Kid-Friendly Camping Like a Pro

Kid-Friendly Camping Like a Pro

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Many mothers feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of camping with their little ones for the first time, which is completely reasonable considering you’re going to be spending several days far away from the routine comforts of home. But a little discomfort never hurt anyone. Once you tackle that first camping trip, you’ll start to see the magic taking hold on your kiddos. It’s not always smiles and s’mores, but it’s all worth it.

Prepare

Whether you’re camping with a toddler, a teenager or a whole troop of kids, the general preparation for your camping trip will remain relatively straightforward. The very first step is to select a campground, specifically one that offers you and your kids everything they might need. Some requirements could be on-site bathrooms, showers, hiking trails, cabins and the nearness of a major store or restaurants if you’re a little anxious about your first trip. Do you want to be on the water? If so, a lake or a stream? What is the distance of the campsite from your home?

Find out what interests your children or what activities they might be eager to take part in. If you’re going to be on the water, your children might want to learn to kayak (granted they are old enough) or they might want to get floaties and spend lazy days in the sun. Perhaps they want to fish or find little critters around the campground. Know what intrigues them and plan ahead.

Another idea is to bring rock paint so kids can pick out rocks from around the campground or water and spend hours painting in the sun and hiding the rocks around the campground for others to find. This is a cheap way to keep your kids giggling for hours.

Packing 101

When it comes to packing, it’s best to have each of your children do their own. You should always double check their bag before you leave, but allowing them to pack for themselves will give you more time to get everything else ready and loaded up.

If you’re only going for a couple nights then your food requirements will be much less complicated than a week-long camping trip. Make sure you put a decent amount of thought into your camp kitchen. Consider each meal you plan to make, list out all of the ingredients and utensils needed.

The best camp meals are ones that require little effort and clean up. No one likes doing dishes, especially on vacation. One way to avoid this is to cut up various raw veggies, meats and toppings into Tupperware containers and toss them into the cooler along with a massive roll of tinfoil and a stick of butter. Once settled into camp and dinner time rolls around, you can pull out your supplies and everyone gets to serve up their own selection of items from chunks of chicken or beef, to broccoli or carrots. Everyone fills their own piece of tin foil with their food and a dollop of butter, folds it up into their own unique design or animal and tosses it on the fire to cook. Ta Da! Easy as that.

If you’ve decided to use a tent, make sure you have all of the needed sleeping supplies. Depending on the weather, you may need a sleeping bag and an extra blanket, even if you only end up using it around the fire, it’s better than not having it.

When packing, make sure you consider the little things: a first aid kit, games, camp chairs and loungers, a hammock, bug spray and sunscreen. Someone is likely to get burnt anyway, so bring aloe and other sunburn soothing remedies.

Campsite Do’s and Don’ts

Once you arrive at the campsite, you need to do a quick run through to make sure there is no broken glass, trash or other hazardous materials lying around.

Show your kids the boundary of your campsite, especially if it sits directly up against another. Show them the way to the nearest bathrooms or showers and set out rules for having a buddy system so that no one gets lost. Most kids will be wary about getting lost at first and stick close by, but as they explore and they find their courage, they will want to venture out. It’s better for them to at least ask permission rather than flat out disappear.

Finally, when you leave your campground at the end of your stay, always be sure to leave it cleaner than you found it. Teach your children this concept early and they will carry that respect into adulthood.

Make It Memorable

Frankly, making the trip memorable should be at the top of your to-do list. After all, enjoying time with friends and family while appreciating the beautiful outdoors is the sole reason we go camping in the first place. Children are naturally hardwired to play and explore. Don’t try to control the fun by dictating their every move — breathe, relax and allow them to learn on their own. Sure they might skin their knee or topple over on the bike path, but they are kids, they’re supposed to try and fail and then try again. All you’re there for is observation, protection, and encouragement so join in and enjoy. Your kids will love playing with you, no matter how silly the game is, and the trip will become that much more memorable.

In today’s society technology runs rampant, but when you’re camping there is no need for these things. Bring a real book so you won’t freak out if you drop it in the dirt or the lake. Bring real games, like cards or Scrabble. Free your kids of those limitations and let their imagination and curiosity fuel their fun.

Cars 3 Activity Sheets #Cars3

Cars 3 Activity Sheets

If you have a Cars 3 fan in your home, they’re probably counting down to the opening on June 16th. Kids are starting summer break all over the country and parents are looking for a way to keep kids busy during the break. Grab these free Cars 3 Activity Sheets that are perfect for home or on the go.

Cars 3 Dusty

About Cars 3:

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Ten Fun Facts about Cars 3

  1. Filmmakers added four characters to the film that were inspired by real NASCAR legends, Junior Johnson, Louise Smith, Wendell Scott, and Henry “Smokey” Yunick.
  2. Five key areas in the southeast U.S. were visited to research the history of stock-car racing as well as the look and feel of racing in the area. Among these areas are Charlotte, North Carolina, where filmmakers spent time at the NASCAR museum, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsport facility, consultant Ray Evernham’s garage and voice talent Humpy Wheeler’s house; North Wilkesboro Speedway; Occoneechee State Park and Speedway; Daytona, where they saw the Daytona Superspeedway, Daytona Beach (where early races took place), Daytona 500 Museum; and the Sonoma Speedway, where filmmakers were invited to ride along with professional racecar drivers.
  3. More than two dozen characters take part in the Crazy 8 demolition derby sequence, including Tbone, a car whose condition improves— temporarily—when he gets hit; SuperFly, who catches air; FareGame, the taxi who doesn’t get any fares; and Jimbo the pickup truck.
  4. Junior Johnson, NASCAR driver from the 1950s-60s who inspired “Cars 3” character Junior “Midnight” Moon, won 50 NASCAR races before retiring in 1966.
  5. Lightning McQueen still sports the dynamic #95 with his signature lightning-bolt graphics. The design of those graphics is a hybrid of his look from 2006’s “Cars” and his look in 2011’s “Cars 2.”
  6. “Cars 3” gets dirty, really dirty. And it turns out, dirt—particularly mud—isn’t easy to get right in an animated feature. Artists and technicians teamed up to get the look just right—not too thick, not too thin—which was important because mud, splatters, dust, sand and sacred dirt appear in 616 shots.
  7. Cruz Ramirez is a key character with a compelling and emotional story. In order to give her a dynamic range of motion and expressions, character riggers gave Cruz a total of 656 controls, including 360 for her body and 296 for her face—the mouth, lips, teeth and tongue have 216 controls alone.
  8. NASCAR legend Louise Smith entered her first race in 1949, where she rolled her family’s new Ford coupe. Smith inspired “Cars 3” character Louise Barnstormer Nash.
  9. NASCAR’s Wendell Scott, who inspired “Cars 3” character River Scott, was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.
  10. The render farm being utilized to render “Cars 3” runs more than 60,000 cores. Memory has been upgraded recently, bringing the average per core to 10 gigabytes, compared to the 4 gigabytes per core recently used for “Inside Out”.

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Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.

11 Things I Learned about the Carnival Magic Culinary Arts Crew #CruisingCarnival #CarnivalMagic

11 Things I Learned about the Carnival Magic Culinary Arts Crew

Are you planning a cruise in the near future? When booking your vacation, the last thing you probably think about is the inner workings of the ship. The crew aboard the Carnival Magic, when above and beyond during our cruise to ensure we had an enjoyable experience. Whether it was our fun and energetic Cruise Director Dr. E, the medical staff that took care of our youngest when he had an emergency health crisis on the ship or our room steward that made our room feel like home during the entire cruise. Each and every one of the Carnival Magic crew played a part in making our vacation memorable.

El Crucero Carnival Magic, en Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

During our cruise, the Food Services Manager invited my family and me to experience a private tasting with the Head Chef. We were greeted by Head Hostess Verica at the Northern Lights restaurants and taken to the kitchen for an unforgettable experience.

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The head chef came out and talked to us about how he prepares meals for the 3600 plus passengers aboard the Carnival Magic each day. After our tasting, he answered a few questions we had before heading back to finish the seven-course meal he was making for the lucky guests who booked the private experience. The Chef’s Table is a very exclusive experience with seating for only 14 guests.

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Head Hostess Verica, Nickida, Carnival Magic Head Chef

During our experience I tried to ask questions I thought travelers would be interested in knowing. Here are twelve things I learned about the Carnival Magic Culinary Arts crew.

  • The kitchen staff is made up of over 300 members, including chefs, sous chefs, pastry chefs, bakers, servers, and more.
  • The main kitchen spans the entire third floor of the Carnival Magic and includes a bakery for fresh bread and patisserie.

Carnival Magic Menu

  • The menu is planned at the Carnival main office weeks ahead of time. They are then given to chef on the ship. They keep the full menu on the wall for each day of the cruise schedule, with color photographs for easy reference.
  • Guests with special dietary needs can input the information into their cruise booking online or you can inform your personal Carnival Vacation Planner while booking your cruise. If you forget before boarding the ship be sure to inform your server on the first night of the cruise.
  • Servers will always verify food allergies with the chef once they are made aware of any food allergies or special diets.

Kiss the Chef

  • Some meals take up to three days to prepare, depending on the sauces required for the dish.
  • The head chef tastes each dish he creates to serve guests each night. Meals are prepared in very large portions, so he always samples the dishes to ensure it’s high quality and perfect for guests.
  • When the ship docks at different ports, they always feature special menu items that are indigenous to that port (island). Be sure to look for the “Port of Call” section on your menu for those rare opportunity meals. They are only offered on the days you visit that specific port.

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  • The kitchen staff has a lot of training. They also do special certifications while aboard the ship so they are well trained.
  • A lot of prep on the ship is done by hand. Food prepared are fresh and not frozen. Like French fries are made of fresh potatoes and are not frozen.
  • On average the Carnival Magic serves over 1000 guests for dinner each night at their Southern and Northern Lights restaurant.

If you’re planning on booking a cruise, trust me you’re in for a culinary delight. They take food service seriously aboard the Carnival Magic and aim to provide guests with the best dining experience possible. To learn more about booking a Carnival Cruise visit their website.

What’s Inside My Second Daily Goodie Box

 What’s Inside My Second Daily Goodie Box

I received my second Daily Goodie Box in the mail a week or so before we headed out on our cruise. It’s taken me a while to be able to post about what goodies were inside the box. I’ve shared about Daily Goodies Box in the past and how I liked the samples enclosed. Check out my the items that were inside my box.

Disclosure: Daily Goodie Box sent me a box to review. Any opinions expressed are my own.

To get started with Daily Goodie Box is very easy. Just head to their website – Daily Goodie Box– and sign with your email. Once you’ve signed up answer any questions they may ask and wait for you to be awarded your own goodie box. Once the box arrives open and enjoy your free products. Return to the site and share your thoughts on the products in the box. It’s that easy.

There were some great items in this Daily Goodie Box. I’ve heard about a few of these products but others I hadn’t heard of before.

The kids immediately snatched the 7-11 Cotton Candy after I took photos of the box. They didn’t wait long at all to devour it. This Slurpee Cotton Candy was a hit in our home and we’ve already started looking for it when we visit local 7-11 stores.

Daily Goodie Box comes with a mix of samples and sometimes full-sized products. Sample size varies from single use to multi-use. One serving of EBOOST Strawberry Kiwi Energy Powder is all it takes to support your natural energy, a brighter mind, and a healthy metabolism. A sample of Goddess Garden Organics green-labeled natural sunscreen. My husband really enjoyed the sample of  Peanut Butter & Co. Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter. It’s was great for making smoothies without having to deal with the sticky mess of actual peanut butter.

The MPWR Skincare sample included in the box is valued at $22. MPWR Skincare is a highly concentrated solution developed to use when and where you need it. It’s a certified organic spot treatment that is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Made with all natural ingredients, you can use Zip, Zap, Gone! as needed to help keep your skin clear and looking its best.

Bakery On Main Bunches of Crunches was the perfect snack to give an energy boost and it was healthy. Scrumptious oat clusters loaded with superfoods, such as Chia seeds and Cacao, are complimented by the ancient grains Amaranth and Millet.

Detox Water is clinically proven to support immune function, healthy digestion, nutrient absorption and youthful-looking skin. This is another great way to start your life on a healthy track.

Adamia Therapeutic Repair Lotion is great for people with sensitive skin issues. It helps repair dry and cracked skin, making it smooth and soft again.

Dude Quick Shower from DUDE Products was amazing. We packed them in our travel bag when we cruised this year and they were perfect. We visited a beach one day and my toddler got sand in hs face. These wipes were a lifesaver on our travels and I absolutely loved them. They were much larger than regular wipes, thicker, and got you very clean.

To learn more about Daily Goodie Box visit the website and sign up. Follow them on Facebook for chances to win goodie boxes when you’re active on their page.

What’s New In Hershey for Summer 2017 Plus 4-Pack Ticket Giveaway

What’s New In Hershey for Summer 2017

We’re a few short weeks away from the official start of summer vacation here in Baltimore. My family and I can’t wait to start our on our annual summer adventures in and around Baltimore. This year I was invited back to serve as a Hersheypark Sweetest Moms again. I’m so excited to head back to Hershey and share all that’s new and happening this summer in and around the park.

There are so many things happening at Hersheypark this year, I wanted to share some of the newest additions with you. If you’ve been planning a visit, now is the perfect time to add Hersheypark to your summer vacation list.

Hershey Triple Tower attraction, the first choose-your-thrill triple tower in the United States, will be comprised of three drop towers of different heights: Hershey’s Tower, Reese’s Tower and Hershey’s Kisses Tower. Look for this exciting new attraction in Kissing Tower Hill.

About Hershey Triple Tower

Hershey’s Tower
Standing at 189 feet high, our tallest drop tower features two gravity-defying experiences, SPACE SHOT & TURBO DROP, which rockets riders to the top before blasting back to the bottom at 45 miles per hour!

Reese’s Tower
Standing at 131 feet high, kick it up a notch with two thrilling cycles of positive and negative G forces on our second tallest drop tower!

Hershey’s Kisses Tower
Standing at 80 feet high, warm up with two exhilarating cycles of positive and negative G forces on our thrilling drop tower!

A new Chick-fil-A® will be added to the Park’s culinary offering. With a menu serving fan favorites including delicious breakfast options, the eatery will be located in Founder’s Way and open Monday through Saturday.

Opening this Summer, BBLz is a one-of-a-kind beverage experience at Hersheypark! Located in Kissing Tower Hill, the new attraction will give guests the opportunity to experience soft drink mixology in an entirely new way.

Guests have the option to purchase All Day Drink/Dining Plans that offer significant discounts on food and beverages inside the Park during the summer operating season.

All-Day Drink Deal – $14.83

SIP AND SAVE ALL DAY LONG!

Quench your thirst for less at Hersheypark! Purchase an All-Day Drink Deal complete with a Souvenir Cup and get free refills throughout Hersheypark all day!* Plus get .99-cent refills on future visits!* Available during Springtime In The Park, Summer, Hersheypark In The Dark, and Hersheypark Christmas Candylane.

All-Day Dining Deal – $29.67

PAY ONCE & DINE ALL DAY

Feed your hunger for less at Hersheypark! Purchase an All-Day Dining Deal for one low price, and dine all-day long at more than 10 tasty locations throughout Hersheypark!**

Look for the All-Day Dining Deal icon throughout the Park for available locations. Available starting May 5, 2017.

Meal Tickets – $10.60

Save more than 30% with a Hersheypark Meal Ticket! Enjoy one entree, one side, and one large fountain drink.

Hersheypark Season Pass Holders will be treated to exclusive Appreciation Events throughout 2017. Events will include exclusive access to select rides, special discounts, visits with Hershey’s Characters and more.

Hersheypark Sweet Start program is expanding! Season Pass Holders and Resorts guests can start their day before the gates officially open with up to one-hour early admittance in select areas of the Park including, new for 2017, Kissing Tower Hill and HersheyTriple Tower. Plus, Sweet Start guests can enjoy breakfast at Chick-fil-A®.

Everyone Pays Kids Price

Now through May, 31st 2017, everyone pays kids price at Hersheypark. Be sure to visit the website to learn more about saving up to 35% on your park admission.

Enter to Win

Thanks to Hersheypark for sponsoring a giveaway for a family 4-pack of tickets for Hersheypark. The giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older. Enter via the tool below and visit the linky for more chances to win from other Hershey Sweetest Moms Ambassadors.

Hersheypark Tickets

The Magic of Motherhood Book & Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack Giveaway

The Magic of Motherhood Book & Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack Giveaway

Welcome to the NAMASTE WINNING Giveaway Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!

Hosted By: Mama Smith’s & Women and Their Pretties

Co-Hosted By: Teacups and Fairytales

Enter to Win:

Thanks to Tommy Nelson Mommy and Disney Music for sponsoring this giveaway. One reader will win a copy of The Magic of Motherhood and a copy of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Live Action Movie Soundtrack.

About the Magic of Motherhood:

The Magic of Motherhood celebrates your life as a mom—the good stuff, the hard stuff, and everything in between.

From the writers behind the popular blog Coffee + Crumbs comes a beautiful new book to remind you of your identity, both as a woman and as a mother.

Motherhood can often feel overwhelming and isolating. You find your feelings swinging between joy and uncertainty, intense love and anxiety, laughter and tears. Through it all, you constantly ask yourself, “Am I the only one who feels this way?” The Magic of Motherhood will reassure you that you’re not alone. Full of encouragement, humor, and wisdom that will speak to you right where you are, The Magic of Motherhood is like a long-overdue coffee date with your best girlfriend.

In this book you’ll find heartwarming essays about identity, adoption, body image, miscarriage, friendship, faith, infertility, and more. The Magic of Motherhood is a curated collection of honest stories that weave together the love, joy, and magnificent heartache of motherhood. Instead of offering advice, the writers offer something even better: their hearts.

The Magic of Motherhood is a love letter to mothers everywhere; it’s a story about the magic that happens in between calm and chaos, the joy that can be found in both beauty and mess, and the valuable lessons we learn about ourselves in between cups of reheated coffee and kitchen tables covered in crumbs.

Find a new strength, beauty, and sisterhood you never believed possible in The Magic of Motherhood, an inspiring and encouraging book written for an imperfect, trying-her-best mom just like you.

About Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack

The soundtrack to Disney’s resplendent live-action update of the animated classic gets a similarly opulent makeover with Ariana Grande, John Legend, Josh Groban, Céline Dion, Audra McDonald, and more. The album is filled with rousing sing-along moments perfect for the family trip (“Belle,” “Gaston,” and “Be Our Guest”) or when you need some alone time in the driveway (“How Does a Moment Last Forever” and “Evermore”).

Enter to win via the tool below

CD and Book Giveaway

Each giveaway has a value of a minimum of $15, however some are worth much more. Be sure to enter to win all of them because there is no limit to how many you can win. GOOD LUCK!

If you’re a blogger looking to connect with brands: Join The Hopping Bloggers database and get started today!
If you’re a brand looking to work with a network of professional bloggers: Check out the creative campaigns The Hopping Bloggers has to offer!

A Quick Guide to Albuquerque for Foodies

A Quick Guide to Albuquerque for Foodies

Good food can make any trip better. When I travel alone, I look for new places to try foods I know I would enjoy, and when I travel with my family, I try to find family-friendly options. If you’re traveling to the Albuquerque area and you’re interested in the local food scene, this quick guide for foodies is the perfect place to start. Once you’ve booked your Albuquerque hotel, starting planning your culinary adventure.

Southwestern Eats

Image via Flickr by neonsighs

Mary and Tito’s Cafe has been serving locals delicious New Mexican cuisine for over five decades. According to locals, the carne adovada used as the marinade for the cubed roast pork can be enjoyed as a soup, but it’s heavenly on the pork. You can find Mary and Tito’s at 2711 Fourth Street NW.

Sadie’s of New Mexico is another local favorite. Praised for its large portions, Sadie’s also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as a variety of Mexican dishes. Sadie’s was voted favorite New Mexican restaurant three years in a row by the Albuquerque Journal. You can find Sadie’s at 6230 Fourth Street NW and at two other locations in Albuquerque.

Worth the Wait

Even if you’re pressed for time while traveling, these two Albuquerque eateries are worth the wait for locals and tourists alike. The Groove Café & Market opened in 2006 and serves breakfast and lunch six days a week. Try the avocado toast, homemade granola and yogurt bowl, or the scratch-made English muffin. The Grove supports local small businesses by sourcing ingredients from local growers in Albuquerque and throughout the Southwest region. The Grove is located at 600 Central Avenue SE.

Antiquity Restaurant serves up fresh seafood, fowl, lamb, steaks, and other specials nightly. Make reservations when dining with larger parties since the restaurant is small. The atmosphere is a bit different, but according to guest reviews, Antiquity does not disappoint. You can find the restaurant at 112 Romero St NW.

Local Favorites

The Frontier Restaurant features five dining rooms and sits directly across the street from the University of New Mexico. College students flock to the restaurant during late-night hours, and families like to visit for breakfast. The cinnamon rolls and breakfast burritos are two of the reasons why diners keep going back. Frontier Restaurant is located at 2400 Central Avenue SE.

Sophia’s Place is a small restaurant serving up fancy eats like lemon ricotta pancakes and duck confit tacos. Named after owner Dennis Apodaca’s daughter, Sophia’s Place is located at 6313 Fourth Street NW.

Wine Lover’s Dream

If you’re a wine lover, these places are perfect to add to your list. Mas – Tapas y Vino is an experience not to be missed, according to past guests. Executive chef Marc Quinones, who appeared twice on Food Network Kitchen, brings his Puerto Rican roots to his dishes at Mas. It’s located in the stylish Hotel Andaluz, so hotel guests can order room service from the restaurant. Mas is located at 125 Second Street NW.

St. Clair Winery & Bistro added a menu to highlight its award-winning wines. Guests can enjoy live music Thursday through Saturday while sampling a selection of New Mexican wines. Stop in the gift shop for wine accessories, local craft beer, and gourmet foods. St. Clair Winery & Bistro can be found at 901 Rio Grande Blvd NW.

If you visit one of these restaurants in Albuquerque, I hope your dining experience is out of this world.

Embracing the Mess with Huggies #HugTheMess #ad

Embracing the Mess with Huggies

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Being a parent is hard work. It’s not easy but it’s one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. Over the years I’ve learned to not stress the small stuff. With four children, and taking care of another I’m still learning as a parent. Embracing the mess of parenthood is helping me keep my stress levels down. I used to stress about the kids making a mess. I’ve learned to embrace some of the messes, and even join in the fun sometimes. As long and no one gets hurt I just sit back and relax. I’m still learning as a parent but I do have five tips for first-time parents about parenting.

Five Tips for First-Time Parents

I’ve learned a lot with each addition to our family. My hope is that these tips will help a new parent by taking some of the guesswork out of parenthood.

Skip the Oversized Baby Bags

There are some impressive baby bags on the market, but I say skip the oversized baby bags and pick a nice backpack instead. With my fourth child, I opted for a stylish backpack I could use long after needing a baby bag. It had space for my laptop, ample room for all the baby items, and two side pockets for bottles.

Save Your Favorite Items

I can’t tell you how much stuff we got rid of only to have to turn around and purchase it again. We only have one daughter but we have three boys, so I’ve learned to hold on to my favorite things. If you have the storage space keep favorite toys and clothing for younger siblings or as family keepsakes to pass on over the years.

Wipes Has Multiple Uses

My favorite brand of wipes is Huggies Wipes. I’ve been using them consistently for the past six years with my children. I prefer them over other brands because they are thick, strong, and durable. Huggies One & Done Refreshing Wipes are designed so you only grab one wipe at a time.

I love this because I’m not grabbing lots of extra wipes that I end up shoving back into the packs. Wipes has various uses and you’ll be using them long after your baby gets out of diapers. They are perfect for cleaning dirty hands, cleaning off toys, wiping down surfaces, and I highly suggest leaving a pack in the car at all times.

You Can Never Have Enough Diapers

No matter now much I had stocked up on diapers with each child, I always seemed to run out and needed to purchase more from the store. You can never have too many diapers. Stock up as early as possible on diapers when there are sales. Purchase the larger sizes since most people gift the size 1 as gifts at baby showers. If you do end up with too many of one size or not using your stockpile, donate to a local diaper bank.

Look for Coupons for Extra Savings

Now that you’re adding to your family, I’m sure you looking for ways to stretch those bills. Coupons are a great way to save on everyday purchases including diapers and wipes. Family Dollar recently launched their coupon site to allow customers to sign up for digital coupons they cause redeem in store using their phone number. Signing up was very easy, and took less than a minute. Once you are signed up clip coupons to add to your digital wallet. Head to your local Family Dollar and shop for the items on your list.

Redeeming the coupon was very easy as well. After the cashier rang up all my items I punched in my phone number on the credit card reader before swiping my card. The savings shows up on your receipt once you are finished making payment. It was that easy. I save $2.50 shopping for Huggies at Family Dollar on my last trip.

I hope these tips help you to #HugTheMess and embrace more of the messiness of parenthood. Don’t forget to check out the Family Dollar Smart Coupon website to save on Huggies Diapers and Huggies One & Done Wipes, so you can experience these products for yourself. Need help finding a Family Dollar store? Try the store locator site for a location near you.

Our Cucina del Capitano Dining Experience #CruisingCarnival #CarnivalMagic

Our Cucina del Capitano Dining Experience

Our final night of our cruise we enjoyed dinner with our entire family at Cucina del Capitano. Cucina is one of two specialty restaurants aboard the Carnival Magic. There is a required fee for guests to dine at the restaurant, however, it’s lower that Prime Steakhouse. I loved the atmosphere at Cucina, it seemed very family friendly. At least I felt more comfortable with taking the kids there for dinner as opposed to the steak house which I felt was perfect for adults.

Disclosure: My family and I were provided complimentary dining at Cucina del Capitano during our cruise on the Carnival Magic. Any opinions expressed are my own.

About Cucina del Capitano

Say arrivederci to ordinary and ciao to an exciting dining experience at the restaurant that pays homage to our unique heritage. Italian-American dishes inspired by the recipes from our Italian captains’ and officers’ childhoods are served up family-style in a comfy, eclectic environment decorated like an Italian country home. Vintage images of our captains and ships adorn the walls, and there’s even a Captain’s table where you just might see the man himself dine.

The kids had been looking forward to visiting the restaurant because they’d only dined at the Lido Marketplace, Southern Lights Dining Room, and that morning we went to the Cat in the Hat Breakfast. We opted for a 7 PM dining time so we could jet back to our dining room and say goodbye to our servers over the last week. They seated us in a booth and gave the kids really cool play kits instead of crayons to pass the time before the food arrived.

There are separate menus for kids and adults, both short so you are not overwhelmed with choices. I loved not having too many options in regards to picking our meal for the night. We had a very friendly server who made sure to ask if we wanted the kid’s meals to arrive with our appetizers. She answered all our questions and made sure our special requests got fulfilled.

Shortly after placing our order, our server returned with the Bread Service. I loved the toasty bread that was crunchy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. The spread on the center piece of bread was salty with a hint of citrus. While waiting for our food some of the servers performed live in the middle of the restaurant singing Italian songs. It added more authenticity to our dining experience.

Appetizers and Kids Meals

Il Capitano’s Signature Arancini Fried Risotto Balls, Piled High with Baby Arugula and Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Served over Tomato Sauce
Il Capitano’s Signature Arancini Fried Risotto Balls, Piled High with Baby Arugula and Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Served over Tomato Sauce

My husband opted for the Il Capitano’s Signature Arancini. It was delicious. My husband cleaned his plate, even sopping up all the sauce on the plate.

Calamari Fritti Crispy Calamari Rings, Topped with Cured Tomatoes, Charred Lime and Sea Salt, Served with Marinara Sauce
Calamari Fritti Crispy Calamari Rings, Topped with Cured Tomatoes, Charred Lime and Sea Salt, Served with Marinara Sauce

I ordered the Calamari Fritti, I saw an order when we were walking into Cucina, and it looked delicious. I ended up eating the whole place. It was cooked to perfection. Not greasy at all. The batter was light and wasn’t over done on the calamari.

Cucina Kids Chicken Fingers and Fries

All my sons had Chicken Fingers for dinner that night. It was hard to tear them away from their game but they enjoyed the fries and chicken fingers.

Cucina Mac and Cheese

My daughter ordered the Mac and Cheese and a side of grilled shrimp to go along with her mac and cheese. She loves seafood and was very happy they were able to add the shrimp to the side of her meal. She ate all the shrimp but couldn’t eat all the mac and cheese on her own. It was a very big portion.

Dinner is Served for Mommy & Daddy

Gamberetti Alla Pizzaiola (Grilled Shrimp) Grilled Shrimp with Stewed Mushrooms and Peppers. Served over the Captain’s Tomato Sauce, topped with Garlic Foam, Charred Lemon and Parsley

BROCCOLI WITH PEPERONATA

I went with a light option for dinner. I choose the Gamberetti Alla Pizzaiola with Broccoli with Peperonata as my side dish. It was really good.

Salmone Alla Griglia Hand-Trimmed Grilled Salmon Fillet Served with Roasted Potatoes, Endive, Charred Tomato and Lemon

My husband when with the  Salmone Alla Griglia and a side of Rosemary Potatoes. I didn’t get a photo of the potatoes since the kids were getting anxious and they were ready to go.

We had a great experience overall. The food was good and the atmosphere was laid back and fun. If you’re sailing aboard the Carnival Magic you can book reservations for Cucina del Capitano online once you have booked your cruise or onboard the ship by calling 1179 from your stateroom. Cucina costs $15 per adult and $5 per child, charged to your folio account. Cucina is located on the 11th deck of the Carnival Magic in the rear of the ship atop the Lido Marketplace.

Little Bites Strawberry Yogurt Muffins Are Perfect for Snacking

Little Bites Strawberry Yogurt Muffins Are Perfect for Snacking

My kids are huge fans of Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Muffins and Brownies. We recently tried the limited edition birthday cake muffins that they loved. We are always on the lookout for a good sale to stock up on the goodies because they are perfect for snacking. Entenmann’s® Little Bites® provided me with coupons to redeem product and a gift card to share my thoughts with my readers.

Information about Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Strawberry Yogurt Muffins:

  • As a seasonal favorite, Little Bites® Strawberry Yogurt Muffins are back by popular demand and now available nationwide and year-round
  • Little Bites® Strawberry Yogurt Muffins are made with real strawberries and come in perfectly portioned pouches ideal for breakfast or snacking on-the-go. These muffins feature a light, delicious blend of fruit and creamy yogurt that is sure to keep strawberry-lovers of all ages smiling together
  • With less than 200 calories per pouch, Little Bites® Strawberry Yogurt Muffins are a good source of calcium and vitamin D, and never contain high fructose corn syrup or trans-fat
  • For more information about Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Strawberry Yogurt Muffins please visit www.littlebites.com

I was super excited when shopping at Target I found the Strawberry flavor in stock on the shelf. Of course we grabbed a few boxes for lunches and snack this week. As soon as we got hom the kids were ready to open up the box and eat a few.

My son was trying to sneak them while I was taking photos because he couldn’t wait for me to finish. I love the variety Little Bites offers. I love being able to see the nutrition information right on the package. I also love that you can recycle the packages and earn a little cash while saving our planet. Each pouch has about five muffins so it’s the perfect portion for the kids. This way they are not getting to much. I’ll split a pack with my youngest when I’m watching my calories.

Be sure to check out the giveaway sponsored by Entenmans’s, one reader will receive three coupons, each valid for $5.00 off the purchase of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®, and a $25 Visa gift card to purchase additional Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Strawberry Yogurt Muffins.

25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway Sponsored by Entenmann Little Bites

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The Travel Techniques You Didn’t Know You Were Missing Out On

The Travel Techniques You Didn’t Know You Were Missing Out On

Planning time away is always exciting. Often, we spend months working towards our vacations. With so much riding on them, it makes sense we would want to make the most of our time away. Yet, many of us get stuck in a traveling rut. When it comes to the planning stages, we’re often blind to opportunities. Instead, we fall back on tried and tested methods of travel. We book flights, and hotels because we see no other way. But, it’s time to transform the way you think about your holiday. Rather than reaching for methods you know, try something out of your comfort zone. Here are a few alternative modes of travel that could open your eyes to a world you haven’t seen before.

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ON THE ROAD

Road trips are a fantastic idea for breaking out of your comfort zone. They throw you well and truly in at the deep end of alternative travel. Instead of booking one place and sticking with it, you’ll have the option of visiting a variety of locations. Hitting the road is, in many ways, the best idea for breaking free from the package holiday problem. The good news is, you can tailor your trip to fit your needs this way. And, you don’t even need a car if you don’t want. If you’re going it alone, you may be better off with a scooter instead. Then, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with everything around you. Do a little research about the planning you should put into your trip. This should also help you decide whether a vacation on the road would suit you.

SAIL THE SEA

If you aren’t ready to throw yourself in at the deep end, you may want to consider traveling by boat. For the most part, this won’t affect the holiday itself. But, it could transform your experience getting there. Flight is the most accessible and easy mode of transport available. And, there’s no denying that it’s fun. But, after you’ve done it a few times, it loses its appeal. Spending your journey on a plane can also remove you from experience. If you’re on a boat, however, you get to see much more of the terrain you’re traveling through. You can head out on the deck and watch the world pass you by. It may take a little longer than a flight would, but it’s time worth taking.

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FIND YOUR FOOTING

Okay, few people could walk to their holiday destination. But, once you arrive, it may be worth walking whenever possible. If you get a hire car or use public transport, you’ll miss out on some fantastic experiences. And, if you’ve traveled all that way to see a place, you should take the time to see it. Walking is the best way to do that. You’ll be able to explore nature, and may bump into a few locals along the way. Getting to know people is the best chance you have of understanding your destination!

Six Reasons Why Downward Dog is High on my Summer Watch List #DownwardDog

Six Reasons Why Downward Dog is High on my Summer Watch List

Last month during the Guardians of the Galaxy event we had the opportunity to preview two episodes of ABC’s new show Downward Dog. After the screening we sat down with star of the show Allison Tolman and Co-Creator / Executive Producer AND the Voice of “Martin,” the dog Samm Hodges. “Downward Dog” will premiere in a special sneak peek on WEDNESDAY, MAY 17 (9:31–10:00 p.m. EDT), following the season finale of “Modern Family.”

The series, the first network comedy to have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, will move to its regular time period, Tuesday nights at 8:00–8:30 p.m. EDT, with its second episode, beginning May 23, on The ABC Television Network.

Based on a web series, “Downward Dog” follows the day-to-day life of Nan (Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Allison Tolman, “Fargo”), as told by her increasingly lonely and philosophical dog, Martin (voiced by Samm Hodges). Nan attempts to juggle her tumultuous personal life with a stressful career, unjustly supervised by her self-obsessed boss. Having her story told from the canine perspective provides a uniquely unfiltered point of view that helps us laugh and cry about what it means to be a human being in the twenty-first century. It’s a show about a dog and the girl he adores, and even at their worst, Nan and Martin just might be best for one another.

Photo Credit: ABC Television

In the series premiere airing May 17, “Pilot,” Martin battles loneliness and the need for Nan’s unconditional attention, while she struggles with a breakup and Martin’s recent bad behavior as he reacts to her newly busy work schedule.

Meet Martin (Ned):

Ned is the name of the hound mix dog that plays Martin on the show. Sam and Allison talked to us about how they found him for the show. Ned is actually a rescue dog they found in a shelter (Paws Chicago) shortly before the pilot was shot. He was five when he was adopted and started training only six weeks before shooting the pilot. When filming first started Ned had rescue dog anxiety, which required Allison to be extra patient with him on set. According to Samm, Ned was the perfect choice since they weren’t looking for a showy dog, but more of a regular dog. You’re going to love Ned in the series.

Photo Credit: ABC Television

How’d The Show Get Started

The show has humble roots starting with a webseries. Samm Hodges and Michael Killen who were both commercial directors, while working in Pittsburg created a web series about four years ago. Michael who had done a lot of stuff with talking animals like the Taco Bell Chihuahua knew how to make it look like animals could talk. Samm contributed by writing monologues and that’s how it snowballed into the shorts which you can still view online.

This is a great show, that I absolutely loved. Once we finished watching the second episode I was hooked. I can’t wait for you to discover the show but here’s six reasons why it’s high on my summer watch list.

The Show Focuses on the Dog

I really loved that the show focused on the prepestive of the dog. Although it’s hard to say what dogs are actually thinking, the show does a great job coming up with ideas.

Samm H: I think in the shorts it was about how a dog’s view of his own life. And then we realized a dog has such a intimate view of the life of the owner…So it became much more about the character of Nan and him as an angle on her life, ’cause he sees all these moments that no one else was there and he’s there for her in these moments.

It’s Unlike Anything Else on Television

I don’t think they are any other shows like Downward Dog on television. It’s a very unique and quirky show, but it’s one of the things I loved about it the most.

Allison T: I mean I think that this is a really special show, because I don’t feel like there’s a lot of, if any, TV shows that really focus on this relationship, for alot of people their relationship with their pet is, is significant. For me it’s like the most significant relationship in my life. And I’ve had my cat for 17 years. Like she’s the longest standing relationship of my entire life, and I grew up with her. I’ve had her since I was 19 years old. 

So, the like transformative power of like loving an animal and being in charge of this little life, like truly, truly has affected the person that I am, because I grew up with this cat. I was a baby when I got this cat. And I think that’s what really special about it is that it’s a love story that I think is universal for a lot of people, because a lot of people are pet owners and love their animals but it’s not something that we really focus on. We focus on romantic love or familial love, but nobody really talks about what a profound thing it is to love an animal.

Photo Credit: ABC Television

Samm Hodges Draws From His Life for Inspiration

Samm shared that he currently doesn’t own a dog but gave us insight into how he used his past experiences to find inspiration for the show and writing for Martin.

I grew up with dogs being my only source of solace. You know, as a kid I mean its just like that was what the go to the dog and, and like my dog’s name’s Smiley. I’m crying to her and was like, no one understands but you. And so I think that in Martin’s character is really based on what a dog’s experience is. Like dogs experience a lot of emotion, you know, and a lot of like really profound things they can experience, we just found out recently. But it’s kind of like less asking what is your dog thinking and more saying like what if your dog had human anxiety and existential angst, you know.

It’s a Short Season

The show has a short season for good reason. They wanted to keep it short and sweet. Allison shared some insight into why they wanted to keep it such a short season.

AT: Yeah, we wanted a short season, because we didn’t want to have the show become too episodic and too like this week Martin catches a squirrel. Like we really wanted it to have a nice arc and like explore some like, broader things. And so we were hoping for a short season order. 

SH :    And we were talking with ABC from the beginning about what would a Netflix or like an Amazon or whatever style show would look like on ABC. And part of that was having a short season where you feel like [each] episode is strong and separate and small and leaves you wanting more.

Ned (the dog) Adds Input

Working with animals can be very difficult. I was very happy to hear that the cast and crew on Downward Dog lets Ned take the lead when he’s working on set.

SH :    There were. So, in Episode 2 I remember they had the script changed. The dog doesn’t always do what you want him to do on set. And so, when he lays down in front of the door and Nan like pushed the door open?  Like that totally changed — he did that so well, that changed that act break for sure.

AT : One of the most awesome side effects, I think, of having this dog who was not a well-trained dog when we started shooting is, like very much his own man, is that it is — it’s like being with like a natural talent. Like there’s a lot of Ned in Martin. 

And he improvises in a way. And so, even when I don’t have a human partner to work with, I have something to work with ’cause he doesn’t do the same thing every time. He doesn’t do exactly what you want him to do every time. He jumps down off the chair that you put him in and you keep rolling and you see what happens. But we had some really fun stuff happen, because he’s his own dog. He really is his own man.

Ned’s Trainers Are Always Close

I love learning that the trainers are always close to Ned when he’s on set. It added additional peace of mind for me and knowing that Downward Dog puts the needs of the dog in their minds always.

AT : We have amazing trainers, first of all, who are awesome collaborators and I feel like scene partners for me in so many ways, who take great care of him, but we also really didn’t put him positions where they felt like he was doing something out of his depth. But because of the nature of the show he’s never like jumping into rivers or anything like that.

So the way that the trainers, their company,  works is that all of their animals — they’re a fairly small company, so all of their animals live with trainers within their company. Yeah. So he’s got three trainers that like work with him on the regular, and then he has one trainer that’s like, that’s where his home base is, that’s where he lives.

Be sure to tune in tonight for the premiere of Downward Dog at 9:31 PM/ET following the finale of Modern Family. Then the show will move to its regular time period, Tuesday nights at 8:00–8:30 p.m. EDT, with its second episode, beginning May 23, on The ABC Television Network.

It Is Never Too Early to Think Sundance 2018 – Book Now or Maybe Never!

It Is Never Too Early to Think Sundance 2018 – Book Now or Maybe Never!

Since 1991, the Sundance Film Festival, where many indie debuts got their big start, won awards and became big names in the industry, has been a January vacation hot spot on the list of movie buffs everywhere. While you may not get to see any of the really big names in the Hollywood circuit, there’s always a chance that you just might! Every year, more and more of Hollywood’s leading men and ladies make an appearance at Sundance and as a result, the festival is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular places to go for that much needed January vacation. If you are wondering why you should book now, you might want to consider the benefits of being an early bird.

1) That Old Proverb – The Early Bird Catches the Worm

You really should know by now that that time worn proverb really does have a ring of truth to it. Yes, you heard it ad nauseam as a child when your mom would try to encourage you to be on time for everything from a sports meet to homeroom, you know deep down in your heart of hearts that there is wisdom in that old cliché.

With a vacation spot as hot (well, cold actually!) as Park City, Utah in January for the Sundance Film Festival, you will want to book early. The best accommodations tend to go early so you will want to check out sites like https://www.resortpropertymanagement.com to ensure you get the size resort you’d like to rent with the amenities you require for yourself, and your group if you are traveling with family and friends.

2) Ample Time to Plan Your Wardrobe

No matter where you live, one thing you should be aware of is that mountainous Park City, Utah is going to be cold, cold, cold in January. As host to the Alpine skiing and snowboarding events in the 2002 Winter Olympics, you can guess just how cold it gets there in winter months. Whether you live in a cold climate or not, you’ll surely want ample time to plan and gather the perfect outfits to bring along with you. You never know who you might meet or bump into when attending the 37th annual Sundance, so it’s always good to be prepared. By booking early you have ample time to plan your wardrobe.

3) Prices Based on Supply and Demand

When you are looking to book a hot vacation spot, you should understand that this is one area where supply and demand dominates the market. During early days prior to an event or season, tickets and accommodations can be found quite reasonably. After all, nothing much is booked yet and in an effort to get the ball rolling, businesses are willing to offer them at a reduced price. However, as time draws nearer and all the prime spots are booked, such as in resort rooms or seating tickets, the demand begins to outweigh the supply, so prices start going up accordingly. Book early and save. That’s a good rule of thumb to apply to almost all areas of life.

Don’t miss out on the chance of a lifetime by holding out too long. It’s never too early to book Sundance 2018 so secure your tickets and lodgings now. You’ll be glad you did when you see those prices start going up – and rest assured they will!

What Merchant Fraud Insurance Does and Doesn’t do for You

What Merchant Fraud Insurance Does and Doesn’t do for You

Chargeback is one of the most dreaded words in e-commerce. Basically, a chargeback is what happens when a credit cardholder disputes a transaction and reports it to their issuer. In most cases, credit card companies give the customer a refund and come after the merchant to recover the expense. To help you avoid chargebacks, a number of companies have begun offering fraud filters merchants can use to insure transactions against fraud. Commonly referred to as chargeback insurance, here’s what this form of merchant fraud insurance does—and doesn’t do—for you.

The primary benefit of merchant fraud insurance plans is a reduction in overall loss rates. Properly managed, this can add to your bottom line by freeing you to accept card not present transactions with less concern about fraud. This can add several percentage points of revenue to your bottom line.

Before fraud filters became commonplace, online merchants had to be especially careful to avoid massive chargebacks. Let’s say you’re considering  how to start a furniture store online. In the past, the threat of chargebacks would have made this very risky because of the number of high dollar value purchases. With fraud protection filters in place, merchants can sell big-ticket items online with less concern.

But in the past, merchants had to set strict dollar limits on each sale. Ironically, this had the potential to expose them to more fraud because they had to engage in more transactions. Each deal was for less, so they had to make up the difference in volume, which increased the likelihood of encountering fraud.

Before fraud protection filters, merchants also had to manually consult lists of card numbers to ensure they weren’t accepting a bad card. Automating the process negated this need. While real live human beings are still sometimes required to make marginal decisions, machines largely handle this process now, which reduces labor costs.

With that said, even with merchant fraud insurance in place, you’ll still be liable for chargebacks related to undelivered purchases, or quality issues. In other words, if a customer institutes a chargeback outside the realm of fraud, you’ll be liable.

Most card issuers impose a chargeback fee when fraud occurs and the insurance policies typically do not cover them. While you will get reimbursed for the chargeback, you’ll still be liable for the fees imposed by the card issuer. In most cases, this can range from $2.50 to $100 for each instance of fraud.

By the way, card companies keep track of the number of chargebacks you incur to determine the level of risk you represent to decide whether to continue doing business with you. While fraud insurance will cover the primary losses you’ll sustain from chargebacks, they won’t get then expunged from your record. If a card issuer decides you’ve had too many, you can lose your processing account.

For this reason, relying upon chargeback insurance alone for coverage is a flawed strategy. Now that you know what merchant fraud insurance does and doesn’t do for you, signing with a chargeback protection company might be a good idea too. These organizations keep databases of chargeback shoppers. Should someone on the list initiate a transaction with your store, you can decide whether to accept or pass, based upon the number of chargebacks they’ve instituted. Keep in mind; most legitimate customers approach merchants for a refund before they involve the credit card company. An extensive history of customer chargebacks could be an indication of fraudulent activity.

Smokey & Spicy Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce #IceColdSummerMoments #ad

Smokey & Spicy Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #IceColdSummerMoments #CollectiveBias

May is the prelude to summer in our home. With three birthdays to celebrate within two weeks, I find myself always planning something once May hits. Every year my family and I head to the beach for a huge Birthday bash on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate two of our sons and my husband. It’s been a tradition for almost six years and we’re ready to hit the beach again soon.

We love summer months because we get to travel and spend together with the whole family. The birthday beach bash is how we ring in the summer. We try to stay close to home during Memorial Day weekend because of traffic, so heading to our local state park is perfect.

My husband is always ready to hop on the grill at the park because he gets to use wood and charcoal. It’s his favorite thing to do. He makes his own special semi-homemade sauce for ribs and wings. The kids enjoy grabbing a hotdog or hamburger and running around in all the open grass.

When we’re stocking up on summer essentials we love shopping at Target. We use our Red Debit Card and save an extra 5% on purchases in addition to using other store coupons when we can. We were just shopping at Target to stock up on Coca-Cola™ for our upcoming celebration. We also found tons of fun summer decor that’s perfect for your deck or patio. We even looked at some of the grills in store. I saw some cute patio couches that I want for our balcony.

Did you know that Share A Coke is back this summer with over 1,000 new Share A Coke names, and this year they’ve added Last Names as well? I searched for the common name of our family ‘Steve’, but couldn’t find them on the display. You can also find them in the soda/juice aisle and in the beverage coolers in the checkout lines of the store.

Who would you ‘Share an Ice Cold Coke’ with? I’m planing to share with my family and friends. When you purchase Coca-Cola from Target be sure to check out this amazing Cartwheel offer to save 20% off a bottle. Add the offer now because the sale runs until June 17th, 2017.

I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate Coca-Cola into more of our celebrations. It’s my favorite carbonated beverage of all time and I’m always looking for ways to share it with my family. Since we’re planning a beach BBQ, I decided on creating a sauce to rival my husband’s secret sauce. He likes making a sweet sauce, so I wanted to make something that was smokey and spicy for the adults.

While shopping at Target I found some chicken breasts and wings on sale so I decided to test a few recipes with our family before next weekend. Both are easy to throw on the grill and I knew the sauce could be used for multiples dishes. I ended up making Smokey & Spicy Coca-Cola BBQ Wings and Smokey & Spicy Coca-Cola BBQ Grilled Chicken Breasts.

Both these recipes are super easy to make, and they are easy to throw on the grill and cook for a crowd of people. I used my sauce on both the breasts and the wings and created two different options for us to enjoy with the one sauce.

Smokey & Spicy Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce

[gmc_recipe 28509]

To make the wing lightly season with salt and pepper then drizzle with olive oil and place on the grill. Turn the wings every couple of minutes and baste with the bbq sauce with each turn. Cook for about 25 to thirty minutes based on the grill, or until the juices run clear. Use as much or as little sauce to suit your taste. Serve warm.

Slice the chicken breast into thin slices lightly season, use some of the sauce to marinate the chicken breasts for about five minutes before placing on the grill. Since the breast slices are thin keep an eye on them while on the grill. You can baste with additional sauce while cooking.

Serve the chicken breasts warm. You can make sandwiches with them, serve on top of a salad or alone with sides. Enjoy with an ice cold Coca-Cola. Looking for more summer inspirations? Visit Target’s website to learn more.

Remember to check out the Target Cartwheel app to take advantage of the Share An Ice Cold Coca-Cola offer and save 20% on bottles of Share A Coke Name Bottles.