Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spice Things Up in the Kitchen with RawSpiceBar!

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

Looking for a way out of a cooking rut?  Check out this cool subscription service that offers a monthly delivery of hand-picked spice blends to ignite your creativity in the kitchen...RawSpiceBar:


RawSpiceBar Features:
-Whole, High Quality Spices-
RawSpiceBar sources the highest quality and some of the most unique spices from around the world.
-Freshly Ground-
These spice blends are created by top chefs from around the world and expertly toasted, ground and blended for maximum flavor.
-Global Flavors-
They offer kitchen-tested recipes that take you around the world and offer endless ideas for integrating their spice blends into your home meals.
-Direct to Your Door-
The perfect amount of small batch spices, freshly ground. Buy spices direct to your door each month for only $6.

What's in the box:
-3 freshly ground spices & blends, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people
-Kitchen-tested recipes, plus additional recipes on the blog
-Origin & history of a new region every month
-Surprises like bonus spices, toasting tips, discounts and other fun stuff



Our Istanbul Spice Box included very generous portions of Baharat, Urfa Biber and Za'atar, along with a full-color, front and back recipe card with some great ideas on how to use these blends.  Each pack was more than enough for one use for our family of four.  We love being creative in the kitchen, but storing tons of spices that may or may not get used before they lose their freshness is no fun.  I love that, with RawSpiceBar, we get to try new spices that are expertly blended to save me time and money in the kitchen.  RawSpiceBar let's you expand your taste bud's horizons without breaking the bank! 


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Fall Fashion Must-Have: Quintessential Lee Jeans!

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

I live in blue jeans pretty much year round, but in the Fall it's always fun to add a few new pair to the lineup.  Luckily for me, Lee is always coming out with new styles that are modern and trendy for the over 30 crowd that don't fit like your typical "mom jeans."  Two great styles for this Fall are from the Curvy Fit line: the Lena Skinny Jean and the Alanna Bootcut, both of which are in the Modern Series from Lee.





"The Lena's high stretch rayon denim keeps its shape all day (no bagging out!) and is soft to the touch. This dark wash skinny jean just might be your new go-to for great-looking, great-feeling style."

These are so cute and look great with boots, heels or flats.  They are flattering and comfy.  I'm not really a huge fan of "skinny" jeans, but these have softened me a little.  They aren't uncomfortably tight and look great!



"Cut and sewn in a premium stretch denim, the Alanna Curvy Bootcut will hug your curves and keep their shape wear after wear. Featuring our No-Gap waistband and the perfect modern updates, you'll have a hard time wearing anything else!"

These are my go-to jeans.  No matter what the occasion, these jeans rock!  I love bootcut jeans and these are super comfy and I always get compliments when I wear them.  They are forgiving and flattering at the same time:)  Definitely a wardrobe staple, not just in the Fall, but year round!

Both of these pair of jeans are from the Curvy Fit collection and designed with your curves in mind.  They feature a no-gap waistband that is mid-rise in the front and higher in the back for curve-hugging comfort.  Not your typical "mom jeans!"


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering & Giving Back: 101 Inspiring Stories of Purpose and Passion + Giveaway!

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


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering & Giving Back: 101 Inspiring Stories of Purpose and Passion

"One person can make a significant difference in the lives of others. This collection of 101 inspiring stories celebrates volunteers and those who give back, and also shows how the biggest beneficiaries are the givers themselves.

Volunteers and people who give back are models of unconditional kindness, compassion, and love. You choose hope over despair, optimism over cynicism, and caring over indifference. And by serving others, you also help yourself. In this inspiring collection of 101 personal stories by and for volunteers and those who give back, you and your fellow unsung heroes will get some of the recognition and appreciation you deserve."

Get Connected:
Twitter: @ChickenSoupSoul (https://twitter.com/chickensoupsoul)
Instagram: @chickensoupsoul (http://instagram.com/chickensoupsoul)

Win It:
Enter to win one of three copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering & Giving Back

Delicious Mediterra Nutrition Bars Based on Healthy Mediterranean Diet!

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

Mediterra offers all-natural nutrition bars inspired by the Mediterranean Diet and made to enjoy on the go. These bars are excellent sources of sustained energy and overall wellness.


Inspired by the time-tested Mediterranean Diet, they used its all-natural ingredients; nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, fiber-packed grains and seeds—and created a healthy option to complement the nonstop pace of modern life.

Mediterra products offer a healthy snack alternative. Incorporating the grains, fruits and greens at the heart of the Mediterranean Diet, it’s delicious, on-the-go fuel.

They offer a variety of tasty flavors:

Savory: Sundried Tomato & Basil and  Black Olives & Walnut
Sesame Energy: Orange & Honey and Pistachio & Honey
Yogurt & Oat: Apricot & Pistachio and Cherry & Pistachio

My personal favorite were the Yogurt & Oat bars, but the Sesame Energy Bars offer great taste and the added benefit of an energy boost.  The Savory bars were surprisingly delicious as well.  We have it ingrained in our brains to expect sweet when we eat a bar, but these were a pleasant, and yes, savory surprise:)  These bars were great for on-the-go satisfaction in between meals.  We love Mediterranean foods for both their taste and the health benefits they provide.  Mediterra makes it more convenient to enjoy these foods any time:)



Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

K'NEX Sparks Creativity for Young Engineers with New Mighty Makers Sets! #IAmAMightyMaker +Giveaway

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

Woohoo!  K’NEX has launched a new line of STEM sets geared toward girls.  These STEM-inspired sets were designed by women to empower young girls and invites them to express their natural creativity with fun, colorful structures and characters. Mighty Makers sets aim to show every girl that she can be MIGHTY!


About Mighty Makers:
Estimates show the U.S. will have over 1.2 million unfilled jobs in science, technology, engineering, and math by 2018.The need for educated and excited workers is growing! 
Without the needed coursework and training, many of the openings in STEM careers will go unfilled. This crisis pits job openings against a population that is not qualified to fill them.
Children educated in STEM-related disciplines will ultimately have lower unemployment rates and higher starting salaries than the population at large.

K'NEX has noticed a lack of women pursuing careers in STEM and we want to help change that! Young girls have a natural inclination towards building and designing, but there are very few options for them in the building toy aisle.  Building, constructing, and creating, gives children the foundation they need to become lifelong learners who can solve problems, think critically, work collaboratively and adapt to change in today’s technologically evolving world. 

We were lucky enough to receive the Fun on the Ferris Wheel Building Set


This fun kit includes everything you need to build three different mechanical engineering themed builds.  Both A and D loved building these fun carnival-themed projects.  As with all K'NEX sets, the included instruction booklet was easy enough for my engineering-minded 6 and 9 year old kiddos.  They can't wait to try some of the other Mighty Makers sets!

K'NEX Mighty Makers kits are available now at knex.com and toyrus.com and make great gifts!

K'NEX can be found on InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube.
K-FORCE can be found on Instagram.
Mighty Makers can be found on Instagram and Twitter.
Tinkertoy can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Lincoln Logs can be found on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

One lucky ABCD Diaries reader will win their very own Mighty Makers kit!  Enter below:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Loved + Blessed: An Encouraging Faith-Based Subscription Service September Edition

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

We recently had the chance to review the September box from Loved + Blessed:

Loved + Blessed is a Christian faith-based subscription box service that delivers a box of encouragement right to your door each month.


Each box revolves around a central theme and comes with a mini poster, a sticker, a purse-sized scripture card and a gift.

The theme for the September box was Value.



The scripture card featured Luke 12:6-7 NIV.  "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

The special gift for September was a sparrow house key ring set to remind you of your value in God's eyes.


 I've reviewed quite a few subscription services, but I've never come across one that filled this niche.  I definitely think there is room for Loved + Blessed in the subscription box market and I love that their mission is to deliver encouraging products that support a fantastic message!  

If that wasn't enough, Loved + Blessed gives a portion of the proceeds of each box sold to Union Rescue Mission, a charity that offers hope and healing to the homeless.  What an amazing cause!

At just $10 per month you can get your Loved + Blessed box or gift someone else with this monthly dose of encouragement today!



Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

PetGiftBox: A Subscription Box for Your Four-Legged Friends! September Edition

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

Looking for a fun way to treat your furry friends and try out some great pet products?  Check out PetGiftBox:


PetGiftBox offers monthly subscription boxes for both dogs and cats.  They offer 3 dog boxes that cater to the size of your pup.  Our boxer/pit mix falls into the Hefty Hound category and she was super excited to receive her fun box of goodies! 

Our box was personalized with our dog's name and contained several treats and toys themed for a Hawaiian Lu-arf:



Coco Therapy Organic Coconut Chips, $13.99

Jessie loved these sprinkled over her dog food!


Tiki God Rope Toy, $9.99
Floral Bandanna, $5.99

This bandanna is adorable!


Ultra Chewy Passion Fruit Tropical Bone, $3.99
Tiki Dog Luau Ahi Tune Canned Dog Food, $2.99

Both of these went over really well!  Jessie would eat this dog food every day if she could:)

Another great month for PetGiftBox!

The total value of this box is over $30 which way surpasses the monthly cost of only $17.99!

Get your PetGiftBox today!  Use the code abcd-diaries to get 25% off your first box.  Your furry friends will thank you:)


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Season 2 of VeggieTales in the House Premiers on Netflix Tomorrow, 9/25!!

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

Chewy.com: Merrick Backcountry Dog Treats

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

Chewy.com is your one-stop shop for all things cat and dog!  One of the fantastic products you can find at Chewy.com is from Merrick:


 Merrick Backcountry Treats are grain-free with no gluten ingredients and have real meat as the first ingredient. Specially formulated to mimic the ancestral canine diet, Merrick’s Backcountry Dog Treats are all-natural and packed with the meaty protein your dog craves.

When buying treats for our pooch, Jessie, we always look for options with real meat as the first ingredient.  These treats from Merrick provide just that in several flavors that pups would be hard-pressed not to love!  Jessie loved the Wild Prairie Real Turkey & Sweet Potato Patties.  Merrick Backcountry Treats also have varieties like Pacific Catch Real Salmon, Great Plains Real Steak Patties, Wild Prairie Real Chicken Jerky and Wild Prairie Real Chicken Sausage Cuts...something for every pup's tastes!

These treats can be found at Chewy.com for just $7.99, making them an affordable treat for your pup!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Chewy.com: Evanger's Freeze-Dried Beef Heart Treats

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

Chewy.com is your one-stop shop for all things cat and dog!  One of the fantastic products you can find at Chewy.com is from Evanger's:


Made from a single ingredient Evanger's Freeze-dried treats are high in protein, low in calories and saturated fat.  It's great for pets with food allergies, and tastes great! Because of the palatability and wholesomeness of these freeze-dried treats, they are excellent for finicky pets or pets with food sensitivities, as well as for use as a training reward or food mixer.  These treats come in several varieities including Salmon, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe, Beef Liver, Beef Tongue and Beef Lungs.

Jessie is a HUGE fan of treats and she absolutely loves these freeze-dried beef hearts from Evanger's!  I love having high-protein treats on hand because she is a pretty persnickety eater.  This way I know she is getting a wholesome, protein-packed snack every day.   

These treats are currently on sale at Chewy.com for just $7.99, making them a really affordable treat for your pup!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Treat Your Feet with Airplus Footcare!

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

We wear flip flops for most of the year here on the Texas coast, but with Fall weather approaching, I'm looking forward to boots and cozy socks.  Airplus offers a variety of options to help you treat your feet all year long.


About Airplus:
The Airplus line of footwear accessories features nationally acclaimed designs created to work with every type of footwear. As the pioneer in offering a separate product line tailored specifically for women, they continue that tradition today with both comfortable and fashionable accessories that set the bar for practicality and value. Whether you are seeking relief for your heel, forefoot or arch or need all-day comfort at work, Airplus has an effective solution for you!

Airplus sent us several products to try out and we're in love!


ALOE INFUSED SOCKS
-Ultra-moisturizing
-Infused with Aloe and Vitamin E
-Soft Soothing texture comforts and warms feet
-Multiple colors & prints

These socks are a great way to pamper your feet!  They are super cozy and leave my feet feeling soft after every use.


ULTRA WORK MEMORY PLUS INSOLE
-Memory foam instantly molds to the foot to offer personalized comfort
-Relieves pain from working and standing on hard surfaces and rugged worksites
-Offers all day comfort and support
-Targeted heel protection absorbs extreme shock
-Ideal for any type of work boots, casual shoes, or sneakers

B pretty much never sits down at his desk on a work day.  He manages a large retirement community and literally walks several miles every day.  His work boots and his feet take a beating.  These Airplus performance insoles have been amazing!  He loves them and his feet haven't been complaining:)


MEMORY PLUS INSOLE
Features responsive memory foam for targeted comfort
Durable and pillow soft
Molds to the foot to evenly distribute pressure over the surface of the foam
Flexible and compact enough to fit in most types of shoes or boots

These full cushion insoles have found their home in my boots.  After going barefoot or sporting flip flops since mid-February, it usually takes my feet a while before being ready to feel comfortable in boots.  These insoles have made the transition so much easier.  It's like walking on clouds I tell ya!  They are so super comfy!

No matter what your feet need, Airplus has something that is sure to make them happy:)



Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Nurture Your Budding Chef's Creativity with a Kidstir Subscription!

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

I don't know about you, but my kiddos LOVE to help in the kitchen.  I am always looking for kid-friendly recipes and safe kitchen tools that allow them to be more active in our day-to-day food prep.  Kidstir is an amazing subscription service that can get any kiddo interested in preparing healthy foods, no matter their skill level.


With Kidstir's monthly hands-on kits, kids get to build their own cookbooks, try new foods, and learn all about where food comes from. They also gain important life skills in the kitchen—and cook up some fun family memories!


What's in the box:
-Two kid-sized tools and a specialty ingredient
-Three step-by-step recipes covering all food groups
-Digital and printed shopping list
-Three fun games and activities
-Digital recipes, downloadables and videos
-*SUBSCRIPTION BONUS* Personalizable and collectible cookbook binder


Kidstir has 17 different kits, including several full of fun holiday treats.  We received the Summer Sips Kit.


 The kiddos learned about solar energy and practiced knife skills while making Strawberry Sun Tea.

Their favorite project from this kit:)

They had more knife practice and enjoyed their new peeler making a Summer Cooler.


They brushed up on scooping skills with a S'Mores Shake.

Both kiddos really enjoyed these cooking projects and walked away with sharper skills than before they started.  They also loved adding a few kid-friendly utensils to our stash:)

Kidstir kits can be purchased individually for $24.95 or as a subscription for $19.95/month and make great gifts!

Kidstir has offered ABCD Diaries readers 25% off their first kit! Go to Kidstir.com/Partner and the discount will be applied at check out.


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Get Out of the Cooking Rut with a RawSpiceBar Subscription!

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

Looking for a way out of a cooking rut?  Check out this cool subscription service that offers a monthly delivery of hand-picked spice blends to ignite your creativity i the kitchen...RawSpiceBar:


RawSpiceBar Features:

-Whole, High Quality Spices-
RawSpiceBar sources the highest quality and some of the most unique spices from around the world.
-Freshly Ground-
These spice blends are created by top chefs from around the world and expertly toasted, ground and blended for maximum flavor.
-Global Flavors-
They offer kitchen-tested recipes that take you around the world and offer endless ideas for integrating their spice blends into your home meals.
-Direct to Your Door-
The perfect amount of small batch spices, freshly ground. Buy spices direct to your door each month for only $6.


What's in the box:
-3 freshly ground spices & blends, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people
-Kitchen-tested recipes, plus additional recipes on the blog
-Origin & history of a new region every month
-Surprises like bonus spices, toasting tips, discounts and other fun stuff

Our Baltimore Spice Box included very generous portions of Baltimore Bay Spice, Vert Pickling Spice and Power Spice Blend, along with a full-color, front and back recipe card with some great ideas on how to use these blends.  Each pack was more than enough for one use for our family of four.  We love being creative in the kitchen, but storing tons of spices that may or may not get used before they lose their freshness is no fun.  I love that, with RawSpiceBar, we get to try new spices that are expertly blended to save me time and money in the kitchen.  RawSpiceBar let's you expand your taste bud's horizons without breaking the bank! 


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Accent Your Updo with Sweet Ties Hair Ties!

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

Sweet Ties Hair Ties is the home of on-trend hair accessories for women of all ages, expertly handcrafted and designed. Sweet Ties Hair Ties specializes in fashion forward chic elastic hair ties and headbands in many colors and styles. They give your hair great hold without pulling or damaging your hair. 


These lovely ties are made with a gentle elastic that doesn't pull, tangle or damage your hair.  They look great in a variety of updo styles:




These ties are cute and comfy!  Sweet Ties offers elegantly adorned headbands, hair ties, and more in a multitude of colors, patterns and styles to compliment your outfit for any occasion.  A and I are loving our set and we sport them everyday.  They look just as great as a wrist accessory as they do in our hair:)  Sweet Ties has so many great sets to choose from...check them out!


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Feeling Lucky? Try Your Luck with Jackpot Candles! Everyone's a Winner!

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

About Jackpot Candles:
Jackpot Candles offer hand-poured candles are made with 100% natural soy that creates a lovely, long-lasting flame to fill your home with amazing scents. Using only the best environmentally friendly materials, these candles provide bold, distinctive fragrances that fit any mood and any budget. Whether you crave the aromas of fresh baked holiday cookies and pies or the fresh, clean scent of flowering gardens and mountain breezes, our wide range of products in over 20 scents will transform your home into a welcoming space of comfort and relaxation.


But the scented candle is only the first part of the experience. After enjoying the soft light of the long-burning flame and the aroma of your favorite scent, each Jackpot Candle offers a foil-wrapped jewelry item you select, valued between $15 and $5,000. These jewelry pieces ensure that your candle experience lasts a lifetime.


Once you unwrap your piece of jewelry, visit the appraisal page and enter your product code discovered on the label of your foil wrapped jewelry, for your instant appraisal.  The jewelry is inside of a small plastic zipper bag and then folded gently in foil to keep it nice and clean.



Our beautiful heart crystal necklace was appraised at $25 and it's gorgeous!  The candle alone is valued at $25, so we were happy:)  What a fun candle experience!  Jackpot Candles make great gifts and are an affordable option for a multipurpose gift that lasts and lasts. 


Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, September 21, 2015

PupJoy: Spread the Love to Your Four-Legged Friends! + Giveaway

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

PupJoy is a subscription box of goodies curated with your pup in mind.  This company has been voted a Top 3 Dog Subscription Box and we know why!


PupJoy offers one stop shopping via their eBoutique store and delivered-to-your-doorstep convenience via their monthly subscription box.  Their innovative order customization ensures that you get stuff that actually works for your dog’s specific needs.  They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

PupJoy works directly with small, artisan manufacturers and curates the best of the best in the industry to introduce customers to new, high quality brands/products.  Their treats are natural, clearly labeled and use only USA based treats.  The products are full size packages, no stale samples that have been sitting on a shelf for a long time.  The Care Pack collection of charitable programs supports animal rescue and adolescent and young adult (AYA) breast cancer causes.

Let's take a peek in the box we received:



Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies from Kim's Barkery, $7.99


Smart Cookee PB'N Jelly Time Treats, $9.00


Outward Hound Fire Hose Fetch and Tug Toy, $10.49


Bait Free Collar, $19.99

Your subscription is completely customizable and the purchase price varies, but we feel that this is a fairly affordable box for the assortment of fantastic goodies it includes.  The fact that you get to personalize your pup's box adds a lot of value to this subscription service.

Our pup loves PupJoy!

ABCD Diaries readers can get 10% off (any subscription)with the coupon code: ABCDDIARIES


One lucky ABCD Diaries reader will win a PupJoy box to treat their own pup.  Enter below: