Monday, October 17, 2011

Murad Skin Review and Giveaway!

When looking for a good skincare product, I look for a few things--one of them is company reputation, another is track record and yet another is cutting edge technology that is effective.  Murad seems to have all of those things.  That's why I thought I'd give it a shot. 

Complete Skin Renewal Set
Renewing Eye Cream

I was able to try the Renewing Eye Cream and the Complete Skin Renewal Set.  That is a total of 5 products and I will tell you which two were my absolute favorites.  
Renewing Eye Cream:  This cream is very dense and has substance.  A little bit goes a long way.  I really love it and it is one of the two products that I very highly recommend.  It is the best eye cream I have ever used.  It seems a bit pricey at $73, but it ships for free and a little goes a long way, so it will last a long while.  I noticed a difference in the elasticity around my eyes and the dark circles were diminished.  

The Complete Skin Renewal Set ($42) consists of Refreshing Cleanser, Perfecting Day Cream SPF 30, Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture and Complete Reform.  All of the products were excellent (!!!), but the one that stood out above the rest for me was the Complete Reform.  Again, I noticed the firmness of my skin, namely the jaw area and the neck area, take on a measured improvement and I was quite impressed!  When I put it on, there is just the slightest tingle.  Complete Reform is a "patented treatment shown to increase the firmness of the skin by 61% after just one application while also improving skin texture to reveal softer, smoother skin."  Buy this product in it's full size for $67 with free shipping and enter the code COMPLETE for an additional free gift from Murad.

Murad has a great beauty blog called 'Skin Deep' that is well-updated and quite informative! Today's article is about 3 must-have ingredients in an anti-aging product.  Check it out!

Without further ado, Murad would like to give someone the same products I received for their own use and enjoyment, a $115 value.  To enter, please complete the mandatory entry of  being my GFC Follower and also visit Murad and find a product you'd like to try different from the ones I mentioned. Leave your product find in the comment section along with your GFC Name.  Then proceed through the rest of the Rafflecopter Entry form for more entries if you'd like to increase your chances of winning!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Simply Eden Bath & Body Products - Review and Upcoming Giveaway!

I was so lucky to be able to try some products from Simply Eden!  A little goat farm with sweet little goats, whose milk has been used to make the most delicious bath and body products!  My favorites are:
Grapefruit Peppermint Essential Oils Goat-Milk Lotion. ($14) This lotion smells so refreshing and invigorates me when I put it on.  It sinks into my skin and it becomes baby soft.  It is an amazing skin boost! 

Black Raspberry Vanilla Goat-Milk Body Mousse. ($9) This is like a whipped topping that melts into the skin leaving the most yummy lingering scent.   It comes with a matching goat-milk soap!  There are a variety of scented Body Mousse to choose from, all amazing!
Raspberries and Cream Lip Balm.  ($3.25) Wonderful lip treatment!  It makes my lips feel super soft and supple.  Contains mango butter and is lightly tinted!
Red Rock Cedar Goat-Milk Soap!  ($5.75) This soap feels and smells amazing!  It's raw cut and handmade.  The goat milk and oils in the soap make the skin feel wonderful!  My husband loves this soap and it smells so good!  I also love the Grapefruit Peppermint Essential Oils Soap! 
Athena is the master soap maker and matron of the farm.  Much love and care goes into the making of her products.  She started making them because she was very sensitive to regular products and needed to have alternatives for her own use.  Lucky for those who try her products that she didn't stop with herself.  She lovingly shares her products with friends near and far.  Her little goat farm may need to be expanded if many more people hear about these products.
 I love her idea for parties and baby showers.  She makes soap cupcakes and bundt cakes!  Guests can leave with a take-home gift of a "slice" of soap cake!  How cute and unique!
    Athena, at Simply Eden, will be awarding someone a Raspberry Vanilla Goat-Milk Soap and a Raspberry Vanilla Body mousse when we participate in the upcoming In Honor Of The Ta Ta's Giveaway Event Hop on October 21 - 24! 

My Latest Timed Mile Run

I posted earlier about a really easy way to predict the kind of health you will have in your later years.  All you have to do is do a mile run and look at the time you did it in.  So, I thought I was in fairly great shape because I take my dog on runs, am not seriously overweight and can still do the splits.   But my time earlier this summer wasn't great, that's for sure.  So I vowed to do something about it.  I did, until I started back to work at the high school and since then I've been absolutely horrible about keeping up my cardio.  But thanks to Alice, my Alternative HS's Physical Education Teacher (and my well-respected friend), I decided to do a timed run again with her students.  She has started making her own students accountable for their cardiovascular health by doing several timed runs during the school year and measuring improvement!
    Thursday morning was a crisp fall morning as we made our way out to the river trail, which is adjacent to our small school.  I had made one discovery since my earlier timed run.  If I stop, it's really hard to start back up again.  So I promised myself I wouldn't stop, no matter what.  If I was doing the old-lady two-step shuffle by the time I was through, so be it, I wasn't going to stop. 
     Alice's whistle blew, and off I went, along with about 25 other students.  It was so funny.  Everyone blew by me. I just knew that I was going to be so humiliated and come in dead last.  Oh well, this wasn't to impress anyone.  I just wanted to see if I could beat my last time.  Darn, now I was regretting my negligence about working out these past 3 weeks.  I just kept telling myself, "don't stop, don't stop, whatever you do.  You've been through childbirth, nothing can top that, you're a strong woman...."  
    It wasn't long before I noticed that some of the kids were walking and that I was passing them!  I also noticed that when they saw that I was passing them, they started back up.  I guess it WOULD be the ultimate humiliation to have someone as old as their mom or even older, passing them up.  And so we kept going. I reached the halfway point, took the candy from the lady, to prove that I had indeed reached the halfway point, and started back.  I passed more winded students up, and then I saw the finish line.  I had enough in me to speed up as I crossed.  
    When it was all said and done, I increased my original time by over a minute!  I'm super excited and it did a lot for my motivation.  This morning I took my dog out for a trail run/walk and enjoyed it immensely!  Have a wonderful fall!  You can do it too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Relief For Those Living With Constant Pain

I feel really badly for those of us who have to live in constant pain.  I certainly am no stranger to pain, having survived a serious head injury about 6 years ago, where I am fortunate to be alive, let alone not brain-damaged.  I've been through childbirth in all its glory, and banged my shins countless times because of my extreme clumsiness!  But constant pain is a whole different thing.  Whether it is from an accident, a physical condition or side effects of another problem, constant pain is with you every second of the day.  My life would be severely curtailed if I had to deal with constant pain every single day.  Many people rely on drugs for a short period of time, but when the pain turns into a long-term condition, drugs would not be the way to go, for obvious reasons.  One would be making a bad situation worse because of the great possibility of addiction.
    There are several methods that can effectively help alleviate pain, one of these is using Muscle Stimulators, which give similar results as physical therapy to the affected area but without the discomfort of post exercise.  Tens Units are also very effective in helping patients control pain.  They work by strategically placing electrodes at the site of the pain. Electrical current travels through the electrodes and into the skin simulating nerve pathways to produce a tingling or massaging sensation.  This helps the brain block the perception of pain by controlling the message it receives.  It is also believed to produce endorphins similar to what drugs produce, but without the dangers of addiction!  If you want to get an extra pain-zapping effect, you can combine the two above methods with the LG-Tec Dual Combo TENS Unit And Muscle Stimulator.  Visit LGMedSupply Online to get prices of different pain units. Thousands of customers worldwide have been helped by LGMedSupply, and their specific goal of helping alleviate pain.  Additional information about them can be found at their online customer blog!



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Going To College After 30

    I got my degree from college after I turned 30. Before I went back, I wondered if the "college kids" would think I was still one of the cool kids.  I had 2 small children of my own and really didn't fit into the party scene or the "hey, let's hang out after class" group.  I had responsibilities and a family to get back to.  
    It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life!  The college kids did accept me and I enjoyed it more than when I was with my peers right out of HS or, in my case, Junior College.  I related so much better with my professors and could see their point of view to a greater extent.  
    The only drawback was the distance I had to travel.  I lived in Floyd, VA and I attended class in Radford, VA.  It was about a 40 minute drive each way and took quite a chunk out of my already busy day to make the trip there and back.  
    If I had to do it all over again, I might think very heavily upon using an online university to get my degree.  I've heard about Waldon University and when I looked into, the degree programs look well-represented and complete.  I also noticed a lot of Walden University Graduates make the news and also are named as staff for other universities once they graduate!  Walden was named by U.S. News and World Report as having the No. 1 online graduate program in education by enrollment and the No. 3 online graduate management program by enrollment, to name a few accolades!
    If I was ever to get serious about going back to school for an MA, I would definitely consider Walden University's online degree programs.  Getting an advanced degree in the comfort of my own home is an appealing option!  The more I learn about Walden, the more I am drawn to their accessibility and assistance to non-traditional students like myself!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good Digestive Health With ReNew Life Review and #Giveaway

Congratulations to #87,Jessica McGhee!  Thank you for participating everyone!

We have all heard the saying "You are what you eat" but it would be truer to say You
are what you properly digest and the nutrients that you properly absorb.  I used to have issues with my digestive system as a younger adult.  I would get horrible stomach aches and be in misery until it finally went away.  I also had bowl problems.  I couldn't go!  It was painful.  I finally realized that I needed some help with my digestive health.  It took a few years before I began taking probiotics, soothing herbs for my stomach issues and more fiber--both soluble and insoluble.  Now lest you think I took many different products to fill my needs, the answer is no.  I simply found one great product with all of the things I mentioned  built right into it.  It helped my health so much!  ReNew Life has a product called FiberSMART, which includes probiotics, herbs and a balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.  I feel safe using ReNew Life because they select only the finest ingredients, free of harsh contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, PCBs or any other ingredients that work against the body's natural cleansing and detoxification process.

If you haven't heard of ReNew Life, it's about time.  ReNew Life is The leading digestive care company in the US; ReNew Life is featured in food stores including Whole Foods, GNC, Walgreens, and CVS. 

ReNew Life Young Adult Education Initiative

Digestive health awareness should be developed early because young adults can suffer with digestive problems, like I did, especially since they are usually running crazy busy lives and eating horribly!  In association with the Young Adult Education Initiative, ReNew Life started the 'How Does Poo Move You' video contest (some very hilarious potty humour), which was very successful and has stressed a few key points in order to make young adults and everyone more aware of the importance of digestive health.  They are:

1.  Make your diet a healthy diet, rich in fiber, low in processed carbs/sugars, along with taking an all-natural probiotic supplement.
2.  When taking a dose of antibiotics, supplement it with an all-natural probiotic supplement within 2-3 hours.  Turns an upset gut into a healthy gut.
3.  Daily exercise means a healthy metabolism.  Sitting idle throughout the day will make it difficult to go #2.
4.  It should be a lifestyle goal to have 2-3 proper bowl movements a day.  

Right now I am trying the ReNew Life DietStart Cleanse System, designed to jumpstart a weight loss program and enhance metabolism, something I need to do.  I'm hoping it doesn't make me have to go to the bathroom too much, since I work full-time at a high school in a classroom full of obnoxious boys, who would totally tease me if they found out I was on a cleanse or had to go poo a lot.  But there are some great reviews for this particular product, 29 to be exact.  In general, they gave this Cleanse System great ratings.  I may wait until this weekend to start, though.  ;)  I'll let you know in a later post how it goes! 

Right now, enjoy 5% on all purchases and free shipping on orders over $50!  ReNew Life offers a 60-day money back guarantee (minus shipping and handling) on all products ordered directly from their website! 

I'm pleased that ReNew Life would like to give one of my readers a $50 Gift Certificate to their online site!  There are so many great products you could take advantage of at their site!  For a chance to win, please complete the mandatory entry and any extra entries you'd like to in order to increase your chances of winning!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Magic Elixir..Could it be Apple Cider Vinegar?

 Do you know anyone who is an apple cider vinegar (acv) enthusiast?  I used to know someone who was.  It was my dear old piano teacher.  She swore by it and raw garlic too!  She had such a different aroma to her when I sat on her piano bench for my lessons.  She finally died of cancer, but until then, she was always healthy and full of life.  From what I've been hearing, there has been a resurgence of enthusiasm for this old remedy.  Here are some things I've heard that are actually backed up with science--
Since ACV is a diluted acid, it may contribute to changes in the body's ph balance, making it easier to absorb the nutrients it takes in during meals.  Apparently ACV does a great job doing that as well as possibly activating digestive enzymes which will, in turn, break down carbohydrates to sugar.  This will slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and gives the body more time to pull sugar out of the blood.  Wow, a potential godsend for those prone to blood sugar spikes and diabetes.  Another thing I've heard but not sure it is scientifically proven is that it is a great metabolic booster and aids in weight loss.  That would be great, since it is a lot more cost effective than many weight loss secrets!  One thing to be careful about is taking ACV straight.  It is highly acidic and could erode the enamel on your teeth.  Taking it with water or juice is highly recommended.  Also make sure it is the cloudy kind - the more murky and brown, the better!  The label should read organic, unprocessed, or unfiltered.  The standard dose is 1 - 2 tablespoons mixed with water or juice.  It also may be mixed with organic honey at a 50:50 ratio
    Now here are some things that people are saying about ACV.  Take these suggestions at your own best disgression - 
  • Gets rid of toe fungus by saturating area with ACV
  • 1 Tbsp before meal for dramatically lowered blood pressure 
  • 1 Tbsp before meal for natural weight loss  
  • When mixed with honey 50/50 will cure ulcers
  • cures and prevents bladder infections
  • Use it to remove problematic moles and warts
  • Cures and prevents Shingles
  • Cures Acid Reflux
  • Kills Lice (Wash hair, clothing and bedding with it)
  • When taken with honey (50:50) cures sore and achy muscles.
  • Take it to get rid of sugar cravings
  • Increases Energy
  • Prevents Cancer 
  • Gets rid of watery eyes
  • Drink 2 oz. of vinegar to save life if you are allergic to bee stings and get stung
  • Cures the common cold.  Drink 2 tsp of ACV in glass of water at the first symptoms and do several times/day.
  • Clears up acne
  • Cures hot flashes and balances hormones
  • Strengthens hair, fingernails, collagen and cartilage
  • Takes sting from sunburn and prevents peeling
  • Take ACV diluted during flu season to prevent the flu!
Wow!  Sounds like organic apple cider vinegar should be an essential part of anyone's food and medicine cabinet!  
Disclaimer:  I have not tried all of these suggested uses and am only repeating what has been told to me and what I have read in testimonials.  Use at your own disgression!  I intend to do the same!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

I'm going to get a massage this next weekend!  I love the whole experience of being systematically relaxed by a trained expert.  I love the whole atmosphere - the candles, the relaxing music, the beautiful art, the trickle of water from a fountain, the quiet conversation or better yet, no conversation, and the cotton robe and slippers that I get to wear!  It makes me feel so comfortable.  I love a soft well-worn cotton robe to put on when I'm relaxing.

That's why I was so happy to hear about  They have amazing deals on cotton robes, towels, slippers and other things cotton!  

     The robe I got from was a 100% Cotton Waffle Diamond Spa Style Robe in white.  I love the high quality cotton and also the texture, which is very absorbant and has the potential to become very very soft after washing.  It was their one-size fits all and I loved how it gave me plenty of great room but I wasn't swimming in it either. I'm about 5"5 and of average weight...ahem.   I also let my husband try it on and it fit him well too!  He's a big guy, at 6"1 and 228 pounds.  So one size truly does fit all!  
Giveaway:  One reader will receive the same robe I reviewed and also the Hair Wrap Towel that I reviewed earlier this month!

 Here's how to enter the giveaway!  First do the Mandatory entry!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Option for Adoption

I love this poem and believe it is true~
 "I didn't give you the gift of life, but in my heart I know the love I feel is deep and if it had been real.  For us to have each other is like a dream come true.  No, I didn't give you the gift of life but life gave me the gift of you."  --Unknown
    I believe that there are many families in this country who would gladly open their hearts and homes to children domestically and from other countries.  But because the process is so difficult, children around the world have been left to fend for themselves.
    There have been several times where my husband and I have talked about adopting.  We weren't able to have children of our own, even though we both have children from our previous marriages.  We both really wanted to have children, but because Greg had a vasectomy that was 15 years old, the reversal didn't work.   I was heartbroken and wanted to adopt.  The thing that prevented us each time we talked about it was the prohibitive cost of adoption.  We had already spent $15,000 on the reversal and because I was 42, the doctor strongly discouraged us from using my eggs for artificial insemination.  So we looked into adoption.  That's when we realized how expensive the process is.  Now, we're definitely not affluent, by American standards.  But by some standards, especially 3rd world countries, we'd be considered very wealthy!  But the cost of adoption is crazy!

    One couple in Genola, UT fell in love with their sponsored orphan, a 14-year-old boy, who they were only having in their home temporarily to introduce him to people here in the States who might potentially want to adopt.  They already have 6 children but this boy fit into their family so well and it felt right. Now they are trying to adopt him, along with his younger sister who still lives in the Ukraine.  To make this adoption happen, they will have to put up $55,000, a sum which they certainly don't have just hanging around in an extra account somewhere.  What they do have is creativity, drive and motivation.  Even so, it will definitely take awhile for them to reach that goal.  
     For these two children, should they be lucky enough to be able to be adopted into this family, their life will be much better than if they were to stay in the Ukraine.  According to the family, orphans in the Ukraine have a very bleak outlook.  70% of girls living in orphanages end up in prostitution and 60% of the boys end up in forced labor situations or forced to enlist in the Russian Army.  With no one to help them with education or housing they are forced to choose between one of these lifestyles.
    In my opinion, the cost of saving these children from those lifestyles seems like it is a very brisk business and profiting some individuals very well.  It almost seems like human trafficking but to a different class of people--people who want to help these children and who would love them.  Why is it be so expensive to save these children from lives of drudgery, poverty and crime?  Not really an answer from anyone other than it takes a lot of agencies to complete an adoption and all of them require money. 
    But it is what it is.  Is there an easier way around that?  Most families who are thinking about adoption don't have sufficient and available funds to do so.  But over time, they would have the means to raise or accumulate enough funds to complete the adoption process.  
    Right now there is an idea floating around called the Perpetual Adoption Fund.  It is based on the idea of the Perpetual Education Fund, an already tried and proven system to help motivated individuals in 3rd World Countries.  Basically it is a collection of donated or otherwise accumulated monies set aside for the purpose of helping individuals or small groups accomplish a common purpose.  In the case of the Perpetual Education Fund, it is for the purpose of furthering the education of people in 3rd World Countries.  It works like a low-interest loan, with the recipients paying it back when they get their new jobs.  The repayment goes back into the pot so that other people can benefit from the fund as well.  
     With the Perpetual Adoption Fund, people would apply to be helped with the fund as they go through the adoption process and then they would pay it back when the adoption is complete.  
      I think this is a fabulous idea and I hope that the embryo of this idea will flourish and become a fully developed program someday.  
     In the meantime, the family who is attempting to adopt the two orphans from the Ukraine are trying to accomplish it the old-fashioned way!  It's a noble and worthy cause and I wish them well!  Read more about it here!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why I Endorse BSOA

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boy Scouts of America for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My son, Eddie, is a pretty talented guy.  He is 23 and he completed his degree in Urban and Rural Planning at BYU and now is in the midst of his  MPA (Master's of Public Administration) Program, also at BYU!  He did it on his own while working and while doing something else he loves--fighting MMA, his chosen sport, with a  team called Team Unbreakable.   He has done really well with that, winning most of his matches.  I attribute a lot of the discipline it takes to accomplish that kind of work to something he learned much earlier in life--when he earned his Eagle Scout Award from Boy Scouts of America.

I remember attending a meeting with him when he was just a little guy and there were several elements that were great. First, it was very patriotic with the habitual flag ceremony.  It was great to see how the boys were taught to honor their country and treat the flag reverently and respectfully.  Another great thing to see was the recognition these boys received when they earned their merit badges.  No effort goes unnoticed and it is always recognized with badges or certificates.  I think that the positive recognition for their effort helps to spur on even more elbow grease to achieve greater goals.  Last but not least, the refreshments were always there.  I love that parents are involved to help their kids achieve goals.  Eddie always had a good time whenever we went. 

There are so many reasons to Be A Scout, among them just a couple I will mention here!  For one thing, are you looking for a way to get your son out and active?  Scouting offers activities that help kids stay in shape and educate them on proper nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle.  It just comes naturally with all of the activities and outings that occur as a result of being a scout!  It also involves you, the scout's parent, and helps you teach a wholesome system of values and beliefs, while also building and strengthening relationships among family members.  But it isn't all camping and tying knots.  There is a new emphasis on STEM:  science, technology, engineering, and math.  There are 31 STEM-related merit badges, to help Scouts develop critical skills that are relevant in today's competitive world. 

I know that we value our sons and want them to do the best they can in this world and in life. I strongly recommend looking into what Boy Scouts has to offer!  AdvertisementBoy Scouts of America

Visit Sponsor's Site