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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: 2.5% Retinol Moisturizer by Body Merry

I have been using this Body Merry 2.5% Retinol Moisturizer for about 3 weeks.  I love it! It is so rich, yet absorbs very quickly.  I can apply makeup very soon after using this.  I didn't have any irritation from the Retinol when using this either. It does take time to see big results, but I am quite happy with it so far!  I'm also super-happy to share and support products made in the USA!

Product Information:
Retinol has time and again proven itself to be a potent youth reviving ingredient. Body Merry's Retinol Surge Moisturizer combines the power of 2.5% Retinol with a bunch of soothing natural antioxidants & ingredients (Wildcrafted Green Tea, Organic Jojoba Oil, Vitamins E & B5 plus Shea Butter) that work together to visibly reduce the signs of aging. Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid hydrates and nourishes your skin. This unique formulation not only helps to provide a flawless tone and texture, but also leaves your skin feeling and looking smoother, plumper and younger.  Works its charm on discoloration, acne, hyperpigmentation and sun damage. Both men and women can use this moisturizer! Works well for all skin types.  

The formula does not contain any harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulphates or Phthalates. The moisturizer is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: We Choose Virtues poster

As a homeschooling mama, I love finding new resources and companies that offer products to encourage and motivate my son.  This colorful poster is a treasure!   It clearly illustrates what is expected in our home, and it's been a cute yet important addition to our homeschool room. 

According to Heather McMillan, the creator of We Choose Virtues, this poster features a complete list of all 12  Virtues, their Catchphrases and Antonyms. The Kids of VirtueVille are pictured next to each Virtue for easy reference. The Kids Virtue Poster presents a language of Virtue that is both clear and positive.  If you are looking for a precise and consistent standard for both attitudes and actions that everyone can understand, this is a great place to start. It will help you create a brand new culture in your home or classroom that will eliminate confusion and build hope. 

The 12 Virtues are: I am Diligent, I am Obedient, I am Kind, I am Helpful, I am Forgiving, I am Honest, I am Perseverant, I amSelf-controlled, I am Content, I am Patient, I am Gentle and I am Attentive!

My readers can use promo code VIRTUE15 for 15% off this item from  

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Dr Song's 50% Lactic Acid Face Peel

I was offered the chance to try Dr.Song's 50% Lactic Acid Face Peel.  I was a little nervous after reading the instructions, which mentioned sun sensitivity and other possible side effects, as some people have reactions to Lactic Acid.  I was lucky and had no such problems, other than a slight tingling on my face where it was applied.

I have only tried it once so far, as the instructions state to use once every 4 weeks.  I left it on for about one minute, and next time I do the peel I will leave it on for an additional minute, as well.  It is said to help with wrinkles and discolorations, so I'm excited to see how it works after a 2nd peel!

Very pleased with the results so far!  Hope this gives you an idea of what to expect when using a Lactic Acid peel.  Dr. Song's is great!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Do-it-yourself Bridal Shower, part 1

My sweet daughter became engaged on New Year's Day of 2014.  So we knew a wedding was coming up, but they couldn't decide when they wanted to have it.  Initially they planned a Spring 2015 wedding, but as the summer progressed, they decided to speed things up.  I wanted to throw a shower for her, so I enlisted two of my sweet friends, Denise & Renea, to help and we got to planning!

K loves many styles: shabby chic,  vintage, country,  burlap and lace, chalkboards, mason jars,  chevron stripes and hot pink.  She's eclectic for sure!  So I tried to incorporate each of these elements into her bridal shower.

My budget was almost non-existent.  My husband was on medical leave most of the summer and money has been tight, to say the least.  I think we still did a great job,and learned that you CAN throw a shower on a do-it-yourself budget!

For the shower, we used her fiance's church.  I never saw the room we were using until the night before her shower, when we went to set up.  We had some obstacles to work around, including a long row of hooks, several doors, and a big soda machine!  But it all worked out in the end.

GIFT TABLE:  I made a backdrop from a dowel I bought at Michael's, and 4 rolls of crepe paper from Dollar Tree (solids) and Michael's (polka dots).  I doubled up long lengths (maybe 8 feet each?) of crepe paper, then hot glued the strips to the top of the dowel and let them hang freely.  I alternated white/pink/polka dots. I saw many of these on pinterest and etsy and it turned out great!  I will be making these for other events - they are easy, cheap and look really cute.

I make rag garlands, which I sell on etsy, so I had several in pink and green tones that I used to decorate the front of the table. I bought command hooks to use for this and they failed miserably! I ended up taping the garlands to the tables! The plastic tablecloths came from Dollar Tree too.

My sister-in-law Lia taught me to make tissue paper flowers.  I picked bright tissue paper for hers and got to work. In the end we only used three above the gift table, and a few by the drink station.  They are SO easy. If you want to learn to make them yourself, there are some great step by step tutorials - a quick google search will bring them up!

I did a google search to find free chalkboard printables to use for decorating as well.  This was a favorite! This was another. (I framed these and gave them to K after the shower to use at home.)

My sister let me borrow two awesome chalkboards she made from old cabinet doors.  I wrote on one by the drink station, and she did the other one on the gift table!

SIGN IN TABLE:  We also had a table by the door with a whole lotta stuff going on! I have a tendency to fill every space and looking back, I can see I went SO overboard on it!

In her invitations, I enclosed recipe cards and asked each guest to include a special one for the happy couple.  So at this table, they could file the recipe cards in her recipe box,  address an envelope for thank you notes, and sign the guest book. And I added more pictures and flowers to fill in the spaces! If I could go back in time and edit this table, the basket with rose balls,  the little succulent and the square wall hanging with the heart would be gone!

DRINK STATION:  As much as I wanted to buy customized adhesive labels for water bottles, it just wasn't in my budget. So I bought water bottles at Costco, and we used hot pink duct tape to cover the labels.  I found a super-cute mason jar drink dispenser, which we filled with sweet tea.  We also had sodas.  To decorate this area, I used the free printables that I framed, a mason jar of hydrangeas, along with the chalkboard sign, plus two smaller tissue paper flowers.  We used Chinet crystal cups to serve the tea and sodas.

EATING AREA:  We used five tables to set up our eating area.  I went with a "U" shape with our guest of honor at the end table with her friends. Her table had a burlap runner. I sewed lace onto the ends of it, and I also added a rag garland to the front.  All of the family members sat on either side. I used white tablecloths from Dollar Tree.  The jars in the middle have pens for our games.

Fresh flowers are one of the most expensive components of any shower, and I thought I'd have to skimp on them with the (lack of) budget I had to work with.  But luck was on my side! I had to visit three different Kroger stores, but I found amazing flowers the night before the shower.

Yes,  Kroger marks down their floral department, and I hit the jackpot!  Katie loves baby's breath - it is one of her favorites.  So I couldn't believe my luck in finding a huge bin of baby's breath bouquets marked down to 99 cents - I think I got 8!  And the hydrangeas and roses were also marked down at the second store I visited.  Cleaned them out!   Finally at the third store, I found a huge bouquet with a variety of flowers that was also marked down, and I was done.

At home, I cut them and put them in water overnight.  I ended up with probably $100+ in flowers for about $40.  Happy happy!  They didn't look old, or bad. They were gorgeous! There were a few roses that needed some petals pulled off that were spotted, but they looked great after that. When we arrived at the church Saturday, I made up mason jars for the tables with different flowers. We ended up with a variety of flowers in several colors, but I believe they all looked charming together!

And see that adorable burlap garland hanging on the front of the counter? It was made by my super-talented cousin, Morgan.  She hosted a shower for Katie in Alabama two weeks before this one and sent it home with Katie, who wanted me to use it at this shower too.   

There is so much more to come - food, games, favors, etc - so stay tuned! I hope to get the second half of this post about the shower up this week....  thanks for reading!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Old Factory Candle Set Review

I was recently offered the opportunity to review a set of candles from Old Factory Candles and since I'm kind of obsessed with wonderfully-scented candles, I was thrilled! After looking at all of the choices they offered, I finally decided on the Happy Holidays set, which contained one of each scent: Christmas Tree, Candy Cane and Gingerbread.

When the package arrived, it was a little smaller than I expected.  But when I opened the Gingerbread candle, it smelled divine!  I had to smell the other two and they were just as wonderful!  The three glass jars are packaged in a cute little box - it was just perfect for gift giving.

These candles burn for a long while.  The description stated 20 hours, and I know I was able to enjoy them for several long afternoons over the course of a week.  They made the main floor of my house smell amazing.  The Gingerbread was my favorite, as it smelled like I'd been baking!  The scent was strong all the way to the bottom of the candle.  I love soy candles, and I love that these are handmade in the USA.

These would make a great gift for a teacher or co-worker, or a friend who loves candles.  I will have to try the Vacation gift set next time!

Here is more information from the manufacturer:

These candle gift sets each contain 3 different scented candles. Each candle burns clean and even for 20 hours. Hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming wicks, and premium fragrance oils. Each gift set is themed around a group of related fragrances. So everyone is sure to find something perfect for every occasion, every room in the house, and all the special someones in your life.

Below are the list of Themes and their related fragrances. 
Fall Harvest
Pumpkin Spice
Autumn Leaves

Happy Holidays
Christmas Tree
Candy Cane

Winter Wonderland
Hot Cocoa
Roasted Chestnut
First Snow

Rose Petals
Dark Chocolate

Fresh & Clean
Olive Blossom
Fresh Linen

Spa Day
Green Tea

Sea Breeze
Hawaiian Lei

Coffee Shop
Coffee Bean
Chai Tea

Man Cave
Straight Razor

High as a Kite
Bag O' Cookies

New Born Baby
Baby Powder
Baby Shampoo
First Blanket

50 Shades
Vanilla ***
Jasmine Bubbles

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.