12.28.2015

Review: Two Long Ears by Jacob A. Boehne

Two Long Ears by Jacob A. Boehne

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.
Release Date: January 28th, 2016
Board Book, Body, Preschool
Print (24 pages, SCHIFFER PUBLISHING)
Along with learning to count from 1 to 10, in these charming pages children and their adults can explore the many ways people decorate their bodies. With its fun pictures and words, the book is a simple way to start talking about accepting differences, from piercings to tattoos. The illustrations are inspired by traditional tattoo designs as well as not-so-traditional body modification styles. Also included is a full-color wall poster that offers a color-it-yourself version on the back. Introducing kids to a culture that's rarely displayed in other materials, this is a perfect resource for early childhood educators, parents, and all adults who value diversity. (0-4)

Totally cool! (5 stars)

I'm a big fan of books for children that approach counter and sub cultural lifestyles because kids are naturally curious and often far more accepting of differences and uniqueness than their adult counterparts. My daughter is a little old for Two Long Ears but since she's learning to read we enjoyed looking at the pictures together as she read the words to me. She has been raised with body piercings and tattoos as being completely normal so I really liked that we were getting to see them portrayed in a fun and educational manner suitable for very young children.

I really loved Boehne's art style here, the vivid colors and friendly faces were perfect for the target age group. I would very much recommend this as a gift for a new baby in a family that embraces body modification or for a preschooler who simply finds such a form of self expression fascinating.

12.27.2015

Review: Make Your Own Rules Cookbook by Tara Stiles

Make Your Own Rules Cookbook: More Than 100 Simple, Healthy Recipes Inspired by Family and Friends Around the World by Tara Stiles

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.
Cookbook, Nutrition, Wellness
Print/Ebook (264 pages, HAY HOUSE)
In Make Your Own Rules Cookbook, Strala Yoga founder, fashion designer, and entrepreneur Tara Stiles shows you how to have fun making your own rules in the kitchen. You’ll begin by breaking free of the labels, judgements, restrictions, and stresses of having to eat a certain way—letting go of the binge-and-purge, punishment-and-reward, diet-and-fail cycles. Learning to listen to what your bodyreally wants, and make intuitive choices, you will find balance and harmony and go on to discover the massively bountiful buffet before you—an endless array of tastes and textures from all across the world!
Tara prides herself on making healthy living easy and effortless, and this cookbook holds the same philosophy. She gently guides you through every step of the Make Your Own Rules process, from
preparing yourself for a major shift in your mind-set
stocking a healthy, green kitchen
choosing handy kitchen tools and appliances
scheduling time for grocery shopping and cooking into your busy lifestyle
and more!
Tara also gives you the freedom to play in the kitchen, get creative, experiment with recipes, and make them your own. With more than 100 mouthwatering recipes inspired by her international travels, her Midwestern roots, and her daily life in NYC, Make Your Own Rules Cookbook offers up a generous helping of plant-powered juices, smoothies, salads, main dishes, and desserts designed to leave you feeling radiant, energized, and satisfied.
Ditch the takeout menus, let your imagination run wild, and get your hands dirty in the kitchen!



A vegan cultural mashup. (4 stars)

In my eternal obsession with food and having recipes for the many different lifestyles of my friends and family I decided to give the Make Your Own Rules Cookbook a read in spite of having not found the Make Your Own Rules Diet book to be particularly impressive.

I liked the overall tone of this one much better but found a lot of the recipes seemed cobbled together. Not that I mind that, but sometimes they just seemed so 'duh' they felt like filler. I did, however, like that Stiles had recipes that were adaptations of classics from her family like macaroni and potato salad, the kind of comfort foods that people often miss when they make a huge lifestyle/diet change.

Overall, I think this would be a useful book for a single person who is going vegan for the first time. If you're partnered up or have kids though, I think you'll find better books for you than this one.

You might also want to check out:



12.16.2015

Review: Basil Essential Oil from Simply Earth

Basil Essential Oil from Simply Earth
Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review.
Company Site: website
Product Details: Basil Essential Oil - 100% Pure - Non-Toxic - No Additives - Unfiltered and Undiluted with No Fillers.
Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum | Aroma: Sweet, spicy, and fresh | Origin: India | Plant Part: Leaves
Packaged in the USA in 15ml amber glass bottles, 50% more than standard 10ml bottles. Euro dropper cap included.
Simply Earth is a small, eco-friendly, purpose-driven, family company.
Blends Well With: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Lime, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lemon, Neroli, and Rosemary
Aroma: Sweet, spicy, fresh scent with a faint balsamic woody note
Use: Diffuse for mental alertness and migraines, neat on a cotton ball for pain, and see recipes for more ideas.
Therapeutic Properties: Antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal digestive, nervine, restorative, stomachic, tonic

A brand I'm pleased to be getting to know. (5 Stars)

This past summer I suffered through some really horrendous asthma attacks and migraines so I've been slowly stocking my essential oil collection with those that are good for pain, specifically headaches, and breathing. One of the reasons I was so pleased with this particular basil oil is that it is such an economical find while also being from a family run company that chooses to donate a percentage of their profits to service organizations. This month it's The Hope Project.

The quality of the oil is good and very potent. The tiniest bit goes a very long way. I've mostly been using it for aromatherapy during this very stressful holiday season but also for some pain because hours of sitting at my job has had me stiff and sore. If you're looking for an affordable essential oil brand that doesn't use a bunch of hype to sell itself I would definitely recommend checking out Simply Earth.

12.10.2015

Wellness Review: Sprouts Cold Remedy

Sprouts Cold Remedy for Common Cold, Sore Throat, Congestion


Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated here are my own and not influenced by the free nature of the product.
Company Site: website
Product Details: Sprouts Cold Remedy is a blend of herbs containing properties that help the body resist and kill unwanted foreign substances, preventing the virus from attacking cells. It boosts the immune system and keeps the virus from multiplying. It also helps the body expel mucus from the respiratory tract. The ingredients and amounts of specific herbs is based on information from famous herbalists who have years of research to back their knowledge and observations. After an immense amount of research, testing and retesting, a final formula was created. Start taking the Sprouts Cold Remedy immediately at the onset of symptoms. Take one dropper 2-3 times daily. Chances are that within a few hours, you will forget that you even felt a cold coming on beforehand. If cold symptoms are already present, start by taking one dropper immediately and then repeat every 4 hours. Symptoms should improve significantly within 24 hours.

Ingredients: Echinacea, Red Root, Green Tea, Elderberry, Thyme, Myrrh Gum, Ginger, Mullein


Easy and effective. (4 Stars)


There's really only so much you can do for a cold. Lots of rest, good hydration, and medications to combat the symptoms. But if you're a very busy mom like me you just don't have time to wait for all of that to get you back to normal.

Since you should already be trying to stay hydrated Sprouts Cold Remedy has proven to be an easy to add option that has really helped me this cold season. I just add the drops to my water bottle when I start feeling the first hint of a cold and keep drinking like normal. I can't say it will work well for everyone (and I can detect the thyme-ish flavor in my water which is kind of unpleasant) but I've found that when I've added this to my cold care routine over the past six weeks I haven't been getting brought down to needing a day in bed like I usually do both times I started having cold symptoms.

If you tend to struggle with frequent colds during the winter I would certainly recommend giving this a try, it's simple to add into your routine, doesn't require a prescription, and if it shaves a few days off of a cold for you or helps you not get as rundown by it it's well worth the price.


12.08.2015

Product Review: US Art Supply® Jewelescent® 60 Color Gel Pen Set

US Art Supply® Jewelescent® 60 Color Gel Pen Set

Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for this honest review.
Company Site: website
Product Details: ULTIMATE SET OF 60 UNIQUE GEL PENS: Incredible vibrant and bold colored assortment of superior artist quality gel pens that include Classic, Glitter, Metallic, Neon, Pastel and Swirl Colors. Super smooth writing every time. Safe for children. Perfect for the young aspiring artist to the established art professional.
PROFESSIONAL QUALITY: Pens are non-toxic and acid-free with superior archival quality long lasting vibrant inks that don't smear, fade or skip. Exceptional writing pens that provide consistent free-flowing ink with a smooth glide that allows you to create perfect lines with every use. Strong durable 0.8 to 1.0 mm tips.
UNLIMITED USES: Let your imagination run wild when using these artist quality gel pens, as they're ideal for drawing, sketching, coloring, scrapbooking, crafting, doodling or anything else that allows you to show off your creative side like greeting cards, invites, decorating, nail art, tattoos & more!
CONVENIENT STORAGE: Pens are stored in 5 convenient organizer trays with individual spots to hold each pen, so you can keep all your pens neatly organized and ready for use.
RISK FREE PURCHASE - 100% LIFETIME SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We're so confident that you'll be delighted with our gel pens that if you're not satisfied with them at anytime, we'll provide a full refund.


Beautiful metallics, shimmers, and neons make this a must-have for adult coloring fans. (5 Stars)


While I honestly prefer to color with crayons—it's a smell thing—some types of coloring just work better with a gel pen. This set looked like it had the perfect amount of variety for what I was wanting and I am happy to report that with one small caveat I love this set.


Let me get the one bad thing out of the way... I absolutely hate the Swirl pens and in the photos included with this review you will see why. Yeah, they are not ideal for coloring. I would only use them for writing because, unlike the other gels, no matter what you do they do not blend seamlessly enough, even in smaller spaces (I used them on some of the scales and they became a weird muddy gray).


The rest of the set, however, is fantastic. The neons are rich and stunning, the metallics have the perfect amount of shimmer, and the glitters are gorgeous for coloring when you want to achieve a pretty sparkle effect as I did here with my Mermaids - Calm Ocean Coloring Collection (Fantasy Art Coloring by Selina) (Volume 2) mermaids. With a set this big there are enough options to really stretch your coloring to a new level.


If, like me, you've recently joined the adult coloring trend as a way to conquer stress or anxiety I think you'll be really happy with your investment. I've been so happy with them I'm planning to see what other products US Art Supply has, specifically for painting with acrylics, something I've recently taken an interest in for the same stress and anxiety relief reasons.




More fantastic Adult Coloring Books I love:

11.29.2015

Book Review: Juice + Nourish by Rosemary Ferguson

Juice + Nourish: 100 Refreshing Juices and Smoothies to Promote Health, Energy, and Beauty by Rosemary Ferguson

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Health, Cooking, Special Diets
Ebook/Print (192 pages, THE EXPRIMENT)
Simple, inspired recipes to cleanse, heal, and revitalize—plus realistic detox plans and expert guidance on eating for good health
“Busy” is a way of life for Rosemary Ferguson: She’s traveled the world as one of Britain’s top models, and today is a professional nutritionist and mother of three. For her, juices and smoothies are anything but a fad—they’re a way to pack vital nutrients into your day.
By upping your intake of simple, natural ingredients like blueberries, ginger, and kale, you can overhaul your health from the inside out! As Rosemary discovered, “skin complaints, headaches, fatigue, and stress can be dramatically improved.” Handily arranged by need, the recipes in Juice + Nourish will help anyone:
Detox & Heal (rehydration, liver cleansers, gut health)
Rest & De-stress (mood boosters, sleep aids, stress relievers)
Care & Preserve (anti-aging, healthy skin and hair, weight loss)
Protect & Strengthen (immunity boosters, cold and cough soothers, anti-inflammatories), and more!


Very thorough and colorful! (4 stars)

I have an early childhood memory of my mom—a fad-following health nut for as long as I can recall—giving me a cup of fresh orange juice. It was this heavenly frothy stuff that she'd made in a really noisy late-70's model juicer. Since then I've never been a big juice drinker because there's just no substitute for fresh juices and I honestly loathe cleaning mine. But darn did this book make me reconsider dusting it off and making use of it more often.

While I've honestly not made any of the recipes yet due to time, I very much liked what I found here and the overall attitude for the most part. The only thing I wasn't a fan of (and never will be) was the detoxing section. If you're interested in juice fasting/detoxing please consult your doctor before following the advice here, especially if you suffer from any medical conditions, mental illnesses, or take medication regularly.

Ferguson's juices are beautiful and I loved that she was so very thorough. There's a juice for everything in here and she explains so much about why each ingredient is included I felt like anything I made with these recipes would be an almost magical potion. If you're new to juicing and looking for very specific focus juices such as energy boosting or anti-inflammatory blends I really think you'll be impressed. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who wants to take their juicing to the next level or newbies who want a lot of inspiration and education.

More great books for juice enthusiasts:

11.27.2015

Product Review: Copper Wire Light Set from Kohree



Copper Wire Light, Kohree Starry String Light, Party String Light, Starry Night Light, Décor Rope Light For Seasonal Decorative Christmas Holiday, Wedding, Party With Power Adapter (33Ft 100 LEDs)

Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for this honest review.
Product Details: 
*High quality & Moldable shape-This flexible copper wire with insulated lacquer, lightweight, easy installation, energy saving, environmental friendly, and sturdy. It is thin and flexible and coiled with paper tub so it will never make a mess. It can be easily bent, and shaped around plants, signs, furniture and almost everything else.
UL Listed Power adapter-Included UL power adapter: output DC 3.0V, 600mA. Note: The lights themselves are waterproof IP45 so they can be exposed to the elements. The power adapter is not waterproof and should be used with weatherproof receptacle cover when used outdoors.
*Brightness-These Best 100 pcs SMD 0603 LEDs, tiny Micro mini miniature LED Battery Operated String Lights Lamp are perfect for use as a lighting addition to any decorative project. Very thin wire hosts 100 very small LED bulbs that are about size of the rise grain and are intensely bright. With steady 360 degree viewing angle they illuminate in every direction.
*Perfect for any occasion-This LED Starry String lights is of Ultra Bright White Warm Color Micro LEDs that creates a light fairy twinkle effect. It's the perfect decoration option for bedrooms, living rooms, gardens, deck, patios, pathways, restaurants, hotels, cafes as well as wedding, Christmas trees, birthday parties etc, all kinds of occasions. It will create enough romance for you, since it is so soft and warm. You will love the warm, calm and relax atmosphere that brings you.
*Satisfactory guarantee-Kohree stands behind all of its products 100%. These lights come with a 12 month warranty. If you received broken or defective lights, please contact us Kohree any time, we will compensate you with free replacement or full refund.


Gorgeous and versatile! (5 Stars)

When a couple I know got married two months ago several of us who are friends of the newlyweds got together to help decorate. It was a lot of fun and, in my humble opinion, wound up with one of the most beautiful set ups I've ever seen at a wedding. A big factor in that was an emphasis on tiny lights and jars. Ever since I've been wanting to find some great lights to work with in crafting/decorating projects and this set totally fit the bill.

You could do so many things with these! Their versatility amazed me. The wire makes them very moldable to whatever shape you need them. I was thinking about using them to wire a wreath for my front porch but since they are not no a battery pack and are intended for indoor use really, I decided I wanted to do something with a pretty pair of red jars I picked up at the dollar spot at Target. As you can see they made great bundles for inside the jars. I just wrapped them around my hand with some length between them and the cord running down from the shelf to the outlet. Then tucked them and made them a little messy to get the feel I wanted. My 6 year old loved them so much she asked me if we could keep them forever.

I am very happy with them and would recommend them to anyone who wants a versatile string light set for home decorating. Even tucking these into white tulle or foam along a mantle would make for a gorgeous snowy effect that could get swapped for autumnal oranges or patriotic colors around other holidays.

I think once the holiday season passes I will actually use clear florists' tape to attach them to twigs and place them in a tall hurricane glass to use as everyday decor but really there are so many possibilities I'm likely to have these out all year round to decorate in some way. Love this light set, highly recommend!

Book Review: Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann

Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges by Jen Mann

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.
Humor, Holidays
Ebook/Print/Audio (224 pages, BALLANTINE BOOKS)
For fans of Laurie Notaro and Jenny Lawson comes an uproarious and oddly endearing essay collection for anyone trying to survive the holidays in one piece.
When it comes to time-honored holiday traditions, Jen Mann pulls no punches
In this hilariously irreverent collection of essays, Jen Mann, nationally bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, turns her mordant wit on the holidays. On Mann’s naughty list: mothers who go way overboard with their Elf on the Shelf, overzealous carolers who can’t take a hint, and people who write their Christmas cards in the third person (“Joyce is enjoying Bunko. Yeah, Joyce, we know you wrote this letter.”). And on her nice list . . . well, she’s working on that one. Here, no celebration is off-limits. The essays include:
• You Can Keep Your Cookies, I’m Just Here for the Booze
• Nice Halloween Costume. Was Skank Sold Out?
• Why You Won’t Be Invited to Our Chinese New Year Party
From hosting an ill-fated Chinese New Year party, to receiving horrible gifts from her husband on Mother’s Day, to reluctantly telling her son the truth about the Easter Bunny, Mann knows the challenge of navigating the holidays while keeping her sanity intact. And even if she can’t get out of attending another Christmas cookie exchange, at least she can try again next year.



Enh, didn't really tickle my funny bone. (3 stars)

If you've ever had someone ruin the holidays (is there anyone who hasn't?) then you might find something in this book relatable. While a couple of the stories made me chuckle a bit I was surprised at how very little about it I really enjoyed. I swear Mann repeats herself in every essay. Yes your mom is a hoarder, you told is already. Even still I think that the majority of readers might enjoy it.

So maybe the takeaway is that if you've read Mann's other books and her humor works for you grab this and if you're like me and this would be your first foray into her style maybe check out a sample chapter or audio clip and see if it works for you before dropping the cash.


More books to tickle your funny bone:

11.07.2015

Product Review: Santamedical Tens Unit


Santamedical PM-120 Tens Unit Electronic Pulse Massager with 6 Modes and Rechargeable battery
Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated here are my own and are in no way influenced by the cost-free product.
Product Details: 
  • Six Auto Modes (stimulation programs) and Pause button
  • 10- to 60-minute timer with auto shut-off, 20-minute default setting
  • Adjustable massage strength levels with gradual increase / decrease setting option
  • Portable and Compact device is easy to bring along in a bag or a suitcase for on-the-go use
  • Attachment pads, Rechargeable Battery and Power Adapter included


Small, but mighty. (4 Stars)

While pregnant 6+ years ago I sustained a neck injury in a car accident. During the treatment I received for my injury my amazing chiropractor would end our sessions with 10 minutes of TENS treatment. It takes some getting used to but I was amazed at how much it eased the discomfort I was experiencing.

I occasionally still experience soft tissue discomfort, in particular in the neck and shoulder where I was hurt so I'd been in the market for an affordable TENS unit for occasional use at home. This one from Santamedical fits the bill very well. It's effective, very easy to use, and I was pleased with the battery life between charges. The timer is adjustable and automatically shuts off the unit which I like. The 6 modes aren't all comfortable for me but I like that I have options for various uses. Sometimes you just want a different kind of stimulation on a different region of the body. The only thing I dislike about it is the pads themselves could be better, they tend to peel up easily from my skin no matter what I do. But those aren't hard to replace with a better set.

Overall, I am very happy with it and feel that if you're looking for an effective and economical TENS unit that's portable and easy to use I would recommend it.


11.04.2015

Review: Friendly's Single-Cup Coffee for Keurig K-Cup Brewers


Friendly's Single-Cup Coffee for Keurig K-Cup Brewers Variety Pack, 40 Count
Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for this honest review.
Product Details:
  • Keurig k-cup compatible-including new 2.0 brewers
  • 100 percent premium Arabica coffee beans
  • Small batch roasted coffee, perfectly blended with creamy friendly's ice cream flavors
  • Enjoy ice cream flavored coffee anytime
  • Contains butterscotch swirl, chocolate marshmallow, mint chocolate chip, and Vienna mocha chunk flavored coffees

An Unexpected Hit (4 Stars)

The hubs and I don't generally drink a lot of flavored coffee. Mostly because a lot of them tend to leave a funny aftertaste. I kind of expected the same with these but to my surprise and delight not a single one was overpowering in flavor or left a bad taste lingering for hours afterward.

I actually joked on Instagram about how I went to grab a pod and discovered that my husband obviously wasn't a fan of the Butterscotch since he had a pile of them shoved aside. He destroyed the Mint Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Marshmallow though. My favorite was actually the Vienna Mocha Chunk.

If you like flavored coffee but still want the taste of coffee I think these are a really great option. The flavors are subtle and add a really nice something different that still lets folks like myself, who usually like their coffee black, mix things up a little.



Giveaway!!!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a box of your own.

Ends 11/09/2015 at midnight MST
Must be 18 or older to win and a US resident.

10.17.2015

Book Review: Spectacular Nail Art by Larit Levy

Spectacular Nail Art: A Step-by-Step Guide to 35 Gorgeous Designs
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Crafts, Beauty
Print (80 pages, IMAGINE)
No woman is fully dressed without the perfect manicure: it’s the final touch, the must-have accessory to any outfit. And today, spectacular nails mean more than a coat of pink polish. It’s fashion art, with a world of fabulous colors, unique patterns, and gorgeous embellishments to choose from. These 35 designs are eye-catching and ultra-stylish, whether you’re looking to liven up an everyday look or get glam for a special occasion. Novices needn’t worry, either, because every project—from sparkling Champagne Chic to the wintry, Christmasy Snappy Snowflakes—includes easy-to-follow instructions and handy step-by-step photos, and most are really simple to create.
Have a spooky Halloween with black-and-white cobwebbed nails; hail the red-white-and blue and stars-and-stripes forever with Positively Patriotic; and celebrate the coming of spring with vintage fancy flowers. Go wild with animal prints, like leaping leopard spots or zebra zigzags on your "claws." And even if you can’t make it to Hawaii, your nails can, with designs featuring the island’s famed hibiscus. Whether you’re choosing elegant, wedding-ready pearly bubbles or playful retro dots and fun characters, every pattern here makes an unforgettable statement.
Tips on nail care, products, and basic manicures (including a French one) help you keep your hands in tip-top shape. One thing’s for sure: with this art on your nails, you’ll never want to wear gloves again!


A Basic Nail Art 101 for Offline Artists (3 stars)

I've been in the market for some simple nail art instruction books for my husband of all things. He recently decided he wanted to learn some because our young daughter loves having her nails done and he's a good artist so why shouldn't he be able to do it?

SPECTACULAR NAIL ART turned out to be just the sort of book that's great for a beginner. The ideas and styles are all pretty simple and well instructed. But they're just that, the basics. If you're looking for some really different or fresh ideas this really doesn't have them. I've seen most of these already done in other books and on Pinterest multiple times. With that in mind this might be a great choice for a child or tween who is learning or for someone who doesn't regularly access the internet. Otherwise it's just too basic and the concepts so common that it doesn't offer anything special.


Other nail art books you might want to check out:


10.14.2015

Book Review: Jem and the Holograms: Showtime

Jem and the Holograms: Showtime

by Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell
Notes: ARC received in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
Release Date: October 29, 2015
Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Print (152 pages, IDW)
Meet Jerrica Benton - a girl with a secret. She and her sister Kimber team with two friends to become... JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS! But what does it mean to be JEM today? Fashion, art, action, and style collide in Jem and the Holograms: Showtime!

Outrageously good! (5 stars)

Since the live action movie had to go and drop a number two on one of my favorite IPs from my childhood I've been hoping someone else would do something good with it. And this, my dears, is it! A lot of the time I find that with comics I either dig the art or the story, and not often both on equal with one another. This is absolutely phenomenal on both. I love love love it! Even though I got to read it as a digital galley I'm going to pick it up in trade and add it to my preorder list.

If you're an adult who grew up with Jem and the Holograms and you love Rat Queens or Batgirl for their great balance of art and story you will love it. Not of the generation that grew up with Jem? If you love feminist themes, body and racial inclusivity, and gorgeous pages I definitely recommend picking it up!



9.06.2015

Got Stress? Spend Ten Minutes with This

Ohuhu® Ocean Wave Night Light Projector and Music Player

Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review.
Product Details: Have no time for a seaside trip? Now you can see it at home or in your office simply by turning this Ohuhu® Ocean Wave Light Projector on. It is an ocean wave projector with a mini speaker and you enjoy the tranquility or relax after a day's work. It is also perfect for creating a watery ocean atmosphere, which can be used in bathrooms, living rooms, or any other area. It would make a nice backdrop for a trade show booth or office reception area to greet your visitors.
An excellent decoration for any special day to create a romantic atmosphere, A romantic surprise for that special person in your life. Creates a perfect ocean wave atmosphere almost anywhere.
Relaxing, comforting, soothing, creates a large, brilliant light show for your viewing entertainment and pleasure.
8 Brightness modes. Bring the seaside home to you, give yourself a piece of the (ocean) in multiple changes of color.
Automatically shuts down after one hour. Relax yourself before sleeping or help your children sleep.
Battery powered or USB powered. That offers greater mobility and flexibility with a built-in Mini speaker (mobile phone, mp3, or computer can also be used)



10 minutes was all it took... (5 Stars)

If you suffer from stress—don't we all?—you've probably tried all kinds of things to help you cope. I know plenty of people who resort to happy hour or binge eating as a way to manage their but that's just not mine. A good book and a cup of herbal tea are always a nice and yoga or a walk in the park can be good too. For me, however, I find that my stress and anxiety tend to peak as soon as I'm trying to go to sleep and I remember everything I didn't get done or need to get done. Not always the perfect time to fill up on liquids or attempt a warrior pose, I'm tired and I want to go to sleep.

So I accepted the Ohuhu Ocean Wave Night Light Projector and Music Player for review to see if it was an option that worked for me. It's really cool for other uses since it has so many light settings—kids love it—but my goal was something to help me distract myself from a racing mind so I could fall asleep. I am 100% sold! The first time I tried it I think I barely made it 10 minutes before I dozed off. There's just something soothing about the gentle motion of the light and the soft blue color (the light setting I would recommend for those seeking sleep) that works. I love that it shuts off automatically after an hour too so it doesn't run all night long. If you were to pair it with ocean/lake/rain sounds I imagine the effect would be two fold though I chose not to.

Overall, I think it's a great soothing or stress relieving item for the price point and since it isn't chemical it's great for small children and those with sensitivities. I do want to point out, however, that there is one light setting that flashes heavily and could be dangerous for those who have seizure disorders so use at your own risk. Other than that I absolutely love it and would recommend it.

8.30.2015

Review: Edgar and the Tree House of Usher by Jennifer Adams

Edgar and the Tree House of Usher by Jennifer Adams, Illustrated by Ron Stucki

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.
Children's Literature, Classic Reimagining
Print (32 pages, GIBBS SMITH)
"It was a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year ... " when the mischievous raven Edgar heads to his friend Roderick's house to work on their tree house. Edgar dashes his sister Lenore's hopes with the ever-popular phrase "sisters are not allowed," until a storm starts to brew and the two boys realize that sometimes the best things happen when you decide to stick together. The third picture book in the popular Edgar series is sure to warm the hearts of kids and parents alike.(Preschool)
Publisher Site: blank

A charming picture book for Poe fans and their children. (5 stars)

As I often do when a publisher sends me a review copy of a book for my daughter, I read this alone first. I was pretty sure my daughter would turn her nose up at it because it wasn't very colorful but to my surprise she absolutely adored it. To the point I'm kind of tired of her asking me to read it every night.

Being rather fond of the works of Poe and ravens, I found this to be a charming and fun play on The Fall of the House of Usher. It ended in such a way that even though I've had to read it numerous times since it arrived, I still grin at the end. It has lead to much discussion about gender-based exclusion and how we treat our siblings. We will definitely be purchasing the previous two installments in the Edgar series.

If you have a love of literature and want to introduce your preschooler (very loosely) to Poe this is a clever way to do so that it sure to delight. A short bedtime story that also teaches a simple lesson about inclusion, sibling relationships, and rising from a fall.



You might also enjoy these other Babylit books:

8.12.2015

Review: Edward Scissorhands Volume 2: Whole Again

Edward Scissorhands Volume 2: Whole Again

by Kate Leth & Drew Rausch
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.
Release Date: November 5th, 2015
Graphic Novel, Nostalgia, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Print (148 pages, IDW)
After settling in with Megs and her family, Edward becomes curious about a television "miracle doctor" named April Wells, and enlists the help of friends and townspeople to send her a homemade audition tape. While Megs struggles with her uncertainty about the whole situation, Edward has a quiet hope that, maybe, she could help him.

I am loving this comic! (5 stars)

I really enjoyed the first Edward Scissorhands gaphic novel so I was hoping the second would be on par. I'd dare say I liked it even better. It's really great to see the Burton easter eggs hidden in the illustrations and I feel like the art overall fits the tone of the film even more closely than before. I love the new characters and while I feel like Edward was almost a secondary character this time around I can't help but give this a very strong recommendation. I can hardly stand the wait for the next volume!

While you would benefit from reading Volume 1 first so you'll know the characters and time frame, you could certainly jump in here and still enjoy the story for what it is. Just be sure to jump back later so you know why this story is happening.


Can't get enough Edward? Find more Edward Scissorhands goodies:

8.05.2015

Master the Farmer's Market With This Book

Fresh Made Simple: A Naturally Delicious Way to Eat: Look, Cook, and Savor

by Lauren Keiper Stein (Author), Katie Eberts (Illustrator)
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Cookbook, Farmer's Market, Vegetarian
Print (200 pages, STOREY PUBLISHING)
Each of the 75 recipes in Fresh Made Simple is a charming full-page illustration showing, rather than telling, how to make the dish described. Each meal or snack begins with one delicious ingredient, and the cook builds around that to make a simple yet elegant creation. An avocado, seasoned with lime and salt, elevates a fried egg on toast; fresh-picked blueberries and a leftover ear of corn add sweetness and texture to standard pancakes. From pineapple cilantro salsa and asparagus apple salad to a kale egg scramble, tortilla soup, and crostini, these simple recipes celebrate the unbeatable flavors of fresh ingredients.

Finally, I can conquer the Farmer's Market! (5 stars)

If you don't like to play with food don't even bother with this book. I wouldn't say it's for an experienced cook but well, you need to be someone who has a firm grasp on the basics and not need detailed directions. As someone who has grown to love being a mad scientist in the kitchen with ingredients and methods I found this an exciting and vivid book full of inspiration.

As someone who wants to work with fresh food more, in particular during the summer and fall when our local farmer's market is bountiful, I think this is a fantastic book. I love Eberts' beautiful illustrations and coupled with Stein's playful approach and sometimes unexpected combinations it's a visual delight. It's also a great resource for vegetarians who are in need of some boredom busters in their cooking repertoire. I think Fresh Made Simple would make a great gift for your favorite cook.



Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

You might also want to check out:

8.04.2015

Review: Oleavine Health Therapeutic Foot & Body Wash


Oleavine Health Therapeutic Foot & Body Wash

Company Site: website
Product Details: Oleavine Therapeutic Foot and Body Soap helps wash away and defend against stubborn fungus, bacteria and yeast from the skin surface responsible for Body Odor, Athletes Foot, Ringworm, Jock Itch, Acne, Toenail Fungus, Yeast, and other Common Foot and Skin Irritation Infections.
Our 100% Natural Plant Based Cleanser is Made Using Traditional European Techniques from Premium Organic and Natural Botanicals Rich in Skin Conditioning Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9 Essential Fatty Acids.
Powerful Broad Spectrum Actives Include Tea Tree Essential Oil, a proprietary blend of Therapeutic Essential Oils, and Botanicals such as Neem Oil that are known to have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.
Who is Oleavine Therapeutic Anti-Fungal Soap Right For?
-People who are suffering from embarrassing bacteria related foot and body odor, acne, and skin rashes caused by sweating.
-People who are active in team sports that use or share equipment which can breed bacteria. (football, lacrosse, wrestling, etc.)
-People who are active in soccer, basketball, crossfit, martial arts, running, cycling, yoga, pilates, MMA (mixed martial arts), boxing, or workout regularly at the gym.
-Athletes or Active Individuals at high risk of being in contact with other individuals or where infection can easily be picked up from gym equipment, mats, locker rooms, and public showers.
-People looking to support and protect healthy skin, feet, and nails. Gentle enough to be used daily for your shower, bath, or foot bath.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Saponified Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Organic Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Oil, Organic Simmondia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Organic Cocao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Oil, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sachi Inchi) Oil, Organic Linum Usitatissimum (Flax Seed) Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Azadirachta Indica (Neem) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Natural Mixed Mentha (Mint), Thymol (Extract from Thyme), Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Leaf Oil, Cinnamomum Cassia (Cinnamon) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract.


If you workout this rocks! (5 Stars)

If you hate the smell of tea tree oil don't even bother with this product. Some people just can't get over the smell and that's okay but this definitely smells strong. As someone who loves the smell of tea tree oil I loved this!

Over the summer I got back into a POPPilates routine and between the hot weather and regularly working out I've been crazy sweaty. In the past I found that combo would give me the occasional chest breakout so I thought I'd try this wash during my post-workout showers to see if it didn't curb it. I have yet to get a blemish. It also feels great thanks to the coolness of the mint so it's just a fantastic product for athletes and folks who go to the gym.

I would definitely recommend this for fitness enthusiast but also for anyone who has trouble with body acne or stinky feet. It has high quality ingredients and didn't leave my sensitive skin dry or irritated. Two big thumbs up.



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

7.27.2015

Book Review: Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly

Mercy Thompson: Hopcross Jilly

by Patricia Briggs, Rik Hoskin, & Tom Garcia
Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Werewolves, Fae
FORMAT (144 pages, DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT)
Mercy is a shapeshifting coyote and honorary member of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. When the pack stumbles upon the buried bones of numerous dead children, she shapeshifts into a mystery of the legendary fae - a mystery that draws Mercy's stepdaughter Jesse into the fray! The supernatural romance series Mercy Thompson continues in this all-new, original story by New York Times bestselling author, Patricia Briggs, exclusively created for the comic book medium! Collects the six-issue Mercy Thompson comic book series from 2014-2015, a story set in official continuity.

A nice addition to the novels. (4 stars)

Since the Mercy Thomson series of novels first came out I've been a huge fan. I remember the the excitement I felt when I picked up the first book at the store at random and found a map of my hometown inside. I've not been as avid of a fan of the comics but mostly just due to time constraints. I'm glad I took the time to sit down and devour this one though. Garcia did an excellent job of capturing the region while also bringing the characters to vivid life.

It's not my favorite Mercy story but it was spooky and impressively not completely predictable. The story hinged much more on Jesse than Mercy which was also a nice change of pace. On a totally gratuitous note... hello crazy hot Zee. lol

If you've enjoyed the other comics/graphic novels I think you'll dig this one too. If you've a fan of the novels this actually fits into the series continuity so that's a huge plus. Definitely check it out.



Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Get your Mercy Thompson collection started:

7.23.2015

4 Reasons You Need This Beautiful Flower Crown from Valdler



If you follow me on social media you might have seen the horror we spent the end of June and beginning of July dealing with. Head lice. *shudder* Of course, this was when I had just received this stunning floral head wreath with an eagerness to review it. Much facepalming was had as I made the decision not to risk getting them on the wreath and postponed my review. Then we had rain and more rain and vicious high winds. Finally we had some sun and a perfect day for some photos outdoors. ☺ Please enjoy the review and check out Valdler's products on Amazon, I am VERY impressed! -- Rhi


Superior quality at an affordable price. (5 Stars)

If you're looking for a beautiful, well-made floral head wreath I cannot recommend this stunning piece of Valdler enough. Each flower is handmade and lovely. They're tightly bunched unlike other low priced options I've found in stores and online. The ribbons are long enough that you have a lot of adjustability for both the crown and the wristband. For my daughter we chose to have her wear the wristband as an anklet to adorable effect but I'd dare say the same could be done for an adult too. Overall this is a striking pair that would be wonderful for a child, teen, or grown woman equally. 

I have a few ideas for ways I would use this that I wanted to specifically share for this blog post:

This would make a fantastic photographer's prop both for portraits and editorial projects. Because it's well made it can handle a lot of adjustment and wear by children!

Cosplay, renfaire, and music festivals! The high quality of this piece make it a great choice because it can hold up to all day wear and hot weather and the flowers look more real than many of the other options out there.

Weddings and special events. This one is pretty obvious, it's inexpensive so it won't break your budget and if you're crafty you could easily add netting, ribbons, rhinestones, feathers, or other accents to individualize it to your tastes. Perhaps this pink version for the flower girl and the white version for the bride?

A dress-up box item. We turned an old dresser into a really great costume closet for our daughter a couple of Christmases ago and filled it with clearanced Halloween costumes. But we've since added nicer pieces (now that she's older and doesn't damage everything) like this and some costume jewelry that make her feel really special when she plays. Perfect for a older child who loves to dressup.

If you're convinced you need it find it on Amazon:

Valdler Flower Crown with Floral Wrist Band
Product Details: Material: Paper and foam (petals) and polyester (leaves)
Diameter: 16-18 cm (floral hair wreath), 6.5 cm (floral wrist band)
Adjustable size with the ribbon, fits most heads and comfortable to wear
Beautiful for bridal, bridesmaids or flower girls in the wedding, festivals, photography, etc.
It is normal for 1 or 2 pieces of petals falling off as the floral wreath is handmade and can be easily glued without having effect on the overall outlook




Notes: I received a complimentary product in exchange for this honest review. 
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pm654dd74cfe6a0767d67ad0ef76f8eeea
The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.