Saturday, July 9, 2011

and the Winner is....


    She has been contacted! If you didn't win and still want the planner, you can buy it HERE

BaByliss Pro Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron Review (30% Off @ Flat Iron Experts Link)

I've never owned a high-quality curling iron before. So, when the people at Flat Iron Experts wanted me to try out one of theirs, I was curious to find out if it was worth it to invest in a professional curling iron.

The BaByliss Pro Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron arrived in a really cute cloth bag tied with ribbon. I'm keeping the bag, so I can use it when traveling with the curling iron.

The details that were put into making the curling iron were definitely impressive. The handle is very comfortable and rubbery. The place where you put your thumb is the perfect size so you won't burn your thumb (which I am notorious for doing). There's an on/off button, where all of my previously owned cheap curling iron were just on if plugged in, with this curling iron, you can turn it off while it's plugged in. I also like the fact that the cord swivels, so it doesn't get tangled or wrapped up as you twist your hair around the curling iron. 

Also, unlike my old cheap curling irons, this one's barrel is ceramic. That means the curling iron can heat to a higher temperature, retain that heat more efficiently, and distribute that heat more evenly. Also, ceramic barrels close the hair cuticle for a smoother, glossier look. With my older, cheaper curling irons, I would count to 15 to set each curl. With this curling iron, the curl was set after counting to 5. 

Is it worth the extra money? You'll have to decide that for yourself. For me, I think it is, just in the time savings alone, and right now, Flat Iron Experts have the curling iron listed at 30% off

Disclosure - I received a free curling iron to try in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Natural Instincts Vibrant Review

Its official, summer is in full swing. That means a beautiful real (or maybe fake) tan, pretty sundresses, fun flip flops and lightened locks. To help keep that gorgeous summer look from head-to-toe, Natural Instincts has the perfect tool for maintaining vibrant hair color throughout the summer. 

   The Natural Instincts Week 2 Color Refresher revitalizes your locks two weeks after the initial coloring, by replenishing the tones that your hair color loses first. Women can simply apply the Week 2 Color Refresher in the shower, letting it process for 5 minutes for refreshed hair color! 

   Every box of Natural Instincts traditional demi-permanent and NEW permanent Vibrant Collection comes with the Week 2 Color Refresher that matches that box’s hair color. 

        If you haven’t had the chance to try Natural Instincts yet and might not be sure if the traditional demi-permanent or Vibrant collection is right for you, then take a peek at the below breakdown for guidance. In short, the demi-permanent is perfect for the low maintenance woman looking to nicely enhance their current shade. Women in search of a more transformational color change will love the new Vibrant permanent collection. 

     I've used Natural Instincts before and I liked it so when I got the opportunity to try the NEW Natural Instincts Vibrant I was happy. I couldn't believe it only took me 10 mins. ONLY 10 MINS!! I'm still amazed. I can't wait to try the refresher in two weeks too. 

  I should have taken a picture when dh was home to show you. I got the light blonde and I love it!

I received the natural instincts to try to give you my honest opinion, no other compensation was received.


Guest post from Family on Bikes

There are few topics more likely to arouse passion in parents than the education of their children. Parents throughout the world want the exact same things for their offspring. We all want them to be healthy, happy, and successful - although our definition of those things may vary. We expect our children’s education to provide what they will need to achieve those goals – even though we approach that education in millions of different ways.

I think we can all agree there is no one right way to educate a child. Each child and each parent is a unique human being with our own strengths and weaknesses and interests and needs. We bring all of that to the table when we plan an educational program – each program is a one-of-a-kind program, even if that program happens in public school. Or on the road.

My husband and I opted to provide a very different kind of educational program for our twin sons – a radically out-of-the-box program. Our sons spent four years riding bicycles 27,000 miles throughout North, Central, and South America. Yep – it was THAT out of the box!

My husband and I – both long-time school teachers – made the decision to take our sons out of school in order to travel our country on two wheels. We spent the boys’ third grade year cycling through nineteen US states and five Mexican states. We took advantage of our experiences to help our sons learn about their world.

By the time we returned home a year later, all four of us knew we weren’t done exploring the world on bikes. After the boys finished Grade 4, we hopped on bikes again – this time to ride from Alaska to Argentina. It took us three years to ride 17,300 miles through fifteen countries – it was three years of magic. And learning.

The beauty of roadschooling is that learning is built into our lives so naturally. As we travel through various countries, we are constantly exposed to new traditions, foods, and cultures. Learning about those cultures comes naturally – it’s not about doing research reports on Wikipedia.

It’s about eating lomo saltado in a roadside restaurant in Peru and drinking mate through a straw from a gourd in Argentina. It’s about spraying foam at passers-by during Carnival or hiking to a religious artifact for a pilgrimage in Ecuador. It’s attending classes with school kids in Honduras and Peru and scuba diving with turtles in the Galapagos Islands.

While roadschooling, we naturally learned about the Olmecan, Mayan, and Incan peoples – and our sons naturally learned to compare and contrast the various ruins. They learned the differences between llamas, alpacas, guanaco, and vicuña when they cycled past them. They can tell you with certainty that the Andean Mountains are very different from the Rockies – they’ve pedaled up and over both chains.

For our family, roadschooling was a great option. Is it the only or the best way to educate a child? Heck no! But it worked wonders for us – and is easier than many may think. (But that’s another blog post…)
Family of four cycled 17,300 miles through 15 countries from Alaska to Argentina!

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Flipflop Cabernet Wine Review


Cabernet is my favorite wine. I love the bold full bodied flavor.
The Flipflop Cabernet was delicious!

My first sip tasted like strawberries, I read the tasting notes and saw it
was actually blackberry fruit and dark cherries. Well I got the berry part right.
I was surprised at how light it was compared to many cabs I've had.

My husband who doesn't like Cabs because they usually are full of tannins
actually enjoyed it. We actually had some with a cheese plate (Cabernet and a cheese plate!! CRAZY!) and then turned around and had some more with a steak.
This was very drinkable and I have to say the FlipFlop Cabernet is my new 
favorite wine (and not because it's only $7 - although I really like that too)!

Buy It!

The Orphan Sister Book Review


Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine's father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children's brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing.

For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father's betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family's divisions, and her best friend Eli's sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . .
                                                              Book Club Reading Guide

  Read the First Chapter  
Mandie's thoughts- 
There were things I loved and hated about this book. I can certainly say it's a great one for a book club because there really is so much to talk about. Let me start with Clementine. She drew me into the story. Her father disappears and her triplet knows what's going on. Clementine already feels left out.
At times Clementine becomes whiny and I thought the name choices were odd, they were all too close together - Yes I know they are all family but it made it difficult to follow when I had to keep getting up to tend to the kids. Also all of the flipping back and forth in time, this is definitely one you have to sit down and get into.  All and all I did like it, Gwendonlen Gross gets deep into this family's dysfunction and I enjoyed the relationship building with Eli.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Favorite TV Episode-Pawn Stars

Guest Post written by Kraig Saunders

Pawn Stars, now in it's fourth season on the History Channel, is one program I make certain not to miss on my satellite tv that I got after seeing this. It revolves around the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. Owners Richard Harrison and his son Rick have operated the business since 1988. Rick's son Corey (Big Hoss) also works at the shop, along with Corey's boyhood friend, Chumlee. The program follows the day-to-day operations of the shop, the unusual characters and items that come in every day, and the "experts" the pawn shop calls in to evaluate the items.

The Old Man (the elder Harrison), is a grumpy, tight-fisted businessman, who is frequently exasperated by Rick, Corey and Chumlee's antics. Rick is the "brains" of the organization, while Corey, who's worked at the shop since he was a teenager, quite often upsets both his dad and granddad with some of his questionable purchases. Chumlee is the target of all the others' jokes due to his (perceived) slow-wittedness. Chumlee is also the shop's "guinea pig", drafted to "test" almost all the guns and dangerous items the shop takes in.

One of my favorite episodes involved a customer bringing in what he claimed to be a signed contract of The Who's appearance at Woodstock. Corey and The Old Man bought it, hoping to surprise Rick (a big Who fan) with it. However, when they presented it to Rick, he informed them that the contract was inserted into the Who's album, "Live at Leeds" and was worth maybe $25.

Female Empowerment

    You know I've been talking about the show Rizzoli and Isles for a few weeks now because the first season of their show is coming out on DVD.

    I have to say I admire them a lot. Rizzoli & Isles are two women in powerful positions who can accomplish anything they put their minds to while having an influence upon others. 

     As such, the show empowers women with both characters coming from different points of view and background while remaining true to themselves in getting their job done. As a testament to this, Rizzoli & Isles won Best Drama at the 'Women's Image Netork Awards' in 2010. 
I'm seriously loving this show. If you haven't checked it out yet you should! Even my husband loves it!

See the reason why Rizzoli & Isles won Best Drama at the 2010 Women's Image Network Awards. The first season is now available on DVD:

I have been hired by Warner Bros. WBWord division to promote Rizzoli & Isles Season One on DVD

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

and the Winner is....

For our Freckle box prize is
             Michelle G.!

She has been contacted and her infor forwarded to the sponsor.

Didn't win but want a personalized product?

               Visit  Frecklebox

Lord of Shadows Book Review

Lord of Shadows


Who is working the demon arts . . .
Was it her murdered father? Her fugitive brother? It has been seven years since Lady Sabrina Douglas cloistered herself with the Sisters of High Danu, but the questions remain. She is Other—a mixture of Fey and mortal—quietly using her powers to heal. That is, until she saves a half-drowned man, his soldier's body a roadmap of scars, his fathomless eyes filled with heartbreaking loneliness. The inexplicable connection overwhelms her defenses, touching her heart, mind . . . and body. . . .

and to what end?
A man with no memory, Daigh MacLir seeks his past even as unknown threats fill him with monstrous rage and inhuman abilities. But as a desperate game of hunter and hunted is played out from ballrooms to bedrooms, what Daigh discovers is more chilling than anyone could possibly imagine. Defying death was only the first step in the task he has been given, and Sabrina is his last hope. But dare he risk involving her? Daigh has been summoned to find an ancient king, and even the powers of love may not be enough to win the battle against the powers of darkness.
Browse Inside

Mandie's Thoughts - Can we say hot cover? Two things I love - the paranormal and historical fiction. This book has both, I'm not sure what my problem was but I couldn't love it no matter how hard I tried. Let me say this book was well written and had everything that I should have loved. I can't quite tell you why I didn't love it, maybe I couldn't get into their world? It left me a little cold. It wasn't bad by any means but I only thought it was good, not great and I expected more. 

A product was received for review for my honest opinion, no ohter compensation was received.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Luminess Air Review & Giveaway - Winner!

Luminess Air
I have a new love. Today, I had the opportunity to try an airbrushing makeup system from Luminess Air, and I really don't think I'll be able to go back to "regular" make-up again.

I was a little nervous at first. I wondered if I would be able to apply it myself. I thought maybe I would have to keep my eyes closed, and how would I be able to see where I was spraying? It turned out to be very easy to use, and did a great job of covering up my acne scars, and a few areas where my face had broken out. (See my before and after pictures below.)
My Before
Since you're spraying it on, it's much more hygenic than using brushes, sponges or even your hands. There's also no mess. Usually, I dump liquid foundation in the palm of one of my hands, and then apply it with my other hand. There was no need to do that with Luminess. I just put a few drops in the machine, and sprayed on a light layer. The system comes with spray-on moisturizer, blush, bronzer, and there's even a liquid eye shadow that's also surprisingly easy to apply. I really love this system!

My After

Luminess Air is giving an All About Eyes Grab Bag away to one of our lucky readers. The Grab bag includes: 

Age Defying Eye Cream - This rich cream provides moisture to the delicate tissue surrounding the eye area, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by replenishing levels of Hyaluronic Acid that have been lost due to progressive aging. 

Concealer - Tube Brush Concealer that gives sheer to full coverage. Imparts a firmed sensation and reduces the visibility of shadows made by fine lines. Can create a flawless base for foundation for large pores. Crease-free; won't settle into fine lines and wrinkles. Hides dark circles, blemishes, and veins. 

TriLash™ - is a 24 hour a day/ 7 day a week, natural eyelash enhancing system that is designed to help create thicker, darker, longer beautiful lashes naturally.

Disclosure - I received a free LuminessAir systme to try in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.



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