Product Review: Sunbeam Bread Machine

Product Name: Sunbeam Bread Machine
Submitted By: Adriana Copaceanu; New Market, VA
Rating: 8
Where to buy: currently has these bread machines at between 30 and 40% off retail.

Description:  This breadmaker, includes:

-2 lb non-stick, removable baking pan, great for family sized loafs -programmable delay bake: pwerfect for when you come home from work and want fresh bread, or when you want to wake up to the smeall of freshly baked bread -express bake for those times when you need a quick loaf -several cooking functions -instruction book with bread recipes

Review: I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing beats home-made bread: it doesn’t even compare with store-bought ones.

Home-made bread is fresh, nutritional, great tasting, and your family will love you for making it. The Sunbeam bread machine is inexpensive, and easy to use.

It only takes 2 minutes to add the ingredients, and press the start button, and in less than 4 hours, you’ll have fresh bread.

-easy to use
-easy to clean
-saves you a LOT of money on bread
-sturdy (I’ve had mine for 2 years now, and we bake one loaf a day)

-you may need to experiment with your recipes until you get the right one for you family (sometimes your bread will raise too much, or the top will collapse, because of too much or too little of certain ingredients)

-there are not too many recipes in the booklet that comes with the machine
While you’re at, you may want to pick up a recipe book for bread machines, such as The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.

Product Review: SunSilk

Product Name: Sunsilk
Submitted by: LeaAnn Massey; Covington, IN
Rating: 8
Where to buy: (The latest WalMart special offers are here: )

Description: Sunsilk is a new product for woman with unruly hair and not able to take the time to do all those things that fix the problem. Sunsilk comes in many different types.

Review: If your hair is frizzy, poofy, needs curl control, needs to be straight and smooth, or is just plain unruly – you will like this product. Just put a little dollop in your hand and run through your hair. Brush or comb like normal. No need for curling irons, straightening irons or blow dryers.

It dries quickly and doesn’t leave your hair feeling stiff or greasy. You can also add more during the day if needed to refresh that just-shampooed look.

I love it because I don’t have the time in the morning to take an hour fixing my hair. It isn’t expensive like most hair products, and it lasts for a long time because you only use it once (maybe twice) a day. This is a great product for the woman on the go. There is also a shampoo and conditioner for each type of hair problem.

Cons: Be careful not to use too much. Sunsilk can make it take longer to blow dry your hair.

Bodylastics Exercise Bands: Product Review

Product Name: Bodylastics Exercise Bands
Price: Systems starting at $39.95 (

bodylastics exercise bandsIf you’ve been exercising for a while, you may have seen either the Richard Simmons tapes or TV shows devoted to exercise bands. You’ll be happy to know that Bodylastics has created a surprisingly effective home gym system using inexpensive elastic bands. I’ve seen it referred to as the $50 alternative to Bowflex.

Bodylastic features include: Maximum resistance for very strong individuals; 31 levels of resistance from 5 to over 65 lbs per side; Top quality and unprecedented lifetime warranty; 30 minute circuit training video or DVDs for body toning and weight loss.

Bodylastics uses one of the smoothest sources of resistance in their ultra smooth exercise bands. For toning, firming, building power, strength and stamina; these elastic bands can be attached and detached on or off the handles and ankle straps, creating 31 levels of resistance. These bands come with a door anchor which increases the versatility so that the most effective and popular gym exercises can be recreated almost anywhere. You really can work your body – arms, legs, back, chest, shoulders and stomach – quickly and easily.

The complete system includes 1 yellow band (light resistance), 1 green band (medium resistance), 1 red band (light heavy resistance), 1 blue band (heavy resistance), 1 black band (extra heavy resistance), 2 extra wide foam covered handles, 2 ankle straps, 1 door anchor, 1 user manual (Complete instructions), 1 bag, 1 Circuit Training Video OR DVD.

Customers who have used these elastic bands are raving about their quality and effectiveness. Their comments reveal that the maximum tension can go up to about 70 pounds of resistance and the basic tension can go up to about 43 pounds of resistance. They also claim the lightest resistances are easy enough for a complete beginner or someone in very bad shape.

Inexpensive (right around $50), lightweight, and small; the elastic bands are cheaper to buy than anything else that will give you this kind of workout. The bands come in a very small bag that is easy to store and can be packed in a suitcase or carry-on for travel. In addition, these bands have been touted as being much better, more durable, and more challenging than the cheap exercise bands you normally find in stores.

With all this said, these elastic bands seem to be of high quality and durability; in addition to providing a great exercise workout.

Get more information directly from the Bodylastics website

Here’s the original commercial:

Product Review: The Smooth Treadmill

The Smooth Treadmill

Where to Get it: has great discounts on Smooth treadmills, ranging in price from $999 to $2399, each with different features.
The treadmill pictured at right is the Smooth 7.1 HR Treadmill with Wireless Heart Rate Monitor

The latest promo codes are here: 

Product Review:
Weighing in at 295 pounds, the Smooth treadmill has been characterized as one of the best treadmills available today. Priced from $999.00 to $2999.00, consumers have collectively stated this is one treadmill worth its price.

With a 20×53 tread belt, the Smooth is ideal for both walking and running. It also has folding capability, which will save valuable space. The all important warrant for this treadmill is lifetime for the frame and motor, three years on all parts and electronics, and one year labor warranty.

Known for its stability and ease of use, this is definitely one comfortable treadmill. While its customers exclaim how smooth the ride is, hence the name Smooth, very few problems have been reported. The Smooth treadmill consists of the soft-drop, shock-assisted manual folding ability. Its quiet and comfortable workout has been touted for its double frame design.

With a 2.5 horsepower continuous-duty motor, and the pick quick start on the user-friendly, easy to read backlit console, this treadmill affords you the ability to take your workout seriously. Due to its heavy weight, the tread belt is ideal for walking and running, and has a very solid feel to it. The console displays speed, distance, calories, and time and pulse simultaneously. It offers six challenging programs as well.

One of the major problems in purchasing any exercise equipment of this type is the service. Fortunately, if any parts need to be replaced, you can be assured as a Smooth customer, you will only pay for shipping the parts to and from the service technicians. Knowledgeable and friendly, they will guide you through the repair process, providing honest and helpful advice along the way.

With so many treadmills on the market today, it’s a wonder how anyone can should the appropriate one for them. With all of the gizmos and gadgets, it can be a challenge. However, when you think of investing in a piece of exercise equipment, you certainly want to be assured it is not only top quality, but is easy to use as well. The Smooth treadmill is one you can count on to give you years of cardio workouts and enjoyable exercise in the comfort of your own home.

Bowflex Treadmill Review

Bowflex Series 7 TreadmillTreadmill: The Bowflex Series
Where to Get It: consistently has great discounts on Bowflex treadmills. ( Current amazon promo codes are here: )

According to consumer reports, the Bowflex Treadmill is highly recommended. Priced from $999.00 to $1300.00, it offers ease of use and has a large walking and running surface area.

If you are in the market for a really good treadmill, perhaps this is the one for you. Weighing in at 298 pounds, the Bowflex is characterized as an intense cardio workout system with a powerful horsepower, including more than 15 workout programs (depending upon the series you purchase), the Bowflex Treadmill offers a wide range of options, including: manual, cardio, fat burn, speed interval jogger, hill intervals, heart strength/recovery test, calorie goal, distance goal, cardio heart rate calculation, body mass index, and programs to personalize your total body workout.

For those of you who have little space area in your home, the Bowflex folds up for easy storage. Among the other peripherals offered are a built-in 3-speed fan, two bottle holders, and quick-speed keys for your comfort and ease of use. There is a 15 year warranty for the frame, and a 10 year motor warranty, as well as two years parts and one year labor.

The only drawback to the Bowflex is that it requires home assembly. In addition, it is advisable to place it in one room and not move it around, as you may have a problem getting it through the doorframe. While some may find all of the extras a bit confusing, it is recommended to thoroughly read the manual and become familiarize with the Bowflex before using. You can be certain, however, that it is built to last and is quite sturdy, and should only take up to an hour to assemble. Another feature is that all the tools required to assemble the Bowflex are included.

If you have been watching TV or checking online, it may be a good idea to research the Bowflex Treadmills to determine which one would be appropriate for you and your home. The series available are #3, #5 and #7, with #7 being the most expensive. With the winter weather upon us, you may not want to go to your gym to workout. Having this treadmill in your home will save you time and money, in the long run; not to mention its efficacy to your health.

Review: Baby Trend Latch Loc Infant Car Seat

Product Name: Baby Trend Latch Loc Infant Car Seat
Submitted by: Carrie Lauth; Dallas, GA
Rating: 10
Where to buy: Babies R Us ( We’ve compiled the latest Babies R Us Promo Codes here )

Description: The Baby Trend Latch LOC Car Seat is a latch compatible, 5 point harness infant safety seat. It features a base that stays in the car and attaches either with the LATCH (latches and tethers for children) system or with a seat belt, and a separate infant seat that can be used as a carrier. Also comes with a sun shade.

Review: I put a lot of emphasis on safety when it comes to my kids and their car seats. Before I purchase a safety seat I do research in Consumer Reports magazine.

The Baby Trend Latch-LOC was found to be one of the safest choices when run through their crash tests. The 5 point harness is also a great selling point, as these have been proven to be superior to the 3 point harness systems.

Also, I have found this car seat to be easy to use. It’s very simple to get a good, tight installation which is so important for baby’s safety.

For convenience the base can be attached to the car semi permanently and you can remove the infant seat to use on your shopping cart or if baby falls asleep in the seat and you don’t want to disturb him. You can purchase additional bases and install them in your other vehicle, so that you can easily move the seat from one car to another.

The sunshade is nice for preventing sunlight from getting hurting baby’s eyes.

Another thing I like about this seat is the easy to adjust headrest. It makes for a snug fit even for a newborn. And to raise or lower it, all you have to do is twist a knob in the back. It’s not necessary to rethread the straps through the back of the seat, which can be a real inconvenience.

The only drawback is that this seat is no longer being manufactured so it’s sometimes hard to find one.

Review Baby Cubes Baby Food

Product Name: Baby Cubes
Submitted by: Carrie Lauth; Atlanta, GA
Where to Buy:

Description: Baby Cubes are 100% certified organic, frozen baby food in a variety of fruit and vegetable flavors. There is nothing added – just pure produce and a little water. Baby Cubes arrive frozen solid in dry ice so they stay fresh.

Baby Cubes are made into small frozen cubes almost like ice cubes, so if you have a young infant, you won’t have to worry about waste or contamination like you would with traditional jarred baby food.

Review: I really like this product and my young taste testers, ages 16 months and 4 years, liked it too. The mango went over especially well, and my 4 year old even ate the golden beets. We used the apple to make a yummy smoothie.

The fruits and veggies are also 100% certified organic, which is great since the “organic” label can contain up to 30% of non-organic ingredients.

This is an awesome product for a busy Mom who is concerned about reducing her baby’s exposure to harmful pesticides. All you need to do is pop a cube or two into a bowl and let it defrost (or use the microwave if you prefer) and you have fresh, healthy organic produce for your baby or toddler.

Review: Britax Convertible Car Seat

Product Name: Britax Convertible Car Seat
Submitted By: Carrie Lauth; Dallas, GA
Rating: 10
Where to buy: (Current coupon codes and special offers from are here: ); [Editor’s note: BabyUniverse advertises the lowest prices for Britax online, and free shipping. Baby Universe Coupon Codes are here: )

Description The Britax Convertible Car Seat is a superior safety seat. It has several unique features that make it not only safer but more convenient to use.

Review: I put a lot of emphasis on safety when it comes to my kids and their car seats. Before I purchase a safety seat I do research online and in Consumer Reports magazine.

One seat that consistently outperforms other seats in crash tests are the Britax styles. Britax makes infant car seats, convertible seats for rear or forward facing (infants to toddlers up to 40 pounds) as well as booster seats for older kids that have a 100 pound weight limit.

The Britax models make it much easier to get a very secure, tight installation in most any vehicle. The 5 point harnesses the infant and convertible seats offer have been proven to be superior to the 3 point harness systems.

Britax seats offer features that are unlike other safety seats. One of these is the locking clips on the side of the seats. The shoulder straps of your car’s seat belt are threaded through these, and then they are locked. Other models require using a metal clip, these are very difficult to use. The lock off clips make it super easy to get that rock hard fit that you want in your seat. You can shake your Britax seat back and forth and it will not wiggle, but the entire car will rock. This ensures that the seat won’t wiggle out of place during an accident.

Britax car seats have deep side “wings” with foam that is engineered and tested for side impact protection. The restraint straps are designed to never twist… this is very important as twisted straps compromise safety. The straps are easy to loosen and tighten with a push button and front pull design. No more having to unbuckle the seat to adjust straps.

Another nice feature of the Britax convertible seat is the easy to adjust headrest. All you do is twist the large knob on the side to move the headrest up or down for your child’s comfort. No need to rethread the shoulder straps!

Britax offers all replacement parts on their website so if your car seat cover gets dirty you can replace it. You can even buy new harnesses (you know how filthy these can get with spilled milk and chocolate chips cookies mashed into them!), new pads that go under the cloth and new buckles.

Criticism: The only drawback with Britax models is the cost: they retail at nearly $200. But in my opinion, they are well worth spending the extra money for the peace of mind.

Review of Pretty Pretty Princess Board Game

Product Name: Pretty Pretty Princess Dress-Up Board Game by Hasbro
Submitted by: Faith Martin; Howard, PA
Rating: 10+
Where to Buy:

Description: The object of this game is to be the first player to collect and wear all your matching colored jewelry and the crown.  Once you have collected all your pieces with the crown, you are the Pretty Pretty Princess.

Review: This game is so simple . . . children do not have to be able to read to play.  Although, if you have a child who likes to stick small objects in his/her mouth, you may want to wait until he/she is a bit older (small pieces).  You may notice I referred to boys as well . . . this is the ONLY
game I know of that you can get a grown man to wear costume jewelry.  This is what makes this game so much fun.  We have owned this game for a little over a year now.  I have watched my 6 year old daughter play this game with her dad, her 8 year old brother, and her 68 year old grandfather.  I never once heard any of the “boys” complain about having to adorn the beautiful
jewelry.  I have, however, heard groans when they didn’t become the Pretty Pretty Princess.  So, grab your daughters, sons, and a few good men for a good time, plenty of laughs, and photo ops.  And, my daughter is not the only one who requests to play this game.  Enough said.

Here is how the game is played . . . You place your colored marker anywhere on the board to start.  The youngest player gets to go first, of course. When it is your turn, you spin the spinner and move your marker that number of spaces on the board.  The spaces on the board are marked with pictures of the various pieces of jewelry.  Whatever you land on is the piece you
collect (in your color) and wear.  The plastic play jewelry includes rings, clip-on earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.  I think the hardest pieces to acquire are the earrings, because you are only allowed to take one at a time.  So, remember this when you land on a space that says you may choose any piece you want.

Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, watch out for that black ring!  For even if you have collected all your pieces and the crown, you cannot win the game until you have rid yourself of the dreaded black ring.  This can only be done if someone else lands on the black ring space or if you land on the space that tells you to put one piece back.

The playing pieces, jewelry, and crown are easily stored in a round jewelry box that is placed in the middle of the playing board (a 4-piece puzzle assembled).  The lid of the jewelry box has a mirror on the outside and a spinner on the inside.  So, once your royal highness is crowned the winner, he/she may flip the spinner over to gaze at his/her magnificence in the mirror.  We often continue play to see who will be the “lady-in-waiting”.

This game was well thought out by its creators.  It is easy to set up, progresses quickly, and promotes well-being through healthy laughter.

Oops . . . I almost forgot.  Don’t think you are safe once you have attained the crown.  Your fierce opponents have the right to seize the crown from your head during play unless you have already been proclaimed the winner.

Criticism: One minute problem – some players prefer not to wear the earrings (usually the children due to a comfort issue with the clip-ons).  However, the earrings can be placed in front of the player or clipped onto his/her necklace.

Valentine Party Punch

Valentine Party Punch

Note:  You can buy heart ice cube trays in several cookware stores or online.  Use these trays to make heart-shaped ice cubes and add cubes to punch.

3 (3oz) packages of strawberry flavor gelatin
9 cups water
2 (26oz) cans pineapple juice
4 (2 liter) bottles ginger ale

In a large bowl mix together the gelatine and the water.  Stir in the juice and mix well.  Pour mixture into three 1-gallon size freezer bags.  When you’re ready to make the punch, remove a portion of frozen punch from freezer bag and place in punch bowl.  Pour over one bottle of ginger ale and mix until slushy.