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    Glamorous Phones Cases For Every Woman [Giveaway]

    February 5th, 2019

    Velvet Caviar recently helped me makeover my poor phone case situation from boring black to fun, flirty, and feminine. Thanks to Velvet for sponsoring this post and introducing me to durable and glamorous phone cases. 

    Protecting my Samsung S8 Phone

    When I first purchased my Samsung S8 phone last year, the only thought I had when protecting my phone was the standard durable boring phone case. Since having kids, I am the last person to think about pretty things. Everything is pretty much about my family and my home. 

    One thing I quickly realized is that when I went searching for my phone in my purse or any other bag, I always had a hard time finding it. A black phone with a black phone case did not make such a perfect match for a busy mother like me. I tried having an air vented pop out to hold my phone but somehow it was just not the right fit.

     

    Velvet Caviar

    When I was introduced to Velvet Caviar, my interest was piqued because all of a sudden beauty stood before me. A chance to beautify my phone and be feminine? This company is known for their colorful and durable phone cases available for various phone devices along with phone ring holders to match the phone cases. Pretty Yet Protective (TM) is their slogan but there is more that comes with that.

    They also offer fashionable beanies and scarves with fun pompoms along with portable phone chargers that keep your phone charged and going for the whole day! 

    I received the Dusty Rose Chrome Floral case with a mauve background inlaid with gold roses. Someone must have shared one of my favorite colors because I fell in love with it immediately. The case is in a matte finish and is easy to grip. The inside of the case is inlaid with a soft padding and the brand’s name etched in elegant lettering.

    The Nude Vintage Floral phone case came with a phone ring holder which is why I decided to use the case first so I could fully enjoy the Velvet Caviar experience. The phone ring holder is very sturdy and easier to hold. In fact, I could hold multiple items in one hand while holding the phone with the ring. I was seriously impressed.

    The phone ring has a 360 degree rotation and is capable and sturdy to become hands free. I was able to hold my phone through the clip and text with one hand while doing multiple tasks with my other hand. It has been great having in the kitchen, while looking at a recipe from my website. 

    As a busy mom, this was truly a plus. There is no need to worry about it getting in the way of your back pocket though. The ring easily folds and is not an issue for storage. I LOVE IT!!!!

    Important Facts + Giveaway

    There is a one year warranty on the phone whether you like it or not. There is free shipping and many ways of payment when it comes to ordering your phone.

    Want a chance to try this phone case? I am giving away the Golden Cheetah Galaxy case for the Samsung S8 plus a phone ring holder. Here is how you can win:

    • Leave a comment telling me how this case would change your life. (mandatory)
    • Share this post with your friends and let me know by tagging me @singerinkitchen or Opera Singer in the Kitchen. (optional)
    • Leave a comment on my Facebook or Instagram post. (optional)
    • Giveaway ends February 25, 2019 at midnight.

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    Suga by Foo – Seasonal Chinese Cuisine in Philly

    February 4th, 2019

    When I know date night comes around, my heart skips a beat. It skips an extra beat when I know I am going into the city. Having lived in Houston, I am very used to city life even when I lived in the suburbs. Since moving from Chester County to Delaware County, we are now closer to the city. Suga by Foo was a lovely experience and definitely one to check out in the city.

    Dining in Philly

    For those who get anxious going into the city, I totally get it. I finally feel like I have a handle on how to enjoy the city. I know the spots to park without breaking the bank and there are always an amazing list of restaurants to try. One of the places we decided to check out was Suga (SOO-GAH) by Susanna Foo.

    When I found out that Ms. Foo helped bring gourmet Chinese food to America and that she has won 2 James Beard awards, I knew my husband and I were in for a treat. The restaurant is tucked in the Rittenhouse Square district and is clearly an ideal place for a romantic dinner for 2.

    Since we had a show to attend to before we arrived before official dinner but perfect timing for happy hour from 5 to 7pm. 

    Dumplings

    We started out with the Dumpling Sampler which came out with 6 different types of dumplings and 3 types of sauces. This was definitely an ideal appetizer to share because it highlighted the popular wild mushroom dumplings. Each of them were unique and very savory.

    Our favorites? It was a tie between the wild mushroom and the lamb dumpling.

    Main Dishes

    Since it was our first time dining, we decided to try 3 different dishes that highlighted different parts of the seasonal menu. I ordered the Cilantro Sesame Chicken which came with thin strips of chicken mixed with julienne carrots, shitake mushrooms and cilantro. The menu indicated jicama and asparagus but unfortunately I did not realize the ingredient change until later. It was a simple but flavorful dish.

    My husband’s Braised Short Rib Noodle dish was hearty. I was tossed with eggplant, tomatoes and spinach along with freshly made noodles. It was nice to sample from each of our dishes because the unique Asian flavors in the noodle dish were magical.

    Our third dish was a vegetarian favorite of my husband’s: Ma Po Tofu. Ms. Foo’s version was definitely spicy with a fine mix of corn, black beans, scallions and Sichuan peppercorn. I added a side of brown rice with lentils that seemed to have a nice curry flavor to it. We definitely enjoyed the heat on the dish but it was not one to finish off the evening.

    Dessert

    By the end of the evening, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and shared a Ginger Asian Pear Sorbet that was spectacular. Each bite had a perfect blend of pear and ginger flavors that cooled off the palate after our delicious dinner.

    Specials

    If you are looking for an elegant Chinese experience, check out their upcoming specials for Chinese New Year where you can dine for $39 a person, 4 person minimum, on a special menu. It is bound to be a delicious culinary experience. We look forward checking it out again in the future.

    Suga by Foo

    1720 Sansom Street

    Philadelphia, PA 19103

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    Academy of Vocal Arts – Rusalka- {Review}

    February 3rd, 2019

    Last night my husband and I had the privilege of attending our first performance at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. I have checked out two performances over the years at different locations on the Main Line, but never at its original location. Thanks to AVA for treating us to a special evening.

    photo by Academy of Vocal of Arts

    Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia

    In 1933, Helen Corning Warden, a prominent member of Philadelphia society, realized there was a need for a school to train talented singers especially in light of the Depression era, so a school was created that would provide a tuition-free education for these professional singers. After 80 years, it is now a  prominent 4-year program that is highly coveted and very competitive. 

    Many of the singers selected in the program perform in almost 6 opera performances and go through rigorous vocal and language training to prepare them for the international and national world of opera. Many big names have come through AVA like Joyce DiDonato, Joyce El-Khoury, Angela Meade, Stephen Costello, Ailyn Perez, and many more.

    Historical Landmark

    If you are not from the area, the academy is situated near Rittenhouse Square along a row of town homes. The area is so historic with amazing architecture at every corner. Once you go inside the academy, this historical landmark is a gem. Like many places, it used to be someone’s home complete with a musical room that is now the theater where the artists perform.

    As we walked through the home, it was not hard to stop through the corridors and rooms to stare at the architecture and art. It was truly walking through history. The theater is located in the back of the house where there are bas reliefs on themes from A Midsummer’s Dream located on the ceilings and walls. There are also carved wooden beams and a balcony that was simply captivating!

    photo by Academy of Vocal of Arts

    Rusalka

    We checked the closing night performance of Rusalka and I was simply smitten. As a soprano myself, I am very familiar with the aria “Song to the Moon,” but I was not really familiar nor had I ever watched a performance. Several roles were double cast but the main role and supporting roles were performed by the same artists.

    Kara Mulder performed the role of Rusalka and won my heart over as the sad water nymph who wishes to be human. The story is based on Slavic mythology but as we quickly realized, the story line was similar Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid. The Prince role was performed by Piotr Buszewski, a tenor with such beautiful high notes, it is no wonder he has won so many competitions.

    photo by Academy of Vocal of Arts

    The water nymphs at the beginning were lovely, combining and blending voices as though they were truly one voice. Even though the story line is sad, there is humor in several scenes with Jezibaba (Chelsea Laggan), the witch of the forest, who helps Rusalka become human. She is quite scary at some moments that she convinces the audience of her ultimate power. The interpretation of each artist is outstanding but it is clear that their big voices are no match for the hall.

    The set was simple but perfect enough to create a mystical forest and watery world of magic. With two intermissions, the sets quickly changed to create a story that pulled us in. I have never performed any Dvorak works but this opera has such beautiful melodies that transported me to the watery world of nymphs.

    The musical director was also the accompanist for the production and he lead such a great first-time production of Rusalka at AVA. I cannot wait to check out another performance at AVA because the caliber of the artists is amazing and knowing that they will be very well-known some day is just so exciting.

    Current Season 2019

    If you are saddened that you missed this performance, do not worry, the season is not over! Here is what is coming up next:

    Winter Recital
    Music director and piano: TBA
    February 12 and 14, 7:30 PM at AVA

     

    Così fan tutte – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the AVA Opera Orchestra. 
    Generously sponsored by the Gray Charitable Trust
    Conductor: Christofer Macatsoris
    Stage Director TBA
    March 2, 5, 7, and 9, 7:30 PM at AVA
    March 12 at Haverford School’s Centennial Hall

     

    Jubilate! A Concert of Sacred Music with the AVA Opera Orchestra
    Conductor: David Antony Lofton
    March 16, 7:30 PM at The Church of The Redeemer, Bryn Mawr
    March 17, 7 PM at The Church of The Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square

     

    Spring Recital
    Music director and piano: TBA
    7:30 PM, Tuesday, April 2 and 7:30 PM, Thursday, April 4 at AVA

     

    Roméo et Juliette – Charles Gounod with the AVA Opera Orchestra. First time ever at AVA!
    Generously sponsored by Judith Broudy
    Conductor: Steven Mosteller
    Stage Director: Jeffrey Marc Buchman
    April 27, 30 and May 2, 7:30 PM at AVA
    May 4, 7:30 PM at Central Bucks South High School in Bucks County (Concert staging); for tickets to this performance, please call AVA at
    215-735-1685 or 215-862-2526.
    May 7, 7:30 PM at Centennial Hall, The Haverford School

     

    Farewell Recital
    Music director and piano:
     José Meléndez
    May 10, 7:30 PM at The Church of The Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

     

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    Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3s Challenge

    January 28th, 2019

     

    Over the holidays I had a chance to share my love for Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3s. Since becoming an ambassador, I tried a variety of their products.  I am so happy they are a part of our life. Thanks to Barlean’s for sponsoring this post.

    Fish Oil

    Many of you might not be taking fish oil because well, for fear of what it tastes like. Who wants that? I have to admit that my mother used to make us take it when we were young and I remember the fish burps. HA! Who wants fish burps? No one.

    Times have changed because Barlean’s has a line of omega-3 supplements for a while but you might remember them as Omega Swirls. They are now called Seriously Delicious Omega-3s because they are! They come in a variety of flavors and even options for all lifestyles.

    Challenge

    I was challenged to give a bottle of choice to a friend so that she and her family could share their experience. Two weeks later, after they tried the Key Lime Pie flavor, she shared her experience. My friend was just happy that one single product could be enjoyed by the whole family as opposed to buying different dosages. All her kids enjoyed taking something that was really tasty!

    The one they chose was a high potency dose of 1,500mg Omega-3 and EPA/DHA that is creamy by the tablespoon that can be enjoyed on its own or added to smoothies. My friend was truly happy that a supplement could be so tasty and enjoyed by everyone. Barlean’s, we have a winner!

    Even though I was challenged to find someone who would not normally take fish oil, my true challenge was to get my husband to try it. He is very picky about many things and telling him that fish oil is tasty is just laughable. Even so, he complied and lovingly accepted the challenge. He was surprised that he tasted no fish even though he was VERY skeptical. He enjoyed the flavor and then questioned the benefits. HA! This is why I take care of my family.

     

    Omega-3s for all Lifestyles

    Before you head away sad that there is not a vegan option, stop right there, because there is something for you too! In fact, Barlean’s has something for the vegan, vegetarian, and those who are dairy-free. Here is a list of the labels:

    • Vegan
    • Vegetarian
    • Dairy-free
    • Nut-Free
    • Kosher
    • Non-GMO
    • Gluten-free
    • Cold-pressed
    • Sugar-Free
    • Casein-Free

    Are you amazed already? You should be. There are several options for VEGAN Omega-3 supplements. I received a couple so that I could share how great they are. Either way, you have benefits of the supplements no mater what lifestyle you are leading.

    You will absorb 3 times as much Omega-3s as the normal supplements because of the way Barlean’s has formulated these Seriously Delicious products. There are specific ones for women called Seriously Delicious Essential Woman in Chocolate Mint. It contains not only the omega-3, but also 6 and 9 as well as GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid). It helps promote hormonal balance with its added Primrose Oil.

    How to Enjoy

    The beauty of these products is that they can be enjoyed on its own or they can be mixed in yogurt, smoothies, or more. Check out my Caramelized Pineapple Parfaits. If you have kids that just give you a hard time about taking vitamins and supplements, hide it in their food and they will love it.

    Here are just a few examples of the flavors Barlean’s offers:

    How do these NOT entice you! Check out their website for more info and their Instagram page for more inspiration!

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    Caramelized Pineapple Parfaits with Barlean’s Simply Delicious Omega-3s

    January 9th, 2019

    Enjoy a delightful chilled parfait for breakfast or dessert that is not only kid-approved but also family-approved. Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3s add the extra kick for a better you.


    Caramelized Pineapple Parfaits with Barlean’s Simply Delicious Omega-3s

    Our family can probably eat their right in yogurt. No problems with getting our probiotics but I try to break up the habit of having the same meals every morning. Even kids need variety to make their meal times special. So, instead of having a bowl of plain yogurt and granola, I often make yogurt parfaits for my 3 girls.

    Ok, I make them for me and my husband as well, but we usually have it for dessert. I recently made some caramelized pineapple for the holidays for my Baked Pineapple Empanadas and I wanted to use the leftovers wisely.

    Omega-3s

    When my kids were younger, I would have to sneak veggies into meals but as they’ve gotten older they have learned to appreciate the flavor of many veggies. Even though my kids take a multivitamin daily, they are still not consuming Omega-3.

    Omega-3s are vital fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body, so we need to get them from foods or supplements. According to many articles, Omega-3s are essential for heart health and studies have shown they can decrease blood pressure and even aid in minimizing depression.

    Barlean’s Omega-3s

    For those familiar with Barlean’s, their Simply Delicious Omega-3s have just be renamed but their formula and ingredients has not changed.

    I have been enjoying the Seriously Delicious Omega- 3 High Potency Fish Oil in the Passion Pineapple Smoothie Flavor. It’s ultra-high potency because there is 1,500mg of EPA/DHA per serving. It has three times better absorption of Omega-3s with NO fish burps. What a plus!! I grew up with disliking taking fish oil because of the burps. Blech.

    Caramelized Pineapple Parfaits with Barlean’s Simply Delicious Omega-3s - closeup

    Barlean’s also makes their products with highly purified fish oil that free of mercury and other heavy metals. It is also emulsified which allows for the oil to absorb better once consumed.

    I chose to create a yummy parfait for my family that is quick and easy but also fancy-looking. I drizzled Barlean’s Seriously Delicious Omega-3 High Potency Fish Oil in Passion Pineapple Smoothie flavor. On its own it is so delicious, but to get a kid to ingest 1 Tablespoon can be too much. I added ½ tablespoon to the Greek yogurt and drizzled the rest as a topping. I heard no fusses and I was a happy mom.

    Check out Barlean’s and read about their products and their love for creating products that allow for a well-rounded life.

    Caramelized Pineapple Parfaits

    by Noelle Kelly

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

     

    Ingredients (2 parfaits)

    Instructions

    Mix the Superfruit Seed blend with the granola.

    Mix 1 Tablespoon of fish oil with Greek yogurt.

    Layer two 6-ounce glasses as follows:

    1 Tablespoon granola mix

    ¼ cup Greek yogurt

    2 Tablespoons caramelized pineapple

    2 Tablespoons granola mix

    ¼ cup Greek yogurt

    2 Tablespoons caramelized pineapple

    1 Tablespoon granola

    ½ Tablespoon Barlean’s fish oil drizzle

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    Disclosure: I am not a medical professional. I am a mother who researches and tries products in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Read about Omega-3s online and do your own research to find the right product for your family.

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