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Get ready for spring with flirty florals and holiday decor

 

Spring! It’s FINALLY here, although you wouldn’t know it because right now it’s cold and dreary outside. That’s OK. I know that sunny skies and warmer temperatures are going to be here soon.

I’ve been ready for spring for weeks now. I have been slowly replacing items in my wardrobe with warmer weather items. I’ve packed away my boots, sweatpants and heavy coat. I more clothes around in my closet so current seasonal clothing is in the front (easier to access) and out of season clothing and accessories are in the back of the closet.

I have also been adding some spring-like decor around our home so that we can get into the warmer weather mindset. No more snowmen. Instead I have out my Easter bunnies and artificial (but very realistic looking) floral arrangements.

I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE shopping for seasonal decor at T.J. Maxx. It’s my “go-to” destination for decorations, accessories and more.

I haven’t had a chance to swing by my local T.J. Maxx yet, but last year I pick up some adorable Easter decorations for our home.

Are they not the cutest bunnies? I love them!

I’m excited to see what other goodies T.J. Maxx has for Spring/Easter this year. I was hoping to stop by this weekend but I’ve been “under the weather” for a while now and I haven’t been able to get out much except to go into work.

What I love about T.J. Maxx is that every time I visit they always have new items available. There is always something new to discover.

A word to the wise – if you see something you love don’t wait to buy it. It might not be available the next time you go.

T.J. Maxx doesn’t just have Easter decorations. They also have lovely decor for the spring as well as every day (non-seasonal) items, accessories and decor.

If you are looking to jazz up your spring wardrobe too, look no further than T.J. Maxx. T.J. Maxx is literally your “one stop shop” for home accessories, clothing, shoes, handbags and so much more.

I have been trying to lose weight. I have lost about 40+ pounds the past few months. I am about 34 pounds away from what I was when I got married. Yeah me!

My “goal” is to at least fit into something that doesn’t contain a lot of “X’s” in it (meaning no XXL, XXXL and so forth). I’ll even settle for just one “X” (XL), but ideally no X’s.

I have been hesitant to buy a new wardrobe because I am still trying to lose weight. Once I get to a comfortable place (I have a target weight in mind) I’ll donate my bigger clothes and shop for a new wardrobe. For the time being I am just buying a new article of clothing here and there when I need it.

When I do finally need to replace my wardrobe I am heading over to T.J. Maxx. There I can find fashionable, trendy clothing at great prices.

They even carry designer labels.

My daughter loves to come with me to T.J. Maxx so she can oogle over the designer bags. She’s a “bag-o-holic.” She can’t have enough bags. LOL!

To find a TJ Maxx location near you visit TJMaxx.com. You can also check out T.J. Maxx on social media.

Do you shop at TJ Maxx? Do you like to switch up your home’s decor to reflect the seasons? Are you looking to jazz up your spring wardrobe?

Kimberly

“I received a gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Book review – My Little Leprechaun

 

Can you believe that St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Seriously… wasn’t it just New Year’s Day? Valentine’s Day seems like it was yesterday. Sigh… time flies way too quickly.

St. Patrick’s Day seems to be more of an adult holiday. It’s not something that most kids (especially little one) look forward to. That is unless you make it something fun to look forward to.

When my kids were little (elementary school age), they used to try and capture a leprechaun on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. Each year the came up with a new and inventive way to capture the mischievous little fellas.

So that their creative efforts were no in vain, I would sneak into their room at night (or where ever their trap was laid out) and disrupt it. I would knock things over and make it look like the leprechaun was at one point trapped (then escaped) or nearly trapped. In addition I would sprinkle a little bit of green glitter in the area. The glitter eventually ended up all over the place because my kids would make a mess of it.

I also left a little gift behind (from the lucky leprechaun of course) which were usually stickers or some kind of a small St. Patrick’s Day toy (I would find goodies at the local dollar store) or green beads/necklaces.

I think it’s fun for little kids to think that jolly little leprechauns come out to play on St. Patrick’s Day. As an adult I think it would be both fun (and perhaps a little creepy) to see these legendary creatures in person.

What happens if you are are lucky enough to catch a leprechaun? In the book, My Little Leprechaun, a little boy finds out the hard way what can happen.

The book was written by a seven year old boy name Levi Johnson (co-authored by his mom Christa Johnson). The book is based on a short story that Levi write all by himself.

The book is illustrated by Rabia Gelgi.

In the book My Little Leprechaun, a young boy finds a leprechaun in his back yard and was able to capture it using a trap he devised.

Initially the leprechaun was fun to have around, but the young boy soon realizes there is a good reason why people shouldn’t capture leprechauns.

This is a fun bed time book that parents or grandparents can read to their child and get them excited about St. Patrick’s Day. Parents can even use this fun book as a segue into creating a trap together to capture a leprechaun (a fun bonding experience to bring the family together). Although after reading about what mischievous things leprechauns do when you capture one of their own, you might not want to capture one. Ha Ha.

The story is accompanied with darling illustrations too, which really add to the story.

For more information about this book, you can visit the official website, MyLittleLeprechaun.com.

You can purchase the book on Amazon too.

Does your family celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you have any fun traditions that you do together? Have you ever tried to capture a leprechaun?

The authors: Levi & Christa Johnson

Kimberly

*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Adorable Easter goodies from Koh’s Cares

 

I know that Valentine’s Day just passed, but it’s time to look ahead to upcoming holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) and Easter (April 16th). St. Patrick’s Day is not much of a kid’s holiday (I think that one adults celebrate the most), but Easter sure is. Easter is definitely a family holiday.

I wish my kids were young enough to enjoy Easter like they used to. I loved it when they believed in the Easter Bunny. They still enjoy Easter, but more so for Easter dinner and for whatever candy I give them.

Growing up I made sure NOT to stuff our kid’s Easter baskets full of candy. I know that Easter is all about the candy (when you are kid), but I didn’t want my kids to gorge themselves on a lot of candy, most especially because their grandparents always gave them A LOT of candy for Easter.

Instead of candy I would fill their Easter baskets with coloring books, a new box of crayons, reading books, small toys and some candy. One year both our kids got scooters for Easter (and a little bit of candy). My kids never complained about not have a basket overflowing with candy.

If you are in the market for some Easter basket ideas – check out what is new with Kohl’s Cares.

If you are not familiar with Kohl’s Cares it’s a special program that Kohl’s offers to consumers that helps to raise funds for children’s charities.

A few times each year, Kohl’s Cares offers consumers books, plush toys and other goodies for only $5.00 each. The proceeds from the sales of these products goes towards children’s charities. Kohl’s Cares donates 100% of the net profit to Kohl’s Cares charities that support kid’s health and education programs nationwide.

Since 2000 Kohl’s Cares has raised and impressive $257 million dollars. Talk about a “win-win” situation. You get wonderful products and the proceeds goes towards children’s charities.

I am a HUGE fan of the Kohl’s Cares program. I love that they are raising so much money for children’s charities. I also love the products available as part of the Kohl’s Cares program. I especially love their books and matching plush toys ($5.00 each). For only ten dollars you can have a wonderful gift for a child. The products available from Kohl’s Cares would also make great, affordable Easter basket stuffers.

Check out what is new from Kohl’s Cares.

These are just SOME of the products currently available in the Kohl’s Cares program.

The Dr. Seuss books are hardcover books. They sell for over $10+ elsewhere, but with Kohl’s Cares they are only $5.00.

The plush animals are super soft and snugly. Quality plush toys sold elsewhere are easily $10 – $20 each, but with Kohl’s Care they are only $5.00.

I love getting the book and matching plush toys and keep them for gifts. The “set” makes a perfect gift. It costs you only $10, but they look like you spent double, if not more, than that amount. Plus the proceeds goes towards children’s charities, so it’s a “win-win” situation.

Kohl’s Cares has a super adorable bunny with a small book for only $5.00. This would make a PERFECT addition to any Easter basket.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the photo I uploaded of the sweet bunny and adorable book.

I smile each and every time I look at him. The book is darling too.

I have a few of the current Kohl’s Cares products (Thidwick book and plush, Sneeches book and plush, Bunny and book and 100 Cool Simple Science Experiments). I donated the books and plush to a kindergarten program (the plush are used as “reading buddies”), which is why I don’t have a photo of them. They look exactly like they do on the website.

I work as a teacher’s assistant and I brought the science experiments book to work with me so that we can try some of the experiments with the kids. There are some super cool experiments in the book. I am looking forward to trying them out.

The bunny and book I kept for my family. The bunny will make a cute Easter decoration, and the book is a nice addition to my family’s library.

You can purchase Kohl’s Cares products on the Kohl’s website (Kohls.com). In addition they are also sold in stores. Look for them near the check out lines.

To find a Kohl’s location near you, visit their website. You can also look for Kohl’s coupons and promotional codes on places like Coupon Sherpa.

Kohl’s can also be found on social media. All of the links are found on their website.

Have you ever purchased (or received) a Kohl’s Cares product?

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

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10 Foods to Get You In the Mood This Valentine’s Day

 

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and instead of making reservations to some over-hyped trendy spot, stay in and prepare a “Lover’s Platter” full of indulgent aphrodisiacs. Pop some champagne, get that romantic playlist ready and feast onthese 10 foods to get you in the mood for love this Valentine’s Day. Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine gives us his interesting insights on these aphrodisiacs.

“Aphrodisiacs are foods that have certain chemical properties that could increase pheromones, estrogen of testosterone, estrogen, heightening our interest in sex,” explains Dr. Calapai.

To be considered a true aphrodisiac the substance must be consumed orally, must reliably increase libido or sexual desire and within minutes. Ok so what are these sexual super foods and what is it about them that lights the fire of desire?

  1. Oysters

One of the most infamous aphrodisiacs oysters are high in zinc and have a reputation for being great for fertility. Researchers have found that oysters contain amino acids that trigger production of sex hormones. “Oysters offer a lean source of protein to help give you energy all night long. In addition to offering the body zinc, which helps blood flow and nourish sperm, there’s scientific evidence that an amino acid found in oysters may directly raise sexual hormone levels,” says Dr. Calapai.

  1. Bananas

With their phallic shape, bananas already look tempting and sensual; but they also contain bromelain, an enzyme, which Dr. Calapai says, triggers testosterone production. The fruit’s potassium and vitamin B elevate energy levels and the high sugar content gives the brain a kick! Melt some chocolate to add some sexy decadence.

  1. Honey

Honey is made through pollination and secretions of many fertile bees worshipping their queen, just what every woman wants! Drizzled on certain body parts honey can be fun. It has a number of vitamins and it also contains boron, which helps regulate estrogen and testosterone levels and the sweet and sappy sweetness provides a natural energy boost.

  1. Watermelon

Packed with citrulline and lycopene, Watermelon may have a Viagra-like effect on the body, as it relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation. It may even prevent erectile dysfunction. It’s incredibly juicy, sexy and when dipped in chocolate is the perfect flavor explosion.

  1. Pine Nuts

High in energizing zinc and fatty acids, which has been linked to a healthy sex drive, pine nuts are also considered aphrodisiacs because of the effort required to procure these oily gems from pinecones.

  1. Arugula

This peppery tasting plant has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. “The bite of the aromatic leaf might get you in the mood and the minerals and antioxidants found in dark leafy greens like arugula have also been proven to block environmental contaminates that could negatively harm libido,” explains Dr. Calapai.

  1. Olive oil

Packed with antioxidants, olives and their oil have been used for centuries for health. The Greeks believed they made men more virile as well. “Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are critical for a healthy heart, smooth blood flow and stable hormone production, all needed to keep the brain, prostate and penis in good shape!” says Dr. Calapai.

  1. Figs

Eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the fig has forever paradoxically symbolized both sexuality (the ripe fruit with seeds representing fertility) and modesty (the fig leaf). They are full of potassium and are an antioxidant powerhouse, sweet and delicate when eaten.

  1. Pomegranate

These bright gems enclosed in a thick rose-colored husk are filled with tangy sweet antioxidants, which support blood flow and clear thought. One study by The Male Clinic in California found that pomegranate juice had a positive effect on erectile dysfunction.

  1. Chai Tea

Skip the coffee and end the night with a cup of Indian chai tea. The typical spices in this brew include ginger, cloves and cinnamon, all come from exotic places and certainly will get the blood flowing. Since it has almost no caffeine the stimulant effect is less than coffee allowing you and your lover to drift to sleep.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike TysonMickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

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Send a little love this Valentine’s Day from Teleflora

 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Sigh… seems like only yesterday we were counting down to the new year. Now we’re shopping for Valentine’s Day cards and gifts for that special someone in our life.

As much as some people hate to admit it, flowers are an essential part of Valentine’s Day. Roses seem to be the flower of choice, but there are plenty of other gorgeous flowers you could gift that special someone.

I enjoy receiving roses, but my favorite flower is a lilac, followed by daisies and sunflowers.

Receiving bouquets filled with a variety of flowers is also wonderful.

This Valentine’s Day, if you are in the market for lovely floral bouquets and arrangements, consider choosing a hand-made floral bouquet, professionally-designed and personally delivered by a Teleflora local florist in your neighborhood. Cherish your loved ones by sending a Teleflora floral gift that arrives straight from the heart. This thoughtful representation of YOU will be the talk of the office and home as a loving reminder of how special your Valentine is to you.

Since every Teleflora bouquet is professionally-arranged by a local florist, you can guarantee that every petal of your bouquet is freshly cut, carefully prepared and hand-made with love. Celebrate your loved ones with Teleflora’s “Hand-Made with Love” Valentine’s Day campaign this year with a floral gift that arrives straight from YOUR heart.

This Valentine’s Day, Teleflora has new arrangements and beautiful keepsake containers that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

All Valentine’s Day 2016 bouquets are available for sale now at Teleflora.com in standard, deluxe or premium size options.

Here are just a few options that are available on the Teleflora website.

Love’s Passion Bouquet by Teleflora

Heat up the romance and passion with this stunning floral arrangement that is sure to capture your Valentine’s attention. This striking bouquet features a bountiful display of classic red roses, tulips, and white Asiatic lilies nestled within an elegant, luscious red glass vase with a modern twist design for your sophisticated lady.

Teleflora’s True Lovelies Bouquet

Deliver a special surprise to your Valentine sweetheart with this delightful bouquet that will make their heart dance knowing they are “loved.”  This pretty pink bouquet dazzles with deep red roses, delicate pink alstroemeria, seeded eucalyptus, and other fresh blooms that arrive in a feminine, blush-pink playful keepsake vase with gold metallic script.

Teleflora’s Swirling Heart Bouquet

Celebrating a beloved friendship or that cherished family member that is closest to your heart, gift them with this charming floral bouquet that is sure to brighten their day and deliver a smile. Dark pink and red roses and carnations present a chic ombre floral look that arrives in a glazed stoneware container featuring an artisanal-style heart design.

And my personal favorite…

Teleflora’s Shining Heart Bouquet

Lavish your Valentine with a gift that arrives straight from the heart! This radiant and stylish bouquet presents a vibrant mixed array of rich, red roses, purple alstromeria, huckleberry, and other lush floral stems professionally arranged within a shimmering red keepsake vase with satin finish that’s adorned with a sparkling rhinestone heart.

I was sent the Shining Heart Bouquet to review.

First and foremost the vase is BEAUTIFUL! The sparkling heart shines when the light catches it. Your eyes are automatically drawn to it when you look at the arrangement. It’s the first thing that catches your eye.

The second most important thing about this arrangement is how wonderful it smells. I’ve received plenty of flowers over the years. Some have amazingly beautiful smells whereas others don’t smell much at all. This particular arrangement smelled lovely. I was very pleased by the delightful aroma that I picked up on every time I walked past it.

I really like the variety of flowers that come in this arrangement. Most Valentine’s Day flowers are red, pink and/or white. It was nice to see such a deep, rich purple color in the arrangement.

When I first took the photos the purple alstromerias did not open and bloom yet. They did the next day (I should have taken a picture of them in bloom).

Purple Alstromeria

Winter here in the Northeast is do drab, dark and dreary. It made me smile every time I walked past this arrangement and saw the gorgeous display of colors.

These are just a few of the Valentine’s Day arrangements available from Teleflora. Some arrangements also give you the option of including “extra” such as a Mylar balloon, chocolates or a fuzzy, snugly plush bear.

If you would like to check them out visit Teleflora.com. You can also find the brand on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.

Also, be sure to check out the hashtags #HandmadeByTF and #Teleflora on social media to see what others are saying.

Do YOU enjoy receiving flowers on Valentine’s Day?

What is your favorite flower?

Kimberly

*I received a free sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Enter to win the Chuao Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes

 

Beach

I need a getaway. No, seriously, I NEED one badly! My family and I have not have a real vacation since my son was two years old. He’s seventeen now. Needless to say it’s been a while.

My husband and I would love to have a getaway, just the two of us. Sadly it’s just not feasible at this moment in time.

I remember when my girlfriends and I would go on adventurous getaways, most especially my best friend Dee. Dee and I would literally hop in the car and just drive and see where we end up. We didn’t use maps. We didn’t have any plans and we certainly didn’t rely on GPS (there was no such thing as GPS back then). In fact, we didn’t even have cellphones back then. We just drove.

One time we planned on spending a day or two at an amusement park in New Jersey. We ended up driving to Virginia Beach instead and even drove down to Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Another time we have a few days off from work and school. We just got in the car and drove. We ended up spending the night in Stowe, VT, Burlington VT and at a bed and breakfast just north of Boston. During that getaway we rode on an old fashioned train, went whale watching and got the worse sunburn of our lives – but it was all worth it. We had a blast and we still talk about that adventure to this day.

Chuao, makers of delicious gourmet chocolates, knows how important getaways can be. That is why they are hosting a Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes.

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Decadent chocolate meets seaside luxury as island wellness destination, the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa and Southern California’s premier artisan chocolatier, Chuao Chocolatier partner for a Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway.

The sweepstakes runs from January 19 until February 9, 2017.

One grand prize winner and three of their friends will receive a year’s supply of Chuao Chocolates, a two-night stay at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa in an oversized two-bedroom Cottage, rejuvenating 50-minute spa treatment at the award-winning Spa at Coronado Island, plus champagne upon arrival and breakfast for four each day. Additionally, three weekly winners will be selected and will receive a one-night weekend stay and a Grand Chocolate Bar Tower.

Sounds wonderful! I could easily think of three girlfriends to invite with me if I was the lucky winner.

If you would like to learn more about the sweepstakes, or to enter, visit the Gourmet Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes webpage on the Chuao website.

Entering is super easy. You just need to provide your name, email address and date of birth (to make sure you are old enough to enter). That’s it! There is no “jumping through hoops” to enter.

Speaking of Chuao. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you are in the market for some quality, gourmet treats for your special someone, Chuao has some yummy options you might want to look into.

Chuao sent me a couple of yummy options for your special someone.

Bonbons

 

Aphrodisiac Heart Bonbon Collection (5 pieces)

The five flavors include;

  • Salt Butter Caramel: Soft caramel with a bit of sea salt in dark chocolate*
  • Sweet Passion: Exotic passion fruit* cooked into soft caramel in milk chocolate*
  • Meyer Lemon Mojito: Meyer lemon caramel infused with fresh mint* cream in white chocolate
  • Strawberry Seduction: Sweet strawberry* caramel with a touch of tangy balsamic in dark chocolate*
  • Rosemary Salted Caramel: Salt butter caramel infused with fresh rosemary* in milk chocolate*.

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My favorite is the Salt Butter Caramel. Dark chocolate and salted caramel in one treat – YUM!!!!

The Strawberry Seduction was also decadent. I love balsamic vinegar on my strawberry, spinach and feta cheese salad. I would never in a million years think to add it to chocolate. Simply scrumptious!

Love Child

Love Child 6 Piece Bonbon Collection

The love child of port wine and chocolate covered strawberries, this bonbon is one of our favorites to create… and eat! Dark and rich, sweet and tangy, it’s full of all natural aphrodisiacs and is ready to sweep you off your feet!

If you love chocolate covered strawberries you are going to LOVE these bonbons. The have all the delightful flavor of chocolate covered strawberries with a bit of a port wine “kick” to them.

Chuao-Bonbons

What I love about the collections (aside from how delicious they taste) is that they are just enough sweet treats without going overboard. No one needs a ginormous box of chocolates. In addition, when you are enjoying gourmet chocolates, such as these, you are meant to savor each and every bite, not woof them down like a bag of chips.

Chuao has plenty of other Valentine’s Day offerings to suit any budget. They also have their specialty chocolates that are available year round such as Caramel Apple Crush, Ravishing Rocky Road, Popcorn Pop, Triple Nut Temptation, Pretzel Toffee Twirl and Baconluxious to name a few.

For more information about Chuao Chocolatier visit ChuaoChocolatier.com.You can also check them out on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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