Trendy Mom Reviews
Disclosure: Trendy Mom Reviews receives complementry products in exchange for writing reviews. Our opinions are honest and our own.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Recipe: Grilled Fajita Pizza #GrillingRecipes

This is a sponsored post with DataRank, Kingsford, and Walmart.
This recipe is a family favorite for parties where we watch sporting events and grill outside. It can even be used for tailgating parties.  We put a Texan twist on pizza with by generously topping it with fajita ingredients. You may be surprised that we don't marinate the steak, but once you try it, you'll realize that this high quality steak from Walmart has a fantastic taste that shouldn't be minimized by marinade in this recipe. In preparing this family recipe, we grill over the iconic Kingsford Charcoal that our parents also used when we were children.  We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
 
Recipe: Grilled Fajita Pizza
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of high quality New York Strip Steak (thin slices) from Walmart
  • 2 pre-made thin pizza crusts
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 sweet red onion
  • 1 to 2 ears of corn
  • 1 8-oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 8-oz. bag shredded mozzarella
  • Optional: 1/4 sliced avocado

Directions:
1. Prepare the grill using Kingsford Charcoal and allow to preheat for approximately 5 minutes.

2. Grill New York Strip Steak, corn, and bell peppers until thoroughly cooked. This is approximately 8 to 10 minutes for the New York Strip Steak, 8 to 10 minutes for the corn, 6 to 8 minutes for the bell peppers.
3. Remove items from the grill, chop, and set aside.

4. Prepare the two pizza crusts by spreading half of the tomato paste and cheese on each. 
5. Top the pizza with the avocado slices, grilled steak, and grilled veggies.
6. Grill each pizza on a pizza stone for approximately 8 minutes.
7. Remove from heat, allow to cool, and enjoy!
This is a sponsored post with DataRank, Kingsford, and Walmart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Trendiest Back-to-School Picks for 2014 #BackToSchool




We love the trendy products that come out with each new Back-to-School shopping season. In this post, we are featuring our favorite products that made it to the top of our list for Trendiest Back-to-School Picks for 2014.  This includes all of the basics and fun extras from Gymboree, Camelbak, ALEX Toys, Kidecals, Masterlock, Mad Libs, and Brain Quest (STAR WARS).

Trendy Educational Products That Are Fun 
Our first three picks are educational items that children can use at home while they patiently wait for the new school year. They are also fantastic for after school activities. The first is the My Tape Party from ALEX.  This trendy set is perfect for preschoolers like my son. The set is generously packed with many crafts for little ones to work on. I love that this encourages creativity and let's them practice their fine motor skills as they perfect their little designs. This extensive set has provided hours of entertainment for my son!
The next set of items includes STAR WARS Workbooks by Brain Quest. If you have a little Star Wars fan, I'm sure that these will be a hit. These books are packed with colorful characters and age-appropriate activities and rewards. These books are one of the best creations that I have come across as a mom. There is something magical about these books because my son wants to practice writing, math, and more. For instance, he finished  50 pages of one of the workbooks while I was sleeping this morning!  He constantly asks, "Can I please do one more page?" This is really nice since his response to other workbooks that I bought a while back has been, "Can I do this later?" Finally, let me mention that these trendy workbooks align with the Common Core State Standards. The designers of these trendy books seemed to have thought of everything!
 
The next set of books are ones that you probably had as a child - Mad Libs!  I remember spending hours giggling with these books when I was younger.  My son and his friends similarly love these books!  These books provide silly fun that motivates them to read and write.  Another great thing about Mad Libs is that they offer an extensive collection with many different themes and characters. For instance, my son and his friends loved the LEGO STAR WARS, Skylanders, and Science Mad Libs books. They have themes and characters for a variety of ages.  We recommend stocking up on these because they are great for car rides, after school activities, and more.  Mad Libs makes it fun to practice reading and writing! 
For clothing, we love Gymboree for trendy Back-to-School clothing. My son has been wearing Gymboree brand clothes since he was an infant.  Now that he is older, he loves visiting to choose his own clothing. They have many fun designs. I love that I don't have to worry about him selecting hideous clothing since all of their clothing is adorable. Best of all, their clothing holds up well.   
In addition, to the colorful clothing that they offer, their Uniform Shop also offers the same great quality and fantastic deals. For instance, their Play Proof by Nanotex line of school uniforms that resists wrinkles, releases stains in the wash, breathe easy and look new with less washing. Parents can have it all – happy kids, clothing that lasts a long time, and more dollars left in their wallet.
 
The next set of items are trendy versions of Back-to-School Basics.  First, we recommend stocking up on trendy Camelbak water bottles. It's important to stay hydrated throughout the school day and at after school activities.  Camelbak offers a nice variety of colors, patterns, sizes, and styles.  They have everything for your soccer boys (shown on the left below) to your princesses (see the pretty pink and peach colors on the right). Plus, if you have children like ours, you'll appreciate the leak-proof bottles!

In addition to trendy water bottles, you will also want to order Kidecals labels.  The Kidecals website makes it easy to design your own customized labels with your child's name, phone number, or any other information that you want to put on the label.  We love that they are waterproof and dishwasher safe.  You can see in the photo below that we stick them on water bottles.  We also use them on clothing, shoes, toys, sunblock bottles, and more! Stock up on Kidecals at the beginning of the school year because you'll be surprised how often you want to use these trendy labels throughout the year.
 
Another trendy basic to consider is a Master Lock. Personally, my son goes to swim lessons after school. My husband and I often swim laps while our son is at his lesson.  A good quality lock is a must-have for these after school sessions.  My husband and I have both used Master Lock locks since we were children, so this is a brand that we love. As you can see in the photo below, their locks have evolved since we were children. The Master Lock dialSpeed is a digital combination lock that fits standard lockers. We love the trendy technology and the cool light-up pad.  The Master Lock Speed Dial is another great lock that also fits standard lockers. We really like that it's easy to move the dial to the top, bottom, and sides to quickly release the lock.  We love the trendy Master Lock locks that have evolved since we were children.

What are your favorite Trendy Back-to-School Picks for 2014?

Learn More 
Visit the trendy brands featured in this post: Gymboree, Camelbak, ALEX Toys, Kidecals, Masterlock, Mad Libs, and Brain Quest (STAR WARS).

We appreciate the complementary product samples that we received. All opinions are honest and our own.

Recipe: Easy Gyro Salad #BackToSchool

Recipe: Easy Gyro Salad 
The ingredients for this recipe are available at ALDI stores. The total for the ingredients shown in the photo above was only $14.45 + tax.  You will also have leftover ingredients that you can use for other meals throughout the week!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 of a Bremer Gyro Kit (available in the frozen section of ALDI) 
  • 2 bags of Spring/Butter Salad (available in the refrigerated section of ALDI)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 container of hummus
Directions
1. Wash and chop the tomatoes and cucumbers.

 
 
2.  Prepare gyro meat from the Gyro Kit by cooking it in a frying pan for approximately 20 to 30 seconds on each side.  Allow to cool slightly and chop into approximately 3/4" strips across.



3. Heat the pita bread from the Gyro Kit for approximately 1 to 2 minutes on each side in a frying pan.

 

4. For each plate, add your desired amount of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and gyro meat. Top with Tzatziki sauce from the Gyro Kit. Serve with warmed pita bread and hummus.

This is a sponsored recipe post.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Trendy Wines from Uncorked Ventures

We recently came across the trendy Uncorked Ventures company that offers wine gifts, baskets, and clubs.  You may have already heard about them from CBS news, Fortune, and more. I first heard about Uncorked Ventures from a friend that raved about how great they are at selecting wine.  It's an interesting concept that works well for this family-run business that has fantastic taste and knows how to pick wines.  In a nutshell, they make frequent trips to wine country, develop relationships with top winemakers that grant them access to the trendy high quality, limited production wines. Many of these wines come from small artisan producers whose wines are not widely available.  The guys at Uncorked Ventures have great connections to bring us wines from California, Washington, and Oregon.

Personally, I received a Wine Club package this month that contained two trendy wines.  I was really impressed with the quality of these wines and am surprised that they could provide these two bottles for only $40.  Their connections really paid off as we absolutely loved these two bottles of wine. We definitely love and recommend their wine club!

 

Are you interested in signing up for this trendy wine club for Uncorked Ventures?  Click here to visit their site.  We personally loved the Wine Club shipment that we received and look forward to future shipments.


http://www.uncorkedventures.com/
We appreciate the complementary products that we received. All opinions are honest and our own.

Win in the Trendy Sunoco Online Decal Hunt

We recently came across the trendy Free Fuel 5,000 Online Decal Hunt, where anyone can win a grand prize of $1,500 in Sunoco Gas Gift Cards just by posting a decal online. You can post on your own website, Twitter, or Facebook page for a chance to win one of their daily $10 gift card prizes or the $1,500 grand prize. 

Simply visit here to get started.  If you choose to share on your website, you'll receive an HTML snippet to easily add the logo to your page as shown below.
I just became a part of the Sunoco Free Fuel 5000 Online Decal Hunt. Join the fun for your chance at $1,500 in Sunoco gift cards!
GoSunoco.com
Personally, if we won, we would go on a family road trip along the east coast and enjoy stopping at Sunoco locations along the way with our trendy gift card!  My son is now old enough to enjoy road trips, so we are planning one for later this year.

Where would you travel to if you won a Sunoco Gas Card?

Learn More
Visit the Sunoco Free Fuel 5000 Online Decal Hunt.
Follow Sunoco on Facebook and Twitter.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and our own. 

Recipe: Creamy Chicken Crescent Braid #BackToSchool

Recipe: Creamy Chicken Crescent Braid
The ingredients for this recipes are available at ALDI. The total for the ingredients featured above was only $12.99 + tax. The optional asparagus is $2.69 + tax. You will also have extra chicken and veggies that you can use throughout the week!

Yield: 2 Creamy Chicken Crescent Braids
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of Grilled Chicken Breast Strips (available in the frozen section of ALDI)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup of peas
  • 1 8 oz. container of Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 2 packages of crescent rolls
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

2. Add 1/4 cup of chopped carrots to a microwave-safe dish with 2 Tablespoons of water. Microwave for 2 minutes.



3. Add 1/4 cup of frozen peas to the same container as the carrots.  Microwave for 1 minute.



4. Drain the microwaved carrots and peas.

5. Mix the reduced fat cream cheese, carrots, peas, and chicken until well mixed.



6. Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with Low-fat Canola Oil Spray. Roll out  each package of crescent rolls on separate cookie sheets.  You will cut the sides into 1" thick pieces as shown below.

7. Spread 1/2 of the mix into each rolled out crescent roll. 


8. Braid each crescent roll.


9. Bake the crescent rolls until golden brown for approximately 20 to 24 minutes.



10. Allow to cool. 


11. Serve with veggies such as the asparagus from ALDI shown below.

Our Experience with the Trendy "Go Math! Academy" #HMHAcademy #CommonCore

We recently had the opportunity to try the Go Math! Academy. This trendy online math program is perfect for kindergarten students. It has been fantastic for our little boy that is learning basic math skills.  Go Math! Academy has been used by 7 million students and is aligned with the goals of the Common Core State Standards. While we have tried many iPad apps, workbooks, and other websites, the Go Math! Academy really clicked for our son and kept him motivated. My son is very energetic and it is often difficult to keep him focused on school work, but the engaging video lessons and practice problems combined with awards and rewards motivated to truly focus and learn.  Let me share an overview of our personal experience.

The main things that first caught my attention with Go Math! Academy includes:
  • Lively, engaging online experience lets children select a theme to launch their own personal math journey.
  • Independent learning empowers children to complete  the grade-level curriculum in order to select the skill they want to practice.
  • Skill-boosting approach offers step-by-step math problems to support practice.
  • Entertaining help videos feature expert instructors (and loveable puppets to engage younger kids) who make math concepts clear and fun!
Personally, we have been logging into Go Math! Academy on our desktop computer. We then switch to using it on our iPad with the screen redirected to our television.  We sit together as a family for our son  to practice and impress us with the awards that he earns. He loves showing off by concentrating and working hard to answer each question correctly.

The screen below shows a sample problem.  The educators that designed Go Math! Academy did a fantastic job creating problems that engage my son.  He seems to respond well to visual representations.  Many of the problems are visual in this system.  A few examples are shown below. You'll notice the bright colors and ample opportunities for counting and problem solving.
In addition to the visually appealing problem sets, there are also textual problems that we read to him. The designers of Go Math! Academy seem to balance the different formats to keep him interested while pushing him slightly beyond his boundaries so that he learns more.
Go Math! Academy is packed with great motivators. My son loves the videos that provide guidance.  He also loves the rewards. It's fun to hear him excitedly say, "Oh yeah, I won the level!" and "Mom, Dad, I can't believe that I won this game!"  This is the kind of experience that you hope for as a parent - our child thinks that learning is fun and is proud of his accomplishments.  We love that he enthusiastically asks to stay up past bedtime so that is able to do "one more level"!
In our experience, we had been using many simple apps. Go Math! Academy provided us with a different view of educational technology for kindergarteners as it is more comprehensive than anything else that we have used.  There are hundreds of opportunities for our son to practice or even watch videos. This extensive program is not something that we finished in an hour like many simple iPad apps. Rather, we logged on daily to continue our experience. Our son was able to adapt to the format and develop a routine for practicing math.  He made leaps and bounds in his development that we just weren't able to make until we tried Go Math! Academy.  This system is perfect for involved parents that want to give their children an early advantage in life by developing a good foundation in math.  We have enjoyed our experience and recommend it to other parents.

Go Math! Academy changed our view of educational technology as we saw our son thrive with their engaging system.

Have you encountered anything that transformed your child's educational experience?

Learn More
Go Math! Academy is available in your choice of three payment plans (access for up to 5 children):
  • Monthly: $9.99/month
  • 6-months: $49.99 ($8.33/month) – a 17% savings
  • 1-year: $79.99 ($6.67/month) – a 33% savings
Visit the Go Math! Academy. 
Follow @HMHAcademy on Twitter
Like Go Math! Academy on Facebook
Follow Go Math! Academy on Pinterest 
http://bit.ly/GoMathAcademy

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are honest and my own.

A Trendy Tip to Save on Children's Birthday Party Cards #ValueCards #CollectiveBias #cbias

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 
We love birthday parties, but my son has been invited to an excessive number of birthday parties lately. He has ten birthday parties scheduled for August and September. It's a bit overwhelming since this requires a lot of scheduling and shopping.  Some of the parties are scheduled for when we are out of town, but we still want to send a gift and card to the parties if we are unable to make it since those children attended my son's recent party.  While we don't want to skimp on birthday presents since we like to be fair and give gifts that will excite his friends, one place to save is on birthday cards.

I used to spend approximately $3 to $5 on each birthday card.  It didn't seem like a big deal until the birthday invitations for my son started rolling in the past month. I love trendy cards, but at $3 to $5 per child for 10 children, I was motivated to find a way to save.  After asking around and doing some research, I found that Hallmark has a fantastic line of Value Cards that are available at Walmart for just 47-cents and 97-cents. Further, Hallmark has a rewards program that allows you to receive credit for Hallmark card purchases.  You simply enter your UPC online or scan it with their app your smart phone. Let me share my personal experience.

As I mentioned above, we visited Walmart to check out the trendy selection of Hallmark Value Cards that are priced at 47-cents and 97-cents.  I love their extensive selection of cards. While I was primarily focused on birthday cards for children, I noticed that the Hallmark Value Cards line also has many other types of cards other occasions such as Graduations, Weddings, Anniversary, or just thinking of someone.

 
My son selected some fantastic cards for his friends. He was excited to find everything from princess cards for the girls to robot cards for the boys. 


It was easy to find the perfect card for each of his friends.  


After we purchased the cards, we added them to my Hallmark Card Rewards account. If you aren't part of this trendy Hallmark Cards Rewards program, it is free to sign up and simple to credit your account.  For every 5 cards that you buy, you'll earn a reward. Hallmark makes it easy because you can purchase Hallmark cards and then simply enter the UPC codes online or scan the UPC codes with their app on your smart phone. They even offer the flexibility that you can purchase the cards outside of Hallmark. For instance, I purchased cards at Walmart and added each card to my account in just seconds. Let me show you examples of two ways to enter your cards for credit.

To get started, create a Hallmark Card Rewards account if you do not already have one. You can then log on and add the cards to your account by entering the UPC codes, selecting the store that you purchased the card, and clicking to submit. It only takes a few seconds to enter the information and receive your credit. 


 The Hallmark Card Rewards app also makes it easy to credit your account.  For instance, I purchased a stack of cards at Walmart and then my little boy helped me to scan them to credit my rewards account. The process is shown below - (1) Scan, (2) Select the store for the purchase, and (3) Receive credit!
The trendy Hallmark Value Cards at Walmart make it easy to save on greeting cards.  You can even earn rewards!  Personally, I appreciate the opportunity to save on birthday cards since my son has so many birthday parties to attend.  However, now that I am aware of the low prices and nice rewards program, I plan on buying Hallmark Value Cards for other occasions as well.

Do your children attend many birthday parties?  Do you have advice for trendy moms that take their children to lots of birthday parties for friends?

Learn More 
Join the trendy Hallmark Card Rewards program.  You'll receive a reward for every 5 cards that you purchase and credit to your account. You'll also have access to fun resources such as browsing posts by other bloggers.  Join the #ValueCards conversation on Twitter.


I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Recipe: Our Best Green Smoothie - Spinach Raspberry with Ginger Ale #EatHealthy

Recipe: Our Best Green Smoothie - Spinach Raspberry with Ginger Ale
Ingredients:
  • 1 6-ounce container of Driscoll's Raspberries
  • 1/2 pound of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of flat ginger ale
Directions
1. Add the cherry juice and flat ginger ale to the blender.



2. Fill the blender with as much spinach as you can fit. Do not pack the spinach in hard.  Continue to add handfuls of the remaining spinach and water until well blended.



3. Add the container of washed Driscoll's Raspberries and blend until smooth.



4. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate.

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