Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Super Hemp, to the Rescue!

I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout for a tasty, filling, convenient and most importantly, HEALTHY snack food. This sounds much easier than it actually is, especially if you have kids. Most healthy snacks require some kind of preparation, and sometimes my hunger comes over me like a tidal wave causing me to grab the quickest thing I can find, which typically is NOT healthy whatsoever. As for the kids, snacks these days are just downright despicable! Check the ingredients sometime and then contemplate whether you really want your children ingesting that nonsense. If you do, no judgment, but I know I don't so I love when I find something that the whole house loves, and I don't need to feel one ounce of guilt about providing. Take for example, the SuperHemp Raw Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds.

These are a hit with the kids because they taste just like sunflower seeds, but they are even smaller. Their size and mild taste make them versatile enough to eat on their own, or add them to just about anything. I throw some on a salad, my morning cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, into baking mixes (muffins), you can really add them to anything. Upon dong some research I found that it is best to eat the Shelled Hemp Seeds early in the day, and preferably with roughage. When taken with processed foods it can sometimes result in watery stools due to how quickly the hemp seeds move through your intestinal tract versus processed foods which take longer. The starches liquefy and are carried through with the hem seeds at a quicker rate. I never saw a suggestion for serving on the bag either, but found that it is recommended not to exceed 4-5 tablespoons per day. They are best stored in the fridge or freezer to maintain freshness.

Aside from all of the ways you can use the Super Hemp Raw Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds, what is even more astounding is all of the health benefits that they provide. First and foremost, they are super high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. This is perfect for lowering cholesterol, keeping your blood pressure in check, and for feeding your brain. They are also a great appetite suppressant. If you have trouble with getting hungry in between meals or snacks, it is effortless to add these to the food you are eating to hold you over a little longer.  

Because I am honest, and take my reviews seriously, I have to mention that I gave my son some of these to try. Shortly thereafter his lips started to itch and his throat became scratchy. I'm not sure if these were the culprit, as there are zero documented cases of hemp allergies, however, it was too much of a coincidence to not mention. That being said, I have not had any type of reaction to them.

Possible allergic reaction aside, I give the Super Hemp Raw Organic 

If you strive for the benefits that the Hemp Seeds provide, you can grab a bag of them from Amazon HERE where they are currently $19.24. This is a discounted price and is likely to change as Amazon prices fluctuate constantly. There is no guarantee that you will get it at this price.

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bathroom Organization....For the Kids!

As if keeping the bathroom clean, tidy and in order is not enough, add to your house a child and the tub becomes yet another place to gather clutter, toys and mess. We have tried many things to hold bath toys. I used to have this little net that would suction to the wall and hold toys, but the openings were very narrow and if too many toys were in it, it would fall down. Plus, because it was made out of fabric it would get a funky smell, and I had to always check it to make sure that there was no mold growing on it. Then I decided that I would just keep the toys in a small plastic bin. This half worked. I would keep it int he shower after the bath to let the toys drain (the bin had holes on the sides), and then take it out of the tub when they were not being used. This took up more bathroom space (and the bathroom doesn't have much space to lose, and some other people wouldn't take the bin out of the shower before they took their shower, which lengthened the drying process for the bath toys. Water would still collect in the bottom and it got gross so that had to go too. To our rescue came: Lulu and Buddy Baby Bath Toy Scoop Rinse and Drain Organizer!

The scoop comes with a suction cup to attach it to your shower wall, and a nice large open-top scoop with a handle. We chose the pink one with the blue handle, but they also come in green with a pink handle or blue with a green handle. At first I had issues with getting the suction cup to stay in one place. We would fill up the scoop and it would plummet to the shower floor. I contacted the company who were super helpful and suggested using a Command Hook in place of the suction cup. I couldn't get the Command hook to stick to the shower wall well enough to use. I was going to give up hope when I tried the suction cup again, and it worked! Every once in awhile it will slip down and I will have to stick it back on, but not every 5 minutes like before.

The hassle of occasionally having to re-stick the suction cup is entirely worth it because the Lulu and Buddy Baby Bath Toy Scoop Rinse and Drain Organizer holds all of the toys that my little one likes to have in her bath. On top of that, the way it is designed with the large holes allows for air to easily move in and out which dries toys without causing harmful (and disgusting) mold and mildew. I also have not noticed any kind of build-up inside or outside of this product which is wonderful. It looks the same as it did when we pulled it out of the box! This keeps all of her toys neat, organized, clean and from becoming a total eyesore. Plus, I make a game out of her placing her toys away by seeing how fast she can get them all in the scoop. She loves it, and it teaches her to clean up after herself - all around amazing!

We love our Lulu and Buddy Baby Bath Toy Scoop Rinse and Drain Organizer and I give it 8 stars:

If you are in need of putting your children's bath toys in their place, I highly recommend this scoop! You can purchase one through Amazon HERE for only $11.96. Prices are subject to change because it's Amazon and the prices fluctuate constantly! Even still, they are normally only $21.95, so still entirely reasonable!

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Love Story All Around Featuring Anna Todd and the After Series

There is nothing I love more than a good book...except for a good book series...and it's even better if the author's story is also inspiring. Take, for example, Anna Todd. A beautiful 25 year-old Texas military wife who turned her love of British boy band One Direction, and writing hobby into the extremely successful After series. Even more astounding is the fact that the majority of this book was written from her mobile phone while running errands, waiting for appointments and the like.

How, you may ask, does one write a book via their mobile device? Wattpad, of course! Wattpad is a reading and writing community comprised of over 40 million members, more than 80 million posted stories and stories in over 50 languages. You can access Wattpad via your mobile phone, tablet or a computer. The best part of Wattpad is that the material posted by members is free to read. Some authors may post a chapter at a time to keep their readers coming back for more. The readers benefit by providing feedback through comments and messages. On top of that, anyone can join! This provides great exposure for aspiring authors (or even people who just like to write!), and allows readers to deliver feedback, right where it matters.

Using Wattpad, Anna Todd created the After series which revolves around a college-bound girl named Tessa and the "bad boy" she falls for, Hardin, who is notably created after Harry Styles from One Direction. The entire series was over 2,500 pages and had over 1 billion reads! Simon & Schuster published the book and the first novel hit shelves on October 21, 2014. Even more exciting (for me anyway), is the fact that Paramount Pictures picked up the filming rights, so this is all set to be seen on the big screen too! I come from the belief that you must always read a book before you see a movie, so I am going to be eyes deep in 2,500 pages worth of Anna Todd's writing before this hits the big screen.

If you too are a lover of books, aspiring authors and love stories, you can grab your copy of Anna Todd's After to get you started on the series from Barnes and Noble or for your E-reader. I have started After and it is hard to put down! I have been scoping out the other books in the series because there is nothing worse than finishing one book in a series and not having the next one right there to dive into.

You can find Anna Todd on Wattpad HERE, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram to see what is new and exciting in her life!

Disclosure: I participated in the After by Anna Todd blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own.

Monday, January 5, 2015

You Have To Teach Them Young

Children and responsibility is such a touchy subject across the parenting world these days. I think we all strive to have our children grow up to be moral, functioning individuals, but the road there can vary from household to household, and even child to child. My first-born is a bit on the "messy" side. He would rather play with his things then throw them in a bucket, or under his bed than actually put them back where he found them. The whole out of sight out of mind thing... We decided to take a bit of a different approach with #2 and introduce basic household chores and tasks at a much younger age. Luckily, there are some awesome toys out there to foster this practice for the little ones, including the Kidzlane Pretend Dyson Vacuum for Kids.

My daughter loves to follow me around the house and "help" with all of the chores. She has her own broom and sweep set, and now this very detailed Pretend Dyson Vacuum. We use a Dyson vacuum, so this toy is special to her because she feels "just like Mom" when she plays with it. And I love that it teaches her that chores are important, and also fun. Believe it or not, when I get my vacuum out, BOTH of the kids fight over this so they can vacuum alongside me. No complaints here, for sure!

The Kidzlane Pretend Dyson Vacuum for Kids is a wonderful toy choice for parents and caregivers who wish to provide realistic toy options. The vacuum is over 25 inches high, so it is the perfect height for young children. It is also lightweight and easy to maneuver. It is recommended for children ages 3+, although my 2 year old uses it like a pro. The vacuum requires 4 "C" batteries which are not included. Once the batteries are installed, the child can turn the vacuum on to experience the cyclonic action in the barrel as well as realistic noises. I love that this is not loud at all, as some toys are so obnoxiously loud I feel that the manufacturer aimed to annoy parents versus please them. This particular vacuum also does suck up small amounts of debris making it more "real" for the kids. Aside from the benefit of making cleaning enjoyable, this toy also provides benefits to hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, exploration, discovery, understanding cause and effect and developing motor skills. While I appreciate the many benefits that this vacuum has to offer, my favorite is that it gets the kids interested and willing to participate in the everyday chores around the house. Try to put a price tag on that!

This is the part that collects debris and can be emptied

We love the Kidzlane Pretend Dyson Vacuum for Kids and give it 10 stars:

If this is a toy you wish to purchase, you can do so on Amazon HERE where it is currently $36.99. The price may vary as Amazon prices fluctuate often.

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Killing Germs Softy

Little known fact that only my closest friends and family know: I suffer from Emetophobia. For those who are unfamiliar with Emetophobia, this is a fear of all things vomit related. I turn into panic central if one of my kids gets sick, stomach bugs are my worst enemy and getting physically sick myself is nothing short of a mini death sentence, where I don't actually die but would almost rather. That being said, come cold and flu season, cleaning products are my best friend. My anxiety levels noticeably decrease at the scent of Lysol. I recently got to try Softy Sanitizing Wipes, and they have happily maintained their place in my house.

First and foremost, this canister is gi-gunda! It comes with 150 wipes so it needs to be quite large. I keep the canister in my bathroom because I find it a convenient place to have it. I tend to do a deep clean once per week in the bathroom and do everyday touch-ups with the disinfecting wipes for toothpaste spots, random spills and my husbands pesky trimmings that always seem to end up all over the sink the day AFTER I clean it. Every time! What's great about the Softy Sanitizing Wipes is that they are safe to use on face and hands and kill 99.9% of bacteria in 5 seconds. So aside from using them to clean around the house, I also carry a ziploc bag of these in my purse for those times when the kids need their hands and/or faces sanitized but we are not near soap and water.

The Softy Sanitizing Wipes are decent sized at 7'' x 8'', are super-soft and can hold up while cleaning whether it is hands and faces or surfaces. Upon my first look, I thought that they would tear easily because they seem thinner than other conventional wipes on the market, but they didn't! In fact, they can hold up a 12 kg kettlebell! Plus, they are alcohol-free so you don't have to worry about harming surfaces, or drying out your skin (or stinging the random paper cut you forgot you had). They actually have vitamin e and aloe in them to cater to the sensitive nature of skin. They have a pleasant, clean scent to them too.

I have enjoyed using my Softy Sanitizing Wipes, and would certainly purchase them again. 
I love a sanitizing wipe that can perform multiple tasks effortlessly, and 
these do just that! I give them 10 stars:

If you are in need of a product like this, you can grab your tub on Amazon HERE for $14.98. Plus, they are made here in the good old U.S. of A.! Keep germs at bay this year as the flu and cold viruses spread like wildfire.

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Soft, Supple Skin with Oleavine

When I look for a moisturizer, I look for something that uses natural ingredients, and that provides the benefits of a cream, in a light-weight, non-greasy lotion. I recently tried out Oleavine's Moisturizer + Rejuvenating Actives, and this meets my expectations on so many levels. First of all, the packaging is BEA-U-TIFUL, and unique in that you twist-up the pump-top.

So pretty, right? What's even better is the nature and benefit of the ingredients used in this moisturizer. Aside from being preservative free, paraben free, petroleum free, phthalate free, sulfate free, silicone free, cruelty free, gluten free, allergy free and non greasy, it uses several botanicals, plant stem cells and vitamins to lock in moisture while also improving the texture and tone of your skin. On top of that, Oleavine takes special care during the creation of this product through cold-processing. In brief, cold processing is much better when you use natural and organic ingredients because it preserves the quality of the ingredients, allowing them to do what they do. If things are refined and processed in heat, they are often damaged, and will not function as they would in nature. Plus, this moisturizer has a nice, clean scent which reminds me of a spa. 

And, it is nice and creamy, making it easy to absorb. It doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy or slimy whatsoever. I normally give my moisturizer a few minutes to "settle" before I start putting my makeup on anyway, and I never have an issue when I use the Oleavine Moisturizer. While I would normally use this during the warmer months, I have found that it is keeping my skin hydrated, soft and smooth when I am traditionally battling the flakes at this point. Very impressed and pleasantly surprised by that!

Overall, this has been a wonderful addition to my skincare regimen, and I would 
recommend it with 10 stars:

If you are interested in purchasing a pretty AND functional moisturizer, this Oleavine Moisturizer can be found on Amazon for $19.95, HERE. This price is reduced from the normal price of $39.99. There is no telling how long this price will last. 

If you wish t learn more about the brand, Oleavine Beauty, be sure to check out their website, and their Facebook page

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Make Up by One Direction Review

When I think of boy bands, I think of catchy lyrics, screaming girls and dance-worthy tunes, but I most certainly do not think of make-up. Low-and-behold, one of the world's most famous boy bands has done just that! Make Up by One Direction has hit the shelves of popular retailers such as Sears USA, Kmart, Target and Walmart Canada as of November 15th. The Make Up by One Direction sets were created by Markwins, which is a long-standing company known for pioneering the concept of the all-in-one compact and working with brands such as Wet N Wild, Physician's Formula, The Color Institute and many others. Never in a million years would I think that I, as an adult, would be drawn to or interested in make-up by a boy band, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of this set! I actually received 3 sets of the new Make Up by One Direction, and I am excited to share my experience!

They make a tin for each of the 5 band members: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. While each tin features one of said band members on the front, the content on the inside is all the same. I love this all-in-one concept! Each tin includes 6 eye shadows, an eye liner, 4 lip glosses, a lip gloss top coat, and 2 nail polishes.

The eye shadows are very pretty and have great color pay off. My favorite combo is Tell Me A Lie all over my lid, and Summer Love in my crease. That was the first color combination that I tried and I loved it! Each of the shadows has just the right amount of shimmer to make them fun, without being tacky, which is a huge plus for me.

From Left to Right: Nobody Compares (Metallic Silver), Tell Me a Lie (Metallic Nude Pink), Same Mistakes
(Metallic Mint), I Would (Smoky Brown Shimmer), Summer Love (Smoky Purple Haze), and Everything About
You (Smoky Black Shimmer)
The lip colors are great too. The deeper pinks look bold, but they go on beautifully, adding a sheer tint of color. Plus, if you desire a little more shimmer, the lip gloss top coat adds the perfect amount of glitter to brighten your smile.

Top to Bottom: Loved You First (Bubblegum Pink), One Thing (Frosted Ice Pink), Heart Attack (Creamy Rose Shine) and Irresistible (Shimmered Pearl). Running the length of the colors, to the left is the lip gloss top coat in Over Again (Silver Glitter Sparkle)
I created a "look" using the Make Up by One Direction, and the finished product was:

For this "look", I used "Tell Me A Lie" all over my eye lid, and "I Would" in my crease, "I Want" which is the true matte black eye liner that came in the set, and on my lips I used Heart Attack. Here are some close-ups:

I really appreciated how easy it was to create a simple, easy everyday look. And again, as if I haven't said it enough, I am astounded by the quality of a make-up created to essentially appeal to teenie-boppers. Is that still a word? Well, I'm using it anyway. I give this set an easy 10 stars, as I have used it SEVERAL times since I got it. Sometimes it is easier when everything is all in one place.

As the Holidays quickly approach, I am willing to bet that we all have a couple of people on our gift lists that would be thrilled to beautify themselves in their obsession with the members of One Direction. Or this set would work for someone who would love an all-in-one make-up set, someone who is learning to use make-up, or just someone who loves make-up in general. Make them smile this season!

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.