Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Finest Hours Coast Guard Featurette

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

The Finest Hours is now in theaters.  Check out the Coast Guard in action....
Like THE FINEST HOURS on Facebook:

Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter:

Follow Disney Studios on Instagram:

Visit the official THE FINEST HOURS website here:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Flick Friday-The Finest Hours

***Disclosure-I was invited to an advanced screening of this movie.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

I have a lot of respect for those who put their lives at risk everyday to save others lives.  The Coast Guard is a group of men and women who do that everyday on the waters.  Water cannot be controlled.  They do search and rescue on those uncontrollable waters. 

The Finest Hours is based on a true story.

On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck New England, pummeling towns along the Eastern seaboard and wreaking havoc on the ships caught in its deadly path, including the SS Pendleton, a T-2 oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern.  As the senior officer on board, first assistant engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck) soon realizes it is up to him to take charge of the frightened crew and inspire the men to set aside their differences and work together to ride out one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast.  Meanwhile, as word of the disaster reaches the U.S. Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Warrant Officer Daniel Cluff (Eric Bana) orders a daring operation to rescue the stranded men.  Despite overwhelming odds, four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little, if any, means of navigation, facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds.

This movie was intense.  It had me at the edge of my seat.  That 3D though!!!  It was an emotional roller coaster ride.  I think I held my breath throughout most of the movie. 

Check out this trailer below.  This is a little teaser ...
Grab your family and head to the movies to watch this thriller.  You will not be disappointed. 

Want to learn more about the movie, visit the official THE FINEST HOURS website here:

THE FINEST HOURS storms into theatres everywhere today!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Serving Sizes

This month I have been learning a lot of different things about how to live a healthy life.  I am learning how to use all the things I have learned over the years to help me in this journey.  I have always heard about serving sizes but never paid attention to it.  I would think if it comes individual size that that would be my individual portion but I was wrong.

Check this out:
This is a big mistake that I make all the time.  I grab a juice or drink and never have looked at the serving size or portion.  This orange juice has 2 servings per container.  I would normally chug this down in 1 serving for breakfast. 
Sometimes we eat at different times.  Most days my kids and husband have already eaten dinner by the time I get home.  So I end up cooking something for myself.  One dish I make is over easy eggs with black beans.  The mistake I make is making the entire can of beans.  No, I do not eat it all.  But I do not measure it out by serving size.  This can serves 3.5 servings.  That is great when I am cooking for the family but not when I am cooking for 1.

Do you check the servings?  What serving has shocked you the most?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sprout New Preschool Series - FLOOGALS

***Disclosure-I was invited to a luncheon at Benjy's to get a sneak preview of a new show.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Do your kids watch Sprout?
Sprout is a 24-hour preschool network.  Their programming is different then other networks.  They are launching FLOOGALS a new original series created for kids ages 2-6.  
FLOOGALS follows the adventures of three exuberantly inquisitive aliens exploring Planet Earth.  Every day an exciting mission of experimentation, learning, and discovery awaits Captain Fleeker, First Officer Flo, and Junior Boomer as they explore the human way of life.  FLOOGALS follows the aliens’ hilarious antics as they learn about the oddities of the world, offering an unexpected and fun perspective on everyday life.  Each episode features the Floogals on a mission of discovery, using gadgets and teamwork to learn about this new planet.  The show features vibrant CGI animation alongside live action, and captures Earth from the perspective of these pocket-sized creatures. FLOOGALS encourages curiosity while grounding the excitement of exploration in the realities of a child’s world.

Each character has their own personalities.
-Captain Fleeker is a seeker of any open door to adventure.
-First Officer Flo is a collector of clues and explorer of animals, water and more.
-Junior Boomer, the tiniest Floogal who likes to dream big and has an eager eye to discover the “hooman” creatures living on Earth.
FLOOGALS encourages preschoolers to “floogal” their own world—to explore, observe, and view things from a different perspective.

FLOOGALS premieres on Sprout today at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

To learn more about FLOOGALS and Sprout’s original programming, visit

Friday, January 22, 2016

Flick Friday-The 5th Wave

***Disclosure-I was invited to attend an advance screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Imagine aliens taking over the world.  What would you do?  Are you ready?
 Synopsis:  In the new film The 5th Wave, four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated.   Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.   As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal 5th wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope - if she can only trust him.

At first I thought this was going to be the typical alien movie, but then the action got me reeled in from the beginning.  This movie is a nail biting thriller.  It is rated PG-13.  It was a good movie to share with my teen.  He enjoyed the movie just as much or maybe just a little more than me.  It was INTENSE!!!       

Disasters will make the good, the bad, and the ugly come out in people.  You never know how you will react.  Find out what happens in the 5th wave.

It comes out today.  Grab your family and head to the movies!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Little Prince Trailer

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

Watch the new The Little Prince trailer from Paramount Pictures.
Based on "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Official Selection - Festival de Cannes. 

Coming to theaters March 18, 2016!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Flick Friday-Captain America: Civil War Trailer

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity.  But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team.  The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. 

Check out the trailer:

Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2016.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Flick Friday-Ice Age:Collision Course

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

Scrat is back at it....that darn acorn.
SYNOPSIS-Scrat’s epic pursuit of the elusive acorn catapults him into the universe where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World. To save themselves, Sid, Manny, Diego, and the rest of the herd must leave their home and embark on a quest full of comedy and adventure, traveling to exotic new lands and encountering a host of colorful new characters.  

ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE, opening in theaters everywhere July 22, 2016.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Tasty Tuesday-My Chicken Salad Recipe

I am committed to living a healthy lifestyle.  Living a healthy lifestyle is all about choices.  Choosing good today will help you live a healthier tomorrow . 

I will be sharing with you things that are helping me continue to live a healthy lifestyle.  One thing I have shared with you previously is that I use several apps, if you missed it, click here to read.  MyFitnessPal is helping me continue to keep track of my food.  I will be the first to admit I hate counting calories.  Since I am starting over this year, I going back to the basics. 

Counting calories can only work if you record everything you eat.  Good or bad.  It keeps you conscious of how many calories are in food.  You can set a daily calorie intake goal for yourself.  It makes you think twice about what you put in your mouth.

Did you know a little itty bitty Hershey's kiss is 22 calories?

My daily calorie goal is 1200 calories.  I am back to eating 5 to 6 meals a day.  Remember smaller meals to keep your body fueled.  I am also tracking my water intake.  We have decided less eating out and more cooking at home.  Today I am sharing my chicken salad recipe.  I have made chicken salad before but never have I counted the actual calories as I am adding ingredients.
 Independentmami's Chicken Salad-297 calories

-1 tbsp. mustard
-1 tbsp. mayo with olive oil
-4 baby dills
-6 oz grilled chicken
-4 egg whites

These are normally the ingredients I use with some tweeks.  I used the mayo with olive oil because it is less calories. 

regular mayo = 90 calories
mayo w/olive oil = 35 calories

I normally use the entire egg when I am making chicken salad for the entire family but when I make it for me, I only use the egg whites.

med egg = 70
med egg whites only = 14

I never weigh my chicken only when I meal prep.  I weighed out 3 oz of chicken and it looked like a little bit of food and since I still had calories available, I went with 6 oz of chicken.  I also want to be full and not want to sneak to the kitchen and do some midnight snacking.
The chicken I had previously made for another dish and had left over.  So I just placed it in a plastic container to use for other meals.  I seasoned it with season all and grilled it on the griddle.  I like to buy the family pack of chicken breast.  Cook it and cut it up to use for several meals. 

Back to the chicken salad.  Boil the eggs.  Take out the yolk, yellow stuff.  Chop the egg whites into small pieces.  Cube the chicken.  Get your pickles and dice them.  You will need a measuring spoon for the mayo and mustard.  Add all ingredients in a bowl or dish to mix together.
This is a personal serving for myself.  I knew how many calories I could eat for dinner and I wanted to stay on track.  You can prepare this for lunch and pack it with you in a plastic container.  I did not think that far in advance this week.  I did not meal prep any meals either.  Dinner decisions can be the hardest.  When you are hungry, everything looks good.  I told my husband that this is why people choose to get fast food.  It took me at least 20 mins to prepare this and remember, my chicken was already cooked and ready to go.  So I recommend you prepare this before you get hungry and not when you are starving, like I was.
Dinner is served.

Do you have a recipe you can share?  Under 400 calories?  Have you ever tried to calorie count?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

XS Energy Burn Review

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

I have been so busy.  Some days I need caffeine to stay awake.  There are not enough hours in my days.  Trying to balance my family, work, and my health. 
All work and no play you say?  Lacking energy, tired?

Yes to all of the above. 

I received a pack of XS® Energy + Burn - Strawberry.  In my house what is in the fridge is game for anyone, so me and my guys put XS to the test.  We each have busy schedules.  Long hours at work and school, and trying to fit exercise in as well.

I like that XS helps with:


How, you say?  Well each 8.4 oz can has:

-125 mg of Essentra® to help the body adapt to stress and deliver mental clarity.
-150 mg of WellTrim® iG (African Mango Seed Extract) to help the body feel fuller, longer and ignite the burn.
-A proprietary blend of herbs and vitamins for a boost of positive energy.
I liked that it helped give me energy for my day without the sugar fix.   XS Energy Burn is only 10 calories and total carbs are only 2 grams.  I liked the strawberry flavor.  I have tried other energy drinks and they have made me sick.  One even sent my heart into a soar, I thought I was dying.  

XS Energy + Burn helped us get through some though days. 

For more information, go to

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fitness Friday-Hitting the Reset Button

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

This is how I ended 2015....the workout thing was not working out for me.  There was so much going on but I believe that now I am ready to try this again in 2016.  I am ready to be successful.

I understand how life goes and how busy we get.  I am ready to hit the reset button like many others on January 1st.  I am ready to recommit myself to ME.  Being healthy is a lifestyle change.  I am human and like many we need to set some goals.

Last year I ran the Aramco Houston Half Marathon like previous years, I started and finished:
 I remember the feeling of accomplishment after this race.  I love that rush.  Do you do something that makes you happy?  Running makes me happy.  I keep telling you, it is something I never though I could do.  But I know I can.  Here is what I will be working on:

1)  Goal-I am setting a goal I can reach.  This year I am not running marathons.  I am trying to get back on the pavement.  No matter what is going on I want to run at least 365 miles this year.  Broken down, that is at least 1 mile a day.  I plan to walk 10,000 steps every day. 

2)  Balance-Family -vs-Work.  I have no secrets for you.  All I can say is that I have an awesome husband that helps keep me balanced.  This year I had a lot going on and balance was kinda one sided but it is has started to balance the right way now.  All I can continue to do is keep trying to find balance. 

3)  Focus-I am going to use the 80 20 Rule.  While my life may be falling apart, I cannot change or solve 100% of my problems.  I have spend past years trying to fight a fight I have lost.  A couple of years ago my life really fell apart more than ever and I never thought I was going to survive.  Though I have more support than ever, things really hit me hard and I really went there.  The place of no return.  I lost total focus in the most important things.  This year I did work on focus and the 80 20 rule really did help.  Someone special to me kept telling me chores can wait, life moments will pass us by.  So while I can't fix everything, I will start to focus where I can.  Focus my energy where I can and will make a difference. 

What will you be working on this year?  How will you achieve it?  Let's help each other.