Friday, December 19, 2014

Think Wind Power, an Alternate Energy Source

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

Photo attribution http://www.freedigitalphotos.net by satit_srihin

The cost of living is rising. Whether it's at the grocery store or in your energy costs, prices are getting steeper and I don't blame you if you're scared. I'm right there with you because I feel like every dime that I make goes to bills. There's nothing left for play and sometimes that makes life seem a little less enjoyable.

I've actually been thinking a lot about alternative energy sources lately and have heard great things about wind power, which is not just better for the environment, but it's lighter on the wallet as well. This brings me to Xcel Energy which has been the nation's #1 provider of wind energy over the last decade. Residents of Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Mexico can benefit from the energy that Xcel Energy provides through Windsource.



With 5,300 megawatts of wind in their system, Xcel Energy can power nearly 2.7 million average-size homes each year! In partnership since 2008 with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, they have been able to predict the wind with a highly-detailed wind-forecasting system that has saved $46 million in fuel costs for their customers.

There are services available for business as well as residential customers. Windsource has Green-e certification which is the leader in consumer protection certification for programs that provide green power. The amount of renewable energy in each state served is made possible through your purchase of Windsource.

You can find more information about costs by state, information on the program and enrollment links right on their website. You can also tour a virtual wind farm and learn all about how wind power works.

As people, we really use so many resources and I feel that it's important to start making small changes as we can to protect the planet for generations to come.

What is your family doing to promote the generation of more renewable energy?

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.



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Fridge-to-Go Lunch Box

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I received samples for review/feature. All opinion expressed are my own.
 
Lunchbox
 
 
It's not just kid's who use lunchboxes! My husband takes lunch to work each day and often uses a bag to bring his food in. It's such a waste and just adds to the trash bin, which stresses me out and adds to our carbon foot print. Then there's the matter of Tupperware making its return trip home too. With Fridge-to-Go Lunch Box, we are one more step to reducing our waste each lunch!
 
Lunch Box



Fridge-to-Go, available in black or pink, is perfect for everyone in the family! Eco-friendly design is BPA-free, PVC and lead-safe, while the removable ice pack uses non-toxic purified salt water.

Ice Pack

The lunch box is completely portable and come with a slim, removable ice pack which can be frozen overnight. Pop it into the zippered pocket inside, then fill with your favorite foods, sushi, deli meats, cheese, eggs, and more. The ice pack will help keep your lunch or snacks cold for up to eight hours! No more packing just non-perishable foods, but your favorite foods, snacks, and even treats! Travel with fudge or chocolate for the holidays with ease!

The boxes can hold up to three 16.9 oz. bottles or a drink, sandwich, sides and more. The backside features a Velcro pouch perfect for packaged condiments, silverware, or notes for your kids. The front has a zippered area for keeping i.d., keys, or anything else important when you're on the go. Optional straps allow for sizing for hand carrying or over the shoulder. My husband has really loved using the Fridge-to-Go bag, it's cut back on his waste, and kept his lunches cold and almost colder than when he put the bag together in the morning. I can't wait to try it out in the hot summer months for park outings or just running errands in general, with 100 degree temperatures, we defiantly can use a bag to keep drinks and snacks cold on the go!

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You can connect with Fridge-To-Go on their Amazon page



Orange Dreamsicle - Refreshing Cocktail

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


The holidays are here, whether we're ready or not. And believe me, I'm not even close to ready. I've got shopping to do, goodies to make and gatherings to finish planning. On top of the festive decor and food, I've been thinking of refreshing drinks to make for my guests. It's always the same ole' thing, so I thought it would be fun to change things up this year!

Instead of the regular canned soda, beer and juice boxes, I thought we'd do a little beverage center with 7UP®, Canada Dry Ginger Ale® and orange juice, with regular and pomegranate vodka for adult mixers! So I took off to Walmart and hit their beverage aisle. I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 liters for just a buck - score 1 for me!


We had some guests for a little pre-holiday celebration last weekend, so I set up our little beverage bar to see how everyone would like it. I put our regular and diet 7UP®, Canada Dry Ginger Ale®, orange juice, vodka and some cups.


I called my sister in law a few days prior for cocktail ideas since she used to be a bartender and she gave me some pretty great ideas. One of my favorites was the Orange Dreamsicle and I decided that it would be the specialty cocktail for this party! To make it you'll need to put the following ingredients into a drink shaker. I use the counting method for these type of drinks, so you'll start pouring and count to 1, 2, 3 etc.
  • fill about half way with ice
  • 2 count vodka
  • 2 count 7UP®
  • 2 count Canada Dry Ginger Ale®
  • 4 count orange juice
  • 3 count half & half

Pour all of the ingredients into the shaker, screw on the cap and shake that baby up real good!


Pour it into a glass, add and orange if you'd like and a straw. You'll notice a nice frothy layer on the top and that's what makes this cocktail so delicious and unique. Serve to guests and enjoy! These babies are tasty! Of course, you can make a non-alcoholic version of this tasty drink as well. Just substitute the vodka for 7UP®.


There are so many other delicious cocktail and mocktail creations that you can make with 7UP® and Canada Dry Ginger Ale®. In fact, they're the base to a wide variety of delicious drinks that I'm sure your guests will enjoy. You can find a pretty nice variety of 7UP® Mixers here and I'm totally making myself a 7UP® Cherry Pomegranate Punch the next time I'm in the mood for a cocktail!


What's your favorite cocktail or mocktail that calls for 7UP®?

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Gummy Drop Android Puzzle App

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This app review was written in partnership with Big Fish Games. Though I was compensated, opinions are of my own.


I spend a lot of time waiting. Most days, I'm either in waiting rooms at appointments or waiting on one of my kids to finish up one of their activities. So I tend to spend a lot of time on my phone. I'm always looking for something new and different to help me pass the time. I recently downloaded Gummy Drop from Big Fish Games to try out.


Gummy Drop is a puzzle game that you have to match 3 or more gummy shapes to earn points and resources you need to put the world back together. You start in Sydney, Australia and work your way through the levels, building landmarks along the way.


At each level, you have goals. You also only have a certain number of moves to reach those goals. They start out small with just having to get a certain amount of points, then as the levels go up, the difficulty increases. You still have a certain amount of moves but then you have to reach the points and also collect resources to build your landmarks. Then you have to destroy blocks behind the gummy blocks as a goal, which is a real challenge and makes you think. 


You are also limited on the number of lives you have. If you don't reach the goals by the end of your moves, you lose a life. When you reach 0 lives, you can use coins you have accumulated to buy more lives or if you don't have enough coins you can purchase them in the store.


I enjoy playing Gummy Drop, it's now going to be my go-to game while waiting around. I love having the challenge of goals to keep me pushing forward. I'm always excited to see the next level and find out what the new goals are going to be.

Gummy Drop is now available for Android devices and it's FREE! You can download it in the Google Play store for your Android phone/tablet or on Amazon for your Kindle Fire.