United States of Motherhood: May 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Samsung's Showcase French Door Refrigerator: Better Family Living @BestBuy @Samsungtweets #masteryourhome #ad

Isn't she a beauty?

My friends?  Let's be cool and talk reefers.  Yep, the pretty awesome kind.  The kind that foodies like me drool over.  Yes, the fancy ones like this gorgeous Samsung Showcase French Door Refrigerator we droool over at Best Buy.

I literally spit out my coffee when I saw the email that Best Buy has chosen me to review their fridge.  Seriously me?  You picked me!  Then it came.  So purty on the outside, but a little different than I was used to on the inside. 

For the record?  I love my job!

Hmmm...

I won't lie as shiny and perfect on the outside was, the adjustment took a little longer on the inside.  I was used to a side-by-side which compartmentalized EVERYTHING whereas this fridge had vast swaths of space.



Soooo much space...

This OCD girl -- with a fridge routine and everything with a designated place-- had to really rethink everything.  So much space.

What my veggies don't go in the bottom of the fridge?

Beverages go inside the door and not on the top shelf?




It took some getting used to, but when I got it right?  OH my!

My friends, everything healthy is front and center.


Massive amounts of fruit, veggies and meats?  Here we come!

The exterior showcase stored our beverages, milk for the kids, butter, open pet foods, and even snacks while the inner case took the bulk of my meals building blocks.

And I am not joking about bulk.  We are a family of three teens and competitive swimmers!

Veggies, fruits, and proteins right there at eye level with any bottles and processed stuff pushed off to doors and sides.


French Door Filled With Beverages & More
And there were less compartmentalized spaces for bottles, but guess what that meant to me? 


A clear directive for my family to live and eat even cleaner. 

Need a sauce?  How easy is it to make it yourself rather than have a Costco quart of it? Better yet, toss it with fresh lemon or avocado oil with a sprinkle of sea salt.  Really taste your ingredient!

Each day?


I fell more and more in love.  It puts fresh up front!


The lighting?  Oh that lighting!!  It made green veggies, purple grapes, bright carrot, and red peppers gleam like jewels.  The large bottom shelf could fit three watermelons or two turkeys if I wanted.

No more cramming and hoping the door would close.


Some of the features I love
Come to Mama!
  • Dual Door Refrigerator:  An innovative two-door design gives my family easy access to on-the-go-items with a metal cooling-stainless steel paneling.  The paneling helps maintain consistent temperatures so you know your milk and easily spoiled items are safe! Even cooler? The show case door with door-in-door storage displays and allows easy reach to regularly used items.
  • Door Alarm: Alerts you when the refrigerator door is accidentally left open to save energy. Yes every mom needs one of these!!  Especially for kids that just stand there and stare....and stare...and stare!  Arrgh!  Teens, this alarm will finally catch you!!
  • Thru-the door ice and water dispenser: It offers super filtered water and clear, crisp ice with a child lock that helps prevent unsupervised use.
  • Digital Controls:  Love these!! Gorgeous touch-screen controls! Behind that purty control panel is a twin cooling system which allows simple temperature management.  Power freeze and power cool options are especially cool after spending some time loading the fridge after a big grocery trip. Blast those veggies and frozen fruit for smoothies!
  • High-efficiency LED lighting:  This!!  I cannot tell what a big difference this makes.  No more yellow, duly light corners of the fridge where celery goes to die.  Nope!  Bright, modern glow everywhere.  So much easier to locate food items.

Things I would improve




Keeping it real, there are a couple minor things I would improve for future models.  My kids were used to water and ice come the same hole in the fridge. This dispernser has water angled to hit back of the glass and ice to drop a couple inches back.  End result?  Quite a few spills with a smaller than before drip tray which means this mama has had to wipe up drips while she waits for those teens to figure out the new system.  Still?  The filter water is waaaay better than our old fridge and we love our ice. We just need to train the kids to take their time.



Also some of the shelves on the left door and in the freezer are pretty narrow and oddly angled compared to traditional square shelf, so finding items that fit will be a challenge.  We have put a couple smaller bottles of salad dressing there. Others with larger bottles might find that space wasted.

Guess what that means to me?  Less processed! Ha! Still these are minor futzes that would make a great fridge even better!



Did I forget the freezer? Silly me!  With a top drawer that slides, it's perfect for bags of frozen fruits for smoothie and veggies.  Below is plenty of room to put anything from a1/4 of a cow to pizza boxes.  Ha!  Ours was filled with proteins, our chilling ice cream machine bowl, and so much more.


As for that less processed trend?  These meals below are just from the last two weeks! Notice something? 

The fresh produce and protein are the stars!


My grazing plate one day: Breakfast, Lunch & Snack All in One

Cider and Carrots?  The perfect snack!

A little avocado with my sausage?

My hubs marinated asparagus?  All mine!

Salad days are over?  I hope not!

So much fuel for Bento boxes!!

Pepper, and onions, and eggs oh my!

Eat your greens!

Bacon, with greens wilted in bacon drippings on a bed of mashed cauliflower "potatoes?" Yes, please!

Can you ever go wrong with brightly colored fruits and veggies in kids' lunches?

Icy Watermelon




Overall?  Three weeks later?  We are still loving our fridge.  I've found we truly are eating healthier and I've started to lose weight again.  Woot!!  More importantly, I feel better as a mom getting back to clean eating with my family with the Samsung French Door Showcase Refrigerator as a fantastic help!

Definitely better living with Best Buy With Cleaner Eating with Samsung!


Yes, even the dogs I watch are eating better!

So what do you look for in a new refrigerator?


 The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for freeAs always, all opinions are what I honestly feel and 100% my own.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Macy's American Icons: Support Veterans & Party On #Seattle #Portland #SanFrancisco #AmericanSelfie #supportourveterans


“I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.“




Woot.  I'm super excited to be covering the Macy's American Icons this week-end in Seattle at Alderwood Mall at 2pm..

What's that?  You haven't heard of these events.  Well hello!  You are invited to join them for all the in-store excitement! As part of their salute to all the things that make us proud to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, Macy's is hosting multiple American Icons parties across America!




Did you know that Macy’s partners with veterans who served with GotYour 6? You know me.  Proud veteran and married to a veteran.  Daughter, niece, and sister-in-law of a veteran and aunt of a nephew actively serving. Serving runs deep in our family.  So for me, this is a no brainer! Macy’s is proud to partner with those who have served our country alongside Got Your 6 and so am I.


 Supporting veterans with family fun here we come!

Even better?  On Saturday during the party?  Give $3 to support  American veterans with Got Your Six and Macy's will thank you with 25% off all day.  100% of your donation will go to Got Your Six.


Each year, approximately 250,000 brave men and women return from service. Got Your 6 works to make sure they have the support and tools they need to become leaders at home in their communities.

And right down my and my teens' alley?  The party will include fun patriotic photo opportunities for us to take an #AmericanSelfie to also support our veterans.


Make sure to take an #AmericanSelfie in one of Macy’s patriotic photo opps in store!

Show Macy's your #AmericanSelfie and they'll give $1 for each one, up to $250K, to support America's veterans with Got Your 6. Plus, you could be a part of a spectacular moment in Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show on NBC! Click for details...



As for the party?  Read the deets below:


SEATTLE
At Macy's Alderwood here in Seattle, Macy's American Icon Event will be based on discovering everything you need to put together a timeless, All-American ensemble at our fashion party hosted by style blogger Courtney Kerr. We get to join Courtney as she presents her fashion picks for Spring inspired by all things Americana!Afterwards, shop your favorites while jamming to Macy's live DJ,snack on yummy sips and sweets, and enjoy much morethroughout the store. Plus, you'll get to meet Courtney and have your photo taken with her! Before you go? Be sure to add a personal touch to any of your purchases at the DIY station.

PORTLAND
For those in Portlandia, you've got your own awesome event. Head on down to Washington Square on Saturday at 2 PM to also discover everything you need to put together a timeless all-American ensemble at Macy's fashion party hosted by Grasie Mercedes of StyleMeGrasie. Join Grasie for a special fashion show celebrating iconic style from some of our favorite American designers. Afterwards, meet Grasie, shop the latest collections for spring, jam to our live DJ, and enjoy complimentary sips and sweets.  Space is limited, reserve your spot today at AmericanIconsWashingtonSquare.eventbrite.com.

SAN FRANCISCO
And for my hometown?  Yeah I am talking to you San Francisco!  All you Bay Area patriots get a double feature at Union Square at 2PM this Saturday!  First Discover everything you need to put together a timeless all-American ensemble at our fashion party hosted by Pitch Perfect 2 costume designer Salvador Perez. Join Salvador for a fabulous fashion show celebrating iconic style from some of our favorite American designers. Afterwards, shop the latest collections for Spring while grooving to our live DJ. Enjoy complimentary sips and sweets, and before you go, be sure to pop into our patriotic photo booth to take your #AmericanSelfie!

Also at 2PM at Union Square? Lucky you!! Celebrate the diverse cuisine that helps make this country
great when Chef Azalina Eusope, the owner of Azalina's makes one of her Malaysian dishes in honor of American icons. Sample the tasty results for yourself and take the recipe home to make for family and friends! Chef Azalina Eusope is a 5th generation street food vendor whose culinary career was born from a hobby entertaining family and friends. Her talent became known through word-of-
mouth, which led to her own business in 2010. She was named one of Bon Apetit magazine's "10 Top Upcoming Chefs" for 2010, as well as a Women's Initiative for Self Improvements "Enterprising Woman on the Rise" in 2012. Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, serving up good health! For more information living a healthy lifestyle, visit kp.org.




Not in Seattle. Portland or San Francisco?  

No worries!  There is plenty of patriotism to go around this week-end.  Check out all Macy's American Icon Parties in a ton of U.S. cities this week-end and don't forget to  take an #AmericanSelfie in one of Macy’s patriotic photo opps in store!



Remember every event is different! Check out macys.com/americanicons for more details.


5/15   Miami, FL (Aventura Mall)
5/16   San Francisco (Union Square)
5/16   Seattle, WA (Alderwood)
5/16   Costa Mesa, CA (South Coast Plaza)
5/16   Pittsburgh, PA (South Hills Village)
5/16   Tampa, FL (Westshore Plaza)
5/16   Miami, FL (Dadeland)
5/16   Miami, FL (Aventura Mall)
5/16   Burlington, MA (South Shore Plaza)
5/16   Bay Shore, LI  (South Shore Mall)
5/16   Albany, NY (Cross Gates)
5/16   Whitehall, PA (Lehigh Valley)
5/16   Minneapolis, MN (Ridgedale)
5/16   Indianapolis, IN (Castleton Square)
5/16   Columbus, OH (Easton Town Center)
5/16   Dallas, TX (North Park)
5/16   Littleton, CO (Park Meadows)
5/16   Memphis, TN (Wolfchase Galleria)
5/16   Fayetteville, NC (Cross Creek)
5/16   Atlanta, GA (Peachtree Mall)

Want to post your #AmericanSelfie on twitter, instagram and facebook?  Feel free to tag  Macy's at  @Macys !  Share your patriotism with the world and support veterans!




Find more information at  http://macys.com/iconevents

So support American veterans, show the world your #AmericanSelfie, and join the fun! So who is coming? 

I'll be there! Will you?



Monday, May 4, 2015

Furry Family Members Deserve the Best: Nudges® Grillers&Sizzlers #NudgeThemBack #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NudgeThemBack #CollectiveBias




If you've been reading along over the years, you know one thing that I am passionate about is pups. Our pups Seb and Grendel were family.

Family.

Nothing less than family.



They were my furry children before I had children.

Although we were luckier than most that they lasted 16-17 years, I was still heartbroken and am still mourning them to this day.

We all are...



After they passed, our hearts were not ready for another pup--and my husband was not ready especially--after years battling cancers and dealing with vet bills. 



So instead I set up a pet sitting side business to borrow puppies from others because my heart was not complete without having a furry head on my lap or curled around my ankle.



Watching pups means I get attached.  Really attached.  I hear pups I watch feel the same and are often sad for a few days. However they also get sooooo excited--and so do I--when they come back!




 I would do it for free, but don't tell my clients that.  Shhhh!!


Obviously, if you have seen my instagram page, you'll know I REALLY get attached.




I sobbed when I heard a regular pup client had passed on.



I worry for my elderly pups I watch and always wonder when I give them a kiss on their head before they go home, if it will be my last.




I know you all think I am crazy letting back pups that break toilets.




For opening my white carpeted home to sometimes eight pups.




...and then dealing with constant baths to protect those white carpets when pups love to roll in the mud up here in my swampy Northwest backyard.



Mud? What mud?  That was a spa treatment under the trampoline right?



For sharing our holidays,  birthdays, and summers with pups, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Christmas 2016


Walking in the 'hood!

So, to combat that worry, I spoil them with treats and love! Quality treats!


One of the dietary changes that I think helped my 90 lb pup last to the ripe old age of 17 years old was that I changed his diet.  No more wheat, soy, corn, or preservatives! As natural as possible.




So I was excited to stroll through my local Walmart the other day to pick up some yummy treats for them that I could feel good about and they would like from Nudgesdogtreats.com.




Super excited that I found Nudges® had two new products and different flavors: Grillers and Sizzlers. We loaded up. They also have new Jerky Cuts value size (36oz) at Walmart.




I love that the Nudges® brand is about rewarding the unconditional love your dog gives you with treats you can trust.



It's about celebrating the love you share, love that deserves to be rewarded.




And almost more importantly, while we watch the quality of our food, we should also watch our pups foods too.



We are what we eat…dogs too!




I love that Nudges® treats are:
  • Made in the USA with only USA-sourced protein
  • Have Real Meat as #1 ingredient
  • "Real food-inspired"
  • No artificial flavors or fillers (natural ingredients)
  • Real meaty texture, appearance & smell
  • High-quality treats

Besides they are really helpful for catching shots likes these below!  Heh!



Want to know more?  Check out Nudgethemback.com and nd let me know which one you think your dog would love the most! You can also find Nudges® on Facebook!




Now go have some fun with your pup!  I like doing a little creative styling with shedding pups!  



What do you think?

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