Sunday, February 28, 2016

{Book Review} - If I run by Terri Blackstock

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of If I Run through Litfuse Publicity Group.

A couple times a year I come across a book that I absolutely cannot pull myself away from. Lucky for me, this happened early in the year, however, I have been experiencing such a bad "book hangover" since reading it, and I am anticipating the next book in the series to come out so I can devour it the same way I did with this one. Since having my second child (almost 4 years ago), I have not found the time to read like I used to. Between work and family and chores it has proven difficult to find enough down time for me to dive into a book. However, I've been trying to make more time for myself, and one of my favorite things to do is read. While I was reading If I Run by Terri Blackstock, I MADE time to read because I could not stop. I finished the book in 3 sittings!

If I Run is about a girl named Casey Cox who stumbles upon the dead body of her best friend, Brent. In doing so, she leaves her DNA and evidence all over the crime scene. Knowing that the cops will come looking for her, she flees and remains on the run from the potential disaster this could turn into. Back home, the parent's of her best friend hire Dylan Roberts, a war veteran and Brent's good childhood friend, to use his investigative skills to find Casey Cox and bring her back to them for proper questioning in the death of their son. As Casey Cox runs, she learns more about herself and her past than she ever expected. She also finds herself in the middle of another unsolved case. The novel is told by Casey Cox and Dylan Roberts as they navigate the death of their friend. Terri Blackstock weaves an absolutely enthralling story that keeps you hanging on to the very end. It is essential to know that this is book one in a series so the end, while conclusive, does leave you slightly hanging.

As I mentioned already, I finished this book in three sittings. I likely could have finished it in one if I had not started it shortly before I needed to leave to run errands. This was my first time reading anything by Terri Blackstock so I had no idea that I was going to be s quickly roped into the story line. The book seemed to pick up and remain very fast paced, which kept me intrigued. It was an easy read and a fast read, and with how busy things have been for me lately, it was absolutely perfect. I can, and will, honestly recommend this book to anyone! I love mysteries, thrillers, psychological thrillers, etc... so this was right up my alley, but I truly believe that most people would devour this book the same way that I did. I am anxiously anticipating the release of the second book in the series.

I give If I Run by Terri Blackstock 10 stars:

Please read what other reviewers had to say HERE. You can learn more and purchase a copy HERE.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

{Book Review} Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

Disclosure: Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through LitFuse Publicity, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated below are entirely my own.

Each year I plan to read a ton of books because it is one of my favorite things to do. There is nothing more inviting to me than an overly soft blanket, a hot cup of coffee and a good book. For some reason my "me" time always gets cuts short, and therefore, so does my reading time. I am happy that I have been actively making sure I make more time to read, and I have been very fortunate that some of my first reads of the new year have been truly fantastic! The first book I have finished in 2016 is Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble.

Mermaid Moon is a book about a woman named Mallory Davis who is told by her dying father to find her mother. Considering her mother had died fifteen years earlier, this seems to be a bit of a mystery. In an attempt to figure out what truly happened regarding her father's death, and what he meant by his final words to her, she goes back to the town she ran away from as a young adult, Mermaid Point. While there, she is forced to face, head on, the exact thing, and person, that she ran away from years and years ago: Kevin O'Connor, her high school love, and the game warden. While delving into the mystery of her father's death, she is faced with many challenges including the reality of what happened, and the terrifying realization that someone is after her and information she isn't even sure she has. In the midst of all of this, she has to work closely with her past love, Kevin O'Connor, which brings up their unsettled past and emotions. With a little bit of clean romance and a mystery to solve, Mermaid Moon is the second book in the Sunset Cove series by Colleen Coble.

Author Colleen Coble
This was my first time reading a Colleen Coble novel, and I really enjoyed it. While I felt it took a little bit of time to get in to the "action" part of it, it read so easily that I wanted to keep reading. The characters were interesting and easily relate-able. Once it picked up, I had to continue reading to see what was going to happen. There were a few different things going on throughout the book, including Mallory and Kevin trying to solve the mystery of her father's death, uncovering the truth about her past, and also resolving circumstance between them that stemmed from their choppy past, all while avoiding constant threat from the villains in the novel. I have to say, this book kept me guessing from the get-go. This was one mystery I could not figure out on my own before the reveal in the book. While this is the second book in the Sunset Cove series, it can certainly be read on it's own (as I did),, however, now I have found myself wanting to read the first book in the series, and more!

I highly recommend Mermaid Moon with 8 stars:

To learn more about Colleen Coble, you can explore her website, or visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

In all of the excitement around Mermaid Moon, you can also enter Coleen Coble's Mystery e-Reader Prize Pack Giveaway which ends TOMORROW, so get on that!:
Mermaid Moon Colleen Coble

Monday, January 4, 2016

Enjoying the Holidays With Blue Diamond Almonds

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds

I must say that I absolutely adore the Holiday Season. The smell in the air, the hustle and bustle in the stores, the beautiful wintery scene outside. Except for this year, we had a snow-less Christmas. In fact, we are still pretty snow-less here in NY even though by now we should be pummeled by snow. It has made the Holiday Season feel quite strange for sure. I mean we had a 70 degree day in December! To speak to it's rarity, it was a record-breaking temperature. That being said, the one thing that did remain constant this season was the food and snacks. This time of year is never a disappointment in that respect. Especially when I always have the deliciousness that is Blue Diamond Almonds to bring fun healthy and tasteful snacks to the ones I love during this time of year.


Sometimes having visitors can be stressful when you are entertaining. When you have a larger group of people you need to consider many things like diets, restrictions and taste preferences, which can vary significantly across the board. In our family we have people who are gluten-free, low-sodium, low-potassium, vegan, vegetarian, etc... so there are several mouths and tummies that we need to please, while also keeping taste in mind too. Almost always, I keep a bowl of Blue Diamond Almonds out for people to much on. I much prefer the kids grabbing a handful of these then a handful of cookies, and with all of the sweets surrounding this time of year, I am glad that these help them fill up so they have less room for the less-than-healthy treats.

One of my favorite Blue Diamond Almonds to leave out for guests to snack on are the Honey Roasted Almonds. They are the perfect amount of sweet and nutty, while also providing support to Honeybee Research. Did you know that honeybees pollinate 1/3 of the world's food supply? We would seriously be in trouble without those little buzzers. This year I also put out the Lightly Salted Blue Diamond Almonds for my Grandmother who has to eat lower sodium products for her kidney health. Blue Diamond Almonds combine great taste with low-sugar and a healthy pop of protein. On top of that, research suggests that 1.5 ounces of most nuts, and in this case almonds, may reduce the risk of heart disease when paired with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. If it is important to start your New Year out healthy, I recommend grabbing some of your favorite Blue Diamond Almond flavors, and sharing them with the ones you love!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Polishing Up With Elba Naturals Micro Dermabrasion

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

When it comes to skin care, I have to stick to a relatively strict routine. I have tried sooooooooo many different skin care products, and I have found many that work beautifully for my finicky skin, and others that almost immediately break me out. I am truly envious of those who have naturally perfect skin. One important step in my skin care routine is exfoliation. While I have been advised against it, since it can be irritating to already easily irritated skin, it is one thing that actually helps my skin for some reason. Using gel or cream cleansers does not leave my skin as squeaky clean as something with a little bit of texture to it. Plus, because I have several scars and post-acne marks, I make sure to use a micro dermabrasion once or twice per week as well. Lately, I have been using Elba Naturals n.5 Micro Dermabrasion.

Elba Naturals is a truly unique company that has formulated a number of skincare products. While they have all these products in their arsenal, they introduce products, one at a time, based on what their customers want. They claim to cater to the "green urban lifestyle" with natural skincare products made from quality ingredients. They currently offer 5 products, although I suspect that they will be launching a 6th soon, as there is a live countdown currently on their website, claiming to reveal "a surprise". When ordering products from Elba Naturals, you know you are receiving products with mostly natural and organic ingredients in them. On top of that, their products are made in the USA and are done so with cruelty-free practices.

The Elba Naturals n.5 Microdermabrasion comes in a small 1 fluid ounce jar. As you can see, it is white and has a gritty texture. It works immediately at sloughing off dead skin and making your skin feel brand new. I always love using this because my skin feels baby soft right after. This product has a very clean smell and a little goes a long way. I keep this right on my sink to remind myself to use it, and it has been there for a number of weeks. For as tiny as the jar is, I would have expected to be through it by now, however, it's still around! It is only meant to be used once or twice per week in addition to your usual skin care routine. In my experience, I have found that it is helpful in changing the overall texture in your skin. Sometimes I use this more frequently by adding a small bit of it to my regular cleanser to take it up a notch. Like I said, my skin thrives when it is being exfoliated constantly, so this product has seamlessly been added to my skincare routine. It also makes me feel like my serums and moisturizers are able to work more efficiently when they are being placed on a smooth canvas, so that is an added bonus. My one and only complaint about this product is the small size. A 1 ounce jar that retails for $58.00 is just something that would never be in my budget. I would feel too guilty. However, it is something I would check on Amazon to see when there are price drops (for example, it is currently $29.00). Overall, I would definitely recommend this product for those looking for a micro dermabrasion product that they can use at home.

You can purchase this on Amazon where it is currently 50% off HERE

Friday, December 4, 2015

Game Changing Flavors Featuring Blue Diamond Almonds

Discloure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Ditch the chips and grab some Game Changing Flavors this football season! Enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at

Its that time of year again where it seems like family and friends are gathering each and every weekend. Whether it is watching the big game, gathering for celebrations or the Holiday get-togethers, 'tis the season for social-ness, and where there are people, you better have FOOD! However, considering this is the time of year known greatly for all of the high calorie meals and treats, why not offer your guests the convenience of a healthy AND flavorful snack to keep them coming back for more. You simply cannot go wrong with Blue Diamond Almonds.

They offer such a versatile line of Almonds with flavors that are sure to please even the pickiest of tastebuds. I recently had the opportunity to try the Wasabi and Soy Sauce flavor as well as the Smokehouse flavor, and they are sure to take your snacking to the next level. Instead of boring bland flavors, these flavor truly kick it up a notch. I LOVE spicy things, so the Wasabi and Soy Sauce almonds are right up my ally. When paired with plain crackers and a mild, spreadable cheese, they turn bland appetizers into grand appetizers! The Smokehouse flavor reminds me of a backyard barbeque, and is so reminiscent of Summertime. Each of these flavors can take your traditional snack mix, and put a bit of an "adult" spin on it. But most importantly, you can add these to snacks without the guilt!

I truly enjoy Blue Diamond Almonds, and purchase them on my own all of the time. I enjoy having the opportunity to experiment with new flavors, but I have been buying Blue Diamond Almonds for years on my own. I am always looking forward to the new flavors, and I have yet to get bored. Even more important are the health benefits. Almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, are suggested to reduce the risk of heart disease! They are chock full of the "good" fats, a decent source of protein and low in sugar, so you can even let the kids get in on the fun! An A+ snack all around!

I proudly give Blue Diamond Bold Wasabi and Soy Sauce and Blue Diamond 
Almonds Smokehouse 10 stars:

Friday, November 27, 2015

{Book Review} The Five Times I Met Myself by James L.Rubart

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through LitFuse Publicity, in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated below are entirely my own.

I truly wish that I had more time in my life to read. I would spend a significant amount of time curled up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and a delicious novel. I am so lucky that I have the opportunity to review books, as they are one of my favorite items to receive. Furthermore, when I get a book that I can take away from, I'm excited to share my thoughts and opinions. I recently read The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart, and was able to take so much away from the read.

In short, the novel is about a middle-aged man, Brock Matthews, who has found himself at a point in his life that is less than flattering. The coffee shop he co-owns with his brother, and his marriage seem to be falling apart right in front of him. He begins having dreams about his father, who had passed away earlier; Dreams that leave much to desire. So, when he was introduced to lucid dreaming, where you can control what happens in your dreams, he began a quest to change the past via his dreams. You see, Brock notices that the decisions he was making in his dreams were carrying over to his real life. It brings a whole new meaning to turning back the hands of time, and having your dreams become reality. It is worth noting that this book is Christian Fiction, so the overall message of the book does lean towards God and faith.

Author James L. Rubart

This book was one of those books that makes you think as you read it. You begin to wonder how different your life would be if you had made one different decision. I was very intrigued by the style of this book, and was easily sucked in to the characters and story line. The concept of lucid dreaming and then those dreams becoming reality was clearly a hint of science fiction, however, it was unique to me, and I thought that James L. Rubart did a wonderful job with it. This novel kept me up late reading, held my attention, and had me thinking on an even higher level about life itself, and my personal faith.

Overall, I give The Five Times I Met Myself 8 stars, and definitely recommend it:

Read what other LitFuse members are saying about The Five Times I Met Myself, HERE. If interested, you can purchase a copy for yourself, or a copy to gift HERE.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Keeping Candida In Check With CandAID

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

I think we oftentimes take for granted how truly complex our bodies are, and the intricacies that make it function. I can't remember how old I was when I realized that we have bacteria in our body, and that some of it is actually good. For example, when we take a round of antibiotics, we knock out ALL of the bacteria in our body, good and bad. There are times when the good bacteria can get a little out of balance, and then it becomes bad. Candida, for example, is yeast that can be found in our body. This is fine at normal levels, and develops symptoms if there is an overgrowth. Due to the food and lifestyles of many people, this is very common. Luckily, there are supplements that can bring homeostasis back to your body, such as Zahler's CandAID.

Zahler's CandAID is formulated to flush out excess yeast in the body and bringing balance back to intestinal microflora, while building the bodies resistance to future candida over growths. This particular product is marked towards those who suffer from Candidiasis, Yeast Infections, Thrush and Bacterial Vaginosis. CandAID comes in a large bottle with 120 easy-to-swallow capsules. The directions on the bottle say to take one capsule with a meal 4 times per day. The instructions on Amazon say to take 2 capsules with a meal 2 times per day. Each capsule contains Caprylic Acid, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Oregano and Garlic to help your body rid itself of excess candida. These ingredients have been shown to be effective in combating candida.

Fortunately for me, I do not experience yeast infections frequently. That being said, my dog often gets yeast infections in his ears, as they are very cavernous, warm and will retain moisture. I have been using these pills with him, as I also read that another reviewer was doing something similar. My pup is very prone to these infections and gets them at least once per month. We clean his ears out constantly and are very careful when bathing him, however, they still are an issue. I have been giving him 2 pills in the morning and 2 pills in the evening (be advised that he is a 100 lb black lab). I am hoping that with continued use these issues will disappear or become less frequent. I have noticed that overall he is less itchy and shakes his ears less frequently, his ears do not smell and they are keeping clean. I will say that I also took these pills for a number of days before I gave them to the dog. I can be very skeptical of supplements because they are not regulated by the FDA, but fortunately, these ones are all natural, and produced in a GMP certified facility.

Overall, for the relief that these have provided my dog, I give Zahler's CandAID 8 stars:

If you suffer from an over growth of candida, I highly recommend Zahler's CandAID, which can be purchased HERE.