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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

YumEarth $25 Valentine’s Prize Pack Giveaway, Via Pink Ninja Blogger! #giveaway (CLOSED)

YumEarth is really delicious candy that also soothes the "bad parent" vibe....you can feel good about giving this treat to your kids. And now thanks to Pink Ninja Blogger, you have a chance to win some! DO read on...
 
YumEarth Giveaway 2

Welcome to the YumEarth $25 Valentine’s Prize Pack Giveaway

Sponsored by: YumEarth Organics
Hosted by: Pink Ninja Blogger

YumEarth Organics has partnered with Pink Ninja Blogger and a group of awesome bloggers to bring you a lovely giveaway just in time for Valentine’s Day!
YumEarth was born out of their commitment to feed their families a diet rich in delicious healthful foods that are free of chemicals. YumEarth tastes much better because they choose real fruit extracts and plant friendly ingredients grown on sustainable family farms to sweeten their lives and ours. To learn more, check out Pink Ninja Blogger’s review.

GIVEAWAY

ONE lucky reader will win a YumEarth Organics Valentine’s Prize Pack consisting of Valentine Organic Pops and Gummy Bears!
This giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years or older.
The giveaway will run Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM EST to Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST
Enter using the easy Giveaway Tools below.
Good luck!
 
 
Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Giveaway Tools) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, or Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Giveaway by Daily Deals from a Nerd Mom: Rove Containers! #giveaway (CLOSED)


And now we pause to bring you a word from another fabulous blogger! 

ROVE Eco-Friendly Products Giveaway {ends 2/9}  

Daily Deals from a Nerd Mom was able to test out some neat eco-friendly products from ROVE recently. If you have never heard of ROVE, they are a new mobile lifestyle brand of eco-friendly mugs, tumblers and containers. They are dedicated to providing fashionable, sustainable, functional and easy-to-use products that make life more comfortable for today's active, on-the-go generation. Make sure to read her FULL REVIEW.

2 lucky readers will win a bundle pack including the same 3 products shown above! Entering is simple using the widget below.

GOOD LUCK! :)
ROVE Eco-Friendly Bundle

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Getting Ready to Show My #‎DisneySide: My‬ @Home Celebration Party's Starting!

Thanks to the generosity of BSM Media, I was chosen to be one of the lucky folks to host a DisneySide Home Celebration Party. There were multiple themes available, but I was granted the one that made my son's entire week: Cars!

I let him be the first to see what was inside the Party Pack. He was thrilled, to say the least. Check out the unboxing video:


So what delights does that big box contain? Too many to list. Scope this.


Treats, toys, and coolness galore...even Twinings Tea, which I ADORE. Here's a bit of a breakdown.

This is the decor items. Most cool.


This is the toys included, for prizes:


The kit had a little bit of everything, from a Mickey Mouse cake pan with baking supplies to fabulous hostess gifts like ALL detergent. My son was terribly disappointed that I had to put it back in the box. As I was in the process, I got a visitor in very appropriate attire:


Next step: The official planning. And it's going to be big time. With this kind of party pack, I want to make the folks at Disney Side Celebrations proud!

I received free products for sharing and review purposes. My opinions and the very cute Minnie-jammied kid are my own.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters: An Addiction You Can Be Proud Of.

When Crowdtap offers me free chocolate, I'm not exactly going to turn it down. This one, however, I wasn't completely sure about. Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters, Berry Medley Flavors.

Photo courtesy of brooksidechocolate.com

What caused my fear? The first part. I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate. It's a rare version that brings the same happy that milk chocolate does. But I do love dried fruit, so I didn't hesitate to break it out and go to town.


This candy. Oh my God, this candy. It's immediately addicting, and the combination of chewy dried fruit and the crunchy clusters combined with the smooth dark chocolate is just sublime. It makes you feel good about choosing it in more ways than one...it actually contains calcium and iron.

If you really want to work it out, go all the way like I did, using it as a topper for my blueberry coconut milk yogurt. Antioxidant punch, and such a great flavor combo. It makes breakfast into dessert.


Oh, and they're portable, and kid-friendly, too. Just ask my daughter, who took them hostage and refused to return them. Nothing like some chocolate and a good book when you're on a roadtrip, am I right?


Did I say it tastes absolutely awesome? I did. So, anyway, go get some. I'm not kidding. You really, really want this candy.

I received a free product from Crowdtap for testing and review purposes. My opinions and candy-thieving toddler are my own.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Eye Shadow + Built-in Primer: Have Your Look and Keep It, Too!

Love working a cool eye look, but hate it when your shadow creases and downright disappears? Me too. Thanks to Crowdtap, I have a solution. Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Eye Shadow + Built-in Primer!

Image courtesy of neutrogena.com

Yes, the primer is included in the shadow. One less thing to do when you're rushing out the door, and you can still look fabulous. It goes on nice and smooth, because it also contains moisturizing ingredients. You not only look gorgeous, you stay gorgeous. There are six different palettes...this is called Smoky Steel.

Here's my look:


The best part? It LASTS. I have a super oily T-Zone, and that usually means I have to redo my eyeshadow if I want to keep it going  into the evening. No problem here...it looked just as great eight hours later as it did when I applied it. No irritation to the sensitive eye area, either, and it came off easily with my usual eye makeup remover. It's ophthalmologist-tested, by the way, so it's not just pretty words on my part.

Make your day easier and more glamorous, and give Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Eye Shadow + Built-in Primer a try. Pick your fave color combo here.

I’m a member of the Crowdtap Neutrogena® rewards program, and Neutrogena® sent me a sample of its Long Wear Eye Shadow to review. - See more at: http://www.neutrogena.com/product/nourishing+long+wear+eye+shadow+-+built-in+primer.do?sortby=ourPicks#sthash.WjXzjWHW.dpuf
I’m a member of the Crowdtap Neutrogena® rewards program, and Neutrogena® sent me a sample of its Long Wear Eye Shadow to review. - See more at: http://www.neutrogena.com/product/nourishing+long+wear+eye+shadow+-+built-in+primer.do?sortby=ourPicks#sthash.WjXzjWHW.dpuf
I’m a member of the Crowdtap Neutrogena® rewards program, and Neutrogena® sent me a sample of its Long Wear Eye Shadow to review.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SparkPeople 30-Day Realistic Resolution Challenge and Gorton's: Nothing Fishy About This Healthy Start. Plus, Giveaway! (CLOSED)

So I was invited to participate by Gorton's (Yes, the fish people) in the Sparkpeople 30-Day Realistic Resolution Challenge, and I thought the same thing you're probably thinking: What the heck is that?

First, a bit of background. From the website:


"At SparkPeople, our mission is to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to reach their goals and lead healthier lives. We offer nutrition, health, and fitness tools, support, and resources that are 100% free, while other sites like Weight Watchers and eDiets.com charge their members for similar services.

 We also believe in (and invented the term) Healthtainment ®, where we combine health with motivation/entertainment to help people make a true lifestyle change."

The 30-Day Realistic Resolution Challenge is an interactive area where you can log in every day and get a new #RealisticResolution. And no, it's not too late! Go here and sign up. No fee, none of that sass, just a fun new activity every day. If you complete them, you earn SparkPoints and fabulous bragging rights. The tasks are things that every workout should contain, like hydrating, and great healthy meal plans you can really get with, and fabulous recipes.

Do it.  Go now. I am. Your excuses are futile.

 But what about Gorton's? Well, they're sort of sponsoring it, and one of the ways you can rack up the SparkPoints is to give their new Grilled fish a try. And that's really no strain. Fish and seafood are a good addition to any health plan anyway, as they are a natural source of lean protein and vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc and vitamins A,B, and D.

Doesn't it look delish flaked on my salad? I can tell you, it certainly was. Expertly seasoned, flame-grilled and cooked up light and tender. Psst...it's also gluten-free! And if that hasn't sold you...go here and get yourself a coupon.


If gluten-free is a thing for you, check out more here. They have 11 varieties! And while you're exploring the Gorton's healthiness, check out the Simply Bake. Scope it...it's all packeted up to go right in the oven!


Is that also good? Fresh from the oven, in a nice sauce, and also tender and flaky. Yeah, it is. Have a peek at the salmon and tilapia!


Yes, noms are good, but you spoke of a giveaway?

I did indeed. There are tools to help you lead the SparkPeople way of life, and they are seriously cool. The SparkPeople Cookbook by Meg Galvin, The Total Body Sculpting with Coach Nicole DVD, and The Spark:The 28 Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit and Transforming Your Life by Chris Downe.



The cookbook has way too many recipes that I want to try, and a big factor for me, they don't require a ton of weird overpriced food items I can't find or define. Going with the theme, it's a realistic healthy cookbook. Very cool.

The Total Body Sculpting DVD isn't as scary as you'd think. Coach Nicole is fun to watch, and doesn't make me feel goofy like a lot of them. And yes, I did get off my butt and do it. For a while. Yes, really. It was really cool, and I felt like I got a good workout.

The Spark book...okay, you need to read this. The SparkPeople plan isn't just about getting healthy and losing weight, it's about making real change in your life, and shaking off the shackles that hold you back, both real and imaginary. It's a very inspiring read, and made me feel even more hyped up than the workout video.

So, my point is...? One winner gets all of these, PLUS a Gorton's insulated tote AND two free product coupons to get your OWN Gorton's Grilled Fillets and Simply Bake!


I know, right?

Oh, and by the way, if you like winning stuff, you can also enter the Gorton's Eat Smarter Sweepstakes for a chance to win $5000...just go here daily and fill out the form.

Not ready for the fun to end? Connect with Gorton's on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube and use #RealisticResolution to join the party!

Now hook up to the giveaway below and GO GO GO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway I received products for free from Gorton's for testing and review purposes. My opinions and somewhat poor workout techniques are my own.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

K-Y LIQUIBEADS Vaginal Moisturizer: A Magic Wand for Your Magic Night!

Due to the unending generosity of Smiley360, I was granted the pleasure - in more ways than one - of enjoying the latest innovation in personal lubricants: K-Y LIQUIBEADS Vaginal Moisturizer.


Thanks to the handy applicator, the moisturizer goes where it's supposed to, instead of all over your hands, sheets, bedside table, etc. It's very simple: tuck the bead into the applicator, and well, I think you can figure out where it goes.


Looks kind of like a magic wand, doesn't it? Which is precisely what it is. Thanks to the quality K-Y moisturizer, you don't have to worry about a thing in the heat of the moment. It takes about 30 minutes to dissolve, so there's time for a warmup. As far as comfort, don't fret, it's a fairly small applicator. Here's a size comparison with a ball-point pen.


I won't terrify you all with the details and just leave it at that it goes in with no problems and REALLY does the job, and keeps doing said job. It's even safe for use with condoms. This is a wonderful innovation in the romance department, and I highly suggest that you check it out.

I received products from Smiley360 for testing and review purposes. My opinions and TMI are my own.

Neutrogena Rapid Dark Circle Repair: It Means Business!

Neutrogena always seems to come up with some new and interesting products, and I was overjoyed to be chosen by Crowdtap as a member of the Neutrogena Rewards group to try one. Especially since on any given day, the dark circles around my eyes make racoons envious.

photo courtesy of neutrogena.com

And yes, that's really what it looks like. The applicator is a very soft brush, and you sort of paint it on. 

Here's me before. Pardon the odd camera angle, but I wanted for you all to get a good view of my ghoul look. You can see that the dark circles go WAY down.


And here is me again five days later, same light, same place:


The Dark Circle Repair seemed to reflect back light and diminish the dark circles, even on the first day. With each additional day, they faded a bit more. The effect lasted even after I skipped a day, which I think is pretty cool. It absorbs quickly, so it's easy to add to my normal routine...seriously, it was on, and bam, it was all set.  Other than a feeling of tightness, which I think was part of the deal, there was no irritation, and in fact, it felt cool and comforting going on. The brush is very soft, and doesn't tug on the skin around my eyes. 

It feels good, it's an easy add to your routine, and it works...I say go for it!

I’m a member of the Crowdtap Neutrogena rewards program, and Neutrogena sent me a sample of its Rapid Dark Circle Repair eye cream to review.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Boursin Cheese: Gourmet Taste Made Easy!

Thanks to Smiley360, my cheesy hostess skills were given a challenge: create a cheese plate using something new to me, Boursin Cheese. I opted for this flavor:

Courtesy of boursin.com

Creating the Perfect Cheese Platter (hints from Smiley360)

Three different cheeses make a cheese plate, but a selection of five is ideal. Anything more than six may cause palate fatigue!

It’s traditional to offer one hard cheese, one blue cheese, one semi-hard cheese, one “stinky” cheese, one soft blooming rind, and one herbal cheese.
 
Cheese plates should be served at room temperature. This allows the complexity of each cheese’s flavor to open up.

A well-rounded cheese plate features cheese and cheese carriers with a variety of textures. Consider serving rice crackers, pumpernickel or rye toasts, or kale chips with your traditional baguette.

And...this is what I created. Voila!


The Garlic and Herb Boursin Gourmet Spreadable Cheese is the star of the show, and included in the party is sharp cheddar, jalapeno jack, colby/jack, muenster, and swiss. I included an assortment of different flavored and textured crackers to transport the lovelies. It was a major hit. The Boursin cheese has a nice smooth texture, not too dense but not too soft, and a fabulous flavor combo that gives you new sensations with each bite.

I was packing up the leftovers when I received inspiration. The texture of the Boursin cheese reminded me of a fine ricotta. I wondered if it could be used in a lasagna.

Guess what? It totally can.


I cooked the noodles and spread the Boursin cheese mixed with shredded colby/jack on them, then followed with the usual lasagna procedure of layering noodles, sauce and cheese. This was the only pic I managed to get before the whole pan was gone...it was that good. The herbed cheese added a nice extra bit of flavor.

So cheese platter or creative cooking, Boursin is something you should try. It's a great way to kick things up a notch.

I received free product from Smiley360 for testing and review purposes. My opinions and cheesiness are my own.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Campbell's Products via Crowdtap: Playing with Food!

As a member of Campbell's Tasters on Crowdtap, I was one of the lucky ones who got to try out several cool new Campbell's products. Check it:

Courtesy of crowdtap.com

So it was time to get creative, and play with my food. First, the Creamy Parmesan Chicken Skillet Sauce. I immediately thought Tuna Casserole, and I went with it!


Simple to put together, too. Boil and drain two cups (dry) pasta. Drain and flake two cans of white albacore tuna in water. Thaw a cup of frozen peas. Mix the Skillet Sauce,tuna and peas together, then add the pasta and simmer until heated through. The Skillet Sauce is very rich and tasty, and adds the perfect touch to the blend of flavors.

Next, The Prego Light Homestyle Alfredo sauce. For that one, I also went for a pasta dish, but mixed it up a bit: Chicken Cordon Bleu Alfredo.


Another quick meal: Diced ham, diced white chicken breast, both cooked, the Prego Alfredo, and simmer. Serve over pasta and dust with a bit of Parmesan cheese mixed with bread crumbs. Bam. Dinner. Very creamy and flavorful, with a filling abundance of meat.

Chunky Beer-n-Cheese with Beef and Bacon soup. I know, right. Wow. It was pretty awesome on its own, but to really make a meal out of it, I served it over mashed potatoes with a bit of Colby/Jack cheese. Hot and satisfying. 


Then, the Soups for Easy Cooking Savory Portobello Mushroom Soup. I found a recipe for Beef Stroganoff Portobello that looked interesting. A footnote at the bottom said that it also worked well with chicken. So that's what I did.


I found out a bit too late that I didn't have regular noodles, so I cooked and sliced up some lasagna noodles instead. Helpful hint, if you're like me and find yourself with half a box you can't seem to get rid of. Very flavorful and delicious.

The Swanson Cream Starter:I tried the recipe for Creamy Lemon Dijon Chicken, found here. I didn't have capers and shallots around, so I added a bit of onion powder and peas instead. Very good, with a nice citrusy kick.


The Spaghettios Micros, an easy to microwave version without the can, was shanghaied by my little ones...they were very happy to try it for me, and pronounced it delicious.


This item right here had me stumped...I couldn't think of a thing to make.


But then I was looking at "Queso" and thought, exactly. Brown some ground beef in chopped onions and jalapenos, mix with the Creamy Poblano and Queso soup, 1/2 cup of Cheddar/Jack cheese and a couple of tablespoons of milk, and bake in a 350 oven until nice and bubbly. I served mine with crackers, but it would work with a lot of different things. Spicy and tasty...a nice sturdy dip.


Finally, to end my sampling experience in a nice, warming, soothing manner, hot Slow Kettle Style Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup with Herbs and White Meat Chicken in my office as I write this up. SO very nom.


I enjoyed trying all the products, and will be getting them again to continue the experience...especially since my family wants repeats of the recipes!

I received products from Crowdtap for testing and review purposes. My opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

SO Delicious Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Milk: You Won't Miss the Moo.

My latest foray into culinary fabulousness via Moms Meet takes me down a dairy-free road, and I skipped the whole way. Here it is: Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Milk from SO Delicious!


Yes, it's yogurt. Sort of. No dairy, as I said, but yogurt. So what did I do with it?

Well, I started with dinner.


A chicken marinade and Broccoli Cheese Twice-baked Potatoes, made with the unsweetened type.

For the marinade, inspired by this recipe:


 1 cup SO Delicious Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Milk, unsweetened
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 teaspoon lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon salt

    Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth. Use immediately, pouring it over the chicken in a raised-edge pan. Bake in a 400 degree oven until chicken is cooked through and the sauce forms a light crust.

It has a spicy, tart flavor that is really delicious.

For the potatoes, inspired by this recipe:


    2 medium russet potatoes
    1/2 cup SO Delicious Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Milk, unsweetened
    1 cup broccoli, steamed and chopped
    1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, separated

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. See the trend here? All can go in together.
    2. While the oven is preheating, puncture the potato multiple times with a fork, and bake in the microwave.
    3. Once potatoes are cooked, slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop the potato flesh out of each of the four potato halves and put them in a bowl, leaving four skins. Place the four empty skins alongside each other on a greased baking sheet.
    4. In a medium-sized bowl, mash the potato. Add the SO Delicious, broccoli and half of the cheese, and stir well to combine.
    5. Scoop out the mixture and evenly divide it onto the four potato skins.
    6.  Evenly sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and bake for about 20 minutes.

I'm not a huge broccoli fan, but I really liked these cheesy, creamy sides.

Ah, but what about dessert? Sure...let's do cake!


 A fabulous coffee cake, or as my kids called it, the Honey Cake...since it contains honey. Inspired by this recipe.

Topping:

3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used peanuts and sunflower seeds)
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon honey, warmed
2 tsp cinnamon

Cake:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup honey, warmed
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cup  flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup SO Delicious Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Milk, unsweetened Vanilla flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 8 by 8-inch baking pan.

To make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the nuts, flour, honey, and cinnamon.

To make the cake:

1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter. Beat in the honey and eggs.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat portions into the butter mixture, alternating with the yogurt. Beat in the vanilla.

3. Pour half of the cake batter into the baking pan. Cover with half of the topping, then add the remaining batter, and top with the remaining topping. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

SO Delicious Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Milk has a great creamy texture, and is a wonderful dairy-free substitute for sour cream and yogurt. It's pretty darned tasty, as well. Only 60 calories per serving, and since it's made with coconut, free from most allergens as well. Not to mention soy-free, gluten-free, and made using only organic Non-GMO Project Verified coconuts. Check it out. Really.

I received products from Moms Meet for testing and review purposes. My opinions and now messy kitchen are my own.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Kleenex Anti-Viral Tissues and Tissues with Lotion: Everyone Has to Blow...Do It With Style.

Beautifully timed with the weather taking a turn for the worse, Crowdtap chose me as a member of the Kleenex Brand Believers to give my opinion on Kleenex Anti-Viral Tissues and Tissues with Lotion. Yeah, tissues can be cool. See?


Let's get to it. What's the deal with Anti-Viral tissues? Well, it's quite simple.


This is a tri-layer tissue, and the middle layer is moisture activated, aka operates on booger power, and kills 99.9% of cold and flu viruses. Now, catching your sneeze or cough in a tissue is a great way to keep germs to a minimum and a courteous thing to do, but this is like giving that kind move a superpower. Not to mention, they are SO soft and sturdy. In short, keep these things within close reach. I have a box on my desk, and of course, in the car, to catch the runny noses of my tiny plague carriers, namely, my children.


Speaking of the children, one other cool thing about these tissues: Box Tops! I know I save them.


Now, on to the Tissues with Lotion. There are other lotion tissues available, so how do these qualify as cool? I'm glad you asked.


Honestly, I love the box design. I know that means bupkiss to your nose, but since I like to have tissues out and available all over the place, if I can find cute box designs that I like, it does sway my choice.

As far as what my nose knows, they are FABULOUS. TMI, but I go through a lot of tissues. If I don't have a cold, I have allergies. If I don't have allergies, my toddler has decorated the kitchen with pepper again. Yes, that has happened more than once. Don't get me started on what she did with the tumeric. Anyway...

This means I sneeze. And blow my nose. And cough. A LOT. I'm also a multiple sneezer. And I HATE when a tissue gives up the ghost and I get gross stuff elsewhere. Kleenex Tissues with Lotion not only can hold up to a sneeze fit, but it feels so sleek and soft that I want to rub it on my cheek. Before using it, of course. And the lotion does the job of avoiding irritation around my nose, but doesn't leave a residue if I use it for something else. It's very well balanced.

Both types of tissues have their own roles, and I think they'll be keeping their spots in the future.

I’m a member of the Crowdtap Kleenex Brand® rewards program, and Kleenex® Brand sent me this product to review. My opinions and sinus issues are my own.