3Nov/130

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic, Bacon, and Parm + HIC Choco.Nut.Cheese.Grater Review

I get it. Not everyone likes vegetables. (Try convincing my husband to eat squash or cooked carrots.) However, I love squash, especially spaghetti squash because it's so easy to prepare. I decided to dress it up a little and created Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Garlic, Bacon, and Parm that I grated using the Harold Import Co.'s Blossom Choco.Nut.Cheese. Grater.
Ingredients:

  • 1 - 4lb Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 TBSP - Salted Butter (You can substitute with EOO if preferred.)
  • 3 - Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 4 to 5 Slices Bacon (Cooked and chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup - Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease baking sheet lightly with butter.
  2. Cut off stem end of squash, and then cut lengthwise. Remove all seeds and stringy parts.
  3. Place face down on baking sheet and cook 25 minutes or so until a fork can be inserted easily into the fleshy part. Once done, remove from baking sheet and allow to cool.
  4. Shred squash flesh with fork into a separate bowl.
  5. Saute minced garlic in 2 TBSP of salted butter (or EOO) for approximately 1-2 minutes. Add squash and reduce to low and allow to reheat and incorporate the garlic and butter.
  6. Add minced bacon while reserving some for garnish.
  7. Add grated Parmesan cheese reserving some for garnish.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Remove, garnish, and serve hot.

The Blogger Recipe Challenge was sponsored by Harold Import Co. for the month of October. (Obviously I'm a little behind on this.) We were each given a Blossom Choco.Nut.Cheese. Grater to use with our oven month recipes. It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to use it for. We don't typically keep chocolate or nuts in the house, and most of the time we purchase softer cheeses. But, one afternoon I got hungry and did some digging as usually and came up with the recipe posted above. And guess what? I happened to have a wedge of fresh Parmesan cheese stuffed away in the back of my fridge. Suh-weet!

"Take the next step in the kitchen gadgetry: Blossom Choco.Nut.Cheese grater. Our patented grating disc and plunger do the dirty work for you, so you're free to get creative and add exciting flavor to all your meals." ~ Blossom

This is one of those gadgets where I really needed to read the directions, but once I did, I realized it wasn't quite as difficult as I thought it seemed. Once you get the plunger up to the top and attached to the lid, just open it, add in your ingredients you want to grate, and then remove the lid. Grating is as easy as twisting so the plunger pushes the cheese/nuts/chocolate down and through the grater.

I loved how easy it was to use, and best of all, I didn't scrape my knuckles like I usually manage to do, AND all of the cheese was grated. There weren't any tiny pieces left that you can't typically grate due to the fear of losing a finger nail or the tips of your fingers. Nobody wants bloody cheese.... or nail bits. Ew.

The grater completely disassembles for easy cleaning. There are 5 parts to the core unit, so thankfully there was a set of directions on how to take it apart, and how to put it back together. Unfortunately this isn't exactly dishwasher safe, so it's best to hand wash. Then again... with such small parts, I don't think you'd want to put it through the dishwasher.

Overall this is a pretty neat gadget, and I'm glad to have it in my kitchen. I finished grating up the rest of the Parmesan cheese and I'm just storing it in my fridge for when we're ready to use it. It's super simple to figure out and definitely saves your arms from all of that hand grating and finger tips. It's also pretty small, so finding a place to store one more kitchen goodie shouldn't be difficult.

Make sure you check out HIC on Facebook too!

I received the above mentioned product free of charge from HIC in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

25Oct/130

Halloween Chocolate Fudge Peeps Bars Recipe & Review

This particular recipe actually happened due to a failed recipe. Which, sometimes the tastiest things are diversions from originals. My Halloween Chocolate Fudge Peeps Bars recipe is absolutely delicious. It's sweet, buttery, sugary, fudge-y, chewy, gooey, (get the picture?) and it won't take more than one bite to send you into a food coma. I was channeling my inner Paula Dean on this one. The best part, is that it is SUPER easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box - Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 2 - Eggs
  • 10 TBSP - Salted Butter (melted)
  • 6 - Ghost Peeps (Cut into quarters)
  • 6 - Chocolate dipped Peeps (either dark or milk cut into quarters)

Process:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Combine chocolate cake mix with eggs and melted butter. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. Line a 9"x13" baking pan with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with spray, Crisco, or butter.
  4. Evenly spread batter in pan, and bake for 10 minutes. (If you prefer your bars a little more done, increase the time by 5-10 minutes.)
  5. Remove pan from oven and evenly distribute Peeps pieces.
  6. Return pan back into the oven and continue to bake for another 6 minutes. Marshmallows should be puffy, and start to have turned golden.
  7. Allow to cool, and then freeze a couple of hours before cutting. (Brownies never fully freeze even if in the freezer over night.)
  8. Serve chilled.

Honestly, Peeps were never really a favorite of mine while growing up. I'm more of the chocolate and caramel sort of person. I had one bad experience at camp where I lost all my hotdogs and smores in a pile next to the fire (I hope you're catching my drift by what I mean by "lost"), and after that... I couldn't stomach marshmallows for YEARS. But, Peeps was super awesome and sponsored the Blogger Recipe Challenge Group and sent us a bunch of different Halloween varieties of Peeps. They sent pumpkins, ghosts, and chocolate mousse cats in addition to some newer varieties including sugar-free, peeps dipped in dark chocolate and milk chocolate, and chocolate covered Jack-O-Lanterns.

Since we all know marshmallows are best melted, and especially a little caramelized, I decided I wanted to make sure I could bake them a little. It also happened to work out perfectly for October's oven month theme. (Yay for killing two birds with one stone!) Of course, the Peeps I didn't use in this recipe were devoured by my kids in less than an hour. Guess they're still a long-standing favorite for many kids.

I also had no idea Peeps came in different themes! I always just assumed they were an Easter-only sort of candy. I loved the cats and the ghosts the most, just because they were so different compared to the typically bright colored Peeps. The chocolate dipped ones were delicious and worked perfectly for my recipe. The chocolate covered ones... a little melty and sticky even though they were stored the same way. However, you can't pay me to touch the sugar-free ones. Plus, the dye for the face kind of runs a little and looks questionable. I also figure if marshmallow is primarily made from sugar... what must go into making one sugar-free? Just my honest thought on that one.

Next time I try out this recipe, I think I'm going to make cream cheese swirled brownies, and maybe add a caramel drizzle. Just what everyone needs... MORE SUGAR!

Take the time to find Peeps on Facebook!

Also check out our other Peeps recipes from the Blogger Recipe Challenge below.

Filed under: Food, Recipes, Reviews No Comments
14Oct/130

Dress First – Find the Perfect Dress for Your Holiday Party #Sponsored

DressFirstLogo

Wedding season is winding down, and that means it's time for all of those holiday parties that are being planned as I type. What's the one thing every woman needs for a holiday party? A new dress. But, as I'm sure you're all well aware, fancy dresses tend to be extremely expensive. If they're not, they're generally poor quality. That's why I'm introducing Dress First.

I have been browsing for a new party dress for MONTHS. All have either been way out of my price range, or probably wouldn't have looked great on me. Or, based on who was selling the dress I already knew it was going to be cheaply made. Then, there are the dresses that would fit, and I like, but they weren't sophisticated enough. They were meant for teenagers. Bummer.

Dress First has a MASSIVE selection of absolutely stunning garments for just about every body type, and every occasion. I keep browsing through the Formal and Cocktail categories making lists of all the dresses I'd like to see hanging in my closet. And, while one dress is only needed, who likes to show up at multiple parties in the same thing every time? The best part, is that Dress First's dresses are affordable with huge markdowns already taken off the final prices, and a sale section with even further discounts. No sense in spending more than $200 on a dress that you can get as Dress First for $100.

In addition to the huge style selection that's offered, every style I've browsed appears to come with multiple color options. Don't want the dress in black? Choose from greens, blues, purples, browns, etc. If you can't tell, the dress to the A-Line/Princess Sweetheart Asymmetrical Chiffon Evening Dress (shown on right) is one of my absolute favorites. Priced at only $112.99 (marked down from $224), this stunning chiffon evening dress has 27 additional color options. Isn't that dress absolutely stunning? I'm thinking this would make the perfect dress for attending my husband's company holiday party in.

Dress First doesn't just offer formal wear and party wear, but also wedding gowns, bridal party attire, prom dresses, accessories, shoes, and shape-wear. It's your one stop shop for looking fabulous for whatever event you're attending this season.

Dress First can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 

*I was compensated for my opinion in this post. All opinions are mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

13Oct/1366

Zooligans – Penny the Penguin Boot Review & Giveaway

ZooligansLogo

Way back in May of 2012, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of being introduced to a children's brand of shoes called Zooligans. My daughter had the chance to test out a pair of Amanda the Panda Mary Jane shoes. She LOVED her Panda shoes. I mean, she loved them so much that she never wanted to take them off. It was all about the Panda. Now, about a year and a half later, Zooligans has introduced a brand new Fall line that is just as adorable and kid friendly as their previous line. And let's just say, she wore her new pair for three days straight. This brand is a huge winner in my book. (I tell people with young kids about them all of the time via word-of-mouth.)

This time my daughter's eye landed on the Penny the Penguin Boots. "Penquin boots! Penguin boots!!" It was an easy choice for her, and Mommy was thinking ahead to Fall/Winter weather and all of the rain I was sure we'd be getting lately. I requested a pair in size 11. The shoes are supposedly true-to-size, which I found accurate for the most part. Her feet have been growing like weeds so, I'm never sure which size for which brand will actually work best. The only issue I noticed is that with my daughter's pudgy feet (<--- that's a bit of an understatement), is that the area where the foot needs to turn, right by the penguin's stomach, is a little tight. We can get the boots on her when she's wearing socks, however not when she's barefoot. Then again, who wears boots without socks? It's really not a flaw of the product. We've had this problem with every pair of boot that she's owned, and honestly, this is the first pair that has actually gone ON. (We have returned so many pairs of boots just because her stinkin' feet won't feet into them.)

"The Zooligans crew is dedicated to creating an innovative
line of shoes that speaks to the playful side of being a child, while offering up the features that parents look for when choosing healthy shoes for their children's growing feet.
From the soft leather uppers, roomy toe box, adjustable straps and super flexible bottoms to the design detailing from the 
tip of the nose to the end tail; quality, function and fun is 
what drives the Zooligans brand." ~ Zooligans

From my past experience with Zooligans I knew that these were fantastic shoes. Not only are they made from quality materials but they are built specifically for little growing feet. (Or in my daughter's case, massive yet still growing feet.) Just like Amanda the Panda, Penny the Penguin's uppers are made from leather. The soles are rubber and designed with Paw Flex Four Way Flexible Sole. Not only do the soles look like paws, they're meant to flex like them too. You know how it is with little kids. They tend to be clumsy, and without proper footwear (i.e. rigid soles) your kids tend to trip and fall considerably more often.
In addition to the fantastic design of the soles, I absolutely love the adorable details that Zooligans includes in each pair of shoes. Every little detail of the animals appears constructed from individual leather pieces, and the visible stitching creates a unique affect. The color schemes are adorable, with Penny the Penguin in Dark Slate/Arona Blue with pops of color in bright pink.

Penny the Penguin made into this month's Parent's Magazine issue as one of their Top 10 Favorites on their "Must-Have, Must-See, Must-Do" list. That's right. Have to say I was kind of tickled that my daughter had good enough taste to pick out a featured product.

Zooligans can be purchased at several online retailers including Nordstrom, ShoeBuy, and Amazon. Check your local boutique retailers too. Many are starting to carry Zooligans!

You can also find Zooligans on Facebook (they have some awesome fan giveaways) and Twitter.

Zooligans wants to give away a pair of shoes to one lucky DealPeddler reader! Entrants must be 18+ and live in the USA. Failure to complete the mandatory entry will result in disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was provided a pair of shoes from Zooligans free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

4Oct/130

Arrive in Style with the 2014 Kia Forte EX – Review

KiaLogo

Since moving to D.C. I've had the fortune of being introduced to the city's booming event/night life. Everything from charity events, to drink competitions, menu tastings, invites to wine tasting as the Embassy's, and whatever else under the sun that you can think of. And, while I will typically ride the metro into the city, just because of the sheer convenience, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to arrive in a stylish car I'd be proud to have the valet park for me.
I had a few things set up for the week that I was supposed to review the 2014 Kia Forte. The one I was most excited about was the Aroma Espresso Bar menu tasting in Bethesda, MD. Unfortunately I got sick that week and my plans ended up being cancelled. I mean, I was pretty much down an out for the majority of the week. Prying me off the couch was nearly impossible. (I'm also pretty sure no one wanted someone who couldn't stop coughing and sneezing near any of their food.) Super bummer, right?!

The 2014 Kia Forte EX arrived with little fan fare. Usually smaller cars don't get my engine running. I'm also a slightly timid driver in the city's traffic and prefer to be sitting up a little higher so I can see better. Plus, if I'm going to get into an accident I'd rather be the one taking someone out than getting crushed to death. But, larger vehicles really aren't the best for city driving, and especially not for commuting into the city, so I was excited to give this one a test run.

The Forte's Abyss Blue color was absolutely stunning. (This coming from someone who doesn't usually care for blue vehicles.) The color was eye catching, and snazzy. Definitely a head turner when you pull up to your social obligation. The overall exterior design of the car was sleek and sassy. I definitely felt like a million bucks driving it around. And not the old-as-heck "money in the family" sort of million bucks who are going to go for the Cadillacs and Buicks, but the "just landed my first big job in my awesome career, and I'm still in my 20's and 30's" sort of million bucks.

My timidity quickly left me when I took it for a drive on the interstate. I never felt so comfortable in a car that I hadn't driven before, especially one that's relatively low to the ground with crazy people driving all around me. I got my seat situated, and off we went. I found that the 2014 Kia Forte handled highway driving really well, and the steering wheel had just enough resistance to make driving fun instead of a harrowing experience of over-correction. The Kia Forte came with me onto a few gravely parking lots and bumpy roads and handled both like a champ. The ride was comfortable. We weren't bouncing around everywhere, and the vehicle was very easy to maneuver.
Even though it's nice to have a car to show off when you go out for the night, it's also important for me as a mom to have a vehicle I can actually use to tote everyone around it. The Kia Forte easily fit my daughter's booster seat and my son's massive car seat. We also fit a 3rd person (a little uncomfortably) between the two in the back. The front, while I didn't think had as much leg room as I would have liked, was still spacious over all.

My favorite features included the sun roof, as usual, and the navigation system and backup camera. Of course the push button start is also a favorite. I loved that the seats had a knit and woven soft cloth trim and weren't a sort of sticky leather. You know the type.... it's 80 degrees out and you have to peel your legs from the seat. The driver's side also had ventilated seats. LOVE that! The Eco feature is always a winner in my book. Until gas is under $2.00 a gallon, it's always a smart choice to save as much as possible. For more information about all of the fantastic features the Kia Forte offers, make sure you check them out online. Many are standard, but for a couple thousand more, it's nice to have the option of upgrading for some of the conveniences and little touches that really make one want to show off the vehicle.
Out of all of the cars (I'm not including the Kia Sorento in this statement), the Kia Forte has been my favorite. Not only was it in a price range I can afford when it is time for me to purchase a car, but it looks more expensive than it really is. It had every feature that I could possibly want, and nothing that I thought was useless. It was easy to get used to, comfortable, great on gas, and just a beautiful little car to behold. I'm definitely filing this one away as a, "must convince husband this is a viable option" car. I loved this car, and was REALLY bummed the plague that has been going around managed to knock me off my feet in the worst way possible the week I was scheduled to have the vehicle. Ugh. 'Till we meet again, Kia Forte. 'Till we meet again!

You can check out Kia online, and Kia on Facebook & Twitter too!

 

*I received the 2014 Kia Forte free of charge for 1 week in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

 

29Sep/136

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies #GlutenFree & Love Cooking Mrs. Fields Cool Bake Pan Review & Giveaway

A flour-less cookie? With... bacon?! Yup. These cookies whip up in a pinch, and they're great for anyone with a gluten allergy. (Not so great for the people with peanut allergies though.) I had the opportunity to test out a new baking pan from Love Cooking Company. The coolest part about this baking pan is that it comes in two pieces. The first is your regular cooking sheet, and the next is a removable try that allows you to transfer your cookies to a cooking wrack without actually having to remove them from the baking sheet. Ingenious!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Slices - Fried Bacon (Chopped)
  • 1 Cup - Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Cup - Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup - Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp - Baking Soda
  • 1 - Egg
  • Sugar for coating

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together sugars and peanut butter in a mixer. (Approximately 2 minutes.)
  3. Add in baking soda and egg. Mix for another approximate 2 minutes.
  4. Fold in chopped bacon.
  5. Roll dough into walnut size balls and coat in granulated sugar.
  6. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes.

I found the Love Cooking Company while browsing through a friend's blog, and I realized that I can't ever have too many baking sheets. They're great from everything from cookies and biscuits to bacon and warming up some smoked eel for sushi. But, that's the problem. I use my baking sheets for EVERYTHING, and have admittedly ruined several of them because I had nothing else to use. So, I've started dedicating what are my cookie sheets, and what are my "everything else but the kitchen sink" baking sheets.

When the Love Cooking Company offered to send me their new Cool Bake Pan for a review, I was thrilled. THIS would be THE cookie sheet in my house. I might have to cut someone if they use it for something else.

"The secret to great looking cookies is in the Mrs. Fields Cool Bake Pan. With this pan, you no longer need to transfer the hot cookies one at a time to a cooling rack and run the risk of ruining them. This unique pan has the cooling rack built right into it!" ~ Love Cooking

The Cool Bake Pan, made from non-stick carbon steel, is very sturdy, even with having two pieces that separate completely from each other. The two pieces fit perfectly together, which makes removal of the inner tray while wearing oven mitts super easy. Throw in the fact that there are extended handles out the side, and you'd have to be pretty klutzy to drop the sheet. (I'm pretty klutzy, so I'm sure it'll happen. But, if I didn't drop it during my initial run with the Cool Bake Pan.... just sayin'.)

I loved that the surface area, while probably standard, didn't feel all that cramped. I could fit 15 cookies on the tray. I also found cleanup to be a breeze. For this particular recipe I did line the baking sheet with parchment, which I'm sure aided in the cleanup process. However, I'm excited to use the baking sheet again without the parchment and see how it holds up. The little air holes make me nervous for a particular dough recipe I use occasionally. I think perhaps that one might not work so well since it's a bit soft.

Otherwise, I absolutely love this pan and I love the concept of being able to remove the ENTIRE pan to cool without having to take the cookies off one by one and risk breaking them. Awesome!

Love Baking Company is giving away a Mrs. Fields Cool Bake Pan to one lucky DealPeddler reader. Enter below on the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

29Sep/132

Thermal-Aid – 100% Natural Headache Relief System Product Review

ThermalAidlogo

I only get migraines once in a blue moon. When I'm lucky I can go an entire year without getting one, so I was a little unsure of how I'd actually review the Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Headache Relief System. But, as if my brain knew that I had work to do, a migraine kicked into high gear yesterday, and I was down for the count. I couldn't have been more happy to have the Headache Relief System in my "to review" box. When I realized that my blindness was being caused by the aura and not from just staring out the window too long, I immediately grabbed the relief system, popped a few pain killers, and went straight to bed.

"Thermal-Aid treats pain, muscle tension and light sensitivity simultaneously for fast, dependable, welcome relief in minutes. No pills. No side effects. Created by a Board-certified Neurologist, the Thermal-Aid Headache System is clinically proven to relieve tension and migraine headaches." ~ Thermal-Aid

The Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Headache Relief System includes Headache Relief Cream; a topical analgesic and a Cold Press Eye Pack. The Cold Press Eye Pack is designed to block out light. This is super handy, especially for those of us who suffer from photophobia during one of our migraine episodes. The cold pack is also designed to provide light pressure which eases forehead and temple tension. The Thermal-Aid Headache Relief System is also designed for those who get tension headaches.

Because the cold pack is made with specially engineered corn, not only is it a natural product, but it also retains cold much longer, and you could even throw it into the microwave if you were desiring heat. This process also eliminates mold, fungi and bad odors usually associated with natural heating/cooling products.

I found that with the Headache Relief System I could fall asleep faster to bypass the worst part of my migraine, and I stayed asleep longer. I think the coolness lasted at least an hour. The slight pressure it provided was definitely welcome, and the Eye Pack was so comfortable I could sleep on either of my sides without uncomfortable lumpiness happening. While the pack is a little heavier than I expected, the covering is super soft, and the corn never gets too cold no matter how long you've kept it in the freezer.

I woke up from my 3.5 hour "go the heck away migraine" nap feeling better than I ever have after sleeping one off. I had an event to attend in Maryland later that afternoon. I know I'm not the only one who doesn't want to do anything after a migraine, even if you're feeling better. But... this was doable and I didn't feel like death the entire time. I survived the hour long train ride in, the beer tastings, the loud music, and food.... all of which are things I typically stay away from until 24 hours later. I couldn't believe it. I will use this product EVERY time I have a migraine. And really, probably every time I get a headache. I had actually tried the cold pack out once for 10 seconds when my kids were giving me a pounding headache, and it relieved some of the pain within seconds. This is definitely a winning product! (I've also been a fan of Thermal-Aid since I was introduced to their animals.)

Make sure you find Thermal-Aid on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thermal-Aid is also giving away a 100% Natural Headache Relief System to one lucky DealPeddler reader. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

14Sep/133

Silver Sky Imports – 4.5in Black Cast Tibetan Singing Bowl Review

SilverSkyLogo

Several years ago I traveled to Nepal and stayed for an entire month. During the time I was there, Tibet opened its doors to tourists, and while I had wanted to go, I didn't really have the time or extra money to secure a visa. I did however bring home several Tibetan goodies as souvenirs for myself and family members. My favorite item I brought home was a gorgeous Tibetan Singing Bowl. Unfortunately over the years it has gone missing from my possession, so when I ran across Silver Sky Imports I was thrilled to see the variety of handmade items from the Himalayas that they carry.

Silver Sky Imports offered to send their 4.5" Black Cast Tibetan Singing Bowl for a review. I figured since we're closing in on the holidays, featuring an item from a pretty nifty online store would be perfect for those of you that have to shop for more of the eclectic crowd but often times don't know where to start.

"This Tibetan cast singing bowl comes in its original form with superb smooth rim and covered in various designs. This bowl also includes a striker which is used to make the bowl sing. Each bowl is hand selected for its tone, size, and quality. It has a wonderful tone and is very easy to sing, great for the beginner." ~ Silver Sky Imports

The singing bowl I received is beautiful. Not my personal preference (I tend to like monotone coloring), but that's neither here nor there. Silver Sky Imports definitely carries the type that I'd most likely choose for myself. The bowl is weighted nicely, and the tone is pleasant. Because it's a smaller bowl with a smaller opening, the tone is higher. (I like to torment my dog with the sound since she's never sure exactly what is going on.) The bowl is extremely easy to sing. A gentle but firm tap with the striker and within a matter of a few strokes around the bowl and it is singing beautifully.

I love that the bowl comes with a striker. When I was in Nepal I had to buy these pieces separately. I ended up coming home with two, and while one worked perfectly, the other I happened to pick up was not a good match. With the two pieces coming together I think it's safe to assume the striker received will work with the bowl.

Although there isn't a lot of information known about the origination of Tibetan Singing Bowls, they're often used for meditation practices, relaxation, stress reduction and Reiki. If you're like me, and not really someone who practices meditation or Reiki, they're a just a neat handcrafted decorative instrument. Honestly, I'd like to have an entire collection of them adorning my home. Silver Sky Imports has a huge selection of singing bowls ranging from small to large, antique, and even zen singing bowls.

Silver Sky Imports can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and Instagram: @silverskyimports.

Silver Sky Imports is offering a $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway! Enter below on the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win. Please thoroughly read the instructions and follow the rules. Any entrants that fail to properly do the mandatory entry will be immediately disqualified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

8Sep/130

Costume Discounters – Power Rangers Megaforce Classic Halloween Costume Product Review

CostumeDiscountersLogo

I still can't believe Halloween is next month. Where did my summer go?! This year I wanted to be a little more prepared for Trick-or-Treating compared to my usual last minute scramble to find or make costumes for the spawn that live in my home. (Hey... they need to go get some candy, because we all know the parents look forward to eating a good chunk of it.)

For this year, Costume Discounters offered me the opportunity to review one of the MANY affordable costumes they carry. Of course my 3-year-old daughter and I had a slight clash of tastes and she managed to show me just how little I know about her random choices in style and costumes. I mean, com'on. She makes me draw Lalaloopsy pictures constantly, and thinks My Little Pony is just the next best thing to eating peanut butter straight from a spoon. Then throw in her love for her favorite shirt (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and her fascination with Spider Man... How was I supposed to know she would have ZERO interest in any of those characters?

Then she saw it. The Power Rangers Megaforce Classic Halloween Costume in BLUE. Not pink. She absolutely insisted on the "blue one!"

My daughter is not a small child. She's currently in size 6x children's clothing, so we decided to go with a size Medium for the costume. I'm glad we did, because it's a thinner fit, you know, for normal size 7 to 9-year-olds. Because it's a larger size it's very long for her. Not a big deal. I can roll up the pants, and she can keep the costume as a dress-up toy once Halloween is over and done with. I think she might have been able to squeeze into a small, but I'm glad we went with the bigger size.

We loved that the costume includes a mask and a removable plastic belt buckle. They're just neat little features that make the costume that much more fun. The costume is very simple to get on, and Velcros in the back. She LOVES it. I couldn't get her to take it off for a couple of hours during our first try-on. In fact, she loved it so much I actually have had to find multiple hiding spots for it so she doesn't wear it out before she gets to use it.

As a mother who lived in Maine for way too many years, I appreciate that this particular costume is long sleeved and has long pants. It's less fun to dress up when you have to wear a bulky jacket because you can't fit a layer of clothes under your costume. Because we went a little bigger with the costume I can easily get a long sleeved shirt under it, and even a pair of jeans.

The best part, if you want to go all out, there are also affordable accessory options that go along with this costume. The costume itself is also extremely affordable and priced at only $17.97. Not too bad, huh?

Make sure you check out Costume Discounters on Facebook and Twitter too!

 

*I received a costume free of charge from Costume Discounters in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

25Aug/130

The Product Farm – Vino2Go (Perky Purple) Product Review

TheProductFarmLogo

Admittedly I've been sitting on this review for a lot longer than usual because really I wanted to figure out what to say and how to say it. I have a friend who loves her Vino2Go from The Product Farm. I like to call it "mommy's sippy cup" because guess what? I'm a bit of a wino, and I like to pretend my kids are the reason why I like to drink. So anyway, my friend has a Vino2Go and loves it, and of course I wanted one because I'm a wreck and spill just about anything liquid, especially my wine.

"Enjoy wine on-the-go while tailgating or while relaxing at the pool in style. The Vino2Go is a SAN acrylic plastic wine sippy cup - with clear benefits over the standard wine glass in many situations. It's lid design prevents spills on choppy oceans or while carting down the golf court. Vino on your wedding day with with less chance of ruining your white wedding dress or black tux! Keep bugs and dirt from getting in your wine while relaxing at the beach or in the garden... keep your wine cool for longer by insulating the exterior wall from the interior drink compartment." ~ The Product Farm

The product itself is pretty ingenious. It looks like a plastic encased wine glass with a lid. How is that concept not awesome? The pool in my condo complex allows non-breakable containers for alcohol and I thought that this would be absolutely perfect. And, for the most part it is. I even had the chance to tell a friend of mine who lives in the complex about The Product Farm and Vino2Go. She had been asking about them, and I could recount my first hand experience. Unfortunately I couldn't only say nice things about it, which REALLY is a bummer. I wanted to love the Vino2Go. I REALLY did. (I don't think you have any idea how excited I was about this thing, but you may be able to tell from my bug-eyed scary-smile photo.)

When my sippy cup arrived I immediately unboxed it and poured in as much wine as it could hold. (Holds 8oz in case you were curious.) I had requested the Perky Purple because obviously purple is my favorite color. So, I'm drinking out of my mommy sippy cup completely happy as a clam. It's not leaking when I take a sip. It stands up without feeling wobbly. It feels comfortable to hold. And really, I just feel like a cool bad-ass. Then I did the final test. I closed the mouth piece, and tipped it.... OMG IT LEAKED. Now, I'm not sure if this is a product flaw in general, or if there was just a bad batch. I'm kind of thinking product flaw because The Product Farm was AMAZING and sent me another because I had complained about the first one leaking. But... that one leaked too. (That's why I took so long to get this review written... I really wasn't sure what to say.) Typically, if I hate a product, I'll just not write about it.... but I don't hate this product, and that's where the write up gave me some issues.

I think the Vino2Go is a fantastic concept, and I still feel like a super cool kid when I use it. Yup, I still use it. "Nee ner nee ner, look what I have!" But, at the same time I'm so bummed the mouth piece leaked on both cups. It's not a huge deal, really, because how many people are going to tip their glasses over like that and get upset about a few drips coming out? But, at the same time if you're going to advertise it saving your wedding dress in the product description, the lid really needs to be leak proof. I expect it to leak a little from the air hole, but when the mouth piece is 100% closed.... nothing should be coming out (IMO). Otherwise, if you don't mind a few dribbles coming out if you tip it over, it's really a fun product that almost borderlines useful novelty. It definitely works for pool-side fun, and that's what I'd use it for anyway. Plus, if I'm using it around my house it'll at least keep any spills to a minimum if my spawn get their sticky fingers on my Vino2Go.

Definitely make sure you check out the Vino2Go and the rest of The Product Farm's products. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

*I received the above mentioned product free of charge from The Product Farm in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.