Automotive Test Drive Thanks to WAPA

A few weeks ago my social media was flooded with cars and trucks. It was all different makes and models and oh so much fun. You see I got to participate in the WAPA Rally 2016. This is a special event put on by the Washington Automotive Press Association. I’ve participated in a few events in the past with them and so enjoy it. You see we get to check out all the latest and greatest in automotives. This Rally held over 50 vehicles for us to test drive, 4 routes to choose from and some special places to stop at. Check out all the great shots I got from the WAPA Rally 2016

Such a great table decoration for us Marylanders. @washautopress #Waparally

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The Maclaren was stunning in color. Unfortunately I didn’t get a change to ride in this one. It had a long wait list.

Ohh the Mclaren is beautiful! #waparoadrally #waparally

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Our first ride of the day was the Honda Accord Hybrid.

The @Honda Hybrid is beautiful #waparally

A photo posted by Holly Zegalia (@ilikeitfrantic) on

Check out the center console on the @Honda Hybrid. #waparally

A photo posted by Holly Zegalia (@ilikeitfrantic) on

Next up was the Toyota Prius Prime. I loved the center console on this one.

The @Toyota Prius Prime console is ah-mazing! #waparally

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@iamkeonte loving the @Toyota Prius Prime #waparally

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Me and trucks. Yep I love a great truck. I really fell in love with the Ram Rebel. I didn’t want to get out of it!

Omg I love the Ram Rebel! I need this for driving the go kart each weekend. #waparally @washautopress

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Fadra from All Things Fadra took me out in the Acura MDX.

Look at the great lines of the @Acura MDX #waparally @washautopress

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Thankfully the WAPA Rally was over on Kent Island this year and it made for some great shots like this one of the Range Rover.

In love with the Range Rover @washautopress #waparally

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I’m hoping Steve takes the hint that we need to upgrade to a new truck for pulling Charlie’s trailer. This Ford F250 was easy to drive, has lane assist and oh the running boards that go up and down automatically when the door opens are perfect.

This @Ford F250 Super Duty would be great for us country folk. #waparally

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Thank you again to WAPA for having us out to test drive all these vehicles and even more. I loved being able to find different vehicles to drive and not have to worry about the salesman. Our day ended with a quick boat trip on the Andiamo Bay Charter.

The Bay Bridge as I've never seen it before. #waparally

A photo posted by Holly Zegalia (@ilikeitfrantic) on

 

 

 

 

 

French Pot Ice Cream? Graeter’s Does It

A few weeks ago I got to visit Expo East which is a huge tradeshow for companies that have a natural/organic product. I met some great companies and was introduced to even more. One of my favorites was Graeter’s. I loved speaking with them and learning all about their ice cream making process. I was given some coupons to test different flavors. All opinions are my own.

I was thankful to have a taste test that morning as I needed a little sugar to perk me up but I wasn’t expecting the taste that I was in for. We’re huge ice cream eaters in our home. Its my go to for just about everything. But finding a brand that tastes differently is hard. I found one in Graeter’s. The difference is in the way they make their ice cream. So what makes them different? They use 2½-gallon French Pot Freezers; keeping the same process from centuries ago. They only use the best ingredients. For me it’s the chocolate. They call them chocolate chips but really they are melt in your mouth CHUNKS of chocolate.

graetersI chose to pick three different flavors to test at home with the kids. I went even further to test out a flavor I’ve never even thought I would want to try in the Salted Caramel. The black raspberry chocolate chip is one of the most loved Graeter’s flavors and the one that I got to taste at Expo East.

graeters black cherry chocolate chip

Can you see the chocolate chunk in the corner of that bowl? OH So delicious and smooth. graeters black raspberry chocolate chipGraeter’s Ice Cream is a nationally recognized and awarded ice cream brand that was founded over 146 years ago in Cincinnati, OH. The fourth-generation family owned and operated company has perfected the art of using the French Pot, a traditional, small batch artisanal process of making ice cream. Known for their indulgent, premium flavors and ingredients, they’re also widely recognized for their gargantuan gourmet chocolate chips.

Graeter’s would make a perfect addition to your holiday menu. Imagine skipping the vanilla and adding black raspberry chocolate chip to your slice of apple pie. The extra taste and flavor added to the mundane. YUM! If you do it, make sure you invite me over!

Linksys Wi-Fi Router Makes for Safer Faster Surfing with Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Being a blogger means needing to be online almost constantly. Sometimes its from my computer, sometimes it’s from the iPad or phone. But it means always being able to connect. The problem is I hate to use our data plan for our phone. So I’ve been looking at more and more wi-fi available routers. I love our old Linksys router but it was time to upgrade into something new and Best Buy sent the Linksys WRT3200ACM Wi-Fi Router for me to test. And I have to say I love it even more. The biggest thing for me is that it took me all of 10 minutes to hook up! I even changed the name of it and the security code! It was perfect for a beginner or advanced internet enthusiast.

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When you open the box, you may be intimidated by the share look of the Linksys Router but no worries. Take the body out of the box and attach the antennae.

img_0226Then follow the steps on the quick start guide. Attach the power cord and cat 5 cable. Then connect to the internet using the attached password. The quick start guide even has the link to go to to register your router and finish your set up. It was at that point that we were able to change the name to something we could remember as well as the password.

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Get ready for the one and only WRT.

The WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router is powered by Tri-Stream 160 technology, which doubles the bandwidth on all spatial streams for the fastest dual-band router on the market.  Gain access to restricted DFS channels at full bandwidth for the clearest Wi-Fi not available to most other routers. The WRT3200ACM also boasts:

•             1.8 GHz CPU for high-powered performance

•             MU-MIMO technology for high-speed Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time, same speed

•             Open-source ready with OpenWrt and DD-WRT® for complete flexibility and customization of functions,

•             Upgraded Smart Wi-Fi app to manage and monitor your home Wi-Fi from a mobile device, anytime, anywhere

•             256MB Flash and 512MB of RAM Memory

•             4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports

Make sure you are ready for the holiday online shopping, blog surfing and more with the Linksys WRT3200ACM Wi-Fi Router from Best Buy. For me the best thing has been the speed of this router. Even with all 4 of us on the router at the same time, we’re not seeing a slow down at all and it’s kept us from telling others to shut their electronics down.

7 Charming Sisters Take DC

A few days ago I got to participate in the 7 Charming Sisters Take DC event. I have to say out of all of my events this one was one of my favorites. First of all it wasn’t a typical here’s our product and let me tell you all about it. It was more of an event to network with fellow bloggers, learn about the company and have fun. First of all I got to visit with fellow bloggers from the DC area like Laura from Beltway Bargain Mom and Christy from Stained with Style.

Laura from Beltway Bargain Mom

Laura from Beltway Bargain Mom

7 Charming Sisters is a boutique jewelry store that has been holding events all over the US to introduce our readers to the brand. We were given a piece of jewelry of our choosing and a pair of earrings. All opinions are my own. When we arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons, we were given some money to play with, told to choose any one piece that we wanted and we got to meet the sisters that were able to attend. It was funny to see that as we were looking at pieces we were specifically drawn to certain lines. Laura had a tendency to go to the Sexy Nerd collection. I love the necklace she picked for herself.

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So what pieces did I try?

img_0118 img_0120 img_0121 img_0123The Put a Pin In It brooch was the perfect piece to go with my dress but it also called to me for a shawl pin. Now to just knit the yarn into a shawl for it!

We also got to play some fun casino games. On one side there was roulette and other side had black jack. I stayed on the black jack side since I know nothing about roulette.

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Again I think the event was so great because it was fun. The sisters walked around, played with us, even taught us how to play and we had a great dealer at the table. Thanks Joe!

7 Charming Sisters has pieces for each every woman. You can even take a quick quiz to see what collection would be best for you (PSSTT You get a 10% off coupon when you enter your email!) The best part is that each piece is affordable. They even have a special collection that is made with people with special needs.

Keep up with 7 Charming Sisters on Instagram!

Five Products Every Woman Needs

As a woman it’s hard to remember to think about our health too. Sometimes we put our families and friends before us. I was recently made aware that I needed to take some more time for me. I needed some time just for me and something that would make me feel more like me again. I did some research and found some five products every woman needs. These are health products and perfect for all ages of women who need to put a focus back on themselves for awhile.

Five Products Every Woman Needs- 1. Spire Wearable Wellness & Activity Tracker

I’ve used several different activity trackers. I’ve even written reviews on a few of them but one of the things that always seemed to be missing was a way to be mindful of more than just activity. The Spire Wearable Wellness & Activity Tracker makes it easy to be mindful of your stress management. Spire is a “trainer” for mindfulness & mindful living. Spire makes mindfulness more attainable by alerting users in-the-moment and suggesting breathing exercises and meditations to lead to a more mindful behavior change be it a calmer and focused state or even becoming more active. While wearing, the Spire PLATFORM will learn to anticipate stressful events before they are likely to happen and alert users with actionable insights on how to prepare and experience more calm in their life. Spire is fully integrated into the Apple Health App and works with Apple watch. An Android App is also now available.

Even better is Spire is offering a $10 off discount at checkout when you purchase the Spire Wearable Wellness & Activity Tracker. You can learn more about the Spire Wearable Wellness & Activity Tracker on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Five Products Every Woman Needs- 2. Viviscal Extra Strength for strong, healthy hair

I have issues with thinning hair. It’s been bad for years and is due to autoimmune disease. I’ve tried almost everything under the sun in order to help. I can’t wait to try Viviscal Extra Strength for Hair Growth. As the #1 Hair growth supplement on the market, Viviscal Extra Strength nourishes hair from the inside out with its scientifically formulated, exclusive and clinically proven marine complex, AminoMar®. 100% drug free, Viviscal Extra Strength promotes thicker, fuller hair and reduces hair shedding in women of all hair types. Loved by celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Karlie Kloss, Reese Witherspoon and Miley Cyrus, this miracle supplement takes hair growth to a new level. Viviscal should be taken twice a day (once in the morning, once at night) with food and water. Results can be seen after 3-6 months. Thereafter, users may reduce their intake to 1-2 tablets daily

You can keep up with Viviscal and learn more on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Five Products Every Woman Needs- 3. Dermae Firming DMAE Eye Lift

I’m getting older. I’m ready to face the fact that in a few short weeks I’ll be entering my last year as a 30 something. I’m honestly okay with it because I’m happy with my life as it is but I do know that with increased age comes increased skin issues. The biggest being sagging skin around the eyes. I’ve been looking for a good way to help with it. Dermae Firming DMAE Eye Lift is a perfect fit. You simply apply a pearl-sized amount to your ring finger and gently pat around your entire eye area. Works well under makeup. With continued use, this pro-collagen and proelastin blend leaves the delicate eye area firmer, smoother and younger-looking.

This multi-action eye cream helps to revive and smooth the look of your delicate eye area. Widely-acclaimed DMAE helps to visibly improve the appearance of skin’s firmness for a more lifted look. While wrinkle-fighting peptides including Instalift® Goji Berry help to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles for younger-looking eyes. Take your skin care to the next level with Dermae Firming DMAE Eye Lift.

Five Products Every Woman Needs- 4. Firming DMAE Moisturizer

The other big issue I’ve found with my skin is dryness. It kind of stinks to rub your face and feel dry patches. The Firming DMAE moistruizer is a nutrient-rich moisturizer is clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin’s firmness, hydration and elasticity. Widely-acclaimed DMAE helps skin to appear visibly firmer, smoother and lifted. Antioxidant-rich Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin CEster nourish your skin for a more revitalized appearance.

For use you apply a rich layer onto clean face and neck. Use in the morning and evening. Works well under makeup. Ideal for those who are looking to visibly firm and lift the face or neck.

Firming DMAE Moisturizer is one of the best anti-aging products I’ve seen so far.

Five Products Every Woman Needs- 5. Fiera® by Nuelle™

As I said I’m getting older. I’m not ashamed of it and I’m embracing every second. Some of the greatest women I know are older than me. Sometimes we have issues other than our skin or being mindful of our emotions. Sometimes its an issue in the bedroom. Fiera is used for a few minutes before sex to help get your mind and body ready for a physical, mental, and emotional connection with your partner. Small, fast-acting and hands-free, Fiera is typically worn for 5-15 minutes and then removed in preparation for sexual activity.

Readers can get 10% off using the discount code BABBLE.

What are your must have five products every woman needs?

Holiday Prep Easily with KitchenAid and Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated for this Holiday Prep Easily with KitchenAid and Best Buy article in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

About a month I got my first holiday pitch. I couldn’t believe that the holidays are almost here. I’ve started working on our prep for the holiday gift guide which is always a big hit for us. But it also means time to start thinking about Holiday Prep Easily with KitchenAid and Best Buy. Yep I’m looking at making my holiday prep easier with a whole new kitchen suite. You still have time to get a new kitchen in and ready to go. Take a look at these beautiful appliances.

Holiday Prep Easily with KitchenAid and Best Buy

I love the stainless black. Its a premium color of KitchenAid appliances that is a softer, warmer alternative to traditional stainless steel. Designed to blend with other black and stainless appliances, it makes a bold statement and complements the kitchen design. With revolutionary features and a chef-inspired design, black stainless KitchenAid appliances have everything you need to get inspired. KitchenAid presents the first-ever black stainless suite of appliances. The possibilities are as endless as your creativity.

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Offer to include:

·         Free Installation on KitchenAid Dishwashers 9/28-10/29

·         Save 10% on purchase of 3 or more KitchenAid Black Stainless Kitchen Packages 9/27-10/29

·         Receive a 14-piece cookware set via mail with purchase of KitchenAid Wall Oven & Cooktop 9/27-10/31

·         Receive up to $2000 back from KitchenAid via mail on Select Major Kitchen Appliances 9/27-10/31

KitchenAid Dishwasher in Stainless Steel Black

KitchenAid Dishwasher in Stainless Steel Black

Finding New Articles to Read

It can be hard to find new articles to read and share with your friends. I see a lot of the same posts constantly going around on Facebook. When you open up the screen and its the same stories in everyone’s feed and it repeats over several weeks (sometimes months) you just want something new to read. I’ve been looking at Wisdom Ninja for new articles recently. It’s been a fount of new articles to share. Their articles go from simple and funny to insightful pieces that educate the reader as well as give you tips for dealing with problems.

img_0074I think the most insightful/educational article I’ve read is the article entitled 4 Magic Questions to Ask Your Child Every Day. Obviously I wasn’t the only person that loved this post as it has over 600 shares but it really gave me another view on dealing with our kids. Charlie is my easy going kid while Rae is the dramatic over the top kid. But the questions the article talks about aren’t just questions to ask but also the correct way to ask them. I know that I’ve had some issues with asking the first question in the right way and so has Steve. How was your day is always the first question we ask followed quickly by what color where you on and what was your resource. But how we’re asking isn’t the best way for asking. Reading the article really proved to me that there was a difference and tone is a big part of it. We’ve changed how we ask our kids our daily questions and have seen a more open conversation for the four of us.

I can’t wait to dive more into the articles from Wisdom Ninja and see everything from our kids to pets and getting our giggles with some of their lighter articles and inspiration from some of their more poignant articles.

Five Simple Steps to a Healthy Marriage

Anyone who has been married for any period of time already knows that it is not all roses and unicorns. There are times when you will disagree, not get along or simply want to throw them out the door. It is normal when you put two people together for extremely long periods of time. Even if you happen to luck out and find your perfect partner and you never have disagreements or fights, life will take care of giving you a problem to chew on. I had to think of Five Simple Steps to a Healthy Marriage.
Five Simple Steps to a Healthy Marriage
The keys to a healthy and happy marriage kind of revolve around these basic truths. Problems are going to happen. It is all about how you handle those problems and learn from them that will determine how healthy your marriage is.

Here are my Five Simple Steps to a Healthy Marriage with happiness and healthy for years to come:

Accept your imperfections (and each others)

Nobody is going to be perfect in a marriage and expecting that is unfair to you both. Fairy tales do happen but they rarely look like the storybooks portray them. You will mess up. Your partner will mess up. It is a given and you might as well be okay with that. When you begin to accept your imperfections, it sets the stage for a happy marriage full of love and understanding. It also makes the next step possible.

Forgiveness trumps all

You may not always want to forgive your partner and there are unpardonable sins for a marriage depending on the circumstances, but most marriages will require some level of forgiveness on a daily basis. Letting go of mistakes and not holding onto old wounds will keep your marriage fresh and take off the pressure. A marriage that is counting on perfection is a marriage doomed to fail. Relax those tight bonds and be quick to forgive. It is refreshing and it will keep your partner close.

Always be a team

You two against the world. The two amigos. The dream team. If you are both on the same team and are willing to view the world through that lens, life will suddenly not seem so scary and daunting. It will also bring you two closer, teaching you to depend on one another and work together. Two will always defeat one if they are working together and can trust one another.

Communicate good and bad

Most of us communicate fairly well when we have great news to share, but what about when we lost our job? What about when our partner has a habit that is disgusting to us? Communication that only travels in one direction is useless. Talk to each other and share the good and the bad. Nobody can fix a problem they don’t know exist. Imagine the marriages that have ended over the years simply because someone had no idea that their partner was upset about something.

Keep dating and wooing

Wooing? Yep! If you would like to stay married for a long and healthy life, wooing is absolutely necessary. That means flowers, dates, love letters, notes on the mirror and candy for no good reason at all. Your wooing may differ from my wooing, but you must woo.

Dating is a big part of a marriage too. You have to continue to spend time together and life will try to eliminate that slowly but surely. If you want to keep your marriage healthy, you must spend time together having fun and cultivating it.

Marriage is not as complicated as it might seem. You have to invest time, nurture and forgive on a regular basis. If you are willing to do them and put your partner first, your marriage can be the fairy tale that you dreamed of as a kid.

Keeping Warm on the Sidelines with Thermacell

The last two years we were a football family. We spent the entire day on Saturday at the field. We spent a few hours every evening of the week at the field. I loved being with the kids and watching them participate. This year we’re a racing family. I kinda long for the football days because it was less hours in one bulk time. This year we’ll be spending about 12 hours at the race track and fall is coming. I have constantly cold feet and that leads to constantly feeling cold. I’ve tried adding layers but that makes me feel bulky and unsafe when I’m trying to do all the things I have to do. I was excited to hear that Thermacell was coming up with new ways for people to keep warm. I was even more excited when they sent me a pair of the Thermacell heated insoles to review. (All opinions are my own!) And try them I did. We’ve officially hit fall today but last week we had a few days where the weather was a little colder than one would think. I pulled out my ThermaCELL Heated Insoles Proflex to test them out.

These insoles are perfect for families that are outdoors all the time, hunters, hikers, campers. Inside the box is a set of insoles, rechargeable batteries, charger and a bag to store it all in.

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The Thermacell heated insoles come in different sizes that cover both men and women. I unpacked the batteries and charger and charged them up. thermacell

 

As you can see the batteries slip into a little section within the insoles. I was worried when I first pulled them out that the battery would make the insoles hard but each battery is covered with the same cushy material that the insoles are made of. It wasn’t noticeable when I slipped my feet into my shoes. thermacell insoles

But here’s the best part of the Thermacell Heated insoles, they’re bluetooth compatible. Yep you can control the heat through your phone! There are four heat settings so that you can find the perfect temperature for that day.

About Thermacell Heated Insoles

The ThermaCELL PFHD-XXL Pro flex heavy duty heated insoles are the next step in revolutionary feet warming technology. Utilizing Bluetooth operation, temperature control is easier than ever using the ThermaCELL App on any IOS or Android device. Simply download the App on your smart phone and select between stand-by (no heat), low (90 degrees), medium (100 degrees) and high (111 degrees) to keep your feet warm without having exposed them to the elements. The ThermaCELL heavy duty heated insoles feature high capacity batteries that are 30% more powerful than the standard Pro flex batteries, and last up to 6.5 hours of warmth per charge. Using fast charge technology these batteries will charge up to 80 percent in just 80 minutes, meaning less time out of your shoe and more time keeping you warm. Having been tested to 1 million steps, these durable heated inserts are optimized for cushioning and stability to allow you to stay on your feet all day long. From the frozen peaks of the world’s highest mountains to boston’s high-rise construction sites during the dead of winter, ThermaCELL heated products have become essential equipment for extreme users. When people push the limits of the cold temperatures they can Endure, they count on heated insoles and heat packs to bring on the heat.

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You can purchase your Thermacell Heated Insoles online and in stores. If it’s not your feet that are the issue but rather your hands, look at the Thermacell HeatPack. It is also controlled through bluetooth and has 3 heat settings to keep your hands warm.

Getting Active With Stomp Rockets

A few years ago, we went to a birthday party where the family had Stomp Rockets.We had never seen them before and the kids were enthralled. We found a cheap version somewhere and it just fell apart. I was excited to get a The Original Stomp Rocket: Ultra 4-Rocket set to test out. These are some pretty wicked rockets as they have LED lights in them.

stomp rocket

This is a great way to get kids to be more active, even in the dusk/evening hours. We decided to test it first in the day time so we would be able to get a great video of how the Stomp Rocket really works. The kids decided to have a Stomp Rocket race.

The best part is we had a chance to discuss the science between how the Stomp Rocket works. Not only how the blast of air makes the rockets launch but also how the difference in positioning the launcher makes their rockets go different directions. A launcher pointing straight up will go high but not very far. A launcher pointing at a low angle will make a rocket stay low but travel farther.

Out of the box the Stomp Rocket looks a little daunting, but it was easy to put together. The yellow pieces slide together to make the tripod for the launcher. The launcher attaches to one of the yellow pieces with a winged nut and bolt. Charlie put it together in a matter of about 2 minutes.

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For over 25 years, Stomp Rocket has been entertaining kids and their families, and stimulating active outdoor play. The Original Stomp Rocket is 100% kid powered and the appropriate for kids as young as 3. Stomp Rocket has sold over 5 million toys and won awards from industry experts. Stomp Rocket is available from their website.

Science to be learned through Stomp Rocket play:

  • Gravity-what goes up must come down.
  • Force-How hard you stomp determines how high the rockets fly.
  • Trajectory-launch these rockets at different angles to see whether they’ll fly higher or farther
  • The Power of Air-the force of air is what makes it happen