The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: August 2012
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Friday, August 31, 2012

NAIC Presents the WreckCheck app + $50 Gas Card Giveaway!

Summer is almost over but people are still traveling trying to get in their last minute vacations before Labor Day. We are trying to get in a last minute trip to Cleveland. On this trip we decided to drive instead of fly. Unfortunately, Labor Day is one of the most dangerous holidays for car travel so there is no better time than now to prepare in case of an auto accident.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a new app that will help you in the event of a car accident. NAIC’s free WreckCheck app is designed to help you calmly walk through the steps to take following an auto accident, and it helps you determine what information and details are important when filing an insurance claim, all from your mobile phone.

The app allows you to collect the necessary information on the spot and immediately email it directly to yourself and your insurance agent. It also makes it easy to capture photos and document the necessary information to file an insurance claim.

Recent research from NAIC suggests that after an auto accident, many Americans do not know the steps to take or information to share with the other driver involved. Oftentimes, drivers over share personal information that could put them and their families at risk, so downloading the WreckCheck app is a good way to ensure your privacy and the safety of your family.

This is such a great app. I have been in car accidents (not my fault!) and I have always hated giving out too much information.  When you give out your home address, driver's license number and other information it can be dangerous. The fact that you can have an app that walks you through what you need to do at a time when you are not thinking clearly is wonderful.

Once someone backed into my car and because it was a small fender bender, I did not call the police. I did get information but then she denied hitting my car. My insurance agent said I should have called the police but I had no clue. Luckily, I had a witness and the problem was resolved. But that was a time I could have used the WreckCheck app!

If you would like to download the WreckCheck app, you can find it online at iTunes® and Google Play® or by searching “NAIC” at the iTunes store or Android market.

And thanks to the NAIC I have a $50 gas card to give away to one lucky reader! YAY! This will come in handy for any road trips you might be planning. Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a gift card. Opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit Review!

I have been trying to eat better and always save money. One of the ways I do that is by making my lunch instead of buying it. Not only do I save money but I can also control what I eat. That is why when I got the opportunity to review the new Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit, I was thrilled.

Here is some information about the Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit:
*  Modular containers snap together in to save space in your lunch bag
* Kit includes specially designed Blue Ice™ pack that works with LunchBlox containers to keep lunches chilled on the go
* Containers are perfectly portioned for lunch foods commonly carried away from home
* Microwave-, dishwasher- and freezer-safe and BPA-free
* The Sandwich Kit includes a sandwich container sized for regular and specialty breads, two snack containers (perfect for yogurt or nuts) and a snack container (perfect for fruits, vegetables and
I really like his product because it allows me to take various food items to work. I can take a sandwich with veggies. I can take leftovers and I can also take snacks. I try to eat throughout the day so the LunchBlox is perfect for me.

The large container is great for sandwiches, leftovers, or salad. The smaller containers are perfect for veggies, nuts, salad dressing or dessert.  I use the smallest containers for food that has more calories like nuts or cheese. The bigger containers get the veggies. It is helpful for portion control which is something I need.

I love that it comes with blue ice because my drive to work is 45 minutes so I never worry that the food will go bad. The block configuration makes it easy to toss into a lunch box, lunch bag or my tote bag. It fits perfectly in my mini fridge at work. Since it all snaps together, it stays put!

We had a party the other day and I had tons of leftovers and the Rubbermaid LunchBlox was perfect. I packed some leftover bread, veggies, cheese and meats into it and it made the perfect picnic lunch for me at work.

I would recommend this product because it makes my life easier. It is probably great for the kids lunch as well. As for me, I will be using this from now on to pack my work lunch. Rubbermaid also has other varieties of LunchBlox containers. Check them out on the Rubbermaid website

You can also follow Rubbermaid on Facebook or Twitter.

 Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tweet & Win Fabulous Prizes at’s Twitter Party Extravaganza! #TargetatFestival will be attending the Festival People En Español presented by Target on September 1 and 2 in San Antonio, TX. The event will take place at the Alamodome. You can buy tickets on TicketMaster and start at $40. There are also weekend passes available!

The event is a celebration of Hispanic entertainment, culture and community. The line up of performers is fantastic. Some of the musicians who will be performing include Luis Miguel, Sheila E, Daddy Yankee, Prince Royce, Tito “El Bambino”, Larry Hernandez, 3BallMTY, and Banda Los Recoditos.

In addition, Festival People En Español will offer visitors two days of free, open to the public events including the opportunity to catch exclusive Q&A sessions with celebrities and telenovela stars, hear tips from leading industry experts on topics ranging from fashion to wellness, and interact with favorite brands.

To celebrate the pride and passion of the Hispanic community has developed a series of articles and Twitter parties devoted to beauty & style, music and culture that will inform, inspire and engage both readers and Festival attendees.

Join on an exciting, weekend-long Twitter party celebration for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Prizes include 16 concert tickets, $900 in Target gift cards and more. To RSVP, click here.

* ‘Glamazon’ Twitter Party on Thursday 8/30 at 9-10pm EST on what it means to be beautiful (both inside and out) as women, Latinas, and moms.

* Virtual Make-Over ‘Salon’ on Saturday 9/1 at 3-4pm EST will mirror a ‘Beauty Day’ with your bestie, on-site make-up tips, techniques, etc.

* El Mundo Baila Twitter Party on Sunday 9/1 at 3-4pm EST will focus on the Latin music featured at Festival, including favorite songs, pictures of key moments in artists lives, etc.

I have to say that I wish I lived in San Antonio because I would love to attend this event. I especially would love to see Luis Miguel because I have been a Luis Miguel fan for decades. I loved him when he sang pop music in Spanish. But most of all, I loved when he started singing old boleros and classics. 

He is one of the few musicians me and my father have in common. I remember I was visiting my father in Costa Rica and he said that I needed to listen to a new singer who had some wonderful music. When he turned on the music, it was Luis Miguel. We were surprised that we both knew all the words to his Romances CD. 

If you in San Antonio or close by, I suggest you get your tickets because this event is going to be fantastic! If you can't make it then join for prizes and fun!

Follow the hashtag #TargetatFestival on Twitter for updates and information!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of All information was provided by Latina Bloggers Connect.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reach and Rembrandt Oral Care Giveaway!!

I am excited to have another Rembrandt and Reach giveaway for one lucky reader!! I am all about my oral hygiene. I brush my teeth at least 3 times daily and floss as much as I can. I admit I forget sometimes but I try my best!

A few months ago, I reviewed REACH toothbrush and Rembrandt whiteners. I have noticed that my teeth are a little whiter and look better.  I have tried different type of whiteners but some take forever and are hard to use. Some don't work at all. But it seems like Rembrandt is doing the job.

My REACH toothbrush is great. It reaches way back to my molars and cleans my teeth. I have used REACH toothbrushes for a while.

The Rembrandt pack came with a 2 hour whitening kit, Deeply White with Peroxide toothpaste and Intense Stain toothbrush. The Reach products include the Reach Total Care toothbrush and Reach Total Care Floss.  I think my smile is my best feature so I will continue taking care of it.
Here are some interesting facts about oral care:
~ 87% of adults want whiter teeth**
~ People with white teeth are perceived to be 65% more professional and 51% more confident*
~ A white smile is visible from 200 feet and is a sign of warmth, confidence, and health* ~ White teeth increased the perception of a person’s professional success by 68%, financial success by 64%, and trustworthiness by 52%*

Rembrandt is the leader in teeth whitening since 1987 and has products that will help you in getting your teeth whiter. Those products include whitening kits, toothpastes, or mouthwashes. Reach has a whitening toothbrush and floss to help whiten while you brush!

Now you can win a pack like the one I received. It has both Rembrandt and Reach products, which are fantastic! This is great if you want to take care of your smile the right way! To win, just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*As reported in a recent study “The Impact of Whiter Teeth on Key First Impressions,” led by smile psychologist Dr. Decher Kelter of the University of California at Berkeley
** Panel Data; Gallup Study of Whitening Products

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Signs on the Cheap!

I work for a non-profit foundation. There are times we have events and I am always looking for places where I can get signs, banners and other materials for a good price.

I recently was on the website. is a company that specializes in all types of customizable signs for business and personal use. They also operate several other sites where you can customize and print out virtually anything. Their options include everything from banners, car magnets, canvas prints, business cards and much more.

I have used one of their sister sites: I have had a few photos of my cats and my house printed on canvases. I love sing because it is easy to use, the quality is great and they have great customer service.

While on the site, I realized that my foundation could have saved a lot of money if we had found this site before we ordered some yard signs we had used for our event. I will definitely be shopping here if we need some for our next event. I would also shop here for Garage Sale signs!

The prices are great and they have all types of signs and sizes. They signs are either aluminum or plastic so they will withstand some wear and tear. They also sell the stakes and other accessories needed to place your signs. I am sure like their sister site, they will offer great customer service and help you get the best sign available.

If you are in the market for signs, check out this site!  

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fiber One Chewy Bars Review and Giveaway!

It's Back to School time! I don't have kids but I work at a school. I have learned how hard it is to pack a nutritional lunch for the kids. At the beginning of the year, some faculty members actually have a class to give tips to the parents on how to pack a balanced lunch. I think that is so important.

Now, while I am trying to eat healthier and avoid processed foods I understand that sometimes you have to make exceptions. One of the exceptions I make is for Fiber One bars. I keep a box in my desk because there are times I don't have breakfast or lunch. Sometimes, I need a quick pick me up in the afternoon! Fiber One bars are great.

Fiber One now has two new flavors! Fiber One Chewy bars now come in Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J varieties. These are the perfect snacks for kids and for grown-ups as well. They are easy to pack and easy to store. They are also delicious. The Strawberry PB&J are so good and addictive! The Chocolate bars were delicious as well.

The bars are 110 calories, which is great for snack. They also no not contain high fructose corn syrup (yay!) and have no more than 8 grams of sugar. Plus, the boxes have Box Tops for Education coupons. This is always a plus for me because we collect Box Tops at our school and they do make a difference!
To make it easier to stock up on Fiber One Chewy bars this back-to-school season, you can visit the Fiber One site to download a printable coupon for $.80 off the purchase of 1 box of Fiber One Chewy bars. These are a great addition to any lunch box!

I also have this cool gift pack for one lucky reader courtesy of Fiber One and MyBlogSpark. It includes:

*(1) Box of Fiber One Chewy bars in Chocolate
* (1) Box of the Fiber One Chewy bars in Strawberry PB&J
* Water Bottle
* Lunch Tote
* Sandwich Bag
* Mini Lunch Notes
* Notebook Mate

WOO! Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The George Foreman Grill: Show Us Your Grill Skill Recipe Contest

When it's summertime, I live at my grill. I love grilling chicken, steak, hot dogs, burgers and veggies. But when winter comes along, I can't be outside in the snow grilling so that's why I love my George Foreman grill. It allows me to grill any time of the year. It is also one of the handiest appliances I own. It is easy to use. Easy to clean and because of the design allows for healthier cooking. I cannot imagine not having a George Foreman grill!

So when I was recently invited to participate in a recipe contest using the George Foreman Next Grilleration grill, I, of course, said yes!

Here are some facts about the George Foreman Removable-Plate Grill that I used to create my recipe:
* Large surface area lets you cook up to 5 servings at once for quick and easy family meals in under 20 min
* 2 dishwasher-safe removable grill plates for easy clean up every time
* Exclusive fat removing design removes up to 42% of the fat from 1/4 lb. 80/20 Ground Chuck
* Floating hinge gives you the ability to adjust height to accommodate a wide range of foods
* 3-Year limited warranty 
This grill includes an exclusive fat-removing design and George Tough nonstick coating that eliminates the need for oil or butter, prevents sticking and makes clean-up a breeze!

I have to say that now that I am on a mission to lose weight and get healthier, the George Foreman Grill is the perfect appliance to have in the house. I am not going to give up my favorite foods but I have been trying to learn how to cook tasty food without so much fat and calories.

For the recipe contest, I decided to use the one ingredient I grill best: Rib Eye Steak. So I decided to enter my recipe for my Grilled Steak and Gouda Cheese Sandwich. I love this sandwich because it can be served  for dinner, lunch and if you cut it up into bite size pieces, it makes a great party appetizer. You can also change the the ingredients because the recipe is versatile.

Grilled Steak and Gouda Cheese Sandwich

Rib Eye Steak
Gouda Cheese

Sliced onion
Tablespoon of Butter
Tablespoon of port wine
Baguette, regular sandwich bread or rolls

* Take the onion and slice it into thin slices. Cook in butter and port wine until soft like jam.This will take about 30 minutes.

* Spice the steak with the salt, pepper or any spice mixture you usually use.  Place on the George Foreman grill. Grill to the temperature you like. Once ready, let it rest and then thinly slice the steak.

* Once all the ingredients are ready you can start putting together the sandwich. Take the bread and butter on two sides. Spread the non buttered side with the onion jam. Layer with the Gouda cheese and steak.

* Make a sandwich and place on the George Foreman grill to brown.

* Once it is grilled, place on a plate add fresh arugula leaves in the sandwich and it is ready!

You can add tomatoes or other greens or nothing at all. I like adding arugula to give it a peppery taste. You can also use regular bread like I did or use any type of bread. You can also switch up the cheese. This recipe with Gorgonzola cheese would be fantastic.

That's it. It is so easy. It is also delicious. It is really a little fancier grilled sandwich. It is also perfect for any season. In summer and spring, I would serve this with a fresh salad.  In fall and winter, I would love serving this soup! It is the perfect comfort food.

The George Foreman is perfect for grilling the steak and for making grilled sandwiches. Plus, it is the easiest thing to clean. I am not sure what I would do without a George Foreman grill in my house. It is great for making quick dinners and I love that it gets all the fat out.

Wish me luck on the recipe contest!! 

Remember you can follow George Foreman on Facebook.

Disclosure: I received a grill for review purposes through the Family Review Network. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Simply Potatoes Review and Giveaway!

It's back to school time and because I work at a school, that means things get a little nuts at work. Sometimes, I have to work later than usual around this time since we are beginning a new year. The last thing I want to do when I get home is make dinner. But alas, someone has to do it.

The other day I was scrambling to make dinner. I had steak and NOTHING else. So I opened my fridge to see what else I could cook up to complement the meal. My salvation? Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns. Thank goodness I had them!

I know, hash browns for dinner. Why not? Potatoes are a great side dish and perfect with steak.  I looked around the kitchen and found some jalapeno peppers, green peppers, cheese and onions. I decided to create a new recipe: Carolyn's Spicy Hash Browns.

I started by chopping the green peppers, onions and jalapeno and then sauteing them in a little oil. After they got a little soft, I added the potatoes and browned them up. I also added salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika to give it more spice.

In the meantime, I found some cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden and cilantro as well. I decided to make a little pico de gallo to put on the potatoes. Once the potatoes were browned, I served them with some grated cheddar cheese and the pico de gallo. They were delicious!

It was the perfect side dish to go along with the steak. This is why I always have Simply Potatoes in my fridge. They are the perfect product to make a quick and delicious meal. I use them for breakfast, lunch and, now, dinner. When I get home, I will always have a side dish if I use the Simply Potatoes products!

I love that the potatoes come cut and ready to use. I love that there are some many varieties to enjoy. Besides the shredded hash browns, I usually have the diced potatoes and onions and the home-style slices around. If you need a quick meal, these are perfect.

To make your back to school time a little easier, I have some full-value coupons to give away courtesy of Simply Potatoes. Five lucky readers can win a coupon by entering on the Rafflecopter widget below!! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pepperidge Farm 75th Anniversary review

There are brands that are always part of my life because they have been around since I was a child. One of those brands is Pepperidge Farm. I cannot remember a time when I didn't eat Pepperidge Farm products.

This year Pepperidge Farm celebrates its 75th anniversary. It all began with a humble loaf of bread, which Pepperidge Farm founder Margaret Rudkin baked in her rural Connecticut kitchen. Created in 1937 to address her son’s allergy to common preservatives, Margaret’s simple recipe is the origin of a flourishing business celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Pepperidge Farm’s heritage is rich and very much alive today as the company. It continues Margaret’s mission to deliver the very best products. And those products ca be found in my house as well as many other American homes as well.
Here are some fun facts about Pepperidge Farm:
  • On August 15, 1937, the first “official” loaf of Pepperidge Farm all natural, whole grain bread was sold in a store for 25 cents.
  • By September 27, 1939, one million loaves of Pepperidge Farm bread had been sold.
  • Pepperidge Farm® crackers were originally made and marketed in Switzerland as “Goldfish Tiny Crackers” before being brought to the U.S. by Margaret Rudkin in 1962.
  • The first flavors introduced stateside were Lightly Salted (Original), Cheese, Barbecue, Pizza, and Smoky.
  • Pepperidge Farm is committed to accelerating snacking and baking advancements in the future as evidenced by the 34,000-square-foot Innovation Center opening this fall at the company’s headquarters in Norwalk, CT
  • Annually, the brand produces about 558 million Milano® cookies—enough to cross the United States more than 7 times—and bakes approximately 206 million loaves of bread
  • Today, Pepperidge Farm employs more than 5,000 people and operates plants in nine towns
  • Each year, Pepperidge Farm uses about 390 million pounds of flour

To celebrate the 75th anniversary, I received a few delicious Pepperidge Farm products to sample and review. I received a goody box filled with the following products:

* Jingos! crackers in the following varieties:  Lime Sweet Chili, Parmesan Garlic and Fiesta Cheddar
* Vanilla Crème Milano Melts
* Milano Slices Salted Pretzels 

* Goldfish crackers

Although I am trying to limit my snacking and eat healthier, I still indulge in some treats for myself. I just eat them in moderation.  I have to come clean and say that I am addicted to Goldfish. I love these yummy little bites of pure cheesy goodness. I try not to keep them at home but you will find a bag of Goldfish in my desk at work. And if I run out, my co-worker, B, has a bag in her desk as well. We are never without Goldfish at work!

Both varieties of the Milanos were delicious. The Vanilla Creme Milano Melts are a little crunchy outside and creamy inside. I never thought I would like the Milano Slices because I am not a huge fan of sweet and salty together but they were also delicious. Crunchy and tasty.

But my favorite goodies were the Jingos! Oh my gosh, I am now addicted to these. The Parmesan Garlic cookies are very tasty but the Fiesta Cheddar and Lime Sweet Chili flavors rock! I honestly think I could a box full of either and be one happy camper. The Fiesta cheddar are so yummy and chock full of cheese flavor. The Lime Sweet Chili are tangy with a little bit of spice. I had these alone and then with some pepper jack cheese. Delicious!!

The Jingos! are dangerous because I could eat these all day and not bat an eye. I am definitely taking some into work because my friend, B, will love these as much as we love the Goldfish.

Overall, I really enjoyed the new Pepperidge Farm products. I would recommend them to everyone who wants to have a tasty snack.  I know I will be buying these in the near future! Mkae sure to follow Pepperidge Farm on Twitter and Facebook!

Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Abuelitas Avocados ~ The Recipe I Treasure: Green Rice and Eggs

When I was a little girl, I loved visiting my abuelita. One of the reasons I loved being with her was because she was one of the best cooks ever. I would spend hours with my abuelita in the kitchen.

She taught me so much. I learned how to make basic dishes like rice and more involved dishes like Costa Rican olla de carne. Besides learning how to cook, the time spent in the kitchen with my abuelita taught me so much about life. She would tell me stories and during those times she shared her wisdom.

When I was little I was obsessed with Dr. Seuss. I had all the books and I would read them all the time. My favorite, of course, was Green Eggs and Ham. I think I drove my granny crazy because I would read them to her when we were cooking.

When I spent the night with her, the next morning she would always make me eggs and rice with toast. It was the best thing ever. If you have never had rice and eggs, you definitely need to try it because it is the perfect dish.

One morning I woke up and, of course, I was expecting eggs and rice and boy was I surprised. I think all the Dr. Seuss finally got to my abuelita and she got creative and made me Green Rice and Eggs.

She said she had heard Green Eggs and Ham so many times that she wanted to do something similar. She could not figure out how to make the green eggs so she decided to make Green Rice. She made the rice green with avocados. Now, if you have never had rice and avocados all mushed together, you MUST.

This is why I loved my abuelita so much. She came up with a fun recipe that I always treasure. Now there is no "real" recipe for this dish. All you need is some rice, you can use white or yellow rice. If you can't make rice, you can use instant rice. It's that easy. Abuelita Gilda used to use white rice because it was easier to "color" with the avocados.

Here is how to make Green Rice and Eggs. Take an avocado and mash it with a little lemon and salt and pepper. Take the avocado mixture and mix it with the rice. Take the rice and avocado mixture and place it on a plate. Fry an egg. Place the egg in the middle of the rice and avocado mixture. Serve with buttered toast.

This was such a special dish when I was little. I didn't get it all the time. It was always a surprise when my abuelita would make it. But every time I saw Green Rice and Eggs, I got so excited.

Even now, when I am feeling a little nostalgic, I make myself Green Rice and Eggs. I am glad I got to share my grandmother's recipe using avocados. I have so many other recipes she taught me like Shrimp and Avocado ceviche but this one is close to my heart.

If you need some inspiration on how to use avocados, visit the Avocados from Mexico. The Avocados From Mexico site also has an English recipe site and a Spanish recipe site.  

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avocados from Mexico. All information was provided by Latina Bloggers Connect.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Country Crock Summer Veggie Moment Giveaway!

This summer we had a bounty of fresh veggies from our garden. We had tomatoes, squash, zucchini, eggplants, radishes, cucumbers, green beans, corn, carrots and so much more. There is nothing like eating fresh veggies that you have grown.

With such a bounty, I have to come up with new and different ways to serve up the veggies because after a while it gets a little boring. This year, I found a few new recipes for my squash and tomatoes as well. My favorite way of serving veggies is to saute them with some butter or olive oil. But because I am trying to lose weight and get healthier, I also started using Country Crock to lower my calories.

With 70% less saturated fat and 30% fewer calories than butter, Country Crock is a perfect way to keep make my veggies a little healthier than usual. Country Crock adds some of that buttery richness to plain vegetables. 

Country Crock has given me a “Summer Veggie Appreciation” basket to give away to one lucky reader that includes:
* A basket perfect for toting summer veggies
* Cooking tools to help you prepare and cook your summer veggies
* A copy of A Very Veggie World by Clare Crespo—a unique recipe book full of fun and whimsical inspiration
* And, so you can top your veggies, a coupon for a free tub of Country Crock
This is a wonderful prize pack. I already used my basket to go pick the last remaining veggies that are in my garden. It was the perfect tote! YAY!

If you would like to win, please enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Boys and Girls Club Back to School Initiative!

It is Back to School time!! Although I have no children, I work at a school and know about how busy and exciting this time of the year is. Classes start in two weeks!!

At our school, we start sending out lists of supplies needed and other information now so parents and kids can be prepared. There are always so many things to do for the new school year, that being organized is the key. At this time,we also start gathering up supplies for the kids who might not have the resources available to buy their own.

Unfortunately, more and more we see the numbers of needy kids rising. It's not only where I work but it is happening everywhere. That is why this year, I am supporting the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA).

The BGCA and Disney have partnered to launch the Tools for Back to School Initiative. Through the initiative, BGCA will donate school supplies for needy kids. All you need to do is visit the Tools for Back to School site and play the pop-quiz game. For every correct answer, the BGCA will donate supplies!

BGCA also offers different educational content and tip sheets for parents to download and use. You can find them on the left hand side of the BGCA site under the Get Ready header! This is a great resource for parents or teachers.

BGCA has also partnered with jcpenney. This August you can join jcp cares. Join and for every purchase you make, jcpenny will round up your purchase at the register to benefit BGCA. How cool is that? I know that all those donations will make a difference in the lives of many kids!

I am so happy to be able to share this initiative with my readers! This is a great opportunity for you all to help he BGCA this year! And if you are free on Thursday, August 23rd from 3-4 pm EST, Mom Central will be holding a Boys and Girls Twitter Party. This is a great way to learn more about the BGCA Back to School Initiative!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Boys and Girls Club. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Edy's Slow Churned Ice Ceam - A Reason to Smile!

I love ice cream. It is one of the foods I am finding hard to give up because I am trying to get healthy and lose weight. I don't think I can give it completely so I have had to find ice cream that is better for me.

I recently had the opportunity to try Edy's Slow Churned ice cream. I have tried the regular Edy's and love it but this was the first time I tried the slow churned. I tried the Vanilla and it was delicious!

It was creamy and rich. The best part is that Edy's Slow Churned has half the fat and one-third fewer calories of the regular ice cream. So that means I can eat the same amount and still feel good about eating ice cream. I even had hubby try it and he liked it as well. He had no idea it was lower in calories.

Edy's Slow Churned is available in 20 flavors which allows you to choose your favorite. I know the next time I buy some Edy's I will making a beeline for the Rocky Road! It does give me a reason to smile.

Check out the Edy's Facebook page because this summer Edy's has partnered with actress and model Brooke Burke to give away more than 25,000 free scoops of ice cream…turning scoops into smiles. For every “ice cream smile” photo uploaded to Edy’s Facebook page, $5 will be donated to Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity.

Operation Smile helps provide reconstructive surgery to children around the world suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. I have read about Operation Smile and believe that it is a worthwhile cause.

The goal is to give away more than 25,000 scoops of ice cream, capture 25,000 photos of ice cream smiles before summer’s end. Of the photos submitted, ten lucky smiles will be featured in a Edy’s Slow Churned print ad. One lucky picture will win a coveted spot on the cartons of a Slow Churned limited-edition flavor, being re-introduced to store shelves in early 2013. That is awesome!

Did you know that West of the Rockies, this ice cream is marketed under the Dreyer’s brand name. East of the Rockies, it is marketed under the Edy’s brand name. So you can visit either the Edy's Facebook page or the Dreyer's Facebook page to enter your ice cream smile!!

I know I am smiling because I get to eat delicious ice cream and not feel that guilty about it! So if you want delicious ice cream with less calories then you should give Edy's Slow Churned a try!

Disclosure: “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Dreyer’s / Edy’s. I received a coupon to purchase product samples and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Take a Romantic Break for Two in England!

Is there anywhere more romantic than Europe? With country estates, crumbling castles, and royal palaces there are few better places in the world to spend a romantic week away with the one you love. If you’ve decided you just need to escape, why not consider one of these top romantic UK breaks for two.

The Lake District

The Lake District, in the North West of England, is an outdoor lover’s paradise. With over 2000 miles of walking and cycling trails to explore, as well as 12 of England’s largest lakes, there is no better place to rewind and relax. Spend your days taking long walks through the English countryside together, and your evenings curled up together in front of a roaring fire in a romantic Lake District holiday cottage. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?


If a city break for two is more your style than the city of York in the North East of England is the place for you. Your time in York will be filled with fascinating history, strolls along the beautiful River Ouse, and leisurely meals at any of the city’s top eateries. A trip to York wouldn’t be complete without a visit to York Minster, one of the world’s most magnificent Gothic cathedrals. Make sure to get a picture of you and your honey under the ‘Heart of Yorkshire’!

St. Ives

Take to the surf and the sand on a romantic break in St. Ives, Cornwall, repeatedly voted the Best UK Seaside Town in the British Travel Awards. This stretch of the Cornish coast is blessed with some of the best weather in the UK, so you can spend as much time as you would like stretched out on the golden sand beaches, or in the water learning to surf. St. Ives is also well known for its artistic heritage and is home to a wealth of talented artists and crafts people.

If you are looking for cozy accommodation for two in any of the most romantic locations in England make sure to visit Sykes Cottages, the UK's leading independent cottage rental agency. With thousands of cottages located throughout the UK and Ireland Sykes Cottages are sure to have the perfect cottage for your romantic break.

Photo attribution:
"York Minster" by Tom Curtis -

Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest post. I received compensation for hosting it.