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2015 Holiday Gift Guide Submissions

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide

She Scribes is now accepting submissions for the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. The Holiday Gift Guide is open to brands, PR representatives, brands, Etsy shop owners, independent consultants and anyone that has a product or service that would make a wonderful gift or add to the holiday season.

The gift guide will include the following;

  • Gifts for women
  • Gifts for men
  • Gifts for children/teens
  • Gifts for pets
  • Gifts for everyone (friends, relatives, teachers…)
  • Holiday Decor/Home
  • Holiday Entertainment/Entertainment Gifts
  • Miscellaneous (food, beverages, stocking stuffers…)

I offer several different options.

Review – Your product/service will be reviewed and featured in it’s own post. The post will include my photos and/or your own photos. A link to your website or where the product can be purchased will be included as well as social media accounts. I can include any additional holiday information (coupons, sales, shipping dates) if you’d like. There is a minimum review value of $50 (a single product or combination of products). Products must be full size (no samples) and are non-returnable.

Review & Giveaway – Same as above, but I will also happily host a giveaway for the product/service in addition to the review. You will be required to ship directly to the winner. I will provide the winner’s shipping information. I will also share the giveaway portion on giveaway/sweeps related sites for extra exposure. There is a minimum review value of $50 (a single product or combination of products). Products must be full size (no samples) and are non-returnable. There is a minimum giveaway value of $30. Products must be full size (no samples).

Giveaway – A brief description of your product/service as well as applicable links will be included along with the giveaway. You will be responsible for shipping to the winner in a timely manner. I will also list the giveaway on giveaway/sweeps related sites for extra exposure. here is a minimum giveaway value of $30. Products must be full size (no samples).

Sponsored Feature Post – I can feature your product/service with no review or giveaway. I offer two options – posts that I write based on the information you provide me or a post that you write. There is a fee for a sponsored post feature. Please contact me for rates.

Guide Listing (no post) – For a small fee I can include your product/service in the gift guide. This does not include a featured post – just the listing in the guide as well as on the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Pinterest board. Please contact me for listing (no post) rate.

All Gift Guide Featured Posts will also be promoted on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and often Instagram), to thousands of followers. Products will also be featured on the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide on Pinterest.

The 2015 Holiday Gift Guide will begin on November 1, 2015 and run through January 1, 2016. Products are featured on a first come, first serve basis. If you have a specific “due date” please let me know upfront so I can schedule it on the editorial calendar. The last day for submissions is December 15, 2015.

If you are interested in being featured please contact me at SheScribes@Optonline.net and include “Holiday Gift Guide” in the subject line.

Happy Holidays!

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Kimberly

My week with the 2015 Subaru Legacy

 

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If you read my blog on a regular basis chances are you might have read a post or two about the Subaru Legacy I had the opportunity to test drive for a week. Sadly my time is up with the car.

I have reviewed several cars over the years, from the most basic to luxury vehicles. I have to say that the Subaru Legacy is in the top three for both myself and my husband.

The Subaru Legacy is a very smooth ride. One of the things I noticed immediately when I first got behind the wheel of this car is that it rode very smoothly. Getting on to the parkway was super easy. It’s as if the car glided on to the parkway without skipping a beat.

On my commute to/from my job there is a very steep hill. With my car it “bucks” and slows down when trying to ascend the hill. With the Legacy it was one smooth, effortless ride. There was no hesitation or slowing down. The car the went down and back up the hill without so much as the slightest hesitation. It was amazing.

If anything stands out the most about this beautiful car is how incredibly smooth the ride is.

Speaking of beautiful, I love the look of the car. It has a “sporty luxury” look to it.

Inside the car is very roomy. I felt completely comfortable both as the driver and the front seat passenger.

I’m a plus size person and sometimes car seats are not as comfortable as they could be (especially when seat belts did into your side). I felt perfectly comfortable in every aspect in this car. Even my son, who has long legs, felt comfortable in the backseat.

Both of my kids appreciated the heated seats in the back that they could control themselves. My daughter is always cold and she would turn on the heated seat every time she sat in the backseat.

This car has A LOT of “bells and whistles”. This of course would vary from car to car, depending on the extras that the car owner wants to purchase. The car I was sent to review must have had every feature you could possibly purchase for the car.

I found that the dashboard was a bit overwhelming. There is A LOT going on with everything on the dashboard. It took me a bit just to locate the clock.

The dashboard was a bit too much for me, but my husband said it was fine for him. So its just a personal preference. For me, “less is more”.

The car I reviewed had an interesting feature that notified you if the car crossed over the lines. An area on the dashboard (in front of the driver) would light up and buzz. That scared me the first time that happened. I was driving properly but moved across the lane a bit passing someone who was making a turn.

There was another time I could have sworn the car made a sound when the person in front of me slammed on their breaks. I saw the car stopping and I was about to step on the brakes when the car made a funny noise. I assume it was to alert me about the car in front of me. That is a great feature to have too, but it did scare me because I was not expecting it.

The dashboard display did have features I have never seen before. For example you can get the weather reports, including graphics display, as well as sports updates (my hubby liked that feature).

This is more than just a car to get you from point A to point B. There are a lot of features that make this more than just a regular car.

When I told my co-workers about the car they all had nothing but positive things to say about Subaru cars. They also LOVED how luxurious the car I had to review looked.

This car has great gas mileage too. Normally when  I review cars I have to add gas at least once (not a complete fill up, but at least a few gallons). I never had the need to stop for gas at all my week with the 2015 Subaru Legacy. I drove it to/from work every day, to the store, to run errands and my husband even drove it to/from work on two occasions too.

I was sorry to see the car go. I wish I could have kept it longer, like for the next 5+ years. LOL!

If you would like to learn more about this beautiful car visit www.Subaru.com. You can also check out the Subaru Legacy on social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Check out the hashtag #SubaruLegacy too.

Subaru Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free loaner for one week, assorted branded items and a gift card for gas. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015 – How will you spice things up in the new year?

 

Spices

Every new year I always make it a goal of mine to learn how to cook different foods and try new recipes with my family. I tend to make the same meals over and over again. I know what my family likes (and doesn’t like) so I tend to stick with what I know works. The only problem is that we all get bored of the same things over and over again.

One thing I do try and do differently is to spice things up – literally. Often just adding a few spices, or swapping out one spice for another, can really change up a recipe.

To give you an example. I make homemade chicken soup. Normally I don’t season it. One night we were having soup and I ran out of saltine crackers. We ended up using roasted garlic crackers. We all liked the way the garlic added to the flavor of the soup. The next time I made soup I added garlic and some black pepper. It really enhanced the soup’s flavor. My whole family loved it.

It was the very same soup I’ve always made, I just added garlic and black pepper. It turned my good soup into a delicious soup and all I did was add some spices.

You can add spices into baking too.

I still have a lot to learn about spices. I have a cabinet full of spices but I don’t know which spices I should try to add to my meals. I tend to stick with what I know. I need to get outside of my comfort zone.

McCormick & Company, a global leader in flavor, especially when it comes to herbs and spices, recently released their 2015 Flavor Forecast®. This year they highlighted eight flavor trends that could possibly shape the future of flavor.

Flavor Forecast

This is a much anticipated report throughout the food industry. This year marks McCormick® Flavor Forecast® 15th year.

Reflecting the rapidly increasing demand for bolder, more intense flavor experiences, the McCormick Flavor Forecast 2015 pinpoints adventurous global tastes on the rise, like Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi), as well as an appreciation for the robust flavors developed in slow-simmered dishes from around the world. The report also showcases new ways to elevate pantry essentials to starring roles, like smoking spices and herbs or pairing sours with coarse salt.

“Many early trending flavors in past reports have become favorites of today. Take chipotle chile, for instance,” said McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “When we first identified this chile pepper as a flavor to watch in 2003, many people couldn’t pronounce it. Today, it’s a household name. Pumpkin pie spice, sea salt, coconut water and cocktail-inspired flavors have seen similar success, taking over restaurant menus and grocery store shelves. The flavor trends highlighted within our 15th annual Forecast promise to do the same.”

I guess in a way I follow the flavor trends too. I started to use sea salt instead of regular salt because it seems like everyone is doing it. I’ve also dabbled with coconut water. I guess without even knowing it I’ve been affected by the Flavor Forecast® too.

Identified by a global team of McCormick chefs and flavor experts, here are eight flavor trends that will offer a taste of 2015 and beyond:

1. Global Blends On the Move – Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) offers a new kind of spicy heat, while Shawarma Spice Blend lends warm, spiced flavor to grilled meats and more.

2. Middle Eastern Mezze – These distinctive dips and spreads, packed with zesty herbs and seasonings, offer an approachable and delicious introduction to a vibrant global cuisine.

3. Sour + Salt – Combining coarse salt with surprising sours like pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango and lemon zest results in a lively finishing flavor that lends brightness and texture to dishes.

4. Smoked Spices – Smoking spices and herbs deepens their flavor and aroma, adding richness to meals and drinks.

5. Umami Veggies – For a fresh way to savor the tempting “fifth taste,” look no further than naturally umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori.

6. Liquid Revolution – Fresh purees and juices blend with bold spices and herbs to intensify sauces, pasta, dressings and more – providing a fun, delicious way to enjoy an extra serving of fruits and veggies.

7. Flavor Worth the Wait – Lift the lid to discover the rich flavors from recipes around the world that meld aromatic spices and comforting ingredients into mouthwatering slow-cooked meals.

8. Cookies Reimagined – Classic spiced cookie flavors take new form in decadent, imaginative desserts that redefine “milk and cookies.”

I am fascinated by Umami. It’s considered the “fifth taste” along with sweet, salty, sour and bitter.

A few years ago I attend an event in New York City, along with authors, journalists, “foodies”, blogger and others in the food industry to learn more about Umanmi. It was an interesting and delicious experience.

The event was held at the NY Academy of Science and the food was created by Chef Danny Boome from the Food Network.

This is some of the food we ate to help teach us about Umanmi.

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The event was a few years ago (March 2011). I don’t remember the meals but I do remember that each one was amazing.

Umanmi has something do do with glutamate – as in MSG. The event was held to dispel the myths about MSG and the benefits of using MSG to balance and enhance the taste of reduced-sodium or sodium-controlled foods. It was an interesting experience (and a delicious one too).

I am also interested in flavors to help enhance my slow cooked meals. I use my crock pot often and I would love to find herbs and spices to help boost the flavor in my “comfort meals” that I slow cook for my family.

In addition I’d like to learn more about smoked flavors. I would love to add a smoked flavor to my poultry and fish, maybe even vegetables.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015.

If you would like more information visit FlavorForecast.com and Pinterest.com/McCormickspice for innovative recipes, images and more ways to explore this year’s top tastes.

I would like to encourage you to visit both pages. The Flavor Forecast page has some truly mouth watering recipe ideas, in addition to more information about the forecast flavors. Some of my favorites include Smoky-Sweet Pickles with Strawberries, Roasted Beet and White Bean Dip and Gingersnap Crème Brûlée.

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I am definitely going to try the Smoky-Sweet Pickles with Strawberries recipe. I didn’t know that you can “smoke” spices on your stove top. I thought you had to buy special smoked blends.

To smoke spices: Spread 1 cup fine mesquite wood chips in cast-iron skillet. Heat on high heat about 10 minutes or until wood chips start to smoke. Reduce heat to low. Place small baking rack on top of wood chips. Spread seasonings in small shallow disposable aluminum pan or foil muffin baking cup. Place pan on rack. Cover skillet with lid. (In order to keep the smoke in, lid should cover skillet tightly. If necessary, place aluminum foil over skillet first then cover with lid.) Smoke 30 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand 1 hour or until cooled.

Now that I know it’s possible to smoke spices at home I am going to give it a try. I just need to figure out where I can get the mesquite wood chips.

I can image how nice smoking spices would make your home smell too.

What do you think about the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® for 2015? Are you interested in learning more about these trends? What flavors do you think are trendy these days? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and on social media using the hashtag #FlavorForecast. I’m looking forward to reading your comments and social comments.

McCormick Spices

Kimberly

*I have partnered with McCormick to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Cruising around in a 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage

 

Mirage

I enjoy doing car reviews. I know I will most likely never be able to afford a brand new car. I’d LOVE a new car, but it’s highly unlikely. The last brand new car I had was an 89′ Ford Escort. The last bran new car my husband had was a 96′ Mitsubishi Galant. The only way he was able to afford it was with insurance money when his previous car was totaled when he was hit by a speeding van.

The only “new” cars we’ve had over the years are used cars. My current car is a 96′ Mazda and my hubby’s is a 06′ Saturn.

When I am approached about doing new car reviews I always accept them because I enjoy driving cars with all the high tech goodies today’s cars come with.

Most cars I get to review are expensive and not affordable for many readers, like myself.

I recently had the opportunity to review the 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage. The interesting thing about this car – aside from the color (more about that in a moment) is that is starts off at an affordable $12,995. How many cars are you aware of that start at around this price point?

Mirage 1

Now about the color. I was given to review a Mirage in Plasma Purple. What is Plasma Purple you ask? Think Barbie. LOL!

I was told in advance that it was a unique color. I had to Google it. Oh yeah… it’s different. I loved it, but my kids, not so much.

My co-workers loved the color of the car (as did I). I received many compliments on it. I never saw anyone give me a strange look when I was out and about driving it.

Mirage 2

As a bonus it’s super easy to spot the car in a parking lot.

I admit that at first the color was a bit “interesting” but it really grew on me. I LIKE the color! If I was going to buy a Mirage I honestly would highly consider getting it in this color.

The car is available in other colorful colors like Kiwi Green and Sapphire Blue. For those who are less adventurous the car is also available in white, gray, black and red.

Mirage Colors

The Mitsubishi Mirage  considered a subcompact car. It does look a bit small from the outside but once you are seated inside the car feels like a regular sized sedan. I didn’t feel crowded or uncomfortable. I am a plus sized woman and I felt comfortable in this car.

No one in my family is too tall (the tallest is my hubby at 5’10”). He fit in the car just fine.

We didn’t get much use out of the backseat because my kids didn’t want to be seen in the “Barbie Car.” My son DID drive in the front passenger seat when I picked him up from school when he wasn’t feeling well.

The car I had didn’t have the “bells and whistles” like other cars I have reviewed. This was a simple, basic car. Something along the lines of what my family could afford. Honestly I was “OK” with not having a touch screen display, back up display, Sirius Radio, sunroof or all those “extra” things. I just need a decent working radio, ideally something that plays CDs and can connect to music via Bluetooth from my phone. I also like the radio controls on the steering wheel.

Mirage 3

Dash

I did like the key-less entry. You didn’t even need the keys in your hand to open the door. There is a small button on the car door that you just need to push to unlock the car. The keys can remain in your pocket or purse without taking them out.

This car is for the budget conscious consumer like myself. It’s for people who need a decent car to get them to where they need to go and don’t want to pay a small fortune on “extras” that they won’t really use or don’t need.

The Mitsubishi Mirage is the PERFECT car for a college student or a first car. It gets great gas mileage (37/44) and can seat up to 5 people (great for taking friends to the campus sporting events).

Front Seat

Backseat

The Mirage is a 3 cylinder. I am used to driving 4 and 6 cylinder cars. I found the Mirage drove a bit rough compared to other cars, but once you got going the ride was pretty good. It’s a great little car to buzz around town in. Pick up (such as merging on to traffic) is a bit slow, but once you get going it’s perfectly fine.

I enjoyed my week with the Mirage. And honestly, if we had the money would seriously consider this car. I have a short commute to work (round trip is about 12 miles). With the Mirage I would hardly ever need to stop for gas which is a great time and money saver.

Mitsubishi even has some special offers going on right now for the Mirage. Mitsubishi also offers an amazing 10 year, 100,000 mile Powertrain Limited Warranty on the Mirage.

Mirage 6

I even went so far to build my own Mirage on the Mitsubishi website and customized it to my needs/wants and the estimated monthly payment would be just under $220/mo. I was amazing at that price. My husband’s used car (06′ Saturn) costs us around $125/mo. For just a little more each month I could be driving around with a brand new Mirage. It’s something we’re seriously taking into consideration.

If you are interested in learning more about this fun little car visit the Mitsubishi website, Mitsubishi.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

Are you in the market for a new car? What do you think about the Mirage? Does it look like a car you would consider? What do you like about this fun little car?

Can you spot the Mirage in the parking lot?

Can you spot the Mirage in the parking lot?

Kimberly

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

Enjoying my “ride” with the 2015 Subaru Legacy

 

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Last week I did a post about the 2015 Subaru Legacy that I’ll have for a week to try out and review. I won’t go into much detail at the moment (I’ll do my full review next week) but I wanted to give you a glimpse at this beautiful car.

I will say one thing – I am totally in love with this car. You’ll have to find out why in my next post. 🙂

The car I received is in Venetian Red Pearl. I’m not really a fan of red for a car, but it really works with this car.

Here are some exterior shots of the car (as well as the one at the top of the post).

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What a beauty!

I work with people who make a lot of money (lawyers) and they drive fancy cars like BMW’s and Mercedes. The 2015 Subaru Legacy fit right in with those cars. It’s fancy and luxurious looking, yet it’s a fantastic family car too.

Here are some addition photos.

backseat1

The backseat has temperature control and headed seats. It’s not often you get headed seats for backseat passengers. My kids loved this.

 

backseat2

Roomy backseat (excuse the groceries). Even my son who has long legs and he felt comfortable enough in the backseat.

 

dash1

Dashboard display.

 

dash2

The display tells you how many MPG you are getting, how many miles until you need to fill up, how your driving is going and more.

 

Display

Nice size display and plenty of “bells and whistles”.

 

Display2

Another shot of the display.

 

door

There are several controls on the door and even an option to set the driver’s seat for two different drivers. This is especially helpful for someone like me with short legs who is married to a man with long legs.

 

mirror

Additional controls on the rear view mirror.

 

radio

I love it when radio station show you the name of the song and the artist. With this car you can also check sports, weather and stocks right from the dashboard display. I love that feature.

 

sunroof

I love sunroofs! Too bad it wasn’t a nice day.

 

Trunk

Check out the nice, roomy trunk.

 

I guess it goes without saying that I am fully enjoying my week with the 2015 Subaru Legacy.

Normally when I review cars my husband test drives it as well. This time around I admit I “hogged” the car. He only took it to work with him one day, but he did drive it on the weekends.

I drove the car to/from my job as well as running errands around town. My kids loved it when I picked the up from school with this beauty. Even their friends who saw the car loved it.

I’ll share my full review on the car next week. In the meantime if you would like to learn more about this beautiful car visit www.Subaru.com. You can also check out the Subaru Legacy on social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Check out the hashtag #SubaruLegacy too.

Subaru Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free loaner for one week, assorted branded items and a gift card for gas. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Welcome 2015! 15 Fun Facts about Me

 

New Year

I can’t believe it’s 2015. What happened to 2014? It’s like I blinked and BOOM! It was a new year. That’s kind of scary if you ask me.

I would like to wish all my readers a happy, healthy and successful New Year. May all your hopes and dreams come true in 2015.

To kick off the new year I thought I would share 15 fun facts about yours truly – ME!

I think it’s always nice to get to know the person behind the blog. Who knows, we might have a lot in common. 🙂

1. I would do anything to have a house. We live in a tiny condo with no yard and it’s awkward to have people over because we have so little room. I dream of a house where I can plant a garden, decorate both inside and out on the holidays and have people over all the time. I think family and friends would get sick of me because I would want to invite people over all the time just to make up for all these years of not being able to host a holiday party or backyard barbecue.

2. I love cheese. I can’t go a day without having a slice of cheese. My favorite is New York Extra Sharp Cheddar.

3. I can’t watch those commercials for helping pets in need (like the ASPCA commercials). I quickly change the channel or leave the room. It breaks my heart to see an animal in need, which could explain the “mini-zoo” we have at home.

A Dunkin Donuts gift card from my boss.

A Dunkin Donuts gift card from my boss.

4. I go to Dunkin Donuts so much they know my coffee order without me even having to say anything to them.

5. My husband and I want to go back to Disneyland desperately. We’ve only gone once as a family and our kids were very little then (and barely remember any of it). They are teenagers now (our daughter graduates high school this year) and we worry that we won’t be able to before both of our kids leave the “nest.”

6. My desk looks like a mini-toy store. I have toys all over my desk including a small plush Olaf, a zombie gnome, Walking Dead bobbleheads, Fisher Price Little People and a Breyer Horses. I also have on my desk a bottle of Skull Vodka because I think the bottle is cool looking as well as a glass paperweight that belonged to my great-grandmother.

7. I enjoy photography. My outdoor/nature shots usually come out great but my indoor shots are always awful. I don’t know why.

8. I am a very sentimental person. I have several items that belonged to my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents that I hold on to because they bring back such fond memories.

Peanutbutter cups

9. I find Reese’s Peanut Buttercups very addicting.

10. I LOVE The Walking Dead. I was into zombies long before everyone jumped on the Walking Dead “bandwagon.” My best friends from high school and I even have the nickname “Dawn of the Dead Girls” from a band we were friends with because they hung out at my house one night to watch Dawn of the Dead (the original) with us.

11. I have an eclectic taste in music. My playlists might include a sequence like this – Elton John, Metallica, Josh Groban, something from the 80’s, Nickelback (don’t hate me because I like Nickelback – LOL), Placido Domingo (opera), Adam Lambert and Bon Jovi. The only thing I can’t get into for some odd reason is country music.

12. I find British comedies funny. My favorite is Are You Being Served?

13. I cry watching commercials, YouTube videos or anything I find beautiful and touching (“happy tears”).

Tom Kenny

Tom Kenny

14. I get star struck. I know celebrities are people just like we are, but sometimes I still get star struck. I could barely speak when I had the opportunity to chat with singer Josh Groban. I’m still amazed that Sir Elton John hugged and kissed me on the cheek and that I had a wonderful conversation with Tom Kenny (the voice of SpongeBob Squrepants and many other characters) and his lovely wife.

15. I have a “Bucket List” that continues to grow, even though I know I’ll be lucky if I can knock even one thing off that list.

I have no idea what is in store for me in 2015, but I am hopeful that it will be a very good year. I hope it’s a great year for YOU too!

Do we have anything in common? Feel free to comment and share a fun fact about you.

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Kimberly