Friday, September 12, 2014

Go Math! Academy #HMHAcademy Review #Sponsored

I received compensation from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for writing this post. All opinions are mine.

Go Math! Academy™ is an online, at-home learning program based on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s enormously successful GO Math!™ textbook curriculum, used by over 7 million kids worldwide. Go Math! Academy offers thousands of math practice problems, hundreds or help videos, and plenty of games and rewards to make learning fun!

I was thrilled when I was asked if I'd like to check out Go Math! Academy for my children. My 8 year old really struggles with math, and I am always looking for books, websites, and games to make math fun and rewarding.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Maze Runner prize pack #giveaway including a $25 Visa gift card! #sp #MazeRunner

When Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee
Directed By: Wes Ball
Produced By: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Check out to save $ on college textbooks! #Sponsored

Even though my children are young, Saving for college is always on my mind. It's getting more and more expensive to send children to college. I can only imagine how much it will cost by the time my kids are ready to go. But for those parents looking to save cash right now on their children's college expenses there is a great tool out there to save on books and its 

Some perks are:
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-students can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cascade leaves my dishes sparkly clean! Check out my Cascade Platinum party + reader #giveaway #Cascadeshiningreviews #dddivas #sponsored

This review was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Cascade. I was provided the featured product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

I was chosen to host an in-home house party sponsored by Cascade Platinum. I am so excited I got chosen, and I can't wait to show you how well Cascade Platinum works! I love to cook and bake, but when clean up time comes around, doing dishes is my least favorite thing, so when I don't feel like hand washing dishes, I load up my dishwasher and let it do the work. 

Sometimes people think that you actually have to pre-wash dishes before they go into a dishwasher, that isn't the case with Cascade Platinum. Here’s why you need to skip the pre-wash with Cascade Platinum, it works best when food soil is left on dishes because its special enzymes latch onto that food, breaking it down so it  can wash away. If there’s no food soil, there’s nothing for the enzymes to attach to and your detergent isn't working its hardest for you.

 Instead of pre-washing, simply toss the large bits of food into the trash or garbage disposal and then stop there. No need to run anything under the water. Just load into the 

Here are some great tips for loading your dishwasher the proper way:
  • Stack your dishes high and low but please be sure that bulky items DO NOT block the sprayer.
  • Place tall dishes and pans in the back of the bottom rack so they DO NOT block the detergent chamber.
  • Place glasses and other fragile items in the top rack. This helps keep them from the powerful sprayer under the bottom rack.
  • Set glasses between tines on the rack NOT over them as wet contact points can cause spots.
  • Thread any long utensils through coffee-mug handles to help keep them secure in the wash.
  • Check to ensure that there aren't any stray utensils that will block the nozzle or sprayer.
  • And a special call out for any big dishes: load them on the bottom rack, face down so the water is sure to reach all the nooks and crannies.
Party Time!
I invited several guests over to so they could see for themselves just how well Cascade Platinum really works. I also sent them home with samples so they could try it on their dishes. I was asked to make a Mac & Cheese dish, as well as a pan of brownies, and show the before and after photos of the dishes I used. 

Before I get started on my before and after photos I took, here is a picture of the mac & cheese dish and brownies before they got devoured, as well as the whole dinner that I prepared. Side note, the Pioneer Woman's Mac & Cheese recipe is absolutely delish! Don't worry I have it at the bottom of the post for you, so you can give it a try :)

This is the pot I used to make the Mac & Cheese in (the recipe is below if you'd like it!) Obviously this is before I put it in the dishwasher with Cascade Platinum

Brownie pan before

Here is the magic of Cascade Platinum...

This is my stainless steel pot afterwards, I have to admit, I am quite impressed, the cheese was suck pretty good to my pot, Cascade Platinum did its job!

My friends and family were absolutely thrilled to see the results of Cascade Platinum. They also enjoyed the food, and learned about the power of Cascade Platinum. I probably should have taken more photos of us eating, but we got so caught up with talking and having a good time, (even though the teenagers are in front of the TV) and of course talking about Cascade Platinum, that I forgot to! Overall the party was a huge hit!

Since the Mac & Cheese recipe was a huge hit, I am going to share it with my readers! This recipe is courtesy of the Pioneer Woman!

4 cups Dried Macaroni
1 whole Egg Beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 Stick Or 4 Tablespoons) Butter
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard
1 pound Cheese, Grated
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Optional Spices: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain. In a small bowl, beat egg. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn. Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low. Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth. Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth. Add in cheese and stir to melt. Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Have an opinion to share? Head to the Cascade website to leave a short review of Cascade Platinum  including #CascadeShiningReviews. One reviewer will win a Kitchen Aid Dishwasher!

For more information on Cascade Platinum make sure you like Cascade on Facebook & follow along with them on Twitter


If have never used Cascade Platinum before, I highly recommend it! If you haven't...but would like to try it for yourself, I am giving away an amazing prize pack chock full of goodies including:  
·       Cascade Platinum
·       Cascade Platinum Rinse Aid
·       Whisk
·       Spatula
·       Cheese grater
·       Oven mitts

Entering is easy on the giveaway tools form below. US entries only. Prizes will be shipped from sponsor. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

This is Where I Leave You, hits theaters 9/19/14, check out the new trailer! #TIWILY

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.