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


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 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?

Dr Jacobs Naturals

This blog post about Dr Jacobs Naturals is a collaboration between ‘lil Burghers and US Family Guide. I received product in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

As a #fitmomintheremaking, I find myself leaning toward making healthy choices that extend beyond the family’s membership at the local YMCA and what is in our kitchen and pantry. We’ve been using Dr Jacobs Naturals Castile soaps in our house this summer and it’s time that I tell you about them so you can decide if these are for you, too!

Dr Jacobs Naturals

I first heard about Dr Jacobs Naturals Castile soaps through US Family Guide. What caught my attention was that they are “free from all the nasties: NON-GMO, Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Gluten Free, Free of artificial dyes & coloring. PETA Cruelty-Free & Vegan”.

Dr Jacobs Naturals

Trust me. These weren’t things I cared about back in the day when I was pregnant with Arianna and eating ramen on my kitchen floor. Back then, I didn’t have the money to spend on “the good stuff” (clearly) but I also didn’t have the resources to tell me that the soaps I was buying at a certain store’s semi-annual sale since I was a teenager might not have been the best choices. (Okay, before I get too judgemental of my “old self”, I’ll admit that I still shop that sale because I just can’t give it up 100%.) But now that I know better, I’m trying to make our family about 60/40 on the crunchy scale. I try.

Because I didn’t know what all of that meant, I went to the Dr Jacobs Naturals FAQ page and learned that:

Dr. Jacobs Naturals is 100% natural. Our product is free of synthetic fragrances and preservatives. Our soap is pure Castile and is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. As an all-natural soap, made from olive oil, Dr. Jacobs Naturals will leave skin smooth and silky by forming a protective barrier. This barrier will help skin hold in moisture. Olive oil soap is the perfect addition to a regular skin care routine. As well, for customers who care for the environment, our soap is environmentally friendly. We are completely biodegradable, free of harsh chemicals that pollute our groundwater. We also use recyclable containers and we do not use palm oil. Dr. Jacobs Naturals castile liquid soap does NOT have any artificial ingredients, colors, parabens, phthalate, propylene glycol, lauryl/laureth sulfates, and triclosan.

Source: drjacobsnaturals.com

As much as we are outside, I think having a protective barrier from the environment is a pretty good thing, so decided to give it a try.

My Experience with Dr Jacobs Naturals

We were sent a 32-ounce charcoal Castile liquid soap. I’m glad this has a 1 year after initial use shelf life because there’s a lot of soap in there! This soap is great for me to use after a run on the trail or a day spent by our backyard pond. It doesn’t really have an intense smell but it deep cleans and unclogs pores. It can even be used as a shampoo! I will note that this soap does leave me feeling a little like I showered with hard water, but that feeling goes away after I’ve dried and dressed – I think that’s a thing with Castile!

For the hands, we’re loving the scent and softness delivered by the almond honey Castile liquid soap that came with a pump for hand washing. Our hands feel softer (without the need for lotion) and smell amazing.

And then there’s the minty cucumber mojito bar soap. Peppermint is one of our favorite essential oils for cooling and antibacterial powers but then you add in the cucumber and this bar soap is simply refreshing.

YOUR Experience with Dr Jacobs Naturals

Haven’t tried these Castile soaps yet but are intrigued? US Family Guide and I would love you to give Dr. Jacobs Naturals a try this summer. Through July 31, 2018, use code freeship20 on orders over $20 on the Dr Jacobs website (more details can be found on this coupon).

Have you tried Castile soaps? What is your favorite scent? 


Nitro Circus: Coming to Pittsburgh June 21-22

My family and I received tickets to Nitro Circus in exchange for sharing this information and giveaway. All opinions are 100% our own. 

Something exciting is coming our to city next week (June 21 and 22 to be exact) – Nitro Circus and the all-new Next Level TourOur Bigs have no idea what they’re in for next week when we go – but because they are very familiar with Nitro Circus, I think they will be quite happy with this surprise.

Nitro Circus: Next Level Tour

If you’re not familiar with Nitro Circus, they are the world’s biggest action sports entertainment brand. They’re known for incredible stunts and pushing the limits. Co-founder Travis Pastrana has been quoted: “Be careful what you ask for, because Nitro Circus will give you the opportunity to do it.”

Basically, this traveling team of daredevils delivers live audiences boundary-breaking feats in FMX, BMX, skating, scooters, and much more.

The Next Level Tour is bringing their feats and stunts to stadiums across the United States this summer with a stop next week in Pittsburgh (Highmark Stadium) for two nights.  Austrailian audiences have already had a glimpse at the fun:

Nitro Circus’ moto athletes proved they are all in by sending huge, gravity-defying tricks that definitely took the sport to new heights. USA’s Gregg Duffy, the first person ever to land a double front flip on a motorbike, stomped two incredible front flip variations for the GIO Stadium fans. The Canberra crowd also went wild for hometown favorite Harry Bink after he landed an FMX double backflip. For this very dangerous trick, one attempted by only a handful of riders, Bink shot more than 60-feet into the air to get the clearance needed to complete the two full rotations around before touching down on the lander.

All of these aerial exploits were possible due to the Next Level Tour’s innovative ramp setup. The FMX takeoff ramp alone towers 15-feet above the show floor (five feet taller than anything toured before) while the lander also looms large, standing 23-feet high. First dreamed up at Travis’ “Pastranaland” compound then perfected at Nitro World Games, these ramps were never supposed to tour, as they were considered far too large and complex to be set up more than once. But Nitro Circus’ production team was determined to showcase them, and the future of action sports, to its diehard fans around the world.

“Getting the chance to debut this show in my hometown was so awesome. For my family and friends to see what the boys can do on this sick setup made it even more special,” Harry Bink said after Next Level’s high-octane kickoff. “Video clips or pictures can’t prepare you for just how big these ramps are.”

Nitro Circus
Nitro Circus – Australia 2018 (source: Nitro Circus)

Nitro Circus: Next Level Tour in Pittsburgh

While the show is next week, tickets are available at nitrocircus.live for the June 21-22 shows (and psst, our Myrtle Beach friends, they’re coming to you on June 19!). Tickets start at $29 each and the show starts at 7 PM. VIP Club package options are available and include behind the scenes access, autograph signing, and more!

And while it’s a pretty quick turnaround, we’ve been given a family four pack of tickets to see the Next Level Tour on June 21 – enter by 11:59 PM Eastern on June 13 (that’s Wednesday) for your chance to check it out yourself!

Nitro Circus Next Level Show: Family 4 Pack

Sponsors for Nitro Circus presents: the Next Level Tour include Kevlar, Yokohama, Parts Canada, Brimstone, Grunt Style, Vivid Seats and EDGEtv.

For Nitro Circus news, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, tour updates and more, go to NitroCircus.com and follow Nitro Circus on Instagram and Facebook.

About Nitro Circus

Nitro Circus, the world’s biggest action sports entertainment brand, creates electrifying live events and unbelievable original content that at once exhilarates, captivates and inspires thrill-seeking fans worldwide.  Co-founded by global superstar Travis Pastrana in 2003, Nitro Circus has since grown into a multiplatform phenomenon producing hit television shows, critically acclaimed documentaries and innovative digital offerings. That success gave rise to the Nitro Circus Live tour. Created in 2010, Nitro Circus Live has traveled the globe, playing to sold-out stadiums on five continents. The company introduced an innovative breakthrough in 2016 with the debut of Nitro World Games, completely rebooting action sports competition in the process. With over three million tickets sold to date, television programming that has aired in over 60 countries, more than 20 million engaged fans across its social media platforms and a burgeoning consumer products business, NitroCircus is at the forefront of action sports and entertainment. For more information visit www.nitrocircus.com

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest

My family and I were invited to visit Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest for a weekend in exchange for our honest opinions. All opinions are 100% our own. 

Ah, sweet summertime in Pittsburgh! For me, summers used to include camping in a tent at local campgrounds. Camping holds a special place in my heart (bugs and all) and I am so happy that my family is enjoying continuing the tradition. Truth be told, our stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ at Kozy Rest was more “glamping”, but it still got the ‘ol camping bug moving in us. 

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest: Our Stay

Tucked about an hour north of Pittsburgh (straight up Route 8 through Butler) is an adorable and peaceful campground, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest. This campground is award-winning and family-centered and from the moment we drove on the property (in the middle of a storm), we could see why. Check-in started with a greeter, then a speedy key pick-up and an escort down to our cabin. Our guide showed us everything we’d need to know about the amenities of the cabin (like air conditioning) then left us to discover what we might like to do next from the list of activities.

With all those activities, I’ll tell you what we didn’t do – we didn’t check out the WiFi until I was cleaning up the last bits on Sunday morning. The WiFi works, but you’re not going to need it with all of those things to keep you busy – I promise. 

We didn’t arrive in time to check out the Friday night movie, so we decided to settle in and get a “early” bedtime so we could be up and ready to check out the Jump Zone and bikes. Initially, we thought that we’d put the kids in the bedroom (with a single bunk over a double bed and space on the floor for an air mattress), but when we realized how short the loft space was, opted for that to be Ari and Evan’s space.

That might have been our first mistake – they woke up in the 6 AM hour and had us all (and probably everyone else around) awake too. The sun was up, they were too! As you can see, a nap did happen on Saturday afternoon between activities, phew!

Throughout the weekend, we took full advantage of all the free activities listed on that brochure and we basically in “divide and conquer” mode – Greg with the Bigs at things like Gaga Ball (which was new to us, but not the Bigs), the Frog Pond, and bike riding. I took the Twins to dance with “the bears”, check out cartoons, ride the train and fire truck. It was quite the busy time, but we still fit in a swim and lots of time on the bikes.

This video is just the start of all the fun we had! Check out more photos here

Bottom line, we loved it and would really like to get back again this summer. While the cabins are fun and affordable considering all you get, we’d probably tent camp for “the real deal” experience (plus, the shower rooms have A/C!). Greg and I were “good exhausted” by the end of the trip. If there would be any downsides, six people in a “tiny house” is not always the most fun thing (Mama might have lost her mind a few times) and Ava didn’t drink enough water on Saturday and ended up dehydrated. Good reminders to fill those tanks!

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest: The Details

Campers can camp from April to October and enjoy themed weekends (our’s was Kids’ Carnival – check out this video to see some of the fun the whole camp had!) or bump into Yogi Bear™ and Boo Boo™. Camp options include tents, RV’s, yurts, and full-service luxury cabins (like we enjoyed). Sites include electric service, fire rings, and picnic tables. Pets are welcomed on some sites, too!

Amenities at Kozy Rest include laundry, swimming pool, pavilions, church services, and free WiFi. Activities vary based on the themed weekends, but there is a gem mining sluice, bikes to rent (included), Gaga Ball, shuffleboard, a playground, a jump zone, and more. There really is something for everyone to enjoy!

While I loved the paper activities sheet, I also downloaded their app which would alert me 15-minutes before an event was to start. This was super convenient!

One thing we didn’t do was to have Yogi Bear and Boo Boo come for bedtime stories. Personally, I think that would have capped off the second night nicely, but 1) our kids go to bed a little earlier than this (extra) service is offered and 2) until this weekend, Isla had never really wanted anything to do with characters. Next time!

LOVE IT? If you’re ready to get a reservation on your calendar, head over to the Kozy Rest website (pittsburghjellystone.com) and see what option works best for your family.

Hopefully, you can see that camping is a great way to have family fun and make timeless memories. When you make a reservation at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest, all you have to do is make a quick road-trip knowing the rest is waiting for you. 

Connect with Kozy Rest on Facebook and YouTube to see more of the fun that’s in store!

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest: A GIVEAWAY!

Thanks for reading about our experience! As a thank you, Kozy Rest has partnered up with me to giveaway a free two-night stay (up to six people) at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest. This offer includes two free nights Sunday through Thursday through October 31, 2018, subject to availability and excluding holidays. Winner will be announced by June 20. Good luck!

Two Night (weeknight) Stay at Kozy Rest

YOGI BEAR and all related characters and elements © & ™ Hanna-Barbera. (S18)

Timolino: Contemporary Lifestyle Drinkware

Enter disclaimer text I was sent a Timolino Tazza mug in exchange for my honest opinions.

It’s a cool, rainy evening here and I’ve had my share of coffee and even tea to get me through the day. Usually as a mom of four I find my hot drinks a bit lukewarm. That’s not the case when I’m drinking from my Timolino Tazza mug as it is designed to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold! This tumbler comes from Timolino’s line of contemporary lifestyle drinkware and lived up to its reputation when I drank from it.

Timolino’s Tazza Mug

What stood out to me about the Tazza from Timolino’s line of tumblers is that they are lightweight, leakproof, and have an ergonomic design for easy carrying. When I first read that about them, I was a little skeptical…but then I accidentally filled my hands a little too full one morning and slipped my mug in my (white) tote bag and had no issues with leaked coffee. Boom!

Here’s what else Timolino shared with me about Tazza, the mug I tried out:

Tazza is available in four festive color ways: candy pink, red, wasabi, and stainless steel. Each color way is made of stainless steel, inside and out, ensuring your mug never absorbs any colors or flavors. Designed with a vacuum insulation, Tazza keeps your drink hot (or cold) for hours, allowing you to enjoy your beverage at your leisure.  Should you choose to brew on the go, a removable food-grade silicone strainer basket filters your drink, ensuring a smooth sip every time. Simply drop your tea leaves or fresh coffee grounds inside the basket and pour hot water overtop to begin steeping. Within seconds you’ll have a delicious, hot beverage waiting to be enjoyed. Once you’re finished, the cap disassembles and the strainer basket can be removed for quick and easy clean up.

I’m not a tea drinker, so I haven’t tried steeping tea in the strainer basket, but I think it would be a great place to drop some fruit in with your water, too!


To get the mug ready for my hot coffee, I followed the instructions to put hot water in the mug and let it get to a warm temperature. When the mug had warmed (about 5 minutes), dump the water and add coffee. Truth be told, I don’t have time for this (or the opposite, filling with ice water before adding a cold beverage), so I was a bit disappointed to think that I needed to follow this routine every time I wanted the perfect temperature drink. Turns out, it is worth the time but not 100% necessary. The days I just added my hot coffee straight to the mug then got in the car were still days that I was enjoying a hot coffee 30-40 minutes into my commute.

Pro Tip: These mugs would make any mom happy this mother’s day. You can get one just like mine on Amazon. Pair one up with mom’s favorite hot beverage like k-cups or tea bags…or a gift card to her favorite coffee shop.

Timolino: Contemporary Lifestyle Drinkware

Timolino offers a few other options of drinkware including:

The NEW Omni Collection – designed to do it all. From hot to cold, coffee to tea, flat water to sparkling soda, Timolino has the bottle to fit your everyday hydration need! Check out their Cruiseline Series ($19.99) for upcoming summer vacation! The entire Omni Collection includes an infuser basket which is perfect for brewing tea on the go!

The Messenger PH+ Bottle –  The circular silicone dots let you spell out names and moods! Plus, the filter creates light alkaline water with ph level of 7.5 – 8.5 to help maintain the acid-balance in your body! Create your own personality with the Messenger Bottle or spell it out for that special person in your life.

If the Timolino line of drinkware sparks your interest, check out more details here or shop now here.

What is your favorite hot or cold drink to get you through your day?

Tech Tuesday: Spring into Travel Adventures with Verizon Tech

Verizon Tech provided me with products for the purpose of testing and sharing my experience. All opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own.

If you are planning a spring (or summer) getaway, what are you packing as you plan your travel adventure? I absolutely must pack technology even when vacations are a time to get away from it all. There’s always a plan to blog more (especially now that I have a second blog), so I do usually bring my computer, but the technology I must bring along is usually geared toward making the trip a bit more hassle-free and fun, bonus points if it’s an active trip!

Spring into Travel Adventures with Verizon Tech

I’m not alone in my desire to be active on vacation – Verizon shared with me that the American Society of Travel Agents found we are moving away from “fly-and-flop” trips and looking for adventure! Verizon Tech offers a few pieces of technology that can make those active adventures a bit more fun.

Here are some of the technologies they suggest for spring travel adventures:

·       For road trips, jam out with the UE Wonderboom 2 — portable, loud and waterproof speakers for big sounds on the go.

·       Whether traveling by plane or on the road, JBL Free wireless in-ear headphones provide a great sound and added bonus: they are splash-proof.

·       Track all the walking you will do while sightseeing with the Fitbit Alta HR.

·       Charge both Apple and micro USB devices — and do it without having to carry around multiple cables with the mophie powerstation.

·       From sandy and wet beaches to rough, rocky hikes or the ski slopes, this LifeProof Fre case will protect your phone from the elements.

·       Use your Tile Sport for luggage, passport holders, wallets, purses, bags, and more.

Travel Technology and the Kiddos

I got the opportunity to test out the Tile Sport, mophie powerstation, and JBL Free headphones. My more detailed review on these technologies and how I’m personally using them can be found here, but I found ways to use each with the kids, too!

  • Add a Tile to your child’s must-have toy just in case it gets left behind- we have paid $48 (not kidding) to get a favorite lovie shipped back from a hotel. (We didn’t know it would cost that and just told the hotel “send it”.) This way, if it happens to you, you can see where the lovie is and not have to stress on your ride home.
  • For the car ride to your destination, let the kids us the mophie to keep their gadgets charged and ready to go!
  • When you need some quiet time, give the kids your phone and a good playlist then have each take one of the JBL Free headphones and jam away (note – with four kids, this only worked for the older two).

What ways do you integrate technology into your travels?

Mother’s Day Gifting Through the Years

Enter disclaimer text There is something incredibly special about the Mother’s Day gifting of hand-drawn cards and hand-picked flowers from my kids. And I am sure that my own Mom enjoyed these sentimental things, too.

Mother’s Day Gifting

As the kids get older, I know those sweet gifts will be received less and less. Mother’s Day gifting really changes through the years, even as a mom myself, I’m not great at remembering to pick up something nice for my mom and mom-in-love when their holiday comes around.

Maybe this is the year that I’ll find a gift with a lasting impact. For me, I’m not big on having “stuff” (though if you stepped into my home office you’d disagree). I like things that have meaning and sentimental value. Something that can be personalized and displayed year-round? Things that last a lifetime or make mom think back to a precious moment with family.

Are you guessing what I’m suggesting this year? I’m thinking of printed photos – something that I am super behind on and something that I know my moms would both love.

Canvas Prints for Mother’s Day Gifting

Almost everyone who brews a coffee at our house compliments Evan and Greg’s hair in the canvas print that hangs over our Keurig. You really can’t miss it, and it’s definitely a gift that I hold dear. The thing is, it’s time to update it and get a new one there with the twins included, too! Don’t prints like this just make a great statement and take you back to a special moment in life?

And while the above is what I think of when I think canvas prints, I’m also loving the styling that can be done with multiple photos displayed together – really great to capture memories from multiple years or to include the favorite old prints mixed with the updated ones:

The pictures are samples of what you can get started as part of your Mother’s Day gifting this year by heading over to Canvas Pop and checking out what you can get printed for mom. It’s time to get your photos off your phone and on display. Let’s make this holiday a little more sentimental!

Mama’s Jewelry (Mother’s Day Gift Idea)

One of my mom’s most treasured pieces of jewelry is her mother’s ring. She has two, one for me/Greg/my brother and another for her grands. Both are stunning, so when US Family Guide asked if I’d be interested in working with Mama’s Jewelry to share their collection of mothers rings, I just had to say yes.

Mama’s Jewelry

US Family Guide shared the following information with me about what makes Mama’s Jewelry so special:

Moms work hard 365 days out of the year, so why give them another predictable gift this Mother’s Day? With the exquisite collection of mothers rings from Mama’s Jewelry, you’re bound to make this the most unforgettable Mother’s Day yet! Each time she looks down at her ring, puts on her earrings or is asked about her necklace, she’ll remember just how much she’s loved.

Mama’s Jewelry has been designing rings and pendants for moms for 30 years, and we have no intention of slowing down! Our company is committed to creating exceptional mothers pendants, rings and earrings at affordable prices.

A key benefit to shopping with us is our fast turnaround times. As soon as we receive your order, our CAD technicians and certified jewelers get to work designing and building your custom item. All of our processes follow strict quality control measures. Everything that comes from us has our seal of approval. If we wouldn’t give it to our loved ones, we won’t send it to you!

Source: US Family Guide

Mama’s Jewelry: Ordering

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be picking out the design for my mother’s ring (with stones for October, December, and two Aprils). I am so excited! They typically send out your personalized item within 3-5 days then shipping takes about a week.

To place your order in time for Mother’s Day, visit mamasjewelry.com

Mother’s Day Special Offer – Save $10 Off already low prices. (minimum purchase $59) @MamasJewelry has been designing rings for moms for 30 years committed to creating exceptional mothers pendants, rings, and earrings at affordable prices.