Friday, December 21, 2012

Shari's Berries Review

So I know this is a little outside of my typical "realm" of review products but when I was offered the chance to review a brand from the Red Envelope Brands (ProFlowers, Shari's Berries, Red Envelope, and Personal , I just had to take a gamble and find out which one I would get to check out! I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to review Shari's Berries for the holidays!

I was given this link: Shari's Berries product page and noticed it had suggestions for Valentine's Day. I've always been a big fan of chocolate dipped strawberries and have yet to be successful when making them myself. The chocolate never stays smooth enough for long and I always ended up making a mess with very little to show for it. I have been known to purchase and receive other fruit bouquets but they were always so expensive and I never was able to finish them myself before my "less favorite" fruits were eaten. Anyway, back to the review. So, I was given a gift card and given freedom to purchase anything from the site. Given that we were going to visit family for the holidays, I selected the Cheesecake Trio & Full Dozen Gourmet Dipped Fancy Strawberries. I thought this would be a great addition to the weekends festivities.

It came in an insulated box and had this cute warning label:

The strawberries looked phenomenal! It was all I had to not "sample" one of each kind and try to save some for others. They looked different from the pictures only in that there was MORE chocolate and toppings than shown on the description. None of the green parts of the strawberries were left on, so there is no "handle" per-Se but in my opinion that's just more goodness to enjoy! It don't tend to make them a little messier to eat, but I don't know many people that don't enjoy licking their fingers after enjoying a couple of these little gems. :) The strawberries were so red and delicious and and the cheesecake was a nice compliment being so rich.

The cheesecakes were also a little different than I expected. There were no dimensions on the description so it was just my interpretation of what "mini cheesecakes" meant. I was pleasantly surprised with the size. More than just a bite, but small enough that you don't feel too guilty for eating a whole one yourself. Not that I know anyone who's done that or anything...

The people at Shari's Berries are also so thoughtful to include nutrition facts for all of the items. I chose to pay attention to the fact that there is a significant amount of Vitamin C in strawberries and that the serving size for the cheesecake trio is 3/4 of a cheesecake! :) So once again, not super guilt-inducing for eating a whole cake!

Now that I've gotten you hungry and ready to order your own, here's how. First be sure to check out to look for any coupon codes. I was able to find one for 20% off my order! There was also a promotion to have my shipping reimbursed too, but to be honest, I haven't attempted that yet. Once the order was placed, I was really happy with the e-mail follow-up. I was told when the item was picked up for shipping and when it was delivered. That's a great feature for when you having an item delivered  and want to make sure it stays in a cold place. You can let the recipient know the item's been delivered so they could move it to the fridge as soon as possible.

Overall, I was happy with my first Shari's Berries experience and can say with certainty I will be ordering from them again.

**Disclaimer: I was provided a gift card to purchase items for review. This is my personal opinion and it may differ from yours**

Friday, December 7, 2012

The holidays are here!

I'm getting excited for Christmas this year. B is really starting to take an interest in all the festive-ness that's going on around him. He loves the lights, the tree, the ornaments (we're working on this) and even loves playing with the snowmen and Santa dolls that sing and dance. I'm even getting excited to take him back to the Midwest for the holidays and hopefully getting to see some snow and do some ice skating! There are a couple things I'm struggling with though as I write this. 

Christmas is not about presents and Santa. It's about the birth of Christ. I want B to recognize the Nativity scene as easily as he recognizes Santa. I want him to know why this day is important, and I want him to sing "Away in a Manger" as often as he sings "Jingle Bells". How do you teach this to a toddler, when do you start? How do you know he's following what you're saying/doing/teaching? 

What about the family members that aren't with him anymore. The holidays always seem to exemplify the absence of loved ones who have passed. The traditions I remember as a child will not be the same memories B has. He will not get to have memories with such important people in his family. With all the spirituality that surrounds the holidays, how do you remember and honor those people without feeling the sense of longing that accompanies such amazing memories?

I'm sure as time goes on we'll figure all of this out, but I always want B to remember how special the holidays and family are, and not just focus on what's under the tree (or ON the tree as it seems this year :)).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Review and Giveaway: Littlest Prince Couture

I am so excited December is here. It's been a crazy year and December always manages to snap me back into reality and into remembering what's important. Where it's better to give than to receive and how AMAZING that warm, fuzzy, feeling is when you know you've done something to help another person. 

I wanted to wait until the beginning of December to share this next company with you because the mama behind it truly embodies the giving spirit and is so unbelievably sweet and generous that I know you will love supporting her mission. The company is Littlest Prince Couture. It is a clothing line made just for boys size 0-18 months and primarily "little man" clothes. Button-down shirts, trouser pants, ties and vests. Such adorable little outfits that scream Little Prince and not a pastel or puppy dog in sight. As a mom of a little man, sure the baby blues and greens are cute, and the puppies, monkeys, and trains are fun for a little bit, but let's be honest, sometimes it gets old, and sometimes you want your little charmer to dress up! With the holidays approaching, the outfits at Littlest Prince are a shoe-in for dinners, church, and parties. 

If that's not enough to get you excited, here's my favorite part about the company. 100%, yes ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of net profits are donated "to charities that are dedicated to improving the chances of life for the millions of infants worldwide that are born prematurely with little chance of survival.". The three charities that Littlest Prince donates to are: Newborns in Need, Embrace, and Neonatal Resuscitation Training Fund. You can learn more about each of these charities here. When I met with Tamara, the mother behind Littlest Prince, I asked her why. Why pour all your time, energy, and financial resources into a company that you will not receive financial gain from. Her answer was simple. She was inspired by a philanthropic doctor n a book she read "Mountains Beyond Mountains" and wanted to help others.(You can learn more about her motivations here) She didn't have the financial means available to give as much as she wanted, so she created a company that would allow her to donate any income she received to charities that help infants. When she told me that I got goosebumps, matter of fact, as I'm writing this I'm getting goosebumps. You tend to see people become friendlier and more generous around the holidays, but this is year round. This is Tamara's passion; helping you find a cute outfit for your little one, and in turn help an infant somewhere in the world. Compassion like that is beyond inspiring.

B got to model! He's wearing 9m pants, 12 m shirt and vest

Showing off his dance moves
The clothes are machine washable and for the most part are pretty true to size. I did notice the pants tend to run a little big (which is a great plus if you have a cloth bootie to cover!) and the shirts are a bodysuit so they stay tucked in and work with or without and undershirt. B is about 14.5 months, 21lbs and around 31 inches give or take. When I selected sizes for us to review. I went with 12m pants. They fit well at the waist and were just a touch long. The shirt and vest are both 18m. I was worried that once I washed the shirt (cold/medium heat tumble dry) that it would shrink and it didn't! The vest is also 18m and they both fit quite well.  The clothes are soft and well-made and the vests and ties actually look like mini versions of the adult ones. So adorable! 

So when you're thinking about the holidays, and what ways you can give back. Reward yourself. Get a great outfit for your child, and know that the money you spend on that outfit is going to help another child somewhere and not pad the pockets of some CEO. Know that every time you button that shirt, fasten those pants, or put on that tie that you helped contribute to something so much bigger than yourself. The holiday spirit certainly doesn't begin any better way! 

You can check out the entire Littlest Prince Couture line here and pick out what you'd like to dress  your little guy in this year. Tamara is so generous she's giving everyone 15% off their total order with the code KRAZY. Local mamas can even select FREE local pickup! What's even better, ONE lucky reader will win a $25 giftcard to help get their little one ready for the holidays! All items are ready to ship so you should have them for your holiday celebrations!

Fill out the PromoSimple form below for your chance to win and have fun imagining the style possibilities for your little cutie!

*Disclaimer: Thank you you Littlest Prince for providing the items for review. The opinions reflected are entirely my own and may be different than yours*