Thursday, April 30, 2015

Fika - Book Review

This book is such a gem. The first thing that caught my eye of course was the illustrations. They are just adorable and really add so much to the book. I normally like real photos of the food in cookbooks but this one the illustrations fit so well I don't even miss the end result of what it should look like.

The recipes themselves sound delicious. They make you never want to just drink your coffee alone ever again. I love the background information given in the book. It is explained what fika is and the history of it. A list of common Swedish ingredients and alternatives is listed along with tools needed.

Fika reminds me a lot of what we call "coffee lunch". My husband's family is Finnish and even at church we always have coffee lunch after evening church. Whether at church or visiting friends and family coffee is always on and some sort of goodies are out on the table. Pulla, which is a Finnish sweet bread is a favorite of ours!

This book will stay out on one of my coffee tables just because it is too cute to put on the shelf. I know company will enjoy looking at it. It would also make a great gift. It's such a good reminder to slow down and enjoy life a bit. Everyone needs a little fika now and then.

Be sure to check out Fika so you can take a moment in your day to enjoy it.

* I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review. Opinions are my own.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pentel Pens & Pencil Review for Shoplet

We go through a lot of pens and pencils at our house. I am always writing lists, notes, bills (boo!), or homeschool stuff. Our boys also go through their fair share from doing their school work. Since I'm always on the lookout for good quality writing utensils I was very happy to get a chance to review these products from Pentel and Shoplet. They kindly sent us three different products and we've been using them over the last couple weeks and loving them!

First up are these really bright and fun Vicuna Retractable Ballpoint Pens. They feature an oil based ink that is low in viscosity which helps to create an ultra smooth writing experience. 

They are comfortable to hold and I have been using these to write in appointments on my calendar and in my appointment book. They make it so much more fun. I've also used these for writing in greeting cards. Bright colors are so much happier than just plain black or blue when sending a little note to someone.

The next product we tried out was this Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil

This mechanical pencil is so very comfortable to hold because of it's latex free grip. It has a jumbo eraser that is much larger than regular mechanical pencils. You only need to twist the top to get more eraser. It writes with 0.5 mm fine lines which make it very easy to read. What really stands out to me is how dark it writes. So much better than other ones we've used. My oldest has claimed this one for his school work. 

Pentel Twist-Erase III Mechanical Pencil

Finally, this Pentel EnerGel Alloy RT Roller Ball Retractable Gel Pen which just might be my favorite pen ever! 

This pen feels so good in my hand. It writes so easily and is just really a beautiful pen. I feel rather important when I use it. It does help me feel a tiny bit better when I'm writing out bills. :)  I will not allow anyone else in the house to use it because I love it so much! It's one of those pens that looks really expensive but is really not. It would be a great pen to gift someone or to gift yourself!

All three of these products have gotten so much use over the last couple of weeks. They have held up well and I would highly recommend if you are needing some quality writing pens and pencils that are affordable. 

You can find all of these Pentel items along with other office supplies at Shoplet.

* I received these items in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own. 

Radha Beauty Eye Gel Review

I have been using this Eye Gel from Radha Beauty for a few weeks now. When I haven't gotten enough sleep I tend to get dark circles under my eyes. My skin is so pale it's very noticeable. On occasion I do get a bit puffy under my eyes too.

This product goes on very easily and absorbs quickly. You only need a small dab of it. It leaves the area under my eyes very soft and moisturized. It seems to have helped a bit with the darkness under my eyes. I like the scent it has too. A little bit of a cucumber smell. I have only been using it in the mornings but it does say for best results to use morning and evening.

This product can be used to help with dark circles, puffiness, bags, and wrinkles. It has Plant Stem Cells that help protect against sun damage. Hyaluronic Acid hydrates the skin and plumps it up with moisture, and Matixyl 3000 firms the skin.

You can find this Eye Gel on Amazon.

* I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Beardsmen Spirit Beard Oil Review

I let our son help me out on this current review. Since I thankfully don't have a beard I needed him to test this out for me. He seems to have been given the gift of easily growing facial hair. It comes in quick and thick! 

This is a nice 4 oz bottle. He said he didn't need much when applying it. The scent was a bit strong at first but then faded somewhat into a nice outdoor type scent. I'm guessing which is why it's called Bold Forest! He said it felt like it made it less itchy and dry. I think he's feeling pretty manly!

This Beardsmen Spirit Bold Forest Beard Oil is 100% natural with nourishing Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, plus 3 Essential Oils. It is made in the USA. It helps keep hair neat, smooth, soft, and tangle free. 

You can find Beardsmen Spirit Bold Forest Beard Oil on Amazon.

* I did receive this product for free in exchange for my honest review. The opinions for this particular post are from my son since I don't have a beard. :)

All Queens Chess Review

We love to play games at our house! Our boys are big into strategy games and were excited when this All Queens Chess game arrived. This is for 2 players ages 8 to adult. The goal is to get 4 Queens in a straight line either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Queens move like regular Chess rules but can't be captured.

The board itself and pieces are of nice quality. It's also a nice size. It will be easy to take with when we have game days at our homeschool co-op.

Our 4 boys are ages 10 to 15 and all enjoyed playing this game. I was a little worried I would not understand how to play because I'm not a chess player. I just can't get into it but I really enjoyed this game. It was easy to figure out and gets rather competitive and really makes you stop and think. I realize Chess is like that too but it's just not for me. I think what I really like is that since they are all Queens she can just do as she pleases! It's definitely a fun game to have in your house.

You can find All Queens Chess on Amazon.

* I received this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

SKLEER Review & Giveaway

One of the first things I notice about a product is it's scent. It can really make it or break it for me. This skin conditioning gel from SKLEER has a really nice almost spa like scent. This lovely scent is a combination of Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Cardamom Oil, Caraway Oil, and Cinnamon Oil. Most of the scent does fade away once it is absorbed into your skin. It is non greasy and quickly absorbs into your skin.

SKLEER is an all in one skin conditioner that can help with many itchy skin conditions including dermatitis or eczema, dry skin, insect bites, burns, abrasions, diaper rash, hives, sunburn, and others. It is for all types of skin including sensitive and can be used on babies and toddlers. It is recommended by doctors and dermatologists.

It is natural and contains no parabens, no harmful preservatives, no lanolin, no hydroquinone, no corticosteroids, and is not tested on animals. It contains no Salicylic Acid, no Glycolic Acid, no Retinoic Acid, and no Benzoyl Peroxide.

I always try out a new product on my hands to be sure I don't have any issues. This absorbed quickly and was not greasy at all. It left my hand very soft. I also used it on a small area of my elbow that has been irritating me with eczema for a couple days. It has seemed to help since I'm not itching it. Even though I'm not looking forward to mosquito season which will be fast approaching, I will be happy to see if this will help when we do get those nasty itchy bites!

You can find out more about this product by visiting their website -  SKLEER.

You can also enter below to win your own SKLEER! The company so kindly offered to give one to my readers.

* I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Forever Fused Fruit Infuser Water Bottle Review

I have a hard time sometimes just drinking plain water. I like to liven it up a bit so it's not so boring. I love this Forever Fused Fruit Infuser Water Bottle because it makes it easy to add flavor to my water.

It is easy to use and only has 4 pieces to it. They assemble easily and I have tasty water in no time. The infuser part is a good size so I have been able to put a fair amount of fruit in it. It does help if you allow the fruit to sit in the water even for a short amount of time. I usually put it in first thing in the morning and then refill as needed throughout the day as I drink it.

I have tried a few different things in mine. One of my favorites is strawberries and lemons. I've also used limes, cucumbers, and oranges. You can also put tea in it if you like.

At first I had a hard time getting used to the spout part but after a few days of using my bottle I actually almost prefer this style. The water flows out easily and doesn't drip down my chin. I also like I don't have to worry about cleaning any straw tubes like some bottles have.

I know I will be getting a lot of use out of this bottle as the weather warms up. This infuser bottle will definitely help me increase my water intake!

You can find this Forever Fused Fruit Infuser Water Bottle on Amazon. This water bottle is made of high quality Eastman Tritan Copolyester, which is eco-friendly, BPA free, dishwasher safe and leak proof. Each bottle comes with a sports backpack and fitness ebook.

* I received this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

The Power of Your Metabolism Review & Giveaway

I'm always on the lookout for ways to keep me motivated in living a healthy lifestyle. As I get older I've realized how much my metabolism has slowed down. I need to find ways to speed it up!

This book has a lot of great information. It's easy to read and understand. The author fought his own battle with obesity and wrote this book to help all those that wanted to know more about how he did it. He touches on several topics including dehydration, stress, bad digestion, diabetes & hypoglycemia, female hormones, and many more.

I've read through it once but plan to use it as a reference when I need to be reminded or encouraged on keeping with a healthy lifestyle.

You can find The Power of Your Metabolism on Amazon. 

The author has also kindly offered to let me do a giveaway for my readers so you can win your very own book!  The giveaway begins April 26th at 12 am and ends May 8th at 12 am. 

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own. 

Peak Fusion Organic Platinum Yacon Syrup Review

This Organic Platinum Yacon Syrup is a premium, raw, vegan, gluten free, all natural sweetener sourced directly from Peru. It provides an excellent source of natural prebiotics and fiber. It has a dark brown color and does taste similar to molasses. It did take me a few times to get used to the taste when I just took a spoonful by itself. You can use it for baking and cooking.

Some experts say Yacon Syrup is a natural way to help promote weight loss. I think it's really up to the individual. I have only been using it randomly. I don't have a lot of weight to loose but was interested in trying it out since I had heard about it. I like to slowly introduce new products so as not to end up with undesirable side effects until I know it's okay for my own body.

You can find this Organic Platinum Yacon Syrup on Amazon.

* I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

Friday, April 24, 2015

U-Bend Review

This unique little product called UBend helps relieve stress and gets your muscles working. You can pull it and twist it in all sorts of ways. It's small enough to take with you when you travel or keep it in your desk at work.

The ends make it easy to hold in your hands.

You can really get a good workout for your arms with the UBend. My kids even have used it a few times. It is definitely a good way to release stress when you can just twist and turn and pull on it. 

Great arm workout!

UBend is manufactured using Environment Friendly Premium Quality Silicone. I have found it does easily pick up any lent or small particles if left out so I have been keeping it in a plastic bag to help keep it clean. 

You can find UBend on Amazon. 

* I received this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

Car Windshield Sunshade Jumbo Review

There is nothing worse than getting into a hot car in the summer. The sun beating down even for just short amounts of time makes seats hot and the air in the car is so stifling. A good sunshade can really make a difference!

I really like that this X - Shade Car Sunshade folds up into this nice little bag. It can easily be stored under my seat and out of the way. It is easy to take out and can be in your windshield in just seconds. It is made of premium metallic reflective polyester (nylon) materials and blocks up to 99% of damaging UV rays.

This shade folds out to 150 x 80 cm or 59.05 x 31.49 inches. It fits our suburban windshield nicely. I'm really looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it this summer. We haven't had too many warm sunny days yet but I know they will be here soon!

You can find this X - Shade Car Sunshade on Amazon.

* I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Cassidy Lane - Book Review

This is the second book that I've read by Maria Murnane and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one. Her characters seem so realistic. Even the supporting characters seem like they could be any of my friends. They make the book even more enjoyable. I also just feel like I can relate so well because I'm at the same stage in my life as the people in this book.

The main character in this book is Cassidy. Even though she is a successful author she feels she hasn't fully made it because she is without a man by her side. When she shows up at her class reunion she bumps into an old classmate and a bit of romance enters her life. The book she is working on though is not coming along so easily and then there is a bit of a bump in the road with her new found relationship. Of course not every story can have a happy ending or can it?

This was another fun light read. I didn't want it to end. I get so attached to characters but then I know it's been a good book when those things happen while I'm reading.

You can find Cassidy Lane on Amazon or also find out more about the author by visiting her website - Maria Murnane.

* I did receive an ebook version of this book in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

100% Copper Mug for Moscow Mule Review

This mug is made from 100% copper and wow does it ever keep your beverage cold! It holds 16 oz and the handle fits just comfortably in your hands. It's the perfect size. While I don't drink Moscow Mules I have enjoyed using it for juice and soda.

It was a warm 75 degrees outside today so I enjoyed sitting out on our deck for a bit. It was rather windy so my relaxing didn't last too long. This mug kept my beverage very cold. My youngest boy had to test it out with some lemonade also. I may have to share this awesome little mug or invest in a few more! I really look forward to using it this summer out by the pool.

This 100% Copper Mug can be found on Amazon. It comes with several recipes for different mules to make so you can enjoy your mug to the fullest. Copper not only keeps your beverage cold but also enhances the flavor and provides health benefits.

This mug needs to be washed by hand with soap and water and dried afterwards.

* I did receive this product in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

Trisha's Table - Cookbook Review

What a delight this new cookbook from Trisha Yearwood is! It has a nice balance of healthy food with some indulgent ones so you can still splurge every now and then and not feel guilty. What makes me really happy about this book is so many of the recipes I can see my whole family eating and enjoying!

The photos in the book are just beautiful. The recipes are easy to read and I love that she's included little bits of info about each recipe at the beginning. She has included a few recipes from family and friends and it's nice that there are pictures of them included with some of the recipes. I always think it makes it more personal when they've included someone who is connected with the recipe and not just taken credit for it.

I have so many recipes marked that I want to try. Most are all regular ingredients and nothing you need to go looking all over town for. I've found these wonderful little sticky tabs that work great for marking pages of recipes I want to try. This cookbook has lots of them!

Lots of recipes marked to try!

This cookbook is full of a great variety of recipes fit for the whole family. Ones that are on the top of my list include avocado pineapple salsa, power balls, kale soup, cornbread-chili casserole, quinoa corn chowder, and chocolate angel food cake with strawberries. 

I highly recommend Trisha's Table if you are looking for some tasty new recipes. 

* I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review. Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Wait for the Rain - Book Review

I am a bit obsessed with reading. I spend many nights telling myself just one more chapter and before I know it, it's 2 am and that one chapter ends up being a dozen or so because I had to finish the book. There are just so many books and not enough hours in the day!

The cover of this book caught my eye and once I read the book description I knew it was my style of book. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but a beach scene always catches my attention.

Wait for the Rain is about 3 friends who meet up for a reunion in the Caribbean to celebrate turning 40. The book is mostly focused on Daphne who is a bit distraught about how her life turned out. She's divorced. Her ex husband is getting remarried and her teenage daughter is not needing her as much. She's also worried about her two friends finding out how unhappy she is. Once she's shared her true feelings she is able to relax more and enjoy their vacation and focus on getting back some of her spunk she thought she lost.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read. The relationship the 3 friends had was very believable and it showed how each of them have parts of their life that are not so great. We all have friends that their lives seem to be easier or happier than ours but when we really are able to see the whole picture we know it's not perfect.

You can find Wait for the Rain on Amazon. You can also visit her website - Maria Murnane and find out about her other books. I really enjoyed her style of writing and can't wait to read her other books!

* I did receive an ebook version in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lunch Bag Hango - Set of 2 Review

This set of Black Hango Lunch Bags comes with a small and large size. They arrived folded inside the white cotton bag shown in the photo above. 

The outside material is nice and seems to be easy to wipe clean. The handles also appear to be attached well. They are both lined with a silver insulation to keep foods cold. 

Large bag.

Small bag. 

The large bag can easily hold 6 cans of pop and a decent sized ice pack on top of them. The smaller bag I was able to put in a yogurt and an apple. You could fit a few more smaller things in there also. The bags are a bit smaller than I had imagined. You could easily use the larger of the bags for one person's lunch or for sending with a child to school. The smaller bag might be good for a very small child if putting just a half a sandwich and juice box or whatever in it. 

I do prefer bags that have a bit more support or shape to them. These are not flimsy but just feel like they don't hold their shape well. The zippers are a bit picky also in that you do have to hold the bags just right to get them to zip smoothly. 

I can see myself tossing a few cans of pop or some water bottles and an ice packet in the larger one while I'm out running errands in the summer. The smaller bag may just end up being used for a bathroom bag when traveling. 

These are just my own opinions. These bags may be what you are looking for. I think it really depends on your lifestyle and what you'd use them for. 

You can find this Lunch Bag Hango - Set of 2 on Amazon. 

* I did receive this product complimentary in exchange for my honest review.