Tuesday, November 21, 2017

10 Best Tweets from #Catsgiving

by Jill Clardy copyright creative commons via Flickr

If you are on Twitter, than you may or may not have noticed the trending "Catsgiving" hashtag. Well, if you don't have Twitter or don't want to bother looking around for the good stuff, here are the best tweets inspired by the hashtag (at least, in my opinion).

1) I'd say this cat is feeling like how all of us will feel by Thursday night.

2) Better keep an eye on those leftovers on #Catsgiving.

3) Ah family.

4) Chairs and overeating can get so complicated.

5) And you know? It's totally cool for you to not like the holidays. Many don't.

6) Don't forget about Canada! Isn't their Thanksgiving already over?

7) Ah, old Hollywood. I feel like it's the 'old movies' time of year. My favorite is "Wizard of Oz."

8) And don't forget to give props to your kitchen helpers!

9)  We all have that one family member.

10) Ah and just remember it's about love at the end of the day.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why I Love Using Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

A few weeks ago I came across a wonderful experience with this tea tree oil shampoo sample I had. It was a fantastic find because I couldn't find any shampoo in my house so this little sample saved the day. And wow did it make my hair look shiny and smooth! I loved it!

So, I recently had the chance to try out this tea tree oil shampoo by Maple Holitics and I love it so far. One of the biggest reasons I love Tea Tree Oil Shampoo? It helps with my scalp issues.

Confession time. Whenever I have something gluten or wheat related, my skin will break out. Sometimes, my scalp does too. I always associated with dandruff (did I really just say that) but after I started managing my diet better I realized how much healthier my scalp was after avoiding that particular food item. So the beautiful thing about tea tree oil is that it's been known to help with scalp issues like this. If my scalp feels tormented, I have noticed how soothing tea tree oil shampoo feels.

Since using it over the last couple of weeks, my hair just feels healthier. And whenever I have scalp issues, this feels so soothing and my problems with itching goes away basically.

It's kind of an amazing solution to something that's embarrassing. If you deal with this, I think you should try this shampoo. 

You can purchase it on the Maple Holistics website right now for only $9.99! That's kind of an amazing deal, so I think you should purchase it today.

I am happy to announce I get to giveaway a bottle of Argan Oil Shampoo to one lucky winner! Enter via Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends 11/29.

Can't wait for the giveaway to be over to see if you've won? Make sure you go to their website to find out how you can get free products! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review.

Do You Floss in Public?

So here's a weird one for you folks. So Nielsen found out that millennials are becoming very comfortable with flossing in public.Why is this? Well all those fancy on the go flossing tools has made us all more aware and concerned about the health of our teeth. Like these things.

So far in my wanderings throughout the day, I don't see a whole lot of people flossing in public like it's a casual thing. Do you see people flossing? And how do you feel about it if you do? If I saw it, I would mostly be afraid I'd see a huge piece of food flying out of their mouth or something. At home is one thing, but browsing through the grocery store and flossing is an entirely different situation.

Oh well, here's to the health of gums!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

4 Reasons to Start Using Essential Oils

by Jan R. Ubels

It's that time of year folks. Stress gets way off the charts. Maybe it's the anticipation of the holidays and upcoming plans. Maybe it's the pressure of making this year a good one. Or maybe life is just stressful in general. But I've been learning a lot lately about the benefits of using essential oils and their many

1) Rosemary essential oil can help improve memory.

In a recent study on essential oils, it was discovered amongst participants that their memory was improved when exposed to the essential oil scent of rosemary. BBC news actually talked about a study like this. 

2) Peppermint can help you digestive system.

I have actually sipped peppermint tea for this very reason but according to a recent study, the aroma of peppermint can help with gastrointestinal system, for example. I also love the taste of peppermint tea as it's mild and can help make my breath smell better.

3) Lavender can do wonders for relieving stress.

According to a Huffington post article, lavender can help you relax and relieve stress. I've had a lavender mist spray before and I loved it. This time of year can be incredibly stressful so give this a try to reduce your stresses.

4) Lemon scent is a mood booster.

There's been a study on lemon oil and it's impacts on mood. Lemon and other citrus scents have been known to be a mood booster. Lemon specifically can almost work like an anti-depressant.

Obviously this just scratches the surface! I love natural ways to boost moods and ease stress and these are the kinds of things I'm going to consider as the stress of this time of year ramps up. Of course, I'm no professional so be sure to talk to one if you have doubts, questions or concerns.


Monday, November 13, 2017

My Newest, Most Favorite Thing for This Holiday Season

I've lately been dealing with something I find extremely annoying - lower back pain. I think it's a mix of not great furniture combined with not great bus seats and poorly designed office chairs. As a result, I was incredibly pleased to receive the Naipo Shiatsu massager too review. My mom was happy about this too! She loved using it to massage muscles in her leg actually.

The Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager offers a deep massage that is also heated. The incredible thing is it comes with a car charger, which means you can drive and get a massage on the go. Isn't that incredible?
It is also designed with straps you can wrap around yourself to keep the massager in place. Also, it lasts about 15 minutes per turn which I appreciate because I wouldn't need really long sessions of massaging. 

When using this, the deep massage has a "hurt so good" type of feeling. I love how the more you lean into the massager, the deeper the massage. I have used this on my lower back and it's worked wonders. The heat is gentle and mild, just like someone's warm hands or something. I think it's absolutely perfect for back and neck pain. If you have someone in your life that suffers with that, this is a must buy.

I think the only minor downside is that I had a little bit of a hard time keeping the plug in the wall. If I yanked the cord too much, it unplugged pretty easily. 

The pricing of the massager is very good, $40 on Amazon, so be sure to check it out here. And for 25% off use this coupon code MFWSV2SL. If you are seeking a holiday gift for a family member that has maybe lower back pain, this is a must buy.

Best of all, they have a holiday version of a masssager that I think you need to take a look at and purchase for a loved one! Purchase the holiday version. 

Check out the Naipo website for info on some of their amazing products.

I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Reasons I Use Ibotta (And You Should Too)

Ibotta is one of those grocery store apps that you redeem cash back through purchases. I've used it for a couple of years now and while I'm at a somewhat modest balance, it's something I appreciate having. As you get into the holiday season, you are probably looking for ways to save money and Ibotta is one of those ways to save through earning cash back on purchases.

But why use it?

It's easy to accumulate cash back.

When I make it a regular habit to use the app, I can redeem at least once a month. I tend to accumulate $20 a month and that's a great savings to me. It has offers that I won't have to work hard to use either, like Uber rides ($1 cash back per ride) or through grocery stores I go to a lot like Whole Foods or Safeway.

Online shopping means you get rewarded.

Of course, it depends on the deal you are going for and where you are shopping, but if you shop online a lot, you need to use Ibotta. It helps you redeem rewards through places like Boxed.com (great for buying in bulk!), for example or Walmart.

You get cash back on good products.

One of my favorite companies for bath and body wash type of products is Nubian Heritage. In fact, I got the chance to review a lotion of theirs recently. Check it out -

First this is one of my favorite body washes and lotions, this scent in particular. The brand is called Nubian Heritage. It's a gentle and rich scent at the same time. I put on this lotion when I get into work and use this body wash in the morning and it's not as strong as perfume but smells wonderful. And the cool thing is if you buy this in the stores, you can redeem this on Ibotta!

So, I recommend Ibotta. Sign up with my referral link and we both get rewarded! You'll get $10 and I'll get $5. Good deal? I think so. Ibotta is easy to use and you'll be glad you signed up.

I received the above photographed product in exchange for my review.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stinker the Cat and How He Found Home After a Year Away

I feel like this is something that reads like an adorable children's book or something, but I came across this news alert I wanted to share with you. It's about this adorable black cat named Stinker and how he was separated from his family for more than a year. You can read the full story on the Pasadena Star Newspaper website, but in short, it goes like this....

Stinker's family was living in Altadena at the time. Their home was offered to be part of a movie that was being filmed and they agreed and moved out for a while. They left food and provisions for their two kittens, one of which was Stinker. When they came back, Stinker was gone. Despite their efforts to find the cat, Stinker was nowhere to be found.

A year later the family moved to Connecticut and started looking at photos of cats in nearby shelters to add to their family. When they started looking at Pasadena Shelters, they couldn't believe what they saw. It was Stinker! Mike Curry flew down to the Pasadena area to reunite with his former cat and realized this little black cat had a few of Stinker's identifying markers. And with the way the cat greeted Mike, he just knew that this was Stinker the Cat. Isn't this an amazing story? One year away and Stinker is now back with his family.


Boston Market Can Take Care of Your Thanksgiving Dinner

How do you feel about cooking on Thanksgiving? For some, I think they love it and love the process of cooking up this meal. For others, not so much. I'm kind of in between and in general, don't love cooking turkey. My mom and I tend to go for an alternative.

But if you want a home cooked Thanksgiving meal without the effort and without the hassle of going to a restaurant, Boston Market has an option for you!

Here's what they have to offer:

- Complete Thanksgiving Meal for 12: A complete meal option with all of the holiday trimmings, including a whole roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $119.99.

- Combo Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast & Boneless Ham Meal for 12: A combo meal option including a boneless roasted turkey breast and boneless ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, cinnamon apples, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $119.99.

- Basic Thanksgiving Meal for 12: The Basic Thanksgiving Meal for 12 includes a whole roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, home style stuffing and dinner rolls for $99.99.

- Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast Meal for 4-6: The Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast Meal for 4-6 includes a boneless roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $84.99.

- Boneless Ham Meal for 4-6: The Boneless Ham Meal for 4-6 includes a boneless ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $84.99.

I love the variety of options here actually. And the coolest thing is if you know someone in your life that maybe can't join you for a meal or can't afford one, you can give it as a gift! Visit BostonMarket.com. This is an offer going through November 19th.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

My 3 Favorite Beauty Time Savers

It's not like I have this hussle and bussle lifestyle but I really don't like spending too much time on grooming. I like short cuts and so I wanted to put together a list of my few favorite ones that hopefully can save you time while still implementing some important beauty routines.

1) Leave in conditioner.

I've not really been a huge fan of actually using conditioner up until recently. I have really long hair and it's a hassle to wash it as it is. Using conditioner always adds in extra time and I almost always end up cutting it out when I'm in a rush. Recently I had the chance to review this Angelo David conditioner. You can check it out here.

I love this a lot because it doesn't leave my hair really oily. Plus this conditioner isn't too heavy either. so if your hair is kind of prone to oil, I would recommend this. It gives my hair a shiny look without overdoing it!

2) Make Up Wipe Removers.

Oh this is such an incredible time saver. For me, I prefer the "Simple" brand of make up removers. One tip? I leave them in the fridge! I love that cool feeling on my skin at night and I'm so much more likely to remove my makeup with this easy tip.

3) Go for the easy makeup routine.

One of the ways I actually manage to leave with makeup on is streamlining my routine. I use a blush that also moonlights as my lipstick. And then after my moisturizer and foundation, I just swipe on mascara and a bit of color to my eyes such as white underneath the eyebrow just to brighten things up a bit. I'm not a makeup expert by any means of course but the finishing look is good to me and I like how I feel going out the door. Plus what helps tremendously is that everything is accessible and easy to find!

I received the above photographed conditioner in exchange for my review.

Check Out These Creepy Doll Photos

Photo by Funky Tee, Creative Commons Photo License

It's Halloween and that always gets people into a festive mood. So as I was wandering around on Twitter I stumbled across a challenge for creepy doll photos. And I wanted to share these with you guys since some of these made me laugh at loud. It all started thanks to podcaster Dear Prudence who asked listeners to share their creepy dolls they've owned -
I think this thing will only end up giving me nightmares in the middle of the night -
The doll on the left here looks like it's alive -
I feel like there's an enormously creepy store here somewhere -
I can't even imagine why -

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Manual Coffee Grinder - A Surprising Find for My Coffee [A Review]

I have the worst luck with coffee grinders. The electric ones always fail me in some way! So in my fit of trying to find a better coffee grinder, I came across a few manual ones. Suspicious, I wanted to give this a try. So I was able to get one by Cartos and I was so surprised!

It's a pretty handy device which is wonderful in a power outage. All I need is one of those pour over things to go with it and I'll be set. It comes to you pretty much all put together. The only thing I needed to do was add the turning device that grinds it and that was very easy. I love that I could do this without batteries or anything at all. I was mostly surprised about how well these beans ground with this device.

The only hiccup I would say is that this is best suited for a single serving amount of coffee. Any more than that, you are likely to develop some pretty decent arm muscles as a result. It takes a lot of work to get the amount you need.

I do appreciate it comes with it's own carrying sack. I can imagine taking this on a trip or something and using this to grind beans that I purchase. Especially handy if I forget to get them ground or something. This is also fantastic for camping, I would say.

Purchase it now on Amazon for $12.95. 

I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Hilarious Debate Behind the Ariana Grande Album Photo

Any fans of Ariana Grande in the room? Well, if you are than you know of her album cover:

Well it started out with Jesse McLaren tweeting a photo of himself attempting to do the same thing himself on a stool -

Obviously, the outcome was quite different for him than it was for Ariana.

Some fans jumped in of course trying to point out the obvious flaws in the science of the balance, such as the lack of heels:

Or maybe it was the lack of ponytail as another one posted -

And then some further attempts happened and some people were actually fair successful -

And then to top off the hilarity, even Ariana chimed in herself.

So, time for you guys to debate - how do you think she did it?


Ozeri High Velocity Desk Fan - Review

Some of the best quality fans I've received came from Ozeri. They are one of my favorite brands and I was so excited to review this desk fan of theirs. This summer was an awful one and I made sure to keep myself stocked with fans. Even old ones. And this was one that was a prime feature near wherever I was sitting almost all summer long.

Ozeri Brezza Oscillating 10" High Velocity Desk Fan has a variety of perks and maybe only one slight downside that I noticed. First of all, it's oscillating feature - it worked pretty well. I kept this on a side table between couches and it went 90 degrees. So I immensely appreciated that. It's only a touch awkward to stop it from oscillating and making sure you've stopped it at the right point. The fan gusts are pretty strong considering it's small size as well. One of the things that I noticed is that it is a tad boxy. So it kind of takes up more space than I would have liked but not by much at all. It's truly a desk fan, but it's not narrow.

Overall, if you are still suffering with warm temperatures and haven't yet been able to embrace the cool fall season, get this fan. It's a fantastic thing for an office or dresser. It's best used if you are sitting right in front of it or are standing right in front of it though. It probably cannot cool an entire room of people who aren't sitting near it.  And one thing I can say about Ozeri is that their products are long lasting. I've had a couple of their fans for couple of years now and they are still working great.

Come by Amazon and purchase one for $34.18 (price as of this post today). Purchase now 

I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Women Under $35

Photo by wuestenigel

Okay so it is a TAD early to talk about this, but it's October at least, right? But if you are in need of a few ideas for gifts, I think you should sit down and take a read of this blog post. I have a few ideas for you that won't break the bank. Most of these items I've reviewed before but I think they're worthy of being on the list and considered for gift giving season.

1) Nyakio Lip Balm

I had the chance to try this out recently and I have to say I really like this lip balm. My lips tend to be on the sensitive side and I always appreciate when I find a lip balm that I can put on my skin without any irritation or dryness. And this does exactly that! They also have lip scrub which is a way to gently exfoliate your lips and get rid of any unnecessary skin. Also an amazing thing. Considering the dry weather, I think anyone appreciates the extra help with lip skin care.

Purchase the Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Lip Polish (Exfoliate) for $22.  And here is that amazing Lip Balm for $22

2) 98 Degrees Christmas Album

Okay, so I posted about this a few weeks ago and I think this needs to be added to gift list, especially if you know this person to be a 98 Degrees fan. Their Let it Snow CD is up for only $13.98, which makes it a relatively decent price for a small gift that you are cramming into a sock. Visit their website for purchasing details

Check out my original post all about it here or visit the 98 Degrees website for more details.

3) Cocomels Candy

Cocomels! Okay, so I had the chance to try these last year but I also had the chance to try out their chocolate drops. These are amazing. They're flavorful and dairy and gluten free.

If you are seeking a treat for someone with an allergy of some kind, you may want to consider these. I like these candies a lot and happened to give these to a coworker who was going dairy free for the sake of their newborn and she was so excited about these! So treat yourself or someone else this holiday season and stuff these in that stocking.

Check out my full review here and check out their website to purchase.

4) Fran's Chocolates.

Okay, chocolate by Fran's is particularly amazing and rich tasting. I've had the chance to try their chocolates quite a few times and I've been pleased and impressed both times. Check out my review of their chocolates last winter. Delectable chocolates is never a wrong gift to give either for a chocolate lover.

Check out my full review here and check out their website to purchase.

5) Flat Out of Heels Flats

Okay I had the chance to try this out a couple of weeks ago and these flats are surprisingly durable. Especially since I've used them a few times to walk to my bus stop in the morning and in the afternoon coming from work. I think these are probably best suited for walking around in the mall or if you are at work and you need a break from the shoes that pinch your feet. Overall, an excellent gift I think.

Check out my full review or check out their website to shop now. 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Instacart vs Amazon Prime Now: Differences, Similarities, and Which I Prefer

I'm a regular online grocery shopper. Although I do occasionally shop in the store, I'd say the majority of my monthly grocery budget goes towards online grocery shopping sites. There are two major websites - Instacart and Amazon Prime Now. Thanks to my recent free trial of Amazon Prime Now, I now can say I've tried both. They seem similar and I've heard rave reviews of both. Now it's my turn to add in my two cents:


Instacart is a grocery delivery service where it can deliver to you in an hour. I've been using them for a couple of years now and except for a few snafus in service, I've generally been really happy with their service.

Amazon Prime Now

Amazon Prime Now offers up the same - two hour grocery delivery. They offer delivery services through Amazon itself and local grocery stores who have partnered with them.

First Major Difference - Departments

First, the website. At Instacart.com homepage, when you've logged in, you have a variety of things you can do. Change what store you are looking at, look for food based on department, search coupons, and view which last items you've purchased to add them to a list.

Here's one major difference. At Amazon Prime Now, you don't just need to shop for food to get things within two hour. A coworker told me she shopped for a window air conditioner via Amazon Prime Now and got it within two hours. You can tell when they listed the departments:

Second Major Difference: Replacement Items

This is the most noticeable difference between the two sites. As you shop on Instacart, you build your list. As you select which items you want to buy, if it comes across something usually low in stock, it will give you this pop up window -

And let's say you are all done shopping and are on the order page. Once you select the delivery time, you also suggest which items you want replaced and what your replacement choice is or you can also choose to not replace the item at all (if the store doesn't have it). Check this out -

So I ordered bacon -

And I have three options - pick best match, pick specific replacements, or don't replace. Of the three, I recommend pick specific replacement or don't replace it at all. Even the most seasoned Instacart shopper can get the best match wrong, unless you are REALLY sure you don't care about alternative choices. If you specify, you get this screen and then you select which food item you want if they don't have this specific brand -

This aspect of Instacart is far superior to Amazon, in my opinion. You can do this with each item you buy (and I highly recommend it) and even add notes specifying details of the item you've selected to purchase -

Check out the note I added regarding the garlic -

Now for Amazon, you don't get as many item specific options. When you get to the end of the shopping experience, I found I could either ask them to choose the best option if they don't hear from me or not replace it at all, and then I could specify certain items I didn't want replaced -

Major downside to me! I like being able to specify alternative options because I don't want to assume the shopper will choose the alternative I would like. 

Third Major Difference - Personal Shopper Experience

I don't want to criticize this too much. There is one major difference that sets Instacart ahead in my book over Amazon. That is the chat with shopper feature on Instacart -

You can access this on their website as well as their app.and while their shopper is shopping, you can request items, discuss the alternatives they selected, and even add things to your list that you forgot. Of course, humanity itself is imperfect and this isn't always a problem free process. However, this is a perk I enjoy and missed out on with Amazon prime.

Amazon prime primarily doesn't have this feature. If you do request them to select alternatives, you will get a text and you will only have a couple of minutes to respond (don't have that screen shot of the text communication right now). I responded a few minutes too late for the shopper who was shopping for me and they ended up just choosing an alternate. Sadly, it wasn't quite what I wanted, but that's when I decided to just tell Amazon to not replace things for me.

Major Difference Number Four - Wine.

Unfortunately right now, Instacart will not give you wine in two hours. Amazon Prime Now does (based on your area). I wonder if this is area specific though. I just live in Portland, Oregon and that is not the case for Instacart (and is for Amazon). 

Major Similarities Number One - Shipping Price

Both sites charge for shipping and both sites ask for a tip. There are minor differences in the both of them and Amazon wins out ahead by just a little bit here. For orders less than $35, Instacart offers up a $9.99 shipping fee. For Amazon, for orders less than $70, they charge $4.99 (if you order more than $70, shipping is free - at least with the local grocery store I shopped through). 

The confusing aspect to Instacart is their end service charge. This CAN be waived and instead you can add on a tip -

And here's Amazon's site (you can customize the tip and the shipping fee is obvious too) -

Amazon is a bit better here. The tip area is obvious and the shipping fee is too. However, not enough of a difference to me and overall, the cost turns out to be the same in my opinion.

Major Similarities Number Two - The App

I found the apps for the two to be the same for the most part. At least in terms of building the list. Any differences I found to just be existing within the difference in the websites itself. I'll add some screen shots later for visual aids. 

Which I Prefer -

In case you can't figure it out, I obviously prefer Instacart. For their interactive shopper experience and ability to add specific replacement items is what makes them stand out to me. Also, for Amazon Prime Now, you need to be a prime member to use it. For Instacart, you sign up for free and use it right away (they have an Instacart Express subscription which gives you free shipping over $35 and the cost of that isn't worth what you are getting). 

The biggest downside to Instacart is that you don't get the in store deals that you would get if you were shopping yourself. Also, if you want same day delivery, I'd recommend putting in your order before 4 pm. Overall, I've been using them for a couple of years and they have been a saving grace in the winter days when it's icy. 

Sign up for Instacart and get $10 off (I couldn't resist using my referral code here!) with my link and use the code NPYLES125.

I still like Amazon Prime Now. They do have some better pricing I noticed for a few products I shopped for yesterday. Most items turned out to be competitive with Instacart and practically the same. And I do plan on using both, especially since Amazon Prime comes with it's own perks and plus the whole getting wine in two hour thing is a major perk. 

Have you used either Instacart or Amazon Prime Now? What are your thoughts on the differences or similarities?Which do you prefer?

This post includes a referral link and I'll receive a small bonus if you sign up with my link.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Stargazer Cast Iron Skillet Review & Recipe Round Up

Do you own a cast iron skillet? I've never owned one before and had the chance to review one by Stargazer Cast Iron. It was started by three friends in 2015 after one friend became obsessed with looking for the right skillet. Hobby cook and professional designer Peter Huntley started collecting vintage cookware and used his finds for inspiration.

So like I said, I have never owned a cast iron skillet before and was so excited to review this cast iron skillet by Stargazer. I've not used this for heavy duty recipes, but have just used it for stove top egg recipes and cooking up bacon. What I really liked was how light weight this was! One thing that has always annoyed me about a lot of cookware was how much of a hassle it was to move it around. The handle which is considered a cool handle also with stood heat which made it easy to handle while cooking! After cooking bacon, when I've drained the bacon drippings from it, I don't run across a lot of run off. Which is fantastic because this annoys me immensely with a lot of other cookware.

With all of this in mind, I have for you a round up of recipes that you will definitely want to create with your cast iron skillet! Make sure you check out the Stargazer Cast Iron skillet website. You can purchase a seasoned cast iron skillet for $88.00, so purchase today.

Cast Iron Skiller Recipe Round Up

Easy Steak Fajitas

Mashup Mom has an excellent steak fajitas recipe that uses your cast iron skillet. It's made of flavorful healthy ingredients that is also friendly to your budget. My mouth waters just looking at the photographs!

Summer Squash and Tomato Frittata

I'm kind of really into the healthy and tasty looking recipes that Mashup Mom creates. This uses summer squash, zucchini and tomatoes and it's sure to be a warm way to welcome the fall season.

Low Carb Portobello Skillet Lasagna

I've never been sure about how to use mushrooms in recipes but this serves up an excellent lasagna recipe made up beef, sausage, red pepper, ricotta, and portobello mushroom cups. I know what I'm going to make for dinner soon.

Copycat Chili's Cookie skillet

One thing I'm excited to do with this skillet, especially around the holiday season is to make desserts with it. This is a fantastic cookie recipe by Frugal Coupon Living that uses your cast iron skillet and is surprisingly easy and simple to make. You can top it with ice cream to round out the amazingness of it. Check it out!

Peaches & Cream Cobbler

I'm really into the idea of using peaches in a dessert recipe. This is a really easy cobbler recipe that uses butter, peaches, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in its ingredients list. And it looks so good!

Chocolate Peanut Butter skillet Cake

Something about chocolate and peanut butter in any recipe name makes my tastebuds jump for joy. Best of all, this is incredibly easy to make! It uses peanut butter, chocolate, and other simple ingredients to make up a really tasty dessert. You must try this!

Arugula and Sausage Pasta Skillet

One thing that I love about this recipe by Upstater Ramblings is it looks so tasty but also healthy. It uses olive oil, sausage, cherry tomatoes, arugula and pasta. Make this up in your skillet and your hungry mouths at home will be wanting more.

One Skillet Chicken Asparagus

It's rare when I think asparagus looks tasty but Saving Dollars and Sense offers up a great looking recipe that saves you money AND makes your mouth water. Check out this chicken recpe that you will definitely want again.

Cast Iron Skillet Cookie Recipe

This is an excellent dessert recipe and I love the recommendation to use this for camping. It uses a variety of pudding mixes as well as butterfinger and heath toffee bits. I know you will want to try this!

Apple Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breast

Before we know it, we will all be planning recipes for the holiday season. This is something I think you should add to your list. This turkey breast recipe by Hello Creative Family blog is an excellent one for your cast iron skillet uses apples, cranberries, turkey breasts, pumpkin pie spice and stuffing. This makes me want Thanksgiving to be here!

Iron Sillet Apple Pie

The fall season is an great time for apples and why not make apple pie with your cast iron skillet? I think that is an excellent idea and the Jenny Revolution blog has a fantastic one for you. And it's ingredient list is surprisingly short, which always appeals to me. Check it out!

Balsamic Glazed Chicken Thighs

I really like when I can find new ways to make chicken. Mommy Musings has a tasty looking chicken recipe that uses a balsamic glaze. YOu will definitely want this for dinner.

Cast Iron skillet Pear Tart

I love the ideas of baking with pears! This pear tart looks so good and uses pears, nutmeg and cinnamon in it's ingredients. I think it's gauranteed to be a hit.

Veggie Frittata

I love the ingredients in this recipe crated by Robyn's World blog. This has so many good ingredients including garlic, onion, chard, zucchini, and hashbrowns! Check out the recipe to see how good this looks.

Sausage and Gnocchi

This is another really tasty looking recipe and it looks easy to make too. It uses chicken sausage, gnocchi, basil, tomatoes and paramsean cheese. This looks like it would be a hit for dinner!

Cast Iron Skillet Cookie

Ah I love cast iron skillet cookies! This one is so easy to make too! Must Have Mom creates a skillet recipe with easy ingredients and a must have to create with your cast iron skillet.

Pumpkin Pancakes

This really makes me excited for the fall season! You'll be really into these pumpkin pancakes and they're sure to be a hit for breakfast. Check out this recipe by Eating on a Dime!

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

Salmon! You guys I needed a salmon recipe and I had no idea how to make it with cast iron skillet. Be sure to serve this to your family at dinner time and you will be glad you did.

Remember, check out stargazer Cast Iron to purchase your 10.5 inch cast iron skillet. I think you will love it! Purchase today.

Be sure to also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

If You Are Into Wine, This Web Series is For You

While I am not what you call a wine aficionado, I do enjoy a glass of wine at night. I really enjoy looking at the bottles in the store and am a huge fan of the movie Sideways. So, that's where I'm at with my wine expert-ness. And if you are like me and have just a mild curiosity about wine or maybe you are way off the charts and know wine backwards and forwards, I think you should you check out the new web series by Bellangelo.

What makes this wine web series unique is that it's described as being a journal of the wine making process. From growing the grapes to what gets put onto the store shelves, this wine series is meant to show it all.  It's also designed to entice those of us who wish we could quit the usual 9-to-5 grind and pursue something that's a bit out of the norm. And the story of Bellangelo winery is just about that. The Missick family started out in successful construction and law careers but gave that up to pursue their dreams in making wine.

So with that in mind, onto the web series. Their first video has been posted and it's about a minute and a half long. It's called their "Finger Lakes Harvest Wine Journal." It starts out showing the most important part of the wine making process - the grape vines. It takes a close look at a row of vines and some workers surrounding them and then takes us to a bird's eye view of the grape vines as if we were flying overhead. And the cool thing is that it really takes you into the process of wine making that you just don't get to see. At least, I haven't!

Make sure you check out the first video -

And subscribe to their page online to get alerts about the others and more of what their posting!

You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook .


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Activity Alert! Marshmallow Math

So as the winter season comes around the corner, the purchasing of marshmallows are increasing by so much! Anyone else gearing up for hot chocolate and marshmallows at night? So I have a fun activity to share with you courtesy of Education.com. It's called Marshmallow Math And it's no secret that children absolutely love marshmallows. It's also not a secret that children don't always love math. But put the two things together and you've got some fun activities that will get your child excited about math basics like estimation, measurement, area, and counting. They'll have so much fun, they won’t even know they're doing math! Here some ideas for marshmallow math games you can play with your kindergartner.
What You Need
Bag of miniature marshmallows
Clear glass
Piece of paper
Post It Notes

What You Do:
Estimation Game: For this guessing game, place an amount of marshmallows (anywhere from 1-12 marshmallows) in a clear glass. Have your child estimate or guess the number of marshmallows in the glass. If he's correct or only 1 number off, allow your child to eat a marshmallow! You can try it several times with different amounts of marshmallows.
Measurement Game: Help your child use marshmallows as units of measurement to measure different objects. How many marshmallows long is a spoon? Lay a spoon on the table. Show your child how to line the marshmallows up next to the spoon. How many marshmallows long is your hand? Mom’s hand? Find other items he can measure.
Area Game: Help your child draw a square on a piece of paper. How many marshmallows can fit inside? Try this with different sized squares as well as other shapes. Help your child count if it’s a big number.
Counting Game: Set out some mugs. Think about numbers your child needs to work on. Write the number on a post it note and stick it on the mug. Have your child drop the correct amount of marshmallows into the mug. If correct, eat one.
For each of these different games, while you and your child are playing the game, talk to him about the particular math concept he is exploring with each particular game. And if you and your child want to snack on a few marshmallows while you're playing your marshmallow math games, well then that's okay too!

Hooray! Your child has completed many marshmallow math activities and practiced some important math concepts along the way! Celebrate by making hot cocoa with some marshmallows!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Picking Yourself Up And Moving On In “Dog Park” Film by Jade Jenise Dixon

If you have ever met the wrong person, you will love the new film by Writer and Director Jade Jenise Dixon. Starring the director herself alongside costar, Tennyson Shanahan, the film "Dog Park" is all about the aftermath of a broken relationship and picking yourself and moving on, which Dixon has experienced first hand. 

What makes Dixon such a unique filmmaker is that she makes movies that she wants to exist while still competing in a market of big budget films. With this in mind, she "strived to hire a team that understood what it would take to get it done." Dixon said each film is a learning experience. "I've also learned that if you treat your crew well, feed them well, don't go overtime often, all will go smoothly. And it did."

This film is not her first time up to the directorial plate. Her first film "Truth Hall” achieved significant success, including several film festival awards and airing in heavy rotation in three major TV networks including, B.E.T., Centric, and Bounce TV. However, following the success of her first film, Dixon resolved to pursue a much simpler life after she was left spinning her wheels following her first film, but her passion and love of filmmaking and directing never left.

When her engagement fell apart, she used it for inspiration. "I wasn't sure if I wanted to get into the ring again. The odds of a female filmmaker making a second feature film aren't good." However, the fear didn't hold her back and Dixon returned to her career. She realized throughout her relationship, her creative side was suppressed and she wasn't leading kind of life she wanted to live. "I found that I was mostly just waiting for another person to get home, which isn't my personality."

You also cannot talk about Dixon's film without mentioning the furry friends involved as well. When asked about the dogs on set, Dixon admitted that wrangling the dogs at the dog park was the biggest challenge. "....When we needed the dogs to chill for a bit, many of them looked at us like, 'What do you mean? This is a Dog Park!' But in the end, the dogs brought us an abundance of laughter and joy. Working with them was a lot of fun!"

Dixon is also the proud mama of the starring pup in the movie, Maxx the Bulldog. He was a hit amongst the cast and crew. Just as Dixon says, "And it is true, dogs are man's best friend. He's mine."

If you are lucky enough to live in the LA area, purchasetickets to the premier at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival on September 29th.  Add this to your watch list on IMDB to make sure you know when it's available near you.  


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Toys R US Reveals Top 20 Toys for this Holiday Season

Planning for the holidays yet? I know, it's still too soon. But if you are, Toys R Us has come out with their holiday guide for all you pre-holiday planners out there. With it this guide comes Geoffrey's Top 20 toys for this holiday season.

Toys R Us not only offers up some of the coolest toys, but they offer up a few rewards you can take advantage of. Things like -

Price Match - they will honor a competitors price if you can prove someone has the same toy for cheaper. Get the details here.

And in case you need visual proof kids are having fun with these toys, they've launched an unboxing channel where they've posted a video of kids playing with the toys they're selling! There's one video already posted with more to come:

Toy Finder - if you are interested in one toy in particular but you hate the idea of hunting for it in the store, with their Hot Toy Finder, you can tell them what toy you are looking for and they will show you (based on zip code) where that toy is in your designated store. Find out more info here.

Also, best of all for those of us on a budget, they have free layaway. Which is a great idea no matter what budget you are on because you can keep the toys away from curious little eyes. Find out more info here.

So what is on this incredible list you may ask? Here it is the top 20 toys for this holiday season -

3-in-1 Sports Zone from Little Tikes® 
 This s a play zone that features three modes of play - bowling, soccer and basketball. For kids aged 9 to 36 months. It also comes with an adjustable height loop that grows with your child!

Baby So Sweet 16-Inch Nursery Doll from Toys"R"Us® (Available only at Toys"R"Us)

This is a 16 inch soft baby doll that has the touch and feel of a real baby. Perfect for the child that loves playing mom or dad (I sure loved playing with dolls growing up!).

Coco Interactive Guitar from Mattel® (Available beginning October 1, 2017)
This is an interactive guitar that helps kids learn to practice and play the song, "Remember Me" from the DIsney Pixar movie, Coco. It's for kids ages 3 and up and it also comes 

Doc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery from Just Play™
This adorable all in one nursey allows your little resident doctor practice their doctor skills! This is totally playing doctor upgraded. It has a portable electronic patient laptop, a stethoscope to listen to their baby's heartbeat and even a scale to measure the baby's height and weight. 

Fingerlings™ from WowWee™ (Unicorn Gigi available only at Toys"R"Us) 

These little mini fun toys are just like a real pet. They respond to noise, motion, and touch. Kids can pet their heads, blow a kiss, or make a loud noise to get the little Fingerling excited! 

FURREAL ROARIN' IVORY, THE PLAYFUL TIGER from HASBRO (Available only at Toys"R"Us beginning November 1, 2017)

This tiger isn't just any playful tiger. IT has over 100 plus sounds and motion combinations and will respond to touches on her forehead, back and muzzle. This is adorable and will be available November 1st.

Glimmies Glimtern from Just Play™ (Available only at Toys"R"Us)
This is beautiful lantern shaped house that lights up star creatures who live inside of it. Kids will place the little Glimmie toy inside the house and she will light up! 

Hatchimals Surprise from Spin Master™ (Available beginning October 6, 2017)
So for anyone who loves Hatchimals, this will be a completely new Hatchimal you haven't seen before. There will be a very special Hatchimal surprise launched on October 6th too. Excited? I am!

Imaginext® DC Super Friends™ Batbot Xtreme from Fisher-Price®
I can just imagine your child feeling so COOL with this amazing batbot toy. It is over 2 feet tall, and has wings, projectile launchers and a motorcycle. Your child can also speak into the voice changer while their toy is in battle mode. This looks all shades of amazing.

L.O.L Surprise™ Big Surprise from MGA Entertainment® (Available beginning September 29, 2017)
This seems like a one of a kind toy. It features 50 surprises in each item, no batteries required, and it combines amazing fashionable doll items inside. 

Fans of nerf blasters (for those have kids and whoever is a kid at heart of course hehe) can load up to 100 foam rounds. I see an amazing Christmas morning in someone's future with this thing.

Nintendo Switch™ with Gray Joy-Con™ from Nintendo
This transforms any Nintendo switch into a hand held on the go kind of fun. It connects to a TV and basically lets you have fun anywhere and everywhere. 

Of Dragons, Fairies, and Wizards™ Magical Fairy Wand Fairy Princess Fern from Cepia LLC

Oonies™ Mega Starter Pack from Moose Toys™ (Available only at Toys"R"Us beginning October 1, 2017)
This magical fairy wand opens up a whole world of imagination. Your child can speak to the fairy living at the end of the wand and learn 16 different magical spells. It also comes iwth an illustrated spell book and they can meet magical creatures along the way!

PAW Patrol Sea Patroller from Spin Master™
For the child that loves to be at sea, this is an amazing sea patroller vehicle that works as a rescue boat with lights, sounds, a working crane, and a life saver launcher and storage too. It also comes with an octopus and an exploration cage! 

Pikmi Pops™ Surprise! Jumbo Plush from Moose Toys™ (Available only at Toys"R"Us beginning October 1, 2017)
These are little lillipops with a mini plush inside just waiting to be discovered. These look like they would be incredible stocking stuffers!

Power Wheels Boomerang from Fisher-Price® (Available only at Toys"R"Us)
This vehicle looks like an incredible fun time. It's for kids to 5 to 10 years old, and has a max speed of 5  mph. It lets kids tilt, and spin, and has all wheel drive. This is one incredible gift!

Power Rangers Ninja Steel Lion Fire Fortress Zord from Bandai™ (Available only at Toys"R"Us)
This is a three in one playset, and features over 20 sounds. Play modes include Megazord, Ultra Megazord and Fortress. And has two firing cannons, a helipad, cockpit and jail too!

Project Mc2™ Smart Pixel Purse from MGA Entertainment®
Shimmer and Shine™ Magical Light-Up Genie Palace from Fisher-Price® (Available only at Toys"R"Us beginning October 1, 2017)

Shimmer and Shine™ Magical Light-Up Genie Palace from Fisher-Price® (Available only at Toys"R"Us beginning October 1, 2017)
Ah I could see me loving this when I was a kid. This is a Genie Palace that comes with 100 phrases and sounds. It has a vanity mirror, a tea party table. So many amazing things can happen here! 

And there you have it folks! Does anything on this list catch your eye? Make sure to follow Toys R Us on Twitter and Instagram for updates!