September 27, 2010
I chose these babies...aren't they pretty? I love that they are charcoal instead of severe black. Naturalizer shoes are such a good brand and I constantly am reading reviews about how they are still comfortable even after a long day. After a full 8 hours of work, I am happy to report that my feet were not nearly as sore and tired as when I wear other shoes. I mean, they do get a little sore just because of the fact that I'm on them for such a long period of time, but these shoes really did help keep my feet from getting overly tired.
One of the best things about CSN Stores is the ability to shop for shoes, kitchen supplies and pet supplies all in the same place! Where else can you find such high-end products at such awesomely low prices? It's so easy to shop at CSN Stores, too, because the checkout process is very simple. There are just a few clicks and it gets even easier after you purchase your first item because your account is all set up and you just have to verify the items that you want to buy! They usually get the items out to you the next business day and you'll have it by the next week. CSN Stores is definitely worth looking into the next time you want to go shopping online!
Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to review a product from CSN Stores worth less than $60 and give my honest opinion of the product as well as the experience on CSN Stores website. I was not obligated to write a positive review about the product.
September 26, 2010
Bryant Pump by Naturalizer
- Bryant Pump in Black Fabric
- Part of the Bryant collection
- Stretch fabric upper
- Manmade outsole
- N5 comfort system
- Capped toe type
- 2 3/4" heel
- Available in y...
Cute and comfortable!
Sizing: Feels true to size
Width: Feels true to width
Pros: Conservative, Stylish, Versatile, Stable, Comfortable
Cons: Poor Arch Support
Best Uses: Church, Formal Occasions, Office
Describe Yourself: Comfort-oriented, Career, Classic, Practical
So far, these shoes are doing their job. I was looking for comfortable, stylish shoes and these definitely are both. I am very happy with the comfort even after standing on my feet for over 8 hours per day. I would recommend that you purchase the size of shoe that you wear because I got a pair one half size above what I normally wear due to the fact that there is some swelling after standing for a long period of time however I feel that the shoes would fit better if I got the correct size.
September 22, 2010
What can you expect from Marlo on MarloThomas.com, Twitter and Facebook?
· original content - stories, posts, videos, and photos
· great conversations, laughs and inspiration
· observations on popular culture and news
· entertaining clips of "Free to Be You and Me" and "That Girl"
· galleries of celebrity images
· family photos
· ...and a lot more
Head over there and connect with other inspiring and inspired women!
Disclosure: I am writing this post in exchange for a chance to win a $25 gift card from Global Influence.
September 21, 2010
September 19, 2010
A friend of ours was so happy when we dropped by with a bag of these blueberries so he found this amazing blueberry cobbler recipe on Cooks.com. It's extremely easy to make and uses Bisquick baking mix! Now I know that some people are not so keen on baking mixes but my mom used Bisquick when I was younger so I figure if it was good enough for her, it's good enough for me. Besides, this cobbler is amazing!
My husband decided tonight that he had to make this cobbler and I didn't argue! Here's a picture of the cobbler fresh out of the oven. Doesn't it look good? I wish you could smell my apartment right now!
What's your favorite fruit dessert? Is it easy to make? I'm taking suggestions on what else we can make with these blueberries, if you've got 'em!
Or maybe you want to send out a picture of your own cuties all dressed up! I love the images of Fall on this card!
Pear Tree Greetings, so get over there and start shopping! Just think of all the cute applications for these stickers. They would be a great sticker for a party treat bag or on your own homemade candy wrappers.
Also, throughout the month of September, enjoy 10% off anything and everything Halloween! Use code PEARSEP10.
Head over to Pear Tree Greetings and tell me which Halloween Personalized Stickers you will choose if you win! (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)
You can also win a new Kolcraft Contours Classique 3 in 1 Bassinet! I'd love to win these prizes for the future!
September 18, 2010
The winner of my Tropical Tradition Coconut Peanut Butter giveaway is:
#24 - Haylee
The winner of the $30 gift card to Skinfree Skincare or Blue Ridge Gypsy is:
#35 - janetfaye
Congratulations to the winners! They have been notified by email and have 48 hours to respond or I will have to choose new winners.
This video shows the simplicity and ease of the Robby Wash Laundry Ball. All you have to do is make sure that the beads fill about 75% of the ball and you're good to go! These beads are magical things. They clean and deodorize your clothes better than an powder laundry detergent. In fact, this ball cleaned even my husband's sweaty workout clothes without any trace of odor! That is a feat that no other detergent I've ever used has been able to accomplish and is, in itself, worth the price of the Robby Wash Laundry Ball.
I received the fuchsia laundry ball to review in my home. It's only supposed to be used in cold washing but I use it in hot as well. It's super easy to use, just load the laundry, throw in the ball and start! I don't use liquid fabric softener because I use the sheets in the dryer but you can use softener in the wash with the Robby Wash ball. Just add it like you normally do to the washer.
Here is some information about the Robby Wash Laundry Ball taken directly from the Oransi website:
Simple to use - just put it in the wash. The Robby wash ball is an ultra high efficiency laundry solution with no need to add any detergent. Makes doing the laundry very easy and saves you the hassle of lugging home large containers of laundry detergent and cleaning up if you spill when adding detergent to your washer. Refill ball when level of maco-molecule pellets is less than 75% full. For over-sized washing machines we recommend using two washing balls.
This pack contains 10 ounces of macro-molecules which can clean for 12 months of laundry. This is equivalent to 1200+ ounces (75+ lbs) of washing powder. Consider what you are no longer dumping down the drain.
Economical: No need to buy washing powder, a savings of up to $100+ over 200 washes.
Caring for you laundry has never been so easy, efficient or inexpensive — as soon as the machine starts, the ball gets to work:
- Hypoallergenic and great choice as a baby laundry detergent cleaner or for someone with sensitive skin
- Cleans and protects your clothes
- Guards fabrics against oxidation and discoloration caused by chlorine in the water, and maintains your clothes' bounce
- Eliminates unpleasant smells thanks to its antibacterial action
Robby Wash saves you money but that's not all that makes it exceptional - it's the only laundry ball that add a light fragrance that you expect from your washing experience.
The Robby Wash Laundry Ball is a great addition to my laundry routine. It not only makes my life easier and makes my wallet heavier, but it also cleans better than any product I've used. We will definitely be a Robby Wash family for the foreseeable future!
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free sample product to review and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
September 16, 2010
WHAT: Liberty Mutual Insurance, the eighth-largest car and home insurer in the U.S., will kick off its “National Conversation Drive” at a day-long event at Chicago’s Millennium Park. Members of the public will don movement-restricting “senior simulator suits” and wear special vision-impairing glasses to help simulate the effects of aging on driving ability; participants in the experience will also be asked to complete an online pledge to have conversations with their elderly parents and family members about senior driving safety, as well as transportation alternatives for seniors.
Also on hand will be representatives from ITNAmerica and ITNChicago, Liberty Mutual’s partners in providing safe, alternative transportation to seniors; and the Macklin Intergenerational Institute, which consulted with Liberty Mutual and specializes in intergenerational awareness and acceptance.
WHO: Driving safety experts and executives from Liberty Mutual, Representatives from ITNAmerica and ITNChicago and Representatives from the Macklin Intergenerational Institute
WHEN: TUESDAY, September 21, 2010 from 9am to 5pm
WHERE: Millennium Park, CHICAGO
September 15, 2010
September 12, 2010
If bite-size brownies don't tickle your fancy, how about a molten lava brownie? There are two flavor choices with this, too, chocolate fudge and chocolate caramel. The cakes comes in individual bowls that only require a quick 15-20 seconds in the microwave before they become warm and gooey! Molten lava cakes are one of my major weaknesses so this was the one that I decided to try out. My store didn't carry the caramel variety which was disappointing for me but I was very happy with the chocolate fudge brownie! It was like a little bowl of heaven after dinner! The fudge was melted and gooey on top and there was a rim of chocolate cake around the outside of the bowl. Can I just say, yummy? It was indulgent and luxurious and absolutely what I needed after a long day at work. The molten lava brownies are not something that I would eat on a regular basis, but it was a quick and easy way to have a sweet snack.
One of my lucky readers is going to win the same prize package that I received from Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark! In the package was a coupon for a free Sweet Moments dessert as well as some fragrant bath and body products that smell like chocolate! I've been using these every morning and love smelling like chocolate all day long.
Tell me what you do to celebrate a sweet moment. Do you bake cookies with your kids or take a long, hot bath or indulge in a bowl of your favorite sweet treat? (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)
Olivia's Croutons are made in Vermont in an historic dairy barn by Francie, Olivia's mom, who started making these croutons in her own kitchen. Here's Francie's story in her own words:
Olivia's Croutons are made with the finest ingredients and it shows. They stand up to dressing and keep their crunch and flavor! The croutons taste like they are made with fresh garlic and real butter, nothing artificial in these babies. The packaging is cute, too! There is a window in the front so you can see the actual product. I really like that because I like to see what I'm buying. I don't want to get home and realize that I just bought a package of tiny croutons. Give me the big, fat croutons!
I'm happy to announce that Olivia's Croutons has offered one of my readers the chance to win a case of croutons just like I received! I promise that you'll love these croutons and if you don't, well that's too bad. Give them to someone who will appreciate them!
Visit Olivia's Croutons and tell me which flavor you look most forward to trying and what your favorite salad ingredients are. (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)
September 10, 2010
September 9, 2010
Authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients
After the release of our first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, in 2007, we started hearing from our readers. Many of them wanted to share their experiences with our innovative, time-saving, based on long-term dough storage. Many others had questions, so we set up a website and blog that were designed for questions and discussion. Most of the questions directed at me sounded something like this: "You're the doctor, what's with all this white flour in the bread?"
Good question! The recipes in our first book were based on the traditional European repertoire, which meant lots of white flour. When people challenged me, I had to admit that I love a well-made white baguette, though I eat more whole grains than ever before. Variety is the spice of life, and I'm not ready to completely give up white flour. Every slice of bread doesn't have to represent a completely balanced meal. But, people asked for recipes with more whole grains, and they were backed up by some heavy hitters in the nutrition world. The American Diabetes Association now endorses whole grains as a preventive for the development of diabetes. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture is similarly pushing for more whole grain intake. We decided to write a second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, to give people more nutritious alternatives to white flour.
Whole grain nutrition: So how does whole grain flour stack up against white flour? White flour is milled strictly from wheat's endosperm, the white part of the wheat kernel containing almost exclusively starch and protein (mostly gluten). There's nothing wrong with starch and protein, but you're missing all the benefits you get from whole grain's "germ," and all the fiber from the bran (the dark outer coating of the wheat kernel). Whole wheat includes the germ, which is packed with vitamins, anti-oxidants, and healthy oils. It's a particularly rich source of Vitamin E, which, when combined with Vitamin C-containing foods, make one of the most powerful anti-oxidant combinations known. Please pass the homemade orange marmalade on whole wheat bread!
Whole wheat also includes bran, which doesn't have vitamins and anti-oxidants -- that's wheat germ's chance to shine. But bran has its own very special role to play, and I'd love to tell you all about it. Unfortunately, it seems that food professionals have some sort of gentle-person's agreement about talking about the digestive tract, so if you're interested in learning more about bran's role in digestion, here's a great website for you: Fiber: How to Increase the Amount in Your Diet, from the American Academy of Family Physicians. The family doctors seem pretty clear that fiber from whole grains prevents a wide range of health problems.
The other frequent question from readers was whether our books are a good fit for vegans (those who don't eat meat or any other animal products, including eggs, and dairy). Most of our non-enriched recipes (that's the majority of both books) are vegan in the first place. While many other whole grain authors use skim milk powder in whole wheat bread to tenderize it, we decided against that, mainly to keep things simple (fewer ingredients = simple). For vegans, the second book includes alternatives to butter in the enriched recipes. In our first book, butter was the animal-based ingredient that appeared most often. In Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, we give alternatives to butter, including canola oil and zero-trans fat, zero hydrogenated oil-based margarines. We also talk about the new products being sold as "butter substitutes," usually made with vegetable oils, but also flavor-enriched with whey and other non-fat products of butter. Technically speaking, most of these are not vegan because of the whey, but check the ingredients as there are exceptions.
Fruits and vegetables in the bread: OK, who told the USDA to increase the recommended fruit/vegetable servings to nine (for a person whose ideal weight is 150 pounds)? I have a friend who says he can't even name nine fruits and vegetables! Those are half-cup servings -- is anybody really getting this much in their diet? I can tell you that I am not. There are some good rules of thumb, such as "two-thirds of the plate should be vegetable or fruit." That helps, but even so, I don't think I'm making my quota. That's why we included a chapter in Healthy Bread about breads that are fortified with fruits and vegetables, sometimes ground finely, and sometimes chunky. We were amazed at how well this works, despite our fears that this stuff would weigh down the bread. Every little bit helps.
Gluten-free breads: I once interviewed a prominent gastrointestinal specialist from one of the country's finest University hospitals, where his practice includes the treatment of celiac disease (intestinal allergy to wheat gluten). We talked about celiac disease, but I also asked him about people who aren't celiac, but simply don't feel well when they eat wheat. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 1 out of every 113 Americans have celiac disease. They become unpleasantly ill when they eat even small amounts of wheat gluten. The science is pretty clear on how to treat celiac patients: eliminate all gluten from their diet. Chapter 9 in Healthy Bread was written with them in mind. But the science is unclear on what to tell people who say they don't feel well when they eat gluten, but don't have celiac disease. My gastroenterologist friend has a very clear answer for those people. He tells them "don't argue with success." If you feel better when you avoid gluten, then decrease or eliminate it. So Healthy Bread is a book for those people well.
All this health talk makes me a bit wary. When I used to see patients, I turned over every rock to figure out how to reduce their risk of chronic disease -- quit smoking, get more exercise, do your routine screening exams, and eat a healthier diet. But I'd hate to see people become obsessed with their diet, and specifically, about the bread. If you can pack some extra nutrition into the bread, and you like the flavor, by all means, go for it. But don't let it destroy your appreciation for great bread and other foods. As we said in our first book, if you worry about the bread, it won't taste good.
© 2009, Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, used with permission of the Authors
Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is a physician with twenty years of experience in health care as a practitioner, consultant, and faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His interest in baking and preventive health sparked a quest to adapt the techniques of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for healthier ingredients.
Zoë François, coauthor of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients, is passionate about food that is real, healthy, and always delicious. She is a pastry chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to teaching baking and pastry courses nationally, she consults to the food industry and is the creator of the recipe blog www.zoebakes.com. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and two sons.
The authors answer bread questions at their Web site: www.healthybreadinfive.com.
September 7, 2010
September 2, 2010
However, while I still haven't found that "miracle product" that will take away all my woes, I have found a group of products that help lessen the problems that I've experienced over the years. Skin Free Skincare products are formulated by a pharmacist and recommended by doctors for those with sensitive, delicate and very dry or damaged skin. Skin Free products are recommended for extremely dry skin, fragrance allergies, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, pregnant moms, babies, the elderly, diabetics, renal patients and after radiation or chemotherapy patients. These products are rated by the Environmental Working Group with "0" toxicity. Not many products have received this incredible rating which is why so many sensitive groups are able to use these products. They do not contain any petroleum products, perfumes, steroids or harmful chemicals. They are never tested on animals and are made from natural, vegan ingredients.
Skin Free Skin Care products were created by Julie Hilton, who has over 30 years in compounding and natural skin care. All of the Skin Free products are distributed by Blue Ridge Gypsy Studio for public use. You can take a look at all of the products on both websites. There are descriptions for each separate product and they are even separated into different categories like Blemish-Prone and Mother-Baby. That makes it so much easier to shop for what you need! Blue Ridge Gypsy Studio offers products that related to bath and body products as opposed to the products on Skin Free Skincare which are more for skin problems.
I received three different products from Skin Free and Blue Ridge Gypsy Studio including Acai Scrub for Sparkling Skin, the Extra Moisturizing Soap & Shampoo Bar and Butter Cream Hand and Body Lotion in Tuscan Lavender. I was so excited to receive the lotion because I love the smell of lavender! This lotion lived up to my excitement because it smells lovely and just like I'm standing in a field of lavender. It is not at all greasy on my skin and it absorbs wonderfully. The consistency is light while still providing enough moisture so that my skin does not dry out.
My husband was thrilled with the Acai Scrub! In fact, he used it one morning after shaving and excitedly announced later that evening that his skin was still very smooth. No five o'clock shadow here! I was also happy with the scrub. It smelled wonderful without any of the perfumes that you normally have in a scrub. It felt natural on my skin and didn't leave any greasy residue after rinsing it off. The first time I used it I was a little bit freaked out because it does have a brown tint to it which I could see in the tub while rinsing but it didn't stain my tub. All in all, this was a great product that works to remove excess dry skin!
The last product we tried was the Extra Moisturizing Soap & Shampoo Bar. Both my husband and me were amazed at the way that the bar cleansed our skin with drying it out or leaving a film. I've never used a bar soap that didn't leave my skin feeling tight and dry so I was thrilled when this one cleaned without drying. I didn't try it as a shampoo bar but I bet it would do a great job at cleaning hair, too!
One of my readers has the chance to win a $30 gift certificate to either Blue Ridge Gypsy Studio or Skin Free Skincare!
You must follow the Skin Free Skincare blog on Google (it's towards the bottom of the page) and subscribe to the Skin Free Skincare sales newsletter. You can find the entry on the main page of the website on the right hand side. Please let me know that you have done these two things for your mandatory entry in a comment below. (Please make sure that I have an email address to contact you if you are the winner either in the comment itself or on your profile.)