Momma Told Me: November 2013

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Choosing The Best Tablet To Connect Your World With #IntelTablets + @OfficeDepot

Momma Told Me: Not all technology is smart technology.

I've expressed before my excitement for the wonderfully technological era we live in. Consumer technology is no longer a thing of sci-fi films and movie magic; there are hundreds of digital lifestyle aids the average American can't imagine living without. As a woman who grew up with one of the first home PC units, and recalls playing 8-bit Oregon Trail in elementary, the modern computer will always be see as the most essential of devices in my eyes. While smartphones continue to get bigger, and even more expensive than the average computer, there's simply some multitasking you cannot do to the same quality, or efficiency, with them. But the practicality of lugging, even a lightweight laptop, around to complete digital tasks on the go, can still be quite cumbersome. So, two years back, I made the plunge into my first tablet investment.
#shop #cbias
Even in the past two years the tablets for sale market had expanded exponentially. The modern consume has an abundance of choices from brand and processor speed to camera size and portability. For me, when I made my first purchase, I felt as though I didn't have a choice- though I was against the 'concept' I brought home the largest brand in the industry at the time. I had chosen this brand, which only offered one device in multiple 'generations' purely because I did not have another mobile device of this operating system. When you work on the go, and online, it is essential to consider a range of platforms to make yourself universally compatible. Unfortunately, I'm and Android girl, and I've since purchased several Android Tablet devices for the members of my family, only to find myself curious of what else was 'out there'. Let's face it, unless you specialize in tech knowledge, the process of simply buying a tablet can be quite overwhelming.
This year, for the holidays, I knew I wanted to buy Momma an Android Tablet to complement her hectic lifestyle as the manager of a busy Oregon Coast inn. I'd had plans for months to take a roadtrip up the coast to see her for Thanksgiving, and knew I could easily shop the best tablets, and even test drive my selection, prior to presenting it to her. I wanted a mobile device that would be easy to use initially, and intuitive to her experiences with her Android smartphone, as well as possessing the potential to grow with her as a user and offer a substantial media presentation, with equally impressive battery life. There were many factors that went into this decision, when I stepped into Office Depot to make the big purchase; product weight, processor speed, screen size, touch responsiveness, and energy efficiency to name a few. I considered several 'big dogs' that were similarly prices, even Windows 8 Tablets, but consistently came back to Android devices for their familiarity with Momma's current mobiel device (phone).
After browsing the in store display of demo tablets, and asking the associate some burning questions, I arrived at the ASUS ME302c with 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor. For those of us who don't speak tech, that means this tablet featured an Intel Core (much like modern Intel processor computers) that enriched the tablet's speed, longevity in battery life, and capability to tackle smooth and crisp graphics activities. In short, it was the perfect lifestyle tool for a tablet owner that wants to enjoy a quality mobile experience, while still remaining efficient and productive on the go. On the Android interface the ASUS ME302c has an impressive library of fun and lifestyle apps that Momma can instantly download for free, including a Blogger platform where she can easily draft her Momma's Monday's posts by pulling photos and video directly from shots taken with the tablet's 5 MP rear facing camera. While I was skeptical of how this process would go, I was, within minutes, raving about the simplicity of dragging and dropping my content from live tablet media to active content online. It was astounding how efficient the process was with the speed and responsiveness of the Intel processor.
Of course the ME302c Intel Tablet can also do all of the fun and connective tasks we've come to love in our mobile devices. With just a few clicks through the Google Play store I had Skype installed for Momma, and hopped into a face to face call with my stepfather. I was eager to share my excitement for my impending visit, and tell Momma all about her extremely special Christmas gift. Of course, like the good daughter I am, I offered to continue thoroughly exploring the device along the way so I could help educate Momma on her new device after handing it over. As each day passed I found myself reaching for Momma's new Intel Android tablet, over my own (more expensive) one on the 'other operating system'. For me, the speed between app loading times, and lightening fast touch response time was a very noticeable draw- not only could the tablet handle multiple tab multitasking, but I could accomplish my tasks even faster than on my tablet or PC. I began using Momma's new tablet for recipe guidance, with the complimentary stand, blog posting, video capturing, and even to handle some of the media applications that always seemed to crash on my device.

While the device had a slightly heftier weight and footprint than my tablet, at 1.3lbs with a 10.1" diagonal screen, this ASUS device proved perfect for Momma with an easy to see and touch digital keyboard. Having a tablet on vacation, while driving up the coast proved a very convenient way to chronicle our journey. Not only could I use the apps for navigating with mobile 4G service, but I could easily pull off the road and snap a priceless photo with immediate editing capabilities and instant preview. I could even 'quick snap' a string of images and pick my favorites later in the hotel room. Most important to me, the tablet outlived my smartphone, with 9 and a half hours of clocked active use, and a much longer standby thanks to an energy conservation mode. I can't imagine, okay, I CAN remember the trips from my childhood, traveling without a lifestyle tool like this!
#shop #cbias
When I arrived with Momma's new tablet she seemed more excited to get her hands on her new mobile device than her daughter! We casually gossiped for a few minutes before she began asking 'subtle' questions about her new 'toy'. After handing over the Intel tablet there was much wonderment, as Momma defined it as a 'mini computer' and let out hours of astonished remarked while setting up her social media accounts and even streamlining her business activities through it. With previous Android experience, navigating the tablet was instinctual, and the only issue was deciding what to explore next! Best of all, for me, my mother was now connected with a reliable mobile device I could reach her on, and she could blog with at any time. Learn more about #IntelTablets for sale and help make this holiday season a productive one for you and your loved ones.

What Daughter Says: Finding the right lifestyle tool can be intimidating, but ultimately enriching!

@Energems For Precision Energy In A Delicious Chocolate Package

chocolate energy
Momma Told Me: Beware of the crash.

Jay is addicted to energy. From caffeine infused drinks like canned espresso and energy shots to supplements, packets, and powders; it seems like he's tried it all. Working security he is up early and required to be vigilant during long patrols by bike and on foot. Having a sharp, alert, eye is crucial to his job, and having the energy to put time and attention into our relationship when he gets home is equally important. Unfortunately, many of the modern energy products are high in sugar, or devoid of sugar and taste chalky, metallic, and even plain chemical. Personally, I'll typically find myself needing a pickup, but avoid these types of products for these very reasons. When I discovered Energems, the caffeine infused energy candy, I was excited at the thought of an easily consumable, and portion-able energy aid that was low sugar and low calorie.
It's not hard to convince the average person to try a product that poses as chocolate in a colorful candy shell, but Energems have a few unique twists that make them even more attractive. Available in Mint, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter, these energy supplements are about the size of a peanut M&M, with a thicker candy coated shell and a pleasant crunch like chocolate texture. Packaged in an easy resealable box, there are 9 Energems per package, and a suggested 3 per serving, with 15 calories a piece. Classified as a dietary supplement, you'll find more than caffeine in these little delicious candies. With 75mg caffeine per serving, you'll also get a powerful dose of vitamins B12 and B6 as well as another 250mg of their proprietary energy blend including Taurine. All of this at less than 10g of sugar per serving (3 pieces) and 45 calories.
We had a chance to try all 3 flavors of Energems, and I immediately gravitated towards the Peanut Butter Blast, which seemed to have the least residual 'vitamin' flavor, while Jay preferred Mint. I brought these on our 19 hour drive up the coast to visit Momma in Oregon, and found ourselves in an emergency energy situation halfway through day two. As the sun went down, and the bright headlights began lulling our attention, I knew we needed a special kick to stay alert. I pulled out the small cardboard box and we each took 2 Energems, within minutes were were chatting once again and focused on the route. It was impressive how fast and dramatic the pick-me-up effect was with Energems, and how long the impact lasted. I was refreshed for several hours, and lacked the immediate crash, with a more gradual let down as the evening wound on.
You can currently find Energems nationwide in major convenience stores, or purchase them online in larger quantities and multi-packs through Amazon and the Energems store. After our road-trip experience I did some research to understand why the gems had helped us become so alert and focused, unlike energy drinks which often make me feel jittery and overenthusiastic. The secret is in the unique addition of a natural energy supplement, L-tehanine, that counteracts the jitters of caffeine and helps sharpen mental focus. Energems also lack a common energy ingredient, Phenylaline, which is contained in Aspartame. Best of all, consumers can easily find their perfect range by sampling various quantities of Energems to suit their energy needs.
This all American made product is a fine example of ingenious marketing, pairing chocolate and energy, with smart formulation. It's a simple consumable dietary supplement that can be easily stashed in a purse or backpack and consumed on the go. My only gripe is that I cannot find them so easily in stores near me yet, I'd love to see a big brand distribution in my area, and maybe even a multi-flavor packaging. In all, Energems were a big success!

What Daughter Says: Energems offer an immediate alertness without a steep crash.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

#KrogerSkilletMeals For Simple Holiday Weeknight Solutions #BzzAgent

Momma Told Me: Don't forget to eat!

While everyone is busy discussing brining techniques versus deep frying, the average hostess forgets to consider the meals that will get you through the holiday preparation. Let's face it, when you're preparing to put a spread on the table for 20 or more, you're tight on fridge space, and fast food is typically the first solution to forgotten meals. After all, you still have to eat in between the feasts, right? My father hosts Thanksgiving at his house every other year, and he spends an entire week hand preparing the stuffing, side dishes, desserts and more. One of the first things I noticed, as his assistant, was that he often forgot to stop and eat between the grocery store trips and the potato mashing. Simple, but healthy, affordable meal options for holiday nights are now easier than ever to find. Stocked at your local Kroger location, Kroger Skillet meals and Salad kits offer delicious solutions the whole family will love.
We have 3 Ralphs locations in our hometown and, during the holiday season, I sometimes find myself at the grocery store 3 or 4 times a week. I never know Ralphs offered their own in house range of skillet meals for two. These easy cook skillet dishes cook in less than 10 minutes, from freezer to table, and come in a variety of international cuisine options including Italian Sausage Rigatoni and Beef Stir Fry. I recently picked up a Chicken Stir Fry Kroger Skillet to help us get through a busy November afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by the balance of protein (chicken) and vegetables. I was even more happy with the amount of sauce included in the easy pour satchet. With other skillet meal brands I find myself reaching for secondary sauce bottles to help add extra flavor, but the Chicken stir Fry satisfied my picky taste-buds with hearty slices of mushroom, crisp sauteed pea snaps and tender slices of chicken.
Of course these skillet meals don't quite make a 'meal' adding a few simple sides can really turn your lunch into a hearty dinner. Kroger also carries a range of simple salad kits, including their House Salad with Bacon that includes crunchy croutons, tender bacon bits, and creamy ranch. With a simple toss of the ingredients I had a fresh side salad that was so much more than another bagged lettuce blend, after all, who doesn't love ranch and bacon? We topped off the presentation with a loaf of Kroger's frozen garlic bread. I never knew Kroger offered a frozen bread range, and was a bit skeptical of the concept, but was quite surprised. The lengthwise slit loaf had a thick and creamy garlic butter center that melted to perfection inside the oven, in just 7 minutes.
Kroger offers several holiday staples sure to make your holiday season all the more enjoyable, and just a little less stressful. I love that I can pull a loaf of bread out of my freezer, rather than having to stop by the bakery on my way home. Having fresh oven warmed bread in minutes was a special treat during an afternoon we would have otherwise reached for yet another single serving cardboard meal. It's hard to believe the spread below was all made in less than 15 minutes; and, even better, the cleanup was as simple as washing our plates and a single skilled pan, then tossing some foil into the trash. Who says you can't eat delicious, healthy meal on a busy schedule?
I had a chance to sample some of the convenient #KrogerSkilletMeals thanks to my BzzAgent (#GotItFree) Membership, but I had no idea I would be in for such a treat. I only wish our local Ralphs store stocked more of the delicious varieties- I'd try every flavor! What are some of your mealtime tricks to help you get through busy holiday nights?

What Daughter Says: Remember to plan for all the other 364 meals, this Thanksgiving!

Blog POP! Enter To Win The Original @RBScooter A Must Win $200 Giveaway~ 11/29

**** We received the following product, complimentary, for the purposes of the following review. No further compensation was provided. All photos contained below are property of Momma Told Me Blog 2013.
Momma Told Me: Get out and do something!

It's not easy, as a girl, staying motivated in outdoor activities. In adulthood I have the freedom to go on long walks, or take a weekend off to go camping. When I was younger there were limitations pertaining to safety and resources. Outside of joining school athletic programs, most girls are left with hopscotch and biking. And, if you've read my previous reviews, you know I never took that up! I remember the first time I saw a Razor Scooter, I had wanted one so bad I begged my parents for the better part of a year. Each holiday came, and pass, with no scooter. All the boys in our neighborhood, my friends, had skateboards which I was much too intimidate by. It was enough to rekindle my interest in biking but, by then, Momma had already made her mind up, she was not going to shell out $200 on a bicycle that would likely end up collecting cobwebs on the patio.
Today's generation is bombarded with endless electronic stimuli, glued to televisions, video games, and cell phones. If it doesn't have a motor, or a modem, in it, it's simply not of interest. The girls here literally pout and raise tantrums when the screens turn off and the soccer ball comes out! It's no wonder we, as Americans, are out of shape. So, while family gaming systems like the Wii are great for weekly gatherings, it's equally important to re-group and get active. The solution? The only way, I see, to battle mass childhood ADD is through the combination of multiple items. That's right, a hybrid so intensely cool and captivating that children (and adults) are forced to take note and get outside!

For me, as a grumbly teenager, the key was a fateful weekend trip to the desert salt flats, with Momma's rickety (but colorful) land yacht. Now, to the average person, strapping yourself into a bucket seat 6-8" off the ground with nothing but a triangular metal frame at your base, and a giant 7' sail might seem a bit precarious. Take that same device and drop yourself in the middle of an open lake bed with winds 15MPH+, and you have a speeding mass of flesh and steel that can reach up to 70MPH+. Remember folks, this is less than a foot off the ground, with nothing surrounding you, and at the mercy of nature's unpredictable wind. It was this combination of wind and motor(less)sport that had me thoroughly terrified at first, then completely hooked. With these memories in mind I set out to find something as compelling and thrilling to occupy Sabrina's (11) weekends.
What I discovered was the Rockboard Scooter, combination bike, combination self-propel scooter. It looks about as odd as it sounds, with a name that is impressively accurate, but this human powered two wheel machine can reach speeds up to 10MPH! Available in Original (ages 8+, up to 200LBS) and the newer Mini (ages 5+, up to 90LBS) these flashy scooters encourage equilibrium development and harness many of the properties of an average bicycle. One thing's for sure, you won't get away with being lazy and 'drifting downhill' on one of these! Okay, you CAN switch gears and 'lock' the Rockboard for use as a traditional scooter, but why would you want to do that when you can Rockboard your way around town without ever having to put a foot on the ground? And the easy pump style brake makes stopping in an instant safe and efficient.
We received a Blue Original Rockboard for review here on Momma Told Me, during Christmas Wishes. This 'child's toy' quickly caught the eyes of all the adults in the house, as it came ready to go and pre-assembled with a manual and instructional DVD. I was initially blown away by how heavy this thing actually is. The Original weighs around 25, yes, 25lbs, and is around 4' in length. While the entire scooter collapses for easy 'grab and go' storage, it will require an adult, or teenager of strength to transport. It is 'too heavy' for Sabrina at this point.

With it's die cast aluminum deck, and aluminum frame, the Rockboard is very durable, though pretty enough in design and detail that you'll still cringe at it's first ding. Out of the box we found there was an adjustable knob (located at the front) which controlled the locking and angle of the steering column for rocking vs traditional riding. Once loose, the steering column was able to be height adjusted according to the rider, then secured once more. The handle bars, folded down for space saving transport and pulled out and fastened via a threaded central connector. At the center of the steering column is a latch hook that pulls out and twists to adjust the height of the scooter. NOTE: Locking it up, the first time is natural. To adjust it back down there is a small notch that must be depressed. We've found this little notch to be sometimes finicky, and can pinch small fingers, so require and adult for this.

On the left comfort grip handlebar is the aluminum alloy brake essential to control and safe maneuvering on sidewalks and vacant streets. Always remember to exercise cation with the Rockboard, wearing appropriate protective gear, and to supervise children when in use. Attaching the foot base of the Rockboard to the back wheel is a familiar system resembling a bike chain and pulley. Not only does this rear-spring suspension system help propel the Rockboard up to 10MPH, but it provides a ride that is equally smooth on or off the sidewalk. We were surprised just how smooth, and easy on the knees, the Rockboard was when in motion. After 75 minutes of Rockboarding, Sabrina didn't event feel a cramp the following day, but I'm sure she got great exercise!

The base of the Rockboard (where your feet go) is sufficiently lined with a grip material that helps prevent your feet from slipping while in motion. Riding the device, itself, offers suggested foot placement, though we found this differs with the size and weight of the rider (maximum 200lbs). I, personally, felt most comfortable with my left heel flat against the angled edge of the board, with the right foot straight on the bottom. Expect your calves to tone quickly! Sabrina (11) is tall for her age and could easily get the hang of the Original, but we highly suggest the mini for children under 90lbs, as well as proper pads and protection!
To sum it up, the Rockboard expands upon the classic scooter concept with it's easy conversion from standard to Rockboard, making these a great active toy to grow with. Sabrina grumbled a little at first, when she learned she had to 'rock' to keep the scooter in motion, but soon fell in love and never went back to 'traditional' mode. While the wheels are larger in thickness and circumference than traditional scooters, make sure the rider is aware they will need to pay attention for cracks and bumps in the road, as well as traffic! Sabrina had the instinct to put her foot down to stop the scooter, so we had to constantly remind her to use the break. Otherwise, the Rockboard Original was a major success- it will be hard to top this at Christmas!

What Daughter Says: This holiday season pick up the combination scooter-bike that will have the whole family outdoors!

One Momma Told Me follower will have a chance to win a Rockboard Original Scooter, but there are 9 other chances to win a Rockboard product too! Just hop along to the following giveaways and multiple your chances: Keenly Kristin Rockboard RBX, Dad of Divas Rockboard Mini, Rats And More RBX Scooter, Makobi Scribe Rockboard Original, Blessed Elements Create Original Rockboard Scooter, Andrea's World Rockboard Original Scooter, Andrea's World Rockboard Descender and Daddy Mojo Rockboard Descender Skateboard! Please be sure to check out the Event Giveaway LINKY for ALL the Christmas Wishes giveaways!

Blog POP! @CosmetiqueUS For Flawless Holiday Beauty, Giveaway ~ 11/29

*** I was provided with samples from the Jean-Michelle Cosmetique collection for the purposes of this feature. All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013.
Momma Told Me: A lady turns heads no matter the time of year.

One thing we often forget to associate with the changing of seasons, Fall to Winter, is style. But the simple truth is you don't have to put down that slice of pumpkin pie, or feel shame over your 'sweater body,' you can still be glamorous right through to the new year. And glamorous is precisely the word for this time of year. Sleigh bells ring, couples cuddle by a fireplace, and champagne glasses clink over genuine toasts- if there's any time of year that quite literally sparkles, it's the holiday season. So, while you're rushing all over town and tearing that last Tickle Me Elmo in half on Aisle 9, don't forget to look fabulous while doing it! Yes, it's 2013, and most of the romantic balls are reserved for military personnel, but that doesn't mean you can't turn heads in a little black dress with some tussled curls. Winter is a season of romance and it's easy to look smoldering with the right ammunition in your bag.
I won't lie, there are lots of cosmetic brands in my makeup bag. There is no one lip, eye, or face product that I feel I can use day in and out to complete every look. And not every brand offers the right amount of coverage, easy removal, or blending I may need for any particular look. That is to say, honestly, I don't have a favorite brand of makeup. I do, however, have a trusted arsenal of brands I know I can count on for quality products that are gentle on my skin, but long lasting enough to be worn all day. Cosmetique, originally a catalog brand, is one of them. With over 7 in house brands, and countless outside vendors, I love popping into the Cosmetique online boutique to discover premium labels with the season's hottest hues. Best of all, each label is a unique collection with it's own thematic twists. And, the company was originally began with a strict commitment to quality, that dictated only products the creators themselves would wear, should be sold.
The French inspired Jean-Michelle collection is no exception to this rule most known for it's high quality formulas that blend flawlessly and wear all day. I've been wearing this brand for almost 5 years now and can vouch for almost every palette in it. I was recently sent 3 newer products to try; Luisant Nail Enamel in Cabaret, Multi-Effect Lip Couleur in Plum Grace, and Eyeshadow Trio in Rose Fresque. The Eyeshadow Trio is packaged in a beautiful black compact with 2 applicators too allow for highlights along the cheeks as well as the eyes. Unfortunately, having recently gone, temporarily, Red Bombshell, the lilac hues were complimentary to my fair complexion, and hazel eyes, but not my hair. For my look featured here I used Jean-Michelle's Quartette Lumineux Eyeshadow with layered coppers and burgundy browns to accent edges and creases.
For my lips I used the soft, dual-sided, blendable Jean-Michelle Multi-Effect Lip Color in Plum Grace. With a primary long wearing lip color of a light rosy hue, and a flipside that added golden shimmer and sheen, this lip color was the perfect accent to my holiday look. Not only was the silky soft wear long lasting through meals and more, but the lightweight formula easily layered beneath a gloss for a more dramatic impact as well. I finished my nails with a color coat of the ship resistant Luisant Nail Enamel in Cabaret. Appropriately names, this hue was a pink toned burgundy that went on strong in a single coat and dried quickly. I capped my tips with a clear sparkle base, then finished with a top coat for hostess-ready nails that would have me serving my guests in style.
Whether you're hoping to catch Prince Charming's eye over the cocktail weenies at your office Christmas party, or simply trying to pull off that flawless look between turkey timers, Cosmetique has the perfect collection for your holiday looks. Their premium brands and constant color innovation mean an ever evolving palette of hues in long wearing products that delight any cosmetics addict. Shop their online catalog today for a bundled gift set, stocking stuffers, or a simple treat for yourself.

What Daughter Says: Trust the brand worn by thousands of it's employees, Cosmetique, for flawless holiday  beauty.

 One Momma Told Me reader will win the same 3 Jean-Michelle Cosmetique products featured above! Please be sure to check out the Event Giveaway LINKY for ALL the Christmas Wishes giveaways!