Thursday, December 18, 2014

Healthy Snack Products Review- Vi Bites by Visalus

We always seem to be on the go in one way or another. My son comes and goes from school, my husband comes and goes from work and personally I am either working from home, taking care of the home, running errands and so on. Because of our busy lifestyles its very important to have healthy and quick snacks on hand so we can still eat healthy but keep up with everything that we need and want to do.

I got some samples of Vi Bites in the mail and I immediately tried a bag. I tried the Chocolate Monkey variety and I have to say it was awesome! I have gotten lots of trail mix type snacks in the past and this was by far the best. I felt like I was indulging in a sinful snack because of the chocolate chips that are in the snack along with banana chips, cashews, almonds and more. My husband tried the Fiesta Nut and he said numerous times how great it was.

What I like about Vi Bites is that they provide a good amount of protein in each bag and then you get all the healthy benefits of snacking on the nuts and fruits and veggies. There is a little treat in every bag that satisfies a sweet tooth but just the right amount so it is still good for you.

Vi Bites are part of the Visalus line of products and program. The Vi 90 Day Challenge is a fitness and health program designed to help people lose weight and feel better. You can find more information on the challenge by visiting the Visalus website.

Seriously Friendly Oral Care- Hello Products

There are so many products that we use each and every day that are actually very toxic to our bodies and our health. Almost all of the toothpastes that are on the market right now contain many toxic ingredients including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is so harsh that it can permanently damage the inside lining of your mouth. As the tissue sheds inside of your mouth from the product this can feed the bacteria that causes oral health problems and bad breath. This is just one of the harmful ingredients in many common toothpastes and oral health care products.

Luckily, over the past few recent years, there have been a number of brands that have begun to come out with much safer and healthier products such as all natural toothpastes and mouth washes. Don't forget about breath fresheners which can also be extremely unhealthy. Hello makes a ton of great oral care products that are free of all of those harmful and toxic chemicals. They have toothpastes, mouth washes and spray breath fresheners that all have great flavors but also help maintain proper oral health which is important to a person's overall health and well being.

Mouthwash is a nice product to keep around because it not only helps freshen breath but it also helps keeps gums healthy. Also, if you gargle with mouthwash you can help prevent illnesses like strep throat and common colds. You can get the basic Super Mint flavor or opt for something more unique like grapefruit. All of these flavors also come in the varieties of toothpaste and breath spray that Hello offers.

All of these items make great stocking stuffers this holiday season or they are simply great to stock up on and keep on hand throughout the year. You can find out more by visiting Hello's website at

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Giving Guide- Hickies Lace Replacements

Hopefully you are well into your holiday shopping by now and are starting to pick up your final items and your stocking stuffers. Hickies makes a great product that works for both adults and children alike and removes the need for constantly tying shoelaces.

Hickies is a patented lacing system that eliminates the need for shoe tying. You literally remove your laces from your shoes and replace them with the Hickies product. The end result is a snug and comfortable fitting shoe that is easy to put on and easy to take off. Hickies come in both adult and children sizes. I think its a cute idea for kids because while my son and his friends know how to tie their shoes, they are always way too busy to stop and tie. I always get asked to tie my son's shoes and his friends ask me as well so they can get back to playing and running around.

Hickies come in a variety of colors to match different sneaker styles or simply to make a statement. You can visit for more information or to purchase a few sets for this year's holiday season.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Giving Guide - Beados

There are so many different toy and craft options available for both girls and boys when they are younger but when they reach a certain age, the items that will keep them busy for long periods of time seem to dwindle a bit. I have never been a fan of sitting our child in front of the iPad or television; I like for all of us to stay occupied without the assistance of technology. Because of this my son has learned to love crafts, drawing, reading, coloring, playing with Lego blocks and more. Beados is a great toy / craft that is great for girls (and even boys) over the age of three. I feel like this product would be better for children somewhere around the 6-8 year age bracket.

A basic Beado kit such as the Quick Dry Design Station comes with:

500 Beads
1 Quick Dry Design Station
1 Tweezer Pen
2 Trays
1 Sprayer
6 Templates
2 Suction Cups
1 Display Stand
1 Connector Bead
1 Bead Storage Tray
...and instructions.

Basically your child can create some items like a puppy or a butterfly using the beads. The beads can then be stuck together using the water sprayer and then dried together with the air drying station. You can use these creations to play with, hang up, etc.

For more information on this affordable toy you can visit

2014 Holiday Gift Giving Guide - Little Live Pets

For those parents whose child asked for a pet this year for Christmas but you do not have an intention of getting one, the Little Live Pets toy might be just the right gift for Christmas this year! But in all honesty, this is a really cute toy for the nurturing child in your life who loves animals. Manufactured by Moose Toys, Little Live Pets is an affordable and cute toy for kids that are over three years of age.

Little Live Pets come in a variety of characters which each have their own design and functions. The birds come in a cute little bird cage, sitting on a perch. They can be removed as well. Each bird can tweet and sing. They can also repeat what you say with just a click of a button. When you pet them they come alive. The uses of this toy are really endless and not only is it fun but also children begin to learn a sense of responsibility and care of animals.

Each Little Live Pets comes to life in your child's hand and they look and feel incredibly real. They can even interact with one another is you choose to purchase more than on Little Live Pet.

For more information you can visit This toy can be found online and also in local retail stores in your area.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Scholastic Books

I have always been a reader and I have been working as a writer for over a decade now in various different roles. It was only fitting that I raise a reader and my six year old son does love to read. He is also an awesome reader and he gobbles up books left and right. We seem to always be giving in to a request to go to the book store or to stop by the library in order to get some new reading material. Of course I can't turn the boy down because unlike toys, books never get old. That is why in addition to all of the toys we will be giving out son for Christmas, we will also be giving him a variety of books that he has asked for. I recently spoke to Scholastic regarding some of their latest releases and books that they are promoting this holiday season and we are lucky enough to be reading some of their favorite top pics this year which include the following titles:

 Star Wars Jedi Academy
My son is just starting to get into chapter books and longer novels. He likes them to have some pictures though in order to keep his interest and this book is a great one because it is long, it has plenty of text but it also has pictures, doodles and more. It's along the lines of the Bad Kitty series and Captain Underpants series which we love. Star Wars Jedi Academy is by Jeffrey Brown and it is available through Scholastic.

Washi Tape Stickers
Craft books are a lot of fun too because they promote reading but also provide a fun activity to complete. With the long winter months ahead a book like Make Your Own Washi Tape Stickers is a great gift idea. You get over 100 feet of tape with this books along with tools and traceable art so you can make your own creations. This book retails at $16.99 and is available through Scholastic and other book stores.

My Grandfather's Coat
Written by Jim Aylesworth and illustrated by Barbara McClintock, My Grandfather's Coat is a wonderful story about a boy's grandfather who came to the country with a coat that became worn and full of memories. The book even includes a recipe to make coat cookies to keep with the theme of this book. This is a great activity and book for a cold winter's day.

The Angel Tree
The Angel Tree is authored by Daphne Benedis-Grab and it is a lovely holiday story that can be shared by the whole family around the Christmas tree each evening. Instead of doing an advent calendar this year we are focusing on a holiday story each day and this longer length book is a great way to spend time together, reading a little bit each night throughout the month of December.

You can visit for more information on these books or any of the other books that are from Scholastic. We also love the Bad Kitty Series and Captain Underpants books are on my son's list this holiday season as well.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Identity Direct

It can be very difficult to find unique gifts to give to the children in your life around the holidays even if it is your own child you are shopping for. My son of course has his list of items he wants for the holidays but I also like to come up with my own ideas that often are a bit more memorable and he can save for many years to come. This year some of my favorite items are coming from Identity Direct. This is the absolute best place to shop for personalized items. You can literally find everything and anything for your own child and for other children in your family.

Here is just a quick rundown of some of the awesome gift ideas I was fortunate enough to sample:

Santa And Reindeer Stocking
We each have our own stocking hanging up around the holidays and of course I had let my son pick his out from the store. His stocking was cute and all but it was missing that extra special touch. We received one of the Santa And Reindeer Stockings from Identity Direct and it is monogrammed with my son's name on it. It's really nice, high quality and the embroidery looks fantastic. I'm a big fan of this item and its a keepsake that will last forever.

Disney Cars Activity Book
We have been snowed in for over a week now and my son has been coloring and completing his activity books like crazy. Two impromptu weeks of snow days will do that to you! This book came just in time to fill in the extra time we have around here. This is a jam packed activity book that comes personalized on each page with your child's name and details. The name of your choice appears on each page and this is sure to be a unique gift for the kids in your life rather than just a boring old coloring book from the store!

My Special Christmas Adventure
Over the years I have gotten a lot of personalized story books for my son as a gift for a birthday or other holiday. We now have a personalized Christmas story from Identity Direct titled My Special Christmas Adventure. Each page tells a great Christmas story but also incorporates our son, our location and our pets. Its such a great tradition starter and gift!

Frozen Items
It seems every store I went to this year had Frozen items everywhere. I don't have a girl and I don't have any little girls to shop for so I was able to skim right over these displays but if you are someone who is shopping for that Frozen age group this might be difficult. There are a lot of items to choose from but it seems every Frozen fanatic has all of the Frozen items already. Identity Direct has a number of items that make great Frozen-themed gifts such as personalized placemats and a personalized Frozen storybook.

Letter From Santa
My son will soon be 'receiving' a personalized letter from Santa thanks to Identity Direct. This letter talks to your child about how they have been behaving, gives some personal references that make the letter very authentic and everything looks legit. This is a nice little item to send over to the child in your life that gets them in the festive mood and keeps them behaving all holiday season!

The items offered by Identity Direct are endless. You can stop by their website to shop around. Just a warning, you are definitely going to sign off the computer having purchased a number of items- you will never be able to pass these items by!

You can shop with free shipping by clicking the link below or by using the promo code 43004.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Sinful Colors

There is no better accessory than a fantastic manicure and pedicure. With the holidays quickly approaching, now is a good time to hit the spa to get your nails done to coordinate with all of your holiday outfits. If you can't make it to a professional the next best thing to do is paint your own fingers and toes with a great holiday hue. Sinful Colors came out with some really festive colors that work for the holidays but they also work year round.

I got four different shades from Sinful Colors to try out and I love them. For Thanksgiving I will be sporting Gold Medal as a base coat with Twilight Twinkles as a top coat. For Christmas I cannot wait to try Pine Away as a base coat and Galax-Sea as the top sparkle coat.

I don't like to get too holiday themed with my nails so you won't find me sporting intricate Santa Clause nails but I like that these shades from Sinful Colors are fancy enough to be holiday related but I can still use the colors alone or together throughout the year.

Each polish is available for about $1.99 and they are exclusively being offered at Walgreens locations. You can visit for more information.

Friday, November 14, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: My School Years Book

If there is one thing I like to do it is stay organized. I feel like the only way to survive all of my duties each day is to keep everything in order and make sure everything has its place. That way, when I have something in my hand that item has somewhere to go right away and it is not going to just sit on a table somewhere causing a mess. I like to hang on to all of my son's artwork, his awards, certificates and some of his tests he's scored well on. Previously all of these items were thrown into a box in the front hall closet where they were saved. I received this My School Years Book and I was thrilled that there was a better way to organize some of these items and keep them safe.

The My School Years Book is quite large and it is divided into grade levels starting with Pre-K and ending with 12th grade. Each page has a pocket folder to save items and there are spots for each grade level that let you fill out the school name that year, your child's teacher, his or her friends, activities, favorite things, etc. It's a nice remembrance of each school year.

The book is really simple to use. It took me about ten minutes to take what I had saved up and organize it into the book. I filled out the items on each page and I look forward to updating the book each year as our child grows.

You can find the My School Years Book at Identity Direct. This is a great Christmas gift idea for any parents and it is really affordable; under $30.

2014 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Playmates Toys: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

My son's Christmas requests this year focused largely on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Legos from the TMNT series, action figures, action figure sets, TMNT books and more. Luckily TMNT items are extremely popular right now and it is easy to find some really great items in stores and also online. Playmates Toys makes some great TMNT items that are going to be great for this upcoming holiday season but they also recently came out with some Half Shell Heroes toys that appeal to the younger crowd that might not yet be ready for the big boy action figures. My little man is six so we go with the items geared toward the older crowd. 

We have the Shellraiser and also the RC Patrol Buggy for Leonardo. My son really likes the Patrol Buggy because it is a remote control but he can sit his action figures in the seat and drive them around. What could be cooler than that? Mainly, my son will just sit and play with his action figures on their own so he has collected a bunch of them and will be getting some brand new ones for Christmas this year. All of the characters from the shows and the movies come from the Playmates Toys line and the best part is they are really affordable; typically under $10 each.

My son is also going to be getting the TMNT Blimp. This is an inflatable 'vehicle' that you can actually hang from the ceiling. The turtle action figures can hang from the bottom of the blimp and be released down for play. We are also giving our son one of the zip line playsets which attaches to the wall and the turtles can move down the line from one location to the next. 

More information can be found at The toys that are part of the Playmates line can be found online and also in a variety of retail stores. All of these items and the other toys part of the holiday lineup this year are really affordable and they will get a ton of use. The best part is, the majority of them do not use batteries which is my favorite kind of toy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Hess Toy Truck Announced

This past week Hess revealed their latest addition to their line of toy trucks. This year's toy will be the Hess Toy Truck and Space Cruiser with Scout. This is also the 50th anniversary truck for Hess. Because of this special celebratory year this toy is a three piece release.

The space cruiser comes with retractable landing gear, flashing lights and a button activated as well as motion activated sound effect. The entire space cruiser rides on the top of a flatbed truck of course. There is a scot that comes out of a cargo door on the space cruiser and the scout has folding wings and real lights that work. You can use the flatbed truck for transport or also for a launching pad. There is a button activated launch ramp that comes with a hydraulic life. Forty one lights are included in total and 3 realistic sounds. The cab  has special chrome writing that marks that this is a 50th anniversary edition.

This year the release will be a bit more expensive then previous years but you do get a lot more for your money. This toy retails for $45.99.

You will need 6 energizer batteries to run this toy but there are some that come included with your purchase. Also shipping is free when you order straight from Hess. The product goes on sale November 14th at participating Hess, Hess Express and WilcoHess retail stores. I got this release just a couple of days ago and it is for sure a toy that you will want to make sure is under the tree this year. You can visit for more information.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Saint Francis Organics

Products like lotions, body washes and other items like this can be a great gift for just about anyone. You can give these items to mothers, wives, friends, teachers and more. Every woman appreciates being able to sit back and relax; creating their very own spa experience in their own home. Saint Francis Organics is releasing some brand new products just in time for the holiday season and you will want to grab these items starting in November and keep them on hand for this year’s holiday season.

Saint Francis Organics is coming out with some new moisturizing lotions that are really rich and smooth. You can use them after your shower or bath or keep them in your purse for on the go use. You can get these lotions in a number of scents including Peppermint Vanilla, Lemon, Lavender Blend and Unscented. I am always a fan of unscented products because I don’t like anything strong but all of these products are really nice and mildly scented.

All of the products from Saint Francis Organics are free of harmful or harsh chemicals. You can use these products on your entire family and you will quickly fall in love with all of the items that are part of the Saint Francis line. You can visit for more information.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Grady’s Cold Brew

There are a lot of people who love their iced coffees no matter what the time of year but this habit can get a bit expensive. Not only is it pricey to purchase at least once coffee each morning but it can be an inconvenience to have to drive to a coffee shop each and every day. A lot of people have coffee pots or Keurig machines in their homes but even these options can take up a few precious minutes in the morning that you could be spending in bed or getting ready. Grady’s Cold Brew is a product that you can keep on hand and enjoy your iced coffee beverage whenever you want with very little effort.

Grady’s Cold Brew is a coffee concentrate that is brewed and bottled in Brooklyn, N.Y. Each batch is made from freshly roasted coffee and chicory water. It sits overnight and the grounds are removed using a two step filtering process. The final result is a very smooth and flavorful coffee product. You can mix it with milk, sugar, cream or whatever other additions you like and you can heat it if you would like.

You can also purchase Grady’s Cold Brew in bag form. This is like making a cup of coffee with a tea bag but this is in concentrated form. You can make 2 to 3 cups of coffee with just one Grady’s Cold Brew Bean Bag.

For more information on Grady’s Cold Brew you can visit their website at This product is a great stocking stuffer or addition to a holiday gift basket.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Pure Glass Water Bottle

Here is another great gift that works a main gift or even as a stocking stuffer. We mainly use glass or stainless steel water bottles in our home because those are the two safest but when it comes to glass it can be tough to find a bottle that does not break easily and will last a long time. The Pure Water bottle is a great product because it is The World' Safest Glass Bottle.

If you do happen to drop your Pure Water Bottle and it cracks, the pieces are held together by a special coating on the outside of the bottle. This coating is not on the inside so you do not have to worry about the safety of your water. I have actually knocked my Pure bottle down a number of times and it has not cracked at all. If it does break you can toss the whole thing in a recycle bin.

I like the lid of the bottle because it has a handle and that handle can be used for carrying the item and also it locks the lid in place. The spout of the bottle is nice and large and there is a good seal on the inside of the lid so there is no chance of leakage.

If you are looking for a glass water bottle that is safe enough and durable enough to take on the go with you each day or you know someone who leads an active lifestyle and would appreciate a healthy option such as this, you should consider purchasing a Pure Glass Water Bottle this holiday season. You can visit for more information.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Studio E Fabrics and Timeless Treasures

My son is in love with everything related to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year. Most of his Christmas list revolves around this theme and he even asked me for a TMNT blanket. I have purchased my son blankets in the past relating to whatever current trend he is interested in but I find they always wear and wash poorly and I am never thrilled with them. I am somewhat crafty, depending on what project I am taking on, so I threw the idea out there for making a TMNT themed quilt. My son loved the idea so I got brainstorming. This creation was supposed to be for a Christmas gift but I was excited to give it to him so he got it a bit early.

My son is already 6 ½ so I wanted to stay away from making him a blanket that was pictures of the turtles or something that seemed a bit too childish. He is a big boy now so I wanted him to have an item that he could use and appreciate for many years. I decided to sew him an TMNT themed quilt. I was going to use the different colors of the turtles (red, orange, purple and blue) and then work those colors around different shades of green. Of course if you know the Turtles well like we do you know that there are two different shade palates for these colors. The classic colors go with the TV show while there are more modern, muted shades for the new movie that came out over the summer. I planned to include both.

I got in touch with some wonderful staff at Studio E Fabrics and Timeless Treasures. Both of these sites sell all kinds of fabrics in different styles, prints, colors and textures. Both of these fantastic companies sent over big stacks of fabric squares for my use. I am used to buying fabric at our local craft store but it is always really over priced and I am not always thrilled with my options. Ideally, shopping for fabric online allows for better pricing and better selection. Both of these sites / companies have fantastic products.

Timeless Treasures sells fabric that you will not be able to find anywhere else. Their prints and color selections are amazing. Also, I loved the quality of the fabric and I have washed the quilt a couple of times already and I like how it is going to hold up. You will find prints designed by actual high end designers and you can buy the fabric in any form that you want. For quilting I like to purchase the quarter squares or fat stacks. This way you get a lot of different fabric to work with while not being stuck with just a couple of different shades or patterns.

Studio E Fabrics also sells all kinds of patterns and colors. You can get great holiday themed fabric as well. I got some fantastic Christmas fabric from them and I am using that to make a fabric Advent calendar to hang around the holidays. You can shop by a number of different categories on the Studio E site and that includes newly release patterns, themes, etc. This is another company that really makes a wide selection of products at an affordable price.

For more information on Timeless Treasures or Studio E Fabrics you can visit their websites:

Both of these companies have great fabric choices that you can utilize to create your own Christmas gifts this holiday season. You can also create items for your own home to help decorate and celebrate the holidays.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Multi Flask

If you know someone that is very health conscious you may want to look into the Multi Flask as a gift this holiday season. We are extremely health conscious at our house and I have been getting newly released items for years now to try out for review purposes. This is one item I have never owned or tried before and I think it is great. I would have loved if someone gave this to me as a gift this holiday season.

The Multi Flask is a system that comes with a number of bottles, inserts, lid, etc. The point is that you can use this system to make your own hot tea in a bottle, fruit infused water, etc. There are different inserts that you can use depending on how you want to use your Multi Flask that day. I like this product because you can purchase one set and use it a number of different ways. You can even take the entire system on the go with you if you want tea in the morning as you leave the house, switch to fruit infused water during the day and just drink plain water when you hit the gym in the evening.

In each Multi Flask system you get:

A Tritan Outer Shell
A Tritan Inner Shell
A Glass Inner Shell
A Tea Strainer
A Fruit Infuser
An Agitator
A Sipper Lid
A Sports Lid
Color Bands that help you decorate or identify your bottle.

You can visit for more information on this product or to watch a video on how it works. 

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Photoweavers

I like coming up with very personal gifts for the holidays that really focus on a person’s  personality and what they like. To me, gifting items that are personalized with photos or names are ideal and I always try to find the latest and greatest items to do this with. Photoweavers makes exceptional quality blankets that you can personalize with a photo of your choice.

What I like about these products is that they are not just plain blankets that were embroidered with some sort of text. They also are not the plain fleece blankets you can order everywhere that feature a photo. The picture you choose is actually woven into the blanket. The blanket itself if a really heavy, high quality blanket. This item is great to display or you can use it as well. I have one with a picture of my husband and I on the beach with a nice quote on the bottom of it and it sits at the foot of our bed at all times. It’s so much more personal than just the printed and framed photos we have on our walls.

The great thing about Photoweavers is that their products not only allow you to choose a photo for them but you can also add text, a border, clip art, etc. You can really design this blanket how you want it to be. Also you can purchase other items from Photoweavers such as pillows. The price for a 71” x 53” throw blanket is $128. You can add on whatever you want to and you won’t pay extra for every little addition you make. I recently had a photobook made online and I was shocked at the checkout because every little item I added on cost another $4 or so.

You’ll be amazed at how simple the process is for creating a Photoweavers blanket and the turnaround time is really fast. I would order early though because we all know how crazy shipping times can get closer to the holidays. For more information you can visit I promise you this blanket is an item your loved one will cherish for many years to come.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: Turbospoke

I have a six year old little guy who loves cars, motors and all things speed just like his Daddy. For now he has to be happy with his little Power Wheels Dune Racer that he drives around as well as his bike but if he wants to feel like he's got some power behind him he can attach his Turbospoke to his bike. Turbospoke is a bicycle exhaust system that makes motor-like sounds when the spokes of the bike go around and around. 

I like Turbospoke because it is battery free and if you know me or have read my reviews in the past then you know I hate constantly replacing batteries. Turbospoke is made up of a little plastic unit that clamps down onto the bike. There are little plastic cards that you slide into the system and that is what gets moved back and forth; making the exhaust sound. That sound gets amplified through an actual plastic muffler that looks cool as well. Installation and assembly only takes a few minutes and you are ready to ride.

You can visit for more information or to purchase this item for the little speed demon in your life. This is a great way to add some new excitement to riding bikes around and you will find that your child's friends all want to try out the Turbospoke and get one of their very own for their bike.

Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2014: AJ's Collection

When it comes to children everybody loves to show them off and talk about them whether you are a mother, a father, a grandparent, etc. AJ's Collection makes a whole line of different products that can be personalized to include names, birthstones and more. You have probably seen someone walking around with a piece like these and they are really beautiful and make the best gifts during the holiday season. The best part is, AJ's Collection is made up of really high quality pieces at pretty great prices.

There are a ton of different types of necklaces available from AJ's Collection. I have the Lucky One necklace and love it. It's a very simple disc charm with my son's name printed on it and there is a small heart charm included as well. The chain is available in a number of lengths and this necklace is really affordable; just $35 depending on the chain you pick.

There are a bunch of different bracelets available from AJ's Collection and I like that you can choose from materials other than just metal for the bracelet portion. There are suede bands that create a really cute cuff bracelet. There are also different kinds of links available and different styles so you can really pick an item that you know your loved one will enjoy.

Also be aware that you do not have to focus on children. AJ's Collection also has a number of items you can personalize with your wedding date, initials of you and your partner, etc. There are also a number of items available for men such as tie bars and keychains.You can visit for more information or to start some of your holiday shopping while there is plenty of time to order.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zym Tablets: Helping You Stay Hydrated

I have an autonomic nervous system disorder and one of my current biggest issues I have is staying hydrated. Seeing as how the body is mostly made up of water this is a symptom I try to keep in check on a daily basis. Unfortunately its quite difficult keeping this symptom under control, especially when I get sick or am under the weather. I keep a few different products on hand that will help me stay out of the ER or doctor’s office having to get an IV. Gatorade is my daily go-to item that helps me keep things in check but Zym Tablets are also a great product you can keep nearby if you have medical concerns that require you to watch your hydration, you work out or you lead a physically demanding lifestyle.

Zym tablets come individually packaged and they resemble a large alka-seltzer tablet. You drop the tablet into a glass or bottle of water and shake it up so it dissolves. Then you drink it up and get your dose of electrolytes that you need to get rehydrated. The product is sugar free and does not contain and artificial preservatives. You can get Zym Tablets in a variety of flavors including berry, lemon lime, orange and grape.

I like this product from Zym because it is easy to carry it on the go. Its tough to constantly carry around a bottle of Gatorade or other electrolyte drink whether it be homemade or not. If you are out and about and need some added hydration you can pop one of these products out of your bag and drop it in a glass of water.

For more information on Zym Tablets you can visit The product is really affordable and even more importantly; convenient.

Feel Cooler Sheets Review

During the summer months sleep doesn’t come easy for me. Either I am too hot with the windows open or too cold with the air conditioning on. It takes a lot of effort to have the house at the perfect temperature for sleeping. I always put away the flannel sheets for winter but my cooler cotton sheets don’t always seem to do the trick either. Feel Cooler makes some high quality sheets that are designed to stay cool, wick away moisture and keep you comfortable. They come in a variety of colors and sizes for different bed sizes.

This product is guaranteed to prevent you from frequently waking up due to being too warm during sleep. You also won’t find yourself drenched in sweat halfway through the night. Your basic set of white Feel Cooler sheets for a queen sized bed costs just under $200. This might be a little expensive for some people but you will find that these sheets wear well and much more importantly, they wear well. I have tried cooling sheets in the past from other brands and I found that they didn’t hold up well in the wash at all. The ones I tried shrunk a bit in even a cold water wash and they developed pilling on them. I didn’t even bother keeping them around for very long. This product from Feel Cooler has held up well so far and is a good investment.

You can also purchase mattress covers from Your average person can use these sheets but they are great for people who have trouble maintaining their proper temperature at night. For instance, my son tends to get very overheated upon falling asleep and it takes him a few hours to cool down. This sheets would prevent me from having to stop into his room a couple of times each night to uncover him and then cover him back up. I’m the same way so these sheets work wonder on an adult bed as well.

For more information you can visit or

Younique: 3D Fiber Lashes Review

I have been getting invited to all of these online virtual mascara parties on behalf of Younique products. I had some samples sent to me and wanted to try them out. I was curious if this mascara craze is really all its hyped up to be. I anticipated a product that wasn't going to be much of anything except overpriced. Typically all these 'party-type' gimmicks are like that. I was pleasantly surprised however. Younique 3D mascara actually does enhance your lashes and I liked that the product is made with all natural ingredients.

The process if pretty simple. You apply the base mascara transplanting gel to your lashes which is black in color. You then apply the natural fibers, which are made of green tea fibers, to the gel and your lashes magically look longer, fuller and more pronounced. You top the fibers with another coat of the transplanting gel, let it dry and you're good to go. The product stays on all day long and does not easily smudge or come off when you are out and about.

One of my concerns is that the product would look very clumpy and uneven because of the fact that you are actually placing fibers on your lashes. I was wrong with this assumption. You actually do not see any clumps or individual fibers on your lashes. I would be curious to see how long and how well the product stays in good condition. I wonder if your transplanting gel becomes clumpy over time or the fibers clump together in the tube since you are basically double dipping in both of these tubes.

For more information you can visit If you would like to earn free product from Younique you can host a virtual party online and if you have enough people purchase you can get free product.

CORKCICLE: Keeping Your Beverages Cool While Entertaining

If you are someone who likes to entertain a crowd then you might have had some trouble in the past with keeping your beverages cool throughout your entire event. It is not very practical to open a bottle of wine and have to keep placing it back into the fridge to keep it chilled. An ice bucket works but eventually the ice melts, leaving a mess behind and sometimes the ice bucket does not keep your beverage the same temperature throughout. CORKCICLE makes a variety of products that are designed to keep your beverages cool for the long haul. These products are well made and the best part is that they are really effective.

The Vinnebago allows you to pour your beverage into this thermos-like container and it will keep your beverage cool for 25 hours cold, 12 hours warm. This is a great container to take your alcoholic beverage to a picnic or to even take hot chocolate on the go to the sledding hill.

The Corkcicle.One can be chilled and inserted into your bottle of wine or champagne. It has a pouring spout so you can easily pour glass after glass of chilled beverage. This product knows exactly the right temperature to work at and your guests will enjoy a perfect glass of wine all evening long.

The Chillsner can be inserted into a bottle of beer and you can drink right from the bottle; keeping your beer cold the entire time you are drinking it.

For more information on any of the CORKCICLE product line you can visit You can also purchase these products directly from the website.

Tommy John: The Best Men's Underwear

Of course you can pick up undergarments for your husband and Target, Walmart or wherever you grab your typical household items from but why not treat your husband to some nicer underwear items. As women we like to shop for nice things at Victoria's Secret or other lingerie stores so why not give our hubby's the same treatment? Tommy John makes some great underwear that is comfortable, keeps your man cool and is great for the active man who works out, goes to the office, chases around after the kids, etc.

Tommy John uses high quality fabrics that are designed to keep you cool, contained and comfortable. The Second Skin Underwear comes is a variety of styles and colors. My husband likes the Second Skin Undershirts. They are form fitting so he gets to show off all that hard work he does in the gym but they are comfortable enough that he can wear them under work shirts or on the weekends.

Expect to pay a decent amount of money for Tommy John products. An undershirt retails for about $35. However, you will find this type of shirt wears better than just about any other product you would buy. It doesn't fade in color, it doesn't stretch and you can find any style you may want including an undershirt that stays tucked all day long. In addition to their variety of undershirts you can get boxers, briefs, boxer briefs, etc.

If you have a special occasion coming up consider Tommy John as a gift for your significant other. You can visit for more information or to shop around online.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Terrapin Ridge Farms: Product Review

The holidays will be coming up before I know it so I like to start preparing early for our get-togethers, gift exchanges and more. I like having a variety of different dips, spreads, jams, etc. on hand to put out for guests and also they make great gift baskets when you theme them together and add some other products. Terrapin Ridge Farms makes a huge selection of products that you will love for guests, for gifts and just for yourself.

I am polish so around the holidays we like to indulge in some traditional foods like kielbasa, ham, pierogi and more. One favorite condiment amongst my family is beets with horseradish. It goes good as a dipping side for sausage or you can put it on ham as well. It also works for crackers and other appetizers. I tried the Sweet Beet & Horseradish Mustard from Terrapin Ridge Farms and it is delicious! I like it because you don’t really taste a ton of horseradish and I tend to go light on that typically anyway. This product reminded me almost of a pickled relish type of condiment but being a mustard you could use this product for a ton of different meals.

Pumpkin Honey Mustard is a great dipping sauce for everyday use or for guests. The Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing is a bit different and it works for a party salad or just your average lunch. I also like the Brown Sugar & Pecan Mustard. This is tasty on crackers, sandwiches and you can even get creative with it for an hor dourve.

For more information on the products in the Terrapin Ridge Farms lineup (There are tons!) you can visit

Murad: High Quality Skincare; Better Every Day

No matter what age you are and no matter what gender, you may experience some skin issues from time to time or even on a daily basis. Acne is something that affects both teenagers and adults alike. It can be very discouraged to a person's self esteem which is why it is important for a person who suffers from acne to find a good quality skincare regimen that encompasses routine along with some great products. I recently received the Murad Acne line of products to try out. Luckily, bad skin is something I do not deal with on a daily basis but being in my early 30's there are times during the month that I like to pay extra attention to my skin to keep it looking healthy and clear.

I have to say I have tried out a number of skincare products over the past 6 or 7 years that I have been blogging as a side hobby. A lot of them end up making me break out, clogging my pores, making my skin dry and flaky, etc. This line from Murad really is quite nice and I have enjoyed using it for the past week or so. 

The line of products that I have been using daily includes:

Clarifying Cleanser
This product costs $26 for a 6.75 oz tube. This might seem like a lot but I have been able to use less than a dime sized amount each time I wash. It is likely to last me quite a long time.

This product is designed to reduce 99.9% of all surface bacteria on your skin in under one minute. The product is also designed to continue fighting bacteria even after you rinse and dry your skin off. I like this product because it reduces oil but it didn’t dry out my skin at all. My skin also felt better and looked better in the morning after I washed before bed.

Transforming Powder Dual-Action Cleanser & Exfoliator
I have used this product off and on every few days. You could use this less often but I feel like its gentle enough that you could use it more often if you wanted to as well. You sprinkle a bit of the powder on your hand, mix it with a bit of water and use it as a scrub on your face. I loved how my face felt after I used this product. It felt super clean, super firm and looked great.

Acne Clearing Solution
This is a salicylic acid based lotion that you can apply to any trouble areas that you have. It didn’t dry out my skin, it didn’t make my face red and it didn’t irritate my skin. There are even some natural ingredients in this product like lavender oil which helps soothe your skin.

Acne Spot Fast Fix
This is a good product that is meant to help a breakout in as little as one day. Benzoyl peroxide is the active ingredient in this one. Again, I didn’t experience any dry or irritated skin from this one and I even used it under my makeup in the morning and left it on all day.
These products are all really high quality and designed to help clear up your skin rather than cause you more products. Designed by Dr. Murad himself, you will love this line of products or any of the other skincare products from the Murad line. For more information you can visit

Lily Of The Desert: Organic Aloeceuticals Review

Aloe has been known to be a very healing plant for a very long time. People have long since literally been breaking off a piece of the aloe plant and administering it to sunburn, eczema, rashes, burns and more. Aloe is not just simply a topical healing agent however, it can be used orally to heal from the inside out. Lily Of The Desert makes a number of great aloe-based products that you can use for a variety of conditions or simply just to maintain optimal health.

The main and most popular product from Lily Of The Desert is their preservative free aloe vera juice. It comes in a variety of types and sizes. This product has an infusion of high molecular weigh or aloe polysaccharides which helps to improve the bioavailability of the aloe.

A great aloe product from Lily Of The Desert is their Mix n’ Go powder packets. This is great if you have a busy lifestyle and want to consume your aloe dosage while you are away from home during the course of the day. Each packet is equivalent to four ounces of traditional Lily Of The Desert aloe vera juice. This is also the recommended daily dosage. You add this product to an approximately 16 ounce glass of water, give it a mix and it is ready to drink. It comes in a variety of flavors such as lemonade and pomegranate.

If you want a more simple aloe vera beverage you can carry around the Lily Of The Desert Aloe H2O. This product is completely natural, preservative free and gluten free as well. You can take this product to the gym, to work or drink it at home.

For more information on these products or the benefits of taking daily aloe vera you can visit or

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DHC Skincare - Hand Care Review

The winter is approaching which for me means I'm about to start a battle with dry skin. My hands get so dry during the cold months not only from the cold but from the constant hand washing (My son brings home every germ imaginable). I'm always doing dishes, cooking, cleaning, etc. so my hands take a beating. I was delighted when DHC sent over a package to me including their Beauty Inspires Hope set.

This set includes a set of moisturizing spa gel gloves, olive hand cream as well as aroma balm. All of the products smell wonderful, they have natural ingredients and DHC products always work wonderfully in my opinion. I look forward to slathering my hands with the cream and putting on the gloves; waking up to soft and moisturized hands.

This set retails at just under $40 and comes in a cute little gift bag so its the perfect gift for a teacher, friend or family member. It is limited edition so you have to get yours while they last!

For more information you can visit:

The Ginger People - Review

I love ginger for a ton of different uses and we keep it around the house in a bunch of different forms. We always have ginger tea on hand for illnesses. It works great when you have a cold or an upset stomach. I also keep a bottle of ginger oil on hand. This is great as a medicinal option when you don't want to turn to an antacid or anti-nausea pill that ends up having more side effects than benefits. A few drops in a glass of water helps a bunch of different ailments almost immediately and I can even give it to my son when he has an upset tummy.

I don't find it possible to really carry ginger tea around and the drops are kind of a nuissance to keep in my purse so I like ginger candies or crystallized ginger. These are great and keep just fine in my bag and if I need one while I am out they are there and ready for me. The Ginger People make some great products based off of ginger and they don't just stop with candy or crystallized ginger. They also have ginger spread, spicy ginger dipping sauce, ginger beer and even a skin care line based off of ginger. Its such a great product and it has some many health benefits.

Not only can ginger help with nausea, motion sickness and illness but it can increase a person's metabolism, helping them lose weight. Also it's great for morning sickness in pregnant women, it improves libido and it is a great and powerful antioxidant. I can't say enough about ginger and The Ginger People understand perfectly how important this item is to people's health and well being.

For more information on The Ginger People or to check out their products you can visit

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Boulder Granola: Unleash Your Inner Hippie

I will admit when it comes to our diet and our lifestyle we may be a bit crunchy and hippie-like. We like to eat healthy, we like to use natural products in the home and we like to do things ourselves to be frugal. I love blogging as my side job because it gives me some insight into some of the latest and greatest products when it comes to healthy, natural and great products. Boulder Granola is a great product that I have enjoyed having in the home. It’s a really tasty and healthy granola that we have been using as a topping to yogurt, with milk as a cereal or just a quick handful as a snack.

This 45 year old recipe comes in a variety of flavors including original, gluten free, cranberry and chocolate chip. I like the gluten free variety because gluten free granola (that tastes good) is pretty hard to find. I also like that this granola is very basic, doesn’t contain anything unhealthy or harmful and it goes with just about anything. I like loose granola because I turn it into a snack or breakfast for my son. We use whatever yogurt we currently have in the house and just top it with some Boulder Granola. It’s a healthy and filling meal.

In Boulder Granola you will find plenty of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and more. You can find this product at Whole Foods, Safeway and a variety of other markets and grocery stores. You can visit for more information on this granola or where you can buy it.

Cup 4 Cup: Gluten Free Product Review

About a year ago I decided to remove gluten from my diet. I had been dealing with some gastric symptoms that I didn’t really know what else to do about. I heard a lot of people say their symptoms improved when they got rid of gluten. Seeing as how I felt my worse after eating a high-gluten meal, I figured it was worth a shot. One year later I can say that getting rid of gluten was probably one of the best dietary decisions I have ever made. It took some time to find some products that I loved that I could substitute for what I was eating before but once I did that eating gluten free was easy-peasy!

Cup 4 Cup is a great brand that makes gluten free flour blends that you can use with your old tried and true recipes. One thing I still have not mastered is using alternative grains and flours. I don’t always want to bake something from scratch but maybe need flour in my recipe. Cup 4 Cup works out great because I literally take what I am used to using and place it into my recipe. My favorite is using it to make breaded zucchini or breaded pork chops. Instead of using traditional flour for that first dip, I use Cup 4 Cup.

Not only does Cup 4 Cup offer flour blends but also baking mixes that include a great pizza crust mix. That’s one thing I sure do miss: Pizza. Luckily, now I can make my own version at home that tastes just as good but is way better for me.

For more information on Cup 4 Cup’s products you can visit their website at Their products are sold at many grocery retailers throughout the country or online.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nick's Sticks- Free Range Living

When we made the switch to more organic and natural foods and products in the home we definitely felt better but we eventually began to miss some of our favorite 'junk food' snacks that we loved before but were no longer good for us. We noticed so many traditional snack foods come chock full of MSG, nitrates, artificial sweeteners and more. It’s unfortunate but now there are a lot of things we just don’t eat. A favorite American snack has always been those Slim-Jim type meat sticks. They’re salty, they’re tasty but unfortunately they are pretty bad for you. Luckily, I came across a product that is just like a family favorite but its way better for you: Nick’s Sticks.

Nick’s Sticks are 100% grass fed beef and free range turkey sticks are do not contain anything harmful. There’s no MSG, no nitrates, no antibiotics, no hormones, no sugar, no due, no gluten! You get all of the goodness of this tasty meaty snack but with none of the garbage.

My husband tried this one out because its his kind of snack. He absolutely loved them and gives them two thumbs up. We tried free range turkey snack sticks and the spicy variety as well which has little bits of jalapeno in them. I’m not a fan of spice so I preferred the plain kind but my husband didn’t mind the heat and loved the spicy variety as well.

You can visit for more information on this snack food or information on where you can buy this product.

Nick’s Sticks is giving one of my reader’s 12 packages of Nick’s Sticks (Variety) to try out and share with their friends! Visit my facebook page to enter. (This contest is now closed) The winner will be randomly chosen on 9-12-14 and Nick’s Sticks / Wallace Farms will be notified.

My opinion is based off of samples provided by Nick’s Sticks.

Prevagen - Review

More and more people are looking into more natural ways to stay healthy and feel good. Prescription medication isn't necessarily needed to keep your body functioning in tip top shape. A number of more natural supplements provide all the care that your body needs so as you age you still feel your best.

Prevagen is a health supplement that helps people think clearer and maintain a more sharper memory. The main ingredient in this product is called apoaequorin. This ingredient was originally found in certain types of jellyfish. Prevagen is actually one of the best selling brain-based supplements on the market. It is recommended that this product be used for 30 to 90 days in order to see the best results.

You can find Prevagen at your local drug store chain including CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Vitamin Shoppe. Created by Quincy Bioscience, Prevagen is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Quincy Bioscience is dedicated to discovering and developing products that support optimal brain health and function.

Prevagen is best for people who may be experiencing delayed memory to due agin. Also, people with focus and concentration issues may benefit from this product. You can visit for more information.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nature's Baby Organics: Review Plus Giveaway!

I have had the opportunity to sample so many different baby care products and organic body products over the years of blogging. I've received a lot of products that while they were indeed natural and organic, they were very scented or didn't really get the job done. I don't mind essential oils but I tend to like the products to be on the mild side when it comes to smells. I absolutely fell in love with the products that I received from Nature's Baby Organics. I may not have a baby in the house anymore but my six year old has been trying out these products and I've been swiping some for myself as well!

My absolute favorite product that I tried from Nature's Baby Organics in the Soothing Stick they sent over. This products is like an oversized chapstick. It's fragrance free and it is AMAZING. I have literally used it on everything. It worked on an itchy bug bite I had, it soothed dry, chapped skin on my hands and it cleared up a couple little patches of eczema that my son had from the changing of the seasons. There was literally no smell to the product and a few very simple ingredients including coconut oil, shea butter, chamomile oil and a couple more. I keep this in my makeup bag and use it frequently for all kinds of issues.

There have been very few bubble baths that didn't make my son's skin dry or itchy when he used them. While he's more of a shower type of guy now he was more than happy to try out the Tangy Tangerine bubble bath from Nature's Baby Organics. I liked this product because it was natural but still foamed up really well. Most organic bubble baths don't really foam. The smell is really mild and you actually can't smell any on the child when they get out of the tub.

Coconut Pineapple Shampoo and Detangler is awesome as well and there are plenty of lotions and other products that you can get from Nature's Baby Organics. These products are awesome for babies, toddlers, small kids and even adults. I don't like to keep tons of different bottles in the shower so we all tend to use the same couple products. This is a great brand to keep in mind.

Nature's Baby Organics is happy to give one of my readers a package of full size products worth $75 retail. The winner will receive:

1 Soothing Stick
1 Coconut Pineapple Shampoo & Bodywash
1 Coconut Pineapple Conditioner & Detangler
1 Tangy Tangerine Bubble Bath
1 Lavender Calming Spray
1 Fragrance Free Lotion

Friday, September 5, 2014

Topricin: Homeopathic Pain Relief & Healing Cream

Over the years I have learned more and more about homeopathic remedies for a number of problems. Whenever one of us in our home is sick or has some sort of ailment I am always interested in looking into a more natural treatment before turning to traditional medicine. A few years ago we adopted Arnica gel into our medicine cabinet for a variety of uses. My husband has found it useful for TMJ and a sprained ankle so I tried it on my son who gets severe foot pain occasionally if he has done too much or is going through a growth spurt. It didn't do a lot for his pain so we have just been sticking with a warm rice sock or epsom salt soaks. I was excited when I received a box of products from Topricin to try out.

Topricin is a homeopathic pain relief and healing cream. You can use it for a variety of issues including nerve pain, sore muscles, inflamed muscles, chronic pain from fibromyalgia and other pain related conditions, cuts, scrapes, bug bites and more. My son was complaining of some mild foot pain the one afternoon after running around all day but he wanted to make it to his karate class about an hour later. I applied a small, dime sized amount to his food, rubbing it in thoroughly. His pain subsided and he did not complain about it again. I liked that it is completely odorless, colorless and did not irritate the skin at all.

Topricin is incredibly safe and can be used by women who are pregnant, women who are breastfeeding, children and diabetics. It was voted one Healthy Holistic Living's Top 100 Green Products and it is much safer than using oral pain medications that are prescription or over the counter based. You can pick it up at a variety of stores including Wegmans, Whole Foods, Vitamin World and on the Topricin website.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pear Tree Greetings Review

If it’s time to send out your holiday greetings to all your friends, family and co-workers you best find something that will stand out and be unique. I always like to pick something totally different from years prior and really reflect our tastes as a family. I like to wow people with amazing and cute cards that they have never seen before. Pear Tree Greetings is a great website that you can order your holiday cards from as well as any other cards you may need throughout the year.

Pear Tree Greetings holiday cards are really fantastic. You can think far outside the box from your traditional photo collage cards and send out creations that nobody would otherwise think of. I really like the cut out ones that display a word on the front that is cut out and allows you to peak behind to your family photo which can also be seen when you open the card. I love adding a warm and friendly greeting and including our names so I don’t have to sign anything, just get the envelopes ready.

I decided to try out the kid’s party invitations on I pick a different place each year to order my son’s party invitations from. I like saving them and having a momento from each year that really reflects what his personality was like and what he was into. This year I chose the Green Friends alien card with the help of my little man. He loved that we got to put his face on the card and it looks like he’s in the spaceship. Very cute.

In addition to cards and invitations you can order address labels (Ours came out great- the paper was really high quality), stickers and more.

Visit to order your holiday cards today.

Lazy Lizards Yoga Mat Review

Every Sunday I head to yoga class and a number of times my son has begged me to take him along. Unfortunately I don’t know that the other people in the class would appreciate my giggling four year old who finds extreme humor in downward facing dog. He also meows and moos for cat / cow pose and something tells me this might be distracting to others. Anyhow, I came across a local yoga class that a mom can take with their child and we signed up. It turned out to be an awesome activity to do together and now my son loves to do yoga at home with me. He had the privilege to try out a Lazy Lizards Yoga mat of his very own and he loves it!

Lazy Lizards Yoga has an eco-friendly mat that they sell which comes with kid friendly yoga poses posted right on the mat. Along with that you can purchase the Lazy Lizards Yoga DVD to allow your child to practice this energizing, centering and focused activity. My son is total high energy 24/7 but I was amazed at how focused he can be when doing yoga and the effect carries on through the evening. I also love that we’re able to do something together that is something I am very passionate about. I love that he shares that passion at such a young age and I was thrilled that he got his very own mat to practice with until he’s a grow up master yogi and needs a big mat of his own!

What’s great about kids doing yoga is that they are born with all of their flexibility. As we grow we lose it so starting out young ensures they will be able to move freely and easily as they grow older. Yoga comes naturally to a child and it’s a great way for them to learn about themselves and develop spiritually.

The great thing about the mat is that the poses they feature are very common poses but they illustrate them with animals and give the great names. My son absolutely refused to do corpse pose at first. I think it was just too still for him and he didn’t quite get the concept. After seeing it labeled as the ‘Lazy Lizard’ he was thrilled to do it and didn’t budge.

The mats are high quality and they come in some great colors. I can’t say enough about these mats and think they’re a wonderful idea for all the little yogis of the world.

For more information or to purchase a Lazy Lizards mat you can visit

Sleepy Pod Review

I have three wonderful fur babies in addition to my son and they are members of our family as well. Unfortunately it seems one of them always has to get to the vet and I am usually the one who has to pack up my son and one or two cats and go on a short road trip to the vet’s office. I think it’s important to have a good quality carrier for trips like this or if you travel by air with your pet or pets. Sleepypod Air is a fantastic carrier that is perfect for small animals (not just cats) and it is the only airline approved animal carrier for in-cabin pet travel. Not only will your animal be comfy but they will be safe and you will know that they are alright.

A great feature of the Sleepypod Air is that when it’s not in use it’s collapsable. You can stow it away in your suitcase, closet, wherever and it doesn’t take up the room one of those larger hard case carrier does. When it’s in use and put together it’s incredibly sturdy and holds it’s shape. I had a couple of soft carriers we used for awhile and unfortunately they always collapsed on themselves.

The Sleepypod Air can be secured to both your luggage and to your backseat for travel.

The fabric on the outside of the Sleepypod Air is really lovely but it looks like it would be easy to wipe clean if need be. The inside is a pet’s dream as it’s cushioned and fur-lined. There’s plenty of air flow and space.

For more information you can visit There are also other versions of carrier available from Sleepypod that might better suit your needs.

Blurb Photo Books

Photo books are a great gift idea no matter what the holiday. Everyone loves a complete hardcover book filled with photos of their loved ones. It’s a great way to update family on everything your little one has done this past year and Blurb has some great options you can choose to make a memorable photo book.

We had some professional photos taken this past summer and they turned out positively lovely. I had a book made for our coffee table that included all of the shots and I noticed that my son was constantly looking through the book and loved the photos of all of us. He even loved looking at the funny ones of him. Rather than our big leather coffee table book of photos get sticky little fingerprints on each page I decided to make a book for my son for Christmas and he will have his very own copy (Shhhh…don’t tell him!) It will be nice for him to have his very own remembrance of him with his Mom and Dad and it’s something he can always have to look back on from when he was a child.

The process of using Blurb was relatively easy. You can choose a number of ways to create your book. You can enter photos yourself or you can have them automatically placed into the pages. You can enter text, create a cover and more. The binding even has a title on it depending on the style of book you purchase. I chose the hardcover option that lets you put a photo on the front and back of the book. The title of my choosing is on the binding and in the beginning of the book is printed a nice message from myself and my husband to our son. Blurb really allowed us to make a special gift for our son.

You don’t have to choose a photobook. Blurb also allows you to publish your own story or poems, you can create a family cookbook including photos and much more. Prices are very reasonable considering the final product and the types of products you can make. The options are endless.

To make your own book or browse through the samples you can visit

DHC Skincare Review

I read in an article that once you turn thirty you should start creating a routine skincare regimen to ward off the effects of aging. After I got over the fact that I felt like an old woman after reading that article I figured it couldn’t hurt to start using one or two products religiously in hopes of looking fantastic by the time I’m in my retirement years. I tried out some products from DHC skincare and I was immediately hooked. This line of products is based off of Japan’s longtime belief of olive oil’s wonderful properties for keeping the skin looking healthy and young. DHC leaves out all those other unnecessary ingredients such as fragrances and chemical additives which is what I always look for in a beauty or skincare product.

I like a product that is multi-purpose. I don’t like having 25 different bottles around my bathroom. Not only does it make for a cluttered bathroom but I feel like my shower and morning routine become impossible. I tried out DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil and I’m a fan for life. This product helps reduce the effects of free radicals and it moisturizes without clogging pores. I typically have oily skin which makes it tough to find a moisturizer I can use if I’m a little dry from the sun without breaking out from it. I was able to use this product with ease. This is literally the purest form of olive oil you can find anywhere in the world. A few drops goes a long way. I don’t ever want to waste any so instead of washing the residue off my hands when I’m done applying it I rub it into my hands really well and even run my fingers through my hair for a quick shine-boost. DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil retails for approximately $39 which really isn’t bad considering the price of some other products on the market. A small bottle really goes a long way too.

Another product that is nice to add to your repertoire is the Deep Cleansing Oil. I don’t like using a product that is going to dry out my skin but I need something to get rid of oil. This sounds counterproductive; using a cleansing oil for oily skin. I was a bit skeptical myself but found that rubbing a few drops in my hands and then using it to wash my face left my skin feeling really soft and healthy. If you want to stay away from oil-based products there are tons of other options to fit your skin type in the way of cleansers, moisturizers and more.

After using these products I definitely feel like my skin is much healthier. Customers of DHC have claimed that in addition to keeping their skin feeling and looking great it also helped fade existing scars and discoloration.

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