I’m having a Zubie New Year, are you?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zubie for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

A few weeks ago I told you about the new Zubie app and Zubie key that connects you to your car to help monitor your vehicles, diagnose repair problems and take the hassle out of daily driving. Now that I've had the chance to use my new Zubie for a few weeks I have to tell y'all….I LOVE IT!

Not only does it check and inform you diagnostically about your vehicle but it also lets you know where your car is (perfect for teens that borrow the car) and how you care driving. After 16 years of "Oh my gosh, stop braking so hard, you're making me nauseous" I was more than happy to show my husband that the Zubie also thinks he brakes too hard!!

Can you tell someone was running late to choir practice at church?? 

It's also nice tracking the vehicle and knowing just how long you have before you have to change out of your PJ's and start dinner. 

I noticed I have a few "hard brakes" and a few "rapid accelerations" and knowing that helped me be a little more cautious of my driving.

I haven't had any engine problems to report. It's nice to know that everything is running smoothly.

We named our car the Storm Trooper because it's white! 

Installing the key was very easy and downloading and using the app is easy to do as well.

You can get a new Zubie key for your car and have a Zubie New Year, too! order today with code SAVE20JANand SAVE 20% on one year of Zubie always-connected car service and a free Zubie Key. A great way to use your Best Buy and Amazon holiday gift cards!

Offer good through February 28, 2013. Shipping charges apply.

Like Zubie on Facebook and follow Zubie on Twitter @GoZubie to keep up to date with Zubie!! 

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Splendid Holiday Spoils at P.F. Chang’s

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of P.F. Changs for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As I sit here and write to you, I can tell you how much I truly need a bit of a spoiling.  I have ventured out into the shopping arena (yes…lots like Thunder Dome!  You'd think it was Black Friday morning!)  Just for simple gifts and items for a quick dinner, after a full day of work!  A trip that usually takes half an hour, that took a hour and a half!  Now I am here wondering why have I settled for this cup of hot tea and these chocolate and mint cookies, when I know  there is a P.F. Chang's restaurant within driving distance.  I believe I've sold myself short!  Did you know P.F. Chang's everywhere are offering new Holiday menu items that turn my evening's spoils into shame?

P.F. Chang’s is the perfect place to check the Holiday hustle and bustle at the door, and relax while being surrounded by a unique, modern environment combining influences of Asian and American cultures evident from the décor through the menu.  Much like the way I imagine how to spoil my family or how I would want to be spoiled, P.F. Chang’s offers a delicious array of hand-crafted dishes, desserts and cocktails.  P.F. Chang's Holiday offerings are devine!

My personal favorite is their cleverly handmade SWEET VANILLA CREAM WONTONS!  Yes…handmade, warm and crispy wontons filled with delicious vanilla cream cheese (mmmm), dusted with powdered sugar (ohh!), served with vanilla and raspberry sauces and fresh mint (*I fall to the floor*).

SWEET VANILLA CREAM WONTONS

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I love the marriage of pairing my SWEET VANILLA CREAM WONTONS with a PEPPERMINT MOCHA CAPPUCCINO!  What a KISS!!!  My PEPPERMINT MOCHA CAPPUCCINO is a Crave Mint Chocolate Liqueur and vodka added to a classic cappuccino, finished with crushed peppermint candy.

VANILLA BEAN BOURBON MILKSHAKE & PEPPERMINT MOCHA CAPPUCCINO

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My hubby's favorite is what HE calls his Dynamic Duo, which features CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY WONTONS paired with their VANILLA BEAN BOURBON MILKSHAKE!
P.F. Chang's CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY WONTONS are also handmade crispy wontons, but with a creamy chocolate-raspberry filling, dusted with powdered sugar, served with chocolate and raspberry sauces, fresh raspberries and mint.  (I am laughing now because my husband reminds me of a shark when he eats these, because his eyes roll back while he's "feeding"  lol!)

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY WONTONS

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The VANILLA BEAN BOURBON MILKSHAKE features Woodford bourbon blended with vanilla bean ice cream, graham crackers and honey, served with a honey graham cracker pop!

If you need a great escape from the traffic jammed malls and shopping strips this Holiday, I'd encourage you to visit P.F. Chang's today or this evening and treat yourself to their new Holiday menu offerings.

Follow @pfchangs

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Let me ask you, if you were in my place at a P.F. Chang's dining table, which of the Holiday menu items would you choose?

 

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Perfect Holiday Gift with Zubie

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zubie for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a fast-paced mom, my day begins as a race to the car with lots of  tasks in-between.  Checking the car for fluids and walking around the car while kicking the tires in not included in these tasks.  Along with a countless number of working mommy's, I have to trust that my car will get me and Alice to school as long as it's not on fire.  Sure my husband does an okay job of car maintenance.  He'll admit he is not a pro and at the very least, he checks the car seasonally or just before long trips.  Unfortunately, those pesky dashboard indicators doesn't wait for certain seasons to warn about low break fluid, low batteries or engine over heating.  Why wait until a dashboard warning light to come on and who knows what they mean anyway?!  

That is why I am taking a serious look at Zubie

What is Zubie?  The company website explains Zubie as "A cool new service connecting you to your car to help monitor your vehicles, diagnose repair problems and take the hassle out of daily driving."   Zubie services combines a smart device (about the size of a matchbox) that plugs into a standard port in every car* along with a smartphone app that help you get the most from your car. * onboard diagnostics (OBD) port, which is in all cars built after 1996.

Zubie is designed to help in many categories on my worry list when it comes to my vehicle:

• Family Safety: Real-time location tracking and alerts when family members arrive at home, work or school.  Alerts for troublesome events like hard breaking, rapid acceleration, or the first time your child drives at night.

• Problem alerts: Be alerted to car problems before they leave you stranded, such as a Check Engine light or a dying battery.

• Safe Driving: Track and improve your driving, and connect and compete with friends through social media. Monitor and coach teen drivers using a driving score for each driver based on 30 metrics, like acceleration, speeding, hard breaking, and more!  It's a very cool way to get a since of your own good or bad driving habits.

• Trip Coordination: Connect with friends to share locations and simplify coordination on short trips or car-pools.  My husband is a map freak!  He'll map a simple trip to the store and try to have a conversation with the navigator.  "At the next stop, turn left."  He says "Thanks Hal."

Did you know that 52% of car breakdowns are battery related?  Most of my vehicle demises have been caused by fluid neglect and having being alerted by a ticking engine or overheating, which is pretty close to having irreversible damage costing tons to repair.  I can see where a service like Zubie can be beneficial to me and my family!  

Zubie makes it easy to know and understand what’s going on under the hood, plus save money on maintenance. This easy-to-install device helps you keep your car running by giving timely information about your car’s health, and alerting you to potential problems:

• Engine Problems: Be alerted to problem codes reported by your engine, and understand what they mean.

• Check Engine Light: Translate the Check Engine light into plain English.  "Honey, the toaster light just came on!"  "I didn't think this Taurus came with a toaster feature."

• Know exactly why the light is on, and avoid an unnecessary trip to the repair shop.

• Dead Battery: Track battery levels and be alerted to a problem BEFORE a dead battery leaves you stranded.

• Repair Cost & Insight: Know how serious a problem might be, and receive an estimate of likely repair costs before you go to the repair shop.

• Driving Behavior: Manage your driving habits to improve fuel economy and preserve overall car value over time.

The more I explore knowing what Zubie is and what it does, really excites me and when I told my husband about it, he was even more excited than I was!  (He's a total tech and gadget nerd and proud of it!)  Little does he know that we are receiving a Zubie Key to test out ourselves and I am thinking to let him take over a post to help review it with me!  (Merry Christmas, Baby!)  I know I am excited to test it out, especially to use the driving behavior features!  My hubby thinks he's a stunt driver at times.  He thinks I drive like every day is Sunday morning.

I think it would be a great gift to anyone!  Someone who needs help improve their driving skills. Or a child/wife/husband that is known notorious for forgetting to get the oil changed, put air in the tires or change the wiper blades.  Or simply a car fanatic who is always interested in finding the latest and greatest auto gadgets!

Give a Zubie for the Holidays!!  For a limited time, order today use code SAVE20DEC and SAVE 20% on your Zubie Key plus one year of service!  This offer is good through January 31, 2013. Shipping charges apply.

In blog posts to come in the year 2014, you will hear more about Zubie and my experiences using this innovative service!  Keep watch of Alililly and learn to make driving easier, safer and less expensive!

Be sure to Follow @GoZubie on Twitter and Like Zubie on Facebook to keep up to date with Zubie.

 

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Adorable Reversible Holiday Vest using Duck Brand® Tape

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand provided by ShurTech Brands, LLC for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am SO HAPPY with how adorable this vest came out! This was my sister Nori's idea and I'm so glad I used her idea. 

Isn't it adorable!!?!! Alice loves it, too. 

Let me show you how I made it. It was surprisingly easy to make. 

First, I grabbed a shirt of Alice's and used it to trace the pattern on to a large sheet of paper. I omitted the sleeves for the vest. I traced two patterns one for the front and one for the back.

Then, I VERY CAREFULLY (this would be the trickiest part of the project) and SLOWLY cut strips of the printed Duck Brand® Tape and placed them vertically over the traced pattern on the paper. The first strip I flipped the top and bottom edges over and adhered it to the paper. Then I continued to cut strips long enough to lay over the patter and carefully layered them over the strip before. I only layered them over each other by a 1/4 of an inch. I did this until I covered the whole traced pattern. Then I repeated this process with another pattern of the Duck Brand® Tape, except this time I put sticky side to sticky side and placed the strips horizontally. 

I did this for both traced patterns. Once both sides of the Duck Tape fabric is made I used the traced pattern I thought was closest to the correct size and cut it out. Then I used that cut out as a stencil to cut out the other half of the vest pattern. 

I then placed the cut out paper pattern over the Duck Tape fabric and cut it to form each piece of the pattern. 

Then I placed the two pieces together and used a hole punch to punch holes in to the sides and tops where the shoulders would be.  I used white yarn and tied both sides together. After the pieces were together I then cut the front piece straight down the center and cut out a v neckline at the top. 

SO EASY!! Honestly, it is!

Now, because we used two different patters, your new holiday vest is reversible!!! Which you know anything that has two looks in one is just too cool!!

We have the Duck Brand® Tape Seasonal Sweets side of the vest!

Then you just flip the vest inside out and TADA!!! You have the super adorable Duck Brand® Tape Penguin side!!

SO ADORABLE!!! I can't wait to make more!!

Besides the super cute penguin pattern and the pretty seasonal sweets pattern, Duck Brand® holiday prints also come in Snowman, Holiday Bows and many seasonal colors. 

What creative, fun projects have you made or would like to make using the wonderful holiday patterns from Duck Brand®?

Follow Duck Brand® on twitter at @TheDuckBrand for lots of creative inspiration and check out Duck the Halls for more ideas and products!! 

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