The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

$25 Gift Card Giveaway!






I wanted to wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate or don't! So I am giving away a $25 gift card to whatever store you want. Just enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

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, December 21, 2017

$25 Applebee's Gift Card Giveaway!



I have a $25 Applebee's gift card to giveaway!! Just leave a comment and enter on the Rafflecopter widget. YAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

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, December 18, 2017

Great Potluck Idea for Holiday parties!! Bean and Corn Salad!

I am always clueless about what to take to holiday parties, potlucks and any party. While I love to entertain, it's hard for me to decide what to make when I am not hosting the party. 

I have a few dishes but I use them all the time. Now this recipe is pretty new for me. And it is easy! It is also delicious. This can be used as a potluck dish. What I like about it is that it requires NO COOKING! It is vegetarian and it is hearty. It's great for the summer but also for winter. 

You will need 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, 2-15 oz. can of black beans, 1-15 oz can of Pinto beans, 1-15 oz. can of corn, 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 red onion chopped, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half.  


First make the vinaigrette, use 2 tablespoons of oil (olive or canola) and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon or lime juice. I prefer lemon but I know many people like lime. Add salt and pepper to taste. 


Take the pinto beans, black beans and corn and put into a colander and drain. 


Chop the cilantro, red onion and cherry tomatoes. 



Mix the cilantro, tomatoes and onion in a bowl. 


Add the corn and beans and mix. 


Add the vinaigrette and mix well. That's it. DONE! How easy is that? 


If you want some spice, add jalapenos. If you don;t want to make fresh vinaigrette, then use salad dressing. If you want to use other beans, you can. I have made this with kidney beans and white northern beans. Trust me, you take this to a potluck or picnic and people will love it! 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

COCO Activity Sheets for Kids!!

If you haven't seen COCO, you should. This movie is so cute and wonderful. It is really one of the best from Pixar and Disney! Here are some activity sheets for the kiddos. These are great for the holidays when you have a house filled with kids and need to entertain them! Enjoy


ABOUT THE MOVIE
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.


















Like COCO on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarCoco 

Follow COCO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/pixarcoco

Follow COCO on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixarcoco/

Visit the official COCO website here: http://movies.disney.com/coco

COCO is now playing in theatres everywhere!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Tips for smooth and healthy skin during the holidays with Aveeno Beauty Collections + Giveaway! #TiempoParaMi

Disclosure: I received products in return for a review.

The holidays are always fun and filled with family and food and gifts. But the rich food, drinks and cold weather might affect your skin. Luckily, there is Aveeno® Positively Radiant and Aveeno®
Ultra Calming products.

I know during the holidays, my skin takes a beating. I am eating and foods, drinking and wearing makeup. you can enjoy a merry time without worrying about how your skin will look and feel during the festivities.


During the holidays season our skin is susceptible to inclement weather and to changes in our diet. To keep skin healthy and glowing all season, it is important to be consistent with its care. Following a well set regimen for both day and night helps you maintain a healthy, radiant look throughout the season. To help you protect your skin from the holiday wear and tear, here are some tips from dermatologist Dr. Francisco Flores:

Start your day fresh with a shower: Aveeno® Positively Radiant Exfoliating Body Wash with its soy complex and light reflecting minerals help enhance skin's natural radiance. The exfoliating body wash cleans and exfoliates away dull skin, leaving skin smoother and looking healthier. 
Moisturize your body: Aveeno® Positively Radiant Body Lotion. The lotion's total soy complex and infused light reflecting minerals help to instantly transform dry and dull skin. 
Moisturize your face before you put on makeup: Aveeno® Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes contain feverfew which helps to calm ad balance sensitive skin. These gentle wipes remove your makeup without irritating your skin The wipes unclog pores avoiding acne outbreaks.
Clean and hydrate your face: Aveeno® Ultra Calming Hydrating Gel Cleanser increases the level of hydration to your skin. Contains calming  feverfew to gently cleanse and hydrate sensitive skin. It helps eliminate oil residue, clogged pores and any makeup residue missed by the wipes. 
Moisturize your skin: Aveeno® Ultra Calming Nourishing Night Cream soothes and reduces the appearance of of red and irritated dry skin. t also helps restores the skin's protective moisture barrier while you sleep.

These are such great tips and Aveeno® products are my favorites. I always have them at home and when I travel! I especially love the makeup remover wipes. I rarely wear makeup but when I do these really work. And the Aveeno® Positively Radiant Body Lotion is wonderful. It really works on my dry skin!

If you want to win a set of products from the three Aveeno® product lines, then enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

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, December 1, 2017

Heat Holders Review and Giveaway!


It's winter and that means COLD! My whole life I have been a wimp about the cold. I was born in Los Angeles and then moved to Miami for a few years. I wasn't used to the cold. When I moved to other places where it snowed, I was horrified.

I love keeping the heat on during winter but hubby frowns upon that. So I have to find ways of keeping my warm. I tried it all. Sweatshirts, flannels, beanies and slankets. That's all well and good but it is always my feet that suffer. My feet never get warm!


But I discovered Heat Holders®. Heat Holders® creates products that keep the heat in and keep you warm. Heat Holders® are over 7x warmer than regular cotton socks and nearly 3x warmer than ordinary thermal socks. They are better than heated, electric or battery operated socks because you can just put them on without fussing with batteries, wires etc. Heat Holders® means No more cold feet! They are made using a unique 3 step process which makes them the Warmest Thermal Socks!

And the best part is that Heat Holders® have more than just socks. They offer thermal underwear, gloves, hats, throws and blankets! All these products are designed to keep you warm and cozy during the winter season.


Now here in Wilmington, we don't get a long winter like up North but it is still cold. So I need to have items available to keep me warm. I received several products to review. I got original Heat Holders® Crew sock, the slipper socks and gloves. The socks are great. Hubby took my socks and loves them. I love the slipper socks because they  are non-skid. Something I need on my hardwood floors.

The inside of each sock has a soft brushed lining that is not only soft and warm. has been intensively brushed that not only feels sensationally soft but also traps warm air close to the skin keeping your feet warmer for longer. Heat Holders® are non-binding. They are diabetic friendly and provide relief for cold feet due to circulation problems.


The cable knit gloves are comfy and are made with HeatWeaver® thermal lining. The lining is soft and it keeps your fingers warm even in the coldest weather. I love them. I need the hat now!

These are such great products! I know these would make great stocking stuffers or holiday gifts especially if you know someone who lives in a cold area.

If you want to win a Heat Holders® product, enter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

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, November 30, 2017

Give Yourself a Break during the Holidays with Hormel! Plus giveaway! #homegatherings

Disclosure: I received free product. Opinions are 100% my own. 


The holidays are always stressful. As I get older, I am getting more relaxed about putting out the perfect spread. I figured out that I can still offer my guests wonderful nibbles and food without all the work.

This Thanksgiving, I ordered an entire Turkey dinner from a local grocery store. It was amazing! No muss, no fuss and we ate really well. I also have learned that as long as you have good friends and good food, it doesn't mater if you slaved over it.

That's why I love the new Hormel Gatherings Party Trays! They are pre-made party trays ready with everything you need to feed your hungry guests. You buy them, open them and serve them! Easy Peasy!


Hormel Gathering Party Trays come with crackers, two types of cheese and two types of proteins. YUM! I chose the Honey ham and Turkey platter. It comes with cheddar and Colby jack cheese. The other platter includes hard salami and pepperoni with cheddar and Colby jack cheese. Both include cracker rounds.

I love these because not only are they easy to serve but are delicious. I find that these platters are really great for cocktail parties, game day parties or work parties. I always have a cheese plate at every party. Sometimes my cheese plates are super fancy but. most of the time, they are filled with foods that people love.


If you want your guests to be impressed create a cheese platter. It's easy. You need a few things. I always have crackers. I have semi-soft cheeses like the Colby jack and cheddar. I also love adding a spreadable cheese like goat cheese. I love having mustard and olives. I also add the meats. One thing I love having as well is honey or preserves. And fruit. I usually use grapes but they aren't in season so I decided on a apple.

This holiday season make it easy on you and grab these platter. You can serve them at home or take them to potlucks or a friend's house.


You can find Hormel Gatherings Party Trays at Walmart or click here to find out if there is a location close to you.

If you want to win a coupon to try one of these Hormel Gathering Party Tray, then enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

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.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Easy & Traditional Holiday Treats! #JuntosconNestlé #ad

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Nestlé. All opinions, however, are always 100% my own. 



When I was little, I remember Christmas being my favorite holiday. Besides all the presents and festivities, there was a lot of food. In Costa Rica, the tradition is to make Christmas tamales and sweets to give to the visitors who come by during the holidays. When my parents moved here to the states, they kept those traditions alive and passed them down.


As I got older and moved away, some of those traditions were left by the wayside. It is too difficult to make tamales by myself during Christmas. Tamales take days to make and you really need a lot of people to help make the masa, fill the tamales, wrap the tamales and then cook them.

But there were other recipes that I embraced because they were manageable. I remember every year after the tamales were done and cooking and being stored, my grandmother would make us cajeta de coco (sort of like coconut fudge) and rompope (eggnog).


I always remember watching her take the time to grate fresh coconut. Luckily, you can buy shredded coconut now. She would then add the sweet condensed milk, butter, coconut, sugar and galletas Maria to a pan and cook the cajeta down. The house would be filled with the sweet smell of vanilla and sugar. Then she would roll the cajeta into little balls and roll them in the coconut.



The little balls of cajeta were our treat after two days of helping out with the tamales. We would get a few but the rest were stored for the guests. Of course, my sister and I would always sneak a few before the guests came.



Every Christmas our refrigerator was stuffed with tamales and rompope. Plates of cajeta de coco lined the kitchen and the pantry. That is what I remember.

On Christmas Eve, our friends and family would come over and we would eat tamales, roast pork, mashed potatoes, vegetables and so many other delicious dishes. Then we would have cakes and cajeta de coco and rompope. The adults had their rompope with a little rum and the kids would have it without. Those were good times filled with love, family and traditions.


I try and keep those memories alive during the holidays as well. When I want to think of home, I head over to Walmart and buy the necessary items to create those family recipes because I need to save money. Of course, I have Americanized and simplified my family recipes. But, like my mom and abuela, I always use Nestlé condensed milk in my recipes.

The best thing about the cajeta de coco and rompope is that my guests think I slaved over a hot stove to create these delicious treats but I haven't. These recipes are easy and simple and make the holidays easier. I also love to gift these as well.


I like placing the cajeta into mini cupcake liners. I then buy some festive paper plates or a holiday treat box and place them in there. I wrap them or add a bow. I take a Mason jar and fill it with rompope. I place these all in a little basket, basket or holiday tin and violà, an inexpensive gift that is personal and unique. I love giving these out to my guests as a take home gift. These little gifts are also great if unexpected guests show up!


For me, it's important to keep these family traditions alive. It also makes me feel like my family is still with me although they may be far away. Remember that the holidays should be fun and not stressful. Most of all, the holidays are a time to create memories with your loved ones.

Cajeta de Coco

2 cups Nestlé La Lechera sweet condensed milk
1 cup butter
1/2 cup graham crackers crumbled
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Put half of the coconut aside. Then add all the ingredients to a pan and cook on low heat until it boils. Put aside to cool. Once cooled, roll the mixture into balls and roll into the coconut you set aside. Place into the mini cupcake cups. You can also place in a shallow pan and add the coconut on top. You can cut into squares.

OPTIONAL: You can spice up the cajeta by adding ground cinnamon or nutmeg. My cousin adds chocolate chips for extra added flavor.

HANDY TIP: To crumb the graham crackers, place in a plastic zip baggy and beat with a wooden spoon.



Rompope

1 cup Nestlé La Lechera sweet condensed milk
1 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
Rum (optional)

Place egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and cream. Add the milk and condensed milk and whisk until smooth. Place the mixture in a pan on low heat until it thickens. Take off heat and let cool. You can serve it with rum or without rum. Sprinkle some nutmeg on top and serve.

OPTIONAL: Crumble some peppermint sticks and sprinkle on top of the rompope!

Monday, November 20, 2017

littleBits Droid Inventor Kit - Perfect gift for any inventor in the family! #littlebits #inventorswanted

Disclosure: I attended the #ThorRagnarokevent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were be covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are always 100% mine.


When I was out in Los Angeles at the Thor: Ragnarok event, one of the highlights was being able to meet with representatives of littleBits. littleBits makes technology kits that are fun, easy-to-use, and infinitely creative. The kits are composed of electronic building blocks that are color-coded, magnetic, and make complex technology simple and fun. Together they’re interchangeable in millions of different ways to empower kids to invent anything. This product that looks to shed light on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).


littleBits is a great product for kids or adults who love to play and create. When we got to play hands-on with the kit, I immediately thought of all my great nieces and nephews and all my friend's kids who would love this.

I loved it too but I am not the techie type. Yet, I really knew that this was something someone like me could actually build. That's saying a lot. At the event, we had the chance to build and play with the droids. I didn't build he kit I received because I decided to leave it for a special little boy who is going to go crazy for it.


But watching my fellow bloggers build it was fascinating. It was also fun. The kit is easy to put together because everything is color coded. The instructions are pretty easy. It is pretty amazing that kids can build the droid by themselves or with your help.


What I really love about this kit and the rest of the littleBits products are they are gender neutral. It's not just for boys. I know lots of little girls who would this kit as well. I appreciate that the creators knew that all kids would be interested in creations, building and playing with the droids.

In addition to the electronics and the boards, the kit includes the skeleton of R2D2. It also offers a whole range of stickers to decorate the droid. You can make R2D2 as it was in the movie or you can get creative and make it different. It will depend on what you want.

A post shared by Carolyn Gonzalez (@carogonza1) on

There is an app you can download to help you build the Droid. The app also controls the Droid. It features ongoing challenges that kids can work on fulfilling. The app starts with easy missions and then it starts challenging the inventor to more complicated missions. The Droid will use its own sensors to move around or you can actually try Force Mode where you can extend your hand and move it. Just like Darth! With the lessons learned through building the first Droid, kids are encouraged to get really creative and build their own droid.



What I love most about the littleBits Droid kit is that it helps kids explore technology and inventions. Because they can use the parts to create almost anything, it allows for creativeness and exploration. You can also buy other components aside from the Droid kit and build other products. Because of the color coding, everything will work together. All you have to do is have the imagination and drive to invent.

A post shared by Carolyn Gonzalez (@carogonza1) on

Starting November 15, 2017 to January 20, 2018, littleBits is launching a global inventor movement:  the littleBits Competition: Droid Inventor Kit. This competition invites kids, families, and Star Wars fans—residing in the US, UK, and Canada - to share their own unique Droid creations with the global inventor community. Fans and families will be able to submit their own leading-edge Droid design creations, judged by Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Daisy Ridley (the actress who portrays Rey in the current Star Wars trilogy) and Kelly Marie Tran (the actress who portrays Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi) alongside Ayah Bdeir (founder and CEO of littleBits) and Kathleen Kennedy (president of Lucasfilm). OMG how exciting is that? Head over to the littleBits site for more information on how to enter and what you can win!

The littleBits Droid Inventor Kit costs $99.95 and is available online, Walmart, Amazon, the Disney Store and the Apple Store. Consumers interested in purchasing the award-winning Droid Inventor Kit will have the opportunity to take advantage of a 20% off discount on littleBits.cc, Walmart.com, Amazon.com, ShopDisney.com, as well as Walmart and Disney stores nationwide from Thursday, November 23, 2017 through Monday, November 27, 2017. This Christmas give your little ones one of these and open their minds to a world of imagination and invention!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Rigoni di Asiago Review and Giveaway!


Around Fall, I start craving comfort foods. I want to eat foods make me feel comfortable and warm. When the weather changes, I start drinking more tea. When I have tea, I like to have a little treat as well. Tea time in Fall or Winter is big in my house.

I was sent some delicious treats from Rigoni di Asiago just in time for the cooler weather. Rigoni di Asiago is a family-owned company.  Rigoni di Asiago crafts Italian organic jams, honey and chocolate spreads. Rigoni di Asiago is based in the hills of North Italy with deep roots in family traditions.

The products are wonderful. I received Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut spread, Nocciolata Dairy Free Organic Hazelnut spread, Strawberry Fiordifrutta spread, and Italian Honey Mandarin Honey.


These products are delicious. I am not a hazelnut fan but hubby assured me that the spreads are really good. He loves to put it on his pancakes. I personally loved the Strawberries & wild strawberries Fiordifrutta. It is delicious on toast and with a cup of tea, it is glorious. It is thick and full of flavor. Perfect as a snack. It also comes in various flavors such as organic apricot, peach, blueberry, orange, cherry, wild berries and many more!

My favorite though is the honey. It was sweet and fruity and absolutely delicious. One of my favorite snacks is frying flower tortillas and drizzling them with honey. When I was little my mom used to make this for us. This honey was perfect for my snack.


If you love spreads, honey or jam you need to visit the Rigoni di Asiago website and check out the variety of products they have. With the holiday season coming up, these products are great for snacks or in your baking.

If you want to win a selection of Rigoni di Asiago products, enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules: One entry per person per day. Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.

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.