Apr 24, 2015

My Hair Is My Best Accessory #HairfinityStyle #ad

I am a Niche Parent Network & Conference Influencer. Thanks to Hairfinity for sponsoring today's post.

I can remember the days of being a little girl and being forced by my mom to get my hair cut in that bowl-shaped bob or those awful home-cut bangs. I hated it! All I dreamed of was having long, flowing hair. I went through so many hairstyles and phases throughout my middle and high school years. I grew up in the late 80s/early 90s so I wore all of the big, poufy hair styles. If you grew up in that time frame, you probably did some dramatic things to your hair whether it was hair color, a permanent wave or overuse of hair products. I was the Princess of hair spray in high school. I wore that signature "fan" on the top of my hair and teased it to make it extra big. I now look back and think; thank goodness the 80s are behind us!

I have always believed that stylish hair is my best accessory. I didn't always have body confidence, so my hair was my main focus. As long as I kept it cut or trimmed and took a few extra minutes each day for "primping," I would look more put together and feel confident. I take great pride in caring for my tresses and have grown to love my hair! I keep it relatively long so that I am able to toss it up into a messy ponytail on those bad hair days.

I have learned some great hair care tips over the years that I incorporate daily. I believe that drinking water is the number one most important thing. On the flip side, over washing is a big no-no. I try to go a day or two between washing to preserve my natural shine and fullness. If I wash it too often, it looks dull and lifeless. Proper diet is also key to fabulous, healthy hair. You must eat a good balance of fruit, vegetables and protein every day. If you can't stick to a healthier way of eating, a vitamin supplement can help. Hairfinity Hair Vitamins help encourage healthy growth from the inside out. Who wouldn't want that?!
The famous reality show sisters, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, have teamed up with Hairfinity Hair Vitamins. They certainly have the hair and style so many of us aspire to have.

Please join in on the #HairfinityStyle Twitter party on 4/26 from 10:00-11:00 PM EST for a recap of the Keeping up with the Kardashians episode and to talk all things hair and fashion.

There will be prizes so make sure you RSVP here and  follow the #HairfinityStyle hashtag. I hope to see you there!

Apr 19, 2015

New beauty favorite: Lypsyl Intense Protection Lip Balm

I have a confession: I’m a lip balm addict. I can’t go a day, even hours without it. I carry one in my purse, keep one in my make-up bag at home, have one (or two) stashed in my kitchen junk drawer and few other spots around the house. I have tried various brands over time and have my beloved favorites. I received a sample tube of lip balm that I had never heard of before called, Lypsyl in Original Mint. It’s a Silky Swedish Beeswax lip balm and contains organic shea butter and coconut oil. Just that description alone made me want to try it out for myself.
It has a very unique tube that is shaped differently that the average round barrels of most lip balms. It also has the most adorable yellow honeybee that used as a slider to dispense the lip balm. So cute! But how well does it work? It goes on super smooth with no sticky feeling and leaves your lips feeling completely quenched. I find that even if I eat or drink, the product keeps my lips super soft and moisturized. That’s amazing since I almost always feel the need to apply more after eating. It wears really well under lip color. I think it even extends the wear of my lipstick.
Lypsyl Intense Protection lip balms come in 3 flavors: Original Mint, HoneyBerry, and the Ultra Soothing Chamomile & Honey (ARV $2.99). They can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Duane Reade and ShopRite stores. If you are looking for a very moisturizing, long lasting lip balm, you must give Lypsyl a try! I am so glad I found a new favorite. I will have to stop by my local Wal-Mart or Walgreens to pick up a couple extra for my daughters. Find Lypsyl on the web and on Facebook for product promotions and updates.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary product for review purposes. All opinions are 100% mine as always.

Apr 2, 2015

Unlock the last video in the Bruegger's Bagels #BehindtheTaste Series ($25 GC Giveaway)

Earlier this year I talked about the Behind the Taste video series from Bruegger's Bagels. These videos take you behind-the-scenes to showcase the authentic approach the bakery takes when selecting and creating its bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. April 1st marks the final video to be unlocked and this one discusses their Sun-dried tomato spread (YUM). If you haven't eaten at Bruegger's Bagels, you are truly missing out! We go there at least once a month and are never disappointed in the superior quality of the food and the very personal touches their staff adds to your experience. Who wouldn't want to dine in a place that?

Here is a little recap of the videos, but you don't want to miss out on coupon opportunities so be sure to go to the Behind the Taste site for the full experience.

Behind the Taste Launch

Authentic Bagels

Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon

Sundried Tomato Spread

As you can see, Bruegger's takes great pride to find the best ingredients for their bagels, cream cheese and other menu items. Be sure to check out the Behind the Taste website and follow Bruegger's on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates.

Giveaway: Two lucky Mom Files readers will each win a $25 Bruegger's gift card! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was compensated for my time to share this post and host a reader giveaway. All opinions are my own as always. 

Apr 1, 2015

The Best Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Today I woke up thinking about baking something. I haven't baked any treats in almost a month and thought I would surprise my family with some cupcakes. My hubby is a big fan of yellow cake with chocolate frosting so I went with that. I usually make a chocolate buttercream frosting that we all love, but I really wanted cream cheese frosting. I make plain cream cheese frosting most of the time, but what about a chocolate cream cheese frosting? I searched recipes online and couldn't believe how many variations I found. I looked at about ten recipes and my head started spinning. I closed up my laptop and decided to try making it based off of how I make plain cream cheese frosting. The end result was a rich, creamy, slightly tart and sweet chocolately explosion!

Instead of using salted butter like I usually do, I use unsalted. I also added some pure almond extract as well as pure vanilla. I think the hint of almond flavor really makes it extra special. See the complete recipe below.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:
1 8 ounce pack of cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 confectioners sugar
1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp cold whole milk or cream

Directions:
Cream butter and cream cheese together in large mixer bowl. Blend in almond and vanilla extract. Slowly add confectioners sugar and cocoa. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency desired. You can spread it on cakes or cupcakes or pipe it like I did. It's so easy and is better than anything store bought.

Enjoy and please let me know if you try this recipe. Thanks for reading!

Mar 30, 2015

Get Bouncy, Long-Lasting Curls with KISS InstaWave #AsSeenOnTV

Have you ever seen a new product advertised on TV and the infomercial made you want to order it right away? That's how I feel often, but I am also very skeptical. Some things seem a little too good to be true, and I have had my share of "As seen on TV" purchases that sit beneath a pile of unused gadgets and other foolishness. I have had my eye on the KISS Instawave Automatic Curler for some time and my husband would look at me like I was crazy. He knows my dilemma with finding styling tools to curl my hair and he wasn't convinced it would work for me. You see, I have very silky hair. It's so silky that it slides out of curling irons and often times will either not curl, or curls fall out pretty quickly.

I received the KISS Instawave automatic curler to test out for myself **HAPPY DANCE** I finally get to see if this styling tool will actually work on my hair. I tried it on freshly washed/dried hair and it was a bit of a challenge. It was sliding too much and I needed some practice to master how to really use the thing. Honestly, it's super simple to use. I think it comes down to remembering which direction you need your hair curled and also I find that second day-old hair curls much better.


I gave it a whirl (pun intended) and I absolutely loved how gorgeous my curls came out! I had some sections slide a little bit, but it did not really mess the curls up too badly. The kicker for me is that my curls actually last! I do not have to re-curl the next day and I love how shiny my hair looks as well. Also, I do not use any product to curl with. My husband saw me and was very impressed with how beautiful my curls were. The photo just doesn't show enough detail on how nicely defined the curls were.

Details about the KISS Instawave:

Salon-Quality, Long-Lasting Curls – Fast and Tangle-Free
It’s quick and easy to get salon-quality curls with the revolutionary new Instawave by KISS. Just push the button to style any type of hair effortlessly.

Instawave Features:

  • Fully automatic, tangle-free curler
  • Innovative design lets you curl from any position using either hand
  • Curl Dial makes it simple to switch between left and right curl directions
  • Ceramic Ionic Technology protects hair for healthy, shiny results
  • Two heat settings with maximum temperature of 420° F
  • Auto shutoff after 90 minutes for added safety
  • Patent Pending
  • SRP: $59.99 
You can purchase the Instawave at KISSInstaWave.com or at retailers including: Target, Ulta.com and Amazon.com. It's a fabulous styling tool and I highly recommend it if you are currently looking for something great to curl your hair. It is now my most favorite beauty must-have

I received a complimentary item for review purposes and all opinions are 100% my own as always. 
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