Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

Print photos the easy way with Amazon Prints. $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be won!

Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post about Amazon Prints and for providing prizes for the giveaway! You can learn more in my Disclosure Policy.

Amazon Prints #AmazonPrints #ad

Summer Break is here! With all of the fantastic Summer memories that we’re going to have, now is the perfect time to remember that Amazon has launched Amazon Prints. It’s a photo service that allows all customers to print their memories. If you’re a Prime member, you can just upload your photos to your Prime Photos account with free unlimited photo storage. Then you simply choose the product you want and have it shipped for free. These products include, but are not limited to, photo books, photo canvases, calendars, and wall décor.  If you’re not a Prime member, you’re in luck, too! You get 5 free GB of storage with Prime Photos. You can store and print all of your favorites all Summer long! And the prints start as low as $.09 each.

It’s a pretty great deal.

From football to soccer to camps and a possible trip or two out of town, our family has a lot on our plate. I know we’re going to make some great memories along the way. I’m glad Amazon Photos is here to help me share the great photos we’re sure to capture this Summer.

Enter the Giveaway!

Now’s your chance to win an Amazon gift card! Head on over to Amazon Prints and check out all of the amazing things you can do with their photo printing service. Then share in the comments below what kind of photos you would like to have printed with Amazon Prints. In another comment, share your favorite Amazon Prints feature.  Then simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Cherry Coke Pulled Pork makes college basketball even better [Recipe]

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias

#FinalFourPack Game Day

I love this time of year. The air is starting to warm up. The birds are returning. The flowers are starting to bloom. And a select few college teams are still playing basketball. All are signs that March is upon us. And I believe it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

NCAA® March Madness is about to descend upon us. It promises to be full of s the proverbial David vs. Goliath stories, surprising upsets, instant classics, and heartbreaking losses as the field of 68 men’s teams will duke it out for the opportunity to visit my fair city of Indianapolis. It’s in our beloved town where the kings of the college basketball world will soon be crowned.

Yes, I am excited about NCAA® March Madness. I get this way every year. I love every minute of the tournament, from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer. It’s wall-to-wall basketball for three weekends in a row. And I can’t get enough of it.

I have already made the declaration in our home: if the TV is on, we will be watching basketball. End of discussion.

With so much on the line with each game, I believe watching them should be an event unto themselves. This year, I plan on gathering the family around the TV to soak in as much of the hoops hysteria as possible. We’ll probably even invite some friends over to watch with us.

When gathering people together to watch, you want to keep things simple. After all, the tournament is primarily about the games. Right? You don’t want to spend half of Game Day in the kitchen making snacks. Fortunately, Coke has provided a convenient way to help you prepare for the tournament with the Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Pack available at Walmart.

#FinalFourPack display at Walmart

These convenient four packs come in three different flavors: Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke, and Coke Zero. They’re easy to carry and a great deal! You can get four 4-packs for only five bucks. A #FinalFourPack is a great way to make wall-to-wall basketball watching even better!

You have to eat while watching basketball, right? Watching all those games can be exhausting. With help from one of the Final Four Packs, you can make a simple meal-sized snack that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser: Cherry Coke Pulled Pork Sandwiches. I love this recipe because you can put it together quickly and then go back to watching the games. You just set it and forget it until it’s time to remove from the oven several hours later.  #FinalFourPack Pulled Pork Sandwich with Cherry Coke BBQ Sauce

 

The process to make Cherry Coke Pulled Pork Sandwiches is really quite simple. It just requires a lot of patience. But that’s OK. You’ve got some great basketball games to keep you occupied!

What You’ll Need:

#FinalFourPack Cherry Coke BBQ ingredients

  • 1 3-to-4 pound pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
  • hamburger buns
  • 1 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 12 ounce can of Cherry Coke
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Spices (see below)

#FinalFourPack Cherry Coke BBQ spices

Spices:

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

What you’ll do:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

3. Put hamburger buns to the side. You won’t need them for a few hours.

4. Place pork shoulder into roasting pan or similar dish with sides.

5. Combine remaining ingredients (ketchup, Cherry Coke, red wine vinegar, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices) into a mixing bowl. Stir until blended.

6. Pour over the pork.

7. Bake until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. But you can bake it longer than that if you’d like. In fact, it’s recommended. Some say you want to reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Because that gives the connective tissue even more time to break down, making the meat amazingly tender. You want to set it low and bake it slow. A good rule of thumb is to plan on an hour per pound of meat at minimum.

8. Go watch a game or two. Or maybe even three! It is NCAA® March Madness time, after all. Don’t worry about the pork for a while.

9. Seriously. Stop worrying about the pork. Set it and forget it.

10. Once your meat reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a large platter. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

11. While the meat is still warm, use two forks and pull the pork apart.

12. Add some of the sauce from the baking dish to your pulled pork.

13. Spoon the pulled pork onto the hamburger buns.

14. Enjoy!

See? It’s really that easy. Some people like to top their pulled pork with slaw. You can do that if you’d like. Or serve it with pickle spears. Or top it with mayonnaise (I know, it sounds weird, but trust me. It’s pretty good). This sandwich is the perfect pairing with the Tournament because it gives you all the time in the world to watch all the buzzer-beaters you can handle!

What’s your favorite Game Day snack? Do you have any traditions for NCAA® March Madness? Please share them in the comments below!

But that’s not the only way Coca Cola can make your college basketball experience even better with their Final Four Pack. You can follow Coke and Coke Zero on their social media platforms and continue the fun all year long.

Coca-Cola

Coke Zero

The college basketball fun with Coca Cola doesn’t stop there!

Enter the giveaway below for the chance to win the ultimate #FinalFourPack basketball giveaway!

 

Coca Cola #FinalFourPack Walmart Sweepstakes – $1,000 in Prizing

 
When you enter, you also have an opportunity to enter to win tickets to the 2016 Final Four! All you need is a selfie.
#FinalFourPack selfie
So what are you waiting for? Enter to win today!

Making memories at the St. Lawrence Fall Festival [Giveaway]

St Lawrence Fall Festival header

A little church festival background

1984 Olympics mug from McDonald'sGrowing up, summer wasn’t summer in our neighborhood without making the pilgrimage to the annual Summer Social at the church a block down the street. It was a weekend full of rides, food, fun, and games. I became quite the game player at the Social. I still have a cup that I won from one of the games I always played: A glass mug from McDonald’s, supporting the 1984 US Olympic team. I won it when I tossed a coin into it.

I was quite proud of my Olympics mug.

St. Lawrence Fall Festival

I have some pretty cool memories from the Summer Social down the street. It’s because of those childhood memories that I’m excited to have the opportunity to help promote the St. Lawrence Fall Festival. The St. Lawrence Fall Festival is an annual fundraiser for St. Lawrence Parish and their outreach to the community. St. Lawrence church and school is located at 46th Street & Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis. The festival takes place Friday, September 13 from 5-11 p.m., Saturday (September 14) from 3-11 p.m. and Sunday (September 15) from 1-6 p.m.

St. Lawrence Fall Festival

Saturday promises to be a huge day at the festival because Nashville recording artist (and native Hoosier) Corey Cox will be performing from 8-11 p.m., and admission is FREE!

Yeah. Saturday’s a pretty big deal.

The Indiana Blood Center Bloodmobile will also be there on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. So you can raise your sleeve and give life before partying with Corey later in the evening.

I’ve looked at the other events they have lined up and – holy cow – this will blow my Summer Social experiences out of the water!  There will be tons of amusement park rids, inflatables, kids games, live music, and a whole lot more during this great event. You’re sure to have a great time and make lots of memories at this year’s Fall Festival. If you don’t come away with some great memories, you’re probably doing it wrong.

The Giveaway

I’m giving away a pack of 10 carnival ride tickets and $10 in St. Lawrence food/beverage tickets. These tickets can be used at for the inflatables, the children’s games, the beer garden, or any of the food booths under the Big Tent. Entries will be accepted through Wednesday, September 11. Total prize package value is $20.

What you have to do

There are several ways for you to enter this giveaway. For each item that you accomplish, leave a comment on this post:

  • Like the St. Lawrence Fall Festival facebook page. Post a comment on their Wall, telling them what event/ride/food (you can find all the details here) you’re looking forward to at this year’s Festival.
  • Follow @StLawFallFest on twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Be creative. Include the hashtag #StLawFallFest in your tweet. Please include the link to your tweet in your comment below. Tweet every day to get more entries! The more you share, the more entries you receive because sharing is caring, after all.

Remember: for each item that you accomplish, leave a comment on this post. All entries will be confirmed before the drawing. I will randomly select a comment via Random.org and email the winner (this means I need an email address from you) with details on how to receive this prize pack.

disclosure

GOOD LUCK!

A Firehouse Subs Giveaway!

Firehouse Subs IndianapolisI recently had the opportunity to join other bloggers from the Indianapolis area at dinner with Robin Sorensen, co-founder of Firehouse Subs. I’d heard of Firehouse Subs before and planned on eating there someday. I’d heard good things about their food. And who can pass up an opportunity to explore drink flavors with the Coke Freestyle machine? I just hadn’t visited them yet. So this was a great chance to hear the company’s story, vision, and their passion.

And eat some amazing food.

They pride themselves on using quality ingredients and generous portions. And they mean it! We sampled four different sandwiches and I’m pretty sure most people were stuffed by the end of the second round! Robin warned us ahead of time that even though each sandwich we were receiving was only one-third the size of a regular sub, they were still going to give us a lot of food. He wasn’t kidding. I tried to pace myself and show some restraint, hoping to bring home any leftovers. But I just couldn’t stop eating the first two sandwiches. You could say that this is a sign that I don’t have very much willpower. I argue that this means that these sandwiches were just so good!

Of the four sandwiches we sampled, the Hook & Ladder, Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket, New York Steamer, and the Italian, I think my favorite was the Hook & Ladder. I know. Turkey and ham sounds like it might be boring. It isn’t. It’s pretty amazing.
Hook and Ladder sub at Firehouse Subs Indianapolis

I brought most of the New York Steamer (corned beef and pastrami) home for my wife to try. She said it was the best sandwich she’s ever had. That’s a pretty bold statement. But she might not be too far from the truth.

One of the things I loved from the dinner with Mr. Sorensen was hearing about their work through the Firehouse Subs Safety Foundation. Their purpose is to provide lifesaving equipment to firehouses, police departments, and local schools. They also provide disaster relief. He described the foundation as the ‘heart’ of Firehouse Subs. I love hearing about companies making a difference in the communities around them!

Fabulous sandwiches. Great service. A company that gives back to the community. What more could you ask for from a sandwich shop? The dinner with Robin certainly served its purpose. It won me over. I’m definitely a Firehouse Subs fan now!

Free food!

I’m giving away a $10 gift card to Firehouse Subs. The contest ends at 12:00 AM on July 17 so you’d better hurry up and enter. There’s plenty of ways to increase your chances of winning. Just enter the giveaway here.

Here’s how you can enter:

  • Like the Life in the Fishbowl facebook page
  • Like the Firehouse Subs facebook page
  • Follow @mattdantodd on twitter
  • Follow @firehousesubs on twitter
  • Tweet about the giveaway
  • Tell me how you found out about the giveaway. Both you AND the person who sent you will receive an entry. The more you tell others about the giveaway, the more chances you have to win! Sharing is caring, after all! 🙂
  • Check out the menu and comment on this post. Which Firehouse Subs sandwich do you want to try?

Ready to enter? Click the image below (or enter on the facebook page)!

****UPDATE**** 
This contest is over. Thanks for playing, everyone!
Click here to enter the Firehouse Subs gift card giveaway!

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Summertime fun at BounceU in Fishers, IN [GIVEAWAY]

Aly and I had the opportunity to visit BounceU of Fishers this past Friday. I’m pretty sure the experience exceeded all of her expectations. In all honesty, her expectations really weren’t that high because I didn’t explain where we were going and what she was going to be doing. All that being said, she had a blast. I’d like to thank the BounceU team for giving Aly the opportunity to bounce her heart out.*

The BounceU rules

The facility has two giant rooms full of inflatable bounce houses, slides, and games. Parents are welcome to join in the fun (for free) as you wear your child out and make a few memories along the way.

Giant slide at BounceU Fishers

boxing gloves at BounceU FishersAly’s favorite experience was the Giant Vertical Tower of Doom (that’s my name, not theirs). She spent well over an hour climbing this monstrosity, determined to grab one of the highest and most difficult flags on the tower. It was much more difficult than it looked.
Giant tower at BounceU Fishers

See? It's pretty steep!

SO close!

She did eventually grab the flag. She was quite proud of herself – and rightfully so!
The proud victor!

With Open Bounce, Family Bounce Night, and Cosmic Bounce there are plenty of opportunities to play with your kids. Just be careful. The slides are slick. And fast. And if you don’t tuck in your elbows, you’ll get a nasty form of carpet burn.

DSC04842

But it was definitely worth the trip for us. And we’ll be back. I’m not sure if that’s a threat or a promise. I guess you’ll have to ask the fine people at BounceU 😉

The Giveaway

As a Summer promotion, BounceU of Fishers is offering a Summer Passport, which gives you unlimited access to all of the Open Bounce sessions they’re hosting throughout the season. Passports are $79, but the good folks at BounceU have given me one passport to give away to you, the fine readership of Life in the Fishbowl. All you have to do is enter the raffle down below. Come back every day to earn more entries!

Click the image to enter the giveaway!

Click here to enter the giveaway

I’d like to have the widget embedded on this site, but wordpress.com doesn’t like scripts like this. Don’t worry, I’ll be fixing that problem in the very near future. If, for some reason, the link in the image doesn’t work, just click here.

Good luck!

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Cick the logo to read my full disclosure on this post

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