Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Active Accessories Hair Bands Review

My daughter LOVES to wear hair bands, but they're so hard on her hair and create a lot of breakage when she takes them out.  She always puts the bands on her wrist before leaving out to school or the gym in the morning and it inevitably cuts off her circulation and leaves a deep red ring on her wrist.  I was really excited to try Active Accessories' On-the-Go hair bands.  These hair bands are not like your normal hair bows that claim to be no tangle and no hurt.  These are made to be worn on the wrist until used and are nice and wide so they don't cut off your circulation.  They also don't break your hair or create split ends.  Even though they may be a little more expensive than hair bows you can get at Walmart, they're definitely well worth the money because they last a while and don't create pain and hair breakage.

You can get them on Amazon for $8.99 for 6 and they come in 5 really cute patterns and colors.

Monday, December 17, 2012

FromYouFlowers.com Christmas Cheer Bouquet Review & Coupon

I love fresh flowers for the home and as a gift, but I hate making a special trip to a florist and paying those high prices for a fresh arrangement and then having to transport it.  That being said, I am also a little leery of ordering fresh flowers online and having them sent as a gift because you just never know what you're going to get from a new internet-based florist.  I've used a couple internet florists before with varying success.  When I was given the chance to try out FromYouFlowers.com, I was excited to see what their product would look like.

I received a Christmas Cheer bouquet via UPS.  It was scheduled to be delivered on Friday afternoon, but I was going to be out of state until Sunday evening and for some reason I wasn't able to hold the delivery with UPS.  The flowers sat in their box at my mailbox out in the weather from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.....I was really worried at what the flowers would look like after being without water for that long.  I opened the box and was pleasantly surprised to find that the flowers were beautiful and still very healthy.

My bouquet didn't come with any greenery or baby's breath like in the above photo, but it did have beautiful smell and color.  This bouquet has roses, mini carnations and several classic ornaments that really made for a beautiful yet simple centerpiece on my table.

The flowers came wrapped in florist paper and plastic for easy transport

Beautiful colors and plenty of unopened blooms for later

Sparse looking unless you have some filler or bunch it together more

The vase was a very beautiful red glass and not a cheap plastic type.  The only drawback to the vase is that it wasn't tall enough to hold the arrangement without having to cut off a good 4-6" from the flowers and wooden sticks holding the ornaments.  The opening was a little too wide for the amount of flowers and decorations, leaving the arrangement looking pretty sparse and bare without putting a ribbon around the flowers to bunch them together more or adding some greenery/baby's breath.

The package came with a very nice card, instructions on how to care for the flowers, a packet of flower food to add to the water.  The entire order was packaged securely and was easy to open and get the flowers out for display.

I think I've definitely found another online florist that I'll be using in the future for gifts and special occasions.  This will also be something that I'll probably use this year for a gift of Christmas flowers for my mom.

Want to check them out for yourselves?  Use this special link to have a coupon code for FREE DELIVERY applied to your order!

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.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Piczzle Coupon Code- Exclusive Offer! Expires 12/15

Have you read my review of Piczzle's photo puzzle?  I thought the quality and customer service were top notch and would definitely purchase their products in the future for family gifts, teacher gifts, or just as a fun way to show off a favorite photo memory.

If you didn't win the Piczzle photo puzzle giveaway that ended this week, don't worry because there's a great offer for you from Piczzle.  Right now until 12/15/12, you can get 21% off your entire order by entering this coupon code: SwvaSavesMoney21

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kroger's Private Selection Brand Review

Most of the time I buy only what's on sale or what I have a coupon for, but you normally won't get food worthy of a discerning palette or a gourmet flair.  Every now and then when we have a special occasion, or want to add some gourmet feel to our dinners, I like to get Kroger's Private Selection brand of products.  I have tried their cheeses, olives, crackers, breads, spreads, dips, and sauce.  They have an endless variety of products available in this line and usually at a price that is way better than the comparable national brand.

I recently tried their pasta sauce in roasted garlic over thin spaghetti.  It didn't have much of an aroma while I was heating it in the ground beef, so I was concerned that it wouldn't have the robust flavor I love.  I was completely wrong....the flavor is spot on and wonderful.  My hubby said that it was probably the best canned pasta sauce he's had before and loved the balance of sweet to savory.  The sauce isn't watery at all, so it would also go perfectly with Chicken Parmesan and other dishes like that.

On another night, I wanted to have an easy meal with some class to it, so I picked up a rotisserie chicken, some PS cheese in buffalo Monterey Jack, PS wafer crisps, PS garlic stuffed olives, and PS fresh carrots and broccoli.  The kids and hubby loved everything.  My son wasn't the biggest fan of the crackers, but he's not really used to wafers like that....he likes Triscuits.  The price for the cheese was a bit higher than I like to pay, but if you're looking for a nice finger food option for a party or guests in a variety that you can't get in every day packaged cheese, it's well worth the extra money.  Hubby especially loved the olives.  He thought them being stuffed with a whole garlic clove, that it would be overpowering, but he was pleasantly surprised and said it was a perfect balance.

So, if you're looking for gourmet food at a fraction of the cost....Kroger's Private Selection brand is certainly the way to go.  I love one stop shopping for my gourmet foods as well as my every day grocery needs.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

$100 Stanley Steamer GC Giveaway! US, ends 12/20

Enter to win a $100 Gift Certificate & TWO Stanley Steemer Spot Removers™ courtesy of Stanley Steemer, hosted by Irish Italian Blessings and co-hosted by Shop Review Save 

With the holidays quickly approaching, what better time to take advantage of an opportunity to call in the experts to clean those floors. With over 60 years of experience as the dirt authority, they are certified in removing more than 98% of dry soil from floors. Stanley Steemer is not just for carpets- their expertise lends them to hardwood, tile, air ducts, water damage restoration, and more! Keep the spot removers on hand to quickly remove spills or spots to celebrate without having to worry.

I've never had my carpets professionally cleaned, but I know that I've needed to.  It's such a hassle to rent a machine, get the chemical mixture just right, move all of your furniture, steam clean your carpets (hoping you have the right settings and mixture), and then painfully wait for it to dry.  I was never completely satisfied with the results and the hardened stains usually never came completely out.  I never thought of calling in the professionals, but after a holiday party or a family gathering, this may be something I will do in the future!

Stanley Steemer has shared some tips with us to maintain a cleaner, healthier home:
  • Use Indoor and Outdoor entrance mats to reduce the amount of dirt tracked into your home. 
  • Act quickly to clean up spills or stains and keep a professional spot remover on hand all the time or use white vinegar and baking soda as an alternative since they are found in most homes. Stanley Steemer Spot Removers™ are a great option to keep on hand to work quickly at removing stains.
  • Vacuum high traffic areas in the home 2-3 times a week, especially when entertaining.
Be sure to check out actress Mia Gentile's variations on the brand's iconic jingle! Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/QFWzgv

Giveaway is open to US Residents Only and will run from December 6 - December 20. Good luck! Winning Entry will be Verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: “The Stanley Steemer gift certificate, information, and two gift packs have been provided by Stanley Steemer.”  SW Virginia Saving Money has received no compensation for this post and is not responsible for drawing the winner or shipping of the prize.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CollageIT PRO - Collage Software **FLASH GIVEAWAY**

I posted a review and giveaway about CollageIt's software previously.  I've gone through 2 rounds of winners and only 3 out of 20 of them responded to me to claim their prize.  Instead of drudging through another full fledged giveaway, I'm offering these awesome licenses to the people who complete the steps below.

I have 8 Windows and 9 MAC licenses for CollageIt PRO ( $29.90 value)
Licenses will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis to those who complete the following steps.

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what you like best about CollageIt's software.  Include in your comment whether you'd like a Windows or MAC license.

2. Send me an email asking to claim your prize (click on the pink EMAIL ME button on the right sidebar) and let me know what name you commented under.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Go Picinic Ready-to-Eat Meals Giveaway, US, ends 12/16

I'm big into self-sufficient living, gardening, and food storage, but sometimes it gets to be a lot of work.  I often look for meals and products that store well and are something other than the standard beans and rice emergency rations.  I also like to have things on hand that will work not only for power outage situations, but for every day life when I don't really feel like cooking.

Are you on the look out for easy to prepare meals for yourself or your children?  Meals that are easy to take with you? I recently discovered some Ready-to-Eat boxed lunches that are better than stopping at those fast food places. These meals contain no trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors or flavors and no MSG. They can be taken with you without fear of them spoiling as they need no refrigeration.

Have you heard of GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals?


If you are concerned about all the artificial "stuff" that goes into so many of our foods these days and are looking for an alternative, I suggest you check out GoPicnic and I feel you will be pleasantly surprised.

And you can enter to win 2 meals for yourself by entering in the Rafflecopter below.
Giveaway ends December 16th and is open to U.S. residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclosure: Tots and Me received 2 Ready-to-Eat meals from GoPicnic for free in order to review them. This did not in any way influence her review. She only recommends products she uses personally and feels will be good products for her readers. Tots and Me and SW Virginia Saving Money is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Stanley Steamer $100 Giveaway Event- Free Blogger Opp

Event Details:
- This giveaway will go live on December 6, 2012-December 20, 2012
- Open to US Only
- Prize: $100 Gift Card 
I've joined....if you're interested, get the details and sign up here.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advil Congestion Relief Review

BIC Mark-It
Image courtesy of Smiley360

During the fall season, I tend to get a lot of sinus congestion due to the crazy weather in Virginia.  I don't normally get a full on cold, but I do get stuffy and sinus pressure and congestion.  I am always on the lookout for a good congestion relief product that doesn't make me feel like a zombie.  I've recently begun using nasal sprays when I get really bad congestion, but I generally don't go that route unless it's really serious and can't be controlled by pills.

I was recently given the chance by Smiley360 to try Advil's Congestion Relief medication.  What I liked most about it was that it's a one pill dose and it didn't make me feel loopy or spaced out.  This product seems to work fairly well if you have moderate congestion that isn't caused mostly by nasal passage swelling.  When I tried it last week on my minor congestion caused by nasal passage swelling, I didn't really notice an improvement, even after 3 hours.  However, when I tried it this weekend with moderate congestion caused by mucus, it did have a much better effect.

How do you treat your sinus congestion?

CoverGirl blastflipstick Review

I don't wear a lot of make-up, if any at all.  The one thing I do wear pretty regularly is lipstick, lip gloss, or tinted lip balm.  I love lip color that is creamy, lasts, and doesn't look unnatural.  I recently had the opportunity to try a brand new product by CoverGirl called blastflipstick.  CoverGirl had an awesome idea by putting compatible lip colors in one stick.  One side is a solid color and the other is a shimmering color that is perfectly blendable and compatible.

They have 13 color duos for every need.  I tried the duos in Stunner, Vixen and Minx.  I really liked the color selections and how they paired them together.   I loved the end result of the Stunner and Vixen for every day wear and Minx for night time darker shade.  I wasn't, however, pleased with how the lipstick looked on my lips.  The lipstick looked okay when I first put it on, but quickly gathered outside of the lines in my lip and kind of gooped up where my lips went moist towards the inner lip.  It created such a fake and terrible look that I had to wipe it all off within an hour of wearing it.  I tried base only, but it still became chunky and gloppy looking.

Looks great right after I put it on.  Awesome shimmer and color.

End result for me:  I love the color combinations, but won't wear it again because it doesn't have a creamy texture that blends into the lines of my lips and lasts without getting terrible looking.  This product would probably work for others who don't have dry lips or lips with lines in them.  Let's work on the texture CoverGirl.