Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zevia Review and Giveaway

I had the opportunity to review Zevia All-Natural Zero Calorie Soda.  This stuff is good! 

My daughter has type 1 Diabetes so we are always on the look-out for drinks without sugar in them.  This one has no sugar!  It is sweetened with Stevia, which is much sweeter than sugar and has no affect on blood sugar levels!  How great is that!

We tried six different flavors, my favorite was the Black Cherry!  Yum!  I expected an aftertaste like you get with some diet sodea and there absolutely wasn't one!  I liked all the flavors, though the Ginger Rootbeer was my least favorite, probably because I expected it to taste like regular Rootbeer and it doesn't.  My husband loved the Gingerale and my kids were nuts for the orange and the Lemon Lime Twist!

I bet you want to try it, don't you?  You can go to their store locator and find out where it is sold near you.  Can't find it anywhere near, then you can buy it online!

Zevia was recently featured in O magazine, which is Oprah's magazine.   She said, "You may try this Stevia-sweetened soda because it contains no calories, no sugar, no aftertaste, no artificial anything, but you'll stick with it because it's delicious."

Now here's the really cool thing... Zevia is offering one of you wonderful readers a mixed six-pack of Zevia soda!  I told you it was cool!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment why you want to try All Natural Zero Calorie Zevia.  That's it... it's that easy!  Make sure your email is visible in your profile, if not please leave it in your comment (jane doe at gmail dot com)

Extra Entries:  Leave a separate comment for each extra entry

Become a public follower of my blog
Follow me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter

Contest ends Wednesday, December 8th, 2010.  The winner will be picked randomly from all correct entries and notified by email.  The winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Contest is open to residents of the US, ages 18 and over.

Disclosure:  I was generously given the product to review and for the giveaway.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Contest is now closed and winner has been notified!  Thanks to all you wonderful readers!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ornaments With Love

Okay, try not to faint from the overwhelming cuteness of the following image... Are you ready?
Whew... are you recovered enough to keep reading?  Good, because I want to tell you about a great company with a great product.... Ornaments with Love.  They gave me this incredibly cute ornament.

My family gets a new ornament each year to decorate our tree with.  My kids have been searching in the stores for just the right one, but the search is now over!  I am impatiently waiting to put the tree up so this baby can go on the tree!

Ornaments With Love has over 1800 personalized ornaments available.  This is a great and unique gift! 

People shopping for holiday gifts this season (or any time of year) can pick an ornament that best fits the personality, profession or hobby of the person they are buying for, and each ornament can be personalized with the person(s) name – making the gift even more thoughtful. 

The selection is huge!  There are Christmas Tree Ornaments, Angel Christmas Ornaments, Wedding Christmas Ornaments, Baby Christmas Ornaments and the section I picked from, Family Christmas Ornaments, to name just a few.  Set aside some time, you'll love browsing their website!

The ornaments range in prices, averaging around 12 dollars and they ship at a flat rate so you aren’t breaking the bank by ordering more than one.  Although it may seem like a small present, the personal touch really makes Ornaments with Love the perfect gift to give this upcoming holiday season, or for birthdays and special occasions as well.

Not only are these ornaments darling, (the pictures just don't do them justice) but the shipping was incredibly fast and the customer service was superb!  I highly recommend this company!

Now here's the really fun part, One of you lucky readers can win one of these completely cute ornaments!  
Mandatory Entry:

Visit www.ornamentswithlove.com and tell me one of the ornaments you like.  Make sure your email is visible in your profile, or include it in your post (jane doe at gmail dot com)

Extra Entries:

Become a public follower of my blog
Follow me onTwitter
Follow me on Facebook

Contest ends on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010.   The winner will be picked randomly from all correct entries and notified by email.  The winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen. Contest is open to residents of the US, ages 18 and over

Disclosure:  I was generously given the product to review and for the giveaway.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

This contest is closed.  Winner has been chosen and notified!   Thanks for entering!

Look, how pretty!

Okay, do you just love my new blog makeover?  I most certainly do!  But before you go and think that I'm clever enough to do this, let me set you straight.  This amazing makeover was created especially for me by Colleen over at Shibley Smiles.  Let me tell you, she is one amazing gal!  Somehow she managed to figure out just what I wanted in a blog and my personality, without ever meeting me!  Cool, huh!

Not only did she do an amazing blog makeover, but she went above and beyond by answering all my questions, doing a really cute blog button, AND being incredibly patient with me and my ignorance on all things HTML!

If you're looking for an amazing blog makeover, or just want to visit an amazing blog, head on over to Shibley Smiles !  Tell her Valeen sent you (hee-hee, I always wanted to say that!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exergen Thermometer - Review and Giveaway

Can I just say that I have the opportunity to try the coolest things around?  How amazing is that?  Speaking of amazing, sit back and let me tell you about this ultra cool thermometer...

The Exergen TemporalScanner is an infrared thermometer, that reads a temperature in just two seconds, with a simple swipe across the forehead!  I know... I told you it was cool!

It is so easy to use... just depress and hold the button and then lightly scan across the forehead.  A red LED light and soft beep let you know the scan is complete.  It is completely fast and absolutely non-invasive!  The thing I really like about this is I can take my child's temperature when they are asleep, which is a huge blessing when sleep comes so hard for them when they're ill!  I have to giggle though, now that we have this amazing thermometer my kids always want their temperature taken!  I'm happy to oblige!  I feel like Doctor McCoy on Star Trek with this gadget (oops, there's my geeky side showing!)

If you've been to the hospital recently, I bet you've seen one of these babies in action.  Now you can have one in your own home.  Wal-mart, Walgreens, Costco, Sam's Club, Babies 'R Us, and Toys 'R Us are currently carrying these (to name just a few places).

Along with all the fun things this season brings, are a few not-so-fun things... like cold and flu season.  How handy to have the Exergen TemporalScanner in your home.  We have already had the flu here (thankfully just a mild case) but this thermometer was wonderful to have.  My kids actually let me take their temperature with no complaining (like I said, they ask for it all the time), but more importantly, I knew I was getting an accurate reading.  Tests show that using the Exergen is a much more accurate reading than taking the temperature any other way, including oral, rectal, tympanic (in the ear) and under the arm (axillary).  Can't beat that!

This really is a wonderful thermometer and I'm thrilled to have one in my home.  Now, I hope you're sitting down because.... wait for it..... You have the opportunity to win one for yourself!  How completely cool is that?!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment with a helpful hint or tip on how you deal with cold and flu season.  Please make sure your email is visible in your profile, or leave it in the comment (sunshiney daze at gmail dot com)

Extra Entries:

Become a public follower of my blog
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Facebook

Contest ends on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010.  Winner will be selected randomly from all correct entries.  The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.  This contest is open to residents of the US, 18 years and older.  The winner will be notified by email and the prize will be shipped directly from the sponsor.

Congratulations to Cynthia, who is the winner of this giveaway!  Thanks to all who entered!

Disclosure:  I was generously given a product and offered a giveaway for the purpose of a review.  The opinions expressed are all my own, and free of charge!

Swanson Chicken - Review and Giveaway! Yum!

I was given the wonderful opportunity to try Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken!  Now if you know me, I'm all about quick, delicious meals for those crazy days (which seem to happen more and more often!)  Well, Swanson has made that even easier to accomplish!  With a can of their delicious chicken, the possibilities are amazing!  Their chicken is already cooked and ready to use for quick and easy everyday meals, from sandwiches and salads, to soups and main dishes. Plus,  it's certified by the American Heart Association (AHA)—so you know it's the right choice for your family.  It’s 98% fat free, contains no preservatives and is all white meat.

Here are a couple amazing recipes from their website:

Chicken Pasta Alfredo

4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (12.5 ounces)* Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 of a 1-pound package fettuccine, cooked and drained (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • Heat the cream cheese and milk in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat to a boil, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken, peas and fettuccine to the skillet and toss to coat. Heat through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.
Okay, tell me your mouth isn't watering now!

Or how about this one (my husband went nuts for this, as did my son!):

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
1/2 cup any flavor Frank's® RedHot® Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 ounces) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
Assorted fresh vegetables and Pepperidge Farm® crackers
  • Stir the cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with a fork or whisk until it's smooth. Stir in the dressing, hot sauce and blue cheese. Stir in the chicken.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture before serving. Serve with the vegetables and crackers for dipping.


  • To make in the microwave: Use a microwavable 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Prepare the dip as directed above but do not bake. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 5 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot, stirring halfway through the cook time.
Can I say, I love this chicken!  I think my pantry will now have several cans of Swansons Premium Chunk Chicken at all times!  It will definitely be a staple in my home!  It has really saved my bacon several times in the past couple weeks when I had to come up with a dinner fast, yet still healthy!  I made the most delicious (if I say so myself) Toasted Chicken Salad Sammies last night!  My family devoured them!

Now, here's the really cool thing... Two of you cool readers have the opportunity to win three full value coupons for Swanson Premium Chunk Chicken so you can try it yourself!  Woo hoo!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment here with a way you might use Swanson Chicken.  How easy is that?  Please make sure your email is visible in your profile or leave it in your comment (jane doe at gmail dot com)

Extra Entries:

Leave a separate comment for each extra entry

Become a follower of my blog
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on facebook

Contest ends on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010.  The winners will be picked randomly from all correct entries and notified by email.  The winners must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.  Contest is open to residents of the US, 18 years old and over.Winners will be notified by email and the prize will be shipped directly from the sponsor.

Contest is now closed and the winners have been notified!  Thanks to all who entered!

Disclosure:  I was generously offered this product for the purpose of a review and giveaway.  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Friday, November 12, 2010

About Me

So who's the crazy redhead behind this blog?  Hmmm, let's see.....

I'm a mom to two great kids!  My sweet daughter has type 1 diabetes and my amazing son has Sensory Processing Disorder.  Needless to say, we live an interesting life.  I have an amazing husband who not only puts up with the craziness around here, but actually enjoys it (most of the time)!

We are lucky to live in Sunshiney Arizona.  Yes, the summers are a tad hot, okay... really, really hot.... but we only deal with that for about 4 -5 months and the rest of the year is absolutely gorgeous!  We actually get to go trick-or-treating without coats each year.  No, we don't have snow for Christmas but we make up for it with Christmas lights!  The homes around here are very decked out!

I'm active in my kids' schools, our church, and our local community theatre.  I've had the opportunity to produce, direct, costume, music direct, and act in our productions.  I've made countless props and painted lots of set too. I sit on the community theatre committee and was the president for three years. Several years ago my friend talked me into auditioning for a play.  I'd never done anything like that before, but surprisingly I was cast in a great role, and things just kind of exploded from there!  It's been an amazing experience and I've had the opportunity to meet hundreds of wonderful people I otherwise wouldn't have crossed paths with.

I come from a big, happy family!  I'm the oldest of seven kids.  We're all grown now but still really enjoy being together.  I have lots and lots of nieces and nephews and love being around them.  They are all truly wonderful!  I'm lucky to have great in-laws too.  How many people get to say that?

I think I'm a bit of an adventurer.  I'm with Indiana Jones though, I really don't like snakes.... but I love to discover!  I love to travel, I love to discover little "out-of-the-way" places.  I'm always on the look-out for the "latest and greatest" and love to tell anyone who will listen about the things I discover.  I'm an avid reader, crafter, gardener, and shopper (notice, I said shopper, not spender... I love a good bargain!)  I'm like a child at Christmas time whenever I discover a new product, or a better way of doing something.  I can't wait to show everyone!

I love to sing (though I'm not sure if people like me to sing Ü ) , I love to play the piano, and I love to laugh!  So, is my life perfect.  No... whose is?  But... I'm perfectly happy with my life!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Sparkly Whites!

Interesting little fact my dentist told me.... Redheads have teeth that are a little more yellow than others.  Fascinating, right?  Not if you're a redhead, like me.  I've always wanted a beautiful dazzling white smile, but sadly genetics did not bless me with that trait.  Here comes Rembrandt and Reach to the rescue! (insert trumpet sounds here!)

I was generously offered products from Rembrandt and Reach to test and review... I know... how lucky, right?!  So review them, I did!

Okay, are those the coolest toothbrushes, or what!  These are Reach by Design toothbrushes, a new limited edition series by interior designers Tom Delavan, Celerie Kemble and celebrity stylist Brad Goreski.  They have a specially angled neck and multi-level bristles to remove 95% of plaque between teeth and are clinically proven to remove more plaque than the leading toothbrush.  

Now let me tell you about the Tooth Whitening kits by Rembrandt.  I decided to try the 2 hour Whitening kit because I like instant gratification!   This kit was really easy to use and only took 2 hours (just like it said on the box)!  It came with two moldable trays for your teeth and little ampules of whitening gel.  The instructions were easy to read and follow.  I molded the trays to my teeth (it just takes hot water to soften them) and then added the whitening gel for twenty minutes at a time.  Then rest your teeth for ten minutes in between each whitening process.  

The instructions warn that you may have a little sensitivity, and I did for a couple hours afterward.  Which isn't saying much, because my teeth are pretty sensitive anyway.  Either that, or I'm a wimp.  I prefer to think I have sensitive teeth, thank you very much.

I took before and after pictures, but the before one showed that my lipstick had started to feather a little bit and the after pictures were so bright that you couldn't see my teeth, just a dazzling white flash.  Now, I'm not saying that my teeth are now so white that you are blinded by their brilliance, but I am saying that my teeth were noticeably whiter!  I love smiling at myself in the mirror now!  

    I've also been using the Rembrandt intense stain toothpaste. It has powerful stain-fighting ingredients that effectively remove deep stains.

    It is clinically shown to whiten teeth for a brighter smile and formulated with a unique blend of high-performing micro-polishing particles to cleanse, stain-fighting ingredients and fluoride to restore and strengthen enamel.
 I've been using this for about a week now and it's made my teeth even whiter.
  I am sold on Rembrandt and Reach.  

 Now, let me tell you the other part of what my dentist said.  When Redheads whiten their teeth it is very striking and more noticeable.  
So now, thanks to Rembrandt and Reach I am striking and more noticeable now.... and don't forget sparkly!

Disclosure:  I was generously provided with the products for the purpose of a review.  The opinions expressed are all my own and free of charge!

Harlequin Books - Who Knew?

Did you know that Harlequin published books other than romance?  I didn't either.... but they do!  Harlequin very generously sent me two books to review and I really enjoyed both of them!

The first book is called A Homemade Christmas.  I love Christmas and all the it enbodies!  I love the spirit of giving and all the joy this season brings.  But, at times it can be overwhelming and expensive.  This book helps.  It has great ideas on how to make your Christmas more frugal and a little more earth-friendly.  I love the idea of gifts from the heart made with your own hands.

Author Tina Barseghian offers easy-to-follow how-tos for Christmas projects, delicious recipes, and tips to make this Christmas your most memorable yet.  The thing I enjoyed most about this book is it is divided into sections and is easy to read.  You don't have to do it in one sitting.  You can skip to the section you're most interested in and find some great ideas.  Though, I have to warn you... you'll get sucked into the book and find yourself perusing all the sections!  It's a great book, and I definitely recommend it!

This book touched my heart and really spoke to me.  Some of you know that we have two dogs that we rescued.  Though I would debate on who rescued who.  Last night I curled up in the big chair in our bedroom with this book.  As I was re-reading some of the stories in it, I heard our dogs outside.  Since it is finally cooling down at night, I had the bedroom window opened.  My dogs will come and lay just outside the window whenever I'm in the room.  They just like to be nearby, watching, and loving.  Our dogs love to be outside so it's the best of both worlds for them.  Outside in the cool air, but still near their "people".    As I read the stories in this wonderful book, it evoked memories of our wonderful dogs.  They are such a part of our lives, and a part of our family!  I swear my son has three mothers, me... and our two dogs!

The Dog Who Healed A  Family and Other True Animal Stories That Warm the Heart and Touch the Soul is filled with stores about not-so-ordinary household pets.  Like the German shepherd adopted by a teenager with terminal cancer who outlives the boy and becomes a "Good Shepherd" for many other children suffering chronic and life-threatening diseases.  There's the miniature pig named Pigger who helped its' owner conquer agoraphobia  (a fear of open spaces and crowds) and touch many other lives.

Be warned.... if you're a softy like me, this book will have you in tears.  Tears of warmth, and love, and gratitude not only for the animals in the book, but for the animals in my life.  Even that dang mutant goldfish swimming around in the big tank in the family room (that's a story for another day)!

Thanks Harlequin for these wonderful books.  A big "thumbs up" for both!
Now, everyone... get busy reading!

Disclosure:  Harlequin provided this books free of charge for the purpose of a review.  The opinions expressed are all my own and free of charge!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Review of Electric Steam Mop

Originally submitted at CSN Stores
  • Safe and powerful tool for effectively cleaning all hard floor surfaces
  • Includes 2 FREE machine washable micro fiber pads
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design
  • Ready to go in just 30 seconds
  • Powerful steam cleaning system elim...

Love my Shark!
By Busymom from Sunny Arizona on 11/7/2010
4out of 5
Pros: Easy to Use, Easy To Empty, Efficient, Lightweight
Best Uses: Tile Floors, Hardwood Floors
Describe Yourself: Frequent User
Primary use: Personal
I have a lot of laminate flooring in my home. This steam mop works remarkably well, and does it with just steam! It heats up in less than 30 seconds and does a great job cleaning my floors, with very little effort. I thought my floors were fairly clean, but the amount of dirt on the bottom of the cleaning pad was astonishing! This steam mop really works! And the best part, I haven't used it in the last two weeks, because my kids actually ask to mop the floor using the Shark Steam Mop. Does it get any better than that?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tis the Season

I love to cook!  I love to bake!  I love this time of year, especially because I can bake all those yummy things associated with the upcoming holidays!  (okay, I admit it, I don't like to clean up afterward though.  I'd rather just bake with abandon, then walk away!)

Crisco sent me this cool package with these cool products included!  Oh yes, it put me in a baking frenzy!

I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't know that Crisco had a baking spray.  I've always used the "other" brand in the past but I have a new favorite.  Crisco oil and shortening have always been my go-to when I'm baking.   Their quality is always consistent and always great.  Now I can add their Olive Oil baking spray to the list.

My sweet hubby made some homemade seasoned oven bake fries using the olive oil cooking spray.  He cut the potatoes into lengths, sprayed them with the olive oil and then seasoned them and popped them in the oven.  I would have included a picture of the yumminess but they didn't last long enough!

Did you know that Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk comes in a low fat version also? Me neither!  (and I call myself a baker, sheesh!)  They have the best recipe on the back of the can using the low fat version.  I am so there!

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Nutrition: See Below
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes


  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Low Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust


  • HEAT oven to 425°F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, egg whites, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust.
  • BAKE 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted 1-inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired

Doesn't that sound yummy?  If you have a moment go to their websites, either Eagle Brand or Crisco .  They have some wonderful recipes on their, plus some really cool contests!  If you are one of those amazing cooks that creates their own recipes, please check out Eagle Brand, there is a prize worth $10,000 for the winning recipe.  Check it out!

Crisco has really cool contest too! Click here to find the entry form!  You can enter for a chance to win a $20 Gift Card and be automatically entered to win the Grand Prize! Crisco will give out 10 gift cards every day for 117 days. All first time entrants receive a Crisco coupon!

The Grand Prize is one gourmet cookware set and a one year supply of Crisco products, valued at $1,000.  Are your cooking senses tingling? (a little nod to the old Batman series, yes... I'm that old!)

Well, I'm off to do some more drooling... uh, I mean browsing the recipes and deciding what to bake next!

Disclosure:  I was generously provided these products for the purpose of a review.  The opinions expressed are free of charge, and all my own!