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Emily's Oz commerical and a $100 Amex Gift Card Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by XFINITY.

My kids were fascinated with Emil's Oz ad from XFINITY that debuted after the Academy awards. My kids loved seeing how a blind person could watch their favorite movie and how they use their imagination to get the visual.

The commerical focuses on the strides towards making technology accessible to those with disabilities.  If you haven't seen the Emily's Oz commercial, its worth a watch!

Everyone has a favorite movie and  that includes the 8 million people in America with visual disabilities. XFINITY on the X1 Entertainment Operating System has accessibility features built right in to bring customers innovations like the industry’s first talking guide, video description, accessible mobile apps and the new voice remote. Everyone should be able to find and enjoy their favorite movies independently . TV is universal, so access should be as well.

Our friend Ty So Fast and us have teamed up to give one winner a $100 Amex Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fast Life program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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Tech Life with XFINITY & a $100 Amex Gift Card Giveaway

This post is sponsored by XFINITY.

Can you imagine your daily life without your smart phone or tablet? Most of us rely on our devices to get tasks done through out the day. I know that I am more productive and can respond to emails much quicker, since I can access my emails on the go. When we travel we bring multiple ipads with us. With XFINITY's TV GO, you can take your entertainment anywhere. This works well for us when we travel. In the summer we spend time at my family's lake place. When the kids need some down time, they can access thousands of XFINITY On Demand TV Shows and movies from a tablet, phone or computer. You can also stream your favorite shows, news and kids networks live. You can download your favorite shows from HBO, Starz, Showtime and watch offline. I am going on a trip at the end of April (without kids!) and I plan to download and start watching Girls.

 

 

In are house we are always searching for remotes. Why is it when you need the tv remote, you can't find it? If you can't find the remote, you can simply download the XFINITY X1 TV remote app and use your smart phone or tablet a remote control. Out for the day and forget to DVR your favorite shows? You can use the X1 TV remote app to schedule recordings.

As a busy mom on the go that is known for multi tasking and getting in some work whenever I can. The XFINITY WiFi app helps you locate and get directions to the millions of XFINITY WiFi hotspots in cities nationwide. Never be without WiFi again! A dream come true! I can even get work done while waiting for my daughter at dance class. You can find all of XFINITY's free apps and down load them here.

 

We are giving one lucky winner a $100 gift card to get your shopping on!

a Rafflecopter giveaway XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fast Life program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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10 Activities To Do This Winter

If you live in the Midwest like we do, the winter can get a little old. Sure, the snow is gorgeous...until it turns into the slushy gray mess we are so familiar with. Here are my top ten activities to do this winter to keep boredom at bay! 10. If you aren't type A and can handle a mess, packing peanuts make great fake snow! We recently received a package that came with millions of packing peanuts. My son dumped them out on the floor (yay?) and proceeded to make snow angels. He had a lovely time, and when he was done, I taught him how a broom and dustpan work.

9. Is it anyone else's secret dream to attend Monster Truck Jam? Just me? Ok, I guess it is more of a curiosity than anything else. What do they jam to? Music? Or is it just a bunch of trucks crunching cars? I  hear it is insanely loud, so make sure to bring earplugs/noise-reducing earphones for the kiddos. If you go, please get me a t-shirt!! Here is the schedule: http://www.monsterjam.com/Events/

The website even has coloring pages for the kids. They are coming to Rosemont February 5th-8th, so geeeeeeeeet reeeeeeeeeady!

8. I am not built for cold weather, even though I was born and raised in Michigan. I was always outside when I was little- skiing, building snow forts, careening down sled hills, and even opening up my own sno cone stand with my Snoopy Sno Cone Machine (I didn't get many customers...). With my kids, I bring the cold inside by heaping snow on top of art trays and putting them on a vinyl tablecloth. I add in all of our beach toys and the kids are entertained until the snow melts!

7. I am probably the world's worst bowler, I just don't have the natural coordination to make the ball go straight or even stay in my alley. I still have a blast every time I go, and I think my kids would enjoy all the action that this activity has to offer. Pinstripes has Open Tot Bowling Monday-Friday 10am-12pm, designed just for preschoolers. Cost is $5/kid (caregivers are free) with a limit of 4 kids/adult. Check your specific location's calendar to make sure they got it goin' on! http://pinstripes.com/

6. What is so fascinating to kids about a car wash? My son asks to go EVERY day. I have to explain that: A. Our car will freeze and B. I will go broke. Since he has dozens of Matchbox cars at home (that constantly magically appear under my feet), I decided to open up a car wash of our own in the kitchen sink. If your kiddos are small enough, just plop them in a sink full of soapy water and let them go at it! Otherwise, a stool at the sink with sponges, scrubbers and soap is just as fun.

5. Want to expose your child to some "culture" but nervous about taking them to a live show? The whole family is welcome at Storytown, an "interactive and fully improvised adventure." I brought Bryson, my 3 year old, to see the show a few months back. Charlotte was also in tow, so I took a seat by the door just in case. The cast was amazing- they dealt with Bryson's outbursts ("I think Lightning McQueen should be in the show. He's red. You need red shirts. He races. He wins the race"...and on and on) like champs. The kids get to literally help design the set and participate in the acts. Ideal for ages 3-10, fun for the whole fam: http://storytownimprov.com/

4. Remember when I made fun of myself in #8 about having a sno cone stand? Well, I might have failed at turning a profit, but I still think it was fun! How about making an indoor circus complete with sno cones, popcorn and acts of your own? Take whatever talent your kids have and turn into an act worthy of a 3 ring circus by setting the scene. Put up blankets hanging from the mantle for a backdrop, make top hats out of construction paper, and gather your stuffed animals for the main event. We even have an inexpensive tent that we purchased from IKEA- it doubles as a great book reading nook. This is a photo of my son when he was a few years younger putting together a circus, poor kid!

Circus Theme

3. Want to end your day on a (sugar) high? Hit up the Hershey's Store on Michigan Avenue. They have a number of experiences for your hopped up little to enjoy: Factory Worker for a Day, Wrap Happiness where they get their photo on a chocolate bar, and a visit to the Bake Shoppe- an assortment of freshly baked goodies topped with Hershey products. Check out the site for info: http://www.hersheys.com/chocolateworld/locations/chicago

2. Now that you have fully stocked up on chocolate, how about a little 60's/70's revival with a fondue party? If you are all chocolate-d out, go for cheese instead. Try crazy combinations, like chocolate with bacon (!!!) or cheese with grapes.

1. And my top pick for things to do this winter? Chicago Family Palooza in St. Charles! This event is sure to be a boredom buster and tire those kids out for a long winter nap after. This jam-packed event is coming up on February 28th and March 1st and runs from 10am to 6pm each day. Here is a sample of things for your family to enjoy:

  • Magic Acts
  • Zip Line
  • Rock Climbing
  • Jugglers
  • Train Rides
  • Petting Zoo
  • Face Painters
  • Inflatables

Tickets are $8 for General Admission, and $15 for the Premium Wristband which includes GA activities and rock climbing, moon jumps, obstacles courses and more! You can save $2 off admission by purchasing online before the event. Check out the details here: http://www.chicagofamilypalooza.com/

 

Chicago Family Palooza- Must-Do Winter Event

Want to attend this event with your family for FREE? We are giving away a family pack to one lucky winner that includes General Admission for each member, PLUS a bonus Premium Ticket for each member as well! The Premium Tickets are valid for activities such as Zip Line, Euro Bungee Jump, Face Painting, Sand Art and Caricature Portraits.

Enter via the Rafflecopter below and don't miss this spectacular way to get the family moving in the middle of winter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given passes to Chicago Family Palooza for review purposes; all opinions are honest and my own!

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The modern wifi family and a $100 Amex Gift Card Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Comcast.

As a blogger,  internet access is very important to me. It is my lifeline! I remember back to the days when we used dial up. That seems like we were living in the stone ages. Am I right? These days modern families rely on internet to get day to day tasks completed. It seems these days we have a million different devices in our home and that is turning out to be the norm in most families. Both of my kids have apps and websites that they use for school assignments on a daily basis. The truth is that in our house it isn't unusual if all four of us are using our wifi at the same time.  Mia might be completing assignments on her ipad using a school approved app and Dylan might being playing a game, you can find me doing research, looking for recipes or writing a post! If my husband is home, that is just one more person using our internet. Thankfully with XFINITY they know that busy families need SPEED! XFINITY Internet delivers the fastest in-home WiFi for all rooms and all devices. With XFINITY, you can get the quick speeds you need, even during peak hours and with multiple people logged on. They offer a variety of plans to meet everyone’s needs. Whether occasionally surfing or spending hours streaming movies on 5+ devices, they have a plan for you. Social network and download HD movies and tons of music in minutes, then stream at the highest quality.

One of my personal favorites is that as a XFINITY customer I have access to millions of hotspots nationwide. Let's face it nothing is worse than needing to get some work done when you are on the go and not having access to wifi!  Have you ever seen the “xfinitywifi” network pop up while you’re running around? That’s it! Covering tons of places around the country, these hotspots let you stay connected and experience your favorite content on the go. With data plans on cell phones adding up, this allows you to conserve data and use XFINITY’s free WiFi network wherever available. Find hotspots near you by searching your address here or downloading the XFINITY WiFi app. They make it so easy that once you sign in with your comcast username and password, you are automatically connected whenever a network is available.

Have you seen all of the amazing winter sales going on right now? I have done some shopping with gift cards I received at Christmas. We want you to hit the sales too! One lucky reader will win a $100 Amex Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway  Disclosure: XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fast Life program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. 

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Holiday Family Tradition & a $100 Amex Gift Card Giveaway!

This post and giveaway are sponsored by XFINITY.

One the things I look forward to every holiday season is watching my favorite Christmas movies with the kids. We try to make  fun Christmas treats a couple of nights a week and spend time together watching our favorite holiday shows. We couldn't wait to share Polar Express with Dylan this year. He is 5 years old and the perfect age. My husband and I love Polar Express and it was fun to share it with him.

 

We are big fans of the movie "Elf" and of course we love Buddy! The kids could not wait to watch Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas that made its debut last night. After dinner we took a drive to look at lights in a nearby neighborhood. This mom forgot to record Buddy the Elf! I ran to the tv and hit my XFINITY OnDemand button and there it was ready for us to watch it! XFINITY saved the night!

The kids love watching Christmas shows and movies any chance they can get. Luckily for us classic movies like A Christmas Story, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation and many more can be found on  OnDemand at the touch of a button. Both my kids can work the XFINITY remote better than I can!  Just in time for the holidays, XFINITY is loading tons of episodes of TV’s most popular shows onto the OnDemand system so you can catch up before winter finales. Our family loves to stay in our pajama's the day after Christmas, the kids play with their new toys and I think this year I might be binge watching a few shows. There is nothing better than a fire in the fireplace and a good Holiday movie on the tv on a Friday night.

We want to give you one last giveaway before the holiday's! We are giving away one $100 Amex Gift Card to a lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for their Fast Life program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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