Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Clawz Review

Now that warm weather has arrived, it is all about the outdoors. From the backyard to the park to the beach to the pool and everything in between.

That means a lot of running, jumping, climbing, and of course, walking. All of which depends on having proper footwear. You can expect to start of on the right foot in the wrong pair of shoes, especially not when you're only 2 1/2 years old.

Such is the case with my daughter. She is beyond active, and I worry about every thing that could possibly happen to hurt from tripping to slipping to getting a blister. I never want my daughter to feel pain, especially not if there is any way to avoid it.

So I was on the hunt to find her the perfect pair of shoes. That may seem like a simple task, but there are so many factors to consider. I obviously want them to be comfortable on her. they need to fit well and not rub or cause blisters, they need to stay on securely though, and have good traction so she does not slip in them or slide out of them.

It is important that the shoes be able to be played in obviously. I want to make sure they can handle all the activity she will put them through, shoes that get ruined by dirt or water are not going to work. And although it is less important than the function aspects, there is the point of style to consider. My daughter may be young, but she knows what she likes, and if she is not happy, good luck getting her to wear them.

Sounds like I'm wishing for something too good to be true, but guess what, I found all of those qualities in one incredible shoe, Clawz.

Not only are these shoes fun and unique, they are made from durable, comfortable, odor-resistant material, so they can take a beating and never miss a step(pun intended). Not only that but they have grips on the inside, so no slipping out and great tread on the bottom to keep her feet firmly on the ground, even when her head is in the clouds.

Best of all, she LOVES them. I could barely take the picture before she snatched them from me, and it seems like she has not taken them off since, although she actually has, but only briefly. She wears them everywhere, even in the house.

They are so perfect for outside play. We have used them in the back yard, climbing on our swingset, playing tag, and such. She wears them when we go on walks, and they are great on concrete and asphalt. They are great in soft sand and can easily be rinsed no matter what gets on them.

We are taking a mini getaway this weekend where we will be at the pool and the beach, and I cannot wait to have these along. Last time was a footwear nightmare trying flip flops. She got blisters and her feet slipped out several times. It was not good.

Now I just need to get a pair for my son. I wish I had done it in time for this trip as well, because I am going to regret not having them for him. I am still going to get him one right away though, because he loves hers and has tried to put them on multiple times. he doesn't care that they're pink and if they would fit him I know he'd never give them back. Good thing Clawz come in so many awesome colors.

Clawz are totally worth every cent, but it's always nice to save money, that's why I am so excited to share an exclusive coupon code with you all. Use Code andrea30 at checkout to receive 30% off your Claws. You also get free shipping on orders over $45. The coupon is good through May 20th. Happy shopping. I know you will love your new Clawz.

*Although I received these at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Saturday, April 12, 2014

SPRING FLING! Zipz Customs for Autism Awareness! Plus Enter to Win a Custom Pair!

Though the Spring Fling Blog Pop event is coming to a close, spring is only beginning. With the cold weather in the rear-view mirror, it's time to shove the boots back in the closet and break out the warm weather shoes.

I know that many people think of sandals for this. As much as I love sandals, I don't agree. To me, spring is all about enjoying the outdoors and being active. Sandals are just not practical for athletic activity(or chasing kids for that matter).

So in the spring I always rock my sneakers. Another great thing about spring is leaving all the drab and dreary tones behind and stepping into bright colors and fun, bold patterns. What better way to stand out then with a one of a kind pair of shoes?

Shoes are a girl's best friend after all. But if you have the right kind of shoe - over-the-top, nothing else like them, edgy, fun, rock star of a shoe - they can be a guys best friend too. It's rare when one style is applicable to both men and women, but Zipz is anything buy ordinary, and that is what makes them so awesome.

If you have never heard of Zipz shoes, you have already been missing out. Zipz are unisex sneakers that allow you to change up one pair into almost endless design choices by simply unzipping the covers and replacing them with new ones.

Not only does this save space, but it saves money. Now you don't have to buy a whole pair every time you want a new style. Better still, since the soles are the same no matter which covers you choose, you once you get a pair, you already know exactly how they fit, and you won't have to worry about sizing or breaking in a new pair each time.

Also, since they are the same exact height and such if you wanted to wear two different style shoes, you could do so in perfect comfort since structurally, the shoes would be exactly the same. What better way to really stand out. I know a lot of people who love to be more bold with their styles, and they love that aspect of Zipz.

As completely fantastic as the concept of Zipz Shoes is, it gets even better when you factor in the ability to create a completely custom pair thanks to Delta Custom. Not only can you swap covers as you see fit, but you can custom design your covers to be anything that you want. Want a purple penguin atop a rainbow? No problem. Want your kids' names and/or even photos of them? Sure thing. The possibilities are ENDLESS!

I had the incredible pleasure last year to create a pair of custom Zipz for my son, my husband and myself, in honor of Autism Awareness Month(since our son has autism). They are the most amazing shoes I have ever owned(or even seen).
I wrote a review on them, so if you want to see more pictures of these, you can do so here.

Since it is once again Autism Awareness Month, I could think of no better way to raise awareness,  celebrate spring, and take the Spring Fling Event to a new level of awesomeness than designing another pair of custom Zipz.

I was so full of ideas that is was both easy and very difficult to know what I wanted. I could think of so many things that would have looked amazing, but had a hard time narrowing it down to one final design. Such a hard time in fact, that I ended up with 2 designs unable to decide, so in addition to the review, I purchased another design I had come up with.

The ones I finally decided on to get myself and my husband(matching), are really awesome.
They will be the boldest shoes I've ever worn and I love that they will attract a ton of attention which will really help with raising awareness. I still get comments on my other pair all the time, and everyone who asks learns about autism, even if it is just the slightest bit in passing.

I cannot wait to get these so I can wear them everywhere and show off my design. The pic above was taken by Zipz before they shipped out, and I am even more anxious seeing how awesome they look as a finished product, because during the design process, you only see a proof.

These are much brighter than my husband is used to wearing, but I can't wait to see him fall in love with these as the cause is so near and dear to both of our hearts. For those that do not know about autism, the puzzle design is one of the signature symbols for autism. For some it represents the mystery and complexity of the disorder, for others it represents the mechanical nature of an autistic persons thought process. The bright colors are said to represent hope.

To me, it symbolizes that all people are part of the human puzzle. Without even one piece, the puzzle would be incomplete, and if all the pieces were the same, they would not fit together and would not be able to create any kind of picture. It also symbolizes that if we all work together, were can complete the puzzle(which is the mystery of autism's cause and treatments).

I chose the phrasing of "My son puts the AWE in autism" because in my mind it is completely true. While autism is nothing anyone would wish for, many see it is a crippling disorder and views individuals who have it as damaged in some way.

I hate that sort of thinking and I know that my son is still an incredible boy. He is (exceptionally)smart and funny. he is loving and kind, and he continues to amaze me with his progress and positive outlook on life. I think many "normal" people could learn a few lessons from those who struggle with autism(or any other disorder). Not only about seeing all people as equal(which my son does), but about pushing yourself and overcoming the limits that society sets for you.

The "Born to stand out" pretty much speaks for itself. My son is one of a kind. All people are, but in life people tend to get lumped together by stereotypes. there are the "normal" people, the "superior" people(celebrities, wealthy, etc), and their are those seen as outcasts, which by societies standards, my son would likely be. I couldn't possibly be any happier about that. I don't want him to be like everyone else, or even want to be. I want him to always be proud of who he is and be glad he stands out.

Here is the other design I was torn on.
I love these because they still stand out, but with the cleaner background, the message is easier to read. I also love the light bulb with autism puzzle piece. To me it is a reminder to always let your light shine on the world, whether you have autism or not.

I also like say it should serve as a reminder to enlighten yourself. If you don't know something about a disorder or any subject, you should never pass judgement about it. Blue is also the color of Autism Speaks which is one of the largest autism awareness organizations in the world.

Of course any design can be interpreted in any number of ways, and that is what I love about it. My design could possibly inspire someone in a way I never even intended. Keep your eyes out too, because you know I have to show these off when they arrive. I'd love to hear what you think about them.

Since designs can be so powerful, I want to give one of you the chance to design a pair of your own custom Zipz. This is an incredible prize that can end up being anything you want it to be. For your chance to win, enter below.

And be sure to check out all the other Spring Fling Giveaways from myself and my partner blogs HERE. Good luck!


*Although I received these at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 11, 2014

SPRING FLING! Blast Zone Review and GIVEAWAY!! Win a Spray N Splash 2 inflatable WATER PARK!!

If you've followed my site for awhile, I am sure you have seen my past reviews for Blast Zone, like the Commercial Moonwalk I review around Christmas.. If that is the case, I must assume you've been dying to own a Blast Zone inflatable for yourself. The Blast Zone giveaways are always THE hottest giveaways I host, and for very good reason.

With spring upon us, the weather is starting to warm up. In our case here in Florida, it is already getting incredible hot much of the time. Naturally, finding ways to enjoy time outdoors while still staying cool is challenging but quite important, especially when yo have kids.

My kids love to be outside, but I need to keep them from overheating, keep them from wandering and keep them happy and active. As challenging as it may sound, actually doing it is even more difficult. With a 2 1/2 diva who tries to be the boss of everything(and always wants to be independent). and a nearly 7 year old with autism, I need to have two eyes on both kids at all times, not to mention be within arms reach.

It's rare that I find things that they both can do together happily, without fighting and without getting hurt. Out of the very few activities I have been able to do with them both, Blast Zone is responsible for 90% of them. Their products are just so much fun. They are incredibly high quality and they are safe.

I've never had more confidence in any brand I don't think, at least not for my children. I've never had a bad experience with Blast Zone. Not only are their Bounce Houses, Inflatable Water Parks and Commercial Inflatables second to none, but so is their service.

With the hot weather coming, I knew just where to go to get my kids something to make their spring and summer magical. Since my kids are very rough on things, I wanted to get them one of the Commercial Inflatable Slides this time, so I went with the Mystic Mountain 18, and let me tell you, it is IMPRESSIVE.

I was blown away by the quality of this slide, and I was really shocked by how thick and durable(and HEAVY) it is. In fact, it was actually heavier than I was bargaining for making it a little more of a workout to set up and take down than I was prepared for, but it is so worth it.

Blast Zone is so amazing that they even sent along a dolly to help me move it, which is a lifesaver. As much as I LOVE this slide, I would recommend that if you are just looking for something for everyday home use, to go with a residential unit, as this is a lot of work. I've owned a residential water slide too, and the kids loved it just as much, and it was amazing quality too.

But back to the Mystic Mountain 18. It is out of this world awesome. As soon as the kids saw it their eyes almost bugged out of their heads and my son said(with a voice of astonishment), "It's the biggest slide in the world!" He pretty close with that claim, it's taller than our house(by like 6 feet).

The slide can be used both wet and dry, which is great because even in cooler weather you can get a lot of use from it. I made the "mistake" of having them use it with water first, and now that is their favorite way. When I let them try it dry, they still liked it, but not as much. I don't think they understand it's meant for both and thought I was trying to gyp them or something.

Check out how much fun they had on it with the water. I had to literally make them come inside when it started getting dark, lol. It had already been like 4 hours at that point. They wanted to play on it all night.

Little Diva wanted to slide, and I took her several times, but she is not able to climb up on her own, and I was worried she'd get hurt if she tried, but she still had a blast going with me and hanging out in the landing area below. It was like her own mini pool.

Jr. loved the "pool" area too, she was sitting, laying, jumping and splashing up a storm.


Of course, Jr. could slide on his own, so he was having a blast doing that too. He was a little apprehensive at first using his arms and legs to regulate his speed, but he loosened up and had fun every time.
Every time he "landed" he was so excited about making "a really BIG splash!" It was so precious to watch him, and little sis was entertained just by seeing him have fun. She adores her big brother.

I love how much fun they have on this fabulous slide. I had a great time too. I have yet to go down solo since little diva always wants to come along, and I can't get wild with her for fear of hurting her, but I plan to go to town on my own one day soon and see how much fun I can really have. Even with a tag along it is a blast.

As I mentioned, the kids, especially Jr. were not as excited for the dry run, but they still did have fun.

I know they will love the dry slide just as much as the water slide as soon as they get over the trauma they suffered by me trying to let them try something different, lol. They may even grow to love it more since there is less chance of slipping and then can jump around more without me doing so nervous(and telling them to stop).

In fact, little diva was using the center leading up to the steps like it was a Bounce House. The whole time saying "boing, boing". It was too darn cute.

As I mentioned before, the only thing that is even somewhat of a flaw is the huge size and weight for me and hubby to handle. But that only comes from the superior quality, and durability of the design and the materials. I would be more upset if it was light and thin. This thing is made to last.

I wish everyone could have the pleasure of enjoying this Mystic Mountain Slide(party at my house anyone?) or any of Blast Zone's Inflatable Bouncers. Although I can't do that, I can do the next best thing and give one of you lucky readers the chance to win a Spray N Splash 2 Water Park of your very own.
http://www.blastzone.com/shop/pc/Spray-N-Splash-2-Inflatable-Water-Park-3p71.htm#.U0h4HFe3U_Y

Enter below for your chance to win this incredible prize. And be sure to check out all the other Spring Fling Giveaways from myself and my partner blogs HERE. Good luck!

Also, I suggest you like Blast Zone on Facebook subscribe to the Blast Zone Chanel on Youtube to ensure you always stay informed.

*Although I received this item at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SPRING FLING! California Delicious Review & GIVEAWAY!

The excitement of the Spring Fling Event continues. When I think of spring, a huge part of that to me is Easter. And an Easter celebration means a fabulous Easter basket. Whether you celebrate Easter or not though, everyone can appreciate a beautiful and delicious basket of treats.

California delicious is all about delicious gift baskets and Easter is just one facet of their incredible selection. I am a food lover, and if I have a basket of delicious gourmet foods, there is no stopping me, which is a serious risk to my waistline.

Thankfully, California Delicious has a great selection of baskets that are beautiful, delicious AND healthy. I chose the California Farmer's Market Gift Basket, and it was fantastic!
This basket is brimming with fresh, delicious, organic California fruit like Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples, Bartlet pears and Navel oranges.
In addition to the fabulous fruit, this basket also contains two organig gourmet cheeses and some stone ground wheat crackers.

I was so excited to did into this basket. Almost as excited as my daughter, so was swiping things at every opportunity.
Everything was so delicious. I loved being able to indulge in these tasty snacks without feeling guilty. All the fruit was ripe and sweet, and the cheeses were so creamy and flavorful. The crackers were fantastic. I enjoyed them with the cheeses and with some hummus, and I have been craving more of them ever since. I need to find somewhere to buy them.

I am so impressed with the quality and affordability of this basket. I am just looking for excuses now to buy more. Easter, flag day, talk like a pirate day, I don't care, every day is better with a little gourmet treat.

Whether you are looking for a fantastic Easter Basket, something to celebrate spring, an unforgettable gift or "just because" treat for yourself, I highly recommend California Delicious. And while I am partial to the fruit and healthier baskets, they have plenty with chocolates and other indulgent treats as well. There is something for everyone and then some.

One of my lucky readers will get to find out first hand how great their stuff is since we are giving away a $50 Gift Card good for anything from California Delicious. Enter below for your chance. Good luck.

Don't forget to check out all the other Spring Fling Giveaways from myself and my partner blogs HERE.

*Although I received this at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SPRING FLING! Hapari Swimwear review and $100 GC Giveaway!!

Not only is the weather heating up, but so are the giveaways in the Spring Fling Event. Here in Florida, our spring weather is hotter than some state's summers, and since we are a beach state, it's crucial to have proper swimwear. Truth be told, the thought of wearing a swimsuit causes me a great deal of terror and depression.

The biggest factor in this nightmare is the horrible options I was always forced to choose from. Swimsuit shopping is torture in itself, but when you're not a size 2 and you don't want all your blubber(or anything else for that matter) hanging out, it's hard to find a solution in isles upon isles of tiny bikinis. And on the rare chance to find something less revealing, it looks like your great grandma should be wearing it. It's impossible to find a good balance.

At least, it was impossible. Last year I discovered Hapari, and they changed the way I will buy swimwear forever. At first I was a bit nervous about buying online since I would not be able to try anything on, but everything was so stylish and the size chart seemed simple enough(even though I was like right between sizes) so I went for it.

I got a tankini dress and boy short bottoms and I felt covered and fashionable, it was perfect(as perfect as I can get with what god gave me). So now that Swim season is upon us again, I knew exactly where to go to get a slammin' new suit.

I had a very hard time choosing since there are so many incredible styles, but I finally settled on the Denim Tile Seaside Tankini and Swimdress and the White Drawstring Swim Skirt with Bottom.

They are both so fabulous. They go together perfectly. I do wish I could look like the women modeling them on the website, but I look better in this than I would in most any other suit. And as much as I hate to show pics, I want you to see how great this suit is(please don't mock too much).
The top can be tied up as such(almost any length) or won down as a swim dress/cover up, which I love.
While I won't be happy about wearing a suit, I will feel so much better in this one. I won't have to worry about spillage or anything, and it hides my flaws well. I love that Hapari offers modest suits that actually look good. Thank goodness for them or I'd be hitting the beach in a hoodie.

Anyone who struggles to find the perfect swim suit really needs to go with Hapari. They have everything you could want and more. That is why I am so excited to offer you all the chance to win a $100 gift card!! There can only be one winner, but it could be you, so enter below for your chance. Good luck!

And be sure to check out all the other Spring Fling Giveaways from myself and my partner blogs HERE.

*Although I received this suit at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.* a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SPRING FLING! Bean Bag Chair Outlet Review & GIVEAWAY!!

The moment you've all been waiting for has arrived. The Spring Fling Blog Pop event is upon us. If you don''t know what that is or have not been anxiously waiting for it's arrival, that is a serious problem that, luckily, I am here to rectify.

Spring Fling is an event tat is hosted by myself and 10 other fantastic blogs. It is 4 days long starting today (April 9th) and ending on Saturday(April 12th). Each of the 4 days all 11 of us will each be posting a new giveaway(and review) on our respective sites, and there is a linky on each site(just go to the Spring Fling tab) that will bring you to all of the incredible giveaways.

All of the prizes are out of this world cool, so you are not going to want to miss any of them. Are you excited yet? I know that I am, so let's get down to the fun part. I decided to kick of the event with one of the hottest giveaways for our last Blog Pop Event. The Bean Bag Chair Outlet is back with an even bigger giveaway!

The giveaway will be for a GIANT XL Royal Sack!
I had the pleasure of reviewing this, and it is every bit as fantastic as I had hoped it would be. After reviewing the Large Royal Sack over the holidays, I already had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I new the quality would be superb and the comfort would be outstanding, but the size is even bigger and more impressive, and this velvety chocolate brown cover is so gorgeous.

Another thing that did not surprise me in the least is that my kids, especially my daughter, love it. My little girl immediately claimed our first Royal Sack, and this one quickly followed suit. As soon as she laid eyes on it, she claimed it as her own. "Tina's beanbag" she proclaimed, and proceeded to put her new possession on display(as if she was modeling it), and proceeded to lounge in it as well.
I can see why she loves it so much, it is seriously comfortable. If it was a little longer, I'd probably sleep in it. I know that she could, and probably would if I let her.

Any kid would love to have something so grand to call their own, but the XL Royal Sack is really a treat for the whole family. Not only will each individual member love to get cozy in this, it is perfect for increasing family togetherness. My husband or I and both of the kids can cuddle in this all at once.

It is perfect for Story time or movie night, and hubby and I like to watch movies together after the kids go to bed. The XL Royal Sack makes any seated activity better. When miss Diva allows me, I love to sit in the Royal Sack as I type up my reviews on my laptop. It certainly reduces my back pain that other seating frequently causes me.

None of us can get enough of the XL Royal Sack, and I love how gorgeous it is. It matches my couches, rug and decor, and goes great with my large Royal Sack as well. It is like an accent piece and visitors are always commenting on it.

Whether you are looking for a cozy family time spot, a throne for the man or woman of the house, a kids dream come true, a beautiful decoration or a mix of all of the above, the GIANT XL Royal Sack is perfect.

That is why I am so excited to give one of you lucky readers the change to win one. Just enter below for your chance win this incredible prize. Good luck!

And be sure to check out all the other giveaways HERE.

*Although I received this product at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.* a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 30, 2014

PeachDish Review

Being a complete foodie, I am always looking to try new foods, especially new recipes that I can make myself. I love to cook, but with kiddos it is not always easy to find new recipes, shop for ingredients, measure portions and still find time to actually cook.

Thankfully, there is a company that knows this struggle, and they take all the planning and (most of) the prep work out of it, leaving only the cooking. Not I can enjoy cooking without all the hassle. Not only that, but I get new, exciting recipes to try(and keep).

PeachDish is such a great asset to anyone wanting to cook more, especially those without much time. The way it works it PeachDish sends you 1 box a week. Each box contains recipes and portioned ingredients to create two delicious meals for 2(or 4).
What I love is that you don't just get ingredients and recipes for 1 main dish, you also get a side(or two), so you have the full meal. You even get surprise desserts, what be better than that?

The week I got featured 2 incredible chicken dishes made from one (pasture raised) roasted chicken, which really made the prep work for the second meal a flash.

There were 3 recipe cards, one was just how to roast the chicken. I already know how, but followed the directions exactly(slightly different than I normally do it) and it came out fantastic.
The first meal was Chicken with Pesto Pasta.
It was delicious. I adore pesto, and this was fresh spinach pasta, not dried, it was so good, the rich flavor of the roast chicken really brought this to life.

As I mentioned, the dishes all have a side, for this meal it was Asparagus Salad.
I was not sure I would like it(I have never eaten raw asparagus believe it or not), and I ended up LOVING it. Since I eat veggies but don't typically love them, that is huge. Ever more amazing is my hubby liked it, and he never eats veggies.

I am sure the delicious Parmesan cheese played a role in how much we liked it, but I had some bites without it and it is still great, which is nice because I've been looking for lower fat/cal ways to eat more veggies, and this is a keeper. It's just lemon juice, salt, pepper and (a little) olive oil. So easy.

I've already made it without the olive oil and cheese(to make it even more diet friendly) and it is still good. So happy I found such a great, simple, healthy recipe.

The next recipe(I did not get any pictures) was Chicken wraps. They had radishes, apples, curry mayo and chicken of course. They were so yummy. I left the mayo off mine since I hate mayo and it's less calories without it and it was still amazing. It worked out well too because hubby loved the curry mayo and he ate the extra on his wrap.

The (spinach?) wraps that this came with were to die for. I could eat them every day. The side dish for this was home made kale chips. I had never made kale chips before, it was easier than I ever though, and they were pretty good, especially since I normally don't like kale. It also came with Tangerine mint "salad".

Both meals had bonus desserts as well which were biscotti and animal crackers. All in all, the recipes, ingredients, portions, bonuses, and ease of preparation are all stellar. It is a bit pricy, but not for what you get, and especially for having it shipped right to you. I would love to get this every week, and I will be talking to hubby to see if we can.

If you are looking for inspiration or just to take the stress of of making real, home cooked meals, I highly suggest giving PeachDish a try. If you do try it, I would love to know what you think and hear about the incredible recipes you get to try.

Be sure to follow PeachDish on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see all the mouth watering pictures and stay up to date on all things delicious.

*Although I received this at no cost to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*