Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Atmosphere For TV Watching And Helps Your Eyes At The Same Time

There are lots of places in our homes where extra lighting is useful, but one place a lot of people don't think about is behind their TV. I know, it sounds strange, but you would be surprised at the difference it can make to your TV watching when you have simple lighting behind it.

Glare is reduced a lot and if you watch TV in the dark, having a small bit of lighting behind the TV helps with the mood, and especially eye strain. You'd be surprised at how much strain watching the TV puts on your eyes in general, but even more so when you watch it in the dark.


A very simple solution to this problem is to install a small strip of LED lights to the back of your TV. It basically is mood lighting and it can be fun as well as keeping the eye strain down. LZJ make a Waterproof 90cm (35 inch) 5V USB Led Strip Lighting Kit that is super easy to install and use.



The kit comes with everything you need and takes less than 5 minutes to install. You simply measure how much of the strip you will need, cut to length, peel off the sticky backing protective strip and place it on your TV. Then you plug in the USB cord to your TV and you are set. The kit comes with really good directions so you can easily get it done. Watching TV just got a little nicer and it will help your eyesight.




Neat thing is, you can use this strip in other places too. It can be used underneath the edges of cabinets, shelves and more. The only limitation is making sure you have somewhere to plug the USB cable in to.


It has a control panel that lets you pick the mode, speed and color of light with just a few clicks. Very easy to use and a lot of fun too. A simple product that can add a little extra to your life. Not bad! We like it and my eldest son really likes it a lot.

You can purchase the LZJ Waterproof 90cm (35 inch) 5V USB Led Strip Lighting Kit HERE!

This reviewer received the product free or at a discounted price in order to bring you an honest review. No other form of compensation was given. All opinions are those of the reviewer.

This Light Is Worth Every Penny That It Costs

It's not often I get super excited about a product, but I can say that this one I an beyond excited and I have used it every single day since it arrived in the mail!


The product I have been using, actually multiple times a day, is the BenQ e-Reading LED Table/Desk Lamp. This is a seriously amazing lamp and we love it!

Let me explain what is so nice about this lamp. It was designed to help you have clearer and more efficient lighting for working on the computer, with a handheld electronic device or with just doing paper work. The design of the lamp is to help spread the light out in a wider area, reducing the glare and disruption of shadows while you work.


Here are some more specifics from the company:
~ A good working, reading and even gaming environment requires sufficient lighting for maximum comfort and productivity. The BenQ e-Reading Lamp's Smile Curve Technology provides an expansive 90cm coverage, allowing 150% more light distribution compared to conventional reading lamps. It evenly illuminates every corner of your space.
~ Reading has never been this sophisticated. With just a single tap on the touch-sensitive control ring, the ambient-light sensor detects and adjusts the brightness of your surroundings, reducing contrast and reflective glare on your screen. This reading lamp gives a "brighter at the sides, darker in the middle" illumination for a more comfortable visual environment.
~ Lighting has a significant impact on one's concentration and productivity. The BenQ e-Reading Lamp can easily be switched according to your preference by simply turning the control knob. Switch to the cool white tones when focusing at work and turn to the warmer tones for casual reading.
~ The BenQ e-Reading Lamp is an extremely versatile dimmable LED desk lamp. The highly flexible arms with ball joints allow multiple custom configurations. Effortlessly adjust it to any position you want. The sturdy base is specially made to ensure the lamp stays in place regardless of the angle. The BenQ e-Reading Lamp also has a sleek and elegant design making it pleasing to the eyes.

Here's a short video that shows what it can do.



I have been impressed with how easy it is to adjust the lighting to exactly what I need to help me work on specific things, whether it be while I am on the computer or working on a craft. The lighting has been vastly improved and I have had much less eye strain.


The light itself is attractive and very well made. The base weighs in at around 10 pounds, so once you place it, it is not going anywhere. You do need to put the light together when it first arrives. This doesn't take long, but you need to be careful to make sure the base is securely attached. With as heavy as it is, the last thing you want to do is pick up the light and have that base fall off and break a toe or two or even your foot.


The arm of the light moves easily and you can adjust it up or down and swivel it too. When I am on the computer it is up and high over the monitor so I can see it and the keyboard easily. When I am working on a craft, I swivel it so the arm can be bent downward to see what I am working on much more easily and for close up work.

The light comes in a variety of colors, Blue, Red, Gold, Green, and Silver, so it would fit with pretty much any decor. Although the light is much more modern looking that I like, I love it for what it has done to help me see much better while I work!

You can purchase the BenQ e-Reading LED Table/Desk Lamp HERE! Fair warning, it is not cheap, but worth every penny!

This reviewer received the product free or at a discounted price in order to bring you an honest review. No other form of compensation was given. All opinions are those of the reviewer.

A Little Luxury Doesn't Hurt Once In A While

Every now and then, a little luxury in your life is worth the effort and the cost. It can lift your spirit and help you relax and feel special. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you don't over do it and mess up your budget.


Well one luxury I enjoy are beautiful bath towels. There's something about getting out of the shower and wrapping yourself in soft, luxurious towels. One set of towels I just got are from Salbakos, and they exude luxury.

The towels are some of the softest I have ever tried and remind me of the ones I got to use at a 5 star spa in San Francisco. Each towel is oversized and measures 30" x 60". They are made from 5% Italian Silk and 95% combed Turkish Cotton spun together into yarns making them super soft and highly absorbent. The towels even have a slight sheen to them from the silk.


Another thing I love about these towels is they are made from eco-friendly, pesticide and harmful chemical free materials. All materials used in manufacturing are Oeko-Tex® and ISO 9001 Certified. Basically that means that the materials go through a long, rigorous testing and quality certification to guarantee they are eco-friendly and safe from chemicals that could harm you or the planet.

The best thing I love about these towels is using them. They seriously are the nicest I have ever owned and I do believe they rival the ones from the spa! I love wrapping myself in them. They are the perfect size and weight to absorb all the moisture to dry off and not feel too heavy while doing so. Plus as you wash them, they become softer.


Although these towels may seem expensive, especially compared to buying towels at a superstore or department store, they really are reasonable when it comes to luxury towels. I priced some online and found the average cost for silk and cotton towels is around $200 per towel. Ouch!! These are a much more price-friendly luxury!

A little spoiling now and then does not hurt and a set of two towels is a very nice way to be spoiled!

You can purchase the set of 2 Salbakos Fine Italian Silk and Combed Turkish Cotton Bath Towels HERE! They come in three colors options, Ivory, Taupe, or White.

This reviewer received the product free or at a discounted price in order to bring you an honest review. No other form of compensation was given. All opinions are those of the reviewer.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Scruffy Loves His New Bed

I have mentioned multiple times our fur babies. They mean the world to me and I love to spoil them. Well one technically is not mine. He is my son's, but I claim like he is mine. His name is Scruffy and he is a mix between a Chihuahua and a Yorkie. We call him a Chorkie. He's a sweet little guy, maybe 10 pounds on a good day, and loves to cuddle next to me on the couch and on the bed at night.


He also loves having his own little bed and was thrilled when we got to try out this nifty one from StarShine Products. This is the cutest little dog house (or cat) and it also turns in to an open bed.



I love how it can be a little house and then convert to an open bed. It takes just a few seconds to convert. Scruffy prefers it to be an open bed. I think that is because he loves to be able to see what is going on around him all the time. When he is in the house part, he can't see too much. I'll admit, he's nosy and a bit jealous of our other dog, so he wants to see what is going on all the time!!


The whole house/bed is made from quality material that can be washed. I LOVE that! The outside of the house looks like brick and is super cute. I like that it is a darker color because it won't show stains as well. The edges and the cushion on the inside have a faux fur that is really soft. He loves to dig at it (that's the Chihuahua in him) till he gets it exactly like he likes before he will lay down. But he loves it and will doze for a good long time on it. In fact if we are busy and he wants attention we can tell him to get in his bed and he goes straight to it and will wait till we can give him attention.


The front and back of the house have zippers so the flaps can fold down. This makes it nice for storing, washing, or packing to travel with. It is small enough you can put it in a crate too. It has a handle at the top, although I don't think you would be carrying it around a lot.


I think this is stinkin' cute and would recommend it to you! I know our little Scruffy loves it and we have caught the cat using it some too. So it works for both!

You can purchase the StarShine Products Indoor Pet Bed and Luxury Pet House HERE!


This reviewer received the product free or at a discounted price in order to bring you an honest review. No other form of compensation was given. All opinions are those of the reviewer.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Pcinic Table Mat Doesn't Seem Like A Picnic To Me

It's not too often that I find a product I am just not really happy with. Well this is one.

They call this the Picnic Table Mat. It is from the HandyMat company. When I first read about it I was curious and hoped it would be something we could use for cookouts, picnics and more. When I got it in the mail, I quickly changed my mind although was open to seeing how well they did or didn't do.


The product arrives with two folded in half plastic corrugated mats. They look like a gingham table cloth. The "cloth" looking design is printed on it and if anything sticky gets on the mat repeated wiping in that area can remove some of the design. To me, that is a flaw that is not really acceptable.



Each of the individual mats are 12" x 17" folded in half, so when open at the full 24" x 17" you place them on your picnic table to cover up messes or dirty looking old wood. I get the idea and love that part of it. The problem is, the mats do not completely fit the size of the picnic table. After being tried on several tables, not once did they cover the whole width of the table except for one of the plastic kids picnic tables. Nor did they fit down the center of the table with enough room on each side to put plates. To me this is a problem. You end up with awkward edges to deal with as you set your plate down on the table. No matter which way you place them, the edge is in the way for someone and their plates if you have 5-6 people eating. If there are only 2-3, they can sit on the opposite end of the mats and it works.


The mats do clean up easily if you are careful. They recommend things like a damp cloth, wet wipes, or using Windex to clean them. I just know we had a small spot that was really sticky and getting that off took some of the design off too, shown in the picture above.

My other problem with them is you can't put anything hotter than a cool enough to drink coffee cup on them. Even with a hot pad under a hot plate or pan, the corrugated plastic will warp or melt. I've never had that happen with a cloth or vinyl table cover. So this concerns me. If I am using this with company around, I feel like I would constantly have to be reminding them to not set anything hot on them. but that may just be me.


My last thing is that when folded and placed in the plastic zip bag for storage, they don't fit in my picnic basket or cooler. Every cloth or vinyl cover I have had does. So it is just one more thing to carry along and to figure out where to store.

I like the idea of the product, but I personally am not sold on it. This may be something you might like and I see from other reviewers, they like them. I'll stick to my good old table cloth I have used for years and my Mom used before me.

You can purchase the HandyMay Picnic Table Mat HERE!

Fruit and Vegetable Slicing made Easy and Fast

It's that time of year when we can enjoy fresh, local fruits and vegetables. I know we try to take advantage of that as much as possible. So when we got these slicers to try out, I was more than happy to.


HomeChef has this nice Fruit Slicing and Coring Set that really is handy to have around and really does work. You may have seen a version of this on tv, and I am here to tell you they really do work, and they work well.

Each of the tools are made from stainless steel and have plastic coated handles. They feel comfortable in your hand and are super easy to wash and take care of. You can wash them by hand or put them on the top rack of the dishwasher.


The watermelon slicer works quick and easy. To use it, you hold it so the ragged teeth are up while you slice.Push down near the rind of the melon and slowly cut, going with the curve of the melon. It may take a few tries to get it, but once you do, is goes faster. Turn the slicer around and use it like tongs to pick up the slices of watermelon. The stainless steel is flexible and can be used in your right or left hand.


The smaller slicers are so nice to have and help get the seeds out of smaller melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, and more. It's really handy to get out the center of a zucchini, stuff the zucchini and bake it for a yummy meal or side dish. I like the smaller slicer for scooping out the insides of a kiwi. It's fast and little mess with it. Both of the small slicers are flexible so they will adjust to the size of the fruit or vegetable you are working with, just flex the handle to adjust.


Then there is the melon baller. This is nice to make special desserts and side dishes. It just helps make fresh and affordable fruit season a lot more fun to enjoy! I love how all three of the smaller tools stack together for storage so they take up less room and don't get lost easily in a drawer.


This is a great set and would be handy for anyone to have in the kitchen!

You can purchase the HomeChef Fruit Slicing and Coring Set HERE!

This reviewer received the product free or at a discounted price in order to bring you an honest review. No other form of compensation was given. All opinions are those of the reviewer.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Mill Creek Entertainment Mid-Summer Movie Spectacular Giveaway!


  Holiday Contest and Sweeps is pleased to bring you our 4th annual Mid-Summer Movie Spectacular sponsored by Mill Creek Entertainment .This great giveaway is also made possible with the help of a amazing group of dedicated co-host and other fellow blogs. There will be two winners in the giveaway, each winning a DVD and Blu-Ray Prize Package valued over $70 each. 

Let's Take a Look At The Prize Packages:

  1st Place
1 - Ghost Encounters DVD 
1 - Hans Christian Andersen DVD 
1 - Rockford Files Season 1 DVD 
1 - Rockford Files Season 2 DVD 
1 - Blu-Ray 13 Ghosts & 13 Frightened Girls Double Feature

2nd Place
1 - Ghost Encounters DVD 
1 - Hans Christian Andersen DVD 
1 - Rockford Files Season 1 DVD 
1 - Rockford Files Season 2 DVD
1 - Blu-Ray Homicidal & Mr. Sardonicus Double Feature





  Here's Synopsis of each DVD & Blu-Ray
  Ghost Encounters: A chilling collection of paranormal sighting caught on camera where the bravest of ghost hunters embark on an adventure to explore some of the most haunted and terrifying locations all around the world.
  Hans Christian Andersen Double Feature Featuring Snow Queen and Hans Christian Andersen: My Life as a Fairytale
  Rockford Files Season 1 Emmy® winner James Garner stars as the offbeat Jim Rockford, an ex-con-turned-private-investigator who would rather fish than fight but whose instinct on closed cases is more golden than his classic Pontiac Firebird. From his mobile home in Malibu, this wisecracking private eye chases down seemingly long-dead clues to solve crime in the sun-baked streets and seamy alleys of Los Angeles.
Rockford Files Season 2 Jim Rockford is back and better than ever in all 22 Season Two episodes of the celebrated detective hit The Rockford Files. Join James Garner in his breakout Emmy®-winning role as the cool, calm and collected ex-con-turned-detective who loves to mouth off but avoids using his fists at all costs. Whether it's blackmail, theft, scams or murder, you are along for the ride with his no-nonsense approach and wisecracking wit, it's no mystery that Rockford always gets his man.
  Blu-Ray Homicidal & Mr. Sardonicus Double Feature Homicidal In the small town of Solvang, there's a killer on the loose and the nurse taking care of a wheelchair bound stroke victim has a bedside manner is to die for. As the truth is uncovered, a town's most chilling mystery will be revealed... and a family's darkest secret. Mr Sardonicus Desperate to retrieve a winning lottery ticket, a greedy man unearths his father's corpse. An enormous jackpot is his reward, but not without a price: his face is frozen permanently into a hideous grin. He enlists his one-eyed servant to help him lift the curse.
  Blu-Ray 13 Ghosts & 13 Frightened Girls Double Feature 13 Ghosts When an eccentric uncle wills a huge, ramshackle house to his impoverished family, they get the shock of a lifetime. Their new residence comes complete with a spooky housekeeper, plus a fortune in buried treasure and 12 horrifying ghosts. 13 Frightened Girls The girls of a Swiss boarding school have one thing in common — they are all daughters of diplomats. One in particular finds out that she has a knack for espionage, and uncovers the murder of a Russian diplomat. Now she must escape using her girlish wiles.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsor
  Mill Creek Entertainment



  This giveaway is in no way endorsed, associated or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 9/15/16.

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Holiday Contest and Sweeps and The Minister's Wife did not receive any compensation for this giveaway. Mill Creek Entertainment will be solely responsible for the awarding and shipping of the prizes directly to the winners. If you have any issues with this giveaway please email Holiday Contest and Sweeps at holidaycontestandsweeps@gmail.com