November 26, 2013

FREE Holiday Photo Book!

MyPublisher, Inc.

Get those great holiday photos into a photo book for free! New MyPublisher customers can get a FREE 20-page Photo Finish Pocketbook OR $19.99 off a Classic or Deluxe photo book. Linen and Photo Finish is included. Coupon valid for one time use only. Hurry - offer expires on 12/2/2013. Get started on your free photo book now!




Fullbeauty 2013 Holiday Collection Review

The fullbeauty 2013 Holiday Collection is here! You will find beautiful lingerie options and name-brand fragrances for you or that someone special. Whether you are gift-giving, or just buying a little something for yourself, fullbeauty features plus-size bras and lingerie representing the most comprehensive range of styles, sizes, colors and brands available. I reviewed several styles which I thought would make great gifts!


A robe set always makes a wonderful gift! This short terry robe with matching slippers by Dreams & Co. is no exception. I reviewed the aqua color which is very bright and beautiful! This short terry robe is soft and cozy and comes with matching slippers included for head-to-toe comfort! The fabric is very thick so it is perfect for the cold winter months. If you like a heavy robe, this is it. I am a fan of the short 44" robe length. The slippers are thin, but still nice, since they match the robe perfectly. I think it would be great for a woman of any age. I would recommend sizing down. It is very big.


This was my favorite of all of the holiday collection styles. The cozy of this 2-piece capri legging pj set by Dreams & Co. is perfect for snuggling on a cold night. It is made of soft cotton jersey which makes it feel so comfortable, yet look so stylish. The pants have a slim fit (which I like) but the shirt was a tad big. It does cover the top of the capris so it looks cute as an outfit. The solid henley tunic has a 3-button placket and is 32” long. The striped capri leggings have an elastic waist with ribbed cuffed hems. Note: They are capris and not long pajama pants. This style could carry over into other seasons with the capri length of the bottoms. I would recommend this for a younger woman.


This would be the set I would recommend for an older woman. It has a loose fit and runs big, so order a size down. The lounger pantset by Only Necessities is perfect for lounging or sleeping. It is comfortable and made from thick machine washable cotton knit. It is a cling-free cotton fabric, so it does not hug to your body at all. It fits very loose. The wide sweep of the top also features an easy v-neck, long raglan sleeves with roomy armholes, and kangaroo pockets. This is a warm one, so I plan on wearing this on very cold nights. 


Looking for something fun? These tag free pajamas by Dreams & Co come in so many cute colors and patterns. I chose "pink stars" and the shirt reads "star struck". The tag free pajamas are made from a dreamy soft cotton knit. They are soft and very warm. The 3/4 sleeve top features embroidery. This is also a large fit, so I would size down. These would be perfect for any age. If there is someone on your list who has a spunky personality, these would be a nice choice.


Last but not least, I also reviewed the Floral Embroidered Back Hook Underwire Bra by Amoureuse. This is a great bra! I love the beautiful floral embroidered design. Not only does this bra offer beautiful flattery, it also features underwire support. I ordered my normal size and it fit perfectly. 


Shop fullbeauty's entire holiday collection for great gift ideas for the women on your gift list! For example, you will also find satin sleepwear by Amoureuse in a variety of colors and designs, perfect for gift-giving or just lounging around the house. Need an easy stocking stuffer, or don’t know what size to buy for that someone special? Fullbeauty has introduced name brand fragrances, a personal gift that any woman will love!

fullbeauty is featured in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

November 25, 2013

Enter to Win a Quivver to Hold Your Mobile Devices, Money and More!




I know what you are saying, what is a Quivver?! Quivvers are the perfect way to keep your cell phone, money and personal items portable and protected while keeping your hands free no matter where you go.

A Quivver can hold a lot while staying slim to your body. They are lightweight too. Hold your money, mobile devices, identification, credit cards, change, lip stuff, medication, earbuds, etc. You can even hook-in heavier items like water bottles, camera bags, and jackets. The strap is super comfortable.

There are a variety of colors and prints to choose from. Plus Quivvers are also reversible, waterproof, adjustable and made in the USA. Quivvers would make the perfect holiday gift for the athlete, traveler or adventurer on your list. To shop or learn more, please visit www.quivvers.com.


Fair Trade Certified Green Mountain Coffee K-Cups


Fair Trade certification gives farmers a fair price for their beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops, their communities, and their future. Fair Trade also lets Green Mountain Coffee and farmers work closely together to bring the best tasting coffee to market.

“Fair Trade means great coffee for you and a better life for farmers.” ~ Kelly Clarkson

Every purchase of Fair Trade coffee you make, helps coffee farmers and their communities by funding education, health care and environmental sustainability. Who’d have guessed one of your favorite daily routines could have such a positive impact on the lives of people worldwide?


The only thing that might be richer than the benefits of purchasing Fair Trade coffee are the flavors. As the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified coffee, Green Mountain knows the quality is second to none. That’s why they offer a wide selection of Fair Trade coffees, including brand-new Three Continent Blend, which combines the flavors and aromas of South America, Africa, and Asia into one harmonious Extra Bold Blend. We loved the Three Continent Blend! Talk about robust and rich flavor! No bitter taste here. Even the aroma is different with this coffee. I don't know how to explain the smell, but it makes my kitchen smell like a coffeehouse! If you like a strong cup of coffee, it is just GOOD!


Want a firsthand look at how the Fair Trade movement affects coffee-farming communities? Green Mountain Coffee took Kelly Clarkson on a trip to Peru, allowing you to experience the benefits of Fair Trade through her eyes thanks to videos and journals at ChooseFairTrade.com.

November 24, 2013

The Bonnie Marcus Collection Review


The Bonnie Marcus Collection is "where fashion meets paper". You will find chic and stylish gifts for friends, moms, brides, teachers, anyone on your gift list. You can even find ideal gifts for mom’s having “holiday babies”! Bonnie’s custom Sonogram Frames and Magnets help to show off the best present that any woman will receive this year!


Can’t decide on which holiday cards to send out this year?! Bonnie Marcus has your designs set and ready to be printed at Kodak Kiosks everywhere. Simply choose one of Bonnie’s custom designs and pair it with your family photo of choice, and voila! Check out some of the amazing designs!


I was sent some samples of the cards and they are very bright and colorful. The quality is excellent. Send good cheer to friends and family this holiday season using these stylish, high-quality photo cards. Their holiday cards are printed on heavyweight card stock with a matte photo finish. Customize your cards with your choice of font and ink colors and create the perfect holiday photo card that friends and family will treasure. Blank envelopes are included. Return address printing is available for an additional charge.


Do you need gifts for your friends? How about their fashion canvases? I am loving these two styles. They start at just $15! Each canvas measures 12" square and has a gallery-style wrap of 1.5" deep.


Still stumped? Phone cases make great gifts too! I reviewed a few and they are so cute! I love the bright colors and the fact that they can be personalized. Sometimes it is hard to find "girly" phone cases. Look no further because Bonnie Marcus has you covered with girly designs and some even have some bling!


The Orange Paisley iPhone 5 Case (above center) is my favorite. Add style to your day with this custom iPhone case featuring a fashionable design made especially for you! Their iPhone cases are designed for the iPhone 5 and are made of the highest quality polymers. There is also a protective black skin that goes under the case for extra protection.


They even sent me these adorable Holiday Cheer Chocolate Bars with my shipment! You can tell they really take the time to make your shopping experience enjoyable! 


Shop Local and Sustainable


Holiday shopping season is here. What kinds of decisions will you be making as you decide where and from whom to purchase your gifts? What do I mean? Let me give you an example. Rickshaw Bagworks is a company in San Francisco that creates made-to-order messenger bags in their USA factory. They design bags for people who thrive on the urban experience and celebrate the creative spirit. They create high-quality products but yet they still share a strong set of humanistic, environmental and social values that guide the way they conduct every aspect of their business. I really like that. 
"Entrepreneurial companies no longer have to operate as mere subcontractors in the shadow of master brands. There's never been a better time to develop your own brand name and put it on everything you make. Build a reputation for quality products and friendly service. If you do, you will command premium pricing, rather than the commodity pricing of an anonymous supplier." - Mark Dwight, CEO, Rickshaw Bagworks
Learn more about Rickshaw Bagworks and Mark Dwight by watching the video below.


If I ever make it to San Francisco, I want to walk into Rickshaw Bagworks and say hello! Yes, they leave their doors open and let the public come in and see how they work! Don't you wonder sometimes about companies with closed doors and tight security? I mean, what are they trying to hide? So when you buy local, you know the company that you are buying from and you know where these products are manufactured. You will be less likely to wonder if the gifts you are buying are safe, or if the shipping is hurting the environment.


Speaking of sustainability, I really respect companies that think about the materials that they use in their products. Did you know that The Commuter 2.1 Laptop Briefcase is !00% PVC-free? This ultimate computer bag holds your whole life while commuting on bike, foot, train or scooter. I love the stand-up design. Don't you just hate bags that fall over? All Rickshaw bags are customizable too! Cool! Learn more about it in the video below.


You should also check out the Zero Messenger Bag. It is named for the amount of waste generated during the production of each bag. It's also made from 100 percent nylon, so when the day comes, it's entirely recyclable.

There are a few restaurants in my city that are truly farm to table. Their food always tastes so fresh and healthy. It makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger when I dine there. Shopping at the nearby farmer's market also reminds me how great it feels to use local produce. Use this same mentality when it comes to buying any product, not just food.
"A lot of businesses have realized that sustainable practices can help save money and strengthen brands. In fact, there has been an explosion of marketing hype for so-called green products and eco-friendly business practices. As business owners, we should set aside the promotional gimmickry and focus on making sustainability a core value." - Mark Dwight, CEO, Rickshaw Bagworks

What kinds of decisions about buying local and sustainable products will you be making during your holiday shopping? I think it is time that we all start shopping smarter, and companies like Rickshaw Bagworks make it an easy decision.





Kids Academy Educational Mobile Apps


As a teacher, I am constantly being asked what parents can do at home to help students with their learning. If one of my students has a tablet available to them, I am a big advocate for a great educational app.

Kid’s Academy, one of the most successful developers of apps for kids has released what might be their biggest app yet, 123 Tracing. This math game teaches fundamental math concepts critical for preschoolers: identifying numbers; one-to-one number correspondence; reading number symbols; associating symbols with quantity etc. Appropriate hints are provided to support your child as they practice and build their math skills. Not only can they discover numbers through initial independent play, you can also play collaboratively with your child. You can download a free version of the app to try! It is available on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.



Kid’s Academy is all about helping children learn verbal, writing and math skills in an easy and fun manner. Apps such as 123 Tracing and Bingo ABC have been top-50 educational apps in the App Store, and Kid’s Academy has also brought the well-known stories and nursery rhymes The Three Little Pigs and Five Little Monkeys to life with interactive apps. The simple interfaces of the apps allow children to take the reins and play on their own, but the sing-a-longs and other activities are perfect for parent or teacher engagement, as well. Research has shown that singing along with nursery rhymes has cognitive and physical benefits for children. Not only are children learning new words and the context in which to use them, but strengthening tongue and mouth muscles at an early age will help with pronunciation skills.

Kids Academy is an early childhood education start-up specialized in development apps for major mobile markets: App Store, Google Play and Amazon. The rapidly growing company is bringing value through education for children aged 2 to 6 teaching kids numbers, upper- and lower- case letters, word-letter associations, phonics, and spelling, and brings them endless fun and excitement through play activities. Founded in the end of 2011 with the first application released in July 2012, Kids Academy has six nice apps and recently reached 2 million downloads. The apps developed by Kids Academy received dozens of positive reviews and were top rated by Children’s Technology and Parent Reviews. Interactive ABC by Kids Academy was featured by The Guardian in mobile tech review.

Connect :: Visit Kid's Academy for more information on their educational apps. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.



Find&Save :: Black Friday Made Simple


Find&Save is your window to Black Friday savings. Find&Save makes discovery shopping engaging, fun and social for you, wherever you are and however you shop! With Black Friday just around the corner, you will want to make sure you are prepared! Find&Save is a great destination for finding and browsing Black Friday sales.


I downloaded the app for iPhone and I found it very easy to use! It guided me through a simple process where it recognized my location. Then all of my local stores came up. I just clicked on the store I wanted and all of the offers came up. Here is a screenshot from my phone showing Target.


Start planning for Black Friday now! Find&Save is the perfect destination for Black Friday, helping shoppers to plan and maximize their shopping experience. Find&Save arms shoppers with the tools they need to research local sales, products and retailers in their area, find the deals that are important to them, map store locations, create shopping lists and receive deal alerts.


Find&Save did a survey and found that Black Friday Shoppers Research Deals and Create a Game Plan. I could not agree more! I always know exactly where I am going and what I want to buy. A key finding of the research cites that 67 percent of shoppers not only research and map out a plan for Black Friday, but also have a different strategy each year based on where they will find the best deals.

Traditional media sources like newspaper circulars, television, and direct mail are still considered among the top sources by Black Friday shoppers; in fact, newspapers were still rated by most (36 percent) as a top source of information. But while only 29 percent said emails were a top source of information, 82 percent said they would be interested in receiving emails on Black Friday sales.

Mobile devices are increasingly important while shopping. Two-thirds either use or would consider using their mobile device to help with Black Friday shopping – primarily they would use it to check prices or use the geo-locator to find sales near them. They are also interested in using their mobile device to browse Black Friday circulars while on the go. 

How Find&Save Can Prepare You For Black Friday:
  • New sales alerts: iPad app users will get notifications when the latest circular from their favorite retailers have posted.
  • Flip through circulars: The app features a virtual page flipping experience through retail circulars.
  • Tag, drag and add to lists: When saving products in the iPad app, shoppers can use their fingers to easily tap and drag items to their personalized lists.
  • Heads up on expiring sales: Shoppers will receive app notifications for key events such as items expiring on their shopping list so they never have to miss a sale.
  • Quick access to favorite stores and categories: The app includes a My Favorites tab giving shoppers quick access to a tiled view of stores and categories they are following.
Happy Shopping!



Way Basics Eco-Modular Storage Review


Way Basics is dedicated to making the lives of their customers simpler and healthier. Their simple storage solutions can make the perfect Hanukkah or Christmas gift! You will find Wall Shelves, Modern Bookshelves, Bookcases and even Record Album Storage Cubes, which is what I chose to review.


What makes Way Basics so special is the way they keep it simple. Paper based storage furniture is the foundation behind their products. When you purchase furniture from Way Basics, you won't find mysterious collections of screws and nails, or complicated diagrams and instructions. That's because you can put their unique zBoards together without tools or hardware. Super-strong 3M brand adhesive strips let you fit the pieces neatly together. Just peel, stick and you're done. Watch the video below and see for yourself.


See? It's the world's easiest assembly! So what is this magical product that is so easy to assemble? zBoards are made almost entirely (99%) from post-consumer recycled paper, and do not consume additional natural resources like trees and the enormous amounts of water needed to make virgin paper. While very strong, paper zBoards are made from the lightest form of wood byproduct.


I decided to review the Super Storage Cube in natural. I needed three of them to store a growing record collection. These extra large cubes can be used for your extra large things; stuffed animals, big books, vinyl records, clothes, purses, anything! Truly modular in every sense of the word, there are endless configurations and possibilities for the design guru. Each Cube is separate from each other so you can satisfy your design itch when you feel like changing things up a bit. Stack them side to side, on top of each other or get creative and build a pyramid and ladder design.


Assembly was really simple. Just peel the adhesive strips and place the pins in the vertical zBoards. Then peel the adhesive off of the other side and insert the remaining pins.


Finally, you align the vertical boards with the horizontal boards and assemble! Done and done. So easy! We decided that stacked cubes would be a space saver. Here is what we were dealing with before.


The records were taking over the desk space and there was no organization. Drumroll please, here is the after! 


Ta-dah! We love the clean lines, nice color, and easy organization. The cubes hold much more than we thought they would. We love them! 


Way Basics is good, practical, simplicity. Their products are easy to assemble, simple and timeless in design, and practical for any purpose in your life. They care for the environment and sustainability by making their products from zBoard, a recycled paperboard that's just as strong as particle board, yet 62% lighter!

November 23, 2013

Jessica London 2013 Holiday Collection Review


Jessica London is spreading holiday cheer with the launch of its 2013 Holiday Collection! The collection offers plus size women beautifully designed fashion pieces to accentuate their curves. Velvet, leather, cotton cashmere, special occasion dresses, regular and wide-width boots ... and so much more! Here are a few items from the collection.


The new surplice-front Maxi Sweater Dress in soft-touch cotton and cashmere brings a touch of luxury to plus size sweater dressing. Its maxi length and ribbed waistline give it a sophisticated shape that's effortlessly elegant and versatile.


Own a new classic with this signature women's Velvet Blazer. Designed with a sophisticated shaped fit that gently defines your silhouette for a feminine work look. The catered notch collar adds to this blazer's refined look.


This elegant Wool-Blend Pea Coat has a sleek double-breasted front and a wide notched collar for classic style over your casual outfits or suits and sets. This signature women's winter coat is fully lined -- plus it's available in several colors to make your winter style pop this season.


I reviewed the Cotton Cashmere Boatneck Tunic. This cotton/cashmere boatneck tunic was designed by experts at Jessica London for your most flawless fit! The classic straight-hemmed design means it's a polished piece that gives you a clean-cut, well-defined profile whether it's paired with jeans or a pair of work pants. Soft cashmere and an elegant boatneck round out an impeccable look.


As you can see, I chose the raspberry color. I absolutely love it! I wore it to work and it is so soft and comfortable! It has a really great fit too. The expertly crafted boat neckline is perfectly proportioned for an elegant fit. It is flattering in all the right places. I also like the refined long sleeves for effortless elegance with rib knit cuffs. 



Check out the new Holiday New Arrivals featuring the cotton cashmere collection and an extensive selection of fabulous boots in regular and wide widths. With fashion-forward styles at affordable prices, dressing for every occasion is easy and convenient … customers can peruse Jessica London’s extensive holiday collection from the comfort of their own home by shopping at jessicalondon.com any time 24/7. 

Jessica London is featured in my 2013 Holiday Gift Guide


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