Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Last Chance: Sugar in the Raw Giveaway Ends 4/17

Thursday is the last day you can enter to win a fabulous Sugar in the Raw giveaway. You can read my full review here and enter to win below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lazy Lizard Yoga Mat Review and Giveaway!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
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I have been doing yoga for years and have encouraged and taught my children to do some poses as well. Both of them love how it keeps their backs in alignment and my daughter is always trying to work on her flexibility. The adorable Lazy Lizard Yoga Mat is a kid-sized mat that has 12 poses printed on the mat in simple line drawn style to help your little one achieve some classic and easy poses. Lazy Lizards Yoga Mats are created for a way for kids to "own" their practice.  There is even a place at the bottom of the mat that says "this mat belongs to___________." So it can be personalized. Its just the right size for them to roll up and carry themselves to the park, backyard, class, or friends house. The mats are 24W x 48L and just the right size for small bodies. They are eco- friendly and recyclable, free from toxins, PVC, latex, and natural rubber. Lazy Lizards Yoga mats, come in four different colors, blue, green, purple and lavender.

Review: My 8-year-old daughter was so excited to receive her very own yoga mat and she wasted no time in pulling out a marker to add her name. She needed no encouragement to try out the various poses on the mat. For the most part, the drawings were easy for her to follow though she was a little lost on a few of them. I was able to easily identify the intended pose (even with some of the name alterations to make them more kid-friendly) and after I demonstrated the pose, she was able to continue to follow the sequence on her mat with no help. 

Even without the illustrations, the mat was great.  The rubber was the same quality of my mat (if not better) and it stayed put nicely on the floor without slipping as my daughter worked through her poses. It also rolled up nicely making it easy to store. This is definitely a great mat for young ones!

Buy it here: You can purchase a Lazy Lizard Yoga Mat for $32 from the Lazy Lizard website. 

Win it here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Milk-Bone Brushing Chews Review & Giveaway (Includes Visa Gift Card!)

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Sponsored post*

Despite veterinarians’ recommendations for pet owners to practice regular brushing at home and schedule periodic professional teeth cleanings for their pets, more than 80 percent of dogs develop periodontal disease by 3 years of age, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. Now, new Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews™ make your dog’s daily oral care as easy a routine as your own. And the good news is, when fed daily, Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews™ are clinically proven to be as effective as brushing a dog’s teeth twice per week based on reduction of tartar build-up and bad breath. Essentially, with Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews™, now your dog can brush its own teeth!

About Milk-Bone Brushing Chews:

  • Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews were developed to transform at-home dental care for dogs, so that now your dog to brush his own teeth every day – just like you!
  • When fed daily, Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews are clinically proven to be as effective as brushing your dog’s teeth twice per week based on the reduction of tartar build-up and bad breath
  • Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews feature a specially designed 75 degree twist that helps the brushing nubs reach down to the gum line, even cleaning hard-to-reach back teeth
  • Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews are clinically proven to reduce tartar build-up, as well as freshen your dog’s breath, bringing you and your dog closer together
  • Milk-Bone® Brushing Chews are so effective that they have earned the trusted Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance, similar to the American Dental Association (ADA) seal seen on human dental products

Review: Brushing my dogs' teeth has never been an easy activity and my Boxer is starting to get bad breath. I was looking forward to trying this out to see how fresh their breath was after use, how clean their teeth looked, and was eager to see if my Bulldog (who tends to regurgitate almost every bone she is ever given) can actually digest these. I was happy with all three outcomes! I did find that my Bulldog had an easier time with the mini
treats but did okay with the larger ones as well. Both my Boxer and Bulldog loved these "treats". The design of the treat is great. There are nubs and ridges right on the bone than help clean the teeth and they were also designed to  fight tarter build-up, plaque, and bad  breath. One bone covers it all and my dogs love them - what more can you ask for? 

Check out my "snorting" Bulldog, Buttercup, enjoying her Milk Bone Brushing Chew:


Connect Here:
· Milk-Bone® Website
· Milk-Bone® Facebook Page
· Milk-Bone® Twitter Page
· Milk-Bone® Instagram

Win it here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The Milk-Bone® dog products, information and VISA gift cards have been provided by the Milk-Bone® brand.

Egg Dying Tips & McCormick Food Coloring Review

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Sponsored post*

Coloring Easter Eggs is a tradition for most American homes. Now that my kids are getting older, we are ready to start trying some new egg dying techniques (beyond just dipping the eggs in color). Rather than buying an egg dying kit, we decided to use McCormick food coloring and try out some of  their great egg dying tricks. 

I was given a box of their Assorted Food Coloring and Neon Food Coloring to use.  They have a really great egg dying guide that can be used to create your perfect colors and achieve some seriously fun designs.  For example, you can achieve a striped look by simply putting rubber bands around the egg before dipping in the dye!

 This is the first time we used food coloring to dye eggs and my kids were amazed at how vibrant the eggs were! The instructions on the box indicate that eggs should soak in the dye/vinegar/water mixture for 5 minutes  but my impatient kids were able to achieve amazing-looking eggs in far less time. They enjoyed trying the rubber band technique and were really proud of their eggs this year! 

I also had my kids decorate some Easter Egg cookies using the Neon Food Coloring and they created the most beautiful and festive colors for their cookies:

Our experience with McCormick Food Coloring was great and I don't think I will ever have to buy an eg dying kit again! 

*I was provided with product samples in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Purex Mom's Night Out Sweepstakes Announcement!

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Being a mom is the hardest job of all, but sometimes moms need a break too! That’s why Purex is celebrating Mother’s Day and the release of Sony’s new motion picture, Mom’s Night Out, by giving away a night out for you and up to five friends.

One Grand Prize Winner:
Limo service for the evening
Dinner at a nice restaurant
6 free movie tickets/passes
$100 bucks for movie snacks

10 runners up:
4 free movie tickets/passes

So get your BFFs together for a night out on the town, courtesy of the laundry BFFs from Purex, and enter for your chance to win today! Enter here! 

Posted as a Purex Insider. No compensation was received; however, posting enters me into a giveaway opportunity.

Macaroni & Cheese with Tomato-Basil Topping Recipe

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Macaroni & Cheese with Tomato-Basil Topping

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, divided
8 ounces dry elbow macaroni
10 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 eggs
4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray; add 1/4 cup bred crumbs, tilting to coat dish evenly
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Layer one-third of macaroni and shredded cheeses in dish. Repeat layers twice.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper; pour evenly over mixture. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over top.
4. Bake 55-60 minutes or until golden and set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle top with basil and diced tomatoes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Progress Toward My First 5K Update

I have decided to turn my life around and become healthier. I am working on getting off of a lot of my medications thanks to my healthier lifestyle, have been losing weight, and decided to run my very first 5K (Color Run) in August. I decided that blogging will not only help keep me on track but may also help inspire some of you to get healthy as well.

Here is my progress so far!
Weeks until my 1st 5K run: 16
Total weight loss (since January 2): 26
Progress this week: Ugh! I was sick last week for 2 days and thought it went away quickly Unfortunately, it was just laying dormant for a day and came back with a vengeance. I was worried that I would lose some of my progress so I tried to run and it was a huge mistake. I went 4 full days without a workout, was able to resume walking for a few days, and then started running again today. Lesson learned - I must take are of my body when I am sick!! 

My must-have this week was rest!!! 

Healthy Recipe of the Week: Cranberry Baked Granola

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Cranberry Baked Granola

This delicious alternative to store bought granola bars can be customized with whichever toppings you desire. With dried cranberries, they are only 86 calories her serving! This recipe makes 36.  

Cranberry Baked Granola
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups applesauce
1 banana
1/3 cup Agave (or honey)
5 cups quick oats
2 tablespoons flax seed
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 &2/3 cups skim milk
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or substitute toppings)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mash banana. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, and Agave together in a bowl. 
Grind flax seed.
Add oats, flax seed, cinnamon baking powder, and salt into the wet ingredients.
Pour in milk and combine well.
Place cupcake liners into muffin pans. Using an ice cream scoop, fill liners  with 1 full scoop of batter.
Add dried cranberries to the top.  
Bake 30 minutes. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Master Lock Document Storage Box Giveaway + Master Lock Vault Sweepstakes

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On average, Americans spend 13 hours filing their taxes, and nearly half of that time is dedicated to record keeping. Master Lock is providing consumers with tips to make filing less taxing this year, which include how to go digital with documents, password storage and more. One of these tools is the Master Lock Vault, a safe and secure online storage and organization system. Use the system year-round, via the website or by installing one of the free mobile apps for your Apple®, Android®, Kindle® or Nook® devices. Securely store and organize lock combinations, digital copies of your passport and social security card and other confidential data such as debit or PIN card numbers or online credit card account log-in information. Offering a high level of online security, the Master Lock Vault serves as a digital safe deposit box for quick and easy access to valuable information anytime, anywhere.

Master Lock "Tax Relief Rewards" Sweepstakes

An added bonus of utilizing the Master Lock Vault to organize the tax filing process this year is the chance to win $1,000 which can be used to supplement your tax refund, or help ease the burden of additional taxes owed. To enter, new users can register for a Master Lock Vault account at Once the account has been activated, users will receive an email containing the sweepstakes entry form. Existing Master Lock Vault users who have opted in for brand communications will receive an email with the sweepstakes entry form once the sweepstakes kicks off March 17. One entry will be accepted per person through April 16, when the sweepstakes closes, and five winners will be drawn at random. 

Master Lock Document Storage Box

• Locking file box
• 6" (15.2cm) x 13-1/2" (34.3cm) x 10-1/2" (26.7cm)
• Durable steel construction stands up to daily use
• Key lock to protect and secure your personal documents
• Includes 2 keys
• Duplicate keys not available
Best Used For:
• Cash Handling & Document Storage

Keeping  your tax documents organized can help you from year to year and it is advisable to keep these documents secure. I received a box and it is really great. My husband has been helping his brother manage some apartment complexes and keeping all of this information organized is essential. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to own a lock box that was both secure and mobile - things that are essential for the business!  It is about as lightweight as possible considering it is made of steel which helps because it can get heavier once the files are included. Even full, it is still easy to pick up and carry.  Hanging files fit into it nicely and there is enough room to fit quite a lot. It is constructed nicely and still looks brand new even being toted around in a pick up truck. This product is a great representation of Master Lock's high quality products! 

Buy it here: You can use the Master Lock store locator to find a retail location near you. The Document Storage Box has a retail price of $21.09 and is available at a discounted price through Amazon.

Win it here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Win a Myrtle Beach Family Vacation - Purex Sweepstakes!

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Ready to break to the beach? Win a trip for your family to Myrtle Beach, SC & Crown Reef Resort from Purex. Enter for your chance to send a family of four to Myrtle Beach, SC for a vacation full of sun & adventure at one of the top beach destinations in the country, and receive a year’s supply of your favorite Purex detergent!