PlayMattersSlide

When a local community teams up with a corporation and a non-profit, amazing things happen!

I love when companies and corporations work to improve the lives of their customers. I'm not talking about creating a better product and then selling it to us - although that's not a bad thing. I'm talking about when they take a step out of their normal day to day operations and do something that will have an actual impact and make a difference. And when I see a company do that in my own community, I'm thrilled to share it with you just as I am here in this post. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll let you know that this series is a partnership with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, but I learned a LOT about this project before agreeing to promote it and I am 100% impressed with how this is coming together. A little background on how I became involved in the Let's Play project. A ... read more

horizon apple clusters

Fun and Easy Road Trip Snacks

Last month, my family took our first road trip and we drove from Milwaukee to Branson, MO and it was a looooong ride (we are talking 12 hours with all of the bathroom breaks). Not that I'm complaining - we had a great time and the ride actually went very smoothly since we planned ahead. While this was our first family road trip, Jay and I have actually been on a few road trips together ourselves before. One of the mistakes we made was not planning ahead and thinking about snacks along the road. We wound up grabbing junk food at fast food restaurants and chips at rest stops. By the time we had been on the road a few hours, we both felt awful. This time around we wanted to be a little better prepared when hunger hit on the road - especially since Josh is prone to getting carsick. Add ... read more

Family Friendly Things to do in Branson

Family Friendly Things to Do in Branson, MO

My family had been toying with the idea of visiting Branson, MO for several years now. We figured it was a fairly easy drive from the Milwaukee area and offered lots of options for things to do. We finally pulled the trigger and took our first family road trip (well, at least over four hours) and had a great time. There are so many family friendly things to do in Branson and here are a few of our favorites: 1) Legends in Concert Show While there are a number of "impersonator" type shows in Branson, the Legends gives you the greatest selection of stars to see in one show. While the line up does change from week to week, you are pretty safe to assume you will at least be seeing Elvis and the Blues Brothers. The night we attended, we also got to see Brooks and Dunn, Adele, ... read more

duracell bear

Duracell, #TheTeddyBear, and Deployment #ConnectDuracell

Many of you know that Jay served as a Marine for six years including a deployment during the Gulf War. While this was before I knew him, he has shared some stories about that time to help bring awareness to Duracell's support of the USO’s Comfort Crew for Military Kids. When Jay was overseas, he didn't have any kids but it still put a strain on his immediate family. During the time he was gone, someone send a letter to his parents pretending to be the Marines and saying his dog tags had been found and he was presumed deceased. Luckily, his father is also a vet and knew very well that the military does NOT notify next of kin via letter. He also had his credit card stolen and used to rack up a large bill back home. Hours of time on the phone explaining that there are no Walmarts in ... read more

skydive

Summer’s Not Over Yet! Enjoy with LivingSocial #socialsummer

If you've spent any time in the big box stores, you'd think summer was already over. Between the Back to School supplies being out and all of the summer merchandise being on clearance, you could almost forget we still have a month and a half left. We've already done our "big" vacation for the year, but we still love to take advantage of things to do on the weekend around here. When we are looking to get the most summer adventure out of each dollar, we turn to LivingSocial. Not only is it a great place to save money, they are also a fun way to find out what's going on in the area. I'm always seeing restaurants, hotels, and events I didn't even know about!! Heck, I just logged on today and found a way to wear out the kiddos without them getting overheated a favorite place to grab ... read more

kayak demo pool

How to Save Thousands on a Pool

photo credit: Kayak Pools One of the best parts of summer is the chance to float around lazily in a pool. For me, that is the ultimate in relaxation...drink in hand, music going, and me just floating all my stress away. Now, my son and husband also love hanging in the pool but go about it a little differently. They are all about the splashing, dunking, and splashing some more! The thing is, as great as our local town pools are, there is nothing like having one in your own backyard! I mean, have you ever tried just floating around in a town pool? There are waaay too many of the splashing types there. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. Plus, there is the hassle of gathering all of your stuff, trekking to the pool, riding back home with a wet suit - ugh. Talk about ruining a good ... read more

bedroom door

Insomnia Nation – Are You an Insomniac Citizen??

I participated in an Ambassador program on behalf of Influence Central for Pernix Therapeutics. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. So, the other morning I took the dog for a walk in my PJs. I realize in this day and age, it's not that shocking - I mean, I regularly see people out shopping in actual stores wearing their PJs. The thing was, I didn't realize that I hadn't gotten dressed yet until I returned from the walk and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I had been up until 2 am and then got up a little after 5 am and was exhausted. I'd love to tell you that I was working up a storm and had gotten so much work done that I didn't have to sit in front of my computer again for days, but that isn't what happened. I actually turned in around 11 pm and ... read more

Ribs Maureen F 2

Make Fall-Off-the-Bone Delicious Ribs on the Grill

It's summer and it's hot which means the last thing I want to do tonight is heat up my oven. One of my favorite summertime dishes is ribs. You can grill them outside, so your kitchen stays nice and cool AND you can eat them outside which keeps the kitchen clean as well. For a long time, I was afraid to tackle making ribs and thought getting them just right was way too hard. It turns out cooking perfect ribs on the grill is actually really easy! Easy Tender Grilled Ribs   Print Author: Maureen Ingredients 1 rack of ribs ¼ cup brown sugar 1 tbsp Chilli powder 1 tbsp Cumin 1 tbsp Garlic powder 1tbsp Cyane 1 tbsp Ginger 1 tbsp Thyme 1 tbsp Oregano 1 tbsp Paprika Instructions Mix all seasonings together in a seal-able container and shake well. Lay your rack of ... read more

yoplait veggie dip

Creamy Avocado Cilantro Veggie Dip

We love eating yogurt as part of a healthy diet but have to admit that we can sometimes get stuck in a rut. While yogurt is a great choice for breakfast (espeically when the fresh blueberries and strawberries are in season), it really can go perfectly in so many other meals as well. One of the switches we have been making as we are trying to move toward some healthier eating habits, is adding more vegetables to our diet. Between the local farmer's markets and our own little garden, there are certainly plenty of fresh vegetables around! As yummy as those fresh veggies are, we do always love them even more with dip. I was starting to get a little sick of plain old ranch dip and remembered a yummy avocado and cilantro dip I had at a restaurant last summer. I decided to try and recreate ... read more

hello fresh

Eat Healthy Without Hitting the Grocery Store #SummerisSocial

I somehow pictured this whole working-from-home thing a little differently in my head than it is in real life. I imagined spending my work day in my very organized office (ha-ha!!) and padding down to the kitchen in my comfy slippers (at least that part is true) and whipping up a delicious home cooked meal for my family. Please tell me I'm not the only one who found that being a WAHM is completely different from the picture you had in your head. And during the summer, that picture is even more laughable. Here's what a typical day looks like - drive Josh to whatever camp he has going on that day, run home and write whichever posts are due in the near future, drive back to camp and pick Josh up, spend some time playing basketball or doing something else with Josh since the whole reason I ... read more

Featured Reviews

gevalia iced coffee fin

Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk Review

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. If you have ever met me, you probably have an inkling how much I love coffee. Iced, hot, in a cappucchino, latte - it doesn't matter. I love it. But here is the issue. I am beginning to think that maybe dairy and I don't have the same loving relationship that we ... read more

state test prep title

Helping Students Prepare For and Succeed At State Testing

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carson-Dellosa. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation. I'm going to be upfront here and admit that I am not a fan of standardized testing - neither as an educator or as a parent. As a teacher, it always pained me to see students stress out about the yearly tests they were given and not do well because the test asked questions in ways they might not be familiar with. As a ... read more

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teen driving

The Sprint LG G4 Phone Kind of Blew Me Away!! #SprintMom

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received a Sprint device to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All opinions expressed (as well as my awe of the LG G4 camera) are authentically my own. Seriously, I love this […]

stopain migraine slide

Deal with Migraine Pain without Medication

Most people who know me just casually probably have no idea that I suffer from somewhat frequent migraines. Those who know me well have probably seen me at least once in the throes of a nasty bout with them. Usually that means lying down in a dark room with little light or sound, probably medication, […]

Minions Movie

Join Me For the MINIONS Movie Premier in Waukesha

You know how sometimes a secondary character in a film or tv show will break out and become a huge hit all on their own? Think of Lavern and Shirley (originally on Happy Days) or Fraiser (from Cheers). We loved the movie Dispicable Me and thought the characters of the children and Gru were awesome. […]

honey bunches of oats

The Lazy Days of Summer? (I don’t think so…)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Post and Honey Bunches of Oats. Somehow, when I picture summer in my head I always picture relaxing afternoons, reading under a shady tree. Or a leisurely morning walk around the neighborhood. Or a day trip down to the lake, enjoying the cooler breeze […]