July 29, 2012

Giveaway: Potty Covers


So a while back I did a review on Potty Covers and loved them! They really helped in keeping the kiddos safe from nasty gross germs. So you say you'd like to try them out for yourself? Well you're in luck because I'm giving one lucky reader one for themselves! Yup, isn't that fantastic? One of you will get your very own package of 6 Potty Covers to use. 

You can view my review and thoughts on Potty Cover HERE!

Just enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 26, 2012



I'm giving away 5 coupon envies worth $40 to $50 worth of coupons. Lots of great coupons and high value!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 23, 2012

ARM & HAMMER Sensitive Toothpaste Friends Mission

So a while I ago I was given the chance to try out Arm & Hammer Sensitive Toothpaste and it was great. It had a great taste, left my teeth feeling clean, and my breath smelling good. The clean feeling lasted for all day and there was less sensitivity to cold drinks. Now you can take a short survey and enter for a chance to win a $200 GC! So do it now!

ARM & HAMMER Sensitive Toothpaste Friends Mission: Take this short survey from Smiley360 and enter for a chance 2 win a $200 gift card! Take the survey at http://smiley360.com/741314.cfm *Please remember the FTC requires you to mention that you received a free sample courtesy of Smiley360 when sharing.

July 22, 2012

Food for Thought Reviews: BBQ Bros Rubs


I received a sample of California Style Rub from BBQ Bros Rubs through their Facebook page. I love using spices when I cook so I was excited to try it out. I received it on Friday and used it for that night's dinner. I was making some country style pork ribs and figured it was a perfect match. At first I thought the packet they sent may be too small, but it wasn't. It was just enough to cover about 10 pieces of pork ribs. I added a little lime to it as well because I love adding some citrus. I let the pork sit for about 30mins before putting them into the oven. Normally I would let them sit longer, but the kids were hungry and I was running late. The rub had a great smell and while cooking that great smell filled the house. It had the kids asking over and over again if the food was done. I like to cook my meats in foil first so they stay moist and then right at the end take them out to crisp out.

The ribs came out fantastic and were spiced just enough. It had a bit of heat, but nothing too bad. It was super flavorful and the kids couldn't get enough. We didn't need to add anything to it as it was just perfect!

BBQ Bros Rubs makes 6 different styles of rubs: California, New Orleans, Texas, Memphis, St. Louis, and Carolina. Being from Texas I will be trying out their Texas style to see how it stands up to my regular rub. It won't be easy, but if its as good as their California Rub it should be tasty. 

You can get three bottles on Amazon.com for $25.00 of either Southern Styles or Western Styles

Food For Thought Reviews: Tiny Fruits


So I was lucky to get the opportunity to try out some great snacks for the kiddos. On Swaggable I was chosen to try it out so they sent my not one...but two bags of Tiny Fruits by Little Duck Organics. Tiny Fruits came from the very imaginative mind of Zac Normandin who wanted some nutritional, sugar-free, organic snacks for his kids. Thus Tiny Fruits was born and all the children in the world rejoiced, or was  that their parents? Now not only is it a great snack for your kids, LDO (Little Duck Organics) also donates 1% of all revenue to 1% For Humanity. How great is that? A snack that's good for your tummy and good for your heart. While LDO is a smaller company I'm hoping they are working to create some more great snacks. Right now they offer 4 Tiny Fruit flavors - Apple & Banana, Strawberry & Mango, Pineapple & Mango, and Blueberry & Apple. 

I was able to try out Apple & Banana and Pineapple and Mango. Now keep in mind that these snacks are freeze dried so they can be a bit chalky. Don't let that deter you, so you get a little messy...that's okay! Sometimes its okay to get a little messy while eating your food. Eating can be a fun thing too, promise. 

Now first bag that was opened was of course, Apple and Banana. First thing that hits you is the smell. It definitely smelled like apple and bananas. Like stated above there was the chalkiness, but it wasn't much of a big deal. The kids hardly even noticed as they munched away. They were huge fans of the Apple and Banana Tiny Fruits, and so was I. Those things are pretty darn tasty!

Now for the Pineapple & Mango, which were less enthusiastically received. Now we love pineapple and the kids love mango, but together not so much. Well at least freeze dried not so much. Now they are sugar-free so they aren't very sweet, but the pineapple and mango came out bitter. Plus the smell wasn't that great either. It reminded me a bit of...wait for it...beer. Yea I know maybe you smell something different, but my nose said beer. The kids were not fans and they made those faces like when I tell them its time to come in from outside. They abandoned the bag to its own demise on the kitchen table. It sat their looking so sad and pitiful knowing it had been cast aside while the Apple & Banana bag was devoured. I felt for it, I could really feel its pain and thought...well I could use it. I was making banana bread and grabbed some of the left over batter and tossed them in. Those tiny little freeze dried pieces of pineapple and mango rejoiced as they were eaten by the kids. Hah we fooled them, those tiny fruits they said weren't good tasted pretty darn good in some banana bread. 

So that folks is how it goes, if you want some sugar-free snacks for your kiddos then Tiny Fruits by LDO is the way to go. They don't cost any more than some other organic snacks and they are actually all organic! You can go HERE to find out where you can buy your own bags. I for one want to try out the Blueberry & Apple, can we say muffins?

July 17, 2012

Home Product Reviews - Potty Cover


I was lucky enough to try out Potty Cover and was so glad I did. We went out to the Medina River over the weekend and it seemed the perfect place to try them out. I don't have photos of the toilets there as its a public place, but I do have some from my home. Now the covers do just that, cover every surface of the toilet that your child or you, may touch. They were simple and easy to put on and come individually wrapped for on the go ease. The flaps on the side are all really long so the keep your little ones legs from touching the toilet.

It has woven fabric on one side with plastic on the other making them waterproof. Now I know these are for the kids, but I'll be honest with ya. When the kiddos were done I thought, huh I want to be protected to. The cover was still clean so I used it as well. It made me feel more at ease using the bathroom knowing there was a layer of plastic and not just a paper cover. It doesn't stick to you either which was great for using after getting out of the river.

The covers come in a bag of 6 for 5.99 making them about a buck each, but don't let that number deter you. I've used other products and they just didn't cut it. The Potty Cover did an excellent job and stayed put. Now obviously not everyone's child is the same which is why when my nephew used it his did slip a bit. Thankfully he doesn't touch the side to hold himself up, but others you may just need to watch them a bit.

Overall, its one of those things where you think, huh why couldn't I have come up with that? Its great for toddlers learning how to use the bathroom, but also for older kids and adults. Its keeps you away from all the gross germs that many public toilets have. I also found it useful when there is a party and you have many kids in attendance.

You can purchase them online or in stores, just go HERE and you can find where its available. Try them out, you won't regret it!

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

July 14, 2012

5-hour ENERGY®

 I will be receiving a sample of 5hr Energy to try out through Smiley360. I'll post my full review once it comes in and I can try it out.

 5-hour ENERGY®: Thx 5-hour ENERGY 4 my free shot!#5hourmission Click to help me win the 5-hour ENERGY Sweepstakes! http://smiley360.com/5HE.php?id=87317

July 13, 2012

Bakers Dozen - Scratch Goodies


So after my cake success I decided it was time to try other things. Simple tasty things that even a baking novice, such as I, could do. Now I love blueberries and decided some blueberry bread would be fantastic. So I went online in search of a super easy doable recipe to try out. This is the recipe I ended up doing because I had all the ingredients:

Blueberry Loaf:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

 With this I added added a little lemon to it because I've heard of people doing that. I guess I could have just searched for a lemon blueberry loaf, but that would have been easy. Anyway, it wasn't too sweet and came out fantastic. It said it would make 16 servings but I cut my slices thicker so got a bit less than 16.

That's a thick brownie know!? It was tasty though...yum!

So at the same time I was making the loaf I made some brownies! Okay normally I am a queen of boxed brownies, but hey we're doing scratch right? So I grabbed a book that apparently was stuffed somewhere really bad because it didn't have a cover. I don't know from whence it came, but it was put to good use. It had dessert recipes in it so I'm going to through it out there and say it was a dessert cook book. *ahem* Anyway it had a pretty simple chocolate brownie recipe and I through in some nuts just for good measure.

Cocoa Brownies:
  • ¾ cup butter (170 g)
  • 1+½ cup sugar (330 g)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour (85 g)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (50 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Pretty simple, no? Well it was, or shall I say is! It was just like mixing a regular box mix and didn't take any extra effort. Really it didn't take anymore longer to make it from scratch than it did from a box. I had my niece help and she was pretty happy about that. Baking or cooking is a great way to bond with the kids. She is 12 right now so anything that keeps her out of trouble and not in front of a tv is great.

The batter came out really smooth and was just a bit thicker than regular mix. I had to restrain from wanting to stick my face in the bowl and eat it right there and then. Much to my chagrin and the kids relief I didn't do it. I grabbed it stuck it in a pan and popped that bad boy in the already warmed up oven.

Next up was dinner and we were having some mashed taters, meatloaf and corn so had to make some yummy biscuits. Now I came across a problem...I don't have a biscuit cutter so I got a little inventive. I looked around and grabbed a cup (nope too thick),  a coffee lid (nope too round), then I saw it. It was perfect, it was small, round, and had a nice "sharp" edge. It also was in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Yup I grabbed a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter and used that. It actually worked out pretty well and while it made the job a little longer, they still came out great! I ended up making two different kinds because they were so simple. Regular down home biscuits with a little butter, and some cheese biscuits. Both were delish and a great time was had by all. 

This is the recipe I used:
Easy Biscuit Recipe
  • 2 C flour
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C oil
  • 2/3 C milk

Pretty simple right? I would love to see you guys make some and show me the results! If you have a super easy baking recipe I'd love to try it out as well. Let's get to sharing!!

My first cheese biscuit!

July 7, 2012

Chocolate Cake - The Semi-Scratch Version

Chocolate Cake - The Semi-Scratch Version

So I was sitting here just browsing around online and thought, huh I want to bake something. Now I could have opted for a box cake mix, but I was feeling adventurous. I searched online for an easy recipe to try out and found one for chocolate cake. Well I love chocolate cake and so does the family so why not give it a shot.

I grabbed this cake recipe:
  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I made sure I had all the ingredients and I did! I ended up adding a little more cocoa powder to the recipe for a more chocolatey taste. It was pretty simple and sadly I didn't get pictures of the whole mixing of ingredients. Now for the frosting I did cheat and use some store bought frosting. I had some Duncan Hines frosting with the flavor packs just sitting there so decided to try the orange. It reminded me of orange creamsicle and had a great taste. In the future I'll try and make my own frosting, but I figured one step at a time.

The cake took the same amount to cook as the box kind at the same heat. The only thing that I didn't like was how dense the cake was. I wasn't sure why it didn't come out so moist and fluffy like my box mix cakes. I'll be searching online for a way to remedy that little problem. The taste was great though and I liked that it wasn't too sugary at all. Because of the extra cocoa I added it really reminded me of a dark chocolate candy bar with its slight bitterness. The kids didn't complain and seemed to eat it all up so I guess they didn't notice. lol I'll certainly be making this cake again and many other types as well. Practice makes perfect and this is one thing I'll definately practice doing.

Want a slice?

Beauty Corner Reviews - Julep "Georgia"


 So the July box wielded three polishes instead of the normal two. This was "our time to sparkle" so they sent three polishes that would do just that. I need to invest in a better camera so I can get better pictures. This polish is actually more orange than pink. It reminds me or an orange creamsicle with its orange base and white sparkles. The white sparkle is what gives it that shine and it really makes the orange pop.

 The polish went on smoothly and easily, unlike its glitter mate, America. It took 2 coats to cover, but I could tell where my finger ended because of a dark line going across. It made it look like my nails underneath were dirty, but they weren't honest. I really liked this polish and it made a nice addition to my growing collection. I don't have many orange polishes, actually this is my first orange polish.

I've noticed a trend with Julep naming their polishes with women's names. I guess this was named Georgia as the color may remind people of peaches? I would have gone with Orange Creamsicle because it seems to fit way better though. You can purchase this color from Julep.com for $14 if you weren't lucky enough to get it in your July Maven Box. Which I may say isn't turning out to be such a bad deal after all. The polishes come out to about $6.67/ea which is right in line with other polishes I purchase.

If you're thinking about signing up then go HERE and take the style quiz. I have tried to get out of Boho Glam, I don't think that's my style. Or maybe they know better than I do!

**Once again I paid for these polishes myself and all opinions are my own. I received no compensation for this post. Thanks.

Beauty Corner Reviews - Julep "America"


Happy 4th of July! Okay so I'm about three days late, but better late than never. I kept my Julep Maven account because I really wanted this polish. Yea I'm sure I could have gotten it somewhere else, but I wanted this one. The way it looked in the photo was so beautiful and starry....wait there are no stars in the polish though. Somehow I was mistaken, but it's still a really nice polish and I do like it.The polish has a red base with red, white, and blue glitter stuffed into the bottle. Seriously it's really stuffed with glitter!

Glitterific, no?

Okay so while this polish is so awesome it does have its flaws; well one main flaw I should say. It's super thick because its so jam packed with glitter. I loved that it had tons of glitter, but it was so thick it made it really hard to go on smoothly. It took 3 and sometimes 4 coats for it to cover my nails completely. In the top photo you c an see two of my nails are not covered completely. That was two coats people, two!

Also, another problem was it had so much glitter that the little glitter bits chipped off. Now I know you need a topcoat, which I put 2 coats of. This still didn't keep the glitter towards the ends of my nails from chipping off. I just fixed it up a bit and added a little bit more polish to those spots. Sort of like a spot check.

That one nail looks like it doesn't have glitter, it does!
The next day I taped off the tips and removed the glitter from the bottom half of my nails. This was a pain in the butt to do, and I really loathe taking off glitter polish. I've read those tips too and they don't work for me all they do is shrivel up my fingers. I really like how it turned out, super cute!

You can buy Julep "America" on Julep.Com for $14 or you can sign up for Julep Maven and get it added on to your purchase. Also you can get your first box for $.01 cent! Yuppers, I opted for this deal and honestly even if you don't continue you'll still get 2 polishes and another product for a fantastic price. Just go HERE and take the test, you can take it multiple times or just choose which box you'd like, and use MAVENINTRO to get it for one penny.

*I paid for this box myself and all opinions are my own. I received no compensation for this post.