October 16, 2011

One Cup Connection for you Keurig K-cup lovers! {review and giveaway}

One Cup Connection - Keurig K-Cups

Do you own a Keurig K-Cup brewer? Then this review and giveaway is for you! Read on...

I was lucky enough to win a Keurig K-cup brewer in a blog giveaway last Christmas. I felt like Santa Claus had truly been to my house!! :) I loved being able to make a fresh brewed cup of coffee, one cup at a time. And I loved the variety. I had an absolute ball that Christmas trying different types and flavors!

But then the novelty wore off and the price of K-cups just seemed... well, more like a splurge than a necessity. And for me, coffee is a necessity!

So I put the Keurig brewer away and forgot about it.

...until One Cup Connection asked if I'd like to host a giveaway for my readers.
See this little white box? More on that later.

One Cup Connection is an authorized Keurig coffee distributor, specializing in Keurig Coffee K-Cups and Keurig Coffee Brewers.

You know one thing I love about One Cup Connection? Not only do they carry all the well-known K-Cup varieties, but they get the new holiday editions as well. Like Pumpkin Spice. Oh yeah, you read that right. Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice is a limited edition K-Cup just for the holidays, so when stock is depleted, there won't be any more until maybe next year. Maybe. When it's gone, it's gone. So if that's one of your seasonal favorites, stock up while you have the chance!

You know another thing I love about One Cup Connection? Their prices are comparable to other distributors, but their K-Cup boxes come in packs of 24, not 18 like most other K-Cup suppliers. Twenty-four! That's like getting a half dozen more free!

But the best thing I love... and it's something brand new with One Cup Connection and unique to them as far as I can tell... is the Pick-A-Pack option.
Pick-A-Pack allows you to select 8 K-Cups of your choice as a sampler pack. 8 different varieties. Or 2 each of 4 different varieties. Or any combination you choose to add up to 8.

I love this idea! And One Cup Connection was generous enough to allow me to select my own Pick-A-Pack combination to test the service.

Remember that little white box?
When I opened it, inside were my 8 K-Cup variety choices. Here's what I chose:

* Newman's Own Organic Special Blend Extra Bold
* Diedrich Colombia
* Caribou Sumatra
* Wolfgang Puck Vienna Coffee House
* Timothy's World San Lorenzo Dark
* Tully's French Roast
* Green Mountain Kenyan AA Extra Bold
* Green Mountain Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve Extra Bold

Several different types that I had been wanting to try but was leery of springing for a whole box, in case I didn't like it. I needn't have worried. I loved every single one of them! I like my coffee rather bold as you can tell from my choices, and none of them disappointed.

But each was distinctive, and coffee of course is a matter of taste and personal preference for everyone individually. And that's the sheer genius of the Pick-A-Pack idea -- you can try a sample before buying a whole box.

Now, let's be real, I probably won't be buying a box of all of the above flavors, but there are a couple that were outstanding and I'll definitely be ordering those. And I probably wouldn't have ever got the chance to try them out without the Pick-A-Pack option!
Want to know more? Head on over to One Cup Connection and check out the Pick-A-Pack deal. It's only $5.99! And now through November 30, if you buy 4 boxes of K-Cups, you get a pick-a-pack FREE! So stock up on your favorites and try out some new varieties too.

Connect with One Cup Connection on Facebook and be alerted to specials and promotions.

If you own a Keurig brewer, you're in luck! One Cup Connection is giving a lucky Shady Lady reader not one but TWO boxes of K-Cups of your choice! Woo-hoo!

Just use the Rafflecopter entry method for your entries. If Rafflecopter isn't working for you, leave a blog comment with your entries and I'll take them into consideration when choosing a winner.

US only please. Giveaway ends midnight CST Thursday October 27. Good luck!

New! Holiday scent Renuzit Fresh Accents freshener {review}

It's been a long time since I've had a cat. When I recently adopted two kittens, I was amazed at two things:

1. I had forgotten how adorable they can be!

2. I had forgotten how stinky they can be!

So the past few months have been a constant struggle between me and the litter box scent. It's awful. And it's come to the point that something has to go... either the stink or the kittens.

When I walk into my own home and I'm embarrassed by the odor, I'm losing the battle. I mean, I live here! And it's offensive to me? Think how my guests would feel. And with holiday visits coming up? Yikes!!

No, on second thought, tell the guests to stay away. Nothing personal, just until I can figure out my next round of strategy on How To Beat The Kitty Funk.

Renuzit is helping me fight that never-ending battle with a new air freshener product just in time for the holidays called Fresh Accents. These are just beautiful!

So festive and absolutely charming! I love the snowflakes cutouts but I especially love how the scented gel inside is translucent enough to allow light to shine through, so that it looks like a little stained glass ornament. It comes in red and green - holiday colors! - Winter Berry in red and Festive Snow in green.

Winter Berry smells a bit like a mix of raspberry and mulberry. Like a fresh updated blend of the traditional mulberry scent. I like mulberry well enough, but I always thought it was a bit heavy. This is much lighter, much more refreshing, but still packs a punch for fighting your toughest odors.

Festive Snow is my favorite of the two, I think. It smells kind of like fresh cotton laundry hung in a pine forest. Or something like that. Very fresh, very light, but again packs enough wallop for a whole room.

And they look absolutely gorgeous just sitting around quietly doing what they do best. With the snowflake design and red & green colors, guests will mistake them for little stained glass what-nots. Perfect for the bath, guest bedroom, family room, any room where you want a fresher smell and a touch of beauty.

Oh, and how about the family vehicle? I'm going to be picking up several of these and one is definitely going into my car!

(forest green, not lime)
(cranberry red, not purple)

I think these new Renuzit Fresh Accents holiday air fresheners are a hit. They last for about 30 days and retail for about $2. TWO DOLLARS for a gorgeous bit of prettiness to freshen up your holiday home! What a deal!

By the way, the colors in these pictures aren't exactly true to life. Winter Berry is cranberry red, not purple as it looks in the pic. and Festive Snow is a deep forest green, not lime green as it looks here. Just wanted to point that out. Probably has to do with how the camera flash hit the translucent gel or something.

I'm still battling the kitty litter box odor, but not so much since I tried these Renuzit Fresh Accents. So, my furry little friends, I think I'll keep you...

{Disclosure: Renuzit brand provided free samples of Fresh Accents air freshener so I could review them. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own and no monetary consideration was involved.}

October 15, 2011

FUMI pursehook and new! Scarlett buffer/cleaner {review and giveaway}


That's FUMI!

FUMI makes some of the most unique, fashionable, innovative, and multipurpose products I've ever seen. I'm simply in love with their pursehooks!

Have you tried the FUMI pursehook? No? Then you don't know what you're missing!

These lovelies are designed to be worn as bracelets or used as purse decorations, but they serve another function too -- they are excellent for hanging your purse straps from when you want to keep your purse off the floor.

Think about when you eat inside at a fast food place. You either keep your purse in your lap (awkward) or put it on the table (risky) or put it in an empty chair (also risky) or put it on the floor. Major yuck at the last option.

That problem has been solved by the FUMI pursehook! It is designed to suspend your bag by the straps from the table itself, keeping it out of your way and off the floor, yet close by for safety. Brilliant!

What about a shopping cart? I never thought about what germs and yuck could be lurking in wait in the purse part of the buggy, but using a FUMI pursehook eliminates that problem as well. Just suspend your bag from the cart handle by using the FUMI pursehook and it stays out of contact with the germ-laden public buggy, yet still right in front of you.

How many times have you dashed into the grocery store for a few things, like chicken breasts for dinner? Did you put the chicken package in the purse section of the buggy while you picked up a few more items? Think about the salmonella that could have leaked out. Now think about setting your purse down on that salmonella, then carrying it inside your home and straight to the kitchen counter while you unload your grocery bags.

Uh-huh. Now you get the picture.

The added bonus is that the FUMI pursehook isn't just utilitarian (like some other purse hooks I've seen) but it's gorgeous! I chose the FUMI Egypt bangle pursehook in silver for this review (photo above). There are many colors and designs available.
These would definitely catch my eye as bangle bracelets, they're so pretty! And what a great and thoughtful gift! Maybe this isn't something you'd splurge and buy for yourself (germs and yuck notwithstanding) but they make simply marvelous gifts. Especially for busy moms who don't need yet another thing to worry about (salmonella, etc.).

FUMI also has many other terrific products. They've just introduced the Scarlett, an eye-catching colorful "scarf" for your purse that can be used as an eyeglasses or sunglasses cleaner, or to clean a camera lens, or buff your cell phone, etc. Lots of uses for this clever addition to FUMI's already fabulous collection!
And the colors and patterns are outstanding. They literally look like little scarves to decorate your purse. I chose the Scarlett Blue Your Mind pattern (above) and just love it. Many colorful designs are available.

So again:


Start your gift shopping early! Any of the FUMI products would make terrific gifts!

Connect with FUMI on Facebook and be eligible for prizes! They have a fabulous giveaway going on right now!

Want to win a FUMI Scarlett and pursehook of your own? Then you're in luck! One lucky Shady Lady reader will win their choice of pursehook and a Scarlett cleaner! Woo-hoo!

Just use the Rafflecopter entry method for your entries. If Rafflecopter isn't working for you, leave a blog comment with your entries and I'll take them into consideration when choosing a winner.

US only please. Giveaway ends midnight CST Wednesday October 26. Good luck!

October 1, 2011

Santé brings you Nut heaven! {review}

Ah, nuts! I love 'em. All kinds. I've never met a nut I didn't love.

And I choose nuts over most other things. Mints or nuts? Nuts, every time. Fudge with nuts or without? With, definitely. Brownies without nuts? Okay (hey, it's chocolate after all) but very much preferred with nuts.

What would a pecan pie be without pecans?

Peanut brittle without peanuts?

Nuts are one of life's most delicious little pleasures. I can remember Christmas as a kid and one of the brightest joys was mixed nuts, something we didn't enjoy all year long but was reserved for special occasions and holidays.

Santé Nuts has brought back all the special pleasure of snack nuts with their line of healthy, crunchy, and very satisfying products. When I opened the box of samples I was sent, I knew right away these were no garden variety nuts!

I have a darling eighty-something-year-old neighbor who brings me homemade fudge every time she makes it. Her fudge is absolutely mouth-watering... but made without nuts. Because of her particular health problems, she can't eat nuts, so she doesn't use them in cooking.

No problem. I figured this was the perfect time to try the Santé nuts I had been sent for review.
So I opened the package of Santé roasted salted pecans and popped a couple into my mouth along with a bite of fudge.

Oh my.....

Sheer heaven!!

I love nuts of all kinds, but I especially love them roasted/toasted. Brings out the natural flavor more intensely, in my opinion. And Santé has learned how to roast/toast nuts to perfection. These are without doubt the crunchiest, freshest tasting nuts from a package that I've ever eaten. And for a nut lover like me, that's saying something!

So I eagerly tried the other nut samples Santé had sent. Candied pecans or candied walnuts, anyone? Oh, too bad, the packages are empty now because I ate them all!! YUMMY!!!

Perfectly roasted and flavored to bring out the crunchy goodness. I can't even bring myself to think these would be good in recipes (although they would be awesome) ... they're absolutely da bomb for simple snacking!

The package says "perfectly crunchy nuts for snacking & salads". Snacking, yes. Salads? Hmm...
So I opened the final sample package which was garlic almonds. Described on the pack as "zip & zing with a hint of sweet", yes, these would be ideal for salads, but they have way too much "zip & zing" for mere snacking!

Don't get me wrong, I love garlic and spicy foods, but I love almonds toasted just as they are, and in this case too much of a good thing was... well, too much. I'd definitely use them in a Waldorf or Caesar salad, chopped into more useable sized pieces (they come whole) or in a recipe such as Tangy Almond Garlic String Beans (doesn't that sound yummy!).

But as a snack they didn't compare to the three other samples I received. To each his own... you may love them right out of the bag!

Santé Nuts are a healthy snack because they use only the highest quality nuts, all-natural ingredients, and very little oil. Sara Tidhar, the founder and genius behind Santé Nuts, learned the secret roasting technique from her grandmother and had been making these same healthy nut snacks for her children until starting up the Santé Nuts business.

And am I ever glad she did! These are hands down the most delicious, crunchy nuts I've ever eaten. I wish these artisanal nuts were available where I usually shop, because I'd load up on them every time.

But you can buy them online and have them delivered to your home. And now through December 16th, you can get 25% off your online order by using discount code 2011-Blog-020.

You might want to get some of these to have on hand when holiday company comes to visit. But I warn you - one taste and you'll be saving these for yourself! :)

A votre santé! To your health!

{Disclaimer: I received product samples to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}