Monday, March 25, 2013

Fill your Easter basket with CLIF Kids

This Easter I plan on choosing healthier options for my kids instead of the regular ole chocolate bunny I got into the habit of getting them. For shame I know but it was easy to find and cheap so I would stock up every year. The problem was I would stock up so much that not only were the kids getting one every year but so were my husband and I. And it would end up being more then one, two...okay maybe three chocolate bunnies a year. While chocolate can be good in moderation eating that many chocolate bunnies whether it be in one sitting or throughout the month is not healthy for any of us. CLIF has recently come out with a new line just for kids, CLIF Kids and it's perfect timing for Easter seeing as I haven't done anything to prepare my kids baskets yet.





CLIF Kid Zbars are made with whole grains & have the perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, good fat & fiber to keep kids nourished & maintain their energy levels throughout the day. Zbars are also packed with twelve essential vitamins & minerals specifically for kids growing bodies. As if that wasn't enough awesomeness they also come in six delicious flavors; Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Brownie, S’mores, Peanut Butter, Honey Graham and Iced Oatmeal cookie. I personally love that I can give my daughter who has severe nuts allergies four out of the six Zbars that they offer.


Remember those fruit roll up things as a kid? You feel this leathery thing off a plastic sheet? I used to love them as a kid, then I found them again after my first born started school but stopped after seeing that they weren't really as healthy as I thought they were. But guess what CLIF Kid now offers Zfruit, a delicious organic chewy fruit snack that has one full serving of organic fruit in each piece. Zfruit comes in Fruit Punch, Grape, Mixed Berry, Sour Apple, Tropical Twist and Strawberry. These are perfect for putting in your kids lunches or grabbing on the go.

None of CLIF Kids products contain high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, trans fats, artificial colors or flavoring. So now the only decision I have left is to decide which Zbar and which Zfruit is going in my kids Easter basket this year.

*No compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own*

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pandora is now available on Windows Phone


I don't know about you but learning about this makes me giddy. I listen to Pandora a lot. Okay a lot may be a bit of an understatement. And wouldn't you know I am cheap about it so I don't pay for the premium subscription which means I get ads. Not a huge deal since I have been using Pandora for years now and I am for the most part pretty used to it but now I don't have to worry about that. Oh yes for those of us lucky few with a Windows Phone 8 Pandora is now available for download AND it is ad free through 2013! That's NINE months folks.

One feature I really like is that when adjusting the volume it also brings up your basic controls for Pandora. And even better is it doesn't do it just when your in the app but while your on your home screen as well. Oh yeah and you see what's playing from the home screen. No more having to open the app constantly just to see what band/song is playing.


 To get Pandora on your Windows phone download the app from the Windows store here.

* I am part of the Verizon Wireless Ambassador program. A device was provided to me with three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the device. All thought and opinions expressed therein are my own*


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to set up Pinterest Analytics

Today Pinterest is rolled out their new look along with a few great new features. One of them being analytics. Why should you care about this? I know you all know that it's not about the numbers but in my case it is fun and educational to see exactly how many people have pinned content from your site, or which pin is your most popular one, or how many people have clicked through on your pins. While the new look has kept it's overall same feel it has been tweaked a little to make it look more sleek and clean lined. In other words, it's downright sexy but then again Pinterest has always been pretty hot, right?

Setting up access to Pinterest's new look and seeing your analytics couldn't be any easier. Here it all is broken down in five steps.

1. To get access to Pinterest’s new look click here
 
2. In order to be one of those to can gain early access to the new look you first need to make sure that you have a verified website on Pinterest. If it is not you will need to do this first. Click here for instructions on how to verify your site on Pinterest.

3. Once your have confirmed that your website is in fact verified click on the menu on your homepage and then select "Switch to the New Look".


You will still have the option to change back to the old look if you want to switch back


4. As you can see the change isn't huge but it's there. Now you can select the new pull down menu and select Analytics


5. From there you can scroll through and explore what your Pinterest board is doing for your site.



And you're all set. In under five steps you can set up Analytics on your Pinterest account and begin exploring all the data. I set mine up earlier this morning and I am having fun going through all the dates and seeing which post/photo did what. I hope these step by step instructions have helped you in the setup process of Analytics on your Pinterest account.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Easter Gift Basket Giveaway


With Easter right around the corner, literally folks it's on the 31st of March this year (that's only twenty more days ACK) you may have already started looking for stuff for your children's Easter Baskets. Or if you are like me you haven't even thought about it and reading this right now will send you into a panic to start planing. But have no fear I have an awesome giveaway to share with you all and it will help ease some of that rush rush feeling you may or may not be having right now. And if you've gotten the kids covered then you can pick something special out for yourself. Holiday Gifts & Baskets is giving away an Easter Basket of your choice valued up to $80. That's right, winners choice of their favorite basket from over the 75 fabulous options that you can drool over right here. I couldn't resist listing off a few of my favorites.

I don't know about you but I love that the Sparkling Orchid basket offers a lot of spa like gifts, perfect for those who enjoy taking time out for themselves to relax and pamper themselves.


The Springtime Healthy Spa Organic Gift Basket one is perfect for those living the healthy green and organic lifestyle


Or how about the Springtime Fruit and Savories Basket which is a perfect mixture of healthy with delicious cheese and nuts.


This giveaway is open to those 18+ years and living within the U.S.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Shutterfly's Home Decor Giveaway


The first official day of Spring is March 20th. That's only nine days. One week two days. Two hundred and sixteen hours. Either way you put it it's coming up quickly! For me Spring time is a wonderful time, the flowers start to bloom, the trees get their beautiful green back and the weather warms up enough for everyone to play outside. The other thing I love is the annual spring cleaning of the house. Okay I lied, I loathe it. I am unorganized and cleaning is my least favorite thing to do BUT I do it anyways every year around this time. My favorite part of spring cleaning is rearranging. I typically rearrange the kids rooms and the living room. That includes the furniture, the bookshelf and the pictures. I try to mix up the photos adding new one's and rearranging current one's to give it a fresh look.

Right now I have zero photo's on my mantle. In fact I may or may not still have my Christmas town scene on my mantle. For shame I know. But once those come down which will hopefully be soon I will need to put something else up there. I love showcasing my family and what better place to put it then above my mantle right. I think this classic Monogram Black Canvas (middle pic) would fit perfectly above my mantle or maybe the Love Collage (left pic) would go better or what about Acrylic Print? Shutterfly has an entire Home Decor section online with sixteen different photo decor products.
  • Canvas Prints
  • Fleece Photo Blankets
  • Woven Photo Blankets
  • Dimensional Wall Art
  • Desktop Plaque
  • Acrylic Photo Block
  • Mounted Wall Art
  • Photo Cubes
  • Acrylic Prints
  • Plates
  • Cups
  • Ornaments
Between all the different design options with each product the options are endless and Shutterfly recently added two new products to the line. New Canvas Print Designs -  and New Decorative Wall Decals. The Flower Power decals are absolutely adorable and would look perfect in my daughters room around her window. Even the colors match perfectly with her walls and bed spread. Adorable isn't it?


 
Tomorrow March 12th join Resourceful Mom for the Shutterfly Pinning Party. You can find out more about the party and RSVP here. I encourage you to check it out, a party with Amy is always guaranteed to be fun!

Today I get to offer you all a fabulous giveaway for a 5x5 Photo Gallery Acrylic Block that you design plus shipping from Shutterfly.  

Mandatory Entry:
Visit Shutterfly's Home D├ęcor page and comment with your favorite item that you'd love to have in your home.

Additional Entries:
  • Follow @Shutterfly on twitter (leave your username in the comments)
  • Follow @Shanamama9197 on twitter (leave your username in the comments)
  • Tweet "I just entered a @Shutterfly 5x5 Photo Gallery Acrylic Block #giveaway from @Shanamama9197 you too can enter to #win http://bit.ly/10y8a1z" (Leave the url of your tweet with your comment)
  • Follow Shanamama on Pinterest (leave your username in the comments)
Giveaway ends March 19th at 11:59 pm CST and is open to residents of the US only.

UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed and a winner has been chosen. There were two entries that came in on March 21st after the giveaway was officially closed so there were only 73 official entries.

Congratulations to..........commenter number 18, Debbie Jackson with the lucky comment 
"I love the photoblankets". Debbie I will be emailing you right now.


I have been compensated with product in exchange for participating in this campaign. All opinions expressed therein are my own.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday-Heavy Metal

Not heavy metal as in the genre of music but instead heavy metal as in this giant piece of metal artfully placed over a new section of the freeway out here. Wait...I'm sorry, it's the highway or is it the interstate. My husband keeps telling me they don't call them freeways out here. Oh well I will call it a freeway as long as I live out here.

Anywho, back on track here. I have no idea what this is, what it means and why they put it over the freeway BUT I like it. It's a neat sculpture and you can't deny that it is pretty eye catching.

 

I took these photos with my insanely awesome HTC Windows 8x phone. Not too shabby huh? Especially considering I was in a moving car. The camera on this phone is insane. By far the best camera phone I have ever come by.

I also edited it on the Windows phone with this nifty app called Fhotoroom. Think Instagram but for the Windows phone and with a TON of editing options. You can sign up for an account and share you photos within their app as well as socially or you can just use the editing software and save the picture to your phone. Me, I do the later because I have enough social sharing sites as it is, I am not sure if I could handle another right now. But that doesn't stop me from using their great editing software.

For more inspiring photos be sure to check out:

 



Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Tunes-Cradle of Filth

Cradle of Filth is I guess what you would call an extreme goth metal band. They're from England and  formed in 1991. Side note...why are all the insanely awesome metal bands not from the US? I mean cool for them but sucky for us Americans who want to see them play.

When I first heard of Cradle of Filth I couldn't tell you but I do remember the very first song I heard by them...Hallowed be thy name which incidentally is a cover of another awesome band, Iron Maidens. How apropos of them to cover one of their songs seeing as they were a big influence on the members of Cradle of Filth and I do love me some Iron Maiden.

WARNING!!!  
Before watching these videos make sure there are no children around, secondly if you are easily offended by the crude and naughty and slightly disturbing behavior just skip this whole post. If you are slightly interested in hearing what they sound like but don't want to watch then by all means, press play but don't look. If you don't care then enjoy my friends.

There is no official video and the others were all animated (blah) so enjoy watching some (silent) Underworld while listening.

 
The second Cradle of Filth song I heard was From the Cradle to Enslave. 



I was sharing a few of their songs on Facebook earlier this morning as I was listening to them and of all people to comment my Mom did. And I totally laughed at her comments. "I was good with this until he started singing" naturally I had to share more and push the envelope so I shared Lilith Immaculate. Her response "What the hell was that??? You can't possibly call Lilith Immaculate a song!" ROFL. Yeah I know they may not be everyone's cup o tea but the "nice" side of me loves to play Cradle of Filth during Halloween night just to scare the bejeebus out of people haha, hush don't judge me, I have a twisted sense of humor. 

So if you listened to either of the videos, what did you think?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

PieOgraphy's Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate & Caramel


Oh yes, I did just say Banana Cream pie with Chocolate Ganache.

Let me introduce you to Jo Packham. the creator and Editor-in-Chief of Where Women Cook. I'll wait while you go peek at her site....and you must peek because it's gorgeous and FULL of amazing recipes and soooo much more. Back to Jo now, in addition to her amazing website she also owns a publishing company where she creates the bestselling magazines Where Women Cook and Where Women Create, Where Women Create Business vand she is also an author! I don't know about you but I think Jo is amazing and I bow down to Jo and her awesomeness. On February 1st she released the Where Women Cook PieOgraphy cookbook, where pie meets biography.


You always hear how a recipe has a story behind it but what happens when you don't get to hear the story? You're left wondering what it was, was it a good story, I wonder who actually created this recipe because damn is it good, man I wish I knew what it was! At least that's how it runs through in my head. So when I was approached about reviewing Jo's new cookbook the first thing that stuck out at me was the fact that you actually get the story. You may get the story behind the person who created the recipe, the story behind the recipe heck you get both. I really love that about this book, I may even love it more then the actually recipes....wait who am I kidding, I love food how could I say that. All joking aside I really enjoy both parts of this book, getting to know the person behind the food and knowing the story of the recipe as well as the drool worthy pictures. Have I mentioned the pictures yet? Forgive me for not sharing them....they are drool worthy.


I couldn't review this book without making a recipe from it, it just wouldn't be right. One of my all time favorite pie's is the Banana Cream Pie so when I saw there was a recipe in PieOgraphy for it but with a special twist I knew this would be the pie I would make. Confession....I've never made a pie before from scratch so I was a little scared. Yeah I've made one that involved pudding and whipped cream but I don't count that because the ingredients for the filling were already made, nothing done from scratch. So with a deep breath I gathered my baking confidence and got to work.

I didn't follow the exact recipe since I wanted to make sure it would be something my whole family would eat (kids, they're picky you know) so I left out the salted butter caramel sauce but I kept the chocolate ganache because dude, it's chocolate!
And because this was my first time making a pie I finally got to pull out my Grandmothers old pie dish that she passed down to me ages ago that has sat in the hutch collecting dust.
I even pulled out her beautiful pie server.

Not too shabby for my first attempt at making a pie huh? I have to thank the amazing instructions from the recipes creator, Nancy Soriano. And the drool worthy photos which caught my eye and conviced me to make this pie.

Really quick, another thing I enjoyed about this book is that it's not just dessert pie's in it. You also have delectable, savory pies included in there such as spinach quiche, heirloom tomato pizzas, chicken pot pie and more. So the reference of pie encompasses all types of pie's. If you would like to take a peek at the book for yourself click HERE. And since I know you will fall in love with it instantly here is the link to where you can buy it.

You can also keep up on the Where Women Cook community on their Facebook page, Twitter and their Pinterest page.


I received an advanced copy of Where Women Cook: PieOgraphy to facilitate my review, the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.