Monday, November 28, 2011

CLOSED: Dr. Lucy's Gluten-Free Cookies Review/Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed, congrats to Danielle, comment number 32! Winner chosen via random number generator on random.org.

Recently, a friend of mine was diagnosed with Celiac disease and as a result has to keep to a Gluten-free diet. This may sound challenging to some and like kind of a downer to others, but not with great companies like Dr. Lucy's around!






I became interested in Dr. Lucy's after being at the house of this friend of mine, and hearing all the other benefits of a gluten-free diet, such as the fact that you will have more energy if you eat gluten-free since it is so much healthier for you! I received 3 packages of Dr. Lucy's cookies to review, and let me tell you, they are SO GOOD!


Here's the basics of how Dr. Lucy's came to be:
“When Dr. Lucy Gibney discovered her child had severe food allergies, she got down to some serious medical research—in the kitchen. Today, Lucy's gluten-free, allergy-friendly are a delicious alternative for those with and without special dietary considerations. 

Lucy’s cookies are made in a dedicated bakery where we use the best available testing methods to exclude specific allergens: gluten, milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts.

As an M.D. and mother of a child with severe food allergies, Dr. Lucy Gibney brings understanding and first-hand knowledge of the importance of strict quality standards and how to achieve them. With clear ingredient and allergen information on our packaging and careful selection of all raw materials, she employs the very best methods for quality control.”

That's right, Dr. Lucy's cookies are super allergy-safe as well! That's great for our family, because Chip had really severe peanut and egg allergies growing up and still doesn't do well around peanuts. The cookies I received to review came in Ginger Snap, Maple Bliss, and Chocolate. Wait until you hear what I have to say about each of them!

I tried the Maple Bliss first, and was pleasantly surprised. We have tons of maple-syrup farms in Maine, but despite that fact I don't think I'd ever had a Maple cookie, so this was a first for me! It was almost like a sugar cookie, but the hint of maple was really delightful, and you could totally taste it. I really enjoyed dipping the Maple Bliss cookies in a nice, hot cup of tea, and we ran out of these first!

The Ginger Snap cookies were definitely my favorite of the three. Angie, age 5, said "thumbs up!" I think these were her favorite as well. Let me say, the ginger taste in these cookies is so fresh - it's unlike anything you've ever had before. I literally had to limit myself on eating these ones, they were so good!

Finally, I'd saved the Chocolate cookies for last. These cookies were so rich and should really be eaten with a glass of milk - they were that chocolately! It's amazing to me that even though all three of these cookies tasted better than regular cookies, they all have only 40 calories each! With a serving size of three cookies, these make a great 100-calorie snack!

If you're worried that gluten-free cookies will somehow taste different than normal cookies, you can stop that right now. These cookies were awesome, and I didn't even notice that they were made with different ingredients than usual. In fact, I'd much rather have these cookies than everyday cookies since all the flavors were so much richer and I felt good just knowing they were better for me!

On a side note, I have to add that the packaging of these cookies is super cute! Each box was a different color and all had a tiny, floral pattern which I loved! Even the wrapping on these cookies is delightful, as if the cookies inside weren't good enough already!

BUY IT: Please head over to Dr. Lucy's site and purchase some of these awesome cookies! They're great to serve at any holiday party, especially the Ginger Snaps, and in today's modern dietary world they're a safe choice as well. I also know that any college kid would love to receive a couple boxes of Dr. Lucy's in a care package! And of course, Santa wouldn't mind finding a couple Chocolate cookies under the tree ;)

WIN IT: Dr. Lucy's has been very generous in donating the same three boxes of cookies that I received to one lucky winner of a giveaway! The winner will receive one box each of Chocolate, Maple Bliss, and Ginger Snap cookies. The mandatory entry is to visit Dr. Lucy's and tell me what type of cookies you think you'd enjoy the most! This giveaway will close December 13th at noon, US entries only.

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*disclaimer* I received 3 boxes of Dr. Lucy's cookies to review, and all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Friday, November 25, 2011

CLOSED: Review/Giveaway - A Child's Christmas CD by Susie Tallman and Friends!!


This giveaway is now closed, congrats to Sunnie, comment number 38! Winner chosen via random number generator on random.org.

This is my second review and giveaway of the AMAZING children's CDs by Susie Tallman and Friends at Rock Me Baby Records, and I have to say I'm so excited about this CD! Music is so vital to childhood, and what better way to promote a love of music in young children than to play music geared specifically towards kids?!!

A Child's Christmas - Holiday Songs and Carols is quite possibly the best children's Christmas CD I have ever heard of, and definitely our current family favorite for Christmas 2011! The first thing I noticed when I opened the CD was that there were 42 tracks on the CD - it plays for over an hour (74 minutes) and every track is better than the next. This CD really just has so much more to offer than other kids CDs I have seen, but as this is my second expirience with Susie Tallman and Friends I would expect nothing less!!

I first played this CD for Angie (age 5) after she got home from school one night this week. She was really cranky and tired, and I set her up in her bed with the CD on. She was really excited to try it out since she loves Susie's other CDs, so she didn't put up a fight at all when I wanted her to spend some quiet time in her room. She was asleep within hearing the first five songs; the music was perfect for calming her down, and the recognizable songs helped to distract her from being upset and relax her until she was asleep!
We listened to A Child's Christmas when we built this beautiful house!
We put A Child's Christmas on again on Tuesday while we built our gingerbread house! The whole process took us over two hours (almost an hour alone to get the house to stand by itself!) so we got to listen to the CD twice! Our favorite Christmas carols really put us in the holiday spirit, and I loved that there were songs that we BOTH wanted to sing along to. Another one of the great features is that the CD has jokes, stories, and little foreign language clips to complement the music! Once Angie learned the jokes, such as "Where's the best place for a Christmas Cake?" she loved repeating them along with the children on the CD!
Our finished house!
But of course, the best part of A Child's Christmas was by far the music. The last time I reviewed Susie Tallman's music, I was so impressed by all the different styles familiar songs were presented in, and this new CD was no different. Some of the songs, such as "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," were presented in a more traditional way, while others, such as "I’m Gettin Nuttin’ for Christmas" were very sing-songy and light! Angie recognized so many of the songs and easily sung along, and she also enjoyed the songs she was hearing for the first time!
Award Winning Children's Music

A Child's Christmas is the winner of the Platinum Best Toy Award, the Parents' Choice Award, and the iParenting Media Award. The cover art on this CD should also be noted - as with Susie Tallman's other CDs, the booklet is covered in beautiful eye catching artwork that kids will love!

My personal favorite songs on the CD are: The Little Drummer Boy, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Love Came Down at Christmas, You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch, and We Need A Little Christmas - this one I was so excited to hear since it's from a Broadway show! I tended to love the slower, more angelic-sounding songs, but there wasn't a single song I didn't enjoy hearing, and I know Angie was really a fan of the more upbeat songs. Classics like Rudolf and Frosty have to be included in every Christmas CD, so of course we loved listening to these too! One of the greatest features of this CD is the number of voices you hear singing the popular tunes - not only do you hear Susie's lovely voice, but usually there's a whole range of other voices as well!

Not One Ordinary Moment HIGHLY RECOMMENDS this CD to anyone and everyone! It's a great family Christmas CD, and would make a wonderful Christmas gift to kids or anyone with kids. Even if you don't have kids but are looking to warm up your house this holiday season - buy this CD. One of the best parts about music are the memories songs invoke - and every song on this Christmas CD will remind you of a Christmas past while illuminating your Christmas present! Susie Tallman has once again inspired our family with her beautiful songs, and I can't say enough good things about this CD!

BUY IT: A Child's Christmas is available at SusieTallman.com. Everyone has someone in their life who deserves to own this CD, and it's ok if that person is you! The holidays wouldn't be the same without Christmas music, so jumpstart your holiday spirit and buy this CD!

Win it! Susie Tallman and Friends have been generous enough to donate a copy of A Child's Christmas for a giveaway! For the mandatory entry, please visit SusieTallman.com and comment back with the title of the song you are most excited to see on this CD. I'm telling you, it will be hard to choose! This giveaway is open to U.S. entrants only and will end 12/10 at noon. Good Luck! 

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*disclaimer* I received one copy of A Child's Christmas for review purposes, all opinions expressed are strictly my own

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving/I want to be an extreme couponer!!

Happy Thanksgiving 2011!!! I'll be spending this thanksgiving in CT for the first time in atleast 4 years, which I'm pretty excited about. It's also the first time in 3 years that I won't be down in New York City at the Macy's Day Parade, but I'm excited to catch some of the highlights on TV and actually be able to see the street performers!

Last night, I watched TLC's "Extreme Couponing" for about 3 hours, and now I have a new goal: By Thanksgiving 2012, I want to have a stock pile. It doesn't have to be big like the ones on TV, but I really want to try it out.

The thing is, I know I can be really good at extreme couponing. I already win lots of giveaways, have been winning since 2009, and have won thousands of dollars worth of stuff. I don't think couponing will be any different! Last night I got started, and I printed tons of manufacturer and store coupons. I'm starting with only the things I think I'll actually buy, because if you buy something you wouldn't normally buy just because you have a coupon, you're wasting money.

I'm going to start cutting out coupons whereever I see them, and I love organizing things so I will love organizing coupons, atleast I think so right now. The thrill of winning giveaways has worn down a little, and even though I'm really into hosting giveaways right now and trying new (free!) products that way, couponing is something I could do at the same time.

So that is my 2012 Thanksgiving goal. Back to this Thanksgiving though. Everyone is very blessed, and if you don't think you are, start counting. Today I am thankful for many, many things, so here are the first 20 that come to mind. What are you thankful for today??
1. family
2. friends (the crew!)
3. theatre
4. this past week's play "I Remember Mama!"
5. good food
6. the playhouse
7. New York City
8. summer
9. the beach
10. ice cream
11. the mall
12. good movies
13. Angie
14. broadway
15. getting to meet Daniel Radcliffe and Bernadette Peters this year!
16. new york cheese cake
17. perfume
18. heat
19. pictures
20. having this week-long break!

Cassie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great Gift for Theatre Lovers/Collectors: FOUND!

Hi All! Christmas is coming, and while browsing ETSY I've just found an amazing gift for anyone of any age who is a fan of theatre! The shop is called UneekDollDesigns, and they create all these little collectable dolls based on characters from history and literature, but many of them are from great works of theatre as well!

Dolls from Phantom of the Opera:
Phantom of the Opera Doll Raoul Miniature Art Character
Raoul

Phantom of the Opera Doll  Erik  Miniature With Mask and Cape
Erik/Phantom

Phantom of the Opera Doll Christine in Dusty Rose Dress Collectible Art Miniature
Christine

Les Miserables Doll Jean Val Jean Classical Literature Art
Jean Val Jean
Dolls from Les Miserables (these made me so excited! The whole set it there!!):
Art Doll Marius of Les Miserables Miniature Character
Marius

Les Miserables Doll Cosette Miniature French Literary Character
Cosette

Inspector Javert Doll Miniature From Les Miserables
Javert


Dolls from Little Women:
Little Women Louisa May Alcott Doll Miniature Dream Set

Multiple Dolls inspired by works of Charles Dickens:
Dickens Doll Oliver Twist  Please Sir May I have Some More Art Miniature
Oliver Twist
Dickens Christmas Carol Tiny Tim Doll Victorian Era
Dickens' Christma Carol Set

The King and I:
Anna Doll Miniature of Anna and the King of Siam
Mrs. Anna

The King of Siam Art Doll Miniature
The King of Siam
Whether you love theatre or are only familiar with a couple of the shows these dolls are from, you will be astounded by the talent in this shop! I would definitely recommend these dolls as gifts for anyone who loves theatre as much as I do!! Please check out UneekDollDesigns for more!

Cassie

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Closed: Review/Giveaway: Ergonomic pen - UGLee Pen!!

The winner has been chosen via random.org and is comment #38! She has been notified via email. Thanks for entering! This giveaway is now closed.

Writing is one of the first things we learn to do in school: writing our name, writing Mom or Dad, or writing notes to our friends! But the trouble is, when you have to write for a long time, say an essay on a test or a long letter to a friend who moved, hand cramps start to set in.

Most pens just are not designed for comfort and ease of writing, and though some may look nice, the reality is that your hand may still begin to cramp after only a few minutes! Or how about this situation: have you ever needed to write something down, say while someone on the other end of the phone gives you directions, and your pen's ink stalls - awful!



And so, to ease all this pain, let me introduce to you the ergonomic pen - UGLee Pen!! The UGLee Pen is a comfort pen if nothinge else. In fact, it's "The world's MOST comfortable pen!" The UGLee pen is true to its name; it does look a little different from most pens, but not to the point where I would call it UGLee. I received a set of three yellow UGLee pens to review, and I can say that I really do enjoy using them.

About the Ultimate Grip Pen

I used the pens all this week, whenever I had to write something down, and its really a great pen. I even felt that the grip helped to improve my fingering position on the pen, which is something I've stuggled with since 2nd grade when I was told I hold pencils incorrectly. The UGLee pen is all about being a comfort pen - the grip makes writing with this pen a breeze, and the sleek plastic design honestly just looks nice and clean, unlike some lower-end plastic pens, or worse, the hotel pens you always end up using.

Want to find out more? Check out the "About" section here: http://www.ugleepen.com/about-the-ultimate-grip-pen/ I love that it has a clickable top, meaning you'll never have to go looking for the cap! The pen just seemed to fit the contours of my hand perfectly, and I never needed to take a break from writing to stretch my hand! The UGLee pen is very lightweight (only 11 grams!) and has a full-sized hand grip, as well as the smoothest ink system known. The clickable top and the paper-clip are functions people will recognize from other pens, and it was great to see those recognizable functions still intact!


The Ultimate Grip Pen by Dr. James Lee (get it, UGLee?!) is a revolutionary ergonomic pen that is designed, created and used by a real physician. This Dr. inspired grip pen is redefining the way people view ergonomic pens. Try the UGLee Pen, you will love it. Dr. Lee gives his point of view here:

"I know the UGLee Pen is far superior to anything out there!  If you have seen my website you would know that I have tried EVERY pen on the market!  I welcome any way to help me get the word out to those in need.  This pen is especially useful to young children learning to write.  Mothers have asked me to make a pencil version and that is now in the works!"


I loved this idea of a better pen for younger children as well, so I gave it to Angie (age 5) and asked her to write a little with it. She easily wrote with the pen and seemed to have better control with this pen than with normal, slippery pencils. She loved the name "UGLee pen" and she said she felt good when writing with it!

Dr. Lee goes on to say: "As a medical student, I wrote volumes in terms of notes. In medicine, medical notes are all hand written. I averaged 20 full pages of hand written notes a day... day in and day out for years.  was determined to create my own pen - one that would meet my expectations of comfort. Since then, I have spent over eight years to create the first truly comfortable pen. The pursuit of pen comfort became a hobby... no, an obsession during this eight year period. I dedicated an inordinate amount of my own time and resources in this endeavor."
order your gel grip pen
UGLee Pen - red
This ergonomic and comfort pen has so many great functions and uses: It would be perfect for anyone who works in any type of office or school, because from writing term papers to business reports, this pen is ideal. College students would really benefit from having these in their bags or around their dorm room, because when you grab a pen you want it to be the UGLee pen. This pen is also great for kids who are learning to write (they will love the feel of the grip!), and since the pens come in seven great colors they would be the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone!



BUY IT: If you're looking to purchase the UGLee pen - the world's most comfortable ergonomic pen - head right on over to http://www.ugleepen.com/order-your-ergonomic-pen/ ! These pens would make great presents for that coworker you just don't know what to get, or your kid's favorite teacher, or a stocking stuffer for your college student! The pens have a popular informercial, and have also been seen on The Doctors Tv show! Way cool!

WIN IT: Dr. Lee has been very generous in offering one lucky winner the chance to take home three UGLee Pens in a random color! The mandatory entry it to visit http://www.ugleepen.com/ and tell me something you learned about the pen along with what your favorite color of UGLee pen is! This giveaway is open to everyone in the U.S. and closes December 3rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm. Good Luck!

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*disclaimer* I received a set of three UGLee pens free of charge in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed are strictly my own. I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Real Life Princesses singing their iconic songs!

I just found the coolest videos on Youtube! This is Jodi Benson, who is the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, singing "Part of Your World!"

You hear the voice that you've always known specifically as Ariel, but you never think of the real person behind the cartoon!

Here's Lea Solanga (Mulan) singing "Reflection:"

My Addiction to Desperate Housewives...Revealed!

Alright. I have a confession. I'm totally and completely one-hundred-percent obsessed with Desperate Housewives.

Totally.

Ok, so I know I posted earlier this Fall about being excited for the new season which started this fall, but my obsession has gone farther. I'm still watching every Sunday night, but now I've started the whole series over from the beginning!



I'm near the end of season one, and I've been watching the every episode, even though I've seen random ones, because I really want to get the whole story. It's interesting watching season 1 and season 8 at the same time, but since theres SO MUCH to the storyline of each season they're completely different and it's easy to keep track of them in my head.



I think its so much better watching shows completely in order than to just watch random episodes. I've watched other shows from start to finish too, like Monk, Lost, Real Housewives of Orange County (what is it with me and housewives?!) and I've started Mad Men. Clearly, I have way too much time on my hands.

Anyways, back to Desperate Housewives. If you don't watch the show and would like to, Hulu is great because they've got every episode in order from start to finish for free. I would definitely recommend this show; it's got an amazing story line that it so addictive, and every show has some pretty funny parts as well.

As for where I am in the series right now, here's what has just happened: Bree just sent Andrew to a discinplinary camp, Gabby is about to find out she's pregnant since Carlos has been switching her birth control, Susan's mother is in town and might be moving in with her, and Linette had to find a better way to discipline her kids after Bree spanked Porter.

My favorite characters are definitely Bree and Gabby, because there are parts of each of them that remind me of myself. I also love some of the random neighborhood characters, such as Felicia Tillman. Every episode has so much depth to it and the story line really is carried over all 8 seasons, which is really cool because many shows are completely different in season 8 than season 1 (ahem...LOST)

Cassie

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Man plays pranks in a superstore - so funny!

This was shared on facebook and is so funny, I hope you enjoy it!
I have a feeling some of my friends wouldn't be above pulling some of these, and April Fool's Day pranksters will have to keep them in mind as well!
-Cassie

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book of Mormon Marquee Halloween Costume!

I just had to share this...might be the best picture of a costume I saw this Halloween season! Gives me great ideas for future years!


This person dressed up as the Book of Mormon Marquee-so cool!! I love that it looks like she's actually jumping! Comment below and tell me, what were you for Halloween? I was a cowgirl!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy November/No Spend November!

Hi all,
Happy November! It is indeed November 5th, Thanksgiving and the holiday season are on their way, and I have a new plan for this month! Recently, I've felt I've been spending so much money on things I don't need but impulsively want, such as a new hat, frequent thai food outings, and a trip to Canobie Lake Park.

Well, all this spending has been depleting my summer savings, and this is money that I had planned to hold on to until next summer. NOT GOOD. So, for this month, I'm challenging myself not to spend any money on ANY extras, that is things that I'm not obligated to buy or don't already budget myself to buy.

I've read about people doing this but am kind of skeptical. I'm not sure if it will work with me or what, but I'm going to give it a go. My plan is to keep track of everything I spend, starting today. At the end of the month, if I meet my goal of no extras, no exceptions, I'm going to celebrate by buying my Christmas presents a little early!

Ok, so here we go: November 5th, as of right now I've spent 0 dollars so I'm at my goal!

Cassie