November 19, 2011

The return of...? HotPants! #hotinhotpants {review}

I'm a Baby Boomer. And I remember the hot pants craze very well. We all wore them. The shorter the better. Of course we were much younger then. I'd feel absolutely naked (and.. er.. embarrassed) wearing them now.

So imagine my surprise when I was given the chance to try out a pair of... HotPants!

No, these aren't the shorty-shorts of decades ago (has it really been that long??). These HotPants are exercise shorts that are supposed to help you drop two jeans sizes in about 2 weeks.

Oh yeah. I'm so in.

If you're a regular blog reader, I bet you've already seen several reviews of HotPants. I have been reading the other reviewers' reports to see if their experiences paralleled mine, and they pretty much did.

The thing is, when a product review blogger is sent a product to review, it is expected that the item will be used fairly immediately and written about as soon as possible. But when a product like this requires constant use for two weeks up to two months to see any noticeable effects, that's kind of hard to do.

So I can't really say whether HotPants work as advertised or not, because I haven't been using them long enough. Their website has all kinds of testimonials from women from all walks of life who swear by HotPants. I'll have to take their word for it, at least for now. In another month or two, maybe I'll have some spectacular results of my own to share!

But I can at least tell you about this product, can't I? After all, the holiday season is nearly upon us and that means parties and get-togethers, and that means fancy clothes that we probably haven't worn since last year.

Ahhh... and what if those clothes no longer fit? Do I really have time to rush out and shop for a new little black dress, with the chaos of consumer Christmas shopping in full swing?

Not me. I'm betting that by Christmas, if I've used my new HotPants faithfully until then, I'll still be able to slip comfortably into anything in my closet, with room to spare for all the inevitable goodies I know will be tempting me whichever way I turn!

HotPants are definitely not as short as the old hot pants. They are more like Bermuda shorts. Mine come to just above my knee, and hit right at my waist. They are made of a soft neoprene-like material, kinda like a scuba wetsuit, that stretches to fit.

But there's more. HotPants are specially engineered using Celu-Lite technology, which reflects back the heat naturally generated by the body to promote deeper warming of tissues, leading to higher levels of perspiration and therefore breaking down fat and toxins that contribute to the appearance of cellulite.

This is the same principle used in spas to reduce the appearance of cellulite. But you can do this in the comfort - and privacy - of your own home. HotPants are most effective when used while exercising and working out, but can be worn any time, while doing housework or running errands, or even while sleeping.

Hmm... waking up to reduced cellulite? That sounds good to me!

Like I said, I haven't used them long enough to see real results, but they definitely increase warmth and sweating and blood flow. My tummy feels more controlled and flatter, and my "Thunder Thighs" look much sleeker while wearing them. So I am optimistic about results.

HotPants are all the rage in Europe, and now they are available in the USA too. If you've got a lot of parties planned for the holidays and want to look your best, you've still got time to grab a pair and use them for two or three weeks and see what kind of results you get.

I'm positive that at the very least clothes will fit more smoothly with less unsightly bulges. And who wouldn't be happy with that? :)

{Disclosure: I received a pair of HotPants to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}

Shady Lady recommends... Pump Gloves {review}

It happens every year.

You've whittled down your gift buying list to a manageable size, and you know exactly what you're going to get for the people left on the list.

Except one...

Maybe she's a co-worker whom you don't know all that well, so it's hard to "personalize" a gift.

Maybe she's a mother-in-law who is hard to please (no offense to mothers-in-law!).

Maybe she's a wealthy relative who already has everything -- and I mean everything.

Maybe she's a mail carrier, delivery person, babysitter, hairdresser, teacher, Secret Pal, helpful neighbor...

No matter who she is, chances are she pumps her own gas.

Take a look around next time you're out driving. How many full-service stations are there anymore? Not many. Most gas stations are self-service now.

We all know what it's like to pump gas in cold weather. The metal of the nozzle can be ice-cold! Not to mention standing there in freezing temperatures while pumping gas.

A recent new law eliminated the little "auto-flow" latch bar that would allow you to keep the pump going while you let go of the handle. Which means that you must keep your hand on it to pump your gas into your vehicle.

Ever think about the millions of germs on those handles? Me either, until I heard about a great new product called Pump Gloves designed specifically for women who pump their own gas.
Pump Pure, Pretty and Protected.

You might wear your winter gloves to pump gas when the weather is cold. But they are usually bulky, right? Not to mention you've still touched millions of germs with those gloves, and now you're transferring those germs to your wallet, purse, steering wheel, face...

Yuck.

Pump Gloves are designed to be used not only for pumping gas but doing other things around your car, like a self-service car wash or drive-up ATM for instance. They come in their own zip-lock bag which stores easily in your car's glove compartment. You put them on to pump gas and you take them off and put them away in their own bag when finished.

Your hands never touch the pump handle. And they are thin enough for pressing any electronic buttons you need to press on the pump itself (unlike heavy winter gloves which usually must be removed for that!).

Bottom line? Pump Gloves make the perfect gift for any woman on your gift list, but especially for those who seem to have everything and are hard to find gifts for. I bet they don't have a pair of Pump Gloves in their glove box!

Pump Gloves add Comfort, Class and Style to Pumping Gas. Available in Classic Black or Light Gray, the gloves are machine washable and one size fits all. And at only $14.95 pair, they are also affordable for everyone on your gift list.

Pump Gloves are...
  • Smart, Safe and Stylish
  • Protective Gloves for Pumping Gasoline
  • Available in Classic Black or Light Gray
  • Designed to protect a woman's hands and manicure
  • Add comfort and class to pumping gas
  • Handy vinyl storage bag for car’s glove compartment
  • Ultra comfort nylon spandex fabric with grip-tight palm
  • One size fits all
  • Handy where washing hands isn't
  • Nurturing for the nurturer in women
  • Flattering, form fitting, fashionable, functional
  • Designer multipurpose gloves
  • Handy around the house
  • Machine washable
  • Leatherless
  • A great gift
Ideal For...
  • Gas station pumps
  • ATM machines
  • Work around the car
  • Protection against sun damage
  • Light weight warmth in cool weather
  • Exclusive use as comfortable driving gloves
  • Protection from gas, grease, grime, and germs
  • Protection from filthy public places such as subways, planes, trains, and automobiles
  • Stylish travel gloves

I'm always on the lookout for great new products that fulfill a need, and Pump Gloves fit that description perfectly! Shady Lady recommends Pump Gloves for any woman on your gift list!
{Disclosure: I received Pump Gloves to facilitate this review. No monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}

November 18, 2011

Free Milk from Kroger! plus enter to win $25 Kroger GC #MyBlogSpark #giveaway

Got free milk?

From November 13th through November 26th, with the purchase of any four participating General Mills products, you will either receive free milk (up to $3; limit of 2) or receive $3 off your shopping order.

Wow!! That's quite a deal, considering you're probably going to buy several General Mills products in your grocery trip anyway!

Look for some of your favorite participating General Mills products like Cheerios, Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies, Nature Valley Bars and Fiber One Bars. (This offer excludes General Mills meal and baking products including Betty Crocker, Old El Paso, Progresso, Hamburger Helper, Macaroni Grill, Wanchai Ferry, Yoplait.)

Promotion varies in different locations. Please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for specific deals and offers which include Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith's, Fry's, QFC, Baker's, Owen's, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott's Food & Pharmacy. (Cash Offer applies only at Mid South, Delta, Mid Atlantic, SW Louisiana stores, Central Missouri stores and Dillons Missouri stores.)

What's better than being rewarded for buying your favorite products from your favorite store? Visit Kroger.com for more information and great ways to save and be sure to check out the Kroger Facebook page to join the conversation and share which General Mills products you’d like to stock up on during the promotion. Connect with Kroger on Twitter.

While you're making your shopping list to take advantage of this great offer, why not enter my giveaway to win a $25.00 Kroger gift card! That's right, one Shady Lady reader will win a gift card for the Kroger family of stores in the amount of $25.00. That would sure come in handy for holiday grocery shopping!

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 November 30. Good luck!

November 6, 2011

Seventh Generation Liquid Soap New Scents! {review & giveaway} @SeventhGen #7thGenDishLiquid #MyBlogSpark!

Most of us try to be environmentally aware. We try to purchase organic foods when possible, purchase products that used recycled materials, recycle what we can, and generally do our best while continuing with the business of daily life.

But there's always more we can do.

In my apartment, there is no dishwasher. Okay, wait, let me rephrase that... In my apartment, I am the dishwasher! Dishes, cutlery, pots and pans all get washed in the kitchen sink using dish detergent.

I've been a loyal user of [insert name of well-known dishwashing liquid here] for years and years and years. It works. It works well. To me it's a no-brainer to pick up another bottle when I'm getting low.

But I never stopped to think about the environmental impact of using that brand.

If you live in the city, then your water goes through a water treatment facility and is recycled. If you live in the country, it's possible you don't have sewer lines at all, and your waste water runs down some field lines and then seeps into the ground.

Yikes! My daily dishwashing just contributed to pollution! And I wasn't even aware of it!
Enter Seventh Generation. This fabulous company is dedicated to offering products that are completely natural, biodegradable, and made with plant by-products, NOT petroleum.

Yeah, petroleum.

Did you know that if every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 25 oz. petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with Seventh Generation's plant-derived product, we could save 5.2 MILLION gallons of oil, the equivalent to removing 11,000 cars from the road for one year.

Talk about environmental impact!

I don't have to think about this any longer. I'm switching to Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid NOW.
You see, I had a chance to try it out before buying. And I'm sold. The main reason? Aside from the environmental impact (which is HUGE) this stuff works! I don't know how they get suds from plants, but they do. It cleans dishes, silverware, greasy pots and pans just as well as the [mumble-mumble brand] that I used to use.

And the suds really last a long time. How often have you had to change out your sink water because the sudsing was gone? Not with Seventh Generation. The suds lasted long after I had washed that last pan. And when I let the water out of the sink, it was a good feeling to know that I wasn't releasing nasty petroleum chemicals into the environment.
But you want to know what else sold me on Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid? The smell! Oh, what wonderful smells! It comes in:

Lavender Floral & Mint
Lemongrass & Clementine Zest
Fresh Citrus & Ginger
Free & Clear (unscented)


These are NOT synthetic fragrances using chemicals to trick your nose. These scents are created using all natural ingredients. With authentic ingredients like lavender from the fields of Drome in the foothills of the Alps, clementines from sunny Calabria and lemons from the soils of Sicily, Seventh Generation natural dish liquid is free of unnecessary synthetic colors or chemically engineered scents.
And they smell absolutely wonderful!! I particularly love anything with citrus, but I must admit even though lavender isn't one of my favorite scents, the mix of lavender and mint was extremely pleasant. Even if you're not into scents, the Free & Clear version is unscented, so there's no excuse not to try Seventh Generation dish liquid. At a retail price of $4.49 for a 25 oz. bottle, you won't be breaking the bank while helping the environment.
Seventh Generation also has automatic dishwasher products, household cleaners, laundry detergent, and a host of other products that are plant-based and all-natural. Wondering where they got the name Seventh Generation?

Their Mission Statement:

To inspire a revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations.

I'm on board with that. Any real changes that we expect for the future must start now. Don't you agree? Visit their website. Try Seventh Generation products. I think you'll be a believer too!

While you're there, don't forget to enter the "Nature Makes Perfect Scents" Sweepstakes. One Grand Prize winner and one guest will be awarded a trip to Italy or France or Vermont (winner's choice) for four nights. This is a great opportunity to visit one of the sites where Seventh Generation gets its essential oils and natural ingredients to make the wonderful scents.

Want the chance to try all four Seventh Generation dish liquids? Then you're in luck! Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark is offering one very lucky Shady Lady reader the chance to win the same package I was sent to try. Boy, are you gonna love this!!

Not only will your package include 25 oz. bottles of all four scents of the dish liquid, but you'll also get some fabulous goodies as well. And all 100% natural!

Your prize pack will include:

4 bottles of Seventh Generation natural dish liquid varieties in Free & Clear, Lavender Floral & Mint, Fresh Citrus & Ginger, and Lemongrass & Clementine Zest scents

1 Premium 3 Qt. 12” x 9” Baking Dish from Le Creuset (yes, you read that right - LE CREUSET!!)

2 Twist© loofah sponges and 2 Twist© scour pads made from 100% post-recycled materials

Set of 3 organic cotton dish towels
Are you salivating right now? Then wipe the drool and get busy entering! :)

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 Saturday November 19. Good luck!

New Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Varieties! {review}

I love popcorn. No, seriously, I LOVE popcorn! I eat it at least twice a week. And nobody makes microwave popcorn like Orville Redenbacher!

So I was excited to hear about some new varieties soon to hit stores. My favorite is of course extra butter (yum!!) but now and then I'll grab a bag of pre-popped cheese popcorn or white cheddar popcorn. My second favorite popcorn aside from Orville Redenbacher!

Well, guess what? Okay, I won't keep you guessing... the news is that Orville Redenbacher's new varieties are going to be White Cheddar, Extra Cheese, and Sea Salt & Vinegar.


Can you say delicious???

I couldn't wait to toss my sample of White Cheddar in the microwave and check out the wonderful new flavor. It popped up just perfectly - there wasn't one single unpopped kernel - how unusual is that?! - and I didn't even notice a lot of husks. Orville Redenbacher is simply the ultimate in microwave popcorn!

The popcorn was plain, no added flavor or salt or anything. The white cheddar topping came in a separate little package, so you can add as much or as little as you like.

I, of course, used the whole package of white cheddar. :)

And it was too much. The white cheddar clings to the plain popcorn very nicely and really isn't as messy as most bagged cheese popcorns. But using the whole package made the popcorn too salty for my taste.

And I love salt. So if I say it was too salty, it was definitely too salty. You will want to experiment to find the right amount for you and your family, and DON'T add any extra salt. You won't need it, I promise.

In fact, that one little packet of white cheddar was so intense with flavor (and salt) that I could have used half of it, and saved the other half for another serving of plain popcorn later.

So if you pick up a box of Orville Redenbacher White Cheddar, you might also want to grab a box of Orville Redenbacher plain microwave popcorn as well, so that you can get DOUBLE the amount of white cheddar popcorn!

I don't know if this holds true for the Extra Cheese or the Sea Salt & Vinegar varieties (since I didn't get to sample them) but my guess is that it does. You'll just have to try them for yourself. I can't wait until they hit my grocery shelves!


{Disclaimer: I was provided a bag of Orville Redenbacher White Cheddar microwave popcorn gratis to facilitate this review. No monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}


November 2, 2011

4 Steps to Help You Choose the Right Reading Glasses {w/ giveaway}

{GUEST POST}

As a lifelong glasses-wearer, I've consumed more than my fair share of glasses info and advice. Recently, my mom has been having trouble with her vision as well and has finally accepted that she needs reading glasses. Between my personal experience with glasses, helping my mom find reading glasses, and my day job as a writer for Reading Glasses Shopper, I feel as though I have a few glasses tips in my advice arsenal.

4 Steps to help you choose the right reading glasses:

1. Find your prescription.
This is easier than you might think. One way you can find your prescription is to go into the drug store and try on different pairs to see which one feels best. But the selection at the drug store isn’t always that great or stylish for that matter. There is a much easier way to figure out reading glasses' prescriptions with this print-out diopter chart. This chart is a great way to figure out if you need 1.00 reading glasses or 4.00 reading glasses.
diopter_reading_glasses_chart1


2. Figure out your face shape to see what frame would fit best.


Different styles of frames look good on different shapes of faces. It is important to figure out what your face shape is to make sure that you have the most flattering frame style. Check out this guide on matching frame to face shape.

Another easy way to figure out the shape of your face is to stand in the mirror and outline your face with soap. Then step back and see which shape your face resembles the most. I have a roundish face so I always look for wider frames. It’s all a balancing act.

3. Figure out what colors look best on you.
Analyze your skin tone and really think about what colors look best on you. (Ehow has a great article on finding your skin tone season.) Your reading glasses are (obviously) on your face and people look at your face first. Make sure you don’t wear a pair of glasses that wash out your skin tone.
how to choose glasses complexion


Giveaway:

Now I have a special offer for all of the Shady Lady's readers! As a writer for Reading Glasses Shopper, I am offering any pair of reading glasses in the store.

Thank you to Deb for letting me post today! Good luck! :)

Stacie Grissom is a writer for Reading Glasses Shopper where she writes about everything from eye health to how to fix your reading glasses. In her free time, she loves to work on her DIY blog, take photos with her collection of vintage cameras, and play with her three-legged dog, Bridget.

Thanks so much, Stacie! Your post was very informative. And we love giveaways. :)

To be eligible to win a free pair of reading glasses, 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 Sunday November 13. Good luck!