Category Archives: Reviews

Shopping and Saving with Gaggle of Chicks

Gaggle of Chicks Logo

Websites featuring daily deals and flash sales seem to be popping up all over the place and I couldn’t be happier about it!  It’s no secret that I love a bargain. Gaggle of Chicks offers daily deals on products and services for moms and their families.  They have been offering local deals in the New York area and recently started offering nationwide deals.  I’ve been watching the Nationwide offerings for a few weeks now, recent deals include 50% off wall art from Vinyl Attraction, 62% off playhouses from Box Creations and 50% off all natural skin care products from Mom’s Skincare.  Some of the New York deals have been fabulous – big discounts on everything from gourmet goodies to photography services to museum admissions and spa services.  I’m hoping they’ll start offering local deals in Southern California soon!

How does it work? 

Simply sign up to receive your daily deal e-mail (or visit the site daily) and keep up with the latest offering.  Deals last just 48 hours, so when you see something you like, act fast.  Each deal requires a certain number of purchases to “hatch.”  Once enough moms have purchased the deal, the deal is hatched and everybody saves.  Spread the word about a deal and you could get rewarded – you’ll receive a $10 credit for every person you refer who makes a purchase at Gaggle of Chicks.  Even better?  They’ll receive a $10 credit too, just for signing up.

Head on over and scope out today’s deals at http://www.gaggleofchicks.com.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Gaggle of Chicks and received a $50 gift code for the website to facilitate this review.

Holiday Gift Pick: Peanuts Holiday Collection

Peanuts Holiday Collection
One of my favorite holiday traditions is cuddling up on the couch as a family and watching some of the classic Christmas cartoons I’ve loved since I was a kid. It just wouldn’t be the Christmas if we didn’t watch A Charlie Brown Christmas sometime in December. The Peanuts Holiday Collection is now available as a 3-disc set on DVD and Blu-Ray, what a fun gift idea for the families or little ones on your list!

Included in the set:

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving – Charlie Brown can scarcely make toast, so who’s going to prepare the T-Day feast when Peppermint Patty and pals arrive? Put on your chef’s hat, Snoopy, for the best Thanksgiving ever!

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – Finally – Charlie Brown has been invited to a for-real Halloween party! Will this also be the evening that Linus finally spies the arrival of the mysterious but benevolent Great Pumpkin?

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Holiday lights may be twinkling red and green, but Charlie Brown has the bluesl. Can the spindly little Christmas tree he finds help everyone discover the meaning of the season?

Bonus Episodes:

It’s Magic, Charlie Brown
The Mayflower Voyagers
It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown

Having grown up with these shows, there was no doubt that we’d enjoy them on DVD, but seeing them this year in Blu-Ray – wow! The colors are so vibrant and the sound quality was excellent. The bonus episodes were a special treat, I’d never seen them before. It’s was fun to watch new adventures with our favorite old characters.

The Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection comes with both Blu-Ray and DVD copies so you can enjoy in whichever format you prefer. It is widely available at retailers and currently available online at Amazon.com for $38.99.

FINISH Quantum Review and Giveaway

It’s less than three weeks until Christmas and I’ve got one thing on my mind. Baking, baking and more baking. I’m looking forward to having lots of delicious homemade goodies to share and enjoy. I’m not looking forward to cleaning up afterwards. The dishwasher is always one of the hardest working appliances in my kitchen and in the next few weeks it will certainly get an intensive workout. What better time to try out the FINISH Quantum Dishwasher Detergent Capsules and JET-DRY Turbo Dry Drying Agent I recently received?

Finish Quantum Dishwasher Detergent

About FINISH Quantum:

A revolutionary advanced dishwashing detergent system that has 3 chamber technology that releases agents that breaks down food residues, leaving nothing behind but the shine.

Its so powerful, there’s no need to pre-rinse your dishes. The advanced detergent releases each agent when needed during the cycle. POWERMAX™ bleach granules attack tough stains like tea and coffee, powerful enzyme granules soften burnt-on food like lasagna, and POWERBALL® with JET-DRY® gel finishes off dishes with amazing shine.

Provides satisfaction and confidence in knowing that dishes will be clean the first time, every time – even without pre-rinsing.

FINISH Quantum was rated #1 automatic dishwashing detergent (based on cleaning performance of dishes and pots) by a leading consumer publication.

Available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $3.99 per 12 ct. package.

Jet-Dry Turbo Dry

About JET-DRY Turbo Dry:

Provides superior drying compared to detergent alone.

Sometimes dishes come out of the dishwasher wet or with spots. Wouldn’t it be great to have dry dishes right out of the dishwasher, with no more towel-drying? FINISH JET-DRY Turbo Dry is a type of dishwasher additive—a Drying Agent—that is specifically engineered to give you amazingly dry cutlery, glass, and even plastic items.

Simply fill your rinse agent dispenser with FINISH JET-DRY Turbo Dry and it will be automatically released in the rinse cycle every time your dishwasher runs.

Available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $4.49 per 6.76 oz bottle.

My thoughts:

In the past, I’ve always stuck to plain old dishwashing detergent powder. The FINISH Quantum capsules sure look fancy, but they couldn’t be simpler to use. Just pop one into the detergent cup of the dishwasher, close it and start the cycle. Granted, using powder isn’t a complicated process, eliminating the danger of mess or overfilling is quite appealing. Given the demands I put on my dishwasher, I like to give it the courtesy of pre-rinsing my dishes. Every day I tell myself I’m going to skip this step just for one load, to see how clean the dishes come out. Old habits die hard, I just can’t do it!

I’m impressed with the how clean and shiny my dishes have been since I made the switch, and the JET-DRY has really cut down on the the streaks and water spots. There is definitely an improvement in this area on the plasticware we use, though we do have some stubborn sippy cups that seem to end up with spots no matter what products I use. Overall, I’m enjoying the product and ease of use. I would definitely consider buying it again in the future.

FINISH was recently featured on an episode of Designing Spaces, with some helpful tips on the do’s and dont’s of dishwashing.

GIVEAWAY:

Five lucky readers will receive FINISH Quantum and JET-DRY Turbo Dry to try for themselves.

To enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me how often you run your dishwasher.

Optional Extra Entries

• 1 Extra Entry if you subscribe via e-mail (see left sidebar)
• 1 Extra Entry if you follow this blog
• 1 Extra Entry (Per Day) if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Leave a link to your tweet(s) in the comments. Feel free to copy and paste the following:

FINISH Quantum Giveaway @justaddcharm – 5 Winners! http://bit.ly/i4lTd1 #giveaway

Please leave an additional comment for each extra entry you complete.

RULES:

This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only and will end at 8pm PST on December 10, 2010. The winners will be selected at random and the entries verified. Winners will be e-mailed and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Good Luck!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of FINISH and received a sample of FINISH Quantum and JET-DRY Turbo Dry. Mom Central Consulting also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze+ MP3 Player (Review)

SanDisk Sansa Fuze+

MP3 players are prominently featured on many a wishlist this holiday season.  Everyone wants an easy way to take their favorite music with them on the go, but the latest technology sure can be pricey.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the SanDisk Sansa Fuze+, which boasts a great list of features AND an affordable price tag.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze+ Specifications/Features:

  • Capacities**: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB
  • 2.4″ bright QVGA screen (320 x 240, 30 FPS) LCD screen
  • Audio formats: MP3, WMA, Secure WMA, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC, Audible, Podcasts
  • Video formats: MPEG-4***, H.264, WMV and Flip Video™***
  • Photo formats: JPEG and BMP; photo formats can be further extended with Sansa Media Converter PC software download∞, enabling TIFF, GIF, and PNG formats
  • Digital FM Tuner with record functions
  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 24 hours for audio playback and 5 hours of video playback†
  • Hi-speed micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Expandable microSDTM card slot and microSDHCTM card slot
  • Ready for slotRadio™ & slotMusic™ memory cards
  • Sleek industrial design with “invisible” capacitive touch control and highly intuitive graphical user interface

The Fuze+ is more than just a music player. You can watch videos, show off photos, listen to your favorite FM radio stations, podcasts and audiobooks, even record your own notes with the built in microphone.  It’s sleek and stylish, pleasing to hold.  We were impressed with the screen resolution and brightness, videos look crisp and clear. The sound quality is good, which isn’t necessarily a given in the budget friendly MP3 players we’ve used in the past. The touch interface became quite intuitive after just a few minutes of use and it is highly configurable. There are all kinds of settings to play with, such as the option to view videos in landscape or portrait orientation. The wide range of playable file formats is also a plus, especially if you happen to use Linux as we do.

The only technical difficulty we encountered with the player was that after loading several hundred songs, we saw that the artist, title and song information did not display. After doing some research we found that others have had this issue and it is due to the player being incompatible with certain formats of music tags, which was surprising given the wide range of playable formats. Hopefully full support for current file tag formats is forthcoming.
VH1 Classic Slot Radio Card

For those looking for a plug and play experience, it doesn’t get much easier than the Sansa Fuze+ paired with slotRadio cards.  These tiny microSD cards are preloaded with a collection of 500-1,000 songs, ready for instant play.  I received the VH1 Classic slotRadio card, which features a variety of artists and songs from the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s.  How convenient to have some of my favorites with me instantly – U2, The Police, Bon Jovi – without having to load a single song myself.  There are a variety of slotRadio cards available in genres including Rock, Country, Oldies, Hip/Hop, even Classical.

If you are looking for an affordable MP3 player, this is one you’ll definitely want to consider.  The Sansa Fuze+ retails for $79.99-$119.99 depending on storage capacity.

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of SanDisk and received the SanDisk Sansa Fuze+ and VH1 slotRadio Card to facilitate my review.

Get Popped with Popchips (Giveaway)

Popchips
I can’t help it, I’m a snacker.  The holiday season is always a challenge for those of us who are trying to eat healthy, with endless opportunities to indulge.  Keeping my kitchen stocked with healthier snacks is my best defense against temptation.  Long ago, I stopped buying potato chips regularly.  There’s a lot of truth in the “can’t eat just one” catchphrase.  I tried baked chips, but they were missing the crunch.  Isn’t the crunch half the point of a chip?

I had just about given up on chips when I happened upon popchips at a sample table at Costco.  For once, the sample table wasn’t poised to sabotage my healthier eating efforts.  Not only did they have a great crunch, but they were tasty, and I was hooked.

I recently had the opportunity to sample some more of the popchips flavors.  Yum!  If you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out!  One single serve bag of popchips has just 100 calories and 3.5 grams of fat, less than half of what you’d find in a regular bag of potato chips.  The secret?  They are “popped”, not fried (unhealthy) or baked (undelicious).  There are seven flavors to choose from, lots of ways to satisfy your snack cravings without the guilt.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will receive a “Get Popped” box of popchips.

This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to the winner:

tweet http://twitter.com/kgail11/status/9595269129699328

By Kim on 11.30.10 5:11 am

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of popchips and received a “Get Popped” box of Popchips and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.