Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cryoow Doll GIVEAWAY

I'm super excited to co-host this fun giveaway with Parenting Beyond.

Now you can take your child's drawings and turn them into dolls!

 

Welcome to the

Cryoow! Doll Giveaway & #ChristmasInJuly Giveaway Hop 

Grand Prize
  Parenting Beyond!  Cryoow! Doll Giveaway & #ChristmasInJuly Giveaway Hop
Hosted By: Parenting Beyond!
Co-hosted By: Simply Sherryl
Prize Sponsorship: Cryoow! Doll

What is a Cryoow! Doll? A Cryoow! Doll is your child's drawing come to life. These are so amazing! Cryoow! takes a picture your child has created and makes it into a doll. We absolutely adore our Cryoow! Dolls!! You can see Parenting Beyond's full review of them here.   GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Prize: 1 lucky winner will receive their very own Cryoow! Doll made from a drawing of their choice. Prize includes shipping. The winner's name and contact information will be forwarded to Cryoow! Doll. Running Time: This giveaway starts on July 12 at 12:00am and ends at 11:59 PM EST on July 25, 2014. Winner: A winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter . If we are able to verify the entry (ie, Tweets, FB sharing, etc) the winner will be contacted via email by 11:59pm, July 30, 2014. The winner has 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not reply within that time, another name will be chosen. a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on July 25, 2014. This website and blogger are not responsible for prizes or sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. All opinions expressed above are those of Parenting Beyond's and are in no way influenced by the giveaway or Cryoow! Doll. Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, please email ParentingBeyond@gmail.com . We have so many great prizes being giveaway in the #ChristmasInJuly Giveaway Hop! Be sure to hop to each blog and enter them all!
  Cryoow! Doll Giveaway & #ChristmasInJuly Giveaway Hop
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, July 11, 2014

The Ashton-Drake Galleries Katie Doll Review & Giveaway!

The Ashton-Drake Galleries collectable dolls are about as real as they come.

I was able to review the Katie doll from the So Truly Real series, and I simply cannot put into words how lifelike these dolls are. 
The Katie doll, by Mater Artist Linda Murray, breathes, coos and has a heartbeat. She's also weighted for realism and even smells like a fresh out of the tub baby.
Shown here holding a soft teddy bear (sold separately), and lying in a pink, satin bassinet (also sold separately),  Katie will quickly steal your heart in her adorable pink ruffled floral sleeper. 
Her skin is soft to the touch, and her hair is so lifelike.
Every last detail was carefully crafted; even down to her tiny fingernails.

The Katie doll comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, as well as ID tag.
Please note that these dolls are for decorative use only. They are not toys and are not intended for use by children (as they have breakable parts).

Check out my YouTube video below so you can see and hear baby Katie breathing and cooing just like a real baby.




And thanks to the wonderful people at Ashton-Drake Galleries, you can enter to WIN your very own Katie doll!

Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and over only.
I am not responsible for prize delivery.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Love/Hate Relationship With Bra Shopping!

Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
When it comes to bra shopping, I'm super picky! 
In fact, I'm so picky, I've been buying my bras from the same store since high school! It's so hard to find a bra that has it all and still looks natural under clothing.

If a bra makes me look pointy at all, I run the other way!
There may have been a time when this was attractive, but honey, I do NOT want to look like Madonna when I leave the house. 

Another issue I have with bras are the straps. I'm a 34D, so I need straps that will hold my girls up without being too wide. I want to be able to wear my bra under a tank top without the straps showing.

And the last thing that bothers me about bra shopping, is finding ones that fit my entire boob into the cup. I need full coverage so I don't have any "fourboob."
This right here is a NO NO.

The band needs to be comfortable, and I love when it has some lace added in. I'm a girly girl, so I like pretty bras...as long as they also function.

This is where Vanity Fair has hit the mark!
I was sent a couple of bras to review from Vanity Fair, and to be honest, I already had my mind made up that I'd probably hate them. I had tried a few Vanity Fair bras in the past and never really liked them all that much. 
Well, I tried them on and absolutely fell in love with them! 

Not only were they comfortable, but the shape they give me is perfect! The straps are the perfect width and the bands are exactly what I've been wanting in a great bra!

Now I'm not one to post photos of myself in my bra, so I'll be using stock photos. I can promise you though, these are my new favorite bras! 

The first one I want to rave about is the Vanity Fair Light & Luxurious Full Coverage Bra (in Dusty Blue).
Image courtesy Vanity Fair
It's such a pretty bra, but it's also so comfortable.
 
Here is the description from Vanity Fair's website:
The best of both worlds! With full-coverage cups and scalloped lace detailing, this women's Vanity Fair bra offers function and fashion.
Product Features
  • Two-ply back wings provide support
  • Lightweight padding
  • Smooth, sleek fabric
  • Tag-free styling
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Underwire
  • Back closure
I really couldn't describe it better myself. It truly offers all the function, and is still so pretty!

The next bra I want to rave about is the Vanity Fair Body Caress Beauty Back Full Coverage Bra (in Times Square Navy).
Photo courtesy Vanity Fair

This bra is described as:

Combining comfort, support, and smoothing all in one, this bra is designed with an innovative fabric that reduces the appearance of back bulge, smoothes, and feels super soft against the skin. Convertible straps allow for wardrobe versatility.
  • Sizes 34-38B 34-42C 34-40D 34-40DD
  • Microfiber wings wrap around and smooth back for a smooth look under clothes
  • Convertible Straps
  • Matte Finish for a Smooth Look Under Clothes
This bra is so smooth and comfortable. The shape it gives me is flawless, and it's probably the most comfortable bra I've ever owned. It also has convertible straps, so it works with almost any outfit. 
 
So the next time you dread bra shopping, check out the Vanity Fair section at your local retail store (Vanity Fair bras can be found nationwide and also in Canada). I promise you, you'll be pleasantly surprised!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are completely my own. I received product in exchange for my review, however, I never post about products I am unhappy with or can't stand behind. If I don't like it, I don't post the review. I also did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. I only post about products I truly love and can stand behind.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Modest Vintage Swimsuit Obsession

I'm literally obsessed with vintage-style swimsuits, so when I look for a swimsuit, I usually look for one that's modest and has a vintage feel to it.

I'm a firm believer that one piece swimsuits can be just as "sexy" as bikinis. Showing more skin doesn't equal sexy. I believe the style of the suit, colors, accents, fit, and how you carry yourself is what exudes sexiness. (No, I am not a bikini hater lol, this is just my personal choice in swimwear)
And for me, it's more about being stylish and classy than sexy. I'm happily married, so I save all that for my husband ;) 

I've had quite a few people ask me where I get my swimsuits, and finding vintage-style swimsuits isn't always the easiest task. 
So here are 6 of my favorites and where I purchased them. Some may be sold out, so I apologize if that's the case. But usually that designer makes similar ones. 

1. Nautical Bow Suit by Albion Fit



2. Red and White Polka Dot Vamp Bathing Suit by Jantzen Swimwear



3. Beach Blanket Bingo in black and red by Ester Williams 









I also wanted to share where I found this ah-mazing lace coverup! To purchases this, click HERE.

My favorite beach hat was purchased at my local Rite Aid store. 


I hope this was helpful for those still on the hunt for a vintage-style, modest swimsuit. Message me on Facebook or Tweet me if you have any questions (as that's the best way to get up with me).








Tuesday, June 17, 2014

EXTENDED STAY AMERICA HOTELS AND FOOD NETWORK HOST SUNNY ANDERSON SEARCH FOR “AMERICA’S TOP AWAY FROM HOME COOK” THROUGH NATIONAL RECIPE CONTEST


Winner will receive $5,000 and be featured at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival

Extended Stay America, the largest owner/operated hotel chain with kitchens in every room, searches for America’s Top Away From Home Cook, calling all kitchen masters for the first annual Extended Stay America Away From Home Cooking Recipe Contest. In partnership with  Food  Network  Host  Sunny Anderson, America’s Top Away From Home Cook will be featured at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE to serve their signature dish to thousands of international food lovers and celebrity chefs, in addition to a $5,000 prize. A platform for budding cooks to become a resource for millions of Extended Stay America guests, the finalist’s dishes will be featured in the “Away From Home Cooking” cookbook – a travel-friendly recipe resource available in Extended Stay America’s more than 69,000 hotel room kitchens and online at www.AwayFromHomeCooking.com.

    “We launched ‘Away From Home Cooking’ as a solution to help our guests skip fast food and empty calories by cooking wallet and waist-friendly meals using the fully equipped kitchens in their hotel rooms,” Terry Atkins, senior director of marketing communications for Extended Stay America, says. “The cookbook was so well received by guests we wanted to give them the opportunity to be a part of it, sharing the creative meals they make in our kitchens every day.”

    From food lovers and moms to business travelers and road-trippers, Extended Stay America encourages aspiring cooks to submit their travel-friendly recipes along with a photo of their signature dish by visiting Contest.AwayFromHomeCooking.com. On July 28, followers will have the opportunity to select two “fan favorites” by voting for their favorite cooks on Contest.AwayFromHomeCooking.com. The two cooks with the most fan votes will become automatic finalists. To garner votes and support fan favorites, followers are encouraged to share the Away From Home Cooking Recipe Contest on Facebook and Twitter using  #cookwithESA.

    Four finalists including the two “fan favorites” will be whisked away to New York City to compete in an intense Extended Stay America hotel room kitchen cook-off judged by Sunny Anderson, influential food bloggers and Extended Stay America executives. The cook-off winner will enjoy celebrity status becoming America’s Top Away From Cook, receiving $5,000 and a trip to the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, which takes place October 16-19, 2014. The winning dish will also be featured alongside Sunny’s recipes in the “Away From Home Cooking” cookbook available in hotel room kitchens at 632 Extended Stay America locations throughout the U.S., on AwayFromHomeCooking.com and across all Extended Stay America social media channels.
“When I hit the road, I always choose Extended Stay America as my home-away- from-home since I can count on welcoming staff and a comfortable room with a kitchen to test a recipe or whip up my favorite meal,” says Food Network’s Sunny Anderson. “Creating recipes for ESA guests has been tons of fun and allowed me to be truly creative. I can’t wait to taste the recipe invented by ESA’s own guests.”

Ideal submissions are designed for all culinary skill levels and can be created in Extended Stay America’s fully equipped in-room kitchens. Recipes must use less than 10 ingredients and simple methods perfect for travelers recreating the comforting taste of home when on the road. Dishes will be judged based on three categories including ease of preparation, taste and originality/creativity.

For more information, a complete set of rules and to submit a recipe, visit Contest.AwayFromHomeCooking.com. 100 percent of the net proceeds from the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry®, campaign and Food Bank for New York City.

About Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America, Inc., the largest owner/operator of company-branded hotels in North America, owns and operates 684 hotels in the U.S. and  Canada  comprising  approximately 76,200 rooms and employs approximately 10,000 employees in its hotel properties and headquarters. The Company owns and operates hotels under the core brand Extended Stay America®,  which  serves  the  mid-priced  extended   stay   segment,   and   other   brands. Visit www.extendedstay.com for more information about the Company and its services.

About Sunny Anderson
Sunny Anderson hosts Food Network’s newest show The Kitchen as well as Cooking For Real. After years of cooking for her music industry friends, she started catering while a DJ at New York  City’s  HOT  97,  and  became  the  food  and  lifestyle  editor  at  Hip  Hop  Weekly.  Sunny appears regularly on the Rachael Ray Show and the Today Show, is a new contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine’s food section, and is often in Food Network Magazine, Essence, and People. Sunny’s first cookbook Sunny’s Kitchen: Easy Food for Real Life hit stores Sept. 17, 2013 and reached the New York Time’s bestseller list just 10 days later. Sunny lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

About the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE
The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival is hosted by and benefits the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign, 100% of the Festival's net proceeds go toward helping these community based organizations fight hunger.  Southern Wine & Spirits of New York is the exclusive provider of wine and spirits at the Festival.  More information about the Festival can be found at www.nycwff.org  

Friday, June 13, 2014

DIY Detox Body Wrap

Detox/Slimming Body Wraps are all the rage lately, and have been one of Hollywood's biggest beauty secrets. 

There are many spas and websites where you can purchase detox/weight loss wraps, and while they do work (from my own experience), they tend to cost quite a lot of money. 

When combining detox body wraps, with a sensible diet and exercise program, you can trim a few inches from your stomach, thighs, arms, buttocks, neck and even your face. You can also reduce the appearance of cellulite and firm loose skin. Of course the main goal, is the detoxification of your skin and fat cells. 

While I was researching ingredients of various wraps, I found that most of the ingredients were also found in my Plexus Body Cream and my Plexus Fast Relief Cream. And what got me even more excited, was that these two creams have even more natural detoxifying ingredients than most wraps out there!

So I thought I'd make my own wrap at home and see what happened.
But first.....

DISCLAIMER: While this method worked for me, I can not guarantee it will work for you (although I hope it does). I am only stating what I used and what worked for me. This is not the intended use of these products, but was my own experimentation that led to my results.  The views expressed in this blog post are completely my own, and these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult with your doctor before starting any diet/supplement and/or exercise program.

Ok, so here's what I did:
Measure the area you want to treat, then clean the area and dry thoroughly. I really recommend dry skin brushing that area first for even greater results. 

  • Take one pump of the Plexus Body Cream first, and rub that all over the area to be treated.
  • Next take plastic cling wrap and wrap the area tight, but be careful not to cut off circulation. Just make it so it's a little bit tight.
  • Wear the wrap (and drink lots of water) for about an hour. It's even better if you are moving around a bit so you can create some heat under the plastic (to help with detoxification)
  • After an hour has passed, unwrap the area and rub in any remaining cream. You can measure right away and hopefully will see some inches lost. 
The first time I tried this, I lost a total of 1 inch from my stomach and 1/2 inch from each thigh. I haven't tried any other areas yet, but I do plan on wrapping those same areas again in a day or so to see if further inches are lost.

With other wraps, I found results lasted about a month, but it also depends on how you eat (salt intake and such). So the healthier your diet, the longer your results will last. But if you have an event or need to fit into a dress fast, this is a quick way to lose an inch or more. 

With the cost of wraps averaging of around $100 or more, I found that this method was much more cost effective (and I use these creams for many other uses). I can get many many applications for under $100 (as one pump equals one application).

Yes, there are many DIY wrap recipes out there in all price ranges, so this is only one way to do it. I also LOVE these creams, and highly recommend you try them out!

Now go wrap yourself! :) 



These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. - See more at: http://mandygladden.myplexusproducts.com/body-cream#sthash.Gaa0R6OK.dpuf
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. - See more at: http://mandygladden.myplexusproducts.com/body-cream#sthash.Gaa0R6OK.dpuf




Friday, June 6, 2014

$50 Paypal or Amazon eGift Card Flash Giveaway!

For THREE Days ONLY we are offering this Flash Giveaway!
One lucky reader will receive $50 USD Paypal Cash or Amazon Gift Card!!
This giveaway if for THREE Days Only! Enter Now!
We are making it easy peasy to enter! Just use the form below.
Remember, this giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on June 8, 2014! 
Tell your friends so they can enter, too!
Good Luck!