Smiley360 Nescafe with Coffee-Mate Review and Giveaway

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Thanks to Smiley360, I had the opportunity to try out the new Nescafe with Coffee-Mate  Hazelnut flavor. 

As you can see, the Nescafe with Coffee-Mate is very convenient! Perfect for those early mornings when you've just got to have coffee but forgot to program the coffee maker or are just in a rush. Simply add 2 tablespoonsful to a mug, add hot water, and stir. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the balanced flavor as it had just the right amount of coffee and flavored creamer. It also wasn't bitter, or overly sweet. If you happen to be like me and enjoy hand-crafted coffee drinks, you can add hot chocolate mix or chocolate syrup to the hot coffee. I have even been known to drop in a caramel or a piece of peppermint candy for extra flavor. If you prefer iced coffee, mix and pour over ice. Prefer it creamier? Mix with milk and then pour over ice. The choices are endless!

Try new Nescafe with Coffee-Mate out for yourself. Click HERE for a $0.75 off coupon.

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a coupon for a FREE 12 oz. Nescafe with Coffee-Mate (Retail value up to $4.99). Three winners will be chosen. Giveaway open to U.S. only. 

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The Three Dogateers DVD Giveaway

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Here at our house, one of the things we love about this time of the year are all the holiday movies and specials on tv. Unfortunately, since we no longer have cable, we miss a lot of the specials so when I see a new movie come out, I immediately want to check it out. The THREE DOGATEERS, starring Dean Cain, looks like something my entire family would enjoy watching! 

About the movie:

Three pampered pooches left to guard the house on Christmas Eve become fearless DOGATEERS when thieves break in and steal every present, every ornament—even the yuletide tree! Vowing to save Christmas, the three canines set out in search of Santa, the only one who can help them on their quest.

Dove Family approved. Rated PG

Watch the trailer below then scroll down to enter the giveaway!

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Open to U.S. Residents only. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) The Three Dogateers DVD via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

**Disclosure: My So Called Homeschool Life has not received any monetary gain nor product for posting the above giveaway. Any opinions are my own. Giveaway is fulfilled by sponsor. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

30+ Things You Can Get For FREE on Your Birthday

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I don't know about you, but I love getting things for free- especially birthday freebies! If you plan ahead, you can enjoy celebrating your special day all month long with free meals, money off coupons, desserts, and more. 

The list below is for offers in the Greater Cincinnati area, and as of the date of this post, are all still valid. Some offers do have restrictions, and others require a purchase to obtain the free item, but some are absolutely no strings attached (those are my favorite). Many of the freebies are through e-clubs and require signing up prior to your birthday month, but they are well worth it! (E-club offers come via email so make sure to check your spam folder or add them to your contacts so they will show up in your inbox.)

1. Arby's- Sign up to receive deals via email and receive a coupon for a free 12 oz. shake with purchase of a regular menu item for your birthday. (Get a free Roast Beef Classic when you purchase a drink when you sign up too.)

2. Sign up for Au Bon Pain's e-club and receive a free birthday sandwich or salad. (Also get a free travel mug just for signing up.)

3. Auntie Anne's- Sign up for MyPretzelPerks (online or get the app) and get a coupon or reward for one free birthday pretzel (of equal or lesser value) when you buy one. (Get a totally free pretzel of your choice within 24 hours of signing up too.)

4. Join Baskin Robbin's birthday club and get a free 2.5 oz. scoop or 3 oz. soft serve swirl cone. 

5.Benihana'sRegister for The Chef's Table and during your birthday month receive a $30 birthday certificate. Restrictions apply: Valid Mon-Thur dinner only. Initial purchase of any adult teppan entree required. Certificate must be printed.

6. Bruegger's Bagels- Sign up for eClub and receive a coupon for a free bagel with cream cheese with any beverage purchase. 

7. Cinemark Cinemas- Sign up for their weekly email and receive a coupon for a free small popcorn.

8. CinnabonJoin Club Cinnabon and get a free 16 oz. Mocha Latta Chill. (Also, receive a coupon for a free Minibon when signing up.)

9. Join the CVS Beauty Club and get a $3 ExtraBucks Reward on your birthday.

10. Join the Dairy Queen Blizzard Fan Club and get a coupon for a free Blizzard of equal or smaller size when you purchase a medium blizzard. 

 Dunkin DonutsSign up for DD Perks and receive a free medium drink (for your birthday and when signing up). Includes any Dunkin' Donuts iced or hot coffee, tea or latte, hot chocolate, or Coolatta beverages. 

12. GodivaSign up for their rewards club and receive a $10 off $10 purchase. Can be used online or in stores. 

13. Gold Star Chili- Join the eClub and get a free cheese coney on your birthday. (When you sign up, you'll also receive a coupon for a free 3-way when you purchase a 3-way.)

14. Great American Cookie Company-Join CookiE-mail and get a free cookie cake slice with purchase of a regular soda for your birthday. 

15. IHOP- Join the Pancake Revolution and get free Rooty Tooty Fresh n' Fruity pancakes on your birthday (and within 24 hours of signing up and on your 1 year anniversary of signing up!)

Jersey Mike'sSign up for the email club and receive a coupon for a free 7" sub and a 22 oz. fountain drink for your birthday.

17. JoAnn Fabrics- Sign up for email updates and receive a coupon for 20% off entire purchase. (Word of warning, they send emails on an almost daily basis.)

18. Kohl's- Sign up for Yes2You Rewards and receive a $5 off any purchase coupon.

19. PaneraJoin MyPanera rewards and get a free pastry for your birthday. Just stop by Panera and pick up a rewards card and then register it online. Rewards will show up in your account and you redeem them in-store when they scan your card. (You also get a free pastry for signing up.)

20. Perkins- Join MyPerkins and receive a coupon for a free Magnificent Seven Meal. 

21. Redbox- Sign up for Redbox Play Pass and get a code for a free rental for your birthday.

22. Sign up for the Red Robin Royalty club and receive a free birthday burger and fries.

23. Ruby TuesdayJoin So Connected and get a free birthday burger and fries up to $9.00. (When I went last week, there was only one burger on the menu under $9 so I got the Classic Burger for $9.49.)

24. Sally Beauty Supply - Join the Sally Beauty Club and receive a coupon for $10 off a $20 purchase.

25. Sbarro- Sign up for E-Club deals and get a coupon for a free NY Cheese or Pepperoni pizza slice with purchase of beverage. (Receive a free cheese pizza slice with beverage purchase for joining.) Be sure to watch your email for this one. My coupon arrived a MONTH before my birthday and expired two weeks later. 

26. Sephora- Join the Beauty Insider Rewards program and redeem your birthday reward online or in-store. (Must pay shipping when redeemed online.) This year I received MAKE UP FOREVER Extravagant Volume mascara and Moisturing Soft Shine lipstick mini's. 

27. SmashboxSign up for email exclusives and receive a free birthday gift with any $35 purchase. This year the gift is a full-size Full Exposure mascara (a $20 value). 

28. Starbucks- Join MyStarbucks Rewards by registering a Starbucks card and receive one free drink of your choice. Birthday reward shows up about a week prior to your birthday. 

29.Steak 'n Shake- Sign up for their eClub and receive a free Double Steak Burger and Cheese 'n Fries for your birthday.

30. Texas Roadhouse- Sign up for their email club and get a coupon for a free sidekick of ribs or a legendary appetizer with purchase of an adult entree. Dine in only.

31. Uno's- Join Uno's Insider Club and you'll receive an offer for $10 off $25 dine-in only purchase. 

**Almost forgot...
32.  Graeter's Ice Cream- Pick up a Sweet Rewards card in-store and then register the card online and you'll get a free sundae on your birthday.

If you know of any additional places that offer freebies, feel free to let me know! 

"Susie's Hope" DVD Review and Giveaway

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Scroll down to enter the giveaway!

Susie's Hope is based on the true story of Donna Lawrence and Susie and how together they find love, hope, healing and forgiveness. Months before finding Susie left for dead in a local park, Donna herself was almost fatally wounded when attacked by a pit bull. 

Meet Susie, the pit bull-mix who was found as a puppy beaten, burned, and left for dead. Her jaw was broken, she was missing teeth, and her ears were burned off. She is the reason for Susie's Law, in North Carolina, which authorizes convicted animal abusers to receive as much as 10 months in jail for their crimes. 

Watch the trailer:

I have seen firsthand how well-behaved, gentle, and loving these breeds can be when raised with love and affection. Most often, it is when they are bred to be aggressive and raised with neglect and abuse that they have the potential to live up to their viscious reputations. This abuse is what led to Donna's horrific attack.

Their journey of recovery is an inspirational one and reminds me how much of a difference just one person can make. Susie's Hope brings much needed awareness to animal abuse and its long lasting effects. 

Thanks to Donna, and the help of many others, Susie leads a full life and is now a trained therapy dog and also works with other burn victims. What began as tragedy turned into triumph!

The well-chosen cast includes actors such as Emmanuelle Vaugier (best known for playing "Mia" on Two and a Half Men), Burgess Jenkins (from Remember the Titans, Jon Provost ("Timmy" from Lassie) and several other notable actors and actresses.
The film has a Dove rating of 12+ due to some graphic scenes that may frighten young children. Overall, I thought this was a very good movie! 

To learn more about Susie, watch the video clip below and visit If you decide to purchase the movie, 15% of all sales goes to Susie's Hope Foundation!

Click on graphic to read the review.
Enter to win a copy of Susie's Hope on DVD. Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada only.
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"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. Winner is chosen at random. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Coming Soon- Nescafe with Coffee-Mate Review and Giveaway!

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Thanks to Smiley360, I have the chance to try out the new Nescafe with Coffee-Mate in the Hazelnut flavor. Look for my review and giveaway coming soon. Three winners will get (1) one coupon each for a FREE 12 oz. container in the flavor of their choice. Available in Hazelnut, French Vanilla, and Original. 

First Snow

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Seems a bit strange to say we've had our first FALL snow of 2014, but we have! It's a really heavy snow good for packing so, in spite of the wind, several of the kids braved the cold to go out and play. The little ones didn't stay out for long, and I can't say I blame them. Thank goodness for our pellet stove and hot chocolate to help warm them up! 

"Rumors of Wars" DVD Review

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Rumors of Wars is a suspense-filled end of times movie starring such well-known names as Eric Roberts, Mac Powell (Third Day), Jaci Velasquez, and more. The story is about a young college woman named Roxy and her quest for answers as her world falls apart around her and an officer in the New World Army who comes across her journal years later in a post apocalypse society. While I am not a fan of converging storylines, the unexpected twists and turns were easy to follow and flowed fairly well. 
I honestly was not too crazy about the ending as I felt like it was unfinished and needed more closure. Overall though, it was a good family film and I think that my husband will really enjoy watching it. 
The film is Dove Family Approved with a PG-13 rating for violence (lots of guns, explosions and physical violence). There is also one instance of the word "hell" being used. It is currently available in DVD and Digital Download. 

Watch the trailer:

Matthew 24:6 KJV

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Click here to learn more about Rumors of Wars, to download the Rumors of Wars gospel tract, or to purchase the film, and more! 

For other films produced (or in the works) by Bearfruit Films, visit their website at: for more information. 

Blog Makeover & Starbucks Giveaway

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My son and I spent some time at Starbucks this weekend working on my blog. It was desperately in need of a makeover and I couldn't have done it without him or the Peppermint Mochas.  (What really happened was that he did the entire redesign with some input here and there from me.) He won't usually let me take a picture of him, so I was lucky to get this shot of him working away! 

So, to thank you for your patience while my blog was under construction and to celebrate the new look, I am offering my readers a chance to win a $10 Starbucks e-gift card. Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below! Winner will be notified by email.

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Chick-fil-A "Dress Up Your Nuggets" with an Asian Flair!

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Recently, I became a member of the Chick-fil-A mom's club! I am very excited to be a part of this group and look forward to getting the inside scoop on Chick-fil-A exclusives and participating in special promotions. 

One of those promotions is the current challenge, "Dress Up Your Nuggets". I will be honest, my absolute favorite way to eat chicken nuggets is to drench them in ketchup. I'm pretty sure that's not considered dressed up in most circles, so I decided to get creative!

We frequently eat Korean food, so the ingredients required were all things I already had on hand. All of the ingredients used (with the exception of the Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets) were purchased at my local grocery store and were reasonably priced. 

Sticky Rice (I use jasmine rice)
Sheets of Seaweed (the type used for making sushi rolls)
Kimchi (I use chopped)
Rice Vinegar
Sesame Oil
Sriracha Sauce
Soy Sauce
Bulgogi Marinade
Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets (I used breaded nuggets, at room temperature)

Cook rice. How much rice you cook depends on how many chicken nuggets you want to serve. I used 1 rounded teaspoonful of rice for each nugget roll.
Season rice. For 1 CUP of rice, use 1/2 tsp Rice Vinegar and 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil. Mix well. 

Cut seaweed into strips (width-wide). Mine were about 9"x2"


Add 1 chicken nugget (or 1/2 of a nugget)

Add a dash of Soy Sauce (not pictured)


My daughter loved the sriracha rolls but my favorite was the marinade drizzle. The soy sauce flavor was great as well. I wish I had bought more chicken nuggets than I did because I seriously want more! 

Do you dress up your nuggets? I'd love to hear how! 

**Clarification: Some of the photos picture a shorter strip of seaweed. These ended up being too short to roll up so I used the entire width of seaweed per roll. 

Orkin "Mouse in a House" Game & Giveaway


Scroll down the page to enter the giveaway.

'Fall has arrived, and cooler weather has come with it. Whether or not you know it, your warm house is an open invitation to unwanted guests looking for a cozy winter vacation: rodents. Each fall, rodents migrate from their outdoor “summer home” to the warmth, food and shelter of their “winter timeshare” – your house!
Being human has its perks, like having a cozy house to enjoy during the winter, but imagine having to survive as a mouse? Try your luck by playing “Mouse in a House” – a choose-your-own-adventure game that puts you in the shoes of a rodent looking to survive the upcoming harsh winter season – try your best to stay alive and see how long you last!
Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop an effective treatment that's right for your home. To learn more about pest control grounded in science or to schedule an inspection, visit or call 1-800-800-ORKIN®.'
Living out in the country like I do, I have had my fair share of the real live version of "Mouse in a House". One way or another, they do not stay for long. 
Play the game below to see how long you would last as a mouse in a house. 

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a fleece blanket from Orkin. 

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New A&E Series DOGS OF WAR Premiering November 11

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I recently had the opportunity to pre-screen the premier episode of A&E's DOGS OF WAR. Honestly, I thought it was something I wouldn't be very interested in because really, who needs yet another reality tv show? However, just minutes into the program, I felt myself being pulled in. 

About the show:

'DOGS OF WAR spotlights combat veteran Jim Stanek, who returns home struggling with PTSD. He looks into getting a service dog to help him heal, only to discover how expensive they are, and how long the wait to be paired with one is. So he starts his own nonprofit to rescue dogs from kill shelters, train them as service dogs and partner them with struggling veterans at little or no cost.'

Jim Stanek really cares about the veterans he is trying to help and it shows. I love how his wife is involved with the program and how she sort of takes the spouses under her wing to help them regain control of their life as well. Seeing the service dog bond with the veteran and become part of the family is heartwarming. I think that this is one reality show worth watching! 

The show premieres on A&E Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 10PM ET/PT and then moves to Sundays at 10PM ET/PT beginning Nov. 16.

Watch the trailer:

Thank you to ALL of our Veterans, past and present, for your service and sacrifice.

Kirk Cameron's 'Saving Christmas' Hits Theaters November 14! REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

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"Join me, and my family, and together let’s put Christ back into Christmas. We’ll dive head first into all of the joy, the dancing, the celebration, the feasting, the imagination and traditions that glorify the true reason for the season.” - Kirk Cameron

Scroll to the bottom of page to enter the giveaway!


'This Christmas, have your family join with Kirk Cameron’s family and dive headfirst into all the joy, dancing, celebration, feasting, imagination, and traditions that glorify the true “reason for the season.” KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is an engaging story that provides a biblical basis for our time-honored traditions and celebrations, and the inspiration to stand strongly against a culture that wants to trivialize and eliminate the faith elements of this holy season. So take in the splendor; take in the majesty; take in the story. Take it all in… and let’s put Christ back in Christmas! KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS is in theaters for a limited engagement beginning November 14 for two weeks only!' (

Find a theater near you.

What I thought: When I first saw the movie poster, I thought it was going to be a comedy. While there are some funny scenes, the film is basically about a Scrooge type guy having a change of heart when he learns about the REAL meaning of some of the most popular symbols associated with the Christmas season. The holidays have become so commercial that it is sometimes difficult to not get bogged down by it all. While this is not one of the best movies I have ever seen, it is a great reminder that we need to embrace Christmas with joy! I love Kirk Cameron's films though and this one is no exception. This is a limited engagement showing so be sure to see if it's showing at a theater in your area. 

Watch the trailer:

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: Open to U.S. and Canada only. Ends 11/20/14 at midnight EST.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

I'm a Chick-fil-A Mom Ambassador! #ChickFilAMoms

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This post is a bit late, but I am very excited to announce that I was recently chosen to be a Chick-fil-A mom ambassador! 

Our local Chick-fil-a is awesome and I am looking forward to making it to some of the upcoming Family Nights that they host each Tuesday.  

In the mean time, I'll be using my coupon this weekend to try out the iced coffee.
 Thanks Mom's Club for the goodies! 

What about you? Have any of you attended the Family Night at your local Chick-fil-A? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a great weekend!

TSO's The Christmas Attic Debuting SOON!

I am so excited! Look what I got in the mail yesterday- our tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra's live debut of The Christmas Attic. I have gone to TSO concerts every year almost for the past 13 years or so and I have never been disappointed. They are truly some of the best performers EVER. Looking forward to seeing the awesome Roddy Chong and Chris Caffery in Cincinnati in a few weeks!

If you have never heard of them, you are missing out! Visit the website at .