Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beach House Baking: An Endless Summer of Delicious Desserts Review

In Beach House Baking: An Endless Summer of Delicious Desserts, pastry chef Lei Shishak shares her most popular recipes for morning treats, cupcakes, crisps, cookies, pies, ice cream sandwiches, frozen pops, and beverages from her celebrated Sugar Blossom Bake Shop in the charming beach town of San Clemente, California.

At her shop, Chef Lei serves up familiar treats that offer so much more than a sweet dining experience. Inspired by her beach town location and her love of the sand-and-surf lifestyle, she creates high-quality, made-from-scratch desserts that transport you to the islands and resorts you’ve always hoped to visit. Get ready to hit the beach through one hundred recipes, including:

Daybreak Muffins
Light as a Kite Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Coco Hut Macaroons
Red, Red Wine Cupcakes
Sweet and Salty Beach Bod Brittle
Nantucket Ice Cream Sandwiches
Tropical Tea
And more!

Lei’s recipes in Beach House Baking are designed to take you on an island vacation, turning the task of baking into a virtual journey to a beachside paradise, filled with the sounds and aromas of the places you can go to just get away from it all!


My husband and boys love to bake. We all have a major sweet tooth here in this house. This cook book is amazing! The recipes all have easy to find and affordable ingredients. We can pronounce all the ingredients and find them at our local grocery store. The recipes are laid out in easy to understand and easy to follow step by step instructions. Each recipe has a great introduction and full color picture of the dessert that will make your mouth water. There are also some beautiful beach pictures interspersed throughout the book. There are so many delicious recipes to choose from that this cookbook will keep you busy and stocked on sweets year round. A big 5/5 from us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Authentic Mexican Cooking Review

Everyone enjoys the flavorful and piquant foods and refreshing drinks of Mexico and Authentic Mexican Cooking shows you that these tasty traditional dishes from south of the border are very easy to make.

With beautiful photographs and fun, colorful illustrations, this extensive cookbook shows you how to make all of the popular Mexican meals as well as some you might not have tried before. From vinaigrettes, soups, salads, and appetizers, to meat and seafood fare, sweet desserts, and fun cocktails, you’ll be having a fiesta in the kitchen while making these. Along with valuable tips about typical ingredients, you’ll find great recipes for:

Vegetarian frijoles
Tortilla soup
Chocolate-chili sauce
Pork medallions with salsa
Mushroom-filled burritos
Quail in rose petal sauce
Halibut ceviche with olives
Shrimp in tequila sauce
Mint, watermelon, and hibiscus cocktails
And much more!

With Authentic Mexican Cooking you’ll be enjoying the sun and the fiery spirit of the country of the chili peppers, tequilas, and rich chocolate, until you are ready for your siesta.


We love this cookbook. My husband grew up with these kinds of recipes being served in his aunts house and has a great appreciation of Mexican food and culture. This recipe book has beautiful full color pictures and every recipe is laid out in easy to understand step by step detail. Even the most novice cook can get amazing results with these recipes. There are recipes for dinner, drinks, desserts and appetizers in this cookbook. There are a lot of interesting and helpful tips about the different kinds of food used interspersed in the recipes also. We love trying new foods and recipes so we will be having fun with this cookbook for a long time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pure Health Naturally Superfruit Juices Review and Giveaway

Pure Health Naturally provides food-based supplements from around the world. All our supplements are free of binders, fillers and other things you don't need or want. We also offer great, low prices.

I received Pure Health's newest Superfruit Juices at no cost in exchange for my honest review

Acai Blueberry: Enjoy the Brazilian beauty berry! Acai Blueberry blends the rich flavor of the exotic Amazonian acai berry with the bold, delicious taste of blueberries and a burst of sweetness from grapes and pineapple. 

Pome Berries: Savor the flavor of pomegranate superfruit! Pome Berries blends the lush, hearty flavor of pomegranates with the tantalizing, delicious taste of mixed berries and a tasty, bright burst of grapes and pineapple. 

Goji Cranberry: Meet the happy berry! Goji Cranberry blends the sweet tangy flavor of the Asian goji berry with the sharp, tart taste of cranberry and a burst of grape and pineapple.

Our Review

Our family tends to drink a lot of soda and sugary juice drinks. My boys especially like drinks like Capri Sun and Kool Aide. Trying to get them to eat or drink anything healthy is a struggle. I have a few health problems myself and I struggle with eating healthy and getting daily vitamins that my body needs. i have a full time job, take care of my family and run this blog. I tend to reach for sodas like Mountain Dew and energy drinks to keep myself going. I was happy to get these juice to try! Now, by no means have I stopped drinking my coffee, tea and soda lol. However, these are a really great tasting and healthy, vitamin packed alternative to other sweet drinks we usually reach for. These juices are light and sweet and we all enjoy them a lot, even my very finicky picky boys. My 6 year old loves the Blueberry and the Cranberry and I like the Pome Berries one. These are available at Walmart so you can find them easily whenever you need more. Check them out at the links below and enter to win these 3 juices!

Pure Health Twitter

Win these Superfruit Juices to try for yourself!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

DecoraUSA Review and Giveaway

DecoraUSA is the south Florida's largest online retailer dealing with high quality and branded home lighting and decor products with everyday discount prices. 

Extensive product selection at DecoraUSA covers a large spectrum of home d├ęcor products from outdoor lighting fixtures to crystal chandeliers. We carry brand name lighting fixtures, designer rugs, ceiling fans and decorative products from top designers in the nation. Turn your home into a lavish Miami style mansion. Browse our astonishing chandeliers and lights. Shop our contemporary and modern table lamps at discount prices. Our selection of sleek and luxurious lamps offer European designs that are chic and affordable.

I received a product from DecoraUSA at no cost in exchange for my honest opinion.

I picked the Surya Teegan Throw

In one hundred percent acrylic, the throws from our Teegan Collection are woven to perfection, bringing a touch of class to your home.

My Review

My house is what I wold call hodge podge style decorated. When I see something I like I buy it and find a place for it. I have a love for small throw blankets. No matter the temperature outside, with the ac on inside I always like to have one handy. I always seem to be cold when everyone else is hot. This blanket is a beautiful neutral design that will fit in with any house design and decor. This is a nice large 55 X 78, so even my almost 6 foot husband can use this to cover up comfortably when he lays on the couch. The acrylic material is super soft. My 6 year old loves  to cuddle with me on the couch or in bed and cover up with this. He keeps telling me how soft it is and how much he likes it. I love the colors of this throw. When we aren't cuddling or covering with it, it looks great on the back of my couch or the end of my bed. This is a very versatile throw and we love it. The quality is amazing and I would definitely recommend this throw, and this company, to anyone looking for the perfect decor for their home.

Win a $100 gift card to the DecorUSA website!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Peas and Hambone Versus Flesh Eating Zombie Gorillas Review

Peas is an ordinary ten-year-old boy… who just happens to have a dog that can walk and talk like a person as long as no one else is around!

On one of their frequent trips to the zoo, Peas and his dog, Hambone, spy the Evil Doctor Crazy Gorilla feeding a mysterious potion to all the gorillas who instantly transform into disgusting flesh-eating zombies!

Peas and Hambone must put their heads together in order to find an antidote to the zombie outbreak. Otherwise, Evil Doctor Crazy Gorilla will use his army of gorilla zombies to take over the world.
As they take to the streets to fight the hordes, Peas and Hambone come to a terrifying conclusion: The zombie gorillas can regenerate! Will they come up with a solution before it’s too late?

Our Review

A boy, his talking and walking upright dog, and flesh eating gorillas, what more could you ask for in a middle age zombie book? This was a great short book for me and my son to read together. The story is fast paced, funny and gross. My 9 year old son loves it! It's kept to the main details and doesn't bog down in tiny details that would bore him. The main character is only a year older than my son, so my son really connects with the character and the story. It's funny enough to keep me interested and entertained while we read together. This really is a perfect summer read for kids are into the zombie craze and like to laugh!

About the Author

Todd Nichols earned his bachelor's degree in cardiopulmonary science in 1993 from Northeastern University, where he also later received his master's degree in education. The only thing Nichols is more passionate about than his job as an elementary school teacher is writing, a hobby that led him to publish his debut children's novel, Peas and Hambone Versus Flesh-Eating Zombie Gorillas. Nichols currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife, five-year-old twins, and cat, Pokey.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Family Dinner Cookbook Review

The Family Dinner Cookbook is compiled of loads of easy-to-prepare, delicious dishes plus prayers and inspiration. This unique recipe collection goes above and beyond the traditional cookbook, with a generous offering of smart, fun, creative tips and ideas for spending quality time together with family. Approximately 300 hand-picked recipes for simple meals, desserts, no-bake dishes, and more will delight the taste buds of even the choosiest eaters in the family. The Family Dinner Cookbook: Recipes and Inspiration for Quality Time Together makes a great “anytime” gift for families of all ages and stages.

Our Review

Our busy hectic schedules tend to get in the way of our family time sometimes. We tend to make fast and quick meals during the week when I work and then on the weekends I just want to relax, so we eat out or order in. I was so excited to get this book and see what kinds of recipes and tips were inside. There are so many fun and easy recipes included in this cookbook. The recipes are easy enough that even the youngest helper can feel included and part of the process. Some of the recipes we've bookmarked are:

Not To Hot Chili
Tater Tot Casserole
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
Peanut Butter Logs
Chocolate Pretzel Rings

The book is broken down into 5 sections:

Kid Friendly Favorites
Favorite Classics
Try Something New
Soups, Veggies, and Appetizers
Desserts and Drinks

There are blessings and memorable scripture selections at the beginning of each section. This is really great family friendly cookbook that will bring families together for great food, and great time shared together!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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Skippy Singles Review

SKIPPY® Singles are perfectly portioned single servings of peanut butter, available in two varieties – Creamy Peanut Butter and Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Spread – so you can have the great taste of SKIPPY® peanut butter wherever you go. Each package includes six single-serve cups in an innovative re-sealable canister, which is ideal for convenient storage, and features a clear front panel so consumers can easily see when to add SKIPPY® Singles to the grocery list. SKIPPY® Singles can be enjoyed as a spread, dip, or straight out of the cup, so they’re perfect as part of a quick lunch at the office, an on-the-go snack with fruit and veggies, or to refuel with protein post-workout.

I received 2 packages of the Skippy Natural Creamy Singles at no cost in exchange for my honest review.

Our Review

We love peanut butter. We go through at least 2-3 jars of it a month, sometimes more if we bake with it. We love PBJ's, PB and pretzels, crackers, celery, apples and I eat just straight spoonfuls of peanut butter. My husband has an awesome peanut butter fudge recipe that we make at least once a month also. We only eat the creamy peanut butter, no one here likes the chunky. I work a 9 hour day so I like to take extra snacks with my lunch to keep me going throughout the day. These Skippy Singles are very easy to take along, they are so small they can go in any lunch box, or even my purse if I'm not taking a cold lunch. These are great snack for car trips with the kids also. They can eat pretzels and peanut butter in the back seat and there's no mess or containers that have to be stored. We love these singles versions of our favorite peanut butter! 

You can find some really great recipes HERE!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Farmers Kitchen Handbook Review

More and more cooks are turning to their own gardens or to local farmers’ markets to find inspiration for their meals. Eating fresh, local produce is a hot trend, but lifelong Vermonter Marie Lawrence has been cooking with produce from her gardens, buying milk from the farmers up the road, and lavishing her family and lucky friends with the fruits of her kitchen labor since she was a kid. In this book she includes recipes for everything from biscuits and breads to pies and cookies, soups and stews to ribs and roasts. Also included are instructions for making cheese, curing meats, canning and preserving, and much more.

Organized by month to coordinate with a farmer’s calendar, cooks will find delicious recipes including orange date bran muffins and old fashioned pot roast in January, hot spiced maple milk and fried cinnamon buns in March, mint mallow ice cream in July, Vermont cheddar onion bread in October, and almond baked apples with Swedish custard cream in December. Other recipes include grilled chicken with peach maple glaze, veggie tempura, raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake, and dozens of other breads, salads, drinks, and desserts that are fresh from the farmer’s kitchen.

In addition to the recipes, readers will find old-fashioned household hints, a harvest guide, and a place to record your own favorite family recipes. Whether you have your own farm and garden or support your local farmers’ market, this book will make seasonal cooking a true pleasure.


This cookbook is a nice addition to our collection. We don't use a lot of preserved food and there are a lot of recipes in here for that sort of cooking. There are some good old fashioned recipes in the book that we have book marked. My husband is a good baker so he's pretty interested in the pie recipes and some of the other desserts. There's an easy recipe for Shepard's Pie and some snack recipes like soft pretzels and biscuits. There are also a lot of recipes for home made sauces, frosting, dips and stuff like that. The back of the book has some great old fashioned house hold hints, weight and measurement conversions, and substitutions  list. This is a really nice down home cook book that would add value to any cookbook collection.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Olactif Review

Olfactif is a first-of-its kind monthly perfume subscription service. And we're absolutely crazy about scent.

Around the first of each month, we send subscribers a curated collection of three niche perfume samples from artists around the world. Our samples aren't those tiny vials you get at the department store; we give you 2.25 ml of each scent in a glass spray vial, and each vial has enough for 15 - 20 wearings.

That's not all—we also give you an $18 credit to put toward a full bottle of a featured scent, every month. We also indulge your curiosity about scent with great content about the featured artists and their stories, plus lots of fascinating info on the science of smell.

What is niche perfume?

Niche perfume is hard to find, unless you happen to live in New York or Paris. Unlike the companies that make mainstream scents, the people who make niche perfume aren't obsessed with conforming to trends and mimicking last year's best seller. They value creativity and originality, and they make things you'd never smell on department store counters. And with their contrasts and complexities, they just make the act of smelling a lot more fun. And isn't that why we're here in the first place? 

I received the Wedding Collection at no cost in exchange for my honest review

    The Olfactif Wedding Collection features three 2.25 ml samples in an elegant gift box. Add a satin gift ribbon in the bride's wedding color for an extra-special detail.

My Review

I have a very few perfumes and body sprays that I like and use regularly. I have a hard time picking out scents that I think I will like and that will smell nice once I put them on. Even if I try them in the store they don't always seem the same when I come home. I was very excited to get to try this subscription box from Olactif. The box it comes in is very small, but the black box inside is beautiful. I love how it slides open. The vials look kind of small but each one has at least 15-20 uses. For someone like me who doesn't wear perfumes very often that lasts a long time. These are glass vials, not the cheap little plastic ones that tend to sometimes fall apart if you squeeze too hard. 

This collection is geared towards special occasions like a wedding, but they can be used any time really. The three scents I received are very feminine. The favorite of the box is Perfect Veil. I really fell in love with that one. It has a low key sweet scent that works for going out in the evening, or just wearing it to work. The other two perfumes are a little stronger in scent and a little more floral based, but they are still really nice scents. You only need to use 1-2 sprays at most of these perfumes and the scent lasts all day. 

I am thrilled I got to review this box and I loved the selection I received. The value of this box at $18 is very budget friendly, and really lets you get a good feel for which scents you like before you buy a full size bottle. If you do decide to purchase a full size bottle from the website, the $18 for this monthly box is put toward the price of the bottle you buy.  So this is really an amazing value and there's no excuse not to give it a try!