Friday, June 29, 2012

Are YOU Watching The USA Swimming Olympic Trials On NBC?

It's been an exciting week because this week started the USA Swimming Olympic Trials and we've watching them religiously every evening. Did you know that you can watch them too every night on NBC?

The preliminaries air at 11:00 am EST on NBC Sports and the Finals start at 7:45 pm EST on NBC. The trials are exciting and entertaining to watch and it truly is a site to see these amazing athletes compete for the top three spots in each swimming style.  Swimmers compete now through July 2nd.

The kids are really enjoying the trials... I love watching them discuss the swimming style and swimmers amongst themselves...

Michael Phelps qualified for his fourth Olympic (yes, fourth... amazing) event Thursday at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, winning the men’s 200m butterfly with a time of 1:53.65. 

One of the most thrilling stories in the 200 breast stroke is Amanda Beard, who, if she qualifies for the team in this event, will have qualified for five Olympic Games. She is the fifth seed after this morning’s prelims in 2:27.07.

Some more fun action is on tonight and tomorrow (Saturday) beginning at 6:45 pm including:


Men's 200m Breast - Final
Women's 100m Free - Semifinal
Men's 200m Back - Semifinal
Women's 200m Fly - Final
Men's 100m Free - Final
Women's 200m Breast - Semifinal
Men's 200m IM - Semifinal 

Men's 50m Free - Semifinal
Women's 200m Breast - Final
Men's 200m Back - Final
Women's 200m Back - Semifinal
Men's 200m IM - Final
Women's 100m Free - Final
Men's 100m Fly - Semifinal 

We are looking forward to watching the USA Swimming Olympic Trials through July 2nd and feel free to follow along on Twitter using the hashtag  #SwimToday.

Are you watching the Olympic swimming trials? Which swimmer is your favorite?

For more information about the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, including complete results, go

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I partnered with USA Swimming and TheMotherhood on this compensated post. 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, June 26, 2012

Capitol Lighting's {Product Review}

You may have seen in my previous post, I have been in search of the perfect kitchen area rug. Now that I've found that... I've got a new mission... a new kitchen table light fixture. The current light fixture is what they like to refer to as the *builder's lights*. Although, it's not horrible, it has never been my favorite. I recently discovered Capitol Lighting's, an amazing source for a wide-selection of various light fixtures. 

About Capitol Lighting's

With over 80 years of experience in lighting homes, Capitol Lighting's has everything for all your lighting needs. Whether you are looking for the ideal floor lamp or amazing chandelier, this is your one-stop shop. They offer high quality brands including Corbett Lighting, Hinkley Lighting, Hudson Valley Lighting, Schoonbek as well as many more familiar popular brands.

In addition to their expansive website, Capitol Lighting also has nine lighting store that are the offspring of a family retailing tradition that dates back to 1924, when Max Lebersfeld, an electrical contractor and recent immigrant from Austria-Hungary, opened an affordable lighting store in Newark, NJ. Four generations later, Capitol Lighting has expanded the concept to four locations in New Jersey and four in southeast Florida and in 2002 Capitol Lighting was given the award for New Jersey's Family Business of the Year. 

The typical Capitol Lighting store spans 12,000 square feet, which allow room for a huge selection. While many lighting showrooms boast a wide selection, Capitol Lighting delivers both a great selection, and affordable lighting.

ace and friends thoughts

In selecting a new kitchen light fixture, the first thing that I look for is uniqueness. I am very particular when it comes to adding new items to our home and really like to find pieces that are new and different. Of course, the price factor is the next important item in the decision process. With the wide-selection offered at, I knew that I would find the perfect kitchen light for our home. I've now narrowed it down to three beautiful pendant lights. 

Trend Lighting TP4096 Distratto12 Inch Ceiling Pendant

Kichler 42625 Ellerslie 22 Inch Ceiling Pendant 


Kichler 42393 Jardine 36 Inch Ceiling Pendant

The website itself is very easy to navigate and I really like that you can select specific fixtures and compare prices to those on competitive sites. The live chat is very useful and a nice option when shopping for lighting as I know I have questions that I would like answered immediately. I did notice, however, that it's only available during specific business hours, but a customer service representative will bet back to you within 24 hours.

Admittedly, any of these lights would look beautiful hanging above my  kitchen table... so... now comes the hard part... which do I choose? PLEASE HELP!

So, if you are in the market for a new light, ceiling fan, some outdoor lighting or just want to update your current look, make sure you visit - with their impressive selection, you will certainly find something to suit your every need!

Buy It

Any of the above pendant lights as well as
other styles can be found at Capitol Lighting's retail locations near you or 

FREE shipping available on orders over $49.


[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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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mohawk Home Area Rugs {Review & Giveaway}

For several months now, I've been on a new search for a new area rug for under our kitchen table that would compliment our style and yet still remain affordable. In my quest, I've learned a lot about rugs, although, a little more than one should know about them. However, I am glad I was diligent because I happen to stumble across Mohawk Home, an incredible manufacturer of stunning area rugs.

About Mohawk Industries

Mohawk Home (a division of Mohawk Industries) is the world's largest manufacturer of area and accent rugs. Mohawk Industries is one of the foremost manufacturers and distributors of residential and commercial flooring in the world. In addition to area and accent rugs, Mohawk has a large presence across multiple flooring categories, including ceramic tile, stone, wood and rugs in the United States and laminate in the U.S. and Europe. Mohawk dates its roots to the 1800's when it became one of the first American carpet manufacturers. Today the company is headquartered in Calhoun, Georgia with operations on three continents.

ace and friends thoughts

In selecting an area rug, the first thing that I look at (or for) is pattern and of course, color(s). I am very particular when it comes to adding new items to our home. The next factor that I (or shall I say, my hubby) look at is price. I want something that is stylish, yet doesn't break the bank (or solicits backlash from aforementioned hubby). When I discovered Mohawk's 5' x 8' Tropical Acres Select Strata Area Rug, I was immediately drawn to it's unique pattern, colors and style. I was in love, so next up, price... something so beautiful had to be expensive, right? Boy, was I wrong! To my surprise, this rug was not only what I was looking for, but just the right price (I know, unbelievable!) for it's size and quality. This particular rug is made in the USA (awesome), 100% nylon, rich in detail and appears to be very durable. Under the kitchen table, this rug will certainly get it's run for it's money. In case there are any spills that may happen, it is recommended that area rugs be spot cleaned with a solution of mild detergent and water or cleaned professionally. Also, regular vacuuming helps rugs remain attractive and serviceable. Easy enough, right?


The Tropical Acres Select Strata Area Rug absolutely revived new life into the kitchen table area and I am in L.O.V.E! The colors are vibrant and the pattern was even more impressive in person. It's so, so gorgeous! Check out the up-close pattern below.

Mohawk Home also offers a large selection of other style rugs including indoor/outdoor rugs, kitchen rugs, bathroom rugs, doormats (made from recycled rubber -see below) rug pads and much more.

In addition to the amazing selection of rugs, they also offer GreenWorks, an eco-friendly line of rugs. You can find Mohawk Home's recycled products at all the largest retailers. In 2009, they diverted over 18 million pounds of rubber tires, one of the largest and most hazardous types of post-consumer waste, from landfills and brought them to homes as designer doormats. Think of it this way, that represents enough tires to outfit 225,000 cars. The mat face or image area is also stamped with 100% recycled flocking. Impressive, right? I say DEFINITELY!

Finally, what I really found to be helpful was the ability to easily locate their products in many nationwide retailers such as: Lowes, Home Depot and Target. Furthermore, to find a complete list of retailers as well as to locate one near you, please visit their website.

Buy It

Mohawk's Tropical Acres Select Strata Area Rug as well as
other styles can be found at retailers near you HERE.

Win It 

Thanks to the generous folks at Mohawk Home, one LUCKY ace and friends 
reader will win their choice of rug up to size 5' x 8' and valued up to $149!


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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

USA Swimming's **, 2012 Olympics & Valuable Swimming Tips #SwimToday

The Summer Olympics begin very soon (on July 27th to be exact) and we are excited to watch what takes place in London this year. One of our all time favorite events to watch is of course, swimming. If you are gearing up to watch the Olympic Games just as we are, make sure to tune into NBC to watch the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials beginning June 25th and run through July 2nd. I mean, really... how can you not get excited... check out the construction to pool for the trials... 

Last week I had an opportunity to participate in an online virtual meeting hosted by TheMotherhood and USA Swimming. During the session, I was fortunate to speak with not only a wonderful group of women, but also two Olympic Swimming Gold and Silver Medalists - Lindsay Mintenko and Emily Silver.

What I was thrilled to learn was that USA Swimming wants to make it very easy for people to learn to start swimming, including children. Their website, offers an amazing amount of information for all skill levels. What I found impressive was there is a small Swimmer's quiz that a user can take to identify either their own or their child's swimming level. offers a  tons of information and local resources for individuals, families, and primarily, moms. On the site, you can search for local places to swim, take lessons, tip and training techniques, the added benefits of swimming and so much more. 

Here are just a few reasons why you should teach your children to swim:
  • Approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14.
  • Drowning is also a silent killer—most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time, according to the Present P. Child Drowning study.
  • 60-70 percent of African-American and Hispanic children cannot swim, and only 13 percent of kids who come from a non-swimming household will ever learn to swim, according to a national research study by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis.
  • While children learn at different rates, USA Swimming typically considers a full-series of swimming lessons to be 8 lessons.
Some benefits of competitive swimming:
  • Swimming provides a low-impact, full-body workout, and is a great way to get active.
  • Swim teams are great social outlets
  • As both an individual and team sport, swimming teaches important lessons like goal-setting, work ethic and discipline.

If you are as excited to watch the USA Swimming Olympic Trials as we are or even host your own Splash Bash viewing party, make sure to get your festive Party Kit. Another great reason to host a summer get-together! 

Want more, follow USA Swimming on Twitter: @USA_swimming. You can also view the National Team Member list to follow your favorite swimmers.

Now tell me, who's your favorite soon-to-be Olympic swimmer?

[Product review & giveaway disclosure: I partnered with USA Swimming and TheMotherhood on this compensated post. 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.] Pin It

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Introducing... GUND Girls {Review}

Since my first daughter was born, we've been drawn to the family of GUND products. The softness and quality of each product that we own is well above that of it's competitors. Recently we were introduced to GUND Girls, an adorable new line geared toward girls.

GUND Girls are perfect for summer road trips, beach days, and camp.  Summer memories are always the best when your friends are around!

GUND Girls

·         Ages 3 & Up
·         Suggested Retail Value $30
·         Come with one removable outfit for dress-up play

Meet Brooklyn

·         She’s a big city girl!
·         Her style is super girly!
·         She loves to shop with her friends!

 Meet Sloan

·         She loves hanging out on the beach with her friends!
·         Her style is hippie California chic.

Meet Emma

•              She loves having dance parties with her friends!
•              She also loves painting and anything with stripes!

Meet Deedee

·         She loves traveling and having adventures with her friends!
·         Her favorite color is violet like her eyes!

ace and friends thoughts

Little {e} was immediately drawn to Brooklyn... with here super cute pink clothing and adorable frilly tutu. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the doll was much taller than I anticipated. The detail of the clothing and the softness of the doll itself did not disappoint. I mean... check out those hot pink shoes! The GUND Girl doll was a big hit and she will get plenty of play time with little {e} for many years to come. 

For more on GUND Girls and other GUND products... make sure to check out them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

[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, June 12, 2012

The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 Now Available - Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack {Giveaway}

The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 Now Available
in a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack!

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of a beloved family classic, Disney proudly presents a special movie collection featuring two modern-day fairy tales, The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, for the first time ever on Blu-ray!

Starring Academy Award®-Winning Actress Julie Andrews (Best Actress, Mary Poppins, 1964) and Academy Award-Nominated Actress Anne Hathaway (Best Actress, Rachel Getting Married, 2008), these two heartwarming and hilarious movies will touch your heart. As the future queen of Genovia, Princess Mia has everything a girl could want – except the enchanting romance she’s always dreamed of. Comic complications rule the day in these delightfully engaging stories about finding out who you really are and discovering what it takes to make your dreams come true!

You can relive all the magic and excitement of these two beloved favorites on this 3-Disc Combo Pack, which includes a DVD of each film.

Get a sneak peak of movie Princess Diaries 1 Below:

Princess Diaries 1 SummaryMia Thermopolis is the average teenager - sweet, a little geeky and pretty much invisible to everyone with the exception of her mother, best friend Lilly and Lilly's older brother Michael. Making it through high school without throwing up is a challenge in itself for Mia, so it doesn't come as welcome news when her estranged grandmother shows up out of the blue and calmly informs her that she is in fact the heir to the throne of a European country called Genovia. Suddenly Mia's life is thrown into complete overload. She's being taught about scarves, waves and pears in order to become a perfect princess, she gets a makeover and a tough looking yet sweet bodyguard/limo driver called Joe. Things get out of hand when the media gets a hold of the story and suddenly Mia is thrust into the spotlight in both the newspapers and in school. On top of all that Mia has a choice to make. She must decide by Genovia's Independence Day Ball whether she longs to relinquish her claim on the throne or to become the princess and heir to the throne and father and grandmother want her to be.

How about Princess Diaries 2... check it out below:

Princess Diaries 2, Royal Engagement SummaryStarring the irresistible Anne Hathaway and Academy Award winner Julie Andrews (Best Actress, Mary Poppins), this modern-day fairy tale picks up right where The Princess Diaries left off!  As future queen of Genovia, Princess Mia (Hathaway) has everything a girl could want – except the magical romance she’s always dreamed of.  But soon, Mia’s shocked to discover that she needs to get married right now or her family will lose the crown!  Comic complications rule the day in this delightful family story about finding out who you really are and discovering what it takes to make your dreams come true!

Don’t Miss the Chance to Own This Very Special 2-Movie Collection
Available Now!

Buy It

The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 
Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack is available NOW!

Win It

One LUCKY ace and friends reader 
will win their very own

The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 
Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack!

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Ode To DG.... Top *10* Reasons Why I {Heart} My Husband!

In celebration of the upcoming Father's Day weekend, I thought I would tell you the TOP *10* reasons why I LOVE my husband... 

10. He gets up every morning and makes the kids breakfast before school.

9. Takes care of me... like filling up my gas tank when I ask him to do it (without argument).

8. Helps give the kids shower or bath the majority of the time.

7. Doesn't complain (too much) when I decide to go on an unplanned shopping spree.

6. Manages and pays ALL the bills (on time).

5. Works tremendously hard so we can afford the things we do.

4. He is thoughtful and romantic. Often, he will bring me things he knows I LOVE... like  coffee, salads or treats (especially those!).

3. He is extremely helpful and generous. He will go out of his way to help others out... like changing a friend's flat tire in the middle of the night.

2. He is an amazing father. He's caring, loving and fun too! He will take all three kids (by himself) all over the place...  like to the zoo or even sledding.

1. He puts up with ME! As much as I would like to think I'm perfect (ha!), I'm not... yet he ALWAYS thinks of me first... and for this... I LOVE HIM THE MOST!

xoxo. DG. you're the BEST. Happy Father's Day!
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Hello Kitty *Treats* from Taste of Nature {Review & Giveaway}

Featured Sponsor

A and little {e} have a little obsession with Hello Kitty and if you add in the word *candy*, you have a magical combination that delights the girls. From the manufacturer of those tasty Cookie Dough Bites, Taste of Nature has created Hello Kitty Treats. Delicious bite-sized fun.

About Taste of Nature

Founded in 1992, Taste of Nature, Inc. is a rapidly growing candy and snack food manufacturing company whose fun and innovative products may be found on many store shelves nationally.  

The company manufactures and markets a large variety of licensed and proprietary brands including:

  • Cookie Dough Bites®
  • Cookies 'N Cream Bites™
  • Cinnamon Bun Bites™
  • Cupcake Bites™
  • Care Bears® Gummi Bears
  • Sqwigglies™
  • Muddy Bears®
  • Tiny Tarts
  • Cotton Candy Swirlz
  • Hot Tamales® Cotton Candy
  • Mike & Ike® Cotton Candy
  • Simpsons® Fruit Snacks
  • Shari Candies ®
  • And a variety of other candies and snacks.
ace and friends thoughts

Hello Kitty Sprinkle Cupcake Treats are bite sized cupcake treats covered in a multi-colored sprinkle frosting. {a} and {e} LOVED how these looked and tasted best. Overall consensus: Adorable and tasty. 

The Hello Kitty bite-sized brownies were chocolate delights covered in milk chocolate. Who doesn't LOVE chocolate covered in more chocolate? Delicious morsels of chocolate heaven.

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are little bits of cookie dough covered in milk chocolate and are highly addicting. These bring back memories of my childhood where my sister and I would wait with anticipation to eat that left over raw cookie dough. Now we can enjoy the raw cookie dough taste without the hassle of actually preparing the dough. The kids absolutely LOVED these!

Did you also know that Taste of Nature also co-developed the FREE Cookie Dough Bites Factory App, (a top ranked game for kids available for the iPhone and iPad)? 

Cookie Dough Bites Factory App is a fun FREE app that my kids absolutely enjoy playing. You get to mix the ingredients to make the dough, spray the bite sized pieces with chocolate, weed out the defective pieces and then box them all up. Fun, easy and calorie-FREE

Buy It

Buy your very own bite-sized treats on Taste of Nature's site HERE.

Win It

Thanks to Taste of Nature, one LUCKY ace and friends reader
will win a Hello Kitty Treat Prize Pack (including Cookie Dough Bites, Hello Kitty Brownie Treats and Hello Kitty Cotton Candy).
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