Libre Tea Glass ‘N Poly Mug

Libre Tea’s Glass’N Poly Mug

Libre Tea 

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Libre Tea graciously supplied me with one Libre Glass n’ Poly Large for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  10+



My love affair with tea started the summer between 8th grade and 9th grade.  I remember my first cup of Earl Grey.  It was hot outside and I was sitting on a patio at my favorite restaurant with my dad.  The owner, with whom we were friends, came by with a box of teas they had just gotten in from England.  He offered me a cup.  I accepted.  I’ve had many, many cups of tea and many varieties since then.  But, I remember the porcelain cup and the conversation.


When I got to sample the Libre Glass n’ Poly I was immediately excited.  My son, who is two, has destroyed almost every tea infuser I had.  He’s been able to reach the drawers in my kitchen for quite a while and has a thing for anything ball shaped.  The idea of brewing my tea IN my cup, being able to reuse the leaves for a second cup, and having easy clean up was exciting.


According to Libre’s website, you can use their mugs 3 ways.  You can read the How-To and watch a video on their Website.


My usual cup of tea is a dark tea with a limited steep time.  Typically a nice Earl Grey or a cup of Black Caramel.  Their directions are simple:


Fill the mug with hot water, attach strainer, add tea, close lid, invert and steep.

Libre Tea Brewing

Then you remove the lid and strainer combo to have a cup of tea.

Libre Tea to Dump

You can discard the leaves or reuse them for another cup.

Libre Tea Components

The mug works great!  I’ve taken it with me to yoga, while driving around town running errands, and at my desk working on blog posts.  Best of all, my son has shown ZERO interest in destroying my new favorite tea mug.

Who would like this gift?

This would be a great gift for any tea drinker:  your child’s favorite teacher, that co-worker who makes showing up on snowy days not quite as bad, your yoga teacher, your high school or college age student on-the-go, etc.   The size would work for a stocking stuffer.  For Mom, Dad, or any close relative, I would recommend this item be paired with some nice loose leaf teas… some of those “blooming teas” would be amazing with this since you can watch them bloom through the clear mug.

 Where to Buy

You can purchase a Large for $29, an Original for $24, or a Mug for $29 by visiting Libre.


Showtime 5500 Stainless Rotisserie

Showtime 5500 Stainless Rotisserie


Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Ronco Holdings graciously supplied me with one Showtime 5500 Stainless Rotisserie for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



I, personally, love chicken.  My son loves chicken.  My husband…. Well, he could take it or leave it.  And, unless it is fried, he usually will leave it.  He is a steak and potatoes kind of guy.


So, when it came to testing the Showtime 5500, I thought for sure I was going to rotisserie a chicken and be eating it for my lunch all week.  I was wrong.  I was very wrong.  I even had to go back to the grocery store to supplement since I didn’t have the chicken I KNEW would be left over.  But, how can anyone turn down a bird that looks this good? Right?

Ronco Chicken

I prepped the chicken with some lemon and herbs, tied it with the food cord per the directions, stuck the bird on the rotisserie, and let it cook according to the recommendations based on my bird’s weight.  My home smelled divine.  When my  husband arrived home from work  he was stuck by the aroma, filled up his plate, and ate his whole serving.


What impressed my husband the most was the skin on the bird.  It was crisp.  It absorbed a lot of flavor and kept the chicken very juicy.  Best of all, the leftovers (though not as abundant as I had thought) were delicious.  My husband is actually looking forward to my next rotisserie chicken and has plans to explore all our options… turkey, veggies, beef, etc…


What impressed me the most was the clean up.  I knew it was easy to use.  I really liked that I could turn the heat off while keeping the rotation going.  So, while my side dishes finished cooking the chicken juices stayed evenly distributed.  But, I was worried that the clean up would be a chore.  Surprisingly, it was very simple.  I had to clean the drip tray which was easily removed and cleaned.  Then, I removed the heat shield and gave it a thorough wipe down.  All that was left was to wipe down the interior walls, clean the rotisserie element and put it all back together for next time.  My total time commitment for the cleanup was about 8 minutes.

Ronco Opened

Who would like this gift?

A Showtime 5500 Stainless Rotisserie would be a great gift for the young adult who recently moved into their first apartment.  I also recommend it for any busy adult who needs/likes to create healthy meals for themselves and/or their family.  Also, if you know a friend or family member is trying to make better lifestyle changes for their health and wellness then this would be a well received gift!


 Where to Buy 

With a price of $199 plus Shipping and Handling, you can be purchase at Ronco.

A Century of Restaurants

 A Century of Restaurants

Stories and Recipes from 100 of America’s Most Historic and Successful Restaurants

By:  Rick Browne

 A Century of Restaurants

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Andrews McMell Publishing, LLC graciously supplied me with one copy of A Century of Restaurants for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  16+



My husband and I love to travel to places with a rich history.  It’s pretty awe inspiring to sit in a building where someone famous once sat, or eat a dish that was served over a hundred years go.  We have really enjoyed reading A Century of Restaurants.  It features 100 restaurants, each of which have been in existence for over 100 years.  The oldest restaurant in this book opened in 1673 and the youngest in 1911.


TV personality Rick Browne took on a big challenge when he began the journey to create this cookbook.  It took him 3 years, 2 months and 12 hours.  He logged 46,066 miles by car and airplane.  It had to have been very taxing.  But, I am so happy that he finished the task.


Full of color photographs and stories, Browne takes the reader on a journey through America.  The restaurants are alphabetized by the state in which they are located.  You start in Alabama and end in Wyoming.  But, if you have a certain state you are curious about, you can jump in wherever you like.  There is even a map in the back of the book showing you the routes he took on his journey, so you can read the book in that order as well!


As great as reading about the history of American restaurants is, and it is fascinating, this is a cookbook at heart.  I felt nostalgic when I picked my recipe to test.  You see, I graduated from the University of Louisville.  And, I haven’t had a Hot Brown since I left Kentucky many years ago.  When I saw The Old Talbott Tavern from Bardstown, KY not only made the book, but also contributed their Old Hot Brown recipe I knew exactly what I was going to make!

A Century of Restaurants Hot Brown

I was not disappointed.  Although I didn’t have individual  large ramekins to cook the hot browns in, I was able to make the dish in a large casserole dish.  My husband and I were immediately transported back to Kentucky.  We spent the whole meal talking about our college adventures, bourbon, our wedding (in Louisville), and how much we can’t wait to go back to visit friends and some of our favorite restaurants in the world.


Who would like this gift?

A Century of Restaurants would be an excellent gift for cookbook lovers, history buffs, and anyone who has an interest in time tested recipes.


Where to Buy

With a list price of $40, A Century of Restaurants can be purchased at most major bookstores (many of which are having great sales on cookbooks this time of year!).  Or, you can order a copy from Amazon!



13 Stocking Stuffers

13 Stocking Stuffers

Reviewed by:  Nicole

Note:  All products in this post were submitted to Make Life Special for review by the respective company, or its affiliates.  No other compensation was received.  The reviews in this post are honest and my own.

Since it is Friday the 13th, in the year 2013, and since I am feeling the crunch to round out my stockings, I thought I would share with you my favorite stocking stuffer ideas for this holiday season.  In no particular order, here are some of my favorites:

Andru Charger Opened1) The Andru Charger –  I have a lot of device chargers.  I did not have a single one that brought a smile to my face until I met this little guy!  I’m absolutely in love with him.  He sits on my desk and waves at me.  If I get in a serious mood, I can change his arms to both be down.  If I get upset or stressed out, I can position both his arms above his head.  Suddenly I am not the only one freaking out and it all seems better.  When he is being used, his eyes are blue when charging and white while on standby.  It’s nice to be able to know when my Kindle is charged without having to open it.  When not in use, I store the cord in my desk and Andru sits on my desk.  I think he’s too cute to go in a drawer, and I think your loved one will agree!  Priced at $25, you can buy it at GEN!


Whisky Stones2) Soapstone Savor Stones – My husband is a fan of whisky and other fine liquors.  He has been wanting a set of soapstone “ice cubes” for a long time.  These lived up to the anticipation!  Once placed in the freezer, they got cold very quickly and were quite effective at chilling down a glass of bourbon or scotch.  But, unlike actual ice, these stones do not water down the liquor.  Not to mention the fact that they look really nice in a Glencairn glass.  You could easily combo these with a set of glasses, an ice bucket with tongs, and a nice liquor.  Or, you could easily give these as a stocking stuffer.  These Soapstone Savor Stones, MRSP $20,  can be bought at



Sock Balls3) Ball Socks –  I’m a fan of cute gifts.  I’m also a fan of socks.  These fit both bills.  They are cute enough to easily be a nice stocking stuffer for the teen or funky sock lover in your household.  They are also practical.  I’ve been wearing mine at my desk, next to a draft sunroom door, and have been quite happy with how warm they have kept my feet.   Priced at $12, you can order yours at 25ToGo .





Stress Rocks4) Stress Rocks –  Life is full of stress.  We go thru the day to day activities of our lives and encounter stress.  Most of us bring stress back into our home.  Too Many Rocks in your Pocket was designed to help make us more aware of the stress we face on a daily basis and as a vehicle to help end the day by relieving those stresses for the night. Stress Rocks are available in General, Business, and Student.  When one of the stresses from your bag occurs select the appropriate rock, put a rock in your pocket (purse, backpack or in a spot that makes the weight noticeable). At the end of the day “empty the rocks out”, this is a step in wiping the slate clean of the variety of issues that have taken up a stressful space in your life.  I’ve found them helpful in my life.  Having to physically put a rock in my purse makes me very aware of my mental state.  And, as I empty them from my purse, it gives me an opportunity to deal with the stress and resolve it as best I can before I go to bed.  I think these would also be excellent as a talking point at the dinner table with the family.  Priced at $29.95 per set, you can purchase Stress Rocks at Too Many Rocks in My Pocket.


Organsi Air Opened5) Oransi Fridge Air Purifier –  Admit it, you’ve had a stinky fridge before.  Or, you know someone who has.  I’ve tried to keep baking soda in mine, but I always forget to change it out.  Or, my toddler finds it and I wind up with baking soda all over the floor.  He really likes to dump things.  The Oransi Fridge Air Purifier runs on batteries (it even flashes at you to remind you to change them) and is quiet.  Specifically, the Oransi Fridge Air Purifier is silent.  No hum, no whir, no noise to spark the curiosity of my toddler.  That’s huge for me.  And, it works great!  I’ve had a wide variety of foods in my fridge since I started testing this item.  Thanksgiving leftovers, pies, gravy, various raw meats (one I forgot about and… uh, found later) have all been in my fridge and none have stunk up it up.  I might have found that pound of raw beef sooner had this not worked so well!  I recommend this for anyone who has a fridge and cooks.  I also think this would be great for college students away from home.  I remember my fridge from that time of my life….    For $29, the Oransi Fridge Air Purifier can be purchased at Oransi.




Snug6) Thinkhat Snug’s —  I’m one to have many pots cooking at one time.  I like to cook in bulk and I like to make a variety of foods.  My spoon rest isn’t big enough.  And, depending on the day, it might already be dirty from another dish I made.  The idea that I could rest my spoon on my pot is genius.  Snug’s prevent your plastic spatula from melting, the wooden one from scorching, and keep the metal utensils cool.  I also like that they can be used to keep a lid propped up.  They come in two sizes.  The small ones fit my wooden spoons and the larger ones fit my plastic and metal utensils.  I think they make awesome stocking stuffers and hope my husband gets me a few more!  Price varies by quantity.  You can purchase them directly from Thinkhat  or shop at  Amazon.


Spritz  Sprays7)  Spritz Blitz –  As a mom on the go, I’ve encountered a lot of… ick.  Pacifiers dropped on grocery store floors, fruit that I have no idea if it has been washed, door handles and shopping carts in flu season, sitting next to the “sick guy” on the metro.  Been there.  Done that.  Since I’ve discovered Spritz Blitz, I have found myself worrying less and being prepared more.  My son dropped a bottle at the grocery store, the mouth piece touched the floor, and I had a Spritz Blitz in my purse to easily clean it without a trip to the bathroom.  Available in many varieties (Binky, Hand, Yoga, Fruit, Travel, and Sports), there is at least one for everyone.  I like that they are all natural, safe if swallowed, alcohol free, have no added sugar, are non-toxic and BPA free.  Priced at $6 for one with discounts available for pairs or trios, you can purchase yours at SpritzBlitz.


Beauty Bursts8) Beauty Bursts by NeoCell – Most women that I know are always looking for ways to maintain their youthful appearance.  The older I have gotten, the more I find myself in this category.  My list of daily supplements has increased from the occasional general vitamin to a pill box that I reload every week.  NeoCell has created a fantastic product.  Available in Chocolate Mint and Fruit Punch , Beauty Burts deliver high absorption beauty nutrients in gourmet soft chews (they recommend you take 2 per day).  Collagen Type 1 & 3 is the body’s beauty protein & strengthens skin, hair & nails.  Hyaluronic Acid is known as “Nature’s Moisturizer” & hydrates the skin.  Vitamin C is essential to boosting collagen in the skin.  Together, these three beauty nutrients work together in Beauty Burts to build beautiful skin from the inside out.  Available at GNC, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Vitamin Shoppe and many other Retailers.   They are also available for purchase thru Amazon.


Cup Pilot in Action9) Cup Pilot –  I wish I had this a few months ago.  Traveling is tough and I never seem to have enough hands.  Once I make it thru airport security, I always grab a coffee.  But, with a toddler, a carryon, a personal item, a stroller and the car seat that I gate check…. Well, I tend to run out of hands quickly.  I love that the Cup Pilot can attach onto one of my bags so I can enjoy my coffee while making sure my son doesn’t wander too far. The Cup Pilot can also be used on board the plane.  No longer do you have  to keep the tray table down to keep your drink out of your hands.. the Cup Pilot will attach to the pocket of the seat in front of you.  I have also used this in my car.  It hangs nicely from my air vent and allows me to charge my phone in my cup holder without fear of spilling a beverage on it.  And, it folds flat and has its own storage bag.  When I am done using it, I can slip it in my purse.  Priced at $19.95, you can purchase this hand saver at Cup Pilot.





smart Scissors10) Smart Scissors – I’ve been looking for a new pair of work scissors.  A pair of scissors that will take anything I throw at it.  I was tired of trying to hack into tough plastic containers and having to use steak knives to do a job better suited for scissors.  The Smart Scissors were a great solution for my household.  I cut a brilo pad in half with zero effort.  I’ve opened countless toys and boxes without stress…. or blood (I’m klutzy with knives).  I feel as if these scissors need an infomercial…I haven’t seen that on TV, but I did find this YouTube Video.   And, you can use them for much more than cutting… like, crushing garlic, opening bottles, opening nuts, stripping wire, etc.  I really like multi-purpose items!  This is the ideal gift for the home chef, crafter, or handyman on any shopping list this season.  They MSRP for $24 at


Green & Lean11) Pure Health Nature’s Green & Lean:  Pure Health Nature’s Green & Lean tea delivers a powerful double whammy – combininggreen tea leaves, known across Asia for their wealth of antioxidants, with pure, raw Green Coffee Bean containing Chlorogenic Acids. This delicious new tea packs thousands of years of ancient Eastern herbal tradition with an amazing new superfood discovery into one convenient tea bag. In addition, Pure Health has added a lovely blend of warming spices, including anise, ginger and cinnamon, to create a robust, rich flavored tea. Naturally low in caffeine and sweetened with a hint of Stevia, Nature’s Green & Lean can be enjoyed anytime of the year – hot or iced. For healthy weight management and natural energy throughout the day, this new tea is an excellent choice. For best results, Nature’s Green & Lean should be enjoyed about 30 minutes before each meal.  For $9.99 you can purchase thru Pure Health.   





Spin n Store12) Spin ‘N Store – I love a good salad.  I HATE using my salad spinner.  One, it’s bulky to store and I don’t have a lot of storage space. And, two, mine is not a high quality salad spinner and I have to crank it, instead of pushing a button, which makes it difficult to hold onto.  When I used the Spin ‘N Store, I was impressed by its simplicity.  Rinse lettuce, put wet lettuce in Spin ‘N Store, spin, drain, store.  I was worried that draining the bag would be an ordeal.  But, you just tip the bag and let the water run out through the built in drain.  Simple.  I recommend this item as a gift for anyone who is short on storage space.  I think college students, city apartment dwellers, and people who already have a million and 12 small appliances would benefit from the Spin ‘N Store.  Oh, and after you are done with your lettuce, you can rinse out the bag and reuse the Spin ‘N Store.  At a MSRP $12.95 for 12 reusable bags, you can purchase directly from Argee Corp.  Or, you can purchase thru Amazon.




Fireplace DVD13) Straight from the Hearth Fireplace DVD — Straight from the Hearth is a 60 minute video of a beautiful fire in a fireplace. It sets your screen ablaze with dancing flames and crackling logs.  I have a non functioning fireplace.  It has candles in it, but it doesn’t give the same vibe as a nice lit fire… with logs and the snap, crackle, pop that comes with them.  I’ve enjoyed this DVD far more than I thought I would.  It’s perfect for snuggling on the sofa with a cup of tea or cocoa.  For the person who has everything…except a fireplace… I recommend this DVD for the holiday.  Selling for $5.95, it can be purchased at

Cookina: Cooking sheet for BBQ & Oven!






Cookina:  Cooking Sheets for BBQ, Oven & Microwave!

Cookina Products 

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Kim Lybrand PR graciously supplied me with samples of Cookina barbeque, Cookina cuisine, and Cookina gard for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



Cooking creates a lot of messes.  Dirty baking sheets, spills in your oven, charred bits stuck to your grill…  but, does it have to?  Evidently not!


Cookina products make bbq cooking and baking a lot easier!  Since it is -7 Fahrenheit, my grilling days are few right now.  But, I am looking forward to the first warm day when I can fire up my grill and use my Cookina.  They are safe up to 500 degrees and can be placed directly on your grill.  No more stuck meat on your grates or veggies falling into the flame!  Best part?  The Cookina is thin enough that you still get grill lines!


For now, I am using my Cookina indoors.  I’ve used the BBQ sheet, which was easily trimmed to fit my half sheet baking pan, for buttered carrots.  These normally create a big mess.  Not this time!  Clean up was super easy.  Warm water + Soap + Soft rag = one clean Cookina.  All I had to do was roll it up and store it inside it’s storage ring.

  Cookina Aluminum Foil   Cookina Used Aluminum Foil

            I also tested the Cookina Cuisine sheet.  Again, it was super easy to trim to my baking sheet.   I decided that gooey cinnamon rolls would be a good test.  And, after I lifted the rolls from the Cookina, there was almost no residue left to clean!  I’m loving the addition of Cookina products in my kitchen.  And, my husband loves that I can spend less time cleaning up after dinner!
Cookina ParchmentCookina Used Parchment

Who would like this gift? 

I think the barbeque sheets would be an excellent stocking stuffer for the avid griller in your life.  The cuisine sheets would be a great stocking stuffer for anyone who enjoys baking or who cooks a lot in their oven.  The Cookina Gard oven proctectors would be ideal for novice cooks (who are likely to spill), home chefs (boil overs are not fun to clean), and the elderly who might not be able to clean their oven easily.


Or, you could pair a few Cookina sheets with other baking and/or grilling accessories as a combo gift for your friends and family!

 Where to Buy 

Cookina can be purchased at Walmart,  Costco and more Locations.

You can also purchase Cookina at Amazon!

Puritan’s Pride: Healthy Foods

Puritan’s Pride: Healthy Choices for Healthy People

 Puritans Pride HoneyPuritans Pride SpicesPuritans Pride Almonds

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Puritan’s Pride graciously supplied me with samples of almond flour, honey, cinnamon, roasted almonds, and vanilla extract for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  12+




I am always on the hunt for quality ingredients to use in my kitchen.  I have dropped a pretty penny on oils, spices, and other quality ingredients I can’t find at my local grocery store.  I am also blessed to be friends with some fabulous ladies and gents who have diet restrictions.  Some have celiac, some follow the Paleo diet, some are lactose intolerant, and some are just picky.  The nearest Whole Foods and Trader Joes are each about an hour and a half away from my home, so I tend to stock up.

I can now stop that habit.  Firstly, Puritan’s Pride has products that are excellent.  The almond flour I sampled held up beautifully in baked goods.  The cinnamon was just as good as my really expensive cinnamon that I bought from an online distributor — and Puritan’s Pride’s prices won’t break the bank!  The roasted almonds were a wonderful snack.  And, their honey and vanilla were so good I was looking for excuses to use them!

           Puritans Pride Cinnamon Rolls

I made a batch of paleo cinnamon rolls with my sample goodies.  They turned out amazingly well!  I can’t wait to share them with my friends.  I used The Urban Poser’s Recipe.    Yummy!

Who would like this gift?

I recommend Puritan’s Pride Healthy Foods as a stocking stuffer for the healthy food lover in your life.  Their products would also go great in a gift basket for your favorite athlete, healthy food lover, or friend/family member who has diet restrictions.


Where to Buy

Prices vary depending on item and quantity.   You can peruse their entire catalog online at Puritan’s Pride Healthy Foods   .

Candles We Love for the Holidays Part 3

   Bridgewater Candle Company

 Bridgewater Candles Lit

Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Bridgewater Candle Company graciously supplied me with one 18 ounce Large Jar Remember When, one Inspirations for Life Joy Tall Candle, and one Inspirantions for Life Peace Tall Candle for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.


Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  12+



I buy a lot of candles and I love the idea that each purchase could help feed an orphaned child for a day.  At Bridgewater Candle Company, that happens every time someone purchases a jar candle.  Their motto is “Light a candle.  Feed a child.”  My 18 ounce Large Jar Remember When candle even came with a lovely tag to display.  I highly recommend you check out their Mission and Progress.

Bridgewater Candles Feed Children

I have sampled each candle I received and have loved each scent.  The Remember When candle takes me back to the smell of my grandmother’s home at Christmas.  Happy memories abound when I sit back and just smell the candle.  It’s a fabulous scent full of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  The Peace candle has layers of floral, sandalwood and vanilla.  Last, but certainly not least, the Joy candle can help you ring in the holidays with the scent of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Bridgewater Candles

As for festiveness, the Inspirations for Life candles are decked out in holiday images.  Not only do they smell great, they function as holiday décor!  Win.  Win.


If you are looking to gift a beautiful candle that can be used year round, their jar candles are the way to go.  They have a beautiful lid and will easily fit with any décor.


Who would like this gift?

The Inspirations for Life Tall candles would be an amazing stocking stuffer. These and the Large Jar Candles would also make great gifts for co-workers, teachers, college students, friends and family.


Where to Buy

For $22 you can purchase an 18 ounce Large Jar candle or  an Inspirations for Life Tall Jar Candle.  You can peruse their entire catalog online at Bridgewater Candle Company.

The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices

The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies

By: Cherie Calbom, MS, CN

 Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  13+



A few years ago I tried juicing.  I loved it!  But, my juicer didn’t make it through one of our many moves and I let my new juicer linger in my Amazon Wish List for far too long.  Reading thru The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices & Green Smoothies was a great reminder to purchase my new juicer and re-enter the world of juicing.  As a novice juicer, this book discussed all the things I needed to know; how juicing is beneficial, the nutritional perks to juicing, how to store homemade juice, how much homemade juice costs (less than a latte), and pages upon pages of recipes are all contained in this fantastic book.

Green Pina Colada

I sampled Calbom’s Green Pina Colada Smoothie.    I was skeptical that it would taste anything like a Pina Colada.  Yes, it contained coconut, banana and pineapple.  But, it also contained spinach.  I drank spinach! And, it was delicious!  Had someone just rattled off the list of ingredients, I doubt this recipe would have worked.  Calbom is very precise in how much of each ingredient to use (this recipe, for instance, called for 6 ice cubes) and her little tidbits of information placed throughout the book really make it one to read and not just skim thru.


Who would like this gift?


This is a great book for the health conscious, the friend or family member who owns a juicer, that friend who always talks about needing to remove toxins from their bodies, or someone looking to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables.  For those looking to give a bigger gift, I would recommend this book be given with a new juicer.


Where to Buy


For $13.60 you can purchase this cookbook at Amazon.


For More Information

You can visit The Juice Lady’s Website.


Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  News & Experts graciously supplied me with a copy of The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices & Green Smoothies  for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Potluck Survival Guide Review

Potluck Survival Guide: Care & Feeding of the Athletic Supporter

By: Cherie Kimmons

Potluck Survival Guide 

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  18+



I don’t have a child in sports, yet.  With my son’s love of kicking and throwing balls, I am sure that is just around the corner.  I am, however, a priest’s wife.  I have lovingly endured 3 years of seminary and a few years assisting him in his ministry.  I have endured and/or loved many potlucks.  If every potluck organizer had this book at their disposal, I might have loved a few more than I endured!

This book would be a fabulous gift for any parent, grandparent or involved community member.  Potluck Survival Guide is just that…. A guide.  Kimmons walks you through how to set a menu, how to keep things kid-friendly, how to feed athletes (pre-game and post-game), how to set up a buffet, and how to calculate how much food you will need.  As if that weren’t enough, there are enough recipes in here to give a lot of variety to your potluck dishes.  I usually bring a smashed garlic potato dish to a potluck.  As much as I love that dish, I am so excited by this cookbook that I am giving it a rest for the foreseeable future!

Potluck Survival Guide would not be worth much if the recipes didn’t hold up to the test.  I am thrilled to say that the recipes are top-notch.  I recently had company stay at our home.  It was a few friends from seminary.  I knew we would stay up late talking and I wanted a nice hearty dish on the table for breakfast.  I also didn’t want to wake up ridiculously early to cook.  Kimmons’ Overnight Breakfast Casserole was just what I was looking for.  I prepped it the night before (it took 10 minutes) and baked it upon waking.  45 minutes later breakfast was served.  My friends and my husband were raving about this dish!

Sausage and Egg Casserole Beauty

Where to Buy

For $23.70  you can purchase this delightful book at Amazon.


For More Information

You can visit Cherie Kimmons’ Website .


Reviewed by: Nicole


Note:  Cherie Kimmons graciously supplied me with a copy of Potluck Survival Guide: Care& Feeding of the Athletic Supporter for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

CONTEST CLOSED Lets Get Together Cookbook Giveaway

Cookbook Giveaway

Lets Get Together Cookbook Giveaway

Giveaways are Great!!!!

I love to offer giveaways here at Make Life Special and this cookbook giveaway is a gift from me to my readers!  

Learn the secrets for keeping the fun in cooking for friends.  You can spend more time enjoying your company when you follow these easy and delicious recipes.   

This cookbook features recipes for breakfasts and brunches, appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees, side dishes, desserts and drinks.  There is also a chapter on gifts of food.  The cookbook offers suggestions for easy menus for entertaining too.  This book makes it easy to put together a single memorable meal or an entire weekend of good food.  

Recipes such as Apple Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast or DeeDee’s Best Waffles are tempting breakfast fare.  Grilled Summer Vegetables, Chili Blanco, Classic Macaroni and Cheese, Creamy Crunchy Potato Bake and Mom’s Favorite Gingerbread with Hot Lemon Sauce are just a few of the delicious recipes found throughout this cookbook.  


Let’s Get Together

Let’s Get Together Will Make a Great Addition To Your Cookbook Collection!

Giveaways are great and you could be the lucky winner!  

We LOVE Giveaways!

Contest Ends Friday August 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM CST

Winner will be chosen by 

Winner will be announced on our winners page

You can enter more than once

Good Luck!

Here are the different ways you can enter.  Each item requires a separate comment in the comment section below to count as a separate entry.

1.  Tell us about your favorite recipe for entertaining… is it a cheese ball…or maybe chili…or ribs?  We would love to hear about it!   

2.  Click the YouTube Button  above and subscribe to the Make Life Special YouTube channel.  Anyone can subscribe to my YouTube channel.  You don’t have to have videos yourself in order to subscribe.  Just be sure to post a comment below that you subscribed.

3.  Share this link on  your Facebook page.  Post the link below in the comment section.

4.  Follow Make Life Special on Pinterest!  Use the Pintereset Button above for the link then post your comment below that you followed us!   

5.   ” Like” Make Life Special on Facebook.  Click the Facebook Button above for the link then post your comment below and tell us you liked MLS.

6.  Repin 5 of our recipes from the Cooking With Make Life Special Board on Pinterest!  Use the Quick Pinterest Button Link above, then tell us you did it in the comment section below.

7.  Repin 5 of our videos from the Make Life Special Video Board on Pinterest!  Use the Quick Pinterest Button Link above, then tell us you did it in the comment section below.

8.  Tell us what your favorite Make Life Special recipe is!

9.  Tell us how you prefer to entertain friends….is it a potluck…or maybe a brunch…or chili night?  We would love to hear about it.

Have Fun!!!!

Giveaways!!!     Giveaways!!!   Giveaways!!! 


Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: