Monday, December 31, 2012

Win Your Way by Shop Your Way Sweepstakes


 Do you like to shop? You should join Shop Your Way.  You are going to shop for these things anyways so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that with the Shop Your Way App you can earn points that you can redeem for prizes.   I am sure you are wondering what kinds of things you can buy, well all kinds of things from clothes to lawn mowers. I looked up my favorite perfume and I saw that I could get 520 points for just buying it. I tend to shop at stores or online at places that have a rewards program. I love when companies reward their customers. It is nice to know that they really appreciate our business.  The best thing about this is, it’s an app. Honestly, I have trouble with remembering store reward cards, or they get lost when I need them.  At one time, I had 8 cards to one grocery store, because I kept forgetting them, but I never forget my phone. So I am so excited about Shop Your Way.  



Shop Your Way also has another program called Win Your Way, where you can win extra points to get to those rewards faster or even prizes, by entering sweepstakes. If you want to earn more points you can enter the Win Your Way Sweepstakes

About Win Your Way:
Win Your Way is an app that is part of the ShopYourWay social shopping platform.
Members will find a constant stream of new and unique sweepstakes with prizes
including: ShopYourWay Rewards points, trips to locations around the country, jewelry,
clothing, appliances, tools, and gadgets.


It is so easy to enter; all you do is perform simple tasks,  I entered the Local to you Sweepstakes, all you do is follow your local store so you never miss out on a sale or event again. You can win 5,000 points!

 I want to enter the Family Finds Sweepstakes by writing  four short reviews for items I already own and that my family loves. You can win 25,000 points. 

These are only a couple of the many great sweepstakes and the odds are looking good right now so go enter and win!

No purchase necessary. See http://bit.ly/RdfB8K for details.

This is a sponsored post with http://brandfluential.com, I am a Win Your Way blogger, though all opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Birth of Social Media


Everyone is always joking about what we did before Facebook or social media. It has been a topic that is always brought up and surely due to our dependency of social media. I am a blogger so of course it is a huge part of my job. The real question is what did they do before social media? I am 31 so obviously I haven't always had social media or the Internet. So, what did people use? Sure there was regular mail and the phone but to share with everyone that would be a lot of time on the phone and many stamps. They had weekly dinners and would see people at the store or at the beauty parlor and around town, but that didn't reach everyone. I guess they spent a lot of time wondering where people were or did they?  Was there perhaps a "Facebook" before Facebook?

I often get bored and search things. I am constantly seeking to learn new things about anything I can. I have always been interested in family history and learning more about family. My grandma Rose wrote a complete family history of her dad’s family. I used to read it over and over. I loved to hear stories about my family. Family is really important to me. So, I decided to yet again Google my Grandma Rose's name, I am not sure why as there is never anything new. I ended up adding her city because there was another person who was dominating the search results.  I had found all the normal information about this person results, an article a distant relative wrote about our family history and even her obituary.  I also found something I had never seen before. A newspaper clipping that my Great Grandma wrote, thanking her children for taking care of her when she was sick. This was actually the newspaper. I kept looking through newspaper articles that I found and there were a ton about my family.  It wasn’t really news as in the traditional sense. It was like Mr. and Mrs. SoandSo had their children over for Sunday Dinner and Mrs. SoandSo is sick and was taken to the hospital and is now at home resting.  I really love those people that decided to scan in old newspapers so I could discover this really cool family history.

I thought it was really cool that I was reading about all of this. My grandma Rose always wrote things in datebooks. You could look at it and find out who called that day, who visited, who she called, what she did every day. I still like to look at them.  At first I thought, they must have no news in this town. I knew it was a really small town as I have visited them still having family living there.  I had to share this with my mom thinking how cool it was and how she would probably get a kick out of it. Then I realized, this was their Social Media. This was the way they communicated with each other in their town. This is how people in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s did it. I obviously know that newspapers have been around for forever, but now you can’t find out that your neighbor had their family over for dinner or your neighbor’s granddaughter was a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Award.  Those are the things we would write about on Facebook or tweet on Twitter.  They didn’t have the internet so they couldn’t just send an update instantly.  If they haven’t see Thelma in a while, they couldn’t have signed on Facebook and saw that Thelma was in the hospital. They would read about it in the paper.  The news in the paper wasn’t always about crime and politics and traditional news. It was about your neighbors’ news, the people that you shared your lives with daily, your friends, that was the most important news.

 In my opinion social media has been around a lot longer than you think, it just wasn’t digitalized until recently.

Monday, December 17, 2012

What Time is it?


We are coming in the final stretch of holiday shopping and every year my family has a tradition of exchanging gifts.  We share with each other our Christmas lists with me always being the hardest to shop for. I am not sure why I am so hard to shop for I guess I don't really have a lot that I want, which makes it a pain for everyone else.  I really enjoy reading on Facebook about what my friends are giving to their families.

One of the things my mom wants is a watch. Not just any watch she has specific criteria of what she would like. She would like a silver and gold watch or a silver one. The watch should have a clock face and not be digital. She wants real numbers not roman numerals that are big enough to read. I totally believe that you should be specific as you can when sharing what you would like for a gift.
I cannot say for sure if she will or will not receive a watch for Christmas. We will just have to see what happens.

My dad gave Noah a really special gift last year. He gave Noah his very own watch. Noah was so excited because he had never had a watch and is interested in time and numbers. The coolest thing about the watch is that it is space themed. You all know how much he loves NASA..  It also has a clock face. Noah loves to wear his watch whenever he can. I don't let him wear it to school though. I think it would be too much of a distraction. He likes to tell time. He can not only read a digital clock but a traditional clock as well. It is great because I don't have to constantly tell him the time but, not so great because he always knows if someone is late or if it’s exactly bedtime or if it’s a couple minutes earlier. I think that wearing a watch is important especially in the days of everyone having cell phones. I like that my son can know the time and not be totally reliant on technology. I don't normally wear a watch but I am thankful when someone is wearing one when I am flying because I can look at their watch without disturbing them especially when they are sleeping. Watches are also a great thing to have when the power goes out and you need to know what time it is.

Are you asking for a new watch or buying someone a watch this holiday season?

Hess Toy Truck and Helicopter Review




Noah loves helicopters. I mistakenly thought he was old enough for a remote control helicopter so I got him one for his birthday. They have age limits on it for a reason. Not for small parts but because it is difficult to land. Well a month later, it broke. He was sad. I started looking for something to replace it. We saw the Hess Gas Station commercial advertising the Hess Toy Truck and helicopter. You get both the truck and the helicopter. Noah really wanted it so I was really excited when I was offered to review it. I had to remind him that it doesn't fly but the propellers move and that was fine with him.

I am impressed with how nice this toy is, normally when you think of gas station toys, it ends up being kind of junky. The toys come with Duracell batteries which is another win for us. I personally think all toys should come with batteries, good batteries that is. I am sure this has probably happened to you. You buy a toy for your child or maybe it's a gift from a loved one and you have no batteries. That is not a fun moment. Noah absolutely loves his Hess Truck and Helicopter set.  He loves to put the truck in the helicopter and fly it on rescue marine missions. My future Marine Biologist is always playing that he rescues sea life and travels to unique places. He even flew his helicopter with the truck in it to Japan.  It will bring him hours and hours of creativity and fun.

For more information please visit the Hess website.

You can purchase the Hess Truck and Helicopter set at a Hess Gas Station near you or online on the Hess Toy Website.  It’s only $26.99 which is a great deal. You can’t get two toys for that price normally.

Hess provided me with a complimentary truck and helicopter for me to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nestle Holiday Candy Review and Recipes





It is no big surprise that I love sweets.  When my mom gave me the nickname Sheilacakes when I was an infant, little did she know that the cakes would become more than just a nickname?  I also love my family’s tradition of holiday baking each year. It is probably my favorite thing about preparing for the holidays. I used to bake with my mom and my sister when I was younger. Now I bake with my mom and my son.  We always make a bunch of delicious treats and enjoy giving them to friends and family. I had a chance to receive some holiday candy from Nestle and some new recipes to try out.  I am a huge Nestle fan. They have great products and great recipes. I have one of their recipes that I have made every year for the last seven plus years. I can’t wait to sink my teeth in to it and these new recipes I received.
First let’s talk about the candy I received. Nestle has a big holiday candy line.  Here is all the goodies I was able to try out.
  • Nerds Rope
  • Paul Frank Crunch Bar
  • Butter Finger Jingles
  • Crunch Jingles
  • Frosty Nerds
  • Nerds Fantastical Fun Book
  • Fun Dip Fantastical Fun Book
  • Butterfinger Fantastical Fun Book
  • Crunch Heritage Tin
  • SweeTart Gummies
  • SweeTart Merry Mix
  • SweeTart Candy Canes


There are other delicious treats as well.  My favorites are the Butterfingers and the SweeTart Gummies, although I love them all. I used to eat Butterfingers when I was younger all the time. I remember when I was at camp my mom sent me a card with a coupon for a free Butterfinger in it for when I got home. I don’t know why I thought that was so cool, but I did.  I am addicted to SweeTarts. I prefer the Chewy and Gummy kinds over the traditional ones.  Did I mention they are only red and green ones?  Cherry and Apple are my favorite ones. I don’t have to pawn the yellow and orange ones off on Noah.  I haven’t had Fun Dip in years! My favorite part of Fun Dip was the stick. I think my sister and I had an arrangement, that she would eat the powder and I would eat the stick.  My sister and I would make weird agreements like that, she would “make” me eat the pimentos out of olives.
Here are a couple of the delicious Holiday recipes you can make this weekend in anticipation of Santa.
These recipes are from the Nestle Website:



Cakey Chocolate Jingle Bars

Ingredients:
30 NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER Jingles, unwrapped
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

BEAT granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until combined. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in Nestlé Jingles. Press into 9-inch-square baking pan.

BAKE for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

NOTE: Try substituting NESTLÉ Milk Chocolate Jingles. 


 

Santa’s Thumbprint Cookies

1 package (13 oz.) NESTLÉ BUTTERFINGER Jingles, unwrapped
3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar (optional)

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

BEAT peanut butter, brown sugar, butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour and baking soda.

SHAPE dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in 1 cup granulated sugar; place on ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 7 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press 1 Nestlé Jingle into center of each cookie (cookie will crack around edges). Cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

To find the candy I wrote about please visit your local store’s holiday section. For more recipes please visit Nestle’s website.

Thank you to Nestle for providing me with complimentary candy samples and sharing these recipes with me. The recipes are Nestle’s but the thoughts and opinions are my own.