Thursday, July 30, 2015

Moon Pie Review and Giveaway

I can't remember exactly the first time that I bit into a delicious moon pie, but I'm sure it was a momentous occasion.  Growing up in the south, moon pies were something I ate all the time.  We always had them in my house and I would reach for them if I wanted something sweet and satisfying.  How can you resist those soft pillow-like treats? If you haven't had a moon pie in a while or at all, it's time to you have one today!

Moon Pies are a snack primarily found in the southern part of the United States.  These delectable treats consist of two round graham cracker cookies with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating.  Moon Pies are available in such mouth-watering flavors as chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and banana.  If you're really looking to satisfy those tastebuds, the double decker moon pies offer a third cookie and an additional layer of marshmallow filling, and they come in lemon or orange.  You can't forget about the vanilla mini moon pies which are a smaller version of the full-sized treat. The most recent flavor addition to the Moon Pie family is salted caramel.  Your tastebuds won't know what hit them when you try that one!  If you love sweets, it's certainly time to put Moon Pie on your radar.  

Last month, my husband and I did a road trip to visit my parents.  We made a stop in North Carolina where I stocked up on my favorite southern soda which is not available in the north at all.  As I was in the grocery store it hit me that I should buy a box or two of Moon Pies, since I can't find them at home in Connecticut either.  We drove with precious cargo in the backseat, and I'm not talking about my 7 month old daughter either! ;)

Luckily, my moon pie addiction can live on for some time because I was sent a large box of treats in assorted flavors.  As I opened the box, my heart turned into liquid chocolate and I had moon pies in my eyes.  It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in my life!

Moon Pie, meet my belly.

Remember the old-fashioned slot machines where when you win quarters came out of the machine? Well, I won the Moon Pie jackpot in this case.  Instead of quarters coming out of the machine, boxes of Moon Pies flew out! :)

I won't lie, the treats do have a lot of calories.  Each round pie packs 220 calories.  I know that may seem like a lot, but the treat is big and satisfying.  Once you're done, you won't want to reach for another one because your sweet tooth will be happy.  Go ahead and look at it as having your one treat for the day, and everything is okay in moderation! 

I instantly dug into the boxes because my sweet tooth knows no bounds, and I couldn't control myself.  I tried a few bites of each flavor to see what I thought.  Anyone who knows me knows I cannot be trusted around sweets.  Chocolate is hands down my number one favorite flavor of any candy as well as Moon Pie.  The sweet and rich chocolate blanketing the graham cracker and marshmallow filling is just too good to pass up.  This treat is like a modern day s'mores and I can't get enough.  I love how each bite is the perfect bite and has equal parts marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate.  What more could you want out of a treat?

The banana Moon Pie was so comforting, it was like a hug from a relative you hadn't seen in 10 years.  I always feel treats like banana pudding or banana cream pie are so comforting and remind you of childhood.  The banana flavor was prominent and tasted excellent when combined with the graham cracker and marshmallow.  Each bite was better than the next and I have to admit that I was sad when the treat was gone.

My stomach and taste buds did a happy dance when I introduced them to the salted caramel flavor.  The consistency was absolutely perfect--the ideal balance of caramel and saltiness for a flavor profile you can't resist.  When you throw marshmallow and graham cracker into the mix, now you're really talking! 

I saved the best for last, the vanilla mini Moon Pie! Don't be fooled by these adorable mini treats, they still pack a big flavor.  The vanilla flavor was noticeable and full.  I couldn't control myself and ate the whole thing.  They are mini, so calories don't count right? :) These are the perfect size for throwing in your child's lunchbox or your work bag for a quick mid-day pick-me up.

All of the treats brought happiness and deliciousness to my stomach and for that I am thankful! Luckily, I have a large supply of round goodness to bring my belly joy for many months to come.  If you're looking for a delicious treat that will make you smile, it's time to bring Moon Pie into your life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Oriental Trading Review

Scarlett's first birthday party is coming up at the end of November.  Her party theme will be winter wonderland and I couldn't be more excited! I've been researching different winter themed food and snacks and decorations.  The winter theme is so much fun and there will be plenty of snowflake decorations as well as her snowflake themed cake! Keep Oriental Trading in mind for any of your party needs for the present or future.

Oriental Trading carries an irresistible amount of fun value-priced products for every occasion.  If you're on the hunt for party supplies, novelties, toys, crafts, and party favors, you've come to the right spot. I do believe Oriental Trading has everything you could ever need to throw any themed party possible for your child.  Don't forget to use the company for wedding supplies and bridal shower needs too.  If you're throwing a baby shower for a friend or relative, all of your baby needs are covered, thanks to Oriental Trading. Please keep them in mind for your end of summer luau, BBQ, or pool party too. You can't forget upcoming Halloween or Christmas decorations either.  No holiday is complete without tons of themed decorations.  All of the products will help make your next party or event extra special and fun.

I've been planning Scarlett's birthday party since she was weeks old.  My family makes fun of me for how much I've been mentally planning and discussing it.  They keep telling me that she won't remember any of it and there's no reason to make it so large.  My philosophy is that you only have your first birthday once, it should be special! I'm not listening to them, haha.  The holidays are my absolute favorite time of year and I was so happy that Scarlett was born in December.  I can't think of a more exciting party theme than winter wonderland!

I was surprised at how easy it was to find snowflake and winter themed decorations. Luckily, Oriental Trading had a lot available! They kindly sent me snowflake themed party cups, napkins, plates, utensils, and a glass covered candy jar.

Winter themed party supplies? Check!

I received multiples of everything, but it's easier to just show you one of each thing.  The plates and napkins are adorable and I love that the snowflake is so big and vibrant. Each plate is very durable and large enough to easily hold all of the tasty food and snacks that I serve at the party.  The soft blue is muted, but still very pretty.  These plates definitely remind me of winter.  Unfortunately, I did make a mistake and I ordered the cups that don't match my plates and napkins.  Luckily, that's not an expensive mistake and can easily be fixed.  I didn't realize this until my order came in. 

One exciting thing that I'm looking forward to at the party is having a hot chocolate bar. Hot chocolate will be kept warm in a crockpot and guests will be able to also put mini marshmallows in their drink.  How fun is that? The snowflake cups will be perfect for this.

If you're wondering why I have a glass covered jar, that's for my candy bar station! I received two of these in my order and they will be filled with Hershey's kisses and sno-caps. Next to the jars will be chocolate covered white Oreo's with blue sprinkles and blue and white cake pops.  Yum! I wish I could dig into that candy bar station right now.  The jars are sturdy and high quality.  The candy will look great inside the jars.  

Luckily, the party is still four months away and I have more time to plan.  I'm still in the process of booking a venue but that shouldn't be too hard to do.  I can't wait for more of the plans to finalize and the rest of the decorations to be complete.  Scarlett has her party dress all picked out which is pink with white snowflakes.  How fitting! This party will be here before and I know it and I can't believe how quick time is flying by.  It feels like Scarlett was just born!

If you're looking to make your next party fun and memorable, Oriental Trading is here to help.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Oriental Trading for providing me with complimentary product in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Netflix #StreamTeam Alert July 2015: Making Memories With Family

As a young child, I remember watching a lot of television with my parents.  Saturday mornings I would wake up when it was still dark out and watch Scooby Doo with my dad. My mom and I would watch Nickelodeon together with snacks.  Some of the fondest memories I have revolve around watching television with family and that's something you can't beat.  It's never too late to form fantastic memories and fun times with your loved ones.

Scarlett is only 7 months old, but she won't be a baby forever.  I plan on introducing her to all of the classic cartoons and movies that I loved when I was younger.  Some titles that I'd like to show her are Powerpuff Girls, Winnie the Pooh, and Scooby Doo.  You can't forget such Disney classics as Pocahontas, Mulan, and Tarzan either.  I'm sure there will be a host of other options available when it comes time for her to get some telly time in.  The best part about having a child is that you get to relive everything through your child's eyes.  How magical is that? 

TV girl in training

In the not so distant future I can picture Scarlett snuggled up between my husband and I while we watch some family favorites.  Of course we'll have some popcorn and something sweet like cookies or brownies to munch on.  TV time is not complete without chocolate! I can't wait to form lasting memories with my best girl!

Netflix is not just a subscription service, but a gateway into having families connect and bond with each other.  You can't put a price tag on that.

*DISCLOSURE* This post is part of a Netflix campaign that I'm in as a Stream Team Member.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Veestro Review

I was lucky enough to lose all of my baby weight after having Scarlett in December.  Since her birth, I've been trying to tone my body up and maintain a healthier diet.  It's not always easy to eat nutritious meals when you're looking after a 7 month old.  When you don't have time to make a nutritious lunch, it's easier to just have something quick that's frozen. There's no reason why you can't make healthy choices that are just as quick as those microwavable frozen meals in your grocery store.  Luckily, Veestro makes healthy eating not only tasty, but a reality too.

Veestro sells 100% plant based, chef prepared, ready-to-eat meals delivered straight to your door anywhere in the US.  There's no reason why you can't eat healthier now and give Veestro all the credit.  Delight your tastebuds with a variety of meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner including oatmeal pie, enchilada casserole, and vegan empanadas. There's a range of options for everyone's tastes and preferences.  All meals are made fresh and arrive at your door with all-natural organic ingredients, no preservatives or animal products. Everything is easily heated in the oven or microwave to make your belly happy.  If you're looking to kickstart a healthier lifestyle or lose some unwanted pounds, Veestro is here to assist.

Everyone is always looking to eat healthier in the summer, myself included. It's always nice to shed those winter pounds and be active outdoors.  Since it's so hot, I crave cool and refreshing iced tea, bottles of water, and endless salads and sandwiches.  There's nothing healthier for you than fresh vegetables and fruit.  Did you know that plant based diets naturally promote weight-loss which results in long-term sustainable weight loss? Veestro understands that not everyone has the time to cook with their busy schedules but they still crave a healthy and nutritious meal.  Don't even worry about figuring out what to eat everyday, Veestro has you covered.

I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to try five breakfasts, five lunches, and five dinners to kickstart my clean eating plan.  I'll take any opportunity I can to give my body the best nutrition it needs.  Such delicious meals came to me including oatmeal pie, three egg scramble, Tuscan calzone, and even golden chickpea stew.

This Tuscan calzone is filled with vegan cheese and such mouth-watering veggies as squash, spinach, and zucchini.  Yum! 

Not only was I impressed with the variety of options offered, but everything tasted fantastic! My favorites were the oatmeal breakfast pie and the tuscan calzone.  They were fresh and tasted like something you'd get at a cafe.  An awesome bonus about each meal was that it was low in calories and fat but the portion sizes were huge! The whole calzone pictured above was about 300 calories and I was very full afterwards.  Think about how one chocolate chip bakery cookie probably has close to 300 calories and compare the sizes.  The calzone was filled with delicious fresh veggies that were perfectly cooked.

The oatmeal breakfast pie was delicious and had fruits mixed in that really made my tummy smile.  I was also satisfied with the portion size and did not feel hungry at all after breakfast.

A great bonus of these meals is that they are ready for you in your fridge and you don't even have to think about what to make when you're hungry.  The hard work is done for you which is fantastic.

After trying all of the meals for 5 days, I felt really wonderful.  I had more energy and was ready to seize the day each day.  I know my body was thankful for the invitation to try delicious food jam packed with everything nutritious for you.  Veestro is one brand I'll surely be keeping in mind for keeping my body healthy.

If you're looking to jumpstart your diet and give it to the boost it needs, Veestro is your brand.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Veestro for providing me with a 5 day challenge in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Friday, July 24, 2015

Campus Book Rentals Will Make Your Wallet Happy

If you're in college, or know someone who is, you know how expensive textbooks can be.  I remember spending anywhere from $300-$400 on textbooks every semester when I was in college.  This huge bill was after buying used books too!  I have a great money-saving alternative that you and your bank account will greatly appreciate. Even though it's summer, school will be back in session soon enough.

Campus Book Rentals offers you the option of renting your textbooks.  No longer will you have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on books that you won't need after one semester.  With Campus Book Rentals, you can save between 40-90% and then return them when you're done! How wonderful is that?  Save that extra money for fun things you want to do and buy.  Don't overpay on textbooks.  The rental process is simple and the prices are fantastic.  You simply search for the books you want, rent them, and receive your books with free shipping offered!  When you're done with your books, return them.  Campus Book Rentals provides the return envelope and return shipping is free! This couldn't be any more convenient. Another bonus is that you can highlight or underline in the book and it's acceptable.

The rental periods range from a semester (130 days), a quarter (85 days), and summer (55 days.) Rental extensions are offered as well as the option to re-rent your books. You are able to treat these books as your own, and even highlight in them too.

Here's an example of a book that you can buy, click here to see.

If you have old textbooks lying around, why not sell them to Campus Book Rentals and make some quick $$? They buy back most books.

How does it work?

I really wish known about this service when I was in school, it would have been so helpful!

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post.  All thoughts are my own.  
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Blue Man Group Giveaway

Are you tired of the same old typical theater performances? Do you wish you could see something that will truly entertain you and leave you on the edge of your seat? If this sounds like you, I have just the show for you.  Go ahead and picture wild and crazy entertainment from start to finish.  Sound good? Well it's time that you saw the Blue Man Group live.

The Blue Man Group is probably the most original and unique show that you'll ever witness. These blue faced men put on a performance in different cities across the country and give you 90 minutes of constant entertainment.  It's jam packed with humor, art, color, and music that is perfect for both adults and kids.  The blue men don't speak, but instead communicate through non-verbal means like music and actions to get their points across. It's one show that you must see in the near future.  The best part is that after the show, the group does meet and greets with their fans.  How cool would it be to meet them in person? Go ahead and buy some tickets to take a friend or relative for their birthday.  It'll be a present they won't soon forget.

Come see Blue Man Group in Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Orlando! Hopefully you live close to those cities so you can enjoy an awesome show.  One lucky winner will be able to win a family four pack of tickets to see the group in the city of their choosing.  The ticket redemption period is from September 2015-June 2016.

Here's a great example of what you'll be able to see at a Blue Man Group show.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Mike's Hard Lemonade Helps The Military Community Chill Out #MikesVIP

If you think your job is hard, think of what people in the military do every day defending the country we live in.  These men and women risk their lives on a daily basis to make sure we're safe and protected.  You can't get a more stressful job than that.  When not serving, it's essential that they de-stress and get the break they so deserve.

Mike's Hard Lemonade is everyone's favorite summertime beverage to help stay cool.   The folks at Mike's wanted to do something extra special for individuals in the army, so they partnered up with Boot Campaign for a special cause.  This organization is dedicated to promoting patriotism for American and the military community.  Mike's recently introduced new summer flavors which are lemonade, peach, black cherry and apple.  The brand is allowing sales from the new flavors to support their $125,000 donation to Boot Campaign this year.  How awesome is that? For each case purchased of Mike's Hard Lemonade Flavors of America.  Mike's will donate a quarter to fund four once-in-a-lifetime experiences for veterans.  The vets will be treated to fantastic opportunities like backstage access at concerts, on track access at raceways, and much more.  I love the fact that Mike's cares so much and wants to give back to the military in a wonderful way.

Check out the Mike's Boot Salute video on YouTube which gives an eye opening look into what this partnership is all about.

One person in the military community that really stood out to me is Craig Mumper.  Mumper, who's originally from Texas has been a forward observer in the army for the past eight years.  I learned that his ranking ultimately means that he carries the artillery military occupational designator of 13F in the United States Army and 0861 in the United States Marine Corps.  Craig says that joining the army was something he's always wanted to do and he joined to start a career and defend the country he loves.  He says that his job is never easy and brings new and unknown challenges every day, but that's what he's passionate about and what keeps him going. Overcoming challenges and hurdles is something that is in his blood. Although, I have not personally met Craig, it would be wonderful to one day talk in person with him.

He's traveled to Iraq, Korea, and even Croatia in his service.  Being in the military has really changed not only his life, but his family's as well.  He's currently on recruiter duty, but Craig certainly deserves to kick back with a cool and refreshing Mike's Hard Lemonade for all that he does for us. Craig would most like to enjoy the drink with his family and friends surrounding him.  He says he enjoys the original flavor on occasion and feels honored that Mike's has partnered with Boot Campaign.  Not many organizations honor military members and he is grateful for Mike's doing so.

Craig Mumper in uniform and ready to do his job at protecting America.  This is certainly not a job to be taken lightly.

The Flavors of America are now in store and ready for your tasting pleasure. I think it's great how the Flavors of America are iconic to the different regions of the country, like peach juice from Georgia. Which flavor sounds best to you?

I recently tried all four flavors and it was like summer exploded in my mouth! The black cherry lemonade was my absolute favorite.  The lemonade was sweet and tart but when you mixed it with the rich black cherry flavor, it really gave the drink a boost of personality.  I highly recommend trying the Flavors of America as soon as possible.

*DISCLOSURE* This post is my first post as a Mike's Hard Lemonade VIP Member.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Blogger Bash 2015! #BBNYC

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending my first Blogger Bash conference.  When I was invited to attend many weeks ago, I was absolutely thrilled.  I've been blogging for almost six years now and it's something I'm very passionate about.  Luckily, I don't live that far away from NYC and was able to hop on the train and be there in no time.

Blogger Bash was held at Chelsea Piers in New York City this year.  The bloggers were very fortunate to have a gorgeous sunny day yesterday.  Chelsea Piers is so beautiful and you get a great view of the boats in the marina.

After check-in, the first event was a Care Bears brunch.  Us bloggers feasted on delicious food while sipping on refreshing bellini's.  Although I went to the conference alone and didn't know many people attending, I did love the opportunity to connect with other bloggers.  You never feel truly alone because you're in a large room with people who shares the same online love as you.

A glimpse at the breakfast.

Hello soft and cuddly blue bear! I'd love to hug you.

We learned some information about the Care Bears Share Your Care mission statement and how it can help others.  It's always important to think of others and those soft cuddly bears would make any child instantly smile.  One of the highlights of the breakfast was getting to take a picture with a Care Bear! I loved Care Bears as a kid and my inner child is screaming with joy right now.

What are you doing today? Oh, me? I'm just hanging with a Care Bear. 

After breakfast, we were shuttled over to the Astor Place Theater for a private performance by the Blue Man Group.  I'd never seen them live, but I knew the show would be something I didn't want to miss out on.  The show was unlike anything I'd ever witnessed before, it was just out of this world! Those blue-faced men ran around the stage for a good hour and a half doing the most creative and wackiest thing ever.  I would best describe it as "performance art." I don't want to give any spoilers away if you haven't seen the show yet.

Getting to know the man behind the costume

Afterwards, there was a Q&A session where one of the members of the group was able to answer questions.  It was interesting getting to see him out of character and seeming like any other guy.  Once he puts his blue man costume on, it gets crazy!

Sweet Suite was the last thing on our agenda for the day and it was the event I was waiting for all day.  You get to meet and interact with 80 children's brands who are all together in one room.  I loved seeing all of the different toys that were debuting this summer and fall.   My daughter loves toys and there were some toys that stood out to me instantly as ones that she would immensely enjoy.  Having the opportunity to connect with top brands such as Fisher Price, VTech and LeapFrog is something you can't do everyday.  I considered myself very lucky! Making connections is something every blogger enjoys doing.

One of the toys at Blogger Bash was puppy surprise.  I received this as a present on my sixth birthday.  I was so excited.  Wouldn't it be fantastic if my daughter had one too? I love giving her the same toys that her mom had as a child.

There were so many brands that I wasn't aware of and it was fun being exposed to new toys.  Did you ever think that you'd be able to write your name in chocolate? At Sweet Suite, I used a pen to write my name in chocolate! I never wanted to eat my name until yesterday!

Sammi, you look delicious!

Just me and Snoopy hangin' out!

I feel so fortunate that I was able to attend the first day of Blogger Bash.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend today's session as my husband can't watch her today and had to go back to work.  I look forward to reading everyone's tweets and seeing their Instagram pictures though!

If you're a blogger and are looking to connect with brands and other bloggers, I highly recommend going to Blogger Bash.  You'll absolutely love it!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

CPR is Something Every Parent Should Know

Now that I have a daughter, it's imperative that I'm trained in CPR and infant CPR.  As a parent, I need to know exactly what to do in-case of an emergency.  Even if you're not a parent, it's smart for you to be trained in CPR.  You never know if you'll need to help someone when something goes wrong.

Have you ever thought about learning CPR? ACLS Medical Training offers an online CPR course that allows you to become certified in 1-2 hours in the comfort of your own home.  Yes, you'll be able to learn a valuable skill while drinking coffee in your pajamas! ACLS Medical Training has everything you need to know with their comprehensive training materials.  If you're looking to renew your certification, that's not a problem either.  There's a refresher course so you'll be able to brush up on your skills.  

Remember it's never too late to be trained in something that could potentially save a life. Why not sign up today?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Scarlett's on Facebook!

Scarlett now has her own Facebook fan page.  Please like it to stay in the loop of all her antics and adventures!

Carolyn Pollack Review

If you've been a long time reader of my blog, than you know I'm very into jewelry.  Shopping online is something I frequently do, and lately I've been buying a lot of gorgeous pieces to add to my jewelry armoire.  I've had the same jewelry for some time now, and I'm looking to spruce up my collection.  My jewelry style would be best described as fun with a classic side.  The drawers of the armoire include chunky necklaces and earrings, as well as large bangle bracelets.  I can't pass up a cute cocktail ring either!  Have you thought about adding some new pieces to your jewelry collection lately?

Carolyn Pollack offers the most gorgeous sterling silver and natural gemstone jewelry that you've ever seen.  Carolyn designs beautiful sterling silver jewelry that is genuine, wearable, and unique. This is not just fad jewelry, but timeless and classic pieces that will never go out of style.  It's always a good decision to wear a sterling silver garnet necklace or turquoise ring that will make you smile. All of the jewelry will make you feel like a million bucks.  There's always a good time to bring a piece of Carolyn Pollack jewelry into your life.  Keep the designer in mind for birthday gifts and also gifts for any occasion.  Why not spoil yourself and order a gorgeous new pair of earrings today?

I was fortunate enough to receive two gorgeous pieces that I absolutely love.  My mailbox contained the Carolyn Pollack Sterling Silver 8" Toggle Bracelet and the Carolyn Pollack Signature Sterling Silver Ring.

Before loving Carolyn Pollack, the first Carolyn I loved was my dog Carolyn! It's nice to now love two Carolyn's. 

The bracelet is absolutely stunning and unlike anything I've ever previously owned. Look how shiny the sterling silver is, it shines magnificently in the light.  I think the craftsmanship is out of this world and the filigree beads are a true work of art.  Don't you love how intricate the detail of each bead is? It's like wearing a masterpiece on your wrist every single day.

You'll notice that the bracelet is made well and has weight to it.  It'll surely stay on your wrist securely with no problem.  The large and modern toggle is not just an ordinary toggle, but the level of detail and design on it is impressive.  When I put the bracelet on, it's slightly big but it's not that much of a problem.  The beads are large and in charge and certainly make the bracelet a conversation piece.  Some jewelry comes and goes and you can't wear it forever.  With this bracelet, you'll definitely be able to wear it for years and decades to come.  This timeless beauty will always be a favorite in your jewelry box.

Don't you just love the beautiful rope and scroll design that the ring features? I tend to gravitate towards pieces with a scroll pattern, they are just too pretty to resist! The ring is a perfect match with the bracelet and they can be worn together for an elegant look.  Of course the sterling silver is high quality and you'll fall in love with it instantly.  On my finger the ring fits perfectly and I love how it looks on.  I wore it yesterday and actually got a few compliments from my friends.  They asked me where did I get such a beautiful ring? It's hard to not resist its beauty.  

The best part about both of these pieces is that even if you don't choose to wear them together, they still look fabulous paired with other jewelry.  Go ahead and wear the ring with turquoise earrings, or the bracelet with a gorgeous gemstone necklace and it will still look fantastic.  I can guarantee you that both pieces will be kept safely in my jewelry box to be worn regularly for years to come.

If you're looking to spice up your jewelry box, there's always room to add a Carolyn Pollack piece to it.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Carolyn Pollack for providing me with complimentary pieces in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Miami Beach Chocolates Review and Giveaway

Hi, my name is Sammi and I'm a chocoholic.  Yes, alert the press because it's absolutely true!  I love chocolate and can't get enough of it.  Give me a piece of smooth and creamy chocolate with a nutty or coconut filling and I'll love you forever.  I don't discriminate against chocolate no matter what form it comes in.  I'm a fan of chocolate cookies, brownies, candy, cake, and of course pie.  Eating chocolate is always on my agenda and I can't get enough of it.  Go ahead and have a delicious brownie or cookie today, your stomach deserves it!

Miami Beach Chocolates creates gourmet chocolates with premium ingredients that will make your taste buds sing.  The shop is located in Miami, Florida and is proud of their Jewish heritage and they honor it through their 100% Kosher certification.  In addition, they offer parve chocolates made with no milk or animal products which are perfect for Jewish High Holidays.

Miami Beach Chocolates offers fantastic hand dipped barks and oreos, truffles, peanut butter cups, chocolate covered fruit, and so much more. Whatever you could want, the shop offers it.  With nationwide shipping, there's always an occasion to satisfy someone's sweet tooth with Miami Beach Chocolates.  Keep them in mind for birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and work events.  

My love for chocolate knows no bounds.  I really could eat it daily if allowed. When I received the opportunity to review chocolates from Miami Beach Chocolates, I was very excited.  A fabulous assortment of four boxes of chocolates showed up at my door and my heart turned to liquid chocolate upon seeing them.  It was so glorious and definitely a chocolate masterpiece.


It should be against the law for these chocolates to be this beautiful.  Each one has a different look and personality, but in the end they all offer you a big, bold taste. The boxes contained barks, darks,  chocolate dipped fruit, truffles, and many other things.  Of course I haven't tried all of them because there's so many, but I have sunk my teeth into quite a few selections.  The luscious chocolate covering the hand dipped barks offers a crunch you won't soon forget.  My favorites were the nutty chews, along with the chocolate bark and Oreo bark.  

You won't find chocolate sweeter than at Miami Beach Chocolates.  The decadent milk, white, and dark chocolate blankets your mouth in deliciousness that you'll remember forever.  One bite and I was in heaven.  I can't remember the last time I had chocolates this excellent.  

I look forward to trying the rest of the treats soon.  I know it won't be long because I have zero self control against candies! 

If you're looking to make someone happy today, I highly recommend sending them a gift basket or box from Miami Beach Chocolates.  Who knows, they might even share it with you!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


If you have kids, think of your last car or road trip.  I'm sure you'll remember how the backseat was filled with toys, books, games, and even snacks.  It can be hard to keep your car organized and clean, no matter what you do. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a product that kept everything contained and neat? When a parent has one less thing to worry about, it makes life so much easier.  Luckily, HABA has come to the rescue.

Haba USA is a gold standard baby and children's brand that is loved by many. They have an eco-conscious approach that aims to increase children's happiness and facilitate development.  The brand creates wonderful toys and games that become cherished objects for children of all ages all over the world.  Choose from many types of toys including blocks, plush and wooden toys, puzzles, dolls, and so much more.  Not only are toys offered but backpacks and luggage are available too.  There's certainly many options to choose from that will delight any boy or girl.  If you have a child with an upcoming birthday, surprise them with wooden blocks or a magnetic game that will make them smile.  Keep Haba USA in mind for any of your future toy or game needs.

My daughter is only 7 months old, but don't be fooled into thinking she doesn't have a lot of toys and dolls already! Her room looks like a mini version of a toy store.

We recently went on a road trip to visit my parents.  The drive was 22 hours long so of course we needed to pack a lot for her beyond just diapers, wipes, and food.  My little wubbies loves to be entertained with a variety of toys, and for that long of a drive you have to make sure you keep her happy!

Of course by the time we got to my parents our backseat was a complete mess! It would have been so helpful to have something to keep all of the toys and books contained.

When I was introduced to HABA's Lassig Backseat Car Organizer, I knew it was the answer to my organization prayers.  The ability to keep all of Scarlett's things in one unit is awesome, what more could you want?

Look at all of the compartments that hold anything your child desires.

I can't believe that I didn't have this car organizer earlier.  The backseat floor was always pretty messy from Scarlett and I routinely had to clean it out.  Do you know how much easier life would have been if I had this product? Thankfully, I have it now!

The organizer hangs on the back of your headrest and offers a variety of pockets and compartments o securely hold your child's things.  I received the organizer in a cute pattern with stars and flowers, but there are other ones to choose from for both girls and boys.  The pinks and greens are vibrant and certainly stand out. Adding the hot pink star adds a great boost of personality and flair.  The organizer is long enough to cover the whole seat and it securely clips on.  I feel that it's solidly made and of high quality.  

The amount of storage and space is fantastic and it easily holds anything she could possibly want to have in the car.  Right now, it holds her doll, camera, toy links, activity cube, and her owl music toy.  On long trips, I have to sit in the back with her and I can easily hand her toys to play with and put back what she doesn't want.  

I'm very satisfied with the organizer and am so happy that I now own it, it makes life so much easier! The best part about this organizer is that it will grow with her as she ages.  Soon enough baby toys will be replaced with books and games.  It will be in our car for many years to come and that makes me so happy.

If you're looking to keep your car organized and your children happy, HABA USA is waiting for your order!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to HABA USA for providing me with complimentary product in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  
Monday, July 6, 2015

Insane Cookies Review

Cookies are everything to me.  I could eat them every single day without fail. My dentist probably hates me.  How can anyone resist freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookies? Of course you can't forget a tall glass of milk either.  If this doesn't appeal to you, I don't think you're human.  Go ahead and have a cookie or twelve today!

Insane Cookies is a cookie company based out of South Florida that hand delivers locally but ships nationwide.  These cookie flavors are anything but ordinary, they are insane! How about delighting your tastebuds with cookie flavors like Thrill Seeker which is chocolate brownie dough with mint green m&m's and chocolate covered mint pretzels, and the Oversleeper which is French toast cookie dough with bacon pieces? You can't forget about trying Identity Crisis which is peanut butter dough with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and mini Reese's cups either! There are endless flavor options for everyone's tastebuds, and the best part is the cookies are made with premium ingredients.  You can choose from regular or gluten free cookies, and you can also custom create cookies too.  There's also the option of cookie cakes as well.  Order by the dozen today for your next work event and everyone will be insanely happy!

My belly was lucky enough to receive a dozen assorted cookies to try.  My stomach definitely won the jackpot and it couldn't have been more thrilled. As soon as the cookies were hand delivered to my door, I was ready to dig in.

The following flavors arrived in my order:

Cannibal: Classic cookie dough with Oreo chunks and mini chocolate chips
Chocoholic/PMS: Chocolate brownie dough with chocolate chunks and dark chocolate chips
Dirty Pig: Chocolate brownie dough with bacon and brown sugar
Exhibitionist: Classic dough with white chocolate chips, cranberries, and pistachio nuts
Flaky: Rich chocolate brownie dough topped off with lightly toasted coconut flakes
Homesick: French toast maple infused dough topped with cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar
Identity Crisis: Peanut butter dough with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and mini Reese's cups
Mommy Issues: Classic chocolate chip cookie, but better
Oversleeper: French toast dough with bacon pieces
Thrill Seeker: Chocolate brownie dough with green mint M&M's and chocolate covered mint pretzels
Wallflower: Cinnamon oatmeal dough with raisins and walnuts

How fantastic are these flavors? When I bake my own cookies, I normally just put peanut butter or chocolate chips in them.  I would never think out of the box and pair french toast cookie dough with bacon, or cinnamon oatmeal dough with raisins and walnuts, but it all works together so well!

This plate is a work of art.  It should be placed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City! 

The cookies were perfectly soft and wonderfully fresh.  I'm not a fan of crispy or hard cookies, I like them pillow soft and chewy.  These aren't small cookies by any means, they are large and in charge!

I haven't tried all of the cookies so far, but my current favorites are Thrill Seeker and Identity Crisis.

The Thrill Seeker is a gorgeous deep rich brown brownie dough filled with mint green M&M's and pretzel pieces. Yes you heard me right, brownie dough! The vibrant green M&M's really make the dark brownie dough pop. Mint is one of my top picks for desserts and this cookie made my taste buds pop.  From the rich taste of the fabulous brownie dough to the crunchy mint M&M's and pretzels, what more could you want from this cookie? The cookie was sweet, but not overly sweet.  I definitely noticed a prominent mint flavor which made me happy.  I was so sad when this round circle of heaven was gone.

Peanut butter and chocolate is a classic combination and the Identity Crisis cookie made my stomach dance.  The peanut butter cookie itself was smooth and bursting with rich peanut butter flavor. I loved the Reese's peanut butter cups and chocolate chips dotted throughout.  There was certainly an equal balance of chocolate and peanut butter, which I loved.  Sometimes with a peanut butter and chocolate cookie you get more peanut butter than chocolate, but not with this one! It was simply perfect and everything you could want in a cookie.

I look forward to trying the rest of the cookies soon as I only have so much willpower! They are calling my name right now and it's hard to ignore them!

If you're looking for fabulous cookies that will really satisfy that sweet tooth, it's time to order Insane Cookies.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Insane Cookies for providing me with complimentary cookies in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Adena Grill Review

Now that my husband and I have a baby, it's harder for us to go out.  When we do get the rare opportunity to get a break and a night off, we really enjoy having a nice dinner.  There's nothing quite like visiting a restaurant for a delicious meal and entertaining conversation.  If you haven't been out to dinner in awhile, why not make a reservation for your favorite place? Your stomach and taste buds will thank you!

Adena Grill is a steakhouse located in Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida that offers an extensive wine list and a menu featuring grass-fed meat sourced from its own farm.  The very unique thing about Adena Grill is that their juicy, mouth-watering meat comes from Adena Farms in Ocala, Florida.  The animals at Adena Farms roam freely, have no stress, and are not given any hormones or antibiotics.  Their choice cuts of meat deliver fuller, richer, and more intense flavors to every bite.  

How about sitting down to delight your taste buds with such options as a New York strip steak, a million dollar burger or a Maine lobster tail? Don't forget to pair your meal with a delicious appetizer like gnocchi mac and cheese.  Wine is a must for the meal.  I highly recommend Prosecco which is my absolute favorite.  End the meal with a sweet treat like the chocolate torte.  When you're done enjoying a fabulous dinner at Adena Grill, why not make a stop at the casino in Gulfstream or do a little shopping?  If you're looking to have the most delicious dinner, Adena Grill is waiting to see you tonight.

I've been to Gulfstream Park many times and have enjoyed the wonderful outside ambience along with the casino! The casino is one of my favorite attractions at Gulfstream.  When I found out about Adena Grill, I knew it was a restaurant I had to try.  I'm always ready to sink my teeth into a delicious piece of fish or steak!

What an elegant dining room! Sit down and enjoy something that will make your taste buds jump for joy.

When my husband and I walked into the restaurant, we were instantly blown away.  Adena Grill was gorgeous.  From the beautiful crystal chandeliers to the extensive bottles of wine that were chilling on  the wall, there was something visually pleasing to see in every direction.  You also could not miss the floor to ceiling artwork.  

We sat down and were greeted by our very warm and friendly waitress Alicia.  She introduced us to the restaurant and gave us a rundown of what the establishment was all about as well as Adena Farms.  

A special tasting menu was brought to us showcasing what we would be eating.  Soon after, a basket featuring warm and heavenly soft bread was brought to us.  My husband and I enjoyed the bread with a glass of Prosecco for me and a Blue Moon beer for him.  The butter that accompanied the bread had a special A imprinted on it.  I'd never seen anything like that before and thought it was very fun. How can you resist perfectly warm slices of wonderfully soft bread? The bread was fresh and delicious and  it was hard for me to resist eating the whole basket myself.

Next, we were brought a tiny stainless steel All-Clad pan featuring the most amazing appetizer I've ever laid my eyes on.  This gnocchi mac and cheese was so beautiful that I couldn't stop looking at it.  I'm a huge fan of gnocchi and also mac and cheese, so I knew it was bound to be out of this world.  The fluffy pillows of gnocchi were blanketed in a very thick and generous gruyere cheese sauce.  Upon first bite, it was like the fourth of July in my mouth.  Instead of fireworks, the bursting flavors of the gnocchi and sauce lit up my mouth.  The gnocchi was perfectly soft with a wonderful creamy cheese and bacon flavor that I couldn't get enough of.  The cheese sauce was rich and perfect.  We both loved the breadcrumbs that were on top of the gnocchi which gave it a crunch that you couldn't resist.  In no time, the dish was finished and I was sad. I could have easily eaten many pounds of it if allowed! 
Love you forever

Alicia then brought us a large roasted bone marrow on a board alongside onion jam, parsley salad, and grilled bread.  This was not one of my favorites.  My husband and I had not previously had bone marrow before so it was interesting to try something new.  The idea is to take some of the bone marrow from the grooves on the bone and spread it on the bread along with the onion jam. I'm not as adventurous as my husband, but he enjoyed the experience.

The food kept coming non-stop as we were next sampling the strawberry and burrata salad.  The salad was so beautifully plated and I couldn't wait to taste it.  We agreed that the strawberries were perfectly fresh and juicy.  This was certainly a unique salad that we both had never seen before.  Cheese is one of my downfalls in life.  Whenever it's near me I just have to try it no matter what. I absolutely loved the creamy and rich texture of this Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream.  The flavor of the cheese was so outstanding that I had to keep coming back for more.  It would be almost a sin not to.  Just take one of the crackers and pile on a strawberry, a fig, and a healthy chunk of the cheese for a big bite you won't soon forget.  
The perfect summer salad!

My husband and I sampled so many fabulous picks so far, that we were running out of room and we hadn't even received our entrees yet! Alicia served me a fabulous piece of Mahi Mahi on a bed of jasmine rice and my husband was delighted to see a New York strip steak in front of him.  Alicia and the other wait staff were so attentive to us during the meal and kept checking in from time to time.

Meat lovers, rejoice!

Look at that perfectly cooked steak!

My husband is a huge meat lover and was in absolute heaven at the sight of that steak. This was not a measly portion, as the size of the steak was large and in charge! There was a prominent seasoned salt flavor and I detected a salt crust as well.  The meat was perfectly cooked and bursting with juicy steak flavor.  With steak sometimes you need a sauce on the side for it, but this cut of meat was so good you didn't even need it. 

We received some sides along with our entrees which included mashed potatoes, cauliflower, and mushrooms.  These sides paired perfectly with our meals and were polished off in no time.

I'm a big seafood lover and was delighted to be able to sample the Mahi Mahi.  The fish was perfectly cooked and had a nice crispy skin to it.  I don't normally care for spice and prefer food to be not spicy, but the heat that the fish had was welcoming.  Rice always goes well with fish and I was glad to see it together with the Mahi Mahi.  The rice was cooked perfectly and the flavor of the fish permeated through it.  What a wonderful dish!

Look at that plated beauty! 

At this point, we could barely eat anything else, but how do you say no to dessert? Dessert is always on my agenda.  My husband and I were presented with two fabulous mini portions of creme brûlée and almond cake.

Sweet tooth, get ready to be satisfied!

I just love those mini portions.  How cute are they? There's nothing mini about my love for sweet treats though.  The almond cake was my favorite.  The berries that accompanied it were the perfect pick.  The almond flavor was sweet, yet nutty.  The cake itself was moist and perfectly baked.  My stomach gave it a 10 out of 10.  

The creme brûlée was not as appealing to me as it was to my husband.  He plowed through that sugar crust to get to the sweet custard inside in seconds flat.  In no time his bowl no longer contained any creme brûlée and he was left with a smile on his face.  

We were both left so stuffed and had not had such a delicious meal in a long time.  What a fabulous dining experience we had at Adena Grill! The staff could not have been any more pleasant and welcoming to us.  We left with full bellies and great impressions.  What more could you want?

If you're in the South Florida area, I highly recommend you make a trip to Adena Grill.  You will not be disappointed and definitely be left with fond memories.  

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Adena Grill for providing us with a complimentary meal in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.