The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: May 2013

Visit My Other Blog: Carolyn in Carolina!!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Goodbye, Bon Voyage and Adios!!!

I will be MIA from the blog for a couple of weeks. I will be traveling. But I might be posting some pictures here of my travels so keep an eye out.

And if you think of anything you would like me to giveaway on my blog from England, France or Spain, leave me a comment!! I will be holding a giveaway of stuff I pick up on my vacation!!

Take care and keep entering my giveaways!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spice Lab Gourmet Sea Salt Review and Giveaway!







You all know I consider myself a chef although I am not. But I try. I am always trying new recipes and using new spices. I figure it you don;t expand your food world, you will always get stuck eating the same thing over and over.

I was thrilled when I was able to review some salts from The Spice Lab. The Spice Lab has over 180 different kind of sea salts and they come from 30 different countries. The Spice Lab also carries other spices like peppercorns and saffron. There is also sea salt slabs, accessories, truffles, oils, tequila shot glasses made of salt and other foodie items that I love.

I must stay away from the site because I know that I will spend a zillion dollars buying all the foodie delights offered. That could be dangerous and expensive but tasty!

I received a four pack of the Gourmet Sea Salts. Salts Included in Collection No. 2 are:

No. 3 Citron SilverFlake Finishing Sea Salt
No. 8 Hickory Smoked Sea Salt
No. 13 Hawaiian Black Lava (Medium) Sea Salt - Hawaii USA
No. 40 Himalayan Crystal Pink Fine Grain

I wasn't sure how to use the salts in the best way so I improvised. I used the Hawaiian Black Lava salt in my spaghetti sauce. I used the Hickory Smoked Salt on ribs and I used the Citron Silver Flake Finishing Salt on my rib eye steaks. The Himalayan Crystal Pink Salt was used on almost everything else. I used it on my eggs one day and loved it.




I loved these salts. The Hickory salt was perfect for the ribs. It gave them a smoky flavor and spiced them up well. My favorite salt is the Himalayan Pink salt because it goes with every dish. The Black Lava Salt is delicious for sauces and the Finishing Salt is the perfect garnish for salads. I never used regular table salt anymore because it is overly processed. I try to use Kosher Salt or other salts, if possible. I know that I will continue using The Spice Lab salts.

I really enjoyed them. If you want to try some of these gourmet salts, head over to The Spice Lab and check out the flavors they have. If you want to win a set of salts like the one I received, enter below on the Rafllecopter widget!!

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. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ I Am Headed To Europe!

I will be gone for a few weeks! I am headed to Europe on vacation. We will be going to London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid.



Our poor kitty Scout can't come and she will be left with our wonderful House/Cat Sitter, Melody!

But remember to keep entering the giveaways I have up and keep an eye out for random pictures I might post during the trip. Also head over to Carolyn in Carolina as well because I usually post personal pictures there more often!!

And, you know I never forget my wonderful readers! So I will be picking up something from each country to giveaway when I return. It will be small stuff because I have no room in my luggage but it will be something cool!

Bon Voyage!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dunkin' Donuts Office Party!

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Dunkin' Donuts. I received a Dunkin' Donuts Party kit to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.


I was sent a gift pack to host a Dunkin' Donuts party. I was going to host the party at my house because that is the obvious choice. But then, I realized that I could do something very nice for a few people who actually make my husband's life a little easier during the day.

My husband works at a University where he is the Director of the School of Theatre and Film. His job is very stressful but it is made easier by a few people who work there. Mainly, his assistant and her assistant. There are also faculty members who are supporters.


I thought it would be cool to show my appreciation to them. This year, a Dunkin' Donuts actually opened in our town. It is fantastic because we could not get good donuts to save our life. Some grocery stores sold them but you never knew if they were fresh or not. But at Dunkin' Donuts, the donuts are always fresh and tasty. Plus, they have other delicious items. I love the bagels and cream cheese.

So, I headed over to Dunkin' Donuts and bought 2 dozen donuts. While the "party" was just for the office staff, I knew that some of the faculty members would amble into the office and it would be rude not to have goodies for them as well.

Then we put out the donuts and had our little party. We celebrated the end of the semester. Well, they celebrated the end of the semester. I also wanted to thank them for keeping my hubby not so stressed. It was fun to be able to bring treats to the office staff and anyone else who came in!




When some of the faculty members came, they were thrilled to see Dunkin' Donuts because who doesn't love Dunkin' Donuts? I also invited some old friends who work upstairs. I was able to see my good friend, Carolyn. She is a hoot and I was glad she could join us. And when a student came in, we invited him to join in on the fun. He was nice enough to let us take his picture!




When I gave the office staff their goody bag, they were thrilled. Each bag came with a bag of coffee, cup and coupons! Everyone at the party were Dunkin' Donuts coffee drinkers already but the new Seasonal Coffee flavors were loved by all.  They could not wait to try the new flavors. The Coconut and Strawberry Shortcake seemed to be the favorites.

You can try the new Dunkin' Donuts flavors as well because they are available at your local grocery store. But go find them now because they are available for a limited time.

Thanks to Carolyn, Carrie, Melody, Amy for agreeing to be photographed for my post. Thanks to the others who attended as well! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Allegra Outdoor Challenge Giveaway!!

It's spring and that means sun, green grass, gardening and being outdoors. For me, it also means a stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes and a feeling of malaise that comes along with allergies.

I never had allergies when I lived other places including California, Florida and New Mexico but when we moved to North Carolina, the allergies began. It's not pretty.

What do I use? Allegra. It was recommended to me by a friend who has worse allergies than I do.

Luckily, it works. Allegra’s family of products, including Allegra Allergy, Allegra-D, and Children’s Allegra all provide effective, long-lasting (one dose lasts at least 12 hours), non-drowsy relief of seasonal allergy symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and itchy watery eyes.

I was recently invited to take the “Allegra Outdoor Challenge”.  Allegra has teamed up with Lisa Leslie, a former American professional women's basketball player in the WNBA, to help families manage their seasonal allergies and inspire them to stay active this spring! Head over to the Allegra Facebook page to get tips from Lisa detailing ways families can take the “Allegra Outdoor Challenge” and get active outdoors this spring.

Honestly, I am not a big outdoorsy type. But my favorite outdoor activity is gardening. When Spring comes, I am out there readying the plot of land we set aside. Then I start planting and then when the plants start growing, I have to make sure to weed and water. It's hard work but having fresh veggies all summer is worth it.

Allegra allows me to enjoy my favorite outdoor pastime without feeling miserable. Now I can be outdoors and work in my garden. I love that.

You can take your own "Allegra Outdoor Challenge" with a Allegra Outdoor Fitness Packs. Each pack includes:
* Allegra® product samples
* $25 Fitness Line Gift Card
* Basketball, Jump Rope and Sidewalk Chalk

To win this fun prize pack for your family, just 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. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Can't Believe it's Not Butter! Breakfast After Dark with Lisa Venderpump + GIVEAWAY!




You know what's better than Breakfast? Breakfast After Dark (B.A.D.).

I know I love Breakfast for Dinner and we often do it at our house. And now, Lisa Vanderpump, has teamed up with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! to show you how to have the most important meal of the day--after dark. Lisa has created a series of webisodes to show us how she keeps things spicy by enjoying a little breakfast after dark.

I love this. How sexy would it be if you greet your hubby with a little Breakfast in Bed but at night! You can enjoy a wonderful breakfast dish and a mimosa at night and see where things go from there. Check out this video where Lisa's hubby makes her Italian Skillet eggs.


I decided to do this one evening. I decided to make some Italian Skillet Eggs, some toast and a mimosa for Breakfast After Dark. Suffice it to say, my hubby was surprised. He also loved the eggs. He even asked me to make them for breakfast on the weekend. They were delish! Here is the recipe.
Italian Skillet Eggs

Ingredients
2 Tbsp. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spread
1 cup sliced mushrooms
6 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
1 1/2 cups Ragu® Chunky Pasta Sauce
6 eggs
1/4 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (optional)

Directions
Melt I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spread in large skillet over medium heat and cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, cook until wilted, about 1 minute. 
Stir Pasta Sauce into skillet; heat through. Carefully break eggs into skillet, evenly spaced. Do Not Stir. Cover and cook over medium heat until egg whites have set and yolks reached desired doneness. 
Sprinkle with cheese and basil before serving.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter also has a few other recipes on the site that would be perfect for B.A.D.

To celebrate Breakfast After Dark, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! has given me an extra prize pack for one lucky reader of The Art of Random Willynillyness!! This kit will equip you with all things necessary to re-create a luxurious Lisa style meal. The kit includes:

* 2 elegant champagne glasses
* A fashionable mirrored serving tray
* A sassy knit robe
* A durable kitchen spatula
* I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter VIP coupon

If you want to win this fab prize pack, you know the drill. Just 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. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nutrisystem Nation Week 15 Update! #spon





Slow and steady wins the race, so says the fable. I think that's my new motto.

I have been doing well. Because I am coming off the program in a month or so, I started incorporating regular meals into my program and I still lost weight. I need to plan for the future and not just now.

I love the fact that I now know more about portion size and how much or how little I should be eating. I think that has helped me do a mix of Nutrisystem and my own food and continue losing weight.

I am going to be off the program next week and for 2 weeks after that because I am heading on vacation. We are headed to Europe. I will get back on the plan when I return and hopefully lose a few more pounds before I am off the plan completely.

Total weight loss to date:  13 pounds!

If you want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting the Nutrisystem site.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem is providing me with a complimentary Women’s SUCCESS Select Program. No other compensation is given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Soft Scrub Mold & Mildew Stain Remover Review and Giveaway




I hate cleaning. When I do clean, however, I want products that will work and make my life easier.

One of the problems we have in our bathrooms is that we get some mildew and mold because they have no outside windows and it is a breeding ground for mildew. This is true especially in the shower of our Master bath. It is an endless battle.

I clean often but it still is difficult to get it sparkling clean. I recently had the chance to try Soft Scrub Mold & mildew Remover through the Purex Insiders program. I already use Soft Scrub products. I love them to clean my kitchen sink. It really scrubs the dirt out with no scratching.

I wondered if this new product was going to be able to clean the mold from my bathroom shower. Our shower have sliding doors, which I hate. Because of the set up, it allows mold to grow and thrive if I do not keep on top of it. I always have to buy any mold and mildew remover to do the job.

What I like about Soft Scrub is that it is in gel form. When I spray it on, it actually sticks to the area I want to clean and does its thing. I actually really liked this product. It worked well. In some places, it took a few applications before getting all the mold off but, for the most part, it cleaned it up in the first round.

There were also no harsh fumes. The cleaner I use now always makes me choke. But the Soft Scrub did not shoot out fumes all over the bathroom. Because it clings to the surface, it also does not cause a mess.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Unfortunately, I have to use Mold and Mildew Remover and this product is a good option. I am going to replace the current product I use (another brand) with Soft Scrub. I honestly loved the gel because it stuck to the area and cleaned it off well.

Soft Scrub is also holding a sweepstakes to celebrate the release of the new Soft Scrub Mold and Mildew Stain Remover. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and a year's supply of Soft Scrub. Woo! 250 others will receive a full value coupon for Soft Scrub products. To enter, visit the site and register. Good Luck!

I have three (3) full value coupons of my own to giveaway! YAY! If you are looking for a Mold and Mildew Remover, you might want to try the new Soft Scrub. It is well worth. For a chance to win one of the coupons, just enter on the Raffle copter 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. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Novica Review and Giveaway!!




When I was given the opportunity to review an item from Novica, was thrilled. Honestly, I love this site.

 If you haven't heard of Novica or visited the site, you MUST. Novica, in association with National Geographic gives artists and artisans around the world a platform to express their artistic talents, and creativity.

It is a huge marketplace where you can find unique and handmade items from all over the world. They have apparel, corporate gifts, furniture, housewares, jewelry gifts, furniture and tons of home decor items!

Novica also has a wonderful new site: Novica Curation. This site allows shoppers to pin items that catch their eye and share it with others! I hope you enjoy the site and hope we can connect soon! I checked it out and it was great.

It is great to see what others enjoy. It is also great to get new ideas on home decor or new accessories. I loved the boards created by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. The boards were inspiring, fun and had some great items that I would love to have.

After looking for that special item from Novica, I finally decided on a set of 6 short cobalt groove tumblers from Javier and Efren. I am a huge fan of hand blown glass. I had bought some beautiful large hand blown glass glasses last year but the store did not have the tumblers. I have been looking for them ever since.

My new tumblers are so beautiful. I love the weight of the hand blown glass and they are perfect for juice or for a drink at night. They also match my other hand blown glasses. I love this Mexican style of glass and am very happy with my purchase.

I can't say enough about Novica. The items are so unique. You can find almost everything you can ever need on the site. Novica is a great place to find gifts for anyone on your list. The best part is you are also helping artists all over the world find a place to sell their items.

I have a $50 Novica gift code for one lucky reader, thanks to the people over at Novica. For a chance to win, just 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. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Did you catch the Latin Billboard Awards show? #SeHablaMusica #sponsored

se habla música, target latin music, latin billboard awards, target latin billboard awards

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.
This is a sponsored post.

The Latin Billboard Awards Show have come and gone. I have to admit that I missed part of the show because my hubby does not do award shows. The only reason I get to watch the Oscars every year is because he gets to watch the Tonys.

All other shows are off-limits. Luckily for me, I convinced him to let me watch when Carlos Vives was on. I also lucked out when he got a phone call from work and had to deal with that. I then changed the channel until I heard him get off the phone. I am sneaky that way.

se habla música, target latin musicI knew when my favorite performers came on because I was watching my Twitter feed and following the #sehablamusica and #billboard2013 hashtags. I kept an eye on the feed and when someone tweeted that someone I lied was on, I  would try and change the channel.

My favorite part of the show was the tribute to singer Jenni Rivera. It was moving and such a nice moment. It was nice the awards show took time to honor her contribution to Latin music. I have to admit I teared up a little. Okay, I cried.

I was also glad to see that my favorite, Shakira, won a few awards!! YAY!

To celebrate the Latin Billboard Awards of 2013, I have another Target giftcard to share with my lucky readers. I know you love that!! Just enter on the Rafflecopter widget below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

p.s. This giveaway is running a little long because I will be leaving on vacation and cannot choose a winner before the end the date!


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. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift! Wahl Hot/Cold Massager Review and Giveaway! #shareyourpain




I remember when I was little, my mother worked so hard every day. Then she came home and made dinner and took care of us. She always had aches and pains and, now that I am older, I understand why.

I don't know how some women do it. With work and home and some with kids, it is a wonder more women don't suffer from muscle or joint pain. Recently, Wahl, the inventor of the electric massager, surveyed moms and found that 84 percent of those women experience muscle or joint pain annually.

The survey by Wahl found that when it comes to treatment of muscle and joint pain, 69 percent take pain medications, 43 percent use hot and cold treatments and 27 percent opt for a massage.

I know after sitting at my computer, I get shoulder pain and wrist pain. After cleaning the house I get lower back pain. Lugging groceries from the car to the house definitely causes muscle pain. Sometimes all I want is a day at the spa and a massage. But time and money prevent me from getting massages so I have to deal
with the pain myself.

I am one of those who reaches for pain relievers. I don't like to use them but when my old muscles are sore, they help. Luckily, Wahl has two new massage therapy products to help busy moms and women to help relieve the pain of everyday life.
Hot/Cold Massager – Wahl's new temperature therapy massager provides relief by combining soothing massage with hot and cold therapy to offer a more comprehensive approach to muscle tension and soreness. It's just the latest in a series of new and powerful pain management tools from Wahl. MSRP $59.99 
Hot/Cold Therapy Massaging Gel Pack – This one-part massager, one-part hot/cold pack is the latest in a series of new pain management products from Wahl. Unlike conventional hot/cold packs, this first-of-its-kind product combines two of the most common treatments--temperature therapy and massage-- to offer a new level of pain relief. It also offers Velcro straps for hands-free use. MSRP 24.99
I was able to review the Wahl Hot/Cold Massager. I loved it. The Wahl Hot/Cold Massager provides your aching muscles with either hot or cold relief. I have always been told by my chiropractor that I need to treat my pain first with cold and then with hot. This product does just that. You choose the setting on the back of the device and that's it.
* Cold helps relive pain and decreases swelling, decreasing inflammation.
* Heat helps relax muscles and increase blood flow, relieving muscle tension.
What I loved about this product is that it has interchangeable attachment heads. For the cold setting, you can have a smooth massage. If you want a ripple wave massage, you just switch out the attachment. If you want a hot massage, Wahl recommends the kneading and raised bump massage heads.

I used them all. My favorite was the hot massage with the Kneading Massage head. I found this work well for my lower back. It provided me with a deep massage. The heat really made my pain go away. The Raised Bump attachment was the best for my shoulder and neck. I liked the other attachments but they weren't as healing as the other two.

I also liked that the intensity of the massage had 2 settings. The massager is easy to use and easy to handle. I will be using this again especially after I start my garden. I am always sore after gardening and the Wahl Hot/Cold Massager will be a much needed tool.

I know my mom would love one of these handy dandy massagers. She might be getting one this year. Shhh. This would be a perfect Mother's Day gift for that special mom on your list. Who wouldn't want a little massage every once in a while? For more information remember to visit www.wahlmassagers.com.

If you want a chance to win one of these wonderful massagers, then all you have to do is enter on the Rafflecopter widget below. This is a short giveaway, so enter right away!! Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a Wahl Hot/Cold Massager for the purpose of this review. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible if sponsors do not fulfill prize. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Nutrisystem Nation Week 14 Update! #spon





Another week on my journey. It's been a rocky road. I am still trying to stick to the plan and keep trying to lose weight. I am down 12.5 total, which is great.

What I love the most is I am packing for a trip in May. Yes, I am one of those weirdos who stats packing weeks ahead. While looking through my traveling clothes, I tried on a top and shorts I have had in my closet and unused for a few years. They fit!!

I was so excited to have old clothes fit again. I am also one of those people who keeps her skinny clothes in hopes it will fit again. Well, this week it did. YAY ME!!

I have about a month and a half left on the Nutrisystem program. I am starting to plan for the days when I am off the program because I want to continue losing weight. I am looking into other programs and trying to start incorporating regular food into my diet.

Losing weight is a tough road. It's also a lifestyle change that I guess I haven't been willing to make. It's time I do. Diet, exercise, portion control and willpower are important. But wanting to make the change is even more important.

I am hoping I can continue the weight loss. So far so good. And hey, 12.5 pounds is not too shabby!!

Total weight loss to date:  12.5 pounds!

If you want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting the Nutrisystem site.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem is providing me with a complimentary Women’s SUCCESS Select Program. No other compensation is given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product.