forget to let kids use their imagination!  Playing dress up and pretending to be a princess, a pirate, or a dragon is a great way for children to explore and learn about the world and about themselves.  DSC00244

 

My kids both love to play pretend and make believe and dressing the part makes it even more fun. That’s why we have a sword like the one she is holding too. They love to play and I love to listen to the stories they make up. It’s really important in my opinion that you help your kids keep an active imagination instead of letting them play video games all day long. This way they get exercise in their mind and in their bodies.

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Just Pretend® tutus, wands, wings, accessories and children costumes are made with values for quality, comfort and value in mind. When you hold the costumes you will feel how soft they are. Just Pretend uses the finest tulle with just the right finish to make their tutus. Their wands are made to minimize danger from sharp points or dangerous materials. They do not sell any items that they would not want their own children or grandchildren to wear or play with.

I find that the quality of the Pirate Princess costume is amazing. The detail goes all throughout the costume from the jacket to the dress underneath. My daughter loved her costume and didn’t want to take it off. Her dad had to ask her to take it off for dinner and against her will she complied. She’s going to make a fantastic Pirate Fairy this Halloween.

Just add wings!

Become a Filmmaker with a Nokia Icon & Win $10K Production Budget #VZWBuzz #LumiaIconChallenge

In my family we are big fans of the Nokia phone series. I have the Nokia Lumia Icon and my husband has the Nokia Lumia 920 series both amazing phones on the Verizon Wireless. We took them with us in vacation and using the 4 speakers on our phone were able to catch some really fun family videos.

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The “Lumia Icon Video Challenge” is asking talented, but under-equipped, filmmakers to compete for a $10,000 production budget and filmmaking kit to create cool content using the Nokia Lumia Icon. Powered by creative community, Rippld, aspiring filmmakers will have the chance to showcase their technical skills, personal style and artistic vision to create original video content for a grand prize. They will also document their behind-the-scenes process to show the real and true workings of a director/producer absorbed in the art of great filmmaking. image

What are They really looking for? They will check out your Rippld portfolio and demonstrated ability to create compelling video or cinematography. They will also be scoping out your Rippld Profile and About section to get a feel for who you are. Your video proposal should wow us and feature something that would typically be unseen or unheard, since Icon lets you “see and hear what you’ve been missing.” The more wow, the better!

Anything else you should know? Your video concept should obviously be compelling and have mainstream consumer and media appeal while highlighting Icon’s awesome recording and audio capabilities, including its 20MP image sensor, PureView Zeiss 6-lens camera, and precise placement of four high performance microphones. Oh, and they will give a little extra consideration to people who share their submission for the Lumia Icon Challenge on their social channels using hashtag #LumiaIconChallenge.

So please visit bit.ly/1p1GphZ to learn more about the project and show off your creative chops.

Never Pay Full Price for Sports and Entertainment Tickets with ScoreBig.com

By Emily:

Spring is here and I can’t wait to get out and enjoy some local sporting events with my family. However, now that my kids are over the age of three, we have to buy tickets for everyone and a trip to the ballpark can put a bit of a dent in our budget. I’m always looking for ways to save on the things my family and I love best, so when I was introduced to ScoreBig.com, a website dedicated to saving money on tickets, I couldn’t resist checking out all that it had to offer.Scorebig Tickets

ScoreBig.com is a great website that helps consumers get great tickets at guaranteed savings of up to 60 percent. There are two ways to buy tickets on ScoreBig.com: you can pay a fixed price and save on tickets, or you can make an offer and maybe save even more. Whatever you do, you always save on ScoreBig.com, guaranteed. And ScoreBig doesn’t just offer discounts on tickets to sporting events but also concerts, theater, Broadway, family shows, and attractions.Scorebig Logo

It’s easy to find just the event you want on ScoreBig. Browse by event type, date or location. Or if you know exactly what you’re looking for, type the name of the event into the search bar. Can’t find an event that excites you? Check back tomorrow, or even later in the day, as the inventory is always changing. I actually found searching for tickets on ScoreBig.com to be easier and more user friendly than most direct ticket sale websites. If you do require assistance or have any questions, there is a live chat option to help you out!Screenshot (3)

Once you’ve found your event, the next order of business is to select a number of tickets and seating area. Although ScoreBig can’t promise you a specific seat, they do promise that it will be in the area you selected. And no matter how many tickets you buy, they will always be together – which means in a row, one next to the other, without any strangers seated in between. ScoreBig.com guarantees that they will always get you the very best tickets possible within your selected area.Screenshot (1)

The fun part of purchasing your tickets with ScoreBig.com is naming your own price. There is a small price meter below your entry to give you some idea of where to start your offer. You’ll then get an instant answer – you find out right away if your offer has been accepted. After you confirm your purchase, there is no need to worry about additional costs, there are no fees and free delivery.Screenshot (4)

How can you beat that? Some deals I fear are too good to be true, but ScoreBig’s 100% Guarantee puts my mind at ease.

ScoreBig’s 100% Guarantee:

“Our guarantee is as simple as our site. If you don’t get what you ordered, you get your money back and more.

• Tickets will always be below Full Price*

• Fast confirmations and prompt, professional ticket delivery always in time for the event

• Tickets will always be authentic and valid for entry

• Your tickets will be in the same seat rating you ordered or better

• You will be refunded if the event is canceled

• A safe, secure ordering system that is backed by the most reputable security companies on the web

If the tickets you received from a confirmed order are not below Full Price* contact ScoreBig Customer Service via email or call 1-877-726-7324 at least 24 hours before the event. The lower Full Price* must be published and available at the time you contact us, as determined by our customer service representatives. If we confirm a mistake was made, we will match the correct full price and credit you $25 towards your next purchase on ScoreBig.

If the tickets you received are not the same seat rating or better than those you ordered, contact ScoreBig Customer Service via email or call 1-877-726-7324 any time before the event and provide a copy of the physical tickets received. If ScoreBig deems the tickets are worse than what you committed to purchase, and cannot rectify the error, you will receive 100% refund and yes, you still get to keep the tickets.

*What is the full price?

Full price is the amount you would pay for a ticket including the face value of the ticket as well as convenience fees and shipping and handling charges you would pay another ticket seller.”

I highly recommend using ScoreBig.com when searching the best prices on tickets nationwide. Check out the full price, then check out ScoreBig.com and beat it!

You can also keep up to date on the latest ticket offerings from ScoreBig.com by visiting them at any of the following:

https://www.ScoreBig.com

https://www.facebook.com/scorebig

https://twitter.com/scorebig

http://blog.scorebig.com

http://www.flickr.com/photos/scorebig/

Emily is also very active in the local MOMS CLUB. The mother of two girls, ages 8 and 4, Emily also cares for her lovable old shih Tzu, a frisky kitty and a flock of egg-laying chickens. Originally from Wisconsin, Emily transplanted to Pacific Northwest after college to be with the handsome, sweet guy she met on Spring Break. They have now been married for 10 years. Emily hates housecleaning, loves wine and enjoys dining out. She would love to find a cure for the depression and anxiety she has dealt with on and off since early adulthood, just like me. She is an amazing mom and friend. You can follow Emily on Twitter @EastSeattleMama.

Go Further with Ford Fusion Energi Up The 101 Redwood Coastal Highway #GoFurther @Ford

We spent our Spring Break this year going up and down the West coast of the US. Starting near Seattle we started our trek in our Ford Fusion Energi and headed down to LA for a visit to Disneyland. The Ford Fusion Energi is more than your typical hybrid vehicle. This car also has a battery that gives us up to 20 miles of electricity and the fun part is when you’re coasting down the mountain side we were able to rack up to 4 extra miles of electricity with the regenerative breaking system. It was AWESOME. We saved quite a bit of money on gas with this road trip car. DSC00138

After our visit in LA at Disneyland we decided to drive over to San Francisco and then from there take Highway 101 up the coast through the redwood forest and then all the way back up to Washington. The roads are quite windy a not many passing lanes but our car had no issues passing anyone and staying within the lines. In fact with the lane assistance and cruise control on together this car practically drives itself. The car also likes to let you know when it thinks you are not driving up to snuff by saying you should stop for a coffee break. Then if you continue to drive poorly it will make lots of red noises at you and the warning goes from yellow to red. DSC00142

The Ford Fusion Energi is amazing on the beach. And the kids were so excited to see sand they stopped right outside my son’s door and just started playing in the sand. They had so much fun, we all had so much fun. DSC00139

The only negative is that there isn’t a lot of trunk space for a road trip but our roof rack provided us with all the space we needed.

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My New Smile Thanks To Dr. Bruner Orthodontics & The Damon System

Writing about myself is the most difficult thing for me to write about which is why I’m just now getting around to writing about my new smile. I would rather talk about anyone or anything other than myself. So my journey about my braces was hard to share, not because I didn’t like it but because I felt like I was bragging and from looks, most people didn’t think I needed braces in the first place.

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My first smile I had a gap. You can hardly see it in the photo but if you look at how my teeth lined up in the next photo you can see that I had more than just a gap.

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I had a class three overbite and was originally told that I would have to have surgery to correct. Uh, no thanks I don’t need surgery for a new smile. But then I was approached by the Ormco and the Damon Clear virtually invisible, brackets about working with the Damon System. I thought it’s worth a try. And I’m glad I did it. So many people tell me how much they love my smile. Plus after being so diligent with the instructions Dr. Bruner gave me along with the nature of how the Damon System works I got them off four months early. I only wore the braces for 13 months.

Just look at my smile now

LouiseFinalSmileI love how my teeth line up and eating is much easier. I can bite through lettuce and that was something that I was never able to do with my front teeth before.  

 

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Here is an up close and personal shot with my two front teeth. LOVE IT.

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Would I do it again if I could go back and have a do over. You bet. Bruner Orthodontics walked me through every step, held my hand answered any questions and made the whole process as smooth as possible. His staff is amazing and very friendly. They all even got to know my children really well which made things even better. They were always entertained with Wii station.

I highly recommend Bruner Orthodontics in Redmond WA and the Damon System.

Earth Day Ideas from Trash to Toys: 10 Recycled Educational Toys

Earth Day is a yearly reminder to consider our role in protecting the environment. Parents like us can make a positive impact by creating fun, educational toys from everyday items that may initially seem like trash, but can be repurposed into teaching tools and just plain fun!

"Children are natural learners, and often see educational opportunities that adults can miss," says Richard Peterson, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy® Child Care Learning Centers. "Anyone who’s given a child a new toy and then found him playing with the box can appreciate a child’s gift for creative play."

Trash to ToysWant to feed your child’s imagination, while helping the environment? Kiddie Academy (www.KiddieAcademy.com) offers the following ideas for creating recycled educational toys and some Earth Day craft ideas.

Computer Keyboard: An outdated keyboard is a perfect teaching toy, as it includes the entire alphabet to assist in early literacy exercises. Challenge your child to sing the ABC song while locating each letter on the keyboard.

Shoebox to Mailbox: Children love getting mail. Reinforce both reading and writing skills by creating a family mailbox from an old shoebox. Encourage your child to write notes to family members, and leave notes for them as well.

Water Bottle Instrument: Fill a clean, dry plastic water or soda bottle with rice, bells, beans or coins and shake them to hear a variety of new sounds. Glue the top on to secure the contents.

Junk Mail: Instead of immediately sending your unwanted mail to the landfill, allow your child to play with the envelopes and letters. She can pretend to be a postal carrier while getting additional exposure to printed words.

Magazines: Glossy photos in magazines are perfect for creating collage art that provides fine motor skill practice with scissors and glue.

TV remote: Children love pushing buttons. An unused television remote control can be used for number and math play. Simply remove the batteries and ask him to find the numbers as you call them out.

Clothing: Dramatic play is an essential teaching tool that allows children to explore social roles, practice problem solving and language skills. Add no longer needed pieces of your own wardrobe to the toy chest to encourage your child’s imagination. She can literally “try on” a different role by wearing your skirt, hat or shoes.

Linens: Your child can use a worn out sheet or towel as a cape, picnic blanket or as the roof to a play fort.

Toilet Paper Tube: Empty TP tubes are a favorite art tool in classrooms. Save a box of them, and give them to your child along with a few craft supplies to see what he can create. Binoculars, stamps and creatures are popular choices.

Boxes: While it’s tempting to immediately recycle a box, your child can have hours of fun using an empty box for creative play. What seems like trash to you could become a school bus, secret hideout or magic castle.

Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue Coloring Sheets, Character Posters and Trailer

With the excitement of another Planes movie I have some fun Planes coloring sheets to share with you. My son loves to color and it’s so much easier to print off sheets for him to color than it is for us to go to the store and get a coloring book. So here are the Planes Fire and Rescue coloring sheets.

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Now for some character poses:

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Ol’ Jammer

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Mayday

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Dusty

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Windlifter

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Blade Ranger

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE opens in theaters on July 18, 2014!

Like PLANES on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes

Follow PLANES on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

And here is the newest trailer for Planes Fire and Rescue

Spring Time Jam into Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

It’s spring and the fruits are in season. While I was at Costco yesterday it was so hard to pass up the crate of strawberries. The only reason why I did was because we get a weekly box of produce sent to our house and I can’t wait to see what’s in it. With fruit being in season it’s really easy to make your own low sugar Jam with Truvia use this Balsamic Strawberry jam recipe and substitute the sugar for Truvia low calorie sweetener by cutting the amount in half 2 cups sugar = 1 cup truvia, or you can always use jam from the store.

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While I was with Smuckers last November we made these Thumbprint cookies. JUST DELISH!

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Classic Thumbprint Cookies

Makes: 4 Dozen

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

Cooking Time: 17 Minutes

Ingredients

· Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
· 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
· 1 Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening, cut into slices
· OR 1 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
· 3 large eggs, separated
· 2 tablespoons water
· 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
· 2 cups finely chopped pecans
· 1 cup Smucker’s® Strawberry Preserves, or any Smucker’s® Preserves, Jam or Jelly

Directions

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Adjust rack to middle position. Coat two cookie sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray.

2. BEAT brown sugar and shortening in medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour on low speed until well blended.

3. BEAT egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place pecans in a separate shallow bowl. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie. Roll into balls. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into pecans. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.

4. BAKE 10 minutes. Remove from oven. It may be necessary to create the indentation once again with a spoon. Place about 1 teaspoon preserves into the indentation of each cookie.