Learning How to Use the Internet to #ShareAwesome

My life is on the internet. My job involves running a website, my list of hobbies practically starts and ends with Facebook stalking, and most of my best friends are people that I met online, who live all around the country. It sounds weird to some, but I grew up this way. And this is how our kids are growing up as well.

Computer 2000

Me at my spiffy computer circa 2000. {Most likely printing out pictures of the Backstreet Boys for my walls because OMGTHEYARESODREAMY.}

Shane has just started going online {he has used the iPad for years, but not beyond his educational apps}, so we’re trying to navigate the depths of the internet as a family. Anything he does is monitored and he has parental controls in place just in case. At five years old, this is easy to keep a handle on, but I’m sure as he grows older we will need to be ever vigilant to keep him protected!

The internet can be a wonderful “place”, full of friends with common interests and the answer to any question you can think of. It can also be a scary place, though, and it is important for us to teach our children how to conduct themselves online. I was part of the first generation to grow up online, and back then we didn’t know much about internet safety. Now that it’s our turn to raise tech-savvy kids, it’s important to teach them how to safely walk that fine line between over-sharing and sharing awesome.

What is sharing awesome? It’s using social media in a positive way- keeping out-of-town relatives updated on what’s going on in your child’s life, keeping in touch with friends after school in a friendly way, or just generally using digital media in an uplifting way. To help parents teach their children about the both safe and positive way to use digital media, the National PTA has partnered with LifeLock to share awesome ways families can create an open, evolving conversation about positive, safe decisions when using digital tools. It’s all part of having a happy, healthy lifestyle. You, your family, your friends, and the whole world- everyone benefits when you #ShareAwesome {like I did below}!

Right now, the National PTA & LifeLock are hosting the #ShareAwesome contest. The contest invites social media users to share a smart and safe decision, uplifting accomplishment, or positive action for the good of others using hashtag #ShareAwesome on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Visit ShareAwesomeNow.org to learn more.

Snap a photo of an awesome moment in your day and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #ShareAwesome hashtag!

Students who enter the #ShareAwesome contest between September 15 – November 30, 2014 will have a chance to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship!

How do you #ShareAwesome?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

New GoPro Action Cameras Now Available at 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.

We have a lot of fun experiences coming up. We’re headed on a weekend vacation next month, and soon after that we’ll be driving up to the mountains to play in the snow- a first for Zac. We will be driving through the holiday lights display at a race track and if the timing works out, Justin may actually get to go snowboarding this year. You know what would really make all of those experiences even more fun? If we had an action camera to record it all!

Hero lifestyle 2 0

I’ve been looking at the GoPro camera for a long time, and I am really excited about their new cameras! Below is a bit about each one:


GoPro HERO4 Black: the most advanced GoPro ever, featuring improved image quality and a 2x more powerful processor with 2x faster video frame rates1, HERO4 Black takes award‐winning GoPro performance to a whole new level.


GoPro HERO4 Silver: the first-ever GoPro to feature a built-in touch display. Controlling The camera, playing back footage and adjusting settings is ultra-convenient—just view, tap and swipe the screen. With 1080p60 and 720p120 video, and 12MP photos at a staggering 30 frames per second, HERO4 Silver combines powerful, pro-quality capture with the convenience of a touch display.


GoPro HERO: Featuring high‐quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, and 5MP photos up to 5 fps, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world.

Hero lifestyle 1_4

Like always, you can find the latest cameras and camcorders at Best Buy- including the full line of new GoPro cameras! Best Buy even carries an assortment of accessories. These cameras make perfect holiday gifts for everyone- from kids and teens to gadget gurus. Whether you’re filming your child’s first ride down a mountain or a ride on a roller coaster, GoPro’s new line of cameras allow you to beautifully and authentically capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to your life!

Hero lifestyle 3

You can learn more at www.bestbuy.com/GoPro or visit your local Best Buy to check out the latest cameras in person!

What would you use a GoPro camera for?

Halloween Pet Safety Tips & Halloween Treats for the Whole Family

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TrickOrTreatEm #CollectiveBias

Can you believe it’s almost Halloween? We are all excited for the spookiest holiday of the year. I do mean all of us- October 31st isn’t just for the kids! {Although they do look pretty cute all dolled up in their costumes.} There is another member of the family that deserves to take part in the festivities and rake in some Halloween treats, though- the family dog!

Bella Notte dressed up for #TrickOrTreatEm #shop

If your four-legged family member will be a part of this year’s festivities, it’s important to be safe. By following a few simple safety rules, you can ensure that the whole family has a perfectly haunted holiday!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips #TrickOrTreatEm #shop

1. Prevent runaways. Either put a baby gate up at the front door or make sure your dog is in another room when opening the door to make sure that you don’t have an escapee. You know your dog best, but if you think they might want to bolt the minute you open the door, it’s best to avoid the problem. {Bella Notte likes to run out the door, no matter what date the calendar says.} Even some dogs who normally don’t run away might be stressed out by all of the Halloween excitement and uncharacteristically take off, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Practice fire safety. If you’re using a real candle inside of your jack-o-lantern, be sure it’s kept away from curious puppies. It is in a hollowed-out thing of food, after all, so make sure that your pup doesn’t singe himself or herself on a lit candle. Keep it outside {and supervise your pup near it} or display it in a higher-up location.

3. Keep your dog inside, especially at night. While “Mischief Night” isn’t as popular as it once was, pranksters still roam around Halloween {typically the night before, and sometimes the night of} and you don’t want your pup to play any part in their games.

4. Don’t share your treats! Keep the human treats away from the dog! Whether you’re giving out chocolate or something else, it’s still not good for dogs. If your pup is like mine, they may not have the best self-control, so make sure that you keep the treats out of sight {and thus, out of mind}.

Bella inspecting her Canine Carry Outs #TrickOrTreatEm #shop
Since your pup can’t enjoy the buckets & buckets of candy your kids bring home, why not get them their own treats? After all, they do tricks all year, don’t they deserve some treats, too? You can even let them dress up first- how cute is a ballerina pup {or in this case, a Bella-rina}?

Get Coupons for your favorite dog treat brands! #TrickOrTreatEm #shop

What should your pup be this year for Halloween? You can visit the Trick or Treat Em website to take your dog’s personality quiz to get a better idea of what kind of Halloween Hound they are! You can even create a custom digital Halloween pet photo frame with a picture of your dog in their Halloween costume with their delicious treats!

Dog trick-or-treats #TrickOrTreatEm #shop

Once you’ve done that, you will be able to get a coupon good for some of your favorite dog treats, including Pup-Peroni, Milk-Bone, Milo’s Kitchen, and Canine Carry Outs which is good at your local Kroger affiliate store. My store {which is Smith’s here in Vegas} had a huge selection of dog treats, so you’re sure to find the perfect pick for pumpkin day!

Where to find dog treats #TrickOrTreatEm #shop

Whether your pup will be going as a ghoulish ghost, a ballerina, or simply their furry self, I hope you and your pet have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

Have you ever dressed your pup up for Halloween?

Support Foster Care Adoption- and Get Free Frosty Treats!

Wendy’s has been the location of lots of great memories for me. I remember when I was a little kid, no older than Shane is now, when my dad would bring me there and treat me to a kid’s meal- and a Frosty for dessert. I remember going there with Justin in high school to share a Frosty because there was one close to his house. I remember going to that same Wendy’s when Shane was just barely over a year old- he had more interest in eating the board book than the orange slices I had gotten him, but he definitely enjoyed the couple of bites of my Frosty that I shared with him!

Shane at Wendy's as a baby

Frosty treats have been a part of some of the relationship-building moments of my life, so it just makes sense that they are helping to literally build relationships between foster children and adoptive parents. There are currently more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption- a staggering number that is almost too large to comprehend. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, created by Dave Thomas {founder of Wendy’s}, “believes that we have a responsibility to be the voice of foster care adoption, so that every child finds a family.” As founder Dave Thomas said, “These children are not someone else’s responsibility. They are our responsibility.” The DTFA exists to find homes for children who are waiting to be adopted from foster care in North America- and they do that in part by selling Frosty treats!


Between now and Halloween {October 31st}, you can purchase a Wendy’s Halloween Coupon Book for $1 at participating Wendy’s locations to support foster care adoption. Each coupon book has 5 or 10 {depending on your location} coupons for a FREE Jr. Frosty between November 1, 2014 and February 1, 2015.

Wendy's Frosty

For each coupon book sold, ninety cents will go straight to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Wendy’s is aiming to give $10 million to the foundation this year, so be sure to buy a book or two! {They make great chore incentives, or you can give them out for Trick-or-Treating!} Thanks to Wendy’s® consumers and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®, 4,000+ children have found adoptive families- let’s work together to add to that number!

Shane with Frosty

Visit your local Wendy’s® to purchase a Jr. Frosty™ Halloween Coupon Book* for $1, which benefits the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®!

*Coupon book may contain coupons for 5 or 10 free Jr. Frosty™ treats. Prices and participation may vary. Ninety cents to every $1 coupon booklet sold between 9/15/14 and 10/31/14 will benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. Coupons valid from 11/1/14 through 2/1/15. ©2014 Oldemark LLC

What’s your favorite Frosty flavor?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe

Since late August, I’ve been attempting to pumpkin all the things. The problem is, it’s still hot around here, so while I’ll occasionally indulge in a proper Pumpkin Spice Latte, I still needed a pumpkin fix that was more suitable to drink while wearing shorts and flip flops.

This Pumpkin Spice Smoothie isn’t like the drink at Starbucks- it features actual pumpkin and some delicious spices, not just “pumpkin pie spice”- which is delicious, but doesn’t have any nutritional value. It’s the perfect beverage to make for a mid-afternoon snack, a trip through the school pick-up lane, or on the way to work in the morning. The recipe below makes one serving.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe- even uses real pumpkin!


¼ C. canned pumpkin
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. cold milk
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg


1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix well. I actually put all the ingredients into a large quart jar and gave it a few good shakes and it turned out really well!

2. Pour into a glass and serve immediately. If you would prefer it a bit thicker simply add a handful of ice and blend before enjoying.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie- uses real pumpkin!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

{Psst- like pumpkin? Check out my DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub, my Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce, or my No Bake Peanut Butter Bite Pumpkins, which don’t actually contain pumpkin but are SUPER cute.}

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