Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Summer Slim Down & 7-Up Ten Cake

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #TENways

Some of you may know, but not be painfully as aware of it as I am... but we are going to Puerto Rico in a little over two months. 

Just, oh, the pinnacle of swim suit season. 

This slightly Puerto Rican, Puerto Rican (my dad is Puerto Rican) girl is refusing to go to the motherland looking like I just ate a moose and crawled my miserable way back from the bleak winter of the north. 

No, I demand I go out in style not feeling like a bear in hibernation mode. 

Slimming Down for Summer with DPSG Core Four Ten Products

I've enacted a few things to cut back and slim up for summer. 

One of those is replacing a meal or two with a green smoothie. I've also started calorie counting, but also watching my carb/protein intake at the same time. It's easy for me to get carbs, but heavens I can't eat enough protein. 

I really have to be mindful of it. 

There is only one issue with mentally knowing that I'm cutting back. 

I start looking for ways to cheat my heart out. I can't help it, when I say no my mind says cake. 

I did happen to find one awesome "cheat" option that is only ten calories while shopping at Walmart. 

Slimming Down for Summer with DPSG Core Four Ten Products

The biggest problem for my brain is when a snack tastes diet. 

We all know what diet tastes like... fake, slightly cardboard-ish. It's just not good. 

If you happen to love soda though, the Four DPSG Ten beverages are the way to go. A girlfriend of mine recently tried to cut out soda since it's so high calorie. For a mere 10 calories she could still be drinking her beloved Sunkist at lunch every single day without guilt. 

Obviously you've noticed the 10 calorie 7-Up in my photo, and I did say there were four drink options. The others happen to be Sunkist, A&W, and Canada Dry. 

As soon as I  saw the list of drinks that Dr. Pepper Snapple Group had in their Core Four Ten I was instantly hooked, orange soda and lemon lime are my go-to drinks when I want a soda. Plus I adore Canada Dry when I'm not feeling well. 

Jeremy is a root beer person so the A&W was definitely up his ally. (He quit drinking soda several months back due to the calories.)

I chose to bring home the Four DPSG Ten 7-Up first, and honestly I was sure it would be just me drinking this whole case. My husband hates, and I mean HATES diet drinks. He cringes at sugar free and absolutely refuses to use fake sweeteners. I was a bit surprised though, he has drank nearly the entire case and I can count what I've had on a few fingers. (Update: he drank the whole case)

So if that doesn't tell you that the Four Ten beverages are full flavor and are on par with their full calorie counterparts I don't know what will. I seriously can't tell a difference when I compare the Four Ten 7-Up to the original. 

Citrus Angel Food Cake | made with 7-Up TEN #TENways #PMedia #ad via @labride

With a whole case of 10 calorie 7-Up sitting in the fridge, quickly being guzzled by my husband, I had to think of a recipe I could make with it. 

Y'all know how I am. 

If you recall I made these biscuits a few months back that involve 7-up, and would have a big calorie reduction if you're dying for biscuits this close to swim suit season and use the ten calorie 7-Up. 

The biscuits were already made, but I remembered I hadn't had my grandmother's Citrus Angel Food Cake in literally 5 years. 

So instead of buying a cake from the store and slicing it up, I decided to add a little more citrus flavor by using a can of Four DPSG Ten 7-Up in the cake. I must say, it didn't disappoint and I actually prefer the flavor the 7-Up added to the Angel Food Cake. 

It definitely made for a light spring/summer dessert that I plan on making again for the entire family at Easter. At least with this lower calorie light dessert we can chomp away slightly less guilty before packing to run off to Puerto Rico for swim suit season. 

Citrus Angel Food Cake | made with 7-Up TEN #TENways #PMedia #ad via @labride

Citrus Angel Food Cake

1 box of Angel Food Cake mix
1 12 oz can of 7-Up TEN
2 11oz cans of mandarin oranges, drained
8 oz container of whip topping (from the frozen food section)

Mix together cake mix and 7-Up in a large bowl following cake mix box directions. Bake according to directions as well. When cake is done allow to cool upside down on a heat proof bottle. (I used a glass hot sauce bottle that fit the opening in the pan.) After cooling slice the cake through the middle and separate the sections.  On the bottom half of the cake arrange most of the mandarin oranges in a single layer, then spoon on half of the whip topping and spread it out evenly. Place top layer back onto the cake and spoon on the remaining whip topping, spreading it around evenly. Decorate the top with remaining mandarin oranges. 

I like to chose the 12 best looking orange slices for the top to remind myself that this serves 12, it definitely helps keep me mindful of portion control. 

This can be subbed for other cake flavors and Four DPSG Ten drink flavors, however, the cake mix and soda are the only ingredients in the cake. Do not add oil or eggs. 


Now if you plan on buying some of the Four DPSG Ten drinks a coupon would definitely help, who doesn't love a discount. 

To get the coupon click here, it will take you to a $0.50 off the purchase of TWO 2 Liter bottles or TWO 4-pack cans of 7UP TEN, A&W TEN, Canada Dry TEN, RC TEN or Sunkist TEN soda. However, if you were to share that digital coupon via email, FB, Twitter (there is a click to share function) you will get brought to a coupon that will get $1.50 off that purchase rather than just $0.50.

The coupon will be available from March 27 to April 17, while supplies last. 

Which of the Four Ten Calorie DPSG products are you the most happy to see offered at 10 Calories? 7UP, Sunkist, A&W and Canada Dry

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Embeding Your Memories with YesVideo

When we were growing up my grandparents splurged and bought a video camera, like the big ole bulky black video camera.

The thought reminds me of Full House episodes when the dad is recording the kids.

For years we recorded little life events on VHS, then they upgraded to the smaller camcorder that required a different tape.

It was slightly fancier, but I still cherished those early videos.

To this day I still remember the Christmas my grandparents bought the camera, it was also the Christmas we all got roller blades.

Oh those roller blades! I actually made Jeremy buy me a pair for my birthday last year.

I'm a non-athletic roller blading nerd. There, I've said it, it's out in the open.

I love roller blading but totally suck at it.

If it wasn't for the video I sent in to YesVideo there would be no reliving those days of roller blading up and down the levee... where after picking up so much speed I could only roll into the grass to crash/stop.

The video below is actually one of the 3 highlight videos that were included in my transfer. With it you get a little glimpse into our life in the 90's, it's involved a lot of skating, fireworks, spaghetti, and apparently a temper-tantrum in the closet from my cousin Chris. 
Several months ago I first heard of YesVideo while at a blog conference and was then contacted by a blog friend about sending in a video to them. I absolutely love the concept and quickly received my videos back in DVD form.

There were sharing options online, and YesVideo would even load a clip or two to YouTube for you. It was fabulous and I couldn't think of anything they could do better, until I was told they added an embed feature to their site.

Now, instead of just sharing through Facebook and email I can add in the html right to my own blog posts.

It's actually super easy to do. First sign into your account and click the Watch tab. Once you're there you can chose any clip or chapter you like, or even make a shorter snippet to share.

After you've chosen your footage click the "get embed code" at the bottom of the screen.

After clicking "get embed code" you'll see this pop up...

Copy and paste that code right into your site and you will have your home movies right! 
It's seriously that simple.

With YesVideo's new embed code y'all are a lot more likely to see the silly stories I talk about, rather than just reading the words. We all know pictures are better than typed words, and videos are better than pictures. So save your memories and send in your old home videos.

Plus I didn't know this until after I had sent in my video, but after signing up I started getting discount offers every week... and we all know how much we love a good emailed discount code.

Have you used YesVideo? If you could save one family memory what would it be? 

I was compensated for writing this post about YesVideo's new embed feature. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Influenster JaDore Voxbox Review

As part of a little Valentine Day fun I recently received the JaDore Voxbox from Influenster. 

I swear these boxes are like a drug, everything in them is affordable and I always instantly have to have more the minute I run out. 

This particular box, before completing my entire review I had run out of one product and bought more, it's that good. 

So what was in this box? Let's get right to the important stuff...

Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask

This is a mineral rich clay mask, and I'll warn you ahead of time... the texture isn't as thick as you usually get. However, it works better than any other clay mask I ever used, so much so I've used it once a week for nearly a month now and could seriously tell a difference the week I didn't have time to use it. The oceanic clay in this mask exhibits a negative charge that helps to draw out impurities. You can honestly see that it did it's job when you take it off, my blackhead are always gone. It doesn't dry out your skin at all, so much so that I had to remind myself to put on my night cream about 10 minutes later. 

For the price of this, and the fact that it works so well, I'd say ditch whatever mask you're using if you have acne prone or hormonal skin and buy a case of this. I'll definitely be hunting more down when I run out. 

Hershey's Kisses

Do I even need to say what I think about Hershey's? They are addictive and I've never eaten a bad one. I actually caught myself midnight snacking on these last night and completely forgot about my chocolate binge until I was in the shower trying to remember what I needed to log in food app.... turns out those little Kisses almost slipped past my memory. 

Frizz Ease 3-Day-Straight Flat Iron Spray

It says that price on the card, but I paid around $8 for some at WalMart. This stuff, oh my word I am addicted to this! Since moving to South Louisiana 3 years ago I have hated every non winter month with a vengeance. Humidity is an understatement here, but this little bottle of happiness has solved that. My hair literally will stay straight all day long, no kinking, no funky cow lick curling... straight. Now it will stay for 3 days, I can't go that long without washing my oil prone scalp, but it was board straight for two days even with sleeping in a pony tail and putting my bangs back in a clippy. I was actually planning to spend major bucks for a Keratin treatment and was looking to book an appointment when I got this in the mail. This happens to be the little bottle I ran out of and recently replaced, I am not kidding when I say that if they ever try to take this off the market I will do a major over stock up of it! 

Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes

Everyone seems to be into false eyelashes these days, but for a non-Real Housewives of Anywhere lady it just isn't a daily option. I remember trying some on year ago and they looked so awful and fake. These actually look better than my real lashes because the ends are tapered. They are also very lightweight and not overly noticeable, at least in the sense that you look ridiculous and have on fake lashes in the most obvious way possible. These happen to be sold at CVS and Walgreens nationwide, so they are easy to track down and get a few more sets! 

Red Rose Simply Indulgent Teas

$4.99 for a carton of 20
I was sent their Creme Caramel and the Lemon Chiffon. Personally I'm a caramal flan flavor maniac and the Creme Caramel was right up my ally. These teas are amazingly tasty and caffeine free, so you can feel like you're indulging at night before bed and not stay awake for hours (like coffee does me). I even added some of my caramel coffee syrup to it and it just make it even tastier! 

Vaseline Men Spray Lotion

Jeremy doesn't use much lotion so I was a little worried I wouldn't get him to try this out, it was quite the opposite of that. While he won't let me video him using it, he isn't a fan of being all over my blog and social media, he has kept this bottle on his bathroom counter since we got it in the mail... meaning he loves it. I even tried it out, before reading about the scent, and it is a wonderful moisturizer. I need to go and get some of this that's intended for women so I don't smell so manly the next time I use it. Most men I know are bad about moisturizing, this product can solve that. With easy application and a great smell men will love it.

Of the products mentioned, which are you the most likely to try?  

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Original BOS Review

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While I was not compensated monetarily for this review, I was provided the product from Original BOS. 

Before I even get started about what I think about Original BOS, I know it's intended mainly for whiskey but I'm not exactly a drinker. I just personally really dislike ice.

Original Balls of Steel happens to be a drink cooler meant to replace ice.

Therefore, it's a match made in my ice disliking drink heaven.

Which mainly consists of water and lemonade, but I don't like my lemonade watered down any less.

This product is also mainly marketed towards men, but I happen to not be one of those? Well, I'll point this out to you, who buys gifts for our men? The women.

Original Balls of Steel also does something as I company I can gladly support, cancer. Granted the support is for testicular cancer, but cancer none the less. Being from a family that appears to be partial towards cancer (breast & prostate) I am more than happy to promote anyone who helps fight the cause by giving money towards research.

It just so happens that their product quite hilariously fits their cancer cause.

Back to Balls of Steel though, when I pulled up in my driveway a week or so ago I knew just what sitting at my door and couldn't wait to pop it into the freezer.

Original BOS touts to chill drinks quickly without dilution. After 90 minutes in my freezer I quickly popped them into some room temperature water just to see how well they worked.

I wasn't too concerned with whether or not it was watering anything down at the moment, let's be honest ice in water isn't exactly the enemy.

With a minute or so of plopping BOS into my glass drinking glass none the less I was not only glad my glass didn't shatter, I was soon sipping on cool tap water. Score! Needless to say they've since dwelled in my 32 oz water bottle I tote to work everyday.

So, they work, but why buy them over those plastic cubes you can get a the grocery store every summer?

For one they look way nicer, and you can get them engraved. Unlike the plastic ice cubes these chill for much longer.

Next up, those whiskey stones that were popular for so long... BOS not only cools better, they also weigh less. Plus they don't pick up freezer odor like those nasty stones tend to do. It doesn't hurt that they are also cheaper.

Each ball weighs in at a whooping 1/2 ounce each, and is less likely to crack a glass when plunked into a nice glass (as opposed to those darn stones). Plus one set of Balls of Steel has the cooling power of 6 ice cubes, which means no more fighting the ice tray.

I'll admit, fighting the ice trays takes up about 90% of my reasoning when I actually want ice in a drink. I tend to forgo it and drink room temp water over fighting ice trays. Maybe you have an ice maker, well this doesn't dilute. Either way BOS wins the argument.

You might be wondering who on Earth you should buy some for? Maybe you aren't a big drinker, no problem these also work on nonalcoholic drinks. They are drink coolers, no matter the liquid.

Do you know someone who likes running in all of the races that benefit cancer research? Buy a set of these for them, Original Balls of Steel is quite particular about which organizations they partner with. They want their money to be utilized the best it can and therefore it is split up amongst several testicular cancer research organizations. Most of us know someone who has been to MD Anderson, BOS donates to them too. So why not support the country's top cancer research programs?

You could just donate yourself, but we all know if you show up somewhere drinking with strange little metal balls in your drink it will lead to a little chat about, said, strange balls. Other than blogger recommendations over the years the number one thing that has caused me to purchase something is by word of mouth. If I saw someone using these I would probably think that I too needed some steel balls and completely forsake all homemade ice.

It's a fact.

So if you could give a pair of Original BOS to anyone as a gift... who and why? 

Like I said before, I wasn't paid for this but I do love to promote a company who makes a great product and supports a worthy cause. I wouldn't suggest you buy them if I didn't love them:)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wedding Venue | Riverside Farm & Unplugged Getaways

I have a deep love for wedding venues, I tell my sister all the time that when she gets married I'm planning the whole thing. I would just love the chance to plan a big event again, honestly it was the most fun I've had.

While I love my own venue, I am always looking out for incredibly unique wedding venues.

Riverside Farms is one of those venues that I can't help but imagine just how I'd decorate every inch of the old farm. It would be filled with burlap, lace, blue mason jars, and everything country shabby chic.

Here's a little about Riverside Farm from their site::

Riverside Farm is located in Pittsfield, Vermont.  This beautiful farm property has everything needed to create an elegant Vermont Wedding, including six  beautifully restored barns, over 700 acres and much more.  Riverside Farm is one of the country’s most exclusive wedding venues.

At all of our Pittsfield, Vermont properties we strive to make your wedding weekend an event you will treasure forever, and we look forward to assisting you every step of the way. If you dream of an elegant wedding at an exquisite country farm, then Riverside Farm is the place for you. We offer you the seclusion, elegance and natural perfection that every couple deserves on their wedding day. Riverside Farm means unparalleled privacy and charm.

With 6 gathering sites available at Riverside Farm alone the possibilities to create your own perfect Vermont destination wedding are nearly endless.  From the wedding meadow surrounded by Vermont's Green Mountains to the rustic elegance of our Brown Barn reception area - Riverside Farm is the perfect starting point for your creativity.  Our meticulous and responsive staff will work with you to design a refined and elegant country wedding.

From antique tractors, to copper lanterns, to wooden farm tables at your fingertips to decorate your Vermont Wedding can turn any event into a wedding you and your guests will always remember. Riverside farm has fabulous barns filled with charming antiques to decorate your wedding.  The grounds also include the stunning 1 mile Stone Staircase leading to a mountain top cabin with 360 degree views.

Overnight wedding accommodations on the estate at Riverside Farm are available for up to twenty-five people.  On our surrounding properties we are able to accommodate another 140-plus guests. Your friends and family will stay in unique accommodations, including the River Studio, the Caretaker’s Cottage, and the recently renovated Stables, as well as the stunning Bridal Suite and new Groom’s Cabin.  Or stay at the uniquely restored Amee Farm Lodge chosen by USA Today as one of New England's coziest B&Bs.  Riverside Farm will provide you and your guests with a wedding experience they will never forget.  

When I realized I wouldn't be able to break away from our daily lives for a weekend getaway to the Riverside and Amee Farms, we (Vermont Perfection & I) thought it would make the perfect giveaway for Louisiana Bride readers.

Y'all know how much we love a good B&B around here, and Riverside Farm looks to be the ultimate in relaxing beautiful spots.

After talking to Brenda from Riverside Farms I didn't want to visit, I was ready to pack my bags and tell them I was moving in. I could seriously die happy if all I did was plan weddings here.

Trust me, I'll be so jealous of whoever wins this! I begged Jeremy to let us go spend a weekend there just to relax and review an amazing wedding venue.

Now before we get to the Getaway Giveaway, let me tell you just what you'd get.
2 night stay at Amee Farm Lodge Deluxe Continental Breakfast each morning of stay Gift Certificate for Lunch to Original General Store Welcome Basket/Bag from Riverside Farm -Package Value of $600
While you're there, you can choose from many activities such as:: 30+ miles of hiking and biking on the Green Mountain Trails, yoga classes, snow-shoeing right out our back door, skiing at Killington and Pico, tubing on the Tweed River, kayaking and fishing at Kent Pond and Tweed River, on-site massages, tours of the Amee Farm with Sweet Georgia P’s, and of course, just relaxing by the fire or on the porch at the lodge. The night life on Killington in the winter draws in wonderful bands – it is just about 15 minutes from Riverside Farm, and there are great restaurants too. If you have an engaged friend, this is just the thing to tell them about. I'm sure they'd love checking out Riverside, and probably wouldn't leave without booking the venue. Now who wants to go to am amazing farm in Vermont? All you need to do is "like" Riverside Farms to place your entry and follow a few steps!

I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. I am simply sharing a great wedding venue that I'd be happy to get married in with my readers. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Secret Language | What's Your Secret Language Name?

Growing up I always loved to pull out the news paper and see what the day's horoscope was for Pisces, that's my sign. Don't think I'm about to go all weird on you, I didn't believe in the stuff, it was just fun to look at everyone's horoscope every day.

In college I read this book about how certain birthdays matched well with other's for relationships, I didn't pull it out to decide if I should date Jeremy, but I did like reading just for interest way back in the day.

A few months ago I stumbled upon a book at the store that had information about a person based on their birthday that wasn't based on all that astronomy mumbo jumbo. It was done as a survey of thousands of people (20,000) and just gave what common traits were shared with people born on that day, not the junk you find in the paper that you have no clue how it came to be.

The Secret Language | What's Your Secret Language Name?

I was intrigued at just how accurate it was about my personality.

Seriously spot on in a few areas.

Somethings, not so much. Otherwise, it definitely described my outlook on life.

I definitely fit what my Sun sign, Pisces, says about my personality; I'm a dreamer, through and through.

When I was asked to check out the Secret Language page I couldn't wait to see if it had my personality pegged or not. (My husband thought it was a nutty thing to be interested in, but I think it's fun.)

Just like their book that I happened upon months ago, it nearly had me pegged. The part about health for my birthday was definitely spot on.

The Secret Language | What's Your Secret Language Name?

What's even more fun that checking out your own birthday, is checking our your friends and then comparing birthdays with the Secret Language relationship checker.

If you've never been to the Secret Language site before you definitely should have some fun and plug in your birthday. It's free to use, just hop over and find out what your birthday says about you for yourself.

The Secret Language Name things about your "natural identity." For instance, it says that Lincoln was an "Intentional Unifier," and that Mother Teresa was an "Innocent Supportive Partner."

If you go to their main page there is a video at the bottom about celebrities who have the Secret Language book. Apparently Taylor Swift got one for her birthday last year.

So have some fun, stop by the Secret Language site, and find out what your birthday says about you. Then come back and share it with me. Let me know if you think it describes you, or if it was totally off. Either way you'll have fun, and you might find out that the massive group of people surveyed for Secret Language did have a thing or two in common based on their birthday.

For Feburary 25 my Secret Language name is Empowered for a Higher Cause, what's yours? 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Just Click {Helzberg Diamonds Giveaway}

If you could capture your relationship in three images what would they be? 

It actually took me a little while to answer my own question, I dug through the backed up photo log that is this blog, search Facebook, and looked all over my computer. It's hard to describe yourself in images when your husband hides from the camera.

I often joke about how we started dating, I actually did my best to repel Jeremy and get him to stop trying to come around.

That didn't work so well.

A stubborn man always gets what he wants, and this one just ignored me until I agreed to date him. 

The beginning of our relationship was definitely more carefree, fun, and well... college. There is just something to be said about dating in college, the easy schedules, minimal bills, going on dates all the time, and never once dragging in the work exhaustion. It's much more lighted hearted and fun, you don't think clearly.

Things that would obviously be problems down the road are glazed over in the newly dating dream world.

 It's never until much later that you actually begin to have to work on your relationship and dig deeper into why you want to be with someone.

The picture above was from right after we were engaged and at the local fair. 

From the beginning our personalities clicked. Even though we are vastly different, we had enough in common and were enough alike personality wise that we have always had fun together. 

The photos that I think describe us the best are the goofy, unposed, and carefree ones. 

A big turn around in our relationship, was our trip to Italy.

Life up until then was hectic, we had just moved 5 hours away, Jeremy was constantly in graduate classes, and I was essentially alone all the time. Getting away that first Christmas of graduate school gave us a chance to reconnect and remember how much fun we could have together. This particular picture was our last night in Rome, on our probably 6th gelato of the trip. Finally after all the stress, we were clicking again like we did in the beginning. Since then we've had no problem staying connected. I think it's always important to remember what made your relationship "click" to begin with. I know it is for me, with graduate school stress as a constant it helps to be reminded of what I loved about Jeremy in the first place.

Now it's your turn to tell us how your relationship "just clicks"::

Helzberg Diamonds’ “We Just Click” photo contest::

Helzberg’s “We Just Click” photo contest invites you to show how you and your significant other “click” for a chance to win a $1,000 Helzberg gift card to put towards the purchase of an ideal cut diamond from the new My Diamond Story collection!

Whether you’re just starting your happily ever after or have chapters behind you, entering the contest is as easy as a snap. Simply visit and share three photos representing your relationship. It can be a photo of the two of you, a significant time or place or a special memory, whatever makes your journey picture-perfect! After uploading three photos, provide one caption that is ten words or less.

Once the Helzberg Diamonds’ judges identify the finalists, you get to call the “shots” and help pick the winner as the finalists are revealed, and the public determines which couple they really click with. Will it be one of you?

The contest runs from Oct. 18-Nov. 6 and the winner will be announced Dec. 1.

Be sure to subscribe to the Helzberg Diamonds email to receive the latest on deals and offers. Also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

I received a sample product for the purpose of this post. The opinions are my own, based on my experience.