Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Guest Post: InstaMommy [5 Favorite Ways to Keep in Touch with Distant Relatives]

Ahhhhh....what a great start to the week! The sun is shining (well here anyway), my tea is brewing, and I get the day off from ranting and rambling to you all...

Yep!

My guest blogger today is Kristin who lives in New England with her amazing husband and two kids. She is a mommy trying to enjoy her many hobbies in her spare time such as writing, photography, cooking and staying active. When y'all are finished reading these awesome ways to keep in touch with your distant relatives, head on over to Twitter and give her a follow @InstaMommy.

Without further ado...



Five Favorite Ways to Keep in Touch with Distant Relatives

Today, more and more families are living far apart from each other. As family members move to find work or go to school, to name a few, it can prove to be a challenge to stay in touch. Here are five suggestions to help stay in touch with distant relatives.


  1. Take advantage of technology and social media:  Use tech tools like Internet contacttechnology, Skype, and the face-to-face technology of the iPhone. This type of technology wasn’t widely available as close as just five years ago.We all use social media sites like Facebook to stay in touch. These applications are a great way to send off a quick note to someone far away to let them know you are thinking about them. Sometimes we know a friend or family member far away could use a hug. Sending a quick email or text lets them get a “digital hug” so they know you are thinking of them.

  2. Send a card: With all the technology that is available today, putting a stamp on a card and sending something via “snail mail,” may sound antiquated, but think about how you feel when you get to the mailbox and find something other than a bill or a piece of junk mail. Receiving a card actually says that you took the time to send a card as opposed to a quick text or email. For example, Mother’s Day is quickly coming upon us. Why not have Mother’s Day cards made and sent out to those special Moms in your life that are far away, and who can’t be with you on that joyous day? Shutterfly has great Mother’s Day Cards you can create with photos of you and all of the special mom’s you want to send a special card to.

  3. Make a phone date: It is amazing how quickly the day can get away from you. You start out the day thinking you are going to give your cousin a call and next thing you know it is 11:00 p.m., you are putting your head down for a good night’s sleep and just before you doze off, you remember, “I meant to call my cousin!” Plan a phone date with your friend of loved one. Physically put it on your calendar. Treat it just like any other appointment, because it is that important.
  4.   Plan a visit: At least once a year, plan a visit. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Plan a quick weekend get together at a day spa. Or a shopping trip to your favorite outlet area. Check out Salonspa.com to locate great spas in your area.
     
  5. Make it a family affair: If your family member or friend is married or has kids, try to include the husbands and the children in on an event. Visit an outdoor park for a picnic and fishing, attend a baseball game, or visit a museum or an amusement park for the day. It will give everyone an opportunity to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company!
Thank you Kristin!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tea Obsession!

I have stumbled across a new routine. Well I guess I should say this new habit has turned for the worse into an addiction.

I previously used to get up and get ready for the day; then I would move right along to my to-do list for the day with no problem. But now, I have this overwhelming sensation that I am forgetting something if I just start doing.

Turns out it is my tea!

I recently have gotten really into tea. I know it sounds funky (yeaaa, I just used that word), but it's the honest truth.
I have really loved experimenting with the different types of teas... Black, Green, White etc. and of course adding a nice heaping tablespoon of honey to each cup.

So I have began to incorporate a cup of tea into my morning routine before I start my to-do list for the day. I have a day-in-the life blog post coming soon (because I get many questions on how I organize my time/day) but just to give you a since of my morning...

Wake Up
Shower
Dress
Start Heating Water for Tea
Take Rebel Out
Return
Add Heaping Spoon of Honey
Steep Tea for 3 Minutes
INDULGE in tea while looking over Emails/My To-Dos for the day!!

I am hoping you can imagine my morning without these key tea brewing steps in the mix and empathize when it feels off without them.
(I am being mildly sarcastic for those who don't read me that often)

I have come across two flavors of tea that have managed to over take my collection.
These two flavors, Raspberry Royale and Plantation Mint made by Bigelow are my favorite.
They are tea bags and not the loose leaves so I think it is harder to steep them into a stronger cup, but nonetheless they are such a treat to kick start my day!

What do you have/do to kick start your day?

NEW WINNER***NIVEA LIP BUTTER GIVEAWAY***

Unfortunately I never heard from the chosen winner within 48 hours so I generated a NEW winner!

Congratulations!
to...
Adella Gonzalez
You have won the Nivea Lip Butter in
Raspberry Rose Kiss!
Please contact me at youngnasahousewife@gmail.com with the address you would like your prize shipped to.
If within 48 hours I do not here from the selected winner, I will then select another.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this mini-giveaway! Make sure you check back for more fun blog posts and even more giveaways in the future. 
Follow me:
Twitter: @youngnasawife
Instagram: @youngnasawife
Giveaway Rules:
Remember you must have parental permission if you are under the age of 18. Giveaway runs until Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 6 PM EST and is for the United States ONLY. There will be ONE winner! I use Random.Org to select winner.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

NIVEA LIP BUTTER***GIVEAWAY WINNER***

Congratulations!

to...

Franchesca Rojas


You have won the Nivea Lip Butter in
Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss!

Please contact me at youngnasahousewife@gmail.com with the address you would like your prize shipped to.

If within 48 hours I do not here from the selected winner, I will then select another.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this mini-giveaway! Make sure you check back for more fun blog posts and even more giveaways in the future. 

Follow me:
Twitter: @youngnasawife
Instagram: @youngnasawife





Giveaway Rules:
Remember you must have parental permission if you are under the age of 18. Giveaway runs until Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 6 PM EST and is for the United States ONLY. There will be ONE winner! I use Random.Org to select winner.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Product Rave: Nivea Lip Butters + Mini GIVEAWAY! {CLOSED}

This seems a bit foreign. I haven't raved about a product on my blog in some time now due to the endless wedding posts and other random thoughts I seem to have wanted to share.

Well this product broke me out of the lull in product reviews and raves! It is a phenomenal lip product and I am thrilled to share my thoughts you. Stay tuned until the end to see how you can win a little something!

Nieva Lip Butters
 
These are absolute heaven on your lips! These NEW lip butters by Nivea came out toward the beginning of this year in USA.  They first were only available in the UK for a long while but made their way over to us. Such a blessing!

These Nivea Lip Butters are available at most drugstores (CVS, Rite Aid, etc.) I picked mine up at Target and at Walmart. You have plenty of options when it comes to where to get this fabulous product.

The flavors pictured here are not the whole story. There are FOUR flavors available thus far. Smooth Kiss (which is the unscented version and didn't come home with me for that reason), Raspberry Rose Kiss, Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss, and Caramel Cream Kiss. This last one I have not gotten my hands on yet. My current favorite out of the two I have here is Raspberry Rose Kiss.

These Lip Butters retail about $3.99 each for Net WT. 0.59 OZ.  I believe I had seen them for $3.79 at one point in time as well.

When new, they each come with a plastic seal around the tin or in a sealed cardboard package.

Importantly with the ingredients, these lip butters contain shea butter that really makes your lips just melt when you apply this product. It was rumored (this is just what I have read and heard) that the UK version on these products didn't have petrolatum but something called Cera Microcrystallina (a.k.a Crystalline Wax). This is a byproduct from petrolatum so in my opinion they just slapped a different name on the tin to make some people feel better. If you are interested in more of this you can check this out here.

Anyway...
The size of the tins are a nice size. They are not too small, but not wayyyy too big either. The amount of product you recieve in the tins justifies the price. When you compare to the Maybelline Baby Lips (just the amount of product and price) I think you are getting a GREAT amount of product for your money.


AGGGHH the smell of this Raspberry Rose Kiss Lip Butter! To me this smells like Raspeberry Cheesecake! You can smell the tart Raspberry, but it also has that creamy sweet smell that just swirls through your nose. This is by far (like I mentioned) my favorite! Like the other lip butter, it is extremely soft to the touch. Feels like a shea butter lotion when you press into the product. You only need to swirl your finger once around to pick up enough product for your lips.
This flavor sure is amazing as well! You have a scent that smells like fresh baked macadamia cookies dipped in vanilla chocolate. The vanilla in this scent is very natural and doesn't smell like an artificial flavoring. I pick up the macadamia nut smell just as equally as the vanilla which makes for a nice blend. I also get a hint of chocolate smell. It could just be the scent that these two flavors (vanilla and macadamia) create, but it sure smells like I am walking around in Hershey Park!

I wish I had the Caramel Cream Kiss to review for you but I don't. I did try to swatch these lip butters for you, but it is very, very subtle and I'm not sure that the camera really does these swatches justice.
You can't see much, but maybe the faint milkiness picks up a bit here.

It also appears milky on your lips as well.
This is Raspberry Rose Kiss and as you can (maybe, sort-of) make out there is a slight pink tint to this one. Still creamy but has a pinkish cream tint when applied.

These lip butters are very creamy and go on smooth. They are not greasy like some lip butters, but have a slippery feel more than some other chap-sticks without any petroleum.
They offer great hydration throughout the day and have great staying power. After I apply the product is usually lasts about 3-4 hours. After the product has worn off, my lips feel more hydrated than before. I feel like these lip butters are more of a luxury lip product and wouldn't do wonders if you are someone with very cracked lips. You would want something a bit more heavy duty. 
 While most of my experience with these lip butters has been great there are a few things that I have noticed.
The lids aren't super secure. They don't just randomly pop off, but I have dropped my lip butter and the top comes right off. So ladies....just be careful if you are tossing this in your purse. You may want to place it in a smaller zipper pocket so it doesn't bang against anything in your purse. Another potentially small issue is heat. I'm not sure about this yet since I haven't gone to the beach with these and left them out; however, since the balm is very soft and creamy I wonder how it would hold up if left in a car in the summertime. I guess only time will tell. And finally, if you read my baby lips review you know I raved about having a stick product because you don't have to dip your hand in a container. Well that is the down fall of this product. You have to use your fingers. For me, while this is usually a big issue, I find that the quality of the product is enough for me to sanitize my hands before using.

Overall this product is deliciously smooth and smells wonderful. If you are looking for a great lip balm to use before bed or just some hydration during that day...this product is for you.

Mini Giveaway!

I am giving away a Nivea Lip Butter of YOUR CHOICE!
This is a NEW Nivea Lip Butter of either:
Raspberry Rose Kiss
OR
Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss

How to Enter:
 Leave a comment to this blog post telling me your favorite lip product/brand AND then tell me which lip butter you would like if you won. (Please make sure you are NOT commenting as anonymous)

Giveaway Rules:
You must have parental permission if you are under the age of 18. Giveaway runs until Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 6 PM EST and is for the United States ONLY. There will be ONE winner! I use Random.Org to select winner.

The winner will be also announced in a special blog post Sunday night & on Twitter. The winner must reply (as directed in post) within 48 hours or I will pick someone else...
Good luck!



***This Product Review was NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own. Prize for Giveaway was purchased by me***

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Recipe Share: Chipotle Shrimp Tacos w/ Avocado Salsa Verde

This was a new recipe for me! I honestly haven't broken out my Magic Bullet since I got it at my bridal shower and when I came across this recipe I knew that I just had to try it out.

This recipe is not mine, FYI. I found this one as I was planning our dinners for the first two weeks of April. I will cite where I found it below.

I thought it would be fun to share this recipe and journey with you!


Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Salsa Verde

Ingredients for Avocado Salsa:
1 small onion (I used about half of the one pictured)
1 jalapeno, quartered and seeded
1 garlic clove, smashed
4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

I have steps of how I cut them to help with the portions when using the Magic Bullet. A food processor will work just as well, and you could even have bigger sized chunks.

First what I have done is set out the large cup and the chopping blade from the Magic Bullet. You can see the smaller one to the right side. Also I have set out a small bowl for each session of my salsa verde.

 1 Small Onion
 Onion is quartered.

1 Jalapeno
You will need to chop the top off and then (I like to) slice the Jalapeno down the middle for easy removal of the seeds.

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. 
Cut into pieces.

1 Garlic Clove

Smash garlic bulb by placing knife over top and hit the knife with palm of hand. Then take one clove and smash (the same way). The outer peel will come off and you have your garlic clove to include.

4 Medium Tomatillos
(these usually aren't at your everyday grocery store, you may have to track down a produce specialty store for them)
Husk the Tomatillos which is basically peeling away the outer husk like shell. Then go ahead and quarter all your tomatillos.
I like to scoop a bit of the seeds out because I don't like a whole bunch in my salsa but this is an optional step. Feel free to keep them in :)

1/2 Hass Avocado
 Slice avocado all the way around then twist (kinda like an Oreo) to split the avocado in two. We only need half so you can use the half that doesn't contain the pit; however if you need to remove the pit you can tap your knife straight into the pit and twist. This should remove your pit almost effortlessly. You then want to scope out the avocado using a large spoon. Just follow the avocado along the edge of the peel and it will pop out.
Go ahead and cut avocado into quarters.

(Side Note: I never have good luck keeping 1/2 an avocado in the fridge for very long. I would suggest using the other half on a sandwich or in an additional recipe within a few days)

1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves
 Pull the leaves of the sprigs of cilantro and fill about a 1/4 cup loosely. Then go ahead and chop up fairly finely. It's okay if it's not perfect. I give you permission. :)

Okay!
Now that we have all our salsa ingredients chopped up and ready to be put in the Magic Bullet...you will want to add the following first.
Onion
Jalapeno
Garlic
Place on Magic Bullet and finely chop. Then go ahead and add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt. Instead of holding the cup down on the magic bullet go ahead and pulse.
Here I have added the tomatillos and avocado on top of the other already chopped ingredients.

After you have finished pulsing the the salsa, transfer to a bowl.
Then go ahead and add your "perfectly" chopped cilantro.
(and I add some more salt because Joey always like a pinch more)
Stir it in and set aside.

Tired of this recipe yet???
Don't be! It is well worth the reading to get it done!

Now on to the shrimp!

Shrimp Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Pound Medium Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined (I use frozen shrimp, thawed)
8 Corn Tortillas
Some sprigs of Clintro for garnish
1 Lime, cut into wedges
Heat stove top to a medium-high heat. Mix the olive oil, chili powder (that is what I'm using here), and salt in a bowl.
 Stir in the shrimp and toss to coat.

Add shrimp to the heat and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes on each side
Grill or bake tortillas until pliable (soft). I use my toaster oven to bake them at about 250 degrees for a few minutes or until warm enough for your liking.

While shrimp is finishing up go ahead and cut up your lime.

Spoon avocado salsa verde on the tortilla, then top with shrimp (just use however many you would like). Add a sprig of cilantro if you would like.

Serve 2 tacos per person with lime wedge on the side.
ENJOY!

* This is a Food Network Recipe*