Saturday, June 28, 2014

T.L.C. VoxBox

I just received a free TLC VoxBox from Influenster.  It was sent to about 10,000 moms with free samples from different companies.

Here are the things it included and my thoughts about the box:

1) Shell Fuel Rewards Network Card 

  • In all honesty, this was kind of a lame "sample" considering you can sign up for these at any Shell station or online.  In fact, I already have one and use it regularly.  I love it, but I was looking forward to trying new products. The good news is... if you have one, you can save 3 cents at the pump just for carrying around the car.  So... saving money... always a plus in my book.

2) Breyers Gelato Indulgences Coupon
  • I was really excited about this because I love ice cream, fro-yo and all things sweet/cold.  My hubby and I tried the Triple Chocolate gelato and it was HEAVENLY! It was quite pricey for the size of the container, but if you are thinking about picking up some delicious ice cream, you can't go wrong here. 
3) Puffs to Go
  • Again, this is a product that I feel like has already been around and don't get me wrong... I LOVE these purse-sized tissues, but it is nothing new.  It's a pocket/purse-sized tissue.  What's not to love?
4) Neosporin Neo to Go
  • This is awesome and super handy for any mom (especially moms with boys).  Kids are always getting hurt and needing a little scrap "fixed".  This can go on a keychain or in a purse perfectly.  Two thumbs up. 
5) Ivory Bar Sop
  • It's a bar of soap.  Period.  I actually don't really like bar soap-- I prefer body wash.  So, I am not sure how I feel about this. 

6)Avon Anew Reversalist Express Wrinkle Smoother
  • I have super sensitive skin and it doesn't like all beauty products I test.  We shall see how this goes... 
My first impression was that I was honored to receive the box.  Was it a box full of innovative new stuff?? No--I had used/seen most of these things.  But, it did give me a chance to try some new stuff out.   I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

All of these products were mailed to me as a free product testing courtesy of

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Who Doesn't Like Free Stuff?

Early this year, I was introduced to an awesome website called Influenster?  Influenster is a place where one can use social media to review and/or promote products.   They will occasionally send out free samples of products with the hope that the companies can gain exposure.  And that's where you come in... you can sample and review these products.   It's a win-win situation!

I will be occasionally posting about products I might receive for free from Influenster.   Feel free to jump on in and join up with the rest of us at!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Meals: Breakfast for Dinner || Stuffed French Toast

Breakfast for dinner, in my opinion, is absolutely delicious, not to mention pretty inexpensive.  I could eat it once every week.

Last night, we had the missionaries from church over.  The problem was... we had an ice storm and I couldn't make it to the store.  I had to rely on what we had in our house and something quick that my husband could pick up on his way home from work.

I found this recipe in one of my favorite recipe books: The Gathering of Friends, Volume 2.  I had to make a few modifications because we don't like some of the ingredients and didn't have some other ingredients.

Sweet Stuffed French Toast
(adapted from The Gathering of Friends, Volume 2)

Feeds 4; 45-50 minutes total time

  • 20 thinly sliced pieces of french bread (slice the loaf into pieces a little less than 1/2 inch; about the size of a regular piece of bread)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 c. of syrup
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. whole milk (the recipe calls for 1% but we only have whole in our house)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9"x13" glass pan with cooking spray.

Brown Sugar Glaze
Melt butter in microwave in a medium-sized bowl.  Add brown sugar, maple syrup and mix together well.  Put the other half to the side.

Spread about 1/2 of the brown sugar glaze mixture on the bottom of the pan.  

Add 10 slices of bread on top of the brown sugar glaze. 

Cream Cheese Filling Mixture
In another bowl, whip the cream cheese until creamy.  Add sugar and cinnamon and mix well.  Spread cream cheese mixture onto one side of the remaining 10 slices of bread.  

Place these slices of bread (cream cheese mixture side down) on top of the bread in the pan... like you are making a sandwich.  

Egg Mixture
Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg together.  Pour over bread.  Let the bottom pieces of bread soak up the egg mixture.  

Spread the remaining brown sugar glaze on top of the bread.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Flip each "sandwich" over to allow the egg mixture to soak the opposite side.  Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.  Make sure egg mixture is completely cooked (it shouldn't be runny anymore). 

Broil for 3-5 minutes to reach a golden-brown.  

Top with whipped cream and strawberries... and ENJOY!

Serve with scrambled eggs and hashbrowns for a wonderfully inexpensive meal.  Most of these items can be found in your kitchen already!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Homemade Gift of the Week: Kits

I initially got this idea from an idea I saw on Pinterest... and then the wheels in my head started turning.... Homemade kits!!! I love receiving kits because they always contain things I love but won't necessarily get for myself.  Homemade kits are PERFECT for anyone on your holiday list this year. And I have a kit idea for just about anyone.

Little Boys: 
  • Science Kits: Complete with everything you need to complete really cool science experiments
    • Visit these two sites to read more about homemade science kits:
Little Girls:
  • Sticker and Art Kit: I remember getting a sticker kit as a kid and just LOVED it. 
    • Fill a plastic shoe box with things such as stickers, glitter, glue, sticky foam shapes, ribbon, scissors, markers, colored scrapbooking paper (just use your old scraps), sequins, rhinestone, stamps/stamppads, etc.
Teenage girls: 
  • Jewelry-making kit:
    • Beads, wire, tools, charms, crystals
  • Nail care kit:
    • Nail polish, polish remover, cotton balls, nail clippers, file, buffer, cuticle trimmer
Teenage boys:
  • Beginner Tool Box: 
    • If this is the first tool box, fill it up with simple things like a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, nails, screws, adjustable wrench, etc. 
Gifts for Adults: 
  • Sewing Kit: 
    • Visit here for a great beginner's sewing kit.
  • Craft Kit:
    • Small scrapbook paper, scissors, glue dots, flat colored buttons, glue gun/glue sticks, stickers, embellishments, etc.
  • First Aid Kit: 
    • BandAids (various sizes), scissors, tweezers, adhesive wrap, safety pins, cotton swabs, moist towelettes, matches, hand sanitizer, pain relievers, cough drops, stomach relief medication, insect bite cream, hydrocortizone cream, eye drops, rubber gloves, etc.
    • You can also make a mini-first aid kit for those who enjoy biking, hiking, or other outdoor activities
  • 72-Hour Kit:
    • Visit this site to find out the details of what to include in a 72-hour kit
  •  Spa Kit: 
    • Lotions, face mask, bath salts, aromatherapy candles, loofa, body wash
  • Do you know a newlywed couple?
    • They send out a lot of mail in the first year of marriage.  Consider a mail kit with address labels, stamps, pens, even cards (if you know them well enough).
You can get creative with kits.  Just think of your audience and what their interests are.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Gift of the Week: Recipe Book

We all have our favorite recipes.  What a better gift to give than to share all your favorite meals in a recipe book for your friends/family?  This one is quite easy.

1. Type it up.
2. Print out.
3. Make copies.
4. Send it to Kinkos or another copy/business store to have it bound into a book. 
5. Give as gift. 

You have plenty of time... now get going!

Gift Idea: Books

Now, I know not everyone loves books.  But, book can be a gift often overlooked.  Especially for kids.  Kids already have so many toys and let's face it.... they'd rather play with the box it came in anyway.

So give a different kind of gift this year and give the gift of books.

Here are some ways to score a great bargain on books:

  • Scholastic Book Clubs (Book Orders): If you know a teacher or have a student in a class, ask about book orders.  In almost every book order, there is a $1 special book.  Books in book orders tend to be a little cheaper than your average book store. 
  • Amazon: It seems like always has book cheaper that the listed price as well.  Some items even qualify for free shipping if you spend $25.
  • Barnes & Noble:  Sign up to receive their email specials and they often have coupon codes for 10-20% off books.
  • Dollar Tree: The Dollar Tree often has coloring books and workbooks for $1. They often carry popular characters like Spiderman, Disney, Hello Kitty, Sesame Street and My Little Pony. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Handmade Gifts are IN!

I love the holidays but I hate thinking about buying gifts.  I feel like I can never find the right gift.  Don't get me wrong... I would love give my friends and family new flat screen T.V.s or cameras but I just don't have the cash flow for those kinds of fantastic gifts.

Homemade gifts or personalized gifts always add an element of sincerity because the receiver knows that the gift took time, which can be, in someways, more precious than money.

Each week (until the holidays roll around), I am going to add some homemade/personalized gift ideas to the blog.  Get excited!!

This week's gift idea:

I make one every year for my mom and dad, with all our pictures from the year.  It is a treasured present.  Considering the amount of pictures that are included, the price is fairly decent.  Last year, I put in nearly 2,000 pictures and it cost around $100.  My siblings and I split the cost and it comes to about $20 per couple.  Not too shabby.

Here are the companies I have used for photobooks:
Blurb is my by far, my favorite.  They have the best prices for the quality you get.   You can also use Microsoft Publisher or Adobe products to create your own personalized layouts.  You can create books from PDF files as well.  They also tend to offer discounts if you subscribe to their email.
Most expensive, but fantastic looking premade layouts.  From time to time, they offer free photobooks.
Last time I used them, they were linked up with Costco.  If you have a membership, I believe they offer a 20% discount.  They also offer discounts to email subscribers.