Thursday, August 29, 2013

Weddng Weekend!

My wedding weekend is approaching.  I'll be back in a few days with new posts!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Calling All Soap Lovers!

There's nothing I love more than fabulous smelling soaps.  Sometimes using an ordinary bar of soap can get dull.  Since life is short, why not spice up that soapy experience and use something bright and colorful that smells like a dream.

Nobody knows soap like Tracy Fritze of Faith, Soaps & Love.  She is the owner of this Etsy shop and she has a true passion for getting clean.  Her homemade soaps and lotion bars are made with wonderful ingredients like olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil.  The best part is that everything is made in her own home kitchen!

Tracy's soaps are not just plain bars of white soap, oh no.  They are square bars that have various ribbons of colors running through them.  It's the most beautiful soap I've ever seen! There are three different categories of soap offered.  The first is fragrance oil soaps.  These soaps are 98% natural and made with various fragrances that are guaranteed to leave you smelling like heaven.   The second category is essential oil soaps. This category is 100% natural and made with essential oils.  The last category would be perfect for gift giving.  You can find multiple bars, gift sets, soap-of-the-month club, and value packs in this section.  If you're looking to buy in bulk this is the category for you! 

How gorgeous are these lavender soaps? This is just a preview of what you can expect of soap from Tracy's shop.  Each bar is made with love, dedication, and passion.  I wish I was half as creative as Tracy is.

Whatever scent you could possibly want, it's available in Tracy's shop.  Why not surf on over to her Etsy shop and purchase some soap today? 

Check out Tracy on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Have you heard about Hapimomi?

If you're looking for the latest and greatest family app, please consider Hapimomi.

Hapimomi is an easy-to-use app that helps you organize, share and plan with your family privately.  Share a single family phone book, calendar, shopping list, diary, or even to-do list! This free app will make life a lot more organized for you.

Wouldn't it be great to share everything with your entire family so they can be in the loop of all activities, events, and happenings in you and your family's life? It would be a great way to stay in touch! 

This will be one app that you'll certainly use on a daily basis on your smartphone.  Why not give it a try today? Click here to download it.  

Also check out Hapimomi on Facebook and Twitter.

*Disclosure* I am receiving compensation for this sponsored post.

Vaseline Giveaway

Even though summer is winding down, the sun and heat are still in full force.  It's important that you not only protect your skin from the rays of the sol, but keep it moisturized too.  There's nothing worse than dry, itchy skin.  Wouldn't it be nice to use a product that keeps your skin hydrated all day but is non greasy and won't get on your clothes? Vaseline is here to save the day!

Vaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly.  Everyone knows the original vaseline which is meant to moisturize skin and help heal cuts and burns, but the product line has extended in recent years.  Nowadays you can find Vaseline intensive rescue repairing body lotions and creams, lip creams, and more.  Whatever product you're looking for to help your skin look its best, Vaseline is there to assist.

One new product that Vaseline has recently introduced is the Spray & Go Aloe Fresh Moisturizer.  This is a continuous spray lotion that moisturizes deeply and absorbs in second.  This is very convenient as you can put your clothes on and get started with your day without waiting for anything to dry.  It leaves skin feeling very soft, not sticky or greasy.

Since we only a limited amount of time to go to the beach, why not make your last trip to the waves one to remember? Let Vaseline give you a prize pack that will be great to take with you on your day of fun in the sun.

One winner will win a prize pack containing Spray and Go Vaseline, a Lands End beach bag, and a Lands End beach towel.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Modella Giveaway

I can't get enough of cosmetic bags.  The bigger the better, in my opinion.  The ones that I love best have funky patterns, are brightly colored, and feature many compartments.  It's essential to have a cosmetic bag filled with all of the products and makeup you need to look your best when traveling.  I love to update my bag style every few months and I'm constantly finding myself buying new cosmetic bags.  Modella knows all about stylish bags, and for that I rely on them.

Modella is a trendy, cosmetic and travel bag brand.  All of the bags the company makes have fun and bold prints.  Whether you're looking for paisley, leopard print, zebra print, stripes, or even flowered print, the company has you covered and offers much more.  I absolutely love the assorted styles! The bags are very durable and usually come in one zippered cases, or even train cases. There is a lot of room for anything you may need to pack to travel with.  A Modella bag makes a perfect gift for any lady in your life. Why not buy a bag for yourself today?

How cute is this set? This 3 piece leopard bag Modella set features a small leopard bag, a medium sized paisley print bag, and then a large leopard print bag. The set is completed with a pretty blue tied bow.  If you're looking for a new cosmetic bag set, this is certainly the set for you.  I'm a fan of leopard and I'm surely eyeing it!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cookies From the Hart Etsy Shop Review

Cookies are everything to me, they are certainly my entire life. I think that if I was robbed and they took a bag of cookies instead of my phone or wallet, I would be equally as upset.  How dare they enjoy those round circles of heaven when they are unauthorized to eat them! My favorite cookies are chocolate chip, although I do love snickerdoodles and sugar cookies too.  There's nothing like a freshly baked cookie right out of the oven with an ice cold glass of milk.  If you haven't indulged in a cookie lately, why not do so today?

Cookies From the Hart is an Etsy shop ran by owner Joanna.  Joanna has a passion and love for baking cookies.  She doesn't make just ordinary cookies, she makes fabulously filled cookies! You can enjoy delicious and unique gourmet filled cookies that are also gluten free or vegan.  Each order contains a dozen carefully handmade and filled cookies.  The cookie flavors are out of this world combinations like chocolate chip filled with brownie, red velvet, party cake, oatmeal raisin cream, dark chocolate mint, and so much more.  I love that each flavor is filled with a certain thing, it's like a party in your mouth! These cookies are perfect for any occasion and would make a fabulous birthday present.  

When I stumbled upon Joanna's shop, I knew I had to try these insanely good looking treats.  I couldn't wrap my ahead around how amazing a filled cookie would be.  When you aren't sure if you'd like a cookie or brownie, why not have both? This cookie takes two sweets that you love and pairs them together into one mind-blowing yummy.

I was sent a dozen chocolate filled brownie cookies. They are gluten free, an ideal choice for those with sensitivities.  These cookies looked straight out of cookie heaven.  I couldn't wait to try them.

Excuse me, can someone please bring out the defibrillators? My heart has stopped from seeing these glorious cookies.  Only cookie defibrillators can bring me back.  Look at the beautiful golden brown color of the cookie paired with the dark brownie inside.  It's cookie art. 

The common misconception about gluten-free cookies (and anything else gluten-free) is that it contains zero taste.  I do not follow a gluten-free diet, but it is good sometimes to cut out gluten where you can.  These cookies are very dense and filled with luscious brownie.  What can be better than combining chocolate and brownie together? Nothing.  I mean absolutely nothing.  Not even winning $1,000,000. ;)

I heated them in the microwave for a few seconds because I prefer my cookies warm.  When I took the cookies out of the microwave, they were a little melty, but looked like pure perfection.  The cookie was warm and out of this world.  The cookie was moist and soft and I could taste that sweet chocolate flavor right away.  Like I mentioned earlier, the cookie itself was very thick and dense.  In the middle of your cookie bite was the star of the show, the brownie.  The brownie was soft and rich.  Despite being gluten free, the cookie packed a ton of flavor that tasted wonderful. I was in absolute heaven with them.  I had to control myself from eating another one.  I think the only thing that stopped me was the fact that they were very filling.  You might want to pace yourself with these.  A glass of cold milk or nice cup of tea would be the perfect accompaniment to enjoying a cookie. 

If you think you've enjoyed a cookie before, you haven't.  Until you've tried Joanna's cookies, you've been living under a cookie rock.  She will coax you out from under that rock with the promise of one of her filled cookies.  Trust me, it will be worth it.  Go ahead and indulge in her cookies today.  You will love them.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Cookies From the Hart for providing me with a complimentary order of cookies.  All thoughts are my own.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mike's Hard Lemonade Review

I'm not a huge drinker.  I like the occasional cocktail or glass of Prosecco here and there, but I'm not one to have a nightly glass of anything.  My drinks of choice are usually girly ones like vodka cranberries, or cosmos.  Mike's Hard Lemonade has always been on my list of go-to alcoholic beverages.  The variety of delicious flavors keeps me coming back time and time again.

Mike's Hard Lemonade is produced from products based on its original Mike's Hard Lemonade, a combination of lemonade and unflavored malt liquor base.  The drinks contain 5% alcohol so they are not extremely strong.  I'm not a fan of very strong drinks so this is perfect for me.  The flavors range from original and berry to iced tea, lime, crisp apple, pink lemonade etc.  Recently, the company has come out with drink pouches that you freeze and pour into a glass for a refreshing summer beverage.  How does black cherry, classic margarita or hard strawberry lemonade sound among many other flavors? Whatever flavor you choose, I can assure you it will be delicious.

I was contacted by Mike's recently to review some of their product.  I thought I would receive a couple new flavors to try.  I was told a messenger would be delivering the shipment.  I didn't think anything of it until I told my fiance to pick up the delivery because I thought it might be heavy.  Since we live in a condo building, we have one of those wheeled carts to help move large items.  He knocked on the door to have me let him in.  I didn't expect to see the entire cart filled with boxes of Mike's.  I was shocked and laughed.  I really thought it was a joke!

This is certainly a gift from the Mike's gods.  I live in a small apartment and don't have a ton of room.  I am still figuring out where to put all of these! :) 

I received a few boxes of frozen pouches in the following flavors: classic margarita, black cherry, and frozen lemonade.  I received 2 boxes of Shandy which is beer and lemonade, and then a box of hard pink lemonade which are in glass bottles.  

So far I've really enjoyed the frozen lemonade pouches.  I freeze them and at night I sit out in the courtyard and enjoy it.  They freeze easily and pour into a margarita glass with ease.  The ratio of lemonade to alcohol is perfect, and it's really refreshing on a warm summer's night.  It's not overly strong either.  The black cherry pouch is also extremely tasty too.  It's like going to a restaurant and having a frozen margarita, but in the comfort of your own home. 

My fiance loves the Shandy.  He's never had a beer mixed with lemonade before but he says it's an interesting combination that has led him to finish the whole box. :)  He likes that you can taste the lemonade and beer equally. 

We need to have a party so the rest of the drinks can be used up! Who wants to come over? I look forward to trying the rest of the flavors too.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Mike's Hard Lemonade for providing me with complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eve of Joy Etsy Shop Review and Giveaway

One talent in life that I wish I possessed was craftiness.  I'm always in awe of anyone who can decorate cakes, paint, draw, and design.  Having those kind of talents amazes me and makes me wish I had them as well.  There's nothing like people putting their talents to good use and making others smile.  Even though I'm not talented in the design department myself, I do love owning work by people who are.

Eve of Joy is an Etsy shop ran by owner Kelly.  The shop offers an assortment of whimsical items with lots of personality made from up-cycled vintage silverware.  Each piece is unique and has a history of its own. Whether you're looking for hand-stamped silverware, magnets, or even windchines, Kelly has you covered and offers lots more.  You can see the love and dedication that goes into each piece she creates.  Anything from Eve of Joy would make a special gift for the person who has it all, not to mention it's a great conversation piece.

Since I'm getting married in just a mere 9 days, I wanted something special and handmade to bring to the wedding.  I don't currently have anything that is truly handmade.  I browsed Kelly's shop and settled on the Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Forks.   I thought these were so unique and very cool.  They are a much better choice than the silverware I'd be using at the wedding! 

This incredibly romantic matching set of vintage silver plated forks is the perfect way to share your wedding cake, your first dinner as husband or wife, your anniversary, you name it! This is a lovely present or keepsake and a reminder of your special moments together.  It is perfect for cake and table photos too! Each set is hand-stamped with Mr. and Mrs. on it.  No two sets are like, and they will be polished to a bright shine before being sent. 

As soon as I saw this set, I fell in love with it.  What a cool idea.  My set came in a pretty brown box with brown string tied around it.  It felt very rustic, like the theme of Kelly's shop.  The forks were very shiny and gleamed in the light.  There was a pretty pattern on the handles.  The stamp was done very well and was clear and easy to see.  

My fiance thought the forks were extremely cool and couldn't wait to use them at the wedding.  This will certainly be a change from the ordinary silverware that everyone will be using that night.  I can't wait to use them!

If you're looking for a fantastic present for your wife for your upcoming anniversary, why not surprise her with these? They are extremely thoughtful and meaningful.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gtech AirRAM Review

Let's face it, not all of us enjoy cleaning.  It's a mundane chore that has to be done.  In a fantasy world, I'd love to have a maid who comes to my house every week to cook and clean for me.  I come home to a sparkling clean abode and a fantastic meal on my table.  Since that is definitely not in the cards for me, I have to clean my casa myself.  Why not make cleaning easier on yourself and use products that will help you get the job done faster?

Grey Technology is the maker of the fantastic revolutionary GTech AirRAM upright cordless vacuum.  This vacuum is lightweight and easy to move from room to room.  Simply charge the vacuum and you will receive 40 minutes of interrupted house cleaning with no cords to plug into each room.  The swivel head is perfect for getting under furniture and in tight spaces.  The vacuum is also bagless, which means it has direct dirt-to-tray technology which compresses dirt and dust into tidy bales which can be emptied right into the trash.  A unique part about this product is that you can connect it into the computer via USB that relays info on battery status, usage, and calories burned while vacuuming.  If you're looking for a vacuum to revolutionize your cleaning, the GTech AirRam is the ideal choice.

I've been needing a new vacuum for a long time now.  I have an old one that doesn't do as good of a job as I would like.  I have two area rugs in my home plus Carolyn sheds.  I need something that will have powerful suction and be able to provide me with the deep clean that I desire.

As soon as I received the vacuum, I was eager to try it out.  What I first noticed is how sleek and light it was.  It's only 7.7 pounds and is a beautiful brushed silver.  It's definitely much more aesthetically pleasing than my previous vacuum.   I plugged the battery in to let it charge for a while before I gave it a test run.  The power comes from a professional grade L-ion battery.  The motor powers the brush bar and suction fan that work together to lift the dirt.  Suction generated by the fan compresses the dirt into the front bale which you then empty into the trash.  This eliminates the dust created by a filter.  

I've never used a cordless vacuum before, and I was in awe that it works on just a mere charge! Going from room to room was a breeze now that I didn't have to plug in the vacuum in each room..  It's very easy to use and in no time I was vacuuming like the vacuum pro I was born to be.  I loved how light it was and it glided with ease across my carpets.  This vacuum was surely taunting my old one! What is most impressive is that it works well on both hardwoods and carpets, this is not just a one floor kind of vacuum.

The vacuum is not very loud at all, I would say the noise is average.  It doesn't bother me at all.  When I was done cleaning, I wanted to see what the vacuum picked up.  Let me preface this by saying I vacuum my rugs and hardwoods every 2-3 days.  I was not expecting the following results.
Look at all of the dirt, dust, and hair that was picked up from just one time of vacuuming! I really thought my carpets were ok.  How embarrassing! The AirRAM definitely goes deep into the fibers to pick up debris.  I was impressed at how much was sucked up.  The bales are small so you might have to empty them often if you are a hardcore vacuumer.  All you do is lift the top of the vacuum off the bottom to empty.  The manual says you have to clean the bale and filter every month for optimum performance.

I'm very impressed with this vacuum and I've been using it quite frequently since receiving it.  Since it's light, it very easily fits into a hall closet to store when not in use.  If you're looking to invest in a vacuum that will clean your home like a pro, I highly recommend the GTech AirRAM.

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

80' Giveaway

The 1980's brought a lot of economic, political, and social change for all.  It was a time where times were changing and technology was advancing too.  A lot of my favorites movies, music, and TV shows were from the 80's.  I also was born in this decade.  Some may look back fondly at the 1980's and wish for a time where things were simpler and life easier.  However way you look at it, this decade means something different to everyone. sells a variety of 80's based shirts featuring music, cartoons, television shows, movies and more.  Whether you'd like a shirt featuring a scene from Back to The Future, the Double Dare Logo, or even the Cheers logo, they have you covered and offer much more. Why not purchase a Madonna shirt for the Madonna fan in your life, or a Superman shirt for that Superman fanatic? They also sell costumes, backpacks, blankets, and more.  Go ahead and surprise the 80's lover in your life with something that will make them say that's gnarly dude!

One of my favorite games of all time is Pac-Man.  If I lose quickly when I play, I tend to get mad and frustrated.  Those ghosts won't leave my poor Pac-Man alone! They're always chasing after him.  Can't they just go away? They look sick, like they need some sunlight too.  Years ago I even found an electronic tabletop Pac-Man game that was my parents.  I was really excited and played it a lot.  I enjoyed bringing the video game experience into the comfort of my own home.  You can even find me playing Pac-Man online too.  There's just something so addicting about it!

Many people share my love for Pac-Man and 80' definitely recognizes this.  To solidify the love for the yellow one, there's now a Pacm-Man blanket that makes my heart sing.
This Pac-Man microfiber fleece blanket features the unmistakable game board on a 50x60 throw.  It's thin but features warm and soft fleece. You'll find the non-gamers in your life will end up using it because it's so comfortable, and you'll love it because it's Pac-Man! 

Stay warm this winter with this fabulous blanket.  Let the memories of going to the arcade after school and playing video games trickle in.  Also, be prepared to have others want it because it's so cool.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Vet IQ Review

As you all know, right now I have no children.  My dog Carolyn is my four legged child.  I rescued her back in June and she is just the light of my life.  She is spoiled beyond belief and even sleeps in my bed.  Her toy box is overflowing but that doesn't stop me from buying her more.  I have no idea what her previous life was like before she came to me, so I want to make her as comfortable and happy as possible. Why not spoil your furry friend? They want nothing in return but unconditional love and affection.  Vet IQ knows how to make dogs tail waggin' happy.

Vet IQ provides quality medication and supplements for your pet at affordable prices.  The main products offered are flea and tick prevention, prescription medication, and treats.  I really like how the treats aren't just ordinary yummies, but treats that help dogs' hip and joints, teeth, skin and coat, and also contain vitamins and minerals too. It's important to take excellent care of your dog to guarantee they will live as long of a healthy life as possible.  If you're looking to make your dog smile, why not order them some treats today?

Carolyn regularly eats Iams proactive health treats.  I like knowing that she's enjoying a treat that not only tastes good, but has beneficial ingredients to her health as well.  

I received an offer to review two products from Vet IQ recently.  I knew Carolyn would be thrilled at this offer and I chose the Vitamin Chews and Minties for her.  I'm always interested in including more vitamins in her diet. As for the Minties, what pet owner doesn't want their dog to have nice, fresh breath?

The package came extremely quickly and I loved how it was addressed to Carolyn! Since I knew it was for her, I put it down on the floor to see if she could smell the treasures inside.
This is for me? What is it Mom? I hope it's not a personal invitation to see the vet!

Once I opened the package, she was extremely excited.  She knew the yummies in there were for her and she went nuts!

Both are for me!? I think my tail might fall off from wagging so much!

The Vitamin Chews are liver flavored soft chews that are wheat free for dogs of all sizes.  The treats support overall health, strengthen bones, muscles, and teeth, and promote vitality.  The Minties are free of wheat, soy, and corn.  They are for dogs 10-19 lbs and they help to clean teeth, freshen breath, and remove plaque and tarter.  

Carolyn is a huge treat girl.  She would eat an entire box of treats if I let her.  I give her a treat every time she goes to the bathroom, and also just for being a pretty girl.  I was interested to see if she'd like these.

I first gave her a Vitamin Chew.  The bag contains 75 treats which is a decent amount given the small size.  
Did someone say treat? I can smell a treat from 500 miles away!

What I instantly liked about these treats was their petite size.  They are not too big for her, but honestly the perfect size.  She is only 16 lbs.  They did have a strong smell that I noticed when I instantly opened the treat bag.  I gave her the treat and she seemed to love everything about it.  She gobbled it up and probably would have eaten my hand too had I not moved it! She is treat obsessed.  As soon as she ate it, her tail wagged furiously and she smiled.  That's confirmation enough that she liked it! These treats are the perfect size for putting into a zip-loc bag and bringing to the park for behavioral training.  I really love that these treats help to make her happy, but also make me happy because they are very good for her health. These will be a regular in her treat jar. 

As pet owners know, our dogs breath isn't always pleasant.  To help ward off bad breath, I give Carolyn a breath refresher tablet daily, and I also put a liquid dental care solution meant for dogs into her water.  Both of those routines really help her breath, but sometimes it still isn't the freshest.  I was really interested to try Minties to see if it works. The bag contains 10 large bone shaped treats to help make your furry baby's breath smell like minty heaven.

Can you tell someone really loves their treats? 

The first thing I noticed when I opened the Minties bag was that the treat looked and smelled like a giant bone shaped breath mint. Carolyn went absolutely nuts for this treat as well, as you can see by the picture! Her eyes are popping out of her head.  She licked at the treat and then went to town.  I was happy she liked the treat so much because it would surely help her breath.  The treat is small enough for her to easily eat and chew.  After she was done with the treat, I went over to do a breath test.  Her mouth smelled like she ate a package of spearmint mints! She must have known I was checking on her because she gave me a minty kiss which didn't smell foul at all.  I was very impressed with the instant boost they gave her.  I will definitely be keeping these around anytime her breath needs a kick of freshness.

I am very satisfied with these treats and I'd highly recommend them to any dog owner.  Your dog will go woofin' crazy for them.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Vet IQ for providing me with the complimentary treats.  All thoughts are mine/Carolyn's. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Excedrin Back to School+Giveaway

It's that time of year again! Many children in the United States have already gone back to school, or some will be starting in the next few weeks.  Parents in every state are buying new clothes, backpacks, and various other school supplies.  Children are either ready and anxious for the school year to start, or are dreading it.  It's important that parents stay organized as they adjust to hectic schedules and spend more time on the go.

While I don't have children, I can still clearly remember back to school season since it hasn't been that many years since I attended.  I looked forward to going clothes shopping and buying all of the needed school supplies.  There's just something about brand new notebooks and planners that make you want to dive right in and learn.  The first few weeks of school are all about settling in and getting re-adjusted back to that school life.  It was always fun to catch up with friends and acquaintances and see how their summer was.  I was always the one getting told to be quiet for talking or laughing too much.  While the first few weeks of school are new and exciting, it can be hard for some.  Children can get migraines and feel nervous and anxious. Parents are even susceptible to migraines too from all of the happenings of the new school year.  Excedrin is there to help make life pain-free and livable.  I'm very lucky that I didn't have migraines while in school.

All of those school supplies can be costly.  I'm sure if you're a parent you've spent a pretty penny filling your child's backpack with the required materials.  In response to this, Excedrin has launched the "Help Your School Excel with Excedrin" sweepstakes.  This is a fun and migraine-free way for five individuals to win $10,000 for their child's school.  For more information about the sweepstakes please visit Excedrin's Facebook page.  How fantastic would it be if you won the cash and were able to supply students with scissors, loose-leaf paper, pencils/pens, markers, glue and so many other needed things.  You definitely would be put up high on a pedestal!

Excedrin knows that readjusting back to the grind isn't easy.  Moms and dads are shuffling kids from one after school activity to the next, all while making sure homework is done and everyone is fed. I feel stressed just reading that sentence! In order to help parents stay organized, hydrated, and migraine-free Excedrin is offering a back to school prize for one lucky winner! The prize pack consists of a 2013-2014 academic planner and pen, a magnetic memo board, and an aluminum tumbler.

That planner will help you keep track of your child's parent teacher conference, the school bake sale, and of course your daughter's prom! Thanks to Excedrin, you'll be organized and staying on schedule in no time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Giveaway

I've always been attracted to reading news stories and articles about anything weird.  A sheep being born with two heads, a squirrel who thinks he's a dog, and of course a person living to an unexpectedly old age.  These stories fascinate me and they break the norm from the daily stories about death, crime, and violence.  I turn to Ripley's to satisfy my cravings for anything strange and out of the ordinary.

Ripley's has been entertaining fans and visitors for over 90 years with over 80 exciting attractions in over 11 countries. The brand offers best-selling books, a syndicated TV series, and the longest continuously published newspaper comic in history.  Ripley's delights people with odd, unique, and incredible artifacts, stories, art, and photographs.  Some of my favorite exhibits and stories are the animals with oddities, the tallest woman in the world, people with many tattoos or piercings, and of course the woman who cries glass.
I've been a fan of the TV show for years, and I just started reading the books recently.  Let's say I'm beyond hooked! Last year I even visited the Ripley's Believe it Or Not Odditorium in New York City.

If you're looking to get your Ripley's fix, let me introduce you to this year's annual, Dare to Look!
Go ahead and open the book, I dare you! 

This hardcover book is chock full of incredible facts, crazy stories, amazing pictures, and lists and interviews too.  A fun thing about this book is that it also comes with bonus hidden content which is accessible when you use the Ripley's smart phone app! If you're looking for something to shock you and make you say wow, this book is the perfect pick for you.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#CountryCrockCasserole Post #2-Back to School Giveaway

I've been spending more time in the kitchen lately experimenting with new recipes.  What have I been making, you ask? Well, summer salads, chicken dishes, and seafood risotto, just to name a few.  Cooking is very therapeutic for me and I really enjoy it.  Since I'm apart of the Country Crock Casserole Club, I always have the opportunity to create a new dish that I would never think of preparing!

Country Crock buttery spread has 70% less saturated fat than butter and 30% more fewer calories.  The spread contains 30 calories per serving and comes in many different types.  This is a guilt free spread that will liven up your foods.  What I love most about Country Crock is that there are so many uses for the spread, why not experiment with a new way today? How about using it in a casserole dish that will become a crowd pleasing meal, or on fabulous fresh baked bread? Whatever way you use Country Crock, I can guarantee you will enjoy it.

This is my second kit as a member of the Country Crock Casserole Club.  My next and final kit will be sent out around the holiday season.  This time, I was sent a kit that revolved around back to school season.  I don't have children yet, but the school memories are still fresh in my mind.  Back to school in my opinion is parents rushing around in the beginning weeks of school meeting teachers, filling out paperwork, going to school events, etc.  It can be a busy time for most, and most moms want a quick and easy, but crowd-pleasing meal to feed their families.

The kit that I was sent featured a recipe for Mexican beef & corn casserole.  As members, we are asked to create our own spin of the recipe.  You can add in any ingredients you want to make this recipe your own, but you are not supposed to make the exact recipe featured.  The rest of the kit contained a box grater, oven mitt, turner, and Mexicorn and black beans to use in the recipe.

My second Country Crock Casserole Club kit.

Endless possibilities.

I looked over the recipe and the first thing I thought to add to the dish was rice.  Spanish rice is a classic side and ingredient of most Mexican dishes. I knew I wanted to leave out some of the ingredients like sour cream. I also planned on adding refried beans to the casserole.

I gathered my ingredients together and got to cooking.  I cooked the ground beef with seasoned salt and garlic powder, then drained it.  After that I popped the rice packet into the microwave.  I combined the black beans, Mexicorn, and rice into a bowl and poured in a little bit of salsa and refried beans. After I mixed those ingredients together, I put the ground beef into the casserole dish and poured the ingredients from the bowl on top.  I mixed everything together and then topped it off with shredded cheese.  It looked gorgeous and straight out of a magazine.  I knew waiting the 20 minutes for it to bake would be hard because my stomach was ready to eat!

I'm ready for a Mexican fiesta now!

Look how gorgeous this casserole is! I love all of the flavors together, they compliment each other so well. The casserole was very tasty and I definitely will be regularly making it.  I love how the cheese kicked up the dish a notch.  I feel like I'm transported straight to Mexico when I eat it, it's that good! My fiance fell in love with it and is now requesting I make it all the time.  He ate half of the casserole in about ten minutes.  I know moms everywhere will be happy to create a dish that takes no time to prep, and only twenty minutes to bake!

I like that you can put your own twist on this recipe because there's so much room for imagination and creation.  Whatever you do though, make sure there's enough for seconds for your family.  They will go crazy for it!

#TheClueIsInTheBlue Be In The Know about Luv's!

I know I'm not a mom, but many of my readers are.  I don't usually post child related things, but I'm always interested in spreading the word about new products that moms could be interested in.

Luv's has created a new, super absorbent diaper. The blue seal on the super absorbent leakguard boxes represent that they are a special version of Luv's, found exclusively at Wal-Mart.  

The new leakguards are 15% more absorbent than other Luv's diapers.  Mom's everywhere would be really happy to know this!

The diapers have a contoured shape with leak barrier leg gathers for a snug, comfortable fit. The ultra absorbent leakguard core helps lock away wetness from baby's skin.  

If you're looking for a diaper that will satisfy both you and your baby, please turn to Luv's!

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post for SheSpeak/Luvs.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cayman Decor Giveaway

Since summer will be coming to a close relatively soon, it's time to start thinking of Fall. I know the cooler season may seem far away, but it's closer than you think.  I love all of the pumpkin treats that come with Fall, Halloween of course, the beautiful leaves changing, and the start of all of the winter holidays.  I know everyone loves to whip up delicious soups and stews when it's cold out too.  Have you thought about how you'll decorate your table for Thanksgiving this year? Let Cayman Decor help you to plan out one less thing.

Cayman Decor is your one stop shop for handmade high end custom napkin rings.  Their napkin rings are used for weddings, special events and parties, and more.  The company is founded by a mother/daughter team who loves to decorate but wanted something different than what the marketplace had to offer.  Their napkin rings are beautiful and come in many different colors and styles, but they focus mainly on flowers.   Whether you like sunflowers with black jewels, or a ring with feathers, there's a napkin ring that will make your table look marvelous for any occasion.

If you've been thinking about Thanksgiving and what to make this year, why not first think of your table and how you'll set it? A Fall theme with reds, tans, and browns is always fun and festive.  If these colors are on your agenda, why not have these fabulous Autumn is in the air napkin rings to tie everything together?

 For this dreamy fall collection, they have included this cheerful fall napkin ring set that rivals other collections. Made to shine with its deep gemstone tone and decorative flower this napkin ring will set your fall tabletop apart from others quiet easily.

These napkin rings are awesome! Pair them with brown or cream napkins and you'll have a table setting that nobody will soon forget.  All you have to do is figure out what to serve now. I love the gemstones paired with the deep brown and orange, it's simply beautiful!