the peanuts gang

Sweeten Up Game Night with M&M’s® S’mores Brownie Pie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameNightIn #CollectiveBias

Whether it’s my competitive streak shining through or my love of family togetherness, game nights have always held a special place in my heart. I recall vivid memories as a child of family game nights and was eager to start traditions with my own little misters. Games have a tendency to bring people together in the most obvious way, but you learn so much about yourself (and others) when rubber meets the road.

Planning the Perfect Game Night #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

The boys have recently jumped headfirst into gameplay and we plan to tackle Hasbro® Monopoly in the coming weeks. Our family evenings usually start out the same way – excitement, enthusiasm and family togetherness. By the end of the games, we are usually filled with dread, hatred and choice words for family members. Mom’s competitive streak has a tendency to rub off on those around her – I’m working on it.

Want to have a successful night of board games and family fun? Consider these tips the next time you’ll be sitting the family down for a little friendly one-on-one.

1. Find age-appropriate board games

Hasbro® has a variety of options, including the classic Monopoly and Jenga sets! My boys LOVE playing Jenga, even when they get so close and nock it down (unsteady hands need not apply). But these family favorites are usually always involved somehow (Monopoly is coming up and the perfect way to teach kids valuable lessons about patience, real estate and money!) The most important factor is to find games that will keep your kids interested. Age-appropriate games are always better because you can ensure that they are able to play and will understand what’s happening.

2. Offer a variety of games to choose from

Oftentimes, you’ll need a variety of games for kids to choose from. This way, they won’t get bored easily and the games that each child picks to play means they will be uniquely invested. When having another couple or friends offer, having a variety also ensures that you’re likely to find something the whole group will really like rather than just one or two options. Walmart has a great selection if you’re looking to add to your game closet.

Walmart end-cap games display #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

3. Use candy and snack as an incentive, bargaining chip or replacement for poker betting should you choose to go the cards route

Having candy on hand (think M&M’s®) means you’ll always have something for your family or guests to munch on. It works great as a table addition, put into little goody bags or as a replacement for money or other game pieces should you need it in a pinch. Snacks are one of the best parts of game night (at least we think so!)

Chocolate Deliciousness by M&Ms #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

Snack Stage for Family Game Night #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

Family Game Night with M&M's® and Hasbro® #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

Which brings me to the most important advice of all…

4. Have sweet treats on hand to soothe the loser’s ego and to celebrate the winner

If you’re crew is anything like my family, then you know that you’ll have a little one (or big kid) learning to deal with the stunning blow of defeat. Once the games are ready to be put away or if you need a sweet treat break sooner, it’s time to bring out the M&M’s® S’mores Brownie Pie! This recipe is ooey gooey and fudge deliciousness. Your game night isn’t really a game night until you’ve dished this out.

M&Ms is the Star of Game Night #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

M&M's® S'mores Brownie Pie #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

M&M's® S'mores Brownie Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This delicious Game Night sweet treat will be the perfect addition to your snack table (and will soothe even the most bruised ego!)
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup of flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips (1/4 c. reserved)
  • 1 bar of your favorite chocolate bar (I used milk chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. hot fudge
  • Mini-marshmallows
  • Favorite flavor of M&M's®
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease glass pie plate.
  2. Melt butter on stovetop and combine chocolate chips and chocolate bar until smooth. Let cool.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Once the butter mixture is cool, whip in eggs, hot fudge and incorporate dry ingredients until combined.
  5. Fold in reserved chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until slightly underdone.
  7. Top brownies with marshmallows and place back into the oven to melt.
  8. Remove from oven once marshmallows have started to brown. Think s'mores look.
  9. Immediately top with your favorite flavor of M&M's®. Let cool and settle.

You most likely already have everything you need on hand to make this recipe, but that can be dangerous. It means you could enjoy this deliciousness whenever you want. Basically, make this brownie pie daily.

S'mores Brownie Pie Ingredients #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

Classic Jenga by Hasbro #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

#GameNightIn Sweet Treat #cbias #ad

Sweet Treats and Fierce Competition #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

 Find all your #GameNightIn essentials in the aisles of Walmart. Your favorite M&M’s® varieties can be located in the candy aisle and use this coupon to save even more on this must-have snack! Your family’s Hasbro® favorites like Monopoly and Jenga can be found in the game aisle. Walmart actually has them available on an end cap, so do not pass GO until you’ve had an opportunity to snag them!

In-Store Photograph #GameNightIn #cbias #ad

What are your family’s go-to board games for family game night? Do you have a signature sweet treat that you like to share? 

Samantha

Happy First Mother’s Day: Gift Ideas for the New Mom

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BestMomsDayEver #CollectiveBias

Twenty-nine years ago, my sister-cousin-BFF was born and since then, we have been inseparable, sharing a brain on just about everything you could possibly imagine. She has been there through thick and thin when I was trying to have my own baby and I am so thrilled that she joined this journey five months ago after going through her own getting pregnant struggle. Being able to share in this experience together makes being a mom that much  sweeter.

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 For Mother’s Day, I wanted to share a bit about why I loved her and give her something to celebrate her first-time mom status.  I’ve put together a few ideas for celebrating that first-time mom (and really any woman of motherly significance in your life) this May.

She is beautiful inside and out. She makes most of my days that much better and her little man is a ray of sunshine to everyone he meets – a true reflection of his momma.

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She was my maid of honor and gave probably one of the best speeches ever. I am SO blessed by her and her generous heart.

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So it’s time to turn the tables a bit and celebrate her. Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity – starting with an American Greetings card.  I love being able to select the perfect card for the occasion and sharing just how much a person means to me. Cards give you the opportunity to say how you feel, even in a comical way, to the people make my world go round.

American Greetings Cards #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

A first Mother’s Day is always memorable – a reflection on your journey there and celebrating those sleepless nights, stained shirts and heart over-flowing with love. It’s an opportunity to help your friends, sisters, moms and grandmas to have the best Mother’s Day ever.  It’s also a unique opportunity to have “MOM” time. This year will be no different. So I’ve put together a little Mom ReCharge Kit for Sarah to enjoy when she has a few moments to herself.

When putting together the perfect gift, always take into account this “mom time” essentials. Using a little gift box is a great way to put these ideas together and treat her to an at-home spa for when she’s running low on time to herself. A quick afternoon recharge can be just what she needs to get through an afternoon of caring for little ones.

Mother's Day Recharge Kit #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

American Greetings tissue paper

Small decorative Gift Boxes

Decorative nail stickers (Nail polish would also be a good choice, but aim for quick drying)

Tea bags or K-Cups (a hot cup of relaxation)

At-home face mask

Small bar of chocolate/candy/deliciousness

Once I snagged everything I need from Walmart to make a perfect mini-spa for the home, I assembled the items into a decorative box found in the American Greetings One-Stop Shop section near the greeting cards.

#BestMomsDayEver at Walmart #cbias #ad

American Greetings One-Stop  Shop #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

Another element to her gift this May is a Happy ThoughtsJar. Using scrapbook paper that I already have, I wrote out a variety of pick-me-ups for her to read when she’s having a bad day. A few examples, “SMILE! You’re beautiful!,” Michael Scott quotes, “I am Beyonce always,” and things like “Take a three minute dance break.” Little reminders that she’s a beautiful person inside and out and that when motherhood gives her those difficult moments, that I love and care about her. If you create a happy jar for someone, speak from the heart and handwrite – the personalization makes all the difference. We could all use our own happy thoughts jar for a little extra love.

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Happy Thoughts Jar #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

Happy First Mother’s Day, Sarah Cupcakes! If you’re reading this, act surprised. 

Mother's Day New Mom Essentials #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

Happy Mother's Day #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

Looking to put together your own Mother’s Day surprise? Walmart has everything you need to make sure they have the Best Mom’s Day Ever, including cards, candles, candy, flowers and more!

Walmart American Greetings Card Display In-Store #BestMomsDayEver #cbias #ad

Enter American Greetings’ #BestMomsDayEver giveaway for a chance to win over $4,000 in gift cards. This just might be what YOU need to have your Best Mom’s Day Ever!

#BestMomsDayEver Giveaway- $4,000 Prize Value

Samantha

Make Your Patio a Little More Fabuloso®! #MiFabuloso

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MiFabuloso #CollectiveBias

A few years ago, we landed an enviable backyard with the perfect space for entertaining. We received a hand-me-down patio set that just needed a little sprucing up and with anything in life, updating this space made its way to the back burner. Summer is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to wash down the remnants of winter with the scent of lavender and start the warmer weather with a clean slate for creating something a bit more Fabuloso®! This all-purpose cleaner gave me just the motivation I need to kickstart this patio renovation!

Make your patio a little more Fabuloso #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

I decided to start by surveying the space and seeing just what I was getting myself into. A few things I had to keep in mind: What kinds of things would I like to see in that space? What kind of functional elements do I need to incorporate? What color schemes would be the perfect fit for what I was envisioning? I snapped a few pictures to see where to start.

Patio - Before 2 #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

1. Our hand-me-down patio set with table and chairs was exposed all winter and needs a good scrubbing!

2. The boys were extremely helpful and collected sticks and logs for impending bonfires. They placed said wood directly in the center and on the table, definitely adding to the need to declutter and clean-up!

3. Random resin chairs that don’t match and are in an uneven number. They definitely need to be moved out!

4. Ceramic fire pit that could use some TLC and better placement.

5. My husband’s pride and joy – his grill – is perfect for this space, but really isn’t the star of MY patio, so it needs to be moved a bit to fit better into the space.

Patio - Before #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Once I’ve assessed the area (and quickly realized that new furniture and stone flooring was NOT in the budget), I decided to create  a beautiful patio oasis for about $101 with a little elbow grease and some pops of much-needed color! Here are some simple steps to make your patio a little more Fabuloso® for this summer gatherings and entertaining!

First, clear the space. While we may not replacing the stone bricks right now, a good sweeping and spray down is in order. I moved what I could lift and worked around the elements that proved to be a bit more difficult for my abilities.

Step 1. Clear the Area #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Next, I enlisted the help of the boys and Fabuloso®. A bucket, a rag and a sturdy scrub brush helped me really make the tables and chairs shine as we worked to scrub off that winter snow residue and make this hand-me-down set sparkle. This all-purpose cleaner comes in a variety of scents, such as Ocean Paradise and Spring Bloom, and knows just how to get the job done. The fresh scent of lavender permeated the yard and I love the fact that I can experience the same fresh smell when I use it to give my house a good spring cleaning! The boys also loved the opportunity to help out with a bit of hose work and spray the chairs after I washed them.

Step 2. Cleaning #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Time for some color! Since most of the space was blah beige, I opted for some blue, green and yellow elements – playing with the space and splashing color where I could! The best part about this was that I used things I already owned and added some touches from the Walmart garden center.

Step 3. Pops of Color #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

While I aimed to create an inviting entertaining space, I didn’t want to leave the boys out! I used a coordinating beverage serving bucket and added some fun outdoor activities for the boys to play with – kites, bubbles and sports accessories. I can simply pull this functional piece in and out of the garage as needed and not worry about it clashing with the overall space. Even better, I can reuse the bin for other things later on.

Step 4. Incorporate Family Elements #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Make all areas of the space more functional? Remember the sticks and logs my boys had collected for our bonfires? Now our pit has the perfect place and those sticks have found just the right area to call home. Each area of the space should be clean, functional, organizational (and beautiful!)

Step 5. Organize for Function #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Ta-Da! With just a few simple steps, I’ve managed to make my outdoor entertaining space a bit more Fabuloso®!

Patio Redo thanks to Fabuloso #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

The completed look is clean, organized and has a sense of colorful purpose. For right around $100, I was able to change to look of this space, brightening it up for outdoor entertaining.

A Fabuloso® Patio on a Budget #cbias #ad

Who’s ready for something off the grill? Can I interest you in an appetizer?

Patio a Bit More Fabuloso #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Little details help give this area extra oomph – stylish citronella candle holders, colorful indoor/outdoor pillows and a bright umbrella that is functional and brings out a complementary color!

Little Fabuloso® Details #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

Head over to Walmart to spruce up your home for the spring cleaning season! You can find Fabuloso® All-Purpose Cleaner in the cleaning aisles and currently, on a specialized end cap at your local Walmart store. I recommend the lavender scent, but the others are equally as effective and fresh-smelling! Hope you can add a little sparkle to your day!

Fabuloso® in Walmart Stores #MiFabuloso #cbias #ad

What does your ideal outdoor space look like? What area of your home could be made a little more Fabuloso®?

Samantha

Verizon Wireless Hopeline: How You Can Help #VZWBuzz

November || December || January|| February || March

As a Verizon #MoreChicago Lifestyle Blogger I’m a member of a pretty cool
team of influencers. I have received a Motorola Droid Turbo (with a line
of service) from Verizon. No additional compensation was provided nor did
I promise positive feedback. All opinions are my own.

Nearly one in four women, one in seven men and more than 3 million children in the United States are affected by domestic violence.

The statistics are staggering when it comes to the domestic violence epidemic in the United States. Oftentimes, we feel for the victims, but aren’t sure where to start. Verizon gives you an opportunity to give in a way that has a lasting impact:

Hopeline

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Hopeline is a service where someone like you can donate a phone you no longer use (and if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you have quite a few around your home!) Later this month, I plan to donate some available phones and share a bit more about that process so that you can know what to expect! Donations are accepted through a Hopeline Program, through the mail with a postage-paid label or at a Verizon Wireless Communications store. Verizon then donates the phone and awards cash grants to assist partner agencies is battling the domestic violence crisis.

What are Hopeline phones?

HopeLine phones are refurbished phones that are equipped with 3,000 anytime minutes of airtime and texting capabilities. They come with Verizon Wireless Nationwide Coverage, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, Caller ID, Basic Voice Mail and texting. HopeLine phones are available to survivors affiliated with participating domestic violence agencies.

We can all agree that our phones have become a sort of lifeline for us, but for domestic violence victims, phones can become even more crucial – reaching emergency support or staying connected with employers, family or friends. Verizon has been instrumental in this fight for more than a decade now and you can help.

Since 2001, 0ver 10.8 million phones have been donated.

$21.4 million dollars in cash grants have been given to domestic violence organizations

180,000 phones have been donated to victims and survivors

Verizon’s efforts for Hopeline have also aided in the recycling process. Since 2001, Verizon has recycled 1.7 million wireless phones and kept more than 260 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills. Learn even more about Verizon’s Device Recycling Program.

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In what ways, would you like to see Verizon continuing to take initiative in public causes?

Samantha

Wear the Kids Out at NZone Sports! #NZoneFun

We were able to visit NZone Sports in Elmhurst and check out the facility during the grand opening. All opinions expressed are our own. 

With two boys in tow and countless nephews, we are always looking for ways to burn extra energy and give them an opportunity o try new things. NZone Sports in Elmhurst gives you an awesome opportunity wear those kids out when you get them involved in sports! One of the things I love about the facility is that it’s wide open, simple to find and is a one-stop shop for some of your favorite organized activities.

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We recently had the opportunity to check out the facility during their grand opening and the boys had a BLAST! (Jack likes to show off his mad goalie skills)

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Photograph courtesy of NZone Sports

The facility was perfect for running around and trying out more popular sports without having to join the intensity of a local league. You can find a full schedule of classes and more on their website! While Jack was busy running around, Charlie did the same, but then spent some valuable time rocking out with the School of Rock (coming to the blog soon!)

School of Rock - Charlie Style #NZoneSports

Charlie is a Rock Star #NZoneSports

We look forward to sharing even more with you in the coming weeks from NZone Sports. Host your next birthday party there or consider no-pressure lessons that will get your kids ready for the field regardless of what the weather is like outside (not to mention the fact that they can burn off the energy without jumping off of your furniture!)

The NZone Jr. Gym is now open in Elmhurst, Illinois.  The gym is a 1,700 square foot facility which includes training stations for skill improvement in the areas of basketball, football, soccer and t-ball.  Parents can watch with comfort from our parent lounge which includes 2 bay windows for full gym viewing and comfortable seating.  

Scheduled for completion in spring 2015 is a snack station with food and drinks for purchase and a pro-shop where you can find all of your sporting needs. Programs available: Instructional classes in football, basketball, baseball, soccer and now offering golf! NZone also offers special events including:  Parents Night Out, Mom’s Day Out, Holiday Camps and Summer Camps.

Samantha

Know More, Do Better: A Few Thoughts on #AntioxidantFacts

Thank you to the Motherhood and ConAgra Foods for sponsoring this important conversation. All opinions expressed are my own.

Did you know that some of the preservatives in your food are actually antioxidants? Recently, I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call with ConAgra Foods and the Motherhood and learn a bit more about the makings behind the foods we eat every day.

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The conversation is an important one and learning more about the ins and outs helps to make us a bit more informed about what we consume – both for us and our family.

Featured presenters:

Lanie Friedman
Director, Communications & External Relations at ConAgra Foods

Kelly Magurany,M.Sc., DABT
Principal Research Scientists- Toxicology – Food Protection and Regulatory Affairs at ConAgra Foods

Kristi Reimers,RD, PhD, Nutrition
Director of Nutrition in Research & Innovations at ConAgra Foods

Here are a few quick facts about preservatives to give you a bit of background:

Typically, when we talk about preservatives, we are talking about the elements that help to preserve the taste, freshness, safety, and color of our favorite foods. It also can help to reduce food waste and in a growing world and population, preserving the food we have is becoming more and more invaluable. While we can preserve our food via canning and freezing, you can also add ingredients to food – preservatives – that help to accomplish those goals as well.

It sounds scary or intimidating, right? But no matter where you fall on the side of this coin, we can all agree that more knowledge is better. And educated decisions are the best ones. I encourage you to research, dig and look for more information on your favorites so that you can feel comfortable giving your family the very best.

Antioxidants are just some of the preservatives that can be found in your foods. Some of the body benefits of antioxidants include slowing the aging process, boosting our natural defense system and combatting heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Did you know that some foods already contain natural antioxidants, such as Vitamin E in nuts and leafy green vegetables? Or Vitamin C found in citrus fruits that can also save breads and packaged meat from spoiling? Or Citric Acid found in citrus fruits that is used to preserve sliced fruit?

These natural antioxidants already serve a valuable purpose to our food and man-made antioxidants can provide the same sort of protections that these naturally occurring antioxidants do. BHT and TBHQ are two of the tasteless, colorless man-made  antioxidants used to keep foods fresh such as crackers, oils and other packaged foods. Figuring out the science behind preservatives and antioxidants was incredibly eye-opening and actually elicited even more questions from the group.

One of my biggest concerns when discussing was what these man-made antioxidants actually do TO us – are they chemicals? Artificial? And what are the long-lasting health effects. One of the other viewers asked:

Have cancer rates been monitored over the time period that BHT and TBHQ been used?”

“In general, the science world monitors cancer rates for everything. But there has actually been work done with BHT in looking at any increased cancer rates. Large epidemiology studies, which are studies in populations of humans, found that there was no increase risk, and in fact, they saw a decreased cancer risk. What they find is that these antioxidants do have some anti-carcinogenic properties.”

I appreciated the conversation because ConAgra’s experts were open books. They addressed our questions with a sense of transparency and seemed eager to share information – even if just to give a better understanding of this entire process. As with anything, I strongly encourage conducting your own research and asking your own questions. One of the biggest things I can appreciate is that we are starting to ask the right questions and trying to figure out just where our food comes from and what it’s made of.

What are some of the concerns you have in the way your food is produced? If you could ask ConAgra questions about food production, preservatives and anti-oxidants, what would they be? 

Samantha

Join #WWENetwork Just in Time for Extreme Rules #WWEMoms

I have been compensated for this post and for participating in the #WWEMoms campaign by The Online Mom, but don’t worry, all opinions expressed here are my own, including my affection for The Rock whenever he chooses to make an appearance.

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With avid wrestling-watchers in our house, Mondays are usually standard viewing nights. Not to mention the events throughout the year available on special through pay-per-view, the WWE Network would definitely come in handy. So what exactly is WWE Network?

WWE Network is the only place for every live WWE pay-per-view and a massive video-on-demand library. It’s just like Netflix and Hulu Plus, but also features 24/7 programming.

  • All 12 live WWE pay-per-view events – including WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam at no additional cost
  • The most comprehensive video-on-demand library featuring all WWE, WCW, and ECW pay-per-views and classic matches uncut and uncensored as well as replays of Raw and SmackDown
  • 24/7 scheduled and live programming
  • Groundbreaking original series
  • Live in-ring action, reality shows and documentaries

Even better, during the month of April, subscribers will have access to all of the WWE Network’s programming, including the live pay-per-view event Extreme Rules on Sunday, April 26th and the replay of sports entertainments biggest event, WrestleMania 31 available on-demand!I’ve enjoyed the #WWENetwork from the beginning and the first day it was “born”. We’ve been able to enjoy each pay-per-view, including enjoying WrestleMania!

Once you sign up, you can access the WWE Network on any mobile device, computer, laptop or streaming device such as a Roku or AppleTV! In our family, we connect the computer to our big screen television for even LARGER viewing!

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Get even more WWE viewing with the premiere of WWE Tough Enough on USA Network on June 23rd at 8/7 Central. The new series that’s been remained will feature live elements and even more fan participation than ever before!

Who’s your favorite wrestler right NOW?? We’ll be rooting for our favorites when Extreme Rules heads to Chicago at the end of this month!

Samantha

Tips for Immunity Support in a Busy Lifestyle

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its Advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone and should not be construed as medical advice. #24HourEsterC #CollectiveBias

This morning, I woke up and tackled some much needed work awaiting me. Then, I proceeded to get two little misters ready, head off to an outside the home job and play taxi driver for the different school and activity times. After which, I ran home, made dinner, headed out the door for class and collapsed onto the couch before prepping for my nighttime workout. This crazy busy life means my body can use all the immune system support it can get, especially to make sure I can keep up with these two heartthrobs.

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Whether you find yourself running from one place to another or you’re looking to supplement your life with a bit more Vitamin C, I have put together some simple tips for you to get that immune support.

Tips for Immunity Support in a Busy Lifestyle #24HourEsterC #cbias #ad

1. Make Time for YOU

Make Time for You! #24HourEsterC #cbias #ad

As a busy mom, I know the difficulty you have when trying to make time for yourself and the hours in the day seem nonexistent. By carving out that time and focusing on YOU, you will find the benefits are immeasurable.

Practical Application:  Set the kids up with their favorite movie while you catch up on your favorite television show. Spend some time on social media and reading a good book. Sip tea as you watch the sunrise.

2. Get Enough Sleep!

Get Enough Sleep #24HourEsterC #cbias #ad

This tip can be a bit trickier for a multitude of reasons. Everyone is different when it comes to sleep requirements for their particular lifestyle and body. Do your best to set specific deadlines for yourself to ensure that you are in bed for the night or that you wake up at a certain time in the morning to ensure that you can get what you want accomplished, but also get adequate rest time.

Practical Application: Maybe you trade roles with your spouse one night so that he or she takes over the whole bedtime routine so you can wind down. Call a friend and ask for her help watching your little ones while you catch up on some much needed sleep (especially if you have a non-sleeping baby at home!

3. Drink Water

Drink Water #24HourEsterC #cbias #ad

Since the beginning of the year, I have made it a habit to not only have a cute water bottle with a straw (I drink more water for some reason), but to fill a pitcher with water and try to drink the entire container by the end of the day. As I see the water decrease, I feel like I have accomplished a small goal and I know that drinking water helps to improve my mood and energy levels naturally. Not to mention the added bonus of my kids seeing me drinking water and setting an example in that way!

Practical Application: Not a fan of water? Try pumping it up with fresh fruit or flavored ice cubes. You might also consider warming cups of hot tea and honey in lieu of water by itself.

4. Supplement Immune Support with Ester-C®

Supplement Immune Support with Ester-C #24HourEsterC #cbias #ad

As part of my daily routine, I take two capsules of 500 mg of Ester-C® daily. Ester-C® delivers up to 24-hour immune support 365 days a year. By being proactive about immune health and taking a supplement for immune support, I am able to keep up with my daily activities and with two busy little misters!

Ester-C® can be found in the supplement aisle of your local Walmart and is currently on Rollback pricing which means your immune support is more accessible than ever!

In-Store Shot of Ester-C #24HourEsterC #CollectiveBias #ad

In what ways do you try to make sure your immune system is fully supported? What steps can you take find relief from your busy schedule?

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Samantha

GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes – You Could WIN! #GBTravelSafe

 I participated in a Blog Blast Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GB. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

‘Tis the season for springtime, green grass and ALL THINGS BABIES! While we won’t be welcoming a new baby anytime soon, we LOVE shopping for and spoiling those babies we know. Sharing our tips and tricks for making a great registry and helping shower those we love with the perfect baby must-haves!

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Are you getting ready for baby? Or maybe you know someone who is expecting? Share the GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes with them for a chance to win great prizes!

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Grand Prize: $500 Babies “R” Us Gift Card

Second Prize: 

GB Asana35 AP Car Seat

GB Zuzu Stroller

Third Prize:

 GB Asana35 AP Car Seat

Sweepstakes Winners:

Each week, two Sweepstakes participants will be randomly selected to win a $50 Babies “R” Us Gift Card.

Each week, one Sweepstakes participant will be randomly selected to win a $100 Babies “R” Us Gift Card.

How to Enter:

To enter the GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes and win the Grand, Second, or Third Prizes, Sweepstakesants must gain points throughout the duration of the timeframe of the Sweepstakes. Points are awarded by performing tasks found within the entry widget on the Sweepstakes website, which consists of pre-scripted Tweets, watching a short video on the GB Asana35 AP, visiting the Asana35 AP product page on BabiesRUs.com, and pinning images from Pinterest.

o   If you have a Babies “R” Us registry, you can gain extra points by adding the GB Asana35 AP and providing us with your registry number! 

o   Performing these entry tasks will also enter participants to win weekly $50 or $100 Babies “R” Us gift cards through the GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes.

GB Travel Safe Sweepstakes

Samantha

Meatheads (n.) – A Way to Describe Our New Local Obsession

This past Monday, the boys and I had an opportunity to head to the Grand Opening for the brand new, Meatheads, in Oak Lawn! Located near Mariano’s grocery store on 111th & Cicero (another favorite of ours), this new burger spot is definitely a must-try on our list! {Check out a little behind the scenes about how Meatheads kick off a new restaurant!}

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The decor is simple, clean and definitely personalized to the neighborhood. We noticed on our second visit during the week (an extremely busy weeknight and YES, we went twice in one week), that someone had taken photographs from around the community and turned them into wallpaper – a nice personal touch that definitely warms the heart. I also LOVED the fact that they included schedules from the local high schools and plan to share sports scores as they come in throughout the year.

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The boys were swept into the ribbon cutting ceremony and seemed so confused by what was happening that they didn’t know where to look – either way – an awesome thing to be part of!

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We headed inside to put the menu to the test and the selection of choices was vast!

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Fresh made burgers, fresh-cut fries and chicken breaded as you order, the food seemed to be quite well put together. After talking with a few of the employees there, I discovered that the ONLY freezers they have are for their ice cream for their hand-dipped shakes. That’s it. NOTHING else is frozen – not the meat, not the buns, not the chicken, not the fries. Nada! Everything is fresh and the beef is angus – no additives and no fillers. I almost asked to see the back, but after hearing this multiple times, I figured I would take their word for it.

The boys ended up with a grilled cheese each (made with your choice of cheese!) and fries and organic chocolate milk. You can tell even the smallest details have been taken into account and fresh ingredients and quality products are the name of the game at Meatheads.

Jack’s hardly ever serious, but he gave this Grilled Cheese a double thumbs up! (And check out those Oak Lawn landmarks behind him on the wall that I referenced earlier!)

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I ordered the Californian and the burger basically melted in my mouth. If that’s possible. Which it was. Because it did. Pepperjack cheese, Ranch, Avocado and a dash of Y-U-M!

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And the rest is history! We ended our day with a little sweet treat – edible cookie dough from the Cookie Dough Cafe as featured on Shark Tank!

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The boys have requested this daily since then.

Everyone is also extremely friendly and did their best to make sure that we were satisfied. Our visit just a few days later confirmed that this wasn’t just special treatment, but rather a way of life at Meatheads. Cleared tables, making sure we found a reserved seat, confirming that our meal was delicious, they paid attention to the details and the place was jammed to prove it.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be featuring more great finds from the Meatheads Cowmunity and we can’t wait to hear your feedback! Check out the full list of locations for you closest restaurant!

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Have you tried Meatheads? What’s your menu item of choice?

Samantha