Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July Review Round-Up! Flash Temporary Tattoos, All Natural Mosquito Repellent, and more!

Eco Defense Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
I spent the previous week at Girl Scout Camp and couldn't wait to give these mosquito repellent braclets that Eco Defense sent me a try.  I used the bracelets on my campers who's bug spray just wasn't doing the job. These are fantastic! They have such a pleasant aroma to them - very similar to citronella, and the girls loved wearing them. I was surprised at how well they stayed secured, and definitely noticed an increase in bugs biting me when I didn't have mine on! I especially loved the peace of mind knowing they were all natural vs. the horrible aerosol cans that the rest of the girls were using.

Flash Temporary Metallic Tattoos
I had also wanted to give these metallic temporary tattoos a try at camp with the girls, but unfortunately ran out of time.  Instead, we had fun trying them out at home, and love them! I just love the metallic finish to these tattoos - they are gorgeous once applied to the skin! Not to mention, they also come off of the paper backing so easily after just 15-20 seconds, unlike many other temporary tattoos that come off in pieces. My only complaint is that the one tattoo I was most excited for isn't printed as a mirror image - which is bizarre, because all of the other ones that include words are. Therefore, once it's applied, it's backwards and hard to read (see photo).

Regardless, these tattoos are excellent - there's definitely something for everyone in this huge pack!

50 Plant Panda Pots
Lastly, Panda Pots sent me 50 plant pots - which was perfect because we recently started sprouting the pits from our avocados, and these pots work perfectly as a container to transplant the pits once the root emerges. The pots are flexible, yet very durable. My kids just love helping out with these, since they are the perfect size - and you get so many in the pack, I don't mind them going around planting other random seeds that they find!

Andre Lorent Cellulite Cream
The first time I tried to apply this "Crazy Beautiful" Cellulite Creme, I was a little irritated because of how difficult it was to rub into my skin.  I remembered, however, that with most other cellulite creams, you are really supposed to massage it into your skin well - and the fact that this product doesn't absorb well into my skin just means I have to massage it even more!  I truly believe that one of the reasons this cream works so well is because it forces you to give your legs (or wherever else you might be using it) a deep tissue massage, which in turn increases the blood circulation in those areas.  Not only do I notice that my legs immediately feel more moisturized and soft, but I am also seeing the long term effects of using this product!

NO2 Nitric Oxide Preworkout Supplement
I've only used one pre-workout supplement in the past, so this review is specifically based off of my experiences with GreenForce's supplement and the similarities and differences with the other one that I've used.  While trying out this supplement, I took it before leaving for the gym and was surprised when I could feel it kicking in while I was still driving (within 10 minutes of taking it).  It definitely kicks in fast, however I also feel that it wears off quite quickly - about 20 minutes into my workout, I was already feeling drained.  The overall strength and energy boost that I get from this product is quite a bit more than I've experienced in the past, though.  I actually cut down to only taking 1 tablet at a time and I much prefer that experience than with the recommended 2.

I received all of these products at a discount in exchange for my unbiased review, but would feel the same about them if I had paid full price!

Friday, June 19, 2015

wojoCALM Review and GIVEAWAY!

Life around our household can get a little hectic at times.  As a fellow parent, I'm sure you understand  how crazy it can get juggling school, sports, work, household chores, and more - so when Wojo Nutrition introduced me to their new wojoCALM liquid dietary supplements, it definitely caught my attention!  Every pack of wojoCALM contains 5 cute little plastic vials, each containing just 0.04 fl oz of a potent calming elixir.  Wojo Nutrition claims that these supplements contain a specialized formula to support non-drowsy mental and physical relaxation.  Sounds pretty perfect, right?!
The recommended use says to squeeze a vial into a beverage and drink - but Wojo also suggests just taking the vial straight.  I tried this, however, and was not at all pleased with the taste!  I could only stomach a few drops and had to quickly squeeze the rest into my glass.  Mixed with a drink, however, it was much more tolerable.  Immediately, I truly felt a sort of weight lifted off of my shoulders.  While it didn't instantly make all problems disappear, I felt more at ease.  This calmness seemed to wear off pretty quickly, however - I was back to my normal, frazzled self after just a few minutes.

I was curious about what made wojoCALM work, so I looked up the main ingredients.  Turns out, L-Thenine is an amino acid found naturally occurring in tea.  It has been linked to non-drowsy relaxation, anti-anxiety, and even has a preventative role in cancer!  For just $6.49 per pack, I definitely feel that wojoCALM gives us moms that little break that we desperately need from time to time.  If you'd like to check it out, feel free to browse Wojo Nutrition's website at http://www.wojonutrition.com/products/#shop.

Want to try wojoCALM for yourself?  Just leave a comment below with the one thing you do to unwind after a crazy day!  I'll choose a winner to receive a pack of wojoCALM for free from the company!

(I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Safe Skins Spiral Slicer + Recipe eBook

In the past few months, I've made some drastic changes with the foods that I prepare and eat - and I've seen great results!  I've seen others use zucchini noodles, or "zoodles", in the their recipes and have always wanted to give them a try, so when Kitopia approached me to try out their Safe Skins Spiral Slicer in exchange for my honest feedback, my dreams came true!  First of all, when you purchase a Spiral Slicer from Kitopia, you not only get the slicer, but a cute little brush to keep it clean with (that I've also been using on my Camelbak spouts), a Safe Skins bag to keep the slicer in to avoid any sharp edges, and an eBook full of 40 recipe ideas!

Let's start out with these zoodles.  Replacing your ordinary boxed pasta with zucchini noodles not only cuts down on the amount of calories and carbs, but it gives your body all kinds of additional nutrients!  I regularly struggle with getting enough vegetables in my diet, but I love pasta - if I could combine the two, I'd be set!

Kitopia suggests using fresh, firm vegetables for the best results.  Admittedly, my zucchini was questionably old, but it still held up fantastically!  The spiral slicer was easy and fun to use - I didn't want to stop!  After spiraling two whole zucchinis, I then mixed together some tomato sauce with Tastefully Simple's Mama Mia Marinara Sauce Mix (YUMMY!),

At this point, I realized that not only is using the spiral slicer to make pasta healthier - it saves so much time!  My entire meal was prepped in under 5 minutes.

So now, the verdict.  I honestly didn't care for zoodles too much.  I tried microwaving it for a bit, hoping that maybe heating them would help, and I really do think it did - but I still couldn't finish my plate.  That said, I still love this product and cannot wait to try out some of the recipes from their eBook.  I can definitely see myself using this to make fancy carrots and vegetables to top salads and more!

The Spiral Slicer Value Pack is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KQXDIG4.  Even if you don't purchase it personally, I recommend you add this to your Wish List and maybe someone else will surprise you with it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adeline's Hyaluronic Acid & Antioxidant Serum

I've always loved the adorable packaging that Adeline's products come in - airless pump bottles that ensure no bacteria contaminates the product, plus the silver touches that make me want to leave them out on my counter for all to see.  Their Hyaluronic Acid and Antioxidant Serum are no different.

At first, I was pleasantly surprised to see how large the Hyaluronic Acid was - almost twice as much as any I've used in the past.  It actually reminds me more of a gel than a serum, and just a few little drops goes a long, long way!  It leaves a fresh scent behind, with no unpleasant residue.  With as little of this product as is needed to cover my entire face, I can see this bottle lasting me for months of daily use.

Adeline's Antioxidant Serum is much more liquid, almost water-like.  It also has barely any scent to it, at all.  Just like the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, it absorbs into my skin quickly, but it does take a little bit more to cover my entire face.

Adeline sent me these products for free, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Even if I had paid for the products, however, I would still consider them both worthy of 5 stars!

Body Merry Products Galore!

Whenever I've used Body Merry products in the past, I've always been blown away by the results, so when they approached me to try out four of their new products, their Vitamin C Moisturizer and Vitamin C Serum, Pro-A Serum, and Neck Cream in exchange for my honest review, I jumped at the chance!

First off, the Super 6 Serum contains 22% Vitamin C, 20% Hyaluronic Acid, 2.5% Retinol, plus 3 more components used in combination for Age Defense. I was pretty surprised when I first used this serum at the bright orange color of it. After the initial shock of the color, I was impressed with how quickly the serum absorbed into my skin, leaving no residue behind.

Maybe I am crazy, but I feel the orange color of this serum also leaves my face looking a little tanner, which I cannot complain about. One thing I've noticed using this product is how much it smells like carrots. I've gone over the ingredients and cannot figure out what it is that I am smelling - and maybe it's being influenced by the bright orange color, but it's definitely not a turn off to the product.

Next up, the Super C-22 Moisturizer is a 22% Vitamin C, 20% Hyaluronic Acid, 2.5% Niacinamide, 2.5% Coenzyme Q10 formula. Having such a high amount of Vitamin C concerned me that this product would be too greasy for a facial moisturizer. However, Body Merry's Super C-22 Moisturizer is one of the least greasy moisturizers I've used in quite some time. It has a very light yellow appearance, combined with a delicious citrus-y scent that reminds me of orange peels. It has amazing moisturizing properties, leaving my skin nourished.

The next Body Merry product I tried is the Pro-A Serum, which is very similar to the Vitamin C serum, just without any of the Vitamin C. It is a combination of 2.5% Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid and Green Tea. There's not much of a fragrance to the serum and is just cloudy-clear in appearance. Just like the previous serum, the Pro-A also absorbs into my skin quickly, leaving no residue behind. I can follow-up with my daily moisturizer almost immediately after applying the serum, unlike some other brands which require me to allow the serum to dry first.

The Vitamin C Serum and Moisturizer combination has become my go-to for mornings when my skin is feeling a little drier than normal. Not only does the serum leave my skin radiant, but the moisturizer abolishes any dryness. On mornings when my face doesn't feel quite as dry, I lean towards the Pro-A Serum.

The last product in my Body Merry review list is their Neck Firming and Tightening Cream. This cream is a combination of Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, and Coenzyme Q10. It claims to be a powerful moisturizer that firms, smooths, and improves the suppleness of your decollete. I was taken aback at first by how thick and greasy this moisturizer is - but being on my neck, it wasn't something that actually bothered me like it would had I put it on my face.

While I definitely felt like I had almost immediate results using the product, I just couldn't get over the fact that it honestly smelled like sushi. Every time I tried using it, I immediately would think of sushi and just couldn't stand applying it to my skin. Sadly, I passed this product onto one of my friends who didn't mind the smell as much as I did.

Body Merry is a wonderful company with a wealth of quality products. Best of all, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you purchase their products and aren't pleased with them for any reason, they will reimburse your money - no questions asked, no need to return the unused product. For this reason, I can't recommend trying their products enough!  Another bonus?  Once you purchase their products, they may contact you to begin receiving them in exchange for your opinion, as well!

Valentia Organic Rosehip Oil

Rosehips have been used in beauty products since the time of the Egyptians, Mayans, and Native Americans. They are known for their healing properties, and their oil has been shown to reduce dark spots and moisturize dry, itchy skin. Valentia's Organic Rosehip Oil is pure, 100% rosehip oil with no other ingredients added. Of their claims, the product is said to be light, non-greasy, and quickly absorbed. Unfortunately, this is not what I experienced in the product.

To begin with, the scent of this oil is horrible. It reminds me more of the smell of an olive oil that you'd cook with, rather than an oil that you'd use in a beauty product. Also, the non-greasy claim of the product couldn't be more off. The first time I used the product, I made the mistake of putting it directly onto my face. There was so much greasy residue with only a couple drops, that it was impossible to make it absorb in.

Rather than using it as a facial product, I instead began using it as a cuticle oil. I don't mind the greasiness of it on my nails/fingertips, however I still question how much it truly is moisturizing. Since it is known to reduce scars, I also use it on my stretch marks - since I am willing to try just about anything to reduce the appearance of those!

I honestly am not sure if I will even use the rest of this product or just pass it off onto one of my friends. The smell just lingers for so long, and it's not a scent I enjoy. Valentia sent me this product for free, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion, and I hate it when my opinion isn't what the company is hoping for. Sadly, this isn't a product that I will be re-ordering.

GoPure 100% Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil

For the longest time, I've heard about all of the amazing benefits of using essential oils and have wanted to give them a try. I've gone as far as purchasing an entire essential oil sampler package, but soon found out that it's not safe to put them straight onto your skin. That's why, when GoPure offered to send me their 100% Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil in exchange for my non-biased review, I didn't hesitate to agree. This coconut oil can be used as a carrier oil in conjunction with essential oils, which was exactly what I was in need of! I currently use non-fractionated coconut oil in cooking, bath products, and for oil pulling, so I was curious to see it used in other applications.

When the product arrived, I was surprised to see how large of a container it came in. The 16 fl oz is bound to last my family months, even with regular use. I was also surprised to see how liquid it was. I've been so accustomed to the thick, chunky coconut oil, I wasn't aware that fractionated coconut oil could be so water-like.

The product claims to be fragrance-free and non-greasy, both of which I doubted were possible when dealing with coconut oils. It is accurate to say that this oil is truly fragrance-free, which makes it perfect for adding other essential oils to. The non-greasy claim, however, doesn't hold quite as true. While this isn't a deal-breaker for me to not use the product, I do feel as if "non-greasy" should be removed from their claims.

Although I did not originally intend to use this product for it's massage oil purpose, I also gave it a try. I was impressed to see how long the moisturizing properties of the oil lasted - where as some products absorb into the skin so quickly, you are required to continue applying more and more - with this coconut oil, just a little went a long way.

In the end, I have enjoyed using this product much more than I originally anticipated. Once our supply is depleted (though this truly will take many more months), I plan on re-ordering more of GoPure's 100% Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil.  If you'd like to order some yourself, head on over to http://www.amazon.com/BEST-Fractionated-Coconut-goPure-Roll-/dp/B00T0UBVX6 and pick some up!