Luvs Ultra Leakguard Diapers with NightLock Plus™ and Coupon Offer #ShareTheLuv #Sponsored

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Pro Parents know what’s up, and Pro Moms and Pro Dads use Luvs. Luvs diapers not only provide overnight protection for your little one, but they also have easy to use large sized tabs, which stretch to allow your baby to stay leak free when moving!  You can expect comfort and dependability from Luvs, with a money back guarantee to ensure not only a happy baby, but also a dry one! (That makes for a happy parent too!) Visit www.luvsdiapers.com for full details and to see all the products Luvs has to offer.  Luvs offers sizes from newborns through 6 and they come in fun designs, but they remain soft and comfortable on your baby’s skin.  Stop chasing after leaks and now only worry about chasing after savings!

 

 

Start Summer with a blast by saving $2.00 from home.  No need to hunt for newspaper coupons, or apps because you can simply print from the comfort of your couch:

 

 

  • Your coupon is good for 30 days from the date you printed your savings, so no need to hurry out in the heat because Luvs was kind enough to give you time to shop and start racking in the savings.
  • You can use this coupon at any mass, discount or grocery stores where Luvs Diapers are being sold. All Luvs Diapers are included in this particular offer, except any trial/travel sized diaper packs.  That is one awesome coupon!

 

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Being a parent and budgeting when kids are off of school can get costly, but that does not mean you have to cut back on quality products.  Saving, is what we are all after because it allows us a break in our budget to spend towards Summertime goodies and Summertime fun for and with our kids.

Connect with Luvs at:

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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.  This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine. 

 

BzzAgent: ClariSpray from Claritin Nasal Spray for Allergies #Review #Sponsored

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Most people only associate Spring as the worse allergy time since everything is blooming. Allergens differ with everyone and I myself suffer worsening of symptoms in Fall and late Spring, with Summer and then Winter a close second. Yup, I am a sneezy mess all year around and even though I take Claritin already for seasonal allergies, I need a boost when I am at my worst, so you bet I was eager to try an OTC allergy product and see how well it performs.

ClariSpray is made by Claritin but it does replace/substitute the use of the pill itself. The nasal spray should not been seen as being the same medication. ClariSpray, is a non-drowsy allergy medication geared towards combating outside allergens and directly with what affects the nasal passages. The spray in addition helps with pet allergies caused by exposure to cats and dogs, and indoor ones like Dust, Mold and Dust Mites. Being able to use another medication to fight inflammation and congestion, is what can give the user more relief. I take a decongestant and an allergy pill, but there are times that pills alone do not provide relief and this is why I started using a nasal spray and I went through many to find the one that worked for me.

 

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Verdict:
Having a new puppy is great and especially after we lost our dog to cancer in September. What is not so great about puppies in general, is they love to get into EVERYTHING! I may be hearing my own voice in nightmares saying “NO” because that is how I spend most of my day. I add some “stop it and drop that”, but pretty much trying to get the pup to stop playing with yard stuff. We have palms and they bloom beautiful smelling flowers that produce the most beautifully stuffed noses. Well, the pup loves those flowers, the grass, bougainvillea flowers and leaves are the biggest hit. Why buy toys when yard waste is the greatest puppy toy ever! Then puppy comes in and brings all the outside in with her and we are now bathing her every 3 to 4 days and usually until our noses and throats can’t take the garden the puppy seems to keep on bringing in with her. You bet I would try anything and even a nasal spray if it means I can get at least some rest from sneezing and blowing my nose countless times a day.

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ClariSpray contains fluticasone propionate and this medication helps to give quick relief and especially administered directly via a nasal spray. I tried the spray and the mist it delivers is not overwhelming or even too hard that it causes discomfort when used. Within 5 minutes, I felt less congested and within 15 minutes, I could actually think and start being productive. Yeah, that means a lot to anyone who suffers greatly from allergies. You can’t think clearly and just moving and bending hurts when your congested but at the same time miraculously trying to control a forever flow of mucus that seems to keep tissue companies in business. How I can be stuffed up but still have a runny nose is just one of my amazing qualities! The spray works and no prescription is needed. Being able to get medication that provides actual relief and not needing to make a doctor appointment to then go visit a pharmacy is a double plus for me. The holidays are approaching and a leaky nose is the last thing I want preventing me from actually enjoying them. Oh and what makes this even better…..24 hours relief!

 

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Makes us sneeze but we keep her because she is cute!

 

Connect with Claritin and check out the new ClariSpray at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from ClariSpray and BzzAgent. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

Pampers: New Easy Ups Review, Coupon and Gift Card #Giveaway #PampersEasyUps #Sponsored

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As a parent, you don’t want to follow the easy way, that is not always the best when it comes to what your child needs. You need products that work because your child is in constant transitioning and learning. Like adults, you do your best when you are not limited by the products you selected. Pampers offers both protection with ease of use, for parents and their toddlers . Call it a 2-in-1!

Pampers Easy Ups make the period of change from diapers to underwear simple, so you need a product you and your child can depend on. Having a product that already offers the comfort of underwear but also the protection for those “oops moments”. Training pants need to be able to put up with a child on the move! No discomfort while your toddler is walking, running and exploring to even those unplanned adventures, a parent needs to be able to know their kids can have a positive potty training experience. It’s what makes potty training not seem like a mountain you need to trek with an impossible peak you can’t even see.

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Easy Ups by Pampers has thought of it all to make it a welcoming experience for the parent and their child:

  • Parents can depend on the 360 degree of stretchy waistband that easily can be pulled up or down by your toddler.
  • The inside is soft and just like normal underwear but with Pampers patent “Extra Absorbing Channels”, which provide protection against leaks when your kid is on the move. The Dual Leak Guard Barriers keeps the legs dry and leak free.
  • Parents also can easily remove Easy Ups when needed because Pampers thought of everything, so Easy Ups tear at the sides for easy removal.
  • You have 24/7 protection while they sleep comfortably because potty training should not be a battle, it should be just another adventure. You want your toddler to be able to get a goodnight’s rest and not be kept up by discomfort even when their dry and accident free.
  • Pampers Easy Ups come in several sizes from 2T-3T, 3T-4T, and 4T-5T.
  • Your toddler can also choose from popular character from Thomas the Engine to Dora the Explorer. You also have the brand-new Hello Kitty prints!

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What’s best is you can save by printing the coupon below from Coupons.com, to easily save $2.00 off one pack of Pampers Easy Ups in any print. Simply visit:

If you don’t have an account already, it is simple to open one up and start printing and saving.

Pampers also offers a Pampers Reward Program where you can get the latest information on current and upcoming products, savings and more. Let Pampers Easy Ups make the most of everyday for you and your child.  Make sure to connect with Pampers below via all the social links provided.  *Hint this will also get you ready and set for the giveaway!

 

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Pampers Easy Ups work and I can depend on knowing they are soft and comfortable for your toddler but at the same time when accidents happen, I can quickly remedy the situation and get back to potty training.  It’s from the elastic to the absorbing pads that make you and your toddler not be discouraged by an oops and a child can easily take control of their potty training by being able to easily pull down and up the training pants.  There is the reason why certain brands like Pampers becomes the go-to brand for many parents.

 

 

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Training Tips by Dr. Tanya Altman, a 14 year Pediatrics doctor with a busy practice in Calabasas, California:

Remember to make it fun to remain it being a positive experience.  Encouragement can come in many ways from placing the Pampers Easy Ups in their own drawer, as you would do with normal underwear.  This gets your toddler excited on the changes taking place.  Patience is key and that means for both the parent and the child.  Rushing potty training when the experience is still new and unfamiliar, is not best. Not all kids are ready at the same age but usually you start training between the age of 2 and 3.  Some kids may even show signs they are ready to begin, which is always a plus!  This can come in wanting to go potty like the bigger kids to how parents do.  This is where having a training pants like Easy Ups from Pampers helps.  A toddler can easily pull off and on Easy Ups, just like real underwear.  This helps in also alerting an adult a child needs to use the restroom. Being able to communicate is key and that means each child will have a way to inform a parent they need to go, so see what signs your kid gives.  Teaching them how to use the potty themselves is again another milestone they can achieve as they train.  Reward systems help, from a sticker, a song to a dance.  This lets your child know they are doing well and remember accidents happen.  You begin again and it is not something you discipline over because again potty training should be kept positive!

 

 

*****Giveaway Details*****:

Giveaway for a #PampersEasyUps prize package, which will include:

  • $50 AMEX Card
  • Pampers Easy Ups
  • Ilana Wile’s book, “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting”

All you have to do to enter is-

  1. Please comment on this Blog post and share this blog post via Twitter (retweet)
  2. Follow Pampers via Facebook and Twitter.  
  3. That is all!

 

I even make it easy and you can use the Twitter button below that automatically completes the tweet, just add @Pampers.

Or copy and paste this- @Pampers : New Easy Ups Review, Coupon and Gift Card #Giveaway #PampersEasyUps #Sponsored http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-2k7

Giveaway ends on October 4th and winner will be notified that same day.  I will need the winner’s contact information by October 6th to provide to the sponsors.  Winner’s full name, address (no PO Boxes), Pampers Easy Ups size/gender, and a phone number for shipping purposes will be needed. Only one unique giveaway winner per giveaway allowed.  Thank you and good luck!!

 

Connect with Pampers at:

 

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Pampers Easy Ups. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.  #Sponsored

 

HouseParty: Bertolli® Al Fresco Taste of Tuscany Party with Creamy Basil Alfredo #BertolliAlFrescoTasteOfTuscany

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As Summer approaches, I tend to get as busy as I do when it’s holiday time (November and December). It’s that six month mark I call, when changes start taking place, projects get started and making dinner needs simplification. The barbecues start getting prepped early in Spring here in Southern California because we have pleasant weather most time of the year. This means I so welcome kitchen help. I still want a meal that is healthy and leaves my family and friends full and happy.

In comes Bertolli, changing things up by adding more to their sauce line. Forget about the red and think about white base sauces that come with new flavors to welcome the new season. A white sauce is not something we enjoy (at least here) as I we usually make red based sauces. I am always looking for a way to use my overabundance of tomatoes, so that means I am always making tomato-y sauces! They are great but it can easily create a rut. I have come up with Greek style, South American to Italian “red sauces” that I think my family is on to me! When Bertolli came up with the Al Fresco Taste of Tuscany Party and I saw Basil…..well, say no more.

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Retail Price Point: $1.99 for a 15 ounce jar at Target. They are currently on sale at Target from the regular $2.25 price point. You can also find Bertolli and other selections at Von’s, Stater Bros., Albertson’s and other major stores.

Ingredients: Water, Cream, Butter (Cream, Salt), Soybean Oil, basil, Modified Corn Starch, Parmesan Cheese (Cultured Part-Skim Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Enzyme Modified Egg Yolk, Sherry Wine, Salt, Whey, Natural Flavors, Yeast Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Garlic Powder.

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Verdict:
I like easy but I ask a lot from it. I also want a meal that is well liked and not filled with the bad ingredients. In other words, I don’t want my family picking up that I am using a jarred sauce. There is nothing wrong with sauces out of a jar and you can find brands that keep the sauce honest. In this home, jarred sauces are called “cheater sauces”. Okay, the family is a little spoiled but I prefer they welcome the better foods and if the sauce makes the cut, it also gets welcomed in the pantry. Bertolli’s Creamy Basil Alfredo is very simple to prepare. You just pour, reheat and serve. You can easily make it part of your meal or the meal itself by making it a main dish. For this occasion, I wanted to get maximum benefit out of the jar and the one jar needed to yield enough servings, so everyone could try it. I open the jar and the smell is pleasant and inviting. You have a nice milk and cream base that is followed up with the aroma of herbs, basil of course being the predominant one. Being that my basil plant was attacked by squirrels last year, my 5 year old plant never returned. I also welcomed the basil plant seeds that Houseparty and Bertolli included. I use to fear frost or excessive heat damaging my basil plant, never thinking a Squirrel with gourmet tastes would go nutty for an herb! With the amount of basil packed into this creamy Alfredo jar, my passion for basil and craving will definitely be satisfied. I opted for ricotta and spinach filled raviolis and made this my starter dish. I tend to now fry my raviolis in butter and olive oil.  This method not only gives the pasta a firmer texture but also that golden buttery taste that everyone seems to love. I warmed the sauce and other than adding some parm and a fresh slice of a baby heirloom tomato, the Bertolli Creamy Alfredo sauce was doing all the talking here.

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And, the talking it did. I never have enjoyed a jarred cream based sauce. They always broke when heated and/or had an off taste. This one does not! The Creamy Basil Alfredo from Bertolli stayed whole when heated and did not have an odd after taste. You just taste cream, butter, some cheesy notes and the basil. That is all. The sauce does not overwhelm what you are eating. The tomato gave the ravioli that fresh kick but because it’s mild in flavor, it played well with the sauce. The acidic properties played like a balsamic would, but mild enough to not just kill the entire plating. The spinach in the ricotta filling was made for a basil pairing, so Bertolli made a simple dish that much better. Some guests added a crack of pepper to top, so you can really make the Creamy Basil Alfredo sauce from Bertolli make any dish work and to your liking. No one even asked if the sauce was jarred any I was asked how I made it because so many tend to rush the process and end up with a broken sauce. I told them I would print out the recipe because it’s on-line. I shared a coupon after for my guests to use but I was not letting the cat out of the bag on this one from the start!  I also love that everyone was gifted a Basil plant to grow at home, just watch out for those squirrels who think basil flavored acorns are the it dish this season!

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Connect with Bertolli at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bertolli and HouseParty.  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.

Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic Macaroni Casserole #Review #TryNatural

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Next on the list, is Kim’s Simple Meals and this is their Organic Macaroni Casserole. The product again is easy to make and assemble. You simply boil the pasta, which is gluten free and made from organic brown rice. You then mix the contents with water, blend and add it to the cooked elbow shaped noodles. Mix and in the oven the casserole goes. The Mac is soy free and made with GMO free ingredients. Vegan friendly and Kosher too.

Ingredients: Gluten free brown rice elbow macaroni*, oat flour*, sea salt, sugar*, dehydrated vegetables* (onion*, garlic* & tomato*), yeast powder*, natural smoke Torula yeast, annatto powder* (annatto extract*, maltodextrin*), citric acid, lemon peel powder* and natural hickory smoke powder [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent)]. *Organic

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Verdict:

The instructions were simple and because I tend to like more bite in my pastas, I did not boil the noodles as long as they suggested. When I blended the “cheese sauce”, it was very watery in texture and had an odd smell that was smoky. Kim suggests you can add your own meatless based meats, like a veggie based bacon. This time I decided to just go as it comes but I can see even adding vegetables. Once the pasta was partially cooked, I added the sauce and it did not thicken. It was more like the texture of a thin juice, versus any bechamel sauce I have made to make a typical Macaroni and Cheese dish. There is no real cheese here but I did notice this box is not labeled dairy free like the burger version. Why not add milk? I have no idea and it was not listed as a suggestion. Not even a nut milk that is unsweetened was not suggested, or even soy milk if you have no issues with it. The burger box had soy…..but I went forward and was thankful walnuts were not suggested like the video shared for the home-style burgers, and no oats! The house smells like something is cooking but it’s not like any Macaroni and Cheese I have had before. Maybe a pasta kind of dish but not Mac and Cheese. It comes out of the oven and it’s like one solid mass. I noticed this in the video also, when the serving was cut. The liquid was absorbed and you still smell something smoky-ish but I could not put my finger on it. Maybe fake bacon bits and along that area. I taste it and it’s not cheese and I have eaten many cheeses in my lifetime. This pretender is more like a rice dish, where the rice is shaped like elbow pasta and a yellow sauce. The sauce creates a pasta cake but no cheese and gooey texture you associate with the original. It was not awful but definitely not super delicious. The only thing that came to mind, is it tasted like that mystery dish where the label fell off the platter, which sat in a buffet/cafeteria line. Surprise-a-Dish! If you like surprises, this may be for you and adding vegetables or other items might spruce it up and make it less surprise-ish casserole.

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Connect with Kim’s Simple Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. 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.

 

Mediderm Laboratories: MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream #Review #MD12AntiAging #MEDIDERM

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Mediderm Laboratories is one of those brands I have heard of but never tried. The company carries an extensive line of skin care regimens, treatments, serums….pretty much anything that addresses skin and the problems that may come about from aging, acne, to just wanting to look your best. I was really amazed at the company’s portfolio and Mediderm’s motto comes down to using the latest and most innovative ingredients, so clients can see and feel results. This is why the company kept growing the line as we all experience different issues and even want to address our skin concern’s differently.

The company shared three different products with me from their line and this is the first one I will be reviewing, with the following the next week and so forth. I was interested in the MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream from the get go because it seems to cover many basis. By this I mean that the cream addresses:

  • Skin aging caused from time to even that, which was accelerated from sun damage and the environment.
  • MD-12 works on lifting your skin by decreasing sagging. Firms and tightens your skin’s texture.
  • The slowing down of collagen production comes with age but MD-12 helps in stimulating and increasing the production.
  • Works as also an anti-aging treatment, so think prevention versus just addressing the current problems you may be experiencing.
  • Works on firm lines to wrinkles by creating a moisture barrier that is nutrient rich.
  • Strengthens the lipid barrier and creates protection that comes from within, along with increasing protein production.

Okay, that is a lot from one jar of cream, so I started to see what was in it. There are some proprietary blends, like “MAXTRIXYL 3000 & DERMAXYL PEPTIDES“. This is common in the beauty industry, so I tend not to frown upon it as long as the product performs as described. You have other good properties, like ALPHA LIPOIC ACID and HYALURONIC ACID, plus CERAMIDES. Vitamin C is also listed and more.  Alright, the rest are recognizable and useful, so far so good.

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Ingredients: Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Matrixyl 3000), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (Dermaxyl), Ceramide 2, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Vitamin E, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Thioctic Acid (Q10), Saccharomyces Copper Fennel – Paraben free.

Retail Price Point: $19.95 via Mediderm Laboratories’ site and also via Amazon.

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Verdict:
I open up the jar and begin treating my face and neck area. The neck and decollete area tends to get overlooked. We focus so much on the lines around our eyes and lips, we forget that stress from the environment to the sun also affects the rest of our body, and especially if you wear any tops that exposes this area. The cream is not sticky or oily. That is always my biggest fear when using a new product. Yes, you can use less of a heavy cream but it will always feel like a thick film no matter how light you apply. Mediderm’s MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream did not feel like I was covering up my pores and suffocating them. My skin felt protected but it also absorbed most of the product. I then applied make-up. Zero issues when applying as long as I let 10 minutes pass. The cream dries to a semi-matte finish, so you get a moisturized look on the neck and chest, but again not oily. I began treatment with Mediderm’s MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream and by day 4, I noticed my skin remained soft and I did not miss my night cream that tends to be a little more heavier than this one. I used the product as instructed, twice a day, so once in the morning and again before going to bed. By week two, I found that the product does at the very least cover 3 of the products I was using before. I was using a Hyaluronic acid that came in a light serum consistency. Did not miss it. There was enough of the acid in the MD-12 cream that performed better and gave my face a brighter and more healthy appearance. My fine lines did not get deeper and remained plumped up through out the day. No adverse effects and because Mediderm’s MD-12 Advanced Anti-Aging Cream is performing so well and is not causing any breakouts or clogged pores, I do see myself continuing to use it.  It’s a simple cream to use but filled with benefits and the price is unbeatable.

Connect with Mediderm here:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Mediderm Laboratories. 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.

Luvs Diapers: Huge Savings Promotion with P&G Sunday coupon and Ibotta Rebate, plus $100 AMEX #Giveaway #ShareTheLuv

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Being a Mom is about not only about providing products you can depend on but also saving when you buy.  Luvs diapers not only provide overnight protection for your little one, but they also have easy to use large sized tabs, which stretch to allow your baby to stay leak free when moving!  Comfort and dependability from Luvs, with a money back guarantee to ensure not only a happy baby, but also a dry one!

Check your local Sunday paper on May 29th!! P&G will be offering $2.00 off coupons and when you combine them with the Ibotta app, you can score a $3.00 rebate in additional savings. All you have to do is:

 

  • Pick up any Luvs Diaper pack/box that has a count of 54 or more at your local store.

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  • Use your P&G coupon from your Sunday mailer/newspaper to save $2.00. You can easily use the coupon anywhere from Target, Walmart to your local stores, which carry Luvs, as it is a manufacture coupon.  The image above is a sample of the coupon and what to look out for.

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  • Then simply use the Ibotta application to score a $3.00 rebate.  You will need the receipt and the UPC on the package to redeem the rebate.  Don’t have the IBotta app. yet?  No problem, just visit here to sign-up and membership is free!  For Iphone users- http://apple.co/1SjugOj or here for Android- http://bit.ly/1Rx6cYv .  Three easy steps to save!

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Want to save and also have the chance to win?

Luvs has been kind enough to offer one of my readers a $100 Amex gift card.  You read that right, not only do you save buying Luvs, but you could win $100!!! All you have to do is comment on this blog post.  I will be giving my readers an extra entry if they share the Luvs savings via Twitter.  You can tag Luvs on Twitter @Luvs and make sure to include the hashtag #ShareTheLuv.  Get creative and share the Ibotta app and you can even use your own Ibotta referral link to make the savings sweeter. This contest will run from May 23rd to May 26th.  You get an early start to not only share the Luvs savings but to also win.  I will announce a winner on May 26th!  I even made it easy for you to share on twitter by using any of the links below to enter, or make your own:

  1. @Luvs Huge Savings Promotion with P&G Sunday coupon and Ibotta Rebate, plus $100 AMEX http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-29y #Giveaway #ShareTheLuv #spons
  2. @Luvs Huge Savings Promotion with P&G Sunday coupon and Ibotta Rebate, plus $100 AMEX http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-29y #Giveaway #ShareTheLuv #ad
  3. @Luvs Huge Savings Promotion with P&G Sunday coupon and Ibotta Rebate, plus $100 AMEX http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-29y #Giveaway #ShareTheLuv #spons
  4. @Luvs P&G Promotion with @IbottaApp http://bit.ly/1Rx6cYv ,plus $100 AMEX http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-29y #Giveaway #ShareTheLuv #ad #sponsored

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Thank you to everyone who entered and you guys were all awesome when it came to twitter and getting those entries in.  A winner has been notified and thank you again for participating.  I hope to have another giveaway real soon!!

Connect with Luvs at:

Luvs Logos

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.  This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs.  I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.  Prize fulfillment is responsibility of the brand.

 

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.

 

Purina One SmartBlend® True Instinct Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food, Turkey and Venison #Review #ONEdifference

 

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When it comes to dog food, my dog is usually great about consuming the dry kind but will sometimes wait us out in case I add any extra protein to enhance her meal. I try to always add a little extra chicken and have switched her foods to grain free formulas that seem to be more easily digested. She eats less and remains a healthy weight at the age of 13. Like humans, she gets bored eating the same flavors day after day and I notice she loses interest, so we developed “mix-ins”, pretty much something from fish (she loves Tilapia) to meats and even sometimes a spoonful of sweet potatoes. Keeps the dog interested in her food and I feel less guilty for serving her “dry cereal”, which is what we call her dog food.

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In comes Purina One, with a new grain-free formula added to their line called SmartBlend, which they added the title “True Instinct” to the blend. What is True Instinct? It’s what I call adding marshmallows to the dry cereal and these bits are what the dogs go crazy over. The jerky style bits have a different texture and not only enhance the meal, but deliver more real meat to the grain-free base. You also have other positive differences like using Turkey as the first meat ingredient, versus chicken like other blends of this kind. A Glucosamine supplement has been added to the food and I look for this, especially with a dog that some have referred to as a Senior or the golden word one Vet Tech called her, Geriatric. Don’t tell our dog this because she is as active as she has always been from spending days getting in out of the pool, jumping, wrestling, to out running anyone who tries to race her (always has to be first through the door). Purina One’s Smartblend also has added Omega-6 Fatty Acids to keep our pet’s fur shiny and healthy, along with an Antioxidant Blend, which includes Vitamin A and Vitamin E. It’s finally a dog food that you feel good about feeding your pet.

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Verdict:
So, why did I call the bits of jerky-style meats marshmallows before? It’s not for health reasons, but my dog turns out to be the dog that eats all the “marshmallows” out of the dog food first, leaving her “cereal” to eat last. That is how much she loves the new SmartBlend True Instinct formula from Purina One. The minute we pour the food, she starts nosing the food and you can hear her hunt for the chewy bits until she claims every last one of them. We purchased the Turkey and Venison blend and I even checked labels in the store. There is actual Venison and our dog loves this meat. From Duck to odd varieties like Swordfish, this dog is always eager for the wilder kind of meats. Our dog had surgery a little over a month ago and I thought I would have to worry about getting her to want to eat her normal dog food, but once I started mixing the Smartblend grain-free formula, that worry vaporized as did the food. She ate, gained back the 8 pounds she lost prior to having the surgery and it’s muscle mass she was able to regain. I was worried prior to surgery, as she lost muscle mass around the legs and neck area, to even going down a notch size on her collar. She was able to get that all back, plus we noticed she is full of energy to the point we are having a hard time keeping up with her. Our dog has us on a schedule now that she eats her dinner and then wants play, play, and more play. We actually get tired of playing tug-a-war with her and I now can’t even tug the plush away and run off like a bandit. I have to actually cheat and say, “let go or drop”, and then run with the plush but she always catches me! What you feed your pets really makes the difference and like reading labels for the food we eat ourselves, pick-up a bag of SmartBlend from Purina One and compare the True Instinct grain-free to the other brands. Fillers is not something this feed is full of and we saw the difference it made in our pet when she needed a good blend that not only she enjoyed eating, but aided in her recovery. Grab a bag and take the 28-Day Challenge today!

Connect and find the Purina One’s Smartblend True Instinct Grain-Free Formula that suits your pet at:

 

Turkey and Venison Dog Food

Turkey and Venison Dog Food

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Purina One.  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.

HouseParty: Bertolli® Imported Cask Aged Balsamic Vinegar Paired with Caramelized Onion #Review #BertolliSauceParty

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I usually make our sauces from scratch and especially when the heirloom tomatoes start hitting the markets, with the quality and season being at it’s peak. I enjoy incorporating everything from a bell pepper medley to a combination of different onions. I make several jars worth and then have the freedom to create different meals and additions like ground lamb to pork. Then time gets in the way and especially during the “bottom months” where holidays start coming and I’m trying to make every comfort food we have been waiting to enjoy and sometimes you get that simple request of spaghetti and meatballs. I open the fridge and then memory strikes…..I used our last jar I made last time and now have none! So, I always purchase emergency back-ups and this means a jar or two of previously made sauces. I already feel bad when I let time get the best of me, but I don’t want to add by feeling bad about what I am serving at dinner time. So, I pick wisely and have found a few brands that I can depend on.

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Bertolli makes everything from sauces, olive oils, vinegars to frozen meals. They are a company that has been around family tables for over 150 years. Their sauces range from organic, white bases to their newer variety called Riserva. The Riserva brand is a rename of the Imported line “Gold Label”, you previously saw with the colored “old-style” font. Even the flavors are identical, so thankfully Bertolli did not discontinue the “Gold Label” line. I was able to pick-up a glass jar of the bottles, with the older version label, at my local Von’s.

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What I look for when purchasing a jarred sauce is simple ingredients like I would use when making it from scratch and also variety. I want something away from the norm, so I look for blends with wines or vegetables that we don’t commonly consume. I want also a sauce that does not need to be “fixed” to be enjoyed. I’m not going to dedicate 20 minutes to get a sauce to taste right when I could allot the same time to one made from scratch. So, the first thing I do is take a label apart when it comes to ingredients and thankfully the sauces by Bertolli contain what the label in the front states. The Balsamic vinegar is there as is the caramelized onions. Tomatoes in all forms from puree, diced and even in juice form are listed. To intensify the tangy notes, grape must was added and mostly you have real ingredients in this sauce. My only pause was to caramel coloring even though I know manufactures add it to enhance the look of the sauce since it may not look too pleasing in the jar without it, but I could have done with out it. I hope when Bertolli changed the label, they dropped the coloring off the list too.

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Verdict:
The Balsamic Vinegar and Caramelized onions by Bertolli advertises a nice balance in flavor where the sweetness from the caramelized onions goes very well with the tang you get from the vinegar. No bitter notes or after taste, and the sauce has a rich texture and taste. Very enjoyable and not a jar that needs additions to correct it, but you can always add a protein from chicken and beef to enhance it. Upon opening the jar, I expected to smell a wine like scent  from the vinegar, as I do when I add Balsamic to my marinara sauces. I unfortunately did not. I taste the sauce and it’s ultra sweet, like way too much sugar. It’s not the sugars I’m use to even when I have used sweet onion varieties like Cipollini onions. Even Shallots when caramelized never give off this much sugar and then I notice actual sugar noted in the list of ingredients BEFORE garlic and spice. Okay, so I start thinking what can I make with this and it hit’s me……a dip. This way the sauce stays unaltered and I make Mozzarella sticks from scratch. Everyone can then enjoy the sauce as it is and I can curb the sweet factor by the spices I add to the breaded cheese. Simple to make and also quick, plus batches can be kept warm in the oven while I make more.  This is unfortunately not a sauce I would buy again.  I will try this version again under the Riserva label if the ingredients differ.  So, far the only change I can tell is that the new label does not state “Imported” on it.  Unfortunately, Bertolli does not list the ingredients of their sauces on the site, just the nutritional facts, so I wan unable to compare beforehand.  My Mozz sticks are always a hit but I did ask for feedback on the sauce and thankfully received some honest remarks.  It’s sweet was the chief complaint and maybe this was a batch where the sugar over-spilled, but I was left with dip and this is uncommon at my house where I witness guests usually use even bread to clean a plate.  I feel that without the overpowering sweetness, this sauce could actually be good and enjoyed.  The warming of the sauce intensifies the sugar and when tasted cold, the sugars mellow out a bit.  Maybe adding a little to a pasta salad would help.

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Connect with Bertolli at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bertolli and HouseParty.  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.

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