Hawaii Mom Blog

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June 12, 2015

Please Visit Us at Hawaii Mom Blog!

Sage and Savvy will no longer be updated.  Please visit us at HawaiiMomBlog.com.
Mahalo for all of the support!

June 1, 2015

Red Lion Hotels #WorthIt Twitter Photo Contest

I've been a fan of Red Lion Hotels ever since my first stay at one of their locations.  Since then I've stayed at more Red Lion Hotel locations, and already have plans on staying at even more locations this year!

Red Lion Hotels Corporation is now running a Twitter Contest!

This summer share how you are going to MAKE IT #WorthIt and you will be entered to win a two night stay at any Red Lion Hotel.  Red Lion Hotels will run a Twitter photo-sharing sweepstakes between June 1 – July 31, 2015 and each week RLHC will choose a winner. Entering the sweepstakes is easy, simply follow the steps below:
  1. Follow @RedlionHotels on Twitter
  2. Post a picture on Twitter of you and/or your family capturing a summer moment using hashtag #Worthit and tagging @RedLionHotels
Also, you can save up to 40% this summer and unlock unique offers at moments.redlion.com

Good luck!

May 31, 2015

The Vanilla Visa Gift Card - A Practical, Convenient Gift Idea for Father's Day

Disclosure: A complimentary gift card was provided in exchange for a review.


Father's Day is just around the corner!

A great gift idea for Father's Day (or just about any occasion) is a Vanilla Visa gift card!

About the Vanilla Visa Gift Card
The Vanilla Visa Gift Card is a prepaid gift card that can be used at millions of locations within the United States and District of Columbia where Visa debit cards are accepted, including retail stores and on-line merchants.

A Vanilla Visa gift card allows the recipient to shop anywhere - at a retailer or online, without having to worry about carrying cash, using a debit card that's tied to a bank account, or using a credit card number that could potentially get into the wrong hands.

If the gift card is ever lost or stolen, a simple phone call can remedy the issue.

The Vanilla Visa Gift Card is available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations, and comes in a variety of festive designs.

Using the gift card is easy. I used it to purchase something online, but before I made my purchase, I went to the Vanilla Visa gift card website to assign a zip code, and I had no problems using the gift card.  In fact, I was already familiar with the Vanilla Visa gift card since I actually received one as a gift not too long ago!

The Vanilla Visa Gift Card would definitely make a great Father's Day gift!

Click here to find a Vanilla Visa Gift Card retailer near you.

May 30, 2015

SipSnap Review

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own. 


I love kid products that are designed to make our lives a little bit easier.  Every little thing helps, especially when you're a mother of twins.  My boys are 19 months, and not quite able to drink unassisted from a regular cup. But SipSnap lids turns virtually any cup into a splash-proof drink cup that my boys can drink from without my help, and without making a huge mess.  



There are two different types of SipSnap lids. The first one is called the SipSnap Tot.



It fits right over the top of most cups and it turns the cup into a sippy cup.  Just unfold the SipSnap, and stretch the lid entirely over the top of the cup. Pull down on the sides to remove any slack.


D figured out how to drink from this lid in no time. It's just like the lids for his regular sippy cups.



The other type of SipSnap lid is called the SipSnap Kid. 


It fits any straw and turns a regular cup into a splash-proof cup with a straw.





SipSnap lids are made of BPA-free silicone and thus are safe for our kids. They are also good for the environment since they can turn your regular cups into kid-friendly cups so you no longer need to buy specialized kid cups. Best of all, they are dishwasher safe!

I still have to supervise my boys when they use these lids, since SipSnaps are spill-proof, not leak-proof.  What does that mean exactly? Well, if you tip it over, water will leak (through the spout on the Tot or through the hole in the Kid), but if my boys accidentally tip over the cup, the contents won't spill out like how it would without the SipSnap.

Each set of SipSnaps ($19.95 USD) comes with three lids in three different colors, and a plastic carrying case.

For more information or to place an order, visit the website at: http://sipsnap.com/

Connect with SipSnap on:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

May 26, 2015

Skip Hop, the Grab & Go Saddlebag Review

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own. 

I love my City Select Double Stroller. It's durable, sturdy, and fulfills our everyday stroller needs.  However, one of the big drawbacks of this stroller is that it doesn't come with a parent console on the handlebars for my drinks, wallet, keys, phone, etc.  I've searched the internet for a stroller organizer and most of them attach to the handle bars and are flimsy, unstable, and small.

I recently had the opportunity to try Skip Hop's Grab & Go Stroller Saddlebag ($25) that attaches to the frame of my stroller and I would like to share with you how fantastic this product is!  It's made of quality material, and is designed to hold everything you need for a stroll with your kids. 



The Saddlebag securely fastens to the frame of your stroller with two adjustable velcro straps. It should fit most strollers.




There is an exterior zip-mesh pocket for easy and quick access to items such as a smartphone, keys, and sunglasses.



The inside is very spacious, and made of insulated material to keep food and bottles cold. I'm able to store diapers, wipes, and my wallet, with plenty of room to spare for snacks and other things that I may pick up on the way.

Because the Saddlebag is easy to remove on and off, I can actually pack the saddlebag in the house, and then secure it to my stroller in seconds.




Because the Saddlebag is easy to remove on and off, I can actually pack the saddlebag in the house, and then secure it to my stroller in seconds.

The Saddlebag is especially useful on umbrella strollers, since umbrella strollers do not have a storage area beneath the stroller.



The Skip Hop Grab & Go Saddlebag is a must for all strollers!

For more information on the Skip Hop Grab & Go Saddlebag, click HERE

To learn about other fine products made by Skip Hop, visit their website at: https://www.skiphop.com/

Connect with Skip Hop on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkipHop
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/skiphopnyc/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/skiphop/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skiphop




May 25, 2015

Miles from Tomorrowland: Runaway Shuttle Disney Junior Appisode Review

Thank you to the sponsor for providing a gift card to redeem for the purchase of the app.

About Miles from Tomorrowland: Runaway Shuttle
• Calling all cosmic explorers! Check out the brand new Miles “Runaway Shuttle” Appisode and help the Callisto family rescue a trapped pilot before his ship crashes into Jupiter's fiery moon!
• With so many Appisodes available, we have an all new design to help you find, download and play your favorites!
• As always, we are committed to fixing those pesky little bugs to help get you back to tapping, tilting and swiping with your favorite Disney Junior Characters!

My younger kids love the Disney Junior Appisodes App, and since they already enjoy the Miles from Tomorrowland TV show and were familiar with the characters, they were excited to try out the new Miles from Tomorrowland: Runaway Shuttle Appisode!

Whether it was helping put Miles' visor on with a swipe, racing around the stellosphere by pressing a button, or swiping upwards to help and travel at top speed, there were so many cool ways my kids could help out the Miles from Tomorrowland characters.


My youngest son did have difficulty at times (e.g. when it came time to connecting the stars in the star map, or navigating through space junk), but he had so much fun playing with the app.

The story itself, about a runaway ice cream shuttle, was entertaining, and the many interactive features and awesome graphics made the app very engaging.

My kids even learned about different constellations!

Miles from Tomorrowland for Disney Junior Appisodes App can be purchased by clicking here.

May 22, 2015

Reebok Spartan Race Memorial Day Discount and Free Race Code Giveaway

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.

Our events challenge the familiar, today’s perception of normal living and getting you out of your comfort zone! At Spartan Race, we do this everyday and it shapes everything we do.

Having experienced many different racing events, we wanted to make adventure racing more accessible to everyone, but do not be fooled by the word ‘accessible,’ as our events have a challenge for everyone’s needs.

Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.
You can save big on your next Spartan Race!  Use code MEMORIAL to get $20 off Sprint, $30 off Super, $40 off Beast. Valid for Continental US Only, excludes Hawaii. Cannot be retroactively applied or combined with any other offers including GovX. Not valid for Elite, Kid's Race, or Spectator tickets. Expires 05/27/15 11:59 pm ET.

Win: One lucky winner will receive a free race code good for a 2015 Spartan Race in an open heat (non-confirmed start time) in the continental US.

  • To enter, comment on why you'd like to win.
  • You’ll get one extra entry each if you do any of the following (be sure to leave a comment for each “entry”):
  • 1)Follow me on Bloglovin ("new" and "existing" followers eligible)
  • 2)Subscribe to my feed via RSS or email ("new" and "existing" subscribers eligible)
  • 3)Follow me on Instagram ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your user name in your comment)
  • 4)Follow me on Twitter ("new" and "existing" followers eligible; leave your Twitter name in your comment)
  • 5)Tweet this giveaway--you may tweet once per day based on HST (leave the link in your comment) 
  • The deadline for entries is June 5, 2015 11:59pm HST.
  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.  
  • If you submitted an eligible entry and it is chosen by random.org as the winner, you will be notified via email on or about June 6, 2015 (make sure your email address is in your profile or comment and  be sure to check your junk/spam, etc. folders) and will have 3 days to respond.
  • Valid for US addresses only. 
  • By entering in this giveaway, you have read and agreed to Sage and Savvy’s Terms of Use.
    Good luck!


Thank you to the sponsor for providing the product for giveaway free of charge. Click here for my disclosure policy.

May 12, 2015

ChicWrap Review: A Time Saving Kitchen Tool

Complimentary product was received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own.


Wrapping food is a cinch with ChicWrap!

I'll tell you a secret.  My husband hates clutter on our kitchen counter tops, but he hasn't complained once about my new ChicWrap dispenser that has been sitting discreetly on the counter for almost two weeks.  The ChicWrap dispenser is so quick and easy to use.  I love it! 

The sunflower design fits right in while brightening my kitchen space.

Feeding a family of four, we have constant left overs and using the ChicWrap dispenser makes wrapping leftovers super easy.  It also prevents waste by keeping foods fresh longer and saves on dish washing time since I no longer use ziplocs to store food and have to reheat food in a new dish.

I used to avoid plastic wrap because I could never quite get it to wrap as tightly as I wanted, but the ChicWrap refillable plastic wrap dispenser comes with a 250 foot roll of professional grade plastic wrap.  You will definitely be able to see how strong and durable the plastic wrap is compared to household plastic wrap. 


Most importantly, I used to be afraid of cutting my hand on the sharp edge of the plastic wrap box, but with ChicWrap's signature ZipSafe Button there's no need to worry.  I even trust my kids around it.  Another great feature of the ChicWrap dispenser is that it has rubber feet to keep it stable when in use.

ChicWrap also offers dispensers for aluminum foil and parchment.  The ChicWrap dispenser is a welcomed addition to my kitchen.  It's a kitchen tool that has made a busy life a little easier.


About ChicWrap and the Allen Reed Company:

The Allen Reed Company was founded in 1992 by Ian Kaiser and Sean Neiberger. The Company became known in the food service industry for its innovative products for dispensing and cutting plastic wrap. Now the Company has turned its attention to the "Retail Housewares Industry". "We have been extremely successful providing safe, easy-to-use solutions for professional chefs throughout the United States. We've now applied this knowledge to creating innovative products for the home," said Neiberger. Plastic wrap is the most economical food storage option with more than 80 million boxes sold each year throughout the United States. "We focused our efforts on changing the way consumers dispense and cut plastic wrap in their homes, with an emphasis on simplicity," says Kaiser. "We call our approach 'Disruptive Innovation' because of the way our products have completely changed industries for the better."

The Allen Reed Company has been immersed in the world of plastic wrap for more than 22 years. "We have always dreamed of taking our institutional knowledge and building better products for the consumer housewares market," added Neiberger. The Allen Reed Company has already left its innovative stamp on the housewares market with the introduction of ChicWrap, The World's Best Plastic Wrap & Dispenser, in 2013. The Company has now introduced two exciting new line extension products, ChicWrap Foil and ChicWrap Parchment. "We believe there's tremendous opportunity to redesign everyday products for the home that significantly improve on their functionality while making a dramatic visual statement with the packaging," said Kaiser. The Company has several other innovative consumer products that will be launched in the near future.

In 1994, the Allen Reed Company invented the first-ever safe metal cutting blade for commercial plastic wrap boxes. Each year, the Company sells more than 10 million of its patented cutting blade to the largest plastic wrap manufacturers in the US. In addition to the Company's patented metal cutting blade business, the Allen Reed Company also invented and won patents in the US, Canada and Australia for the ZipSafe Slide Cutter, once again changing the way the food service industry cuts plastic wrap. ZipSafe provided users with complete safety and ease of use when cutting plastic wrap. ZipSafe quickly became a "must have" product for professional chefs worldwide. "Using our ZipSafe Slide Cutter along with our extensive knowledge and experience in the world of plastic wrap, we created ChicWrap," said Kaiser. "We used the finest, most durable materials available to create a very easy-to-use dispenser with unique and appealing packaging graphics that have broad consumer appeal". ChicWrap has become a very recognized and widely accepted brand that not only represents high quality, but unmatched functionality. Consumers have expressed amazement at how quick and easy it is to cut a piece of plastic wrap to wrap food or cover a bowl.


 

May 6, 2015

Take Cover This Summer! Coolibar Sun Hat Review

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own. 




My kids love the pool and the beach and living in Hawaii we are lucky that great beach conditions exist pretty much year round.  However, this mom knows about the harmful effects of sun exposure and if she had her way, she’d keep her children indoors between the hours of 10am and 2pm every day.  But that’s not very realistic (especially on vacation) so I slather on the sunscreen and dress the kids in SPF treated rash guards and swim suits.

I usually don’t go into the water with them and if there’s no shade, there is no relief from the blazing hot sun.  With summer fast approaching, I realized that I needed a sun hat.  I received Coolibar’s Shapeable Poolside Sun Hat just before I left for the Big Island where I planned to lounge at the resort’s pool and beach.  I was so excited to take my hat along with me.



Coolibar’s Shapeable Poolside Sun Hat is made with a lightweight, breathable polyester weave and is rated UPF 50+ which means it will block 98% of the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation.  I liked the oversized look of the hat because it gave a lot of coverage, but it was also shapeable for a glamorous and fun look.




The hat traveled well and was very easy to pack.  It’s windy in Hawaii so I appreciated the adjustable chin strap.  I took it with me to both the pool and the beach that weekend and I loved the shade it provided.  I also noticed many women wearing sun hats.  I regret waiting so long to take cover under a hat, but I look forward to using it from now on!  



May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.  Throughout May, Coolibar is giving the American Cancer Society $1 for every order placed.  As an added incentive, they are also offering 15% off the entire order using the code ACS15 so get yourself covered this summer!  

 Here are some tips from Coolibar for outdoor enthusiasts to stay protected from harmful UV radiation:

·      Wear lightweight moisture wicking sun-protective clothing. T-shirts are NOT adequate protection against UV rays. Along with the UPF 50+ rating in your clothing, it¹s important to wear moisture wicking clothing so you don¹t overheat.

·      A wide-brim hat is a must for golfers, walkers and spectators and provides extra coverage to the neck and shoulders, areas that often get more sun exposure. Every inch of hat brim can lower your lifetime risk of skin cancer by 10%. For runners, choose lightweight hats that cover the top of the head and neck.

·      When possible, avoid outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun¹s UV radiation is most intense.

·      Keep sunscreen and a hat in your sports/gym bag so they are always available. Use a golf umbrella for shade when walking or waiting.

·      Remember to reapply your sunscreen every every two hours, or more often if sweating or swimming. Use sport sunscreen so it doesn¹t run and irritate your eyes.

·      Wear sunglasses. In addition to protecting eyes from UV exposure, another cancer risk, the right sunglasses offer impact protection, and reduce reflection on the road, field or course.

 About Coolibar:  Coolibar is the most recommended and tested sun protective clothing company in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, the company was founded in 2001 to bring Australia¹s world-leading approaches to sun protection to the American market and beyond by producing and selling sun protective apparel for active families through catalog and online. Dedicated to the highest quality sun protective clothing, hats and accessories, Coolibar guarantees UPF 50+ ratings for the life of their garments.  Each garment is developed with sun protection as the number one priority with a full line of proprietary SUNTECT® fabrics. Coolibar has been recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Melanoma International Foundation for effective sun protection. Coolibar Cares, the company¹s giving back initiative, supports programs such as SunAWARE, School Sun Hat program, Doctor Connect, the AAD Camp Discovery for sun sensitive children as well as athlete sponsorships and product donations. For information about Coolibar, go to
www.coolibar.com or call 1-800-926-6509. You can also follow us on Facebook Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own. 

May 5, 2015

National Burger Month Arrives at Morton's The Steakhouse

Photo Credit: Landry's, Inc.


In honor of National Burger Month in May, Morton’s The Steakhouse locations will offer foodie enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the mouth-watering Million Dollar Burger with a glass of Stag’s Leap Winery, ‘The Investor”, Napa Valley. This delectable pairing is only $39 and available in the bar area all day.

Morton’s came into existence today because of its fantastic burgers. Years ago, before co-founders Arnie Morton and Klaus Fritsch really knew one other, they both were employed at the Playboy Club in Montreal. The club was updating their menu, so Klaus cooked a new type of burger for Arnie to try. After taking one bite, Arnie stated that it was the best burger he had ever eaten. From that day forward, they nicknamed Morton’s Prime Burger the “Million-Dollar Hamburger.”

For this special, Morton’s has enhanced this classic dish and created a new menu item called the Million Dollar Burger. The dish features everything from the traditional burger with the addition of decadent foie gras, black truffle butter and braised short ribs all on a tasty brioche bun.

Now more than 3 decades later, Morton’s The Steakhouse has grown to over 70 locations worldwide and is the same today as it was when they opened doors to their first restaurant in Chicago in 1978. Morton’s commitment to excellence is unwavering and is showcased in each menu item through the careful preparation and quality ingredients. Whether gathering with friends or enjoying a business dinner, Morton’s guests have come to expect remarkable service and reliable experiences that keep them coming back for more. For more information on Morton’s The Steakhouse, please visit www.mortons.com.

April 21, 2015

Splash into Summer Savings at The Wigwam

Located in the affluent community of Litchfield Park, just 15 miles west of downtown Phoenix, The Wigwam is offering hot summer deals and cool activities for kids (and adults!) of all ages. Families have been creating memories at The Wigwam for decades and the fun continues this summer with room rates starting at $99 per night and new glow-in-the-dark games, zoo animals, and more!

³Summer is a fantastic time to visit our resort to take advantage of the low room rates and a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy while staying cool,² states George McGann, vice president managing director of The Wigwam. ³We look forward to welcoming locals and summer visitors seeking a memorable vacation getaway.²

Travelers can take advantage of The Wigwam¹s special summer deals including the Summer Splash Package with rates starting at just $99*. Guests enjoy unlimited daily golf at Wigwam Golf Club for the price of a single round (kids under 17 years old golf free with a paying adult). Chill poolside with discounted cabana rentals for $50 Sunday-Thursdayand $75 on Friday and Saturday. Children ages four and younger eat free in Litchfield¹s and Red¹s Bar & Grill with a paid adult entree per child. Valid for stay dates May 25 to ­Sept. 10. Promo code: SPLASH15.

Other deals include the Summerscapes Package with rates starting at $129*, which includes a $50 resort credit per paid night per room. Valid for stay dates May 25­ to Sept. 10. Promo code: SMRSCAPES. Rates for the 3 2 1 Summer Fun Package start at $179*. Valid for stay dates June 1­Sept. 10; two-night minimum with a $10 resort fee. Promo code:321SMR15.

*Restrictions apply. All packages are subject to availability and blackout dates including but not limited to holidays and holiday weekends. Tax and $22 resort fee are not included in package rate.

Children will enjoy barreling down dual 25-foot water slides and have a splashing good time with underwater treasure hunts and the resort splash pad. Kids also can enjoy their own in-room teepees for sleeping and entertainment for $25 per night. In addition, The Wigwam is debuting a variety of new summer programming including:  

  • Character Breakfasts ­ Every Saturday at Red¹s Bar & Grill, kids will delight in The Wigwam¹s character breakfast and have the chance to meet their favorite characters like Anna and Elsa, Tinkerbell and Peter Pan, Cinderella and the fairy godmother, Superman and Wonder Woman, and more. Plus, they can take part in face painting, balloon twisting, story time, archery lessons and super hero training. The price is $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-12 and includes the traditional Red¹s Breakfast Buffet (open to locals and resort guests).
  • Wildlife World Zoo Animal Encounters ­ Every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Zoo educators from the Wildlife World Zoo will bring animals to The Wigwam to educate children with a fun and interactive presentation. Kids will learn where the animals come from, their habitat, unique characteristics and more.  This event is complimentary for resort guests. 
  • Family Game Nights ­ Every night from 6-8 p.m. during the summer months, kids and adults can join in on the fun with games like Glow Bowling, Lawn Yahtzee, Giant Pick Up Sticks, Life size Jenga, Battleship, Cornhole, Ping Pong, and more. As the sun sets on Friday nights, The Wigwam will roll out the red carpet for movie night on a 12-foot screen.
  • Glow Movie Nights ­ On Saturday nights, the resort will come aglow with glow-in-the-dark cotton candy, glow bowling, glow ring toss, and glowing inner tubes to sit in for dive-in movies at the pool.

April 20, 2015

The National Aquarium in Baltimore Says It’s OK to Touch a Jellyfish in Latest Exhibit, Opening May 12

Visitors in Baltimore can expect a new hands-on exploratory experience at the National Aquarium’s latest exhibit Living Seashore starting May 12. 
As one of only a few exhibits in the country to allow direct interaction with jellyfish, the Living Seashore exhibit will take guests on a journey beyond the crashing waves and sandy beaches and into the ever-changing Mid-Atlantic seashore to explore the variety of marine life all within arm’s reach.
The interactive exhibit features two touch pools where visitors will be greeted by the National Aquarium’s interpreters and invited to touch a variety of animals, including  Atlantic stingrays, horseshoe crabs and of course moon jellies. The exhibit also brings the beach’s hidden treasures to eye level, where guests will discover, touch and learn about hermit crabs, shell fragments and egg cases on the discovery wall. Guests will also have the opportunity to look for clues on a digital multi-touch table, learning about objects that wash up on the beach.
The $5.5 million exhibit was built as part of a continued effort to promote conservation, in this case focusing on the animals and plants that share the beach with us humans.  Guests will also have the opportunity to pledge to protect aquatic treasures and similar habitats on the digital “Shore Hero Conservation Station.”  This exhibit follows the addition of Blacktip Reef, a $12.5 million Indo-Pacific reef exhibit that opened about two years ago and the first and largest of several major renovations to come at the National Aquarium. 
For more information about the National Aquarium and other award-winning exhibits like the Blacktip Reef, visit www.aqua.org.  

April 17, 2015

The Beginning of Blurb

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Like many great companies before it, Blurb was actually started by accident. In the early 2000s, Eileen Gittins, Blurbs' Founder, rekindled a passion for photography while trying to figure out her next career gig.

She wanted to compile her photos into a nice coffee table photo book, but she only wanted to print a handful of copies. The conundrum was that every publisher was quoting her hundreds of dollars for each book! She found this curious – and frustrating. So she asked herself, are there other people like me who want to affordably create their own high-quality book from their photos? The answer, of course, was yes, and it changed her life – and book publishing – forever.

In 2006, Eileen launched Blurb, a simple book-designing platform and a publishing process that could quickly produce beautifully made books at game-changing price.



Everyone from award-winning photographers, to couples wanting to commemorate the birth of their child started using Blurb – and they continue to do so today. Even after almost a decade, people are still blown away by Blurb’s user-friendliness, quality, and affordability. People trust Blurb to create every kind of book imaginable, including:

Blurb doesn’t just help people make books and magazines, they also help market them by providing publishers with their own dedicated sales page. Blurb’s dedicated sales pages allows authors to:
  • Make their book or magazine available to the public or by invitation-only
  • Write a compelling book description
  • Customize a preview of their book
  • Share their book with others on social media
Blurb also created their publishing platform to work seamlessly with Amazon and Apple iBooks Store so authors would have even more options for how they sell their books.

There are so many remarkable things to share about Blurb – too much for just one post! So keep an eye out for next week’s post because I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Blurb tools and tips -- which, if you’re like me, will leave you thinking … “I didn’t know Blurb could do all that!”

Now through 4/28 you can get 20% off any book you create! Can’t wait to see what kind of book you create! Click here to get started!

April 13, 2015

Celsius Flo Fusion Pre-Workout Energy Drink Review

Comes in two flavors:  Orange and Berry



The Day Before Day 1:  I was so excited to receive Celsius Flo Fusion pre-workout formula in the mail!  I couldn't wait to try the energy drink that would help boost my metabolism with its combination of Green Tea with EGCG, Ginger, Calcium, Chromium, B vitamins, and vitamin C.  I could do this!  I am going to work out every day!  

The last two months of 2014 had me overindulging and at the end of the first quarter of the year, I was still trying to get back to my pre-holiday weight.  

Day 1 (almost quitting time):  I am SO tired.  I am going to pick up dinner and take a nap when I get home.
 
As you can see, I have little discipline when it comes to exercise.  It's always on my list of things to do, but with two kids and a full time job...and a serious obsession with baking and good eats...it's low on the priority list.  But I've always been curious about energy drinks and thought this would be a good time to try one.  My weight loss from the last 3 months had pretty much plateaued and I hoped that the energy drink would give me the boost I needed or at least the energy to keep exercising instead of passing out during bedtime stories with the kids.

After a quick nap, I had my first serving of Flo Fusion.  I mixed the berry flavor into about 12 ounces of iced water.  The smell reminded me of Kool-Aid.  While it didn't taste as sweet as Kool-Aid, it was refreshing and a little bubbly.  I tried drinking it all before my workout, but found what worked better for me was to drink the last half during my workout.  I definitely felt I had more energy and it took me through a longer workout.  I also had the energy (without the feelings of being tired) to prepare dinner, clean, and do the laundry.  I didn't feel any side effects and I didn't have a difficult time falling asleep.  I took the serving at the recommended minimum of 5 hours before bedtime.

Day 2

I have zero intention of working out, but I better take a serving to show some effort.  In any case, Flo Fusion has 100% of the daily serving of several vitamins and minerals.  

Turns out Flo Fusion gave me enough energy for a yoga session after the kids went to bed.  I liked that I had enough energy to enjoy my evening with some exercise and then unwind with some Tsum Tsum game time.  I'm usually nodding off way before any of that happens.

Day 3

My friends and I had the brilliant idea to squeeze in a hike to Lanikai in Kaiula before our children's weekend sports activities so we had to leave Mililani before sunrise.  I made sure to take with me my serving of Flo Fusion because I knew it would keep me alert on my long drive and not upset my stomach like coffee sometimes does.


Based on my experiences, I really liked using Flo Fusion.  I feel confident that when I have a serving before my workout, it will give me the energy to complete it.  Lack of motivation and energy are my usual workout thwarters so now that I have the energy, it's been easier to stay motivated to exercise.  Flo Fusion is a product that I will continue to use to help me with my fitness goals.

Complimentary product received for review purposes.  All opinions are entirely my own.
 




April 8, 2015

Branch Basics - The Power of Pure

There are thousands of cleaning products on the market. Some are the oldies and full of chemicals but highly effective and toxic, some are "green" and high priced.  I've tried many, and my chief complaint for all of them is the smell.  Even the "green" cleaners that are supposedly "all natural", have a smell to them that makes me think "this has to be toxic!"

Not only does the smell of these cleaners bother me, but it also bothers me that there is a different product for different tasks.  There is a glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaner, dish cleaner, etc.  You know what I mean, and I'll bet you have a nice collection of various cleaners underneath your kitchen sink like I do.

Thanks to Branch Basics, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on various cleaning products that clutter your cabinets and are toxic to your senses and kids.  All you need is one bottle of THE CONCENTRATE, BPA-free Branch Basics spray bottles, and water. 




The secret is Branch Basics' premium quality, all natural soap which is called The Concentrate.  It is made with water, coconut oil, minerals and enzymes from edible and seed-bearing plants, and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda!).  Best of all, it's fragrance free!


The Concentrate


One 12 ounce bottle of Concentrate makes 112 cleaning bottles.  Can you believe that?



Why are there different spray bottles and only one bottle of Concentrate?  I was very puzzled by this when my spray bottles and Concentrate arrived in the mail. After reading the labels on each of the spray bottles, I discovered that they all used just one single product - The Concentrate.  The only difference is how much water you use to dilute the Concentrate.

Bathroom Cleaner on the left, All-Purpose Cleaner on the Right. The Bathroom cleaner utilizes more Concentrate and less water than the All-Purpose Cleaner.
Here's how it works.  Let's make Bathroom cleaner.  Pick this bottle:



Fill the bottle to the "water" line on the label




Fill with Concentrate to the "soap" line on the label 



Top off the bottle SLOWLY with water, screw the nozzle back on, and shake to mix.  You are now ready to clean!  




The Bathroom cleaner did a great job of cleaning the mold from our bathroom sinks and also removed scum and mold from the tile and grout in our shower.  

It even did a great job of removing this mold from our kitchen sink (don't think the Bathroom cleaner can only be used in the Bathroom).

Kitchen sink - BEFORE

Kitchen Sink - AFTER

There is also a spray bottle for "Streak-Free" cleaning. This cleaner only requires ONE DROP of Concentrate! It's great for cleaning glass, windows, and mirrors.  It leaves windows and mirrors streak-free without the ammonia scent that Windex leaves behind.



Since Branch Basics is 100% food-grade and totally free of synthetic chemicals such as dyes, foaming agents, colorants, solvents, and fragrances, it is completely safe for cleaning surfaces that kids normally touch and sometimes lick - like their toys.


The spray bottles are BPA-free, reusable, and attractive enough to keep on the counter.




Also available is a handy 2 ounce All-Purpose Cleaner that you can conveniently carry in your purse, diaper bag, or backpack and is very useful for cleaning hands and surfaces on-the-go.  You can also use it as a stain-remover!

The 2 ounce All-Purpose Spray bottle is re-usable and comes in handy when you need to wipe down sticky high chairs and tables, or when you're at a restroom that has empty soap dispensers.


While Branch Basics works excellent in the usual places like kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, showers, and mirrors, it can also be used as a laundry detergent, hand soap, stain remover, wood floors, and even baby soap!

If you aren't convinced yet, here are more reasons to use Branch Basics:

  • Human Safe
  • Non-GMO
  • Biodegradable
  • Hypo-Allergenic
  • No Pesticides
  • Preservative-Free
  • Cruelty-Free & Vegan
  • Gluten-Free

It is also economical, since you are replacing virtually your entire fleet of cleaners with one simple product that goes a long way.

For more information on Branch Basics, or to order your Starter Kit, click HERE.

BRANCH BASICS
Website: https://branchbasics.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BranchBasics
Instagram: https://instagram.com/branchbasics/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BranchBasics

Complimentary product received for review purposes. 


 
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