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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vitalicious sampler pack review

Taking vitamins isn't something I really enjoy. They are often big, leave a bad aftertaste or even have a weird smell to them. But then, they are needed to keep my body in good health. So I say, chocolate coat it and maybe I'll overlook the rest! I found someone that had that idea. Vitalicious makes yummy treats that are infused with vitamins essential to healthy living.
They sent me the New Super Sampler box to review.
Its a variety of Vita Cakes, Vita Tops and even some brownies. All of them are moist, the chocolate is rich, and so full of vitamin-laced flavor.
I love the Mini VitaCake, fudgy chocolate flavored. They are so delicious with just 50 calories per cake! It's a lightly sweetened cake with a a few chocolate chips on top.
The Banana nut vitatop was a good combo of nuts and banana flavor. Not too heavy on either. Even my 9 month old enjoyed bites of it.
I love the Banana Choco Chip vitatops combination. Warm it up for just a couple seconds and it makes a great breakfast snack. It's moist and chewy. It makes me want to make a banana chocolate cake...
Apple Crumb was good too. Alongside the apple there was a cinnamon-y flavor. Its another great breakfast treat.
The CranBran wasn't too bad. I'm not a huge fan of cranberries but this was pretty good. There are cranberries on top and you can taste the bran mixed in. Makes for a yummy breakfast especially for someone like me who doesn't always have time to make a larger meal for myself when I'm cooking for 4 others. Also, cranberries are really good for you as they are full of antioxidants and help keep the urinary tract infections at bay.
Fudgy peanut butter chip was delicious! Chocolate cake with peanut butter chips on top. Even though it tastes so rich and moist, it's still only 100 calories! The peanut butter is also a fiber food that is good for digestion. Just another perk to having it with your cake...
The Deep Chocolate is exactly that, a deep chocolate. There were chips on top. Its sweet but still stays with the 100 calories.
Another favorite was the chocolate mint. Chocolate and mint always make a great combination, but even more so when its in a cake.
The Golden Corn one was very similar to my mothers cornbread (though not as sweet). It's moist and rich in flavor. Goes great with dinner! I would consider a pack of these for holiday dinners when the family comes too. (Yes, its empty because when I went to open it, my boys came running and asking for some! They ended up eating more of it than I did.)
The Triple Chocolate Chunk VitaTops are a trio of deliciousness. Let's not forget though - white chocolate isn't really chocolate!
I enjoyed the Deep&Velvety Chocolate VitaBrownies. While I'm not a fan of having nuts on my brownies, these are still the rich chocolate flavor I love.
There are only 100 calories in the VitaTops (50 in the VitaCakes), they are made with whole grains, and contains far higher vitamin percents than other snack foods. They also have pizzas now, mixes so that you can make your own at home at your convenience, VitaBuns (similar to English Muffins), sugar-free choices, and VitaSandwhiches.
Since these are also dairy-free, I had mom try some out with me. Her comments were these:
The cake wasn't real sweet. It was good. I like the texture and chocolate taste. It was good because it didn't taste so processed like overly sugared foods that we would normally buy.
Something you should know about these: they are preservative-free! So if you purchase them, eat them soon after or freeze them for later. I suggest letting them thaw and then warming them up. Pop them in your toaster oven or in the microwave for just a few seconds.
The box I received is the Super Sampler for $36.99. It's contains 2-4 of each product and can make a great gift or enable you to try everything to find your favorites. I did the math and found that each of the 28 pieces comes to $1.32. I know some people may be thinking, well I can get snack cakes far more cheaper. And you'd be right. But think of what those snacks have in them versus what these offer... More natural ingredients, not processed junk. Whole grains, no preservatives, and chock full of vitamins that your body needs instead of just sugar that adds pounds and clogs arteries.
Check them out on Facebook too so you can see their latest updates and deals.
***These products were sent to me for free to test and review. I was not paid or otherwise endorsed, nor was I told what to say. These are my own opinions and may vary from yours.***

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Fast & Furious 6

I was given the wonderful opportunity of attending the pre-screening of Fast and Furious 6. I absolutely loved it! Over the years I've seen and now own them all (will be buying 6). Watching the crazy escapades, cheering on my favorites (the American muscle cars) and secretly wishing I could drive like that!
This movie, in my opinion, is the best yet. No matter how serious the task at hand was, the characters were continually cracking jokes and poking fun in such a way to keep the audience bursting in laughter. There were various romances going on that even included a torn-between-two trio. Someone we thought dead comes back in an unexpected twist. And for the grand finale... Can it be?! A shocking lead into the next movie. Yes, there will be a seventh movie!

It would seem my personal favorite, Hobbs, who previously played the rigid military officer chasing Dom Torreto, is back. Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock comes needing a specialized team of drivers to battle a madman wanting the ultimate weapon who leads his own expert drivers. With highly specialized vehicles, a great deal of intense fighting scenes (especially the ones between women), and a really awesome chase between fast cars and a tank - this movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. The overall moral was that "you never turn your back on family, even when they do". Dom is willing to give his life for Letty even if she doesn't remember who he is, or at least was, in her life. Brian, who has become a father now, is restless in this new, quiet life with Mia and their son. So while he’s torn about joining a new “job” that takes him away from his family, he can’t pass up the chance to get into the action again. The whole team from the Rio heist returns to pull off a world-saving trick and put the bad guy, Shaw, away. It’s another “impossible” one that has you thinking all will be well once they catch Shaw and return the stolen parts. But there’s a striking twist! While I don’t want to give it all away, I will say that you won’t be expecting it! It has me looking forward to 7.  

For more information about the movie, you can check out the following:
Website http://www.thefastandthefurious.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FastandFurious
Twitter https://twitter.com/FastFurious
Instagram @FastandFuriousMovie
Via YouTube http://www.youtube.com/UniversalPictures
And lastly, Google + http://www.youtube.com/UniversalPictures

If you are a parent, you should remember that this movie is PG-13. There is strong language, some sexuality as well as truly intense violence and action scenes.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Puj Nub review

I was recently accepted to be a product tester for Puj. They have some innovative tools for parents to simplify daily life with children. Their latest addition is the Puj Nub.
Its a cute little twist to a boring hook. Just peel and stick anywhere. Parents need hooks to keep organized, keep stuff out of the way in an orderly way that doesn't look cluttered, and also to keep things in easy reach for little hands. The Nub is perfect for all of those! Its made from a softer rubber-like material that is smooth all over. The back has a strong sticky pad to keep it hanging and holding its load. My kids actually stuck it to the window before I had a chance to stick it in their bathroom as I had planned. It took a lot of effort to get it off. These are meant to take the pulling that little kiddos put into it! I managed to get it off the window and rehang it in the bathroom to hold their towels (which had been ending up on the floor a lot). The bright blue matches their decor and I really like the shape of it compared to regular hooks! They now hang their towel up proudly.
The Nub is best used on smooth surfaces like tile, glass, metal, shower walls, etc. Just wipe the surface clean then peel and stick. To ensure a stronger hold, leave it for 24 hours before using. It works well in water so you can hang it in the shower to hang the bath toys or wash cloths with.
***IMPORTANT: Not to be used on sheetrock, wallpaper or textured surfaces.***
Check out Puj on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or their website.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mediterranean Snacks review and information on promotions

My love for Mediterranean Snacks has not diminished since the first tasting! It still grows as I recently received a package containing their newest flavor; Fiery Tomato Baked Lentil Chips.. These are gluten-free, natural, a good source of fiber, and have 70% less fat than most chips. They make the perfect snack for my family. These especially are great as you can dip them, top them or just snack right out the bag.
First of all, they weren't really hot. They do have a kick to them but its tangy. Just a slightly spicy taste amongst the tomato flavoring. I also love they are not drenched with flavorings and salt but have just enough to make them delicious. Its a crispy, crunchy appeal when you need an on-the-go snack.
Now I have some bonus information to share for you... They are always looking for Ambassadors. You fill out a form, if they accept you, you will be notified of upcoming events in your area that could earn you some sweet swag!
Another reason to check them out would be their sweepstakes that is going on now. Check out their Facebook page and read up. Its so easy! Grab any bag of Mediterranean Snacks, snap a picture of you muching down, and upload it to their media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram). Remember to tag them in your pictures and/or email them via the social website you upload to and let them know. You could win over $300 in awesome prizes! Each picture uploaded to each media outlet gets you an entry.
The prize package includes: TimBuk2 Messenger Bag, A NikeFuel Band, Snacks, and more!
Rules and Guidelines:
Our Snack & Snap Sweepstakes runs until December 20, 2013 with three (3) lucky winners selected at random. You only need to enter once for all three drawings.

First winner will be announced on:
June 3, 2013, second winner on September 3, 2013, and third winner on December 20, 2013!
What MUST be included in your post:
  • 1. Use hashtag: #LiveSnactive™
  • 2. Name the store (or event) and location (city,state) of where you purchased/received our snacks.
  • 3. Be sure to TAG us in your posts! NOTE: In order for us to see your post, you must be connected to us on the social platforms and the tag is active.
Twitter: @Medsnax
Pinterest: @MedsnacksFaceBook: @MediterraneanSnacks
Instagram: @Medsnax

Monday, May 13, 2013

Kidecals information and promotion

So I've got some cool information to share about something that is great for Moms or families trying to keep organized and personalize their things.
Kidecals are here to help your kids or you from losing your stuff! You can label water bottles, clothing, books, toys, sports gear with trendy and fun designs. Kidecals are very durable! You can put them in the dishwasher, washing machine as well as the dryer! They won't damage the surfaces of your stuff.
I hate using a Sharpie when I write names on things that have moisture. Like a water bottle that is so cold it perspires. The writing fades away and will even transfer to your hands, clothes or anything else. Kidecals are waterproof and durable.
The creator and her kids are crazy about mustaches so they came up with the Partystache stickers to use as drink markers as well as the Mustache Chalkboard Stickers to be sassy labels/organizers for the pantry or craft room.
Chalkboard labels make it easy to get organized without having to print labels from scratch. They have pretty designs too. 
These are also great if you have a daycare or take care of several children and need to keep everything separated for cleanliness sake. Or camp!  
They were even featured on the Today Show.
My Readers can now save 15% off their Kidecals order using the promo code: bestlabels at http://kidecals.com/
You can check out the video below for more info about them:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shoplet.com SteelMaster Tablet Stand review

Well, it's time for another office supply review! This time it’s for a SteelMaster tablet stand. I find my skills in folding the cover into a stand for my iPad to be greatly lacking. This causes a great many uncomfortable frustrations when I'm trying to do something and need my hands free.
It's heavy enough to keep it from sliding too easily. It also has a wonderful grip on the bottom to further prevent sliding.
This stand is helpful for holding up your iPad or reader while you read. If you use your iPad for instructive things, like I do when I'm building Lego sets, it's easy to set your device on and get to work.
Or if you like reading on your tablet hands-free, prop and read to your heart’s content.
And did I mention that it has a dip in the front to make your Home button easily accessible??
I also love that it's made right here in the USA using more than 50% of recycled content. You can check it and many other office supplies out at Shoplet.com. Be sure and Like their Facebook page to be updated on any promotions they have going!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Our historical field trip

Being a homeschooler, one of the best things we get to do are frequent field trips! Most recently we went to the Castillo de San Marcos castle during national park week.
No, it's not a fort as I was used to calling it. One of the living history actors corrected me on that one.
It's a castle because it has a moat and drawbridge. It's a very unique and special shape too. With the diamond corners it provides a perfectly clear view of every angle.
We were there for the cannon firing which happens daily and at certain times.

They have Rangers who give short condensed history lessons. From one of those lessons, we learned all the following facts:

The Castillo de San Marcos was used as a prison by Americans to hold Indians who were being removed from their lands and taken to reservations. Most notably were Apache and also the wives and children of Geronimo.

For over 300 years it was held strong by the Spanish. They finally gave it up in a trading deal to the English to get Cuba back. The English tried and consistently failed to capture the Castillo but never did. And when they did, they tried to hold double its capacity which required renovations and made their soldiers miserable during the summer months.

Prior to the Castillo, there were approximately nine other forts built around town. They were mostly destroyed by termites, fire and sieges though.

The Castillo is built from a special mixture that includes coquina which is a type of tiny shell here. It could actually absorb a cannon ball instead of being totally damaged. However, it had to be cut in over 40,000 blocks, dried over days-years and then built. It took many years to complete it.
The moat never held water. During sieges, it kept livestock and prevented anyone from storming the walls.
The cannons were strategically placed to cover every part of the surrounding areas. The smaller ones could hit up to a mile away which is about where the St. Augustine lighthouse is now. The larger one can go up to three miles. It certainly kept ships far away.

The bathroom pipes were "flushed" by the tides....
If you ever have the chance to be in town and want a special but fun learning adventure - I suggest a trip to the Castillo de San Marcos!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My crazy Sunday (so far)

For all the wonderful mothers who can appreciate the humor. And for the guys who can appreciate all that the women in his life go through.

I get up this morning to “Mom, I wet.” I roll over to see my son who is telling me he peed his pants and needs to be cleaned up. My daughter is lying in her crib babbling away. I get up and it’s time to get to work. After getting both boys cleaned up and dressed I start changing my girl. While I’m doing that, the boys are calling, “Mom, I want Poptart™!” Keep in mind, I’m not a morning person. No matter how many early mornings with my kids I’m still fighting my eyes to stay open as I go through the morning routines. Not to mention the fact I had worked the night before during tornado-producing weather. It was crazy busy as everyone and their mother just had to be at our store buying patio furniture! People need to get a grip… It’s pouring, winds gusting, lightning… That furniture won’t be worth the sale price if your house blows away.
Now we move on to breakfast. My boys want Poptarts™. I’d rather they have eggs and toast. We meet in the middle instead. A little of fun and healthy. Once they are settled I can feed the little lady her fruity cereal. She decides to be a drummer so in between bites we get a lot of BANG BANG BANG on the highchair. My boys are like speed eaters. Before I’m half way through feeding my lady they can be finished with their second plates. Then it’s a race to the bathroom to wash hands (something they enjoy too much). Once everyone is cleaned up and off to the toys, I start cleaning. Bleach, rags, dishes, table mess – I do it all. In between cleaning, I take a bite here and there of my own breakfast. *CRASH* Lego bin was dumped out across the floor of my boys’ room. Cleaning is done – on to laundry. I start folding the boys’ laundry while I check my emails. I have a new email from someone that had seen something I listed the night before and they have lots of questions. While answering them, my boys decide to sneak into my room where my husband is sleeping to get the big tub of Thomas the train sets. Another *CRASH* and now there are trains all over the living room floor. “Boys!” “Yes?” “You know the rules! One bin of toys at a time. Clean up one and play with the other.” “We just play with them in here and leave other toys in my room.” *Mental head slap* They see this as be a logical answer to one bin at a time. One per room!
After I answer all the questions and send the answers, I receive a response that this couple would like to come pick up the item later this morning. Sure! Why not… So by now I have the laundry sorted and piled on the couch. I run to throw on something closer to real clothes than my pajamas, run the brush through a couple times and brush my teeth. (Who likes morning breath after all?) I don’t even want to look in the mirror as I’m sure I still look frighteningly-like Bride of Frankenstein.

My daughter is now following me around the apartment wanting to be held. She keeps using my pant legs to pull herself up and stands there holding me double-fisted and unable to move until I pick her up. “Mom, I want lunch.” Lunch time already?! Where did my morning disappear to? Alright, time to cook again. Little lady takes her seat in the high chair and the boys sit at their little table all eagerly awaiting more food. While preparing the boys’ meal, I also feed my baby girl. Again its BANG BANG BANG, the drummer returns. Before I have time to finish feeding her, the boys have scarfed down their first plate and are ready for seconds… then thirds. I do believe they are having growth spurts again. Just as I finish feeding her, the boys throw up their hands in the ASL sign for “I’m done” and race off to the bathroom to wash hands and faces again.

Once again with clean kids, I begin another round of clean up. Then I get a text, “We are almost to your place.” Yikes! Dishes are still in the sink, clothes are still piled on the couch, dirty clothes are piled in the kitchen floor in front of the washer, toys are all over the living room floor, I’m in the middle of wiping a table and the husband is still in bed. Now I also have a sleepy baby wanting mommy to rock her to sleep. *Knock at the door* They are a really young couple, she’s pregnant with their first and very timid. They have absolutely no idea how this thing works. I have a baby on my hip and I’m using my one free hand to demonstrate all the gadgets and what is what. One of the pieces was in my car so I told them I had to run out and grab it. My daughter is on my hip trying to play peek-a-boo. The boys are running around with “guns” they made of Lego pieces pretending to shoot things, one of them shirtless. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had the idea I’m some crazy single mom. I just walked into the bathroom after they left and upon looking in the mirror, I realized I had a huge "lactating mom" stain on my shirt... Can it get any better than this??
Now it’s almost 2 PM and I’m still working my way down the To Do list. My husband has finally crawled out of bed. He’s nursing a sore throat and claiming to be “tired and weak” (even though he was up past sometime after 1 AM playing video games and chatting with his friend on the video phone). Men…

Time to make a confetti cake!  Then laundry… cooking again… cleaning again… A mothers job is truly NEVER done. May you all have a wonderfully blessed Sunday.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Gfreely box review and giveaway

I’m still on my quest for healthier food options for my family; gluten-free is included. I found the Gfreely Box.
It’s a monthly subscription box that provides full sized products for you to try. Then you can make a smarter choice on what you want to buy for your family. All the products are gluten-free! I was sent the April box. It contained Kay’s Naturals Protein Pretzel Sticks in the cinnamon toast flavor, Sheffa Savory Bar, a junior sized Bumble Bar in original peanut flavor, Kathie’s Kitchen Super Seedz in Tomato Italiano and Sea Salt flavors, PopCorners in Butter flavor, Justin's All Natural Peanut Bar (my favorite!) and the Gallo Lea gluten-free Pizza Kit.
First test tasting I did was the Super Seedz. These are all natural pumpkin seeds without the shells, ready to eat. Being that they aren’t tree or peanuts, they are great for people with allergies. There is also no MSG or soy in them and they are completely vegan. To put it simply they are seeds that are naturally seasoned with ingredients that you can actually pronounce. The Tomato Italiano is my favorite! Italian seasonings and tomato flavor you can actually taste. The Sea Salt ones were lightly salted with sea salt. These make a wonderful and healthy snack especially if you’re on the go.
Kay's Naturals protein pretzel sticks Cinnamon toast are gluten-free (of course), 12 grams of protein, only 120 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Another bonus? They are made right here in the United States.
The Sheffa Savory Bar is made with 100% whole grains, legumes, and seeds. No fruits or sugars and completely vegan. They are also low in sodium, have no GMO, no nuts, soy or corn. My mother had some notes to add about it: It's good for you, however, it has tiny seeds that do get stuck in the cracks of your teeth. So you end up working on getting them out for a bit. Don't eat this before talking to your boss.
The Bumble Bar is an organic energy bar. A portion of every Bumble Bar sale goes to community development and the construction of a school in Ethiopia. Only 100 calories in the junior bar size.
My mom liked this on the best because it was sweet like candy but at the same time, not candy. Like tricking your tastebuds! It also did not have big hard nuts in it that can be harder for some to chew. She really liked the texture of this one.
Pop Corners are popped corn chips: it's like popcorn in a chip design!
These are so much fun. It really does taste like popcorn in a chip form! It's light and airy. I love the salted, buttery taste without being greasy.
I didn't get a picture of the Justin's Peanut Bar... I dug in before I remembered to! It was soooo good! Very similar to a peanut butter bar (had some nut chunks in, but too much) covered in chocolate. I had this is a healthy sweet snack.
Gallo Lea gluten-free Pizza Kit is the final item from the April box.
It contains the sauce, crust mix, cooking paper and plenty of suggestions for fun pizzas. It has enough to make a 12 inch thin crust pizza. The mix for the crust is flavored with teff and buckwheat flours to give it a whole grain taste. All the ingredients are easy to read. (I know I say this a lot, but I like to know what I’m eating with most foods.)
I got my brothers for a night and we had fun making it. Especially since its been a raining past few days and we are all couped up inside. So first you mix the dough and water...
It gives you a nice dough that you can put onto the cooking paper they include with a little oil rubbed onto it.
After letting it rise for 5-10 minutes its ready to go on the cooking paper to bake for 5 minutes.
Then you are ready to add sauce.
My brother enjoyed this part best!
Voila! Pizza time.
My son enjoyed his slice.
Now the kit said to use olive oil to lightly coat the dough ball. I didn't have any so I used my other cooking oil. I noticed a distinct taste that I personally didn't enjoy. It's entirely possible it was the oil. Aside from that, it was really fun, easy and enjoyable.
My mom even tried the snacks with me and had this to say:

It is hard enough when you have dietary restrictions, so when you’re able to find things that fit and taste good it’s wonderful. These snacks are great. I thought gluten-free means rabbit food taste but these are definitely not.

You can order various gluten-free products directly from their website. Just go here to see what they have to offer you and your family. You can subscribe to their monthly box and test out products for yourself before commiting to buy a bunch of things that might not work well with your households tastebuds or for someone you want to get a gift for. You can get 1, 3, or 6 month subscriptions. You can also check them out on Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Star Looks review and promotion information

Mother's Day is drawing near. Less than 2 weeks left to find that perfect gift. I found a great cosmetics gift idea. The StarLooks beauty box.
It's a monthly subscription box that will mail a box of cosmetic goodies for her to try out before purchasing items from online.
Each box contains 3-4 full sized products and you only pay a flat rate of $15 per month.
You can get 1 subscriptions for yourself or for someone else as a gift. StarLooks sent me the April Star Box to try out. April was a "Neutral" theme with products for all skin tones, retailing $50. It contained Tendergloss Lipstick (retail $11), "Mint" SPF Lip Balm (retail $5), "Translucent/Nude" Mineralized Powder (retail $19), and Sensation Mascara Primer (retail $15).
The mineralized powder was great! It matched my skin and looked natural unlike most foundations that can look caked on. It didn't cause any itchy feelings or irritate my face either. Really does great at keeping that "shiny" look your face gets when it's oily, away. It wasn't a powdery feeling like my old foundation. My nose wasn't twitching all day (like it normally does). This was my absolute favorite!
The mascara primer is a bit odd for me. It is supposed to protect and moisturize your lashes. I wasn't really into that. I had little pieces of white in my lashes at first. It did, however, make a difference in my lashes. They looked fuller.
The Lip Balm, I like. It has SPF in it. Living in sunny Florida we need the extra protection. It is really smooth and feels refreshing on my lips. I love the smell also.
The Tendergloss Lipstick gives your lips a fuller, glossy look. This is amazing! Makes my lips feel moisturized but doesn't have that sticky feeling that you get with most glosses and lipsticks.
I decided to show you a full look, so below is a glimpse of what these fine products have to offer!
So what else is there to know about StarLooks? Let's say you do buy a month subscription box. Perhaps there is something that you fall in love with. You can then go online to see all their products and make a purchase based on what you have tried and know for sure you love! Just that easy. Star Looks products are cruelty free. They do not test their products on animals. They are also lead and emollient free. Why else should you be interested in their products?
  • FREE shipping on all Domestic orders under 10 pounds!
  • Starlooks has a generous Points Program: 1 point for every dollar you spend in their online store.
  • They have a large selection of pro-quality make-up to choose from.
And here's another reason, they have a Special Offer going on if you refer your friends - you can get up to 3 months of free shipping. Refer a friend and have them use the phrase "give it back to" with your name in there on the referral section on the checkout page. Then you get a refund for 1 months shipping up to 3 new subscribers! So let's say you guys decide to buy based on reading my review... When you get to the checkout, find the referral box, enter "give back to Emily Vinyard". Then when you get friends who start asking how you look so amazing, refer them and have them do the same for you! Make the world a little more beautiful with a lot more happy women ;-)
Leave me a comment and tell me what you think! Also happy Mother's Day shopping!