Monday, December 30, 2013

Bring Your Appetite and Your Certificate for Date Night at Ward’s House of Prime {#ReviewCrew} Review Crew
As with all parents, I love spending time with my children. However, also as with all parents, there are times that getting away from them and having a night out with just my husband is good for my soul.

So, having the opportunity to drop off the kids and have a dinner date just the two of us was the perfect way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season (and everyday life) and relax.

Even better? Being able to save a bundle of money by using a certificate on our visit to Ward's House of Prime in downtown Milwaukee!

Ward's dining room

After learning what diners want from a steakhouse, the creators of Ward's House of Prime then designed a restaurant where high-end entrees are served at a reasonable price in an atmosphere that's upscale yet relaxed.

The comfortable, pleasant feeling ensures that visitors can be just as happy ordering full-plate entrees in the main dining room as they would ordering from the bar menu and watching sports in the lounge. While prime rib is their specialty (served every day), they also give special attention to seafood, chicken, veal and vegetarian entrees as well as the lighter fare of appetizers, sliders and stonefire flatbreads.

Add to that their variety of martinis, beers, cocktails and wines by the glass – as well as an extensive list of 500 wines by the bottle – and it was definitely time for my husband and I to have a nice dinner to ourselves.

Ward's restaurant

After being shown to our table, it was time to peruse the menu... which is not an easy feat. Appetizers, flatbreads, salads, soups, pasta dishes, fish and, without a doubt, prime rib. One after another, there is a prime rib in just about every possible size to match appetites both big and small.

Ward's house of prime menu

You even have the chance to order one of the Ward's Famous Prime Rib entrees to try to make your way onto the Ward's Prime Rib Hall of Fame — just take your pick of any of the options ranging between 40oz and 168oz (that's over 10 pounds of meat)!

Ward's wall of fame
The Wall of Fame is online as well as literally filling a wall at Ward's.

As we're not quite voracious enough eaters to take on something such as a 96oz prime rib, instead my husband opted for a Filet with Baked Potato and I, most likely the only vegetarian in a prime rib restaurant, the Butternut Squash Ravioli.

After first enjoying fresh bread and our tasty salads...

Ward's dinner

...our entrees arrived and were, without a doubt, the tastiest meals either of us had eaten in quite some time.

Ward's House of Prime

Mmm, mmm, mmmmm! My husband raved about his steak multiple times (even deeming it the best he had in recent memory) and my ravioli were a melt-in-my-mouth combination of buttery sweetness and deliciousness.

Although both of us tried to savor every bite, it wasn't long before our plates were completely cleared and we were both stuffed full and were extremely happy about it.

Ward's delicious food

Along with our absolutely delectable meals, Ward's House of Prime featured a warm, cozy atmosphere, incredibly friendly staff (we even saw the owner checking on guests to ensure perfection), a comfortable bar area for plenty of drinks and watching sports, and an overall welcoming, upscale-yet-not-pretentious feeling that made our night out feel even more special.

Ward's Milwaukee

The only aspect about Ward's House of Prime that would be a deterrent to visiting more often is the price, as food this luxurious doesn't come cheap.

However, as my husband and I first purchased and printed a certificate before our date, we were able to lower our bill to a price that mirrored visiting one of our "usual" restaurants... but, considering how thrilled we were with our amazing food, it made the night quite a steal! I have no doubt that we'll be returning again!

For more information about Ward's House of Prime, visit their website and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. To find out about all of the money-saving options that has to offer in your area (or in an area that you are planning to visit), head over to as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

As a member of the Review Crew, I have been provided gift cards and compensation in order to facilitate my reviews. However, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Importance of Rear-View Assistance and the PEAK Back-up Camera

Peak logo
Among the many things that my husband and I tease each other about, we often bring up the not-so-bright "incidents" we've both had while driving.

Is it humorous that I backed into the garbage can and broke a tail light on my van? Not as much as the time that he forgot a bowl of yogurt on the top of his car and, 15 minutes later he realized it, pulled over and found that it was still there and a bit frozen — and then proceeded to eat it.

However, as much as we might joke, we both know that the importance of driver safety is not a matter to be taken lightly. When it comes to visibility, caution and the all-around seriousness of the dangers that a vehicle can lead to, I'll do everything in my power to make sure that my family is protected.

Which is why I agree with the necessity of rear-view camera assistance in all cars to help eliminate blind zones when backing up. But what do you do if you drive a vehicle that didn't come with a camera installed? You turn to the experts at and bring a PEAK 3.5" Back-Up Camera into your life instead.

PEAK Back-Up Camera

Perfect for families with children or pets, the PEAK Back-Up Camera can be installed on cars, SUV’s, Trucks, RVs or campers in less than 15 minutes. The result is a full LCD color monitor (which securely affixes to your windshield with a suction cup mount) and a water-resistant color camera attached to the back of your vehicle's license plate for complete rear view coverage.

No more blindly backing into parking spots, running over bicycles left in the driveway or, worst case scenario, not knowing when your child or grandchild is behind your car with this simple, cost-effective option.

Considering that my minivan has a built-in camera that eases my worries about my own driving, I love the idea that we could put the PEAK Back-Up Camera on my husband's or mother's car so that I could rest a little easier every time they get behind the wheel.

car back-up camera

While there aren't too many pieces involved in the setup of this handy camera, I appreciate that PEAK realizes that there are many people that would be a little intimidated by the thought of running wires and locating power cords.

Therefore, they have a convenient, step-by-step backup camera installation how-to video for more clarification and to ease your worries!

After removing the rear license plate and reinstalling it with the camera hooked right behind the plate, the wiring must then be connected to the backup lights of the car. After a little more assembly and placement of the transmitter, the monitor is stuck to the front window with a strong suction cup holder.

Then just plug the whole thing in and know that it is even easier to place the safety of your children as your top priority – especially when you are behind the wheel.

vehicle back-up camera

Many parents have already taken safety standards into their own hands, with a lawsuit recently being filed demanding that the Department of Transportation (DOT) set rear visibility standards for vehicles, as required by a law passed in 2008. Families understand the importance of rear-view camera assistance for their cars in helping them eliminate blind zones as they back up.

While it is still uncertain when the DOT will begin enforcing this regulation, parents can be prepared by installing a wireless back-up camera to their own vehicles. People often don't realize how simple the installation is (takes less than 15 minutes to install!) and with brands like PEAK it's a cost effective option, too.

The PEAK 3.5" Back-up Camera retails around $99.99 and is available at Walmart, from Amazon and at auto retailers nationwide. Head over to (and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter) to find out much more information as well as to see their full line of products that can help improve your life today.

As a PEAK brand ambassador, I have been provided with product and compensation for my time. However, all thoughts and opinions in this post are honest and my own.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Smile While You Shake It" with Honey Bunches of Oats!

Honey Bunches of Oats logo
It is no secret around here that I'm not a morning person.

In my ideal timeline, I would wake up (well-rested, of course) and have a calm, quiet, peaceful house in which to slowly get used to the day while drinking my coffee.

In reality, I often get dragged from my dreams by the loudness of my kids (the sounds of them playing nicely together are often just as loud as the sounds of them fighting) and the following hour is a blurry rush of making breakfast, packing lunches, combing hair, watching the clock, searching for one missing shoe, and more.

Needless to say, if someone tells me that they have a way to encourage starting the day off with a smile, I want to hear it. But then to hear that it involves our family's absolute favorite cereal? Then I couldn't wait to hear more about Honey Bunches of Oats' recent launch of their new brand anthem Smile While You Shake It!

Smile While You Shake It

But this isn't just a toe-tapping song to listen to! The fun and upbeat Smile While You Shake It, inspired by Samba beats, incorporates the cereal box and breakfast utensils as percussion instruments and results in a catchy hook that is guaranteed to make you smile.

To appeal to all Honey Bunches of Oats fans, the brand signed on up-and-coming pop-star duo Domino Saints, who effortlessly weaves Spanish lyrics into the predominantly English song. The song, the talent, and all the campaign elements truly embody the Honey Bunches of Oats spirit of cultural inclusiveness and positivity!

HBOats dance video

So how can Smile While You Shake It brighten mornings around your house? Well, not only can this song help perk up your family, but you're able to join in and make it your own as well... and possibly win $500 in the process!

Honey Bunches of Oats sweepstakes

That's right! From now until June, all you have to do is visit and, after watching the Smile While You Shake It video for inspiration and to get you into the groove, simply record and upload your own video version.

Visitors can enter using a smart phone, desktop computer, laptop, or iPad and there's even a tutorial video available if you'd prefer to learn the "official" dance routine from Domino Saints instead of sharing your own original dance moves (which is perfectly acceptable for entering the sweepstakes as well).

record yourselfJust hit the "Record Yourself" button and catch a minimum of 5 seconds, maximum of 15 seconds of yourself, your family, your friends, your kids, your pet or more and it just might be drawn as the $500 winner for the week!

If not, no worries, because you can simply return the following week to upload a new video and therefore enter for that week's drawing as well (each video is only eligible for the week that it is uploaded).

Thanks to the fun, custom music-themed package we received from Honey Bunches of Oats, it didn't take long before we had full bellies and were ready to join in on spreading some smiles!

Be sure to head over to to see entry after entry that will make you grin, as well as submitting your own to be a part of this movement to spread smiles from coast-to-coast (and hopefully win $500 in the process)!

Other than the package of items that I received from Honey Bunches of Oats, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tasty Despicable Me 2 Fun with Minion Munch Chex Party Mix {Prize Pack Giveaway!}

Chex logo
While there were many notable events and figures of 2013, one set of characters that made an impact by delighting young and old were the small, humorous, yellow Minions.

Is there anyone that was introduced to these loyal yet childish and funny, genetically-mutated henchmen in 2010's Despicable Me and didn't find themselves enthralled by them? My family not only giggled time and again while watching the movie, but were just as excited to get to interact with the Minions in person during our visit to Universal Orlando Resort!

Despicable Me minions

However, with the release of Despicable Me 2 this year, the international love for Minions has soared to entirely new levels. Kids everywhere can't get enough of the toys, games, stuffed animals, clothing and much more that features one after another — it's Minion madness!

Despicable Me 2

So what could be better than enjoying this award-winning movie from the comfort of your own couch (it was released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on December 10th) than by whipping up some snacks in honor of the Minions themselves?

These creatures are over-the-top in love with bananas, so Chex has made it fast and easy honor them in a delicious way with the recipe for their new Minion Munch Chex Party Mix.

minion chex party mix

After only 15 minutes in the microwave, your own little minions will surely be going nuts for more of this delicious combination of bananas, peanut butter and a touch of chocolate! Yum, yum and yum!

minion munch chex party mix

This winter, be sure to plan a fun family movie night with Despicable Me 2 and pick up a few varieties of delicious Chex cereals so that you can enjoy some Minion Munch Chex Party Mix as well. Head over to to see even more of their tasty products and unique recipes!

Plus, thanks to their generosity, one person will be ready for the fun and banana goodness that the Minions can provide as well, because...

One lucky person will win a Despicable Me 2 Chex Mix Prize Pack*!

Despicable Me 2 giveaway

*Prize Pack includes (1) Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray/DVD, (1) Minion USB, (1) box Honey Nut Chex, (1) box Chocolate Chex, and (1) Box Banana Nut Cheerios

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Be #CartonSmart with Tetra Pak by Pacific Foods

This post brought to you by Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.

Pacific logo

This holiday season, amidst all of the opening of presents, lighting of candles, singing of carols and giving of thanks, there will no doubt be a great deal of eating. That's one tradition that is completely universal, right?

But while deciding on the menu or keeping yourself from going back for seconds (and thirds) might seem like the biggest decisions for the day, there is actually one more that can make quite a difference: whether or not to Become Carton Smart.

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Did you realize how many amazing food products for your holiday meals you can get in a carton? Pacific Foods wants to inspire people to make small, smart decisions when cooking for their families and stocking their pantries and their Tetra Pak cartons are the perfect way to do just that!

Tetra Pak cartons are made of 70% paper, a renewable resource, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) and use of the packaging as compared to cans. At the same time, the cartons are space-saving, easy to store and open, are fully recyclable and result in 60% less landfill waste than cans.

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But, when it comes to your cooking, the unique packaging process of Tetra Pak cartons also preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives. The product quality is exactly the way it was intended to be, your recipe tastes delicious and the cartons are even re-closable so you can use what you need and save the rest for later.

While I wasn't previously familiar with Pacific Foods and Tetra Pak cartons, they sounded like exactly what I would like to welcome into my kitchen!

Pacific Foods Tetra Pak

Whether you are making pumpkin pie, green been casserole, or simply want an easy way to dress up the must-have cranberry loaf on the table, there is a Tetra Pak carton that will work for you!  

While all three of the varieties of Tetra Pak cartons that arrived here were making my mouth water, I knew that this holiday season it would be quick and easy to swap out a can for a carton of Organic Pumpkin Puree in my go-to pumpkin bread recipe.

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Pumpkin Bread

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

pumpkin bread ingredients

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

pumpkin bread

Yum, yum and yum!

This pumpkin bread is moist and delicious and, by using the Tetra Pak carton, I love knowing that it is also a smart choice for my family and our planet!

pumpkin bread recipe

How can you be #CartonSmart this holiday season?

Follow along with #CartonSmart and Tweet @CartonSmart as well as Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest and Instagram to find even more ways Tetra Pak carton packages, designed for maximum efficiency and environmental friendliness, are one small way to live smarter.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Adorable Kids' Clothing for Less During Carter’s Friends & Family Event! {#CartersFam}

Carter's logo
I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Carter's. I received a gift card to facilitate my shopping trip and to thank me for participating.

I love picking out clothing for my children, I just can't help it.

Much to my husband's dismay, both girls have closets and dressers full of clothes in all sorts of fun colors, cute prints and adorable styles. Can someone please explain why it is that the smaller clothes are, the cuter they are?

And, while we have owned and worn apparel from all over the spectrum — from secondhand to boutique couture — there are a select few brands that will always have a special place in our hearts. They are the ones that have been there from before my children were even born and, upon looking through just about any baby pictures, show up time and time again.

First and foremost on that list is the one and only Carter's.

Carter's clothing

As the leading brand of children's clothing, gifts and accessories in America, Carter's sells more than 10 products for every child born in the U.S. With designs that are based on a heritage of quality and innovation, Carter's has long earned the trust of generations of families and continues to take pride into helping bring innovative, detailed and thoughtful items to families everywhere.

Being that Carter's is such a big name in children's clothing, it's no surprise that they make it so easy to find attractive, quality, comfortable gifts for all of the little ones (sizes newborn – 7) in our lives this holiday season. From the adorable photo-ready outfits to presents under the tree, there's something for every young child!

Although I don't visit Carter's nearly as often now as I did back when my girls were babies, I still couldn't wait to head in to see what was new and fun!

Carter's store

Straight up cuteness! It was everywhere in every style and every size and every color!

And, be still my heart, it was pretty much all on SALE!

Carter's baby sale

Immediately I loved that there were so many awesome little outfits that are perfect for the holidays but that could also be worn again long into 2014...

Christmas dresses

...and that the bargains even extended into adorable pajamas that would be perfect for Christmas morning, high quality toys that could be wrapped and gifted immediately, and warm weather finds just right for stocking up for an upcoming vacation. A girl can dream, right?

children's clothing

There were even entire (large!) sections for girls and boys of all ages that were on clearance starting at only $3.99! Where else can you pick up well-made children's clothes that inexpensively?

Carter's sale

Deals galore!

Plus, one of the many aspects that I've always loved about Carter's is how you're able to find dressy, casual, everyday, rugged, sweet, accessories, shoes, toys and so much more all in one place. No going from store to store, wondering if you'll find a better deal elsewhere or only being able to pick up girl items and nothing for boys.

Instead, one visit to Carter's and you can wrap up your Valentine's Day shopping for your niece at the same time as finding an awesome outfit for your son and the cuuuuuuuutest shoes as a gift for your friend's little girl!

children's apparel

Even better, on top of the affordable prices that Carter's already offers, they make it even easier to bring your total down even further when they host great sales such as their Friends & Family Event, which is going on now!

Carter's Coupon

Now through December 24th, just print out the coupon above and bring it with you to your favorite Carter's location and you'll receive an extra 25% off of your entire in-store purchase!

So, whether you are shopping for something specific or just looking for last-minute gifts in time for Christmas, Carter's is sure to have plenty of adorably sweet items in their collection that will showcase bold, bright color, crisp classics, hip neons and many more that will work for the little personalities on your list.

Stocking stuffers, anyone?

finger puppets

Be sure to check out all of the clothes, shoes, accessories and much more for babies through kids (up to 6x in girls and 7 in boys) in store and online and connect with Carter's on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for outfitting ideas, new styles, deals, special events and more.

And don't forget to grab the 25% off coupon from above and take advantage of Carter's Friends & Family Event that's on now!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


The lucky winner of a $300 H&R Block gift card is...

The two lucky winners of Keurig K-cup Dinner Party Variety Packs from Cross Country Cafe are...

The lucky winner of a $30 gift certificate to is...

The lucky winner of a TASSIMO T55 Single Cup Brewing System and (3) varieties of T DISCS is...

The lucky winner of a $50 Babies "R" Us gift card is...

The lucky winner of (1) box of Caza Trail Donut Shop Blend K-cup coffee is...

The lucky winner of (2) specially marked packages of Energizer MAX batteries with Bunny Bucks codes is...

The lucky winner of a 24-count box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates is...

The lucky winner of their choice of shoes from Dizzy is...

Thank you to everyone who entered all of these fun giveaways! Have a great weekend and a very Happy Holiday season!