Thursday, May 29, 2014

What You Need to Know About Argan Oil, Featurng UNi 100% Organic Pure Moroccan Argan Oil

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I have been getting a ton of beauty related products lately to review (so keep an eye out), and I have to say, I am in blogger-review-euphoria. There is nothing I love more than beauty, health and wellness goodies to try out. I literally have felt like my mailbox loves me so much lately. One of the first beauty products that I got to try is UNi 100% Pure Moroccan Argan Oil.

This is one of those things that seems to be at the forefront of the beauty headlines these days, so I was very excited about this! First of all, Argan oil has SO MANY uses. When applied to damp hair it helps to bring out shine and provides added moisture. It can be used as part of your body care routine in the place of lotion as it moisturizes the skin, and it's praises have been sung for assisting with skincare concerns such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. On top of that, it works great to moisturize your cuticles and dry heels (flip-flop season is upon us people - do everyone a favor and slough of the dead skin and rub some Argan oil on it!). This is one of those "cure all" medicine cabinet treasures, because it can replace a number of products that you currently use.

What you need to be aware of, is that not all Argan oils are created equal. Be sure that the ingredients are limited, and include 100% Argan oil (Argania Spinosa Kernel oil). You also need to know that the price can be steep on this product because of the strenuous process that goes into extracting the oil. This is often done by hand, and takes a few DAYS to get a substantial amount of oil. While you may be looking for a deal, the consequences may be worth the extra money. And remember, this product can replace several of your current products, so the added cost could still be saving you money in the long run. True Argan oil should be packaged in a glass bottle that is tinted or dark to preserve the product (tan, blue, brown). If it comes in a plastic container or a clear container, it may be a dupe. The scent is another quality that is unique to pure Argan oil. It has what is considered a "nutty" smell. It certainly is something you have to get used to. I was a little off-put by the smell, and haven't gotten the courage to use it on my face yet. I can't really describe what it smells like, however, I will say that the scent dissipates quickly, so you are not stuck smelling like Argan oil all day. I will dd that this is not a nasty smell though, just different. Therefore, if it smells delicious, disgusting or like nothing, you may have run into a problem. The UNi 100% Organic Pure Moroccan Argan Oil that I tested definitely checked out as legitimate (or you wouldn't see me posting this).

            Dry Heel                                           Argan Oil Treated Heel

As you can see in the above picture (excuse the up-close of my heels), this works great for getting those dry, Winter heels in shape for the warmer months. You start to see a difference immediately after using this, which I imagine is why it is often referred to as "liquid gold". I have enjoyed using it on my cuticles to promote nail health, my heels to promote sandal-wearing, and my hair for the added moisture and shine. I will say that a small amount goes a LONG way. Using it in my hair took a little bit of trial an error, so I would suggest you err on the side of caution and start out with a tiny bit, and work your way up if you think you need more (and you probably won't). I have VERY long hair (to the middle of my back) and I used a penny-sized amount, and that ended up being too much, causing my roots to seem greasy. Again, everyone is different, but I would start out with a very small amount and go from there.

If you are in the market for Argan Oil, or could benefit from any of its many uses, I would highly recommend the UNi 100% Organic Pure Moroccan Argan Oil which can be purchased here at a very reasonable price. You can learn more about the company and the products that they offer here.

I have found great benefits to adding Argan Oil to my beauty routine and give it 9 stars:

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Solid Cordz® PREMIUM SERIES GOLD Plated, High Speed HDMI® Cable (2 Pack)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Over the Winter, the Hubby and I were given a copy of a movie to watch. Because it was burned onto a disc, and in the form of a file, the only way that we could watch the movie was via our computer. What we really wanted to do was watch it on the regular TV, which has a much larger screen than the laptop. However, we were lacking the connecting piece in order to do that: an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable. Shortly after this experience, I was offered the opportunity to review Solid Cordz® PREMIUM SERIES GOLD Plated, High Speed HDMI® Cable (2 Pack) via Tomoson (funny how things work out), and we have since been able to watch the movie on the "big screen" per se.

 If you are anything like me, you know nothing about the different cables associated with the electronics in your house. HDMI cables are mostly used for connecting all of your home entertainment products. Think, DVD players, Blu-Ray Players, home theater systems and gaming systems. What is great about the Solid Cordz® PREMIUM SERIES GOLD Plated, High Speed HDMI® Cable (2 Pack), is the fact that they are LONG (6 feet to be exact), so you don't have to worry about cramming everything together to accommodate a short reach. Additionally, they are gold plated, which makes them less likely to corrode, and provides better electrical coupling for your devices. Plus, you get 2 in your order! They are a little pricey compared to other options available on the market, at $35.00 for 2. From my experience thus far, I can attest to the high quality of these particular cables. I have to say that the movie even looked better.... more crisp once we connected the laptop to the TV using the cable.

See the gold-plated connector and HDMI logo
If you are in the market for HDMI cables, and it is likely that at some point you will be, I would highly recommend the Solid Cordz® PREMIUM SERIES GOLD Plated, High Speed HDMI® Cables. As technology advances, and our electronic purchases broaden, everyone will need these cables to met their connection needs. Plus, when you are spending good money on the electronics in your home, you are going to want the best cables to enhance and support the performance of said electronics.

I give these cables 10 stars:

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book Review: My Bedtime Story Bible by Jean Syswerda, Illustrated by Daniel Howarth

Disclosure: Zondervan provided me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

I have a two year old, and she is quite the mover. It takes a lot to get her to slow down throughout the day, and while she used to love to sit and read books, even just to look at the pictures, that has become less frequent as of late. I can get her to sit through a couple of pages before she is off and on to the next task. I know this is typical, and "this too shall pass", but I love reading, so sometimes I just want to grab her, strap her to me, and make her sit for hours on end listening to stories and learning new things. That's not child abuse, right? Don't answer that. We recently received a copy of My Bedtime Story Bible by Jean Syswerda, and this has made reading at night much more of a success!

First of all, the beautiful illustrations by Daniel Howarth rope her right in. The pages are full of color, very high quality and printed on heavy, durable paper. Additionally, it is a hardcover book, so it can withstand extensive use. It is much better than many of the other books we own. On top of that, each story is short, just a couple of pages, so they coincide perfectly with her attention span (or lack thereof). I have found, in fact, that she will ask for more than one "story" each night out of this book - she actually requests several! I feel that this book is relevant for children age birth-5, but could easily be read to or by children who are older. I see this as a great family bed time book! Each story tells of important figures in the Bible, and how they prepare for bed. The tone is very calming, and truly does promote relaxation. While these stories do not necessarily teach the Bible, they can help young children become familiar with the prominent figures in the Bible, as well as the many lessons. I enjoy the "Tuck In" message at the conclusion of each story. This gives the readers (or "listeners") a prompt to thank or ask God for something . I find this to be helpful in teaching children to be grateful for many things, but more importantly, how to say prayers. I would definitely recommend this book for parents who are looking for a religious-based bedtime story to share with their children. The quality is truly second-to-none. We will read this in our house for many years to come!

I give My Bedtime Story Bible by Jean Syswerda, Illustrated by Daniel Howarth 10 stars:

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Disclosure: I received this item for free from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and experiences stated here are my own.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review of MIRA Stainless Steel 2-Container Set

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

If you are unaware that plastic is unhealthy for you, you must live under a rock. Many companies have taken it upon themselves to remove some of the harmful ingredients in their plastics (e.g. BPA, phalates, PVC, lead), however, there is still much debate about the health-related consequences that this material has on our long-term health. Because of this very fact, I try to buy food storage containers (among many other household items) that are made of less harmful materials. I especially try to find kid-friendly products made from safer alternatives. This is no easy task....Many affordable options are made from some form of plastic, they are convenient and they are readily available. It can be quite a task to find an affordable, safer alternative. Therefore, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review the Stainless Steel 2 Container Set from MIRA through Tomoson.

This is the set that I received
The larger container is the 8 ounce size, and the smaller one is a 5 ounce size. I originally thought they were going to be larger, but they are the perfect size for lunch box foods, or on-the-go snacks. The containers themselves are made from unlined 18/8 food-grade stainless steel, are easy to wash, and make me feel good about serving food in them to my kids (or myself). The lids are made from non-toxic LDPE (low density polyethylene) number 4 plastic, and they go on and off super easy. In fact, I often think they are not on correctly because there is no definitive "click" or "snap". That being said, I have yet to have my son come home with the contents in them spilled all over his lunchbox, and these easy-on-easy-off lids make them effortless for small hands.

I have enjoyed using these, and am planning to purchase more. They also sell a very nice 3-piece set including a 16 ounce, 8 ounce and 5 ounce size container that I have my eyes on. The 2-piece set that I received retails for $29.99 on Amazon, but is on sale right now for significantly cheaper. Additionally, the 3-piece set retails for $34.99, however, that too is displaying a discounted price.

Overall, I give the MIRA Stainless Steel 2-Container Set 10 out of 10 stars:

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I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Getting Right in the Kitchen with Suprah's Ultra-Thin Tempered Glass Digital Kitchen Scale

I recently had the opportunity to review a wonderful kitchen scale from Surpahs, and am excited to share my experience! If you are new to kitchen scales (and I certainly was), let me tell you some of the helpful ways that you can use one in your kitchen. 
Picture taken from Surpahs website - this is the scale I received

Reason #1: Your measuring cups are *gasp* meant for measuring liquid - That's right, folks...all of your dry ingredients should be measured by weight, and not by the traditional measuring cup. You thought you were a bad baker? Try using a scale and follow a recipe that includes weight measurement for it's list of dry ingredients. Flour, for example, is a truly difficult ingredient to measure by anything but weight because of it's texture. And don't be lazy...most recipe sites will convert recipes for you, and there is probably an app for that.

Reason #2: America has decided that a single serving of food is about the size of a house, which is likely the same reason we are also considered an overly obese country. Did you know that a single serving of meat, fish or poultry is 2-3 ounces? This tends to be about the size of a deck of cards. Was the last steak you ate that size? I'm willing to bet it was more likely the size of your foot. An accurate way to keep track of the amount of food you are consuming, and in the correct portion sizes is to measure them with a kitchen scale. This is especially helpful for individuals who are on diets that focus on portion control.

Reason #3: It eliminates mess. That's right! Have you ever confidently placed your cupcakes in the oven, feeling all accomplished and proud of yourself, only to take a look around the kitchen and realize the disaster you still have to clean up? With a kitchen scale, you place the bowl on the scale, zero it out (so it isn't measuring the weight of the bowl) and measure your ingredients that way, zeroing the scale out after each ingredient. Think, bag to bowl and....Voila! 

If that hasn't convinced you of the benefits of the modern-day kitchen scale, read on. My experience with the Surpahs Ultra-Thin Tempered Glass Digital Kitchen Scale has been great! I found that initially we all started weighing everything in the house just to see it work. This makes you truly aware of how much you are putting in your body. It has several useful settings so you can accurately measure in: grams, ounces (lbs), milliliters, and fluid ounces. Plus, the sleek design makes it simple to keep out for everyday use, and the tempered glass allows for simple and thorough clean-up. Additionally, this has touch settings (to control the unit and tare), which contribute to it's modern design. I found this scale to be accurate, and yes, I did measure it's accuracy (by putting a nickle on it and making sure it read 5 grams-getting scientific over here!).

I enjoy this scale and highly recommend it with 10 stars:

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The Surpahs Ultra-Thin Tempered Glass Digital Kitchen Scale retails for $34.99, and can be purchased through Amazon. As a side note, this is available for $18.98 right now, so this would be an excellent opportunity to grab it at a discounted price.

Disclosure: I was given the opportunity to receive this product for free in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and experiences stated here are my own. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Rules Have Changed With NEW Purex® No Sort™ for Colors Detergent - Review & GiVeAwAy!!!!

I have to admit that laundry is one of my biggest motivation killers. It is one of those things in life that can never truly be complete... Unless of course the people in your household walk around naked for the period of time that you are washing the clothes that they were previously dirty-ing. Yet, as soon as they dress themselves, the cycle starts over. Between clothes and towels and bedding and anything else you can fit in that washer and dryer, it gets to be quite an endless task. Add to that the specific instructions for each material, fabric and color that enters, and it becomes even more of a daunting task. Luckily, Purex® has made an attempt to make this task easier by coming out with their latest: Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent! Clap your hands laundry-doers, this stuff rocks!

As a Purex® Insider, I got to try a bottle of the Purex® No Sort™ for Colors for free. As a reader, you benefit from this because I am going to tell you how miraculous this liquid amazingness is, and THEN, I am going to give you the opportunity to win a free bottle to tackle your very own Mount Wash-more!

New Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent is the latest innovation from the Purex® brand designed to simplify your laundry routine. Prurex® No Sort  For Colors detergent features a breakthrough Anti-Color transfer Technology™ which traps loose dyes in the wash and reduces color bleeding accidents in your mixed color loads leaving your clothes bright and clean.

Laundry is tedious enough without the chore of sorting, so I have a huge appreciation for Purex® and this new, innovative, no sorting, dye transfer inhibitor detergent they created (and it smells so clean too!). I have to say that one of the most devastating laundry mishaps is color bleeding accidents. I specifically avoid buying anything red as it ends up never seeing the inside of my washing machine because I don't want to chance my clothes turning pink. That, and I wash all of my jeans together (I'm a fan of the dark wash) so they don't have the opportunity to ruin anything else - they can share their dye with one another. In an attempt to see how this detergent works, I washed a load of my 8 year old son's clothes. In the photo below, you can see his undershirt (on the right), which was washed in a mixed color load (jeans, underwear, socks, shirts-you name it, it was in there, and my son likes dark clothes). On the left is one of my undershirts that is consistently thrown in the wash with "colors" because I wear undershirts everyday - I don't have the time or patience to wait for the "whites" to accumulate enough to necessitate a wash. Clearly, I had an excellent experience using Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent, and will continue to use it - it saves me time, and who couldn't use more time?

I will include that it is recommended to wash new clothes that are prone to heavy bleeding (i.e. anything strongly colored and especially jeans) separately 5 times before being mixed into a load using Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent. I will also add that for tough stains, I would pre-treat, or use whatever method you are used to. This does an excellent job at cleaning your clothes from everyday filth, but I think it spends so much time tackling the absorption of dyes that it can't also tackle tough, set-in stains. In my experience, most detergents alone cannot do that, so this was no disappointment to me.

Overall, I give Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent 9 out of 10 stars:

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Purex®, with the release of their newest detergent has decided to run a sweepstakes of their own, providing one grand prize winner with $1,000, and 100 second place winners with a free bottle of the New Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent. You have nothing to lose! Enter here.

And don't forget, stop sorting laundry and enter my giveaway for your chance at a FREE bottle of the new Purex® No Sort™ for Colors detergent (up to a $6.00 value) ! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received this product for free for the purpose of providing an honest review. The opinions and experiences presented here are my own.