Friday, October 29, 2010

Soda Stream Review

Let me start with.... WOW!  I love this product!  I was generously given a Soda Stream and lots and lots of flavors to try and again... WOW!

We have had so much fun with our Soda Stream!  It felt like Christmas when we opened our package!  So many fun favors!  We got right to work making soda...

Soda Stream makes soda with water right out of your tap!  You just add some fizz (from the carbonator that Soda Stream provides) and some flavor and voila! delicious soda!  They have over 25 flavors to try including sparkling water flavors!

The thing that I love is that we now have soda readily on hand and for a lot less! After your initial purchase of a home soda maker package, you'll enjoy seltzer and sparkling water in reusable 1-liter PET bottle for just $.20 per liter and flavored sodas for about $.25 per can.

Now here's the thing I really love.  There is only an average of 9 carbs per serving compared to about 27 carbs per serving of regular soda.  If you count calories it's an average of about  35 calories compared to an average of 100 for store bought soda.

So it's less expensive and healthier, how does it taste?  Wonderful!  Every flavor we've tried has been amazing!  I love that it doesn't take electricity or batteries so it's very portable.  It is very easy to use also.  A couple helpful hints though...

Make sure you only fill the bottle to the fill line or you might have a bit of a mess.  Also, we discovered the hard way that you need to tilt the bottle a little when you add the flavoring or it might fizz over the top!

The carbonator bottles last a long time and they are refillable by either the Soda Stream exchange program online, or to a retail store that handles the exchanges.  I discovered the Kohl's right down the road from me can do this for me!

I highly recommend this product!  It really has been a wonderful thing to have.  It is quite a treat for my kids (and for me too) to make my own soda!  My personal favorite is Diet Pink Grapefruit, or maybe Coke Zero, or maybe Diet Lemon Lime, or Apple Mango or.... okay, I love them all!  My kids' favorite is definitely the Rootbeer followed by the Orange.  Though they haven't found a flavor they don't like.  I like the Sparkling Water flavors because now Matthew will drink water whereas before... not so much.

Thank you Soda Stream for this amazing opportunity to review this product!  I am a believer!  Now, if you'll excuse me it's off to make some soda!

Disclosure Policy:  Soda Stream generously sent me this product to review.  The opinions expressed are all my own and free of charge!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shampowder Review

I have been having such a good time reviewing all these fun products and expressing my opinion!  (Who me?  Express an opinion?)   Ü  Well, here comes another one!

I had the opportunity to review Shampowder!.  What is Shampowder, you ask?  Do you ever have one of those days where you barely have time to throw some clothes on, let alone wash and style your hair.  (I have those days fairly frequently!)  Shampowder is a product that you can apply to your hair to help hide the fact that your hair isn't fabulously fresh.

Here's what the website says:
"Shampowder is the original pigmented dry shampoo with an all-in-one applicator. Shampowder hair powder allows you to have freedom between washings and will revive, volumize and deodorize your hair. By absorbing the oils that weigh down unwashed hair - lifeless hair is transformed into full, more manageable hair while the pigmented powder blends seamlessly, disguising the fact that you skipped a washing. The lightly vanilla scented powder comes in THREE shades and blends beautifully into an array of brunette, red, blonde, black and grey hair colors. This is the first hair powder with an attached brush applicator, so it's not messy when applied. To apply, dab - dab - dab the specially designed all-in-one applicator brush to generously apply powder directly to your hairline and scalp. Shampowder is perfectly purse-sized for women on the go and the handy all-in-one applicator is compact enough to drop into your handbag or travel bag."

Shampowder has been featured on The Today Show, has been highlighted in Shape Magazine, Us Weekly, InTouch Weekly, OK Weekly, InStyle Beauty Germany, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Page Six (NY Post), Teen Magazine, The Knot Magazine, Pregnancy & Newborn and All You Magazine.  CSI Miami uses Shampowder to refresh hair between takes in the sweltering Miami sun. Daily Candy picked Shampowder to be on their, “Great Gifts Finds for 2008”. Women are quickly catching-on to the benefits of Shampowder."

Here's what I say:  When the package arrived, it had clear instructions on how to open the applicator, removed the seal and start to apply.  Sadly, I struggled with getting the seal off.  I was afraid to twist the applicator too hard and break it.  (Yes, I've broken things before!)  I finally got the seal off and started dabbing my unwashed hair.  I will say that I love the smell of this stuff!  It smells wonderful!  I wasn't sure how much to use, so the first time I used it, it only made a little difference.  Though, my hair still looked better.

The next time I used it, I used more and this time it did help my hair look much better.  Now, does it look like freshly washed hair?  No.  Does it look better after using it? Absolutely!  My hair didn't look as greasy, and it definitely had more volume after I applied it.  The thing that I really liked is, you couldn't see it in my hair.  It blended in perfectly.  Plus, there was no mess!  Easy application and no mess, a great combination!  So, would I buy this?  Yes, I think it's a great product to have on hand for "those" days!  Plus, it smells fantastic!

Nice job, Shampowder!  Thumbs up!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Duncan Hines Decadent Cake Mixes and Glazes - mmmmm!

Decadent doesn't begin to describe these!  I am officially in love with Duncan Hines, I admit it freely!

I had the wonderful opportunity to review Duncan Hines new line of Decadent Cake Mixes and Glazes.  I got to try the Triple Chocolate Decadent Cake Mix (are you drooling yet?), the Apple Caramel Decadent Cake Mix (yes, it is as good as it sounds), and both glazes, Chocolate and Vanilla.

We opened the box and right away my daughter begged to make the cake.  She is actually turning into a wonderful cook, so I let her help.  We started with the Triple Chocolate Cake Mix (of course!).

Ha-ha!  You didn't think I'd post this on here, did you?  My sweet daughter doing a little Vanna White impression!

This cake mix is incredible!  I was in chocolate heaven!  I can honestly say this is better than any cake mix I've used before.  It really is decadent.  There are real chocolate chunks and rich fudge in a separate pouch that you mix into the cake mix.  (Okay, now I know you're drooling!)  After it came out of the oven, we drizzled the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake.  The glazes are really easy to use.  You pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds, shake it to mix it up, then pour over your creation!  Speaking of which.... here's ours:

Here were some of the family's reactions:  My hubby said:  "Honey, I love you!" (said with his mouth full of chocolatey goodness).  My son:  "Mom, can I have some more?  This is great!"  My daughter gave me two thumbs up since she couldn't talk with her mouth full!

A few days later I made the Apple Caramel Decadent Cake.  While it's not chocolate, this thing is delicious!  I loved that there were delicious pockets of apples and caramel.  So good!  I'm sorry there's not a picture of this one, but it disappeared too quickly!  My son didn't even wait for the glaze.  He was snitching it before it was even out of the pan!  Our home smelled amazing while it was cooking!  Helpful hint:  If you're selling your home, bake the Apple Caramel Decadent Cake right before someone comes to see it.  The smell is incredible!

I love these new mixes and glazes!  They will definitely be my "go-to" mixes now!  Way to go Duncan Hines!  Now excuse me while I have another piece of cake!

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Little Too Much Nature, part two

Okay, you know from previous posts that I'm not a big fan of snakes.  Now, I know that they're useful (some of them) and I know that most of them are harmless, but... still not a fan.  They give me the willies, they really do.  Side note.... I wonder if seeing a human gives them the willies?  Hmmm....

So, last night I'm on the run trying to fit 100 things into 99 minutes worth.  I learned that trick from my mom!  I open the garage door and load the passenger seat with all the things I need to do, part of a meal into a friend, returning a paint tray, book for another friend, a thank you gift for someone else, well... you get the picture.  I slam the door and start to head around the front of the car when what do I spy?  Oh yes, a snake.  Not just a little baby snake. A great big 4 foot king snake!  Do you know why that snake is 4 feet?  I'm sure it's the same king snake that was feasting on a gopher snake mentioned in a previous post.

We come face to face, I let out quite a squeal and freeze in my tracks (okay, I admit it, I jumped back a little!).  Then I realize my garage door is wide open and that's the direction the humongous snake is heading.  So I glare at said snake and tell it to "Shoo"!  It didn't like to be told to "Shoo" so it reared back like it was going to strike.  So, what to do?  Back away and let it go in my garage where I will never be able to set foot in again knowing the snake is hiding in there, or stand my ground.  I chose to stand my ground!  (Which consisted of turning around and running as fast as I could in the house, hollering for my husband to save me from the snake and then gingerly running back to confront said snake and stop it from going in the garage.  Whew....  are you exhausted from the mental picture?

Thankfully, snakey decided my retreat was a good time to retreat himself.  When I came back out he was heading into the nearest gopher hole.  My husband was thrilled because he knows that means less gophers.  Me, not so thrilled because that means said snakey is still lurking somewhere in my front yard.

All day I have gingerly gotten into and out of the car always vigilant, always watchful.  Do you think snakey is doing the same thing, watching out for the crazy redhead?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beecology Review

You know me... always on the lookout for the "latest and greatest"!  Well, I found a great new product I want to tell you about.  The company is called Beecology (fun name!) and they make the coolest beauty products!

Here's an introduction from their website :

So how did we become a well known distributor of natural bath and body products, including: all natural shampoo and conditioner products, all natural soaps, and all natural lip balms?
About four years ago a co-worker of mine asked if he could put a beehive at my family farm. I said yes, thinking I would bear no responsibility, but (here it comes) after two weeks his wife became pregnant and he told me he couldn't tend to them. I was a beekeeper by default. At first I couldn't believe I would be taking care of bees, but I soon became fascinated with bee culture and science.

I started to learn about bees and attended workshops at The Ohio State University agricultural campus. Beyond enjoying the science of bees, just the act of tending to bees gave me time to reflect. It became a very cathartic activity. And I started to realize that the world of bees imitated our life on earth. The tiniest changes in the environment are reflected in the bees' environment, which led me to think about the foods we eat and the chemicals we use and the impact these outside factors have on bees and on us.
Natural body care products from nature’ s impressive body of work. 
Family-made small-batch hair, skin and lip products.
Some may feel that in this culture of consumerism and consumption that it may sound like disingenuous claptrap to claim that we did not create Beecology to make money. Think what you will, but we do donate 10% of our profits to charities. We do engage in business practices that are not necessarily the most profitable such as bending over backward to use natural, sustainable ingredients in every product.
So, does this stuff work?  I say a resounding Yes!  Beecology generously sent me samples of their Shampoo, Conditioner, Grapefruit and Lemongrass Body Wash,  and their lip balm.  Love, love, love them all!

Let's start with the Lemongrass Body Wash.  I love this stuff! The smell is a light citrus smell and reminds me of our citrus grove.  My skin felt clean and moisturized afterward. The scent made me feel refreshed and ready to face the day!  This is definitely a repeat buy for me!

Now, on to the Shampoo and Conditioner... Also great stuff!  My hair actually felt silky afterward!  I have very fine, limp hair (gasp, I said that out loud!) and this shampoo didn't leave my hair flat.  It actually seemed to hold it's style a little longer.  I've been trying to think of words to describe the smell, and I can't, except that I really like it!  I can tell you that it's Sulfate-Free, and has all these wonderful natural ingredients, but you can read about it here.  The important thing is my hair is clean, conditioned, looks great and smells great! 

The Lip balm now has a permanent place of residence in my purse so I can have access to it at all times!  Though, my daughter keeps trying to snag it from me, cuz she likes it too.  I've got to keep an eye on her!

Thanks, Beecology for making great products and for introducing them to me!  You definitely have a new customer!

Disclosure:  Beecology generously provided me samples of the above mentioned products.  The opinions are all my own, and free of charge!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That Time of Year

Oh, you thought I was going to talk about Fall, or the cooler weather, or Halloween.... nope!  It's that time of year where I want to fix, paint or replace just about everything in my house.  I do this every year, the weather starts to cool and I'm in the mood!  Well, my current project I want to tackle is my kitchen table and my rickety old chairs.  Do I fix them, sand them and paint them?  Or do I shop for dining room chairs ?  Decisions, decisions....
These are cute:
Or how about these:

StaphAseptic Review and Giveaway

I had the opportunity to review StaphAseptic First Aid Antiseptic and Pain Relieving Gel.  Guess what?  It works!  My son always has some injury on his body.  Due to his disorder he is constantly running into things, or stepping on things, or falling off things, or... well you get the picture.  Another problem is, he can't really feel that it hurts unless it's a broken bone, then he tells me, "Mom, this hurts!" as he points to an obviously fractured elbow.  Long story for another time....

So suffice it to say, that we put StaphAseptic through its' paces. The thing I liked is that it wasn't greasy like some other antibiotic ointments.  My son dislikes Bandaids intensely, so non-greasy is a big selling point for me.  It does have an antiseptic smell to it, but I kind of liked it (yes, I'm weird like that).  When I used it on an infected hangnail, it definitely relieved the pain and the infection seemed to heal faster than normal.

My son is currently sporting Staphaseptic on several wounds.  It's his "go-to" medicine now.

According to the website:

StaphAseptic® First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Relieving Gel

   StaphAseptic $1.00 coupon
Protection from skin infections...
Applied to minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions, StaphAseptic® can help prevent skin infections caused by bacteria such as MRSA, staph, and other germs, and contains Lidocaine for effective pain relief.
StaphAseptic is available in a 1 oz. tube, 2 oz. tube or single use packets.
Use StaphAseptic as part of a complete staph prevention program to help protect you and your family from skin infections.
Staph Prevention Program:
  • Treat and cover wounds
  • Don't share personal items (like towels)
  • Shower after physical activity
  • Properly clean gear and equipment
  • Keep hands clean
  • Consult your physician for all active wounds
If you think you may have a skin infection, contact your physician immediately.  Staph bacteria, including MRSA, can cause skin infections that may look like a pimple, boil, or ingrown hair and can be red, swollen, painful, or have pus and other drainage.  Serious infections may cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, or even death.

Now for the fun part:  StaphAseptic has generously offered a tube for one of you lucky readers! Woot!  Woot!

Mandatory Entry:

Just leave me a comment!  How easy is that?  Please include your email if it is not visible in your profile (jane smith at gmail dot com)

Extra Entries:

Visit Staphaseptic and tell me something you learned from their website.
Follow my blog
Follow me on Twitter

Contest ends on Wednesday, October 20th.  Winner will be picked randomly from all correct entries and will be notified by email.  Winner has 48 hours to respond, or sadly, another winner will be picked.  Contest is open to residents of the U.S. ages 18 and over.  I will notify the winner by email and the prize will be shipped directly from the sponsor.

Disclosure:  StaphAseptic has generously offered a product for me to review and is sponsoring the  giveaway.  The opinions expressed are all my own, and free of charge!

This contest is now closed and the winner has been notified!  Thanks again to all who entered!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Juno Baby Giveaway!

This contest is now closed!  Congratulations to Kelly!
Thanks to all who participated!

I have the wonderful opportunity to be a brand ambassador for Juno Baby!  What is Juno Baby?  I'm so glad you asked!

Juno Baby is a children's brand that is centered around beautiful, original music.  Created by classical composer and mom, Belinda Takahashi, Ph.D., Juno Baby is intended to enliven young children musically and inspire them creatively.

Juno and her puppet friends sing, play and learn in a series of vignettes created to instill a lifelong love of music in children.  Featuring original music performed by a live orchestra, Juno baby addresses overcoming childhood fears, the importance of friendship, problem solving skills, and creating music from things found the world around you.

Now here's the especially cool thing; for every Juno product purchased, the company donates a very special music education DVD to a child in need through their One for All! Program!  I told you it was cool!

I really wish my kids had Juno baby products when they were younger.  I'm impressed with the whole concept and the quality of the music, the DVDs, the whole product line!  You know I'm a big music lover, and anything that can introduce music to children is a huge plus in my book!

Now for what you've been waiting for!  Juno Baby has generously provided me with some wonderful products to giveaway!  Woo hoo!

This package includes Indie's Great Teddy Bear Hunt DVD, Way to Go, Juno! DVD, Juno's Rhythm Adventure DVD, Juno's Musical ABCs Board Book, and the Super Duper Deluxe Edition! Juno Baby CD!  Wow!

Mandatory Entry:  Just leave me a comment (preferably a nice one!).  Please include your email address if it's not visible in your profile (jane smith at gmail dot com)

Extra Entries:  Leave a comment for each extra entry

Signup for the Juno Baby Newsletter (it's free!)
Become a follower of my blog
Follow me on Twitter

Contest ends Thursday, October 14, 2010.  The winner will be picked randomly from all correct entries and notified by email.  The winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.  Contest is open to residents of the US, ages 18 and over.

Disclosure Policy:  Juno Baby generously offered me the products for the giveaway!  The opinions are all my own and free of charge!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seamless Socks - Review and Giveaway

 Congratulations to Kimberly, she's the lucky winner!  
Thanks to all who participated!

As some of you know, my sweet son has Sensory Processing Disorder.  One of our daily battles is keeping socks on this guy!  He keeps them on long enough to get on the school bus, but they are off the minute that door closes.  His teachers at school say he won't keep his shoes on either.  Well, I am happy to report that we've finally found a product to solve that!

Smart Knit Kids Seamless socks! These things are amazing!  I was sent two pairs to test.  My son immediately ripped open the packages and the socks went right on his feet.  Can you tell from this picture what his reaction is?

He loves these socks!  They really are seamless, they really are smooth, and the really do stay in place.  They live up to their claim!  Heck, I wanted a pair (or two or three) for myself!  Now here's the really cool part... My son calls these his "sensory socks".  Every time he puts shoes on he asks for his "sensory socks".  He will not put on shoes without these socks on his feet!  That is huge coming from a boy that was anti-sock before!  I will definitely be purchasing many more pairs!

These socks come in little kid and big kid (up to adult) sizes.  They come in a variety of colors!  I'm now a big fan of the seamless socks!  Thanks SmartKnitKids for coming up with a wonderful product.  Just like my son, I give it a big "thumbs up"!

Would you like a pair for yourself?  SmartKnitKids has generously offered one of my readers 3 pairs of these great socks!  Your choice of size and color!  How do you win these, you ask?  Well, let me tell you...

Mandatory Entry:

Visit SmartKnitKids and tell me in a comment what colors and size you would choose.  Please make sure to leave your email address in the comment if it is not visible in your profile (jane smith at gmail dot com).

Extra Entries:

Leave a comment for each of the following that you do:

Become a follower of my blog (1 entry)
Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)

Contest ends Wednesday, October 13th.  The winner will be picked randomly from all correct entries and notified by email.  The winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be picked.  This contest is open to residents of the US, ages 18 and over.  I will notify the winner by email and the prize will be shipped from the sponsor directly.

Disclosure:  SmartKnitKids generously sent me the product for review and is sponsoring the giveaway.  The opinions expressed are all my own and free of charge! 
This Product Was a Free Giveaway
Sponsored by Tomoson.