Monday, April 21, 2014

Max & Erma's $25 Gift Card Giveaway #winner

Congratulations! The entry selected as the winner of the $25 gift card to Max & Erma's is:

Sarah

An e-mail has been sent to the winner. Thanks everyone for entering and watch for other giveaways coming soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

May is National Bike Month #MaxandErmas #giveaway

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.
National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try.

Given all of the holidays that are out there, it is no surprise to me that May is National Bike Month. Biking is a great activity that is suitable for people of all ages.

I can remember as a kid learning to ride my bike in the church parking lot across the street from my house. It was a great lot with just one pole in the middle of it (guess who hit it! yup, that would be me). When my friends would come over to play, we would use that parking lot and just ride our bikes around in circles, chasing one another and making up games about super heros. I can remember riding my bike over to my best friends house for an afternoon of playing and going for bike rides with my family across town to the local ice cream shop. The town I grew up in had a bike trail that started just outside of the neighborhood that I lived in and crossed town. (not related, but it was that same bike trail that was the top of the "hill" that we used to sled on.)

When I was in college, the guy I was dating and I decided that we would take up biking together. We went out and bought gear and biked. We would bring our bikes when we visited his family and ride on the Tow Path in Northeast Ohio. We even registered for a few bike rides and completed those.

Then, I went a few years without really riding my bike. I would say a lot of it had to do with living in Pittsburgh - have you seen those hills? - and then being pregnant and having infants. We got the kids bikes and taught them to ride.

Then, last year the new Y opened in town. I wound up taking a Spinning class, because the first week of the new year, they had issues with the lights not working in the rooms. The Spinning class didn't require the lights and the equipment is self-propelled, so class went on and since I couldn't do my intended workout, I joined them to give it a try. I was hooked. Then, my husband entered a weight loss challenge with a friend and started going to the Y and riding the bikes as part of his workout. So, when spring rolled around, we decided it might be fun to go on a family bike ride and started to explore the local bike paths. We really enjoyed it, setting our trips to about 20 miles round trip with a stop at the turn around for lunch or dinner. We invited our friends and their parents to join us a few times too. It was a great way to spend time as a family and to spend time visiting with friends. Creating memories for our family, like I had as a kid.

Last week, we had our first peek at warm weather and it was spring break, so we decided to head out and tried out a new to us trail, after buying a new 'grown-up' bike for our son, complete with hand breaks and 21 gears. It was only 14 miles round trip, but with the windy day, it was good that it was not any longer. I can't wait until the warm weather is here to stay and we can do more bike rides.

Max & Erma’s gears up for National Bike Month

Each restaurant to give away a new bike and helmet

Columbus, Ohio—National Bike Month is right around the corner and Max & Erma’s restaurants is inviting kids to join their kid-loving dog and mascot, Scraps, to “Ride with Scraps” and enter to win a new bicycle and helmet. Every kid’s meal ordered at area Max & Erma’s from March 24-April 22 will receive an entry into the drawing to Ride with Scraps. The drawing will be held on Tuesday, April 22 at all participating Max & Erma’s restaurants.

“At Max & Erma’s, we love kids and families,” said Steve Weis, President of Max & Erma’s. “Every Tuesday, kids can eat free from our kids’ menu and now, we are also giving kids the opportunity to win a new bike and helmet, just in time for spring.”

As part of the Ride with Scraps promotion, Max & Erma’s is hosting a used bike drive at its participating locations in April. Visit your local Max & Erma’s for exact bike drive date and details. A coupon redeemable for one of Max & Erma’s famous hamburgers during the month of May (National Hamburger Month) will be given with each bicycle donated. The donated bikes will benefit local children’s charities.

Celebrating its 42-year heritage, Columbus, Ohio based Max & Erma's—home to America's Best Cheeseburger—has embarked on an extensive system-wide program to reignite growth. With innovative new gourmet burgers and other new food and drink items, an all-new look, the launch of Free Cookies Wednesday and Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays, Max & Erma's is an increasingly popular neighborhood gathering spot.

More information is available at http://pressroom.maxandermas.com/, Max & Erma’s Facebook page, and @MaxErmas on Twitter.

National Bike Month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to give biking a try.

Giveaway!
Courtesy of Max & Erma's to help celebrate National Bike Month and their giveaway of one new bike and helmet per participating location, I have the opportunity to give away to one A Busy Mom of Two reader, a $25 gift card to Max & Erma's.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


No compensation was received for this post. Max & Erma's provided the information about National Bike Month and their Ride with Scraps bike and helmet giveaway, as well as a gift card for my family and for the giveaway. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

DANCING WITH FIREFLIES || RSVP for April 10th Facebook Party and enter to win a Kindle HDX from @DeniseAHunter!

No compensation was received for this post. The information was provided by the publisher.
Don't miss Denise Hunter's latest Chapel Springs Romance, Dancing with Fireflies. Reviewers have already labeled Dancing with Fireflies "swoon-worthy" and "the perfect love story." 



Join Denise in celebrating the release of her new book by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway and RSVPing for her April 10th Facebook party.


fireflies-400-click
One winner will receive:


  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dancing with Fireflies and Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 10th. Winner will be announced at the Dancing with Fireflies Facebook Party on April 10th. Connect with Denise for an evening of prizes, book chat, and an exclusive look at the next book in the series.



Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 10th!



Catch my review - here!

No compensation was received for this post. The information was provided by the publisher.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents LEGENDS April 25-28, 2014 Covelli Centre #Youngstown

No compensation was received for this post. My family and I have the opportunity to enjoy the show. Feld Entertainment provided the tickets and the information for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents LEGENDS
April 25-28, 2014
Covelli Centre



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents LEGENDS, an all-new edition that unites iconic circus stars with living mythological creatures in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson guides Paulo the Legend Seeker on his quest to discover real, living legends from around the world and presents Paulo’s fantastic discoveries to circus fans everywhere.

Mythology meets reality as Paulo encounters the wondrous Pegasus and the amazing Unicorn, as well as circus legends such as big cat presenter Alexander Lacey; the Riders of the Wind Cossack horsemen; and motorcycle daredevils, the Torres Family. They all come together along with a cast spanning 25 countries in a spectacular production.

LEGENDS also boasts the largest display of exotic hair-hanging artists in the entire world, magnificent Asian elephants, a twenty-acrobat troupe perched atop only a pair of bicycles and a never-before-seen double-wide, high-flying trapeze act.


Ticket Prices:
Front Row Ringmaster: $95
VIP: $38 (FRI. 7PM, SAT. 3PM/7PM, SUN. 3PM), $35 (SAT. 11AM, SUN. 11AM/7PM, MON. 7PM)
Price Level 3: $19
Price Level 4: $14
*$2 facility fee not included in above prices

The kids $12 tickets are only available on SATURDAY 11AM, SUNDAY 11AM, SUNDAY 7PM, MONDAY 7PM. not valid on Front Row or VIP seating.

Performance Times:
Friday, April 25- 7PM
Saturday, April 26- 11AM, 3PM, 7PM
Sunday, April 27- 11AM, 3PM, 7PM
Monday, April 28- 7PM

All Access Pre-show:
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends – an all-new circus spectacle beyond imagination! Arrive an hour early for the All Access Pre-show where you can meet circus legendary performers, amazing animals, try on costumes and learn circus skills – FREE with your ticket! Visit Ringling.com for more information. Playing April 25-28, 2014 Covelli Centre Youngstown.

Ringmaster Zone:
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Legends – an all-new circus spectacle beyond imagination is coming to town! We’d like to invite you to an exclusive behind-the-scenes up close and personal experience called the Ringmaster Zone!
Walk the Ringmaster Zone Red Carpet and get a family photo with a legendary performer! Step inside the Globe of Steel! See mini performances and an Asian elephant up close! Learn how the world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clowns paint their faces and more! Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to be treated like a circus star! The Ringmaster Zone experience can be combined with any seat level purchased. Tickets are limited so get yours today!

One of my favorite animals to see at the circus are the elephants. They are such amazing 'gentle giants'. So, I thought I would share with you some fun facts about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Asian elephants:

• Elephants drink 100 times more water than humans do. That is like drinking 800 glasses of water a day!
• A full-grown elephant’s tooth weighs about the same as a nine-pound bowling ball!
• When elephants swim, they use their trunks like snorkels!
• Elephants respond to over 60 voice commands.
• Elephants do not have sweat glands. They use their ears to fan themselves and keep cool.
• Each elephant eats 150-200 pounds of hay along with an assortment of local fresh fruits and vegetables, each and every day.
• Elephants have excellent hearing and also use their ears like a fan – flapping them back and forth to cool themselves!
• The Ringling Bros. elephants receive frequent pedicures and brushing and exfoliation scrubs.
• They love to eat whole unsliced loaves of white bread as a treat.
• An elephant doesn’t drink through its trunk. It sucks water into its trunk and blows it back into its mouth to drink.

You can find more fascinating facts here.


You can purchase your tickets here.

Performance Times:
Friday, April 25- 7PM
Saturday, April 26- 11AM, 3PM, 7PM
Sunday, April 27- 11AM, 3PM, 7PM
Monday, April 28- 7PM

Giveaway!

Courtesy of Feld Entertainment, I have the opportunity to give one lucky winner 4 tickets to the Opening Night performance on April 25th at 7PM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway will remain open through April 15th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected. Tickets are non-transferrable, they will be held at will call under the name provided by the ticket winner only.

No compensation was received for this post. My family and I have the opportunity to enjoy the show. Feld Entertainment provided the tickets and the information for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dancing With Fireflies by Denise Hunter

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary review copy was provided so that I could read the book and share my thoughts. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Last summer I read my first Denise Hunter book, Barefoot Summer, and really enjoyed it. So, when I had a chance to read another book by Denise Hunter from the same Chapel Springs Romance series, I jumped at it.

Dancing With Fireflies follows the story of Jade McKinley and Daniel Dawson, a long-time honorary member of the McKinley family. It includes many of the characters from the first story in the series, which is a nice way to continue to follow their story. Jade has faced many challenges in her love life and those challenges have left her afraid to love and when faced with the potential of love frightens her away. It takes a major incident to force her to set aside those fears and allow her true feelings to flow.

I really liked the style in which the story was written. The focus on character development is around the two primary characters, with those around them developed mostly to help further define the main characters. The book jumps right into the story, using reflection and conversations to help the reader 'catch up' on the background, history and the different relationships. This occurs not just in the opening chapters, but throughout the story. Even though this is the second book in the series, there is no need to have read the first book to understand the second. At the same time, it doesn't rehash the first story in the series either.

The characters are well developed and easy to love. They are the type of people that I would want for friends. I love how their relationship evolves almost without Jade realizing it. As an outsider, it certainly seems obvious how each feels and Daniel certainly knows what his feelings are but Jade slowly comes to realize the love is more than that of a sibling or friend. This helps make it feel more real and the story more believable.

I really enjoyed reading this book and was able to read it in a relatively short window. I read it in only a couple of days...I would have been done sooner, but as a mom, I do have actual responsibilities that tore me away from the story.

I would recommend Dancing With Fireflies to anyone looking for a enjoyable, love story.

About the book: A Chapel Springs Romance

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she'd never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He's loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she's back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she's hiding secrets from her family, and she's strangely attracted to the man who's always called her "squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

Purchase a copy here.

About the Author: Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn't writing, she's busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Learn more about Denise at: http://www.denisehunterbooks.com


No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary review copy was provided so that I could read the book and share my thoughts. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Breakfast - the most important meal of the day!

No compensation was received for this post. As a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger, product samples, coupons and information were provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.

I know that I have heard and read, time and again, about the importance of breakfast. It helps to fuel the start of the day and from what I have read gets your metabolism restarted (from 'idling' overnight). No matter the hurry we face, we always make time for some form of breakfast to start our day.

At our house, breakfast is frequently a meal that is eaten as individuals and varies widely from person to person and day to day. Breakfast can consist of cereal, or Oatmeal, or toast, or English muffins, or a bagel, or protein bar, or protein shake, or cinnamon rolls, or perhaps a traditional hot breakfast, or be as simple as a banana. Sometimes, it even consists of a few of these items.

On school mornings, timing can be a challenge. I am usually trying to get upstairs after my workout class to get my shower and head off to school when my kids are ready to eat breakfast. This can be a real struggle if they are undecided or want to choose a different type of cereal from our stash. I tend to take my breakfast to go, consuming a shake on my drive and a banana later in the morning.

Weekends allow for a more relaxed pace (usually). This is when making a batch of Cinnamon Rolls for the kids or pancakes or bacon and eggs can be a reality, although the truth is even that is still rare. I really love breakfast foods though, which is probably why I tend to make them a lot for dinner!

The new Hormel Compleats Good Mornings might just be a quick way to enjoy a warm breakfast any day of the week (or time of day).

Hormel® Compleats® Good Mornings – Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day, but it’s frequently skipped – in fact, while 84% of Americans believe that eating breakfast is an important part of their morning routine, 56% skip breakfast several times a week or more*. Fortunately, you can have the extra shut eye you desire and a hardworking breakfast to start the day, with four hearty new breakfast varieties of the Hormel Compleats lineup! Ready in just 60 seconds, select varieties of these convenient meals are made with real eggs and contain 17-21 grams of protein. Must-try additions to the portfolio include:
- Bacon Breakfast Scramble
- Sausage Breakfast Scramble
- Sausage Gravy & Roasted Potatoes
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

* According to a recent study conducted by global polling firm Penn Schoen Berland

We have had a chance to try the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal and it was a nice change of pace. We also have a couple of the other varieties, but haven't yet given them a try.

What would you do with the extra time you save with Hormel® Compleats® Good Mornings?

No compensation was received for this post. As a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger, product samples, coupons and information were provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own or that of my family.