Do you love fresh pasta? Read my review of Giovanni Rana brand!

I think you all know by now I’m Italian.  As a child, I grew up with nothing but freshly made pasta to eat.  It was painstaking work, but my mother made as much of our food from scratch as she could to insure we got the freshest food she could provide.

I have fond memories of gathering every Sunday at my great grandmother’s house in Philadelphia where the women were all gathered in the kitchen making fresh pasta and sauce for a feast with no less than 25 people cramped in my great grandmother’s tiny house.  We didn’t care about the cramped quarters; there was great food and lots of love to go around for everyone.

On a recent trip to Walmart I discovered a brand called Giovanni Rana in the deli section. I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a try.”

Well, I have to tell you – I almost fell off my chair at the dinner table after tasting this pasta for the first time. This pasta is delicious.  Why would anyone want to put in all that time and effort to making homemade pasta when you can enjoy Giovanni Rana Fresh Pasta right from the refrigerated section of your local store?

The pasta cooks up in minutes and tastes amazing.  My husband and son loved it, so now I cannot even try to bring in a box of dry pasta – they just won’t eat it anymore.  They are hooked on Rana fresh pasta.

Although the pasta is best cooked fresh from the refrigerated section of your local market, I have frozen several bags and they were just as delicious after I cooked them.  Of course, they took a little bit longer to cook since they were frozen, but they still cooked up in minutes.

We’ve already tried several varieties (not all just yet) but we love them and we intend to try every one.


Giovanni Rana also makes a line of fresh pasta sauces so be sure the check them out as well here.

Not sure where to buy Giovanni Rana Pasta and Sauce? They have a store locator.

Product Review: Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker

I was so excited when I was asked by the folks at Zoku to review their Triple Quick Pop Maker as I have wanted one of these products for the longest time.

Trying to eat right and stay on track is difficult, especially with all the holidays and special occasions (birthday parties, anniversary dinners, weddings, etc.) that come along and can sabotage your diet. Having a Zoku Quick Pop Maker in the house will help prevent you from falling off the wagon.

I get horrible cravings for sweets and I am guilty of falling off the wagon often, but having a Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker is really going to help me stay on track. Making low-calorie, healthy snacks with a touch of sweetness will help satisfy those cravings.

As many of you know, I have hypoglycemia and it’s difficult to find “healthy” alternatives that are not laced with artificial sweeteners. I have had to resort to making my own snacks so that I can control what goes into them. Having the Zoku Triple Quick Pop Maker will allow me to eliminate the sugar and control the natural sugar alternatives I put into my treats. I use Stevia in place of cane sugar, as it does not affect my glucose levels, and I feel better knowing exactly what is in my pops.

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Product Review: Duri Polish 12 Shades of Desire Collection

As many of my long-time readers know, I am a licensed manicurist in New Jersey.  Although I am not actively working at this time in a salon I do keep up with the latest trends and products through professional publications I receive on a monthly basis.  I also give free manicures to my friends and family to keep up my skills.

So when the folks at Duri asked me to review their “12 Shades of Desire” collection inspired by the movie “50 Shades of Grey” slated for release this February, I was thrilled.

The company describes this collection as “12 distinct color hues, including intimate soft neutrals, bold take charge brights, dark sultry hues, sensual shimmers and a few shades of green with envy.” Here are the colors in the collection:

  • Amoretto
  • Pie In The Sky Green
  • My Darling
  • Parisien Tango
  • Tatiana
  • Playboy Bunny
  • Ice and Desire
  • Sensual Delight
  • Hot Ice
  • Runaway Bride
  • Undisclosed Desires
  • Grey Area

Although the photo at the top of this post does not do these colors justice, each is unique and beautiful in its own way, you will love them all.  I had a very hard time deciding which one to choose to use  for the image in this post.

(And yes I chopped off all my nails. Stop crying, they will grow back in no time flat!)

This is ‘Undisclosed Desires’, don’t you just love it?  This polish goes on like-a-dream smooth and coats evenly (a manicurist’s worst nightmare is polish that streaks and is very hard to blend).

Duri nail polish sells for $6.00 per bottle.  You can purchase all 12 shades in this collection at Duri’s website or at a retailer in your area that carries Duri nail products.

Disclosure: I received a sample (as described above) to conduct my review for this blog post.  All opinions stated in this post are truthful and mine alone.  Receiving sample(s) of this product in no way influenced my opinion in this review.

Dyson AM05 Hot and Cool Bladeless Heater and Fan review!

Let me just say I purchased this Dyson product on my own from QVC (this was NOT provided to me for the purpose of a blog review) a few weeks ago and I am doing the happy dance.  I am always cold. It could be 90 degrees outside and I’m still cold.  My heating bills were horrific as we have hot air heat in our home (unlike baseboard radiators we had in our previous home, this house is never at a constant heated temperature.)  

I saw this Dyson product a few times in magazines and on TV and hesitated to purchase it because I just couldn’t justify spending the money. When I got my first heating bill of the season, I thought, “I have to get control of this situation.” I couldn’t put enough layers of clothing on me during the day and I wasn’t about to raise the heat again and again like I had been doing in years past to stay warm.

The Dyson AM05 is not only a portable heater but it is also a cool fan so you are getting two products in one.  The heater is amazing and I take it from room to room with me during the day.  It really does the job of keeping me and the room warm and I am so thrilled with the product.

I searched for the best possible price on this item and found that QVC had the best price! Other retailers carry the product, but it is more expensive by almost $100.  It comes in several color choices; I chose the copper color for our home. I suggest you make your purchase from for the best deal possible!

After you make your purchase, let me know how you like the product. I am certain you will be pleased with your purchase!

Product Review: Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV-752

I had the pleasure of testing the latest in the series of Shark Navigator vacuum cleaners this week. Even before I started working with them, I was a huge fan of this company. I own over 10 Shark-Euro products that I purchased myself. So when the folks at Shark asked me to test some of their products, I was thrilled to be working with them.

The Shark Rotator NV752 Powered Lift-Away TruePet Vacuum is the latest product in the family of Shark Navigator models and this one does not disappoint! Last year, I purchased a Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away and I love it to pieces. I was – and still am – amazed at the dirt and grime it gets out of my carpets that my expensive Oreck left behind. That first pass on my carpets with my Rotator grossed me out, after thinking for years that my Oreck was doing a great job! I take pride in a clean home and when I realized that my Oreck wasn’t cleaning like it should have been, I tossed it to the curb.


My Favorite Features

This new Shark has some great features. I especially like the three available settings – for thick carpets/area rugs, bare floors, and regular pile carpets. The new advanced swivel steering really makes a huge difference in the ease of getting around furniture. I love that I’m able to reach so far under my furniture (without having to move heavy pieces). Once the lift-away is removed, this Shark becomes a stick vac with nothing to hinder your ability to dip low and reach far back under any surface.

As with all Shark Lift-Away models, this model also transforms into a lightweight take anywhere vacuum. It comes with a caddy (on wheels) that will allow you to transport it all around the house. Have pets? No problem. The Shark Rotator NV752 Powered Lift-Away TruePet Vacuum comes with a powerful hand-held motorized Pet Brush attachment. This little powerhouse will get up all that pet hair and dander left behind by Fido. I used this attachment to do the carpet on my stairs and it worked really well. I have medium pile carpet and sometimes the brush attachment doesn’t do the trick on my stairs, so this is a blessing. There are so many wonderful features on this new Shark that I can’t list them all. But I can tell you that in addition to the TruePet Motorized Brush, the following attachments are also included:

  • The Dusting Genie
  • The Hard Floor Genie (and reusable pad)
  • The Upholstery Tool
  • The Dusting Brush
  • The Caddy (on wheels)

Get the Shark Rotator at for a fabulous price with free shipping! or Here is the latest model as well

Sentry Call Block Review!

I don’t know about you but I was plagued with nuisance telemarketers, solicitors, faxes (yes faxes to my home number) and other calls that interrupt my daily routine only to answer the call and hear nothing on the other end or a recording trying to sell me something I have no use for.

I placed our home number on the DO NOT CALL list but that did us absolutely no good because charitable organizations are exempt from the DO NOT CALL list and other bold solicitors just don’t adhere to the rules.  

I was fed up and since you can only block up to 10 numbers with Verizon (which is who we have here at our house) I needed to find another way to block these calls. I asked my son to do some research and find out if there was a mechanism that we could buy to block the calls from coming into the house.

Amazingly he found the Sentry Call Block SENTRY Call Block Robocall Blocker, Block Telemarketer Calls, Solicitor Calls, Junk Faxes a wonderful little box that filters out the annoying nuisance calls and allows you to accept or reject the call.  It announces to the caller to remove your phone number from their calling list or asks them to press “0” to continue and come through to the recipient if they are not a telemarketer.  If the number is not familiar to you then you have the option to put them on your “black” list which will block further calls from that number.  

Complete instructions on how to operate the Sentry Call Block can be found on their website  

The box is simple to install, takes a matter of minutes and is extremely effective.  

Since we installed the Sentry Call Block we have only received a total of 4 nuisance calls in two weeks time and the only reason they got through was because I was not able to get to the phone in time to block the call as it was coming into the house.  We were getting up to 10 a day and I’m not kidding so this little box is worth it’s weight in gold in my opinion.  

Getting a 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from very satisfied customer this product will save your sanity.  

If you would like to purchase the SENTRY Call Block Robocall Blocker, Block Telemarketer Calls, Solicitor Calls, Junk Faxes  you can do so at just click the hyperlink above.

I cannot sing the praises of this little box enough.  I am telling you it is amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone who is having this issue with annoying repeated nuisance calls.

Newman’s Own Organics Review

Who said that organic foods don’t taste different?  Well, I am here to tell you my taste buds can tell the difference immediately! The folks at Newman’s Own Organics happen to agree with me and decided it was time to make a difference in the manufacturing of food products. Organic products last last longer and by far taste much better in my humble opinion! Using non-chemically treated ingredients is obviously better for your body and for the environment and that is exactly how the folks at Newman’s Own Organics feel.

Taken from the Newman’s Own Organics website:

Great tasting products that happen to be organic is the slogan of Newman’s Own Organics: The Second Generation. Headed by Paul Newman’s daughter, Nell Newman, the company is developing products from certified organic ingredients. All the products are packaged in a distinctive, eye-catching way and feature an amusing photo of an American Gothic “Pa” Newman and daughter Nell plus a fanciful story.

“We want to offer organic food products with wide consumer appeal,” says Nell. “We feel that people want to know more about the food they eat, not just how much fat or cholesterol a product contains. How ingredients are grown and processed on the way to their grocer’s shelf is becoming more important to today’s consumer. Once people see how much organic foods have improved since the early days of packaged ‘health’ foods, we hope they’ll try other organic food products.”

“We focus on the kinds of products we loved as kids, but take them one step further by using the highest quality of available organic ingredients. Our first product, organic pretzels, fast became the top seller in the natural food industry, and each addition to the line has been successful.”   

Buying organic can be a challenge in today’s economy but I tell my private consultation clients that it is possible to do so even on a strict budget. I teach them to save all of their coupon savings money in an envelope each time they shop and at the end of the month, they will have enough to splurge on some specialty items such as Newman’s Own Organics products and treats!

Important to note: Not all Newman’s Own products are organic. Be sure to check the label specifically for ‘Newman’s Own Organics‘ when you’re in the store.

I received this box of goodies from the kind folks at Newman’s Own Organics and I have to tell you, my family just loved them all. There wasn’t one thing that I can honestly say we did not enjoy eating. By the way, the snack thieves at my house got to the box before I could take this photo, so some are missing. But they all got rave reviews!

I can honestly say we enjoyed all of these fabulous products, but if I had to pick some of my absolute favorites, they would probably be the Fig Newmans (cleverly titled) as well as the Salted Pretzels, Dried Apricots and Chocolate Alphabet Cookies!!! They were so yummy!

Did you know that Newman’s Own Organics makes teas and coffee, too? They sure do! Take a look at all their wonderful organic products online.

Find a store near you that carries the entire line of Newman’s Own Organic products!

Disclosure: I received a sample (as described above) to conduct my review for this blog post.  All opinions stated in this post are truthful and mine alone.  Receiving sample(s) of this product in no way affected my opinion in this review.