Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Scentiments Soy Scented Candles Review

I love candles and frequently burn them in the open area of our kitchen / living area.  I prefer soy wax candles and was recently sent one from Sentiments.

This candle is presented beautifully and perfect for gift giving or as a nice candle for your own home. I have the vanilla scented which is a beautifully creamy fragrance that is not overdone.  Each candle has a beautiful label that shows who the candle is intended for or the occasion.  We have the Family one and it is a lovely addition to our kitchen.  This is a 100% Soy Wax and is in a reusable, traditional style Mason jar.  I am enjoying the fragrance of this candle but have one complaint, my candle is very sooty and makes popping sounds (the wick) which is often somewhat scary.  I worry about safety as it sometimes pops into the air.  I trim the wick regularly but still have this problem.  I find that it burns the soy wax evenly, but I am frequently having to wipe the inside of the jar.  I hope that perhaps the wick can be improved.

*I received this candle at no cost for my honest evaluation and review.  I loved the appearance of it when it first arrived, and love the jar.  I am not happy with how it is so sooty.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

We Dream: Modern Lullabies to Help Your Baby Sleep CD Review

I have a 17 month old and a 4 1/2 year old. My 4 year old seems to have inherited a bit of her mother's insomnia, and despite going through the nightly routines and being lovingly put to be around 8 pm, she often does not actually sleep until midnight some nights. I do find some comfort in the fact that when I come in to check on her, she is nestled in her bed with a stack of 15+ books. She cannot read but since I read to her daily, she has memorized most all of her books and can read aloud almost verbatim when looking at a particular picture. When she is not reading, she is usually tip-toeing out of bed to find mommy or daddy and ask for a drink, a kiss, a story, a snack, or to make a puzzle. She has a lot of activity going through her brain at all times, thinking, calculating, and wondering. It is great, it means she is bright, but the little one needs to sleep.

Since she was an infant we have had her sleep with ocean or rain sounds playing, so this repetitive and lulling natural sound is soothing to her (and us--as my husband and I are the same way, and listen to ocean waves all night. I was introduced to a cd from a board-certified music therapist named Ryan Judd.  He developed lullabies for babies and young children that are beautiful instrumental guitar compositions that are paired with soothing ocean waves.

Ocean waves are popular for babies as they simulate the womb-like experience that babies fondly remember.  It is calming to them and creates a rhythmic breathing and a restful state.  The ocean sounds continue throughout the entire CD and between tracks.

It is very soothing and it makes my husband fall asleep within minutes when he sits down next to her to read.  I have to make sure the cd is not on too early. :) Of course it also could have to do with him working extra hours the last few weeks (understaffed) at a crazy rate of 55-60 hours in a week.

The music is very calming to my daughter and we play it nearly every night, along with her water sound machine.  We have only tested it a few weeks, but hoping to get her sleep more normalized.

If you would like more information, you can find Ryan Judd's music for babies, children, and adults on Amazon.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Activated Charcoal Capsules by Nature's True Medicine (Review)

I have been using charcoal powder for various uses over the years.  I mix it with other ingredients to make a homemade, skin nourishing facial mask that prevents acne, clears blackheads, and pull toxins from skin.  I generally mix some lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, 2 tablespoon of Redmond's Bentonite clay, 1 tablespoon of 100% pure, clear aloe vera gel, raw honey and calendula oil (made myself with jojoba, argan oil, and rose hip oil and dried marigolds).  This is a nice soothing mask for my face and much cheaper than purchasing a small tube of pre-made (not sure how fresh and probably not 100% pure ingredients) charcoal mud.  I generally buy a bulk bag of charcoal as it gets used for my beauty and health routines.

Charcoal is fantastic for naturally detoxing the body from toxins that enter your skin and internal system.  I love brushing my teeth with it as it whitens naturally and cleans my teeth.  I use bentonite clay based natural tooth powders (made into a tooth paste clay).  I just add it to my tooth brush when I am using my other homemade mixture.

I was recently sent some charcoal capsules for convenient and internal use called, Nature's True Medicine's Activated Charcoal.   This supplement has 450mg per capsule, and you only need 2 capsules per day.  While I am not a fan of taking pills, it necessary, and I am rather used to it, since I have been taking prenatal vitamins and other supplements for the last 6 years.  The capsules are small (well as capsules go) and easy to swallow. The bottle comes with 100 capsules.  I like how these are made in the USA and with all natural ingredients does not contain any of additives or fillers.

I have used these capsules for teeth whitening by breaking one and sprinkling over my wet toothbrush.  I prefer using my bulk powdered form as it can become a hassle to break a capsule open every night and sprinkle it ever so gingerly over my brush without spilling it all and having to open another one.  However, I do take these with me when traveling over the weekend with the family as they are low mess to use on my tooth brush and face (taking bulk powder would NOT be a fun thing to take in a suitcase or bag--imagine the mess).  For quick, travel face care I just take our bottle of pure aloe vera (we use that for everything from bug bite, rashes, sunburn, hair gel, conditioner, etc) and mix with 2 capsules and use as a spot treatment on any acne or my nose (I have large pores than are prone to blackheads).

For masks and tooth brushing it is easier to use my bulk powder to premix it into a glass jar.  The masks for my face are usually made to order so to speak, as I will often add in whatever ingredient I feel my skin is particularly needing that week.

I mainly use these charcoal caps internally for daily preventative measures for a happier tummy and overall health.  (but also as my travel beauty charcoal as mentioned above) I have not had any issues with taking them internally and they do not have any flavor or odor.  My husband takes 2 each night along with his other supplements to aid with his bloating, gas cramps and indigestion.  He and I recommend them.  If you simply cannot swallow pills or are not fond of it, you can break these open and add to a smoothie, or perhaps try it in plain water.  It may be interesting to note that this powder is grey and not black.

As mentioned, they were sent to me as a review sample and this is my honest account of how I use them.  I was not compensated for this post, other than a free bottle.

Nature's True Medicine is available on Amazon.

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Lifemark Labs Bento Box Review

I just love using reusable storage ideas for snack food and lunches.  My daughter has always loved to eat her meals from divided plates (since about 18 moths of age) and so as she is older, a bento style box is perfect for her.  She stays at home for now, but I know we will be bringing bento boxes to school for lunches.  I will be happy knowing that we are making fantastic health choices. while also being earth conscious by reducing excess waste.  I was recently sent a bento style box from Lifemark Labs.  I selected the lime green and it is awesome.  This is made from 100% Food Grade BPA/Free plastic and is microwave and freezer safe.  You can put it in the dishwasher on top rack to clean.  I have not put it in the microwave, and do not really plan to.  I would not recommend putting the lid in the microwave.

This is a nice looking and well made lunch box. I have 2 children ages 4 1/2 and 17 months and this is nice to take along with us for long day trips as a healthy snack. I can fit a wide variety of items in this, Cheerios, cereal snacks, raisins, granola, grapes, blueberries, raspberries, cheese, crackers, raw veggie sticks, etc. When we put deli meat or cheese we take along a lunch freezer pack to keep things at a safe temperature and fresh. I like to put a thick paper towel under juicier items such as berries to keep things from dripping and to prevent any staining that could occur to the box. I have not had any staining, but it is good to try to prevent extra messes. I got this idea from the actual raspberries we buy at our grocery store (they always have a thin paper cloth under them when in their clear plastic container).

The seal on this is very tight so I do not see young children being able to open and close this properly for school or day care lunches. Children ages 7 and under might have some difficulty. I see that other reviewers have put this in the microwave with no issues, but we have not tested this. This stores a good amount of snack food for my 2 little ones, (I pack it with safer food when my 17 month old will be snacking) or a larger, full lunch for my 4 1/2 year old. Both children like the Annies cheddar bunnies and pretzels in the box, along with various cereal puffs.

In the pictures I have made our own little version of the Lunchables that children love, but often parents like me do not like to purchase due to the high salt and undesirable preservative (and high price for low quality food). This is a fuller meal, with fresher, healthier, and tastier food. YUM! I was able to add 4 small rolled up low fat (97% lean), low sodium chicken deli meat--in 2 slices rolled for each of the 2 rolls. The Ritz crackers (4 sets of 3 crackers) can be made into cheese (swiss and cheddar) and deli sliced chicken mini sandwiches. Pair this meal with a water, and this is a great little lunch.

I love the lime green color and like how well this seals. The size is nice, and I like how the corners are rounded and smooth. I recommend this bento style box. 

*I was sent this complimentary for an honest review.  

You can find Lifemark Labs on Facebook.  

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lilla Rose Flexi Hair Clip (Flexi 8)

I am loving my Lilla Rose hair clip. I have the large size, in the gold tone pearl tree of life and adore it.  It unfortunately is too small for me to hold all of my long, thick hair without a few (perhaps my normal amount of 5-10) secure hold bobby pins.  I use this clip as a pretty accent over part of my undo / bun.  I love that it can look like a tree when pointing up, or a feather (in my eyes) when pointing upside down.  The stick part is permanently connected to the flexible part which means I will not have to worry about one part getting misplaced. :)

As you can see, the amount of beads and pearls depend on the flexi clip size.  I do prefer the functionality (fits the best in my hair) of the Mega XXL size as well as the amount of pearls compared to the Large size.  However, I still LOVE my clip and think it will suit me well for other hair styles.

Lilla Rose provided a clip for me to review and this is the size and design I selected.  I was casually speaking with the personal consultant (JoAnn Smolen) and guess what! She sent me a Mega XXL in the design of silver tone fascinating.  It holds my hair in perfectly and I do not need any bobby pins! Wonderful!

Here is what I was sent:

I am a mommy of a 4 year old and 16 month old and so do not have much time for my hair.  I do not really want to cut it, and so I usually pin it up in a bun or some sort of undo.  The flexi is so easy and pretty.  They have a variety of clips and styles to suit any style.  There are various sizes to use based on the length, texture, and thickness of your hair.  It also depends on if you will put all of your hair up or half up / half down.

This video gives you an idea of choosing the best size for your hair.  This picture is also a guideline for making a size selection.

Find Lilla Rose on Facebook and Twitter to see current styles and keep updated on sales.  If you would like to shop with JoAnn who is a personal and individual consultant, here is her Facebook page.  She would love to help you find your own special Lilla Rose Flexi clip.

*I received 2 clips for review, no other compensation was provided other than the clips.

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