Hearty and Simple Weeknight Skillet – Pick ‘n Save

September 22nd, 2014

This recipe shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyPicknSave #Shop

Heart and Simple weeknight skillet #Shop #MyPicknSave
It’s my favorite season. Comfort food season! (Not that I actually stop making comfort food in summer, that would just be crazy talk!) I love comfort food, but I also love simple meals to throw together, the easier the better! We planned on watching the football game yesterday afternoon, so I knew I wouldn’t want to make a crazy ambitious meal. It turns out that our team lost, and our favorite baseball team also lost. So I’m definitely glad that I stopped at Pick ‘n Save yesterday morning to gather ingredients for this great hearty and simple weeknight skillet.

hearty weeknight skillet #Shop #MyPicknSave

To make this a skillet that would really fill us up, I made sure to include whole wheat pasta, hamburger, and loaded up the veggies. Of course I made sure that it wasn’t bland and added a little bit of garlic powder, hot paprika and topped it off with a layer of melted pepper jack cheese. I love shopping at Pick ‘n Save for cheese, they have the best selection in town. (and we’re pretty picky about our cheese in Wisconsin.)

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Just Between Friends Milwaukee – Fall 2014

September 16th, 2014

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Just Between Friends of Milwaukee.  This program is in partnership with Real Mom Media (www.RealMomMedia.com).  All opinions are my own.

I’m so excited to be attending Just Between Friends in Milwaukee this weekend. I went to my first sale last Spring and I ended up with a ton of clothes for Aliceana as well as a Radio Flyer wagon. You can view the recap post here.

milwaukee

I love that Just Between Friends consignment sales are organized by season, last Spring I stocked up on Summer clothing, but this Fall it’ll be all Winter clothing. Perfect for refreshing your little ones seasonal wardrobe. I’m definitely keeping a lookout for items like snow pants, because who wants to pay retail for those?

I seriously can’t wait to see what I can find for Aliceana this weekend, I fully expect to be done with Winter clothes shopping after this sale. (and that makes this mom, incredibly happy.)

I’m driving about an hour for this sale, and let me tell you, it’s completely worth the drive for an entire winter wardrobe for cheap. If the JBF Milwaukee sale is a little bit of a drive for you, don’t let that deter you!

One huge tip I can give you is to make sure to bring a big enough vehicle, you never know what you’ll find. You might find an amazing stroller, or the perfect play kitchen for your kids, or maybe you’ll just need the extra room for all the clothes you end up with. I didn’t think about trunk space when I bought the wagon last year and I barely got it to fit, oops!

Here are the dates of the Just Between Friends Milwaukee sale at the Wisconsin Expo Center.

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The Mom Dilemma.

September 12th, 2014

I don’t talk about parenting a lot on here, mostly because I don’t feel like I’m good at it. Not that Aliceana is a bad kid, oh no, I couldn’t have asked for a better first child (I’m sure our next kid is going to give me a run for my money.) Being a mom for me, means a whole lot of doubt in my parenting skills.

I think most mother’s have this dilemma really. Parenting is not so much hard, but just ever changing. We get things wrong and we hold onto them. When what we really need to hold on to those great little moments.

Today we had one of those mornings. Aliceana saw a glimpse of her blanket when I brought it downstairs and she decided that she wanted to go “nuh-night” with her blanket after only being awake a couple hours. I knew she wasn’t actually sleepy, she just wanted her coveted blanket. Then she told me she was so hungry after she had scarfed down a whole bowl of cereal.

Aliceana

There were a lot of tears between requests for a nap and more food. I kept trying to get her to tell me what she wanted to eat. After a few minutes I took her hand, brought her to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator where she selected an apple. I sliced an apple and we cuddled up on the couch where she ate it happily, and thoughts of blankets quickly faded away.

As a mom I need to reflect on that great moment where we won a toddler sized victory. We figured out a healthy snack, and Aliceana was so happy about it, and in turn I was pretty darn proud. I could easily count this morning as an epic fail, due to the little melt down we had, but we fixed it

Parenting is well… nearly indescribable. Parenting is a job where you have to be creative on the fly, a job where what worked great yesterday will most definitely not work today, but it’s also unimaginably great. Where else do you get to pause what you’re doing for a dance party, or get interrupted from a task because your daughter wants help making a sand castle?

aliceana2

Most Anticipated Video Games of Fall 2014

September 9th, 2014

It’s video game season! There are so many great games coming out this Fall. I put together a list of my most anticipated games, a few of these I’ll be picking up the day they’re released. I’ll be crossing my fingers for a good Black Friday sale to pick the rest of these up. (Seriously, that’s the best time to get new games for great prices! I’ll sneak into Best Buy a little bit before the sales end when all the chaos is over and snag the games at a great price.) I’ve included affiliate links for easy shopping for you.

most anticipated video games fall 2014

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Introducing The Domestic Geek, Geeky Shirt of the Month.

September 5th, 2014

I love geeky shirts, but most geeky shirts are made exclusively for men. Which just isn’t fair. If you do find the elusive geeky girl shirt it’s normally close to $10 more than the guy version. So I’ve decided to start a monthly tee shirt campaign, here on The Domestic Geek Blog. For both you and me (I can’t wait to get my hands on these shirts either!)

For the first month, I thought Doctor Who would be fitting. Who doesn’t have Doctor Who fever right now?

I picked one of my favorite one-liners from David Tennant. “Always Take a Banana To a Party.” This quote was made famous in The Girl in the Fireplace episode.

Always Take a Banana to a Party Tee

You can  show your inner geek and order yours on TeeSpring by clicking the image above for just $15 for men’s tees and or women’s fitted tees. You can even buy one for yourself and one for your better half!

What do you think about these tees? Do you think the price is fair? Do you have any ideas for tees you would like to see in upcoming months?

Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy

September 5th, 2014

This is a sponsored post, on behalf of Linqia. All opinions, words, and photos are my own.

Pulls-Ups logo

We’re working on potty training, it’s such a long process that you need tons of patience for. I know using Pull-Ups during the day definitely helps. We can get to the potty and pull down the Pull-Ups very quickly. It’s pretty ironic how rushed you are when you’re getting your little one to the potty, but once they get there it’s a waiting game. You wait, and wait, and wait. For us, most of the time nothing ends up happening, we all give up after awhile. Pull a Pull-Ups back on and then she goes.

We’ll get there eventually.

One of Aliceana’s newest obsessions is Doc McStuffins, she knows each song. She’s always singing the theme song, or songs about check-ups, or feeling better. She knows each character by name, she loves Stuffy, Lambie, Chilly, Hallie, and of course Doc. Yes, I watch a whole lot of Doc McStuffins.

So it’s definitely exciting that Doc McStuffins is now on Pull-Ups! I think Aliceana is a lot more excited than I am.

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My thoughts on the Sims™ 4 Launch

September 5th, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheSims4 #CollectiveBias

The Sims™ 4 launch was on Tuesday. As a video game addict I always thought The Sims was a game geared towards only casual gamers, but apparently I’m very wrong. I follow quite a few game blogs, and my social media feeds are blowing up with articles about The Sims™ 4. So much so, that I had to pick up a copy for myself. It’s about time I put my gaming PC to good use anyway.

I have to say, that I completely 100% expect to stay up all night playing The Sims™ 4 tonight.

thesims4

Here are some of the great new features of The Sims™ 4.

Sims with Big Personality –  Brand new Sims with big personalities. These new Smarter Sims show a whole lot more personality. You can tell when they’re happy, sad, or angry. They also have their own traits, skills, and aspirations. This makes for a unique experience during game play, you’ll be able to connect with your Sims like never before.

New Creative Tools – The Sims™ 4 has completely rebuilt its creative tools. You’ll be able to build homes and rooms with ease. You can even sculpt your Sims by hand. You’ll be able to have the home and characters that you’ve always wanted.

Sharing – We all love sharing via social media. Using the new Gallery function you can easily upload and download your Sims for the world to see.

I loved playing The Sims, it’s so much fun to slip into a virtual world. One of the things I had a little bit of trouble figuring out at first was how to get a job! My Sim needed income, I had no idea how to go about finding a career though. I put together a short little walk through guide on how to find a job in The Sims™ 4.

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Is a Chromebook Right For Me?

September 3rd, 2014

 

This post is part of a sponsored conversation on behalf of Yahoo! Tech. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Is a Chromebook right for me? That’s a big question that I had to ask myself. I’m always busy juggling parenting, home life, and all of the work behind this blog. I was in a bind, I had a PC in my office that I could barely find time to get to during the day. I had a tablet that I use during the day when I’m not able to reach my PC, but tablets have quite a lot of limitations. Tablets don’t have keyboards, and you can only access the more limited mobile version of websites on tablets.

Is a Chromebook right for me

I had next to nothing for a budget, but found myself needing something in between a Tablet and PC for productivity, and my own sanity. I went into researching very basic inexpensive laptops and Chromebooks. I quickly found that Chromebooks fit my almost non-existent budget, but I knew going in that they had quite a few limitations. So I did a lot of research on websites like Yahoo! Tech, and I even asked some of my fellow blogger friends if they had any experience with Chromebooks. I think researching products before purchase is so important, and if you’re reading this you must think so too, so a big kudos to you!

As far as limitations go with the Chromebook, you have to be aware going in that you will not have access to your typical Windows and Mac programs. You won’t be able to run programs like Photoshop, and iTunes. You will be able to open Microsoft Word documents via Google Drive, which is a huge plus. The programs you will find on a Chromebook are similar to those you will find on a Android smartphone or your computer if you’re familiar with Google programs. You will have easy access to Gmail, Chrome, Google Calendar, Google Drive (Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets,) Google + and more.

Wifi is definitely needed to run your Chromebook. I never had a problem with this even while traveling all the way to California. Most hotels have free Wifi and planes have a small fee for Wifi (totally worth it to get some productive work time in during your flight.)

The last few issues I’ve come across are not a huge deal. First, printing isn’t direct, it has to be set up through the Cloud. After the initial set-up it’s not a huge deal. The Chromebook also doesn’t have an optical drive, meaning you can’t use any kind of discs including CDs and DVDs. There also is not a whole lot of space to save on the hardware itself, but Chromebooks come with 100GB of Google Cloud storage and you can also supplement with SD cards.

chromebook

Now that I’ve pointed out the limitations of the Chromebook, I can share some of the factors that make this a great investment.

The battery life is fantastic. I use my Chromebook all day long, and I have never exhausted the battery. My battery last 9.5 hours, that’s a lot for a device this powerful.

The Chromebook is also lightweight (the biggest models weigh about 4 pounds.) I can actually fit my Chromebook in a tote sized purse for travel. I also love the keyboard, it has some great shortcuts that are easy to learn. There are a couple of standard buttons that you won’t find, like the delete and caps lock keys.

HP chromebook

Overall, I think that the Chromebook is a great buy. They’re definitely not for everyone, but I can definitely say it’s made my life a lot easier. This whole post was actually put together on my Chromebook. As I explained previously, Chromebooks are incredibly inexpensive, most models are under $300, with some with price points below $200. If you want a device that’s going to be a little more useful than a tablet, but you don’t need a full laptop, I definitely recommend the Chromebook.

tech_en-US_purple_large_v

Are you interested in Tech based articles like this one? Then you’ll love Yahoo! Tech. I could spend hours reading articles and watching videos on the current technology. I absolutely love the interface, it makes each article and video feel more interactive. Right off the top of the page I found three great articles, first I had to read 6 Ways to Save Money on Electronics, then curiosity peaked and I had to watch The 5 Toughest Smartphones (a version of my phone was #1!) and I had to read this hilarious article about the 11 Worst Kinds of Smart Phone Notifications on Earth. That’s just a taste of the articles and video you’ll find, Yahoo! Tech is a terrific place to do your research before you buy, or just find out some interesting facts about technology.

 

Finish Dishwasher Detergent for Sparkling Dishes

September 1st, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias

We cook and bake a lot in our house, and that means we have tons of dishes. I never have time to do dishes by hand so I’m always running the dishwasher, a lot of days our dishwasher goes through two cycles of dishes. After testing out a lot of dishwasher detergents I found that Finish brand works the best at getting our dishes sparkling clean on the first shot (unlike some of the other brands I tried.)

Finish Dishwasher Detergent  #SparklySavings #shop

Aliceana is getting to that really fun age where she loves to help. Last night she even helped me stir the ingredients for muffins! She had so much fun, and didn’t want to stop.

One of her new favorite tasks is helping to put all of the sparkling clean dishes away. We give her the easy items like silverware and plastic containers. Our silverware almost always end up in the wrong slots now, but that’s ok she’s still learning. I just wish AJ wouldn’t have taught her how to turn the dishwasher on, now she likes to turn the cycle off halfway through or run the dishwasher for a second cycle when it’s ready to be emptied.

Helping with dishes  #SparklySavings #shop

Another way we occupy her in the kitchen is with magnets, we have some cute magnets within Aliceana’s reach and she loves transferring them from the refrigerator to the dishwasher and vice versa.

Playing with magnets  #SparklySavings #shop

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Back to School with Smartphones and Tablets from U.S. Cellular

August 31st, 2014

I’m part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, this post is part of a sponsored conversation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The sun is shining and I would gladly take this weather for another couple of months, but it’s that time of year. Kid’s are starting to go back to school. School is a whole lot different than it used to be, kids are starting to use computers in schools sometimes as early as kindergarten. Devices like smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming back to school essentials

Back to School US Cellular

If your kids are older, you might be in the market for a smartphone or even a tablet. Having the internet in your hands can be the ultimate learning tool. If they need homework help they can use the power of Google to find the answer

Do you remember when we used to have to go to a library to find things out? That feels like ancient history. Now we have powerful computers that fit in our pockets.

Here are some ways that smart phones and tablets can be used by your High School students:

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