Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Take the #NoTextRed pledge! #Walmart #contest

Let me ask you a question... do you ever text and drive? You might not want to answer that here but you can be totally honest with yourself. I'm not here to judge you—people judge me all the time because I can't drive which is so not cool or even any of their business!

But we all know it's not only illegal in many places, it's also very dangerous. Someone I know does it all the time and I hate it because not only could they get hurt, I can't imagine how they would feel if they hurt someone else. It's not always easy to remember the danger when someone keeps sending you messages asking if you're on your way or did you pick up the milk and you feel that compulsion to check your messages or reply. Which is why I think that the #NoTextRed campaign is pretty awesome.

Paint your thumbnail red as a reminder not to text and to drive safely.

How simple is that? I have a teenage son who is close to getting his license and I would love to paint his whole hand red when he finally gets to go out on his own. So I took the pledge—even though I can't drive—to help remind those I ride with to put the phone down!

Sinful Colors makes terrific, affordable nail polishes so I was really thrilled to discover that their #NoTextRed display was already getting emptied at my local Walmart store. When I went back a week later it was completely gone! Here's hoping I'll spot red thumbnails all over town.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to your local Walmart and grab a bottle for yourself and one for a friend. Because we all have that one friend that we would hate to lose that can't seem to resist the urge to risk an "I'll be there soon!" when she should be watching the road.

Practice safe text and rock a fabulous mani that's all the rage at the same time. Talk about a win/win. ☻

Notes: This post is part of a Brand Challenge contest through Influenster.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Game Rhi-view: Martian Dice by Tasty Minstrel Games || #NerdNight Approved! #Giveaway

For going on two years now the hubs and I have had a standing date on Friday nights. Well, not a date exactly, but it's been officially crowned as Nerd Night. We get together with two other couples and the occasional other friend or family member for dinner and tabletop gaming. Occasionally, we break tradition and force someone in our group who has never seen a certain give-me-back-your-geek-card film to be the center of a marathon. (Can you believe one of the gals has never seen The Princess Bride?) It's a great way to spend our Fridays where we don't need a sitter, collaborating on dinner means a great meal, and games are so much more fun with a group.

In our almost two years together as a group we've enjoyed fierce Magic: The Gathering tournaments, an exhausting—and for some of the group, very drunken—game of Last Night on Earth, and as much of The Fellowship of the Ring Extended edition as we could force on our friend. lol Being the blogger and product reviewer in our group though, I am always on the hunt for new games, especially ones where the older kids in our group can join in. Enter our latest hit, Martian Dice!

Now, there's no sense in my explaining the rules and gameplay because it's one of those games that's really easy to learn. I'll admit we played a few rounds wrong because the wording between the rules and the example were a little cloudy. Once we established where we were getting it wrong the game picked up and our friends were asking where to buy it for themselves. 

I will say that keeping the group size down to three was ideal but you could make this game work with as many players as you have patience to sit through. One of the reasons I enjoyed it was that it's a short game so you can fit in lots of play-throughs in an evening and you're not easily stuck waiting for someone's bathroom break. With six adults we managed to have a total blast and the two kids we let join in thought it was cool too. It's very similar to one of our old favorites but with a twist that makes it just a little more challenging. 

Overall, Martian Dice is a great game for adults and older kids that's fast paced and totally portable. The couples we played with often go camping together in the warm months and wanted me to make sure I mentioned in my review that they thought it was perfect for camping because it's small and light. We also agreed stuffing a small sticky notes pad and a small retractable pen for scoring into the tube would be easy. 

Still want to know more? Visit Tasty Minstrel Games.

Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for this honest review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rhialistic Spring Essentials featuring the Daydream Collection from Warby Parker

Spring Essentials featuring Warby Parker

Spring Essentials featuring Warby Parker by misfitrhi featuring lip care

It's been ages since I did a fashion or style feature hasn't it lovelies? I love them but find they take considerably longer to produce and no one has offered to pay me to write one so they're usually just inspired by something. Today's Spring Essentials feature is all about the new Daydream Collection from Warby Parker.

When their sweet publicist got in touch with me and asked if I'd do a feature there was still snow in my neck of the woods and I wasn't feeling particularly Spring minded. But this weekend the weather got gorgeous and I noticed a bit of green grass and I just want to go dig in my garden and make another trip to see the fuzzy chicks and baby bunnies at the feed store down the way. Because for me, Spring is all about a playful spirit, youthfulness, and cheerful hues after the dull greys and beiges I've been surrounded by.

I fell in love with the Daydream Collection because each set of frames is an instant classic and their colorways are fun and stylish while still being neutral enough to look awesome with a bold yellow jacket or turquoise wellies. These are the kind of sunglasses you own for decades. Most of the frames are even unisex which would be awesome for me because my man is always losing his and cringes at the thought of borrowing mine. My teenage son and I both agree, we are in mad love with the Jackson frame in Crystal. We might have fallen into some dimensional rift thanks to that odd agreement. ☺

Available with both prescription and non-prescription lenses they start at a very reasonable $95. Not sure which pair is right for you? Use the Virtual Try-On feature or the Home Try-On so you can find the right frames to suit your face and your style.

Further, Warby Parker has a wonderful program in place to help people in need through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair. I don't know about you but I'm always happier when I buy from brands that are socially concious. Gorgeous designer glasses and sunglasses at very reasonable prices and a brand that gives back? I ♥ you, Warby Parker!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Rhi-view: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters

Graphic Novel, Scifi
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Print (104 pages, IDW)
When a new invention goes haywire, the Turtles are sent to a whole new type of New York City. One with a whole lot more ghosts... and Ghostbusters! The two teams will have to learn to get along quickly, because a new foe from the Turtles past has followed them and aims to conquer NYC!
Publisher Site: website

A fun nostalgic mashup! (4 stars)

Being a little geek girl wasn't always easy in the 80's and 90's. Two of my favorite IPs were about teams of dudes. When I played with my brother or my cousins (all guys) or my friends (all girls) I never wanted to be the token chick character (or love interest). I wanted to be the leader, even if I had to pretend to be a guy. But I digress... decades later these are characters I still love and have a heavy nostalgia for so when I saw that there was a graphic novel with a team-up I got grabby hands.

Conceptually I just loved the idea of this one, the TMNT being accidentally transferred from their dimension to an alternate NYC where they'd get to work with the Ghostbusters to kick ghost butt? Heck yes! But the big baddy they're fighting was a little confusing to me and might be to others who haven't been regular readers of the comics, I'm honestly not sure if he's made an appearance before. The story is amusing and ends well but I didn't quite love it. I felt like something was missing that I still can't put my finger on. Artistically, I really loved the style. It was goofy and suited the Ghostbusters perfectly but at the same time had the edge that TMNT fans expect. The dialog occasionally felt a little out-of-character but when you're considering the set-up it's forgivable.

If you've been nostalgic for these classic IPs and in the mood to sink an afternoon into a graphic novel look no further! I think I'll be sending a copy to my little brother so we can reminisce. If you're trying to get your tween to share your fandom I think this would be suitable for the 10 and up audience.

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Other graphic novels I recommend:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

For the love of beards get some Smooth Viking!

Last summer I started making my own beard oil for the hubs. He was sick and tired of the dryness and itch that come with having a burly chest tickler. I'm big on knowing what the purpose of every ingredient going into our health and wellness products is for and making my own seemed like a great idea. I still haven't settled on a recipe I love but I've even had special requests from people who see how nice my man's beard has looked.

But let's face it, not everyone has the time or desire or tools to make their own. How do you find beard care products that are affordable, made from good ingredients, that are still effective? Look no further than Smooth Viking.

Available for totally reasonable prices on Amazon and containing the BEST natural ingredients—like shea butter, coconut oil, argan oil, mango butter, and essential oils—you're getting real 'food' for your flavor savor. Now, obviously I don't have a beard so I couldn't test them on myself but Smooth Viking was cool enough to hook me up with product to play with as my man's official beard snuggler.

He didn't, however, want photos of his mug included and I respect that. You'll be taking my word for it but each product had extensive use. Through the past couple of months we've had weird warm and cold weather fluctuations and that always dries his beard hairs out and so after much testing he decided that the Beard Conditioner is his favorite product of the three. It's a lot like the hand salves and cuticle balms you've probably tried if you're a woman. Scrape a bit with your nail and gently massage it into the beard. He's made it part of his morning routine and that works for him.
A lot of men can't be bothered with much grooming beyond putting on some deodorant and using shampoo but if you know one who suffers from the dreaded scratchy crumb catcher I would definitely suggest introducing them to the Beard Balm as a good starting point. If the beard is on the long side (3-4" below the chin), I would recommend the Beard Oil for long term care.

The only complaint that both the hubs and I had is that we hate the smell. I make my DIY stuff using bergamot, lavender, and/or tea tree oils and everyone we know loves them. Smooth Viking's products have a scent that is much more citrusy, like bitter orange, and neither of us cares for it. You can add some other essential oil to the Beard Oil if you want to cover it up a bit but with the conditioner or balms you're stuck. (You could add essential oils to the Conditioner or Balm if you liquefied them but I think it would damage the product and kinda defeats the purpose). It's not a strong scent, but enough that I felt it was worth mentioning that we didn't care for it.

Growing awesome facial hair is having a renaissance and I know I'm not the only lady who is loving it. Help your favorite guy whether it's your husband or even your dad keep his looking fantastic. Smooth Viking products would make a thoughtful Father's Day gift for the dad who has everything (including a gnarly chin curtain) or as a stocking stuffer for your brother who couldn't give up his Movember lip rug.

Notes: Complimentary products were provided in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Rhi-view: The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs

Non-fiction, Geek, Social Issues
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Ebook/Print (208 pages, QUIRK BOOKS)
Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes, including:
• How to make nerdy friends
• How to rock awesome cosplay
• How to write fanfic with feels
• How to defeat Internet trolls
• How to attend your first con
And more! Plus, insightful interviews with fangirl faves, like Jane Espenson, Erin Morgenstern, Kate Beaton, Ashley Eckstein, Laura Vandervoort, Beth Revis, Kate Leth, and many others.

Level up your lady geek street cred! (5 stars)

For far too long the word 'fangirl' has been used as a derogatory term for girls and women who are unabashedly okay with owning their geekness. (Heck, even some of the interviewed women in this book seem to shy away from it). I think it's time to drop the stigma and this book is a great place to start getting over that little speed bump. If you've ever had a hard time letting your inner fangirl flag fly high, let The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy help you find your outlet.

Having been an avid reader of The Mary Sue for years now I was aware of Sam Maggs and I'm pretty sure I had heard she had a book coming out. Even though I've considered myself a geek for more than a couple of decades now the past several years have been both really awesome and really terrible for lady nerds. Maggs managed to remind me that being both female and a geek doesn't have to be such a minefield. With sections on everything from basics of cosplay and conventions to fanfic and feminism this is the perfect primer for women and girls who haven't quite figured out where to express their passion for all things fandom.

I had a squee moment when I saw play-by-post RPGs mentioned in the making nerdy friends section because I used to run forums for this back in my 20's. The friends I made in those roleplaying forums are still part of my life 10+ years later. I was also thrilled to several writers and actresses that I've admired included in the interviews and had a total fangasm when I saw Espionage Cosmetics mentioned in the Resources section (#NerdMakeup is a thing).

I found the section on feminism to be particularly enjoyable because my nerdy interests go very hand-in-hand with my belief in gender equality. There is an excellent section focused on awesome female characters in everything from comic books (hello, Rat Queens!) and games to books (OMG Libba Bray's Beauty Queens gets a nod!) to visual media (can't second the mention of Moon from Hero enough).

Shame on me for having read other reviews a little before I wrote mine but I'm stumped as to why so many think the audience for the book isn't clear. The audience is female and geeky, all ages included. Will this guide be for everyone? Definitely not. If you're an internet troll, think 'feminist' is a bad word, or think that cosplay is consent then you should stay far away from this book. I would have loved this as much ten years ago as I did reading it now in my thirties. I think it would be just as welcome given to a teenager as someone my age who hasn't hit a con yet. Thanks to this book I am officially intimidated by cons. lol

If you've ever thought about taking your fangirling to the next level with writing fanfiction, cosplaying, attending a convention, or even just putting on some mental chain mail to brave the local comic shop I think this is a fun place to find out how to get started. Even if all you want to do is find out the best place to shop for cosplay wigs, a site to learn how to code or what the heck a SuperWhoLockian is Maggs has ya covered. If you're a fangirl of any level or you know one buy this book!

Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

You might also like:

Monday, March 16, 2015

Recipe: Case of the Mondays Smoothie #FreshStart

Mondays. Oh sweet weekend do I hate Mondays. When you're a blogger they tend to be big time catch-up days which means you need a great grab-and-go breakfast, even if the only place you're actually going is to your desk. I've got emails, emails, emails to deal with. Posts to double-check scheduling on. Reviews to format and jot notes on. Photos to upload. Sometimes it's almost 2PM before I realize all I've put in my tummy is a cold cup of coffee. Which is one reason I sometimes cook oatmeal on Sundays and put it in the fridge so I can nuke it for breakfasts for a few days.

But let me tell you... oatmeal gets old. So I have an arsenal of smoothie ingredients I keep around so that I'm getting some healthy antioxidants and vitamins when I really need a powerful breakfast that I an just sip without stopping typing. I'm literally leaning forward and sipping my smoothie while I type this post.

While I'm super fond of yogurt and berry based smoothies with greens, I decided—kind of at the last minute—to take on a challenge that Influenster was hosting for Rader Farms. I've been having a tough time finding their products because there was a voluntary recall on those containing spinach and kale. I really didn't want to go with the Morning Vitality blend because I really wanted my greens!

The huge plus of the Morning Vitality Fusion blend, however, is that it is high in fiber and with my protein powder choice I was able to add greens without making it taste like a salad. But I digress, I just wanted a solid breakfast that would get me through to lunch while I clickety-clacked away at the keyboard. Keeping in mind the tougher-to-mix-with blend of fruits and veggies in Morning Vitality I decided to keep it very simple. Coconut and Mango are always good together. Nectarine and Vanilla. Carrot and Pumpkin Seeds. Sweet Potato and Cinnamon. I list some other options so find out what works best for you. When I come up with recipes I am always fiddling with them, changing them to suit my mood.

Rhialistic Case of the Mondays Smoothie 
1 ½ Cups of Morning Vitality Fusion (frozen)
1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
6-8 Ounces of Green or Herbal Tea 
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds
1 Tablespoon Non-Sweetened Shredded Coconut
2 Tablespoons Uncooked Quick Oats
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds 
Blend all ingredients to desired consistency and serve!
If you use herbal tea I recommend going with those that have a very mild taste profile like chamomile or something with a ginger or cinnamon spiciness as those both work well with all of the fruits and veggies in Morning Vitality Fusion. Avoid anything minty so you don't get that toothpaste-mouth flavor and sensation. For the photo shoot version I used Dandelion Root Tea With Hibiscus & Cinnamon because I wanted something that wasn't strong that had additional health benefits today. On most Mondays I would probably go for the chamomile for the calming factor or a lemon green tea for the caffeine boost.

Your optional ingredients—I recommend adding only one or two—can be blended or stirred in or used as toppers. I prefer blending them in because I like some texture in my smoothies. My protein powder has stevia as the sweetener (which I actually really dislike and it upsets my stomach) so if yours is unsweetened you could easily add honey, coconut sugar (my fave!), or another sweetener like monk fruit powder.

The great thing about Rader Farms' Fusions is that they can be used in so many ways. If you let them thaw a little bit and whip them in the food processor they're a yummy stir-in for oatmeal or yogurt!

If you had one of Rader Farms Fresh Start Fusions bagged frozen fruit and veggie mixes on hand what creative way would you use it? Leave a comment below and tell me which appeals most to you and what adventure you'd take it on.

Notes: This post is part of a Brand Badge Challenge for Influenster and Rader Farms. For more details click here. #FreshStart #contest

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