Monday, September 30, 2013

Fun At The Croods Indoor Adventure Party - @FHEInsiders

I received products for review as a Fox Home Entertainment Insider.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Sunday afternoon I hosted The Croods Indoor Adventure Party in my home and invited several of the kids in my family over, along with a couple of my own kiddos.  Some had already heard of the movie, while others weren't sure what it was about.

If you aren't aware of The Croods either, it's a story about a caveman family who set out to explore a new world of adventure after their cave is destroyed.  The family consists of an authoritative father, a rebellious daughter, a feisty daughter, a silly son, a wisecracking grandmother, and a wife who has to make a big decision.  Other characters in play include a pet sloth, a teenage boy who helps the family explore new things, and other creatures.  Ultimately, The Croods shows us that fear can hold us back and sometimes it's okay to explore your curiosity.
Once everyone arrived at The Croods Indoor Adventure Party, they were welcomed with reusable totes of branded cups, blankets, plush toys, activity sheets, puzzles, and paint sets.  They were also stocked up on popcorn, candy, pretzels, and bottled water.  Once the mood was set and everyone was in place, we all watched the movie together.



  There were children from the age of one to the age of fourteen in attendance.  I was weary of having that many kids together, trying to keep them engaged in a movie.  Sometimes kids can have their own plans of how they're going to do things, but I had nothing to worry about.  From the time the movie started to the time it ended, all the kiddos were entranced.


All the juveniles covered themselves up or laid on their soft blankets and watched the movie together.  During the movie, some also worked on the activity sheets.  There wasn't much talk during the movie but, once in a while, I'd hear roars of giggles or comments about something that happened during the show.  


At the end of the day, my floor was littered with popcorn but the party was a smashing success.  The young'uns really got into the movie and were excited to tell their parents all about it.  Watching the movie myself, I thought it was a fun kid-friendly film.  

The Croods comes out on Blu-ray and DVD October 1st.  I encourage you to round up your friends and family to have a fun indoor adventure party as well.  Adults, if you are going to watch The Croods with your kids, keep your eye on Gran.  With her spunk and fiery wit, she was the character that most appealed to me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Best of Collection - DVD Review and Giveaway

I received DVD for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Wubb-tastic news, Wubb fans! Get ready for Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Best of Collection, the biggest and best Wubbzy DVD box set to date! The ultimate episodic assortment, the Wubbzy Best of Collection features four jam-packed discs in one complete compilation that will bring nonstop fun, fun, fun and important life lessons to families everywhere! The Wubbzy Best of Collection from Anchor Bay Entertainment will “wow” Wubb lovers nationwide starting October 1.
With 28 episodes and more than four and a half hours of engaging entertainment chockfull of singing and dancing, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy: Best of Collection (SRP $19.98) is the must-have addition to any preschooler’s DVD library – and a perfect gift for this holiday season! Each of the four fun-filled discs in the debut set stars a different Wuzzleburg friend: Best of Wubbzy centers on everyone’s favorite  bendy-tailed guy; Best of Widget features the busiest builder and fix-it whiz around; Best of Walden celebrates the town’s smartest little scientist; and Best of Daizy honors the sweet girly girl next door. And the fun doesn’t stop there –the Wubbzy Best of Collection includes coloring and activity sheets – and toe-tapping music videos, too!  
My Review:

For all those young'uns who are fans of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, this is the perfect DVD. It has 280 minutes of the best episodes in a 4-disc collection. Each featured character - Wubbzy, Walden, Daizy, and Widget - is spotlighted in seven episodes each. Little tikes are enertained during these episodes and learn skills such as listening, helping, coping, and compromising. I'm partial to the episodes featuring Daizy because she's my favorite character but all the episodes are delightful. Although I did not print them out myself, there is a bonus feature of coloring and activity sheets.

Win It!

One person will win Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Best of Collection on DVD.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA and Canada.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Exotic Jasmine by Halle Berry - Perfume Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

I don't get caught up in celebrity hoopla or buy certain products just because they have celebrity endorsements on them. With that said, I will buy merchandise that have celebrity backing if I think I'll like the products themselves.

Halle Berry is a celebrity I admire and think does a superb job in her line of work. Halle has six fragrances in her perfume line, with the newest being Exotic Jasmine. Of the six, I've tried Closer and recently was able to test the newest fragrance.
Exotic Jasmine by Halle Berry has top notes of fresh Violet Leaf, Bright Neroli and Airy Cyclamen, which lead to a captivating heart of blossoming Jasmine Sambac, Lush Plumeria Blossom and Fluid Hedione, drawing you in. The fragrance dries down to a warm base of White Cedar, Soft Vetiver and Skin Musk.

The perfume comes in a light pink bottle with a flower etching. The packaging is light pink and features a photo of Halle Berry. I really fancy the scent of this fragrance. It has a light, feminine, airy scent that makes me think of candied florals. The scent tends to stay on approximately two hours before I need to spritz it on again. I've received several compliments on how good I smell when I wear Exotic Jasmine. The price point is economical and the perfume can be purchased at mass merchandise stores.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Check It Out: Great Facebook Giveaways To Enter

I received no products or compensation for this post. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

I've come across a few Facebook giveaways going on right now that you might be interested in entering (after you enter my giveaways, of course!)

New omax3® Ultra-Pure™ omega-3 supplement is taking part in Dr. Melina’s Cholesterol Challenge! As an added incentive to everyone challenging themselves to be healthier each and every day, now through October 18, 2013, they'll randomly select ten (10) entrants each Friday to win a free full-sized sample of omax3 UltraPure Omega-3 Supplement! Forty total entrants will be selected, and giveaway ends October 18, 2013. Enter now!
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scünci® “100K Band of Fans” Giveaway

Enter the scünci® “100K Band of Fans” Giveaway and the day after the scünci Facebook page reaches 100,000 LIKES they will announce the names of the 100 winners who will win a scünci headband or wrap hair accessory. Enter now! #scunciBandTogether
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"Target Your Nausea with Sea-Band®” Giveaway

Hit the mark on nausea with a targeted drug-free remedy for motion sickness, morning sickness and migraine-related nausea. Enter the "Target Your Nausea with Sea-Band®" Giveaway and 8 winners will receive a pair of Sea-Band acupressure wristbands and a $25 Target gift card! You can find Sea-Bands in the health and beauty section of Target stores nationwide. Each Wednesday and Friday, October 2 - October 11, 2013, two (2) winners will be randomly selected at 12 pm EST. Eight chances to win, enter now!
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“Are You a SuperStacker?” invites Chuggington fans to show off their best build (using track they already own) for a chance to be featured in NYC’s Times Square! The contest is open now through October 6, 2013. Per the official rules, only Chuggington StackTrack purchased prior to 12:01 a.m. CDT on September 24, 2013 can be used in this contest. Visit: www.facebook.com/tomy.toy and click on the SuperStacker fan page for complete rules and contest entry information.

Sweet News For These September Winners

A few of my giveaways have ended and the winners have been randomly drawn.

The winner of the Tickety Toc DVD giveaway is #407, Cynthia S.

The winner of the Shabby Apple giveaway is #251, Tammy W.

The winners of the Biore giveaway are #292 Pam H., #78 crankyyanky1, and #85 JC.

The winner of the $25 Target GC giveaway is #2007, cjabdelnour.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who entered. Be sure to check out and enter all my active giveaways, if you haven't already. The full list is on the top left hand side of my blog. There's no limit to how many you can enter or how many you can win.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Modern Family: Season Four - Blu-ray Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

Synopsis:

The laughs — and the awards — just keep on coming for the #1-rated “Modern Family,” winner of three consecutive Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series! With Jay and Gloria’s baby on the way and Haley going off to college, the entire Pritchett/Dunphy clan faces some major surprises as they bicker and bond over house-flipping headaches, unwanted play dates, and everything from hot-tempered hormones to in utero karaoke. Featuring a stellar array of guest stars including Matthew Broderick, Shelley Long and Elizabeth Banks, Season Four takes a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud hilarious look at what it means to be a “Modern Family.” Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season arrived on Blu-ray and DVD September 24th.
My Review:

I'm a big critic when it comes to comedy. A lot of shows or movies out there that label themselves as comedies only have a few laughs here and there. I feel like I've been cheated. Modern Family is a show I consider to be one that actually means what they say. I completely missed the first season when it aired but tuned in during the second season and have been a fan since. It delivers laughs, and the fourth season is no exception.

Modern Family is the kind of family I'd envision hanging out with in real life. The characters are relatable and they face situations in highly entertaining ways.Modern Family: Season Two has been my favorite so far, but Season Four still came through.

Pizza Bake Casserole - Recipe

I've been seeing a lot of recipes floating around Facebook. I've printed a few out and tried my hand at one last night. I'd like to give credit where credit is due, but I'm not sure who the original creator of this recipe is. I did adjust the recipe a little bit, and this is the way that I prepared it.

Pizza Bake Casserole

Ingredients:

1 bag of Egg Noodles (cook as indicated on package)
1 jar of Ragu sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese and sharp cheddar cheese (more or less depending on "cheesiness" preference)
1 1/2 lbs. browned hamburger meat
1 package pepperonis

Directions:

Preheat overn to 350.

In a casserole dish, layer ingredients in this order:
thin layer of Ragu sauce
half the egg noodles
half of the meat
half of the sauce
rest of the noodles
half the cheese
rest of the meat
rest of the sauce
rest of the cheese
cover top with pepperonis

Cook in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve while hot.

Giani - Granite Countertop Paint Review

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Everyone has an idea of what their dream home looks like.  Mine has always included granite countertops, among other things.  I think granite gives a look of classiness and elegance.  There's just something about it that makes a place look rich.  Unfortunately, along with the dream home is the dream money. 

It's above my budget to have real granite in my kitchen.  Thankfully there's a company that has the supplies to replicate the look at the fraction of the cost.  Giani is said company, and they specialize in kitchen coatings.  

I received a Giani Granite granite paint kit in Sicilian Sand for review. The kit contained primer, three cans of paint, clear coat, a sponge, an instructional DVD, paper instructions, piece of practice paper, paint brush, and a paint roller with two heads. There was enough paint to cover 35 sq. feet of countertop space. When I first opened the package, I was daunted by all there was because I wasn't so sure I'd be able to take on the project. I took it on head first, though, and it wasn't near as alarming as it first seemed.

My kitchen countertop was originally white. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with it, but I wanted to change it up and go for the granite look. I first started out by fully reading the instructions included with the kit. They are written in more than one language, which makes it seem like there's more to read than there really is. The instructions give step-by-step directions, as well as tips and tricks. I did not watch the DVD.
The only extra supplies I needed other than what was in the kit was a tool to pry the cans open and something to place the paint on when it was poured out. I first wiped down my countertop and cleaned it of any debris or food particles. I then applied the black primer and let it set to dry for a few hours.

After the primer work was complete, I used the sponge to dab on the three paint colors after I first practiced on paper. Depending on the look you want, you can use more of one color than the other. I opted for a more darker look and made sure the browns were more prominent than the white. Once that process was finished, I let it dry for the recommended time. The last step was applying the clear coat. It sealed in the color and gave a high-gloss shine.
I am super happy with how my countertops turned out. I was able to complete the entire project without any help and my husband even complimented my work. The hardest part of it all was being patient for the paint to dry each time. Because the countertop is now a darker color, messes are harder to see. My kitchen countertop may not be made of real granite, but you'd be hard pressed to see the difference.
For more creative examples, you can visit Giani's photo gallery online.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries - @FHEInsiders DVD Review and Giveaway

I received DVD for review as a Fox Home Entertainment Insider. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
DVD Synopsis:

Get ready for mischief, mystery and marvelous good times in Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries. You’ll follow the clues to fun and adventure as Strawberry and her pals learn to face their fears, become real-life heroines and find some missing VIP’s (Very Important Pets)! It’s glimmery girl power to the rescue in these stories of friendship!

My Review:

Strawberry Shortcake was a favorite of mine when I was younger. My kids are too old for Strawberry Shortcake but I have a handful of young nieces that are fans of the likable character and her friends. I think this would make a fun movie for girls in the 3-9 year old age range to watch. The CGI effects bring a modern, updated twist to a classic, timeless character. I'm not so sure boys would like the cutesy tones, but I do think the DVD is appealing to young girls and is appropriate for them. The DVD has 66 minutes of running time with story lines that incorporate friendship, kindness, facing your fears, and good morals.
Right click and print out this coloring sheet for your child.

Win It!

One person will win Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bitty Mysteries DVD/Digital Copy Combo.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA*

Scotch Expressions Tape - Review and Giveaway

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
My step-daughters, Juliann and Emma, are fascinated with decorative tape.  They've fashioned wallets and pens, and have jazzed up notebooks and folders. I must admit, they've come up with some creative ideas. I've never really messed with decorative tape. That is, until I received a shipment of Scotch Expressions Tape.


Scotch Expressions is available in four categories - magic, masking, shipping, and washi - and features 100+ decorative colors and patterns.

Scotch Expressions Magic Tape features a unique adhesive that holds paper securely, yet is easy to remove or reposition. You are able to write on it with pen, pencil or marker.

Scotch Expressions Washi Tape allows you to decorate and personalize your projects. It's initially repositionable on most surfaces.

Scotch Expressions Masking Tape has a paper finish that's easy to tear. The adhesive holds securely, yet removes cleanly.

Scotch Expressions Packaging Tape is decorative printed tape that's used for general purpose mailing.

There are several designs and patterns available in all the Scotch Expressions Tape varieties. I played around with the Washi Tape and added some flair to a mason jar that holds my plastic utensils. The tape was easy to apply and reposition. I did have to stop from time to time and remove air bubbles while applying the tape.

I ship packages regularly and have been using the Scotch Expressions Packaging Tape to securely close my parcels. I like the prettifying panache it adds. Sure beats plain ole' clear or brown tape.

Emma and Juliann have been having a heyday with the tapes as well. They've decorated plain headbands and have labeled personal belongings with it. Due to some ideas I've seen, I'm going to be using the tapes in the future to create invitations and add embellishment to scrapbook pages. Scotch Expressions Tape positively allows a person to express themselves.

Win It!

One person will win 15 rolls of Scotch Expressions Washi Tape.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Joey New York - Peel-Off Masque Review

I received product for review. The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.
This fall put your best skin forward! Start with Joey New York Peel Peel-Off Masque. This quick results masque will have you glowing in no time. With young coconut water and Indian Ginseng Extra Complex this mask smoothes the appearance of wrinkles as it tightens pores, helps eliminate impurities and dull looking skin. This formula lifts in one piece leaving you with fresh youthful skin.

I've only tried one other peel-off masque in the past. Although it was effective, it was quite expensive. The price of Joey New York Peel-Off Masque is reasonably priced and I'm happy with the results it produces.

The Joey New York Peel-Off Masque works by applying a layer of the gel to your face once or twice weekly. Once the gel is applied, let it sit for 10-15 minutes. You will feel your face start to tighten and the gel start to become more solid. After time is up, gently peel the masque off.

The gel itself has a stickiness to it and your fingers may feel sticky when you apply the peel-off masque. After applying it to my face, I can feel the gel take affect. My skin starts to tighten and feels firmer. I let the masque stay on my skin for 15 minutes, then peel it off. I'm able to mostly peel off the masque in large layers but there are some areas where I have to gently scratch my skin to get the masque off. I've learned the peeling process works better when you make sure your face is completely covered with the gel to begin with, rather than in big spots. When stripping the masque, it looks like dead skin or a bad sunburn flaking off. Once the masque is completely descorticated, the final step is to rinse your face with water.

Of the many youthful and anti-aging skin products I've tried, this is one of my favorites. I have dull, damaged skin and wear makeup often so I'm impressed that the peel-off masque makes my skin feel super clean and firm. I can see visual results that are assuring and efficient.
My face is shown with a layer of Peel-Off Masque as it was starting to solidify.

Week One: Dancing With the Stars - Hair Extensions Giveaway

I received no product or compensation for this post. This post is written in partnership with PR agency. Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services. Your opinions and results may differ.

If anyone is a Dancing with the Stars fan, then they’re aware that the new season’s competitors have been unveiled. The twelve-member celebrity cast will consist of, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Christina Milian and Leah Remini, to name a few. There are forecasted hairstyles that people think might be seen on the new season and that you can try at home, using the Dancing with the Stars Hair Extension collection.

High Buns: To create a variant of this style at home, comb hair up at the crown and clip in the Dancing with the Stars Hair Extension in Glamarama ($20: Hairextensions.com) that add a high volume to your high bun or the Salsaloosa ($15: Sallybeauty.com) for more of a “jazzed” look.



Glamarama Long Waves: Dramatic length and overall volume always look good on the dance floor. To enhance any length of hair, start by teasing hair at the crown and clipping in the Dancing with the Stars Go! Go! Girl Extensions ($49: Hairextensions.com), which instantly adds allover length.



GoGoGirl Ethereal Braids: Simply add a braid (or two or three!) to your hairstyle with the Dancing with the Stars Hair Extension in Bellissima ($10: ULTA.com).
Win It!

Three people will win all three hair extension styles pictured, in choice of hair color shade:
Glamarama by Dancing with the Stars (ARV $20)
Go! Go! Girl by Dancing with the Stars (ARV $49)
Bellissima Braid Hair Extension (ARV $10)

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Radical Skincare at Sephora - Giveaway

I received no compensation or product for this post.  This post is written in partnership with PR company.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Radical Skincare has just added a new home to their address book – Sephora and Sephora.com! http://www.sephora.com/radical-skincare

The Radical Skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask from Radical Skincare is a multi-functional mask that restores, stimulates and boosts skin’s radiance. It Contains:

Sodium PCA: Helps maintain ideal moisture balance within the skin

Ginseng Extract: Stimulates collagen production

Nasturtium Extract: Regulates oxidation reactions

Beta-Carotene and Antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C and E: Vital for collagen production and proper development of skin’s natural barriers

Trylacel™ technology: Combined with Acai Berry, Grape Seed Extract and Coffee Berry extract to deliver 300% more antioxidant potency than other brands on the market in order to provide superior anti-aging benefits and radical results

Win It!

One person will win a Radical Skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask (ARV $65).

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bill's Best BBQ - Organic Barbeque Sauce Review and Giveaway

I received products for review.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.
Sauces and spices are staples in my household.  There's nothing like a good piece of meat smothered in delicious sauce or covered with spices. My husband is usually the cook in the family and many of his "special recipes" include his own blend of spices, herbs, and sauces. Jason isn't always accepting of the condiments I purchase or bring into the home. If he tries them once and doesn't have a taste for them, he'll make no bones about it. However, if he likes the condiments, you can be sure they'll make their way into our food often.

Bill's Best, a company that concocts organic BBQ sauces, sent me two bottles to review. One was Original and the other was Spicy. I'm sure both bottles have passed the test in my household because both are near gone. Cube steak, chicken breast, cheeseburgers, and pork chops have all been smothered in Bill's Best. The BBQ sauces add a zesty flavor to meats. The consistency and texture are just right.

I have somewhat of a baby mouth and don't necessarily favor foods that are overly spicy or hot. My husband is the exact opposite - the hotter, the better. Bill's Best Spicy BBQ Sauce will make your nostrils flare. It has quite the kick, and Jason loves it. While he covers his food in Spicy, I spread mine with Original. It adds a nice flavor to my meals, with a balanced combination of sweet and spicy.


I don't consider myself to be an organic food fanatic, but I commend Bill's Best for using organic ingredients in their sauces. Reading the label confirms that they use wholesome and organic additives. The onions and garlic in the sauce are purchased from a local farm and pureed fresh for each batch. The labels on the bottles give off an intimate, folksy tone.

To honor the owner's dad who has Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), 10% of the money made from each jar sold goes to an organization called The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. Very heartening, I must say.

Win It!

One person will win two jars of Bill's Best Organic BBQ Sauce - one original and one spicy.

*This is a Rafflecopter giveaway open to residents of the USA.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

First Place At Cross Country Meet

Logan with his older, but shorter, sister

Logan has been on the Track & Field team since sixth grade. His wall is lined with medals and ribbons. This year, now that he's a Freshman, he's also a part of the Cross Country team. Meets consist of a 3-mile run, but the coach conditions them by having them practice EVERY SINGLE DAY with a six mile run. Guess he figures if they can run six, then they'll be able to run three just fine.

At the first Cross Country meet, Logan fared decent. He finished 45 out of 146. Not in the top, but not in the bottom. His second meet on Tuesday went much, much better. He beat out all the other runners and placed 1st!

There's no doubt about it, my boy can run. The doubt is, where did he get those genes?!!

U.S. Cellular Rewards Program - #HelloBetter

I received compensation for this post.  The opinions within this post are of my own and I was not influenced in any way.  Please do your own research before purchasing products or using services.  Your opinions and results may differ.

Whether you're new to U.S. Cellular or a long time customer, signing up for a rewards-eligible plan means you can start earning points toward faster phone upgrades, accessories and more with the Rewards Program.

U.S. Cellular offers a valuable rewards program that recognizes loyalty. Registering is easy and you will start to earn points every month to use for a variety of rewards. In addition to earning points by simply being a U.S Cellular customer on a rewards-eligible plan, you can also earn points by attending device workshops or by referring a friend. The U.S. Cellular Rewards Program is a fantastic way to get accessories for a penny, accelerate your upgrade plan, and even earn a Galaxy S4. You can redeem points in store, online, or by calling Customer Service and managing your points is a breeze using “My Account.” U.S. Cellular treats their customers like neighbors, not numbers.

How have you taken advantage of the U.S. Cellular Rewards Program?