Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mamma Chia Squeeze Pouches and Beverages are Great Tasting + Perfect Snack Option for Kids and Adults #MammaChiaMagic #Sponsored

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





A few months ago, I attended a conference for cancer survivors and sat in on some amazing speaker talks and round table discussion.  On more than one occasion, survivors brought up consuming chia seeds in a variety of ways, as a way to improve their overall health and well being.  And, before the end of the 2-day conference, I was finally able to see why so many of the attendees were talking so highly of chia seeds and their many benefits.  As I sat and listened, I was jotting down notes about the many benefits that the nutritionists on hands were talking about, as well as comments made from survivors about ways they consume them, and how they benefited them in regards to their cancer survivorship and other diseases, including autoimmune, etc.


Upon returning from the conference, I picked up a chia seeds to try.  While I was not a fan of eating them right from the bag, I did start to incorporate them into soups, yogurts, sprinkle them on salads, add into muffin and other dessert mixes, etc. chia Seeds offer so many benefits that the entire family, including children can benefit from, so I didnt' hesitate to offer up things I made and included chia seeds into to my kids.  They had no idea that I had snuck in chia seeds, but I as a parent, knew the health benefits that they were receiving as a results.


So, what health benefits do chia seeds offer?  Here is just handful I gathered during the talk at the conference I attended, and which i confirmed through various online sources after my return:


- Benefits of Consuming and adding Chia seeds to your diet - 



  • Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which helps reduce inflammation, reduces high cholesterol and enhances your cognitive awareness and performance
  • Rich in Antioxidants -- Antioxidants helps protect our bodies against free radicals that contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
  • Great source of calcium, resulting in stronger bones and teeth.  One serving of chia seeds is about 18% the recommended daily intake for calcium.
  • Great source of fiber, which helps keep you regular.
  • Full of protein, which is perfect for vegetarians or those who don't eat meat or other animals products.
  • Great for those with diabetes, as it helps to stabilize blood sugar and fights insulin resistance
  • Helps you lose weight by making you feel fuller, faster, as well 
  • Also, great source for minerals our bodies need like manganese, magnesium and phosphorous.
Who knew that someone so small as a chis seed could offer these amazing benefits?  Well, one woman, who went on to found a highly successful business did.  Janie Hoffman, is the founder and CEO of Mamma Chia.


"Mamma Chia, the organic food and beverage company that originated the chia beverage category and continues to be the chia product leader and innovator."

Like me and so many other, Janie suffered from various autoimmune disorders which hindered her overall health and well being.  Looking for ways other than medicating herself, she began experimenting with chia seeds and developed chia beverages that became a hit with her family and those who tried them.  And, with this her highly successful chia beverage business was born in 2009.  This past April, Janie released her first book, "Chia Vitality," which is "a 30-day plan to better health, greater vibrancy, and a more meaningful and purposeful life."  Janie will also be releasing a second book in Sept., which will be a cookbook.  I can't wait for this as she will be included more than 80 recipes, and showing the many ways to include chia seeds into your diet.  

Many products are created out of necessity and after other medicine and holistic regimes didn't work to bring relief to Janie's daily suffering from her medical conditions, which she is in remission now, she created her line of Chia beverages.  Today, you can find Mamma Chia products, which include Chia Squeeze Vitality Snacks, Mamma Chia Vitality Beverages and soon to be released in stores (including Whole Foods, Target, etc), Mamma Chia Clean Energy Vitality Beverages.  I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Chia Squeeze Vitality Snacks and the Mamma Chia Vitality beverages, thanks to a review opportunity with Mamma Chia and Double Duty Divas.  


While I have been including Chia seeds into things I made since I learned the many health benefits a few months back, I had never tried the Mamma Chia product line.  So, when I was offered the opportunity to the Chia Squeeze Vitality Snacks and the Mamma Chia Vitality beverages, I jumped at the opportunity.  Not only would I be trying them out, but I was also eager to share with my family, including my girls.  They are fans of the different pouched snacks including yogurt smoothies, fruit purees, apple sauces, etc, and love the handy on-the-go pouches, which they enjoy at home and on the go.  I was hoping to sneak the Mamma Chia Vitality Snacks pouches in with their others in the refrigerator and see what they thought of them.  




The unique and vibrant packaging caught their eye, and when they tried them, they couldn't help but lick their lips, as they squeezed the pouches until their was nothing left.  


  • Nutrient-rich chia seeds deliciously infused with fruit and vegetables
  • Conveniently packaged in a 3.5 oz, BPA-Free pouch, and easy to toss into a gym bag, purse, backpack, or a child's lunchbox
  • Only 70 calories
  • 1200 mg. of Omega-3s - about the same as a single serving of salmon
  • 4 grams of fiber -- equivalent to the amount of fiber found an in average apple
  • No added sugar
Not knowing what chia seeds are, they just thought they were seeds from strawberries or raspberries.  Shh, don't tell them they were also eating vegetables along with fruit. :-) Savannah especially loved the crunch of the seeds, and asked for another pouch.  While they can't see the benefits of consuming chia, as a parent whose about them, I am happy to have found another healthy snack option for back to school lunch bags, on-the-go snacking, or just another in-house snack option for them.  My husband also loves how he can grab a pouch to enjoy on the way to work in the morning.  And, when I find myself having a crazy morning or day with the girls, and find myself missing a meal, I love being able to grab a pouch or two from the fridge, while knowing it is helping me with my daily fiber, calcium, omega-3 and other mineral intakes that I would otherwise not get if I reached for salty or sugary unhealthy snacks looking for a way to refuel or a quick pick me up.  When it comes to our favorite flavors, we can't choose a favorite, as they all taste so good! :-)




I am persoanlly loving the Mamma Chia Vitality beverages and the different flavors, which I have found at Whole Foods and my local Target store.   Just check out the health benefits of the Mamma Chia Vitality beverages:


  • A much-needed vitality boost for moms pre- and post-workout, during lunchtime or afternoon carpool duty
  • Organic chia seeds are infused with organic fruit juice, resulting in a delicious, satisfying and refreshing drink
  • Lightly sweetened with less than one tablespoon of organic agave nectar
  • Contains more than an entire day's worth of Omega-3 (2500 mg)
  • 6 grams of fiber - 25% of one's daily requirement
  • 4 grams of complete protein
With the craziness that summer and preparing for back to school, I have found myself slipping my diet and healthy eating habits and picking up packs of soda for a quick sugar jolt mid day.  Knowing that soda is not healthy, I was looking for a beverage that was sweet enough, and that was full of flavor.  I loved the idea of the chia benefits, and when I recently sampled this beverage line, i was hooked.  It was really delicious, and served up chilled as recommended, makes for a great refreshing drink on the go or throughout a busy day.  I have been doing a mini taste test at home with the different flavors to find my favorite.  While the girls say they love each and every one I sample with them, I have to say that my personal favorites include Cherry Lime, Coconut Mango and Pineapple coconut. My husband can't get enough of the Pomegranate mint.  Have you tried these drinks from Mamma Chia?  If so, do you have a favorite flavor?  Prior to trying out these drinks, did you know about the many benefits of chia seeds?  Do you like me, like this easy way to consume chia seeds, simply by chilling these drinks and grabbing them to enjoy at home or on the go?  

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the new Mamma Chia Clean Energy drinks, which will available beginning this Sept.  This will be the FIRST drink that "combines the power of chia with the clean energy of Guayusa, resulting in a truly healthful, fulfilling and delicious energy beverage that nourishes your entire body and soul." If they are anything like the Organic Mamma Chia Vitality beverages, I will have another delicious way to enjoy chia seeds.


To learn more about Mamma Chia and the current product offering visit http://bit.ly/1yolC7y.  Can't seem to find Mamma Chia products at a retailer near you?  Then, use the online store locator found here: http://www.mammachia.com/find-us/.



Don't forget to follow Mamma Chia on their social media pages to stay up-to-date on special offers and promotions, new product additions and more....


--GIVEAWAY--


Want to try out Mamma Chia products for yourself, as well as share with your family, including your children by adding to their backpacks for a healthy snack on the way to school in the AM, or a snack added to their lunch bag?  Then, complete the entries on the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a fun Mamma Chia prize pack.  One lucky reader will win the following, which has a estimated value of $75:



  • 1 full bag each of Mamma Chia's NEW black and white chia seeds
  • 1 week's worth of Chia Squeezers (7)
  • 1 week's worth f beverage vouchers (7)
  • One copy of Janie's new book - "Chia Vitality"
Good luck!




Disclosure: This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Mamma Chia. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.
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Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Arrives on Digital HD Oct. 21 and Blu-ray and DVD Nov. 11!


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, ONE OF THE BEST REVIEWED AND HIGHEST GROSSING FILMS OF THE YEAR, ARRIVES ON DIGITAL HDOCT. 21 AND BLU-RAY™ & DVD NOV. 11



“The best animated film of the year…fun for the whole family”
– Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun Times


Catch the all-new animated adventure, DreamWorks DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, exclusively with the Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD Double Pack and Digital HD


"Soaring past the $500 million mark at the global box office, DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, but also 2014’s highest grossing animated film to-date and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.

The thrilling second chapter of the epic HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases DreamWorks Animation’s critically acclaimed HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 on Digital HD October 21 and on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 11.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the next chapter to the Academy Award® nominated film released in 2010, is “sensational…an instant animated classic,” proclaims Access Hollywood. A hit with audiences and critics alike, the film received an outstanding audience reaction with a coveted “A” CinemaScore® and certified 92% fresh on RottenTomatoes.com. Variety’s Peter Debruge declares the film is “Braver than ‘Brave,’ more fun than ‘Frozen’…Dragon delivers.” It’s a must-own title for the whole family!

Fans will get even more excitement, adventure and, of course, more dragons when DreamWorks Animation releases DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS, an all-new animated adventure featuring the original voice cast. A hunt for lost sheep soon turns into a high-flying sprint in the all-new epic adventure as Hiccup and friends battle to become the first Dragon Racing Champion of Berk! DRAGONS: DAWN OF THE DRAGON RACERS will be available exclusively on the Blu-ray™ combo pack, DVD double pack and Digital HD.

The all-star film talent features Jay Baruchel (This Is The End), two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”), America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”), Academy Award® nominee Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Neighbors), T.J. Miller (“Silicon Valley”) and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The film also adds the voice talent of Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”).

The Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD feature hours of bonus materials that explore the world of dragons and more. Furthermore, the Blu-ray™ and Digital HD contain four exclusive featurettes, deleted scenes and a 60-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of the film, shot and created by the film’s writer and director Dean DeBlois."

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 Blu-ray™ & Digital HD include:  

Feature film in high definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Drago’s War Machines – Gobber the Belch narrates this inside look at the fierce creatures and “high-tech” weapons used by Drago to expand his growing dragon army.
  • Berk’s Dragon World – Explore the massive stable created to house the dragons of Berk, along with other changes made on the island to promote harmonious living.
  • Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight – Learn the secrets of how Hiccup and Toothless work together to form the ultimate high-flying team in this fascinating interactive tour.
  • Deleted Scenes -- The awesome adventure continues with telling deleted and extended scenes, including action-packed footage you couldn’t see in theaters!
  • Commentary by Simon Otto, Bonnie Arnold, Dean DeBlois, and Pierre-Olivier Vincent
  • Where No One Goes: The Making of How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Writer-Director Dean DeBlois and his team take you behind the scenes of creating the film’s eye-popping visual effects and epic story
  • Dragon Races – Catch the thrilling aerial action and exciting play-by-play commentary as you cheer on your favorite riders in a spectacular dragon race!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Move to the music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

DreamWorks Animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 DVD includes:

Feature film in standard definition 

Special Features:
  • Fishleg’s Dragon Stats – How much do you know about your favorite dragons? Explore the Dragon 2 Guide and learn more about your favorite fire-breathing friends!
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • World of DreamWorks Animation – Music videos from your favorite  DreamWorks Animation feature films

ABOUT DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE® Magazine for five consecutive years. In 2013, DreamWorks Animation ranked #12 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation’s feature films are produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 29 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Puss In Boots, and The Croods.

ABOUT TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and DigitalHD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.
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Get a Haircut...Give a Haircut During the 15th Annual "Share a Haircut Program" at Hair Cuttery Salons (Ends August 31st) #sponsored

Disclosure:  This is sponsored post with Hair Cuttery.  Even though I will be compensated for my time in promoting this charitable program, in addition to receiving free haircuts for my girls, all views shared are mine and mine alone.



Give the gift of a new back to school haircut to a child in need when you participate in the annual "Share a Haircut" charitable program, which runs until August 31st.  

I have been sharing throughout the summer new firsts that the gives have experienced through my social media channels and blog.  From their first overnight stay at a nearby hotel, to visiting a water park and going down the "big kids" water slide, to a more recent first bonfire and s'mores experience.  Well, I think I have a "first" that will top all of these -- the girls got their first haircuts last Saturday at the Hair Cuttery in Lisbon, CT.  It has been a long time coming, as I have been asking my husband for over a year now to cut their hair.  While he likes long hair, I knew that by cutting the girls' hair short for the summer that it would be cooler, and also easier to manage. 

Finally, after being asked to share more about the Hair Cuttery's annual "Share a Haircut" program on my blog, and being given the opportunity to get haircuts for the girls at a local Hair Cuttery location, my husband agreed.  

The "Share a Haircut" program runs through the end of August, so you still have a few days to show your support, and spread this news about this amazing charitable effort with family and friends. 

Share a Haircut,” Hair Cuttery’s biggest charity effort of the year, provides free haircuts to disadvantaged children in local communities.  Throughout the month of August, for every child up to age 18 who purchases a back-to-school haircut at Hair Cuttery, one will be donated back to an underprivileged child in the communities of Hair Cuttery’s almost 900 locations. In addition, this year they are also hosting a ‘donation wall’ on the Hair Cuttery blog, where donors can upload their profile picture.  Each picture upload and/or social share equals one hair cut to a child in-need.

Savannah and Bella before their haircuts...


My husband thought that they were just going to get a trim...but, I had other plans.  I wanted to get cute bobs for the girls.  Not only would it give their hair more time to grow back, but I would be able to thin out Bella's thick front bangs that she has been sporting.  


Oh, how I wish you could have saw the look of horror on my husband's face when he saw them cutting more than an inch or so off of Savannah's hair. :-)  But, once the girls were done being pampered at the hair salon and were ready to show off their new do's, I saw a big smile on his face.  

Introducing the New Savannah and Bella...


Not only did the girls love their short hair, as it felt lighter, but my husband also loved how it looked.  He did remark that the shorter haircut made them look older, but he has finally realized that they are growing up in a blink of an eye, and that he has to cherish these special "firsts" while they are still young.  

Now that my husband is on board with letting the girls get their haircut, we will be participating in future "Share-A-Haircut" programs in years to come, in addition to visiting our local Hair Cuttery for trims throughout the year.

Did you know that if you bring your child to a local Hair Cuttery Salon for their first haircut, that they will get a cute "First Haircut" certificate and have a lock of hair saved in a baggie and given to you at the end of the haircut?  I thought this was a great idea, and one that will make adding this milestone in your child's baby book easier.  We were running around so much prior to heading to the salon that I had forgot to pack baggies to gather up a few hair clippings.  So, it was a nice touch to see the folks at Hair Cuttery ready to help celebrate this "first" with the girls, like they did.  

My girls were nervous at first, but the two hair stylists were quick to get them talking and laughing, which made their haircut go by quickly and without them fussing, which I was worried about.  I had to peel Bella away from the mirror, as she couldn't stop looking at her herself and telling me she looked beautiful, while Savannah was pretty. :-)  Like I said, my two princesses are growing up, and now we can cross first haircuts off their lists of firsts, thanks to the folks at Hair Cuttery.  

Next week when Savannah starts preschool, she will be heading back to style with a new look and more confidence. It is funny how even when you are an adult that something as simple as a haircut or new color can boost your confidence level.  Knowing this, don't you want all children to be able to head back to school with a new haircut?  With your help, you can give a FREE haircut to a local child in need, when you bring your child into a local Hair Cuttery salon to get their hair cut.  

So, if you have plans to do last minute school shopping and need to get your child's hair cut before they head back to school next week, why not stop by a local Hair Cuttery by August 31st, and "Share-A-Haircut?"  


Since this charitable program began in 1999, the Hair Cuttery has been able to donate over 800,000 haircuts (valued at $12 million) to children in need.  This being a milestone year, the company hopes to bring that number to 925,000!  

I hope you will join me in helping them reach this goal. :-)


In addition to visiting a local Hair Cuttery salon with your child to get their haircut, you can also participate in the annual "Share-A-Haircut" program by sharing on your social media channels. To learn more and to share before the program ends on August 31st, visit Hair Cuttery blog.

CONNECT WITH THE HAIR CUTTERY:

----
About Hair Cuttery:
Hair Cuttery is the largest family owned and operated chain of hair salons in the country, with nearly 900 company-owned locations on the East Coast, and in New England and the Midwest. A full-service, value-priced salon, Hair Cuttery offers a full complement of cuts and styling, coloring, waxing and texturizing services with no appointment necessary, as well as a full line of professional hair care products. Hair Cuttery is committed to delivering a delightful client experience through WOW Service including a Smile Back Guarantee. Hair Cuttery is a division of Ratner Companies, based in Vienna, VA. www.haircuttery.com.


Disclosure:  This is sponsored post with Hair Cuttery.  Even though I will be compensated for my time in promoting this charitable program, in addition to receiving free haircuts for my girls, all views shared are mine and mine alone.

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New Dinosaur Train "BUDDY'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE" Arrives on DVD, September 2nd! (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.






I know, I know..."Don't rush Halloween."  Well in just a few short days September will be here, and in 17 weeks it will be Christmas.  Just the other day when I went shopping with the girls, they were already putting out Halloween candy and costumes.  When my girls saw this, they started talking about what they plan to dress up as, and how excited they are to go trick or treating again this year, as last year was the first year we took them.  So, as they think about what they will be, they are enjoying watching some new Halloween DVDs that are releasing in the coming weeks, which have been arriving at our doorstep, including the upcoming Sept. 2nd release of "Buddy's Halloween Adventure" from the hit animated series Dinosaur Train, airing daily on PBS Kids.


If you follow my blog regularly, then you know that my girls just love Dinosaur Train -- so much so that Savannah even dressed up as Tiny last year for Halloween. :-)

So, when they saw this DVD come in the mail, they were super excited to watch it.  And, for the past few days, this DVD has been playing over and over again, as Savannah parades around the house in her costume from last Halloween. :-)


BUDDY’S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE” has a run time of approximately 50 minutes and an SRP of $7.99, and includes the following full-length episodes:

Haunted Roundhouse
Dad takes the kids on a special Night Train to Troodon Town, where the Troodons have decorated their Roundhouse into a “haunted house” for a spooky party. The kids end up meeting a strange new nocturnal creature – a mammal named Vlad Volaticotherium, who was hiding in the roundhouse trying to get some sleep.

Big Pond Pumpkin Patch
The Pteranodon family learns more about the customs of their neighbors, the Lambeosaurus family, when they are invited for the first time to accompany them to the Big Pond to celebrate “Gourd Day” – a kind of Mesozoic Halloween. The kids see their first pumpkins, and Larry Lambeosaurus even shows our family how to hollow them out and carve faces into them.

Night Train
Dad, Buddy and Tiny take a special ride on the Dinosaur Train at night, learning about animals that are active after dark, culminating at the Big Pond for a nature walk under the full moon.

Fossil Fred
Buddy, Tiny and Don play “detective” and search around the Big Pond for fossils. The kids end up finding an entire skeleton of a Jurassic dinosaur.


There are also special features you will want to check out including a fun interactive game, coloring pages, activities, Dr. Scott segments, and even information for parents.

If you are not familiar with Dinosaur Train, it is geared towards children ages 3-6 years old, and introduces them to life science and natural history in a fun way.  They learn about dinosaurs and how they lived back in the day, and have a great time trying to pronounce their names, while listening to Dr. Scott shares interesting facts about these prehistoric animals.  

While I enjoy this show, it has become a "Daddy/Daughter" show that my girls look forward to sharing with my husband.  Shh, don't tell him, but they usually watch the episode when it airs in the AM, but will watch it and pretend like it is brand new when he comes home from work.  This show really peeks their curiosity and has them asking about how the dinosaurs lived, why they aren't around today, and so many other great questions.  As a parent, I love having educational shows like this available to share with them, to help them learn and grow.

If you have a Dinosaur Train fan in your life, why not consider picking up a copy of this upcoming "Halloween" themed DVD.  My girls especially loved the gourd episodes and can't wait to carve their own pumpkins this year...or at least decorate them. :-)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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Highway to Heaven: The Complete 4th Season -- Now Available on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.






Since the folks at Mill Creek Entertainment have been releasing Highway to Heaven on DVD, I have been sharing reviews, as I was and still am a huge fan of this original family series, starring Michael Landon, which aired on television from 1984-1989.  Like I have shared in past posts, I used to love watching this show with father.  I would record it and then stay up late until he got home from a police detail, and we would watch it while he had dinner.  This was our special bonding time that I cherished then, and get to enjoy again, whenever I get these DVD releases, as we make time to watch some of our favorite episodes from each given season, and talk about the others.

Were you fan of this show growing up?  I first started watching it, as I was a fan of Michael Landon from Little House on the Prairie.  And, after watching the first few episodes of this popular series, was hooked.  I liked how each episode was a new story line, that had Jonathan Smith, an angel sent back to Earth on probation (played by Landon) and Mark Gordon (played by Victor French) working together to complete assignments given to them from the man upstairs.  I personally loved seeing Landon and French's character work together.  You could tell that through their meeting and having to work together, that they were building a strong connection and friendship.  They worked well together, and you found yourself wishing you could have a friend like Jonathan. :-)

This past summer, my father has been coming down weekly to visit and spend time with the girls and I.  And, when the girls finally nap, I will put on one of the Highway to Heaven DVDs to watch.  And, lately, it has been this recent release.  With 24 full length episodes and over 19 hours of viewing time, we have been enjoying spending time watching these classic episodes, which would include guest appearances from famed actors and actresses of the time, as well as rising stars, who are now big today.  Remember how I shared that in the Season 3 DVD, you could see , Paul Walker, who starred in the Fast and Furious franchise movies, and passed away earlier this year in a car crash.  I was quick to point out the scenes Paul Walker, who was a teenager at the time of filming.  

Season four of Highway to Heaven saw guest appearances from Will Estes (who later starred as Will in The New Lassie, Chad Allen (played David Witherspoon on Our House), Danny Pintauro (played Jonathan on Who's the Boss, and even Bob Hope, just to name a few.

Here is a clip from the episode that featured Chad Allen, where his character was spanked by the father.  While back in day spanking was considered a normal form of punishment, in today's society, it is frowned upon.  Funny how clips like this from shows of yesterday make you look at how life seemed simpler back then, and how they are so different now.



When you watch this television series, you can't help but walk away with a feel good attitude.  If only more shows were like this today, as this show didn't contain drugs, violence or vulgar language.  Lessons were taught and you saw what true friendship was by watching Jonathan and Mark work to help others.

Out of the four season that have made it to DVD -- Season five will be releasing in early Sept. -- I have to say that this season is by far my favorite.  Not only did it have guest stars from other 80's and early 90's family shows I watched, but the stories were all touching.  I admit that a few even brought me to tears, as you could feel the genuine and sometimes raw emotions of the characters.  I could go on and on about how great this how and season was, but if you are fan of Highway of Heaven, then you already know that! :-)

In addition to the recent release of Highway to Heaven: Season 4 and the soon to be released Season Five, I just saw on the Mill Creek Entertainment that they will be offering the Highway to Heaven Complete Series soon, too!  How great is that! :-) 


Highway To Heaven: The Complete Series

With Christmas only 17 weeks ago, why not get a jump on your holiday shopping and pick up this hit television series for that special Highway to Heaven fan in your life.  I already know what I will be surprising my father with -- the complete series. :-)



Don't forget to follow Mill Creek Entertainment on their social media channels to stay up-to-date on news, upcoming releases, special offers and more...





Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Great Gift Ideas For Moms: A Dishwasher, Of Course!


Impressing friends and family with delicious and imaginative meals would be a lot more satisfying for the cook if it were not for that inevitable pile of dirty dishes left behind. It is the quickest way to erase the glow that comes from being complimented on one’s cooking skills. Thanks to some early innovative thinking and the marvels of modern technology, the drudgery of dishwashing can be a thing of the past.
 

The Age-Old Woman’s Wish List
 

A dishwasher is a very useful home appliance that can help those who want to clean their dishes and utensils with utmost ease. Invented by Josephine Cochrane in 1886, this state of the art appliance has become a real trouble saver. 


Because of this it the perfect gift for every mother who typically has a zillion other matters demanding her time. Giving her this home appliance is something that will be appreciated on a daily basis for many years to come. It has obviously been the age-old dream of every woman who has perpetually felt tied to a kitchen sink.


Simplicity and Style

Grant Dishwasher, Tableware, Dishwasher, Kitchen

There is a great deal of advice available online regarding the choosing of this much appreciated kitchen appliance. With the hectic pace of modern living it has become a necessity rather than a luxury item, so that buyers will be assured of a style to suit the design and requirements of every kitchen. Capacities also vary to accommodate smaller or larger families, couples and individuals. The number and variety of wash cycles on offer provide the perfect means of cleaning specific items such as pots and pans, and for those easy to clean items there is a water efficient cycle that reduces energy bills.
 
Until someone invents self-cleaning dishes, pots and pans and utensils the dishwasher is the best means of freeing up time that is better spent on more leisurely pursuits. Time is an issue with almost everyone and full advantage should be taken of any method that allows some much-needed breathing space and is far kinder to hands.



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Lunch Balancer, a Monthly Subscription Service That Offers You a High Protein, Low Carb Lunch Plan You'll Love (Review + $5 PROMO CODE)

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


Lunch Balancer
Sample Box - Less Than $7.50/Meal


With the summer usually comes slip ups with your diet, or your goal of eating healthy.  There are so many temptations to grab a bag of chips when running in the convenience store to pay for gas or grab a soda over water.  Your mind is in summer vacation mode, while your body hopes that you quickly realize that your adding more calories and fat than you are burning off.  Then, summer starts to come to an end and you find yourself looking in the mirror and not seeing the bathing suit body you thought you had worked so hard to get and had at the start of the summer?  What are you do?  And, now, the kids are returning back to school and are starting their after school sports and weekend games, so the luxury to shop and prepare healthy meals 5 nights a week, as well as make sure your whole family has lunch the next day, is a challenge to say the least.  If only there was a service available that could help you take back the body you had worked so hard to get, or at least get you back on track when it comes to eating healthier, with better meal and snack choices?  Well, there is, thanks to Lunch Balancer.

Are you familiar with Lunch Balancer?  Don't worry if you aren't, as I wasn't until I stumbled across their website last month looking for a monthly meal subscription service that I could sign up for that would help take the guessing game out of types of meals I should be eating, that met the necessary calories for the day, and was high in protein and low in carbs.  Not being able to work out daily, I try to make a point to watch the carbs, as they are only being burned while chasing the kids around the house.  You would think that I would be stick thing chasing around two active children  a 2 and 4 yrs. old, right? We'll save that for another day! :-)



What I like most about Lunch Balancer is that they prepare 5 healthy lunch options and include the full size products so you don't have to go out and shop for them.  They even go as far as to color code them so you know which ones go with each day. In addition, when you open the Lunch Balancer box you are sent, you will find a handy chart that lists out everything in the box and the number of proteins in grams and net carbs in grams, that each meal contains.  There is also a slip included in the box that breaks down all the items and shows their calories, protein, total fat, total carbs, fiber and net carbs.




"Why are net carbs so important?:

Most carbs affect your blood sugar.  Fiber and sugar alcohols, although considered a carb, generally don't.  Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols, leaving you with a better picutre of the carbs that may actually raise your blood sugar!"

The Lunch Balancer program was created by Dr. Gabe, as a way to help people both active and not to be able to eat healthier.  Through balanced proteins and carbs, you are able to sustain energy, while just eating the right of food to fill you up, and not add extra inches to your waist, due to overeating, or not knowing when to stop.  I don't know about you, but when I am crazy busy with the girls, or find myself stressing over too many things that have to be done in a short period of time, when it comes to eating, I could eat and eat and eat, without feeling full.  I am too busy thinking about too many other things to really stop and enjoy food, and feel full.  Then, when I run out of a bag of chips or another non-healthy snack, I find myself with a stomach ache or dead weight in the mid section from overeating.  Without time to hit the gym or go for a walk to burn off the excess calories I have just consumed, it ends up turning to fat and making the numbers on the scale go up instead of down.

But, I have to say that thanks to the Lunch Balancer I was able to get back to eating healthier, with their box that can be ordered on a monthly basis, or just with one sampler box to try it out.


Here's a peek at a few meal menus that you may find (varies by month):

  • turkey stick + veggie chips + roasted almonds + organic fruit chew = PERFECTLY BALANCED MEAL and gluten free!
  • protein pretzels + almond butter & whole grain crackers + roasted chickpeas + chocolate macaroons =PERFECTLY BALANCED MEAL and vegan/kosher/gluten free!
  • hummus & lentil chips + edamame crunchers + sweet almond/cashew/pecan mix = PERFECTLY BALANCED MEAL and gluten free!
Voted one of best subscription boxes for Fit Foodies!
I know what you are thinking?  "I am supposed to get full off of these samples (even though they are full-size)?"  Surprising, "YES!."  I was thinking the same thing, and was reluctant to start the week of meals, as I thought it would just lead me to reaching for unhealthy snacks to fill me up, when the Lunch Balancer meals wouldn't.  My husband, who is more active and runs 3-5 miles a day at work, also wondered how good these meals  were, especially for active people like himself looking to fuel up or replenish calories lost when exercising.  So, we each took a day's worth of products, which included things like sesame crackers, pumpkin seeds, lentil chips, fruit snacks and other healthy and all-natural snacks, soup, turkey sticks and even cheese, and put the Lunch Balancer to the test.

After the first day of having our Lunch Balancer meal, we talked about how it went.  We both found that we were left satisfied, even though not having a "full" feeling.  All of the full-size product samples we were sent that made up the 5 healthy meals were things we had never tried before.  This gave us the opportunity to try new things and find things we like and would buy again and ones we would pass on.  Also included in each Lunch Balancer box are extra samples including powdered flavor mixes to add to water to flavor it up, coffee and tea samples that contain antioxidants and help with trimming your waist line, and other goodies, as well as money saving coupons so that you can buy the items found in the box, and try others, too!


3 Month Subscription - $30/month ($6/Meal)

For only $32.00 (less than $6.50/meal) or $30/month for a 3 month subscription (only $6/meal), I have to say that this is a great price for what you get.  If I was to pay for a nutritionist or personal assistant to help plan my daily meals, their services would be more expensive and wouldn't include the cost of food.  With Lunch Balancer, I am sent the food, shown how many grams of protein and net carbs are in each meal, and can choose my meals.  You don't have to stick with a M-F schedule, which I like.  

After trying out the two days with my husband and then having him sneak off and take the extra day, I can say that we are sold on this box and love its benefits.  It really is a wonderful service to help you eat healthier, while also introducing you to great snacks and meal choices that, even if you don't stick with the service, can pick up at a store near you or online and continue to enjoy for on-the-go snacking, or for lunch.  My girls also became fans of the lentil chips and sesame crackers, which I fell in love with after sampling through the Lunch Balancer, and stock the pantry with.  Now, the whole family can enjoy healthier snacks whenever and wherever we are. 


--SAVE $5/$10 NOW--

To learn more about Lunch Balancer or to try out a box for yourself, visit http://www.lunchbalancer.com/.  

And, just for Inspired by Savannah readers, be sure to use promo code "SAVANNAH" at checkout to save $5 off a sample box, and  $5 off the first month of a month-to-month subscription. Or, sign up for 3-month subscription and receive $10 off with this promo code!!  Act fast as this promo code is only valid until September30th.


Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Krispy Kreme Coffee in Smooth and Decaf Blends - Now Available in K-Cup (R) Packs, In Store and Online (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.


Krispy Kreme Coffee in Smooth and Decaf blends are now available in K-Cup (R) packs at participating grocers, Krispy Kreme locations, and online at www.Keurig.com. (Photo: Business Wire)

Fans of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts coffee can now enjoy a fresh brewed cup of their popular coffee at home, thanks to new K-Cup packs now available.  Krispy Kreme Coffee in Smooth and Decaf blends are now available in K-Cup® packs at participating grocers, Krispy Kreme locations, and online at www.Keurig.com.

House Decaf

Krispy Kreme Decaf is a caffeine-free and flavorful blend of Latin American 
and Sumatran decaf coffees with lots of character.

Recently, I was sent 12-pack box of the Smooth blend to try out, and have to say that it was a nice treat to wake up to the past few mornings.  

alternate text
Krispy Kreme Smooth is an easy to love Latin American blend with flavor and personality, 
balanced from start to finish. 

Unfortunately, or maybe it is a good thing, that our nearest Krispy Kreme Doughnuts shop is located about 40 minutes away at a casino.  So, I can't just hop in the car when I am craving a cup of their coffee.  Always a fan of their Decaf blend, I had never tried the smooth blend until this new K-Cup pack was sent.  And, I have to say, that it was "smooth" in flavor, not too strong and full of flavor.  After drinking a hot cup of this light roast coffee these past few days, I find myself with a little bit more pep to my step in the AM.  And, I am not crashing mid morning like other non-Decaf coffees I am used to drinking.

I will definitely be picking up more of these Krispy Kreme K-Cups, and will be surprising a few close friends who also love this coffee but don't live near a location with some for the holidays. :-) 

--WIN A YEAR'S SUPPLY OF COFFEE--
Enter for a chance to win a year’s supply of Krispy Kreme coffee in K-Cup® packs. Stop in to any participating Krispy Kreme location, September 1 – September 29, 2014, and complete an entry form for a chance to win free coffee for a year. Must be 18 or older to enter. Winner receives twelve 24-count boxes of Krispy Kreme Smooth K-Cup® packs. Limited to one entry per person. Additional rules apply. See the complete rules at krispykreme.com.
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Get connected to Krispy Kreme and stay up to date on the latest offerings and promotions at KrispyKreme.comwww.hotlightapp.com, foursquare and KrispyKremeDoughnuts on YouTube.
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About Krispy Kreme:
Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD) is an international retailer of premium-quality sweet treats, including its signature Original Glazed® doughnut. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Company has offered the highest-quality doughnuts and great-tasting coffee since it was founded in 1937. Krispy Kreme is proud of its Fundraising program, which for decades has helped non-profit organizations raise millions of dollars in needed funds. Today, Krispy Kreme can be found in over 850 locations in more than 20 countries around the world. Connect with Krispy Kreme at www.krispykreme.com.
Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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