Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday 9/52

This week I am thankful for my new laptop!  I am also thankful that I have a husband who understands that it is "normal" for me to need a new one every 12-15 months and always provides:)  I'm not exactly sure why I go through them so fast, but I rely on the computer so much that when I don't have access my work/the kid's school/pretty much everything else is so much trickier!  I am so glad to finally be catching up on everything:)

"Drawing with Mark" DVD Review

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Research has shown art education is crucial for children's cognitive and social development. For parents interested in grooming the next Picasso, the television series honored with both a Parents' Choice and Creative Child Magazine award, Drawing With Mark teaches children of all ages the fundamentals of drawing. Two DVD's each containing two episodes -- Drawing with Mark (Reach for the Stars and A Day with the Dinosaurs) and Drawing with Mark (We All Scream for Ice Cream and Happy Tails) -- are available now on DVD and digital platforms wherever home entertainment products are sold, including the national crafts retailer, Michaels.

A professional illustrator and creator of "Angels from the Attic," a comic strip that appears in 50 newspapers nationwide, host Mark Marderosian has a soft spoken and highly educational demeanor similar to Mr. Rogers. Marderosian has been teaching children how to draw for over 20 years. The
Drawing with Mark series is targeted to children ages 5 to 9 years old.   

Currently broadcasting on 150 television stations reaching over 350 cities nationwide, Drawing with Mark is an entertaining, interactive, educational series featuring live action as well as animated "Angels from the Attic" characters. Marderosian teaches simple basic art lessons and discusses shapes, parallel lines, shading, dimension, stick figures and action lines, so the budding artist can feel comfortable moving forward and expanding his/her creativity. Mark's teaching style is inviting, warm and extraordinarily nurturing. He's a natural born educator.

Each DVD consists of two 30-minute episodes that combine a field trip to a cool destination with two drawing lessons relating to the field trip, colorful animation, fun facts, trivia, and suggested reading books.  

Drawing with Mark: Reach for the Stars and A Day with the Dinosaurs

Mark Marderosian visits the Museum of Science in Boston twice where he introduces his viewers to dinosaurs and how they lived. Viewers then learn how to draw a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Pterodactyl.  On the second visit Marderosian and the "Angels from the Attic" learn about outer space, planets and stars. In this episode, the drawing lessons feature the planet Saturn and as well as a friendly astronaut on the moon.

Drawing with Mark: We All Scream for Ice Cream / Happy Tails

Visiting a neighborhood ice cream shop, children learn about everyone's favorite ice cream flavors. Mark then teaches everyone how to draw an ice cream cone and a truck. He then takes a journey to The Buddy Dog Humane Society, learns how to care for our four-legged friends, and teaches viewers how to draw a cat and a dog.

Each DVD contains bonus features on screen and off including:

In addition to its Parent's Choice and Creative Child Magazine awards,Drawing with Mark is a Dr. Toy winner for "best vacation" product and was recently approved by Kids FIRST!, a voluntary collaboration consisting of more than 100,000 members whose mandate is to teach children critical viewing skills and to increase the visibility and availability of quality children's media. The series is also a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 2013 Emmy® nominee in the Children's/Youth category in the Boston/New England area."

What we thought:  A and D (who are 5 and 7) really enjoyed these shows.  They both love creating art and these DVDs are great for teaching drawing techniques in a fun way.  Mark also throws in lots of learning opportunities about subjects other than art. The kiddos learned a lot about dinosaurs and space with the first DVD. Here they are showing off their astronaut photos:

Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself:)

These DVDs would be great for intro to drawing lessons or the perfect rainy day/indoor summer activity for young artists...a great way to keep those young minds engaged AND entertained:)  ABCD Diaries gives "Drawing With Mark" DVDs an A+!

"Chicken Soup for the Soul: Multi-Tasking Mom" Giveaway

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide: 101 Inspiring and Amusing Stories for Mothers Who Do It All

"Moms are the busiest people in the world! They juggle kids, husbands, jobs, housework, and more. These 101 stories from other multitasking moms will inspire and amuse the woman who does it all!

Moms do it all – they juggle kids, husbands, home and office…. This collection will inspire and entertain masters of multitasking with its 101 stories from busy moms like them. Filled with words of wisdom, lessons learned, funny moments and juggling success, this book will brighten any mother’s day."

Enter to win one of 3 copies of this book below:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash Review + Giveaway #GetNoticed

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"NEW Dial® Vitamin Boost Body Wash gives your skin a daily boost of vitamins. The advanced formula contains a moisturizing Vitamin Complex, which helps draw moisture directly to your skin leaving your skin feeling so healthy and soft, people can't help but notice!"

What we thought:  Looking for a super moisturizing body wash that smells great and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean?!  Dial's new Vitamin Boost Body Wash can do all that and at a reasonable price to boot.  Plus, I know it sounds silly, but the pretty green bottle looks great in my shower and is a fun reminder that spring is upon us:)  ABCD Diaries gives Vitamin Boost Body Wash an A+!

Enter to win a voucher for Dial Vitamin Boost Body Wash below:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tom's of Maine Natural Kids Oral Care Kit Giveaway #NaturalSmiles

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"February is National Children’s Dental Health month and natural oral care leader, Tom’s of Maine, is teaming up with Oral Health America (OHA) to shine a light on healthy habits and oral care prevention.

Tom’s of Maine is inviting kids and parents to get creative for a good cause and learn about natural oral care with a new coloring book called “Brushing Fun.” Starting today, with each free download of the customizable coloring book Tom’s will donate 10 tubes of Wicked Cool! natural toothpaste to OHA in support of its Smiles Across America program. This could be a fun activity for you and your kids!

Parents can show off their kid’s  creativity and inspire others to get involved by sharing a photo of a completed page from the coloring book on Facebook or Instagram  using #NaturalSmiles.  A weekly drawing of all eligible entries will determine five winners to receive a Tom’s of Maine natural oral care prize pack and a $100 Utrecht Art Store gift card to foster their child’s creativity. "

Don't forget to enter before Friday!  Here at ABCD Diaries we are also giving away one of these cool prize packs as listed below.  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget at the end o this post.  Good Luck!

Tom’s of Maine Natural Kids Oral Care Kit (quantity: 2) will include:
·         Tom’s of Maine Tote made from Recycled Tom’s toothpaste tubes
·         Wicked Cool!™ Anticavity Toothpaste
·         Silly Strawberry Anticavity Toothpaste
·         Children’s Anticavity Fluoride Rinse Juicy Mint
·         Naturally Clean Toothbrush  Soft

Keep in touch with Tom's of Maine social media channels

          Keep in touch with Oral Health America social media channels

About Tom’s of Maine:
  • Tom’s of Maine gives 10% of its profits back to organizations that support human and environmental goodness.

About Oral Health America
·         OHA’s mission is to change lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to oral health care, education and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. For more information about Oral Health America, please visit

Saturday, February 22, 2014

K5 Learning Reading and Math for K-5th grade

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. - See more at:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday 8/52

This evening I am thankful for Marie Callender's Turtle Pie!  One of my favorite desserts from the freezer case at HEB.  B brought one home today.  It's been a LOOONG week and this really hit the spot:)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Purex Partners With Miracle Network + Giveaway!

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family.
Purex will pay a minimum guarantee of $250,000 to Make-A-Wish, but you can help make a difference and get the payment up to $400,000 by purchasing Purex liquid detergent or liquid fabric softener between February 1st 2014 and February 28th 2014. *
Be sure to stock up on Purex during the month of February as every bottle helps in our effort to support this great cause. Learn more about Make-A-Wishbelow and show your support by spreading the word – share this page with friends and together let’s make wishes come true!"
Enter below to win a voucher for Purex Mountain Breeze Laundry Detergent and don't forget to spread the word about this great promotion!
To learn more about Purex and Make-A-Wish, please visit
To keep up with the latest Purex promotions visit the Purex Facebook Page:

Purex Crystals Review and Giveaway!

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Purex® Crystals Mountain Breeze at the start of the wash directly with your laundry detergent and take the freshness of your laundry to a whole new level!"

What we thought:  We loved Purex Crystals!  They are so easy to use...just throw a cap full into your wash and voila!  Our laundry smells so good and the scent seems to linger for quite awhile before dissipating.  ABCD Diaries gives Purex Crystals an A+!

Follow Purex on Facebook to keep up with all the latest brand information!

Enter below to win a voucher for free Purex Crystals!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday 7/52

This week I am thankful for a working washing machine and an amazing husband who is mechanically savvy enough to fix our broken machine so we didn't have to buy a new one:)  (B wouldn't let me post a pic of him, so this pic of the washer will have to suffice:)

I am a little on the weird side in that I really enjoy doing the laundry.  If I get nothing else accomplished during the week, I don't get too freaked out, but if the laundry gets backed up I feel like I've failed.  So when our washer broke and it was going to take 10 days to get the replacement part in, I freaked out a little bit.  That's a loooong time to not do the laundry for me and it was pretty rough.  Once the part came in, it took B about 20 minutes to install and we were back in business!  3 days and 14 loads later, I breathed a sigh of relief.  And my laundry room looks amazing:)  We are truly blessed!

Oral-B Deep Sweep Review

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"This Valentine’s Day, instead of the usual box of chocolates, you could get your significant others something that will last them all year long – a healthy, beautiful smile. The Oral-B Deep Sweep is the perfect gift for your sweetheart (male or female) that loves technology while taking care of their oral health. Deep Sweep removes up to 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush, and will make his or her brushing experience something to say “WOW” about.

Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 Electric Toothbrush
with triple action deep cleaning technology and visual pressure sensor.

The Deep Sweep 1000 with triple action deep cleaning technology removes up to 100% more plaque*, even between teeth. This electric toothbrush features an innovative brush head design, Deep Sweep 1000 provides cleaner teeth and healthier gums.*
  • Unique brush head design with 3 cleaning zones
  • Superior plaque removal* plus helps prevent and reverse gingivitis
  • 40,000 pulsations and 8,800 sweeps per minute
  • Made by Oral-B, the #1 dentist-recommended toothbrush brand worldwide
*vs. a regular manual toothbrush"

What we thought:  What a unique idea for a Valentine's Day gift!  If you're still looking for something for your loved one, this is a gift that anyone can use and that keeps on giving year round!  The brush itself is awesome and really works well.  My teeth feel super clean after using it and it's very gentle on my gums.  ABCD Diaries gives the Oral-B Deep Sweep 1000 an A+!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bart's Cookies for Valentine's Day + Giveaway!

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Bart Smith has been baking the world's best chocolate chip cookies since he was in college, more than 20 years ago. He bakes milk chocolate chip, dark chocolate chip, milk/dark chip combo, white chocolate chip, white chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts, peanut butter with milk chocolate chips, as well as the world's best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Bart’s cookie fans are all over the country and around the world. Order the world's best chocolate chip cookies to be delivered to your home/office from Bart Smith at his chocolate chip cookie website,"

What we thought:  Looking for fresh-baked homemade cookies to spread the love this Valentine's Day?  Look no further than Bart's Cookies!  The cookies we reviewed were delicious and truly decadent:)  We sampled 2 varieties, Dark Chocolate Chip + Milk Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut and they were both fantastic!  They were delivered quickly and packaged well so that they were still moist when they arrived.  Bart's Cookies are chock full of big chunks of chocolate and yummy!  He has a variety of flavors to choose from; something for everyone.  These cookies would be the perfect gift to share this Valentine's Day.  ABCD Diaries gives Bart's Cookies an A+!  

Whole Foods Market for Valentine's Day!

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Looking for great, affordable gifts for Valentine's Day?  Whole Foods Market has got you covered!  Check out the selection of goodies available just in time for the big day from Whole Foods Market:

"A Slightly Selfish Valentine’s Day
·       Nothing says “burning love” like sriracha, am I right? Popcorn Indiana’s Sriracha Popcorn the perfect treat to keep your day spicy. Or, make your own with Organicville Sriracha.
·       One of our favorite self-indulgencies is to take a nice, long bath. Use 365 Everyday Value® Bubble Bath in Relaxing Lavender (SRP $7.99) to really help you get into chill mode. If your skin is feeling extra dry this winter season, add a cup of 365 Everyday Value® Organic Expeller Pressed Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (SRP $9.99) for added moisture.
·       Sick of making your usual morning beverage? Gift yourself the new 365 Everyday Value® Whole Trade Organic Coffee Capsules (SRP $8.99). Not only will you start your day with a quick and easy organic drink, but you will also be helping fund poverty alleviation through micro-credit.
·       Take your romance on the road with Whole Journeys, the new travel company from Whole Foods Market. There are 17 worldwide destinations from Colorado to Croatia. With intimate groups of less than 16 people, each trip explores the culture and traditions of food through hands-on interaction with local farmers, chefs, winemakers and producers all while enjoying activities such as walking, hiking, rafting or cycling. Perfect for the active and adventurous couple!
Best DIY gifts for your honey that “does it all”
·       Give your sweetheart all the ingredients for a relaxing at-home beauty scrub this year. We love to mix365 Everyday Value® Organic Mountain Forest Raw Honey (SRP $8.99), Whole Foods Market Turbinado Raw Sugar (SRP 3.99), oatmeal, apple, walnuts, cinnamon and honey for a tasty facial you might be tempted to eat! (For a full recipe, see here.)
·       Make date night sizzle with a fine dining experience in a much more intimate setting – home. Impress with premium surf and turf options like dry-aged steaks and lobster tails. Set the mood with a beautiful bouquet of Whole Trade® blooms, soft lighting and two glasses of your favorite beverage.
·       Are you fond of a foodie? Whip up a simple, homemade spice blend or infused vinegar. Your Valentine will remember your thoughtfulness with every new recipe. Try this aptly named “Hot and Sweet Spice Rub.” Buy ingredients from the bulk department to save on packaging and make sure you’re only getting what you need.
Gifts for a New Spark (or an Old Flame)
·       Can’t decide whether your partner likes sugar or spice? Give them 365 Everyday Value® Cocoa, Sugar & Chili Spice Grinder (SRP $3.49.) It will add a little bit of both to their favorite recipe!
·       Looking to give chocolate this Valentine’s Day? Gift one that gives back: a portion of the proceeds from every Whole Foods Market™ Organic Tanzania Schoolhouse Project Milk Chocolate Bar(SRP $2.99) supports education programs for school children in the Kyela district of Tanzania. Plus, these single origin chocolate bars are made entirely from organic cacao purchased directly from farmers in the Kyela district and are certified by the Fair Trade Certification Program

Green is the new red: gifts for your environmentally-conscious loved one
·       Buy roses that make a difference this Valentine’s Day: Whole Trade® Roses help provide fair prices to producers, safe and healthy working conditions for farm workers and promote environmentally-friendly growing practices—plus each bunch provides a one percent donation to Whole Planet Foundation for poverty relief.
·       Everyone needs some extra moisture during the winter season. Africa’s Secret Multipurpose Skin Cream (SRP $13.99) is a gentle all around moisturizer that’s certified fair trade and donates 10 percent of sales back to Africa to help fund community empowerment programs.
·       Made with organic cotton, PACT Socks (SRP $19-$30) go one step further and donate a portion of proceeds to a nonprofit each season. Previous partners that PACT has donated to include Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Planet Foundation.
·       If your eco-conscious sweetie has a sweet tooth, try Alter Eco® Fair Trade Organic Truffles (SRP $7.99 for 10-pack). These individually-wrapped delicacies are made with creamy, responsibly-sourced chocolate and wrapped in 100% compostable packaging, wrapper and all. Available in Black (dark chocolate) and Velvet (dark milk chocolate) flavors and exclusive to Whole Foods Market."

What we thought:  The Whole Foods Market Turbinado Raw Sugar and the Milk Chocolate Chips made delicious chocolate chip cookies and the Whole Foods Market™ Organic Tanzania Schoolhouse Project Milk Chocolate Bar was a wonderful treat that supports a great cause!  The 365 Everyday Value® Bubble Bath in Relaxing Lavender was very luxurious and would make a great addition to a basket of goodies for relaxing this Valentine's Day.  The 365 Everyday Value® Organic Expeller Pressed Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is so versatile!  You can use it in cooking or baking and you can even use it as a beauty treatment as explained above.  What a wonderful, multi-purpose gift!  Whole Foods Market is your one-stop shop for items for all of your Valentine's Day needs, whether your creating a fabulous gift basket or cooking a yummy gourmet meal!

ABCD Diaries gives Whole Foods Market an A+!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thankful Thursday 6/52

This week has been pretty chilly so I have been especially thankful for my collection of warm, cozy socks (even if some of them are Christmas themed:)  

Have a great week and try to stay warm wherever you are:)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Headphones Review

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kid-Friendly Headphones
Sakar’s TMNT Kid-Friendly headphones are designed to fit over children’s heads, preventing slipping, dropping, headaches, and overall uncomfortable listening experiences. Additionally, Sakar’s kid-friendly headphones include a volume control feature to protect little ears from loud sounds.

Availability: TRU, Kohls,
SRP: $19.99

What we thought:  D is loving his new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle headphones!  They are holding up pretty well through his rough and tumble lifestyle:)  I love knowing they are keeping his ears safe and he says they are super comfortable.  Tey don't slip off his ears like most one-size earphones do.  These headphones come in fun characters that kid love including Hello Kitty, My Little Pony and Spiderman and would make a great Valentine's Day gift!  ABCD Diaries gives Sakar's headphones an A+!

Keep up with Sakar:

Mike And Ike's for Valentine's Day!

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a big box of candy for your loved ones!  Sweeten up Valentine’s Day this year with MIKE AND IKE® Passion Mix and HOT TAMALES® Cinnamon candy."

What we thought:  We love Mike And Ike candies!  These cute full-sized boxes would make the perfect gift for the kiddos or to give to teachers or co-workers and they make super affordable gifts that everyone can enjoy!  My favorite is the classic Hot Tamales flavor, but the kiddos really loved the Passion Mix...all the pretty colors and fruity flavors were a huge hit!  Pick up your Mike and Ike candies in time for Valentine's Day:)

Naked Heart Candle by CARR Review

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Set a sexy tone throughout your bedroom with renowned Texan designer, George Carr's Naked Heart by Carr candle. Exclusively sold on Opensky, this candle is made in France and draws aroma from star anise, coriander, cut grass and cardamom.
The scent captures the raw emotion of the Southwestern terrain encompassing its colors, independence and romance. Carr says, “Naked Heart by Carr is just that—an expression of the fire in your heart burning to connect."
What we thought:  I really like this candle!  The blend of scents creates a very masculine and welcoming aroma.  It reminds me of a nice cologne.  It has warm tones and really sets a comfortable mood.  This candle would make a great gift for Valentine's Day.  Whether you are trying to set the mood or just enjoy the ambiance of a great candle, Naked Heart by Carr has got you covered.  ABCD Diaries gives this candle an A+!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

SiliconeZone Heart-Shaped Pan Review

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"The one holiday that calls for the sweet to deliver the sweet is Valentine's Day.  Plan ahead for the showstopper dessert when you cook a meal made with love: a personal expression of love, given from the heart.  Siliconezone is in on the action this Valentine's Day with their sweet, sentimental and always appropriate pink (of course!) heart-shaped silicone cake mold/pan.  Choose your pleasure — chocolate or lemon cake, white or carrot…Siliconezone's flexible, high heat tolerant heart cake pan is ready for its closeup.  Silicone allows for even cooking and its flexibility makes for easy, fluid de-molding of the cake from the pan and ready for decoration or frosting. 

Features of the SiliconeZone Heart-Shaped Pan:
  • Made with Pure, FDA-Approved (a much higher grade of silicone that required by the FDA) silicone, the bakeware is manufactured and engineered to commercial and professional standards
  • Oven-, microwave- and freezer-safe it can go from –58 F up to 675 F
  • The high gloss, non-stick finish ensures a smooth, non-porous surface enhancing the non-stick properties without adding any additional coatings. However, we always recommend following the recipe's directions for greasing or flouring
  • Cooks and browns evenly; cools down quickly; easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Can be folded for convenient storage and the flexibility makes removing baked goods easy (though not required, placing the cake pan on a cookie or baking sheet adds stability for the user to lift or transport the cake pan from oven)
  • SRP: $18.99
  • PINK color; small size also available

What we thought:  What a cute pan!  We loved the results of baking with our heart-shaped pan from SiliconeZone.  It worked really well, baked our cake evenly and our dessert popped out easily and cleanly.  The presentation was gorgeous!  If you want to add some holiday flare to your Valentine's Day dessert, the SiliconeZone plan can do the job!  ABCD Diaries gives the heart-shaped pan from SiliconeZone an A+! 

Follow SiliconeZone via Twitter at

Purchase the Heart-Shaped Pan at:

iCoffee with SteamBrew Technology Review

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"Remington introduces iCoffee, the first new coffee brewing technology in over 50 years.

According to inventor Bruce Burrows, iCoffee took seven years and over 1,257 prototypes to perfect. iCoffee's patented SteamBrew™ technology makes it the first coffee brewer ever to utilize steam jets inside the coffee brew basket. The SteamBrew™ jets first pre-steam the coffee and then stir the coffee throughout the brewing process so each of the coffee grounds is completely suspended and surrounded by hot water at the perfect brewing temperature. Next, a rich coffee crema forms, indicating the elimination of bitter and acidic aftertastes.

“What we’ve done is redefine coffeemaking,” said Burrows. “The ‘i’ in iCoffee stands for innovation, which is what we strive for in all our products. With iCoffee, we’ve found a way to use all the goodness of steam to release the locked-in flavors of your favorite coffee grounds, just like steaming rice and vegetables. This eliminates any bitterness and the result is impossibly smooth tasting coffee. There’s never been a machine in coffee brewing history that uses this technology. The difference in taste is unprecedented.”
iCoffee also features an exclusive brew viewing window, which allows coffee lovers to watch the SteamBrew™ process in action, including the formation of rich coffee crema.
According to Burrows, because SteamBrew™ technology enables maximum flavor extraction, users should experiment to determine the optimal ratio of water to coffee they prefer. “For the first pot, we suggest using the amount of coffee you normally add per cup when brewing. After the first pot, you can adjust the amount of coffee used by adding more or using less coffee in the SteamBrew™ basket to achieve the strength and flavor you prefer. Many people find they need less coffee than they did when using other coffee brewers.”

Burrows also notes that with iCoffee, finely extracted coffee essence, or sediment, may be visible after brewing. “This is normal and a result of our patented SteamBrew™ extraction technology,” he says. “Presently, coffee drinkers have a choice of using a reusable goldtone filter or disposable paper filters. Goldtone allows more coffee essence, paper allows less. It’s a matter of personal preference. If you prefer less finely extracted coffee essence, we have included an optional filter that provides a paper filter experience.”

iCoffee is available in more than 800 retail locations in the U.S., including major national chain stores, local independent retailers, Home Shopping Network and online via"

What we thought:  We've been using the iCoffee for a couple of weeks now and it really does live up to the claims above.  The coffee is richer and smoother, not nearly as bitter as our previous brewer provided.  The iCoffee is stylishly sleek and has a great keypad that is easy to use.  I especially loves that it "sings" a tune when it begins and once it's finished brewing.  What a pleasant way to start the day:)  The goldtone filter isn't as easy to clean as the paper filter, but it does seem to make the coffee taste better, so I'd say it's worth the extra minute or so of cleaning time.  The price tag of the iCoffee might be a little steep at $169, but if you are a regular coffee drinker who actually enjoys the rich flavor of a good cuppa joe, I would definitely say the iCoffee is a great investment!  ABCD Diaries gives the iCoffee an A+!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Glysonna Sleep Aid Review + Giveaway!

ABCD Diaries was given samples for review purposes only. We were in no other way compensated. The opinions expressed in this post are ours and ours alone. 

"You’ve stopped drinking caffeine. You exercise. You cut off all electronics by 9PM and play soft, soothing music in your bedroom to try and lull yourself to sleep. But, still, you’re awake night after night, staring at the ceiling wondering why on earth you can’t get to sleep.

Relying on over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids might make the problem worse. Many of these products simply knock you out and prevent you from reaching a deep sleep and REM sleep. You wake up feeling groggy, cranky and exhausted.

You may be experiencing straight insomnia – or maybe just a temporary problem sleeping. Surprisingly, though, roughly 50% of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from sleep apnea (largely undiagnosed).

And if you have sleep apnea, the last thing you want to do is take a medication that knocks you out! The gasping and choking that sleep apnea causes is your body’s survival mechanism kicking in. Your body is waking you up to tell you that you need to breathe! This natural survival mechanism can be repressed when taking a prescription drug.

Glysonna is a drug-free sleep aid, glycine fortified with added wellness nutrients which helps you to reach restorative sleep by:

a) Triggering relaxation.
b) Sustaining sleep.
c) Initiating the natural sleep process.

For more information, please visit"

What we thought:  I often find myself tossing and turning and unable to fall asleep which doesn't just affect me, but my husband as well.  I usually use an over-the-counter sleep + pain aid, but I don't like to use it if I don't actually need pain relief.  Not to mention the fact that I always take a lot longer to actually feel awake the morning after taking it.  I was definitely interested in trying Glysonna since is is an all-natural sleep-aid that is drug-free.  It really did help me fall asleep faster and waking up the morning after taking it was a lot easier.  The taste isn't terrible either which is definitely a plus.  I tend to prefer pills over liquids that taste so bad they make me gag, but Glysonna was easy to swallow.  Overall, I would give Glysonna an A+ for effectiveness!

Keep up with Glysonna via Facebook and Twitter:

Enter to win a bottle of Glysonna below: