December 2, 2012

The new @Novica Gift Finder can help you find the perfect gifts! #giveaway

Ah, Christmas! Don't you just love it? Sure, it can be a little stressful, especially with the economy the way it is. But there's just so much joy in giving, in finding the perfect gift for someone you love. Something beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind. Something they'd never buy for themselves, which makes receiving it as a gift all the more special.

And what if you could help artisans all over the world while you shop? Artists and craftsmen who depend on selling their creations to feed their families. That's the mission behind --

We want to give artists and artisans around the world a global platform to express their true artistic talents and to spur their creativity. And, we want to provide you with access to unique, hard-to-find items at great values that only the Internet infrastructure can allow.

At the deepest essence of our philosophy, we want to create a bridge between you and the many talented artisans across the globe.

We want you to know about who you're buying from. We want you to feel that attachment to the product and to the hands that created it.

In the spirit of the Internet, let us bring you together.

NOVICA. The World is Your Market.

I could spend hours on Novica's website just ogling all the wonderful products available. Not to mention reading stories about the individual artisans who created those products. It's a great place just to browse, even if you don't need a gift. Who knows, you might find something for yourself!

But the Novica website is HUGE! There are literally hundreds of artisans represented, from the Andes to Bali to Java to Brazil to Central America to Mexico to India to Thailand to West Africa...

You can literally spend days, even weeks, looking all all the wonderful things on offer. That's a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, but with the holidays in full swing now, who has that kind of time?

Introducing Novica's new Gift Finder! They've matched up some pretty spectacular items in several categories to help you narrow your search.

Looking for Jewelry Gifts? Try going to:

What about Spiritual Gifts? Just look here:

Gifts for Him can be found at:

Find Romantic Gifts for Her:

Unique gifts you won't find anywhere else:

And so much more! Try out the new Gift Finder today and I'm sure you'll find the perfect gift for someone special! Or even for yourself. Hey, you're special too, right? :)

I happen to love silver and lapis lazuli. So look at the beautiful things I found for myself!

This lapis lazuli and silver pendant is simply stunning in design. Called "Equilibrium" and made by artist Soraya Lopes of Brazil. At only $89.95, it would make a marvelous gift for that special someone.

I love the sheer simplicity of this beaded lapis lazuli necklace. Love the name too -- "A Pure Soul". Made by artist Somluck Komolmith of Thailand, it's only $33.49. Santa, are you taking notes? :)

What a beautiful necklace this is! Called "Blue Universe" by artist Shanker of India, it's a steal at $67.99. One of the things I love so much about lapis lazuli is the quality of the stone that makes it look like the night sky. This necklace exemplifies that quality. Just gorgeous!!

I could show you literally hundreds of wonderful pieces, not just jewelry, but items for the home, clothing, handbags, you name it. All made with extraordinary craftsmanship, pride, and love. And best of all, with each purchase you receive a bio card with info about the artisan who created your product, forging a bond between you. These are not mass-produced items. They are all made by hand, by artists who are making better lives for themselves and their families because you chose to purchase your gifts through Novica.

Now isn't that heartwarming? Merry Christmas!

And to make your Christmas shopping at Novica a little easier, I'm giving away a $35.00 gift code that you can use to shop at Novica! Woo-hoo! You could get that marvelous necklace above called "A Pure Soul" for FREE! Just pay the small shipping and handling charge (after all, these items come straight from the artisans, all over the world). And if you don't have anyone special to give it to, well... you can send it to ME! ha ha!

Since the prize is a code for you to enter at checkout, this giveaway is open internationally! Yay!

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. Please allow a minute or two for Rafflecopter to load. If you're still having trouble, just leave a comment with your info in the regular comment section below and I'll enter it into the Rafflecopter form. Winner selected randomly and will be notified by email, but must respond within 48 hours or an alternate winner will be selected. Ends midnight CST Sunday December 9th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Disclosure: Novica provided gift codes for myself to facilitate my review of their new Gift Finder feature and for one lucky giveaway winner. My opinions are my own, and no other monetary consideration was involved in this post.}

#Torani syrups - coffeehouse flavors at home! @Torani

If there's one thing my close friends and family know about me, it's that I have a love affair going on.

With coffee.

I love love LOVE coffee! Can't start my morning without it!

But not black coffee. Blech. Dull. Boring. Bitter. Fine for you folks that drink your coffee black, but it's not for me.

I love coffee with sweetener and cream -- either Half & Half, milk, or a powdered or flavored liquid creamer. And I've seen and tried Torani syrups in those fancy bars and restaurants and coffeehouses. Yummmmm!

So imagine my delight when SheSpeaks asked me to try some Torani syrup in my home! I received two bottles of Torani syrup -- Peppermint and Salted Caramel.

Peppermint syrup in coffee?? To be honest, I haven't tried that yet, because that's one combination that just doesn't sound right to me. But I will try it with coffee soon and see. I'm not afraid. :) But I did try it with green tea and WOW!! What a flavor boost!! It was absolutely delicious in tea, so I may save the peppermint for tea and recipes. Wouldn't it be great in a holiday punch? Yeah, I think so too!

The Salted Caramel flavor, on the other hand...well, let me just say I AM IN LOVE! Salted Caramel and coffee go together like a marriage made in heaven! I wasn't sure how I'd like the caramel taste in coffee (I'm more of a chocolate/nuts person, like mocha and amaretto) but let me tell you the "salted" part really makes a HUGE difference in taste! Love it!! Since first opening the bottle, I have had it in every single cup of coffee. It. Is. Addicting! I will definitely be purchasing this for my own coffeehouse-at-home.

Torani syrups are sweetened already so all you do is add a dash to your favorite beverage and you won't have to add any sugar or sweetener at all. They also come in sugar-free varieties, so don't let that put you off. These are absolutely fabulous and are just jam-packed with inspiration for fresh new drinks and recipes!

Torani syrups also come in fruit flavors as well, so there's something for everybody. I have one of those home soda makers, and I'm going to try the Peppermint flavor in some plain carbonated water and see how that goes. Use your own imagination and add a dash of deliciousness to just about everything!

Thanks to SheSpeaks and Torani for providing these products for me to try. Although the products were provided gratis, my opinions are my own. And my opinion is:


But don't just take my word for it. Pick up a bottle next time you're shopping and try it for yourself. They are not terribly expensive, and will add so much flavor and sheer indulgence, they're worth every penny!

New Purex plus Oxi fights stains! #purex

Being a Purex Insider means I get to try great new products from Purex -- like the new Purex Plus Oxi, a stain-fighting liquid laundry detergent that is so powerful it can even be used to pretreat stains too! mean I can save money by simply purchasing ONE product with the power of Oxi to clean my clothes, get whites whiter and brights brighter, AND pretreat stains??

And as you know, Purex products give you everything you need for laundry and more, at about half the price of other leading brands. Now that's great news!!

I had the perfect opportunity recently to try out the stain-fighting, pretreating abilities of Purex Plus Oxi. At a holiday party, I managed to spill both red wine and salsa on my new white blouse. YIKES!! Don't you hate when that happens? There's not much you can do except make a joke of it, right?

But when I got home, I remembered the bottle of Purex Plus Oxi that I had been sent to review and thought this would be the perfect test.

I poured a little Purex Plus Oxi on both the red wine and the salsa stains and left them for a while. Then I washed the blouse with a load of whites in COLD water. Yep, cold. I live dangerously. :) (By the way, just so you know, Purex Plus Oxi, like all Purex products, is formulated to work in both high efficiency washers and traditional washing machines.)

When I took the blouse out of the washer and checked it, I couldn't believe it! Purex Plus Oxi had completely removed the stains. My new blouse was... well... as good as new again! WOW!!

Purex Plus Oxi is the most powerful Purex detergent available. In fact, it works against over 101 different stains! The three stain-fighting enzymes in Purex Plus Oxi each work against different types of stains for the most Purex stain-fighting power you can get. It's also hypoallergenic, with a light, fresh scent that is perfect for everyday laundry or your most heavily soiled loads.

Since I saw with my own eyes how well it works on the toughest stains, I'm a believer! I'll definitely be adding Purex Plus Oxi to my shopping list from now on.

Purex, you've done it again! :)

{Diclosure: Purex provided a sample of Purex Plus Oxi to facilitate my review. However, my opinions are my own.}

November 5, 2012

@MaryKay Outstanding new mascaras just in time for the holidays!

You know the name Mary Kay is synonymous with quality makeup products. Now there are some great new mascara products from Mary Kay, just in time to make you dazzle for the holidays!

I received some samples of the new mascara products to try, and right away I had a few faves.

The Lash Primer may be my favorite product of the new bunch. Why? Because it has so many benefits. Not only does it condition your eyelashes with Mary Kay Panthenol-Pro Complex, but it also strengthens lashes too. It's a clear formula that goes on easily, lifting lashes to help them stay curlier longer, and intensifying lash volume to create longer-looking lashes.

I remember trying a clear mascara several years ago, and while I wasn't exactly disappointed in the results, it didn't wow me either. So I never tried it again. But you can wear the Mary Kay Lash Primer alone or as a base coat for your mascara. I love that!! Some days I don't really want that dramatic black-lashed look, you know? I just want some separation and length, and know that I'm doing something good for my lashes. That's Lash Primer. When I used it as a base coat for mascara, I loved it even more. Sometimes you have to apply several coats of mascara to get the coverage and separation and length you want, but the primer sets the stage for that and ONE COAT of mascara was all it took to achieve the look I wanted. Perfect!

And the new mascara I loved? LASH LOVE, of course!

It does an outstanding job of defining, separating, and lengthening lashes, especially when used in conjunction with the Lash Primer. I've tried so many mascaras over the years, and my biggest complaint is that I have to apply so many coats to achieve my desired results. Not so with Lash Love. It has such a smooth application, dries fast, and does not clump. At. All. Yay! And not flaky. No clumps, no flakes. Looks natural too. If I could get permanent color on my eyelashes, I'd want them to look like this!

The applicator brush separates lashes so effortlessly, it feels almost automatic. This mascara is lightweight, too. You don't get that heavy gunky feeling on your lashes. You can hardly even tell you're wearing mascara at all! There's no heavy chemical smell, either. And it comes in a beautiful case, perfectly portable. Toss one in your handbag, gym bag, etc. to always be prepared.

Mary Kay Lash Love is as good as it gets. And at $15.00 per tube, easily affordable. There are certainly cheaper brands, but the quality is just not the same. I've been using Mary Kay lipstick for years. It's the only lipstick I'll buy and actually use. Once I find a particular makeup brand or product I really like, I stick with it. I think I'm going to be adding Lash Primer and Lash Love to my list of "must haves". Mary Kay continues to impress!

Be sure to visit the Mary Kay website to stay up to date on all the fabulous new products. Connect with Mary Kay on Facebook and follow Mary Kay on Twitter.

{Disclosure: The information, products and additional Mary Kay gift pack was provided by Mary Kay® through MyBlogSpark. My opinions are entirely my own.}

October 14, 2012

Disney's Cinderella Diamond Edition Blu-Ray & DVD

Being a baby boomer has its perks. It means I was around in the fifties and sixties when classics like Disney's CINDERELLA came out. But back then, we had to go to the theater to watch it.

And oh, what a magical experience!

To tell the truth, I haven't watched CINDERELLA since then. But it is still vivid in my memory...the cute little mice creating a dress for Cinderella, the Wicked Stepmother, the Fairy Godmother, the glass slipper and pumpkin coach, and of course the Handsome Prince!

All stuff of fairy tales and all embedded in my memory, even fifty years later. "Bibbidy-Bobbity-Boo" is still a magic word.

So imagine my delight when I was given the chance to review Disney's Diamond Edition of CINDERELLA on Blu-Ray & DVD! It was like revisiting old friends I haven't seen since childhood, only the quality was ever so much better than I remembered.

This digitally restored picture and sound Diamond Edition came out on October 2nd, and let me tell you, this is definitely a movie you'll want to add to your family's collection. Or even if you're a single baby boomer like me, how nice to be able to go back and relive one of the most magical moments I can remember.

The Blu-Ray version even has lots of extras only available in this Diamond Edition. Bonus material also includes "The Real Fairy Godmother", the incredible true story of Mary Alice O'Conner who was the inspiration for the character of the Fairy Godmother, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You", a second screen personalized digital storybook, and more! Plus there's "Tangled Ever After", an animated short based on the "Tangled" movie, which was just adorable!

Do yourself a favor and pick up this Diamond Edition of CINDERELLA today! It includes both Blu-Ray and DVD versions. And there are lots of fun activities at Disney's webpage. Check these out!

Download Crafts & Activities!

Download Games & Coloring!

October 6, 2012

#getunreal UNjunk the candy jar!

I remember reading somewhere that Halloween is the holiday that Americans decorate for the most. Yep. Seems that most people will decorate more for Halloween than they do for Christmas! Even adults get into the Halloween spirit with costume parties. UNREAL!

Guess there's a soft spot in all our hearts for scary masks, jack-o'-lanterns, witch hats, ghosts and goblins, black cats...and CANDY!

What would Halloween be without trick-or-treaters and CANDY!

But if you're a responsible adult, you know that too much of the good stuff can be a bad thing for children (and, hey, even for adults with a sweet tooth!). You'd love to allow them to have all the candy they want, at least for this one day out of the year. But we all know that most commercial candy is chock-full of bad stuff. Stuff that's not good for you at all. And of course too much sugar.

So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to UNREAL candy! What? A new candy? We don't really need yet another candy brand, do we?

Well, yes.... yes, we do. Especially when that new brand is producing candy that tastes as good or better than those other name brands, yet has:

NO corn syrup
NO partially hydrogenated oil
NO artificial ingredients
NO preservatives
and a lower glycemic index with 40% LESS SUGAR!

Wow! UNREAL candy is... well... unreal!

And the taste? Absolutely delicious! You really can't tell that you're eating healthier-for-you candy. To me, it tastes more natural, like homemade even. It's also not quite as sweet, since there's so much less sugar used. But it's still candy. Oh yes indeedy, and wow, it's goooood!!!

Last Saturday I invited some friends over to try Unreal candy. Since Halloween is right around the corner, the time is perfect for finding out about this new candy brand and how much better for you it is than those other commercial brands.

My guests and their children got to try all the varieties of Unreal candy, and even got to take home gift bags of candy for snacking later! Unreal provided the candy and gift bags and info sheets; all I had to do was invite some folks over to try it.

And, um, you know, who's going to turn down a candy party? Duh! :D

Most of the children were small, so we played some simple games using Unreal candy as prizes. But the most interesting thing we did was a blind taste test - pitting Unreal against those other national brands.

Guess what? Unreal won all the blind taste tests HANDS DOWN! Just goes to show that candy doesn't have to be overly sweet and full of junk to taste good! Children of all ages will love Unreal...and you'll feel better about allowing them to eat candy that's actually better for them.

Try Unreal for yourself. It's available at just about every major retailer now, wherever you normally buy candy. And this Halloween, don't forget to stock up on Unreal candy for those trick-or-treaters. You'll feel oh so much better about what you're handing out, as well as what your own children or grandchildren come home with.

Happy Halloween!

September 30, 2012

Glade Expressions perfect home fragrances

Glade Expressions are a wonderful addition to your home decor and ambiance. Not only are the containers tastefully designed, but the fragrances will knock your socks off!

Cotton & Italian Mandarin - Open your home with the bright, breezy blend of cotton and sparkling citrus, honeydew and sandalwood.

Fuji Apple & Cardamon Spice - A ripe, spicy blend of sweet pears and crisp apple with a dash of cinnamon and clove that warms and invigorates.

Lavender & Juniper Berry - Lush lavender blends with fresh juniper berry, eucalyptus and rose to relax the senses and open your home.

Pineapple & Mangosteen - Evoke a tropical paradise with the blend of freshly cut pineapples and hint of tangy mangosteen, creamy coconut and passionflower.​​​

All of these fragrances are just marvelous. What I love about them is that they smell more "natural" than other similar home fragrance products. The scents are not overpowering, yet they are easily discernible and very pleasant.

Try them today!

{Disclosure: I'm a BzzAgent and received samples or coupons to facilitate my review.}

September 4, 2012

Believe it - #SoftScrub is even better!

Being a product review blogger means I get to try lots of great new products. Sometimes I get to try products that aren't exactly new, but have been "improved" in some way.

That's the case with Soft Scrub.

What? How can they improve Soft Scrub, you want to know?

Glad you asked! :)

You've got to try new Soft Scrub Total to see the improvement for yourself. Same great stain-fighting household cleaner that deodorizes while it cleans, but now you can get either thick foam or fine spray from the same bottle.


Yep, that's right, you can hold the bottle upside down to get to hard to reach places, like under the rim of the toilet bowl. How many other cleaners can say that?

I get hard water stains where I live, so my tub and shower sometimes look like I haven't cleaned in weeks (yuck!!) but it's really hard water "rust". It takes a lot of elbow grease and a VERY strong cleaner to get rid of it.

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised that Soft Scrub Total removed not only the everyday soap scum from my tub and shower, but by using the foam feature and letting it soak in for a few minutes, the hard water stains disappeared too.

And no harsh chemical smell!

I admit I like how well those other brand cleaners work, but the smell? I feel like I should be wearing a gas mask just to clean! That can't be good for the environment, either.

Soft Scrub Total's smell isn't like that at all. It has a nice fresh scent that certainly makes cleaning a lot more enjoyable. What a refreshing change from holding my breath while cleaning!

New and improved? In the case of Soft Scrub, absolutely! Pick some up next time you shop and I know you'll agree with me.

And don't forget to enter the Soft Scrub Tough & Gentle Sweepstakes! 1 lucky winner will win $1,000, while 50 more winners will win $40 each in gift cards! Your odds are very good to win a prize!

Entering the sweepstakes is easy. Just click here and fill in the form. Simple!

Good luck!

{Disclosure: I received a free sample of Soft Scrub Total Bath and Bowl to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

August 3, 2012

Massage Recliner on my Christmas wish list

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait to get your hands on the Christmas Wish Book? Spending hours poring over every toy, making meticulous lists in hopes that Santa was paying attention?

I'm grown now, but I still make Christmas wishes, just in case Santa is still listening...

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is a massage recliner. I've been a really good girl (most of the time).

Thought I'd go ahead and get my order in with Santa early this year, because I have a feeling there may be a heavy demand for masseuse recliners and I want to make sure I'm on the list!

If you spend a lot of time at your computer desk like I do, you appreciate having a laptop and a recliner to change up the routine a bit. My desk chair is not the most comfortable, and sitting too long in it is definitely a problem.

So I love being able to continue working with a laptop and a recliner. Only...

My recliner isn't so hot either. I'd post a photo, but it might give you nightmares. Suffice it to say that my recliner has definitely seen better days and desperately needs to be replaced.

And that's what got me looking online at recliners. When I found Masseuse Luxury Recliners' online store, I felt like I was looking at the Christmas Wish Book!

Ever wonder how astronauts manage to stay in space so long under such restricted conditions and still be comfortable? From space engineering research comes "zero gravity" chairs which alleviate pressure and stress on muscles.

Sounds like just what my aching muscles and joints need!

This Shiatsu remedial massage recliner looks like something from a space shuttle.
It's a bit pricey at $4,995.00, but what price do you put on your health and well-being? And besides, isn't that what Santa is for? :)

* Sit back and relax in the Remedial Luxury Recliner and let the infrared scanners measure the exact shape of your body. The infra-red scanners will automatically determine the length of your spine and your body shape to ensure the massage program is stimulating your pressure points.

* 51 airbags are located in the Remedial Luxury Recliner and work in sync with the rolling massage hands in the backrest. There are 4 airbags in the shoulders, 12 for the hands, 10 for the legs, 12 for the feet, 5 for the seat, 4 for the head and 4 in the backrest.

And that's just the beginning of what this marvelous chair can do. If you suffer from joint pains like I do, you'll appreciate the feeling of having your own personal masseuse whenever you want.

Wouldn't this be a marvelous addition to your home office? Or any office, for that matter. I would think that this could be considered an investment in personal health and well-being for anyone.

Santa, I hope you're paying attention!

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for which I received monetary consideration; however I was not told what to say, and my opinions are my own.)

June 11, 2012

@Sonos @Target Perfect gift for #Dads & #Grads Get FREE Target gift cards w/purch!

If you're looking for the perfect gift for Dads and Grads, then you simply must check out the deal now going on at Target stores. Through June 16th, get a FREE $30 Target gift card with purchase of Sonos Play:3 unit and a FREE $40 Target gift card with purchase of Sonos Play:5 unit.

It's an awesome deal on a gift guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.

Here's a video on how the Sonos wi-fi sound system works --

Such a cool setup! I like how you can control everything right from your Smartphone or tablet (free apps too!). It's easy to manage music with the Sonos system. You can wirelessly play the same song all through the house (wherever there's a Sonos wireless speaker) or you can play a different song for each room. That's versatility!

And not just music. What about the big game? Everyone else may be glued to the TV, but you can still stream and listen to the plays while you're in the kitchen making snacks, grilling in the backyard, or even hanging out by the pool.

Wouldn't this be the perfect gift for someone you love? And wouldn't it be the perfect gift for yourself or your family? Hey, you can solve your gift-giving dilemmas and pocket the Target gift cards for yourself. :) Hurry on in to your local Target store, because this promotion ends June 16th.

{Disclaimer: I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and I'm eligible for a prize drawing. All opinions stated in the post are my own.}