Fun Snacks for Cinco De Mayo #FlavorYourFiesta

I am a homeschooling mom and we love learning about other cultures as part of our curriculum study, so we took the month of May to learn about Mexico, it’s traditions and customs. As part of their  celebrations -Cinco De Mayo is a very important one that is also very much celebrated here in the states-  so I thought I would make a fun lunch for the kids and I to enjoy as part of our day of learning.  We love José Olé  snacks for parties and even for dinner, it was just a natural choice to use them as an example of some traditional Mexican foods- tacos, taquitos,  and quesadillas.  I thought it would be great to share these quick and fun snacks for Cinco De Mayo celebration with you! We were challenged to “Flavor your Fiesta” – using José Olé snack varieties- to create this post.

jose ole cinco de mayo

As you can tell, they enjoyed our little Cinco De Mayo celebration AND their Jose Ole snacks!!!

I printed a sheet of Mexican flags, taped them to craft sticks, and used them as food labels for each of the 4 José Olé snacks I choose- Chicken and Cheese Nacho Bites, Beef and Cheese Mini Tacos, Mextremes Steak and Cheese Taquitos coated in Nacho Cheese Flavor, and Shredded Steak Taquitos.  Check out their huge variety of products available, from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to quick snacks.

jose ole snacks

Add colorful and festive plates, napkins, cups, and a tablecloth and your party is ready to go! To make them even more fun for your party, serve the snacks in plastic Margarita glasses. Don’t forget bowls of sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for dipping your snacks or get really creative and make your own dip.

If you are having an adult party you could of course serve Margaritas, they are delicious with José Olé  Snacks ( I speak from experience).

 

Grab your download a $2 off coupon on José Olé  Facebook page! Also be sure to follow José Olé on Twitter and José Olé on Pinterest.

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I would love to hear about your Cinco De Mayo plans and ideas!  How will you be celebrating?

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Jose Ole . The opinions and text are all mine.


H2OGO! Water Slide #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bestway for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

With summer on the horizon and two kids at home to keep busy I have learned one  of the best ways to keep them out of trouble is to spend lots of time outdoors. But, oh the heat in Florida!! It can get miserable pretty quick outside in our humid climate and we have a loooong hot season, often it lasts from March to October.  My kids love to be around water, and will find any excuse to get wet outdoors so I was thrilled when I was asked to check out the new  H2OGO! Waterslide! h2osplash   Setup was super easy- all we had to do was remove the slide from the box, air up the Speed Ramp™, hook up the hose (it comes with a special adaptor), and in just a few minutes water was splashing all around! This awesomely fun slide is not like the water slides of our childhood where you threw yourself towards it only to first hit the hard ground with a big belly flop. The H2OGO! Slide has an inflatable ramp that not only provides a soft land but it launches you even quicker down the 18 foot slide. The entire length of the slide and the end has tubes running down with small holes that create a gentle water tunnel keeping the slide wet and the fun! Once you launch and slide you end up in a drench pool at the end before you get up and do it all over again! h2ogoslide The H2OGO! is available in a single, double, or triple lane model- making for the more the merrier when beating the heat and playing with friends. We had the triple lane version and played for hours on it before even taking a break- there was no ” Moooom, I’m booorrred!” heard that day! h2ogowaterslide       My little girl loved to jump on the Speed Ramp like a slide and slip her way down, it held up amazingly under pretty rough play. h2ogo jump Sliding on his belly right into the drench pool. h2o go slider The H2OGO! Water Slide really saved the hot day from being unbearable and gave the kids a memorable afternoon. It has gone on our list as a great summer birthday gift to give!  

And guess what? They are letting me give one away to you!!!! Wouldn’t you love to have one of these fun slides to keep the kids summer fun cool?  To enter, simply comment below and share your summertime party ideas/tips featuring the H2OGO! Slide as the centerpiece!

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Four Steps To Choosing the Right Mother’s Day Gift #Shopswell #Giveaway

Mother’s Day is coming.  Super soon.  (Just so you know, it’s also my birthday this year…sometimes that’s kind of fun). Most of us either want to celebrate being a mom, or celebrate our own moms.  But how do you find the right gift? If you don’t have suggestions from the mom in your life but want to get her a gift….

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Four Steps To Choosing the Right Mother’s Day Gift

Make it Memorable:

Don’t disappoint mom and give her a gift she may buy for herself. My mom was known to buy fresh flowers for the house or a nice bottle of wine. Take a risk and buy her something like a full body massage, personalized jewelry or a framed photo with all the kids. For me, I’m good with taking photos and awful at printing them. I’ve wanted a cute little printer for just photos forever….

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Make It Meaningful:

I must admit, I have had a few Mother’s Days when I got a bottom of the barrel card or wilted roses. I knew these were last minute and it took no effort to choose them. Do some research and find out what your mom would really like. What is her favorite perfume, or band (buy her tickets to their show) or secret indulgence (decadent triple chocolate cake) or a vintage scarf or broach.

Know Her Stats:

Make sure you know mom’s favorite color, size, flower, hobby or other pertinent information before you head out to do her shopping.

Rely On Reviews:

One thing I will do when shopping for gifts is to see what other people are saying about it. Finding a great deal doesn’t hurt either! With Shopswell, you get all of that and more.

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What I love about Shopswell is not only am I saving money, but I also get the help from a community of other Shopswell shoppers. Shopswell combines cost saving technology, reviews and recommendations from a quality and shopping savvy community. You can also see authentic videos in a simple interface that empowers your best shopping experience ever.

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I do not have a lot of time or money to waste when it comes to shopping for the right product. Whether it is something for me, my family or a gift for someone, I want the right product at the right price, and I get that on Shopswell. It also makes my online shopping quicker and easier than ever. I can:

  • Track pricing to save money and time.
  • Find the right product for you, right now.
  • Get recommendations, and share yours too.
  • Discover fun quality products that entertain and delight.
  • Benefit from community reviewed and curated products.

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Instead of those annoying ads popping up from advertisers, Shopswell offers authentic recommendations and reviews from people who understand how to match the unique tastes and needs of shoppers with products they have real experience with.  No matter what you are shopping for, Shopswell offers you get price tracking on the right products with recommendations from a community of shoppers who are just like me!

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Our friends at Shopswell have realized how many people like me are out there, who want help finding the right gifts for the right prices and how to track those. I’m loving this service- both for my Mother’s Day/Birthday wishlist for me, but also to keep a close eye on gifts for family and friends!

shopswell giveaway

Shopswell loves shopping so much and they understand how online shopping is great, they want to give away an Amazon Prime Membership!! Enter below! (If already a member, winner to receive a $99 Gift Card)

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Shopswell, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Using Sous Vide for Weekly Meal Prep

I love the convenience  of my crock pot, freezer meals, and now I have a new favorite for weekly meal prep in the kitchen- Anova’s Sous Vide Device. When I was first asked to check it out I jumped at it, but then I was a bit intimidated- it looked well….fancy.  I wasn’t sure it was something that would be for everyday use so I read the instructions, poked around online a little bit and realized that it was definitely an everyday kitchen helper!

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I decided to use it to help with my weekly kitchen prep- this makes my lunches and busy weeknight dinners a breeze! Normally I bake or (yuck)  sometimes boil about 3 lbs of chicken and prep it in different ways to use in multiple ways.  While it works,, my chicken is usually a bit tough, and lacks some flavor.

The premise behind Anova’s Sous Vide is that it gently, and evenly cooks your food in a water bath at a perfectly controlled, steady temperature. Keeping it from becoming tough and rubbery at the same time.  They have also included a blue tooth feature that you can pair up with your smart phone and control through the app- easy peasy.

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The Anova Sous Vide is so simple to use, even though it looks like a professional kitchen tool it is completely workable for the everyday, at home cook- I love that!

So what do I start with?  Wanting to try something simple for the first time I decided to try my chicken out in it and here is how I did it.

1. In a gallon ziplock bag-

Add 1 Tbsp. Olive oil, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic salt

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Add 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast,press out as much air as you can, and seal bag well.

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Place bag in pot of water and allow to simmer in water bath for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

sous vide water bathRemove bag from water, allowing water to drain off bag.

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Remove chicken from bag and divide into thirds.

Chop one third.

Shred one third.

Slice one third.

Use your chicken immediately in a recipe or bag it up in a freezer safe ziplock (don’t forget to mark contents and date with a sharpie) Freeze for up to 3 months.

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These bags can be used to top fresh leafy, salads, make up a quick soup, for quesadillas, to make chicken tortilla soup,  chicken nuggets, or Buffalo Chicken Bites, and much more- make your chicken this way once a week or even every other week for a large batch and make dinners in a hurry during your busy work week.

Feeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

As a parent I think we’ve all had many moments where we wish we could see what was going on in the other room, have eyes in the backs of our heads, or be more than one place at a time.  I know with three little boys in the house I would never get anything accomplished if I had to run from room to room watching their every move.

My husband’s oldest is turning 24 next month and our youngest is just 15 months, with several children in between.  We’ve seen just about every type of baby monitor there is and tried many of them as well as gone without a monitor of any kind.  The monitors available today are a totally different animal than those available 24 years ago.  The latest in the monitor craze is the Wi-Fi monitor and there’s a lot of talk about them both good and bad.  One of the biggest things buzzing about Wi-Fi monitors is security.  Security?  Isn’t a monitor suppose to make you feel more secure?  Knowing that your child is safely sleeping, why he’s crying in the other room, or what that unexpected silence means (usually in our house it means mischief) are all ways we can feel we’re doing our best to make sure our family is safe and secure.  That isn’t the security worry with these monitors though.  If you haven’t seen it in the news or on social media, the worry is that these monitors can be hacked and let strangers into your home, invading your privacy and leaving you and your family feeling violated.  We recently decided to give one a try and after doing our homework we feel really good about the D-Link Wi-Fi Baby Camera. #client

Feeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby MonitorFeeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

Feeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

Wi-Fi monitors like the D-Link DCS-855L work by communicating through a wireless connection to your router that you’re able to access from an app installed on your smartphone, tablet, or other device.  When setting up a monitor like this you’re prompted to create an a user name, camera name, password, and other account specific information.  Just like any account you create whether it is on your personal computer, at the local bank, or online it is important to choose unique user names and passwords that would be difficult for others to expect or guess.  Never, NEVER EVER use the defaults for passwords or user names.  In all the horror stories of Wi-Fi monitors being hacked and strangers spying through these monitors, secure user names and passwords were not used and often default settings were left on the units.  Protecting your online security and identity is important all the time and for all accounts!

Once you’re past the worries of your baby camera being accessed by a stranger you’re going to love all that a Wi-Fi monitor can offer.  The D-Link camera we have is used with a free app that allows me to check on my littles from a different room in the house, from the yard, or from the road if I’m having a mommy moment where I’m really missing them and wanting to check in on them.  We don’t leave our little guys with a sitter often so when we do it sure is nice to still get to peak in and make sure they are doing well.

Feeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby MonitorFeeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

In addition to monitoring what and how my children are doing, I can monitor the temp in the room as well as sound and motion.  I can take snap shots of what I see on my smartphone screen.  I can talk to them through the app and they can here me through the camera.  This has helped me to soothe them when I can’t get to them quick enough!  I can also use the app to play lullabies, music, or personalized messages.  There is an SD card slot inside the camera so I can record my guys favorite songs and even a good night message or story.  Once it’s in the camera I can choose what to play from the app.

Feeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby MonitorFeeling Secure With a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

I’ve had other monitors, even really great video monitors but I love that there is no limit to the range of a Wi-Fi monitor.  I can be anywhere and see and hear my littles as if I was right there!  I love the clear picture, that the camera can tilt and pan so I can view a bigger area, and I love the added features that our D-Link baby camera offers.

Have you tried or would your try a Wi-Fi baby camera?

The Game of Life Game Inspires Career Choices in Kids

When I was a kid, one of my favorite times was family game night. I looked forward to the laughter and the good-natured competition. We would pit the boys against the girls or the adults versus the kids. Among the classic board games we played was The Game of Life game. I remember taking so long to choose if I wanted a boy and a girl baby or twin girls or twin boys that the family would tease me! Well, that tradition carries on in many families, and has done so for more than fifty years.Tracking Pixel Fast forward to modern day, and my own family carries on the family game night tradition, together, and we were recently given the opportunity to partner with Hasbro to give the newest, modern update to The Game of Life game a review. The family agrees that this game is STILL awesome and we love it!

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The Game of Life Game: My Dream Job

Now the latest generation of kids and their families can enjoy a new version of the classic game: The Game of Life game. I love that this game includes career cards that were inspired by kids, just like yours and mine! Among the career cards are Video Game Designer (which was the top pick among the kids polled) and Professional Athlete, which my son  is super interested in. My older daughter wants to be a Chef or a Fashion Designer.

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What is really nice is these cards are a gateway to opening conversations with your kids about what they want to be when they grow up. In addition to the careers my kids liked are: Singer, Secret Agent, Veterinarian, Teacher, Doctor, Scientist, Lawyer, Inventor, Race Car Driver, Dancer, Police Officer, and Firefighter.

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So, for instance, with my oldest, we were able to learn she has a passion for learning to cook and serve healthy and yummy food. She may want to open her own restaurant one day and be a head chef. My husband and I may consider enrolling her in cooking classes to let her follow that desire and see if it is a good fit for her. Can you imagine bearing able to learn at a younger age what your kids may want to choose for their career path as an adult? Imagine what a game changer this will be when deciding on college courses to take or job to apply for when your kid are old enough. I think it is just genius! Games have always been a great way to bring families together and the new career cards in The Game of Life game can help inspire those parent-kid conversations about what they want to be when they grow-up in a playful, casual way.

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Another great opportunity to start the conversation is “Take Your Sons and Daughters to work day” on April 23 and introduce them to what you do at work. These conversations can lead to job-shadowing opportunities, involvement in clubs or organizations that cater to their interests like a cooking class or baseball lessons, and eventually the pursuit of a higher-education degree in the topic somewhere down the road.

Game-of-Life-logo

You can find The Game of Life game where games are sold for $19.99. It’s great for ages 8+, 2-4 players.  When we have had 5 people wanting to play, we choose 1 person for the banker and giver of the cards!

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What are your favorite games to play for Family Game Night? 

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hasbro THE GAME OF LIFE.

Burt’s Bees Renewal Line #28DayFaceCleanse

So, in a few weeks, I’m turning 41.  While I had a baby face for most of my life, having kids put me on a fast track to looking my age.  I’m kind of wanting to slow that process down, and while exercising, drinking lots of water and eating healthier options does help, it’s not quite enough. I am not one to head over for chemical options if I can find something to use that’s got natural ingredients. That’s why when I was asked if I might take part in the Burt’s Bees 28 Day Face Cleanse Challenge and share my experience on the blog, I decided to go for it.  Burt’s Bees has all natural ingredients, and they’ve been around for a long time- it’s a brand I trust, it’s a brand my mom trusted, so I felt confident in giving this a go.

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Day 1 of #28dayfacecleanse

Stay tuned to see updated progress pics!

#28dayfacecleanse

All of Burt’s Bees products are all natural and contain no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial ingredients or fillers. What you’ll find instead are ingredients like beeswax, honey, lemon, almond, aloe, pomegranate, acai berry and more. The moisturizing products are light, non greasy, and have a pleasant, mild scent. See why I was all gung ho to try this? Taking part in the challenge will get you a chance to win fun prizes, even a trip for 2 to Los Angeles!

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 Did you know that every 28 days your skin renews itself? Burt’s Bees Renewal line works with your skin’s renewal cycle. In 28 days, you’ll see firmer, smoother, healthier looking skin.

Burt's Bees Renewal

The Burt’s Bees Renewal Line includes five different products that are infused with a unique Hibiscus and Apple Rejuvenating Complex:

  • Renewal Refining Cleanser – Reveal the fresher, firmer, smoother you.
  • Renewal Firming Day Lotion with SPF 30 – For firm, smooth skin that shines.
  • Renewal Firming Night Cream – Smooth while you sleep.
  • Renewal Smoothing Eye Cream – Leave crow’s feet to the crows.
  • Renewal Intensive Firming Serum – Stand firm against lines and wrinkles.

Burt’s Bees has a 28 Day Face Cleanse Challenge that you can sign up for. It’s hosted by celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, who experienced the results firsthand. You can sign up to participate for a chance to win prizes including a trip for 2 to Los Angeles to spend a day of renewal with Kimberly Snyder. Other prizes include:

  • A year’s worth of Renewal Face Care products, plus 6 Glow Bio juices or smoothies of your choice
  • Kimberly’s new book, The Beauty Detox Power, a Vitamix Blender plus full line of Renewal Face Care
  • Kimberly’s Truth Necklace plus full size Renewal Intensive Firming Serum

Be sure to grab your  exclusive Burt’s Bees Renewal Face Care products $3.00 coupon!

 

 

This post is sponsored. Opinions are my own.

 

Nokia Lumia for Active Kids

At Christmas we surprised my daughter Ella with the Nokia Lumia 635 cell phone.  After several months of using the phone and learning all that it has to offer I thought it was time to share our experience.

Nokia Lumia for Active Kids

Nokia Lumia for Active Kids

Ella is very active and involved in just about every school sport or activity she can be in.  The Lumia 635 has been great for her busy schedule and it’s been great for me to stay in touch with her no matter where she is.  I love that she can keep the phone in her backpack and let me know if practice or an after school activity is releasing early.  She’s also able to quickly let me know if for some reason she’s running late.

With many programs and apps available I am able to see where she is at all times.  If the weather is bad and I know she is on the roads with another family or for a sporting event I can see where she is and what kind of road conditions they might be encountering.  I can see that they’ve arrived at their destination safely or about how far away they are.  It’s nice to be connected even when I can’t be with her.

Ella loves the Lumia 635 for so many reasons.  She can stay in touch with her friends and family through email and texting.  She loves the camera and being able to take photos any time.  She’s even done research for school projects with the phone!  She’s installed many apps and games that she loves and that I approve of.  That’s a great feature on the Windows phones!  I can set controls for what types of apps I want her to have access to as well as set time allowances and curfews.

Our school’s Girls Rock n Run program just started and Ella and I both installed apps for fitness tracking.  She loves that she can time her runs and know just how far she has gone!

Ella also loves that there are great accessories for her phone!  In addition to the colorful skins we received with her Lumia 635 she’s ordered a really adorable wallet case she loves.  She’s able to make the phone fit her style and change it up easily.  That’s important to a girl!

Nokia Lumia for Active Kids

In addition to this being a great first smartphone for Ella we have a second Nokia Lumia 635 that we’ve been letting her younger brother use.  His isn’t a phone but has wireless access when we want to allow it.  He’s able to enjoy the camera, email, and has installed many apps and games!  It’s great for him as an alternative to a tablet, mp3 player, or gaming device.

Overall, we’re thrilled with the Nokia Lumia 635!  If you haven’t taken a look at it yet be sure to check it out!  I’m even considering a Nokia Windows phone for myself when I upgrade my phone soon.

Panda Express Chinese Spare Ribs

This post brought to you by Panda Express. The content and opinions expressed below are that of this mama loves.

Just in time for spring and summer fun, Panda Express just introduced their Chinese Spare Ribs. For a limited time they are launching a new premium rib entree: Chinese Spare Ribs.

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These Chinese Spare Ribs are slow cooked for 5 hrs with sesame oil, mirin, red chili bean paste, garlic and red peppers, creating their one-of-a-kind flavor. Sweet, spicy, and savory, these fall-off-the-bone ribs bring together the best parts of Chinese Char Siu and classic American barbecue. 

 

Panda Express Chinese Spare Ribs are only available for a limited time, so get to your local Panda Express sooner than later (plus, you’ll probably want to go again…so you don’t want to wait too long to try these!) 

So what did we think?  These are AMAZING.  Oh my goodness.  Perfect combo of tangy and a little kick that makes your mouth do a happy dance.  

I wasn’t sure if they’d seem kind of heavy since they are slow cooked ribs with a sauce but they really aren’t.  It’s just enough that you get the flavor in every single bite you take.

These spare ribs are a fabulous addition to the Panda Express menu and we can’t wait to go have more! 

Find out more about Panda Express dishes by visiting their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! You can also Order Online.

Leave a comment sharing why you are excited to try out the new Panda Express Chinese Spare Ribs for their chance to win a $25 Panda Express Gift Card! 

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Premium Denim at Affordable Prices

When it comes to spring, I always think of a time of newness and renewal. Because we had such a rough winter this year, the idea of the warm sunshine on my face and seeing those daffodils peeking from the ground makes me very happy. Another thing about spring is you get to put away those winter clothes and bring out your warm weather wardrobe. When I am transitioning my closet from one season to the next, I usually donate or toss the pieces I do not or cannot wear any longer. I also do this for the kids and my husband’s closet. This means we all get to add a few new pieces to our closet, and that is always a good thing! I mean, who doesn’t want some new clothes to show off when the weather changes?

Premium Denim at Affordable Prices

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For the guys in my life, I was so excited to learn Kmart had the new Adam Levine Denim Collection. This menswear collection launched in the Fall of 2013 and is available exclusively in 500 select Kmart locations as well as on kmart.com. You can also find the line on ShopYourWay.com, which is where I love to shop because it is easy and I earn points which can be redeemed on future purchases! This collection has great fabrics and designs, which Adam and his partner, Project Runway designer alum Kevin Christiana, have put together for today’s young man.This premium denim line is perfect a sophisticated yet simple, casual man with an edge, which describes my son-in-law perfectly.

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The Adam Levine Denim Collection includes a skinny, slim leg, straight leg and boot cut fits, which all give off a cool and classic vibe for everyday wear. For Mike, he chose the Adam Levine Men’s Patriot Straight Leg Jeans in Raw Indigo, which retail for just $24.99 a pair. He paired these with the Adam Levine NYC Skyline Tee, which sells for $12.99, but is currently on clearance for just $7.79. To bring the whole look together, Mike chose the Adam Levine Black Lace-Up Sneaker, which were only $21.99, which surprised me because they are so well made and look fantastic! Mike was able to choose an entire outfit for well under $60, which you hardly ever find anymore, at least for such stylish clothes that look so amazing, fit so well and are made so well.

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The Premium Denim line features authentic vintage denim in a wide range of colors and washes (including raw with selvage trim, dark indigo rinse, bleached indigo and many more) at an accessible price point under $40. If you are looking for some great looking outerwear for those chilly spring nights, the line also consists of amazing outerwear, wovens, knits, underwear and accessories including hats, scarves, socks, belts, sunglasses, shoes and bags. With prices from $14.99-$69.99 for apparel and $9.99-$16.99 for accessories, you can fit this line into just about any budget.

What piece do you like best from the Adam Levine Denim Collection?

One reader will win a $50 Kmart Gift Card!

This post is brought to you by our friends at Kmart through our participation in the Kmart KClub Blogger Program.