Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Coffee House at Home! Review & Giveaway

I love coffee.  As in, I think sometimes my fondness for it may be bordering on the inappropriate.  Now, when I say I love coffee what I really mean is that, while I have been known to enjoy a cup or ten with some good flavored creamer, what I really get excited about is a mocha made exactly how I like it.  In my defense, I am a lifetime resident of Western Washington (Seattle area, to be a bit more specific).  I'm pretty sure it's in my blood - along with an innate knowledge of exactly how much rain ACTUALLY constitutes "don't go out" weather. 

The only problem is,  the Husband & I are on a pretty tight budget and those yummy coffee drinks that I love so much tend to make my wallet scream in agony.  What's a budget-conscious, coffee-loving girl to do?  Talk about tough decisions!  Luckily for me, I don't have to decide anymore - and neither do you!

The folks at Torani have a whole line of FANTASTIC syrups for coffee, italian sodas, or anything else your creative heart desires.  I was fortunate enough to receive 2 full size bottles from Torani & SheSpeaks so that I could try them out & share my thoughts with all of you.  Let me begin (this section at least) by saying WOW!  The husband & I opened up the box to find our favorite flavors - Peppermint & Salted Caramel.  Peppermint Mochas are my all-time favorite coffee - trust me, a good one of those makes even the lousiest day feel like Christmas!  Caramel lattes are a long time favorite of the husband, and he also liked those fancy Salted Caramel mochas from one of the big-name coffee chains (I love that place, but can't afford them more than once every couple months).  So, I got right down to business - I was amazed.  My homemade mocha came out tasting JUST LIKE my favorite expensive coffee shop coffee! Best of all, I didn't even have to change out of my pj's!  I'm a convert for sure.  Especially when you throw in the top quality ingredients they use - pure cane sugar and natural flavors to name a few.

Have I caught your interest, yet?  Well, now's the part I'm sure you've been waiting for - the part where I tell you how to try out Torani flavored syrups for yourself!  If you are anxious, go click on the button on my sidebar to get a 10% discount.  I'm hoping it still works, I actually had this written out 2 weeks ago, but then I got married - so I got behind schedule!

Just in case it doesn't work, 1 (or 2 if we get enough entries) commenter on this post will get to try Torani themselves - I've been given some free product coupons by Torani & SheSpeaks, so will be holding a drawing - just in time for the Holidays!  You can buy them at pretty much any grocery store (that I've seen).  Tell me what kind of coffee house drink you are most excited to try making at home, and please make sure to include your email address so I can contact you!  Winner will be randomly selected November 29 (I'll have the husband pick a number - we're real high tech here) and will have 24 hours to respond before I have to choose someone else.

Good luck, have fun & go have a cup of coffee for me!

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's almost Christmas!

Ok, nobody panic.  I'm jumping the gun a little bit.  See, in our house we LOVE Christmas! Almost-husband & I are already planning, and I'm actually almost DONE shopping for Little Big Man.  Yup - pretty cool, huh?  So, along with planning to get our tree right after Thanksgiving, we are also already thinking about Christmas cards.  It will be our first OFFICIAL Christmas as a family (even though we consider ourselves to have been one for a while now), so I've been busy looking at cards.  Enter Shutterfly.  I fell in love with one (or a dozen) of their cards.  Almost-husband & I talked it over, he cast the deciding vote since I'm a bit indecisive sometimes - I wanted about 6 of them by the time I narrowed it down, and we have decided on our cards. 

So, imagine my delight when I found out that the wonderful ladies over at Real Moms Real Views are holding a giveaway!  Head over & check them out - you could win 25 (yup, that's right 25) free cards from Shutterfly!  There will be 3 winners, so you'll have a pretty good chance - check them out (and let them know you heard about it here!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Get Your Kid Off The Couch! (Heelys Review)

Did I get your attention?  Ok, so it's entirely possible that most people don't have a problem getting their kids to go play outside.  Unfortunately, the almost-husband and I most definitely DO have that problem.  Little Big Man (aka the kiddo) tends to find the living room to be much more entertaining - after all, there aren't electronics in the backyard!

Enter Heelys.  The Heelys company very generously sent me a pair to review.  Now, they are actually going to be a Christmas present for the kiddo... but what kind of soon-to-be bonus Momma would I be if I didn't make sure they were safe?  And, ya know, since we wear pretty close to the same size shoe I figured I should check them out myself before hand.  Only inside, of course - I'm kind of a klutz and I didn't want to mess them up before he gets to them!

These are the shoes we got for kiddo - the Double Threat.

I was impressed before I even  took them out of the box.  Almost-husband shot me a quick text at work to let me know they got to the house.  He said they were cool.  He knows cool better than I do (in fact, he probably wouldn't even use the word cool).  I trusted his judgement, but wanted to see for myself.  When I got home I proceeded to do all the "Grown-up" things with them.  I tested to see how easily the wheels go in & out - SUPER easy, but not TOO easy.  They definitely won't just pop out mid ride.  The shoes themselves look great.  Really well made - I'm pretty sure they are "kid-proof" but I'm sure Little Big Man will put that theory to the test!  I also like the fact that the wheels are removable, and there is a heavy plastic piece that goes into the sole to block the hole.  I figure that will save the carpets - and our security deposit - by NOT making it easy for the kiddo to track all kinds of questionable things into the house.

Once I was done being the responsible Almost-Bonus-Momma, I decided to indulge in a small amount of temporary insanity.  If you read what I said earlier, I'm sure you can see where this is going.  Yup - I put on the Heelys.  Almost-Husband managed to stop laughing hysterically long enough to snap a few pictures, and I managed not to threaten him with severe harm for taking them.  Once I can figure out how to get the computer & the camera to drop their long-standing hatred for one another, I will post them - look for those in the next few weeks.  I was actually a bit stunned.  Like I said before, I'm a klutz.  I think that instead of athletic ability, I have some sort of athletic allergy.  I was actually able to play around with the Heelys without killing myself or destroying my house.  They are actually fun to use!  Like I said, they'll get the kid off the couch!

Now, I'm sure that you're just dying to see the pictures of me trying out the Heelys, and I promise you will see them very soon... but in the meantime, go here for more information about them - they even tell you how to use them and even more importantly how to stay SAFE.

Are you intrigued?  If so, you're in luck - Heelys is throwing a Black Friday special!! Between Nov 25-Nov 28, Buy any pair of Heelys, get the second pair for $25. Or buy a Nano, and get a pair of shoes for $25, and get free ground shipping on all orders!


I received a pair of shoes from Heelys in order to write this review.  All opinions expressed are my own (except the reactions of the almost-husband)