Saturday, October 4, 2014

When life gives you lemons... make Sweet'N Low Strawberry Granitas!

Ok, so technically, the recipe for Sweet'N Low Strawberry granitas calls for limes not lemons.
I am a member of #TeamSweetnLow on Crowdtap! I was given a sample of Sweet'N Low in exchange for holding a #Sponsored Sweet'N Low party with my girlfriends.

Well, life intervened, and the day of the party, my son broke his arm. I cancelled the party and got him all taken care of.

So, I got all set up for my party, packed it up and took it on the road. I held a "progressive" party instead. I took my Sweet'N Low samples, my Strawberry Granitas and surprised my friends at their doors with a mini party.

Most of my friends grew up with Sweet'N Low, so they were not at all surprised that this recipe was fabulous! One of my "more mature" (wiser...? chronologically advanced...?) friends was surprised at how tasty it was though, because she didn't think artificial sweeteners could stand up to sugar.  She told me she was "pleasantly surprised" at how much she enjoyed the drink sweetened by Sweet'N Low.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Then I saw my face... but I'm not quite a believer.

I was sent several samples of Vichy Idealia Life Serum from Crowdtap to use and share with friends. According to Vichy's website, the Idealia Life Serum is  "Vichy's first treatment to combat behavioral skin aging. In just 8 days, skin quality is transformed--tone is illuminated, pores are visibly refined, skin is moisturized and complexion is more youthful-looking."

The idea is simple; This is from Crowdtap's website "For 8 days, Crowdtap challenges you to live your life to the fullest--eat that 2nd piece of cake, pull an all-nighter, even have that extra drink. Just use Idéalia Life Serum twice daily to see your skin quality transform. You have Vichy’s #LifeproofSkin assurance that you’ll still see a transformation in skin quality in 8 days. And the best part? You get to include your friends in the challenge, too. As one of Idéalia’s biggest fans, you’ve also received 5 additional sampling sets to share with your friends." 

I used the samples and distributed them amongst my friends and family. We (almost) all had similar that we didn't see much by way of results.  The general consensus was that the Vichy Idealia Life Serum is a great moisturizer.  We all enjoyed the fragrance of roses, and thought the pink sparkly minerals made it look pretty. However, no one experienced such a dramatic changes as refined pores, or dark spots fading.  I will let the pictures do the talking. 

This is me, age 33.  I have quite large pores across my nose and cheeks.  I did not see any difference in the size of my pores.  I quite liked the Vichy Idealia Life Serum as a moisturizer, my skin does feel soft and I did notice far less dry flaky areas, but I was disappointed in the lack of pore refining. 

This is my friend S, age 57. She suffers from dry skin as well.  She liked the Vichy Idealia Life Serum as a daily lotion, and also remarked on a noticeable difference in the feel of her skin. She said "My face feels 'wetter' but in a good way.  I don't feel the itchy dryness in the middle of the day like I used to.  I don't notice any difference in appearing younger though, darn it!" 

This is my little sister, L, age 21.  She actually thinks the Vichy Idealia Life Serum caused her to break out.  Over the course of the 8 days, her face became more and more splotchy and itchy.  She said "I didn't see any remarkable improvement, actually, I broke out worse and worse. As soon as I stopped using it, my face calmed down and the breakout stopped." 

This is my bestie, M, age 32.  She had the opposite reaction, in that she started out with a break out and saw it clear up as the days went on.  She was actually the most impressed with the results, saying "I really loved the Vichy Idealia Life Serum. I felt that it did what it said it would do." 

This is my friend, L, age 20. She started out with pretty darned near perfect skin, and stayed that way throughout the sampling.  She didn't have much to say one way or the other, she liked the Vichy Idealia Life Serum fine, but since she didn't have much to improve on, her opinion wasn't strong either way. 

Finally, this is my "adopted mom" C, age 62. She only used the Vichy Idealia Life Serum once and had a severe allergic reaction.  She is very allergic to lavender, and while that was not listed as an ingredient, it might have snuck in there. She was not able to continue the sampling, as her face burned and was extremely painful. 

Overall, my friends and I were not overwhelmed by this product. We generally liked it just fine, and felt that it was a good product, but not necessarily amazing or life changing. Taking a survey amongst my samplers, no one was planning to purchase Vichy Idealia Life Serum in the immediate future.  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I'm a Kleenex Brand Believer!

I was sent a sample of Kleenex tissues from Crowdtap.  I was asked to find a perfect spot to keep my Kleenex tissues, as well as show some different uses for their soft, strong, absorbent tissues (besides nose blowing that is!) We also found a use for the empty box after all the tissues were used up!

First, I was excited to receive my sample. A full sized box of awesome Kleenex brand tissues!! Score.  And, good timing, because both of my kiddos were sniffling, sneezing, and snorting their days away.

First things first, I had to cut out my Box Top for Education.  Love that program!  I was SUPER impressed to see that the boxtop was on the top!  It was on the part that you pull up to open the box and expose the tissues for use.  BRILLIANT!  I hated having to wait until the box was empty to get to the box top!

So, for us right now... the perfect place to store our new box of Kleenex tissues was on the couch with my two  poor sickies!  The two of them used up the whole box in a week! But the box lasted much longer than the second box of store brand tissues they used.  The store brand tissues were much less absorbent, and they had to use twice as many. They were also MUCH rougher on their poor noses!  

I was able to snag a few Kleenex brand tissues from my kids to clean their fingerprints off my computer screen, and take off nail polish.  Kleenex tissues are so strong, that I only needed one tissue for all 10 toes! 

Finally, my little man was inspired to use the empty box when he was feeling better to create a pirate ship.  Check out that plank on the front, and the handy dandy anchor!  He has it in his room and since there is a convenient hole in the top, he uses it to store treasures. 

I was pretty happy with my Kleenex brand tissue sample.  I was super impressed with the absorbency of each tissue, especially when compared side by side with a cheaper store brand.  I am a #KleenexBrandBeliever! 

Disclaimer: I was given this sample for free in exchange for uploading pictures and reviews to my social networks. I was not required to give a positive review, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What is beauty?

What is beauty? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. The world will tell you that beauty is in perfection. That you must have clear, smooth skin to be beautiful. That you must have clear blue eyes, and no gray hairs to be beautiful. That we must hide our scars, that we must smooth away our blemishes to be beautiful. To that idea of beauty, I say "Nope." Beauty is found in authenticity. Beauty is the scars, the imperfections that make us originals. If we were all carbon copies of each other with porcelain skin, blue eyes, and the perfect tan... wouldn't that be boring? It's not real!  I hate when I see girls/women looking at magazines and feeling bad about themselves. It's not real! It's like trying to eat a styrofoam apple. It might be shiny and perfect, blemish and bruise free, but it has no sustenance! To me, beauty is found in the bravery to strip down to our scars, our blemishes, our skin and say "this is me." Recently my dear friend asked me to take a picture of her scars from her battles with skin cancer. The portrait I took is on the left, and I find it to be striking. It's raw and gritty... it's real. It is beauty. Then just for fun she and I decided I should "fix" her portrait. (On the right.) To me, the portrait on the left is more beautiful, hands down. Thank you Nina for being brave enough to show us your beautiful scars.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tired of seeing naked butts all over your house?

I sure was! I had seen several pins for using nail polish to give Barbie undies, or a tank top and leggings.

I decided to go with nail polish bathing suits, but about half way through I had an idea.
My daughter is OBSESSED with superheroes.  So I decided to give some of her Barbies secret identities!  My absolute favorite is The Flash Barbie... or maybe Wonder Woman Barbie.... or Captain America Barbie... Ok, I LOVE them all.

She is sleeping right now, and hasn't seen them yet. I was so giddy about them, I wanted to wake her up to show her, but eventually talked myself out of that. I will post a picture of her with them tomorrow.

*Update* As promised, here is picture of my girl enjoying her "new" toys, plus a couple of special requests she had today. I had to go buy naked Barbies at Goodwill to make her more! =) Not sure who loves them more, her or me!!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Herbal Essences "Hello Hydration" body wash sample & share

I was given a sample of Herbal Essences Hello Hydration body wash to sample and review from Crowdtap as part of The Herbalistas.
First, I was quite taken by the scent.I love how the scent is light but luscious.  It was not overpowering, and I could use my regular lotion and perfume over it without feeling overwhelmed by scent.  I also really loved the color, it just looked refreshing, tropical, and happy! I really believe color plays a big role in the overall marketability of a product. This just looks like a sunny island to me.  Next, I love how it lathers and gets good and soapy.  A little dab should be able to lather up with a pouf and boy does it!  I feel like I get a good value for my money when body wash lasts a long time but still works.  Finally, I love how soft my skin feels after using it.  I used it in several showers as a body wash, and when my sample was gone I went and bought a big one and used it as bubble bath too!  I really do feel hydrated, soft, and silky!
I took some pictures to share with you.  (Clockwise from top left,) The first is me feeling frazzled, before I tried this Hello Hydration body wash for the first time.  The second is after I got the sample and opened the cap to smell it.  The third is an after shower selfie, taken the first time I used my sample, and finally a picture of my happy place... nice warm bubble bath with a stack of reading material!  This body wash worked well as a bubble bath and my bathroom smelled so good!
I am in love with Herbal Essences new Hello Hydration body wash!  

*The views expressed in this post are my own. I was given this sample to try, however I was not required to provide a positive review.  I was not compensated in any way other than with this sample.* 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Calming jars teacher gifts with poem

I have seen lots of tutorials on how to make these calming jars... so I tried it out on my kids and it works!  Having spent many hours volunteering in my kids' classrooms, I think it would be helpful in the classrooms as well.

They are super easy to make. . . basically you get a water tight bottle or jar of some sort, pour in about half a bottle of Elmer's glitter glue -OR- Elmer's clear gel glue and your own glitter. I prefer this method, as clear gel glue and glitter are cheaper than glitter glue, and then you can mix colors, and add as much glitter as you want (the more the better in my opinion!) Then you fill your jar almost to the top (leave room to shake) with warm water. I also add a few drops of food coloring just to make the water more fun when the glitter is all settled.  Then glue the top onto the container and shake like your life depends on it.

I also composed this little poem to explain how to use the glitter jar which I will attach with a ribbon to make it more "gifty."  Feel free to use this poem on your own glitter jar gifts!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sticker Club letter

My daughter got a sticker club letter in the mail. Cute fun idea, and if it works, you buy one pack of stickers and your daughter receives 36 packs back.  The letter I got had been copied and recopied and was almost unreadable, so I created this one. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Secretaries day!

Today I made these for the secretaries at my son's school. They are recycled spaghetti sauce jars that I put stickers I cut with my Cricut on. The stickers say 
"You're so awesome that you are worth your weight in jelly beans!" (My new favorite saying.)
Super cute and fun, and super easy to make! 

Happy Secretaries to all you hardworking administrative assistants. Thank you for all that you do!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April General Conference quotes

Every April and October we are lucky to hear from our general authorities at the annual and semi- annual LDS General Conference.  These are FB Covers I created with my favorite quotes from last week's General Conference meetings. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review of Viva Vantage paper towels

I was given a sample of new Viva Vantage paper towels from Crowdtap to try out and share.

First, I used a Viva Vantage paper towel as a plate for pizza, and was pleased to find that even as it absorbed the grease, the paper towel was still strong enough to hold my food, the grease did not soak through to my hand, nor did it tear or fall apart. 

Next, I used a Viva Vantage paper towel to drain bacon.  Again, the texture of the weave, and the super thick sheets absorbed impressively. There was no sopping drippy greasy mess to clean up underneath. All of the grease was locked into the sheet, which was a pleasant surprise!

Then, I used a Viva Vantage paper towel to clean out the seat tracks in my mini van.  I was quite impressed with the durability with spray cleaner. Each track took just one paper towel. 

 Finally, as my last test, I used Viva Vantage paper towels to wash a sink full of dishes.  Though the towel did tear a bit towards the end, I was able to wash all of the dishes in the rack with one paper towel.  This was the most impressive to me, as I submerged the towel and used it as a dish rag, and even sopping wet it was strong enough to clean the entire sink of dishes.

After my series of personal tests, I was ready to share Viva Vantage paper towels with my friends.  First, I shared them with a friend who was doing some messy crafting with the kids. She reported back that she was impressed with their durability and that they were strong and absorbent enough to wipe up gluey water from the floor without ripping or shredding.

 Next, I shared the Viva Vantage paper towels with some people at church. There were 16 of us who used them to clean the benches in the sanctuary with furniture polish. (I did not include a picture of that out of respect for the church.) There are a total of 50 pews that are 20 feet long each. We used one towel per bench and they held up remarkably. They are soft enough to use on the pews, but strong enough to handle the polishing without making a big mess on our hands, which has been a problem in the past.

 Finally, I found my daughter with a pile of Viva Vantage paper towels this morning.  I asked her what she was doing and she said she was folding them into pillows for her dolls because they were "so fluffy."  She has never done this with our old brand, and when I asked her why she said because those are "too flat."

So after a series of highly scientific (ha!) tests, I am now officially ready to break up with my old brand of paper towels and switch to new Viva Vantage!

*Even though I was given this sample, I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own, and no additional compensation was received.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Nutella Muffins

This is not my original recipe, I found it on my friend's Facebook page, not sure where it came from originally, but it wouldn't let me pin it from FB.

Cute printable tags for Easter (or visiting teaching) gifts!

I created these to attach to jars full of jellybeans for a gift to the ladies I visit teach.  Feel free to print and use!