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.}