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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ziggybaby 2-Pack Fitted Crib Sheets - 100% Cotton Baby Essential!

Ziggybaby 2-pack fitted crib sheets
Under $20

I have 6 grandchildren, all under age 7, and somebody always needs something at a moments notice! My youngest daughter came in this week for a last minute visit to see us, with one of our one-year old grandsons. Right away we knew we had to snag some necessities for the baby. We're big in our family when it comes to handing things down, so we already had a giant blue race car toddler bed lined up to be newly loved. What we didn't have is crib sheets for the mattress.

These come in a convenient 2-pack, are machine washable, a universal fit for most crib mattresses and have deep 9" pockets. I like to avoid anything that's overtly obnoxious-looking and was really happy with the chevron & cross prints on these. The colors were a simple turquoise blue, grey and white. Bonus, they're affordable and I didn't have to leave my house.

These Ziggybaby fitted crib mattress sheets are 100% cotton jersey fabric, the material is much softer than I expected. I still remember when my kids were young, crib sheets were thin and papery, not made for comfort, these are sheets I would actually sleep on myself. Kudos to Ziggybaby! Reminder to myself: buy cotton jersey sheets.

Like most items that you buy for children, you should always wash first, using a gentle-cycle - then tumble on low to dry. Afterwards, I assembled the bed, plopped on the mattress and topped it off with Ziggybaby's chevron print sheet, it was my favorite of the two. I'm happy that this company offered a double-pack, because with children, you should always have a back-up for accidents.

PROS: 100% cotton, high quality, stays put on mattress
CONS: Not made in the USA

I received this item for free in exchange for an open, honest and unbiased review. My experiences are my own, we'd love to hear yours!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

100% Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub - #YUMMY

First Botany 100% Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub
Under $15.00

First Botany's Arabica Coffee Scrub is 100% natural. The ingredients are simple and contain Dead Sea Salt, Coconut Oil, Olive oil, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Grape Seed Oil, organic Kona coffee, Cacao extract and coconut extract.

For those of you that love products made in the USA, this is one of them. This Arabica Coffee Scrub is not animal tested, cruelty-free, contains no preservatives or artificial ingredients. This is a wonderful hydrating, exfoliant - perfect for getting rid of those dead skins cells. The label says it's good for anti-cellulite, stretch marks, spider veins and detoxing as well.

Look at how pretty it is!

This scrub arrived sealed, with a lot number and an expiration date. Underneath the cap, there is a foil seal as well, off it went. The consistency is like fine sugar, non-greasy and not clumpy - I'd compare it to damp-ish sand. You can actually see coffee grounds in this mixture and it smells like a freshly brewed dark roast.

The directions say to gentle massage into your skin using a circular motion, either in the bath or shower and rinse. I took a leisurely, hot soak in the tub, drained the water and opened my jar to get started. I suddenly realized, I should have brought a scoop in with me, there really is no way to "dip" into the scrub without making a mess, so I casually poured some into my hand. It's worth another sniff at this point, yep, still smells good - project exfoliate is a go!

I'm going to give you a gift, well actually it's a warning I wish I had been provided with, but a gift none-the-less. DO NOT freshly shave and apply this product, not on your legs and surely not near your lady bits. Now I know not to place any type of scrub in my nether-region directly, but I thought for sure my bikini line was a safe zone. It isn't, especially being that I had just used my handy dandy Dollar Club Razor. First Botany's Arabica Coffee Scrub is supposed to be good for eczema, but if you have any sort of open wound (even a simple paper-cut), you're literally rubbing salt into it. Common sense did not prevail on this day for me.

Day 2: I went about using this coffee scrub, mentally prepared that it would be a success and this time I brought a scoop! I showered as I normally would, turned the water off and proceeded to apply this delectable delight as directed. No burning this time, that was a good sign. I made sure to avoid delicate areas, let it sit a minute and rinsed well. Afterwards, my skin felt squeaky clean, well exfoliated but had a hint of softness to it. This time, it was a win.

After my learning curve and a proper re-test, I have found that this is a wonderful way to pamper yourself, but honestly, you could probably get by with a good loofah. Also note that your tub may be a little slippery afterwards due to the oils, so be careful!

PROS: exfoliates well, smells good, makes an impressive gift
CONS: don't shave before using this product, a loofah may be a better investment

I received this product at a free or discounted price for an open, honest an unbiased review. I've shared with you my personal experience, we'd love to know yours!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Etekcity® Digital Body Weight Scale - Simple & Modern

Etekcity® Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale
Under $15.00

ETEKCITY sent us their Digital Body Weight Scale to test out. It arrived quickly in a no-fuss box, proudly boasting the following features:

Step-and-Read - Immediate readings as soon as you step on the scale.

Multifunction - Auto-power-off, Auto-zero, Low battery and overload indication

Precise measurements made in graduation increments of 0.2 lbs/0.1kg

Power is supplied by one CR2032 lithium battery (included)

What I loved about this scale are that it's very modern looking, made of 6mm tempered glass, can weigh up to 400 lbs accurately and has a simple to read LCD display.

*Bonus, it comes with a one year warranty.

The directions were clear - simply flip it over, remove the battery cover, pull out the battery seal to activate and switch it on to measure in kg or lbs. Make sure you set it on a level service to weigh properly. Simply step-on and your weight is displayed, step-off and the scale will auto-shut off in 10 seconds. I truly prefer this scale over my complicated multi-function AWS Quantum model, matter of fact, it's replacing it completely. I wanted something that was no-hassle and ETEKCITY delivered on point. Did I mention, this Digital Body Scale is less than $15.00, that's half the price I paid for my fancier scale.

ETEKCITY on the left, AWS Quantum on the right

I received this item for free in exchange for an open, honest and unbiased review. My experiences are my own, we'd love to hear yours.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Majestic Pure 100% Natural Tea Tree Oil - Get Rid of Pet Odors Naturally

Majestic Pure 100% Natural Tea Tree Oil 4 fl. Oz

Essential oils have been used for years for all sorts of thing from beauty benefits to cleaning products. There's a vast array of ways to use them in every day life. My personal preference is to use various essential oils in my household for aromatic purposes and cleaning. Today, I'd like to talk about Majestic Pure's Natural Tea Tree Oil. It's 100% natural, steam distilled, sustainable farmed, free of pesticides and not animal tested.

My order arrived packaged well in a no-fuss box. The oil was in a large, dark brown glass bottle, sealed and included a a clear plastic dropper.

This is a concentrated bottle, so if you plan to use it in any other way than aromatherapy, you'll need to dilute it with a carrier oil. This Tea Tree oil is clear, potent and has a very strong scent that reminds me of pine-sol. It was really fresh and inviting. I found that while the dropper is pretty tall, I could only effectively fill it halfway.

I hate buying air fresheners, they never last as long as promised and the cost is just not budget friendly in the long-run ( also, eww CHEMICALS). One major obstacle I have....pet odor which can be rampant in a small house like mine if you're not proactive. A solution I found, that actually works - Fill a cotton ball with oil and place them inconspicuously around the home, the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom and the bedrooms! Ahhh it smelled like a pine forest, no more walking in from outside and smelling wet-dog odor (don't judge my furry companion). I did notice that with the Majestic Pure 100% Natural Tea Tree Oil, I would have to re-wet the cotton balls about every 3 days for optimum scent....we like a lot of freshness.

I'm one of the few people that continue to use a vacuum that uses bags, and once it gets a hint of of pet hair in it, vacuuming itself, made my house stink. So now, before I vacuum, I place a couple drops of Tea Tree Oil on the bag itself and the fabric cover. Odors are obliterated with this stuff! I have entirely quit buying carpet powder and aerosol sprays, which were harsh with my son having asthma. I've also found that you can dilute 10 - 20 drops into a gallon of water and mop with it because Majestic Tea Tree oil is not only antibacterial but also antiseptic and anti-fungal.

There are so many other uses for essential oils, run a google search - it's mind boggling.

PROS: Large bottle, not animal tested, 100% natural, smells amazing
CONS: Had to refresh my cotton balls every 3 days. The dropper is big, I just wish it would suck up more product at one time.

I received this item at a discounted rate in exchange for an open, honest and unbiased review. My experiences are my own, we'd love to hear yours!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer #OZNSeaInfusedMoisturizer

OZ naturals Sea Infused Moisturizer

Today I'm going to talk about OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer. It's a sea-infused herbal moisturizer boasting vitamin C, algae keratin extract and blueberry extract. This product is 72% organic, made is the USA, cruelty-free and 100% vegan. It's vitamin C infused with seaweed proteins that act as collagen building precursors.

The first thing I noticed upon receiving this product is great packaging, it comes in it's own box, with clear instructions and ingredient listing. I'm a sucker for great presentation.

When using this moisturizer, start with a clean face, if you use toner or serum, apply those first and let dry. Personally, I use a separate eye-cream, so I applied that in advance knowing I was going to avoid that area with this stuff. I poured a nickel-sized amount in my hand to apply and noticed that the cream is tan in color with a slightly off-putting smell. With blueberry extract listed on the label, I really was expecting it to smell fruity in nature...it didn't, not even close.

I proceeded to apply liberally to my cheeks, nose, chin, neck, forehead and temples and I have to tell you, the smell was horrendous and hard to get past. I want to say the closest thing I can describe it to is drying seaweed that had been out in the sun too long, (I get it now, the name itself says it's sea-infused). I held my breathe and chugged on, after-all this was for the greater good, I've got dry patches on my face that need relief. The moisturizer itself was creamy, applied evenly and felt smooth.

10 minutes after application, my skin felt very "tacky" to the touch, almost as if I had applied Elmer's glue to my face. Perhaps it's tightening my skin a bit? That's what I told myself. A half hour later, it did dry, however my skin didn't feel hydrated at all. Now keep in mind, I'm over forty, so I have what people refer to as "mature skin", and as I mentioned before, I have dry, scaly patches that need attention. My skin is also really picky about what I put on it....super-sensitive. I really wanted this stuff to work because applying make-up on skin that is flaking just doesn't look good!

Three days of repeated use and I had to stop using OZ Naturals Facial Moisturizer completely. My flaking patches on my smile lines were not improving at all, matter-of-fact they were spreading towards my nose and turning bright red, I think my skin was genuinely trying to tell me something. This product just wasn't for me, which was disappointing because I've read so many awesome reviews about how this moisturizer worked for others like a miracle cream, I had to be the odd woman out. My quest for a perfectly balanced face cream continues.

PROS: Cruelty-free, made in the USA, 100% vegan
CONS: Smells terrible, took awhile to dry and felt tacky, didn't improve my skin, must use sunscreen in addition

I did receive this product for free in exchange for an open, honest and unbiased review. My experiences are my own, we'd love to hear about yours!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Silent Angel Professional Dental Protector - Cost Effective

Silent Angel Professional Dental Protector $19.99

My 19 year old son is a heavy tooth grinder when he sleeps, which causes jaw pain and eventually will lead to tooth problems. This night dental protector was just what he needed without having to make a trip to the dentist. These mouth guards are made of durable, non-toxic EVA, they're also BPA-free and last a whole year!

This Professional Dental Protector arrived quickly, was packaged well (included a case and two molds, one upper & one lower), appeared high-quality and had detailed instructions.

It took five minutes from start to finish to mold these! We used the microwave to heat a container of water for a full minute. Once done, we placed both clear molds into the water for 15 seconds to soften, then into my son's mouth they went. He made sure he placed them in snugly and after 20 seconds, he took them out and immediately placed them into cold water to firmn up. Once set, he placed them back into his mouth to check the fit, then took them out so we could trim as instructed, for better gum comfort.

My son has found that wearing both at one time when he sleeps, is a bit bulky, so he wears the uppers one night and the lowers another. He's noticed a tremendous difference in his sleep because he's not waking up grinding his teeth together, with his jaws clenched. Bonus - no more achy jaw! He really loves how well this guard has helped him and uses it daily.

Pros: simple, fast, cost effective, customized, BPA-free
Cons: the only downside for him, is not wanting to wear both at one time

*This product was provided to me at a discounted rate in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. My son personally tested this item and uses it daily. We'd love to hear your opinion!

Thursday, February 4, 2016



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Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer Brightener #160

With age, I discovered that my under-eye circles became more and more noticeable, so much so that foundation alone no longer did anything but settle into the creases and bags under my eyes making me appear more tired that I actually was. Now, I'm by no means embarrassed by my age, I embrace being over forty, I just want to look bright & refreshed, yet still wear make-up that made it seem natural and effortless.

I've tried many concealers, sticks and various creams and nothing seemed to look "just right" once applied. Too many are yellow/tan based which do not match my skin tone, which is very fair. I came across Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer while browsing in store and thought it was something different, but I wasn't sure what color would be best for me and if it was really worth buying. I decided to go home and research what this particular branded concealer had to offer.

The first thing I noticed, is a shade you can't find in local stores, #160, the brightener! It's a pink toned illuminator that is supposed to brighten the under eye area. I decided I would indulge myself and bought it, partly because it promises to "visibly diminish the appearance of puffiness around the eyes". It arrived promptly 2 days later and upon opening the box, I looked at the concealer in the package and started to worry that the color would be more foundation-like and perhaps too dark.

I popped open the packaging, unscrewed the lid and gave it quite a few clicks to get the product into the sponge that's built in. I smoothly applied a small amount under each eye and lightly blended it in with a damp beauty sponge, working from the corners of my eyes outward. This concealer was PERFECT for my skin tone and really did brighten my under-eye area. I have since started using it on my lids, down the center of my nose and a light amount on my jawline as a light contour.

Geesh, I look angry huh?

Much better

Now maybe you have a different skin tone, not to fret, Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer, comes in five shades to easily match you perfectly. Amazon has this product available and in-stock for only $6.83, which is below what it sells for in-store.

Pros: Easy to apply formula & applicator, does brighten your eyes up, great as a contour, a little goes a long way.
Cons: I think I may need a tinted neutralizer, just to tone down the blue circles, as you can see in my pic, there is a tiny hint of hue.

*This product was purchased by me at full price on Amazon. My experiences are my own, I'd love to hear yours!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HUB Skin Care Ocean5 Konjac Sponge - Gentle on Skin

HUB Skin Care Ocean5 Konjac Sponge in Green with Green Tea powder for mature skin

I really got excited to receive and review this sponge from HUB Skin Care, it's supposed to be one of the best things to clean your face with these days. I tinkered with which one to choose because there are five options, all for various skin types.

White: all skin types to include sensitive skin (with natural Konjac Powder)
Black: acne prone skin (with Bamboo Charcoal powder)
Green: mature skin (with Green Tea powder)
Pink: rejuvenate & revitalize skin (with Cherry powder)
Purple: sensitive skin (with Lavender powder)

Let me first start by telling you I have normally dry skin, with patchy scales around my smile line. My usual product of choice was a simple buff puff sponge, love the tear-drop shape, hate the fact that it's really like washing your face with sandpaper. Another down-side, they break down really fast and only last me about a week. I knew something had to change, so I researched facial brushes and sponges and kept coming back to the HUB Konjac sponge. I decided I had nothing but dry skin to lose, so I placed an order for the green one for mature skin.

It arrived quickly and I was surprised how neatly & sanitary it was packaged.

Now, I've read a bit about the sponges, so I knew once I opened it, it was going to feel hard and dry. The key to activate the sponge is to soak it in warm water for three minutes. Here is a before and after shot:

You can see that it puffed up a bit and became super-soft and squishy to touch. There was no odor or weird smell, but I did notice the sponge become round in shape, with one-side having a flat back. It really fit perfectly in my hand, TESTING TIME!

I chose to use this sponge with my regular facial cleanser, some people just use the sponge alone. I really didn't expect it to feel as soothing as it did, you could tell it was exfoliating, but it was so gentle and relaxing, not at all abrasive. I immediately regretted ever buying a buff puff in the first place and tossed mine in the trash. Why had I suffered so long? I simply didn't know these suckers existed to make your beauty routine pleasurable! I rinsed, patted dry and noticed that my skin felt refreshed. All I had to do was hang the sponge to air dry, which conveniently included a string attached to it. After using it for several days, I've noticed that my face is no longer red and irritated right after cleansing, which used to be a big problem with my old sponge.

I've heard the tales, sponges breed bacteria. Simple solution, drop your sponge in a bowl of water once a week and zap it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Squeeze all the water out and hang to air dry. Replace your sponge as needed, should it begin to break down. I can see this easily lasting 2 months with daily use.

PRO: Money back guarantee, gentle on the skin, last longer than expected.

CONS: The shape, no suction cup holder. This particular company could improve the sponge by making it in a tear-shape, to get in your hard-to-reach places, such as your inner eye. Some companies that make various brands of Konjac sponges include a suction cup with your order.

*This product was provided to me at a discounted rate in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. My experiences are my own, I'd love to hear yours!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Free Premier Protein Bar or Shake Sample - LIMITED

Fill out the form for your FREE SAMPLE of either a Premier Protein bar or shake.

Be kind, and share the offer with up to 5 friends so they can get their own free sample.

Watch for your free Premier Protein® Bar or Shake in the mail!
*Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery

Offer is limited to two (2) samples per person and per household address and is only available while supplies last.

Art Naturals Organic Daily Argan Oil Shampoo

I ordered the Art Naturals Organic Daily Argan Oil Shampoo because I have salt & pepper hair and normally use a salon branded "purple toned" shampoo twice a week to even out the brassiness. The trouble with those shampoos is that they dry out your hair something awful. I really wanted to try something that would add some softness back into my hair. The Argan Oil shampoo arrived in plastic, just in case of spills (there were none). The 16 ounce size was nice and the labeling was authentically craft style and appeared high-end. The top has a flip-style cap, make sure to remove the inner seal.

The product itself is milky colored and had a sweet, pleasant scent, I can't quite describe it, but it was nice. The directions were clear and easy to read. I used about a quarter-sized amount for my hair and it lathered extremely well, even with hard water. I left it on for a minute and rinsed well. I chose not to use conditioner, as I wanted to see if there was any noticeable difference just using the shampoo alone.

After towel-drying my hair, I let it air dry half-way and then blew out the rest as I normally would. Even without using conditioner, my hair felt, smoother, with no frizzing and surprisingly the scent lingered. My son even commented on how nice my hair smelled and that never happens! I also noticed something that I usually don't....my hair was actually shiny, not greasy at all, just had such a wonderful sheen to it that I'm not used to seeing. I will definitely continue to use this product and add it into my routine as a restorative for extra body.

Pros: ­Hypoallergenic, Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Cruelty-free, made with Recycled Materials. for all hair types, scent lasted, made my have shinier, seemed to add volume.

Cons: As with most shampoos, I find they are best if you use in combination with the same brand conditioner. Some of the listed ingredients seemed foreign to me.

I did receive this product at a discounted price, for an open, honest and unbiased review. With that being said, I really feel this product is worth it's weight in gold. I have very dry, course hair and I'm really excited to finally see a shampoo that made a difference.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Smiley360 Get FREE Goodies

Smiley360 is a network of consumers. You get to be among the first people to learn about new brands and products. They even give you brand spanking new products and services to try out. Membership is free! I got in on the hot Trend Titanium Virus program and received the download for the whole program with extras for a full year for FREE! It excited me because it's the first campaign I got in on!

Hubby has received goodies such as Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit Orthotic Inserts - they normally cost almost $50 a pair! He got to also test the new Schick Quattro Titanium Trimmer which was sleek and sporty and trimmed him up in just the right places. I'm really feeling this site! Check it out!