Sunday, May 24, 2015

Catching Fireflies In May & Letting My Journey Continue


Have you seen the fireflies lately?  They are all over the place here.  The kids and I have been catching them like crazy both during the day and at night.

 
 Here is one on our jar at night!

Fireflies belong to the family Lampyridae in the insect order of Coleoptera.  I know this because Entomology was one of my absolute favorite classes in college!  Their bioluminescence is extremely cool - the kids love watching them "light up".


Speaking of lighting up, I have a new book to share with you - Max Lucado's Let The Journey Begin - Finding God's Best For Your Life.  As you begin or continue your journey of life and adventure Max gives Scripture guidance, words of wisdom, and encouragement for the road ahead.  While this would be a great gift for a graduate it really applies to anyone in a new beginnings situation - all of us at certain times.  I am actually thinking of giving a copy of this book to a friend of mine who is pregnant with their first child.  Her journey into parenthood is beginning and the adventures await.

The book is divided into five sections:
  God's Plan for the Journey of Life,
  Stop, Look and Listen - Good Habits for a Good Journey,
  A Fork in the Road - Deciding Which Way to Go,
  Dangers and Detours Ahead - Slow Down, Avoid Disaster, and
  Two Is Fine Company - A Friend for the Journey.

Each section contains short excerpts full of nuggets of wisdom.  They can each be read quickly.  This book is set up so that one can read for whatever amount of time they have whether that is 5 minutes, 10 minutes or half an hour - I love that!

 A firefly enjoying my book.

I enjoyed thinking about my prayers as precious jewels and that they inspire action in heaven - what a thought!  I often tell my children that I am their biggest cheerleader.  I want them to succeed in all that they do and I really want the best for them.  It is good to be reminded that we are never alone, God is right there beside us on this journey of life.  

You can read more about this book and/or purchase it from Family Christian here.

Disclosure: I am proud to be a Family Christian Blogger, Affiliate, and Max Lucado blogger.  I was provided with my own copy of Let The Journey Begin to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Renuzit Pearl Scents Air Freshener With Style Review & Giveaway


You are most likely familiar or have heard the name Renuzit but have you seen their new Pearl Scents?  They were designed to not only give your home a pleasing aroma but add a depth of beauty as well.  They can accent or highlight your home decor along with providing long-lasting freshness.  Renuzit Pearl Scents are available in several aromas including Blue Sky Breeze, Serenity, Sparkling Rain, Tranquil and Seductive Pineapple.  Each fragrance is associated with a different color scheme.

 
 Renuzit Pearl Scents in Blue Sky Breeze

I received Renuzit's Pearl Scents in Blue Sky Breeze to review.  This particular Renuzit Pearl Scents is bright blue in color and comes in a blue accent container.  I cannot explain the aroma per se other than it smells clean and fresh.

Unopened Renuzit Pearl Scents

Inside the jar - full of air freshening beads

Removing the seal

 Replace lid, now in use

I have been experimenting with the location of my new Renuzit Pearl Scents.  I first started with it in my bathroom because it really matches the decor in there well.  I have a light blue basket that sits above my toilet and the shower curtain is a multi-colored pattern that contains blue within it.  And for obvious reasons, a bathroom can always use a little freshening up!

 I think I like it the best here on my mantel because it really adds that pop of color.

It also looks good in my living room in several places: on my bar, fireplace, and entertainment armoire.  I have long, dark blue curtains on our back French doors so the lighter blue from my Renuzit matches well and livens up the room.

Major, major pluses for me include that you do not need electricity plugs or flames to use Renuzit Pearl Scents.  You simply open the jar and set it down, easy peasy!  And the lid is a must, especially with children around.  Renuzit also did a very nice job on the containers themselves, they really are charming and make a good accent to highlight home decor.  While I have yet to try every one I really like the color options and aromas available. 

I am introducing something new in most of my reviews from now on when applicable that I will refer to as KISS (Kathryn's Improvement Suggestion/S).  How would I improve Renuzit Pearl Scents?  I would love to have the ability to close my Renuzit Pearl Scents or the ability to have some sort of control in place.  My Renuzit Pearl Scents does a great job of releasing aroma into the desired area but after awhile I found that I could probably close it and still have the desired effect; thus, it didn't need to be "on" all the time.  When I first opened my Renuzit Pearl Scents it was a bit too strong for me but after a day or two it was great.  Maybe some sort of open close system on the lid would be a simple enough solution.  This would allow for the jar itself to remain in the desired location and continue to accent particular color schemes and rooms throughout one's home.  Even more ideal though would be a control allowing one to determine the desired strength during use.  Just a thought.

Currently, there is also a fun quiz to find out your "pearlsonality".  You can take the quiz here.  I took the quiz and got Sparkling Rain.  I am not terribly surprised because green is my favorite color and the jar accent for Sparkling Rain is green.


Ready for a giveaway?  Three readers will win a free product coupon for one free Renuzit Pearl Scents (expiration 9/30/15).  Just enter the giveaway below and good luck!

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Disclosure:  Thanks so much to the Purex Insiders program and Renuzit for allowing me to be a part of this campaign and providing me with a sample of the New Renuzit Pearl Scents Blue Sky Breeze for my review!  As part of this campaign I am eligible to win prizes!  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Satisfy Your Palate at SeaWorld San Anotonio's Seven Seas Food Festival


Do you know what I got to do this weekend to celebrate Mother's Day?  On Saturday we went to SeaWorld San Antonio's Seven Seas Food Festival and it was a blast.


I met SeaWorld's Chef Scott personally and I can tell you that under his watch recipes get an extra special ingredient - passion.  He has a passion for cooking and he cares about his creations and authenticity!  This can be seen and tasted in the many choices available throughout the Seven Seas Food Festival.  The variety and creations available will tantalize your palate and keep you circling the festival for more.

 

This festival features area-inspired cuisine from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, North Pacific, Pacific and South Atlantic.  It was awesome to try such a variety of dishes from such various locations.

David and I went to the Caribbean first.  You can see C checking out the menu.

Here I am with my Food, Wine and Brew Sampler Card ready to go!

There are several different VIP Samplers available for purchase.  You can buy a Food Sampler which allows you to choose any 6 samples of food throughout the festival for $26.99.  You can buy a Wine and Brew Sampler which allows you to choose any 6 samples of beer or wine throughout the festival for $19.99.  Or you can buy the Food, Wine and Brew Sampler and choose from any 3 samples of food and any 3 samples of beer or wine throughout the festival for $24.99.

I chose to get the Jerk Chicken with Rice and Gungo Peas and a Red Stripes Lager.

Red Stripes Lager

David enjoyed the Red Stripes Lager.

Our whole family enjoyed the Jerk Chicken, the flavor was just right.  Even F was asking for more.

Next, we followed the event map and headed to the South Atlantic area.

The South Atlantic area was very festively decorated with bright colors and had an area for live music.

I really loved the trees.

There were some amazing fruit and vegetable sculptors.

We loved seeing all the creations.

 A close up view

David chose the feijoada (Pork stewed with black beans in a sausage, beef and chorizo blend served with a side of collard greens).

At this point, we could tell that each area really had its own flare.  And F was sold as a food sampler, he loved the beans and sausage.  He even ate some collard greens.

 Meeting SeaWorld's Chef Scott and Chef Virginia Willis

I was so excited that I was able to attend the Cooking with Coke demonstration in the North Pacific area with Chef Virginia Willis.  It really was a treat.  Chef Virginia Willis was extremely warm and friendly, not to mention talented.  She walked us through how to make Honest Green Tea Marinated Grilled Shrimp and Simply Orange Rice Pilaf using products from the Coca-Cola family and then we were able to sample her delicious creations at the end.

The set up was amazing and made it very easy to follow along with Chef Virginia Willis.

Ingredients ready to go for the demo.

 Chef Virginia Willis in the middle of her demonstration.

 My sample - delicious!

After the demo, we headed to the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico menu

David sampled the street tacos and I ordered the tostones with garlic oil.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the street tacos before they were consumed but they were delicious as were the tostones.

 Tostones with Garlic Oil

We rounded out our tour at the Mediterranean area.

Mediterranean Menu

David sampled the Seared Quail with Kouros Nemea.

 Seared Quail

I sampled the Shawarma with Kouros Patras.

Shawarma with Skhug Sauce

 I cannot think of a better way to end the day!

I have to say that this festival was both fun and delicious.  If you are headed to SeaWorld San Antonio in the month of May you will definitely want to check it out or maybe the festival itself will take you to the park.  This culinary voyage takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 8th-31st (plus Monday, May 25).  The festival opens at 11:00 a.m. and closes with the park on all event days.

Disclosure:  I am a SeaWorld Texas Wildside blogger.  I received complimentary passes for myself and family and have the opportunity to receive other perks throughout the year.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Beech-Nut Organic Real Food For Babies Review & Giveaway

Disclosure:  I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Beech-Nut.  I received a free coupon to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.  All opinions expressed are my own.
 






Have you seen the new Beech-Nut line of organic baby food?  It is sold at Babies "R" Us, Kroger, Wegmans, Price Chopper, Wakefern, Walmart.com, Winn-Dixie, BI-LO, Stop and Shop, Giant Carlisle, A and P, Pathmark, Albertsons, Hannaford, Raley's, Meijer, Nugget Market, Diapers.com, Harris Teeter, Shaw's, ACME, Shoppers Food and Cub Foods.

I went to my local Babies "R" Us to pick up some of Beech-Nut's new organic line.

They had a very nice display set up.

I love the idea of making homemade baby food but to be honest I just haven't had the time or energy to add it into my routine.  The new Beech-Nut organic line is as close to homemade as possible.  Beech-Nut maintains the purity and nutrition of real fruits and vegetables through a gentle cooking process (which doesn't add water or cook nutrients away).  Beech-Nut doesn't want your baby to have baby food but real food!  Only real whole fruits and vegetables and sometimes ancient grains and beans are inside their transparent honeypot glass jars.  What you see is what you get - I love that!


I love the unique and adventurous healthy food combinations available which includes: carrots and sweet potatoes, apples, raspberry, avocados, butternut squash, black bean and cumin, peas and spinach.  I picked up three varieties when I went to the store: banana/cinnamon/granola, apple/raspberry/avocado, and pear/kale/cucumber.  Don't those just sound so good?  If you remember I started making kale, cucumber, apple smoothies last December (see post here).  Beech-Nut did a really great job with their flavors and food combinations in their organic line.

F was pretty excited about his new food.

Beech-Nut Organic Banana, Cinnamon and Granola

First, F ate his Beech-Nut Organic Banana, Cinnamon and Granola.  This particular flavor is nice and thick and has a nice smell.  It is a light brown color, exactly what you would expect with the ingredients.  How did F like it?  I would say he loved it!   

F picked banana, cinnamon and granola to eat first.

Yum!

 Going, going, gone!

 F making sure it is all gone.

We still have two jars.

Yes, that face says pure delight!  What's not to like?  I should also tell you that each jar features the USDA-certified organic seal, which indicates this line is a GMO-free food.  This year, Beech-Nut was awarded Product of the Year in the baby category for its 100% naturals and organic lines, sweet.

 Beech-Nut Organic Apple, Raspberry and Avocado

Next up for F to try, Beech-Nut Organic apple, raspberry and avocado.  Again, this jar had a nice, thick texture and a was a beautiful raspberry shade.  F gobbled it up.  In fact, he decided that I was going a bit slow and he decided to feed himself.

 He really liked it.

 I couldn't believe how fast he was spooning it in.

 I really should have put a bib on him.

Another winner

Beech-Nut Organic Pear, Kale and Cucumber

And last to try, Beech-Nut Organic pear, kale and cucumber.  Can you see how thick these foods are?  They all have such a nice texture.  I don't know about your kids but it has always been difficult to get my babies to eat "green" foods.  What I mean by green foods are anything that looks green.  But just like the other two jars F gobbled it up.  He continued his independent streak of feeding himself.  You know what, I am okay with that.  My son is eating greens, what a score!

 Here I am holding him as he shovels in his pear, kale and cucumber as fast as he can.


Delicious

 Another one bites the dust.

To find a location nearest you that sells Beech-Nut organic, check out the locator here.  Remember you can connect with Beech-Nut on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and even their website for more information!


Ready for a giveaway?  One of you will win your own Beech-Nut organic line free product coupon!  Just enter below and good luck!  "Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstakes, per household as part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central and must reside in the United States."

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