Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Beauty Rhi-view: Oleavine 100% Plant Based Konjac Sponge infused with Activated Charcoal


Oleavine Konjac Sponge with Activated Charcoal
Company Site: website
Product Details: "MIRACLE SPONGE" FOR YOUR DAILY BEAUTY REGIME - No other beauty sponge will work so hard for you! This luxuriously soft sponge gently exfoliates, cleanses, and is naturally pH balanced. The activated bamboo charcoal absorbs toxins, fights bacteria and excess oils leaving your face glowing, refreshed and radiant. Even preps skin to boost the absorption of your favorite serums and creams.
LUXURIOUSLY GENTLE EXFOLIATION FOR DAILY USE - Soft enough for a baby's skin while still providing effective exfoliation. Relaxing and gentle for daily use even on the most sensitive skin. Say goodbye to the irritation caused by harsher exfoliating methods and expensive electronic gadgets. You don't even need to use a face cleanser, unless you want to. Fantastic for battling blackheads and breakouts!
NEW IMPROVED TEARDROP SHAPE - FOR FACE AND BODY - New ergonomically designed teardrop shape fits comfortably in the palm of your hand while the soft rounded point allows you to gently exfoliate sensitive hard to reach areas around your eyes. Ideal shape for the contours of your face but still large enough for your body. You'll love using it in the shower or by the mirror!
100% NATURAL, ECO-FRIENDLY and BIODEGRADEABLE - We painstakingly evaluated countless Konjac sponges on the market before putting our reputation behind this beauty. Our Konjac fiber is grown on the pristine volcanic plains of Jeju Island in South Korea, free from chemicals, pollution and irritants. The sponge hydrates quickly, and lasts longer with proper care than others we tested.
100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - Order now with peace of mind due to our No Questions Asked 90-day "better than money back" guarantee. No Hassels, No Catches, No Stress! Buying an extra one for a Friend or for the Shower? Consider Buying 4 and take advantage of Amazon's FREE SHIPPING. These Sponges make Amazing Gifts!


Gentle exfoliation for the sensitive & acne-prone (4 Stars)

I have such frustrating skin. Thanks to my gene pool I have skin that's quite sensitive and reactive, but I'm also prone to acne. Nobody wants to be fighting acne and wrinkles but alas, that's my lot. I've found that many of the products I could get away with using in my 20's are too harsh and drying now that I've moved into my 30's and instead of helping, they tend to exacerbate my breakouts. As I have skin that is dry in some areas and oily in others I was eager to jump on the konjac sponge bandwagon and see if it wouldn't make a difference.

The sponge from Oleavine is a great shape with one end being well suited to broader areas like the cheeks and forehead while the pointed end is great for working around the nose and jawline. It's very gentle and soft but surprisingly effective. I've been using it with an oil based cleanser at night and alone in the morning and my skin has seen improvement. What I like though, is that just as I had hoped, it hasn't caused irritation or reaction. While I haven't seen a major decrease in my break-outs yet I think I'll need to continue using it for a few months to see.

I would definitely recommend it for those who are acne prone that need a gentle exfoliator that won't upset their sensitive skin either.













I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wellness Rhi-view: Infuser Water Bottle #FruitFusion



I hate water.

Yeah, you read that correctly. I've been a water hater since I was a kid. It's boring. Kids don't like boring and unfortunately, grown-ups don't either. Last summer I got on a kick of actually taking care of myself though and started trying to force hydration on myself. But plain water is so hard to drink that I started tossing herbs from my garden or the grocery store and slices of fruit or veggies into my water and letting it sit overnight to give it flavor. (That's called infusion for all you word nerds).

My friends and family loved the ideas I started sharing for making water less dull and I started noticing that lots of other bloggers and health nuts were doing it too. You can't get a newsletter for free books on Amazon without having at least one book on infused waters popping up every week. Yep, the world is hooked on infused waters!

But not everyone is a work-at-home parent like I am and can just make a whole pitcher to come back to throughout the day. That's why I offered Big Easy Brands my services as a tester and reviewer for their Infuser Water Bottle. I wanted to find a great portable option for taking to work, on car trips, where ever you need hydration on-the-go!

Check out the details: 

Infuser Water Bottle from Big Easy Brands
Give Your Water a Fruity Splash!
- 26 ounce fill capacity
- Easy to use and makes delicious natural fruit flavored beverages!
- Liquid flows around and through the fruit to flavor the drink.
- Removable fruit infuser
- BPA Free
- Lead Free
- Bottle is made of PET Plastic - the Safest Plastic in Drinkware and the New Alternative to Polycarbonate
- Basket is made of Polypropylene
- Wide Mouth - 63 mm Neck
- Fits most Cup Holders
- Dishwasher Safe
- Do Not Microwave
- Made in the USA
Seller Warranty - 1 Year Guarantee. We will replace any defective bottle.
Just let us know and we'll have a new one to you in a jif.
The first thing that I was thrilled to see is that it's made here in the USA. The second is that it's made with PET and Polypropylene parts. What I think you guys will love is that it fits most cupholders so it's easy to transport to the gym or work. Perfect for road trips when you're trying to avoid filling up on sugary junk beverages that leave you feeling cruddy post-travel.

For this post I featured one of my favorite infusions, raspberry-mint, because I have a ridiculous amount of mint growing in my garden. Plus, I love the bright red hue of the berries contrasted against the crisp green mint. Just looking at it perks me up.

The bottle makes it easy to set up an infusion with easy to clean parts that screw together to keep the ingredients contained. As you sip from the spout—which folds up and down into the handle—the water flows over the ingredients every time so even if you don't leave it to sit overnight you'll get a burst of flavor with every sip.

One of my favorite features is the loop that makes a handle. If I'm heading out the door my hands are always full and grabbing the loop with a couple of fingers until I get in the car just saves me headache. Literally. If you've ever had a dehydration headache you know how hard they are to kick once they start.

Another reason to start enjoying infused water other than that it makes it more palatable is the health benefits. Yes really! 


While you're not going to get the same benefits as you would by eating the ingredients whole, you are still getting vitamins. Plus, some ingredients can have an immediate effect like ginger for tackling nausea or mint for alertness. I always feel more energetic after drinking lemon-thyme and I wish I'd tried the lime-ginger during my last pregnancy when I had all-day morning sickness and hated the taste of water more than usual.

Have you tried infusing water yet? What's your favorite blend? Tweet #FruitFusion to @RhiReading and tell me which of my suggested combos you'd like to try!


Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Product Rhi-view: Vita Nut Milk Bag + GIVEAWAY CLOSED!





Vita Nut Milk Bag

Company Site: website
Product Details: Save Time, Get Better Yield & Less Waste with No Stretching or Tearing! Our Nut Milk Bag is Made with a Premium, Tight Weave, Fine 200 Micron Monofilament Mesh. This Durable, High Quality Material Is Perfect for Squeezing Without Tearing or Ripping the Bag. This Means Less Waste and Smoother, Better Tasting Nut Milks, Juices, Yogurts and Cold Brew Coffee That You Only Have To Filter Once.
Less Waste With Our Rounded Bottom Bags. Flat Bottom Bags Means Milk Shoots Out Sideways Through Each Corner, Creating Waste and Mess! Corners Also Form Holes, Which Lets Pulp Through, Causing Frustration and Waste. You Don't Have to Worry About That With Vita Nut Milk Bag's Rounded Bottom and Premium Double Stitching. Rounded Bottoms Mean No Pulp is Left Behind Cleaning, so Your Bags Stay Sanitary for Longer.
No Cheap Plastic or Elastic Openings Means Healthier Drinks! Our Convenient, Durable Drawstring Creates Easy Filtering and Drying. This is Perfect For Unattended Straining and Sprouting, Saving You Time and Energy. Just Hang, and Walk Away! Use the Drawstring to Hang or Stand Up the Bag for Quick, Complete Drying. This Means No Mold Like Get With Other Bags, and Healthier Nut Milks, Juices, Yogurts, and Cold Brew Coffee for You & Your Family.
Easiest Pouring and Straining of Any Nut Milk Bag. Large Opening Fits Over Most Containers and Glass Jars. This Makes it Better, Easier, Faster, and More Convenient Than a Cheesecloth.
Get Pulp Free Results That You Only Have to Filter Once - Saves You Time & Money. Our 12" x 10" Size and Easy to Cinch Drawstring Means Your Nut Milk or Juice Does Not Ooze Out of the Top Like With Other, Smaller Strainer Bags. This is the Best Size For Large or Small Batches, Reducing Your Overall Prep and Cleaning Time.



A life changer! (5 Stars)

I'll be honest... as much as I've wanted to make my own almond milk I was always deterred by the amount of work that seemed to go into it... until I discovered this bag. Shortly after it arrived I followed the enclosed link and downloaded the free ebook filled with recipes and instructions and was shocked at how simple the process sounded. So I made it my mission to make homemade almond milk. I liked that instead of purchasing a carton that I probably won't use up after I open it before it goes bad I was going to make just enough for my needs and with only four ingredients.

The recipe was easy and the bag made all the difference! My almond milk came out smooth, creamy and delicious. By keeping the almond pulp contained I was also easily able to transfer it to another container with ease so that I could later turn the pulp into almond butter. When it was time to clean the bag, I'll admit it was a little tough getting every speck out of the hemline so I washed it as well as I could then hung it to try, once it dried I shook out the rest and washed it again. To store it I rolled it up and used a chip-clip to make it space saving to store in a drawer.

If you've been wanting a bag for making nut milk I cannot recommend this one enough. I absolutely loved my experience with it and can't wait to try sprouting with it next.

Soaking raw almonds overnight!

Water + Almonds + Pinch of Sea Salt + 2 Dates & Blend!

Once you've blended your nut milk mixture you pour it through the bag. I chose to carefully loop it around the top of my pitcher to make it easier. Close the loop and slowly lift it and squeeze as much liquid out as you can. Think of it like a giant tea bag.


You now have a beautiful, creamy textured batch of almond milk. You can compost or throw away the almond pulp left inside or you can do what I did and toast it in the oven then run it through a food processor to make almond butter.



Isn't it pretty? It was so delicious too! I can't believe how easy it was to make. I won't be paying store prices for almond milk again.


Now that I've made almond milk I can't wait to try other nut milks—I even bought raw cashews to try cashew milk for a change—and to try using the bag for sprouting. ☺













Would you like to try making your own? My post's sponsor is letting me give away one Vita Nut Milk Bag to one of you wonderful readers!




I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Book Rhi-view: Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Fantasy, Friendship
Ebook, Hardcover (48 pages, RANDOM HOUSE)
An original picture book about a unicorn from bestselling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Plant a Kiss).
In this clever twist on the age-old belief that there’s no such thing as unicorns, Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! No matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are real. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her. This refreshing and sweet story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.
 (Ages: 3-7)
Release Date: August 26th

And she would be the best friend... (5 stars)

Once upon a time there was a little girl who thought unicorns were pretty much the most awesome thing in the whole wide world. But as happens with all little girls, one day she grew up and had a little girl of her own. Alas, that little girl is not so fond of unicorns and thought that UNI THE UNICORN was not a good story, or so she told her mama. Well what do 4-year-olds know about good fiction anyway? :P

While my daughter usually has okay taste in books I was quite disappointed she didn't like UNI THE UNICORN because I absolutely loved it. Not only is it a sweet, timeless story about not giving up on what you believe just because others think you're silly, it is beautifully illustrated. I went straight to the internet to track down Barrager to see her other work as soon as we finished. Every single page of this book is striking and fantastical. The only thing I didn't love about it was that the little girl in the story is your stereotypical blonde-haired, blue-eyed caucasian girl, it would have been terrific to see a story about a unicorn where the little girl wasn't so cookie-cutter.

A thoughtful story for the preschool into early reader set with lushly illustrated, elegant pages worthy of framing, UNI THE UNICORN spoke to my inner child even if my daughter didn't enjoy it.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.


If you liked one of these you might like UNI THE UNICORN:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cool Things Rhi-flection: Tenantify


Dear readers, almost five years ago I was able to buy my first home. It was an exciting step in my life as I'd been an apartment dweller for the fifteen years proceeding it. Owning a home is a pretty big part of the American Dream but one of the things I miss most about renting was letting a landlord or their hired help take care of things I don't know how to do. Like getting an exterminator to come deal with the mouse living in my bedroom ceiling—yes, we're really dealing with that one right now!

But owning property opens you up to lots of opportunities to learn things like how to fix a running toilet in the middle of the night or the value of choosing to spend more on new windows at the outset for long-term quality. My grandmother and my late grandfather have been rental property owners since long before I was even thought of, so over the years I've seen the struggles of the landlord too. From tenants who destroyed carpet to others who had frequent domestic disputes or were never on-time with their rent, being a landlord has some tough challenges because you can't always know just who you're renting to.

Which is one reason I found Tenantify really unique. It offers a way to verify potential renters' employment and income so you know before a lease is signed that they have a job and that their income is real. They are currently the only website that offers this and hopefully they'll eventually have criminal record and credit checks too.


If you're renting out a property the service is completely FREE for you!!! The potential renter pays a small fee for one or both services so they can prove to you that they have the ability to pay you.

If you're a renter looking for a new home this is a win for you too! While a credit report has its uses, that one mess-up you had 4 years ago that dinged your score probably doesn't accurately reflect where you're at now. By having your ability to pay your rent verified through Tenantify's unique process you can show your potential landlord that you have the means to do so.

Does it sound like Tenantify might be the right service for you? They have sample verifications you can examine in detail to see how the process works.

Perhaps the day will come when we purchase a rental property and get to fix someone else's toilet and hope the new tentant's cat doesn't destroy the curtains (like our cats did in our last apartment), if we do it's great to know that we can have our potential renters' income and employment status verified with ease thanks to Tenantify. In fact, I think I'm going to recommend it to my grandmother next time she is screening new tenants to save her time and worry.













Notes: I am being compensated with a giftcard in exchange for this feature post. All opinions provided here are my own and in no way influenced by my being compensated. Images used in this post are screen captures from Tenantify or were sourced from www.freeimages.com and used per the tou for use.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Recipe: Knock-Off S.W. Basics Cream


Earlier this year I won a jar of S.W. Basics Cream in a giveaway and let me tell you... it is the BEST body cream I have ever used. EVER. Nothing has ever really tackled my Montana winter skin like it does. The only problem? Once the jar runs out—and I've been hording my jar for when I need it the worst—I've got to pay $32 a jar to replace it! Truth be told, it's just too rich for my budget.

But the thing is... it only has 3 ingredients and they're not hard to find either. I've honestly never made anything like this before. My own household cleaning products sure... but body products were new territory for me. I am an adventurous person when it comes to DIY though so I figured I would get my ingredients together and then study the product I was trying to replicate so decide what ratio I needed going on to replicate it. It was so easy I got it on my first try!!!

Aside from a slight color difference due to the ingredients being from different sources... bam! #nailedit
Since I know many of you here are folks trying to live large on a tiny budget I figured the recipe just had to be shared. Enjoy!

Knock-Off S.W. Basics Cream

• 1/2 cup organic raw shea butter (I used this one)
• 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil (I used this one)
• 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil (such as this one)
• a glass jar that can hold 4oz/250ML of liquid (I just reused one of these jelly jars but any sterile glass jar with a lid would work)

1. Gently melt all three ingredients in top of a double boiler pan and stir until combined using a metal spoon.
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. Pour liquid into jar and refrigerate until solid.

In warm temps it might get soft but it stores at room temp fairly well. If it gets too melty just pop it in the fridge until it's solid again. You can stir in essential oils at the room temp phase before pouring into a jar if you want a scented cream. To use just scoop some out with your fingers and spread it like butter, your body heat will melt it. Because it's made with oils it will feel a little greasy at first but just rub it in and you'll feel like a million bucks.


I didn't do the math but since I already keep coconut and olive oils at home for cooking the raw shea was the only part I needed to buy so I could easily have made 3 times + as much for 1/3 of the cost.

If you try this out let me know! What are some other great DIY knock-off recipes?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Raw Shea Butter from Beauty by Shea



100% Organic Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter 
*Amazon Exclusive*

Company Site: Website
Instructions for Use
Product Details: 16 oz (1lb) of Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter from Beauty By Shea is made with extra care to ensure you receive the purest Raw Shea Butter. Beauty By Shea Organic Shea Butter is double filtered, first in Ghana, and then at our US Lab where it is manufactured into our 1lb bricks, packaged into our heat sealed bags, and sent straight to Amazon thereby preserving the natural richness, and purity of the shea butter for our customers.Beauty By Shea 100% Ivory Organic Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter is imported directly from Ghana, and is 100% pure and natural, nothing else added!
Naturally rich in essential vitamins for beautiful skin, Beauty By Shea Organic Shea Butter will nourish your skin with Vitamins A, E, F & K. Use this Beauty By Shea Organic Raw Shea Butter daily and often for beautiful, moisturized, luminous skin.
Raw Organic Unrefined Shea Butter is perfect for topical use on skin and hair, and the perfect essential ingredient for homemade lotions, soaps, conditioners and more!



Worked perfectly for what I wanted! (5 Stars)

My knock-off body cream
Earlier this year I won a jar of what is the MOST amazing body cream I've ever used. But at $32 for a very small jar of it I knew there was no way I could afford it normally. With only three easy-to-source ingredients I decided I wanted to come up with a knock-off recipe for it. The only ingredient I was missing was raw shea butter. When I received the opportunity to sample this Raw Shea Butter from Beauty by Shea I was eager to see if I could not only create a great knock-off, but to figure out if it was possible to make at least twice as much at half the cost.

Not only is this good quality shea that smells pleasant and works wonderful just by itself, it's reasonably priced and easy to work with. I was completely satisfied with it. Well packaged, smooth and easy to melt, resolidifies nicely, and is just overall a good value. I was able to make my knock-off that you can barely tell isn't the real thing and it cost less and left me with enough to make 3 times what I needed!



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Rhi-view: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth: And Other Pop Culture Correspondences

Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth: And Other Pop Culture Correspondences by John Moe

Humor, Pop Culture
Ebook, Paperback, Audio (304 pages, RANDOM HOUSE)
“Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth is proof that a funny book on pop culture doesn't have to be snide and nasty. I loved everything about it.” —Jim Gaffigan
We all know how Darth Vader shared his big secret with Luke Skywalker, but what if he had delivered the news in a handwritten note instead? And what if someone found that letter, as well as all of the drafts that landed in the Dark Lord’s trash can? In the riotously funny collection Dear Luke, We Need to Talk. Darth, John Moe finally reveals these lost notes alongside all the imagined letters, e-mails, text messages, and other correspondences your favorite pop culture icons never meant for you to see.
From The Walking Dead to The Wizard of Oz, from Billy Joel to Breaking Bad, no reference escapes Moe’s imaginative wit and keen sense of nostalgia. Read Captain James T. Kirk’s lost log entries and Yelp reviews of The Bates Motel and Cheers. Peruse top secret British intelligence files revealing the fates of Agents 001–006, or Don Draper’s cocktail recipe cards. Learn all of Jay-Z’s 99 problems, as well as the complete rules of Fight Club, and then discover an all-points bulletin concerning Bon Jovi, wanted dead or alive—and much more.
Like a like a bonus track to a favorite CD or a deleted scene from a cult movie, Dear Luke, We Need to Talk Darth offer a fresh twist on the pop culture classics we thought we knew by heart. You already know part of their story. Now find out the rest.


Insert Dad Jokes Meme Here (1 star)

I like to think I've got a decent sense of humor and I love tongue-in-cheek teasing when it comes to pop culture. As a geek who loves to see their fandoms painted in humorous ways I couldn't wait to see what Moe could do with everything from Star Wars and The Walking Dead to Nirvana and Fleetwood Mac. After all don't we all have moments where our favorite song lyrics seem really ridiculous when read or some dramatic moment in a favorite show is so far fetched it begs for satire?

Alas, Moe managed to write an entire book of pop culture letters and such that managed to be about as funny as watching paint dry. He tries, oh boy does he try, so very hard to be funny... so hard it's downright painful to read at times. Other times he doesn't know the source material sufficiently to make even remote sense. I wouldn't quite go so far as to say this felt like a book of dad jokes but... nope... I'm going that far. It's just not funny though I'll admit to finding a couple of the the chapters mildly amusing enough I could appreciate his effort in at least trying.

I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone who actually liked pop culture or has a sense of humor. If you're looking for a door stop or a gift for someone with no sense of humor or maybe if you suffer from insomnia and want something to put you to sleep...



Notes: Review copy received via Blogging for Books review program.
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