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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day Giveaway and Review: Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics

Disclaimer: I received a Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics, as well as one for a giveaway prize, in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

I smiled so brightly when Hallmark asked me if I would like to participate in their Father's Day Giveaway and Review for one of their newest offerings: Kiddie Car Classics. My late maternal grandfather, Grandpa A.D.'s side of the family has long been a "car" family and I was brought up to have an appreciation for classic cars. 

Hallmark sent me their Kiddie Car Classics blue 1965 Ford Mustang to review. Each Kiddie Car Classic comes with a special collector’s card that provides fun facts about the original car as well as the Hallmark artist who created the model. 



This particular make and model of classic is close to my heart. The young man who was my first date came to be my lifelong friend. One of my favorite memories was going to his Senior Prom when I was a sophomore, which was a big thing because junior and seniors could go to prom and only a sophomore could go by invitation from a junior or senior. He picked me up for the prom driving his Dad's 1966 red Ford Mustang with license plate that read, "ITSA66". Very special memories with Scott, who passed away recently very unexpectedly. I smiled when I received this 1965 blue Ford Mustang.



Hallmark first introduced Kiddie Car Classics in the early 1990s, Now two decades later, these collectible scale replica pedal cars have cruised back into Hallmark stores. Hallmark Keepsake Ornament collectors will also find these newest releases in the 2015 Keepsake Ornaments Collection.  

I love the size of these scale replica pedal cars, big enough to enjoy and display as an eye-catching conversation piece. I think the blue Mustang is such an attention-getting color.    

Thanks to Hallmark, one of you will win a Kiddie Car Classic, valued at $49.95. To enter, leave a comment below letting me know if you have a favorite classic car from your memories, whether from childhood or recent. If you are not able to leave a comment, please e-mail me your entry at angelaskitchen@rocketmail.com with "giveaway entry" in the subject line. Giveaway closes at 9:00 pm EST tonight. 
  
Disclaimer: I received a Hallmark Kiddie Car Classics, as well as one for a giveaway prize, in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren

I was happy for the opportunity to review the newly-released adoption journey book Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren.



The book shares Jillian and her husband's real-life journey to becoming adoptive parents and welcoming their son to their family from Ethiopia.


I was immediately drawn to the full-on reality she gives in telling her story, no sugar-coating. The issue of infertility is addressed and gives the reader a glimpse into the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

Adoption is presented not as an easy, worry-free process but as a process that often comes with both joy and tears of uncertainty. A process that is too-often not told in most adoption stories is shown in this one: addressing the special needs of an internationally adopted child. Both victories and struggles are detailed for the reader. 

My husband and I have yet to start our family, but as an aspiring parent, I found myself taken by the range of emotions in this story known as "parenthood". I rooted for Jillian as first an "aspiring mother" like me and then as she became a mother. I rooted for this family.  This book uplifts you. It touches your heart. It comes highly recommended by me for an inspiring read. 

Giveaway:

One of you will win your own copy of this book. To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know you would like to win. Giveaway closes Friday, May 8 at Noon EST.

If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at angelaskitchen@rocketmail.com with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.


Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book to review and a copy for a giveaway prize by Global Influence Network. I was not financially compensated for this blog post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Derby Day Delights: Mint Julep Cupcakes

Derby Day is here. The 2015 Kentucky Derby is underway today in Louisville's renowned Churchhill Downs. The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875 and is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. Nearly 100 of the horses that have won the Kentucky Derby were actually born in the state of Kentucky, making horses from the Bluegrass state the most likely to win the race.

The event is also known for its fashion parade by a number of both females and males in the grandstands and a renowned "Derby Hat Parade" consisting of a throng of unique, colorful and in some cases truly one-of-a-kind hat creations.

The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It is an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sweet syrup and is traditionally served in a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass. Churchill Downs expects to serve 120,000 mint juleps today! Here is my recipe tribute in cupcake form to this legendary derby drink. I bake these mint julep cupcakes to serve family and friends while we watch the race widely-known as "The Run for the Roses". 


"Southern Fried Bride's Mint Julep Cupcakes"

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup "Maker's Mark" Kentucky Bourbon 
1/4 cup Creme de Menthe liquor 


Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F, and grease or line 24 cupcake cups. In mixing bowl, add 1 cup of flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In separate bowl, add butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts and mix at medium speed until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add milk, bourbon and Creme de Menthe liquors to the batter, then the remaining 1 cup of flour. Stir lightly, only enough for batter to combine. Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Cool before frosting..
"Mint Delight Frosting"
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon mint extract  

In large bowl, cream butter with mixer on medium speed. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, mixing between additions. Add mint extract. Beat at medium speed for 5 minutes, or until frosting reaches creamy consistency. Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway with Love Inspired Books

I enjoyed the first Love Inspired book I reviewed for the series, so when I was given the opportunity to review more of their books, I was very happy. Each month, the Love Inspired series releases 6 books, only available for purchase during that month.  

These would make perfect Mother's Day gifts for special women in your life who enjoy reading wholesome and inspiring love stories.  


I enjoyed each of these six books, all of them heartwarming stories. My favorite in this set are "The Doctor's Second Chance" and "The Rancher Takes a Bride".  I love that the common themes in this set include hope, faith, redemption and forgiveness.

For more information on the Love Inspired monthly book series, you can visit the site here.

Giveaway:
One of you will win a box set of the 6 books in the May 2015 collection. To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know you would like to win. Giveaway closes Friday, May 2 at Noon EST.

If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at angelaskitchen@rocketmail.com with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Mother's Day Cards Review and Giveaway with Hallmark #PutYourHeartToPaper

I love being a Hallmark blogger because I not only love their cards and other products, but also what they stand for as a company. I am a member of a club no one wishes to be a part of, someone who has lost a parent. Mother's Day coming around on the calendar was always a wonderfully special day in my household up until 2001 when my mother passed away. My memories of the first few Mother's Days without her are excruciating. It was a day that had meant so much, and that was forever changed for me by life's circumstances. In the 14 that have passed since, I have come to try my best to make it a day to celebrate as many of the special women in my life that I can. I still feel the same pang in my heart when I see the Mother's Day card display in whatever store I happen to be in, as I felt on that first without her.

She was and is my hero in life. Here we are in 1997 on a special trip to celebrate my college graduation at the Garth Brooks concert in Tulsa.



I am vocal that the fact I no longer have my mother in this life does not mean I do not celebrate this holiday with the same fervor and sentiment that I did in the 26 years I celebrated it alongside her as Jan's daughter. When I was given the opportunity to participate in Hallmark's 2015 Mother's Day #PutYourHeartToPaper campaign, I was very happy to accept. heart emoticon

I received a selection of their newest card designs for Mother's Day to share with special women in my life. These designs have taken my breath away with their beauty and unique spirit. They are not geared toward what some card companies tend to do, for "the mother", but geared toward reflecting all kinds, and all numbers not just counting as one, of special women in a person's life.

I love the sweet sentiment paired with the fun design of this Grandma card. It brings to mind my beloved late maternal grandmother, Grandma Cleva because she truly encompassed the words on this card.  


As a coffee lover, I am so taken with the unique spirit of this card that comes with a beautiful detachable coffee sleeve.


This card comes with a wooden necklace with a fantastically fun design.

I love the traditional design of this card paired with elegant details.


I will be sending this fun expectant mother card to one of the moms-to-be in my life.

The foodie in me loves this fun kitchen mixer design and sentiment.


I am such a glitter fan and I think the pink glitter detail of this card is just as amazing as the card's sentiment.



I love this Hallmark video from their #PutYourHeartToPaper campaign with grateful daughters sharing their love for their mother.



Thanks to Hallmark, one of you will win a 5 card pack of their Mother's Day cards to share with those you love. To enter, please leave a comment below to let me know you would like to win. Giveaway closes Friday, May 1 at Noon EST. If you are not able to leave a comment on this blog post, please e-mail me at angelaskitchen@rocketmail.com with "Giveaway Entry" in the subject line and that will count as your entry.

Disclaimer: Hallmark provided me with 10 greeting cards for the purpose of my honest review and a 5 card giveaway set. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A caviar experience for your hair with Nexxus at CVS

Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Global Influence. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

At the age of 40, I consider myself very fortunate to receive compliments on my hair. For me, it is a combination of a trusted at-home care regiman and routinely trusted hairstylists for care maintenance.

With the arrival of spring, I love to change my hairstyle with the season and add a special flair for warmer weather. Here is how I styled my hair for Easter Sunday.


I'm a firm believer in using a styling regiman with a specialized shampoo, conditioner and finishing with a styling product. With each year that passes, making sure to use hair products with quality ingredients become more and more important to me. Getting a salon quality of products for my regular use at home is important to me.

I was happy to learn that Nexxus New York Salon Care has re-introduced their Therappe Shampoo and Humectress Conditioner, available at CVS and the products have a caviar complex. Brand new to the line is an Encapsulate Serum to finish the regiman. 


A caviar experience for my hair? Yes, please! 


I love that the care regimen is enriched with 100% Elastin protein and the Caviar Complex, designed to rebalance, restore, and replenish hair.


Concentrated protein. Precious Ingredients. For Hair With Beautiful Fluidity. Those are attributes that immediately caught my attention.



From 3/29/15-4/26/15, you can stop in to your local CVS and receive a $1 off coupon, while supplies last, for any one product from Nexxus NewYork Salon Care (excludes trial and travel sizes). 



CVS Beauty consultants will be available to meet with you and help you determine the Nexxus style regiman that is right for you. You can locate a CVS store near you here where you can get started on finding the right Nexxus product for you!

Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Global Influence. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Grace of God" DVD Review and Giveaway

In our world today, forgiveness and redemption are two things which can sometimes be seen as in short supply. I was given the opportunity to view a DVD that centers around these two subjects and is based on The Ten Commandments. 

According to the Dove Foundation, who gave this movie their family-approved seal, the film tells the story of Detective Bill Broadly, who lost his faith years ago, is called to investigate the disappearance of the local church’s collection plate. As he questions its various church members, rumors swirl as more congregants learn about the theft. When one unexpected church-goer confesses to stealing the funds, the confession resurrects Broadly’s views about God, and helps him see that through faith and belief there really is rebirth and redemption.

I enjoyed this DVD and love coming across films in the inspirational genre that illustrate a powerful message, such as this one. I thought the acting was very well done and the story well-written. It has a very profound message that impacted me.

You can purchase a copy of the DVD at Walmart stores and through Walmart's website here.

One of you will win your own "Grace of God" DVD.  To enter, leave a comment below and let me know you would like to win this DVD. Giveaway closes Friday, April 17 at noon EST.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.