Sunday, March 1, 2015

My Present for You Gift Boxes Review and Giveaway!


Pin It
Sponsored post*
Affiliate link



As you could probably guess, I love to give baked goods as gifts. To make the gift extra special, I prefer to have a nice presentation and I am always on the lookout for great bakery-style boxes. I received a great set of 10 glossy Gift Boxes from My Present for You to review! The complete set contains all you need to wrap up your presents, cupcakes, cookies & bakery Items or baby clothes. The set includes 10 white gift boxes (9x4.5 x4.5") plus 10 shiny butterfly pull bows and complimentary tissue paper. The high quality boxes are made of one piece with a deluxe white high gloss finish on the outside and a fine-looking matte white on the within. Boxes have a tuck top and a lock tab bottom and are shipped flat. 

I am quite happy with the quality of these boxes. The glossy exterior made the whole presentation quite elegant. They were very easy to put together and they stayed together perfectly without the need for additional reinforcements. I could have really used a visual tutorial for the butterfly bows. I have never used these before and I broke several of them before figuring out that you need to pull the interior ribbons to get the pretty effect.  I also wish the ribbon was just slightly longer so it would fit completely around the box. The boxes are definitely versatile and can be used for a variety of different gifts.  The size is perfect for my baking needs but I could see myself using these for a variety of other purposes as well. Since they are white, you could even decorate them to make them more festive! 






Buy it here: You can purchase My Present for You gift boxes from  Amazon.

Win it here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I was provided with the above mentioned product for the purpose of facilitating this post. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Last Chance: Justice League Vs Bizarro League Giveaway Ends 3/2


Monday is the last day you can enter to win this great LEGO Blu-ray combo pack. You can read my full review and check out the Bizarro Name Generator here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thank you



I wanted to thank everyone for the support over the past few days. My grandmother passed yesterday evening and I had the honor of holding her hand as she left this world.  

I used to think that living was hard. This experience taught me that dying is equally as hard.  Over the past few days, the circle of life really become evident to me. Through labor, she brought her two children into this world. This past week, we watched her labored breath as she tried to leave it. She held our hands, stroked our foreheads, and told us "everything will be alright" many times in our lives and then we were able to do the same at the end of hers. These past few days have been so difficult and it is amazing to me how I have been able to experience so many intense emotions: fear, pain, anxiety...and love. Love is the emotion that was strongest. Although it was  heartbreaking to see my grandmother in the end state, I felt blessed and honored that I was able to share the little time she had left with her and among my family who I love so dearly. 

I spent most of the day and several nights at her bedside. Part of me wondered if she knew I was there. I was terrified of leaving, afraid that I would not be there in the final moments. Yesterday, after taking a break, I returned to the hospital and it was not even 45 seconds after I walked in that she opened her eyes at me for the last time to begin the final process.  For the next five minutes, my family and I stroked her hands and hair, prayed, and watched her take her last breath.  I feel as though waiting for me to enter the room was her gift to me. Her way of saying "thank you" for being there through most of the time since the stroke. It was the greatest gift I have ever received. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Update

My grandmother had a massive stroke and it is probable that she will not be with us very much longer. I am going to take a little break from Cake Mom so I can be with her and my family during this difficult time. Thank you for your understanding. Be back soon....


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Neater Feeder Giveaway!

Pin It
sponsored


Last week you may have seen my review of this very cool dog feeding system: the Neater Feeder.  I love the look and that there are no messes! You can learn more and read my full review here. You can also check out Neater Feeder on Youtube for more great information. 

Now I am happy to announce that one of you will win one of these awesome feeders! 

Win it here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Last Chance: eb5 Facial Moisturizer Giveaway Ends Thursday!



Thursday is the last day you can enter to win this great anti-wrinkle cream from eb5! There will be 2 winners! You can read my full review here and enter to win below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's National Drink Wine Day: Woohoo! Jardesca California Aperitiva Review

Pin It
Sponsored post*

It seems like they make a "day" for everything from eating donuts to tools. These days all seem silly, but I am all for celebrating National Wine Day on February 18th! Thanks to Jardesca California Aperitiva, a new Sonoma-crafted wine and eau de vie-based aperitif, I get to celebrate in a very tasty way.

Created by longtime wine and spirits industry pros (blended by nationally-acclaimed SF mixologist/bartender, Duggan McDonnell) and inspired by the relaxed sophistication of the California alfresco lifestyle, Jardesca is the ideal marriage of vineyards and gardens: a balanced blend of sweet and dry.   It is As the first aperitif from California, Jardesca is an inspired take on the wine-based libation trend. Plus, it pairs perfectly with this season’s citrus.


Review:  I am far from a wine connoisseur, but I do enjoy an occasional glass of wine and was looking forward to trying this unique sounding drink. I loved the bottle itself which was beautifully decorated, setting the stage for a great experience.  It is meant to be consumed on ice with citrus. I must say that I was amazed at the complex taste of the wine which transformed into a variety of flavors on my palate. Jardesca did an amazing job of masterfully blending sweet and bitter ingredients to get the best of both worlds. Its aroma was as pleasant as the taste. I did find that I could only drink a small glass at a time. For one, the flavor, while bold and delicious, was a bit to overwhelming in larger quantities. Another reason is that it is quite strong and one glass made me quite tipsy (not that it takes much for me to get so these days).  Overall, I enjoyed the experience (yes, experience) of the wine and would be happy to serve it to guests....then again, I would be just as satisfied to keep it all for myself!

Buy it now:  Jardesca can be purchased from a variety of retail locations in California and can also be purchased online.


*I was provided with the above mentioned sample in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Basketball Hoop Cupcakes & Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Pin It


Affiliate links included
Here are some fun and easy basketball cupcakes you can make for end of season parties for your kids or, hello....March Madness! 

Basketballs & Backboards:
The basketballs were made out of cake balls. You can make cake balls one of two ways: by baking cake, crumbing it and then adding frosting and rolling them into shape or by using a Cake Pop Maker. I covered them with orange colored chocolate by melting the chocolate in a mug and then dipping the slightly frozen cake pops in the chocolate until well covered. Here is a tutorial further demonstrating the method for making cake pops. Rather than having the chocolate set on a stick, just placed the covered cake balls on a sheet of parchment paper.

The backboards were made out of pre-made cookies (you can also use graham crackers). I simply dipped a significant amount of the cookie into melted chocolate and then allowed the chocolate to set. You can make the red squares by piping red chocolate or buttercream. I made both the backboards and basketballs a few days ahead of time and placed them in the freezer to keep them fresh.



Decorating the cupcakes:
I had purchased some Wilton Basket Cupcake Wrapping Kits last year after Easter on clearance and found that the bottom portion of the baskets worked perfectly to create the look of a basketball hoop. It is always a good idea to stock up on baking supplies while they are on clearance and I was so glad I actually had these on hand!  At first, I iced the cupcakes with a lot of frosting but found that this created a huge mess when I added the embellishments and ended up having to scrape a lot off so I would recommend skipping the icing bags on this one and just frosting them with a knife or spatula. I placed the un-decorated ball and backboard onto the cupcake and then added the basketball details using a #2 Wilton tip. I had originally decorated the basketballs after I first covered them in chocolate but the fine details ended up falling off in the freezer so I would definitely recommend waiting until they are on the cupcake.


Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Frosting:
I used a new recipe this time that I found on Allrecipes.com (with some minor modifications included in the recipe below). It is quite rich and tasted delicious with my Oreo mousse filling (sorry, I can't share that recipe. I have to keep some for my secret stash!).

Ingredients
1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
2 & 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 cup hot fudge topping
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
Cream together the butter with the shortening.
Sift the cocoa with the powdered sugar and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together adding 1 tablespoon at a time of milk to keep the mixture smooth. 
Add the hot fudge topping and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and creamy. 


To Jump or Not to Jump? Jump Rope Workout with Naturalico (Review)


Pin It
Sponsored post*
Affiliate links

I have not jumped rope since I was a child. However, now that I am really into fitness I am always on the lookout for great cardio workout options and no one can deny the benefits of the good old fashion jump rope!  Since I am training for a wicked 10 mile obstacle course in the fall, I am always looking for a new challenge! 

Why jump rope?
- Short intense Jump Rope circuits are an effective way to burn both during and post workout
- Just 10 mins of jump roping can provide the same calorie burn as 30 mins of slow cardio
- Perfect for beginners, WOD's, Cross Fitness Training, Boxing, MMA Training and Much More!

 - Using a jump rope is a fun and effective way to exercise and can be used by serious athletes as well as work-out enthusiasts 

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite childhood activities to see how it would help with my training. The Naturalico Jump Rope has a number of benefits over a cheap plastic jump rope making it perfect for workouts: 


  • Has four high-grade metal ball bearings which promote faster turning of the rope and longer durability
  • Light weight
  • 10ft long cable that is adjustable for people of all heights
  • Nylon carrying bag
  • Lifetime manufacturer guarantee
Review: As much as I would love to fully integrate jumping rope into my workout routine, the frigid temperatures, several feet of snow, and low household ceilings are going to make me wait until the spring.  I was able to use it enough to get an idea of how well it will work for me once I can take this activity outside.  The last jump rope that I saw was my daughters: chunky ones with the plastic handles and braided ropes. So, I was really surprised with the sleek look and light feel of the Naturalico jump rope. 

Check out the sleek design:



I am only 5'4 so I definitely needed to adjust the height of the rope. There were easy to follow instructions that allowed me to make it the perfect length in less than a minute.  The handles are light and thin and very easy to grip. I was able to get a few jumps in and was happy that jumping rope is just like riding a bike - you can pick it back up no matter how long it has been!  I a definitely thrilled with the quality of this jump rope and I love that it easily wraps up in the included carrying bag.  Having this on hand makes me really excited for my spring-time workouts and I plan on using it as a warm up before my runs!  I am so glad that I have the opportunity now to bring some fun back into my workouts. 

Buy it here: You can purchase the Naturalico Jump Rope from  Amazon.

*I was provided with the above mentioned product for the purpose of facilitating this post. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Original Justice League vs Bizarro League Movie Giveaway

Pin It


Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s clumsy – but well-meaning – clone, Bizarro. Bizarro’s creation of the Bizarro League has caused confusion amongst the world’s greatest Super Heroes, but an even greater and mysterious threat may force the Justice League and Bizarro League to band together to defeat evil.

The LEGO Bizarro Name Generator App:
• Jen-Crush-Zarro-Mecca! Type in your name to reveal your Bizarro alter-ego - If you don’t like your name, press the refresh button or try again!  Mine is Jamie-Megaton-Zarro-Whip in case you were wondering!
• Watch the official trailer & click the box art to bring the Bizarro League home today!



Can't get enough of the LEGO fun? Check out these digital trading cards!!


Buy it here:You can purchase the Original Justice League vs Bizarro League movie here





Win it here:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Assets and prize included within this post provided by Warner Home Video