5/30/14

Chuao Chocolatier Unveils Four New Bars‏

Disclosure: I received samples at no charge in exchange for my review.
Chef Michael of Chuao Chocolatier, an internationally award-winning chocolate company known for blending unique flavors, has created four amazing new bars that will melt in your mouth. After absolutely no arm twisting, I agreed to review these chocolate bars, all in the name of great sacrifice for you, my readers. I waited impatiently by the front door for the delivery of Oh My S’mores!, Ooh Ahh Almond, Sweet and Salty, and Pretzel Toffee Twirl bars. I was not disappointed.
The Chuao Sweet and Salty Bar is a touch of sea salt swirled in creamy milk chocolate. Each bar is 2.8oz of pure deliciousness. This might be my favorite flavor. Treat your dad for Father's Day since he's probably tired of ties and wallets.
The Chuao Pretzel Toffee Twirl Bar has crunchy mini pretzels and buttery toffee dancing together in dark chocolate. Each bar is handcrafted with ethically sourced cacao, all natural, and gluten free ingredients. This might be my favorite flavor.
The Chuao Ohh Ahh Almond Bar features crunchy whole almonds combined with mouth-watering dark chocolate, and is kettle cooked in sugar and sea salt. This might be my favorite flavor. Perhaps your graduate needs a few of these for inspiration to take on the world.
The Chuao Oh My S'Mores Bar combines mini marshmallows, crushed honey graham crackers, and dreamy milk chocolate. No bonfire is required to enjoy this special treat. This might be my favorite flavor. I'll have to make the final decision after I also try out their Maple Bacon Bar, Salted Chocolate Crunch Bar, Pop Corn Pop Bar, Potato Chip Bar, and the other half-dozen amazing flavors. Order today and don't miss their money-saving sale!
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Central Market Beer Fest #Austin #Texas

Central Market's beer festival will be held June 11-24 in all Central Market locations for people who are really into beer. Festival goers will find a wide range of beers, discover unique brews from across the state and around the world, meet brewmasters who are expanding and redefining the craft and learn about foods to pair with brews of every kind.

The festival will feature daily demonstrations and tastings with some of the best brewmasters, including Todd Usry from Breckenridge Brews, Mary Wiles from Brooklyn Brewery, Nate Seale from Austin's own 512 Brewing Company, Clayton LeBlanc of Ballast Point Brewing and more! For a complete list of brewmaster demonstrations, visit http://bit.ly/cm-north-lamar-beer-demos or http://bit.ly/cm-westgate-beer-demos.

EVENTS NOT TO MISS:

Brooklyn Brewery Dinner - Wednesday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Deschutes Brewery Dinner - Thursday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Beer Stroll - Thursday, June 19 from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m.

Lazy Magnolia Brewery Dinner - Tuesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, visit http://centralmarket.turnstilesystems.com/LocationDetail.aspx/AustinNorthLamar.

Calling All Ice Cream Lovers

This is a Fashionista Events opportunity.

If you love ice cream, then it's time to give your mouth a vacation! Talenti Gelato is a whole new world of freshness and flavor. Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, and although it may seem similar to ice cream, gelato has an entirely different origin and production process. Gelato contains less air than ice cream, making the flavors much more intense. Gelato also has a higher percentage of solids, giving it a smooth, velvety texture. It also has less fat than ice cream. Ready for a vacation?

5/29/14

Central Market Kids' Summer Camps #Austin #Texas

Looking for something fun, exciting, and educational for your children to do this summer? Central Market is holding a series of summer cooking camps for kids who are really into food. The camps, appropriate for ages 5-13, will turn campers into future chefs by focusing on taste, skills and teamwork in three sessions: Cooking Basics, World of Flavors and Restaurant Week. Campers will work hands-on in the kitchen with CM’s professional staff and learn important basic cooking techniques. These fun and informative sessions provide an excellent learning opportunity for kids who are interested in the food scene.

The Cooking Basics camp will set children on the pathway to becoming accomplished cooks with fun and age-appropriate cooking activities. For example, ages 5 to 7 will focus on safely handling a knife, as they cut soft produce with special plastic knives. Ages 8 to 12 will practice cutting firmer fruits and vegetables with ceramic knives and paring knives.

In the World of Flavors camp, young aspiring chefs will sample some of the world’s great cuisines and create authentic recipes that they can cook at home. Kids will also learn about the flavor profiles of these distinctive cuisines and how they come together to create a whole new, Creole, flavor.

Finally, young chefs will put their new skills to the test in the Restaurant Week camp. Kids will get a taste of how restaurants work from experienced professionals. Each day campers will build on their plan to transform CM’s Cooking School into a dining room, as they create a menu, perfect the recipes and plan all the aspects of serving a dinner at CM Kids’ Camp Pop-Up Restaurant. Days 1-3, CM’s young cooks will also make a simple meal together (referred to in the restaurant business as “family meal”). On Day 4, kids will serve their Pop-up menu to friends and family (reservations only, please).

Ages 5–7:
Cooking Basics: June 16-19
World of Flavors: July 7-10
Restaurant Week: July 28-31

Ages 8–10
Cooking Basics: June 23-26
World of Flavors: July 14-17
Restaurant Week: Aug. 4-7

Ages 11–12
Cooking Basics: June 30-July 3
World of Flavors: July 21-24
Restaurant Week: Aug. 11-14

For complete information about the camps and to register, visit http://www.centralmarket.com.
Central Market Cooking School, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756

Greatest Gifts for Your #GreatestDad at @BestBuy

Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card
and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Does your dad dream of his own man cave filled with a big screen tv, a game system, surround-sound music, and an in-home theater for movies and sports? This year for Father's Day, Best Buy has all the best gifts for your entertainer dad! In fact, Best Buy has all types of gifts for all types of dads!

Look at all these fantastic gifts for Dad that will make him the envy of all his friends and the entertainer of the year:
  • Bose SoundTouch 20 Wi-Fi Music System
  • Apple TV
  • Samsung 48" Class LED 1080p 120Hz Smart HDTV
  • Krups Beertender
  • Stone bake pizza oven
  • Xbox One Console
  • Xbox One Wireless Controller
  • Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
  • Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2D/3D 1080p 3LCD Projector
  • Samsung 2.1-Channel Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
  • Sony Blu-ray Player
  • Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray
  • Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Blu-ray
  • True Detective TV Show Blu-ray
  • Slingbox 500
  • Logitech Harmony Wireless Smart Keyboard
  • Beats Pill XL
  • MARGARITVILLE Mixer
  • 8 bottle wine chiller
  • Breville Smart oven
  • LG Microwave + Pizza Oven
  • PlayStation 4 console
  • Beats Studio Headphones
  • Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth Speaker
  • Anki Drive
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1
  • iPhone 5s Space Grey
  • HP ENVY TouchSmart Sleekbook Touch-screen Laptop
  • Powerstation mini Black
  • Samsung WiFi All Share Hub
  • iPad Air Lifeproof Nuud Case - Black
  • $50 iTunes Card
  • Large Full Motion Mount for TVs 32"-60"
  • Universal Soundbar Mount
Plus, Best Buy has a low-price guarantee and free shipping on qualified purchases, so you can treat dad to the gift of his dreams and make him proud because you saved some money! My dad was one of the first to own one of those old Beta Video Players, so I bet he would love a Sony Blu-ray Player. His first home computer was a Commodore 64, and I know the HP ENVY TouchSmart Sleekbook Touch-screen Laptop would blow his mind! My favorite gift idea for dads under $100 is the WowWee MIP Robot and my favorite for under $50 is the Star Wars Trilogy: Episodes I-III Blu-ray.

Best Buy also has the greatest gifts for the Gizmo Guru Dad, the Fitness Fanatic Dad, and the Memory Maker Dad. Check out the Best Buy Gift Center to find your dad the perfect gift to show him how much you love and appreciate him!

Overdoor/Wall Jewelry Organizer - Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
I used to have a jewelry box, filled to the brim with tangled necklaces and bracelets. My earrings were all jumbled up in a plastic dish on my dresser. My new Longstem Jewelry Organizer has changed my morning routine from frustrating to efficient in a beautiful way.
It's truly the ultimate in jewelry organization, with hooks and nooks for all my necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, anklets and even my hair accessories. The pretty design makes it a wonderful bathroom decor item too. It's constructed of heavy duty, powder coated steel so I can use it for years to come. My assembly time was just minutes!
My jewelry organizer hangs on the closet door in the bathroom, but it also comes with hardware that will allow me to hang it on the wall if I want. It comes with two over-the-door hooks, two wall mount brackets with screws and anchors, plus a removable tray for smaller items. The two main pieces hook together, but they could even be separated to hang in two different places by using both sets of mounts.
All my jewelry is now easily accessible and I can see everything I own in a glance. None of my necklaces or bracelets are tangled anymore and all my earrings are hung in sets. I'm saving myself lots of time in the morning getting ready for the day. I can even hang scarves and keys on it!
Completely assembled, it measures 29.6 inches tall, 20.5 inches wide, and just 3.6 inches deep. I chose the bronze organizer to match my bathroom fixtures, but it also comes in white or black. Since it can hold over 300 jewelry items, I think I need to find some new jewelry for summer!
Get your patented Jewelry Organizer at www.longstem.com and check out all the great jewelry organization items they offer for women and for men. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, then enter below for a chance to win an overdoor/wall jewelry organizer from Longstem!
Win the Longstem Overdoor/Wall Jewelry Organizer!
To enter, just fill in 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 will increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on 6/15/2014. Good luck!
Enter my other giveaways HERE.

5/28/14

Against Medical Advice

This morning I woke up, rolled out of bed, and stood up to stretch. A pain ripped through the center of my chest, causing me to wince. My husband, who has had a number of heart problems and surgeries, saw me grab for my chest. About a half hour later, it happened again. My husband was visibly concerned and I was mildly concerned. I shooed him off to work and sat down to write. After about an hour, I felt a smaller pinch in my chest and decided to take one of my husband's "baby aspirins" which are recommended in the event of a possible heart attack. I sat down again at my computer and searched for heart attack symptoms. The first article I came across said, "If you feel compelled to take an aspirin to ward off a heart attack, call 911 immediately." Instead, I texted my husband and asked him IF I decided to see someone about the pain, who did he think I should reach out to first. He recommended our general practitioner, then said he was on his way home.

He picked me up and we headed to the doctor's office, calling the doctor on the way there to let them know. The doctor told us to go to the ER instead. So we turned around and headed back towards the hospital. Once there, I was plopped into a wheelchair and wheeled into an emergency room, where I was moved onto a bed and hooked up to about ten different things. I swear all those doctors and nurses were about 12 years old, or maybe I'm just getting old. Honestly, I felt fine and there was no more pain, but the tests began. Well, the needle poking began. A nurse came in to start an IV line and after digging a needle around in my left arm for about five minutes, she decided the right arm must be a better spot. After digging the needle around in my right arm for five minutes, she packed up and left the room. Another nurse was sent in to try and stick me. I was not happy at all. The new nurse decided the back of my left hand was the perfect place for the needle, but she was unable to hook me up either. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I wasn't having. In comes nurse number three, who finally found a way into my vein, quite painfully I might add. I think she even smirked. My arms and hand began to bruise immediately.

After a surge of medical history questions, blood tests, chest xrays, an ekg, and a host of other tests, it was determined that all was clear. My heart looked great, my heart rate was perfect, my oxygen level was perfect, my blood pressure was perfect. In the interest of over-cautiousness, it was decided that I should stay at least two hours to be monitored and at the end of the two hours, they would run the tests again. I was okay with that. Two hours passed and I was then informed that, just to be sure, they needed to admit me to the hospital, keep me overnight, run tests on me every six hours then make me take a stress test in the morning. I was immediately moved from the bed to a wheelchair to another bed on the second floor. I was livid at this point. There was NO way I wanted to stay overnight just so they could "be sure." After all, I was told everything looked great after the initial tests and I felt just fine.

Once in the new hospital room, a new doctor appeared, then a nurse, then another nurse. There were papers to sign, more questions to answer, and more appliances hooked up to me. Finally my husband and I were left alone in the room. I looked at him and said, "I am NOT staying here. Get me out of here NOW." He went into the hallway and informed them we were leaving. The floor nurse came in with threats of insurance companies that won't pay for my bills from the visit and scolded me for wanting to go home, while she unhooked me from the hospital monitors. I didn't even care. I signed myself out Against Medical Advice and went home. I informed my husband that might be the last time I ever tell him I don't feel good. Surviving today's ER experience was "stress test" enough for me!

Giveaway Linky - Wednesday Wealth (May28-June3)

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5/27/14

Summer Cooking Classes at Central Market #Austin #Texas

Start your summer off with food, spirits and fun this June at Central Market’s Cooking School. Learn from Central Market foodies, chefs and culinary professionals from around the world.

Mostly Sweet Champagne Brunch (21 and up)
Sunday, June 8 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Come out and spend a summery Sunday morning with a brunch demonstration and fine bubbly at Central Market. Pastry chef Angel Begaye of TRACE will be leading the demonstration. Brunch menu includes:
• Champagne cocktail
• Savory lemon ricotta spread on herb biscotti
• Caramelized champagne sabayon, with fresh grapefruit and orange segments
• Pink champagne and strawberry cupcakes
• Champagne and chocolate truffle
• Drunken soaked peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream

Texas Parks and Wildlife: Oysters and Shrimp (18 and up)
Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Spend an evening learning to cook with some of the best our great state has to offer. Discover the importance of prep work and then gather ‘round in CM’s Cooking School kitchen to prepare:
• Cornmeal-Fried oyster lettuce wraps
• Empanadas de Cameron (hand-pies stuffed with shrimp)
• Port Arthur seafood gumbo
• Speedy shrimp with tomatoes, feta cheese and basil

Beat Divas: Celebrating 10 Years of Divalicious! (18 and up)
Saturday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy this special 10th anniversary edition of CM’s longest running cookin' and singin' class with the lovely and talented Beat Divas—Dianne Donovan, Mady Kaye and Beth Ullman.

Central Market Cooking School, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756

About Central Market:
Central Market’s open, serpentine-flow, full view European-style layout offers a completely new food shopping experience. A bountiful produce department with unmatched quality and variety, an 80-foot seafood case with selections from throughout the world, hundreds of cheeses, 2,500 wine labels, stupendous specialty grocery aisles with delights from every continent, and a world class cooking school featuring hands-on instruction are among the features that make the Central Market experience unique.
http://www.centralmarket.com

7th Annual Taste of North Austin #Texas #Travel #Dining

It's time for the 7th Annual Taste of North Austin Food Festival featuring cooking demonstrations, live music, prize giveaways and children’s activities!
Restaurants from The Domain and North Austin are teaming up again for the seventh annual Taste of North Austin, an all-day family food festival featuring delectable tastes and beverage sampling. Austinites will also enjoy free live music, children’s entertainment and fabulous shopping. Guests opting for the VIP experience will receive a goody bag, complimentary drinks and access to the VIP lounge.

The aromas of the various cuisines will fill the streets and captivate the senses of guests, who will be invited to sample fares from local restaurants. Additionally, children's entertainment will include live performances, face painting, balloon twisting and more.

Taste tabs will double as “votes” for a restaurant’s partner charity. The winning charities will receive a Simon Gift card donation.

WHEN: Saturday, June 21, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WHERE: The Domain, 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX 78758

COST: Live music and children’s entertainment are free.

Food samplings and VIP access will require wristbands. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at select restaurant booths. A wristband of 10 tastes will be available for $20 at The Domain’s Simon Guest Services. VIP experience will be offered for an additional $10.

Please call 512.873.8099 or visit http://www.simon.com/mall/the-domain. Area shoppers looking for the latest deals, contests and event information can also visit www.facebook.com/TheDomainAustin.

Modern Home Remodeling Projects

#sponsored
A dream kitchen can be easily installed with the help of a licensed contractor. Older homes might have a kitchen space that needs some major upgrades. The remodeling phase begins with a plan on a computer assisted design software. Within minutes, a virtual layout of a brand new kitchen can be created. Designers have the option of crafting a unique layout that fits a particular household. For example, an island bar could be integrated into a spacious kitchen.

An L shaped kitchen may be appropriate for a setting that has an open design where most of the cabinets and appliances go against the corners. Hallway kitchens are usually suitable for tight spaces such as apartments. U shaped kitchens are ideal for relatively closed spaces that only have one entrance into the kitchen.

The materials for all of the cabinetry, tiles and other hardware could be itemized on a software program. Contractors and clients can accurately estimate the total cost of a full remodeling of a kitchen. It is possible to preview different wooden finishes on the cabinets. A virtual rendering could be instantly done in order for clients to get an idea of what the cabinets will look like. Similarly, the tile options could also be simulated on a computer screen. Before installing any cabinets and tiles, contractors and homeowners may cooperatively shop around at a local hardware store or home improvement retailer. The cost for the marble and natural stone tiles is based on a square foot rate.

An NYC kitchen renovation is a great option for aging homes and residential units like apartments and townhomes. A new kitchen can significantly boost the market value of a home that is expected to go on sale in the future. New kitchens are also expected to be furnished with modern appliances that are most likely made of stainless steel. Contemporary designs such as French door and side by side refrigerators are also appropriate for remodeled kitchens.

To upgrade a kitchen space, some interior walls may have to be removed. A stud finder can be used to locate all of the wooden posts that are hidden behind the drywall. A mini demolition project can begin to remove some interior walls and create extra space for a kitchen. It is also important to bolster the foundation underneath the walls that are being removed. Any existing electrical wiring and plumbing pipes should be concealed.

MyChelle Anti-Aging Natural Skin Care - Review and Giveaway

Taking good care of my skin when I was young just didn't seem like a priority because, well, I had good skin. Now that I'm older and my skin is starting to show obvious signs of age, I look for anti-aging products that improve my skin elasticity, reduce my wrinkles, and give me a more youthful glow. I recently received two products from MyChelle Dermaceuticals.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals is a leader in natural skin care. Their Remarkable Retinal Serum and Wrinkle Spot Treatment are made with plant-based ingredients, are gluten free, GMO free, cruelty free, vegan friendly and made without toxic preservatives, petroleum-based ingredients, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, artificial colors or scents.
The Wrinkle Spot Treatment is a concentrated treatment that uses a stainless steel rolling ball applicator (which I love using) to stimulate collagen, relax expression lines, restore skin elasticity, and firm and tighten skin with a synergistic blend of Argireline, Leuphasyl and Instalift Goji. The combination of Argireline and Leuphasyl was found in studies to reduce the depth of wrinkles up to 47 percent when used twice daily for 28 days. MSRP: $38.50/.27 oz.
The Remarkable Retinal Serum is a non-irritating serum, made with a powerhouse form of vitamin A, called Retinal, which is 500 times more effective than its counterparts and created through a patented 4-step process. Combined with Orange Plant Stem Cells, and Ceramide 3, this serum delivers incredible results, including reduced fine lines and redness, accelerated cell turnover, collagen reproduction, diminished age spots and sun damage, and refined pores while preventing breakouts. MSRP: $47.50/1 fl. oz.
I took a "before" photo (above) of my eye. It's the one place on my face where I have seen the most aging, so I wanted to see how much of a difference these two MyChelle products could make for me. I began using both products daily. In the 5th week, I began to see dramatic results. My "after" photo (below) shows a great reduction in the wrinkles, a reduction in puffiness, and firmer skin. I am thrilled with the results and can't wait to see the results after longer-term use! I definitely recommend these products!!
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Win MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Serum
and Wrinkle Spot Treatment!
To enter, just fill in 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 a midnight on 6/15/2014. Good luck!
Enter my other giveaways HERE.

5/26/14

Every Mother Counts - The ETERNITY Project - Calvin Klein

#sponsored
Since its launch in 1988, ETERNITY Calvin Klein has been an iconic signature fragrance, beloved throughout the world. To celebrate its 25th Anniversary, ETERNITY is debuting a set of exclusive limited edition bottles features an elegant silver metallic finish.

The ETERNITY Project is a new global philanthropic initiative. Their mission is to foster the message of eternal love and commitment through the support of charitable endeavors to help individuals and communities. The first non-profit organization to partner with The ETERNITY Project will be Every Mother Counts (EMC), a charity founded by the face of ETERNITY, Christy Turlington Burns, to end preventable deaths around the world caused by pregnancy and childbirth.

From May 25-May 31, all proceeds from US sales of the limited edition ETERNITY Calvin Klein 25th Anniversary Edition bottles will go towards the support of EMC, up to $30,000. ETERNITY 25th Anniversary Edition eau de parfum spray 3.4oz ($81) and ETERNITY 25th Anniversary Edition for Men eau de toilette spray 3.4oz ($71) are available at Macy's.

5/25/14

Win iFrogz Tadpole Bluetooth Speaker - Dads and Grads Giveaway #tech

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
 photo dads-and-grads-giveaway-hop-250_zps0a386db4.jpg
Welcome to the
Dads and Grads Giveaway Hop
From May 26-June 8
Every participating blogger is hosting their own giveaway worth at least $25.
You can visit the list of bloggers below and enter to win every prize!

My prize is the
ZAGG iFrogz Tadpole Bluetooth Speaker
Winner #1 will win TWO Tadpoles.
Winners #2, #3, and #4 will win ONE Tadpole.
The iFrogz Tadpole is the world’s smallest Bluetooth speaker at 2.67" x 0.43" x 1.38". Available in five colors (purple, gray, red, blue, and white) and weighing just 0.7 ounces, the Tadpole can easily clip onto your backpack, purse, briefcase, or belt. It has a rechargeable 200mAh lithium-ion battery and a Micro USB charging cord. It holds a charge for up to three hours. Dads AND Grads will love the big sound power in these ultra-small, super-portable speakers! Priced at just $19.99, they are a super-affordable gift. I sure love mine! Order yours HERE and check out all the great tech gear at iFrogz. Follow iFrogz on Facebook and Twitter, then enter below to win!
FOUR WINNERS!
Winner #1 will win TWO Tadpoles.
Winners #2, #3, and #4 will win ONE Tadpole.
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA to enter. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries will increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on June 8, 2014. Good luck!
Enter my other giveaways HERE.