Thursday, August 28, 2014

Get Your Eye Cream On, Featuring: Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream

I strongly believe that it is never too soon to begin caring for your skin by prepping for the inevitable: AGE. I have found that one of the most telling areas on your face that can capture your age in the most unflattering way is your eyes. The skin around your eye area is so thin and sensitive, making it the first to display discoloration, sagging and wrinkles. I personally suffer from dark circles and the occasional puffiness. I feel that the eye area is the most neglected area for me because I often forget to apply the eye cream, or avoid it because many seem to sit on top of the skin, negatively impacting my make-up application, and I can't have that! I recently tried Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream, and it has changed my opinion of eye creams.

I find the packaging of this particular eye cream tasteful and functional. It has a pump top which contributes to its ease of use. I normally don't even use a full pumps worth because a little bit goes a looooong way. Which brings me to size; The Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream comes in a generous 1 fluid ounce size, ensuring that it will last quite while. As you may have noticed, I prefer to use "green" products when I can, and I am happy to report that this eye cream makes the cut! This eye cream is made of over 70 natural and organic ingredients and done so in the good old U.S. of A. Aside from the use of cutting edge peptides and ocean-based Retinol, this eye cream is also formulated with healing ingredients such as: Aloe, Witch Hazel, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Vitamin C, Cucumber, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Tamanu Oil, Green Tea, Licorice, Eyebright, Avocado Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Lemon, Lemongrass, Vitamin B5, Lavender and Chamomile. This combination gives it an extremely light and clean scent, and the power to work effectively on the gentlest area of your face.

In my personal experience, I have found that this eye cream does what it says. I use it twice per day by dispensing a small amount (maybe a half a pump) onto the back of my hand, then dabbing it with my ring finger which I lightly stipple under my eye, and up to my brow bone (right underneath my eye brow). It absorbs quicker than any other eye cream I have used which is a major plus! I have ditched many eye care products that would sit on my skin and never soak in. I have experienced noticeable lightening in the dark circles that dull my face, allowing me to skip the concealer there, and have found that my eye area is supple and moist. I am unable to account for it's ability to stop the aging process, as I feel that it would require a more extensive use than a few weeks. I think it is important to note that I don't believe ANY anti-aging product can deliver results overnight. I am, however, hopeful that the Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream will provide a defense against aging for my eye area with continued use.

I am going to continue using this product and recommend it with 10 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
If you are looking to lighten up and moisten your eye area to aid in the fight against aging, you can purchase your Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream here. This retails for $69.95, but is currently 66% off!

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, August 23, 2014

Review: Well Beginnings™ Products, Exclusively at Walgreens

As a member of Moms MeetI was recently given the opportunity to try out some the new Well Beginnings™ products that are offered exclusively at Walgreens. While we are in the midst of potty training, it was much appreciated to get such a generous package of new items to try from our trusted neighborhood drugstore. 

I can be such a stickler when it comes to the products I choose to use on my children because of the chemicals and toxins that contaminate so many items on the market. I was very pleased to know that the Well Beginnings™ line is created with high-quality ingredients, made in the USA, and still remains an affordable option for parents and caregivers. 

I received a bag of size 4 Well Beginnings™ diapers to try with my 2 year old daughter. This particular package contains 31 diapers and retails for $8.99. I was highly pleased with their performance. There are few things that you can be frugal about when it comes to raising kids, and diapers are not one of them. You learn quickly that quality is important, when you end up with a bit of "what the diaper should have caught" all over you. I thought the design on the diapers was simple but pleasant while remaining neutral. The elephant is cute, right? My daughter thought so too! It was the first thing she noticed when she tried these on. I found these diapers to be highly absorbent (no leaks during the day or overnight!), they have stretchy side tabs (great for little ones on the move!), and they did not aggravate my daughter's sensitive, rash-prone skin. Additionally, the inner liner of the diaper contains natural botanicals, vitamin e and aloe to help soothe and prevent irritations. The Well Beginnings™ Diapers come in sizes newborn to size 6 (newborn, size 1 and size 2 have a wetness indicator on them that turns blue when the diaper is soiled), and carry a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 

The Well Beginnngs™ Sensitive Wipes are a hypoallergenic, alcohol-free and dermatologist-tested option that truly hold-up. I can almost say that I am more picky about wipes than I am diapers because of the many horrendous options on the market. I prefer a thick, sturdy wipe that can get the job done, while being gentle. I use wipes for diaper changes, messy faces and hands, and even quick high chair/toy/most-things-around-the-house clean ups, so I need something that can stand up to the task-at-hand. These wipes passed with flying colors! They are a 3 layer wipe, which provides a durable inner layer surrounded by 2 quilted outer layers, ensuring they can get the job done without tearing, stretching, or jeopardizing the cleanliness of your hands. I also appreciate the pop-open top for quick, easy access and no drying out. The package of wipes I received contains 72 wipes, and retails for $2.39. These travel nicely too, and I always keep a pack in the car and the diaper bag.

The Well Beginnings™ Baby Wash has a list of incredible features. On top of being soap-free, dye-free, pH balanced, tear-free and hypoallergenic this wash is free of parabens and phthaltes. This puts such a smile on my face, as I have become an avid-ingredient reader for everything that goes in, as well as on the bodies in this house. This wash smells delightful, lathers nicely, and can be used for hair and body, making it the only bottle you need to keep track of when it comes to getting your little one clean. This generous 15-ounce bottle will only run you $2.99, making it such a steal! We also make bath time fun by using this as a bubble bath too!

Last, but certainly not least, we received a bottle of the Well at Walgreens Pediatric Electrolyte Solution. I have not used this as of yet, because we have not had an occasion that permits it (*knock on wood*). However, because of how well the other items have stood up, I imagine that his would perform to my expectations as well. I am keeping hold of this for any potential stomach viruses that invade our house this year. There is nothing like needing to take a middle of the night run to the store to grab one of these when that special moment arises, no pun intended. It is incredibly important to keep young children hydrated when they have a stomach virus or diarrhea. I like that this is a dye-free formula and is fruit flavored to please even the pickiest of palate.

I'm enjoying that Walgreens can be my one-stop shop for all of the Well Beginnings™ essential items that I need and feel good about buying for my children. I highly recommend each of the above mentioned products, and will certainly be back to purchase more. I give the entire collection 10 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 
You can explore the entire Well Beginnings™ collection here. Remember, these items are exclusive to Walgreens. To keep up with all that is new and exciting with them, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

A huge thank you to Moms Meetfor giving me this opportunity!

Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meets blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hop To It With ThinkFun's Hoppers®

Have you ever been to a restaurant that has those peg solitaire games on the table to keep yourself, and mostly your children occupied while you wait for your food? Well, the ThinkFun brand took this concept to an entirely innovative and fun level, making it more engaging and entertaining for the entire family! I received a complimentary Hoppers® game, and we have been enjoying testing it out. Included in the box is the game grid (which is amazing because it OPENS to store everything inside - A mother's dream feature for sure!), 12 cute and sturdy Hopper Frogs and a deck of 40 Challenge Cards which bring exciting new features to the game each time that you play.

Excuse the missing frog - my youngest likes to play with them, and it distracted her so I could snap the picture
The object of Hoppers® is to leave the board with only 1 frog. This is accomplished when frogs "jump over" one another from one lily pad to the next. Obviously they cannot jump across the entire board, but instead the simply hop over one at a time, landing on the lily pad behind it. You must keep in mind that frogs may not land on another frog, jump over two frogs at the same time or move without making a jump over another frog. As one frog jumps over another, the "jumped" frog gets taken off the board. Again, the object is to leave one frog on the board, but you are finished when you can no longer make any "legal" moves. What makes Hoppers® the best Peg Solitaire Jumping Game, is the fact that it comes with the cards to give you an extended play experience. Instead of filling the entire board with frogs, you can set-up easy, medium, hard or super hard designs (10 cards of each) to try and hop your way out of. I have found that this helps kids get the hang of it too, as it is less overwhelming. 

This has been a nice conversation starter in our house. I leave it out on the kitchen table so the kids, adults or guests can play with it (and I think that the adults like it just as much as the kids!). The pieces are small, so they need to be kept away from younger children. My 2 year old loves to play with them, but she is closely supervised while doing so. She doesn't quite get the concept of it, she just likes hopping the frogs around or putting them inside the drawer. Hoppers® is suggested for ages 5 and up. I know I mentioned this already, but the fact that the board opens up to store the stack of cards and the frogs is my favorite design feature. It makes clean-up easy, which makes kids more apt to do it!

I see my family getting many, many years of use out of this game and give it 10 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
If you are interested in purchasing this game, you may do so here. Additionally, check out what else ThinkFun has to offer on their website, or connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube.

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, August 14, 2014

The Audaciously Amazing Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil

Let me preface this by saying that I am a long time acne sufferer. I have been battling this war since I was in Middle School, and have yet to put the smack-down on this unpredictable, self-esteem downing skin issue. I have tried SO many treatments with little success. I have found that my acne has transformed numerous times throughout it's course, and treatments that once worked are no longer effective. On top of that, I have been aiming to "green" my beauty routine by using more natural and organically based products. MANY easily attainable acne treatments, including prescriptions, are full of things you really shouldn't put on your skin to be absorbed into your body. I have read a bit about the impact of Tea Tree Oil on acne, and was incredibly excited when I was offered the opportunity to try Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil.

Apothecary Extracts has made it their responsibility to deliver only the purest and undiluted form of the Tea Tree essential oil, all while ensuring that their carbon footprint is kept at a minimum. Having responsible business practices ensure that you are getting a quality product that is created with the good of the Earth in mind.

I was very skeptical about using Tea Tree Oil, especially on my face, but I wanted to see if all the hype was correct - I mean, what did I have to lose? I had been experiencing cystic acne on my chin for several months. This is something that had never been an issue before, so I was truly at a loss for how to fix it. They are these large, very painful nodule-like acne that sit under the skin and just.... hurt. They last forever because they almost never come to a head, but bumping them can almost bring you to tears. I started using the Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil, and have not experienced a single one since. For MONTHS I had been getting these, and POOF! they are gone. I didn't even have the opportunity to take "before" pictures, because it worked that fast. I still have acne marks, but slowly they are fading away.

I am slightly obsessed with the old-school pharmaceutical font used on these bottles - it is so fitting! I am also highly appreciative of the "stopper" top that they put at the opening of the bottle. Each morning and night I stick the tip of a Q-tip in that little top until it has just a spot of the Tea Tree Oil on it. Next, I use that to gently rub it on the areas of my face that are experiencing turmoil. It gives my skin a brief cooling sensation, and I wait until that subsides to apply my facial moisturizer. It has an intense fragrance that is neither good or bad, just strong. Some people may be bothered by it, but you honestly get used to it, and it doesn't stick with you all day, it subsides.

Aside from my experience with the successful treatment of my nasty, cystic adult acne, Apothecary Extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil has MANY uses. In fact, with your purchase you will get a free e-book which details over 50 uses for this incredibly versatile essential oil. I am most excited to try the Antibacterial Hand Soap, All Purpose Cleaner and the Fortifying Citrus Foot Scrub. Tea Tree Oil has antimicrobial properties which help to wipe out the bacteria that causes many health-related ailments. Plus, you use such a small amount at a time that the standard 4 ounce bottle can last you up to a year!

I have been transformed into an Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil lover, and give them 10 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
I highly recommend this product for all of your health and cleaning needs! You can grab your very own bottle here for only $19.99! 

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, August 7, 2014

Get Safe in the Kitchen - Review of Kuisiware's Super Glove

Have you ever wondered why oven mitts are shaped liked a mitten? I mean, how much more restrictive can they be? It is simply one thumb hole short of being a hand sleeve. How safe can that possibly be? I know there have been many times that dinner has almost hit the floor before it has hit the table due to the restrictive nature of the traditional oven mitts. I was given the opportunity to review the new Kuisiware Super Glove, and they provide the answer to this everyday kitchen dilemma.

You already love them don't you? They may not match your pretty apron, but let me tell you - you won't be dropping dinner on the floor, burning yourself, or feeling like you are a toddler in a snow storm. These gloves are one-size-fits-all, and that reigns true. Everyone in my household can wear these and still feel confident in their gripping power. While the outside is made with meta-aramid and para-aramid fibers by Dupont™ (AKA heat-resistant, super-strong synthetic fibers), the inside is made with a comforting 100% cotton blend. If, for some reason, you feel that your grip may falter, not to worry, because the red design on the outside is made from silicone, so your hold can be skid-free. The Super Glove can protect your hands from extreme heat up to 662° Fahrenheit (350° Celsius). I have had no issues using it with my basic grilling, oven and stove needs, and choose them over an oven mitt every time. 

Each purchase comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, a lifetime warranty and the e-book: Best Grilling and Barbacue Recipes by Bob Myer. This e-book discusses some grilling basics and then jumps into delicious recipes like: Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs, Maple Glazed Grilled Pork Ribs and Beef Tenderloin with Spicy Pine Nut Herb Butter. Can you say YUM?!?! 

The Kuisiware Super Gloves have become a kitchen staple for me, so I give them 9 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

If you see a need for these in your kitchen as well, go here and grab a pair for yourself. You really have nothing to lose! You can also connect with Kuisiware on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the innovation they have cooking up!

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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Meal Replacement Drinks in True Iconic Fashion

I feel like I am constantly on the go. Every morning I enjoy my morning coffee before the chaos begins, but I swear, it is lunch before I even realize that I haven't had breakfast. In the recent past I have invested some time and research into meal replacement drinks, and much to my dismay, they really are not a good option for everyday consumption. First of all, HELLO SUGAR - I am pretty sure that many of these drinks are the equivalent of eating a candy bar, or five, for breakfast. I'm not really willing to compromise health for convenience at this point as I probably already did that enough as a teenager (oh hey, Ramen Noodles!). I was thrilled when I was chosen to review the Iconic Healthy Lifestyle Beverage created by Be Well Nutrition.

First of all, the ingredients are all real and identifiable - there are no long, scientific, hard-to-pronounce names. This is reassuring. If you are missing a meal, and trying to replace it, you don't want to pump your body full of things that are going to make you crash and burn. You want fuel to keep you going, and sustenance to keep you full. These drinks provide both - you get 20 grams f protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates, only 3 grams of sugar and all while only being 130 calories per 11 fluid-ounce serving. They come in a sturdy carton that has a twist-off cap, making it perfect for on-the-go. You don't have to worry about a straw popping out, or a drink spilling all over everything - you could play volleyball with this thing and it would be good to go.

The Iconic Healthy Lifestyle Beverage comes in to flavors: Pure Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Truffle (I tried both, even though only the vanilla is pictured). I found that their formulation is as smooth as water. Many of these meal replacement drinks are thick, gritty and hard to get down. This is not the case here. My only qualm about this drink is that the flavor is a bit watered-down. Flavor is the one things that most meal replacement drinks just can't perfect because it involves too much of the "bad stuff", so it is an even trade-off in this case; I will gladly forfeit a bit of taste for less junk. Keeping them cold makes it tastier. I found that the Iconic Healthy Lifestyle Beverage did a great job at holding me through meals, and did not provide any "crash and burn", a huge plus! I would definitely recommend these if you are looking for a high protein meal replacement-type drink and desire nutritional, wholesome ingredients to nourish your body. These would be great post-workout drinks too!

I give the Iconic Healthy Lifestyle Beverage 8 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
If you are interested in purchasing some for yourself, check out their handy-dandy Store Locator on their website, or you can purchase them directly from Amazon in Chocolate Truffle or Pure Vanilla Bean. They cost $36.00 for a pack of 12. You may also connect with them through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (use #drinkiconic).

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, August 5, 2014

Review: DownBeats High Fidelity Hearing Protectors

Summer is the season for festivals, concerts and outdoor activities. The one thing each of these have in common is the noise factor. When you are young, you take advantage of the important things in life: your hearing, your sight, your quick movements that don't cause a muscle spasm, ache or pain. With advances in technology, we can fix our vision, with persistent exercise we can maintain our body movements, but once you lose your hearing, your only option is hearing aides. It is important to protect your ears when you are in abnormally loud situations. There is much confusion about how to protect your ears while still being able to enjoy the moments you are living in. I mean, if you wear ear plugs, how will you hear you favorite band belt out your favorite song? there is a product for that! I recently had the opportunity to receive DownBeats High Fidelity Hearing Protectors, and am excited to share them. They are claimed to:

"...deliver a pristine, balanced sonic experience without the painful highs 
and lows, distracting background noise or sonic hangover later. And 
they’re good to go in a durable anodized aluminum case."

These DownBeats High Fidelity Hearing Protectors are the answer for many who struggle with the decision to damage their hearing in the process of making memories. While they look similar to ear plugs, they are actually more of a noise filter. Instead of toning down all sound entirely, they allow only the highest quality of sound (i.e. your artist of choice) to penetrate while holding back all of the distracting background noise (i.e. the annoying crowd).  This concept relieves the "Sonic Hangover" that you experience the morning after a loud night. Additionally, it eliminates Temporary Threshold Shift, where you temporarily lose your hearing at the level of conversation (70 decibels) after prolonged exposure to loud noises (ever tried to talk to someone on the way home from a concert? Better whisper if you want to hear them), and also Long-Term Hearing Loss. 

I think it is phenomenal that they come in their own little case (because other than that, they would be lost immediately in this house, or we would forget them altogether). The little knobs on the end make them easy to place in the ear, as well as remove them, and they lay comfortable in your ear. I like having these around for the kids too. Oftentimes at festivals or carnivals they have live music performances that overtake the atmosphere. Having these on hand makes it easy to protect their little ears from premature damage too (if you can get them to keep them in). You can choose a black, blue or purple case, and each pair costs $9.99. For that price I would have to say it is a highly affordable way to take a preventative measure with your future hearing capabilities. 

Because I choose to be safe rather than sorry more times than not, I give these 10 stars:

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

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.