Friday, December 19, 2014

The Frozen Ice Palace Experience + $100 Gift Card Giveaway!

This week we decided to take the family to see the Frozen Ice Palace at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.  With as much as Little Miss M watches Frozen it was a must.   Once we entered the mall the Ice Palace was super easy to find.  It was right in the heart of the mall-Center Court.  

Twelve Oaks is one of only 10 malls across the country with a Frozen Ice Palace experience. (click here to see the other 10 locations) This interactive holiday display features the art of Anna, Elsa and their friends Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, plus a 30-foot ice palace with falling snow, a light show and other activities for the whole family. Fun interactive globes showcase different scenes.

Although Twelve Oaks is a 45 minute drive for us it is our favorite mall.  We did not have a lot of time to walk around and shop this trip because the baby was getting fussy but we often drive out to shop their awesome sales. We did, however manage to ride the escalator a few times for M.  

After we found the Ice Palace, the line was long but constantly moving so the wait was not unbearable.  We arrived at about 12:00 and were out by 12:30.  When you first enter the Ice Palace your little one has the option to sing along with Elsa, compare their height with Olaf and Sven, view magnificent snow globes featuring all of their favorite Frozen characters, and much more.  I really enjoyed watching M explore and play.  Even with there being a line, it was nice not feeling rushed by the staff; it made the experience that much more fun.
  Here comes our favorite part...
Inside the Palace dome, there was "snow" falling from the ceiling!  It was hard telling M that it was time to go, she loved spinning and playing in the "snow".  If we would have let her she would have stayed and played for hours.  They also had Frozen playing on eight different flat screen high def TVs, making it even harder to pull her away.

If you plan on getting pictures with Santa, I would suggest maybe saving "snow play" for last because the flakes are not easily brushed off.  Its doable but a pain.  Overall, our experience at the Frozen Ice Palace was worth the visit!  I know that M will remember it always!

 So if you still have some holiday shopping to do, come by and shop all of their many sales.   Though the mall is open all year long you only have a few days to stop by and visit Santa.  So hurry in and enjoy a "Frozen" experience.

Twelve Oaks Mall is located  at 27500 Novi Road in Novi, right off of 96.

One lucky Party of Four reader is going to win a $100 Taubman Center Shopping Gift Card! This giveaway is open to US only (and make sure you have a Taubman Center Mall near you, you can check the list of locations here). Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below, all terms and conditions are listed on the bottom of the form.

This post was sponsored by Twelve Oaks Mall and Taubman. All opinions are my own. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Very Low Entry Giveaway Ending TOMORROW!

Last chance to WIN Little Cosmetics realistic play make-up!

Click Here to enter!

Easy Cooking with Holly Cleggs Kitchen 101 Cookbook (& Giveaway)

Between raising 2 children, home schooling, dance classes, and the housework, it is hard finding time to cook quality meals.  Not to mention the fact that I loathe cooking, the mere thought of it makes me want to order out.  Trying to decide what’s for dinner, looking for the ingredients and only finding half of what I need, then trying to piece them all together to create something good…my head is spinning, just thinking about it.  Cookbooks are nice, but most of them have really hard recipes that take forever to prepare.  What about the busy mom who does not have 5 hours to dedicate to cooking?   OK, rant over!

I recently came across a “cooking for beginners” type of cookbook and have never looked back.  The Kitchen 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence by Holly Clegg is a very well organized cookbook complete with measurement equivalents, a shopping list including must have kitchen staples, a culinary glossary, and over a 150 deliciously easy AND healthy recipes.  With this book you can create restaurant quality meals without having to sacrifice your whole day. 
When the book arrived my husband immediately opened it and started drooling on the pages.  After we perused the book for a bit, we picked a recipe for dinner that night.  We chose the Spicy Glazed Chicken from the Start Simple section of the book.  It called for chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, chicken breasts, honey, and vinegar.
All of which I already had in my kitchen. Throw in a side of broccoli and brown rice and voila the prefect meal.  It took maybe 30 minutes from start to finish.  Unfortunately, I did not have any brown rice, so I decided to make mashed potatoes instead.   
I love that each recipe page includes nutritional info, cooking tips, the ingredients needed, baking directions, and a colorful photo.  It also shows if the recipe is freezer, diabetic, or vegetarian friendly.  I appreciate that this book includes fast  simple dishes, Crockpot recipes, easy to make desserts, plus much more!

Holly Clegg’s The Kitchen 101: Secret to Cooking Confidence is an awesome cookbook for those busy days, lazy days, or any day.  After the guilt of making macaroni and cheese with hot dogs every other day (ok, slight exaggeration there), it was nice to finally be able cook a quick yet healthy meal for my family.  Hats off to the Chef!

Want to win a copy?  Here's your chance!

Holly Clegg has generously offered to giveaway a copy of her, 

 trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets to Cooking Confidence: Cooking Basics Plus 150 Easy Healthy Recipes,

here on Party of Four!

Repel Mice & Spiders with Pure Peppermint Oil

Every year without fail when the temperature outside drops, mice think that they can just come in and make them selves at home.  Totally gross, right?!  Closing any openings in between piping and the walls and under sinks does not good.  They will just find another way in.  I cannot believe how they can squeeze themselves through the smallest of openings.  Well not anymore.  After doing some research, I have recently discovered an all natural way of keeping them out of my laundry room and away from my kitchen.

Some people use Peppermint soaked cotton balls while others use a spray to rid their homes of mice…I use them both.  To make the spray, I fill a spray bottle with water and add up to 15 drops of the Oil (I sometimes add vinegar).  Then I spray the doorways and around vents and baseboards.  I can definitely say that it keeps both mice and spiders away.  For extra protection against mice, I soak cotton balls and place them in the areas they usually come out, like around our furnace.  I have even heard about people adding a few drops of Peppermint Oil to their cleaning bucket while moping the floors.

As for the brand of oil, I prefer Pure Body Naturals Premium Quality Peppermint Oil.  It is highly concentrated without additives or fillers, undiluted, not filtered, and is 100% pure.  I love that each bottle comes with a convenient high quality glass dropper.  And I love the lifetime 100% Money Back Guarantee.  If you are in any way not satisfied, just shoot Pure Body Naturals an email and they will give you a FULL refund without having to return the product.  That just goes to show you how confident they are in their product.

Peppermint is not just an awesome pest repellent. With its therapeutic, antiseptic and antifungal properties it has so many other uses.

Quality Peppermint Oil:
Treats indigestion, nausea, headaches, UTI’s
Eliminates bad breath
Helps teeth and gums fight off hazardous germs
Reduces the chance of nail infections
Relieves stress
Increases blood circulation
Prevents dandruff
Nourishes dry skin
Flavoring for food or beverages
And Much More

Peppermint oil also contains numerous minerals and nutrients including manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, and copper. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C!

So many reasons to try Pure Body Natural Peppermint Oil.  Feel free to visit Amazon and purchase your own 4oz bottle. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Take the "Guess Work" Out of Cooking with Thermo Future's Wireless Thermometer

I hate always having to worry about whether or not my food in fully cooked; a potentially dangerous guessing game without the proper tools.  I have always wanted to try a good quality meat thermometer but with so many choices available and not having the time to do the research, I was forced to cook with out.  Many times over cooking my food.  When I saw the description if the Wireless Meat Thermometer by Thermo Future I had to try it out.

Thermo Future has created a pre-programmed meat thermometer that has the ability to obtain the perfect cooking temperature for different meats.  From rare to Well Done and everything in between.  They have settings for Grilled Beef, Lamb, Veal, Hamburger, Pork, Turkey, Chicken and Fish.

Wireless transmission of up to 65 feet
Heat resistant wire
Displays preset and actual cooking temperature
Temperature alarm
Manual set of target temperature

My favorite feature is that it accurately reads while cooking and when it reaches the set temperature the alarm goes off.  It is nice to be able to sit down and just let the food cook.  Not having to constantly get up, open the oven door, and slice through the meat to check the temperature saves cooking time and allows me to focus on other things.   I cannot wait to use this thermometer while cooking Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner!

Its lightweight design makes it ideal for travel 
I love the 100% Money Back Guarantee.  If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you'll get a FULL, NO-HASSLE REFUND!  I love companies that stand behind their product.

The large and easy to read screen display and back-light are wonderful features and something that other thermometers tend not to offer.  The instructions lack detail and it would have been nice if the batteries were included but all in all this is a wonderful tool to have in the kitchen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Get a Good Nights Sleep with Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper

A good nights sleep is important.  And to get a good nights sleep you need a good mattress.  Some times even the newest of mattress can leave you feeling stiff and achy in the morning.  Which is why we decided to get mattress toppers for all of our beds.  Some of you already know we have been trying to transition Little Miss M to sleep in her own bed so we felt this the perfect opportunity to make her bed more comfy and extra special. 
We found the Twin Density Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Pad Bed Topper on Amazon and decided to give it a try.   This twin size topper is 3 inches of extra supportive 4 lb memory foam.  It arrived with no tears and unfolded with ease.  After only a few hours it fluffed up to the full 3 inches but I decided to follow the instructions and wait the 96 hours suggested by Memory Foam Solutions.  The 'chemical' smell has yet to dissipate but that could take a few weeks. 

Little Miss M loves her 'new' bed and has been sleeping in it ever since without a fight.   She no longer complains about it not being comfortable and sleeps through the night. I like that this topper conforms to your body perfectly providing more comfort and helping you achieve the bests nights sleep.  Noticing a huge difference in her attitude during our morning routine just confirms that we made the right decision. 
 Mattress toppers make for the perfect addition to any dorm room, sofa bed, or camping trip.   Although we have a spare bed, if we just so happen to have more than one guest we can turn the topper into an extra bed by laying it on the floor and covering it with sheets.  I am also looking forward to letting my daughter and nephew 'camp' out in the living room during his next sleep over.

I am very happy with the Density Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress PadBed Topper and I can definitely see a difference in my toddler and can tell that my baby is sleeping well.  I sleep better knowing that my baby is sleeping better.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

High Quality, Portable, Wireless Speaker for Christmas? Yes Please.

This past week I ordered the Liztek PSS-100 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Built in Speakerphone from Amazon.  At first I was a tad skeptical because speakers I have used in the past have been a total waste of money.  They were big, bulky, and the sound quality was less than mediocre.  However, after reading other reviews about this particular speaker, I was eager to give it a try.  I am so glad I did.  This speaker is like no other.  With its clear sound, long battery life, and sleek design the Liztek PSS-100 is without a doubt the best speaker I have ever used.
I was so excited when it arrived.  I tore open the box and within minutes the speaker was connected to my smartphone and I was dancing around the house with Little Miss M.  The first thing I notice was the sound quality.  My previous speakers all had poor bass levels, which distorts the sound.  To me having a speaker with decent bass is essential and I do not enjoy music otherwise.  Like Meghan Trainer says, “Its All About That Bass”.   J  Its rechargeable battery not only last for up to 10 hours but it takes as little as 3 hours to fully charge.  And bonus, you can check the battery life right from your phone.

Being rechargeable and the sound quality are not the only awesome features the Liztek offers.  It works all throughout our house, which is awesome because that means I leave my phone in another room and still listen to music while in the shower without having to worry about the steam ruining my phone.

I love that this speaker is easy to pair with any smart device.  It even has a neat ‘call answering’ feature right on the speaker.  While you need to be pretty close to the speaker for the person on the other end to hear you well, I do not see it being any different from any other speakerphone.  With that button you can also end a call, refuse a call, or callback.  That's not also has the SIRI function.  That's right, hands-free, this speaker just got a whole lot cooler.  If your device is not equipped with Bluetooth technology you can still use the speaker by connecting them with the inline jack provided.  

Overall, the Liztek Portable speaker is definitely a ‘must have’ and would make the perfect Christmas/Birthday gift.  You just can’t beat a user-friendly, portable, rechargeable, long lasting, high quality, Bluetooth speaker!  Well worth the money!

To purchase your very own just click here and you will be redirected to the product page on Amazon.  Order soon because right now this speaker is 69% off!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.