Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DeeDee & Dooley Potty Training Game + Giveaway!

My son is 20 months old, which means that potty training is on the horizon. Not gonna lie, I'm pretty anxious about it. Why? I'm wondering how it's going to go - this will be my first adventure in PottyLand. I've heard horror stories and then I've heard awesome stories where their kid was trained in a day. Sounds magical and slightly unrealistic, but hey, all kids are different and that's okay. It's just another joy of parenthood. ;)

I recently won an awesome potty training tool with the best name ever, DeeDee & Dooley's Potty Training Progress Game. With months away still from potty training, I LOVE knowing that I have my own progress game on hand that will be ready to be used when that time comes. 

So...what is it? DeeDee & Dooley's Potty Progress Game™ (also known as Dee & Doo) is a static cling daily potty training tool that works just like a chart, yet plays like a game. The game includes identifiable potty character pieces and bathroom scene play mat that easily helps children understand their goals visually. Along with the chart and static clings, each game comes with free printables, trusted information from doctors and teachers, support forums, Dee & Doo™ PEP up training, with Patience, Edoocation, and Play!

Why a chart?  Paper charts have been helpful for years, helping children record their progress and allowing them to see the accomplishments they are reaching. Dee & Doofound that charts were awesome, but found that play also helped the developmental process of potty training become more effective. It is their hope that the pleading, bribing parent in a power struggle with their child who resists performing will now turn into a coach and storyteller who plays with their child on their Dee & Doo adventure. 

Why a game?  What child doesn't love to play a game? Potty game should be no exception! Using play to help motivate children and capture their imaginations they will fall in love with the cast of real potty characters and find it less of a chore! When kids don't see using the potty as a chore that interrupts their play, they're less likely to procrastinate and have accidents or avoid going to the potty altogether.

Please check out their website for more information on this awesome potty training aide and to read more about why children have issues with or resist potty training and how Dee & Doo helps them conquer the sometimes scary adventure of potty training (for parents & child!). 

And, we can't not mention how awesome the Potty Parfaits are - every child should experience these, and maybe even parent, because they are that awesome! 

Dooley’s Potty Parfait™ Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 package of Berry Blue Jell-O ® or other gelatin dessert that is BLUE.
  • 1 package of Lemon or Pineapple Jell-O ® or other gelatin dessert that is YELLOW.
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip® – you’ll use about 3/4 of it (you could use whipped cream or yogurt instead)
  • 1 package of Tootsie Roll Midgees® – you’ll use 12 for this recipe*
  • 1 package of Wilton® candy eyeballs – you’ll use 12 for this recipe*
  • 6 clear plastic cocktail cups – plastic is our pick since these are for children as young as 2 years of age

Here’s how to doo it:

Porcelain toilet layer:
Drop spoonfuls of Cool Whip® into the bottom of the cups, just under 1/2 of the way up. Smooth flat and make sure the sides of your cups are clean. (We used the back of a teaspoon to spread and a damp paper towel to wipe.) Place cups on a tray and put in the freezer to set up while you make Jell-O.
Blue toilet water layer:
Prepare Berry Blue Jell-O® according to package instructions. Chill in a bowl for about 10-15 minutes (times will vary depending on temperature and humidity) until gelatin is cool and thickened a little but still liquid. This cooling step is important so that you don’t disrupt the Cool Whip® layer. Gently spoon gelatin into cups on top of Cool Whip® until you reach just under 3/4 of the cup. Chill cups in fridge to set, about 30 minutes, while you make the next layer.
Yellow Dee layer:
Prepare Lemon or Pineapple Jell-O® according to package instructions. Chill in a bowl like you did for the blue gelatin, then pour on top of the pre-set blue Jell-O® layer until the cup is just about full. This is your last layer; chill to set.
Dooley's Potty Parfait™ dessert recipeTootsie Dooley:
(NOTE: Wait to prepare these until about an hour before you’re ready to serve and DO NOT place them in the gelatin until immediately before serving or they will will start to melt into the dessert…and that’s not pretty!) Generously spray a plate with cooking spray or spread oil (not olive) on it with a paper towel. This is important so the Tootsie Rolls® don’t stick! Unwrap 12 Tootsie Roll Midgees® and push two end-to-end until they are well stuck together. You will have 6 double-sized pieces. Place them around the oiled plate evenly and warm them in the microwave. Keep an eye on them, it’s only about 10-15 seconds; don’t let them spread out too much or bubble. Remove plate from microwave and push two candy eyes into the six softened Tootsie Rolls®. With a butter knife or spatula, shape the Tootsie Dooleys so that the top and bottom are rounded and the middle (which melts the most) isn’t too rounded. Take a teaspoon or small plastic spoon and push the tip in to create a smiling mouth. Relax and be creative; you can make them any shape you want! Let cool until you can easily pop the Tootsie Dooleys off plate and they stand up without flopping over. (You can put them in the fridge for a minute or two, but not too long or the humidity can cause stickiness and the black part of the eyes to run.) Just before serving, push the Tootsie Dooleys into the top of each chilled dessert cup so that he stands up. Try different angles and heights in each cup!
And, thanks to the great folks at Dee & Doo, they are letting me give away one of these awesome kits for your potty training kiddo! Just enter below! :) US Residents Only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

BoxyCharm - September 2014 - Fashion Week Fabulous

Another great month! However, I will say, I wish they'd introduce some new brands. I feel like they are recycling the same one - great brands though - I would never purchase brands Tarina Tarantino on my own because I can't afford them, but it would just be nice to get a mixture, because then you start to get burned out on the same brands on repeat. I feel that way when I get repeat brands in different boxes (cough, cough Purlisse).

Theme of the month:

Box contents:
 This box had a whopping retail value of $96.00! 

The Coastal Scents palette I received was Bejing which is describe on the back as having, "twelve highly-pigmented hues shimmer in deep plums, ink black, gold and cherry blossom pinks." The first four took a lot of swatching to get a color I could really see. However, the next rows were very pigmented and my favorite row was the last row! Loved all those colors! :)
The LipSurgence lip gloss from Tarte isn't my thing - mainly because rarely do I find a lip gloss that I'll wear a whole lot. A lot of them are either too stick (like this one) or too slippery. For the most part, it's a clear lip gloss with some shimmer in it. 

Then there's the NCLA Nail Lacquer! I think I really enjoy the color! I don't have many white-ish colors so received something that isn't your typical pink or red is always welcomed.

The Tarina Tarantino Fleur de Lash Mascara (what does that even mean?) is apparently Limited Edition. I wonder why. I love, love their packaging! It's so heavy! And looks/feels expensive, lol. I'm not going to open this mascara because I seriously have soooo many mascaras to use up, so I won't be able to share how I feel about this, but you can never really have too many mascaras, right?

And, finally, the perfume Hello! by Harvey Prince. To me, perfume is perfume. You either hate it or love it. What else can you say? I do love the simple packaging of it. ;) I also don't mind the scent. It's just going to be added to my mountains of perfume samples!

I might be getting burnt out on beauty subscription boxes. Or, maybe just with makeup, in general. I'm a junkie, yet, feel pretty overwhelmed with how much I have accumulated as of late. We shall see, maybe I'm just having a moment :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blogging For Books: Blue Ribbon Baking from Redneck Kitchen

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

I feel like my life has really been missing out, mainly because just last week did I discover the awesomeness that is Blogging For Books. The idea is you get free books for a honest review. I thought maybe there was a catch, or maybe they were books that were 10 years old, but NO. The book I am about to share with you was JUST released 2 days ago! There were plenty of great books to chose from in all different categories, so why did I chose a cookbook? Well... I feel like the hours in my day disappear. I never really know where they go and I haven't sat down to read a chapter book since I had my son 20 months ago. The most reading I get is when I get 15 minutes here and there reading my bajillion magazines that continue to pile up waiting to be read. No joke, there are probably 200 sitting. It's becoming an epidemic. Anyways.. onto the book...

Selecting this book, I had no idea who Francine Bryson was. I selected it because I love to bake and along with my other neglected hobby, my drive to bake has disappeared just like the minutes in the day. Plus, along with baking, I like to eat baked goods. So, I'm probably an expert...;)...Anyways, back to Francine. Francine was a finalist in CBS's The American Baking Competition - a show i never watched, but probably should have. She's from South Carolina and has won more than 200 local and national baking competitions, and now she has a new cookbook with a forward by Jeff Foxworthy. Neat! 

The book has your typical baking goodness - pies, cookies, biscuits and candy. I really wanted to go outside my box and bake something that had a fun name, like Redneck Cracklin' Corn Bread, or her World Famous Chocolate Bacon Peanut Butter Pie, but when I stumbled upon the Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Pan Cake recipe and was pretty much astounded that I had all the ingredients in my house, I got to baking. 

It turned out great, and let me tell you how proud I felt after completing it! Along with my disappearing time, I have had no baking inspiration and have relied on cake mixes (nothing wrong with that) to fill some sort of baking void, but this time I had actually made something from scratch, it's been so long! 

Sadly, I wasn't a huge fan (although I did have seconds) with the taste. I can't really pinpoint why either. Something was lacking. I'm going to try it again tomorrow and see if maybe my taste buds were just off. It's happened before...

As far as the book, it's pretty plain. There aren't that many pictures and I LOVE pictures in cookbooks, the more the merrier. I am a visual person and often select recipes based on the how they look in the cookbook. It's your typical cookbook, simple recipe names, very simple look to it. Some interesting recipes sprinkled throughout, but pretty typical. Still happy to have it in my collection and maybe I will one day have ingredients in the house for something more Redneck.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beauty Without Cruelty Lipstick Review

I was fortunate to have been sent a free lipstick and some trial size 'samples' to try out from Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC) - a company, I've never heard about, but am always excited to learn more about and experience.

First, a little information, straight from their website, for those curious about this brand:

Founded by Kathleen Long & Lady Dowding in 1963 (!) who set out to accomplish a goal to manufacture and distribute natural, color cosmetics that were NOT tested on animals nor contain any animal ingredients. With over 40 years to their name, Beauty Without Cruelty has a full line of cruelty-free, vegetarian skin, body, and hair care products made with the finest natural ingredients and aroma-therapeutic essential oils, along with a full line of color cosmetics. 

I think it's amazing how they have been around 40 years now and I'm just hearing about them now! And their website is HUGE! There is so much stuff it's overwhelming.

Here are the products that were so kindly sent to me for review:

I love the scent of Lavender, so I really enjoyed the scents, and the cleanser had a really pleasant Orange citrus scent.

The lipstick I received was in the color Blueberry Coulis. The lipstick was really moisturizing, but a little too moisturizing for me. I prefer my lipsticks to be more of a matte finish, because otherwise I tend to get my lipstick everywhere, so I felt like it was a bit slippery. I loved the color though and found that the packaging was elegant and classic and also recommend it for anyone who enjoys a more moisturized finish or looking for something that's Animal Cruelty Free or/and Vegan! This was my first time venturing down that road, and I am quite pleased. Would love to see what else is out there! ;)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Modern Mom Insiders: Sheer Cover Review!

I decided to try the Sheer Cover products for the first time during a time when I had a full acne breakout! I have acne prone skin, so it's hard to find makeup products that cover my problem spots. I received such an amazing 'starter kit' for this campaign, here's what was inside:

Mineral Foundation
  • Sheer Cover Base Perfector Primer  - I was really turned off by the smell of this primer, it's very perfumey and prefer my primers to not have a scent, or maybe it's something I am just not used to! It starts out being really silky smooth, with borderline oily, but dries very silky smooth. I'm terrible though at telling if Primers actually work. I will say that overall my makeup look for the day DID stay on nearly my entire 9 hour work day. The only areas that I noticed that didn't stay was around some acne spots. 
  • Sheer Cover Perfect Shade Mineral Foundation - I requested the Light/Medium shade. My biggest issue I had was the coverage. For me, personally, I need a foundation that is going to give me a lot of coverage, especially during my acne breakouts. I don't think this was terrible and the concealer was a great help to covering, but I unfortunately need a lot of coverage! 
  • Sheer Cover Concealer & Brighten Trio -  This was probably my favorite thing in the entire set! I LOVED that there were two different shades and a highlighter included in the compact! It really makes things easier and something I would definitely throw into my purse whenever I need to cover up. It covered my acne spots for the most part very well! 
    Concealer Trio
  • 4 Piece Brush Set - This apparently was a bonus gift, which was awesome because I am always in need of some new brushes! I LOVE the concealer brush. Wasn't a huge fan of the foundation brush, but it's also not the worst thing I have used for foundation. 
  • Sheer Cover Sun-Kissed Bronzing Minerals - Honestly, I don't really know much about bronzers. I don't know how to really apply them (makeup newbie?) and when I watch Youtube videos I always think I could never have it look that good. I did really like the shade though, it wasn't something that was too crazy and I thought it worked well for my skin the one time I did try it! I hope that I create a better relationship with bronzers in the future. But, usually bronzers are last on my list of coveted items. 
  • Sheer Cover Lengthening Mascara & Lash Extending Fibers -  This worked just okay for me. I wonder if it was the fact that I used Younique's 3D Lash Fiber mascara pretty recently that using any other kind, might have a hard time living up to that one but I wasn't entirely impressed with this. Once again, it wasn't horrible and did give me volume, but nothing to write home to mom about. 

It was way more than I was expecting, but super excited to try it out! I've never really gone too far into mineral based makeup, but am always willing to try. I would give this a 4 out of 5 stars because after looking at the untouched AFTER photo I realized it worked pretty good, better than I thought in person! And, I'm sure, when I don't have an acne breakout, it would work even better, so am willing to try it again when I don't have a gigantic zit on my face. =\

Don't forget to enter to win a Year's Supply of Sheer Cover from here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Memebox #23: Girl's Night Out

Memeboxes are popping up all over, everywhere on Youtube and blogs, so naturally I HAD to check it out for myself. It's not a subscription, it's just specially themed boxes that are available to purchase whenever they are offered. They have so many unique themes, but really wanted to get one that would be more makeup based. So, I chose Girl's Night Out. This box costed me about $30 - normally it's $23, but then you pay the shipping of $6.99 to get it to you. I know I had a coupon code that I used, so this was definitely under $30, and although a bit pricey for my typical purchases, the value of this box came to $119!!! And every single brand was new to me, but that didn't surprise me since it's 'Korean Beauty.'

These remind of me OPI products! I really enjoyed my shades that I got, particularly the black shade on the right! I prefer darker shades almost all year round, but once and a while I will get a lighter shade that I'd really like. I didn't swatch these because I was unprepared and had already a fresh coat of a polish!

I wish I was good at putting on fake eyelashes. These may just sit at the bottom of my makeup drawer for a very long time, until my practice pays off and I get better at it. I don't know how to judge whether or not a fake eyelash product is good or not, but that's probably just because I don't have much experience with them.

I LOVED the Liquid Eyeliner! It had a great feel when I did a swatch of it, a little just okay on the shade, but sometimes I love something totally different. I like bright eyeliners or your typical black, but this green is sort of out of my box! It also had great staying power. The swatch on my hand didn't easily come off with soap and water! You had to work to remove it! Which is another great quality to an eyeliner - you want it to stay put!

Not sure how I feel about the Hair perfume, lol. Sounds interesting to me, don't think I've ever had hair perfume in my possession before! But that's just another reason why I love boxes that provide me with something I've never owned or a new brand, and this is an example. Looking forward to trying this out and getting a better impression.

Love the Dual concealer, too! It looks pretty light, but that's me - pretty light toned right now. The Summer sun doesn't do much for my face when it comes to getting some color. But, I can always use a concealer! I seem to go through it enough!

My second favorite thing, was the lipstick. I am a HUGE lipstick fanatic lately. It's bad. So, naturally I was so happy to see this bright pink shade and do enjoy the shade when swatched, so this is definetely something I would wear on a daily basis!

Lastly, we have this perfume scent. Normally, I am not a huge fan of perfumes, and I literally have a satchel of sample vials from beauty boxes, but mainly I don't wear perfume a whole lot anymore. I am not really sure why because there are some great scents out there, but it's just been a while since I woke up in the morning and thought to spritz myself. I get ready in 30 mins, not much thought goes into it some days. Maybe I will start wearing it again, because I enjoy this scent! Ashley approved! :)

I really loved this box. SO much that I went nuts and bought 3 more Memeboxs, that aren't released for a while! One is a Pink Edition, Halloween, and something else. LOL. I need to stop, seriously. But, it's SO fun.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Purex Insiders: Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash + Giveaway!

There is not much wrong that can be done to a body wash, in my opinion. The worst thing I feel could happen would be that I'd absolutely hate the scent. Which has happened. I'm not a huge fan of straight up vanilla scents. It makes me think of those body sprays and then it makes me think of high school when I used to douse myself in that kind of stuff from Bath and Body Works. Purex Insiders recently sent me a bottle of Dial's new Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash to try and write a review on. Although, never a fan of mango flavoring, scent is a completely different thing. Here is what I loved about this new body wash:

1. The smell. It smells sooooooooooo good! The mango was the most obvious sniff, but once you really used your nose you could pull out the hints of coconut in there. I also applaud the new scent combo - coconut and mango isn't something I've seen before. I love when you get different combos or scents that aren't you typical ocean waters or something like that.

2. Thanks to the nifty information sheet that came with the body wash, I learned how coconut water is "a leading trend known to be rich in antioxidants and electrolytes that help provide replenishing hydration. Mango is known for being nutrient rich and adds a touch of tropical freshness."

3. It's a whole line! It comes in a foaming hand wash, bar soap and one more scent of body wash minus the mango!

4. It does what it says. It left my skin feeling smooth and what I assume hydrated! It had a great lather, which is something I like to see in a body wash.

I'm so happy that I get to giveaway a free product coupon to 2 readers! Enter the giveaway below to win one! Expires 9/30/14! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions shared here are my own.