Category Archives : Reviews


Skinology Lemon Essential Oil Review

  • Lemon Essential Oil
    100% Pure and Natural Lemon Essential Oil
    Aromatherapy, Health & Many Household Uses
    Detox Your Body and Boost Fat Burning Naturally
    Great Aroma, Energy Booster, Refreshing and Uplifting
  • HIGH QUALITY LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL 100% Pure Oil – Alcohol and Paraben Free – Pure Therapeutic Grade Undiluted Essential Oil (Citrus Limon) – Huge 4 oz bottle with dropper and a phenolic cap. Imported from Italy and bottled in the US in an advanced FDA facility. This product is absolutely Cruelty- Free and was never tested on animals.

    NATURAL ANTISEPTIC: This premium quality Lemon oil is a natural antiseptic and an energy booster with refreshing and cooling properties. It has a lot of different uses – from massage and aromatherapy to immune system and metabolism boosting effects. Simply add a few drops of the Lemon oil to the glass of water – and you have a perfect energy booster refreshing drink full of antioxidants. Also might be used for all your home and kitchen cleaning and refreshing needs. Please use with care due to its high concentration.

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When I got this oil in the mail my first thought was, “Wow, this is a big bottle!” It’s much bigger than the usual 5 ml bottles I see.

 

Upon opening and smelling it, I didn’t feel like it smelled as purely lemon as other brands I’ve purchased. However, for the price, it is fine by me.  Because it is such a big bottle, I don’t feel like I have to be stingy in my use of it, which is a nice change!  I know this oil will last.  I’ve been using it 2 ways, and am planning to use it a third way starting tomorrow:

  1. I love that I can diffuse it in the air, especially this time of year when things tend to feel cold and gloomy. It perks things up having a fresh lemony scent in the air.
  2. I’ve been taking more detox baths lately as well.  I got some Dead Sea Salts (which I will share a review about later), and I’ve been putting about a cup of those salts, along with 1/2 cup baking soda, a pinch of ground ginger, and 5 or so drops of lemon oil in the water for these baths.  Be cautious in using essential oils in the tub, as they are concentrated and can irritate the skin!  I personally haven’t had a problem so far with this ratio.
  3. I’m planning to start adding the lemon oil to my water tomorrow.  I love the idea of adding antioxidants to my water – what an easy way to make it even more healthy!

 

 

This is one of the products I mentioned earlier that I would be trying out in my search for optimal health.  I think that mental health is at least as important as physical, and lemon essential oil is a known mood booster.  I am truly loving all of the natural options that are becoming more easily available to us!

 

 

I would recommend Skinology’s Lemon Essential Oil, simply for the bargain that it is.  When living on a tight budget, essential oils can be costly.  You are definitely getting more oil for your money when you purchase it on Amazon.  As of the date of publishing, it’s on sale for 64% off!

 

I received a bottle of the oil in exchange for my honest review. The opinion is 100% my own.


Simple Health Yacon Syrup 4 comments


Anyone here heard of Yacon Syrup?

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It’s a product I’ve heard of, but didn’t know much about.  When I had the opportunity to test some out from Simple Health, I decided it was time to do some research.  Here’s some information I found:

 

  • Yacon syrup is high in soluble fiber.
  • It is high in PREbiotics (not to be confused with PRObiotics).  Prebiotics help to stimulate the good bacterias (probiotics) in our guts.  It also helps the body with increasing its absorption of minerals.
  • It was used by the Incas.  In Peru it is eaten for it’s nutritional properties – it is low in calories and in sugar.
  • In a 2009 Study, daily intake of Yacon syrup was shown to produce a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference, and body mass index.
  • Yacon syrup is an anti-inflammatory food.
  • Simple Health Yacon Syrup is gluten free, non GMO, and vegan with no binders or artificial ingredients.

 

Simple Health Yacon Syurp is made from yacon root and is 100% pure. It has a deliciously sweet taste, a bit like dates, but is diabetes friendly.

 

I’ve been using Yacon Syrup for the last week.  I really do like the taste.  It has a molasses texture, and a taste that is a mix between dates and molasses, in my opinion.  When I’m craving something sweet, I eat a small spoonful of it and it takes care of it!   I can’t say that I’ve felt a huge difference in my body yet, but there is enough evidence on the side of Yacon syrup for me to continue using it.  I’ll be sure to update later after I’ve used it for longer.

 

I’m not really at a point in my life where I need to lose pounds, but I could definitely stand to lower my body fat percentage, and to tone up, and so I’ll be trying different products/methods and sharing my experiences with them throughout the year.  As of now, I’m liking Yacon Syrup, and hopefully will see some physical results from using it consistently!

 

SimpleHealth_Christmasrecipes-yacon-candied-nuts-2-300x200If you’re unsure how you could use yacon syrup, here is a link that provides recipes.  I seriously cannot wait to try these candied nuts!!

 

*I was provided a bottle of the product in exchange for an honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  ALL opinions are mine alone.

 

 


Rasmus and the Vagabond Book Review and Giveaway! 10 comments

rasmusENAbout the book:

After running away from an orphanage, nine-year-old Rasmus finds the world a cold and unfriendly place until he befriends an extraordinary tramp called Paradise Oscar. Together they meet more adventure than they ever imagined, solve a mystery, and catch the culprits. Reassume dreams of finding a family and a home someday. But when he does, will he be able to part with his new friend and life on the road?

 

My Thoughts:

What a charming story.  I absolutely loved reading this; I loved the style of writing, and the sweet story.  I will be reading it again, this time to my children.  I suspect they’ll enjoy it as much as I did.  Little Rasmus is the cutest character, so sweet and endearing.  The author really gets into the mind of an innocent little boy stuck in a rotten situation, and shares his thoughts perfectly.  She brings about an innocence and excellence in her writing, and I was absolutely delighted to have the chance to read this book!

 

 

About the Author:

Astrid_portratt_JacobForsell_0Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Emil, and dozens of other world-famous characters, has thrilled three generations of children with her storytelling. She is the only children’s author with a literary prize, a theme park, a museum, a satellite, and a minor planet named in her honor. (After this last honor, she suggested changing her name to “Asteroid Lindgren.”) A jury appointed by Swedish Radio’s Culture Department to elect the “Author of the Millennium” voted Astrid Lindgren second after William Shakespeare. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal and heaps of other awards and honors.
Wanna know what’s awesome?  I’ve got an extra copy of this lovely book available for one lucky reader!!  I promise, reading this book will be well worth your time. :)  Enter below, and good luck!

 
Rasmus and the Vagabond Book

 
 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 


Giveaway: Roadmap Genesis DVD 6 comments

MV5BMTAxMDk2NTM1MjNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDgzNjYzODMx._V1_SX214_AL_Roadmap Genesis is a film documentary that makes the case that the Book of Genesis is a roadmap containing guideposts on how to live a productive, fruitful, and fulfilling life that will help our society lift itself out of its current decline and return it to prosperity, promise, and accomplishment.
When Filmmaker Nolan Leibovitz found himself at a crossroads in his life, he knew he had to choose between continuing to make the Hollywood suspense thrillers that were his livelihood and trying to make the world a better place for his new young family. After much struggle, he found his answer in the Book of Genesis.
He decided to combine his love of the Book of Genesis with his passion for filmmaking and set out to travel the United States, interviewing clergy and public figures in order to build an undeniable argument about the continued importance of the Book of Genesis as guiding force in our Judeo-Christian country.
 
Roadmap Genesis invites Americans of all faiths to engage in a dialogue about the relevance of the Bible in the modern age. Through interviews ranging from Gov. Mike Huckabee of Fox News Channel to Rabbi David Wolpe, from Alan Dershowitz to the Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Francis George, from Erick Stakelbeck of the Christian Broadcasting Network to Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and many, many more, Nolan explores the rules that God has set forth to help us maintain a successful and working society.

 

I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch this documentary.  Honestly, I was worried that I’d be bored, and feel like I was wasting my time.  Instead, I was surprised to find myself intrigued, curious, and emotionally involved.  I actually really enjoyed watching.  Nolan Leibovitz is a filmmaker, and he knows how to create an engaging film.  I love how he speaks with multiple religious leaders/experts from multiple religious dominations.  In the end, I came away with the feeling that we ALL are equal in the eyes of God, and our interpretations of the Bible are all beautiful and important, for our own personal lives!  It was really interesting to hear new perspectives about the book of Genesis.  Honestly, I’ve read Genesis, but I can’t say I’d gleaned as many wonderful lessons from it as I saw presented in this film.  I’m really glad I took the time to watch it, and I’ve started reading Genesis again, with my new understanding. I’m looking forward to it!
See the trailer:

If you’d like to watch this movie for yourself, you’re in luck…one of my readers will win a copy of the DVD!  Enter below, and good luck. :)

Roadmap Genesis DVD Giveaway
Roadmap Genesis DVD Giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


Using Nutritional Yeast in Allergen-Free Cooking

You may remember that last summer I did a complete overhaul on my diet, due to some health complications I’d been dealing with.  Along with an overhaul, I had a lot of blood work and testing done, and discovered that in addition to my intolerance to gluten, I also have a sensitivity to dairy.  Because of that, dairy has now been cut out of my diet permanently.  One of the new foods I’ve tried and learned more about during this process is nutritional yeast.

 

Now, a lot of nutritional yeasts are fortified – which sounds good, but usually means there are synthesized ingredients, which of course equals processed, or not natural.  Part of my overhaul was cutting out as much processed food as possible, and I’ve seen the positive difference it has made in my health.

 

 

Sari Foods has 100% natural and non-fortified nutritional yeast flakes.  It tastes pretty good and is dairy free, gluten free, extremely low and fat and sodium and is loaded with vitamins and nutrients.  I received some and have been having a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes and ideas for how to use it.  People say that it provides a cheesy flavor, and I haven’t yet decided if I agree.  I suppose it can give a hint of cheese flavor, but I don’t think it’ll ever replace the true flavor of cheese.  Still, I like the extra something something that it gives to foods.  My two favorite ways to eat it are in scrambled eggs and on top of air popped popcorn.  IMG_7367

One things I appreciated specifically about this particular brand was that after purchasing the Sari Foods Nutritional Yeast on Amazon.com, the company sent me an email with recipes that I could try out!  I thought that was a really nice gesture, and I’ve already tried two of the recipes so far.  That in and of itself has created a loyalty for me.  I love when a company will do a little extra, a little more, just to help complete the experience!

 

The bag I purchased is 8 oz, and I believe it’ll last me a good, long time, especially since I like it best in small amounts as a mini flavor enhancer.  Seriously, I’ve used this in soups, on eggs, on potatoes, and more.  I really can’t say anything bad about it.  To learn more about nutritional yeast and Sari Foods, you can visit them on Facebook and/or on Twitter.

 

*I received the product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine alone, and no monetary compensation was provided.

 


Influenster Froxy Vox Box – Samples and Goodies Review 2 comments

I got a surprise in the mail about a month ago…a box full of samples and goodies!  I don’t know why Influenster was so generous, but I was definitely happy about it and willing to enjoy. :)

 

 

Let me tell you what we got, and how it all worked out:

 

10896835_10204637238904178_4723866509288499684_nThe Rimmel London Eyeliner

This black eyeliner is really soft, and goes on so easily. We were definitely impressed with it.

 

 

Fruit Vines Bites

I didn’t even get a picture of the Fruit Vines that came in the package. That’s how fast they were eaten. I couldn’t have any, because they have gluten, but Munchkin and my husband tried them and really liked them. Munchkin tells me they taste like a licorice stick with a huge pop of flavor.

The NYC New York Color Expert Lipstick

This Sugar Plum lipstick is nice as well. The color is very soft, and unimposing. If you’re going for bold, this isn’t your color, but for me, who tends to prefer subtle, it’s perfect.  You can see it on Munchkin in this picture. —–>

 

McCormick Gourmet Thyme

My personal favorite item was the McCormickThyme.  I’ve been using on my chicken, potatoes, rice, and other main dishes.  Just tonight we had baked chicken thighs, massaged with sea salt and olive oil, and sprinkled with thyme.

 

The Celestial Seasonings Tea

This Candy Cane-flavored tea was pretty good too.  I don’t normally drink a lot of tea, unless it’s herbal, but I still enjoyed it.  The flavor is really good, and filled with holiday cheer!  It’s nice on a cold day.

 

celestialteaEco Tools Sleek + Shine Volumizing Hairbrush

This is a really nice brush.  We don’t really need extra volume in our house, lol, but we can attest to the fact that it does work!  It’s a pretty brush, with soft and hard bristles.  I really like how good it is at de-tangling.

 

Rimmel Eye Makeup Remover

We also received some eye makeup remover.  Honestly, we didn’t like it at all.  It didn’t remove our makeup well at all, and we ended up scrubbing, which obviously didn’t feel too good.  That’s the only product from the box that we wouldn’t recommend.

 

Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Serum

This was a teeny tiny package, and I enjoyed the feel of it on my skin, but I honestly don’t think I could give much of an opinion based on the one-time experience.  That’s all I can really say about that product!  It seemed high quality, but again, I received enough for one use, and that’s it.

 

*I received all products for free from Influenster, in exchange for my honest opinions.


23 Blast DVD Review and Giveaway! 7 comments

23 BlastBased on true story:

 

As a typical teenager, Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka) is a local hero both on and off the high-school football field in his small Kentucky town, but in 1997, Travis contracts an infection that destroys his optic nerve and renders him blind overnight. With the loving help and concern of his parents, physical therapist, coach and best friend, Travis demonstrates what true bravery is: He continues to compete on the gridiron and helps his team advance to the state finals.

 

 

 

 

 

Holy cow, I love this movie.  I was a little concerned about letting my 12-year old watch it with me the first time (because of the PG-13 rating), but I needn’t have worried.  There was mild drinking of alcohol, which gave it the rating, but which was a poignant lesson shared in the film.  I felt fully engaged as I watched, and I actually cried at two different points.  During the movie, I tried putting myself in this young man’s shoes, and simply couldn’t come to imagine it.  I found myself thinking about my challenges, and realizing that, like Travis, I can move on and keep living.  I’m grateful for his inspirational example, and will share this movie with my son and other family members as one that is definitely worth watching!  After watching, I found myself wanting to know more, and so I spent time watching the bonus features.  Wow, what an incredible story, and what a great young man!  I’m so glad I had the chance to see 23 Blast; it’s a film I’ll watch again when I need motivation. I’m giving it 5 stars.

 

 
Here’s the trailer:

 

As thrilled as I was to watch this film, I’m even more excited to give one of my lucky readers their very own DVD copy!  Enter below, using any/all of the options listed. You won’t regret seeing this film. and good luck.  You can also enter the 23 Blast Bowl, where a grand prize winner will receive 5 copies of the DVD, an autographed football from Tony Dungy, and a pizza party for 8-10 guests.  GO HERE to enter the bowl.

23 Blast DVD Giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 
 
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

 


Petunia Skincare’s Professional Make Up Brush Set Review

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Petunia Skincare’s Professional 12 make up brush set is so cute.  It comes in a super handy bag that folds over for easy storage.  I got this product for Munchkin, my 12-year old daughter to review. Munchkin feels like they are extra soft, and likes them better than any of the make up brushes we already own. In fact, she won’t share. :)  I suppose that’s actually a good thing, though.  One thing Munchkin noticed is that the brushes are better able to hold and then transfer the colors onto her face.  We compared using the brushes I already have, and she’s right…these brushes transfer that color WAY better, which I love, so we won’t have to go through our make up so quickly with these better brushes.

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The brushes included in the complete Set of 12 are:
Powder brush
Blush brush
Foundation brush
Eyeshadow brush
Smudge brush
Fan brush
Concealer brush
Eyebrow blush
Eyeliner blush
Sponge applicator
Lip brush
Spoolie brush

 

These are really easy to clean – just rinse in warm water and clean with a gentle shampoo.  Rinse thoroughly and then let air dry, and they’re good to go!  It sure is fun having a pre-teen.  Lots of spa nights and fun with makeup! :)

Retailing at $89, they are currently on sale at Amazon.com for 47% off, if you are interested!

 

Like this gorgeous girl needs makeup anyway!

Like this gorgeous girl needs makeup anyway!

*I received the product in exchange for an honest review.  ALL opinions are mine.

 

 


Vitamin C Serum and Vitamin C Lotion 6 comments



 

With all the cold, dry air hanging around this time of year, it’s important to protect your skin.  Instead of simply using a moisturizer, it’s probably a good idea to use moisturizer along with other products to give you the maximum protection.

 

vitamincserumThis Vitamin C Serum from Bella Naturals is so refreshing.  I put this on first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night.  It feels good, and is best followed by a moisturizer, from my experience.  Having it in the beautiful glass bottle makes me feel fancy, too. :) Bella Naturals creates a very high quality serum – with pure 98% natural and 72% organic ingredients.

More about the Serum:

Our combination vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum simultaneously addresses existing damage while providing potent antioxidant protection from oxidative damage. While vitamin C brightens the skin and stimulates the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid binds moisture to the skin, keeping it properly hydrated and making fine lines and wrinkles less deep. You can even tackle those unsightly age spots with the brightening power of our anti aging serum. Rigorously tested, our face serum truly lives up to its promise and can make a difference in the firmness, radiance and youthfulness of your skin.

 

 

 

 

Along with the serum I enjoy using a high quality moisturizer.  Foxbrim makes a Vitamin C Lotion/Moisturizer.  This is a much thicker moisturizer than I’m used to, and initially it made me nervous.  Using the serum first and then putting this on immediately afterwards is very helpful.  After the first 3 days of resize_624c64bb75994efa27b509d4da179bc70ea68999fee879fd5510d28e9c47b573aa164b40128128using this, I got a zit and thought, “Oh no!  I’m gonna break out with this new product!”  Fortunately, I didn’t (that was the only pimple I got, and I definitely get ‘em once in a while).  In fact, I feel like it’s starting to help even my skin tone, which is something I’ve had a hard time with in the past.  I’m really excited to continue using these two products together and to see how much more my skin tone improves!

Key Ingredients of the moisturizer include:
+ Vitamin C (15%)
+ Aloe Vera
+ MSM
+ Shea Butter
+ Jojoba Oil
+ Green Tea

 

So, would I recommend them?  They definitely cost more than the cheap stuff you can get at your local drug store.  The quality is much higher, of course.  The list price on Amazon.com for the serum is $85, and for the moisturizer it’s $45.99.  However, right now they are both on sale for a great price ($18.88 for the serum and $16.99 for the moisturizer), and at those prices, I definitely recommend them.  As always, you’ve got to prioritize and decide if it’s something that will work for YOUR budget.

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*I received both items in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.  I’ll NEVER recommend products that I don’t think are good for my readers.



The Identical DVD – Review and Giveaway! 34 comments

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The Identical, starring Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, and Blake Rayne is a redemptive movie about a young man, the son of a preacher, who rejects his father’s desire for him to join the ministry and instead embarks on a career as a rock singer. As he struggles to pursue his dream and rise to stardom, he finds love, pain, success, failure and ultimately uncovers a hidden family secret that reveals who he really us. The Identical is a captivating story about a family restored and a life discovered that lifts your soul and warms your heart.

 

The story starts out extremely engaging.  It’s a sweet, tender story about a young man finding his way in life, and I enjoyed the storyline.  After a while, it seemed to drag on for me…the same story being played over and over.  The music is fun, and I especially like the song “Angel of Mine” that is played when he’s on his first date with a young woman.  I love the moral to the story; that we need to follow OUR OWN path, not the path that others have chosen for us.  I appreciated that it was a movie I could let my kids watch with me, and I didn’t have to worry that there would be scenes that were inappropriate.  We need more family friendly films in the world!

 

See the trailer:

Do you want a copy of this DVD to add to your family’s collection?  You can purchase it at a special discounted price from Family Christian.  Of course, you can also enter to win a copy as well :)

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.