Friday, October 26, 2012

SmartFood Select Snacks

I'm a bzzagent, and so I receive really cool free stuff in the mail so I can try it, share it and share my experiences with the products with you!

One of the new products I was given to try was the new SmartFood All-Natural Selects snacks.

They sent me three flavors:

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Multigrain Popped Chips


Garlic Tomato Basil Hummus Popped Chips


Sour Cream Onion Flavored
Puffed Corn


I bet you are jealous already! Joe's favorite flavor was garlic tomato basil hummus popped chips. You can see Joe is giving me the thumbs up! He said he'd buy these again.

My favorite, by FAR, was the Cinnamon Sugar Multigrain popped chips. They tasted like a perfect snack with a little bit of sweetness. I don't even think I shared mine!

The other bag we got to try was the Sour Cream Onion Flavored Puffed Corn. These were very good as well. It's way better than regular popcorn and had great sour cream and onion flavoring.

The best thing I love about SmartFood Select is that there are no artificial flavors, MSG, colorings, it's kosher, 0 grams of trans fat, and it's baked. In other words - it isn't bad for you! 

Pick up a bag and try it. It may replace your existing snack and you'll feel better for it!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Glade Expression Review

As part of being a bzzagent I was given the opportunity to test and review Glade Expression products. The first one I tried was the the Glade Expression Oil Diffuser. The screw in portion for the oil and the oil diffuser piece was a bit confusing and didn't exactly screw into place like I would have thought. I got a little oil on my fingers and wiped it on plush eye mask I use for sleeping and let me tell you - it smelled good every time I used the eye mask!

Once I got the piece together it looked really nice and it smelled even better! I got the lavender scent and set it up in my bedroom and it was the most amazing smell. Lavender is a great smell for the bedroom. It is relaxing. Even my husband made a comment on how good it smelled and how it made him calm down for bed time. I am definitely going to keep buying refills for this scent for my bedroom. I have this on my night stand. Doesn't it look nice? It is the white reed looking piece on the nightstand back behind the alarm clock in white.

The other product I was able to test was the fragrance mist. I wasn't exactly in love with this product I hate to say. It smells great but having it in a container to mask the fact it is a fragrance spray seemed silly to me. It was a little hard to figure out how to squeeze.

If I had to pick my choice I'd definitely stick with the lavender oil diffuser kit. It is my favorite of mine and a 5 star product in my book!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Unreal Candy

I love how I get samples of products to try and to share my opinions with you! Check out www.bzzagent.com to sign up and get your own free products to try and share!

So we got a bunch of coupons to try this new candy called Unreal candy. I wasn't expecting it to taste good because healthy + candy usually = yucky.

I bought a bunch of these candies and had my kids help test taste them. This is how it turned out.

Here are the fine candies! We have chocolate covered candies, peanut butter cups and chocolate covered peanuts nougat. 

Justin and I liked the chocolate covered peanut nougat. Joey wasn't a fan but he isn't huge on eating nuts. 

Justin loved the chocolate covered candies - so much that he asked me to buy them every day. When I bought them for him a second time a few days later he was ecstatic. Joey and I were weren't a fan. 

Joey and daddy loved the peanut butter cups. This is a happy child!

Here is Justin again, letting me know these are a THUMBS UP.

If you love chocolate but hate all the junk - try these out! 

We bought ours at CVS but you can get them at
  • Food4Less
  • Fred Meyer
  • Kroger
  • Michael's
  • Ralph's
  • Riteaid
  • Staples
  • Walgreens
  • Many other retailers will also unjunk™ their candy aisles with UNREAL™ at more than 30,000 stores around the country, beginning this summer
Try it at a store near you. Check out their website as well - http://getunreal.com

Friday, September 7, 2012

Firefall….

When you get that feelin' you were born to lose
Staring at your ceiling thinkin' of your blues
When there's so much trouble that you wanna cry
The world has crumbled and you don't know why
When your hopes are fading and they can't be found
Just remember I love you
And it'll be alright
Just remember I love you
More than I can say
Just remember I love you
And it'll be alright
It'll be alright
It'll be alright
It'll be alright
-Firefall

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shop Famous Footwear for Back to School Shoes and Deals!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

FF-BiggestVictory-GIF_300x250(1).jpgEvery year before the kids go back to school I'm looking for deals on shoes. I have two boys who are 6 and 8 and they are so hard on shoes that I need shoes that are going to hold up. I've tried shopping for shoes at Payless only to have the shoes fall apart in a month. Famous Footwear shoes are better quality and there is no better time to buy than now - They have 15% off PLUS!! Buy one, Get one half off! 

You take this coupon below to your closest Famous Footwear store and use it to buy your kid's shoes for going back to school! They have a ton of different styles for boys and girls and if you shop online the shopping experience is easy and hassle free! If you hate going into stores or you don't have one close by, make sure you order online and use your coupon between now and August 18th!

Last season the Nike Zig was the shoe to buy for the boys. I've heard this fall it is the Nike flex so I'm going to take our coupon to our Famous Footwear and get my oldest the Nike Flex! 

Famous Footwear also has a rewards program which is free to join. You get points for every dollar you spend and points for providing your email address and opting for rewards via email! Why wouldn't you join if it is free and you get coupons back for the amount you will spend anyhow? If you join their rewards program your coupon becomes 20% off instead of the 15% off! You can use the 20% off if you sign up to be a rewards member or if you are currently a rewards member!

Make sure you check out Famous Footwear before 8/18 for your back to school shoe shopping!

BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kroger Private Selection Brands

I’ve been fortunate that I’m a bzzagent (www.bzzagent.com) and I am able to get free samples and tell you about great products. Kroger has been very generous and has been giving bzzagents opportunities to try a lot of their private selection products. Most recently we tried their chips and their ground beef. The private selection brand is their select brand and yet affordable.

I will tell you that we bought ground beef that was private selection brand and made hamburgers and they were some of the best hamburgers I’ve had in a long time. I’d highly recommend their private selection beef for a higher quality of beef.

We tried to find their pies but were not able to. It was around Memorial Day so that may be why they weren’t there.

If you shop at Kroger – next time try their Private Selection brand label products. They taste great!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Big long drought…

There used to be a time…back years ago when life wasn’t so hectic where I could actually keep it up with this blog!

Now night time is a time for the boys to be put down after a hectic schedule of sports. It’s time to pick up the house.

April 11, 2012 I decided to start a weight loss journey – again. Yes – again. I saw a photo of my good friend Caroline and talked to her about how she lost 54 lbs. She told me she used myfitnesspal app for the phone/web and worked out.

I thought that had to be way too simple, but I thought I would give it a shot. I hated journaling and had done it in the past and failed miserably. I had also done weight watchers more times (and failed) than I’d like to admit. I reasoned with myself that Caroline was built like me and if she could do it, I could too.

So I just started counting calories. I did not have to total fiber, fat, fiber, etc. I just had to total calories and work on eating healthy.

I set the program up to lose 2 lbs a week. That set me at 1200 calories and more if I exercise. I joined a gym the week after I started and found that I LOVED my gym. I started going weekdays between 9pm-11pm and loved that the kids were in bed and I just had me to worry about and relax. Yes – I actually relax at the gym!

So it’s now been 2 months and I’m down over 17 lbs. That is more than I’ve ever lost in such a short time. I am just being extremely careful about tracking everything I eat (good or bad) and exercising at least 4x a week – most days for an hour a piece. 2 of the 4 days I try to do cardio for at least 60 minutes. I’ll burn at least 600-700 calories in the hour. I’m so darn proud of how far I’ve come. Check this out:

2012-02-26_10-01-29_532Me at the end of February.

2012-05-23_07-31-19_455Me in November. This is terrible…

2012-06-05_10-04-17_796/5 – down 17 lbs since 4/11

2012-06-05_01-01-45_1116/5 – You can see it in my face!

2012-06-04_14-51-49_870My face is thinner!

I have to track my food daily now – it’s a habit and I get all nervous when I don’t because I don’t know where I am for the day. Days I eat really terrible (fast food) I try to work out a little longer to burn it off. I’m so proud of how far I have come!

The other big thing is we adopted a dog yesterday!

IMG_20120609_141126Meet Rascal – He’s a rat terrier – 10 months old.

Joe and I agreed a rat/fox terrier or a jack russell would be best for our family since the boys are so active and they could play catch with him.

The first one I looked into adopting seemed like a good fit – except that they said she bolts for the door as soon as it opens and once she gets loose she doesn’t come back.

Joe and I agreed that that type of dog would not be good for our family. We are in and out all of the time and that would be a major stress we didn’t need.

The next one we looked at didn’t like children – though the petfinder ad for him didn’t say that, or I wouldn’t have inquired.

Then we asked about Rascal. We were told he was 10 months old and he NEEDED kids to wear him out. He had so much energy that the foster mom was asking if anyone had asked about adopting him yet! They told me he was working on being potty trained and wasn’t good at leash walking since he wasn’t keen on other dog. She said he’s extremely anxious and didn’t travel in a car well.

We agreed to give Rascal a shot. We got a puppy pad to put under him in case he got car sick on the way home. He foamed a little at the mouth but he passed out minutes into being in the car.

We got home and we had him go pee outside and then took the few hundred dollars worth of dog supplies into the house. The crate was most of the cost.

We were diligent about making sure that Rascal used the potty every hour on the hour. He had one tiny little poop accident. The entire weekend he peed and pooped outside. We reward him every single time he goes outside. He is doing fantastic with potty training.

We have not noticed him being anxious at all. He fit into our family very quickly. Even though Justin is very loud and moves very fast and Joey is full of energy, he LOVES the boys and loves how they chase after him through the house and throw him his ball.

Joe was the one I had to convince and beg that we needed a dog. As soon as we set foot into the house Joe claims Rascal is HIS dog. Rascal has also claimed Joe and his best buddy and will sleep with Joe and hang out with Joe every chance he can get.

We got a clicker today and I’ve taught Rascal sit and lay down. We are also working on leash training and distraction training for barking when he sees other people/dogs that make him bark. He’s doing a very good job. I am reading a book about positive behavior training and it makes a lot of sense and is working fast.

One of the BEST unknown benefits for having a dog is that Rascal will pick up random things off the ground to see what they are and he likes to chew on the kid’s nerf darts. He also was a beggar and loves to see what is on the table. I used to have the hardest time getting the boys to pick up after themselves. Now I just blame it on the dog and they pick up the table and their toys. Joey didn’t believe me that Rascal was getting a hold of his dart. When we were picking up I heard Joey say to himself, ‘Rascal did get a hold of my darts.’ Sooner or later that boy will realize his mom is usually right!

Justin finished preschool on the 25th of May. He will start kindergarten in the fall. Joey finished 2nd grade May 31st. I can’t believe I will have a third grader next year!

Friday, March 9, 2012

February Catchup

Ok, I'm not sure why I haven't updated in a month and a half. I think I just got burnt out on everything. I was keeping up on my blog, doing my 365 day photo challenge, cleaning, working, and more...and at the end of January I just wanted to relax.

Here's a secret for you that I'll let you in on...I can't do it all. Did you hear that? I'm not perfect. I can't do it all.

I have friends that think I do it all. I don't.

My house isn't always clean. Don't bother just dropping in because I'll apologize profusely about it not being perfect, that is unless you come the day after the maid comes. Diana (the maid) gives me sanity. I know that after she leaves my house my stay clean for ONE DAY - maybe.

Maybe I need to be harder on the boys. Make them more responsible for picking up messes. I sure try but it seems I just can't keep up with them constantly. Possibly I don't have the energy to keep up with them. That is probably it.

So lately I've been doing pretty much bare minimum at home. I relax, which is completely NOT like me. We moved the tv into our bedroom from the guest room. I then found a 32" tv on freecycle so we took the 27" we had in the living room and put that in my room. The 32" tv went into the living room. Ever since I've been hibernating in my bedroom watching tv, playing on my phone or playing on the pc, relaxing.

Today I realized I can't get on demand using the receiver in my bedroom because it's not a dvr. So I asked Joe if he could help me move the dvr box from the living room (it was a dvr) to my bedroom, and the non-dvr box from my bedroom into the living room. I accomplished that feat...and now I still don't have on-demand because it takes up to 24 hours to download the selections. Sigh.

The other big things from the past month - I was cleaning one day and realized one of the cats peed in every corner upstairs...which affected the carpet in each room. We had carpet priced out but had neighbors over and they said they can not smell it since I've cleaned the carpeting. I plan to go ahead and steam clean the carpet in each room upstairs. In the meantime we have locked Alex in my room/bathroom so we can keep an eye on him. He hasn't done anything since then. We are assuming that he was the one doing it due to a new cat being outside who would pee on our back door. Since we isolated him to our room he no longer is taunted by our other cat or the cats outside. He's chilled out a lot and is a LOT more affectionate and seems much happier. We do have to replace the wall and wallpaper in our dining room though because the cat peed on the wall. I hate the wallpaper in that room anyhow.

So the big thing was we were going to replace the entire upstairs with new carpet but we are holding off for now since we think we cleaned the issue and took care of the root of the problem. New carpeting for upstairs would have cost at least $3000+.

The other big thing that happened was I flew back to Michigan last week because my best friend Jenny's little brother passed away. He slipped on some slippery steps and broke his neck and died instantly. I flew in on Tuesday late that night. My mother picked me up.

Wednesday I woke up to my dad making breakfast. My brother came over with my niece a little after that and stayed for awhile. It was so nice to see her. She's so adorable. Afterwards dad and I went thrift store shopping and shopped for 2 1/2 hours! I found a bunch of stuff for the kids and I. We drove home and mom had made dinner. Dad and I watched Hugo. After Jenny came and we went shopping at my favorite store, Meijer. She said she just needed to get out of planning the funeral, so we went to meijer and goofed off. She tried on all the little kids sunglasses and we laughed hysterically. Then we actually did real shopping. We left and then I had her go to CVS. I needed some wax for my braces.

Thursday I got up and made myself breakfast. I gathered the chicken's eggs after that. Then I drove to the outlet mall and bought a bunch of clothes for my niece for her birthday from Children's Place. Then I drove to the funeral home for the two viewings. I was there at 2pm-4pm. We left around 5pm to get a quick drink and appetizer. Back to the funeral home about 6pm and between 6-8pm about 600 people came through. I was there for Jenny whenever she needed me. After 8pm we didn't end up leaving until about 9pm. A bunch of us left to get drinks and dinner.

Friday was the funeral. I woke, showered and ran out the door to be at the funeral by 10am. After the funeral we all drove to the cemetery. Jenny's brother loved tractors so they had a tractor and trailer at my parent's house, which is a few miles from the cemetery and they stopped and took the casket out of the hearse at my parent's house, loaded it on the tractor trailer and then drove the trailer to the cemetery. It was so sad. We were burying her brother just down the street from where we all grew up. I used to ride my bike to the cemetery when I was a kid to see all the old tombstones. I never thought I'd be there burying her 32 year old brother...and as her mother said, "Briana, you gave him his first french kiss." All those memories...growing up down the street, hanging with her, her brother and having it be a place I used to play...I lost it and broke down crying. My friend, Margie, from high school brought a box of tissues, which was a good thing because I used quite a few tissues from it.

I drove back to my parent's house where they left the tractor and trailer and then Jenny told me to leave my dad's car and she'd drive me.

We then went to the wake. It was nice because I saw a few more people from high school I haven't seen in over 15 years. It was decided that all my friends needed to go out for a smoke break. Out of 6 of us, I was the ONLY one who wasn't smoking. It was crazy. Margie cracked me up. She had her red stag rum in the car and was drinking it. Not only that but she was sharing it at the funeral the day before. She cracks me up. After everyone was smoking it was decided we needed more alcohol and we all drove to the party store to get some. I bought some of my own red stag and when we got back to the wake we talked and drank in the parking lot. By the time we decided to go back in nearly everyone had left so we helped Jenny load all the plants into her car so we could take them home.

We drove back to Jenny's house and dropped them all off. Then we drove over to her dad's house for his party. We stayed until about 2am. I drank quite a bit and had a lot of fun hanging out with everyone. It was so nice to let lose and have a good time with friends.

When I got home that night my mom was up, which made me feel like a teenager all over again - especially since I was carded earlier that day. She wanted to let me know that they didn't have power because the high winds knocked it out. I was upset I couldn't wash my face since there was no running water. I pretty much passed out with my makeup on...

Saturday my brother, Greg, came over with his wife, Audrey, and my niece, Maeve. It was so nice to see them again. Greg was able to get the generator going so we finally had running water. We could flush the toilet! I could take a shower! Greg stayed awhile and then my dad came home from work and we drove to another thrift store where I bought a bunch more clothes, mostly for the kids. Dad and I then had dinner at a Coney Island in town and it was nice to spend the day with my dad. I really missed him.

Later that evening I saw Jenny one more time when I met her family for dinner. It was a nice dinner and then I had to say goodbye.

Came home and we still had no power. Using the bathroom in candlelight is really no fun. I had to pick all my bags.

The next morning came too fast and I was on a plane flying back to Dallas.

The funniest part of the trip was someone asked my friend Margie, since we have similar eyes, if I was her sister, or daughter. Margie looked at her and said, 'Hey! We're the same fricking age!' Too funny.

It was a great visit. I needed to see my parents. I needed to see my friends and Jenny. I needed the break.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Facebook Statuses February 2012

2/1 - Joe Fisher and I are having a lunch date tomorrow. We will be around McKinney. Any good suggestions on lunch dates??

2/2 - I'm ok with more winter, as long as it's as mild as the one we've had this year!!!

2/3 - Groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter but I just had to turn on the ac to cool off the upstairs. This is crazy weather!

2/4 - Yahoo - up at 6am for an 8am soccer game in Lewisville - 40 minutes away!

2/6 - Facebook is such a time suck...jeez...

2/22 - A few weeks ago Joey asked, very seriously, "Did you have B&W tvs growin up?". I laughed and told him, 'No, we had color tvs', and he looked very relieved. Justin asks me this morning, 'Mom, was George Washington alive when you were a kid?' Really?! To add to the hurt, my favorite 80s music has been on an oldies/classic rock station for awhile. Does this mean I'm getting old?

2/25 - Justin's first soccer game! — with Joe Fisher at Preston Meadow Park.  My comment: It was good. By the end of the game he started to get it. I guess I was expecting him to be.more aggressive but that will come.

2/26 - The world lost a fine young man today. Philip Chevalier, you were my little brother. I am so saddened you left us. Jennifer Chevalier-Rhodes and Wanda J Davis my prayers are with your family. It's times like these I absolutely hate being far away and I'd give anything to give you a hug. Photo is Phil and I dancing at Jenny's wedding. Rest in peace bro. Love ya. :( ♥ Jenny sent me this photo this morning. Said it made her smile... ♥

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Justin's second soccer game. — with Joe Fisher at Preston Meadow Park.

2/27 - Need to start packing...!!

2/28 - Waiting until 235 when the plane leaves. Layover in STL then on to Detroit. Love field is a pretty nice airport or at least straight-forward and easy to get to. Not looking forward to leave 70° all week and exchanging for 20-30°. Looking forward to seeing family and friends. — at Dallas Love Field.

2/28 - In the show me state for a whole two hours...may need a Starbucks run :) — at Southwest Terminal St Louis Airport.

I'm in Howell, Michigan! :)

Nothing beats hugs from dad!

2/29 - My brother, Greg, and my sweet niece, Maeve. I haven't seen her since August! She's 12 1/2 months. — with Gregory Dziekan.

464428_3208025512479_1021417036_3153834_1972089096_o (1)

I just gathered a bunch of chicken eggs w my dad! — with Raymond Dziekan.

Spent the day making up for lost time with dad! I had an awesome day. Now about to start an unknown adventure with my best friend, Jenny. — with Jennifer Chevalier-Rhodes and Raymond Dziekan.

A day in Michigan 2/29/12

2012-02-29_09-11-14_397My dad makes the best breakfast – including Bob Evan’s sausage links. Yummo

2012-02-29_13-20-29_237Crappy Michigan Weather – need I say more? This was the cross street I used to turn on to get to my house when we lived in Michigan.

2012-02-29_17-58-31_259Chickens LOVE it when my mom throws compost into the compost pile.

2012-02-29_17-58-43_915Chickens getting a tasty snack.

2012-02-29_21-42-52_414Jenny and I hanging out the first evening together. We went to Meijer and she and I died laughing as she tried on all the kid’s glasses!

2012-02-29_21-44-19_427She told me she had a ‘Woody’ haha!

2012-02-29_22-33-06_537Old memories in Howell! This used to be the wooden bridge we used to cross over when I was a kid.

IMG_0669My beautiful niece, Maeve

IMG_0672Greg and Maeve

IMG_0683Maeve

IMG_0700My dad and the chicken pen he built.

IMG_0706Nesting Chicken

IMG_0708My awesome dad!

IMG-20120229-WA0023Of course Justin loses his first tooth while I was gone. Yay Justin!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2/28 - Michigan

My best friend, Jenny’s little brother died in a freak accident in February. You can read about why I made the trip to Michigan here. I was so happy to see my mom and dad!! Here they are relaxing in their living room. It was so nice to be ‘home’.

2012-02-28_22-49-37_512

2012-02-28_11-10-27_683Me!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2/26–Justin’s second game

We had two games back to back because one was a remake. Here is Justin’s second game.

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IMG_0632-2He wanted his hair spray painted blue :)