Friday, July 11, 2014

Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night over the Rhone, c.1888 Reproduction Giveaway 8/3

Fulcrum Galleries offers art prints, framed prints, canvasses and much more at affordable prices.   Recently I was blessed to review a copy of Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night over the Rhone, c. 1888 Reproduction.

I am super excited to tell you that Fulcrum Galleries is offering one of my readers the same artwork in a giveaway!  All you have to do is complete the mandatory entry to enter.  Additional entries are optional, but the more entries, the greater chances of winning!  Happy entering!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Quality Artwork No Longer Just a Dream: Fulcrum Gallery Providing Quality Artwork at Affordable Prices

Everyone who knows me knows that I love art.  I can get lost in the galleries at the Smithsonian for hours and even forget that I am thirsty which rarely ever happens!  I love everything from cute sayings about family, to beautiful floral pictures.  My favorites, though, are reproductions from the greats like Henry Whistler, Monet, Van Gogh; pretty much anything that portrays people and scenes from days gone by.

The thing about reproductions are that they can be quite pricey.  Either you pay $300+ for an already framed/mounted picture, or you buy it as a print and pay out of pocket to have it framed.  Unless your Mama knows how to do the framing for you, it is going to cost A LOT for a nice frame.  A few years back I lucked upon a HIGH quality reproduction of Henry Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 1:  The White Girl already framed at a local clothing consignment store owned by a local church for  a song.  However, that will probably only happen one time in my life.  I mean, how often do you just stumble upon a great picture in a consignment shop?

The Fulcrum Gallery offers art of many genres and eras at what I consider affordable prices, yet I wasn't sure what to expect when I agreed to do a review with them!  I mean there is "framed" art, and then there is beautifully framed art, right? I can't tell you how many times something looks fabulous in a picture online, but I get it home to find out it is poorly or cheaply made.  I feel cheated and like I wasted my hard-earned money.

I spent quite a while on their website just browsing, because it was honestly hard to select just one piece! This isn't because I was greedy, just because they have such a great selection!  I mean artwork is like a tattoo:  you can never get just one! I finally settled on Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night Over the Rhone, c.1888 with a black frame to match all my other art frames, and I waited rather impatiently for it to come in the mail.

It actually arrived in just a couple of days, so I wasn't long biting my nails waiting.  This picture is very well made, and just gorgeous.  The back was the typical brown "wrap" with a sticker signed by two people!  I mean, not just one person checked this art and game it a bit thumbs up, two did, and these were real signatures, not just stamps of someone's name! Of course, I did my own amateur appraisal, and I can't find a scratch, ding, not a single flaw.

Now, in my rainbows and unicorns world I wish my very large framed print were less than right under $100 brand new, but I know that that is actually a very fair price.  The same size Whistler that I nabbed for $15 about 7 years ago at that clothing Consignment store sells for $350 at a different online retailer, unframed.  Therefore, I deem under $100 for this gorgeous print beyond fair.

I have to tell you that one of the requests of the Company was that my review contain both things that I loved and things I wish I could change.  I can for the first time in a long time say I can't find one negative thing to say at all about the artwork I received.  I would recommend this company to anyone, and have already shared the website with quite a few close family and friends.

You can access them via the links below, and I bet you will love them like I do!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Taking a Stroll Down Memory Lane with Adovia Dead Sea Salt Soap

When I was a teenager, I used to travel every Summer to spend a week at my Maw Maw's house (my Mama's Mama).  At the time, I really only went because my Mama encouraged me too, but I did always enjoy  my time with her.

She was what I considered an "odd bird" when it came to food, drinks, cleaning supplies and personal products.  She only ate fruits and vegetables with meat thrown in on very rare occasions, she didn't eat salt at all that I recall, rarely ate butter, didn't believe in eating sugar/candy/baked goods on a daily basis, and she used natural cleansers and body products.  I just realized my Maw Maw wasn't an odd bird after all.  She was me.  Actually, my Auntie Joyce complemented me with this observation months back, but I wasn't quite sure at the time that I lived up to that honor.

The thing I remember the most about my Maw Maw was how great she smelled.  I can't describe her scent, but it was from the natural soap that she used.  I absolutely LOVED taking a bath every night because I smelled so great.  She became my Angel Maw Maw years back, and I was unable to learn the name of her soap.  Quite honestly, all of this had slipped my mind until about a month ago.

I received a luxurious bar of Dead Sea Soap from Adovia, and the minute I opened the package I was flooded with memories of Maw Maw because this soap smells just like her.  I am convinced my Maw Maw was using Dead Sea Salt Soap since I know she used a special soap from the Health Food Store.

The kids and I have been bathing with this soap since, and I am in deep love with this soap for reasons beyond I now smell like my then 80+ year old grandmother.  The benefits of Dead Sea Salt have been known and utilized for centuries, and even Queen Cleopatra herself knew indulged in these benefits.

You see, the mineral content of the Dead Sea salt is about 10 times higher than any other sea, and is the true secret of Adovia Dead Sea Salt Soap!

Benefits of Adovia Dead Sea Salt Soap
  • Infused with 100% Pure Dead Sea Salts from the Dead Sea
  • Dead Sea Salt contains over 21 Minerals Key to Skin Health and Beauty
  • Deeply Moisturizing and Hydrating Soap great for Dry and Normal to Dry Skin
  • Dead Sea Minerals Essential to Skin Function Contained in the Soap Include Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, and More.
This soap is beneficial in regulating our skin's natural moisture balance, and can help reduce the aging process and relieve fluids that contribute to puffiness.

While you are probably thinking this soap smells like a little old lady, it really doesn't.  It smells just amazing and soothing.  Additionally, my skin is super smooth and soft after bathing with it.  Despite using natural bug repellents my kids have been eaten alive by mosquitoes this Summer, and my daughter has been rubbing the soap on her legs.  She claims she gets immediate relief from the itching by using this soap!  I have no scientific proof, but I am hoping since salt alone (not Dead Sea Salt) can be drying, that this soap will help these bites dry up sooner.  

Honestly, I think this soap is a bit pricey at $18 a bar of soap, but considering that I don't need a separate face soap when using this bar, I think it is a bargain.  I typically use 5 face products daily which are worth well over $100 total, so $18 is definitely worth the switch!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Orkin's Backyard Explorer's Kit Giveaway!

Summer is here and Orkin some amazing “Bug Wisdom” to soak in and a “Backyard Explorers Kit” to keep the kids busy at home!

About Orkin Bug Wisdom

At Orkin, we never stop learning. Our new “Bug Wisdom” video series is a reminder that some of life’s biggest lessons come from small places. Bugs are smart, curious creatures – we humans can learn a lot from their ways.

Take the quiz to discover your “Spirit Bug,” and check out all the GIFs to soak in every nugget of wisdom that these bugs have to offer!
The Orkin Man always knows what to look for when he shows up at your home. If you want to get exploration down to a science, be sure and enter to win Orkin’s Backyard Explorers Kit!

Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit:
- The Orkin 9-Page Activity Bug Book
- Orkin Bugview Bug Catching Tool and Magnifier
- Red/Black Summer Wayfarer Sunglasses

Why you will LOVE The Orkin Bug Wisdom App:
• Take the “What’s YOUR Spirit Bug?” Quiz and find out which smart, curious creature you are most like!
• Click through all the GIFs and soak in every nugget of wisdom that these bugs have to offer!


Disclaimer:  I will receive a Backyard Explorer's Kit from Sponsor after posting.  I received no compensation, and I am posting this for the pleasure of my readers.  Sponsor is responsible for prize allocation, and all information and pictures were provided by Orkin, LLC for the sole purpose of promotion.  Each household is only eligible to win 1 Orkin Backyard Explorers Kit via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification by Sponsor.

Allyson's Backyard Burger with Jiva Organics' Garam Masala Inspired Yogurt Sauce Recipe and Review

My sister makes some of the best Pakistani food I have ever eaten. And for those of you who just said, "Yeah, but it's the only Pakistani food you ever eat" you are wrong.  I have eaten at some very delicious Pakistani restaurants, but none of them make food like Auntie (what my children call her and every other Aunt they have).  

So when I received the opportunity to review Jiva Organics' Garam Masala I jumped at the chance.  Why?  You ask.  Well, for several reasons.  First of all it is USDA Certified Organic which means it doesn't contain GMO's and meets a very important criterion.  Secondly, Garam Masala is actually a spice blend of multiple spices so it can be expensive to make when you are using only organic spices.  It is just easier to find a reputable source like Jiva Organics and just purchase it already blended from them.  Lastly, I had this grandiose idea in my unrealistic head that I, the one who burns the bottom out of a pot trying to boil water but can bake any pastry you like, was going to cook.  No, not bake, cook.

Well, you can imagine how that went.  I studied multiple recipes created by others of course for yummy food such as Garam Masala Chicken, Beef, etc, etc, but I admit when I am in over my head.  And I am telling you, I am in over my head.  This girl cannot create those lovely dishes.  

I am taking my bag of spice over to my sister's house, and I am going to gift this spice to her along with the ingredients for the dish she will make me.   Don't worry about telling her, because it's a surprise!

In the mean time to try this spice out for you guys, I created what I am calling the "Allyson's Backyard Burger with Garam Masala Yogurt Sauce."  Yogurt is after all the universal condiment with most Pakistani foods, so I was positive I couldn't fail. 

Allyson's Backyard Burger with Garam Masala Yogurt Sauce

1/4 pound grass fed ground beef
1/4 cup homemade yogurt (see my recipe here that is so simple you will never buy yogurt again)
1/2 tsp Jiva Organics' Garam Masala

1.  Preheat oven to 425 or preheat grill

2.  Shape meat into a patty and press a quarter size indentation in the middle of the patty on both sides so that the meat keeps it's form as it shrinks

3.  Bake 30 minutes (or less if you like your meat rarer)

4.  While meat is baking, stir the yogurt and spice together

5.  Place burger on bread of choice and top with as much of the yogurt mixture as you like-I used it as a dip as well.

I have had dishes before with garam masala so I have a good idea what it is supposed to taste like, and this stuff is really, good.  It is so tasty that I can't wait for the next trip to Auntie's house for Pakistani night!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Premium Natural Turmeric Supplement, Curcumin C3 Complex® - 2000% More Bioavailable Convinced Me to Kick My NSAIDS To The Curb!

For over 12 years now I have taken 800 mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day under a doctor's care.  I know that sounds like a LOT, and it is.   However, my DDD (degenerative disc disorder) is so painful that I am literally bed bound on prescription pain pills and muscle relaxers if I don't keep the inflammation down.

I have made great efforts to try natural ways to heal and cure things over the past few years, and I have found that herbs and minerals are often all one needs to heal things including infections.  I had read that both Ginger and Turmeric are great anti-inflammatory herbs (or are they spices?) that also make food taste yummy so I have been trying to add them to recipes often.  That's super easy for ginger since I just flavor my daily Kombucha with ginger, but I honestly have no idea how to cook with Turmeric. 

I received an opportunity to try out  Premium Natural Turmeric Supplement, Curcumin C3 Complex® - 2000% More Bioavailable supplements, so I decided to take them daily for a month and tell my closest friends what I think after giving it a try.

First of all, let me say that using Turmeric for it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits has been in Vogue for centuries.  It is particularly known for it's bio-active elements:  curcumin, bisdemethoxyl-curcumin and demethoxyl-curcumin.  I dare you to say that 3 times fast!!  It can even be used as a liver detox supplement and used in cardiovascular/cholesterol treatment.  Bottom line is turmeric has been useful for so much, but all I knew was that it was an odd color orange spice that was never in any recipe I cook!

I have been taking it as the bottle recommended for a month, and I am impressed.  The first few days I still took my daily doses of NSAIDS because not only am a I skeptic, but I need to stay active.  Seriously, the world as my children expect it does fall apart when I am not at the helm.  I honestly forgot to take my blue NSAID one day, and decided not to take it when I remembered.  

If I have a bad flair up like I do every few months, I have to take something with the Turmeric, but overall it is keeping me just as active as when I had to take medicine 3 times a day.  I definitely like taking something that has positive side effects instead of medicines that are known for upsetting my healthy gut, so I not only will continue to take this, I would recommend it to anyone who needs inflammation medicine.  
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What I'm Drinking for Thirsty Thursday: Certified Organic Tyler's Coffee is Acid Free!

When I was growing up, my dad always drank his coffee, and even took a thermos to work with him.  My Mama on the other hand never did drink coffee, but has taken up the habit in the last few years.  She has consistently mentioned that she has to be very careful about her coffee intake because it causes major stomach upset if she drinks more than a glass every day.

As a pot of coffee a day drinker, I thought it was odd that Mama can't drink more coffee.  However, stomach issues seem to be a common occurrence with more than a few coffee drinkers- 50,000,000 Americans to be exact.  One of the reasons is that coffee is often not organic and contains acid which can easily cause stomach troubles.

Tyler's Coffee is Certified USDA Organic, and it's acid free which helps those millions of people with coffee-related stomach issues be able to enjoy coffee on a regular basis.  Tyler's Coffee is even the coffee that Courtney Sixx, Motley Crew's wife turned to when she turned to a more healthy lifestyle and was alkalizing her body.

I received my sample package right after I completed moving our family  hours away.  I have always bought our organic, fairly sourced coffee from our local food co-op.  However, I was so busy moving us that I ran out of the good coffee, and couldn't find a local place to purchase from. 

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Long story shortened is that I was drinking a National brand while I waited for Organic coffee to arrive, and Tyler's Coffee showed up in my mail box on day two of the coffee in the blue plastic can.  I was so excited that I immediately grabbed my french press and brewed a pot.  Tyler's Coffee was literally night and day compared to how the grocery store coffee tasted.  

Taste alone it is so good that I can't imagine drinking coffee from a blue can ever again!  I love that it isn't bitter at all, and we all know that eating and drinking organic is more important than it has ever been!

It's no secret that the American diet has been taken over by a Monsanto monopoly food industry, and it is taking more research to find truly organic food, and more time/effort to prepare it.  Thankfully, the purest cup of coffee that money can buy is as easy as ordering online

I even have a special code so you can get $10 off your first order from Tyler's Coffee!

Click here to browse the coffees and place your order
$10 OFF Code:  b837fafc

Tyler's Coffee:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post may contain affiliate links.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bet on Your Baby Luvs Coupon Giveaway!

As much as I think I know my "baby"  (he's a toddler) I am not sure betting on his next move would be fruitful for me.  I could see us in the dome now:  me betting that he will do something super smart like cite his ABC's while his next move is "decorating" his bedroom with his sister's Hello Kitty Stickers.  
Now, the next events, I could bet money on and probably win because they always go like this:
Me:  "Mika, did you decorate your walls with your sister's stickers?"
Mika:  "Mommy, WHY would I do that?  You know I hate Hello Kitty"
Me:  "Yes, but Mika, you are the only one here, and I know those stickers weren't on the wall when they left for school this morning" Thinking I've got him on this one.
Mika:  "You didn't ask Kimbo (the dog) if he did it!"
Me:  Admits defeat as I scrape 100 Hello Kitty stickers off the wall praying I will salvage it and still get my deposit back when I move.

All parents think they know their baby well, but are they willing to bet on it? Find out when actress/comedienne and working mom Melissa Peterman, star of ABC Family's Baby Daddy hosts this adorable, hilarious and surprisingly suspenseful game show. Parents try to predict their toddler's next move in an effort to win money for their child's future education.
Airs Saturdays at 8pm ET/7pm CT on ABC starting May 31st.

Bet on Your Baby is offering one of my lucky readers THREE Luvs diaper coupons, all you have to do is complete one or more of the options on the widget below!

Disclaimer:  I received no compensation for this post.  I am merely offering this for the enjoyment of my readers.  All information provided by Bet on Your Baby for the purpose of promotion, and they are responsible for prize allocation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air + Convertible Car Seat Father's Day Giveaway!

Is your Mister a Racing enthusiast?  There is an unwritten rule in the My Wild Crazy Life household that if the race is on, we are not to interrupt except on commercials.  Oh, yeah, and daddy doesn't like to be bothered during the race either!

As exited as you are, unfortunately, Safety 1st can't introduce you to your favorite racer.  Bummer, right?  But Safety 1st IS keeping your most precious cargo safe by incorporating the same technology that protects the high performance drivers!  

As a leader in safety innovation, Safety 1st is offering the patented technology, GCell HX.™ When combined with Safety 1st Air Protect Technology, full body safety protection 
is provided in the event of a crash.  

Safety 1st has two new car seats that incorporate GCell HX, so dad can ride with and keep his passenger safe with race car driver technology!  

  •         The Safety 1st onBoard Air 35 Air + infant car seat allows your child to ride rear facing from 4-25 pounds. It’s equipped with a 5-point harness, adjustable stay in the car base and Carry Curve™ Handle with an ergonomic design.
  •       The Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air +  convertible car seat ensures your child is safe from 5-65 pounds. Better yet, it meets the new requirements for the new 65 Pound LATCH rule.
Additionally, Dorel Juvenile Group, the maker of Safety 1st, which is based in Clumbus, IN makes it's products 100% in the USA!  They offer everything from stools, potties, car seat bases, child safety products, and more.  You can check out AOL's This Built America to learn more about the company and the products they offer!  

Safety 1st Advance SE 65+ Air Convertible Car Seat ARV $189 photo safety1stAdvanceSE65AirConvertible_zps173c0cea.jpg
I am excited to tell you that Safety 1st is offering one of my lucky readers the opportunity to win the Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air + convertible Car Seat!  

Just complete one or more entries on the giveaway widget to get your entries in!  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Number One Probiotic Supplement-Perfect for Children, Men & Women!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Food Gone Wild!
When I think of food these days, I envision a B rated movie of genetically modified food that has taken on a life of it's own labeled "Attack of the Killer Corn."  There's an Empire State Building sized ear of corn with razor sharp teeth gnashing at humans running, screaming terrified on the streets trying to get away from this corn that is leveling buildings with every step, swatting at planes in the air as if they were tiny fruit gnats, and leaving destruction everywhere.

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 GMOs, toxins, chemicals, and dyes that are also used as pesticides are the main ingredients in the Food Like Substances we are filling our bodies with, and we are left with the destruction of these products that are for all intents and purposes poisoning our bodies.   Leaky gut is the most common result of the horror movie our food has become, and there is so much information on Leaky Gut, I will let you do some research on your own instead of adding another 100 pages to this post!

Say it Ain't So! 
They are finding GMOs in breast milk now thanks to herbicides being used on lawns.  How sad is it that the "best nutrition in the world for your newborn baby" is now tainted!  Click here for link to reports.   That's right, my friend, this epidemic is now affecting even our most precious "jewels."

The End Result
The Superhero Good Bacteria that put's his cape on and valiantly appears day or night to fight off the Villain known as SycNess Anne N'Phlamation is weakened.  So when he goes to fight off simple bugs, he finds his strength is gone and a simple bug that was once no big deal becomes something horrible like MRSA.

How to Tell if you Have an "Leaky Gut":

  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Flushing
  • Achy Joints
  • Headache
  • Rash/skin issues such as eczema
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Asthma 
  • Bloating

There are many more symptoms caused by a leaky gut, but a simple change in diet by eating real, organic foods and adding cultured foods and/or probiotics can resolve many of these problems!

A few ways I rid of bad toxins in our body:
  • Epsom Salt Baths
  • Drinking Lemon Water with Mineral salts to detoxify the liver
  • Eating a Real Food diet such as the one outlined in the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook
  • Adding Probiotics to my diet

What are Probiotics?
"Probiotics are good bacteria who perform a very important role in our digestive, metabolic and immune systems.  They produce enzymes that break down the food we eat, regulate vitamin intake and convert sugars to the essential nutrients our bodies need.

Where to Find Probiotics:

Number One Probiotic
I recently had the opportunity to try Number One Probiotic supplements that are designed for children, women and men.  Number One Probiotic Supplements are FDA approved and made in the USA which are important when selecting a probiotic.

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Although I personally eat a lot of things to correct and maintain a healthy gut flora, I wanted to see for myself how well a probiotic supplement works.

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Why?  Because my husband refuses to eat cultured foods, doesn't like the taste of any yogurt but Trix (and there is NO nutritional value in commercial yogurts that contain refined sugars, food dyes, and chemicals), and don't even mention Kombucha to him because the Scoby freaks him out!  The bottom line was if it works well for me, it's going into the Mister's vitamin regimen.

My Opinion:  
These supplements are an easy, effective way to get the probiotic "good bacteria" our bodies need.  At right under $20 a month it costs less than most of you spend on your daily Frozen chocolate concoction at the local hipster coffee shop.  It's as easy as taking two with your other daily vitamins and going about your day.

Oh, and these really work.  Really work.  You have heard that saying about "too much of a good thing?"  Well, it's true in all instances but coffee and dark organic chocolate.  So be sure to follow the suggested dosage, and if you experience Candida die off symptoms you could always take half a dose a day and work up to the whole dose.  

My personal note:  Candida die off is a good thing, and in my case when I originally began probiotic foods didn't have unpleasant side effects.  However, some people feel the "good vs. bad" fight that is going on inside their body when they first begin probiotics, so you can start with a lower dose and work up if you experience tiredness.  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.