Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mary Kay Gift Certificate #Giveaway! Fight Like a Girl Blog Hop

Welcome to the first annual "Fight Like a Girl" Blog hop
Brought to you by
 Blogging, Freebies & Giveaways
Up All Night Blogging

We are a community of bloggers that love throwing giveaways and bringing you amazing prizes! Each blogger on the list below has a minimum value of $10 but most giveaways exceed that limit! Be sure to "hop" along to each blog and enter to win some amazing prizes there is no limit to how many prizes you can win! please don't forget sharing is caring! Let your friends in on the fun!
Thank you for stopping by and Good luck!

For my part of the Blog Hop, I am giving away a 
$15 Mary Kay Gift Card + FREE Shipping! 

To enter to win, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.
PLEASE NOTE: The gift card will only be available through me, Stephanie Manning - Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and is not transferable to any other consultant as it is specific to my site. Winner will receive a gift code which will allow them to make a purchase, submit the code and then when I process the order the $15 gift card will be applied! There is no minimum order and shipping is free with this gift card (Free shipping is only for USA residents, though the gift cards is open internationally)!  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE LOCAL to redeem your prize! I will have the prize shipped to you for FREE!)

Giveaway ends October 29th, 2014 at 12:00 PM CST. Winner will be chosen randomly via the Rafflecopter on October 30th, 2014 and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Free shipping is only available to US residents. Must be 18+ years old and VOID where prohibited. Mary Kay, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media sites are in no way affiliated with this giveaway. I am an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and will be responsible for the prize and shipment.

Who's ready to win? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

YOUR INVITED: Mary Kay Facebook Party! Lots of Prizes! Saturday, September 27th!


I'm reaching out to all my blog readers, bloggy-friends and anyone else wanting to get the latest news on what Mary Kay has to offer along with GREAT PRIZES and lots of FUN! ... 
I'm hosting an ONLINE Mary Kay Fall Debut Party on Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 6pm CST and YOU are INVITED!

 If you haven't already, be sure to like my Mary Kay Facebook Page to get the latest updates, special offers and more! LIKE it HERE!

You're Invited!

What: Mary Kay Fall Debut Facebook Party
When: Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Time: 6pm CST
Where: Facebook! :) 
RSVP: Please let me know ASAP if you would like to participate so that I can send you an invite to the event on Facebook. This is set up as a private event. {RSVP info below!}
Lots of prizes! The more participants, the more prizes! Once you have RSVP'd I will send you an invite via Facebook and then you can invite your own girlfriends to join in. Whoever has the most invites show up for the party wins a special prize! :) 

What is a Facebook Party?

For those of you who have never done a Facebook Party, it's similar to a Twitter party. Those of you who have never done either, then you will be in for a fun virtual treat! We will all meet up on the Facebook EVENT that I have created and will have fun playing games, talking about beauty and giving away prizes. There will be lots of fun and I would love to have you! 

If you aren't familiar with Mary Kay products, you learn more about our awesome skin care and beauty line by visiting my Mary Kay Website

How to RSVP

 If you would like to participate you can either message me on Facebook and request an invite to the private event {You can find find and friend me on FB HERE.}, send me an email at letting me know you want to attend or leave your FB profile link below and I will friend and invite you! :) Whatever is easier for you! 

Can't Make It?

While we will miss you tremendously, you can still order online via my website at or email your orders to
Want to have fun and get your products for free? No problem! We can do an online party for your too, to share with all your friends! Simply pick a date, invite your friends and I will do the rest! Lots of fun and prizes to be shared! Email me or live your info in a comment below and I will work with you to create an awesome Facebook party! 


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask! I am available at anytime via email! 

Stephanie Manning
Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant
Call or Text: 850-419-9325
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Top Books Like Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Books like beautiful disaster jamie mcguire
For all the Beautiful Disaster fans like me, who fell in love with Travis, I have great news! If you are looking for more books like Beautiful Disaster then you have come to the right place!!!

While Jamie McGuire quickly became a bestselling author with her Beautiful Series, and with good reason, I am happy to share that there are dozens of other books out there that are just as good a Beautiful Disaster. Here you will find the top books like Beautiful Disaster, including the sequel, Walking Disaster, just in case anyone missed it! How, one could miss it- I don’t know but hey, you never know.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum Review

*This post was not sponsored nor, was I ask to write it. I am in no way affiliated with Hoover. All thoughts and ideas are my own. This post does contain affiliate links.*
Floors are one of my pet peeves! I can stand the house being a little cluttered, toys being out of place and the dishes in the sink for a small amount of time, but I can't stand dirty floors. Whether it's carpet or hard surface floors, I can't stand sandy, sticky, dirty looking floors!!! While the my vacuum and Bissell Pro Heat Pet Carpet Cleaner both do a fabulous job of keeping the carpets clean, I have my reservation about a mop and broom on the hard surfaces. Of course, for everyday use it's fine. For keeping my hard surface floors clean, and I mean really clean, I use my Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum. It's the perfect 3-in-1 cleaner for hard surfaces like laminate, hardwood, linoleum and similar surfaces!

Why I bought a Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum...

During my entire pregnancy I had debated what type of cleaning machine I would get for cleaning the kitchen and bathroom floors because I knew that it wouldn't be long before Miss K would be crawling around exploring things on her own. Aside from normal foot traffic, we also have two large dogs and between everyday living and the dogs, the potential for germs, dirt and grime outweighed my comfort when it came to being a new mom and knowing that my baby girl would be crawling on the floors. 

When I purchased my Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub vac it was around the same time that the Shark Steam Mop was coming out. I had considered that option as well, but considering that it was similar to a mop, I didn't bother. So what's the big deal about having a mop? Nothing- I have one myself that I use. However, I wanted something that wouldn't just push the dirt around. Instead, I wanted something that would spray water and solution, *scrub* the floors, then picks the dirty water up and also rinse the remaining residue and dirt of the floors. Sorry, but you just don't get that with a mop. You do however get it with the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub! That's why I love it and that's why I am sharing my review! 
What's so great about the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum?
Counter-rotate brushes cleans even the dirtiest messes! 

  • This machine has several scrubbing brushes that counter-rotate to clean even sticky, stubborn messes!
  • No bags! It has a tank that holds the clean water and cleaning solution and a separate canister that holds the dirty and dirty water.
  • The handle folds down for easy storage in tight spaces.
  • It has a vacuum, wash and dry setting. (Though I have never used my dry setting as it does a great job of picking up the water on the initial cleaning.)
  • Easy to use and light weight.
  • It cleans the surface by putting down water and cleaning solution, scrubbing and sucking up the dirty water while also rinsing. No pushing around dirty water or pads!
  • No messy pads, buckets or wet mops to store away.

Overall Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Review

Several things in comparison to a basic mop or cleaning machine that uses a pad!
Great! It runs about $125-150 depending on where you purchase it from. I got mine from Walmart but I have found them much cheaper on Amazon from the Hoover dealer.
Awesome! It vacuums all hard floor surfaces including hardwood, tile, linoleum and marble. It has 4 settings; vacuum, cleaning, rinse and dry.
Super easy! The Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum is the size of an average vacuum so, it does not take up a lot of space. In addition, the handle also folds down to make it shorter and easier to store. 
hoover floor mate
The Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub has a handle that folds down for easy storage if needed. 
Cleaning Results:
Excellent! It even has a spray trigger to apply extra solutions to hard, stuck-on, sticky, greasy, grimy stains!!! Great scrubbing action combined great pickup/drying action.
Cleaning Solution Price:
Not bad at all. I use both the Hoover brand and the Walmart brand hard surface floor cleaner and both do great. I love the smell of the Hoover cleaner, though! 
Overall Rating:
5 Stars!!! If you are looking for the best hardwood floor cleaner then I recommend the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub Wet/Dry Vacuum!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Where Oh, Where Have I Been?

Hey guys, I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. I have been extremely busy lately and have been running back and forth to the doctors, trying to keep up with summer chores and the list goes on. Not to mention, when I do have a few free moments to settle down and work on my blog, I usually get on my laptop. Well, Miss K dropped it (my brand new one) and the hard drive isn’t working. I’m waiting on it to be repaired and well, the desktop is great, but it’s not the ideal machine for sitting on the couch in the family room, if you know what I mean.

I even took a week off of work last month with the hope of redesigning my blog and sharing some great content with guys but, even then, I couldn't manage to get out a single blog post, much less redesign my blog.

Time is also a challenge for my family and blogging schedules. I was working four 10-hours shifts, in conjunction with an hour drive to and from work, putting me home at 6:15pm. Now, add in cooking and dinner with the family, cleaning the kitchen (it’s now 8pm), showers and getting ready for the next day to begin at 5am (now 9pm), squeezing in a load of laundry, hopefully reading Miss K a bedtime story if she doesn’t conk out before I get to her and then if I am lucky… 5 minutes to myself. That rarely happens. Rap it all up by 10pm to get in bed and there was no play time with Miss K, no sitting on the couch watching a movie with the hubby, no time to vacuum floors and no time for hashing out a great blog post that I know you guys would love…

So, what can I do to correct it? Well, my boss has let me go from working four 10-hour shifts to five 8-hour shifts. Hmm, this could be a good thing. It will put me home at 4:15pm instead of 6:15. It also means 2 extra hours a day to spend time with Miss K and Jeremy, plus, hopefully work on my blog. It also means I will have time to spend on keeping the house clean as needed instead of cramming all my house chores in the weekend. So, here’s to 8-hour shifts. I haven’t worked 5 days a week (in corporate America of course) since I first started 911 dispatching back in 2004. I am excited about being with the family more each night and my weekends being free to spend time with the family and also work on my blog in the evenings after Miss K is tucked in and fast asleep.

I have several awesome recipes, product reviews and several giveaways coming up and an adorable bow holder I came up with using a canvas (as in a canvas you would paint on)while sitting inside on a rainy day with Miss K! Oh, and don’t let me forget the recipe for those awesome Cinnamon Pickles that everyone has raved about. Put it this way… I made nearly a dozen pints, and within 3 days, they were all gone! Time to make more!

Thanks for hanging in there with me and I am sorry I have been sparse over the last few weeks. Hopefully, that will all change for the better now! J
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Special #Giveaway & Blogger Opp Just for My Blogging Friends!

For all my readers who are bloggers, I need a little help with a current contest that I am participating in with Don't worry- there's a chance for you to win, too! Over the last few months I have shared with you guys & gals a few different blogging opportunity sites that I work with. Some of those sites included Mommerce, Sverve & ShareASale

I recently posted about Mommerce looking for new bloggers, and well, that's kind of why I'm offering this giveaway and why I need your help. In order ot increase their list of bloggers for all these awesome new campaigns they are working on, they are offering a $1,000 giveaway for the blogger who refers the most signups. So, obviously, I am looking for awesome bloggers like you to sign up if you haven't already. To help David meet his goal of 2,000 new bloggers, I am inviting all my blogger friends to sign up and also the chance to win a $50 Gift Card! Anyone who signs up from my link can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the gift card. PLUS, you too, can join in on the referral contest to win $1,000! The contest ends July 20th, 2014 and so does my giveaway. 

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Rainbow Bandz & Organizer Review | Loom Band Refill!

I was recently given the opportunity to review the Rainbow Bandz and the Rainbow Bandz Organizer. This was a great opportunity since the rubber band looms are one of the crafts that my 16 year old, disabled sister is able to do. Unlike most teenagers her age, she isn't worried about getting her license to drive, worried about prom or worried about getting a job. Instead she's busy keeping an eye on her Baby Alive, reading and doing simple crafts like rubber band bracelets and rings. Her disability limits what she is able to do but, this is one of the few things she really enjoys doing! So, needless to say, I was excited for the opportunity to review the Rainbow Bands Refill Pack and the organizer.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

7 Tips for Growing Better Tomatoes

tomato growing tips

Whether you are a beginner or, just looking for ways to grow bigger, better tasting tomatoes, then you have come to the right place. Over the last few years I have done a lot of searching for tips for growing tomatoes and by doing so, I have found some great ways to grow a great bounty of them.

Here in Florida, the ground is dry, the weather is hot and well, my tomatoes always ended up splitting before they were fully ripe. They also didn't produce high yields.

Over the last two years I have worked hard, researched, and most importantly- followed the guidance of the Old Timers, who can give more gardening tips than all of the gardening product companies put together. So, without further ado, let's get to these awesome tips for growing better tomatoes...

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Priva Ultra Absorbent Waterproof Sheet Protector Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
I was recently sent the Priva Ultra Absorbent 300 Washes Waterproof Sheet Protector to review. I figured that if it worked that it would be perfect for potty training. Well, needless to say I found another use for it along the way.

About 2 days after receiving my Priva Ultra Absorbent Waterproof Sheet Protector I hadn't even taken it out of the box, yet, when Miss K came down with a horrible stomach had her vomiting. In a desperate attempt to prevent a mess on the couch while also not confining her to the bedroom, I ran and got the sheet protector and laid it out on the couch. It was much bigger than I thought it would be so that was a huge plus. Meanwhile, I figured if she gets sick then we are putting this thing to the ultimate test.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide Promotions | #Sponsored

*This is a sponsored post. I did receive compensation for sharing this post.*

Last week I shared with you guys the Father's Day Gift Guide Presented by Mommerce. Well, for those of you who found some awesome gift ideas on the guide, I have come back to share with you some awesome promotions, steals and deals related to those same products and brands. You still have a few days left until Father's Day which means most items can still be shipped out quickly or, you can opt for a gift card from one of these awesome sites so that you can print it and put it in Dad's card so that he can choose the perfect Father's Day gift! So, with that said, here is a list of current promotions on the list that was shared last week!

Duracell PowerCase and PowerMat Bundle

This is the perfect gift for the Tech Savvy Dads who love their iPhone 5s! You can purchase this online at the Apple Store, and the best part of buying it from them right now? They are offering FREE Shipping on orders of $50 or more! I hope that no one minds if I actually buy this for myself! Hurry and get yours now before they are put on back order! If you want to keep up with other great products, then be sure to visit them on Facebook & Twitter! As a tech guy, I'm already stalking them for their next line of products!

Brooks Brothers

You can find something for nearly any dad at Brooks Brothers with their big selection of wallets and ies! Brooks Brothers is having an AMAZING sale on their Spring and Summer Collections! Right now you can Save 30% off PLUS you'll get free shipping on all orders of $200 or more!

Tessamae's Father Day Grill Pack

They say the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach! Check out the Tessamae's marinades, spreads, and dressings for some great Father's Day gift ideas and awesome deals! I think that they are absolutely fantastic and fits all of my grilling needs. What's even better is that they are All Natural! However, I'm more in love with their Father's Day Grill Pack! It comes with the following: Honey Mustard, Ketchup, Hot Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, and Roasted Garlic Spread. This already gives me tons of ideas on what to make on the grill. Anyone else thinking Skirt Steak? Yum! This pack normally goes for $31, BUT they released an amazing coupon code to take $5.99 off your order!! Hello Savings! Enter coupon code: TESSEGRILL

John Varvatos Washed Linen Boat Shoes

John Varvatos has some of the coolest and trendiest gifts that dad will definitely love! Right now, you can save up to 40% off their Spring Collection! Check out the several different color options for their Washed Linen Boat Shoes! They just look they are the single most comfortable shoes out there, especially with not having to worry about laces.

Cabelas Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Window Smoker

Okay, Yes I want this badly and so would my dad!! What man doesn't want a smoker... {or any woman who really knows what good food is all about!}? Imagine the endless possibilities of carnal creations that can be made. I'm already drooling! Cabela's is making life a little more affordable by offering Free Shipping on orders of $99 or more with a great coupon code that is good until June 15th: 4DADSDAY This coupon code will definitely help with those pocket strings.

Ray-Ban REMIX Sunglasses

Just to let you know, I don't want these. I NEED a pair of these! You can make your own! EEEK!! I'm just trying to decide between which frames and colors I want! Right now, they are offering FREE SHIPPING & FREE RETURNS on all orders! I like that a lot! Anyone that offers me free shipping....I'm kind of a sucker.

Harry’s Father & Son Shave Set

This is another great Father's Day gift idea for those who are Dads with a younger son (or sons). I think it creates an amazing little pact between Dad and son, and experience that Dad won't forget anytime soon. Right now, this shave pack is only $25 AND Harry's is giving FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $10 or more! Get this. Now.

Nike+ Fuel Band

This absolutely the perfect gift for the active Dad! Whether it's jogging on a treadmill or the open road. Right now they are offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders! Just in time for Father's Day! I like that's pretty stylish, which is just as important!

Omaha Steaks For Dad – The Dad Pack!

Dad is sure gonna love this gift! Right now Omaha Steaks is offering Steak pack starting at $59 + 6 Free Burgers + Free Shipping on select combos! With all of these amazing discounts and all of their other deals, how can you wrong? This is perfect with the grilling season upon us! – Wine for Dad!

Right now, is offering up to 37% off 90+ point rated wines (all under $20)! Now how can you beat a deal like that? You can also save an additional $10 of your purchase of $75 or more off your first order with Coupon Code: JUNENEW Wanna make Dad super Happy? Get him a Stewardship Membership! It's $49 for the year ofUNLIMITED FREE SHIPPING ALL YEAR LONG!

These are just a few of the many Father's Day Promotions you will find listed on these sites. Be sure to check out those you think Dad will love... you never know what else you may find!
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Friday, June 6, 2014

The Ultimate Potty Training Chart Review & #GIVEAWAY| Victoria Chart Company | Ends 6/12/14

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

Ultimate Potty Training Chart Review
The last year or so, I have tried to potty train Miss K several times and each time she has been very resistant. When I was given the opportunity to review the Ultimate Potty Training Chart by Victoria Chart Company I was excited that this might finally be our big break!

I have tried the DIY printable charts and picked up stickers at Walmart and while they done well, they were only temporary. Within a week she was bored, the chart had gotten wrinkled and the little smiley face stickers and stars were just too little for her little fingers. The Ultimate Potty Training Chart by Victoria Chart Company however, was perfect!

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Father's Day Gift Guide 2014 | #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for posting.
In addition, this post also contain affiliate links. 

Father's Day is only a few days away and that means it's time to finish up our Father's Day shopping. If you are like me, you are still trying to figure out what to get your dad! It seems like every holiday I wait up until the last minute-- go crazy trying to find the perfect gift. I know my dad is grateful for everything I give him but, I still want to make sure that it's not only something he will appreciate but, also something he will enjoy and use throughout the year!

Below you will find several awesome gift ideas for 2014! Regardless of what your dad likes, you are sure to find something on this list that will make his day! Whether he's a business man, King of the Grill, fitness guru, in to fine wines, or just an All American Dad, you are sure to find the perfect gift with this Father's Day Gift Guide!
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Big Boss Kitchen Slice-A-Roo Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Whether you are looking for grat kitchen accessories to making food prep fun & unique or, just looking for ways to make healthy cooking easier, the Slice-A-Roo from Big Boss Kitchen is sure to become one of your favorite kitchen tools! This handy gadget slices, shreds and curls your favorite fruits and vegetables with just a few cranks of the handle.

I was recently given the opportunity to review the Slice-A-Roo from Big Boss Kitchen, and needless to say, it is now one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

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Whish Body Shave Crave & Shave Savour Review | #Sponsored #Whish

I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Whish Body. I received a promotional item and Whish Body Samples to facilitate my review. 

Summer is here and that means shorts, skirts and swim suits! It also means more shaving and moisturizing to keep your legs soft, smooth and beautiful. With that said, I want to introduce you Whish Body Shave Crave and Whish Body Shave Savour;  two awesome shaving products that will keep your legs beautiful and silky through the summer!

It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to participate in the Whish Body campaign, that I realized my shaving cream actually contains unimaginable ingredients. 

{Really, what were some of these people thinking when they created shaving cream?} 

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

#FREE Limited Edition Julep Summer Brights Welcome Box New Maven Subscribers

Limited Edition Summer Brights Welcome Box
Summer is almost here and as Julep affiliate (this post contains affiliate links), I have some great news  and a HOT deal for fashion divas! Julep is currently offering A FREE Limited Edition Julep Summer Brights Welcome Box

New Maven subscribers can get this limited edition Summer Brights welcome box, a 5-piece set that includes 3 beautiful, bright nail colors, a lip gloss and the kajal eyeliner {valued at $80} - for free when they sign up for Julep Maven.

The Julep Maven subscription box is the perfect way to treat yourself to new nail color and beauty products each month. 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ozeri Serafino Double Wall Insulated Drinking Glasses Review

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

Nothing beats a glass of cold, iced sweet tea on a hot summer day while sitting out on the deck watching the sun set. Unfortunately, here in Florida, that also means that the ice will melt rather quickly, watering down my sweet tea, and also causes water rings left from the glass sweating. Luckily, the great folks over at Ozeri sent me a set of their Serafino Double Wall 16 oz Insulated Drinking Glasses to review.

First off, let me reiterate that Jeremy (my husband) rarely gets involved in any of my blog posts or reviews unless it's something that he absolutely loves... And well, this is one of those products he absolutely loved! He was recently introduced to Turvis tumblers after I bought myself one and now he has two of his own. When I explained that the concept of the Ozeri Serafino Double Wall Insulated Drinking Glasses was the same as the Turvis tumblers and were meant to keep cold beverages colder and warm beverages warmer for an extended period of time, he insisted on trying them out as well! {Go figure, right? Kinda reminds me of the down pillow review that I shared recently!}

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day Giveaway! Silver KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer #Giveaway! | Ends 5/23/14

Hosted by:

Co-Hosted by:

Come and join us in this great giveaway

You can be the lucky winner for a

Silver KitchenAid KSM75SL 4.5 Qt. Classic Plus Stand Mixer

Giveaway Ends May 23 11:59pm  EST.
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Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
With all the buzz about the great benefits of drinking green tea, more and more consumers are starting to understand the importance of adding it to their daily meal plans. Unfortunately, for some, simply drinking green tea- hot or cold, just doesn't cut it. Some users don't care for the taste while others don't have the time. The good news is that there are dozens of ways you can consume the recommended about of green tea without actually drinking it. The Kiss Me Organics Match Green Tea Powder is one of those ways and has hundreds of uses.

I was recently given the opportunity to try the Organic Match Green Tea Powder and I must say, it only requires adding a tiny amount to your favorite recipes. It suggests one to one and half teaspoons per day. That's great for anyone who doesn't like the taste of green tea but would still like to benefit from it's many uses. {If you haven't already, be sure to check out my recent post 11 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Green Tea. It will help you understand why so many people are coming up with new ways to incorporate green tea into their diets.}

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"What Does Mom Mean to You" Pinterest Sweepstakes &'s Mother's Day Gift Guide | #Sponsored

Displaying RDC-Logo.png
I received a gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Mother's Day is less than a week a way! Have you decided what you'll be getting your mother? Are you a mom anxious to see what kind of glitter-painted hand print, macaroni art or tissue paper flower you will receive? Regardless of the gifts being given or received, that majority of all moms will be treated to a meal outside of her own kitchen. 

Did you know, according to the National Research Association, that over 25% of Americans will treat Mom to a nice brunch, lunch or dinner at her favorite restaurant? That's over 80 million meals being served at restaurants on Mother's Day alone! 

Deciding to take Mom out is a pretty simple decision. Deciding where to take her and, the perfect gift for Mother's Day, is a little harder. Luckily, has created a Mother's Day Gift Guide to help inspire you. In addition, they are also giving 5 lucky winners the chance to win a $500 Mom's Night Out Package with the "What Does Mom Mean to You Pinterest Sweepstakes"! Mother's Day Gift Guide is the nation's largest dining deals site and is a trsusted source for diners find the best restaurants and deals currently available. They have a variety of handpicked dining and gift ideas that are sure to make Mom feel special and, make your task of gift giving decisions easier.

Whether you are out of ideas, out of time, or just want the perfect gift ideas for Mother's Day, you can opt for one of the gift & dinner idesa on the gift guide or let them be inspire your own duo for the perfect Mother's Day.  Create the ultimate dining experience and Mother's Day treat by simply pairing any Gift Card with one of the ideas below or, other idea that you know your mother would love.

Mother's Day Ideas

1. The Blooming Role Model: "Mom always taught us the beauty is all around us, and she is our favorite example." 

~ Vibrant blooms are the perfect way to say "Happy Mother's Day" to your very special mom. Surprise Mom with a whimsical bouquet of flowers and a Gift Card.

2. The Spa Lover: "For the one who always pampers others, now is the time for Mom to pamper herself!" 

~Help Mom discover the serenity and relaxation she needs with a spa treatment, followed by lunch at a tasty new restaurant using her Gift Card.

3. The Wine Enthusiast: "For the mom who deserves her own time out!"

~ Pair her favorite bottle of wine with a Gift Card! Treat Mom to  the ultimate Mom's Night Out!

Of course, these are just a few of the many ideas that you could include with your Gift Card. Make sure you check out Specials by for more Mother's Day gift ideas or to create your own amazing gift idea for Mom! 

"What Does Mom Mean to You" Pinterest Sweepstakes

From now until May 11th, you can enter to win one of five $500 Mom's Night Out Package from with their "What Does Mom Mean to You" Pinterest Sweepstakes. You can find out more about this awesome giveaway and enter to win HERE!

About is an awesome site that helps you find the best deals. What's better than going out and enjoying an awesome meal {besides not having to cook and then clean the kitchen afterwards}? Going out for a great meal that was not only delicious but was also a great deal! has been finding their customers the best deals for their meals since 1999 when they first began. They offer incredible deals at thousands of restaurants across the nation with nearly 50,000 gift certificate options. {My goodness, I didn't know there could be so many options!} Since their conception they have saved their customers over $1 Billion Dollars in dining out expenses. 

You simply find the deals on their site, then present the certificate {the deal} to your server and the savings are deducted from your bill. To make it even easier, you have the option of printing the certificates or simply pulling it up on your mobile device with their handy app and showing it to the server. So easy!!! {Now if only washing the dishes were as simple as handing a certificate to the husband and/or kiddo's!} will be running Specials by Dinner & A Movie starting Wednesday, May 7 – – You’ll have to hurry though as this show stopping deal is only available for a limited amount of time!

Be sure to download their app on your mobile device to check out their awesome deals!
Download the app at:   iPhone  |  iPad  |  Android

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Disclosure: I received a gift card for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.
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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Aflac #Duckprints Fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Awareness & $50 Gift Card #Giveaway | Ends 5/11/14

Aflac DuckPrints Giveaway
This giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Aflac. 
I was compensated to participate in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Many people are familiar with Aflac and their supplemental medical coverage and their cute and oh-so-funny commercials featuring the Aflac duck. {My favorite being the Call the Doctor, Boy commercial!} But, what many people are not aware of, including myself until just recently, is that Aflac offers more to the community than just supplemental coverage. They are also the heart of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Aflac has teamed up with to offer you a chance to win a $50 Gift Card just in time for Mother's Day and to help spread childhood cancer awareness! 

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Black Spot on Roses: How to Treat, Prevent & Get Rid of Black Spot

If you have ever grown a rose bush, then chances are that you have had to deal Black Spot at least once before finding the best way to treat it. {Unless you grow Knock-Out Roses which are highly resistant but, don’t have as many colors, varieties or big blooms like standard roses.} It’s fact of life rose gardening... We all get it eventually and, we all end up looking for ways to get rid of Black Spot before it takes over and leaves our roses looking pitiful. The good news is, there are several ways to get rid of Black Spot and you will find them here!

Nearly any rosarian will tell you that the fungus is easy to catch, easy to spread and hard to get rid of. Black Spot is easily identified by yellowing of the leaves and small, black dots on the leaves, stems and canes. Believe it or not, it’s very common especially, in warm, humid or rainy climates and can be spread with water, wind and direct contact. Here in Florida, it’s can be a nightmare in a matter of just a few rainy days.

Below you will find out how to prevent and several ways to treat and get rid of Black Spot before it takes over. If you have any questions or know of any other ways to treat and prevent Black Spot, be sure to post a comment and let me know and I will gladly add it to the list to share it with everyone else looking for ways get rid of it.{Of course, I will give you credit for the idea, too!}

black spot on leaves
Credit: Michelle Grabowski via UM Extension

How to Prevent Black Spot on Roses

The first step in treating Black Spot on roses is to prevent it. Even though your roses may already be infected, you should still make every effort to prevent further spreading of the fungus because if you don’t, it will get out of control very fast! 

  • Always water roses from the base of the plant to avoid splashing
  • Treat immediately, at the first signs of Black Spot to avoid it from spreading
  • Always clean gardening tools after each use, before moving on to the next rose
  • Always treat the soil, not just the plant
  • Keep the lower portions of the bush pruned so that the leaves are not touching the soil
  • Always bag up any debris, seal it up and toss it in the trash

Remove the Infected Foliage Before Treating 

To treat Black Spot on roses, start by removing any and all leaves, stems and canes that show even the tiniest sign of Black Spot. Even if there is only a couple of spot, go ahead and remove it or else it will continue to spread. Depending on how severe the infection is, it may mean removing several leaves and stems, making your plant smaller. Unfortunately, it has to be done. Besides, a small rose bush looks better than a big one that is sick!

Always, and I mean always, remove the infected debris from the flower bed. I always put mine in trash bag and toss it out. Leaving even a tiny leaf behind that has already been infected means it will come right back. Never put it you compost pile or out in the yard as it will continue to spread the fungus throughout your yard and garden, making it much harder to treat and prevent.

Methods For Treating Black Spot

There are several ways to get rid of Black Spot. Among the most common are ready-to-use fungicides specifically for treating Black Spot. Most of these products work very well and cost around $5-15. The ready-to-use fungicides usually require an application every 5-7 days until the Black Spot is gone, and then every 1-2 2 weeks to prevent future reoccurrence.

Here are some of the best rose fungicides used to treat Black Spot:

Organic & Homemade Black Spot Treatments

In addition to buying the Black Spot treatment solutions above, you can also try a few of these DIY homemade Black Spot treatments. They all work and cost less than the store bought, but you do have to be careful and be sure not to overuse them or else the vinegar and the baking soda can both change the pH in the soil, which will affect the rose.  I have personally used them all and have found them to be quite beneficial in getting rid of Black Spot.

Vinegar and Water Black Spot Solution

apple cider vinegar and water for black spot
One of the easiest ways to treat and get rid of Black Spot is with a simple solution made of vinegar and water. Add 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to a gallon of water and mix well. Pour the vinegar solution into a spray bottle and spray your roses heavily. *Again, the entire rose until it is dripping, spray the base, the soil and surrounding roses.* .

Be sure to spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves, stems and canes. Spray in the early morning once a week until the Black Spot is eliminated then spray every 2 weeks to prevent a future breakout of Black Spot. For even more protection and quicker results, you can beef it up a little by adding one tablespoon of Molasses to the solution to help the vinegar to stick to the leaves. It is not necessary but does help since it insures the solution stays on the infected foliage longer, before it finally drips or dries.

Dish Soap Solution for Black Spot

dawn antibacterial dish soap for rosesAnother homemade Black Spot treatment is dish soap. Behold, the power of the trusty ol’ dish soap! Any antibacterial dish soap will work fine. I use Ajax or Dawn antibacterial dish soap because those are the two I usually use in the kitchen and those two have always worked fine.

Simply combine ½ cup antibacterial dish soap in a 2 liter bottle, mix well and use a spray bottle to apply to the rose bush. I usually just take the sprayer off of an old Windex bottle, rinse it well, and connect it to the top of the 2 liter bottle. Label it and leave it in the green house (great way to recycle) or under the kitchen sink. Apply every 5-7 days until Black Spot is eliminated and then, once every 2 weeks to prevent future breakouts.

Baking Soda Black Spot Treatment Solution

You can also use baking soda to treat Black Spot on roses and prevent future breakouts. Simply combine, 4 tablespoons of baking soda, one tablespoon of Molasses and one gallon of water. Mix well and spray thoroughly on roses that have been infected with Black Spot. Reapply once a week until cured. Then apply every few weeks to prevent future reoccurrences.

As you can see, getting rid of Black Spot isn't too hard. It just takes the right solutions and a little patience.  Using any of the above solutions will work if applied thoroughly and as often as once a week while treating/getting rid of,  and every 2 weeks to prevent future breakouts.

Don’t forget, you should always spray the entire bush, including under the leaves, and also the base, ground and any other roses you have in your yard, even the ones that are not showing signs of Black Spot. This will help to insure that the fungus has been cured fully instead of curing one plant just to find out that another rose had it and now you are fighting the same battle all over again.

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If you have any questions, suggestions or tips about treating Black Spot, growing roses or gardening in general, please post it in a comment below and I, or one of my other readers, will be happy to help out. If you have ever used any of the solutions above, let us know what worked best for you.

FTC Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Associates Program and the Amazon products listed above do contain my affiliate links. Amazon provides this opportunity to bloggers to help us earn a small commission from products sold through our sites to help cover the expenses associated with blogging. 
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