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Bootights Review and Giveaway!

BoottightsI often joke that I have a winter uniform. And if you could see how I dress when I go out, you would know it’s true. A top, a skirt, tights and boots. If I were to have a signature style, I guess that would be it.

I look at tights the same way I look at my other accessories. A way to change up an outfit. I especially like patterned tights and tights with loose weaves. The only issues is that my feet don’t usually like them.

My toes often times get wedgies and the bottoms of my feet ache when walking around while wearing patterned tights.

Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable in order to look nice, right? Well, that’s how I felt about my tights. That is, until I tried out my first pair of Bootights.

What are Bootights you ask? Let’s take a look…

Bootights sock

Bootights are part performance sock and part premium tights. An innovative design that allows you to be comfortable while wearing tights. The moisture-wicking sock keeps your feet dry and warm and has added arch support for a contoured fit.

There’s also a control top for a smooth silhouette and a soft Lycra waistband that won’t dig or bind.

No more feet slipping around in boots, no more toe wedgies and no more freezing cold feet during the winter. Fashion and comfort. Who would’ve thunk it?

Bootights come in all kinds of fantastic colors and patterns. So, you are sure to find the perfect pair for any outfit in your closet!

How would you like to win your choice of a pair of Bootights (ARV $30-$40)?

One lucky winner will be able to chose any pair from the current product line. To enter, head on over to Bootights and pick which ones you’d like to win. Then, come on back over here and leave a comment with the pair you’d like, your first name, last initial and the state you are from. Entries must be received by Monday, March 4th 11:59pm ET. Good luck!

I received a free sample of Bootights to facilitate my review. This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts are my own.

A Little Bit Of Yum

photo-560Last year I went to the BlogHer Food  Conference in Seattle. While there, I received a tin of Theo’s Sipping Chocolate. It sounded intriguing at the time, but when I got home I promptly put it in the pantry and over time it got pushed into the way back corner and I forgot about it.

But the other day it got really really cold here and I was hankering for something hot and delicious. Something indulgent that would cost over $5 a cup at the local overpriced coffee shops. That’s when I remembered the tin of Theo’s.

I heated up some milk and stirred the chocolate in. Three minutes later I had the best cup of Mexican hot chocolate I’ve had in my entire life. A little cinnamony, certainly rich and a little spicy. Sort of like hot chocolate pudding. I can’t believe I waited this long to try it.

As wonderful as it is, Theo’s Sipping Chocolate is not something I can indulge in every day. There are 140 calories per serving, but a serving is 1/2 a cup. Like that’s going to happen! A full cup is more like a typical coffee house serving. So, when you factor in the calories from the milk, you’re talking 390 calories a cup. A once a week treat for me, but so entirely worth it.

Now, I haven’t seen this product on my grocer’s shelves (Whole Foods carries it). So, I have no idea how much it costs. I’m not sure I even care. It’s that good. If you happen across it and love chocolate, try it. You won’t regret it.

photo-561While we’re on the subject of indulgences, here’s my latest favorite salty snack food. Food Should Taste Good Olive Tortilla Chips. Holy yum.

Made with black, green and Kalamata olives, this is the chip for olive lovers. I have never had a chip quite like this before. It’s a mature taste which is a good thing because it means my sons won’t snarf them down before I have a chance to open my wine bottle.

They are like vacuum cleaners when it comes to snacks.

Nope, I’m the only one in the family who enjoys these, which is fine with me. They aren’t inexpensive. I paid $2 on sale for a 5 oz bag. Regular chips on sale are about $2.50 to $3.00 for 10 oz. So, this definitely qualifies as an indulgence.

But, if you love olives, then I bet you’ll enjoy these chips. So very good with a glass of wine.

How about you? Do you have any sweet or salty snack indulgences? Have you tried either of these products?

This is not a sponsored post. I bought these products with my own money and I totally dig them.

Arianna Skincare Review and Giveaway

As a blogger, I get to review lots of interesting and innovative products, but today I get to share with you one of my indulgences…

Now that I’m 42, I’m paying attention to how I care for my skin. Most of my life I’ve been a swimmer and a sunbather. I’ve never paid much attention to sunscreens and skin products. I just expected my skin to roll with the punches. I am from Mediterranean descent after all. I’m supposed to age gracefully, ahem.

But the truth of the matter is that my skin gets quite dry and I need a little help keeping it looking its best.

I discovered a store in Boston called Arianna. Arianna is a skincare company founded by a lady named Miri Torres. Miri is from Israel and she struggled with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which left her body in all states of disrepair.

To help heal her skin, Miri developed a skincare line that uses Dead Sea minerals. Miri found that her skin improved dramatically by taking advantage of Dead Sea minerals and formulated a product line which includes cleansers, moisturizers, bath products and makeup.

In 2007 Miri launched her product line in the United States with the desire to help people care for their skin with products made with the nutritive Dead Sea minerals that made such a difference with Miri’s own healing.

I’ve been using their Ultra Exfoliating Body Treatment and the Ultra Rich Mineral Body Butter. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love these products.

Seriously, how often do I gush over anything? I’m gushing over this. My skin not only feels like silk after exfoliating and moisturizing, but I smell like I’ve spent the day at the spa. And even if I wash my hands a bunch of times throughout the day, they still feel soft and buttery. Arianna products are incredible.

Currently you can find Arianna products in Boston, Martha’s Vineyard or Newport, Rhode Island. But if you are out of state, don’t fret. You can find their products online too.

I’m thrilled to announce that Arianna is providing an incredible giveaway for one lucky Melanie In The Middle reader. They have put together a gift basket with my favorite products! Here’s what’s in the giveaway:

Hydrating Mineral Body Lotion (ARV $59)
Intensive Mineral Foot Treatment (ARV $69)
Exfoliating Shower Milk Refiner (ARV $69)
Ultra Exfoliating Body Treatment (ARV $90)
Ultra Rich Mineral Body Butter (ARV $80)

An amazing collection of products with a retail value of $367! I’m so excited to offer this giveaway opportunity!

The timing couldn’t be better now that we are entering that time of year when our skin really takes a beating. To enter this giveaway, leave your first name, last initial, the state you are from and which product from the giveaway basket you are most eager to try.

Entries must be received by Thursday, December 20th 11:59pm ET. Good luck!

For more information on Arianna, be sure to visit their website and their Facebook page.

Arianna provided me with several of their products to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. And I big puffy heart love their stuff. Two thumbs up.

Penzeys Spices

Last week I went to make one of my all time favorite breads, but discovered I was out of three key ingredients. Oregano, poppy seeds, and dried minced garlic.

Now, if you look above at my highly organized *cough cough* spice cabinet, you are probably not too surprised that this snuck up on me. I think you could hide a small child in there and I wouldn’t see it.

I have a spice addiction.

And in this house it’s unacceptable to run out of oregano and dried minced garlic. They are recipe staples and not having them on hand means I can’t make many of my family’s favorite dishes.

It was time to stock up so that I have everything I need for colder weather cooking and baking.

We have a few discount stores close by that have economy sized jugs of these spices, but what I’ve found is that they don’t have a tremendous amount of flavor.

And if I’m going to go through all of that effort to make something from scratch, I don’t want to use spices that aren’t flavorful.

Instead of the discounters, I went online to check out Penzeys Spices. I heard that their prices are very reasonable, their product high quality, and that they include free stuff in your order. Free stuff makes me happy.

Sure enough, I found that their prices were very comparable to the discount stores. The selection was vast and seductive. (yes, spices are seductive to foodies) And they offer free shipping for orders of $30 or more. That’s really not hard to do after perusing their 250+ offerings.

When my order came, I tore open my box like a kid on Christmas morning. And I was so very pleased. I opened the various jars and bags and indeed the stuff smelled fresh and more potent than the discounter’s spices.

As an added bonus, they sent a full sized jar of Raspberry Enlightenment which looks like it will be delicious as a glaze for a pork loin or chops.

They also tossed in a “sample” of Sandwich Sprinkle that I’ll certainly use to make my homemade croutons as the bottle suggests.

When Penzey’s calls something a sample, what they really mean is dang near full sized product. They are a very generous company.

Now to be clear, Penzeys doesn’t know I exist. I paid full price for my order. I just wanted to share this resource for those of you who enjoy cooking as much as I do.

Have you ordered from Penzeys before? Have any favorite products?

Kukees Review and Giveaway (Closed)

Recently I was asked to review some cookies. And if you know anything at all about me, you know I love me some cookies. So, of course I was in.

My first task was to visit Kukees.com to choose a flavor. How hard could that be? I’m pretty easy when it comes to cookies. The classic chocolate chip is usually my choice.

But it wasn’t quite so simple to choose my Kukee flavor for review. Peanut Butter Banana, Dark Chocolate Cherry, Turtle, Gingerbread Chocolate. I mean, how’s a girl to decide? Those are some awesome flavor combinations.

In the end I just couldn’t decide. This was totally fine because they have a half and half box for those of us who are conflicted when it comes to committing to just one type of cookie.

I settled on Dark Chocolate Cherry and Peanut Butter Banana, and patiently stalked waited for the UPS guy to drop the goodies off.

I guess I should’ve done a little more research on the product before I got the box in the mail. These are cookies after all. Not something I need to fret over reviewing. So, I was expecting some cookies. Cookies are cookies, right?

Except for when they aren’t. Kukees aren’t your typical cookies. Nope. Not even close. These are luxury treats. The packaging alone knocked my socks off.

After crazily ripping open the shipping box they came in (pms, what can I say?), I pulled out a lovely pink and brown box. Part jewlelry box, part gift box, entirely precious.

Each drawer had separate slots for each each cookie. I almost didn’t want to open the drawers, that’s how cute the packaging was. I give them fifty gold stars for presentation.

But how did the Kukees taste? Oh my. I was expecting cookies, but what I got was a cross between cookie dough and cookies. Delicious piles of half baked cookies that made my entire family swoon.

Chunks of rich dark chocolate and bursts of real cherries, the Dark Chocolate Cherry Kukees were delectable. And the Peanut Butter Banana Kukees were pretty amazing too. Rich and satisfying. We went through a lot of milk while sampling these treats.

Make no bones about it, these are luxury cookies. At $49 plus shipping for a dozen Kukees, these are a special treat. The perfect indulgent gift to celebrate any occassion.

Whoever is on the receiving end of this gift will know that you’ve sent some of the finest baked goods around.

How would you like to win a dozen Kukees of your own? To enter, visit Kukees and check out all of the flavors. Then come back here and comment on this post with your choice(s), your first name, last initial, and the state you are from. Entries must be received by Thursday, September 27th 11:59pm ET. Good luck.

For discounts on Kukees, be sure to like their Facebook page.

This is not a sponsored post. Kukees did send a complimentary box for my review. All opinions are my own.

The New Fall Yankee Candle Scents and a Giveaway! (Closed)

Can you even believe that September is just days away? I know, crazy. Soon we will be picking apples, raking leaves, and enjoying all the wonderful things fall has to offer.

Fall is my favorite time of year. The crunch of leaves under my feet. The crisp air. Good smells coming from my oven. A very happy time of year indeed.

It’s also the time of year that I pull out all of my Yankee Candles. Yankee Candle is known for making a quality candle. One that will fill your house up with scent.

As a mom of four kids including two teenage boys, good smelling things rank pretty darn high in my book.

And this fall there are some new additions to the Yankee Candle lineup. Recently I received the new Apple Pumpkin candle you see above for review, and it’s heavenly. A sweet and spicy mix of my favorite scents. Just perfect for this time of year.

Also new for the fall are Treehouse Memories, Harvest Welcome and Season’s Blessings. Warm comforting scents for the coziest of seasons.

How would you like to win one of the new fall candles? One winner will get to choose one of the four aforementioned scents.

To enter, comment on this post by leaving your first name, last initial, the state you are from, and which candle you would choose. Entries must be received by Tuesday, September 3rd 11:59pm ET. Good luck!

Yankee Candle sent me a candle for review. All opinions are my own.