HouseParty: Chromecast with a side of Game of Thrones Premeire Event and #Review #ChromecastGOT #Sponsored

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It always seems like the best shows take forever to come back, and Game of Thrones, Season 6 was no different. Pretty soon I will start forgetting what happened the season before if they keep doing this! I knew (spoiler alert!!!!) Jon Snow was killed but was unsure if he would stay dead, plus all the other stuff with all the families….okay, it’s starting to sound like a soap opera but this one is always a bloody one, which I tend to enjoy shows like this. When Houseparty said Game of Thrones party, plus Chromecast……I just heard the first part and said yes and told myself I’ll learn about the second part.

I already own a “stick” from another company, so even though we went so long getting rid of antennas you could see on television sets, here we go sticking devices on them again. I will say at least these “bunny ears” need no foil, or someone to hold them (did I just date myself here?). Chromecast is another device used for streaming, which just plugs in via an HDMI port on your television. You need a Wi-Fi network and Chromecast also has an app for phones (or mobile devices), and computer. Easy to install and disconnect…..but what does it do? Well it opens up a new world of entertainment from movies, television shows (both new and old), to sporting events, music and even games. You are also not limited when it comes to viewing from streaming sites like:

  • YouTube
  • NetFlix
  • Hulu
  • HBO Now
  • Showtime Anytime
  • MLB.TV
  • to Watch ESPN and More!
  • There are over 200,000 movies and TV shows at your fingertips, plus millions of songs to access. Okay, that is a lot!

Retail Price Point: At just $35, Chromecast allows you to cast from your iPhone, iPad, any Android device or laptop and television. You can learn more here about what Chromecast.  HBO Now is just $14.99 a month and no television package is required!  Plus, HBO Now offers a free trial for new members.

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What comes with your Chromecast:

  1. One Chromecast Unit (You can pick from black, coral or lemonade). Available at places like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Staples and the Google Store. Coral and Lemonade are exclusive colors to the Google Store.
  2. One Power cable
  3. One Power adapter
  • Ports/Connectors needed-
    HDMI
    Micro-USB
  • Resolution- 1080p

Verdict:

I already have HBO, so that means I have HBO Go but decided to check out HBO Now for this premiere event.  Sunday gets here and I have planned for this event all week.  I wanted to serve something new and out of the ordinary, so I went with Lobster Raviolis on a bed of spinach, with large prawns.  Needed something round (Hey, the Chromecast is round in shape), so went with a homemade pizza, topped with sausage, pepperoni, bell peppers, red onion on a bed of 4 different cheese blends.  Call it the Stark Pizza, if the Stark family served pizza 🙂 Plugging in the Chromecast is really as easy as plug and go.  I know many of these units sometimes state this and then when you get ready to be entertained, half the entertainment is getting them to work.  We experienced zero issues with connecting, our Wifi network being recognized and watching.  The Chroecast also plays nice with the surround sound system, so you do not lose the quality of sound if you have a home system and the resolution was as beautiful as ever.  So, Game of Thrones comes on and the first episode of season 6 starts playing.  I thought I would have more of my questions answered but I ended up with more questions at the end of the episode.  My weeks now seem longer until Sunday arrives again!  Being part of this event was fun because Houseparty included a nice journal to keep and I got to play with a new device.  I like being able to see what these units bring and will be signing up to one of the movie streams (30-day free trial) because of it.  I figured give them a try again since I was happy staying connecting, which when I first tried the service, that was not as easy before with another unit.  The price point for everything the Chromecast brings to your television and other devices makes it an affordable purchase, plus not trying to find room for another box on the entertainment console is very much appreciated.

 

Connect with Chromecast and HBO at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Chromecast and HBO. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Tryazon: Ines Rosales, Sweet and Savory Tortas from Spain #InesRosales

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Tortas in every culture has a dish that bares the same name, even though it may not be identical.  In Spain, tortas de aciete are made with extra virgin olive oil and varieties range from sweet to savory, the distinction is usually made by the sweetness of the dough and the ingredients used. The Ines Rosales tortas are still made by hand and in Seville Spain. The recipe has not changed throughout the years and remains the same since 1910, with just more flavors added to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Some people have asked me how to describe a torta from Spain and my best answer is that it’s like a pita that crumbles and flakes when enjoyed. The distinct taste is hard to describe because the sweet versions are almost cookie like in flavor, while the savory tend to lend more towards a cracker but one thing I can share, is that the Ines Rosales tortas are amazingly delicious! When something is delicious……..what more can be said than just eat it and enjoy it!

I was sent a beautiful array of tortas from Ines Rosales to share and enjoy:

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  • Original; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, anise seeds, sesame seeds, yeast, sea salt, natural anise essence.

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  • Seville Orange; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, crystallized orange from Seville, yeast, sesame seeds, sea salt, natural orange essence.

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  • Cinnamon; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, yeast, sesame seeds, ground cinnamon, sea salt, natural cinnamon essence.

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  • Sesame and Sea Salt; Ingredients- Unbleached wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, whole wheat flour, sesame seeds, sugar, sea salt, yeast.

Now, you see tortas in aciete and you think oily. They thankfully are not and the oil is in the flavor but it’s not overwhelming and you are left with no oily residue on your hands when you are eating them, just the beautiful flaky goodness. Each torta is individually wrapped in it’s waxed paper, so makes it easy to grab and go, or even to put out for guests to enjoy. There are no rules when enjoying these tortas. Many times they are eaten as-is in place of a snack, with a dip, a coffee or even a spread or to accompany any meal. The dough used is simple but that is where the goodness lays because there are no lab created ingredients here, just real good ingredients and like any baked good, the quality of the ingredients used make the difference and it shows with Ines Rosales tortas.

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I made a Spanish/Italian (hey, I said no rules here!) theme dinner that was an array of cured meats and cheeses, plus I had 2 vegetarian guests. Ines Rosales tortas are even Vegetarian friendly, so making a counterpart dish was easy but a little of a first for me. I made a pasta-less Vegetable Lasagna. I grilled all the seasonal vegetables, from eggplants (both striped and mini varieties), Italian squash, and a sauce made from fresh tomatoes. I made the lasagna ahead and asked guests which cheese was approved beforehand because I did not want to add an ingredient that was not acceptable. I can say that making lasagnas in single serve dishes makes serving easy and especially when lasagna slices can come apart and not look appetizing. The lasagna sees none of that because you make and serve in the same dish, so these style dishes allow the host to now worry about serving guests and every dish looks as perfect as the next.

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Now, I thought my meat eaters would stay free of the veggie lasagnas but most enjoyed sharing a serving along with their tortas. The Ines Rosales tortas I used were the savory ones, the Original and Sesame with Sea Salt versions, as this was to accompany our dinner. I made spreads that were Mascarpone based and even an olive toss, that was several olive varieties with just a touch of grain mustard and a lemon based olio. Having guests pick what they want and how much by allowing them to make their own tortas, guarantees a happy host that does less, but more importantly, guests that make their dish as they wish. I purchased everything from Mortadella with Peppercorn and Pistachios, Capocollo and I even found a nice spicy version, Sopressata, Prosciutto, Salami (both peppercorn crusted and normal) to a variety of cheeses. I included Provolone, Manchego to a crumbly Feta cheese because these cheeses tend to cut the fat from the cured meats well along with the spreads. The Ines Rosales tortas have that paper wrap I mentioned and when you unwrap the torta, you can even prep it right over the wrap. It’s then easy to transfer to a plate or just enjoy right there off the wrap!

Torta with cured Meats

Ines Rosales Torta with an array of cured meats

Easy and Fast to make any dinner enjoyable!

Easy and Fast to make any dinner enjoyable!

I can share there was not one torta that was not enjoyed. The Ines Rosales cinnamon variety reminds me of a churro-like cookie to those Bunuelos I enjoyed as a child. Perfect with a cup of coffee to dipped in hot chocolate. The cinnamon used is an accent to the torta and not overwhelming. The Seville Orange is my favorite of the sweet versions. I love Valencia oranges and the orange used resembles those citrus notes. I plan to make a honey Mascarpone spread (again) and enjoy this torta in the morning. So far, I have enjoyed the Seville Orange from Ines Rosales in this manner for 3 mornings straight. I made orange slices in a simple syrup from scratch to add, then toss some toasted Walnuts (or any nuts of your choice…..imagine Pistachios) and you will walk out the door with a smile. These tortas are just a delight and each one is like unwrapping a little treat that plays well with many dishes, not just those with a European flair. They would be great to accompany with a salad, a warm soup on a cold day, to even creating a crust for meats (pulse in a food processor) and you can ever make a great crust for Mozzarella cheese sticks. The possibilities are really up to you but even on a lazy day, I can enjoy an Ines Rosales just as it is and still have a smile 🙂 .

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ines Rosales and Tryazon.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

PureCopper: 100% Pure Copper Mule Mugs in Smooth and Hammered Finish #PureCopper

 

 

 

 

 

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I love copper from it’s color to how the metal lasts. I was looking at these mule mugs when they became popular and knew I wanted them until I saw the price tag for just one mug! I thought I will wait it out until the price lowers and that did not work in my favor as then quality went down. I started seeing what I call “painted mugs”, that are just coated with a copper layer or some even stated “copper like” when you searched further into the description. Price kept going up and I figured I better just walk away until……….PureCopper brand offered me a set to review!

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The name says it all and it’s pure 100% solid copper! Sounds so simple when you think about it but there is always the imitators and gimmicks out there, that like cloning themselves but never as true as the real original product. I prefer to wait and afford the real item versus spending a percentage towards a purchase that will leave me unsatisfied. I can easily say that PureCopper is not only crafting beautiful copper mugs but I was more than satisfied with the set I received. You know when you imagine a purchase and sometimes it falls short? Well, this one is a purchase that you will be able to enjoy visually and also when pouring yourself a drink. It’s a Mule mug but doesn’t require a mule! You can make desserts to even as I have done, I stick it in the freezer and let is get ice cold, so it keeps everything from ice cream super cold.

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Retail Price Point: $21.97 for the hammered mule mug and $18.97 for the smooth finish mug via Amazon.

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Then comes something that I can’t overlook because presentation is a bonus and I don’t mean from the copper glistening in the light, but what PureCopper does. My mugs are beautifully shipped and they added these glossy recipe cards, plus the cutest paper clip that is also shaped like a mug! Who does that anymore? PureCopper makes any person receiving this gift just smile and I do every moment I use them and have even put them in my curio because when the sun starts setting, the rays hit those copper mugs and I end up with the most gorgeous looking light effect in that room. I don’t have to worry about wearing them out as it’s pure copper and like food, you don’t want fillers but a clean product. My copper with time will get a beautiful patina and you can choose a smooth finished mug or a hammered effect. Perfect for gifting or just rewarding yourself because the applications are there when it comes to how the metal conserves coldness. It’s not just a beauty but it serves it’s purpose and in the end this is the stuff we keep that can multitask and also be distinctive at the same time.

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Connect with PureCopper at:

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from PureCopper Brand.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Inspired Basics Nomex Heat-Resistant Oven Gloves

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It’s should be no secret that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, trying new things. Hot handles, pans and oven racks are par for the course. Sometimes, our potholders don’t cover right, or are awkward, or just flat out don’t give you enough grip. Oh, but if only there was an oven safe glove that was EN 407 and ISO Certified up to 662 degrees, with a soft cotton interior, and silicone grip bumps on them. Oh, wait…Inspired Basics has just such a glove!!

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I’ve tried silicone BBQ gloves/mitts in the past. I even reviewed a pair here. They’re pretty good. They can be awkward to clean, wear, and use, and fit me poorly, and while dishwasher safe can start to build up a film and hold a smoke smell pretty quickly. And silicone gets pretty slippery when wet. My fondness for them faded pretty quickly. But these gloves (machine washable…yay!) seem more for me. with a form fit and protection halfway up my forearm, there’s no worries about grabbing a deep roasting dish and getting that burn on your wrist. I can get my fingers into the handles just fine, and lose almost no dexterity. And while they did fit me, they were very large. That would be my one drawback, and I wish they came in more sizes. They fit hubby nearly perfectly, though. And that’s good, because he isn’t as well rehearsed in the kitchen as I am. Thankfully, these are the made of the same flame-resistant material used in racing and firefighter’s survival suits, Nomex. So, these are good for the BBQ as well. and again, being machine-washable there’s no worry about stains or grease or soot, because one quick trip through the old washer and they’re good as new! I would, though, for the sake of durability, probably recommend hand-washing and air drying. Things just get cleaner and last longer that way for me. Now, don’t go pouring boiling water over them. That’s the one single benefit of silicone gloves is water resistance, but these are fiber and 100% cotton, so don’t go grabbing pasta out of the boiling water or anything.

Lest you think these gloves are good for the kitchen only, you can use them to safely grip just about any dry, hot surface you can think of. Hot light bulbs? Check. Hot engine parts? Check. Hot logs on a chimenea fire need arranging? Check, check and check! I like these Nomex Heat-Resistant Gloves from Inspired basics, and I think you will too. They’re also backed by a lifetime, no-questions-asked, 100% refund policy, so you can buy with confidence.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Inspired Basics.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Sentey Flow Kid’s Foldable Over the Ear Headphones w/ Mic

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I listen to plenty of music at night when I’m trying to unwind. In the day, too, when I need to take a break from my online duties. So when Sentey offered to put me in their “Power User” program to test some products, and offered these Flow Foldable Headphones…Oh, I was sooo game.

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To start, they’ve now labeled these for “Kid’s”, and that makes sense, because they aren’t loud, or made with “premium” components. They might work with a handheld gaming device, or most .mp3 players, and even most tablets. But try as I might, my phone would just not recognize them. Both tablets (Asus) and laptops (Asus and Toshiba) did, though. So maybe LG is funky in how they recognize peripherals. My husbands Sansa Clip+ also picked it up with no issues. So we could not test if the mic works, because the phone wouldn’t play nice. So I can’t say it works with EVERY device, but almost all of them. It has an in-line control button for playing/pausing, but that is also dependent on your device being configured for that type of control, so it can be hit and miss as well.

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The sound is passable. And they’re not labeled “L” or “R” like every other pair of headphones we’ve ever had, so that involves a bit of guesswork and possibly even switching them around mid-song or movie. They even fit over my hubby’s big ‘ol head, so they should fit over just about anyone’s. These Sentey Flow headphones come with a fully detachable 3.5mm audio, too. They make the claim that they’re gaming headphones, but our PS3 only connects with bluetooth headphones, and this has no bluetooth (I assume the PS4 is the same). So to make the claim that it’s good for either system is questionable at best. You can jerry-rig a connection with a two-into-one audio cable and the audio connections at the back of the console, but on their own, they can’t connect to the Playstation systems. I can’t speak for Xbox systems, either. It doesn’t have heavy bass, or “top rated sound”, as my husband’s $8 Skullcandy earbuds out-performed it in both categories. So Sentey is making so very dubious claims in their Amazon listing in an effort to get more search hits.

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Look at it like this: These are disposable headphones. They wouldn’t stand up to the rigors of workouts, running or jogging, but they’re light enough and compact enough for travel. They’re not in-the-ear buds so you won’t have the worries of hearing damage, like you would with earbuds, but conversely you can hear them if you’re in the same room or in a vehicle as someone wearing them, so you’ll know if they’re too loud. At under $13.00, you could do worse, but I’d be very surprised if they lasted long. And if they do get lost, or broken, thankfully no one will lose much sleep over them at this price point#senteyflow. Go into this with open eyes and buy them for what they are: Economical, disposable kids headphones that might last the summer.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sentey.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Klout Perk: People V.I.P. Perk with 3 month Magazine Subscription and World’s Most Beautiful gift box #PEOPLEVIP

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Another great Klout perk! Who doesn’t love getting boxes filled with goodies? Certainly not this gal! This one had a nice mix of items from jewelry to nail polish, and all courtesy of People’s Magazine. Definitely a great way in getting that V.I.P. feeling across! They call the items below Editor’s Pick and that means People’s Magazine did the hard work of testing things out to knowing what is currently H-O-T at the moment!

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Let’s get started on the goodies…….

 

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1. Hungry Girl: Chew the Right Thing

A cute but also informational diet book that helps in making better choices when it comes to eating. Perfect timing with Summer creeping closer and that means swimsuit weather too. You don’t want to eat yourself out of a bikini and this little set gives you 50 recipe cards filled with less guilty versions of the food you enjoy munching on. The low caloric versions range from everything like sweet treats, drinks, to full meals. Easy to follow and playful at the same time!

 

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2. Zoya Nail Polish in color Rue
I have tried most brands out there of nail polishes and I once owned a Zoya in a red hue, however it was a bright red and so not me that I gave it away. Wanting to gift it to someone meant not trying it and I always pondered about the brand, many a times walking around Ulta with a bottle but never making the commitment to actually buy it and taking it home. I love neutral shades and I am guilty of purchasing the same color but from different brands. I don’t mean to but there are those tones that just make you smile and this Rue color is it for me. I love how it is a shade that goes with any season and any mood. It’s pretty, noticeable but does not scream out, “look at my nails”…..it sort of just goes with the flow kind of color. I also became a fan of Zoya’s formula because it makes me look like an expert when applying even when I try convincing my left paw to stop shaking.  I was able to do a polka dot accent nail because it was one of my better less shaking going on nail polishing days!

 

 

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3. Professional Hair Detangler
A comb-slash-brush but without a stick. You would think it’s like a broken brush and what’ the fuss? It comes down to control and less stress to your hair. The wand on a brush tends to make you put out more “umph” and this is why so many times we accidentally pull on (or out) our own hair even when it’s ourselves doing the brushing. I’m not into pain and much less tangles, so this little palm miracle makes we have less ouch and I can use it with wet or dry hair. I also like that there is no stick to deal with, so it travels well too.

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4. Delicate Spring Bracelet
A gold accented bracelet that is light on the wrist and can easily be combined with other items to get that “stackable” look we are seeing with everything. We layered clothes for a while, so it seems we are now doing it with our accessories too. I liked the gold shimmer part but the plastic blue wires were just not me. I will not be tossing this piece away but with a little D.I.Y, I will be making this into something that is more “me” and that is the whole point when it comes to looks, you go with what you like!

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5. Chevron Beauty Set
Three different sized bags that feature a nice green colored chevron pattern. I have make-up bags that I store inside other make-up bags because every bag has been used, needed, and even borrowed at one point. Easy closure and I love that these are also wipe-able inside. I’m not a make-up spill”er” but my purses are spotless because these baggies have saved me one time or another. Purses get dropped, stepped on to I have caught my husband using mine as an arm rest. I now still yell but with less spazing if anything was crushed and made a mess. I also use the larger one for half frozen water bottles that are cold and sweat….sort of like when you go to see a movie and don’t want to pay $6 for 8 ounces of H2o. Not that I’m giving you ideas or anything 🙂

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6. People Magazine Subscription
I am reader of all magazines and this usually comes about that I run out of things to read and I’ll read anything for entertainment. I’m not a huge celebrity follower but enjoy entertainment news, like what is coming out soon to what got axed that I just started watching. People’s has it all, to shopping tips and even make-up advice. I will be enjoying my 3 months of entertainment along with my goodies!

I have said it before and if this box does not convince you, I have no idea what will.  Join Klout!  It’s a great way to experience what you already like and also a bit of the new so you can change up now and then.  I was unsure I would enjoy People’s Magazine and wrote it off in the past but I just learned a new thing, I actually found articles I enjoyed to even coupons!

Connections:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Klout and People’s Magazine.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BzzAgent Campaign: RedBox Instant by Verizon (BETA)

Great streaming quality and I love the ability to go out and get the latest releases. The problem I found was when it came to selection. This was a major issue because what you can stream is so limited and very old releases. The selection is limited with even some titles being dropped off from the “on-line kiosk” soon.

The price point of $8 is fair when you get 4 credits at the stand-alone kiosks, however I would not pay for streaming what they have. Why pay $8 when what you will use is the 4 rental credits and still have to drive out to the kiosk to rent and then again to return? I have to still factor in the gas for returns into the total “entertainment” budget and the only way I would remain a member, if what I could stream would be worth the additional $4. I prefer even being capped on streaming unlimited on old releases, but allowing 4 movies to be streamed from a “New Releases” menu too. The price then would be perfect and the service usable but as-is, nope! As it stands right now in beta mode, this program would be a waste in my household because I only found two movies that we may want to stream and that was even reaching, as one was Paranormal Activity 3. Yikes!

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