Guilt-Free Frozen Treats from Arctic Zero

I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided, and this page may contain affiliate links

Summer wouldn’t be nearly as sweet without ice cream, and indulging in a delicious scoop is one of our favorite ways to beat the heat. All that sugar and saturated fat that fills up a pint, however, puts a damper on the family fun. This year, we’ve opted for a better-for-you frozen treat with Arctic Zero.

Arctic Zero Frozen Desserts

Arctic Zero is a little different from ice cream, and it’s every bit as enjoyable.  Sweetened with a combination of organic cane sugar and monk fruit, Arctic Zero is low glycemic and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols.  In fact, you won’t find any artificial ingredients in their products.  If you know me at all, you know that’s the first thing I look for on a food label.

Arctic Zero offers a wide assortment of yummy flavors in two different kinds of pints:  Creamy and Chunky.  Creamy pints are fat free and have only 35 calories per half-cup serving, while the Chunky pints are low in fat (1-2.5 grams) and have just 75 calories per half-cup serving.  Next time you’re grocery shopping, take a look at a few pints from other brands, and you’ll see how big the difference is.

Arctic Zero

There are plenty of other reasons to love Arctic Zero too.  All of the pints are GMO-free, lactose-free, and certified kosher, plus there are many gluten-free options as well.  Each serving has 2-3 grams of fiber and 3-4 grams of rBST-free whey protein, making Arctic Zero just right for protein smoothies or shakes. [Read more…]


Ice Cool: A Fun Family Game Where You Get to Flick Penguins

Are you melting? I’m melting. It’s so very hot, and the humidity is just miserable. My kids love to play outside (and I love for them to enjoy the outdoors), but some days it’s too hot for them to stay outside for long periods of time. On those days, we try to find some fun indoor activities to help them chill out and cool off. One of our favorite new ways to do that is a game called Ice Cool, featuring our favorite critters: penguins!

Ice Cool Game Penguins
I know that so many of the games we play these days are played on consoles or computers, but this is an actual tabletop board game, which makes me happy from the start. Ice Cool is a flicking game – if you’ve never heard of a flicking game before, it will make sense in a moment, I promise.

A disclaimer from me to you: if you’re anything like me, you best learn how to play a game by observing rather than reading instructions, so bear with me while I attempt to explain the gameplay here.

The main characters are, as I mentioned, penguins (this thrills me), and it takes place at their happy little penguin school. Just like little humans are known to get distracted in class, these penguins are bored and have decided they’re more interested in catching some tasty fish instead of sitting at their desks. They’re ready to go play and steal some snacks, but the hall monitor could be lurking around any corner, just waiting to take away their hall pass and send them scurrying back to their classroom.

Ice Cool Game Box
The actual construction of the game looks like a school and is created by connecting several low-profile boxes that feature door openings. (The box is the game and the game is the box!) Little fish hang above each door, just waiting to be snatched by a penguin on the run. Each box forms a “room,” and there are 5 rooms in all. If you know there’s a fish to be caught in the gym, for example, you’ll need to move your penguin there.

This is where the flicking comes in. Rather than having a game piece that you move from square to square like many games, these little penguins have wobbly bottoms and can be flicked and spun around. You don’t have to move a certain number of spots to get to your desired location. If you want to hit the gym and you have doors through which you can travel, you can flick your penguin in a way that spins it through the door(s) to get to your destination. Don’t have a door, or you see the hall monitor is in your way? That’s okay, too – you can just jump a wall! [Read more…]


CyberDERM Everyday Sun Whip: A Light, Matte-Finish Mineral Sunscreen for Your Face

With all the talking we’ve been doing about sunscreen, you might have noticed that I haven’t yet addressed the face.  That was no accident. Regular mineral sunscreens make me break out and can sometimes look a little crazy when I try to layer them with my makeup.  My kids are lucky enough to be able to use our regular brands on their faces, and they don’t mind at all if they occasionally resemble Casper, but I had to find a better solution for myself.

As you know, relying on wholly chemical sunscreens is just not an option for me, but I certainly can’t go out unprotected.  Clearly, I needed something made specifically for the delicate skin of the face, but I just wasn’t finding anything acceptable in my local stores.  Luckily, the Internet came to my rescue.  Again.

Obviously, I needed good UVA and UVB protection, but I didn’t want any products containing oxybenzone or Vitamin A/retinol/retinal palmitate.  That cut out a pretty good chunk of options, but I finally landed on CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25.  Oxybenzone?  No.  Vitamin A?  No.  So far, so good.  My final step was to check EWG, and hooray!  They give it the high rating of 1.

CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip

The real test, of course, is how it works for my skin.  I am happy to report that it’s been wonderful.  The Sun Whip applies easily and feels light on my skin.  Unlike other mineral sunscreens I’ve used on my face, this ones doesn’t crumble or leave white streaks.  It dries quickly to a lovely matte finish that makes a great base for makeup.  My skin is a bit oily in places, and I have found that I don’t really need an additional moisturizer.  I’m not sure I’ll feed the same way in the winter, but it’s making my summer mornings more simple.

This smooth application is owed, in part, to one of the active ingredients.  The Every Morning Sun Whip contains 15% zinc oxide and 7.5% octinoxate, and you can bet the magic isn’t due to the zinc oxide.  Octinoxate was new to me, and when I looked more closely at the EWG rating for this sunscreen, I saw that that specific ingredient actually has a 6 rating, which is less than impressive.

CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip Pump

Turns out that octinoxate is a known endocrine disruptor that’s easily absorbed into the skin.  Well, I was pretty uncomfortable about that for a few minutes, until I realized that the version used in this sunscreen is a little different.  CyberDERM uses encapsulated octinoxate, which means that instead of being absorbed, it sits on top of your skin where it absorbs UVB rays.  Phew!  Crisis averted.

The CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip has been working great for me.  It feels good to know that I’m protecting my skin from the damaging and aging rays of the sun, and it feels even better to be doing it without increased break outs.  For more information or to grab a bottle for yourself, visit The Sunscreen Company.


Lightning Strikes this Friday when Cars 3 Comes to Theaters + $25 Fandango Gift Card Giveaway with THREE Winners!

My son’s bedroom has been decorated with a Cars theme since he first saw the movie back when he as just two years old.  Lightning McQueen has been one of his very favorite characters ever since, and as you can imagine, we’ve seen Cars more times than I can count.  Needless to say, he was VERY excited when he learned that Cars 3 was coming out, and he’d been waiting rather anxiously to see it.  The big moment finally happened for us last night.

Cars 3 - Lightning & Cruz

Over the past couple of months, I’ve heard people expressing concerns over the new addition to the Cars franchise.  Some didn’t like what they saw in the trailer–no one wants to see our beloved #95 hurt, right?  Others were disappointed in Cars 2, and I have to admit, I happened to be one of those.  Still, I had hope, and after seeing the extended sneak peek of the film at the Cars 3:  Road to the Races Tour, I was pretty confident I was going to like this one.  I was right.

Cars 3

After more than a decade of racing, Lightning McQueen finds himself surrounded by younger, faster cars.  A devastating loss to his main rival, Jackson Storm, prompts him to team up with  high-spirited, high-tech trainer Cruz Ramirez, with the hope that she can keep him from having to retire and become just another brand promoting merchandise to his fans.  Lightning only has one chance to get himself back on top, but he finds that the latest technology isn’t what’s going to get him there.  With Cruz by his side, he goes back to his roots and they both get a little dirty.  Okay, maybe more than a little.

Cars 3 - Miss Fritter

Lightning’s return to his roots allows some screen time for the original characters we loved from Radiator Springs, including a few heartfelt flashbacks featuring the late Doc Hudson. Surprisingly, it’s also an effective way to introduce a few interesting, new characters, like the formidable Miss Fritter pictured above.  There’s plenty of action in that scene, and it really throws Cruz into the middle of things.

We also meet a group of veterans whom Pixar based on real life racing legends.  They’re a great bunch of characters who provide an important link to the Fabulous Hudson Hornet and to the roots of car racing.

Cars 3

Lightning and Cruz both learn a lot about racing and about themselves, and they come out winners in their own ways.  As for the ending, I can’t say I’m totally on board with it, but I would say that I’m about 95% there.  (See what I just did?)  While it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to see happen, you have to love where they went with the story.  That’s about as much as I can tell you without giving too much away, but I think you’ll like it too.  Cars 3 is a story about relationships, and it really brings back the warmth and emotion of the first movie.  If you were a fan of that one, you won’t want to miss Cars 3.

Cars 3 opens this Friday, June 16th, so you won’t have to wait long to find out exactly what happens.  Grab your Cars 3 tickets from Fandango now to make sure you get a seat at your preferred showing!  If you want to get really fancy, you can also pick up some Cars 3 themed gift cards:

Fandango - Cars 3 Gift Cards

Fandango is also giving you guys a chance to win one of three $25 gift cards! (These are good for use on Fandango.com and not restricted to Cars 3.)  Open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 6/29/17 at 11:59 PM ET.  Good luck!

Cars 3 Fandango Giveaway [Read more…]


The New VIZIO SmartCast Sound Bar System Has Chromecast Built Right In!

I remember the days when televisions were televisions, radios were radios, and we had cassette players in cars like it was yesterday.  Ah, the simplicity of a small selection of channels to choose from, and the satisfaction of popping in that brand new mixtape your crush made you…

Things are all-in-one these days, and as much as I miss the simplicity of days gone by, I really do love the convenience of having plenty of tech options around my home–especially when it comes to audio.  Two of my favorite things to do are listen to music and watch movies, so good speakers are kind of a priority for me.  The sound that comes through a television’s built-in speakers, however, is often underwhelming. I’m the kind of person who loves good, strong, rich audio whether it’s movies or music–a good sound system is a must when buying a new car, so of course I want that kind of premium sound in my home too. Sadly, TV speakers just don’t really do it for me.

VIZIO SmartCast Wireless Sound Bar System SB3651-E6

In addition to wanting good sound, I also want something low profile that won’t stick out like a sore thumb, as well as something cost-efficient. I know, I’m picky. But these are my requirements, and they’re happily met by the VIZIO SmartCast Wireless Sound Bar System, which we received in exchange for review.

We’ve been using this sound bar system in our home for the past month, and we’ve been really pleased with its performance!

Vizio Sound Bar

The setup was incredibly easy and only took a few minutes. For once, the included instructions were clear, well-written, and featured lots of helpful illustrations. I really wish more companies would use VIZIO as an example here, because they honestly made installation a breeze.  You can wall mount your speakers or go with a simple table top like we did–what ever fits your space best.

As for the sound quality, we’ve been impressed. The last time we went shopping for a sound bar, we tested and returned three of them before we found one that actually seemed to make a difference. Since we’ve used so many of them, I feel confident that this one is awesome – it definitely beats the competition. The dialogue is really clear, which is important when you’re watching movies with kids who won’t sit still or keep quiet.  Have you ever discovered new dialogue in a movie you seen millions of times before?  I’m always fascinated when that happens, and this system will do that for you.   The bass sound is great too, and while it won’t disturb your neighbors, it will add an extra level of depth that will make you feel like you’re watching in a real movie theater or listening at a live concert.

Vizio Sound Bar Subwoofer and Side Speakers

And now we come to what I love best about this sound bar system.  As a family, we have just loved what the VIZIO Sound Bar has done for our weekend movie night experiences, but I’m the one who really gives it a workout.  In the past, I’ve mentioned how I almost always have music playing in the house, and during the workday, you can bet either Pandora or Spotify is on in the background.  Since Chromecast is built right in, you can play audio from any Chromecast-enabled app, and that’s just what I’ve been doing.  With a simple tap, I cast my music directly to the sound bar–no TV power required.  I wasn’t unhappy with the single speaker I was using previously, but a nice 5.1 system is definitely a big sound upgrade.  With the satellite speakers and subwoofer, it provides a much richer surround sound that really does fill the whole room.

Vizio Wirless Sound Bar Remote

The sound bar system comes with a remote control for basic functions like subwoofer settings and volume, but you can also control it with your mobile device through the VIZIO SmartCast app.   Again, you can cast directly from within a Chromecast-enable app, but if you have multiple SmartCast devices, the app is an easy way to control them all from one place.  It’s also Bluetooth-enabled, and if you’re a Google Home user, you can even control the sound bar with your voice.  There are a lot of options here, but don’t be overwhelmed.  There are real, printed instructions for setting up everything.

If you’re looking for new speakers for your home entertainment system, I think you’ll really like the VIZIO SmartCast Wireless Sound Bar System.  With tons of great features and superb sound quality for just $249.99, it has to be one of the very best values out there for sound bars.  Check it out at Vizio.com.