Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Little Pony-Friendship is Magic: Spooktacular Pony Tales on DVD Now! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Sustainable Earth Dinnerware from Staples! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review several Sustainable Earth dinnerware products from Staples:

This line features many school and office supplies and also offers eco-friendly dinnerware which includes 100% compostable plates, bowls, cutlery, napkins, cold and hot cups and much more!  

Sustainable Earth products are made with renewable resources and from recycled materials.  With such a great variety of products to choose from, you are all set and at an affordable price to boot!

Whether you're stocking the office break room or stocking up for all of the entertaining events Fall has to offer, Sustainable Earth dinnerware and cutlery has got you covered!  Decrease your carbon footprint with these eco-friendly items...it doesn't get much easier than that!

ABCD Diaries gives Sustaiable Earth products from Staples an A+!

Buy It:
Shop Staples for all of your office supply needs and much more!

Native Box: Australian Natural Products Subscription Box Service! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review a subscription service called Native Box:

Native Box is Australia's #1 eco-friendly monthly subscription box.  Each month they ship out a box full of sample products from their carefully curated collection of products.  These products come from Australian companies that strive to produce healthier and safer alternatives to conventional products.

Native Box has several box options including:  Classic, SuperSize, Mum & Bub, Vegan, Snack Box and Men’s. Boxes start from $21.60p/m including shipping (in Austraila).

Let's take a look at all of the goodies packed into our Classic box!

First up, a snack sized bag of Koala Popcorn!  This popcorn is gluten-free, air-popped, nut-free and delicious!  The kiddos especially enjoyed this fun treat:)

Another treat in our Native Box were these yummy dried figs.  These are naturally sweet and full of fiber and other goodness like calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium and more!  These were tasty little treats:)

We also found a small bottle of Coconut Oil. We are HUGE fans of coconut oil!  There are so many uses for this versatile oil and this sample was deliciously high quality.  From use in cooking to beauty, coconut oil is a staple in our household!

There were several beauty samples including a mineral mask, a hydrator and a lip ointment.

The Anerah Skincare Rejuvenating Mineral Mask is a blend of carefully chosen ingredients that help to clean, moisturize and detoxify the skin.  The sample amount was perfect for a one-time use and I loved this product!

The Meditree Tea Tree Hydrator with willow bark is made to rejuvenate and hydrate without increasing oiliness.  It contains calming tea tree oil which has amazing antibacterial properties, willow bark extract for deep cleaning, and aloe vera and chamomile to calm and soothe the skin.  Another really great product...I love tea tree oil so this was a sure hit!

Also included was a full-size tube of Pure Papaya Ointment from Phytocare.  I had never tried papaya ointment before, but I am in love!  This product keeps my lips smooth and soft and will be a must-have come the drier months of winter!  Phytocare uses no petrochemcials, preservatives, lanolin or hydrogenated casor oil in it's products.  This ointment uses shea butter, calendula and the amazing papaya to moisturize and protect this delicate skin.  My favorite product in the box!

The next product was a nice sized bottle of Olive Leaf Extract from Vabori.  Another product I've never heard of, but is said to be a powerful defender against sickness. The reported benefits of olive leaf extract range from promoting increased energy and healthy blood pressure, to supporting the cardiovascular system and the immune system.  This will be great when cold and flu season rolls around!  

Our final item was a pretty little package with a single place setting. This included a palm leaf plate, wooden fork and knife and a sugarcane and bamboo napkin.  These products are earth friendly, sustainable and compostable!  Great for eco-friendly entertaining year round!

Native Box also has an online store where you can shop for full-size products that are in the subscription boxes which is great if you find something you love..and my guess is you will:)

ABCD Diaries gives Native Box an A+!

Buy It:
Check out Native Box today!

Friday, September 26, 2014

5-Hour ENERGY Yummification Contest Results!

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here! The winners of the 5 Hour Energy Yummification contest have been officially announced!

The winning videos and recipes are posted at http://5hourenergy.com/yummification.

·         First Place ($50,000 prize): “Pomelimelade” by Tim Merlau, Los Angeles, CA
o   This winning submission mixes a Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® shot with limeade, and then takes us on a musical journey through all that can be accomplished over several hours (spoiler alert:  it’s a lot). 
o   “Pomelimelade”
§  1 glass Limeade
§  1 shot of Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® 

·         Second Place ($30,000 prize): “Ramalamadingdong” by Mark Golembeski, Los Angeles, CA
o   The second place video helps us turn that 2:30 feeling frown upside down by mixing a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with lemonade.  This video has it all: a clown, a puppy, a guy in a tutu, and much more. 
o   “Ramalamadingdong”
§  1 glass Lemonade
§  1 shot of Berry 5-hour ENERGY® 

·         Third Place ($10,000 prize): “Arnold Power” by Zac Sheorn, Lugoff, SC
o   The third place winner reminds us that you don’t have to be good at sports, but mixing a Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® shot with decaffeinated iced tea helps keep you refreshed while practicing.  And practicing. 
o   “Arnold Power”
§  1 glass Decaf Iced Tea
§  1 shot of Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® 

Congrats to all of the winners!

Disclosure: The 5-hour ENERGY® samples, gift card, and information have been provided by the makers of 5-hour ENERGY®.

Think Outside of the Box with Puffs New Softpack! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review Puffs new Softpack tissues:

This softpack can easily be pushed under the car seat or in the console, nestled in between couch cushions or even added to a suitcase without compromising the tissues or the packaging!  The three pretty patterns are all stylish and the design is flawless.

This new pack allows you to have easy access to Puffs gentle tissues no matter where you are.  We love the new Softpack design...I'm not sure we'll ever go back to the rigid box design again! 

ABCD Diaries gives Puffs Softpack an A+!

Buy It:
You ca find Puffs Softpack at grocery stores and mass merchandisers nationwide!

Back to School Fashions from Wrangler! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review so back-to-school fashions from Wrangler!

We homeschool, so we don't have to do the typical back-to-school shopping for clothing.  However, we do like to take inventory of our kiddos wardrobes this time of year to get an idea of what they need.  It never fails...they both always need jeans!  I guess the summer sun and dirt and water makes them shoot up like weeds!  Though known widely for their Western wear, Wrangler is much more than that.  They offer a wide variety of stylish clothing for the whole family.

We were super excited to get the chance to review Wrangler jeans and even a shirt for D!  These clothes were so cute and versatile.  The kiddos fell in love instantly.  

Wrangler is known for the durability of their clothing and this is a must for my active kiddos, especially as the weather cools down and they start spending more time outdoors:) 

The clothing they love must be comfortable as well.  These Wrangler jeans have definitely proven themselves worthy of a place in our kiddos fall wardrobe!

With kid jeans starting at under $15, Wrangler is an affordable way to stock up on great fall fashions for your littles!  Don't forget, they also have clothes for Mom and Dad too:)

ABCD Diaries gives Wrangler an A+!

Buy It:
Check out all of the great clothing for the whole family at Wrangler!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Origianl Sprout Natural Hair Care! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review a few products from Original Sprout:

The sulfate free Natural Shampoo leaves hair squeaky clean and shiny, plus it has added sun protection! 
The Deep Conditioner leaves hair smooth, silky and moisturized...say goodbye to tangles and frizz!
The Miracle Detangler instantly reduces the amount of tangles and makes combing through them a breeze.  This is especially great for A's long hair and sensitive scalp!

These products were fantastic!  They were easy to use and left us with great results.  The kiddos hair was clean, conditioned and easy to comb out.  An added bonus: the products smelled great! 

Origianl Sprout is the safe, effective and natural choice for your whole family!  ABCD Diaries gives Original Sprout an A+!

Buy It:
Check out all of the fantastic hair products at Original Sprout!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mission Cute August Box- So Much Cuteness! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review the August box from Mission Cute:

 MissionCute is a subscription service that delivers cute stuff to you monthly with 50% of the proceeds of MissionCute's net profit going to a different nonprofit each month.  Subscribers can nominate nonprofits to receive the donation.

Fifty percent of this month's proceeds go to benefit Ekubo Ministries.
"Ekubo ministries is comprised of many departments coming together to accomplish the goal of serving the vulnerable children and developing strong and sustainable communities in Uganda. We focus on:
Children's Home
Spiritual development
Community Outreach and Development
Clean Water
Health Care
Ekubo Ministries exists to provide sustainable jobs to the men and women we serve so they can generate income to provide for their families. The worst thing you can do for someone trapped in poverty is something they can do for themselves. AID creates dependence while teaching and giving them a TRADE restores their dignity. We are inviting you to shop for gifts from us that GIVE. GIVE life. GIVE love. GIVE hope.
Be sure to learn more about Ekubo Ministries on their website and Facebook page for more information!"

The products you receive in your box are from small businesses and local artisans.   Each box includes a detailed page with information on the products and businesses and information for the nonprofit of the month.  This box was full of cuteness!

Here are the products featured in the August box:

 Ekubo Bracelet 
This bracelet is gorgeous!  It is handmade from paper beads by the folks that benefit from Ekubo Ministries. 

This cap allows you to reduce wine waste.  It is cute and colorful!
 Proper Soap
This travel-sized soap is French-milled and paraben free.Proper Soap helps to promote access to clean water.  Soap with a mission?  We love it:)
This cute little birdhouse sticks to the wall and is a chic place to hold your keys:)  The little birdie keychain double as a whistle.  Too cute!

This soft gray headband is lightweight and perfect for everyday wear.  I'm not really a headband girl and this one is kinda bulky, but A loves it!

MissionCute subscriptions start at just $29 monthly with free shipping.  The value of our box was over $40, so this would be a great deal for some really cute stuff that always supports a great cause!

ABCD Diaries gives MissionCute an A+!

Buy It:
Sign up for you monthly dose of cuteness at MissionCute

Find out more about the products in this month's box:


The MissionCute shop just opened, so stop by and pick up items from this month's box!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bring Back Your Favorite Kid's Classics from Mill Creek Direct! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review some great kid's classics from Mill Creek Direct:

"King of the '80s nostalgia explosion, Heathcliff is back, ruling the neighborhood with an iron paw and a sense of adventure. When Heathcliff is not grabbing fish from the market or teasing the neighborhood bulldog, Spike, he is full of love and good will for others, despite himself. 

Voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc, Heathcliff is just as you remember: fun, feisty and full of laughs and entertainment for the whole family! 

Season One, Volume One includes over 11 hours of crazy street cat antics." 

Based on Hank Ketcham's popular comic-strip, this animated series became a staple in countless households throughout the mid-80s. Now you can relive all the mischief, adventure and hilarious havoc that made Dennis the most lovable troublemaker around. With the help of his precocious pals and his shaggy dog Ruff, Dennis uses his curiosity and imagination to keep his pleasant Midwestern neighborhood in a constant state of confusion and chaos. Packed with hilarity and nostalgia this 33 episode collection is sure to wrangle in menaces of all ages!

Traveling through the countryside in their Clubhouse Caboose, this lovable group of friends is always ready to lend a helping hand in their own happy, clever way.  This DVD features 10 fun-filled episodes!

What we thought:
We had a lot of fun sharing these shows from our childhood with our kiddos.  They were actually surprised how much they enjoyed them!  There are so many shows geared towards kids today that are, IMO, not acceptable entertainment.  These 3 shows are wholesome and funny and entertaining at the same time:)

ABCD Diaries gives Mill Creek Direct an A+!

Buy It:
Check out all of the great titles at Mill Creek Direct!

Relax and Unwind with Delicious Organic Numi Teas! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review several Numi teas:

Numi is known for making healthy teas made from high quality, premium organic tea leaves.

The Jasmine Green is a slightly floral, smooth green tea.  Really tasty and lightly caffeinated.  The Breakfast Blend was my personal favorite.  It is a blend of Asam, Ceylon, Chinese Keemun and Darjeeling teas.  It is such a rich, dark tea and perfect for that first cup every morning.  The Moroccan Mint is deliciously fresh with a crisp spearmint flavor.  You can enjoy it any time of day because it is caffeine-free!  

We were very impressed with Numi teas!  ABCD Diaries gives Numi teas an A+!

Buy It:
Check out all of the delicious teas at Numi!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nutiva: Organic Products for the Whole Family! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review a couple of Nutiva products:

Nutiva is known for their commitment to providing customers with organic hemp foods, coconut oil, red palm oil and chia seed products.  We tried a bag of Chia Seeds, a jar of Coconut Oil and O'Coconut bites. 

I love adding chia seeds to many of our favorite recipes, especially baked goods and breakfast foods.  I'll mix in a couple of tablespoons to batters or a couple of teaspoons to a pot of oatmeal.  Chia seeds don't alter the taste of your food, but add so much goodness!  They are full of omega-3, protein, rare antioxidants and fiber and such an easy way to enhance the nutritional value of the foods we eat.  The Black Chia Seeds from Nutiva were excellent!

In the past few months, we've started using coconut oil as a replacement for vegetable oil.
Coconut is one of the world's most nourishing superfoods.  Nutiva's coconut oil is cold-pressed and never refined, deodorized or bleached.  We've used this oil for cooking and baking, but there are so many other ways coconut oil can be used.  The benefits of coconut oil on your skin and hair is pretty impressive and it's easy to whip up your very own bath and beauty products at home with coconut oil.  

Nutiva O'Coconut snacks are a delicious treat that you can enjoy anytime. These yummy little bites are made of lightly sweetened coconut flakes and coconut oil.  One flavor even features hemp and chia seeds!  These are so yummy!!
I love that Nutiva provides all of these fantastic products that make it easy to treat my family to organic and natural goodies!  ABCD Diaries gives Nutiva an A+!

Buy It:
Find out more and find a retailer near you at Nutiva!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Back-to-School with Perky Jerky and PURE Bars! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review a selection of Perky Jerky and Pure Bars and Fruit Strips:

"Perky Jerky is an all-natural, ultra-premium jerky. Perky Jerky is low calorie, low/no fat, low carb and a great protein source made with no nitrites, no preservatives and no added MSG. This great snack provides delicious energy for a full day of learning."    

We tried 2 flavors of Perky Jerky, beef and turkey, and we preferred the beef over the turkey.  ABCD Diaries gives Perky Jerky a B+.

"Pure Bars are the delicious and nutrient filled snack bars that are sure to satisfy. Whether you’re a mom looking for new ideas to add to daily lunchboxes, or a college student in need of an easy snack that won’t result in the always looming Freshman Fifteen, Pure Bars are the perfect choice. With a variety of flavors and products, there is a Pure Bar option for everyone. The certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO verified, whole-grain, vegan and kosher snacks are a healthy and delicious way to stay fueled for a long day at school."

We LOVED the Pure Bars and Fruit Strips!  Every single Pure product we sampled was delicious!  I love knowing I'm giving my family a nutritious snack that they can really enjoy the taste of:)  These bars are full of fruit pieces and nuts and the texture was way better than many other bars we've tried.  I'm a texture person and it's pretty hard to impress me with most bars, so that's saying something:)  These bars are great for snacking and on-the-go.  They'd also make a fantastic addition to a care package!  Love, love, love Pure products!!

ABCD Diaries gives Pure Bars and fruit strips an A+!

Friday, September 12, 2014

SheDangle: Monthly Handcrafted Earring Subscription #Giveaway #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review SheDangle, a monthly subscription box that features handcrafted earrings:

A mother-daughter team created SheDangle to share beautiful handcrafted earrings and an inspirational message with their subscribers each month.  Each package is beautifully presented.

You can personalize your SheDangle subscription by choosing whether you prefer gold, silver or a mix of finishes on your earrings, along with your personal style so you get the right gift for you each month.

The earrings we received were gorgeous and really well made.  A is loving them!  SheDangle would be a great way to pamper yourself or someone special.  Subscriptions start at just $27 monthly.

ABCD Diaries gives SheDangle an A!

Buy It:
Find out more at SheDangle! Use this exclusive coupon code for 50% off your 1st box: ABCD50.

Win It:
One winner will receive a month's subscription to SheDangle!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Agent Ribbit: Engaging Science Subscription Box for Kiddos! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review a fun new subscription box for kiddos, Agent Ribbit:

"Agent Ribbit sends you and your little detectives everything you need for exciting science investigations, every month! No combing through science books, no testing eight different volcano recipes to see which one actually works, no need to order 100 pipet droppers because you need just one. In each box, you'll find at least four science and creative projects and all of your supplies, all ready to go!"

As homeschoolers, we are always searching for fun ways to learn things.  Science is one of our kiddos' favorite lessons since there are so many hands-on ways to teach these important topics.  The benefit of Agent Ribbit is that all of the materials you need are gathered for you and a lesson is included for each experiment.  I love that there is a follow-up lab report for each experiment.  This insures the concept is understood adequately.  These experiments encourage the scientific method which is fantastic!  Our kit helped to get the kiddos even more engaged in the entire process and encourages exploration.  This cool kit is designed for kids ages 4-9 and every experiment was a huge hit with both of our kiddos, ages 5 and 8.

Here are the experiments from our Agent Ribbit kit:


We got to swab for bacteria and watch it grow.  We tracked the growth of our germs for a week. A really interesting experiment!  We found out that between the dog's toes was far germier than than both under the toilet seat and the kitchen sink!  Actually, the sample from under the toilet seat was surprisingly the least germy:)

Germ Detective:

We learned about the importance of good hand washing habits by covering our hands in "germ gel" (kid-safe:) and using a UV light to see how clean our hands were after washing them for certain increments of time.  This was a ton of fun and there was plenty of material for several experiments...this was one they had to show Dad when he came home:)  They are still enjoying the included invisible ink pen/UV light:)

Disease Web:

We followed the story of a sick kid who, by not taking care, spread the illness to lots of her friends, who spread the illness to lots of their friends and so on.  This was a great way to visually show the kids how fast an illness can spread.

Influenza I.D.

We got to build a model of an influenza cell.  So much fun!

We loved our kit from Agent Ribbit!  It is a great, stress-free supplement to our regular science curriculum and would be great for rainy day fun (or as we're much more likely to experience here in Texas, those sweltering summer afternoons:)

Agent Ribbit is a really great value and full of wonderful, hands-on experiments that keep the kiddos engaged, learning and having fun!

ABCD Diaries gives Agent Ribbit an A+!

Buy It:
Subscriptions start at just $24.99 with free shipping.  Sign up today at Agent Ribbit!