Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Farewell to All of My Readers

I began "Cake Mom" on January 3, 2010 as a way to chronicle my trials and tribulations as a cake decorator. Over time, the blog turned into a product review and giveaway blog. This was, I admit, a whole lot of fun.  It is also a whole lot of work. To be honest, blogging would take me at least 2 hours a day.  I work full time, love to work out, still decorate cakes, and have a family. Somehow, I was able to balance it all. Recently, however, I decided to go back to school so that I could advance my career.  

I know that getting a second Master's Degree is going to be very time consuming and something has to give.  After much consideration, I decided that letting go of this blog was the only option that really made sense. So, I am signing off to pursue bigger and better things in life.  I may be back some day, but in case I am not I wanted to thank each and every one of my loyal readers who have stuck with me and read Cake Mom through the years.  

Thank you!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

SOPHi by Piggy Paint Review

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The best part of Mother's Day is spending some quality time with my children. My daughter is 9 and, although I know it won't last, she wants to be "just like mom". She got the same hairstyle as mine, she sometimes likes to color coordinate with my outfits, and she loves it when I do our nails. My son, on the other hand, likes to complain when I do our nails because he can't stand the toxic scent of the nail products - and I can't blame him!

When Bella was younger, I did use Piggy Paint products on her. The line of nail products was designed for young girls and they are completely non-toxic, are kid-friendly, and virtually odorless.  I was always happy with the quality of the Piggy Paint products (and even used the polish myself at times) so I was excited to hear that Piggy Paint has introduced a line of products for adults!

The SOPHi line for adults allows health-conscious women to have a worry-free manicure with no toxic chemicals. The natural nail polish is also odorless and hypoallergenic. This advanced water-based formula provides a safer alternative to chemical-laden solvent-based polish.

For maximum durability, SOPHi is also launching their PRIME + SHINE + SEAL System. This revolutionary Primer + Sealer in one helps with chip resistance, and the Shine Topcoat offers additional scratch resistance. When applied with SOPHi's 4 step system (Prime + Color + Shine + Seal), this water-based formula easily competes with standard nail polish durability. Though this polish can be removed with any standard remover, SOPHi offers an acetone-free, low odor Remover Gel that stays in place on the nail for easy removal. 

Review:  My daughter has been very upset that I am ending this blog, so it was special to her to have the opportunity to work with me on one last review. Fitting for Mother's Day weekend, we took to the challenge of giving ourselves manicures and pedicures with some Piggy Paint and SOPHi products were were sent. 

The Remover Gel was odor-free, which made me very happy since I truly cannot stand the smell of nail polish remover. I quickly realized that it only works with the SOPHi products though. I was unable to remove the nail polish I already had on my nails, but when I tested it later with the SOPHi products, it did a nice job of removing it from my nails.  

My nails are quite damaged from no routinely using a clear coat underneath my colored polish, so I was happy to see the primer. It applied smoothly and dried really quick so I could move on to painting my nails. I absolutely love the super bright pink color of the SOPHi polish that they sent me. It is the perfect shade for summer!  Two coats were necessary and then I topped with the seal.  My daughter loved the color so much, we had matching manicures.  I also painted our toes with the Piggy Paint colors. These were also bright, with a hint of shimmer and the polish was easy to apply.

Unfortunately, the SOPHi polish did not hold up very well. By the end of the day, both of our manicures had chips on almost every nail. I also noticed in the sunlight, that the color appeared streaky.  It was a shame because I really do love the color! The Piggy Paint seemed to hold up a bit better.  I still do appreciate the non-toxicity of these products. The SOPHi line would still be ideal for someone who paints their nails on a daily basis. I tend to paint mine every 3 days, so I need a polish that is going to last a little longer. 

Buy it here: You can shop for Piggy Paint and SOPHi products on the Piggy Paint website.

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

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Last Review & Giveaway on Cake Mom!: Renuzit Pearl Scents!

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Renuzit Pearl Scents

After smelling the beautiful scents of spring, I realized that my house needs a little help getting a nicer aroma. With two kids and two dogs and a house that was closed up tight during the winter, my home is less than fresh. Renuzit has a new line of Pearl Scents that were designed to bring fabulous scents into your home with a more modern look. 

Renuzit Pearl Scents are available in the following aromas:
  • Blue Sky Breeze
  • Serenity
  • Sparkling Rain
  • Tranquil
  • Seductive Pineapple

I was given the opportunity to review the Sparkling Rain scent. I love design of the container. The wrapper can be easily removed so the it can fit in with your decor. I really love that the odor neutralizing scent is released without the needs to flames, batteries, or plugs - making it safe for families with children and pets! I do enjoy the scent and I tested it out by placing it in a closed off room where my dogs tend to congregate. The next morning when I opened the door, I smelled nothing but the fresh scent of Renuzit - no pet odor at all!  This product is truly great and I can't wait to give more of the scents a try.

Win it here: This is probably my very last giveaway ever since Cake Mom is coming to a close (tears!), I am making this one extra easy on you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The Renuzit brand provided me with a sample of Renuzit Pearl Scents  in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Martha Clyne Year Round Down Alternative Comforter Review

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I know people can be finicky about their pillows, but for me it is all about the comforter. There is nothing like snuggling up in a comfy blanket at night to help set the tone for bedtime! The Martha Clyne Year Round Down Alternative Comforter was designed to give you ultimate comfort all year. Poly microfiber is a super-fine thread that allows for an extremely tight fabric weave so there's no possibility of the fill poking through, even after long use. The resulting fabric is also as soft to the touch as silk, a luxurious addition to your bed. Plus, it is machine washer and dyer safe!

Aside from a good night's sleep, my primary concern this time of year is reducing my allergies. There is no goose down in this comforter to trigger allergies and, instead, is made with a microfiber filling. Since many people are allergic to goose down (and since I am allergic to just about everything I come in contact with, I assume I am probably one of these people), a poly microfiber filling is a nice alternative. It provides the same fluffiness and body heat retaining properties as down without unnecessary allergens.

I absolutely love the soft feel of this comforter. I have used real down in hotels and, quite honestly, this felt just as comfortable to me! I have a problem with night sweats but cannot stand to sleep without blankets and this did a great job of helping regulate my body temperature. It was a great size and I could not find any imperfections in the stitching.  I appreciate that it is allergy-friendly since I suffer from terrible allergies this time of year! By only complaint is the color. It is bright white, which is fine for me because I shower in the morning. My husband, on the other hand, showers in the morning and it was only a matter of a couple of days before the perfect, bright white was no longer perfect.  I am grateful that it is machine washable, I would have just preferred a darker color. 

Buy it here: You can purchase the Martha Clyne comforter from Amazon for under $50! 

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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Glow Stick Bracelets Review

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Last year, I had a great time at the "Color Run" and have already signed up for some fun runs this year. My first race, "The Glow Run",  is at the end of May! The race takes place at night and the concept is to wear as much glow in the dark gear as you can.  I am so excited and was thrilled to see a set of 100 Glow Sticks offered through Amazon so I could treat the entire team.

Since the Glow Sticks are sold on Amazon I was thrilled to be able to use my Prime membership and get these babies in just 2 days. The tube that they come in keeps them from being damaged in the mail and while being stored.  I loved the bright assortment of colors which will match the tutu I purchased for the race! Yes, there is nothing like glow sticks to help bring out my inner child. 

With just a simple snap and shake, the glow feature is activated. The set also includes clasps to transform the sticks into bracelets. Although it was a little tricky, I was able to slide my hands through slowly so that I did not need help from others, but it was a little difficult. If you have larger hands, you will probably need to have someone else clasp these onto your wrists.  I am pleased with the brightness of the bracelets and found that they continued to glow for overnight so I am certain they will last through my race! 

I am so happy that I have these on hand for our race team. Just getting these is making me really excited for my first run of the season! These would also make great favors for birthday parties or accessories for the 4th of July. The possibilities really are endless. 

Buy it here: You can purchase Glow Stick Bracelets from Amazon for $14.95. That's less thank $0.15 a bracelet! 

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Smart Cookie Dog Treats Review and Giveaway!

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Smart Cookie Dog Treats out of Denver, Colorado offers pet owners the opportunity to create their own customized boxes of treats by picking the ingredients they want for their dog’s specific lifestyle, dietary needs, or preferences. Smart Cookie dog treats are made by hand using all human-grade ingredients like salmon, flax seed, quinoa, green beans and blueberries sourced 100% from the USA. They contain no wheat, no corn, no soy, no by-products and are free of preservatives. All of the meats are ground in-house, the grains and flax seed are milled for each batch, and fresh fruits and vegetables are used for optimal nutrition.

How it works: you select a protein, carbohydrate, and fruit and veggie combination that are the three key ingredients that go into your dog’s customized treats. The treats are then baked up and delivered right to your door!  
I absolutely love the idea of being able to make your own treats! I believe in eating healthy so, naturally, I want the same for my beloved pups! In addition, I am always on the lookout for treats and foods that are free from dyes which tend to aggravate my Bulldog's skin.  

In addition to customizable treats, they also offer some blends that were expertly designed to please your dog. These blends include:
  • The Prima Dogna:  Blend includes Salmon, which contains Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids to make their coat shine in the spotlight. Whole Ground Barley is a slowly digestible starch which will help keep them fuller longer and maintain their flattering figure. Carrots contain Vitamin A which is essential for healthy bones, coat, skin, eyes, and teeth, so the Hollywood dog cameras are sure to catch their pearly whites. Cranberries are rich in Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant and immune booster, so they are always red carpet ready.
  • The Survivor: This blend of Chicken, Oats, Blueberries and Green Beans has an army of antioxidants and supports an iron-clad immune system. Chicken is a high-quality protein containing amino acids and certain minerals for organ function and energy. Oats are known to protect against cancer, diabetes and heat-disease, as well as help lower cholesterol. Blueberries and Green Beans will arm your dog with vitamins and antioxidants which biochemically piggy-back on free-radicals (toxins) to keep them from harming your dog’s body.
  • The Sports Dog: Beef, containing B12, is necessary for normal processing of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body. The vitamin will help promote strong muscles.  This treat contains a high fat content (most concentrated form of food energy) to provide your dog with more than twice the energy of proteins and carbohydrates. Quinoa, a nutritional powerhouse contains lysine (an amino acid) which aids in the production of collagen formation and tissue repair, so after a quick drink of water, they are back in the action. 

When evaluating dog treats, I look for three things and The Survivor  treats I was sent to sample passed all three tests!
1. My Boxer, Butch, is a "treat snob" and will quickly spit out any treats that are not high quality. He is very picky but I am happy to say that, not only did he munch these up, he begged for more!
2. My Bulldog, Buttercup, throws up easily and cannot always digest treats. However, she ate these with no problem and really seemed to enjoy them! I certainly enjoyed not having to clean up a mess later!
3.  Gas....need I say more?  Some treats leave everyone in the house having to deal with serious gas problems but these gave my dogs no problem at all. Our noses say, "thank you"!

I could not be happier with these high quality treats and if my dogs could talk, I would bet they would agree!

Buy it here:  To create a box of personalized treats, pet owners can either visit Smart Cookie’s website or visit the Smart Cookie Cart “food truck for dogs” roaming around the dog parks, farmer’s markets and breweries of Denver, Colorado.

Win it here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Dial Baby and Dial Kids Review and Giveaway

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Dial Baby and Kids

Our family has been using Dial products for years and I was really happy to learn that they are offering a new line of personal care products for babies and young children! Developed with young childrens' delicate skin in mind, the line offers the following benefits:
  • Hypoallergenic
  • No added parabens
  • No artificial dyes
  • pH balanced
  • Developed with pediatric dermatologists
The line includes both a Dial Baby Body and Hair Wash as well as  Dial Kids Foaming Hand Wash.  I have really sensitive skin and eczema which has been flaring up lately so I decided to test the effectiveness of the Body and Hair Wash myself. It did a nice job of cleaning my skin and it was as gentle of a formula as promised. My skin felt nice and smooth and it did not aggravate my skin condition in any way. The Foaming Hand Wash was great as well. I prefer foaming hand soap because I think it is easier for my kids to thoroughly rinse.  Hands came out clean after use there was no noticeable residue left after washing! 

Win it here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Baby Body + Hair Wash and Dial Kids Foaming Hand Soap in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Worryless Wrinkles Giveaway

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Time to toss all those plumping products that promised to work. Say bye-bye to Botox. Make room for the only at home anti-frown line product you’ll need from now on –WorryLess. Worryless is indeed the stuff of movie magic. Developed by Hollywood makeup and special effects artists, it uses medical grade silicone to simulate skin—filling and concealing frown lines between your eyebrows instantly! WorryLess is the first and only topical dermal filler created to virtually erase glabella lines (the deep vertical lines between your eyebrows). If it works for A-list actors on high definition film, it will work for you!

Upon application, the silicone transforms from a liquid to a flexible rubber-like consistency, which simulates skin. It seamlessly fills in the deep crevices and because it is translucent, allows your skin to shine through. The result? Perfectly, smooth realistic looking skin.

WorryLess is:

· Waterproof (lasts approx. 36 hours)
· Non-irritating
· Non-invasive
· Clinically and dermatologist tested
· Allergy tested
· Pain-free
· Instant Results

How to Apply in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Prime. Brush on Primer over the areas you wish to conceal. Let it dry for 30 seconds.

Step 2: Apply. Apply a small amount to the skin using the pointed precision application tool. With a spatula tool or a finger, blend the edges into the skin.

Step 3: Texture. Place Skin Texture Pad over the area. Press around the edges. Hold in place for about a minute.


Buy it here: You can purchase Worryless for $50.

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.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wizard of Oz cake

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Happylight Energy Lamp Review & Giveaway

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I live in "Dreary Erie", Pennsylvania and seasonal affective disorder affects so many of us here during our long winter.  I work in mental health and we frequently encourage patients who have seasonal depression to try light therapy lamps.  The lack of sunlight can truly contribute to mood disturbances, even to those who spend most of their days indoors without access to the sun during the warmer months.  

Those of us who work in mental health know the benefits of light and we also know the mental benefits of exercise so it only makes sense to put these two elements together! 

The Happylight Liverty 10K Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp provides up to 10,000 LUX of full spectrum light (scotopic light measured at 10 inches), the highest recommended output for addressing seasonal change, the "Winter Blues" or even the effects of shift work, jet lag, malaise or fatigue. Balanced Natural Spectrum Daylight taps the potency of light to gently cue your body to recalibrate and stabilize, naturally reducing fatigue and lethargy while improving focus. 

This time of year I am very eager to take my running outside; however, my allergies have kept me indoors so I was really happy to have the opportunity to try this lamp out during my workouts.  My inside routines include a mixture of treadmill running, using the elliptical, and doing strength training with occasional yoga practice.   The small size of the lamp made it portable so I could easily use it with each of my workouts. The lamp was quite effective in what is designed to so: give me energy and lighten my mood. I have been under quite a bit of stress lately and adding the lamp to my workout routines seemed to help enhance the euphoria I experience (thanks to the endorphin release) post-workout.  

Since the lamp works without having to be positioned directly at your face, using it during a workout is quite effective. With my strength training exercises, it was certainly much easier to get the benefits when I was on the floor but, because it is so small and light, it can be easily propped up on furniture or shelving so I can get the full benefit during the entire workout.  I have certainly benefited from using the lamp this spring and really look forward to using it during the winter when I hardly see sun at all!  $100 is truly a small price to pay for the mood benefits this lamp delivers and I am so happy that I now have it!

Buy it here: The Happylight lamp is available for purchase for around $100 from the Verilux website and 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.