Make the Season Sparkle the ZURU SPARKLE GIRLZ Way!

The twins just unboxed a whole lot of sparkle and are super excited to show you what they got a sneak peek at! This gifting season, ZURU is launching their Sparkle Girlz line – super affordable (starting at $4.99) dolls that bring your little ones fun, fantasy, and fashion!

Isn’t this basket full of dolls super fun?

So many sparkling options!

Ava and Isla were wowed by all of the options in their box of Sparkle Girls from Zuru. Truth be told, they didn’t even know where to begin. Thankfully I narrowed down the choices for them and got the first glance at the box we were sent. Yinz. These girls were spoiled with the sparkle! We put a few back to go to some of our Christmas giving endeavours to pass the blessing on, but you can check out their initial reactions here.

Zuru Sparkle Girls line has so many sparkling options to bring fun, fashion, and fantasy to your home this holiday season. Check out the information on the line that our pals at Zuru shared with us, each with a tidbit of love from the twins following.

Sparkle Girlz Set of 7 Princess Collection

Featuring seven unique and individual dolls, the  ZURU Sparkle Girlz Set of 7 Princess Collection is the perfect gift!   Touting a message of kindness and courage, and encouraging others to believe in themselves and the magic of dreams, Sparkle Girlz inspires magic, imagination and sparkle!   Featuring long soft hair complete with a magical sparkle highlight, each articulated Sparkle Girlz Princess doll is dressed in beautiful, sparkle and colorful outfits that can be swapped with one another down to the shoes!  Ages 3+, SRP $29.99. Available at Walmart.

source: Zuru
sparkle-girls-princesses

Isla’s first reaction to this set was that the princesses were in a “rainbow of skin colors” and that there were girls with skin like hers and like Ava’s and likely any girl would find a doll that looked like them. “Mommy! The red head looks like your friend Amber!” – Ava was quite excited to point that out ad she’s not wrong!

Sparkle Girlz Unicorn and Unicorn Set

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Baby Unicorn are the perfect pocket-sized friend for magical adventures.  The bedazzled unicorn loves sunshine, rainbows and all things sparkly!  Brush her tail, twirl a bun, and take note of the beautiful sparkle detailing on each unicorn’s horn, adding  an extra magical look. There are 4 different baby unicorns to collect. Sparkle all day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $1.99, available at Walmart.

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Unicorn are a set of 3 brightly colored unicorns with beautiful hair! Each unicorn embraces its unique style and their horns have glitter highlights along with gorgeous details on their hooves as well! Boy they really sparkle! Each unicorn has a moveable head for endless poses and you can pose the medium-sized unicorn’s legs as she can stand up or lie down! Build your sparkle kingdom with the addition of these magical creatures. Sparkle every day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $9.99 – Available at Walmart.

Both the girls loved the ponies/unicorns. Ava wears her hair with a little unicorn swirl, so of course she loved styling these (Mama’s) pocket sized friends’ hair with a twist like her’s! The baby unicorns are the perfect size for stocking stuffers and what a great price point!

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Unicorn Princess Doll

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Unicorn Princess Doll is ready to ride towards a magical adventure. In the sparkle kingdom, Unicorn Princesses are guardians of magic and they love to play and explore new places. Each doll’s outfit is beautifully detailed with sparkle and color and are easily removable to swap with other Sparkle Girlz. Brush and style the doll’s beautiful long soft hair and let that magical sparkle highlight shine! With moveable arms, legs and head, there’s so many ways to have extra imagination fun! There are 4 Unicorn Princess dolls to collect.  Sparkle every day at an amazing value! Ages 3+, SRP $4.99. Available at Walmart, and there are also fairies and individual princess dolls to choose from!

The girls just LOVE unicorns if they hadn’t told you that already. They love the swappable outfits and how much these dolls sparkle!

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Mini Cone

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Mini Cone collectible dolls are the perfect pocket toys to create your very own fantasy world! Each doll comes with a beautiful removable skirt and features articulated arms and legs and bright colored hair! There are princesses, ballerinas, superheroes and fairies to collect! Build your very own fairytale store. Perfectly packaged in a convenient cone, these gorgeous mini’s make the ultimate party favors and gifts for friends too! Sparkle every day at an amazing value! Ages 3+, SRP $1.99. Available at Walmart.

Another great stocking stuffer option! The twins recommend these minis for playing in the car or giving to friends.

We didn’t get a chance to review the following, but they are also in the line:

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Doll Carry Case Wardrobe

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Doll Carry Case Wardrobe is a reversible sequins carry case and the ultimate accessory for every sparkle girl! This beautiful doll comes with a fully removable trendy outfit and brushable long her to style. The carry case also comes with reversible sequins on the outside for you to flip back and forward to reveal the different colors! Inside is a sparkle wardrobe where you can store and carry your Sparkle Girlz and all her accessories wherever you go! Collect Sparkle Girlz accessories (sold seperately) so that your whole wardrobe is ready to go and step out in style with this amazing Sparkle Girlz Set. Styles may vary. Sparkle every day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $10.99. Available at Walmart.

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Cupcake Princess

ZURU Sparkle Girlz Cupcake Princess is an adorable toy for girls on the go! Waltz into the sparkle kingdom where this cupcake princess rules with kindness and compassion. She loves to spend time with her friends in her royal estate and her mini size makes it perfect to carry and have playtime just about anywhere! In the world of Sparkle Heart, princesses are strong, brave and make the perfect fashion companion. Each princess comes with colorful, sparkly outfits that can be interchangeable with other Sparkle Girlz Cupcake doll outfits and other fitting doll clothes (sold separately). There are 4 royal cupcake princesses to collect. Sparkle every day at an amazing value too! Ages 3+, SRP $2.99. Available at Walmart.

Alright, now tell us which of these are your favorites that you’d love to see under the tree!

You’re Pulling My Leg

Covid-19 sure has made this a year to remember. In our house, we’re playing more games and using video calls more than ever. The kids seem to be very resilient to these changes and are learning some skills that we probably wouldn’t have thought to teach without being “stuck” home all these months. This week, we’re joining a blogging book tour for the release of two books geared to exactly that. In his “You’re Pulling My Leg” series, author Allen Wolf gives adults and families a way to play a unique storytelling game together – no matter where they live.

youre-pulling-my-leg
source: Morning Star Games

Since we’re a family blog, we checked out Wolf’s adaptation of You’re Pulling My Leg! game with the Junior version. It came at a great time – right before a road trip. In this book turned game, you and your loved ones will be presented with [age appropriate] questions to answer and then the other players vote if the story was true or made up.

Educational Benefits of You’re Pulling My Leg

Not only does a game like this pass time and help to build relationships, there are some educational benefits that your kids will pick up:

  • Promotes interaction
  • Develops interpersonal skills
  • Develops positive relationships
  • Develops storytelling skills
  • Promotes positive self-esteem
  • Motivates players
  • Encourages higher-level thinking

How to Play

First, you’ll need to decide which version of the book to pickup. If you’re going to play online, don’t worry you only need one person with a copy of the book. The adult version is for ages 13+ and Junior is for ages 9+ (but from our experience littles can answer these questions too).

You’ll also need a coin (or a coin-flipping phone app) and a way to keep score (there are also score pages at the back of the book).

Each player gets 7 points for voting (is the storyteller pulling my leg or telling the truth) and then the questions begin. The storyteller picks from three questions to answer then flips a coin and based on heads or tails tells a true story or makes one up.

Let’s Give it a Try

Here is Card 42 from the “You’re Pulling My Leg Junior” book:

TELL ME ABOUT…

a time when you were afraid of something in your closet or under your bed.

OR

a pet you wanted but didn’t get.

OR

a time when you did something that was difficult.

We’ll pretend I am the storyteller and I’ve flipped a coin to tell me if I tell the truth or a made up story. The question I’ll answer today is: “a pet you wanted but didn’t get”.

One time my parents were so frustrated about the pets my brother and I wanted – we already had a dog, cat, bird, and turtle and had been asking about a bunny. Mom said no more pets…but she said it like “No more 2 legged, 3 legged, 4 legged, 6 legged, 8 legged pets in this house!”

We started to scheme. I thought a snake would be a great idea but my little brother didn’t want to get in trouble with mom and he thought the snake might eat my bird so he changed my mind.

Now, you’ll go to the comments section and vote if you think I was telling the truth in this story or pulling your leg!

Each book contains over 600 questions and can be played over and over with the different people in your life. Spin up a video call with the grands who live far away and start asking questions. If you’re on a road trip or headed to a coffee shop, bring it along. This is a great in person or virtual game that helps challenge players and is guaranteed to make you laugh.

About You’re Pulling My Leg!

You can find out more about both versions of this book game through their publisher, Morning Star Games. Follow along with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive information on this and other games. You can purchase either book on Amazon (adult, junior) with MSRP at $12.99.

Ultimate Par-TEA with Itty Bitty Prettys

In our house, we celebrate many “days” like National Hot Dog Day or National Friendship Day. This Saturday, August 8, we’ll be celebrating World Tea Party Day! Just in time to celebrate, ZURU has set the table for the ultimate par-tea with Itty Bitty Prettys ™ Tea Party Surprise!

World Tea Party Day – August 8

Aren’t tea parties with friends just the best? Remember bringing your dolls or stuffed animals, dressing up the dog or your ‘lil brother and pretending to sip on steaming hot tea? Maybe you added pretend cookies or donned your best dress and gloves.

This Saturday, August 8, 2020, is a great days to let your ‘lil ones celebrate and pretend, too! Zuru, an award winning toy company, has released a modern take on the traditional tea party and will be celebrating with an ulimate par-tea with Itty Bitty Prettys Tea Party Surprise.

We have joined up with ZURU to bring you all the details about how they’ll be celebrating friendship, fun, and fashion. Keep your eyes on social media (including Instagram and YouTube) to hear from us + other influencers as we celebrate inclusivity, encourage kindness, and discover this just launched line from Zuru!

Itty Bitty Prettys – Time to Par-TEA!

These collectible dolls are perfect for kids who love to unbox mystery bags, search for rares, and trade with friends. Our twins were very excited to have their ultimate par-tea with their new doll friends, mom, and The Bigs. They dressed up, brought their dolls, and enjoyed some cookies while unboxing their new friends.

Check out how it went:

What we LOVE:

  • The GLASSES! One of our twins wears glasses, so she LOVED that the dolls all had them, too.
  • The inclusivity! Our twins have started to pick up on toys looking “just like them”, loving that there were some dolls in several shades of color. The twins picked the surprise dolls that matched their sister – extra sweet!
  • The outfits! Super adorable fashion accessories come with – earrings, shoes, skirts, crowns, and capes. ZURU did not miss a DETAIL here!
itty bitty prettys

Parental Warning:

These dolls come with many small pieces and some bags of dough. Additionally, you’ll need to be there to help with the water/tea bags/fizz and to put the clothes on. We made it a family event! Listen to the age suggestions on this one and watch your feet for those ‘lil parts when the par-TEA is over. BUT DEFINITELY add these toys to your kiddos’ collection!

Itty Bitty Prettys – The Details

Here are the details that Zuru shared with us about these adorable dolls and information on how YOU can get your own set!

The Itty Bitty Prettys range includes thirteen stylish Itty Bittys, plus one super rare Royal Tea doll, each touting a distinct, modern party-prowess bring the latest fashion and swapability factor to the par-tea. A complete party-in-a-cup, Itty Bitty Prettys Tea Party Surprise includes surprise magic tea bags and fizzing sugar cubes that, when mixed with water reveal jewelry, accessories
and other surprise necessities to help dress and style an Itty Bitty Prettys dolls and host a party!

The layers of fun also include compounds that allow for molding and making treats, working teacups and saucers, and more. The Itty Bitty Prettys Giant Teacup Playset includes everything one needs to host the most epic tea party. Available in two surprise friendship themes each with two dolls, the respective
themed playset features more than 25 surprises including a convertible table, spoon, working teacup and teapot, stylish accessories including shoes and jewelry, two Itty Bitty pets, dissolvable tea bags, fizzing ‘sugar’ cubes and more. Four dolls plus a rare Itty bitty Pretty can be found in the The Giant Teacup Playset. Designed for ages 4+, Itty Bitty Pretty Little Tea
Cups will be available for $29.99

Itty Bitty Prettys Little Tea Cup features 12 surprises and eight fabulous dolls to collect. The Little Tea Cup includes a working teacup, a saucer that also serves as a doll stand, an Itty Pretty doll, a swapable doll outfit and a set of stylish accessories including shoes, jewelry, eyewear and more. Additional tea party must-haves include a magic teaba, fizzing cube, cotton candy dough and more. Designed for ages 4+, Itty Bitty Prettys Little Tea Cups will be available for $9.99.

ZURU Toys Press Release

Itty Bitty Prettys Tea Party Surprise is available at Walmart and Target.

For more info, visit www.zuru.com, and
follow on Facebook @ZURUToys, Twitter @ZURUToys and Instagram @ZURU.toys.

itty bitty prettys tea party surprise

Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” Activity Pages (FREEBIE!)

Family movie nights are becoming a regular occurence around our house – anyone else feeling the same? With the early release of Disney and Pixar’s “Onward”, families can enjoy an adventurous film ahead of schedule! Released last week on Movies Anywhere and on Disney+ yesterday (April 3), this film is full of delight and surprise. Keep reading to get your FREE “Onward” Activity Pages, too!

Source: Disney Pixar

In ONWARD, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, embarking on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.

Source: Disney Pixar
Source: Disney Pixar

Our family (with kids ages 5 to 11) laughed, cried, cheered, and danced all throughout the movie. The next morning, the kids even asked if they could watch it again! As a mom of four, might I say that I’m loving all these Disney and Pixar storylines about siblings being there for each other?

“Onward” Activity Pages

Not only am I excited to share that “Onward” can be watched at home, but Disney and Pixar shared these “Onward” activity pages with me to give to you as FREE Printables!

I don’t know about you, but right now I’m loving being able to hand my kids coloring pages and let their creativity SOAR between home lessons. These have been great for brain breaks and morning work. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Check Out Onward

You can buy “Onward” digitally and on Movies Anywhere (for $19.99) OR catch it with a Disney+ subscription.

Vacation Myrtle Beach – Condo Giveaway

This post contains information shared to ‘lil Burghers through our partnership with US Family Guide. They’ve teamed up with Vaction Myrtle Beach to get the word out about their “Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway Contest” and asked that I’d share with yinz. All opinions are 100% my own.

A rainy Pittsburgh day always makes me miss the beach and today was no exception. It might not have helped that I got some awesome news to share with you from our friends at US Family Guide. They’re partnering with Vacation Myrtle Beach (aka one of our favorite travel destinations, the place Greg and I fell in love, and our “2nd home) and want to get the word out about a current contest they are running. Of course I wasn’t going to think twice about sharing them with you – this is a big YES in my book! Check out all the details and then be sure to enter to win.

The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway Contest

Vacation Myrtle Beach is Giving Away an Oceanfront Condo, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner’s choice)!!! One lucky winner will own this condo (this is not a timeshare).

Win this beautiful Oceanfront Condo and Change Your Life! Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest providers of family vacation accommodations in Myrtle Beach, SC, is pleased to announce the launch of The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway contest, which features the grand prize of a furnished oceanfront condo at The Caravelle Resort located in Myrtle Beach, SC, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner’s choice)!!! One lucky winner will own this condo (this is not a timeshare). Other lucky winners will receive a 7-night stay or a 3-night stay at one of Vacation Myrtle Beach’s oceanfront properties.

The newly renovated, oceanfront efficiency condo offers room for up to four guests and includes a fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to its prime Myrtle Beach location, the resort provides convenient access to all of the area’s major attractions, restaurants, and things to do. Families and couples enjoy a wide variety of on-site amenities including an indoor pool, a block-long poolscape complete with a large pool, whirlpool, lazy river, kiddie lazy river, kids’ pool, poolside bar, and plenty of relaxing deck options. In addition to everything you need for fun in the sun, the resort offers an array of dining options as well as an opportunity for rejuvenation and relaxation at its on-site spa.

The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway sweepstakes is now open for entries.

To enter or for Official Rules and more information about Vacation Myrtle Beach properties and deals, please here: https://woobox.com/hsfeoo?source=usfam

Source: US Family Guide & Vacation Myrtle Beach

Wowza, right? Now if that isn’t a contest to be sure to enter, I don’t know what is. All the sweet tea, sun, sand, and surf you could ever want in one place. Sounds amazing to me. Now as much as we love yinz, what are ya still doing here? Head over to enter today!

Vacation Myrtle Beach

A Winter Break: Castaway Bay

We received an overnight stay and waterpark passes to Castaway Bay in exchange for sharing the post below with our readers. All opinions are 100% our own. Read all the way to the bottom to hear how you can enter to win your own #CastawayBayGetaway!

Pittsburgh, we’ve had enough of the snow and cold this year, haven’t we? I know spring is really right around the corner, but I am anxious for everything it brings with it. To help combat the season, we loaded the family up in the van and hit the road for a quick (three-hour) road trip to Sandusky, Ohio for an overnight stay at Castaway Bay.

A Winter Break: Castaway Bay

Because we left on a Friday after work and school, we didn’t get to take full advantage of the resort’s 4:00 PM check-in time, but because the indoor waterpark is open until 10 PM (check their operating hours to plan your visit), we got plenty of time in after dinner and checking in. (You can get your wristbands as early as 8:00 AM on your day of arrival – we’ll definitely do this next time!)

The 38,000-square foot waterpark is fully enclosed (always 82-degrees) and a perfect place to spend a winter break! The theme is a tropical Caribbean one and it flows from the park to the on-site restaurants to the hotel rooms. There are water attractions for all ages – slides, a toddler pool/splash pad, an indoor/outdoor Grotto spa, wave pool, and more.

Wondering where Ava was? Attached to Mama!

The Bigs especially enjoyed the waterslides and water roller coaster. They’ve both grown up so much and had the courage to try every single one. Isla (almost four) stuck to the toddler pool and the shallow waves but did go down two todder friendly slides. Ava (also almost four) is usually pretty confident in the pool felt a bit overwhelmed by the (light) crowds and stuck to mom. (I mention crowds, but it really was not packed at all – she just gets clingy in unfamiliar places.)

Pro Tip: There are lifevests for your ‘lil swimmers. I couldn’t find them at first but look for the boat by the wave pool and there your treasure will be! Arr, matey!

Pro Tip: To get great photos of Castway Bay, you’re going to want a waterproof phone pouch. I recommend this one – just order it with Amazon Prime before your trip! You’ll regret not having your phone for photos and meeting up with the family during your time at the park.

Where to Eat: Castaway Bay

All that swimming and relaxing will make you hungry. Thankfully, there are a few options right on the property for you to get your grub on and the hotel rooms have a refrigerator and microwave! The hotel features a Quaker Steak & Lube, a deli serving Starbucks coffee, breakfast buffet (we gave Mango Mike’s a 6 thumbs up for their pancake bar and visits from Snoopy), and snack shack (right in the waterpark).

Other Experiences at Castaway Bay

Prepare for some time outside of the waterpark – you’ll want the break from riding the waves as tough as that sounds! We used our spacious suite for a nap and a (chilly) peek at the birds on the bay off of the balcony. There is also a game room, souvenier shop, and our favorite spot on the resort, Club Castaway! At Club Castaway you can make your own souvenier (t-shirts, pillowcases, bags), watch movies, play games, or meet Snoopy. It was a great place to just chill and the lighting was amazing even on an overcast day.

Ready for Your OWN #CastawayBayGetaway?

We loved our trip to Sandusky and Castaway Bay and think you would, too! Try to get out there before the winter is over or combine your stay with a trip to nearby Cedar Park. (Castaway Bay is an offical hotel of the park.) For all the details on day passes, hotel stays (with park passes), and more, visit Castaway Bay’s website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And speaking of Instagram, let’s get you entered in a GIVEAWAY for a family four-pack of passes to Castaway Bay! To enter, head over to our Instagram and enter to win on this photo. Giveaway will end on March 13, 2019, so act quickly! >> sorry, giveaway closed in 2019. Watch our site for more fun!

Run! Deal on FitBit Versa Smart Watch – only $89.99!

*articles may contain affiliate links*

Act FAST! My favorite sports/smartwatch, the FitBit Versa, is only $89.99 on Amazon today. You can get the FitBit Versa watch in black or peach and YES it is available with Prime’s free shipping (though note that the scheduled delivery date is between January 15 – February 7.) Shipping time aside, this is a GREAT price, normally they are $200.

Check out my FitBit Versa in my running posts on Instagram

Hen in a Hurry: Dinner Game-Changer!

Disclaimer: I was provided services/products from Hen in a Hurry as a partnership through US Family Guide. All opinions are 100% my own.

Yinz guys. I have been holding out on you. Two days before I ran my 10-Miler, the most amazing smelling box was delivered to my front door. It was a complete game changer for my dinner game – Hen in a Hurry. This meal subscription service was my first ever experience and it has opened my eyes to the possibilities when it comes to putting good, clean food on the dinner table in a hurry. I am so sorry I haven’t been around to share this with you sooner!!!

Hen in a Hurry: Dinner Game-Changer!

This box of amazingness arrived with dry ice surrounding four frozen meals and matching sides (that I got to pick out). I drooled over all of them and neglected to read the fine print – I could have kept some of them frozen until we were ready to enjoy! Into the fridge went all the packages to thaw to have for our dinners.

Why did this matter? The meals should be consumed between 3-5 days once thawed. That meant we actually had to cook two meals a night and then have leftovers. They were still good, but to get the true experience I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry to enjoy! 

Truth, I love to cook and experiment and make delicious, healthy foods for my family. But truth? I hate spending all evening in the kitchen making dinner. With Hen in a Hurry, I just had to put the thawed meals into a glass casserole dish and cook for 45 minutes. During that time, I was able to spend time with the kids (catching up on Caliou is a big deal around here, you know) and check on that ever-growing pile of school papers. Joking aside, this was truly a blessing for this mom of four.

But even better? I did not spend time cooking 5 different meals. Nope. I cooked one. And we all enjoyed the meals together. No one asked for a PB&J sandwich. No one cried. The only issue was that everyone wanted seconds and the Hen in a Hurry meals were made for a family of four. (So when I said we had to cook two meals at once, it actually turned into a blessing.)

Hen in a Hurry: What We Tasted

Our meal choices were spot on to things we liked. I’m noting which ones were gluten-free (gf) because they are the ones we’d repeat. I’ve been bad and have been eating gluten, meaning my tongue has been itchy for weeks and my stomach is a mess. Here’s what a tried and what we thought:

Fresh Garlic and Turkey Meatloaf with Loaded Cauliflower Mash (gf): This was our least favorite entree of the four but it was still amazing. Day two re-heated and with a tiny bit of ketchup (is that just a ‘Burgh thing?) and it was the perfect meatloaf. The Loaded Cauliflower Mash was the most filling side of the four we selected and tricked everyone into thinking they were eating mashed potatoes. Score.

Cheddar and Chicken Enchiladas and Fire Roasted Vegetables (gf): The enchiladas weren’t spicy enough for mom but EVERYONE ELSE said the fire level was just right (I like things spicy). Greg didn’t realize these were enchiladas because I cooked it upside, making them look like lasagna. Oops. Still delish overall. The fire roasted veggies were good, but the color of them steered most of the kids away from them. More for mom! (These were also a bit watery, so I cooked them in a dish by themselves.)

Zucchini Stuffed Chicken (gf) and Squash Casserole (gf): These two were definitely the second favorites overall. I wish there had been more “stuffed” in the chicken but they were still a great amount of flavor. The chicken wasn’t dry (I was surprised) and the squash casserole was a great pairing with it.

Baked Rosemary Chicken (gf) and Cauliflower Stuffing (gf): Shut the front door. My house is always welcoming but if I order this again, I am not sharing. Heh! No, for real, this one took the cake and was first place overall in our tasting. The chicken was *just right* spiced and moist. And that stuffing? I wish I had remembered to order multiple sides from Hen in a Hurry last week because now they wouldn’t arrive until after Thanksgiving. Yinz guys, this stuffing was next level and we fought over every single crumb. There is no way I can replicate this one!

Hen in a Hurry: How to Order

If this sounds like a dinner game-changer for your family, US Family Guide has brought some promotions to ‘lil Burghers readers to allow you to enjoy Hen in a Hurry. You’ll select meals of your choice and have them delivered to your home or office. This is a great gift, too!

Select one of the offers below by visiting Hen in a Hurry’s website (heninahurry.com) and pick one of these options. During checkout set up your account and then enter in the promo code associated with the deal you choose.

(30) Individual Meals – Subscription for a month – Regular Price: $315.00 – Deal: 45% off ($141.75 off) 1st months subscription **Code: 45offFamilyGuide

(7) Individual Meals – Subscription for a week – Regular Price: $99.00 – Deal: $40 Off 1st week’s subscription **Code: 40offFamilyGuide

(4) 4 days a week- Family Meals – Includes a side and entree for a family of 4 (16 total meals) – Regular Price $96 – Deal: $25 Off 1st week’s subscription **Code: 25offFamilyGuide

(6) 6 days a week – Family Meals – Includes a side and entree for a family of 4 (24 total meals) – Regular Price $132 – Deal: $35 Off 1st week’s subscription **Code: 35offFamilyGuide

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About Hen in a Hurry

Chef prepared meal subscriptions made with clean, sustainably sourced, responsibly raised ingredients from our trusted farmers and purveyors. No Waste. No Prep. No Preservatives. Just heat and enjoy!

hen-in-a-hurry
Hen in a Hurry was hatched in the small kitchen of the popular Greensboro, North Carolina eatery, Iron Hen Cafe. Spurred by a flock of requests from loyal patrons this idea came to fruition, delivering sustainable, ethically-sourced, prepared meals to you – at work or home. We favor organic and locally grown, but make exceptions in order to highlight other farmers and producers, who use time-honored methods and deliver very good products.

Our Mission is to connect the food we serve…to the farm it came from…to the people we love. We pride ourselves in being responsible both, locally and globally, and proudly bring these offerings to you from our 10,000 square foot commissary kitchen located in Downtown Greensboro’s Morehead Foundry. All subscriptions are no commitment – pause or cancel any time.

Visit heninahurry.com to redeem the advertised selections above through December 31, 2018.

The fine print: Promotional value expires Dec 31, 2018. Taxes are paid at the time of checkout with Hen in a Hurry. Shipping and handling are not included and vary based on delivery location; shipping available only within the continental U.S. Must register a credit card with the merchant. The subscription will automatically renew at regular price at end of subscription purchased unless canceled with Hen in a Hurry 10 days prior to the renewal date. Online redemption only. Limit 1 per person. Not valid with other offers or promotions.

 

 

Sports Armband for the On-the-Go Parent


We received the product discussed below (the Newppon Sports Armband) for free in exchange for a review, but all opinions are our own.

As Greg and I prepare to run the next big race (just about four weeks to go until the Myrtle Beach Mini), we are shaking out what nutrition, clothes, and gear will look like. Particularly the gear – we really need a good way to hold the phone to keep our pace in check. Off we went to find a good sports armband to fit the bill.

Sports Armband for the On-the-Go Parent

Greg has been trying out a sports armband that we found on Amazon. It fits his Samsung Galaxy S9 and has a cool way to hook his headphones into it (eliminating the loose cord). The only downside of it is that is has a bit of a cloudy look in the screen area which we couldn’t tell from the description online. The image below was taken in the dark to try to show the cloudy look, even with the brightness on his phone all the way up. 

This armband will also work for activities that make Greg an on-the-go dad…biking, trips to the pond, mowing the lawn, or pacing during soccer games. It has a space to hold a key and cash/credit cards if needed, too.

What is your go-to way to carry your phone when being active?

I Tried Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Trays – This is What Happened

This post is a collaboration with Smile Brilliant through US Family Guide. I received teeth whitening trays in exchange for my blog post review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Ever since I introduced coffee and nicotine into my life, my teeth lost the brilliant whiteness they had as a kid. For the past 17 years, I’ve given many different teeth whitening procedures a try – strips, pastes, trays, and LED lights. I’ve asked my dentist for life and gotten a second opinion, but no amazing results. When US Family Guide asked me to give Smile Brilliant teeth whitening trays a try, I figured it was worth another try.

Why Smile Brilliant?

The reason I decided to give these teeth whitening trays a try is because while I’ve been a non-smoker for nine years, I refuse to kick coffee to the curb and there are some tough to whiten spots on my teeth. They don’t have the pearly-whiteness they did as a kid. Here’s what they looked like on the day I said yes to the trays:

There’s some white, but just not enough that I feel like my smile shines like it should. When I looked at the pros and cons of Smile Brilliant’s solution, I admit that I was a bit skeptical. I’d tried trays with a dentist before, but I didn’t put the time and effort into them because the gel just turned my stomach – it would always drip. But I was reminded that custom-fitted whitening trays are the #1 dentist recommended teeth whitening method, so thought it was worth giving it a try.

Here’s what else Smile Brilliant had to say that help put me at ease:

  • They offer two types of systems – non-sensitive and sensitive – and then three levels of each – light, average, and heavy stains.
  • Teeth are like sponges, so they absorb anything you put in your mouth. (This could be good – in the case of teeth whitening gel – or bad – like coffee, berries, and smoking.)
  • Whitening trays that have been custom-fitted ensure every angle of your tooth is covered – this means if you don’t have perfectly straight teeth, you still get even coverage.
  • Sensitivity after teeth whitening is normal. The system includes a post-whitening fluoride treatment to help get rehydration going faster.
  • There is a 45-day money back guarantee with Smile Brilliant if your experience doesn’t work.

So, I decided to send in my before photo (above) and give it a try.

Step 1: Custom Fitting Right at Home

The first step in my teeth whitening process was to open a box that was sent to my front door and create my custom trays. This involved taking a mold of my teeth (top and bottom) and then mailing those molds back to Smile Brilliant.

Admittedly, I was super glad they gave me three sets of the Base and Catalyst paste because I took too much time taking photos for this post and let one of my molds dry before I got it in my mouth. (If you decide to give these a try, note that you can send in a picture of your molds and confirm they are good or purchase extra mold kits – though your set would also come with three – if there are any issues.)

The base and catalyst get mixed together…

…and then you put it in the blue tray and bite into it. This is a one at a time process because this material dries quick!

Once they’ve set, you let them dry and send them off to Smile Brilliant and wait for your custom-fitted whitening trays to return! It took less than 10 days for my package to get to them then back to me, but I let life get in the way and didn’t start trying the system until mid-June.

Step 2: Teeth Whitening Right at Home

I don’t know why, but I was surprised when the trays arrived and they fit my teeth perfectly. Okay, maybe it was my lack in confidence of making the trays myself, that process was a wee bit intimidating for me! I think that if I wasn’t taking the time to take photos, it probably would have been a bit less scary. But anyhow, they fit like a charm and came with a case to keep them in.

So, how’d it go? My system had enough gel to do 18 applications, each tube got me about 3 applications, plus the desensitizing gel. I tried so hard to start out with a 45-minute session my first day, but the taste got to me and I ended up only doing about 30-minutes followed by the 20-minute desensitizing. I talked about this a little bit on my Instagram stories, maybe you caught it? It just didn’t seem like a good fit for my lifestyle.

I felt like a failure. Yeah, I’d read that it would take 45-minutes and ideally up to 3-hours, but I just didn’t know how I’d go on. Then I looked at my teeth and could see a change so decided to stick with it, four times a week. I was semi-successful, getting between 30 to 45 minutes three or four times a week for four weeks. I thought I could do this on my commute, but 45-minutes without access to a sink just didn’t work. Then try to balance whitening with softball, church, and other mom-stuff in the evenings and I just couldn’t figure it all out. I tried, I really did, but I’m not sure that the ROI (return on investment) of teeth whitening trays is a thing for me.

The Results

I’ve already told you I wasn’t all that happy with the time investment I had to put in. But what about the results? Was it worth it? Here are my teeth 18 applications later, I’m happy but just not sure I’d rush to go buy more of the syringes to keep it up. Convince me if you think I should do otherwise!

You Want to Try Teeth Whitening With Smile Brilliant? Here’s How!

While I don’t think that maintaining my smile is going to be a top priority right now, maybe you see enough of a change to give it a try. There are two ways you can get started right away – first, you can go out and buy your own kit (and use this coupon code: lilburghers20) or you can enter this giveaway (www.smilebrilliant.com/g/lilburghers) for a chance to try Smile Brilliant for free yourself!

What questions do you have? Have you tried teeth whitening before? What do you think?