Saturday, December 15, 2012

Screw Starbucks, I'm opening up my own coffee house! (Torani Syrup review)

 SheSpeaks, one of my favorite social review and sampling websites, was nice enough to send me a couple of bottles of "holiday cheer" themed Torani syrup to try out and review!

A little blurb about Torani: Since 1925, 3rd generation family-owned Torani has been crafting great tasting flavored syrups that coffeehouses use to make their flavored drinks taste so delicious. With over 120 (!!!)  flavors in Regular and Sugar Free varieties, Torani flavored syrups are perfect for flavored lattes, mochas, coffees, cocoas, Italian sodas, teas, lemonades, cocktails and smoothiesCoffeehouse professionals choose Torani flavors because they are expertly crafted and made with the highest quality ingredients, like natural flavors and pure cane sugar. The Sugar Free flavors have no calories and are sweetened with Splenda. Now, Torani flavored syrups are widely available at retail so you can easily create authentic coffeehouse quality drinks at home.

I received a bottle of Torani Gingerbread sugar-free and Salted Caramel sugar-free syrups, together with some coupons and a little recipe booklet. I have to say I'm usually not a fan of sugar-free stuff (bad aftertaste), and I'm COMPLETELY addicted to Starbucks' regular salted caramel mocha, so I was a WEE bit hesitant to try and recreate this drink at home with sugar-free syrup, but there was barely any aftertaste and it definitely tastes like salted caramel, yum! I poured the syrup into some strong, hot coffee mixed with hot chocolate and milk, and finished it off with some whipped cream, SOO GOOD!

The Gingerbread syrup was a little strong on the Splenda side for me when mixing it with coffee, but I'll try it again when making whipped cream. Gingerbread whipped cream, how awesome does that sound? Or maybe mix it with some vodka to make flavored shots, yay!

UPDATE re: the vodka part: OOH YEAH THAT'S THE STUFF! (still an aftertaste, but a great way to get rid of cheap vodka!)

Thanks, Torani and SheSpeaks, for letting me try these syrups! (Disclaimer: I received the product for free in exchange for a blog review. The opinions are mine.)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Old Navy/Crowdtap Sample and Share!

As a member of the Old Navy Style Council on Crowdtap, I had a great time checking out all the sweaters with a friend at my local Old Navy store - such a great selection! From their Softest Sweater Cardis:

to this adorable sheep sweater:

- I believe I tried out about 20 sweaters (quite a workout), before finally deciding on the right one (the cardigan above, SO chic and versatile!).

I received one free sweater coupon for myself and a friend from Old Navy via Crowdtap. Thanks Crowdtap!

Friday, November 30, 2012


Loving your pet means... having his picture on every one of your coffee mugs!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Glade Expressions Collection!

Bzzagent sent me a bunch of great coupons for the new Glade Expressions Collection products, yay!

The four scents (Cotton & Italian Mandarin, Pineapple & Mangosteen, Lavender & Juniper Berry, Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice) come in 2 kinds of products; a refillable fragrance mist and a refillable oil diffuser. 

My personal favorite is the Cotton & Mandarin scent, and I LOVE the look of the oil diffusers, especially the wooden ones that come with the pineapple scent. Looks great in our hallway!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


the bounty of my tomato plants! Delicious little cocktail tomatoes (on a bagel with herbed cream cheese, mmmh!)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Best Day Ever.

Sephora package for me, masses of crinkly packing paper for him. I think he got the better deal.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

MyBlogSpark: FiberOne Nutty Clusters & Almonds

(No, YOU're a nutty cluster! Bwahahaha.)

Alright, I got another sweet package from the nice people at MyBlogspark: Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds. This is the newest flavor in the Fiber One® cereal line-up! 

"With the perfect combination of crunch and sweetness, this new cereal is a great (and tasty!) way to help get fiber you need." And yes, this cereal is REALLY tasty; I loved all the almond pieces. It has just the right amount of sweetness. Each serving contains a whopping 11 grams of fiber (43% of the Daily Value), 23 grams of whole grain (at least 48 recommended daily), and only 180 calories. Did you know that 9 out of 10 Americans don´t get enough fiber in their diet? Yikes!

So go ahead, print an awesome $1.25 coupon HERE and add some great tasting fiber to your diet!

(Opinions expressed are mine; I got the two boxes & gift for free from MyBlogSpark in return for my review.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Richard Thompson's "Cul de Sac"

My favorite comic strip series. I'm going to miss it. Thank goodness there's still the books on Amazon!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Win a Coach Gift Card with Coach Color Tag!

Coach will be hiding gift cards across all the sites that have a Coach Color Tag! Just mouse over the color square below and watch what happens; if it pops up a big "CONGRATULATIONS!" and asks you to enter your email address, you've won!!! You can play as often as you like by refreshing the site. Make sure to leave a comment if you've won, good luck!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) and Canada (excluding Quebec) 18 years or older. Ends 8/31/12. To play and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit Void where prohibited. For Canadian residents, mathematical skill-testing question to be correctly answered in order to win. 110 Instant Win Prizes (approximate retail value from $500 USD to $100 USD) and 3 Grand Prizes (approximate retail value from $2,500 USD to $1,000 USD) available to be won.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Lumineers - "Ho Hey"

This song makes me insanely happy. And no, they're not singing "You're my sweet ho"; they're singing "You're my sweetheart" (I think).

Friday, July 13, 2012

First Harvest!

The first cocktail tomatoes of the season! They're sour as heck, but hey, I grew them! From seeds! I got container tomato seeds from Gardens Alive, and they grew SO much better than the stuff I've tried in previous years...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Old Navy Swimwear!

Did you know that Old Navy has a ton of adorable swimwear this season? I was lucky enough to receive two free swimwear certificates through Crowdtap; one for me and one to share with a friend. It was SO exciting to browse through all the different styles on their website! My Old Navy store didn't have all of them in stock, but I found a nice, blue one-piece suit kinda like this one:

Love the keyhole! Keyholes are cool! All in all a great shopping trip, and I'd recommend that everyone check out their ON store for swimwear sales right now!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Aveda Damage Remedy™ Daily Hair Repair

 I got a free Aveda Damage Remedy kit (shampoo, conditioner, and treatment), thanks to the Vogue Influencer Network!  I love anything Aveda but hadn't tried their Damage Remedy line yet.  After shampoo & conditioning, I applied a small amount of the treatment in my towel-dried hair - love the smell and how light and non-greasy this treament is!  No weird film on my hair, it soaks it right up.  The end result is shiny hair with a lot less frizz after only one week of using this regularly. 

This line is 97% naturally derived and is supposed to "instantly repair damage by 26%** and help protect from heat styling". I love it!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Influenster Spring Voxbox

I qualified for the May 2012 Spring Voxbox from Influenster, the "Community of trendsetters", as they call themselves. Yay! I'm a trendsetter! Here's what I received:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects: These nail polish strips were fun! I got the "Kitty Kitty" pattern, which is SO not me, but I tried them out on my pinkies. It took some fiddling around, but I got them applied and they last and last... over a week now. I don't like that you have to use up the whole package at once, otherwise the nail polish dries out (each $9.99 box contains two sets), so that's a definite minus, but I'm SO wanting to try the "Girl Flower" pattern!  

Sheer Cover Duo Concealer:  Was a little too dark for me, but blends very well and is very smooooth! Perfect for covering under-eye circles.

Lip Shield SPF 365: I love me some chapstick with sun protection. This one is nice and did not make my lips react weirdly (which they sometimes do with other brands). 

Bath & Body Works
Fine Fragrance Mist: I received the Japanese Cherry Blossom scent. While it's a little too sweet for me, I love that it's very light.

Moisturizing Body Wash: Great for sensitive skin!  

SOYJOY Bar: While others compare them with dry bricks of flavorless soy, I actually love these - and they last forever in your purse or your car's glove compartment! 

Dr. Scholl's For Her - Ball of Foot Cushions: Great for wearing high heels - they cushion the ball of your foot and keep your from sliding forward.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


with orange juice, yum!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Asparagus Salad!

Here's a tasty photo of a delicious asparagus salad I made with a sweet, reduced balsamic vinaigrette, tomatoes, and toasted pecans. SO good! (Recipe from epicurious).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Old Navy summer dress frenzy!

Yay! Thanks to Crowdtap, I received a couple of free coupons for Old Navy dresses! They have SO many awesome dresses this season, it was really hard to choose. I really wanted the above one, but it was out of stock -

... so I ended up with this adorable little cap-sleeve dress:

SO cute! My sister-in-law chose this flowered crepe dress. The colors just scream "summer", don't they?!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Teatime! EGO Tea has awesome Black Tea, Green Tea, and Herbal Tea. I can't wait to try "Mango Tango"!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

MyBlogSpark/Progresso "Souper You" contest and giveaway!

Yay, another giveaway! Did you know that Progresso makes 40 delicious soups with 100 calories or less per serving? Perfect for that spring diet that you've been procrastinating about!

First, go and enter Progresso's "
Souper You" contest: "
Progresso is excited to announce the return of their Souper You Contest, giving you the chance to win an incredible makeover! By telling Progresso why you deserve a makeover and what you love about their soup, you could have the chance to win an ultimate makeover experience in Hollywood this Spring!" Enter at and submit your photo with a brief essay about why you love Progresso soups and why you deserve a makeover, by no later than February 22nd!

Also, you can visit to download a printable coupon for $1.25 off the purchase of four (4) cans of Progresso Soup!

And finally, I'm giving away a prize pack furnished by Progresso and MyBlogSpark:
  • (2) VIP Coupons for Progresso Soup
  • (1) copy of “The Biggest Loser” Workout DVD

Just leave a comment, mentioning your favorite Progresso soup flavor!

One comment entry per person, open to residents of the United States who are 18 or older. I'll do a random drawing after the first FIVE comments have been left. The winner will be contacted via email. PLEASE leave a valid email address if your email is not available in your profile. The potential winner will have 48 hours to respond by email or another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Update - Congrats to the winner, Dorothy!

“Disclosure: The Progresso® Souper You® prize pack, information, coupon, and giveaway have been provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sauerkraut Balls???!

Just looking thru the Midwest Living "Best Game-Day Snack Recipes", I discovered this delightful treat:

"Sauerkraut Balls: This traditional German appetizer, popular in northeast Ohio, comes from the Hey Hey Bar and Grill in Columbus. Even if you're not usually a sauerkraut fan, you may love the sweet-sour tang of mustard and kraut inside crispy deep-fried shells."

Not so sure about the "traditional German appetizer" part (never heard of these, and, as I never cease to preach, most Germans don't REALLY eat sauerkraut all that much (or, at ALL), and would be pretty nauseated at the mere idea of deep fried sauerkraut balls), and I LOVE how they say you "may" love them - not "will"! - but now I totally want to try them out!

Recipe's here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ways to get your drink on, Part XMMMV

A classic Pimm's cup (with Sprite, cucumber, orange, and lemon slices). Cheers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lisa Robertson’s QVC Favorites: Mally 10-piece Deluxe Automatic Waterproof Liner Collection

I received this very awesome Mally 10-piece Deluxe Automatic Waterproof Liner Collection thru the Vogue Influencer Network as a Christmas present! Yay! They're part of QVC's Lisa Robertson's list of favorites for the holidays.

LOVE these! Automatic eyeliners are all I use for eye makeup, but I usually just buy whatever's on sale. These Mally eyeliners are so much better than what I usually use - the tips are very soft and smooth, but the color is very longlasting, and the shades are just gorgeous. I especially like to line my upper lid with the silver - lightens up any drab winter face! The pencils came in a cute, shiny green leathery gift box - such a great gift!

Monday, January 02, 2012

How I spent my New Year's Day

DONUTS!!!! Screw any New Year's resolutions! :D

Sunday, January 01, 2012

How I spent my New Year's Eve

Cheese (fondue), cheese (spinach & artichoke dip), and more cheese (brie tartlets). I probably won't poop for the next month or so, yay!