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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

ESRB Celebrates 20 Years - Video and Computer Games Rating

[Twitter party is scheduled for September 24th at 8 PM EST #ESRB20 Twitter Party on 9/24 @ 8PM] 

Please celebrate with us as the ESRB celebrates 20 years.  September 16, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of  the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). ESRB enables the $21 Billion video gaming industry to responsibly market and educate consumers about what they are purchasing.  Similar to how food labels assist parents to understand the quality and nutritional value of what their family consumes, ESRB enables parents to understand the quality and safety level of the games their family plays.

Since September 16, 1994, ESRB ratings have appeared on nearly every computer or video
game sold in the U.S.  ESRB has consistently been recognized by government officials and consumers alike as the most effective entertainment rating system today.  As technology evolves ESRB is right in step.  ESRB has been proactive by introducing a rating service in 2012 to rate digitally delivered games and apps that made getting a rating easy, fast, and cost-free for developers. Whether your family is playing a game on a video game console, laptop or mobile device, you can find the trusted and familiar ESRB rating icons.

One of my kids favorite mobile games is Clash of the Clans. This is a game to be played as a group or clan. I felt comfortable knowing that the "E" rating was suitable for any age within their diverse group/clan.  [Clash of Clans is a mobile freemium strategy video game. A multiplayer game, Clash of Clans allows players to build their community, train troops, and attack other players to earn gold and elixirs while building their own defenses to protect against attackers. An interactive game, players can use the chat feature to communicate with others and join clans to aid each other.]

Check out this great video summarizing what ESRB is about:

Here's a guide-at-a-glance into the Rating System:

20 Years of Highlights:

  • ESRB started with five rating categories: EC (Early Childhood), K-A (Kids to Adults), T(Teen), M (Mature), and AO (Adults Only). In 1998, K-A was changed to E (Everyone), andin 2005, E10+ (Everyone 10+) was added.
  • 1 Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress December 2009: Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children The first rating certificates were issued on September 16, 1994. Some of the first rated titles included Doom for Sega 32X (M), Pitfall for Super NES (T), Super Punch Out!! for Super NES (K-A), Sonic Double Trouble for Sega Game Gear (K-A), and Donkey Kong Country for Super NES (K-A).
  • Of all the games rated by ESRB, 94% have been rated E, E10+ or T; E remains the most popular rating category, representing nearly 70% of all games rated.
  • Awareness of ESRB ratings remains consistently high with 85% of parents saying they are familiar with ESRB ratings.
  • Over 20 years, ESRB has rated games and apps submitted by over 9,500 companies formore than 40 different platforms, starting with 8-bit consoles.
  • In addition to rating games, ESRB also enforces advertising guidelines (Advertising Review Counsel established in 2000) and monitors privacy practices as a COPPA Safe Harbor (ESRB Privacy Certified established in 1999).
  • ESRB is looking to the future by streamlining digital rating services in collaboration with other rating boards across the globe.
For all of the latest updates such as videos, images, and infographics, including ESRB
Celebrates 20 Years and 1994 in Gaming, please follow ESRB on Facebook and Twitter or visit

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Parent Grapevine is an ESRB Parent Ambassador

I'm super excited to be part of the wonderful group of bloggers who have just been announced as official ESRB Parent Ambassadors.  ESRB stands for Entertainment Software Rating Board and is a nonprofit, self-regulatory body that assigns ratings for video games and apps so parents can make informed choices.  My three daughters have always enjoyed video games, starting when they were young and playing games that helped them learn to read, count and use their imagination.

Today, now that they are young adults, they still enjoy playing with the Wii and particularly with their mobile devices.  I am able to track their purchases through our iTunes account and check on the ratings of each game. By getting my kids involved from the get-go, I have been able to educate them on the safety level and ratings system to be sure they make good choices.

Along with Parent Grapevine being an ESRB Ambassador, I'm super excited to be associated with this list of amazing bloggers who I follow and enjoy reading. Stay tuned as more news about ESRB's 20th anniversary happens on September 16, 2014.  Twitter parties, blog posts and more!
ESRB will celebrate 20 years in the entertainment video game industry on September 16, 2014 - stay tuned as more announcements and activities happen this month!

Check out this super ESRB Cheat Sheet

Monday, September 8, 2014

Locally Sourced Produce at Safeway

When my children were younger we would often frequent our local farmers market. I did this to expose my children to fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables.  Now that they are older and we've all become busier, it's been great to know that I can stop by my local Safeway grocery store and pick up a wide variety of locally sourced produce.  It's like having a farmers market 24/7.

Just look at the wonderful array of fruits and vegetables in this bushel of farm fresh produce from my local Safeway.  From fresh plums, red pears and pomegranates to green peppers, zucchini, and heirloom tomatoes, Safeway partners with local farmers to bring organically grown produce to you.
In a study by Harris Interactive they found that only 30% of Americans incorporate local produce in their meals on a daily basis.  More and more children are being diagnosed with diabetes at an earlier age and this recent article shows the 5 shocking reasons why more people are clinically obese. It's more important than ever to educate our children from the get-go about healthy eating habits, introduce organically and locally grown fruits and vegetables to your dinner table, and support your local farmers.

What can you find at Safeway from your local farmers?  I'm able to select wonderfully fresh and organically grown fruits and vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant and creamy, yummy avocados.  Sweet plums, pomegranates, pears and other seasonal fruits that are sweet enough to curb your dessert cravings will have your children asking for seconds. 

Recently my youngest daughter re-discovered avocados.  When she saw two ripe avocados in my basket she put together a wonderful Turkey-Avocado-Bacon grilled sandwich.  We used our favorite Oroweat Whole Grain Oatnut bread, Safeway Select Roasted Turkey, and some Safeway Select Extra Thick Naturally Smoked Bacon.  We also cut open the ruby red pomegranate which is locally soured and SO GOOD for you.  Check out my basket of goodies, our Turkey-Bacon-Avocado Sandwich, and be sure to see the Safeway Video at the very end.  Locally sourced produce from farmers near you.  If you haven't done so recently - it's time to check it out!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a basket of locally sourced produce from Safeway.  I was also provided with a $50 giftcard to purchase additional items to complete our wonderfully array of organic produce.  I only promote product I truly love and use regularly.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Personalized Rings and Necklaces by CentimeGifts

What’s one of the most personal gifts you can find for anyone no matter the age?  At the top of that list is personalized jewelry.  Gifts that are personalized with a significant date, name or milestone are simply unique and will become your most treasured family heirlooms.  Personalized jewelry makes the perfect gift for graduations, birthdays and weddings.  CentimeGift creates custom works of art that you can wear, stack and cherish for years to come.

As the mother of 3 daughters it becomes more difficult with time to find gifts that stand out.  But with CentimeGifts there is an array of beautiful and fun designs that is endless.  I had the chance to order the stackable rings with the nicknames of each of my daughters.  The rings are made out of 925 Sterling Silver.  The handmade construction is remarkable and beautiful.

Beyond the ring design you see here, there’s a wonderful selection of whimsical, classy and timeless pieces of bling that you will cherish from the moment you open the box.  The only problem with CentimeGifts is choosing your design.

What to get for your Bridesmaids?  How about a personalized necklace nameplate?  You can include a name and date or thoughtful word to live by.  Whatever you fancy you can personalize it to make it your own.

Best graduation gift ever:  What about a necklace that marks a graduation milestone with their name and date?  Or a custom ring or necklace with their favorite words to live by?  CentimeGifts are unique to you.

The New Mom:  Hey Dads, be a hero and present a CentimeGift for the mother of your children.  Moms will a piece or two of jewelry that keeps their children close to their heart and what better way than a necklace or set of rings for each child? 

Be sure to double-check your sizing especially when it comes to rings.  Since these are custom made you’ll want to be completely sure your rings will fit over your knuckles but be snug enough not to fall off.  For necklaces you’ll want to figure out the length.  There’s a great size chart in each of the necklace photos on the CentimeGifts Etsyshop. 

The prices for are very affordable.  These beautifully crafted, handmade works of art will become your favorite pieces of jewelry.  CentimeGifts goal is to create handcrafted, personalized silver jewelry in timeless, dainty designs that you can wear everyday.  They are created to last a lifetime and to hand down as family keepsakes. So what are you waiting for? Check them out and get your holiday shopping done early this year!

Check out some of my favorites designs:
http://centimegift.com/name-rings/stackable-name-ring perfect gifts for mothers and grandmas, bridesmaids gifts, graduation gifts

http://centimegift.com/initial-necklaces/personalized-signature-necklace very special, sentimental gifts. You can turn your own signature or someone's signature to the pendant of a necklace.

CentimeGifts can be found here:

Disclaimer: I was provided with 3 custom rings.  I can attest that the quality and workmanship is beautiful.  I only endorse things that have a high quality and CentimeGifts is outstanding.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Walmart To Go Keeps Life Simple

Save $10 on your first order by clicking on my referral link.

For the second time in a few weeks I have taken the stress away from my shopping routine.  It's been a crazy, hectic summer with all 3 of my kids working, little time to plan meals and on top of that I'm busy with my photography business doing shoots a few nights a week.  I'm lucky because I get fed wonderful dinners at events while my family has to scrounge for theirs.  So link to this page to find out about Walmart To Go makes life simple.  I can order what I need for them to make dinner, keep supplies on hand for breakfast and keep our toiletries and every day essentials in stock.  Without missing a beat!

What's so nice is everything that is perishable is refrigerated in their trucks and comes cold and ready to put in my own refrigerator.  All other non-perishable items are in separate crates.  The handy-dandy delivery guys come with a smile and bring everything straight to your home.  This saves me SO much time, it's super easy to open a Walmart To Go account and get started.  And your first few deliveries are FREE.  What could be better?  Oh - I know -the super prices that you find for things like cereal (best prices around), plus all of their weekly sales that you can find online.  

Plan your week from the comfort of your lazy boy chair!  Order, pick a delivery window (usually within a 2 hour time slot) and get on with your life.  It's super simple, fast and saves you so much time. And with free delivery - who wouldn't want to do it?

Are you a Bay Area influencer?  Then check out and sign up for the Walmart To Go First - VIP Experience

Disclosure:  I was provided with an initial eVoucher to test Walmart To Go out.  But since then I have spent my own money and saved my own time by shopping this super fast and efficient way.  I'm so pleased with this service plus my kids can order what they need too.  Make life simple. Shop Walmart To Go.

As a participant in the Walmart to Go First program, I’ve received a personal invite and payment for my time and efforts in creating this post.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Walmart To Go: Fast, Easy, Convenient Way to Shop

If I ever write a book it's going to be called the "I Hate to Cook" book.  But another book I have in mind might beat that one to the shelf, the "I Hate to Shop" book.  I know, lots of people LOVE to shop.  I used to.  I used to shop for hours and get the maximum from retail therapy. But now I'd rather have everything magically show up on my doorstep. Nowadays I don't want to hassle with the inconvenience of getting in my car, driving to and from the store and dealing with the crowds and time to get what my family needs. There are loads of other things I'd rather be doing than shopping. So Walmart To Go  is perfect.  It's the answer for super busy people who have so much on their day-to-day plate. Walmart To Go can solve this issue and save time and money.

I had the opportunity to check out the new Walmart TO GO shopping experience recently and LOVED IT.  From the convenience of my living room I went online, shopped for groceries including fresh produce like apples, hearts of romaine lettuce, bananas and a list of dry goods such as paper towels, toothpaste, and my favorite mopping fluid.  I even had my kids take turns getting what they needed before selecting a delivery window (you can pick a two-hour window that suits your schedule) and checking my cart out and making my payment.

After placing my order I put a reminder in my calendar so I wouldn't forget the delivery time. But Walmart To Go also calls you when they are about 10-15 minutes away so you can anticipate their delivery. Right on cue my doorbell rang and all of my items appeared, just like I wanted, on my doorstep.

Actually the driver brought all of my items from his refrigerated truck (part of the truck keeps produce cool, the other half is for storing dry good items) and brought them into the house so I could double check my order and unload.  After unpacking the driver gathered up all of his plastic crates and ensured I was happy with my shopping experience.

A few items were omitted from my order.  But that's only because I selected "no substitutions" on my order.  You can select "substitutions" if you want, but I prefer specific brands.

Was I happy with this experience? Indeed I was!  Walmart To Go saved me loads of time and money. Plus all of the same Walmart prices and weekly sale items are part of the experience.

If you're interested in checking it out click the link below.

Walmart To Go

And be sure to check out the video to learn more!

As a participant in the Walmart to Go First program, I’ve received a personal invite and payment for my time and efforts in creating this post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Zap Mosquitos Dead in Their Tracks: Stinger On-the-Go Bug Zapper Racket

The main thing I hate about camping or any summer outdoor activity are the bugs.  Whether they are gnats, mosquitos, wasps or flies they all have the potential to ruin a nice outing.  Sure you can marinate yourself with various bug repellants, but do you really want to cover your skin or clothes with that?  True there are herbal and natural spray-ons, but they can leave you feeling greasy and potentially ruin some clothes

So check out the new Stinger® On-the-Go Bug Zapper Racket.  This is a portable, hand-held zapper racket that kills insects on contact with 2000 volts of zapping power. What? Yeah!  The racket incorporates a wrist strap for portability and storage, an LED light for night conditions.  It is compact and lightweight.  Its "mini" size is perfect to take with you while hiking, walking, camping, fishing, and on many other outdoor activities.

The Stinger On-the-Go Bug Zapper uses no chemicals, operates on 2 "AA" batteries and safely kills insects without leaving behind a mess. Grab it, take it, swat it and start enjoying your outdoor fun without the pests!  

On-the-Go Bug Zapper Racket and No Touch Fly Trap should be in your arsenal whenever you go camping.  Or for any outdoor activity.   

Safe and Effective
  • Compact and Lightweight – ideal size for "on-the-go" activities
  • Powerful 2000 volts zapping power
  • Wrist strap for portability and storage
  • LED lighting for night conditions
  • Slide and hold activation switch for safety
  • LED indicator lights
  • Easy-to-load battery compartment
  • Uses 2 "AA" batteries (not included)
  • Color: camouflage