Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Get Fit, It's Fun Guide: The Zone Diet {Review & Giveaway}

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As with every New Year, comes NEW WEIGHT LOSS goals. There, I said it. It's true, I try to work just a little harder at tracking my food intake, hitting the gym more than usual and try my darnedest to keep these two things top of mind throughout my day. 

Years ago, I heard about The Zone Diet (I think from my celebrity gossip magazine)... but didn't know much about it until recently. The ZoneFast WeightLoss Program offers a wide selection of products to help you consciously keep track of your food intake, while aiding you in your weight loss journey.

About The Zone Diet (and Zone Labs)
{source: zonediet.com}

The Zone Diet specializes in anti-inflammatory nutrition. Founded in 1999, by Dr. Barry Sears Zone Labs is based on the discoveries he made on the role of diet in hormonal response, gene expression, and inflammation.

Cellular inflammation is what makes us gain weight, accelerate the development of chronic disease, and decrease our physical performance. Increased cellular inflammation can turn your fat cells into a “fat trap” especially if you are genetically predisposed. Once this happens, the dietary calories get trapped in your fat cells and can’t be released to make the energy you need to survive and more around. As a result you are constantly hungry. Once you begin to reverse cellular inflammation, the “fat trap” is relaxed and you stop the hunger. If you are never hungry, then cutting back on calories is easy.

The Zone Diet is clinically proven to reverse cellular inflammation by maintaining the inflammatory hormones generated by the food we eat within a Zone that is not high, but not too low.

ace and friends thoughts

Thanks to my friends at Zone Labs, I was fortunate to receive a 2 week supply of bagels, breads, cookies, granola, pastas, Zone bars and more. It also included daily vitamin packets to compliment my program. It was easy to substitute my usual bread/pasta items with the provide Zone Diet products.

I could easily prepare meals that I normally would, but just enhance what I was eating with my Zone Diet options. I could make tasty pasta dishes as well as some tasty sandwiches and much more.

At ZoneDiet.com, you can access an amazing selection of ZoneFast Recipes that you can easily incorporate your provided Zone Diet foods. Recipes are available for all meals,  including breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was a fabulous recipe for this dish -  Fusili with Basil, Tomatoes and Feta --->.

Benefits of the Zone 1-2-3 Program
{source: zonediet.com}

  • Your clothes will fit better as much of your weight loss is excess body fat, not loss of water or muscle
  • You will enjoy improved mental focus and acuity as your blood sugar levels become more stable
  • You will observe a surge in physical energy as you increase the release of stored body fat to be converted into chemical energy
  • You will have an improved ability to handle stress
  • Finally, as you continue to reduce excess body fat, you will have decreased blood sugar, blood lipid, and blood pressure levels

M&M Cookie - yummy!
So, you are probably wondering... what were my results? I am glad to report that with my regular gym schedule I lost a total of 4.5 pounds in just two weeks. Prior to the Zone Diet, I was essentially at a stand still. This gave me the boost I needed to get going in the right direction... which is DOWN, DOWN, DOWN! Thank you so much ZoneDiet.com!

Buy It

You can purchase Zone Diet products on their site HERE.

Win It

Thanks to Zone Labs one LUCKY ace and friends reader will
win a Zone 1-2-3 Food Standard Program.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

American Girl's 2012 Girl of the Year *McKenna* Doll {Review & Giveaway}

Ever since Christmas, the girls, {a} and {c}, have become completely obsessed with their gorgeous American Girl dolls. They have been playing with their Marie-Grace and Cécile dolls non-stop. Thankfully, with the new year, we were introduced to American Girl's 2012 Girl of the Year, McKenna. The Girl of the Year arrives every new year and is only available for the year she is introduced. That's it... ONE year only! This month, my not so little {a} will be celebrating her 9th birthday and what a perfect time to surprise her with McKennaThanks to my WONDERFUL friends at American Girl... I can't wait to see the excitement on her face when she opens up this adorable NEW doll.

About American Girl 

If you haven't heard of American Girl, I would be SUPER surprised... but in case you don't know much about this amazing company, let me tell you a little about them.

American Girl is "Helping girls become their very best!" At American Girl, they celebrate girls and all that they can be. That's why they develop products and experiences that help girls grow up in a wholesome way, while encouraging them to enjoy girlhood through fun and enchanting play. {These are a few reasons why I LOVE American Girl.}

American Girl offers a wide variety of different products that are suitable for just about everyone. The American Girl character feature historical characters that highlight important past dates of America's past. My American Girl™ dolls are dolls that are created especially for every girl. Bitty Baby® are adorable baby dolls that promote nurturing play among girls and are perfect for ages 3 and up. In addition to dolls, American Girl also offers American Girl magazine and Books that are written to help girls every step of the way. 

ace and friends thoughts

I was thrilled to see that McKenna was the Girl of The Year (as was {a}). American Girl's  2012 Girl of the Year is a determined girl who uses her strengths to turn challenges into triumphs. The McKenna doll is 18" tall, with brilliant blue eyes that open and close. She has long, caramel-colored hair that can be pulled high for gymnastics practice, or styled up in twists for a fancy occasion.

The story of McKenna Brooks, 10, tells of a young girl who has ALWAYS excelled in school and gymnastics. So, when her grades begin to fall, she begins to doubt herself. McKenna, with the help of a new friend, overcomes her challenges by focusing on her strengths. 
McKenna, the doll itself, is even more adorable in person. She is dressed in a sporty striped dress with flutter sleeves, a dropped waist, and a pleated skirt. Complimenting her striped dress are teal leggings and striped slip on shoes. Her clothes make it extra easy to perform all of her gymnastic moves freely. Included with her outfit is a purple pair of underwear as well as a hairband to keep her hair out of her face during practices, meets and routines. 

Along with the doll is the McKenna paperback book—an engaging story that will inspire girls to go for their goals, one day at a time.

As with other American Girl dolls, McKenna does not disappoint. Her body is made of a soft cloth and the head and limbs are made of smooth vinyl. These dolls are extremely well made and will give the little girl in your life many years of enjoyment. You can pose each doll, including McKenna in many different ways, including the splits, pretend twists and flips. In addition to American Girl dolls being extra cute, I truly love that they encourage reading and inspire girls to reach for their goals, one day at a time.

Finally, I cannot wait to see {a}'s reaction at her birthday celebration. She will definitely flip.... with excitement! After her party, I will certainly post some birthday pictures! 

Buy It

2012 Girl of the Year, McKenna along with many other American Girl products
can be purchased HERE.

Win It

Thanks to American Girl, one LUCKY ace and friends reader will win
 the {3} McKenna books - McKenna; McKenna, Ready to Fly!; and Take the Challenge!


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Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 Get Fit, It's Fun Guide: XEN-TAN Premium Sunless Tanning Lotions {Review & Giveaway}

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I have always liked the look of a good healthy suntanned glow. As we now approach mid February in the Midwest, the amount of sun and warmth here is absolutely minimal {phooeeeey}. The good news for me is that I got the chance to try another one of XEN-TAN Premium Sunless Tanning lotions. Yeah for me!

XEN-TAN began when creator Dera Enochson decided she'd had enough of self-tans that looked orange. Working with chemists and testing on friends and family, she spent two years developing new formulas. XEN-TAN products were created to give a more natural color, while maintaining delicious scents, even when your tan is developing.

I was fortunate to review a unique XEN-TAN sunless tanning product, E's Live From The Red Carpet Perfect Blend.

A little more about E's Live From The Red Carpet Perfect Blend
(source: xen-tan.com)

  • Custom self-tan
  • Skin firming complex
  • Paraben-Free
  • Scent Secure Protection

7.5 oz. - Xen-Tan has partnered with E! Live from the Red Carpet to create a product that delivers a custom tan for YOUR red carpet event!

Inside instructions teach even a first time self-tanner how to get a flawless application. The adjustable dial allows you to customize your tan each time you apply. Cucumber-melon scent.

ace and friends thoughts

Upon opening the E's Live From The Red Carpet Perfect Blend, I first noticed that this lotion had a very nice fragrance and not the typical chemical self-tanner smell. Different from Xen Tan's other products too. A definite bonus in my book. 

First up, the dial system. After reading the directions just once, I was able to figure out how to get the lotion started. Once the lotion/bronzer began to dispense from the bottle, it was ready for my preferred shade. The dual chambers allow you to decide how dark you would like your tone to be on your skin. With the combination of self-tanner and bronzer, you will get an instant tan, along with a self-tan that develops within about three hours. You can mix in as little or as much as you like with each turn. If you prefer to use just the self tanner or bronzer by itself, you have that option as well by dialing the nozzle fully left or right. This product can not only be used on your body, but on your face as well. The product dries rather quickly and I didn't have to worry about the product coming off onto my clothing or furniture. Once applied, it looked very natural. 

Admittedly, I have had quite a few people compliment me on my new sun-kissed look. I'm so glad I was introduced to XEN-TAN's products! Now I can obtain that healthy glow without having to hit the tanning beds during the winter season. Final Thoughts: umm, is it possible to be in love with self tanner? Well, according to some from the Jersey Shore... I think it is! 

Buy It

Get your own XEN-TAN products on their site HERE
or  click HERE to locate a store near you .

Win It

Thanks to XEN-TAN, one LUCKY ace and friends reader will win their very own
 E's Live From The Red Carpet Perfect Blend

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Wholly Guacamole Check Your Choice Check-N-Win Sweepstakes {& Giveaway}

As one of my favorite characters from How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson would say... "Challenge accepted!". Wholly Guacamole is hosting a Check-N-Win Sweepstakes where you have a chance to win some fabulous prize by completing fun challenges to get your body a movin' and shakin' which will help improve your overall well-being!

Here's how it works:
  • Every week, Wholly Guacamole will present a new challenge.
  • Perform the challenge and tell us how you did in the comment box provided.
  • Their panel of judges will select the best answer or answers and award prizes every week.
  • Your answer must be submitted by Sunday, 11:59 PM CST.

Have fun, be creative and Check Your Choice.

It's easy... complete challenges, have fun... win prize... enjoy some Wholly Guacamole too! Wholly Guacamole is America’s #1 Guacamole for a reason... taste it and you will see why!

To learn more, please visit:

Win It 

Thanks to Wholly Guacamole, FOUR LUCKY *ace and friends* reader will win! ONE {1} GRAND PRIZE winner will receive a cooler of Guacomole and THREE {3} additional winners will receive {3 FREE product coupons and some promo goodies}.


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Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 Valentine's Day Gift Guide: SnuggleTime Toys {Review}

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Ummm, genius, that was my first thought! Second, geez... why didn't I think of that? If your kids are a big a fan of Pillow PetsTM as my kids are... you'll understand what I am talking about when I tell you about some super cute accessories created by SnuggleTime.

About SnuggleTime Toys

SnuggleTimeTM is a woman-owned business that’s created a full line of must-have accessories for your children’s favorite plush pillow toys and other plush friends. Created for today’s children on the go, their products offer the perfect snuggly “fit” for your child’s soft and furry friends by combining practicality with ingenuity and a heavy dose of fun. SnuggleTime Toy's product line include Petjamas for the original and mini size plush toy friends as well as Snugglebags - mini sleeping bags for their plush companions.

Petjamas - Fluffy Collection
(source: snuggletimetoys.com)

The Fluffy Collection covers your favorite Pillow PetsTM in soft-as-a-cloud fabric. A combination slipcover, outfit and carrier, Petjamas are today’s must-have accessories for your favorite plush toys. This super soft, super cute and super cleanable cover acts as clothes or a carrying case for plush companions and a pillow case for children. Petjamas make the ideal gift for the child who is inseparably connected to their beloved stuffed friends. They are interchangeable, portable (attached grab and go handle) and feature pockets to store your little one's treasures.

Petjamas are also available in two additional fabrics - Knobby and Quilty. In addition to the different fabric options, Petjamas are available in a variety of colors such as Squishalicous Pear, Blueberry Muffin, Strawberry Shortcake and more.

This two-in-one mini sleeping bag will keep your favorite stuffed toys warm and snuggly. Cushy and convertible, these durable sleeping bags serve as a perfect slipcover to keep plush toys ultra cozy and ultra clean. Snugglebags make the ideal gift for children who want to share their dreams with their favorite plush companions while traveling or on a sleepover. Also comes with it's own sleeping bag carrying case.

Recommended for ages 3 and up. Petjamas retail for $9.99
and Snugglebags for $12.99.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, wouldn't this make the perfect gift for the little Valentines in your life? 

Buy It

Petjamas and Snugglebags are available on their website HERE.


[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free from the manufacturer of a PR Agency. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." See ace and friends Disclosure Policy HERE.]
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Date Night with K-Y Brand {Giveaway}

 Featured Sponsor

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is the perfect time to spice things up in the bedroom!  I am thrilled to share with you that K-Y® Brand has partnered with Moviefone.com to offer an exclusive set of DATE NIGHT Packs, which combine K-Y® Brand’s portfolio of premium intimacy enhancement products with a voucher for $10 off movie tickets for two.

DATE NIGHT Packs are a perfect way for couple’s to spend Valentine’s Day together, both inside and outside of the bedroom.

As an added bonus, Rite-Aid is offering a $25 voucher for Restaurants.com when you spend $25 on ANY combination of KY Brand products with their Rite Aid Wellness card (now through February 12th). 

Now you can save even more with this COUPON from K-Y Brands!

Win It

ONE LUCKY ace and friends reader will win a K-Y Brand Date Night Pack
and $25 Restaurants.com voucher!

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Discover Your Winter Cocktail & Enter For Your Chance to #Win a $20 Crate & Barrel Gift Card and Hendrick’s Gin Umbrella {Giveaway}

In celebration of the winter season, Robb Report presents the Discover Your Winter Cocktail Blog App. Everyone has their favorite cocktail, but have you wondered what winter cocktail fits you best?  Take the Discover Your Winter Cocktail quiz and you can find out by answering a few simple questions!
  • Discover Your Winter Cocktail. Answer a few questions to see what winter cocktail suits you best!
  • Little Known Liquor Facts! This fun guide will give you little known facts about liquor you may not have known!
  • Give a Winter Twist to Four Classic Cocktails! Everyone has their favorite drink and most of the time they are the tried and true classics. Now you can spice up your classic cocktail with a fun holiday twist! Great to share with friends or become the hit of your holiday party

In the meantime, why don't your try one of these delicious seasonal cocktails!

Chocolate Snowball

2 oz coconut rum
2 oz  Irish cream
1 oz hazelnut liqueur
3 1/2 oz melted chocolate
3 1/2 oz cream
1 dash chocolate syrup

Preparation: Place the chocolate syrup around the glass then place the other ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into glass.

Spring Fever

3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz mango syrup
1 1/2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz blood orange juice

Preparation: Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker, and strain into a collins glass half-filled with crushed ice.

Winter Breeze

1 oz creme de cacao
1 oz vanilla schnapps
1 oz Irish cream

Preparation: Pour liquors into a beer mug, and fill with milk. Stir, and serve.

Win It

ONE LUCKY ace and friends reader will win a$20.00 Crate &Barrel Gift Card
and a Hendrick’s Gin Golf Umbrella!
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