May 31, 2014

Summer Indulgence :: 12 Fantastically Fruity Frozen Desserts



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Summer is hot and sticky. When it comes to dessert, I like to stick to desserts that are light and refreshing. Frozen desserts are a perfect way to go on a hot summer day. I chose these 12 Fantastically Fruity Frozen Desserts and added them to my need-to-make list this summer.

Watermelon Ice Cream :: What says summer more than watermelon? It sounds so easy too!

Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Bananas :: This is a summer classic. I love all of the topping options!

Mix and Match Frozen Fruit Dessert :: Mix and match your favorite cream cheese, yogurt and fruit to create a delicious one-of-a-kind dessert.

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Shake :: Almost like drinking Blueberry Pie? A perfect treat for a hot summer day! 

5-Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt :: This is not only lean, it also doesn't require an ice cream machine! I must try this 5-Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt.

Frozen Key Lime Pie :: This is my favorite treat when I visit Florida. This version looks absolutely mouth-watering.



Strawberry Delight Frozen Dessert :: I have to try something with the nickname, "Strawberry Yum Yum".

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Bars :: These Frozen Cheesecake Bars are super simple to make and a great cool treat for warm summer days!

Mango and Raspberry Frozen Dessert :: Mmm ... I love me some mango! This light dessert recipe features sorbet, fresh raspberries and a mango mousse layered on top of a shortbread crust.

Cherry Creamsicles :: I can't wait to cool off with creamy cherry goodness!

Raspberry Fool :: Why yes, I am a fool for raspberries.

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie :: I tend to be a bit cheesecake crazy, so this combination sounds divine!

I am so happy we finally have some truly summer-like weather. I plan on cooling off with these deliciously sweet and refreshing desserts this summer. Which one do you want to try first?



This Frozen Desserts post is brought to you by Foodie.com. All opinions are my own.

May 29, 2014

Zazzle Mobile App


Check out the Zazzle mobile app featured on the Apple Store in the Graduation Collection. Now you can shop and customize your gifts on the go!

Now you can make and gift almost anything imaginable, more easily than ever before. From bespoke iPhone cases and hand-sewn pillows to custom chocolate bars, business cards and watches, making that one-of-a-kind product has never been more fun and amazing. 

Download the Zazzle Mobile App and get a head start on your gift giving!


Meet The Schroeder Family :: #AmericasFarmers


As a teacher, I try to teach my students that the food they eat does not just appear in the local grocery store. It is thanks to America's Farmers like the Schroeders. They are just one of the amazing families who are putting in the hours so we can put food on our plates. I grew up in rural area of Ohio. In fact, some of the land my family owned was farmed. So I am familiar with farmers and the the long hours they put in each day. My grandfather was also a farmer. I felt like I could relate the the Schroeder Family in some way. They are from one of my neighboring states, Indiana. These photos look so much like where I grew up! The Schroeder Family grows soybeans and raises finishing hogs in Reynolds, Indiana.


Bill Schroeder knew from the time he was 8 years old what he wanted to be when he grew up – a farmer. On the other hand, his wife, Nicole, did not always see farming in her future. So when the two first started dating and she went on dates that took place in the combine or the tractor, she had to make some adjustments. But that’s farm life.


When they first started out, it was just Bill, Nicole, and Bill’s father, Bill Sr., handling all of the farm duties. As the farm has grown, roles changed. Nicole, for example, now handles payroll, and Bill has been able to take on a more managerial role.


The Schroeders love being a farm family and they work to make sure everyone involved in their farming operation feels the same ownership and pride in the farm they do.


When most people think about farming, chances are they picture a rugged man in dusty overalls driving a tractor. But that image is outdated and inaccurate. Agriculture has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and now farmers are adopting new technologies that allow them to produce more food for more people.


"We're people just like everyone else. We care about what we do. We work very hard and we're proud of what we have. Farming is a way of life for us; it's all we know." ~ BILL SCHROEDER


I encourage you to remember families like The Schroeders and celebrate America's Farmers with me! Not only do they have to manage everyday life just like us, they also have to manage the workload that comes standard with running the farm. Did you know that just one acre of soybeans can be used to make 82,000 crayons? I will definitely share that with my students! Check out my America's Farmers Pinterest Board for some great recipe ideas with the crops these great farmers provide.





This post was created in partnership with America's Farmers. All opinions are my own.

May 25, 2014

Smile Brilliant :: Teeth Whitening Trays Kit :: Review and Giveaway




Do you wish your teeth were whiter? I am not sure I have met anyone who would answer that question with no. I have tried so many products over the years that claim to give me a white smile. Those products are either messy, too expensive, or they hurt my teeth. So, when I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to try their custom fitted teeth whitening trays, I crossed my fingers and agreed to give another product a try!


I am so glad I did! This is an at home teeth whitening system, making it easy and convenient for you to whiten your teeth. What makes Smile Brilliant's tooth whitening system more effective than any other system on the market? The trays are fitted specifically for your teeth which ensures it holds to the surface area for prolonged periods of time. Makes sense to me! I received the kit and was ready to begin to take the impressions.


I had brushed and flossed my teeth and I laid everything out that I needed to make the impressions. All you have to do is mix one base paste with one catalyst paste. You just knead them together. It feels like putty. Once mixed, you place the putty in the tray and bite down. You verify that you can clearly see the impression before moving on. If you mess up, you have one extra chance, as they send you three sets of paste.


This was very easy to do. Much easier than I expected. After you have taken your dental impressions, you just put them in the postage paid envelope and mail them back to the lab. Smile Brilliant will create a set of teeth whitening trays that are an exact replica of your teeth. These trays are identical to those fabricated by your dentist; however if you were to have gone to your Dentist they would have charged you $500+. At Smile Brilliant they retail for $89.95.


Then, ta-dah! In less than a week I had my custom trays ready to use! I am like the 66% of all users who experience tooth sensitivity during whitening to some degree. For some it will be very mild and for others it will be unbearable. I ordered my kit with a set of Desensitizing Gel For Sensitive Teeth. I have had trouble with teeth whiteners in the past where my teeth became very sensitive. To use the desensitizing gel, you just apply to your trays and leave on for 15-30 minutes prior to whitening your teeth. You can also check out this article on the cause and prevention of tooth sensitivity for more information.


Now you are ready to whiten! Just apply the gel from the syringe to the front interior of the tray. This way, you will get the gel on the front part of your teeth. Three syringes came with my kit and should last 9 to 12 whitening sessions. I haven't run out yet!
Did it work? Yes! Check out the before and after photos in the banner above. I truly believe these results. My teeth were not that stained to begin with, so my before and after pics would not be as impressive. But I can definitely notice and so can those close to me! Are you worried about the safety of teeth whitening? Don't be. Generally speaking teeth whitening is safe. The only real danger would be to ingest large amounts of the gel, however in order to do so you would need to be using 5X the recommended amount of gel during one application. So don't do that!


Will you be able to remove all of the stains on your teeth? It's important to note that if there are stains on your teeth, this product claims to remove them. Some stains are more difficult than others. The average person who wears their trays for 3 hours a day or sleeps with them over night will have removed all the stains from their teeth after 5-7 applications. However more severe conditions, such as teeth with tobacco stains, nicotine stains, or dental fluorosis may require as many as 20-30 applications. I wear my trays for 1 1/2 hours a day. The fit of the trays is so comfortable, I could do up to three hours. But I think 1 1/2 hours is fine for my level of whitening. You have to decide what is best for you!


One lucky reader is going to win their own custom set of Teeth Whitening Trays + 3 Whitening Gel Syringes from Smile Brilliant!

DBELT :: Athletic Accessory :: Review


Are you the athletic type who is looking for something to easily hold all of your essentials? Free yourself with the newest addition to the world of athletic apparel. The DBELT is an athletic accessory in the form of a belt that safely and securely fits all your essentials while you work out, walk or whatever takes you on the go.


I ordered the XL size for review. However, it did not fit myself, or anyone in my family for that matter. If you have a teeny waist, then I can see how this would be a great accessory. The DBELT would eliminate the need for the busy, on-the-go woman to choose what to carry along. With multiple compartments, and the addition of a portal where electronic devices are easily accessible, the DBELT could hold all of your essentials. It could replace bulkier alternatives and change the way women look at their fitness apparel.


There are several pockets like the one shown above that can fit a smartphone, MP3 player, or keys. The DBELT is ergonomically designed with a 4″ bandwidth to ensure stability. It is closed with Velcro as you can see below. It did not seem to have any "give" to attempt at fitting anyone in my family.


Connect :: Connect with DBELT by visiting them on their website. You can also connect via Facebook and Twitter.

Buy It :: You can purchase a DBELT from the online store for $39.95. This is the size chart. But as I said, I would definitely order up.

Sizes   Inches
P/S      24-27
S/M     28-31
M/L     32-35
L/XL    36-40

Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick :: Review and Giveaway




Mary Kay has been an innovator for 50 years. Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick is one of the more than 200 premium products offered in more than 35 countries around the world. In fact, True Dimensions Lipstick is so innovative, it was recently honored at the Pratt Institute’s 2014 Art of Packaging Award Gala for its outstanding commitment to package design. This means it looks as good as it feels. The metalized, smoky platinum-colored case features a clear button on top, so you can see exactly the shade you’re looking for in your purse or makeup bag. Then, just a push of the button releases the trimline lipstick from its sleeve for an added cool factor. You can learn more about this honor in my previous post.


Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick is intensely moisturizing! You will not get cakey lips from True Dimensions. It is also exquisitely smoothing. It glides on to a soft and silky finish. It’s like a color-infused fountain of youth for your lips. True Dimensions instantly drenches lips in moisture and locks it in for endless comfort. Infused with advanced skin care ingredients, the formula smooths the appearance of fine lines and helps lips look fuller. Just a push of the clear, click-button top releases pure, radiant color from its ultra-stylish case.


I tried three lovely shades and I loved them all. My favorite is probably Rosette because it is the most versatile. But the other two are perfect for spring and summer when I want to spark things up a bit! True Dimensions comes in 20 beautiful shades to fit any personality. When I apply other lipsticks, I usually have to start with a lip balm underneath so I can avoid the lipstick from drying out my lips. Not with True Dimensions. It actually adds major moisture without leaving a sticky feeling. It replenished and conditioned my lips, leaving them looking their healthy best. I love this product.



Application Tips & Tricks
  1. To help your lipstick last longer, use Mary Kay Lip Liner and pencil all over lips. Then apply lipstick over it.
  2. You should blot lips after applying lipstick. It will help set the color and remove any excess.
  3. Use finger to pat lipstick on lips for a sheer, subtle, just-stained look.
  4. Pair with Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss to intensify or neutralize any lip color shade.
Two lucky readers are going to have the chance to try the innovative Mary Kay True Dimensions Lipstick!

May 24, 2014

ModCloth :: Make the Cut Contest

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

ModCloth is launching its second Make the Cut Contest of the year! Not familiar with Make the Cut? Well, it's a fashion design contest, and in this edition, they're giving contestants a template on which to create a print pattern for a scarf. The talented winner will have their design produced by and sold on ModCloth, plus they'll receive a $500 prize! But first, the top 10 submissions will be hosted on the Be the Buyer page, where the community will vote for their faves. Design submissions will be accepted now until Friday, 5/30, and the voting begins on Monday, 6/9. Official contest rules can be found here. Good luck!



Tea Collection Memorial Day Sale

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

It is here! Not only is this weekend the official start to summer, but it is also Tea Collection's Memorial Day Sale! Starting on 5/23, and running through Monday (5/26), sweet summer dresses start at $15, patterned or plain girls' leggings are only $12, surf and sand-inspired tees for boys are just $12 and adventure-ready boys' pants and shorts start at $15! What a great opportunity to outfit your little citizen for a summer full of parties and play-time! And with all of these great deals, you can finish all of the kids' summer clothes shopping and be stress free and poolside for the weekend.




May 23, 2014

Enter to Win an iPad Air (RV $499)!


I have a totally amazing giveaway for you! I've teamed up with some awesome bloggers for an incredible giveaway! One lucky reader will win their very own iPad Air! I don't even have one, so I will be super jealous. Who’s ready to win?

ABOUT THE IPAD AIR

The new iPad Air is unbelievably thin and light. And yet it’s so much more powerful and capable. With the A7 chip, advanced wireless, and great apps for productivity and creativity - all beautifully integrated with iOS 7 - the iPad Air lets you do more than you ever imagined. In more places than you ever imagined.
LOVELY SPONSORS

May 21, 2014

Outback Steakhouse Moonshine BBQ Menu #OutbackBestMates




I am so excited to tell you about the Outback Steakhouse Moonshine BBQ Menu! Yes, it is made with real moonshine. I had the pleasure of meeting with Outback's team in Tampa last month to discuss and sample this new menu. Yes, I said sample. We were given the opportunity to try it before anyone even knew about it! I love being a Best Mate! It is absolutely delicious! Here are some of the new menu items to "hit the sauce".

Sirloin with Moonshine BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Moonshine BBQ Ribs

Moonshine BBQ Wood-Fire Grilled Wings

Moonshine BBQ Chopped Salad

The Moonshine BBQ sauce is just incredible. It has a kick to it, yet it is so tasty and tangy, we were trying to convince the Outback team that the sauce should be bottled and sold! My favorite was the Moonshine BBQ Chopped Salad. I could not believe the flavor in this salad. It is so tasty and so satisfying. The flavor explodes with every crunchy bite. I also loved the Moonshine BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp. The bacon is the perfect wrap for the shrimp to soak in all of that yummy Moonshine BBQ sauce. The flavors combine to create a wild west party in your mouth. So good. You really can't go wrong with any of the menu choices. Wash it down with one of the three Moonshine cocktails including the Huckleberry Hooch, Watermelon Hunch Punch and Just Peachee. I tried the Huckleberry Hooch and it is berry delicious.

Skillet Apple Pie

Okay let's just all take a moment to look at the photo above. An apple pie? Served on a skillet? Brilliant. What better way to finish off a Moonshine BBQ meal than with the new Skillet Apple Pie? I have to brag and say that my mother makes amazing apple crisp. Everyone loves it. I had to check and make sure she wasn't in the test kitchen, because this tastes just like my mom's recipe. Warm apples and cinnamon baked in a flaky crust. Topped with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. It is a must order item. No joke.


Excited about the new menu? You should be! To celebrate, Outback is inviting America to get a FREE taste of Moonshine BBQ on May 21 and May 22. Visit your local Outback restaurant and say “Moonshine BBQ Wings” to your server to receive a free ½ order of Moonshine BBQ Wood-Fire Grilled Wings, covered in the chef inspired sauce, with the purchase of any adult entrĂ©e. I met the chef. He is awesome. So are these wings. Try them for FREE!


To spread the Moonshine spirit, Outback is making it easy to get yer ‘shine on with the Moonshine Name Generator at Outback.com/Name. How fun! My Moonshine name is Lulu Wildcat Sauce! What's yours?


Stay tuned! As an Outback Best Mate, I will have exciting promotions, news, new menu items and more to tell you about all year long!

Connect :: Visit Outback Steakhouse to learn the secret to why the Moonshine BBQ sauce is so dang good! You can also find Outback Steakhouse on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.




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