Saturday, August 31, 2013

Join in National Childhood Injury Prevention Week with Energizer! #Giveaway

Did you know that tomorrow marks the start of National Childhood Injury Prevention Week? I'm all for anything that brings attention to preventing child injury, so I am very excited to share this news with you. Child injury isn't just the big things that you often think about, but many little things that get overlooked. For example, have you ever considered that your battery packaging may not be safe for children? Let me explain...

I received a package of Energizer Coin Lithium Batteries (our family commonly calls them watch batteries) and a package of competitor coin lithium batteries, so I could see the difference in packaging. After just a quick glance, I knew the Energizer were much safer to be laying around the house (although I would recommend not leaving them within reach of children just to be safe), but I took it a step further. No, I didn't give them to the kids to try and open! Even though the competitor packaging says it is child-safe, I had the package ripped open and the batteries out within 30 seconds of ripping at the package. When I turned my energies to the Energizer package...I could see from the start that it was a waste of time! Energizer "watch batteries" are sealed in a plastic package, rather than the cardboard that so easily rips open. I seriously wasted my time, trying to get the package open without scissors or my pocketknife! 

If you have children in your home at all-whether your own or a friend's child-I recommend you start stocking your house with Energizer batteries! Be sure to follow Energizer's 4 S's of battery safety:

·         STORE devices that use coin lithium batteries out of reach of children
·         SECURE the battery compartments of devices
·         SELECT battery packaging that meets federal guidelines for child resistance, such as Energizer’s coin lithium battery packaging
·         SHARE this information with your friends and family

And, If it is suspected that a child has swallowed a coin lithium battery, it is important to go to the emergency department immediately. For more information on child safety and coin lithium battery safety, please visit 

I also received a couple other items with my Child Injury Prevention pack; a Cars LED Nightlight, Energizer Weatheready 2-in-1 LED Light, and a gift card to go shopping for some safety items in the home. One item already added to my shopping list is some outlet covers, as we seem to have lost a couple over the past few months. The nightlight will be very beneficial in our hallway, for when the children make a bathroom run in the middle of the night-this way they aren't stumbling around in the dark. My personal favorite though, is the 2-in-1 LED Light. This will be so handy for when the electricity goes out, or durig our camping trips. Just yesterday power went out twice in a nearby city, because of the heat! If that happens, we're prepared now. I love that I can use it as an actual flashlight, or set it up as a lantern-style light. Perfect for storm season, when we're often left without power for hours on end!

One of my readers will receive an Energizer Child Injury Prevention Pack!!
Includes: 2 Packages Energizer Coin Lithium Batteries
1 LED Nightlight (choice of Cars or Sleeping Beauty)
1 Weatheready 2-in-1 LED Light

Friday, August 30, 2013

ATG Stores is an Online Shopping Superstore!!

Over the past couple years, I have really come to enjoy shopping online. There's usually a much better variety and selection online, plus I like being able to read reviews on the items I am considering purchasing. Recently I discovered ATG Stores, and quickly discovered that this is an all-in-one shopping site! ATG Stores is a Lowe's company (our family's favorite home improvement store by the way), and they sell everything from appliances, furniture, outdoor accessories, lights, flooring and tools, to bedding, towels, cookware, pet products, and luggage. Basically, anything you need for your home-you can find at ATG Stores! 

ATG Stores sent me a gift code to go shopping for my review, and I spent a few days browsing before placing my order. There is just so much to choose from! I finally ordered 2 items; a Pro Appliances Home Image 2.4 Liter Steamer, and a Brentwood Appliances 2-Speed Hand Blender.

The Hand Blender is something I've been looking at getting a for a little while now. We make smoothies and frappuccinos quite a bit, and I knew one of these would come in handy. Not to mention making soup as the weather gets cooler (hopefully pretty soon, too!). I was impressed that for $30.00, you can get a hand blender with stainless steel blades. Many of these come with plastic blades that don't last, and won't crush ice, period. The day the blender arrived, I set about mixing up some frappuccinos. I poured all the ingredients into a pitcher, and turned the blender on high. I was so impressed! WIthin seconds, the ice was crushed and everything was blended together for a perfectly-made frappuccino! Since that first use, I have made more frappuccinos and smoothies with this, and it is perfect for what I wanted. The stainless steel blades are amazing, and because they're not plastic, I am sure they will last a good long time!

The Pro Appliances Steamer is another amazing addition to our kitchen. We're trying to incorporate more veggies and healthy meats (not fried) in our diet, so this is an easy way to accomplish that goal. For my first trial, I steamed a couple chicken breasts for dinner. It actually took less time to steam a breast than it would have to cook in the oven, and it was so much more tender and moist! I was able to toss a sprig of rosemary in the steamer as well, and that gave the chicken a wonderful herbed flavor. A couple days later we steamed some broccoli, and again, it turned out perfect. This will definitely be seeing a lot of use for steamed veggies and meats!

After my experience with ATG Stores, I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for any sort of home furnishing, appliance, or smaller items. The service is fast and friendly, and they have free shipping on orders over $29.99! 

Disclaimer: I received product in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are mine. I was not required to post favorably about the company or products.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Perfect Jewelry From Bullet Designs!! #Giveaway #Guns

I like wearing jewelry that reflects who I am, and what I like. For example, one of my favorite pieces to wear, is a simple pendant with a TaeKwonDo design on it. However, a couple weeks ago I received some new jewelry that immediately made it to my favorites collection! Bullet Designs is exactly what it sounds like. A store that turns fired bullets into some of the most beautiful jewelry and accessories you've ever seen!

I received a Necklace, Ring and Earrings from the Fire and Ice collection, and they are simply breathtaking. The necklace is my favorite, hands-down. The 40 caliber bullet is surrounded by crystals, and hangs from a snake chain. The beauty of this necklace is that while it's simple enough to pair with denim and a tee, it's also stunning enough to accessorize an evening gown! I love the bullet feature, because I love to shoot, and this is a wonderful way to reflect my interests with a simple piece of jewelry! 

The ring features the same design as the necklace, but I really like the stretchy band. This means it's pretty much one size fits all. Which is great, because M enjoys wearing it too, and it actually fits both of us!

Now, for the last piece in the collection I received-Fire and Ice Bullet Earrings. I don't personally wear earrings, so I decided to do a giveaway with these instead. Anybody up for some absolutely gorgeous earrings made from recycled bullets? Here's your chance! If you don't win, be sure to check out Bullet Designs; the prices are super reasonable, and this is truly one-of-a-kind jewelry!

One of my readers will receive a pair of Fire and Ice Bullet Earrings!!

Taking Care Of Your Muscles

People rely on their muscles every day to do even the simplest activities, and it is very important that they work well. Because your muscles do so much for you, you should return the favor by taking good care of them. They will then work better for you and you can avoid a lot of pain. Take good care of your muscles through stretching and going to to see what muscle rollers you can get.

Muscle Care: Stretching

Stretching is very important for keeping your muscles loose and flexible. The more flexible you are, the less chance there is that you will pull a muscle and injure yourself. You should lightly stretch before you do any exercise of any kind. Do not stretch too far; just lightly prepare your muscles. This will get them ready to be used. After you exercise, you should stretch more thoroughly. Because your muscles are still warm right after exercise, it is the perfect time to stretch them out and get more flexible. Smoothly stretch your muscles until you can feel it. It may be slightly uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. Hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds before you switch to the next one. The more often you stretch after exercise, the more flexible you will get and the further you will be able to stretch. Do not leave any muscle groups out; you should stretch your legs, arms and core to keep your body in good condition. 

Muscle Care: Muscle Rollers

When you visit or another site that sells muscle rollers, you can find a roller to use on your own muscles. These rollers, when used on a muscle, will massage it deep into the tissue. This will help you recover quickly if you have any injuries, and it can also help keep your muscles relaxed. You will not need to worry about any painful knots in your muscles because the roller will work them out. Find one online that will work for you and use it on a regular basis to keep your muscles in great condition. 

This is a guest post provided for the enjoyment of Hope's Cafe readers.
**DISCLOSURE: This is a guest post in part with Bucks2Blog. *

Three Tips For Buying A New Car

Buying a new car can be exciting. At the same time, there are so many possibilities that VW dealers can present to you that it can become overwhelming. Without much prior thought, many people drive away with a shiny new car only to realize two weeks later that they bought the wrong car. You can avoid problems like this by preparing for your shopping experience long before you ever test-drive a car. Following are three tips for preparing to buy a new car:
  • Determine what you want before you shop.
  • Arrange financing for your vehicle.
  • Shop on strategic days.
Determine Your Needs
Determining what type of car you need and want can be a difficult decision. Preconceived ideas and miscommunication all interfere with the right purchase. It is important to analyze your needs and have frank conversations with your spouse about the car you need. Realize, too, that as your lifestyle changes, so do your transportation needs. For instance, when you had children that needed transporting to soccer games, you might have needed an SUV. But, when the children are gone and you are commuting to work, the SUV might be too big and expensive to drive. 

Arrange Financing for Your Vehicle
You will secure better financing if you arrange for it before you start shopping. Use the following process to figure out your financing:
  1. Analyze your budget and decide on how much you can comfortably afford in a monthly payment.
  2. Use online loan calculators to translate your monthly payment into a loan amount. The online calculators can adjust for items such as taxes, interest rates, and down payments.
  3. Remember that the cost of any add-ons that you purchase from the auto dealership will be added to the total loan amount and will lower the amount you can spend on the car itself. Add-ons include such things as new stereo systems, protective coatings on your upholstery and paint, etc.
  4. Shop around for the best interest rate you can find and get prequalified from that lending institution.

Shop on Strategic Days
If possible, time your shopping so that you take advantage of strategic days when VW dealers are more interested in selling cars. Better days for shopping include rainy days, days at the end of the month, and days in the winter.
This is a guest post provided for the enjoyment of Hope's Cafe readers.
**DISCLOSURE: This is a guest post in part with Bucks2Blog. *

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tae Kwon Do Tournament Results!!

I think I mentioned on here a couple weeks ago that we were competing in a TaeKwonDo tournament. Well, it was this past weekend, and I am absolutely amazed at how we did! We've been taking TKD class for almost 6 months now, so I honestly didn't think we'd do all that well. I was extremely nervous Saturday morning upon arrival, but after warming up a little in the corner, I settled down some. M and M were the first 2 to compete, because of their age. The older M took 3rd in her weapons division, and 1st in her empty-hand forms division! She was actually competing against higher belt levels in both of these divisions, and scored a 9.99 in empty-hand, which means a perfect form! The younger M won 1st in weapons, and while she didn't place in her empty-hand form division, she was also competing against children both older and at a much higher belt level than herself. I thought she did better than some of those who placed, but maybe I'm just biased-although out instructor said she should have placed too, so maybe not! E and I were both in the same weapons division, so that added an extra spice to the competition. I placed 1st and he took 2nd, with only .1 between our scores! Thankfully we were in separate divisions on empty-hand forms, and we each took second. 

I wasn't real concerned about sparring; I honestly only participated in this category because our instructor had encouraged us to. I mainly prepared for weapons and forms, so I was surprised when I took 1st place in sparring as well! E was up against a higher belt level who obviously spends a lot of time sparring, so he didn't place, but did very well especially for his first time out. Needless to say, we all had a great time, and were thrilled with the results!
M in her weapons form

Goofing around with another student from our dojo
Little M's form

And, if you're not bored by's a video of my weapons form, called Toko Mini.

Friday, August 23, 2013

One-Of-A-Kind Cologne From Demeter Fragrances!!

For years I have been talking about how wonderful it would be to find a perfume with a coffee fragrance. I had searched the internet, and reviews of the very few coffee perfumes I found, left me unwilling to purchase a bottle of said perfumes. A few weeks ago however, I stumbled onto Demeter Fragrances, touted as one of the largest fragrance libraries. Of course my first stop was to search for coffee, and when I saw the Espresso fragrance, I was so excited!

Demeter Fragrances sent me 1 ounce cologne sprays in both Espresso and Earl Grey fragrances. When they arrived, I could not resist spraying the Espresso scent immediately. It was amazing! This is a bold scent, that makes you feel like you just walked into a coffee shop. Literally. It is a great scent for mornings, or an afternoon pick-me-up. Without the calories. Honestly, if you are a coffee lover, you will also love this fragrance. A couple sprays lasts for quite a while, and I just spritz a little more in the afternoon to refresh the scent. I absolutely love it!

The Earl Grey is also a new favorite. When I started drinking Earl Grey tea a couple years ago, I fell in love with the scent as well as the taste. So, when I discovered that I could wear that fragrance, I was excited. It really does smell just like Earl Grey tea-when you catch a whiff, it's just like you're adding tea leaves to a pot. There's a slight hint more citrus than I get from my personal favorite brand of Earl Grey tea, but I think it makes it perfect for summer. Again, anyone who loves the drink-will love this cologne spray!

Demeter has literally hundreds of unique scents, and if there's something you've always wanted as a perfume-check them out! Have you ever wanted a perfume that smelled like Devil's Food Cake, Cotton Candy, Leather, Chocolate Chip Cookie, or Licorice? How about something a little more unique; Laundromat, Lava Rock, Crayon, Bubble Gum or Popcorn? Demeter Fragrances has all of these and so many more!! 

Demeter is giving one of my readers an Earl Grey Cologne Spray!!

Send The Right People and Hire The Right Trainer

When a company like ChillCo, Inc. provides training to help repair vital equipment, your business should take advantage of it. No matter what type of equipment you have in your business, it is important to have employees who can repair and maintain it. Not only does this save your company money in terms of emergency calls, it also helps build your team into a stronger problem solving unit. The benefits far outweigh the initial costs of training.
Who to Train?
The question of who to train depends on your philosophy as a business. The first thing you want to consider is who is capable of learning what you need them to know. Most people are capable of learning new skills if they have enough time and enough faith in themselves when it comes to the subject. However, as a company, it is not your responsibility to give your people confidence in skills that they could do well with. It is your job to choose those who will excel with the least amount of work and cash outlay possible.
It is important to recognize that training that takes place offsite will be seen as a bigger benefit, especially if the people have to fly to get there. This may influence your decision on who to train. Even if you decide to train a group of people, it may be better to take them off the work site, so that work does not interfere with the training.
You will always want to have three trained people on staff. Known as three deep, this is the same philosophy that people who work in disaster preparedness use when considering leadership positions. While two people may be coincidentally out of the area at the time that you will need them, it is rare for all three people to be away at the same time.
Find the Right Trainer
You need to make sure that you hire the right trainer for any training that your company leads. A company like ChillCo, Inc. would be great for training on large tonnage chillers, but you might want to hire the Red Cross to train your team in CPR and first aid.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hide The Years With HTY Gold Skincare! #Giveaway

So, I know I'm not quite to the age where I need to start worrying about anti-aging skincare. But, I do believe that taking preventative measures now, will help me maintain more youthful skin throughout my entire life. Even if you're not looking specifically for anti-aging skincare, I believe that if you try HTY Gold-you will be hooked!

I received a jar of Night Gold for my review. Night Gold is a cream designed (obviously) for use before bed. It is a very intensive formula, and is super-rich. I'm talking absolutely loaded with all kinds of beneficial ingredients-rare super red palm oleins, avocado oil, and evening primrose oil are just a few! I love the fact that even though the cream is so rich, it's not heavy when applied to the skin. It absorbs quickly, leaving the skin refreshed and moisturized, but not feeling greasy or like you have gunk weighing down your skin. Honestly, the anti-aging benefits are great, and you have the added bonus of a beautiful moisturizer as well! A little bit goes a long way too, and I imagine this jar will last for quite some time. HTY Gold is the place to shop if you want to hide the years from your skin!

"NIGHT GOLD® is an intensive patented formulation of rare, super red palm oleins, designed to restore and replenish the skin on the face and neck while you sleep. NIGHT GOLD® cream absorbs quickly and deeply into the skin, fighting free radicals that cause cellular damage."

One of my readers will receive a jar of Night Gold!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Shopping At Cafe Press Is Fun!!

Cafe Press is my all time favorite place to shop online. Whether it's a gift for a family member, a special treat for myself, or maybe a custom t-shirt for a special occasion, I LOVE Cafe Press! If you've never shopped their site, I suggest you head over there soon-you're sure to find something (probably plenty of somethings) to buy! So, when I was offered the chance to review a Throw Blanket from Cafe Press, I was thrilled. Especially when I saw the collection of TaeKwonDo-themed blankets they had available. I finally chose the TaeKwonDo Technique design, and waited anxiously for the blanket to arrive. When it did, I realized again just why I think Cafe Press is so awesome!

The throw blanket is, first of all, super soft. It's 100% polyester fleece, and is absolutely perfect for snuggling on the couch with a good book on a rainy evening, or to bring on road trips when we turn the a/c up too high and one of the children inevitably gets cold! It's plenty large as well; 50x60, so there's no concern about not having enough blanket to go around. Of course, what makes this blanket so special, is the design. Here's a picture of my new favorite blanket so you can see for yourself.

And if you can't read all the text there, it says "Technique: The ability to place my foot against the side of your head. Speed: The factor that prevents you from doing anything about it. Power: The reason you are laying on the ground."
Yes, I know martial arts are not about beating people up and fighting all the time, but I thought this phrase was kind of cute! 

If you're looking for a custom t-shirt, blanket, tote bag, hat, bumper sticker...the list goes on and sure to check out Cafe Press. If they don't already have a design you like, you can choose to create your own! They also run specials quite frequently, so be sure to sign up for the Cafe Press email newsletter (bottom of the homepage), or "like" Cafe Press on Facebook!

Friday, August 16, 2013

iCoffee- A Revolutionary Coffee Maker! #ilovecoffee

With a show of hands, how many of my readers are coffee drinkers? In case you can't see, both my hands are raised! It's actually pretty funny; I hated coffee until I was about 18, when our Pastor's wife brought me to Starbucks for the first time, and introduced me to frappuccinos-blended ice coffee drinks. That got me hooked, and while I don't go to Starbucks much any more (I just can't justify spending $5.00 on a frappuccino very often) I do drink a cup of coffee almost daily. My personal favorite over the summer is iced vanilla coffee, but I love trying different flavors and combinations. So, when I heard about the iCoffee Brewer, and had the opportunity to review one of these machines, I jumped at the chance! Before I share my experience with iCoffee, here's some information on why iCoffee is better than any other brewing system.

"Remington shares the coffee lover’s passion for exquisite coffee flavor. Watch through the BrewViewTM window as iCoffee’s SteamBrew technology utilizes six rotational water jets to completely surround, suspend, stir and steam your favorite coffee in piping hot water ensuring that the bitter acidic oils produced by conventional brewing is, fortunately, a thing of the past. Conventional drip brewers waste a lot of coffee because only a portion of the grounds are actually subject to being brewed properly. The crater formed in the drip brew basket’s spent grounds is evidence that a portion of the hot water did not completely and adequately contact all of the coffee grounds. The iCoffee SteamBrew technology ensures that all the coffee is evenly and fully exposed to the perfect brewing conditions allowing more extraction of your favorite coffee. This saves up to 15% on coffee usage, while maintaining strength and exquisite flavor."

Now that you have a little information about iCoffee, here are my thoughts. Upon opening my new iCoffee brewer, I was impressed with the design and look of the machine. It's very classy looking, and will look great in any kitchen. However, appearances aren't everything-I've used some really nice-looking brewers that don't deliver great taste. So, I wasted no time in sanitizing my machine and starting a pot of coffee brewing. According to instructions, I used a little less coffee grounds, as the steaming and stirring provides better flavor with less coffee. I admit, I stood and watched the entire brewing process the first time, just because it's so different! 

iCoffee on the left, our old coffeemaker on the right. I definitely choose iCoffee!
The iCoffee filter, which means no need to purchase disposable filters anymore-even more money saved!
Filter pops in easily
Easily fill to the correct level
Add your coffee grounds

As the water heats and drips into the filter area, the grounds are stirred up, ensuring that all the grounds are used. And, because the grounds are steamed during the process, the resulting coffee has none of that bitter and acid-y taste.  All this I learned after drinking my first cup of coffee from the iCoffee machine. I added my normal sweetener and creamer, and tasted a sip of very delicious coffee! I was quite impressed! The iCoffee made some of the smoothest coffee I've tasted, with about 2/3 of the amount of grounds I would normally use. This not only makes better coffee, it saves you even more money by requiring less coffee! I can now have gourmet coffee at home, at a fraction of the cost! I am now a firm believer in the technology of, and a huge fan of, the iCoffee brewing system!! Here's a short video so you can see how the SteamBrew technology works:

For more information on iCoffee, visit their website, or check out the iCoffee indiegogo page, where you can order your iCoffee brewer (and get a pre-release delivery!) or sign up to get iCoffee launch news! Hurry up though; the iCoffee indiegogo campaign ends tonight at midnight!