Friday, August 16, 2013

Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel Insoles

For the last two months I have had the chance to try out some products through the Influenster program.  Seriously, if you like free stuff (which everything I review was given to me for FREE) and you like the latest products, you have to sign up.  Check out their website for more information!
 
Last up from my Sun Kissed Voxbox is the Dr. Scholl's® For Her High Heel Insoles.  I've seen this product in the store but I'm not much of high heel girl so I never considered buying them.
 
In fact, here is the highest pair of shoes that I own.  I think they are about an inch high give or take.
 
 
 
The first thing I did was put the liners in the shoe.  There is a slight tackiness to the underside of the insole to help them stick to your shoes without slipping.
 
I put my insoles in and went to work.  Three hours later I was already in pain.  Now my shoes were already a bit tight but with the insoles it certainly made for a tight squeeze.  I don't know.  The package does say it is for shoes 2" and higher.  Maybe because my shoes weren't high enough they just didn't work out quite well.  I have no clue.  Maybe I didn't put them in quite the right spot. 
 
I'm not going to write off the product completely.  You love your high heel shoes and wear them no matter what?  This might just be for you.  Definitely give it a try.  Have you used them before?  What did you think?  Do I need to try something different?
 
  

Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics Review

Goody Ouchless Ribbon ElasticsI recently received a voxbox from Influenster with some free products to try out.  Haven't heard of Influenster?  Check out their website.  It is a great way to stay on top the latest products and sometimes try them out before they even hit the market. 

This time I received the Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics.  They look adorable in the package.  I love the colors (and they do come in a huge variety of colors).    

You can use just one for a quick up do or twist two together for a cute color combo.

Check out the Goody Website for more information about this product and the many other products that they carry.





Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics:

  • Soft, stretchy material that looks beautiful on the wrist or in the hair!
  • From America’s #1 elastics brand, Goody® Ouchless®
  • Unique knot style hair ties are perfect for personalizing or dressing up your look.

  • Here are just a few of my pics from using the ribbon elastics...

     

    So, what do I really think about it?
    PROS:
    1.  The colors are cute.
    2.  I love the fact that it is an actual accessory.  Most hair ties blend in and this really stand outs (if you are looking for that kind of thing) and makes a statement.
    3.  For those of you that find yourself wearing your elastic bands around your wrist...this actually looks cute and it doesn't cut your circulation off as much :)
    4.  Affordable.
    5.  Something different.  Even when my hair is in a nasty old pony tail it just looks a bit more polished.

    CONS:
    1.  I have THICK hair and I wish they were just a hair (get it, hair!) bigger so that I could wrap it around my hair a few more times to really make sure things are in place.
    2.  The knot kind of has a mind of its own.  Sometimes it looks cute just hanging out the side but often times I felt weird with the knot sticking straight out and the small ends jutting from my head.

    I got this for free but would I actually spend my own money on it?
    I would.  The colors are cute and it easily dresses up that boring pony tail.

    Saturday, August 10, 2013

    Olay Fresh Effects Influenster Review

    Earlier this summer I received the Sunkissed Voxbox from Influenster.  It was filled with products to test and out try for free.  In my box, I received the Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!}.

    Now I am a bit behind on the times.  I never knew what BB stood for until getting this product.  I had heard the words tossed around in commercials but I could never have told you that BB stood for Beauty Balm (even still I checked the internet just to make sure!).  I wasn't going to spend money on something I had no knowledge about so I just kept watching the commercials and letting life pass me by.  Then Influenster and Olay dropped a wonderful bottle of Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} and I finally knew what the fuss was about.

    Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} offers six skincare benefits in one step.  Are you ready for them?  Here they are...with commentary.











    1.  Refreshes skin instantly.  I have always heard the term dewy face, a fresh face.  I felt that instantly (literally) when I put the product on.  Now on your upper lip...not the best feeling in the world...but on your cheeks and chin it really did feel refreshing!
    2.  Brightens for a radiant glow.  After posting a picture on FB I actually had people comment about the glow on my face.  SCORE!

    3.  Evens tone with a splash of sheer color.  I tried the lighter shade and while I have pasty white skin I think my freckles didn't like the light sheer color.  Maybe a hair darker would have evened a few more places out with my complexion but I'm really not sure. 

    4.  Hydrates for 24 hours.  For 24 hours?  Yes!

    5.  Smoothes for softer feeling skin.  Yes!

    6.  Protects against UV damage with SPF 15.  Yep!  I love that I don't have to add one more step to my regime.  It really helps me get ready for the day and move on! 

    I don't always have time to do the whole make up routine and the Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} gives me the coverage I need without taking up any time.  Plus, my hands don't get nasty from the cream, no sticky oily mess.  One less thing to have to worry about.

    Want to know more about Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} or where buy it?  Check out their website at www.olayfresheffects.com and you can even purchase it on http://www.amazon.com.

    SinfulShine with Gel Tech Influenster Review

    Sinful ShineNail ColorPicanteI received a great new product from Influenster to try out for free.  It is the new SinfulShine™ with Gel Tech™. Now of course, Influenster decided to give me one of my least, LEAST favorite shades of nail color in the entire world...HOT PINK.  And we are talking hot pink that would even make the 80's blush because it is so hot.

    It is called "VIP."  I originally thought I got the color because of the name (since Influenster's are VIPs!) but no, I think it was the luck (bad luck) of the draw.  Life goes on though and I can't completely hate on the color because the polish itself is great!

    Modeled by my mom! 
    It looks much better on her :)

    So the pros...
    1. Much, MUCH cheaper than going to a salon for a gel manicure.  You get a great look at an amazing cost.  At only $2.99 a bottle you can buy a handful of colors for the cost of just one trip to the salon.
    2. It doesn't take much time at all to go from putting on your polish to heading out the door.  Yes, you do have to wait a bit before they dry, but again the time you save doing it at home versus going out is amazing.
    3. It is so easy to take off (again, compared to the gel nails).  Switch out colors in no time.
    4. The color selection is amazing.
    5. Did I mention the price?  Again, only $2.99 a bottle and you get a sleek and shiny look.

    Cons...
    I have to say it, even though it isn't the polishes fault, I hated the color I was given to try out.  That's my only complaint though :)

    SinfulShine™ can be found at Walgreens.  They have an amazing assortment of colors, don't just judge it on VIP.  I've already purchased my next color...
    Sinful ShineNail ColorPicante
    Nouveau Purple

    Want to know more about this product?  Check out the Sinful Shine Facebook Page.

                  

    Sunday, June 30, 2013

    Finally!

    Okay folks, if you have read my past interview experiences (check them out here and here) you would know that I have had a few go with finding a job.  I have loved, LOVED staying home with my boys, but I also would like the opportunity to:

    1.  Make sure that I went to college for a reason and use my degree for a full-time job.  (I did enjoy teaching in Kansas but the part I paid thousands of dollars to my college...and am STILL paying...was really only 1/3 of my job there.)

    2.  Pay off my college loans BEFORE my children are in college.

    3.  Start saving for the future, because goodness knows there won't be any Social Security to help me out when I am old enough.

    4.  See if I really want to use my degree or if I should go back to school, get new loans, and then borrow from my children's college fund :)

    Well, I finally get the chance to do that! 

    This past week I interviewed at two school districts and was offered two jobs!  The choice was made clear after comparing SEVERAL factors (class size, student body size, technology available, resources, etc.) and I will begin teaching full-time in a school district about 10-15 minutes away.  Yay for an easy commute!

    I'm still a bit in shock.  It has been a long time coming.  I've been crying buckets the last few days because I'm worried about my littlest boy (only 9 months old) but I know once I have a safe place for him I will get to the excited part.

    I finally get to move all of my teaching boxes out of the attic.  I had been debating whether or not to keep my stash or give it away...and I get to use it!  Whew, glad I kept it around for the last three years.

    The thing I am most excited about....school shopping!  I can't wait to buy some new crayons. 

    Anyway, hopefully I won't have any more terrible interviews to write about! 

    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    I just need to whine it out

    I was originally writing this as my Facebook status and then as it grew and grew I thought I might need a little more space for my thoughts to whine.

    I know that I am EXTREMELY blessed with what I have in my life.  With the tornadoes in Oklahoma I can't even imagine having to pick through the pieces and start completely over.  I have a roof over my head, air condition during the hottest part of the day, and the luxury of wireless internet.  God has given me two healthy children, the talent to perform, and a husband that provides for my family.

    I should be thankful for what I have, and I AM, but then this little thought pops in my head.  "Sometimes I wish we had more money.  I wish that I had a full-time job and that we had two incomes."  GASP!  Okay, I know it isn't the worst thing in the world, but I do wish it...a lot.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the time that I get to spend with my boys.  Yes, I know they grow up fast and I'll only have this moment for a brief time.  (I only say that because that is 95% of the responses I get deal with those two remarks.)  I love seeing how much they grow and change on a daily basis.  But then the "wants" make there way in to the picture along with the "gimmes" and "what ifs" and topped off with a sprinkling of "needs."



    "Oh, I want matching picture frames for all of our family photos.  It will be an investment."  ($30)

    "Okay, we are not college students anymore.  I think it is time to get a headboard for the bed.  What if we went ahead and just got an entire bedroom suite so it would match."  ($2,000+)

    "We need to do something about these drawers.  They aren't functional so maybe we should have new doors put up instead."  ($400)

    "Ummm...maybe we should just make them in to open shelves and put pretty baskets."  (way less than $400)

    "Oh, a walkway would be nice too for the front yard.  And bunting, and an umbrella, and tear up the concrete to make a patio, and....."  (+++)

    "Darn it our lawn mower just died and we NEED to replace it."  ($350)

    "What if we had all of our student loans paid off AND we were able to create college funds for the kiddos."  ($40,000, and then ???)

    "We want to have a date night, so we need to get dinner for the kids, and ourselves, and then find  baby sitter."  (easily $50 and then the possibility of doing this several times for the summer...)

    ~~~~~~Please note that we didn't actually do these things on the list.  Well, we did have to buy a new lawn mower, but everything else is just wishful thinking.



    Ugh, it sounds so pathetic and selfish when it is all written out, but I can't help but think how different life would be with just one additional paycheck each month.  A new (to us) car could be purchased to accommodate our family, we could make repairs on our home, not feeling guilty about going out for dinner and ruining the grocery budget.  It is so hard NOT to feel bad about those little things.  It is hard to want and then not want to "keep up with the Jones's."

    Would life really be better if we had more money?  No, it wouldn't...I know that.  With the struggles that I have had trying to find a job (in my area of "expertise") in my community, it just hurts.  I know that God wants our family's income to be exactly what it is at the moment, but I wish he would tell my heart and my brain that.  I have a thick skull. 

    I also just need to be able to rein it in a bit.  "No, I don't need matching picture frames.  Yes, we do need that new lawn mower but we can sell the other one for parts (hopefully).  We can just put up some shelves and I can do without the baskets.  And, movie nights will just have to be at home with friends and the kids.  Redbox + making dinner at home + the kids playing in the bedroom will have to do.

    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara

    I LOVE freebies!  I love getting things in the mail!  So, when I heard about Influenster (over two years ago now) I knew it was a match made in heaven.  What is Influenster?  Well, it is easier for them to explain. 


    Taken right from their website...

    Influenster [in-floo-uhn-ster]

    noun
    An exclusive online community where tastemakers and trendsetters (such as yourself) come to share the latest and greatest news, places, products, and reviews with each other. 2. The hotspot you just bookmarked on your web browser that turns your social influence into sweet rewards.

    Basically, Influenster is a place for culture junkies to come together and share their unique opinions of products and experiences. Active members of Influenster get exclusive access to deals, promotions, and swag from brands that thrive off the input (the good, the bad, and the ugly -- they just want to know what's up).


    Just last week I was given a new product to try.

    Rimmel London's Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara

    So I gave it a shot.  I don't wear much make up.  Usually I just put a swipe of mascara on and I am out the door.  This was perfect for me to try!  It did take a while to get used to the "lash-catching brush" but I got the hang of it eventually. 

    This mascara has a "grow-lash complex of Procapil, keratin and antioxidants.  After 30 days, lashes appear longer, stronger and more numerous."

    It hasn't been 30 days, but I'm not quite sure about the "appear" part.  Does it mean that they only look longer and stronger or will they actually BE longer and stronger.  We'll have to see about that.

    Does it pass the test?  I think so.  I am TERRIBLE about washing my mascara off each night and usually when I wake up I have raccoon eyes, dark mascara flecks all around.  I can fall asleep and wake up and look just as good as when I went to bed.  On the flip side of that though, when I do actually take the time to wash, it took quite a bit of scrubbing to get the mascara off.  I don't own eye makeup remover, but I think I may have to invest in some if I continue to wear Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara. 

    I really do like it though!

     
     
     








    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

    What is it about ME and JOB INTERVIEWS?

    What is it about ME and JOB INTERVIEWS?  I think I am a fairly good catch but the whole job search just doesn't seem to be working out for me.  Just in case you need a refresher of some of my past experiences, check out this post.

    So I had an interview this morning for a summer job.  It didn't bother me that it was for the summer only (a plus actually), or that it was only minimum wage, or that I was COMPLETELY over qualified.  None of that bothered me at all.   

    I had applied for a place that was looking for "Specialty Camp Counselors."  They offered themed camps for children in the community and I thought, "wow, that sounds like fun!"  They had cooking camp, spy camp, survivor camp, etc.  Pinterest to the rescue!  I made some boards and started pining some great ideas just in case I was called in for an interview.  I wanted to be prepared.  So, I was excited to get a call for an interview earlier this week.

    I show up and sit down in the office and the interviewer says to me, "I know you applied for 'JOB A' but I am hiring for 'JOB B/C.  It's actually just ______ but in the summer we change the name to make the kids feel better about it." 

    Hmmm, well I applied for JOB A.  That was what I was interested in but I'm flexible, I'll hear it out. 

    "You would work anywhere from 10 hours a week to 40+ hours a week.  I already have you on the schedule and you would start on Monday.  Basically you just keep the kids busy without the aid of the TV, we don't do TV, but we do have an X-box...that doesn't really count." 

    Wait, wait, wait a second....I didn't even say yes and I'm already on the schedule?  The job I applied for was only a couple of hours a day for just a few weeks spread throughout the summer.  Slow down lady! 

    "So all you need to do is fill out the background check permission form and come to our training meeting on Friday." 

    No cooking camp?  No spy camp?  Just basically making sure the kids don't kill each other during the day?  Ummmm, yes, I would like to make a little extra money but I'm on summer vacation...aka I-don't-get-to-spend-much-time-with-my-boys-and-husband-as-it-is-I'm-not-going-to-take-a-job-that-takes-me-away-from-them-during-their-waking-hours-if-it-is-going-to-be-the-whole-summer.

    I told her I needed to check with my husband's schedule first.  I explained that he taught music at the local college and I couldn't make a commitment without looking at his schedule.  She was SO excited when I told her he taught music. 

    "Oh!  A music person!  Do you think he would want to volunteer?  I'm just kidding.  No, really, do you think he would like to show off some of his music skills?"

    HOLD IT!  That's where I got you lady.  You obviously did not take a look at my application or you would have realized that I was A MUSIC TEACHER!  Okay, it has been a while but it is still the first job listed under "job history."  I know you are in desperate need to fill this position but at least have the courtesy to look at my application and know something about me before trying to fill your position.

    I told her I had to think about it and get back to her.  Not really looking forward to that conversation, but I'm hoping I get a voice mail.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    New Year's Goals..so far

    So I may have been a bit over zealous (zealous, is that the word I'm working for?  Eh...I'm keeping it) with my goals.  You can check out the post here.   I made 31 Goals for 2013 since I was turning 31.  Well, it is currently the beginning of April and this is what I have accomplished so far!

    ....

    ....

    cricket, cricket

    cricket, cricket

    ...

    ...

    ...

    Um, yeah, that would be a big ol' goose egg.  I'm really close on some of them, but it is a bit depressing to see that I can't mark off anything on my list. 

    So I am looking through my list and I have decided to try and accomplish one thing this month.  One thing.  Okay, I can do that.  Let's see...(reading my list to see what the easiest thing will be to accomplish)...(rereading because nothing seems doable at this moment).  Hmmm....

    Alright, this month I am going to...(reread the list just one more time to see which one I am closest to finishing and then switch my mind to make it a tad bit more difficult)...finish Ezra's baby book.  Really, I should finish that before he graduates from high school :)  Fingers crossed that I stay motivated!




     

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Kiss Nail Dress

    So I thought I was finished with my Influenster Holiday VoxBox reviews and a little bird reminded me that I never wrote about my Kiss Nail Dress!  That was the first product I tried in my wonderful box of goodies and I almost forgot about it.  Eek!

    I want pretty nails.  I do!  I try to grow them out and just when I am happy with them one decides to break and then I have to clip all of them to match.  I see my mom painting her nails with these gorgeous designs and I think, "wow, if I had the time to do that between two kiddos and life...I would!"  Then Kiss Nail Dress plops in to my lap.

    I received the Kiss Nail Dress "KDS15."  I looked everywhere and could NOT find a name for it, just a letter/number combo.  Hmmm...that doesn't make it sound very interesting.  Even when I went searching online I couldn't find a name for my style.  Hopefully they will work on that (if they haven't done so already). 

    The directions were simple enough and I started applying my nails.  My biggest frustration with this product, and really with any nail product that I have recently tried, is that the nails aren't numbered by size.  It can be really hard to tell what size the nails are after you start peeling some of them off.  Please fix that!!!

    My nails had little jewels on them.  They looked adorable on the plastic sleeve but when I started to file them down (after putting them on my nails) I had a hard time filing over the jewels.  I was left with some pretty jagged edges and they kept getting caught in my hair and flipping up at the ends of my nails.

    Thank you KDS15

    The package says the nails can last up to 10 days.  Well, I only got three days, and that was stretch it, out of them.  I did get several compliments though.  Is this a great idea for someone to dress up their nails for a night out on the town?  Yes!  Is this for a mom who is constantly washing dishes and doing laundry and running her hands through her hair....maybe not. 

    I would try this again, maybe a bit tamer design.  But I do love the idea.  I originally put my nails on for a date and it was great because I didn't have to wait for them to dry.  Just a few minutes to prep my nails and stick them on and I was ready to go!

    Want to know more about Kiss Nail Dress?  Check out their website or go to Influenster for more info.

    Kiss Nail Dress retails for $6.99 and can be found at Kmart, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, Target, and many more places.

    Just a note!  I received this product complimentary from Influenster

    Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque

    Well folks, it is my last product review for the Holiday VoxBox. This last one is about the Montagne Jeunesse Mud Mask.  You can learn more about this product and the many other products that Montagne Jeunesse has by checking out their website here or scrolling to the bottom of this post.
    An assortment of products!

    This is the second product from Montagne Jeunesse that I have tried in the last year or so.  You can check out my previous post here.  I received the mud mask and I was excited to try it.  To begin with, I loved the smell of it.  I'm weird like that but if I am supposed to relax while using the mask it better smell good :) 
     
    After just one application I am sold!  I have found a new favorite mask!  Easy to use and easy to take off (that was a complaint I had about a facial peel off I had tried before).  Montagne Jeunesse has so many products to try and I can't wait to check out a few more of their masks.  I just saw the other day that my local Wal-Mart stocks these products and they are each under $2.00!  Plus, with the small package I know exactly how much to put on my face.  No way will I put too much or too little on again.  Thanks Influenster and Montagne Jeunesse!
     
    I love how the Instagram filters can
    make my mask look EXTRA creepy!
     
    Fun, pampering beauty treats

    Whether you enjoy looking after your skin, being pampered, or indulging in some me-time, be it alone or with friends, you will absolutely enjoy one of these ‘Life Little Pleasures’… With a huge array to choose from, our face masques are packed with the most delicious natural ingredients and are bursting with luscious fragrances. Suitable for all different skin types, there is one to suit every mood and everybody!

    Montagne Jeunesse beauty treats are free of parabens, vegetarian approved and never tested on animals. So treat yourself today to a masque that will hydrate, nourish and leave your skin cleansed, smooth and glowing. Available at ULTA Beauty, Walgreen’s, Claire’s, Walmart, Kroger, CVS Pharmacies and other retailers across the US, these masques are available in a variety of succulent flavours, including:

    *Cucumber Peel Off
    *Passion Peel Off
    *Dead Sea Mud
    *Fruit Smoothie
    *Strawberry Souffle
    *Chocolate Mud
    *And many more!

    Want fo find out more about this product?  Check out their Influesnter page here.

    *PS. I received this item complimentary via Influenster and their VoxBox program.

    Goody QuikStyle

    I was given the Goody QuikStyle Paddle Brush to try out.  According to the packaging and their website, the Quik Style Brush, with it's absorbent microfiber bristles, removes up to 30% of water as you style.
    Goody® QuikStyle™ Paddle Brush
    Goody QuikStyle Paddle Brush
    Retails for $12.99




    I was excited to try out this product.  I have seen it in the stores and wondered if it would actually work.  According to the package, it is designed for "detangling wet hair, quick removal of excess water and styling with or without a hair dryer."  The microfiber bristles are antimicrobial which will inhibit the growth of mold or mildew. 

    I tried using this brush with and without my hair dryer.  I didn't do a scientific study to see if my hair actually took 30% less time to dry.  I thought about...but decided against it :)  I did notice a slight difference in the amount of time it takes to dry my hair. 

    Ta-da!
     
    Now the packaging says it is designed for detangling wet hair.  Ummmm....I don't think so.  Honestly, I rarely brush my hair when it is wet.  I have read once that you actually break the hair shafts and can damage your hair by brushing it when it is wet.  I don't know if that is true BUT I went ahead and followed the package directions.  After just a few swipes through the brush I found this lovely surprise waiting for me!
     
    Yeah, that's gross...I know.
    Now the average person loses about 100 strands of hair a day.  Yuck!  I seriously thought about counting each strand in this beautiful wad and then thought I could spend that time doing something a bit more productive.  Anyway, I really, REALLY think it did a sub par job with the whole detangling thing.  Perhaps Goody should just relabel the packaging and just talk about how it will dry your hair faster.

    So here's the question...I received this product for free so would I actually spend my own money on it?  Ummm, nope...and I have a few reasons behind my answer. 
    1.  I have very thick hair and a very tender head - I do NOT want to put my hair through that detangling process again.
    2.  I lost a lot of hair and I think part of it had to do with brushing my hair when it was wet.
    3.   I hardly ever use my hair dryer, which they suggest using to aid in the drying process.
    4.  I have naturally wavy hair and when I do brush my hair after a shower it loses the nice waves and just makes everything very fluffy. 

    Home



    Goody QuikStyle


    The Goody® brand is part of Newell Rubbermaid®’s Home Solutions Business Unit. More than 100 years of innovation has made Goody the most widely-recognized manufacturer of hair accessories and styling tools in the world. Through proprietary brands such as DoubleWear™, QuikStyle™, Simple Styles™, Slide-Proof™ and Ouchless®, Goody has introduced smart innovations like the exclusive Spin Pin and QuikStyle Brush. With products inspired by the latest designer trends and innovative solutions, Goody offers an inspiring range of hair accessories and styling tools. Goody and Newell Rubbermaid are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

    To find out more information, check out the Goody website or the Goody product page

    *PS. I received this item complimentary via Influenster and their VoxBox program.

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

    Sole Society

    Sole Society is a site that was launched in march 2011.  It offers "exclusive, high-quality, on-trend shoes, starting at only $49.95"  When you become a member you have access to not only these awesome shoes but to exclusive fashion and style content, tips, trends, and special promotions!  Check them out!  Want a referral?  It is a win-win, you get access to an amazing site AND I get rewarded for having you join as well. 

    Sole Society ships your shoes quickly and if they don't fit...you can mail them back free of charge and exchange them for something better. Change your mind and just want the money back? you just pay a small restocking fee. 

    I am not quite ready to buy new shoes.  When I am ready though, Sole Society will be the place for me.  I already have my eye on some of these great shoes!

    Love the look...but afraid of heights:
    IslaGabrielleSydney

    A bit more conservative and manageable for work:
    GraceEdieJosephine

    And I can't wait to wear these around:
    MishaMarissa

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    EBOOST

    I was given a sample of EBOOST, in pink lemonade, to try out from my latest box of goodies.  I decided to let my wonderful husband try this product out.  As a breastfeeding momma I didn't want to put anything that I wasn't familiar with through my body. 

    My husband was a bit hesitant when I first asked him to try this "energy drink."  He was very skeptical about it all.  Then this past Sunday afternoon he decided to go on a 15 mile bike ride with a friend.  I suggested he bring the EBOOST with him and he filled up his water bottle, added the deliciously smelling powder, shook everything together, and headed out.  Halfway through his trip he said he started to feel the little boost in energy.  Nothing dramatic but just enough to get him over that hump.  His biggest complaint?  The drink was a bit too sugary.  That is definitely saying something from my husband (he has a massive sweet tooth).  Maybe he didn't add enough water, maybe it settled over the course of his bike ride, maybe it just is too sweet.  One trial packet couldn't help us solve that problem. 

    So here are the questions:
    Did he like it?  Yes, he said he would definitely try it again.
    Would he buy it?  Well, that is another story for $28 for a box of 20, that just won't happen in our household.  He doesn't need that much of energy boost.

    EBOOST is "the Natural Energy Booster with a tangy citrus burst and a lasting natural energy boost! This EBOOST formula is loaded with green tea, vitamins and super nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin D and B-12 in an easy to mix effervescent packet. It's low calorie and sweetened with Stevia too!"  It retails for around $28 for a box of 20. 

    For more information about EBOOST you can check out their website here or you can find them on Influenster.

    EBOOST® Natural Energy


    Just a note that I/my husband received this product complimentary through Influenster.

    "Hiding in Sunshine" a quick review

    I just recently received Hiding in Sunshine by John Stuart and Caitlin Stuart complimentary via the Influenster 2012 Holiday Voxbox program.  The following opinions are completely my own thoughts.


    Hiding in Sunshine by John Stuart & Caitlin Stuart
    Hiding in Sunshine is a new book (only published in October 2012) written by a father/daughter duo.  The book description (taken from Amazon) is:  "Living lives of quiet affluence in a historic, suburban Boston town, Gavin and Lisa Brinkley had no idea how quickly and decisively their lives, and those of their two young daughters, could be upended. A series of events - a mysterious break-in at their home, some menacing tailgating on the highway from Boston, a startling visit from an F.B.I. agent warning of an imminent kidnapping attempt - leads to the family's abrupt uprooting from its comfortable existence into a terrifying new existence on the run, under new identities. This taut thriller by a father-daughter team follows the eleven-year odyssey of an American family on the run, in hiding through the mountain states of the American west, where survival skills and living off the grid are paramount, but so are friendship, cooperation, and resilience. The enemy, always lurking just out of sight, is a foreign cyber-criminal enterprise that launches breathtaking assaults on the American banking system and physical infrastructure, but the Brinkleys also know that the threat is deeply personal, reaching ever closer to them from the shadows of the past. At the same time, Gavin and Lisa discover the perils of wandering too close to the edges of the dark side, in the murky world of cyber-security. A compelling story of suspense and treachery, HIDING IN SUNSHINE is also a celebration of a family's abiding love and courage -- and a young girl's faith in the triumph of the truth."


    So, I just finished this book this morning and couldn't wait to give my insights.  I knew I was going to write an Amazon review when I first received the book and I started thinking about it even while I was reading it.  I even started taking notes about what I disliked about the book so much.  My impressions definitely changed though as I was reading.  The book was very slow at the beginning.  Some of the details that were given just seemed unnecessary.  I also felt that the language of the work was a bit disjointed.  Sometimes you would read something like, "that dude was really, really bad" and then you would read a section that says something like, "the capacious living space."  Capacious...really?  Someone definitely had fun pulling out the old thesaurus on this book.  Despite the wonkiness in the writing styles, I did enjoy this book.  I found myself actually skimming over portions, not because I wasn't interested, but because I wanted to see what would happen next.  If you have any interest in technology, cyber attacks, or "big brother" looking over your shoulder this book is a definite read with a few surprises mixed in. 

    Interested in the book?  You can get it on Amazon for $19.95 OR get it for your Kindle at a steal...only $1.99!!

    Monday, February 4, 2013

    The Top 100 Children's Chapter Books by SLJ

    I was making my daily rounds of pointless news stories when I came across a list of the Top 100 Chapter Books.  This list was posted in July 2012, so I'm not sure why it is just now getting so much attention.  Anyway, I perused the list and was a tad bit disappointed that I hadn't read as many books as I would have hoped.  So, now I have a new goal.  While I probably should be focusing more on adult chapter books, I love children's books and I can't wait to read through some of these.  The biggest question is should ask myself is whether or not I should count the books that I know I have read but don't remember the plot OR should I only count the books that I remember....hmmmm.  I think I'll go with the ones I have read, even I don't remember everything, just to make me feel a bit better.  My grand total only came to 23 books.  Ouch.  I will admit, however, that several of the books I remember reading sections but I couldn't remember if I actually finished them or not.  How many of these classics have you read?  Any books you think they should have added or left off the list?

    P.S.  If you click on the links it will take you to the School Library Journal website and discuss each of the books listed. 


    #1 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1952)
    #2 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
    #3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (1997)
    #4
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)
    #5
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950)
    #6 Holes by Louis Sachar (1998)
    #7 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (1967)
    #8 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1908)
    #9 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1978)
    #10 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977)
    #11 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2009)
    #12 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (1999)
    #13 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (1997)
    #14 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1938)
    #15 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)
    #16 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (1975)
    #17 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (1964)
    #18 The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (1964)
    #19 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1932)
    #20 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (2000)
    #21 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961)
    #22 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973)
    #23 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (1989)
    #24
    Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary (1968)
    #25 The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (1995)
    #26 Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne (1926)
    #27 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1935)
    #28 The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (1995)
    #29 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall (2005)
    #30 Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)
    #31 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
    #32 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (1976)
    #33 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (1971)
    #34 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (1961)
    #35
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume (1972)
    #36 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958)
    #37 The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (2007)
    #38 Frindle by Andrew Clements (1996)
    #39 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (2007)
    #40 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (1990)
    #41 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)
    #42 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (1957)
    #43 Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (1980)
    #44 Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (2011)
    #45 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (1960)
    #46 The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (1990)
    #47 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)
    #48 The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (1999)
    #49 My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (1948)
    #50 Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1989)
    #51 The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (2003)
    #52 Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (1940)
    #53 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)
    #54 Half Magic by Edward Eager (1954)
    #55 All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (1951)
    #56 A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)
    #57 The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (1962)
    #58 Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1930)
    #59 The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (2006)
    #60 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (1999)
    #61 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964)
    #62 Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (2006)
    #63 The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson (1978)
    #64 The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (1947)
    #65 Wonder by R.J. Palacio (2012)
    #66 The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (2009)
    #67 A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck (1998)
    #68 The High King by Lloyd Alexander (1968)
    #69 The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (2006)
    #70 Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (1994)
    #71 Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (2005)
    #72 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (2009)
    #73 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (1972)
    #74
    Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (1970)
    #75 The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (1941)
    #76 Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2007)
    #77 My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (1959)
    #78 Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (1936)
    #79 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1967)
    #80 The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright (1942)
    #81 The Witches by Roald Dahl (1983)
    #82 The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden (1960)
    #83 Ozma of Oz by Frank L. Baum (1907)
    #84 The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1940)
    #85 Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (1997)
    #86 Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (1911)
    #87 The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (2010)
    #88 The BFG by Roald Dahl (1982)
    #89 The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (1967)
    #90 The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston (1954)
    #91 Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (1950)
    #92 Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (2001)
    #93 Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (2001)
    #94 Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary (1977)
    #95 The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1943)
    #96 The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (1954)
    #97 The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton (1962)
    #98 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (2000)
    #99 The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (1942)
    #100 Love That Dog by Sharon Creech (2001)

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    In Search for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie - Take #1

    So I am on the hunt for the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie.  I want one that is crunchy on the edges but gooey in the center.  So, I took a trip to Pinterest Land and found some amazing recipes to try.  There is no way that I can, or even should, make cookies more than once a month.  So here is our first stab at finding the perfect cookie. 
    
    Chocolate Chip Cookie
    Take #1

    This particular cookie was a no-go for us.  This recipe had 16 tablespoons of butter.  16 Tablespoons!  I could feel the greasiness of the butter between my teeth after each bite.  The dark brown sugar was also a bit too much for us.  The entire cookie had too much of a molasses taste for us.  Plus, the recipe only called for egg yolks.  It really was an interesting cookie.  Because of all of the rich ingredients, one cookie was all you needed.

    Check out my board of cookies.  I don't think I'll get through all of them this year, but I'm hoping the perfect cookies is out there.  Do you have a recipe you would love to share?
    

    Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal+

    In case you haven't heard...I received the 2012 Influenster Holiday VoxBox and it was packed full of products to try out. Want to know more about Influenster? Check out their website and find out how you can qualify to receive items yourself! I have a few referrals left too that I would love to share!  Seriously, let me pass on the love to you!   

    I was given a sample of the Quaker Real Medleys Peach Almond Oatmeal+.  I love oatmeal.  Well I love good oatmeal.  Sometimes you buy a multi-pack box of flavors and they just aren't good.  It doesn't matter if you add water or add milk.  It is just nasty.  This is NOTHING like that.  This oatmeal is delicious.  I love the photo that is on the Quaker Oats website (see below).  You actually do have crunchy almonds and sweet peaches in the mix of the multigrain oatmeal. 

    You can boil water and add it to the individual container or fill the container with water (to the line) and heat in the microwave.  Either way you go, this oatmeal is delicious.  The smell is incredible too!  At


    Quaker Real Medleys - Peach Almond Oatmeal+


    To find out more about this product, look here.

    So here is the ultimate test on the oatmeal...I received this product for free, would I actually spend my money on it? MAYBE.  I know, I know. That isn't really the best answer.  Yes, I would spend the money on the oatmeal, however, it is a bit pricey for my family.  For the same price as buying two containers of oatmeal (two meals for one person) I could buy an entire box of cereal that would cover my family for almost two weeks.  If price weren't an issue though, I would definitely buy it again.



    Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal+

    Packed with wholesome multi-grains and chunks of real fruit and nuts, Quaker Real Medleys are an oatmeal experience beyond your expectations. It comes in a convenient, portable package so you can eat it anywhere! It’s so easy to make… Just add water and microwave. No mess, no bowl to clean up.  $1.79 per individual cup




    *PS. I received this item complimentary via Influenster and their VoxBox program.

    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Holiday Voxbox 2012

    I am the chosen one!!!  Well, when it comes to receiving the Holiday Voxbox from Influenster, I am the chosen one.  I'll take it though. 

    This box is packed with some great treats.  Check out the video to see the unveiling or just take a peek below the video to see the treasures I get to check out.


    My items include: Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal in Peach Almond, NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine, Kiss Nail Dress, EBOOST in pink lemonade, the Goody QuikStyle Paddle Brush, Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask, and an offer from Sole Society.

    All of these amazing items packed up in one awesome box.  Want to know how you can join in on the fun?  Check out Influenster's website OR let me send you an invite.

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine

    I received the 2012 Influenster Holiday VoxBox and it was packed full of products to try out.  Want to know more about Influenster?  Check out their website and find out how you can qualify to receive items yourself!  I have a few referrals left too that I would love to share!   

    This review is about the NYC New York Color lip gloss. Click here to check out their site AND scroll to the bottom of this post to check out more information about their products.


    I was given the shade Nude York City (btw...don't actually type in Nude York City in to a search engine). Anyway, this was a great nude lip gloss. Just a hint of color, smooth to apply, no stickiness, and a nice warm scent. Each lip gloss even has a vitamin E formula for a moisturizing feeling.

    Ta-da! Lip gloss on.
    Another great thing about these products is the low price. I remember when I first started wearing makeup, the low price makeup was terrible. I'm sure you know what brand I'm talking about! It was waxy, had minimal color choices, and it just didn't work well. New York Color is NOTHING like that. It has a great variety of colors and it looks great.

    The biggest test...I received this product for free, would I actually spend my money on it?  YES!  I would definitely purchase the New York Color Liquid Lipshine again.  You can't beat the price and I love how clean it feels on my lips.




    NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine


    Straight from the city that never sleeps, NYC New York Color offers products with uptown style at down-to-earth prices, from $.99 - $4.99. The energy, style and color of New York City shines through the wide range of shades, textures and innovative products. NYC always delivers the most on-trend products & shades hot off the runway!


    A beauty-editor favorite is Liquid Lipshine ($2.49). It has pure pigments that created a 3-D gloss effect. Vitamin E provides shine and a moisturizing feel. The formula is non-sticky, super shiny & soft. Available in 10 on-trend shades from neutral nudes, to berries & fuchsias. Start shopping for NYC at these stores nearest you: Walmart, Target, Rite Aid, CVS, Family Dollar, Duane Reade, Kmart, HEB, and others. Visit newyorkcolor.com to check out all shades and fun products from New York Color!  Also check out Liquid Lipshine by clicking here.



    *PS. I received this item complimentary via Influenster and their VoxBox program.