Hip2bMom’s professional hair cutting shears

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears
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Just as I was congratulating myself on having successfully palmed off my hair cutting duties to Nick the Pro, he absconded on us. I’m really disappointed in you, Nick! I hope your hair turns algae green when you bleach it blond 😉.

Well, as I recall, there’s a piece of sweet wisdom that says – when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. So off I went and hohoho, what did I find?

My first pair of, dare I say, professional hair cutting shears! And just like that, I’m back at my old job as the family’s official hairdresser!

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

I figured if I can’t claim to be a pro, I can at least pretend to be one with these professional hair cutting shears lol! My old stainless steel pair has served me well through my kids’ growing years. But now that I have to deal with way more hair and length, I need a bigger pair that takes off more hair at one go and won’t slow me down.

My Utopia Care professional hair cutting shears arrived in a neat portable case that’s great for storage and even better for travel. The shears are just the right size, very sharp and with finger inserts for a better grip. I don’t use the inserts as I like to be able to slip the shears on and off quickly. The blades are 100% stainless steel so no worries about rusting or tarnishing.

Hip2bMom's professional hair cutting shears

So far, we’ve used these shears for 2 rounds of haircuts and we’re lovin’ every snip. I say we because Hip2bDaughter1 is now my trusted hairdresser. Yup, you heard me. My baby now styles and cuts MY hair and she does an amazing job.

Somewhere along the line, you guys are probably wondering, so why don’t you just go to another hairdresser? Well, yes, that would be the logical next step for many people. Not for me. I’m a very hands-on mom who enjoys doing stuff for/with my kids. It’s what I call seamless bonding.

Personal experience also tells me that dream haircuts don’t always turn out the way you envision them, even after forking out those big bucks. So I’d rather steer clear of any potential hairy situations and take matters into my own hands.

Thankfully my amateur haircuts are turning out okay. This week alone, the girls have had 3 random people complimenting them on their cute haircuts at school. I heard that these 3 people when told they are Mom’s home haircuts, and not pro cuts, were impressed and gave the thumbs up.

Many people here cut their own hair or for their families and are proud of it. Others applaud and encourage them. That’s the spirit. Many of us have never been to hair school but have simply learned the techniques from watching videos. All you need is a good pair of shears like my new professional hair cutting shears which gives me the precision I need to do a better job. Who would’ve thought some of the best haircuts in the world are free?

(I wasn’t paid or compensated in any way for writing this post (though it’d be nice if Utopia would send me a free pair of these amazing shears, hint hint) but it does contain affiliate links. Opinions are entirely mine. Thanks for clicking on these links.)

New eyeglasses from Firmoo

New eyeglasses from Firmoo
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Okay, so I’ve been long overdue for a new pair of eyeglasses but between the hectic days and the usual dose of procrastination, this whole idea never quite got off the ground. Along comes Firmoo.com offering to send me a pair of glasses for review, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

So I set off on my mission. Yup, I could literally spend hours browsing through Firmoo’s amazing collection of fashionable eyeglasses and sunglasses for men and women, and I did! I do this every time! If you’re guessing that this isn’t my first time ordering from them, you’re right. The fun part is you can upload your photo to try on your frames, and actually see how each one looks on you.

And each frame comes with detailed measurements of the lens width, length height, bridge distance and even the temple size so you can easily compare frame sizes. I usually shortlist like a ton of frames and then spend the next few days “trying them on”. It’s hard to decide when you like almost everything, you know!! I think it’s a girrrl thing? *wink*

Well, my package finally arrived in the mail over the weekend – ta-daa! – and inside was a hard case and a drawstring pouch. Love the storage options especially when I travel. But if I were to be completely honest, I would’ve preferred the hard case to be a more funky color like magenta or neon green maybe? Brown is so not my color but…

iglass1

I’m really loving my hipster frame though! It’s the perfect size for my face and it makes me look every bit the hip mom that I am too (lol)!

iglass2

Inside the black pouch, I found a little surprise – a mini screwdriver on a key ring. Just what I need! The one I used to have in my bag went missing on one of my travels and I’ve been wanting a replacement ever since. The best part is this came free with my order.

iglass3

So am I happy with my new glasses? You betcha. They are so lightweight sometimes I forget I’m even wearing them. The frame is super cute, and the lenses come with anti-reflection and anti-UV coatings. Love!!

Okay, so enough about my glasses. Let’s talk about getting you a new pair. Firmoo.com is offering new customers 15% off all frames on their entire site. You can grab the coupon code from their 15% off page and remember, new arrivals are updated every day.

I received a pair of free eyeglasses from Firmoo.com to facilitate my review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are my own.

My Pyrex mixing bowl set

My Pyrex mixing bowl set
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I’ve become quite the expert at tossing salads in a flat glass baking tray. If you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know it’s hysterical – veggies and dressing flying everywhere like confetti 😆 . I need a salad bowl. bad! But it’s a big decision, that one, sleepless nights and all (just kidding). When I buy something, I want the most practical choice so I do spend time looking around.

Finally I ended up with more than a salad bowl. Well, I needed some extra storage containers as well so this is perfect. This Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-piece Mixing Bowl Set comes with colored lids so it’s easy to distinguish them from each other. Lids make life a whole easier. I can easily store leftovers without having to bother with cling wrap.

Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-piece Mixing Bowl Set

Ta-daa, our first salad tossed quite effortlessly, I must say. No colorful veggie and shrimp ribbons in our hair!

Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-piece Mixing Bowl Set

And those extras I prepared ahead for dinner, it’s as easy as snapping on a lid and putting in the fridge. This salad bowl is big and handy for washing and soaking all the veggies I want to cook for a meal. The ribbed glass bowl is pretty and not very heavy yet it feels solid.

Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-piece Mixing Bowl Set

With 4 different sized bowls, I have easy storage for whatever sized servings. What can I say? I officially love Pyrex mixing bowl set.

Note: I’m not being compensated nor did I receive this item for this review. I bought this item out of pocket. The opinions I’m sharing here are mine and I hope you find them useful. This post contains affiliate links.

My Cuisinart SmartPower blender

My Cuisinart SmartPower blender
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Now that I’m almost done setting up my new kitchen, I’m finally finding time to blog about what I’ve bought. First off, my new blender which I’ve been keeping pretty busy. When I was living in Vancouver, I thought I had the best blender, the one with the jug. I liked it but that was because I didn’t know better. So now, obviously I was shopping for a similar one.

As it turned out, not all blenders are created equal and we did stumble upon an even better one, this Cuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping SystemCuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System right here. Well, Hip2bDaughter1’s eagle eyes spotted it first, and I haven’t looked back since.

Cuisinart SmartPower blender

The blender I had before came with only a jug the size of an aquarium, and nothing else. This one comes with 4 full-sized blending cups complete with lids, a chopping cup and a jug which is just the right size for everyday use. And the entire set cost less than what I paid for that other one. Score!

Cuisinart SmartPower blender

And you know what I love most about my Cuisinart blenderCuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System? The fact that I can make all my fruit juices and smoothies right in this cup and drink directly from it. No need to transfer from the jug to a drinking glass. Let me tell ya, I would do anything to avoid washing an extra item 😆 .

The cup comes with a lid that I can slap on and rush out the door when I’m in a hurry. In fact, the whole set is so compact I can even make smoothies in my car if I wanted to, heh! How convenient is that!

Cuisinart SmartPower blender

The motor’s slim design saves me precious counter space, and it’s powerful enough to even crush ice. I don’t have hold down the button the whole time which is nice. Whir it for a few seconds, just look at that silky smooth blend …

Smoothie made by Cuisinart SmartPower blender

As for the chopping cup, it’s perfect for chopping onions, garlic, chilli peppers, and what have you. I use it to make my special chilli blend which we eat with practically everything. Gotta have some spice in your life, y’know!!

So if you’re looking to wash one less item when you blend, or for a new blender, or plan on giving one as a gift, consider the Cuisinart SmartPower blenderCuisinart CPB-300 SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System. It’s a tool no kitchen should be without. Seriously. I mean, if I received one of these for Christmas, I’d be laughing 😀 .

Note: I’m not being compensated nor did I receive this item for this review. I bought this item out of pocket. The opinions I’m sharing here are mine and I hope you find them useful. This post contains affiliate links.

The perks of renting college textbooks

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The spring semester starts right after the holidays. If you’re a college-goer, or a mom with college kids, you know that aside from college fees, textbooks can really burn a hole in your pocket.

Here’s the good news. By renting at CampusBookRentals.com, you save yourself 40-90% off of bookstore prices and you get free shipping both ways. The thing with textbooks is that you use them for a semester and then you’re pretty much done with them.

So it really makes much more sense to rent your textbooks than to buy them. The renting periods are flexible too just in case you need to keep those books for longer. If you’re someone who loves to highlight your textbooks in the colors of the rainbow, you don’t have to hold back. You can go right ahead and highlight in these rental textbooks as if you own them.

For each book that you rent, Campus Book Rentals will donate to Operation Smile which is an international charity that provides reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. This is such a great cause anyone would be proud to be a part of it.

And finally, here’s a quick heads up about Rent Back, Campus Book Rentals’ new program that lets you rent your textbooks (yes, the ones that you own) to other students. As you probably know, you can’t get back very much from bookstore buybacks but you can make 2-4 times more here. I’m liking the sound of that already.

So go check out CampusBookRentals.com now and bookmark it so you can save yourself some money, or make some money when the new semester starts. Good luck with college!

Farm Rich Mozarella Bites review and #giveaway

Farm Rich Mozarella Bites review and #giveaway
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With hungry teens constantly raiding the fridge asking “what’s there to eat, Mom?”, I’m glad I found these Mozzarella Bites from Farm Rich. You can eat them as an appetizer, a snack or a side to whatever you happen to be serving. They’re so cute and round that no one would be able to resist them.

I popped these into the microwave for 1 minute and they’re done. Can you see that cheese oozing out? Mmm yums!

I had these on the table and they were gone in the blink of an eye. All that gooey cheesiness snapped up by my kids. Good thing I managed to snag a piece as I was popping it out of the microwave 😆 . Definitely going to keep an eye out for these on my next grocery trip.

Wait, there’s Mozzarella Sticks, Mini Pizza Slices, Queso Cheese Bites, Philly Cheese Steaks, Jalapeno Peppers and lots more. Go visit Farm Rich to check out the tons of other delicious snacks they offer , including nutritional information and recipe ideas.

A big thank you to Farm Rich for offering 2 lucky Hip to be Mom readers one free coupon each to try a Farm Rich product for free.

Enter for your chance at winning a free Farm Rich product coupon using the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to US residents aged 18+. It will close at 12:00am EST on October 26, 2012 and winners will be announced 1 week from the closing date. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a coupon for a free Farm Rich product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

Free eyeglasses from Firmoo

Free eyeglasses from Firmoo
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I was thrilled to be asked by Firmoo.com to pick out a pair of eyeglasses that they would send to me for free. It’s such a coincidence that lately I’ve been thinking maybe it’d be neat to add a touch of nerdy fun to my look.

Okay, time to get fashionable here. Firmoo offers hundreds of stylish yet affordable frames. Quite frankly, I was stumped by the choices and didn’t know which one to choose. Luckily they have a Virtual Try-on System where I could upload my photo and “try on” the frames I liked. Pure genius! I had hours of fun trying on all the different frames.

That done, I couldn’t wait for my package to arrive. Within days, my glasses arrived in this lovely hard case, and a soft case as well.

And inside was the pair of glasses I ordered, SDA207. Taa-daa!

Pretty neat, huh? I love it!

I seem to recall ordering the black frame though. Somehow this frame seems to bear a dark bluish tinge instead. But no big deal, blue is good too. Black seems to be a very popular color but I kinda like to be different. So I’m happy. I think blue looks pretty good on me 😀 .

Hey, listen, how does a free pair of glasses sound to you? Whether you need prescription glasses, or simply want a pair of fashion glasses to complete your look, just go grab Firmoo’s free eyewear to first-time buyers. Yes, it’s completely free of charge and I just know you’re going to enjoy picking out a pair for yourself.

I was not compensated in any way for this review. These glasses were sent to me for free by Firmoo.com. All opinions are entirely my own.

Why buy when you can rent college textbooks?

Why buy when you can rent college textbooks?
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Books don’t come cheap these days. That’s why we limit our book purchases to sale periods. Even then, it’s not possible to do that for college books. For those of us with kids in college, there’s really no running away from buying text books which typically run anywhere from $50 to $200 each.

Thankfully, there’s a more cost-effective option out there where your kids (and mine) can rent college textbooks at a fraction of what bookstores charge. At Campus Book Rentals, you can save from 40-90% off bookstore prices. Plus you get free shipping both ways. Now that’s definitely music to my ears.

Renting periods are flexible too. For instance, rental for this book costs only $14.55 for a semester, or $13.24 for a quarter, and you can vary the length of your rental or even choose to purchase the book outright later and only pay the difference in price.

For my kids, the best part is they can highlight in these textbooks which makes it so much easier for last minute cramming. What’s even more notable is that for each textbook that you rent, Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile, an organization that has sponsored over 1,000 life-saving cleft lip surgeries this year to children in need.

If you, your child or someone you know is attending college and would like to take advantage of the savings that Campus Book Rentals offers, go check out more details of how to rent. Anything to beat the high cost of going to college, right? 😉

Tips for buying maternity clothes trimester by trimester

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Purchasing maternity clothes is an inevitable part of being pregnant. You are already busy with all of the other tasks you will need to accomplish before your baby is born. Don’t despair. It’s easier than ever before to purchase maternity clothes that are both stylish and comfortable, and to find a variety of maternity clothes that can be used for any occasion.

During your first trimester, your may be experiencing fatigue and/or “morning sickness.” The last thing you may want to do is to shop for maternity clothes. Fortunately, your baby is only the size of a lima bean at this stage, which means your body will not have changed much during this time (although you may need a new, larger-sized bra during the first trimester).

It’s always a good idea to get a head start so that you’re not scrambling to come up with a wardrobe at the last minute. Shopping for maternity wear online will make this task much easier. When you can kick back and peruse your options from the comfort of your home, you may find that shopping for maternity clothes can be a lot of fun! You may want to check out TrendyTummyMaternity.com .

You are likely to feel a lot better during the second trimester. This is also the time when you will begin to show, and will begin donning your new maternity clothing. Keep in mind that the clothes that you purchase for your second trimester of pregnancy can be worn again after delivery of your baby. As you are working toward getting back to your pre-pregnancy body shape, your second trimester maternity wear will once again fit you. So, think of the clothes that you purchase for your second trimester as an investment.

Your third trimester is when your maternity wear wardrobe should be in full swing. If you’re on a budget, purchase just a few pairs of pants and skirts that you can mix and match with a variety of maternity tops. Keep in mind that you can accessorize casual tops so that they can also be worn to more formal occasions.

Don’t forget about maternity active wear. Exercise during pregnancy will keep you in great shape in addition to boosting your energy levels and your overall mood. Whether you enjoy yoga or any other physical activity, you will find maternity active wear that is fashionable and keeps you comfortable during exercise. With the right maternity wear, you will be prepared for any occasion, no matter what stage of pregnancy you are in.

Finding the right pair of eyeglasses…

Finding the right pair of eyeglasses...
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… isn’t always easy. Neither does it come cheap. Unless you know exactly where to go to get the best deals on your eyeglasses?

Trust me, if you’ve got kids who wear glasses, the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune every year when they need new glasses. And then you find yourself on this merry-go-round in search of those elusive glasses “that won’t make me look lame, Mom”. Turns out nerdy is the new cool, peeps!

While looking nerdily cool is top priority for my kids, what’s important to moms like me is finding cheap eyeglasses with high quality frames and lenses that will survive those nasty little accidents that somehow only happens to teens.

Okay, on to the good stuff. You can save a whopping 50% off any pair of prescription eyeglasses or sunglass frames available storewide at GlassesUSA.com‘s Spring Savings Sale. Plus you get to enjoy free shipping by using the code – SPRING50FS – at checkout.

If you miss this sale, which I hope you won’t, all is not lost. Just for you, my darling readers, you can save 10% off any order of prescription glasses simply by using the code – Blog10 – at checkout. GlassesUSA’s has a huge range of the latest styles of frames, and even prescription sunglasses (just in time for summer) for the entire family, and they offer the lowest price guarantee around.

To ensure you and your family look like rock stars, you can try on any pair of glasses online using this virtual mirror feature on the site before you order… just to be sure it’s the perfect fit for you. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll be spending hours trying out every single pair… and the choices are endless. You’ve been warned 😉 !

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