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Crab Dip and Crackers

December 8, 2016

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

I remember this appetizer from my childhood. My mom would make it for parties, it was requested quite a bit by friends and family. We would always have it around the holidays for some kind of gathering. As a child, I always thought it was so elegant and special. Now as an adult, I appreciate how easy it is to make. I found everything I needed at my local Market District store. 
 

shopping items
The variety of items required for this post from Collective Bias. I used the Cocktail sauce and Wheat Thins in my recipe.

 

in store
The crackers I needed for this recipe were so easy to find in my Market District store.

 

ingredients
The items needed for this recipe were easy to find and I was happy to purchase Market District and Giant Eagle brands whenever possible.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Cream cheese
  • 5 oz Pimento cheese
  • 2 Tbs chopped onions or onion powder
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Imitation Crab
  • Crackers (Wheat Thins, Ritz, or Triscuits work well)

Directions:

mixing
Mix together the Cream cheese, Pimento cheese, and onions till smooth. 

spread
Spread into your serving dish. 

cocktail sauce
Top with Cocktail sauce, use your desired amount. I used about half a bottle.

add crabs
Place small pieces of Crab on top.

crab
Enjoy!

Options:

  • Shrimp, Crab or imitation Crab can be used. 
  • You can omit the onions, or onion powder if you desire. 
  • You can omit the Pimento cheese if you desire.

Social links:

 

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Snickerdoodle Recipe and Cookie Round-up

December 5, 2016

Have you started your holiday baking? I know, it just turned December, but remember cookies freeze well and you get a head start on your cookies! My daughter loves Snickerdoodles. We don't make them a lot, if ever. So her choice for the first cookies of the season is Snickerdoodles. 

We used the recipe from  Food.com .  The reason I chose this recipe is that it was simple, it used only butter is and no shortening. 

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3⁄4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.

  • Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.

  • Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.

dough
 

  • Chill dough, and chill an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge.

  • Meanwhile, mix 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

  • Scoop 1 inch globs of dough into the sugar/ cinnamon mixture.

  • Coat by gently rolling balls of dough in the sugar mixture.

ready to cook
 

  • Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.

  • Remove from pan immediately.

finished

Suggestions:

  • Roll small dough balls, the smaller the better, they flatten out
  • This recipe makes a cookie that isn't very sweet, if you want it sweeter, add more sugar to the coating mixture
  • The recipe makes about 24 to 36 small cookies, if you need more, double the recipe.

 


 

This post is a part of the 2016 Virtual Cookie Exchange. Please take a moment to visit the other blogs participating in the round-up. 

 

Blogs that are participating:

across the top:

My Pinterventures    Christmas Candy Cookies  

Try it - Like it    Snickerdoodles   

A Moms Perspective    Ginger Bread Cookies 

Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen    Ginger Snaps  
bottom row:

The Olive Blogger     White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti    

Mom Knows Best    Peppermint white chocolate brownies 

Craftcore    Candy Cane Twist Cookies     

 

      

   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Peppermint Hot Cocoa :: 240 Sweet

November 22, 2016

hot chocolate kit

Who doesn't like to be happy, and when you come across a company who's mission statement includes making people happy, you know you have found something good. 240 Sweet's mission statement says,  “to make people happy through gourmet foods and drink".

I was so excited to try their Hot Chocolate Kit, I brought it with us as a special treat while on vacation. The kit includes two packages of marshmallows and one package of hot chocolate. It’s the perfect gift to say thank you to someone special and happy holidays. If you have never had a gourmet marshmallow, you are in for a treat. I have had their marshmallows on a variety of different occasions but my most favorite way is toasted.

If you would like to check 240 Sweet out or purchase your own treats, use the following links. And don't forget this special code for $10 off the Peppermint Hot Chocolate Kit; Coupon Code: holidaypeppermint

This is a sponsored post.
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No Hassle Potatoes

October 16, 2016

I was offered a VoxBox through the Influenster program for Idahoan instant potatoes. I have never been a fan of instant rather making them from scratch was my choice due to the taste, not the convenience. Making mashed potatoes isn't easy or quick so we don't have them often. One meal I had growing up and my kid's love was fish sticks with mashed potatoes. I was hesitant but thought I would give the Idahoan version a try. They were very easy to make, boil water and butter, add milk and the mix. Stir and let them rest for a bit and they were done. 

To my surprise, they tasted buttery, fluffy, and ever bit like homemade (without the lumps). I am sold! From now on, these Idahoan brand potatoes are on my shopping list, thanks to Influenster. 

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Chick-fil-a Mom's Panel

September 22, 2016

I am so excited to once again be a part of the Chick-fil-a Mom's Panel. This is my fourth year participating. As a part of the Mom Panel, I ’ll have the opportunity to hear about exclusive Chick-fil-A news and participate in special promotions which I will share with you here on Try it - Like it. 

If you'd like to be in the know, you can join Chick-fil-a email insiders. [email insiders]

Website: http://www.chick-fil-a.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chickfila
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChickfilA

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Fake Spaghetti Recipe

August 20, 2016

Weeknight, back to school, busy schedules...sometimes you need a quick go to recipe that everyone likes. This recipe is full of flavor and very kid friendly. My daughter often asks for this meal. 

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz Rotini Noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

  • Boil water and add noodles, drain when fully cooked
  • Brown ground beef
  • Add all four ingredients together and mix. It's ready to serve. 

I know the ingredients sound a bit strange and don't seem like enough but this is one you are going to have to trust and just try it. 

 

 

Stuffed Cheese Dumplings :: A Back To School Lunch Recipe

August 18, 2016

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

Back to school shopping includes grocery shopping at our house. I do shop differently at the grocery store when school is in session. We buy a lot more conveniently packed items. We had a Market District/Giant Eagle store open in our area recently. It makes shopping convenient since they have a variety of options available for packing school lunches. If you are looking for other back to school themed recipes check them out here: http://cbi.as/4v5gp

inside store
inside our Market District store

You have probably heard me state before that my girls go to a non-traditional classical education school. They attend school three days a week and homeschool the other two. On those days at home, I like to make the day a bit special by serving a hot lunch. One of the recipes we will use this year is Stuffed Cheese Dumplings or Pizza Dumplings. I stumbled across the idea for this recipe and my daughters and I made the recipe. They both enjoy helping and request them often. It is a great way to include the girls in the kitchen while teaching life skills.

convenient packs
convenient packs for lunch

Ingredients:

  • Roll of refrigerator biscuits
  • String Cheese
  • Pepperoni (optional)
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to temperature designated on the biscuit package. (ours was 350 degrees)

Place foil on a cookie sheet and flatten the biscuits. 

cheese on biscuit
Cut the string cheese with kitchen scissors to fit the biscuits.
​(One package cut down to three pieces for us) Place the Pepperoni if desired.
 

rolled biscuits
Cover the ingredients with the biscuit. Rolling them into a ball makes them look like Dim Sum!

butter mixture
Melt the butter and add Garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste.
Approx. 1 Tbsp of butter and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Paint this mixture onto the biscuits. 
 

Bake in the oven for the time stated on the biscuit package. (Ours was 15 - 17 minutes)

Options:

  • Use a variety of ingredients for inside the biscuits. 
  • Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.
  • Can be served hot or cold. 

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City Barbeque

July 6, 2016
 
Have you tried City Barbeque? I have, but I was still grateful to be invited to a blogger promotion at the Fishers, IN location. We had a great tasting event and they took such great care of us. Here are a few things I learned about City Barbeque. 
 
  • City Barbeque has no freezers and no microwaves - can you say fresh!!!
  • Pork and brisket are cooked overnight on site while Chicken and Rib are cooked all day long. 
  • City Barbeque first started 17 yrs in a garage in Ohio but now has 25 locations with 5 in Indiana. (Greenwood, Avon, Carmel, Fishers, IUPUI)
  • City Barbeque is in the community with the opportunity to hosts fundraisers in stores where you get 25% to the organization.
  • City Barbeque at their IUPUI location has an event room you can reserve without a fee. 
  • Consider hosting a party or event at City Barbeque or plan a catering event. Dine in, carry-out, bulk order, or fancy catering. 
  • City Barbeque can also prepare action stations for your events, think candy apple bar, lemonade station or a s'more station.

The Sides:

     
hush puppies, corn bread, baked beans, greens, coleslaw, mac and cheese, corn pudding, potato salad, green beans, summer salad (seasonal)
 
The Meats:
 
    
smoked turkey, ribs, brisket, smoked sausage, shredded chicken, shredded pork
 
Dessert:

 
Triple chocolate cake, yes they replace the water in the recipe with Hersey's chocolate syrup!

The App:


Join now at CityBBQ.com/rewards

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Bacon Maple Crack Recipe Review

June 28, 2016

I saw this scrumptious video on Facebook from Get in my Belly. http://getinmybelly.com/maple-bacon-crack/ I knew I needed to try it so we put it together tonight. I wasn't really sure if it was an appetizer, breakfast, dessert or a treat. After trying it, I am still not sure. It could really be any of those things. If you like dipping your bacon in your syrup, this recipe is for you. 

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • cooked bacon
  • crescent rolls
  • brown sugar
  • maple syrup

raw
before baking at 375 degrees for 25 minutes

baked
after baking

You might wonder if you serve it hot or cold. Yeah, me too, I am not sure. It tasted good hot. I am sure it will be good cold if there is any left. 

I have to admit that after seeing the video, I didn't really measure the ingredients but just guestimated. My 10-year-old daughter helped me. She opened and spread out the rolls and poked it with a fork. I poured the syrup on and she spread it out. I cut the bacon up with a kitchen scissor (my favorite kitchen tool) while she put it on the dough. I put the brown sugar in a cup and gave it to her to spread out. We added another layer of bacon (which the recipe doesn't call for) and then more syrup and brown sugar. 

Indiana Pork Patties + Recipe

May 20, 2016

 Indiana Pork Patties

If you have ever visited the Indiana State Fair, you are familiar with the Pork Patty Sandwich. Hoosiers wait all year for that famous sandwich. We love visiting the Fair and affectionately call it grazing rather than visiting. And we don't miss the pork patties either. 

Thankfully, we no longer have to wait for the State Fair to roll around in order to enjoy a Pork Patty Sandwich. Indiana Pork Producers are releasing a frozen package of 8 patties available in Central Indiana Marsh Supermarkets just in time for Labor Day. This is an Indiana grown product. 

Each pack comes with eight individually separated patties, a recipe card, and a featured farmer's information. 

I found about this wonderful opportunity through attending an Indiana Pork Blogger Day where we learned about the patties, we got to cook patties for lunch, and were challenged to create our own recipe  to "dress your burger". I was sent home with a package to experiment with my own recipe. 

I have a favorite pork roast recipe that I thought might translate well to a patty. So here is what I tried. 

Applesauce Pork Patties

 

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons mixed spices (I used roasted garlic and herb)

measuring cup with ingredients
Honestly, I have made this mix so often, I no longer measure. I measured for this specific application but normally I just throw the ingredients together by sight. 

 


You can grill the patties directly from frozen. I suggest a grill pan or on the barbeque. Although you might be tempted to cook them on high, don't. The grease causes a lot of smoke and can easily burn you or the patty.

 

grilling

After the first side is done and I flipped them, I added a tablespoon of the applesauce mix and continued to cook them. You'll want to cook them to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

 

broil
I wanted the sauce to get crunchy, similar to what happens when I cook a roast with the sauce on top so I placed the cooked patties under the broiler.

​​

finished pork patty
Here is my finished patty and yes, it was tasty. My daughter likes hers plain, without the sauce, my husband liked his with the sauce and added mayonnaise. I would love to know how you would "Dress your burger."

Social Media for Indiana Pork Producers:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indiana.pork
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndianaPork
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/indianapork/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indianapork/

~A special thanks to Indiana Pork Farmers and IFOF for this post

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Hero Acts for Save the Children

November 1, 2016

Benedict Cumberbatch and Marvel Studios Invite Fans to Help Launch

“Hero Acts” and Raise Funds for Save the Children

 

Marvel Studios to donate up to $1 million in recognition of new charitable initiative

 

 

I am very excited to share with you that Marvel Studios is launching the first Hero Acts campaign today, and from now until the end of the year, Marvel Studios will donate five dollars ($5) to Save the Children, up to U.S. one million dollars, for every fan who uploads a photo of themselves in their favorite Marvel hero pose. Marvel Studios is collaborating with Fotition, a new social change platform, to power the experience on a brand-new website MarvelStudiosHeroActs.com. Fans will be able to visit the site to upload their photo and choose from a selection of custom Marvel-themed overlays. They will then be able to post their photo directly to the Hero Acts gallery and to their other social channels using the hashtags #marvelstudios & #heroacts

 

Official Website: http://marvelstudiosheroacts.com/#/

#DoctorStrange
#heroacts
#marvelstudios

Dr. Strange Movie Review

November 1, 2016

I have to say this was one of my families most anticipated movies and the fact that we were able to attend a screening of it before it's release made the excitement level just that much greater. I have been a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch since early on watching Sherlock. Once introduced to his acting abilities, I would seek out anything and everything he has acted in. 

Doctor Strange was everything and more we anticipated. The plot held together well and kept our attention. My daughter said she was on the edge of her seat the entire viewing. The casting was spot on and the animation was seamless. Upon leaving the theater, I heard one patron say the use of 3D was believable and not over the top or gratuitous and I agree. Doctor Strange is one movie I would recommend. As well as one I wouldn't mind seeing again. And I don't say that about many if any movies.

From Marvel Studios comes “Doctor Strange,” the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place—a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange—armed with newly acquired magical powers—is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence. Join Strange on his dangerous, mystifying, and totally mind-bending journey when Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange” opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016.  Rated PG-13.

 

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton

 

Marvel.com/DoctorStrange

IN 3D, REAL D 3D and IMAX® 3D November 4

Rated PG-13

We attended a screening in order to write this review.

Storks Movie Review

September 21, 2016
Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant. Junior (Andy Samberg), the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable and wholly unauthorized baby girl.
 
We saw the screening for Storks the other night. I admit, it was much better than I expected. I laughed out loud at a number of different scenes. My daughters, 10 and 13, really enjoyed it and would go again if their friends wanted too. My husband thought it was slow in a few spots, but enjoyable. The animation was seamless showing huge advances in hair and water. 
 
There are strong messages about parents spending time with their children. Not to miss out on those quality times before it is too late. Pay attention to the wolves, they steal the show and the laughs. Be prepared, you may need to have a discussion about where babies come from after seeing this flix. 
 
Release Date: September 23, 2016 
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland
Screenwriter: Nicholas Stoller 
Genre: Animation / Comedy
MPAA Rating: (PG) for mild action and some thematic elements.
Official Website: www.StorksMovie.com
Cast: Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Katie Crown, Danny Trejo, Stephen Kramer Glickman, Anton Starkman, Ty Burrell, Jennifer Aniston
 
 

Voiceless Movie Review

September 5, 2016

The discussion about Pro-choice/Pro-life is a heated battle. I was offered the opportunity to review the movie Voiceless before it's theatrical release. I was hesitant, to say the least. I didn't want to watch something that was going to be heavy on the side of trying to persuade me. While the movie was focused on the ministry of one man driven to follow his calling, the movie was really more about how one life can make an inpact. How change takes getting involved, one personal relationship at a time. As well as how doing good, doing what you believe in isn't without getting messy and how small victories can make a difference. One of my favorite comments in the movie is from the woman who runs the health clinic and she states how just wanting to help people can look so different. I think this speaks volumes about how people often view a single situation so differently, and while not said, it is important to remember that fact.

  • VOICELESS hits theaters October 7, 2016. New theaters being added daily.
Film Synopsis
Battling his own inner-demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner: Last Ounce Of Courage, Dodgeball, “Days of Our Lives”) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her family blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse’s wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz: Strike One, This Is Our Time) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil.

Review of Toruk - A Traveling Cirque du Soleil Peformance

August 11, 2016


The mission of Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world. Their touring show Toruk, does that and more. 

A quick overview of the show: “TORUK - The First Flight, inspired by James Cameron's AVATAR, a live experience by Cirque du Soleil, envisions a world beyond imagination set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film. The word Toruk, in the Na'vi language, refers to the great leonopteryx, the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Central in Na'vi lore and culture, this fascinating creature is crucial to the Na'vi clans' sense of destiny and interconnectedness - and is about to be ridden for the very first time by a Na’vi."

I enjoyed a “sister date” and we went to see Toruk in Indianapolis. We both have seen other Cirque du Soleil shows so we had a sense of what to expect. Toruk was a bit different in that it was heavy in storytelling with the English language being used more than in other shows I have seen. Since Toruk is based on the popular film Avatar, you might benefit from reviewing the movie first. 

I tried to view the show with an objective eye so I could share information in this blog post. Here are a few topics I noticed unique to the performance. 

 

Physical space
I have seen another traveling Cirque show. While traveling events tend to be visually focused on a set stage performance, Toruk was different in that they utilized the arena more than other similar events. Performers entering into the audience isn’t unique and Toruk did do that, they also used the arena floor better and visually activated the entire space.  

Projection
Toruk relies heavily upon video projection. With that said, you might be thinking more like a movie screen, that isn’t the case. The entire arena floor and their props are all one large video screen making this a unique experience where the performers act on top of the projection. 

Acrobatics
Cirque do Soleil typically uses a lot of acrobatics. Cirque celebrates the human figure and it’s unique physical abilities. While Toruk uses some acrobatic segments, they are far less than other Cirque shows. 

Integration
Unlike anything else I have ever experienced, Toruk has an app that you download on your cell phone. The app interacts with the performance. At times you can control some of the projections onto the performance surface. Most of the other interaction with your cell phone becomes one of the lights being projected and a part of the performance. You will definitely want to download the app and join in on the participation. This was so unique and the more people that participate, the better the integration with the show. 

The Tour Continues:

  • Indianapolis, IN,  August 10 to 14, 2016
  • Birmingham, AL,   August 19 2016 
  • Nashville, TN,   August 24 2016 
  • Evansville, IN,   September 2 2016 
  • Brooklyn, NY,   September 7 2016 
  • Newark, NJ,   September 15 2016 
  • Milwaukee, WI,   September 22 2016 
  • Minneapolis, MN,   September 28 2016 
  • Winnipeg, MB, Canada October 5 2016 
  • Fresno, CA,   October 27 2016 
  • Ontario, CA,   November 2 2016 
  • Los Angeles, CA,   November 11 2016 
  • Phoenix, AZ,   November 16 2016 
  • San Diego, CA,   November 23 2016 
  • Sacramento, CA,   November 30 2016 
  • Portland, OR,   December 7 2016
  • Philadelphia, PA,   March 8 2017

Social Media:

Web https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/ 
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CirqueduSoleil 
Twitter https://twitter.com/cirque 
Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/cirquedusoleil

Try it - Like it was provided complimentary tickets in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

 

"Frozen" Games Coming to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

May 9, 2016

For the first time in forever, Olaf’s wish to experience summer fun with his friends will come true when he and Kristoff, stars of the hit Disney animated film “Frozen,” host the inaugural “Frozen” Games this summer at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.
 
The “Winter Games Committee” has decided to take advantage of the magical snowstorm over Blizzard Beach and host daily activities this summer. The committee members have even invited Kristoff and Olaf to lead teams of guests in a fun day of “Frozen” activities.
 
From May 27 to Aug. 21, 2016, guests of all ages visiting Blizzard Beach may choose to join Team Kristoff or Team Olaf to participate in a variety of winter-themed activities throughout each day, including:

 

  • Ice Pail Relays – teams will line up and pass pails of water quickly from one person to the next, trying to fill a container and the team that fills their container first is the winner.
  • Snowball Toss – pairs compete in a snow-themed water balloon toss from progressively greater The pair that gets the farthest apart without breaking its water balloon is the winner.
  • Ski Pole Limbo – guests play limbo, using a ski pole as the
  • Slide Races – teams race down one of the signature water slides at Blizzard Beach, and much more!

 
Olaf and Kristoff will take part in the “Frozen” Games’ opening and closing ceremonies by appearing on the Observation Deck near the Summit Plummet attraction each day, accompanied by 
trumpet fanfare, banners, and music. Additionally, one lucky guest will be chosen each morning to be the Ski Captain and thus the first guest to take the plunge down Summit Plummet, signaling the start of the “Frozen” Games.
 
From the observation deck, Olaf and Kristoff will give regular updates throughout the day on their teams’ progress and achievements, as well as announce the winning team of the “Frozen” Games.
 
The “Frozen” Games are an all-day event at Blizzard Beach, beginning shortly after the park opens. Guests can sign up at the park entrance, and all activities are included with regular park admission.
 
Blizzard Beach is a 66-acre winter-themed water park. The park offers water activities suitable for all ages, including signature attractions such as Summit Plummet, one of the world’s fastest free-fall water slides that
plunges guests from 120 feet high at speeds up to 55 mph; Toboggan Racers, an eight-lane water slide that sends guests racing over exhilarating dips down a 250-foot “snowy” course; Tike’s Peak, a kid-sized version of Blizzard Beach designed for kids ages 2-5; and Ski Patrol Training Camp, designed for pre-teens with a twin inner tube slide, crinkle slide and a challenging ice-flow walk along slippery, floating “icebergs.”
 

What is a craft/DIY conference? -- SNAP Conference

April 16, 2016

Have you ever wondered what a crafting and DIY conference is like? Well, I am wrapping up my time spent in Salt Lake City, Utah where I attended the SNAP conference. This was my second year attending. There are many things that are similar to other conferences and some uniquely different to a crafting, DIY, blogger conference.

Each day was filled with sessions. These sessions vary. There are lecture style sessions, panel discussions, round-table discussions and hands-on workshops. There are sponsored meals with swag items and guest speakers. At night, there are sponsored parties usually based on a theme with a bar, appetizers, and sometimes more swag. There are sponsor booths with make and take items, samples of products and hands-on training. SNAP also has sponsors that provide lounge rooms. In these, expect a bit of pampering. This year we were treated to chocolate by Lindt, High Tea by the Laughing Cow, Dirty Drinks from Rustoleum and Swig, and finally a candy bar by Darice. A couple of other unique experiences are a Secret Sister program where you are given a person to spoil with a gift each day and then reveal yourself at the end of the conference. There is a book exchange. And they also do something called room drops where sponsors provided more swag that is brought to your room. (swag means free items, gifts, and samples)

Yes, it is overwhelming at times. Yes, you get tired and feel like you are dragging yourself around. But the best part of the conference this year; for me, was making personal connections with people I had come to know online. Meeting them face to face was special and added another level of depth to our relationship. The past year, it was all about what I learned. So going to the same conference year after year can bring new experiences each time. The images below will give you a small glimpse into my conference experience.

Please keep in mind, conference lighting isn't great and I am taking quick snapshots with a phone.

SNAP is a three-day conference held each April in Salt Lake City, Utah, targeting makers. We’re joined by the best bloggers representing modern handmade, contemporary craft, mind-blowing home-based events, and DIY, along with dozens of creative entrepreneurs.

Would you like to see the room I stayed in?

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Do You Know Talking Ginger?

April 7, 2016


Talking Ginger is celebrating his birthday April 8th

TALKING GINGER is the cutest, most mischievous kitten you’ll ever meet (the gold one on the end).  He’s a boy, played by girl Maria Bamford.  Maria, who grew up in Minnesota, but now calls Los Angeles home, is a comedian and animation voice-overachiever known for her quirky style and vocal impressions. She is also a well-known voice actress for animated series like "Adventure Time,” “Word Girl,” “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness,” and as mentioned Outfit7’s hit YouTube series Talking Tom and Friends:  The Animated Series.”  You can find Ginger causing a ruckus each week on the Talking Tom and Friends YouTube channel.

Talking Tom and Friends: The Animated Series features an all-star voice cast. In addition to Bamford the series stars Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Adventure Time With Finn & Jake”) as Hank, Golden Globe®-nominee Colin Hanks (“Life In Pieces,” “Fargo”) as Tom, Lisa Schwartz (“Party Girl”) as Angela, and James Adomian (“Comedy Bang Bang!,” “Gravity Falls”) as Ben.  Created and produced out of Vienna by Outfit7,  Tom Martin (“The Simpsons,” “WordGirl”) serves as head writer.

Photo Credit:  Outfit7 Limited (used with permission)

He Named Me Malala Review

February 22, 2016
I wasn't familiar with Malala's story when I watch the film. I enjoyed the personalization of her that was presented instead of the vicious military actions associated with her story. Malala's story of survival from a gun shot is miraculous but it is just a blip in her story of advocating for girls' education. You will find her story to be something she considers not miraculous or worth singling out from all the other families that have suffered similarly. However, she uses her platform to spread her message for those not able to speak. I kept focusing on her desire to "just go to school to learn and be with friends" so taken for granted in our society. It is a true reminder of our blessings and how life can be so different.
 
He Named Me Malala
Global Broadcast of He Named Me Malala
Monday, February 29th
8 pm est/7 pm cst
 
 
About the Movie:
HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
 
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide. The film gives us an inside glimpse into this extraordinary young girl’s life – from her close relationship with her father who inspired her love for education, to her impassioned speeches at the UN, to her everyday life with her parents and brothers.
 
 
 
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for 20th Century Fox. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
 

The Choice Movie Review

February 3, 2016

Tonight a friend and I went to see a review showing of The Choice. The weather outside was rainy and depressing. We were looking forward to a romance movie to warm our insides. It was enjoyable. Let's face it, a night out with a good friend and no kids is enjoyable in itself. But we were entertained with beautiful scenery and beautiful people, I really didn't need a plot. I could've sat in the movie theater for two hours just watching the scenery. But I digress..."The Choice," based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, claims to reveal the secret of life, as explained by protagonist Travis Parker (Benjamin Walker): "The whole damn thing is about choices." Benjamin, one of the beautiful people, puts forth a solid performance as easy going southern boy with charm, that never disappoints. Gabby Holland  played by Teresa Palmer is also one of the beautiful people but her acting skill wasn't quite up to par and left the pairing feeling a bit awkward. The Choice is definitely this season's top chick flick that will give you emotional ups and down and darn it if you don't cry a bit too. As all good chick flick should make you do. Grab your best girlfriend and enjoy a night out. 

The Choice Synopsis: 
When feisty medical student Gabby Holland moves in next door to perennial ladies’ man Travis Shaw, they embark on a surprising romantic journey neither imagined possible. Travis has always believed a serious relationship would cramp his easy going lifestyle while Gabby is preparing to settle down with her long-term boyfriend—until an irresistible attraction between the unlikely couple upends both of their well-planned lives. Spanning a decade and tracing the evolution of a love affair that is ultimately tested by life's most defining events, this story features a memorable ensemble of friends and family in Sparks's beloved North Carolina setting, culminating with the question that every couple must ask themselves: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Release dateFebruary 5, 2016
Drama film/Romance ‧ 1h 51m
PG-13

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