December 2, 2012

#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!

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!

April 12, 2012

Spouse Got The House great products for divorced friends! {review}

It's sad but true that so many marriages end in divorce nowadays. People make mistakes. People change. A partner may no longer fill your needs. "Til death do us part" doesn't mean what it used to mean. Now it just means til the death of our marriage parts us.

I've been married (and divorced) twice so I have personal experience with how traumatic the break-up can be. Most likely each of us knows someone who has been through divorce, sometimes nasty, sometimes amicable, but always stressful.

That's why I was delighted to find an online shop called Spouse Got The House that specializes in gifts and novelties that help ease the transition and add humor to a very "down" situation.

As their website says:

Unique Products and Gifts
for Divorce Survivors.

We don’t think divorce is a taboo topic. Our branded products help dispel the negative stigma of divorce by starting conversations. They symbolize acceptance and encourage new beginnings. Perfect for divorce parties, as thoughtful gifts or even for yourself. Can our products change someone’s life? Just maybe.

Now that's an attitude I like!

The products at Spouse Got The House are designed to break the taboo of talking about divorce, in the belief that encouraging conversation about divorce helps the healing process. There is a growing trend of divorce parties and celebrations, and Spouse Got The House products fit right in.

Take a look at some of the goodies they offer:

Women's t-shirt only $20.00

3-pack of Koozies only $8.00

Tote bag only $15.00

16 oz. coffee mug only $10.00

And wouldn't this terrific pink tool kit make a great divorce party gift at only $35.00!
Spouse Got The House is the brainchild of a husband and wife team who were also each divorced from previous marriages and felt a special bond because of their shared experiences. They believe that using their branded products helps open the door for conversation about a once-taboo subject, thereby opening the door for healing and putting things into perspective.

I got to try some of their branded products for myself and was instantly impressed with the quality. I took some pictures, but my camera hasn't been making the best photos lately so I'll also show the product from their website (which is a heck of a lot clearer!).

First, this wonderful pink cap would look terrific this summer whenever you need some sun protection! 100% garment-washed cotton twill with tuck-away leather back strap with antiqued brass buckle and grommet - only $20.00

I love this double-wick candle in "Island Breeze" scent. Only $16.00 for a 10 oz. spa-quality soy candle!

This 16 oz. Lavender Bath Soak will help soothe away divorce stress. Only $12.00!

And I really LOVE this key ring! At only $10.00 it makes a great gift!

This is just a sample of the great products you'll find at Spouse Got The House. I hope you'll take a look and bookmark them for whenever you need a gift for a divorce party or a newly-divorced friend or family member. Or even for yourself!

{Disclosure: I received products gratis in order to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}

April 9, 2012

"Be The Ball" with BTB sunglasses {review}

Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. Are you planning a lot of outdoor activities this summer? You'll probably be thinking about a new pair of sunshades. I've got just the place for you to begin your search!

Into running? Take a look at these running sunglasses from BTB. You know the importance of not only protecting your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but think also about ventilation, wind blockage, and aerodynamics, plus they allow better peripheral vision, they fit snugly without being too tight, and won't bounce around while you run.

Play golf? These golf sunglasses are for you! The half-frames are specially designed to increase your vision range with accuracy and clarity. Also perfect for driving. BTB has got you covered!

I got the chance to try a pair of BTB ("Be the Ball") sunglasses for myself. I'm not a runner, but I ride my bicycle for recreation and exercise and needed a good pair of sunglasses that would fit snugly, allow ventilation, and keep my vision cool and sharp.

I received the BTB 540 pair shown in the top image. I can't tell you how much I LOVE them! Not only do they fit great, but look stylish and fashionable as well. I wear them while cycling and just for everyday use too. You can instantly tell a difference when you put them on. Even the brightest, hottest summer day suddenly feels cool and shady when wearing these shades.

My camera isn't the greatest at taking clear photos, plus I had to use the flash which as you can see washes out colors and even changes colors when too much light hits the objects. But I think you can at least tell that these are quality sunglasses, shipped to you in a protective box, and encased in a protective storage sleeve. At only $39.95, these are definitely worth the price. Comparable sunglasses would be $100 or more.

And BTB offers free standard shipping on all orders over $49! So take a look at their products. I'm sure you'll agree that the quality is superb and the prices unbeatable. You'll be sporting a new pair of shades this summer. Why not "Be The Ball"? BTB will look good on you!

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