Sunday, July 27, 2014

Smiley360 Review: Sleep Number Beds and IQ technology

As part of a smiley 360.com mission, I visited the Sleep Number store in the Southpoint Mall in Durham, NC. I had previously visited the store, but they always have new products and I even this time, I learned new things. The visit was impressive because I finally realized why I have such a hard time sleeping in my back. My sleep number was determined to be a 35, which is relatively low considering the maximum setting is 100.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - the entry model for Sleep Number, a queen runs about $999. Very comfortable!
 Even at the entry model, the comfort you can experience with one of these beds is amazing. I felt as if sleeping on clouds at the lower setting and when upped to 100, my back was hurting and I now know why I never on the back and only on the side. The most important thing to realize is that when initially laying down in bed, your back muscles are still active, so a hard mattress seems fine. But as you lay there and relax and go to sleep, your muscles relax and what seems like a good, supportive mattress becomes a torture chamber.
copyright Durhamotnhecheap - they always have sales and you can follow them on Facebook to learn more about specials
 The prices are very reasonable and for the comfort you are getting they are definitely affordable. Check out the store or like their Facebook page for additional information on savings and specials.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - this bed is mire adjustable. You can see the split mattress, this allows adjusting the height
 If you go to the store, you benefit from being able to see the different style beds for yourself. The baseline model and all models have the Sleep IQ technique to maximize comfort. But some additional features that are available in higher end models include a temperature control or the ability to adjust the height of the bed as seen in the one model pictured above. That way, one pillow is all you need, but you can still have your head elevated while in bed.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - this is the model, with temperature adjustment. You are never too cold or too hot in bed!
 The one above is the top of the line model, but you can never tell, because when properly made, it looks like a regular bed. But from the side, you can see the connection for the temperature control. It also has the split mattress to adjust the height of the bed and then of course included is Sleep IQ mode.
copyright Durhamotnhecheap - the catalog, which has all models and prices. Pick on up at the local store!

Overall, the staff was very friendly and after seeing the difference between 100 and 35 in settings, I am actually considering a Sleep Number bed for the next bed. I usually sleep on the side, but maybe getting an adjustable mattress would mean I could finally sleep on my back.

Again, like their Facebook page for more information about specials and bargains or simply stop by the local store in Southpoint Mall to see how the beds from Sleep Number are constantly evolving.

Update:
Today I received an email as a follow up to my trying out one of the Sleep Number beds. It has a nice graphic that shows where my pressure points are when comparing the various settings. On top, the settings was 100 (= before) and you can see all the red and orange that indicat pressure points. Compared to the adjusted setting of 35 at the bottom, the lack of orange and yellow indicates that I lay much more comfortable on that bed and had much fewer pressure points.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - my personal sleep settings at the adjusted rate of 35 show fewer pressure points

Disclaimer: I visited the Sleep Number store in Durham, NC as part of a mission by smiley360.com. I will get rewarded in exchange for the visit and my honest review of the Sleep Number technology. The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Purex Insider Review + Coupon Giveaway: Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash

 Through Purex Insiders I was able to sample and review the new Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash. With the active ingredient of Coconut Water, this body wash is more hydrating than other products on the market.This is Mango-infused body wash is the latest additional Dial Brand body wash and now combined the hydrating powers of Coconut Water with the tropical scent of mango.  Using Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash will leave your skin replenished and hydrated, every time you shower.


copyright Durhamonthecheap - Purex Insider  Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash package has arrived


copyright Durhamonthecheap -  Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash , coupons and blogger kit
 In my kit were three coupons, so I will host a giveaway for one coupon. One lucky reader will be able to try out the new Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash and experience for themselves the great hydrating powers of this new body wash.

I have used this body wash now for a couple of days and this scent is wonderful - I love mangoes and could eat them everyday.  But in addition to the mango scent, the coconut water is ensuring that this body wash is wonderfully hydrating and in this summer, when it is so muggy outside and you need to drink more water than usual to stay hydrated, this body wash ensures that your skin stays hydrated and healthy.

Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a coupon to try out new Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash:
Deadline for entries is 8-16-14 midnight!
Open to US Residents only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I was provided a free product and coupons for a giveaway through Purex Insider. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Purex or any other third party.

Food Review: Flour Cafe and Bakery in Boston, MA / Sleeper St. Cafe in Boston, MA

I was able to travel to Boston, MA for two days last week for business. To combine work with the pleasant opportunity to be in a bog city, I was eager to try out some local hangouts.

Now my favorite hangouts are not the nightclubs or some bars, but outside cafes in the summer in the morning, when it is still nice and cool outside and you can sit down with a cup of coffee and a newspaper and start the day off right! I found two pleasant cafe in Boston, both near Farnsworth St. One was the Sleeper St cafe and while the menu was nothing spectacular. One item clearly stood out, the Pistachio Muffin. I love Pistachios and so to find that wonderful flavor in a muffin was just plain awesome. The muffin was deliciously moist and while the concoction had some green food coloring added, the flavor was outstanding. The added bonus were pistachio pieces that added a nice crunch to the muffin. If you are ever in that neck of the woods, I highly recommend the Sleeper Cafe Pistachio Muffin to anyone that loves pistachios. The yelp page for the cafe is here.

copied from Pinterest here, but this is how the Piastachio muffin looked like - I still salivating at the thought.


The next place was the Flour Cafe and Bakery right on Farnsworth St.  and their homepage is here. While they seem to be known for their Boston Creme Pie, I could easily pass on that and select their yeast-based dough goodies they had that morning. They offered, like the Sleeper St. Cafe breakfast sandwiches, coffee and pastries, but the selection here was huge compared to the few muffins available at the other place. Plus the outside seating area at the Flour Cafe and Bakery is nicer because Farnsworth St is really quiet, with not much through traffic and so sitting outside is like sitting in your backyard.

This morning I selected their Sugar Bun and then a twice baked brioche that had a layer of almonds and sugar on to make it even more decadent.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - twice bake brioche was still moist and tender the next day.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - so good and the buttery yeast dough can elevate a simple treat to a wonderful dessert

copyright Durhamonthecheap - speaking of simple pleasures, a tasty and perfect sugar bun!
So if you ever find yourself in Boston with some time to spare. Stop by an outdoor cafe and enjoy the big city at a quieter pace. I can highly recommend the Flour Cafe and Bakery to sit outside and enjoy Boston in the summer. And if you are in Boston, give Pistachio muffins a try. I hope that this muffin flavor will find its way into the southern hemisphere because I will definitely now spend some time experimenting with that muffin flavor!

Product Review and $25 Giftcard giveaway - Walmart.com online ordering and free shipping to your home! How easy is that?

 I was provided with a gift card to allow me to try out how easy and convenient the online ordering process through walmart.com is. For ordering Procter and Gamble products, walmart.com is one easy and convenient solution. Not only does Walmart have a great selection of Procter and Gamble products, the prices are really reasonable and I was even able to snag one product on clearance, which a frugal shopper like me is always thrilled about. Add in that walmart.com offers free shipping if you order more than $50 worth of items and this process is almost impossible to beat by others.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - ready to spend some money at Walmart without ever leaving my house

copyright Durhamonthecheap - first item on my wishlist has been identified, a new mop for downstairs

copyright Durhamonthecheap- the mop comes with supplies and note the offer of free shipping for orders of $50+



copyright Durhamonthecheap - - Tide on sale! Of course I had to snag one 75oz container at that price!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - so many choices! What should I select? Deciding was tough, but someone had to do it!

Even if you do ot order $50 worth of items, you can still avoid shipping charges by having the items delivered to the store for free. If you decide to go the route of store delivery and pickup, you just go to the customer service counter and indicate your order number. A staffer will then retrieve your items from the store's warehouse and you can drive home with your order and never had to worry about making an unnecessary trip to see whether an item you needed was available. I have used the order and ship to store option in the past and found it also very easy and convenient.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - note the free shipping!  I like the confirmation statements, they make ordering very easy!
So this time around, I was asked to order Procter and Gamble products. This was perfect because I wanted to buy a Swiffer product for cleaning the wooden and laminate floors downstairs. Having to carry around the mop is really inconvenient and the mop also always seems to be on the wrong floor when there is a spill and I need to quickly clean up the floor. So having two mops, one of them a brand new Swiffer wet jet, sounded like a perfect solution.
copyright Durhamonthecheap -I paid with my Walmart Gift Card, but of course any credit card is an option too!

I also order found some Tide detergent on sale, make that clearance, and of course I jumped on that and ordered one Tide detergent. No more hauling heavy detergent home, now the package will arrive at my doorstep next week and I can save myself hauling bulky detergent bottles that are also heavy home from the grocery store.
copyright Durhamonthecheap -my order list, just above $50 and therefore FREE SHIPPING!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - initial confirmation for my order, a more detailed confirmation is listed below.
The last item I ordered were some Charmin wet toilette tissues. I ordered the original container and then added another refill because I have fallen in love with this little piece of luxury that can be found in wet toilette wipes. The price is affordable and since the total was just over $50, I happily confirmed my order and now, with the receipt of my confirmation email on hand, can sit back, relax, enjoy the weekend and know that the quick helpers at walmart.com will fulfill my order, load it on a truck and some time next week, I will find a box of goodies in front of my house.

One thing I like about ordering through walmart.com, you can pay of course with gift cards or credit cards, but you can also pay with cash, in case you do not want to use an electronic form of payment. Walmart has really thought of everything when designing their e-commerce site and ensuring the convenience for the consumer. 
copyright Durhamonthecheap - my complete order with prices and expected delivery date to my home

For me the toughest part was clearly deciding what to order. While the mop was an easy decision since I needed one for downstairs and Swiffer has such good reviews. The rest of other times was more difficult because the selection is so huge. But now that I have been through the ordering process once, I have to say that Walmart makes the ordering very easy. I love the regular confirmation screens that walk you through the purchase process. I have my account set up with Walmart and I think that is the way to go. For my home delivery, I did not have to enter any address, my confirmation email was received at my usual email and I will definitely update the post when the packages arrives.

And now for the Giveaway!
I have one gift card in the amount of $25 to mail to the luck winner. The entry is through Rafflecopter to keep everything nice, easy and most importantly fair! Please note that the deadline for entering is 8-16-14 at midnight. with the gift card, you can then experience the convenience of Walmart online ordering for yourself and keep in mind that you can pay online with your gift card and have the items delivered to the nearest Walmart store for free for a convenient pick up!
Please note: Open to US Residents only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post. In exchange for reviewing the walmart.com ordering process and delivery, P&G provided the Walmart gift cards and information. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: The Making of a Man: How Men and Boys Honor God and Live with Integrity by Tim Brown

And here is another book by an athlete and how he developed character traits that he is proud of and feels embody lessons that he wants to pass on to others. While this athlete too finds strong backing in his faith, the book is not overly religious and can be read by people who normally do not read books about Christian faith. This book is geared towards adults and provides lessons on how Mr. Brown led his life and what he perceives as important life lessons that can help others be successful in life. It should be noted that success in life does not necessarily mean making lots of money, but leading a good life as a person that others can look up to.

available on amazon.com here
 Not surprisingly, a lot of the chapters deal with lessons about family life and how to be a good husband. While a lot of the chapters focus on his time as a football player, several chapters deal with his life experiences outside of football as well and her we get to know the Tim Brown that is unknown to most of us.
I found this book a good read for young men that are unsure how to tackle the challenges of adulthood, being on their own and making their own decisions. Mistakes will be made and the important thing it to learn from your mistakes and to realize when to reach out for advice and help.


Disclaimer: I received a a free book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

Book Review: Game Changer by Kirk Cousins

This is another example of a book written by a well known athlete, who feels that his faith is to some degree the basis of his success. As such the book is not novel or unique. What makes this book different and certainly a good read for fathers and sons alike is that this book is geared towards sons. Not only is it showing kids that it is okay to have faith, but it goes on to show kids and in particular boys that having faith is not wrong and can actually be pretty cool and help you succeed in life by giving you strength.

available on amazon.com here
 The book is written in plain English, which is a good thing. It is easy to understand for kids of a variety of ages, but mostly geared towards adolescents and teenagers. While written with boys in mind, the lessons portrayed and exemplified by Kirk Cousins in his life and now written down as simple lessons in this boook can also be useful for girls. Seek guidance in life, god is certainly one way to find such guidance. And with good guidance and role models, success will follow.  Believe in yourself and be strong, don't waiver at the first sign of opposition, being persistent will pay off in the end.

Disclaimer: I received a a free book through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

weekly food roundup: Guglhupf, Cook Out, Dunkin DOnuts

So instead of doing several posts, just one post with a number of eating places that we visited over the last couple of weeks.
Guglhupf is a German-style bakery in southern Durham that serve awesome bread and great pastries. If you come early, you can snatch some 40% reduced items in the bakery store or you can just sit down for breakfast in side or enjoy the still cool summer morning on the outside terrace while munching on some European-style bread and sip delicious coffee. The Guglhupf website is located here and you can see they got an astonishing selection of pastries and breads.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - assorted pastries available at Guglhupf, prices run about $5, but these things are good!!
 Does that pastry shelf not look absolutely delicious? Even for someone like me who does not like a lot of sweet stuff, the pastries are just looking really pretty. But I usually stop by for some Guglhupf bread, especially their rye bread is similar to what I great up eating at home. So I grabbed two day old breads and then made a traditional German lunch with smoked ham and fried eggs, followed by a Zuckerbrot (sliced bread with margarine and sugar) - tasted just like I remember from Germany.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - settling on some day old bread with Prosciutto and fried egg - Strammer Max!
 So if you are looking for a great place to eat - either dessert or a European style bakery in general, make a point of stopping by Guglhupf in Southern Durham. Be prepared to find a really crowded place in the morning, with parking usually still available in the back and they have plenty of seating -which they definitely need on most morning, even during the week!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - then some sugar substitute on a buttered slice of bread for a sweet dessert!
Dunkin Donuts
Of course no week would be complete without a stop by Dunkin's and since I had several coupons, the haul was bigger than usual. I got my free coffee through the Dunkin Perks program, then a large ice coffee, a large iced latte and my trusted toasted coconut donut. Weekend was bliss afterwards and even the workweek started off well because I had a couple of the beverages left from my early Sunday morning trip to the neighbor caffeine haven. 
copyright Durhamonthecheap - great bargain at Dunkin Donuts total price was less than $4 and the donut as always delicious
 Cook Out
The last stop is Cook Out a relatively new burger chain to Southern Durham (near the old South Square Mall location). They have a nice combo that includes a choice of sandwiches or burgers, two sides and a large soda (or a for $1 more you can get their awesome milkshake). I of  course went with the milkshake and selected red cherry cheesecake - it was really good. Combined my burger with my favorite hushpuppies and then some onion rings and dinner was great! Perfect lead-in to a relaxed weekend. So if you are in Southern Durham, consider giving the combo from Cook Out a try and for less than $6 you get burger, two sides and a great milkshake!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - cook out combo, two sides, entree and for a $1 extra a phenomenal milkshake