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28 February, 2014

GungHo Energy Shot Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


      I have a major problem in my day to day life with energy crashes.  Even before drinking coffee like a mad woman just to stay awake, I always have had problems in this area.  As a kid, I would come home from school and sleep until the next morning.  I won't even know that I am tired until I am waking up from dozing off.  On the computer, watching TV, sitting by the stove waiting for the water to boil, reading... it's even happened in the car!  If I am not physically moving, I will probably fall asleep.  I will just crash out of nowhere.
     Below is me pretty much every day, wide awake enjoying coffee one minute, passing out the next.  Not cool, my friends, not cool.
     Coffee has helped some, but sometimes my energy will plummet regardless.  A few times I had so much coffee just to keep me awake that I could feel my heart race.  Scary!  Especially since I have heart issues to begin with.  It really comes from absolutely nowhere, even if I feel fully awake I can suddenly find myself waking up from a sudden crash.  Now I keep caffeine pills in the van in case I need them while I am out.
     I've wondered for a while now if there was anything that I could do to keep it from happening.  I've been told that Narcolepsy is genetic and runs in my family.  While I really hope that I don't have narcolepsy, I do need to figure out a way to stay awake for myself and for my kids.  That's why when I saw the chance to try GungHo Energy Shots, I thought it would be a good fit.  It promises a healthy boost of energy without jitters or a crash.  
     According to it's website, GungHo is different than most energy drinks or shots because it targets multiple neurotransmitters instead of just the one that most products target.  It promises a smooth boost in energy followed by a gradual fall, no plummeting.
     So how did I like it?  The first day I tried it, I honestly forgot that I had even taken it.  I didn't notice a huge difference in focus, but I do recall that I didn't crash at all that day.  It was very refreshing to be able to stay awake all day.  The second time I took it I wanted to really test it, so I stopped drinking coffee for 2 days prior.  And that day I also had no crashes.  I was able to stay awake and I felt good about the day in general.  It was wonderful.  I didn't feel like I was on high doses of caffeine or anything, I just felt awake.  I did feel like I could focus better and get things done more efficiently.
     The only thing that I will say as far as a con is that the taste is not great.  You can tell that they tried to make it taste good, but it just doesn't.  But then, that's why it's an energy shot and not a drink.  Chug it fast and you will be fine  :)
     Anyone want to win a trial pack?  I've been given the opportunity to select two winners, so this contest will be SUPER easy and super quick.  Just be a blog follower to enter, then like GungHo's Facebook page and the blog's Facebook page for more entries.  Contest ends in 18 hours, that's 6pm on March 1st.  Ignore the Rafflecopter, it's drunk, the contest really does end at 6.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

24 February, 2014

Indian Chicken Taco #Recipe #Sponsored

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Hood. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

     I have a huge weakness.  That weakness is a good, savory, saucy comfort food.  One of my favorites is the taco.  Taco soup, Taco salad, Taco pizza, and of course the regular crunchy taco that starts to get soft from the sauce half way through eating it... Mmmm!  One of my other favorites is Indian Chicken.  A recipe that I have tailored over time from it's original source to become easier to make and just as yummy.  This week I figured that I would combine my two favorites and make myself the Indian Chicken Taco with bacon, caramelized onions, and mushrooms.
     The very first thing that I did was prepare my ingredients.  This part was pretty easy.  The most time consuming part was to cook the bacon.  While the bacon started cooking, I mixed the sauce, cut the onion and drained the can of mushrooms... I also did pretty much everything else while bacon cooked in the background.
     This sauce is super yummy.  So yummy that when I first started making it, I used it just about every day for the better part of a year.
     You start with a base of sour cream and add in cilantro, lemon pepper seasoning, cumin, chilli powder, oil, garlic juice.  The most important spices in the sauce are the cumin and the chilli powder.  CUMIN, not Curry, I've made this scatterbrained mistake before and it was ugly.  Make sure you read those labels!
     From all the times that I have cooked it I can say for certain that McCormick chilli powder is a must in this particular recipe.  Sometimes I mix just the spices and use it as a rub.  Other brands of chilli powder are fine for that, but in a sauce go with McCormick.  Trust me.
     As far as the sour cream, I like to use Hood Sour Cream for the base.  Why?  Well, I figure that they take so much care into making sure the milk is in LightBlock Bottles and all that to keep in essential vitamins, I figure they must take extra care in all their products, so I feel safe with Hood.  Plus, Hood All Natural Sour Cream in the red container has absolutely no preservatives or artificial ingredients and I like that!  You can find tons of recipes and cooking tips on the Hood Sour Cream website.  We usually use Hood Sour Creams as a base to all of our sauces and we also like to use it to top our tacos or for making dipping sauces.  There is just so much that you can do with it!
     In this recipe, you must use an all natural whole milk sour cream, not a Fat-free or Light sour cream because there is a chance that the heat will curdle the cream during cooking if there is an insufficient fat level in the sauce.
     As soon as the sauce is mixed together, it's time to add the chicken.  Here is where I saved myself the hassle and just bought precooked chicken breast.  I cut myself some slack in these areas :)  So I cooked just until it was warm, but if it's raw chicken then of course cook until it is heated through and safe to eat.
     As the chicken is cooking, I use a little bit of butter and place it in a pan with the mushrooms and the onions and cook until the onions caramelize.  The onions will be caramelized when they are golden brown and taste sweet.
     Then it's the fun part, assembly!  Now I love almost all foods, so mine is easy to assemble, I just add a bit of everything and wrap it up.  Some of my kids preferred just mushrooms, so next time I might cook them separate from the onions, and some kids preferred no vegetables at all *sigh*

     Here is the actual recipe:


Indian Chicken Tacos

12 Soft or hard taco shells
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips
1 C. Hood All Natural Sour Cream
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 Tbsp. McCormick Chilli powder
1 Tbsp. juice from jar of minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cilantro

Extra optional toppings:
1/2 lb bacon
spinach or lettuce
1 small can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 medium onion, chopped into thin slices
shredded cheese
Ranch dressing

Directions:
Cut bacon in half length wise and place on skillet.  Cook bacon on medium heat.

Meanwhile, mix the yogurt, oil, spices, and garlic juices together.  Add to chicken and place over medium heat.  It the chicken is raw, cook until the chicken is thoroughly heated and no longer pink.  If the chicken is precooked, then heating until warm is sufficient.  DO NOT over heat, medium heat is perfect.

While the bacon and chicken cook, start the onions and mushrooms.  Add sliced onion and 1 small drained can of mushrooms to a frying pan with a bit of butter and cook over medium heat until the onions are golden colored and sweet tasting.

To assemble, start with a soft or hard taco shall or wrap, add spinach or lettuce as desired, topped with cooked chicken strips, bacon, mushrooms and onions, and shredded cheese.  Top with Indian sauce or Ranch if you wish and enjoy!


20 February, 2014

FunnyIrishTshirts.com T-shirt Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

       My kids always wear green on St. Patrick's day.  Why?  Because there is always that atrocious kid who thinks it's funny to pinch other kids just because they didn't wear green on some random day in March.  When I was a kid, I couldn't even tell you what time of year St. Patrick's Day was in.  But now I do, I never want my kids to get pinched, so I'm right on top of that.
     We even will celebrate it at home with green frosted cupcakes and green been casserole, you get my drift.  Pretty sure my distaste for childhood pinchers has driven that celebration into existence.  I force myself to remember the holiday by choosing to celebrate it and get excited about it.  That way my kids will not get pinched.
     That's why when I saw the opportunity to try out a festive St. Patrick's Day t-shirt from FunnyIrishTshirts.com for my husband, I was thrilled.  It isn't the kind of humor that I normally go for, but it plays off the whole "beer goggles" thing and I thought it was kind of funny.
     Of course it's green which is really a great color on my husband.  It has a cute shamrock design under the words, which reads "You look like I could use a drink".  I think I might have to get him some of those beer goggle glasses to go with it for the big day.
     My husband reported that the shirt was very comfortable and that he got lots of comments on it.  The shirt fit really well also.
     FunnyIrishTshirts has the kinds of shirts that you would expect.  Though mostly drinking themed, there are some that are more family friendly.  Some of my favorites being these:
      And I kind of love this one.  Not that it's super family friendly or anything, but it gets the point across:
      Shirts at FunnyIrishTshirts.com cost between $19 and $28.95 depending on what style shirt you would like, men's t-shirts are cheapest and hoodies are most expensive with tank tops and other items falling in the middle.
     Overall, I think the quality is nice, the color and feel are also nice and there is enough variety to find a shirt for almost anyone.  I'm really happy with our shirt from FunnyIrishTshirts.com.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

05 February, 2014

Congrats!


Huge congratulations to the winner of our Printkeg Photo Canvas Giveaway,
Rachel S!!!

Be on the lookout for a congratulations email in the next couple days with further details!
Thanks so much to everyone who participated.
Keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways coming soon.
And don't forget to check out our current giveaways:


04 February, 2014

Repeat Posessions Review and #Giveaway

     If you were to meet me in person, you would notice first and foremost how seriously short I am.  It's no biggie, I actually love my petite stature.  But it does make finding clothes a bit more challenging.  It's hard to find nice blouses and pretty pants that fit right off the rack.  That's why having simple basics is a necessity.  They are easy to find, fit easily and can go with lots of other items to make a ton of different looks.
    Repeat Possessions has something especially interesting in the staples category.  It's the Nikibiki Super Long Camisole.  It is a must-have, I wish I had one in every color!  It can be a dress if you have the body for it, or a tank top for under a cleavage-showing dress which is what I plan to use it for mostly.  It could also just be a regular tank top with texture and is especially great for the tall women out there who can never find a tank top long enough for their liking.
     The camisole comes in quite a few colors.  The one I am wearing is Fuchsia.  It also comes in Charcoal, Dark Brown, Ivory, Metal Gray, Navy, Red, Stone, Suntan, Taupe, and Turquoise.  I've got about a million things I could use the Turquoise camisole for, it's one of my signature colors, along with Brown and Pink.  I adore how vibrant and fun the camisole that I got is.
     I love the look of this camisole.  At first I wondered if it would fit because there is only one size, but it did fit just fine and it is very comfortable.  It's 8% Spandex and 92% Nylon, so it has some give to it in case you are a bit curvy like myself.  As you can see above, it falls a little more than half way to my knees.  With taller women it might fall a little above that, but it should fall in the mid-thigh area on most women.
     What I love about Repeat Possessions is that they have some great clothing choices.  You won't find their selections on just any old clothing site or in any old store.   Their clothing is unique and beautiful.
     The awesome people at Repeat Possessions were kind enough to offer me a second camisole to give away to one of my readers and I am so excited to be able to pass that on to you.  The camisole up for grabs is this Suntan colored one pictured above.  It sells for $25.00 on RP's webstore.  Game rules are the same as always, only US residents may enter (sorry guys).  Just use our super quick and easy Rafflecopter widget below and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Luca Lashes #Books Review

     Some time ago I was introduced to the Luca Lashes series.  I immediately fell in love with little Luca and his bravery when faced with scary situations.  I loved the illustrations and the special section at the end that helps parents prepare their children for those same situations.  Luca actually reminds me a lot of a young cousin I have and no joke, I almost named my son Luca.  So of course I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to check out 3 more books in the series.
     The first is Luca Lashes Visits the Doctor.  Of course most kids get nervous when they have to face the possibility of shots and Luca is no exception. But this little kiddo has a special talent for making those fears go away.  Luca blinks his eyes two times and his magical eyelashes make him see things in a whole new light.
     After putting his trust in his secret weapon, Luca discovers that the doctor's office really isn't anything too scary.  There is a great big painting on the wall, pretty cool band-aids and even a lollipop.  He realized that his shot didn't really hurt as much as he thought it might, even if it does hurt a little.  Overall he found his visit to be an okay experience.
     Kids will like Luca Lashes books because they help to ease tension in a way that is fun and easy to relate to, like the story about Luca visiting his mom in the hospital.  Any older sibling can certainly relate to that one.  It's scary to see Mom with a tube coming from her arm and to know that she can't come home.  But Luca handles it like a pro.  He just blinks twice and suddenly he knows just what needs to be done.
     He gives his Mom all the love he knows that she needs so that she can get better and in the process, he gets to feel pretty good himself.  Even though he wants his mommy home, he leaves the hospital knowing that the hospital is taking good care of her and that she will be home as soon as she is better.
     And Luca continues to conquer his anxiety in Luca Lashes and the Trip to the Nursing Home.  Luca is worried about what his visit to the nursing home will be like.  He is going to see his great-grandmother there for the first time.  He usually saw her at her own home.  But when he got there, with the help of his eyelashes, he saw that she had lots of friends there and that it was a very nice place.
      What makes Luca Lashes unique is that each book comes with a guide for parents at the end to help them ease their children into situations that they might find stressful or even scary.  I, for one, am very glad that I have read some of these books.  The Big One has been begging to see HER great-grandmother in the nursing home.  I want to bring her, but I do worry about how she will feel when she is there.  There are things the book mentions that I wouldn't have thought to explain to her, like how a nursing home can smell different and that nurses might be present.  These are small things that adults wouldn't think twice about, but a child might not be expecting them.
     My thoughts over-all are that the book series really is almost invaluable to a parent with a child who tends to worry or be anxious.  I did find that the rhyming of the doctor book on some pages was not quite as sing-songy as in the other books of the series and I struggled a bit to find the rhythm of the wording, I think maybe there was a few too many syllables in some lines.  But I adore Luca Lashes and the wording of a few pages in a series is not going to stop me from loving them.  As a mom, I definitely recommend them.  And if you go to the Luca Lashes website, there are lots of printable activities and a full list of Youtube videos where you can hear more parental suggestions on each book in several language options which I think is awesome.  All in all, it's another win for Luca Lashes :)
     What kinds of places or situations does your child get nervous about?


Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
 
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