April 26, 2011

April 25, 2011

Eight years ago...

I began my life as a married woman.  It seems like yesterday that I was waiting to get my hair and makeup done so that I could put on a beautiful dress and promise to honor and cherish the love of my life.  
I remember being so excited to embark upon a lifetime of wonderful memories with my new husband and feeling like there could never be a day as perfect as this one.
Eight years later we are still encountering new and exciting adventures every day.  I truly love my life and couldn't have asked for a better husband for me.

Happy anniversary to my husband.  You still make me feel like a blushing bride!
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April 24, 2011

Dove VisibleCare Creme Body Wash {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

How do you feel about your skin?  I love mine but living in the Pacific Northwest can be hard on my skin, especially in the winter.  The worst area for me is the backs of my upper arms.  For some reason, the skin gets so dry back there and becomes almost scale-like.  I even use scrubbing gloves in the shower but nothing has ever worked at softening up the skin back there...until now.  Dove has a new line of body wash products called Dove VisibleCare Creme Body Wash in Softening and Renewing formulas that are designed to give women (and men) visibly more beautiful skin in just one week! The question is, does it really work?
I received a bottle of Dove VisibleCare Creme Body Wash Softening and was a little skeptical about it only taking a week to improve my skin's look and feel.  It has the highest concentration of NutriumMoisture which contains natural building blocks and help improve your skin's look over time.  After using the body wash for a few days, I began to notice that the dry, scaly skin on the backs of my arms began to soften and look less scaly.  Not only does this body wash help you nourish and soften your skin but it smells amazing in the process!  I love using this product because it has such a clean, fresh aroma which really appeals to my nose.  The texture is thick and creamy so it doesn't run through your fingers before you can smooth it onto your skin but it's not so thick that it leaves that awful film on the shower floor.  This product is wonderful and has blown me out of the water with hoe quickly you can see results.  My arms are now silky and smooth in just a week!

Here's the good news!  Dove has offered one of my readers the same opportunities to try out one of the two Dove VisibleCare Creme Body Washes for FREE!

Mandatory Entry

Visit Dove's website and leave a comment telling me which formula you would most like to try.  (Please make sure to leave an email address in your comment or have a public email address in your profile.  I can't contact you if I don't have a valid address!)

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry)

3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and Dove. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.
1 entry - Follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.
1 entry - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)
1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!
1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.
1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.
1 entry - "Like" Dove on Facebook.
1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.
1 entry - Follow Dove on Twitter.
1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)
1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use the retweet button at the top of this post.

This giveaway will close on May 8th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Dove for sponsoring this giveaway! 
Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post but was provided a product sample in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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April 21, 2011

Frozen pizza by the slice? Try Freschetta! {REVIEW & GIVEAWAY}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of FRESCHETTA® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Most of you are probably exactly like me and love pizza!  My biggest problem with pizza (especially frozen pizzas) is that they are too big for one serving so I always end up eating more than I should.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to purchase one slice of frozen pizza so that you can have a hot piece and stop with just that one?  Well, Freschetta has a new option in their lineup on amazing frozen pizzas called FRESCHETTA® By the Slice.  Unfortunately, I can't show you pictures of the slice because I wolfed it down before I could take any pictures of my slice but here's a stock image from Freschetta of the Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom pizza slice.

I chose to try the Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom slice which was a very difficult decision to make because all four of the slices looked so delicious!  The BBQ Recipe Chicken called to me as did the Vegetable Medley and Six Cheese Medley but I just couldn't resist the combination of three of my favorite foods.  I really don't think I would have been disappointed with any of these options and I will probably try all three at some point or another.  It's just too easy to have a slice of frozen pizza ready to go for a quick lunch or dinner!

Freschetta makes some of the best frozen pizzas, in my opinion.  I love the flavors and toppings that they use but my favorite part of a Freschetta pizza is the crust.  I love how it's crispy on the outside and on the bottom of the pizza but the outer crust stays soft and chewy on the inside.  How do they do that?  I guess if I knew, I'd be rich!

Do you want to try your own FRESCHETTA® By the Slice?  Well, I have another coupon for one of my readers along with a 6 piece Freschetta storage set! 

Mandatory Entry

Visit Freschetta's website and leave a comment telling me which pizza slice you would most like to try.  (Please make sure to leave an email address in your comment or have a public email address in your profile.  I can't contact you if I don't have a valid address!)  

Optional entries (make sure to comment separately for each additional entry) 

 

3 entries - Blog about this giveaway linking back to this post and Freschetta. Leave the link to your blog post in your comment.

1 entry - Follow my blog publicly through Google Friend Connect.

1 entry - Grab my button and post it on your blog. Don't forget to include your blog address so I can go see it! (You can find my button in the column on the right)

1 entry - Become a Giveaways and More email subscriber. Check your email and make to sure verify your address to gain this entry!

1 entry - Subscribe to my RSS feed.

1 entry - "Like" Giveaways and More on Facebook.

1 entry - "Like" Freschetta on Facebook.

1 entry - Follow me on Twitter.

1 entry - Follow Freschetta on Twitter.

1 entry - Enter another active giveaway on Giveaways and More! (1 entry per giveaway entered)

1 entry (1x daily) - Tweet this giveaway. Make sure to include the link to your tweet in your comment. Feel free to use the retweet button at the top of this post.

This giveaway will close on May 4th at 11:59 pm PDT. This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winner will be chosen via random.org, announced on this blog and notified by email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen and notified.

Thanks to Freschetta and Izea for sponsoring this giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was not provided any compensation for this post but was provided a product sample in exchange for my honest opinion. I under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Visit Sponsor's Site

April 16, 2011

O-Cedar ProMist {REVIEW}

Have you ever wanted to use a cleaning product that was not only convenient but also good for the environment and your family?  I know, I know, cleaning products are not very glamorous nor are they something that you hope for with all your might but they are a necessary evil in life so why not make your cleaning routine easier and healthier for your family?!  O-Cedar has jumped on the "green" train and created the O-Cedar ProMist for those of us who are part of the "green" crowd. 

The ProMist is an awesome floor cleaning system with a refillable cleaning bottle, washable microfiber pads and an ergonomic handle.  This mop is not only good for the environment and helps keep your family healthy and safe from chemicals but it also keeps you from aches and pains!  You don't have to bend over to fill a bucket with water because the solution is in the bottle attached to the mop and with the press of a button, the solution is released onto the floor.

I was actually excited to try out the O-Cedar ProMist as soon as it arrived in the mail because I was curious about the power of the microfiber cloth.  Would it clean as well as a scrubber on a sponge mop?  I found that it did a great job and I just used a little vinegar and water solution in the bottle.  This was a perfect combination with the microfiber scrubber because it only took a few swipes across my floor to bring it to a nice shine and pick up the dirt.  After I was done scrubbing the floor, I detached the scrubber easily from the handle and threw it in the wash with my towels.  Now, I can scrub my floor without needing to go buy special cleaning solution or a scrubbing cloth.  Everything is in my home with the O-Cedar ProMist!

The O-Cedar ProMist can be purchased at most major retail outlets including Target and WalMart.  You can find the complete list here.  O-Cedar is also offering a $1.00 off coupon on their website as well as a chance to win $10,000 in the Be A Cleaning Pro Sweepstakes!

Disclosure:  I received a free sample of the product to try in exchange for my honest review of the product.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the company.
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April 11, 2011

Repechage Hydra Refine One Minute Clarifying Mask {REVIEW}


As a woman who has suffered from oily skin for most of her life, I am always thrilled to try new products that claim to help keep the oil at bay.  Most of the time, these products are labeled as oily skin treatment or clarifying mask.  In my experience, there are very few products that actually work the way they claim.  I am happy to tell you about a product that does work and works extremely well!  This product is named Repechage Hydra Refine One Minute Clarifying Mask and it was specifically formulated to cleanse, minimize oily shine and fight blemish-causing bacteria without stripping and drying the skin.
Repechage Hydra Refine One Minute Clarifying Mask is an incredible mask which contains the following ingredients:
  • Laminaria Saccharina Seaweed - reduces sebum production and fights oil oxidation that contributes to blackhead formation
  • Lemongrass - a known anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent with antiseptic and astringent properties
  • Farnesol (Lily of the Valley) - supplies the skin with protection against acne causing bacteria
  • Cucumber - widely known as a soothing, cooling and healing agent with vital fatty acids and anti-oxidents that helps protect the skin and aid in healing
  • Rice Bran - gentle exfolient that sloughs off dead skin without causing micro tears to skin's surface
  • Licorice and Mulberry Extracts - natural skin brighteners that improve skin clarity and color
All of these ingredients combine to create this incredible clarifying mask!  As I said before, I have used many clarifying products in hopes of keeping the oil production at bay without much luck.  I always end up with skin that is dry and tight but from the first time I used Repechage, I was impressed with how soft and supple my skin felt after rinsing it off.  I love how the rice bran helps exfoliate my skin and make it feel so smooth.  Ever since I received the product to try, I have it used about 5 times and it just keeps getting better!  I have a blackhead problem (there, I admitted it!) and Repechage has actually decreased the size and amount of blackheads especially on and around my nose where they are the most prevalent.  The other thing that really struck me about Repechage was the aroma of the product.  I was expecting to smell chemicals and acidic smells but was pleasantly surprised when I tried the product and it smells very natural.  I could really pick out the lemongrass and cucumbers.  That made me feel that I was using a product that wouldn't be harmful to my skin which I'm always concerned about because not only do I have oily skin but it is also pretty sensitive to harsh chemicals.

I think I have found a clarifying mask that I could use on a daily basis to keep my skin feeling refreshed and healthy!  You can find Repechage at top spas and salons around the world as well as on their website at www.repechage.com.  If you are like me and suffer from unsightly blemishes and blackheads due to oily skin yet you haven't found a system to help you keep the oiliness down while maintaining soft and supple skin, check out Repechage!

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. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
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April 10, 2011

Winner winner (grilled) chicken dinner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway for Naked Fitness by Andrea Metcalf.  I've chosen a winner and am thrilled to announce that the winner is:

#10 - Giant Sis

The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or I will have to choose another lucky reader to receive this awesome book!

Look for some fun and delicious reviews and giveaways coming soon!
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April 9, 2011

Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family {REVIEW}

One of the reasons my husband and I are waiting to have children is because we both agree that having one of us stay home with our children is very important however that requires living on one income.  As we are all aware, in this day and age, that is becoming increasingly difficult to do.  There are so many books and websites out there that discuss how you can live on less which are wonderful resources with great ideas and suggestions on how to create and stick to a budget.  Cathi Brese Doebler has written a book titled "Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family; How to Thrive on Less Than Two Incomes!".  This book is all about how you can spend more time with family and even quit your job to be a stay-at-home parent without robbing yourself of the most essential things in life.  This book was written for people like me because I am very passionate about not working outside the home while my children are young.

We’ve all felt the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses”. Often it seems like it
takes two incomes to survive in today’s economy. But what if that is not true for
your family? What if your family can thrive on less than two full-time salaries
and flourish by spending more time together?

Tackling these tough questions using faith-based views and values, this book gives
parents encouraging and realistic ideas for a healthy and solid family.

In this book, Brese Doebler challenges the two income assumption, and takes you
on a journey toward the joy of discovering your family.

First of all, the title is awesome!  I love that Cathi uses the word "thrive" and not "survive".  Thrive is such a positive word and implies that you can succeed and enjoy living on less than two incomes rather than just get by while depriving yourself.  This whole book is extremely positive in nature and Cathi really pushes her readers to look within and find strength to make some tough decisions in order to reap some incredible rewards.  While I am not the most religious person out there, the prayers at the end of every chapter in the book were a nice touch, I thought.  Sometimes I need to put my fears and worries out there and ask for help from a higher power so the prayers gave me a good starting point.  Cathi does a really nice job of including those prayers but not shoving them in your face.  They are there if you want to use them. 

Every idea and process that Cathi discusses in this book are attainable and achievable.  One of my favorite chapters in the book was the sample proposal for your company.  This is where I would struggle with creating something that was presentable to my company, not because I'm unintelligent, but because I wouldn't know the first place to begin!  Cathi gives a very thorough example of a proposal that you can use if you are looking to go to part-time or a work from home situation with your current company.  Included in this sample proposal are benefits for the company, necessary supplies and requirements, challenges and how they will be overcome as well as a specific plan of how your relationship and job description will change. 

So, if you are struggling in your current situation and would like to make some changes but feel intimidated by less money, check out Cathi's book "Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family".  You can purchase the book here and find Cathi at her website and on Twitter.  I will be keeping this book for future reference as we start a family and live with less than two incomes.  Thanks to Cathi for giving me some additional things to think about as we embark upon parenthood!

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.
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April 5, 2011

How to celebrate? {EdenFantasys}

Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store We are getting ready to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary and it's got me thinking about some ways that I can surprise my husband.  Of course, after 8 years of marriage and almost 10 years as a couple, that's not an easy feat so I'm turning to EdenFantasys for a some new ideas and maybe even a few "gifts".  Since our anniversary falls on a Monday, we'll need to plan something that won't make us feel awful the next day so I love the idea of a sexy board game.  My husband and I really enjoy playing board games with family and friends so why not a board game for just the two of us?  Behind Closed Doors caught my eye because of the wonderful reviews and cute board!  Love dice might be kind of fun, too! 

Maybe that's too much work.  Maybe I should just get some good smelling massage oil and romantic candles that we can light and just enjoy each other's company while we drink one of our favorite bottles of wine.  EdenFantasys not only sells sex toys but they also have sensual products like amazing edible candles and sweet smelling massage kits.  These products can help you reconnect with your loved one, even after 10 years together!

Disclosure:  I received a gift card in exchange for my honest opinion of this website.  No other compensation was received.
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Wordless Wednesday - Pretty!

One of my cupcakes from Wilton's Basic Decorating Class!

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April 3, 2011

Don't forget to enter!

There's only one more day left to enter to win Andrea Metcalf's book "Naked Fitness"!  This is an amazing book if you are looking to slim down for summer, ladies!  The entries are very easy so take a quick look at the article I posted and enter to win.  The odds are in your favor right now because there are very few entries.  Hope you have a wonderful Monday!
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Ocean Spray Sparkling Fruit Drinks {REVIEW}

Juice has never been one of my favorite drinks probably because I've never been particularly fond of orange or apple juice and the rest are punished, too.  The one kind of juice that I will drink, more for medicinal purposes than anything else, is cranberry juice.  Cranberry juice helps keep me safe from infection and unwanted bacteria so when I'm feeling a little "off" I reach for the cranberry juice.  I am, however, a fan of sparkling drinks so imagine my surprise when I was offered a sample of Ocean Spray's New Sparkling Fruit Drinks!  You mean, there is a juice that is as tasty as soda and contains vitamins and a full serving of fruit?  Awesome!  I was also thrilled to learn that two of the samples I would be receiving were cranberry juices.  I don't think it could get much better than that.


When I received the four sample cans, I first grabbed for the diet cranberry.  I loved this drink!  It was wonderfully fizzy and tasted sweet and tart at the same time, just like a light cranberry juice.  One of the pros of these beverages is that these are a good source of Vitamin C which is so important when you work with the public everyday like I do.  Since I knew that I would like the cranberry, I next chose the pomegranate blueberry because I was curious to know how it tasted.  I really enjoyed it! The blueberry flavor really came on strong for me which was wonderful because blueberries are one of my favorite berries and the pomegranate cut a little of the sweetness from the blueberries.  The flavor combination was a hit with me!

The next time you are in the grocery store and are craving a sweet, fizzy drink, check out Ocean Spray's Sparkling Fruit Drinks to kick your craving while getting some vitamins and a full serving of fruit in a can!  If you are a fan of Ocean Spray products, feel free to follow them on both Facebook and Twitter.  Maybe you'll get some free coupons or even a free sample of the latest and greatest products!

Disclosure:  I received free samples from Ocean Spray in exchange for my honest opinion of their product.  All opinions are my own.
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RELAXZEN - Relaxation and Sleep Shots {REVIEW}

Do you ever wake up feeling like you didn't sleep at all during the night? Have you ever been so tired that you can't fall asleep?  If you answered "yes" to either one of those questions I have a great new product for you to try.  This product is called RELAXZEN and it's literally a "shot" of relaxation without causing drowsiness!  RELAXZEN products come in various forms and are made with amino acids, natural herbs and vitamins to increase focus, balance your mood, reduce stress and increase productivity.  RELAXZEN Day is a wonderful idea for busy professionals as well as busy moms on the go and students who need a little boost of energy to keep productive while remaining calm and focused.  This formula is a non drowsy yet will help you get through your day without having the "freak out" moments we all experience.  I love the flavor of mixed berries without any strange aftertaste.  I'm a pretty relaxed person as it is but there are a few days where I get worked up because of difficult times at work or if something in my personal life is causing me stress.  RELAXZEN helped "take the edge off" so to speak.  It gave me the ability to take a moment to calm down before reacting to stressful situations.

Are you one of those people who can't turn off their mind at night while trying to fall asleep?  Lately, I have been having this problem and have been struggling with laying in bed knowing that I have to be up in the morning but can't fall sleep!  It's so frustrating and I get more and more worried about trying to fall asleep that I can't!  This usually happens to me when something is going on in my life to cause me stress or excitement.  Right now, we are negotiating a new lease for our business that will cut our rent payment in half which means we will actually get to pay ourselves a salary so I'm beyond excited!  I finally got so frustrated with tossing and turning until after midnight that I tried RELAXZEN Night.  It had the same pleasant flavor as RELAXZEN Day but it helped me to clear my mind of all the thoughts that were keeping me up.  I found that I was able to close my eyes and fall easily into a peaceful sleep.  When I woke up the next morning, I felt refreshed and ready to face my day!

Overall, RELAXZEN products seem to be effective for me.  They helped me get through a tough week and still maintain my composure while being productive at work.  You can find RELAXZEN at any of the retail outlets listed here. RELAXZEN also has a Facebook page where they sometimes run amazing contests for free products and you can follow them on Twitter to find out all the new happenings!

Disclosure:  I received a free sample from RELAXZEN and Smile.ly to try at home and give my honest opinion of the product.  All views are my own.
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April 1, 2011

Aloha Friday - April Fools

Welcome to Aloha Friday where we relax and kick back just like they do on the islands!  No heavy lifting here, just one simple question for you to answer in the comments section.  If you want more, check out An Island Life and visit the other blogs who are participating.

My question for today is:

Do you celebrate April Fool's Day?

I don't really celebrate April Fool's.  I've never been very good at thinking up pranks and my family never did anything funny when I was growing up.  Just another day to me!
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