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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Avocado Dip Recipe for Sweet Potato Fries #OreIdaFries


Ore-Ida has just come out with some new sweet potato fries. I created a yummy avocado dip recipe to serve with our Ore-Ida sweet potato fries.


Ingredients:
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 juice of a lime


Directions:
  1. Chop up the green onion
  2. Add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor
  3. Mix until well blended
  4. Chill and serve with Ore-Ida Sweet Potato fries


You can watch an instructional video here:






This project has been compensated as part of a #oreidafries shopping mission for Heinz with #collectivebias. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Enter to win a Bugaboo Bee Stroller


Bugaboo is inviting parents to share their favorite parks,shops, museums, restaurants and places they frequent with their family. The person who has the most Bugaboo approved uploads will win a Bugaboo Bee.

Modern parents live life on the fly and like the Bugaboo Bee, the compact stroller enables your family to go
anywhere, the contest aims to build a unique and robust database of international hot spots that cater to modern parents on the move.

Whatser is a mobile application that allows users to collect their favorite spots, share them with their friends and make any city their own. Bugaboo inspires parents to populate family friendly locations for you by you.

The three-month contest begins on June 26th, 2011.

Winner’s will be chosen once a month.

Get buzzing!

How does it work?
Go to Whatser.com or download the Whatser app, join Whatser, follow Bugaboo, add your personal favorites to your collection and share them with Bugaboo from within the app (by e-mail, to spots@bugaboo.com).

Once more, you can win a Bugaboo Bee by sharing your recommendations. Each month one stroller will be handed out to whoever has succeeded in adding the highest number of spots to the Bugaboo Whatser collection!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Los Angeles: What's Your Breakfast In Bed Personality?

Having lived in Southern California my entire life, one of my favorite things to do it visit Beverly Hills. It is such a beautiful city that is rich in culture. When I heard that you can win a romantic stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel, I could not wait to share the news with you.

Having three little kids, one with a severe illness it is hard to find time to get away. My husband and I are in major need of a short getaway. The Beverly Hills Hotel offers all of that. A close getaway with pure relaxation and romance.

I can't remember the last time my husband I had breakfast in bed. It is only something that I can dream about. If we were to have breakfast in bed we would order coffee, omelette's, steel cut oatmeal and fruit. Hopefully soon we will plan a short getaway and I hope that you do too! If you plan a local getaway with your husband make sure and plan it at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

This summer, The Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau presents a series of monthly giveaways based on all the reasons to love Beverly Hills, from gourmet meals and quality shopping, to rich cultural happenings. Running from June to September, each month the BHCVB website will feature a new personality quiz and giveaway each centered around a popular Beverly Hills itinerary – whether it’s a personal tour of the city, an exclusive makeover, or a romantic evening for two! To enter, simply take a short quiz and share the results with your following on Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win the ultimate dream package in Beverly Hills, like a 2 or 3 nights stay at a luxury hotel, or a shopping spree, all right near the heart of the renowned Golden Triangle.



The first giveaway, lined up for the month of June, revolves around the ultimate form of indulgence – Breakfast in Bed! Check out the Beverly Hills Facebook page to get started on a quiz that determines your “Breakfast in Bed personality.” Perhaps you rise early and greet the day with a citrus smoothie and a fresh organic vegetable plate, or maybe you like to linger in bed until room service delivers a hearty breakfast of dungeness crab benedict and Turkish coffee. Regardless of your preference, once you complete the quiz and share with friends, you’ll be entered to win a 2 or 3 nights stay at a luxury Beverly Hills hotel, plus Breakfast in Bed.



JUNE’S PRIZE
Four (4) winners will be chosen throughout the month of June to receive (a.) hotel accommodations for two (2) nights for two (2) individuals and (b.) breakfast, both at one of the below Beverly Hills hotels. Be sure to check out the brunch menu!



GET STARTED
To enter, visit the Beverly Hills Facebook page. The quiz can easily be accessed from there. Once the quiz is complete, be sure to post your results on Facebook or Twitter – posting is required in order to enter.


OTHER GIVEAWAYS
Check back often, because http://www.lovebeverlyhills.com/ will feature several other giveaways throughout the summer, each with exclusive prizes!

They are back...

Disney: Cars 2 Character Interviews





World Grand Prix Q&A: Francesco Bernoulli
By Mel Dorado
Reporting from Tokyo, Japan

Francesco Bernoulli grew up in the shadow of the famous Monza race course in Italy where he and his friends would sneak onto the track and race the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn. He was an instant winner on the amateur circuit and soon became an international Formula Racer champion. The ladies love Francesco’s open wheels, youngsters look up to his winning spirit and fellow racers envy his speed. But Francesco’s biggest fan is Francesco himself, as evidenced by his racing number. As the most famous race car in Europe, #1 Francesco is a favorite to win the World Grand Prix.

So Francesco Bernoulli, here we are on the eve of the World Grand Prix. What do you think of this new race and its three courses?

Francesco Bernoulli: There is so much beautiful scenery to drive through – it gives Francesco something to enjoy after he’s pulled so far ahead of his competitors.

Are you looking forward to the second race in your hometown of Porto Corsa, Italy?

Francesco: Si, si. Francesco grew up racing on that track - he could win it blindfolded. But that would not be fair to the women who love to see Francesco’s beautiful eyes.

Some are saying you might be the “Greatest Race Car in the World.” What do you say to that?

Francesco: Francesco puts his wheels on one at a time, just like everyone else. Of course, everyone else cannot do the stupendous things with their tires like Francesco can.

What makes Francesco Bernoulli so fast?

Francesco: What makes Lightning McQueen so slow? Some questions can never truly be answered.

Growing up near the famous Monza race course, did you always want to be a world champion race car?

Francesco: From the moment Francesco first raced the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn he knew: he would be handsome, irresistible and the fastest race car in the world.

You’re quite a popular race star. How do you deal with the fame?

Francesco: One “auto”-graph at a time.

The field of racers is quite impressive. What do you think of your competitors and your chances of winning?

Francesco: These cars are all champions, Mel – most are undefeated in their racing leagues. In that way they are inexperienced, like babies. And so Francesco will make them cry, like babies.

But one of your chief competitors, Lightning McQueen, has an advantage on those tricky dirt sections.

Francesco: What was that, Mel? Lightning McQueen likes to play dirty? Francesco would like to see him try!

Finally, how fast is Francesco Bernoulli?


Francesco: When Francesco was very young he broke the speed limit. They still cannot repair it.


Mel Dorado got his start in broadcasting in the late 1970s as an assistant at WCNC, World Car News Chicago. With 14 Golden Fender awards and “The Mel Dorado Show” now in syndication, the Caddy with the golden touch is showing no signs of breaking down.




World Grand Prix Q&A: Lightning McQueen and Mater
By Mel Dorado
Reporting from Tokyo, Japan


Number 95 Lightning McQueen is still a hotshot racecar, but his rookie days are past him. Now a permanent resident of Radiator Springs, Lightning has become a bona fide worldwide celebrity as winner of four Piston Cups.

After his latest win, Lightning’s off-season is unexpectedly cut short when his best friend Mater, a rusty tow truck, inadvertently prompts Lightning to enter the World Grand Prix by calling into my show, “The Mel Dorado Show.” Lightning invites Mater to come along to the races as a member of his pit crew, and Mater leaves Carburetor County for the first time.

So Lightning McQueen, how do you feel about your friend Mater here getting you involved in the World Grand Prix?

Lightning McQueen: I couldn’t be more excited. I mean, come on: I get to race against the greatest champions in the world with my best buddy at my side.

(Lightning looks around puzzled.) Was right here at my side. Mater?

(Mater arrives, licking his lips.)

Mater: Mmm-mmm. Free food just tastes better, I’ll tell you what.

Mater, I understand you’re part of the Team Lightning McQueen pit crew for these races?

Mater: Yeah, Guido and Luigi are doing his tires, Fillmore’s on the fuel, Sarge is keeping an eye on some other stuff. And I… shoot, what is my job anyway?

Lightning: Uh, well ---

Mater: It’s so important he can’t say it publicly.

Lightning, there are some worthy competitors, like Francesco Bernoulli and Lewis Hamilton. How do you feel about your chances?

Lightning: I leave the handicapping up to you guys, Mel. I just go out there, race hard, leave everyone in the dust. Hopefully.

But these tracks are really different than the Piston Cup ovals.

Lightning: I see where you’re going with this, Mel. Listen, if I can “turn right to go left” I can definitely turn right to go right. Right?

Mater, this is your first time overseas. What have you seen and experienced since your arrival in Tokyo?

Mater: I thought Radiator Springs had a lot of neon but dadgum this place has us beat, I’ll tell you what! Plus everyone here treats me like a king – bowing and stuff when I enter a room. And sumo wrestling? Where’s that been hiding my whole life? I saw a Kabuki show, which I didn’t fall asleep in, and then tonight I ate some bad pistachio ice cream, met a Pacer and a Gremlin in the craziest bathroom you ever seen and then got asked on a date by the most beautiful car in the whole world! Just an average Tuesday for Mater.


World Grand Prix Q&A: Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell
By Mel Dorado
Reporting from Tokyo, Japan


In addition to dignitaries, celebrities and the World Grand Prix competitors, I also spoke to some of the many other guests in attendance at the Tokyo gala on the eve of the first race.

Among the party guests were British natives and race fans Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. While both claimed to be in Tokyo for the race, their evasive responses and furtive glances around the room lead me to believe they may have had interests on other clandestine levels. Miss Shiftwell was beautiful, young and engaging, though seemed to be following the lead of her colleague, McMissile – suave, eloquent and clearly a seasoned professional in his business, whatever that may be….

Welcome to the World Grand Prix. What brings you to the party this evening?

Holley Shiftwell: (Surprised) Oh! Well, uh… The race, of course. We love racing. I’ve been a fan for years. And, uh ---

Finn McMissile: We’re straight from London on urgent business. I’m in the import/export business.

What kind of things do you import?

Finn: Nothing of import.

Do you have a favorite race car to win the World Grand Prix?

Holley: I like Lewis Hamilton. He’s very good looking. And sweet, too. But of course, I’m biased, being British. The Japanese racer, Shu Todor… Todoroku. Or is it Todoroki? He seems formidable. I wouldn’t count him ---

Finn: Actually, as it turns out, we have a colleague on Lightning McQueen’s team.

Holley: (Turning to Finn) We do? Oh, you mean the lorry.

Finn: (To me) Yes, the lorry. Or a “tow truck” as you American’s say.

Holley: (To me) Well, this lorry is definitely American. But he seemed sweet.

(Finn eyes Holley.)

Holley: What? He did.

Finn: Either way, we’ll be watching Lightning McQueen’s pit tomorrow. But we’ll be keeping our eyes on all the racers. Just in case.

“In case” of what?

Finn: Exactly.

I don’t under ---

Finn: You hope for the best and plan for the worst. But Miss Shiftwell and I are ready for anything that comes speeding toward us.

Is this your first time in Tokyo? Will you be traveling to Porto Corsa and London for the other two races?

Finn: Wherever my job leads me, I follow, even if it involves danger or certain death.

We’re still talking about the import/export business, right?

Finn: (Laughs knowingly, then turning to Holley, referencing me) I like this one. He gets it.

Holley: I’ll be going home, Mel. My mission --- I mean, my job here, is done after tonight.

Finn: We’ll see about that.

Holley: Really?

Finn: Something tells me you may be of more use to us than you think.

Well, there are a lot of interesting cars here. I think I even saw a Pacer and Gremlin!

Holley: Yes, we’ve been observing them as well.

Finn: I’d keep my distance if I were you. Those cars drive angry.

Summer Pool Playdate #playdateplace



This past weekend we invited 30 of our closest friends to a Kmart Playdate Place playdate. We used a bunch of toys we got at Kmart for the party. We had bubbles, super soakers and jump ropes. The kids had such a great time and the parents all got a chance to see the new Kmart Playdate Place website while at the party.



For snack we made homemade blackberry Popsicles for the children. Andrew helped pick the blackberries right from our garden. We then mixed them with Pom Blackberry juice to make yummy healthy Popsicles.



There were a ton of kids in the pool so I was the official life guard. They all laughed and giggled while playing together.



Steve with the super soaker


Even I took a little break in the pool





It was such a fun way to kick-off the summer. It was a chance for the kids to see their friends one last time before summer. When we got home all the neighbor kids continued the fun with a giant water balloon fight.


If you want to plan a fun summer playdate you can get a lot of ideas from the Kmart Playdate Place website. You can also register for their newsletter to get specials and win cool prizes.

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #collectivebias. All my photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Getting Ready for Blogher Session #2 Goals #print4blogher

Last Friday I was honored to get to host the session on Goals and Strategy. During the session everyone had a chance to talk and interact about their goals for the upcoming Blogher conference. You can easily spend over $1,000 with the tickets, travel expenses and hotel accommodations. If you are planning on not only investing a large amount of money, but also time away from your family it is important to set yourself goals.

Personally I want more out of Blogher than just a large party. I want to meet all the bloggers that I have connected with over the past three years online. I also want to meet with specific brands. Most importantly I want to enjoy myself and not stress. With the amount of people at Blogher it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you plan a schedule and goals, the event will be enjoyable and successful.

Before leaving for Blogher you are going to want to establish what you want to get out of the conference. Do you want to meet new friends, connect with brands, learn or just party. Here are some ideas you can use when setting your goals:
  • Do you want to learn more about blogging? More about SEO? Marketing your blog? Monetizing your blog? I recommend that you look at the schedule before the event and select the speakers you want to hear before leaving.
  • Do you want to meet other bloggers? Do you want to find new bloggers to follow? Meet similar bloggers and form a tribe?
  • Do you want to meet brands? Look at who would be a good fit for your blog. Decide what you want to learn from them.
  • Do you want to be strategic about your blog? Set business goals?
  • Do you want to learn how to better manage your time?
  • Explore other content or a new niche for your blog?
You will want to keep your goals clear and attainable. Prioritize your goals. Think big!

Then you will want to make your goals a reality. Post them by your desk everyday and remind yourself of them. Set a timeline for yourself on how long it will take to accomplish your goals and make sure you stay on track.

Goals are important in blogging, but also in life. Goal setting will help you to become a successful person!

Next Friday we will be learning about Doing the Research. The event will happen on June 29th at 3pm CST. You can sign-up and learn more at http://www.lovinglogistics.com/

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #collectivebias. All my thoughts are of my own.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shelby's Weekly Round-up

It's been another great week, and the last week of school for us. Here is my weekly round-up of articles published at other online publications:

OC Moms with The Orange County Register

Childhood Allergies are on the rise

Summer Camp can be safe for children with food allergies

OC Menus Magazine

Farrell's offers allergy friendly menu options

OC Family Magazine

Farrell's Summer Ice Cream Challenge

Become a Playdate Place Perks Member #playdateplace

Playdate Perks is all about rewarding you for being a Playdate Place member! It's where you'll find special deals and discounts on great toys and where you can enter to win awesome prizes. You can win one of their fun weekly prizes or a monthly grand prize collection of playdate toys! All you have to do is signup for playdate place, and you're automatically entered for a chance to win!

When you sign-up for Playdate Perks you can also get access to some great deals and discounts on toys!  



I was compensated for this post as part of social shopper insights study with #collectivebias. All my thoughts and opinions are of my own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Colgate Building Smiles Tour #buildingsmiles

Colgate is traveling the country helping to educate parents and children on the importance of good oral care. This week I went to visit the Colgate bus with my four year old son Tyler.


In an effort to help combat rising cavity rates and build healthy smiles, Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Futures is working with Walmart to create "Building Smiles Together" — a new initiative dedicated to providing free dental screenings and oral health education to children in need.

Traveling around the country throughout the year, a fleet of Colgate's Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental vans will be on-site at participating Walmart stores. Staffed by volunteer dental professionals, children (ages 1- 12) will receive free screenings, treatment referrals and key learning tools to help them build a lifetime of healthy habits.

By combining the free screenings and education with Walmart's everyday low prices and broad assortment of oral care products, this initiative will provide families the much-needed access to the education and everyday oral care necessities they need to live better, healthier lives.

When we first came of the bus we were greeted by friendly Colgate staff. They welcomed us on the bus with a smile and a warm welcome. First we sat and watched a video about the importance of good dental hygenie.

Tyler and I were able to get a great education about oral hygiene. One of the neatest things they gave us was a brushing chart that we can use at home to record our teeth brushing for Tyler. It has already gotten Tyler so excited about brushing his teeth. When we got home we visited the Colgate Building Smiles website and printed out some games to play at home.


The Colgate Building Bright Smiles tour bus is going to be making many more stops across the country. You can view their tour schedule here so that you can find a location that is close to you.






We are happy to be able to give one of our readers a Colgate Bright Smiles Tour goodie bag.


To Enter to win:
Giveaway will be open until July 20, 2011 at 11:59pst. Giveaway is open to the US and Canada. Winner will be chosen via random.org and has three days to respond before another winner is chosen.

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #collectivebias. My photos, thoughts and opinions are of my own and not provided by Colgate.

Spark your Child's Imagination at The Kmart Playdate Place #playdateplace

When I was a kid Kmart was the place where my parents always shopped. There was a Kmart on every corner and they always had everything we needed in a one stop shop. You could find everything including fishing gear, hardware tools, kitchen supplies, food and toys. Slowly the Kmarts in our area have closed leaving the consumers missing the store they grew-up shopping in. This past week the kids and I looked online at the Kmart website to see what is new. We were excited to see that Kmart has developed a new website just to encourage play. It is called Playdate Place.

Kmart still knows what the consumer wants: more than a place to shop. They not only have a place to shop for toys but also a place where you can get advice from expert writers, perks and even a birthday club.

I allowed the kids to shop online and pick-out some new toys for the summer. It can be challenging to keep three little kids busy all summer and some new toys can help encourage play. I gave my kids a budget and selected some toys for them to shop for. They spent hours shopping the website, budgeting their money and working cooperatively together. I was so happy to see my children working together. After they selected the toys they were going to purchase they asked if I could take them to a Kmart. Since the Kmart by our house closed before they were born I searched online for our closest Kmart. The nearest Kmart was almost an hour drive, but I could not talk the kids into shopping online. They wanted to see what Kmart was all about.

It was the last day of school and we made an adventure out of it. They came with their list and their money prepared to shop. When we first entered the store I immediately had childhood flashbacks. The store was exactly how I remembered it, although modernized with TV shopping carts.

The store was just as good as the website. They had every toy on their list - plus more! The rows were neat and organized with an employee always around to help us find the items we were looking for. Before we knew it our cart was beyond full and we could not add any more toys.

The kids had a lot of fun in the store, just like I remember from being a child.


When it was time to check-out we had great service again. We were offered warranty plans and also invited to sign-up for the Kmart perks program. Then when we were done a great employee named Angel saw that I had two carts full of stuff and helped me to the car. He even loaded the items into my trunk!!


When we were done we had saved $63.35 just by shopping at Kmart. 


The kids were so excited and said it was their best last day of school ever! We made the decision to host a playdate and show their friends the new website while playing with our new toys. The kids are having fun trying to decide if they should have a pool party or movie night playdate.



Play with a purpose and encourage your child's emerging skills and abilities. Through your child's play you can explore their emerging abilities and stay on track of their natural development.

You can shop the new Kmart Playdate Place online and also learn more from them on facebook!

I was compensated for this post as part of a social shopper insights study with #collectivbias. All my thoughts, photos and opinions are of my own.
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