SOL REPUBLIC Jax: Review and Giveaway!

UPDATE: And the winner, according to Random.org ...



... is comment #16 ... Jen B.! Y'all DO know I wanted each and every one of you to win, right? Stay tuned - I'll be giving away a Powerocks Magicstick before Christmas! :)


You know the best thing to get someone with a bunch of loud kids?

EARPHONES.

(Earphones? Earbuds? Headphones? In-ear-headphones? Whatever.)

I'm kidding, but only kind of. I seriously do use earphones all the time. Whether I'm jamming out to some tunes as I'm mowing or exercising, trying to watch a movie or play a game on my iPhone without disturbing the kids, or trying to drown out things like "He's bothering meeeeeeeee" or "He's making faces at meeeeeee!" or "Mommy? My brother is bleeding."

Anyway, you get my point.

Problem is, I'm cheap. A total tightwad. Especially when it comes to purchasing things for my own use. So my earphones have always been the crappiest kind money can buy. I think the most I've ever spent on them was, like, ten or twelve bucks. I end up with one-size-fits-all earphones that hurt my ears, have no volume control, wear out quickly and start making weird crackling noises, and tangle until the cord is, like, 50% shorter than it should be. (At which point I usually get frustrated and hand them over to the kids to further destroy because who wants to spend half an hour untangling a cord?)

Enter a glorious email I got from the generous peeps at SOL REPUBLIC, who offered me one of their products to review and give away. There were a bunch of fancy-schmancy headphones, which all looked awesome, but when it came right down to it I chose the Jax In-Ear Headphones, because I figured I'd use them most often. They come in a ton of colors - fourteen, to be exact. (Mine are "cabaret," a dark red, which is my favorite.)

From the moment I got the Jax in the mail and ripped them open like a kid at Christmas, to right now while I'm grooving to some Justin Timberlake as I write this, I have been hopelessly, fabulously in love with them.



First of all, they feel good in my ears, which is HUGE (the fact that they feel good. Not my ears). They've got soft tips - in a variety of sizes, even - so they conform to your ears instead of just trying to awkwardly shove them in there wherever they fit. They feel so comfortable and snug and secure - I'm not having to readjust them every couple of minutes. Plus, SOL REPUBLIC's "Ear Tips for Life" program gives you new ones for free any time you need them. Win!

Second, THE SOUND. OMG. It's insane what a difference good headphones make! I was blown away by the clarity of music, phone calls, everything. The bass is especially amazing. (Although I kinda blame SOL REPUBLIC for my embarrassing tendency to drop it like it's hot every time a new beat comes on.) I can't hear any background noise - which is just the way I like it. Just crisp, clear, awesome sound. There's also a volume button right on the cord so it's easy to control.

And third: the tangle-free cord. I cannot say enough about a cord that can withstand my kids fiddling with it and still never knots and kinks and bunches up.

You really should check out all of SOL REPUBLIC's stuff because I can tell you: these Jax are incredible, so I'm pretty sure the other products are too. And at less than $40, these are the perfect gift for anyone who ever uses earphones. And even those who don't - because seriously - this is one of those gifts they never realized they needed until they had it.

Now for the best part, y'all: one of you lucky suckas is going to get their very own pair of SOL REPUBLIC Jax In-Ear Headphones for free! That's right! Here's what you have to do to enter the giveaway:

1.) "Like" SOL REPUBLIC on Facebook (here) or follow them on Twitter (here).
2.) Leave a comment below telling me why you'd like to win ... and MAKE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU DO!
3.) Read #2 again. It's important, yo.

That's it! I'll choose the winner at random (via Random.org) on Friday, December 13th (who says Friday the 13th has to be unlucky?!). Good luck and happy listening!







Spec-sy and I Know It: GlassesUSA.com



I'm pretty blind, y'all. And not just because I'm certifiably approaching old age: I've worn eyeglasses since like fifth or sixth grade.  But back then, I had to wear the same ones every day no matter what. Each pair of tight-rolled jeans, each Hypercolor shirt, each bodysuit and coordinating vest and pair of stirrup pants (am I dating myself yet?) had to be accessorized with the same boring pair of glasses.

These days I'm an adult (for the most part) and since I pay for my own glasses, I have total freedom to pick them out and use them as not only vision correction, but accessories. Whether I feel like rocking some frames that are bold or barely-there, I can. And you know what helps? The huge selection of prescription eyeglasses - at an equally huge discount - available right at my fingertips at GlassesUSA.com.

Do these glasses make me look AWESOME?

I know, I know: "But Rita!" you're saying. "I can't possibly buy glasses without trying them on first!"

Well, you're in luck. GlassesUSA.com has a sweet Virtual Mirror where you can upload a photo of yourself and virtually test out as many pairs of glasses as you want (without any store employees getting testy because OMG, she's been trying on glasses for like EVER). See its awesomeness for yourself here: Virtual Mirror .

With all this plus a 110% LOWEST-PRICE GUARANTEE, a satisfaction guarantee, and a generous refer-a-friend program, what's not to love about GlassesUSA.com? Especially since they've graciously offered readers of Fighting off Frumpy a 10% DISCOUNT! That's right: just use the code Blog10 to knock a chunk of change off your order. Awww yeaaaahh.

Now get out there and get your "specs appeal" on. And save some money doing it.
Check out GlassesUSA.com on Facebook or Twitter!







This is a sponsored post on behalf of GlassesUSA.com, y'all ... but the opinions are mine!

Giveaway: NeoCell Super Collagen Powder

And the winner of the giveaway, per Random.org, is commenter #1 ... JULI! (I'd post a picture of the results but my computer is being a giant a-hole). Anyway, congratulations, Juli! And if you didn't win - I'll have more giveaways on tap soon, so keep checking back!


When I think of collagen, the first thing that comes to mind is, like, super-sized cosmetically enhanced lips.


But collagen isn't just for making people's lips look like hot dogs. It's actually a substance that's found naturally in our bodies and supports flexibility and strength of the skin, hair, nails, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. The more collagen you have, the better these body systems can function. As we age, collagen production slows down, which is why we lose elasticity in the skin and get wrinkles. Among other saggy things.

Because of this, it's a well-known fact that collagen can help you look younger - so I was excited to be contacted by the NeoCell company asking me to review their Super Collagen Powder. Because y'all? I didn't get carded the last time I bought alcohol, so I need all the help I can get.

Before using the product I read a bunch of reviews online and they were overwhelmingly positive. People swear by this stuff! So with lofty results in mind, I began taking the powder once daily. I mixed it with orange juice which I HIGHLY recommend - number one, because Vitamin C is supposed to increase the powder's efficiency, and number two, because it tastes soooo much better dissolved in juice. I tried it dissolved in water once, and bleccch. It's supposed to be a neutral-tasting powder - and in the OJ, it is - but definitely not in the water.

It can be hard to dissolve. The directions recommended using a blender for best results, but like ... who wants to drag out a blender every day? (Or maybe that's just me because my kitchen cabinets are an avalanche waiting to happen.) So here's what I did. I got one of my kids' little water bottles with a lid, and put my one scoop of Super Collagen Powder in along with about a tablespoon of juice. Then I shook it up like my life depended on it. And then, once it was dissolved, I added the rest of the juice. Aside from being a little more frothy from being shaken up, the powder doesn't change the taste or texture. It's really palatable.

So now for the important part: did it work?

I look at myself every day, so it was hard to tell a huge difference - but several things happened. I noticed less of my hair was falling out in the shower (I can clog a drain like nobody's bidness). My nails broke less, which was a HUGE plus in my pursuit of not having man-hands. And I wouldn't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure I was less creaky (read: old-feeling) after teaching my Zumba classes.

I don't feel like I looked miraculously younger ... but I did get a few compliments, which may or may not have been related to the collagen's effects on my skin. Either way, I'll take them.

Anyway, now it's time to try it out for yourself and see what kind of awesome results you get! ONE lucky winner (who is 18 years or older and lives in the continental US ... sorry, international peeps!) will win themselves a free canister of NeoCell Super Collagen Powder! Thicker hair, stronger nails, better skin, healthier joints? Who wouldn't love that?!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment here (PLEEEEAAAASE include your email address or I won't be able to get in touch with you if you win!), and do at least one of the following:

- Follow @NeoCellHealth on Twitter

- "Like" NeoCell on Facebook

That's it! I'll randomly select the giveaway winner on Friday, July 26th.

Good luck, y'all!


Giveaway and Review: Madagascar Math Ops App

As you know if you've seen my reviews before, I love JumpStart because it keeps my kids out of my hair learning while they're having fun. So when I heard they were coming out with a brand-new app for mobile devices, I was excited - and when they asked me to review it, I jumped at the chance! It's a math app that features the cute characters from Madagascar.


I'm terrible at math. HORRIBLE. Which is why I work with words and not numbers. So I'm all over any opportunity to sharpen my kids' math skills - in hopes that they can escape my fate (feeling lost in every math class from second grade on and despising math as an adult. I'm serious - I don't even play card games because there are too many numbers, y'all).

Anyway, in the new Madagascar Math Ops app, the penguins are in charge of rescuing the rest of the Madagascar crew. But first, you have to equip them with jetpacks by correctly solving math equations, which range from addition to division and everything in between (depending on which level you choose). Once you do that, you get to launch the penguins at their targets (a la Angry Birds) in a physics-based mini-game. The stages advance, and then you're able to unlock other rescue locations. The graphics are cute and the music and sounds are catchy (and mutable if you want some peace and quiet while the kid's occupied). It's so much fun - and I admit, even as much as I hate math, I've been playing it too.

The app is appropriate for first to fourth graders - while my soon-to-be-Kindergartener and Preschooler enjoyed the fun characters and graphics and launching the penguins, even the easiest addition problems are a little too advanced for them (they're equations like 23+9, for example, and my littlest dudes are just beginning to comprehend 3+2). But for Colin, who's going into third grade, it's perfect. Once in a while he'll do the math problems and then let his little brothers do the penguin launching ... but not too often.

I tried to get my own video of Colin playing Madagascar Math Ops on our tablet. But every attempt was thwarted in some way by a little brother: climbing on me and making the camera shaky, poking a head in front of the lens, waving a pointing hand ten times in five seconds. I figured you couldn't get a good feel for the game if it was punctuated by, "Stop. Stop! Out of the way, please. OUT. OF. THE WAY." So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a video that's actually GOOD: the official JumpStart Madagascar Math Ops trailer! 

Priced at $2.99, you can find the app on both Android and Apple platforms. It's available on Google Play, the Amazon app store, and iTunes

And now for the best part: I'm pleased to be able to give one lucky reader a code to download Madagascar Math Ops for FREE! Just enter by leaving a comment below and letting me know whether your device is an Android or an Apple and your email address (this is important info, so if you leave it out, you're not officially entered!). Then either "Like" Jumpstart on Facebook or give them a +1 on Google+! That's it!

I'll randomly draw a winner on Thursday, June 14th - but if you don't want to wait, go download the app! Good luck y'all!

Disclosure: I was provided with a JumpStart promotional code at no cost in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Sponsored Post: Westfield

As I've said before, I'm not usually that much of a fashionista. But put me in a place like Westfield? And I think I could go all-out diva. I mean ... the selection is absolutely massive. With not only everyday clothing, but special-occasion stuff like designer dresses. See?

Put this baby on and the cocktail party will come to you.

The price ranges are as diverse as the selection, so whether you're looking to glam it up on a budget or you've got money to spare - and whether your style is classic or trendy or Lady Gaga - you'll find something you're sure to love.

Unfortunately, I don't live in Australia - and the goodness I speak of in this post is geared toward my Australian friends. So I'll just have to sit here and be jealous.

But if you ARE in Australia - even if you don't live close enough to shop at an actual Westfield Centre - you can still have a selection of over THREE THOUSAND brands and ONE MILLION products at your fingertips via their website. Looking to buy shoes online? It's like being in the biggest, most awesome virtual shoe closet imaginable. Maternity clothes? You got it. Accessories? Kids' stuff? Home items? Movies and music? Yep. Pretty much whatever you could ever want, Westfield has you covered. It's a shopping addict's oasis. (With free delivery on thousands of items! Woot!)

And their sales? Out of this world! I saw designer names like Giuseppe Zanotti, Herve Leger, and Valentino RED - names that even the fashionably challenged such as myself recognize - at HUGE discounts (that even the monetarily challenged such as myself can afford). And speaking of challenged: check out the cool "Style File" tab on the website, which features neat stuff like the Body Shape Calculator, Cost Per Wear Index, and   info on the latest trends. You can even book a stylist for a personal styling session - and they make house calls!

Bottom line is, I was really impressed by the quality and selection (not to mention the helpful tools) on Westfield's website - and I can only imagine that the Westfield Centres are equally sweet. So if you're Australian, consider yourself lucky ... and head on over to shop for some designer dresses and shoes online.

... And remember, it's my birthday in a couple of months. Just sayin'.


This has been a sponsored post on behalf of Westfield. I was reimbursed, but the opinions are mine all mine! You know I wouldn't direct y'all to anyplace that was less than awesome. :) 




JumpStart 3D Virtual World Review & Giveaway!

UPDATE: And the winner is .......


NUMBER THREE!!! I don't know your name, but by golly, you left your email address - so the JumpStart subscription is all yours, baby! Congrats! :)


My boys love the computer. In this day and age, I don't think that's a bad thing.

Until they're watching a YouTube tutorial on how to play a Wii game, and it teaches my five-year-old the b-word.

Oops.

Point is, monitoring every single thing is difficult. What's even more difficult is balancing screen time: I like them to do educational things, while they'd rather watch lovely videos with titles such as "Cat Flushing the Toilet." 

But luckily for us, JumpStart asked me to review their site (and do a giveaway!). I was given a free membership to the site for this purpose. I've reviewed it before, and the kids went nuts. First, the obligatory blurb:


Now on to the review.

When I was little, I used to spend hours going through my grandma's stuff. You know how it's fun to just go through somebody's stuff? I'd sift through her drawers, her cabinets, her garage, whatever, just seeing what cool trinkets and weird stuff (Buffalo nickels! Costume jewelry! Cigar boxes! Old doilies!) I could come up with. There were always cool things to discover.

To me, that's kind of what walking through the JumpStart virtual world is like. There's SO MUCH STUFF! It literally feels like a virtual themepark, so vast it would take days - weeks! - to explore. There are surprises around every corner: secret warp-zones, missions to complete, fun mini-games, or a whole new themed world to take in. Best of all, it solves the education vs. entertainment problem: there are tons of learning opportunities. No matter how old your kids are (my JumpStart players are seven, five, and three), there are plenty of fun, age-appropriate activities that actually teach things like math and reading - plus games to test your memory and foster creativity and things like that.

Kids navigate the JumpStart virtual world with their very own, fully-customizable avatar called a Jumpee. As your Jumpee roams around, you'll see other JumpStart users' Jumpeez roaming around too, in real time. If your kids are old enough, there's also an opportunity to chat with the other Jumpeez. My kids don't use this feature (yet) because they haven't exactly mastered the nuances of a conversation with someone they don't know. (They'd likely type, "Hi" and then ask me what to say next and how to spell it. Over and over. Booooo).

Whether you're waving your wand through the whimsical Windy Hollows, weaving through cacti in Adventure Canyon, training a dragon in the Enchanted Sanctuary, navigating the futuristic landscape of Futureland, or exploring the busy nooks and crannies of Europe or New York City (Times Square! Coney Island!) with familiar friends from the movie Madagascar, there's a ton to see. The graphics are awesome, and each place is so richly interactive that you can jump off walls and cliffs and buildings, climb stairs, run through tunnels, and swim through streams and oceans. Check out some of these screenshots:







See? Awesomeness. And here's a video of one of Colin's favorite places ... the underground Ant Farm at Uncle Milton's Science Land:


It's always changing - with the seasons, with the holidays, or just because there's fun new stuff to be added. I can't imagine anybody ever, ever, EVER getting bored with it because there is literally just an unimaginable amount of ways to explore and - best of all - learn.

... Plus it engages kids so much that it might just give you a chance to have a few minutes alone. To, you know, secretly eat cupcakes finish up some laundry or read a book.

Now, on to the BEST best part: the giveaway! The peeps at JumpStart are letting me give one lucky reader a FREE three-month membership to the JumpStart 3D Virtual World! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me that this is your favorite blog ever why you'd like to win. I'll randomly select a winner on Wednesday, March 27th. 

IMPORTANT: make sure you leave your email address so I can notify you if you're the big winner! It makes me sad to choose someone and then not be able to contact them. :(

Get to entering! See you around JumpStart!


Sponsored Post: Big W


Big W. I'm not sure what it stands for, but my guess would be "Big Whoppin' Lot of Stuff" or "Big Wonderful Superstore" or "Big Woohooo! When You Save Money." Whatever the W means, it's clearly awesome - because just the site alone makes me jealous I don't live in Australia. 

Yep, I'll never be able to wander the aisles of Big W personally (unless one of my Aussie readers wants to invite me for a nice vacation and then please please can we go to Big W?). But Big W has a website that's just as awesome as its store seems to be. From health and beauty to home and garden, sporting goods to small appliances, microphones to mustache wax, and every little thing in between, it's an online superstore that has literally anything you could ever need (and then some!) at what the store promises are Australia's lowest prices. They don't currently ship to international addresses, but they DO ship to pretty much everywhere in Australia.

I was particularly impressed at the array of toys and video games - seeing as I'm always talked into browsing those products. As the mother of a few avid gamers, I liked the selection of Wii games, Nintendo DS games, and stuff for the Nintendo Wii U which my dudes have perpetually drooled over since it hit the shelves. Besides that, Big W's toy department has tons more fun things, like Lego games and Nerf guns which I vastly prefer the boys to play with. 

... Outside.

If you're shopping Big W online, you'll get free shipping on orders over $120! There's also Online Layby with plans available to suit any budget. And with iPhone and iPad apps, Big W has made it a snap to shop on the go. You'll save big with Big W's huge variety of ever-changing deals (like three DVDs or Blu-Rays for the price of two!) and online-only specials.

So Australians, you're lucky. Take advantage of Big W's awesomeness. For the rest of us who don't live Down Under, we'll just have to make do.

Until you invite us to your house.

We're waiting ...


This has been a sponsored post on behalf of Big W, where I would undoubtedly spend way too much time and money if I lived in Australia. I was reimbursed for this post, but all opinions are mine.

Za-Za-Zim's!

Zim's Crack Creme.

No, it's not something for your butt. Or your baby's. No, it's not the street drug for those who prefer their crack in a lovely lotion form. Yes, it sounds hilarious. But y'all? This stuff is AWESOME. It's a naturally-based moisturizer with aloe vera and arnica, and it takes even the most parched skin and gives it a big ol' soothing drink of herbal goodness.

My grandma kept a tube of Zim's Crack Creme on the windowsill above her kitchen sink. If anybody ever needed it, she did; her hands were always submerged in water or dirt, or scrubbing or hoeing or sewing. The woman put my busiest day to shame. But her hands always looked nice. So if Zim's Crack Creme could help her overworked mitts, I knew it could work wonders on mine - which is why I agreed to review it.

I actually received a whole awesome package from the Zim's peeps, including not only the Crack Creme daytime formula but the Crack Creme Original Liquid Formula (it's a light oil that you spray on - I use it at night under my socks), Zim's Max Freeze in both gel and roll-on formulas, and Zim's Maximum Heat Gel. And over the next few weeks, because I'm a total sucker for body care products, I gleefully put them all to good use.


Of course I already knew I'd love Zim's Crack Creme, and I was right. It was just as effective as I remembered. I think my favorite thing about it is that it absorbs so well ... you don't walk around feeling like you're wearing greasy gloves and leaving residue all over everything you touch. It has kind of a spicy scent (it sort of reminds me of cloves) but the smell doesn't last too long - or at least I didn't notice it after a while. That's how all the other products were too: I noticed the scent at first and then it faded away. Even the Zim's Max Freeze and Maximum Heat Gel. They started out all medicine-chest-smelling and then faded to nothing.

Speaking of those, I had kind of an unbelievable experience with the Zim's Max Freeze. A few months ago while doing some kind of crazy push-up at the gym, I injured my shoulder - and it has NOT been the same since. Right from the start it hurt to use it, but recently it had started hurting when I wasn't even doing anything; I'd just be sitting on the couch and my shoulder would start throbbing with this searing pain for absolutely not reason. It would also wake me up at night (as if I needed any more interruptions of sleep!). After about three months with no improvement, worsening pain in fact, I resigned myself to the fact that I'd probably have to see a doctor about it. Anyway, when I got the package from the Zim's peeps, I immediately put the Max Freeze gel on my shoulder. I wasn't overly impressed right away - I mean, it helped, but not in an oh my gosh this is the best product I've ever tried sort of way. Then I tried the roll-on with the same result.

But here's the unbelievable part: my shoulder just stopped hurting after that. Like, even when I wasn't using the Max Freeze, it didn't hurt any more. And now I can use it much better. I'm not going to say that it's 100% back to normal - it still feels a little weak or something - but the difference has been amazing. No more aching! I don't know if that can be attributed to the Zim's Max Freeze, because I'll admit that sounds like a totally lofty claim - but I will tell you that whatever healing took place occurred after I used the product. So take that as you will. Weird, I know!

So here's the deal: Zim's wants to give one lucky reader a package of the same products I reviewed. (Sandal season is coming up soon, y'all, and you'll be thankful for that Crack Creme!) All you've gotta do is "Like" their Facebook page here and follow them on Twitter here, and then let me know in the comments! Easy! I'll choose the winner next Monday (February 4th) so you've got a week.

Good luck!