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The Best of Me Trailer Featuring Lady Antebellum

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There are so many great movies coming out this month and at the top of my list is The Best of Me, based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks. The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they’ve never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

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The Best of Me stars James Marsden {love him!!}, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey and Liana Liberato.

Watch The Best of Me Trailer Featuring Lady Antebellum

#FirstLoveFriday

Every Friday, join The Best of Me in sharing your first love stories using the hashtag #FirstLoveFriday! Follow @BestofMeMovie on Twitter and let’s get #FirstLoveFriday trending!

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Gone Girl In Theaters October 3rd + Giveaway

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Last week I shared with you that Amy Dunne’s Pinterest page had been found and you could take a look at it to get a closer look at her. So fun, right? Gone Girl is one of my favorite books and I’m so excited for the release of the movie on October 3rd. I’ve already got tickets to see it this weekend!

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Directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Watch the New Trailer

Gone Girl is in Theaters October 3rd

Official Website | Facebook |Twitter | Google+

Win It!

Enter below to win a Gone Girl prize pack that includes the Gone Girl book and a $25 Gift Card to see the movie!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a gift card in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Dr. Cocoa Products

Cough and Cold Relief With Dr. Cocoa for Children

Dr. Cocoa Products

 

 

October is here and while it’s usually my favorite month, it also means more colds and coughs for kids as the weather turns cooler. My son has already been sick once this school year and I’m sure there will be more to come. It’s so hard to have a sick child – I’d rather be sick myself than watch them suffer – especially when a simple cold and cough can last anywhere from six days to two weeks. I remember last year my son had a terrible cough and I just felt so bad for him because there was nothing we could really do for him. When I called his pediatrician, he said most coughs can last 17 days! As for cough medicine, my son is an extremely picky eater so I knew I would have a hard time trying to get him to take any type of medicine. I’ve tried the favored medicines before but he can’t be tricked! It’s hard trying to get a tired and sick child to take some yucky cough medicine.

If all of this sounds familiar to you, you’ll be happy to hear about Dr. Cocoa™ for Children, the first-ever chocolate flavored, over-the-counter liquid cough and cold medicine line for children ages 4-13! Most children love the taste of chocolate so a chocolate cough and cold medicine is brilliant! Dr. Cocoa has a great chocolate taste and is made with real cocoa. It’s combined with trusted, effective ingredients which means no more fighting with your child about taking their cough and cold medicine!

Are you wondering why taste matters for medicines? According to Dr. Cocoa’s new national Harris survey of U.S. parents of school-aged children (ages 4-13), almost 40% of parents said it isn’t easy to give their children over-the-counter liquid cough/cold medicines, with one third of parents believing the taste of the medicine impacted how easy it was to give their child the recommended dose. Dr. Cocoa™ for Children was developed with its real chocolate flavor just for this reason. I’m so glad I’m not alone in having a tough time trying to get my son to take medicine.

Cocoa™ for Children comes in three patented formulas:

Cocoa™ Long-Acting Cough Relief: relieves coughs for up to eight hours without causing drowsiness in children ages 4-13 (active ingredient: Dextromethorphan). Follow the package label for exact dose by age, or speak to your child’s pediatrician.

Cocoa™ Daytime Cough + Cold Relief: relieves stuffy nose and cough for children ages 4-13. Its non-drowsy formula makes it ideal for daytime use (active ingredients: Dextromethorphan and Phenylephrine). Follow the package label for exact dose by age, or speak to your child’s pediatrician.

Cocoa™ Nighttime Cough + Cold Relief: Made especially for children ages 6-13 to relieve coughs, along with stuffy nose, runny nose and sneezing at night (active ingredients: Diphenhydramine, Phenylephrine). Follow the package label for exact dose by age, or speak to your child’s pediatrician.

With cold season just starting, I want to make sure that I’m stocked up on everything I need at home for when my son gets sick. That means essentials like a humidifier, popsicles, plenty of fluids and now Dr. Cocoa™ for Children. Fight the cold – not the child!

Dr. Cocoa products are available nationwide at stores, as well as online at Dr.Cocoa.com. Right now, you can save by printing a $2 off coupon.

Dr. Cocoa products are FDA regulated medicines and should be used only as directed and kept safely out of reach of children.

Win a Dr. Cocoa™ Owl Hand Puppet!

We haven’t had to break out the medicine yet, but my kids are in love with the Dr. Cocoa hand puppet. Now through October 17th, you can win one of these cuddly owls too over on the Dr. Cocoa for Children Facebook page.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own.

Visit www.drcocoa.com for a $2-off coupon offer.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own.

Joovy TooQool

Stroll in Style with the Joovy Too Qool

Joovy TooQool

 

 

 

Since becoming a Mom, there are brands that you know you can just depend on and love. A brand that when you see it out in public, you exclaim to the owner and of said product how much you love it too. For me, that is Joovy. In the past few years, we have used Joovy step stools, bottles and strollers. The quality of their products are fantastic but what I really love is the look and style of them! If you’re a mom of multiple children, you’ll love the Joovy TooQool, a luxury stroller that is meant to stand out from the rest!

Joovy TooQool

 

Joovy Too Qool Features

Joovy TooQool

Colors

The Joovy Too Qool comes in 10 stunning colors to choose from. It also features an anodized graphite aluminum frame. The stroller just shouts luxury and when you see it in person, the colors are vibrant and rich. I chose one of my favorite colors – Jade – and it didn’t disappoint.

Setup

I’m not crazy about putting together baby equipment, so my husband volunteered to put it together. Once everything was out of the box, he read over the directions and then was easily able to put it all together in under 20 minutes. I was so anxious to get the girls in and to give it a test drive.

Weight and Size

Looking at the Joovy Too Qool, I thought it was going to be huge and very heavy. To my surprise, it’s actually lighter than any of our other double strollers, weighing in at 36.5 pounds. The reason is because of the lightweight aluminum frame which makes it not only easy to lift the whole stroller, but also incredibly easy to maneuver and handle.

Evie Joovy

Wheels and Handlebar

Speaking of easy to handle, the Joovy Too Qool features a four-wheel, cantilevered suspension system that is the latest in stroller ride technology. Along with the sealed bearing wheels, this ensures that your children will have a smooth and comfortable ride as you stroll whether it’s through the grass, at the mall or down the street. To put the break on the stroller, all you have to do it step on it in the back.

The handlebar is one of the first things I touched on the Too Qool. When I touched it, I instantly knew this was a luxury stroller. It’s covered in hand-stitched glove leatherette which makes it so comfortable for pushing. The handlebar fully adjusts to multiple positions for the height of Mom or Dad.

Joovy Too Qool

Seats

The seats of the Joovy Too Qool is what makes the whole stroller, in my opinion. There are two full-size seats that can be used with an infant car adapter {sold separately} which means you can use it from birth all the way up to 55 pounds PER SEAT. This means I can be using this baby all the way until my babies are probably 4 years and up if I needed to. I love that it’s a stroller that grows with your children. Add on a stroller board that is unique to the Qool and Too Qool and you can even add a third kid standing on the Joovy Too Qool! It also can store right into the frame!

There are multiple positions to choose from with the Joovy Too Qool. The front seat can be either forward facing or rear facing. I’ve found that my girls love both positions. A great plus is that it’s so easy to remove a seat or flip it around. There have been many times where I’ve switched the front seat from forward facing to rear facing in just seconds.

The Too Qool is a great investment if you have one child but plan on having more since it can be a single stroller before you turn it into a double stroller. Remove the second seat and store it until you need it! When the second seat is not in use, there is a large, easy to access basket for anything you might need while out and about. When the second seat is it, you can see in the pictures that there is still room to store some items, but not much.

Both the front and rear seats include a soft neoprene seat insert which is machine washable and very comfortable for baby. They also include a 5 point harness for the safety of your kids too.

Each seat features a very large canopy with a zippered extension to provide even more coverage. I love that both my girls are able to be properly covered with no worry of the sun shining in their face. Plus, there’s a little window so I can look down onto them!

Joovy Too Qool Top View

Both the front seat and the rear seat have a multi-position recline. The front seat has three different positions and the rear seat has two different positions – perfect for when you have a little one that is napping. The foot rest of the front seat also has three different positions.

I’ve always been a fan of side by side double strollers because I always thought that with a tandem stroller, the child in the back would be missing out on so much. Honestly, my daughters have been so happy whether they are in the front seat or the rear seat of the Joovy Too Qool. There’s plenty of room for them to see out and around.

Olivia Joovy

Storing the Stroller

While I think the Joovy Too Qool is a lighter stroller than some of my other double strollers, it is a little bulky when you try to put it in your car. While the stroller can fold up with the front seat either rear facing or front facing, you have to completely remove the second seat to fold it up. We have a minivan but we still don’t have much room for the stroller to be in our back seat until I had my husband take down the seat next to my son who sits in the back. Then, the stroller slides right in. I would love for there to be a way to have the stroller fold with both seats attached still.

Price

The Joovy Too Qool is a true luxury stroller with a price of $799.99. It’s definitely an investment but something that could be worth it since it’s a stroller that can first be used as a single stroller and then grow with your family. The quality of it can’t be beat so you know that it will last years with your family too.

Read more about the Joovy Too Qool and see all of the gorgeous colors over on the Joovy website.

Connect with Joovy

Online

Facebook

Twitter 

 

Disclosure: I am a Joovy Mom and love sharing with you the latest on Joovy products. No compensation was received for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Before you break out your pumpkin recipes… Try this easy Blueberry lemonade!

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I’m just not ready to let go of summer. Even if it’s just for an afternoon of lemonade on the porch. The lemons are delicious right now. This Blueberry Lemonade was the perfect after school treat. By using blueberries, you don’t have to use as much sugar!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 10 lemons

Roll your lemons. If you get them nice and soft before you slice them open and squeeze the juice out. This made it really easy for the kids to help squeeze too!

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Slice lemons in half. Another great tip is to slice wedges into the lemon. Makes it even easier to ensure you get all of the juice out.

 

 

 

 

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Squeeze your lemons! You should end up with a little over a cup of lemon juice. Remove seeds. Mash blueberries.

Heat water over medium heat until water starts to bubble slightly. Add sugar. Stir for a minute or two-until sugar is dissolved. Let cool a bit and then add lemon juice and mashed blueberries. Stir.

Let cool in the refrigerator.

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We added a few blueberries, a lemon garnish and a fun straw. The kids loved it!

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Fun fact: Add a bit of vodka and you have a sweet, refreshing cocktail! Make sure you sugar the rim of the glass!

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Before you go breaking out the pumpkin recipes, give this very easy recipe a try!

Are there any summer treats that are not ready to give up?

 

 

 

iPhone 6

Favorite Features of the iPhone 6 #VZWBuzz

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Both my husband and I love getting the latest technology in phones whether it’s the latest Android, Windows or iPhone. We both had an iPhone 5s as our phone so when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was announced, we both knew we wanted to upgrade. After looking at the specs on both, I decided that I wanted to upgrade to the iPhone 6 while my husband upgraded to the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6

I’ve had the iPhone a little over a week now and I’m already in love. Below are some of my favorite features of the iPhone 6.

It’s Bigger

One of my favorite things about the Galaxy Note 3 that I also have is the bigger size. I knew that I would be comfortable going up in size for the iPhone 6, but I didn’t want to go as big as the 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 still fits comfortably in the palm of my hand and it’s still easy for me to type with one thumb and also reach across the entire screen with one thumb. I was worried that with the 6 Plus, I would always have to use both hands.

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch (diagonal) Retina HD display and the screen is sharper and thinner than other phones. I like to read on my phone so it’s convenient to me that it’s a bit bigger – yet I don’t feel like I have a tablet on my ear when I’m talking on the phone!

Talk in GIF

Oh, how I love GIFs. When you find the perfect one, it can just make a conversation. One of the first apps I downloaded for the iPhone 6 is the GIF keyboard by Riffsy.  Now, I can speak entirely in GIFs thanks to iOS8 on the iPhone 6. {If you upgrade to iOS8 on your older iPhones, you can download this keyboard too}.

iPhone 6 GIFs

You just can’t see the full awesomeness in a picture – download the GIF Keyboard yourself!

Notification Center

If you’ve updated to iOS8, you can also take advantage of the Notification Center. You can completely customize what you want to see when you pull down your notifications. I’ve chosen to have my calendar, weather, Sportscenter {you can choose your favorite teams to highlight only them – Go Cardinals!} and my Kindle so I can easily tap on the book I’m currently reading. Another app I keep meaning to download is the TeeVee 3 app, where it will show all of your upcoming televisions shows in your notifications.

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Camera and Video

Even with my iPhone 5s, it was my main camera over my DSLR. The iPhone 6 camera has an 8 megapixel camera and includes an improved image stabilization {perfect when you have little ones on the go!}, face detection and also the ability to take better pictures in low-light, something previews phones were lacking.

As for video, you’re shooting in full HD 1080 video and the image stabilization is better than the previous phone which is good for my shaky hand during my son’s school performances. In addition to the Slo-Mo feature, there’s the addition of the Time-Lapse feature which is just too much fun.

 

A lot of the things that make the iPhone 6 for me is iOS8 which everyone can update to, but I’m also love the size, weight and sleekness of it too. The battery life can last a little bit longer {although not as long as the 6 Plus} which I need as a power user. As I play with it longer, I’ll make sure to update with more of my thoughts!

Thinking of upgrading to the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? At Verizon Wireless, you can get an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus for $0 down when you trade in your old iPhone. The Verizon Edge program is a flexible equipment payment plan that spreads the retail price of a phone over 20 months. So if it’s not time for your upgrade, you can still get the iPhone 6 for only $32.49 a month for 20 months.

Upgrade faster! Learn more about the Verizon Edge program!

Have you upgraded to the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus yet? 

 

Disclosure: As member of a pretty cool team of influencers, I have received some great items from Verizon Wireless. No additional compensation was provided nor did I promise positive feedback.  All opinions are my own.

Excuse the reflection as my husband and I eagerly wait for a cup of coffee!

National Coffee Day + Blueberry Streusel Mini Muffins Recipe

Excuse the reflection as my husband and I eagerly wait for a cup of coffee!

 

It’s crazy but it wasn’t until last year that I started drinking coffee regularly. Before then, I could count the number of times I drank a coffee on one hand. I can pinpoint exactly when I started drinking coffee – I had twins! The first week we were home, my husband went out and bought a coffee machine and I’ve been in love ever since. My morning isn’t complete until I’ve had a cup – or two – of coffee to get me energized and start off my day right.

Today is National Coffee Day, which I know will be a widely celebrated holiday by all those coffee lovers out there. As for me, I’m celebrating with my brand new Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer from Staples. This machine is amazing. My husband was initially hesitant to try it since he thought there was nothing wrong with our old coffee machine. Um, boy was he wrong. Compared to this new machine, our old was is ancient. It took forever to make one cup of coffee and we constantly had to fill up the water for multiple cups. Not only does it look good, the Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer has so many great features.

Excuse the reflection as my husband and I eagerly wait for a cup of coffee!

Excuse the reflection as my husband and I eagerly wait for a cup of coffee!

Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer

Features include:

  • High-pressure brewing system heats up and is ready to make Starbucks-quality beverages in less than 15 seconds
  • Integrated rinse function helps keep machine clean
  • Height-adjustable drip tray accommodates different sized cups
  • Auto-off activates after 5 minutes to save energy
  • Easily removable water tank makes refilling simple
  • Built-in used pod removal automatically moves up to 10 pods to storage for easy cleanup
  • Easy to make plenty of your favorite drinks at home
  • Enjoy everything from caffè lattes and espresso to brewed coffee. You can also use our milk pods for a rich, creamy hot cup of steamed milk

The Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer blew us away with how fast it brewed a cup of coffee. If there was a race between two coffee machines to brew a cup the fastest, I have no doubt this one would win. 15 seconds! Plus, it’s easy to keep the machine clean and it’s so simple to use. I’ve always loved going through the Starbucks drive-thru for a coffee pick me up, but now I’m saving money by doing it at home.

One of my favorite drinks to order at Starbucks is the Caffè Americano. With the Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer, it’s so easy to make from home. I use the Starbucks® Verismo™ Coffee Pods in Espresso Roast from Staples, mix with the hot water and have a delicious Caffè Americano – sometimes hot and sometimes iced – right at home.

I’ve recently started waking up early to get a little bit of work done before my three kids wake up. It’s so nice to sit down with a cup of coffee and breakfast and enjoy it in silence I recently made some Blueberry Streusel Muffins and I made them mini since I knew my kids would love them too. This is the perfect companion to a nice cup of coffee in the morning and they are so easy to make too.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Streusel Mini Muffins Recipe
 
Ingredients
  • Muffin Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • Streusel Topping Ingredients
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the streusel ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork. The texture should start to become like sand and crumble. Mixture should start to get crumble when you mix it.
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients for the mini muffins until well combined. Slowly stir in egg,the egg and milk until well combined. Gently mix in the blueberries.
  4. Add the batter into your mini muffin pan. Top with streusel ingredients.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before eating and then enjoy with a cup of coffee!

These Blueberry Streusel Mini Muffins are so good with a cup of coffee!

Coffee and Muffins

Win a Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer from Staples on National Coffee Day

Head over to Twitter at 9am, 12pm and pm EST and follow both @SippyCupMom and @Staples. I’ll be giving away a Starbucks® Verismo™ 580 Brewer during each hour and all you have to do is answer my question or RT the question on Twitter for a chance to win. I’m so excited about this giveaway because I know you will love the machine.

Connect with Staples

Online

Facebook

Twitter

Happy National Coffee Day! How will you be celebrating?

 

Disclosure: A huge thanks to Staples for sending us our new favorite coffee machine. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

TurboFast

Taco Tuesday with Turbo: FAST on Netflix #StreamTeam

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The new school year has started and it’s definitely been an adjustment for the whole family. My son went from playing all day, sleeping in and staying up a bit later to having homework and an early bedtime. He has done a great job and I wanted to have a fun night for him. One of his favorite movies on Netflix is Turbo – I can’t tell you how many times we have seen it. He’s always asking me, “What’s the plan, Taco Man?”. Since we usually always have tacos on Tuesday, I decided to officially have a Taco Tuesday night with a Dos Bros themed menu and then surprise Hayden with the new episodes of Turbo: FAST on Netflix – the first-ever Netflix original series for kids.

TurboFast

After we saw Turbo in the theater, Hayden immediately asked if there was going to be a sequel. As a continuation of Turbo, DreamWorks’ popular flick about an ‘underdog’ snail who kicks into overdrive with his miraculous power of super-speed, Turbo: FAST follows Turbo and his pals on their pursuit of big dreams, as they continue to amp up everything to the extreme. There’s a total of 20 episodes of Turbo: Fast now and they don’t disappoint!

When setting up your taco bar, you can visit the Dos Bros Taco website for some ideas on what to serve. It’s not a Taco Truck, but it’s still fun!

Taco Tuesday with Turbo Fast

Dos Bros

To complete your night of Turbo: FAST fun, print these free printables which include Mad Libs, a Word Search and Origami.

If you’re looking to make things extra cozy for a family movie night in with Netflix, check out this DIY Blanket Fort – so fun! Don’t forget to catch the 20 episodes of Turbo: FAST on Netflix right now!

What’s your favorite family movie to watch on Netflix?

 

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream team and compensation has been received. However, we have loved Netflix for years. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Skylanders Trap Team Countdown Chain

Skylanders Trap Team Countdown Chain

Skylanders Trap Team Countdown Chain

 

 

For the past few months, all my son has been talking about is Skylanders Trap Team. He’s been watching videos and loves looking at pictures of the new chracters. When I showed him that the Skylanders Facebook page showed there were only 15 days left, he immediately would wake up each morning to tell me how many days were left until the release of Skylanders Trap Team!

Skylanders Trap Team Countdown Chain

 

 

I meant to make a countdown chain for him when we were only 10 days out to the release but well, life got in the way. We are now 9 days out, so I made a countdown chain that you can start on Saturday, September 27th {or even a few days before you plan to buy it for your child – it doesn’t have to be the release day on October 5th!}.

Skylander Trap Team Countdown

Simply click on the pictures below to open up the picture, print and make a chain yourself to countdown the days until the release of Skylanders Trap Team!

Skylander Countdown Chain 1

 

Skylander Countdown Chain 2

 

Skylander Countdown Chain 3

Connect with Skylanders

Online

-Facebook

Twitter

Are you counting down the days until Skylanders Trap Team?

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Amy Dunne’s Pinterest Page #GoneGirl

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I first read Gone Girl almost two years ago when I heard so many people raving about it. I’ve since read the book about 5 times and it’s quickly became a favorite in my Top 10. When I heard that it was going to be a movie, I couldn’t wait. Gone Girl is to be released on October 3rd and is directed by David Fincher. Based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn – it unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

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Amy Dunne is missing. But her Pinterest page has been found.  

Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne has a Pinterest account you can explore. In the upcoming movie thriller Gone Girl by David Fincher, ‘Amazing Amy’ Dunne (Rosamund Pike) has gone missing and all eyes are on her husband Nick (Ben Affleck.) Everyone is wondering ‘Did Nick kill his wife?’

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As evidence mounts and speculation rises, Amy’s past is coming into focus on Pinterest. What was she like? What were her interests? Did she leave any clues? Explore for yourself at http://bit.ly/AmyDunne .

Watch the Trailer

Gone Girl is in Theaters October 3rd

Official Website | Facebook |Twitter | Google+

 

Stay tuned next week for a Gone Girl giveaway!

NFL

Game Day Party with Family Dollar + {Free} Printables and a Giveaway! #FDGameDay

NFL

 

 

When you think of fall, I bet the first thing that comes to your mind (besides a Pumpkin Spice Latte) is football, right? Well, I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of football but I have been known to use it as an excuse to spend time with family and friends, and eat way more than I should.  So, when Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, and Family Dollar wanted to partner with us to throw an awesome football party I jumped at the chance! Now, I’ve giving you the chance to host your own football extravaganza with your closest family and friends with FREE printables, game day tips, and a chance to win an awesome prize pack (stay tuned for that)!

NFL

PRE-GAME

  • Decorating: No party is complete without decorations, right? Thankfully I have you covered on that front.  Head on over to Pizzazzerie to print out your very own decorations that you can customize yourself.  The welcome sign (just like the picture above) and pennants (select your favorite team) are awesome additions to any party and will really get your party guests in the spirit. {Go Rams!}
  • Shopping: Nothing is more of a pain than going shopping and not having everything you need in the same store.  That’s why I did my game day shopping at Family Dollar.  They have absolutely everything needed to keep your guests satisfied and keep your wallet full.

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PARTY TIME!

  • This is where the fun comes in, right?! During my party I served Lays Chips and French Onion Dip, Doritos, Tostito Scoops, Slasa and Queso Blanco Dip, Pepsi, Mtn Dew (I’m seriously addicted) and obviously some adult drinks, too :)
  • Our party was family friendly so I made sure to have plenty of things for the kids to do whether they wanted to hang out with the adults or go play with toys elsewhere.  Something I thought of after the party and I wish I would have done it was to cut out the pennants available above and glue them to a small wooden dowel rod so the kids can wave them around

AFTER PARTY

  • While this party may only be attended by you and your honey, make it a little easier on yourself with everything you need from Procter & Gamble.  The best part is that all your after party supplies are available at Family Dollar so stock up while you’re doing your pre-game shopping.
  • To make my clean up easier I made sure I was stocked up on Swiffer Refills, Dawn Dish Soap, Bounty Paper Towels, and I re-stocked the bathrooms with Charmin Toilet Paper.

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Want to host your own game day party?  Enter to win the above prize pack by entering below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

RickySeries

Kids Book Series: Adventures with Ricky Ricotta + Giveaway

RickySeries

 

 

 

My son is in 1st grade and while I have to force him to try and read to us, he does love being read to. Recently, I’ve been enjoying reading to him chapter books. He has such a fun imagination that he loves hearing these looks read aloud to him and then acting them out in his room with his action figures. One of his favorite books for me to read to him is Captain Underpants – he just thinks it’s so silly! That’s why I was excited to discover a new series from Captain Underpants writer Dav Pilkey – the Ricky Ricotta series!

RickySeries

Who is Ricky Ricotta?

Ricky Ricotta is a little mouse with BIG problems! Every day he is picked on by the neighborhood bullies. He lives in Squeakyville with his mother and father, and being an only mouse, he is often lonely. That is until SOMETHING BIG HAPPENS! A giant flying robot enters Ricky’s life and an unlikely friendship is born! Together, Ricky and his Robot must save the planet from a galaxy bursting with bad guys!

ABOUT BOOK ONE: RICKY RICOTTA’S MIGHTY ROBOT

Little Ricky Ricotta has a problem: the bullies at school pick on him all the time. Until one day, he saves the life of a mighty robot. Together, Ricky and his Robot face the bullies, and save Squeakyville from a giant evil lizard monster. That’s what friends are for!

ABOUT BOOK TWO: RICKY RICOTTA’S MIGHTY ROBOT VS MUTANT MOSQUITOS FROM MERCURY

Mr. Mosquito hates Mercury. The days are so hot, they melt his flip-flops, and the nights are so cold, his toothpaste freezes solid! He’s decided to take over Earth instead. Ricky and his Robot must stop his army of massive Mutant Mosquitoes!

ABOUT BOOK THREE: RICKY RICOTTA’S MIGHTY ROBOT VS VOODOO VULTURES FROM VENUS

Victor Von Vulture hates Venus. His toasted cheese sandwiches are always way too gooey, and ice cream melts in a second! So he and his army of Voodoo Vultures try to cast a spell on the Earth. It’s up to Ricky and his Robot to stop them!

ABOUT BOOK FOUR: RICKY RICOTTA’S MIGHTY ROBOT VS THE MECHA-MONKEYS FROM MARS

Little Ricky Ricotta has a problem: the bullies at school pick on him all the time. Until one day, he saves the life of a mighty robot. Together, Ricky and his Robot face the bullies, and save Squeakyville from a giant evil lizard monster. That’s what friends are for!

Illustrations

My son is 6 years old and he has loved hearing about the crazy adventures of Ricky Ricotta. He absolutely loves the illustrations too, which is done by Dan Santat. After a few years of designing art for video games, Dan switched his attention to children’s books. Since then, Dan has written and illustrated several bestselling books for children, including The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and Sidekicks. Dan also created the Disney animated hit The Replacements. Dan was born in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in Southern California with his family. You can find out more by visiting his website at www.dantat.com.

About the Author

When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he suffered from ADHD, reading challenges, and behavioral problems. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hallway every day. Dav loved to draw and make up stories, so he spent this time creating his own original comic books.

In second grade, Dav created a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. His teacher ripped it up and told him he couldn’t spend the rest of his life making silly books. Fortunately, Dav was not a very good listener.

Dav has written and illustrated many bestselling books for children, including the Captain Underpants series with over 70 million books in print, the Ricky Ricotta series, and The Paperboy, a Caldecott Honor Book.

Dav grew up in Ohio and now lives with his wife in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about him at www.pilkey.com.

I loved hearing about Dav Pilkey’s childhood because at 6 years old, my son already sounds a lot like him. He has his reading and listening challenges but he has a HUGE imagination and likes to make up silly stories.

Check out the Trailer!

More Fun with Ricky Ricotta

Check out the Classroom  Guide

View the Book Trailer

Play the Make Your Own Robot Game

Read Chapter Excerpts & a Mini-Comic Excerpt

Download the Character Cards

Check out Ricky Ricotta Printables

Get Social!

Visit the Ricky Ricotta Official Site

Learn more about author Dav Pilkey

Follow Scholastic and ScholasticTeach on Twitter

Like Scholastic Parents and Scholastic Teachers on Facebook

Win It!

Enter to win a Ricky Ricotta Prize Pack! Enter the Rafflecopter form below. US only, Prizing & samples courtesy of Scholastic.

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Save Your Split Ends with Suave Split End Rescue + $20 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

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It’s bad but I can’t even tell you the last time that I went to the salon and got my hair cut. It seems that as Moms, we tend to put ourselves last when it comes to taking care of us. I’d much rather spend the money on my kids or us doing something fun together as a family than on my hair! But, it’s getting pretty bad. The worst thing about my hair – besides the grays that are sneaking in up top – are the split ends. They always seem to get so bad and then I get embarrassed when I finally DO get my hair cut and the stylist comments about them.

Recently, I’ve been using Suave Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner from the Suave Professionals line. The products are currently on rollback at Walmart for $2.50 – you really can’t beat that price for fixing your split ends and getting hair like you’ve just left the salon. It’s salon-proven to strengthen as well as Paul Mitchell® SuperStrong ® Daily shampoo and conditioner to help help cleanse and condition hair, transforming split ends into healthy-looking, strong hair after just three uses.

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What’s better than $2.50 a product? How about $1? On Sunday, September 28th, there will be a coupon in the Sunday paper for $1.50 off Suave Professionals which means you can pick up Suave Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner for only $1!

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Looking at Pinterest, there are some crazy things you can try to do to get rid of split ends besides getting a hair cut. I’ve seen to put coconut oil in your hair or even egg yolks. Also, raw honey and then an olive oil and avocado concoction. I honestly don’t have time for that which is why I’m using Suave Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner!

What are some drastic things you have done to get rid of split ends without getting a hair cut? 

Win It!

Enter to win a $20 Walmart Gift Card! Enter the widget below. 

Suave Split End Rescue – Sippy Cup Mom

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

An Awesome Slideshow Created by Melissa Mitchell   Fotor Slideshow

A Glimpse into Our Life with Slideshow!

An Awesome Slideshow Created by Melissa Mitchell   Fotor Slideshow

 

 

Like almost any parent, I love taking pictures of my kids and our daily life. My phone quickly fills up though and then I’m having to figure out what to do with all of these pictures. Recently, I discovered a slideshow creator app online appropriately named Slideshow from Fotor! I’ve used Fotor for a while now to ake fun collages of my kids but now I’ve been taking all of the photos I’ve taken in a month and then creating a photo slideshow. That way, I’ve got all my photos from the month in one place and with the website, I can easily share with my friends and family or onto my social media!

Using Slideshow by Fotor is really easy – you can be done in minutes!

1. Choose your Theme

Slideshow Maker by Fotor

There are 9 different themes to choose from all with different music and styles. Choose your favorite! You can preview what it looks like before you begin.

2. Upload your Photos

Snapshots Template   Fotor Slideshow

I love how easy they make it to add photos. Upload from your computer or connect with Facebook, Instagram or Dropbox to easily add photos to make a Slideshow. I decided to create one using photos from the past few weeks. You have to choose at least 5 photos and up to 20. Once you’ve picked them, hit the GO button!

3. Watch and Share your Awesome Slideshow!

An Awesome Slideshow Created by Melissa Mitchell   Fotor Slideshow

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Want to see my Awesome Slideshow by Fotor? You can view it here! Such cute kids, if I must say so myself! I just love how it arranges the photos and adds music too.

If you’re looking for a photo slideshow, you’ll want to check out Slideshow by Fotor! Do you like to make slideshows of your pictures?

 

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

MorningStar Meatless Recipes

A Fresh Take on Meals: Meatless Monday Ideas

MorningStar Meatless Recipes

 

A Fresh Take on Family Meals is part of a sponsored opportunity with Foodie.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For awhile, I was making the same dishes for dinner over and over. The whole family was getting tired of it so I sat down with my husband and came up with some new dinner ideas. One thing we decided to start was Meatless Mondays. My husband had actually been eating most of his lunches meatless so we thought it would be good to incorporate it at home too.

MorningStar Meatless Recipes

Meatless doesn’t mean boring. Pretty much any recipe you like can be made meatless especially thanks to MorningStar products. It used to be that we would just buy the burgers and chicken patties and that would be it. But you can get so creative with them! Blue Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Salad? Mediterranean Gyros? YUM! Best of all, there are so many meatless meals that are kid-friendly…in fact my son prefers his meals not to have meat! One of his favorite MorningStar meals is their Corn Dogs….and they are SO good!

Below are some delicious recipes for meatless meals whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Not only are these recipes delicious but the ones featuring MorningStar products are good for you too!

Check out Meatless Mondays

by Melissa Mitchell at Foodie.com

Which meatless meal will you make?

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Your Wallet Just Went High Tech with Softcard from Verizon #paywithmyphone

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Do you suffer from Mom Brain? I know I do. It’s totally an actual thing. There are days that I will grab my phone to Google something and as soon as the browser is open, I’ll forget what I was supposed to look up. Or I’ll walk into a room and have no idea what I was going to grab. With three kids, I’m always on the goo. I’m also often switching my wallet back and forth between my purse and my diaper bag. I can’t tell you how many times {more than I’d like to admit!] that I’ve been at a grocery store with a full cart only to realize that my wallet is back at home in a different bag. But you know what I never leave home without? My phone! Thanks to Softcard from Verizon, I don’t have to worry about being out without my wallet because now my phone IS my wallet.

Softcard from Verizon is a free app that allows you to store your credit cards and loyalty cards all in one place with a unique pin to open your wallet that protects your information! It’s also so easy to sign up – I did everything right from my phone! You can easily add eligible payment cards {American Express, Chase and Wells Fargo} to pay for purchases and get all the benefits and protections you would with your physical card. Don’t have those cards? Sign up for an American Express Serve® Account for free and you can add money to from your preferred debit or credit card.

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The other problem besides my overflowing wallet is my key ring. It’s got way too many loyalty cards on it – I just can’t stop adding to it! But with Softcard, you can even add your loyalty cards – less bulk on the key ring! Right away, I added my Toys R Us loyalty card since I knew I would be shopping there soon. I ditched all of the loyalty cards off my key ring and I swear I feel so much better!

Wallet Before

You might feel a little hesitant to tie all of your money to your phone. But Softcard uses state-of-the-art technology and layers of security to protect your information. There are passwords and pins galore! It’s also so easy to use. Tap your phone to the icon on the pin pad and you’re done.

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Wondering if there are stores near you that even take Softcard? Before I started using the app on my phone, I thought there weren’t any stores nearby that I would be able to shop and try out the app. But you can pay with Softcard anywhere contactless payments are accepted, at over 200,000 locations nationwide! Just take a look at all of the different stores near me! I’m always running into Walgreens and now I don’t even have to bring my wallet with me.

Softcard Map

If you’re planning on doing a lot of shopping soon – the holiday season is approaching – you’ll want to check out these fantastic offers that are right in your Softcard account!

* Spend $40 and Get $20: Verizon customers with an American Express Serve Account on Softcard from Verizon can get a $20 credit after you spend $40 or more on one purchase with your Serve Account through September 30, 2014. Terms Apply.

* First 3 Coca-Cola® drinks are FREE. After the first three free drinks, if you buy 10 more, you get another 1 FREE through December 31, 2014. You must sign up for the “My Coke Rewards” loyalty card within Softcard to take advantage of this offer.

* White House Black Market – $20 off $80 (ends 10/31)

* Osh Gosh – 20% off $40 or more (ends 9/30)

* Chico’s – $25 off $100 or more (ends 10/31)

* Carter’s – 20% off $40 or more (ends 9/30)

#PayWithMyPhone Twitter Party

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Are you interested in learning more about Softcard? Join the Twitter Party on Thursday, September 25th from 12pm-1pm EST. Prizes include 2 $75 American Express Gift Cards and a Grand Prize of a $200 American Express Gift Card! RSVP now!

I’m such a techy person and I love that thanks to Softcard by Verion, even my wallet is going high-tech! Now, I’m off to shop!

 

I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Verizon Wireless and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The Softcard related content is provided by Verizon Wireless. The opinions on this blog are my own.