Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pevonia Botanica - Natural Skincare Solutions

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Changing of the seasons can sometimes call for a skin regimen switch up and we just tried Pevonia. If you do a search in your local town, there are probably a few spa's that use and sell this product. Pevonia uses natural ingredients for professional results. Pevonia is Worldwide and the products are used in elite spas and by Professional Aestheticians. They have tons of kits to pick from like Combo Skincare Solutions, Rosacea Skincare Solutions, Sensitive, SpaTeen, aging, dry skin, etc. They sent us a few samples to try out:

  • Preserve Body Moisturizer - light-textured moisturizer used to smooth, hydrate, nourish, repair and soften skin
  • Tension Relief Gel - Anti-inflammatory, cooling and uplifting for tired muscles or sore feet. It's cool, refreshing, and it stimulates circulation. So it's great to relieve achy backs, arms, feet, and calves.
  • Phyto-Gel Cleanser - a delightfully scented aroma will deep cleanse you old makeup away and leave you with a clean refreshed face. Great for those with oily skin. 
  • Power Repair Marine Collagen Cream - Soften those fine lines and wrinkles all over your face and neck to infuse moisture and provide UV protection. 
We really enjoyed using the line and each item has it's own individual wonderful smell. My skin is feeling and looking better as well. Thanks Pevonia Botanica!

To find out more about the company and view their products for purchase, you can go to:
To find a spa near you that uses and sells Pevonia, please go to:


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sparkling Ice - Lightly Carbonated Beverages

Review by Lisa VanWilliams

Sparkling Ice is a company located in Washington State. They make refreshing zero-calorie, lightly carbonated beverages that are naturally flavored, and packed with vitamins and antioxidants. They have 11 different flavors, along with some caffeine free options as well. They also have a full line of ice teas & lemonades. 

We tried the Crisp Apple flavor which is popular right now for making a few Fall favorites like Sparkling Apple Hot Toddy's, Sparkling Apple Punch, or Apple Crisp. It's light and refreshing with a subtle hint of apples -and my daughter drank the rest of the glass before I could finish it. View the recipes below from Sparkling Ice to try out these tasty festive favorites and learn how to make them. 

Flavor options include:
  • Black Raspberry
  • Orange Mango
  • Pink Grapefuit
  • Kiwi Strawberry
  • Coconut Pineapple
  • Pomegranate Pineapple
  • Peach Nectarine
  • Lemon Lime
  • Crisp Apple
  • Cherry Limeade
  • Strawberry Watermelon

You can use their store locator to find a location near you, where you can purchase these:

You can find out more about the company here:


  • 6 oz.  Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE
  • 1 ½ oz.  whisky or apple brandy
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Cinnamon stick, allspice cloves, and apple slices for garnish
  1. Coat the bottom of a glass coffee cup with honey. Add whisky or brandy
  2. Heat Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE in a small sauce pot
  3. Pour hot SPARKLIGN ICE into glass. Stir to combine ingredients
  4. Garnish with cinnamon stick, allspice cloves, and apple slices

  • 3 bottles of Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 cup apple brandy
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 pear, sliced
  1.  In a large pitcher combine sliced fruit with brandy and wine. Let this sit in the refrigerator for approximately 3 hours.
  2. Right before serving, top with Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE. Stir gently to combine the ingredients. 


For The Crumble:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For The Apples:
  • ¾ cup Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE
  • 8 red apples (Gala or Fuji preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch
For the crumble
  1. Combine brown sugar and flour in a mixing bowl, and cut in the butter with your hands.  Mixture should look coarse with some chunks the size of peas. 
  2. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to harden up. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the crumble on. 
  5. Bake for 12-18 minutes or until light brown.
  6. Place baking tray on a wire rack to cool.
For the apples
  1. Core and cube the apples and place in a large bowl of cold water to avoid browning.   
  2. Whisk together the cornstarch with SPARKLING ICE in a small mixing bowl, set aside. 
  3. In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
  4. Add the apples, salt, and cinnamon.  Sautee over a medium flame for 3 minutes. 
  5. Pour the SPARKLING Ice and cornstarch mixture into the pot, stirring continuously.
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter. 
  1. Break the cooled crumble up with your hands to desired size.  
  2. Scoop the warm apples into 6 small ramekins or an 8 inch square serving dish. 
  3. Top with crumble.
  4. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Apple Picking @ High Hill Orchard - Meriden, CT

By Lisa VanWilliams

My family started off yesterday with no intentions of apple picking, and we ended up picking apples on a misty Fall morning on a hillside in the middle of Connecticut and it was a wonderfully impulsive choice. Connecticut is filled with tons of small farms and every region has an orchard or two to choose from. We did a Google search in the car and quickly found this place within 15 minutes driving distance from where we were. Since it wasn't the greatest of mornings as far as weather was concerned, we had the place to ourselves and it was beautiful. It's nestled up on the hillside and it has little market with fresh produce when you drive into the farm. A short walk up a hill and there is an orchard filled with an assortment of apple trees. The apples are ready, delicious, and plentiful. I can't even tell you how many varieties there are, there were that many.

High Hill Orchards is a family owned farm and they offer a variety of seasonal fruits, veggies, and other high quality products. They use ground and sea supplements to  "support the health of plants without endangering the soil they grow in or the people who eat them". Thanks High Hill!

They are located a few minutes off I-91 and about 15 minutes from the Merritt Parkway. We always try to support our local farmers when we can. We left with soggy wet feet and no change of clothes, but the kids were proudly nibbling on apples they picked themselves in the back seat on the drive out. You can find out more about them here:

If you are looking for an incredible apple pie, try this out !! 6,615 five star reviews. I must confess I did add vanilla, and cinnamon. My daughter was very happy helping me make pie for after dinner, but then she wouldn't even try a bite (that's normal for 4 year olds), she did tell me it smelled good though.

My kids running up the Chestnut tree-lined farm road

The evening aftermath....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Boscov's & Calvin Klein Fashion Week

Today is the launch of Fashion Week at the Westfield Shopping Mall in Meriden,CT , and it was bustling with excitement, great deals, fashion shows, & giveaways. Calvin Klein kicked off the week with an incredible Winter wardrobe line, and here is the sneak peak of some great style options that they have available. 
To view more options, you can visit:

This is the first store in New England for Boscov's. It's 1-1/2 times the size of a Macy's store. Boscov's is a full service department store, stocking a full range of brand-name merchandise from fashion items for men, women and children, to a complete line of home furnishings and appliances. Boscov's places great emphasis on customer service, creative promotions, and exciting events. Boscov's is one of the last family owned department chains in the world. We actually saw Albert Boscov today at the Calvin Klein fashion show, where he welcomed everyone to his newest store location. To find out more about Boscov's please go to:

We also got to meet Gene London and view his incredible exhibition The Traveling Fashion Museum, which is on display in front of Boscov's entrance this week. Some of the clothing dates back to the 1870's and he personally has more than 60,000 collected costumes worn by celebrities over the decades. He has a great Facebook page where he posts the items and you can check it out here: 

Here are my pictures of this mornings adventures....