Bluegrass for Babies and Green BEAN Delivery GIVEAWAY

bluegrass-babies08 sliderSaturday, September 19 marks the 7th annual Bluegrass for Babies concert benefiting Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

This family-friendly concert runs from 3-9pm at Sawyer Point, and features music from top bluegrass bands, lots of family-friendly activities, a variety of vendors, local and organic concessions, and more! It’s been a hit in Cincinnati for the last 6 years and we hope you can join us!

 

Check out this year’s concert lineup from returning local bands and more!

  • Hickory Robot 3pm
  • Comet Bluegrass All-Stars  7pmBluegrass+for+Babies(1).jpg
  • Special guest Jennifer Ellis will perform her popular children’s songs at 4:15pm
  • Headlining the event with a performance at 5pm is Pennsylvania band Cabinet—Cabinet was recently named one of the “Top 10 Country Artists You Need to Know in 2015” by Rolling Stone.

Here’s a little more about the event, from Bluegrass for Babies:

New for this year’s concert are expanded food options including booths from Eli’s BBQ, Mazunte, Dewey’s Pizza and Green BEAN Delivery. Local craft beer offerings have also expanded with beers from Mad Tree and Mt. Carmel breweries on tap.

The concert, an official Giving Hope Fundraising Event for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, was started by Anne and Matt Schneider in 2009 as a way to give back to Children’s, which had provided life-saving surgery to their newborn son. Since the first concert in their backyard in 2009, Bluegrass for Babies has raised nearly $130,000 for Children’s, and has evolved into the Healthy Roots Foundation, a year-round organization providing tools, programming, and resources as well as hosting a variety of special events with the mission of helping parents create an optimal environment to raise healthy children.

“Our lives were forever changed because of the care we received from the physicians at Cincinnati Children’s,” said co-founder Anne Schneider. “We created Bluegrass for Babies to not only raise funds for the hospital, but with the goal to help educate parents on raising healthy children.”

Money raised at the concert will be donated to the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an innovative pilot study being conducted at the Center for the Prevention of Preterm Birth.  Dr. Louis Muglia and his team are working to better understand environmental exposures such as air and ground pollution and their effects on pregnancy outcomes. Rather than using geographic and EPA data, the researchers will provide pregnant women with personal monitors that will collect specific, individual data. For the first time ever, researchers will have detailed information about the environmental impact on increased risk for preterm birth and still birth.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for the Bluegrass for Babies benefit concert are $15 for adults in advance and $20 day of, with children admitted for free.

Group tickets, new this year, are $10 in August and $12 in September. The group with the most participation will win several great prizes!

Presale period ends Friday, September 18, 2015.  Tickets can be purchased at www.bluegrassforbabies.com.

 

DISCOUNTS!!!!Green BEAN Delivery Slider
Do you love fresh, local produce?  I know I do!  Well, check this out!  Green BEAN Delivery has a special deal for Healthy Roots Foundation Supporters. Use the code HEALTHYROOTS to get $15 off your first bin. AND, 5% of your next 25 bins will go to the Healthy Roots Foundation. Pretty cool!

WIN!!!!

Would you like to go to Bluegrass for Babies for free?  It sounds like an awesome day, doesn’t it? And, how about a free combo bin from Green BEAN Deliver?  Well, one lucky I’m Living the Good Life reader will receive a pair of tickets to the Bluegrass for Babies concert on September 19th along with a combo bin from Green BEAN Delivery*!  Here’s how to enter:

Entry #1:  Check out I’m Living the Good Life on Facebookbluegrass+for+babies+benefit+giveaway.jpg

Entry #2:  Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (tag #GoodLifeBlog )

Entry #3:  Tell me what you will be most excited about at the festival…the bluegrass music, the arts activities, the organic food, supporting a great cause…what will it be?  Leave your email in the comment.

A winner will be drawn  Tuesday September 15th.  The winner will be announced on facebook, contacted, and given 24 hours to respond.  Another winner will be drawn if there is no response.

Good luck!

*Please note that the winner of the Green BEAN Deliver bin will have to provide credit card information for the bin.  You will NOT be charged for your winnings, however, you MUST cancel the subscription after you receive your FREE combo bin.  The winner is responsible for canceling this, immediately, not I’m Living the Good Life.

Disclaimer:  For running this giveaway, I received the same package the winner will receive.  Rest assured, all opinions are 100% my own.

Old West Festival 2015 GIVEAWAY

Old+West+Boots sliderAre you ready for Fall?  Not yet?  Me neither.
BUT, I am ready for the Old West Festival!  And, if summer has to end, there’s no better way to kick off Fall than by watching a rootin’ tootin’ gun fight (re-enacted of course), drinking some rootbeer, and dusting off my cowboy boots.

This year marks the 8th annual Old West Festival and I’m super excited. As usual, there are theme weekends:

Western Film Weekend Sept. 12-13
Romance Weekend Sept. 19-20
America’s Pastime Weekend Sept. 26-27
Steampunk Weekend Oct. 3-4
OctoBEERfest Weekend Oct. 10-11
Halloween Weekend Oct. 17-18

One of the things I love about this festival is that it is a permanent display! This town is up all year round and is open for visitors September 12th Old+West+Horsesthrough October 18th, weekends only. The festival is located just 15 minutes from I-275, East of Cincinnati.

Here’s more about the festival:

Drawing more than twenty thousand visitors each fall, the permanent old west town is home to everything you would expect to see in Dodge City circa 1878. Attendees will enjoy historically accurate medicine and saloon shows, can-can dancers, gunfights, jailbreaks, and more. Period reenactors will also be found walking the streets and performing the roles of cowboys, cowgirls, storeowners, residents, and of course, outlaws.

The Old West Festival will also be abuzz with western music. Attendees can enjoy the sounds of the 1800’s with music from Gunpowder Creek as well as Raison d’Etre, a trio mixing traditional folk songs with a capella swing tunes and Shaker hymns.

Other performers will be ‘round town as well. Magician Jason Jacobs will amaze, bewilder and astonish with his magical flare and the Pickled Brothers will shock with their mind-boggling performances. Trick rider Abigail Petersen will impress audiences with her horsemanship and daring stunts, while visitors to the Long Branch Saloon will enjoy shows by world champion roper Rider Keisner, and folks will no doubt get a “kick” out of Miss Melody Star and her Hurdy Gurdy Dancing Girls.

And what would the old west be without a good ole’ fashioned gunfight? Back by popular demand, four times daily starting at high noon, the Big Irons Rangers return with their gunfight re-enactments and trick shooting. In between shows they, and other period interpreters, will be walking the grounds to meet visitors and pose for photos.

The Old West Festival is a grand time for the young’ins, too. At 10:15 a.m. daily, the kiddies can get sworn in as town deputies. They can also enjoy old-timey puppet and magic shows, storytelling and sing-a-longs. The youngsters can also participate in historic games, pan for gold, take a ride on the A&A Express train, take a pony ride, and even cross the frontier in a covered wagon.

To celebrate the opening of another season, the Old West Festival presents Western Film Weekend. Iconic scenes of cowboys riding into the sunset, saloon brawls and gunfights have shaped our idea of the Wild West. Guests will enjoy screenings from classic movies, experience a lively panel discussion and meet the cast and crew from Revelation Trail, a western film shot on the grounds of the Old West Festival.

ENTER TO WIN!!!

Old West Festival Cincinnati

Sound like fun?  Want to win tickets?  Well, you are in luck.  The Old West Festival has graciously given I’m Living the Good Life 4 tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader.  You can enter four times, and here’s how:

Entry #1:  Check out I’m Living the Good Life on Facebook

Entry #2:  Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (tag #GoodLifeBlog and #OldWestFest)

Entry #3:  Check out Old West Festival on Facebook

Entry #4:  Leave a comment telling me your favorite Old West character.

LEAVE A COMMENT below (on this post) for each entry.  You must be 18 to enter.  Please leave your email in your comment.  The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  Another winner will be chosen if the winner does not respond in 48 hours. The winner will be randomly drawn and posted to Facebook on Tuesday August 18th.

 This is a wonderful family fun event, and a great tradition to start with YOUR family!  Event times and ticket prices are as follows:

  • $12 for adults
  • $6 for children ages 6-12
  • Children 5 and under admitted for free

Parking is free and the festival will be held, rain or shine. Tickets are available in advance at www.oldwestfestival.com FOR A DISCOUNT!

The Old West Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays, September 12 to October 18 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and is located at 1449 Greenbush Cobb Rd between Mt. Orab and Williamsburg, Ohio just off St. Rt. 32. For more information, visit www.oldwestfestival.com.

Disclosure: I was given complementary tickets for this giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

myNKY: Help Shape the Future of Northern Kentucky

myNKY-Game-FINALWant to help shape the future of Northern Kentucky?  Check out myNKY and their interactive website.  Play the online game on the myNKY site to show how you’d spend $1 million in our area!  Share your thoughts and help Vision 2015 determine the next strategic plan.

I am from Louisville, not Northern Kentucky.  I moved here 17 years ago thinking that eventually, I’d move back ‘home.’ But, over the years, my husband and I grew to love the area and decided to stay and raise our three children here.  I love that there are so many ‘little cities’ in the area, each with their own unique style.  I appreciate the focus on small businesses and support them as often as I can. Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue is one of my favorite places to shop for unique gifts.  I enjoy the variety of arts in our town…the Carnegie, Behringer Crawford Museum, Latonia Train Museum, Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center, to just name a few.  I love that our Kenton County library was ranked #1 in the state three years in a row.  Not only do we have the Kenton County library, but we have Boone and Campbell, which are fantastic also.  Although it is made up of many different cities, Northern Kentucky is almost a city in itself.

Right now, you have the chance to help shape the future of Northern Kentucky.  A six-month campaign started January 16th to help create Northern Kentucky’s next strategic plan.  Vision 2015, the group that created the current plan, is encouraging the community to get involved and check out the new myNKY six-month campaign that will help determine priorities for the next five years.  Here’s what Vision 2015 says about myNKY:

 

“Great communities don’t happen by accident. They need a plan and a vision,” explains Kara Williams, Vice President of Vision 2015. “Northern Kentucky has a long history of community visioning, and as we approach 2015, it’s time to begin focusing on developing the vision that will guide Northern Kentucky through 2020.”

 

Over the next six months, www.mynky.org, which launches January 16, will act as the hub collecting community input for the next five-year strategic plan. The site will feature an interactive prioritization game and a variety of polls and challenge questions on topics such as education, transportation, workforce and green space.

Visit the myNKY website to play an interactive game to show how you would spend $1 million in Northern Kentucky.  Would you spend it on education?  Health care?  Jobs? Transportation?  Share your opinion!

myNKY-Game-FINAL

Last night we had a great time at the myNKY campaign kick off and signed the wall sharing our visions for Northern Kentucky.

myNKY visionWe saw so many great ideas, and some crazy ones.  My 4 year old wants more ice cream.  My 10 year old wants to make sure his Northern Kentucky is humungous and epic.

What do you see for your Northern Kentucky?  Share your thoughts at www.myNKY.org and participate in a survey and play the game!  Your kids can even play the game!

Have fun and help shape the future!

Find out more about myNKY by visiting the official website.

Disclosure:  I am an ambassador for the myNKY campaign, but all opinions are my own.

Holiday Reading for Kids and Adults

Are you getting into the holiday spirit?  What better way to get in the mood for Christmas, and spread the cheer with your family, than to read holiday books?  Reading can really put you in a certain frame of mind, or mood.  Why not grab a peppermint mocha, hit the library and curl up with a holiday book?

This month, our book club has chosen Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews.  It’s a short and sweet story about Weezie Foley and her Savannah antique shop.  All she wants for Christmas is a blue ribbon in the shop decorating contest, an engagement ring from her fiance and to find out who keeps sleeping in her shop display window every night with her teddy bear.  Not a tall order, right?

One of my all time favorite holiday reads is Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.

I especially love Santaland Diaries from Holidays on Ice.  If you have not read it, this hilarious story details the holiday season that David Sedaris spent as an elf in Santaland at a New York City Macy’s department store.  Just imagining a grown man in tights with the elf name “Crumpet” doing Santa’s bidding makes me giggle.    Then imagining David Sedaris read it aloud in his famous dead pan nasal voice makes me belly laugh. 

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs is also a funny Christmas memoir, but a little darker.  It opens with a story of how the writer’s curiosity of his family’s decorative wax Santa lands him in the hospital after he eats off it’s face…I said it was a little dark.

As a family, we are reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  I remember my grade school teacher reading this to our class.  I loved it and so far, the kids do too.  The Herdman kids take over the church Christmas pageant because everyone else is too afraid to audition against them.  In the end, everyone learns a little something about the Christmas spirit. 

Check out some of these great holiday themed books I found at the library last week:

Five Alien Elves by Gregory Maquire:  When aliens land in a small town in Vermont, they mistakenly think the Santa suited mayor is “Santa Claws” and fight to free the ‘slaves’ (otherwise known as elves) from the evil workshop.  This is a funny, fast paced read for kids grades 3-5. 

A Little House Christmas Treasury Festive Holiday Stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder:  When I was in 4th grade, I loved the Little House books.  I could not get enough and read them all.  I was excited to find this on the shelf in our local library…a collection of holiday stories from the Little House Books!  This collection features six short stories and one Christmas Carol.  Some of the stories included are Christmas in the Big Woods and Christmas on the Prairie.  I will probably save this one for when Baby Girl is a bit older and maybe we can enjoy it together. 
Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald:  When The Fourth Grader was in first grade, he loved the Stink books by Megan McDonald.  We read all of them and listened to some on CD.  In this book, all Stink wants for Christmas is snow.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t snowed in Virginia in more than 100 years.  With a new mailman who has an odd resemblance to an elf…and his name is Mr. Jack Frost…who knows what will happen?

Flat Stanley’s Christmas Adventure by Jeff Brown  In this Flat Stanley book, Santa has decided he is done with Christmas and the kids don’t appreciate him.  Enter Sarah Claus, Santa’s daughter, who calls the Lambchop family to save the day!

Since I loved the Little House books in grade school, I was drawn to the  Dear America book Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift by Kathryn Laskey. Minnie, a twelve year old in Indiana, keeps a diary during the month before Christmas.  It details the ups and downs of their family and shows that the Christmas spirit prevails.  After we finish The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I’d love to read this before Christmas.


 

Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas by Pauline Chen looks hilarious.  It is the kind of book that, if it were an adult read, that I’d snatch it off the shelf.  So, along with my other two picks for the kids this holiday season, we’ll be reading it as well.  Poor Peiling Wang has never celebrated Christmas, even though her family has been in America since she was a toddler.  With the help of her uncle, the 11 year old tries to convince her family to join in the holiday festivities.  I was hooked when  Peiling asked her grandpa if he had ever celebrated Christmas in Taiwan, and his response was that the chocolate the American soldiers distributed gave him the runs.  How can you not love that? 

One of my favorite movies is Arthur’s Perfect Christmas by Marc Brown.  This year, we are reading the book.  Join Arthur and his friends as they wish for snow, special presents and spend time with their families.  This book explores both Christmas and Hanukkah.

Do you have a favorite holiday book that you read every year?  Or maybe a special one from your childhood that you share with your kids?  Feel free to share by leaving a post in the comments below! 

Bluegrass for Babies Tshirt Contest for Kids


Have you heard about Bluegrass for Babies?  No, it’s not a new toy that is going to make your baby brilliant.  It’s not a band of babies playing bluegrass music.  What it is, is a non-profit organization focused on improving children’s health.  Here is what Bluegrass for Babies is about:



“Launched as an annual bluegrass benefit concert, Bluegrass for Babies has evolved into an organization that provides tools, resources, and year-round special events centered on helping parents create an environment to raise healthy children, right from the start. The organization supports the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which provides comprehensive care for infants before, during and after delivery so that all children can have the best start to life. More information is available online at www.bluegrassforbabies.com.”

The 5th annual concert is September 21st at Sawyer Point, and you can read more on Family Friendly Cincinnati, as well as enter to win tickets for the concert! 



Besides attending the concert, how can you support Bluegrass for Babies?



Glad you asked!



In preparation for the big concert, Bluegrass for Babies has launched a t-shirt design contest for kids, sponsored by Chipotle and Big Frog Custom T-shirts. 



Children under the age of 12 may design a t-shirt, and then with the help of an adult, scan their design or upload a photo of their design onto the Bluegrass for Babies Facebook page linkEntries will be accepted through August 28, 2013.  Judges will select five finalists and the public will vote for a winning design the week of September 2, 2013. 



The winner will be announced the week of September 9, 2013.



All entrants will receive a coupon for a complimentary kids meal from Chipotle!



Three important things to remember:


  • The contest is open to children 12 years of age and under.
  • Submitted designs must include the image of a stork somewhere within the design.
  • All entrants must upload a photo or scanned copy of their design to the Bluegrass for Babies Facebook page.

Tell the kids to get out the glitter, markers and glue sticks and put on their thinking caps!  And, make sure the vacuum is handy…

Good luck and get started!


 





 

Shrimp and Basil Pasta


We’ve been trying to eat lighter around here.  Of course, this dish is pasta, which has a lot of carbs.  However, it’s still pretty light.  And, it’s incredibly easy to make.  It combines great summer tastes like basil, fresh Parmesan and grilled shrimp.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Ingredients:
– Peeled shrimp (I made 5-6 skewers with 5-6 shrimp on each skewer)
– 1/2 Lemon for juice
– 1/2 stick butter
– Seafood Seasoning (I used a blend of sugar, ginger, Saigon cinnamon, cloves and grains of paradise called Sweet Paradise.  I have used Old Bay Seasoning before).
– Olive Oil (I used Filippo Berio Extra Virgin)
– Small pasta like rotini or penne
– Shredded Parmesan cheese to taste
– Handful of fresh basil, chopped
– Sea Salt to taste
– BBQ skewers (wooden or metal)
 
Melt the butter and place 5-6 shrimp on each skewer.  Squeeze lemon juice (just 1/2 lemon) into the melted butter and mix.  Brush the butter/lemon mixture on both sides of the shrimp.  Sprinkle both sides of shrimp skewers with seafood seasoning and grill until done.
 
While the shrimp is grilling, boil water and prepare pasta.  When pasta is al dente, drain it and coat with olive oil.  I like to use Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive oil.  It’s just light enough to use in a pasta dish without an over powering taste.  It also is priced just right.  I was able to try mine from BzzAgent for a recent campaign.

Add chopped basil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss together.
 

Prepare each serving with a skewer of shrimp and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  My husband added a little more lemon juice to his serving, so you may enjoy that as well.
 

 
Disclaimer:  I am a BzzAgent and get to try out and review products at a discount or for free.  I received Fillipo Berio Olive Oil to try!

Menu Plan Monday

We have a guest this week!  My friend and her daughter are staying the week so her daughter can attend ballet camp.  We’ve known each other since we were four years old…now we are going to be four-oh.  That’s a long time.  I tried to come up with easy, basic but still tasty meals for the week. You can see I went all out for her with frozen pizza…that will be the night we go out for our birthdays.

 
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Croissants and Salad
 
Chicken Soft Tacos in the Slow Cooker (recipe below) and Sweet Potatoes
 
Frozen Pizza and Salad
 
BBQ Drumsticks, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Salad
 
Hamburgers, Baked Beans, and Kale Chips

The slow cooker chicken soft tacos are super easy.  Combine chicken breast (I use four and sometimes throw in a few chicken thighs for taste), a jar of salsa, a can of corn, a can of black beans and a package of dry ranch dressing mix in the slow cooker.  Cook on low all day or high for a few hours until done.  Shred the chicken and serve on tortillas.  Add toppings.

What do you have planned for the week?  Check out Menu Plan Monday on the Organizing Junkie’s Website for hundreds more menu ideas.

Happy menu planning!

Menu Plan Monday

We’ve spent a lot of time at the pool lately and I’m trying to grill as much as possible!  Soon I’ll post our dinner from last week and how I grilled pizza.  I surprised myself.  There is more to grilling than hamburgers and hotdogs!

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Avocados
 
Steak, Grilled Fish, Swiss Chard with Hot Bacon Dressing (recipe below) and Salad
 
Turkey Burgers, Baked Beans and Salad
 
Pizza, Salad, and Fruit
 
Sloppy Joes, Peas and Carrots

Our family loves olive oil.  I use it to cook, make homemade salad dressing, and to moisturize my skin…we love it.  When I BzzAgent asked me if I’d like to try Filippo Berio Olive Oil, I was super excited. 

Tonight we made swiss chard and I started out making a salad dressing, but decided to get crazy and throw it on the chard while it was cooking.  Then, I made more dressing for the actual salad. Both turned out delicious. 

Here is how I did it:

Fry three slices of bacon.  Crumble the bacon and add chopped chard to the pan.  Saute chard until tender (not too tender…I like a little crispy taste.)  Add the dressing (see below) and mix well.  Serve warm.

2 parts olive oil
1 part red wine vinegar
1 tsp dark mustard (We change it up and use all different kinds.  This time it had champagne in it)
1/2 tsp honey

You can use the same dressing for the salad.  I also like to add 1-2 cloves finely minced garlic to the dressing for a raw salad. 

Enjoy!

Make sure you check out Menu Plan Monday at the Organizing Junkie for hundreds more menu plans!

Note:  I am a BzzAgent and get to try free products in return for my time reviewing them.  All opinions are my own.

Menu Plan Monday

We are not super exciting this week, but no matter, we need a menu plan!  I’ve tried to make it easy, healthy and kid friendly.  So, here goes.

Turkey Burgers, Roasted Broccoli and Salad
 
Steak Stir Fry and Quinoa
 
Homemade Vegetable Beef Stew and Grilled Cheese
 
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Salad
 
Chicken Stir Fry and Quinoa

In my stir fry dishes, I saute the meat and then add fresh minced garlic, cabbage, broccoli, and whatever other vegetables I can.  For the spaghetti night, the kids will get the pasta and I will make spaghetti squash and top it with the meat sauce.

Make sure you check out Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday for hundreds of other menu plans! 

And, if you like the circus and live in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, check out this giveaway for a family four pack to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Present DRAGON!

Happy menu planning!

Menu Plan Monday

Happy President’s Day!  Here is a quickie menu plan for the week.  The Husband is off to the grocery gathering ingredients.  I’m doing laundry.  Not sure who got the better deal…

It’s sunny today so we are firing up the grill!   

 
Turkey Burgers, Salad and Fruit
 
Parmesan Chicken Cutlets, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Quinoa
 
Grilled Chicken, Mac & Cheese and Salad
 
Steak, Salad and Potatoes
 
Breakfast!  Eggs, Toast and Fruit

Make sure you check out Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday for hundreds of other menu plans. 

Happy menu planning!

P.S.
I got to attend a fabulous blogging conference this weekend!  Find out if I became a day drinker here.