CRYSTAL LIGHT and Miranda Lambert Platinum Points Program #CrystalLightWM #MC #Sponsored #RanFan

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for CRYSTAL LIGHT. I received a gift card to purchase CRYSTAL LIGHT products to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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I was excited to hear that CRYSTAL LIGHT and Miranda Lambert are partnering to launch the Platinum Points Program to reward CRYSTAL LIGHT customers with fun Miranda Lambert gear.  I am a big fan of Miranda Lambert and love CRYSTAL LIGHT.  So earning cool rewards (like an exclusive Miranda Lambert song download or an autographed Miranda Lambert guitar) you won’t find any where else for buying a product we already enjoy is WIN-WIN!!

Have you ever tried to sign up for a rewards program or get your points and found it nearly impossible?  Well CRYSTAL LIGHT Platinum Points Program has made it easy!

  1. Visit CRYSTAL LIGHT Platinum Points Program here to sign-up! You can sign up using your email or Facebook account.
  2. Then simply purchase participating CRYSTAL LIGHT products at Walmart and keep your receipt.  This was probably the toughest part for me as I typically toss my grocery receipts as soon as I get home (sometimes even on my way out of the store).
  3. Go to in your mobile browser and log in, click “Snap,” choose “Walmart,” and then click “Select/Take Photo,” and snap a clear photo of your receipt and click “Upload This Photo.”  When I got home I realized my receipt had pretty bad lines in it like the printer was running out of ink so I was pretty nervous about whether I’d still be able to collect my points but it went through just fine!
  4. Redeem points for Miranda Lambert rewards!

If you just buy one CRYSTAL LIGHT product, you’ll earn an EXCLUSIVE Miranda Lambert song download!

It really is THAT easy.  Here’s a small sample of the CRYSTAL LIGHT options I found at my local Walmart.  I like the canisters for at home, the liquid for my office and the On The Go packs for stashing in our sports bags for when we’re out and about.  I also like that the CRYSTAL LIGHT Platinum Points program allows you to get your points from your reciept as opposed to many which have their codes inside the individual packages so if you use the product away from home you have to keep track of your code until you’re able to enter your points.  With CRYSTAL LIGHT Platinum Points you just snap the receipt and you’re done, so you won’t miss out on the chance for awesome Miranda Lambert rewards.  I only need a few more points to add the Miranda Lambert mug to my mug collection!


CRYSTAL LIGHT is available at Walmart stores nationwide

Points You Can Earn:

CRYSTAL LIGHT Sugar Free On The Go Packs = 100 pts each
CRYSTAL LIGHT On The Go Multipacks = 100 pts each
CRYSTAL LIGHT Canisters = 100 pts each
CRYSTAL LIGHT Jumbo Products = 200 pts each
Miranda Lambert Platinum CD = 300 pts each

Rewards You Can Get with Your Points:

100 pts = Miranda Lambert Automatic (Acoustic) Song Download
800 pts = Miranda Lambert Platinum CD
800 pts = Miranda Lambert Platinum Mug
1000 pts = Miranda Lambert Platinum Tumbler
1200 pts = Platinum Rhinestone Ladies T-Shirt
5000 pts = Miranda Lambert Logo Guitar
8000 pts = Miranda Lambert Signed Guitar

Share With Friends!

Refer your friends! Not only will your friends earn 25 points instantly for signing up, but you will also receive 10 points for each friend you refer who signs up.

And a bonus Promo Code:  “mirandaic” gives yous 30 free Platinum Points when you sign up!


My boys love ALL the CRYSTAL LIGHT flavors but I will always have a soft spot for my original favorite from way back when, pink lemonade.  But the Randarita recipe feature at right now sounds pretty awesome too!


The Platinum Points Program coincides with Miranda Lambert’s Platinum Tour Presented by CRYSTAL LIGHT.


 So what will YOU use your CRYSTAL LIGHT Platinum Points for?



Just Be You For Craps Sake!

Excuse me, moms, can I have just a minute of your time?  I KNOW you’re busy, or maybe you’re totally not.  Either way, can I just take a minute to say could we all just stop worrying about what everyone else is doing? Really, we’ll all be happier if we just be ourselves and stop giving a damn about what anyone else is doing OR what anyone else thinks about what we’re doing!
Ok so maybe that last parts a little ironic since the whole reason I’m writing this is because it came to my attention that maybe people are judging me more than I have considered in the past.  That maybe a simple post on Facebook about a fun craft project or a staycation, might be viewed as trying to hard, raising my kids expectations too much or may simply indicate that I’m raising spoiled, self entitled brats.  Now trust me, I’ve been very aware that some of the things that make me, me aren’t always appreciated by everyone.  I’m a loud and rowdy sports mom who ENJOYS my time on the sports sidelines, often much to this distaste of others.  It has taken me a long time to get over the fact that being boldly who I am will mean that some people won’t like me, because I have a deep rooted need to BE LIKED.  But to see in black and white that some people view crafty “pinterest-y” moms as raising a “bunch of spoiled kids who expect the world to be given to them on a silver platter,” I was a little shocked.  I mean, lets be honest I am NO Martha Stewart.  I am not really that great of a crafter and an even poorer cook.  But as I step back into the person I was long ago and rediscover my love of crafts etc I have been sharing our projects.  Not once did I ever consider that some simple projects could be raising my kids expectations too high.  Nope, I’m just being me, trying to share the things I love with my kids.

Oh yes I know many out there in the land of social media carefully craft a perfect looking life by sharing only the best of the best of their lives.  And sometimes I am guilty of cropping that photo so you don’t see the pile of laundry on the couch behind my otherwise adorable child.  Or deleting a photo of myself I just hate.  But so what.  If we’re all being true to ourselves, living a life that makes US happy than why the hell do we care what anyone else is doing? Are they really hurting you by not posting that photo where their kid absolutely REFUSED to smile.  Or if they spent an entire weekend making a single craft beautiful enough to post?

Can we all just agree to start living life how we want to and be content in that?  If being a “Pinterest mom” causes you stress, DON’T DO IT!  If you’d rather visit the dentist than attempt a craft project don’t waste your time. It’s simply not worth it.  If you want your kids to have a chance to be crafty, check out the local library or the like for craft opportunities, or heck, ask that Pinterest mom nearby if your kids could join HER for a craft date sometimes.  But if taking the time to make amazingly detailed lunches for your kids brings you joy, then do it.  Enjoy it!  And hopefully you’ll even share it and true friends will appreciate your passion as much as you would appreciate theirs.

If me sharing that I spent my evening creating THIS, makes you feel bad….I simply want you to consider what brings you join and make time to do that today!!!!!!



And the name of keeping it real…I LOVE sharing photos like this of my smiling boys….(who just happen to match very intentionally on my part for the trip)….1960103_10154724865215510_7989223552606627570_n

But if you pay attention, I also post ones like these…cuz it’s real life.  One preteen really wanting it to just be over so he can go out with his friends, one mad that the sun is in his eyes, one TRYING and one bad angle for mama.


Go on mama, go be you!  And know I’ll be over here being me, loudly and proudly. I won’t dial it back, and I hope you won’t either.

LISTERINE Helped Us Improve Our Healthy Heroic Habits #MC #Sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.


LISTERINE Healthy White mouthwashSo we’ve been working on our habits for a couple weeks now and we’re definitely doing better.  I LOVE that I can easily see from our half empty LISTERINE bottle that the boys ARE getting in some teeth cleaning.
I feel like we’re doing really good at night, but we’re still struggling with morning habits.  I can’t start my day without brushing or I feel nasty but the boys get dressed and then eat breakfast.  They don’t seem to mind not brushing the morning breath away.

I’m pretty sure part of the problem is that I am NOT a morning person.  I have gotten better since having kids, but in general I’m just not running on all cylinders before we leave the house so I’m not with it enough to remind everyone of all they should be doing.  I’m usually happy with myself if everyone leaves the house appropriately dressed with backpacks (and instruments on band days). I’m thinking we really need a visual reminder of some sort for our mornings.

So I’m wanting to make something like this chore chart but focusing on morning Healthy, Heroic Habits.  Things like combing hair, using deodorant, brushing and using LISTERINE, as well as cleaning up breakfast dishes and anything like that.  I really think it would help us be less stressed AND I’d have fresher smelling kids going out the door.

Having been a parent for almost 12 years, you’d think we’d have all these routines down by now but with constant life changes, we are always having to adjusts how we manage habits and schedules.



Here are the retailers where LISTERINE products are available for purchase.


If you need some inspiration on how to make healthy habits more fun, check out this video series with Ian Ziering.  Maybe it’s the 90’s me talking but I love him so much I’ll watch him talk about brushing and eating veggies all day.   LISTERINE YouTube page featuring the Healthy Habit Heroes video series. And learn more about these and other LISTERINE products to help YOU develop heroic habits visit the  LISTERINE website.


How do YOU make sure you’re starting your day with Heroic Habits?


Pumpkin Farm Throwback #TBT

I miss these sweet chubby faces!!!!

tbt timmy and bryan 2009 tbt johnny 2009

Monster Jam Heading to Allstate Arena with an Exciting New Competitive Format Featuring #MoreMonsterJam

The boys are already asking if we’ll be going to Monster Jam this year. While it’s always a good time I’m sure they’ll be excited to see the new format!

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The widely popular Monster Jam® tour is heading to the Allstate Arena, Feb. 5-8, 2015, for an explosive new points-paying endurance showdown, featuring more of what the Monster Jam fans have been asking to see – more trucks, more action, #MoreMonsterJam!

Unlike any other show ever seen, this showcase of Monster Jam endurance will feature the biggest and best lineup of world famous Monster Jam trucks highlighted by more racing, more freestyle, more donuts, more wheelies and more competitive action than ever before. Fans will also be treated to two new competition vehicles, extreme Monster Jam Speedsters and Monster Jam ATVs, as they rip through the arenas during combative racing action.

Headlining the tour will be the fiercest Monster Jam athletes, who will be the exclusive drivers of each of the teams made up of Monster Jam trucks, Monster Jam Speedsters, and Monster Jam ATV’s. Each of the athletes will compete against one another in a true test of endurance to earn valuable points during the seven competitive disciplines, unlike any Monster Jam event ever. These athletes will be contending for a bid to the prestigious Monster Jam World FinalsSM held at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium on March 26-28.

Monster Jam Teams

Max-DSM: Morgan Kane

Blue Thunder®: Dalton Millican

Grave Digger®: Colton Eichelberger

Monster Energy: Coty Saucier

Scooby-Doo™: Bailey Shea Williams

New Earth Authority PoliceSM: Aaron Basl

Monster Mutt® Rottweiler: Daron Basl

El Toro Loco®: Becky McDonough

Show Times

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 – 7:30 pm

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 – 7:30 pm

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 – 2 pm & 7:30 pm

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 – 1 pm & 6 pm


Allstate Arena

6920 N. Mannheim Rd.

Rosemont, Ill.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available at or by calling 800/745-3000. Tickets may also be purchased at Ticketmaster Retail Locations and the Allstate Arena Box Office. All seats are reserved.  Tickets start at $15.

For more information on this new #MoreMonsterJam arena tour of endurance, please log onto  To follow Monster Jam on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram log on to and and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel at

About Feld Motor Sports®

Feld Motor Sports, Inc. is the world leader in specialized arena and stadium-based motor sports entertainment.  Feld Motor Sports productions include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross and Nuclear Cowboyz®.  Feld Motor Sports is a division of Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment.  For more information on Feld Entertainment, visit

Follow the yellow brick road to The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences

Last fall we attended our first performance of the Marriot Theatre for Young Audiences and we are excited to attend this school years first show The Wizard of Oz.  The performances for young audiences are perfect for introducing kids to musical theatre with constant movement and engagement in a high quality production geared to capture the attention of all ages.




Terry James, Executive Producer

Aaron Thielen, Lead Artistic Director

Andy Hite, Artistic Director



November 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015


Relive the classic story or experience it for the first time –

live on stage at The Marriott Theatre!

Follow the yellow brick road to The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, for the enchanting musical production of THE WIZARD OF OZ, running from November 7, 2014 through January 4, 2015, with a press opening on Saturday, November 22 at 10AM. The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences favorite Rachel Rockwell will direct and choreograph, with musical direction by Ryan T. Nelson.  Based on the classic 1939 MGM movie, this special one-hour presentation of THE WIZARD OF OZ features the classic songs Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” A Question & Answer session with the cast will follow every performance.

After a tornado hits her family’s home in Kansas, Dorothy and Toto land in the magical land of Oz. With the Scarecrow, Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion, Dorothy encounters wickedness and wonder as she sets off to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, who promises to make their dreams come true. Click your heels together three times and join the newfound friends as they journey on a quest to find heart, courage, brains and most importantly…home.

THE WIZARD OF OZ features an all-star cast, including Dara Cameron as “Dorothy,” Alex Goodrich as “Tinman,” Jeff Max as “The Lion,” George Keating as “The Scarecrow,” Susan Moniz as “The Wicked Witch,” Johanna McKenzie Miller as “Auntie Em” and “Glinda,” Rob Rahn as “Uncle Henry” and “Oz,” Debbie Laumand-Blanc as “The Mayor,” and ensemble members J Tyler Whitmer and Amanda Tanguay.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences team will be headed up by Lead Artistic Director Aaron Thielen, with Costume Designer Nancy Missimi, Lighting Designer Brian Hoehne, Sound Designer Robert E. Gilmartin, Musical Supervisor Patti Garwood and Stage Manager Angi Adams.

THE WIZARD OF OZ plays most Tuesdays through Sundays at 10 AM and 12:30 PM. Visit or call 847.634.0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates vary. Single ticket prices are $15 per person. Groups of 20 or more receive a discount by calling 847.634.5909. Free parking is available at all shows.  To reserve tickets, call the Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or visit


Ready to Try Again?

8004c3101844cc23b613900fa37d677fIt’s been about a year since I took the first step in forever changing my families life. When I walked into that lawyers office I was nervous about the road that laid ahead but I had no doubt left that it was the right decision to end my marriage. It was right for me, and it was right for the boys. I was unhappy with the person I was married to for sure. But the bigger issue was that I wasn’t happy with myself anymore.

At some point I had let the hurts and disappointments get to me. I was angry, bitter and often spiteful. My previously playful sarcasms turned to constant verbal daggers. I felt unloved and in turn became someone pretty unlovable.

Thankfully, by the grace of God and some amazing friends and family, I saw the light, slowly at first and then all at once it was fully clear. This wasn’t what my life was supposed to look like and it was time to change that. It was terrifying and I’m certain that even a year earlier and I wouldn’t have survived it.

It’s been eight months since I became OFFICIALLY single again. Initially it took some very intentional reminders to myself that the feelings of loneliness were normal and that most of the things I felt like I missed, hadn’t been in my relationship for a long time, if ever. Basically, I had to learn to be OK alone. And it really didn’t take long to realize that being alone was actually the least lonely I’d been in a really long time. I began living the life that made me (and my boys) happy without worry. I started feeling more and more like myself.

So now I’m in some weird place, trying to decide, am I ready to try again?  How do you possibly know if you’re healed enough to be in a relationship again?  Can you put a ‘timeline’ on these things? Or am I just supposed to know?

Contact Lens Safe Wear & Care #MC

I wrote this review while participating in an Influencer campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and received a promotional item from Mom Central to thank me for participating.

ContactLensSafeWear&CareAs a family full of “four eyes,” vision and eye care are always a top priority for us.  But as Halloween approaches it’s likely that many who don’t need vision corrections will turn to ‘decorative’ lenses to complete a costume.  It’s crucial to remember that contact lenses are a medical device which require a prescription from licensed eye care professional.  Getting your prescription lenses from a licensed professional means you’ll be given proper instruction on good hygiene habits when inserting/removing contact lenses as well as the importance
of following wearing and replacement schedules, proper lens care, and disinfecting routines.

But even of those who consider ourselves “pros” after wearing Rx lenses for years can often use a reminder on the The Do’s and Don’ts of Eye Care Safety.  Follow these  tips to make sure that you are wearing and caring for your contact lenses safely and effectively.


  • Wash and rinse your hands thoroughly with a mild soap and dry with a lint-­‐free towel  before handling your lenses
  • Put in your contacts before you put on your makeup  or  any costume paint.
  • Remove lenses immediately if you experience eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, and redness of the  eye or other problems and promptly contact your eye care professional
  • Always remove, clean and disinfect your lenses according to the schedule recommended by your  eye doctor


  • Wear another person’s lenses
  • Wear lenses longer than the time frame recommended by your eye doctor
  • Rinse your lenses in water from the tap or expose them to any water—such as swimming or showering—while wearing them
  • Use anything aside from recommended solution by your eye doctor, such as saliva, to lubricate your lenses

I tried wearing contacts the first time in Junior High and while they required more care back then, I simply wasn’t ready for the responsibility.  I did actually cause damage to my eye, thankfully only minor.  But it’s because of this that I’m hesitant to get the boys contacts.  But we’re at that point where they want them.  But even as a family who required vision correction, this is a very big decision.  Please be sure that kids in your life aren’t risking more serious eye injury with improper use of contact lenses.  Vision is simply to precious to risk!IMG_20141021_114734To learn more about Healthy Vision & Contact Lenses check this great resource with additional tips and information from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.  And keep track of your individual contact lens replacement schedule with the ACUMINDER® Tool, a free service that sends an automatic reminder via email and/or cell phone text message on when to replace contact lenses, when to   order new lenses and when to schedule an eye exam. Registration is free and open to all contact lens wearers.

Celebrate Your Firsts With Netflix #StreamTeam

 This post is brought to in partnership with Netflix.  All opinions expressed are my own.Netflix_Logo_Print_FourColorCMYK


Once our ‘babies’ head off for their first day of school we often feel as if the “firsts” are over.  But there’s still so much left to celebrate when we take a step back and consider all the ‘mini-milestones’ left for kids and even adults.

This year marked a large milestone for the boys as the first time they have moved (that they remember, we moved when the older boys were teeny tiny).  It was exciting, exhausting and nerve wracking all at the same time.  It meant new rooms, new neighborhoods and new schools.  There was a lot of joy over a new safer neighborhood where the boys can be allowed to get out and play more freely.  But there was also a lot of anxiety with new schools, including MIDDLE SCHOOL for the older boys and leaving Bryan in a school without his brothers.

With Middle School also came a first dance for both the older boys.  There were no dates (which my fragile mom of tweens heart is grateful for) but there was grooming, loud music, a rather late night and thankfully a good time had.

Whether your firsts are full of excitement or anxiety a great way to prepare for them is to find comfort in those who’ve been down the same path.  This may be done by getting together with friends, OR an evening in with some Netflix!  Check out this great list of movies and TV shows the celebrate a ton of FIRSTS!













New Job: The Office
Getting Married: My Fair Wedding with David Tutera
Having a Baby: What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Life as a Parent: Parenthood
Running for Office: Parks & Recreation
Buying a Home: House Hunters




This month also marks my first post as part of the Netflix Stream Team.  We LOVE Netflix and look forward to sharing more ways to have fun with Netflix!










Aquatic Experience – Chicago Ticket Giveaway

Second annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago makes a splash with additional 130+ tanks of tropical fish, return of Live Shark Encounter and Kids Aquarium Contest
November 7-9, 2014

Everything under one roof also includes:
Fish from Around the World display
Children’s Touch Tank
Two inaugural aquatic competitions
Educational seminars
…and more!

Aquatic Experience - Discus fish

The World Pet Association’s (WPA) second annual Aquatic Experience – Chicago makes a splash Nov. 7-9, 2014, with the addition of over 130 aquariums of tropical fish and return of the popular Live Shark Encounter and Kids Aquarium Contest. Show attendees will find “everything aquatic under one roof” at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, from saltwater and freshwater fish to pond and aquatic plants—including a Fish from Around the World display with Children’s Touch Tank, two inaugural aquatic competitions, educational seminars and a thriving show floor of exhibitors showcasing the latest in aquatic trends and products.

Daily family passes ($25), individual tickets ($10), weekend passes ($99) and Saturday dinner and keynote tickets ($60) are now on sale for Aquatic Experience – Chicago. Registration for the Kids Aquarium Contest for children ages 5-16 is $5 and includes a 10-gallon aquarium kit complete with filter, lighting, heater and thermometer, plus a wristband for free admission to the show floor with a paying adult. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit

The new display of over 130 aquariums of tropical fish, presented by the Florida Tropical Fish Farmers Association, will include a wide variety of tropical fresh and salt water fish farmed in the US and provide inspiration for retailers, advanced hobbyists and fledgling aquarists all three days of the show. Haai Inc’s Live Shark Encounter, the only travelling shark show in the country, returns this year to give attendees the chance to see sharks up close as a diver swims and interacts with these awe-inspiring animals, providing entertaining and educational information.

Aquatic Experience’s educational seminars on hobbyist and retail topics will feature keynote speaker and Newport Aquarium Zoological Operations Manager Jeff Gibula, in partnership with Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, taking a behind-the-scenes lighthearted look at public aquariums and their relationship to today’s hobbyists and their home aquariums. This year’s show also hosts two inaugural aquatic competitions: the Aquascaping Live! Contest presented by the Aquatic Gardeners Association, and the Aquatic Experience Fancy Guppy Competition presented by the International Fancy Guppy Association.

Additional aquatic experts presenting at educational seminars this year are Anton Lamboj, Bob Fenner, Brandon McLane, Charles Delbeek, Chris Lukhaup, Eric Bodrock, Francis Yupangco, Heiko Bleher, Jake Adams, Jen Reynolds, Joe Olenik, Jonathan Dooley, Julian Sprung, Karen Randall, Kevin Kohen, Oliver Knott, Oliver Lucanus, Patrick Dontson, Rusty Wessel, Sandy Moore, Sanjay Joshi, Steve Lundblad and Ted Judy. Topics include: aquarium and water garden plants; fish breeding; changes in the aquatic world; specialty stores in niche markets; hiring and training strategies; designing a successful fish room; and aquatic explorations of Thailand and Lake Tanganyika.

The World Pet Association (WPA) is the oldest industry organization promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. WPA works to inform and educate the general public in order to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. WPA is the host of America’s Family Pet Expo, the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, held annually in Costa Mesa, California. The organization also produces SuperZoo, an annual pet industry trade show that showcases a comprehensive collection of exhibits and offers a variety of informative educational seminars, and Atlanta Pet Fair, the Southeast’s largest competition and trade show for the professional pet stylist. For more information, please visit


Find AquaticExperience on Twitter or Facebook




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