2014 T-Fal and Zabada Thanksgiving Blogger Challenge (giveaway ends 12/10/14)


Sauce in pressure cooker

My family is getting really bored with the same foods that we tend to eat week after week. I’d like to mix it up a bit more, but it’s not always easy to find things that my entire family would like. I have a bunch of picky eaters to work with.

Some recipes I come across I would love to make but I simply do not have the time.

Whenever possible I use my crock pot to cook dinner. I mostly use it to make stew and cook pot roast. It takes all day but the results are perfect.

Recently I was asked if I wanted to participate in the 2014 #TfalZabadaThanksgiving Blogger Challenge. As part of the challenge I was going to receive a T-Fal Clipso 6.3 QT. stainless steel pressure cooker and a Zabada Kitchen Handy.

You can tell that I am not much of a foody because I always thought that ta pressure cooker was a lot like a crock pot. I didn’t know they were two different thing. A crock pot takes all day to cook your meal. A pressure cooker cuts the cooking time practically in half.

Where has this handy kitchen product been all my life! Had I know that pressure cookers cook things much quicker I would have invested in one years ago.

I’m still learning how to use the T-Fal Clipso pressure cooker. I actually have about a dozen recipes bookmarked (compliments of Pinterest) of recipes I want to make with the pressure cooker. The cooker also comes with a great recipe book – an actual book, not a booklet.

Here is a bit more information about the pressure cooker I was sent to review.

T-Fal Calipso

T-fal Clipso

The T-Fal Clipso is a 6.3 QT. stainless steel pressure cooker that takes the guesswork out of using a pressure cooker. Ideal for the home cook with a busy schedule, the T-fal Clipso allows users to prepare elaborate and impressive meals very quickly and safely. Featuring a unique one-hand system, the T-fal Clipso allows users to open and close the lid using only one hand and a steam release valve that controls steam release for added safety. The durable stainless steel construction guarantees an extended lifespan and is dishwasher safe, excluding the gasket and pressure valve.

The T-Fal Clipso includes a steam basket, stand and recipe booklet.

Key Benefits and Unique Features:

  • One-hand system makes lid easy to open and close
  • Steam release valve controls steam release for added safety
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • 12 PSI / 6.3 QT capacity
  • Stainless steel encapsulated, induction suitable base for even heat distribution
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Includes steam basket, stand and recipe booklet

Where to Buy: 

The T-Fal Clipso is available in Macy’s retailers and Macys.com for $99.99. For more information please visit, www.T-Falusa.com.

I’ve been using the T-Fal Clipso pressure cooker almost every day to steam vegetables for dinner. Normally I would steam them in the microwave. With the pressure cooker I can steam fresh (not frozen) veggies in a matter of a few minutes. I don’t want them to be soft but rather “al dente”.

Recipe Book

When I steam veggies in the microwave I use frozen veggies because they take less time than fresh veggies to steam that way. With the T-Fal Calipso I can buy fresh vegetables like carrots and string beans and steam them in the basket that comes with the pressure cooker in about the same amount of time as in the microwave but unlike the microwave the vegetables I steam in the pressure cooker are farm fresh or straight from the produce section of the grocery store. They haven’t been sitting around in a bag in a freezer for who knows how long. I love it!

We eat a lot of carrots and I love being able to buy fresh carrots, wash them, cut them up into chunks and tossing them into the pressure cooker to steam cook them to the perfect consistency. They are not too soft (like steamed frozen veggies) and not too hard.

I have to admit I’m still a little scared of it, especially the steam release valve. I almost burned myself on the steam once but that was my carelessness. For the most part you can use this pressure cooker with just one hand.

I’m still learning the “ins and outs” of using a pressure cooker. I can clearly see the benefits to it. I plan on cooking a pot roast in it soon.

My boss gave me a recipe for ribs that I can make in the pressure cooker that uses a can of soda. I’ve never made ribs before. I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try.

pressure cooker

If there is one thing I don’t like about cooking in the kitchen is cleaning up the mess. It’s my least favorite thing about cooking.

I don’t like using toxic chemicals to clean up spills and messes in my kitchen. I prefer to use “Earth Friendly” cleaning solutions. Sometimes I use a good old standbys – vinegar or baking soda. If they were good enough for my mom and grandmother then they are good enough for me. I never remembered my mom using toxic sprays or cleaners to clean around our home. She used white vinegar and/or baking soda.

I REALLY dislike using sponges. When I look at a sponge all I can see is a bacteria and germ laden “thing”. Ewww!!! Just the thought of a sponge grosses me out. Sadly there are times when you have no choice then to use a sponge (I replace them often).

I was sent to review a Zabada Kitchen Handy. What is a Zabada Kitchen Handy? That is a good question. I wasn’t sure what that was either at first.  


Zabada Kitchen Handy – chemical-free cleaning solution that removes 99.9% of bacteria, grease, viruses and more just using water.

The Zabada Kitchen Handy features two advanced microfibers – a “Grease” side for removing grease from ovens, rangehoods and cooking appliances and a “Grime” side, with light scouring patches, for removing food residues and light grease with no chemicals, just water!

  • “Grime” side surface tackles: sinks, benches, appliances, baking trays, pots and pans
  • “Grease” side surfaces tackles: stove tops, inside your oven, range hood and pots (on a cool surface)

Key Benefits and Unique Features:

  • Zabada fiber clean technology cleans cooktops and baking dishes, as well as spot-cleans dishes, baking trays, and pots and pans just using water!
  • This chemical-free cleaning solution uses only water to remove grease, baked-on grim, and 99.9% of bacteria!
  • Replaces and outperforms disposable scourers and store-bought microfiber cloths
  • Lasts 2 to 3 years, saving money and reducing waste
  • Zabada’s wet-wipe-dry system cuts cleaning time and eliminates the need to purchase chemical cleaning products
  • Perfect for spot-cleans, along with grease and grime build up cleans
  • Machine washable 

Where to Buy:

The Zabada Kitchen Handy is available for $30.00 at www.ZabadaClean.com

**Zabada will be running a “Thanksgiving Sale” with 20% off all Kitchen products (including the Kitchen Handy) from November 26, 2014 – December 5, 2014.

I wasn’t really sure how well this would clean around my kitchen but I was willing to give it a try.

I was surprised at how well it cleaned dried on mess on my stove top. My husband spilled gravy on the stove under the burner and by the time the burner had cooled down the gravy was stuck on the stove. With the Zabada and a little water I was able to remove the entire mess in just a matter of a minute or two.


I like that I can use it for quick clean ups or a major scrub down after a big mess. And unlike sponges I can toss the Zabada into the wash and reuse it again and again.

I’m looking into buying a few more Zabada Kitchen Handy pads. Ideally I’d like to take advantage of their sale.

Zabada has pads for the kitchen, bathroom and other rooms in your home.

Zabada Kitchen Handy


Both products are a welcome addition to my kitchen. I am thrilled that I was chosen to be a part of this special campaign.

Don’t forget to check out T-Fal and Zabada on social media too.





A have a special T-Fal Zabada Thanksgiving prize package for a lucky reader. The winner will receive BOTH the T-Fal Calipso Pressure Cooker and a Zabada Kitchen Handy. These will come in handy for holiday cooking, cleaning and beyond.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on December 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place. You must be 18+ to enter this giveaway.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

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Get a little holiday help with Simply Stamps



It’s that time of the year. Time to track down your address book and pick out the best holiday card you can find to send out to family and friends.

I used to put a lot of time and effort sending out holiday cards. I would start the beginning of November so that I could send the out right after Thanksgiving. At that time I must have sent out 100+ cards to family, friends, co-workers and others. Ouch! My hand hurt from signing and addressing so many cards. Maybe this is why I suffer from Carpal Tunnel today.

I love opening up my mailbox and finding Christmas cards inside. Sadly over the years cards sent to us dwindled down. Now we’re lucky if we get 10. I enjoy hanging the up so I can look at them throughout the holiday season. Since we rarely get any anymore I actually keep the “spam” – like cards we receive from companies and charities looking for donations. :-(

If you still like to send out cards I have a great little “holiday helper” for you – address stamps from Simply Stamps.

In all my years filling out holiday cards having return address stamps is a “must”. Instead of using the regular peel and stick type of stamps why not just use an ink stamp? They are quicker and easier, plus you get a lot of use out of them.

I was sent to review a return address stamp from Simply Stamps.

When I was asked to pick out a stamp to review it actually took me a very long time to narrow down my choice. They have dozens to choose from. You can go very simple or you can have a very ornate address stamp.





If you wanted to get more festive for the season, Simply Stamps also has holiday and seasonal themed stamps too.


Simply Stamps sells “self-inking” stamps. That means you don’t need a separate ink pad. The ink is inside the stamp and every time you use it the stamp “re-inks” its self. They are mess free!

For my review I went with a simple return address stamp. I would show you a picture of it but it has my husband’s name, our last name and our address and for safety reasons I don’t think that is a good idea.

Simply Stamps offers more than just return address stamps. They have a variety of stamps available on their site.

I also received a stamp that has been VERY helpful for me – a signature stamp. With my Carpal Tunnel it’s not easy for me to hold a pen and write a neat signature. As a blogger I often have contracts I need to sign. I also have school notes that need signing too.

Simply Stamps created a stamp of my exact signature. All I did was sign my name like I normally would on a piece of paper. I then scanned it and emailed it to Simply Stamps. The result is a stamp that stamps my exact signature. It’s pretty cool! It’s also been VERY helpful to me. Now I can sign my name in a way that is legible for others to read.

I would show you a photo of my signature stamp but again, it’s my full name and I rather not share my signature for the world to see.

If you have a business, or a logo, Simply Stamps could design a custom stamp to suite your needs.

Simply Stamps also carries stamps that just add a bit of fun and whimsy to your mail and packages. They would also be great for teachers and those who work with children.











I also LOVE the social media stamps. Those are awesome. I’ll have to pick up some for my blog.














The possibilities are endless when it comes to stamps from Simply Stamps.

The quality is excellent and they were quick to ship out my order.

If you would like to learn more or check out the available products visit SimplyStamps.com. You can also find them on social media (look at the stamp images above for their social media handles).

What would you use stamps for from Simply Stamps?



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

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“Best for Pets” Sweepstakes from Neato Robotics®


If you follow my blog on a regular basis you might recall the review I did for the Neato™ Robot Vacuum. In case you missed the post here is the link – Hate to vacuum? Let the Neato Robotic Vacuum do the work for you.

We have five cats and a dog (not to mention a couple of fish). I know a thing or two about pet hair and how it gets all over EVERYTHING – furniture, the carpet, clothing and more.

I do my best to keep my home clean. I am proud of the fact that you can’t smell that we have pets. I even have some real estate agents and neighbors tell me that you would never know we had pets with the exception of seeing my pets or their accessories (toys, cat tree, pet beds…).

I can keep the pet odor out of my home, but the pet hair is another story. No matter how much I clean the hair does tend to get everywhere. It either sticks to the carpet or it balls up and blows around the wood flooring. We refer to it as “tumbleweeds”. LOL!

Our Neato helps me out a lot – especially when I’m not at home. I can set the vacuum to go off during the day to vacuum up pet hair and other debris while I’m not at home or while I have other things I need to do.

This little powerhouse goes from room to room and sucks up all the loose pet hair.

I tend to use the Neato when I’m at home because due to the amount of pet hair I need to clean it out frequently so that it performs properly.

To give you an idea of just how well this vacuum cleans, check out these photos.


Please note that in this incident (above) I had just received the Neato and I didn’t know that I should empty the collection container frequently. Most people should be able to clean their whole home without emptying this out but if you have a lot of pets like we do you’ll need to clean it out a few times when you vacuum your whole home. We are used to doing this. We do this when we use our regular vacuum too.

Just look at all that hair! And I vacuum (regular vacuum) 2-3 times per week. I use our Neat on the days I don’t vacuum or simply don’t want to vacuum.

Neato robotic vacuums are super easy to use. You can schedule what day/time you want the vacuum to clean for you. Or you can have it vacuum whenever you want.

The vacuum makes its way from room to room. It knows where it’s already cleaned and once it’s done in one room it moves on to another room.

It’s smart enough to know when it needs to recharge and will make its way back to its charging dock. Once it recharges it continues vacuuming and picks up where it left off. Talk about a smart robot!

What I love about Neato is that it helps me keep on top of the pet hair. Even when I don’t have time to do a full cleaning the Neato helps keep the pet hair in check so it doesn’t get out of control.


Of course Neato is great for picking up other things on the floor and carpet including crumbs, kitty litter, people hair and dust.

If you have pets and would like more tips on what to do about pet shedding please visit the Neato Pet Shedding Solutions page.

For more information about Neato products, including their newest vacuums models BotVac 80 and 85, please visit Neato.com.

Neato Robotics have been recognized as being the “Best for Pets” (indoor dogs and cats) and busy, pet loving households like mine.

Publications such as PCMag.com, CNet, PetGuide.com and Daily Tekk recognize Neato vacuums as one of the best products around for dealing with pet hair.

Neato is hosting a “Best for Pets” Sweepstakes. You could win a Neato Robot Vacuum!

Entering is easy. You enter with your name and email address. You can get extra entries by tweeting about the contest, sharing on Facebook and more.

If you would like to enter the “Best for Pets” Sweepstakes please visit the official contest page.It’s so easy to enter. And if you win you’ll be glad you did especially when you see how well Neato vacuums help you deal with pet hair.

Will you be entering? I hope so!




Visit Neato for more information on why the Neato Robot Vacuum is best for pets! And be sure to enter our sweepstakes for a chance to win your own Neato Botvac™ Robot Vacuum!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Neato Robotics® Best for Pets Vacuums. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Enter to win fabulous prizes with Seasons to Celebrate


Celebrate the Seasons

Last week I posted information about a delightful sweepstakes that Teflon® brand and Farberware Cookware is hosting called Seasons to Celebrate.

This fun holiday themed sweepstakes promotes holiday themed content that focuses on quick and easy holiday entertaining with help from Farberware® and  the Teflon® brand. The holiday content will include entertaining and menu inspiration that will offer community members unique, family-friendly and easy ways to celebrate the holidays.

Each week there is a new theme.

  • Week 5 (Nov. 18-24) – Tried-and-True Thanksgiving
  • Week 6 (Nov. 26- Dec. 2)  – Last-Minute Holiday Side Dishes / Holiday Leftovers
  • Week 7 (Dec. 4-10)  – Feliz Navidad Fiesta
  • Week 8 (Dec. 12-18) – Seasonal Celebrating (Hanukkah & Christmas)

Throughout the campaign, consumers can visit Teflon® brand’s “Celebrate the Seasons” Facebook tab or go to Farberware®’s website to enter the sweepstakes. Farberware® will randomly draw giveaway winners 3 times – once for each of the featured holiday time periods. You can enter just once to be eligible for all three giveaways.

  • Halloween – October 30, 2014
  • Thanksgiving – November 30, 2014
  • Christmas – December 18, 2014

Each giveaway will award one grand prize winner and three bonus prize winners.

  • Grand Prize: Farberware Dishwasher Safe Nonstick 12-Piece Set coated with Teflon® nonstick coating (in winner’s color of preference)
  • Bonus Prize: Farberware Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Jumbo Cooker (in winner’s color of preference)

The Teflon® brand has also created awesome Pinterest boards. In addition they are also running bi-weekly themed Facebook and Twitter giveaways which has created a fun and interactive “mix and match” virtual Facebook application and hosting a Twitter party.


There is a lot of great content and fun activities happening on Teflon® brand’s and Farberware’s social media pages.

Here is the list of all of the brand’s links so you can check them out.

Teflon® brand


You can also join the conversation and share a pic of your holiday entertaining inspiration to our “Seasons to Celebrate” Gallery by using the hashtag #SeasonstoCelebrate on Twitter and Pinterest. View the gallery here: http://bit.ly/SeasonsToCelebrate. All gallery submissions are subject to the terms and conditions.

I also have a giveaway for a beautiful Farberware Dishwasher-safe 12 piece set currently going on. The giveaway ends on November 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). If you would like to enter you can entering on the giveaway page – Celebrate the Seasons Sweepstakes plus win a beautiful Faberware Cookware set. The giveaway set is pictured (below).

Do you plan on entering the sweepstakes? Why or why not? How do you celebrate the seasons?



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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Introducing the Adventure Blanket by Tribe Provisions


Photo Source: Adventure Blanket

Photo Source: Adventure Blanket

The weather might be turning colder for many parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean that we’re ready to give up being outdoors. Many people still like to take advantage of the fresh air before the weather. This would include football games, tail gating parties and even camping (some campers still camp even in the bitter cold!).

During the warm weather months my family does enjoy going outside whether it’s picnics, barbecues at the local park, sporting events or just a quick hike through the woods.

We keep a lot of essentials in our car trucks so that we always have what we need, when we need it, when we are out and about. We’ve added a new piece of gear to our cars (currently it’s in my husband’s car trunk since we use his car more as a family). It’s called the Adventure Blanket. It’s by a company called Tribe Provisions.

The Adventure Blanket was made with outdoor fun in mind. The blanket is HUGE. It’s 66″ long by 55″ wide. The blanket is bigger than me! I’m only 63″ tall. That means there is plenty of room for more than one person to use this blanket.

Sport event

Photo Source: Adventure Blanket

There is two sides to this blanket. The inside of the blanket is made of a durable, weather-resistant Hollow Fiber polyester. It’s very nice and comfortable to lie on (or wrap yourself in). The polyester filling also helps to seal in your body heat allowing you to keep warm when it’s wrapped around you.

The other side of the Adventure Blanket is made with a rip-stop nylon (the same kind of material parachutes are made from). The nylon makes the blanket waterproof on that side. It also doubles as a windbreaker. It reminds me of a windbreaker jacket too (the way it looks and feels on the outside).

The blanket might be huge in size, it’s very lightweight and portable. It comes with an ATTACHED pouch with allows you to put the whole blanket back inside and tucked away until the next time you need it.

AB Gif

Photo Source: Adventure Blanket

I have several blankets in the trunk of both cars and none of the compare to the Adventure Blanket. I have large blankets but they get wet and dirty when you put them on the ground. Or they are big and bulky to carry around. None of the blankets we have come with a special pouch. We just fold the up and toss them back in the trunk again but they end up getting dirty from all the other stuff we throw in the trunk. Plus they take up a lot of room. Not the Adventure Blanket. When it’s in it’s pouch is takes up very little room. The pouch is also made from the same nylon material to help protect the blanket from dirt and wetness in the trunk of your car.

This blanket is also machine washable so if it does end up getting dirty you can easily wash it.

This great blanket is ideal for people on the go and families. I can see my family sitting on this blanket for picnics, at the beach (or the lake), at high school football games, sitting around a campfire and other uses.

This blanket would be ideal to keep in your car for safety reasons too. In the winter some drivers find themselves stranded in their cars. Having a blanket like this in the car would be a “must”. It can help keep you warm and shield you from the elements until help arrives or you are able to move your car.

This blanket is NOT meant to take place of a sleeping bag or as an overnight solution in harsh, extreme weather, but it will help keep you warm in cold weather. Another words if you are stuck in a blizzard this might not keep you warm enough. It’s always a good idea to think about these things and keep survival supplies in your car at all times.

I can see hikers using this blanket too. It’s small enough to tuck inside a backpack or hang off the backpack. It wouldn’t weight the hiker down.

Adventure Blanket

It’s a really nice blanket. So nice that both times I attempted to lie it open on the living room floor to snap pictures our dog and cats are all over it. Apparently they like the blanket too. So for now I was only able to snap a photo of it in it’s portable pouch.

Believe it or not the Adventure Blanket is in it’s beginning phase. It has a Kickstarter campaign. The deadline is November 15th! Those who donate $35 or more will receive the Adventure Blanket as a thank you for helping to move this project forward. Personally I think this blanket is worth every penny and $35 is a very reasonable price for this. I would expect to see that price tag on it when it’s sold in stores.

HURRY! The campaign ends on the 15th so there is still time.

To learn more, or to join their campaign, visit their Kickstarter page – Go-anywhere Blanket for Sports, Camping, Hanging Out

I’m giving this blanket a “two thumbs up”. I know my family is going to get many uses out of this beautiful (and comfy!) blanket.

What do you think about the Adventure Blanket? Is it something you and your family could use?

Adventure Blanket GIF

PHOTO SOURCE: Adventure Blanket


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



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Great gift idea for Hello Kitty fans – Dancing Water Speakers!


Hello Kitty Water Speakers

Do you have a Hello Kitty fan in your life? Hello Kitty is not just for little ones. I know plenty of adults who absolutely adore that sweet little kitty.

My daughter loves Hello Kitty. She has a few Hello Kitty branded items such as plush toys and a bedside lamp.

One of the things my daughter has had on her “wish list” for the past year is water speakers. If you are not familiar with what water speakers are they are speakers, filled with water, that change colors and “dance” to the beat of the music being played through them.

I think it’s a super cool idea but once I started to price them I knew that it would be a long time before she could get a set. Water speakers are NOT cheap. Not only that most of the ones I looked into are rather large and there is very little available space in her room.

Thankfully I was sent to review something that is the best of both worlds – water speakers from Hello Kitty! They are appropriately called Hello Kitty Dancing Water Speakers. These speakers are USB powered which makes them very portable and easy to set up just about any where you go.

The Hello Kitty Dancing Water Speakers feature;

  • Multicolor LED lights that change color in response to the music being played
  • Speakers that can be powered by any USB port (a connection cable is included)
  • The ability to be used with just about any device with a headphone jack (smartphone, tablet, hand held gaming device)
  • 3W x 2 output power
  • 2.0 channel stereo speakers

Hello Kitty Speakers

Set up was a breeze. My daughter (17 1/2) set them up by herself. Within minutes she was up and running.

Once they are set up sit back and enjoy the colorful show.

I was rather impressed with how well these work. As far as speakers are concerned the music is crisp and clear and the volume works very well. We live in a condo so we don’t blast our music for obvious reasons.

I have some expensive stereo speakers and I was impressed with how well the sound quality is with these adorable speakers.

The “dancing water” and colorful lights are really cool. Now I can see why my daughter has been asking for water speakers. They are really cool and fun to watch. We purposely change the type of music we play through them just to see how the water/colors react to it. We’ve played heavy metal, pop, slow songs and even Vivaldi (classical). Watching them with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is awesome!

We get a lot of light during the day. It’s not easy to see the colorful lights that much with sunlight filling the room. For us it’s best to use these in the evening or at night if you want to catch the light show. If you just want to listen to the music then they are fine to use any time of day.

These are super cute speakers that would make an ideal gift for a young girl, teen or even an adult.

If you would like to check out other available Hello Kitty products visit www.SparkleBee.com. You can also find SparkleBee on Facebook and Twitter (@SparkleBee).

You can find these cute speakers at  www.ToysRUs.com and Target. You can find a great video that shows you how well they work on the Toys R Us product page.

What do you think about these fun speakers? Do you know anyone on your holiday shopping list that would enjoy these?

Sparkle Bee Logo


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

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