Thursday, April 30, 2015

Morning Smoothies Featuring Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

When my son was little I used to plan out every single meal of the day. I hated wasting time wondering what we should eat, or going back and forth with the "what do you want to eat?" or "what do you feel like eating today?". I would seek out recipes that were new and exciting so that we were not eating scrambled eggs 7 days a week for breakfast. At some point, I came across smoothies. What I love about smoothies is the versatility and the fact that they can be personalized depending upon your taste preferences. For example, I like to eat fresh bananas, but I don't like anything with banana in it, or anything banana flavored. So, I can peel and eat a banana, but banana bread, strawberry banana smoothies, or banana flavored candy-No way! I have come a long way with my smoothie-making, and now try to tweak them to sneak in some delicious and nutritious ingredients. My newest add-in has been Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original.

As a member of the Blue Diamond Almond Tastemakers, I was given the opportunity to try their Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original. I have to say that I was very skeptical at first, as I have yet to have a good experience with coconut water. Not that coconut water and coconut milk are the same, but it was the only comparison I could make as I've never tried coconutmilk. I grew up drinking regular 2% milk, so oftentimes these alternative "milks" come off as thin and watery to me versus creamy and delicious. However, these other milks are great alternatives for those who are lactose-intolerant or vegan, or for anyone who jut likes to switch it up every once in awhile. The Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original is dairy, soy, lactose, cholesterol, peanut, casein, egg, MSG and gluten-free, while containing only all-natural ingredients. In one serving (1 cup), this beverage contains 455mg of calcium, giving you 50% more calcium than a traditional cup of milk. It comes in shelf-stable or refrigerated varieties, and also these flavors: Original, Original Unsweetened, Vanilla and Vanilla Unsweetened. My kids already drink the regular Vanilla Almondmilk regularly, so now I want to try the Vanilla Almondmilk Coconutmilk Blend.

I love the tropical flavor of the Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original. It has the perfect hint of coconut in it. We LOVE using this in smoothies to give us a calcium boost in addition to a hefty dose of Vitamins D and E. Below you can find my favorite recipe featuring Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original:

1 1/2 Cups     Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original
1/2 Cup     Vanilla Yogurt
 3 Cups     Frozen Mixed Berries
1/2 Cup     Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup     Slivered Almonds

I place the ingredients in the blender in the order they are written above to ensure that the liquid makes blending easy. My blender does an excellent job at emulsifying nuts and oats, but if yours doesn't I would not recommend adding them or you will have a chunky smoothie. I blend until it is smooth, pour and enjoy! Simple, healthy and absolutely delightful! Plus, it's pretty!

We have been enjoying our Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original, and give it 10 stars:

If you are wondering were you can purchase Almond Breeze products near you, you can check out their locator HERE.
You know its good when my 3 year old bathes herself in it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fresh Underarms - Naturally!

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.

Have you seen all of the new deodorants that are out now? Instead of coming in the form of a stick, they come in a jar and are the consistency of lotion. I've been wanting to try these recently. I know how harmful many of the conventional brands on the market are, and how harmful antiperspirants are to begin with. When we sweat, our body is trying to detox. When we prevent our body from perspiring (sweating), we are allowing the toxins to remain inside, which then get sent to our lymphatic system. Our lymph nodes try to flush the toxins out, however, the aluminum based compounds in many antiperspirants block those outlets. This has the potential to foster cancer cell growth as toxins repeatedly gather in this site. The tissue found here is very close to breast tissue, which can then become the home for cancerous cells and tumors. This is all controversial, and I am sure there are studies and reports that can support each side of this. However, I prefer to be safe rather than sorry. I have used deodorants in the past over antiperspirants because my grandmother told me at a young age about the blockage caused by traditional antiperspirants. I recently tried Bella Organics Vanilla Mint Deodorant Cream, and I am definitely a fan!

Bella Organics was founded in 2012 on the basis of not many companies offering organic and natural alternatives to the conventional healthcare items that bombard our grocer's shelves. In fact, the founder, Alena was unable to find something that worked for her children's eczema, which sparked her idea for Bella Organics. They offer a variety of facial care, body care, and even baby products. They also offer trial sizes of some items so you can get a better idea of whether or not you wish to commit to a full-size purchase. Even more promising is the fact that they are entirely affordable! I'm always a huge fan of brands that make "green" products for those of us who just cannot afford the high price tag. They carry a very nice variety of deodorants including: Lavender, Ocean, Iced Lemonade, Lemongrass Bergamot, Orange Spice, The Woods and Vanilla Mint. I got to try the Vanilla Mint scent, and I thoroughly enjoy it. The ingredients are simple and pronounceable which really stands out to me. Take almost any antiperspirant off of the shelf at your local grocer and tell me how many of those ingredients you can pronounce, or have in your home. The Bella Organics Vanilla Mint Deodorant ingredients list is as follows: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, (Vegan), Organic Sunflower Oil,  Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Aluminum-Free Baking Soda, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil. This has a shelf life of 12 months, another testament to it's non-processed, organic composition.

I am not much of a sweat-er in general, so I have used deodorants before that do not contain antiperspirant successfully. Using this delivered the same results. The Bella Organics Vanilla Mint Deodorant Cream comes in a 2 ounce sized jar. A small amount goes a long way, so even though the directions say to use a pea-sized amount per underarm, I didn't even need to use that much. It smooths in evenly, and I never experienced transfer onto my clothes. It has the consistency of whipped coconut oil, so it starts to melt as you rub it in. The scent is minimally strong, but nothing more than your conventional products. I feel that it has a nice scent that I can smell randomly throughout the day. It lets me know that I'm still smelling fresh and clean. 

I am a huge fan of Bella Organics Vanilla Mint Deodorant Cream and feel great about not clogging up my lymph nodes, which equals 10 stars in my book:

If you are interested in trying an all-natural deodorant cream, I highly recommend this one. First of all, you can purchase the sample size which will give you about a weeks worth for $3.99, or you can purchase the full-size (2oz) for $10.25. You can purchase the Vanilla Mint Scent HERE. I encourage you to check out their website HERE so you can explore all of the products they have to offer. I'm very interested in the Organic Cherry Dry Skin Balm as my daughter has eczema that just seems to progressively get worse. 

My New Favorite Facial Moisturizer!

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 very recently came to the bottom of my most favorite moisturizer to date. It was one that I reviewed a while back, and it quickly became my go-to because it never broke out my finicky skin, and provided the moisture of a heavy cream with the feel of a light lotion. Even more recently, I was given another facial moisturizer to review, and it is almost identical to my last one, with a few notable differences. This moisturizer comes from Made From Earth, which is a brand that focuses on developing organic, holistic and healthy products including body care, skincare and lip balms too! I tried, and am actually still using, their Vitamin C Moisturizer.

Vitamin C is one of my favorite additions to my skincare regimen because it works faster than anything else to zap away my old acne marks. You know, the red marks that stay on your face even after your pimple is LONG gone? Yeah, those. I feel like years later they are still lingering around. I tried a Vitamin C serum awhile ago and it did amazing things at reducing the redness of the acne marks, and actually at filling some of the scarred areas. Since then I have been a huge vitamin C advocate, especially for those who suffer with acne or have at some point. The Made From Earth Vitamin C Moisturizer contains high levels of vitamin C and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) to boost collagen production. By increasing or encouraging healthy collagen production, your skin will be more likely to brighten, soften and experience greater elasticity. Another ingredient is coconut oil, which does an amazing job at healing and moisturizing. This Vitamin C Moisturizer also contains Evening Primrose Oil to work it's anti-inflammatory properties for those who may experience dry, irritated or itchy skin. I also think think is great for those who have acne, as that too is inflamed skin.

I love this moisturizer! When I first smelled it, it smelled identical to the moisturizer that I was currently using. It smells a little like shea butter. The scent is difficult to describe, but there is not a fruity or floral scent to it at all. It comes in a very sturdy glass jar, and the moisturizer itself is white. I prefer this over my previous moisturizer due to the fact that it has Vitamin C as an ingredient, and because it rubs in quicker than the other one. The other one took a little coaxing to thoroughly rub in, but it never bothered me because it was amazing. This one has all the benefits, plus vitamin C, AND it rubs in effortlessly! It is not greasy whatsoever, provides moisture throughout the whole day or night and a little goes a long way, so the 2 ounce sized jar will last me a good while. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this moisturizer, or how well it works. Plus, I love the idea behind the company - that they are dedicated to providing organic body and skincare products to health-conscious consumers. The only downfall of this product is the price. It retails for $54.99. This is more than I can afford to spend on one product at a time on a regular basis. 

Aside from the price, the Made From Earth Vitamin C Moisturizer is my favorite moisturizer to date, and for that, it gets 10 stars:

If you want to try a wonderful moisturizer you can purchase this one HERE. It currently is on sale for $39.00, but I have no clue how often the prices fluctuate, or how long their sales last. You can check out their entire line of products on their website HERE, while keeping up-to-date with them via Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Get Georgeous Hair with Sheilo

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 have been reviewing so many skincare products lately, and I must say that I am grateful because I seem to have my hormonal breakouts under control for the time being. That being said, I love to review household, or other beauty-related products too, including hair products! I have pretty long, semi-wavy, kinda thick hair that often has a mind of it's own. I can style it in the morning, and somewhere throughout the day I will look at it and think to myself: When did THAT happen? And then proceed to wonder how long I was walking around looking like I did. I recently got to try a Leave-In Protectant from Shielo.

I am a persistent hot styling tool user, so protecting my hair from damage is really important. I straighten and blow dry my hair almost everyday, curl it when I want it to look pretty, and color my hair a few times per year. Surprise! - Our hair is not meant to take such abuse. Luckily, many companies have addressed this concern by creating products to protect our hairs from the damage we cause on a regular basis. What I love about my Leave-In Protectant from Shielo is that they took it a step further and created a product that uses organic extracts and is paraben free! I'm always trying to "green my routine", so this makes me happy. This protectant uses pro-vitamins, proteins and amino acids to pump your hair full of the vitamins meant to detangle, fortify and protect from styling. This product delivers UV and color protection  with White Tea Leaf Extract and Wheat Crosspolymer acts as a safety net around each hair to preserve color, increase flexibility and reduce breakage. Plus, the Shea Butter seals the hair shaft while adding a moisturizing layer. This Leave-In Protectant from Shielo can be used as a protectant, while your hair is damp and prior to styling, or as a refresher throughout the day.

The first thing I noticed about this spray is the phenomenal smell. I have used several natural and organic products, and many times the smell is non-existent, or some form of orange or lavender. None of this is bad, I just prefer a smell, and when it is the same thing over and over, it gets redundant. This Leave-In Protectant from Shielo smells like coconut and tropical paradise. It's so refreshing to use in the cooler months when sunshine and warm weather feel like a distant memory. It comes in a spray top bottle which delivers a fine mist. After washing and towel drying my hair I mist this liberally all over my hair. I comb it through and then style as normal. This leaves my hair entirely manageable, and SOOOOOO soft. I could not get over how soft my hair was after using this. I don't always wash my hair everyday either, and it kept it soft for days!

I LOVE this hair protectant, and highly recommend it with 10 stars:

If you are looking to protect your hair from the daily abuse from styling, you can purchase your own bottle of Leave in Hair Protectant HERE. For $18.99 you get 4 fluid ounces of quality spray, which will last a great amount of time. You can also check out their website HERE to see what other innovative products they have to offer. I would love to try their Protect Hair Color Kit - I use semi-permanent color when I go to the salon, so I will do anything to make the color last longer. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ice Cubes Squared

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.

With warmer weather becoming more of the normal here (hopefully), I am getting excited for more time outdoors. Luckily, both of my kids are very outdoorsy and would choose just about anything outdoors versus being stuck inside. This becomes confusing to a newly turned 3 year old who doesn't understand the bipolar weather here in NY. One day can be sunny and 70, while the next can be snowing. I'm not joking.... I think that just happened last week. Anyway..... I love taking the kids outside, and my only complaint is that our drinks tend to warm way quicker, because, you know, you don't go anywhere without drinks when you have kids. It becomes an emergency situation. I recently tested out the super cool Kuuk Silicone Ice Cube Trays, and they will be our go-to from now on.

I'm slightly OCD. I'm not entirely sure if that describes what I am, but I like certain things to look a certain way, and there is something very symmetrical and simple about perfectly square ice cubes. It's like something that came out of a magazine picture, or a movie, and that's why they put them there, right? So we can aspire to get those thing. Well folks, I have found square ice cubes, and get this..... they are AFFORDABLE! Now when I sit outside next to the (kiddie) pool with my cat eye sunglasses, perfectly manicured hands and feet and I can drink lemonade with perfectly square ice cubes looking all extra suburban-chic. I hope that looks as good to you as it does to me. My pipe dreams can now come true thanks to Kuuk Silicone Ice Cube Trays.

This Kuuk Silicone Ice Cube Tray Set comes with two trays, one green and one blue. Each tray makes 15 one inch square cubes, so thirty cubes all together. I love that these are silicone because it makes getting out one or two ice cubes a breeze. You no longer need to worry about all of the ice cubes popping out at one time or cracking the tray, as the material of these is flexible and soft. On top of that, the Kuuk Silicone Ice Cube Trays take up much less room in my freezer than traditional ice cube trays. Additionally, they are safe to use in the dishwasher so you can be sure that you are using perfectly clean trays each time you fill them up. I also thought these are the perfect size to make mini frozen yogurt bites or juice pops, even homemade baby food. As the weather gets warmer my creativity gets the best of me. You can make creamer cubes to add to iced coffee or tea. Although it may sound weird, I could see these used for organizational purposes too. For example, to hold earrings, or to hold smaller office supplies in a desk.

I highly recommend the Kuuk Silicone Ice Cube Trays with 10 stars:

If you want to look suburban-chic this Summer with me, you can find these ice cube trays on Amazon for a mere $12.50, HERE.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Plump, Plump. Plump It Up!

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.

Just the other day, I was talking about Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and today I am going to talk a little bit about another serum that I have been using in conjunction with my Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum. I swear, the older I get, the more steps I add to my daily skincare regimen. Hopefully these concoctions work together to keep me looking youthful, and aging gracefully. I'm so fortunate that I get to try so many serums out because if I was a consumer, I would not even now where to begin! So let me tell you a little bit about Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum.....

Niacinamide Vitamin B3 Serums are known for their ability to plump the skin via increasing collagen production. Vitamin B3 is known for it's ability to increase capillary dilation, which increases blood flow. This allows for skin cell repairs, which can give you a youthful glow. The Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum uses a 5% concentration of Vitamin B3 which also contributes to it's ability to shrink pores, fade dark spots and improve overall skin texture. I was most excited to get my hands on it because I also heard that it is good for acne-prone skin. I am always careful to research serums before I agree to review them because some are not intended for use if you have acne-prone skin. I am not willing to make my skin worse, so I always check first!

This serum is a light milky color, and absorbs quickly without ever being greasy. This actually leaves your skin looking matte, which I personally like, even though I add moisturizer after. The scent of this was a little strange to me, and I know this is going to sound odd, but it smells a little like chicken stock. I know that seems weird, but that was my experience. It is just a faint scent and I could only smell it when I rubbed it in. That being said, I definitely noticed a decrease in my pore size from using this serum, mostly on my nose, where they tend to be the most noticeable. I am very happy with that because that tends to be where I get the most blackheads, and smaller pores = fewer blackheads. As far as the reduction in wrinkles, I really don't have many wrinkles to reduce. I do have some fine lines on my forehead and between my brows I did not notice any reduction n those areas, but again, they are barely noticeable as is. Additionally, I only use this serum once per day. I found that it was a little drying on my skin, which is why I specifically paired it with a Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and moisturized too. My favorite thing about the Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum is the fact that I have not had a single cystic acne breakout since I began using it. If you've ever had cystic acne you will know why I am so thankful - it is extremely painful. This serum is also made cruelty-free and in the USA.

I've enjoyed using this serum, and give it 8 stars:

The Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum can be purchased on Amazon HERE for a very reasonable price of $19.75 for a 1 ounce sized bottle. I use one pump per day, so it lasts a LONG time! As always, this price is not guaranteed and could change at any time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hyaluronic Acid Serum is My Jam

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.

For some reason my skin has been changing. I used to have combination skin. My skin would be really, really oily in my T-zone and normal or dry in other areas of my face. Now I feel like I have chronically dry skin. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that my foundation and powder are full and medium coverage, respectively, and they both have a matte finish, which I feel sucks the oil right out of your pores before you even have a chance to produce it. It's very important, however, to keep your face hydrated, especially if you are trying to avoid premature aging, as proper moisturization keeps your face plump and less likely to wrinkle, or appear wrinkled. I have found that the one serum I use most frequently when I am suffering through repeated dry skin episodes is Hyaluronic Acid. I recently tried Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and I believe it has done a phenomenal job at keeping my stubborn skin hydrated.

I have tried a couple of different Hyaluronic Acid Serums, and each one is truly different than the next. I love that each brand makes theirs unique, and I honestly haven't come across one that I don't like. The Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum comes in a 2.0 ounce slim, airless pump-top bottle. It is clear in color, has a very clean, fresh scent and is made in the USA. This particular formula also contains retinol and Vitamins A, C, D and E. These ingredients work together to nourish the skin, promote elasticity, and provide healing. This is especially important to me because I have acne scarring and areas of darker pigmentation due to old marks. This serum is very light on the skin, so even if you use other products, this will not add "weight" to your face or clog your pores. This product is to be used after you have washed and toned your face, and before you moisturize.

While the Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum is touted to provide many benefits, I have found that in my short time of using it, that providing hydration is what it does best. Hyaluronic Acid in the second ingredient on the bottle, so it is in higher concentration than the other ingredients that provide other benefits such as wrinkle reduction, and pigmentation lighting. This is not to say that with continued use, I would not see these results. I, however, have only noticed an increase in my skin's ability to stay hydrated and not flaky, and I am 100% content with only that. I must also add that I use this once per day versus the suggested twice per day. Frequently, I stack this serum with other serums that dry me out so that I can counter their drying effects right from the get-go. Additionally, the Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum has never irritated or broken out my skin, which is a testament to it's gentleness.

I am a fan of Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum and recommend it with 8 stars:

If you are on the market for a Hyaluronic Acid Serum, you can find this one for $35.25 on Amazon HERE. This price may change at any time, so I am not responsible for those fluctuations.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Perfect Soap That's Perfectly Natural

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 love when I get to work with brands on several of their products. My bathroom cabinets are filled with items that I have been given to try for review purposes, and most of them I am overly pleased with. I remember when I started doing this and I was terrified and felt like a guinea pig. Now I try to steer clear of products that are too similar and am slowly but surely working my way through my stash. One brand that I have dabbled extensively with is Foxbrim. I am such a huge fan of their products because they are 100% natural, and normally 98% organic. I feel good about using their products because they are formulated with quality ingredients and they are cruelty free. Most recently I tried the Foxbrim Perfectly Natural Soap.

Initially, I thought this was a hand soap, but come to find out it is a facial cleanser. That being said, I bet it could totally be used as a hand soap as well as a body wash. In fact, for people who wash their hands often, or who have extremely sensitive skin, I bet this soap would be a much better alternative than many contemporary soaps with harsh ingredients and added fragrances. One of the first thing you will notice about natural soaps is that it has a very muted and almost nonexistent scent. I am a huge fan of scents, although if I had to choose between synthetic fragrances or no fragrance, I would choose no scent 100% of the time. That being said, I have come across several natural and organic brands that have concocted beautiful scents with all natural ingredients. Nonetheless, if you want gentle, fragrance free is the way to be!

The Foxbrim Perfectly Natural Soap comes in a sturdy 8 oz sized bottle with a pump top. I find pump-tops to be so convenient on anything, and definitely prefer them. I mean seriously, isn't everything easier with a pump top? Plus, this soap is made with 8 ingredients that are all recognizable. My youngest has eczema so I encourage her to wash her hands with this, and her body too! Anything gentle is good n my book! I have used this to wash my face, and while it isn't my absolute favorite face wash ever, I was surprised at a few things. First, I love that it gets my face clean. I wear makeup almost everyday and it is important for me that I am able to use a face wash that gets it all off the first try. I have no desire to wash with 7 different washes in order to make sure my eye make-up and foundation have found their way down the drain with the water. Second, this does not strip my skin. I have been struggling all Winter to perfect my skincare routine to keep my skin properly hydrated, so I love that this does not strip my skin of it's natural moisture, while providing a deep clean.

I definitely recommend this Foxbrim Perfectly Natural Soap if you are seeking something affordable and natural. I give it a solid 8 stars:

You can purchase this directly from the Foxbrim website HERE, where it costs $15.99. Very reasonable for the size and the fact that it is all natural and organic. Be sure to check out their website to discover some of their other amazing products. I have tried many and can attest to the quality and effectiveness of them!

{Book Review} Dead Scary: The Ghost Who Refused to Leave by Sally Gould

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 love to read. If I could spend a day responsibility-free, many, many hours of that day would be spent with my nose in a book. That being said, my almost 10 year old son despises it. I mean, where did I go wrong? And believe me when I say, we have tried everything. Part of his homework is to read each night for 30 minutes, so oftentimes I do this with him to make sure he actually does it help him if he struggles. I think it gives him some one-on-one time, and hopefully makes reading a little more enjoyable. I was recently given the opportunity to review a book geared toward kids ages 9-12: Dead Scary: The Ghost Who Refused to Leave by Sally Gould, so I figured we would give this a whirl.

My son has a Kindle, so I downloaded this as an e-book. It is, however, available in paperback form too. When we started this, I was so glad that it was immediately engaging. He really needs something to rope him in or he gets discouraged and worse, uninterested. The story is about a boy named Adam, whose family inherits any child's dream home. With a tennis court, a game room and swimming pool, what more could you ask for? Adam experiences an encounter with an "earthbound spirit" or a ghost who is claiming his ownership of the home that they live in, and just so happens to be the same age as Adam. Adam, just like his Grandpa George, is able to communicate with ghosts. That being said, the rest of his family isn't too keen on it, so they tend to keep it between themselves. This ghost, Edward Lawrence, lays down the rules of the house, which revolve heavily around not making any noise. The novels tells of a battle of epic proportions between the living and the ghosts.

Dead Scary: The Ghost Who Refused to Leave by Sally Gould has 147 pages, so it was a perfect sized book for my son. We were able to read it in about a week. My son agrees that it was age-appropriate and an interesting read for him. I think that the paranormal aspect of it is intriguing to older elementary/middle school kids. I remember being totally enamored by ghosts and "real ghost stories" when I was his age. Even to this day I love to hear about real life encounters with the paranormal. I appreciate that this book allowed my son to read without counting the minutes, or huffing and puffing.

If you are interested in this genre, you can purchase this book through Amazon HERE. It is currently $2.99. Prices on Amazon fluctuate constantly, so there is no telling if or when this price may change.

Natural Solution for Teething Babies

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.

There has been a huge insurgence lately for the parents out there who are trying to expose their children to fewer chemicals and toxins. I mean, I think that ALL parents want to reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins their children come into contact with, unfortunately, they are everywhere and in everything. It's sad that we need to read labels so closely and learn to decipher the different ingredients to ensure that we are not pumping ourselves and our children full of harmful things. The being said, some have turned back to practices and products that have been used for eons. One of these things are Amber Necklaces. These are traditionally used for teething babies. I recently tried a KG Baby Amber Teething Necklace, and it has become such a staple.

My daughter will be turning 3 in nine days. She isn't really at the teething stage anymore, but I wish I would've known about Amber Teething Necklaces when she was. Instead of using the traditional pain reliever all you have to do is put an adorable necklace around their neck, and the natural Succinic Acid boosts the child's immune system while also relieving gum swelling. There are people on either side of this that will swear by them or say they don't work at all. I used one before when my daughter was getting her molars in and I thought that it certainly did help with moodiness and pain, but then again, she wouldn't have been able to verbalize this to me, so there is no way to be entirely sure. Nonetheless, I LOVE the way Amber Teething Necklaces look. I was devastated when we lost the last one that we had, and through the roof when I was given the opportunity to try the KG Baby Amber Teething Necklace.

The package that I received came with a 12-inch Amber Teething Necklace, a cute little pouch to hold it in, and a bonus teething pendant necklace too (for Mom-and I would totally wear this on it's own). The KG Baby necklaces are unique in that they are the only brand that is verified as authentic by the Gemological Institute of America. This ensures that you are getting real Amber and not some knock-off. These are also designed with safety in mind. The clasp screws in securely preventing the child from pulling it off or breaking it. Additionally, these necklaces are meant to be worn snuggly to eliminate the possibility of getting caught on something and choking the child - They come in 2 sizes: 12 inches, and 14 inches. Furthermore, there are two knots that surround each Amber bead. Therefore, if the necklace does snap, you aren't losing every bead on the necklace and therefore causing many potential choking hazards.

If you are interested in trying a natural and organic solution to your child's teething issues, or if you are like me and just like how cute and functional they are, you can purchase them through the KG website HERE (for $19.99), or from Amazon HERE (for $14.99).  As usual, these prices are subject to change at any time, and I have no control over that.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mask Hoarders Anonymous Featuring Bellaboo

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've just come to accept my skincare hoarding tendencies. I have a desire to try everything, regardless of how similar it is to something I already own. For example, I have several different Dead Sea Mud Masks. I have found that even between brands there are differences between products. I think that just encourages my hoarding though. I convince myself that because this one has (fill-in-the-blank) ingredient, I need it! I have a routine when it comes to my masks, and I have acquired enough to use one per day for about two weeks straight without repeating. You could say I am a mask aficionado. So let me introduce to you the newest to make the cut into my mask routine: Bellaboo Clear Skin Smoothie Face Mask.

The Bellaboo line was created by a woman named Snezna with her daughter, Bella, in mind. What makes this line so one-of-a-kind is that it is geared toward tweens and young adults. Look at the adorable packaging! I can see it making it's place in the bedrooms and bathrooms of many all-girls slumber parties across the world. On top of that, the products are all formulated with 99.5% natural ingredients while being free of parabens, petrochemicals and sulphates. While it was formulated in Australia, this product is produced in the good old U.S. of A. This mask has a smooth formula with a flip cap which makes dispensing clean and easy. To use the mask, you slather it on (avoiding the eye area), wait for it to dry (you will feel it tighten), and wash it away to reveal fresh skin.

What really drew me to the Bellaboo Clear Skin Smoothie Face Mask was the fact that my skin often behaves like that of a teenager. I was also excited by the fact that Kaolin and Bentonite were at the top of the ingredient list. Kaolin and Bentonite are clays that are known for their ability to reduce oiliness, treat acne and clear out large or clogged pores. The mask smells botanical and mint-esque, not like toothpaste, but in a spa-like, relaxing way. I love using this mask and find that it helps with my constant battle with acne. I use it about once per week, typically while I am giving the little one a bath so I have the 10-15 minutes without her sticking her fingers in it. I appreciate that this does not strip my skin of it's moisture, but works to pull out the toxins, thus detoxifying and clearing up the problematic areas I have. It's gentle enough to use more often, but as I said, with my abundance of masks I tend to rotate through them, using the ones I prefer a little more often. Even more important, is the fact that this is very affordable. It comes in a 2.5 fluid ounce tube, and this retails for $9.99.

I truly enjoy the Bellaboo Clear Skin Smoothie Face Mask and recommend it highly with 10 stars:

If you or someone you know struggles with acne, you can grab this mask on Amazon HERE. You can see the entire collection of Bellaboo products on the Affinity Website HERE, and you'll want to because get this.... they have a Sweet Sin Chocolate Face Mask! As well as an entire skincare line, for affordable prices.