Sprint Sound Session with Jermaine Paul and the new HTC One Device! #sponsored #MC #SprintMusic #SprintMom

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint Sound Session. I received a sample of the HTC One to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

You guys!  I just had a blast in NYC last weekend!  I was totally jazzed to hear about the latest new devices when it comes to music and audio with Sprint.  A few of us bloggers were wined and dined at the ritzy Lamb’s Club right off Times Square.  We had a private room where we were completely enveloped with crystal clear music and some hands-on demos with the latest and greatest from Sprint!


A few weeks ago, my toddler jammed some coins into our car’s cd player and totally fried the system.  Since then, we’ve been driving around in silence and it was absolutely killing me!!  I tried to pump up the volume on my phone to get some Pandora flowing through the car, but it just wasn’t cutting it.  I never realized how music plays a HUGE role in my life, and not only that, but excellent quality music.

With these frustrations on my mind, I was even more enthralled, sold, smitten and wooed by the new Harman Kardon speaker!  What you see below is the Harman/Kardon Onyx Studio, which is a companion to all Bluetooth devices.  It is portable, lightweight, powerful, and offers the most crystal clear music I’ve ever heard from a speaker this size.  The same technology that went into this speaker has been incorporated into the HTC One Hardman Kardon edition, which I’ve had a chance to play with over the last week!  I received this phone at no cost to facilitate this review, along with the opportunity to try out Spotify, which is just a part of the portfolio of music services that Sprint offers, including Sprint Sound Sessions, Sprint Music Plus, and NextRadio.  Visit the Sprint Music Page to learn more!


Since I’ve had this hot little phone in my hands, I’ve been taking it anywhere I can to enjoy music on the go.  Its been playing in our car replacing the lame radio stations we used to listen to, and since we live just a block from the beach, you can bet we’ve taking it to the sandy beaches a couple times already.  The sound!!  10x better than any phone I’ve used or seen.  The key is in the duo speakers (on both sides) and on the front of the phone.  The audio sound is unreal!  It can fill. the. room.  You’d never believe this kind of sound was coming from a phone.  I play this in the car and it sounds like its coming from the car speakers.  Spotify is new favorite way to get my music.  I can listen to it on any device, I can download music and still listen when I’m offline, there are no ads like Pandora, and the sound quality is supreme.  You’ve got 20 MILLION songs at your disposal.  You can visit Sprint.com/Spotify to learn more about that and how you can a few months for free!


More about the phone: This phone is valued at $679.99.  My husband can’t keep his hands off it.  He keeps saying “this is such a sexy phone”.  The gold plating and the dual speakers really get me too.  We love the premium headphones (which are priced at around $80 on their own), but have found that you really have to jam them into your ears to enjoy the sound at its fullest potential with the rich base and crisp high frequencies.  The screen is clear, bright, and rich in color with full-HD resolution.

This is my kind of phone and I will be 100% recommending this phone to my friends, specifically those who take their music seriously.

Now surely you’ve seen those odd and memorable Sprint commercials about the Framily Plan.  The hamster?  The animated birds?  Gordon?  Of course you’ve seen them.  I think the Framily Plan is a genius idea.  We’ve already played that “family plan shuffle” where we hunt for family members or friends with that 5th wheel slot open.  Currently, my husband and I are on two different family plans with other in-laws.  The Framily Plan doesn’t limit your family size to 5 for the best deal, and lets you customize your plan.  Bills are separate; everyone’s happy.  I’D be happy to be on that plan.


Ok, the cherry on top of the already fantastic day was getting to hear Jermaine Paul live!  Jermaine was Season 2 winner of The Voice, and oh does he have a voice.  Like butter.  He was literally less than 5 feet away from me, serenading us all with his original songs and charm!  What a voice!  I came home and downloaded one of his songs he sang, “Next to You”.  Current ringtone?  Maybe so.


I appreciated getting to spend time chatting with HTC and Sprint representatives at the Sound Session Event.  I loved how family-friendly the team was, how excited they were about the products, and that they all had extensive experience with them in their homes.  Sprint, you have wooed me, and I can’t get enough of this HTC One!  Thanks Sprint and Mom Central for such a great event!


Portable Pilates Studio from Empower {Review}

I feel like every day is either an “I’m really motivated to go to the gym today” or a “There’s no way I want to drag myself and the kids to the gym today” kind of day.  For days that sound more like the latter, I’m all about home gym type equipment, especially things that don’t take up prime real estate in tight quarters.  I also love equipment that comes with dvds or other instruction because if you just handed me a barbell and said “exercise”, I wouldn’t know the first thing to do, and I would get bored.


Add all this together and you can see why the Portable Pilates Studio and I are a good team.  This ‘kit’ comes from Empower, who supplies all sorts of work out equipment along with videos, many of which I’ve reviewed and all loved.

With that, here is the Portable Pilates Studio, sold for $24.99, which contains one bar with bungees and attached foot straps:


The two pieces of bar fit together very snug, and I highly doubt I’ll ever be able to get them apart again, though I think that is what the white circles are intended to help you do.  The seal is so tight and so strong that I’m not going to bother.  The contraption is very well-constructed and I don’t have a sliver of fear that this will ever come apart while in use.  The bungee cords are thick and very well secured at both ends, and the straps are large enough to fit any tennis shoe while also being totally comfortable with bare feet, which is how I’ve been using it.


For the most part, I really like this workout.  Pilates, by nature, isn’t very sweaty or aerobic from the get-go, but if you’re doing it right, a few minutes into it you’ll really feel the burn and start to sweat.  This video workout does just that.  My first time through, I found myself bugged by all the time spent sitting and listening to explanations, but I can see how the next time, I can jump straight to the exercises and get more toning in the same amount of time.


The instructor, Gin, is helpful and kind and easy to understand.  There are four different sections to this workout video, each focusing on a slightly different area.  The actions are simple and easy to follow, and provide much more of an arm workout than I anticipated.  IMG_0485If you’re a home-gymer, this is a great set!  You can purchase this on the Empower website for $24.99, along with MANY other products for all sorts of toning and exercise.

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*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  




Orglamix Mineral Makeup {Giveaway} – CLOSED

I was able to review a few eye shadows from Orglamix a few months ago, and since then, I’ve been using those colors non-stop. In fact, I’ve really come to see the light when it comes to mineral makeup, especially color cosmetics that are healthy and natural, and when I recently sat down to inventory what makeup I actually own, I threw out a LOT of crap I’ve collected over the years, and then put my Orglamix colors at the top of my ‘favorites’ pile. While writing my first review, I noticed a set of colors intended exclusively for blue eyes–just the right colors to make the blue pop and look complimented.1470008_10152098970114236_767694217_n

Before I show you this dream set, check out all the gorgeous colors from Orglamix! They carry DOZENS of shades–a full spectrum of subtle to vibrant, soft to intense.photo-4_large

Whatever you’re going for, you’re bound to find just the shades of highlighters, base colors or accents you have in mind. I literally have over a dozen favorites that I would LOVE to get my hands on. Ok, let me know you my new favorite set of three: the Blue Eyes Play Collection, which includes the colors Buttercup, Silk, and Fig and sold for $19.95. Purchasing a set is a smart choice considering the bought separately, these are priced at $10/each.Sprite_810_large copy

I love that experts have combined these three to create the best enhancement that features blue eyes, and that I didn’t have to do the guesswork on coming up with the best trio of colors. This set for blue eyes includes Fig, Silk, and Buttercup. Buttercup looks a little more yellow (vs. cream) in person, but it still works great with the other two.  IMG_0200I think the three are so pretty together, and this makeup is top-notch. It doesn’t clump or crease, and it lasts the entire day. It goes on easily, blends well, and the rich colors keep their intensity.  Know that only good stuff is going onto your delicate eyelids.  Orglamix makeup is healthy, natural, cruelty-free, PETA approved and free from harsh chemicals, synthetic dyes, fillers and nano-particles.


One super lucky girl will win a $20 gift certificate to Orglamix.com!  If you’re a blue-eyed babe, go for the Blue Eyes Play Collection ($19.95)!!


*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn and emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  




*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn and emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  

Fulcrum Gallery Canvas Art {Review}

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

Sometimes I feel like I am at a standstill with my interior decorating.  Especially while living in a rental where basically nothing is allowed, especially no nails in the walls, which in my mind, implies decorating the walls with vinyl decals and very lightweight prints on canvas–no heavy frames.  I knew I wanted a large canvas for one of our main, large, and empty walls, and my husband and I agreed that we needed more religious art in our home.

fulcrumgalleryWe found a real treasure at FulcrumGallery.com, and I’m pleased to show you the newest piece of beautiful artwork in our home!  First off, while perusing the Fulcrum Gallery site, I was continually impressed and really just amazed at the inventory.  You can search by room or by intended category, such as “Museum Art”, “Photography”, “Modern Art”, etc. or by topic.  I put in the search word “Boston”, and hundreds of items came up.  I could refine my search to the location, Boston MA, and my list was pared down to 74 gorgeous pictures of the city I love most right now!  If artwork like this is something you’d like to become more familiar with, I would suggest learning more about art through courses, books, and even online sites about art history.

My husband and I went back and forth emailing each other one morning with our favorites and agreed on this breathtaking print called “Walking on Water” by Melanie Ewing.  This print starts at only $19.79, put there are four different options of how you’d like this mounted/finished: print, laminate, canvas, or frame, and each goes up in price.  We chose the canvas option, in a Gallery Wrap, with .75″ bars, and no brushstrokes, so that with shipping, our total came to just over $100.

When the canvas arrived, I was really impressed and pleased with the amount of protective packaging provided, and then even more worried when I saw that there were some places where the straps actually did more damage to the canvas than intended.

IMG_0032 copy

Eeek, right?!  I’ve been hoping that with time, these impressions will be smoothed out, or at least less noticeable.  These trouble areas are relaxing a little, but my eyes still zero in on these imperfections every time I look at the print, unfortunately.

IMG_0034 copy

The picture itself is gorgeous, though!  I think the style and photo filter are perfect for our home, and especially this cream wall.


The finished dimensions are 20″ by 30″, which is plenty large to make an impact, but not so much that it overwhelms a small-to-medium sized room.  The image is crisp and very detailed, and I love the fact that I haven’t seen this anywhere before.


I really want to fill our home with religious art, but not the same standard pictures that I see in the homes of all my friends and chapels.  I love how this is unique, but still breathtaking, meaningful, sacred, and symbolic.  Besides the packaging damage, the canvas is perfectly built with a sturdy wood frame behind it.  The canvas has been wrapped with smooth corners, clean cuts, and a nice protective finish.  I really think this is a treasured work of art, beautiful and meaningful, and I hope to keep this up on our walls for decades to come!

Connect with Fulcrum Gallery!

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

California Kitchenware Silicone Cupcake Molds {Review}

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

I love that we have reached the point in our boys’ lives where they fully grasp what birthdays are and what they mean: a party, presents, and treats!  They FLIP for the opportunity to celebrate anyone’s birthday, and will talk about it incessantly for days.  With their aunt’s birthday last weekend, good thing we had these adorable silicone cupcake molds from California Kitchenware to really make the party fun!


I’m really into baking, and I’ve been looking for a set of baking cups like these for years and years.  Trying to get cupcakes out of a standard muffin tin intact is a pain, and the cost of paper liners can add up, so even though these require the extra effort of washing them afterwards, they much such a cute treat!  These really look like a mess, but that was all my fault.  The brownie batter I was working with just so drippy!


Besides baking cupcakes (or brownies, in our case), these are excellent snack cups.  They’re perfect for a small serving of candy, small marshmallows, goldfish crackers, etc. and a simple rinse is all you need to keep these in rotation.  Because these are stackable, easy to store, and weigh nothing at all, they make a great alternative to storing muffin pans.  As you see above, you can place them directly on a baking pan, and they work great in a freezer or microwave as well.


My opinion:  I love these!!  I’m a big fan of silicone, and being able to carry around these individually-sized cups and bust them out at parties is going to be so fun!  The kids think they are a special treat, and I’m going to love having these for all the upcoming birthday parties we’re going to celebrate.  I’d love to try making individual cheesecakes to bring to baby showers or something similar.  They feel sturdy and thick enough to handle continuous washings and bakings, and even though they are kind of a pain to wash, the vibrant colors are so happy and refreshing.  We’re going to get good use out of these, for sure!

This set of 12 liners is also available in all white and can be found on Amazon HERE for only $7.99.

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

Designer Bamboo Robes from Sassimi {Giveaway} – CLOSED

I’ve become a year-round exclusive robe-wearer and I love it!  Its the last thing to come off at night, and the first thing I put on in the morning.  I love the added layer of material on my skin and feeling a little closer to being dressed during those painfully early morning hours while I’m getting breakfast on for the 6-am-ers around here.  Ever since I was able to try out a bamboo robe from Sassimi last year, I decided that I wanted nothing else when it comes to my robes.  Have YOU experienced the wonder of bamboo on your skin?  If you have, you’ll probably agree with me.


Sassimi is a line of the most comfortable luxury loungewear I’ve come across.  They feature flowy pants, loose tops, and luxurious robes, and all in their signature bamboo material.
Now recently, Sassimi has come out with some new products that I am really excited about!  They’ve added new Ibiza dresses, tunics, and ruched tops in these vibrant cool colors.  They look nothing but comfortable, breathable, and perfect for summer.
With their new line of clothing, they’ve added a new robe: the LA JOLLA CONTRAST SPA ROBE, and I am crazy about these!  The cut, the colors, and of course, the material is making me want one in every color.
I begged Sassimi to let me review one of these beauties, and was so so happy to receive the robe in this Bedazzled Blue!
This blue color is bright and rich, and it reminds me of my Alma Mater :)
How do I describe this besides “utter comfort”?  Like I said, if you haven’t tried bamboo on your skin, you are really missing out.  It is one of the softest fabric I’ve worn, while still having a lovely mid-to-heavy weight that makes you feel enveloped in something luxurious.
An enclosed elastic back waistband helps to make this robe comfortably snug around your body.  I like the two ties–an inner tie and an outer–that keep this from coming loose.  The fabric is so breathable that you could wear this to bed and not wake up feeling clammy.
I think because I chose a Medium, these sleeves, which are meant to be 3/4 length on average arms, fall pretty much right at my wrists.  Its like a long-sleeve robe to me, but maybe just an inch above what would get in the way of doing dishes, but other than that, this is an excellent fit.  I think this design is meant to fit a variety of body shapes well and comfortably.
You can buy this robe in all six colors on Amazon HERE for $68 with free shipping!!  And be sure to follow Sassimi on Facebook!  They are so close to hitting 1,000 fans!  Let’s make it happen!

And now one lucky winner will receive this La Jolla Contrast Spa Robe in either Bedazzled Blue (with white trim) or White (with guava trim)!

*This giveaway is open to US entries only

*The winner of this giveaway will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  


Grazia® Silicone 24 Cup Mini Muffin Pan {Review}

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

Baking is definitely my thing.  I would eat sweet breads and muffins all day if I could.  Since a chef is only as good as their equipment (is that even a phrase?), I’m tickled over my new 24-cup muffin pan from Grazia.  This little pan is going to get an immense amount of use!

IMG_0043I love this pan.  I really love silicone bake ware.  It is virtually indestructible and it can handle anything you throw at it.  You can use it in the oven, the microwave, and the freezer, and then throw it in the dishwasher when you’re done.  The flexible mold makes it ideal for storing since it can fit in odd spaces and weighs hardly anything at all.


We tried a batch of muffins last night and just like I expected, this pan worked like a champ.  You simply spray this with oil like you would a normal pan, and cook it at the temp and time as usual.  The silicone really allows for even cooking all around, and it makes popping these mini muffins out as easy as a little squeeze underneath.


Compared to other silicone bakeware I own, I think this is one of the thickest, which is great for durability.  I like the textured surface and how this allows for a full two dozen to cook in one batch.  I’m left with zero mess, zero scraping, and I’ll never have to worry about rust.  Thanks, Grazia!

You can purchase this mini muffin pan HERE on Amazon for $16.88 on sale today.

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

Beach Rays {Giveaway} – CLOSED


Its FINALLY summer!  Legitimately.  We’re hitting up the beach nearly every day, since we live just a block from the beautiful Revere Beach.  Good thing we have some killer swimsuits this season!  Beach Rays so generously sent me and my son a swimsuit from their new collection, and we took them out last weekend.  We reviewed the Pamela suit in Red and the boys’ Gelato suit, sold for $119 and $36.


I love a lot of things about this red suit.  I think the style is classic and beautiful, while still being extremely slimming.  I have a LOT of middle tummy fluff leftover from two pregnancies, but it is camouflaged quite well with this so-geniously placed rusching in the front.  After seeing for myself how this really hides and slims, I’m never going back to a flat/smooth front swimsuit again.


Now, while I love the cut and the style, there is still a major issue that is going to inhibit me from wearing this suit again, and I think it only affects my well-endowed sisters.  In a bigger size with bigger cups on this suit, the underwire has difficulty staying in place.  The halter top straps naturally pull the sides of the suit in at an angle toward the neck, and so the underwire ends rub against eachother, usually overlapping.  There is very little structure when it comes to the bust part of this suit, especially because it is a halter with no support that wraps entirely around your body.  I hope this is just a problem for this Size 10 suit, and for busty girls.  I do think that this won’t be a problem in the smaller sizes on girls with small busts to contain.


Rocket’s suit is adorable, though!  We reviewed a suit for him last summer, so I knew how the Beach Rays sizing ran.  Last year, we ordered a size 3T for our 2-year-old, and it was pretty snug.  This year, we ordered a size 6 for the now 3-year-old, and it fits him great, with room to last him the summer.  So keep in mind that their trunks run quite small if you have a chunk of a boy yourself.


I love these colors together and I love the color blocking!  It makes this suit look much less juvenile in my opinion.


The back pocket is my favorite part!  I love the contrast color on the drawstring waistband and how it makes the waistband adjustable for a perfect fit.L

There are SO many cute/fashionable/manly/girly suits to choose from on the Beach Rays site.  You could surely find favorites for the whole family at Beach Rays and look coordinatingly dashing at the beach this summer!  Check em out!

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One lucky winner will get to pick out any Beach Rays suit of their choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway is open to US entries only *The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of June 21st and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. *The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation.  


Walls Need Love {Review}

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

I feel like I’ve just lost the last two weeks of my life–spent entirely moving apartments!  What a pain in the butt!  What a big, expensive, horrible process of boxing, loading, unboxing, and rearranging everything you own.  However, the huge perk of a new space, in my opinion, is clean walls!  Blank canvases that scream, “Do something with me!”


Good thing Walls Need Love hooked me up with a batch of their super CUTE gold confetti dots for my studio!!  These are the Wall Decals Mini-Pack – 2″ Confetti Polka Dots, sold for $12.

Exhibit A: the packaging is charming.IMG_9722

You are provided with detailed (and witty) instructions, a squeegee card, and a cute tag.  The instructions give plenty of tips on how to get the perfect setting, regardless of whether your decals are large or small, intricate or simple.


I received (72) 2″ polka dots so I got to work cutting these out.  You can tape these in place first to give you an idea of what the final product could turn out to be.  They peel easily, adhere excellently, and flatten without bubbles effortlessly when you use the included card.sque

I’m currently in the process of getting ALL of these cute dots up.  My mother-in-law is coming to stay in this room where I’m sticking them, so I’ve been stalled mid-project, but I can just see how awesome this is going to look!  Weeeee!


But here’s a visual of what a finished room could look like:


I LOVE these dots!  And for $12, you don’t have any excuses to not doll up a room of your own.  These come in DOZENS of colors to suit your style.

Take a few minutes and peruse all the super cute and trendy decals that are above ordinary.  I am being swept away by all the gorgeous stripes, prints, decals, removable wall paper, etc. etc.  I neeeeed!!

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



Baker’s Mat {Review}

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

We’re moving on Saturday to a different apartment just a few minutes away.  Its really going to be a dream-home, right by the beach, and completely remodeled, HOWEVER, after we did a walk-through and signed the lease, we got home and realized…did you see a dishwasher?  I don’t remember seeing a dishwasher!  Panic!  With all the other great things going for it, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but I’m really revving myself up for this new lifestyle change!  Haha, it could be rough!

As I’m preparing for the extra number of hours of my life that will be spent scrubbing at the sink, I’ve been reassessing everything I own that is particularly difficult to clean.  Large pots and pans are up on that list, so I’ve been thinking about using more liners and mats in the future to save myself a good scrubbing in hopes of just more rinsing.  This Baker’s Mat is going to be a life saver.

81ivRSP+GvL__SL1500_I love love love any bake-ware that comes in silicone.  Its utter indestructibility makes it worth the cost, which isn’t outlandish in the first place.  Silicone is perfect to store, especially in odd places, as light as a thin notebook, and super easy to clean.

matOk, so what do I love about this mat that makes it different than others I’ve tried?  This mat feels and looks a little thicker than others.  I’m hoping that transfers to durability and longevity.  I also love the turned corners, which really helps in maneuvering it around the pan and lifting to reposition or clean.  It works like a champ!  It does everything it claims to.  No spray needed, and these sticky monkey bread bites (that should have been a huge sticky mess) came up with a spatula like a dream.


I plan on cooking anything and everything on this mat.  Rolls, cookies, pigs-in-a-blanket, etc.  The extra layer between the food and the pan allows for very even cooking, which is great for cookies and candies.  Because it can withstand temperatures of -40°F to 480°F, this mat is ideal for the oven, microwave, and freezer.  What an excellent way to transfer foods between locations.

Unlike some temperament Silpat mats that have to be handwashed lightly and rarely with soap, this guy can go straight into the dishwasher.  I’m so excited to avoid excessive cooking sprays and the costs of parchment in my future cooking.

A+ in my book!  You can find this mat on Amazon HERE for less than $12.

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


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