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Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole – Olé! (Giveaway ends 9/28/13) #CountryCrockCasserole

 

Country Crock Casserole

I am beginning to appreciate more and more the value of a great casserole recipe. Casseroles are so easy to make. All you need is a casserole dish, a few ingredients and an oven. In no time you can have a satisfying meal for the entire family.

I’ve been working with Country Crock as part of their Casserole Club. They sent me a few items to prepare a Mexican Casserole recipe for this blog post.

When I think “casserole”, Mexican food is not something that comes to mind. I was looking forward to making the recipe. I added a little bit of a twist to it. Also, I made a few suggestions at the end of the recipe about things I’ll do differently next time.

Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole Recipe

Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole

Mexican Beef & Corn Casserole Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb.  lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro – I used pre-cut cilantro
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.)  reduced sodium black beans, drained
  • 1 can (11 oz.)  Mexicorn, drained (Southwestern corn would work OK too)
  • 2 Tbsp.  Country Crock® Spread
  • 1/2 cup  salsa
  • 2/3 cup  fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese (I used a Mexican blend of cheese)
  • 1 cups of crushed Tortilla chips

Directions:

Beef

Preheat oven to 400°. Cook ground beef in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is done, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in cilantro.

Beef mixed with Cilantro

Beef mixed with Cilantro

Combine black beans, corn and Country Crock® Spread in 8-inch baking dish. Top with beef mixture; spread with salsa and sour cream and sprinkle with cheese.

Corn Beans and Country Crock

Beef Salsa and Sour Cream

Tortilla Chips

Cheese

Bake 20 minutes or until heated though and cheese is melted.

Baked Beef and Corn Casserole

Country Crock Casserole

I think it turned our really good, but it needed a bit more of a “kick” to it. The next time I make it I’ll use the whole jar of salsa, the whole container of sour cream (I had used a small one) and perhaps some seasoning like taco seasoning.

Another idea I had was to omit the tortilla chips and spoon the casserole into taco shells.

I would try this as a topping for chips (to serve at parties) but I think the ground beef would be too heavy and the chips would crack.

My family enjoyed it. Initially they thought it looked kind of weird, but once they tasted it they enjoyed it.

This is just one of several mouth watering casserole recipes you can find on the Country Crock website, www.CountryCrock.com (look for recipes on the top tab). You can also follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter. You can find some recipes on their  Facebook page.

For even more recipe inspirations check out the Country Crock Pinterest page. Be forewarned, don’t view  their Pinterest page if you are hungry. They have A LOT of drool-worthy recipes on their site.

country-crock-spread

How would you like to try this recipe for yourself? Country Crock would like to give a lucky reader a wonderful prize package to help you make this scrumptious recipe for your family. The prize pack includes:

In addition FIVE (5) runners up will receive a coupon for a FREE Country Crock product. 

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on August 8, 2013 at  11:59 PM (EST). The winners will be chosen at random using a random number  generator from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified via e-mail and  will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

Entering will be a wee bit  different than normal.

To enter please choose ONE of the following activities.

Pin a photo of my recipe on one of your Pinterest pin boards and include the  hashtag #CountryCrockCasserole (it MUST include the  hashtag). Please put the link to your pin in the comment section of this  post.

OR

Tweet about this recipe or giveaway on Twitter. You MUST include the hashtag #CountryCrockCasserole and a link back to this post. Please  put the URL of the tweet in the comment section.

OR

Post a link to this recipe/giveaway on your Facebook page. You MUST include the hashtag #CountryCrockCasserole. Please put the URL of the post in  the comment section of this post.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget  (below) but you must complete one of the initial entry  requirements in order for the extra entries to qualify (I do check). Extra  entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I am participation in a Country Crock Casserole Club blogger campaign. I  received free products to create this recipe. There was no compensation. The  opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Country Crock will  be providing the prizes.

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Animoto Review & Giveaway (ends 12/18/12)

I love sharing photos of my family with other family members and friends, both near and far. It’s easy enough to e-mail photos to other people, or give them access to your Photobucket or Flickr accounts. However I like to take things one step further. I love making “movies” with my photos.

I use different video making programs. Some are easier then others. I honestly prefer the easier programs. As a busy mom I don’t always have time to dedicate to putting together an elaborate video presentation. I rather just upload the photos I want to work with and have the program assist me in making the best possible video with little or no effort on my part.

Animoto is a great choice for those who like to make movies of their photos quickly and easily. You can let the program create something for you or do all the work yourself. It’s up to you.

The hardest part to making a video is deciding what photos to use. I would recommend you set up a folder on your desk top and keep the photos you want to make into a video in that folder. That way you don’t have to search through your computer and CDs to find the photos you want to use. Trust me, I learned that the hard way. I was asked to make a video of our dog Espn (pronounced “Es-Pin”) for a PetSmart campaign a while back. All of Espn’s photos were all over the place – on my lap top, desk top, CD’s and three different external hard drives. It took me a long time to find the photos. Thankfully they are all in one folder so the next time I need them I know where to find them.

After you have gathered up the photos you want to use all you need to do is log into your Animoto account and choose the type of video you want to make. There are several different options to choose from.

Here is teh video I made for our dog.

 

After you have selected your video background you have to upload the photos you wish to use. I found uploading the photos to be a very quick process. Sometimes uploading photos, especially numerous photos at the same time, can be time consuming. I found this process to be quick and easy.

Once your photos have been uploaded you will next have the option to “tweak” the video by adding text, changing the background music and a few other options.

When you feel like you have the video the way you want it you can preview it before processing it into a video. If you are pleased with how the video turned out you can share it with family and friends.

The actual processing time seemed to drag on for a long time with the video that I made for Espn. I would have to “guesstimate” that it took about 20 minutes. Thankfully I was able to work on my computer during that time by opening up a different browser. The time it took to process wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t anxious to see the final version. Sometimes I have an issue with being patient. Ha Ha.

Without further adieu here is the Espn video that I made. YouTube added the ad (not Animoto). Just click the “x” on the ad to dismiss it. Sorry about that. 🙁

 

If you happen to have the volume on your computer you can hear the background music too.

I actually uploaded about 40+ pictures. I guess there was a limit of photos for this video that I was unaware of because the video only showed less then half of the ones I uploaded. That is OK. It turned out pretty good.

Overall I am pleased with the Animoto program. It is incredibly easy to figure out and to use. If you are “technologically challenged” like I am sometimes (ha ha) you will have no problem creating high quality videos using the Animoto program.

You can also include clips from other videos into your Animoto video. Unfortualy I have nothing handy to play around with.

To learn more about Animoto please visit www.Animoto.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Animoto is a subscription based program. You can use Animoto for free, but you have very limited options and can only make 30 second videos. For $30/year you can get the plus plan. For all the “bells and whistles” you can upgrade to the Pro plan $39/mo or $249/year. For the casual user the plus plan ($30/year) is perfectly fine.

Animoto even has an iPhone application.

Animoto would like to give FIVE lucky readers a FREE one year Plus membership ($30 value). Thank you Animoto!

This giveaway is open to everyone and will end on December 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter please visit Animoto.com and check out the sample videos and features. Then come back here and comment on what type of video do you think you would like to create with Animoto.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the intitial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

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“Mega” Mega Bloks Giveaway (ends 10/14/12)

When I was a young girl I was very much a “tom boy”. I grew up with my older cousin John (we shared the same birthday). I looked up to him and I always wanted to do the things that he was doing, from building forts to playing with G.I. Joe. I wasn’t a “girly-girl” by any means.

Another thing I loved to do when I was younger was build with blocks. I honestly can’t remember the name of the blocks, but they were similar to Legos except they came in a tall tube and had windows and doors you could snap on. I wish I could think of the name, and I wish I still had them. They were fun to play with and I made a lot of cool buildings and houses with them.

A lot of the building block type toys these days tend to be geared more towards boys. That is why it’s so refreshing to see a building block set that is girl friendly, and in the case of the Mega Bloks First Builders Lil’ Princess Enchanted Castle set, it’s VERY girl friendly.

I was sent the most adorable Mega Bloks set to review. I received the Lil’ Princess 3-story Enchanted Castle. It came with a nice size castle that opens up to reveal to different rooms (or secret passages!), plus a table chair set, bed, horse and pretty little princess. The set even came with a few Mega Bloks to build with (I’m thinking a high wall to protect the castle).

Check out the photos. It’s such a darling set!

The Lil’ Princess Enchanted Castle is made very well. It even includes some sparkly features like the hearts (pictured above) the move from side to side and cause the pretty princess to move around too when she’s seated on top. The princess’ wings and crown are sparkly too.

The bloks (blocks) and accessories with this set are perfectly sized for small hands. They are made of a hard, durable plastic.

Here is a better product description;

Join Princess Ivy and discover a world of fairy tales in the Mega Bloks Lil’ Princess 3-Story Enchanted Castle. Deep in the Secret Forest, your little one can design and build a beautiful palace that is the perfect place for a magical ball! Princess Ivy and her pony Chestnut can twirl and dance the night away on the spinning platform and balcony. The enchantment never ends with the Mega Bloks Lil’ Princess 3-Story Enchanted Castle. $34.99

Ideal for children aged 1 to 5.

Features:

  • Big sparkling tower tops for exciting princess playtime
  • Three ways to build for hours of fun
  • Includes Princess Ivy with magic pop-up tiara and her pony Chestnut with sparkling removable wings
  • Also includes two chairs, a table, a mirror and food for Chestnut
  • Colorful stickers to decorate the enchanted castle
  • Combine with other Mega Bloks Lil’ Princess buildable playsets for limitless fun

The pieces fit well with other Mega Bloks sets, so if you have other sets you can combine these pieces with them (and vice versa) or you can purchase additional Mega Bloks sets in the future and they will work with this set.

There are actually other pieces to the Lil’ Princess Enchanted Castle set (each sold seperatley) including a carriage and additional princess.

To give you an idea of the size here is the castle being attacked by a furocious “lion”. 🙂

With the holiday season fast approching the Lil’ Princess Enchanted Castle Mega Bloks set would make a wonderful gift for the little princess in your life.

For more information visit the Mega Bloks’ First Builders Official Site and don’t forget to “like” Mega Bloks on Facebook. They are also on Twitter (@MegaBloks).

I have a wonderful giveaway to give to a lucky reader. The prize package includes the following toys.

The prize package is valued at $75.00.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on October 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter please leave a comment on this post and tell me why you would love to win this adorable set and who the set will be for?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you MUST complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influened in any way.

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Back to school with HP and Snapfish (giveaway ends 10/12/12)

My kids have only been back to school for a few weeks now. I think we’re FINALLY getting into a routine, although I am having a hard time with getting up at 5:30 AM with my daughter. He bus comes around 6:35 in the morning. Blah! Whose idea was it to start high school so early? Ugh!

Last month I was asked if I wanted to participate in SnapFish’s Schools in Session campaign. Since I love SnapFish I was more then happy to participate. SnapFish, along with HP Creates, are two of my favorite “go-to” resources for fun, creative ideas and gifts.

I didn’t realize that SnapFish and HP Creates offers some fun items that are ideal for school. I found several ideas that I love on the HP Creates Pinterest board called School is in Session. I found so many great ideas on that board. I enjoyed the ideas so much that I created my own HP Create & SnapFish Board where I can pin my favorite ideas. You should check it out when you have a moment.

Some of my favorite ideas that I pinned include a personalized notebook where you can upload your child’s photo and have it appear on the notebook’s cover with a cool 3D effect to it. Kids love to have personalized products. Imagine how much fun it would be for your child to have a personalized photo notebook to use at school and when doing homework.

I loved the idea so much that I went to SnapFish and created one for myself using my kids photo.

I wish you could see the 3D effect in the photo.

Another cool idea that I pinned are photo bookmarks. Reading books is almost always a requirement for school. I love the idea of creating a personalized photo bookmark for your child. I’m sure their friends will be envious and want to know where they can get their own personalized bookmark too.

I created a photo bookmark that matched the notebook I also created from SnapFish. It also has that cool 3D effect.

I couldn’t get any good photos of the notebook or bookmark. They have that 3D effect to them and just didn’t photograph well. Trust me, they are cool!

I am not a big fan of items personalized with a child’s name for others to see, such as t-shirts or backpacks with their name embellished on it. While it is important to have your child’s name on their backpack in case they lose it, you should do it in a subtle way, such as inside where no one can see it unless they are looking for it. Another idea would be a photo ID tag. That way your child’s image can be used to identify their backpack.

I created a couple of tags at SnapFish. I fact I used them on my luggage that I took out to California last week. The ones I created had two different images on them. When you change your view of the photo it changes. It’s actually a really neat effect.

I don’t have a photo of the ones that I created but they looked similar to the ones on my Pinterest HP Create & SnapFish board (mine have a different design).

I’m sure I’ll be adding more to my HP Create & SnapFish board so be sure to keep checking back to see what other fun goodies I pin there.

There are a few back to school supplies that we have that I honestly wouldn’t think we needed, but I’m sure glad we have them. One of my favorite (and most used) items is my dry erase corkboard. Let me tell you, this has been a VERY helpful. It’s been helping not only my kids keep on track of when they have tests and projects due, but it also helps me keep track of things like parent/teacher conferences, school photos, appointments and other school related events.

If you don’t already have a dry erase and/or corkboard I would strongly recommend getting one. It will really help you to keep on top of things. I keep mine next to my desk. I work from home and I’m at my desk all day long so having that “visual” is very helpful.

Another thing that has come in handy is a waterproof outdoor blanket. We live in New York and this time of year it can be chilly in the evening. This blanket has come in handy when we’ve attended football games. It keeps our laps warm. Plus we’ve also used it to sit on to keep our tushies (butts) warm on a cold, metal bleacher.

Helping your children stay organized is not always easy to do. Sometimes it’s best to start off with something easy and work your way up to more complex organization. A simple thing you can do it get a bedside caddy. A bedside caddy would be a great place for kids to hold a reading book, flashlight (for late night reading), paper and pencils (for doodling) and anything else you think your child should have handy.

I wish I could find ours! My son wanted it and my daughter wanted it so I had to make them take turns. For the life of me I don’t know where it is now. I don’t know what they did with it. Obviously it’s not on the side of one of their beds. Grrr!!! Their room is a mess too. Chances are it’s under one of the beds. It’s hard for it to serve it’s purpose (keep items handy on the side of your bed) when it’s UNDER the bed.

This is what ours looks like. Now to find out what happened to it.

When it comes to back to school supplies, or school supplies that are needed all year long, sometimes you need to think “outside of the box”. There is more to school then just paper, pencils and crayons.

Check out this nifty widget too!

If you are looking for fun ideas be sure to check out HP Creates and SnapFish on Pinterest.

I have a great giveaway for a lucky reader. The winner will receive the following items:

  • Large dry erase cork board with magnetic labels and thumb tacks
  • Bedside caddy
  • Waterproof outdoor blanket
  • $50 Snapfish gift card

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on October 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-amil and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter please visit my HP Creates & Snapfish Board (click here) and then come back here and comment on which one of the items I pinned you like the most. Please be specific. If you are not on Pinterest please comment on which one of the products featured in this post you like the most.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received the above mentioned products for free for my participating. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way. 

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September 29th is National Coffee Day! (Giveaway ends 10/10/12) @DunkinNYTri

I LOVE coffee! I can’t go a day without it. I wouldn’t say that I’m addicted to it. I honestly don’t think that I am. I can certainly go several days without it (although I prefer not to :-)).

For all you coffee lovers out there you’ll be happy to know that today, September 29, 2012 is National Coffee Day! So put on a pot of coffee and celebrate America’s favorite beverage with family and friends. I plan on enjoying A LOT of coffee this weekend.

In honor of National Coffee Day, Dunkin Donuts (my most favorite coffee shop!) is offering one pound bags of their famous coffee for only $5.99. This price is only available this weekend only so make sure to stop by your nearest Dunkin Donut shop and pick up your favorite blends. There is a limit of two per customer and at participating Dunkin Donuts stores.

In addition to their current flavors and blends Dunkin Donuts also has two new flavors available – Pumpkin Mocha and Pumpkin White Chocolate coffee and lattes. Both are available hot or iced. These new, innovative flavors are available for a limited time at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide.

Dunkin Donuts is also having a special Twitter sweeps this weekend. From now until Sunday fans can share with @DunkinDonuts on Twitter “How do you take your Dunkin’ coffee?,” using the special hashtag #DunkinNCD. Five hundred and ninety-nine (599) winners will receive a 16 oz. bag of Dunkin’ Donuts’ packaged coffee.

Did you know that Dunkin Donuts has a Dunkin’ App? The new Dunkin App makes paying for food and beverages at Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants throughout the U.S. is as simple and speedy as scanning your smartphone using a mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Card in-store or at the drive-thru. Additionally, with the App’s mGift feature, Dunkin’ Donuts becomes the first national coffee retailer to enable people to send virtual gift cards three ways – text, email, and Facebook Connect.

Feel free to send me Dunkin Donuts mGift cards anytime. LOL!

I think it’s amazing have far technology has come. Now you can use your smartphone to pay for your coffee. WOW!

This is great to have, especially if you forget your plastic gift card at home or you don’t have enough $$ handy. All you need is your smartphone. I have Dunkin Donuts gift cards at home (one I can re-load). I keep forgetting them at home, however I always have my phone with me like most people do.

Check out this neat coffee infographic created by Career Builder (www.CareerBuilder.com) bases on a coffee related survey they conducted. Some of the information is surprising.

Don’t forget, the special $5.99 per bag price is this weekend only.

Dunkin Donuts would love to offer four lucky readers a $25.00 mGift card to Dunkin Donuts (one $25 mGift card per person). Thank you Dunkin Donuts!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on October 10, 2012 at 12:01 AM (EST). The winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligble entries. The winners will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Dunkin Donuts coffee beverages or blend is?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a free mGift card for my participation. Any opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way. Dunkin Donuts will be providing the prizes.

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Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Coming to Theaters March 2, 2012 (Giveaway – Ends 3/5/12)

I have always been a fan of Dr. Seuss, ever since I was a little girl. I still have all of my Dr. Seuss books from when I was a child and some of the newer ones from when my kids were little. I am holding on them so that one day I can share my love of Dr. Seuss with my grandchildren, and God willing, great-grandchildren some day.

I love the story of the Lorax. My husband thinks it’s a really depressing story and not silly like most Dr. Seuss stories are. I like it because I think there is something about the story that can be applied to our world today. If we don’t take care of the important things in life we’ll be killing off nature and wildlife for the sake of industry. The Lorax is a cautionary tale of what life can be like if we get out of balance with nature.

A remake of the classic tale is coming to theaters on March 2, 2012. The movie features the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle and Betty White.

Here is the movie’s trailer for your enjoyment. If you are reading this via e-mail you can view the trailer here, http://youtu.be/go5ovU1-BQU.

Here is the movie’s official synopsis:

From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope.  The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams.  To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. 

Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler.  Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic youth who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams.  Rob Riggle will play financial king O’Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted’s wise Grammy Norma. 

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is the third feature created by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop).  www.TheLoraxMovie.com.

It looks like a fun movie. And unlike the original this movie doesn’t seem so “dark” and “gloomy”. In fact it looks really funny and I can’t wait to see it.

To get you excited about the movie I have an awesome Lorax giveaway for a lucky reader. The prize package includes:

–   $25 Limited Edition The Lorax Fandango Gift Card

–   Seedling

–   Re-usable Tote

–   Water Bottle

–   T-shirt

–   Pencil

–   Re-usable Lunch Bag

–   Activity Card & Mustache

To enter please comment on your favorite Dr. Suess story.

For extra entries you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each that you have done. Extra entries are optional. 

– Subscribe to She Scribes via RSS or E-mail. Both options are found on the right side bar.

– “Like” The Lorax on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/TheLoraxMovie.

– “Like” She Scribes on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/SheScribes.

–   Follow The Lorax on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/TheLorax

– Follow She Scribes on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/She_Scribes and tweet about this giveaway. Please include @She_Scribes in the tweet so I can see it too. This is limited to three tweets per day please. Thank you!

– Share this giveaway with others on Facebook, Digg, Technorati and so forth. Be sure to tell me what you did and please provide a name and/or URL so I can verify.

– Leave a thoughtful comment on a non-giveaway post on She Scribes and tell me which post you commented on. There is a limit of one comment per post, but you can comment on as many posts as you want for an unlimited extra entry option.

– Post about this giveaway on your site and please link back to this post. Please provide the URL.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on March 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply with a name and mailing address (no PO Box) or a new winner will be chosen in their place. 

Other fun giveaways can be found on the right side bar under “Win It”.

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post, however I will be receiving either a free gift card to see the movie for a future review or attend a movie screening. There was no fincacial compensation. The opinions expressed are my own.

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