Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home Rhi-view: Scented Natural Soy Wax Candles by Old Factory [+ GIVEAWAY!]


Scented Natural Soy Wax Candles by Old Factory

Company Site: website
Product Details: Made in the USA with natural soy wax and self-trimming cotton candle wicks.
Each gift pack comes with 3 fragrance-themed candles. Each of which burns clean for over 20 hours. The subtle jar design makes it the perfect complement for any decor, and any room of the house - kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, family room, great room, basement. We recommend burning one candle in a smaller room, or combining 2 candles in a larger room for the best effect.
Buy one for yourself, and another for a loved one just because.
Every purchase is 100% Guranteed. If you are not completely thrilled with the fragrance or appearance of these candles. We insist you send them back (at our expense) and we'll give you a full refund. No hassles. No headaches. That's our promise to you.

Fall Harvest -- Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves
Happy Holidays -- Christmas Tree, Candy Cane, Gingerbread
Winter Wonderland -- Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut, First Snow
Romance -- Rose Petals, Champagne, Dark Chocolate
Fresh & Clean -- Lemongrass, Olive Blossom, Fresh Linen
Spa Day -- Cucumber, Lemongrass, Green Tea
Vacation -- Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, Awapuhi
Coffee Shop -- Coffee Bean, Hazelnut, Chai Tea
Man Cave -- Straight Razor, Leather, Mahogany
High as a Kite -- Cannabis, Incense, Bag O' Cookies
New Born Baby -- Baby Powder, Baby Shampoo, First Blanket
50 Shades -- Leather, Vanilla Sex, Jasmine Bubbles


Small & Mighty! (5 Stars)

If there's one gift I find works for just about anyone, it's a scented candle. So when I discovered these trios I was excited to check them out. It's not every day you find candle trios where the scents are well paired to smell nice burned in pairs or as a group. With so many great combinations I originally leaned toward one of the holiday scents but because I'm a book blogger I wanted to have some cross-over appeal with my readers and went with the 50 Shades set. I mean, who can resist finding out what the heck Vanilla Sex smells like, amiright?

I'm really impressed! The packaging is perfect for gift giving. With each candle having a screw on lid you can preserve the scents between uses (obviously, making sure your candle is cool enough to put it back on safely). They burn very clean with minimal smoking and they can fill a very large space. I've been burning mine in my kitchen for the sake of the space test and my entire upper floor (about 750 sq. ft.) was scented.

I've been burning all three together and they compliment each other nicely. I'm not overly fond of the Leather scent and would not burn it alone. The Jasmine Bubbles is lovely and Vanilla Sex surprised me by being my favorite when I'm not usually a vanilla scent kinda gal. I would definitely buy these as a gift or like to receive them myself. Now that I've had some bookish fun I'd love to try the High As A Kite or Winter Wonderland sets.

GIVEAWAY:




Notes: 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, November 4, 2014

Spotlight: ALEXANDRA FRY: PRIVATE EYE Tutankhamun's Gift by Angella Graff [Excerpt + giveaway!]


This post is part of a book blast organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $10 Amazon/BN gift card. Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Blurb:
Now an 8th grader and the senior of Sage Brush Middle School, Alexandra Fry is looking forward to having a nice, calm, mystery-free year. But her hopes are dashed when she's visited by none other than the famous boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun who has a very special request: to find the carved jade crocodile that once belonged to the mummy of his unborn child. With a fight brewing between Alexandra and her two best friends, Penelope and Jack, this case won't be as easy as it seems.

New friends, a first crush, and a new threat from the spirit world, Alexandra must use everything she's learned to uncover the mysteries in this case. Who is the bad guy this time? Who can she trust? And above all, what is the Shadow Man?

It's up to Alexandra, her friends, and possible new allies to save the day in the thrilling new tale of Alexandra Fry, Private Eye.


Enjoy an excerpt:

“No!” I said, feeling angry now. “I mean, I don’t agree with them keeping it from you. I was really upset when I found out and I told your mom I didn’t want to do it, but she begged me. But Penelope, I like your mom, and so does my dad. They make each other happy, and I thought you could be happy for them.”

“I can’t even believe I’m hearing this. How can you take their side over mine!”

“Maybe because you’re being totally unreasonable!” I was frustrated and the words slipped out before I even realized I’d said them. I instantly regretted it.

Going pale, Penelope narrowed her eyes and took three steps back. “Maybe I am,” she said, her voice low and furious. “And maybe you and I aren’t friends anymore.” She stormed toward the door, but before she opened it, she turned back to me. “And maybe don’t expect me to save your stupid butt again next time some crazy person tries to kill you. It’s no wonder Jack’s using you for adventure. It’s all you’re good for.” With that, she went in, slamming the door behind her.

Her last words hit me like a blow to the gut. Tears instantly sprang into my eyes and I sat down right in the middle of the grass. How did it get so messed up? For the first time in my life, I’d had friends, friends who knew my secrets and accepted me for them. Friends who cared, who were there for me. Then one small mistake and everything fell apart.
Purchase the book at Amazon.


About the Author:

Angella Graff was born and raised in the desert city of Tucson, Arizona. She married and became a mother very young, and after getting started with her family, began her University studies where she found her passion for creative writing, history and theology.

She now resides in Tucson with her husband Joshua, three children, Christian, Isabella and Adia, and their three cats and three dogs.




Monday, November 3, 2014

Beauty Rhi-view: Vitamin C Serum by Foxbrim


Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid by Foxbrim

Company Site: website
Product Details: HIGHEST QUALITY VITAMIN C SERUM AVAILABLE: Foxbrim's advanced formula Vitamin C + Amino Complex + Hyaluronic Acid is a complete and comprehensive anti-aging solution. Only the best natural and organic ingredients used to create the most effective serum available. This is quite simply the ★BEST CHOICE★
RECOMMENDED FOR A REASON: Vitamin C has received quite a bit of notoriety thanks to a famous doctor on TV. In fact, he's highlighted it as the #1 secret to drop a decade of your face. He explained that using Vitamin C topically can be 20 times more effective than taking it orally.
EFFECTIVE AND POWERFUL: Foxbrim's Vitamin C Serum delivers. This scientifically proven formula provides an abundance of key anti-aging benefits. Results include: Stimulating and boosting collagen, Reducing fine lines and wrinkles, Brightening and smoothing skin and Evening complexion by fading sun spots and discoloration.
REPAIR THE DAMAGE: Each and every day your face battles the elements. Smoke, sun, smog and pollution cause your skin to age prematurely. Repair and reverse the damage with a nutrient-rich formula of plant-based ingredients. Vitamin C Serum helps to create beautifully supple and resilient skin ready to fight the signs of aging and environmental damage.
★ RISK FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE ★ There is absolutely no risk when you order now! If you are not 100% satisfied with your results OR if our product did not live up to your expectations in any way we will give you a full refund. No questions asked. Your satisfaction and results are our #1 priority!
Directions
Wash and pat skin dry. If you are going to use a toner, apply the toner before the serum. Apply a small amount to entire face, neck and decollete. Allow to dry. Can be used daily; can be used under make up. Follow with any of our moisturizers.
Ingredients: Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Methylsulfonylmethane, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Carbomer, (2s)-2-Amino-5-guanidinopentanoic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Jojoba Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin


Wonderful results, would definitely recommend! (5 Stars)

I've been using this product for a month now and I'm quite impressed. I noticed an increased brightness to my overall complexion since I started using it but more importantly—it hasn't made me breakout! My skin is on the sensitive and reactive side and acne prone so I figured the likelyhood I'd have an acne flare up was pretty high. I've been really pleased with how my skin has reacted to it... by not reacting negatively.

It's a thin serum with almost no smell and I find it's easy to apply and takes only a few seconds to dry. The current price is quite reasonable too. My results after a month have been an increase in overall clarity—I'm currently blemish free and have been for a couple of days which is unusual—and my skin is much smoother. I have noticed I'm a little drier in spots than I usually am but I think I just need a moisturizer that pairs well with it and I should be in awesome shape. I'm thinking I'll add the Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion to my routine to see if it works as well as this has.



Notes: 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.

Product Rhi-view: Surpahs Shiny Small Lightweight Digital Bathroom Scale


Surpahs Shiny Small Lightweight Digital Bathroom Scale
Company Site: website
Product Details: Auto identify up to 4 pre-set users, provides accurate body weight measurement and Body Mass Index (BMI) on 2.3" (59mm) diameter big round shiny LCD screen, with very nice blue backlight, easy reading in the dark.
11" x 9.6" x 0.9" small, sleek, lovely design with 0.2" (6mm) thickness more pure & higher tempered glass weighing platform.
Smart gravity point detect and auto-calibrate. The G-Sensor patent-pending technology embded in 4 TPU skidproof stands support more stable and accurate measurement from 11 lb to 330 lb.
New "Sense-ON" patent-pending technology gets instant readings when you step on the scale.
Powered by 4 AAA 1.5v batteries (demo included), long last standby time, 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Those little bars move all the way up and then back down as it calculates your BMI, as you can see mine fell in Normal.

Stylish and accurate (5 Stars)

Since my last bathroom scale broke a couple of years ago the only time I've hit the scale is in the doctor's office. I'd have bought a new one by now but I'm so sick of cheap models that seem nice for what you pay that wind up breaking within the first year.

I was honestly not expecting much out of the Surpahs Shiny Small Lightweight Bathroom Scale. It's current retail price (at the time of this review) is just way low. But it's really, really nice. It's definitely lightweight but the design is sleek and it's very easy to set up and use. The accuracy is spot on and having the BMI calculator on there is handy. Watching the display go up and then back amuses my kid who now wants to get weighed all the time too.

Overall, a sleek and stylish bathroom scale that will look nice in most bathrooms (well, the white model anyway).



Notes: 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.
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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Beauty Rhi-view: Mermaid Minerals iLine [+ giveaway!]






Company Site: website
Product Details: Mermaid Minerals Magic Clear Liquid Eye Liner turns ANY powder eye shadow instantly into a waterproof eyeliner. No more buying eyeliner pencils to match your shadows. This is one beauty tool you need in your kit! Create dramatic eyes with contrast colors or frame your eyes with matte eyeliner matching your eye shadow. Works with vitually any powder eye shadow. Just shake a little of your eye shadow into the lid, dip the brush for the Mermaid Minerals Magic Clear Liquid Eyeliner into the powder and sweep over eyelid. It's that simple! Rinse the brush and pat dry. The best part is that it is only $9.00! You get the look of dozens of colors and only have to buy one product!
Perfect for weddings, beaches, photoshoots, everyday wear, professional Mermaid underwater performances, BellyDancers, Actors and the list goes on.
LIKE us on Facebook!
Instagram! Mermaid Minerals
Twitter! Mermaid Minerals
Free Mermaid Eco Bag with each order!
SAVE 20% with code: MermaidLand on your first purchase!
Ingredients: Water, Hydroxethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, Propelyne Glycol, Sodium Benzoate


Very useful but not-quite-waterproof (4 Stars)

About three years ago I stumbled on a review for Mermaid Minerals' magical eye liner product that turns ANY powder eye shadow into a waterproof eyeliner. I was really impressed with the product but at the time I just wasn't as into playing with makeup as I've been over the past year so I didn't buy it. Fast forward to a recent review and giveaway opportunity and I was eager to add it to my makeup staples because of the gorgeous mineral makeup powders I've gotten hooked on from another company.

I have to admit I have no idea what's the best way to use this product. I didn't like this idea of just dipping the brush into the powder since that would mean it would have to get cleaned every time but an internet search and checking the website turned up nothing. So I decided to just go for it with dipping it and that worked really, really well. It's a little messy so I recommend practicing to see what works for you. I found that just dipping the brush into the powder and then gently gliding it with the most powdery side against my eyelid worked very well.

My test for waterproof was double. I put some on the skin on the back of my hand (similar texture to my eyelid) and went about my day. Within about 5 hours at the computer with a couple of hand washes during bathroom breaks it was gone. The second test was at a wedding on Halloween night. It held up really well along my lash line but at the corners of my eyes tears washed it away without me wiping my eyes.

Overall, I think it's a pretty cool product to add versatility to your collection of loose powder shadows. I liked turning one of my favorite bright pink colors into a very loud liner and can't wait to try some of my other favorite bright colors that you just can't find great liners in without breaking the bank.






Notes: 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, October 21, 2014

Gadget Rhi-view: Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale

Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale with Back-Lit LCD Display, Tare, Hold and PCS Features 500 x 0.01g (2 Lids Included)

Company Site: website
Product Details: Features - the top500 is strong, accurate, fast, and user-friendly; will work great for any of your mailing, jewelry, reloading, and cooking needs
Functions - this scale can double up as a postal scale; the pcs function gives you an accurate count and the hold function will lock weight readings
Design - features a clear LCD screen lit by a bright blue backlight; will display readings in g, OZ, OZT, dwt, GN, and CT
Precision - manufactured with high precision sensors to provide the most accurate weight readings; weighs up to 500 grams in 0.01 Increments
Includes - 2 AAA batteries with a two minute auto shut off feature; the tare function will provide a net weight

Great for light measuring (5 Stars)

I recently found myself tempted to borrow my husband's postal/kitchen scale for a recipe I wanted to try. The only problem, my husband is a falconer so his gets used for measuring raw critters to feed to his birds who occasionally let loose excrement on the scale. Yeeeeah I appreciate the gesture babe but no thanks.

When an opportunity came to try this scale out I figured it was perfect. I don't need the portability factor so much but the size makes it easy to store in my tiny kitchen. It has two nifty lids that keep it covered and can easily be used to hold objects being measured in a pinch.

It has several units of measurement available though I'll personally mostly need it for ounces (my husband could use it for grams for his falconry purposes). It's easy to switch between them all and if you need to use say, a bowl or measuring cup to hold the ingredient being measured it's also simple to tare.

Since trying it out I think the TOP500 is just a bit too small for what I want to use it for but would be great for jewelry and light mail uses. For the price it's an excellent little unit and I would definitely recommend folks who need a small scale for their postal and food measurements check out the TOP2KG and TOP3KG. I can't quite comment on the long-term durability but these are small enough to easily fit in a purse or briefcase.



Notes: 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.

Beauty Rhi-view: Luxe Beauty Essentials Plush Microfiber Hair Towel




Luxe Beauty Essentials Plush Microfiber Hair Towel
Product Details: The Luxe Beauty Essentials Plush Microfiber Hair Towel is soft and gentle made from brushed terry, yet super durable and absorbent. Using our microfiber hair towel will drastically reduce the time needed using hair dryers, therefore reducing the damage caused by these products. Save your hair! Buy our Microfiber Hair Towel Today, and rest assured- customer satisfaction guaranteed. Love it or your money back! Deluxe Size 19 x 39 inches is large enough for long thick hair.

So soft, so great for no-poo peeps! (5 Stars)

At 10 weeks into a no-poo regimen I have fallen in love with this luxuriously soft hair towel. I'd heard of them before but never thought to invest in one. But with my hair care routine changing I noticed a bit of post-drying frizz that was just unpleasant.

Not only has this dramatically speeded up my routine by reducing dry time it is so very gentle. The only thing I don't like about it is the length. My hair is very long and about 4" of it isn't covered. If your hair hits mid-back or longer you may find it's a little on the short side for you too. (I honestly don't think that's likely as I am very tall and thus my measurement is a bit skewed).

If you have curly hair I think this would be an excellent investment into your hair care, it definitely cuts back on the roughing up factor terry cloth tends to cause. I have straight hair and love it too.

Blog specific notes: It's been several weeks more since I originally wrote this review (for Amazon) and since then I've had a hair cut AND dyed my hair (at home). I'd planned to get another photo of myself with the towel but guess what I got on it? Dye! *chuckle* Ah well. I love it still. Definitely cuts down on dry time which is important for me because I only blow-dry when I absolutely have to because I'm leaving the house in our very cold weather that'll start in about a month.

If you're doing the no-poo thing I think this is an excellent choice because of how gentle it is on the hair. During transition any friction would make my hair a rat nest. I've heard this is awesome for curls so if you are a curly girl and wind up trying it let me know!



Notes: 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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wellness Rhi-flection: Viva Labs Organic




Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being contacted by a brand I'd worked with in the past and had a positive experience with, Viva Labs. I'd tried their oganic coconut oil and loved it. So when I was offered the chance to try some of their newest products I jumped at the chance since a couple were ones I'd been wanting to check out and another was one I was already trying to introduce into my health and wellness routine.

I received:

  • Organic Chia Seeds
  • Organic Cacao Powder
  • Organic Maca Powder
  • Organic Coconut Flour
  • Organic Coconut Sugar


I was already a fan of chia seeds so they were my first product I busted open to try. I'll admit that I compared them to the bulk bin ones I already had from the local shop I like for stuff like this and I honestly couldn't tell the difference. Since they were actually comparable in quality the only real difference was the price. The local stuff is a little less in cost but I would still recommend Viva Labs' product because it comes in a reclosable bag. They're excellent in smoothies and I love chia pudding!

Next up I dove into the Maca because I'd read a lot about their hormone helping properties. Since undergoing sterilization last year my hormones have been completely out of whack and I've had crazy PMS and menstrual problems that I've never previously experienced. I found that it's rather nutty in smell and taste but that I honestly don't like it. Which means that it's one I hide in other foods to help me combat the hormone chaos. I found it hard to hide in smoothies but that when I make avocado-cacao pudding it adds only a subtle flavor that I can tolerate. I've been really happy with the results and will probably switch to it in tablet form if they ever offer it.


The cacao was next as I am obsessed with cacao's health benefits right now. Every single time I use it I feel good! I notice that just a teaspoon added to a cup of coffee (I like mine black) helps even out the energy boost. But when it all boils down it's pretty much the chocolate at heart which means it's great added homemade nut milk—if you follow this blog you've seen that already—and my favorite, avocado-cacao pudding! I've tried other brands and been happy but this one is crazy smooth and doesn't have the bitter, burned undertones others have had. I highly recommend it.

Coconut Sugar Ice Cream
I jumped on the coconut sugar right away because I wanted to see if it tasted like coconut. Since I like coconut I wouldn't have minded but for those who don't you'll be glad to find out it doesn't! I used it in so many things like coffee, smoothies, and even with cereal but the biggest hit was homemade ice cream that was literally just 3 cups of heavy cream and 3/4 cup of the coconut sugar. It is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. I will be purchasing it a lot just to make this recipe. It gives a carmel-like flavor that is stellar.

Lastly, I found myself stumped on what to do with the coconut flour. I've never worked with it before and most of the recipes I found weren't things I'd eat. Ultimately, I went with banana bread but found that it was way too dry, tasted like sand, and felt like eating sand. My recipe was obviously the problem because the flour is nice. It smells good and has a nice texture. I've been thinking I might try using it for making homemade popcorn shrimp or chicken.

Overall, I continue to be really impressed with the quality of each product I have tried from Viva Labs and I hope to get to explore more of their wellness options, in particular their Optimal Greens and their Magnesium have caught my eye.




Notes: I received a sample pack of products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own and were not influenced by the complimentary nature of said items.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wellness Rhi-view: Youphoria Yoga Mat


Youphoria Yoga Mat
Company Site: website
Product Details: TOP RATED MATERIAL - Youphoria Yoga's top-grade, high density memory foam helps you stabilize your hands and feet during yoga poses or workouts but doesn't make you lose stability. This yoga mat relieves pressure points in various yoga poses and offers much needed joint relief during impact workouts. This material does not wear like ordinary mats. Great for the long haul!
ULTIMATE GRIP - Top-rated material also means performance where it counts and when it counts. The proprietary grip circles on the bottom of the mat keep it from sliding, even on the smoothest of surfaces. The top-side is built with a unique blend of grip, stability, and comfort, so your hands and feet won't slide. You can maintain balance, and the hard surface below you doesn't wear on your joints!
ODOR FREE - Do you hate the smell of new yoga mats?! Our Youphoria Yoga Mat is not manufactured with any harsh chemicals meaning it shows up odor free and ready to use. You should be concentrating on your yoga practice, not the smell of your new mat!
ECO FRIENDLY - Youphoria Yoga's high density memory foam material is SGS Approved and free from Phthalates. Meaning it is free of harmful chemicals and toxins making it safe for the environment and most importantly, YOU!


LIMITED TIME OFFER: We are offering $27.99 (50% off) for the first 500 customers. Also, buy one Youphoria Yoga Towel and one Youphoria Yoga Mat and get $5.50 OFF your Total Purchase and Qualify for FREE SHIPPING when you ENTER CODE 1MAT1TWL at checkout!



My new favorite Yoga brand. (5 Stars)
 
By nature I'm an extremely anxious person. It's embarrassing to admit it but everything stresses me out. From seeing a down vote on a review to realizing I'm out of milk the moment my preschooler wants a bowl of cereal. The last thing I need is more stress when it comes time to workout or meditate. But let's face it, picking a great mat can be challenging. My last mat was a cute hot pink leopard print, perfect for getting my mojo going for pilates but it was so thin and stunk so much when I first got it. It also began flaking right away.

When I got the opportunity to try the Youphoria Yoga Mat in exchange for a review I was really skeptical. The brand was unfamiliar and they were so plain. But I was stoked to find a pure black mat that boasted an ecofriendly material and no odor so I figured it was worth my time to give it a test.

I was absolutely blown away from the moment I ordered. I received an email from Youphoria thanking me for my order and telling me to check out their resources for stress relief, meditation practices, yoga poses, and deals on their website. The brand has a very friendly, helpful vibe that goes beyond the every day purchase experience. When the mat arrived I found it was even better than I'd anticipated. It's thick and plush, which made it perfect for my sensitive knees. Unlike other mats I've tried this one was long enough for me! I'm 5' 9" tall and often have trouble with mats long enough for plank and warrior, not so with this one. The grip is great and so far I'm having no flaking. I workout at home so it's not necessary for my need but there is an included carrying strap made from elastic loops and a braided strap.

What I loved the most though was that there was NO ODOR when I opened it. While they usually wear off the strong odors of most mats are just too much. I wind up leaving them unrolled in a spare room to air out for a week before I can even use them.

I loved the mat so much I went to see if Youphoria had any other yoga products cause I'm in the market for a power ring and a strap for my pilates workouts. Alas, they aren't offering anything like that but they do have a hot yoga towel. If they expand their line though I will definitely be buying from the brand again!




Notes: 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.
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