Saturday, August 30, 2014

igottadrive.com - #DivasDrive Review and Giveaway

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and igottadrive.com. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

This year I became a parent to a full blown teenager. A high school aged kid, I couldn't believe how quickly time passed and how we were suddenly thrust into the world of teenagers. Sure, it's a fun time, but you know what teenagers want the most? To DRIVE! *shriek*

I wanted to prepare my teenager for the wonderful world of driving, and I say this in a sarcastic typing tone. We all know that when you're a teen, driving is the ultimate, the best thing to happen. But as you become an adult, the last thing you want to do is sit in traffic everyday.

That's where igottadrive.com comes in! My son has taken a real interest in all the aspects of driving, he asks the typical questions, how do you know where to turn? What is this button for? What is this gear for? I'm actually proud of him for concerning himself with the boring parts of the car and not just how fast can I go?! We started looking for a drivers education course he could try out and prepare for because before you know it, he'll be old enough to get his learners permit and I would hate for him to not know the California driving laws, etc. 

igottadrive.com provides us, as parents, peace of mind. Why? It's simple, the course is online, so we can sit and answer questions for our teens, and it's comprehensive. Easy to learn, simple guides and quick "cliff note" type reading and every portion of the course has a quiz. I'm not going to lie, I sat with him for a few minutes and I thought to myself how cool it would have been to have something like this when I was a teen, instead of sitting in a classroom watching traffic accident videos on VHS.

The igottadrive.com course uses simple wording, pictures and diagrams to get a better understanding of the core concepts being taught. You can get a sense of what your teen will learn from these videos.


There are several ways to get your teen on igottadrive.com and get them on the road to safe driving! You can purchase the course on Groupon and Living Social! You save $15 when you purchase through them, that's a GREAT deal!

Plus,

You can enter my giveaway (sponsored by igottadrive.com!), but before you do that, check them out and give them a follow on social media -

Like them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 25, 2014

Family Dinner Time is STILL Cool at Chronic Tacos - #ChronicTacos

I am a member of the Niche Parent Network. This post has been compensated with payment or product. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.


Finding time to squeeze in a sit down dinner with the entire family can be difficult. Between sports, school, chores and busy work schedules we can get completely consumed with everything else BUT spending quality time together. Not this momma! I try to have dinner ready at the same time everyday, this typically ensures that everyone will be ready to sit and eat as a family. However, Friday thru Sunday are MY days and on those days this busy mom refuses to cook, that's where Chronic Tacos comes in!

Here is a little background on Chronic Tacos -
"Randall L. Wyner was tired of having to jump in his car every time he craved a good taco. After a long night out in west Newport Beach, CA left Wyner and friend Daniel A. Biello disgruntled and hungry with no good local Mexican joints to choose from, the idea hit them right in their angry stomachs: Made-to-order Mexican food that was both fast and fresh. It could be something far superior to what the competition was offering. With more than just good food, it could be a place where they would want to hang out too.Through this idea, along with third-generation recipes they acquired from a close family friend, Chronic Tacos was born."
Chronic Tacos opened it's doors just in time for the 2002 Annual Newport Beach Fourth of July Celebration. It was the perfect opportunity to have thousands of consumers try out Chronic Tacos for the very first time and it was a hit! From then to now, Chronic Tacos has opened over 30 locations in California, Nevada and Canada!

Being a local Southern California resident, we have so many Chronic Taco locations to choose from, but our favorite is located in Fullerton, CA.

We are a large family, five in total, so we appreciate being able to have dinner together and have it made to order. We can sit and enjoy some great music and even better, delicious food. The items as I mentioned are cooked to order, the ingredients are fresh and they never disappoint. From their traditional mexican dishes, to their own signature twists they've added to the classics! Like their Chronic Fries, just imagine a typical nacho plate but with fries instead of tortilla chips...it's GENIUS! It's not just tacos and burritos either, they have a great Chronic Salad option where you can choose your protein (if any) a topper and some fantastic dressings, JalapeƱo Ranch is one of my favorites.

Credit Via | Chronic Tacos Facebook Page

I enjoy hearing about my boys week, we headed over to Chronic Tacos in Fullerton this past Sunday. We talked about how excited they were for school to start the following day and how we'd have to come back and have some Potato Tacos on Friday to talk about the week. New school for my older boys and a full day at school for our little one. My husband got to unwind from his long week at work, and I got to take a break from slaving over the stove! Which is nice because as I'm cooking in our tiny kitchen, no one wants to hang out with me because it gets so hot in there it's a one person kitchen. I like to be able to sit with my family and talk, we have a strict "NO CELL PHONE or ELECTRONICS" rule during dinner. 

Family dinner time is important, it gives you a chance to reconnect, to listen to your kids and to listen to your significant other. I look forward to our family dinner nights, especially when we have them at Chronic Tacos! Our oldest son started his first year of High School and in 3 more years he'll be off to college, I'll take all the family time I can get!

Chronic Tacos creates a real cool atmosphere for parents who are like us, younger and hip, but don't be fooled, we took my mom who was visiting from Texas and she loved the food and the music! Chronic Tacos allows you to step away from the norm, enjoy and great meal and create lasting memories with your family!

Want to learn more about Chronic Tacos and their menu? You can find them here:

Twitter: @eatchronictacos
Instagram: @eatchronictacos
Hashtag: #ChronicTacos (Make sure you get noticed by Chronic Tacos! Let them know you're a fan and use their hashtag!!)

Chronic Tacos Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a Chronic Tacos Gift Basket!




No Rinse? Say What? - Cascade Platinum No Rinse Review and Giveaway

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.


I love hosting any type of event in my home, typically I like to purchase some great plastic plates, cups and utensils. It's not because I'm cheap, okay, partially because I'm cheap, but mainly because I hate doing dishes. Sure, my dishwasher gets me by but I dread scraping or rinsing off dishes before loading.

This weekend I hosted brunch at my house, and as always the food and desserts were a HUGE hit. Then I sprung a surprise on my guests! 

Gathering around the kitchen after a big meal, is not the norm, I take everyone into the family room and we chit chat but this time I wanted to talk to them about Cascade Platinum and my #cascadeshiningreviews challenge.

I started loading my dishwasher and everybody almost instantaneously yelled "Waiiiitt!!! You need to rinse off those dishes, otherwise you'll have caked on food!" To which I smiled slyly and said "Watch and learn everyone!"

First I dumped in our dishes which were caked with an abundance of sauce -


Next, our raspberry mimosa jars -


And finally a brownie pan -


Doesn't that already look somewhat clean? Well, a few of the husbands decided that they would scrape off the goodness at the bottom and eat it, hahaha. I can't blame them, those brownies were delicious!

I put in the Cascade Platinum pods and The Cascade Rinse Aid. You gotta make sure your plates are dirty and unrinsed for Cascade Platinum to work effectively! It's powerful emzymes lift up food and cleans and scrubs inside your dishwasher. Worried about all that food clogging up your machine? Not to worry, your machine is set up to dispose of food particles just like your sinks garbage disposal.

My guests were surprised because they always thought they had to pre-rinse make sure no large pieces of food went into the dishwasher on purpose, not with Cascade Platinum. After I had everyone help me load the machine based on a really cool chart, that actually helped me maximize space, we got around to chatting and of course taking pictures!


After our longest wash cycle, I took out the dishes! The grimiest ones anyway.



Shiny, sparkling and NO SPOTS or FOOD! Who knew these tiny little pouches and rinse aid could pack such a punch?

 

I can't wait to host another brunch or dinner party at my house! I sent each guest home with a goodie bag, a sample of these Cascade products and I told them I wanted to see them clean up a huge mess without rinsing or scraping! They were overjoyed to say the least!

How about you? Are you curious to try out Cascade Platinum and give your own #CascadeShiningReviews? Well, why wait?! Enter my giveaway below!

CASCADE PLATINUM GIVEAWAY

Win a Cascade Prize pack including Cascade Platinum, Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid, a whisk, spatula, cheese grater and oven mitts so that you can take the baked-on challenge for yourself!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

ginnybakes - Review

***Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Medai Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.***

Just the facts - 

• ginnybakes offers a line of scrumptious chocolate chip cookiesmade with tempting dark chocolate.• ginnybakes’ coconut oatmeal bliss line is made with organiccoconut blended with dark, organic raisins, crispy wholewalnuts, and gluten-free rolled oats to make the perfect oatmealcookie with a tropical twist.• You won’t find any artificial ingredients in ginnybakes cookies.• Every product from ginnybakes is gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and kosher. They also offer a line of totally vegan treats.• ginnybakes produces cookies, bars, crumble snacks, and bakingmixes—to fit each every one of your cravings.• The retail price for a 5.5 oz box of ginnybakes is $5.99, the priceis the same for a case of their mini boxes.• ginnybakes products are sold at Costco stores in the SanFrancisco Bay Area, Whole Food Market stores, and FreshMarket. They recently found their way into Stop & Shop, Giant,Martin’s, Big Y stores, and Peapod for those who live in theNew York and New England region! Use the store locator onginnybakes.com to find even more ginnybakes locations.


Before accepting to review the brand ginnybakes, I had never heard of it or seen it in stores. I'll be honest and say, that I've tried a few products that were gluten free and vegan and they were not as delicious as one with a sweet tooth would hope. I'm not on a strictly vegan or gluten free diet, therefore I'm open to all things, but I just knew that there was a brand out there that was gluten free, vegan and tasty. ginnybakes is the REAL DEAL!

This was the AMAZING package that was sent to me!


Say it with me...OH-EM-GEE!

It was packages of their amazing pre-baked cookies and nutrition bars, as well as dry ingredients so that I can make my own at home!

The first thing my kids tore into (which are the WORST critics when it comes to dessert reviews, these boys are TOUGH!!!) the mini-cookies bags!


It was definitely chocolate chip love, and as the bag states, fresh baked. They were crispy, and buttery and delicious! The boys loved everything so much they tore into the nutrition bars -


These nut & fruit bars are jam packed with flavor! I loved that you were able to taste each and every component as opposed to others where you can only taste ONE thing. The flavors are out of this world! I must admit that I was rather fond of the karma, love & apricot. That's not saying I liked the other flavors less, but this was by far the nuttiest and just...I could have ate an entire box if they let me!

I baked the lovely brownie bites, they were extremely easy to make. The ingredients to add to the dry ingredients in the box were less than four and they baked moist and delicious in minutes! I typically like my brownies very soft, so I always underbake them. The box says 10-12 minutes, I baked them for 8 and they were perfect. Want to know why there isn't a picture? Well I wanted to take a picture after they had cooled, and then once I cut them and served to the boys. 

That soooo didn't happen...

I let the brownies cool and jumped in the shower, only to be greeted by three boys with chocolate stains on their toothy grins. I kind of gasped and said "Hey!!! Those are for a review!" and they all said "Yeah, we're your taste testers!" They didn't realize I needed pictures as well as sworn testimony *wink* ugh...I digress, the life of a mother. But, there you have it folks, the worst critics devoured the entire box of baked goods in less than a week, and so far I've baked about 2 other boxes of ginnybakes goodies for them. I'm saving the muffin mix for a "Mom Rainy Day" or in other words, when they go back to school and they last longer than a minute!

Want to know what this mom loved most? The ingredients were simple, fresh, organic and easy to pronounce. 

Are you eagerly waiting to find out where you can find ginnybakes? Wait no more! -

Find them on the web

and

Like them on Facebook

then

Follow them on Twitter

Better yet...

Check out their Pinterest and Google+

and go

Follow them on Instagram

Want to be able to try awesome treats of your own? Check out -


Walgreen's Well Beginnings - Review

***Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.***
"Well BeginningsTM is Walgreens exclusive baby care brand designed to help you nurture your baby’s wellbeing. The assortment of high-quality baby products support the healthy development of your baby at a great value and are conveniently found at your neighborhood Walgreens."

Just the facts -

The entire Well BeginningsTM product line is exclusive to Walgreens, your friendly neighborhood drugstore known for its health and wellness expertise.
Well BeginningsTM Size 4 Jumbo Diapers (31 count) offer a soft stretchable waist and side panels that wrap your baby in softness, offering leakage protection for day and night. The amazingly soft inner liner features natural botanicals, vitamin E, and aloe to soothe your baby’s bottom.
These quality baby diapers are available in Newborn to Size 6 and are 100% satisfaction guaranteed.
Well BeginningsTM Newborn, Size 1 and Size 2 diapers have a wetness indicator feature and turn blue when wet.
Well BeginningsTM is all made in the U.S.A. and is made up of high-quality products at a great value.
The retail price for Well BeginningsTM Size 4 Jumbo Diapers
(31 count) is $8.99.

Now that you've seen what Walgreen's has to say about their Well Beginning line, let's talk about what my friends and family thought about it!



This is what my package contained, Well Beginnings Baby Wash, Well Beginnings Diapers (Size 4) and Well Beginnings Sensitive Wipes. 

What did my friends and family think? -

While my own children have outgrown the days of diapers (*sigh of relief* Phew!) the children of close friends and family have not and I thought it would be ideal to have them test out the Walgreen's Well Beginning brand with their little ones! I gave each a sample pack, with a diaper, baby wash and a few sensitive wipe:

B.G. from Fontana, CA says: "I liked that the wipes were unscented because my son is very reactive to scented baby wipes. They didn't tear or fall apart and I was able to use less than my typical brand. I didn't even know Walgreen's made their own brand but after seeing the price I'm definitely switching!"



Our baby wash, made right here in the U.S.A., is designed for use on your baby’s entire body. The rich lather effectively cleanses your baby’s hair and skin without the fear of tears.
Unlike baby soaps, this baby wash cleans without drying because it’s 100% soap-free, dye-free and pH-balanced. In fact, it is milder than baby soap.
The tear-free formula is clinically tested hypoallergenic and is dermatologist- and allergy-tested as well as paraben- and phthalate-free.
The retail price for Well BeginningsTM Baby Wash is $2.99.

T.R. from Montebello, CA says: "The diapers were so awesome! I was amazed at how long my daughter stayed dry! The elastic on the thighs didn't mark her leg like her usual diaper and it didn't leak from the sides, which was cool because we had a long drive to the beach today."




These wipes are made with Tri-Form, a unique 3-layer fabric, specially designed with 2 quilted cottony soft outer layers for superior and gentle cleansing for your baby’s delicate skin.
The inner layer is strong and thick to prevent tearing or stretching, keeping your hands clean.
The wipes are hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, dermatologist-approved, and made in the U.S.A.
The retail price for Well BeginningsTM Sensitive Wipes (72 count) is $2.39.

S.P. from Montclair, CA says: "I loved all my samples and after I tried them out on my twins I went out and bought a few bags for our own use. I can't believe I was sleeping on this brand struggling with searching for deals on the competitor!"

Now, while I don't have small children, I do have a 6 year old, who is rather sensitive to scented kids body wash and regular adult shampoo, so he definitely, or rather, his skin benefited from the baby wash (but shhhh...he didn't know it was called "baby wash" don't you know he's almost a "man"). I used the sensitive wipes to take off my makeup after running out of make-up remover and they left my skin feeling fresh and cool. I truly enjoyed spreading the word about a brand that may not be so well known to many who are struggling to find the right brands for their infants! It's easy to find, affordable and most of all mother approved! If you'd like to find out more about the Walgreen's Well Beginning brand check them out on -




or


For your chance to sample great products from exclusive brands, head on over to -


Dial - Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Hydrating Body Wash - Review & Giveaway


I can say with all certainty, that at my age, I like what I like. Sure, there are a few rare things that I'll try and love, but for the most part I think I know what I like to smell like after a shower.

Which is why I was exstatic to try out Dial's NEW Coconut Water refreshing mango body wash! It's as wonderful as it sounds! It has a light tropical scent but the body wash is so moisturizing it feels like you stepped out of the shower and put on soft lotion without the sticky feeling!

Here is some of what Dial has to say about their new body wash!
"COCONUT WATER FACT:  Coconut Water is found in young, green coconuts and known to be rich in antioxidants & electrolytes that help provide replenishing hydration."
Not sure how you feel about it? Why not try it for FREE? Enter below for your chance to win a coupon for a FREE bottle of DIAL Coconut Water refreshing mango Hydrating Body Wash (Up to a $4.49 Value)


***Disclaimer:  As part of the Purex Insiders Community, I was facilitated a complimentary bottle of Dial Coconut Water refreshing mango Hydrating Body Wash for testing and review purposes. All opinions expressed in this blog post are 100% my own***

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Honey Bunches of Oats single-serve cups - Review and Summer Tips

"Honey Bunches of Oats single-serve cups. The delicious cups come in Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted and Honey Bunches of Oats with Crispy Almonds. Each single-serve cup is conveniently packaged in a sealed container and they're perfect for on-the-go family activities! One cup provides 5g of protein and contains essential vitamins & minerals, to ensure you're getting a nutritious meal the whole family will love." 

While kids are so excited that it's now "SUMMER TIME", moms across the globe are like "When does school start again?" Most kids have a jam packed summer, filled with activities, sports, trips, I mean, the variety of activities just runs the gamut, even if they are in day care, most facilities take kids out to do fun things and try and alleviate the summer boredom.

But what about us? Moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, you know the shuttle/taxi service...err, I mean, drivers.  Sometimes, we just need to grab the essentials and head out and hope that we didn't forget anything as we dashed out the door!

Summertime can be a joyous occasion for the kiddos, but not so much for us adults.  I personally, am a stay at home momma, and I can assure you that while I love my children with all my heart and soul, I am counting down the days with RED bold X's on my calendar until they go back to school! 

But suffer no more, because with Honey Bunches of Oats single-serve cups it's a cinch! 

They offer a great variety of our Post favorites to tide us over during soccer, football, swimming and tennis, and, and...well...just fill in the blanks won't ya?

I know we've all tasted the yumminess Honey Bunches of Oats Post cereal, my favorite...with Almonds! Yum, Yum...DELISH!

Well how would you feel if you could take it with you on the go, snack on it during all those stops, maybe it's your week to shuttle around the soccer, football or swim team. Why not be energized and have something delicious fill that empty stomach?



Here is a simple little cup, that has two layers of genius! The bottom has a gel, freeze it up and it'll keep juice, milk or any other liquid cold for a couple of hours! See that top part? Well, just add in your Honey Bunches to-go cup in there and VIOLA! Instant breakfast, snack, lunch, whatever you want to call it (that is, whatever time you finally get around to eating it!)



This is a parents dream come true! 








Here are my tips for an easy getaway (as you dash out the door in the morning!):


  • Pack the essentials the night before (when the kiddos are in bed), gym bags, sunscreen, dry snacks (such as POST Nutrition on-the-go cups, you can purchase those here), tissues, and sanity (just kidding, you'll never be able to pack that)
  • The morning of, grab your bottled waters or sports drinks out of the fridge, pack them in a ice chest on wheels, even the backpack kind.
  • Fun toys for the toddlers or preschoolers, so they can enjoy sitting out on the field during big bro/sis games
  • Extra clothes/diapers/wipes
  • Anti-bacterial spray (just in case)
***Disclaimer:  A complimentary sample box of POST Honey Bunches of Oats To-Go-Cups and Stackable Containers were provided to me for review purposes by Hunter PR. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.***