Monday, January 20, 2014

Dress to Impress with Dress First

As anyone with high school aged girls probably knows, the prom is coming up. No one wants to wait until the last minute and end up overpaying for an underwhelming prom dress. In fact, when I was in high school, I knew girls who were planning their dress months(and even over a year) before the prom. It really is that important to them.

Unfortunately, I never got to attend a prom, and it was been something that I still feel sad about to this day. While it may seem silly or frivolous to some, Prom is a magical day that will be remembered forever. That is why it is so important that everything be as perfect as possible, starting with the dress.

While I never got a prom, that didn't stop me from dreaming of the perfect prom dress. I still love to look at them and think of what might have been, and even try to think up occasions to wear such a stunning dress now. I have a very specific style of dress in mind. I love the princess type styles. To me, a prom dress needs to be a ball gown, not a cocktail style dress like is so popular now.

In any case, Dress First is the perfect place to shop for prom dress. They have it all. Over the top fancy dresses to more low key elegant dresses to fun, flirty shorted dresses and anything else you could imagine.

Just look at this gorgeous A-Line/Princess Strapless Floor-Length Dress.
I love this dress. There are so many others on there that I absolutely adore, and I am already looking forward to shopping for prom dresses with my (now 2 1/2 year old) daughter. It is just such a wonderful experience that everyone should have the pleasure of encountering.

And while it is a priceless event, the dress should not cost more than a mortgage payment. Luckily, Dress First is the top place to shop for Discount Prom Dresses. I was literally blown away when I saw how wonderfully affordable the dresses are.

With the savings you'll find at Dress First, you will be able to get a limo and a day at the salon and still stay under your dress budget. How could it get any better than that? Maybe the fact that you can even enter in your exact measurements to get the dress custom made to your unique proportions. When shopping at a department store, that is not an option, and the alterations can sometimes cost almost as much as another dress.

Everything about Dress First is incredible. There is no reason to even consider shopping anywhere else. For the best prices, selection, fit, and convenience, Dress First is the place to go.

I would love to know which dress you like the most, and if you buy a dress, you have to come back and share a photo with me. Happy shopping.

*Although this is a compensated post, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

iCaught Santa And So Can You!

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

Although is was just a few weeks ago that we were celebrating Christmas, it seems like a lifetime ago. It is the same every year, the joy and togetherness of the holidays is too soon shadowed by the constant demand of daily life.

People go back to work and to school and soon the thoughts of sleigh rides and letters to Santa are replaced with traffic and homework, and everything comes less magical.

Of course every day could not be Christmas, but I sure do wish the Christmas spirit could stick around a little longer. That is why I was so thrilled to discover With, I was able to take one of our Christmas photos and add in an image of Santa(or Rudolph).

My son (6 1/2) believes in Santa to an extent, but he is autistic, so he never really thinks about it much one way or another. Our daughter is only two, but I expect her to believe in Santa as well, so being able to show them both proof that Santa has been in our home not only helps them believe, but makes for a wonderful tradition and creates a special keepsake.

I cannot wait until we are checking our "hidden camera" photos every year to see where Santa turns up. This year, I was able to catch him with his sack leaving the presents.
I suspect in the coming years I could find him standing and looking surprised, bending over, or even sitting/sleeping in a chair. He is a tricky one that St. Nick.

That Santa adjusts himself to just the right size and angle to ensure the proper photo every time. That is so considerate of him.

If you are looking to bring back some holiday magic, convince a non-believer or reaffirm your child's faith in Santa, then I highly suggest visiting

If you would like to catch Santa(or Rudolph) in one of your holiday photos, just leave a comment below telling me why. The first nine(9) people to do so will win a code to create their own photo for free.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Better Health Starts With #LittleChanges

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of the US Highbush Blueberry Council through the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. Regardless, all the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

As many of you know, last year I started my journey to a healthier(and thinner) me. I lost a great deal of weight, and was feeling amazing. From about October on though, I kinda cast my diet aside and ate whatever I wanted(which was not a smart thing to do). I figured I would put on some weight and knew that I would take it back off in the new year.

To my relief, I actually did not gain very much. Since I had gone from fairly restricted to completely unrestricted, I expect the effects to be devastating, but I am only about 10 pounds from where I was. I am back on track and know I can lose that in no time, and my new goal is to lose at least another 10 on top of it.

I know that I can do it as long as I stick to my plan. The key is to not go overboard. While I want to eat less fat and calories, I do still need some so that I do not go into starvation mode and keep or even gain weight. Also, being too restrictive leads to more weight gain upon eating normally again.

Since I am the mom of two young children(one with special needs), it is also vital that I give my body the proper nutrition, and I need to eat enough to keep my energy up and my body and mind running smoothly. Aside from my long term health, my day to day well-being is essential.

So rather than a diet, I like to focus on Little Changes. Long term habits, things that I can (happily) stick to forever(or at least for a very long time). Eating more vegetables is one area that I have really made an effort on. I used to eat very few, but it is not hard to eat more, and that fills me up so I eat less "bad" foods.

 I also like to snack on fresh fruits (like blueberries) over other foods, and I really enjoy finding healthier swaps for foods that I already love. Things like spaghetti squash instead of pasta or lettuce wraps instead of sandwiches. I just found the most amazing swap recipe and I totally love it.

I am a carb lover, especially when it comes to breakfast foods (french toast, pancakes, waffles, etc.) so I was dreading the thought of losing my most beloved foods. Using fresh blueberries, one of the most delicious and healthy fruits available, I made the most delicious and diet friendly pancakes I have ever eaten. Best of all, they are so easy.

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes: 

1(5.3oz) Cup Blueberry Greek Yogurt (Any brand, but I used Light n' Fit since it is lowest in calories) 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Egg (You could use 2 egg whites to reduce the calories, but I felt the protein was worth the extra 36 calories)
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
Fresh Highbush Blueberries - As many as you like!

Directions: In a bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Add the egg (or 2 egg whites) directly to the yogurt cup (or combine in a separate bowl) and mix until completely blended.

Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir until there are no lumps. The mixture will be thick.
Spoon the batter into a preheated griddle(or pan) and add the blueberries, as many as you like.
Repeat with the rest of the batter to make 4-5 pancakes.
When they are golden brown on the bottom, flip over. They are thick, so they are easy to check.
Cook to golden on the other side as well.
Remove from griddle and serve.
Top with a few (or more than a few) fresh blueberries and dig in. The calorie content varies based on how many blueberries you use, but not that much and they those are good calories anyway. The batter has only 370 calories for the whole batch.

You can enjoy only one or two, or, like I did, devour the entire batch and not feel guilty about it.

These were BETTER than any other pancakes I have made. They cooked perfectly and the texture was spot on. I was worries they'd be too flat or too soft, but they are exactly what I was hoping for. They don't taste "diet" at all. I didn't even need syrup athough a blueberry syrup would probably be divine with these.

I could eat these every single day and not get bored, and these were even quicker to make(and require less ingredients) than my usual recipe for pancakes. I cannot wait to make these again. I would do it today except my daughter DEVOURED the rest of the blueberries while I was cooking these. I was almost mad, but I was happy that she loved eating something so healthy that much.

If you are a fan of blueberries or pancakes, you HAVE to try these! The path to better health and a better body begins with Little Changes.

Start with some Fresh Highbush Blueberries and make this recipe or some up with one of your own. If you have a good one, I would love to try it. You can post it in the comments. Be sure to come back and let me know how you liked this recipe after you try it.

Before you go, I have something else to share with you that might be more exciting than this recipe(though it is very close). One lucky reader will win a $75 Via Gift Card. Enter below for your chance. Good luck.

Be sure to follow the US Highbush Blueberry Council on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to stay up to date on all the latest recipes and info.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 3, 2014

Kiss Me Organics Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder Review

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

As many of you already know, in 2013 I lost of great deal of weight. While I have been doing pretty well maintaining it I had basically cast my diet aside over the holidays, so I put some back on. I want to take those 10 or so pounds back off, and hopefully even take off a few more.

While I will be starting back up with a formal diet, I have another secret weapon in my arsenal that will not only help me as I go forward, but that I am certain has helped me not pack on more pounds during my indulgence period. Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder from Kiss Me Organics is amazing.
Not only does it provide energy, which was invaluable in keeping me going during the holidays, but it increases focus, which I always need as a busy mom. I has 137 times the antioxidants of green tea (which is already a great source of antioxidants). It even improves skin health, which is a total asset to me these days.

Of course what I love the most about this incredible miracle powder is that it boosts metabolism. I know it must work wonders on that, because I was consuming anything I wanted regardless of fat or calories and I really did not gain anything near what I expected to, especially going from such a reduced calorie diet. Normally a drastic change like that would pack on tons of weight.

I am excited to see how this metabolism booster will help me while I am dieting as well. I bet it will be pretty incredible.

Of course, there are many products on the market to aid in weight loss, but what makes this Matcha powder so special, is that is not really what it is for. While that is one amazing perk of drinking it, it is more of an overall better health product, so it naturally helps increase metabolism but has not unwanted side effects. I never felt jittery, overstimulated, dizzy, or any of the other horrid symptoms that wight loss supplements cause.

Best of all, this Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder is also delicious. It can be used alone as tea or be combined with almost any food, and even baked into recipes or added to smoothies. There are countless ways to incorporate Matcha into your everyday life.

When you purchase this Matcha Powder form Kiss Me Organics, you also get a recipe Guide that gives you tons of amazing ways to try your Green Tea Powder. There are so many recipes in there that I am dying to try. It is actually sad that I have not tried them already since I am at the very end of my SECOND bag(and a bag has well over 20 servings.

I have not tried any of the recipes because I found a delicious and simple way to enjoy it that I have stuck with every day (several times a day). All it is is a scant teaspoon of the Matcha Poweder in about 6oz of hot water, sugar substitute to taste (I use granulated sucralose), about 3oz of orange juice and ice(to fill a 16oz cup).
It is so delicious, sweet and citrusy. It is very refreshing and energizing. I drink these probably 3 times or more a day. The recommended serving size is only 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a day though, and that would still be great for 1 drink or smoothie, etc. I just can't get enough.

If you are looking for a metabolism boost, a easy way to get antioxidants, an energy or focus boost or just a delicious and unique beverage, then I highly recommend Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder form Kiss Me Organics. This stuff is truly amazing.

*I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.*

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Diet-To-Go 1000 Meal Giveaway and the Anti-New Year's Resolution

I am sure many of you remember me reviewing Diet-To-Go a couple times last year and hosting a couple giveaways with FREE meals from them. I bet some of you still drool when you think of the mouth watering, not-so-diet, diet meals.

That is why I am so excited to share two wonderful promotions with you. The first is the incredible 1000 Meal Giveaway.
There will be 50 lucky winners of fabulous Diet-To-Go prizes. Five(5) grand prize winners will receive a MONTH of free Diet-To-Go meals. Twenty(20) 2nd place winners will receive a free week of meals and 25 3rd place winners will receive a $50 Diet-To-Go gift card.

The entry is so simple, it only takes 10 seconds. The contest will run January 1st through the 31st and winners will be selected on February 1st, 2014.Get all the details here.

Any of those prizes would be fantastic, and perfect for helping you achieve your weight loss goals for 2014. Notice how I said goals and not resolutions. That is because of my second announcement. On January 7th at 9pm EST Diet-To-Go will be hosting a live, 1-hour Twitter Party: The Anti-New Year's Resolution.

This is a real discussion about using common sense to achieve real changes and putting an end to unhealthy(and temporary) "quick fixes". In order to really be successful in weight loss, you need to do it correctly, and you will learn from experts and other people just like you at this fun, informative and rewarding Twitter party.

With every tweet you will be entered to win one of the 4 amazing prizes. One winner will win their choice of a Fitbit Force Wristband or a Fitbit Scale. Three lucky winners will receive a free week of Diet-To-Go meals.

Winning prizes just for taking part in a discussion that will help you reach your goals is a pretty great deal. I know I'm going to be tweeting my heart out. I want those meals. I really hope that you all will join me to learn and laugh together. Diet-To-Go Twitter parties are always a blast. you can find out more about the twitter party here.

I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year.

December Starbox Review

I am sure you have all been on the edge of your seats since last month when I reviewed the November Startbox, and even since I reviewed October's box. Well the wait is finally over, you can see the contents of the highly anticipated December Starbox.
For those that are still not familiar with Starbox, it is a monthly beauty subscription box. It features premium quality, FULL SIZED Starlooks cosmetics. Each month you receive at least 2 full sized cosmetic products. Some boxes also contain profession brushes or other non-cosmetic items, but everything is always fabulous and worth WAY more than the price of the box(which is only $15 plus under $3 shipping).

For December though, Starbox really stepped it up. The December box starred one of their amazing 15 Shade Eye Shadow Palettes(a $99 value!).
These colors are so gorgeous. I am so in love. Almost every color is in on of my go-to shades. I am all about brown and shimmers., and that silver is to die for. I love that there are also a couple that I would not own if not for this collection, like the fushia. That is not something I would ever choose for myself, but I actually love it.

All of the colors are incredible pigmented and are super smooth, long lasting and never flaky, cakey or smeary. They don't fade, smudge or crease, and they feel like you're not wearing anything.

I had so much fun playing with this palette and coming up with new looks. While I am not one to do many over the top looks, I did find a ton of simple yet beautiful combinations that I really adore. like the one I wore on Christmas.

Not only is this amazing palette a $99 value, but this color combination was custom designed for this box, meaning that you cannot even order it separately. Hopefully you did not miss out on ordering this incredible box, but if for some reason you did, don't worry, you can still get December's box for only $21.68. You can also buy gift(or pre-paid for yourself) subscriptions, and when you buy a 12 month pre-paid subscription, you get this December's Starbox FREE!

No matter how you choose to do it, please do yourself a favor and get this fantastic box while you can. They are only available through January 10th. I highly suggest subscribing too, so that you never have to miss out again. Plus, this year will be even sweeter for subscribers with FREE loyal customer gifts every 3 months. You will receive a free gift(valued at $35) every 3 months that you are a continuous-subscriber. It doesn't get any better than that.

Starbox is by far the best beauty subscription box around. I have tried numerous others and they all come up very short with their sample sizes and large prices. I know you will be thrilled with your Starbox subscription. Give yourself(or someone else) the gift of beauty that keeps on giving all year long.

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