Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BzzAgent Kit: Neutragena

About the time I was selected for the bodywash BzzKit, I was also selected to review some Neutrogena foundation. As someone who hasn't worn liquid foundation in about 10 years because they're always clogging my skin, I was excited to try this one. Unfortunately, the color that I selected (via my computer monitor!) was WAY too dark. It was also extremely hard to wash off and I actually had to scrape it off my hand with a fingernail. That does not make me want to buy it! If you've tried it and like it, let me know what you think! I'd still love to have a liquid foundation that I can wear.

** This review was done as a part of my participation in campaigns with BzzAgent. I have gotten to try (for FREE!) all sorts of products. If you're interested in learning more, click HERE.**

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BzzAgent Kit: Tone bodywash


One of my latest BzzKits was for a great-smelling bodywash by Tone. I don't get a chance to take a long enough shower to use it very regularly, but I really enjoy the smell and how my skin feels when I do use it. I totally recommend it!

** This review was done as a part of my participation in campaigns with BzzAgent. I have gotten to try (for FREE!) all sorts of products. If you're interested in learning more, click HERE.**

Friday, February 21, 2014

Moms' Night Out: A Movie Review


I held a giveaway on here and my friend Monica won. So it was a girls night out for the two of us. The company managing the event even had goodie bags for everyone in attendance. (My favorite part is a little key chain of scriptures we can pray over our kids but it had all sorts of things inside.) So Monica not only got to see a free movie, but she got a goodie bag as well as an evening with me! ;-)
Here's us doing a selfie in the theater.
I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this movie. REALLY enjoyed it. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I smiled and laughed so much throughout it that my cheeks were sore afterward! I'm not allowed to give away anything that might be considered a spoiler, but the basic premise is that a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) is overwhelmed with life and so she plans an evening out--Moms' Night Out, and things go horribly awry. There's a book club, pastor's wife, stolen vehicle, police chase, tattoo parlor/artist, kind strangers, jail, and an ER visit involved. And while the plot lines at times felt a little obvious, it didn't stop it from being a hilarious movie and time well-spent.

It also is a Christian movie so the gospel is present throughout which I loved. The message is that Jesus loves everyone and salvation is for everyone. I dislike that His message has become something taboo or that is shunned in today's American society. It's not for the perfect, it's not for "the religious", it's for you and for me. And in this movie it's discussed openly and humorously. It's intwined in the message of the movie which is how it is in my life--intwined in everyday living. And it's a funny movie that keeps you on your toes. What's not to like?? I completely recommend it. GO!

The version we saw wasn't fully finished, so it had a few editing errors that I'm sure will get fixed when the movie actually comes out (Mother's Day weekend!), and they told us that the orchestra who did the music for Frozen is doing this soundtrack. So the music will be awesome too! I think every mom should ask for a night out with friends to go see this movie as their gift for Mother's Day. Leave the kids with the Daddies, get some girlfriends together, and go see it! Just pray your evening isn't as eventful as the one in the movie! ;-)


Thursday, February 13, 2014

"The Marriage You've Always Wanted": a book review and GIVEAWAY

In honor of St. Valentine's Day, FlyBy Promotions sent me a book to review. You know how "they" always say there are no coincidences? Well, this is one of those times. The hubs and I have been going through a rough spot lately (a spot pretty common in this life stage--with young kiddos sucking up any extra minute available!), and so getting this book in the mail was super exciting! I immediately tore it open and began reading!

OVERALL: Definitely read it.

Click on the book to see it in Amazon.
Full Review: It's definitely a book we recommend! It's only 134 pages, so it's a quick, easy read. There is homework at the end of each chapter and while the hubs and I didn't do all of the homework, we did read each chapter and talk about the content and homework questions. The author is a Christian, so there's definitely a faith angle to it. (Which is perfect for us, but might not be for you.) There are a few cheesy lines, but we are very glad we read it. If your marriage could use a boost or you're interested in marriage topics, you should read it too!

There are nine chapters:
1) Why Do People Marry?
2) Why Won't They Change?
3) What Love Really Means
4) "Listen to Me!"
5) Who Takes care of What?
6) Decisions, Decisions
7) "You Mean We Have to Work at Sex?"
8) Leaving and Honoring Parents
9) Love and Money

While each chapter has specific things that you can take away from them, depending on your situation, I think the book as a whole has a really great message and it definitely inspired some great conversation in this household! A few of my favorite take-aways:

"The supreme purpose of marriage is the union of two individuals at the deepest possible level and in all areas."

"Contrary to some popular psychological notions, all of our negative emotions do not need to be expressed. Some need to be starved."

"Healthy, meaningful communication is not a luxury; it is a necessity. There can be no unity without such communication."

"Before marriage, one's allegiance is to one's parents, but after marriage allegiance shifts to one's mate."


Have you read any amazing books lately? Any marriage ones specifically?


If you're interested, I have an extra one to GIVE AWAY! To enter the drawing, leave a comment on this post, making sure I have your email address. I'll do the drawing on February 28th, so you have 14 days to enter!


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Monday, February 3, 2014

OXO Good Grips POP storage containers

A friend of mine recently shared with me that she was using these containers and it really got me to thinking about how nice it would be to organize my pantry in this way. As it was, I was using canisters on the counter and then storing the rest of the product in a baggie in the pantry because the whole product (2lb bag of brown sugar, or whatnot) wouldn't all fit in the canister. So the product was taking up space on my counter AND in the pantry! I decided it was time to make a change and since Cyndi was in love with her OXO containers, so I bought some for myself.

First of all, it's hard to tell from a website what the sizes are actually like, so I took a picture of this insert that came in my containers. I wished the Amazon site more clearly described them or what they look like next to each other. (The picture of all the containers together doesn't explain what sizes you're seeing, so it doesn't help much.)
I have 3 of the 2.4 qt size, 1 of the 4.0 qt size, and 1 of the .9qt size.
This is what my pantry now looks like. I wish I had taken a before photo because the transformation is amazing! (My containers have sugar, flour (two kinds), brown sugar, and powdered sugar in them from left to right/top to bottom. The brown and powdered sugar containers each have new a 2lb bag inside, for comparison size-wise.) The other container isn't pictured but has coffee in it.
I wanted to show another picture, more clearly detailing a size comparison. These containers are all nice squares with big wide tops, for easy access. I have only used them once since I switched over, but my 1-cup measure cup fit inside the sugar tub well enough that I just scooped up the cup of sugar I needed, jiggled it side to side to take off the excess, and put the lid back on. Easy-Peasy!

Here's the only negative as I see it: The bottoms (the clear plastic part) is not dishwasher safe. That seems crazy to me, but I will probably only fill these once a year or something since I'm using them for dry goods, so it's certainly not a deal breaker. It might be if it was something I was going to have to clean more often. I should mention that the lid comes apart and IS dishwasher safe.

Anything else you want to know about these that I can help with?

*I would note that these get quite heavy when full and though the top seems VERY secure air-wise, I wouldn't carry them around by the top as I imagine the lid coming out. It's not so secure I would trust it. Though I can't imagine wanting to do that anyways because the surface area to grab just the lid would be very difficult.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

And the AMP MD winner is....

My mother-in-law, Kim, won the drawing for the AMP MD I gave away. Thanks for everyone who came to my Grand Opening and for supporting my new business venture!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

PARK REVIEW: Peter Pan Park

I have been wanting to start a series of Park Reviews since we started going to the park regularly (about 2.5 years ago!), so welcome to my first one! I'll include some pictures so you can get a feel for the park, as well as a map so you can easily find it/get a sense of the surroundings. I also plan on giving a rating to the park, based on three factors: equipment (amount, variety, benches, picnic tables), condition (litter, maintenance issues), and environment (location, parking, seclusion, shade). There will also be an overall rating. These are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst.

Peter Pan Park Review

OVERALL: 8.5

Equipment: 8

Condition: 7

Environment: 9


Overall, this was an AWESOME park and I highly recommend it. (Though that's hard for me to do because I want to be the only one there!) We will definitely go back; it's currently my favorite park in Dallas.

Positives:
-It's in a very secluded area, so there are trees bordering two of the three sides of this triangular-shaped park (one line of trees even has a visible creek running through it).
-The parking was a bit weird as it's just on the street in the crook of a bend in the road, so it would be hard to fit a bunch of cars close by, but that also makes it nice because the traffic (on this small residential street) is far from the equipment so that run-away kids are easily caught in time. Only about 3 or 4 cars would fit easily, in my opinion.
-Two sections of equipment, one geared toward the small ones (G is 15 months and did just fine on all of it) and one geared for a bit bigger kid (A is 39 months and did just fine on everything in the park). I can imagine kids 2nd grade and older being too big. But again, I don't have kids that age, so it's a bit hard for me to judge that.
-Three or Four picnic tables for eating lunches and about 6 benches scattered around for sitting and watching the kids.
-Nice open space for running around/playing ball. It's big but not like soccer field big.
-Tons of garbage cans. More than you would need. (And yet there was still trash on the ground, including empty beer cans!)
-Well-maintained. There were a few pieces of trash, but the mulch was full and nice and there wasn't any graffiti, etc. Everything seemed new-ish and generally well-kept.

Negatives:
-No bathrooms. This might be a deal breaker for you, but isn't for me. (I'll make sure we have used the bathroom before we leave the house, though. This park is only about 5 minutes from my house.)
-Not much shade. We were there on a cloudy day with leafless trees, but I can imagine it being too hot in the summer with the lack of trees shading the equipment.
-No drinking fountains. That's not a big deal to me, but just be warned.
-Only four swings, one of which was a baby swing and a red one which I think is ADA.


A is 3 years, 3 months and G is 15 months.
This sign was outside the small equipment area, but I think 5 would be too bored. 
the smaller equipment
The middle section had a picnic table inside.
G crawled through the tunnel lickety-split!
the bigger equipment
This sidewalk and bridge were cute.
It doesn't go much of anywhere, but I thought it was nice looking.
The two sections are separate but close by.
One could easily sit and keep an eye on both sections/more than one kid.
Toward the creek was this nice stone steps/retaining wall which I thought was cute.
It could be a hassle if you have a "runner," though.
benches and picnic tables and garbage cans.
A had no problem running across this bridge, but the space between the bridge and the first side rail was over G's head, so we needed to stand near him for that. But he's a climber and fearless. Perhaps your young one wouldn't even attempt.
A loved this slide. He went down over and over again.
It was definitely not too big for him!
G was all over the big equipment. (And has started this lip-out concentration face.)
G doesn't like swinging very much, but does like sitting in a swing while A swings! 
The hubs showing how big the red swing was.
My two oldest men playing football on the open space.
Here are some Google images better detailing the park, where it's located and the seclusion: