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Category: Product Reviews

Review: Pop Weaver Microwave Popcorn

Movie night just isn’t movie night without a bowl of popcorn in your lap to munch on.  My 5-year-old never lets us forget that, so I was happy to have a sample of Pop Weaver’s new microwave popcorn on hand as we settled in for our most recent family movie night.  As soon as I announced we were going to watch a movie, I heard, “Yay! I want popcorn!”

I had recently received a sample Pop Weaver’s Light Butter microwave popcorn cooked in their newly formulated canola oil blend to try out so I tossed a bag in the microwave.  In addition to tasting great, the popcorn popped up light and fluffy with just two minutes in the microwave.  Plus, with only 210 calories per bag popped, it is a snack I don’t feel bad feeding my children.  That isn’t the only benefit though.

Pop Weaver’s Canola oil blend is primarily comprised of “heart healthy” polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and supply Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, helping to protect against coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. And the popcorn provides other health benefits, as well, since it is a good source of whole grains. Not only does it contain fiber, but a study released this summer found that popcorn also provides healthy antioxidants. In fact, because it is unprocessed, according to the study, popped popcorn provided more antioxidants than any other snack food tested.

What more can you ask for in a quick, tasty snack?  I have to admit that I would like a little more butter flavor on my popcorn, but Pop Weaver has that covered with the Butter and Extra Butter flavors for just a few more calories per bag.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it the next time I’m strolling the aisles at the grocery store.  At only 21 cents per bag, it’s a great snack to have on hand!

Giveaway Time!

If you would like to try out Pop Weaver’s new microwave popcorn made with canola oil, you’re in luck!  I have two 8-count boxes of popcorn to give away to two lucky commenters! 

How to enter:
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below. I’d love it if you would tell me what your favorite healthy snack is or what you like to munch on during movie night. Be sure to leave an e-mail address where you can be reached if you win!

Contest will close Wednesday, August 18th, at 11:59 p.m. CST. You must be a U.S. resident, or have a U.S. postal address to participate. Two winners will be chosen from all eligible comments via and notified by e-mail.


Review: Pelican Sorter from Tiny Love

I’m a little behind on posting here due to some recent medical issues and a surgery, but I wanted to tell you about this fun toy I received a while back.  We have no shortage of toys in our house, but the kids are always up for trying something new and I love it when we manage to find something that is fun and educational at the same time!

I was contacted by a company called ebeanstalk, about their toy website dedicated to selecting good, safe baby toys.  They rely on help from moms like me to help pick the toys. The toy they sent is called Sort n’ Learn Pelican from Tiny Love, who makes great developmental toys.  It was a BIG hit at our house!


As soon as I got it out of the package the kids were dying to play with it. I only took pictures of Evie, since she is of the targeted age for the sorter, but her 4-year-old brother couldn’t wait to get his hands on it either!

The Sort n’ Learn Pelican is brightly colored and offers multiple levels of play.  The pelican’s mouth opens up to reveal an electronic shape sorter with sound options and 3 language options.  As the blocks drop through the sorter it tells the shape, color, or plays a fun sound.  The sorter is easily lifted so the child can retrieve the blocks from the pelican’s mouth.  Evie loved just putting the blocks in and taking them out of the mouth without using the sorter as well.  She also quickly figured out that she could wrap her legs around the base to keep it from moving or tipping over while she lifted the top.


Our only problem with this toy is that the top of the pelican’s mouth pops off really easily.  I’m not sure if that was intentional or not, but the kids tend to get very frustrated by it.  It is easy for an adult to pop it back on, but they don’t like having to stop and wait.

Overall I think this was a great toy.  My kids haven’t gotten tired of it yet.  It has become one of their favorites!

Here’s a video of Evie testing it out:

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My Secret Circle – Review and Giveaway

secret_circleMy Secret Circle, a new social networking world for girls, was created with internet safety in mind. The only way to access this secret world is with a USB access key.  Once you have the access key, you can set up your profile and initiate a unique charm code to print out exchange with your friends.  With the charm code you give them and an access key of their own, your friends can communicate with you in your very own secret online world.

My Secret Circle is targeted to girls ages 8-12 who want to communicate with their real friends online but who may not have the judgement to stay away from many online dangers.  The access key contains an embedded code that brings up the private My Secret Circle browser without the need for credit cards, logins, or personal information.

Senario sent me a BFF pack of My Secret Circle, which includes two online access keys, to review.  After reading about this product I was really excited to try it out.  I wish I had an 8-year-old girl around to help me test it, but instead I just had to pretend (which really wasn’t so hard because I watch a LOT of Hannah Montana).

With all of my excitement to get started, I went to tear into the package – which of course was plastic and rather difficult to get into.  Once I cut through the first layer of plastic, there was another layer to cut through before I could get to my access key.  I finally got my access key out and plugged it into my USB port on my computer.  It started loading up right away, but then told me I needed to restart my computer and update my Flash player.  Once all of that was done, My Secret Circle was up and running.  I would definitely recommend parental supervision to get going the first time, but after that it was a snap.

When My Secret Circle starts up, it asks you to create a password and then prompts you to write it down on your instruction manual so you don’t lose it.  Then it takes you to the Options page where you can use the Diva Designer to create your avatar using different hair styles, props, clothing, etc.  You can also fill in your name and other information such as your favorite TV show, movie, and such.

From there, you can click to go to your journal, im, photos, games, or chat.  You can also go to your “All About Me” page by clicking in the upper left-hand corner to see your recent activity and your friends’ activity.  The chat section requires the use of the My Secret Circle voice-chat headset, but all of the other options were available.

One of the features I really liked was that when you save a journal entry it asks you if you would like that entry to be public or private.  I thought this was great because every tween girl has a few secrets she doesn’t want to share with even her closest friends.  The private feature allows them to have a place ot write down their secrets without anyone else having access to it.

My biggest disapointment was that I couldn’t get any photos to upload.  I tried several different photos, including different sizes, and could not get any of them to work.  Once photos are uploaded, you are supposed to be able to create albums and slideshows, add text and graphics, use them in your journal entries, and use them for some of the games.  I really hope that this was just a fluke because I think the photo features would make the whole thing a lot more fun.

Overall, I think this is a great product.  I think the BFF pack would be a perfect birthday present for a tween girl.  Aside from the problem with uploading photos, this seems like a really fun place for girls to hang out with their friends.  I like that it is a one-time purchase with no online subscription fees.  I think it a great way for kids to share photos and other information securely without the wrong person intercepting it.  I would feel very safe letting my kids communicate with their friends on My Secret Circle (when they’re a little bit older anyway).

Do you know any tween girls that would love to get online and hang out with their friends?  I hope so because the lovely people at Scenario are letting me give one My Secret Circle online access key (a $19.99 value) out to one of my lucky readers!  Enter to win by completing one or all of the steps below:

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me who you would give the My Secret Circle access key to if you win.
  2. Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter and leave a link to that tweet in a comment on this post.
  3. Subscribe via e-mail or RSS feed and leave a comment on this post saying you did so.

You MUST leave a comment for each contest entry, otherwise it will be disqualified.  Any entries that do not meet the qualifications above will be deleted prior to choosing a winner.  Entries will close at 10:00 p.m. Central on Monday, July 20, 2009.  Winner will be chosen via based on the total number of entries and will be notified by e-mail.

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Bon Bon Cupcakes Review and Giveaway

This contest has now ended

Nearly a year ago, maybe more, I was searching for some local people to follow on Twitter. One of the names I came across was Bon BonCupcakes and I simply had to check it out.  With a name like that you have to be curious, right?  I followed the link to her web site and found the cutest leggings I’ve ever seen! I wanted to buy some right then and there, but stopped myself before my clicker finger got too happy.  Quite honestly, I stopped myself because of the price.  Considering Evie would be growing like crazy during her first year, I decided it would be better to wait until she was just a little bit bigger and could wear the leggings longer.

IMG_8495Well, lucky for me, the ladies at Bon Bon Cupcakes were gracious enough to send me a sample of their adorable leggings to try out on Evie.  And let me tell you, they are just as cute in person as the pictures on the web site.  The leggings come rolled up in the shape of a cupcake and in a clear cupcake box.  Also included is a “recipe card” for the leggings with the story of how Bon Bon Cupcakes was started by Marianne Cascone and Erin Cascone, two stay-at-home moms, on the back.

The leggings are made of a thick (but not too thick) microfiber material that is much more sturdy than most of the other tights my daughter has.  She was still crawling when we first tried them out, so she really tested the durability.  The ribbon ruffles around the bottom are adorable and stayed attached even with my daughter pulling and tugging on them.  They have been through the washer and dryer several times now and still look just like they did the day we opened the package.  Considering how well they hold up, I would say they are definitely worth the price.

IMG_8489Since Evie was just on the upper end of the 9-18 month size, I requested the 2-4T so she would have a little room to grow.  Even buying her a size up, it seemed like the sizing runs just a little bit small.  I would have expected a 2-4T to be just a little big on her since she was wearing 18 month size clothing, but they actually fit her just right.  I’m pretty sure they won’t make it up to a 4T size on her.  They are very stretchy, but were a bit tight around her belly.

Besides the adorable leggings, I love that BonBon Cupcakes is a local company and that it all started with a mom who was simply trying to come up with something to cover her daughter’s diaper.  Other moms of daughters can certainly commiserate with this.  I know I’ve been there!

So, you know what’s coming next, right?  You have a chance to win a pair of Bon Bon Cupcakes leggings for your own little diva!  Trust me, you want to win these!  Here’s what you need to do to enter the giveaway:

For each entry, you MUST leave a comment.

  1. For the first entry, visit the Bon Bon Cupcakes web site and then leave a comment here with your favorite style and color of leggings.  You must complete this step before any additional entries.
  2. For an additional entry, post about this giveaway on Twitter.  Then leave a comment here with the link to your tweet.
  3. For an additional entry subscribe to Voices In My Mind Reviews either by e-mail or feed reader then leave a comment here saying you did so.

Contest will end Sunday, May 31st, at 11:59 p.m. Central.  One winner will be chosen via and notified by e-mail.

To double your chances of winning some of these adorable leggings, be sure to check out the Bon Bon Cupcakes Giveaway Blog!  They have a contest going on right now to win not one, but 3 pairs of their best selling leggings!

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Skin Free Review and Giveaway

This contest has ended. Winner will be notified by e-mail.

skinfreeRecently I was given the chance to review some products from the Skin Free skin care line. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you will remember that sensitive skin seems to run in my family.  Because of that I was really excited to try out Skin Free.  Skin Free products are made from natural ingredients, with no chemicals or perfumes that can irritate sensitive skin.  They are recommended for individuals with the following conditions:

  • Extreme Dry Skin
  • Skin or Fragrance Allergies
  • Psoriasis
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Pregnant Moms
  • Babies
  • The Elderly
  • Diabetics
  • Renal Patients
  • After Radiation or Chemotherapy

I was sent samples of the Extra Moisturizing Soap and Shampoo Bar and the After Shower Moisture Spritz.  I tried them out on myself and both kids.  The soap bar definitely was mild enough for my kids’ sensitive skin, yet still did a fabulous job of getting all the kid grime off.  It also worked great as a shampoo.  The After Shower Moisture Spritz left my dry skin very moisturized and saved time versus lathering on lotion after the shower.  My only complaint was that I had a hard time pushing the pump on the bottle with wet hands (though from the looks of pictures on the web site they have changed this).  It ended up being easier just to take the lid off, pour it into my hand, and rub it in.  Regardless, I’m still using it because I love the way it makes my skin feel.

I was excited to find out that Skin Free products recently became available at select Walgreen’s stores.  I plan to continue using them and try out some other items in their product line.

Want to try out Skin Free products for yourself? Skin Free has offered to share their product with one lucky reader!  All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below telling me what soap you are currently using. For a second entry, post about this giveaway on Twitter, then leave a comment here with the link to your post.

Contest will end at 11:00 p.m. Central on Wednesday, May 20th.  A winner will be chosen via and notified by e-mail.

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Kind Notes Review and Giveaway

This giveaway has now ended.

kindnotes1Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and I’ve seen several people scrambling to come up with the perfect gift for their mother, wife, or grandmother.  That’s why I was thrilled to receive a sample of KindNotes in the mail last week.  I was asked to review KindNotes as part of the Momfluence Mother’s Day Gift Guide.  Not only is it a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, it is a perfect gift for any time you just want to let someone know that you care.

So what are KindNotes?  KindNotes are a container of tiny inspirational messages, each enclosed in a decorative envelope.  Each package contains 31 notes, enough to open one each day of the month.  The container, envelopes, and messages are fully customizable.  You can choose the type of container, color of ribbon to embelish it, and pattern of the envelopes used to contain your notes.  Then you can choose from over 400 inspirational messages, quotes, and proverbs or you can choose to receive blank notecards to write your own messages in for a more personal gift.  For an additional fee, you can also have the messages hand written by KindNotes.

kindnotes2The KindNotes I received were specialized for Mother’s Day and contained notes such as “Everything that I am today is because of you” and “Thank you for all the wonderful and amazing years you’ve given us.”  The notes came in a beautiful glass jar, adorned with a pink ribbon that matched the pink pattern on the envelopes.  My only complaint is that the filling below the envelopes, while attractive, takes up most of the jar and makes it look as though you are getting very little product.

Overall, I think that KindNotes is a great product.  The company is family-owned and each package is individually handmade to ensure quality.  With all of the customization options, they could easily be given for any occassion.

So, are you ready to hear the best part?  KindNotes has agreed to give away one fully customized (up to $45 value) KindNotes to one lucky reader! Keep it for yourself or give it away as a gift.  It’s your choice!  To enter the contest you must do one of the following:

  1. Write a blog post linking to this post and, then leave a comment with a link to your post.
  2. Tweet about this contest including a link to, then leave a comment with a link to the tweet.  Feel free to copy and paste the following:@deew27 is giving away a great gift from!  Find out how to enter:

Contest will end Monday, May 4, 2009 Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. Central.  One winner will be chosen via and notified by e-mail.  Entries that do not meet the requirements when the contest closes will be deleted before a winner is chosen.

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