Say hello to my new friend! Isn’t she gorgeous? It’s the Pilates Power Gym.! Part Pilates, part strength training – ALL fabulous!

Although I have been oh so all about Zumba lately, I have been wanting to take a pilates class FOREVER! I would peek into the exclusive Pilates private gym area trying to see what all the fuss was about. They looked liked they were in traction in those contraptions. GAH! I mean graceful and glowing but in traction nonetheless. I pulled the brochure to see how much this torture would add to my monthly membership! I would need an affilliate flood to pay that!

But then suddenly,…as if out of thin air,… like a fluffy girl’s fairy Godmother came…. *wait for it* …..Ahhhh*singing like angels* HSN!

I was randomly flipping channels not even paying attention, and out of the corner of my eye….what?! That’s not at ALL like those contraptions! It’s sleek and…well, beautiful! I was mezmerized! In a carol ann like state, just staring. I watched the silver haired vixen work her footstrapped legs like a prancing deer. Certainly this was a message from God! Pilates, Free Shipping,Reasonable Price, FLEX PAY? Quick! Quick I said, “where’s the phone”. “They’re gonna sell out , hurry!”.

The ordering was fast and flawless. Customer service centers everywhere should take note! It arrived early, well packaged and nearly fully assembled (very little to be done). I set it up and it’s a sturdy 16″w x 48″ l 23″ h if measuring to the top of the bar. HSN tossed in the “optional” push up bar and footstraps (no doubt it was already padded into the price but I didn’t care). HSN offered an extended warranty and padded mat. I didn’t buy either. If I had it to do again, I would probably take the mat. The machine is heavy and has left deep marks in my rug. The unit is mobile and can be easily moved.

The machine works by engaging 4 tension cords in combinations and in conjunction with your body weight on the carriage/slideboard. The slideboard is adjustable for height and size, holds up to 300 lbs and the 2 position headrest is fab! The guys can use it too! Mr. Blogomama says it’s great for golf & baseball exercises. The four tension cords claim 16 possible settings that in combination with 11 carriage/slideboard positions, can give you over 175 possible resistance settings. I think I have a ways to go on this one!

Included were two workout dvd’s, a comprehensive owners manual, nutrition guide, push up bar exercise & instruction pamphlet, and resistance chart:

The DVD’s were varied. The first one I tried (Marlo Fisken 2 in 1 workout) was too fast for me. Being a novice, I couldn’t keep up not so much with the exercises (well as far as I got) but with the transitions. Admittedly, I gave up quickly but I would not recommend starting with this one. The second dvd is two parts. I did the strength training first. The set design is super cheezay and the narrator/trainer is horribly distracting. From his half headed ponytail down to his Richard Simmons short shorts. I had to cut him off at his Danskins! Blec! The the second half (Pilates Power Workout) was just right! One female instructor, Terri Nakamura who is a physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor. She is on the same cheezay set but is very clear, concise and not at all annoying. This part is a great 42 minute (perfect length) workout for beginners! I Googled her, the credentials are real.

The Owners Manual is 1/2 technical manual and 1/2 Pilates 8 week workout progression plan. It very clearly diagrams exercises with the exercise level, tension and position required. I found it to be very thorough. It also states the body part each exercise targets, in case your aching muscles don’t! I’m way about that. It’s like Pilates for dummies cliffnote style.

The Nutrition Guide is about 50 pages, includes very clear and concise information and details. Menus are broken down by plans ranging from 1200-2000 calories. I appreciated that it could be geared toward men or women. Since this IS a “home” gym. They were spot on with this.

The Push-Up Bar exercise & instruction guide very clearly diagrams exercises.

The Resistance Chart seems to be more for the advanced. I think I’ll need to study more to understand the nomenclature used, i.e.: 90/90 position.

Overall, the machine is easy to use. The handstraps and footstraps. are relatively easy to change. It would be great tho if they could just include another latch per footstrap so you can unhook the whole handle with the latch instead of just the handle. That’s sort of a pain! The tension cords are quick and easy to transition and the glideboard is quiet, but not silent. The pulley balls are a little annoying across your body when you’re doing some leg work.

This is a workout I have done every day without whining!

Blogomama says: “I Likey A LOT!”


 HeartDrop.jpg image by prettytatted1_2008HeartDrop.jpg image by prettytatted1_2008HeartDrop.jpg image by prettytatted1_2008


Stuffed animals are for children, flowers will die, candy adds pounds, and neither of you are quite ready for the lingerie challenge?   Want a super sexy practical option? 

Check out these super cool scent samplers from Sephora – for men and women!  Each set includes  8-10 sample fragrances and a certificate of redemption that will get you one full size bottle of your favorite fragrance from that group.

 Scent Sampler Best Sellers For Him ($75 Value)

Scent samplers for him:  “Best Sellers”
The set includes 10 fragrance samples with names such as Hugo Boss, Armani, Diesel, Jean Paul Gaultier  (mi favorito para mi papi chulo!), and includes a bonus sample of Anthony shave cream.  My guy digs fragrance and is super picky.  He wasn’t bothered that there weren’t more “sets” to choose from, loved the concept and the choices.   

Scent Sampler Trendsetters For Her ($80 Value)

Scent Samplers for her: “Trendsetters” 
The set includes 9 fragrance samples with names such as Dior, Prada, and Burberry, and includes a bonus atomizer.  This is the one I have. Love it!

 Deluxe Fragrance Sampler Set ($150 Value)
Scent samplers for her: “Brand Deluxe”
This set includes 8 deluxe size samples with fragrance names such as Be Delicious, Very Irresistable, and Princess.


 Scent Sampler New Classics For Her ($100 Value)

Scent Samplers for her: “New Classics”
The set includes 8 fragrance samples with names such as Prada, Thierry Mugler, and Marc Jacobs, and includes a bonus atomizer.


Scent Sampler Best Sellers For Her ($80.00 Value)

Scent Samplers for her: “Best Sellers”
The set includes 10 fragrance samples with names such as Gwen Stefani, Givenchy, and Vera Wang, and includes a bonus atomizer.


Each sample set includes a scent book which I personally love.   I’m a fragrance freak and I enjoy learning the notes in the fragrances that I love.   If you are too, you can check out the fragrance finder @  at!  Type in your favorite fragrance, by letter or brand, and it kicks back recommendations based on your favorite!  LOVE THAT!.  You can also search by note.  If you’re a super freak – check  out “now smell this” a perfume blog @ , its so insane!

The Scent Sampler is a great concept for those of us who like to try before we buy; particularly since fragrances can be a splurge!  You cannot redeem the certificates online which is a BIG BUMMER (SEPHORA), but I think they are priced right at $50-$70.  You might even have some cash leftover for a romantic fondue dinner for two!

Blogomama says:  “I Likey!

Today is January 11th!  Today I packed up Christmas!  Every year the huz and I hold an unannounced, unproclaimed Christmas pack up standoff.   I should know by now, he’s the more resilient one.  Today I caved.  He watched the game  and I was stuck trying to figure out a better way of packing up our holiday cheer.

Off to Target I went!  Much to my shagrin they had replaced the 75%  off clearance clutter with a new spring home collection.  DOH!  Standoff, shmandoff!  Then,.. suddenly, .. just as I was breaking into a flop sweat, there it was- a lonely end cap holding the last of the clearance frenzy.  It wasn’t much but it was EXACTLY what  I needed, and with happy little orange tags to boot!  Here’s what I picked up…. 

Last years method was bubble wrap and boxes.   Today I picked up Snapware ornament storage and Rubbermaid gift wrap storage. 

Snapware: 2 Layer Ornament Box and 4 Layer Seasonal Tote:

The ornament box comes with cardboard dividers that the website says can hold 18-32 (3″-4″ items).  I’m not sure about  that, I configured mine to 12.  It held my bulky ornaments nicely and I put two in some compartments.  You can remove or rearrange the dividers to suit your needs.  The box is a sturdy clear plastic and the one I bought had a red lid.  Now, ornament organizers are not a new concept but I like this one because of the hard plastic.  I’m not worried about it being crushed, and I like that I can see what’s inside.  The layers snap together nicely and the handle is sturdy. I wasn’t worried about the layers coming apart.  The ornament box is also sold in a three layer.

The 4 layer seasonal tote does not come with any dividers but is handy for small items that are not fragile and can be grouped together.  I used mine for holiday candles , school made ornaments etc.  The layers snap to each other.  This is also sturdy clear plastic and has a handle.  Would be great for crafters.


Rubbermaid Low Profile Wrapping Station: 

This is a gift wrap storage tote.  It is a very lightweight breathable fabric, comes with a hard cardboard bottom support layer, and two large clear bow pouches with Velcro on the top flap.  It’s pleasant to look at compared to the old bulky garbage can pieces; but…it’s not plastic, so careful that it doesn’t get smushed.

I was curious to know how much it would hold.   I put 8 40″ long , 100 sf rolls and 32, 26″ 25sf rolls on top of that.  The cover flips over like a suitcase and that’s the part that holds the bows, or ribbon or whatever. I carried it around for a few minutes and it seems to carry the weight well.  I DO think they should have made a more solid handle but it will do.  My only complaint, and it’s a biggun, is that there was a tear in the seam in the front near the zipper.  Don’t package defective merchandise!  I’m not going back to Target to replace it.

Blogomama says: “I likey!”

A friend told me about Awesome.  I don’t know what’s in it so of course, take all the normal precautions with children, pets and husbands!  Always test it first but…..  So far I have gotten marker out of clothing, chocolate out of carpet, red stains off my counter, bare minerals (stains like crazy) off my marble.  It can be found at many dollar stores.  Not too much at the dollar store that is still a dollar.  It was more like $1.39 last time I bought it.  I have noticed that the company makes a variety products with the Awesome name.  The one you want is in a clear plastic bottle and the liquid is yellow.  I bought the other stuff once and it was not so awesome!