New Rockport ( @Rockport ) Shoes Let You Have Adventures #PoweredByRockport

Rockport
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Each day is a new adventure. Life is not about sitting on the sidelines, it’s about embracing each opportunity that comes your way – both big and small. Whether propelling you from work to play, or providing the comfort to explore a new path, Rockport shoes are designed for living life to the fullest.

Rockport

 

Every day for me is an adventure and lately that have been more true than not. For the past few months I have been dealing with a broken ankle and because of that I have been looking for any type of shoes that I can wear with wither an ankle boot or being on crutches as I need as much support and comfort as I can as I walk around.

With that in mind, and seeing that we are in the midst of winter I also was looking for shoes that not only looked good, gave comfort, but also had amazing traction too as I did not want to fall and hurt myself any more.

Rockport asked me to put together my own adventure look and because of that I tried my best to find the shoes that would best help me in my time of need as I needed to have the help and support and knew that at the same time I needed to look stylish too. That being said, I selected the Walk 360 Toe Guard Oxfords that you see above as I thought that they could go with wither casual or semi-dress clothes and the traction was something that I knew would really help me this time of year while I try to get back on my feet.

The WALK 360 shoes are Rockport’s most biomechanically engineered walking shoe ever. They’ve taken the Rockport DNA:

  • stability
  • flexibility
  • softness
  • lightness

and infused the shoes with form fit and climate control, providing 360 degree performance and comfort.

In trying these shoes on I have to say that these shoes were VERY comfortable and I could tell from the very beginning that they provided my feet with the support (or foot in this case) with the support that I knew that I would need right now. I tried out the shoes with Jeans and semi-dress pants and they work in any situation. Best of all though was the feel and the look, which was casual, but sleek. I can tell that I could walk in these shoes for a long time and still feel comfortable.

This is important to me whether I have a broken ankle or not, as even in my professional life I do a lot of standing and walking, and because of this I need something that will not put undue pressure on my lower back and these definitely did not do this, and instead, I felt ultimately supported, which was perfect.

Once I get back on my feet I am planning to really put these shoes through a urban adventure roadtrip, but that will not be for a few months due to my ankle. In the meantime though I will still be using these to support my healing and look good in the meantime.

These shoes are so comfortable! I, for one, would recommend them for anyone looking for some great walking shoes that look good and support completely. I encourage you to check out these and other great Rockport Shoes today!

Discounts for My Readers
Because of the opportunity that I had to try these shoes, I have a great discount for my readers. This code is valid from March 1st-April 30th and is redeemable for 20% off purchases on www.rockport.com.
DADOFDIVAS20
A few other notes on the code: 
Offer not valid on clearance items.  Cannot be combined with other product promotions. Offer not valid on prior purchases or gift cards.  For online purchase, enter online code at checkout.  © 2015. The Rockport Company, LLC. Rockport®.

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The Queen’s Treasures ( @theQueenstreas ) = High Quality Doll Items! #DadChat

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About The Queen’s Treasurers

The Queen’s Treasures is an online/offline retailer of exquisite 18 inch doll accessories, 18? doll clothes and 18″ doll furniture scaled perfectly for 18? dolls like American Girl® Dolls. One of the best-known dealers of beautiful doll trunks for sized for American Girl® dolls, The Queen’s Treasures has expanded their product line to feature everything from princess tea party tea sets to tiki stands for 18? dolls.

With two girls myself, I have been introduced to 18 inch dolls in the past from my girls’ love of American Girl® Dolls. Over the years my girls have collected a few and with them clothes and some furniture. That being said though I did not always find a lot of alternatives to the American Girl options. This is why I was excited when I found out about The Queen’s Treasures because this is exactly what they focus on. The Queen’s Treasures offer some great alternatives for 18 inch doll clothes, Doll FurnitureDoll trunks, and high quality 18 inch accessories.

The-Queen's-Treasurers

In researching the company I found that The Queen’s Treasures ® was born in 2005 first offering high quality Doll trunks for 18 inch dolls like American Girl®, 18” doll desks, and other 18” doll storage solutions. From there they began designing 18” outfits and dresses compatible with American Girl ®Doll Clothes. Our 18 inch doll  furniture line expanded to include 18” doll tables and chairs, 18” doll hutches, 18” doll beds, 18” doll sofas, dressers and more!
My Take on The Queen’s Treasurers

As mentioned, I was impressed greatly with the variety that The Queen’s Treasures offered. I was lucky enough to be able to try out their Great Outdoors Wilderness Adventure Play Set. Below, I have shared my thoughts on this well built product that is perfect for any set of 18 inch dolls.

 


 

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Jill-E Designs Offers ( @JilleDesigns ) The Perfect #Camera Back For Any #Imagelogger #Dad2Summit

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As you know by now I take a ton of pictures and working with Samsung as a part of their Imagelogger program I have quite a bit of equipment too. That being said, the camera bags that I have are ones that now are too small for what I have. Thus, I was very excited to learn about a new company called Jill-E Designs, that has a ton of great bags, and for me camera bags too.

I was lucky enough for Jill-E Designs to send me what they call a Jack Camera Messenger Bag, but this messenger bag is bigger than any that I have ever seen, and is made directly for cameras. When I received it, all I could say was “Wow, this is awesome”. For a photographer, I want a camera bag that is not only safe for my equipment, but also something that looks good too, and this did both!Jill-E-Designs-Messenger-Camera-Bag

The Jill-E Designs bag has space for everything. As you can see in my pictures, it is completely large enough for lenses and even for multiple cameras (or at least it was for me. You have some flexibility on the inside to move some of the velcro sections around. On the outside of the bag you also have some great zipper sections for small items and even a section that could fit a smaller sized, 15″ laptop too. This was too small for my laptop so I ended up bringing my trusted backpack for that, but otherwise everything else fit well in this bag. You do have to realize that the bag is larger than typical messenger bags due to what you are transporting. That being said though I did not find it to be too heavy or bulky and it fits well in the overhead container of an airplane.

I took the Jill-E Designs bag with me for the first time to the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco to show it off to some of the other Dad Bloggers that I knew there as well as to some of the other Imageloggers in attendance and all were quite impressed. While the price of this may be a bit higher than some smaller camera bags, the quality and style is definitely worth it!

 

 

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HASBRO ( @HASBRONews ) Ultimate Spider-Man Unboxing Video

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I am a HUGE superhero fan and on top of that my favorite of all time growing up and now is Spider-man. Whether it has to do with the fact that growing up I always felt a bit like the geek that Peter Parker was, or if in the bottom of my heart I too wanted to have the mutant spider bite me to get powers and save the world, I don’t know. However, this love for the comic, the artistry, the adventure and more has not waned over time and in fact, I have tried to pass this on to my own girls.

That being said I was very excited to receive a box from HASBRO toys the other day and inside it was an awesome surprise, as it was a box filled with cool Spider-Man toys! Below is a video of the unboxing of the toys!

 

 

 

In trying the toys out with my daughters I have to say that they are well built. I cannot say that the Spider Man Glove fit me very well (but it wasn’t supposed to – darn!). However the play-sets and characters were a ton of fun and my youngest really got into playing with these a lot more than I thought she would. She actually had Spider-Man hanging out with her Barbie dolls. Yes, I tried to video or take pictures, but I was banned from doing so unfortunately (as she is at that age I guess).

I love that HASBRO toys always seems to be at the forefront of superhero toys. It seems that every time that a new movie comes out or anything else new in the Marvel Universe explodes they are there and I for one am so happy that they are (See my post on the Guardians of the Galaxy Toys I tried out from them too). I say this not only for myself, but also for the new generation of kids out there who can let their imaginations soar and allow themselves the ability to see themselves as the hero, at least for the time being!
 

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CityPASS ( @CityPASS ) Shares The Complete City With You! #DadChat

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Over the past month I have had the opportunity for work and for personal reasons to visit the cities of Tampa and San Francisco. That being said I wanted to not just be there for the business at hand but I also wanted to see some of what the city had to offer. While I did not have a ton of time in the cities, I decided to reach out to a company I had worked with one other time when I went to Chicago (Read about the trip here), CityPASS to see if they would be interested in working with me to try their product and allow me to see the cities, they were.

One of the things that I like about CityPASS is that they bring forth some of the most popular destinations within the city and make them accessible to you and your family at a reasonable price. CityPASS is a booklet of actual admission tickets, not coupons.  Guests can proceed directly to the main entrance, because San Francisco and Tampa Bay CityPASS is your actual ticket and you don’t have to stand in line to buy a ticket (Thus saving you time). Not only do you have the opportunity to access the sites, but at many of them you can get discounts on adding to the pass too. That being said, if you have the time to use the passes, you definitely can see and experience a lot of the culture, sights, sounds and more of the city when you are using the CityPASS tickets that you receive when you purchase your CityPASS booklet.

I also am impressed with the array of cities that they are working in now. You can see a full list here.

In the cities that I visited I tried out a few of the coupons, as I did not have time to use them all unfortunately. I will share a few of the experiences here, and hope that in the end you will find that you too will want to check out CityPASS the next time you are visiting one of the tourist locations that they frequent.

Clearwater-Marine-Aquarium

In Tampa, the one location that I wanted to share was the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This working hospital got notoriety due to the Dolphin Tale & Dolphin Tale 2 movies. Yes, this is the actual site where Winter and Hope are, and yes, I did get to see them both and it was very cool! The site itself is set up with numerous areas where marine animals are and live, and you can easily spend the day watching, learning and more with these animals. Know that the site is not large, but there are many activities and interactive sessions with trainers during the day, and it is through these that you can spread out your visit. I arrived just after it opened and found it to be very easy to maneuver around and the employees friendly and engaging. After a few hours it started getting busy as there were busses of people that arrived and they all started to fill the spaces. When this occurred I tried to move to other areas in the facility to not get too cramped between the people. There was also a second site that is included in the pass that you receive and that is to an off-site location that is about a mile away that is dedicated to the movie itself. The site has a ton of movie memorabilia, facts and more as well as a very cool interactive area that recreates the Hurricane that hit in the first movie. All-in-all this is a great facility that is great for families, couples or individuals. You will learn a ton and also have your heart warmed a bit as you see the two famed Dolphins too!

sf-cable-car

 

In San Francisco, one of the experiences that I loved the most was the Trolley Car rides that I took. Yes, the other locations that I visited were great too, but these cars are so iconic and something that I had not experienced in the past. The cars are exactly as you have seen, but how they work and stay on the steep streets of the city were amazing. They also bring you all over the city and allow you to maneuver easily without having to deal with the traffic that is all around. While yes, I did partake in a few other of the locations provided in the coupon book, this was on the top of my list coming in and leaving too!

All-in-all I have to again commend CityPASS for what it is trying to do. Getting people to truly experience these amazing cities is amazing and I for one have to say that for the price and for what you get, it is definitely worth it!
 

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2015 Mazda5 Grand Touring Car Review

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About the Vehicle
he 2015 Mazda Mazda5 both seems like a car and a Minivan.

While the 2015 Mazda5 doesn’t have the cargo capacity of other minivans, it did get great gas mileage. I drove this quite a ways in my week with the vehicle, and I continually was getting mileage above and beyond the mileage that I get on my own 2008 minivan which was great. The vehicle also had great handling and was very comfortable too.
Mazda5
The 2015 Mazda5 has a four-cylinder engine, but that being said I still felt that it had the power that I felt it needed to do what I needed for city and highway driving. I had enough pep to get it up to speed in high traffic situations while at the same time getting 21/28 gas mileage in general.

2015-Mazda-CX-5

The 2015 Mazda5 had a modern sleek cabin that easily held six people. I liked how easy it was to get to the far back of the van. I had some people riding with me and they continually mentioned how much they loved the sliding passenger door and stylish interior made for a comfortable ride. They also loved all of the additional technology in the car that makes it quiet and many of the other nells and whistles that you need to for a smooth and comfortable ride.

My Take on the Vehicle

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Chicken Soup For The Soul: Hope and Miracles #Giveaway

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About the Book

These 101 miraculous stories of hope, faith, divine intervention and answered prayers will amaze you! As John Edward says in his foreword to the book: The personal stories you’ll read here about hope, faith, answered prayers and divine intervention are to me all about one thing – our connection to a higher power or divine source.

Good things do happen to good people! You will be encouraged and uplifted as you read these stories about powerful hope, miraculous healing, divine intervention, messages from heaven, answered prayers and beating the odds.

 

Purpose of the Books

After 20 years of bringing real people and their stories together to touch the lives of others, Chicken Soup for the Soul® has gone beyond the bookstore to become a world leader in life improvement. Chicken Soup for the Soul is home to the largest catalog of user-generated, life-changing stories. Through books, movies, DVDs, online resources and other partnerships it brings hope, courage, inspiration and love to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Chicken Soup for the Soul authors and readers belong to a one-of-a-kind global community that shares advice, support, guidance, comfort, and knowledge.

 

About the Company

Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, publishes all the latest titles in the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series which are distributed through Simon and Schuster, Inc. Since 1993, books in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have sold more than 112 million copies, with titles translated into more than 40 languages. Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing also licenses the right to use its famous trademark to high quality licensees through IMG, the world’s premier licensing agent. The company is currently implementing a plan to expand into all media, is working with TV networks on several TV shows and is developing a major Internet presence dedicated to life improvement, emotional support and inspiration. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century. For more information visit: http://www.chickensoup.com/.

 

Facts About The Reach of The Books

  • Total retail sales of Chicken Soup for the Soul branded merchandise have topped $1.3 billion.
  • The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series of over 200 titles has sold over 112 million copies, with titles translated into more than 40 languages.
  • In 2008, Chicken Soup for the Soul became the best-selling trade paperback series in the history of publishing.
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul is one of the world’s most well-known brands– 88.7% of the US public not only recognizes the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand, but knows what it is (source—Harris Polls).
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul holds the world record for having the most titles on the New York Times bestseller list at one time.
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul receives millions of monthly media impressions, with cross-promotion relationships in place with top media brands like King Features, Woman’s World, BeliefNet and others.
  • Many of the world’s leading consumer brands have looked to Chicken Soup for the Soul for co-branding opportunities, including American Idol®, Coke®, NASCAR®, Marriott®, Campbell’s®, Arby’s®, Golf Digest® and others.
  • Time Magazine called the Chicken Soup for the Soul series the “Publishing phenomenon of the decade.”
  • In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable and impactful books in the last quarter century.
  • In 2008, Chicken Soup for the Soul and dick clark productions entered into an agreement to develop a television series based on the brand.

 

My Take On The Book

Before I review this book, I encourage the reader to read the foreward  by John Edward and the comments by the two authors. It will give you some background into the stories in the book.
This wonderful book with its true short stories will produce tears, awe, hope, smiles and other emotions. We often only hear about the tragic events in our world. We often do not hear about the actual people involved in some of the events after they occur or all the hidden challenges people go through silently.
This book will give you a new perspective toward events in other people’s lives and even your life.
One of the stories I read was called “Jesse in the Sky”. It is the story of one of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.It is a story of loss but also a story of the courage this little six year old showed the world. It is also a story that shows hope, letting go, and remembrance. It is a very touching story told by his mother.
Another story was called “Precious Mess”. It will make you see that events in your life can be intertwined with others. It will make you realize there are angels who are watching out for us and understand our grief. It might help you to become more aware of God’s whispers outside of church.
CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL has become an amazing series of books. I think this new book will become a favorite.

Giveaway

How would you like to win this for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on February 28, 2015.

Winner must be a resident of the U.S or Canada.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Hope & Miracles Book

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

Organize and Promote Reading With One Step Ahead #DadChat

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About the Bookshelf

Encourage a love of reading, with One Step Ahead’s kid-friendly sling bookshelf! It displays books face front, attracting young readers, and the soft, polyester oxford shelves give little hands easy access. One Step Ahead anchored the shelves so they won’t shift and staggered their depth to hold all size books. Plus, they also added two roomy storage bins! 29 1/4″L x 13″W x 31″H. For 18 months and up. Imported. Designed by OneStepAhead!

one-step-ahead-bookshelf

My Take on the Bookshelf

With my wife being a librarian, this was a perfect addition to our home as we have tons of books and our kids are always reading. The Bookshelf was sturdy and allows kids to have their books set up in a fun way so that they can easily find and display them. We also really enjoyed the pull out areas at the bottom of the bookshelf as we ended up using this for some of the extras that my youngest likes to “collect.” That being said we are definitely getting a bit more organized and Diva PJ’s room is looking much better too. My thanks to One Step Ahead for putting together a great bookshelf for a reasonable price that was easy to construct too, as I am not the handiest of people, but this one was not too difficult and even I could handle it.

On a different note, I would add that I could easily see this as a great addition to any elementary classroom too as teachers could easily add books to their classroom reading centers, display them easily and provide kids with easy access to reading too!
Giveaway

How would you like to win this for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on February 16, 2015.

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

One Step Ahead Bookshelf Giveaway

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

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Finding A Great Valentines Gift With Florists.com #Giveaway #NX1

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After being with someone for a number of years you get to have a better understanding of your partner and what they like and don’t like. That being said though, every Valentines Day you get to show either your creativity or your ability to show your love through what you know. That being said, it is so nice when you can find a site that has so much to choose from.

florists.com

I had the opportunity to be able to try out Florists.com and see for myself what they had and the quality of the flowers that were delivered. As I always want to be the romantic, I put in an online order and you see the flowers above that arrived and how good they look!

florists.com

I was impressed with how easy the process was and the flowers were beautiful and fresh looking. We have now had these for over a week and they still look great, so the quality itself was also amazing too!

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All of this being said, I have to say that I was really impressed with this site and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to surprise someone for Valentines day or for any day no matter what the occasion. Florists.com also has more than just flowers too. So give the site a glance and check it out for yourself. I think you will definitely be impressed!

For my readers I not only am having a giveaway (see below) but also have a special discount for you too!

25% off Valentine’s Day Flowers with Code: BEMINE25 Valid through 3/5/15

 

Giveaway

How would you like to win this for yourself or for your family? All you need to do is fill out the below form to be entered.  The contest will run for one week and will end on February 11, 2015.

Winner must be a resident of the U.S.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

 

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The BoxTrolls ( @theboxtrolls ) Show The Importance of Family & Friends! #BoxtrollsFamilyNite #PMedia #ad

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#BoxTrollsMovieNite #BoxTrollsMovieNite

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BoxtrollsFamilyNite http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

When The BoxTrolls came out in the theater, we were not able to see the movie, but that made all of us even more interested in seeing this movie now that it has come out on Blu-ray.

For any of you that have been readers for a while you know that my family loves movies, and my kids really get into animated/kids movies too. With that in mind I was happy to have the chance to head out to Walmart to be able to pick a copy of this movie. When I arrived at the store though I was surprised to find that I was picking up one of the last copies (the movie is THAT popular). I was happy that I was able to grab a copy for my family and while I was there though I also thought, how better to watch a long-awaited movie then to pop up some Pop Secret Movie Theatre popcorn and get ready for a fun evening.

#BoxTrollsMovieNite

When I got home with the movie (I had not told the kids I was getting it, I pulled them aside and my youngest was SO excited! I asked her what she was looking most forward to, and she said “everything!” My eldest is a bit more camera shy, but she was also excited too!

 

#BoxTrollsMovieNite

For me time with my family is precious. I am very busy with my professional job, my blog, and being involved in the community and in my kids’ schools too. With all of this, I sometimes do not have a lot of time to do special things like this. So being able to surprise the family and simply veg out, is sometimes better than any gift than I can give my whole family. That was definitely the case here.

When we watched The BoxTrolls I have to say that the makers of the film did such a great job! I was amazed at watching some of the special features and see how they took shot by shot to make the movie come together. The BoxTrolls was so intricately put together. I was impressed also with the story too as I loved the message of friendship and love that was shared in this. I also loved how the movie shows that the definition of family does not have to be what we always think it should be. The BoxTrolls also shows that we cannot always judge a book by its’ cover, as The BoxTrolls themselves were feared when they really should never have been feared, but instead they should have been thanked for all that they did!

While we watched the movie we also enjoyed the 10 count pop secret butter popcorn bthat I picked up too. I had never tried this brand of Pop Secret before. I was glad to be able to try it out and it tasted great! The Popcorn was light and melted in your mouth. The girls kept asking for more, and even though I did not make that much they asked in the end when they could have it again, which is always a great indictment on quality in my book!

I highly encourage you to get out to Walmart today to check out The BoxTrolls for yourself, as mentioned, these are flying off the shelves (at least from what I saw) so get them while supplies last, as your family will thank you later!

 

Some Activities My Kids and I Had Fun With Before Watching the Movie
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