Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beautify your home with Accent Studios Review and Giveaway Ends 4/30!!

Accent Studios

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No matter how hard I try, I am not artistic.  I can't draw a straight line, I struggle to decorate things, even a stick figure is hard for me to do.  So when it comes to my home, it is not Better Homes and Garden worthy.  It's clean, things match to an extent, and that is about it.  I am ALWAYS looking for easy, non-permanent ways to beautify my home.  The easy is understandable based on the rest of the post, but the non-permanent part is because we don't own our current place, and I want to be able to take my beauty with me when we buy a home.

Accent Studios is the perfect solution for me.  Accent Studios was started by Steven Bennett's vision to make the world of Wall Decals better.  He brought on his friend Garrett Cluff to help him with the business which is in California, and together they have grown a company that is an International favorite among Wall Decal Companies.  

They carry a large variety of Vinyl Wall Decals from trees, monograms, headboards, to wall quotes and everything in between.  After much time spent drooling over browsing the wonderful designs, I settled on a Wall Quote to go above my chair in my living room.  You see, I live in a two story vintage log house, so I only have a few painted walls in my home.  The rest are log walls and wood, so it can be dark in here.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this house, picked it out myself, and would live here forever if I could, but I still want to brighten it up some.

In theory, the Wall Decal should be easy to apply, and for my husband who came in and saved the day, it was.  However, for me (remember I'm the one that can't draw a straight line) it was a challenge.   It seems that the gorgeous Wall quote that I chose with all the calligraphy squiggly words takes a detailed hand and patient person to install. 

No problem, I sort of pay attention to detail, and I have four kids, patience is my thing.  However, straight lines still are not!  Here is a picture of MY version of Accent Studios Wall Quotes that only took me a little over an hour to accomplish.

My husband came back from going to the recycle center and spent five minutes on the wall "eyeballing" the letters as he applied them, and this is his result.

The moral of the story is these are easy for everyone but me to apply.  I am positive you won't have any problems because my husband didn't use one single tool and it took him less than five minutes.  The result is something just beautiful!  My otherwise beautiful, but dark wall has been transformed into a piece of art ala Accent Studio Style.  I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.  I will say though that when I purchase again, if my husband isn't available to put them up, then I will wait.   However, they have many styles I am contemplating and can't wait to see on my walls.

You can find this Wall Decal and many others on the Accent Studio Website, and you can also find them on Facebook and Google +.  

The awesome news is that Accent Studios has offered TWO gift certificates for my readers:  one for $25  and one for $10 to be used towards the purchase of anything you like on their website.  All you have to do to enter is jump on the Rafflecopter and complete one of more options.  Remember:  the more options you complete, the greater your chances of winning!  Happy Entering!

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Accent Studio  for the product  I received to try
.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase!  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

BonvOILage! My latest journey with Co-op One-Oh-Eight

Co-op One-Oh-Eight

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Who wants to go on vacation with me?  How about a cruise to France, India, or even Morocco?  I know right now when the sun is shining outside, and the flowers are peeking through the ground, I have spring fever badly! I just want to be lying on the beach somewhere with a cool drink with a little umbrella in it, a pair of sunglasses, a great magazine, and no worries in the world.  Come on, you know it sounds tempting.  You know you want to.

I have recently been on such a journey, but in the comfort of my own home.  Kind of my own little "staycation" courtesy of Co-op One-Oh-Eight.  They are a skincare company, and before you say "like we need yet another skincare company" read on!  This company is like no other.  They use the highest quality ingredients, local and organic when possible, and it is employee owned to set an example of ethical practices!

Co-op One-Oh-Eight offers three different categories of products:  for the lips and face, for mama and baby, and for the body.  This includes everything from lip balms, face serums, body and tatoo salve, oils for mama and baby as well as body oils and hand solve.

I was blessed to receive a package with contained France, Isle of Man, and Hand Solve.  The France and Isle of Man are from the BonvOILage line of oils that Co-op One-Oh-Eight offers which have blends of fragrances to remind you of different areas of the world.

The France oil is a nice floral scent that has a woodsy note to it.  It contains lavender, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, lavender, geranium, and benzoin.  My two-year old, Mika, is rotten to the core a little spoiled, and has to have his feet rubbed down with oil every night in order to go to sleep.  I honestly think it is the calming scent of lavender that is miraculously in every oil I purchase, but regardless, it works like a charm and within five minutes he is out cold.  Hey, don't judge me, any harried mother of four whose husband works 12 hour days, but on night shift will tell you that if it works, do it! And it works.

Mika LOVES this oil.  He loves it so much that the other day I followed the "scent" to him during naptime.  He was being so quiet I foolishly assumed he was asleep.  However, I knew when I smelled my new fabulous oil that I was sadly mistaken.  I found him hiding under his train table with the Bottle of France rubbing his little piggy toes.  It was so sweet, I couldn't fuss at him. I just rubbed his feet for him until he went to sleep, and now the coveted bottle of France is safely hidden until bed time!  I too love this oil!  It has a calming scent and it is just lovely to use in the evenings at bed time because it is so relaxing.  Also, my poor feet love how soft this oil makes them feel.

I also like the Isle of Man which has a much bolder scent to it, and is actually for your man!!!    Now my man isn't interested in oil on a daily basis.  However, there are those days after working 12 hours straight, especially on a Monday when he worked 36 hours over the weekend, that his poor feet are just aching,  The good wife that I am will rub them for him, and this oil is perfect for this.  Yet, it's perfect for more than feet, and works for whatever your man needs it for.  It will soften work roughened hands, soothe sore muscles (along with rubbing the muscle of coarse), and it has a nice "rugged" scent.   The best part is that it is all natural, packed in  an eco-friendly bottle, and was tested on friends, not pets, so it is cruelty free!

The last product I received was the Hand Solve which as it is named is created to solve hand problems such as dry, cracked, painful hands.  When you consider the fact that Co-op One-Oh-Eight is based in Massachusetts and how cold it gets there during the winter months, the need for such a product immediately makes sense.  Here in the South it is rarely that cold.  However, many of you know already that I live in the country with acres of land, a big garden, and my cherished free-range chickens.  There isn't work outdoors that I am afraid to tackle, and when my husband is outside building something or working hard, I am right beside him.  This product is a "God-send."  When my hands are so dry they are hurting, all I have to do is rub some of this on them.  

It isn't a cream at all, nor is it a thick salve.  It reminds me of those little pots of lip balm that we used growing up where you rub the product on your finger, then on your lips.  This is solid like that. It is made with Calendula, jojoba oil, caster oil, candula-infused olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, lanolin, and a handful of other natural ingredients, all geared towards soft, supple hands!

Their products are quite competitive, and in some cases, quite reasonable in my opinion.  A 4 oz bottle of oil (which is pretty big in the world of oils) goes for $18.99, and the Hand Solve goes for $7.99.  They may be priced like the products you would buy at your average market, but they are so much more!  The fact they are all natural products, mostly organic, and how wonderful they smell and work make them worth ordering online.  Since I am a Stay-at-home-mom and we are living on one income, I consider oils to be a commodity in our home.  I am selective when I purchase them, cherish them, and make them last as long as possible.  This mother on a budget will be buying from Co-op One-Oh-Eight in the future!

You can read more about them on their website, buy the products if you want while you are there, and check out what all is going on at Co-op One-Oh-Eight on Facebook as well!  

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Co-op One-Oh-Eight  for the products  I received to try.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase!  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hank Player Review

Hank Player

A favorite t shirt is hard to come by, and often once we find one, we wear it for years until it is just too threadbare to wear anymore.  What if you could find a store that sold so many awesome t shirts that every one was like your favorite t shirt?  Hank Player Campus Store does exactly that: they sell awesome t shirts with hip novelty graphics, but in great retro colors!

Hank Player t shirts are high quality to be long lasting, and they come printed and  vintage washed to give them that super comfy, been wearing it a long time feel!  Honestly, these are the kind of shirts that help someone define themselves, and are so soft and comfy they are the shirts you will want to wear all the time.  Hank Player caters to boys of all ages from infant and toddler to adult men so that all the males in your life can enjoy them!

I received a package with the Retro sneakers shirt in it for my toddler Mika, and I couldn't even get the tags off of it before he had it on his body!  "Mama, that's MY shirt!" was all he could say as he jumped around clapping his hands.  Normally I wash new clothes before I have the kids wear them because they are usually rough feeling before they have been washed with fabric softener or vinegar.  This wasn't the case with the Hank Player t shirt.  It was as soft and comfy feeling as their website touts, and I had no qualms putting it right on Mika.  

Hank Player Campus Store has so many cute designs:  3 monkeys (think see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil), retro shoes in a different design, peace signs,  cute animal knitted hats, and so much more!  They even carry cute little girl designs as well.  I have my eye on several t shirts I intend to get my kids here in about a month, and there isn't a design they offer that I don't like.  

Check them out for yourself and see what great styles they offer.  You can purchase merchandise right on the website as well as connect with them on Facebook , Twitter, and You Tube to stay abreast of what's going on at Hank Player.

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Hank Player  for the product  I received to try.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase!  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reviva Labs-All natural Microdermabrasion

Reviva Labs

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Today I want to share with you a company, Reviva Labs that was founded in 1973 before the term Exfoliation was even heard of in the US.  They introduced the first European non-chemical Exfoliant to health food stores, and the formula is exactly the same without being replicated to this very day.  Reviva Labs was also the first to introduce Elastin to America, and they have always been cruelty free!  Even back in 1973, they were testing in skin care salons instead of on Animals!

Reviva Labs is also unique in that every single product was formulated to target specific needs.  They sale a variety of products from Firming Fluids, Alpha Lipolic Acids, Makeup Primers, Skin Cell Boosters, and many other products as well.  I received the Microdermabrasion Pomegranate Scrub to try.

It is made with Pomegranate, soothing oils and Magnesium Oxide, and it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, or even rough skin!  It has no scent to it at all, no added colors, and it was different than any "exfoliator"  I have used.  Rather than feeling like it had salt or sugar in it, it felt more the consistency of baking soda on my face.

Here is my picture before I put any of the Microdermabrasion on it.

The cream itself is nice and thick, very gritty feeling, and only takes 3 minutes from start to finish!

 I did have to rinse several times to get rid of all the grit on my face since it was a finer consistency, but it did a really good job sloughing off my skin and making it look so much smoother!

I love how well this product works for the price it costs!  I also like that it is fragrance free so that there is no threat of breakouts.  I have always had super sensitive skin, and the older I get the redder my nose and cheeks get.  I love that I don't have to worry about this irritating my skin at all.

Check them out for yourself on the Reviva Labs Website, and see for yourself all the great products targeted to specific skin needs.  You can also stay socially connected with them on Facebook and Twitter to stay abreast of all the great new things happening in the Reviva Labs world!

Disclaimer:  Many thanks to Reviva Labs  for the product  I received to try.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.  Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase!  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil-Just plain healthy eating!

Tropical Traditions

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We began a healthy food journey in our home over a year ago, and it seems that journey is never complete.  It seems that as soon as I think I have arrived, I learn something new, better, or healthier.  I have exclusively used olive oil in place of cooking oil for the last year, but I have been hearing about healthy alternatives to olive oil lately which is where Tropical Traditions comes in because they sell Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!
Tropical Traditions Home 
Coconut Oil is a buzz word I have heard a lot about lately, but really the question "What is Virgin Coconut Oil" still remained unanswered for me.  Well, today I am going to share with you a bit about it!  The problem traditionally has been that there is no industry standard for "Virgin" in coconut oil so it could be refined almost anyway the company saw fit, including using chemicals.  Tropical Traditions  is the first company who set the standard for Virgin Coconut Oil ,and they use only fresh coconut meat.  The first process they use (for the Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil) is where they take fresh coconut meat, quick dry it, and then the oil is squeezed out.  There ARE NO CHEMICALS USED IN THE PROCESS which is a really important aspect.  See the video below which shows the process and more on Virgin Coconut Oil!

For the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, they still use fresh coconut meat but they squeeze the oil out of it while it is wet, then they extract the water from the oil by boiling.  Studies have shown the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil has a high level of antioxidants which as we all know are great for the body.  I am not a doctor, so rather than making health claims today, I will leave you to your own research as far as that goes.

I will, however, share with you a few of the Hundreds of Uses for Coconut Oil!  You can use Virgin Coconut Oil in pie crusts, making homemade mayonnaise, making ketchup, basically  in all your baking and frying uses, and you can even add it to your smoothies for added energy!  You can watch the video below to see additional uses for virgin coconut oil as well.  

I was blessed to receive a quart of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Olive Oil in the mail, and I immediately started replacing my olive oil with the Virgin Coconut Oil. I was a bit worried because my husband really dislikes the taste of coconut, but of course I simply started adding it to everything and didn't tell him.  He didn't complain at all, so I told him about the switch and he really likes the oil.  I think the part I like the most is that it is a solid and used in recipes that typically call for butter or shortening like biscuits or pie crusts.  However, it can be melted and used in any recipe that calls for oil!

My husband Matt has a love for fried eggs, and since we have free-range organic chickens, eggs are plenteous here.  I usually don't fry them, but shhh-don't tell him.  What I do is spray the pan with olive oil spray, and then when the white part has solidified, I add in a few tablespoons of water, put a lid on and steam the yolks until his "fried" egg is over medium like he loves them.  Well, he jokingly asked me the other day if I was frying his eggs in the Virgin Coconut Oil, and the light bulb in my brain went off!

Here is the picture proof that you can EVEN fry an egg in coconut oil!  I promise you won't know the difference because my super picky husband didn't notice! (I must brag, look at how gorgeous my organic free-range eggs are!!)

 Stay tuned next week for my recipe for Virgin Coconut Oil Saw Mill Gravy.

Check Tropical Traditions out for yourself on their website.  They offer so many eco-friendly and healthy products from bath and body products, to bleach alternatives and laundry soap, to the food products such as coconut oil and coconut peanut butter!

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.