Thursday, March 24, 2016

HotelSpa® Designer Collection Ultra-Luxury 2-tone Chrome/Brushed Nickel 30-setting Combo

Not my picture. This belongs to Interlink.
I just thought you would want to know what it's supposed to look like. 

I am not the most handy person around. I can usually figure things out and fix them on my own with a lot of help from Google and Youtube though. That's why I was so hesitant about trying out my new shower head. I had never installed any sort of plumbing fixture before.

I was so excited to try my new shower head though. I love showers. I could spend forever in the tub. That's why I jumped at the opportunity to review the HotelSpa® Designer Collection Ultra-Luxury 2-tone Chrome/Brushed Nickel 30--setting Combo. I ran into a lot of hiccups along my journey however. 

First off, I received a mysterious knock on my door. It was the mailman. He said that he had a package for me, but that the postage had not been paid in full. I didn't have cash at the time so he gave me a receipt and said I could pay for it and pick it up at the post office. Before I paid for anything I wanted to know what the package was. After using the receipt and the tracking number I discovered it was my shower head. Bummer! Long story short, after a week of emails back and forth they agreed to reimburse me through PayPal. When I went to retrieve my money PayPal had taken a portion of the money as a fee. Double Bummer! That means that I ended up paying for part of this "free" review. 

After an almost two week waiting period the excitement had worn off a little. That left me with holidays, sickness, a new job, work meetings, family parties, and church functions. All of a sudden my month to review was gone. I was no longer looking forward to this review. 

I hesitantly turned to my best friend Google and asked her if she knew how to install a shower head. Of course she did! Because she's a woman and knows everything and keeps it all organized. She went through and told me how to do it step by step and then she showed me how to do it as well. That's when I realized I would need Teflon Tape in order to do this review. 

So, the next morning I packed up the kids and went to my not so nearby hardware store. Yep, I tried finding it on my own and failed. I ended up asking the attendant who pointed towards my left hip and said it was right there. Of course it was! I just failed my entire gender. I apologize to women everywhere. 

When I got home I ate a couple of cookies and then took a deep breath. It was now or never. I very simply disassembled my old shower head. Which was way easier than I expected. Then I opened the box and read each instruction thoroughly. Twice. I pulled out all of the parts and realized they had actually packaged some Teflon Tape for my convenience. What??!! This is definitely not a *Batteries not included company. As happy as I was to see this, I was quite disappointed at the time, gas, and $2 I had just wasted. 

I took another deep breath and dove in. I followed each instruction to the T. I referred back to their diagrams just to be sure. I was getting pretty pumped because I was doing it all by myself and it was working. I was almost done when I came to a pretty big bump in the road. Something was missing. I guess that makes it a pothole in my road. Where was the handheld shower head. I read the instructions over again. Do they want me to attach my old shower head there? No. I read the instructions again. I looked in the empty box. I looked at my old shower head. Not compatible. What the??? 

Now I was really defeated. Part of me was angry though. This was turning into a much bigger nuisance than I originally had anticipated. I began reading over the instruction manual again. That's when I saw it next to one of the diagrams - my saving grace!

I really did not want to deal with customer service though. I didn't want to be put on hold and forced to listen to elevator music. I didn't want to be questioned and quizzed. I didn't want to have to verify myself and my purchase along with my address, telephone #, email address, blood type, social security number, and a sample of my DNA. I didn't even know if they would help me since this was just a product review anyways. 

It wasn't like that at all though. They immediately answered and asked what I needed assistance with. I told them about the missing piece and all they wanted to know was my address. They said that they would be sending out the part immediately. They were so easy to work with. I sat in stunned silence. That was it? No interrogation? No secret password? No need to call a lifeline? WoW! I was really impressed.

Needless to say, I have not yet tried out my new shower head. The handheld part will be arriving tomorrow. It looks great though. It really looks like it will provide a nice water massage. It is very easy and quick to assemble and disassemble. I had to take it down so that we can take showers tonight. The only thing that has disappointed me about the product itself is that it is made with more plastic than I expected. You can't tell by looking at it, but I just question how well it will stand up to years of use. So far it has held up to my installation skills though. The customer service alone and company's willingness to stand behind their product has left me quite happy and pleased with my experience. 

After all of this I really am going to need a trip to my at-home spa... tomorrow. 

You can find the HotelSpa® Designer Collection Ultra-Luxury 2-tone Chrome/Brushed Nickel 30--setting Combo at SEARS.

I received a sample of this product in exchange for my honest trial and review. These are my personal experiences and opinions. Thanks for reading!

It's almost been 26 hours since my phone call. No part yet. I guess I'll just be using my old shower head. And I doubt I will ever work with this company again. Plus, the review I submitted to the SEARS website was removed. I guess they don't like me taking away a star.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Brieftons 5-Blade Spiralizer

The moment I heard that you could slice vegetables and use them like noodles I knew I needed a vegetable slicer. I finally found one at the local kitchen store. It was $50 though! That was way more than I expected. I spent at least 30 minutes debating the purchase while I browsed the shelves. I ended up buying it because I didn't want to live without it.

A couple of years later I received a handheld spiralizer. I did not like it nearly as much. It was far cheaper, but 10x as much work. Plus, it only came with two options - large noodles or small noodles. The cleanup wasn't particularly easy either. The one perk that it did have was that it takes up very little space to store.

I like my 5-Blade Spiralizer by Brieftons so much better. It is very similar to the model I already have in my cupboard. I like the one that I paid $50 for the most because it came in the best condition. For some reason the Brieftons Spiralizer's claw came really dirty and damaged. It looked as if it had been dropped and smashed on the warehouse floor. However, if you want something that works and is $20 cheaper then you should definitely get Brieftons Spiralzer.

It comes with 5 separate blade options: Angel-Hair Blade, Fine-Shredding Blade, Crude-Shredding Blade, Curly-Fry Blade, and Flat Blade. These five blades make it possible to make - curly fries, potato twists, gourmet salads, vegetable pastas/noodles/spaghetti, vegetable pizza toppings, apple chips, garnishes, onion rings, coleslaw, soups, and much more.

However, not all fruits and vegetables are well-suited for this machine. I wanted to make carrot ribbons, but could not find a way. I tried to use the Flat Blade on a carrot and failed miserably. I could not get the carrot to stay on the food holder. It fell off as soon as I started to twist. I tried multiple times, but gave up quickly. I have had great success with sweet potatoes and zucchini though. They advise against soft foods. They have listed recommended fruits and vegetables for your success:

Sweet Potato
Daikon Radish
Butternut Squash

You can store the unused blades in the storage compartment, but I've only been able to put to blades in at once. If you store another one in the slot on the top of the slicer then you only have two floating in your cupboard. I wish the had a safe and covered storage compartment for all of the blades.

You can easily take the machine apart for cleaning. They suggest using warm water nd mild detergent to rinse it. And it is dishwasher safe! I have handwashed it and it's not too bad. You have to be REALLY careful so that you don't slice your finger in the water bath. There are a lot of parts and it takes up a decent amount of space, but it's worth it.

The meals that you can make with a spiralizer are absolutely delicious and healthy. I love that I can get so much fiber and nutrients in my meals now. Plus, I now have access to recipes for my spiralizer thanks to Brieftons.

If you want to start spiralizing as well you can find one like mine HERE.

I received a sample of this product complimentary in exchange for an honest trial and review. These are my personal opinions and experiences. Thanks for reading!

Car Seat Canopy

My Mother and Mother In-law made me car seat covers when I was pregnant with my first baby. They were absolutely adorable. I cherish them so much. The time, love, and kindness placed in each stitch means the world to me.

If you don't have someone talented and crafty to make you a car seat cover then you should definitely buy one. They are so very helpful.

They keep the sun off your babie's delicate skin when you go for a walk or sit at the park. They protect them from the chilly wind when the leaves begin to fall. And they keep the bitter cold from their little toes during the winter months.

I love the car seat canopy cover made by Mama Dada Baby. The white and gray chevron pattern is so darling. It is perfect for both handsome little boys and dainty daughters.

It is the inner lining that has me swooning however. It is amazingly soft. It feels like heavenly clouds against your fingertips. That's probably why my little girl has her hands constantly running back and forth against the fur-like fabric.

My 3-year old is so jealous that she likes to climb inside too. She loves it. She always tells me that she's the baby now. She is constantly telling me how "warm and cozy" it is.
Keep your baby safe, warm, and comforted in the Mama Dada Baby Car Seat Canopy.

You can find them on Amazon HERE.
Take one to your next baby shower and the soon-to-be-Mom and baby-on-the-way will be forever grateful.

I received this product complimentary in exchange for an honest trial and review. These are my personal opinions and experiences. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Think Fun Yoga Spinner Game

Ok, so I have been wanting to start yoga. Actually, it's one of my New Year's Resolutions. I just feel like there are so many health benefits that I'm missing out on. It is good for your emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual well-being. And when you do it as a game it even helps your social dimension. That's 5 out of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness. It's a lot of goodness.

The only problem with yoga is that I'm not good at it. I am a beginner and I have no idea what I'm doing. I have always loved health and fitness. I've been exercising since I was in elementary school. This is one of the categories in which I feel like a fish out of water though. I just don't know where to start.

That is why I love the Yoga Spinner Game by Think Fun. It is designed for kids. It is meant for the youngest of beginners - which includes me. It's not a routine that you have to memorize. It doesn't include any mantras, meditations, or transitions. It is simply a fun way to introduce you to the positions and names while increasing your flexibility.

There are 54 different cards each with a different position or movement. Some are extremely simple while others a little more challenging. They are simple enough that my almost 4 year old can complete the majority of them, but challenging enough that there is plenty of room for improvement. I like it because we can learn the basics together.

The game play is also very simple. The spinner adds a fun Russian Roulette feel to your yoga routine. It actually makes it possible for anyone to win the game. You don't have to be a yoga rockstar to win. The newbie can actually trump the pro in this game.

Plus, they have spots on the spinning board that add a little oomph to the game. The different choices are: Color Match, Steal a Card, Partner Up, Opponent's Choice, Lose a Card, and Player's Choice. This adds a lot more uncertainty, competition, and possibilities for teamwork. It is so much fun to see where this game takes you.

The objective of the game is to earn at least one card of every color. The first person to collect all four colors wins. The twist is added when you land on one of the options besides Color Match. You can steal cards from the other players, choose any color for yourself, or everyone else can choose which color you have to pick. And you only have to hold the pose for 10 seconds to complete it!

However, I think that as we progress and my children are a little older I will add the rule that you have to hold the pose until your next turn. Muah hahaha! That will give me a couple of years to practice though. Jkjk.

Overall, I am absolutely in love with this game! I think that it is brilliant fun. It's the perfect way to introduce my kids to exercise. It's a great way to turn off the television and get their minds and bodies working. Which is so vital nowadays. This is the perfect introduction to yoga so that we can focus on becoming more well-rounded.

If you would like to check it out for yourself, you can find it on Amazon HERE.

Or on their website HERE.

I received a sample of this product complimentary in exchange for an honest trial and review. These are my personal experiences and opinions. Please use caution and discretion when performing yoga with your kids. Thanks for reading!

Math Dice Chase Game by Think Fun

Think Fun has done it again! Another amazing game that will actually help your kids learn! I don't love it quite as much as I love their Yoga Spinner, but that's probably because I have to use a neglected part of my brain for this game.

Did you ever play Hot Potato as a kid?

Did you have competitions in math class to learn your times tables? 

Well, this game is both. Think Fun decided to take these two games and mash them together. And it is wonderfully and horribly fun. 

Let's just say I am not good under pressure. I brain literally freezes. See! Just thinking about this game gives me the brain farts. What I meant to say was "My brain literally freezes." Enjoy my typo! We'll just pretend that I meant to do that for this object lesson. Ok? Deal!

I have not been practicing pretty much anything I learned in school since it ended. My brain is so dusty. Trying to play this game was like cranking rusty wheels. Sometimes they just get stuck. This game was more beneficial to me than it was for the kids I played it with. Do I need to tell you who won? Well, I'm not going to admit it on the internet. You'll just never know!

Even if you're an old geezer like me you'll enjoy this game. It would be hilarious to take to a family get-together and have the adults play. Just make sure you practice before you challenge your sibling rivals. 

The game play is simple and can be explained and understood in minutes. You do NEED 4-6 players though. One set of dice starts on one side of the circle and the other set starts on the opposite side. Both people start rolling at the same time. They must then say the equation aloud and include the correct answer. As long as it is not challenged they can then pass the dice onto the next person. If somebody thinks that the equation was incorrect then they can yell out "Challenge!" They must then recite the correct equation. If person that initiates the challenge is correct then the person that rolled the dice is out. If the challenger is incorrect then they are out. The play then continues. If anybody end up with both dice at a time then they are out. Once it is down to the last two people they then each roll one die. Whoever can repeat the correct equation aloud first wins. If it is ruled a tie by everyone that is out then they battle until there is a clear victor. 

It is a fast-paced game that will leave you shaking, dumbfounded, and anxious. Or maybe that's just me. I'm highly competitive. It would be perfect for teachers. We used to play a game with flashcards called Around the World in math class in fourth grade. This would have been a fun alternative. If you do have more than 6 players then they recommend getting a second set to keep the game moving quickly. Which isn't bad since they are reasonably priced. 

I plan on using them like flash cards when we don't have enough people to complete a game. They will be perfect for quizzing my kids during study time. You don't have to just use them for multiplication tests either. They can also be used for practicing addition and subtraction. It will be fun to switch it up during the coming years. 

Overall, I love this game. Anything that promotes learning, socializing, and turning off the television is good in my book. I am so excited to use these with my kids. And by myself in the meantime. 

If you want to try them with your kids then you can find them on Amazon HERE.

Or on their website HERE.

I received a sample of this product in exchange for an honest trial and review. These are my personal opinions and experiences. Play at your own risk of humiliation. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

BrilliantChef Silicone Muffin and Cupcake Pan

Pretty much everything in my kitchen seems to be turning into silicone. Not really, but I have swapped a lot of products for their silicone versions. There are just so many benefits to using silicone.

- They don't rust.
- They are BPA-free.
- Easily remove food without inserting items or prying food out.
- No need to alter your cooking temperature.
- Food doesn't stick.
- They don't hurt when you drop them on your foot.
- They add color to the kitchen.
- Easy to clean.
- They heat quickly, and cool faster than your other pans.
- Kid-friendly. They bend without breaking. No glass shards in your foot.
- Lightweight for packing and moving.
- Easy to store.
- Dishwasher, oven, microwave, and freezer safe.
- They retain their shape.

So far, I have loved all of my silicone kitchen accessories. I haven't had issues with any of them. The muffin pan excites me the most though. I avoid making cupcakes and muffins because I hate cleaning up afterwards. Plus, I have a tendency of getting them stuck in the pan.

Not anymore!

The silicone muffin and cupcake pan made by BrilliantChef is just that - brilliant. It is so convenient and easy to use. It really does live up to its promise. I had my doubts and hesitations, but it has worked wonderfully.

If you plan on using a recipe with a liquid batter then I do suggest placing a metal tray underneath before you start (cooling rack, cookie sheet, etc.). I made that mistake. The pans are flimsy. Normal cake batter worked just fine though. The recipe I made required me to fill the cups completely. Oops.

I love this pan. I cannot tell you how easy it is to use. My muffins and cupcakes slipped right out of the pan. I didn't even have to flip it upside down. Normally I have to shimmy a plastic knife around the edges before flipping it over. I just used my fingers to pull them right out. They didn't stick at all. They didn't pull apart or tear. I was so thrilled. I even made muffins with an egg coating that came out flawlessly.

I don't have a dishwasher and so I wasn't able to test that part. But it was super easy to wash by hand. It took just a couple of minutes to clean. It was way easier to remove cooked on batter from my silicone pan than my old metal pans.

Plus, the silicone spatula and basting brush were awesome bonuses. They have come in handy on multiple occasions. The spatula works great to get every drop out of your mixing bowl. I didn't initially like the brush though. I remember looking at it and laughing with my husband because the spindles were so sparse. I didn't think that it would work. It did though! I have used it to make garlic bread, spreading sauces, and covering food with egg mixtures. It works great! I think it is because of the pocket in the center. It helps to hold more liquid and spread it easier. Since there aren't as many spindles squashed together it is easier to clean. You can actually clean it better than your stiff brushes. I love it. The cupcake paper cups are adorable and perfect for Valentine's Day or an Anniversary.

If you would like to try the Quinoa Muffins I made for this review then go HERE.
P.S. I made them wrong because the lady who "altered" it for her blog and submitted it to Pinterest changed a step. Dang bloggers. JkJk. But the REAL recipe can be found HERE.

If you would like to get your own BrilliantChef Silicone Muffin and Cupcake Pan then click HERE

I received this product complimentary in exchange for my honest trial and review. These are my personal opinions and experiences. Thanks for reading!