Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm a workin' girl!

Today was the first day of my new job! You'll notice I'll be posting at night now, after I get home from work. I'll be posting some fun reviews/giveaways this week.

Stay tuned!



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Apothic Wine Review

I'm not a huge wine drinker. I like the occasional glass when with friends or family though. Red wine definitely compliments a meal well and I feel it's best served over great food and lots of laughs with your loved ones. :)



Apothic has an interesting origin. More than 800 years ago, vintners blended and stored their most coveted concoctions in a mysterious place called Apotheca. In late 2005, a master winemaker envisioned an epic red wine combining old world traditions of blending while realizing a markedly new world style. Thus began the path that led his protégé, winemaker Boyd Morrison, to select grapes from California's bountiful vineyards for this new blended red. Morrison was inspired to blend spicy Zinfandel, with smooth Merlot and lush, dark Syrah to create Apothic Red.

I'm always interested to try new wines, so when I stumbled across Apothic I was very interested to try it. I was sent a 2009 bottle of Apothic red for review.


A captivating blend of three distinct grapes, with the dark fruit flavors of Syrah, brambly spice of Zinfandel, and a smooth elegance of Merlot.

Apothic Red reveals intense fruit aromas and flavors of rhubarb and black cherry that are complemented by hints of mocha, chocolate, brown spice and vanilla. The plush, velvety mouthfeel and smooth finish round out this intriguing, full-bodied red blend.

The first thing I noticed about this bottle of wine was the intriguing, yet mysterious design of the bottle. The entire bottle is black with a red top. Red and black are beautiful together and a classic combination. The label of the bottle was black and red too. It reminded me of Halloween. I kept the bottle at room temperature.

I poured myself a glass of the red beauty and prepared to be captivated by its interesting flavors. It smelled wonderful too. It was so delicious and by far the best glass of red wine I've had in a while! It was unlike any other wine I've ever sampled before either.

The fruit flavors were instantly recognizable and truly fantastic. I loved the combination of the many notes of flavor with the rhubarb and black cherry. What an interesting combination! The wine had such a full-bodied, robust taste that made all of the flavors taste wonderful together. The wine reminded me of Fall because it had a hint of spiciness which I loved. This would be a perfect after dinner or dessert wine. I will definitely be recommending this wine to anyone I know. It is truly fantastic. Pair it with a slice of chocolate cake and you'll be in heaven.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Apothic Wine for providing me this sample bottle of wine in exchange for the review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.





Teva Review

I wrote a Teva sneaker review a few months back. I was truly impressed with the quality and durability of the shoe. I knew I had to review more of their products. I feel very strongly about Teva's background and their company mission too. Teva truly cares about making a fantastic shoe with the consumer in mind and that means a lot to me.



Teva offers a full range of hiking, sport, casual shoes and sandals for men, women, and children. There are various styles and colors for anyone's taste and preference. A pair of sport or hiking shoes from this company would make a fantastic gift for the athletic individual in your family. Start your child or even infant off young with a cute pair of Teva sandals too.

Since it's cold in NYC and tends to snow a lot during the winter, I knew I needed a great pair of boots to trek through the snow with. I don't already have an authentic pair of snow boots and knew I need them. Teva suggested the Vero waterproof boot in dark gull grey.



T.I.D.E GRIP
◦Our White Spider Rubber sole will help keep your face a safe distance from the ground when the temperature drops.
◦Built on our versatile MXT platform, meaning spontaneous adventure is always an option.

T.I.D.E HYDRO
◦A waterproof leather upper can handle getting a little wet.
◦Our T.I.D.E Seal waterproof membrane will keep your feet (and socks) dry.
◦The gusseted tongue keeps water out.

T.I.D.E COMFORT
◦200 grams of Thinsulate insulation by 3M will keep your feet warm through all of your cold-weather adventures.
◦A zipper on the side lets you get in and out quickly.
◦Heel to toe EVA Strobel lasting (translation: there’s cushioning in this thing from the ground up).
◦A Shoc Pad™ in the heel makes for a smooth ride.
◦Our Mush® Infused Insole brings the absurd comfort of our flip flops into a boot.

It snowed today so I wore the boots to test them out. They took a little time to properly get them on and get used to wearing them. Once on, they fit me well and were very comfortable to wear. They were easy to walk around in and weren't heavy on my feet at all. The zipper on the side allows easy access for putting them on or taking them off. The neutral color of the boot is perfect.

The boots are designed very well and I am impressed. They are made for the upcoming frigid temperatures and snow that NYC will have. The shoe is insulated well with Thinsulate technology and will keep my feet warm which I am thankful for. It was about 38 degrees today and in normal boots my feet are very cold, but these boots kept my feet warm and snuggly. I loved it! I hate when boots are not warm inside and my feet are freezing. I love that the shoes are waterproof too and will keep my feet and socks dry if caught in the rain. My jeans tuck into the boots easily too. I feel confident that I can wear these during the bitter cold days and my feet will be properly protected.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Teva for providing me with these complimentary boots in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.





Friday, October 28, 2011

A Southern Girl in the Big City-Post 4

I'm dedicating this week's post to Halloween. Bring on the monsters, ghouls, and goblins!



What are your plans for Halloween? Will your child be trick-or-treating this weekend or on Monday night?

Halloween in NYC is very different. I grew up going door to door in my neighborhood collecting my sugary loot from various houses. The kids here go from store to store to receive their candy. They might start at the bank, then go to the drug store, then to the grocery store, etc. Obviously this is what the children are used to and they probably only see "authentic" trick or treating in movies or books. They do go from apartment to apartment in their building if the building allows it at least. The neighbors sign up if they want to give out candy. I find it a little sad that the kids here don't have the suburban trick-or-treating experience. There are so many kids in this city that the stores can run out of candy early. At least with a neighborhood, you can anticipate how many kids you'll receive from previous years and you can buy the candy accordingly.



I remember being able to go up to the houses myself with friends while our parents waited at the end of the driveway. They also knew the owners of the house and knew we would be okay. You can't do that here because you don't know who's around you and if any danger could possibly be lurking.

Even though I am way too old to trick-or-treat, I can remember how exciting trick-or-treating was and I always loved getting into my costume too. It's fun to see all of the kids' costumes as I walk the area I live. My favorite candy was always Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and 3 Musketeers. I always loved getting those in my pumpkin basket.

You can guarantee this will be me after Halloween.




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Digital Innovations Review and Giveaway

Since I'm on the computer throughout the day everyday, it's important to me to keep my computer in great working shape. It's not good for the computer to get overheated and not be able to perform properly. If the computer gets too hot it slows down and you won't be able to work properly. It's up to you to keep your computer running well.



At Digital Innovations, they believe in breakthrough innovation and best-in-class solutions. They have a passion for creating industry-leading, affordable consumer electronics care and maintenance products and a broad range of quality computer peripherals.

It all began in 1997 with the invention of the SkipDr®, the top-selling disc repair system on the market, and continues to this day as they reinvent themselves and add to their product line. In keeping with their entrepreneurial spirit, they continue to deliver unique, value-added products and services for their customers.

They generate industry excitement by inventing, developing, and marketing a quality line of products, solutions, and support to meet the unique product and service needs of customers. Theur goal is and always will be to deliver constant innovation and provide new ways to delight their customers.

Digital Innovations offers necessary electronic and computer products that any business or individual should have. You should regularly clean your TV or screens of your electronics with their special electronic cleaning kits. They have all of your computer needs with keyboards, mice, webcams, speakers, and more. They truly have what any computer or tech person needs. The products would make great Christmas presents too.

I was sent a portable lapguard with radiation shielding technology for review.



-Patent-pending technology substantially reduces exposure to harmful laptop radiation and heat
-USB cable organizer provides quick and easy storage
-Dual whisper-quiet fans help keep laptop cool for maximum performance and longevity
-USB powered for convenience
-Exceptional comfort in a light, ultra-portable package

This lapguard is perfect for me. I regularly use my computer in bed or on the couch and it gets hot after a few hours. I think it's because it doesn't have proper airflow.

The lapguard is a very modern and sleek black and grey. My computer fits easily on top of it. It's very easy to use, just plug it into your USB port and pretty soon your computer will be cool and comfortable. The lapguard is not heavy on my lap at all, it is very light. I've had cooling pads before that were so loud that you could hear it from the next room. The fans in this product are very quiet and you can barely hear them, which I like. My computer has drastically reduced in overheating since using this product, and I'm very happy about that.

I'm a big fan of the technology in the product that reduces the exposure to harmful laptop radiation and heat. That's something that I obviously don't like and I like that the product was created with consumer's concerns in mind. The lapguard does not affect the computer's performance at all. This is a product that everyone be using with their laptop constantly. It can easily be stored in a drawer or cabinet when the computer is turned off. The lapguard is small enough to easily travel with too.

I am thankful to now have this product. Everytime I use my computer, you can guarantee that the lapguard is underneath making sure that my computer is at its optimal performance.

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win a portable lapguard with radiation shielding technology.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me why you'd love to win this product. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

10. Add Sammi's Blog of Life to your blogroll (using my URL), with a link back to me! )1 entry)

11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

12. Follow Digital Innovations on Twitter for 1 entry
(http://twitter.com/#!/digi_innovate)

13. Like Digital Innovations on Facebook for 1 entry
(https://www.facebook.com/D.Innovations)

Winner will be chosen on November 10, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
I was provided a product in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.









Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Case Logic Review

It's important to me to keep my electronics protected. I want to ensure that
are housed in cases that provides the ultimate support and protection for them at all times. I also want to make sure my cases are stylish too and for that I turn to Case Logic.



Case Logic was founded in 1984 in Boulder, Colorado. Beginning with just two audiocassette storage cases, they helped create and expand the growing field of audio storage. Today, Case Logic offers a full line of portable and home storage accessories for CDs, DVDs, portable electronics, laptops, cameras and automobiles. Most recently, they have expanded into the travel and luggage market with backpacks, messenger bags and luggage. Known for innovative design and functionality, they provide the most complete selection of storage accessories in the industry.

Back in the 90's and early 2000's I always kept my CD's in a Case Logic CD case. I trust this brand for reliability, durability, and top notch products.

I recently bought a Kindle and could not find a case that I liked for it in stores. I found the perfect case on Case Logic's website and I knew I had to review it. I was sent the 7" eReader Sleeve with External Cord Pocket in red to review.


Product features:
•Compact neoprene sleeve allows you to safely transport a 7 inch tablet in any briefcase, messenger bag or backpack
•Durable, weather-resistant neoprene sleeve cushions and protects your electronics
•Screen protection panel between screen and cord storage helps to prevent scratches
•Outer zippered accessory pocket provides a convenient place to carry your power adapter, DVDs, cables and accessories

This case is absolutely perfect for my needs. First of all, I love the color. Red is such a fun, vibrant color and I feel that it reflects my personality well. My kindle fits perfectly inside and it securely stays protected and zipped inside. I won't have to worry about the kindle flopping around in it at all. The pocket on the top of the case is perfect for storing my charger or my travel clip light if I'm traveling. You can also keep money or credit cards in it too. The case is very light and has a thin, compact design. The case zips and unzips with ease. It easily stores in my purse or a suitcase for on the go travel. I am very satisfied with this case and I can't wait to give my kindle a new home in it!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Case Logic for providing me with this complimentary Kindle case in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.






Morphology Giveaway

The holidays are coming up which means spending time with friends and family. Board games are loved by everyone and they are easy and fun entertainment. Nothing is better than being surrounded by your loved ones sipping hot cocoa or a glass of wine and having some great laughs.



Morphology is a fun, creative and challenging party board game combining simple shapes, your imagination and creativity. Using wooden sticks, glass beads and colored cubes how would you create a butterfly, or airplane?
Now try doing it with your eyes closed or using only the string! Morphology takes unique twists and turns, and has everyone laughing out loud.

This would the perfect game to replace those party board games that everyone's getting tired of. Morphology is for ages 13+ and for up to 4 players. The game would be great for your child's next birthday or sleepover party too!

It seems easy to create everyday items but when you're given objects like a wooden stick and colored cubes, the task is not so simple. This game is all about having fun and being creative. What do you think your version of a pizza will look like? Put your mind to the ultimate test and see where it takes you!



Bring this game to your next get together and I can guarantee this will be the hot new party game!

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win a Morphology board game.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me how this game will fit in at your next party. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

10. Add Sammi's Blog of Life to your blogroll (using my URL), with a link back to me! )1 entry)

11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

12. Follow Morphology on Twitter for 1 entry
(http://twitter.com/#!/morphologygames)

13. Like Morphology on Facebook for 1 entry
(https://www.facebook.com/morphologygames)

Winner will be chosen on November 10, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
I was provided a product in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.

Carmex Review and Giveaway

Using Carmex in the winter is an absolute necessity for me. The wonderful lotions and lip balms keep all of my dry winter skin at bay. I always keep tubes of Carmex lip balm in my purse, in my bathroom, and in my nightstand drawer. I've been using Carmex for years and I truly rely and depend on the brand. I'm a customer for life! I always tell my friends and family about the brand too if they are unaware.



Carmex is a cosmetics company which offers various scents of lipbalms dedicated to soothe and protect your lips. They have recently branched out with a line of skincare which includes healing cream and healing lotion. Whether you prefer original Carmex lip balm, or even the new flavors of strawberry or cherry in a tube or a jar, they've got you covered.

Since I'm a part of the Carmex Blog Squad, I frequently get sent items to review. I recently received a small box and when I saw the Carmex return address label I knew it had to be good!

This is what I saw when I opened the box:

One 5.5 oz Carmex Healing Lotion
One 4 oz Carmex Healing Cream
One 1 oz Carmex Healing Lotion
One .75 oz Carmex Healing Cream

I love Carmex's presentation of their products. They package the products with care and dedication and are always presented in a fun way. I love the red and yellow crinkled paper to match the tubes of lotion! How clever.

I actually had a tube of the healing cream in my house before I was sent this kit, so I was aware of the product already. I had a rough patch on my hand at the time that just couldn't seem to stay moisturized with any product, so I went to the drugstore to investigate another product to help. I saw Carmex's healing cream and knew it had to be good. I started reading the bottle and saw that the cream could help repair your driest, roughest skin. Carmex and something that could take away my rough skin? I knew it had to be an awesome product! The product also contains 9 healing ingredients which is an added plus.

The first time I used the cream, I was very impressed. The thin tube was easy to grasp and had a very attractive label design which was not cluttered with information. The cream came out easily, rubbed in well, had a pleasant smell, and was non-greasy (which is an important factor for me.) I dislike when a product has a greasy feel that doesn't go away. My hand instantly felt smoother and hydrated. Within 3 times of using the cream on a daily basis, the rough patch was gone. I was very amazed because no other product seemed to do the job that Carmex could. This is why I feel so strongly about this brand. The healing cream would be perfect for dry, cracked elbows, heels, and ankles during the winter.

I was not aware of the healing lotion before I received it, but was interested in trying it. You're supposed to use it daily to soothe and protect dry skin. This is a product that I could always use more of. The product is also non-greasy and contains aloe and Vitamin E which are key nutrients your skin needs. The healing lotion is in a wider tube than the healing cream, which I am not sure why. The lotion comes out easily and rubs in well as well. I used the product on my legs and after rubbing the lotion in, my legs were so soft and smooth! They felt extremely moisturized. I know that my skin is receiving the nutrients that it needs from this product. These two products are going to be my key go-to winter solutions for dry skin!

The little tubes are perfect for throwing into your purse, storing in your glove compartment or desk drawer, or even traveling with. They are small and don't take up much space. Make sure wherever you are, you're never without Carmex when you need it!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Carmex Blog Squad for providing me these products in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win the same Carmex prize pack that I received.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me why you're a fan of Carmex. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

10. Add Sammi's Blog of Life to your blogroll (using my URL), with a link back to me! )1 entry)

11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

12. Follow Carmex on Twitter for 1 entry
(http://twitter.com/#!/carmex)

13. Like Carmex on Facebook for 1 entry
(https://www.facebook.com/carmexlipbalm)

Winner will be chosen on November 9, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
I was provided a product in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.



Flatout Flatbread Review and Giveaway

I love wraps and I constantly make them for lunch or a quick snack. They are easy and perfect on the go too. My favorite is a melted turkey and cheese wrap. Roll up your favorite deli meats and cheeses for a delicious lunch. For an untraditional use of the wrap, sprinkle some cheese and pieces of grilled chicken on a honey wheat wrap and cover it with another wrap for a quesadilla! There are so many different delicious meal ideas for a wrap.



Flatout Flatbread provides guilt free, delicious and healthy eating! Flatout offers a variety of products including Flatout Flatbread Wraps, Foldit Artisan Flatbreads & EdgeOn Flatbread Crisps. Revolutionize your sandwich, join the fun!

The wraps come in so many different varieties for anyone's taste and flavor preference. Whether you prefer honey wheat, original, or even rosemary and olive oil, they have you covered.

I was sent a Flatout Flatbread sampler pack of many of their products. I received baked flatbread crisps in the flavors of sea salt and garlic herb, classic white foldit sliders that are 47 calories each, and foldit rosemary and olive oil flatbread which is 100 calories each. I also received honey wheat 100% white whole wheat wraps that are 100 calories each, and foldit traditional white flatbread that is 100 calories each.



I love that the wraps and flatbread are low calorie and full of fiber and nutrients so you can enjoy them guilt-free. I put all of the wraps in the freezer as soon as they arrived because I can't eat all of the food before it expires. I've been pulling out a bag of wraps one at a time and finishing them before I take out another bag.

So far I have only sampled the rosemary and olive oil flatbread and the garlic and herb crisps. The flatbread is absolutely delicious. I think the most important part of a sandwich is the bread. I love thick and chewy bread, either the bread can make or break a sandwich. I had a turkey and cheese sandwich for lunch yesterday on the rosemary and olive oil flatbread. I layered on a few thin pieces of shaved turkey and a large piece of luscious muenster cheese. I took out my panini maker and turned the cold flatbread into a grilled treat that was the perfect warm temperature. I love my sandwiches warm and this one was absolutely perfect. The flatbread was thick but had a great chewy taste while still being firm. I loved those beautiful grill marks in the bread too. The cheese and turkey were heated together perfectly and truly complimented each other well. I could taste the rosemary and olive oil in the bread immediately and I loved it! Those flavors were perfect together and they are a classic combination. The flavors were subtle, not overwhelming at all.

I actually paired my sandwich with the Flatout garlic herb crisps. As soon as I opened the bag a wave of garlic rushed through my senses. It was heavenly. I love garlic and couldn't wait to try one! The crisps had a great crunchy texture and had the perfect amount of garlic on them. There was enough garlic to satisfy your garlic craving but not so much where it's almost spicy. I've had overdone garlic chips before and I did not like them. This was a perfect lunch and I can't wait to try more of the wraps and flatbread!

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win a prize pack of Flatout Flatbread products.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me which wrap flavor sounds the best to you. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

10. Add Sammi's Blog of Life to your blogroll (using my URL), with a link back to me! )1 entry)

11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

12. Follow Flatout Flatbread on Twitter for 1 entry
(http://twitter.com/#!/FlatoutBread)

13. Like Flatout Flatbread on Facebook for 1 entry
(https://www.facebook.com/FlatoutBread)

Winner will be chosen on November 9, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Make The Bread Buy The Butter Review and Giveaway

I love writers with a wonderful sense of humor. The more they can make me laugh, the better. I love to read humorous pieces, and I enjoy a writer who is witty. Jennifer Reese is a perfect example of that author.

Make The Bread Buy The Butter is a recently released book by Jennifer Reese. This book tells the often hilarious stories surrounding these kitchen-related experiments and offers a full picture of what is involved in a truly homemade life. Reese asks a handful of practical questions about each item to decide whether to make or buy: What’s the ultimate cost? How much of a hassle is it to make? And what about sustainability and animal welfare – what value should we place on knowing that our eggs came from happy chickens. Is it somehow ennobling to slaughter your own Thanksgiving Day turkey?



This book has a very refreshing perspective on what you should and shouldn't cook from scratch and why. Jennifer feels that you should make your own hot dog buns while buying your ice cream cones in store. She has hilarious reasoning and is very convincing.

The book offers 120 recipes with eminently practical yet deliciously fun "make or buy" recommendations. Reese is relentlessly entertaining as she relates her food and animal husbandry adventures, which amuse and perplex as well as nourish and sustain her family. Her tales include living with a backyard full of cheerful chickens, muttering ducks, and adorable baby goats; countertops laden with lacto-fermenting pickles; and closets full of mellowing cheeses.

Make the Bread Buy the Butter is a very fun read. I didn't look at it as a cookbook, but looked at it more as a collection of interesting stories. There are different chapters of the book for eggs, bread, cheese, milk, etc. For example, there is a whole section of how to make your own peanut butter. Reese never thought to make her own peanut butter but declared that Skippy brand peanut butter was good enough for her. She saw the homemade light and decided to save money and a trip to the store, and grind those nuts herself! Her recipes are very easy to follow and she breaks them down step by step for you.

Reese is a wonderful writer and her eloquent words flow effortlessly and fill page after page. I found myself truly enjoying what I was reading and I spent a good hour reading through the interesting book. I was actually inspired to make my own peanut butter! It was so easy to make and I loved the fact that I could control the taste and save money by doing so. I have a big jar of it in my fridge right now. :)

I feel that this book would be the perfect gift for anyone looking to make a lot of their staple foods from scratch. Make The Bread Buy The Butter gives you that drive and inspiration to take your homemade dreams to the next level!

*Jennifer Reese has been a professional journalist all of her adult life, working mostly for national magazines, and has been an avid, adventurous home cook for even longer, which she blogs about at the Tipsy Baker (tipsybaker.com) as well as for online publications like Slate. Reese also teaches cooking classes in Marin County, California, where she lives with her family*


GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win a copy of Make The Bread Buy The Butter by Jennifer Reese.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me why you would like to win this book. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

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8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

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(http://www.twitter.com/jenniferreese)

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Winner will be chosen on November 8, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.




750 Best Appetizers Book Giveaway

I love to entertain although I don't do it as much as I would like to. I have many cookbooks in my kitchen that I use when cooking. I love to pore through them gazing at the beautiful pictures of savory appetizers, scrumptious desserts, and fantastic entrees. I love to experiment in making new dishes on a regular basis.

750 Best Appetizers is a book written by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman. Throw those boring old appetizer cookbooks away, this one will blow all of the others out of the water!


This is the perfect appetizer book for any occasion. If you're starting to plan your Christmas or Thanksgiving menu in advance, please consider 750 Best Appetizers. Do you feel as though you always make the same appetizers or hors d'oeuvres? Why not spice things up? Create a luscious seafood crepe or cheesy dip to really get your party or event going. The recipes are easy to follow and the pictures are gorgeous.

The book is structured to cover a broad range of options. There are 16 chapters built around specific types of dishes, such as dips and spreads, or specific ingredients, such as fish and seafood or cheese. The book is also categorized by presentation, since it’s an integral component to appetizers, so you’ll find chapters like wraps and rolls.

A tray of appetizers always seems celebratory, and there is nothing like home-cooked food to make people feel welcome. Use this book to create hors d’oeuvres that will delight your family and friends — then relax and enjoy the party yourself.

My favorite recipes in the book are pancetta-wrapped scallops and walnut dusted cheese balls, they will sure to be a real crowd pleaser.



Be creative, try a new recipe and wow your guests!

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win a copy of 750 Best Appetizers.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me why you would like to win this book. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

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11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

Winner will be chosen on November 8, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Minus 417 Giveaway

Aging is truly no fun. We are self conscious about our looks and generally don't feel our best. We wish we could go back in time to have the skin and body of our youth. Does this sound like you? I hear this from people constantly. Aging is something we can't avoid, but we can control it.



Minus 417 is the lowest point on Earth and situated at 1,373 ft (-417 meters) below sea level, where time stands still. Minus 417 specializes in combining ancient knowledge with high technology. Their products are based on an optimal balance between the components proportions and their cosmetic effects. These products present a unique cosmetic development. The Vitamin Mineral Complex, a scientific combination of natural active components has energizing antioxidant vitamins and unique plant extracts from France. The plant extracts are designed to assist in regenerating skin cells and preventing signs of aging. All -Minus417 products are paraben and mineral oil free. For the first time ever they are now available to American consumers.

All of Minus 417's products are amazing for your skin and provide long lasting results. They also provide key nutrients and minerals that are key. I use their cosmetic products on a daily basis and I really love the way my skin looks. It's healthier, hydrated, and more vibrant than ever.

If you're searching for anti-aging products but don't know where to start, please turn to -Minus 417. They've created wonderful anti-aging products that just might be part of the fountain of youth!


Time control recovery A cream

A special intensive treatment cream fights wrinkles and signs of aging.
High concentration of retinol (vitamin A) that plays essential roles in appearance of skin, growth, development, and maintenance of healthy skin.
Collagen and essential oils with the Vitamin Mineral Complex that prevents moisture loss.
Improves firmness and elasticity of the skin and prevent signs of aging.
Effective for all skin types.


Time control facial active serum

Highly concentrated serum for firming and smoothing skin.
Because the serum is solely water-based, a higher concentration of active ingredients can be combined with it than other creams.
Energizing vitamins that aid in cell rejuvenation and minerals improving the balance of moisture in the skin.
Effective for all skin types.

These products obviously don't stop the signs of aging that have already happened, but they help prevent any further aging. The products are easy to use and would fit perfectly into your night-time beauty regime. Go out into the world feeling more confident, just thank Minus417!

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win an anti-aging skincare kit from Minus 417.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me if this prize would be a gift or for yourself. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

10. Add Sammi's Blog of Life to your blogroll (using my URL), with a link back to me! )1 entry)

11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

12. Like Minus417 on Facebook for 1 entry
(http://www.facebook.com/minus417)

13. Like Minus 417 on Twitter for 1 entry
(http://twitter.com/#!/minus417)

Winner will be chosen on November 7, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.




Sunday, October 23, 2011

Foods of New York Tour Review and Giveaway

There's nothing that I love more than food and New York. When you combine those two, it's certainly a magical thing! I always love learning more about New York and areas that I am not as familiar with. Foods of New York provides a wonderful glimpse into NY history and architecture with a delicious sampling of popular neighborhood cuisine.



Since 1999, Foods of New York Tours has been giving food tasting and cultural walking tours through New York City's most delicious and historic neighborhoods. They provide a "non-touristy" experience so you feel like a native New Yorker! Each tour includes food tastings from the best specialty food shops, ethnic eateries, and one local restaurant, as well as an "off-the-beaten-path" glimpse of "life in New York City" -the history, culture, architecture, and entertainment offerings.

This tour would be perfect for a NYC tourist, a foodie, a history buff, or just anyone interested in learning more about a certain neighborhood in New York. The tour is available in the original Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Chelsea Market/Meatpacking District, Central Greenwich Village (and a little bit of Soho). I wanted to know more about Greenwich Village and that's the tour that I went on.

My tour guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, and was quick to answer any questions anyone might have along the way. We visited different places for tastings during our tour, and by the end I was so full it wasn't even funny! The sampling portions are very small but when you have so many of them, the food quickly starts to add up. I really enjoyed hearing historical facts or trivia of everyday buildings that I never stopped to think about before.

The tour consisted of going to:
•Murray's Cheese Shop - the best cheese shop in NYC!
•Faicco's Italian Specialties - Family owned and specializing in handmade Italian delicacies
•Milk & Cookies - An authentic 1950's style bakery
•Scali Caffe- A New York Italian Tavola Calda
•Joe's Pizza - A classic NY style pizzeria
•Centro Vinoteca - stylish Italian restaurant
•Palma Restaurant - Rustic Mediterranean
•Olivers and Co-Olive Oils and gourmet specialties from around the Mediterranean


Murray's Cheese Shop



This is one shop that I've been meaning to stop by forever but never have, for some reason. I was happy to have the chance to visit. As soon as you walked in, the fragrant smell of cheese hit you. It smelled wonderful. I loved browsing the various cheese, breads, and pastries for sale. We sampled cheese straws, 3 different types of cheeses, and big juicy olives. The cheese was extremely fresh, brimming with great flavor, and was just truly delicious. I didn't try the olives because I am not a fan of olives. The cheese straws had a great crunchy and flaky exterior, and had a perfectly light parmesan flavor. They were loved by everyone.

Faicco's Italian Specialities



This shop is a one stop shop for any lover of Italian delicacies, foods, and treats. I loved the large cases filled with Italian meats, antipasto, desserts, and more. It was truly any lover of Italian food's dream come true. We sampled an Italian delicacy (I can't remember the Italian name for it), but it was a deep fried rice ball with 3 different kinds of cheeses inside, and a sample of soppressata. The rice ball had a crispy exterior and a warm center filled with fluffy rice and a rich assortment of creamy cheeses. The cheeses blended together wonderfully and the flavor of them all was just perfect. It was certainly a rich and filling treat, but very delicious none the less. The soppressata had a great meaty, chewy texture that had a hint of spices on top. The meat was fresh and left me wanting more!

Milk & Cookies Bakery



This bakery is perfect for curbing anyone's sweet tooth. They have an assortment of brownies, whoopie pies, ice creams, and decadent cookies. We sampled a huge chocolate chip cookie that had such a wonderful, crunchy texture. Even though the outside of the cookie was crunchy, the inside was warm and chewy. It was unlike any other cookie I sampled before! The whole treat was filled with sweet and luscious chocolate chips. I gobbled mine right up! The only thing missing was a tall glass of cold milk to go with it. Milk & Cookies delivers so let them satisfy your late night sweet treat cravings!

Joe's Pizza

This pizzeria is a famous restaurant that has been serving slices to customers for well over 30 years now. Many celebrities have dined there over the years and it's a NY landmark to locals. The pizza had a great blend of savory cheese, rich tomato sauce, and crispy, crunchy crust. I absolutely loved it. It was the best piece of pizza I've had in a long time and I don't know how I've never been there before!

Palma Restaurant



This restaurant had a beautiful indoor garden area that was separated from the rest of the restaurant. I loved all of the pretty lights, flowers, and candles that were in the garden. Past the garden was a quaint little room that actually used to be the kitchen of the house of the owners! Now it's rented out for private events and parties. It did not feel like I was in NY, but in the English countryside! The big wooden table, wooden floors, and inviting kitchen gave the whole restaurant a very homey and warm feel. We had our sampling in the private room too. We sampled a small bowl of cauliflower with currants, pine nuts, seasoning, and caramelized onions. It was actually really delicious. The crunchy pine nuts and sweet currants brought out a whole new depth of flavor. The cauliflower was cooked perfectly and the seasoning rounded out the dish well. I really enjoyed it and was surprised at how good cauliflower can be.

Centro Vinoteca

I love this chandelier, it's gorgeous!

This restaurant/lounge was very cute. The modern decor was right up my alley and they serve lots of Italian and seafood dishes, which are my favorite. We had the opportunity to sample seasoned artichokes with a light shaving of parmesan cheese, stuffed porcini mushrooms, and a breaded zucchini ball with spices inside. The artichoke was cooked perfectly and had a light hint of butter on it. It was chewy but firm at the same time. I could taste the flavorful spices on it as well. The shaved cheese had a great parmesan flavor that I really enjoyed. The porcini mushroom was full of flavor and was extremely tender, it was stuffed with breading and various spices. All of the flavors really complimented each other well and had a great taste. I am not usually a fan of mushrooms, but I really enjoyed this. The zucchini ball was very unique as well. There was a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese on top. The outside was crispy from being fried, but the inside had soft zucchini mash. I loved the texture of the crispiness to the softness. The zucchini had a great natural flavor to it. There was a sweet sauce on top of the zucchini ball but I couldn't quite place what it was. It really rounded out the appetizer well.

Olivers & Co


I love this olive oil chandelier! How cool!

This store sells an assortment of fragrant and fantastic olive oils from all over the world. If you're looking for extra virgin olive oil from France, Germany, England, or even Spain this is your store. The store also sells skincare, cosmetics, and balsamics from all around the Mediterranean. We had the opportunity to sample two unique oils. The first olive oil was a normal based olive oil. It had no frills. The color was a rich yellow. It was very fresh and immediately soaked into the small piece of bread they served the oil on. It had a great fresh taste that I really loved. We were served another piece of bread with a honey truffle oil on it. It had the perfect amount of sweet to salty and I could have eaten the whole tray in minutes! It was fantastic and the store employee said he puts it on virtually anything he makes. The taste was addicting and left me wanting to buy a whole bottle of it!

Scali Caffe

This was the last restaurant we visited. I was so full by this time that I could barely eat anything else. The restaurant had lots of premade servings of Italian style chicken, lasagna, and various other Italian yummies. We were served a small slice of Italian cheesecake dusted with powdered sugar. The tour guide told us this cheesecake was made with ricotta cheese, not cream cheese like most Americans are used to in cheesecakes. It had a very different taste, but that was because I had never tried Italian cheesecake before. It had a custard flavor to it. The cheesecake was a lot thinner and less thick than regular cheesecake. It was a light alternative to a regular size piece of cheesecake. The powdered sugar added a hint of sweetness to the treat. The color of the cake was a warm yellow. The cake was cool and creamy. It was interesting to sample a food that I was not familiar with.

I really enjoyed this tour and I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of it. In the future I would love to tour another neighborhood in NYC!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Foods of New York Tour for providing me with complimentary tour tickets. All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

GIVEAWAY RULES:
1. I will be picking ONE (1) winner for this contest. One winner will win a pair of tickets for the tour of their choice.

YOU MUST DO THIS FIRST or all other entries will be DELETED!

2. Please tell me which Foods of New York Tour you would most like to go on. (1 entry)

BONUS ENTRIES

3. Subscribe by Email and Confirm that Subscription (1 entry)

4. Subscribe to Sammi's Blog of Life in a Reader (1 entry)

5. Follow me on Blogger. (1 entry)

6. Follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/pinkice88) (1 entry)

7. Leave a Tweet and the direct link to that tweet (1 entry) (You can do this daily)

8. FOR 5 EXTRA ENTRIES - Blog about this giveaway with a link to my blog and come back and leave the link to your blog post. Post FIVE separate comments that you've blogged about this.

9. Add my main button to your sidebar (if it's already there, let me know that! Leave link to your blog.) (1 entry)

10. Add Sammi's Blog of Life to your blogroll (using my URL), with a link back to me! )1 entry)

11. Become a fan of my Facebook fan page for 1 entry (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammis-Blog-of-Life/307593407356)

12. Like Foods of New York Tour on Facebook for 1 entry
(https://www.facebook.com/foodsofny)

Winner will be chosen on November 6, 2011 at 10 pm and then will be emailed.
One entry per day.
Alternate winner will be chosen if winner does not respond after 48 hours. Thank you and good luck!
Disclaimer-
All thoughts and opinions are solely mine and not based on anything else.
You can read more about my blog policies in my disclaimer.
Sammi's Blog Of Life Follows All New FTC & Facebook Laws for Reviews & Giveaways.
IF YOU DO NOT CORRECTLY ANSWER MY CONTEST QUESTION, YOUR COMMENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REJECTED.