Thursday, May 31, 2012

Celebrating Dad Giveaway Blog Hop **Closed**

Full Time Mama

Mary's Cup of Tea has teamed up with another 33 awesome blogs to bring you Celebrating Dad Giveaway Blog Hop. Once you enter my giveaway package head on over to the next blogger's site and enter hers also. Above all, have fun and Good Luck Everyone!

As in the past, I will list each prize and that line is an actual link to the original Sponsor Spotlight Review. If you leave a comment on each review, you will get extra bonus entries at the end of the Rafflecopter form. Thanks so much!

1. Sacred Rose Clearing Rose Tea valued at $18.00

2. Bella Viva Orchards 3 Tray Package valued at $25.00

3. Headline's Tshirt valued at $24.00

4. By Hand Granola valued at $7.00

5. Kitchen Table Baker's Aged Parmesan Crisps valued at $6.00

6. Dolce & Gabana Watch being sponsored by me. I had won this men's watch from one of the magazines and my husband does not wear watches and no one we know would wear a watch like this. I had it valued at Macy's who has the same exact watch and it is valued at $250.00! Picture below:

Total Value of Package is $330.00

Kitchen Table Bakers Spotlight Sponsor Review

I know we have a giveaway going on for one of these but Kitchen Table Bakers also wanted to be included in Celebrating Dad Giveaway so they are offering me another container to give away! Yea! So, if you don't win the first one, there is always the Celebrating Dad giveaway that starts on June 1st! See ya there! By the way, I got an email with some exciting news FYI on Kitchen Table Baker's crisps:
The KTB Flax Seed Parmesan Crip was featured on the Dr. Oz show… “Dr. OZ’s Best Advice ever 50 His All-time Greatest Tips”:

Verizon FiOS1 News did a video journal report which featured Kitchen Table Bakers.
“Journey to Discover a Crunchy and Healthy Snack”:

I got to review the one called Aged Parmesan and they could not have picked a better one for us because we love Parmesan on just about anything, especially our garlic breads and on any Italian dish. The company's name is Kitchen Table Bakers.

Sorry, I had to use their images but when I took the pictures, the crisps came out looking really orange and they aren't so I did not want you to think that they were that color at all. I can tell you that these crisps are what I call "The Real Thing", kinda food, meaning, it really tastes exactly like what the real thing is. Aged Parmesan is really earthy and aged and really really cheesy. You can only eat one or two at a time because the favor is so robust and flavorful. But, the more we ate them, the more it grew on us. Just be ready to drink something with it because of the robust flavor, it will make you thirsty, or it did us.

The crisps were very thin and very crunchy and it really is a good thing that they made them so thin because I think it would be sensor overload if it had been thicker. Gosh, even Charlie, our Yorkie loved them (we only gave him about 2 or 3 small tiny bites) and he had to head for the water afterwards! But, boy, did he gobble them up! Charlie is a cheese lover anyway and will eat it all the time if we let him. I only let him have a tiny bit once a week as a special treat. We get the 2% lowfat shredded and I will take a tiny amount and put it on top of his dog food and he will gobble that stuff up in an instant! So, if Charlie eats it, then it really is GOOD!

Oh, and for those who have problems with gluten, these are GLUTEN FREE! I am so glad to see more and more companies are coming out with foods that are gluten free. I have not been diagnosed with that but I do have IBS so my tummy is very sensitive and I have noticed that I do a little better with foods that are gluten free. So, when I can, I will get the gluten free over the regular. Several of my morning cereals have gone gluten free and I really did appreciate that!

Let's see, besides the Aged Parmesan, they have Sesame, Rosemary, Flax Seed, Everything, JalapeƱo, Garlic and Italian Herb. Wow, they all sound wonderful but I would have loved to try the Garlic and the Italian Herb and maybe the Everything. Oh, they even have them as mini chips too! And they won an award! Since I am not in the food industry, I don't know exactly what that means, but it looks pretty darn impressive to me!

Did I mention that these would go great with your favorite glass of wine? Or beer? I don't drink beer so I don't know about that one and I haven't really had a glass of wine in a few years but if I was going to drink wine, this would make the perfect snack to do it with. Here is what I got from their section About Us:
Our mother, one of the great home kitchen bakers, used to say, if you use only the highest quality best tasting ingredients you always end up with something delicious and nutritious.

We took this philosophy and included it in our Healthy Lifestyle Diet. Then in the summer of 2003, we created an All Parmesan Gourmet Wafer Crisps in our home at our Kitchen Table. We began by making one small batch, so we could have something to eat that would satisfy that need for crunch without shying away from taste. We soon let our friends in on our little secret, and began making larger and larger batches. Soon we were going store to store, leaving samples with our phone number. Before long our phones began to ring. We believed that, just like our friends and family…

If someone would try it, they would buy it, and they did, and still are!

Because of the response, and at age 55, I left my everyday job as a hospital administrator and never looked back.

It was great having people love something you made at your kitchen table. Even better was finding people who unselfishly helped us learn this new business on the run. It made me want to keep these wafer crisps the best they could be. So now I wake up every morning with a smile on my face looking forward to work.

Our goal was to create a Gourmet product that would satisfy even the most discerning palate while meeting diverse nutritional requirements. What we ended up with was a product that was Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Trans Fat Free, Sugar Free, Rich in Calcium and Protein, Naturally Low in Calories and Carbs. We never wavered from our philosophy that The Kitchen Table Bakers™ would use only the highest quality aged cheeses and seasonings.

These remarkable All Parmesan Gourmet Wafer Crisps are able to stand on their own, be used as a chip for dipping, as a base for a canapƩ or with a fine glass of wine.

Connect with Kitchen Table Bakers several ways:

Mailing Address:
41 Princeton Drive
Syosset, NY 11793
Phone: 516-931-5113
Toll Free: 800-486-4582
Fax: 516-932-5467
Contact Form
Store Locator

Kitchen Table Bakers has been kind enough to offer the winner of my Celebrating Dad Giveaway Package their own Aged Parmesan Crisps to try! You will absolutely love these! (Hubby thought they were awesome so, shhh, I guess I am gonna have to break down and get him a couple of containers for his Father's Day present). Giveaway starts on June 1st and ends on the 10th! 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. Photo's were used off of Kitchen Table Baker's site.

Bella Viva Orchards Sponsor Spotlight Review

I have a wonderful dried fruit along with almonds & pistachios 3 tray gift assortment that Bella Viva Orchards has so generously allowed me to review and will be offering one to the winner of my Celebrating Dad Giveaway package that starts on June 1st and ends on the 10th. You are all in for a really great treat! Anyone who places an order until July 31st can use this code and get 15% off of their order: cupoftea

There is one for the almonds:
And one for the Pistachios:
And then lastly for the dried fruit!
Since it is obvious what the almonds and pistachios is all about, I will let you know what is in the dried fruit tray. By the way, this package is called the California's Package if you decide you want to order one for yourself or someone you love. It has peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, & plums. The nuts are in a 8 oz. box of Roasted Salted Pistachios and 10 oz. box of Roasted Salted Almonds. All together this package weighs about 2 1/2 pounds of nuts and mouth watering dried fruit. Oh, by the way, they have an Online Discount going on every day with different products. So, be sure to check that out. It might help you save a few dollars here and there.
And on that subject, just so you know, Bella Viva Orchard's fruits are either Organic or Natural. What that means is that Natural Dried Fruits are made by drying fruits without added sweeteners, juices, or sulphites. Along with the fruit's natural flavors, these fruits posses a slight earthy essence and are dried to a lower moisture.

Most but not all of our organic-grown-fruits are dried in the same manner to make Organic Dried Fruits. Simply look at the ingredients-label and if the ingredient you see is the name of the fruit, then you know it was naturally dried because nothing was added.

I know for Valentine's Day you remember me talking about the chocolate covered fruits & nuts and I really loved those alot! I also love dried fruits and pistachio's so in both cases, I was able to review another set of great products from Bella Viva Orchards. I hope that you will give them a try the next time you want to surprise someone special with a perfect gift. Either one of these packages would make great gifts for any occasion.

Besides these products they have a vast array of other choices such as baskets, other kinds of trays, a trail mix along with fresh fruits. These would make great corporate gifts because everyone loves either fruit or nuts or chocolates. So, by choosing a mixture of these, the gift basket or tray will just about cover everyone in the office. You pick the size of the basket and let them know what you would like the most to be in them. I would have a hard time choosing because they all look so darn good! If I had to choose I think I would get the Sampler's Box because it has a little of everything and won't break your budget at $29.00:
You get all of these in that gift box: succulent Mixed Fruits, lightly roasted/salted Mixed Nuts, and a blend of Chocolate Covered Fruits & Nuts into one divine gift.

Here is a little background on Bella Viva Orchards:
Nestled in California 's Central Valley there is a bed of rich soil where the Martino Family farms and harvests Bella Viva's delectable fruits and nuts. We produce and sell fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, and chocolates online to customers nationwide, at Northern California 's farmer's markets and in select restaurants. Our delicious dried fruits include cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, apples, grapes, figs, and more! As a dried fruit company, using quality fruit is of utmost importance. With the close supervision and care of our fruit harvest, we can be certain we are selling our customers the best dried fruit under the sun.

Since 2006 Bella Viva has been a Certified Organic Fruit Grower, and as of 2008 we have become a Certified Organic Fruit Dry Yard as well. We are proud to offer authentic organic dried fruit to our customers. As of this date our organic dried fruits and nuts include cherries apricots, almonds, peaches, persimmons, strawberries, and oranges. Be sure to keep looking because we are adding more and more to our online organic dried fruit selection every season! Easy online ordering and shipping allows you to get a taste of California's delectable dried fruit, nuts and chocolate quickly and conveniently. What is better than having sweet and healthy treats delivered right to your door?
Connect with Bella Viva several ways:

Store Location:
7030 Hughson Ave.
Hughson, Ca. 95326
Phone: 855-888-8482

Bella Viva Orchard's have been kind enough to let the winner of my Celebrating Dad Giveaway Package have the same three trays I got to review! The giveaway starts on June 1st and ends on June 10th! Good Luck Everyone!

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. Three of the pictures were taken by me but the rest I got from Bella Viva Orchard's site.

By Hand Granola Sponsor Spotlight Review

I have another great granola company to tell you about called By Hand Granola and they only have 2 kinds of granola but when it is as good as these are, you really don't need to expand too much! You can choose either the Original or the Gluten Free one. The Original is the one with the blue handprint and the Gluten Free is the one with the Pinkish/Red handprint.

These are the ingrediants for the Gluten Free:
This is some seriously good granola and I have tried quite alot of them. They all have their own special quality about them and what I found out about this granola is that you can taste right off the bat that it had been toasted in an oven or something similar. It has that toasted taste to it that just brought out the flavor buds for me. It could also be the Cinnamon in the granola as I love cinnamon anything! I am also a Macadamia Nut freak also so that combined with the Cinnamon and knowing it had been toasted in something was enough for me. I also love Coconut but it is not a dominant flavor or at least not to me. And for the most part I did not taste the cranberries much either. Yes, I knew they were there, but just something about being toasted and the Cinnamon was all I could focus on.

Now the Original Flavor has the same ingredients except instead of cashews, it has almonds:

Now, I am not a big expert on Gluten Free, so I don't know if it means that the almonds are the only thing that is in the Original that doesn't make it Gluten Free. I will have to dig into that. You would think that nuts are nuts but maybe there is a difference between cashews and almonds as far as Gluten Free goes. Anybody out there know why? From the little bit of research I did, it looks like it is not the nuts, but the kind of oats that they used to make it Gluten Free. So, maybe the cashews make the gluten free oats taste better and the almonds didn't?

I hope this picture above gives you a pretty good idea of what they both look like. We loved them both and I have to admit I ate the Original one first and just took enough of the Gluten Free to see how it tasted. Once I finish the Original and really tackle the Gluten Free I am going to be running a test on whether it makes a difference in my IBS. I have been told that Celiac and IBS are pretty similar but IBS patients can tolerate gluten. So, once I get all the gluten out of my system, I am gonna try this Gluten Free one with more of a scientific approach than I did the Original.

I would love to know if just by changing a few things, can I make the IBS a little less painful? Has anyone else ran a similar test? Which products did you test if you did? I would love some feedback. My IBS is really starting to affect my life, which considering the other illnesses, it is on the low priority, but if I can eat better then maybe the others won't be so bad because I won't suffer stomach pain as well. Keep checking back as I take this road and see where it leads me.

Here is a little bit about the family that started it all. There is a little bio on all the family members and I couldn't copy it all so stop by About Us and read the rest of their fascinating journey!
Our mom (Suzy) has been making unbelievable granola for years. Everyone who has tried it, has loved it. There has been plenty of encouragement to start selling it, but until now it seemed unrealistic. But with our recent move to California and Whit's graduation from Colby College, we found it was the perfect time to launch our brand. We are currently in store locations throughout the South Bay area of Los Angeles, but we're working hard to bring By Hand to a store near you!

Our granola is more than just breakfast food. By Hand is a great snack for anytime. Enjoy it with milk, yogurt, or just by hand. It's nutritious, but most importantly delicious!
Connect with By Hand Granola several ways:

Mailing Address:
901 Hermosa Avenue
Unit J
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Phone: (310)937-1414

By Hand Granola has been kind enough to offer one bag of each to the winner of my Celebrating Dad Giveaway Package that starts on June 1st and ends on the 10th! 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. Two of the pictures were taken by me but the rest I got from By Hand Granola's site as my camera could not take that clear of a picture to show you the true look of this awesome granola!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sacred Rose Clearing Tea Sponsor Spotlight Review

I know you have seen me quite alot recently talking about Sacred Rose Tea and that is because it is so good and they have been so very nice to me about letting me have a product for my giveaways. This time for the Celebrating Dad Giveaway Package Blog Hop that begins on June 1st and ends on the 10th, we decided to do a tea called The Clearing Tea. Because as the owner so aptly named it, It's Always Time for Tea Dad! with Clearing Tea a Sacred Rose Organic Herbal Tea - blend created to relieve stress and anxiety.
Clearing Tea is a robust blend of black walnut bark, taheebo, spearmint, sage and rose hips designed to assist in purging stress and uprooting trauma. Clearing Tea is a highly effective anti-parasitic agent working to cleanse the physical and emotional body of toxic debris. On the physical level it detoxifies the colon. As a metaphysical cathartic agent it clears the body mind of unwanted thoughts and old embedded limiting belief systems.
Each 3 oz box costs $18.00 but wow, does it last a long time! You don't need to put much in an infusor to get the flavor to come out. All of her teas that I have tried so far are as good as the descriptions you read about here on my blog and on her website. None of her teas is harsh or bitter and they are almost clearless and not cloudy or have bits of pieces here and there in your cup. It really is a perfect cup of tea for someone who really enjoys a cup whether it be morning or in the evenings like me, I will make a cup or two to have while I read my books late at night.

This is how you are suppose to make their tea:
To retain the aroma & flavor of Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Teas, infuse one teaspoon of your favorite Sacred Rose® Blend into one cup of boiling water for 3-5 minutes.

For an 8 to 10 cup pot, steep one to two tablespoons of your favorite Sacred Rose® Organic Herbal Tea in boiling water for 5-8 minutes.

There are exactly (8)flavors of her teas and I am just about to the point having tried them all except for (2) and then I will have done them all! I also haven't tried their Elxirs either and this one sounds awesome called Solar Rose Flower Crystal Elixir:
Just a brief little description that I got from her site since I don't know much about the Elixers and I would not want to confuse you so I did copy a few of her sentences:
Flower and Gem Elixirs are wholistic tools of an ancient alchemical healing system. This alchemical technology of flower and crystal elixirs was utilized by enlightened civilizations that honored the reverence of life essence in plant and mineral.

I wanted to share this with you because I just saw it on Sacred Rose's Tea Blog and it was something I did not know about and just wanted to pass along something interesting or at least to a tea drinker it would be:

Invented in 1903, the first teabags were made from hand sewn silk muslin
Connect with Sacred Rose Tea several ways:
Telephone: 631-651-8292
Blog | Website | 2nd blog | Twitter | Facebook

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 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.

Headlines Tshirt Sponsor Spotlight Review

I thought this was one of the most hilarious new shirts that Headlines Tshirt has come out with for the spring/summer! I actually love shirts that don't have alot of words, just let the picture say it all. And this one certainly does that and that is why it made me smile when I saw it. It is of course called 98% You!

Here are the top reasons why this is a great shirt:

**VintageBlend™ tee by Headline Shirts
**Made in San Francisco
**60/40 xtra-soft cotton/poly
**Eco-Friendly Discharge Ink
**Ships in 24 hours

They also have a sale section and I noticed 2 of their shirts have been marked down to $14 each. You can get them in either Men's or Women's sizes and I believe that product changes from week to week. One is called Occupy Burning Man and the other is Baboon in Motion. I am also glad to see that they have finally added a Kid's section so that they can have some very funny shirts to wear also!

I also noticed while I was there that they now have buckles for belts like the one above, isn't that just too cute! They also have wallets with funny logos and sayings! Who would have ever thought that you could get a wallet or buckle that might match your t-shirt! Headline Shirts also ships worldwide so go for it if you live outside the U.S.! It looks like from what I can tell they only have mens & womens sizes right now. Also, the sizes range from small to 3X so you should be able to find something in your size without any problems. Did you know that there must still be actual typewriters out there? I just saw where Headline's just released their new Typewriter Bags for travelling! Now, isn't that something?
As for children's tee's I found this one and thought it was pretty darn funny:

It is a Flying Squirrel t-shirt and not really too sure what the meaning is or why they thought up something like that but at least it is clean fun with no dirty words or sayings that anyone can take offense with.

As for the quality here is what I learned on their site:

Our latest designs are released on our very own, made in San Francisco, 60/40 extra soft cotton/poly VintageBlend™ t-shirts. Our older men’s designs are printed on 100% combed, American ringspun cotton. The cut between the two types of men’s shirts are the same regular fit, meaning not too loose and not "body hugging" slim. The only difference between these two types of tees is that our VintageBlend™ is a bit thinner than your average 100% cotton tee. We print with soft, eco-friendly waterbased and pigment discharge inks, with no PVCs or catalysts. Each shirt is tagless and printed with our "Baboons Typing" tagless neck design. And obviously, we're completely sweatshop free.

I found this neat information on Our History section:
Headline Shirts was founded in 2005 in a dusty, ramshackle garage in San Francisco. (All of which is true except the thing about the garage.) Having started at the peak of the Bush years, our early t-shirt designs reflected the mood of the country -- politically charged and kind of crazy. Before long, though, we found politics to be a bit polarizing. So we set about making intelligently funny tees that everyone could enjoy -- be they a pussyfooting Hollywood liberal or a gun-crazed redneck from Waco.

As business grew, we started selling our shirts wholesale and our tees can now be found in major retailers and boutiques throughout the world (and elsewhere, but that's another story).

In 2008, having outgrown our humble digs and forgotten who all of our friends were, we moved to a new headquarters at the "blossoming" intersection of 17th and Capp Street in San Francisco. (Shot in the dark, if you happen to be the punk who keeps tagging our windows, could you knock it off?)
Okay, here is how to shop or research a great shirt from Headlines Shirt:

Mailing Address:
3265 17th Street Suite 104
San Francisco, CA 94110
Telephone: 415-626-2957

Headline Shirts has been nice enough to offer the winner of my Celebrating Dad Giveaway Package a Tshirt of their own! The Giveaway blog Hop starts on June 1st and ends on June 10th. Thanks so much Headlines! By the way, if you sign up for their newsletter, they give you right off the bat $5 off your purchase!

Old London Snack Products Review & OPA Sweepstakes

Have I got some great snack products to tell you about today that come from Old London Foods! We had 3 boxes sent to us and they were:

1. Melba Toast in Rosemary & Olive Oil Flavor
2. Melba Snacks in Sea Salt Flavor
3. Bagel Chips in Garlic & Herbs

I decided to play it safe on the first try and picked the Melba Snacks in the Sea Salt flavor and I was so glad that I did. It was a great alternative to potato chips or alot of other loaded in calories snacks that I could have had instead. I loved just eating them plain but I also experimented with cream cheese, garlic & herb spreads, spinach and artichoke dip and several other spreads like regular hummus. I did try them with ranch dressing but wasn't too keen on that one.

I have to admit that my husband and I are not into the whole gourmet type thing where we try all these nice recipes that look like a professional chef did them. So, I can only tell you from a dip standpoint that these are great with just about any flavor or style of dip! On Old London's online store you can buy these either in two pack boxes or 12 pack boxes. You can also buy them in stores all over the country.

We both tried the Melba Toast in Rosemary & Olive Oil and they were actually quite good. Sometimes, like in the past, that flavor can go badly wrong if too much Rosemary is added but that was not the case here in these great tasting melba toast from Old London Food's! We also used a southwest sour cream based dip for this melba toast (well, mostly Mike as it has a kick to it, like in a really strong salsa), so I did not dip into his. I got out the hummus again and really loved this melba toast with just the regular hummus. It is also very good with feta cheese if you like feta cheese. Like I said, we stick to the basics. When I was younger I used to experiment with food, but since becoming sick in 2004, I don't do that much anymore because of the food limitations I have.

If you love hot or spicy foods, you will love the this one. The Bagel Chips in Garlic & Herbs really sounded good to me because I love garlic and herbs and I even have some cream cheese spread right now in that flavor but when I bit into the Garlic & Herb Bagel Chip it nearly choked me! Mike on the other hand kept right on eating them. I don't know what they put in there besides garlic or maybe a new kind of garlic or herbs, but whatever it was, it was very spiceful and the garlic almost took my breath away. I have never had that reaction before with anything with garlic or herbs. Hubby was happy to have that box all to himself! He dipped them into that hot Southwest dip that he had and talk about spicy overload! Wow, I could not believe he could eat both of them together like that, but he did. So, like I said in the beginning, if spicy and hot are your thing, you will love these.

I did not get to review these but Old London also makes bread crumbs in several flavors and if you are like me, and use bread crumbs in baking sometimes, this is worth checking out. I think either the Classic or the Seasoned would be the 2 I would pick out of this group. They also make something called JJFlats and I really could not tell from the site's images what they are but they come in 4 different flavors.

The things I liked the best about these snacks other than the flavors is that they are no cholesterol, no trans fats, range from 60 to 70 calories for about 3 pieces each and they have 5 grams of fiber, which is something I desperately need. I also loved the low calorie part also. But still, remember just because they are low calorie does not mean you can eat the whole box in one sitting. Try spreading it out and also watch what you put on them because that could undo the whole low calorie thing. That is why I usually eat mine plain like they are. I also liked the Sea Salt Melba Toasts for when I have an upset stomach and just need something plain with salt that I can nibble on until I get better.

Also, Old London is having an OPA, A Better You Sweepstakes where you could win a trip to Greece! All you need to do is go to their Facebook page and enter! You can also find some great recipes if you are more adventurous than me on their Facebook page or their online website. I did copy a picture of an example of something they made out of the Melba Snacks Sea Salt and they actually look pretty good so I might try this one called Chocolate Pistachio Crunch. You will find it on the link I gave above from the online website:

While you are there, also check out their Basic Fitness Tips to help you burn off some calories and they even have a chart up letting you know what 50 activities you can do that burn those calories off! You will also find their Top 10 Tips for Everyday Health. Now, here is one I really like and it is actually #2 on the list: Waltz yourself to bed and take naps! The more alert you are the better you will feel! Although, I don't have a choice, like today was a very bad day for me and every time I tried to get up I got sick at my stomach and light headed so I really didn't do much and did not really feel good until I was ready to get this review done so I don't get in trouble. But, you guys know it's my health issues that prevent me from doing alot but for those of you who are healthy and can do these, I sincerely recommend you try and follow at least half of them if you can.

I think if I had not been so active in working out and going out dancing every weekend and watching what I ate up to the day I got sick in 2004, I would probably be in worse shape than I am now. That is what my friend told me, she said what if you had been one of those couch potatoes who never did anything and you were overweight. She seems to think because I did live a healthy lifestyle while I was young up to my 40's that that helped all these illnesses that I have now more bearable and better equipped to handle it. I don't know but I do know that back then when I could exercise, I felt like I was on top of the world and unbeatable. Now, I am lucky if I feel like riding my stationary bike a few times a week. So, read what they have on their site and try to follow at least half if not all.

By the way, you can get Healthy Living Tips from Cheslie Hightower from Danicing With The Stars and Dr. Susan M. Kleiner. She is on board with this campaign and she and Dr. Kleiner had all sorts of valuable information to share about How to Live Healthier. That is why she recommends all those dancing moves like Waltzing to take a nap, going out dancing, and definitely dance with a partner to make it more interesting. And I do agree with the Shake Rattle and Roll, because I did that for years and always stayed slim without really having to diet alot. I was working 2 jobs also so I did not get much time to snack and when I did eat, I mean I really ate and still managed to stay around 110 for years and years. So, I know it works. Just got to believe it and don't give up!

You can also join their email mailing list to keep up to date about any new information or new products, promotions or giveaways that they are involved in for the future. And do make sure you enter the OPA Sweepstakes!

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 mostly used my photo's with just a few from Old London's website. “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Old London. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Instant Chalkboard Review & Giveaway **Closed**

I was really excited about getting this product because I thought it would be awesome to put on the fridge so that if anyone needed to leave a message for someone the most logical place to me is the fridge because we normally gravitate to that place for some odd reason. Maybe not the minute you walk in the house, but at some point you do and it would be right there glaring at you! So, no more lost papers or papers that got wrote on after you left message, etc. I got the one that is in sheets not a roll for that specific purpose because a long roll would be useless to me. I really liked this idea of the coffee cup for my fridge. You know, because of Mary's Cup of Tea!

We don't have small children although I do have a grandson who will be 6 in August but he lives in another state but I do plan on splitting up my sheets and sending them to them to have also. The only problem that I encountered was no chalk came with the sheets and I did get the instructions on paper but no video, which I don't watch those anyways, so that did not phase me one bit. However, not having any chalk did.

And we are going on vacation in less than a few days. I was afraid we would not make it back in time and I did not want to wait until I could get some chalk either from Instant Chalkboard or go buy my own (which I can't because Mike takes the car to work everyday). And trying to tell him where to go is like talking to a brick wall. So, please forgive me that I won't have any pictures of me using the Instant Chalkboard sheets. I had this all planned out in my mind but then when it came and I had no chalk, and I was short on time, I figured it would be better to get it up instead of not.

I also am gonna have to admit that I thought by ordering the sheets that for some reason in my mind I thought they would be like a magnet type thing that would stick to the fridge. That was why I stayed away from the rolls also because of the peeling thing. So, it is my mistake for not fully reading but since it says it comes off really easy with no problems, I was gonna give it a shot anyway until I searched for the chalk that was suppose to come with it, then my plans sorta took a nosedive.

I still love the idea and when we get back from vacation I will stop somewhere and get some chalk and put up another (just a review) post with me using the sheets and writing on them. For now, since I knew they wanted this up kinda in a timely manner, and I did not think we would be back in time, will be doing this taking my grandson's words and the pictures from Instant Chalkboard to explain about their products.

I did not ask them to take pictures and send theirs to me because his mom just had surgery for breast cancer and I was not gonna impose on them to do my work under those circumstances. So, this all happened so fast and really backfired on me big time. I was able to get J.W. to tell me how he liked the chalkboard and what he used it for and he was really excited about it. I told him it was one of his birthday presents but early since his isn't until August.

He says he draws pictures of dragons (his favorite thing) on them and he leaves hugs and kisses for Mom there also. He knows she does not feel good, just not how bad things are. So, he says he mostly draws things to make her feel good and he said Dad had put a sheet on a cardboard so he could make her a different "get well card" everyday. I just about cried but held it in. This is how he described it and I found a picture on Instant Chalkboard that I think would look similar:

I think this is one of the best idea's I have seen for everyone, just not children. I love the idea of being able to jot down a random note or thought or list of things I need real quick on the spot w/o having to search for pen and paper. So, I can tell you how much I loved the idea and how I hope it will cut down on paper around here. We use alot of it! Of course, I will still need my notebooks for my blogging but the other things that I write down or leave notes for my hubby will start going on the instant chalkboard I will set up on the fridge. Like I said earlier, I got sheets instead of a roll.

I love that you can get them in shapes also! I know that these aren't what will be offered in the giveaway due to pricing but I think they are awesome and wanted to show you at least how cool they are and that I am amazed at the idea's that some creative mind had to think to make shapes with the chalkboard. They have animal shapes, maps, food & drink, calendars and kid's room shapes. They even had one showing several shapes of dinosaurs. I may have to remember that and order those for J.W. He would really get a kick out of that!

Oh, I finally, found the video on the website on how to apply. Looks like it mainly deals with the shapes but I think it would also apply to the others as well. If you have a credit card or even your drivers license card, you can get this to work anywhere and then I watched them peel it right back off, so it really does look like it won't cause any damage to whatever surface you are using.
If you need assistance please contact:

Appliance Art, Inc.
675 Metropolitan Pkwy.
Suite 4094
Atlanta, GA 30310
Phone (404) 228-6329
Fax (404) 549-7375

Instant Chalkboard has been generous enough to offer one winner $25 to spend on their online store. Open to the U.S. only. Thanks!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Glam Nation Skincare Products Review & Giveaway **Closed**

I was very lucky recently to get to review the above three products from Glam Nation. They are:

1. Natural Perfection Facial Cleanser
2. Natural Perfection Eye & Makeup Remover
3. Re Nu Moisture Cream
This was the one I really liked the best. I loved the gentle action but still got the benefits of getting all my foundation and eye makeup removed without harming my skin. Glam Nation's organic eye and makeup remover is made with emolient herbs, organic oils and other ingredients that have a deep cleansing and soothing effect on the delicate skin around the eyes. Even thick layers of mascara come off easily. This lightly aromatic formula helps to reduce under eye bags and soften fine lines while removing impurities from the skin. You will love this product as much as I do. I love that this product has some rose extracts in it. I am very fond of roses and love the effects that it has on my skin.
Glam Nation’s organic honey & milk organic facial cleanser also has Calendula along with Organic African black soap devoid of lye processing provides the gentle foaming action to effectively remove makeup and mascara. It does not foam so that you are getting nothing but the pure product and I actually liked that because some cleansers can foam up so much that I wonder if I am really getting any benefits.

If there is so much foaming going on then how can the real cleaning and getting the benefits from a gentle cleanser really be? It was a little strange at first not seeing any foam but I can tell you that it did clean my face just as good as any other soaps or facial cleansing wipes that I have used in the past. The organic milk and organic honey mixture gives you a glowing skin. You only need a very small amount and massage it well into the skin and rinse.

And then lastly, is the moisturizer. It is very important to your skin to use the right kind of moisturizer and if you want the total experience of using organic skincare, you can't go wrong with Glam Nations. This unique blend of organic rose, shea buttter and vitamins will give you the healthy, glowing skin you are seeking. It will help you achieve that youthful look that we all aspire to while still being healthy looking also.

Oh, and by the way, you will know if you have used too much because if your skin hasn't absorbed all of it within 10 minutes, you have put too much on. It says in the directions to use after you have used the Hydrator but since I didn't get that one, I can't tell you what it does specifically that it needs to come become the moisturizer. They do say if you have really dry skin like I do to add some serum or face oil for your specific problem (mine is dry skin) and mix it with the moisturizer before putting it on the face.

Glam Nation has alot more products to try for all types of skin problems and you can either shop or browse by skin type or by skin treatment. I like that so that I don't waste alot of time on looking at something that is of no use to me and I can cut right to the chase.

I hope that one day I will get to try the Toners and Hydrators along with some of the serums and they also have mineral foundations! So, this is not just a one topic online source for skincare, it is a whole line of great thought out facial products that range from the ground up starting with cleaning, toning, moisturizing, eye treatments to foundation then back to the cleaning process and the night time regimes that you need to keep the whole package together. Going organic never looked so good!

Here is Glam Nation's Approach to Organic Skincare:
About Us
As women worldwide have become savvier about their skin care, the demand for high quality natural and organic skin care products has grown. Over 20 years ago, this increasing awareness inspired our formulator to create a line of organic skin care products that could be enjoyed by women of all ages. Glam-Nation represents her passionate dedication to her life’s work.

A Fresh Approach to Organic Skin Care Products
We believe that every woman has the right to youthful, gorgeous, glowing skin… without compromising her health. Glam-Nation’s moisturizers, cleansers, and anti-aging serums are free of toxic additives which can poison your skin over time. Unlike many other “organic” skin care products which may contain unnatural substances, our ingredients are derived directly from nature. Our sophisticated formulas invigorate the skin, replenishing the youthful radiance that other products have taken away.

Each of Glam-Nation’s organic skin care products is crafted by hand in a manner which no machine in the world can duplicate. The loving care which goes into their preparation ensures superior quality and effectiveness. Many of our customers tell us that since they began using our line, they look forward to their daily skin care regime. Others say that our delicious-smelling natural scrubs, masks, hydrators, and exfoliators are like “food for the skin”. Glam-Nation products do much more than beautify; they create a sense of renewal and joy which lifts the whole being; body, mind, and soul.
Connect with Glam Nation several ways:

Located: South Beach (Miami), Florida 33140
Phone: 1 877.588.4526

Glam Nation has been kind enough to offer one winner a set of the Makeup & Eye Remover and the Facial Cleanser to try for themselves! You will love how your face feels! Open to the U.S. and Canada only.