I was thrilled when Think Fun told me they were sending me a complimentary “Hello Sunshine” Toy to review with my 3 year old daughter. This toy couldn’t have come at a better time since we had just had a parent/teacher conference with my daughter’s preschool teacher and she said they were working on spacial awareness (ex: in front of, on, beside, behind, under, etc). She recommended if we could work at home as well to help her with the specifics that would be great, that’s where “Hello Sunshine” (or “Happy Face” as my daughter affectionately refers to him as) came in.

Here is a picture of Hello Sunshine when he arrived:







Hello Sunshines comes with 18 double sided cards with 36 places for him to be creatively hidden. The cards are somewhat laminated so they hold up well to overzealous little hands :)








My daughter was surprised with Hello Sunshine when she came home from preschool and immediately wanted to sit down to play with him. Here is a series of pictures from when she first met Happy Face :)



















Here we are doing “on top of head”:






















Here is “in front of my nose”:







“Under a blanket”:






















“Under my shirt”:










“In the closet”:



















“On a book:






















“On my lap”:













“Under the bed”:







Suffice it to say my daughter LOVES it, and she’s getting better with her spacial awareness!!! I love that “Hello Sunshine” makes learning fun while not sacrificing the learning concepts. My daughter loves how plush and huggable Happy Face is, and he has a special place on her dresser:







Besides being hugged, tossed around, etc the sunshine plush is still in like new condition and the cards have fared FAR better than I could imagine. I love the secret storage pouch for the cards on the underside of the plush. The velcro closure makes it easy for her to cleanup and store the cards on her own and allows easy access when she wants to play. I can see her playing with this toy for years to come since there are countless ways to have creative fun (including some cards where you create your own “on top of ______”!!!).

If you are looking for a quality learning toy that is fun and educational this the toy for you!!!

You can purchase it here: http://www.thinkfun.com/shop/product/hello-sunshine,120,9.htm

Or visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ThinkFunGames

Be sure to let them know Missy at Sarcastic and Straightforward sent you!! <3




Okay, so I just may be one of the only people of my generation that while I do tons of online shopping, selling, etc I thought making the switch to using the internet for my eye care needs to be a bit….scary? I’ve gone to the same optometrist since I had my first eye exam in 2nd grade. So while I had heard commercials and things for 1-800-contacts I thought it would be odd to not use my normal optometrist.

Finally I decided to do a review of the products/service of 1-800-contacts. After talking to Britton a Social media coordinator he wanted me to call and place an order with the customer service reps without telling them I was doing a review. Personally I LOVE that he suggested and was on board with this…he wanted me to review what REALLY happens to a run-of-the-mill client when they contact 1-800-contacts for service. Soooo….here is a review based on notes I took during my interactions with 1-800-contacts.

I called the normal 1-800-contacts number listed on the website and had the pleasure of speaking with Kelsey, she was very friendly and professional and made me feel like I was a valued customer before I even WAS a customer. I asked all of the questions I had (What brands do you offer? Do these vary in any way from contacts received at an optometrist’s office? What if the contacts just don’t fit/feel right? Etc….) Now I also disclosed to Kelsey that I had been wearing my current pair of contacts for just over 3 years…..yes you read that right. I had been wearing the same pair of 30 day disposable contacts that I received after a routine eye checkup 3 years ago EVERY SINGLE DAY, ALL DAY, for 3 WHOLE years. Kelsey was amazed that the contacts hadn’t torn, weren’t uncomforable, etc. I asked if they had the brand I had been wearing for the last 3 years since they obviously work well for me and they DID!!! I went ahead and ordered my contacts with fingers crossed. Kelsey informed me that they would need either a picture of my prescription (Rx) or they could call the optometrist to confirm, I told her I had the Rx and she gave me a number to text a picture of it to.

I sent the picture of the Rx via email at 9:08pm 3/7/13 and received a confirmation text at 9:11pm it read  “Thanks for sending your Rx! Everything looks great and your order will ship first thing tomorrow! Have an awesome night, Melissa!” 

I was offered expedited shipping (2-3 days) for $8 extra but chose to do the “standard shipping” route to see how that is, for those who are not able/willing/etc to pay for the expedited. 

I got a shipping confirmation email at 11:48am the NEXT day!!!  (Only 14hrs after I placed my order!!!)

I received my contacts on 3/12/13 via standard shipping, just 5 days after my order was placed. The contacts were well packaged and included contact cases. 



The only negative I experienced throughout the entire transaction was that the website said “FAST FREE SHIPPING FOR A LIMITED TIME” with no immediate mention of minimum purchases….when I looked at my statement I was charged $6.99 for standard shipping since apparently the “FREE SHIPPING” offer is only for purchases over $50…..my order was $47.99…..and there was no mention about the cost when I placed the order. After doing some searching I see that there is FREE SHIPPING for all web orders when doing “Standard shipping”. I contacted customer service and they apologized for the confusion/charge and I was refunded the $6.99. Something you may want to mention if you see the “FREE SHIPPING” and decide to call is to say you saw the free shipping and ask if you place the order over the phone if that will be honored. If not, it would most likely to get any questions you may have answered and order via the website. 

To place your 1-800-contacts order today visit: www.1800contacts.com/ or call 1-800-contacts!!

I know that I loved the ease and efficiency of ordering and from them and know you will too!! Let me know how your experience goes!!!

If you have a child, chances are at some point you will need to label your child’s personal items….this can happen if they go to daycare, a church nursery, school, camp, etc!!! That’s where Label Daddy steps in to help. I came across Label Daddy’s website and they were generous enough to send one of their amazing packages for me to test AND allowed me to customize colors, information, logos, etc!!! 


In the packet I received in the mail, was included an INCREDIBLY helpful letter detailing the best (and worst) things to do with your Label Daddy products. 

There are many different sizes of labels which make them easy to apply to things ranging from as small as shoes/underwear/etc to larger items like bookbags, duffel bags, suitcases and larger!! This picture shows some of the variety of sizes we received (as well as the awesome zipper pulls, please note I blurred my daughter’s last name, it does NOT appear this way on the labels):

I got these at the perfect time, just after my daughter started preschool. So I have had the chance to test these on her clothes that are kept at school, her lunch box, bookbag, etc which get LOTS of wear!!!

Something that AMAZED me about Label Daddy labels is that they are WASHABLE!!!! YES you heard that right!!! You can wash/dry items that are adorned with Label Daddy products. At first I thought it had to be too good to be true, but after NUMEROUS (meaning more than 5) washings and dryings the labels are just as good as they were Day 1!!! Here are a few photos of the labels on clothing/bags/etc:





My daughter now has labels inside her bookbag, her lunchbox, her clothes that are kept at school, all coats/jackets/ etc!! I love the convenience of knowing if something is lost, that it can easily be identified and returned to the rightful owner.

Interested in making personalized labels for your family? You can choose from several different themes/logos: MLB, NBA, Marvel, Disney and standard images, and there are MANY colors and fonts to choose from!!! Swing by http://www.labeldaddy.com to see the full assortment of what they have to offer. Also stop by their Facebook page that can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/LabelDaddy

Be sure to share some <3 from Missy over at SarcasticandStraightforward!!! Let me know what you think of these amazing products!! Feel free to share this post with your Facebook friends, family, etc!!! We all <3 hearing about new, awesome products!!!

I will start off by saying I am traditionally a pretty boring person in the jewelry department. I wear my wedding rings, 2 pairs of earrings that I never change, and a necklace that never comes off that I received when my daughter was born. However, when I first saw posts on Facebook for Origami Owl my interest was peaked.

For those of you who do not know Origami Owl has what are known as “living lockets”. Their lockets are magnetic which allows the wearer to insert charms of different types, style their locket with dangles, plates, tags, and more!! I have seen so many creative couplings of the charms to create lockets made in honor/memory of a loved one, weddings, births, special occasions, unique interests, etc that I found myself wondering what my locket would consist of. 

Luckily for me I got the chance to host a party with Wendy Pittman, an independent designer for Origami Owl, and she even donated a locket and 2 charms (thank you Wendy!!) to help me see for myself what Origami Owl is all about. 

So, I started off my choice with the large silver locket with crystals, added several charms: owl, January birthstone girl, star, “I love you” (sign language), and the camera, topped off with a large silver “mom” plate. Here is a photo of my finished locket:


I also, for comparison, got a medium sized Rose Gold locket, and added 2 March birthstones, an April birthstone and a puffy crystal gold heart. The medium locket is a great choice for those who feel the large locket (which is approximately the size of a quarter) is a bit too large for their taste. Here is a photo of the two lockets:




The medium locket holds approximately 4-7 charms (depending on charm size) or up to 15 birthstones and is plated with 18k rose gold measuring in at approximately the size of nickel!!! The large silver locket by comparison holds approximately 7-12 charms and is stainless steel, hypoallergenic and will not rust or tarnish. I chose the large silver locket for myself since I am sensitive to many different metals, and want something that can stand up to everyday wear and tear.

I have to be honest….these lockets are MUCH more stunning in person than they appear on the website or even in the catalogs. They are a nice weight, which makes them seem even more like a substantial, quality piece of jewelry. The charms stand out easily against the clear glass or even the plates if you decide to add one. The only “con” I’ve seen so far with the jewelry is that the “mom” plate spins inside the locket as I wear it, so sometimes the “mom” is hidden under the charms instead of at the top where I place it. A concern I initially had, which has been unfounded up until this point, was that the magnetic lock wouldn’t stay closed. So far I have had NO issues at all with this. The closure seems secure and while not impossible to open in the occasion where you want to change out/add to your charms, it holds tight and makes me feel more confident that my charms are safe.

The entire ordering process was very easy, I placed my orders directly through Wendy and paid via PayPal (my preferred method for most purchases), and the orders were delivered very promptly arriving at my doorstep within a week of placing the orders!! We did have a minor communication issue with which size locket was originally ordered, but Wendy did an amazing job and had my new locket sent to me the very next day!!! 

I have already received NUMEROUS compliments on my locket, as well as my mom was literally in tears when she saw the rose gold one I had made for her. The living lockets are not “just jewelry” they are a keepsake, they are something living, changing and growing just as your family and memories evolve. I look forward to continuing to celebrate and honor the milestones and things I love in my life by adding them to my living locket.




Try it out first….host an Origami Owl party through Wendy, she can set you up with one for free and in just a moment. Show your friends and family the beautiful lockets on your party page. These would make EXCELLENT gifts for Mother’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, Christmas, etc. I can’t think of an occasion that someone would not be delighted to receive one of these beautiful pieces. After you get your lockets, let me know what YOU think. I’ve shared my experience and my personal love of the diversity that they can display….share what YOU want in your locket. After all, it is YOUR story!!


Contact Wendy Pittman today for more information:
Phone: 678-438-4206

Facebook: www.facebook.com/scentsy.wendypittman

Website: wendypittman.OrigamiOwl.com




Years ago, before my life became amazing with the birth of my sweet girl, we had our first born son. He was born in December 2006, is black with a small white patch on his chest, pointy ears, a curly tail, and, in his younger years….a tongue that went on for miles. He is a husky/lab mix and one of the best dogs you will meet.

Here is a photo of my furbaby Fenway, and our younger furbaby Roxie (german shepherd/lab mix):

Unfortunately for all of his positive attributes he has one negative that has plagued me over the years…..his eating/drinking mannerisms. We always have joked since the day we adopted him that he must have a huge hole in his cheek since anytime he drinks it shoots out of the side of his mouth and all over the floor. I have tried different bowls, giving him less water at a time, and finally resorted to just surrounding his bowls with towels to be washed after his binge drinking :P Now I will never have this issue again….before I give more info about the product I am talking about here’s one more picture of Fenway….everyone now….”Awwwwwww!!!!”

Okay, moving on…..so I was given a large size Neater Feeder by the company with extender legs to accompany my large breed dog. I will admit (since I am TOTALLY honest in this blog, since thats the whole point)…..I set up the bowl wrong at first….I attached the legs but did the top totally upside down. Here’s a few pictures of it before I corrected it:


Now I would like to share a few photos of what the messes used to look like in an era I like to refer to as “BNF” (or Before Neater Feeder):


After Fenway’s first attempt using our new bowl here are some images of the difference:

ImageHere is a photo of the inside of the reservoir:


Next are a few photos of it when PROPERLY assembled and used:



So basically this has made my life SOOOOO much easier. The bowls are easy to remove, and the large brown section lifts off the base to allow for cleaning up of any water that going into the reservoir (instead of all over my floor!!!). The bowls are roomy, easy to clean and I love that they take into consideration portion sizes and make the bowls accommodate that.  I have never seen a product that works as effectively as this one for keeping pet food/water contained yet easily accessible for them.

Neater Feeder offers different sized bowls and the optional extender legs to suit animals from small dogs/cats to XL dogs. The range of sizing makes it perfect for any furbaby you may have and they have the option of “bronze” or “cranberry” coloring!!

So now…..you’ve seen the pictures, you’ve heard my side of it, now you need to try it for yourself. Stop spending hours of your life cleaning up puddled water around your pet’s water bowls/food bowls. Do this for YOU!!!!

The best of all??? Neater Feeder has generously donated 1 Neater Feeder for me to give away to one of you (Winner’s Choice of color/size)!!!! How awesome is that!?!? To enter simply go to http://bit.ly/ZJxMY8 and fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway!!! The giveaway ends Friday 3/22/13 at 12am.

Please be sure to stop by Neater Feeders pages and share some <3 from us!!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NeaterFeeder (please be sure to stop by and thank them for donating!!!!)
Website: http://www.neaterfeeder.com


Approximately 10 years ago I was working at the engineering office at a local university when a coworker told me about something called “Freecycle”. She described it as “somewhere you can get stuff for free”. Since at the time I was a college student, who wanted to save my precious income for important things like hanging out and going places with friends (hehehe), I became very interested in this service. Since then, I have not looked back.

For those of you who may not have heard of Freecycle, it is a “Yahoo Group” where you can join and receive emails (individually or as a daily digest) of items people are posting for free or in search of. I personally have the individual emails and while that can be cumbersome to someone who may not check their email several times a day, I have found it’s the best way for me to get items that I am looking for or may need.

When I was engaged and getting items together for my husband and my first home Freecycle was my first stop. Many people joke that I furnish my homes with Freecycle. I will admit, many items (from the sofas we had, to dishes, ironing boards, even our dryer!!!) was from freecycle. I continued to post items as I no longer needed them and have done so for the last 10years.

Many of you may not realize but my husband was unemployed for 17 months, during that time we were very blessed to receive food and other items we needed (clothes, shoes, etc) through Freecycle. Most recently I had been wanting a stand mixer (you know the kind that has the bowl and attachments and mixes on its own?) to help cook more homemade (and less processed) foods for my family. However as I found out those can be expensive, even the “low end” ones. Today I received an email from a lady who had one, complete with attachments and the owner’s manual that I could have. For free. I was so happy I could have cried.

Of course, I cannot do this post without mentioning that this IS the internet, and you ALWAYS must put your safety first while you are doing pickups/drop offs. Use common sense, if you must meet out somewhere instead of picking up items off someones porch please meet somewhere that is visible by others, well-lit, etc.

I strongly encourage everyone to check on Yahoo for a local Freecycle group close to you. Even if you don’t have items that you need personally, something you consider “trash” could easily be someone else’s “treasure”. Join the millions of others across the country who are keeping items out of landfills

Here is the link to the Freecycle website that can help you find sites close to you!!! Happy Freecycling!!!


Springtime is here and Nature’s Sleep is celebrating with a March Madness Sale! Everything in their site is 65% off*, for your entire purchase.

The sale starts at 00:01 EST March 6, 2013 and ends at March 6 at 23:59 EST. That is a whole 24 hours to get 65% OFF memory foam mattresses, memory foam pillows, memory foam toppers, memory foam slippers and even dog beds!

Just use the code: MARCHMADDNESS

Simply visit http://www.naturessleep.com to get your new bed today!!!!


I am a practical person. I love objects that are functional, logical and it’s even better if they look good while doing it ;). I had the pleasure of testing a new design from JK Designs. JK Designs currently offers crocheted items, hair accessories, web designs, logos, etc….the NEWEST item added to their list is CAMERA STRAPS!!! I have wanted to test out straps for cameras since I got my Rebel and JK Designs gave me the chance to do so!!!

I want to take a moment to say that Jennifer with JK Designs is VERY helpful and even reworked the design several times (she is perfecting a prototype after all) before sending me the strap to review.

Here are a few photos of the strap I was sent:

As someone who normally wears browns or blacks I know this gorgeous blue will pop and be a fun accessory to my shooting wear!! This strap is padded and even has a conveniently located pocket to put a lens cap in for easy transitions in between shots!! At first it wasn’t as padded as I would have thought, but I have found that it is padded enough to provide softness, without feeling bulky or cumbersome. I love that the strap is also reversible, although only one side is padded, but that makes me feel like it’s a 2-in-1 accessory and easily accommodates different outfits or moods. Since this strap Jennifer has made some adjustments in padding, style, ends, etc and her straps are getting better and better!!! I personally LOVE mine even though it was a work in progress for her. It’s a great product and really makes wearing my camera strap MUCH more comfortable!!!

Interested in checking out her large assortment of hand crafted designs? Be sure to send some <3 from Sarcasticandstraightforward!!!

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kej0283
JK Designs Website: http://jenkreider.com/

First  off I want to start off by saying this review is very difficult for me. Part of the reason is because my stomach is the body part I am most self conscious of, yet it was the part that I felt would benefit the most from the items Amber Cole sent me to test and review. Amber sent me an amazing, informative packet with brochures about the It Works company, a letter with detailed instructions on how to use the products, an Ultimate Body Applicator and Facial Applicator. I was very excited to try the “It Works” products to see how well they work. I have heard amazing stories and wanted to see for myself. Here is a picture of all of the goodies she sent me:

First I will start off with the Facial Applicator…here is a picture of me fresh faced and makeup free before applying the applicator:


Sorry to scare you all :P LOL!!! So you are instructed to cleanse your face, prior to application, I found the applicator easy to apply. I did find that the lotion wasn’t evenly distributed but that can be remedied some after you remove it. Also, another note, I would wait until after your kids or hubby are asleep or atleast until you are able to not talk or anything for the 45-60min that you use the applicator. I used it for 45 minutes since I have relatively sensitive skin, and didn’t want to over-expose myself to it. Here is a picture that I call “Hannibal Lector”, I laughed at myself after putting it on….what do you think??

Whew, I warned you atleast with the Hannibal Lector comment!! :P So I left the applicator on for 45minutes, after 45minutes was up I removed the applicator and discarded it. Then I was instructed to rub in any excess lotion into my skin. I did so and I was GLOWING!!! My cheeks were also slightly flushed but that only lasted about 30minutes after the applicator was removed. Here is a picture of my “AFTER”:


I LOOOOOVE how smooth and moisturized my skin is!!!! It’s been about 8hrs since I did this and my face is still like silk!! It’s amazing!!! The only downside that I could see was that even after rubbing in the excess lotion there was a slight buildup on my face. I ended up washing my face about 1hr after I removed the applicator (allowing time for the remaining lotion to soak in) to help remove what felt like a buildup. Otherwise, it’s a great product and seems to work well on semi-sensitive skin as well (MAJOR plus for me!!)!!!

Okay….now I am moving onto the Ultimate Body Applicator…..I will warn you, these pictures may be “gross” to some, but this is my post-baby body and although I am not proud of it all of the time, I’m proud that I was able to take this small sacrifice to bring such an amazing blessing into this world. So, without further ado…I would like to present one of the items I enjoyed the most in this awesome package….


This ADORABLE pink measuring tape!!!! How cute is this!?!?!?

Okay so with the help of my handy dandy measuring tape I took my “before” measurements. Now I measured at my belly button, 2″ above and 2″ below. My measurements were:

upper: 35″                                  middle: 38.5″                           lower: 40″

Here is a picture of my before….


And from the side:


Then, I applied the Ultimate Body Applicator, this was VERY easy to apply and secure onto my skin, it then tells you to help hold it in place by using plastic wrap, tight fitting clothing or elastic wraps….I had Spanx (body shapewear) so I used that…here’s a picture of the applicator after it was applied and the Spanx:



I wore the applicator for 45minutes, as instructed for a first time user. I will mention that I LOOOOVE the “spa-like” eucalyptusy scent of the applicator, it really made me feel like I was pampering myself!!! I did notice a “cooling” sensation when I had the applicator on, it was not uncomfortable or painful AT ALL, it was just cool…almost like when you put on Aloe Vera or Vicks. 45 minutes went by and I had to keep myself from measuring throughout the 45minutes :P. Another thing you are told to do is drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water to help flush the toxins from your body. Part of the inch loss that people experience is due to the detoxifying that is going on!!! So anyway, after the 45minutes I removed the applicator and discarded it, I then rubbed in the excess lotion and took pictures. I could notice a difference in the appearance of my stretch marks immediately (not sure if it shows that well in the pictures since the flash may have made them seem more prominent). Here are my measurements for 45min, 24hrs and 72hrs after the applicator was removed:

45minutes:upper: 35″                            middle: 38.5″                            lower: 39.5″ (0.5″ loss)

24hours: upper: 35″                               middle: 38″ (0.5″ loss)               lower: 39″ (1″ total loss)

72hours: upper: 35″                               middle: 38″                               lower: 39″

So total loss for me was 1.5″!!! Not bad at all for something I only had on for 45minutes!!! I definitely noticed a difference with my skin texture, stretch marks, etc as well, which is definitely a plus!! I can definitely see that using these more often could bring about much more significant results!!!
Here is a picture of my AFTER:

I know I have already talked to quite a few people and encouraged them to try these products out. Amber is AMAZING, she is VERY helpful and supportive!!! If you have ANY questions about “It Works”, their products or how to order send her a message!!!

You can find her:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/blissfuleighiced

Website: blissfulinchloss.myitworks.com

Email: blissfuleighiced@gmail.com

Not to mention, check out the AMAZING deals their “Loyal Customers” can get, from 20-50% off products!!!! DEFINITELY worth the $$$ and the savings!!!

Thanks for checking out my review and be sure to swing by and share some <3 with Amber from SarcasticandStraightforward!!!

I received a diaper from “Haute Bottoms” to test and give feedback for them. I used the diaper, washed it several times and shared my review with them. She said she would not mind if I shared my review of the diaper….First here is a picture of the diaper I reviewed:

We use many different types of diapers in our home. We have tried all-in-ones, pockets, fitteds, etc. The denim diaper I received from Haute Bottoms has quickly become one of my favorite diapers in my stash!!! My husband has even made numerous comments about how well made, well fitting and adorable this diaper is!! My daughter is very tall, but thin, for her age and sometimes we have a hard time finding a diaper that works well for her. This diaper is PERFECT!!! I hope to get many, many more for my daughter and any future children we may have. I wish Haute Bottoms was closer to us (They are located on Prince Edward Island, so it takes a little bit to get the diapers, WELL worth the wait though!!) because I know then I would have a hard time not ordering diapers constantly!! I LOVE this diaper!! After several washings of the diaper it is still soft, and looks AMAZING!!! I highly recommend this diaper and look forward to doing business in the future with Haute Bottoms!!

Are you looking to try cloth diapering? Looking to expand your stash?? Look no farther for ADORABLE, well made, affordable diapers!!!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haute-Bottoms/181983815148457

Website: http://hautebottoms.com

Email: hautebottoms@hotmail.ca

Be sure to share some <3 from Missy’s Musings!!!


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