Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oregon Soap Company

 I received an assortment of soaps from Oregon Soap Company for review. These soaps are certified organic and handcrafted.
 I received two fragrances from the  Castile Soap line. Castile Soaps are very versatile. You can:
Apply directly in hand or wash cloth for bathing. Add 1 oz for washing clothes in machine. Add one squirt to hot water for dishes of cleaning home surfaces.

 Clary Sage and Fir Castile smells like walking into the forest after a rain. Beautiful.

Citrus Sunshine Castile has an aroma of just plain clean. It is "like sunshine in a bottle"

Remember for every five gallons sold Oregon Soap Company will plant one native plant or tree. Now that is giving back.

 Forest Bar is Oregon Soap Company's most popular face soap and I can see why. It, like all the rest of the bars, lathers well and leaves you feeling very clean.

Cedar and sage take you back to the high desert forest, bringing the great outdoors home to the shower. Extra oatmeal and bran make this very exfoliating.

 French Clay and Geranium Bar is a bar that leaves you silky smooth . Those with Rosecea swear by this bar.

Clays are great for detoxifying skin

Lavender Oatmeal Bar has one of my favorite scents, lavender.  This bar is good for all skin types so everyone can enjoy this lovely scent.

Gently exfoliating for dry skin

Mama Mia's Eczema Relief Bar feels great on my dry skin. I do not need any lotion after using this bar. There is no real scent with this  soap.

Mama Mia's soap was born in 1998, when I wanted to create a soap that reminded me of traveling in Italy. After a few weeks of selling it, people with eczema started showing up and telling me amazing, sometimes life changing stories about how well this soap worked for them. One woman stopped me in the grocery store one day and tole me about her 12 year old son who had severe eczema on his arms all of his life--after about a week of using Mama Mia's soap, his arms were cleared up! Of course, it works different for everybody- others have reported that it didn't clear up their eczema, but that it didn't irritate it and make it worse either. In any case, it's probably worth a try! Rosemary and Lavender essential oils combine to make this one of our most popular soaps

  For the bars Oregon Soap Company plants a tree or native plant for each ten bars sold!

Lavender & Geranium Foamer Again we already know I love lavender. This foaming wonder does not disappoint in the fragrance department. Heavenly scented and gets ya clean easily too.

 Got Bliss? This soothing and balancing blend just might take you there. Sunflower Suds is made from organic oils which are rich in vitamins and contain natural emollients known to soothe the skin. Our formula will leave your skin feeling renewed and balanced. 

 Ginger Grapefruit Foaming Hand Soap has an uplifting smell. I really like this one. The grapefruit helps cut grease and grime as well. These babies have about 325 pumps per bottle. That'll keep ya clean awhile.

 Who doesn't like the smell of fresh grated ginger and grapefruit? Sunflower Suds is made from organic oils which are rich in vitamins and contain natural emollients known to soothe the skin. Our formula will leave your skin feeling renewed and balanced.
Oregon Soap Company will plant one native plant or tree for every five gallons sold.
The folks at Oregon Soap Company have a mission to help the environment:

Here at the Oregon Soap Company, we've dedicated ourselves to leaving the Earth cleaner than we found it. In partnership with Friends Of Trees and Trees for the Future, we have planted over 18,000 trees and other native plants since November 2007. Thanks for your help!

Want to keep up with all things Oregon Soap Company? You can like em on Facebook, follow em on Twitter, check out the Soapman's blog and sign up for their newsletter.

Ready to buy? Head on over to Oregon Soap Company and get ya some. Want to find some of these great soaps near you? You can see a list of retailers here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Ultimate Appetizers Book: More than 450 No-Fuss Nibbles and Drinks Plus simple party planning tips

  I was sent a copy of Better Homes and Gardens "The Ultimate Appetizers Book: More than 450 No-Fuss Nibbles and Drinks Plus simple party planning tips" from Wiley. Wiley sells a number of amazing cookbooks for use in the home or the classroom. They also sell numerous books in other subjects from agriculture to world languages.

 The Ultimate Appetizers Book: More than 450 No-Fuss Nibbles and Drinks Plus simple party planning tips is an amazing collection of appetizing recipes for entertaining. And Y'all they are so easy.

 I love this cookbook, not only is it filled with mouthwatering recipes it has all these great ideas and tips for hosting the best parties ever. Bring on the appetizers. There are so many creative serving suggestions, unique ideas for what to use for serving trays etc...

The Ultimate Appetizers has party menus that will knock your socks off. Did I mention the drinks? The Ultimate Appetizers book even tells you what you need to have on hand for the ultimate bar at your party or event.

 Dips, meatballs, wings, seafood and many more recipes are included. I love that each section of the book is color coded for easy access to your favorite recipes.

The Ultimate Appetizers is printed in full color with pictures of what I'd say is a good half or more of the recipes. i like it when my cookbooks have pictures.

The first recipe we tried out was "Sugar and Spice Pecans' these are super simple to make and absolutely delicious. The instructions and ingredients are clearly laid out for each recipe.As you can see these turned out fabulous. The flavor is wonderful. I honestly can't believe how easy they were to prepare

Description from Wiley's site:
With The Ultimate Appetizer Book, you'll find the perfect morsels and drinks in one incredible compendium!  
No matter what your party style is-casual, dressy, or just plain fun-nothing says "party" like tasty appetizers! The third book in the Ultimate series, following The Ultimate Cookie Book and The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book, this unique recipe collection features more than 450 recipes for everything from super quick dips and snack mixes to elegant pastries and bite-size sweets-all guaranteed to entice any crowd. More than just a collection of recipes, this book is packed with hundreds of inspiring full-color photos and provides all the tools you need to throw a fabulous bash, including helpful hints in on creative presentation ideas, themed party menus using the recipes in the book, lists of versatile ingredients to keep in the pantry, and make-ahead directions to make planning a breeze.
  • More than 450 party foods and drinks range from classics and basics, to fun, creative delights
  • Recipes include prep times and make-ahead directions to help with planning, inventive ideas on flavor variations, and nutritional analysis
  • With over 300 full-color photographs throughout and a bold, colorful design, this is the ultimate appetizer recipe collection, as beautiful as it is practical, and in an affordable, value package
Want to keep up with all things Wiley? you can sign up for their newsletter. Ready to buy? Head on over to Wiley and check out their extensive collection.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Soda Stream

  I was blessed to get a chance to review Soda Stream. This is a n amazing new device that helps reduce waste in our landfills by allowing you to make your own soda at home. Well I guess it even saves gasoline cuz you don't have to drive to the store all the time when your kids and their friends drink all your soda. I know, I know, you say just keep more in the house I say that takes up alot of space on the counter or in the pantry. With Soda Stream this is not a problem. Even the small flavor containers make the equivalent of 33- 12 oz cans.
 Soda Stream allows you to turn ordinary tap water into soda right at home. They have so many flavor options there is sure to be something for everyone. Even your most particular guests will find something they like. One thing I like alot is that a 8 fl oz glass of most flavors is only 35 calories.
 I was given the fountain jet to try out. This baby is sleek looking and really easy to use. I would not however let children operate the machine because it does have a CO2 bottle for carbonation which if not used properly could be a problem. Make sure to follow the directions included with the model you purchase.

 Did I mention how good Soda Stream is for the environment? Check out this video that show how much better it is to use Soda Stream than to keep buying and throwing away bottles and cans:

 I told y'all that Soda Stream has alot, I mean alot of flavor choices. Lets take a look at a few of them:

First one I tried was Cran Raspberry- It is very good. The cranberry and raspberries blend very well together . I actually love the after taste of this flavor.

 Next one we tried was The Energy Drink-It tastes like those store bought energy drinks. Hubby says this one is really good.

We also tested Black Currant Pear Sparkling Naturals- I have never tried black currants before so this one intrigued me. It has a distinct flavor that I can't quite describe. I assume that is the Black Currant. This drink has is kinda tart, kinda sweet with a hint of pear flavor. All in all I like it.

 There are so many more flavors you can check the rest out here.

They have several machine options to choose from.
Fountain Jet

Not sure which one is right for you? check out this helpful chart.

Want to keep up with all things Soda Stream? You can like em on Twitter  check out Ms Fizz's Blog and follow em on Facebook.

Ready to buy? You can head over to Soda Stream and they will set you up, or check out their store locator to find a Soda Stream near you.

Aurorae Yoga

 Aurorae yoga mats sent over their Northern Lights Sunset Yoga Mat for me to test. This is a really nice yoga mat. I opened up the package and immediately noticed the size. It is a bit wider and quite a bit longer than my old mat. This mat is made from Eco Safe and biodegradable material / SGS approved, world's largest testing agency.

The mat is thinner than my old one but seem denser. You know you can't feel the floor so much through it. Not like overly fluffy just the perfect feel for yoga. I love this mat. It is super comfortable for all yoga postions. With the added length you do not have to repositionyourself all the time to stay on the mat either.

 The Northen Lights Mat does not come with a carrying strap or a way to  kepp it closed. This is not a problem however because it seems to stay rolled up quite nicely.

 Auroae also sent me one of their slip free rosin bags. This little guy is really nice. Just a light pat on the hands and no problems with slippage during your poses. This is especially important if you tend to perspire during your routine.


Aurorae yoga mats include illuminating colors, focal point icon, extra long and extra thick yoga mats as well as yoga bags, and yoga accessories.  Browse their best reviewed yoga mats, yoga bags and yoga accessories for all your yoga needs.


Green Toad Paint System

 The Green Toad sent me over their Complete Green Toad Paint System for review. The Green Toad has revolutionized painting with their 360 degree pivoting handle.

  My husband is totally in love with this paint system. He is actually looking forward to repainting our  new house when we move. Wow, yes he actually wants to paint. The handle is in an excellent position for all those edging situations no one wants to do. With the new position your wrist doesn't hurt. It seems to be a more natural position than the straight handled brush. When you need to change brush accessories it is simple with the easy release brush heads. Even the rollers are great. I do wish there was an extension piece for the roller. You know for gettin behind stuff like the water heater etc... and for doing  the top of walls and for ceilings

This innovative painting system comes with all these great pieces:

 Description from The Green Toad website:

Our products are biodegradable and compostable. Whatever disposal method you use, you can be sure that you are being a responsible steward of the environment.The Green Toad System is environmentally friendly. All plastics including the bristles have been treated with our patented Earthgreen™ polymer which renders all plastic parts biodegradable and compostable.

 My husband wanted me to included a pic to show how comfortable the grip is to use. Y'all remember the handle pivots 360 degrees to help paint at any angle. This is fantastic for those hard to reach places.

 Want to keep up with all things Green Toad? You can follow em on Twitter and like em on Facebook.

 Ready to buy? head on over to The Green Toad and get yourself a set and maybe one for a friend too.

Pretzels Crisps

 Let me tell y'all about Pretzel Crisps. They sent me a package of each of their Deli Style flavors for review.
 These are not your ordinary pretzels. they are flat and crispy like a chip , but they are tasty, healthy and yes they are pretzels. Descriptions in italics are from the Pretzel Crisp website.

  First up was Everything. This is a unique pretzel that is packed full of the flavors of poppy and sesame seeds as well as garlic and onions. Each ingredient shows up in the taste.

Our EVERYTHING flavor, sprinkled generously with  poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onions and garlic with just a pinch of salt,  more than lives up to its name. Packed with flavor, baked, not fried.  EVERYTHING PRETZEL CRISPS® deliver great taste without the guilt. Delicious with nearly every spread, they’re diversely dippable, and just as satisfying by the handful.
One bite and you’ll Rethink Your Pretzel!™

 The next one we tried was Original. It tastes like one of the best pretzels you have ever put in your mouth.
Only 110 calories in  10-11 crisps. 

Perfectly salted ORIGINAL PRETZEL CRISPS® give you  that satisfying, hearty crunch in a versatile shape that’s dippable,  spreadable, and deliciously snackable. With great gourmet taste from  naturally wholesome ingredients, it’s the perfect snack anytime!
Try ORIGINAL with salsa, hummus, chili, cheese, peanut butter and all  your favorite dips, or for an off-beat sweet treat, dip ‘em in  chocolate, ice cream or yogurt. The “just right” baked flavor is also a  healthy crunch all by itself.

 Next up was Sesame. It tastes like a really good pretzel with this amazing crunch. The sesame seeds are a nice addition.
The brand new Sesame flavor is lightly toasted to bring  out the sesame seed’s essential oils, adding a healthy kick to Pretzel  Crisps®’ delicious crunch. Sesame seeds are naturally rich in iron,  magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, vitamin B1, E and a good source  of lignans (phytoestrogens with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties).  Health qualities aside, one bite, and you’ll be saying “Open Sesame,”  again and again!

Garlic Parmesan tastes like crunchy garlic toast. The family really likes this one.
Deli-Style GARLIC PARMESAN PRETZEL CRISPS® are a  zingy twist on an old favorite, with great gourmet taste from naturally  wholesome ingredients. The best part of the pretzel – that satisfying  flavor and crunch – is crispy thin and baked with a light, savory garlic  flavor for big flavor in a light, crispy snack. Enjoy them straight from the bag, or dip your crisp into a hummus or creamy cheese dip.

The last one we tasted was Buffalo Wing. It has true buffalo wing flavor. A little spicy but not enough to knock you down.
Our Buffalo Wing flavor is a crowd pleaser! Everyone  loves the spicy flavor sprinkled right on top of each crisp. Try  Buffalo Wing with ranch dip, blue cheese dressing, cheddar or cream  cheese spreads, and as a zesty partner for celery sticks.
Or, enjoy the “just right” baked flavor as a hearty crunch all by itself!!

 Want to keep up with all things Pretzels Crisps you can like em on Facebook, sign up for their newsletter and follow em on Twitter. Get this y'all they even have a recipe page.

 Ready to buy? Head on over to the Pretzel Crisps online store or this great page that show where you can buy em near you.

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

  Y'all  want to check out a great new movie this summer? This one is for the entire family. Relativity’s  upcoming film Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, stars Heather  Graham and up-and-coming actress Jordana Beatty. 
 The film is based on  the extremely popular book series by Megan McDonald.
 The movie chronicles Judy Moody’s (Jordana Beatty) adventures when she  sets out to have the most thrilling summer of her life with the help of  her little brother Stink (Parris Mosteller) and fun-loving Aunt Opal  (Heather Graham). The script, penned by Kathy Waugh (Peep and the Big Wide World) and  Megan McDonald, is based on the characters in McDonald’s popular  children’s book series, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds and published  by Candlewick Press. There are nine adventures in the bestselling  series, with more than 13 million copies in print worldwide, and  translations in 22 languages. McDonald has written a novel inspired by  the film’s script which will be published May 24, 2011.

Directed by
:  John Schultz
Written by:  Kathy Waugh and Megan McDonald
Cast:   Jordana Beatty, Heather Graham, Parris Mosteller
Produced by:  Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness
Executive Producers:  Bobbi Sue Luther and Andrew Sugerman
Rating:  PG
Runtime:  91minutes

  When  her best-laid plans for a summer full of fun go comically awry, an  imaginative young girl creates her own vacation adventures in Judy Moody  and the NOT Bummer Summer. Based on the beloved, bestselling book  series by Megan McDonald, Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer is an  irresistible and delightfully funny treat for adventure-loving kids and  adults.
This summer, third grader Judy Moody is planning the most  super-duper, double-rare summer vacation ever with best friends Rocky  and Amy. Except that it turns out Rocky is going to circus camp to learn  to tame lions, and Amy is headed off to Borneo with her mom to save a  lost tribe while Judy stays home with her pesky little brother Stink and  second-best friend Frank Pearl.
Just when she thinks things are as  rotten as they can be, her parents announce that they will be going to  California and Judy will have to stay behind with her Aunt Opal, who  she’s never even met! It looks like Judy’s best summer ever has just  become her way worst summer ever.

  But feisty, fearless and  ever-funny Judy Moody never gives up! With help from some unexpected  sources, she’s headed for a summer full of surprises in this charming  and spirited family film. Get ready, get set, get MOODY!

 Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer arrives in theaters nationwide on June 10, 2011.

 Want to keep up with all things Judy Moody? You can follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Potluck Survival Guide

 Five Star Publications sent me a copy of Potluck Survival Guide Care & Feeding of the Athletic Supporter by Cherie Kimmons for review. I love this cookbook. There are so many amazing recipes for feeding a crowd in this book. It was kinda hard to choose which one to post in the review. I chose Pecan Biscuit Ring from page 59 of the Breakfast section.

 This is a super simple recipe. It would be really hard to mess this one up. Easy enough for weekday breakfast if you take into consideration the 40 bake time. I personally get up early so this is not a problem for me.
 About halfway through the baking time I walked into the kitchen. There was this amazingly homey smell and I thought " This is comfort food".

Pecan Biscuit Ring
  Perfect for those hungry teenagers that always seem to show up hungry. Y'all know what I am talking about. If not (cuz your kids are still young) you will.

 We used real maple syrup in the recipe. Not that maple flavored corn syrup so the ring would not be so incredibly sweet.I am not a big fan of sweets but I have to admit Hubby and I polished off half of the ring in about 10 minutes. This recipe is highly addictive. MMMMMmmmmmm really delicious. I did have to bake it a little longer than the 40 minutes as it was not quite done in the center.

Potluck Survival Guide is another great cookbook from Five Star Publications.

Want to keep up with all things Five Star Publications? You can follow em on Twitter and like em on Facebook .
Ready to buy? head on over to Five Star Publications and get yourself or a friend a copy. They also sell books in numerous other categories like:
Non Fiction
Other Gifts