Sunday, December 30, 2012

Be in the know about Cake Devils!

If you're looking for a delicious cake for your next event or party, let me introduce you to Cake Devils.  Get ready to have your mouth water!

Cake Devils specializes in beautiful and delicious custom cakes for every occasion.  Please keep them in mind for a future graduation, wedding, birthday, or even Easter dinner! The company primarily services New York and New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley.

The cakes are available with fillings such as buttercream in any flavor to compliment cake, fresh fruit, pudding, mousse, cream cheese and cookies and cream. How about topping off your cake with a delicious frosting flavor like caramel, white chocolate, meringue, cream cheese, chocolate ganache and more? I know I would be in sweet treat heaven! Cheesecakes and liquor infused cakes are also made. If you need the cake for a special event or celebration like a child's first birthday or first communion fondant is available too.

Cake Devils also offers cookies but their cakes are the main star of the show.  I was sent a large assortment of snicker doodle and chocolate pumpkin cookies which I happily gobbled up. The cookies were fresh and extremely delicious.  I loved the cinnamon sugar on the snickerdoodles and the chocolate paired perfectly with the pumpkin. 

Here are some examples of the cakes offered:

Baby sock monkey cake

Birthday cake

Toolbox cake

Easter cake

As you can see, they do a wide variety of cakes in different styles.  Why not use them for your next event? You won't be disappointed!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Pour Toi Review and Giveaway

The holidays are all about treats and indulgence.  Hot chocolate with a splash of mint, a warm fresh out of the oven snickerdoodle cookie, or even some hearty eggnog is always on the holiday agenda.  I feel that this time of the year is the perfect time to spend enjoying yourself with friends and family.  Have some laughs and share some family memories over a gift basket of holiday goodies!




A Pour Toi, which translates to "a present for you" is a start up company which was just founded in December 2012. The public launch will go live next month.  The company focuses on the elegant gifting experience that nurtures relationship through the joy of a present.  Each month, the founder curates a box full of healthy and delicious foods. Wouldn't you love to receive a box each month filled with foods that you enjoy? Goodies are always best shared with others, I believe.

I was sent a box of holiday treats which I couldn't wait to dive into. The packaging on the box is very unique.  The box sort of slides open on an angle and inside your treats are revealed in a fun drawstring bag.





What was inside you ask? Let me tell you! I received dark chocolate dipped almondina, handmade Italian butterhorns, bitter chocolate truffles, white chocolate pistachios, chocolate vanilla swirl cookies, and melon biscuit cookies.



As my eyes danced over the goodies, I wasn't sure what to try first.  I quickly settled on the chocolate vanilla swirl cookies, of course! These thin, bite-sized cookies had a light dusting of chocolate sugar on them and they were irresistible! They were crunchy and had a texture similar to a graham cracker. The chocolate was light and subtle but still gave the cookie a nice sweet flavor.  The sugar crystals on top gleamed in the light, and the light of my stomach too. :)  These would go well with a cup of coffee or tea perfectly.

The Italian butterhorns were my absolute favorite, hands down.  These twisted treats fit in my heart like a glove! The cookies are made from a light buttery dough and filled with cinnamon sugar and walnuts. The outside also has cinnamon sugar on it too.  It's light and flaky and just plain delicious.  I quickly became obsessed with them.  The inside is soft and just perfect.  I honestly can't get enough of them. I've never had one before and wanted to eat the whole bag in one sitting. I still do!

I tried the bitter chocolate truffles next.  The outside of the truffle was rolled in a very bitter dusting of chocolate.  Not exactly my favorite, but as soon as you get past that you're in the center of the chocolate universe.  Inside was smooth and rich chocolate that will make your taste buds sing and then you know all is right in the world.  It truly was fabulous chocolate.

I look forward to trying the rest of these treats in the next coming days.  I know I can't resist them for too long. :)



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Friday, December 28, 2012

Almost to 2,600 readers! :)

How exciting!

What's everyone's New Years Eve plans? I'll be keeping it fun and low-key at home.

Tomorrow I'll be going to view some venues for the wedding.  Hope I like what I see. :)

I'll be posting a giveaway tomorrow evening.  If you like sweets, stay tuned!

Sammi

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stitch Fix Review

One of the many things that I enjoy in life is shopping.  Whether I'm shopping for clothes, housewares, shoes, or jewelry it doesn't matter, I love it all.  The hunt for new items that appeal to me is always exciting and fun.  Imagine receiving a surprise package containing a gorgeous dress or necklace that quickly becomes your favorite? StitchFix believes in the art of suspense and surprise and will gladly put a smile on your face when you receive a package from them.



StitchFix is available to create an innovative shopping experience for you. You simply let them know your size and style preference, and they send you a selection of the latest and greatest of what's hot now. You try on everything at home and only keep what fits.  You can send back what you don't like free of charge.  Wouldn't you love to be guaranteed 5 items (jewelry, dresses, tops/bottoms, skirts) that are hand-picked to match your style?

I was contacted recently to try StitchFix's service.  I was excited at the thought of a mystery package containing items that were right up my alley.  The survey was easy.  I filled out a form asking my sizes and what kind of style I liked most.  The survey had pictures of outfits and I was asked to select which outfit I liked best.  I was encouraged to write in anything that I didn't like.  I told them I didn't want anything too form fitting on my stomach or butt. Within a few days, a package showed up at my door.  My StitchFix had arrived and I couldn't wait to check out the loot!
What's inside? Let's see! I loved how perfectly everything was presented. It was like Christmas, days before Christmas!

I received a silver and black chunky chain necklace (sorry I forgot to take a picture of it!), Ebisu tab sleeve scoopneck blouse, Nashville sueded asymmetric vest, Josie tie front sleeveless dress, and a Cowell knit hi-low sweater.  I loved a lot of the pieces right away.  The best part is that StitchFix is perfect for branching you out of your comfort zone.  I wouldn't have bought a lot of these pieces in the store but with the right accessories, they can look amazing! Each item features a card telling you about the item and giving you some style advice on how to pair it with certain items.  I would have never thought to pair the Nashville sueded asymmetric vest with a striped long-sleeve shirt, but it looks wonderful! The pieces are very versatile, which is wonderful.  The Josie tie dress can be paired with heels or flats in the summer, and in the winter a sweater and tights and boots! The possibilities are endless.


This dress is gorgeous.  It fits me perfectly, is not too clingy and I love the color! The soft but vibrant red is perfect for wearing around holiday time, not to mention can brighten up a grey winter's day.  The material is comfortable and light-weight.  I haven't yet worn this dress but every time I pass it in my closet, I'm reminded that I need to wear it asap! I envision pairing it with a warm black cardigan and some gold accessories to complete the look.


This vest was hard to photograph.  It's a dark grey, almost black color. It's perfect for wearing over a favorite long-sleeved tee to keep warm in the winter. The vest has some weight to it, but it's comfortable. When I first laid eyes on it, it reminded me of doing karaoke in a small bar in Nashville, TN. It definitely has a southern feel to it.  This is certainly not something I would go out of my way to buy in a store, but I found myself attracted to it when I saw it.  I was not sure what to wear it with a first, but the card that came attached to the vest gave me some fashion inspiration. I would love to pair this with some gold or silver accessories and a fabulous pair of black riding boots. 

This is my absolute favorite piece that I received.  The top has a cute black and pink small dotted pattern all over. What is great about this top is that you can pair it with jeans and boots, or even jeans and heels too.  I wore it to work today and I paired it with a black pencil skirt, black tights, flats and I tucked the top in.  It looked really cute.  It can easily transform from work to play.  The top is comfortable and lightweight.  It's wearable year round, just pair it with a cardigan in the colder months of the year.  


I was not a big fan of this sweater, and I sent it back. I did not like the way it looked on.  It was bigger on the bottom than on the top and just was not flattering on me. Too bad I didn't like it though because it was soft and cozy and would've looked perfect with a pair of black riding boots and skinny jeans!

I do not have a picture of the necklace, but I sent that back too.  I didn't like the way it fit.  It wasn't really my style either.  I did keep all of the other items pictured.

I am very impressed with StitchFix.  The clothes fit me well and my stylist did a great job of trying to pick pieces that match my style.  I would certainly order from them again.  A surprise package from StitchFix would make a great upcoming Valentine's Day present for your girlfriend or wife, and an equally as perfect birthday present too! Surprise the fashionista in your life with some fashion love from StitchFix! 



Sunday, December 23, 2012

I'm engaged!

For those bloggers who didn't see the news from my Facebook fan page! I'm very excited!

Happened last night!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Loving Pets Giveaway

We focus so much on our own day to day lives and families that it can be easy to forget about the family pet.  Pets are our furry friends and maybe even your four legged child if you don't have a human child. They love us unconditionally and ask for nothing in return but a tummy rub and a game of fetch.  Why not spoil your dog and offer them some yummy treats? They will give you a lick and a woof in return!



Loving Pets is a New Jersey based pet company which focuses on high quality, all natural pet treats and decorative stainless steel feeding bowls and dishes. This company wants only the best for your dog and works hard to provide you with quality products. Loving Pets vision is to provide pet owners with healthy alternatives they can feel good about giving their pampered pets.  Your dog will give you a great big woof in return for treating them to a wonderful Loving Pets product!

If your dog loves treats, they will go absolutely tail-waggin' crazy for Grill-licious treats! These are 100% all natural beef, chicken, and turkey treats. Sourced and made in the USA, these lean and tasty "flame kissed" meats are mixed with antioxidant-rich sweet potato and come in regular or bite sized to suit any dog.  They are soy free, gluten free and have no added preservatives or additives.  The only thing this treat has is a huge flavor that your dog will enjoy.


Which flavor do you think your dog will like best? My dog is a foodaholic and would gladly gobble up any treat she was given, even if it was dirt flavored!

Go ahead and give a Grill-licious treat to your dog for no reason, they deserve one just for being them. :)










Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Neutrogena Giveaway

I've been using Neutrogena products for as far back as I can remember. I trusted their anti-acne creams and scrubs when I was a teenager. I depend on them now for general facial cleansing, and as I get older, their anti-aging items. I feel that they produce quality products that provide great results. This is one company that truly cares about the well-being of your skin.



Neutrogena has been a skincare pioneer for more than 50 years now. They produce trusted skincare products for all skin types. Their fantastic products are instantly recognizable on store shelves and I always go straight for them when I'm at the drug store. Whether you need a facial cleanser, anti-acne or anti-aging product, moisturizer, or even cosmetics, they have you covered. The products provide true results and are quality made.

It's important to take care of your skin, and you only have one face.  Why not treat it right?

Neutrogena has recently come out with products that improve skin's healthy look over time. Wouldn't it be nice to use items from your favorite brand and at the same time they benefit your skin? I know that would be a plus for me!  Let me introduce you to the following items that belong in your bathroom cabinet:

Healthy Skin Primer:
This is a lightweight and silky primer that instantly smooths imperfections so skin looks flawless and more even for up to eight hours.  It is clinically proven to brighten skin and improve the look of it with natural soy.  You an wear it alone or under foundation.  It does not clog pores.

Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector
                                     
This product brightens and conceals with a patented blend of anti-oxidants including Vitamin E, wild chamomile and soy.  It is clinically shown to de-puff and treat the appearance of under-eye circles. A flow-through brush perfectly applies the Brightening Eye Perfector for on-the-go flawless coverage anywhere.

Nourishing Eyeliner
This eyeliner defies and brightens eyes with luminous color. Subtle light diffusers make the whites of eyes appear whiter, while rich color nourishes skin with olive oil and rainforest shea butter. The built in sharpener gives precise definition and the contoured smudger softens and blends for a variety of looks.

Healthy Volume Mascara
This lash enhancing mascara instantly builds lash volume by 400%. The patent-pending formula with a touch of olive oil penetrates and helps plump the core of each and every lash. The visible volume brush coats and builds even the smallest lashes with rich, volume building color.  No clumps, smudging or flaking!


Revitalizing Lip Balm
This revitalizing lip balm helps to make lips softer, rosier, and healthier looking, even after you remove it! The sheer tinted balm with exclusive ion2 complex instantly moisturizes lips, leaving them looking fuller and more defined. In just one week, this balm will improve the texture of your lips. SPF20 helps to protect lips and keep them healthy.

If you haven't treated yourself to new skincare or cosmetic products in a while, this would be a wonderful gift for yourself.  Everyone deserves to be pampered every once in a while!





Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Red Rose Tea Review and Givewaway

Tea is the perfect beverage to enjoy in the colder months of the year.  That warm and comforting drink soothes your soul and takes away the chill of the outdoor air. I love to have a mug of tea in the morning with my breakfast.  I also cap off each night with chamomile tea.  It's always nice to try new tea flavors that you haven't tried before.  Tea is one beverage that always puts a smile on my face.



Red Rose Tea has been around for more than a century. The brand has helped to create memories that last a lifetime. The tea comes in delicious blends that include black, decaffeinated, and specialty teas. The flavors range from Irish breakfast tea and English breakfast tea to earl grey tea and sunset spice tea, and more. The tea comes in tea bags and single serve cups. Recently there's been some new additions to the Red Rose Tea family.  The Simply Indulgent line up includes vanilla biscotti, spiced chai, sweet mint, and cinnamon bun.  These fun flavors are right up anyone's alley. Red Rose brings together premium tea leaves from the world's finest mountain estates for consistent quality and great taste.

Since I'm a regular tea drinker, I enjoy sampling new flavors.  When I received the opportunity to try all of the Simply Indulgent single serve cups, I was looking forward to it.  Not long after that, a box of fantastic tea showed up at my door.  All of the flavors sounded fantastic and I wasn't sure what to try first.

Sorry for the random single picture of the vanilla biscotti, I forgot to include it when I took this picture.
I absolutely love the packaging of the tea.  Each box has a beautiful picture of the according flavor, not to mention all of the bright vivid colors featured. I wish I could eat that cinnamon bun off of the Cinnamon Bun tea box! 

I finally decided to try the vanilla biscotti first.  I am a big fan of biscotti and was curious what liquid vanilla biscotti would taste like.  The single serve cups are just like the k-cups for the Keurig. I used mine in my Keurig with no issues and within moments a delicious steamy and sweet aroma filled my kitchen.  I was in biscotti heaven!

As soon as I took my first sip of the tea, I could taste the infused flavor of the vanilla biscotti.  It was sweet, but not overly sweet. The beverage was warm and comforting and went down smoothly. You do taste the black tea flavor, but the vanilla biscotti is surely the star of the show. The tea really did taste like vanilla biscotti!  I was impressed. This tea is perfect for the holidays.  Have it for breakfast with a muffin or pair it with a pastry in the evening for a night-time treat.  

Since it's the holidays, I thought it was appropriate to try the spiced chai.  I love anything mulled or spiced and I was excited to try this flavor.  The spices in this black tea include cardamom, ginger, clove, star anise and cinnamon.  I absolutely loved this tea! It truly tasted like Christmas in a mug. From the first sip I was instantly hooked.  I could taste the complex layers of the tea and each spice complimented each other so well. The spice was not too overwhelming, but just perfect. I enjoyed a gingersnap cookie (just to kick up the spice meter) while enjoying this tea and it was a pure 10 on the spice meter!

Unfortunately I am not a fan of mint tea so I didn't try it.  I look forward to trying the cinnamon buns tea soon.  I am almost done with the box of spiced chai and vanilla biscotti so it will have a date with my taste buds soon enough.

Any tea from Red Rose would make a perfect stocking stuffer for that tea lover in your family for Christmas!

One lucky winner will win a fabulous prize pack consisting of:

One (1) 20-count box of each of the new tea bag flavors including cinnamon struesel, creme caramel, peach cobbler and lemon chiffon.
One (1) 12-count box of each of the new single serve cup flavors including vanilla biscotti, spiced chai, cinnamon bun and sweet mint.
Chalk board mug with chalk
A to-go travel mug








Monday, December 17, 2012

Burt's Bees Giveaway

Burt's Bees is one brand that I've been using for the past ten years.  I first became hooked on their lip balms, and then the obsession spread to the foot creams, hand lotions, and their many other items.  I love that the products are natural and contain ingredients that aren't harmful to your body. I've turned other people on to BB over the years and they quickly became loyal customers too. If you're looking to introduce new skincare products into your beauty routine, Burt's Bees is a great place to start.



Burt's Bees proudly creates natural products formulated to help you take care of yourself, naturally from your lips to your toes. The products range from lip balms, facial cleansers and acne solutions to shampoo's, conditioners, bath oils and bath crystals and everything else in between. There's certainly a product that anyone would enjoy. There are items for men and children's use as well.  I've given Burt's Bees gift packs to people as gifts over the years and they've really enjoyed them.  The items are 99% natural and contain no nasty additives or anything artificial.

The Burt's Bees Pomegranate Gift Set would make a wonderful present for yourself or someone else too. If you're a fan of pomegranates and cranberries, this is right up your alley.


This beautifully packaged gift pack contains:

Cranberry and Pomegranate Sugar Scrub-Polishes and conditions with exfoliating sugar crystals, pomegranate oil, cranberry seed and shea butter.

Cranberry and Pomegranate Replenishing Body Bar-Conditions skin with cranberry extract (a superior emollient with Omegas 3, 6, and 9) and pomegranate seeds.

Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil-Hydrates and revitalizes lips with antioxidant-rich pomegranate oil.

Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion- Nourishes with milk, honey, vitamin E, coconut and grape seed oils.

Let Burt's Bees bring the spa to your home with this fantastic gift set.  Run a warm bath, relax, and prepare to get beautified.



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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Barista Prima Review

One of life's greatest pleasures is coffee.  A cup of warm satisfying coffee makes any day brighter. There are so many different varieties, flavors, and roasts of coffee that one will never get bored. A new selection and flavor is always available to make your taste buds dance.
Barista Prima is an exclusive collection of the world's finest Arabica coffees roasted in the tradition of Europe's most celebrated coffee houses.  The coffee is bold and complex, yet perfectly balanced.  Each cup will entice your senses and warm your soul. There are different types to choose from.  Whether you like a French roast, an Italian roast, a house blend or Colombia, there is a coffee that you'll love. 

I was sent a box of Barista Prima French Roast K-Cups for review.  The package has a beautiful sepia toned picture of the Eiffel Tower on it.  When I saw the picture, I was instantly transported to Paris.  I'm sitting in a trendy coffee shop drinking a delicious cup of coffee and enjoying a pain au chocolat. 



I fired up my Keurig the other day and prepared to treat myself to a bold cup of joe. My favorite part about making coffee in the Keurig is how powerful the aroma is.  Within seconds, my kitchen was filled with the potent scent of the coffee. I put in my coffee creamer and took my first sip.  It was a beautiful moment. 

The coffee was perfectly bold, deep and rich.  It tasted like something you'd get at a gourmet coffee house or even a coffee shop in Europe.  The flavor was smoky and strong and very smooth.  It certainly perked me up that morning. I liked that it was not weak and insipid. With each sip I took, I fell more and more in love with the French roast variety.  I really enjoyed the coffee and will be certainly adding it to my morning routine.

If you're a coffee lover or know somebody who is, delight them with a box of Barista Prima's French Roast. They will thank you for it. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Barista Prima for sending me a complimentary box of K-Cups in exchange for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cookies anyone?

Who wants a cookie? I made these tonight for a party I'm going to tomorrow.  Dark chocolate and mint chips.  Yum!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SeabuckWonders Giveaway

It's essential to properly take care of your skin at all times. It's important that you regularly moisturize, cleanse, and exfoliate.  You should always use products that are infused with vitamins, minerals, and ingredients that will keep you looking your best.  Now that the cold weather's here, it's vital to keep that dry skin at bay. Seabuck Wonders shares my philosophy and believes in healthy, beautiful skin.



SeabuckWonders is the only full line of products made from USDA certified organic sea buckthorn berries.  They are the original sea buckthorn company in the US and have been specializing in this super fruit for over 16 years.  They offer the highest quality and most potent products on the market containing at least 30-35% Omega-7 content.  If you're in the market for new skincare products, keep SeabuckWonders in mind.  

There are a range of different products containing the fabulous seabuck thorn.


The body lotion is nutrient rich and quick absorbing.  The lotion rejuvenates and replenishes the skin's natural balance, softening and nourishing for silky, touchable skin.  It protects against visible signs of UV-induced stress.  Recommended for all skin types.

The facial cream is intensely moisturizing. It supports a healthy moisture balance deep within the skin.  This hydrating, yet lightweight formula absorbs quickly and nurtures the skin for a soft, smooth complexion.  It protects against visible signs of UV-induced stress.  Recommended for all skin types.

The exfoliating facial cleanser is refreshing and invigorating.  It cleans skin gently, yet effectively without stripping the skin of its natural oils.  It exfoliates to remove dirt and impurities while hydrating the skin for a smooth, clear complexion.  At the same time it detoxifies and enhances skin tone and texture.  Recommended for all skin types.

The deep hydrating serum is moisture-rich, light weight and easy to apply.  It nourishes and supports cell regeneration to minimize fine lines and help to main a youthful, healthy glow.  Recommended for all skin types.

Seabuck thorn berries


Ladies, why not treat yourself to some seabuck thorn today? You deserve it, and your skin will thank you.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The No Gluten Solution, Cooking for Family and Friends Book Giveaway

It can be hard to lead a gluten free lifestyle.  You can't enjoy the same food as everyone else and it may be hard for you to dine out too.  There's no reason why you can't partake in gluten-free versions of your favorites. Don't feel self-conscious, let your inner gluten-free warrior shine through and enjoy delicious food, just like everyone else!


Sheryl Goldstein is the author of "The No Gluten Solution." It's an innovative and mouth-watering cookbook that provides you with delectable gluten-free recipes that will satisfy every type of gathering with friends and family. It solves the problem for gluten-free eaters by giving them the answer on how to prepare one meal that everyone will enjoy. The book teaches you how to put together a quick and easy meal when your schedule takes a hectic turn. Learn how to use fresh produce and ingredients and pair it with store bought items for a delicious meal. 

The recipes in this book include everything from nourishing gluten-free takes on classic comfort foods like macaroni and cheese and meatloaf, to new flavors and textures that gluten-free foods bring to the table. There is a recipe for everyone's taste and preference in this book. I would certainly love to try the mac and cheese, I'm down for anything involving pasta and cheese!

If you're looking to branch out and expand your food palette, this book is certainly for you.





Guest Post-Working in a Call Center

Have you ever worked in a call center before?

Global Response, a call center located in Florida might interest you if you have ambition to work in a call center.  To excel at a job like this, you must be friendly, courteous and have people skills.  You must enjoy speaking to the general public and speaking on the phone all day.



Working in a call center can be stressful for some though.  You're dealing with angry customers, have quotas and targets to hit and leads to turn in to higher-ups.  Some enjoy a challenge though. It can be interesting to speak to people all around the world on a daily basis too. There are ups and downs to this job, just like there are with any though.

Feel free to view Global Response's website to learn more about them.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bea's Gift Baskets Review

I absolutely love receiving gift baskets for special occasions.  How could you not smile at a beautiful basket filled with your favorite treats and goodies and tied with a big bow? The answer is you can't! Now that Christmas is here, it's the perfect time to delight someone with a basket that will surely make their day.  Let Bea's Gift Baskets take care your of holiday needs.

Bea's Gift Baskets is gift basket paradise for any gift basket you could possible need.  They are themed for winter, fall, summer, any holiday, new baby, get well, congratulations, etc.  If you're in need of a housewarming present for a new homeowner or gift for a birthday, these baskets would work perfectly. Of course the baskets could be sent for practically any reason too. They are filled with anything from cookies and snacks to bath and body products to coffee and tea and everything in between.  The baskets are put together with love and dedication and the recipient will surely appreciate them.

I was able to select a basket for review. Last year I reviewed a basket of Bea's and knew I had to eventually do another one.  The time was now here! I took my time in selecting a basket as I really loved everything I saw.  It was a hard decision! I finally settled on the Sensational Seasons basket, which I knew was a perfect choice.  In just a few days the basket arrived and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into its contents!
Ok, ok. I promise I'll share.  I'll have everything in the basket and leave you one piece of peppermint bark. ;)

Wow! Look at all of the fantastic goodies in the basket.  I received truffle cookies, a bar of Ghirardelli peppermint bark, English tea cookies, Lindt truffles, chocolate chip cookies, and cheese and crackers, just to name a few things! I couldn't believe how many great tasting things were in one basket.  It must be a dream!

The red basket came beautifully wrapped with a large red bow around it.  It was very festive for the holidays.  I wasn't sure what treat to begin with.  My eyes darted between the cheese and crackers and the peppermint bark.  You all don't understand my addiction to peppermint bark.  It's my favorite holiday treat.  Too bad it's seasonal and I can only get it during Christmastime.  I figured why not try the cheese and crackers and the bark? It's the holidays, after all! 

Ghiradelli makes amazing chocolate and I had no doubt that the peppermint bark would be everything I had hoped for, and oh was it! I was ready for a first class trip to chocolate world. The sweet chocolate on the bottom was blanketed with a layer of white chocolate on top.  Of course on top was large chunks of peppermint bits.  Pure perfection, if I might add.  I started off with a small piece and it was heavenly. White chocolate and dark chocolate are a great combination together.  The peppermint bits gave the treat a cool and frosty finish and a nice crunch too.  One piece is definitely enough to curb your sweet tooth.  Nothing says Christmastime like peppermint bark.

The cheese and crackers were a hit with my taste buds too.  The Monterey Jack is one of my favorite cheeses of mine so I was pleased to see that's the one I received.  I topped a 3 pepper cracker with a piece of cheese.  The smooth cheese had a wonderful, creamy flavor.  The cracker had a nice hint of spice in it that paired well with the cheese.  I couldn't resist and had to have another piece of cheese! It was delicious.

I look forward to trying the rest of the goodies.  The basket is calling my name from the kitchen.  I can't resist much longer! Why not treat yourself to a basket from Bea's gift baskets this Christmas, or any other time in the future?

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Bea's Gift Baskets for providing me with this complimentary gift basket in exchange for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Excedrin Post #2, Review of My Migraine Triggers App

As you all know, I'm an Excedrin Blogger Ambassador.  This means I get to share my thoughts with other blogger ambassadors about Excedrin and how we handle our headaches. It's really nice to connect with others about this subject and know that you're not alone.



As part of the ambassador program, we were told to record our migraines on a special app called "My Migraine Triggers. This app is on a iPod touch that we were given.  About a week after receiving the iPod, I was able to use it for the first time. I can always tell when a migraine is coming on, usually when I'm stressed, or tired.  I feel lightheaded, nauseous, and pain starts to surround my head.  Yeah, it's not a fun combination. 

The app is very easy to use and it is certainly user-friendly. It records all of your migraines and your triggers too through a special migraine diary. Having this information at your disposal is essential, in my opinion.  The best part is that you can share the information with your doctor, for a further look into your migraines. You can discuss the symptoms and feelings with him/her and talk about your options and what you can do to alleviate the pain.  The tool has information about headaches and can you give you an in depth look into what causes them, how to cope with migraines, and even what triggers them.  The information was vitally important to me and I learned a lot from it. I like to learn more about migraines and educate myself as much as possible.

I immediately took out the iPod when I had the migraine.  I filled out an entry in the diary on the app.  You can answer questions which help you to form an entry.  The app asks you questions such as did you have a headache today? How long did it last? What were the triggers? When did it start? On what side of your head did you have pain? These questions are important for knowing why you received a migraine and what triggered it.  Did you not get enough sleep or are you stressed? Those are key migraine triggers to me. If I'm feeling those two emotions, you can guarantee I'll have a migraine. 

I've used this app 3 times so far since owning the iPod. Luckily the migraines were all when I was home and I was able to lie in a dark room and sleep.  I like to go back and read my previous entries to see what caused the migraine for that day or what I was feeling when I had them. That way I can try to prevent them in the future.  This app takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what causes those pesky migraines.  Now you'll have proof and it helps you to seek closure for that day. I think this is a wonderful tool that makes life easier and my migraines more manageable.  I am very thankful for it.

If you suffer from migraines, it's never too late to download the free My Migraine Triggers App on iTunes for your iPhone or iPad.  You can find it here. Of course follow Excedrin on Twitter and Facebook too!  

*DISCLOSURE* I am an Excedrin Migraine Brand Ambassador. One iPod Touch to test the app was provided by Novartis Consumer Health Inc.  My journey for a migraine-free experience is my own. 





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Inlite Bags Review

Nothing is more frustrating than searching for a pen, pencil, or even a tube of chapstick in what feels like a bottomless pit of a backpack or purse. You try to put the item in a specific place that you'll easily remember but that usually doesn't help. Aggravation quickly sets in as you continue to search.  Does this sound like you?  If so, let Inlite Bags alleviate your bag stress!



Inlite Bags is an innovative line of contemporary, fashionable, and light up bags and purses that illuminate on the inside.  With just a press of a button, your bag will be brightly from a patent pending LED light system. The bags range from messenger bags and backpacks to clutches and purses. The bags come in a range of sizes, colors and styles depending on your needs and taste preferences. The light inside will help you to easily see what you're looking for.  This is very convenient at night or when you can't easily see what's on the bottom of your bag. 

Since my boyfriend has recently gone back to graduate school, I wanted to get a new backpack for him.  His old one wasn't that great anymore and I knew he'd appreciate a new one.  He's always losing stuff in the bottom of his briefcase or messenger bag, so I thought that an Inlite bag would be a great choice for him.

I selected the Flash backpack for him.  The black, silver and white colors on the backpack are very modern and compliment each other nicely. 

The backpack was shipped extremely fast.  My boyfriend liked the backpack as soon as he saw it.  He said it was the perfect size for carrying his books and it was comfortable to wear on his back.  The inside compartment is very roomy and can hold his books, folders, calculator, pens, etc easily. The best part is that it holds his computer too! His old backpack did not have room for the computer and he had to carry a separate computer bag too.  He's very grateful that this new bag holds it all.  The interior organization is great for markers, highlighters, paper clips, note cards and any other school needs you can store in there. The backpack is very durable and quality made.  It zips up and down with ease.

He really loves how the backpack lights up inside in both compartments.  With just one push of a button you can see everything that you need.  Nothing will be a mystery or a guessing game now.  This certainly makes his life easier. 

He's been using this backpack every night he has school now and he's really enjoying it.  I'm glad that the Flash backpack makes his school life less stressful!

Want to order from Inlite? Take 15% off and get free shipping with code HOLIDAYLIGHTS

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