Monday, April 30, 2012

Let's Help Wipe Out Global Poverty- Live Below the Line Campaign

If you only had $1.50 to spend on your daily needs, what would you spend it on? Must of us do not face this problem, but for people living in extreme poverty, it is a struggle they face daily. Imagine trying to just feed yourself on that tiny amount of money per day. Seems impossible, doesn't it?  Oh, the things we take for granted.

For the week of May 7 through May 11, I will join thousands of other people dedicated to bringing awareness to this global extreme poverty crisis by participating in Live Below the Line Campaign via the Bzzagent team. I will be living off of $1.50 a day. I will have to figure out how to make this happen and what food I can buy on this little amount of money to make 3 meals a day for myself. I know it won't be easy, but that is the point. It isn't easy for those people that have to make these decisions every day. This is a great way to see first hand how many people in our world are living daily because of their circumstances.

Live Below the Line is a campaign to bring awareness to the poverty crisis, but it is also a means to help. There are several ways you can help support me and this campaign. The biggest way is to make a donation via my Live Below the Line fundraising page. A little bit can go a long way. If I could get just 25 people to donate $10, we would have raised $250 to donate to the Global Poverty Project. If that same amount of people donated $20, we would raise $500, the amounts and possibilities are endless. Donate what you can, let's bless those who truly, truly need it!

You can also help by spreading the word through your various social media outlets. I would love it if you might consider sharing a link of my fundraising page via email, facebook, twitter, pinterest, anywhere really.

Another way you can help is to join the Live Below the Line campaign yourself. The more people that join, the more people can be reached and more awareness and funds can be raised.

Let's help eradicate extreme poverty. We have the power to do so, we just need to work together to get it done.

For more information on the organization I am raising funds for, visit The Global Poverty Project

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Everest Nutrition Krill Oil Review & Giveaway


A few weeks ago, I was provided the opportunity to try Everest Nutrition Krill Oil. I have been meaning to try krill oil for a long time. My husband is a licensed Chiropractor so our family is definitely into taking care of our bodies with proper chiropractic care and high quality supplements. We have been taking  Omega 3 supplements in the form of fish oil for a few years. I will admit I started taking the kids gummy kind because the liquid kind was hard to swallow. Anyway, there has definitely been a shift in the natural health community leaning more toward Krill oil as the best source of Omega 3 in supplement form. I was super excited to receive my Krill oil from Everest Nutrition and couldn’t wait to see how it worked.



Right on the front of the bottle is touts that health benefits include support of joint health, cardiovascular health and relief of pms symptoms. I am a very healthy 30 year old woman, so the first two aren’t that big of a concern for me (yet) I was elated to see that Krill oil might relieve pms symptoms. And boy did it. The first few days of my period and the few days preceding them, I get terrible cramps and bad headaches. I really noticed a difference of these symptoms being lighter while taking the krill oil. I am thinking that continuing on the regimen of Krill oil, maybe it will dissipate the symptoms all together…but only time will tell. I will definitely take a day of mild cramping over the 3-4 days of severe cramping I usually have.  As I mentioned before, I am young and healthy but I do have a major problem with eczema and dry skin, particularly on the face. The biggest improvement I noticed with taking the krill oil is how wonderful my skin looks and feels.  Any time I have taken an omega 3 supplement, I have noticed somewhat of a change in how my skin feels, but the Krill oil has made a huge difference and it did so in just a short amount of time. I look at myself in the mirror and actually feel like I look cute! It’s great to look in the mirror and not see dry patches or red splotches.
This is my makeup free face for you to
see how clear the skin is. Wish I had a
before photo!!


Everest Krill Oil is 100% Pure Krill Oil produced by a patented cold-vacuum extraction of Antarctic Krill. It is in a gel cap form and doesn’t really have a taste at all, which makes it a lot easier to swallow than other Omega 3 supplements on the market. It also contains 48 times more antioxidant activity than other fish oil, according to the bottle it is in.

I definitely plan to continue taking this krill oil. I recommend it for the skin improvements alone, all of the other stuff is just icing on the cake. I love that it is manufactured right here in the USA and that there is a 90 day money back, no questions asked, guarantee. You can’t beat that.


Want a chance to try Everest Nutrition Krill Oil for yourself? Today is your lucky day! I have been provided one bottle of 60 capsules (a 30 day supply) to giveaway to one lucky reader! Enter below via the Rafflecopter!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nail Polish Giveway!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE nail polish. I can't get enough of it. I have a Julep Maven box coming my way with 3 great polishes at the beginning of May and I couldn't help myself from ordering the Zoya exclusive blogger collection from Birchbox yesterday. I just can't enough. There are just so many great colors and so many things you can do with polish!

Someone else who loves polish is Jessica from Love for Lacquer. She was so sweet to send me a box of great polishes to do with what I pleased! I kept a few, but I am going to giveaway some as well! There is a great hot pink from NYC, a beautiful coco brown from Sally Hansen and A gorgeous glittery purple from Confetti. I have also thrown in a vampire-ish red from Sinful Colors! Hope you enjoy this giveaway! Don't forget to show Jessica some love at Love for Lacquer or on the Love for Lacquer Facebook page to thank her!

Here is a picture of what is up for grabs:









Here is what I kept:










And here is a cute pedi I gave my daughter with our new polish and nail art pen:









Sorry for the terrible photo quality, they are from my phone. I need to get a new camera asap!


Enter for your chance to win via the Rafflecopter form below!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Conscious Box Review

If you haven't heard of the subscription box craze currently happening, you are really missing out! It is a really neat way to get a box full of little surprises delivered to your mailbox each month. If you are frequent reader of this blog, you have heard of a few that I have posted about. And you are about to hear about a third one, Conscious Box. It takes the same formula of other subscription boxes and ads an Eco twist- all product samples are from green and ethical companies- no crazy chemicals or animal testing here! This does make Conscious Box slightly more expensive at $19 shipped, but I think it is a great way to try new organic and natural products for a newbie to natural living or for those of us who have been on this journey for a while. It's definitely fun to get a box full of various new products to try each month, I highly recommend it!


Here is what was in the April box-

 There were definitely several products I plan to purchase in the near future. I really enjoyed sharing the Oogie's Gourmet Popcorn in Original Kettle corn with my 4 yr old daughter. I LOVED that I could give her some without worrying that it contained any genetic modifications or high fructose corn syrup. It was great to have a pre packaged sweet treat and not feel guilty over what we might be poisining our bodies with. I definitely plan to buy more from Oogies!






I was also super impressed with the Climb On Intensive Skin Repair. I had recently taken a fall that left me with a scrape on my knee and the skin repair felt wonderful and cooling on it. I even applied a little of the skin repair to my chapped lips. It's amazing stuff!




 I enjoyed the samples of laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid. Both performed very well, but my very favorite product in this box was the banana and dark chocolate bar by Clandestino. It was delicious and of course all natural and I am pretty sure I am going to start working out more so I have a great excuse to use this "fuel" product! Although, I am sure you can use it without working out, it makes a great precursor to a long or intense workout because of the banana in it! And anything covered in tasty dark chocolate is pretty amazing in my book.

As previously mentioned, Conscious Box is $19 a month (this is the total with shipping) which I think is well worth it for the quality and amount of product samples you receive. What an excellent way to discover products that are not only better for the environment, but for you and your family as well.














*Disclaimer- I was provided a Conscious Box in exchange for my review, however all opinions are 100%  my own.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day! Tree Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Today is such an important day. In 1970 Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, an environmental and conservationist activist, took the lead in starting the very first Earth day. He realized even then that we were on a parth to enviornmental disaster.

Today it is more important than ever to get back to taking care of our planet in the choices we make if not for ourselves, for the future generations to come. The good news is there are so many things you can do to help this cause! One thing you can do is plant a little garden at your house. Another is conserving energy and using natural resources. In celebration of Earth Day today, my kids and I are going to go outside and pick up trash around our neighborhood. That is just another small way you can help. A big thing you can do is recycle! It's so easy! Most neighborhoods even provide you a recycle bin. Utilize it! If you live in an apartment, there are recycle banks you can go to as well. Another great thing you can do is plant trees. This is really important. Arbor.Org makes that easy for you. If you pay just $10 to become a member, they will send you 10 free trees to plant! That is not much for that many trees! If you don't have somewhere to plant the trees, you can choose to have those trees planted in a forest in need. With your memership, you are also given a discount to trees in the nursery shop at arborday.org. These are some great deals. I have always wanted fruit and nut trees, so I plan to buy some to plant for the fall.

I wanted to do something special for Earth Day since it is so important, so I am giving away a 6 month membership to The Arbor Day Foundation! You can chose whether you want the 10 trees to plant for yourself (or you could share some with friends) or you can donate your ten trees to a forest in need and still receive the discounts on trees for the duration of your membership. Spring trees have already been sent out so if you chose to get the ten trees for yourself, it is possible they won't be delivered until this fall. You can email arborday.org and ask  them to override the date if you want. However, if you do this, it voids the gaurantee on your trees. The cut off day was only last week, so I really don't think it would make a huge difference if you decided to have your trees delivered for the spring. Join me in taking each step you can in order to better take care of our precious planet!

Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Happy Earth Day!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Disclaimer- Arborday.org did not sponsor or endorse this post or giveaway in any way. I just really wanted to do something meaningful for Earth day, so this is coming out of my own pocket!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day Freebies-some really good ones!

There are some great freebies going on tomorrow for Earth Day. If you have always wanted to take better care of the Earth (and yourself) or if you just love getting something for nothing, you don't want to miss out on these great freebies!

My favorite freebie for tomorrow is at Origins. If you take in your empty cosmetics bottles you will get a FREE bottle of moisturizer. Here is what the Origins Facebook page says:

Get your cosmetic empties ready & get ready to run to your nearest Origins store this Sunday, April 22nd. On Earth Day, we’ll give you a FREE A Perfect World™ SPF 25 Age-defense moisturizer with White Tea or Starting Over™ Age-erasing moisturizer with Mimosa just for bringing them in! You don’t want to miss it!

There are a few different places offering free reusable bags. Target is giving away a free resuable bag to each customer on April 22 until supplies run out, so you will want to get there early!

The Disney Store is giving away an adorable bag to customers who bring in 5 plastic bags to recycle. They are also having a scavenger hunt to help you learn more about how to save the planet.

Michael's is having a "make it and take it" craft event going on where you get to decorate a reusable bag in the store and take it with you!

I have heard that Lowe's is giving away a million trees (one per household) but I do not see that information on their website. Call your local store to verify before heading over there. They are offering 10% off energy star appliances.

Pottery Barn Kids is offering a free packet of Sunflower seeds, so don't forget to take your kids over there and then plant the seeds with them in the afternoon!

If you are a coffee drinker head on over to Starbucks and/or http://www.cariboucoffee.com/ with your reusable drink container and get free coffee!

Have you heard of any other Earth Day freebies? Leave them in the comments below!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book Review- The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

Photo from BethanyHouse.com
Mariah Aubrey has been exiled by her family to an abandoned gatehouse on the estate of her distant relative. She has to learn to support herself and her loyal servant, Dixon, who has accompanied her to the gatehouse. She does so by writing novels under an assumed name.
Soon after the arrival of Miss Aubrey and Dixon to the gatehouse, Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate. Will love be in the cards for Captain Bryant and Miss Aubrey, or will her past come back to haunt her?

Julie Klassen's The Girl in the Gatehouse has everything I love in a good historical romance. It has a great cast of characters that I found myself quite fond of from the very beginning including Captain Bryant and Mariah Aubrey. I love that the minor story lines are also quite interesting and in many ways responsible for me not wanting to put the book down. The main storyline is of course the most important part of a novel, but having good secondary stories is a huge draw as well. The Girl in the Gatehouse is also full of suspense, which I find refreshing in a historical romance, which can tend to be quite predictable, albeit endearing. It was a good change of pace.

It is evident that Klassen is a huge Jane Austen fan, even with some nods throughout the novel to the late author, but not in a way that it feels like she is ripping Austen off in anyway. I feel like Klassen is one of the best authors of historical romance currently writing in the genre and The Girl in the Gatehouse is no exception.

I was hooked from the very beginning and found myself reaching for the book at every possible moment. I found myself wondering if Mariah and Captain Bryant would ever get it figured out? Will Dixon would finally find love? Who is Captain Prince? What happened to get Mariah exiled from her family? Will she be found out as an authoress when she wishes to remain anonymous? A story full of great questions, which were all brought to a great conclusion, The Girl in the Gatehouse is a wonderful read for Historical Romance fan or  anybody who just likes a good love story. Another great novel from Klassen.

*Disclosure- I was provided a copy of The Girl in the Gatehouse for review from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing. All opinions are 100% my own

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tax day Freebies- Where to go today to get your FREE on!

There are many retail locations and restaurants offering freebies today for Tax Day.
Some of the offers include 30% off your entire purchase at Banana Republic, free curly fries at Arby's, A free scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt at Maggie Moo's or Marble Slab, a free appetizer or dessert at Chili's, half price drinks ALL DAY LONG at Sonic, even free paper shredding & copies at Office Max.

Head over to MSN.com & Forbes.com for the full lists as well as links to the coupons and Facebook pages of the companies.

100 follower celebration- 2 winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to Restaurant.com!

I wanted to do a giveaway to celebrate reaching the first goal I had for my goal- reaching 100 followers! In celebration of that accomplishment, I am giving away two gift certificates for $50 to Restaurant.com! If you haven't heard of Restaurant.com is is a great website where there are tons of local restaurants in cities across the US that you can use the certificates at. You do need to make sure you redeem the gift card for the restaurant you would like to use it at and make sure you read the restrictions for each restaurant. This is a great way to find new places to eat near you!

Enter by using the Rafflecopter form below!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Oogie's Gourmet Popcorn- Facebook giveaway

I just got my first Conscious Box (review coming very soon!!) and one of the products that really stood out to me was Oogie's Gourmet Popcorn. The sample I received was a bag of original kettle corn and it was SOOO good. It contained just the right amount of sweetness and I love that is is made from GMO free corn and without the use of high fructose corn syrup. (we do not consume genetically modifed food or anything containing high fructose corn syrup in our home, so this is a BIG WIN for me!)

I liked the product so much, I immediately went to Oogie's Facebook page to find out more about the company where I discovered they have a pretty amazing ongoing giveaway. You can enter for a chance to win a box filled with 8 packages of Oogie's Popcorn. They draw a new winner every week and you only have to enter once! This will also enter you for a chance to win the grand prize, which is 1,000 bags of Lil Oogie's to be donated to the local community organization of your choice! If I were to win, I would donate mine to our local food pantry! Some other places you could donate the prize pack to are a church, school, homeless shelter, women's shelter, the list is pretty endless!

I love supporting companies that make their products with our health and the wellness of the environment in mind. I am always ecstatic when they also have the well being of those less fortunate in mind as well. "Like" Oogies Gormuet Popcorn on Facebook and enter for your chance to not only possibly win something for yourself, but something that could help out someone who may really need it!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Creation (as retold by Janice D. Green) Book Review

The beginning of the Bible greets us withan explination of the creation. To be able to fully understand God's word and plan for us. we must first understand where we come from.

Photo courtesy of
 Honeycombadventures.com
In The Creation, a retelling of the account given in Genesis, Janice D. Green puts it in terms designed for a child to understand. Each phase of creation is given it's own page in the book and explained in a few short easy to understand sentences followed by it's corresponding Bible verse. My 3 kids ages four, two and two, all listened intently through the entire story. I found the follow up questions at the end of each page a very nice way to engage my preschooler. She was more than willing to ponder these questions and come up with answers. She really enjoyed that aspect of the book. Even though my boys are not yet old enough to participate that thoroughly, I found this book to be a great starting point on sharing the story of creation with them.  Each page is accompanied with colorful hand appliqued quilt illustrations to help further tell the story.. Green does a great job translating the story of creation into terms a young child, even a preschooler, can understand. This is a great book for any Christian home with younger children. It would also make a teriffic addition to the library of a Sunday School classroom or a Church or Biblically based preschool.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Santa Margherita Mother's Day Getaway contest- Win a trip to Las Vegas!

As mothers, we love our kids so much. we devote the majority of our time to their well being and happiness. This mom is certainly guilty of not taking enough time for herself.

Santa Margherita wants to provide one lucky mom with a much deserved relaxing getaway for two to one of my favorite vacations spots- Las Vegas! The winner will receive a mother's day weekend geteaway for two including airfar, a 2 nights stay at the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino & a Mother's day brunch featuring HGTV star & entertaining expert Monica Pederson. Other prizes to be given away include bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates and copies of Pederson's new book Make it Beautiful.

Head over to Santa Margherita's facebook page and enter to win by telling them why your mom deserves the getaway, or you could even say why YOU deserve the trip!

The new Santa Margherita Sparkling Rose wine will be available across the United States beginning in May.


*Disclosure- I was entered for a chance to win a Santa Margherita prize package in exchange for this pst. No monetary exchange took place.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just Announced: New J.K. Rowling Novel

Harry Potter fans, get ready to get your countdown on! It was just announced that author J. K. Rowling will release her first book since the Harry Potter series on September  27th. The Casual Vacancy will be Rowlings first book in the adult fiction category.
Photo from LittleBrown.Co.UK
Little Brown Book Group, Rowling's publishing company, has released this plot summary for the book:

"When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?"


It is described as a blackly comedy that is thought provoking and constantly surprising!

I will be counting down the days until September 27th! You can pre-order The Casual Vacancy now at Amazon.com

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Join She Speaks for Take a Load off Party tonight!

Tonight, April 12th at 9pm ET, She Speaks will team up with Tide to present the #takealoadoff twitter party. This is a party in celebration of Earth Day to "take a load off the energy grid, the environment AND our wallets by making the switch to washing in Tide Coldewater!" There will be over $1000 worth of prizes given out and a chance to win every ten minutes!!

The #takealoadoff twitter party will consist of chatting about how to "take a load off," whether trying to relax or small changes that can be made to lower your carbon foot print.

Don't forget to RSVP to be eligible to win a door prize worth $200. You can RSVP by leaving a comment at the Twitter Party blog post with your Twitter handle!


Party Details:
When: Tonight, Thursday, April 12th
Time: 9:00pm EST
Who: You and your friends!
Where/Tweetgrid: http://bit.ly/xInive
Hashtag: #takealoadoff
RSVP:  http://bitly.com/H7hfEm 
Party Sponsors: @Tide,  @FutureFriendly
Party Hosts: @SheSpeaksUp
Party Panelists: @LisaSamples, @StacieInAtlanta,@RockOnmommies,@RobynsWorld, @Zipporahs
Prizes:
There will be over $1,000 in prizes, including a year supply of Tide Coldwater, a Conair Massaging Foot Bath and a Cell Phone Solar Charger. You could also win our grand prize, a $200 gift card to the spa of your choice.

*Disclosure- I was not compensated for this blog post, but by posting the details this party I do have the opportunity to win a prize provided by Tide/SheSpeaks.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Free subscription to Family Fun Magazine! Hurry!

Head over to ValueMags.com to receive your free subscription to Family Fun Magazine. There are no strings attached and you will not receive a bill! I have been getting free magazines for around a year now, some of them from ValueMags, it's nice to get them without paying a thing! Hurry, this offer is on a first come, first serve basis!







Thanks Deal Wise Mommy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cureology Shine Mist Review

photo courtesy of CureologyBeauty.com
As a mom of three kids all aged 4 and under, I am constantly looking for products that will add to my beauty routine that will make me look nicer, but in a quick manner. I found just that in Cureology's illumination shine mist.

Cureology is a special company. Not only are their hair products free of a bunch of junkie chemicals that are no good for your hair or your health (you won't find any parabens, sulfates, aluminum, synthetic fragrances, phalates or any other harsh chemicals in these products. They are 100% natural.) Cureology products are  green, sustainable and vegan friendly. They are also full of antioxidents, cruelty free and organic to boot. If that set of standards isn't enough to show you how truly amazing this company is, Cureology is a cause product. That means that portions of their sales go to a specific cause, in this case, The National Breast Cancer Foundation. Through the sales of Cureology products the NBCF is able to provide funding for free mammograms, increased awareness through education and cancer research.

The Cureology products are salon exclusive. That means if you want to buy them, you have to do so at your local salon. If your salon doesn't carry these products orif you are a stylist interested in carrying Cureology products you see about starting at the Cureology website. If you want to find out if a salon near you carries these products, you can call 855-444-2873.

As far as the Shine Mist goes, I really liked it. The bottle directs you to style your hair as you normally would and then spray it evenly on your hair. I love the shine that it adds and I noticed after using it a few days in a row that it also added some volume. Something I really loved about the Cureology Shine Mist is that it smells so good. That is the awesome thing about all natural products, they smell so fresh and clean, not like hair spray, which a lot of traditional styling products smell like. It also makes my hair feel super soft. I could really tell this was a salon quality product. Not only does the Cureology Shine Mistmake your hair soft and shiny, it also offer's uvb protection. Does your hair product do that? I think that is pretty innovative.

**Disclaimer** I was provided a free sample of Cureology's Illumination Shine Mist for this review, however all opinions stated here are 100% my own.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Review

I am always so excited when I receive something in the mail from Bzzagent, especially when it is more on the "natural" side of things. I have heard of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, but had yet to try them. We are not a "cereal for breakfast" kind of household because I wanted my kids (who are 4, 2 & 2) to start off with good eating habits and I feel like a lot of breakfast cereals are just full of sugar and no good nutrients.  We do have cereal for a snack every now and then, so that is how I served this cereal to the kids. Before allowing them to eat it, I read the nutrition label on the side of the box to see exactly what I was giving them. I was happy to see that the first ingredient on the box of Honey Nut Quaker Oats was whole grain flour. And that the second was whole wheat flour. I was also happy to see that, further down the ingredient list, was barley, a great source of fiber! I was delighted to see that there was no high fructose corn syrup to be found, my kids would not have been eating it otherwise and that there is a high amount of protein and fiber in this cereal. Things sounds great on the box, but I knew the real test would be seeing if the kids liked it or not. I sat them all around thetable and gave each a small bowl of the dry cereal for a snack. And there was not a crumb left. I even caught Noah, one of my two year old twin boys, trying to sneak more out of the box! I tried it myself and loved that it was just sweet enough, but still pretty healthy, as far as a boxed cereal is concerned.

I definitely plan to try all of the other flavors- in addition to the honey nut flavor there are Cinnamon, Brown Sugar and the Walmart Exclusive Golden Maple. Maybe we will start having a bowl of cereal for breakfast every now and then afterall.

Head over to the Quaker Oatmeal Square's Facebook Page to receive your own free sample of Oatmeal Squares!

*Disclaimer- I am a Bzzagent and received a free box of Quaker Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares in exchange for my thoughts on the product, however all opinions stated here are 100% my own.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Julep Maven April "It Girl" Review

April's Julep Maven box is my 3rd and the 3rd consecutive time I have chosen to get the "It Girl" box. I love that my Maven box always arrives by the 1st of each month (the April box actually arrived at the end of March! FABULOUS shipping time, Julep!) I also love that the packaging is always so cute and there is always a little extra gift inside. This month's box had green raffia paper (to look like Easter grass) with little chocolate eggs hidden in them, as well two nail seperators.

The 3 colors I received are:

Penelope- a light, almost opaque light pink cream
Niecy- a hot pink/fuschia cream
Jessica- a light blue cream

I loved that these colors are all great spring colors, but all so different from one another. My first thought upon receiving these colors is that I could use all of them on Maddie's nails!

Here is a picture of my little "It Girl's" manicure-















She said her favorite color is Niecy!


I also thought I would attempt my first nail art post from these colors. I know it isn't perfect (I free handed it) but here are my spring stripes-

The Julep Maven program is unlike other subscription boxes because you have several options for the month. You can choose from several different boxes, so you have different choices each month. You can choose to get your box for the month, or you can skip the month and not have to pay anything. Another cool thing is you can choose to send the box to a friend as a gift. It is always nice to have options!

Another cool thing about being a Julep Maven is their referal progrom. For each 2 friends you refer that become Julep Maven's you earn a free box! It is always nice to be rewarded for spreading the word about products you love, something you would probably be doing anyway!



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil Review & Giveaway

Coconut oil is so good for you in so many ways. There are so many ways it can be used too! Tropical Traditions was generous enough to send me a 32 oz container of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to try. This oil is made from only the highest quality organic coconuts from rural areas in the Phillipines!


                                   From the Tropical Traditions Website:
"Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is our highest quality coconut oil. This premium Virgin Coconut Oil is handcrafted by family producers in the Philippines using traditional methods passed down from previous generations. We were the first ones to export Virgin Coconut Oil from the Philippines to the United States back in 2001. Recent Studies show that traditionally-made coconut oils have the highest amounts of antioxidants. Watch our video for more information about this premium Virgin Coconut Oil."

I have sauteed several meals using coconut oil. My family of 5 have not  seemed to notice that I switched oils on them. I like using coconut oil to pan fry things in instead of olive oil To change things up a bit. I have noticed when I add coconut oil to my morning smoothies, I feel more energetic!

I also decided to make one of  my favorite treats to try out this coconut oil- magic shell. All it takes is coconut oil and chocolate chips. You melt them together and then pour it over your ice cream and voila! you have magic shell! This was easy and fun, next time I will let my kids make it! The recipe I used called for 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1 cup of chocolate chips. I thought there was a slight coconut flavor to the shell, but I thought it really added to the flavor!


Coconut oil is not only for cooking, it makes an excellent addition to your beauty regimen. I used it as a leave in conditioner on my hair. I just put some in my hands and brushed it through with my fingers and I am telling you, my hair has never been so shiny or soft in my life. I really wish I would have thought of this sooner. I think I will continue to do this once a week. I left it on for 20 minutes and then washed my hair like normal. I have been using coconut oil for years as a moisturizer. I have really dry skin and it works so well at helping relieve that dryness. A friend of mine suggested I try it as a make up remover, which  I did...once again, with fabulous results. If you use it as a make up remover, then you've already moisturized your face with it.

The uses and benefits of coconut oil are endless. There are 100's of ways to use coconut oil!



From now until April 12th, Tropical Traditions will give you a second container of coconut oil free with the purchase of a jar. There are various sizes included in this sale, go check it out!

**Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product

Today is Free Cone day at Ben & Jerry's!



If you have a Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop near you, today is the day to go! It is Free cone day! Help them celebrate 34 years of awesome ice cream by heading to your local Ben & Jerry's between Noon and 8:00 PM for a free cone!

Monday, April 2, 2012

PR Friendly Blog/Disclosure/Privacy Policy

PR FRIENDLY BLOG


This is a PR friendly blog. I love doing reviews about beauty products, food products, books, cookbooks, movies, exercise equipment, workout dvd's, children's books, toys, green and organic products of all kinds, gardening products, travel accommodations, and restaurants. My family and I love traveling together, hanging out and playing outside at the park and gardening in our backyard. I will only review products or services that I feel fit in with the theme of my blog and will be of interest to my readers.

Contact me at cristisreviews@gmail.com if you would like me to do a review for you.


Available Reviewers:
Female Child- 6 years old
Male Twins- 4 years old
Adult Female- 32 years old
Adult Male- 30 years old

ABOUT ME:
I am a stay at home mom to my 5 year old daughter and twin 3 year old sons. I love entertaining in my home and often throw parties or cookouts. I can almost always be found in the kitchen trying out a new recipe or in the bathroom messing with various makeup and beauty products or trying out new nail art. I love to read, watch movies, go  to the theatre and catch a play and traveling. I am passionate about health and wellness and always looking for ways to make my family more healthy. We like to be as "green" as possible. I have been married to my hardworking husband, who is a Licensed Chiropractor, Nurse in the emergency room and full time student, for the last 6 years years. We just purchased our first house! We stay pretty busy, but feel very blessed!

LEGAL STUFF

Disclosure
This policy is valid from January 31,, 2013.
This blog is written by Cristi Marashi You may contact Cristi at cristisreviews@gmail.com 
This blog may accept forms of advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions and/or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. Any compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog and will be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog may be compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog may receive compensation for posts or advertisements, you will find honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences regarding topics and/or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the author’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

Privacy Policy
Your privacy is very important and I am committed to protecting it. I ask for your email address when you make a comment on the site, but will never sell or share that information unless you are the winner of giveaway. Then I will only give it to that sponsor so they can send your prize. If you provide your address after you have won a giveaway on this site, I will send the information to the sponsor for prize shipment; no one else will have access to it. If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, please contact Cristi Marashi at  cristisreviews@gmail.com

March "Joie De Vivre" Cravebox review


I think it's safe to say that I am not a Cravebox fan...I am a Cravebox FANATIC! I can not stress how much I enjoy receiving my box every month and for just $10. It's a box full of fun surprises each month! The March "Joie De Vivre" Cravebox has been my favorite to date.



  Here's what was in the box-

Mereadesso Lip Treats
 So far, each Cravebox has contained a Mereadesso Product & I kept hoping the lip treats were going to make an appearence.  I was thrilled to see them in this box! The blend ofprimrose, grape seed, coconut oil and sunflower oil make this lip primer a treat indeed. Lip treats can also be used alone. This two pack retails for $28





Nyx Budiour Mascara in Frou Frou
I am a mascara junkie. If there is one beauty item I can't live without, it would be mascara. I am super impressed with Le Frou Frou by NYX. It does a really a great job at seperating each lash (there is absolutely NO clumping!) and creates GREAT length! This mascara retails at for around $5.99, but happens to be on sale at Ulta this week for $3.59. What a great deal for such a fantastic mascara!




Puristics  Eye Treatment
Since I recently turned the big 3-0, I have been trying to pay more attention to skin care, speficially for my face. I am really excited to see how puristics works. It is supposed to diminish the appearence of crow's feet & help lift and firm skin. I love that this product is free of parabens, phthalates or sulfates, is naturally perserved and fragrance free. This is a big deal to me because I only use products that don't contain those chemicals mentioned above. You can pick this up at your local Walgreen's for $17.99


Mercy Vitamin Supplement
Mercy is a drink designed to prevent hangovers or if partyingisn't your thing, it can also be used as a vitamin supplement. I don't drink carbonated drinks, so I am going to pass this along to my little sister, who currently happens to be in College. I am sure she will put it to good use. Sorry it is still bubble wrapped, but like I said I am going to share this one, so I didn't want to disturb the packaging. :)



Might Leaf Tea
I am not a tea drinker, but my Persian mother in law definitely is, so I will be passing these along to her! To me, that is the beauty of Cravebox. If something I won't use for some reason is in the box, I get to share with others, which I absolutely LOVE. You can purchase Mighty Leaf Tea starting at around $9.95. If you sign up to receive their emails, you can get 15% off of a purchase! This tea is also available at your local Kroger (at least, I saw it at mine!)




Cravebox is set for a full launch toward the end of April! Sign up to be notified when the launch takes place and there are spots available! They also just launched Limited Edition boxes. Check out which Limited Edition boxes are coming up & sign up to be notified for your chance to get one! I am really excited about the Summer Beauty Box and the Spring Cleaning box!

I definitely think my monthly subscription to Cravebox is $10 Well spent!