Monday, May 28, 2012

Fine Art Photogaphy by Julianne Kiley

To me, a house just isn't a home unless you have items throughout it that reflect your personallity and the things that you love and enjoy. When I add a piece of art to a room in my house I like it to be unique. Your standard vase of flowers just doesn't do it for me. Fine Art Photography by Julianne Kiley on is a great shop that provides you with a ton of options for decorating your home and adding a little flare to a room. I came across the shop when looking for some prints that would help personalize my soon to be yoga space in my downstairs living room. I immediately loved the style, how sharp and how colorful they are.

What I like about this shop is the amazing variety of prints that are available. Somehow Julianne Kiley can take a photo of cauliflower and make it beautiful. A photo of handpainted ceramic mugs or vintage seltzer bottles are also perfect for a kitchen or dining room. The amount of unique photographed items available in this shop are great and their vivid colors and clarity make these some of the best prints I've seen.

You can visit for more information or to shop for your own artwork.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sassy Yoga - Etsy Shop Review

Sassy Yoga's Etsy Shop has a great variety of handmade bags that you can use for carrying your yoga mat to and from class. For awhile I was using this yoga bag made of recycled materials and it just wasn't cutting it. I didn't like it because it was really bulky, it stuck out and it just wasn't durable. After receiving two yoga bags from Sassy Yoga I was thrilled. One is housing my Jade yoga mat in my van for class and the other I use at home to keep my other mat out of the way.

These mats are so well made they're well worth the money you're going to spend on them. Some different styles are available including knitted and crocheted bags with different styles of handles as well. A variety of colors are available and I found mine were roomy enough that I could fit my yoga block and straps in there as well. Within the first day of using this bag I got asked by someone in my yoga class if I made it. I of course admitted no I didn't, there's nothing that crafty about me to pull that off, but I passed along the info for the shop and raved about the bag.

You can visit for more information on these bags or to purchase one for yourself.

Little Miss Gypsy Jewel - Etsy Shop Review

I can never get enough jewelry! Especially when a piece is inspiring and represents things that I enjoy, I have to have it. The Little Miss Gypsy Jewel shop on Etsy seemed to be made for me and I was immediately drawn to the beaded cord OM bracelets and Buddha cord bracelets. After I received them in the mail I immediately put them on and haven't taken them off since.

What I like about these pieces is that they look very delicate and intricate but they are also very durable. Normally I stray away from beaded pieces because I have a son who's constantly pulling at me and nothing seems to last long. So far so good with the bracelets and I haven't had any issues. They're also really affordable so you can buy a whole bunch for yourself and as gifts.

You can visit to browse the shop. I can guarantee you won't be able to walk away, especially with just one piece- They're all so colorful and unique!

Sullivan Flat- Review

We're in the process of finishing part of our basement into another living room type space where we can spend family time together, watch movies, store some of the toys that are overcrowding our home and best of all, I get a special corner designed specifically to be my workout / yoga corner. While my wonderful husband works diligently to build the area I have let my creative juices flow and I'm planning the decor of the room and I came across the Etsy shop:  Sullivan Flat which has a ton of great modern furnishings that are made by hand.

When coming up with a decor theme for a room I like to look around for the little statues or pictures that inspire me and I go from there. I like the items to be things that represent us and things we like. In the Sullivan Flat shop, which began in a small NYC apartment, I found Buddha statues for my yoga corner as well as glazed and modern animal figurines that would be a great compliment to the living space of the room.

Sullivan Flat can be found at . Prices are fair seeing as how the pieces are handmade and dedication is put into each one. Inspiration comes from the creator's grandparents who owned their own ceramics shop for over 60 years.

Metropolitan Bakery - Review

I adore granola and eat it regularly as a snack, on my oatmeal, etc. Ok so I'm obsessed with granola I admit it. I've tried every kind that my local grocery stores carry and I have my favorites. I recently tried Metropolitan Bakery's granola and it's definately heading to the top of my list. A number of flavors made with oats, dried fruit, nuts and seeds along with maple syrup and spices makes this a pantry must have!

I've tried making my own granola which never seems to come out right despite the recipe I use or how much attention I pay to making it. I've given up and succumb to buying numerous bags each week. Some of the good ones can get pretty high up in price but Metropolitan Bakery's products are fairly priced.

Metropolitan Bakery was founded in 1993 and prides themselves on the art of old world baking. Aside from their granola flavors they sell cookies, cakes, breads and even liquor infused popcorn (Perfect for upcoming father's day gifts!). You can visit for more information or to find out how to order your very own addicitive granola!

Oscillococcinum and Children's Chestal - Review

I am someone who is VERY sensitive to all medications. I seem to be that person who always suffers from the side effects that are listed on the side of the packaging and I always end up feeling worse whenever I take something. That being said, I've turned towards natural remedies for quite some time now as they seem to be effective for me and they show very few side effects.

One issue I previously hadn't found a natural remedy for is the flu or the common cold. Aside from taking my zinc drops and vitamin c, I never found anything that really shortened the illness or alleviated the symptoms. Nyquil is a godsend but only if I feel like dealing with the heart palpitations, panic attacks and night sweats. I received Oscillococcinum in the mail and immediately added it to my medicine cabinet for future illnesses (We have a four year old, there will be many more).

Oscillococcinum, made by Boiron, temporarily relieves symptoms associated with the flu such as fatigue, headache, body aches, chills and even fever. All without any modern man-made medicine. It works best when you take it at the first signs of an illness and it had been proven in clinical studies to shorten the duration and the severity of the illness. You simply open up the tube and dissolve the contents in your mouth. You can follow it with water to help wash it down.

The best thing about this product is that it can be used on adults as well as children 2 years of age and older. It's so gentle adults can use this product every 6 hours and up to 3 times each day. This is a very popular product and can be found on the shelves of most drug stores and health food stores including Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, Feel Rite and more.

Also sold by Boiron is Children's Chestal which is a product designed to help loosen mucus and thin bronchial secretions. I have a bottle of this on hand for my son. About once per year he gets a really bad upper respiratory infection and we battle the congested coughs for a number of days. Taking him into a steamy bathroom, giving him warm fluids and doing everything we can to break up the mucus never works. I never wanted to turn towards pharmaceutical products for him unless necessary since it ends up making his stomach hurt or feel worse so I'm curious to see how well this product works. It holds great reviews online.

For more information you can visit or

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tub O' Towels - Review

I may have some slight OCD creeping around when it comes to cleaning. Ok maybe a lot. I like to be organized and I like my house to stay clean. Unfortunately I have a husband who doesn't feel the same way and my 4 year old son isn't on board either. Luckily I came across Tub O' Towels which is a big container of cleaning towels that will clean literally anything.

The durable towels in a Tub O' Towels are larger than your average disinfectant wipe and they are soaked in a solution that will clean up caulk, ink, paint, grease, permanent marker and more. I even found they did wonders for cleaning grass stains off of our sneakers and getting the gunk off the outside of our grill (I told you I'll clean anything). The solution is made up of nine citrus based ingredients as well as lanolin, aloe vera and vitamin E.

I put a tub of these wipes in the garage where my husband works on the cars as well as on his workbench in the basement. Maybe he'll get the idea and use them :) You get 90 wipes in each tub.

You can purchase a Tub O' Towels or a small pack of travel wipes at retailers such as Lowe's, Ace Hardware, True Value and a number of other hardware stores. You can visit for more information or to locate these wipes for your own home.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Merkaba Warrior - Review

I never label myself as someone who practices yoga. I LIVE yoga. I'm not someone who does yoga as a form of working out, that's what my gym membership is for. I find the focus and meditative properties that yoga brings to be life changing. It not only helps stretch the body and strengthen the core but it's helps the mind and to me yoga is spiritual. There's a definite difference between my mood when I go to yoga class every week and when I have to miss it because of everyday life getting in the way. After having two surgeries in two years, it was a way to bring clarity and understanding back into my life and get rid of post surgical depression that creeps up. Because of this life changing practice they call yoga, I appreciate any opportunity to show off my passion and appreciation for this practice. When I came across the Merkaba Warrior Shop on I feel in love with the products!

With items coming from York, England, this high energy jewelry uses all natural materials to create spiritually inspired designs that focus on the personal growth and impowerment of the person wearing the jewels. A pre-determined pattern of stones, symbols and sacred woods have energetic properties that correspond with certain Chakras. Ivan, the creator, comes up with his ideas based on the yoga lifestyle to help support personal yoga growth and meditiations.

The style of the jewelry at the Merkaba Warrior Shop comes from the look of prayer beads, mala beads, amulets and symbold from many different cultures. The pieces are very simple yet look very intricate and interesting. I have the Aqua Terra Jasper & Freshwater Pearl bracelt and love it.

The browse the huge selection of jewelery available you can visit Pieces are all very reasonably priced, hovering below $30.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Jade Yoga Mat- Review

When I first started doing yoga I remember I picked up a $5 mat from Walmart and started using that in my practices. I figured why spend a ton of money on a mat? Is it really necessary? I used that mat for quite some time and it wasn't until I received a Jade yoga mat and took it to class with me that I realized what I had been missing out on!

For someone who practices basic yoga here and there a lower quality mat will probably suffice. For someone who has made yoga a part of their existence and practices regularly, it's beneficial to invest in a high quality yoga mat. The incredible grip it provides along with comfort makes practicing yoga a whole new experience. My Jade mat comes with me to every class and I'll be sad if it gets worn out some day. Luckily it's just as good as the day I got it.

A few different Jade mats are available and they mainly are sold according to how thick they are.

Harmony Professional
The most popular: The Harmony Professional is 3/16 thick. You can purchase them 68" or 74" in length. Custom lengths can also be created if need be. There's a ton of different colors available as well.

Jade Elite
This mat is 5mm in thickeness making it a little denser and firmer. The texture of the mat is a little smoother than the Harmony and this allows for a better flow for a more professional yogi. More strength and balance is needed to hold poses on this mat.

Travel Mat
This mat is only 1/8" thick and very lightweight. It works well for people who like to travel with their yoga mat. It also provides a better feel of the ground because of less padding.

Jade Fusion
This mat is 5/16" thick and really cushioned. It's a great mat for people who like to do yoga as well as pilates to strengthen the core.

The mat I have is the Harmony Professional. In my opinion it has just the right amount of padding (Anything more for me would seem like too much) and just the right amount of grip. After switching over to this mat I don't think I would use anything else in the future. It's the perfect mat for the class I take weekly. It's comfortable for the practice of yoga and it's padding makes it really comfortable for the end meditation portion. I could lie in Corpse Pose all day on this mat :) You can also buy blocks, towels and other accessories from Jade.

Jade yoga mats are eco friendly and made in the United States. They're made of natural rubber and contain no PVC's. You can visit for more information or to order.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I truly love doing crafts with my four year old son. Not only does it give me a break from having to play with cars and monster trucks (ALL DAY LONG) but it's something my son likes to do, it encourages his creativity and I always get some beautiful art from it :) Kiwi Crate is a great service that sends a box to your doorstep each month with some really awesome crafts and activities in it. Whether for your own child or for a gift, Kiwi Crate is a really great product.

What I like most about the crates you receive is how creative the projects are. I like to think I come up with some fun acitivites for us to do but getting the supplies all prepared for us to just sit down and create together is so nice. We tried the stained glass craft which required my son to put different colored tissue paper and plastic onto a sticky sheet of contact paper. When he was done we put a back on it and it was in a frame. The Kiwi Crate we got had 3 of these in it so we were able to make some for the Grandma's as well!

We also received a small tote bag that utilized the extra tissue paper for decorating purposes. When the tissue paper was placed on the bag and some water from a dropper got dripped onto it, the color transferred to the bag. It's now a carrying back for some of my son's favorite stuffed animals who are required to come on all our outings with us. Now they have their own little home and don't come wandering over to my purse!

The quality of the materials Kiwi Crate provides are really great. I was impressed by how nice the items were as well as the finished products. The best part is that the items were so unique but they were also really useful. All the items in our crate focused on colors, mixing colors, etc.

Each month when you receive your Kiwi Crate you will find that there is some sort of theme. While ours was colors, one may be about gardening while another is about dinosaurs. Each month there is a whole new box of discoveries waiting for your child. It even kept my son busy for more than 5 minutes! Usually he does his painting or coloring and he's on his way. This time there was plenty to learn and I've found since doing the crafts he's asking a ton about how to make certain colors. It's great to see how inspired he became!

You can visit for more information. You can order a sample crate or you can sign up for the monthly subscription.