Tuesday

Valentines Day Gift Guide

Marj's Naturals & Global Goddess: These adorable gift sets were part of our last big donation event and they were a huge hit because they are super amazing products! These nourishing, natural, and glamorous products are a must have for any women in your life.  (Read review here)


I love shopping for clothes!  Especially when the clothes are made just for me!  Check out Eshakti for custom clothing for your sweet!  Let her be the designer with the measurements.  (Read review here)  Plus get a $30 gift card for your first order!



Anatomie Style recently sent me this Bridget style coat and I have fallen in love with this Italian made piece.  The model pictured here by far does not do this coat justice!  Read the full review here and find out why you should check out Anatomie Style. (Click Here)

Can you guess what this recommendation is?  It's way to good to just tell you here, so click on this link to find out more!  CLICK HERE


If you would like to be featured in our Valentines Day Gift Guide, please e-mail inquiry to Ashleyboyd11@yahoo.com

Lightscoop- a must have for your camera!

Last year for Christmas, hubby bought me a very nice Cannon camera because I just love taking pictures.  But with several editing programs, and even sending pictures to get edited and smoothed out, they never seemed to be professional quality.  I was once in a blue moon that I got the lighting just right.  But when I did, those pictures were
amazing!

Now, I don't have to worry about getting the lighting just right because I have a little gadget that does it for me and the difference is amazing!  I found Lightscoop and have been playing with their deluxe version which has made a world of difference in my photos.  This is a must have for anyone who loves taking photos, professional or just for a hobby. 

With Lightscoop
Without Lightscoop
The Lightscoop redirects 100% of the pop-up flash light to the ceiling or a wall before it shines on your subject which creates a more effective and larger light source.   All of my little children look like they are sitting in the perfect light for the perfect picture!  I was able to create professional looking Christmas cards for the families of all my foster children.  Sadly enough, due to privacy laws I can't share those images.  But I did some playing with the camera again with my boys and those I can show you. Even the most simple picture looks amazing!

With Lightscoop



I love my Lightscoop Deluxe!  It was easy to slide onto my camera and finally I can take professionally smooth pictures!  I will say it again and again, this is a must have!

Check out Lighscoop at the following links;
   Website    Facebook    Twitter 

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One or more items received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers.

Wednesday

Santa Donation


A neighboring town is really organized during Christmas so when I heard what they put on for local children I knew we had to be a part of it.  Not only do they sponsor families for Christmas in the entire county, but then they drive the fire trucks town to town and hand out toys to children.  Any child in the town can come up and get a toy from Santa.  It really is something to remember and it’s memories like that, that will last a lifetime.
Here is our donation to their program. 207 Items Retail $1752!!! YAY!!

 
 
 
 
 

 



Christmas Donation

Every year the city I work for sponsors families for Christmas.  This year we just had one family apply so I gathered some things up and here's what AlyGators sent. 



30 Items valued at $157.  It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's a start and with what the city will provide, these two little boys will have a Christmas morning.

Guylian Chocolate

I am a true chocolate lover!  It doesn't matter if its 8 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon or 11 at night, I can always find the perfect excuse to nibble on a few bites of chocolate.  So when I received this massive shipment from GuyLian I was super excited!


The GuyLian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates are so rich, smooth, and creamy they are a perfect treat!  The signature hazelnut filling inside is sensational proving their slow roasting and caramelizing process to be a success.  There are several different varieties as well.  They have everything from sugar free to dark chocolate so I'm sure you will be able to  fulfill your sweet tooth craving. My favorite was the Hazelnut truffles! You have to try them they were great!



"The Guylian Story
        Guy Foubert was a passionate Belgian Chocolatier making handmade chocolate truffles in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium.  In 1958, Guy and Lilian joined their names, both in marriage and in their company name creating Chocolatier Guylian; a small artisanal chocolate maker.  Today, Guylian crafts the finest authentic Belgian chocolate truffles, selling them to chocolate lovers in Belgium and in more than 100 countries across the world."


Guylian Chocolates are a great gift regardless of what day it is, but there is still time to get your order in for the Holidays at the following links;
        Use coupon code "Chocolate10" for 10% off your order!
Website    Facebook

Never miss a deal with their newsletter CLICK HERE

GIVEAWAY
One – 22 piece marbled chocolate seashell truffles
One – 22 piece extra dark chocolate seashell truffles  
Two - 6 piece marbled chocolate seashells truffles
Four - 2 piece marbled chocolate seahorse truffles
One - No Sugar Added Milk Chocolate Bar
One - No Sugar Added 54% Dark Chocolate Bar
 


I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers. AlyGators is not responsible for any Giveaway items. All giveaway items will be shipped directly from the company that sponsors our giveaway. 

Stocking Stuffer Donation pt 2


We did it again!  Here is a smaller donation pile that we made to our local Children’s Division.  These with the last donation, will be going into the teens Christmas Party stockings.  Thank you, our readers, for allowing us to do such wonderful things.
 
 
7 Luggage Tags
11 Notepads
5 Global Goddess/ Marjs Naturals gift bags (read review here)
13 Key Chains
1 Pencil Pouch

Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri

So this isn't a review I did lightly because I have been using this pan now for a few months just to see if it really holds up over a period of time.  Guess what, it's still good as new.  I even recommend that if your looking for a easy gift for the cook in your family, you should get them The Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri. 

I have cooked everything in it from hamburger meat, eggs, to steak.  (It's a little cold to grill outside so we had steaks cooked in it the other night.) The stone-derived coating heats up evenly and my poor cooking habits are proof that it's scratch-resistant.  I've been known to use metal in my "non-stainless" pans. 

The non-stick surface has even proved to be really easy to clean, because who has time to sit there and let a messy pan soak?  Not me! Which makes the Stone Earth Pan even better for my kitchen.  I pretty much like everything about this pan, the only thing I wish was different is I wish it was just a little deeper so I could cook bigger meals in it.  After all, cooking for 6 kids requires a lot of food!

Check it out on Amazon  CLICK HERE



Monday

Free Jiffy Cook Book

Super easy sign up for a free Jiffy Recipe book.  Receive in 2-4 weeks.


 
 
 
AlyGators is not responsible for fulfillment.

Sunday

Free Catch A Santa


This is pretty neat!  In addition to the traditional letters to and from Santa, now you can catch Santa or Rudolph in action in your own home! 

It was pretty easy.  I took a picture of where I wanted Santa to appear and then uploaded the picture to their website.  I then picked a Santa, and made a few adjustments and wala!  All done!   It was super easy and quick!
Check out ICaughtSanta.com 

Catch Santa in the act for FREE through December 10, 2013 with this PROMO CODE: #SantaShare or SantaShare

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.

Thursday

Music to my Nose

So I seen this tag and I knew it was something I had to check out, at least look into right? "Music to my Nose" is so catchy, I couldn't resist!

The selection is endless from "Classical" to "Country", "Hip Hop" to "Jazz".  But where did the idea come from?  With a singer as a father and a mother who loved to cook, she one day thought "if music were to have a scent, what would it be?"

Well she nailed it!  I received "Country" and I love it!  It's better than candy, or a 
baked dish.  If it were a food I know for sure I would be in real trouble!  The sweet candy like frangerance is long lasting and easy to apply with the roll on to go applicator. 

I also received "Arpeggio" which is a fresh clean citrus smell. I actually wore this one last night to a appreciation dinner and got several compliments on it!  It's another
favorite for sure!

Be sure to check out Music to my Nose at the following links.  And use them for some of your holiday shopping.  They are another great company that gives back!

Website   Facebook    Twitter



I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers. AlyGators

Wednesday

California Delicious

Everyone has that one person who is so hard to shop for, right?  Well this year I encourage you to check out California Delicious for that hard to shop for person.


I ordered a Golden Delights Gourmet Gift basket from California Delicious and was amazed with what I received!  Isn't it beautiful?  The presentation was glamorous and perfect!

I almost unwrapped it before I took the picture because I was so excited.  Once I got it all unwrapped I couldn't believe how many different things were inside.  I ordered it for the chocolate but there were so many different yummies inside that we dug right in! From this basket, my favorite was the salted caramel almonds and the Ghirardelli chocolate. 



California Delicious has such a huge selection your sure to find something for everyone! Their website is also really easy to navigate around.  They have great coffee and tea gift sets, wine sets, special occasion sets, and even great gifts under $30! 



Be sure to check them out at the following links;
Facebook   Twitter      Website  
Pinterest








I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers. AlyGators

Saturday

Stocking Stuffer Donation


Today we are taking stocking stuffers to our local Children’s Division office.  These gifts will be used for local teens in foster care at their Christmas Party next month! It really doesn’t seem like much, but I know we will be taking another load somewhere again soon.

21 Pairs of Funky Socks

21 Wrist wallets from Sprigs.com

100 Cosmetic products

2 Pairs of sunglasses

6 Puzzles

6 Hair Extensions play sets

8 Magnetic Picture Frames

3 Diaries

2 Notebooks

1 hat

2 Eye Mask

2 Clip Boards

Black Friday List

Are you ready for the 2013 Black Friday?  Here is your one stop add list!  
 
WalMart: Click Here
 
Target: Click Here
 
Lowes: Click Here
 
Home Depot: Click Here
 
Best Buy: Click Here
 
Walgreens: Click Here
 
Sears: Click Here

Monday

Clothing Closet Donation

 
Every year it seems like we get so busy with whatever projects and events we have going that as a family we tend to forget how many people out there need just a little helping hand. But as the holidays quickly approach, we are reminded more and more to give back and the harsh reminder is how much we forgot in the several months prior. For this reason, we will continue throughout the year to feature our Giving Back link. 

To give us a kick start on our giving back program tomorrow we will be taking a large donation of new clothing to our local Children’s Division Office. Why do they need this clothing? Unfortunately, hundreds of children each year come into foster care with just the clothing they have on at that given moment. Our local Children’s Division Office has a clothing closet set up to try to assist with some of the bare essentials and I recently found out that closet had next to nothing left in it. So here we go! We are stocking that baby back up!


What did we send them?
80 Pairs of shoes
Over 100 Toddler shorts, shirts, pants, onsies, & P.J.s
92 Junior/Misses Tops
31 Pre-Teen Bras


 
All of these items were deeply discounted so between my best friend and I, we did a great job shopping! Our major expense is gas and time but we had a lot of fun along the way so I can’t wait until we do it again!

 

Wednesday

KushyFoot's Fall Collection



The temperature outside is dropping and with that means it’s time to get stylish and find different ways to keep warm.  So I was really excited when I was invited to try KushyFoot’s 2013 Fall Collection and received their Opaque Knee Highs. 

The Kushyfoot’s Opaque Knee Highs are pretty neat because they have a zig zag design on the sole which helps protect the ball of your foot, plus they are kinda fun to walk in.   They also have a reinforced toe for added durability which I love because I am always snagging my knee highs.  So this is a sure way to guarantee they last more than just one use!  The comfy design is great for the fall season and super fashionable so be sure to check them out at the following links;




I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers

Wafu Japanese Style Dressings

THIS POST COMING SOON! 


Be sure to check out Wafu at the following links;
Website   Facebook   Twitter

I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers. 

Bullet Designs Fire & Ice 40 Cal Jewelry Set

Do you have a fashionista on your shopping list?  Bullet Designs has a great gift set for that hard to shop for fashionista or that not so girly girl who still has her heart set on jewelry this holiday season.  

Check this out!  Their jewelry is made out of bullets!  Yup, I said it, bullets!  The Fire & Ice 40 Caliber Jewelry set is so unique and yet still very beautiful with the bling bling.  

I love this stretchy ring that is sure to fit everyone.  This picture can't even begin to do justice! You can even change the colors of the crystals to match birthstones making this a great personalized gift. 

We also received these Fire and Ice 40 Cal Earrings.  Yet again, these are great earrings and as high quality as the pictures are, they look much better in person.  I really expected them to be heavy and pull down on my ears but that's not the case.  Although they are made out of the bullet, they are still light enough to not be irritating after wearing them all evening.


But I have saved the best for last, my favorite piece out of this collection is the Fire & Ice 40 Cal Necklace. It dangles just right and sparkles beautifully! Plus all of these pieces are supper affordable.  Bullet Designs has some amazing products so take a look and let us know which is your favorite!    



Be sure to check Bullet Designs out at the following links;
Website    Facebook   Twitter


Be sure to check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide  


I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers. AlyGators is not responsible for any Giveaway items. All giveaway items will be shipped directly from the company that sponsors our giveaway.  

AshleyBug Spa

We have reviewed AshleyBug before and loved their Organic baby bibs so when I heard they had come out with some spa products I knew they were a perfect fit for our Gift Guide and donation baskets.

AshleyBug Spa has sent us some of their Organic Lip Butter to put in our donation baskets.  Out of the
assortment they sent I pulled out and tried the Organic Red Delicious Lip Butter and love it! I've tried other organic lip balm before and felt it was either greasy or didn't provide any relief at all.  That's not the case here.  The ingredients in this balm is an excellent moisturizer.   The scent is great to because it's the perfect combination without being overpowering.

I love AshleyBug products in general and their spa products are just as wonderful as everything else they have created in the past.  Here is the complete product description and be sure to check them out at the following links;

"Our wonderful organic lip butter is made from all organic ingredients, creating a moisturizing lip butter that will last the entire day without feeling sticky. Organic extra-virgin coconut oil leaves a light, summery 'beachy' smell without being overpowering. Made with organic extra-virgin coconut oil, organic unrefined shea butter and natural beeswax, this simple lip butter will be your go-to beauty product. .15 oz All of our products are handmade in small batches to ensure high quality standards."

Website       Facebook      AshleyBug Past Review

Be sure to check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide  


I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers.

Shirley J Mugging Sets

Everyone loves a sweet treat but taking the time out to bake or running to the store for that late night craving isn't generally an option.  Well last night, after all the kids were snuggled into bed, I tip toed down to the kitchen and found just the treat to cure the craving!  We received a box from Shirley J Mugging company this weekend and I finally had the opportunity to try it out.

Shirley J Mugging has some great tasting treats and a
ton of easy recipes on their blog.  Last night I took the opportunity to try the Chocolate Brownie Cake mix and I love it!  It was so easy to make and I was back upstairs with it in a matter of minutes.

The packet is already to go just pour it in one of the terribly cute mugs and add 6 tablespoons of water.  After popping it in the microwave for 90 seconds I sprinkled some chocolate chips over the top and it was a perfect frosting.

Shirley J mugging kits are a perfect gift for anyone who likes a little sweet treat!  Be sure to check them out at the following links;

Get Shirley J recipes   Follow Shirley J on Twitter    Shirley J  Facebook  Shirley J Blog
Shirley J Newsletter 

Be sure to check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers. AlyGators is not responsible for any Giveaway items. All giveaway items will be shipped directly from the company that sponsors our giveaway.  

Tuesday

Bambooki Tables

Recently we did some work on the front of the house which consisted of everything from painting the entry way to removing 16 inches of dirt from the ground.  But when it was time to put everything back together again, I knew I found just the right pieces for the porch when I ordered my 3 Piece Bamboo Hexagon Nesting stools by Bamboo 54.  

These bamboo stools have complemented the area really well serving as little tables. But the eco friendly bamboo construction is so sturdy that just about anyone can sit on them.  The largest one is 17" x 17" so I decided to put it in-between two of my chairs and set the two smaller ones beside our park bench. 

We really enjoy sitting on the porch watching the kids play but when there are extra adults over there isn't always enough room.  These bamboo nesting stools have done exactly what I wanted!  They have provided a great look to the porch and the needed additional seating! Be sure to check them out at the following links;

Website    Facebook    

Read more about our Curb Appeal Post here!


Be sure to check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide 
   I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers


Architectural Mailboxes House Numbers


So as I have said in my Curb Appeal post (read that here) we received these house numbers from architectural mailboxes and they really did the trick. I removed all the decorations from the front of our house in hopes to take away some of the clutter and make it more functional and make the porch seem a little bit bigger.  But taking away all of the decorations made it look pretty bare.  So when I added these letters I was super impressed at how they stood out and did just the trick.

Although Architectural Mailboxes has several different designs I choose the solid antique copper to match our rock siding.  These letters were easy to install and the floating design added a crisp clean look.
Plus now maybe people will be able to find our house.  It's never really been hard, but the roads can be confusing and the numbering never made since anyways.  These house numbers can be seen from the road really well.  They are bright and bold so hopefully they should eliminate some of the confusion. 

Be sure to check out Architectural Mailboxes and all of their high quality products at the following links;
 



 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers.

A Little Curb Appeal


Finally a little curb appeal! When we bought our house we knew there was a lot that needed to be done.  But as the case usually goes, this comes up and then a little of that comes up and things get put on hold.  It’s taken me much longer than I could have ever imagined but I have to say I am almost done so I knew I had to share the progress with you. 


Although it may seem a little silly but the biggest problem I saw was I hated the way our house looked so dark from the road.  But as honey does, he knew there was much more needed than a fresh coat of paint and a little de-cluttering.  Our first tackle was leveling out our yard because we had so many bare spots where the grass wouldn’t grow or the drainage was horrible every-time it rained.  Since we made the decision to take a tractor to the yard we cut out 16 inches and planted grass.  We officially have some gorgeous green grass growing and I’m so excited because the last few times it’s rained there hasn’t been a single puddle. 
 

Fall is the best time to do any outside project.  One it’s much cooler outside and a lot easier to work and two the clearance section is huge and you can do so much more with a whole lot less.   I was able to get some mulch on sale which saved a few dollars and added flair of color under our front window.  But the exciting part was the $30 plants that will grow back year after year that I paid less than $2.00 for each of them. 

I then added a fresh coat of paint to the porch.  At first I was really worried how this was going to turn out because the wood was originally stained not painted and the stain kept coming through the killz paint.  But after a few really good coats I think the white really brightened things up.   I also added these antique copper house numbers from architectural mailboxes.  (Read that post here)  I really liked the house numbers because they added the little touch of decoration back to the porch without being on the ground or in the way.  After we cleaned the light fixtures and hubby put on a new door-bell I then began to piece everything back together again.

I left the park bench and added some great chairs that were a steal at $1.50 each.  See I told you fall clearance was the best time to do outside work. The tables are pretty awesome to!  I just got them here in time from Bambooki for this post and I’m excited because not only do they serve as a very sturdy table but they are a great extra seat to.  Yes, they are strong enough to sit on!   (Readthat post here).

Redesigning the porch to make it more functional rather than just covered in decorative pieces really proved to add some curb appeal because it made our little space seem much bigger. And even though the temperatures are dropping outside, I still love sitting out there with a piping hot cup of coffee before I begin my work in the mornings. 

So yes, there is more to come on this post.  We are going to sand down our wooden doors and get the stained glass window’s fixed up.  There will always be more to do when you’re a home owner but I guess that’s just more thing to love and take care of. What’s your favorite house project?
 Read more about Architectural Mailboxes
Read more about Bambooki

 
 
I received one or more of the products mentioned above free for review purposes. Regardless, I will only recommend products that I have personally tested/tried and believe will be a good fit for my readers.