Thursday, February 11, 2016

Awesome Life Friday #52

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

You may have noticed that we've begun co-hosting another link up - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's a few of the things we've been up to this past week:

We hope you'll check these out if you haven't already!  Don't forget to peek at the sidebar and check out what other giveaways we currently have going.


If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Review: Après Vélo Cycling Apparel

No comments:

Après Vélo, or as it is translated from the French, "After Bike" is an Australian company that started in 2006 and was created to give cyclists a super comfortable range of designs, edgy, creative and unique gear that can be worn after riding. They carry everything from Tank tops to Long Sleeve shirts, Riding Gear, Sleepwear, Tote Bags, beach towels, Hats, Posters, Socks and much more, all related to Riding on or off road!

I was given the chance to review a set of their sleepwear. I received their Cycle of Dreams sleepwear set, priced at $54.95.  It includs a Long sleeved relaxed fit top and 3/4 length relaxed fit pants covered in a print of flying bicycles. The material is very airy and loose which would be very nice for the cooler months!

To me, the top was very comfortable. I like my pajama tops to be loose and not restricting, plus with an ever growing baby belly I need space. I also am the type to get very hot when I sleep so you can usually find me in a tank top or t shirt. When wearing this top, I felt OK. Like I said, it is very airy and lightweight.

The bottoms were a very comfortable fit as well, except for one issue: There is a distinct seam that runs down the center of the pant and it is very thick. It looked to me like it was more for decoration but I could feel it distinctly when I wore them. Most seams run on the outsides and this one in the middle just felt awkward to me.

This is a matter of my own personal preference, but it did bug me to the point that I could not wear them anymore. I don't want to be forced to be aware of clothing textures when I'm falling asleep or relaxing.

That said, there are so many other styles and types of apparel to select from, I'm sure others would be more to my taste. The company offers a very generous 100 day return policy for products bought on their website , and prices range from over $30 up to around $150 for biking gear.

Après Vélo is offering a 20% discount code to readers. 
Just use the code CHEWS20 when you check out!

Be sure to follow them on their social media to be kept up to date and be the first to receive exclusive offers and promotions.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Neocell Glow Matrix: Review and Giveaway


If you've been following along, I've had the pleasure of reviewing Neocell products more than once now. So far, everything Neocell I have tried has held to its promise and made me feel more beautiful. This month was all about Neocell Glow Matrix.

From Neocell, I learned Glow Matrix provides scientifically advanced ingredients designed to internally hydrate the skin.  Among these advanced ingredients are Ceramosides™ Ceramides.

Here's what Neocell has to say about it:

So what are are Ceramosides™ Ceramides? Cue another lesson in Jen’s School of Skin:

Dry and damaged skin is often linked to depleted ceramide levels. Ceramides are naturally found in skin’s outer layer and help skin retain moisture. When skin’s ceramide levels are low, skin has difficulty retaining moisture.

“But Jen” you ask, “what are ceramides?” Ceramides are natural lipids and are a major component in surface skin structure. They serve as part of the "glue" that holds surface skin cells together.

Ceramides are important because dry, irritated, and sensitive skin often lacks ceramides. As a result, skin's protective barrier becomes more susceptible to environmental factors, like changes of season.

That wasn't too bad was it? There'll be a quiz tomorrow! Just kidding!

Glow Matrix premium formula supports the skin’s lipid barrier which helps to lock in moisture and smooth the skin.

Glow matrix also boasts Rapid Action Ceramosides™ that help improve skin moisture & elasticity and reduced signs of aging in just 15 days. With a scientifically crafted blend of nutrients, Glow Matrix promotes hydration in the skin while combating free radicals for hydrated and glowing skin and a healthy collagen matrix.

All of which means nothing unless it works, right?

I noticed increasing smoothness even on my hands, they even gave a nice glow! I didn't expect results like this, though it makes sense- skin is everywhere! 

One of the best and most honest reviews I can give are the compliments I received this month. My husband told me just a few nights ago: “l like when your skin looks babyish.” this after a long, stressful day at work. Talk about making my day!

I was actually asked at the movie theater how old I was by the lady at the ticket booth. I had to think “Uuhh, 31. Why?” - I was so confused.  Just as I remembered it was an R rated film, the lady responds “because you look 19.” 

Hell yeah I look 19! This also made my day. I even had on less makeup than usual. Note to self, wear less makeup, be 19.

Derma Matrix comes in the form of capsules, with the recommended dosage being 3 a day.
Key Ingredients are Hyaluronic Acid, Pine Bark Extract, Astaxanthin, Lutein & Coconut Water Powder, and lots of vitamins.

Hoping this doesn't go into TMI, I noticed it's important to be hydrated with enough liquids, as with taking multivitamins, if you're not drinking enough water, urine is bright bright yellow. I noticed this on a day I definitely needed more water.

The capsules are vegetable-based, and taste as such. I would take a sip or two of water to wet throat before downing the three capsules as I did have one stick in my throat… that was irritating. Drinking big gulps of water loosened it and all was well again.

I didn't feel like there was much of a difference in my skin, as I've consistently taken one product, then another of Neocell, so I'd already seen a lot of improvement before I began this round. I thought my skin was as good as is going to get.

It wasn't until today, when I look at my progress pictures side by side that I see the changes. So impressive!

Neocell Glow Matrix can be found easily online and at many supplement and nutrition stores like Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe, and GNC, retailing for  $29.95.

For your chance to be 19, or just to see how well Glow Matrix works for you, we have a great chance to enter a Giveaway for US residents - keep reading!

To enter the giveaway, you must leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter below, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!) This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 2-24. 

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Once the winner has responded and confirmed, their first name will be posted on our Giveaways  page.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Party In Your PJs #92

Welcome to Party in Your PJs!

Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on five different blogs each week.   In addition to Kim from The Cookie Puzzle and Bree from bumblebreeblog, you'll also find Party in Your PJs every Tuesday evening at Grandma IdeasWood of Bell Trees and... here!

You'll still find the Awesome Life Friday link up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

Kim ~ The Cookie Puzzle | Facebook | Pinterest 
Bree ~ bumblebreeblog | Facebook | Pinterest
Nina ~ Grandma Ideas | Pinterest | Twitter
Lynda ~ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos | Facebook | Pinterest
Heather ~ Woods of Bell Trees | Facebook | Instagram

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Bree @ bumblebreeblog

Bree explores the possibilities offered by new and recycled materials to create solutions for decorating, the holidays, and gift giving that combine thoughtful inspiration with myriad materials and careful planning to create excellent projects. In addition to crafting, BumbleBreeBlog includes craft and blog related lifestyle advice ranging from wedding vendors to blog tips, and every bit of inspiration along the way. Bree Inspired! 

Kim @ The Cookie Puzzle 

Kim is a small town girl who love simple things. Simple cookies, simple crafts and simple people. She is a wife, mother to one son and two adorable fur babies. Slightly addicted to reality TV and sitcoms, but she loves curling up with a good book or a good walk while listening to podcasts. You can find her at The Cookie Puzzle, where she shares her love for cookies and crafting. 

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

How is this: Nina is wildly in love with her grandchildren. She delights in doing activities with them that strengthen their relationship –- playing games, doing crafts, snuggling, reading stories to them, and cooking together. She enjoys reading, technology, and traveling. (Tahiti is her most favorite place on earth!)

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Lynda lives outside DC with her husband Michael and elderly beagle, Sadie. She and her daughter Jackie started RCHReviews as a way to spend time together in spite of living across country, and along the way they've added several friends as regular contributors. Between them all, they bring together many different perspectives and lifestyles with one common philosophy - try new things, have fun, and remember you are awesome!

 Heather @ Wood of Bell Trees

Heather is a wife of a peanut butter fanatic and mom of one silly human and one furry canine, wrangling life on 2nd shift and glitterizing everything as she goes!

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and comment on this post with your Pinterest name or email Bree at or Kim at

Features from Last Weeks Party!

Make sure you head over to the other member of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own features!

Were you Featured? Grab a button!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiration to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

-Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment, we all love comments
-If you were featured, grab a"Featured" button, found below.
-Consider adding our Party button to your Party Page or Post.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wine-Hot Cocoa


Wine-Hot Cocoa...there are no words other than this small disclosure:

I am a single mother, to 3 year old and 1 year old girls. As I'm writing this, we are currently in the midst of a blizzard and after playing in the snow, I'm not going to lie...I need a warm beverage just like my girls do. Although I like to jazz mine up, in the adult sense.

Wine hot-cocoa - mmm. Yes, it truly is as yummy as it sounds.

No, you cannot use white wine. (It almost looks like it curdles, and tastes very unpleasant, in my humble opinion.) And you'll be using water, not milk, for the 'concentrated hot cocoa'.

Here's how simple this is:

Wine - Hot Cocoa

Following the directions on your hot cocoa mix, make 1/2 cup of  normal hot cocoa, except add one EXTRA large scoop (so it's more concentrated),

As one cup red wine, mix, and enjoy.  If you want to make sure this is nice and toasty-hot, heat the wine before adding.

VARIATIONS: You can also use hot chai tea, and even hot espresso, I think all are delicious. Vanilla chai tea seems to mix best in terms of tea.

To the wine lovers, the wine-mothers, and to all who enjoy a warm adult beverage; You're welcome from my wine loving heart, to yours.

Review: Pony Princess

No comments:

Having an adorable little girl, I am always on the lookout for adorable clothing for her to wear. The cutest little girl needs the cutest little clothes, right? And, being like most little girls, there are two things that can always keep her happy, princesses and ponies. Now, if only there was a way to combine cute clothes, ponies, and princesses....

Pony Princess offers wonderfully adorable clothes for our wonderfully adorable little girls. While there may not be any actual ponies or princesses to be found, only hoof prints and tiaras, the clothes are undeniably cute.

I had the opportunity to try out four sweet little outfits and one cute bag. Each dress was more adorable than the last. I had two sleeveless dresses, one tee shirt style dress, and one long sleeved dress, with a set of leggings for my baby girl to rock.

The first dress was a cotton pink and white chevron dress with pretty pink lace ties for straps. At a 2-4T size, this dress was the only one that was legitimately too big for my daughter who will probably need 2T clothes by next month. Like all the dresses, this one has a Pony Princess logo and the words Pony Princess embroidered on it. I love the fact that it is embroidered, and not just a screen print, as it makes the logo more durable. I can't wait for her to wear this fun dress this summer though! This dress retails for $16.99 and is available in 2T-4T and 4T-6T sizes.

The next dress was a pink sleeveless dress in a soft cotton. This 2-3T sized dress was initially a little too big, but she has quickly grown into it. The logo and name was once again on the chest, but on this there are also a smattering of sparkly rhinestones surrounding it. The sparkles make my daughter's day as she loves any and every thing that sparkles and glitters. This is a great dress for around the house in the winter when we aren't planning on going much of anywhere, but I know I'll be picking it more and more often once spring and summer roll around. This dress is retails for $19.99 and is available in 2/3T, 4/5T, and 6/7T sizes in three different colors: black, pink, and white.

The next dress was the one we have used the most. It is a white long sleeved skater style dress made of polyester and cotton. The 2/3T sizing is still just slightly too large for her, but it is just so soft and wears so well, I find myself picking it out of her closet often. The embroidery is on the skirt this time, which leaves the neck area ripe for showing off any costume jewelry she may decide to wear that day (remember the love of sparkles? Yeah, she wants to wear all the pretties). We have worn this dress out shopping, visiting friends, and even to doctor's appointments. With just some leggings, this dress is great for our mild Washington winter. This dress, like all of the others, is comfy enough to nap in, and tough enough to play in. The white longsleeved dress retails for $19.99 and is available in 12-24month, 2/3T, 4/5T, and 6/7T sizes.

The final outfit is a tee shirt and legwarmer combo. The tee shirt is marked as a regular tee, and I suppose once my baby gets to actually wearing a girl's medium size, it may actually be one, but for the moment, it is a tee shirt dress. This ruffled tee is made of cotton and is white with pink ruffled accents at the sleeves and hem. The logo is once again on the chest, and is surrounded by the sparkles, much to my daughter's happiness.

 The leg warmers are pink and white chevrons and have adorable pink ruffles at one end. They say that they are one size fits all, but I doubt they would fit very well on any child smaller than 2T, as they just fit my girl. I love putting these two together for playtime around the house, but I have also used the leg warmers with different dresses (like the long sleeved dress when going out) and shirts. The tee shirt is available in two sizes, medium and large, and two colors, white and black; it retails for $15.99. The leg warmers have two pictures on the website, one of the white and pink chevron that I got, and one of a white with pink tiaras and the word princess repeated, but no way to select which one, and retail for $9.99.

I also got a lovely burlap tote to keep goodies in. This is very generously sized, and is honestly too big for day to day use for me. It is, however, just the right size to pack a picnic lunch to the children's museum and to put the ever growing collection of stuffed animals in! I also see myself using it as an overnight bag and even as a pool bag once the kids are a little older. This, too, has the Pony Princess logo embroidered on it, making it easily identifiable. The tote retails for $29.99 and the website says it is available in oat and burnt orange, though there is no way to select your choice.

I do think the website could use some work, so that it is more easily possible to select the item you want but with good quality merchandise and good prices, that's an easily fixable situation - meanwhile, I suggest making use of the "Contact Us" button to make your selections clear when you order.

In all, I enjoy the Pony Princess clothes, and will most definitely be keeping my ever growing little girl in clothes that proudly proclaim her as a Princess of Ponies and would encourage all of my friends with their own precious Princesses to do the same!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sewing Tutorial: Rice Heating Pad (Giveaway!)


Here I was sitting, a few weeks before the holidays and wondered, what can I make this year for my friends? Usually I buy something or just skip the whole “sending friends a gift” part, but this year I wanted it to be something special, something homemade that they all can use because I struggled hard throughout the year and without my friends, the ones who called, the ones who spent time with me or took the kids of my hands for a few hours, this past year would've been even tougher.

So what do you make or do for such amazing people that you value so much?

I had no idea.

So I sat in front of the mess that I call my “Arts & Crafts” closet and dug through yarn, fabrics, papers, paint and a lot more...and couldn't come up with anything.

One day my beloved friend Jackie invited my family over for some delicious White Chicken Chili and while we were standing in the kitchen and talked she showed me a sock, filled with rice, that she warms up in the microwave to sooth neck and back pain.

All I could think was “Really, a freaking sock?!”

And there was my idea - Rice Heating Pads. That way she wouldn't have to mess with a rice filled sock anymore.  I thought about it some more and realized it was just simply the perfect idea. We all get stressed out and a lot of my friends suffer from back and/or neck pain.

Plus, if times ever get tough, they can enjoy some rice ;)

These heating pads have a generous size of approximately 18” x 9”, which means they definitely fit around your neck and shoulder area, or across your lower back and if you happen to be a tiny woman like me, then it fits up your entire back.

There's another plus to this tutorial: I am giving one away!!  So, follow the tutorial to see how to make a few of your own, and then enter to win one and let me do the sewing for you!

The tutorial might seem a little confusing, but I promise, it's super easy once you get started!

Let's get to it:

Sewn Rice Heating Pad

What you will need:
1 fat quarter of fabric
rice (4 cups per fat quarter)
sewing machine

I would like to add a little advice about the rice (haha, that even rhymes!), I highly recommend a round short grain rice, or barley because it's just simply more comfortable, but you can use whatever rice you want or have laying around.

Step one:
Iron your fabric. That's actually an important part for any sewing project you plan to do. No measurement is right if the fabric is wrinkly!

Once you ironed it, fold it in half and trim the edges so that both sides fit perfectly on top of each other.

Step two:
Turn it to the left side and start sewing around the edges, leaving an approximately 2” opening. That is the hole you will use to turn the fabric to the right side and to fill it with the rice.

Step three:
Turn the fabric to the right side and then iron it all nice and flat.

Fold the fabric in half and iron again, then fold in both sides and again, iron it all (it's a lot of ironing, sorry! You may be able to skip one or two of those but I am a perfectionist and like to iron ;) )

Fold it open and make sure you see three clear lines, if not, fold and iron again. You will need those lines to sew straight lines unless you feel confident enough to wing those straight lines.

Step four:
Sew along the lines but leave approximately 2” – 3” open towards the edge, on the side with the hole.

Step five:
Fill one cup of rice in each one of the columns with the help of the funnel. Make sure to shake it all down into the bottom of the column.

Step six:
Finish sewing the columns and the opening shut.

Enjoy your rice heating pad or pack it up for a friend with a cute note!

As a thank you to all of our readers, I'm going to giveaway one of these rice heating pads!  This giveaway is for US residents (including APO/FPO addresses), and the winner can select from any of these three fabrics:

Bright Dots, French Blue, or Brown Leaves

To enter the giveaway, you must leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter below, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!) This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY and will end just before midnight ET on 2-20. 

The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.

Once the winner has responded and confirmed, their first name will be posted on our Giveaways  page.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway