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Make Your Brownies Special


This post contains affiliate links and will help support this site.

Having a basic brownies mix can get a bit boring, you can make it special by adding to it. Just adding a few ingredients can really make a difference. I added chocolate and Cashew Softer Than Brittle. I was sent a few samples of Softer Than Brittle to try for this post. 

Softer than brittle packages

Softer Than Brittle is a unique, soft and flaky gourmet nut brittle hand-crafted from a 60-year-old family recipe. This “better-for-you-brittle” contains no preservatives, cholesterol, dairy, or hydrogenated oil and is even vegan.   Not only is Softer Than Brittle an incredibly delicious and flakey nut brittle, it also features a clean label with just 6 or 7 basic ingredients. It is available in 4 varieties: Peanut, Cashew, Pecan, and Almond.

You can read more about Softer Than Brittle at the Softer Than Brittle Website

brownie mix and softer than brittle

Ingredients:

  • brownie box mix (mine was from Aldi)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 package of Softer Than Brittle

Directions:

Follow the directions on your boxed mix. 

brownie mix
When mixing brownies, don't worry about the lumps, just thoroughly mix the ingredients.
 

brownie mix in pan
Brownie mix in pan.
 

brownie mix and chocolate chips
Add the chocolate chips to the top of the mix.
 

Softer than brittle package
This is what the Softer Than Brittle looks like.
For this recipe, I smashed the Softer Than Brittle in its bag before adding it to the brownies.
The sample size I used was 2 oz.
 

brownie mix with chocolate chips and softer than brittle
Add the Softer than Brittle to the top of the brownies.
 

baked brownies
My husband was helping by taking the brownies out of the oven, he had a little oops with the hot pad taking them out of the oven.
 

brownie finished
Finished and ready to eat - yeap, they were good!

Chicken and Cheesy Potatoes

hero image cheesy chicken and potatoes

I recently found a recipe online for Cheesy Bacon and Ranch Potatoes, a side dish. I thought, "why not add chicken and make it a total meal!" So I did and this is the results of my Chicken and Cheesy Potatoes which my family loved. I have a few picky eaters so I was overly excited when everyone liked it. Being cooked in a slow cooker made this meal extra easy, just add the ingredients and walk away until dinner time. The final image may look a bit bland but I can attest to the fact that it was full of flavor.

ingredients for cheesy chicken potatoes

Some links below may contain affiliate links

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs  potatoes peeled and chopped into quarters
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  • 8 slices cooked bacon crumbled 
  • 2 tablespoons dry ranch dressing salad dressing mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 3-4 frozen chicken breasts
  • Spray cooking oil

Directions:

Spray the inside of your Slow Cooker with Cooking Oil.

peeling potatoes for cheesy chicken potatoes
Begin by washing and peeling the potatoes
place them in the bottom of the Slow Cooker.

This is one of my favorite kitchen tools, my KitchenIQ potato peeler with a knife.

uncooked ingredients for cheesy chicken potatoes
layer all the ingredients in the slow cooker
cook on high for 4 hours
or low for 6-8 hours

 

cooked cheesy chicken and potatoes
And it's finished
You can shred the chicken to make it easier to serve if you desire

Quick Ways To Pack a Lunch for a Picky Eaters

Picky eaters send mom's across the county into panic mode when school starts and they need to pack a lunch. Toddlers attending a mom's day out program for the first time also send mom's into worry mode. What can they feed themselves without help, what can I send and still look like I am trying to balance their lunch while trying to be a good mom?

 

Remember, they need nourishment. They need a balanced diet but it doesn't have to happen for every meal. Some kids balance themselves out over a week's time instead of a day or a meal.

 

Don't introduce new foods away from home. Send foods they are familiar with and like.

 

Things that are tried and true. Don't rely on a teacher to help open containers or packages. Teachers don't appreciate items that they need to help the child eat. Even in a small ratio classroom, having eight to ten children that you need to spoon feed and eat lunch yourself takes more time than is usually given for lunch.

 

If you are focusing on balancing the meal, do try to send a protein, a fruit, and a starch. Dessert isn't necessary and is often not given to children because not everyone has similar items. Bento boxes are a great option for packing a variety of items for lunch. Some teachers think the child needs to eat well before being given a dessert item so they may be sent home unopened. Your child might not even know it was packed for them if the teachers set lunch up for the children.

 

So what works for picky eaters? Most young children will not eat lunchmeat or sandwiches. You are lucky if you have a child that will eat a sandwich. Your task is much less challenging if you can make a sandwich. But, if you can't, try cereal bars, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, or cheese and crackers. Try sending chicken nuggets, a hot dog, or even bacon or breakfast sausage if your little one likes breakfast meats in place of a sandwich. Do you have a thermos? Send soup or macaroni and cheese for lunch. Consider switching meals around. Send breakfast to school as a lunch substitute and eat lunch and dinner at home. Examples would be cereal or a bagel.

 

Vegetables or fruits are easy finger foods. Young children usually have a few they will eat. Remember to cut them or peel them if needed. Send a small container with dip to make eating fun. Consider alternatives for fruits and vegetables if you have a really picky eater. Try fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks like dried fruit. Something like raisins might work. Other options would be nuts and seeds. You do have to watch allergies in the classroom setting but sunflower seeds or peanuts can provide nourishment and get your child through the afternoon until they can be home and have a snack.

 

Starches are easy but there are good and not so good choices here as well. Potato chips and the like often are filled with empty calories and grease. Pretzels and multigrain crackers are better choices. You know best what your child will eat in this category and often it is the first or only thing they will eat. Sometimes you have to send snack food just to make sure they get something to eat.

 

The point is to get them to eat. If it isn't a balanced meal or the best choice you'd like to make, it is nourishment. Getting something in their stomach so they can make it through the day is what you should focus on. You can continue to work on introducing new foods and providing a variety at home.

______________________________________________________________________________

 

With our busy lifestyles, schedules, and families, being able to do things quickly is important to many of us. 

That’s why several bloggers have come together to offer you projects you can accomplish quickly. Whether it’s preparing a meal, crafting, or cleaning, we want to offer you the ability to do more with the limited time you have! 

Click the links below to see how you can be speedy and productive, all at once!

 

 

Applesauce Pork Tenderloin

This post contains affiliate links

This Applesauce Pork Tenderloin is one of my favorite recipes. I've been making it for years. I adapted it from a Motts Applesauce Recipe I found in a cookbook about recipes found on the backs of packages and labels. I usually make it in my favorite Dansk pan, which I have had for years.

pork loin roast ingredients

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 t Mrs. Dash spice mix
  • 3/4 cup Cinnamon Apple Sauce
  • pork tenderloin

Directions:

Applesauce Pork Tenderloin is a very easy recipe to make, with great flavor. Easy enough for every night dinner, flavorful enough for a special occasion. And it has a very short prep time. As with many recipes, I tend not to measure so feel free to adjust the measurements to your own liking.

pork tenderloin topping
Mix together the applesauce, garlic powder, and spice mix. You can use any spice mix your palate likes.
 

pork tenderloin ready to cook
In a baking pan (my favorite is the Dansk which I have had for years) sprayed well with cooking spray, place the raw pork tenderloin and cover it with the applesauce mixture.

If you want a more moist pork tenderloin and topping, cover with foil before baking.

pork tenderloin after cooking
After cooking at 325 degrees for 2 - 2.5 hours. 
It's OK if some of the applesauce mixture burns in the bottom of the pan.
 

pork tenderloin served
And ready to serve for dinner!

The applesauce makes the meat very tender and provides a somewhat sweet and spicy coating.

Cheese Burger Casserole Recipe

Cheese Burger Casserole

I am having one of those nights where I don't want to cook, it is hot outside, and I have a family to feed with picky eaters. It has been a long time since I made this Cheese Burger Casserole. My kids have never even tried it, that's how long it has been. When I was staring at what was available in my kitchen, I remembered this easy recipe and decided to try it. 

Ingredients:

1
lb ground beef 
1
large onion, chopped (1 cup) - I used powdered garlic
1
cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz) 
1
cup milk
2
eggs

Directions:

Cook and shred the ground beef and add in the onions or garlic. This could be even easier if you make it ahead of time and have batches frozen to use in recipes. 

cooked hamburger
Place the cooked beef into a casserole or pie pan.
I know this is a bit more than a pound of meat. (I don't measure.)

cover with cheese
Cover the meat with cheese. I used a Mexican mix. (you can use any kind, again, I don't measure)

bisquick mix
Mix the remaining ingredients together (eggs, milk, Bisquick)

before cooking
Pour the liquid mix over the meat and cheese.

Place it in a 400-degree oven to bake for 25 minutes.

finished casserole
Finished baked casserole.

serve
Cut and serve

The best thing about this recipe is that it is adaptable. You can add veggies. You can change the kind of cheese. You could change to meat to ground turkey. Try adding spices to your liking. How about different sauces on the side - ketchup, BBQ sauce... After making this, I thought hey, "I wonder how ground sausage and cornbread would work together!" So that might be something to try in the near future. Leftovers are easy to reheat or freeze.

 

Gluten-free version - replace the Bisquick with Gluten-free Bisquick

 

OREO Chocolate Free Candy Bar In-Store at Walmart Easter 2018

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

Did you know that OREO has a special flavored candy bar made with crunchy bits of OREO + mint creme filling + rich Milka chocolate candy? YUM! These OREO Mint Chocolate Candy Bars have delicious bits of OREO Cookie mixed in smooth, mint flavored creme filling and are coated in European Milka chocolate candy. You will want to be sure to stop by Walmart and pick a few of these OREO Chocolate King Size Bars while they are on Rollback for only $1!

 

While you are in store at Walmart picking up your $1 Rollback OREO chocolate candy bars, be sure to look and see if your store has the demo going on for the 1 Million Sample giveaway. During Easter weekend* participating Walmart stores are giving away these bars while supplies last. *March 29 - April 1.

Check the demo locator below to see if your local Walmart is participating!

+Limited to one sample per customer.
++Limited supply available.
+++All times/events are subject to change.

How to Make Quick and Easy Holiday Fudge

I saw this recipe idea on Betty Crocker and knew I needed to try it this year. After having two knee replacements, I just am not up to par with being fully invested in the decorating and preparing for a festive Christmas. My daughters school was having a Holiday Carnival and we needed to donate a treat to sell. I knew this was it for me. The recipe really only consists of two ingredients with additional options available. And yes, it was quick and easy. 

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of vanilla frosting
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips
  • Food Coloring - optional
  • Flavoring - optional
  • Decorating candies or sprinkles - optional

Directions:

baking dish
Line an 8" x 8" pan with aluminum foil and cover with cooking spray. Set aside. 
 

chocolate melted
Place the entire package of white chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl.
Begin with 30 seconds and stir. Add an additional 30 seconds followed by stiring until the chips are melted.
It is OK if there are a few lumps left, then will melt as you stir.
 

mixed together
Place the entire can of vanilla frosting in another microwavable bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.
Then add it to the chocolate chips. The mix starts to feel more stiff.
 

At this point the fudge is done but you can add color, flavor, or decoration to the fudge at this point.
 

red and green
I seperated the fudge into three bowls, red, green, and white. 
 

white layer
Start with a layer of the white fudge.
 

add colors and mix
Add the green and red fudge ontop of the white and swirl - but not too long or you will end up with a gray mess. 
 

candies added
Add your decorations if you desire. 

Place in the refigerator to chill before cutting into 1" square pieces. 

So, how's it taste? Really sweet. There definately is a strong flavor of icing. I think adding some flavor like peppermint would add to the flavor in a good way. The nice thing about this recipe is it is so flexible. Try different flavors of icing or chips for a different variety of fudge. Why not add nuts or marshmallows for a tasty variation. 

Making Party Appetizers Easier with Hormel Gatherings Party Trays

I received free product in exchange for my honest review

I was given the opportunity to review a Hormel Gatherings Party Tray. It couldn't have come at a better time. We purchased the Hormel Gatherings Supreme Party Tray from Walmart and brought it to our Thanksgiving Gathering. My family is very laid back. We don't fuss or make a big production of holiday gatherings, just good family time together. It worked out great. Everyone was thankful for the tray as we had to wait awhile for the meal to heat up and everyone liked something available on the tray.

party tray

You can easily remove the packaging and have an instant party appetizer. If you'd like to upgrade the presentation, you can always transfer the contents to your own dishware. One of the things I like the most about the Hormel Gatherings Party Trays is the time it saves me from having to cut up the cheese and meat if I were to make my own tray. 

Our Hormel Gatherings Supreme Party Tray contained:

  • HORMEL® Hard Salami
  • HORMEL® Genoa Salami
  • Sargento® Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Sargento® Havarti Cheese
  • Round Crackers
  • Peloponnese Pitted Olives

While all of the trays are slightly different, the Supreme Party Tray is the only one that contains the olives.

​​at thanksgiving

Social Links:

You can always find coupons for Hormel products at their website. [coupons]

Red Hot Apple Butter Recipe a part of #CCBG October Challenge

Homemade Red Hot Apple Butter is really easy to make in the slow cooker. It just takes time, a lot of time. I am all for less work so this simple version by-passes pealing and coring apples and instead uses applesauce. And it tastes wonderful! Next time I will make a bigger batch that is for sure.

 

I can tell you that if you never taste the Apple Butter, the time spent was still so worth it because the aroma in your house is phenomenal. My daughter kept asking when we could taste it. She wanted it for dinner with rolls, I mean that’s all she wanted for dinner, Apple Butter and rolls.

 

ingredients
ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 (48 ounce) jar applesauce
  • 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon apple pie spice (or allspice)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 ounces red-hot candies
  • 2tbs apple cider vinegar

The original instructions state this makes 4 - 1 pint jars. Mine actually cooked down to make half as much. I would use the 1/2 pint jars instead.

cooking
in the slow cooker, minus the applesauce

Directions

Place the first six ingredients into your slow cooker and heat on high for 12 hours. You can stir it a few times but not too much, just let it sit.

After the 12 hours, and if it is thick enough add the apple cider vinegar. If it isn’t thick enough, allow more time for cooking.

canning
canning water bath

Canning

Follow your jar instructions for canning. If you intend for the apple butter to sit on the shelf, you will need to follow the directions for sealing your jars.

If you are not going to can the apple butter, it must be kept in the refrigerator.

 

Printable

If you would like a copy of the label I made for the Red Hot Apple Butter, you can download a free PDF version of it here. [free PDF]

October Fall Recipes Challenge

This post is my response to the October Craft Challenge from #CCBG for Fall Recipes. 

Life Beyond the Kitchen   •   Knit Leaves Fall Table 

 

Home Crafts by Ali    •    Slow Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce

 

Try it - Like it - Create it   •   Red Hot Apple Butter

 

My Thrifty House   •    Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

 

2 Dishing Divas   •   Apple Crisp - Comfort Food Dessert

 

Products Used:

   

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ConAgra Wicked Kitchen Launch at Kroger

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

#EatWickedKitchen #CollectiveBias

Busy day? Busier night? Let Wicked Kitchen™ rescue you from making your fourth grilled cheese of the week. Delivering delicious, incredibly-bold food straight to your home, Wicked Kitchen frozen meals are the ultimate solution for bringing real food with adventurous flavors and premium ingredients straight to you. Convenient? Yep. Too good to be true? Nope!

 

With no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and kitchen-level ingredients like Guajillo chilies, mozzarella cheese, and chicken and beef raised with no antibiotics, tonight's meal is a no-brainer. And now, for a limited time, there is an online offer to save $1.00 on any ONE (1) Wicked Kitchen Mac & Cheese or Hand Pie at Kroger and Kroger banner stores! 

 

Click here to download this awesome deal before it's gone. And while you're shopping at your local Kroger or Kroger banner store, don't forget to stock up on all of the mouthwatering meals, from the Buffalo Inspired Chicken Hand Pie to the Chorizo Mac & Cheese. With these jaw-dropping flavors at your fingertips, you may never have to ask yourself, "So what's for dinner?" again.

 

Spread the love and share this limited time offer with friends, too, so that they can eat wickedly good during their next night in or TV binge session.

 

Make sure you follow Wicked Kitchen socially to stay up to date on future promotions and check out the brand here for more information on this good food with a bad-itude.

 

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Ant Man and The Wasp Review

Tonight we had a family movie night and saw the new Ant Man and The Wasp in 3D IMAX. Thanks to the Owens Group for the tickets in order to write this review. Seeing a movie in IMAX is really cool. The technology is at it's best and the size of the screen does engage you. However, the 3D wasn't quite up to par. From the credits, it stated the movie was made into 3D post-production. I felt I was seeing a forced perspective and certain things out of focus wouldn't normally be out of focus on a 2D screen. So in my opinion, it wouldn't be worth paying extra for the 3D version of Ant Man and The Wasp. 

All the things we loved in the first Ant Man, were still true. The humor was enjoyable. The actors were very believable. The fight scenes were fantastic. There is a lot about Ant Man and The Wasp that I can't talk about because they would be spoilers. I will just say that you will understand it better and enjoy it more if you watch Infinity War first. 

SYNOPSIS FROM THE STUDIO:

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes “Ant Man and The Wasp,” a new chapter featuring heroes with the astonishing ability to shrink. In the aftermath of “Captain America: Civil War,” Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from the past. 

“Ant-Man and The Wasp” is directed by Peyton Reed and stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder-Fortson, Randall Park, with Michelle Pfeiffer, with Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas.  Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard are producing, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari wrote the screenplay.  Rated PG-13

 

Marvel.com/AntMan

Facebook.com/AntMan

#AntManAndTheWasp

Solo :: A Star Wars Story

Tonight my family and I attended a screening of Solo :: A Star Wars Story. Our overall first impressions were that it wasn't a bad movie, obviously not one of the best in the Star Wars saga. It did fill in a few gaps in the backstory. There were a few surprises to keep viewers interested. The cinematography and animation were well done although dark in places and hard to see details when you might want too. The acting was believable and not lacking. Fans of Star Wars will want to see Solo. Die-hard Star Wars fans might pick the movie apart but I am not knowledgeable enough to know for sure. 

From Disney:

"Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in 'Solo: A Star Wars Story,' an adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes."

  • Official movie website: https://www.starwars.com/films/solo
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/starwars
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarWars
  • YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/starwars

Download:


sample image

The Family Fun Kit includes 9 coloring pages and 8 puzzle sheets - enough for everyone in the family!

 

Can't get enough Star Wars? Star Wars Celebration 2019 will be in Chicago and tickets go on sale June 5th.

12 Strong Movie Review

Tonight my husband and I were invited to see the screening of 12 Strong. It is an amazing story we didn't know about due to the events being classified until recently.

The day after 9/11 twelve soldiers were deployed to retaliate against the Taliban. With the odds against them, 12 Special Ops soldiers went into some of the roughest terrain to fight on horseback against missiles and tanks. They were outnumbered 5,000 to 1. The movie is so realistic you feel the challenges they faced and you will be amazed at their abilities and success. 

If you would like to enter to win a copy of the book and 2 Fandango movie tickets you can enter on another post. [enter here]

SOCIAL: #12StrongMovie

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/12StrongMovie   
Twitter: https://twitter.com/12StrongMovie
Instagram: @12StrongMovie

 

“This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Warner Bros. Pictures. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok in theaters Friday

We were excite to get screener tickets to see an early showing of Thor Ragnarok. My family enjoys Marvel. From an early age, my husband would sneek to read his Marvel comic books. By the time we married, we had a room full of comic books. They have mostly all been sold to make room for our family but he has passed along the love of Marvel to our daughters. They both were excited to go to the theater tonight. 

Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend with them. I just had my knee replaced a week ago so I had to sit this one out. When they got home, they told me it was the best Marvel movie so far. They also said there was a lot of humor throughout the movie and it was all funny. You know how some humor can miss the mark, well not so with this film. I am really dissapointed I had to miss it but when I am able to get around a bit better I imagine I will have no trouble getting someone to go see it again with me.

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!  “Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

To get in the spirit of things you just might want to make these Mjolnir Candy Apples.

Facebook: facebook.com/Thor
Twitter: twitter.com/thorofficial
Instagram: instagram.com/Marvel

©2017 Marvel Studios                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Rating: PG-13

Release date:  Friday, November 3, 2017

Thanks to the Owens Group, See it First, and Marvel for providing tickets in order to write this review.

Corydon - Indiana's First State Capitol has a lot to see and do

Disclosure: I have received accommodations and free tickets to attractions in return for posting about Corydon, Indiana.

We just returned from a great weekend in Corydon, IN. Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau invited us to explore the area. We were treated to a two night stay at Hampton Inn and given a gift basket that included area goodies.

 

We a began our weekend visiting the historic downtown area of Corydon. For those that didn’t know, Corydon was Indiana’s first state capitol.

 

map

 

There are a ton of historic places and a great walking tour of the downtown. It was a beautiful fall day. We stopped into the Visitors Center to get a bit more information about the area and festivities happening that weekend, and there was a lot.

 

Butt Drugs

Besides the historic buildings, a fun stop was at Butt Drugs where we bought some fun shirts with their slogan. And you can see their famous commercial as seen on Ellen here [commercial

 

cave

From downtown, we drove to visit the Indiana Caverns. This tourist attraction features a rather newly discovered cave. The tour consisted of a path that led to a boat ride in the cave. It was a highlight of our trip.

 

constitutional elm
The Constitutional Elm. Where the state's first constitution was written.

 

tour sign

After grabbing a quick lunch, we visited a few studios in the area for their Hills of Harrison County Studio tour. Each studio on the tour is clearly marked on their brochure as well as with signage at each stop. The tour lasts the entire month of October. Check out the Hills of Harrison County Studio tour Facebook page and download the brochure.

 

At this point, we were a bit tired but we took the time to drive to the Overlook restaurant where we parked and enjoyed the magnificent views of the Ohio River.

 

On Sunday the weather didn’t cooperate so we visited Golf Shores Fun Center for a round of glow in the dark mini golf. http://golfshoresfuncenter.com/

 

state capitol
the first state capitol building in Indiana

There is a lot to see and do in the area and we will definitely be back. For more information on what you can see and do, visit https://www.thisisindiana.org/.

Things on our list to do on our next trip:

Zimmerman art glass

Squire Boone Caverns

Corydon Live!

Harrison County Discovery Center

 
 

Nitro Circus Review - Indianapolis

Prior to attending Nitro Circus, I really didn't know what it was. I guess I am showing my age here! Nitro Circus Live’s 2017 North American tour features over 30 world-class athletes. It’s an all-star international lineup, loaded with the best riders in freestyle motocross (FMX), BMX, scooter, and inline, performing the biggest tricks in action sports. Nitro Circus stopped in Indianapolis on July 28th. I was impressed, my kids were thrilled. Overall, it was a very entertaining evening. 

truck

The evening kicked off with a bit of silliness. Nitro Circus engaged the crowded with a drinking contest. The winner received a $500 gift certificate for tires. By texting, you could enter to win the truck pictured above as well as a motor bike. The kids were challenged in a dance off and the top three winners went home with either a bike, a skate board, or a scooter. A few audience members even got to be included in a few of the jumps. 

tower

This is the 40-foot high Nitro Gigant-A-Ramp that all the non-motorized riders went down. Look how many riders are up there all at once. Not only did they jump traditional wheels (bikes, inline skates) but there were a few crazy items as well. 

cooler
a cooler on wheels

barbie car
a kids Barbie car

recliner
even grandmas recliner!

et

Look at all these motor bikes in the air all at once! I don't know, it kind of reminds me of E.T.

If you want to see more, check out this live action video. But really, seeing it in person in the best. 

Check out their site for 2017 tour dates. http://nitrocircus.com/

Other socials:

This is a sponsored post. Tickets were provided in order to write a review. 

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Tonight my family and I went to see a screening of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" at the Imax theater in downtown Indianapolis. It was shown in 3D. We all enjoyed it very much (youngest is 11, oldest is 54). It held our attention and might have even seemed a bit rush. This movie in the series is generational, joining together Will Turner and his son Henry. The introduction of his son connected the two new actors into the series. If I state too much more, it will give away too much of the plot. I will recommend you stay until the end of the credits for an additional scene that hints at the future of the series. 

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs,  Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” drops anchor in U.S. theaters on May 26, 2017.   

We were provided tickets to the screening in order to write this review.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

The most anticipated movie of the Spring season in our house is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. We were invited to the screening of the movie last night. It didn't disappoint. At points, I laughed out loud. Of course, we loved the music. And we debate about our favorite characters, mine is baby groot! You will definitely see a few "easter egg" characters appear from Marvel history. I don't want to give anything away, but I highly suggest you stay until the TOTAL end of the credits and pay attention to the text.

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.

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©2017 Marvel Studios

Rating: PG-13

Release date:  Friday, May 5, 2017

Smurfs - The Lost Village Review

In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, is the biggest secret in Smurf history! A mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest.

My daughter (age 11) loved the movie and wants to get the DVD when it comes out. Smurf lovers will enjoy it as well. Moms and Dads, it's entertaining enough to last the hour and a half. 

Have you ever wondered what Smurfette does? All the other Smurfs have their "job title" in their name, but not Smurfette. This question is brought to light in the newly released Smurfs The Lost Village animated movie. 

Given the slight focus on Smurfette, here is a great download that will teach you how to draw her. It is a free PDF file. 

[pdf file]

The film stars:
Demi Lovato as SmurfetteMandy Patinkin as Papa SmurfJoe Manganiello as Hefty SmurfJack McBrayer as Clumsy SmurfDanny Pudi as Brainy Smurf and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel.

singer Meghan Trainor recorded  "I'm a Lady" for the film
Rated PG

Run time: 1 Hr 29 min
Release Date: April 7

Fun facts:

  • There are 105 boy smurfs and 1 girl. (actually: Smurfette isn't the only female Smurf. There are three of them! The other two are Sassette Smurfling and Nanny Smurf.)
  • They may be "Smurfs" to us, but they're called schlümpfe in Germany, törpök in Hungary, sumaafu in Japan, smerfy in Poland and pitufos in Spain.
  • The Smurfs are Belgian, not American
  • The Smurfs are over 50 years old
  • Smurfs are three apples tall

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Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

 

The 2017 movie version of Beauty and the Beast is anticipated by die hard Disney fans as well of fans of any of the all-star cast. As most are familiar with the storyline of Beauty and the Beast, you will find a few changes or details added to the 2017 version. 

 

My family was invited to see a preview release on Monday evening in Imax 3D. It didn’t disappoint. My daughters were excited to go, they are 11 and 14 years old and I thought they might be a bit over Disney princess themes but my 14 year old, sat there till the very end in order to hear the entire music track.

 

On our drive home we discussed our favorite song, favorite scene, favorite character and more. We each had our own favorites but we all agreed upon the overall enjoyment of this versions interpretation of “Be Our Guest”. 

 

As for the casting:

 

Emma Watson as Belle was beautiful and fitting, although none of us could understand how she didn’t fit in except for the fact that she was a girl who read. 

 

Dan Stevens as the Beast, we see him in his Beast form for most of the movie. His voice was fantastic to listen too in word and song. The transition from rough to a softer character progressed seamlessly through the length of the movie.

 

Luke Evans as Gaston did a great job progressing and building his evilness throughout the movie. I expected his character to present larger, more buff if you will. 

 

Kevin Kline did a wonderful job in his supporting role as Belle’s father Maurice. I truly enjoyed his scenes. 

 

Of all the actors that become objects, my favorite in this version was Mrs Potts played by Emma Thompson (which I didn’t know till the end). But Mrs Potts portrayed motherly characteristics while still being strong and standing up for her position which was endearing. 

 

 

PG  

2h 9min 

Family, Fantasy, Musical 

Release date: 17 March 2017 (USA)

 

 

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Twitter:  @BeOurGuest

Instagram  @BeautyAndTheBeast

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