Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blue State Red State--Review

Confession: I'm not much of a coffee drinker.

Seeing as how I was born and raised in Seattle, this might be considered shocking, if not downright impossible. Alas, it is true.

Oh, I enjoy the occasional latte or mocha, but as for a cup of coffee? Unless it's a special occasion, no thank you. However, on the rare occasion when I do drink coffee, I like it dark, bold, earthy, and smooth.

(You will all be happy to know that Mr. Einstein does drink coffee. Daily. Does that redeem me, even a little bit?)

Anyway, I took the opportunity to review some coffee from Blue State Red State mostly for my husband, but I did try it, too. And it was good!

Blue State Red State is a brand that allows you to give back to society and express yourself with every purchase. The idea is simple – buy things you use every day, but instead of us keeping all of the profits, 33% of our profits will go toward making America better. And you direct your donation when you check out, so with every purchase, you express yourself. We will be supporting charities and advocacy groups across our brands because we think people should expect more from the companies they buy from. It’s not enough to have a quality product anymore. We think it’s just as important to be a good corporate citizen, give customers a voice, and share our success. Blue State or Red State – it doesn’t matter – the point is to get more involved and do some good through your purchases! So find the brand that resonates with you and try some coffee – Red State Red, Blue State Blue, or Blue State Red State – we know you will be happy with the product and you will feel good knowing your purchase will make a difference.

Cool. When you buy from Blue State Blue, donations go to Democratic advocacy groups. When you buy from Red State Red, donations go to Republican advocacy groups. When you buy from Blue State Red State, donations go to charities and politically neutral non-profit organizations. See! Something for everyone!

My Review

I got the chance to review the Ramparts Roast. Yum! It's dark and smooth, deep and bold. And smoky! I found it to be a well-rounded coffee with a nice finish and, surprisingly, very little aftertaste. It was good! It's a very nice drink-alone coffee, though I think it would also be good as a dessert coffee. With something sweet, I'm thinking. Mmm...

If I were considering becoming a daily coffee drinker, this coffee would have pushed me into it. Seriously. It's good.

This post was written for Family Review Network and Blue State Red State who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Friday, May 13, 2011


(This should have gone up yesterday, but Blogger was down. Bah!)

Somehow, someway, this little ball of scrumptiousness...

...turned into this little beauty.

Happy 4th Birthday, C! We love you very, very much.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cardi Wrap--A Review

I have to say, I just love this wrap!

It's one of those things that I don't think I ever would have bought for myself, but since I got the chance to review it, I jumped at it! And, seriously, I'd love another one in a different color.

The Cardi Wrap

The Cardi Wrap by Kymaro is a scarf/shawl/cardigan/wrap all in one. It comes in 7 different colors and 2 different sizes, and is basically a big sheet of soft, stretchy material with two sleeves. There are over 50 ways to wear it through draping, twisting, tying, and looping. Plus, every Cardi Wrap comes with three triangular rings (black, silver, and gold) and two pins (color-matching flower and bow) for even more options. There is a way for every body type to wear the Cardi Wrap and have it look flattering!

My Review

I've had this black Cardi Wrap for only a couple of weeks now, and yet I've worn it at least 5 times already, to church, on a date, to a school function, etc. It is just that versatile!

And as much as I love the Cardi Wrap, I hate this picture. Maybe I should clean my mirror...

My favorite way (so far) to wear the Cardi Wrap is to simply drape one end over one shoulder, leaving a really long train down one side. In the picture above, I pinned the flower on to keep everything in place, but it doesn't really need it. The material is clingy enough that it usually sticks to itself nicely

The Cardi Wrap is very soft and light-weight and washes well. It does have a tendency to attract cat hair and dust, but those are easy to remove.

I really am so excited to have this as a part of my wardrobe now! It really does go with everything! It can be dressed up and dressed down. It's fun to have something so versatile in my closet!

This post was written for Family Review Network and Cardi Wrap who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest opinions.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Letter Buddies AlphaBooks--A Review

Have I mentioned before how much I love my iPad?

I have?

Okay. I'll spare you. This time.

You're welcome.

I got yet another opportunity to review yet another app: Letter Buddies AlphaBooks.

From Cavallo Media:

My wife and I (Kevin Yuen) launched Cavallo Media after spending more than 8 years developing educational materials for the school markets in the U.S. and Canada. Now, we are taking our experiences working with young students, classroom teachers and educational experts and combining them with the exciting developments in mobile technology to bring parents and their kids easily-accessible, meaningfully-educational and fun applications that will help young children become strong, independent readers.


24 BOOKS IN ONE APP! The fun-loving Letter Buddies help children prepare for school. Simple

stories with striking photo-illustrations develop vocabulary and basic reading skills.

One book for each letter of the alphabet (X, Y, Z combined in one book)

Clear, bright photography introduces key foundational vocabulary

Simple sentences combined with fantastic photo-illustrations put the vocabulary in

context and teach important school readiness sight words

Cute and humorous, the Letter Buddies will entertain your children as they become

fluent readers and learners!

Letter Buddies materials were originally developed for early childhood education and are

currently being used in classrooms throughout North America! These popular teaching tools

have now been adapted into the Letter Buddies AlphaBooks app so your child can develop

valuable skills that will get them ready to enter Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten.

Perfect For:

- Children 2-6

Two-ways to read each e-book:

- “Read to Me” - listen to the narrated story with words highlighted as they are read

- “Read it Myself” - read the book in its traditional form

Educational Features:

- Learn early reading fundamentals

- Practice beginning letter sounds

- Acquire key foundational vocabulary

- Read along to vocabulary written in contextual sentences

- Expose children to important school readiness sight words

- Build awareness for simple sentence structures and basic punctuation

Additional Features:

- Text is perfect for developing and beginning readers alike

- Fun and engaging artwork supports simple text

- Narration supports a range of reading abilities

- Repeat audio by double tapping screen

- Narration can be turned on and off

- Text highlighting can be turned on and off

My Review

This is a fun app!

The colors are bright, the letters are personable, and it is so easy to use!

This app really has it all for the beginning reader!

The pages are very easy to scroll through and each letter has quite a few words/sentences/pictures associated with it (except poor "x"). As mentioned above, there are many different ways to use this app: narration can be on or off (yes!), highlighting can be turned on or off, and the audio can be repeated. And have I already mentioned how easy it is to use? So easy!

This is a perfect app for C! She's almost 4 and will be going to preschool next year. She's so curious about letters and words, and she's really intrigued by the AlphaBooks. They are fun and simple and very child-oriented.

Thank you, Cavallo Media for the opportunity to review this app. We really like it!

This post was written for Family Review Network and AlphaBooks who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.