Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Feb 26, 2014

Monitor your vehicles with Zubie

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zubie for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Being a mother of two teenage daughters can be very stressful at times. When you factor in driving, it makes you feel like you have completely lost your sanity. Although my oldest daughter is very responsible, I still can't help but worry a little each time she leaves the house. My younger daughter has been studying her driver's book to get ready for her license this upcoming summer.
Aside from the stress of having teenage drivers and thinking of their safety, I also think about the actual car itself. Is there enough air in the tires? Is the battery holding a strong charge? Is the temperature at a normal level? One of the best things in this day and age is technology. Introducing, Zubie.
What is Zubie, you ask?
Zubie combines a smart device (about the size of a matchbox) that plugs into a standard port in every car* along with a smartphone app that help you get the most from your car. Features such as:
  • Family Safety:  AlwaysSmart™ location tracking and alerts when family members arrive at home, work or school.
  • Problem alerts:  Be alerted to car problems before they leave you stranded, such as a Check Engine light or a dying battery.
  • Safe Driving:  Track and improve your driving, and connect and compete with friends. Monitor and coach teen drivers.
  • Trip Coordination:  Connect with friends to share locations and simplify coordination on short trips or car-pools. 

Know and understand what’s going on under the hood. Zubie helps you keep your car running by giving timely information about your car’s health, and alerting you to potential problems.
  • Engine Problems: Be alerted to problem codes reported by your engine, and understand what they mean.
  • Check Engine Light: Know exactly why the light is on, and avoid an unnecessary trip to the repair shop.
  • Dead Battery: Track battery levels and be alerted to a problem BEFORE a dead battery leaves you stranded.
  • Repair Cost & Insight: Know how serious a problem might be, and receive an estimate of likely repair costs before you go to the repair shop.
I really like the idea of receiving alerts on potential problems going on with any of our cars. I think it would save us money in the long run by having us get our vehicle checked before it ends up malfunctioning or breaking down.
You can check out the Zubie site for more information. Hit the road with Zubie! Order today with code SAVE20FEB and SAVE 20% on your Zubie Key plus one year of service (Offer good through March 31, 2014. Shipping charges apply)  It would make a great late Valentine's gift or a gift 'just because'!
Stay connected to Zubie on Facebook and on Twitter.
Visit Sponsor's Site

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Feb 25, 2014

The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale available Feb 25th

The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale is now available in Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and Digital. 
For a limited time, you can find specially marked packages with a free on-pack collectible Swan Princess Tiara. Makes a great gift!

Check out the movie clips below:




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Feb 22, 2014

My February Influenster #JadoreVoxBox

I have been a part the Influenster community for about 2 years now and I always feel like it's Christmas each time I receive a VoxBox. I received the February Valentine's themed, J'adore VoxBox. I am so impressed with the contents.  
The first item that really jumped out at me was the KISS lashes. I am 40 years old and have never tried false lashes before. I have wanted to just for fun, so I look forward to trying these. They area called KISS Looks So Natural Lashes and retail for $3.99. They are available at Walgreens and CVS Stores Nationwide. I must say, they do look real!

Next up, Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask ($9.39). I have looked a couple reviews already and have heard good things.

I love that this box was not just for women. They included a full size bottle of Vaseline Men Spray Lotion ($7.99 for 6.5 oz can). My husband tried it already and wasn't really impressed. It did work as far as being a moisturizer, I just think the scent was too strong.

My 17 year old daughter claimed the Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray ($9.99 for 3.5 fl oz) She will be testing it out this weekend since she is addicted to the flat iron. I can't wait to see how it works on her bounty of hair!

I have already enjoyed a cup of Red Rose Simply Indulgent Tea ($4.49 for carton of 20 tea bags) in the Lemon Chiffon flavor. It was light and rich at the same time. I am a little leery about trying the caramel variety. I might have the husband try that one today. He is our hot tea drinker in the house.

Last but not least, I received a family size bag of HERSHEY'S KISSES Milk Chocolate ($5.29 for 18.5 oz bag/$3.28 for 11 oz). What can I tell you about these Kisses? They are the same classic, chocolaty deliciousness they have been since I was a little kid. I have some big strawberries in the fridge that will be getting dipped in some melted Kisses this afternoon.

Overall, this is a great box and as usual, Influenster does not disappoint. Are you an Influenster? It's FREE to join and I can email you an invitation if you would like. Who doesn't love getting freebies to try out? Email me if you are interested.

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Feb 19, 2014

Wall Art Prints from Minted.com

I am a very simple person. I am not into a lot of "stuff" all over my home. As a matter of fact, although I have owned my house for many years, I still have a lot of empty walls that could use some sprucing up. One place in particular is my office. The only thing I have hanging up is a calendar and some random sticky notes. I have been browsing  wall art prints from Minted.com and came across a few pieces that caught my eye. This one called, "Museum" is my favorite:

What's neat about this particular print is that you can choose from 3 color schemes. It has such a feminine and sophisticated feel. You can choose from a variety of sizes and frames. You can also go with an unframed piece if you want to personalize it with a frame of your own.
The Minted site gives some great suggestions for grouping wall art prints for a contemporary and unique look. I saw some fun pieces that are all kitchen or food related that would make a cool clustered look for my dining area. 
With the amount of time I spend in my office, my wall needs to be treated to a lovely piece of art. My eyes could use the treat as well! 

Be sure to connect with Minted.com on Facebook and Twitter for the latest products updates and promotions.

I received a gift code as a thank you for sharing this article to promote Minted.com's wall art prints. All opinions are my own as always. 
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Kardashian Kids coming to Babies“R”Us beginning March 15th

Kourtney, Kim and Khloéé Kardashian Unveil Their First-Ever Collection for Baby Girls

NEW YORK, NY (FEBRUARY 19th 2014) – Kourtney, Kim and Khloéé Kardashian, in collaboration with Jupi Corp, will soon debut designs for girls up to 24 months at Babies“R”Us, the nation’s leading juvenile products retailer.  The Kardashian Kids collection features much adored motifs including butterflies, shimmering stars and a uniquely sweet take on the Kardashian’s signature animal print.  The line ranges from newborn onesies, snuggly caps and cozy blankets, to stylish and functional two-piece sets, jackets and dresses.  Kardashian Kids will be available exclusively at select Babies“R”Us stores across the U.S. and online at Babiesrus.com/KKids beginning March 15.

“Since becoming a mom, I’ve been so inspired to create Kardashian Kids with perfect prints, heavenly fabrics for a baby’s skin and to bring fashion to the baby world that is affordable,” said Kourtney, mother of Mason and Penelope.

The sweetly sophisticated pieces include delicate details of layered lace, pearl-embossed buttons, georgette appliques and leatherette.  Pastels, touches of gold, calming neutrals and pops of color are all a part of the collection’s color palette.  Cherished items include a playful white cotton onesie with girly tulle ruffles, soft gold polka-dot leggings and darling butterfly-printed bloomer shorts. From newborn must-haves to luxurious special occasion pieces, the line offers gentle fabrics in delightful and tender designs.

“Our grandmother opened a children’s fashion store, and from an early age I adored baby fashion.  Later when Penelope was born, my sisters and I had so many ideas for how we wanted to dress her, but didn’t always find what we were envisioning.  Now, as a mom, I cherish the time my baby and I spend together getting her dressed.  The items in this collection are exactly what I have imagined for her,” said Kim, mother of North.

“With our ever-expanding family and our wide circle of friends having children, designing a baby collection was the next natural progression for my sisters and me. We hope the charming patterns and the uniquely stylish items are gifts new parents will be delighted to open,” said Khloéé.

“The line was designed with fashionable parents in mind, and although trend is at the core of the collection, we never let it compromise quality and functionality. We always want to ensure we are offering our customers the finest quality at the best possible price and knew Babies“R”Us would be the perfect fit,” said Bruno Schiavi, Jupi Corp Chairman and Founder.

“At Babies“R”Us, our customers love sweet and sensible looks for their little girls, and always appreciate a good buy – something with fashionable flair and an affordable price tag. That’s just what Kardashian Kids offers,” said Tom Via, Senior Vice President, General Merchandising Manager. He continued, “Kourtney, Kim and Khloéé each have their own, unique perspective and bring their individual strengths to the table. This has resulted in an adorable collection that pays close attention to the details that moms – and gift-givers – look for, and we’re thrilled to launch this line exclusively in March.”

Kardashian Kids items will retail from $15 to $30 and will be available at all Babies“R”Us stores and online at www.Babiesrus.com/KKids. Fans can stay up-to-date on the latest Kardashian Kids news by following on Facebook (facebook.com/kardashiankids), Instagram (@KardashianKids) and Twitter (@KKidsOfficial).
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Feb 17, 2014

Kicked-up Baked Beans (Easy Weeknight Recipe)

Need a quick meal idea for the work week? Try my easy Kicked-up Baked Beans and have a hearty meal on the table with minimal effort. 

Ingredients:
2 Cans of Bush's Grillin' Beans (I use 1 Bourbon & Brown Sugar and 1 Steakhouse Recipe)
Andouille Sausage (or your favorite sausage) cut in small chunks
2 tbsp very finely diced onion
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp garlic powder
cracker pepper to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar
a few dashes of Cajun seasoning  (I like Tony Chachere's)

Heat oven to 375 degree. Place beans in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add sausage and remaining ingredients. Lightly stir to combine everything. Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Enjoy over your favorite rice.

You can easily adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. Andouille is spicy so you have to go easy on which seasonings you add. Let me know if you try this recipe.
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Feb 15, 2014

Winter Storm Pax and a little earthquake to shake things up a bit | Winter 2014 in SC

February has been a very, very interesting month. We have lived in South Carolina for over 16 years and have experienced all four seasons, our share of storms and everything in between (so we thought). We had our second snow storm hit this last week which is quite rare for SC. Normally snow for us is maybe an inch or some flurries. Not this time, we had 4 inches of sleet, snow, freezing rain, snow, sleet and more freezing rain, in that order!
I am sure we are being laughed at from the Northerners about our little 4 inches of the frozen stuff. Laugh all you want. This does NOT happen here!
Of course our entire state for the most part was shut down. Everyone was urged to stay indoors for good reason. Our state is not equipped to handle snow and ice. Snow plows and sand/salt trucks are very few and rarely needed. The biggest scare for us was the ice situation. I know that most of the rural areas lost power and had a lot of fallen trees and even structures collapsed. I am so thankful that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Besides the inconvenience of not being able to leave the house for 3 days, we got through it. I am one of those Southerners who run to the grocery store to stock up on extra items, and for good reason! At least we had a lot of good things to snack on and lots of firewood covered up in tarp out back in the event we had to use it. It's better to be overly prepared in my opinion.
My husband cleaned our cars off before anything else added to what was on there. I watched him push huge sheets of frozen precipitation off. It was amazing! We even had to shovel our front deck and steps. Of course, living in the south, we don't have an actual snow shovel. We used traditional garden shovels and even dust pans. Hey, we had to make do with what we had!
Don't I look like I am floating in this photo? I was standing on top of frozen grass. We had to be careful because it was very slippery. I am not an ice skater, that's for sure! I felt so badly for the neighborhood dogs as they struggled to walk or stand up on the ice.
William wanted to play in the snow, but unfortunately, it wasn't that type of snow. He did enjoy exploring outside and making tracks in the crunchy ground.

We are lucky that the temperatures are rising and everything is melting pretty quickly. Later next week, we are looking at seeing temps in the upper 70's. We thought we were done with the crazy weather until last night. Valentine's night 2014 will never be forgotten. Many of us in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina felt an earthquake for the very first time. Although it was very quick and a 4.4, it was enough to scare us silly. Facebook and Twitter exploded with updates about the earthquake. I know our California friends were amused!

Hopefully the weather will start to improve for everyone. I really feel for my friends living out in states that are getting hit super hard by storm after storm. I can't imagine living in that. What has the weather been like where you live?
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Feb 10, 2014

Playing with my later-in-life curls with Ouidad

For the first 35 years of my life, I had the most straight hair. It was so straight that I could wash it, let it air-dry and it would come out completely silky-straight. Now that I'm 40, it's safe to say that my hormones have changed and it has affected my hair quite a bit. I now have some loose curls and waves that have to be tamed for my hair to look neat. I received some products from Ouidad for review. 
Pictured are; Ouidad's PlayCurl Volumizing Stying Spray and Ouidad Salon Series Mongongo Mulit-use Oil Treatment. 

I decided to test out the PlayCurl volumizing spray to see what it would do to my hair. I washed and conditioned my hair with some Ouidad products I have from a previous review and sprayed my towel-dried hair with the PlayCurl product. I then very lightly diffused my hair, but left it pretty damp to finish off air drying. This is the result....
I really love how more defined my waves are and my hair had a lot of body and volume. Even my husband noticed my fuller hair! I have also used the spray to blow dry with and it adds a nice boost of volume. I really like it. I do still have some straighter parts, but the extra volume seems to mask it well. 

My older daughter tried out the Mongongo Oil Treatment in her hair. She has been trying to maintain her natural curls and has had the hardest time finding a good moisturizer. She applied the treatment into towel-dried hair and lightly diffused. Here is the end result. Gorgeous, huh? After using the product for 2 weeks, she is still happy with it and says it really works. 
You can find these Ouidad products on the Oiudad website and at ULTA stores. The PlayCurl Volumizing Styling Spray comes in a 8.5 ounce bottle and retails for $22. The Mongongo Oil treatment comes in 2 ounces for $36 and 4 ounces for $58. 

You can also find Ouidad on Facebook and Twitter. There are some great tutorials for curls of all kinds on their website and Youtube channel. 

I received complimentary products samples in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own. 

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Feb 8, 2014

Kiss My Face Peace Soap Review

Kiss My Face has come out with a 100% natural castile soap called Peace Soap. I received a 17 ounce bottle in the Lemongrass Clary Sage soap. I was hesitant at first when I saw that "sage" was in the name. I was pleasantly surprised that it smelled amazing, just like fresh cut lemongrass. My husband and kids all love it. I have the bottle in the kitchen and I keep finding my family going in there just to use this soap. 
Getting back to basics, the Kiss My Face Peace Soap is a castile soap formulated with 100% natural ingredients including olive, coconut and jojoba oils.  Castile soap is a safe and gentle substitute for traditional soaps that often contain harsh ingredients.  This simple Kiss My Face formulation is biodegradable, environmentally friendly and can clean just about anything!  

Peace Soap Key Features:

-100% natural castile soap made with the soothing strength of olive oil and the softening power of coconut
-Free of parabens, SLS and phthalates
-10% of the profits will support the Seeds of Peace organization, which brings teenagers together from opposite sides of conflict for a one of a kind leadership and conflict resolution training
-No animal ingredients or testing
-Available in Grassy Mint, Lemongrass Clary Sage, Lavender Mandarin and Pomegranate Acai
-Available in 3 sizes – a travel friendly 3.4 oz, 8 oz and 17 oz

Be sure to connect with Kiss My Face on Facebook. You can learn more about Seeds of Peace here.

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Kiss My Face Oral Care for Kids

I received a sample tube of Kiss My Face Kids Toothpaste without Fluoride to test out. I love that the tube reads, "Obsessively Natural Kids" on top. My husband has been researching natural brands of health and beauty products, especially for little William.
I have to admit, the first time William tried this toothpaste, he didn't like it. It took him about 3 or 4 brushings for him to get used to it. He has been using it for about 6 weeks now and has no complaints. I am happy to find something that I feel good about him using. 

Kiss My Face Kids Berry Smart Toothpaste

·         Cleans teeth and gums naturally

·         Cranberry, aloe and tea tree extracts promote a healthy mouth

·         A berry flavor kids will love

·         Available with and without fluoride

·         $5.95 for 4 oz

You can find Kiss My Face oral care products at Whole Foods, Natural Supermarkets and at Kissmyface.com. I have even seen some of the product line at my local Publix supermarket.  Be sure to connect with Kiss My Face on Facebook for product updates and information. 

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Feb 5, 2014

Let's talk wine-- My recent find for $5

I don't know about you, but I love a nice glass of wine at the end of the day. I won't pretend that I really know a whole lot about wine. I go with trying different ones to determine what appeals to me. I know that I don't like Zinfandel's because they are too astringent. Moscato and Riesling is way too sweet. Most red wines are too strong or taste like a funky old oak barrel. I think my palate might not be mature enough for some varieties! I have to have a balance between sweet, with a slight "bite". I came across a wine at my local Kroger store and the price tag attracted me. It is called Rejuvenate Red Blend and was on sale for $5.00. I figured that it wasn't a whole lot to spend and if I didn't like it, I wouldn't be out by much. 
I poured a glass and it was love at first sip. It had a mild sweetness with hints of cherries and berries. It is what I have been searching for- not too sweet and it had a slight bite. Even my husband liked it. I have purchased a few bottles since the first one and think I better buy as many as I can to put away, while they are on sale. It pairs well with any type of meat or poultry as well as pasta and desserts. It's a good everyday table wine. I haven't seen it in any other stores besides Kroger and the website really doesn't give any information about it. My guess is that they are a new company. They make a Moscato as well as the Red Blend. If you are looking for a new wine or are a wine newbie, I highly suggest this brand.

What is your favorite wine? I am always open to trying something new.
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New: Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash (Review & Giveaway)

CLOSED- Winners are Brandi Dawn, Shahidah Armstrong and Nicole M

The Dial brand provided me with a sample of Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own. 

I am a dedicated body wash user. I have to have something that is very moisturizing for my dry skin. New Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash is infused with lotion for extra moisturization. The first thing I noticed was the very fresh scent. I let my daughters try it out first and they told me that I won't be getting it back! Both girls loved the scent, rich lather and how well it moisturized their skin. I had to smuggle the bottle out of their bathroom while they were at school so I could try it for myself. I have to agree with the girls, it was all they said it would be. I really love how smooth my skin felt after my shower. The scent was so fresh and invigorating. 
I really like the Dial line of products because they are affordable without lacking quality. Would you like to try Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash for yourself? I have 3 coupons to give away to 3 Momfiles readers (one per person). Enter below.

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on February 15, 2014. Three winners will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

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