Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ice Castles

Ice Castles

Disclaimer:
Though I will be compensated with free tickets for this attraction, all thoughts in the below post are my own. 

I was recently told about a magical place not to far from me that I am going to check out. It is called Ice Castles and the one closest to me is located in New Hampshire. There are four spread across the county and if you are close to one it would be worth a visit. 

VERMONT:
WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Stratton, Vermont. One of four Ice Castles in America. 
WHERE: Sun Bowl Lodge, Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont 05360
WHEN: Opening day: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, 2-10 p.m.
Open thereafter through March 7, 2015 (weather permitting):
Sunday-Thursday: 2-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 2-10 p.m.
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.


UTAH:
WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Midway, UT. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 2002 Soldier Hollow Rd Midway, UT 84049 USA
WHEN: 
Sunday-Thursday: 2-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 2-10 p.m.
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.


NEW HAMPSHIRE:
WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Lincoln, NH. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 64 Railroad St
Lincoln, NH 03521
WHEN: 
Sunday-Thursday: 2-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 2-10 p.m.
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.


MINNESOTA:
WHAT: Acre-sized, all-ice castle in Eden Prairie, MN. One of four Ice Castles in America.
WHERE: 17970 East Miller Parkway
Eden Prairie, MN 55347 USA
WHEN: Through March 7
Sunday-Thursday: 2-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 2-10 p.m.
VISUALS: -- Amazing ice features including archways, tunnels, slot canyons, ice slide, caverns, glacial waterfalls and a frozen throne. 
-- Kids and families squeezing, squishing, sliding, stomping and crawling through parts of the stunning, Narnia-like display. 
-- Natural frozen ice tones during the day; colorful LED-lit ice set to music at night.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Olde Westport Spice & Trading Co.



 Olde Westport Spice
Online specialty Food Company stands the test of time - Spice Company creates custom spice blends, sesonings and dry soups. Olde Westport Spice & Trading Company is a 33-year-old spice manufacturer that is still going strong. This online company operates a small plant in Goodland, Kansas, and knows a thing or two about spices, seasonings and soups. This family owned and operated company was originally founded in the Kansas City area and has stayed true to its mission of making custom spice blends for main meal dishes and appetizers as well as nearly 20 varieties of dry soups. The products are available online at the Olde Westport Spice Company Website ; at food-related craft and trade shows throughout the Midwest; and at gift and gourmet food shops. Olde Westport's spice blends and seasonings include Italian, Cajun, Taco, Fajita, Chili, Jalapeno, Beef Sauce, Salsa, Garlic and many more. All of the products use quality ingredients for a balanced flavor that compliments meats, pastas and vegetables. The company also invented dry soup mixes that are simple and easy to make including Antonio's Minestrone, Country-Style Creamy Potato, Chipotle Black Bean, Creamy Broccoli and Cheese, Kansas City Steak & Ale, Gold Coast Garlic Pasta Alfredo, Mesa Flats Chicken Enchilada, New Orleans Red Bean & Rice, Southwestern Tortilla, White Chili Soup and more. Olde Westport Spice and Trading Co. is owned and operated by Bill and Judy Petersen, who along with their daughter, Ann Myers, also own and run a restaurant (Westport Grill) in Goodland featuring the products. Bill first custom created all of the spices and seasonings in the kitchen of his home. Today the company has a manufacturing facility where Bill still researches and develops new recipes and dishes for future products. For more information or to place an order, please visit www.oldewestportspice.com or call 1-800-537-6470. 

CHAMPIONSHIP CHILI SPICE BLEND - This championship spice has helped chili creators win 12 state and national championships throughout the years and all over the US! But what is most important to us about our Olde Westport Chili Spice Blend is that our customers love to use it in their chili whether it's for a national championship cook-off challenge or simply for their own family in their cozy kitchen on a cold winter's night. We've heard from countless customers that our attention to detail and quality is what makes this chili spice blend stand out above the competitors. We know you might put beans in your chili or maybe you add apples and sausage or perhaps you have a special recipe that is top secret but starts with thick-cut bacon... however you concoct your chili we hope you'll try our chili spice blend. 

GOLD COAST GARLIC SHAKE - Gold Coast Garlic Shake spice blend is truly one of those special blends of garlic, herbs and spices that our customers use in sour cream dips, sprinkle over steamed vegetables, fresh vegetables from your garden, garlic mashed potatoes or steak on the grill. There are more than 50 recipes in the Olde Westport Gold Coast Garlic Cookbook that will give you lots of ideas for quick simple meals with that high-end restaurant flavor. A garlic experience you will never forget. Check out the Olde Westport web site for a few recipes and placing orders.

Looking to try out the Olde Westport Spice Company? Click HERE to receive 10% off your order. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Digital Wellness: Cleaning Up Your Digital Footprint

Photo credit: kyteacher / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Disclaimer:
 I am writing this post as part of the Verizon Wireless Lifestyle Bloggers program. Being part of the program does not in anyway influence this post in anyway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Wikipedia defines digital footprint as "the data that is left behind by users on digital services. There are two main classifications for digital footprints: passive and active. A passive digital footprint is created when data is collected without the owner knowing, whereas active digital footprints are created when personal data is released deliberately by a user for the purpose of sharing information about oneself by means of websites or social media.[1] " 
Have you ever Googled your name? Was you surprised what came up? The results can be mind boggling. Personal info, pictures of yourself and family, news articles, and your FB and Twitter to name a few.The results you see make up what is called your digital footprint. These results are there for all the world to see. 
Perhaps there is nothing bad to see, so why should you be concerned? The digital footprint can be used by cyber criminals like a puzzle, pieced together they give the criminals a look at who you are. This makes it easier for them to gain access to your accounts and info. Your footprint can also be accessed by your current and future places of employment.
So you want to clean up your Digital Footprint, what can you do? Here are 10 steps to help you out. 

  1. Make a list of all the social media sites your are a part of. This will help you understand how big your footprint is.
  2. Delete unused social media accounts. There is no use leaving all your info on a site you never use. Is Myspace still taking up cyberspace? Get rid of it. 
  3. Search with Pipl.com try searching your name, email and address to. You will be surprised.
  4. Review your social media privacy settings for changes. Facebook is famous for switching it's settings. Often what you wanted private unknowingly becomes public knowledge. 
  5. Change your passwords. I can not stress how important it is to change your passwords often. Make sure you are not using the same password on all your accounts and use a strong one. Because of your footprint it is very easy for hackers to try using the name of your kids, pets or other common passwords. Make yours strong. 
  6. Get rid of old apps. Remember all the permissions you gave to your apps when you downloaded them? If your no longer using the app there is no reason they should still have these permissions. 
  7. Watch your tongue, or your fingers in this case. Think before you put something out there for all the world to see. Words written in anger can ruin relationships, both online and off. 
  8. Clean your cookies. Cookies are a way  to track what your interests are. They serve no use for you but can help companies see what advertising to send your way. Clean them out at least once a week. At the same time clean the browsing history also. 
  9. Be selective when downloading apps and and games. Is playing Candy Crush really so important that you want to give them total access to your FB account. Don't just mindlessly click through the permissions to get the app. Read what your giving up.
  10. Be the person you want the world to see. This is perhaps the most important. If you don't want the world to think your an ass don't be an ass. Present yourself online and off in a manner that would make yourself and family proud. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Keeping Safe: A Look At Suraksha - Power Of Five


Disclaimer: 
Though this review was written because of a request from saarthi.co to bring attention to
the App Surakha-Power of 5 all thoughts on the app are my own..

It is only human nature to worry about those you love. What if there was an app that could help ease your mind when your love ones were out of your sight, would you recommend it? I know I would, that is why I want to tell you about the App Suraksha-Power of 5
Though this app is geared to woman and girls, I see it as a great app for anyone you want to protect. With the app you can monitor your loved ones safety from the website's control panel. If your loved one feels threatened and in danger help is as close as a click on their phone. 
"Power Feature 1:  Distress Alert : App instantly sends an internet based ‘Distress Alert’ giving exact GPS Location & nearest mobile tower details to 2 pre-identified numbers (must have installed “Suraksha – Power of 5”)  in the form of an Internet based Alert & continues to send these Alerts every 2 mins for the next 30 mins.
Power Feature 2: Distress SMS : Simultaneously,App sends ‘Distress SMS’ giving exact GPS Location plus nearest mobile tower details to 5 pre-identified contact numbers in the form of SMS & continues to send these SMSes to all 5 pre-identified numbers every 3 mins for the next 30 mins.
Power Feature 3: Distress Call: An Automated ‘Distress Call’ is made from mobile to a Pre-identified Contact Number after 3 mins of double clicking the Power button, so that the Receiver can judge your Degree of Danger level and take necessary Action.
Power Feature 4: Distress Call Recording & Storing : Once the Distress call is made, App automatically records her entire conversation of the Distress Call and stores the recorded Audio in the local media of mobile phone.
Power Feature 5: Distress Email : App immediately sends a ‘Distress E-mail’ with exact GPS Location plus nearest mobile tower details to registered E-mail id & continues to send these mails every 2 mins for the next 30 mins."

I installed the app and tested it. I can tell you, as a person who frequently travels alone, this app would make me feel much more comfortable. I sent the distress call to my sister. I can also send the distress message via sms to both android and non android phones. These messages included my exact location. This app impressed me, I would recommend it to all.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Strange Magic Comes to Touchstone Pictures



Have you seen the trailer for Touchstone's Strange Magic yet? This looks like a must see for our family.
 Due out in theaters Jan. 23rd. It is a fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects. Directed by Gary Rydstrom

Check out the Clip here:



If you want to follow along the social media sites for Strange Magic here are the links:

Like STRANGE MAGIC on Facebook: http://facebook.com/StrangeMagicMovie

Follow STRANGE MAGIC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StrangeMagic

Follow STRANGE MAGIC on Instagram: http://instagram.com/StrangeMagicMovie

Follow STRANGE MAGIC on Vine: @StrangeMagic

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Your Old Cell Phone Can Save A Life

Disclaimer:
Though I work with the Verizon Wireless lifestyle Bloggers team all info and opinions below are my own.
This post was very hard for me to write, I started it several times and had to stop. As many of you know from a past post, I am a survivor of domestic violence, Domestic violence can strike any household, it does not discriminate. As you can imagine the Holiday Season often sees an increase in cases of domestic violence. Every risk factor comes into play during the season, money is tight for some, parties and celebrations that involve alcohol. The emotional stress of wanting to provide a fun, festive time for children living in a home of domestic violence often becomes the focus point of those partnered with an abusive person. 
29-year-old Hillary Saenz and her children. Via Facebook
Shortly after Christmas last year I attended a candlelight vigil for Hillary Saenz, a 29 year old who was killed Christmas day by her abusive partner. The last words she heard from her children was them begging her partner to please not fight because it was Christmas. 

                                                    Childrens photos from Ridge View Community School Christina's Via Facebook

On Dec. 20th the small county I live in was hit again with a Christmas tragedy. The woman who was found slain, along with two of her children, was trying to escape an abusive relationship. Christina Sargent was 36, her children only 8 and 10. His reason for killing the children was because, as they were screaming,while seeing him strangle their mom, he realized they were witnesses. 
Women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence with 85% of domestic abuse victims being women and 15% men. 3 woman in the US are murdered everyday by a current or former partner. Nearly one in four women, one in seven men & more than 3 million children in the United States are affected by domestic violence.
There is a simple thing that you can do that may help a victim of domestic violence not become a statistic. Verizon Wireless has a program called Hopeline. It is the perfect for those who received a new phone this Christmas. 
From Verizon Wireless:
"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.

How to Donate a Wireless Phone

You can donate no-longer-used phones and accessories in any condition from any wireless provider at any Verizon Wireless Communications Store, through a HopeLine® phone drive, or through the mail. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Erase any data from the phone and disconnect the device's service with your wireless provider.
  2. Remove any storage cards (microSD, etc.) and SIM cards from the phone, and be sure to include any travel chargers or other accessories that came with the device that you no longer need.
  3. Turn the phone's power off.
  4. Make sure the phone's batteries are installed in the phone. Please do not include any loose batteries.

5.If you're mailing in the phone and accessories, pack them up and seal the package securely. Print out the postage-paid label (with your return address filled in) and attach it to the box or envelope. Then, just drop it in the mail. 


Please if you are a victim of domestic Violence and need help reach out. Talk to a friend, contact your church or call The Domestic Violence helpline at: 
1-800-799-7233(safe) and TTY 1800-787-3224

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Five Verizon Gadgets For Everyone On Your Shopping List

 Verizon Wireless
Disclaimer:
 I am writing this post as part of the Verizon Wireless Lifestyle Bloggers program. Being part of the program does not in anyway influence this post in anyway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Can you believe Christmas is right around the corner? Where did the time go? Now it is time to get some serious shopping done. Verizon Wireless can make one stop shopping a breeze. Did you know they have added several new products, just in time for the Holiday Season?

GizmoPal™

 GizmoPal
Imagine losing your youngster in  a crowed place. This is a huge fear with parents but the GizmoPal can put one's mind at ease. This was just recently introduced to the Verizon Wireless website and seems like the perfect present for both child and parent. 
"The GizmoPal is designed for the children anywhere from pre- to middle- school, to easily make and receive phone calls using its single button calling and Auto-answer features. Both parents and their child will have the option of Blue or Pink, and is designed for kids 4 and older. And for additional fun, the GizmoPal can play fun sound clips for kids and also read out the current time.
The GizmoPal by LG will be available starting Nov. 26 online at for $79.99. The wearable will also be available in select stores in the Midwest on Nov. 26 and in all stores nationwide starting Dec. 11. Users will be able to add the GizmoPal to their existing MORE Everything accounts for an additional $5 monthly access fee. And for a limited time, customers purchasing the GizmoPal will have the activation fee waived."

SONY X3 Bluetooth Speaker

Recently Receive this on an exciting trip to NYC with fellow Verizon Lifestyle Bloggers (More about this soon). It didn't take long for my daughter to claim it. This is perfect for the music lovers on your list. I found the Sony X3 Bluetooth Speaker to be compatable with the Bose Mini Speaker, but at a lower price range.
"Pack a punch everywhere you go with this portable Bluetooth speaker from Sony. It delivers amazing audio with dual radiators for enhanced bass, one-touch listening convenience, hands-free calling, and up to seven hours battery life.


With the Sony X3 you can connect to compatible Bluetooth devices using NFC technology and wirelessly stream rich sound or handsfree calls thanks to ClearAudio+. And with up to seven hours of battery life, it will play for the whole party and then some."

Parrot Jumping Sumo


This was one of the most fun items we checked while in NYC , as far as I am concerned.  To say it had the crowd hoping would be an understatement.  Imagine capturing the look on the face of those you startle with it. 

"Want to jump, roll and spin like an acrobat? Live vicariously through the Parrot Jumping Sumo. Control the charismatic robot from your compatible smartphone or tablet to perform tricks or navigate a homemade obstacle course. Roll it up to 4.5 mph, spin 360 degrees and jump up to 31 inches high. Jumping Sumo can even turn 180 degrees in the blink of an eye. All you have to do is swipe your finger on your mobile device touchscreen. With its wide-angle camera, you can see what Jumping Sumo sees. Stream photos and video to your mobile device, then save them to show off later.

adidas miCoach Smart Ball

This ball will take your soccer enthusiast's skills to a whole new level. We should have known it was just a matter of time for something as simple as a ball to become smart. Adidas has come up with this ball, that when combined with an app, will help improve your game.
"A training tool for place kicks, the miCoach Smart Ball is a size 5, 32-panel soccer ball. An integrated sensor package records strike point, speed, spin and trajectory when you kick the ball. Kick data is sent instantly back to a companion iOS app over Bluetooth® Smart, enabling users to perfect their technique for power, bend and knuckle balls.

Challenge your friends or teammates, then share your results online. Have fun and take your ball skills to winning levels."

Moto 360 - Metal Band


Lastly I would like to show you the stylish smart watch. Made by Motorola, the Moto 360 as stylish as it is smart. 
Equipped with Bluetooth® 4.0, Moto 360 wirelessly syncs with your compatible smartphone. It delivers helpful information at just the right time via Google Now™ and even answers your questions. "From your wrist, you can: 

- Read texts, emails, Google Hangouts™ messages and more
- Check your flight time or get traffic updates for your commute
- View appointments in your calendar

With its Android Wear operating system, Moto 360 is compatible with smartphones using Android 4.3 and later. "

This is just a few of the great gadgets for those on your wishlist. Don't even get me started on the great phones they have. Check out the site yourself and you may even be able to skip the mall this year. 
Happy Holidays!!!! 
All info  marked with Quotations was taken from the Verizon Wireless Website

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov. Udderly Smooth Twitter Chat



This Post is written as part of a continuing relationship I have with Udderly Smooth, though I might receive compensation in the form or product or sponsorship all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

We may have missed out on our Oct. Twitter chat, but, we're back at it again. The great people at @UdderlySmooth and myself hope you can join us for a Twitter chat. This is not a formal Twitter Party, but a get together of fun people who like relax, chat and maybe even win a prize. What great prizes the folks at UdderlySmooth have provided. Hope you can join us. Here are the details:

Nov. 16th, 9 PM EST
Hashtag:  #UdderlySmooth

Prizes: 
9 winners will receive an Udderly Smooth gift basket: 


Grand Prize:
One lucky winner will receive a Pandora Bracelet with this cute little cow bead.

Early Bird Prize Just for RTing the following:


"Join @UdderlySmooth and @mmc67 for a Twitter Party Nov. 16th. 9PM EST. Great fun & prizes. 
RSVP : 
http://www.theshakerofsalt.com/2014/11/nov-udderly-smooth-twitter-chat.html #UdderlySmooth "

RSVP: