Thursday, May 31, 2012

Father's Day Gift Giving Guide -- Fischer & Wieser Texas Pit BBQ Sauce (Review)


Texas is synonymous with barbeque and Fischer & Wieser honors that tradition with the authentic Texas Pit BBQ Sauce. After years of sampling pit barbeque at Texas’ most legendary joints, Fischer & Weiser perfected a sauce that pays homage to those smokehouses while introducing a unique chile, the Pasilla de Oaxaca, that is medium-hot and known for its rich-flavor. 

Before this review, I had never heard of Fischer & Wieser, nor saw this product line in the local grocery store.  So, I wasn't sure what to expect when I was sent their new sauce, Texas Pit BBQ, which was released last year.  Now that the nice weather is here, the grill has been pulled out of storage and is one the back porch.  At least once a week we are cooking hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken or steak on the grill.  My husband adds a variety of seasonings, rubs and sauces to give the meat and chicken flavor, but we always find ourselves reaching for a bottle of BBQ sauce to give the food moisture when eating.  One of the things my husband and I have in common is that we love trying out new foods and restaurants.  When traveling a few years back, we tried great BBQ in Texas, the Carolinas and Georgia.  No, I am not talking about restaurants that cook their meats on the grill and then add tons of BBQ sauce to the final product.  Instead, I am talking about authentic BBQ, cooked over a pit for long hours.  As I am writing this review, my mouth is salivating, just thinking about this sticky, tangy goodness! :-)

But, since welcoming our two daughters in 2010 and 2011, we have not been able to travel outside of New England.  So, whenever we have a craving for real BBQ, we are limited to a few restaurants, who unfortunately don't use cookers or pits to cook their food on.  They lack that smoky flavor you come to expect from pit cooking.  Since 2010, I have been trying to find sauces that would give our food a similar taste to pit cooking, as my husband doesn't own a pit or cooker.  Unfortunately, I haven't had much success in finding a sauce that really tastes "authentic and rich in flavor."  That is, until I tried the Texas Pit BBQ sauce from Fischer & Wieser.    This thick and spicy sauce really does add the flavor that we have been searching for.  The sauce has the tanginess you would expect from a BBQ sauce, but with the addition of the Pasilla de Oaxaca, you get a spicy kick with each bite. 

Since receiving this sample, my husband and I have found ourselves reaching for this sauce with almost every meal.  I have even used it as a bread dipping sauce -- it is that good!!!  We love it drizzled over grilled steaks, or smothered over chicken legs cooked in the oven.  This one bottle offers the heat we love and the flavors of BBQ that we remember about pit foods we enjoyed from the South.  In a matter of days, we finished off the bottle, only to want more.  Thankfully, when I was shopping at Shaw's, I found this and other sauces from Fischer & Wieser, and stocked up.  This unknown sauce has become a staple on our dining room table most nights of the week.  I am so happy that I had a chance to review this sauce, and each and every time my husband and I taste this sauce, we remember the great BBQ pit foods we have enjoyed during our travels.

If your dad loves BBQ sauces or grilling out, why not surprise him this Father's Day with this or other sauces from Fischer & Weiser?  I couldn't believe all the sauces, jelly, mustard, salsas, etc. that they offer through their online website.  These sauces are a great way for dads to experience real BBQ, without the hassle of pit cooking, or slow cooking, which is needed to achieve that rich BBQ flavor. They simply have to grill up their steaks and drizzle this sauce over them.  Then, sit back and enjoy a delicious meal, that will have them asking for more.

---BUY NOW---

Fischer & Wieser Spicy Garlic Steak Grilling Sauce

Click here to order a bottle of Fischer & Wieser's Texas Pit BBQ Sauce for only $9.95, just in time for Dad to use on Father's Day.  Don't forget to check out the other sauces and products from Fischer & Wieser. 

About Fischer & Wieser:

Established in 1969, and owned and operated by members of the Fischer and Wieser families, the company lives by its motto ―produce a quality product, and loyal customers will embrace it.‖ Fischer & Wieser® Specialty Foods, Inc., which produces the Fischer & Wieser brand, is committed to making high-quality specialty foods using sustainable business practices and environmental consciousness. The company manufactures over a hundred items to ―inspire your culinary adventure,‖ including The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce®, many of them award-winning, and distributes them to specialty food retailers, club stores and grocery markets around the world. Fischer & Wieser continues to produce distinctive and natural flavors, one jar at a time. Visit Fischer & Wieser at or on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
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Are You the Ultimate Pretty Little Liars Fan? -- Enter the Find the Pretty Little Lies Challenge For Bragging Rights and Awesome Prizes!!!!

Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Second Season DVD

If you follow my blog, then you know that one of my guilty pleasures is the Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family.  Yes, it may be geared towards teens and young adults, but I can't can't help it. After watching a few episodes I was hooked and had to continue to watch and see who "A' was.  The recent season finale was amazing, as so much was much revealed, including who 'A' was.  If you are a PLL fan, did you know who 'A' was the whole time?  Were you shocked to find out?  What about the PLL books?  Have you read any of them.  I haven't had a chance yet, but they are on my summer reading list.

On June 5th, Pretty Little Liars: Season 2 is coming out out on DVD.  If you missed any episodes, then you need to pick up a copy of this DVD, so you are ready for the new season. 

Want to prove that you are the ultimate Pretty Little Liars fan that you think you are?  Then, head on over to "Find the Pretty Little Lies" and take the challenge.  WB is hosting this online promotion for fans, and if you win, not only will you get bragging rights, but you will also win a gorgeous Heather Belle handbag!  

So, what are you waiting for?  Click here to take the PLL challenge today.  All you have to do is guess who said certain lines or find hidden characters within the season for your chance to with the Heather Bell Bag, and other PLL accessories, signed DVD and more.

And, don't forget to pre-order your Pretty Little Liars: Season 2 DVD, arriving on DVD June 5th.

Disclaimer: I have been hired by Warner Bros WBWord division to raise awareness for Pretty Little Liars
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: Finding the Right Network of Women to Help You Get Your Business Started by Zee Worstell, CEO of AccelerateHER Internationa

As I started both my recruiting business and my career coaching  business, I struggled with one issue that was so big it nearly derail me both time.  

Are you wondering what it is and if it can derail you too?  

Well  I can tell you that it is something that I know most women entrepreneurs struggle with as much or more than me and I do think is stops many of us in our tracks. If you are starting a business or just thinking about it, this simple advice could be the difference between success and failure.

Question: How much thought did you give to your network and support system when you decided to start your business?  Did you include it in your business plan or are you one of the women who thinks you need to do it all by yourself?   

Because the lack of support from a network almost derailed me, I started looking at why women are so hesitant to ask for help so I could understand  and then use my understanding to help others.

What I discovered was life changing.  The resistance to  developing a network for support can be directly related to our “good girl” belief system. What is a “good girl” belief system?  That is what I have named the set of rules and expectations that are passed on to us from our parents, other girls and society about how to be viewed by society as socially acceptable….a good girl!

One of the more deeply rooted “good girl” beliefs is directly related to not surrounding ourselves with a network. Think back to middle school and high school.

As middle school and high school girls we are trained the painful way that trusting other women can be horrible if you trust the wrong person or the wrong group.  Tell the class gossip who also happens to be your best friend about your crush on that cute boy in science and she tells the whole school.  You remember those days right?  As the mom of a middle school girl, I am reliving them as we speak.  My daughter is learning the hard way to be very guarded about who she trusts and that girls are mean, especially girls in groups, and only really care about what affects them.  They don’t really care about what affects you.    
As adult women we remember this lesson very well and many of us take on this, “I can do it on my own” mentality to protect ourselves  and it will be the death of many a female started business. We hesitate to find a support system because we have never been shown the value of this system.  

Because we are conditioned when we are young to not look to the older more experienced girls for help and guidance, most women don’t seek out mentors or develop networks to support them and help them navigate the tumultuous path of entrepreneurship.  We try to go it on our own and avoid asking for help.    
I definitely fell into that category and until I actually experienced the power of the network, I was determined to do it alone.  But then as I sat there in my home office trying to make things happened, I felt very alone and defeated.  Until I reached out to other people and followed the suggestions I offer below, I was ready to throw in the towel and admit defeat.  Luck for me I was taught the value of the network when another woman reached out to me in search of support. She was also struggling and feeling alone and defeated. Together we were able to lift each other and discover the benefits of a network.

So what now? How do you find a support system and get the much needed network in place?  It is not as hard as you think.  Here are some tips that I put in place to help me and now I have a healthy network of women and men who are supporting me in my business and helping me ward off failure.

  • Start attending industry functions to start meeting and interacting with people who are in a similar industry as you and get to know them.  Be genuine and start a conversation with them.  Get their card and stay in touch. Most people get cards and then never follow up.  If you are one of those people, schedule your follow up monthly in your calendar.
  • Use Social Media to connect with peers and promote them so that they will also promote you.  Interact with them and you will be amazed how much support they will give you. Remember, you must give just as much support or more and you must give it first.
  • Find an Accountability partner who is at the same place in their business as you are and support each other.  For me this is a 15 minute call once a week telling my accountability partner what I am working on and getting any advice he might have and then listening to what he is doing and offering my advice.  Other women I know talk every morning to their partner.  You will have to figure out what works for you.  
  • If you are still looking for more help and guidance you may want to hire a coach who specializes either in your business or in coaching entrepreneurs.  I always have a coach and it has been invaluable for growing my business to the next level.  Each time I hire a coach I take it higher.  
  • This last tip is the one thing that I tell every woman I work with because it is crucial. Plan a day or two each week to go out to lunch with a girlfriend who is interested in you and your business and talk.  As women entrepreneurs we tend to forget to take time to socialize.  For me, I spend every minute my kids are at school working on and in my business.  Before I started taking time away from the office, I found that I would spend two weeks straight never leaving the house and I would start to lose all grasp on reality and the outside world.  You can’t sustain that.  You are your business and you need to nourish your soul.

Take it from someone who knows, establishing a network and support system for your business is one of the most crucial pieces of your business plan.  Make it part of your business plan and set goals each month to track and monitor your network developing efforts.

About the Author:

Zee Worstell is the CEO of AccelerateHER International, a boutique career coaching organization focused on helping women suspend their “Good Girl” beliefs they learned when they were young and replace them with a more powerful set better suited for women who want to succeed.  

During the 15 years spent as an Executive Recruiter, Zee has witnessed many women sabotage their careers because of what they were taught as young girls.  Using Observation, personal experience and extensive research, Zee has developed her simple 6 step system called T.H.R.I.V.E. that guides women towards the success they desire.  She offers group coaching programs as well as more personal options.  Author of the audio program “Good Girls Finish Last…Confident Women Finish First” Zee Worstell is quickly becoming recognized as an expert in the field of women’s career development.  Meet Zee at
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MORPH-O-SCOPES by OOZ & OZ -- Mirror-aculous Optical Illuison Art Activities for Kids (Review)


Morph-O-Scopes Circus Kit

I am always looking for something fun to do when I have my 6 year old nephew over to visit.  Because we have two daughters, are house is filled with dolls, and other girly toys -- none, which he likes to play with.  So, when I stumbled upon MORPH-O-SCOPES online, I had to reach out to the vendor and request a sample to try out.  If you have never seen or heard about MORPH-O-SCOPES, from OOZ & Oz before, then you are missing here.  Here is more about it --

Amazing Anamorphic Art Coloring Pages & Brain-Tickling Optical Illusion Fun

Find up-side-down morphed shapes on the paper and crayon ‘em to make color appear in the right shape in the right-side-up mirror reflections. There’s a tiger leaping through a flaming hoop, trained bears, a strongman, trained seals, trapeze acts, clowns, and dozens more circus-themed morphs in the circus kit. Anamorphic Art Activities:  connect morphed dots, complete morphed pictures, navigate a morphed maze, create a morph, read slant art, play with a “slider,” and our 4-Dot Challenge – a snap for some five year-olds that stymies some grown-ups. Right-brainers love our new twist on coloring! Left-brainers love figuring out how morphs are made!
OOZ & OZ creates Morph-O-Scopes – fun optical illusion art activities adored by children all over the world. Toys that engage all cultures and all ages, across the learning spectrum – garden variety, gifted, exceptional, and autistic.  Award-winning art and science toys and unique hand-eye coordination party games that surprise and delight and teach and challenge children, just enough.

How Does it Work?:

Isn't this the coolest thing.  My nephew and I thought so when we created our circus scenes.  I couldn't believe how the time flew when playing with this no-batteries needed toy.  When my husband came home with the girls, after taking them out for the day, my nephew and I had been playing with the MORPH-O-SCOPES for only 2 hours.  I know, I couldn't believe it.  Usually I am trying to figure out what to do to fill up time with him, as I am not used to entertaining boys.

This fun arts and craft type toy will make kids think.  And, what is so great about this, is that you don't have to be an artist or good at drawing to play with this kit.  If you can trace, you can enjoy this unique toy, which has won over 18 toy awards so far.  So, get your children off the computer and sit them down at the table to enjoy this fun-filled circus kit.  In addition to the circus kit, OOZ & OZ also offers a sports kit, as well as great party fun packets:

Morph-O-Scopes Sports of All Sorts KitMorph-O-Scopes Distorted Dinos PacketMorph-O-Scopes Fairies Fantasy Packet

I am loving how it comes in a go-anywhere carrying case, making this a fun take along activity for long car rides, while waiting at doctor's offices, or to bring to the grandparents house.  Have two children?  Don't worry as this kit comes with two decoders, for twice the fun.  I loved being able to create fun illusion art right alongside my nephew.  For me it was a great stress reliever.

After experiencing this fun and unique activity, which is geared towards children ages 5-14 (but would be entertaining for older children and even adults), I definitely will be buying more of these kits to give as gifts, and to have on hand for the next time my nephew comes to stay.  It will make for a great rainy day activity.


Click here to order the circus MORPH-O-SCOPES kit, or other fun products from OOZ & OZ.  These would make for a great birthday party or sleepover activity.

Disclosure:  I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
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Monday, May 28, 2012

The New Similac SimplySmart™ Bottle Makes Formula-Feeding So Much Easier and Enjoyable for Both Baby and I (Review)

SimplySmart baby bottle

I recently had the opportunity to try out the new Similac SimplySmart™ bottle with Arabella. 

Similac SimplySmart™, is a bottle that combines 85 years of the Similac brand’s infant feeding expertise with feedback from more than 2,500 moms. This combined expertise has resulted in smart features that address challenges moms face during feedings, including leaks, bubbles and fussiness and gas:

·         Nipple: The naturally shaped nipple is designed to be more like mom for feeding between breast and bottle.
·         Intellivent™: This exclusive venting system is designed to minimize baby’s air intake for less fussiness and gas.
·         SmartClose™: Found only in Similac SimplySmart, the SmartClose reveals a blue shield when the top is secured to prevent leaks and assure the bottle is closed.
·         EasyMix™: This innovative mixing device is only found in Similac SimplySmart and is designed to help reduce bubbles and clumps.
·         Similac On-the-Go™ Powder Cap: A unique cap keeps powder and bottle together and holds enough powder formula for up to one 8-ounce bottle to help busy moms on the go. Cap sold separately. 

Similac SimplySmart is available in 4- and 8-ounce sizes, each with a wide opening and a comfortable grip, has a variety of nipple flow rates and is BPA free.

Arabella, like her older sister Savannah, has had issues with colic since she was born.  We have found that bottle feeding and taking in too much air causes her colicky behavior to get worse.  So, I am continually searching for new bottles, which claim to help with reducing air intake and prevent leaks.  I find that I stumble upon a bottle and think it works, only to be disappointed a few weeks later, when Arabella's fussiness and gas symptoms come back.  The bottle we have been recently most recently has begun leaking, due to the rubber base breaking down from daily unscrewing, washing and screwing the bottle pieces back together.  Don't you hate it when you have a fussy, hungry baby demanding food, only to begin feeding them and have the bottle leak all over the place.  When this happens, not only does Arabella get upset not being able to feed, but she takes in more air, trying to take in whatever liquid she can.  This results is a long, up-all-night, battle due to colic and unnecessary feeding issues.

Similac SimplySmart (TM) / 8 oz bottle / single
So, when it came to reviewing this bottle, I wasn't getting my hopes up, even though I was on the search for a new bottle for formula feeding with her.  The first time that I liked about the Similac SimplySmart™ bottle was the added Similac On-the-Go™ Powder Cap, which holds enough formula powder for one 8-ounce feeding, which she is up up to now.  Note, that this cap is sold separately from the bottle, but is a must-have for powder formula users.  I have been using this bottle for the past week, and have not had any issues with leakage, which is a plus, after the past month of leaky prepared bottles in the refrigerator, and when feeding Arabella. As for air flow and bubbles, I have noticed Arabella is a happy baby after feeding and has less issues with gas and fussiness.  There have been a few occasions, where she has had gas, but I don't think it was from bottle feeding, as we have begun to introduce baby food into her diet as well.

As for cleaning and reassembling this bottle, it has been a breeze, and is quick and easy. Each of the features of this bottle really make it a stand out bottle, but I have to say I am loving the SmartClose™ and EasyMix™ features the most, as it makes preparing a bottle of powdered formula so much easier.  I don't have to worry about clumping or liquid spitting out when I shake the bottle to mix the powder and water.   Since receiving this bottle for review, I have since ordered more online, and have tossed the old bottles we had been using.  And, when I talk with expectant or other moms dealing with fussy babies due to gas, I suggest the Similac SimplySmart™ bottle to them, and share how it has helped making bottle feeding so much easier and enjoyable for both Arabella and I.


You can purchase the Similac SimplySmart™ bottle online at, and, as well as at major retailers nationwide, like WalMart, Target and Babies R Us.   

Disclosure: I received a free Similac SimplySmart bottle compliments of the Similac brand, and as part of the MomSelect program.  No monetary exchange took place.
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Let The Fishies Animated Film Teach Your Child About Obedience (Review)

The Fishies: A Lesson in Obedience 

 Buy now from Bridgestone Multimedia Group for only $12.71.


Join Mello, Mikey, Max, Rico, Chuckie, and Pierre on their first underwater adventure in this charming new children's series! Mixing animation with live action, The Fishies: A Lesson in Obedience follows Mello and his friends as they venture into the open sea in search of goldfish. When the young fish become prey for a great white shark, however, they quickly realize they should have listened to their mom's warning.

Awarded The Dove Foundation's highest honor of five doves, this delightful DVD teaches Christian values through an entertaining story that kids can easily understand.

My Thoughts:

I love it when I stumbled upon children's movies, especially animated films, which not only entertain, but also teach values and lessons to young children.  I was recently sent  The Fishies from Bridgestone Multimedia Group, and was intrigued by the cover art and synopsis, and wanted to see if a film about fish could really be as entertaining as other popular animated underwater films like Finding Nemo, families have grown to love.  

Even though Savannah is too young to understand and grasp concepts of movies, she enjoys watching the animation and character interaction.  This film features an eclectic group of fish, who decide to go against Mommy's wishes and venture into the open sea in search of pretty goldfish.  This only leads to trouble, and they find themselves prey to a great whale shark.  The fish become scared, as they should, and wish they had listened to Mommy.  As a parent, I liked how this animated film taught the importance of obedience and listening to your parents, in a way that was not only entertaining, but also showed that if children don't obey, they will usually find themselves in unpleasant situations.

If you enjoy sharing Christian-based films with your children, then you will love sharing The Fishies, Episode 1 with them.  I can't wait to see what other episodes come from this series.  If they are anything like this one, they will be a treat to watch and discuss with my children.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this DVD from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
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