Friday, September 12, 2014

Keurig 2.0 Review, Pros and Cons #HelloKeurig

*Disclosure:  I was sent a free Keurig 2.0 (K550 Brewing System) from Influenster as part of their Keurig Campaign in order to perform this review. However, no other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Photo courtesy of
I'm a big fan of Influenster, coffee, and Keurig so I was overjoyed when I qualified to participate in Influenster's Keurig Campaign and review a new Keurig 2.0 (K550 Brewing System), especially when I found out that this new Keurig system would not only brew a single cup but also a 4-cup carafe with the same simplicity. The Keurig 2.0 includes a 4-cup starter carafe, four K-Carafe packs, 6 K-Cup packs, and a 2.0 water filter starter kit with one filter to help get you started. 
Photo courtesy of
The Keurig 2.0 was very simple to set up and get started and very easy to operate. The water reservoir holds 80 oz. of water and the Easy-fill Flip-top reservoir lid makes it easy to fill up. It takes less than a minute for the water to heat up. I can brew from a 4 oz. single cup to a 30 oz. carafe. The Keurig 2.0 has a lot of great features, including an extra large 80 oz. water reservoir, a 2.8" color touch display, brewer maintenance alerts, strength control, illuminated water reservoir, customizable user interface wallpaper, hot water on-demand function, and programmable controls (auto on/off, auto brew K-Carafe, customizable clock, favorite settings, and night light with customizable color). 

I love the sleek, modern design of the Keurig 2.0. My favorite features are the auto on/off and the auto brew K-Carafe. I don't have to worry about questioning myself whether or not I  (or anyone else) remembered to turn the coffee machine off because I have it set to shut off automatically after it has been inactive for 15 minutes. I like that I can set the auto brew K-Carafe to start brewing at a certain time. Before I took my new Keurig 2.0 to the office, I used this feature to start brewing a carafe at the same time I had my alarm set to wake me up in the morning so when I was ready so was the coffee. This feature only works for a carafe however. Now that the Keurig 2.0 is at the office, I can have a carafe of coffee waiting for me when I come through the door if I'd like. If you have the auto brew setting on, a message is displayed on the screen and the Keurig 2.0 can't be used for anything else. However, if the carafe is moved from underneath the Keurig 2.0 it cancels the auto brew setting. This is an easy way to cancel the auto brew setting and it's also a great safety feature in case someone moves the carafe and forgets to replace it. And as far as the carafe goes, it will keep coffee warm for about an hour. 

However, there are some downfalls to the Keurig 2.0 with one of them possibly being a deal breaker for some. The first downfall is that the hot water on demand feature only dispenses 6 ounces of water at a time and you have to hold the button on the brewer down the entire time. This isn't an extremely long process but it would just be nice to be able to choose how many ounces you'd like, press a button, and continue on doing other things while your water is dispensing. Instead, if you are wanting 12 ounces of hot water you'll have to repeat this process twice. The biggest downfall (the possible deal breaker one)  is that Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology is designed to read the lid of each K-Cup or K-Carafe pack so therefore only works with certain K-Cup and K-Carafe packs, the Keurig brand. For K-Cups, you'll need to look for cups with a white outer ring and the black Keurig Brewed seal on the lid. For K-Carafe packs, you'll need to look for the dark rim and the noticeable green dot on the lid. 

If you put a K-Cup into your Keurig 2.0 brewer that isn't compatible you'll get an Oops message on the screen. This is a problem for me mainly because with my older Keurig brewer I used a reusable K-Cup for the most part so that I could use my own coffee and remain environmentally friendly. It also saved me money as the Keurig brand K-Cups are more expensive than most other brands. Since our current coffee machine at the office is very old and is on its last leg, my original plan was to bring the Keurig 2.0 to the office and continue to use our own coffee. It's still a great addition to the office despite this major downfall however. We'll still be able to enjoy it but we are a bunch of frugal, bargain hunting ladies so hopefully we'll find some great deals on Keurig brand K-Cup and K-Carafe packs or else it probably won't be used much. Hopefully Keurig will realize the importance of being environmentally friendly also and develop a reusable K-Cup compatible with the Keurig 2.0. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Things Every Football Mom (or Dad) Should Know

This year marks my fifth year as a football mom. My son started off playing peewee football in the 5th/6th grade, moved up to junior high football in the 7th/8th grade, and this year is on the freshman football team. I've picked up a few pointers over the years that every football parent should know. 

1.  The inside of your vehicle is going to get wet and dirty! These boys are going to be practicing/playing rain or shine. If they are practicing on a grass field, it's almost guaranteed that your vehicle is going to get dirty and/or muddy. And if these boys have been practicing/playing in the rain, keep in mind that they're going to be wet from head to toe also so your vehicle seats are going to get wet as well. Same thing with sweat. And if they are practicing/playing on turf, they might track pieces of the turf in their cleats. Luckily my son has moved up and is now practicing at the high school stadium, which is turf, and he has a locker in the locker room so I no longer have to deal with mud or a lot of turf. 

Tip:  It's a good idea to keep some old blankets or towels in your vehicle to cover up the spot where your football player will be sitting and keeping their feet. This will save you many trips to the car wash to use the vacuum. 

2.  You'll be doing a lot of laundry! My son has football practice 4-5 days a week and a game and if I don't wash his uniforms regularly, they become stinky fast. It's also a good idea to spray down their uniform with a fabric refresher spray. 

Tip:  Since it can be a pain taking the pads in and out of his pants for every wash, a girdle is a wonderful investment because the pads are built right in. 

3.  You'll be traveling a lot! Like I said, your football player will have a lot of practices and games and you'll be traveling back and forth to drop them off. Football players will generally be taking a bus with the team to away games but you'll definitely want to follow along to watch your football player in action.  

Tip:  Check and see if other parents are interested in carpooling. You could take your football player and a few friends to practice one week and another parent could do it the next week. 

4.  You'll be spending a lot of money! Your football player is going to need equipment. In my son's case, some things are provided such as his jersey, pants, pads, and helmet but other things cost extra like his cleats, socks, girdle, gloves, etc. In addition, you'll be using extra gas to drive back and forth. You'll also have to pay admission to watch the games (in most cases). I wish parents got in free but unfortunately they don't. And also you might want a shirt for yourself that shows how proud you are of your football player. I love football mom shirts and jewelry. My son works hard out on the field and I'm so proud of him. Also, just like with most school sports, there will be team and individual pictures involved that you can order. And with all those hard practices and games will come a big appetite so your football player will be eating more and bigger meals. There also may be fees for other things along the way. 

Tip:  Shop wise. I like to shop online at places like because they offer the best deals on equipment and their stuff is good quality. You can also join Ebates so when you shop online you'll get cash back.  And instead of buying snacks and drinks at the concession stand, bring your own. 

5. You'll need a lot of encouraging words and speeches! Your football player may not get as much playing time as they want or deserve and their team may not win every game so there may be some hurt feelings throughout the season. As a parent, it's your job to teach them how to lose with dignity.  

Tip:  Sometimes it's better not to say anything at all. If you know your child, you'll definitely know when that's the case. 

6. You'll be doing a lot behind the scenes! As a parent you may be asked to do a lot behind the scenes. When my son was in peewee and junior high football, I wasn't really expected to do a lot but as soon as he hit the high school level that all changed. In my case, the parents (especially the moms) do a lot behind the scenes that most people probably don't even know about. In my case, the football moms make signs, pompoms, and milk jugs filled with corn for cheering. We also hang and distribute the signs and pompoms around town and we distribute and collect the milk jugs before and after every game.  We also fill up balloons, make treat bags,  and organize and help at events. The is so much more that parents do behind the scenes to make for a successful season and we have to be as dedicated off the field as our children are on the field. 

Tip:  It will definitely be overwhelming but just remember to have fun because it will all be over before you know it.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Shop for Pet Products on Precisely Mine

You can now shop for pet products right here at Precisely Mine, dogs, cats, birds, fish, and other small pets. The best part is you don't even have to leave my blog to do so.  To shop, just click on my shop tab at the top of my page or click on the widget on the right side of my blog. It's that easy. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review of Under Armour Dynamo Youth Sunglasses

DISCLOSURE:  I was sent a free pair of  Under Armour Dynamo Youth Sunglasses in order to perform this review. However, no other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

The idea of Under Armour was born on the football field and is the originator of performance apparel. Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland special teams captain Kevin Plank, Under Armour started with the simple plan to make a shirt that worked with your body to regulate temperature and enhance performance, a superior shirt that provided compression and wicked perspiration off your skin rather than absorb it. Under Armour's apparel is engineered to keep athletes cool, dry, and light throughout the course of a game, practice, or workout. Under Armour changed the way athletes dressed forever. Under Armour's mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation. 

At Under Armour, you'll find shoes, apparel, and accessories for men, women, and kids. One of the accessories you'll find at Under Armour is sunglasses, for both adults and youth. I was recently sent a free pair of youth sized Under Armour Dynamo Sunglasses to review. The Under Armour Dynamo Sunglasses are engineered specifically to fit a young athlete's face during any sport while offering the same level of frame and lens design as the Under Armour adult eyewear collections. They are engineered with a durable, ultra-light ArmourFusion Titanium Grilamid frame for superior strength and flexibility. The impact resistant shield helps keep debris and other objects from harming the wearer's eyes. Airflow technology directs air flow through the lens to keep you cool and comfortable and Three-Point Grip ensures a comfortable and secure fit. ArmourSight lens technology delivers up to 20% more undistorted peripheral vision and are up to 10x stronger than original polycarbonate lenses and the lenses filter out 100% of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays.

These Under Armour Dynamo Sunglasses were too small for my 14-year-old son, which is too bad because he really thought the design was very cool, as did I. I especially liked the colors, satin black and hyper green. However, they fit my 10-year-old niece perfectly and she liked the design as well. They even come with a carrying bag, which had a very cool design as well. This bag is also great for cleaning the lenses of smudges. These sunglasses are made extremely well and are very durable and I'm guessing they will hold up well to a 10 year old. I was very surprised at how well the Three-Point Grip actually worked at keeping these sunglasses firmly in place, which is perfect because my niece will be starting cheerleading practice soon and these sunglasses will stay in place easier and keep her eyes better protected than any other sunglasses she currently has. They are great for wearing in the sun and keeps eyes protected and vision clear. Overall, I was extremely impressed with the design and the fundamentals of these Under Armour Dynamo Youth Sunglasses. I can really appreciate the fact that Under Armour puts so much thought into their products and that their mission is to make all athletes better, young and old.  

Connect with Under Armour

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Identical Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Review and Giveaway

"The IDENTICAL tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. DREXEL HEMSLEY becomes an iconic 50’s rock ’n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path - performing the legendary music of Drexel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country. As the brothers destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family, and his own identity."

I received a free signed copy of the The Identical Original Motion Picture Soundtrack sampler in order to perform this review, which features 12 of the 20 original songs by Jerry Marcellino and Yochanan Marcellino from the film, including "Your Love's Keepin' Me Tonight," "City Lights," "Angel of Mine," "Everybody Know It" and "Nashville Tonight." The Identical has both an amazing story line and cast and from what I can gather it depicts the life of Elvis. I'm definitely an Elvis fan so I really wanted to like this soundtrack more than I did. It's not a terrible soundtrack though. It's just not really my type of music. I guess I was just expecting something a little different, something more lively and upbeat, something more young Elvis. Regardless, I think with such a strong story line and cast, The Identical will still be a big hit at the box office and I can't wait to see it.  

The Identical comes to theaters September 5th!

Check out the movie trailer here:  
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If you're interested in getting some friends together to see The Identical, check out this group ticket opportunity here:

One Precisely Mine reader will win an un-signed copy of The Identical Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.  
"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.

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."

Review of Grandma Chonga's Salsa

**Disclosure:  I was sent free samples of Grandma Chonga's Salsa in order to perform this review. However, no other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.**

In my opinion, there is no better snack (or appetizer) than tortilla chips and salsa. I'm not a salsa snob either. I love trying all different types and brands of salsas. I especially love unique salsas that aren't readily available in your local grocery store. While on vacation this summer, I tried a sample of apple salsa and I loved it so much that I brought a jar home with me. More recently, I found Grandma Chonga's Salsa when doing a search on Google for other unique salsas and I found that they offered two unique types of salsa, tropical salsa and Salsa-Que. After contacting them, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review these two salsas in addition to Grandma Chonga's Original Salsa. I'm excited to tell you what I thought about them but before I get into that I want to tell you the heartwarming story behind Grandma Chonga's Salsa. 

"Lucia Velasquez (Grandma Chonga) began making authentic Salsa over 70 years ago from the traditions passed on by her family’s Hispanic heritage. This cherished heritage continued with her daughter Madeline’s passion for cooking, bringing family together and connecting with the nostalgia of family recipes. These same traditions and flavors that have spanned generations continue through her granddaughter’s devotion. Today, each jalapeno, habanero & garlic clove is still hand-picked and fire roasted with the produce grown locally in season from small family farms. Open a jar of Grandma Chonga’s Salsa and bring your family together to share a tradition at your kitchen table."

Grandma Chonga’s Tropical Salsa is my favorite of the three salsas. It combines a unique blend of exotic fruits, including pineapple, mandarin oranges, and mangos, along with roasted jalapeƱos and garlic. This is a chunkier salsa. All the ingredients blend together very nicely making a nice sweet salsa with a slight kick at the end. It has an amazingly unique flavor. Grandma Chonga’s Original Salsa blends traditional ingredients such as whole tomatoes, jalapeƱos, roasted garlic, and a touch of fresh cilantro to create an authentic Hispanic salsa. This salsa is very mild and savory. I love the smoother, thinner consistency of it. This is a restaurant quality salsa and reminds me very much of the authentic salsa served at my favorite Mexican restaurant. Grandma Chonga’s Salsa-Que is by far the most unique salsa I've ever tried. It combines Original “Hot” Salsa with bold and traditional barbeque flavors. It's a very, very thin salsa. Salsa-Que is sweet, smokey, and very spicy. It definitely reminds me of barbeque sauce with a big kick! I really liked all three flavors of Grandma Chonga's Salsa that I tried. Actually, I liked the original salsa and the Salsa-Que and I LOVED the tropical salsa. 

I also shared Grandma Chonga's Salsa with my co-workers and I got a great response from them as well. Everyone seemed to pretty much share my opinion. They loved the bite at the end of the tropical salsa and Salsa-Que and like me, the tropical salsa also seemed to be their favorite of the three. One co-worker even told me that the tropical salsa and Salsa-Que were actually good when mixed together.  

While I mostly prefer my salsa with tortilla chips, Grandma Chonga's Salsa can be used to spice up your meals as well. You can check out a list of recipes using Grandma Chonga's Salsa here. The original salsa is great for not only enhancing your favorite chips but creamy dips as well. We used to make a dip at home where we layered cream cheese, refried beans, salsa, and shredded cheese and Grandma Chonga's Original Salsa would be the perfect salsa for this recipe. The tropical salsa is paired beautifully with grilled seafood, poultry, and pork. Salsa-Que compliments any of your favorite barbequed or grilled dishes. I think some pork chops grilled with Salsa-Que and topped with Grandma Chonga's Tropical Salsa sound fantastic. 

How would you use Grandma Chonga's Salsa

Purchase Grandma Chonga's Salsa
Grandma Chonga's is still growing and isn't available in stores everywhere (you can check here to see if it's available at a location near you) but it is sold online at It's very reasonably priced as well. 

Connect with Grandma Chonga's Salsa