Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lemony, Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

When I started getting The Farm Table boxes I was so excited to get all these new and interesting vegetables to try out. I also experienced my first White Sweet Potato. Since sweet potatoes aren't something that we usually partake of I was really at a loss of what to do with them....so I stood and stared at my pantry for a little while and eventually came up with this! This was also my first time using my Lemon Olive Oil that I got from a friend in Italy. OH man! I wish I had used it earlier, but I was totally nervous.



- cut up your sweet potatoes (after washing and drying) and lay them out on your cookie sheet

- drizzle Lemon Olive Oil and stir around to coat (doesn't have to be perfect)

- salt and pepper to taste

- for 3 cut-up sweet potatoes I used 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of rosemary

- bake on 375 for about 30 minutes

- half-way through go in, stir them around and flip some over

- done when they are golden

If you try it let me know what you think? Does your family love sweet potatoes? If you live in the Northern Virginia area and want to check out The Farm Table, use my code RheannaTFT for $15 off or ask me about about a trial box by emailing me!

play around with it, but this combination is absolutely magical! Baking the sweet potatoes really brings out their flavor and the mix of sweet and savory on this is epic!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why I Love Being an Influenster #VoxBoxLove

The most obvious being reason for loving Influenster is the free stuff. I mean, lets be honest the free stuff is amazing. Trying new products, being trusted to talk about them and let people know what I think about them is pretty awesome. I've been blessed with so many cool things, and many times its things that I may never have purchased for myself that I now get the awesome opportunity to try out. Influenster is also a really neat place to get reviews from other people. You can see what others, just your regular average everyday person thinks about something. They aren't actors getting paid to love something in a commercial, or a company paying big bucks to have something advertised in a fabulous magazine.

One of my favorite boxes was when I got one of Cindy Crawford's iconic skin care line, Meaningful Beauty, that she has been talking about on infomercials for years! When I got it I was so excited!!  I might not have ever bought this for myself, but I loved this product so much it is actually on my repeat buy list. As a blogger that reviews a lot of products, a lot that I like too, many of them don't always make the "I Would Actually Buy this Later" list.



What's great about Influenster is that you don't have to be a prolific blogger. They want to hear from you! If you want to try to give influenster a try let me know! Leave your email and I will send an invite your way. Start by reviewing products that you've tried on the website and get active in The Hub. It's so much fun and you'll love it.

Are you already an Influenster? What has been your favorite VoxBox?
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lego KidFest, is it worth it?

 

Lego KidFest came to Richmond last month and boy was it a hit! Tickets for Lego Events here in the National Capital Region sell out fast and furious. Richmond was your second opportunity this year to check it out. If you are a Lego fan KidFest is your playground, your dream come true and must see. While tickets can be pricey I would characterize this as "worth it" in my book. Tickets stop being free after two years old so that is something to consider. For us, my three year-old would not be worth the price-tag of $22 that is required for kids 3-17. He likes Legos, but I don't know that he would really fully appreciate it for that price. It is a huge, fast-moving and crowded experience.Watching the kids can be a little intense, so I liked my odds at one kid per adult in this scenario.

If you've never been to a Lego event I 100% suggest it for the true Lego lover.  The adults in your group might have even more fun than the kids. I'm not even going to pretend people....there was a brief moment when I considered making it a date night kinda thing. Lego building is super cathartic for me.

Lego KidsFest has released dates for their 2015 season to make sure to check out these upcoming events!

Arizona February 27-March 1 
Missouri March 20-22 
Tennessee April 17-19
Texas September 4-6

make sure to sign up for the KidsFest newsletter so you can
stay on top of all things Lego KidsFest!

LEGO KidsFest minifigure


**I received tickets in partnership with UsFamilyGuide Mom Bloggers Guide. I was not compensated in any other way. As always my views and opinions are my own.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cammo Style Love Gift Guide 2014 - Space Scouts

The Holiday Season is upon us ya'll and while some of us may have gotten a jump start on shopping, there may be some of us that are still searching for the perfect gift. This year I really wanted to focus on unique and not necessarily "toy" type gifts for the family. Things that might be more educationally driven, practical, but still able to grab the attention of the recipient. That's why I'm especially excited to present the first item on the 2014 Gift Guide. This one is targeted for your children, and especially your space-loving children.


Space Scouts monthly subscription club for kids is a delightful learning adventure aimed at discovering the wonders of the universe! Each month your child will explore a new place in space -- stepping into the worlds of space exploration, space science, and astronomy. Join Roxy and Jett as they scout about the galaxy engaging your child in fun learning activities, hands-on discovery, and exciting challenges. Packages arrive each month filled with fun additions to your collection -- magnets, stickers, toys, and more!

Space Scouts is a stellar vehicle for launching your child's interest in science & technology! This is not your typical grab-bag subscription box. Space Scouts is a fun, educational experience where each month builds upon the previous. It's a great way to learn! Price is affordable at $11.95 per month + $3.00 shipping. Discounts for multi-month purchase. Space Scouts is designed for kids age 6+. Visit our website to learn more! 20% discount - Use promo code USFAMILY20 at checkout to receive 20% discount on initial purchase of any Space Scouts subscription plan.


Visit USFamilyGuide for coupon information


**this post is brought to you in partnership with USFamilyGuide and Space Scouts - I received product in exchange for my post, but was not compensated in any other way. As always my views and opinions are my own, and I don't present a product to my audience unless I believe it will be of interest to my readers.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day Thoughts

When I think of Veteran's Day my mind goes to the inevitable online wars where people go back and forth about Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. When do you thank a Veteran, when do you honor the fallen, and how dare you say "Happy Memorial Day!" While the intentions may be good and honorable, its the loudest and the most intense that tend to be heard, and you are left with a bad taste in your mouth. For the record, saying "Happy Memorial Day," rubs me the wrong way; and yes, I believe people have lost sight of what these "holidays" mean. But after so many years of war we are weary, and sad and unlike previous wars we can live that all out on the internet for everyone to see. So, lets stop and get a little education.....

What is Veteran's Day?

Said simply, Veteran's Day is an official US holiday that honors all of those that have served in the armed forces, Veterans. Around the world you will find holidays such as Remembrance Day and Armistice Day, which are a celebration of the end of WWI. In 1956 it was officially moved to November 11 (the original armistice day after further prodding after WWII.



Think about what it was like then? You might have seen some of the documentaries or videos after WWII ended. The sheer exuberance of people, the ticker-tape parades, boys in uniform running around, girls kissing every one they came across. This had really impacted Americans. They had lost so many young lives, 20+ million military members. There was a great cry for a day to remembers those that had served. Memorial Day however was not formally created (although Decoration Day had been sporadically practiced since the civil war) until 1967.

Veterans day.jpg
This picture and story is probably the most beautiful I've seen. On Veterans Day 1982, WWI survivor Joseph Ambrose, honors his son who had perished in the Korean War, by attending a dedication of a VietNam Veterans Memorial. I highly doubt anyone was explaining to anyone in attendance here the difference between the holidays.

So take time today to think about Veterans, all of them - those of the Greatest Generation that are still among us, their fellow service members who they lost. Buy a dinner or a beer for a Veteran and his family, even take the time to honor those that are no longer with us, for they are Veterans too. We don't need a holiday to do any of that really. If we get all wrapped up in arguing with each other (even if someone is right) we lose sight of what is really important. Our anger takes hold of us and that is not honoring anyone.



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Monday, November 10, 2014

Mommy and Me Monday w/ Really, Are you Serious?

I haven't linked up with Krystyn in awhile over at Really, Are You Serious? and I thought my efforts to blog as much as possible in November (I fear my original plans to blog every day might have been to lofty a goal) would be the perfect time to resurrect my participation in the Mommy and Me Monday link-up. We as moms are almost always behind the camera and this link-up forces you to think about getting in front of that camera with your littles, making those memories right alongside them. So here's some of my most recent "Mommy and Me Moments".

 me and my lady bug, during our family vaca to Williamsburg, VA

 Yorktown Beach, a pleasant locals beach that we spent the day at

Phil-Phil and I in front of the West Virginia State Capital. 
Photo courtesy of my oldest

stop by and link up with Krystyn and pay a visit to some of the other mommies
getting in front of the camera today

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Visiting Busch Gardens with Kids *Williamsburg* #BGMomAmbassador2014

This year I am so honored to be a MomCentral Ambassador for Busch Gardens here in Williamsburg, Virginia for the 2014-2015 year. We have never has the pleasure of visiting the park, although I had heard from many people (including my mom) how wonderful it is. Having not been on a "family" vacation for almost eight years - you know, the kind where you are just going away as a family and not going to visit family - we thought that this was the perfect time to do it. Our summer was rather crazy so we settled on an "End of Season" getaway to Williamsburg. We stayed at the lovely Williamsburg La Quinta with our Military Gold Card and set out on our adventure to the park.

Before I get on to my tips for visiting with kids, lets start with talking about the theme park itself. Its a beautiful park, with probably the most amazing customer service/attendants I have seen since first discovering Chick-Fil-A. They were wonderfully kind to my children, helpful and fun. One of the most surprising parts was the carnival games sections. We never felt cheated or taken advantage of and the pricing wasn't overkill. The attendant even switched out our winnings when some of the kids realized they had a different kind or color they wanted, no questions asked.

The park is extremely clean, the food areas great (although the bees, sheesh, so many bees in one place), and even the cost of the on-site food wasn't absolutely terrifying. There were enough rides to keep everyone happy and the rentable strollers were pretty cool. We also happened to be in the park just at the beginning of their Hall-O-Scream! *scary!* It was actually really cool and made me wish that hubby and I could have stayed for that part. It was obviously meant for adults, but again we were pleasantly surprised how the actors curbed their behaviors when small children were around. A+++ job Busch Gardens!

 on the tram from parking to the park

 getting our heights checked for the rides - BG's color guide makes it so easy

 the kids' first ride in Seasame Street Place


 Can't believe my cautious first-born went on this!

 yet another ride I'm amazed he went on!

 the park is sectioned into "Country" themes. They are beautiful to look at.

 some of the gardens in England. Beautifully designed and decorated


some of the fall/Halloween decorations

Tips for Visiting Busch Gardens with Kids and On a Budget

1. Stroller rental, while convenient is kind of expensive. With lots of scheduled breaks even my two-year old 
walked around for the eight hours we were there. So bring your own or chance it. If you are economizing the rest of your trip, springing for the rental could fit into your budget.

2. While food is available, I love that Busch Gardens has taken into consideration budgeting for families. In each of the parking structures there are picnic tables that are lovely. These are easily accessed with the tram system. So bring your cooler and take a break from the park to eat your homemade meals.

3. Visit on a Sunday. While we went at the very end of the season, after Labor Day, apparently Sunday is
a great day to go. The park isn't quite as busy as it is Saturday, and we didn't really have to deal with lines. So attending in the off season, and on Sunday will be our MO from now on, at least until the kids are older.

4. Study the park map and circle all the rides you will be able to go on. We didn't do this ahead of time and we walked around to some locations where there really weren't any rides for us to go on. The park is great
and measures the kids, bands them, and then gives you a color-coded paper with the names of the rides you can go on. Save walking time by figuring this out before-hand.

5. Take advantage of some of the built-in rest areas! Through-out the day we took advantage of the play areas, with benches, or places for us to watch the kids get out some energy and hang out. There's a air tram that goes between the different countries and a climbing area in the Sesame Street Place. There is also a splash park in Sesame Place that we didn't know about. Bring a swimsuit and towel for the kids and take a splash break!
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