I love iLuv! This fabulous line of products gets its name from Innovative Lifestyle Unquestionable Value. From speaker docks to earphones, from sync cables to mobile computing stations, from iMac to Kindle, this superstore of technology products will help you upgrade your life. They manufacture accessories and docking stations for all the Apple, Android, and Samsung phones and tablets. I received the Modern Sound iPod Speaker Dock to transform my little 32gb iPod Touch into a fabulous stereo!
I love the sleek design and the simple assembly means I plug the cord into the dock, plug it into the wall, and set my iPod Touch on the dock. I pushed the power button and my iPod informed me I needed one free download, then gave me the link. Twenty seconds later I was listening to my favorite songs. I am so pleased to have my favorite music in my kitchen now!
The sound is fabulous and the dock has playback controls (pause, back, forward) and volume controls on top, right in front of where I dock my iPod, for easy access, plus I can use the touch screen if I prefer. I couldn't be happier with it. I totally recommend iLuv products and even though the delivery service tried its best to completely destroy my shipping box that was clearly marked FRAGILE, my speaker dock was securely packaged and was in perfect working condition.
Be sure to check out the new iLuv Peanuts Collection of cases for all your devices! You can find all their wonderful products at http://www.i-luv.com and find them on Facebook and Twitter too.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
The Austin area has already seen a few deaths from West Nile Virus, so it's very important that we protect ourselves from mosquito bites in the summertime. I've always hated the spray on stuff because it's sticky, stinky and I always manage to get it in my eyes.
Off has a wonderful new Clip-On that works like a little fan to help keep those pesky mosquitoes away! Each Clip-On refill last for a full 12 hours and the refill is just a little pad that goes inside the Clip-On. It's so simple and it works much better for me than the sticky, stinky sprays.
I love the designs too! There is an American flag design which my husband claimed immediately and a pretty pink and purple floral design that was obviously mine. There is also a camouflage design and a vintage flag design. Plus, the repellent inside is completely odorless!
The Off Clip-On has allowed me to spend much more time outdoors with the kids without worries about mosquito bites. It clips on my pocket and provides me with head-to-toe protection. Late evenings on our deck have been much nicer too. It works best for stationary activities like reading a book on the porch or gardening in the backyard. When you turn it on, you have to wait a few minutes for the product to build a barrier of protection against mosquitoes.
Check out KeepsBugsOff.com for a list of even more great tips for preventing bug bites and check out all the great products from Off. Look for their products in your local retail stores and make sure you and your family are well-protected this summer! Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Summertime Fun Tips from Mom and Outdoor Entertaining Expert Jeanne Benedict:
· Outdoor Movie Party: A movie party in the backyard is perfect for guests of all ages, and is easy to create with pillows and blankets, a DVD movie projector (rent of invest in one) white outdoor wall, sheet, or a large pop-up movie screen, which you can also rent, to show the film on.
· A Night Under the Stars: When you have friends and family over, engage in a little star-gazing and see if you can spot some constellations other than “The Big Dipper.” Perhaps a friend or neighbor has a telescope you could use or now would be a good time to invest in one of your own with a star-gazing guide book!
· Backyard Campout: Enjoy your backyard even more with a backyard campout! Pitch a tent in one area of your yard and build a fire a good distance from the tent in a free-standing fire pit purchased from a home improvement store. Tell ghost stories and sing along while your musical friend plays an acoustic guitar. Pick up the OFF!® Clip-On™ Mosquito Repellent – now available in cool designs including American flag design, camouflage and floral designs. OFF!® Clip-On™ provides campers head-to-toe protection up to 12 hours while hanging out at the campsite!
· Summer Pet Party – Invite your four-legged friends and their pet parents to your home for a quirky get together! (Of course, you’ll want to make sure that all pets get along!) Give doggy-bags or cat-packs with party favors like a travel food and water dish along with a few little toys. For décor, go with animal print tablecloths, plates, and napkins for the people to use when enjoying a simple menu of finger sandwiches, salads, and cupcakes.
Did you know Sam's Club sells fresh produce? I had no idea! I haven't been in a Sam's Club in a while, so I was really excited to go see what they have to offer. I was very surprised to see all the aisles of delicious produce at such great savings! Fresh fruit has become expensive these days so the deals at Sam's Club were wonderful to see.
Everything was very fresh and I was thrilled to see no fruit flies hanging around the produce. I've been to a few places where the presence of fruit flies has made me walk away from the department. I filled up my cart with some scrumptious strawberries, perfect pears, and beautiful bananas. Sam's Club even offers a 200% guarantee for fresh meat, produce and bakery items!
I added a bag of red apples, a seedless watermelon, and a huge package of blueberries, then waited in a very short checkout line. I spent less than $30 on all these fruits and using the very appreciated $25 gift card from Sam's Club, I got to use my brand new Sam's membership card (with the very high quality, cough, digital photograph on it). Need tips on selecting summer fruits? Check out Sam's Tips!
Waiting for me at home was a beautiful cookbook from Sam's Club called Fresh, Fast and Fabulous (2nd ed.) that I received in the mail (and I get to give away one to one of my readers too!). My challenge from Sam's Club was to create my own Fruit Cooler though, so I was already dreaming of delicious combinations. My Fruit Cooler creation is called Blueberry Dreams!
Blueberry Dreams Fruit Cooler: Puree in blender one cup chocolate almond milk, one fresh peeled banana, 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, 1 cup fresh blueberries, and three ice cubes for two minutes. Pour into glass and enjoy!
What Fruit Cooler would you make from the fruits I purchased? Would you have chosen different fruits? What to do with all these wonderful produce items now? A blueberry cobbler sounded like a great idea so I modified a recipe I found online.
Blueberry Cobbler: Mix 2.5 cups fresh blueberries with 2tsp vanilla extract and 2tsp lemon juice. Mix in 1cup sugar and 1/2tsp flour, pour into greased 8x8 baking dish. Melt 1tbsp butter and drizzle over blueberry mixture. In another bowl, mix 1 3/4 cup flour with 4tsp baking powder and 6tbsp sugar. Then add five tbsp of butter, one tbsp at a time. Add 1 cup of milk and stir. Let dough sit covered for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F. Scoop batter onto blueberries with a spoon. Then in a small bowl mix 2tsp sugar and a pinch of ground cinnamon, sprinkle over the top of batter. Bake for 30 minutes, then cool.
We added a dollop of whipped cream to each serving of our warm blueberry cobbler and it was delicious! I think it's the best dessert I've ever made. The entire cobbler was gone in less than 24 hours. That's what happens when you have teenage boys. (On a side note, the pears I bought at Sam's Club are the most delicious pears I've ever had.) I can't wait to try out the many recipes in my Fresh, Fast and Fabulous Cookbook! Want to win a copy of the cookbook? Enter below! Disclosure: I received a year long membership, a gift card, and a cookbook at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Win the Sam's Club Fresh, Fast and Fabulous Cookbook, 2nd edition!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and live in the US. This giveaway ends at midnight ET on 8/25/2012. Good luck!
Kiplinger.com Offers Ways to Build, Maintain, and Improve Your Credit Score: Free Live Web Chat on Kiplinger.com on Thursday, August 9th at 1-2pm EST
WHAT: Building, improving and maintaining your credit score is very important for every future purchase you will make. Ask Kiplinger credit experts Joan Goldwasser and Jessica Anderson questions about how to fix poor credit, raise your score and more. Free Web chat happens from 1-2pm EST on Thursday, August 9th.
WHO: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance credit experts, Joan Goldwasser and Jessica Anderson
WHEN: Thursday, August 9, from 1pm to 2pm ET (LIVE)
I'm usually a brunette, but I decided to add some red to my hair for the fall season. My husband was thrilled. He loves it when I go red. My sister Jennie recently joined Avon and suggested I try their new Advance Techniques Professional Hair Color. Her website http://jkuebler.avonrepresentative.com/ has this great new Virtual Makeover application where you type in the color hair you have and the color hair you want, and it tells you exactly which hair product to buy!
Here is my "before" color, lovingly referred to as "dog-poop brown" by my sister Jennie ever since I was a kid. The Avon Hair Color kit has a pre-treatment step of a conditioner applied to the ends of the hair to strengthen and protect it. I have pretty dry hair so I appreciated this step very much. My old hair coloring product didn't include the pre-treatment. The other thing I really liked about the Avon hair color kit was that the dye mixture is a liquid and a cream mixture. It didn't run down my face and neck like the old one did. After 30 minutes, I hopped in the shower and rinsed it out, applied the post-conditioner for two minutes and then rinsed that out. Here is my "after" color - medium mahogany brown!
I also put pictures side by side so you can see the difference better. The best part is my hair is much softer now! My husband also loves my new color as much as I do. I will definitely be using the Avon hair color from now on. You can buy Avon Advance Techniques Professional Hair Color and many other wonderful Avon beauty products at http://jkuebler.avonrepresentative.com/. Plus you can enter to win an Avon Hair Color Kit below! Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Enter to win Avon Advance Techniques Professional Hair Color!
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and live in the US. This giveaway will close at midnight ET on 8/26/2012. Good luck!
Hope Springs is sweet, sad, funny, charming and real. It's the story of a couple, Kay and Arnold, played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, who are far too settled into their long time marriage. On a quest to spice up their life, she pays for a week-long trip for them to Great Hope Springs to visit a marriage specialist, played by Steve Carell. Her husband is quite the grump, not wanting to go, not wanting to talk about his feelings, yet not wanting to disappoint his wife. Arnold is grudgingly set in his ways, while Kay is lonely and tired of sleeping in separate bedrooms. We follow along through their week of challenges, trying to find that spark they once had, while her husband resists the entire time. It's a great story!
My husband and I laughed so much during this movie. It's a fabulous date movie, especially for married couples. Steve Carell does a great job in this semi-serious role; Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones have a great chemistry together. We really loved the show! Disclosure: I viewed the movie at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
I took the opportunity on our "date night" to see the pre-screening of Hope Springs to wear my brand new limited edition Holly dress from Karina Dresses. It was the perfect choice, soft and comfortable, sweet and sexy, bold and fun. I got several compliments at the movie too! When my husband walked into the house after work to see me dressed to go out, his eyes opened up and his smile grew wide. He also insisted on a little "model shoot" before the movie. Somehow I don't see the two of us ever needing marriage counseling!
Okay, girls, here are bigger photos, at your request!
Disclosure: Dress provided at no charge by Karina Dresses.
As a childcare provider, I've owned many doctor kits in the past 25 years and the New Sprouts Cure It! My Very Own Doctor Kit from Learning Resources is superior to all the others. Designed for little hands ages two and up, these durable pieces hold up through constant pretend play. My preschoolers found no flaws in the design and no way to destroy the pieces.
The doctor bag is a soft bag that stands up on its own, has a wonderful velcro closure, and easy to grip handles. All the pieces fit easily inside and even my two year olds can clean up it quickly. It has "cured" the kids in my group countless times and is one of their favorite toys.
It is so essential that children have role playing toys like this doctor kit, especially since they all visit the doctor often and must sometimes even go to the hospital. Being as curious as Curious George, they are willing to explore the doctor tools and become more comfortable with the "real" doctor visits. I highly recommend the Learning Resources educational toys! Enter to win below! Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
If I look happy to be holding this new Hoover WindTunnel Air Vacuum, then it's an understatement. I am totally ecstatic! Since I have a daycare in my home, plus teenagers, plus a big dog, my vacuum tends to get used a whole lot. My house is a two-story house and one of my biggest complaints has always been carrying heavy vacuums up and down the stairs. My second biggest complaint is how hard it is to vacuum the stairs.
My new Hoover WindTunnel Air Vacuum is the most lightweight vacuum I've ever picked up. It's also more compact but the bagless compartment holds much more than the least three vacuums I've owned. The cord is long enough that I can do the entire downstairs from one outlet.
One of my favorite features is the brush button. I can go from carpet to floor, from rotating brush to just suction, with the push of a single button. I vacuumed my kitchen floor in just a few minutes and picked up every crumb and every piece of dog hair. It also vacuums closer to the baseboard than anything else I've ever used.
Best of all, the hose on the Hoover WindTunnel Air Vacuum is long enough that I can leave the vacuum cleaner at the bottom of my stairs and vacuum all the way up to the top stair with the hose and attachment. It is by far the best vacuum I have ever owned! I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review, but my opinions are entirely my own.
You can find out more about the Hoover WindTunnel Air Vacuum at hoover.com.