Just a blog about my adventures and mishaps in life.
Expect things like recipes, art, ways to save money,
fashion, creativity, beauty, babbling and randomness.
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Private Selection Brand

*bzzagent is a word-of-mouth media channel that helps connect consumers with brands, companies and marketers to harness the power of honest opinions. In most cases, I have received a free product to try and give my honest opinion about.

I receive so many fun things to try through bzzagent and this campaign was no exception.

I have tried the Private Selection brand at Kroger in the past, (again through bzzagent), but they seem to be coming out with more and more products.

Private Selection is unique because, although it's a store brand, they are trying to also be "high end". I agree that in a lot of cases their products are superior, however, in some cases, the price is also almost ridiculous. You be the judge.

Here's what I got:

A two pack of Angus hamburgers on sale for $3.99lb. This package was $4.75 meaning that these were over 1/2 pounders.

Let's take a little looksie at these burgers compared to another store brand's pre-made patties...

Yeah I like mine rare.

So overall the PS Angus beef was much better in taste and size, price was comparable per lb, but you do get many more burgers with the other store brand.

I also received a free apple pie. These are in the bakery dept. The crust was delicious but the apples were pretty sour. It was a good sized pie, but for $7.99 not sure I would buy it. Call me a cheapskate!

Bzz also sent me a coupon for $1.50 off of a pint of the PS ice cream or sorbet. Lucky for me these were on sale 2/$3. I love FREE!

What impressed me was the variety of flavors that this brand had to offer in pint size. (Almost) every one of them sounded delicious and were unique. I chose the Blood Orange Sorbet, and will shamefully tell you that it was gone by the end of the night. So delicious!

Last but not least, bzz sent me a bag of PS Sea Salt & Black Pepper Kettle Chips. I'm not a big chip fan so I'm not exactly sure what "kettle chips" are supposed to taste like but these were really crunchy, (like tear up the roof of your mouth crunchy), which could be a good thing because that way you are forced not to eat too many! The flavor was good.

I especially LOVE their frozen White Wine and Garlic Mussels and they are normally on sale for around $3. Now that's a deal!

Needless to say, I like the Private Selection Brand for the most part. Kudos to them for their selection and quality ingredients.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rainbow Cupcakes & Marshmallow Frosting

I've seen these rainbow cupcakes a thousand times on Pinterest so I finally decided to try them. Super easy and a blast for the kids!

First mix any light colored boxed cake mix according to directions.
We used Cherry Chip.

Divide your batter into a separate container for each color you'd like to use. In our case we decided on five colors and I had a last minute epiphany to use disposable cups for easier cleanup!
Once divided, (they don't have to be equal), add a different color food coloring to each cup.
I personally suggest using the gel coloring for a more vibrant color but we only had regular so that's what we used.

Only stir the batter enough to mix the color in. Try not to over stir.

Use a spoon to drop batter into paper lined cupcake pans. I varied the order of the colors so that they didn't all turn out the same.
When they're about 3/4 of the way full, you can use a toothpick to swirl the color a bit, or just leave it alone.
Bake them in the oven according to the box but take them out about 3-5 minutes early.
Leave the oven on.

Add a marshmallow to the top of each one. Make sure that it's stable(ish) and standing up. Carefully put back in the oven for three to five minutes.

When the time is up, and the marshmallows are soft. Remove from oven and squish each one down with a spoon.
I attempted to add sprinkles, (who doesn't love sprinkles?), but they didn't really stick.
That's all there is to it. These would also be good with regular frosting, or howabout frosting with swirly colors to match the cakes?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sock Monkey Baby Set (Crochet)

Wanted to share with everyone a baby shower gift that I made last week. Although I always put my own spin on everything, I can't take credit for the base patterns, (except for the blanket, which is very basic).
This set turned out adorable! You can find the hat pattern here. I altered the pattern to a newborn size simply by using a thinner yarn and smaller needle. I didn't change the stitches.
You can also find the basic pattern for the diaper cover here. Only thing I did different there is line the cover in a sc of red. These gals did a great job creating these patterns and I hope that someday I am creative enough to make my own. I think the gift was a hit. Thanks ladies!
Maybe I'll post a pic when the baby is born :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Human Body

Our last Science unit of the 1st grade school year is about the human body. We're learning about some of the major systems in the body including the digestive, circulatory, muscular and nervous system. This life-size model is a fun way to teach your little one about the way the body works. We didn't have any butcher paper so I traced Nate's outline right on to the wall with pencil. It will come off easy enough with a wet washcloth or even a magic eraser. Then we taped the organs into the correct parts of the body as we learned about each system. We used yarn for blood vessels.
The rib cage opens up to reveal the inner organs.

Nathan had a great time making this little dude.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Neutrogena Cosmetics

I was pretty happy when I received my Neutrogena BzzKit from Bzzagent* a couple of weeks ago. They really outdid themselves this time with the amount of product I received to try. Here is a 30 something's opinion after a straight week and a half of daily usage:

1. Revitalizing Lip Balm in three shades.

From the website:

"Revitalizing Lip Balm helps make lips softer, rosier and healthier-looking, even after you take it off! This sheer tinted balm with exclusive ion2complex™ instantly moisturizes lips, leaving them looking fuller and more defined. In just one week, it helps improve lips' texture and restores the look of rosiness. SPF 20 helps protect lips and keeps them looking healthy."

I have to admit that this stuff works pretty well. I've always had a hard time with lipsticks and even lip gloss because my lips tend to get dry and yucky and I get peeling. It's been a huge problem for me. I've hardly gotten these symptoms with constant wear of this lip balm. I've also noticed that my lips do feel softer and smoother. The $7 price tag scares me a bit because this is about the shape and size of a chapstick. I'll see how I feel about it after I run out.

2. Brightening Eye Perfector

From the website:

"Discover a do-it-all product that not only brightens and conceals with a patented blend of anti-oxidants including Vitamin E, wild chamomile and soy, but is also clinically shown to de-puff and treat the appearance of dark under eye circles. A flow-through brush perfectly applies the Brightening Eye Perfector for on-the-go flawless coverage anytime."

I have mixed feelings about this one. At first, I had no idea what to even do with this stuff. I read the directions, turned the little knob and a big glob of product came out onto the brush. I tried to brush it on around my eyes but it just made a mess. Haha! I figured out, after several attempts, that the best way for me to apply this product is to turn the knob, dab on each eyelid and under each eye, and blend with my finger. This product does a good job of brightening up around your eyes, especially if you have dark circles. What I don't like about it is that it tends to get very dry and sort of separate in the corner. It also makes my eyes water sometimes. I would definitely shop around at other brands instead of buying this for $9.

3. Nourishing Eye Liner

From the website:

Neutrogena® Nourishing Eyeliner defines and brightens eyes with luminous color. Subtle light diffusers make the whites of eyes appear whiter, while rich color nourishes skin with Olive Oil and Rainforest Shea Butter. The built-in sharpener gives precise definition and the contoured smudger softens and blends for a variety of looks.

This was another product that I was initially unsure about. The liner seemed very greasy and a little hard to put on straight because it was so soft. The smudger works great. I figured out that the liner sets after you put it on and then it's good for the rest of the day although it still seems like it smears more than a traditional pencil liner. Not a bad deal at around $6.

Overall, this line of products has great potential and I love that they are making makeup that not only looks great but is also good for your skin.

*bzzagent is a word-of-mouth media channel that helps connect consumers with brands, companies and marketers to harness the power of honest opinions. In most cases, I have received a free product to try and give my honest opinion about.