Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Freebie Sites - Truly Free Stuff

Ready to get some free stuff?  I did a similar post to this one a couple of years ago when first starting the blog.  I have, since then, become aware of even more websites that offer truly free products in exchange for your opinion.  All of these websites are 100% free.  There is no registration fee, no shipping fees - they don't even take your credit card information.

PinchMe - PinchMe is by far one of the easiest free sample sites out there.  You register, fill out questionnaires about yourself (so they can match you with samples you may be interested in,)  pick your samples  and they ship them to you free of charge.  You typically get sample sized products with a deluxe sample size product every one in a while. To "stay eligible" you must review your products on PinchMe's site.  This usually consists of a 5-10 multiple choice question survey per product.  It literally takes seconds to complete and they give you anywhere from 30-60 days to complete it.

Sample Source - Sample Source is new to me but from what I understand it works a lot like PinchMe. I just recently registered for an account and picked out my 7 samples.  I am waiting to receive them in the mail. :-)

Smiley360 -  I am no longer active on Smiley360 but they do give out a ton of samples.  They even email you when new samples are available.  Same basic process of registering, filling out questionnaires but you also have to fill out qualifying surveys now and again to receive certain samples.  Unlike Sample Source and PinchMe, Smiley360 sometimes offers full size products to try (I once received full size bottles of Aveeno Shampoo and Conditioner from Smiley360.) There are activities you can complete once you receive the products.  Each activity is assigned a point value.  The more points you have, the more desirable you appear to companies looking to give out samples through Smiley360. The activities are usually social media based.

BzzAgent - BzzAgent offers free samples but is much more about marketing through social media.  Again you register, fill out surveys and then wait to be matched with Bzz Programs. Once matched you will receive an email asking you if you want to join a "campaign." Once you click yes, BzzAgent will send you a box full of goodies.  This site requires a little more effort when it comes to keeping up with surveys and filling out qualifying questionnaires... but the goodies are amazing.  My Foreo Luna Mini came from a BzzAgent Campaign.  I've also received other full sized products such as shampoo, makeup, and shaving cream with razors.  They even offer kids toys (the Big Hugs Elmo was a campaign offered last year. )  Once you receive your goodies, you will be asked to complete tasks.  Most are social media oriented such as sharing a picture of your product or completing reviews.

Influenster - This is probably the most complicated of those listed.  Its still 100% free but there is a lot that goes into this one.  There are interest based badges to choose from including beauty, fashion, travel, and outdoors. Influenster also calculates your social media "reach" when you connect your social media accounts to your Influenster account. Like BzzAgent, once you receive your goodies there are a bunch of social media oriented tasks you can complete.  The more you do, the better chance you have of being matched up with more "VoxBoxes."  You can also complete tasks for a chance to win prizes. You must complete the exit survey to stay eligible. This program does take more work but it is definitely worth the effort since they often send multiple full size products in one box.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Recipe time! I like to post my easy (usually slow cooker) recipes that only contain a few ingredients. Why? Because these are the ones I make most often. They also come in handy when I haven't done a great job of planning our meals.
This week pork chops were BOGO at Publix. So, of course, that's whats for dinner. I normally don't cook much pork. I tend to be a chicken or beef kind of girl. So, admittedly, I was a little out of my comfort zone.
After searching through recipes on the internet and looking at what I actually had in my fridge and cabinet, I came up with the simple recipe below. And, thankfully, it came out quite tasty. 

1 El Paso Dinner Kit
1 Cup of Orange Juice
1/2 cup of water
1lb of pork
Taco toppings (Cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc)

Combine pork, water, juice, taco spice packet from the dinner kit, and orange juice (don't worry...it won't taste like orange pork) in slow cooker.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours.
Shred pork.
Fill your tortillas/taco shells with pork and whatever goodies you like!

Told ya it was easy! ;o)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jamberry Nails Review

This review is long overdue!  I have been meaning to try Jamberry or "Jams" for awhile.  I've always loved the variety of colors and patterns Jamberry offered but, I will admit, I was a little intimidated by the application process.

In the past, I've been a big user of the Sally Hansen Nail Polish strips.  I've never been one who has been able to wait for my nail lacquer to dry.  Even before having my son I was too impatient to sit still.  After having my son - forget it. I've got stuff to do. The Sally Hansen Nail strips provided a quick solution, but after my son became more mobile, the strips no longer lasted more than a day or so before chipping and peeling.

I now spend a lot of my  day cleaning, chasing my son outdoors in the dirt, and keeping him out of trouble.  This means my hands and nails are constantly being smashed, scraped, and put to the test.  My go-to Sally Hansen Strips were just not cutting it anymore. There was too much damage being done too quickly.

Jamberry, although intimidating, was actually pretty simple to apply.  The heating process was the part I was unsure of.  The steps include washing your hands, cleaning your nails with the cleansing wipes (this part is very important,) cutting the strips to fit your nails, and then heating each strip until it softens and applying it to the nail.

I will admit... the first nail took me 10 minutes to do.  I was over thinking, being overly careful and striving for full on perfection. Once I relaxed and got my groove going, the rest of my nails were done relatively quickly. My nails are super short so cutting them to fit my nails without overhang was a little difficult.  If you aren't biting your nails into stubs (as I, unfortunately, do) I don't think this will be a problem.

I love how these strips look  and they are definitely more durable.  The only issue I ran into was my pinky nail strips randomly feel off on the first and second days. Again, I think this issue was caused by how incredibly short  my nails are.  Short and tiny, there is not much nail for the tiny piece of strip to hang on to.  To remedy this issue, I simply reheated and reapplied the strips and then applied a top coat. I haven't had an issue since.

I kept my jams on 4 days before deciding to remove them and try a different look.  Looks like I may have found my new go-to nail solution!

For more information on Jamberry or to request free samples, contact Ashley.
Ashley Rawls
web - www.ashleyrawls.jamberrynails.net
email - jamswithash@gmail.com
fb - www.facebook.com/jamminwithashley 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Mother Of All Baby Showers

Attention Central Florida mamas, dadas, and parents to be!  The Mother Of All Baby Showers is coming to Orlando. Tons of Try Before You Buy booths, Educational Sessions, Spa Treatments, food and drinks, and over $20,000 in Giveaways!  Also Bunmi Laditan of Honest Toddler will be there.

When: Friday, May 29th 6-9:30pm

Where:  Orlando Science Center

Regular Admission Tickets are $15

VIP Admission Tickets are $50 and include
One Baby K'tan baby carrier
1/2 hour earlier entry
1 month membership to My Gym
A special swag bag--over $300 value

Register here.

But that's not all!  I will be hosting a giveaway.  Just LIKE this FACEBOOK POST for your chance to win a VIP Couple Ticket.

Go to http://themotherofallbabyshowers.com/Orlando/details/ for more information.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Birthday Post Series: MAC Is Beauty

Its finally starting to feel like Spring! To be honest, its been warm here weather-wise for quite awhile, but I always feel like the passing of Easter is the official kick-off of this wonderfully floral, soft, and welcomed season.  And of course, MAC has created a collection to compliment this season perfectly.

MAC is Beauty features warm peaches, sophisticated pastels, and a variety of feminine pinks.  I love that the collection also has a bit of a retro beauty shop feel.  We all love that winged eyeliner this era inspired, right?

The eye shadow in "Yogurt" is a very feminine, pale pink.  This matte color can applied lightly and used to soften a more bold shade, or applied alone for a very classic look. Think Blair Waldorf at the first blooms of Spring.

"To dye for" is a peachy neutral nail lacquer with warm tones and a very smooth, creamy finish.  This color goes with everything and will have any lady looking effortlessly put together.

Ready for that eyeliner?  The "Midnight Snack" fluidline is a smooth deep metal gray color.  Perfect for those who love a darker, classic liner but feel black is a bit too harsh for their look.

"Call the Hairdresser" has taken its place as my favorite shade of MAC lipsticks.  With a little bit of shimmer, this rosy color is the perfect blend of "my lip color but better" neutral and ladylike pink.  A neutral with a touch of "wow,"  this color can be worn for a variety of looks - from just the basics to the full on girls night out.

Looking for a little more shine with your lip color?  No worries here. "One the Scene" Cremesheen Glass is the perfect compliment to "Call the Hairdresser."  It even looks great worn alone giving a  peachy, refined yet down-to-earth look.

MAC is Beauty is now available at your local MAC counter, boutique, and online at MACCosmetics.com