Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mommy's Summer Reading List -- Grace's Sweet Grace Massa Langlois

May 2012
$14.95 US
Trade Paper
7 1/2 x 9 1/4
168 pages
Buy Now for Only $12.21 at Amazon.


Mouth-Watering Recipes That Bring The Most Delicious Italian Desserts To Your Own Oven

No one loves food more than the Italians. Every meal is a celebration, but the highlight of every dinner is that moment when grandma brings out one of her famously delicious desserts. Now author Grace Massa-Langlois shows you how to make classic homemade Italian treats just like grandma. From espresso-rich tiramisu, cannoli overflowing with ricotta or rich and creamy tartufo, Grace’s Sweet Life presents the 75 most popular, reader-tested recipes from the author’s popular website. The easy-to-follow recipes break down each traditional technique into simple steps so even the most complex Italian treat can be made perfectly. This cute little package also includes mouth-watering full-color photos of a wide range of treats from well-known favorites like biscotti and panforte to little-known foodie delights such as sfogliatelle and zeppole.

My Thoughts:

If you follow my blog, then you know that I read cookbooks like novels.  I also have a separate closet dedicated to my extensive cookbook collection.  So, it is only fitting to include a handful of new releases as part of my Mommy's Summer Reading List.  Today, I wanted to share my thoughts on Grace's Sweet Life by Grace Massa Langlois.  With the recent heat wave we have been having here in New England, I was getting antsy, as I wanted to get into the kitchen and bake some of the tasty treats I had marked to try.  You would laugh if you saw the book sitting here on the end table, as half of the book as yellow sticky tabs, denoting a recipe I want to try.  I think it will be Christmas by the time I try all of them.  But, don't worry -- I will. :-)

But, the weather has improved, and I was able to get into the kitchen and bake this past week.  I didn't want to wait for the weekend, when I would have had more time in the kitchen to taken more complex recipes, so I ended up trying three recipes in the evening, after the girls had gone to bed.  If only they offered an app where I could capture the sweet smells that filled my first floor. :-)  I was surprised that I didn't wait the girls.  Usually, my husband doesn't like to snack after 9PM, but made an exception this past week, as he was drawn in by how good the kitchen smelled, as well as drooling over the baked goods cooling.

I ended up making zeppole, biscottis and Paradise Cake.  Coming from an Italian background, I have grown up enjoying homeade zeppole for the holidays, and biscottis served with tea and coffee each time we would visit my grandmother.  She was pro in the kitchen and made Italian pastries and desserts look so effortless.  But, when it came to getting the recipes from her -- she would always say, "I don't have them written down.  I can only show you how I make them."  Time and time again, my mother and I would spend a day baking with her, and trying to write down recipes for some of her family favorites.  We would see her throwing in a pinch here and there, using the inside of her hand as a measuring cup, or quickly adding in drops of vanilla extract.  So, our mission to document these recipes failed each time. :-(  And, then, last year she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had to be placed in a nursing home for 24/7 care.  This was tough on everyone, especially her, as she had to give up her kitchen -- which, was her favorite place in the house.  Like any Italian, she enjoyed baking/cooking and having family and friends enjoy her meals.

Now that we are left to find recipes to create these traditional Italian treats, like Nana used to make, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this book, and try out some of the recipes.  So, how did these recipes compare to my Nana's homemade Italian treats?  Even though my Nana's were made with love and tasted oh so good, so did the few recipes I tried out.  The Zeppole recipe was almost identical to how my Nana used to make them.  As I bit into the first Zeppole, I began reminiscing about holidays at my Nana's, and sitting around her kitchen table, waiting for the Zeppole to be done.  Oh, how I loved these little Italian donuts. Mmm. :-)

I can't wait to get back into the kitchen and try out more of the recipes from Grace's Sweet Life.  Hopefully, I will be able to instill the love of baking with my daughters, and create lasting memories with them in the kitchen. :-)  If you are a fan of Italian treats, or looking for a cookbook to check out this summer, why not pick up a copy of Grace's Sweet Life. You will not be disappointed.  And, your belly will thank you for it! :-)

About the Author:

Image of Grace Massa-Langlois

Grace Massa Langlois was born in Maasmechelen, Belgium to Italian parents and grew up in London, Canada. Grace lives with her two children, Liana and Matthew.

With an education in Business, Grace began a career in Finance at one of the largest banks in Canada. Grace took her experience and moved to the Automotive Industry where she spent many years as a Financial Services Manager. Much to her dismay, Grace had to retire early because of an injury she sustained in 2003. Unfortunately shortly after her injury, her husband, Maurice suddenly passed. With some encouragement from her children Grace decided to share her love of good food and launched her website, Grace's Sweet Life, in 2010. Graces shares recipes, stories about her Italian heritage, and the joy of growing up in a large, close-knit Italian family.

Grace's recipes show her talent for taking complicated desserts and breaking them down so they're accessible by the every-day cook. She shares the importance of baking with fresh ingredients and strives to share her message that by learning the basics, home cooks can enjoy restaurant-style desserts at home.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
Read more »

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dress Up Your Child's Flip Flops with Floppets, Created by Another Mom Entrepreneur (Review and Giveaway)

 Profile Picture

Now that Summer is official here, have you pulled out your flip flops yet?  Both parents and children alike prefer flip flops during these hot summer months, so that their feet can breath.  But, ever wonder what else you can do besides painting your child's toenails, to make their stylish flip flops stand out?  Well, do I have the perfect product for you -- Floppets! Floppets are a clever, cute and customizable collection of characters you can attach to anything! 

Floppets allows kids to demonstrate how clever they are by “wear” they attach them!  Floppets can be attached to Flip Flops, Fingers, Wrists, Necklaces, Pencils, Back Packs, Shoe Laces, Ear Buds, and most any other safe thing.

Floppets, How to Flop

  • Floppets are flexible, versatile and provide a way for boys and girls to express their individuality.
  • Each Floppets has a versatile connector and velcro tether so kids can attach them to almost anything.  Floppets can be linked together by simply connecting their tethers, creating instant wrist bands, rings, anklets and necklaces. 
  • Kids can collect, share and trade them with their friends!

Ilyse Brainin, the inventor of Floppets, is a novice in the toy industry and a mom who had the vision to create cool, fun and wearable pets, that go ‘wear’ you go.  She named her creation Floppets after realizing that they are the perfect way to personalize any type of flip flops! Floppets is the newest affordable and collectible novelty that is sure to capture kids’ imagination when they wear them this summer.

I have been using the Floppets with Savannah, and she is having a blast dressing up her shoes, and wearing these cute animals characters as rings.  I can't tell you how many people have stopped us on the street or in the market and asked what these cute things are, and where they can buy them.  And, as a mom entrepreneur and supporter of other mom entrepreneurs, I love that a mom created this product, which I expect to be trending this summer, and for back-to-school.

Help show your support for this mom entrepreneur, and her unique and fun product, buy purchasing Floppets for your children, or to share as a gift.   I plan to order some just in time for Savannah's birthday next month, and add to the children's goodies bags.  They will have a blast deciding where to wear their Floppets, and which one will be there favorite.  Right now, Savannah loves the turtle one, and wears it all the time. 



Click here to find out where to buy Floppets, at a store near you --


One lucky reader will win six (6) Floppets for their children to use and share with friends.  To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

More About Ilyse, the Mom-Inventor:

Ilyse is a Chicago-based mom of three children and a passionate reading teacher for grades kindergarten through eighth.  Ilyse’s motivation when creating Floppets stemmed from working with her students and looking for new ways to inspire creativity.  She noticed her students’ favorite things to write stories about were their pets.  Ilyse aspired to come up with a product that would engage students’ imagination while bringing together academic and social aspects.  Zydeco Studios was formed to bring Floppets to the market place.
Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. The views above are mine and mine alone.
Read more »

Now Available on DVD - More Than Puppy Love, Starring Diane Ladd (Review)

More Than Puppy Love 


Marie and Curtis are a young couple who are very much in love and preparing to start a family. But when Curtis has an accident at his construction job, he is left paralyzed and grief stricken about his fate. Meanwhile, Steve, a rambunctious teen, has been causing quite a headache for his mother. To teach him a lesson in responsibility, she signs him up to be a foster caretaker of a puppy from the Kansas Specialty Dog Service. Steve chooses Banner, a loveable Labrador that he welcomes home with the help of his younger sister, Emily. The foster program only lasts for one year, and Emily struggles to understand why they can't keep Banner forever. But her outlook changes when she is able to pass on her four-legged friend to Curtis, who is still coming to terms with his new life in a wheelchair. Lessons are learned and lifelong friendships are made in this "warm and charming story" that families will love (Dove Foundation).

My Thoughts:
If you follow my blog, then you know that I am a huge dog lover, and have 2 rescue dogs of my own.  So, whenever I stumble across movies where dogs play a leading role, I just have to watch them.  I was surprised that I had never heard or watched this movie, as it was originally released back in .  The other night, after the girls went to bed, I put this movie on, grabbed a bag of popcorn and a glass of wine, and settled in to watch the movie.  Previously in the day, I checked out past reviews on this movie, which ranged from 1-3 stars.  Because of this, I didn't know what to expect, but kept an open mind.

Within the first fifteen minutes, I was hooked, and wanted to see how the movie ended.  This heartfelt movie will have you reaching for the tissue box, as well as smiling when you see how Emily and the dog bond and spend time together.  It reminded me of my relationships with my rescue dogs.  I don't think I would be able to hand them over to someone else, even if it was for a special needs dog service.  If you are a dog lover, you will understand how attached you get to your pet and how you feed off of their unconditional love.  

My husband walked in halfway through the movie, after returning from the gym, and sat through the remainder of the film.  In the end, he asked if we were going to watch this again soon, as he wanted to see the beginning.  He, too, is a dog lover, and loved this heartwarming story.

So, even though it was only given 1-3 stars by others, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and were glad we sat down to watch it.  It is definitely a great family friendly movie to share for movie night.

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.

Read more »

Must Have Baby Gear Item for New and Expectant Moms -- The InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion (Review and Giveaway)

If you have a new baby in the house, or are expecting, do I have the baby gear must have for you?  I was recently sent the new  InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion, which is sold exclusively at Buy Buy Baby!, to review with Arabella. 


  • It features the TrueSpeed™ technology that automatically recognizes baby's weight and adjusts the speed to maintain a consistent motion even as your child grows. 
  • The soothing features include WhisperQuiet™ operation which ensures virtually noiseless motion, eight melodies and three nature sounds o keep baby happy and content. 
  • With a SlimFold™ design, swing is easy to carry along and store away. 
  • Swing also includes a 5-point adjustable harness for baby's safety. 
  • Uses four D batteries; not included. 
  • For babies from birth to 25 pounds. 
  • One-year warranty
At first I wasn't sure if Arabella would take to this swing, as her older sister, Savannah, who was born in 2010, never cared for the two swings (one we bought and another we received as a baby shower gift) we had set up.  Both my daughters have dealt with colic, which if you have had the experience of dealing with a colicky baby, know that it is not a walk in the park.  My husband and I have spent many restless nights walking around the house, rocking our daughters.  It was hard with Savannah, as she was our first, and everything was so new.  I read about different gadgets to help soothe colicky babies, and ended up spending a small fortune of baby gear and accessories, which in the end didn't work, or Savannah didn't want to have any part with.

But, like they say, all children are different.  So, I kept an open mind and gave the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing a try.  Unlike other baby gear we have bought  over the past two years, this swing was one of the easiest to put together.  In under a half hour and only needing a screw driver, I had the swing put together.  I didn't even need help from my husband, to help hold pieces together, while I screwed the screws in.  

InGenuity™ Smart & Quiet Portable Swing™
The best feature of the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion is how it can fold together for easy storage and transport.  My other cradle and sway swings didn't do this, and ended up taking up space in the corners of the room. If you walk into my house right now, you would think I ran a daycare, not only with all the toys, but with the baby gear I had to push into corners, as I haven't had time to break them down, because neither of my daughters use them.  My parents are also loving the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing  when I bring it to visit, as it gets tiring trying to rock a baby to sleep after spending an afternoon with them.  My parents simply place Arabella, who is currently 7 months, but still fits into the cradle and sway swing, with room to grow, and turns it on.  I tell them to set the timer for 30 minutes, but expect Arabella to be fast asleep in under 10 minutes.  It is something about the gentle rocking that lulls her to sleep.  And, on nights when she is teething, restless, or constipated, I know that  I can place her in the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing, and it will help calm her down, and eventually will put her to sleep.  When it happens, I let the 3o minute timer run out, and then pick her up and put her in her crib.  Gone are the up all nights, pacing the hallways with her.  They say colic only lasts the first few months, but Arabella still has her bouts with acid reflux, causing her to become irritable -- usually at nighttime.  Add on top of that teething, and without the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing, my husband and I would be pulling our hair out and be totally exhausted.  

I even find it relaxing to sit on the couch and watch Arabella sway back and forth, while the music plays.  By the time she falls asleep and is ready to be put into her crib, I, too, am relaxed enough to fall asleep.

with a few family members and friends expecting in the next 4-6 months, I will definitely be suggesting the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion, exclusive to Buy Buy Baby! as a must have baby gear item on their registries.  After having tried a handful of other cradle and sway swings, this is the only one that worked for me.  And, I have had  a few friends with fussy babies visit for play dates, and their little ones take to  it instantly, and all calm down, as to enjoy the swaying motion.  Two of my friends have even went out and bought the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing, after trying it at my house and seeing how their babies enjoy it.  

Here are a couple pictures of Arabella enjoying her new InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion, exclusive to Buy Buy Baby!


So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to Buy Buy Baby! online, or visit your local store, and pick up the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion today.  You will be glad you did.  Or,  pick it up and  give as a gift for family and friends who live in small apartments or condos, and need baby gear that will not take up too much space.  Like I said, when not in use, it folds up, and stores beautifully.  And, at only $79.99, you can 't beat the price.  Click here to order now online --


One lucky reader will win the InGenuity Smart & Quiet swing in the Sumner fashion, for their little, or to give as a gift.  To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

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.

Read more »

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Coming Soon to DVD and Blu-Ray -- The Flowers of War, Starring Christian Bale

 (Review Coming Soon)


Street Date: 7/10/12

Blu-ray Disc SRP: $29.99
DVD SRP: $27.98


Celebrate an inspiring story of wartime heroism as Lionsgate releases The Flowers of War on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand.  Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Yimou Zhang (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) and based on the novel by Japanese author Yan Geling, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe® for Best Foreign Film.  The Flowers of War,  starring Academy Award® winner Christian Bale* and introducing Ni Ni, is a powerful and epic tale of love and war, where a band of outcasts emerge as unlikely heroes from the shadows of a city’s occupation.  The Flowers of War Blu-ray Disc and DVD, including a feature length “making of” documentary, is available on July 10th for the suggested retail price of $29.99 and $27.98, respectively.

In 1937, Nanking stands at the forefront of a war between China and Japan.  As the invading Japanese Imperial Army overruns China's capital city, desperate civilians seek refuge behind the nominally protective walls of a western cathedral.  Here, John Miller (Bale), an American trapped amidst the chaos of battle and the ensuing occupation takes shelter, joined by a group of innocent schoolgirls and thirteen courtesans, equally determined to escape the horrors taking place outside the church walls.  Struggling to survive the violence and persecution wrought by the Japanese army, it is an act of heroism, which eventually leads the seemingly disparate group to fight back, risking their lives for the sake of everyone.

*Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, The Fighter, 2010

·         Five-part documentary: “Making of The Flowers of War
*Subject to change

Christian Bale                          The Fighter, The Dark Knight, American Psycho, 3:10 to Yuma, Velvet Goldmine
Ni Ni                                        Feature film debut
Zhang Xinyi                             Love is Not Blind, Lost on Journey, All About Women, The Longest Night in Shanghai
Tong Dawai                             Showtime, The Founding of a Republic, Fit Lover, Red Cliff
Paul Schneider                         Water for Elephants, Away We Go, Lars and the Real Girl, TV’s “Parks and Recreation”


Year of Production: 2011
Title Copyright: © Beijing New Pictures Film Co., Ltd.
Type: Theatrical release
Rating: R for strong violence including a sexual assault, disturbing images and brief strong language
Genre: Drama, Action, Historical, Foreign
Closed Captioned:  Blu-ray – English SDH
DVD – English
DVD Subtitles: English and Spanish
Blu-ray Disc Format: 1080P High Definition 16x9 Widescreen (2:40:1)
DVD Format: 16x9 Widescreen (2:40:1)
Feature Running Time: 142 minutes
Blu-ray Audio Status: English and Mandarin 7.1 DTS HD-Master Audio
DVD Audio Status: English and Mandarin 7.1 Dolby Digital Audio

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this DVD for review purposes.  My upcoming review post will be based upon my own opinions.
Read more »

FOLLOW THRU Launches ReJuvenescence “Scentalizer” Line of Fragrant Bathroom Tissue Accessories (Review and Giveaway)

ReJuvenescence™ lets you enjoy a fresh, clean scent every time you walk into your bathroom. ReJuvenescence™ contains a delicate fragrance designed to mask unpleasant odors, leaving the environment smelling fresh and pleasant. The fragrance is diffused as ReJuvenescence™ is set in motion when the user dispenses the active toilet paper roll. 

ReJuvenescence scentalizers—which are filled with beads soaked in sophisticated, long-lasting essential oils—are made of recyclable material and are completely manufactured in the United States. Covered perforations on each insert allow users to control the release of the signature scents to their taste. It makes for a fragrant bathroom without an obtrusive object or visible accessory. 

The ReJuvenescence scentalizer comes in three, handpicked, natural scents: 

  • Wild Orchid- A delicate infusion of orchids, red currant, birds of paradise, peach and persimmon.
  • Moonflower- A floral mix of moonflower, yellow rose, grapefruit, raspberry, pomegranate, mandarin and frangipani.
  • Spice - A refreshing blend of clove, cinnamon, sandalwood, frankincense, china musk, mulberry, Blue Nile, and peach. 

My Thoughts:

I was sent a sampling of  ReJuvenescence's scentalizers to review.  This is not the first time I have used scented toilet paper rolls.  But, it was the first time that I was not only impressed with the pleasant scent and how it really worked to mask unpleasant smells in the bathroom.  What I loved most was being able to adjust the release of the scents, by uncovering the perforations on the scentalizer inserts.  The only negative thing about the scentalizers was that it didn't fit on all the toilet paper holders in the house.  Luckily with 4 bathrooms, I was able to use these scented inserts in two of the them.  I am hoping that future scentalizers will have smaller ends, so that they fit a variety of toilet paper holders.  

I have been using the inserts for a few weeks now, and love the natural scents of each.  Which is my favorite of the three scents?  I would have to go with Wild Orchid, as the pairing of orchids, peach and red currant fragrances worked great together, and with each pull of the toilet paper roll, you could smell this delicate blend.  Moonflower was a close second.  As for spice, it reminded me of the holidays and winter months, and will definitely be scentalizer I will pick up and have in the guest baths during the winter holidays.   

Like I said before, I have tried other scented toilet holder inserts, but hated how they didn't work well, or lost this smell after a week of use.  I am going on three and half weeks now, and each and every time I walk past the bathrooms these scentalizers are in, they smell great.  You would think I had fresh cut flowers in there, or had been burning a candle.  I am not a fan of air fresheners, as they are too strong, spray all over the place, or don't mask the bathroom odors.  But, now I don't have to worry about wiping air freshener debris from wall or ceiling and can adjust the release of each scent, depending on the bathroom.  For the guest baths, they don't need to be used at full strength, as these rooms are used on occasion.  And, with long-lasting essential oils, I don't have to worry about changing up every month, which is great.

So, overall, I have enjoyed these new scentalizers, and can't wait to see what other scents will be released in the future.  

Don't forget to follow ReJuvenescence on Facebook and Twitter (@scentalizer).

ReJuvenescence is available for purchase here:   Each scentalizer is $12.99.


One lucky reader will win a ReJuvenescence™gift pack, which will include all three scentalizers, along with a "Follow Thru" long-sleeve t-shirt and hat, valued at $55.To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Follow Thru, LLC

Follow Thru, LLC is an innovative product development company focused on creating products that are high quality, recyclable and convenient.  Follow Thru is environmentally conscious and a design and innovative company that turns mere thoughts into “ideas made real”.

ReJuvenescence - Makes Good Scents

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
Read more »

Summer Fun: Plan a Daycation at Splish Splash Water Park in Long Island, NY (Discounted Tickets Available)

Voted one of the Best Water Parks in America by the Travel Channel! Splish Splash, Long Island's Water Park with its 96 exciting acres of fun, is the perfect choice for your next birthday party, family reunion, and group outing. Our variety of entertainment, excellent water safety staff, delicious food and outstanding service provides all the necessary elements for you to have a truly outstanding day. With attractions like Dr. Von Dark's Tunnel Of Terror, Kahuna Bay, and Pirate's Cove for children, Splish Splash has something for everyone!


Purchase tickets online and save $3.00 per ticket when you apply discount code: 2012180. Discount code only applies to online purchases. Good for up to 6 tickets.
Expires: 09/03/2012.  Click here now to order your discounted tickets, before the summer heat sets in:
Disclosure: I was sent complimentary tickets for sharing information about the discounted tickets code.  However, the views above are mine and mine alone.

Read more »

A Day in the Life of a Dog Product Reviewer (RIP MANNY)

Avanti Press Dog Sympathy Card

Back in May, we said goodbye to one of our beloved dogs of 14 years, Manny.  

My husband and I got Manny while we were in college, and he lived on a long and spoiled :-) life.  He was 21 years old when we had to put him down.  Before we had our two daughters, Manny and our two other rescue dogs were (and still are) like our children.  We would take them on vacation, have their photos done for the holidays, fill the tree with gifts for them, etc.  So, it was only fitting for Manny to have one last hooray before he left us.  A couple weeks before he got really sit, I was sent a few boxes, filled with products for dogs to be reviewed.  It was like Christmas had come early.  One box was filled with wet and dry dog food and treats, while two others contained a pet pad, bark controlling device, a squeakless toy, massager and toothbrush.  As Manny watched me take each item out of the box, he began to have a little bit more pep to his step and came and sat by me, as to ask if all these goodies were his.  

And, thus began my final pet review with our oldest and most loyal dog, Manny.  The first item he tried was the Sunbeam® Pets Microplush Warming Pet Pad .

Sunbeam® Microplush Warming Pet Pad - PetSmart
Unfortunately, I don't have photos of him sleeping on this soothing pet pad.  But, I was able to get a photo of Abby, our youngest (7 years), who began sleeping on the Sunbeam® Pets Microplush Warming Pet Pad after she realized Manny wasn't coming home.  

I think she feels comfort in resting where he once had (even if it was for a short time).  Manny suffered from severe allergies, and in the end was missing most of his hair. This caused him to be cold, even on warm days.  So, prior to receiving this pet pad, I would have to wrap him in towels or blankets I warmed in the dryer.  But, with the Sunbeam® Pets Microplush Warming Pet Pad, providing comforting warmth for him (at any time) was a breeze.  Manny preferred sleeping on this soft, microplush pet pad, and having me keep it on low during his naps.  He seemed to sleep better as a result of staying warm and having the warmth target some of his sore joints.  

Since receiving this sample for review, I went to PetSmart, which this product is sold exclusively, and picked one up for Lily (who is 8 years old), and suffers from arthritis in her back legs and hip.  She loves snuggling on her own pet pad throughout the day.  And, even without the heat, this has become her go-to pet bed.

The next product I reviewed was the Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™.  This is the perfect bark control device for indoors or outdoors.  With small dogs, we deal with constant barking, every time they hear a noise.  This used to aggravate Manny, as he preferred quiet, calm environments in the end, and not having two loud yappers running around him.  The Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™, which runs on batteries, automatically detects barking and emits a high-pitched ultrasonic sound only dogs can hear, up to 50 feet away.  I loved this handheld version, as I could carry it from room to room, and know that the dogs would not bark and bother Manny, or wake the girls.  

I have tried other bark control devices (except the collars), but was disappointed to find that they didn't work.  Some I even spent top dollar, thinking the more money it cost, the better it would work.  So, as I was putting batteries into the Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™, I kept an open mind, not expecting much.  Within minutes of turning this device on, the mailman walked past the window.  Usually the dogs would go crazy, and even ram themselves against the patio glass door.  But, after a few seconds of barking, the Sunbeam® Pets Sonic Egg™ began working and instantly quieted the dogs down. They sat there watching the mailman come to the side down, and didn't let out a bark.  I couldn't believe it!! Where was this device when we had brought Savannah home and the dogs went crazy for a week straight barking at this stranger they didn't know at the time.  

It has been about  a month now since I received this product for review, and use it every day.  I am still working off of the same batteries I initially put it the egg.  When the dogs notice something, they bark 2-3 times, and then are quieted down. It is like magic, in this little portable sonic egg.

The next few items were enjoyed more by Abby, as Manny was too aggressive to let brush his teeth or massage him, and Lily doesn't like vibrating sounds near her.  As pet owners, my husband and I know how important dental care is for dogs.  Like humans, they need to have their teeth brushed, and given chew toys and treats that help remove plaque, to prevent tooth decay or other dental issues.  

 Dental Care System

The Vet Tech Dental Care System from Silvers Tails Senior Pet Products was easy to use and really did get Abby's teeth clean, and kept her breath smelling fresh.  I make a point to brush their teeth at least once a week, as it is hard with two young children to do this every night.  But, when I do, this handy dental gadget makes brushing Abby's teeth a breeze.  The kit came with a month supply of dental cleaning heads and solution.  The textured cleaning heads absorbed tarter build-up food and other debris that was hard to remove with the standard rubber finger toothbrush.  I would follow up every other week with the polishing head, which would seal the enamel surface, for a longer lasting clean.  

Abby was also able to help me review the Hand-Held Massager, also from  Silvers Tails Senior Pet Products
 Hand Held Massager

This massager is great in that it can be used on both cats and dogs.  Abby was diagnosed with unexplained seizures a few years, and has 1-2 episodes a month.  So, we need to always check in on her and make sure she is fine.  After she has a seizure, however, her body is sore and tight for a few days later.  The vet told us we could massage her by hand or pick up a hand-held massager, to help relax her and prevent repeated seizures.  Like the warming pet pad above, I have bough a handful of so-called top of the line hand-held dog massagers, but had to either return or throw out because of poor quality or them being too loud.  

The Silver Tails hand-held massager offered two massage heads, to promote healthy circulation and relief to sore and tired muscles and joints.  With the telescoping handle, both my husband and I were able to hold this massager in our hand, without it slipping around. This was always a negative from other massagers we bought in the past, as they were either too bulky for me to hold, or would shift around in our hand, when the device was turned on.  Again, I have been using this product for about a month now, and make a point to massage Abby 1-2 times a week.  I have noticed a device in the number of seizures she has.  I am hoping that with her feeling more relaxed, that this is helping her condition.  Only time with tell...crossing our fingers!!!

HD Flats Deer

Now what dog review is complete without a fun, squeaky toy for them to play with.  Well, do I have just the right toy for your dog.  The HEAR DOGGY! (from Quaker Pet Group) is a brand new Ultrasonic dog toy.  The squeaker is tuned to a pitch outside of the human audible frequency range.  Thus, dogs can enjoy a "noisy" toy without disturbing their human companions! Out of the three dogs, Abby is the only one who enjoys chew toys and throwing and playing catch with her toys.  She is a fan of stuffed animals, and is loving having Savannah's toys near her.  I need to make a point to keep them away from her, or she would have the couch covered in them, all slobbery and dirty.  

As soon as I gave Abby the HEAR DOGGY! toy, she took it from and went crazy, throwing it all around her.  While she was loving having a new toy, I was enjoying not listening to a high-pitched squeaky sound, like many of her other toys make.  With all the rough play that Abby puts this little stuffed toy through, I am happy to report that even after a month, the squeaker is still intact, and the toy hasn't lost its insides :-)  This ultrasonic dog toy can be purchased online at

  Grill-icious Chicken

If the dogs could talk, they would say that the best part of the review was the food and snack sampling.  I was sent a bag of Grill-icious™ chicken treats.  Because Manny was allergic to beef, I stashed this bag of treats away and would give him one, when I gave the girls their treats with beef.  Manny loved these all-natural chicken treats, that really smelled like chicken.  They were soft enough for him to chew, and were also free of any preservative, byproducts, and gluten.  With all his allergy issues, the last I wanted to have to worry about was him having a reaction to his treats.  But, he loved these, and would always sit patiently waiting for a second treat (which I would give him).  Going forward, I will be picking up more of the Grill-icious™ (by Loving Pets) to give to Abby and Lilly. I can't wait to see what they think of the turkey flavored one.

As for wet and dry food, I was sent a sampling from Evanger's Dog Food.  I am familiar with this brand as Manny loved their whole chicken thighs and roasted drummets wet dog food.  If you have a dog and have never tried this brand of dog food, I would suggest you pick up a can.  Dogs get to enjoy actual chicken drummets and chicken thighs, complete with bones (which are soft and break down).  Manny's favorite was the bones and licking up the tasty, thick gravy.  Even though his whiskers would get dirty and smell after a day or two (if not washed right away), I knew he enjoyed this food, and would serve it to him as a treat.  Daily feedings would cause his already screwing stomach from the prednisone, to become upset and we would be cleaning up accidents around the house.  Again, I hid the few cans of the chicken dog food, and gave to him.  I think this part of the review made his day.  I split the beef flavored can with the girls, who are also fans of Evanger's Dog Food, thanks to Manny introducing it to them.  

Unfortunately, the dry dog food I was sent, pheasant and brown rice, didn't go over well with the three of them.  They all walked by it, sniffed it, and then walked away.  I ended up giving the bag to the local dog shelter, knowing they would have dogs there who would eat it.

So, as you can see, there are many wonderful products available for dog owners, who like to spoil or reward their dogs.  And, for owners with senior pets, the warming pet pad, dental kit and massager really do come in handy.   As I am sitting here typing this review, Abby is snuggling on the pet pad with her HEAR DOGGY! Flats Deer toy.  I want to thank all the vendors who sent me their products for review.  Not only did it makes Manny's final days with us more enjoyable, but our two other rescue dogs, loved being included in my reviews.

To learn more about each of these vendors and where to buy their products, read on for more information.

About Grill-icious™ (by Loving Pets):

Bring the taste of summer to your favorite pooch with Grill-icious™ all natural dog treats (from Loving Pets).  Grill-icious is made with 100% all natural meat (available in beef, chicken, and turkey) and a touch of sweet potato, naturally seared over a hot grill to seal in that juicy flavor dogs love.  Made in the USA with USA farm grown ingredients, they are also free of any preservative, byproducts, and gluten.  Follow on Facebook and Twitter at -- and!/LovingPetsCorp .

About SILVER TAILS™ Senior Pet Products (by Quaker Pet Group):

Recently launched in Petco nationwide, Silver Tails is the first in the industry to develop an entire line of innovations targeting the unique needs of senior pets, who now make up about 50% of the US pet population.   The line includes: Hand-Held Massager, Infrared Hand-Held Massager, Vet Tech™ Dental Care System, Bamboo-Charcoal Mats and Pet Bed Covers, Magnetic Therapy Collars, Bottoms Up™ Harness,  Senior Friendly Chew Toys,  Flavor Enhancing Supplement Powder, and  Senior Wellness Soft Chews.  Don't forget to follow on Facebook --

About the HEAR DOGGY! Ultrasonic Dog Toy: 

A brand new Ultrasonic dog toy.  The squeaker is tuned to a pitch outside of the human audible frequency range.  Thus, dogs can enjoy a "noisy" toy without disturbing their human companions!  Available at online retailers like  

Don't forget to follow on Facebook and Twitter --

About Grain Free Hand-Packed (by Evanger's):

Our Hand-Packed Specialties are processed as to maintain the shape and nutrition of each recipe's  contents - whether it is a whole fish dinner or choice chicken parts supplement. *The cooking process  softens those recipes with bones - making them edible, safe, wholesome and highly digestible.  Our fresh, natural and superior ingredients (no by-products) ensure quality on a human-grade level. 
Made in the USA, in the kitchen of Evanger's.

Don't forget to follow Evanger's on Facebook and Twitter -- ;


Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendors above, in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
Read more »

Must Have Summer Accessories for Men (Review)

When the warm weather sets in here in New England, my husband spends an afternoon preparing his mountain bike for late afternoon and weekend rides.  And, now that we have two young daughters, he has added a bike carrier to the back.  Yes, some men may not find it attractive to be sporting around the mini-van version of a mountain (or so my husband calls it), but he loves to bike my girls around.  And, now that Arabella is more mobile and aware of her surroundings, she loves to ride along with Savannah as they check out the sites and sounds of the neighborhood.

On those off days when my husband just wants to take a long bike ride and clear his head, he usually takes in some local biking/hiking trails, and can spend the entire day out in nature.  When he does, he usually fills a backpack with a good book, camera, snacks and water (and cell phone), and wears long cargo pants, to prevent ticks and other insects from latching on while riding through the brush.  So, for Father's Day this past year, I surprised him with a cool pair of dry hydrogen cargo pants from Molecule.Asia and a new hip Freemont style canvas backpack, available from  He loved both, as he had never seen them in stores.  Also, the cargo pants had enough pockets to store his keys, iPod, phone and more.


More about the Freemont Backpack:

Freemont Bag

A tough, yet tender, durable yet smart member of the Ark Heritage Collection, the Freemont Backpack. Built tough enough for the country but also built to hold its own on those urban hipster mean streets. We designed the Freemont to survive a fall from a fixed wheel bicycle just in case you haven't quite mastered how to properly preform a brake skid. You may tear a hole in the knee of for ridiculously tight skinny pants, but your Freemont pack should come out no worse for wear! 

Inspired by the old school back packs of yesteryear, but updated with funky canvas colour combinations, combined with recycled genuine leather bottom liner (cut straight from the back of a 70's pimp jacket of the finest Corinthian leather!).

This little number is small enough to be comfortable, yet big enough to hold any size of your favourite brand of laptop (the one that rhymes with "crack"), or your fixed wheels ultra expensive seat that needs removing while parked outside the coffee shop you like to chill in. 

The Freemont comes to you in ruggedly worn looking, 100% thick weave canvas and features a small back zipper pocket with a head phone wire grommet hole for your favourite music playing device and for handy wallet access. Durable antique brass fittings, and genuine recycled leather straps, coat hook and bottom liner round off the pre-worn look. We also provide a great little front exterior pocket for holding your favourite paper back novels, which holds the proper trade paper back size and not the lame pocket book size books! Oh yes you may also enjoy employing this bag too though if you are a regular Dick or Jane, such as us, because it is just damn stylish, damn cool and at least one quarter enviromentally friendly - the leather quarter. The Freemont comes in the following two inspired colour combinations: Distressed Army Green, with Desert Khaki and Bleached Navy front pocket, and the flip combo.

It's canvas, it's leather (recycled leather to you darlin'), it has an antique brass eyelet to keep your modern headphones connected.
  • Antique brass fittings
  • Grommet headphone cord access
  • Exterior small zip pocket for phone or wallet
  • Padded straps for comfort
  • Recycled leather straps and bottom liner
Bored of plastic bags and artificial fibres? This is for you, broder(ess).

More About the Sunset Dry Hydrogen Cargo Pants from Molecule.Asia:

Dry Hydrogen Cargo Pants
Whether you're on a trip to Latin America’s untamed jungles or backpacking in Asia, these comfy Dry Hydrogen Cargo Pants should be in your top list of Essentials to Pack. With dual front, side-cargo and back pockets, they will help keep your valuables safe while traveling, as well as keeping the style police at bay. These are one of our most popular cargo pants, perhaps due to all the various features that combine to make one kick-ass pair of pants – strong cotton canvas construction, pop-pockets where it matters (keep your valuables safer), extra-reinforcing on the cargo-pops (they won't rip out under pressure), and 2 Molecule logo patches, one on the right cargo pocket flap, one on a tab that pokes out of the waistband.
  • The most popular model of Molecule cargo pants
  • Functional, Multiple, Big Pockets
  • Machine Washable, Tumble dry Friendly
  • Double stiched seams for strength
  • Reinforced Pop-close large cargo pockets - quick and secure
  • Classic Molecule Logo
  • Strong plastic zippered Cargo Slash Pocket for Ultimate Security
  • Internal Waist Cords to Customise Fit
  • Locker Loops
  • Leg-bottom tie : pop-button style
  • Metal logo stud-button
  • Pop-close front pocket flap for security
  • Strong plastic zip fly
  • Tab Molecule Logo on Beltline
The zips are the solid, long-lasting plastic variety, the internal waist strings will custom-fit these to your fine self, and the leg-bottom pops will help 'tuck in' the pants when it gets cold, hold em up when it gets wet, and just generally help in the all-out coolness of the Dry Hydrogen Cargo Pants.

Even though we just started summer, stores have already begun promoting their back to school and even Christmas sales. These items and other available from these two online retailers would make for a great gift for that special guy in your life. My husband has been using the backpack during the week for work and has received so many compliments from both men and women on the unique style and fabric of the bag. They, too, haven't seen a bag like this in stores, and would love to own one for themselves or their children. 

After seeing how much my husband loves his cargo pants from Molecule.Asia, I am making my next to-do after sharing this review post, to head on over and order a pair of their shorts for myself, to enjoy this summer.  They look so comfortable and stylish -- not something you would usually catch me saying about cargo pants.  But, these are truly worth checking out.


Click here to begin browsing the online store at Molecule.Asia. They offer pants for both men and women, as well a unique assortment of pants, shorts, skirts, shirt and belts.

Click here to check out the fun retro bags from  In addition, they also offer, vintage jackets, jewelry and sunglasses.

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.
Read more »