Friday, October 28, 2016

Cupcake decorating....Easy or Hard?

I received this cake/cupcake decorating set at no cost for this review. All opinions stated are my own.

I love watching shows like Cupcake Wars and Next Great Baker on tv. Everytime I watch a show like that the creative juices start to flow. I grab my cook book and pull out all my decorating stuff because I am determined to make art from food. Except every time the end result just isn't what I had envisioned. My piping is horrid, my roses droop, and they just look plain awful.

I was asked to review this cake and cupcake decorating kit and I figured what the heck. I can't make any more of a mess than I already do right? So I agreed to review it.

When it came in the box I was a bit surprised. It looks very cheap and child like so I was doubtful that it was going to perform. I mean I was used to pastry bags, couplers and metal tips not a syringe type piece of plastic. I was wrong wrong wrong.  This was perfect for me and I think for any beginner.

Everything is heavy duty plastic and very easy to put together. You unscrew the base, put your frosting in, screw on the tip of your choice ( they have 9 to choose from) and you are ready to go. Just push the plunger gently and the frosting flows through the tip onto your baked goods. I was in a hurry this time so I used a Betty Crocker chocolate canned frosting and a blueberry muffin. I was just testing it out to see how it performed. You can watch my video below to see how easy it works.

I was very happy with it, and the price is very economical. The only thing is you can only use one color of frosting at a time. I would suggest maybe buying a couple of them so you can change out colors without having to wash everything out to start over.
You can get this set on the NewXShop website at

Score Big in Health, Beauty & Wellness with Groupon!

This post is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

I love looking good. There is just no greater feeling than when I come out of the beauty salon with my hair cut and colored just right, or my nails looking gorgeous. When I am all done up and looking good then look out world because I am ready to take you on.
Of course another great feeling is to treat my daughter and have her looking and feeling good as well. It is important for me as a mother to be able to afford to treat my baby even if she is a grown woman now.
Groupon has made it possible for me to be able to afford things that I might normally struggle with to provide. They have so many different offers from hair salons, to massages, to day spas, even mini vacation get aways. The thing that is so great about Groupon besides the prices is that the offers are tailored to my area so I don't have to drive far to save. Groupon can help me plan a whole day right down to dinner and a concert if I want to. Everything is right at my fingertips. All I have to do is open the Groupon site and click away. There are so many Health, Beauty, and Wellness Groupons 
Go and discover yours today!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Want a really cool paint set?

I received this Arteza paint set at no cost for my review. All opinions stated here and in my video are entirely my own. The link I provide for purchase is an affililate link and I can be compensated for purchases made through it.

I just was painting with my Arteza Acrylic Paints and I really like them. They come in a set of 12 basic colors with a free paint pallet too. I like that I can take the different base colors and create custom colors by mixing them. They worked well on my canvas and were very easy to clean up.  You can buy a set for $9.99 on Amazon They will make a great present for the crafter in your family or for yourself.

Still not sure.... take a look at this video I have on YouTube

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reliving my Grand Canyon trip with Adoramapix

I received a complimentary 8X8 Adoramapix photo book in exchange for my review. All opinions stated here are entirely my own.

 I took a family vacation in August of 2016 to the Grand Canyon. A place I had never visited before and was very scenic. Thing is, as much as I want them to stay vivid, memories do fade over time. Luckily I was fortunate enough to order a 8 x 8 10 page photobook by Adoramapix to capture the moments of our trip.

I love how I was able to customize the cover of the book. The pages are a thick nice matte finish and they take the color well. It is a very well made sturdy book and I think it is going to last for a long time. There are even funny little quotes on some of the pages that I believe you can also customize or delete, but I just left them the way they are.

 I have ordered several photo books,a calendar, and a metallic print from Adoramapix. Each item I have received has been high quality. I will continue to purchase from them because I am always satisfied with their work. They have so many different photographic gifts and styles of prints available. Delivery is pretty fast as well. I really think you would like anything that you get from them.   
15% off photo books. Use code: PhotoBook15. Sale ends 11/05/2016 11:59 PM EST

Monday, October 24, 2016

What catches your eye with jewelry?

This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated by any purchases made by clicking through  these links.

We all enjoy certain pieces of jewelry that we own. Sometimes it's that clay or macaroni piece made by our kid. It might be a sentimental piece that our spouse brought home and gave us on a special day. Maybe it has no sentiments attached at all, but is just a piece we like to wear because it is pretty.

When I dress to go out, I love to wear nice pieces of jewelry. I happen to like more vintage pieces, but like my outfits my jewelry is of all different natures. My aunt passed away about 6 years ago now, and I inherited  her jewelry box. There was no expensive jewelry but a great collection of paste jewels and faux pearls which I love to wear with my vintage looking dresses. I also have simple cord and beaded things, more in a boho style for when I wear my long skirts and loose tops. I pretty much have a piece of jewelry for any occasion.
Jewelry, like make up, just makes me feel good about myself. Who doesn't love to get compliments about the way they look or what they are wearing?

I came across this website called 7 Charming Sisters and it has so many types of beautiful jewelry. I happen to love their Victorian line but they have so many collections to enjoy. It is one of those sites that I had to bookmark to make sure I didn't lose where it is on the internet. One of the things that really struck me about their company is that many of their handmade pieces are done by people with disabilites. Those jewelry makers earn commissions on each piece of their jewelry that sells. I am not only buying a fab piece of jewelry for my collection, I am helping someone earn a living by my purchase. It just appeals to my sense of humanity.
victorian jewelry ready to fall - fall styles
I hope you go check out their site and maybe even make a purchase. You will not only get a stunning piece of jewelry that you will be proud to own, you will be helping a disabled artist make a living.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Do You Have A Cents of Style?

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated for any click through purchases.

I'd like to think I have a sense of style. It may be eclectic and quirky but that is because I myself am ecletic and quirky. I mean if you listened to my Ipod collection of music or my took a look at my videos it would seem chaotic. I love big band music to opera, to disco, to classic rock and heavy metal and my movies range from film noir classics like Gaslight to Rocky Horror Picture Show.

My clothing attire follows the same perimeters. I love black and old vintage looks but I am just as comfortable in my jeans and a comfy tee or a classic business suit. I collect old earrings from the by gone years and I buy new trendy bracelets and rings from Amazon. It all depends on the mood I am in and what catches my fancy.

Today I want to talk about my long sleeve swing dress from Cents of Style. Long Sleeve Swing Dress . I absolutely love this dress! It is so versatile so I can change it up and wear it with whatever I am in the mood for that day. The material is very soft and comfortable so I feel right at home when I have it on. It can be dressed up, or down with whatever accessories are right for the day or the occasion. I can wear it to work during the day and easily switch it up for a night on the town
Simple and classic, think of the Remi Swing Dress as a blank canvas you can accessorize to fit your personal style. Dress it up, dress it down, you'll feel comfortable and look great. And with today's Fashion Friday deal, all at a steal of a price.

Look 1. Like I said, with a simple, neutral dress you can have a lot of fun with your accessories. A hat, long pendant necklace, and cute pair of open-toe ankle boots looks effortless and pulled together. And who doesn't want that?!
Look 2. Looking to go a little more casual? Throw on a vest for an extra layer and knee-high riding boots. Layering delicate necklaces is another one of our favorite trends for making a statement with jewelry.
Look 1. Go bold. With 18 different color options, you're sure to find a color (or two or three) that makes you feel radiant. Simple accessories are all that's needed when pairing a bright colored dress with a fun colored shoe. It's also a knockout date night look. 
Look 2. We couldn't possibly get through this list without pairing the swing dress with a blanket scarf at least once. With all the different ways to wear a blanket scarf, you could create countless different looks with these two items alone. Even simply throwing a beautiful patterned blanket scarf over your shoulders as a shawl can completely change your look.
Look 1. Looking to add an extra layer? Put down the cardigan and try a patterned kimono instead! Long and streamlined, it's a fun alternative that will also keep you cozy and warm. 
Look 2. For a more casual day-to-day look, tie a cozy flannel around your waist and slip on your favorite pair of flat ankle booties. You'll look good, feel good, and still be out the door in no time.
We're all incredibly unique, with individual styles and bodies. So find what works best for you -- the options and possibilities are limitless.
Here I am wearing it with a lovely gold and white necklace and earring set that I also got at Cents of Style, and a crystal watch from Amazon. I was getting ready to go to a friends baby shower so I had to be a little more conservative in my attire and the dress worked perfectly. I got many compliments from other people on it that day.

You can read more on this gorgeous swing dress  and how it fits any body style up to size 3X here
In celebration of Fashion Friday we have a special offer for you. Use the code Dress2016 and you can get the swing dress for only $21.95 plus Free Shipping! Check it out here Fashion Friday Story - Long Sleeve Swing Dress for $21.95 + FREE SHIPPING w/code DRESS2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hard water, purer water, clean water, green systems? Yeah we got that!

This post includes affiliate links that I can be compensated for when clicked.

Water Treatment Systems You Can Count On

Take 10% Off Whole House Water Systems! Plus 20% Off Drinking and Shower Filters at Pelican Water. No code needed.

Painting is a stress buster

This post contains affiliate links that when clicked, I can earn comissions on. I received this set of acrylic paints at no cost for this review. All opinions are my own.

I love to craft and paint. There is nothing like putting on some nice calm music and picking up my paint brushes. I am no Monet or Picasso but it dosen't matter, its just a way to calm my mind and let my creative juices flow. Sometimes I pick up a canvas and sometimes it might be a wooden photo frame, or an old coffee can that I have lying around. Taking something blank and making it colorful and pretty just feels good.

Recently I was asked to try out some Arteza acrylic paints. I am always on the lookout for new paints so I decided to give them a workout. I was happily surprised at how large the tubes are and how well they performed. I tried them out on a plastic folgers coffee jar, a wood frame, and a piece of canvas. They all seems to work admirably and I was happy with the results.

These paints are available on at  Arteza 16 paints  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Who dosen't love boots? 30% OFF boots even better!

This post contains affiliate links that may yield commissions earned at no cost to you.

Boots. We love this time of year and have been waiting for boot season. From tall boots to ankle booties to our favorite winter boots, we just can't get enough. As for these markdowns...they are crazy for this early in the season! Don't miss these discounts! Fashion Friday, 10/14/16

All the Boots!
The Code is BOOTS16 and it will take 30% OFF the lowest marked price, with FREE SHIPPING

 Fashion Friday - 10/14/16 - All The Boots for 30% Off (Starting at $14!) + FREE SHIPPING w/code BOOTS16

Like we said, starting at $14! These styles will be included in that price range:
These styles (and more!) will be $20:
Here are some of my very favorites:

Friday October 14th ONLY so act fast or they will be all gone!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Girls are your headlights always on under your shirt?

This is a sponsored post as I received these Fashion Gems Nipple Covers at no cost for this review. The links I use are afflilate links and I will be compensated for any purchase made through them. All opinions stated here are my own and I only recommend items I feel my readers can truly use.

Are you one of those girls whose "headlights" are always on? Annoyed at those lady lumps standing up under your tank top or spaghetti strap dress? Well, welcome to my world. My girls have lovingly called my nipples crunchberries, headlights, and other names over the years. Every time I go without my bra they just seem to pop up whether it is cold or not. Sometimes this can be downright embarrassing, but the alternative is to wear a bra under a nice thin strapped top and that ruins the whole look!

I used to use band aids because that was what my mother recommended and yeah they work but who wants to strap their nipples down? Not to mention that removing band aids can sometimes be downright painful! I am sure some of you have tried this and know exactly what I am talking about. I had seen nipple covers in CVS when I worked there, and I was curious about trying them, but I never had the cash on hand when the thought would occur to me. When I was approached to try these Fashion Gems, I jumped at the chance to put them on.

They are very comfortable. Much better than strapping anything down with fabric adhesives. They are a silicone base with sticky on the back and so simple to use. Just peel the film off the back of them, position on your boob and press gently. They stay in place well too. I wore them all day and actually forgot that I had them on. To clean them just wipe down with a moist towel and a neutral cleaner like soap and they are good to go again. They will look great under spaghetti straps, halter tops, backless dresses and tube tops so pretty much anything in your wardrobe that you would wear without a bra. You can get them on Amazon by clicking here Fashion Gems and if you have Prime you get free shipping! Go check them out and then buy a set. I guarantee you will love them.
                        This is a before photo and you can clearly see the bump on the right side there.
This is after I put on the Fashion Gems nipple covers. The bumps are all gone! I think it looks so much nicer.

Great Steel Snare Drum 14 x 6

The Tama Lars Ulrich Diamond Place Steel Snare Drum 14 x 6.5

This is a sponsored post and I am being compensated for this blog creation. All opinions written here are entirely my own.

Percussion is the heartbeat of any good band. The beat of the drums keeps the dancers feet tapping and moving to your sound. Like the song says "Turn the beat around, love to hear percussion". I am in total agreement. I think the drums are one of my favorite parts of listening to good music and the reason I love latin music so very much.

If you are a musician, a good snare drum is an essential part of your set up. The Tama Lars Ulrich Diamond Place Steel Snare Drum 14 x 6.5 will get you the sound you are yearning for. This 10-lug snare produces bright, full attack and a rimshot that cuts through any stage mix. The 3mm steel shell features an diamond-plated exterior for an industrial aesthetic.This snare is a monster. Buy it today! 14.6

Nothing could be sweeter than the strumming of a Lotus guitar.

This is an affiliate post. I am being compensated for the creation of this blog post, but all opinions stated are my own.

Don't you love the sound of a guitar playing?
The sounds of guitar strumming can be a peaceful nirvana to the ears. Likewise the squealing and wailing of a lead guitar in a hard rock piece can be energizing. Either way, a Lotus guitar can make your inner musician feel right at home.

Lotus guitars were created in Asian countries from the late '70's til the late '90's and were copies of higher end guitars like the Gibson and Fender brands. Lotus guitars are no longer in production, but you can find them in certain stores and markets if you want to look for them. Lucky for you, I have a place where you can pick up a used one at a good price. lotus guitar and I advise you to check it out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Falling for the Fall Season

Are you ready to embrace the Fall season? I am! I love everything Fall from the clothing, to the comfort food, to redecorating the house. Fall epitomizes coziness, comfort, and family to me. The air gets crisp, the food becomes denser, and we gather around the fireplace or wood stove in the evening.

Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, also comes in Fall. I love Halloween. Decorating with spooky spiders and pumkins is always fun. We go full out when October 31st rolls around. Going and picking out the perfect pumpkins to carve is one of the highlights of the season. Of course it has to be the perfect roundness or oblong and have a decent stem for pulling and replacing the top when lighting the candle. We never have just one either, usually we buy at least two and sometimes up to four depending on just how creative we feel.
Experience has taught us that no matter how early we go get our pumpkins; it is not a good idea to carve them until a few days before Halloween. No one wants to light a moldy squishy pumpkin even if it is carved beautifully.

Costumes is also fun, but can be expensive. My kids are grown now but when they were young they always wanted the costume of the season. That is fine if you have one child or an infinite amount of money to splurge, but I had three kids to buy for. Some years we were able to buy ready made costumes from Target or Walmart, but other years we had to be creative with what we had. One thing I learned was to save costumes from year to year. They could be handed down to younger siblings or recreated into other costumes with a little imagination. We also utilized thrift shops for costume designs which got to be so fun as my kids grew older. This became our yearly tradition instead of buying the ready made ones.

Fall also means cooking hearty meals. Our electric roaster and crock pot get a lot more use in the Fall. Football Sunday's mean chili in the crockpot, corn bread from the oven and maybe some chicken wings from the store. We also cook a lot of different stews and I am always scouring recipe sites like for different ways to slow cook beef or pork. There is nothing like walking into a home with the smells of pumpkin bread and savory stew filling the air. Some great pumpkin recipies are here

Television shows begin their new seasons in September and we have our favorites. I have to say right now CBS seems to be the station we watch the most. Chilly nights are spent with the fireplace crackling or the electric heaters on while snuggling on the sofa. We also watch many movies either on Netflix or DirecTV. I love to watch my Halloween favorites of Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic. We are not big horror fans so we watch the more kid friendly movies, but there are always the gruesome ones playing for those that are not faint of heart. I can watch some of the old black and white horror flicks and enjoy them. Funny how I can watch Psycho, The Birds, Frankenstein, and Dracula now with a sense of mirth when as a child they terrified me.

So, I have let you into my thoughts and feelings on Fall and Halloween, but I would love to hear from you. What do you love about the Fall season and how do you celebrate? I look forward to reading your stories and comments.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Grand but quick trip of Summer

The beginning of June I found out I was going on a vacation to one of the destinations that I have been wanting to cross off my bucket list. The Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona to be exact. I had seen photos and I had seen parts of it in movies..think National Lampoon's Vacation and the tv show The Brady Bunch and you will remember. This time though I was going to experience it in real time and I was looking forward to going.

I put my vacation time in at work and started counting the days until we left. In some ways the time really dragged out, but eventually the weekend of the big event, August 26, 27th, and 28th arrived. I was ready as I started packing two weeks before and kept making lists to be sure nothing was left behind. Friday morning we packed up and headed out. Oh...did I mention this was a road trip? Yes, a long ride in the car across Nevada and into Arizona from Northern California! Let the adventure begin.

Let me tell you, driving across Nevada is pretty dull. I mean there are pretty parts like Carson City, and of course going through the glitz of Vegas is fun, but for the most part it is sand and scrub and hills. It is also a long drive,  flat and just boring. There are not a lot of towns, not a lot of gas stations, not a lot of anything except the black asphalt  in front of you. There are even stretches of road where you can't find any type of radio station, so if you are a passenger like me, you sleep as much as you can to pass the time.

We arrived at Kingman Arizona around ten at night. Kingman is a beehive of activity. There are lots of truck stops, gas stations, fast food, and motels in the city. We arrived during a lightning storm which in itself was interesting as I had never seen lightning light up a sky like this did. The thunder rolling endlessly across the flat desert echoing against the far hills. It was for me beautiful and yet frightening  in its intensity. So we ate a late dinner at the Travel America truck stop while being entertained by a very energetic and pleasant server. Then we sought out a motel room to spend the night. We were at this point about two hours from the Grand Canyon.

We ended up staying at the SpringHill Suites by Marriot on Andy Devine Avenue. I had no idea that Andy Devine was from Kingman Arizona until that night. Kingman has many places named for the actor including an airport. I always liked him in cowboy movies with his goofy demeanor and unusual voice, so it was interesting to see how much of a local hero he was. The hotel was nice and clean. Funny thing was that we had just gotten in and settled when a HUGE flash of lightning immediately followed by a deafening roar of thunder knocked out the power! We sat in the dark for a good five minutes trying to decide what to do before the lights came back on. This was another thing for me to be able to say I experienced. Stumbling around in a dark hotel room with the blackout curtains already closed is not fun believe me.

Next morning we got up early and headed to the atrium for our complimentary continental breakfast. I love that term, continental breakfast. It makes cold cereal, coffee, cheap pastries, and juice sound so much better than it actually is. But free is free and when you don't have a lot of cash and you are trying to keep your expenses down, that cold cereal looks mighty good. So, eat we did, and then on our way again!

Got to the Grand Canyon South Rim around noon I believe. Im looking around and although I see several parking lots and a visitors center I don't see the canyon itself. But being the good sport I am, I follow my husband and sister to the visitor center and look around. The center is actually interesting as it shows a video of different parts of the canyon. It shows the indigenous people of each area along with plants and animals that live there. There was also shots of people going down the Colorado River in small wooden boats. I think you could stand there for an hour and watch the whole thing from one end to the other if you wanted to.

Then after going through the visitor center, we drove to another part of the canyon where you could actually see it. I have to say the Grand Canyon is breathtaking. I felt so humble and tiny viewing this huge expanse of rocks. It was an overcast rainy day so the shadows of the clouds passing over the red and gold of the cliffs was just incredible. As far as you can look out you see different shapes, sizes and colors of the rock. Even within a single formation the colors vary from red to gold to dark brown. All the way down at the bottom the Colorado River is visible in spots as a roiling muddy brown streak among all the rock formations. There is a reason it is called one of the wonders of the world. I think everyone that lives in the United States should visit the Grand Canyon at least once in their lives. It is something I won't forget and was truly worth the long boring car ride.

We spent the day walking the rim, taking hundreds of photographs and viewing different look out points that the park service have set up. Each place offers a different spectacular visual of the Canyon and no two are exactly the same. It was really a trip I will not soon forget.

But as we were walking toward the car, the now familiar rumble of thunder began to roll across the canyon and the first big drops of rain began to fall. As soon as we were all inside the car the rain fell with a vengeance. The paved road became a swift stream in a matter of just a couple of minutes which I though was amazing. We drove to the General Store to see what tourist trinkets we could pick up and sat in the parking lot waiting for the storm to subside. Several people opted to walk across the street from the parking lot and ended up getting their shoes and pants soaked because the water was deeper than it appeared. As the rain slowed, the water receded though so we decided to make a break for the store and do a little shopping.

The inside of the store was huge. It was part tourist and part grocery store all rolled into one. I got a grand canyon tee shirt and a pin to commemorate my big trip and we got my sister a tee shirt and some awesome 3D type postcards. Then we noticed the deli and ordered some hot soup served in bread bowls for lunch. It was a nice way to wind down and warm up from the rain outside.About that time we decided it was time to head back toward California. We were hoping to stop at Las Vegas to spend the night on the strip and then continue home on Sunday morning.

Pulled into Las Vegas at close to eleven in the evening. Vegas being what it is though, there were tons of people milling about on every corner. The neon lights are inviting beacons wanting you to come in and win your share of the cash. Everyone comes in with the hope of beating "the house" but the reality is, very few actually do. I am always enchanted with Vegas though. I love the hustle and bustle of throngs of people on every corner. Everyone is dressed to the nines here and out to have a good time.

So we stayed at Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas. Again, it was a very nice large room with all the things you need for a pleasant stay. Sadly we were not really there long enough to enjoy it. We checked in at almost midnight, threw our stuff on the beds and then headed out to eat. Of course when its late at night there are no buffets open in the hotels so we opted for a coffee shop in the lobby. It was good decent food but it was more expensive than any coffee shop I have been to. But again, what do you expect when you are in Sin City?

After dinner we decided to gamble for a couple of hours and even playing the penny machines my sixty dollars went quickly. Around three in the morning we decided to call it quits and head to bed as check out is eleven am. Got up in the morning, grabbed Starbucks to fuel up and headed out. Again, the nevada desert is so boring. Thank goodness we got to see some wild donkeys and a herd of big horn sheep to break the monotony.

Made it to our house safe and sound by late Sunday evening and I have to say sleeping in my own bed was heaven. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel, but I love coming home just as much. This whole trip was fast, but it was so worth it and I can cross the Grand Canyon off my list of things to see now. Of course this has also opened up a world of possibilities  in my mind of places to see now. I think the next thing I want to drive to see is Yellowstone. I mean Wyoming is only a few states away.