Monday, August 25, 2014

The Identical Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Review and Giveaway

"The IDENTICAL tells the compelling story of twin brothers unknowingly separated at birth during the Great Depression. DREXEL HEMSLEY becomes an iconic 50’s rock ’n’ roll star, while RYAN WADE (Blake Rayne) struggles to balance his love for music and pleasing his father. The Reverend Wade (Ray Liotta) and his wife (Ashley Judd) are sure their adopted son has been gifted and called by God to be a preacher. But Ryan challenges his parent’s vision for his life, and unflinchingly chooses to launch his own music career with his best friend (Seth Green). Encouraged by his wife (Erin Cottrell) and employer (Joe Pantoliano), Ryan embarks on an unpredictable, provocative path - performing the legendary music of Drexel Hemsley in sold out venues all across the country. As the brothers destinies tragically collide, Ryan discovers that Drexel is his identical twin which leads him to question everything he’s ever believed about God, family, and his own identity."

I received a free signed copy of the The Identical Original Motion Picture Soundtrack sampler in order to perform this review, which features 12 of the 20 original songs by Jerry Marcellino and Yochanan Marcellino from the film, including "Your Love's Keepin' Me Tonight," "City Lights," "Angel of Mine," "Everybody Know It" and "Nashville Tonight." The Identical has both an amazing story line and cast and from what I can gather it depicts the life of Elvis. I'm definitely an Elvis fan so I really wanted to like this soundtrack more than I did. It's not a terrible soundtrack though. It's just not really my type of music. I guess I was just expecting something a little different, something more lively and upbeat, something more young Elvis. Regardless, I think with such a strong story line and cast, The Identical will still be a big hit at the box office and I can't wait to see it.  

The Identical comes to theaters September 5th!

Check out the movie trailer here:  
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If you're interested in getting some friends together to see The Identical, check out this group ticket opportunity here:

One Precisely Mine reader will win an un-signed copy of The Identical Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.  
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."

Review of Grandma Chonga's Salsa

**Disclosure:  I was sent free samples of Grandma Chonga's Salsa in order to perform this review. However, no other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.**

In my opinion, there is no better snack (or appetizer) than tortilla chips and salsa. I'm not a salsa snob either. I love trying all different types and brands of salsas. I especially love unique salsas that aren't readily available in your local grocery store. While on vacation this summer, I tried a sample of apple salsa and I loved it so much that I brought a jar home with me. More recently, I found Grandma Chonga's Salsa when doing a search on Google for other unique salsas and I found that they offered two unique types of salsa, tropical salsa and Salsa-Que. After contacting them, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review these two salsas in addition to Grandma Chonga's Original Salsa. I'm excited to tell you what I thought about them but before I get into that I want to tell you the heartwarming story behind Grandma Chonga's Salsa. 

"Lucia Velasquez (Grandma Chonga) began making authentic Salsa over 70 years ago from the traditions passed on by her family’s Hispanic heritage. This cherished heritage continued with her daughter Madeline’s passion for cooking, bringing family together and connecting with the nostalgia of family recipes. These same traditions and flavors that have spanned generations continue through her granddaughter’s devotion. Today, each jalapeno, habanero & garlic clove is still hand-picked and fire roasted with the produce grown locally in season from small family farms. Open a jar of Grandma Chonga’s Salsa and bring your family together to share a tradition at your kitchen table."

Grandma Chonga’s Tropical Salsa is my favorite of the three salsas. It combines a unique blend of exotic fruits, including pineapple, mandarin oranges, and mangos, along with roasted jalapeƱos and garlic. This is a chunkier salsa. All the ingredients blend together very nicely making a nice sweet salsa with a slight kick at the end. It has an amazingly unique flavor. Grandma Chonga’s Original Salsa blends traditional ingredients such as whole tomatoes, jalapeƱos, roasted garlic, and a touch of fresh cilantro to create an authentic Hispanic salsa. This salsa is very mild and savory. I love the smoother, thinner consistency of it. This is a restaurant quality salsa and reminds me very much of the authentic salsa served at my favorite Mexican restaurant. Grandma Chonga’s Salsa-Que is by far the most unique salsa I've ever tried. It combines Original “Hot” Salsa with bold and traditional barbeque flavors. It's a very, very thin salsa. Salsa-Que is sweet, smokey, and very spicy. It definitely reminds me of barbeque sauce with a big kick! I really liked all three flavors of Grandma Chonga's Salsa that I tried. Actually, I liked the original salsa and the Salsa-Que and I LOVED the tropical salsa. 

I also shared Grandma Chonga's Salsa with my co-workers and I got a great response from them as well. Everyone seemed to pretty much share my opinion. They loved the bite at the end of the tropical salsa and Salsa-Que and like me, the tropical salsa also seemed to be their favorite of the three. One co-worker even told me that the tropical salsa and Salsa-Que were actually good when mixed together.  

While I mostly prefer my salsa with tortilla chips, Grandma Chonga's Salsa can be used to spice up your meals as well. You can check out a list of recipes using Grandma Chonga's Salsa here. The original salsa is great for not only enhancing your favorite chips but creamy dips as well. We used to make a dip at home where we layered cream cheese, refried beans, salsa, and shredded cheese and Grandma Chonga's Original Salsa would be the perfect salsa for this recipe. The tropical salsa is paired beautifully with grilled seafood, poultry, and pork. Salsa-Que compliments any of your favorite barbequed or grilled dishes. I think some pork chops grilled with Salsa-Que and topped with Grandma Chonga's Tropical Salsa sound fantastic. 

How would you use Grandma Chonga's Salsa

Purchase Grandma Chonga's Salsa
Grandma Chonga's is still growing and isn't available in stores everywhere (you can check here to see if it's available at a location near you) but it is sold online at It's very reasonably priced as well. 

Connect with Grandma Chonga's Salsa 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Precisio Slant Tip Tweezers Review

**Disclosure:  I received a free pair of Precisio Tweezers from Crave Naturals in order to perform this review as I'm a Crave Blogger. However, no other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.**

One thing you'll always find in my makeup case is a pair of tweezers. I use tweezers for shaping my eyebrows and also for plucking those two to three annoying stray hairs that keep regrowing underneath my chin. Many years ago after trying out several pairs, I finally found a pair of tweezers that worked well for me and I've guarded them ever since. However, I was recently given the opportunity to review a pair of Precisio slant tip tweezers from Crave Naturals and I've decided it's time to give my old tweezers the boot.

Precisio tweezers are professional grade tweezers designed with you in mind. Designed with a precise slanted tip, Precisio tweezers make hair removal simple and pain free by making it easy for you to get close to the root of hairs so there is less pain in hair removal. The ultra-sharp, hand filed tips are perfectly aligned so you get the job done right the first time. They are designed for comfort and easy handling with a matte finish so there is no slippage. Precisio slant tip tweezers come with a lifetime guarantee and are also guaranteed to stay sharp for life and will never require resharpening or replacement.

I found the Precisio tweezers to be very comfortable and easy to hold on to. They are not bulky in my opinion. They are perfectly angled and made it easy for me to grab all the short and fine hairs on my brown bone, allowing me to easily reshape my eyebrows. I was able to do this quicker using the Precisio tweezers than I could using my old pair as well. They also easily grabbed those two to three annoying stray hairs underneath my chin. I never once pinched my skin while using these tweezers and it was a painless experience. These high quality surgical grade stainless steel tweezers seem to be very well made and are not just another cheap pair of tweezers. I like the contemporary design as well. I firmly believe that I will never have to buy another pair of tweezers ever again.

Although I mainly use tweezers for hair removal and keep them in my makeup case, it's also great to have a pair handy in first aid kits as they are perfect for tick removal or splinter removal. They come in a sanitary holding case so that they are not damaged or contaminated during storage.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review of Mabel's Labels Stylish Scholars Combo

My son will be starting his freshman year of high school this week. It's a bittersweet moment for me. He's grown into such a nice young man and I'm extremely proud of him. I can remember so vividly his first day of pre-school at 4 years old, equipped with his new outfit and Shrek backpack smiling from ear to ear in the picture I took of him. I remember all through his elementary and middle school years having to write his name on all of his school supplies, backpack, coat, etc. but as he's gotten older and now entering high school, I've found that things have changed a bit. While I don't have to label his pencils and crayon boxes anymore, there are still things that high schoolers need labeled. My son will be starting his freshman year of high school with the Stylish Scholars Combo from Mabel's Labels. 
The Stylish Scholars Combo is a brand new label combo pack for back to school that features a range of modern, refined, stylish designs perfect for scholars of all ages, especially high schoolers and college students. These sophisticated labels can be used on school supplies, water bottles, electronics, cell phone cases, and much more. This combo includes 40 Skinny-Minis (1-1/2" x 5/16"), 50 Tag Mates (13/16" x 3/8"), 16 Round Labels (1.3"), and 2 Teeny Tags (1-1/4" x 3/4"). Skinny-Minis are dishwasher and microwave safe, Tag Mates are washer and dryer safe, and Round Labels and Teeny Tags are waterproof and UV resistant. 

There are 12 designs and two fonts to choose from and I chose the Black and White design in Font 1 for my son. It's a simple design perfect for any teenage boy especially. If my son was still in elementary school, I'd use the Round Labels in the Stylish Scholars Combo to label things like his shoes, but since he's starting high school I'll use them to label things like his notebooks, folders, and binders. Instead of using the Tag Mates to label my son's pencils, crayon boxes, glue sticks, and scissors, now I'm using them to label things like his calculator, favorite ink pens, and water and Gatorade bottles and even the knapsack that he carries back and forth from football practice. I no longer need to use the Skinny-Minis to label my son's clothes. Instead, they are great for labeling his gloves that he uses for football. These labels don't look babyish but add a nice stylish touch, perfect for labeling things my son will be using when starting high school this week. All the labels are strong and adhered nicely to all the surfaces I applied them to. They of course have stayed on every flat surface that they have been applied to. I've had to re-apply them to the inside of his football gloves because those things literally take a beating out on the football field so that's no surprise, but there are 40 Skinny-Minis in this combo pack so I think we'll be good for the entire season. Since my son is old enough to have a house key and will be getting his own car soon, the Teeny Tags will be perfect to add to his key chain. They seem durable enough to handle an active teenage boy. 

Do you have a student in your household that could use this Stylish Scholars Combo from Mabel's Labels? What design would they like best?

Don't forget to connect with Mabel's Labels

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NeoCell Beauty Bursts Soft Chews Review and Giveaway

The therapeutic benefits of collagen have been widely recognized in Europe and Asia for decades. NeoCell was founded in 1998 by Al Quadri after an extraordinary personal experience and is a family-owned, research oriented business committed to introducing the world to a premium quality collagen-based supplement line. Collagen plays a vital role in strengthening and rebuilding lost muscle mass and connective tissue. NeoCell's goal is to create products that allow people to live younger, longer lives with abundant energy and wellbeing. Since its founding, NeoCell has been continually enhancing their manufacturing process so they are able to offer their customers the most bioavailable and bioactive collagen peptides on the market. Millions of people have benefitted from these efforts and are now living a more youthful life. NeoCell has grown considerably over the years and today is the #1 collagen brand in the world and a leader in the field of nutritional science.

One of the newest products you'll find at NeoCell are Beauty Bursts, which are all natural gourmet soft chews with beauty nutrition. NeoCell Beauty Bursts deliver high absorption beauty nutrients,  including collagen type 1 and 3 for firm, smooth skin and strong hair and nails, hyaluronic acid for skin hydration and renewal, and vitamin C, which is a collagen enhancer. Together, these three beauty nutrients work together to build beautiful skin from the inside out. They come in two different flavors, fruit punch or chocolate mint and they are soy free and gluten free. 

I was recently given the opportunity to try out the fruit punch flavored Beauty Bursts. It was suggested on the package to take two to four soft chews a day and I did so for approximately a month. Each chew is individually wrapped. They have a great, all natural, fruity flavor so for me they double as a sweet treat after work and before starting dinner. They are fairly easy to chew as well. I keep this stand up bag of beauty bursts right on my kitchen counter. 

After taking the NeoCell Beauty Bursts for several days, I noticed that my usually dry skin was feeling a little bit more hydrated than usual, definitely on my face. The extra skin hydration was of course wonderful but these NeoCell Beauty Bursts helped me in a way that I wasn't expecting. I've suffered from chronic shoulder pain for years now. I've tried different medications, creams, chiropractic care, and physical therapy with only short term relief (if any) but in the past couple of months I've noticed a decreased range of motion as well. It has been quite bothersome in many ways. However, after taking these NeoCell Beauty Bursts for about 2 weeks or so, I woke up one morning and the range of motion in my shoulder seemed to be a bit better. I didn't really think much of it at the time, however, day by day the range of motion in my shoulder got a little bit easier. That's when I realized that it must be the collagen in the NeoCell Beauty Bursts working so I asked Jean from NeoCell about it. She directed me to an article about healing joint injuries, which was very helpful in explaining things and at the end it stated that collagen should be the first supplement everyone takes when attempting to heal a joint injury, reduce pain, or increase mobility. 

I'm not saying that these NeoCell Beauty Bursts has corrected all my shoulder problems but they have helped me gain some of my range of motion back, which is more than I was hoping for. I can function so much easier after taking these beauty bursts and for that I'm very grateful.  

Connect with NeoCell

If you prefer topical products, you can view NeoCell's serums, masques, and beauty mist on If you're new to iherb, use code CIP001 at checkout and you'll receive a $5-10 discount. 

One Precisely Mine reader will win a bag of NeoCell Beauty Bursts in fruit punch or chocolate mint. 
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Made By Raffi by Craig Pomranz

"Raffi is a shy boy who doesn't like noisy games and is often teased at school. But when he gets the idea of making a scarf for his dad’s birthday, he is full of enthusiasm even though the other children think it is girly to knit. Then the day draws near for the school pageant, and there is one big problem: no costume for the prince. And that’s when Raffi has his most brilliant idea of all — to make a prince’s cape. On the day of the pageant, Raffi’s cape is the star of the show."

Inspired by true-life incident, Craig Pomranz's children's book (illustrated by award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain), Made By Raffi, was written to support young boys and girls who are perceived as "different" because of their appearance or hobbies. Newly released this summer, Made By Raffi is a funny colorful book with a serious message and will interest those who care about promoting diversity and embracing our differences, as well as children seeking to fit in. Made By Raffi is being published in five languages and distributed in eight countries so far.  Craig Pomranz is really passionate about this issue and has really become interested in the idea of how we tell our kids what is appropriate activity, based on gender. Most of the parents of young kids he knows are trying on one hand to let their kids follow their own interests, but on the other hand are concerned about their kid fitting in and not being teased. As a result, atypical hobbies and behaviors are only encouraged so far. 

You can purchase your own copy of Made By Raffi on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also follow along with Craig Pomranz on Twitter @MadeByRaffi

This sounds like a wonderful children's book and I would love to know if you purchased a copy of Made By Raffi.