Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday

"...where there's life, there's hope..."
- Brian C. Houston

Happy Thankful Thursday!  I feel like so much has been going on lately.  The weather's changing and I've been trying to get the kids' wardrobes situated.  And speaking of weather keep us in prayer because we have Hurricane Joaquim coming through this weekend.  We've already had a heavy storm that left some trees and a few light poles down and now this.

I'm not really worried about flooding in our side of town, but the strong winds could be a huge issue since we're surrounded by trees.  Hopefully, we won't have any power outages or anything.  This week one of my aunts had to be admitted to hospital, but thankfully she is doing okay and is in good spirits.  I got to talk to her on the phone on Tuesday and she had me cracking up.  I was definitely feeling homesick by the time our conversation ended.  Keep her in prayers please.

I'm super excited, nervous and thankful to announce that there are going to be some major changes coming to the blog.  YUMMommy is getting a new look and a new home very soon.  I'm hoping and praying that the transition goes very smooth as I have some sponsored work that I will need to get knocked out on time.  And of course, I don't want the blog down for extended period of time because I'll miss you guys.

Moo got her progress report from school today and I'm grateful to announce that she's acing everything.  Like she's above her reading level for the beginning of the year and almost to where she needs to be for the end of the year and school isn't even halfway over yet.  Of course, it was no surprise that she's kicking butt in math too!  She doesn't play about her numbers or her books.  I'm not sure if she'll be able to skip a grade if she keeps learning at the rate she's learning.

She told me that she was bored with her work because she learns it so fast.  And once she has the hang of something, she's ready to go on to the next thing.  JJ is continuing to make progress with his therapy and will be starting more therapy to help manage some of his sensory issues.  My little guy has overcome so much and we've come such a long way.  I'm beyond grateful at the leaps he's made since starting therapy

Lastly, I'm thankful for hope.  As the quote above says, as long we have breath in are bodies, hope out there.  Life can beat us down or certain things can get us so discouraged that we start to believe differently.  But don't throw in the towel.  Hang in there and keeping pushing because your breakthrough is coming.  I'm speaking from personal experience. 

Keeping your eye on the prize and stay working towards your goals.  Hard work pays off eventually, but you have to have the patience to wait for it.

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

VTech Flipsies™ | Jazz's Convertible & Stage

Disclosure:  This product was provided by VTech to facilitate this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When it comes to creating toys that are educational, fun and teaches positives messages, VTech is our go-to brand here in the YUMMommy household.  We own several of their Go! Go! Smart Wheels sets and cars, Tote & Go laptops and more.  So when they reached out to see if we'd be interested in checking out one of their new Flipsies™ sets, we said yes.  Their offer couldn't have come at a better time as Moo had been asking to get one since she first saw the commercials.  We got Jazz's Convertible & Stage.

What We Liked

  • 2-in-1:  Jazz comes with a convertible that transforms to a music stage and ten accessories- wigs (2), guitar, microphone, sunglasses, camera, purse, cell phone and removable tops (2).  Retailing for just $19.99, this is a steal.  Kids can choose to play with Jazz and the convertible together or independently as two separate toys.  Either way, they have two toys for the price of one.
  • Fun Features:  Most kids like toys that light up, talk and are transformable.  Jazz talks and sings, her necklace and the car's headlights light up as well as the two lights on the stage.  With the interchangeable wigs, tops and accessories, kids can transform Jazz into a rock star.  Let's not forget that the car converts into a stage too!

  • Overall Design:  Moo absolutely loves the colors of Jazz's convertible, especially the purple because it's her favorite color.  VTech did a great job of choosing colors that are bright and cheery without being overpowering.  Since Jazz is a rock star, the music notes on the car's hood, sides, tires and trunk are the perfect touch.  The stage really comes to life with the disco ball, flip out speakers and background concert image.  We also love that Jazz's tops and wigs are removeable.

via Facebook

  • Positive Messaging: Imaginative play can be more than educational.  Why not make it inspirational and empowering as well?  That's exactly what VTech did with the Flipsies™.  With the slogan "Let your dreams shine!™" each Flipsies™ doll set encourages kids to dream big and empowers them to have the courage to be whatever they want to be when they grow up.  It was a complete coincidence that we got Jazz, but she was perfect for Moo, who wants to pursue singing professionally someday.

What We Didn't Like

Honestly, there wasn't anything we didn't like about Jazz.  Moo was a bit disappointed that the disco ball didn't light up or spin, but that didn't stop her from loving her Flipsies™.  And my only suggestion would be to increase the appropriate age level from 4 to 9 years old to 5 to 9 years old.  Having JJ, who is 4 years old, I think that most kids this age are still prone to put small things in their mouthes.  However, if you do get this toy for your 4 year old, supervise them with the small accessories like I do.

You can check out the entire Flipsies™ collection and find the perfect set for your little one here.  Don't forget to follow VTech on Facebook and Twitter so that you stay up to date on the latest product releases, sales and more.  Also, the Flipsies™ has their own official website where kids can play games, watch videos and more.  There's even a Parent Corner.

What positive messaging or educational features do you like to see in toys?

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quiznos' Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Sweepstakes & Giveaway

Disclosure: This post and giveaway is sponsored by 20th Century Fox and Quiznos.

Calling all Quiznos and Maze Runner fans!  20th Century Fox and Quiznos partnered together for the release of The Scorch Trials on September 18th and are ready to roll out the red carpet for some lucky fans with the Quiznos Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Sweepstakes.  The sweepstakes, ending October 12th, includes a chance to win a VIP trip to Hollywood, a year of FREE Quiznos, a home theater and much more.  There's a grand prize as well as weekly prizes.

You don't want to miss out on your chance to score some of these amazing prizes.  Head on over to Toasty.tv/scorchtrials for the official rules, to see the rest of the prizes and to enter, of course!  What have you got to lose?

Wait, there's more.  Known as the home of the hot sub, Quiznos drew inspiration from The Scorch Trials and created the SatisFIRE.  Get prepared for some spice and some heat.

The SatisFIRE features Quiznos' signature slow-roasted pulled pork, honey ham, smoky bacon and melted cheese, topped with sauteed onions, fresh jalapenos, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes.  Then it's finished off with a house-made Serrano aioli, all piled between two slices of fresh Ciabatta bread.

If you think that you can handle the scorch, head on over to your local Quiznos soon because the SatisFIRE is only available for a limited time.  And if you haven't gone to see the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, make plans to hit up the movies and check it out.  Remember this movie is rated PG-13 (not suitable for kids under 13).  You can check out the the movie synopsis and trailer below to judge whether or not this movie is suitable for your teen to come with.

About Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

In this next chapter of the epic "Maze Runner" saga, Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD.  Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.  Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD's vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.

The good news continues because thanks to the lovely folks at Quiznos and 20th Century Fox, one YUMMommy reader is going to be gifted with a prize pack that includes a $30 Quiznos gift card and a copy of The Scorch Trials by James Dashner with a movie tie-in cover.  This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years old and older.  Just use the Gleam widget below to enter.

Don't forget to check out Quiznos on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on special deals and new menu options.  You can visit the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as well as the official website for more movie trailers, info on the cast and more. 

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thankful Thursday

"Your mantra is thank you.  Just keep saying thank you.  Don't explain.  Don't complain.  Just say thank you."

- Mooji

Can you guys believe that it's Fall already and September is coming to a close?  I know many of us are sad to see our warm weather go, but I for one am embracing this cooler weather and loving watching the colors of leaves change.  Moo has already started noticing the leaves falling from some of the trees in our neighborhood and has been asking when will we get some snow.  We even went a on a little nature hunt for pine cones and acorns to make a cute door wreath.  While we found lots of acorns, it was hard to find pine cones that weren't too soft or damaged.

Aside from the start of Fall, I'm giving thanks this week for having had a blast celebrating my baby sister's birthday this past weekend!  My family came up, including my brother who drove over three hours to get here, and spend the entire weekend with us.  Friday night we took her to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and then on Saturday, my mom babysat while my brother and I took her to Beerfest.  I am definitely my happiest when I'm surrounded my family.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to reunite with them and that my baby sister is another year older.

While we're talking about family, I had very real conversation with my mom about where I want to take the YUMMommy brand and what I want my career and life to look like over the next few years.  She gave me some great advice and ideas.  I'm grateful that my mom isn't one of those mothers who tells her kids what they want to hear.  She's honest to a fault and in certain terms told me that it was time to stop playing it safe and step my game up!

And I couldn't agree more.  I told her my visions for YUMMommy as a whole and what I wanted to do with my life.  In turn she gave me invaluable feedback about how to get there.  Since then I've jotted down a plan, been doing some research and have put some wheels in motion.  It's time to get out of my comfort zone again. 

I'm grateful to my brother and the amazing bond that we have.  I love that we can confide in each other.  Like my mom, he's not afraid to let you know when you're reaching and when you need to stop being complacent.  Also, he knows how a great time.  We laughed until we cried this past weekend and made more memories to laugh about the kids when they're older.

Lastly, I'm grateful for growth and flexibility.  I feel like I've grown so much since I started this blog.  I'm looking forward for the changes that are on the horizon.

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monster High: Boo York, Boo York {Giveaway}

Disclosure:  This giveaway is sponsored by Universal Home Entertainment.

Our favorite ghouls are back at it again. Seriously, you guys should know by now that Moo can't get enough of Clawdeen, Draculaura, Frankie, Cleo and the rest of the Monster High gang.  This time around the gang is headed to Boo York in the first-ever Monster High musical, Boo York, Boo York dropping on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD combo pack on Tuesday, September 29th.  Bring on the fright lights and big city!

Cleo de Nile gets invited to attend a fancy gala to celebrate the return of a magical comet.  Of course she invites her BFFs (Beast Friends Forever) because what's a trip to the big city without your girls?!  Needless to say their trip won't be all fun, shopping and frightseeing.

Cleo's sister, Nefera, decides harness the magical comet's powers to use for her own spooktacularly sneaky plans.  Will our fave Monster High ghouls be able to unwrap the mystery of the magical comet and stop Nefera's plan before it's too late?  Guess you'll have to watch Boo York, Boo York to find out.  The musical will feature 8 original songs.

Want to win a copy of Monster High: Boo York, Boo York for the Monster High fan in your life?  We have you covered.  Universal was kind enough to offer to give three of you a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack.  So just use the Gleam widget below to enter.  And don't forget to spread the word!  This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years & older.

Monster High Boo York, Boo York Combo Packs
Check out a sneak peek of Boo York, Boo York, the Monster High musical below.

Don't forget you can purchase your combo packs at these retailers:


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Southern Sauce + Charlotte Beerfest

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Southern Sauce Beer, Bar-B-Que and Bands Festival.

Looking for something fun and exciting to do this weekend?  Come out and be a part of one of the most unique festivals the Queen City has ever seen.  The Charlotte Knights, Romare Bearden Park and BB&T Ballpark are proud to be the host location of the inaugural Southern Sauce Beer, Bar-B-Que and Bands Festival starting Friday Friday, September 18th through Saturday, September 19th.  The festival consists of two events, Southern Sauce and Charlotte Beerfest.

About Southern Sauce

Presented by GoCarolinas.com, Southern Sauce is the two-day family friendly portion of the festival.  Admission will be free both days.  You can round up the kids and prepare to enjoy live music featuring bands from the Charlotte Blues Society and food from some of the best bbq restaurants/food vendors in the Carolinas.  There will be fun activities for the kids as well.  Southern Sauce will begin at 11 AM both days.  So pull out the sunscreen and get ready to enjoy some family bonding!

About Charlotte Beerfest

If you're like me, you want to just make Friday the family day and use Saturday as a Date Night or Mom's Night Out.  If so, the Charlotte Beerfest portion of the festival is for you!  Presented by Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Beerfest will be a celebration and showcase of the finest craft beers from the best breweries across the globe.  While you sample these beers, you'll also get to enjoy live concerts from Gin Blossoms, Simplified and Down Home Band. 

General admission to Beerfest is $50 which includes unlimited samplings of over 200 craft beers in a commemorative sampling glass.   VIP admission is $100 and includes premium concert seating, access to an exclusive beer tasting and delicious VIP only bar-b-que  buffet with private seating and restrooms and a gift bag that will include a Charlotte Beerfest t-shirt and pint glass.

A while back I had the opportunity of talking with the festival's director, David Hynes.  I asked him what his favorite part of the festival was going to be and his response was this:

When asked if festival goers could expect any special surprises and he said, "You never know."  What I do know is that Southern Sauce and Charlotte Beerfest are geared up to events that you won't want to miss.  So if you're in the Charlotte area or nearby, I hope to see you there!

For more information you can visit SouthernSauceClt.com or CharlotteBeerfest.com.  Also be sure to follow the hashtags #SouthernSauce and #PlayBeer on Instagram and Twitter!

What are your plans this weekend?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Destiny: Step Into Your Purpose

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Faith Words.  I received a complimentary copy of Destiny to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I was first introduced to the ministries of Bishop T. D. Jakes through my mom.  Growing up my siblings and I knew it was time to get up and get ready for church when we heard Bishop T. D. Jakes shouting "Get ready, get ready, get ready!"  My mom faithfully watched The Potter's House every Sunday morning before church when we got cable.  She has almost every book he's ever written and the songs from his Sacred Love Songs cd are forever memorized in my head from years of hearing her play them in the house and the car.  So when Faith Words reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing his new book Destiny: Step into Your Purpose, of course I said yes.

If you're like me, I'm sure that many of us have often wondered what your purpose is.  I know that I've asked myself (and God) many times "Why am I here?"  Is there more to our lives than just living day to day and bills?  After all we are all put on Earth for a higher calling/deeper reason, right?  

Many of us are of tired going through life feeling like we have no true purpose.  Others of us might have already discovered what our purpose/calling is, but need help navigating this series of adventures called life in order to reach that destiny.  In Destiny, Bishop Jakes not only reminds us that we each have a predestined purpose, but he also teaches us how to uncover, achieve and protect our destiny.  And because we live in a time where it seems more and more people looking for elevator routes to living their purpose Bishop Jakes reminds us that there are no shortcuts.  We have to take the steps!

When the Bible said that we could do all things through Christ, that included letting God guide our steps and having the patience to see our journey to our destiny through.  What I love about this book and so many other books from Bishop Jakes is that he doesn't just say do this, this and this.  Instead, he provides personal stories/learned lessons and observations coupled with advice and tips.  Essentially, Destiny is a step-by-step guide for those of us who are ready to STEP into our purpose and stop going around and around in a circle or living a life of mediocrity. 

President Obama once said, "We are the authors of our own destiny."  Yes, God has purpose planned out for us already, but He gave us the freewill to either create journey that either aligns with that purpose or leads us from it.  So if you're ready to get serious and put in work (remember use the StairMaster not the elevator) to write out and step into yours, Destiny: Step into Your Purpose by Bishop T. D. Jakes is definitely a must-read for you!

About Author

T. D. Jakes is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 25 books.  His television ministry program The Potter's Touch is watched by 3.3 million viewers every week.  He has produced Grammy Award-winning music and such films as Heaven Is for Real, Sparkle, and Jumping the Broom.  A master communicator, he hosts Megafest, Woman Thou Art Loosed, and other conferences attended by tens of thousands.

You can order your copy of Destiny: Step into Your Purpose from the following retailers:

Have you ever wondered what your destiny/purpose was? 

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