Sammy Makes Six
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Infusing Kid’s Playtime w/ Action-Packed Imagination!

This post  has been sponsored by Mirum. All opinions are 100% my own.

One of the things that I miss most these days is watching the children play with toys that fuel their imaginations. Kids are so busy these days, it's go-go-go all day long and in the afternoon they have after school activities followed by homework and very little down-time. Technology is such a big part of everything that they do, that they always find their way back to it even when they are finally done with the day-to-day responsibilities. After they've already spent hours looking at screens for school and homework, they need their playtime to be as hands-on and imaginative as possible. 

This is where getting them back to good old fashioned playtime is so important. For at least an hour a day, we have the kids put down their phone and tablets for some real playtime. 


If you have kids, you know how much they love LEGO playsets and how many hours children can spend playing with them. The boys were super excited to receive the LEGO City Adventure Coast Guard Headquarters set recently and immediately set out to put this amazing playset together.

Join the LEGO City adventure with the Coast Guard Headquarters set, which includes 792 pieces and endless fun! This set features two levels, office rooms, a ship with an opening bridge and deck, moving radar dish and searchlight, medical area, a rescue craft, a helicopter with helipad, a speedboat, and a buildable buoy. Buckle your life vest and sail with the 7 included minifigures — but be sure to watch out for the shark and octopus, which are also included!


With 792 LEGO pieces it took them a few days of sitting down after homework to put all of the parts of the playset together. Watching them work as a team to first set up their city and then play with the set has been rewarding. The best part is watching their imaginations at work now that the playset is complete, each one takes a turn coming up with new adventures and together they have been having a lot of action-packed fun.


The LEGO City adventure Coast Guard Headquarters set is being thoroughly enjoyed by these three boys. Each day they can't wait to finish homework so they can get back to their adventures on the high seas.


Explore all the fun LEGO City has to offer with the City Adventures map. Click through the interactive map to explore each action-packed area of LEGO City, and learn about related sets available at Walmart

Download shareable postcards from your adventures as well as a shopping list based on the LEGO City location you’re visiting. By exploring, you’ll unlock access to an exciting sweepstakes! 

Enter for a chance to win a $250 Walmart Gift Card and 6 action-packed LEGO City sets so you can keep the adventure going at home:
6 winners will receive a $250 Gift Card and 6 LEGO City box sets:
        •        Police: Police Station
        •        Coast Guard: Sea Rescue Plane
        •        Jungle: Jungle Halftrack Mission
        •        Great Vehicles: Pizza Van
        •        Airport: Airport VIP Service
        •        Fire: Fire Ladder Truck

Movie Night With a Side of Homework

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Snyder’s-Lance, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Pop4Captain http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

The kids went back to school last week which means that it's been a very busy week and a half for us. As a parent and grandparent, it's tough to see these kiddos have to get back into the back-to-school groove after their relaxing summer. Watching them struggle to get up at 6:00 AM each morning hasn't been easy, but I must say that they've done a really stellar job of it this first week. 

As a treat for doing so well at getting back into the back-to-school routine, I told them that we could pre-order the Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie DVD at Walmart. They saw this movie when it came out in theaters and have been looking forward to the DVD release. Right now the movie is only on pre-order, but the kids were very excited to know that we've pre-ordered our copy and that they will be able to watch it again in just a few weeks.

Captain Underpants is perfect for family movie night. This is a film with a lot of heart and great messages, especially for children. The film explores the great friendship between Harold and George and their connection through a love of writing and creativity. My little girl loves to write, draw and is very artistic, so this movie spoke right to her. The Captain Underpants DVD will be available in Walmart stores 9/12! Be sure to reserve your copy now by pre-ordering today! While supplies last.

In the meantime we had a celebratory movie night at home today before homework. Of course you can't have movie night at home without the perfect movie night snacks. In preparation I had picked up a few favorites from Walmart over the weekend, Pop Secret popcorn and Lance crackers. These two snacks are perfect to accompany a movie night at home and they also make great snacks to send in school lunches.


Lance Toast Chee Peanut Butter Cracker Sandwiches are a really versatile little crackers that the kids love. Lance has been making little sandwiches for over 100 years with two awesome crackers on the outside with incredible spreads between.


With real peanut butter or real cheese between crispy baked crackers, up to 5 grams of protein, and no high fructose corn syrup, Lance provides a variety of sandwich crackers that are a tasty and satisfying snack solution for your family’s busiest school days.



Lance Toast Chee Peanut Butter Cracker Sandwiches are also a great after school snack. A package of these, a cold glass of milk and a sliced apple are a nice way to greet the kids when they get home.



And of course you can't forget to pop a few bags of Pop Secret Movie Theatre Butter Popcorn for movie night at home. The great butter taste is a must-have when watching a movie. Plus it's FUN - and a great way to celebrate life’s simple joys with friends and family.



Popcorn just makes everything better, even homework. It was a school night so right after the movie the kids had to hit the books for an hour or so of homework followed by some drawing time.


Our little weeknight movie night at home was a success even if it was followed by homework. With delicious snacks and having watched a fun movie, the kids enjoyed their Monday evening a lot. Plus now that our copy of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie DVD has been pre-ordered from Walmart, the kids are all really looking forward to our next movie night. Maybe we can even have it on a Friday night so there will be no homework!



How often does your family enjoy a movie night at home together? Be sure to reserve your copy of the Captain Underpants DVD now by pre-ordering today! While supplies last.”

Enjoying an End of Summer Drink | Bacardi Fruit Punch

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RumInTheSun #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

The end of summer is here and while I am very excited to see fall arrive, it's a little sad to say goodbye to those long, lazy summer days. Everyone is already back-in-school and it's go-go-go all over again. But even though we are all back to the grind, there are still over 5 weeks of summer left and I am celebrating all the way till the very end by having weekend end-of-summer celebrations at my house with a few friends.


I am by no means a big alcohol drinker, but I do enjoy having a few bottles of my favorites at home for the occasional evening cocktail or for these weekend get togethers. One of my favorites has always been Bacardi Superior Rum because it's so versatile. I can make a quick rum and coke which happens to be a favorite of mine, or I can whip up a dozen other drinks with it. 



Using Bacardi Superior Rum and the new Bacardi Banana Flavored Rum, I whipped up my favorite fruit punch recipe that uses chunks of fresh fruit to give it that really delicious and crisp fruit flavor. This is one of my favorites to make because it's quick and easy so I can make it even if I only have a few minutes to spare. Plus it's just really delicious and perfect on a really hot summer day.



Bacardi Fruit Punch
(1 liter)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Bacardi Superior Rum and Bacardi Banana Flavored Rum mixed
1-2 ripe peaches sliced
1-2 oranges sliced
fresh cherries
2 cups of punch
1 1/2 cups of pineapple juice
Instructions:

Slice fruit and place into pitcher, add punch and pineapple juice. Add Bacardi Superior Rum and Bacardi Banana Flavored Rum and give a good stir. Serve over ice and top with a few fresh cherries. 


Bacardi Superior and Bacardi Banana Flavored spirits are perfect for summer rum punches. I tend to go a little light with how much I put into any drinks but you can alter the recipe to your liking. You can also add any other fresh fruits that are in season or on sale. 


I love adding the big chunks of peach and other fruits because they taste delicious at the end, still crisp and sweet but with that extra immersed flavor of the punch. Seriously, alcohol immersed fruit should be a thing. 


Bacardi and Live Nation® are bringing fans and concerts together all summer long. You could win a Live Nation concert trip anywhere around the globe. No purchase necessary. Redeem an on-pack code placed on select Bacardi Superior bottles for $5 Live Nation Concert Cash®; 2 codes gets $15 Live Nation Concert Cash” Must include: 21+. State exclusions apply. www.bacardisummermusic.com for details and restrictions.


The end of summer means getting those last celebrations in before the fall season begins. What better time to enjoy a grownup summer punch with friends and family without having to take more than a few minutes to prepare a perfect drink. Bacardi Superior Rum and  Bacardi Banana Flavored Rum are super versatile and perfect for many of your summer drink recipes. 


Enter the Bacardi summer sweepstakes online for a chance to win concert Rock Flights, concert gift cards, and Ultimate Concert Access Passes, all the while enjoying your favorite summer punch. Cheers!


Waiting On Sam Bravo | My Struggles To Get Pregnant

This is a sponsored conversation from Mums the Word Network and The Stork OTC.
All opinions are my own.


Everyone's journey to parenthood is different. While some of us take being able to get pregnant easily for granted, there are women who will never be able to, unfortunately. Then you have the many women and couples who will have to go through years of struggles in order to get that one pregnancy.

I am one of the lucky ones, when I was in my early 20's getting pregnant was as easy as breathing air for me, maybe a little too easy. I had my four oldest one right after the other, as my ex-husband and I had planned. I always knew that I wanted my kids to be close in age so that they would grow up together. When he and I divorced years later I had four beautiful little girls, but I always knew that my family was not complete, I felt that there was someone missing.

You might think four kids is more than enough, more than anyone should ever want or need. But I always knew that I wanted a big family and in my heart of hearts always knew that I was waiting for the last one. What I didn't know is that I had started getting older, so had my body.

There is a 12 year gap between my second youngest and Sam. By the time that I started trying for my 5th child, my body had changed so much and was no longer ready to conceive or carry babies. We suffered through a few miscarriages, which were very painful, not just physically. I’d pretty much given up hope. Maybe I just wasn't meant to have that last one, maybe Adrian and I were not meant to have our own kids.

But after three losses Sammy finally arrived. She was born in the ICU, where we'd been flown via helicopter the day before her arrival. Her delivery was something else for sure, not the quick delivery of all her sisters and back home the next day. Sammy arrived with a lot of pomp and circumstance and she really broke the machine. After her birth I was told there would be no more kids for me, which still makes me sad because I would have gladly had uno mas. I told you, I love big families and her dad is a really great father.

Sammy is our saving grace. She is so different from the rest of us, not that her sisters are bad in any way, she’s just different. She is kind, gentle, nurturing and incredibly optimistic. She sees beauty in a world that tends to be more cruel than anything and she makes this world a better place by being in it. In essence, Sammy was worth the pain and struggle, and she was meant to be.




I was lucky while trying for Sam because I was able to conceive and get pregnant, but it's not always so easy. For those women who need help it's good to know that there are options.

The Stork OTC is designed as a "Next step" treatment option for those trying to conceive. The Stork OTC targets common conception difficulties and allows couples to take a proactive approach while trying to get pregnant. Get informed about The Stork OTC and find out if it's a good option for you by visiting StorkOtc.com.



Where can you buy The Stork OTC:
The Stork can be purchased at Target in the family planning section next to the ovulation kits.

Take advantage of these promos:
Buy 1 Stork OTC, Get 1 Stork OTC 50% at Target from 8/6 - 8/19
25% off Stork OTC Single Device at the Stork OTC Online Store through the end of August.


Take part in the upcoming Twitter party on August 17 at 8pm EST  and urge them to participate with hashtag  #TTCwithStorkOTC.



End of Summer Strangewiches

This is a sponsored post by Mirum Shopper. All opinions are my own. 

It's the end of summer vacation for the kids, literally, they go back to school tomorrow. Before heading back we've been trying to take advantage of every last moment of freedom before the back-to-school grind begins once again. A great way to spend quality time with the kids is by preparing lunch together. Kids love pitching in in the kitchen and this way we get savor a few extra moments together doing something we both enjoy, eating.


Today Sammy and I made two really good Strangewiches. We made a Grilled Cheese and Blueberries Strangewich with fresh blueberries for her, and an Avocado & Sriracha Strangewich with sriracha sauce and fresh avocado for me. 



INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 2 slices of whole grain or sourdough bread
  • 2 ounces sliced Gruyere cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toss blueberries with sugar in small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, mashing occasionally with a fork, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Evenly top 1 bread slicewith cheese, then blueberry mixture. Top with remaining bread slice. Spread outside of sandwiches evenly with Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise.
  3. Cook sandwiches in large nonstick skillet over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

HACK for perfectly crips results: put mayo on the outside of the bread instead of butter for grilling


 Fresh blueberries, YUM!!



So good, this one is a definite hit for kids.


Next we put together the Avocado & Sriracha Strangewich which is delicious!




INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 2 slices whole grain bread or pumpernickel bread, toasted if desired
  • 1 avocado, sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with Sriracha in small bowl. Spread evenly on bread.
  2. Top evenly with avocado. Garnish as desired.


The sriracha sauce and Best Foods® mix gives this Strangewich a delicious and spicy kick. You can make this in just minutes, which leads me to believe that this will become a go-to meal for me on those busy school days.



Savor these last summer moments with kids by creating your own strangewiches at home. Find more recipe ideas here and let the kids put their own twist on them. You never know, they might end up coming up with the next great strangewich.


Find Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise Real Squeeze at Food 4 Less if you're local or at any Kroger location or banner store in your area.