Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beautiful Beginnings 3D/4D Ultrasound Review

When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I thought about was whether the baby was a boy or a girl.  When I found out it was a girl, I was extremely excited.  Of course the next thing everyone wonders is what the baby looks like.  Luckily technology has come a long way and you're now able to see what your baby looks like on the inside! The only thing you have to wait for next is for the baby to arrive.

Beautiful Beginnings is a 3D/4D non-diagnostic ultrasound studio located in Scarsdale, New York.  The studio focuses on creating memories that last a lifetime.  Beautiful Beginnings offers different ultrasound packages for moms depending on how far along they are.  For example, if you're between 15 and 20 weeks, you can find out the gender, listen to the heartbeat, and see your baby on the big screen.  There are other packages to choose from if you're farther along than that.  Each package offers printed pictures, pictures on a CD to upload online, and a recorded DVD of the entire ultrasound.  The DVD can be recorded with music of your choice, or Disney lullaby music that the studio provides.  Pregnancy is such a special time in your life and the memories are priceless. Bring your family and friends in to witness your precious baby moving in real time on the monitor.  Any package from Beautiful Beginnings makes the perfect baby shower gift.  Go ahead and give them a call today to book an appointment.

I had the pleasure of visiting their ultrasound studio today for an appointment.  Since I am now 29 weeks, they told me this was a perfect time to come visit.  At this stage, the baby is developed and active.  As soon as my husband and I walked into the studio, we felt warm and welcomed by the staff.  It's a small and intimate studio which was perfect for our needs.  

At this point, my husband and I were very much looking forward to seeing what our daughter looked like.  I've had regular 2D ultrasounds but they surely wouldn't compare to a 3D/4D ultrasound! The tech was very friendly and immediately let us hear the baby's heartbeat.  She confirmed it was a girl, which we knew.  My daughter had her arm over her face at the beginning of the session which wasn't conducive for capturing images.  With unsuccessful attempts at trying to move her, the tech recommended I get up and walk around and drink some water.  After this, we tried again and the images were much better, despite her being very active and moving a lot.  We were able to see her facial features which was so exciting! Her chubby cheeks were so cute and the tech mentioned she looks like she has a lot of hair. 

It was very surreal to see my daughter's face on the monitor since she is still in my belly. The tech was able to capture some very clear images which I loved. I'm very thankful that technology like this exists. I will treasure the DVD and the images and look forward to showing my daughter in years to come.  I can't wait for her to be here, just 10 weeks or less now! 

I had a wonderful experience at Beautiful Beginnings.   I highly recommend them if you're looking to see your angel on the big screen, it's such an awesome experience! 

Please check out their Facebook page as they're always having promotions that can save you 10 or 15%.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Beautiful Beginnings for providing me with a complimentary appointment in exchange for this review. All thoughts are strictly my own. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

#GetGoing with Delicious Jif to Go Anytime and Anywhere

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Jif To Go Dippers. I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.

While I don't have children already, my daughter will be here in just a few short weeks.  Fast forward a couple years ahead and she'll be busy with pre-school and activities.  Going from one activity to another and also fitting in playdates will be tiring.  You can't forget also making sure the house gets cleaned and dinner is ready on time too.  When you're on-the-go a lot, it's important to make sure you have snacks on hand for when anyone needs them.

Jif is everyone's favorite peanut butter brand whether you like it smooth or crunchy.  I've been an avid consumer and lover of Jif for years, and have had the pleasure of seeing them introduce many new products.  If you take a trip to the peanut butter aisle of your local grocery store you'll find Jif spreads, almond and cashew butters, hazelnut spreads, whipped peanut butter spreads and more. Whatever product you choose, I can guarantee it will be a fabulous spread choice for your bread.

Recently, Jif has introduced new Jif to Go Dippers.  These handy and portable snacks are just the what you need if you're craving a treat.  Choose from Jif creamy peanut butter with pretzels, or chocolate silk peanut butter with pretzels.  Everything is self contained to make snacking on-the-go a breeze.  Throw one in your purse or a mid-day pick-me-up at work, or they make the perfect sweet treat for your child's lunchbox too. 

Jif wants to award one lucky winner $1,000 in their new #GetGoing photo contest.  You can enter your picture for the chance to win $1,000 towards your next adventure.  You can find full contest details here and you're allowed to enter until October 1st.  

I know that if I was awarded $1,000 I would use it towards a family trip next summer.  My daughter would be about 7 months old then and it would be easier to take her on a trip.  I'm thinking a trip to the beach would be wonderful.  Where will you go on your next adventure?

Don't forget to follow Jif on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lovey Letters Etsy Shop Review

One of the main components of a nursery is beautiful decor.  Yes, furniture is important but the real star of the show is the accessories and how you decorate it.  Whenever I see a nursery, my eyes immediately gravitate towards the color scheme and art on the walls.  Now that I've been heavily decorating my daughter's nursery, it's more important to me than ever to make sure I design it as best as I can.  This is my first child after all and I want everything to be perfect!

Lovey Letters is an Etsy shop ran by owner Leah.  The inspiration for her shop began when she found out she was pregnant with twins after years of struggling to conceive.  She knew she wanted something special and unique for her children's room.  From that thought her idea for creating personalized and custom wooden wall letters was born.  With help from her husband, Leah hand-makes each letter by hand, individually cutting and sanding them.  There are options for both a boy and girl's nursery.  You simply send her a picture of your nursery color scheme and she will work with you to create the name of your dreams.  You can style and design each individual letter so it is truly tailored to your taste and needs. Whether you want hearts, polka-dots, or flowers for a girl, or stripes and solids for a boy, there's nothing she can't create.  The wall letters make a beautiful statement piece in any child's nursery, and make an equally wonderful baby shower gift.  Go ahead and let Leah create the piece of your dreams today.

I was fortunate enough to be able to receive wall letters for my daughter's nursery.  She's now due in 11 weeks or less, so I'm counting down and making sure the room is perfect for her arrival.  My husband and I have finished setting up her furniture, so now we're focusing on decor.  There was a blank wall above her changing table that I knew had to be filled with something unique and special.  Simple prints just wouldn't cut it.  When I stumbled upon Leah's shop, I knew this was just what I needed.

Leah was instantly warm, friendly, and wanting to please.  I sent her a picture of the color of my daughter's room and told her I was interested in polkadots, chevron, flowers, etc. Anything girly you could think of, I requested.  This is my first child and she's a girl, how could I not go nuts?! Just a few short days later, I received a proof for my approval.  It was just beautiful and I felt so lucky that I was going to have something so beautiful for my daughter's room.

The letters came yesterday and were so much more beautiful in person.  The picture did not do them justice at all.  I chose the smallest size available since her room is small, and the walls are not too wide.  I put my husband to work putting them up on the wall.  I couldn't wait for them to be hung!

Each letter is just beyond gorgeous.  The pink theme carried through perfectly and I love how each letter has a different personality.

Look at the detail on each letter, it's incredible! Each letter has a sweet ribbon that attaches to a nail for hanging. Yes, I've also finally revealed her name!

Leah's creativity, talent, and dedication surely shines through in this piece.  I can't imagine how long it takes to create each name, but I can assure you it's not quick.  The letters are made very well and extremely durable.  I can see them lasting for some time.  The colors are bright and vivid and of high quality. I'm very excited that my daughter has such a unique piece in her room that can't be bought in any store anywhere.

I'll be enjoying the wall letters for years to come, and I hope she likes them when she's older too.  If you're looking for a custom piece for your child's nursery, please don't hesitate to contact Leah.  She's waiting to create a work of art that will blow you away.

Don't forget to check out her new website

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Lovey Letters for providing me with a custom piece in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are strictly mine. 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cold-EEZE Giveaway

When cooler weather is on the horizon, everyone knows that it's time to protect yourself against sickness.  Being sick is awful, and when we are under the weather we want to get better as soon as possible.  Returning to normal, everyday life is every sick person's first thought.  Wouldn't it be nice to cut your sickness in half and get rid of that cold quickly? Make sure you protect yourself against illness this Fall.

Cold-EEZE cold remedy products are clinically proven to reduce the common cold by nearly half and are formulated with zinc gluconate. Nobody likes being sick, but thanks to Cold-EEZE, you will feel wonderful all through the cold weather season. Cold-EEZE is available in lozenges, oral spray, and quick-melts.  The newest members of the Cold-EEZE family are Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy Plus Multi Symptom Cold Relief and Flu Quickmelts. If you're looking for a product with proven results, Cold-EEZE is your go-to medicine. Keep these products in your medicine cabinet for quick access when you need them most.

To help protect against sickness in the upcoming Fall season, Cold-EEZE wants to offer one lucky reader a get well sooner care package containing the entire family of products.  Your medicine cabinet will feel like its won the medicine jackpot! 

All products are perfect for throwing into a child's backpack.  If you're traveling throw them into your carry-on for quick access.  Don't forget to also keep some in your purse or glove compartment in your car.  Let Cold-EEZE make you feel better when you're at your worst. 


Monday, September 15, 2014

Exergen Review

When you have a sick baby the only thing you want to do is make them feel better.  Trying to take a child's temperature can be a real challenge especially if they fight it.  You know that monitoring their temperature if it keeps rising is paramount for their safety.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could have an accurate reading without disturbing them? Let your temperature dreams now become a reality.

Exergen is the creator of the first temporal artery thermometer.  This thermometer is the leader in industrial and medical temperature technology.  It's time to throw out those old under-the-tongue thermometers, they are truly a thing of the past.  Technology has evolved and advanced leaving us with products that make being a parent easier.  The Exergen temporal artery thermometer gives an accurate temperature with a gentle forehead scan.  In seconds a digital reading appears on the screen of the thermometer.  It's fast, accurate, and best of all non-invasive.  The thermometer is #1 pediatrician preferred and the method of choice of premier hospitals.  You won't have to worry about fighting with your child or sick baby to get a confirmed reading anymore.  Moms' you know this is a big plus in your book! The thermometer is an essential item that every parent should own.  Go ahead and put one in your bathroom drawer today.

Now that my daughter is due in just 11 (or less!) short weeks, I know that I'll eventually have to deal with a sick baby.  I can only imagine how I'll be the first time she's sick, especially since I have no prior experience.  I'm sure I'll be nervous and concerned! I'll feel much more confident to take her temperature with the temporal artery thermometer, since I won't feel like I'm hurting her.  The temporal artery is directly connected to the heart via the carotid artery.  It has the constant blood flow needed for accurate measurement, and provides the safest and most comfortable place for measuring temperature.  

To take a child's temperature, all you do is press and hold the button and lightly scan across their forehead.  You then release the button to read the temperature reading.  A wonderful feature of the product is the soft-glow display.  You can take a sleeping child's temperature in the dark and not disturb them, which is wonderful.  The lit display will display the temperature, but don't worry it's not bright enough to wake them up.  If you want to keep track of past readings, the product has an 8 temperature memory so you can make sure the number doesn't keep going up.  The programmable beeper and also programmable F or C reading is very handy.

The unit is compact enough to easily fit in a bathroom drawer or cabinet, or in a purse for on-the-go use. I know I'll need this in the near future and will feel confident in taking my daughter's temperature! 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Exergen for providing me with a complimentary thermometer in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

SBC Brewery Review

I always look forward to going out to dinner every Saturday night.  Of course I enjoy getting a break from cooking too! Since there are so many restaurants in my town, there always seems to be a new one to try.  Each restaurant always offers a diverse menu of options to satisfy anyone's taste and palette, which is my favorite part.  If you haven't gone out to dinner recently, why not treat yourself tonight?

If you're looking for a restaurant that not only offers fabulous food but an on site brewery too, SBC Brewery is certainly the place for you.  The restaurant has three locations in Connecticut including Milford, Southport, and Branford. When you walk in you'll immediately notice the brewery that is creating the 27 varieties of beers that will delight your taste buds.  The atmosphere is cozy, friendly, and ideal for having a meal or even just beers with friends or family.  Open the menu to discover a range of tasty options including burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and more. Don't forget to order up some mouth-watering appetizers like nachos or wings.  Stop in today, your server awaits you.

My husband and I visited the location in Southport last night.  As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly hostess staff.  The manager Matt was alerted of our arrival and came to meet us. He was ready to answer any questions we had about the menu or the beer list too.  Oktoberfest just started at the restaurant last week and runs till the end of October. There's a special Oktoberfest themed menu which we were told the restaurant is promoting. If you're looking for German options that you can only order for a limited time, this is the menu for you.  
One pumpkin creme brûlée, please. 

I love the beautiful range of colors. 

Our drink orders were taken while we perused the appetizer list.  My husband loves beer and the manager recommended he try a flight, which is a mini sampler of light and dark beers. Each sample is only 3 ounces, which is perfect for trying new flavors and finding the one you like best.  I loved the presentation of the drinks and thought that the tiny glasses were cute, I don't think my husband was thinking the same thing though! He enjoyed having the opportunity a variety of different options and declared that one of the dark beers was his favorite.

The beer arrived while we perused the appetizer list.  How do you choose between choices like clam chowder, French onion soup, wings, shrimp, or even bruschetta? It's very hard, but you have to do the best you can.  I opted to go for something a little out of the ordinary, Bavarian pretzel sticks.  Soft pretzels make everything better so I knew I picked a good option.  My husband went for the traditional option of wings. We decided to split both, rather than just each have our own.

Soft pretzels and wings, what more could you want out of life?

The pretzels were absolutely phenomenal.  To say I enjoyed them is an immense understatement.  I did not want to share. I didn't even want my husband to ask to try them, that's how good they were.  These long sticks of heaven were soft, buttery, and warm.  They had just the right amount of salt on them to give them the salty flavor they needed.  When you bit into one, you were met with a fluffy center with a salty, buttery exterior.  If you think you could even have just one bite of these and stop, you're wrong. You are very wrong.  I didn't even try the mustard dipping sauce that came with them, they were fine on their own and didn't even need it. The only thing I wish is that the plate held 100 pretzel sticks instead of just 3.  Hey, we can all dream.

The wings were also extremely tasty and not too spicy.  I do not like spice at all, but was able to handle the level of spice the wings brought to the table like a champ.  The little fried wings were smothered in orange buffalo sauce and cooked to beautiful perfection.  I loved the satisfying crunch that the wings gave due to being fried, and the meat was juicy and tender.  Each wing offered a lot of meat to satisfy your inner carnivore.  The blue cheese dressing is a great way to kill the spice if you're looking for a milder option.  

Our entrees were brought out next.  I went for a chicken Milanese sandwich, while my husband ordered the sausage sampler from the Oktoberfest menu.
Fries, I love you.

This sandwich offered breaded chicken blanketed with a layer of cheese.  A bed of arugula was placed on top of the chicken, while the top piece of bread was slathered with pesto aioli. You can't forget the generous portion of perfectly crispy fries served with the sandwich either.  If you're not interested in the fries, you are not human.  I always say that fantastic bread really helps to bring a sandwich together.  This bread didn't disappoint in the slightest. It had a wonderful firm chewiness to it.  The juicy chicken was perfectly breaded and the breading helped bring texture to the chicken.  Chicken and cheese is a classic combination and this pairing was no exception.  Of course the pesto aioli added a creamy boost of flavor that was welcomed.  The fries were fabulous and bursting with fabulous potato flavor.  They were perfectly crispy and piping hot, just the way I like them.  

My husband's dish was right up his alley.  He is a big lover of meat and sausage and I knew he'd go nuts for this.  If you're looking for a hearty portion of sausage, I would highly suggest this meal.
Sausage lovers unite.

This dish offered a generous portion of bratwurst and knockwurst with veal and garlic sausage.  The meat was grilled and served over a freshly-made potato pancake on a bed of apple braised cabbage.   My husband said the meat had a wonderful smoky flavor that he couldn't get enough of. The mustard was excellent and just what sausage needs. Each bite was bursting with seasoning that made his stomach very happy.  The potato pancake was crispy with a wonderful flavor that was the perfect light accompaniment to a heavy meal.  In no time, he scarfed down the food like his life depended on it.  He barely spoke while eating it, so I think it's fair to say that there were no complaints!

As the meal winded down, it was time for dessert.  This is my favorite part of any meal. Who doesn't want to end a meal with something sweet? The waitress recommended the pot de creme, which is a new addition on their dessert menu.  That's just what we chose.

Chocolate fanatics please come forward.

This is not your traditional chocolate dessert by any means.  This pot de creme offers a fluffy, light whip cream topping drizzled with caramel sauce.  There's a rich chocolate like custard underneath that is certainly the star of the show.  There's a surprise inside though. Small pretzels are dotted throughout the dessert which provides the perfect balance of salty and sweet.  The whip cream was cool and creamy and the perfect way to introduce yourself into a thick, sweet dessert.  Once you make it past the whipped topping, you'll find yourself in a world of chocolate.  Each bite offers a chocolatey bite of pure heaven that is sweet, but not overpoweringly sweet.  The pretzels are evenly mixed in throughout to ensure a bit of saltiness in each bite.  The tea and coffee that we ended the meal paired perfectly with this dessert.  The dessert was certainly a hit in our books.

Our server checked on us throughout the meal and was very attentive. Her friendly disposition made our meal a great experience all around. 

If you're looking for fresh food and friendly service that is sure to please, definitely make a visit to SBC if you're in the Connecticut area.  You'll certainly be back time and time again.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to SBC for the complimentary meal in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Be sure to check out SBC Brewery-Southport location on Facebook and Twitter


Friday, September 12, 2014

Blooming Bears Review and Giveaway

Everyone loves receiving flowers for virtually any occasion, but wouldn't it be nice if your standard flower delivery was spiced up a bit? Flowers light up a room and people instantly gravitate towards their beautiful bright colors.  Skip the requisite tulip delivery and surprise a friend or family member with something out of the ordinary that will really make them smile.

Blooming Bears are truly flowers with personality! This company specializes in floral sculpturing and has taken an average floral delivery and added a fun and whimsical element to it.  They create bears that are made entirely of a variety of multi-colored flowers, but are open to custom requests too. Delivery is available only in the five boros of New York City. Blooming Bears are dedicated to creating fun and memorable arrangements that impress and make a statement. They've certainly done that!  Every arrangement has its own personality and character.  The bears come in a beautiful woven basket that you can re-use.  Be prepared to water the flowers every three days, and they last about ten days. Now that Fall is upon us, how wonderful would it be to have a Fall themed bear floral arrangement as your Thanksgiving centerpiece? These bears are perfect for just about any occasion including a birthday, graduation, work, event, baby shower and more.  Everyone will instantly fall in love with them.  I can only imagine how much a child would enjoy receiving an arrangement for their birthday.  Go ahead and order an arrangement for someone today, they will absolutely love it.  I can guarantee it.

The company was kind enough to hand-deliver my arrangement to my home.  It was extremely nice of them since I live in Connecticut and they usually only deliver to NYC and the surrounding boros.  The owners showed up at my door with a gorgeous Fall themed basket holding an adorable flower bear.  The colors used in the arrangement were red, orange, and yellow which just scream Fall.  I absolutely loved the sweet little pumpkin that was in the basket too.  If this wasn't the perfect way to welcome Fall into my home, I don't know what is!

This sweet little bear instantly put a smile on my face as soon as I saw him.  The talent, hard-work, and dedication that goes into this arrangement is certainly recognizable.  I wish I had even a quarter of this much talent and creativity! Each arrangement is made by hand and takes about four hours to complete.  The end result is adorable and so worth it though.  Make sure you don't spray the flowers when you water them every three days.  There's a foam piece that the bear is attached to, so all you need to do is separate the flowers on the top and squirt water into them. Please visit the website for exact care instructions.  The water goes into the foam piece to water everything.  I like that you don't have to water the flowers everyday, it's one less thing for me to remember! It's essential to remember to keep the arrangement away from the sun and heat, it prefers to be chilly.  If you follow these steps you'll have a long-lasting gorgeous arrangement to admire daily. 

The flowers are high quality, fresh and smell wonderful.  If you're looking for flowers that have a vivid and rich color, you've certainly come to the right place.  The orange, red, and yellow flowers are bold and gorgeous.  Right now the arrangement is on my kitchen table and I truly love looking at the bear.  It's such a fun change from a typical standard flower arrangement.

If you're looking for a flower arrangement that will wow your friends and family this holiday season, please consider Blooming Bears.  They will make you beary happy.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Goodness Grayson Etsy Shop Review

As my due date draws closer, I've been spending more time getting everything ready for my daughter.    Her closet is filling up with clothes but I still need bibs, burp cloths, and other essentials.  Like I've mentioned before, I absolutely love personalized and monogrammed items.  They set baby items apart from others, plus who doesn't like having their names on things? I feel that every new baby should have as many personalized items as possible, it's simply a must!

Goodness Grayson is an Etsy shop ran by owner Jordan.  The shop specializes in handmade baby items that can be personalized with your baby's name or a phrase on request.  You can choose from burp cloths, onesies, bibs, and washcloths that come in a variety of styles, colors, and themes.  How about a burp cloth with your daughter's name and an owl on it, or maybe a whale bib with your son's name on it is more up your alley? Whatever you choose, it will be adorable.  The shop is open to custom requests if you want something different that's not already offered.  Jordan's handiwork is exceptional and of very high quality.  Anything from Goodness Grayson makes a perfect baby shower or new baby gift.

The shapes are hiding her name.  They won't tell the secret, even for $1,000.000.

I was sent a gorgeous set for my daughter containing a burp cloth, bib, and onesie.  Jordan picked the colors and theme for me so the end result would be a surprise.  I love surprises so this appealed to me.  I received the package very quickly and was delighted to find that she went with an owl theme.  How adorable! The sweet owl is perfect for a newborn baby. Everything came packaged together with a beautiful pink tulle bow. The bib had a chevron pink background featuring a multi-colored owl and my daughter's name on the bottom in script.  The onesie was white and had a salmon colored initial for her first name with her name in blue behind it.  Finally, the burp cloth featured the same owl and her name in beautiful pink script.  I absolutely love the set and it's very special to me that it's handmade. Anything homemade means much more to me than a store-bought item.

The stitching job was done well and there are no imperfections at all. I love the color combinations that Jordan chose, it's very girly which is perfect.  I can't wait to put her in the onesie, I know she'll just look adorable.  The bib and burp cloth will get a lot of use too once she is here.  It's a good thing that they are machine washable! I'm counting down until she's here, twelve weeks or less now!

If you're looking for fabulous personalized baby items, please surf on over to Goodness Grayson's Etsy Shop.  Jordan's waiting for your order now!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Goodness Grayson's Etsy Shop for the complimentary set in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Let Fall Into Your Home with Febreze's Fall Home Harvest Collection #FebrezeFall

Fall is certainly upon us! The weather is cooling down here in southern Connecticut.  I have to say I'm sad to see summer go, but a break from the heat is always nice.  Some of my favorite things about Fall include pumpkin treats, Halloween, apple cider, crunching leaves, and cooler nights.  I also love making cooler-weather related dishes such as soups and of course baking lots of yummy treats.  What are your favorite things about Fall?

Febreze is a brand of household odor eliminator.  It was first introduced in 1998 and manufactured only as an odor eliminator. The line has since branched out to include air fresheners, fabric refreshers, oil plug-in's, scented discs, odor eliminating candles, and car air fresheners. The plug-in's and candles come in many fabulous scents perfect for the fall such as falling leaves, cranberry cider, and apple and spice.  If you're planning ahead for the winter, why not delight your nose with scents such as winter frost and glistening pine?  There are many other scents that work all year round.  Putting a Febreze candle or oil plug-in in your home will make it a warm and cozy haven for all.  

Since Fall is on everyone's mind, Febreze invited me to introduce fall into my home with an adorable barn-shaped Scentspiration box.  This fabulous box contained a vent clip for my car in the scent of toasted almond, as well as a Febreze Noticeables warmer.  The warmer came with two scents, autumn harvest and vanilla latte.  I immediately plugged the warmer into the wall and the delicious scent of autumn harvest wafted through my living room.  Who wouldn't want their house to smell like the definition of Fall at all times? It made me want to bake a pie and have company over right away for a large meal.  A wonderful feature of the warmer is that you can adjust the scent setting to be strong or powerful, depending on your preference. I've never had any scented products for my car before but I really liked how the toasted almond smelled.  Let's just say I'm enjoying my drive to work in the morning a lot more now! 

The box also contained notecards offering fun Fall home ideas inspired by their Harvest Collection scent.  Febreze wanted me to choose an activity that would help bring Fall into my home even more.  I flipped through the cards and really enjoyed reading each one.  The beautiful pictures really draw you in.  The activities ranged from making a spiced orange or owl almonds to making a lollipop bouquet or even creating your own coasters! Each activity was very diverse.  I'm a big fan of arts and crafts and baking, so most of these activities really appealed to me. All of the activities are family friendly, so go ahead and get the kids involved too!

The owl almonds really appealed to me and I ended up choosing that activity. Not only were the almonds adorable, but they were made with chocolate.  Everyone knows that I am crazy about chocolate.  I am no Martha Stewart but I thought my almonds turned out pretty cute. They were easy to do and of course my stomach appreciated them even more.  This would be a fun activity to do with my daughter in a few years when she's older.

If you're looking to welcome Fall into your home, Febreze's fall collection would make the perfect addition!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to SheSpeaks/Febreze for this sponsored campaign.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prints and Printables Etsy Shop Review

My daughter's nursery has started coming together nicely.  My husband and I put together the changing table, and we're almost done with the crib.  The dresser was delivered today, so soon that will be constructed.  As the furniture is completed, the next step is decor.  I've been hard at work finding beautiful prints to adorn her walls with.  No room is complete without artwork! Whether you're decorating a nursery or redecorating a room in your house, make sure lots of art is included in the plans.

Prints and Printables is an Etsy shop ran by owner Shelby that offers nursery print and wall art along with playroom wall art and prints.  If you're looking for something kid friendly, you've certainly come to the right shop.  Whether you have a certain nursery or playroom theme going, you're bound to find a print that matches your needs.  Prints and Printables offers nautical themed art, quotes, space themed art, floral prints, animals, and so much more.  Browse through the pages and find what you like best.  The art comes printed on high quality 8x10 paper and will easily fit in any frame of your color choice.  Go ahead and make your child's nursery adorable, the print possibilities are endless.

As I was browsing the shop, I stumbled across a custom monogram 8x10 that I knew I had to have for the nursery.  The print is offered in virtually any color of your choice and displays the first initial of your child's name and underneath says "is for their name." So for example if your child's name was Ashley, it would say "A" is for Ashley.  How cute is that? The print can be made in a variety of options including chevron, polkadots, herringbone, plaid, and so much more.  Shelby is always open to custom requests if you had something else in mind.  She is willing to work with you to create a print that makes you happy.

I was sent a purple polkadot print that featured my daughter's name.  You know the drill by now, I'm not announcing her name until she's born. :) 

Example of what each texture looks like.

Here's an example of what my piece looks like.  Keep in mind this isn't my daughter's name!

My daughter's print is the exact same purple as featured above.  I love the combination of the white background, purple print, and black frame.  The 8x10 print was shipped fast and I received it undamaged.  It fits perfectly in the frame and in no time I had it up on a wall in her room.  The print is high quality and very clear.  It's adorable and I love the way it looks in her room.  I do believe it's a fun alternative to initials or actually spelling your child's name out.  It brings a fun and whimsical element to her room which I enjoy.

I am very satisfied with the print and now I just have to wait for her to arrive. I'm counting down, only about 12 weeks or less left now! If you're looking for wonderful prints to make your child's room or playroom a fun place to be,  please check out Prints and Printables.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Prints and Printables for a complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 


Monday, September 8, 2014

Ritz Giveaway

No party is complete without the staple party snack of cheese and crackers. If there isn't this requisite item at a party, it's not a true gathering! Make sure you have a fabulous cracker that is either buttery or bursting with flavor.  It's imperative that you also have a good brick of cheese to serve with the cracker, extra sharp cheddar works perfectly.  Beware, the combination is addictive.

Ritz Crackers are a brand of snack crackers introduced in 1934.  The crackers are circular in shape, salted lightly on one side, and have a small scalloped edge.  I've been enjoying the crackers for as long as I can remember.  I've always known them to only be offered in the original flavor, but now there are other flavors that have been introduced into the Ritz family.  How does whole wheat, roasted vegetable, bacon, garlic butter, honey butter, and hint of salt sound? You can't forget about Ritz Bitz either. The peanut butter variety has always been my favorite.  If you're looking for a healthier cracker alternative why not sink your teeth into low sodium, reduced fat, or whole wheat? There's truly no wrong way to enjoy a Ritz cracker either.  Whether you spread peanut butter or cream cheese on them, or even dip them in hummus, just make sure you enjoy it.  

Recently, Ritz has introduced Fresh Stacks.  The Fresh Stacks is a more convenient size of America's favorite flaky, buttery cracker. Each package contains 13 crackers and is a versatile addition to any school lunch, not to mention it makes snacking easier.  You can delight your taste buds with original, whole wheat, or everything flavors.  This will certainly make getting into the back-to-school routine for packing lunches much easier!

Go ahead and surprise your child with delicious crackers in their lunch that will make their stomach very happy!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fall is Approaching

Fall is approaching! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love summer and am sad to see it go, but I am a huge lover of Fall food and treats. 

I'm very excited about pumpkin donuts and treats, as well as apple cider.  I enjoy the Fall decorations as well as the temperatures cooling down a bit.

What is your favorite thing about Fall?

I absolutely love these pictures! Bring on everything Fall! 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cate McNabb Giveaway

I wear makeup on a daily basis, and do not let most see me without it.  Of course I feel that I look much better with it than without it! I don't just wear mascara or lipstick, but eyeshadow, mascara, foundation, etc.  I feel more confidant when I look put together, but doesn't every woman? It's always fun to search for new shades and colors that you didn't know were available.  Go ahead and experiment with your look today!

Cate McNabb wants you to look your best by offering vibrant colors in formulas stripped of pore-clogging and irritating additives.  There are no parabens or perfumes in Cate's products, just bold and beautiful mineral-based cosmetics that offer you a healthy, made-up look.  You can look wonderful when you use Cate's makeup brushes to apply her foundation, blush, bronzer, pressed powder, and eyeshadow.  Don't forget the lipsticks, lip lacquers, and glosses either.  All products come in a wide variety of shades and colors to compliment you best.

If you're in the market for a new lipstick, Cate McNabb has some fabulous options for you.  Her lip colors are infused with nourishing natural ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil for bold lips that always shine.  The new colors for Fall are Naked Truth, Guava, and LBD.  It's time to pamper your lips and give them a treat with a fabulous lipstick from Cate McNabb!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Netflix #StreamTeamAlert Sept 2014: TGIF Pizza and a Movie

Now that school's back in session, many families are feeling the chaos and busyness that the new school year brings.  The all too familiar routine of homework, sports practice, and other after-school activities makes it hard for families to fit in quality time together.  Why limit family time to just Friday nights though? It's essential to promote family bonding time and make memories together. Netflix knows that family is the biggest priority in life.

Netflix's focus for September is family traditions.  It's crucial to create a new family tradition this school year.  Whether you stick to Friday night pizza and a movie, or bring everyone together for Tuesday night TV time, it's easy to create a weekly night of fun.  I don't remember my family having a weekly tradition that sticks out in my mind.  Since I'm an only child, I didn't have to compete for my parents' attention though.  Now that I'm having a baby in just three short months, I've been thinking about creating family traditions once she's old enough.  I'm thinking about incorporating some Fall fun yearly once it gets closer to October.  I'd love to do Fall crafts with my daughter or decorate the house with some festive themed decorations years from now. I hope she'll like that!

If you feel like you have no time to actively schedule a true activity with your family, don't worry that's not necessary.  Just gathering everyone together for a quick 20 minute chat around the kitchen table or a fast board game is enough.  Having everyone talk about their day will surely create lasting memories and connections.

Netflix is here to help your family crowd around the television and enjoy entertaining selections together.  

For the big kids:

1. Strange Hill High
2. The Avengers
3. The Smurfs 2
4. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
5. Free Birds
6. Mako Mermaids: An H20 Adventure

For the little kids:

1. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
2. The Pirate Fairy
3. Hoodwinked
4. Angelina Ballerina
5. Bob the Builder
6. The Muppet Movie

For the teens (and you!)

1. Clueless
2. The Breakfast Club (One of my favorite movies)
3. Friday Night Lights
4. The Vampire Diaries
5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
6. 13 Going on 30

As you can see, there are many choices if you choose to have some TV time with the family. Whatever you choose to make your family tradition, the most important thing is that everyone's together.

*DISCLOSURE* I am apart of Netflix's Stream Team.  All thoughts are strictly mine. 


Monday, September 1, 2014

Harbour House Review

One of my favorite cuisines is seafood, especially shellfish.  I've never been a big lover of actual fish, but shrimps, scallops, lobster and clams is another story.  I absolutely love them! I would definitely consider pasta with seafood a form of heaven.  Whenever I dine out and seafood is on the menu, you know I'll be partaking.  When's the last time you enjoyed a delicious bowl of steamed clams or jumbo shrimp?

Harbour House is a wonderful restaurant located in Mystic, Connecticut. The property has just undergone an extensive renovation and is back open to delight your taste buds.  The restaurant serves fresh, seasonal, and local cuisine and is next to the Inn at Mystic.  The Inn does weddings and major events and the waterfront surroundings make everything even more beautiful.  If you're looking for a menu that offers you an eclectic mix of tasty options, you're surely in for a real treat.  How about wood fired pizza, a whole raw bar menu, or even sinking your teeth into a juicy gorgonzola-crusted filet of beef? Harbour House features 24 beers on tap along with an impressive list of signature cocktails made with only the freshest ingredients. Come on by and enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner fireside, or even on their newly built waterfront terrace. You'll have a wonderful view while you enjoy delicious eats.

My husband and I were in Mystic for the weekend for our one year wedding anniversary.  What better place to have dinner at than the Harbour House? From the minute we walked in, we were greeted by a friendly hostess staff. The vibe was very warm and welcoming.  The restaurant was very charming and cozy.  We were seated next to a big window with a gorgeous waterfront view and immediately ordered beverages. My husband chose a beer that he absolutely loved that was recommended by the waiter.

Fresh bread and olive oil was brought out next to enjoy while we ordered appetizers.  The bread was fluffy and freshly-baked.  The olive oil was flavorful and the perfect accompaniment to the bread.
So hard to resist you. 

The menu had an impressive list of appetizers and it took us a few moments to choose.  My husband finally settled on the lobster bisque soup, while I chose the Port Side flatbread.  This dish offered house-made pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, and mushrooms.  

Triangle slices of love. 

When the flatbread arrived, I was assuming it would be long rectangular slices, rather than triangle slices like pizza. I was surprised when I saw it.  The appetizer was very big and could be considered a main meal for one person.  Good thing my husband was there to help me eat it! The flatbread tasted woodfired and the thin crust was very crispy with a smoky flavor.  The cheese was piled on thick, which is just how I like it.  The pepperoni and sausage pieces were large and both had a wonderful meaty flavor.  The sauce was extremely flavorful with spices and tied together nicely with all of the other flavors. 

Grab a spoon and try it. 

My husband couldn't stop raving over the lobster bisque.  Not only was the soup beautiful, but it was creamy, thick, and full of large lobster chunks that were succulent. Those chunks were large and in charge!  I don't eat lobster bisque, but apparently most lobster bisques have a lobster flavor rather than actual pieces of the seafood.  He barely left time to breathe or talk before the soup was finished.  I'm sure he placed a new record for someone finishing lobster bisque that quickly.

Our waiter Tim was very attentive throughout the whole meal.  He routinely came back to check on us and make sure we were satisfied with everything. We ordered entrees next, I chose the pasta pappardelle with shrimp, while my husband requested a pasta with scallops dish.

Hello, shrimps!

Jumbo-sized shrimp love.

This dish offered wide ribbons of pasta with jumbo shrimp and chourico.  To accompany the seafood the flavors of white wine, olive oil, garlic, and aged parmigiano reggiano.  What I first noticed when my dish arrived was how big the shrimp were.  They weren't lying when they said jumbo! My husband enjoyed the sausage as I already had sausage in my appetizer and didn't want more.  The wide ribbon pasta was home-made and had a great chewy texture.  The olive oil and garlic flavors were very prevalent and complimented the shrimp well.  The shrimp was perfectly cooked and full of juicy flavor.  I was sad when all the shrimp were gone and wished more would appear! To say I enjoyed the dish was an understatement.  I highly recommend it.  

My husband had a pasta dish with scallops in a veal Bolognese sauce.  The grilled scallops were firm and cooked just right with a blackened, smoky flavor.  My husband said the flavor of the sauce and scallops were outstanding.  He could taste the richness of the veal in the hearty sauce instantly.  The pasta provided the perfect balance of chewiness to balance out the sauce and seafood. 

Look at the size of those scallops!

We were both stuffed at the end of the meal when the waiter mentioned coffee and dessert.  Anybody who knows me knows how much I love dessert, and it's always hard for me to turn it down.  Of course we said yes, and ended up splitting a fantastic chocolate cake.
Chocolate paradise. 

The presentation of this dessert was outstanding.  I love the ribbons of chocolate sauce on the plate. It's such a simple task but it really adds to the dessert.  The cake was the perfect size to share and I loved the round shape of it.  Do you notice the complex layers of the dessert? Each one had a different taste, but everything combined together to create a chocolate explosion in your mouth! The chocolate was cool, creamy and rich and bursting with sweet flavor.  What more could you want out of a dessert? This was truly a chocolate lover's dream.

My husband and I truly enjoyed our experience at the Harbour House and look forward to dining there again one day.  If you're looking for fabulous fresh food with wonderful service, look no further than the Harbour House.  Go ahead and make a reservation today!

*DISCLOSURE* I received a complimentary meal in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are strictly mine.