Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound @BestBuy #AudioFest

Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound. Last month during CE Week I got a chance to check out the HEOS by Denon Wireless speakers . Honestly, I have never heard of the company but they’ve been around for quiet some time. Since seeing the speaker in action, I have had my eyes on it; especially the Denon HEOS 5 a Wireless Multi-Room Sound System. It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite streaming music services, internet radio or your own music collection. Set-up was super easy with the help of  the free HEOS app available on iOS and Android.

Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound
Denon HEOS 5 A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound

Denon HEOS 5 delivered premium sound with a slick design which makes it easy to move around the house. It would be ideal for  medium to large rooms such as dining rooms, larger bedrooms, offices or smaller living rooms.

Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound

There is an Ethernet port, USB port and an Auxiliary input for quick, easy wired network connection and it also allows simple wired connection with compatible devices.

 Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound

It can be laid down horizontally or stood up vertically. Surprisingly there’s no Pause/Play button, but it has a volume and mute button on the side. You can also control it using the app. 

Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound

It was pretty straight forward to set up. I followed the app prompt and in 5 simple steps, it was time to test out the sound.

Denon HEOS 5: A Wireless Speaker with Premium Sound

You can stream from your favorite music service such as Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Tunein or Napster. You can also stream music stored locally on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. However, you have to create a HEOS account before you can use any of the streaming services.  The HEOS account is a master account  for managing all of your HEOS music services with one single username and password. Another great feature is the Multi-room capability by combining Denon HEOS wireless speakers you can listen to music throughout the house. 

Aug audio fest campaign image

Best Buy is having their annual August Audio Fest taking place across all Best Buy stores from 8/3/14 – 8/30/14.  What does that mean in layman’s terms - throughout the entire month of August  Best Buy is gathering the best offers on the best audio products. Visit a Best Buy store to test & try the latest & greatest in audio – from portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones, to home theater solutions and car audio. Best Buy helps you enhance your home entertainment experience and upgrade your sound with additional components, speakers and headphones.

 

We’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

5 Ways to Get Your Child Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior

Disclaimer: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #Ready4Preschool 

5 Ways to Get Your Child Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior #Ready4Preschool #shop

Is your child heading to preschool this year? We are in the same boat, our daughter is heading to preschool come September, and I will be lying if I told you I wasn’t nervous. Remember when we sent her off to daycare for the first time, I had major separation anxiety. As our daughter heads off to preschool, we know she will have a lot to learn but we also wanted to be prepare at home so we can re-enforce the skills she will be taught while at school.  Here are some of the things we’re doing to help her get ready for preschool

5 Ways to Get Your Child Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior

Getting Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior #cbias #Ready4Preschool

#1. Encourage Creativity

Encourage your child to think outside the box and provide the resources they need to foster creativity. Creativity isn’t limited to drawing and painting, it’s sensory play, arts, music, etc

Getting Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior #Ready4Preschool #cbias

#2. Incorporate Games

Make learning fun by incorporating some fun games. Our kids love pretend play, so our 7 year old usually acts like the teacher while showing her little sister how to count, write her letters etc. On occasion my husband and I will join in as one of the class mates.

#Ready4Preschool  Getting Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior

#3. Provide Variation

Make sure there are lot of teaching materials available to foster your child’s learning. From board games to everyday household items. Make sure you’ve activities that builds counting skills to teaching aids that encourage phonics skills.

Getting Ready for Preschool Disney Junior #Ready4Preschool #cbias

#4. Follow their lead

Help your child build their confidence by letting them lead the way and offer praise when appropriate. Encourage your child to pursue activities that interest them. Encourage problem solving and allow them to pick the activities they wants to participate in. By simply asking your child’s opinion of things, it let them know that their thoughts are valid and  it teaches them the concept of responsibility.

155658

#5. Taking Turns and Sharing

Encourage your child to be patient and teach them how to take turns. This was especially difficult  when my now 7 year started school. At that point, she was an only child so she wasn’t use to sharing, boy was she up for a rude awakening.  Thankfully our soon to be preschooler has been exposed to the tactful art of taking turns and sharing. Yes it’s a challenge but it’s a critical skill to teach kids. We continue to encourage our daughter to wait her turn and use her words – please, excuse me and thank you.

Getting Ready for Preschool with Disney Junior #Ready4Preschool Walmart

While at Walmart, we found a few items in the back to school aisle that has been useful in helping us achieve our goals. We picked up the Disney Junior Back to School Learning Easel Activity Center, my daughter loves Sofia the first so this was a no-brainer.  The activity center helps build letters, numbers, word recognition, handwriting and counting. We also bought  the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse First Words Learning Activity to help build her phonics skills  and the Doc McStuffins Counting Learning Activity which has been helping her horn her counting skills. The Disney Junior back to school items isn’t limited to just those three, while at Walmart we also saw Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Learning Schoolhouse Activity, Rhyming Learning Activity, Alphabet Learning Activity, Numbers Learning Activity and the Colors & Shapes Learning Activity. These items are all available at Walmart with prices as low as $4.97.

How are you helping your child prepare for preschool?

Nutella-Coconut Fudge Balls

Easy no bake Nutella-Coconut Fudge Balls yummy dessertNutella-Coconut Fudge Balls. So a few days ago while cleaning out the pantry, I noticed a jar of nutella with an expiration date of July 2014.  With just a few days left in July, I had to come up with a way to use the jar before it expires. My first thought was to make an hazelnut spread everyday but trust me it’s a 26.5 oz jar, and we would need more than 4 people to finish it in a few days. My daughter came up with the brilliant idea of making something with it, so I looked through the pantry and found some leftover coconut flakes from the time we made coconut candy balls. We had chocolate morsels in the house because the kids like it in their pancake, we added butter, milk and sugar and that’s how Nutella-Coconut Fudge Balls was born.  With this recipe, you get a nice marriage of coconut combined with the ooey-gooey nutella fudge best part the coconut isn’t too overpowering. It is an easy recipe to make as a family. Something to keep in mind though low heat is the secret to avoiding disaster when melting chocolate. So I had to be extra careful not to overcook the chocolate because it will become chewy and turn into caramel candy and if I under-cook it, it will be too soft and won’t be able to hold its shape. So finding a happy medium was interesting to say the least. To complete the process, I decided to toss the fudge balls in coconut flakes but since I didn’t have enough flakes, I ended up rolling some in chocolate dessert sprinkles. Overall both variation was a hit, I liked the one rolled in coconut and the girls liked the ones with chocolate sprinkles. I couldn’t figure out how many balls the recipe made because the girls were eating it as they rolled them in balls. I think next time, I will try rolling it in toasted coconut to give it a more crunchier coating.

Nutella-Coconut Fudge Balls

Nutella-Coconut Fudge Balls Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 – 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup nutella hazelnut spread
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, divided 1/4 each
  • 1/4 cup chocolate dessert sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a sauce pan combine condensed milk, butter, sugar and milk and bring to a boil over medium heat
  2. When it starts to bubble, add 1/4 coconut and hazelnut spread and whisk thoroughly
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes,  whisk constantly until batter is dense and  fudge-like
  4. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let it cool at room temperature, then chill in refrigerator overnight
  5. Using a spoon, scoop mixture and roll into a ball
  6. Place chocolate sprinkles and remaining coconut in a shallow pan each
  7. Roll 4 to 6 fudge balls at a time through sprinkles or coconut flakes, making sure sprinkles stick and covers entire surface
  8. Repeat with the remaining coconut flakes till finish
  9. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve

Linking up with Orgjunkie and Sassy Moms in the City

Free Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Educational Activity Guide #FireAndRescue

Free Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Educational Activity Guide. Did you know, Disney Planes Fire & Rescue opened in theaters over the weekend? It’s on our summer must see movie list. We initially had it on our schedule to check it out on Friday but work called and I had to reschedule. However, I promise to make it up to the kids this weekend. So in the mean time, they are having fun getting a dose of  Smoky the Bear, National Parks, and all the heroes from Disney’ PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE with this Educational Activity Guide. Does your kid know what to do in the event of a fire? The heroes have teamed up to help kids learn while having fun this summer. This Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Educational Activity Guide is a campfire safety guide with check lists, tips and tricks for backyard campfire, important rules for fire prevention and lots of fun games along the way.

Planes: Fire & Rescue Trailer on Disney Video

Free Disney Planes Fire & Rescue Educational Activity Guide

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is a new adventure-comedy about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world-famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire-and-rescue helicopter Blade Ranger (voice of Ed Harris) and his courageous team, including spirited air tanker Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter (voice of Wes Studi), ex-military transport Cabbie (voice of Captain Dale Dye) and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero. Directed by Bobs Gannaway (“Secret of the Wings”) and produced by Ferrell Barron (“The Fox and the Hound 2”), “Planes: Fire & Rescue” hits theaters in 3D on July 18, 2014.

“Like” Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyPlanes

“Follow” Disney’s PLANES FIRE AND RESCUE on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

Visit the website: www.disney.com/Planes

10 Super-Chic Summer Sandals Under $50

10 Super-Chic Summer Sandals under $50. Summer is in full swing and I’ve yet to purchase a decent sandal. If you’re in the same both as I am, well it’s time you upgrade your wardrobe.  Here are 10 Super-Chic dere I say affordable Summer Sandals all under $50. From multi-strap sandals to lace-up wedges no matter what your style is, you will beach ready in no time. Personally, I am converting the Kuncarova Sandals from Aldo and at $29.99 it can’t be beat.

10 Super-Chic Summer Sandals Under $50

10 Super-Chic Summer Sandals Under $50

10 Super-Chic Summer Sandals under $50

 

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Linking up with Alison of Get Your Pretty On and Jo-Lynn Shane of  Musings of a Housewife 

10 Great Summer Beauty Products

10 Great Summer Beauty Products
My mailbox is constantly filled with new products that I get to try out and report back to you.  Which gives me the opportunity to experiment with lots of  products from mascaras to nail polishes and face wipes. Now that summer is in full swing,  I figured I will share with you some of the products I’ve discovered from conditioner to hydrating body lotion, here are 10 Great Summer Beauty Products.

10 Great Summer Beauty Products

10 Great Summer Beauty Products Afropolitan Mom

 

1. I got the H2O Plus Oasis Body 24 Hydrator as a gift a few months ago at the Disney Social Media Mom Conference. It has Bioactive Seawater which renews the skin with essential minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. It smells amazing, it’s lightweight and with a price tag of $25 it’s definitely a splurge but well worth it.

2. I discovered the Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil May of last year. We’ve been using it as a family ever since. Although it’s recommended for hair, body and face; we only use it on our body. During the summer, I put it in my daughters swimming bag so she has something quick and easy to spray on. It keeps her skin nice and smooth without looking greasy.

3.  I am not blessed with long beautiful lashes and I haven’t mastered the art of installing false lashes so in the mean time I get by thanks to the help of a good mascara. Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara doesn’t clump and it gives the same effect of falsies. You can get them usually for about $5.

4. Voted best beauty finds of 2013, the V05 Simply Stunning Leave-In Conditioner is becoming a new favorite. I’ve natural hair, and it’s hard to find a product that gives me the result that I like. So when I look for products, it’s imperative that it helps foster my natural hair journey.

5. I am no a stranger to hot oil treatment. It’s a monthly routine that helps repair and condition my hair. This process is especially important during the dry summer month and the V05 Hot Oil Therapy helps soothe scalp while moisturizing and conditioning your hair. It helps also repair and condition damaged, over-processed or dry hair.

6. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t consider coconut water a beauty product, however consuming coconut water is said to have amazing effect on your skin and hair. So this summer, I’ve been staying  hydrated and replenish while keeping my skin vibrant from the inside out thanks to ZICO Pure Coconut Water. It comes in different flavors and I sometimes use it in making smoothies.

7. I am quiet active over the summer and Playtex Sport Fresh Balance lives up to its name. Its lightly scented and equipped with Odorshield which helps neutralize odors. One thing to keep in mind though, it has a plastic applicator. The FlexFit interlocking fibers work quickly to trap leaks while the 2-layers of interlocking fibers protects against leakages.

8. For years, I’ve been a slave to gel/silk manicures and when I took them off, it left my nails weak and brittle. So when I heard that the Probelle Touch N’ Grow Nail Hardener could cure, repair, and restore my damaged nails I was eager to give it a try.  I’ve used it everyday since I got them and I’ve seen some improvements. It will be a long road to recovery but I am up for the challenge.

9. Since I am still recovering from many years of nail abuse. The Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips is my quick fix when I want to experiment with a wild pattern. It’s easy to use and it doesn’t put any stress on my nails. Something to keep in mind though, once you open the package you have to use it fairly quickly or else it will dry out. A box cost about $10 however I get mine at Five Below for about $2.50.

10. Sometimes at the end of a long day, I get lazy about taking off my makeup, so I take the easy way out by using F.Y Makeup Wipes with Cucumber & Aloe. It’s soft on my skin and it takes off my makeup without irritating my skin. It cleanse, balance and restore, leaving the skin looking and feeling smooth, refreshed and moisturized. A pack of 30 cost about $7 but I get mine at Marshall for $1.99.

We were giving some samples for review. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Linking up with Alison of Sassy Moms in the City.

Sparkling Strawberry-Grapefruit Spritzer

Sparkling Strawberry-Grapefruit SpritzerHappy Monday, it has been scorching hot the last couple of week which means thirsty kids. Thankfully we’re still reaping the benefit of the Strawberries we picked a few weeks ago. Summer is strawberry season and the girls are constantly asking to schedule another trip but sadly the season has ended. It’s onto blueberry season. Sparkling Strawberry-Grapefruit Spritzer is a refreshing carbonated juice perfect to quench the hot summer thirst. Although grapefruit isn’t considered a summer fruit it’s still a nice addition to this recipe. So if you’re looking for a mocktail to add to your summer rotation you might want to give this unique combination a try. You can turn it into an adult beverage with by Vodka. My husband had his with a shot of lemon flavored voli vodka.

Sparkling Strawberry-Grapefruit Spritzer
Strawberry-Grapefruit Spritzer

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 grapefruit or 1 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 – 33.8oz bottle of lemon-lime sparkling water, chilled

Directions

  1. In a medium size sauce pan, simmer strawberries and sugar over low to medium heat until sugar has melted, approximately 2-3 minutes
  2. Extract juice from grapefruit and set aside
  3. Pour strawberry and melted sugar into blender, pulse until smooth
  4. Strain strawberry and grapefruit juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds
  5. In a pitcher mix blended strawberry and grapefruit juice, chill thoroughly
  6. Just before serving, add ice and sparkling water, stir to mix
  7. Muddle mint in the bottom of  serving glass
  8. Pour Sparkling Strawberry-Grapefruit Spritzer into glass and serve
  9. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired

Have a wonderful week and if you decide to give this a try, please come back and let me know how you like it.

Linking up Orgjunkie and Musings of a Housewife 

‘Frozen’ Summer Inspired Punch

‘Frozen’ Summer Inspired Punch #disneyfrozen #frozensummer #partyideas‘Frozen’ Summer Inspired Punch. Over the weekend Frozen Summer Fun Live kicked off at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. To celebrate Queen Elsa and Princess Anna debut, today we’re sharing a Disney ‘Frozen’ Summer Inspired Punch. All summer long guest at Disney will experience a full day of Frozen experiences. Below are some of the highlights from the Disney Parks Blog:

  • Olaf on Summer Vacation – Olaf the snowman is having the time of his life on his very first summer vacation! He chimes in throughout the day to keep everyone updated on all his adventures. Plus, you can pick up your very own Take-Along Olaf from locations in the park, so he can join you on your summer vacation. And when you share your photos with Olaf on social media, be sure to tag them with#OlafSummerVacation. They may just get selected to appear in that day’s grand finale!
  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – At 11:00 a.m. each day, Elsa and Anna arrive in Hollywood as part of their goodwill tour of neighboring kingdoms, making their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn sleigh. Kristoff is along for the fun, too, joined by a flurry of skaters, skiiers, ice cutters and more! The entire procession culminates in a special moment at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage to officially welcome the visiting royalty to this kingdom of Hollywoodland.
  • For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration – Cool down inside the Premiere Theater, where Anna and Elsa join the Royal Historians of Arendelle for a fun and comedic retelling of the unique history of their Kingdom, filled with delightful, sing-along moments from “Frozen.”
  • Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland – Inside Soundstage One, Oaken and his cousins have created a Frozen Funland filled with cold weather activities, unique photo opportunities, and more! There’s a frozen pond with ice skating demonstrations, wintertime fun for kids in the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” play area, a “big summer blowout” with plenty of “Frozen” merchandise, and special “Frozen”-inspired food and beverage offerings.
  • “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – Starting at 5:30 p.m. each day, a dance party takes over the area around the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, with a DJ, live band, and more! The band plays a variety of classic and contemporary summer rock & roll hits, as well as a cool, rocking medley of “Frozen” favorites. It’s going to be hot!
  • “Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular – Everything wraps up at 9:45 p.m. when Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf come together at the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage for a grand finale to the day’s festivities, kicking off an awe-inspiring fireworks display set to the glorious music of “Frozen!”

‘Frozen’ Inspired Blue Punch

Disney ‘Frozen’ Summer Inspired Punch

Ingredients 

  • 2L Sprite (any lemon lime soda will do)
  • 1 package of Kool-Aid blue drink mix
  • 64 oz. white grape juice
  • whipped cream topping (optional)
  • blue and clear candy sprinkles (located in the baking section)

Directions

  1. Combine ½ of the 2L of lemon lime soda and 64 oz of white grape juice and the blue packet of Kool-Aid mix. Stir well
  2. Top if whipped cream if you’d like and the blue and clear candy sprinkles
  3. Serve immediately

The event will run till September 01, 2014. If you can’t make it to the Park to celebrate ‘Frozen’ Summer with Olaf, Elsa and Anna why not create your own moment in the comfort of your home with this ‘Frozen’ Summer Inspired Punch. It’s perfect for a princess party or a Disney Frozen themed party.

Linking up Orgjunkie and Musings of a Housewife 

The 14 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Your Body Type

The 14 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Your Body Type14 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Your Body Type. Summer officially kicked off a few weeks ago which means bathing suit season. Once upon a time, I use to dread bathing suit shopping that’s until I figured out what works for my body type. When it comes to picking out a bathing suit, there is no such thing as one style fits all. It’s not always easy but with some research, I found the perfect bathing suit at an affordable price that fits all body types. Hope this list helps you in finding the perfect swimsuit for your body type.

14 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Your Body Type

Enhance Small Bust

Bathing Suit for Small BustA swimsuit with padding, fringe, ruching, flounce, horizontal strips, sweetheart neckline, halter top, polka dot, or one with embellishment on top will create the illusion of a perkier bust area. Recommendations – fringe bandeau top or embellished bandeau swimsuit

Minimize Big Bust
minimizing large bust

If you have a big bust and you’re looking for a suit to minimize it. Try a plain halter top with pattern bottom to draw attention away from the bust area. The halter helps to avoid wardrobe malfunction. You an also get an under-wire suit which will work great for support. I wear DDs so I understand the headache attached to finding a bathing suit that supports large boobs. Recommendations – Under-wire halter bikini top, underwire tankini

Plump up a Flat Booty
Plump up a flat booty
You can fake a big booty with frills, floral, ruffles or bold patterns. These pieces will draw attention to the desired body part, so to enhance your bottom consider going for patterns or a bottom with frills to give it a voluminous look. Recommendations – frill bottom, bold print one piece

Tone Down a Big Derriere
Tone down a big booty

To camouflage a big derriere try an high-waisted bikini with ruching,  flirty skirt or tie bikini. Having a patterned bikini top with a solid bottom draws attention to your face. Mixing prints on top with darker bottom will draw attention away from your bottom. Recommendations – High-wasited bikini or

Give Curves to Slim Hips
Give curve to boyish hips
To create the illusion of curves get a one piece with prints, or a one piece with sexy cut outs. Mono kini can also give the illusion of an hour glass shape especially one with a push-up bikini tops with a ruffles bottom or a belted one piece with vibrant colors. Recommendations – Geometric print monokini, Garland one-piece swimsuit 

Shrink Curvy Hips
Accenture a big bootyTo tone down curvy hips, pick a bandeau top with embellishment with a full coverage bottom in dark colors. The embellishment on the top will draws the eyes up. A tankini and monokini are also excellent choices, while a one piece with a deep v distracts the eyes from the bottom. Recommendations – Deep V-neck one piece swimsuit , embellishment bandeau top

Camouflage post Baby Pooch
camouflage belly bulge
To give the illusion of a slimmer mid-section opt for a one piece with ruching around the waist or high-waist bikini bottom. A tankini or a swimsuit with a fitted bust line and flowy midriff will also do the trick. Recommendations – Miracle Suit Bathing Suit, high waisted bikini bottom

 

There you have it 14 Most Flattering Swimsuits for Your Body Type. I hope this has been helpful in easing the stress associated with swimwear suit shopping.  No matter how frustrating it is to shop for a bathing suit at the end of the day, as long as you find a suit that makes you feel sexy, confident and happy that’s all that matters.

Curry Hot Dog Recipe

In anticipation of DreamWorks Pictures’ new movie THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY starring Helen Mirren, we have a #FoodieFriday recipe of Curry Hot Dog inspired by the 4th of July holiday weekend to help get you excited for the film!

 Curry Hot Dog

curry hot dog recipe - the hundred foot journey

Below is The Hundred-Foot Journey – Trailer

THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY arrives in theaters everywhere on August 8th! Learn more by visiting facebook.com/100footjourneymovie