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
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.


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.

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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.


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.


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:
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.