No-Tie Elastic Shoelaces Giveaway

I’m partnering up with Lemon Hero to give away a pair of no-tie elastic shoelaces to TWO lucky Sweetly Surreal Life readers.  Enter to win at the bottom of this post!

 These shoelaces are super easy to install in any pair of sneakers or hiking boots, and they make taking your shoes on and off a breeze.  Once you install them, they’ll keep your shoes on securely but won’t pinch your feet.  These laces are thicker than other brands of no-tie laces, and the plastic bits that secure the laces are very high quality.  They’re nice for hiking shoes, water shoes, or winter boots because they are waterproof.  I love that they come in eight different colors, so you can be sure one will match with your fave pair of shoes.

Here is a photo the before (top) and after (bottom) with these laces.  Once I put the new laces on both of my shoes, I wore them on two international flights.  I’ve taken two place trips a year since I was a small child, and I have to say my #1 rule of air travel is to always wear sneakers because you never know when you’ll have to run. These laces make my shoes super comfy, which is important because my feet get a little bloated when flying all day.  Also, they were easy to get into and out of, so going through the security checkpoint was a breeze! I didn’t even have to sit down to put my shoes back on.

elastic shoelaces

These laces are also great for:

  • People who need to get out the door in a hurry
  • Kids who haven’t learned to tie shoes yet
  • Special needs folks or seniors with pain or trouble tying or untying knots
  • Really anyone!

no tie shoelaces

Click below to enter here through Sept 25, 2015 because we will be drawing two winners who will each receive one pair of No-Tie Elastic Shoelaces in the color of their choice.
No-Tie Elastic Shoelaces Giveaway (two winners!)

Want to learn more?

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  To read more reviews or to buy, please visit the sponsor’s page at the above links*

Beauty Infusion GIVEAWAY and Review

I think everyone has wished that healthy things to eat tasted like candy.  If you try Neocell’s beauty supplements, your wish might come true!  I tried out NeoCell’s Beauty Bursts and not only are they formulated to help nurture skin and nails, they taste yummy too.

neocell products

The Beauty Bursts are gourmet collagen soft chews. This beauty supplement contains Collagen Types 1 & 3 (to rebuild your skin), hyaluronic acid (to hydrate the skin), and vitamin c (to build up your collagen).

beauty vitamins

The flavor I tried was super fruit punch, and they tasted pretty good.  They are a little tart, but I actually like that.  The consistency is a lot like Starburst candy.  The package shows them as being bright red, but mine looked more orange.  I contacted the manufacturer and they couldn’t give any explanation, but seemed to say that the color variation was normal.

beauty bursts

I also got NeoCell’s Beauty Infusion in tangerine twist.  It’s a drink powder that has the same ingredients as the soft chews but it also has some added beauty extras, like biotin (to help grow strong hair and nails) and alpha lipoic acid (to protect from free radicals).  If you’re not into using it as a drink, they have a recipe on their blog that can tell you how to turn it into jello!  That sounds like a lot of fun.  Imagine taking your vitamins in a jello shot every morning (without alcohol, of course)!

If you want to get started on this new beauty routine right away, NeoCell has $1.50 or $2 off printable coupons on their facebook page.  You can find the their products at CVS and GNC stores!

NeoCell has nicely offered to sponsor a giveaway at Sweetly Surreal Life of one package of Beauty Bursts and a one month’s supply of Beauty Infusion beauty supplements.  That’s an over $50 value!  Enter using the gleam app below through June 23, 2015.beauty infusion prize pack giveaway
Beauty Infusion Prize Pack (ARV $54.94)

I hope you enjoy these tasty vitamins as much as I did!  Treat yourself to a soft chew after dinner and you won’t even need dessert!

Want to learn more about NeoCell?

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  To read more reviews or to buy, please visit the sponsor’s page **

Dog Approved: Dog Treats from Stewart Pet

stewarts dog treats

After our sweet little dog Dora got sick last year with pancreatitis, we decided to mostly stop feeding her dog treats because so many of them have a ton of fat, sugar, and other additives.  However, we do make an exception if we really trust the ingredients in the treat.  That’s why I was excited to see if she liked the Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Liver dog treats from Stewart Pet.  They’re 100% liver, and after reading more about them I could tell they would be safe for her sensitive tummy.

doxie

We have always fed her only organic foods, so making the switch to only 100% natural products for dog treats made sense.  Now her treats are a baby carrot once or twice a week, and sometimes I make mini treats from whole wheat flour + organic beef/chicken baby food (here is the recipe if you’d like to make that 2-ingredient dog treat!).  She loves those things, but I have to say she went even more wild for these Stewart Pet treats!  It makes sense since they are totally made of meat.

 

dog treats, stewart's treats

Here is what I like about the dog treats:

  • Tiny size: They’re “reward size” so you won’t overfeed your dog.  The small size would also be great to use for training- though Dora is already trained 🙂
  • Made in the USA: You probably heard that news story last year about dog treats made outside the US having toxins in them.  That scared me enough to only buy USA made pet products going forward!
  • Made without additives or preservatives
  • Only 1 ingredient: good for doggies with allergies or sensitive tummies
  • Seven flavors to pick from: I’ve noticed that most dogs aren’t too picky about flavors, but some might have a favorite!

 

dog treats free dried

dog eating treat

dog licking lips, dog treat

Yum!  Dora approves of the Stewart® Pro-Treat® Freeze Dried Liver Treats.  She got the turkey flavor.  I think it will take a while to use up the tub since she’s such a small dog, but next we’re going to try beef flavor!

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  To read more reviews or to buy, go to the sponsor’s page: http://stewartpet.com/our-products/pro-treat-freeze-dried-treats/**

Doggie iD Review and GIVEAWAY!

doggie id personalized pet tagPets are furry family members, and I know I would do whatever it takes to keep mine safe!  That’s why I was excited to link up with Doggie ID to review their personalized pet tag, and even more excited when they offered to give one away to a Sweetly Surreal Life reader!

See the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway!
These are not your average dog tags.  They look like mini state driver’s licences, but for dogs.  Their website is very easy to use to create your dog’s tag, and they do all the designing for you.  You just pick your state, enter your dog’s name, and add your phone number and address if you like.  I put something in all the fields it offered, including the extra phone number, because if my dog gets lost I would want people to have a few ways to contact me.  If you like, you can upload a photo of your dog too.  The hardest part about ordering for me was just picking out which photo of Dora I should upload!  When it arrived, it came with two different ways to attach it to her collar, but both of them hung too low so I used the small ring I already had.

doggie id, pet id tag

Things I like about the Doggie ID personalized dog tag:

  • It has a lifetime guarantee, so if it somehow gets bent or scratched up they will replace it.  Also it has a money-back return policy.
  • Weather resistant so you don’t have to worry about when your pup is splashing in puddles.
  • Manufactured and designed in the USA.
  • You can pay by credit card or paypal (I am always so irritated when businesses don’t take paypal!).
  • Tag size works for small or large breeds- it is 1.75”x 1.75”.
  • They look pretty stylish.

Here are some photos of Dora wearing her new Doggie Id tag.  She’s gotten many compliments on it already!

a (7)

a (6)

doxie with doggieid tag

Dora with doggieid

pet if tag

Since they are so nice, we’re giving one away!  You can use it for your own pooch or make one for your favorite dog lover. Enter in the rafflecopter here through July 6th, 2015:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**I received this product at no cost in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  To buy, see the sponsor’s webpage here: http://www.doggieid.com**doggie id pet tag Free Giveaway Directory

Sweetsation Bubble Therapy

One of my favorite ways to relax is by taking a bath.  I was glad to find a bath product that is totally natural!  Sweetsation Bubble Therapy 3-in-1 doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.  I liked the name, because for me taking a bath does feel like therapy!  Another nice thing about it is that it is a bubble bath, body wash, and shampoo all in one bottle.

bubble therapy

As their website says:

“Our fabulous bubble bath, shampoo and body wash, 3 in 1, contains a host of soothing nourishments like, Calendula, Chamomile, and Oat which is perfect for cleansing delicate baby skin and hair, as well as adults.  Mild and non-irritating it creates a lot of stable long lasting bubbles for the best fun time in the tub.  Oatmilk helps relieve Eczema, while Calendula moisturizes and soothes dry skin.  This plant-based formula is gentle for pregnant women, and can be used by the entire family.”

It’s important to know more about what is NOT in this product:

  • Sulfate FREE
  • Harsh detergents FREE
  • Paraben FREE
  • Sodium Benzoate FREE
  • Dioxanne FREE

bubble bath

I tried it out first as a bubble bath.  It had the texture and color of honey, and the scent was very nice too.  I thought it smelled a little like lemongrass, but it doesn’t have that in it!  When I used it in as a bubble bath, I couldn’t smell the scent at all.  Later I used it as a shampoo and body wash, and while I was using it I could smell it, but not after I got out of the shower.  Because of this, I think it would be great for people who are sensitive to fragrances.  It left my skin and hair feeling clean and nourished, not dried out.

bubbles

They do have a trial/travel size in case you want to use a little to see if it’s right for you, which is only $2.50.  It would be a good product to bring with while traveling actually because you will need a lot less bottles of products in your bag since it serves multiple purposes.  I really like this product!

To save 10% off your first order from www.sweetsationtherapy.com, enter code ‘FIRST’ at checkout (thru 10/31/15)!

Visit Sweetsation’s Facebook page for discounts, promotions and giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/Sweetsation.Therapy

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  To read more reviews or to buy, go to the sponsor’s page: http://www.sweetsationtherapy.com/bubble-therapy-pure-natural-bubble-bath-shampoo-body-wash-for-entire-family/**

Enjoying Tea Tasting Sampler Review

As I have mentioned before, I’m a big tea fanatic!  I was able to review these teas as well as offer a giveaway for a tea sampler box like the one I received- check back in a few days to enter the giveaway!

I was so happy when this box showed up in my mailbox. This is the sampler of 6 different types of tea from Enjoying Tea.  The tins came in this pretty, compact box.  If you check out the website, you can see that there many (20+) different sampler packs, as well as larger packages of tea to choose from.  This sampler would be a great idea so you can try out some teas before getting a big bag the flavor you’re interested in.  I think it would also make a nice gift.  There is really a sampler box for any taste!

tea sampler box

tea sampler tins
Here is a photo of all the flavors I got to try in my sampler box!

I tried out all the following flavors:

The tins were so cute- the perfect size for trying out a few cups to decide which flavors you like best.

tea sampler tin

This is the Jasmine Green tea.  So beautiful!  It tasted great too.enjoying tea

I tried out the Vanilla Rooibos first, and I loved it!  Very smooth and nutty with a little sweetness.  It had whole almond slices in it and pretty yellow leaves.  It ended up being my favorite.rooibos tea

The tea sampler came with a little card that outlines how much of each type of tea you should put in your tea holder and how long to let it steep.  This was very helpful because you may be trying types of teas you’ve never had before!

enjoying tea tea cup

Mmmm, so relaxing!

Check back for the giveaway for a similar box from  Enjoying Tea this week!

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  To buy, go to the sponsor’s page: www.enjoyingtea.com **

Muscle Mauler Max Foam Roller

I’ve had a few friends tell me about foam rolling and how it has helped their muscle pain, so I decided to try it out for myself.  When my Muscle Mauler Max arrived, I tried it out right away.  There were some suggested exercises on the insert in the package, but I checked online first because I thought I might need a little more explanation because I have no experience with foam rolling- and I was right!

foam roller

I learned all about foam rolling from this website.  It turns out that that foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, which basically means massaging your muscles and connective tissue yourself.  It used to be used only in physical therapy and for athletes, but it has many benefits for regular folks too.  It works out all sorts of trigger points (aka painful knots!) in your muscles, leaving them feeling and functioning better.  It can also help with scar tissue.

foam roller

I found a really great collection of videos that break down foam rolling for beginners.  I’m not an athlete, but I do sit at a desk for most of the day, which can cause stiff muscles.  I grabbed my Muscle Mauler Max and started with the one for the lower back.  Woah!  It is intense.  It was amazing how deep the roller got into my muscles.  It was hard to believe I was the one doing it all!

The name for this roller makes it sound a little scary in my opinion, but it is actually a very therapeutic tool. This specific foam roller is extra wide at 24″, so you don’t have to worry about missing a spot or rolling off it.  It prevents sports injuries by leaving your muscles with more mobility, and can also be used with a therapist after an injury has occurred to speed recovery.  Some foam rollers are smooth, but this one has a “bumpy matrix design” so you can get into the muscles deeper.foam roller

Massage is great, but it is not something that most of us can afford to have a few times a week.  Using the Muscle Mauler Max is like a deep tissue massage that you can do yourself a few times each week in between massages!

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  For more reviews or to buy, see the product here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TY407QK/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0 **

I’m Obsessed: Liquid Chalk Markers

liquid chalk marker set

Yep, I’m pretty much obsessed with these markers.  I’ve been holding myself back from writing on all the surfaces of my house!  I ordered the Liquid Chalk Markers with Chalkboard Labels from Kitchen Supreme and they have so many uses.

When they arrived, I went to the Kitchen Supreme website to watch their video of how to use them.  At first I thought these would be made of chalk.  But actually they are permanent on porous surfaces like chalkboards.  However, they wipe off if you use them on non-porous surfaces like glass, enamel, ceramic, shiny metal, and mirrors.  They are a lot like something we used to call “paint pens” when I was a kid.  The colors are bright and cheery, and I used them in a bunch of different ways.  If you’ve ever seen those colorful menu boards at restaurants or coffee houses, this is likely the type of marker that was used to create that look.

First, I tried them out on my laptop case.  I haven’t finished the design yet, but I like it so far!

liquid chalk markers

Then, I used the liquid chalk markers on the window that faces my front porch to create a DIY mother’s day decoration.  “Mom” was the only word I could write that can be read from inside the house and outside on the porch!

markers on glass

sun liquid chalk markers

I also wrote a message for my hubby on the bathroom mirror that he would see when he woke up in the morning.  I never realized how tough it is to take a photo of a mirror, especially at night… but you get the idea!

c

The markers came with a bunch of black labels in different shapes. I used them to update the label on a canister for flour in my kitchen.  I think the after looks way better than the before!

before chalk markers

liquid chalk markers

The liquid chalk markers also worked well for more utilitarian purposes.  I used one to mark when my hot water heater was installed.  This spot is easier to read than the other place it was marked with the date.  This idea could work on other appliances too.

chalk markers on appliances

I do suggest you try them out in an inconspicuous place if you’re using them on a new surface.  Just make a dot in a corner where no one would see.  I did have an unfortunate incident with the red liquid chalk marker and my washing machine top, but it was my own fault for not testing that out first (and it did wash off eventually…after an overnight treatment of oxyclean).

I highly recommend the liquid chalk markers from Kitchen Supreme.  I’m sure I will find many more uses for them as time goes on!

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  For more reviews or to buy, see the product here: http://www.kitchen-supreme.com/liquidchalk.html**

Updating Our Rec Room Decor with Pop Chart Lab

Last summer my husband and I bought our very first home!  Luckily for us it has a basement rec room which gives us a lot of extra space.  I wouldn’t call it “updated”, but certainly works great for what we use it for, and it has gotten a lot of use already.  We used it for Thanksgiving dinner and were able to fit 13 people, which would have been a pretty tight squeeze in our dining room.  We also had a Christmas potluck breakfast there for almost as many people.  But it gets the most use when my husband hosts weekly  “game nights” with his guy friends.  He loves hosting and with everyone’s lives being so busy, it is nice to be able to connect almost every week.

pop chart labs, poser, man cave

I always have the distinct urge to stick all the extra framed photos and art that won’t fit upstairs on the walls of the rec room.  However, my husband has vetoed that plan, and it makes sense that he should get the first pick since he and his friends use the room the most.  When I came across the posters from Pop Chart Lab, I knew I’d hit the jackpot.  There was bound to be something he would love.  They make graphic chart prints on a huge variety of topics, from beer to Beatles songs.  It is hard to describe the look of their charts, so I urge to to have a look yourself.  They also put some of their prints on houseware items (like coasters and cheese platters).  I think they combine art and information in a really unique way!

pop chart labs, poser, man cave

The majority of them would be an awesome addition to a “man cave” or rec room.  It was a tough choice, and I had my man make the final decision.  He decided on The Giant-Size Omnibus of Super Powers.  It looks great and has been a great conversation starter, too!

pop chart labs, poser, man cave

pop chart labs, poser, man cave

Pop Chart Lab has so many other great posters.  I love the look of this one, called the Nebula of NES Games.  To tell you the truth, I know nothing about Nintendo games, but it just looks awesome!

P-NES_Print_Main_500x669_B_e10275f7-01fd-4b6e-8191-3803a9416c23_1024x1024

They also have  prints that would fit in any room of the house. Various Varieties of Fruits would look great in a kitchen, and An Arrangement of Peonies would be nice in a bedroom.

VarietiesofFruits__914x627_A_1_6c813051-15f7-4802-be4d-44067cb6b18d_1024x1024pop chart labs, poster

Here are a few more photos of the details in the rec room (aka the man cave).

whiskey, man cave,
Book from a friend; whiskey from my husband’s grandfather’s collection

 

man cave, rec room, steins
Steins from my husband’s father

 

**I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  For more reviews or to buy, see the product here:  http://popchartlab.com/collections/prints-comics/products/the-giant-size-omnibus-of-superpowers **

Have You Heard of Fractionated Coconut Oil?

coconut oil

Even though I’ve been using coconut oil for beauty and cooking for many years, I had never heard of this type of coconut oil before I got the chance to try out the La Lune fractionated coconut oil.

So what is it, and how is it different from the regular coconut oil you might see elsewhere?  Basically, it’s coconut oil without any additives, smell, taste, or color.  Because it is refined, it is easier to wash out of clothes and linens.  Some of the fatty acids have been removed, so it has a longer shelf life than regular coconut oil does and it won’t go rancid.  La Lune naturals website describes it like this:

“Fractionated coconut oil is a fraction of the coconut oil from which almost all the long chain triglycerides are removed, thus leaving mainly the medium-chain triglycerides and making it an absolutely saturated oil…In addition, fractionating raises the comparative concentration of Capric acid and Caprylic acid, thus giving it more of antioxidant and disinfecting effect.”

fractionated coconut oil, la lune

So what can you use it for? It is the perfect carrier oil for essential oils, so it is great for massage therapy.  When I tried out my Avo Essentials Lavender Essential Oil I put it in regular coconut oil as a carrier.  This fractionated coconut oil actually might have been better to use if I’d had it then because it is non-greasy (won’t clog pores!) and would have let the essential oil’s scent shine more instead of mixing it with a coconut scent.

If you check out the pdf e-book from the La Lune website you can see tons of recipes on what to use it for.  I learned it can be used in a recipe to cure stretch marks or to make body scrubs.  It can be used as shaving cream, to remove eye makeup, as a hair mask and hair growth treatment.  You can also use it on your baby to cure cradle cap and baby acne.

The La Lune website doesn’t mention anything about ingesting it, but after a little research I found it can be used for culinary purposes.  Most people prefer using regular coconut oil in cooking though- because it is unrefined, it still has lauric acid, which has an extra antibacterial effect.  Regular coconut oil is also more readily available and generally a little less expensive, so that’s why it is more common for cooking while fractionated coconut oil is more common for cosmetics.  The main downsides to using this fractionated coconut oil are that it might be more expensive (depending on the brand) and you don’t get that extra power of the lauric acid.

I know some people who are very sensitive to the smell of coconut.  They can’t use regular coconut oil in cooking or on their skin because it reminds them of the taste of coconuts.  I think this fractionated coconut oil would be prefect for people who dislike coconut but still want to get all the benefits of coconut oil.  With so many uses, if you get it you’re bound to think of at least a few ways to use it!  I personally liked it for massage- next I’m going to try it as a hair mask!

** I received this product in exchange for writing an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.  For more reviews or to buy, see the product here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/b00u9hw5uc **