Monday, October 28, 2013

Bella Sun Lucci Products Add Flavor to Your Dish

I love creating new and delicious meals for my family. I cannot stand having the same meals over and over, so any time I can add something or change ingredients to create something different, I do. I love to add vegetables to my meals and try to get them in anywhere I can. I season and cook with olive oil for extra flavor too.

I recently had a chance to review a variety of tomato products from the Bellla Sun Lucci line. This family owned and operated manufacturer located in Northern California is the largest producer of sun dried tomatoes in the U.S. They offer a selection of items that are sure to add zip to your recipes.

 I tried the Julienne Cut Tomatoes with Italian Herbs first. I made some yummy meatball mix for mozzarella stuffed meatballs and added some of them to the mix. Because these are in extra virgin olive oil, I strained them first and set them on a paper towel to drain. I diced them to make them smaller and they added a nice sun dried flavor to my meal. These are nicely sized for cooking. They are large enough to taste them, but not so large that they overtake a recipe.

I also tried Tomato Pesto Sauce with Whole Pine Nuts. I chose to add this to my mini sourdough sandwiches. I spread a dollop across one slice of the bread, topped it with turkey, diced bacon and Gouda and covered with another slice. The pesto added a tangy zip to my sandwiches that they kids liked so well, they started adding it to both slices of each one.

I sampled their Bruschetta with Italian basil as well and used it to spread directly on toasted Italian bread topped with Mozzarella. I served this as a side with pasta and it was delicious. It was similar to the above photo the sponsor provided for my review.

Each of these 8.5 oz jars can be used in many different ways. You can add them to recipes, used them out of the jar, combine them with other toppings and more. I enjoyed all three of the types I sampled and would buy them again any time. I was also sent a jar of the Sun Dried Tomato halves with Italian Herbs. I chose to share these with a friend so she could try them with her family too. I am not sure what she plans to use them in, but I am sure she will love them as much as we did.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

A Load of New Coupons

Hormel + Butterball + LLOYD's
Breakfast stuff
Personal Care + Meds

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Meet the Ozeri Precision Digital Bath Scale

I have been trying to watch my weight. Well to be honest, I should say I am watching my weight go down. I have not started any particular diet, but thanks to daily trips to the bus and being able to walk around more, I have managed to drop around 15 pounds. I have been looking for a nice bath scale that would allow me to keep better track of my loss, assuming that seeing the numbers right in front of me daily, would be a push to do even more.When I saw an opportunity to review the Ozeri Precision Digital Bath Scale, I figured it was perfect for me.

This scale features auto calibration technology which works as soon as opened. No need for assembly or setup of any kind.  The Ozeri scale turns on and instantly shows your weight on the easy to read LCD wide screen display. The 4 G sensors capture weights up to 400 pounds in increments of 0.2 with industry leading accuracy. Made from impact resistant tempered glass, the scale uses only 1 included Lithium 2032 battery, and turns off automatically to conserve power.

We tried this several times with multiple users and compared the readings to both a doctors scale and a traditional bath scale. The digital screen makes obtaining your measurement a snap. This eliminates trying to discern what number you are seeing or having to lean over to get a reading. It worked just as well for my tiny daughter or my large footed husband as it did for me.  

I love that is is so slim and compact too. The thin design is a huge improvement over big, bulky scales and it is perfectly sturdy, eliminating any wobbling or loss of balance when using. You can visit Amazon to get one of these amazing digital scales for yourself. With a full warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee, this would be perfect as a gift too!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hand Crafted Glory from Novica $25 GC Giveaway

Christmas is fast approaching and if you are like me, you still have plenty of things to get. I always have someone on my list that I have no idea what to get. This year I have a few of those, but I was able to cover one of them at Novica.

Novica has a huge selection of hand crafted items that make great gifts. I spent a lot of time browsing the decor section. There are so many unique items that would look nice in my house. I saw a few items that I am considering as gifts later too. The hand made statues, paintings and crafts are truly beautiful and make great conversation pieces too.

Of course, being me, I had to check out the jewelry. I love the rugged look of these designs and after much deliberating I chose to get the Brazilian Warmth Long Beaded Tiger Eye Necklace. At only $22.99 I thought it was a great deal and I can't wait to see it!

With over 30,000 items to select from, I am sure there is something available for any adult on your Holiday list. To help one of you grab something amazing too, Novica is offering a $25 gift card toward anything on the site!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The prize and compensation gift card I received were provided by Novica. All opinions are my own from personal experience.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Betty Crocker Cupcake Lovers Prize Pack Giveaway

If you didn't see my review on the new Betty Crocker baking items, feel free to go view it here. If you did, or have already tried them, then you will be excited to know I have the same prize pack to give away to one of my readers!

I was able to try the Reeses Cupcake Mix, Hershey's Frosting and Hershey's Cookies and Cream Cookie Mix. I can honestly say we enjoyed all of these. In fact, we loved them so much, we wanted to try the rest , so we bought a Reese's Cookie Mix and a S'mores Cupcake Mix with more Hershey's Milk Chocolate Icing this weekend.

The cupcake accessories I received are great for making cute cupcake treats. I am having a party this weekend for my daughter and we will be using these to make rainbow cupcakes with candy toppings.  This cupcake kit has two pieces. One side is used to hold and fill the included icing bags, and the other is for elevating the cupcake to decorate it. You can use the plunger tool to remove the center of the cupcakes to fill them with anything you like too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The review items and prize pack were provided by Betty Crocker through My Blog Spark. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy Halloween from Target and General Mills Monster Cereals Giveaway!

Some things from childhood you just never forget. Ice cream trucks and tie dye will forever be a part of me, and so will the Monster Cereals. There was nothing I loved more than a great big bowl of Count Chocula in the morning.

There are actually 5 of these yummy cereals to choose from...Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Frute Brute, Fruity Yummy Mummy and Fraken Berry.

I was sent a box of three kinds to try along with a $25 gift card to Target so I could purchase more. Through Halloween, any time you purchase three of these cereals in the same trip to Target, you will receive a free Monster Bash Magazine full of recipes, tips and tricks for the best Halloween ever!

                     My children loved having the Boo Berry again and having a chance to try the flavors they had never tried before. Fruity Yummy Mummy with it's orange flavor and the cherry Frute Brute were new for them and they enjoyed both kinds. Each box features fun Monster Trivia for a little mealtime entertainment too.

Thanks to my fabulous sponsors at General Mills and Target, one of you will have the chance to win the same prize pack that I received. I do not know if this will include the same three flavors we tried, but all of them are delicious so it doesn't even matter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* The giveaway and review gift packs and information were supplied by the sponsor. All opinions are my own.

Preparing for Halloween with Private Island Party

Halloween is almost here and I am excited. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I am always thrilled when the time comes to start decorating and preparing for it. One of the most vital parts of any great Halloween is, of course, the costumes.

I try to get my children whatever costume they want, which can be a headache sometimes. For example, this year my daughter wanted to be a punk rock princess. She had already selected the dress and wig that she wanted, but we needed something else to make it more "punk". After a bit of searching, we decided to get her some fishnet gloves to go over the white satin ones from her costume. This would still keep her hands warm and let her have that extra kick she wanted.

I was sent several pairs of the Long Fishnet Gloves to review from Private Island Party. My gloves arrived in a nicely padded envelope and all were in perfect condition upon receipt. I received a nice variety of colors, which thankfully included a bright pink pair that perfectly matched her dress. Each pair features finger and thumb holes for quick and simple wear. Simply slide on the hand, insert the fingers and slide up the arm. The fishnet material allows them to be super stretchy, so they fit her little arms just as easily as they did mine.

I love how bright the colors of these gloves are too. Being fishnet, you sometimes lose some of the color when they are stretched, but we didn't have that problem. These are made with a thicker fishnet material that has held up well. We have tried several pairs of them and not had any runs or tears at all.

Private Island Party offers a large variety of costumes and accessories to select from. You can browse items by category, season, theme and more, or use the search function to look for a specific item. With the day rapidly approaching, now would be a great time to visit them and see what you can find for your perfect Halloween costume.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Taking the GungHo Challenge

I am normally not a big fan of energy drinks or supplements. I like the extra charge they give me when I have not had enough sleep, but I hate the crashing afterwards. It seems like I end up more tired than I was before which defeats my purpose. My husband, however, takes these at least once or twice a week. he drives in a truck all day, so he has to be alert to his surroundings all the time. He has tried many different types with mixed results so he always keep an eye open for something new or better.

When I was sent samples of the GungHo Focus Shots to try, I thought it would be a good idea for him. They come in 0.75 oz packets with an easy open seam. You simply pull the top, drink the shot and you are done. This made them perfect for him to use while driving his truck for work. He was able to use the energy shots without any negative effects and noticed an increase in awareness throughout the day. The taste was not horrid like others ha has tried and he said he would have no problem using them again.

Gung Ho features a unique blend of ingredients shown to be effective at the levels used in their mix. Their combined action promotes brain health, balance and behavior enhancement, all without the rush or jitters known to be caused by other energy supplements. With no sugar or calories, you don't have to worry about your figure while using these and they help to suppress your appetite too.

You can purchase these in a 3 pack sample for $8.99 if you just want to try them, or grab a pack of 12 on sale now for just $19.99 with free shipping If you really want a good deal, go for the club membership and save even more. You get the same deal on 12 packages each month, plus free shipping for life. Not to mention monthly rewards for continuing membership like Skullcandy Ear Buds at month 3 and an extra box for month 5!

If you are looking for an energy shot that works without worry, I would give these a try.

* Samples were provided for review purposes. All opinions are from my husband as a result of trying the product. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free Personalized Letter from Santa

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Get your own FREE Personalized Santa Claus Letter with any purchase of a framed item from our website

There is no limit. We can send the framed purchase now and send the Santa Claus letter just before Christmas.
Every year, children across the world write their letters to Santa Claus. Wouldn't it be wonderful if your child were to receive a return letter written just for them by Santa Claus himself? Imagine the look on their face!

A letter from Santa is Personalized with the Child's Name City and State. Give them a treasure that will last a life time.
Each letter will be sent by December 10.
If you are in a hurry, you can have one emailed to you and print on your favorite stationary and give it to your child. If you are in a hurry, you can have one emailed to you and print on your favorite stationary and give it to your child. You can do this before December 20.

                                                  Offer Expires December 6, 2013

Find the Perfect Gift from Novica

With the holidays approaching, I have been on the lookout for great gift ideas for those on my list. I try to get something that suits the person I am buying for. It helps to have something original that they don't already have and sometimes that can be difficult to do.
 This year I have found quite a few unique gifts from Novica that would be great for people on my list. Novica offers a variety of interesting items that would be perfect for gifts, in fact, they have a whole section just for that purpose. You can search by item type, recipient, price and more to find just what you are looking for. This makes selecting an item much more simple and allows me to see everything available or narrow it to a certain category.

My favorite section of this site has to be the Home Decor area. With options ranging from accessories to furniture, there are so many options to choose from meaning I won't have trouble finding something to suit my needs. The handmade items are created by artists all over the world and add a touch of character to any room. Not only does this give me fabulous gift ideas, but it allows artisans to promote their creations too. Many of them are from small areas and would not be able to share their art with so many people without the assistance provided by Novica. It is like giving two gifts in one. Each purchase is helping a person or family to earn income in much needed places, while allowing me to check someone off of my list at the same time.

I found a ton of items I would just love to have for myself at Novica. The selection of jewelry is fabulous and knowing that each is made by hand adds an extra bit of charm to their pieces. I plan to visit again to do some shopping for those hard-to-buy-for people on my list!

Trying the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine

I am a  member of Crowdtap and we sometimes receive samples of products to try. This week I was sent some of the new Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes to try in the bathroom. Now, I know you don't need to hear the details of my toilet use, but because that is the subject at hand, I sort of have to go there a little.

I must admit I was a little hesitant about trying these. I kind of felt like a baby needing to clean myself after having a dirty diaper. I was not sure what to expect, but I went ahead and tried them. I also shared the sample packets I was sent with some friends to see how they liked them.

I was surprised by the feel of the wipes. They are wet enough to clean, but not dripping or running as you use them. They have a soft feel and are thick enough that your fingers do not go through. The convenient storage container allows you to pull out a wipe when needed without having to touch several others. This was nice because, really, who wants someone else to touch the wipe you are going to use "down there".

The easy to use dispenser was a big plus for me. It reminded me of baby wipes but without the huge container. The wipes are a nice size that work well for cleaning. These are great for every day use and would be a blessing for times when you can't stay off the pot. I found them useful, not only for cleaning up after using the toilet, but also for cleaning during menstruation. These provided a way to clear away any mess before using a new pad or tampon.

All in all I think these have many great uses. I will not say they are for everyone, all the time, but I think that anyone who tries them will find a nice use for them. Keep some on hand for company, throw a pack in the car for emergencies, or keep some in your purse for on the go needs. I am putting one in the bathroom for my boys. They might not use them on their rears, but they have bad aim and can use them to clean up any mess left behind!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Great Kat Presents- Beethoven Shreds

I am a fan of different types of music. I have some that I just do not like, but for the most part, I am very versatile. Some of my favorite music includes rock, classical and alternative, making me a great fit to try The Great Kat's Beethoven Shreds.

Rated one of the greatest and fastest guitarists of all time, The Great Kat adds shred to some standard classical pieces. She has been mentioned in BuzzFeed, MusicRadar and honored with a star in the Guitar Hero Galaxy, according to Spin Magazine. Grabbing attention in Classic Rock, Guitar One and Elle magazines has only added fuel to her fire. This Juilliard Grad violin virtuoso demands your attention with these fast paced chords.

Featuring music like The Flight of the Bumblebee and Beethovens 5th Symphony, this is a whole different twist on the sound you are used to hearing. I knew it was going to be heavy just because of what it was, but I had no idea you could add that much metal to a classical piece. This is not for the faint of heart, and due to some of the lyrics, is is not intended for children either.

The only negative for me was that it has just seven songs. It seemed like it was over quickly, and I would have liked more. I guess I can't complain since it is priced at just $7.95 though. If you are a fan of alternative styles and don't mind the noise or lyrics, I would grab a copy and see for yourself.

Our B-Daman Battle Master Party

I am a member of House Party and was recently selected to host  B-Daman Battle Master Party. I had never heard of these little guys before, but with two boys, I figured they had. I was excited to share these with their friends, and maybe add an item to some Christmas lists too.

The B-Daman characters are little guys that shoot marbles from their stomachs. You set up the playing field, get your marbles ready and blast away. Depending on the set or game, the objective changes slightly, but for the most part, whoever sends more targets at their opponent first, wins.

We received two of the action figures within the Battlefield set, so we used those for the tournaments. We did several rounds until we had a single winner who was able to select a character to take home. Because we had two different sets, we did the same with both games and ended with 4 winners. The kids had a blast trying to outscore one another and everyone enjoyed trying these new toys.

Assembling these is really simple and they can go right back in the box when not in use. Each character comes equipped with a filling cup, ready to send their little balls zipping into targets and obstacles. You simply snap the holding piece onto the figure and fill it with marbles before starting. As you play, you grab your colored marbles to refill your launcher until someone wins.

I was provided with coupons to share with the parents. They were able to grab one of these at almost half price by using it. I though that was a great incentive to grab more of these if they wanted. I know my kids have requested some of their own already.

*The information, party pack and gifts were provided by the sponsor through House Party. All opinions are my own.

The World's Most Beautiful Hair Tie

I am happy to be trying a new kind of hair tie for my daughter. The world's Most beautiful hair Tie is designed to slide through your hair with no pulling or ripping. Not only is that better for your hair, but it saves on the time and hassle of doing hair for kids too.

Reagan is a diva, as I am sure you know, and she loves to try new pieces in her hair. She is super excited to have something new to show off to all her friends. They come in several different styles, and a huge variety of colors and designs, so we have no idea which we will receive to review. Reagan is already thrilled about trying them, so the anticipation is killing her.

Stay tuned to find out how these worked for us! While you are waiting, you can follow American Jewel on Facebook or Twitter for updates and more.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Luau Pork

I have been trying to make new food to eat around my home. I hate eating boxed mixes or ready to eat items most of the time, so I look for recipes that allow me to be more creative.
When I came across the Campbell's  Slow Cooker Sauces, I thought that might make something different for a dinner. I selected the Hawaiian Luau mix with pineapple, mango and bell peppers to make some yummy pulled pork.

I grabbed a pork roast from the store and seasoned it with basil, salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven until cooked. I allowed it to cool slightly and shredded it to get the right consistency. I used a grater to get the perfect pulled look, added the Campbell's sauce, and allowed it to simmer.

When it finished we put it on slider buns and it was delicious! I plan to try more of the Campbell's sauces soon!

Trying to Stay Young With Ageless Derma

I have always looked young for my age, which to me is a good thing. As I get older, I have started to notice some signs that I may not be young forever. Thankfully they are not huge issues, but I would rather not have them get any worse. I try to take care of my skin, so that I can look as lovely as possible, for as long as I can.

I have recently gotten some help with that from a new product I tried called Ageless Derma Anti-Aging Cleanser. Ageless Derma is a facial gel cleanser that contains Glycolic Acid to help keep your skin looking fresh. Designed to remove makeup and all the dirt and pollution that ends up on your skin daily, Ageless Derma helps fight the signs of aging by keeping your skin looking fresh and clean. The glycolic cleanser works to lessen acne scarring, reduce wrinkles and improve skin conditions.

Ageless Derma helps replace the natural antioxidants that our skin loses with age while helping to rebuild the  collagen and elastin that keeps our skin youthful. It also contains aloe juice, which is known for it's skin healing abilities. Blended with amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, this works to keep your skin at it's best.

I noticed right away the consistency of this cleaner. It isn't runny like water, but not too thick either. It is easy to apply and does leave your skin feeling clean and fresh after use. I noticed a difference in how my skin looked after about a week of using it. I can't say it made me look any younger right away, but it did leave my skin feeling and looking more clean, which is a big plus for me.

Verde Chicken Enchiladas with Kraft Recipe Makers

While grocery shopping last week, I came across these easy to use Recipe Makers from Kraft. There were a few to select from, but I chose the Verde Chicken Enchilada for my first attempt at using these.

The package comes with the sauces and mixes you need, so all you have to do is add the meat or veggies you want to use. This saves a ton of time over making sauces or adding all those seasonings to your meal. 

After cooking and shredding the chicken, I mixed in the sauce and followed the simple directions for a tasty dinner. We all enjoyed the taste of this meal and it made dinner time easier with less mess than if I had done it all myself. I plan to go back and try more of these soon!

My Amazing Nest Necklace from Hot Mama

I won an amazing giveaway a few weeks ago for a Nest Necklace from Swoon Jewelry Studios and Hot Mama Designs  . This features a beautiful bird's nest with an egg inside for each of my children. Mine has three eggs, but you can have it customized to fit the number of eggs you need from 1 to 5.

You can also have the names printed along the edge or leave it blank if you like. This is a great way to add a more personalized look to your piece.

I love how beautiful it turned out and my kids love that it has their names on it. The letters are nicely spaced and perfectly readable too. 

If you are looking for a great, personalized piece for yourself or to give as a gift, I would suggest looking to see what they have for you!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Going to School Princess Reagan Style

My daughter is original. She likes to do things her own way and that includes dressing. Reagan loves to have her own look by adding extra flair. Sometimes that is as simple as a big bow in her hair.

Other days she likes to add arm warmers or leg warmers to her outfits...even if that means borrowing mine like the spiderweb ones she loves.

Some days she adds a purse, sunglasses, bows and warmers for a super combo outfit.

Her absolute favorite thing to do is add color. She loves coloring her hair and is a huge fan of hair chalks.

She insists on adding several colors to match her clothes, so this takes up a bit of our morning before school but it makes her happy and I love that smile.

Does your little girl love to have her own style too?