Thursday, December 9, 2021

Riders Republic Video Game Review #UbiSoft #PS5 #UbiStars #Gamer

 *We are UbiStars game reviews and sent a digital copy of this game for review* 

Are you looking for a gift for a gamer on your Holiday List? Trying to find fun ways to connect with family and friends online? I highly recommend the new UbiSoft game Riders Republic. We reviewed it on the PS5. It is also available on the XBOX systems.

Join a massive multiplayer community and participate in an avalanche of diverse activities as you shred the snow, mud and dirt in real time with others! Squad up with your friends and take on downhill races, dominate maps in team vs team competitions, or challenge yourself in PvP modes and Events. If you're up for some insane action, throw yourself into mass races and be the first to cross the finish line.

Join more than 50 PLAYERS SIMULTANEOUSLY live on screen and witness other's biggest wins and worst fails in a living, breathing world! Gather in vibrant social hubs and meet with a wild community of fellow riders.

My husband and son both played and reviewed this game. We had 2 copies so we could fully utilize the online game play. It is a big factor for our family to buy a game if it has online multi player. We are able to game with family and friends. A great way to stay connected and have fun!

My husband's review:

-Very good visual graphics

- Fluid gameplay tricks 

- Innovative multi sport races 

- Online multi player races 

- Populated world environment 

- Popular land marks 

- Fun and silly story lines 

- Daily item shop is nice feature but lacking content 

- Able to earn points towards item shop purchases 

- Fun soundtrack music playlists 

- Character customization nice feature but lacking depth and detail, somewhat basic 

 -Ability to compete in one vs one matches online with friends very fun 

- Level up and reward system helps with replay 

- Realistic environment with random animals wildlife and scale recreation of US national landmarks

My son loves Giraffes so he definitely had to buy the Gigi the Bouncer outfit. The item shop had some good options. He is hoping to buy more in the future and maybe even some crossovers.

He loved how you could ride a bike in a grassy area with jumps and then switch to snowboarding down a mountain. So much game play there is no way to be bored! The replay value on this game is well worth the cost of the game. (I have spotted it on sale at many retailers and the UbiSoft website). His favorite is the hang glider with motor mode.

Mass Race is one of my favorite modes in the game. You have 3 parts of a big race that have different game modes. You can be snowboarding down a mountain then hang gliding over cliffs and end with mountain biking on a course, all while seeing and competing with people in real time. We are a competitive family when it comes to gaming so we had a blast trying to come in first place.

I have always been a fan of games with bike riding, skiing, snowboarding and hang gliding. They are relaxing and casual fun to have gaming. Riders Republic has aced that but then added beautiful true to life scenery and an online community to play with. This game gets a A+ from my family!


Friday, October 22, 2021

Easy Appetizers: Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto Recipes Hummus Dip and Mini Pizzas

 *Disclosure: I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

With the holidays coming and people staring to have small gatherings new recipes have been on my mind. I wanted to take my normal recipes and add some new flavor profiles. When I had the opportunity to try Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto I knew exactly which recipes I would add it to.

I have always been a fan of Pesto. The flavor is unique and delicious. The Barilla brand is one of my favorites with the rich creamy savory flavor. When you open a jar of it the aroma is amazing. I also like the brand because they are a family company that has been making products since 1877.

Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto is a flavor-packed, versatile, and convenient pantry staple that is a must have for Italian food fans. Imported from Parma, Italy, it’s made with fragrant Italian basil and freshly grated Italian cheese. To preserve the natural color of basil and the fresh aroma of Italian Cheese, Barilla minimizes the handling of ingredients and rapidly prepares their recipe in as little as three hours from the start of ingredient preparation to the tightening of the lid. With Creamy Genovese Pesto, a little goes a long way; one 6.2-ounce jar of pesto mixes well with 16 ounces of pasta. 

I decided to make two different recipes to show the diversity of the Creamy Genovese Pesto. I started with a simple stir in recipe to make Creamy Genovese Pesto Hummus Dip. I love hummus and adding the pesto elevated the flavor into a creamy, cheesy, basil infused flavor that is so delicious. I will continue to make for not just gatherings but a go to snack.

Creamy Genovese Pesto Hummus Dip

-Use your favorite brand of classic plain hummus 10 oz.
-Stir into the hummus 2 oz. of Creamy Genovese Pesto
-Add more Pesto as needed for desired flavor
-Served with baby carrots and sliced sweet peppers
-Add pita chips or other vegetables as needed

Pesto Mini Pizza was also another easy appetizer I decided to make. I purchased ready to cook individual pizza doughs, fresh tomatoes and finely shredded mozzarella. 

Creamy Genovese Pesto Mini Pizza

-Follow the directions for temperature and cook time for the premade dough. 
-Add a spoonful of Creamy Genovese Pesto to the center of the pizza dough and spread evenly.
-Top with finely shredded mozzarella cheese
-Add sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese (you can add olives, onions or meat if preferred)
-Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown dough and melted cheese 

My son was excited to try the pizza. He loved the flavor of the Pesto Pizza. The aroma of pesto filled the house as it cooked and wow it smelled amazing! My son told me it tasted like pizza you would find in a fancy New York restaurant. A very sweet comment coming from my biggest critic. 

These two recipes are easy peasy to make and are delicious. Definitely a good option to make for an appetizer for dinner or even an after school snack. My son has requested the Pesto Pizza to be made again soon. As a Mom that is a win for me!

Barilla Creamy Genovese Pesto is available to purchase at Target (SuperTarget), Publix, Stop & Shop (Super Stop & Shop), Meijer, ShopRite, Hy-Vee, Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, and more. To find a store near you, visit


Monday, October 11, 2021

Homeschool Fieldtrip San Francisco Zoo & Gardens #SFZoo #California #Homeschool

 *Hosted guests of the San Francisco Zoo

I LOVE the San Francisco Zoo. It is a beautiful place with amazing animals. The landscape, buildings, park playground and the food make this place more than a home for the animals, its a destination if you are visiting the Bay Area. 

We are a homeschool family (long before the pandemic) and I try to find ways to make what my son learns in books also an experience in life. This is why I love Zoos and what they do to educated children about animal conservation. I feel like kids seeing these wonderous animals in person will help them further understand why we must conserve the land of these creatures. 

My son LOVES and I mean LOVES Giraffes!! Anytime we can make a visit to a Zoo they are the first animal we check out. We enjoyed a close up visit with an adorable giraffe that made my son so happy. We also learned why they have dark colored tongues, its like sunscreen to not get a sun burn. We were standing in our group circle for this close encounter so he was all ours for a few moments. The Zoo created spots for families to stand in (they are painted on the ground) so people can keep a safe distance.

Educational opportunities are all over the park on signs and posters.

The Eastern Lowland Gorillas are one of my favorite animals to visit at the SF Zoo. I could sit there for hours watching them interact with each other. The silver back is magnificent to see in person and the antics of the other gorillas is adorable! We watched them toss blankets at one another and take turns sitting in a cozy bucket.

As a Californian, bears have a special place in my list of favorite animals. The California Grizzly Bear is our state animal and also on our state flag. The strength and size of the bears leave me in awe to see one close up. Watching one casually play in a mini lake was amazing to see.

We also saw a Mexican Gray Wolf, American Black Bear, Scarlet Ibis, Rhino, Zebra and so many other magnificent animals. We did not see the whole Zoo this trip since this place is HUGE but it is also a great reason to go back and see more of the animals.

THE FOOD. I did not expect the food to be so delicious or have so many options. Our chef was so nice and prepared our food right there fresh. My husband and I ordered the 100% Grass Fed burgers and our son ordered a meatball sub with of course mac n cheese on the side. They maintained safety by having us wear our masks indoors and eat outside on the wooden picnic tables. The Zoo is so beautiful that I prefer to eat outside, you will even get to see all the peacocks walking around as you enjoy your meal.

Back in 2013 my son was the first kid to play on the San Francisco Zoo Elinor Friend Playground. We visited the playground as guests and WOW was it cool! We of course had to take the time to play after we ate. 

Slide 2021 (he doesn't need my help up there anymore!)

Slide 2013 (he is so little and this must have seemed huge to him)

The playground is awesome. It has many places for parents to sit, a squishy ground to help in falls and bumps, different themes for each playground area and hand sanitizer stations too. My son played on the swings, went down the slides and we enjoyed the beautiful cool day outside.

We have a tradition to our Zoo trips that we always leave with a stuffed animal. We visited the gift shop and found a giraffe stuffed animal that we did not already own (this is tough to come by when your kid has dozens of them lol).

Welcome to our herd, Mort the newest stuffie to join our crew.

We always enjoy our visits to the SF Zoo. It is an experience in learning about animals, plants and conservation. All mixed in with a fun playground and even a train ride. We definitely rode the train ride, it is a lovely way to see part of the park and a rest for your legs. Our favorite, the carousel was not running that day but hopefully it will be next time.


Friday, October 1, 2021

Happy October 1st! Pumpkin Spice Fudge Recipe #PumpkinSpice


I LOVE the Fall! Like seriously love it!! The weather, the food the clothing, the holidays, ALL of it! To celebrate the 1st day of October I made Pumpkin Spice Fudge. I use a simple recipe that I have adapted over the years of making fudge. Fudge making is a family tradition that my Mom has inspired me to share with my family. My fudge is a marshmallow creme based recipe. I love the smooth rich texture that using the Jet-Puffed gives to a recipe.


3 Cups of Sugar

1 Tablespoon of pure Maple Syrup

3/4 Cup of Butter (1 1/2 Sticks)

2/3 Cup of Evaporated Milk 

1/2 Cup of Pumpkin Puree

1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 Cups of White Chocolate Chips 

1 jar (7 oz.) Marshmallow Creme


1. Grease a pan with butter to make the fudge easier to cut out to serve. I used a 10x14 pan since I was looking for smaller pieces of fudge, if you want it thicker use a smaller pan.

2. Put sugar, maple syrup, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter and pumpkin pie spice in a saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium heat. Stir constantly!!! (You will burn the sugar in the fudge if you let it sit and reach a boil) When it reaches a boil, keep stirring for 5 minutes or until your candy thermometer reaches 230 degrees.

3. Take the mixture off the heat and immediately add the white chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. Stir until all the chocolate chips are melted and the marshmallow creme is incorporated. 

4. Pour the mixture into your greased pan and let cool for about 2 hours. Cut into 1 inch pieces and serve. Store in covered container in the fridge. 

TIPS: I slice up the butter and chop up the white chocolate chips to make them easier to melt.


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Antique Trove and Letters from the Past #antique #Roseville #oldisnew

I absolutely LOVE Antique stores! I am a huge lover of History and an antique store is a time capsule of everyday life. I could spend hours in a store. Some of my favorite items are photographs, letters, jewelry and trinkets. These personal items are a window into time of someone's life that was already lived. There is a depth to that type of item that I am drawn to. I always wonder what is the story behind the item.

I recently decided to go to a local antique store that I have no clue why I had not gone before. I had made assumptions that it being a huge as a warehouse that it must not be as intimate of a store like ones I have previously visited. But I was so very wrong! The Antique Trove in Roseville CA is a treasure hunting delight. 

The store is huge and divided into little booths that are ran by individual sellers. Almost like an indoor market. The sellers are not at the booth so you can spend as much time as you like browsing the items without being interrupted. Each item is labeled with a price so no need to wonder how much they are asking. The variety of items in the store was amazing. 

I went into the store looking for a birthday present for myself. I took my husband and son with me and they had as much as a wonderful time as I did. They focused on the old toys, movie posters and man cave items.

As we wandered I was drawn to a shelf with old dishes and greeting cards on it. I spotted a small bundle of letters. Oh the curiosity of what was in the letters beckoned me to buy it! I took a picture of it and told myself if I still wanted it after looking through the store I would go back for it. I definitely went back for the letters to purchase. The city on the envelope is what made me have to buy them. Pasadena holds a special place in my heart as having so many joyous childhood memories there and also hosts my favorite annual parade.

I have only opened two of the letters so far, I don't want to rush my historical experience. The first two are correspondence between a Mother and her daughter. The letters are from the 1930's and I have cried a few times reading  a glimpse into the life of these two women. Letter writing is a lost form of communication, I find it beautiful!

I am planning to try to find the people that are related to these women and offer them back a piece of their history. I know myself I would love to have a letter written by one of my relatives, especially my Grandmother. 

What has been your favorite find at an Antique store?
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