Maryland Mommy Blogger | Mommy 2K

Saturday, August 16, 2014

5-hour ENERGY® Yummification Video Contest {sponsored}


Motherhood is hard. In fact, I am typing this post up while my boys are getting a good night's rest. This is the only time that I actually experience complete silence, no distractions and have the opportunity to cross a few items off of my to-do list. Ironically, I am using a shot of 5-hour ENERGY® to put a bit of pep into my step (well, my fingers are doing most of the walking for now). I haven't nodded off once. I would say, "mission accomplished"! Well, almost.


Before my head hits the pillow and I begin counting sheep, I wanted to share with you this amazing video contest that 5-hour ENERGY® is hosting. It's the 5-hour ENERGY® "Yummification" video contest and it requires some creative juices, both figuratively and literally. There are a lot of cash prizes involved as well (think dream vacation, paid debt, shopping spree...you feel me?!). Here is what you need to know.

Information about the “Yummification” Contest:

The makers of 5-hour ENERGY® announced the launch of the “Yummification” video contest, where entrants can win a share of $100,000 for creating a video of their favorite way to mix a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with an everyday beverage. The contest will be judged on the creativity of the video and the taste of the creation

· Drink creations must follow the approved/non-approved ingredients guidelines (i.e. no caffeinated beverages or alcohol)

· To enter the contest, visit www.5houryummification.com and follow the instructions to complete the entry form; “Like” 5-hour ENERGY® on Facebook, then create and submit a video that is no longer than 60 seconds showing an original combination being made, tasted, and named (creativity counts!)

· One grand prize winner will receive $50,000, and the following prizes will also be awarded:

o Second Prize (1): Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000)

o Third Prize (1): Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000)

o Fourth Prizes (10): One Thousand Dollars ($1,000)

Entries must be received by August 19, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EDT to be eligible. No purchase necessary. US residents only. 18 years and up.


To enter, visit www.5houryummification.com and follow the instructions to complete the entry form or “Like” the 5-hour ENERGY® page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/5HourEnergyShot and follow the instructions to click the contest tab.

· For official rules, visit 5houryummification.com.

I was sent a complimentary variety pack of 5-hour ENERGY® shots with assorted regular strength flavors to try out. This was perfect for me because I am not a huge coffee drinker. I need something that will deliver the same punch, and 5-hour Energy does just that. I was also given a gift card to purchase mixers to create a yummy drink (and enter the contest if I wanted to). I had no clue where to begin, so I just went with something simple and came up with this:

 veloCITy


I chose this name because I used all citrus fruits. Get it? CIT(rus). The emphasis is on those few letters. veloCITy. Corny, I know. Whatever. Also, this drink gives you a boost and keeps you going, making you pick up the pace and gain some speed. No stopping this energy. Boom!

This is all I used: 
  • 1 CUP of Grapefruit Juice (you can squeeze or use it straight from the bottle)
  • 1/4 CUP of Lemon Juice (I like to squeeze the lemons because the taste is better)
  • 1 Bottle of 5-hour Energy ORANGE flavor
I wanted to use affordable and common items that most people have available at home. Nothing too fancy. You need to be able to duplicate this easily. You can increase the ingredients and have a pitcher ready. Just add the 5-hour ENERGY® shot.
    This is how I used it all:
    • First, squeeze/add the grapefruit juice into a cup, dish, whatever.
    • Then, cut a lemon or lemons in half. Remove any seeds, if desired. Squeeze/pour the juice into the grapefruit juice. 
    • Lastly, add the  5-hour ENERGY® Orange. 
    • Using a different cup, preferably a Mason jar for added coolness, fill with ice. Transfer the mixed beverage to the container. 
    • Sip through a straw. 
    • Enjoy.
    **There is a list of approved drinks for this contest. Be sure you follow the rules.

    You should also know a little information about 5-hour ENERGY® shots:


    · 5-hour ENERGY® shots are dietary supplements that provide hours of energy and alertness
    · Contain a blend of B-vitamins, amino acids, and essential nutrients
    · Helps people feel alert and energized for hours
    · Zero sugar, zero carbs, zero herbal stimulants and 4 calories!
    · Caffeine in a 5-hour ENERGY® shot is comparable to a cup of the leading premium coffee
    · May consume up to 2 bottles of 5-hour ENERGY®, spaced several hours apart. For moderate energy, drink ½ bottle of 5-hour ENERGY®

    5-hour ENERGY® is not an energy drink or intended to be mixed with alcohol. It is not intended for children, women who are pregnant or nursing, or people with medical conditions. It does not increase physical performance, dexterity, or endurance and does not treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Do not drink more than two per day, do not drink more than one at a time.

    I'm a sucker for creative contests and giveaways. I like it when you have to come up with an idea instead of being chosen randomly. It makes winning that more special. I decided to enter and submitted my video. I guess we'll all find out who the chosen finalists are together. Good luck to you all. Here is my video entry:


    I'll follow up with more information on the winners. I can't wait to see the different combinations that people come up with . For now, follow 5-hour Energy on Twitter, @5hourEnergy, for updates.

    Thanks to my veloCITy creation for helping me complete this post. I didn't think I would make it.
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    Disclosure Information
    The 5-hour ENERGY® samples, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY®. All opinions and views are my own.

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    FRESH Premium Frozen Yogurt in Dunkirk, MD + $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway {sponsored}



    FRESH Premium Frozen Yogurt. Such a bold name to take on when serving anything that pertains to food. It requires that you deliver newness with high value and quality each and every time, without compromising the integrity of the business. I believe FRESH, located at 10072 Southern Maryland Blvd. in Dunkirk, MD in the Country Plaza shopping center, is serving up a recipe for success.

    My boys and I had the pleasure of visiting FRESH the other day. It wasn't our first visit there. We have stopped in a few times before, but never took the time to really get to know all that FRESH has to offer. The kind people at FRESH gifted us with a certificate so that we could try out some of their frozen yogurt and variety of toppings. We kindly took them up on the offer.

    Before I share our experience, here is a little background on the business, taken from their website (http://www.freshfroyo.com):


    Our Story
    FRESH Premium Frozen Yogurt started as just a guy with what he thought was a pretty unremarkable idea - to provide the best frozen yogurt with the best ingredients. It sounds simple, right? We thought so, too. And this is why we want to change what you expect from frozen yogurt.

    Well, as it turns out doing things the right way isn't necessarily the easiest way. Countless trips to farms, sourcing ingredients, and then tasting again and again (OK that part isn't really hard) only reinforced that we were on to something.

    Fresh, natural ingredients just taste better. There's no amount of added sugar or unpronounceable preservatives that make up for farm fresh quality. We believe that if we source the freshest, brightest flavors, we can't go wrong. This philosophy is what FRESH Premium Frozen Yogurt is built on, and why we think you'll keep coming back.

    Upon entering FRESH, you will notice how bright the place is. The walls are covered with a vibrant green and orange color. There are white chairs and seating options to accessorize the place. The tiled wall where the frozen yogurt machines are housed is a great addition to the space. A huge chalkboard is nicely decorated with a little "FYI" for customers to get a glimpse of immediately. There is a lot of openness and cleanliness. It is reFRESHing to the eye.


    The process is simple to get your hands on this frozen yogurt goodness.

    (1)Grab it!
    You can sample the flavors before making your decision. The sample cups are located beside the other cups. You can opt to put your frozen yogurt in a waffle cone for an additional amount.
    (2)Fill it!
    I believe there are 12 flavors available. You can choose to enjoy them separately, or mix them for a great combination of flavor. FRESH recently introduced Judy's Blue Daiquiri Sorbet. It. Is. Tasty. Both Kaden and I mixed it with Watermelon Sorbet.
    (3)Top it!
    The toppings are plentiful. There are over 30 of them to choose from. Sometimes, I want to put them all on top of my frozen yogurt, but I practice restraint. I always get the classic sprinkles. But FRESH offers cool options like Mango Juice Poppers and Fruity Peebles. Try saying that three times, really fast. You can also go for the gooey goodness and add caramel, hot fudge, etc. Toppings are a great way to be creative and allow the little ones to have a choice in the process. They'll love this.
    (4)Weigh it!
    Depending on how carried away you got, this is the simple part. Just place your cup on the scale and wait for your total. If you have a cone instead of a cup, there is a plastic holder to weigh it. The frozen yogurt costs $.47 per ounce. As you can see in the picture, Kaden's cup came in at $4.77. I always strive to get a in the five dollar range when we visit. I also got a cup that day. Mine was a little lighter. Our total for this trip was just under ten dollars. Not bad for a delicious treat.


    I guess the final step in the process would be to EAT IT! This took no convincing at all. Just look at Liam give his frozen yogurt a lot of love.



    Amanda was the associate helping me for the day. She was beyond pleasant. If I had a question, she responded with an answer promptly, and gave me some back information. She said that FRESH has a lot of things in the works. They include:
    • seating that is child-friendly
    • hosting events that benefit the community and local school
    • offering more discounts, incentives to customers
    Their upcoming Back To School Night event is scheduled for THIS SUNDAY, August 17th from 3-9 PM. It's for the entire family – crafts, games, activities and a frozen yogurt contest. Also, students wearing their school's colors will receive a 10% discount on frozen yogurt. Other guests can bring a donation of a school supply and earn $1 off of their frozen yogurt. Sounds like a night of fantastic fun...and froyo!


    FRESH Premium Frozen Yogurt is always finding away to give back. They support local, just as I do. I think that is why I love this place. Not to mention the fact that it is a good break in the day and a chance to relax with your family and friends. If you are in the area, you have to stop by. Tell them that Keonté sent you. It may not mean much, but at least I'll know that you visited my blog. Ha!


    Any place that can tame my toddler, is one worth visiting. And because I love my readers so much (and FRESH was so generous to offer), I would like to give one lucky person a $25 gift certificate to redeem at the Dunkirk, MD location. FroYo on me! Enter the Rafflecopter form below. 

    If you cannot see the form, enter here.

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    I was provided a gift certificate for my family and I to try out FRESH Premium Frozen Yogurt. The opinions and views are my own.  

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    Cirque du Soleil #Amaluna at National Harbor Under the Grand Chapiteau + Ticket Giveaway, Discount Code {sponsored}



    That's it – I'm joining the circus! If someone had told me years ago that I could make diving into a beautifully-constructed glass bowl of water look so effortless, I may have perfected my skills a bit more. Last night's Cirque du Soleil show, Amaluna, at National Harbor was absolutely awesome (and my jaw muscle can vouch for me because it was overly used yesterday as I opened my mouth in amazement).

    AMALUNA

    Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.

    In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.

    Amaluna is a fusion of the words ama, which refers to “mother” in many languages, and luna, which means “moon”; a symbol of femininity that evokes both the mother-daughter relationship and the idea of goddess and protector of the planet. Amaluna is also the name of the mysterious island where this magical story unfolds.

    There I am, in the top picture, in front of the "big tent" known as the Grand Chapiteau. This structure alone adds to the entire Cirque experience. It sets the tone for how large and exciting the show will be. If you are bringing children along, I am sure they will enjoy seeing the tent as they approach the area. I still get a kick out of seeing it every time, and this isn't my first time seeing a Cirque show.


    I, along with my oldest son (12 years old) and my sister in-law, arrived at National Harbor around 4:30 PM for the 5:00 PM showing. I believe the tent opens up at 4:15. A lot of local bloggers were in attendance as well. You can probably follow/search the hashtag #Amaluna or #CirqueSelfie to see a few pictures from the course of this tour.


    There was a slight line waiting to enter the tent, but it moved quickly. There were multiple lines there to scan tickets. Make sure you have yours ready to be scanned. It makes the process so easy.


    Once you enter the tent, you will notice the air is a bit stuffy. No thanks to Maryland's humidity, mixed with the task of cooling down a make-shift building with air conditioners (as the outside air seeps through the entrances), it was noticeably hot. Thank goodness there was a lot going on to draw my attention away from the heat. We headed straight to the concession stand to grab a bite to eat. Items on the menu were similar to the movie theater – nachos, popcorn, hotdogs, candy and soda. The prices were, too. If you make a day out of it, you and your group could probably eat at a restaurant before/after the show for a better value. There is also a bar for adult drinks under the tent.


    We were in our seats by 5 PM exactly. While the show didn't start exactly at this time, it is best to be punctual. You may have to wait outside until there is a break in the show so that there is no disruption. There are periods of darkness and the cast wanders throughout the audience a lot. The audience needs to be seated and settled. Besides, people pay good money to see these shows. No one wants a bunch of latecomers ruining the experience.


    NO VIDEO. NO PICTURES. NO AUDIO. NO TWEETING. NO FACEBOOKING. You'll get your warning. Just tuck your phone away and enjoy the show. Cirque does not allow any portion of their show to be captured, for good reason. You may be able to get a quick shot before the show starts, in the concession area or outside the venue in front of the tent, but you will just have to make a mental picture of the show. As a blogger, this is a much needed break from being plugged in all the time. I loved being in the moment. Besides, you'll get a break at intermission to catch up with the world. Ha!


    Don't be afraid to be social though. You may end up on the Social Media screen. Thanks to Heather for capturing this.

    ...and then the show started (pictures courtesy of Amaluna press kit).


    I could not possibly explain to you how special each act was. These pictures only capture a fraction of what you discover while sitting in your seat at the show. Every detail, every costume, every music note, every lighting effect; it all had a purpose. With each guest experiencing the show from different angles, Amaluna made sure to cover the entire stage so that there was no shortage of entertainment.

    My absolute favorite part of the show was probably the simplest (in display, no execution) –Balance Goddess. This video below is lengthy and isn't the actual performance from last night, but you can see the brilliance behind this act. The breathing techniques and concentration are remarkable. During the show, the audience was completely captivated and in silence. At the end of the performance, the claps filled the room immediately. I believe this received the loudest response.


    How amazing is that?

    Another one of my favorite acts in Amaluna was, Chinese Pole. Another simple act (again, in display, not execution), but still captivating. His strength was beyond believable. I could go on an on about how effortless this looked. And ladies – the performer does part of this act...shirtless. Holla!!


    The music stands alone. If there were not acts at all, I would have easily enjoyed listening to the ALL FEMALE band rock out. These women gave us all they had. I was bobbing my head, clapping my hands and tapping my feet throughout the show. Why not?

    Side Notes:
    This brings me to another point about the show. I feel like there are a few sexual undertones. Call me dirty, but I raised my eyebrows at a few suggestive scenes. If you have a younger child with you, they probably will not understand them at all. I just wanted to warn you. The clowns of the show (both played by women, but portrayed as a man-woman couple)  provide a bunch of comedic moments, but they are a little risque...in case you are offended easily.

    There will be guests of all ages in attendance. You will hear children talking...and adults, too. More the most part, people are respectful during the show. Be prepared for children to express their excitement about certain parts or make comments. It didn't bother me because I have Mom ears and can block everything out. Just know that this may happen.

    If you are bringing a child, there are moments of complete darkness. Very short ones, but make note. The music can be a bit loud if you want to bring headphones. There are some dark scenes that could terrify a child. And, as mentioned above, a few risque parts. But, as my SIL said, "No more than some of the Disney movies they watch." Word!

    You can also request a cushion for your child to sit on so that they can see over the heads of adults. There are parts of the show's structure that can block your view to the stage if you are sitting on the side. I guess that is why the section that is front and center cost a little more.

    The tent did cool down after sitting there for a few minutes. However, I don't think you will need to bring a light jacket or sweater. I did not get cold once.

    National Harbor has a lot of parking garages. We parked at the one that to the right of the big tent. We were there for a little over 3 hours and had to pay $9. Make sure you have a credit/debit card to pay for your ticket before exiting the garage. You may get out quicker than this, but I stayed for a Q&A to speak with Larry from wardrobe and Rowena from publicity. They answered questions from the group of bloggers who were invited to attend.

    There is so much I want to share about the show, but this post would be even longer than it is now. Amaluna is one of the best Cirque shows that I have seen. If you can make it out to National Harbor by September 21 (the last day of the show), do it. Right now, Certifikid is running a special on tickets to the show. A family four-pack of tickets to see Amaluna at National Harbor is going for $160. Go here to sign up.

    Last night was amazing. I can't stop talking about all the magic that happens under this big tent. You have to experience it for  yourself...at least once in life.



    **UPDATE!!!

    I have the opportunity to give away (4) tickets see the August 28th 8:00 PM showing of Amaluna- Cirque du Soleil at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.


    If for some reason you do not want to wait for this giveaway to end, or, you are not the lucky winner at the conclusion of it, I have a discount offer for you.


    Amaluna from Cirque du Soleil will make your kids flip! Treat the kids with a Cirque du Soleil experience - purchase kids tickets starting at $25 with a full price adult ticket when you use this link, click here. 

    **($25 child ticket with purchase of full price adult ticket. Valid on PL2 and PL3 tickets. PL=price level)

    Enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win.


    If you can't see the form, enter here.
     More Giveaway Opportunities (check their site for end date and details):

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    FairFax Family Fun
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    Moda Preview International
    Sugar 'N Spice Life
    In a DC Minute
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    CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

    Amaluna is Cirque du Soleil’s 32nd production. From humble beginnings with a group of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment around the globe. The company has over 4,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists, from over 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought delight to more than 100 million spectators, in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries. Cirque du Soleil will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in 2014.
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    Disclosure Information
    I was provided complimentary tickets for my family and I to attend the show. Thank you to TAA PR for the invite. The opinions and views are my own.  

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