Bloomtastic!

flower2Spring is here! Which in the Midwest is a big deal. We can finally shed our layers of sweaters and coats for something a wee bit lighter and get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. It also mean Mother’s Day – the day we spoil and remember our Moms because without them, well we wouldn’t be here!

Now, while anyone can buy their Mom flowers, why not step it up a notch and surprise your Mom with some gorgeous arrangements from BloomNation? BloomNation is the new etsy of flowers. Now you can shop at local floral shops from the comfort of your couch. Even better,  you can see the actual designs created by the florists and pay local pricing without any service fees. Sweet!

Curious what eles BloomNation has to offer?

  • Quality: Every florist featured on BloomNation has received the company’s personal stamp of approval after being meticulously vetted.  Expect to find only the crème de la crème as BloomNation’s community of floral artisans design unique floral creations which can’t be found anywhere else on the web.
  • What You See is What You Get: While conventional floral wire sites post stock images which can be misleading (shoppers never really know what will get delivered), BloomNation’s shoppers are able to place their orders with confidence, viewing actual photos uploaded by that floral artisan and knowing exactly what their recipient’s bouquet will look like upon arrival.
  • Ease & Convenience: BloomNation has successfully created a new way to send flowers by taking the in-store floral experience online- giving shoppers the ease and efficiency of the web… with the personalized touch of a local florist. BloomNation’s state of the art platform makes it simple to compare designs, prices and trusted reviews all in one place.
  • Support Local Businesses/ No Service Fees: BloomNation has built a community that supports thousands of true local floral artisans across the country.  Shoppers  are now able to seamlessly and securely order gorgeous floral masterpieces directly from their local floral artisan, pay actual local prices, forgo those ridiculous $15 service fees and have peace of mind knowing their unique BloomNation orders will impress every time!

flowerI had the chance to order a beautiful bouquet, (from the couch in my pajamas!), and couldn’t believe the choices I had. It almost made it too difficult to chose but there was definitely something for everyone’s taste. And just for you I am able to share a special  20% off coupon code– Bloom20 – so you too can share a gorgeous bouquet with your Mom, our yourself, this Mother’s Day.

Don’t make a flower flop this Mother’s Day. Order a flower work of art that will leave her speechless!

Vino Anyone?

While this lassie loves to indulge in a pint (or two), I am also a huge fan of red wine. Since I do not drink soda or juice, a nice glass of red wine after a long day is a nice way to unwind and compliment dinner. Believe me, there is only so much water and coffee a lassie can drink! But with the chaotic and hectic life of a lacrosse/football mom, I don’t always have the time, nor patience, to let a bottle of wine breath properly. Thus, I am constantly relying on my Vinturi aerator. What? A Vinturi. Tell me more!

Wine Needs To Breathe

Wine needs to breathe. Wine which has been allowed to breathe tastes better. As wine breathes, it opens up, and releases its intended aromas and flavors. Traditionally, decanters were used to aerate wine. However, decanting is time consuming, cumbersome, and inconvenient. Vinturi delivers perfect aeration in the time it takes to pour a glass. The original wine aerator. Vinturi’s aeration is very effective at softening tannins which results in a much more pleasant finish. Any bitterness or bad aftertaste is reduced or eliminated.

Vinturi’s patented design speeds up this process with ease and convenience. Perfect aeration in the time it takes to pour a glass. (insert a happy lassie smile)

We love to entertain, and since we love to entertain, we love the classic and stylish presentation the Vinturi Wine Tower offers. I love the fact that it offers hands-free aeration and is easy for anyone to use without fear of dropping the aerator. (gasp) Did I mention it is easy to clean and store all while looking amazingly gorgeous on my counter-top? Oh, it does.

What? Now you want your own Vinturi Aerator? Well then, read on!

I am offering one reader a delectable red wine aerator. Here is what you do to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will pick a winner on Friday October 19. Good Luck!!

How To Use the PaloVia Laser

A quick little “How-To” video about the PaloVia Laser. I am in week three of using the laser and wanted to share how easy it is to use at home. The PaloVia Laser is the first FDA approved at-home laser clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. This laser also received Allure’s 2011 Breakthrough Award. Stay tuned for more on my adventures to crow free eyes!

 

*PaloVia supplied me with a laser to use and review.*

Laughing Away Laugh Lines

Well, it has been just over a week and I have to honestly say that I am noticing a difference. Are the lines around my eyes completely gone? No. (bummer) Can you still see them when I smile? Yes. (sigh)

BUT, they are not as deep as they used to be. AND, it has only been one week. The impatient side of me wanted my wrinkles fixed last year. The Irish impatient side of me wanted the PaloVia laser to zap those nasty eye wrinkles away permanently after the first try.  Are these reasonable demands? Well, no. But as I stated previously, I am noticing a difference. Even if it doesn’t keep up with my non-realistic demands.

Curious how it works? I will be posting a “How To” video this weekend. The whole treatment every night only takes three to four minutes, which is a huge reason why it is an easy addition to your night time regime. Even better than the fact that it is not overly time consuming – it is super easy to do! The added bonus is that it is only every night for the first month, then you just have to do maintanence once or twice a week. Super easy!

I also realized that I forgot to mention that the amazing peeps at PaloVia were kind enough to send me a laser to try and will be flying me, and my fellow laser-ettes, to New York for a fabulous photo shoot of our progress. Here’s to no wrinkles by New York!

 

A Wrinkle In Time

Sigh…. wrinkles. We all have them. Ok, maybe not all of us, but this lassie does! I like to consider them laugh lines, love lines, heck even happy lines. But in all truth – I wish they would go away. I am the first to admit that I love to soften the look of my crows feet and forehead lines when editing pictures. That simple act of camouflage makes me looks years younger. I have jars of various creams, lotions and gels that promise to erase the signs of aging. While some may work a little or for a short time, I have not had any luck finding my youthful eyes of the past.

I will also admit that there is part of me that may have researched Botox a few times. Sadly, the females in my family age in their eyes first. They become sunken and crinkly (yes, crinkly is a word) And while I found that trait adorable on my Grandmother, I do not find it so adorable when it is looking back at me in the mirror. Let me share Exhibit A.

Yikes that is hard to see all blown up and amplified!  I am fighting every inch of me that wants to throw this picture in Picnik and ‘fix’ those awful things. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Thankfully, I will have the pleasure of trying the PaloVia – Skin Renewing Laser. Did you know it was voted the Best of Beauty Award Winner in 2011 by Allure? PaloVia is also the first FDA-cleared, at-home laser clinically proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

I am excited to put this product to the test and document my journey. I can’t wait to make my crows feet a thing of the past! See ya later wrinkles!

I Just Wanna Run

Love that it is so warm I can run outside in the forrest preserve. Reminds me of running in Poland woods.
I have a secret. Something that, if you knew me now you would never believe. Before I had kids, I hated running. Kind of ironic since I play soccer, but running just to run – not finding the love. I would play double header games, join any pick up game I could find and run with a ball forever, but something about just me, my thoughts and the open road was not inviting to me. Till one day, I made myself do it. Now, I can’t go a day without it.

Of course, every woman athlete needs proper equipment. Following a great pair of shoes is a great working spots bra. I am thankful that I am not overly top heavy so I typically do not have too much difficulty finding a sports bra that works for me. What I do struggle with is finding one that doesn’t get completely drenched and gross during my workout. (sorry for the visual)

Jockey recently released their Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra and was kind enough to let me try it out. The bra had some nice added features such as a reflective logo and a key pocket for your gym key. The bra is made with 93% polyester and 7% spandex which did a great job at keeping me dry but did not have all the flexibility I want in a bra. Flexibility? What on earth are you talking about Kat?  I have broad shoulders and in broad, I mean man shoulders, thanks to years and years of swimming. The straps of my bra were digging in my shoulders no matter how much I pulled and tugged. I also found the bra difficult to get on and off. Believe me, I know what you are thinking – Seriously Kat, you can’t get a bra on or off??  But I think the material does not allow a lot of extra movement room (flexibility) so you are left looking quite silly trying to get it on an off. Though I will say it did an amazing job at keeping me dry and cool during my workout, even if I wasn’t comfortable.

Even better than an amazing sports bra is one that doesn’t smell like a sports bra. Jockey teamed up with Purex Crystals to release their new natural fabric softener. Did you know that regular fabric softeners contain oils that prevent your sportswear from wicking if you use it in the wash? Yikes! Well fear no more!  Purex Crystals are 92% natural and keep your clothes smelling fresh for weeks.  I am a huge fan and have been using it since it came out last year. While I was a die hard Spring Waters fan, the sample I received, Tropical Splash, has won over the noses of my boys.

Now the best part – I get to share the love with you! Tell me what you look for most in a sports bra and you could win a Jockey Tech Terry Performance Sports Bra and a bottle of Purex Crystals. Tweet about the giveaway and you will earn another entry. (Just be sure to add the url to your tweet and your email address in the comment section!) I will randomly pick a winner on January 27th.

You can also try out Jockey’s amazing sport line and get  20% off your next Jockey order—courtesy of Purex Crystals. I am a huge fan of their running and yoga pants. Believe me, you can’t go wrong!

 

**Jockey and Purex provided free samples of their products so I could review them. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.**

Spreading A Wee Bit of Holiday Cheer

With Halloween next week and Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am blatantly reminded that I need to get my Christmas cards ordered so they will get in the mail on time. With many of our friends and family out of state, I love to send yearly Christmas cards to remind them that we are thinking of them. Even better then sending cards is receiving cards, especially photo Christmas cards!  I love seeing how all my family and friends kiddos change in one year. And friends who have just had babies – you had better put that adorable chubby face on a card!

Last year we opted for Shutterfly’s card that had a 2010 Tope Ten List and room for pictures. It was the annual letter and pictures all rolled into one. According to our recipients, it was a big hit.

As I have begun browsing for this year, I am drawn once again to the holiday story cards. So far, this is the top on my list:

christmas cardFollowed closely by this gorgeous beauty:

Shutterfly Christmas cardsShutterfly also offers great photo gifts for family members that live far away. One year we surprised the grand parents with photo magnets of the kids and the next year a mousepad with their big smiling faces. It is a great way to remind them they are loved, even though you can’t see them everyday.

And since I am feeling festive, I am going to gove three of my readers 25 free Shutterfly Holiday or Christmas cards.  All YOU have to do is leave your email in the comment section. Easy enough! I will pick a winner on November 6th and email the winners their promo codes. Even better – if you are a blogger and don’t win one of my fabulous prize packs, you can register here for 25 free cards!

But before you go… do you like choice A or choice B more? Come on, help a lassie out!

* *I was compensated for this post with free products from Shutterfly, but the opinions and true love of their product is solely my own.**

 

SELF’s Workout in the park

SELF workout in the parkWhat do you get when you combine great music, energized women and a warm sunny day? Why SELF”s Workout in the Park of course!

Every year SELF hosts Workout in the Park, a place for women to bond, experience community and try some killer new workouts. Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser and author of “The Mommy Diet” even made guest appearances in San Francisco and Chicago. She even jumped right in and kicked off the day with a little sexy stretching… growl!

After a little stretching it was down to business. The music got louder and the workouts intensified. Throughout the day I was able to tone, tighten and discover muscles I never knew I had. I got to try a wide variety of exercise techniques and programs, my favorite being Masala Bhangra. Bali Bali! I was able to get my body beach ready, went back in time for some Retro-Robics  and finished up the day dancing away calories with Glee Club. I burned over 1200 calories and had a blast doing it!

Oh, and did I mention the sponsors? Workout in the Park had a team of top notch sponsors such as Athleta, euphoria by Calvin Klein, Asics, Garnier, Jockey, Lucy and Crunch – just to name a few. At the booths you could sample products, try on shoes and work out wear and even get a hair color consultation!

Workout in the Park is a great way to jump start you excitement to workout. It opened my eyes that there really is more to working out than running, though I do still have a passion to hit the pavement. Sometimes all you need is a little variety to keep you motivated and healthy.

Thank you SELF and I will definitely see you next year!

 

*Thank you One2One Network for giving me the opportunity to get off my couch and get my workout on. And while One2One purchased my ticket, the calories burned, sweat and good times had were strictly my own.*

Freschetta by the slice

FRESCHETTA® By The Slice Vegetable Medley

Well, the makers of Freschetta delicious pizzas are at it again! This time on a slightly smaller scale. Let me introduce you to Freschetts By The Slice. Freschetta By The Slice serves up the perfect slice of pizza, one slice at a time.  Even better – you can make in in minutes in your microwave.

Freschetta was nice enough to send me a coupon to try their new pizza, and being the pizza lover that I am, I jumped at the chance. I opted for the vegetable medley. As you can see from the picture above, the vegetables look freshly cut and taste just as good.

I will admit, I was a bit hesitant at the thought of microwave pizza. I was concerned it would be soggy, lack taste and just not be the same as a freshly baked pizza. I am happy to say I was terribly wrong! After popping the pizza in the microwave for a few minutes I had a freshly baked piece of pizza. The crust was crispy, the vegetables were fresh and the taste – YUM! I was also thankful that there was only one slice because I think I can guarantee that I would have eaten the whole pizza.

While I am also not typically a fan of microwave dinners, I did really like the fact that I could have a piece of pizza with my toppings as a quick meal before running the boys tho their sport practices. Great taste, great price, great pizza, what more can you ask for?

*Disclosure: The awesome folks at Freschetta provided me with a product for this review but the opinions, thoughts and constant pizza cravings are strictly my own.*

Advil

advil-congestion-relief

With Spring just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to the warmer weather, blooming flowers and melting snow. While Spring does have a lot of positives, it also means cold and sinus season. Tissues anyone?

While I am one to suffer from Spring allergies, I am also one who is plagued by Spring colds. Colds + allergies = one sad little lassie. I spend most of the spring season sniffling, sneezing and trying to blow my stuffy nose.

Well, fear no more! Advil® to the rescue. Advil® Congestion Relief combines the power of Advil® and an effective decongestant, to provide relief from sinus pressure, nasal swelling, congestion, and headaches. Just what this lassie needs! Did you know that ost nasal congestion is caused by nasal inflammation? Crazy isn’t it? That explains why no matter how much I blow – my nose is still ALWAYS stuffy. Advil® Congestion Relief is the right sinus medicine for the real problem – congestion!

So be prepared for this allergy and cold season by stocking up on Advil® Congestion Relief. You can find it in the cold aisle of your local drug or grocery store. Your nose will thank you for it!

 

**This post was written in conjunction with the One2One Network.