Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Surprise Ride Subscription *GIVEAWAY*

Surprise Ride Subscription Box Giveaway

Welcome to the Surprise Ride Subscription Box Giveaway
Hosted by Miss Frugal Mommy & Sponsored by Surprise Ride

About Surprise Ride

“The idea for Surprise Ride came when we, sisters and aunts of two active and curious boys, struggled to find unique gifts that would add value to our nephews’ lives. Having experienced tremendous economic hardship during our own childhood, we remembered a simpler time when what we enjoyed most as kids was getting immersed in activities with siblings and parents. We were fortunate to have a dad who was an artist by profession and facilitated DIY activities. He always encouraged us to bring our imaginations to life. Those projects shaped who we are and our view of the world. We want to help busy parents give their kids that same opportunity to evolve through play. Surprise Ride was born from the desire to have a lasting impact on the lives of children, beyond the latest toy or video game.”

You can discover more about this amazing subscription box service in Miss Frugal Mommy’s review!

Now for the exciting part! One lucky fan is going to win a 1 month subscription to Surprise Ride.  This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older. Enter to win in the giveaway tools below, all entries will be verified, one entrant per household or you will immediately be disqualified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor and not the participating bloggers. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pure Raspberry Ketones *GIVEAWAY*

This opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. I have been meaning to actually start my journey into weight loss for a while now, so when this opportunity presented itself, I drove in head first.

Raspberry Ketones are a fat burner and an appetite suppressor. There are no artificial ingredients, and it is made in the USA. 

The pills are rather large. Luckily for me, I've never had a problem with pills, so this was not a concern of mine. My husband, on the other hand, has a hard time taking pills, so he would not be able to take these. I am not sure if it's okay to break them apart and sprinkle them on something, but again, it wasn't an issue for me so I didn't look into it.

While taking these, I noticed a drastic decrease in my hunger. You must take these half an hour before eating, which was somewhat of a struggle for me. I'm used to getting up and eating breakfast right away, so I had to resist eating for a while. But once that half hour (or so) passed, I noticed I wasn't as hungry as I was before taking it. The recommended dosage is 1 capsule twice a day. I take 1 capsule three times a day, otherwise I'm a heavy snacker. I love my snacks, and it's really had an effect on me.

I also noticed that I'm a little more active while taking these. I may not be running around, but I'm definitely not content to just sit around. I have more energy to play with my kids, more energy to get things done around the house, including catching up on laundry.

For more information, or to order your own bottle, please click HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

**REVIEW** Argan Oil for hair?

Have you ever heard of Argan Oil?

Argan Oil is hailed as the Moroccan liquid gold. The holy grail of hair care. It's claims include leaving your hair silky smooth, soft, and healthy. All without leaving your hair greasy or heavy. HSI Professional sent me a 2 oz bottle of Argan Oil for me to review.

So, how did it stack up for me? Well, I'd love to say it was amazing. All those claims completely backed up, but for me, it just wasn't so. I absolutely loved the smell of the oil, however, and it did leave my hair looking a bit healthier than usual. Unfortunately, I didn't see the tame-frizzing benefits that I was hoping for.

I used it daily, for a month, and still didn't see anything fantastic worth raving about. I have tried it while my hair was wet, dry, damp, before blow drying, air drying, etc. No major changes. Even after a few hours, it went right back to its usual frizzy, out of control self. 

I've also used it in Gianna's hair. She has great hair to begin with, so again, no major changes to report. If you'd like to check it out, you can go HERE and purchase some for yourself. 

Have you ever used Argan Oil before? What were your results?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, July 14, 2014

**REVIEW** Art Print, by Fulcrum Gallery

I received this product for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Not too long ago, I was contacted by a company who had asked if I would be interested in reviewing a piece of art work from their gallery. I checked out the website, and saw SO many things I liked! So, of course, I sent an email back accepting their invitation.

I was given a budget, and told to get whatever I wanted within that budget. There were SO many options to choose from. Circus animals to Disney characters, canvas paintings to portraits, frames to more frames! Just soooo many options! I had a very hard time deciding.

My first choice was a Frozen print, but Gianna is very much into Anna more so than any other character, so we passed on that. Also, since all the kids share one bedroom, I wanted something a little more appropriate for them.

My second choice wasn't a print for a child, but more of a Family Rules type. I really liked THIS one, and THIS one. Unfortunately, I had to pass on them because I just don't have a place to hang it up in my home where it can be seen easily and would look right.

After much struggling, I decided to go with something that would fit all three of my kids. Something that is not too girly, nor too boyish. Since we love Giraffes, I perused through their selection of giraffe prints. I loved THIS one, THIS one, and THIS one. However, none of them "fit" my family right. The perfect one took a bit longer to find. However, once I found it, there was no denying it was the right one. Add some finishing touches, and the following is what I chose:

How could I go wrong with this?! I have 3 kids, and it feels like we're in the circus. There couldn't have been a better print.

On the left is the sticker that was on the back. It states that they take pride in their work and the quality of the materials they use. It is also signed by the person who framed your piece, and the person who inspected it to make sure it was in perfect shape for the customer. I don't know about you, but I appreciate that little extra detail. It makes it feel more personal than just some random piece you pick out at the store, throw in your cart, and be on your way with.

It did come in a large box. The box was MUCH larger than the print was, but that's because they pack it well with lots of impact absorbing foam and bubble wrap to ensure it comes to you in one piece. They do put a notice on the box that informs you to inspect your art work well, to make sure there are no damages. They state that if you find damages, you must contact them within 5 days, and to keep all the packaging material. While my box did take quite a beating, the art print inside was in perfect shape. After taking a million and one pictures, I gave the kids the bubble wrap, threw out the rest, and immediately ooooh'd and aaaaah'd over my new print. The kids did take time away from their busy bubble popping to ooooh and aaaaah over it as well. They were almost as excited as I was! They asked me to hang it up in their room immediately. I happily obliged them.

I chose a spot, and had one of the kids hold it up so I could see what it looked like there. I wasn't happy with my first choice, but did end up placing it above Sofia's dresser, in between the two light fixtures on her wall. I don't have a level, and I couldn't find my measuring tape, so I had to eye-ball it to be sure I placed in perfectly center between the fixtures. After some backing up, readjusting, backing up again, readjusting some more, etc, I FINALLY placed it to where I was satisfied. The kids were happy, I was happy, and hubby ... well, I don't think he cared either way!

So, overall, I was very pleased with the art print. I was able to customize it so that it matched my children's room, and was able to pick from multiple frames. There are a ton of options as for the actual print itself- laminating, multiple canvas options, and a WHOLE LOT of frames! The possibilities are endless. This print specifically took an hour to perfect. Lots and lots of "Honey, does this look okay? What about this? Do you prefer this one?" ... no help from him ;)

Once I was sure I was happy with my choice, I emailed them the link to my finished product. In about 1.5 weeks, I had my chosen product in hand. Or rather, on the wall. It did not take long at all!

The only real complaint I have is that, despite choosing the Non-glare acrylic plexiglass, there is still a slight glare. I understand that nothing is completely glare free, so this isn't a huge concern of mine. I'm sure if I had chosen any other glass or plexiglass option, the glare would have been substantially worse.

If you're looking for some cute new wall art for your kids' bedrooms, I urge you to take a look at their Cartoon Paintings section. You're sure to find something there for your kiddo! Also, check out the rest of the site. You'll find something for every room, and every person in your family.

Go have a look around. What print is your favorite?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

**REVIEW** Pet Urine Stain Finder UV Light

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Having a male cat, I'm always afraid that he might spray somewhere, and I wouldn't be able to find it. Fortunately, we haven't had this problem. He is neutered, so I'm not expecting it to happen. However, we have quite a few stray cats outside who HAVE marked up our porch and items we've had out there. Chairs, car seats, even our kids' toys have been marked. Those items, while not super easy to clean animal urine/spray out of, they are still cleanable. The porch and the outside of the house, on the other hand? Not so easy to clean if you don't know exactly where they sprayed! Enter this handy little UV light. It illuminates where the animals marked so that you know where they have been.

It's a small flashlight with 12 (very) bright light bulbs. Since it is UV, it emits a bluish light. Upon shining the light on a spot that an animal has marked, it turns the area a yellowish color. Unfortunately for where I used it, the carpeting made it incredibly hard to actually see where there was urine.

Top of the UV light

It has with 3 AAA batteries included, though I recommend putting new, better quality batteries in. If not, then you may have the same experience I had- flickering, varying strength of the bulbs, etc. Once I put new batteries in, it shone nice and bright. Still wasn't able to capture a picture of it, but it was definitely brighter.

I tried it on my front porch, and saw quite a bit of spots where the local strays have marked- my 'Welcome' mat, right under my mailbox, my husband's chair, random places on the floor and the wall of the porch. I then walked around the perimeter of my house, and noticed spots on the side of the house and on the sidewalk leading to the back. When I stepped onto the back porch, I saw just as many, if not MORE, spots back there. I also saw a large spot on the back door.

A friend of mine mentioned trying it inside the house for human urine as well. Since we bedshare with Gianna, and I know she's wet my bed a few times, I gave it a try. Nothing showed up. However, I do use my carpet shampooer when she's had an accident, so that might be why. The one room that REALLY lit up, was the bathroom. My son still has not perfected his aim, and we have lots of proof of that on the walls. Shining the UV light on those marks was repulsive! I knew it was gross, I just didn't realize HOW much he's missed the toilet. Unfortunately, we have textured walls, so cleaning them is kind of out of the question.

I've also used it on the carpets just to see what they look like. If you live in an apartment, or anywhere that others may have lived prior to you, I suggest NOT using the light! While I couldn't see anything on the carpet under a regular light, there was a lot to see with the UV light. It really made me wonder what exactly that could possibly be on my carpets. Although I'm sure I don't honestly want to know.

Overall, I really do like this light. Some of our outside toys that were sprayed came clean because I knew exactly where to focus the majority of the cleaning. No nasty cat spray smell lingered. If you have pets that like to mark their territory, this would come in very handy. You can purchase your own handy UV light by going HERE.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

BubbleBum Booster Seat *GIVEAWAY*

BubbleBum Booster Seat Giveaway
 Welcome to the BubbleBum Booster Seat Giveaway
Hosted by Miss Frugal Mommy & Sponsored by BubbleBum

About BubbleBum

“Meets all US safety testing standards. BubbleBum, the cost effective, portable, lightweight, brightly colored, inflatable car booster seat for children aged between 4-11, easily deflates and folds flat so that kids or mom and dad can carry it in a backpack or purse, making it perfect for vacations, rental cars, taxis, school pick up or car pooling.”


  • portable & lightweight
  • inflatable & re-useable
  • inflates by mouth – taking less than 20 seconds to inflate
  • folds flat
  • packs away into its very own stretchy bag
  • comfortable & colorful
  • affordable
  • with added belt positioning clip for extra comfort
You can discover more about this amazing booster seat in Miss Frugal Mommy’s review!

Now for the exciting part! One lucky fan is going to win a BubbleBum Booster seat in the color of their choice (purple or black.)  This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older. Enter to win in the giveaway tools below, all entries will be verified, one entrant per household or you will immediately be disqualified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of the sponsor and not the participating bloggers. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A weekend recap

I realize today (Monday) is technically not the weekend, but bare with me.

On Saturday, some jerk decided to sideswipe my car. I was inside my house, and didn't hear anything. Whoever did it, left in a hurry. No one heard anything, no neighbors saw anything. I *JUST* bought this car. It's a 2012 Mazda 5. As a matter of fact, I haven't even made a single payment on it yet, and already have huge, ugly damages done to it. I'm pretty sure it's purely cosmetic, but I'm not 100% sure.

My beautiful car. Ruined.

The damage on the mirror.

Drivers door up close

Drivers side, rear seat damage.

I called the police and waited for an officer to come out to make a report (30+ minutes later). After he left, I called my insurance to file a claim. Got a call back today from an agent to start my claim. I have to have my car inspected on Wednesday to get an estimate, plus they need to determine if I was at fault somehow. I have no idea how they're going to do that ... I was sitting in my house, with my kids, while my car was parked outside. I can assure you I was not at fault! Either way, my insurance *should* cover it. Minus the $500 deductible we have. Unfortunately, we don't have $500 right now so there's no way this car will get fixed any time soon.

As if the accident weren't enough, Gianna decided to get into bleach today. I had to take our cat to the vet the other day, so I wanted to bleach out his carrier. I put a bit of bleach in it, filled the rest of the way with water, and let it soak. Between dishes, dinner, fighting kids, vacuuming, and so on, I completely forgot about it. Gianna has been in and out of the bathroom all day today, washing her hands, brushing her teeth using the potty, etc. Between taking her out each time, and trying to keep her downstairs, it completely slipped my mind.

While I was starting to make dinner, all 3 kids were in the living room, watching TV. Or, so I thought. It turns out that Gianna decided to go upstairs. And the ONE TIME my son decided not to tell on her was that time. Usually he lets me know as soon as she starts going upstairs. Sofia was so focused on the TV that she didn't even notice anyone walk past her.

All of a sudden, I hear Anthony yell out "THAT'S BLEACH!!" ... I stopped what I was doing and immediately ran up the stairs. Gianna was soaked. All over her face, her clothes, her hair. Anthony and I stripped her immediately, and threw her in the bathtub. We washed her as best we could, rinsing well. I attempted to rinse her eyes out as well, but she refused. After taking her out, we decided it'd be best to take her to the ER just in case she did damage to her eyes, or anywhere else. She says she tasted it, but I wasn't sure. However, her breath smelled strongly of bleach, so I don't doubt it.

At the ER, waiting to be called in. Her eyes and nose are red.

Because it's long, I just screen shot my status on FB about it:
I failed to mention in my status that Gianna was ASLEEP when they finally called us back. Nor did I mention that the people next to us in the waiting room smelled like raw sewage and body odor. It was foul. 

Since she was asleep, the flushing came as a surprise to her. She was NOT happy when it woke her up! She screamed, cried, fought, and tried kicking the nurse. There was a doctor holding her eye open, a nurse pouring saline water in her eyes, and me holding her arms down so she couldn't push them away. I felt terrible that she woke like this. My poor princess. She cried so hard, begging them to "please let me go. Please stop!" There were even a few "My neye hurts! Stop! My neye!" ... yes, she adds an 'N' to some of her words (narm, narm pit, napple juice)

After the flushing and ointment.
My poor baby was such a trooper. As soon as the doctor and nurse finished, she had smiles for them and was talking to them like they were her best friends. We were discharged with the instructions to call her Pediatrician tomorrow and make an appt with him, and an appt with an Ophthalmologist, and to use the ointment for a week. Every 4 hours while she is awake, in both eyes. I have no idea how I'm going to do this alone while Anthony is at work, but it's definitely going to be a struggle.

Once we came home, I got her ready for bed, and tucked her, AJ, and Sofia in bed. After, I came back downstairs and decided to have an ice cream cone. Unfortunately, this is what I got.

 Broken, crushed, and stale (Boo, NestlĂ©!) Just like my weekend. I sure hope you all had a better weekend (and Monday!) than I did!!