Archive for April, 2012
I was recently given the opportunity to review the SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap.
Okay, probably one of the coolest things I have ever tested. The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap.
What It Is:
It is a battery operated cat flap that can only be operated by a microchiped cat. The microchip must be programed before hand.
What It Does:
Keeps unwanted pests out of the house by only functioning when a registered microchip is attempting to pass through the “tunnel.”
A Few Facts:
-The SureFlap Cat Flap is designed for one-way operation. Meaning that the flap is not locked for cats that are inside trying to go outside. However, it is locked for cats on the outside trying to come inside.
-SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap can remember up to 32 different microchips-an animal hoarder’s dream ;-]
-Small microchiped dogs can also use the SureFlap.
-Pet does not need a collar.
-SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap is battery operated only. Meaning no hazardous cords and pesky outlets.
My Thoughs-The Good:
When I first received my SureFlap Cat Flap I was super excited to use it. Seriously, look at it. I wish my dog was small. I also wish that we hadn’t gotten rid of Kimba. Although that’s a-whole-nother story.
So, when I opened it up the first thing I did was search for directions. I have to read directions for everything. The directions are easy enough to understand. There are only about 8 full pages of directions. Which seems like a lot, but the book is thick (different languages available).
I love that you need little to no force to open the cat flap. I was worried at first that maybe a cat wouldn’t be able to figure out that it needs to push on the flap, but that’s not the case. A firm nudge lifts the flap. Although, it only lifts the flap if you have a microchip.
I have made a short video on how the SureFlap Cat Flap works. You should know thought that when you install your SureFlap, you won’t have to hold on to it like I did. The door will be able to hold it in place.
Another thing I noticed that I think is a great idea is the lock. You can lock the SureFlap Cat Flap at night so your dog or cat can’t get out at night! The pic on the left is the SureFlap unlocked. The pic on the right is the SureFlap locked.
The SureFlap Cat Flap can be installed in almost any door: wooden, glass, metal and plastic. If your door already has a cat/small dog flap, then there is a VERY good chance that the SureFlap will fit in the pre-cut hole!
My Thoughts-The Bad:
The very first thing I noticed when I opened up my box is that the batteries aren’t included. If I’m going to spend around $150 on something I kind of expect it to come with the 4 AA batteries it needs.
Another thing is the instruction manual could have come in a larger font. I plan on giving this to my mom and I know she’s not going to be able to read the directions very well.
Other than those 2 things, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the SureFlap Cat Flap. I even think the price is fair…and that’s saying something if I think it’s not too pricy.
Don’t get me wrong, I would definitely contact the company about discounts or sales.
Overall, I give SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap 4 out of 5 stars.
From now until May 31st you can get 10% off your SureFlap purchase at the SureFlap Online Store by using this code:
I received one or more of the following products, services or payments for free. I was not required to write a positive or negative review. All opinions are 100% my own unless stated. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally use or feel would benefit my readers. For more information, please view my Full Disclosure.
I was recently given the opportunity to review the book, “Unjunk Your Junk Food-Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks” by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer.
This book will help you pick:
-Healthy choices for the snacks you crave
-Savvy alternatives to conventional brands
-Tips for reading food labels and recognizing false claims
-Nutritious ingredients to look for and dangerous additives to avoid
Go big or go home. Do you remember that saying? Well, I have always thought of eating fast food and candy when I hear it.
I mean, what else is there? You either eat the Snicker’s Bar or you eat Fig Newtons (which believe it or not, are actually NOT good for you!).
So I was given a special assignment…take out the bad. Boy, did I have a lot of bad.
After reading Unjunk Your Junk Food, I decided to take my Worst Ingredients Chart and look through my cupboard for all the “bad junk food” I had.
That was only a few things I found in my cupboard. Unfortunately, there was so much more than that )-:
I think the most surprising thing for me though, was the Pumpkin Spice Jell-o. Not only does it have artificial flavor but it also has Yellow 5, Yellow 6, BHA (preservative), Artificial Color and Carmel Color! I am still shocked while typing this.
I do have to brag though, when it comes to what’s okay for Landon and what’s not so healthy…I’m pretty good. I found that the Organic Lollipops from Yummy Earth are ‘Naturally Savvy Approved!’ Those are the only lollipops I buy Landon.
One of my absolute favorite things about this book is on the left page it will tell you the item that’s a ‘bad choice.’ On the right page they have the ‘Naturally Savvy Approved’ alternative. On that same page some of them also have other items that are also okay to eat. For example:
On page 148 Frito-Lay Trail Mix-Original is a BAD CHOICE. However, on page 149 you can find the Naturally Savvy Approved alternative, SunRidge Farms All Natural Chocolate Nut Crunch. If your local store doesn’t sell that brand, you can also pick Bear Naked, Enjoy Life (nut free), NoNuttin’ (nut free) or Sahale Snacks.
The authors didn’t just say you can only eat A or B. They are human too!
I bring my “Worst Ingredients Chart” with me every time I go shopping now. It really is amazing to see what you purchase on a daily basis that isn’t what they claim to be. I think if you follow this guide you could see a significant change in your overall health.**
You can purchase Unjunk Your Junk Food at Barnes and Noble online and instore or you can find it on Amazon.com
I think for the price, I would personally hold off until it went on sale or requested it as a birthday/holiday gift.
Overall, I give Unjunk Your Junk Food 5 out of 5 stars.
I received one or more of the following products, services or payments from Naturally Savvy. All opinions are 100% my own unless otherwise stated. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally use or feel would be great for my readers. As with all products and services, each experience is different. I hold no responsibility for bad experiences or bad reviews. Please view my full disclosure for more information.
**As with any diet/life style change I recommend you consult a doctor or physician prior to. I make no factual health claims to anything I review. Period.
Not sure if you remember me telling you a month or so ago, my mom paid for a cooking class for us to take for my birthday.
We took Bread 101: Artisan Breads at Le Cordon Bleu.
We learned to make 5 different Artisan Breads on Saturday. French Bread, Soft Rolls, Lite Rye Bread, Foccacia and Brioche.
First of all, the instructor (Courtney) was awesome. She really knew what she was talking about and didn’t make me feel stupid when I asked questions. She was really helpful if you didn’t understand and she showed us different ways to “form” the bread. For example the soft rolls could be done in round balls OR in a twist shape. I wasn’t able to master the twist shape…it looked more like a pretzel LOL, but she didn’t make me feel dumb for having a pretzel shaped roll (:
There wasn’t enough time for us to make all 5 breads, wait for them to poof, knead them, poof them again and then cook them. So she made some the night before. The Brioche had to poof over night in the fridge so she did that one ahead of time. This is what it looked like when she took it out. That’s our instructor and some of her students:
That’s a lot of Brioche. There was enough for all 18 students AND some leftover!
I think my favorite so far is the Brioche and the Foccacia. I haven’t tried the French Bread yet. I’m making spaghetti tonight and that’s when I’ll cut my bread. I can’t wait.
This morning I made sandwiches for Cody for work using the Rye. I ate a piece and it was really good. I am going to toast it and put butter on it later. That’s my favorite way to eat Rye (:
The soft rolls were really tasty looking when they came out, but I think they would have been better with a little salt on top and not the sesame seeds or poppy seeds. I did heat one up in the microwave for 10 seconds then put some butter on it. It was okay. Again, I think it could have used salt.
The Foccacia was really fun to make. After playing in the olive oil we got to top it with fresh rosemary and basil and a ton of other spices and herbs. With the salt, the Foccacia tasted really buttery. If you got a bite without salt, it didn’t taste as buttery (that might be a tip for someone that wants to make it lol).
The Brioche was soooooo good. I made French Toast with it yesterday morning. There is a tie between the Foccacia and Brioche being my favorite.
That’s it uncooked. I didn’t get a pic of it cooked and whole, so here it is sliced and then as french toast (:
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the recipes! I will have them up today or tomorrow (:
Overall, I had a blast. I wish we had more time [and money] to take more classes! Oh we also got to keep our aprons, recipe cards and we got a nice certificate of completion. I am officially a MasterChef (okay not really).
Le Cordon Bleu classes are available almost every Saturday. Le Cordon Bleu institutes are in many cities. You can find a class near you HERE.
I was recently given the opportunity to review Boogie Wipes.
I’m sure you’re thinking “oh not another Boogie Wipe review.” I’m with you on that. Buuuut, don’t you want to learn how to save the sleeve?
What it is:
Boogie Wipes are gentle saline wipes.
What it does:
Boogie Wipes “dissolve boogies (mucus) caused by the common cold, allergies or otherwise booger-filled kid moments.”
At first I was thinking, “really? what could be so awesome about some saline wipes?” I mean, they’re just wipes…right?
No. They’re not just wipes.
Boogie Wipes are way larger than I thought they would be. They’re the size of an average Huggies wipe, but thicker…much thicker.
The best part though, is they don’t have alcohol in them! That’s right, no more dry skin from alcohol soaked wipes.
Another nice thing about Boogie Wipes is how soft they are. If you have tried a Boogie Wipe before, then you know how soft they are. If you haven’t…well you are in for a big surprise when you try them.
I love having the travel sized packs in my purse and diaper bag. They are small enough that they don’t take up any space but are large enough to find in a hurry.
I think it’s great that they’re individually wrapped.
The only thing I didn’t like, is to me it seems like the grape scented Boogie Wipes leave my hands a little sticky until they dry.
Although, I have asked around and no one else noticed it but me. I’m just a freak LOL.
A few facts:
Boogie Wipes come in convenient sizes and wonderful scents.
-30 ct. package-scents include grape, fresh, unscented and menthol
-90 ct. package-scents include grape and fresh
-10 ct. travel size-scents include grape and fresh
-There is also a “grown up” version of Boogie Wipes. They’re called Saline Soothers.
-Your sinuses can make 2 liters of mucus every day.
-The sneeziest animal is the iguana.
If interested, you can read more Fun Booger Facts.
So there are a few fun things going on right now over at Boogie Wipes.
You can Take the Pledge to ‘Save the Sleeve.’
Get a Boogie Buddy.
Join the Boogie Bunch to get your free .50cent coupon towards a package of Boogie Wipes.
On Boogie Wipes’ Facebook page you can now enter the America Sneezes Giveaway.
Whether your sneeze has swagger, is music to your
ears, or is “a little pitchy, dawg” get it on video, or snap a photo
and post it to your Facebook wall with a Boogie Wipes tag. One entry
per person, so make it a good one! The contest begins on March 1, 2012
and ends June 30, 2012.
You can buy Boogie Wipes now straight from their online store or find a store near you!
Better yet…why don’t you try to win some? That’s right, one of the other Boogie Moms have given me approval to host a giveaway.
Before entering please read all the rules. By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to each and every rule, no exceptions!
This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site.
You must be 18+ at the time of entry. You must enter via the Rafflecopter form to be eligible to win. This giveaway is open to the US, Canada and Australia. You must complete the first entry in order to be eligible. All entries are verified before a winner is emailed.
If you put in a false entry, all of your entries will be removed. If you ACCIDENTALLY submit a false entry, please let me know. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be drawn. This giveaway will run from now until May 8th at 5pm EST.
1 winner will win two (2) packs of Boogie Wipes (scents chosen by sponsor).
Here is the Rafflecopter form, as always…GOOD LUCK!
I received one or more of the following products, payments or services mentioned above from LLB Inc. The product, payment or service was given to me for review purposes only. I was not required to write a positive or negative review on that product, payment or service. All opinions are 100% my own unless otherwise stated. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I personally use and think others would benefit from.
I’m a pretty positive person. Really. However, the series of very unfortunate events that have happened to my mom has made me wonder, “is the world out to get my mom?”
Let me explain:
My grandma passed away about 6 years ago (maybe 5, forgive me for not knowing exactly). My grandma owned a large piece of property in Newport Beach, California. The property was less than a mile from the beach. It was big enough for 3 houses, well there were 3 houses until she passed.
So for years they waited for the house to sell. The received many offers. They went through the time when the market was so low that a million dollar house was going for $100,000. They didn’t sell. They waited. The house was valued a little over $2 million. Yes, that’s the truth. They waited until they got something better than $1 million.
Finally, the house sold! My mom was so excited, she could finally have enough money to buy her own house. They settled for less than they wanted, but it was time. They couldn’t sit on the property for any longer.
Right before my grandma’s house sold, my mom found one she wanted. She was so excited, it was perfect. Well, grandma’s house didn’t sell in time and the sellers of the house my mom wanted couldn’t wait. They sold it to someone else.
After they sold the house my mom wanted…my grandma’s house sold. Gee, whoda thunk it? lol
So, she had to look some more. She found one she LOVES. They have gone through so much trying to get the bank to “consider” her offer. The house is almost a foreclosure, so she wanted to do a quick sale. Well, she’s buying the house for LESS that what’s owed on it.
This next part of my story is relevant to my mom’s awful luck and it happens in “perfect timing” so I have to add it, then I’ll continue with her house (which happens after this incident).
So her dog got out one day while she was subbing for a lady at work. Her dog attempted to attack another dog that was being walked down the street. The owner to the dog that was attacked said that Jack (my mom’s dog) stopped immediately when they pulled him off. So he wasn’t attacking to kill.
So, animal control came and took Jack away. They have kept him in quarantine for 10 days (tomorrow). The law is to keep him for a full 10 days (meaning she will get him on the 11th day). She was told that she will have to pay $10 per day to keep him there (mandatory $100, more if she wants him to stay longer). Then she was told that 1 of 2 things could happen to Jack. He could be found a vicious dog and have to be registered as a vicious dog (or put down) or he will go home as if nothing happened.
This next part will cut into the dog story, but again, I’m going in order of events so try to keep up (:
So Wednesday, I went with my mom to the Animal Control and to do the inspection for her [not so] future house. We got to the house and the inspector had already inspected the roof and the outside areas, he was working inside when we arrived.
The first thing that was said is “the roof has severe damage.” We had the realty company call a roofer so we could get started on a quote. Depending on how much it was to fix the roof would be a huge factor in deciding if she still wanted to buy the house (she’s still in her waiting period and she can drop her offer at any time). So there is a roofer and the inspector at the house. The inspector tells us a few other problems as he finds them. Nothing DRASTIC but all the tiny problems are certainly starting to add up.
The electricity isn’t grounded, there are no GCHI outlets (or whatever they are) due to age. The pool pump makes a horrid noise when it’s turned on, the roof is bad and that was just what he found for the 30 minutes we were there. We left while he kept inspecting.
We went to the animal control to see what judgment was made on Jack and if there was any more information for us.
He was found a vicious animal. He was not ordered to be put down because he did not attempt to attack a human.
My mom was told she will have to pay the $100 quarantine fee, $175 to register him as a vicious animal, $25 for a sign that says “caution: vicious animal on premises” and $15 to get him microchiped (assuming he isn’t already, she can’t remember and they didn’t scan him at the time). Or she could pay the $100 quarantine fee, $15 to put him down and $5 for a disposal fee.
She was also given the option to appeal the “vicious dog decision” with the local judge. If the local judge stuck to that decision she is given one more chance to appeal with the county judge.
She decided to sleep on it to see what she should do. Meanwhile, she was waiting for the inspector to send her a copy of his final report….
So this morning she decided she was going to pay to get him registered as a vicious animal and then try to appeal the decision.
She was told by a worker at the Animal Control that she has a strong case. He said he would be there to testify that Jack didn’t act viciously towards any of the other animals there. He said it’s the truth. So she’s going to appeal. But she wanted to bring him home so she’s going to pay to register him now. They can refund her payment after/if the decision is overturned.
So she gets the email from the state inspector. She has decided that it’s cheaper to purchase a different house than it would be to purchase her “dream house” and make all the repairs. She is going to ask the bank if they will repair everything or if she could get a lower price on the house. Her realtor is doubtful. So the next week will ultimately be the determining factor to her buying the house or buying a different one.
As for Jack, he gets to go home tomorrow. The law has it that he will have to wear a muzzle at all times until/if the decision is overturned by the judge.
I just feel so bad for my mom. It’s constantly been one thing after another…it’s a cruel world and it’s out to get her.
I am getting very close to my breaking point with Cody.
After changing “hobbies” umpteen times and spending an ungodly amount of money, he has decided to get a dog.
So Cody decided to buy…yes buy some stupid little chow…or something.
The dog is not fixed and stinks. It growls at our other dog. I hate dogs. I hate all animals. I have never been an animal person. Nothing against the animal, I just don’t care for them. This isn’t about the dog though, this is about my husband.
So now he’s expecting me to go to bed with him and some stupid dog (because God forbid he makes the dang mutt sleep on the floor where dogs belong).
I don’t know what to do or say anymore. I can’t stand the erratic stupid crap he does. It seems like the older he gets the stupider and more irrational he gets.
I am so angry I could scream…
What should I do? Have you gone through this with a spouse or significant other? What do you do?
I was recently given the opportunity to test out Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions.
Okay, so when I received my bottle of Coconut Oil, I started thinking to myself “What did I get myself into. I don’t really even know what Coconut Oil is.” However, I didn’t let that stop me from trying something the first day I received it.
So, the first day I made it I added it to my rice. I was nervous about how it would taste, so I didn’t add very much. Needless to say, I had to add more. It was really good! Every time I make rice now, Cody wants me to add the coconut oil to it.
I also used it to cook chicken and saute veggies. I diced up the chicken, added some coconut oil and cooked in the pan until cooked through. For the veggies, I did the same thing. Put in 2 scoops of coconut oil add your cut veggies and saute until done.
I think my favorite thing so far was cooking onions with it. I added the onions to my chili.
Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is pretty versatile. Here are a few other things you can do with it:
I also have used it as a lotion. It makes my skin really smooth and shiny. The smell isn’t over-bearing and it doesn’t dry out my legs after I use it.
You can fry food in it (such as chicken) and I’m sure it makes it a much healthier alternative to butter.
You can also use Coconut Oil to make fudge! That’s on my to-do list (don’t worry I’ll post the recipe when I get to it).
The only problem I had with the Coconut Oil, is the lid was ridiculously difficult to open. Even after opening it numerous times, I still have to have Cody open it for me…however, maybe I’m just a weakling.
Usually, Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is $40 for a 32oz jar, but for a limited time you can purchase it for $29.50! Make sure you check out their website often, there are all sorts of coupons and sales.
You can check out this video to learn a little more about Tropical Traditions and how they make their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.
Overall, I give Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil 4 out of 5 stars.
You can buy Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil online.
Or if you’re feeling lucky, you can enter my Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil giveaway.
Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
If you haven’t already, please read my Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil review.
Before entering please read all the rules. By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to each and every rule, no exceptions!
This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site.
You must be 18+ at the time of entry. You must enter via the Rafflecopter form to be eligible to win. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada. You must complete the first entry in order to be eligible. All entries are verified before a winner is emailed.
If you put in a false entry, all of your entries will be removed. If you ACCIDENTALLY submit a false entry, please let me know. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be drawn. This giveaway will run from now until May 5th at 5pm EST.
Here is the Rafflecopter form, as always…GOOD LUCK!
Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website What is Virgin Coconut Oil? You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:
Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.
Holy moley!! Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom has teamed up with American Family, Written By Mama and an awesome group of bloggers to bring you this absolutely amazing giveaway for 3 slow cookers valued at $150 each! They are 6 quarts each.
3 prizes means 3 times as many chances to win ♥ We really can’t wait to choose the winners on this giveaway. Just in case you missed it…there are going to be 3 winners! Yeah, that’s right 3!!!!
This awesome givewaway is sponsored by American Family and hosted by Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom & Frugality For Less ♥ Just fill out the simple rafflecopter form below.
Ad as always….GOOD LUCK ♥
*This is opened to US citizens only. This giveaway will run from 9:00 p.m. EST on April 23 through 12:01 a.m. EST on May 14.
Have you ever had one of those days that just…are horrible?
Well I have had a whole week of them. No matter what I do no one is satisfied, everyone wants more and I get no recognition for what I have done.
After chasing Landon all day, cleaning up after every spill and mess that he made (which seemed like 7954758095 more than usual) I just had it. Cody came home and wasn’t happy with how clean the house was. He expected dinner to be done (which I still had to go to the store and get stuff for dinner) and was just a total turd.
So after being nagged at for 30 minutes I was finally able to go get the veggies I needed to make dinner. I get home and Landon is outside playing in the water. I don’t mind if he has fun, but I do mind when he’s paying in the water and it’s chilly outside.
So after expressing to Cody that I don’t think Landon should be playing in the sprinkler because he could get a cold, he tells me that I’m wrong. I then [as calmly as possible] explain to him that I am the one that has to stay home with Landon when he’s sick. I’m the one that has to take him to the doctors and I’m the one that has to wake up in the middle of the night and stay up with him.
Again, I get some excuse.
So I go in [very angry and upset now] to start dinner. Cody wants to give Landon soda pop and snacks while I’m making dinner.
Well, apparently he’s not getting it when I tell him that Landon isn’t allowed to have soda. It’s also not okay to give him snacks while I’m making dinner. So I tell him…again.
Of course then my parenting doesn’t matter at this point. Apparently staying home with my son every single dang day for 19 whole months means nothing to Cody. Apparently I don’t know anything about my son and don’t know what soda pop and chocolate chip cookies wi do to him…apparently I’m stupid.
So now I’m upset.
After washing 3 loads of laundry, washing 2 loads of dishes (normally there aren’t that many, but I baked and cooked all day), cleaning up and running after Landon for the whole day and being treated like crap from Landon (yeah I understand he doesn’t know, he’s a toddler) and being treated like crap from Cody, I had it.
I cried. Then I cried some more.
I haven’t cried in a long time. I haven’t been sad or upset about anything in a long time. I’m pretty content with my life and family, but I just had it.
I always go above and over when it comes to my “job.” I love being a stay at home mom. Sure, my house could be cleaner. I don’t vacuum, dust and sweep everyday.
But I know CPS could never take my baby away because my home is dirty-because it isn’t. I know that my son won’t get ill from eating something off the floor because there isn’t anything harmful and most of all I know my baby is happy and healthy.
It’s making me angry and upset again thinking about it. I need to stop now.
I am off to bed, Cody has a friend spending the night and I’m waking up to make them breakfast before work tomorrow.