Friday, January 30, 2015

Weaver Nut Review

Chocolate holds a dear place in my heart, and there's nothing quite like it.  I like to eat chocolate only on days that end in Y.  I have a sweet tooth that knows no bounds.  I've been to known to attack a plate of chocolate chip cookies or brownies with great speed.  I can't help it though, the cookies needed to move into their new home in my stomach.  My philosophy is that everyone should indulge in chocolate on a daily basis.  I don't discriminate towards the sweet treat in any form.  I love brownies, cupcakes, cookies, and chocolate candy equally.  Go ahead and have a big slice of chocolate cake today.

Weaver Nut is a family-owned distributor of candy, chocolate, nuts, and bulk foods.  They are truly your one stop shop for everything delicious. You can choose from nostalgic old-fashioned candies, a variety of treats with filling inside, and brightly colored candies too.  How does chocolate covered gummy bears or peanut butter cups sound? There's so many tasty treats offered by Weaver Nut that you won't know where to start first.  Of course there's a dizzying array of nuts including raw, in the shell, roasted, or honey-roasted depending on your preference as well.  Weaver Nut also offers snacks, dried fruit, and coffee, teas, and hot chocolate too.  Keep them in mind for Valentine's Day and Easter candy.

Weaver nut must have felt that chocolate vibe through email, because I was sent many chocolate treats to delight my taste buds.  I received chocolate covered gummy bears, dark chocolate covered potato chips, chocolate covered cherries, and chocolate covers wafers. Was I in chocolate heaven or what? I also received a Texas beef rub seasoning and a fajita seasoning.  

I first used the Texas beef rub on pork chops.  I know what you're thinking.  You're wondering why I would use a beef rub on pork chops, right? Well, why not? The seasoning contains black pepper, garlic, cumin, and chili.  This isn't a seasoning I'd normally use on my meats, but I wanted to try something different.  I rubbed the pork chops with the rub and put them in the oven.  Not only did they blanket my kitchen with a fabulous aroma while cooking, they looked fantastic when done too.  

Fresh out of the oven pork chops in this picture!  Don't you wish smell-o-vision existed?

The pork chops were cooked just perfectly and I couldn't wait to dig in! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the rub.  Usually, I don't cook with cumin, chili, or pepper and I don't even have those spices in my home!  I was expecting it to be slightly spicier but luckily it wasn't since I am not a fan of extreme spiciness.  The rub really gave the pork chops a nice depth of flavor and extra kick of personality which I loved.  I think it will be just fabulous on steak or even chicken wings too.  I can't wait to use it on more meats in the future, and I'll definitely keep it handy in my kitchen.

I have not had a chance to use the fajita seasoning yet.  I just made fajitas the other night and wish I had the seasoning on hand.  The seasoning looks fantastic and I'm sure will bump up the fajita flavor tremendously.

The chocolate goodies don't stand a chance in my house, especially by me.  Everyone who knows me knows my sweet tooth is insane.  I wasn't sure which treat to try first but eventually settled on the chocolate covered wafers. 

No, I will not share.

These wafers ended up being my absolute favorite treat, hands down.  The light and airy wafer combined with the smooth and rich chocolate was divine.  I loved how perfectly crispy it was too.  The chocolate was sweet, but not overly sweet. It was impossible for me to have just one, and believe me I didn't.  I had more than I should have, but what can you do when something tastes so good? They would pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee for a mid afternoon snack.  

How can you eat something so adorable?

I honestly was not a fan of the chocolate covered gummy bears.  Since I love chocolate and gummy bears together, I thought it would be a genius combination but I did not like it.  I prefer to have my gummy bears plain like I normally enjoy them.  I'm sure others would enjoy this treat though.

Cherry lovers, get ready for a real treat!

The chocolate covered cherries did not disappoint by any means. I loved the tart and chewy cherry combined with the luscious chocolate, it's such a classic pairing that you can never go wrong with.  These bite-sized pieces of heaven were hard to resist.  I found myself having way more than I should have, but it's okay because it's fruit right? That's the lie I told myself.  

I have not had the chance to try the dark chocolate covered potato chips yet, but I cannot wait to try them.  Anything sweet and salty together is always an awesome pairing.  I look forward to sampling them soon.

If you have a party or work event coming up, why not let Weaver Nut provide the sweets? Your guests will surely love it!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Weaver Nut for providing me with complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Netflix #StreamTeam January 2015: Streaming Cats and Dogs

As a child I always enjoyed movies featuring cats or dogs as the main characters, especially when they spoke! Some of my childhood favorites were Homeward Bound, AirBud, 101 Dalmatians, and of course Milo and Otis.  I loved the scenarios the dogs found themselves in including fighting crime and other adventures. All kids love seeing cute and cuddly pets up on the big screen for their viewing pleasure.

Netflix is celebrating pets this month by featuring television shows and movies with their favorite cats, dogs, and even monkeys.  While the animals are lovable, they also teach and deliver important lessons on courage, protection, and love.  Even though my daughter is only 7 weeks old, I look forward to showing her animal themed movies that I enjoyed as a child.  One of the best things about being a parent is that you have the opportunity to relive your childhood through your own children.  I hope she will enjoy dog movies as much as I did and still do!

Netflix has compiled a list of four legged stars for all ages to enjoy.  It's time to gather the family around the flat screen TV with a big bowl of popcorn.  Don't forget glasses of your favorite beverage either.  Oh, if you're looking for a sweet and salty treat, throw some M&M's in the bowl of popcorn.

Little kids will love:

1. Pet Party
2. Clifford's Puppy Days
3. Littlest Pet Shop
4. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
5. Snow Buddies
6. Sabrina, The Animated Series

Big kids, this list is for you:

1. The Adventures of Puss in Boots
2. Annie
3. Step Dogs
4. Jumanji
5. Hachi: A Dog's Tale
6. Air Bud
7. Monkey Trouble

Teens and parents are not forgotten either:

1. Anchorman 2
2. Frasier
3. Family Guy
4. Friends
5. Red Dog
6. Wilfred

This is a very diverse list of choices that will appeal to anyone of all ages.  All you have to do is figure out what to watch first. 

Magnificookies Etsy Shop Review

Everyone who's been a long time reader of my blog knows how much I love my sweet treats.  To me dessert isn't truly dessert unless it involves chocolate.  I don't discriminate against that cacao goodness and love it in pies, cookies, cakes, and even cupcakes.  The more chocolate that's involved the better! I believe that everyone should have a small amount of chocolate everyday to stay sane and happy.

Magnificookies is an Etsy shop ran by owner Kym that creates beautifully personalized cookies that will blow your mind.  Just like the name states, they are truly magnificent cookies.  The level of detail and dedication in these cookies is incredible.  Forget plain old sugar or peanut butter cookies, it's time to step up your cookie game! Are you hosting a baby shower for your sister? Why not serve the guests onesie or baby duck cookies? All of the cookies come in either vanilla sugar, chocolate, almond, sugar, or lemon sugar.  Royal icing is used for decoration and the cookies can be sent "platter ready", or in individual bags with ribbons for favors. These cookies can be customized and made exactly how you want. Let your creativity soar and have the cookies of your dreams designed for you.  Keep Magnificookies in mind for cookies for a first birthday party, wedding favors, Christmas cookies, and of course anything for a work or business event.  Everyone will be so impressed and want to order their own batch of cookies from Magnificookies right away! 

My mom recently went home after helping me with my one month old daughter Scarlett. She was such a big help in not only giving me guidance and assistance with the baby but cooking and cleaning too! I'm not sure what I would have done without her there in the first few weeks.  I feel that just saying thank you isn't enough.  It was important to me to give her a gift that showed that I was truly appreciative. 

When I found adorable "thank you" cookies in Kym's shop, I knew that would be the perfect little token to send her.  This cookie set features a round cookie with a multicolored flower bouquet on it, while a rectangular smaller cookie displays a cursive "thank you." What better way to thank someone than with cookies, don't you think? The flavor that I chose for my mom's cookies was chocolate since she is a big chocolate fan like myself. 

The cookies were shipped fast after being baked.  My mom appreciated the gesture and said they were almost too pretty to eat!

What's better than a cookie? Absolutely nothing.

My mom said the cookies were not only beautiful, but equally as tasty.  You can surely see Kym's baking talent shine through in her work.  How adorable are these cookies? They are truly the cutest! The level of detail from the cursive writing to the flower boquuet is very impressive, I wish I could create something as fantastic as these cookies.  I loved how bright and cheery the colors of the flower bouquet were.  Bright colors always boosts anyone's mood.

The chocolate flavor was sweet and subtle.  My mom is not a fan of extremely rich treats that make you feel like you instantly have to brush your teeth after.  The cookie itself was moist and not too hard, she said just how she likes it.  She felt that the frosting was thick and provided an added bit of pizazz and taste to the cookie.  Overall, she really enjoyed the cookie and looks forward to having more of them over the next couple days.  

If you're looking for cookies that will surely impress, please check out Magnificookies. Your stomach and taste buds will appreciate it.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Keep Magic Alive Etsy Shop Giveaway

There's so many fun aspects that come with being a parent like witnessing your child's milestones in babyhood, and being there as they learn numbers and letters in toddlerhood. As children grow up you'll get to plan birthday parties, sleepovers, and watch as they grow and change.  Experiencing everything all over again through the eyes of a child is truly magical.  As a new parent, I can't wait for all of these firsts with my daughter.

Keep Magic Alive is an Etsy shop ran by owner Kabrina.  Kabrina creates handwritten and personalized tooth fairy letters on the color paper you choose.  She was inspired to create the letters after her daughter discovered that her handwriting was particularly similar to the tooth fairy's! Kabrina produces the letters in the computer and prints them to ensure that the handwriting is very small and tooth-fairy like. The package of personalized tooth fairy letters contains 36 personalized letters addressed to your child.  No letter is the same and they have unique messages based on when your child loses their tooth. Of course you'll start off with the introductory letter from the tooth fairy when your child loses their first tooth. This is a wonderful way to preserve the wonder of childhood for your child.  There's also 24 fairy-sized envelopes that can be used to hold a bill in exchange for your child's tooth. Just think how excited your child will be when they look under their pillow in the morning and see what the tooth fairy left for them!

Caution: Magic and wonder lives inside this box.

I remember being so excited for the tooth fairy to come each time I lost a tooth.  My parents weren't that creative with it though.  They never left a note or fairy dust or anything except a dollar bill.  Now that I have a child, I can't wait to play tooth fairy with her.  It will be so fun to relive those childhood memories through her, even though I have quite some years to wait.  I will be a little bit more creative than my parents were with me though.  After all, there's nothing like creating happy and joyful moments anytime you can.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Before Buying a Home Alarm System

Before Buying a Home Alarm System

Home alarm systems are becoming more and more affordable these days, but that doesn’t mean you should take less care when buying one. Despite the wealth of options on the market today, it is still necessary to find a suitable, high quality alarm system that meets your needs perfectly. Before you decide to buy a home alarm system, here are a few things you must do first.

Check if a home alarm system is necessary. Not every house needs a sophisticated home alarm system. Sometimes, all you need is a good set of locks and reinforced doors or windows. To see if you really need a home alarm system, start by reviewing your habits. Do you always keep doors and windows locked when going out or during the night? Do you have extra locks for your doors?

Most burglars are not that sophisticated. They look for houses with minimum amount of security and take advantage of the lack of extra protections. If you are still worried about the safety of your family members and personal belongings with extra security measures already in place, then a good home alarm system is probably right for you.

You should also review the home security solutions available before moving forward. There are quite a lot of systems to choose from. You can have a home security system with CCTV cameras and home alarms as well as other integrated security measures. You can also have a basic home alarm system – without CCTV.

Specific features are definitely worth reviewing. For example, a home alarm system that can notify the local police when it is triggered is always a good investment. However, the same system can turn into a nuisance if it continues to malfunction and accidentally call the police for you.

The goal is not to find the best, most system on the market, but to find a home security system that meets your needs and personal preferences perfectly. If you are not sure about which system to buy, then the next tip is just for you.

Work with a professional home security system contractor from the start. Always work with a contractor based near you for maximum convenience. If you live in Toronto, for example, you can try contacting and get all the information you need about home security systems.

The contractor will be able to help you choose the right system for your house. They will perform a series of assessments before presenting you with options and estimates. You can then discuss the options you have and go with the one you are comfortable with the most.

Last but certainly not least, choose a system you are comfortable with the most, feature- and cost-wise. A good home security system should be both reliable and affordable at the same time. Before deciding to buy a home security system, set a budget for your purchase. There is no point in buying an expensive system whose features you don’t really need.

Now that you have all the tips you need, start your search for the most suitable home alarm system and enjoy the extra protection it offers.

Choosing a Personal Trainer

Choosing a Personal Trainer

If you are serious about losing weight or just getting in shape, then you should consider hiring a personal trainer. You may not believe that a personal trainer can actually help you attain your goals, but if you see the results of some of their clients, you will realize the importance of a personal trainer and a personal fitness program.

No matter the reason you are considering a personal trainer instead of going it alone, you are making a wise decision. The main reason people choose a personal trainer is that they want to ensure they choose the best exercise program and have someone by their side when they become less motivated to reach their goals. Instead of choosing the latest fad, a personal trainer will evaluate your fitness ability to create a personal exercise program for your level that will help you reach your goals as well as listen to all of your concerns and ensure you stay motivated.

When choosing a personal trainer, you must be able to talk candidly with your trainer. Do not choose a trainer that you are not comfortable with or you will feel intimated or even worse think you know more than the trainer. It is best to choose a trainer that you feel will be there through thick and thin and one that you respect.

As about their education and qualifications as you will want an experienced trainer to ensure you receive the best trainer. Of course, a trainer that has been in the business for twenty years may sound great, however, if they are not up to date on the latest exercise programs, fitness programs, and nutritional facts, then may want to look elsewhere. Out of date programs may work, but newer programs have been proven to be more successful. As for references and talk with these individuals before you make the important decision.

Ask to see their personal trainer certifications and ensure that the trainer you choose majored in exercise physiology at college levels. This will ensure that the trainer will also have your safety in mind instead of just working on getting you buff and lose weight. You can use any fad diet or fad exercise program and get small results. If you use a personal trainer that is not concerned about the abuse your body may be going through to attain your goals, then you have not found the right personal trainer. Safety should be just as important as losing weight or getting fit. Causing damage to your body through exercise or dieting is certainly not the goal you wish to reach.

Choosing an entraîneur physique montréal will help you attain your goals and become healthy as long as you choose one that fits with your own personality and takes your needs into account. Choose the wrong trainer and you will not attain your personal goals.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Have You Tried Olive Garden's Four Course Festa Italiana?

If you're planning a future date night with your sweetie, why not make dinner plans for Olive Garden? Those breadsticks are just calling your name.

For a limited time, Olive Garden is offering a four course Italian meal for $12.99 a person. This is a fantastic deal for the amount of food you'll get.  Start off with unlimited soup or salad and breadsticks to delight your taste buds.  For the appetizer, choose from chicken meatballs, crispy risotto bites, or roasted garlic hummus.  If you're in the mood for fantastic pasta, you can select from 6 delicious entrees. How does asiago tortelloni with meat sauce or tri-colored penne with meat sauce sound? Don't forget about spaghetti with five cheese marinara, smoked mozzarella chicken, fettucine alfredo, or shrimp alfredo either.  Any pasta you choose will surely be delightful. 

Of course it's mandatory to end the meal with something sweet.  Make your stomach happy with dessert options like dark chocolate caramel cream, limoncello, strawberry & white chocolate, chocolate mousse, or amaretto tiramisu.  I'm drooling just thinking about the dark chocolate caramel cream!

I was able to sample the new four course menu recently.  The fresh salad and chewy breadsticks were delicious like always.  I would certainly eat my weight in breadsticks if given the opportunity.  For my appetizer, I chose the crispy risotto bites.  They were perfectly warm, crispy, and full of fantastic flavor.  The marinara sauce that accompanied the bites added an extra touch of flavor.  I was sad when I finished all of them.  

I was excited for my smoked mozzarella chicken entree with penne pasta.  When it came to the table, I knew it was time to dig in! The chicken had a nice smoked, herby flavor which I enjoyed.  There was plenty of cheese on the chicken to satisfy any cheese lover.  The chicken was perfectly cooked and tasted very fresh.  Of course I loved the penne on the side too.  It was a wonderful accompaniment to the chicken.  I couldn't have chosen a better dish if I do say so myself!

You can't leave any restaurant without dessert! It would be practically a sin to not partake.  Since it's well known that I'm a big chocolate lover, of course I chose the dark chocolate caramel cream.  The portion size was just enough to satisfy my large sweet tooth.  The dark chocolate was sweet while still having a nice bitterness to it.  I loved the chocolate combined with the caramel cream.  If you're looking for a tasty to end the night with, this one is where it's at.

Stop by Olive Garden tonight to partake in this fantastic limited time deal.  Your stomach will thank you.  

Did you know that Olive Garden is bringing back date night again for parents? Parents, get excited because on February 20th the restaurant is providing kids with a free fun-filled evening at My Gym while their parents enjoy an affordable four course meal. 

Couples can participate in Parents' Night Out by contacting their nearest My Gym location  to confirm participation, obtain event details and register.  Space is limited to approximately 30 kids at each of the 148 participating locations in the US and Canada. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first served basis. 

What are you waiting for? Get ready to enjoy a delicious meal while your children have a great night as well.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Olive Garden for providing me with a complimentary meal in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Products for New Moms That I Recommend

As I was feeding my daughter about 15 minutes ago, I looked around her room at all of the products that we use everyday.  I was inspired to write this post to inform new moms of products that make life easier for them.  What works for us might not work for you or your baby, please keep that in mind.

I remember walking around the baby section in Target when I was about 5 or 6 months pregnant.  I recall looking at the rows and rows and shelves of products and thinking to myself "What exactly do I need and what is necessary and what truly isn't?" How do you choose a brand of bottles when there are 7,000 different brands? It can be a challenge to purchase exactly what you'll need and use while leaving the fluff out.  

Not long after that I set up my baby registry at Babies R Us.  I added products that I thought would be useful, as well as what I thought I would need.  Over the weeks I removed items from my registry that I realized you don't really need, like a wipe warmer.  A wipe warmer takes up space and is probably one of those products that you'll use once and then it'll collect dust in the closet.

My daughter is now 6 weeks old and I'd like to share with you the products that I truly use everyday.  I would be lost without these items.  If you're pregnant or know someone who is, this might be a great list to show them.

HALO Sleepsack Swaddles

My daughter lives in these swaddles.  If you aren't familiar with HALO, they are an awesome company that makes velcro swaddle blankets and sleep sacks.  They come in a variety of prints and patterns in cotton or fleece for boys and girls. Scarlett likes to be swaddled as tight as possible and she cannot break out of these swaddles.  She loves them so much that when I open the velcro to change her clothes or give her a bath, she cries.  I know it might not be funny, but I do laugh at that.  Swaddling a baby comforts them, reminds them of the womb, and helps them to sleep longer.  She's swaddled almost all day everyday, and sleeps swaddled too.  I'm convinced that she'll go to prom in her swaddle sleepsack too. Do they make them in size XXXXXXL?

Baby Swings
The brand of baby swings you choose does not matter.  Choose Graco, Evenflo, or even Fisher Price. Once you put baby in the swing, it calms them down instantly.  Babies love the movement and feel more relaxed. Scarlett loves her swing and is constantly in it.  When you're at your breaking point and you can't stop your baby from crying at 4 AM, put them in the swing. I'm speaking from experience at that statement! Bonus points if the swing offers white noise too.

Sleep Sheep

This cute and cuddly white noise sheep attaches to your baby's crib.  There are different white noise options on the sheep's back.  Not only do babies love white noise, it comforts them too.  The different sounds can be put on a timer depending on how long you want it to stay on.  Scarlett loves her sheep and it's been velcro'd to her crib even before she was born. At 2 AM those noises can sound a little creepy through the monitor though, I have to warn you.  

Diaper Genie

This one is pretty straight forward.  This white genie that is sent from baby heaven contains all of your diapers in one place and keeps the odor out too.  I can't speak highly enough about it! Get one, your nose will thank you.

Bottle Sanitizer:

I use a Philips Avent brand for my bottle sanitizer.  The basket on top holds all of the bottle pieces, while the bottom holds the bottles.  The unit sanitizes up to 6 bottles at once in only 10 minutes.  Don't waste time boiling the bottles.  Put everything inside the unit, turn it on, and walk away.  Your life will be so much easier when you don't have to clean each bottle one by one.  

Dr. Brown's Bottles:

These were highly recommended to me from countless moms.  They help reduce feeding problems and prevent trapped gas and air.  I've been using them to feed Scarlett with since day one and they haven't caused any problems.  She has no problems drinking from them, and the bottles are easy to hold.  There is also minimal spit-up too from the bottles which is wonderful.  I was able to find a limited edition 3 pack in a cute pink color around Christmas time.  That excited me way more than it should.  It's the little things in life!

Dreft and Resolve Max Stain Power Pre-Treater Gel

Everyone knows that you should wash baby clothes in Dreft laundry detergent.  Dreft is made for baby's sensitive skin and leaves their clothes smelling fresh and fantastic. You'll come to love that smell when you do your 700th load of baby laundry a day. Every mom also needs Resolve's stain pre-treater too. I don't know if my washing machine is very good or it's Resolve's product, but all stains come out of Scarlett's clothes.  No matter if she spits up all over herself or has a poopy stain on her clothes it all comes out! Just rub the gel into the stain before washing and it's gone afterwards.  It's my little bottle of green magic.

Fisher Price Whale Shaped Bath Tub

Not only is this bath tub adorable, but it gets my baby clean too! It fits well in my bathtub and Scarlett looks so cute in it.  There's a bar between the middle of the tub and the front that helps secure younger babies in.  Once they are older, remove the bar so an older baby can fit well.  It comes with a cute whale shaped rinse cup too.  

Washable Changing Pad
This is a big one for me! I have adorable changing pad covers on my changing table.  I wouldn't be too thrilled if I had to wash them frequently throughout the day due to pee/poop stains.  Just place a washable changing pad on top of your cutesy changing pad cover and you're good to go.  If baby makes a mess on the washable changing pad, just throw it in the wash! This will relieve your washing machine of another job, and save your sanity too.  I recommend stocking up on at least 3 or 4 at once so you don't need to wash each one constantly.

These are the main products that stand out to me, although I'm sure there more.  

I'm a big believer in buying in bulk and in advance too.  I bought a case of 744 wipes from Walmart before Scarlett was born.  I still have about 8 packages left! It's never fun to look down and realize you just used your last wipe and baby had a major poop accident.  Buy bulk cases of diapers and wipes so you won't need to go out in the freezing cold or snow to replenish your supply.  

Also, don't forget to have a large supply of burp cloths too. You'll use quite a few of those per day.

I hope this lists makes choosing baby items a little easier for you.  It's always nice to have first hand experience from a mom rather than trying to select what you need yourself without knowledge! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Baby Shusher Review

When you have a new baby, there's a lot that comes with the territory.  You'll need diapers, wipes, clothes, burp cloths, bottle warmers, and so much more.  One thing that you're given automatically at birth for free is crying.  Babies cry frequently and much more than I realized until I had my own child.  It can be difficult when nothing soothes them and you're out of ideas.  It's time to stop the crying and make your baby happy again.

Baby Shusher is the sleep miracle device designed to calm and soothe your baby instantly. It's a given that when you're a new parent, you won't be getting much sleep.  Everyone tells you this and I can guarantee that it's true.  All babies are comforted by the sound of womb noises, especially the whooshing or shushing noise that they are familiar with from in utereo. The Baby Shusher allows a baby to safely stop crying with a rhythmic shushing noise.  Not only does it calm them down, but allows both you and baby to get the sleep you both need.  Babies cry for a number of reasons including needing a diaper change, being hungry, or even cold.  It does pose a challenge when your baby won't stop crying and nothing you do seems to help.  The Baby Shusher is here to make your life easier and less stressful.  This device is a perfect baby shower present and one that surely won't be at the top of the list for returns.

I've been following the 5 S's for caring for my baby, particularly swaddling and shushing. My daughter seems to instantly calm down when swaddled tightly and being loudly shushed.  I will put my mouth right up to her ear and make shushing noises as loud as possible.  This comforts her and stops the crying.  Your mouth will get tired from making the noise, so I was elated when I found out that there's a device that will do the hard work for me!

An orange miracle 

The unit offers 15 or 30 minutes of continuous shushing that will soon become life saving. There's a volume control that you can adjust to you or baby's liking.  When I received this product, I instantly wanted to try it.  If I'm downstairs in my house, my six week old daughter is usually hanging out in her swing.  The swing primarily calms her down, but sometimes it's not enough and she'll cry.  I don't always want her to necessarily go to sleep, but having her settle down and be less upset is a main priority.  

I used the Baby Shusher for the first time yesterday.  It's a light-weight, compact product that easily fits in a swing or crib.  There's a speaker on the bottom that broadcasts the shushing noise that babies love.  I switched it on and selected the 30 minute timer and turned the volume all the way up.  When selecting which timer you want to use, it's a little confusing since you're not sure which one is 15 minutes or 30 minutes.  There are two different triangles on the product that you have to differentiate from.  I had to end up looking at the instructions to figure out which timer to use.  It would be easier if it was clearly labeled.

Once the product was in her swing, she instantly calmed down in about 30 seconds.  The crying ceased and my fussy daughter turned into the angel baby that I knew was in there. The noise is even soothing to me and I feel like I'd eventually fall asleep to it too if given the opportunity! Scarlett eventually fell asleep which at the time was the goal I was aiming for.  I've noticed that when she's overtired she can't get the sleep she so desperately needs and instead melts down.  Sleep is so important for babies and new parents alike.  I was also able to take a short nap too which left me refreshed and in a clearer state of mind to care for her.

This product is truly fantastic and a life-saver.  Even if you want to just quickly make dinner or clean your house and you couldn't before because of a crying baby, now you can.  The Baby Shusher is a must-have for fussy babies.  The portability of it is wonderful and it's something that should always be packed in a diaper bag or carry-on bag when traveling.  I will surely be recommending it to anyone who's pregnant, or for new moms.  

There's no reason to be stressed out and on edge any longer from a fussy, upset baby.  The Baby Shusher is here to make you and baby happy again and that's worth every penny.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Baby Shusher for providing me with a complimentary product in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Zapzyt Giveaway

Acne is one of the biggest skin challenges I face.  For years, I've had breakouts on my cheeks, forehead, and around my chin.  Not only does it look unattractive, it makes you feel self conscious too.  I've experimented with so many different acne products over time.  I've realized that some provide me with success, while some don't work at all.  Wouldn't it be nice to eliminate acne for good and get that self-confidence back?

Zapzyt will provide you with the acne relief that you've been dreaming of.  Did you know that one in five women between the ages of 25 to 40 suffer from adult acne? It's time to disconnect yourself from that statistic. Zapzyt's acne treatments are fast-acting, effective, and free of alcohol, fragrances, and dyes.  The line features two cleansers, the acne wash cleanser, and the pore clearing scrub.  There are two on-the-spot treatments for rapid relief, the acne treatment gel and the pore treatment gel.  Both feature medications and soothing botanicals to help heal and moisturize skin.  It's time to get your flawless skin back and feel wonderful about yourself for once and for all.

Warning: These products may make you and your skin smile.

Keep Zapzyt's products in your medicine cabinet or bathroom drawer for easy access. You'll see how easy it is to incorporate them into your skin regimen.  If you're looking for results that will delight you, Zapzyt is for you.  Clear skin is just around the corner!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Custom Wood Engravings Etsy Shop Review

Now that I have my own family, it's important to me to have family pictures and memories on the walls of my home.  My daughter was born five weeks ago and I'm starting to order her pictures for wall canvases and collages.  They will of course be mixed in with pictures of my husband and I and our dog.  A family is a very special thing and surely something to be proud of.  If you're looking to celebrate your family in a unique way, Custom Wood Engravings is happy to help with that.

Custom Wood Engravings is an Etsy shop ran by owner Maura who is fabulously talented. Maura creates personalized wooden engraved picture frames and wall decor.  Each item is engraved using a laser engraving machine.  The wooden picture frames can be made however you'd like for whatever event or occasion.  Do you know someone who recently had a new baby? A personalized picture frame with the baby's name and birth stats makes the perfect present for the new parents.  Don't forget Grandma this Mother's Day when you give her a frame featuring her grand children's names with a picture of them in it.  A family name wooden sign is the ideal housewarming gift for a family's new home, or for a couple who recently got married.  Anything from Maura's shop would look wonderful on your walls and would certainly be a conversation starter.

I was fortunate enough to receive the opportunity to review two special pieces from Custom Wood Engravings.  I chose to be sent a family name wooden sign, and a picture frame for my husband.  We don't currently have anything that commemorates us as a family, and I knew the wooden sign would be the perfect piece to have.  The frame for my husband honors him as a new dad, which I knew he'd appreciate.

My family in wooden form! 

This sign is seriously cool, and I've never seen anything like it before.  I'm so happy with how it came out!  You have the option of choosing from a variety of colors that Maura offers, along with the sizing of your choice.  I selected black because I thought it would look great with the natural wood underneath.  The paint is high quality and guaranteed to be long-lasting.  The wooden sign can be customized however you'd like.  If you want to add in your own words instead of the default phrases on the bottom, that's okay too.  I chose to have my last name on the top and the establishment date of 8/31/2013 which is my wedding date. Underneath the wedding date the names of my family members are displayed.  The sturdy 16x16 size that I chose was perfect for the wall space and it looks fabulous hung. Each sign conveniently comes with hooks for hanging. The black paint is glossy and the engraving is clear and easy to read.  I couldn't be more pleased with it.

I love that I have something as special and meaningful as this work of art in my home.  This is certainly a piece that was made with love and dedication and Maura's talent surely shines through.  I enjoy the fact that it's custom and not something that you can buy at a local store. I'll surely enjoy it for years to come.  

Preserve those memories in wooden style 

The frame for my husband was something I knew he'd really enjoy.  I chose to have "Daddy" engraved on top with "established 2014" underneath.  On the bottom are two wooden hearts which I thought was a cute finishing touch for the 4x6 frame.  Just like with the wooden sign, you can choose the sizing and color of your choice along with whatever customization.  For this frame, I opted to stick with the natural wooden look.  Currently, there is no picture in the frame yet.  I want to take a picture of Scarlett with my husband as there isn't one that exists yet.  It would be the perfect picture for the frame!

I love the varying light and dark shades of wood that are featured on the frame.  It provides a great contrast and catches your eye when you look at it.  The frame is made well and stands up with ease.  I can't wait until I have a picture in it.  It will look fantastic on my husband's night stand or dresser.  I'm sure he'll smile each time he looks at it too!  Who can resist a cute baby?

I'm extremely satisfied with how both products came out and truly love them.  I highly recommend Maura's services for any of your future gift needs.  For the person who has everything, something from Custom Wood Engravings is the one thing you can guarantee that they don't have.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Custom Wood Engravings for providing me with complimentary items in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  

Tribest Giveaway

Juicing is something that I started during my pregnancy to give myself and baby the extra nutrition that we needed.  I started every morning off with a strawberry, banana, kale, and almond milk smoothie.  Not only was my beverage delicious, but it provided us with optimal benefits.  Even if you don't have time for breakfast, everyone has five minutes to make a smoothie to take with you on the go.  Don't give in to tempting unhealthy treats like donuts or muffins.  Start everyday off with a fantastic glass filled with the best thing you can do for yourself.  Your body will thank you!

Tribest creates quality products that make you happy while allowing you to live a healthier lifestyle.  If you're looking to make the switch to a better life, Tribest is here for you.  They have juicers and blenders for a great start to the morning, sprouters so you can grow your own wheatgrass for wheatgrass shots, and dehydrators for creating easy snacks like dehydrated fruit.  Go ahead and make room on your countertop for a Tribest juicer.  You'll use it daily and your appliances will welcome the new addition.  Keep Tribest in mind for gifts for yourself or anyone else.  Everyone deserves a healthy lifestyle.  If you don't currently lead a diet that you're proud of, it's never too late to start.

The Tribest Fruitstar is the perfect juicer to create those tasty smoothies that will make your stomach smile.

Get your apples, bananas, pineapple and almond milk ready for a fabulous and refreshing beverage! 

This juicer was designed with safety and convenience in mind to provide you with the best results possible.  You can feel good about your appliance choice knowing it's BPA free and has a powerful 240 watt motor.  The motor spins at a slow 80 rpm ensuring the preservation of nutrients while still retaining the power to process a variety of fruits and veggies.  

Skip those expensive juice bars and create those costly smoothies at home for half the price.  The juicer is built to last and the heavy duty juicing screen prevents wear and tear.  Tribest's Fruitstar juicer offers an innovative pulp wiping assembly which reduces clogging due to pulp buildup on the juicing screen.

Make sure whatever fruit or vegetable combination you choose that it's as delicious as possible. 

Estroblock Giveaway

Even at age 26 I still suffer from the occasional acne breakout.  I thought I would be done with acne years ago, but I'm still battling skin issues.  It's also harder for me to lose weight in certain areas of my body too. I look at other women who have perfect skin and their weight in check and wonder how they got so lucky.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could all feel confident with our bodies every single day?

Estroblock is a dietary supplement that helps with hormonal balance and weight management. Xenoestrogens are often produced by toxins commonly found in our foods.  If left unchecked, they will dilute our naturally produced hormones and cause health issues like acne, obesity, and even cancer.  It's time to take back your hormone health and feel positive about life again.  Estroblock naturally clears toxic estrogens from the body.

Estroblock contains DIM and I3C in the correct ratio to protect you from harmful xeno-estrogens.  Xenoestrogens can be responsible for pear-shaped bodies and water retention in women.  For men, this could mean genecomastia and an inability to lose fat.  These pesky estrogens can be found in plastics, pesticides, preservatives, and household products that we come in contact with everyday.  Once absorbed, these chemicals metabolize into toxins responsible for estrogen dependent cancers.  

Keep a bottle of Estroblock close at hand in your bathroom medicine cabinet for everyday use.  Why live life dealing with issues you don't have to? It's time to make Estroblock the star of your life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Relaxation Methods for Moms on the Go

Relaxation Methods for Moms on the Go

As a mom you may find yourself being pulled in multiple directions. Your child may want help with his or her homework, your husband wants you to make dinner, and you haven’t finished the laundry yet or written the articles that your client requested. When life gets busy it’s hard to complete everything and even more difficult to get some time to yourself. If you’re having a hard time relaxing and finding time for yourself there are methods you can consider implementing in your life. Here are a few ideas to motivate you as you deal with life’s daily tasks.

Allow Yourself Some Alone Time Every Day

Having just read this sub heading you may be thinking, "How am I supposed to get some alone time when I don’t have any more time to give?!" Instead of panicking that you now have to figure out where to schedule time in for yourself, give yourself a break. There may be some days when you don’t get everything done and that’s okay. Set aside a half an hour or even an hour where you get to take a bubble bath without interruptions or sit down and read your book by the fire. Its okay to tell your children and husband that homework (well, unless it’s due tomorrow) and dessert can wait. Make yourself a priority and your children and husband will enjoy being around you much more.

MELT Away the Pain with Hand and Foot Treatments

Since you’re most likely on your feet most of the day and are using your hands quite a bit, consider investing in MELT Hand and Foot Treatments by Melt Method. A heel pain treatment will help ease the pain you’re experiencing in your feet and will also provide you with treatments that can teach you how to manage your daily aches and pains. What’s more, you’ll learn how to prevent pain from the start with self treatment plans. Experiencing stress relief due to a positive treatment plan will help you become a mom and wife who has time for herself and can also be there for her family.

Plan a Girl’s Weekend

If you’ve been out of touch with your girlfriends because you’re busy with the kids and life in general why not try getting back in touch with them. If they’re up to it you can plan a girl’s weekend that consists of a spa day, catching up, and maybe even going to a movie. Having a girl’s weekend can be cathartic, and it can also help you invest time in yourself. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to give your best to your family knowing you’ve spent some much needed time taking care of yourself.

Simply Loved Shop Etsy Shop Review

I've only been a mom for five weeks now, but it's a role that I take very seriously. My daughter is very important to me and I want to spend every free second I have with her.  I've always loved the personalized mom jewelry that I've seen moms sporting online.  When I had my daughter, I made it a priority to start researching necklaces and bracelets that I could display with her name.  I feel that every mom should have jewelry featuring their pride and joy!

Simply Loved Shop is an Etsy shop ran by owner Bobby Jen.  She creates beautiful, custom hand-stamped jewelry that will make you smile. The hand-stamped style offers such a unique and interesting look.  You can either choose to have a certain phrase or name stamped on the discs on the necklace, or have the initials of your children or grandchildren. The necklaces are sterling silver and would make the ideal gift for that special lady in your life for Valentine's Day or Mother's Day.  You can specify whether you'd like a 16 or 18 inch chain depending on your style and preference.  There's nothing more special then having your beloved children worn close to your heart.

I was able to review the sterling silver initial necklace from Bobby Jen's shop.  This was very exciting to me because it was the first piece of mom jewelry in my collection.  I chose to have Scarlett's initials stamped on the discs.  I realized after that people might think I have three children because of the three different letters, but I'll know the truth and will explain if they ask.

How pretty is this necklace? It will definitely be a piece I'll wear all the time. 

I'm very satisfied with how the necklace came out.  The chain is extremely sturdy and thick, so I won't have to worry about it opening and falling off.  I have no trouble reading the letters as they are clear and easily visible. The hand stamped look is a rustic look that really appeals to me. I wish I had even half the talent to create jewelry like this! The surface area of the discs is actually quite large.  I wasn't crazy about the default font that Bobby Jen uses, but I really like how it came out.  If I want to take the "loved" tag off, I can in the future so that way you only see Scarlett's initials. 

This necklace is special to me and I'll feel proud each time I wear it.  Right now Scarlett is my only child, but if I were to have more in the future I look forward to combining both children's name on one necklace.  

If you're looking for a special piece of jewelry that will never go out of style, please order a hand-stamped necklace for yourself from Simply Loved Shop's Etsy Shop.

*DISCLOSURE* I received a complimentary necklace in exchange for this review from Simply Loved Shop's Etsy Shop.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Tips to Improve Mental Health

Spending your time peacefully is a blessing. However, for this, you should have a sense of wellbeing. In today’s post, I'll provide you with some tips to stay mentally healthy.

Do you think that talking with others can fill your mind with negativity? If yes, you are talking to wrong people. We want you to talk to people from whom you can share your thoughts and stay positive. Also, it helps in improving our personal relationships. Participate in games that require you to use your mind.

Participate in games that require you to use your mind
Sudoku, chess, and a number of other games should be on your list. Enjoy yourself while playing it and try to win it. Apart from games, you can spend time drawing pictures, playing with pets, reading a book and so on.

Be a part of a group or club
Share your interests and learn something about others. Look for a group with a common interest. This will help you gel in the group with ease.

Yoga and meditation
This is important because it helps you focus on a particular point. Moreover, you can do it even when you are alone. You are not dependent on anyone. So, get some CDs for your session and help yourself. If you are about to buy them online, visit Chameleon John and choose a coupon that will help you get the best deal on these CDs.

Take care of yourself
You are an important human being. I am not saying that to flatter you, but you actually are an important human being. So, take good care of yourself.  If needed, go to a spa and get a full body massage too.

Stop taking stress
We all know that you are trying too hard to get rid of each and every problem on your mind. However, that is not possible if you are stressed. In fact, that will add to your issues and will further deteriorate your health. So, STOP TAKING STRESS!

Challenge yourself
If you have not achieved something today, challenge yourself to achieve something tomorrow. If you have achieved something great today, challenge yourself to achieve something even bigger today. Challenges help you understand that something has to be achieved and on achieving it, you can feel proud and confidence. How does it help? Well, studies suggest that a confident mind is stronger.

Take some time off your busy schedule
During this time, you should rest.  Resting helps you refresh your mind. So, take a break and look at the clouds or daydream. It will help!

If you are confused about something, ask others for help. Don’t feel shy. It won’t help. However, asking them for a solution and working on it will help. This is important because you are piling up the issues in your mind, which is occupying space.  Clear it from your mind and you will feel at ease.

Apart from these tricks, what do you do to improve your mental health? Please let us know about it with your comments below.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Go Gargle Review and Giveaway

It's that dreaded time of year where sickness is all around us.  Cold and flu season is no joke and it's mandatory that you do whatever you can to protect yourself from sickness.  In the colder months of the year I seem to always have a sore throat and cold without fail.  I'm always researching home remedies to cure that pesky sore throat.  Wouldn't it be nice to skip the sickness this year and feel great instead?

Go Gargle soothes and moisturizes a sore throat like no other.  Go ahead and drop a tablet in a glass of warm water, let it dissolve, then gargle your sore throat away.  Most sprays or drops just mask the pain, but the healing power of salt featured in Go Gargle works to reduce inflammation.  The honey, aloe, and chamomile soothe throat tissue and provide long lasting relief.  Did you know that each year over 15 million people visit a doctor for a sore throat? Don't let that statistic include you this year.  Keep Go Gargle with you anytime your throat needs some attention.  Your medicine cabinet will be thrilled to meet its newest family member.

There's nothing quite like the pain from a sore throat.  When your throat feels like it's on fire and you have difficulty swallowing, all you can do is hope for instant relief.  Cold water or ice cream can provide some relief, but it's only temporary.  You need to get to the root of the sore throat and kick it to the curb. 

When I had the opportunity to try Go Gargle,  I knew it was something that I couldn't pass up.   Conveniently when it came in the mail yesterday, I was suffering from a sore throat. The timing of the package's arrival couldn't have been better.  I was very excited to try the product and hopefully receive some much needed relief.

I dropped a tablet in a glass of warm water as instructed and watched the fizzy action that followed.  The fizz was the key component in reducing the inflammation in my throat and I was thrilled to see it.  The tablet provided a minty flavor which was pleasant, but not overly strong at all.  Once I gargled, my throat instantly felt moisturized thanks to the honey, chamomile, mint, and aloe.  Not long after I felt so much better and couldn't believe how quickly the product worked. I was impressed and wondered why this product hadn't been in my life all along.  Gargling is a time tested remedy that truly works, but people turn to medicines instead because they think they will work better.  I'm guilty of this as well but will not depend on sore throat medicines any longer.  Go Gargle now has a special place in my bathroom cabinet for anytime my husband and I might need it. 

The tube of Go Gargle contains 10 tablets that you can throw in your purse for work or school, or in your carry on bag for traveling.  The convenient tube is small enough to be taken virtually anywhere you need it.  

Any time I have a sore throat in the future, you can guarantee I'll be turning to Go Gargle.  If you want to make your throat smile, it's time to introduce Go Gargle to it.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Olivia Tree Bath Products Etsy Shop Giveaway

If I had ample space and unlimited funds, I would spend hundreds of dollars a month on bath and skin products.  It would make me smile to see my bathroom cabinets filled with bubble bath, bath salts and fizzies, and bath scrubs. I'm one of those people who immensely enjoys receiving skincare and bath gifts.  One of the best ways to relax is with a bubble bath, especially when it's cold outside.  When's the last time you treated yourself to some new bath products?

Olivia Tree Bath Products is an Etsy shop which specializes in creating beautiful gift baskets filled with fabulous bath products.  Each basket contains custom, hand-crafted, all-natural and organic products.  You can expect to see products featured such as oil infusion, bath salts, salt or sugar scrubs, cream bath soak, and more.  The basket contains no less than 90% certified organic ingredients for each product. If you're giving a gift in the near future, why not consider a spa gift basket from Olivia Tree Bath Products? The recipient will appreciate it and their skin will love you for it too.  Don't hesitate to treat yourself too! 

If you've been looking to try new bath products, I have the perfect picks for you.  Your skin will be excited to sample the following items:

Peppermint Bath Salt Soak
Evergreen Cream Bath Soak
Peppermint Oil Infusion
Lavender Salt Scrub
Sugar and Spice Sugar Scrub
Bath Recipe Card Set

All you need to do now is schedule some "me" time in so you can truly relax.  Don't forget some wine and chocolate too!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cathy Wilson Ramin Photography Review & Giveaway

Having a baby is such a special and exciting time in a person's life.   It's essential to capture that newborn stage on film as babies grow and change so quickly.  Since finding out I was having a girl, I dreamed of those adorable newborn shots complete with tutu's and oversized headbands.  There's nothing like having precious picture memories of your tiny baby.  They will surely enjoy seeing the images when they are older.  If you're having a baby in the near future, it's essential that you have newborn pictures taken!

Cathy Wilson Ramin is a photographer who specializes in newborn, children, and family photography in Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut.  Cathy's philosophy is to tell the story of your family or child through beautiful images.  She offers candid sessions which could be taken in the location of your choice, video sessions, snapshots, and newborn sessions.  Two unique options that she features are a "day in the life" and a "watch me grow" package.  The day in the life sessions documents a specific day in your family's life-whether it be a family reunion or a child's birthday party.  If you're looking for something truly special, the watch me grow package is for you.  This package consists of monthly sessions that documents your child's first year of life and captures major milestones like rolling over and crawling.  If you're in the Fairfield County area, don't hesitate to contact Cathy.  She'll be ready to   schedule the photo shoot of your dreams.

At the end of my pregnancy I started to research newborn photographers.  I stumbled upon Cathy's photography business and she seemed like the perfect photographer to take Scarlett's pictures.  For the newborn sessions, Cathy comes to your home with a portable studio that includes blankets, wraps, hats, and bows.  All of these props and tools assist in creating those perfect sleepy, snuggly adorable newborn shots that everyone loves.  I really liked that she comes to your home and takes the pictures in an environment where both you and baby are most comfortable.  

From the beginning of when you schedule your photo session with Cathy, she makes sure that you're completely satisfied and getting exactly what you want.  She sets up a Pinterest board for you and allows you to pin example pictures that you'd like her to similarly take on the board.  I'm very interested in the small details in pictures and pinned example pictures of baby's feet, sleepy baby shots, the details of a headband or outfit, etc.  Everything I pinned helped her to understand exactly what my photography style was.  Once the Pinterest board was set up, I sent her pictures of Scarlett's nursery so she could plan her shot sheet around it.  A few days later, I received an email with a list of certain picture styles and themes she wanted to take. Cathy was very open to any changes I wanted to make and worked with me to accommodate my needs. 

On the day of the shoot I was unfortunately very sick and not able to participate as much as I wanted. My mom and aunt were at my house visiting and overseeing the session.  Cathy came in tow with a variety of special wraps and blankets that she was planning on using in different shots.  She also used some of my own oversized bows and headbands for the session too.  I noticed Cathy's attention to detail right away and how she spent time making sure each shot was perfect.  Scarlett cooperated  quite well and I couldn't believe how fantastic each shot looked.  For example, Cathy put Scarlett on a pink beanbag with a sheepskin throw blanket on top.  The baby was then wrapped in a pink wrap with a beautiful lit background.  It looked stunning and I couldn't wait to see a still shot of it!

Cathy spent many hours at my home and never seemed to tire of the photo session.  She didn't just snap away and hope to achieve the perfect shot, but she worked to ensure that each shot was just so no matter how long it took. Her pride and dedication to her craft was truly evident and I was very impressed with her work.  Her calm demeanor made it very easy to work with her as well. 

When the pictures arrived I was absolutely blown away.  I couldn't have imagined seeing anything more beautiful and will truly treasure these photos forever! Each picture was more stunning than the next and I'm so happy with how they came out. Cathy did a fantastic job and I'm truly grateful for the pictures.  I'm looking forward to framing the pictures and putting some on canvases on the wall in my home.  Scarlett will enjoy seeing the pictures when she's older, I'm sure.  I also love that I have such a special time captured.  

What sets Cathy apart is that she also creates video birth announcements which are perfect for sharing with friends and family who live far away.  This unique option is special because she mixes all of the still images with video that is set to a song of your choice.  You'll have your new baby on video to share and make you smile for years to come. 

I highly recommend Cathy for any of your future photography needs, you will not be disappointed.  Please connect with her on Facebook to talk to her about scheduling a photo shoot!

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