Picture
For what it is worth even when you are a stay at home mom dinner time is busy time. Especially when you are pregnant and everything turns your stomach. It is difficult to cook let alone to cook a good meal for your family and then added guests. However, my trust crock pot and Kroger's Spring Dinner Campaign made this task a bit easier for me. I decided with the generous amount of food the the Bzz campaign had offered through the Kroger Spring Dinners campaign that it was too much food to serve just our family and needed to be made an occasion.

We invited over our good friends and their two preschool children to accompany my husband, myself and our daughter. I had never made a pork loin before and set out on this adventure by first researching Pinterest. I ended up attempting to make a honey mustard pork loin in the crock pot. Unfortunately this idea did not work out as expected. I had decided to use the crock pot which is a wonderful option, however, it is not good for a glazed based roast.

Since the pork was tender and delicious but without added flavor we added for the quick fix of BBQ Sauce. This is my number one tip for all cooks serving guests, have a back up plan or at least a  back up condiment. The rest of the meal went off without a hitch. The bread Kroger croissant rolls were probably the favorite of the kids followed closely by the microwavable mac n cheese Kroger Brand. That is a second tip for cooking a large meal for several people. Always have a kid staple and it can be frozen/microwave for quickness and ease. Not everything needs to be from scratch.

We rounded out our meal with the Kroger Brand cupcakes made from the Korger brand cake mix and frosting. The kids were given ample decorating supplies and candy to adorn their cupcakes. They were a fun treat and the guests took home a doggy bag of extra cupcake. (Better to sugar up their kids then mine) The Kroger Brand cake mix and frosting mix. Were comparable to all of the major brands of cake and frosting mix and at a fraction of the typical cost.

All foods mentioned were products received for free from Kroger through the Bzz Agent Kroger Spring Dinners Campaign.

 
 
Picture
As nice and luxurious as a spa manicure can be I have honestly always preferred doing my own nails. Nail polish is probably my favorite "make-up" item. It is not meant to look natural, it is meant to be and look fun.
I tend to paint my nails often but when I want to indulge I follow these steps.

First after removing old polish and shaping my nails with a nail file I warm up my paraffin dip. I discovered a few years ago that even though I am in my early 30's my hands are already starting to ache in the cold winters we have/ Combine that with a family history of arthritis and my own hobbies that involve crafting, sewing and knitting, I decided to invest in a paraffin bath which were actually originally designed for arthritis patients. Using this a few times a month keeps my hands from aching and also keeps your skin soft and healthy, plus it feels great.

Next I go for a fun color pallet. I love all shades and hues of polish, I always have. In the 80's in grade school it was fluorescent pink, in the 90's it was that electric blue. Now anything goes from retro to a polished look. Often as in this picture I like to take a classic french and add a twist to the colors. 





Now thanks to Bzz agent and my awesome free full size sample of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula lotion I am keeping my typically dry cracked winter skin soft and supple. No need to hide my hands I get to show of my perfect tips with soft supple skin. Which for me in the winter used to be nonexistent. Who needs a manicurist when you can do all of this at hope cheaper and more frequently. 



 
 
I really love to hate Umbridge she is quite possibly the greatest villain ever written. Kudos to Imelda Stauton for playing the character so well. Now if she ever showed up at the door of Downton Abbey, Carson the perpetual Bachelor who is played by her actual husband Jim Carter, would have some explaining to do. although is some ironic way the two staunch characters may be very well suited for each other.
 
 
Picture
I received three of the new Blast Flipstick Cover Girl lipsticks from Bzz Agent, to try review and Bzz about. Three lipsticks that are actually more like 6 since each lipstick comes with two similar, complementing shades. I LOVED receiving these lipsticks since my very favorite lipstick had recently been smashed by an eager 4 year old who wants to be just like mommy.
I really wanted these lipsticks to just blow me away with their awesomeness and instead I was more content with average.
So let's list the pro's and con's

The Pro's
  1. Creamy quality texture.
  2. Softens and smooths lips.
  3. Dual shades that allow you to mix up your lip look.
The Con's



  1. Average, everyday shades.
  2. Not long lasting.

This will not be the lipstick to replace all of my lipsticks but as I find it on sale or a good buy it may find it's way into my make-up box. I would have like to find a shade that was closer to what I normally like to wear and may still have to do that. However, I do wish it would stay on the lips a little better without rubbing off so easily and it did on my collar of my white winter coat (pictured above) that I had only recently had laundered! All in all though Cover Girl is a tried and true quality product so you can't go wrong with that.








 
 
Picture
As a Bzz Agent I received a free sampling of Green Mountains Fair Trade coffees for K-Cup style brew machines. I have been attempting to learn more about fair trade and the program it offers to community conscience consumers as well as to underdeveloped nations. Following Green Mountain on Facebook, you can keep up with Grace Potter and Michael Franti as they inform us what it means to purchase Fair Trade products and tie their musical tour to the Green Mountain campaign.


 
 
Picture
As a BZZ Agent I received a generous ammount of K-Cup Green Mountain Coffees in an assortment of flavors. I also recieved several coupons to share with friends. As luck would have it I do not have a k-cup machine and so the benefit of this fine product were the teachers at my husband's school. My husband brought the product and coupons and set them up at the pot for all to enjoy and share.
I know my husband especially enjoyed the Blueberry. As a product the coffee appears good and similar in flavor and taste to many other premium coffees. The reason really to buy Green Mountain is the fact that it is fair trade.

But what is that and what does that mean is it just another P.C trend term or does it mean something. In looking into the program it's goal is to help underdeveloped countries trade in a protected and fair manner to developed countries without being taken advantage of. Products like sugar, chocolate, wine.
One of the more popular of these types of products is coffee. What would we Americans do without coffee, what would I do without coffee? Coffee beans are not something commonly grown in the states as it takes a warmer climate. So how can we as ever consuming coffee drinking Americans due to make sure we are not having someone taken advantage of for our consumption.
The Fair Trade concept is attempting to broach that gap. Is it doing it are the workers in the field seeing the fruits of their hard labor? According to an article published by NY Times in September of this year 20 cents of every pound goes back to the community that the coffee is grown in. With organic beans yielding 20 cents to the community and 30 to the farmer. Last year the 17 million earned in fair trade premiums went back to the farming co-op's to invest in local schools and community projects.
So it is not just a trend or a P.C word it is going to do something. Does it do more then traditional products? That I can not find to compare. Still it would make sense if you are going to drink coffee to get something that is more socially responsible. In particular when the product is good, convenient and a better value then many other coffee alternatives on the market.
As a penny pincher consumer I also have to say that the product is of good value price wise. I often see good coupons online or for in store of the product. Most recentaly the Green Mountain retail website offered a 10 dollar voucher with your first order. In addition to being able to snag a pound of coffee for this price they also added a travel mug and when you joined their monthly club you got free filters and shipping. All in all a good price

 
 
Picture
As a Bzz Agent I received three of Burt's Bees Intense Hydration product for free to review and bzz about. this morning I used the face wash and thought it was very nice. I wanted to use the mask but was a little worried because my skin is already dry right now. Then I remembered, wait, this is called Hydration not dehydration. I read the instructions and noticed something odd, you do not wash this mask off. Really could that be right? I am used to clay masks that suck your face dry. Not this one you smear it on and let it sit for 10 minutes. You are then supposed to wipe it off with a tissue and massage in any remaining product. What a nice change of pace. I placed this mask on and did not feel my skin get stretched and taunt and dried beyond an inch like a typical mask. I followed up with the night cream even though it is still morning because I have no plans for the day and my skin can just soak in all of this wonderful moisture. So after day one and all three products I have to say these appear to be a winner.

 
 
Picture
Tomorrow I will start using the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration products I received for free as a Bzz agent. Actually since one of the products is a night cream I will start tonight and use the wash and mask in the morning. I am excited to see how they work and hope that my dry winter skin will love them.

 
 
Picture
Is it Christmas???? Because it sure feels like it. I just got all of these products in the mail from Bzz agent to review and "Bzz" about what I think of them. They are all full size products and are a total retail value of about 46 dollars. They are apart of the new Intense Hydration line. I get the worst dull, dry winter skin so I em ecstatic to try these products. As I start to use them I will blog on how they hopefully help improve my skin. Also check out all the coupons and samples they gave me to hand out. Bzz me if you want one.

 
 
In my review for the second type of product that I was asked to review by Bzz Agent I have a much more positive report then with the sprays. I received a coupon for a free Glade Expressions oil diffuser. This product has my vote and my Bzz. Not only is it a pretty diffuser, it smells nice. In fact it has a very gentle scent that is constant. Unlike a lot of diffusers that are timed or that tend to lose their scent this diffuser has lasted and lasted. I smell it each time I walk into the room that it is set in. I also enjoy the apple fragrance for this one. Unlike the other scents the fragrance of an apple is fairly neutral and not overpowering. You do not tire of it's gentle scent nor are you overwhelmed by it. This is a product that I will continue to use. I would just love it if they would get some fall fragrances in that are found in their other products.



 

    How a Tiffany Girl gone broke can feed her family and still dress like a diva for pennies a day.