5/24/13

Coco Fresco Coconut Water - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Have you ever tried coconut water? I did once and it was slimy and gross. But since my blogging job is to try new products and tell you about them, I agreed to try Coco Fresco Coconut Water. Made by Australian based Mode Drinks, Coco Fresco is 100% natural and made purely from ripe green coconuts from Southeast Asia's tropical forests. This coconut water is fat-free and cholesterol-free, rich in potassium and naturally full of electrolytes.
Coco Fresco comes in several flavors - Natural, Strawberry, Watermelon, and Passion Fruit. My sampling package contained two Natural and two Strawberry. I popped them into my fridge so they'd be nice and cold when I tried them. Pouring them into clear glasses, I first noticed the clean, clear look to the coconut water. I love these coconut waters! They are crisp and refreshing with a unique tropical taste. I like the Strawberry a bit more than the Natural, but I can't wait to try the other two flavors! I imagine they would all be awesome for mixing with alcohols or in fruit smoothies, although the Coco Fresco was so good that there wasn't enough left over for me to try any recipes. This is the perfect summertime drink and I think I actually prefer it over the lemonade I usually reach for when it's hot outside.
Coco Fresco is so new to the USA that they are still building their website, but you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you can be first to hear when it's about to hit stores near you.

Tranquility Naturel Anti-Stress Support Supplement - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Sometimes, here in my own little world, stress tends to take over. After all, I recently retired from a full-time career and am now trying to make ends meet with my blogging, plus I have two boys graduating high school next week, and our house is on the market so we're trying to keep things clean for showings. There is a graduation party to plan, out of town guests to entertain, and a road trip scheduled to pick up my daughter for the boys' graduation. It's been an optimal time for me to try Tranquility Naturel Anti-Stress Support Supplement. Created by Apteka Naturel, it contains Zembrin, a South African ingredient with more than 300 years of documented indigenous use.
This patented formula, developed by physicians and neuroscientists, is ideal for helping reduce stress and tension, promoting calmness, supporting a positive mood and a general sense of well-being. It contains no corn, no wheat, no soy, so salt, no sugar, no dairy, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors and no preservatives. It is non-addictive as well. For the past month, I've been taking one Tranquility Naturel each day at lunchtime and given my current state of mind (and state of life) I believe it's been helpful in keeping my mood positive. I even like the taste of it when it hits my mouth, which is rare for a supplement. My life will never be free of stress, but Tranquility Naturel seems to have made a supportive difference. Find out more at www.aptekanaturel.com and see their entire line of dietary supplements, beauty products and aromatherapy products.

Tervis Drinkware Tumblers and Mugs - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
These are some of the COOLEST and HOTTEST cups I've ever seen. Tervis drinkware ranges from mugs to tumblers in lots of sizes and thousands of designs. Created with an interior and exterior wall, they keep your cold stuff cold and your hot stuff hot, while reducing condensation. Unlike other tumblers, their designs can be truly personalized, not just with the theme or team of your dreams, not just with your favorite character or brand, but you can even choose to put your OWN photos on Tervis products. These eco-friendly cups are made in the USA since 1946 and are even dishwasher safe. The lids fit securely, so I don't have to worry about spilling my cold drinks on my laptop while I'm working. The lid even has a slide-closure so I know my hot drinks (and my lap) are also safe while riding in the car with my husband who likes to drive like a racecar driver. My Tervis mug is also guaranteed for life! Dream, Believe, Imagine is my new favorite cup.
Visit www.tervis.com and check out their huge selection of drinkware. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, then enter below to win this darling design from the Margaritaville Collection. It says Blew Out My Flip Flop, Stepped on a Pop Top and features a flip flop repair shop and flips flops on it. Perfect for a strawberry margarita by the pool!
Enter to win!
To enter to win the Flip Flop tumbler and lid, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight ET on 6/15/2013. Good luck!

Bamboo Flooring for Your Home

Bamboo flooring is an environmentally friendly option for beautiful flooring that is resistant to allergens, durable and bug-free. Bamboo is a renewable form of wood, because it is a grass not a tree and grows very fast. It also doesn’t deplete the soil as much as other woods. It is easy to clean and is more resistant to warping, water and staining than most hardwoods. Like hardwood floors, bamboo will show wear and scratches. If the floor is wet for long periods, it can warp and allow mold to grow. To avoid these drawbacks, the installation process needs to be planned to accommodate these issues. All stranded bamboo is made with pieces of bamboo that is leftover from other uses. The pieces are crushed and mixed with an adhesive bonding agent and pressed into blocks. The resulting wood is very dense and much more durable and harder than older generation bamboo. This process gives it more resistance to moisture and scratches. Bamboo blocks can be printed with color and grain to resemble un-pressed bamboo. Stained bamboo is softer than unstained, and this is how a dark color is achieved, but it is quite hard enough for areas that have less foot traffic and furniture. Direct sunlight will fade the bamboo, so for floors that will be exposed to more sunlight, a lighter shade is recommended. Bamboo floors are an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to have a beautiful natural wood floor that will last for years with the proper care.

5/23/13

Seeking #Bloggers Year Of You Giveaway Hop

Bloggers Wanted
Join the Year Of YouTM Giveaway Hop
June 15 - July 15
$2000 Grand Prize

Add your blog to the linky below to sign up.
Each blogger will host a giveaway worth at least $25.

DETAILS - Grand Prize Sponsor - Karina Dresses - $2000 in Karina Dresses, awarded as a dress selection every month for a year.

Each blog will host their own giveaway, either sponsored or self-sponsored, that fits the theme of YOUTM: women's fashion, women's health or women's beauty. Minimum prize amount for each blogger prize is $25.

Bloggers agree to include on their giveaway post: giveaway hop button (above), provided html for grand prize information including link to host Planet Weidknecht and grand prize sponsor Karina Dresses, linky code with all participating bloggers, and any disclosures required by law. Giveaway begins at 12:01am ET on June 15, 2013 and ends at 11:59pm ET on July 15, 2013 (this means Rafflecopter forms are set to close on July 16). Questions may be directed to LisaWeidknecht@hotmail.com. Please also consider joining Weidknecht Events Facebook Group.

Tiny Prints Celebrates Launch of Graduation Stationery Line with a Sponsorship and Grant Benefitting The Creative Coalition

To kick-off the graduation season, premium online stationery boutique Tiny Prints released a new line of graduation stationery and announced a sponsorship of The Creative Coalition’s arts in education programs. Tiny Prints and The Creative Coalition together celebrate the importance of education. To support the non-profit organization, Tiny Prints provided a grant giving 50 inner-city students the chance to participate in a Summer Writing Institute College Preparation program, which will be distributed through The Armory Foundation, a member organization of The Creative Coalition.

To honor graduates across the country, actors and The Creative Coalition members Lauren Holly, Beau Bridges and Phillip Bloch support the program by providing personal anecdotes about their most influential teachers at www.tinyprints.com/creativecoalition. Tiny Prints commemorates this Creative Coalition sponsorship with the unveiling of an exclusive graduation stationery line. To view the Creative Coalition’s favorite designs from the Tiny Prints Graduation collection, visit: www.tinyprints.com/creativecoalition.

For more information about Tiny Prints graduation stationery including customizable invitations, announcements and thank you cards, visit tinyprints.com/shop/graduation-announcements-invitations.htm.

5/22/13

Favorite Travel Moments - Throwback Thursday

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It's Throwback Thursday Bloggers Link Up!
Sponsored By:
Join Us Weekly as we Add a New Stroll Down Memory Lane to Our Weekly Throwback Thursday Link Up.
Let’s enjoy a stroll down memory lane; maybe a family vacation or a wonderful food from your childhood. Truly the options are endless.
Throwback Thursday Rules located here.
My Throwback Thursday photo is my favorite shot from the 2009 Daytona 500 Race, where I won an all-expenses paid trip worth $10K. I had never been to a race before and had never even watched one on television. I got to write my name on the finish line! Since this trip, I have been totally addicted to NASCAR and we watch all the races. I also continue to enter sweepstakes daily because I can't wait to win my next trip!


Book Review - Just Like Jesus

Disclosure: I received this book from Booksneeze.com at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Just Like Jesus: A Heart Like His
by Max Lucado was a great eye-opening book for me. It's a tough thing to try to live with a heart like Jesus, but this book showed me ways in which I can try harder to start each day and end each day in a way that will be more pleasing to my God. I was reassured that no matter how hard I try, it's the trying that counts, not the actual accomplishment. I love the way the chapters talk about hearts - forgiving heart, compassionate heart, listening heart, and more. None of us can ever really BE like Jesus, but striving to work towards a heart like Jesus had is the best path to follow. The study guide in the back of this book is a wonderful way to delve deeper into the heart of the book and the heart of God. It's a wonderful read and I recommend reading it.

DreamWorks’ DELIVERY MAN Sneak Peek

Check out this hilarious sneak peek!

Then be sure to enter the sweepstakes too!
DELIVERY MAN releases in theaters on November 22nd!

Mangria - Adam Carolla Signature Wine Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Have you ever been in the position where you realized the alcohol was almost gone and the stores were closed? It's a rather disappointing realization. Adam Carolla, yes THE Adam Carolla of The Man Show and Crank Yankers, apparently had this problem one night and decided to create his own drink based on what was left in his home bar. Luckily for us, it tasted fabulous! He named it Mangria and now we can all enjoy it!
Mangria is a combination of red wine and the smooth sweet flavors and aromas of plum, cherry, blackberry, orange and citrus. Sound enticing? My first taste of Mangria was a combination of delight and surprise. It's absolutely wonderful. To make it even better, it has 20.9% alcohol to provide the real kick anyone needs in their drink but without the extra calories. Mangria is just 130 calories per serving, which is half the calories of a microbrew. It's made in the USA by California Shiners in Napa Valley, California. I absolutely love it!

Win $50 Amazon or Paypal - Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen Book Blast

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!
His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?
Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?
 
Praise for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen
O’Rourke creates a world that defies cynicism and demands suspension of disbelief – even in this age of doubt and hyper-realism. Sheer escapism at its best. Clever, charming and affectionate. ~Jocelyn Bury …the reader must tenaciously read on rather than put the book down to satisfy their hunger for the story to resolve, which it does in characteristically Jane Austen fashion. ~Erin Murdock
In Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen, author Sally Smith O’Rourke creates a compelling story that investigates what and who might have inspired Jane Austen. While the story line is certainly far-fetched, it is a truly unique idea, one that captivated this reader until the very last page. ~Meg Massey
 
Purchase
Amazon * Barnes n Noble * Smashwords

 ENTER BELOW TO WIN!

Palmolive Soft Touch Dishwashing Soap - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Thanks to Influenster for sending two fabulous new dish soaps from Palmolive. I've used this brand for years, but now with their new Soft Touch with Aloe and Soft Touch Vitamin E, my hands look great even after scrubbing a huge sink-full of dishes.
I get the same great cleaning power as always with Palmolive, with the added benefit of soft hands. They smell wonderful too! Since my favorite color is pink, I'm going to keep it and share the other one with my daughter when she comes to visit next week. Click HERE to learn more about Palmolive Soft Touch!

Master Lock Bike Safety and Security

Bike riding is the second most popular outdoor activity in America. Regular riding can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent and is a great way to get outside and enjoy the spring and summer months. Unfortunately, a new survey from Master Lock revealed that more than one-third of riders don’t lock up their bikes, and nearly half of Americans have had their bike stolen, or know someone who has. Take a look at this infographic and then read my review of the Master Lock 8220D Cable Lock below.
My son goes off to college this fall and since he won't have a car to get around, he'll be taking his beloved bike with him. This new Master Lock 8220D Cable Lock is the perfect solution for making sure his bicycle stays put while he's in classes. The six foot cable lock allows him to hook through both wheels if he wants, plus he can wrap it around a tree or bike rack easily.
It also comes with a carrier bracket so he can attach it to his bike while he is riding around. The very best part is the easy to set (and reset) lock combination is created with letters or words. I set it to TOAST because that's what I would be if I had to ride all over his campus. Knowing my son, he'll come up with something that makes sense to only him.
We've trusted Master Lock for security products for years and as a mom I can only hope my son pays as much attention to his safety as Master Lock does. Visit www.masterlock.com and see all the safety and security products to help protect the things you love most!

Cheesy Jalapeno Curls - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
If you love cheesy curls, you will want to try these delicious new Cheesy Jalapeno Curls from Southern Recipe produced by Rudolph Foods, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of pork rinds. This distinctive new snack is oven baked with real cheese. I'm sometimes wary of jalapeno flavored snacks because although I love spicy foods, I'm not happy if my mouth is burning hot. Southern Recipe got it right with their Cheesy Jalapeno Curls and I definitely recommend them.
I received two 2oz snack bags to try and we poured both into a bowl to enjoy during our late night television viewing. They are absolutely delicious and the two snack bags were more than enough for the two of us. These great new snacks will hit the stores in fall 2013, so be sure to keep an eye out for them. I can't wait to get my hands on more Cheesy Jalapeno Curls!
Rudolphfoods.com/brands/southernrecipe/
Facebook.com/SouthernRecipe
Twitter.com/SouthernRecipe
SouthernRecipe.com

Wednesday Wealth Giveaway Link Up


5/21/13

Lone Ranger Clip Just Released

Check out this great new clip of the Lone Ranger 
and saddle up for the July 3 movie release!

“Like” THE LONE RANGER on Facebook: www.facebook.com/theloneranger
"Follow" THE LONE RANGER on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypictures
Visit THE LONE RANGER website: www.disney.com/theloneranger

5/20/13

Loaded Baked Potatoes - Tasty Tuesday Recipe Link Up

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Welcome to Tasty Tuesday Recipe Link Up
Sponsored By:

Join Us Each Week as We Add New Recipes to Our Weekly Tasty Tuesday Recipe Link Up.
Recipes shared need not be 5 star rated restaurant quality to impress. Link up your family’s favorites and maybe find a new family favorite among the recipes listed below. I’m always on the lookout for something new to try and share with my family.
Lisa and Bonnie would love it if you would:
Please link back to our blogs or posts. You will find the button below.
The “Tasty Tuesday Link Up” will benefit those who participate!
The recipe needs to be a recipe YOU made. Please do not link to a site other than your own.
Please make sure you use your own photos in your recipes, make sure to give credit to your source.
Also please take the time to visit at least three of the blogs when you add your link, and share upon your visit (having share button on each post is beneficial).
Please do not link to the same recipe more than once.
As an added feature you may add ONE text link (word; not some obvious shout out) to an affiliate link for a product used in your recipe. Example: Add 1 tsp Vanilla. Make sure you make you note in your post about the affiliate link for the FCC!
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So, dust off those family treasured recipes and let the sharing begin!
The link up will be open Monday night and close Sunday.
LOADED BAKED POTATOES
Wash six potatoes and slice potatoes almost all the way through.
In a measuring cup, mix 1/2 stick melted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Drizzle mixture over each potatoes, filling the cracks.
Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
Bake at 425 degrees F for 40 minutes. Transfer potatoes to plates.
Layer a slice of cheese on potato while still hot, allow to melt.
Add sour cream and bacon bits.


Sarah Babbitt Interview - Kitchen and Bath Design Expert

Thank you Sarah Babbitt for your wonderful insight and your time for this interview! Visit Sarah's company website at www.communityhomesupply.com.

1. How can I maximize space and storage in a small kitchen?

I think the first thing to do is really think about the items you have in the kitchen (small appliances, how many cutlery items, dishes, etc....) and think about how you use the kitchen. A lot of times we get so busy trying to create a beautiful space and come up with a stunning design, but we forget about the practical details, so I find that taking an inventory of what you have is a great starting place.

In terms of maximizing storage, I've found a couple of tricks that really help to eek out a little more space:

* Don't skimp on the upper cabinets: instead of 30" or 36" try to go as tall as you can (42"). If it's possible, have the upper cabinets at 13" depths instead of 12" deep. A lot of plates nowadays can be a bit oversize, and sometimes it's difficult fitting them in standard 12" deep cabinets

* Go for big drawers instead of doors where possible. For pots and pans (or even dishes), I find that the deep drawers are more useful than a cabinet with doors and adjustable shelves (or even if they have rollouts). Deep drawers allow you to stack more pots and pans and give you more room

* In terms of construction of the cabinet, go frameless as opposed to framed construction. The frameless construction means there are less gaps between cabinets and gives you more interior space inside the cabinets as well as bigger drawer boxes.

* Have a trash can integrated into a cabinet can be an awesome thing, but sometimes it isn't possible if the kitchen is too small. So instead of taking up an entire base cabinet for a trash can, use it as a more functional cabinet in terms of storage and put a (albeit smaller) trash can under the sink (Hafele is one that makes trash can add-on's). That way, the trash can is hidden, but it hasn't taken up a cabinet that otherwise could be used to store more kitchen stuff.

* Think about the size of sink you need and the configuration: for some people, a single bowl sink is fine and if so, maybe it's a smaller single bowl sink (say 21" wide inside), then you can go with a smaller sink base cabinet and carve out a little more room in the kitchen so you can do a bigger cabinet that has more function than a sink base.

2. How can I ensure my kitchen is timeless?

Go with colors that are more neutral and classic. Tile/flooring/backsplash in the whites, beiges, light grays color tones (or dark for the floor, too I've seen a lot). Cabinets can pretty much be anything (white paint and alternatively dark chocolate cabinets seem to be very much in style and I think will continue to be) but no bright colors. If you're looking to throw in color, do that with paint colors or art. That can always be changed, but the cabinetry, countertops and flooring/hard surfaces, are hard to change. I would also stay away from paneled appliances (dishwashers are probably okay, but refrigerators can be tricky) more for practicality reasons. if the frig breaks and you have to get a new one, odds are those panels won't fit the new refrigerator and even if you get new ones, the color of the new panels may not be the same as the rest of the kitchen because cabinets tend to age/change color over time.

3. How can I accommodate occasional guests in a small dining area?

It really depends on the space, but peninsulas or islands with seating on the other end can be a great place to have a bit of countertop overhang where guests can sit. Or, if you have space for a desk area, then you can keep a stool underneath that desk area and people can pull it out to sit down.

4. How can I create a luxurious bathroom with just the basics?

I think it's important to ask yourself what are the things that are most important when you're getting ready in the morning in the bathroom? For some people they want to have two sinks, but think of how often you and your partner use the bathroom at the same time. I think for a lot of people that doesn't happen and if it doesn't then do one sink and increase your storage/countertop space. If you and your partner do use the bathroom at the same time, then double sinks are a great idea.

There are some areas that I think are very important not to skimp:

* Get a good toilet. I know it's just a toilet, but it's probably the biggest item that you don't want to break. Get a taller height toilet: for most adults it's more comfortable. Maybe you splurge and get a one piece toilet as opposed to a two piece toilet, which makes cleaning the toilet easier. Or even a skirted toilet (where the trapway is concealed) as opposed to a non skirted toilet (where you can see the snake of the drain) because skirted toilets are easier to clean than non skirted toilets. And make sure that it's a good flushing toilet and is backed by a company that stands behind their product.

* The showerhead/controls. I often ask customers when we first start, "what is your dream shower?" It seems to be the majority of people at least want 2 outlets (showerhead and handshower, or rainshower and handshower) which requires a different (and more expensive) valve setup. Sometimes, after seeing all the numbers, they want to go for a single outlet (showerhead only) because you'll go with a less expensive valve and less overall price. But I would say that get want you want: the shower is the place where you will spend more money (especially on tile and labor cost), so better to get what you want now than wanting to break the tile in a few years and add that second outlet. Besides, there are less expensive valve options we can do to get you that dream shower without sacrificing too much.

* Think about your finishes: polished chrome faucets will be less expensive (35% less in most cases) than brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze, polished nickel or any other specialty finishes. And white toilets and sinks will always be less expensive than biscuit or other specialty finishes.

* Instead of natural stone, maybe you choose ceramic tile/flooring which tends to be less expensive (and easier to maintain).

About Sarah: With extensive product knowledge and a BFA in Interior Design, Sarah is an extremely talented and valuable designer at Community Home Supply. Sarah’s clients have been so impressed that they have written rave reviews about her excellent suggestions, budget saaviness and overall pleasant nature during kitchen and bath remodeling projects. Sarah’s favorite designs gravitate toward contemporary lines but she also loves the warmth that more traditional elements can bring to a space. Sarah encourages her clients to allow her to include a favorite souvenir, photograph or family heirloom in each project. Her desire to connect her work to the client allows each design to be unique and personal. Sarah’s focus is always on customer service, which keeps her clients coming back year after year. In her spare time, Sarah finds true joy in the kitchen. In fact, she is an avid collector of cooking literature and exotic spices. Her love of food includes canning fresh fruits and vegetables for future dishes. Her many dinner guests would agree that Sarah truly enjoys every aspect of cooking.

Redbox Instant - Free Trial + 4 Free Redbox Credits


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