Monday, December 12, 2011

Skin Review: Simone France

When seasons change, we change the type of clothing we wear in order to adapt to the weather. Now, that I'm 30 I've learned that I should do the same with my facial skincare products. With the arrival of fall and winter, my skin starts to dry up and look dull. Luckily, I was sent a kit from Simone France and it has done wonders to help my face and neck look its best now that the temperatures are dropping and the air is getting dry.

Morning Routine

Every morning I start off with The Sandwich®.
The Simone France Sandwich is an anti-aging and skin firming treatment that with constant use will help your face look its best.  I've been using the treatment for over a little more than a month and can notice a difference in my skin. 

I use The Sandwich normal to slightly dry skin kit which includes the following:
  • 2 oz. Lovely Glow
  • 2 oz. Refining Scrub
  • 4.5 oz. Soap
  • 30 Disposable Cleansing Cloths

How I make The Sandwich?

I start by dotting Lovely Glow moisturizer all over my face and smoothing it until the skin absorbs it. I follow it with the Refining Scrub along with a quick splash of water to move the product around my face. Then I run the soap underneath the faucet and build up a lather in my hand and rub it on my face. I take disposable cloth, wet it and wipe off all three products from my face. I splash warm water on my face and follow it with cold water. I pat dry my face and dab just a bit of the Lovely Glow moisturizer.

 It seems like a lot to do, but it only takes like 5 minutes.  Afterward, my face feels smooth, refreshed and ready to go out make up free! I definitely notice more luminosity to my complexion, as opposed to it looking dull like it used to.  Plus, my face has never felt this well moisturized {the truth is I don't have to use a lot of the moisturizer and it does not feel greasy}.

Night time Routine

My Simone France kit also came with products to make sure that my face is completely cleansed of all day time debris before I go to bed.

I finish my day by dabbing and swirling Simone France's Rich Milk {has a creamy texture to it} all over my face and neck with half of a disposable cloth.  It really helps get all the gunk off my face and the proof is all in the cloth.  I follow it up with the Refreshing Toner and the other half of the disposable cleansing cloth; it's alcohol free so it doesn't dry up my face and it helps swipe off the Rich Milk to finish off the cleaning process.  My face and neck end up feeling smooth, refreshed and my pores feel like they can breathe clearly.

These products are enough to last you from 2-3 months. I've been using them for a little over a month and I still have lots of product left {more than half}.

How to Decide what products will work best for you

One of the things I liked the most was that prior to recieving any of the products, I was sent a beauty questionnaire so the rep would know what products would better suit my skin and they were dead on.

These are products that I could definitely see myself purchasing in the future, especially for the fall-winter season.

For more info on Simone France:



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CLOSED {Giveaway} Chicken Soup for the Soul

I'm a big fan of this series because no matter what situations you may be facing Chicken Soup for the Soul has a book for it.  This time around you get to choose from 2 books, Inspiration for the Young at Heart or Devotional Stories for Tough Times. 

Devotional Stories for Tough Times is ideal for those of you going through rough times in life and are looking for some reassurance through stories of strength, faith and prayer.

Inspiraton for the Young at Heart presents stories for people who after 60 found a new meaning to their lives.  The stories are funny and invigorating and help you see that age is not a limit when it comes to enjoying life

2 readers {U.S. or Canada} will get the chance to win either one of the featured books, you choose whether you would like Inspiraton for the Young at Heart or Devotional Stories for Tough Times

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giveaway: Carmex Skincare {CLOSED}

Now that we are in full-on fall with winter right around the corner my skin tends to get dry and a bit flaky.  During this time of year my regular skincare routine just doesn't cut it. Luckily,  the great people over at Carmex sent me a skincare package to help me get through the cold temperatures.

The Carmex Healing Lotion can be used everyday, has a lovely smell and absorbs quickly when rubbed onto skin.  I've been using the lotion after my nightly shower.  I rub it all over my body and I instantly feel the added moisture. I especially like it because the next morning I still feel my skin moisturized despite the heater being turned on.

If you feel you need a little bit more TLC on certain parts of your body then that's where Carmex Healing Cream would come in!  This cream is thicker than the lotion, so you won't need too much product to start feeling a difference in your skin.  I use this cream on my hands, feet and elbows before I start out my day.  It really helps me look my best, because there is nothing more uncomfortable than exposing dry, cracked hands and feet to the world. 

I love both products from the Carmex skin care line! They really do help heal, soothe and moisturize your dry skin , especially hands, elbows and feet. The product absorbs quickly and has a great scent that I would compare to a light cherry and vanilla like smell.  The prices are great on the pocket.  I love that both the Carmex Healing Lotion & Carmex Healing Cream come in a travel size so it's convenient to carry them around with you.  I always carry mine in my son's diaper backpack. Either one of these products would make for a unique stocking stuffer.

Would you like to win these products?

The team over at Carmex have offered to giveaway the same products featured in this review to one of my readers!  You'll get both the Carmex Healing Lotion and Carmex Healing Cream in both the full and travel sizes for a total of 4 products!

If you're interested, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Movie: The Muppets

I used to love The Muppets when I was a kid, so I'm a bit excited for their upcoming movie. That combined with the fact that I love Jason Segel and of course Amy Adams isn't too bad herself.  Now, I'm contemplating whether the hubby and I should take our 2 year old along so he too can discover The Muppets.  Are any of you planning on taking your toddlers?

Here are some film clips:

Like The Muppets on FACEBOOK

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TeeGee:The Smart Stuffed Animal Powered By Your iPhone

If you have a young child in your family then you've probably spent a boatload on toys.  Let's face it, we want to make sure our kids get  high quality toys that will help with their development.  But, how long does it take for kids to completely figure out a toy and then toss it to the side?  What happens to the toy after that?
That's where TeeGee comes in! 


TeeGee, is a stuffed animal created last summer by Tom Giedgowd. It is designed to grow with your child through iphone-type apps and interactive accessories.


TeeGee is capable of playing games, telling stories, and interacting with its environment through smart accessories and speech recognition. Parents could change the behavior of the toy depending on the age and preferences of their child by downloading apps (e.g. Spanish and math educational apps, Battle games, etc.) and customize TeeGee for their particular child.


  • Get TeeGee (iPhone version)

  • Download TeeGee apps from iTunes onto your iPhone or iPod Touch

  • Plug your iPhone or iPod Touch into TeeGee and zip it inside

  • (optional) Get smart accessories for even more fun!

  • HOW TO GET A TeeGee
    TeeGee isn't available in stores yet, but you can pre-order one HERE !


    Get a FREE Interactive Potty Training Success DVD!

    Get a free interactive potty training DVD courtesy of Pull Ups! I just requested mine for FREE! Available while supplies last.


    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    {CLOSED} Giveaway: FRESCHETTA Pizza & FRESCHETTAProud to Support Pink Program

    October is National Breast Cancer awareness month and Freschetta has created the FRESCHETTA PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK Program.  Whenever you purchase specially marked packages of FRESCHETTA pizzas and Artisan Pizza Crusts you will be helping Freschetta reach their goal of a $50,000 donation to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

    Every specially marked box comes with a code that you can enter at  For every code that is entered FRESCHETTA will donate $1 to the center. also has a place for people to share either their personal cancer stories or that of a friend or family member,  These stories will be displayed on the site as well as on their Facebook page as a means of inspiration.

    During the month of October 50 pink iPod Shuffle players will be given away on the site as a away to encourage particiaption and sharing of the program.

    In addition, another 50 Pink iPod Shuffle players will be donated each week in October to four Cancer Centers around America.


    One reader will win a kit with the following:
    1 coupon for a FRESCHETTA pizza, 12 oz or larger
    2 pairs of FRESCHETTA PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK earphones

    To enter the giveaway just do one or all of the following in separate comments:
    • Leave a comment below! Make sure to leave your email address.
    • Help spread the word by tweeting: FRESCHETTA is Proud to and YOU can help us reach a $50K donation for Breast Cancer Research @
    • Tweet about the giveaway:  #giveaway Win a FRESCHETTA PROUD TO SUPPORT PINK kit ends OCT 31st U.S. only
    • Make sure to leave a link for each individual tweet.  Tweet as much as you can! Always leave an e-mail address

    I'll contact the winner on the morning of Oct. 31st via e-mail

    The winner has been contacted by e-mail!

    Congrats Stephanie!

    Disclosure: I'm a member of the Freschetta Fresh Connection Community.I received an equal set of the featured products that are up for the giveaway for review purposes only. I am not being financially compensated. All thoughts, ideas and opinions are strictly my own.


    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Snack Time Drinks Made Fun

    When it comes to meal and snacktime I like to keep my toddler on his toes. Every now and then I like to spoil him and give him a treat or a special something to drink that I just know will bring an extra wide smile to his face.

    One of those special drink treats just so happens to be Tummy Tickler Tots.

    • 40% reduced sugar, pre-mixed with purified water
    • Bottle size and shape specially designed for a toddler’s grip
    • 4oz serving size, as recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

    • Every bottle is topped with a licensed character spill-proof sippy spout and it so happens to be apple juice {his fave}!

     We recieved Mickey Mouse and Clifford, but they come in a wide variety of toppers.

    Like I said I like to keep them handy just for the thrill of surprising my son but they can also be great for families on-the-go, car rides, party favors , healthy Halloween treats, stocking stuffers and more!

    Not only can toddlers enjoy these juice drinks, but older kids can as well!

    Tummy Ticklers  ages 3-5
    Belly Washers  ages 5-10

    You can find these juice drinks at a number of retailers, so I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding them. 

    Disclosure: I recieved 2 single serving samples of the featured product for review purposes only. I was not financially compensated.  All opinions are my own.


    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Aurora Softy Soakers Review

    In my house, bathtime does not refer to the act of getting clean. For my toddler it means time to play in the tub. Of course, playtime requires the use of fun toys.
    I was sent an Aurora Softy Soaker turtle to try out with my 2 year old son and needless to say it was a complete success.
    This Softy Soaker looks all squashed because it expands in water.
    All you have to do is soak it in water for 40 seconds.  I did not use a timer, but it did expand quickly.  My son just loved watching the turtle grow.  He had the biggest smile; which meant that he approved.

    After my son was done playing with the turtle I just dried it up with a towel and saved it for his nest time in the tub.
    For more info, check out the following links:

    Disclaimer: I recieved the featured product free of charge for review purposes only.  All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.


    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Free Promotional Codes for Pampers Gifts to Grow

    If you use Pampers products, then I'm pretty sure you know about their Pampers Gifts to Grow Program.  All Pampers products come with a code that is worth a certain amount of points. All you have to do is sign up at the Pampers site, and start entering your codes.  The more codes you enter, the more points you can accumulate until you have enough to get a reward for your little one or yourself.  I've redeemed my points for a bilingual hardcover book, a wooden animal puzzle and I'm already elegible for a another reward.  Plus, you dont just get a free gift, you don't have to pay for shipping costs. 

    Here are the most recent free promotional codes {10pts each} that I just found on the Internet today and they all worked for me. Some may be from a while back, so you might already have them.  If not, I hope they work for you!



    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    {CLOSED} Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens Giveaway

    The Chicken Soup for the Soul network has most recently come out with a book focused especially on tweens. This new book offers 101 stories of inspiration and support that many preteens would most definitely relate to or know friends who are going through similar situations.

    Being a preteen can be a confusing time because children are growing up and going through lots of changes, not only personally and physically but the things that surround them seem to change as well.

    I don't have a tween just yet, but I was a 5th and 6th grade teacher for five years and I can say with certainty that kids this age definitely go through many changes and this is a book that any tween {that loves to read} could get into.

    • 1 lucky winner will receive a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just for Preteens.
    • Open to U.S. and Canada
    • Ends on September, 14
    How to Enter:

    •Use Rafflecopter form below:

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Carmex Lime Twist and Vanilla Sticks Review & Giveaway {CLOSED}

    It's time for another Carmex review!

    Carmex has come out with two new lip products: Carmex Lime Twist stick & Carmex Vanilla stick.

    Carmex hit the nail on the head when they came up with these two new flavors!  One is tangy and the other is sweet and they both smell delicious.  Although I like both, I'm more of a sucker for the sweetness of the vanilla stick.  Both the Carmex Lime Twist & the Carmex Vanilla sticks will leave your lips soft and smooth.  The secret is that Carmex as added three additional moisturizers {not used in their original line} to assure that your lips will look and feel their best at all time.

    Not only are the new Carmex sticks good for your lips, but they are also good to your pockets.  They are economically priced and you can find them at your local CVS, Walgreens and Walmart.

    Plus, I like how they decided to nix the traditional red caps and go for green and off white to match the color of the flavors.  It gives the packaging a fresh new look, but still with the original Carmex feel.

    I definitely plan to purchase the vanilla stick once my current one runs out.  This is definitely a lip product that I can see forming part of my permanent daily beauty routine.

    Have you tried out either the Carmex Lime Twist or the Carmex Vanilla stick?

    The generous people over at Carmex have set aside a Carmex prize pack for [1] of my readers!
    {Open to U.S.only}
    Carmex Vanilla stick, Carmex Lime Twist stick and a  Carmex picnic blanket

    • Leave 1 comment per entry (If it says +2, then leave 2 comments)
    • Leave your e-mail address with each entry.
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    • Follow Always Around Boys publicly via GFC {mandatory}
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    • Follow Carmex on Facebook
    • Follow Carmex on Twitter 
    • Tweet the following:
      • Win a #Carmex prize pack #giveaway @AABmommyBlogger U.S. only ends 09-05-2011
    COMMENT 13
    Disclosure: I'm a member of the Carmex Blog Squad and was sent the featured products free of charge for review purposes only.  All comments and opinions are my own and were not affected in any way by the makers of Carmex.


    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Free Kid Friendly Kashi Sampler

    Click HERE to visit the Kashi site and get in on a free sample of either the Kashi Cinamon Harvest cereal or the Kashi TLC Peanutty Dark Chocolate layered granola bar.


    Monday, August 15, 2011

    The Student From Zombie Island

    The Student From Zombie Island
    By Michael J. Moorehead

    The Student From Zombie Island is a amusing and colorfully illustrated book which revolves around rumours amidst the the arrival of a new kid to school.  The kid in question is known as Bust'em Up Bill and rumours start to swirl amonsgt the students as to who this new kid is and what horrors is he capable of.  The students without knowing Bust'em Up Bill are already scared of him because of all the wild and crazy things they've heard about him.  They think he is 6 feet tall with yellow fangs and drives a monster truck.

    As an elementary school teacher, I think this is a great book for young children to read before the start of a school year or any time of the year for the matter because it teaches them how not to judge or spread rumours about others before they meet them.  I would say this book is more geared toward second and third graders.  The best thing is that book is written by a kid, so any young reader would most definitely relate to the situation presented in the book.

    Have you and yourkids read this book?
    What other readings do you suggest for young readers?


    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Summmer Read: Silver Girl

    If your looking for something new to read I recommend Silver Girl, by Elin Hilderbrand.  This book came out in June and it should definitely be a must have on your reading list!

    The story focuses around Meredith, who just lost everything in her life, due to her husbands'  shady business dealings in the form of a Ponzi scheme.  Luckily, Meredith receives a call from her lifelong, but now estranged friend Connie who helps her by taking her to Nantucket to lay low while she awaits the results of a pending federal investigation.  While in Nantucket, both women deal with their past and present, while slowly allowing the the power of love, frienship and forgiveness to work on them.

    The characters are well developed and you get a sense of who they are and where they come from.  Most importantly, once you start reading you won't want to let the book down!

    Disclaimer: I recieved this book from Hachette Book Group for review purposes and was not financially compensated for this post.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    CLUE: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Edition

    As you all may know today,  July 15th,  marks the general premiere of the last Harry Potter movie: Harry Potter and  The Deathly Hallows part 2!  I for one happen to be a fan of the franchise and am a tad bit sad that this will be the last time we see Harry, Hermione and Ron on the big screen.
    Don't worry, if you happen to be a fan, there's still a way to keep enjoying the teenage wizards' adventures with...CLUE: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Edition!  This board game is a new version of a Hasbro classic, which will most definitely delight both Potter fans and CLUE fans alike.

    " a bewitching mystery that has players exploring the halls of Hogwarts, the Forbidden Forest, the Ministry of Magic and beyond. A Hogwarts student has gone missing and it’s your job to uncover the mystery – Where did the attack occur? Who did it? Which weapon or spell did they use? Players take on the identity of their favorite “Harry Potter” character and then race to decipher clues, uncover secrets and solve the mystery of the missing student!"

    Believe it or not I'm a CLUE newbie and I was quite thrilled with the game!  Playing this game was a great way to entertain ourselves and enjoy some fun family time in the quiet and comfort of our home.

    CLUE: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS EDITION is available at major retailers.

    Are you a fan of the Harry Potter movies? Have you played this game yet

    Disclaimer: I recieved the featured product at no cost for review purposes only. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. I was not financially compensated for this post.


    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diapers Review & Giveaway {CLOSED}

    I was recently introduced to Seventh Generation Free & Clear diapers!

     I was impressed with the overall product! They are very absorbent and not bulky at all; but most importantly they did not give my son a rash!

     These diapers do not have  added pigments, chlorine, fragrances, latex or petroleum based lotions which is a good thing because the less additives something has the better it is for my son.   Because Seventh Generation diapers don't have any of these components you get a simple beige colored diaper that is manufactured with the main focus of just helping keep a baby dry and help the environment.

    The diapers have a nice elastic stretch in the back as well as to the sides where the tapes are, so my son seemed comfortable everytime he wore the diapers.  I know several other people who purchase Seventh Generation diapers for there children and are more than happy with them.

    • In an effort to contribute less overall landfill waste and continue to ensure a premium standard of absorbency, the new Free & Clear diapers have been redesigned with a lighter-weight core.
    • With processed chlorine-free wood pulp in Free & Clear diapers, Seventh Generation also makes certain that no chlorine is released into the environment during the totally chlorine-free (TCF) whitening process of the diapers and training pants.
    • Seventh Generation has also reduced the size of the diapers´ plastic packaging, meaning that each pack now contributes even less overall landfill waste than before.
    • Seventh Generation Free & Clear diaper packaging can now be recycled at local supermarkets where plastic bag recycling collection boxes are available.

     Visit to download a printable coupon for $2.00 OFF any ONE Seventh Generation Baby Product (Diapers, Training Pants, or Wipes)!

    [1] reader will receive a package of Seventh Geration Clean & Clear diapers.
    {Open to U.S.only}

    • Leave 1 comment per entry (If it says +2, then leave 2 comments)
    • Leave your e-mail address with each entry.
    • Leave your GFC name, facebook name, twitter ID {according to the network you leave a comment for}
    • Follow Always Around Boys publicly via GFC  {mandatory}
    • What do you love about eco-conscious baby products? +2
    • Follow AAB on Facebook
    • Follow Seventh Generation on Facebook
    • Follow AAB on Twitter
    • Follow Seventh Generation on Twitter
    • Tweet the following:
      • Can be done daily
      • Leave link
    • Write a post about this giveaway on your blog or blog related facebook page & make sure to link back here. You can do both if you wish. Let me know where to find it +2 each

    This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Ends(07/027/2011) at 12:00 NOON Eastern Time. The winner will be selected by using I will post the winner on my blog and e-mail them. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be selected. Afterward the winner's info will be passed on to the company rep.

    comment # 10

    Disclaimer: I recieved the featured product, free of charge, for product review purposes. The coupon, prize pack, information and giveaway were all provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.


    Monday, July 11, 2011

    King Ranch Chicken

    I recently posted about some yummy tortillas that I recieved to review. I showcased the tortillas in what I called a Southwestern style lasagna.  Beth was interested in the recipe, so here it is!

    King Ranch Chicken {taken out of a magazine, I don't know when}


    • 1    green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
    • 1/2  medium white onion, chopped
    • 1    {10 ounce} can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
    • 1/2  pound chicken, cooked and cubed
    • 18 yellow corn tortillas {I used about 12 flour tortillas and they were cut up in square pieces}This will depend on the the sizeof your pan
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 packet ranch seasoning
    • 2-4 cups of monterrey jack cheese { I used a combination of cheddar and swiss}
    • in our version, we added some Mexicorn {green giant}

    • Blend the chicken broth, sour cream and ranch seasoning until smooth
    • Cover the bottom of an 8 x 9 pan with tortilla slices
    • Sprinkle cheese, tomatoes, peppers, corn, onions and chicken on top of the tortillas
    • Keep building layers just like you would a lasagna
    • When you get to the final layer topped with tortillas, pour the sour cream mixture evenly over the casserole and set aside for 3 minutes.
    • Top with remaining cheese and tomatoes
    • Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starts to brown.

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