Monday, January 23, 2012

Elfishki and the Giant Cake Review and #Giveaway

This weekend I downloaded the book Elfishki and the GiantCake from the iTunes store.  I figured the book would be perfect for the 3 year old in my house. Once the book was on my iPad we were off to sit on the couch to test out a new story.
The storyline:
Elfishki and the Giant Cake is a story about Maggie a baker that is tasked with baking a special birthday cake for a party. Maggie has a very special apprentice, a gargoyle that was sprayed with magic potion and brought to life. All of the Elfishki people were invited to celebrate this special birthday.  
On the special day, Maggie and Gargoyle were working hard on getting the cake made. Gargoyle was so overwhelmed that ran into the oven, turning it into a pile of bricks. Maggie was in need of help and fast. Maggie went to Elfizz, the owner of the Chest of Ghosts, a local restaurant,  and a very clever magician that gave Maggie the creeps. They worked together, even with their varying styles and tastes, to create a cake for My Thomas’ Birthday.

My review:
The Book:
After sitting on the couch with a 3 year old reading, playing and interacting with Elfishki and the Giant Cake, I was impressed. The colors are bright and cheery, the sound effects are fun and the interaction ability is great. The way the book is designed, you can interact with each page. Press a button on the screen and it will ask you a question like, “How many goblets are on this page? Or identify all of the round objects on the page.”  There are even hints to explain what a goblet is for the younger kids.  If you press a picture on the screen, the object will move. Touch the bat, he drops his berry, touch Cupid and she shoots her bow! 
The Game:
And if you thought that was plenty to keep your child interested in reading, there is a game feature added. Your child can sit down and make their own version of a birthday cake.  Using objects from Elfizz and Maggie. Once your child has added all of the snails, peppers, and frosting they want, they can take a picture of the cake and email it to a friend!
Anyone that knows me, knows that my household is usually chaotic. My 3 year old is hyperactive to put it nicely. Elfishki and the Giant Cake was a nice way to get him to sit still and truly involved in a book. He had a blast interacting with the story and was more than will to make a cake, or ten, when we were done with the story.

What’s inside:

* educational fairy tale story for kids
* animated pictures
* original music and sound effects
* comprehension questions
* a game to boost children’s imagination and creativity

The Giveaway:
I have a code for 3 lucky readers. Yup, I said 3. This book currently only works with iPads with iOS 4.3 or higher. It is a quick and easy download so get ready to enter.
To qualify for a code, please comment below with the person that you would share this story with. For an extra entry, please follow me publicly on GFC and let me know in a separate comment. The winners will be chosen at random and will be notified by email. This contest is open until January 31, 2012.

The Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Elka Palka Production in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bring them Home Safe! Updated

The boys were located by search and rescue and brought home early evening on January 20th.
Thank you all for your prayers!

Mount Hood is a large recreational area for hikers, skiers, mountain climbers, and the everyday family getaway. Mount Hood has brought many challenges over the years. The local search and rescue teams risk their lives to go out searching for people that are lost or stranded due to unexpected events more often than expected. Some of these rescues end up well, but some do not. The treacherous terrain and inclement weather prevent the use of helicopters most of the time.

This week, a friend of mine said goodbye to her husband as he was walking out the door to go on his annual snow camping trip to Mount Hood. He drove off with his friends and was in contact until January 18th. The last contact, via cell phone, was that he would be heading out at 8:30 am on January 19th to come home.

It is now January 20th and still no word. The local sheriff has determined that they did not make it to the car since there are no foot prints in the snow leading up to the car. Search and rescue teams are heading out this morning to attempt to locate them.The thought right now is that due to the drastic weather that the North West has been having that the decided to go back to the lookout that they were staying in until the weather cleared. There is power in the lookout and they do have cell phones with them.

Please keep these missing hikers in your thought and prayers! Their families want them home safe and do not want to become part of an unnecessary statistic!

** Names have been omitted for the families privacy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Montagne Jeunesse Review

I received a sample of the Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Mud through the Influenster’s VoxBox program. I was very excited to try this out. Who doesn’t like a little pampering every now and then?

Since I had never really heard of the Montagne Jeunesse brand before I received my sample, I looked at the product information supplied by Influenster. Here is what is said.
Montagne Jeunesse beauty treats are free of parabens, vegetarian approved and never tested on animals. So treat yourself today to a masque that will hydrate, nourish and leave your skin cleansed, smooth and glowing. Available at ULTA Beauty, Walgreen’s, Claire’s, Walmart, Kroger, CVS Pharmacies and other retailers across the US, these masques are available in a variety of succulent flavors, including:
  • Cucumber Peel Off
  • Passion Peel Off
  • Dead Sea Mud
  • Fruit Smoothie
  • Strawberry Souffle
  • Chocolate Mud
  • And many more!
I then opened the package and was a little creeped out. There was mud in there! At least that is what it looked like. Okay, so I had to get past the look of the brown goo I was going to put on my face. Once I did, I was starting to feel better. The Chocolate Mud went on easily and it actually smelled clean. After washing off the Chocolate Mud, my face was soft and felt good. My skin did not feel tight or dry.
Overall, I was happy with the product and found that it would make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas. I could buy a few of them and allow the gifts to pamper. I had a lot of fun shopping the different scents at Wal-Mart and stuffing them into stocking for my daughter and sister. There are plenty to choose from so I am sure you can find a variety for everyone you know.

*I received a sample for through Influenster’s VoxBox program. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tide Coldwater Review @shespeaksup #washcold


As a member of SheSpeaks I was sent a bottle of Tide Coldwater to review. Needless to say, I was excited when my bottle of Tide Coldwater showed up in my mailbox. It came at the perfect time too. I had a HUGE pile of clothes that were ready to test it out on.

First of all let me say, I have always had the mentality that clothes don't get clean unless you use warm or hot water. I wouldn't shower in cold water to get clean, it just seems wrong. I just had to get past that mentality. Tide Coldwater is designed for cold water, not warm.

First test, a load of darks. In this load, was muddy grass stained clothes from the 3 year old, and my husbands dark uniform pants for work covered in God knows what. I did everything I could to follow the directions for the first few loads. I carefully measured the laundry soap into the lid and poured it in. Then the hard part came, I switched the washer to use cold water instead of warm. When the load was done, I was very happy with the appearance of my clothes.They were clean, and smelled nice. I cant say they were stain free, but I did not pre-treat any stain in this load. They definitely were barely there, but they were still there.

The second load I tested was even braver than the first. I tossed in some blue jeans and white shirts. We all know that mixing dark colors and whites in the wash is a no-no. I followed the same steps by carefully measuring the Tide Coldwater, making sure the water setting was on cold and off it went.The clothes came out clean and bright, WOW! I was very surprised by the fact that the white shirts did not look gray.

I was not brave enough to mix reds with whites. I could see all of my husbands briefs coming out of the dryer pink if I attempted that. Maybe they wouldn't have, but I think my husband is grateful that I did not attempt it.

There are a couple of advantages to using cold water that you should be aware of. First, using cold water save you money. No hot water heater (gas or electric) to heat the water required. Less energy required also means that it is Future Friendly too.The other reason washing in Coldwater is beneficial is it will preserve the colors in your clothes. Think about it, warm or hot water makes the colors bleed. The cold water prevents that from happening and preserves the colors that we love.

Next time you are in need of laundry soap, grab a small bottle of Tide Coldwater and see what you think. It is available in power and liquid forms and also available in a HE formula.

**Disclaimer: I received compensation and a free bottle of Tide Coldwater from Tide as a member of Shespeaks. All opinions of this product are my own.

Purex Crystals & Jockey Review & #Giveaway Closed

The winner is...... Corinataz. You should have an email in your inbox!

Purex Crystals fabric softener and Jockey sports bras have teamed up for a great giveaway. 

In December, Purex and Jockey sent me a great care package. Inside the box was a bottle of Purex Crystals (Tropical Splash scent) and a Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra to test out, review.

Purex has always made great laundry products. And Purex Crystals have been around for several months. But the "yellow," bottle disappeared from the shelves for a while. Now it is back! Tropical splash is available again for those of us who loved it and lost it for a while. Purex Crystals is a easy to use crystal form of a fabric softener that does not contain oils and is 92% natural. What is the advantage? Liquid fabric softeners with oil, prevent moisture wicking material from working. Oil and water do not attract, they repel each other. So by using Purex Crystals, you can eliminate the oils in your fabric softer and your moisture wicking clothing items will remain effective. Purex Crystals are easy to use too. It as simple as 1, 2, 3. Open the lid, fill the cap to the appropriate level, and toss the contents of the lid (not the lid of course). That is it. Your clothes will come out smelling fresh, static free, and still absorb fluids. And for the mothers out there, removing the oils from your fabric softener will also protect the fire retardants on your children’s sleepwear! 

The Jockey brand has been around for years. In fact, most of us think of mens briefs when we think of Jockey. Well, women, they make items for us too. The Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra is designed for people like you and I. It is designed with support in mind and ideal moisture wicking formula for those workouts that make us sweat. The Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra is:

  • Moisture-wicking sports bra helps keep you cool & dry.
  • Convenient key pocket, take your workouts anywhere!
  • reflective logo at the back
  • breathable mesh panels
  • soft bottom band for comfortable support
  • Fabric Content: 93% Polyester/ 7% Spandex. Lining: 94% Polyester/ 6% Spandex. Machine wash & dry.
  • Giving 20% off right now at  (fill out a small form and they will send you a unique discount code via email)

The Giveaway:
·         Jockey and Purex will be giving one lucky reader their very own Jockey Tech Terry sports bra and a full-size bottle of Tropical Splash Purex Crystals.  Leave a comment below to earn an entry.  The giveaway will end 01/20/2012 at 12:01 AM
·         The winner will need to supply a mailing address and bra size via email. Please do not enter if you are not comfortable providing that information to me via email.

*Disclosure:  Jockey and Purex provided free samples of their products so I could review them and offer the giveaway. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own

Purex UltraPacks Review & giveaway - closed

And the winner is......... kayshem. Congratulations, you should have an email from me soon.

A few weeks ago I received a package of Mountain Breeze UltraPacks from Purex to test out. Living with a 3 year old and a grease monkey means that I have some serious stains on clothes when I do laundry. What living with these two dirty men means to me...I do not have time to spray and pre treat stains every time they get something on their clothes.

I have tried other brand of stain packs and have not been 100% satisfied. They work, but the cost of them adds up fast. When I opened my package of Purex UltraPacks I was a little surprised. They are little gel filled packets. If I knew that they would not break, I would have played with one for a while. They are soft and filled completely with liquid detergent for an added boost of stain fighting power.

The test come when I washed my first load of chocolate milk, mud covered, grass stained clothes from the 3 year old. In went the power pack, then the clothes on top, the regular laundry soap (in this case it was Purex Triple Action), and I bravely hit the start button.

About two hours later the clothes are washed and dried so I can see the results. I start looking..... The spots where the grass and mud hint of a previous stain. The clothes were clean! Purex UltraPacks has passed the 3 year old boy test! That is an amazing accomplishment in my world. Most of the time there is a small hint of a stain when I am done washing clothes.

After several loads, I am still impressed. The Purex UltraPacks are removing my most common stains. They are easy to use and do not require any pre-treating before starting a load of laundry! That is great for me, a mom, student, and full time employee. If I can save a few minutes everyday, I am a little happier.

The downside, these will not be available until February 2012. The upside, they are from Purex and will be more affordable than other brands on the market while maintaining efficiency. And for those of you that may be worried about perfumes or dyes, these will be available in a Free & Clear version!

Purex will be sending me a coupon for a free package of Purex UltraPacks. One Lucky reader will receive the coupon. Post a comment below telling me what tough stains you will use Purex UltraPacks for a chance to win and try them for free. The contest will remain open until 1/31/12 and the winner will be chosen at random.

Here is some basic information that you can find at

What Are Purex Ultrapacks?

  • are convenient pre-dosed liquid detergent packs
  • contain our new Triple Action liquid formula
  • double the cleaning power in every drop*
  • dissolve quickly—even in cold water
  • are safe for all machines, including High Efficiency (HE) washers
  • *have 2x concentrated liquid detergent

How to Use

1) Dry your hands before handling the UltraPacks – (water dissolves the film).
2) Put the packs in the washer before adding clothing (the more time they spend in the water, the faster they dissolve).
3) If you have a front loader, make sure to put the pack directly into the drum, not in the drawer.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

X Out’- New acne treatment

As part of the Influenster Voxbox program this product was brought to my attention. Unfortunately, I was not chosen to receive this product, but it did jump out at me. As a female with acne prone skin and a mother of two kids with acne, this product seemed ideal. So I went online and ordered it to test it out.

Who wants to wash their face twice a day with 3 steps just to have clear skin? Not me!

X out is a new system that is an all-in-one face wash system. It is made by the same company that makes Proactive solutions. So it is from a company that you can trust with acne products. 

The product is simple to use any way you want to use it. Use it as an exfoliating face wash. Rub it around on your face for 2 minutes and you will feel a cool, tingling sensation and walk away with a fresh clean face. We have all had one of those pimples that just gets away from us. It sneaks up on you in the middle of the night. Well grab your X out and hit that sneaky sucker by using X out as a spot treatment. Maybe you are having a really bad day and your break out has gone out of control. We all know that is the worst feeling. How can you ever go out in public with your face looking like this? Grab your x out and use it as an all over mask. It will work deep down on your pores to help get rid of those stubborn pimples. 

Overall this is a great product. I love that I can treat my face in one simple step! It does contain 8.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, so be prepared to use a little moisturizer if you notice your skin drying out.

The info:

- Contains 8.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

- Simple, just one-step 

- Cool, tingly feeling

- Quick and easy to use

- Retails for just $19.95 for a 30-day supply (2.5 oz.) or $39.95 for a 60-day supply (7.0 oz.) at 

- 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee 

- Multitasking (replaces cleanser, toner, treatment and moisturizer)

- Sanitary Air-Pump

- Three ways to use: Wash, Spot-Treatment, or Mask

NYC New York Color

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine

Straight from the city that never sleeps, NYC New York Color offers products with uptown style at down-to-earth prices, from $.99 - $4.99. The energy, style and color of New York City shines through the wide range of shades, textures and innovative products. NYC always delivers the most on-trend products & shades hot off the runway!

A beauty-editor favorite is Liquid Lipshine ($2.49). It has pure pigments that created a 3-D gloss effect. Vitamin E provides shine and a moisturizing feel. The formula is non-sticky, super shiny & soft. Available in 10 on-trend shades from neutral nudes, to berries & fuchsias. Start shopping for NYC at these stores nearest you: Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, Family Dollar, Duane Reade, Kmart, HEB, and others.  Visit to check out all shades and fun products from New York Color!

I have never been a lip gloss person. The sticky tacky feeling on my lips has never made me say ,"Hey I need lip gloss today!"  I love the shine of lip gloss, now if they could just get rid of the sticky feeling and make it stay on.

I tested out the New York Nude shade of this Liquid Lipshine courtesy of the Influenster's Voxbox program. I was generally impressed since I am not a lip gloss person. The color was nice and subtle and was a nice way to tone down a darker lipstick. 

The sticky is not totally gone and it does not stay on as long as I would like. But, this is a nice way to add a touch of shine from your pocket in a flash. You can add a little color to that shine too if you want. This is not going to be a must have for me, but it works well for a quick fix on the run.

** I received this product complimentary to test through Influenster’s VoxBox program. All opinions in this article are my own.

Do they really Impress? imPRESS Press-on Manicure review

This is a quick overview and some general information on the product provided by imPress and Influencter:
Introducing imPress Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails, the revolutionary way to apply polish! Featuring advanced nail technology, you can get a salon-perfect manicure in seconds – simply peel off, press on, and you're done. There's no drying, a killer shine and a manicure that lasts up to a week! And, imPress is so easy to remove, you can change it up to match your mood as often as you want. Check out all 36 colors and patterns, including trendy brights, classic darks and animal prints. With imPress, your nails will always be your best accessory.
imPress Manicure retails for $5.99 for colors and $7.99 for patterns, and is available at CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, KMart, Walgreens, Walmart and more. For a full list of online and in-store retailers, visit, where you can download an exclusive coupon and virtually try on all the colors and patterns! 
The package that I received has nice pale pink polish color with a nice ornate white embellishment on the tips. The color is called Chic Mystique. I opened the package, which was a slight challenge with today’s packaging standards. Once I was in, I was ready. I pulled out the instructions and went to work. They are very easy to apply on your nails and cute once they are on.
The Pros of imPress nails:
·         Quick and easy manicured look
·         Cheaper than a salon manicure
The Con’s of impress nails:
·         They come off way too easy. I found I was having them come off when I buttoned my pants or washed my hands.
·         They are fairly expensive in comparison to painting your nails.
·         They are not available in different sizes do the pre-shaped kits may not fit your nails.
I can easily see using these for a night out and keeping spares in my purse just in case I lose one. These would work for a night out, but not for everyday use. Ultimately, I would rather paint my nails or just have no polish on than to worry about losing one in the middle of a party.