Sunday, January 18, 2015

Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn Packs Review

I remember eating stove popped corn as a kid and it was always delicious. As I got older, time and convenience led me to using the microwave kind instead, and honestly, I stopped eating it for the most part. I would buy it for the kids sometimes, but never ate any myself.

 When we got the package of Franklin's popcorn bags, I was impressed right away with the portion packs. I love how much corn is in each one, and that everything you need is right there in the packet. You don't have to add anything to this at all, just put it all in the pan, cover and cook, It takes only minutes to make and the kids love watching it pop too.

The best part of making fresh popped corn is the taste. The rich, buttery flavor makes it well worth the time to cook this, especially since there is no measuring or scooping, just cut open and cook. Each of these packages make a TON of popcorn. As it popped, I transferred some to a bowl just to make room for the rest to finish, I learned to use a bigger pan the next time! One package made enough for 7 kids and there was still some left over.

If you like variety, this works well with toppings too. The kids used honey, cinnamon and sugar sprinkles, hot sauce, cheese and even caramel sauce and they all tasted great!! The popcorn held up well to them all and didn't dissolve like the microwave kind often does.

Alone or with additions, this is a delicious snack!!

*I received a box of packets for review purposes. The opinions and photos are from my experiences with the product. I shared packets with friends and family over the holidays and everyone thought it was great too. I have had several people ask me where to get more!

Gourmet Souffle Chocolate Dessert Review

I love cooking and baking and can be found scouring Pinterest or other sites for new ideas at least weekly. I like to make something new each week, so my family doesn't get bored and I don't have to do the same thing over and over. My favorite things to make are baked goods and desserts, like the Gourmet Souffle Chocolate Dessert I tried recently.

If you are like me, the word souffle makes your mouth water. When you add chocolate to that, it becomes even more amazing! I received a party package so I could share the experience with my friends. I had bulk packages that made 10 souffles per bag, so I could create away with toppings on some of them too!

The thing I love most about these is how simple they are to make. They literally take just minutes to mix and spoon into the ramekins. Then all you have to do is bake and enjoy! The souffles bake up nice and fluffy and they taste divine!

We tried these alone and with different toppings. The kids loved putting caramel topping on theirs and some of them went for white chocolate chips too. I personally loved them topped with whipped peanut butter icing!

These make great gifts and work for almost anyone. They would be perfect for sending to college kids, adding to a soldier box, putting in a gift basket or just giving them as is. Everything in the box means less clean up after and no need for special dishes or cookware to make them so they are a welcome gift anytime.

*I received a sample kit to share these with party guests. All opinions are my own from personal experiences.

Instanatural Dead Sea Mud Mask

I use as many different products as I need to keep my skin looking and feeling it's best. Sometimes that means applying creams, powders and lotions multiple times a day, but in the end it is worth it to extend the life of my skin.

One of my favorite type of products to use for skin health is a mask. I love knowing my skin is being cleansed and rejuvenated, and like it best when I can feel the mask as it works. That was the way I felt using the Dead Sea Mud Mask from Instanatural. 

When I first opened the jar containing this mask, I was a bit hesitant. The product certainly looks like it's name, a thick, grey colored mud blend. It looked so crazy I couldn't even get my daughter to try it at first. Looks can be deceiving though. Once I dipped into the jar I was surprised to find that it doesn't feel like it looks. The mud mask is actually quite creamy, not thick and clumpy like I was expecting it to be. 

One thing I can say for sure is that you can smell this mask right away. It isn't a gross smell, but it does have a distinct outdoor scent to it. As you apply this mud mask, you can feel a coolness on your skin. The mask is a little difficult to apply. It is so creamy that it seems to almost slip a little when applying. I covered an area and went back to get a spot I missed, but that just caused the mud to move around and still left spaces that were uncovered. 

Within minutes of applying I could feel the mask begin to tighten It wasn't an unpleasant tightening, just enough to notice it. I let the mask set as directed and although it did stiffen up, it didn't turn hard and crusty like some I have tried before. It was easy to wipe off and didn't leave any residue behind. 
I noticed right away a change in how soft my face felt. The skin was so soft and my pores were clean and clear. Even several days later I could still feel how silky smooth my face felt. While I am not big on the look of this, I do love the results I see!

*I received a sample item for review. All opinions are my own from personal experience.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Super Power Valentine's Day

My husband is the most amazing man. Like many people, I don't always realize what he means to me. Yes, I know I love him, but sometimes I will see him doing the most simple thing, like making a phone call or changing a light bulb, and fall in love with him all over again. If I had unlimited powers for Valentine's Day this year, I would show him how much I want to give him everything he desires.

I would start early in the morning by using my powers of persuasion to get him on a hot air balloon ride. He is afraid of heights, so it would take special powers! While floating over the mountains, because that is what he would like, I would tell him all the things every great man should hear. I would remind him of his quirks that I love and let him know how very much he means to me every day.

After the ride, I would use my powers to snap us, "I Dream of Genie" style, to a hunting and sports shop where I twitch my nose to give me a nice unlimited cash supply that I would use to buy him lots of new toys to play on the shooting range. Once he finished shopping and tearing up the targets, we would return home to put away his toys and show him his new truck and motorcycle, I mean, why not, I have unlimited powers here!

We would zip to Paris and enjoy a nice long brunch together, followed by a romantic boat ride along the amazing canals of Venice before zapping to a private little cove in beautiful Tuscany, where we could make love at the base of the natural falls. We have talked about it, but never actually done it before, so I know he would love it. I would undress in the water and give him a show, before enjoying the full pleasures of knowing your partner. No powers needed for this part.

Next, I would create the most amazing concert with all his favorite artists and all his friends, with unlimited food and drinks, dancing and fun for everyone. After enjoying the party, we would part ways with them so we could enjoy more time alone. We would take a night tour to see The Northern Lights, while enjoying dinner. The tour would end with us creating our own magic below while the lights swirled brightly above.

My husband is a simple man for the most part. He would be happy with anything I did for him, and never really asks for much. This would be my way of trying to fit as many fun times and trips as we could into that one amazing day. I would want him to have the material items he likes, hence the new toys and vehicles, but I would also want to have those moments that touch the heart and rest in the soul. I would want it to be a day we both treasured forever, as much for the time and company of one another, as for where we were or what we did.

"This post has been written for Baggout's Blogging Contest on Valentine's day. Baggout provides awesome deals on Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal, Amazon and 100+ other online stores. "

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Wattpad Journey with Anna Todd

For those of you not familiar with Wattpad, this is an example of how this platform helped one writer share her story with the world.

Last spring, 25 year old Anna Todd used Wattpad to begin sharing her love story, After. She would return and add more to the story as it developed, eventually ending with a tale that spread over 2500 pages! Not only has it been viewed over a billion times, it is now available in print too.

After began as a hobby and was written completely on Anna's phone. Now it is being turned into a four book series and is being adapted for big screen too. The story is about two main characters, Tessa and Hardin. Anna used her love of One Direction, and their singer Harry Styles to inspire Hardins' character in the story.

Using Wattpad turned out to be just the right move for Todd. Connecting over 40 millions readers and writers around the world, Wattpad provided just the platform needed to jump start this book into orbit. It has received over 6 million comments so far and the print edition can be found in 26 different countries!

Wattpad allows you to read tons of free stories via phone, tablet or computer. You can store a library for offline access and use the social aspect of the site to connect with others who enjoy reading, writing and offering comments and suggestions. Anyone can share their stories free, and it even offers benefits for beginners. With stories in over 50 languages, and new content added by the minute, there is always something new and fresh to explore.

After can be found at Barnes & Noble or for E-reader

*I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Ozeri 4x3 Razor Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer Review

Staying fit should be important to everyone. Now, I am not saying we all have to be champion athletes, I am just saying we have to watch ourselves a little to be sure we don't turn into something we aren't so fond of. Keeping track can be as simple as limiting your calorie intake, spending a set time exercising each week or counting our steps with a set goal in mind. A simple but effective way to maintain yourself is to decide on an amount and stay with it. 

Counting steps is one tool that many people use because it is so easy. We all walk, sometimes much more than we realize. Once you establish how much you currently walk, it is easy to add a few extra steps to increase your calorie burn and help keep off the excess fat. It can be small things too like putting away the laundry each load instead of once a day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or making an extra lap around the perimeter of the grocery store. They are all quick and easy to do, but they add up. Of course, monitoring your steps might not be so easy if you had to count and keep track of them one by one, but devices like the Ozeri 4x3 Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer can assist you with that. 

This simple device is a snap to use. It records steps, distance, calories burned and more, all while you are performing your normal daily duties. At just 0.5 cm thick and weighing only a half ounce, this is the thinnest and lightest pedometer. It is so small it fits in any pocket and comes complete with belt clip, extra battery and lanyard for optimal use. 

The X,Y,Z vector protection means this works in any position accurately. Designed for athletes, this will count up to a million steps and features a 7 day memory for tracking your progress. 

This is a great set that provides you with everything you need to get started on your way to fitness. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Curva Artisan Double Wall Glasses Review

I love unique and original items. I look for that little extra something that makes a piece stand out to me. Sometimes it is color or design I go for, and other times it is a bold statement or something that demands attention. 

The Curva Artisan double wall glasses are a perfect example of this. These clear drinking glasses have a fun and unique feature. The double wall style allows them to be crafted into different designs on the inside for a mix of intriguing looks all in one box. Each glass has a different style curved inside that lends a unique look when filled with liquids. The double layer prevents your hands from getting hot, or developing condensation while drinking. It is also a good way to remember which glass is yours!

Made from heat and shatter resistant glass, these cups are actually much more solid than I had expected them to be. They looked quite fragile to me when seeing the images, but when they arrived, I was pleased to see that these weren't going to break when actually used. They are sturdy but pretty and nice to look at when filled too. The kids love peering into them, even more so when you use colored or shaped ice cubes inside.

These would make a great gift. They are cute and classy and can be used for almost anyone. They are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe and come complete with a 1 year warranty too!

* I received a sample item for review. All opinions are my own from personal experiences.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Liberty Belle Nightgown for American Girl Dolls Review

My daughter loves American Girl items. She received the Caroline doll for her birthday and now she is always looking for new things for her. I love that she really seems to enjoy the dolls and try to find her fun new stuff to add to her collection.

One thing she did not have was night clothes for Caroline. I mentioned it to her one day and she said since I am the grandmother, I need to buy it for her. I knew then that it was something she wanted, so I took the opportunity to try the Liberty Bell Nightgown for review.

The first thing I noticed about this American Girl nightgown was how bright the blue color was. It stood out an caught my attention before I even noticed the cute bunny designs and patterns on it. This is a great length for a doll gown. It has long sleeves, making it perfect for winter wear and is easy to put on too. There is a long velcro closure in the back to eliminate fuss, and make it easy for them to dress their doll. It even comes with a pretty blue ribbon for her hair!

The nightgown felt a little stiff to me when it arrived but I always wash new clothing items before using them, so I did the same with this. Once it had been washed and dried, it felt nice and soft and ready for bed. This is so cute and I love the ruffled edges. It is perfect for putting your favorite doll to sleep.

The nightgown is even stain resistant and made from child safe materials so you have less worry about danger or spills!

*I received a gown for review purposes. All opinions are my own from personal experience.

Professional Lemon Zester/Cheese Grater Adds A Nice Twist To Your Cooking!

The Professional Lemon Zester/Cheese Grater is the perfect tool for those times when you just need a bit of zest or topping. It works quickly and easily, just a few times across the blades will give you enough lemon, orange or lime zest for topping your favorite pie, treat or drink. It also works well for grating Parmesan or other cheeses to finish off your favorite meal. My favorite use of this grater is for adding a bit of chocolate to cocoa or coffee, and the grated chocolate adds a beautiful finish to Holiday desserts too.

I had no issues with this tool, regardless of what I was using it for. It grated fruit, cheese and chocolate with ease, and this was as easy to clean as any other grater I have tried. The plus is that, not only does it work well, but it doesn't leave half of your ingredients stuck up inside of it like some other types do.

I love that this comes complete with a plastic protective cover, making it perfect for traveling and easy to store. I can slide it off to use it but don't have to worry about it scratching anything while it is being stored.

My grater arrived in just days and was nicely packaged to prevent any damage to it. This would make a great gift for a new couple, cooking fan or anyone who wants to save time and effort while cooking!

  • Rated The #1 Most Useful Kitchen Tool for Grating & Zesting Effortlessly
  • Professional Zester Grater is the easiest way to add instant flavor and uniqueness to all of your dishes
  • ZEST FRUIT including lemons, limes, oranges and coconut, GRATE CHOCOLATE to sprinkle over delectable desserts or ice cream, GRATE GINGER OR GARLIC for stir fries, stews and more, ZEST LIME or ORANGE over the top of your favorite beer or cocktail, Toss your old spices and GRATE FRESH CINNAMON and NUTMEG for today's meals
  • High grade STAINLESS STEEL DURABLE BLADE never needs sharpening, SOFT COMFORTABLE NON-SLIP GRIP, Unique ERGONOMIC DESIGN for maximum control and easy use, BONUS COVER SLEEVE for worry-free storage
  • 100% Satisfaction Lifetime Money Back Guarantee Click the "Add to Cart" button and receive your Chef Proven Professional Zester Grater before the holidays

* I received a sample item for review purposes. All opinions are my own from personal experience.

Always Kiss Me Goodnight Beautiful Vinyl Wall Decals

I love vinyl wall decor. It looks nice but doesn't stick out or take up space and allows me to personalize a room or area exactly how I want it. There are so many choices in from pictures to quotes and it seems like any style or color you could want.

 I was sent the "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" wall decal to review from Vinyl Disorder. I first thought of putting this above our new bed, but when it arrived, I knew it would look beautiful in my daughter's room. The decal was a bold black in a beautiful swirling script. The full size was three feet across, and it is worth every inch of space.

To apply this, I cleaned the area where she wanted this and followed the included instructions. It was easy, for the most part, and took only a few minutes to do. You simply peel the protective covering and place the paper with the decal where you want it on the wall. You use the included scraper to smooth over the back of the paper, loosening the decal from the paper and helping the it adhere to the wall. I did have a couple of spots where the wall decal wouldn't come off the paper the first time. I just went back over that area with the scraper tool and it came off fine.

It is better to take your time and apply this with care. Rushing will only cause issues and risk damaging the decal. The finished result is well worth your extra few minutes!

This looked great against her bright pink walls, but I imagine it would look just as good on other colors too. It lies perfectly smooth and even with no wrinkles, bulges or flaws. It has been there for over a week and nothing has changed at all, it is still in perfect condition and looks like it will last her for a long time!

* I received a sample for review purposes. All opinions are my own from my own experiences.