Monday, April 30, 2012

The Rose Collection for Mother's Day Giveaway **Closed**

Welcome to Mary's Cup of Tea and the Mother's Day Package Giveaway called The Rose Collection. I tried to make this all about my idea of what a Pink Rose Means to me and how delicate and fragile they are but then they have the thorns to protect them, much like a Mother would protect her children. So, that is how I came up with this idea and if you love Roses, especially pink ones, then you will love this prize package. The total value of the prize package is $108.50 and I hope you will like and enjoy the products I searched for and got for this special package to honor Moms.

At the end of the Rafflecopter form you will be given chances to earn extra entries into the giveaway by leaving comments on the 5 Sponsor's Spotlight Reviews. That isn't a whole lot so I am hoping you will personally thank them for helping me get this together for whoever the winner may be. Each prize listed is the link to the Sponsor Spotlight Review so you don't have to go and search for it. I have tried to make this as easy as I could and still give everyone a great chance to win. Good Luck! Open to the U.S. only.

1. Sacred Rose Matri Herbal Tea valued at $18.00

2. Thymes Kimono Rose Kitchen Sink Set valued at $32.00

3. Eclipse Spa Blooming Roses Sugar Scrub valued at $28.00

4. Simply McGhie English Rose Soap valued at $4.50

5. Lizabetta's Rose Necklace valued at $14.00

6. Surprise! I am throwing in Powder of Roses which I got from Williamsburg when I was there on vacation awhile back and got extra's of these wonderful powders. I will leave the link to the store where I bought them so you can read about them. I have both the Powder of Roses and the Lavender Powder and love them both. Value of the Rose Powder is $12.00.

Simply McGhie's Rose Soap Sponsor Spotlight Review

I have a great new soap making company I found by accident one day just looking around and seeing who had some interesting looking soaps and that is how I found Simply McGhie's Homemade and Custom Soaps! She sent me several things to review and I would love to share them with you:

1. Orange Shaving Soap (pictured above)
2. Ocean Rain Soap
3. Lavender Soap
4. English Rose Soap

Let's start with the Orange Shaving Soap since it's the first one pictured. She had originally made it for a man to use shaving but it has also become a great shaving soap for women also that don't want the harsh ingrediants that are sometimes found in shaving creams. They are approximately 3 oz. and she sells them for $3.50 a piece. And you should know they are dye free so you won't see any strange colors on you or your tub/shower. The scent of Orange is very faint so it is not overpowering and won't clash with your perfume or fragrance later on.
This next soap is my husband's favorite and it's called Ocean Rain. And it pretty much smells like you would expect a man to smell with the exception that it smells like he just had a walk around the beach and got caught in the rain. Really very sexy clean smell. The neat thing about this is if you are a typical ocean kinda gal this is gonna work for you,too! It is a unisex smell in that it just makes you smell incredibly clean and fresh! Makes the perfect soap for showering if you happened to have spent the night and this is all that he has on hand, don't worry, it is gonna make you feel so clean and sweet and alot of people will be noticing that!
Now, here is my favorite, Lavender! Like that is a big surprise to anyone! I know those of you who know me the best know that I am a Lavender freak but I have been making an effort to find other scents for you as well lately. I love the smell of Lavender! What can I say? It is one of the cleanest, most freshest, most calming smells on the planet! And I love the color, too! If you need to unwind after work or after watching the kids all day and now that Dad is home, go take a nice shower or better yet, nice long bath and let the Lavender melt all of your troubles and aches away! You really will love this super fresh soap!
English Rose is the last soap we are gonna talk about and really the whole reason that there is a review. This wonderful intoxicating soap is part of the Rose Collection for Mother's Day and whoever wins that package will get one of these English Rose Soaps in that package. This soap really and truly does smell exactly like I would picture a whole yard full of wonderful pink roses blooming in the spring would smell like. There will be no doubt what fragrance you have on when you step out of that tub or shower! Wonderfully done, this is the perfect soap for someone who loves Roses! If that is you, then I have found the perfect English Rose Soap for you right here at Simply McGhie's!
After I had gotten my soaps I went back on the site and was kicking myself from here to there all over the place for not seeing this soap! Isn't that incredible looking? She calls it her Spring, Easter, Mother's Day Sweet Pea Soap! I would have loved to have gotten one or two of those for my Easter or Mother's Day packages but just didn't see it in time, sorry guys! But, I will remember next year!
Do you love Chocolate? Well, from the looks of this soap, you will definitely want to be on a chocolate rush with this one! She calls this one her Tall Rich Chocolate Swirl Soap. Wow, is all I can say! I have never had a chocolate soap so I am not too sure what to say to this one except I would be willing to try it. It is slightly decandent and rich looking, isn't it? This might be the soap that the two of you might should try together would be my impression. This would make a wonderful wedding or anniversary present to some lucky couple! What do you think?
Now, according to her, this one is called Relaxing but she thinks she should rename it "Seduction" or "Intoxication"! She says this is one powerful sexy soap and how I missed this one, I don't know! Mmm, I wonder if we could get her back for Father's Day so we can surprise the living daylights out of some lucky man? I was going to make my Father's Day theme a Food/Sexy kinda theme so this would be right up that alley along with the Chococlate soap, what do you think? Now, I am gonna quote her because she knows better than me since I haven't smelled it or used it, so this is her words:
It is "a relaxing blend of French Lavender and Fir Pine, enhanced with Egyptian Jasmine and sweetened with pure Vanilla, softened with delicate Musks." This scent will leave you going "Mmmm" and "Ahhh" during your shower or bath!

This is what is on her About Me page:
I am a crafty person who creates useful homemade items to add just a little bit more "special" to everyday life.

I am also a mountain/country girl who's temporarily stuck in the city. I try to fill my home with things that remind me of the quiet life.

I started making homemade soaps as an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals in my life. I researched how to make homemade soap and a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me. Now I share my passion for homemade soap with you so that you can experience all the benefits of homemade bath and body products at an affordable price.

Connect with Simply McGhie sevearal ways:

Phone: (559) 284-1781
Etsy Shop

Simply McGhie Soaps will be contributing an English Rose Soap to the Rose Collection for Mother's Day that starts on April 30th. Good Luck and open to the U.S. only.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used were taken off of Simply McGhie's website so that I could show you all the details of the soaps that my camera would never be able to do.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lizabetta's Rose Necklace Sponsor Spotlight Review

Isn't this necklace gorgeous? I really loved it the minute I saw it and decided for once I would just out and out buy one instead of pitching for a free one for a review. Plus, I figured I owed Tiffany some business because she has been so super great to work with and every time I have asked for help, she has been there. So, the beautiful necklace above me is the one I got for myself and then I decided to buy one for one of you who will be the winner of the Rose Collection for Mother's Day and that necklace will be this one below:

I figured since I named my giveaway the Rose Collection for Mother's Day, that the necklace had to have a rose on it and I am very partial to pink and this one was so darn pretty, I picked this one, so I hope I did good and that the winner loves it. I was originally gonna get two of the ones at the top with the white dove and the rose but I waited too long and she sold out and only had one left. So, I am very sorry about that. Next time, I won't wait. I will go with my gut instinct and get it.

Actually, I just found out she has more in stock and has even made one that is oval and is a locket so that you can put a picture in it! But, hopefully, we haven't seen the last of Tiffany and her shop called Lizabetta's. She makes such unusual and fantastic items that I thought I would display a few of them for you so that you can fully appreciate her artistry.

I loved the colors in this one and it would be great for another type of giveaway maybe for the fall. That is what it speaks to me about but everyone has their own imagination. I love these rings she made also but I did not consider them due to the size issue and wanted to make the giveaway simple for her and for me so I did not choose a rose ring for those reasons, but it sure was tempting:

What do you think? They would have been great, right? Maybe next time when we are not all so rushed like we are right now for Mother's Day and we can take our time, I will think about it. Here is a necklace I almost got to include in the Tree of Life Collection but decided I did not want to give 2 Tree of Life Necklace's away so I decided to leave this one for another time:

I think this one would make a really cool Christmas present because it reminds me of frozen trees in the dark cold winter. So, as you can see, Tiffany has a great range of talent and you could probably ask her to make just about anything and I bet she could do it! She does have another necklace that she made for me in my Mother's Day Package that is in the Blogmania 2012 giveaway that ends on the 30th.

She has a mother and baby necklace and matching bracelet that will be given away in that package. I also have other jewelry items besides these above in the Sponsor Spotlight that I did for the Blogmania 2012 if you would like to see them, here is the link so you don't have to go and look for it and you will see some more tremendous workmanship.

Lizabetta and I both are excited to give the winner of the Rose Collection for Mother's Day the necklace with the single pink rose that is the second picture from the top. It really is beautiful and I hope the winner gets much joy out of it. The giveaway will start tomorrow on April 30th and is called the Rose Collection. Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used were taken off of Lizabetta's website except for the top two photo's that were taken by me and the cranky old camera!

Thymes Kimono Rose Kitchen Sink Set Sponsor Spotlight Review

Oh, my, you are gonna love this set! I fell in love the moment I opened them and smelled the scents! This is a kitchen sink set of Hand Soap and Hand Lotion in the scent of Kimono Rose from Thymes! I had reviewed early in the year the roll on perfume of Kimono Rose and we all just fell in love with it, including my granddaughter, which was a shock because she never likes the same scents that I do! So, I was really surprised that her and her friend that was with her that day both said it was awesome smelling because it is light and delicate, not too strong and just pretty smelling.

Kimono Rose is perhaps one of the biggest surprises I think I have had from Thymes. I normally associated them with an older crowd and did not think that younger women would be interested in their scents. Well, I have been proven wrong and am happy that I am because I have tested some other scents since Kimono Rose because it opened up my eyes and gave me the opportunity to experience great scents I otherwise would not have tried.
Of course, this Kitchen Sink set is not limited to just the kitchen but you can put it in your bathroom also. It comes in a stainless steel caddy to help hold them together and to keep them from falling over if you have a sink like mine, things tend to lean a little so having the caddy has been a great godsend.
But, the most amazing thing has been the whole collections that Thymes can put together from hand soaps to body washes to home fragrance, it all works in harmony to make you and your home smell magnificent! Gosh, you just need to go and see what all is in the Kimono Rose Collection and you will know that that is what is in each and every fragrance collection.
I hope I have given you enough incentive to go and check out all the other amazing scents and find the one that you love the best. For me, it is the Kimono Rose although I have a few other favorites, nothing quite beats a room smelling like soft petals of roses on a pretty spring day and for that matter, I love smelling like that myself! Enjoy your experience at Thymes and I hope you find the one fragrance that uplifts you and makes you and your home the best that you both can be. Oh, and this should make you feel better, they have free shipping on orders over $50!
This is just a little bit of what I found on the page About Us:
Thymes fragrances inspire many of our customers to live their lives more thoughtfully, fully, richly. That gives us great joy, because that’s what we are dedicated to—to enhancing the quality of your daily life through the transformative power of fragrance.

Nearly 30 years ago, Thymes was founded by two childhood friends with a mutual curiosity and a common desire to make something meaningful and beautiful. Since then, the company has flourished thanks to a shared passion for creativity, botanical ingenuity, beauty and friendship.

Today, we’re a creative collective of some 60 individuals dedicated to deepening our connection with one another through our love of fragrance—and, most of all, to composing fragrances that enrich the quality of your daily experience.
Thymes is having a For The Love Of Mom Essay Contest going on right now until May 7th if you would like to go and enter your mom or someone else you think deserves to be pampered.

Connect with Thymes several ways:

Mailing Address:
629 9th Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Telephone: 612-338-4471 or 1-800-366-4071
Fax: 612-338-3853
Contact Form
Sign up for Newsletter
Store Locator

Thymes has been gracious enough to offer the winner of my Rose Collection for Mom Package a set of the Kitchen Sink Set in the Kimono Rose scent so that you too can experience the wonderful scent of Roses. I am hoping to have the giveaway up before May 1st in time for Mother's Day. Keep a look out and Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used were taken off of Thymes website except for the top photo was taken by me and the cranky old camera!

Eclipse Spa Blooming Rose Sugar Scrub Sponsor Spotlight Review

You are gonna love this wonderful smelling sugar scrub made by Eclipse Spa! They make several great ones but I was trying to put together a Rose Collection for a Mother's Day Package so I chose the Blooming Roses Sugar Scrub over some of their other great ones for now. These sugar scrubs are 100% natural so you don't have to worry about any chemicals or preservatives. It does have Shea Butter mixed in with the organic sugar so that you will get a great exfoliation every time you use it. It has a wondeful earthy scent of roses mixed in with the spicy citrus to make it one heck of a great smell!

If you are not used to sugar scrubs in the shower, go lightly at first until you get the hang of it. Also, because they are scented, you may have to figure out how much you want to use so that you don't overpower yourself and then not be able to add a perfume that does not smell like roses. If I use a scented sugar scrub, then I don't use a perfume that day. If I want to use one of my perfumes, then I use an unscented sugar scrub. Maybe that explained it better for you what I was trying to say.
The other scents that they have in sugar scrubs is the Orange Burst, Pomegranate & Cassis Sugar Scrub (this must be new because I don't recognize it), Vanilla Mint and lastly they have one for a tanning prep called HoneyBee Tanning Prep Scrub. I have used the Orange Burst before so I can only tell you that that one is also a great choice for a sugar scrub. I haven't tried the others so I don't know about those scents yet, but I will get around to it sooner or later.

Eclipse Spa has some really great products such as their wonderful roll on perfumes in several scents. If you ever get the chance, try to get one or two to try and you will love them as much as I do. They are great to have in your purse for times when maybe you left home and forgot to use any fragrance or you just need a quick touch up. My favorites are the Lavender and Moroccan Nights or even the French Vanilla has a light delicate scent.

Other products include Soy Candles, Body Wash, Bath Salts, Bubble Bath, Body Lotions and of course the Sugar Scrubs and Skinscents. So, as you can see, you will find a wide range of great products to get for you or for Mom!

Here is what I found out about them under About Us. I did not get the whole story so please when you have a moment go back and read the whole story. It sounds like a really nice company who has a great heart:
EclipseSpa is a family owned firm. Our executive management team consists of President and CEO Anne Keefe and her husband Michael Keefe who oversee the firm's product creation, manufacturing and marketing. With the support of our other professional team members Anne and Michael have grown the firm to become a valued supplier of unique products for boutique hotels, spas and healthcare organizations (

All EclipseSpa products are made in the U.S.A. All of our labels are hand-applied by individuals who have developmental disabilities that range mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, downs syndrome, etc.

We are privileged to be providing meaning, opportunity and support to these severely disadvantaged and mentally handicapped adults who would otherwise find it difficult to find a job on "main street". So please excuse a label that might be a little crooked, knowing that you purchased a product from a company who provides assistance to these fabulous individuals.
Connect with Michelle (Miki's Hope) who is the rep I use several ways:
Follow her on Facebook
On Twitter
Follow on Google Plus
She also has GFC and Linky on her Blog
She also has Networked Blogs on her website also. All are found on the right hand side of her blog, Miki's Hope. Stop by and say hello sometime and leave her a comment letting her know how much you appreciate her helping out a fellow blogger.

Michelle has been kind enough to give me one of the Blooming Roses Sugar Scrub to add to my Roses Collection for Mother's Day. I will have the whole package ready either tonight or tomorrow for everyone to start entering. The value of the sugar scrub is $28.00 and the giveaway will be open to the U.S. only. Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used were taken by me and the sometimes cranky camera but today it acted right for a change!

Sacred Rose Matri Sponsor Spotlight Review

I have another great tea from Sacred Rose Tea that I wanted to share with you for Mother's Day and it is called Matri. Here is their definition of why they created this tea and what it's purpose is and I thought it would be perfect for Mother's Day. I did not copy the whole poem and it is beautifully written and I hope you take the time to read the rest of it:
Matri® was blended to breathe women in birth in the most high & loving way. Matri was created by Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Teas to inspire mothers to be unified with the higher consciousness of the physical, emotional, mental, & spiritual body systems.

Matri® is a delicate Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Blend of nettles, red raspberry, rose hips, alfalfa, dandelion, lemon & ginger. 
This tea is really awesome! I don't know if you have ever had a tea with rose hips in it before but there is something about it that just makes it taste extra special, just like our mother's are extra special. When I think of roses, especially pink ones, I always associate them with Mother's Day and Mom. It has always been a mental image to me that they just go together. I know alot of people will say roses are for romance and that is true also but I think roses also symbolizes the Pureness of a mother giving birth to a new and innocent child, a delicate creature just like a rose is delicate.

This is a list of the great herbal blends that Sacred Rose Tea makes:

**Clearing Tea® - Purges
**Soul of the Rose® - Transmutes
**Morning Blossom® - Encourages
**Mother Earth Zest® - Grounds
**Inner Peace® - Relaxes
**Dreamtime® - Soothes
**Beloved® - Unifies
**Matri® - Births

Each one has a specific thing that it does like the Dreamtime is the one that I drink when I am tired and can't seem to fall asleep, I try to drink a cup of nice hot tea before taking any medications. Then if all else fails, I will have to take something, but that has rarely happened. All of Sacred Rose's tea's are caffeine free and can be made to drink either hot or cold. I like my herbal tea hot but I have some friends who drink it over ice as well.

They recommend one teaspoon for a cup of tea and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. If you are making enough tea for 8 to 10 people they recommend using 1 to 2 Tablespoons of their tea and let it steep for 5 to 8 minutes. Of course, everyone is different and sometimes I get a little wild hair and want my tea either a little more tastier or milder and will play around with the amount so those are just recommendations to start with and then you can adjust according to your particular tastes.

I haven't tried all of Sacred Rose's teas but I don't think I lack too many more before I will. I have had the Inner Peace, which is really a nice soothing tea and Beloved is a nice rose colored fruity like tea. Dreamtime of course is to help you relax. So, that makes 4 I have tried. I will get around to the others in good time. Sacred Rose is so very generous with their portions of tea that are in each 3 oz. box that it takes awhile to drink that much tea. I have a feeling I will enjoy them just as much as the ones I have tried. So far, I have not been disappointed in any of the teas I have gotten from Sacred Rose. They have been top notch all the way and they are some of the most well thought out blends I have seen.
I thought you might like to see the tea infusor and teapot that they also sell on their website. I thought they were both cute and very unique. I love the little blue teapot at the end of the infusor. My kitchen is done in that same shade of blue and it would go with my other tea accessories! Maybe one day I can talk my husband into getting me one for my birthday or something. Won't be this one though because it's on May 1st so I don't have time to tell him now.
Sacred Rose Organic Tea wanted me to share this special recipe with you.
Mother’s Day Idea:
Mothers and Daughters will find the conversation and laughter flowing when they Celebrate Mother’s Day enjoying a festive tea day.

Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Tea
Tea for Mother’s Day
Mother Earth Zest® - a refreshing blend of ginger, spearmint, fennel and sage which assists in bringing a sense of fullness and grounding to our lives. This blend aids digestion and helps us root to the earth. Healing to the Root Chakra.

Mother Earth Zest® rice Pudding Ingredients
2 cups cooked organic brown rice
1 ½ cups almond milk
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups brewed Mother Earth Zest® Tea

Place the cooked rice, almond milk, maple syrup and Mother Earth Zest® Tea in a saucepan. Cover and bring almost to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until creamy. Remove the cover, and add the vanilla. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes.

As a conscious company, Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Tea takes pride in offering sustainable, eco-friendly products. Indulge in our products. Treat yourself or share our many teas, teapots and infusers as gifts for the tea lovers in your life.

Here is just a snippet of what I copied from the About Us section:
Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Tea is committed to providing products that both enhance our creative life force and sustain our planet. Sacred Rose® proprietress, Maria Pologeorgis, has inspired thousands of people internationally through her conscious business practices and companies. Presently, Maria travels throughout the United States and abroad teaching wellness practices and facilitating consciousness awareness. She is the founder of Sacred Rose LTD Conscious Human Development and CEO of Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Tea.

As a conscious company, Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Tea takes pride in offering sustainable, eco-friendly products. Indulge in our products: Treat yourself or share our many teas, teapots and infusers as gifts for the tea lovers in your life.

Sacred Rose Tea has been kind enough to offer the winner of my Rose Collection Package for Mother's Day a box of Matri Tea for you to try as well. You are going to love it! Value is $18.00 and open to the U.S. only.  
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I obtained the photo's used here today from Sacred Rose's website for better clarifications since my camera just doesn't want to cooperate with me right now.

Unjunk Your Junk Food Book Review

Here is what is on the back cover of the book, just so you know where we are going with this little book and why:

You don't have to give up junk food to eat healthy - just make smarter choices. Discover yummy alternatives to your favorite treats. UnJunk Your Junk Food is a quick and easy guide to:

**Healthy choices for the snacks you crave
**Savvy alternatives to conventional brands
**Tips for reading food labels and recognizing false claims
**Nutritious ingrediants to look for and dangerous additives to avoid
**A tear out Worst Ingrediants chart and more

Okay, here is my first problem and I really was hoping that I would find out that I was really doing sorta okay on the foods I have been eating but in the back of my mind, I knew I probably was not, well, I am doing pretty good but could do lots better.

But, in my case, here is the hitch: I have Acid Reflux, which really isn't that bad and in most cases wouldn't stop me from eating spicy foods. But it does help me by preventing me from eating alot of fried foods so I am good in that department. Everywhere I go I squeeze the living daylights out of food to make sure I got as much as possible grease off. Next hitch is: I have I.C. which is chronic bladder pain brought on by foods and drinks that contain potassium. Do you know how many foods and drinks contain potassium? Just about everything in the whole grocery store!! I have read so many labels that they are all starting to run together!

I have given up so many foods I used to eat that it is not funny. I kept having flare ups and the doctors kept asking me what are you eating? Alot of bananas? No, I said, because I really am not that crazy about them to begin with. Do you know what it ended up being that nearly killed me to give up? Yogurt and Sweet Potatoes! I did not like the cleaning out of my cabinets one bit! And my Mr. Pibb! The only drink that would stop my queasy stomach so now that I can't drink it anymore, I take loads of phenegran (medicine) to stop the nausea. I have it just about every day because of the amount of pills that I am on and taking them on an empty stomach is not so good, but, when there isn't hardly any to eat, whatcha gonna do?

Lastly, I have Fibromyalgia, IBS and RA and Hypothyroidism. I got alot going on and I was looking thru your book and I was really hoping for miracles to pop out at me that might tell me some great food choices that did not contain potassium, which, I know, would have been almost impossible because potassium is pretty much in everything. I know, I took hours in the grocery store one day trying to find something that didn't! Even crackers, pretty much all cereals, good and bad ones, both white & sweet potatoes, breads have it, sports and vitamin drinks have it, it is just downright not right that potassium has to go in everything!

So, in full disclosure, because I really was not the ideal person to test this book out and if I had know ahead of time, I would not have signed up for it because I can't give you the type of help I had hoped I would. The problem is, what few foods I do eat and can get by with, pretty much are what you consider bad foods! It looks like they have found some good alternatives in the book to get lower potassium levels and I am very grateful for that but my I.C. is so chronic that even a small amount is still pretty serious, but I am glad that someone is paying attention to potassium and all the forms that it comes in. I got messed up a few times because potassium was being called something else on some foods and I did not realize it until it was too late and I ended up having a Rescue Treatment.

I even tried to get on NutriSystem awhile back to help lose a few pounds. As soon as they heard that I had I.C., she flat out told me I could not eat anything on their list! Because it is either too spicy, too much acid or has potassium. She said I would have a hard time finding foods that I could eat safely and lose weight and not hurt my bladder worse than it already is. So, I was pretty discouraged because I figure if NutriSystem says there is no good diet foods that they make to help people eat better who have I.C., what are you going to do?

Now, if you don't have any of these health issues, I think this book would be good for those of you who do have some misconceptions about what is good calories and fat versus bad everything. While I was checking my cupboards back when I had to for the potassium, I also read the labels and saw how much other ingrediants I was eating that was bad so in a way, having this problem with potassium did get me away from a good bit of bad foods but not enough to help me lose weight. I have gained about 20 pounds more than what I weighed before I got sick in 2004 and later deemed disabled. Both knees have been replaced so all of my aerobics and hard core exercising became a thing of the past.

I do ride a stationary bike when I have the energy. Because of the Fibromyalgia my energy levels are extremely low. On top of that, I am anemic. Have been for years since I am no longer able to eat right. So, I know I am a mess but for those of you without all of this extra baggage, I would really sit down and read this book and go thru your cupboards like it suggests and read the labels and really check to see if they have some of the bad ingrediants that you did not know where bad and see about replacing them. You have that option where I don't. I am pretty much stuck with what I have. I do venture out from time to time and will eat something with potassium but in small amounts and I will take my pyridium just in case so if it starts to burn, I have at least done something ahead of time to ease the pain. So, I do sometimes, get the good food in my system but I have to be extra careful for a few days after to really not eat or drink anymore potassium.

The book, Unjunk Your Junk Food discusses weight loss, poor eating habits, dangerous ingredients and why they're bad for us, etc. There is a glossary in the back of the book to help you guys go thru and clean out your cabinets in your kitchen and fridge to see where the hidden dangers lie. Paying attention to calories without paying much attention to the ingredients in foods is one of the misconceptions we have been told for so many years.

Look out for chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, etc. I also now realize that just because a food has a lower fat count and fewer calories, does not mean that it is healthier for you. You will begin to be more conscious of what you are eating and will stop and say, do I really want this? And you will fall off the wagon, it's okay, just get back on it. That I think is one of the worst things we do, when we fall off, we say, well, I can't do it so you stop doing it altogether. Instead, look at it like a "free" day but then go right back to doing the right foods and I bet you will eventually see the weight and your health get back in line.

Good Luck and I wish all of you much success on completing the book and seeing those results! Just take the Glossary with you when you go shopping to help you with the ingrediants and before long you will get the hang of it.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I did take the photo of the book with my camera so the images came from me for once!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mother's Day Giveaway Event Blog Hop **Closed**

Everyone loves their mom and always wants to find the best gift to make her feel loved and appreciated. These are the gifts I have found and would love to share with you. After you enter my giveaway head over to Makobi Scribe to see her Mother's Day Package. Then stop by Sason & Pobi to enter the grand prize drawing of a Toshiba 32SLV411U - 32" class 720p 60Hz TV/DVD Combo!

Toshiba’s SLV411U provides excellent HD viewing, outstanding sound and renowned Toshiba innovation—without the clutter. Discover all-you-want entertainment plus all-in-one convenience with Toshiba’s SLV411U LED DVD Combo HDTV. With its size—32" class plus its smart, ultraslim profile and built-in DVD player, this set is ideal for kitchen or bedroom settings where extra cables and components are a no-go.
And a convenient PC input makes it easy to present home media or use the TV as a bigscreen monitor. Packing great Toshiba quality, reliability and innovation, the SLV411U offers excellent imagery and sound. While our exclusive DynaLight™ backlight control selectively punches up blacks and reduces highlights for a more balanced, true-to-life picture. Looking for a TV that plays DVDs as well as excellent entertainment? Choose Toshiba’s 32" class SLV411U LED DVD Combo HDTV.
  • DynaLight® - Automatically adjusts the backlight intensity based on the image content.
  • Gaming mode - Enjoy hair-trigger action on your Toshiba TV with a special setting that reduces game controller delay.
  • HDMI port - Scale up your gaming, movies and music on a home theater - with full 1080p high-definition video, and amazingly immersive surround sound.
Are you excited? Enter the giveaway for the Toshiba TV/DVD combo here.

Welcome to Mary's Cup of Tea and my package is for you and your family. I tried to even it out the best I could. I have the list below and each line item is a link to the actual sponsor review. It is not mandatory, but if you leave a comment on each sponsor review you will get extra entries at the end of the RC form. I would love for you to do so because it gives them incentive to keep giving us prizes to offer to you. Thanks so much and Good Luck!

1. Nuts About Granola - $10 GC

2. EO Products Shower Gel & Body Lotion - $44.00

3. L. Tremain Butter Bell Crock - $24.95

4. Ageless Harvey Prince Perfume - $26.00

5. Dale & Thomas 12 Bag Sampler Mothers Day Popcorn - $49.95

6. $30 GC to shop in Babies/Kids Section

7. Newman's Own Organics Goodies Package - $63.20

8. D-n-D Ranch Aroma's Goodie Package - $36.50

9. Tea Gallerie set of (3) bags of Loose Tea - $32.75

10. Huephoria set of 4 Martini Glasses - $84.00

11. Eden Fantasys - $50 GC

Total Value: $451.85

Makobi Scribe Reviews, LLC or the Mother’s Day Gift Event Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

Tea Gallerie Sponsor Spotlight Review #3

As promised, here is my third review because Tea Gallerie was so generous and sent me so many flavors I had to break up the reviews or I probably would have never got them done in time. I have to tell you I have tried some teas that I did not know even existed! It was so good and very fresh! I am including the link to the first review so that you can refresh your memory if you need to without searching thru my reviews.

These last three teas are teas that have ginger or lemon or cranberry in them and I can't drink those because of my I.C. (chronic bladder pain) and anything with acids or citrus or spicy things will cause me to have an attack so I chose not to try these last three teas. I am going to give them away in the Mother's Day Package that will start on May 1st (my birthday) and end on May 18th.

So, if you love tea and are an adventurer, you will love these teas I am sure. Okay, this is what they say about the White Guava Ginger: White Peony blended with a ""superfruit"" guava flavor. This tea has a pleasant rich scent with an exotic and tropical taste.

It also sounds like it might not be harmful but it is that word Ginger. Anytime in the past when I have drank or ate anything with Ginger in it as a spice it burns my bladder up so I will still stick with the plan and give these 3 teas to my Mother's Day Package that starts on May 1st.

When I used to not have this problem I was always trying something new and I know that if you limit yourself and don't try new things you will never know what you really like and what you do like. So, the names of these 3 teas are:

1. White Guava Ginger
2. French Lemon Ginger
3. Cranberry Burst

They were also kind enough to send me this wonderful cup and I thought I had some great cups and diffusers before but this little cup takes the cake! It says in the description that it is a tea and coffee maker but I have only tried tea and it is absolutely the best! Not one leaf nor one piece of anything gets thru that strainer like my others one did. Nothing but pure tea comes thru and that is it. You just put your tea leaves in the cup, more the hot water over it and let seep for a little while and then take the cup and set it on your cup and it drains!

Yes, you heard me right. I was skeptical too when I first saw it. I thought, now how is that not going to drain and go all over the place? But it doesn't. It only drains once you set it on top of your cup. Pure genius whoever thought that one up! Now, unfortunately, that was what I was reviewing, so you won't be getting one of those, just the 3 bags of teas that I mentioned.

I am surprised I am able to squint my eyes and read those labels on my screen! May camera is not the best in the world and it blurs the words some so alot of times I have to just keep trying til I get the right one. So far I did good catching the first two correctly. It is gonna be that Cranberry Burst that will cause me problems, just wait and see. This is what they say on their site about the French Lemon Ginger:

This organic ambrosia combines lemon verbena, lemongrass, botanicals, and ginger with the sweetness of African rooibos and honeybush.

Wow, I impressed myself just now! I actually got it on the first try. I think it is because it is 6:00 am and I haven't been to sleep yet and I am about to drop right in my seat if I don't get this done! I really can't tell you much about these teas since I did not get to drink them but I thought, what the heck, pass it on and someone is bound to like it somewhere along the line. If you don't like it, then pass to another friend or neighbor who likes to drink tea and we may have these three bags of tea travelling the world for all we know! I will give you some links to read about them or I may just copy it and bring it over.

This is what they say about the Cranberry Burst:

Our unique blend of cranberry, orange peels and rooibos make this a fantastic hot or iced tea, perfect for anytime of the day! The tart and sweetness of the fruits burst with flavor and will liven up your palate!

Now, after reading the flavors, I bet I would have loved this one but it is that cranberry that still scares me the most but the rest sounds wonderful. Look at what the tea looks like:

As I stated above, I will be putting all three bags into the package but I am still giving Tea Gallerie the credit and recognition even though this was for another event we finished but I did not get these three reviewed so I thought it only fair to give them one last review and I will have some entries on the Rafflecopter form for you to do for them if you don't mind.

 They have been so very kind to me and I think they are one of those rare unique companies that really care about it's employees and it's customers. Most of my sponsors email me and I have only had 3 call me and out of those 3 he is the only one who has called more than once. He sounds like a great person and a great boss! The Makobi Scribe Mother's Day Event starts on the first of May and ends on the 18th.

Connect with Tea Gallerie several ways:

Mailing Address:
3103 Falcon St. Suite G
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: 800.409.3109

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. Some of the photo's were taken by Mary Bearden and her cranky camera and I also got the tea cup off of Tea Gallerie's site.

Newman's Own Organic Sponsor Spotlight Review

I know you have see me talk about Newman's Own Organics lots of times in the past but now I have something new to tell you about that we enjoyed I think even more than the chocolates and that was Newman's Own Organics Balsamic Vinegar & Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Oh, my, we were so tickled to get these! We had some really good French bread and took the Balsamic Vinegar and added a little of the Olive Oil and then I had a mixture of garlic and other herbs and mixed all that together and had the best dipping bread mix I have ever ate! If you have never experienced dipping bread mixes and using your favorite bread (preferably one that has a real crunchy or toasty feel on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside), you really need to! Mostly you will find dipping breads in Italian restaurants but we have stumbled across others that do the same. Mostly Mom and Pop owned restaurants who have made up their own bread dipping mixes.

This is what Nell says about their Balsamic Vinegar:
"Our balsamic vinegar is from Modena, Italy," continues Nell. "The name comes from the Italian world for "balm" referring to the smooth, mellow character of this unique vinegar. Made from unfermented grape juice, it is then aged in wooden casks. When you want to get more creative try a classic Modena dish which pairs sliced strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle fresh strawberries with our high-quality balsamic vinegar and leave to mellow for 30 minutes before serving. A few drops of balsamic vinegar used to deglaze pan-fried meat, can transform an ordinary dish into something special. If a dish lacks pizzazz and tastes "flat," try stirring in 1 or 2 teaspoons of the vinegar. I'm sure you'll find lots of uses for this wonderful product."

I decided to quote her because really, what else could I have said? Trying to change someone's words to make them your own sometimes backfires because it does not have the same great "umph" punch so I have learned when to use my own and when not to. This was one of those rare times that I chose to use their words. And I am going to do it again with the Olive Oil because it is so important that you understand how great a good Olive Oil can be:
"Olive oil, too," says Nell, "has many uses besides the traditional oil and vinegar dressing. Ours is produced in Tunisia and is extra-virgin, which is considered the finest and fruitiest of the olive oils. It's wonderful for dipping or grilling bread, drizzling over ripe, red tomatoes when in season, added to a hot vegetable soup just before serving, using with pasta sauces, sautéing vegetables, cooking meats, making fresh mayonnaise, pestos, hummus, and so many other dishes. This is one product that will be become a daily staple for you." Newman's Own Organics Balsamic Vinegar is available in 8.4 oz. (250ml) and 16.9 oz. (500ml) bottles. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is available in 16.9 oz. (500ml) and 25.3 oz. (750ml)bottles.
We have tried Newman's Own Organic Black Tea in the past and loved it for making iced tea and for a cup of hot tea, mostly me, Mike drinks coffee but he does love a good sweet tea if made right. Well, you don't have to worry about that with Newman's Own Organic Royal Tea. I love it either way and so will you. Did you know this: According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed well over 50 billion servings of tea in 2006; which is over 2.25 billion gallons? These are the three types of tea that Newman's Own has:

**Organic Black Tea – 100 count of 2g double chamber tea bags in individual paper envelopes; suggested retail price, $3.99.

**Organic Green Tea – 40 count of 2g double chamber tea bags in individual paper envelopes; suggested retail price, $2.99.

**Organic Family Size Black Tea Bags – 22 count of 6.3g double chamber tea bags—perfect for preparing iced tea; suggested retail price, $2.99.

I did not know this the last time I reviewed their tea but this is where it comes from:
“We’re delighted to have found the Harris Tea Company. A family run company for the past 67 years, Harris Tea Company has over 200 years of tea procuring and blending experience. They know the tea plantations that our tea is sourced from, so we are able to offer quality organic tea to our consumers at reasonable costs.”
The other thing that we never tried before was the dried fruits. So, this time we did just that! Newman's Own Organics has these dried fruits to choose from: Raisins, Cranberries, Pitted Prunes, Apples, Apricots and a Berry Blend. My two favorites were the Berry Blend and the Apples, which actually surprised me because I normally don't like apples very well. I will eat a chocolate fudge covered apple but to just eat one by itself, naw, not me. I would have thought that the Apricots would have been my favorite but they weren't. I have to tell you though, the Berry Blend was superb! And I actually ate the whole Apple bag all by myself, something you just don't see often. Not at the same time and not all in one sitting, but I did get it done by myself.

Here is what Nell says about Dried Fruit in general:
Dried fruits have gone beyond their traditional roles and are now replacing high-fat, high-sugar snacks and drinks. Prunes, once thought of only for the older set, are being touted for their high antioxidant qualities; second only to blueberries. Raisins, always a treat, have made the leap from the lunch box and oven to trail mix, granola, and other mixed snacks. Cranberries are not just for holiday sauce anymore. They add zip to fruit salads and stuffing, are tossed into mixed snacks, are baked into muffins, breads, and cookies, or, like the others, are perfect for eating alone. Apricots are a healthy, delicious treat right out of the package. Or, try adding them to yogurt, cereal, salad, or desserts.
Newman's Own Organics has so many other products and if you will look back you will see over the last 8 months or so that I have talked about them all except for the coffee. Other than that, I think I have covered them all unless something new has been added recently that I don't know about. They have all been good and I hope you think of them the next time you go out shopping for groceries.

Pick up one or two items and try them and then go on to another one or two the next time until you find your favorites, just like I did. I have to admit that I really love their Chocolate Cups! Especially the Mint Ones and then the Caramel are my next favorite. And their Alphabet Cookies are totally awesome! Those really surprised me also.

The Vanilla and the Cinnamon ones are my favorite which is also surprising because they have a chocolate one that is also great but I would probably pick vanilla or cinnamon over the chocolate in this case. So, see, you never know which one it will be to take ahold of you. I hope I have given you enough info over the months to venture out and see what they have.

Newman's Own Organics has been kind enough (again!) to provide me with a package of goodies to give away on my Mother's Day Package that will be in the Makobi Scribe's Event that runs from May 1st and ends on the 18th. It will be for the Balsamic Vinegar & Olive Oil, Royal Tea and all of the Dried Fruits along with an extra surprise that they always put in each package that even I don't know about! Open to the U.S. only and value of this package is $63.20.

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. All of the pictures came from my cranky camera except for the very top one that I copied from Newman's Own Organic's page.

L. Tremains Butter Bell Crock Sponsor Spotlight Review

I was so very lucky recently to get to try one of L.Tremain's Butter Bell Crocks in the really cool and cute pale pink color and I am still amazed at how someone was able to think up such an unusual idea and it does not require electricity or electronics or batteries to run! All it takes is ice cubes! Can you believe that? Know really, would you have been able to think about something that unique and off the charts? To be able to leave butter out on the table and not have to put it back into the fridge but leave it on the table without spoiling because of ice surrounding the submerged part of the bell that has the ice in it? What a feat that was to do and I bet people thought in the beginning what? Oh, I don't know if I want to take that chance. But, in the end, they did and it caught on like wildfire!

Here are the basics of the butter bell:

•Guaranteed to keep your butter fresh and spreadable for weeks without refrigeration!
•Made by L. Tremain, famous for fine ceramic butter crocks since 1996.
•Endorsed by Top Chefs and Butter Manufacturers
•Dishwasher safe.
•Holds one stick (1/2 cup) of butter
•Size: 4.25" x 3.78"

And it comes in an array of colors that will match any woman's kitchen decor no matter what the color. It is made of durable New Bone China, the Antique Butter Bell® Crock comes in several vintage colors: Lavender, Goldenrod, Sienna, Ivory Rose, Rouge, Vert, Azure, Sea Spray and White Linen.

Then on their website I saw that they are having a sale and I could not just not tell you about it because you can get yourself one and get one for mom also:
And on top of that you can get one for a friend or grandmother or mother-in-law so no one will feel left out in the cold without one. Of course, you would have to guess at which color they would like but I think by now you should know your family members and what colors they like or if you are new to the family, ask your husband what color his mom likes. That way, if something does go wrong, you can point the finger at him! Just kidding! Also, you will get a flat shipping fee of only $6.99 so that is one heck of a deal! There are 6 different styles to choose from so make sure you study them all before making any decisions. They are all beautiful and all have their own unique style that will fit every kind of woman.
The unique design keeps butter at the perfect "spreading" consistency by reflecting outside heat while insulating and cooling the butter. Flavor and freshness is protected by an airtight seal of water at the base of the crock.

Proper maintenance: Water should be changed out every three days. Replace existing water in the base with fresh, cold water. The crock should be stored away from heat or sunlight.

Holds up to one full stick (1/2 cup) of butter. Softened butter is packed firmly into the bell-shaped lid. Cold water is poured into the base of the crock. The lid is placed upside down back into the base of the crock. Soft, spreadable butter may be enjoyed and served right from the crock.
Here are some additional helpful hints from the same page:
•Do not allow the butter to become too soft before packing it into the bell shaped lid. The butter should be firm enough so that is not slipping off the knife before packing the lid. When the butter is slightly firmer it packs into the lid better - just use a little "elbow grease".
•When packing the butter into the bell shaped lid, make sure you press the butter firmly into the lid, removing all air pockets. Air pockets within the butter create a suction affect when the lid is removed from the water, pulling the butter out of the lid.
•When using your Butter Bell crock, do not let the "Bell" sit out of the crock base for extended periods of time.
•After each use, check the remaining butter in lid to ensure there aren't any air pockets. Use your knife to redistribute the remaining butter within the lid for better adherence tension.
•Make sure that the Butter Bell crock is stored away from sunlight and heat. For instance, do not store on a counter near a stove/oven or in a window sill.
•Use the coldest water possible when adding water in the base of the crock. Perhaps add a few small, smashed ice cubes if you live in a very warm climate. Make sure you're changing the water every 3 days. This step ensures fresher butter for longer periods of time.
•Wash thoroughly between uses.
I got this information from the About L. Tremain section:
The L. Tremain Company, founded in 1996, is a privately-held, family run business based in Los Angeles, CA. The company’s main focus is to provide unique and time-honored kitchen tools, gourmet housewares and decorative tabletop lines to consumers worldwide.

The very first product line launched by the company was based on a centuries old French butter storage device. The company has taken the traditional French concept, increased its effectiveness and beauty, to create an innovative butter storage unit specifically for the American palate—the Original Butter Bell® Crock. Since its inception in 1996, the Butter Bell® crock has become the most recognized brand of butter crocks in the US and Canada.

The Original Butter Bell® Crock is a modern version of the authentic French "beurrier". Made from high quality, durable New Bone China, the Butter Bell crock safely keeps butter at room temperature—on the counter or tabletop—without spoilage, refrigeration or odors. L. Tremain has recreated and improved this natural method of preserving the creamy texture and delicate flavor that makes butter the most desirable and most-used spread in the world.
I am sorry that I had to use so much of their quotes or words on this review which is something I hardly ever do except for the About Us section but everything that you really needed to know about this wonderful product was told in such a precise and simple way for you to understand and I figured if I tried to sit here and figure out a different way to word it that it would come out all botched up, so I did use alot of their own words just so that you could understand how something like this really and truly works.

My words are that I was very skeptical at first and I put if off for as long as I could then had to do it to see if it would indeed work and to my amazement it did! I was just left in awe of how such a simple little thing could work and then I understood a little better how our forefathers must have used similar "tricks" or other ways to keep their stuff from spoiling or going bad. No telling at the things they did in the beginning to keep things or how they figured certain things out. But, what really matters, is that we now have a product that will help us have nice soft butter at all times without having to take it out hours before we need it to let it get soft for our use!

Connect with L. Tremain several ways:

Mailing Address:
L. Tremain Inc.
P.O. Box 10728
Marina Del Rey, CA 90295
Phone: 1.800.666.6126
Order: 1.888.575.1900

L.Tremain has been gracious enough  the winner of my Mother's Day Package in Makobi Scribe's Blog Hop Event that starts on May 1st and ends on May 18th one of their beautiful butter bell crocks in your choice of color and style. Good Luck!

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. Some of the pictures came from my camera and some came from L Tremain's Product's website.