Thursday, December 28, 2017

Add KnitBest To Your Wardrobe [Review]

I love sweaters this time of year. While most of the time, I'm wearing heavier sweaters, I like the kind you can layer with other things. I had the chance to try out a couple of KnitBest sweaters that I really liked. Knit Best sells a ton of sweaters and you can find a lot of the sweaters on Amazon (my favorite place to shop!)

I'm actually fairly new to shopping online and it is such a beast of burden for me to shop for clothes online. I get so picky and it's so tough to find the right type of thing. So for me, I was excited to see how I felt about these sweaters.

Here's the first one I got -




It's a "Womens Long Sleeve Open Front Cotton Cardigan." I wore this to work and I loved the feel of it! First it's made of 100% soft cotton and WOW do I love the feel of this. It isn't scratchy one bit. It's easy to layer with too. I wore a long sleeved shirt underneath it comfortably. There were only two points I noticed. First, I'm tall (5'10) and so the sleeves weren't as long as I liked, but it wasn't noticeable to others (and barely noticeable to me). And then there's no buttons or tie to close up the sweater. Not a big deal but it's kind of nice to have the option. Purchase this now.

The other one I had to review was the this blue cardigan.



 I love it, and it works well with a few sleeveless tops I can't normally wear. I would say though it's definitely on the lighter side, fabric-wise and since it's so cold this time of year, I will probably enjoy wearing it more in the spring. This one came around the waist area for, although again I'm pretty tall. My camera for this shot above was so crummy, but this is definitely a navy blue color. I promise! Purchase this now.

Also, the prices for KnitBest is what attracts me the most. They really aren't that bad. Like that blue cardigan is only about $19.99 right now and that long sleeved black one I got is only $36.99.

So purchase your KnitBest sweater and see what else they have to offer! Purchase now.

I received the above sweaters in exchange for my honest review. This post contains an affiliate link for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link. 
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Saturday, December 23, 2017

5 Ways to Watch Movies for Free Online

Via Flickr, CC License by Demmer S

Over the summer, I cancelled cable. The thing is I wasn't entirely eager to just sign up for a ton of streaming services (although I do have Amazon prime, just not for streaming purposes only!). You see, there are way more ways to enjoy movies and even TV than just streaming services. And I'm not talking about the sketchy sites where you download things you shouldn't, but real ways to enjoy some awesome movies online without putting yourself at risk.

Here's my top favorites -

1) Youtube.com - for TV Movies, especially.

Alright, depending on the types of movies you enjoy, you can find a lot on YouTube. Forewarning though, if you find something, watch it soon, as sometimes they can be taken down pretty fast simply due to copyright issues. But if you are wanting a way to watch movies (or even TV shows, especially ones from the past), YouTube is a fantastic start. Plus if you are a sucker for Lifetime movies, like me, they have a ton posted on YouTube. 

2) Crackle.com

Crackle is by far my favorite of the freebie sites. They update their list monthly and even have some TV shows you can watch as well (a select few Seinfeld episodes get posted and for all you 90's kids out there, they also have "The Critic" an animated series voiced by Jon Lovitz.).  It's all good quality, nothing you have to download, the only trade off is that you have to watch ads. You don't need to sign up either.

3) TubiTV.com

This is another one of the good quality ones. A few gems are in the collection of movies you can watch through TubiTV. The cool thing is you can search by categories such as "Newest Arrivals" and "Movies Not on Netflix" The only downer is there isn't any way to sort when you bring up lists. You do need to sign up to watch movies, but it isn't a bad thing because you can build up your queue (one major perk of using this site).

4) PlutoTV.com

Okay this is my new favorite! PlutoTV actually offers up a variety of actual TV channels you can watch as well as a series of web channels that offer up TV. The annoying thing is when you try to watch now they push you to download their app, either for your laptop or smart device. Not a bad thing but if you want to strictly stay on the web without downloading anything, it can be a bit of a task to get to their actual viewing area. But click here and that will take you to the watching area.

5) Reddit.com

Okay this is a bit redundant, but Reddit can help you with finding movies online. Where to start is their subreddit forum 'Full Movies On YouTube." This basically saves you the effort of finding decent movies to watch for free. They provide the IMDB rating as well as a summary of what the movie is about too.

Do you know where else to watch movies for free online? Let me know in the comments!
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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Another Way to Save Money on Your Groceries

Looking to save money on groceries? I am very much into apps such as Ibotta, but have you heard of Checkout51?



That's another one you may not have heard of but lately I'm really able to rack in the savings. First, you can really save money on things like beauty products (I have saved money on my Simple brand Face Wipes and you can also save money on brands like Nubian Heritage. I talk about them a lot and currently had the chance to try out their incredible new kind called "Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver." A mouthful right? Well, it smells great and actually a perfect lotion scent choice for people who aren't too into the more flowery and fruity scents. Works for both men and women. It has a green grassy scent that smells very clean. Anyways, right now you can save $2.00 on Nubian Heritage brands and that is an incredible savings on a quality product. When you go into stores, make sure you are looking for this:



So, anyways, right now I have about $25 and some change and I've only started being active again. They have so many savings on Christmas related items, food and medicine products, and store specific savings as well. I have both this app and Ibotta app downloaded. These are my go to's. So make sure you download this one and start saving on groceries today!

Download Checkout 51 app.

This post contains affiliate links for which I will be compensated if you purchase or download via my link. I also received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review.
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cat Reunites with Family After Four Months Missing



Want an uplifting story for your weekend? Well, here's one for you. This couple Scott and Emily Faulkner were at a campground in Missoula for a music festival. Their cat, Tiger Jr. (or TJ), went missing at this very campground.

This sure isn't this cat's first rodeo. This cat has been sailing and camping with his family of four years. So this wasn't like TJ at all. For months in search of their beloved pet, they searched through Craigslist and contacted animal shelters for TJ, but to no avail.

Until the Butte Animal Shelter gave them a call. Owner of the shelter Colin Jennings had been approached by TJ who acted very wild and aggressive initially. But TJ was all cleaned up and once when Jennings was feeding other cats at the shelter, TJ approached the cat shelter owner with friendliness. That's when Jennings scanned him for a chip and found one.

Scott Faulkner, the cat man of the family, was brought to tears when he reunited with TJ. He described TJ as acting like a dog when greeting him. Read the full story over at the Missoulian
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Manini's Gluten-Free Pasta [Review]




It's been quite some time since I shared a new gluten-free review with you! I had the chance to review some pastas as well as some rolls and a couple of brownies by Manini's. 

Manini's is a new brand to me and I've only just started noticing it in stores. It's been a long journey for me going gluten-free and paying attention to what ingredients agree with me and which ones don't. What makes Manini's a stand out company to me is that they are actually Non-GMO and Gluten-Free and regularly test their foods to make sure they meet certification requirements. I appreciat that so much!

I had a few different pastas to review, including the one picture above, along with a few other items -

And the following rolls and even a little brownie or two (which I devoured pretty instantly). 


The rolls were pretty amazing. I just had them as a snack with olive oil and some oregano. Yum! They warmed up nicely and had amazing texture. 

As for the pasta, I was really impressed! So many of the gluten-free pastas I try end up sticking and get gross and gummy after you heat them up. This wasn't the case at all. The texture was fantastic and so was the flavor. It will be a fantastic addition to your gluten-free dinner! I can't wait to buy their products in the store. 

Are you interested in purchasing Manini's in a store near you? Be sure to check them out online. Also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

I received the above items in exchange for my honest review. 
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

5 Tips for Mastering Holiday Party Socializing

by JLS Photography - Alaska - CC via Flickr

I'm pretty shamelessly anti-social and I usually avoid most holiday parties (despite how festive I am this time of year!). Do any of you know how to manage holiday parties even though you aren't a fan? Well, I came across this list of socializing tips sent out by ToastMasters that you may appreciate.

1) Look for a friendly face.

I think this is a great tip. Go into the room with a smile and look for the first person that smiles back. Ideally, you will be walking in with someone you know so you can cling onto them for as long as you can. Or find the one person you know and follow them throughout the party. That's what I do!

2) Watch your body language.

Toastmasters says to be aware of your body language. I think this is an excellent tip. I know when I get uncomfortable in these situations I slouch and cross my arms over my chest. Not exactly the most open stance to have in a party. But they suggest to make eye contact, put your phone away, and be an active listener.

3) Share your stories.

Basically, don't do what I sometimes end up doing and share hot button news stories and/or grim or potentially offensive things at a holiday party. Like sharing that story about a coworker who loved ranch. So share things that are PG and happy and humorous that can please a crowd. Share that stuff. And don't forget to ask about the stories of the people you are talking to. If you forget, don't worry, I do too.

4) Set your expectations.

So be ready for people not want to go into depth or great detail with you, if you happen to find someone to talk to. Things are light hearted and most likely people will be seeking out the free food and drink. And don't do what I do and back out of the party once you realize you don't have anyone to talk to. Mingle!

5) Know when to exit. 

Toastmasters suggests that before you exit make it a point to greet people you haven't had the chance to talk to yet and be sure to thank the host as well. I tend to slowly back out and assume no one will notice I've left. Don't do that either.

Do you have any tips for surviving holiday party season? 
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Friday, December 1, 2017

Activity: Christmas Countdown Calendar

Kindergarten Holidays & Seasons Activities: Christmas Countdown Calendar

What You Need:

  • 9" x 12" poster board
  • Red & green construction paper, cut into 1 ¾" x 2" squares
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Pen
  • Index cards, cut into strips

What You Do:

  1. Draw a table with 4 rows and 5 columns onto a piece of 9" x 12" poster board. Divide the table into 2-inch squares.
  2. Measure a table onto a piece of green and red construction paper using the same dimensions. Cut out the squares from each sheet.
  3. Have your child number the colored squares from 1 to 25 (or up to however many days are left before Christmas). If your child is not yet writing, you can type and print out the numbers, and have him glue them onto the colored squares. A third alternative is to use glitter and glue to create the numbers. (If you use the third option, give the squares an opportunity to dry).
  4. Help your child glue the colored squares onto the poster board, beginning with the number 25. Have your child apply some glue around the sides and bottom of each square and place them on the poster board in descending order. (Be sure to leave the top part of the square unglued as this will create a pocket or opening to insert the activity).
  5. Cut several sheets of index cards into strips, about 1.5" wide, where an activity will be written for each day.
  6. Write the activities onto the strips, and then place one in each pocket.
  7. Have your child help you create a header for the calendar using either glue or coloring one that you have hand-drawn or printed. Invite your child to add additional decorations, such as stickers, to the calendar if desired!
  8. Explain to your child that she will remove and complete one activity each day leading up to Christmas; watch her excitement grow as Christmas time approaches!
Here are some ideas you may want to include as activities:
  • Put up the Christmas tree and decorate it.
  • Make a keepsake ornament using some supplies around the house.
  • Prepare holiday cards. (Your child can make a great envelope stuffer or sealer and then help affix the stamps.)
  • Bake cookies.
  • Wraps presents. (Your child can help affix the tape and bows, or if she is old enough, she can fill out the gift tags.)
  • Holiday song karaoke. (This just might become one of your family favorites, as you line up your family members to sing along to some popular holiday songs.)
  • Read a story about Hanukkah.
  • Read a story about Kwanzaa.
  • Read your favorite Christmas story.
  • Pop some popcorn and watch a holiday movie.
  • Load up in the car and ride through your neighborhood to see the holiday decorations.
  • Color holiday coloring pages.
  • Enjoy some cocoa and listen to holiday music.
  • Make a string of jingle bells.
  • Stuff a sibling’s stocking with an homemade item. (If your child doesn’t have siblings, perhaps you could use this as an opportunity to have your child donate or make something for another child.)
  • A true wish list. (Many kids already have a list filled with the things they’d like to receive for Christmas, but take some time to help explain about the part that good will plays into the holiday season. Ask your child what type of things your family can do during the holiday season and throughout the year to fulfill wishes outside of your home.)
  • Seasonal charades. Play this time-honored game, but everything has to be related to something about the holidays.
  • Make some gingerbread men.
  • Make a kid’s choice for 3 of your days. (Apply your own stipulations.)
  • Turn in early! (Christmas Eve)
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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Save Money Blu-Rays and DVDs with This Exclusive Christmas Sale

Looking for the right gifts this holiday season? Well, if you are planning on giving DVDs and Blu-Rays to family and friends this time of year, I have an excellent sale for you.

It's a sale happening with Entertainment Aids Alliance and you can purchase DVDs and Blu-Rays at deep deep discounts. The big Hollywood Studios donates some movies to the sale and they EAA ends up selling these to raise funds for the organization. The Entertainment Aids Alliance dedicates itself to funding research, treatment programs and prevention programs for HIV and AIDs. You can view the sale here: http://www.entertainmentaidsalliance.net/

Click “LOG IN” at the top of the page, select JFM from the drop down menu and use the password: eaamoms.

If you make a purchase, I'd love to know to what you bought! 
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Santa Rosa Family Finds Their Missing Cat Following Wildfire



The wildfires happening in California have been so devastating and sad that hearing good news like this just warms the heart so much. So this Santa Rosa family thought they had lost their cat to the fire after having to escape their home one night. According to the local news station KPIX, Dani Stockham had to tell her daughters to get dressed and that they were leaving. 15 year old Lea had to let her cat, Thomas, go simply because he kept scratching at her and trying to get out of her arms.

When the family returned home, they thought they saw the remains of their beloved pet. They even held a funeral for Thomas.

The story didn't end there, though. A family found Thomas a quarter mile from the family home wandering around. Thanks to the microchip in Thomas, they were able to reconnect the cat with his family. Lea told KPIX that it was "the best day I've had since the fire."

Check out the video below -

And read the original story here
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

5 Things to Consider When Purchasing a New (or Used) Car

by Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC License
Sponsored post.
 
I don't own a car right now but I'm hoping one day soon in my future I will be able to afford to buy one. I'm so unfamiliar with the process though that for someone like me who doesn't know what they're supposed to look for that it can feel like a game of eenie-meenie-minee-moe. So instead of using that approach with buying a car, you may want to go about it the smart way. Cars.com is a fantastic place to start because they not only connect you with dealers in the area that have the car you want, they also have research tools, consumer reviews, and so much more.

But if you are new to the buying car game, and want to make a smart decision, what should you be on the lookout for when it's time to buy a car?

1) If you are buying a used car, get the vehicle history report.

Places like CARFAX can help you with the vehicle history and the nice thing is when you go to Cars.com, they take you directly to the Carfax report. This way you can find out the history of the car, work done on the car and any accidents that the car has been involved in.

2) Give yourself a budget.

One of the best tactics to approach when buying a car, is knowing your budget. This is best whether it's a new or used car you are buying. Keep in mind extra costs that may accrue such as vehicle inspections as well, especially if you are buying a used car. Another perk of using cars.com is that it let's you compare vehicles, so that's another huge perk of shopping through cars.com.

3) Get the dealer's price.

While you can do research on this yourself, you can also ask the dealer directly. What you want to do is find out what the suggested retail price is (that's the MSRP number) and compare what the MSRP number is with the dealer's price. You can better start negotiations if you know this information.

4) Do a test drive.

Of course, this tip reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer was taking a car out for a test drive because he insisted Jerry would let him use it and wanted to see the car for himself. Anyways, you definitely want to test drive under your usual driving conditions, such as commute time or a route that you would usually take most often. Also be on the look out for unfamiliar sounds and make sure basic things like the air conditioner, heater, wipers, all work. Make sure you are also  comfortable maneuvering the car into parking spaces and check out any potential blind spots.

5) Know what you are looking for.

The nice thing about Cars.com is that it lists exhaustive reviews and details about cars. From expert reviews and pros and cons. It's an excellent starting point especially if you really don't know what type of car is a good fit for you.


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Abe & Phil's Last Poker Game (An Uplifting Movie You Ought to See)


I'm a movie buff and although the uplifting type of movie usually aren't my jam (I like mysteries and thrillers!), this movie seems like such a great movie to see in the upcoming year. It's coming out January of 2018 and just watch the trailer below:





Here's what the movie is about (courtesy of the Gravitas Ventures press release):

When Dr. Abe Mandelbaum (Martin Landau) moves into the nursing home, Cliffside Manor, with his deteriorating wife Molly, he forms an improbable relationship with gambler and womanizer, Phil Nicoletti (Paul Sorvino). Even though at first Abe feels that moving into the home is the end of the road, he soon realizes that his life is finding a whole new beginning. Abe and Phil’s friendship is challenged when a mysterious nurse claims that her biological father resides in the home. Without children of their own, both Abe and Phil jump at the chance to convince Angela, and themselves, that they are her father. Abe and Phil’s Last Poker Game is written and directed by world-renowned neurologist, and first time director, Howard Weiner.
The two main actors in this movie - Martin Landau and Paul Sorvino are great actors. I was surprised to see that Martin Landau died this year! And so it makes this movie almost that much more worth seeing. So make sure to check it out and save it to your watch list on IMDB!


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Sunday, November 26, 2017

PantryPerks.com - A New Way to Shop & Save Money [Review]

Photo by Keith Williamson via Flickr CC license


You guys know how much I like the convenience of shopping for groceries online, whether it's Amazon Prime or Instacart. So, when it comes to shopping for groceries that don't just come in an hour or two (like those previous delivery sites I mentioned), I'm kind of particular. I am not a fan of high shipping charges for one and I like making sure I'm getting products I actually purchase (and at a discount).

So I had the chance to try out a new site - PantryPerks.com. It's a natural and organic online shopping site with a unique standout feature - the more you shop, the more you earn. In addition to that, when people sign up, you earn a bonus too. Kind of a cool deal! That aside though, the big question is - is it worth the trouble?

Well read and find out.

Shopping Experience

I've gotten pretty good about sniffing out a deal and when I was shopping with PantryPerks I wanted to be sure I was choosing things I couldn't get for cheaper at the store. However, I like sticking with brands I like too, so I'm not the type that usually goes for another brand because it's cheaper.

Here's a few takeaways I got -


  • Know your brand! If you like spices from Frotnier Organics, than when you search for cinnamon, it's best if you go with narrowing down search results by brand. Why? I found that the search feature isn't as intuitive as I'd like. My gut instinct would tell me that when I search for cinnamon, of course the spice would come up, right? But instead what came up was cinnamon tablets first -

However, one thing to note though, when you scroll down you start seeing the more familiar brands of spices. And actually here's another takeaway -

  • You can shop in bulk. I think this a HUGE perk to this site. So, you can buy 1lb of Frontier Cinnamon (non-organic) for $6.79 and Frontier Organic Cinnamon for $19.79 (the difference is one is organic and one is not) right now. That's an incredible deal. Of course, the price may change but if you know what you are looking for, you can save a lot of money with their bulk deals, especially if you take advantage when it's discounted or on sale on their site.

  • They have an impressive 'sales' section. At the time of this post, I saw a few things in their sales area that were fantastic savings. Like this bulk pack of 4 of Bob's Red Mill Flax Seed for only $11.99. So that's basically only $2.99 or so per pack and that's far less than what I pay for in the store. 


Delivery Process

There was a bit of a delay getting my delivery out (I ordered Friday) and Monday I emailed them about tracking as I had not gotten any notification about when to expect my delivery. They responded promptly, explaining that there was some delay and I did get my delivery by Friday. They only missed one item in my order (an oregano spice bottle). I emailed them and without hesitation they sent it out within 24 hours. 

How much can you get for $50 bucks?



I had $50.00 to work with and here's what I got:

2 Frontier Organic Oregano Flakes
1 Frontier Organic Black Pepper
1 Frontier Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Frontier Organic Garlic Salt
2 Bottles of American Health Vitamin C
1 Frontier Organic Cinnamon
1 Bar of Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap

I didn't have any product break or look damaged upon receipt, so they do an excellent job of packing (these spices, including the Vanilla Extract) all came in glass bottles. 

Is PantryPerks worth it?

I'd say so, if you are a smart shopping, know what you want and are up for comparing prices. You earn 7% cash back when you purchase $60 or more and earn even more when you get friends to sign up. And I could definitely see myself re-ordering through them.

Sign up today using my link  and you can start earning cash back on your purchases.

I received store credit in exchange for my honest review. Also, this post includes a referral link that if you use to sign up, I will receive compensation in return.

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

3 Ways to Use Essential Oils

by simononly, Creative Commons license via Flickr

Are you into essential oils? Essential oils are a surprisingly natural way to boost your mood and have been to known to be an effective way of improving your overall wellness. Of course, the research is a bit fuzzy but if you are new into embracing the idea of using essential oils, here are a few ways that you can use essential oils in your everyday life

1) Essential oil diffuser.

This is the best way I've used essential oils. This is the diffuser that I have and have used for quite some time. It basically diffuses the scent in the air for you. You add a few drops of the oils into the water and the diffuser goes to work.

2) Add to steaming water.

IF you are not feeling well, you can add some essential oils to the steaming water. Make sure you place a towel over your head to hold in the steam as you lean over the watrer and breathe deeply. Be sure to only use one or two drops because the scent can be pretty potent.

3) Spray bottle.

I have used this method when cleaning the kitchen actually. I've added a couple of drops of lemon essential oil to water and sprayed down the counter to get rid of strong dinner smells that won't go away.

I have included an affiliate link in this post and if you purchase via my link I will receive small compensation.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

10 Best Tweets from #Catsgiving

by Jill Clardy copyright creative commons via Flickr


If you are on Twitter, than you may or may not have noticed the trending "Catsgiving" hashtag. Well, if you don't have Twitter or don't want to bother looking around for the good stuff, here are the best tweets inspired by the hashtag (at least, in my opinion).

1) I'd say this cat is feeling like how all of us will feel by Thursday night.



2) Better keep an eye on those leftovers on #Catsgiving.


3) Ah family.


4) Chairs and overeating can get so complicated.


5) And you know? It's totally cool for you to not like the holidays. Many don't.


6) Don't forget about Canada! Isn't their Thanksgiving already over?


7) Ah, old Hollywood. I feel like it's the 'old movies' time of year. My favorite is "Wizard of Oz."


8) And don't forget to give props to your kitchen helpers!


9)  We all have that one family member.


10) Ah and just remember it's about love at the end of the day.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Why I Love Using Tea Tree Oil Shampoo



A few weeks ago I came across a wonderful experience with this tea tree oil shampoo sample I had. It was a fantastic find because I couldn't find any shampoo in my house so this little sample saved the day. And wow did it make my hair look shiny and smooth! I loved it!

So, I recently had the chance to try out this tea tree oil shampoo by Maple Holitics and I love it so far. One of the biggest reasons I love Tea Tree Oil Shampoo? It helps with my scalp issues.

Confession time. Whenever I have something gluten or wheat related, my skin will break out. Sometimes, my scalp does too. I always associated with dandruff (did I really just say that) but after I started managing my diet better I realized how much healthier my scalp was after avoiding that particular food item. So the beautiful thing about tea tree oil is that it's been known to help with scalp issues like this. If my scalp feels tormented, I have noticed how soothing tea tree oil shampoo feels.

Since using it over the last couple of weeks, my hair just feels healthier. And whenever I have scalp issues, this feels so soothing and my problems with itching goes away basically.

It's kind of an amazing solution to something that's embarrassing. If you deal with this, I think you should try this shampoo. 

You can purchase it on the Maple Holistics website right now for only $9.99! That's kind of an amazing deal, so I think you should purchase it today.

I am happy to announce I get to giveaway a bottle of Argan Oil Shampoo to one lucky winner! Enter via Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends 11/29.

Can't wait for the giveaway to be over to see if you've won? Make sure you go to their website to find out how you can get free products! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the above mentioned product in exchange for my honest review.
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Do You Floss in Public?



So here's a weird one for you folks. So Nielsen found out that millennials are becoming very comfortable with flossing in public.Why is this? Well all those fancy on the go flossing tools has made us all more aware and concerned about the health of our teeth. Like these things.

So far in my wanderings throughout the day, I don't see a whole lot of people flossing in public like it's a casual thing. Do you see people flossing? And how do you feel about it if you do? If I saw it, I would mostly be afraid I'd see a huge piece of food flying out of their mouth or something. At home is one thing, but browsing through the grocery store and flossing is an entirely different situation.

Oh well, here's to the health of gums!




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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

4 Reasons to Start Using Essential Oils

by Jan R. Ubels

It's that time of year folks. Stress gets way off the charts. Maybe it's the anticipation of the holidays and upcoming plans. Maybe it's the pressure of making this year a good one. Or maybe life is just stressful in general. But I've been learning a lot lately about the benefits of using essential oils and their many

1) Rosemary essential oil can help improve memory.

In a recent study on essential oils, it was discovered amongst participants that their memory was improved when exposed to the essential oil scent of rosemary. BBC news actually talked about a study like this. 

2) Peppermint can help you digestive system.

I have actually sipped peppermint tea for this very reason but according to a recent study, the aroma of peppermint can help with gastrointestinal system, for example. I also love the taste of peppermint tea as it's mild and can help make my breath smell better.

3) Lavender can do wonders for relieving stress.

According to a Huffington post article, lavender can help you relax and relieve stress. I've had a lavender mist spray before and I loved it. This time of year can be incredibly stressful so give this a try to reduce your stresses.

4) Lemon scent is a mood booster.

There's been a study on lemon oil and it's impacts on mood. Lemon and other citrus scents have been known to be a mood booster. Lemon specifically can almost work like an anti-depressant.

Obviously this just scratches the surface! I love natural ways to boost moods and ease stress and these are the kinds of things I'm going to consider as the stress of this time of year ramps up. Of course, I'm no professional so be sure to talk to one if you have doubts, questions or concerns.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

My Newest, Most Favorite Thing for This Holiday Season




I've lately been dealing with something I find extremely annoying - lower back pain. I think it's a mix of not great furniture combined with not great bus seats and poorly designed office chairs. As a result, I was incredibly pleased to receive the Naipo Shiatsu massager too review. My mom was happy about this too! She loved using it to massage muscles in her leg actually.



The Naipo Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager offers a deep massage that is also heated. The incredible thing is it comes with a car charger, which means you can drive and get a massage on the go. Isn't that incredible?
It is also designed with straps you can wrap around yourself to keep the massager in place. Also, it lasts about 15 minutes per turn which I appreciate because I wouldn't need really long sessions of massaging. 

When using this, the deep massage has a "hurt so good" type of feeling. I love how the more you lean into the massager, the deeper the massage. I have used this on my lower back and it's worked wonders. The heat is gentle and mild, just like someone's warm hands or something. I think it's absolutely perfect for back and neck pain. If you have someone in your life that suffers with that, this is a must buy.

I think the only minor downside is that I had a little bit of a hard time keeping the plug in the wall. If I yanked the cord too much, it unplugged pretty easily. 

The pricing of the massager is very good, $40 on Amazon, so be sure to check it out here. And for 25% off use this coupon code MFWSV2SL. If you are seeking a holiday gift for a family member that has maybe lower back pain, this is a must buy.

Best of all, they have a holiday version of a masssager that I think you need to take a look at and purchase for a loved one! Purchase the holiday version. 


Check out the Naipo website for info on some of their amazing products.

I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Reasons I Use Ibotta (And You Should Too)


Ibotta is one of those grocery store apps that you redeem cash back through purchases. I've used it for a couple of years now and while I'm at a somewhat modest balance, it's something I appreciate having. As you get into the holiday season, you are probably looking for ways to save money and Ibotta is one of those ways to save through earning cash back on purchases.

But why use it?

It's easy to accumulate cash back.

When I make it a regular habit to use the app, I can redeem at least once a month. I tend to accumulate $20 a month and that's a great savings to me. It has offers that I won't have to work hard to use either, like Uber rides ($1 cash back per ride) or through grocery stores I go to a lot like Whole Foods or Safeway.

Online shopping means you get rewarded.

Of course, it depends on the deal you are going for and where you are shopping, but if you shop online a lot, you need to use Ibotta. It helps you redeem rewards through places like Boxed.com (great for buying in bulk!), for example or Walmart.

You get cash back on good products.

One of my favorite companies for bath and body wash type of products is Nubian Heritage. In fact, I got the chance to review a lotion of theirs recently. Check it out -


First this is one of my favorite body washes and lotions, this scent in particular. The brand is called Nubian Heritage. It's a gentle and rich scent at the same time. I put on this lotion when I get into work and use this body wash in the morning and it's not as strong as perfume but smells wonderful. And the cool thing is if you buy this in the stores, you can redeem this on Ibotta!




So, I recommend Ibotta. Sign up with my referral link and we both get rewarded! You'll get $10 and I'll get $5. Good deal? I think so. Ibotta is easy to use and you'll be glad you signed up.

I received the above photographed product in exchange for my review. This post also contains a referral link.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stinker the Cat and How He Found Home After a Year Away

I feel like this is something that reads like an adorable children's book or something, but I came across this news alert I wanted to share with you. It's about this adorable black cat named Stinker and how he was separated from his family for more than a year. You can read the full story on the Pasadena Star Newspaper website, but in short, it goes like this....

Stinker's family was living in Altadena at the time. Their home was offered to be part of a movie that was being filmed and they agreed and moved out for a while. They left food and provisions for their two kittens, one of which was Stinker. When they came back, Stinker was gone. Despite their efforts to find the cat, Stinker was nowhere to be found.

A year later the family moved to Connecticut and started looking at photos of cats in nearby shelters to add to their family. When they started looking at Pasadena Shelters, they couldn't believe what they saw. It was Stinker! Mike Curry flew down to the Pasadena area to reunite with his former cat and realized this little black cat had a few of Stinker's identifying markers. And with the way the cat greeted Mike, he just knew that this was Stinker the Cat. Isn't this an amazing story? One year away and Stinker is now back with his family.

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Boston Market Can Take Care of Your Thanksgiving Dinner



How do you feel about cooking on Thanksgiving? For some, I think they love it and love the process of cooking up this meal. For others, not so much. I'm kind of in between and in general, don't love cooking turkey. My mom and I tend to go for an alternative.

But if you want a home cooked Thanksgiving meal without the effort and without the hassle of going to a restaurant, Boston Market has an option for you!

Here's what they have to offer:

- Complete Thanksgiving Meal for 12: A complete meal option with all of the holiday trimmings, including a whole roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $119.99.

- Combo Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast & Boneless Ham Meal for 12: A combo meal option including a boneless roasted turkey breast and boneless ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, cinnamon apples, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $119.99.

- Basic Thanksgiving Meal for 12: The Basic Thanksgiving Meal for 12 includes a whole roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, home style stuffing and dinner rolls for $99.99.

- Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast Meal for 4-6: The Boneless Roasted Turkey Breast Meal for 4-6 includes a boneless roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $84.99.

- Boneless Ham Meal for 4-6: The Boneless Ham Meal for 4-6 includes a boneless ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, home style stuffing, cranberry walnut relish, spinach artichoke dip and crackers, dinner rolls, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie for $84.99.

I love the variety of options here actually. And the coolest thing is if you know someone in your life that maybe can't join you for a meal or can't afford one, you can give it as a gift! Visit BostonMarket.com. This is an offer going through November 19th.
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

My 3 Favorite Beauty Time Savers



It's not like I have this hussle and bussle lifestyle but I really don't like spending too much time on grooming. I like short cuts and so I wanted to put together a list of my few favorite ones that hopefully can save you time while still implementing some important beauty routines.

1) Leave in conditioner.



I've not really been a huge fan of actually using conditioner up until recently. I have really long hair and it's a hassle to wash it as it is. Using conditioner always adds in extra time and I almost always end up cutting it out when I'm in a rush. Recently I had the chance to review this Angelo David conditioner. You can check it out here.

I love this a lot because it doesn't leave my hair really oily. Plus this conditioner isn't too heavy either. so if your hair is kind of prone to oil, I would recommend this. It gives my hair a shiny look without overdoing it!

2) Make Up Wipe Removers.

Oh this is such an incredible time saver. For me, I prefer the "Simple" brand of make up removers. One tip? I leave them in the fridge! I love that cool feeling on my skin at night and I'm so much more likely to remove my makeup with this easy tip.

3) Go for the easy makeup routine.

One of the ways I actually manage to leave with makeup on is streamlining my routine. I use a blush that also moonlights as my lipstick. And then after my moisturizer and foundation, I just swipe on mascara and a bit of color to my eyes such as white underneath the eyebrow just to brighten things up a bit. I'm not a makeup expert by any means of course but the finishing look is good to me and I like how I feel going out the door. Plus what helps tremendously is that everything is accessible and easy to find!

I received the above photographed conditioner in exchange for my review.
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Check Out These Creepy Doll Photos

Creepy...
Photo by Funky Tee, Creative Commons Photo License


It's Halloween and that always gets people into a festive mood. So as I was wandering around on Twitter I stumbled across a challenge for creepy doll photos. And I wanted to share these with you guys since some of these made me laugh at loud. It all started thanks to podcaster Dear Prudence who asked listeners to share their creepy dolls they've owned -
I think this thing will only end up giving me nightmares in the middle of the night -
The doll on the left here looks like it's alive -
I feel like there's an enormously creepy store here somewhere -
I can't even imagine why -
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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Manual Coffee Grinder - A Surprising Find for My Coffee [A Review]



I have the worst luck with coffee grinders. The electric ones always fail me in some way! So in my fit of trying to find a better coffee grinder, I came across a few manual ones. Suspicious, I wanted to give this a try. So I was able to get one by Cartos and I was so surprised!

It's a pretty handy device which is wonderful in a power outage. All I need is one of those pour over things to go with it and I'll be set. It comes to you pretty much all put together. The only thing I needed to do was add the turning device that grinds it and that was very easy. I love that I could do this without batteries or anything at all. I was mostly surprised about how well these beans ground with this device.

The only hiccup I would say is that this is best suited for a single serving amount of coffee. Any more than that, you are likely to develop some pretty decent arm muscles as a result. It takes a lot of work to get the amount you need.

I do appreciate it comes with it's own carrying sack. I can imagine taking this on a trip or something and using this to grind beans that I purchase. Especially handy if I forget to get them ground or something. This is also fantastic for camping, I would say.

Purchase it now on Amazon for $12.95. 


I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.
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Monday, October 16, 2017

The Hilarious Debate Behind the Ariana Grande Album Photo



Any fans of Ariana Grande in the room? Well, if you are than you know of her album cover:

Well it started out with Jesse McLaren tweeting a photo of himself attempting to do the same thing himself on a stool -


Obviously, the outcome was quite different for him than it was for Ariana.

Some fans jumped in of course trying to point out the obvious flaws in the science of the balance, such as the lack of heels:


Or maybe it was the lack of ponytail as another one posted -

And then some further attempts happened and some people were actually fair successful -


And then to top off the hilarity, even Ariana chimed in herself.


So, time for you guys to debate - how do you think she did it?

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Ozeri High Velocity Desk Fan - Review



Some of the best quality fans I've received came from Ozeri. They are one of my favorite brands and I was so excited to review this desk fan of theirs. This summer was an awful one and I made sure to keep myself stocked with fans. Even old ones. And this was one that was a prime feature near wherever I was sitting almost all summer long.

Ozeri Brezza Oscillating 10" High Velocity Desk Fan has a variety of perks and maybe only one slight downside that I noticed. First of all, it's oscillating feature - it worked pretty well. I kept this on a side table between couches and it went 90 degrees. So I immensely appreciated that. It's only a touch awkward to stop it from oscillating and making sure you've stopped it at the right point. The fan gusts are pretty strong considering it's small size as well. One of the things that I noticed is that it is a tad boxy. So it kind of takes up more space than I would have liked but not by much at all. It's truly a desk fan, but it's not narrow.

Overall, if you are still suffering with warm temperatures and haven't yet been able to embrace the cool fall season, get this fan. It's a fantastic thing for an office or dresser. It's best used if you are sitting right in front of it or are standing right in front of it though. It probably cannot cool an entire room of people who aren't sitting near it.  And one thing I can say about Ozeri is that their products are long lasting. I've had a couple of their fans for couple of years now and they are still working great.

Come by Amazon and purchase one for $34.18 (price as of this post today). Purchase now 

I received the above item in exchange for my honest review.
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Saturday, October 7, 2017

5 Christmas Gift Ideas for Women Under $35

Photo by wuestenigel


Okay so it is a TAD early to talk about this, but it's October at least, right? But if you are in need of a few ideas for gifts, I think you should sit down and take a read of this blog post. I have a few ideas for you that won't break the bank. Most of these items I've reviewed before but I think they're worthy of being on the list and considered for gift giving season.

1) Nyakio Lip Balm



I had the chance to try this out recently and I have to say I really like this lip balm. My lips tend to be on the sensitive side and I always appreciate when I find a lip balm that I can put on my skin without any irritation or dryness. And this does exactly that! They also have lip scrub which is a way to gently exfoliate your lips and get rid of any unnecessary skin. Also an amazing thing. Considering the dry weather, I think anyone appreciates the extra help with lip skin care.

Purchase the Nyakio Kenyan Coffee Lip Polish (Exfoliate) for $22.  And here is that amazing Lip Balm for $22

2) 98 Degrees Christmas Album



Okay, so I posted about this a few weeks ago and I think this needs to be added to gift list, especially if you know this person to be a 98 Degrees fan. Their Let it Snow CD is up for only $13.98, which makes it a relatively decent price for a small gift that you are cramming into a sock. Visit their website for purchasing details

Check out my original post all about it here or visit the 98 Degrees website for more details.

3) Cocomels Candy



Cocomels! Okay, so I had the chance to try these last year but I also had the chance to try out their chocolate drops. These are amazing. They're flavorful and dairy and gluten free.

If you are seeking a treat for someone with an allergy of some kind, you may want to consider these. I like these candies a lot and happened to give these to a coworker who was going dairy free for the sake of their newborn and she was so excited about these! So treat yourself or someone else this holiday season and stuff these in that stocking.

Check out my full review here and check out their website to purchase.

4) Fran's Chocolates.



Okay, chocolate by Fran's is particularly amazing and rich tasting. I've had the chance to try their chocolates quite a few times and I've been pleased and impressed both times. Check out my review of their chocolates last winter. Delectable chocolates is never a wrong gift to give either for a chocolate lover.

Check out my full review here and check out their website to purchase.

5) Flat Out of Heels Flats



Okay I had the chance to try this out a couple of weeks ago and these flats are surprisingly durable. Especially since I've used them a few times to walk to my bus stop in the morning and in the afternoon coming from work. I think these are probably best suited for walking around in the mall or if you are at work and you need a break from the shoes that pinch your feet. Overall, an excellent gift I think.

Check out my full review or check out their website to shop now. 

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