Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Cake Chain Etsy Shop Review

Everyone knows my love for handmade, custom items at this point.  Not only do handmade items make fantastic presents that come from the heart, but they are conversation starters too.  Designing a custom item for someone that contains a specific and special message will surely bring a smile to their face.  They will treasure that gift always.  The Cake Chain knows all about making people smile.

The Cake Chain is an Etsy shop ran by owners Deb and Martha.  They create hand painted custom cake plates to order with your own personal message on it.  The center of the plate always features a hand painted cake in the colors of your choice.  The rest of the plate is up to your choosing.  If you're getting married soon, it would be a nice keepsake to have your names and wedding date on the bottom.  Giving a plate featuring a birth announcement to a new mom would make a great gift.  How about giving a plate to Grandma with her grandchildren's name written on it? As you can see, there are so many different ways to customize the perfect place for the recipient. What I really like about The Cake Chain is that they donate 20% of all sales to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.  It's really nice that they like to give back.

I chose to have a plate made that featured my name, my fiancĂ©'s name, and Carolyn's.  As we don't have children yet, Carolyn is our furry child.  I think it's a very special plate.  We don't have anything else that has all our names on it.

I love all of the detail that went into this plate.  From the heart dotting the I in my name, to the dotted pattern on the perimeter of the plate, to even the dots on the cake.  Everything is done to order and I can tell a lot of time and love went into making this piece.
The cake plate is simply beautiful! The size of it is large and easily holds a small cake.  The black and white polka dotted pattern on the rim is adorable.  I'm actually a big fan of polka dots.  I love the large cake design in the middle.  The red bottom layer adds a fun pop of color to the plate.  Underneath the cake our names are written.  I love the fun and whimsical font chosen. 
I haven't actually used the plate for cake yet, but I did make a large batch of cookies today and I used the plate to hold them.
The plate had no issue holding a lot of delicious peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.  Yes, you may have one too! There was still a lot of room if I wanted to add more.  You could bring someone over cookies on this plate, or even a small cake too.  The plate is very durable and has weight to it, so it is solidly constructed.  I would recommend hand washing the plate to protect it.
If you're looking to give someone a special gift for their birthday or any other memorable occasion, The Cake Chain is ready to work with you to create a custom plate of your dreams.
*DISCLOSURE* I received a complimentary plate in exchange for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rose Royce Clothing-Denim Styling Post #1

Denim is easy to style with so many colors, top styles, and shoes.  You can wear a black sweater with dark denim jeans and blue heels. Another look is a summer tee with jeans and flip flops.  There are virtually endless combinations where you can make denim the star of the show.  Rose Royce Clothing knows that you're able to create many looks and styles with the classic material.

Rose Royce Clothing is a brand established in New York City.  Their denim inspiration melds inspiration from the east coast as well as the west. Since the release of its first collection in 2012, the brand has focused on maintaining a variety of styles for today's contemporary and multi-talented woman. The pieces range from many different colors and styles of denim jeans, shorts, jackets and vests.  The pieces range in style so they are easy to mix up with different looks.

I've always been into fashion.  I'm not the kind of girl to pore over a Vogue magazine or go to a haute couture fashion show, but I know what I like and I care about what I wear.  I also am able to easily accessorize pieces and make them look good.  Rose Royce knows I'm into fashion which is why they selected me to create different looks with two pairs of jeans that they sent me.

I'll show you one look this week, and another next week.  My goal is to use one pair of denim jeans to create three different looks.  I love how one pair of jeans can pair fabulously with a top, shoes, and accessories.

These denim jeans are awesome.  They are skinny jeans, but don't fit too tight.  I do have to get them hemmed as they are too long right now.  It's not always easy being short!

My first look is a black sequinned top paired with leopard heels.  I had another shot but it was too blurry to post.  This one is a little blurry too sorry about that.

The sparkly top is fun for going out to a bar or a restaurant for dinner.  The top compliments the dark wash jean and the leopard heels pull the whole look together.  I would certainly wear this look to a party too.  This look would be great with some fun gold jewelry like a chunky gold bracelet, or a large colored cocktail ring for a pop of color. 

My next look is a black and white ruched top pulled together with blue heels.  The blue heels add a fun pop of color and compliment the top well.  Sorry about the jeans on the floor, ugh! I just noticed them in the picture.  This would also be a fun look for the office or a party.

My last look is the same top from above paired with black heels.  The black heels compliment the black in my top well.  The great thing about this top and jeans is that you can dress it up or down depending on your mood.  Add a fun bangle and large hoop earrings for a fun look, or wear flats for a toned down look.  Don't forget a fun cocktail ring too.

As you can see, these jeans pair with many different tops and shoes quite easily.  Fashion is all about having fun and taking risks.  Create a new favorite look today!

I'll be posting my second look next week. Stay tuned for it!

*I put these looks together for a Rose Royce Clothing contest I entered.  The lucky winner wins a $500 shopping spree on their website! Please vote for me, I'd really appreciate it! 

Check out Rose Royce on their different social media channels.

*DISCLOSURE* I received two pairs of complimentary jeans in exchange for helping to participate in this styling campaign.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cobb Hill Review and Giveaway

There's nothing like a great pair of shoes to tie an outfit together.  I own many pairs of shoes that go with so many different looks.  I have shoes meant for work, play, weekends, nights, etc.  I love having many different shoes to accessorize with.  Now that summer's here, it's time to break out the wedges, sandals, and flip flops.  It's important to start off every new season with a fabulous pair of shoes.  Cobb Hill shoes is a great place to turn to for a new pair of shoes.

Cobb Hill Shoes offers stylish shoes for women in a range of options.  Whether you need casual, fun, or dressy, this is the brand for you. There are a wide selection of boots, flats, heels, sandals and pumps just to name a few. The shoes are quality made and built to last. A lot of the shoes would look great at the office too.  There are lots of cute wedges available for summer.  When I received the chance to review a pair of Cobb Hill shoes, I was very excited.  My closet smiled at the thought of a new addition, and of course I wanted to make it happy. I browsed the site and saw many pairs of shoes that caught my eye. With each click of my mouse, I drifted further and further into shoe heaven.  I finally stumbled onto the pair of shoes of my dreams.

I chose the Maria shoe.  I don't have a pair of brown wedges already.  I wanted to choose something neutral that could be paired easily with colors.

The Maria is an instep strap sandal from the Monroe Collection. It features a leather upper, pig leather lining, a polyurethane midsole, an EVA footbed with Ortholite®, a suede and polyurethane footbed cover, a raffia covered wedge heel, and a TR sole unit. 

How cute are these shoes? I love the deep brown color of the straps and the contrasting lighter color of the raffia covered wedge.  The stylish strap pattern is interesting and gives the shoe fun character.  The shoe itself is very comfortable to wear and fits great.  I have no issues with any pain while wearing them.  The wedges are not too high and I am easily able to walk in them.  They look great on and I've been enjoying them this summer.  You can pair the Maria's with capri's, a skirt, jeans or even a dress and they will work each look perfectly.

I will surely be wearing these shoes a lot this summer and I look forward to it! If you need a comfortable pair of stylish shoes, Cobb Hill is waiting to help you.

*Please use the following promo code for 10% off and free shipping on your next order.  The code is good from July 5-August 4th.  BL713SAMMI

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Stardust Studio Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

One talent I've always wished I had was the ability to paint.  I've loved to take pictures for many years now, and I have my photos displayed in different framed collages around my apartment.  Photography is wonderful, but what's even greater is the skill to paint what you're looking at.  Transferring a still photo that's able to come alive on canvas is a true talent.  Luckily, I'm able to enjoy others' masterpieces.

The Stardust Studio is an Etsy shop ran by owner Nicole.  Nicole specializes in creating unique, detailed and high quality custom pet portraits with a twist of whimsy.  These hand painted creations are done to order.  I love the fact that she adds her own unique flair to each portrait.  You should always have something that sets you apart from others, and Nicole certainly does. She is very easy to work with.  You just simply email over a picture of your choice of your pet and Nicole will discuss with you if you'd like certain colors, background themes, etc. She takes it from there and lets her paintbrush work its magic.  A custom pet portrait makes a perfect present for any pet owner, especially if they just added a new four legged baby to their family. 

I've never had my own dog in my adult life before.  I grew up with Colby who was really my mom's dog.  My parents took on the responsibilities of owning a pet, and all I really did was play with her.  Now that I'm 24 and an adult pet owner, everything is very different.  I have to make sure I feed her, take her out, confirm that she's happy, go to the vet, give her medication, etc. Her well-being depends solely on my fiance and I.  At the moment, I have no children, so Carolyn is like a child to me.  Parents display their child's photos in their home, so I'd love to display Carolyn's in mine! I thought it would be a very unique and fun twist to have a portrait painted of Carolyn, rather than just frame a couple of pictures of her to put on my side table.

Nicole was kind enough to agree to paint Carolyn.  I sent her the picture of my choice and we agreed on the background color of pink.  I did ask to see her initial sketch, just to confirm it was to my liking. When I saw the sketch, I knew that I would love the painting.  Soon after that, the painting was in the mail.  Well, today it arrived!

Carolyn on a canvas! This portrait is painted on a high quality gallery style stretched canvas.  It is topped by a permanent glossy finish.  It's protected from water, UV damage and dust for years to come.

I chose this picture of Carolyn for Nicole to paint because it's my favorite one of her.  She's in her fabulous Smucci bed, surrounded by comfort and her favorite pizza toy.  She's looking out the window.  I feel that this picture captures her personality quite well and I wanted to document it in paint form.  I chose pink as the background color because it compliments black well and I love the pop of color too.  

Nicole did an amazing job in capturing every detail of the picture.  She made sure to include the red pepperoni on her toy, and the white dots and stripes on her bed.  The painting is high quality and I am very satisfied with the results.  She painted Carolyn well and I feel that it really does look like her! There's no mistaking those ears. :) The canvas is durable and sturdy.

I have not hung the picture yet, but I think I will place it on the space above my nightstand.  I'll definitely enjoying looking at it and it will make me smile for years to come.  

If you're looking for a unique gift for a friend or relative, why not have their beloved pet painted? It's certainly something they won't already have!

Rawlings Giveaway

Now that summer's here, outdoor sports are happening.  I'm sure your taking your child to a baseball or basketball game or practice frequently.  Even if your child isn't on a sports team, most children enjoy playing in the backyard.  Boys love throwing a ball around, or playing basketball or baseball outside too.  Of course all of the equipment and gear takes up a lot of room too.  It's important to keep everything neat and organized.  Thankfully Rawlings is here to keep your sports gear neat and contained.

Rawlings manufacturers and retails sports equipment and apparel for baseball, basketball, hockey, softball, and football.  They also offer licensed sports memorabilia too.  Whatever you could possibly need for you or your child's sports needs is available.  Go and purchase the bat that will help you hit a home run in baseball, or the shoes that will you help you make a slam dunk in basketball.

Rawlings knows that it's not easy to be organized with sports equipment, that's why they've offered a vertical sports organizer to keep everything together.  With this organizer, nobody has to go searching for lost equipment anymore.  Everything will be in the organizer!

This organizer holds up to 25 lbs of gear. It's ideal for bats, balls, sticks, gloves, etc.  It comes with 6 hanging screws, 6 cinches and 3 storage bins.  3 side pockets are also included.

Wouldn't this make a perfect addition to your garage? Your children will feel special knowing you have an organizer that's meant just for your stuff.  You'll love knowing all of the bats and balls aren't all over your yard and garage too! The only thing you'll have to worry about now is figuring out what to put in the organizer first. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Excedrin Migraine June Post-National Migraine Awareness Month+ Giveaway

As you all know, I've been working with Excedrin Migraine to help support migraine awareness and relief.  I've had a wonderful and beneficial time educating myself while connecting with others.  It's important to know as much about migraine triggers and what causes them.  I've never felt as in control of my migraines as I have while working with Excedrin.

Did you know June is National Migraine Awareness month? It's time to make migraines visible! Two of the most significant reasons are: ridding ourselves of the myths and misconceptions about migraines and the resulting stigmas. Making migraines more visible could result in more research funding which could result in better migraine treatments.  Whatever you do, please band together to make migraines known and help people gain relief.

Since summer is now in full swing, this is a crucial time for migraines for me.  I know that if I stay in the sun for too long without tons of water, it's a recipe for disaster.  Too much sun in general isn't great for you, but pairing a migraine with the hot sun beating down on you is a horrific feeling.  I know my body and I know that it needs to be in the shade in hot times. I've been using the My Migraines Tracker for the past six months  and it's been such a fantastic experience.  I've learned what my triggers are, how certain moods are apt to bring on migraines, and what foods I should avoid.  I'm happy to say my migraines are in much better control now than ever.  I am eternally thankful to Excedrin and the tracker.  Research shows that the best thing you can do for controlling migraines is to identify your triggers. I still use the tracker every single day.  I like looking back and seeing past weeks and days of data. 

The best thing I can say for those who suffer from migraines is to learn your triggers, like I mentioned before.  Migraines are insufferable and they prevent life from happening while you are having one.  Listen to your body and find out what works and doesn't work.  You'll be much happier that way.

One lucky winner will win a June Excedrin giveaway featuring:

Aero Snooze: Three-piece set includes TSA-compliant carrying pouch with soft nylon eye mask and foam earplugs to help travelers drift off to sleep.
·         Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow: This u-shaped travel pillow is made of memory foam to provide support that correctly aligns your neck and spine, while supporting your head in sumptuously soft comfort.
·         Tritan From Eastman Water Bottle with Straw: This 25 oz. bottle is made of durable Tritan material, BPA free and meets FDA requirements. This bottle is impact and shatter resistant and does not retain odor and/or taste.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Something Blue Pottery Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

I'm very big on sentimental items.  I've saved every card my fiance has given me since we met 5 1/2 years ago.  I save birthday cards.  I saved my bridal shower cards, and surely I will save my wedding cards too.  I love looking back at happy and memorable times and having something to connect the memory with and smile. Handmade items are so unique and truly special.  I value something that is created from the heart immensely.  Something Blue Pottery is here to make your personalized plate dreams come true.

Something Blue Pottery is an Etsy shop ran by Abby.  The shop specializes in personalized and hand painted wedding plates.  Abby has a true gift and talent for painting and her work surely displays her craft.  The plates come in three different styles: a bride and groom plate, a wedding cake plate, and a band of flowers. All plates come in any colors and text of your choosing.  You can even suggest a custom design request if you'd like.  Abby is very easy to work with and she will happily create the ideal plate for you.  A wedding plate would make a perfect gift for the bride and groom who don't need a new mixer or blender.  They will treasure the plate and be reminded of their special day forever. This piece would make an excellent anniversary present or vow renewal present too. 

Since I'm getting married in August, I'd love something to commemorate my special day.  Abby's plates were just what I was looking for.  I told her the colors I wanted, our names, and my wedding date and I let her work her magic.  The plate was done very fast and soon after that it was in a box in my hands!

How beautiful is this plate? The piece is glazed and fired to be food safe, microwave safe and dishwasher safe.  This will be one piece that will be used for years to come in my home.

I wish I had half the talent that Abby does.  She paints free-hand and does a spectacular job.  This plate is very high quality.  She incorporated my wedding colors of pink and black into every element of the plate.  I love the black bars on the edge of the plate, and the pink balls on the perimeter of the inside.  Our names and wedding date are painted in a cute script, and the pink flowers draw everything together.  You also can't forget about the little black dots on the inside too. All design is done with care and dedication.  The colors are bright and vivid too. Of course pink and black look beautiful together too.  

The plate is sturdy and has weight to it.  It would be an ideal platter to serve appetizers on, or even a plate to  put carved turkey on for Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.  You could even get a stand for it and display it in your breakfront cabinet. However way you want to use it, it's a plate that holds meaning and memories.  You can't beat that.  This plate will certainly be in my kitchen for many years to come.

If you're looking for a special gift to celebrate your own wedding (past, present, or future) Abby is waiting to sketch out a plate for a permanent design that will make you smile.

*Abby is currently developing a new line of smaller 8x8 square plates.  The corners on this one are sharper and feature a new wedding design.  The winner will win a wedding design on the new plate.  

A quick sketch of what the new design will be.  The bride and groom's name and their wedding date.  The car driving off with the just married sign and the cans hanging off the back of the car will be displayed too.  You can choose colors and text. You're also welcome to have any of the other 3 classic designs as I detailed above.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

BellaBlingByMelissa Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

There's a lot of controversy with pets wearing clothes.  Some people love it, while others hate it.   I am not one to provide my pet with an entire wardrobe, but I can't resist a couple of adorable pieces here and there. I feel like if your dog doesn't mind wearing clothes, there's nothing wrong with it. Some dogs actually like wearing clothes and get excited when they see their favorite items come out. Whatever clothes you choose, make sure your dog is stylin'!

BellaBlingByMelissa is an Etsy shop that offers custom baby clothes and accessories.  There are also some doggie and bridal pieces made to order too!  Melissa's clothes are are too cute and most of her girl pieces contain Swarovski crystals! How about a personalized 4th of July tee for your son with his name and fireworks on it? Or maybe a baby girl flower headband would be more up your alley? Whatever you choose, I can guarantee you'll be satisfied.

Since I don't have children, I opted to review one of Melissa's doggy items.  Everyone knows I love my personalized Carolyn items, I decided to review the doggie princess personalized tutu t-shirt.  This shirt is definitely for the pampered pooch!

This super soft cotton knit pink tee has a silver tiara with pink heart applique sewn on.  Your pooch's name is added in genuine Swarovski crystals. Chiffon ruffles are sewed along the bottom of the back of the tee.  If this isn't precious enough, I don't know what it is!

This shirt is beyond adorable. I love the beautiful light pink color of the tee.  Carolyn is truly a princess and this shirt defines her well.  The heart and tiara applique is very cute.  I love her named spelled out in the crystals.  The ruffles on the bottom top off the shirt and make it unbearably sweet.  This shirt fits her well and she seems to enjoy wearing it.  I had no issues getting it on or off either.  She was wagging her tail a lot while wearing it, so I think the shirt brought out the true princess in her! The shirt holds up fine in the wash, just don't machine dry it. Make sure you air dry it.  The shirt seems to be made well and the crystals are adhered strongly.

Carolyn likes to wear this shirt around the house, or even going out for a walk in it too.  We've received many compliments on it and it always makes people smile.  Whenever I say, "where's your Carolyn shirt?" She starts running toward the basket that I keep her clothes in and sniffing for it! She's a smart princess!

If you're looking for adorable clothes for your pooch or child, Melissa's is the perfect place to do some shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 20, 2013

CharliesWeb Etsy Shop Review

Everyone who knows me knows I love to spoil my dog.  She's a rescue dog and we've had her for two weeks now.  I don't know what her former life was like, but I want to do the best I can to make sure her new life is comfortable and happy.  Carolyn loves to lay on the bed or couch, but doesn't like to lay on the floor.  What can I say? She loves to be comfortable!

CharliesWeb is an Etsy shop ran by shop owner Charlett. She sells hand-sewn, one-of-a-kind items that your child will love.  Looking for an adorable dress for your daughter, or a customized onesie for your new baby? No problem, Charlett has many choices for you! Her items are quality made and will surely gain you tons of compliments. Why not stop by her shop today?

Since I love to spoil my dog, I figured she'd love to cozy up to a comfy and soft blanket.  She loves to hang out in her two beds, but neither of them have a blanket in there for her. Every dog deserve a comfortable blanket to snuggle with.

Charlett was kind enough to offer my baby Carolyn a fuzzy cream colored blanket for review.  She sewed on a pink and black bone with Carolyn's name on it.  What a cute touch!

Even her toys want to hang out on the new comfy spot!

Carolyn loves to lay all over my blanket, so I figured it was time to get her her own! The cream color of the blanket is very pretty.  Since it's fairly large, I've folded it up and laid it in her bed.  The pink and black stitched on bone is adorable and I love how it features her name in cursive.  The blanket is extremely soft and Carolyn loves to lay all over it. As soon as I put it in her bed she laid down on it and played with her toys. It was love at first sit!

As you can see, here's Carolyn sitting on her new throne.  Even though it's hot outside, Carolyn still enjoys a comforting blanket.  This will really come in handy for keeping her warm and cozy in the winter!

If you're looking for fabulously sewed and hand crafted items, Charlette is waiting for you!

*DISCLOSURE* I received this complimentary blanket in exchange for the review.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.  Like her on Facebook too! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DesignsAtHome Etsy Shop Review

I've been engaged since December.  In that time, I've spent a lot of time researching bridal and wedding items.  I've seen brides hang their dresses on special customized hangers featuring their new last name.  I thought this was such a unique and special item, I just had to have one! If you're looking to give your dress the attention it deserve, DesignsAtHome is waiting to help you create the ideal bridal hanger!

DesignsAtHome creates customized bridal hangers that are simply beautiful.  Each hanger is made to order and takes about two weeks to make. This is truly a special and personal keepsake for the bride, and a memory that lasts forever whenever she looks at it.  Some ideas of what you could have the hanger say are your new last name, bridge, your wedding date, or even any other special phrase.  The hanger is durable enough to hold heavy dresses.  Hang your wedding dress from the hanger on the day of while you're getting ready, and you'll be smiling way before you walk down the aisle.

I requested a hanger with my new last name, silver wire, and a white flower.  You can have a multitude of different wire colors such as pink, gold, copper, purple, etc. Let your creativity shine through in the creation process.  I wanted to keep mine simple and classy, even though I often do like a lot of color.  I feel that sophistication is key on your wedding day.

The hanger is EXTREMELY delicate.  I opened up the protective packaging just to take this picture.  I don't even want to touch it until the wedding day so it stays safe. It's absolutely gorgeous though!

I feel that creating this hanger takes a certain skill and talent that unfortunately I'll never have.  I don't excel at building or creating things, but I love to marvel others talents. Not only is it impressive that my new last name was written from a wire, but the fact that it's in cursive is even more impressive.  I love how it came out, it's so pretty.  The heart at the end is a cute touch.  I love the flower on top, it adds a calm and peaceful touch to the item. Even though the hanger is delicate, it will be able to hold my heavy dress with confidence.

For now, I have this safely tucked away on my closet shelf.  I'm getting married in August, so it won't be that much longer until I actually can use it! I can't wait to hang my dress from it, it will surely be a conversation starter.

If you know any brides who are getting married soon, a personalized hanger from DesignsAtHome would make the perfect gift! They will love receiving something that you can't buy just anywhere.

*DISCLOSURE* I received this complimentary hanger in exchange for this review.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.

Sonic is here to save the day!

On Thursday, June 20, 2013, SONIC Drive-In is kicking off summer right by serving each and every one of our shakes for half price all day long. Head to a SONIC Drive-In near you to enjoy delicious, creamy treats in uniquely irresistible flavors such as Peanut Butter Banana, Chocolate-Covered Strawberry, Cherry Cheesecake and Caramel. There’s no greater way to chill out from your midsummer madness than with a hand-mixed SONIC shake made with Real Ice Cream- all day long, all for half price.

I would love to try chocolate covered strawberry.  That sounds absolutely amazing.  Which one would you like? There's nothing better than delicious shakes for a great price!

*Disclosure* I received compensation in exchange for this post.  
Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ChileanSweets Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

As everyone knows, I can't get enough of my chocolate.  I'm not a lover of just one type of chocolate, but so many kinds! My favorite part of loving the sweet confectionery treat is being able to try different types of chocolates in fabulous desserts.  I want to make it my mission in life to try every type of chocolate in the world, starting from ChileanSweets.

ChileanSweets is an Etsy shop ran by Maria, who is a Chilean pastry chef living in the USA. She was eager to share her culture with her friends and family, so she started cooking and baking and trying different recipes she grew up with.  Thus Chilean Sweets was born.  The shop offers homemade Latin confections made with family recipes passed down through generations.  If you're in the mood for dulce de leche, alfajors, or cuchufli, you've come to the right place! All of Maria's treats are baked with love and care and are ready to delight your taste buds.

I was generously sent a large box of alfajors, cuchufli, and a jar of fabulous dulce de leche spread.  I couldn't wait to dig in and go into Chilean sweets heaven! I had previously tried alfajors, but it was many years ago.  I remember loving them.  I had not tried cuchufli before and was very interested to do so.

These delightful rolled wafer cookies are filled with dulce de leche and coated in a generous blanket of chocolate.  Prepare to take a one way ticket to Flavortown, USA!

The first thing that I noticed about these cookies is how visually appealing they are.  I love the drizzle of white chocolate on top of the milk chocolate.  As soon as I opened the box, I realized these cookies had no chance against my stomach.  Sorry to say, it's true! The cookie offers sweet milk chocolate with a fabulous creamy dulce de leche (caramelized milk) center. The chocolate is sweet, but not over the top sweet.  It's just perfect! The dulce de leche is smooth and creamy and certainly the perfect filling for this cookie.  The filling is prevalent but not over the top. I believe that it is impossible to have just one.  If I let myself, I would enjoy way more than I should, but then I'd be crying chocolate tears as I gain a lot of weight!   The cookie is not crunchy but chewy. I love how fresh and delicious the cookie is.  It is the perfect companion to a nice cup of coffee or tea for an afternoon snack. 

Look at the monster filling these alfajors pack! Yes, I do give you permission to lick your screen. 

If you haven't had an alfajor previously, you're in for a real treat. This dessert consists of two cookies joined by a dulce de leche center, and coated with dark chocolate.  This looks like absolute heaven, don't you think? This is one dense treat that packs a fantastic center which I can't get enough of.  I love the combination of the dulce de leche center paired with the dark chocolate. The cookies are soft and buttery and they practically melt in your mouth. I like to cut the cookie in half and have one half then, and save the rest for later.  The dark chocolate is not very bitter at all, but just right.  This is one dessert that I'd like to have in my kitchen on a routine basis! I recommend taking a bite out of these as soon as you can.

This spread is perfect as a treat on pancakes, waffles, toast, fruit, topped on ice cream or fruit, or used in cakes! Whatever you do though, don't eat it of the jar! You won't be able to stop. :)

A whole jar of dulce de leche spread? The caramelized gods were speaking to me, and I was definitely listening! I can't get enough of my dulce de leche and I'm putting this spread on the highest pedestal possible. I had toast for breakfast this morning, but instead of using jam or butter I used the spread! I wanted to switch it up and show some love for the milky goodness.  I spread a generous layer on my toast and I prepared to have my taste buds cheer! The spread was out of this world on warm toast.  The delicious sweet spread brought out the rustic taste of my toast.  I really enjoyed the change from traditional jelly on my morning toast, and I think I found a new toast topper! Be creative and use this spread on anything you'd like to add more sweet flavor to.

Anything from Maria's shop would make the perfect gift for any chocolate lover out there, and would also make the ideal gift for yourself too!

Monday, June 17, 2013

IslandTopCustomTags Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

Since receiving Carolyn, I've really come to appreciate and love customized items for her.  The love, dedication and labor put into a handmade item is really special and heartwarming.  I enjoy having pieces that nobody else has and you can't buy them at any old store.  I appreciate people's talents and it certainly shows in some of the favorite toys and blankets that Carolyn has that were handmade.

IslandTopCustomTags is a shop ran by owner Paula.  She specializes in handmade custom pet ID tags and personalized hand stamped pendants for people. The pet ID tags are fantastic and they are done through a rigorous stamping and soldering process.  The end result is a unique, made to order tag that you and your dog will enjoy for years to come. Not only does Paula write whatever text you'd like, she creates different designs and even a picture of your pet on the tag! She has a big talent and the pet tags would make a great gift for any new pet owner.

Paula graciously sent my Carolyn a hand stamped tag.  Since Carolyn is part westie, I thought it'd be cute to make her a tag with a Westie's face on it, and then her name on the back.  She has to be proud of her background, right? The tag came fairly quickly and I was very impressed with the results.

Look at the detail on this! I absolutely love it and I can tell a lot of love and time went into creating this piece!

I love the sweet little bow on the back. 

The tag is certainly a high quality piece of work.  I love the picture of the Westie, it's so cute! The tag is fairly large and the detail of the face is easy to recognize. The bronze with the silver is a nice color combination. I've attached it to her collar and there's been no issues with it bothering Carolyn.  My friends have commented on a what a cool, unique piece it is and they want to know where I had it made.  I recommended Paula's Etsy shop of course! I'm really satisfied with the piece and I smile whenever I look at it. 

I enjoy being able to offer custom made pieces for Carolyn to enjoy.  I also love helping small businesses too, it makes me happy. 

If you're looking for a custom tag to represent your dog or cat's personality, Paula's waiting for your order!

Friday, June 14, 2013

FlyBabiesEmbroidery Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

One thing that I go through quickly is makeup cases.  The one I've had now is about 4 years old and full of makeup stains. I've been too lazy to actually buy another one, but I've been meaning to get one for a while now. A makeup case should be big enough for you to travel with, but also hold all of your daily essential products too. 

FlyBabiesEmbroidery is an Etsy shop ran by shop owner Erika.  All items are custom crafted to order and embroidered with care and dedication.  Erika sells embroidered baby bloomers, cups, mugs, totes, makeup cases and more.  Her items would make perfect gifts as custom made items are very special.  Check out her shop today and see what you like best. :)

I was fortunate enough to receive a personalized black waffle weave cosmetic bag.  My soon to be new initials were embroidered into the case!

Her creation and shipping time were very fast and soon enough the cosmetic bag was here. 

I love the black and pink together, it's such a fun combination!

The cosmetic bag is definitely a great quality.  The waffle weave is thick and very plush.  I love the beautiful pink script that is embroidered into the front of the bag.  The stitching seems done well and a quality job.

As you can see, the bag is very deep and holds a lot.

The inside of the bag is spacious and holds all of your makeup essentials.  When I get married in August, I'll be taking the bag with me to hold my makeup essentials for the weekend! I'm looking forward to replacing my old makeup bag with one that is more meaningful and special.  It doesn't hurt that this one is brand new and stain free too!

If you're looking for a special embroidered item, please check out FlyBabiesEmbroidery.

Pet 360 Review

Whenever you initially decide to adopt or buy a dog, you think of all the supplies and necessities that they need.  A dog's life is not complete without food and water bowls, toys, a bed, treats, etc.  You sometimes overlook all of the little extra things that they need, but don't worry that's normal.  Pet360 is here to remind you of everything your playful pooch needs and requires!

Pet 360 is the ultimate destination for pets and pet parents.  Whatever you could possibly need for your dog or cat is available here.  They provide food bowl sets, toys, treats, brushes, leashes, and so much more.  If you're looking to spoil your four legged baby, Pet 360 is waiting to help you do so! All of the items are reasonably priced and ship fast. I had a lot of fun browsing the website and seeing all of the products that were for sale for dogs. 

I still needed a few more things for Carolyn, so Pet 360 graciously sent me a package containing a comb, huge box of Greenies, and nail clippers.  All of these necessities were greatly needed and will come in handy!

Carolyn absolutely loves Greenies! These are a healthy oral care treat that supports good dental care.  These mini treats are meant for dogs between 5 and 15 lbs, which is perfect for her.  They are adorable and look like mini toothbrushes that reduce tartar and plaque. I give her one a day, and she goes nuts when I say the word Greenies!  I'm so happy she loves them and her teeth benefit too!  Greenies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support immune system health and overall well-being. It's important to me that I'm helping her teeth look their best. 

Since she does shed a small amount, it's important to keep her well brushed.  Carolyn had a grooming appt last Saturday, and I went to brush her right before her appt.  I was shocked at how much hair was in the brush just from a few strokes of brushing! This Le Salon essentials combo dog brush makes brushing very easy. The steel pin brush bristles penetrate deep to life dead hair, dirt and debris.  I like the fact that the brush is double sided, depending on how you want to brush your dog.  Carolyn really enjoys being brushed and closes her eyes when I brush her! The bristles do not bother her. The brush works well and I like how much hair it collects.  I much prefer the hair in the brush, then on my floors or couch! The red color is cute too.  

Since Carolyn had her nails cut when she got groomed, I have not had a chance yet to try out the medium sized nail clippers.  Dogs usually dislike having their nails cut, but the alternative is very sharp nails that hurt you, or hurt them when they scratch themselves.  It's vitally important that you know what your doing when you cut your pooch's nails because you could end up cutting too far and hurting them.  These clippers look easy to use and I'll be sure to try them as soon as Carolyn needs her nails clipped again!

Why not stop by Pet 360 today and pick up some items for your baby? They will be so excited!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Pet 360 for providing me with the complimentary items for Carolyn.  All thoughts and opinions are strictly mine and not based on anything else.