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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Twenty Four.

August 30th, 2014

Today I turned 24. Today sucked. It rained all day. I didn’t feel good at all. I was stuck home alone with Aliceana all day, and boy has she hit the terrible twos. Almost all of my friends and family seemed to have forgotten about me.

I’m going to take this not-so-great birthday and think with the glass half full. I figure that twenty four can only get better from here. It has to, right?

Today I even started a little journal of all the things I’m thankful for. My plan is to fill it out every night before I go to sleep. My stationery addiction meant that starting a new journal was as easy as picking one out from my office. I’m such a hoarder.

Today I wrote in my journal about the obvious things I’m thankful for, my daughter, my husband, yoga pants, this website. You know…just the essentials.

So now I’m sitting here listening to snoring dogs and watching the newest episode of Doctor Who and wishing that I had a hard cider or two…or three…or six.

I think I’ll have to write, “I’m thankful for Peter Capaldi.” in my journal tonight, because he’s definitely growing on me as the new doctor.

Do you keep a journal? What do you like to keep track of in your journal?

Enjoy Music Wirelessly with Jabra ROX #ListenUp (+ Giveaway)

August 27th, 2014

I have received free product in order to conduct this review, all thoughts, opinions, words, and photos are my own. #ListenUp

Music is so motivating. I use music to get me through work days (I’m almost always listening to music when writing this blog, like right now!) cleaning the house, work outs, long drives, and sometimes I like to crank it up and have a solo dance party if I’m home alone. I don’t get to listen to music as much as I’d like as a mom, I’m normally listening to cartoons in the background to occupy my daughter in order to get anything done.

Sometimes I get the chance to listen to music with headphones. I love the freedom that comes with  Jabra ROX Wireless earbuds.

I didn’t even know that headphones like this existed. They hook up wirelessly through bluetooth on both Apple and Android devices.

You can listen to your favorite music, podcasts, audiobooks, and sportsgames wirelessly on-the-go. Letting you keep your device in your pocket or bag. How many times have you accidentally pulled out your earbuds out of your device while streaming? I know I’ve done it many many times, now you don’t have to worry about those annoying cords.

I love that when you’re not using your Jabra ROX the earbuds magnetically clip together, this way you can wear them around your neck when they’re not in use. The best part is that this activates power saving mode while you’re on-the-go.

  024

These earbuds have excellent sound quality, featuring high definition Dolby sound.

Rox Wireless’ design is based on the same in-ear monitors used by professional musicians to bring full sound and strong bass. And when you need that something extra, Jabra’s exclusive Sound App player with Dolby pumps out full-spectrum sound.

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Bona Motion for Hardwood Floors (+ Giveaway)

August 27th, 2014

I have received free product in order to conduct this review, all thoughts, opinions, words, and photos are my own. 

Having hardwood floors in our home is great. It definitely gives the house some extra character.

Having hardwood floors, two dogs, and a toddler can be…well, not a very great combination. It’s so hard to keep up with cleaning and maintaining hardwood. You have to (or you should) use special cleaners to preserve the wood and it’s finish.

I was so excited when I was browsing around Target, our family’s favorite store to stock up on everything for our house, and I found the perfect solution for cleaning or hardwood floors quickly! They had a whole line of products from Bona.

Bona has been the superior floor care of choice by professionals for over 90 years. Now Bona products are extremely convenient. They have a whole line of hardwood floor mops and accessories that can help to clean your hardwood floors almost as quickly as they become dirty.

Bona for the cleanest hardwood floors

I got a chance to review the Bona Floor Mop – Motion. I love how easy it is to use. Pull the trigger to spray Bona’s premium no-residue cleaner and you can mop in no time. If you have stuck on messes just tap the button on the base with your foot and the sonic motion will give you the extra boost you need to clean that mess.

It must be fun, because Aliceana wanted to use it too!

Cleaning with Bona

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Thoughts on Peter Capaldi’s debut as The Doctor

August 23rd, 2014

capaldi Via BBCAmerica.com

Peter Capaldi debuted as the 12th Doctor in Doctor Who. I couldn’t wait for this moment, to see what the new doctor would be like. Peter Capaldi is so different than the other modern day doctors, I’m so excited to see how he and Clara (who might just be my favorite companion ever,) will interact. We also met the twelfth doctor at a bit of an odd spot, he didn’t know how to fly the TARDIS?  What else did this doctor forget during regeneration?

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How to Plan a DIY Candy Buffet for Your Party

August 23rd, 2014
Psst, this is an older post from an old domain that I let expire, because I couldn’t give it the same love I give this site. I had to republish it over here though, because everyone needs to know how to set up the perfect candy buffet or candy bar! Also, I put way too much work into my daughter’s first birthday (An over the top Aliceana in One-derland theme) and I would love to share that with my favorite readers, that’s you!

Candy Buffets (or Candy Bars, I avoid the term Candy Bar as everyone thinks I’m referring to chocolate bars) have become a very popular trend at weddings and parties.
Personally, I love candy buffets. It’s a really fun way to add decor to your space, give your guests a nice treat, and it gives off the feeling of nostalgia. At a candy buffet you’re like a kid in a candy store, and everyone can appreciate that feeling.
Candy buffets are not the easiest thing to pull together though, there’s lots of planning that comes with a candy buffet. So I created a list of everything you need to consider when planning a candy buffet!
Here are the top 7 things you need to consider to pull off a candy buffet!
 
I’ll be using my “One-derland” candy buffet as an example, as it was a small and simple candy buffet to pull off. You can make your own buffet as elaborate as you’d like, and I’ll show you how in this little tutorial.

Pick a theme
First, decide if you want your candy buffet to fit a theme. This could be as simple as a color scheme, or maybe you want it to go with your party theme. Your theme is the central concept for your entire candy buffet, spend some time envisioning how you want the final product to look and stick with it.
Here my theme was Alice in Wonderland, it was as simple as adding tags with “Eat Me.” as you saw in the Alice in Wonderland movies and books. I also added touches that represented that we were at a tea party and a little cameo from The Queen of Hearts.

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Target Wedding (+ Flash giveaway!)

August 22nd, 2014

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own. #TargetWedding #Sponsored


It’s still wedding season, and of course wedding bells aren’t ringing here. AJ and I have been married for 3 years already (I can’t believe it’s been that long, it feels like yesterday!) We did get a chance to go on a little vacation this Summer. Ok, ok…it was a business trip, but we still had a great time and took a few days to ourselves.

The Target Wedding registry includes great items for adventurous, and romantic trips. On our trip we visited Carmel, California for a whimsical evening. We visited beautiful little shops, had a lovely fireside dinner, and loved listening to the ocean waves crashing and being able to take in the scent of the salty ocean from our hotel windows. The next day we drove down highway 1 in a Mustang and stopped at a gorgeous sandy beach, only to see dolphins playing in the ocean.

dolphins

We didn’t bring our fancy DSLR camera with on the trip, but we really could have used a  Canon EOS Rebel T5I (an item that you can add on your Target registry.) We didn’t get that great of pictures using our phones, and the photos make it look like the dolphins are so much further away than they were. So you should definitely register for a nice camera, it comes in handy when you start a family as well. You can capture the endless amount of baby photos with a high quality camera like the Canon EOS Rebel T5I.

 

I’m giving away a $25 Target gift card to one of my lucky readers!

Make sure to check out the Target Wedding registry! It was where we registered over 3 years ago, and we loved our Target gifts and still use them today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Easy Homemade Blueberry Pie Recipe

August 21st, 2014

Can you believe that I have never tasted a slice of blueberry pie, let alone an easy homemade blueberry pie? Blueberries were on sale, and well, doesn’t that always mean it’s time to try a new recipe?

I did some digging and found our family recipe for blueberry pie. I was a little unsure if cinnamon should really be used a an ingredient in this pie, but it was amazing. Cinnamon and warm blueberries is the perfect flavor combination.

homemade blueberry pie

I have to say, for this being my very first blueberry pie. It was delicious.

homemade blueberry pie with crust recipe

Since we’re talking about firsts, this was my first time taking my four ingredient flaky pie crust and making it into a pretty lattice weave! That was way easier than I thought it would be, and it turned out so pretty. It would have looked a little better if I had cut the strips into equal sized strips, but eh, my guesstimations gave it character, right?

easy homemade pie recipe
We served this easy homemade blueberry pie with scoops of frozen custard. We each enjoyed a piece of pie while watching a Doctor Who episode. AJ is getting closer to being caught up, we already said goodbye to David Tennant as The Doctor and we’ve moved onto Matt Smith. I’m pretty sure we both cried. At least I know I did. A lot.

If you find yourself with spare blueberries you should probably whip up this pie. Actually, no, scratch that. Go to the store now, buy these ingredients, tie on your Tardis apron (everyone has one of those, right?) and get to baking!


Easy Homemade Blueberry Pie

8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts (link to recipe below)
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Sprinkle sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon on top of blueberries and stir.
  3. Roll out first pie crust on a floured surface, using a pizza cutter cut into 1/2 inch strips
  4. Place second whole pie crust in a pie pan.
  5. Add blueberry filling.
  6. Weave your crust into a lattice design, or simply overlap
  7. Place 1 pie crust in a pie dish
  8. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened.
  9. Let cool before serving.

Remember to use my four ingredient flaky pie crust to make this recipe taste the best!

A Peek at Netflix HQ and Meeting Piper Kerman

August 20th, 2014

I’m a part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, this post is part of a sponsored conversation. All opinions are my own.

Last month, AJ and I got to tour Netflix Headquarters (along with other StreamTeam members.) After touring Nteflix HQ, I think I’ve found my dream job. It’s a little bit like pop culture exploded in this building. You can find fun things in almost every cubical (I saw a Dalek poking his head out of one, I walked off before it could say “Exterminate! Exterminate!” I was wearing a Tardis dress afterall.) Get ready to see lots of pictures, this post is ful of them!

This is a station in the middle of an office. Full of game consoles and TVs. How fun is that?

Netflix work station
It’s such a fun environment at Netflix. I loved this wall, it’s fun trying to find your favorite show titles. I found quite a few of my favorites!

netflix wall
All of the rooms are named after TV shows, it was such a great touch. We all roamed around looking for our favorite shows and movies. Here’s Shaun of the Dead.

Netflix Shaun of The Dead

Here’s the Sex and the City room. the other ladies were on the other windows, but who doesn’t love a giant Charlotte?

Netflix Sex in the City
Even the bathrooms are fun. No Men/Women signs here! Instead you choose whether you’re a Marge…

netflix marge
Or are you a Homer?

Netflix homer

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