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 all about making lasting memories.  

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.  


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bubzies Etsy Shop Review

As I've mentioned on my blog previously, handmade items are special to me and one of my favorite gifts.  I just love the fact that you're receiving something that is unique to you and not available in stores.  When you create something catered to the recipient you know it is given with love.  Now is a perfect time as any to make that gift that your friend or relative will absolutely enjoy.

Bubzies is an Etsy Shop ran by owner Megan.  She creates custom free-standing 5-6" decorated wood letters that are just out of this world.  Each letter is personally cut, sanded, and painted to give a professional smooth finish.  All sides of each letter is detailed to perfection so there are no raw or unfinished edges.  Megan then uses only the best paints, patterns, and supplies to ensure you receive a quality product.  She works with you to create the design of your dreams, using your chosen colors and patterns. These free-standing letters would be great for a classroom as well as a nursery.  Spell out your child's name in the colors or theme of your choice to display on a bookshelf or a cubby.  Not to mention the letters would make a fabulous birthday present for a child.

As I start to decorate my daughter's nursery, I'm always on the lookout for unique items to put in her room.  When I came across the letters, I was very excited.  I knew that the letters would look great on top of a bookshelf in her room.  I worked with Megan to create letters that matched the green and pink colors of her room.  She knew I wanted to incorporate flowers, chevron and polka dots among other things into the letters.  The letters turned out absolutely beautiful and are made with love and dedication.  I love how each letter has a different personality and the set is a perfect conversation starter.

This isn't my daughter's name, but a similar example as to what her name looks like. 

As you can see, the set is so fun and full of personality.  My daughter's name is on the longer side so it takes up more room on the bookshelf but that is not a problem.  The letters are incredibly solid. You could even hang them on the wall if you wanted them out of reach of little hands.  I'm extremely satisfied with how the letters came out and I look forward to enjoying them for years to come.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Bubzies for providing me with complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are strictly mine.  


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Michal Negrin Giveaway

If you've been a long time reader of Sammi's Blog of Life, than you know I'm very into jewelry.  Shopping online is something I frequently do, and lately I've been buying a lot of sparkly accessories.  I've had the same accessories for a long time and I'm looking to spruce up my jewelry armoire.  My jewelry style would be best described as fun and includes chunky necklaces and earrings, as well as large bangle bracelets.  I can't pass up a cute cocktail ring either!  Have you thought about adding some new pieces to your jewelry collection lately?

Michal Negrin is an artist and jewelry designer who creates unique, decorative items that offer a romantic style.  Not only does he create jewelry, but clothing too.  Talk about a woman of many talents! The jewelry categories are earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and watches.  Michal also offers hair jewelry and brooches too.  The colors he uses are bright and vivid and full of personality.  The theme of the jewelry seems to be on the girlier side; featuring lots of flowers and sparkles.  I personally think it's beautiful though! Why not treat yourself to a beautiful new pair of earrings or a bracelet today? It's just what your jewelry box needs.  

Check out some of my favorite pieces from his collection:

As you can see, the pieces are all different and represent the diversity in his collection.  Of course they are all beautiful too.  Anything from Michal Negrin makes a wonderful present for yourself or a friend. Go ahead and indulge in the jewelry today.  


Monday, August 25, 2014

Now is a Perfect Time to Check Out Freeway

Everyone loves to win, it's a simple fact.  Although some of us are luckier than others, it doesn't stop us from trying.  There's nothing quite like testing your luck and winning fabulous prizes.

If you have an iPhone, you really must check out the Freeway app.  This recently released free app is a new kind of product discovery application where you have a chance to win daily.  It's designed to connect you with new products you love, and gives you an opportunity to win them for free by playing fun games.  From high tech electronics, to fitness equipment, to fashion and accessories and more. It's simple, you get to choose the products best suited for you.  There are over $50,000 in prizes to be given away!

Tell your friends and spread the word because everyone loves to win prizes.  Go ahead and try out the app today.  Who knows, maybe you'll even win a prize you've been wanting to buy!

Check out Freeway on Facebook and Twitter.

*DISCLOSURE* I received monetary compensation in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paper Ramma Etsy Shop Review

I've been focusing my free time lately on getting the nursery ready.  My daughter is due in just 3 months and time is flying by.  Now that her furniture is here, the next step is decorating the room.  The walls are green and pink with matching pink curtains done by the previous owners who had a little girl.  One solid pink wall has a hand-painted safari mural on it.  The walls are just screaming for art and prints and that's just what they'll get! I plan to make the nursery as special as possible.  After all, it's my first child!

Paper Ramma is an Etsy Shop ran by owner Amanda.  The store specializes in luxe designs and art prints meant for nurseries and weddings.  All items are truly one of a kind and not anything you could find in stores. Amanda's prints are so beautiful and range from silhouettes and quotes to spiritual messages and more.  The colors she uses are so bright and vivid and the images are printed on quality artstock which looks best when put behind framed glass.  Amanda is open to custom orders and will gladly work with you to match a color to best fit a room for nursery. Why not check out her shop today to fill up a blank wall you have in your home? I bet it's just the piece you're looking for.

When looking for art prints for the nursery, I knew I wanted something feminine and with bright colors. Flowers were a definite bonus, as well as polka dots.  I stumbled across the beautiful You Are My Sunshine nursery prints.  I fell in love with them and knew they would make a fabulous addition to the nursery.
Just put these 11x14 beauties into a black frame and you are good to go!

The prints came in the mail the other day, but I have not had time to frame them and hang them up just yet.  I absolutely love them and know exactly where I'll be hanging them up.  I feel that the colors are not only rich and bold, but cheery too. They lift your mood and will certainly catch your attention when you walk into the nursery.  The quotes are cute and I feel perfect for a baby's room.  I am impressed with the quality of the artstock.  It's incredibly sturdy and high quality, definitely printed with care.  I am looking forward to hanging up the frame art to admire whenever I want.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Paper Ramma for providing me with complimentary art prints in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Cutie Pie Kids Names Etsy Shop Review

Ever since my husband and I have chosen our daughter's name, I've been on a mission to obtain personalized items for her.  I remember having pencils and a jewelry box with my name on it when I was a child.  It was fun and made you feel special.  It would be nice to transfer that feeling onto my daughter.  Since her name is common but not overly common, I'll never have to worry about many girls in her class who all have the same name.  Now is a great time as any to personalize an item for your child to make them feel special. 

Cutie Pie Kids Names is an Etsy shop ran by owner Lynn.  She specializes in providing beautifully personalized, hand-painted children's room signs, necklaces, and ornaments.  All of her products are crafted from quality hardwood or birch plywood. Lynn does signs for both a boy and a girl's room.  She doesn't just write their name, but also includes a cutout next to the name.  You can choose from a firetruck, train, soccerball, or dinosaur for a boy's room, just to name a few choices. For a girl's room, you can choose from a butterfly, cupcake, crown, or even ballet slippers.  If you prefer no cutout, that is okay too.  I love that each sign is made to order and unique to your specifications.  These signs make perfect birthday or Christmas gifts for a child.

Since I know I'm having a girl, it's time to break out the glitter and pink everything.  I was very excited when I finally found out it was a girl since little girls things are just so cute.  I browsed through Lynn's designs and decided to go with a sign that had a cupcake cutout on the side.  It was just too adorable to pass up.

This is NOT my daughter's name, but the example that I based my choice off of.  I won't be revealing her name until she's born.  

I am not going to post the exact design I received because it contains my daughter's name.  My design looks just like this one.  I love the soft pink background, it's the perfect color for a baby! The dots on the background add personality, but nothing takes the cake (or cupcake!) like the cutout on the side.  Just look at that adorable glittery cupcake, it's way too precious. I'm a big fan of cupcakes myself so this instantly appealed to me.  The sign has pink shimmery tulle attached to it for easy hanging.  I need to find a tack so I can hang up the sign on her door.

I'm extremely satisfied with the quality of the sign and know that it will look great on the door to my daughter's room. I highly recommend Lynn's Etsy shop for any of your sign needs for children.  Now all I have to do is wait for her to arrive!

*DISCLOSURE* I received complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  


Pregnancy Update Week 25

Hi all!

I thought I'd give you an update on my pregnancy so far.  I have 15 weeks or less to go.  When I stop to think about it, it's gone fast and slow at the same time.  I have 3 months left and I hope the next few weeks and months go by quickly.  I'm trying to write everything down so I can look back and remember at a later point.  I do frequently write in a pregnancy journal, but a blog offers much more space!

Some news since I last updated you at 18 weeks:

-It was finally confirmed that we're having a girl at about 23 weeks! My husband and I have chosen her name, but it won't be told publicly until after she's born.

-I have all of the big ticket items already for the baby (stroller, car seat, pack n play, etc) and the furniture for the nursery has started arriving too.  I'm really excited about doing the nursery and can't wait to share pictures!

-The baby has so many clothes already and I've already started hanging things up in her closet.

-I've started feeling the baby kick and move around a lot!

How I feel:

-I have good days and bad days.  Lately my sciatic nerve pain has been bothering me among other aches and pains.  Some days I don't feel great at all and other days I have all the energy in the world. My doctor told me that it just gets worse the further you progress so I know I have some uncomfortable days ahead of me!

-I finally caved in and bought a pregnancy pillow which has helped my sleep tremendously.

Weight gain:

-At 25 weeks I've gained about 15 lbs.  I am satisfied with this although some days I feel very large! I plan on enrolling in a local gym after the baby is born to get back into shape. I have had no cravings this entire pregnancy and don't expect to have any at all.

Looking forward to:

-My husband and I have been reading the baby books and trying to get as prepared as possible.  We're signed up for a basics of infant care class at the local hospital in October, so hopefully that will give us more insight.  I think it will be very helpful.

-Setting up the crib and decorating the nursery.  I'm also excited to buy more baby items and feel as ready as possible.

-Meeting the baby! I'm curious as to what she looks like, and I'm really ready for her to come!

-Buying a baby book.  I can't wait to write in it and record all of her firsts. 


-I hope our dog Carolyn will be okay with the baby.  She is my first baby and is insanely spoiled.  She gets so much attention and I know she'll be jealous.  I just hope she doesn't act out.  We're trying to let her into the baby's room more just to be in there, as well as letting her smell the baby's toys and books.  We tell her those are for the baby, and we use the word baby a lot.  I don't know if she understands even the slightest amount, but I'm trying.  I'm reading up on articles that provide the best advice for introducing a pet to baby.  Hopefully she'll love the baby quickly.

-Labor.  I don't do well with pain.  I joke to everyone that I want to wake up and have the baby be born, but have felt nothing.  If only it were that easy! Hopefully my labor will be uneventful and the level of pain be kept to a minimum.

I think this is all for now.  I'll be sure to give you all another update in 5 weeks, when I'm 30 weeks!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Boot Butler Review

As sad as it is to say, summer's winding down.  Pretty soon it'll be September and we'll be experiencing cooler temperatures.  I'm certainly not a fan of the cold, but I do love Fall clothes like boots and scarves. You can't forget about Fall themed treats like hot chocolate and pumpkin muffins! I'm excited just thinking about it. I have three pairs of boots that are my absolute favorite, but that doesn't stop me from wanting more.  Boots are so comfortable and versatile. I think that everyone should welcome the new season with a pair of new boots, it's practically mandatory! 

The Boot Butler is a boot storage rack that organizes boots in half the space, supports the boot shape, and keeps it from creasing.  If you're the kind of person who has their boots unorganized in their closet or thrown on top of each other, this is the product for you.  It hangs in your closet, allowing you visibility of all boots at once.  You'll never have to worry about your boots getting damaged or dirty again.  It's time to showcase your favorite pairs and make them the star of your closet!

Ooh, those boots are really cute.  I'd love to add them to my collection!

I was sent a Boot Butler for review. Upon receiving it, I knew it would be perfect for me. I've never been great with keeping my boots organized because they are so big and take up so much room.  I recently moved into a new house with a closet that is much, much smaller than my last.  When I think about my old walk-in closet, I get sad.  I miss it! The Boot Butler is perfect for keeping small spaces contained. 

The Boot Butler was easy to install, and in minutes I had all of my favorite boots hanging right before my eyes. Gone were the days of unorganized chaos on the bottom of my closet.  All of the boots were securely hanging and sturdy, what more could I ask for? I like how everything was contained in one unit and the added bonus of having the Boot Butler protect my shoes was fantastic.  I've been looking into buying a new pair of brown flat boots for the Fall season because my current ones are older.  The new pair will certainly join its friends in the organizer.  

If you're trying to be more organized or at least organize your closet, the Boot Butler is calling your name loud and clear.  The best part is that if you have an extra space on the Boot Butler, go ahead and fill it up with a gorgeous pair of black stiletto boots.  You can thank me later. :)

*DISCLOSURE* I received a complimentary Boot Butler for review.  All thoughts are my own.  


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Check out Lucite International's Pinterest Contest!

Everyone loves contests and sweepstakes.  Of course we love them even more if we are the lucky winner!

This week, Lucite International, owner of the LuciteLux acrylic brand, launched a Pinterest giveaway to bring attention to its 2nd annual Just Imagine Awards program.  Did you know that last year's winner was Light at Play who created the radiance dome? This immersive LED dome design served as a 1,000 square foot dance floor at the 2013 Burning Man Festival.

This year you're in for a real treat.  Follower's of the brand's Just Imagine Awards board on Pinterest have a chance to win the grand prize of a personalized iomoi tray made in the US with LuciteLux. Additionally, 9 other winners will receive a Tour de France-inspired bicycle ring made in England with Perspex (known as LuciteLux in the US.) 

The iomoi tray combines colorful designs with the simple beauty of clear LuciteLux to make a true statement piece to fit any decor. 

What are you waiting for? Head on over to their Pinterest or Facebook page for further details.  Maybe you'll be the lucky winner!

*DISCLOSURE* I received monetary compensation in exchange for this post. 


Office Depot Foundation Giveaway

Most children these days have gone back to school.  If your child still has a few days left of summer break, help them enjoy it to the fullest.  The best part about back to school season is getting a new backpack, lunchbox, school supplies, and clothes. I'll certainly enjoy buying all of the needed items for my daughter for school in a few years from now.  Kids usually are ready to go back by this point to see their friends.  Make sure your child has a wonderful first day back at school!

Office Depot is an instantly recognizable company to many and they are known throughout the world as a company with a heart.  Throughout their history, they have distinguished themselves through their support of charitable organizations and worthy causes on a national and local scale.  The Office Depot Foundation supports programs that enhance quality of life for children, strengthen communities, encourage local and international economic growth, and empower schools and non-profit organizations.  The foundation helps continue their legacy of helping out when disasters strike, and doing what they can to speed up the process of rebuilding.  The Office Depot Foundation is a very admirable company that is doing wonderful things for individuals and communities.

It can be hard for children to look forward to the new school year if money is tight for their families.  As school begins around the country, the Office Depot Foundation is helping deserving children like these start school off on the right foot.

In 2014, the foundation is donating 350,000 sackpacks to children in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and a number of other countries through its National Backpack Program.  This program is now in its fourteenth year.  The specially designed sackpacks come in seven bright and colorful designs that are new for 2014. Each one includes a zippered pouch containing a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler, and four crayons.  The sackpacks do not have any Office Depot Foundation or Office Depot logos or marking on them.

One of the Office Depot Foundation sackpacks would be a very useful thing for your child to bring with them to school.  They will surely enjoy the pencil, pen, and crayons.  It's essential that every child have a fantastic school year.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Head Said Etsy Shop Review

Lately, I've been on a kick for handmade items for my daughter's nursery.  The color of her room is green and pink, so I've been looking for items that tie into those colors.  As I've mentioned before, I think that handmade items are much more original and special to own than store bought.  When you give someone something that you made, it will mean much more to them than anything that can be purchased at a retail outlet.  When's the last time you made something as a gift for a loved one?

The Head Said is an Etsy shop which offers unique and crazy crocheted hats for all kinds of uses including photo props, newborn shots, and costumes.  The shop also sells handmade afghans, mittens, and drink mitts.  The hats range from animals and characters to color patterns and even bowling pins! I love the unconventional choices offered and there's something for everyone's liking.  The shop owner crochets wonderfully and each hat is made to order.  Go ahead and surf on over to the shop today!

As I was browsing around The Head Said, I noticed something unique that piqued my interest, a crocheted baby bunny available in any color of your choosing.  The bunny was so adorable and I knew it would look great on top of my daughter's dresser.  Not to mention, it was the same shade of pink as her room! I would say it was fate.

How absolutely adorable is this bunny? It's hand crocheted single stitch with double yarn.  This allows the toy to be very sturdy and easily played with.  The eyes on the bunny are plastic safety eyes attached with a washer on the back.  

I received the bunny very quickly and couldn't get over how cute it was.  I've never seen a crocheted animal before and I was impressed.  The quality of the work was top-notch, which is to be expected because the shop owner has been crocheting for over 33 years! The shade of light pink is very pretty and perfect for a child.  It looks great in my daughter's room and I imagine she will enjoy playing with it.  The bunny is very sturdy and will last for years to come.

Even though Easter is many months away, it would be fun to put these in your child's Easter basket next year.  It's much better and longer-lasting than candy! 

*DISCLOSURE* I received a complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  


Friday, August 15, 2014

The Baby Box Co Review

As my due date inches closer, I'm buying more and more for the baby and getting prepared for her arrival. We have all of the main essentials like the pack and play, car seat, clothes, bottles, etc.  Pretty soon the furniture for her room will arrive and I'll be setting up the nursery.  I've been buying books for her for months now, and her bookshelf is rapidly filling up.  It's important to not forget the little items that babies need like swaddle blankets, bibs, crib blankets, etc.  Thankfully, The Baby Box Company has all of the smaller items covered for you.

The Baby Box's mission is to give expectant mothers throughout the world the very best start for their baby. The founders enable them to reduce stress and feel confident that they are well prepared for this new and exciting chapter in their life.  For every box that is purchased, a portion of the proceeds goes towards helping a new mother who is struggling to make ends meet.  The Baby Box Company offers four differently priced boxes filled with baby essentials.  Each box has similar items including swaddle blankets, healthkits, bibs, burp cloths, socks, pacifiers, etc.  Depending on what box you choose, you may receive multiple quantities of those items. Whatever box you select comes with a baby mattress with waterproof cover and 100% cotton sheet.  A baby box makes a perfect baby shower gift for the mom-to-be.  The recipient will love so many essential and helpful items all together in one box.

I received the Classic Box for review.  When the box showed up at my doorstep, I was excited to open it and see everything that was inside.

That's one huge box! I know you're wondering what's inside, so I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Open up the owl box and you'll find the following items:

1 baby mattress
1 lovey
2 BPA-free pacifiers
1 onesie
1 muslin swaddle blanket
1 healthcare kit
1 pair of socks
1 terry cloth bib 
1 natural washcloth
1 pair of mittens
1 newborn cap 
1 natural burp cloth

Not a bad haul, right? The owl lovey is just perfect for that soft and cuddly friend a baby needs.  I loved the adorable star printed swaddle blanket.  This will certainly come in handy for swaddling in the first few weeks of baby's life.  It is also very convenient to have as I didn't have a swaddle blanket before.  I was very excited about the healthcare kit. The thermometer and all of the other contents of the healthcare kit are essential for baby's health.

I already have a few pacifiers but it's always smart to have extra on hand, so I liked that another two were included.  The blue bib was slightly disappointing to me because it was a plain and average item.  A lot of the other items featured a cute print or design and this was ordinary.  I felt that a better bib could have been included and it didn't fit in well with everything else sent.   

All of the other items included will certainly come in handy for baby like the newborn cap, the mittens, and the burp cloth.  I'm excited at the fact that this kit has helped me to check off some remaining items that I needed to buy.  It's always a good feeling to be well prepared for whatever new challenge or role you've accepted in life, whether it's a new job, new baby, etc.  

Treat the mom-to-be in your life to a box from the Baby Box Co, she'll absolutely love it and it'll make her feel one step closer to having everything ready for baby.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to The Baby Box Co for the complimentary box in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Clevamama Giveaway

Babies require many items in the beginning of their lives.  You'll have no shortage of diapers, wipes, bibs, blankets, burp cloths, pacifiers, and the list goes on and on.  You'll always find something that is essential for their care and well-being.  Since babies can be messy, you may find yourself washing and sanitizing their belongings regularly.  Making sure that your baby lives in a clean environment is mandatory for their health and safety.

Clevamama is a multi-award winning Irish owned and family run baby business.  If you're looking for a unique baby product, chances are you'll find it at Clevamama.  The company offers baby items in the categories of bathtime, bedtime, feeding, and safety.  The products designed are smart and geared to make life easier for you.  How about a Clevawedge that allows increased elevation to help reduce effects of colic & reflux as well as aiding digestion for your baby? The Clevarinse shampoo rinse cup allows you to keep shampoo and water out of your child's eyes at bathtime.   Anything from Clevamama makes a perfect baby shower or new baby present.  Go ahead and introduce Clevamama into your life today, you'll be so happy you did.

Everyone knows that babies love pacifiers, but what we don't love is the fact that they offer a breeding ground for germs.  Children put them into their mouths, and then put the pacifier on the floor or somewhere else equally as dirty.  You can only hand wash or boil pacifiers so often, especially if you're cleaning them one by one. Nobody wants to spend so much time sanitizing them. What is the solution, you ask? Don't worry Clevamama has you covered.

The SootherTree is your answer to clean and sterilized pacifiers all at once.

The SootherTree will soon become your best friend.  This handy little product allows you to clean and sanitize 6 pacifiers in 60 seconds at once in your microwave.  Gone are the days where you're scrambling to find a clean pacifier for your screaming baby, all of their pacifiers can always be clean at the same time.  The unit includes 2 free orthodontic pacifiers.  A handy feature of this product is that you can leave the pacifiers hanging on the provided hooks so you always know where they are.  Moms, rest easy knowing that the SootherTree is BPA free and totally safe for your little one.  Go ahead and sanitize those pacifiers to your hearts content!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Personalization Mall Review

Personalized gifts are truly special and one of the types of gifts that I love.  Of course I am not opposed to a gift that was picked out at a mass retail outlet, it's just more special when the gift giver goes that extra mile.  For our first dating anniversary, my husband gave me a scrapbook filled with pictures of us with his thoughts and memories about that specific picture.  I still have it six years later and it's very important to me.  The next time you give someone a gift, why not make it one they will remember for years to come?

Personalization Mall offers personalized gifts for birthdays, Christmas, weddings, babies, and much more. Anything you could truly want to be personalized is available.  How about giving your wife a personalized photo frame with a picture of the family in it for Mother's Day? Don't forget personalized golf clubs for Dad's birthday, and personalized flower pots for Grandma's garden too! The categories range from kitchen and office to school and home decor, with everything in between! The quality of the products are superb and the personalization is top notch.  If you need a birthday present for a friend or relative in the near future, go ahead and consider a gift from Personalization Mall.

Since my first wedding anniversary is coming up on August 31st, I wanted to do have something special to give my husband for it.  We already have many framed pictures of our wedding, but we don't have a special wedding frame to commemorate the big day.  When I stumbled across the Mariposa String of Pearls Personalized Wedding Photo Frame, I knew I found the frame that was perfect for us.

Insert smiling faces here.

The simplistically, classic design of the Mariposa frame is an elegant compliment to any couple's wedding photo.  You can personalize the frame by engraving the couple's first or last name on the top.  There is room for an optional second line below for a wedding date or small sentiment.  The frame holds a 5x7 picture and can be ordered horizontally or vertically, depending on your preference.  It comes in a blue box featuring a silver ribbon for a beautifully presented gift.  It's the perfect wedding or engagement present for that special couple.

I tried to take a picture of the frame I received but the engraving was too light to be picked up by the camera.  My frame is the same as above except it says Sammi and Jay on top, and August 31, 2013 on the bottom. It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since we got married! I do wish that I had chosen the horizontal option of the frame because it's going to be harder to find a picture that fits vertically.  I'm currently looking for the perfect picture to put in the frame, the one that will look the best.  The frame is just beautiful and it has some weight to it so you know it's sturdy.  It's handcrafted in Mexico and made of 100% recycled materials.  The silver is shiny and full of life, while the gorgeous border of pearls adds a true touch of class. The engraving is very special and I love that it's not just an ordinary picture frame but one that holds meaning. My husband also loves the frame and thought it was a very thoughtful gift.

As soon as I find a picture that I like, I'll be putting the frame on the mantle above the fireplace.  The silver frame will pop against my black fireplace.  Everytime I look at the frame, I'll remember my husband and I's big day for years to come.  You can't beat that memory.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Personalization Mall for the complimentary product in exchange for my review.  All thoughts are my own.