Book Review: Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace

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I am an animal person to say the least and I knew I would like  Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace as much as I like books like Cat’s Incredible!, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, and It’s Okay to Miss the Bed on the First Jump.  I am happy to write a review in exchange for a sample copy.

This is a sweet book about the story of the author’s dog, of which any dog owner and animal lover can relate to and enjoy. It is the perfect book for light and relaxing reading. I enjoyed the stories about Hannah and her family. I would recommend this book, and it would make a great and simple gift for the dog lover in your life..

You’ll be enthralled by this story of a man and his lovable Labrador retriever, Hannah, and what their canine friendship can show us about life, grace, and long walks in the park.

Hannah was Dave’s best friend. He couldn’t imagine starting a day without her tail wagging an energetic greeting, her body wiggling with sheer gratitude when her food dish was filled, and her unbridled enthusiasm for tennis balls. (How she fit three tennis balls in her mouth at once he’ll never know.)

So when Dave first learned of Hannah’s cancer diagnosis, he decided to take whatever time he had left with Hannah to cherish the moments and capture his thoughts in a journal. As he wrote about his canine friend, he soon realized that Hannah was an able (and furry) mentor of faith, grace, kindness, and forgiveness. The lessons were invaluable: from being present to trusting the master. When Hannah lived well past the expected time frame, Dave started to see that the insights he was gaining were more than just journal entries about a family pet. Through Hannah’s antics, God was preparing Dave for life itself.

You won’t want to miss this heartwarming tale of a dog who knew how to live . . . and showed her owner how.

Book Review: Words to Dream On

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When I was a kid, I read bible stories re-written for younger readers all the time. I remember those stories to this day. I have looked for ways to introduce Bible stories to future generations, I think Words to Dream On by Diane Stortz steps up to the plate. I like the writing style and how the author integrates verses and blessings into the book. I am very happy to write an honest review in exchange for a sample copy of this book.

I adored the illustrations and the interactive quality of the book. I think this would be a great way to introduce kids to the Bible and to create a very nice bedtime bonding ritual with parents.

Start a bedtime Bible story tradition with your little ones tonight!

Young children thrive on routine and rituals, and a Bible story at bedtime is one of the best routines to establish! A combination Bible storybook and book of prayers, Words to Dream On is the perfect bedtime storybook for young children, with a “once upon a time” voice that is also true to God’s Word. Over 50 stories—from the Old and New Testaments—create an overview of the entire story arc of the Bible. Stories are selected and retold for young children with a focus on God’s love, care, protection, trustworthiness, and power.

Each story includes an engaging title, a Bedtime Blessing (a short summary thought), Words to Dream On (a brief Bible verse), and a Sleepy-Time Prayer (a good-night prayer tied to the theme of the story). The book also includes a short letter to parents that includes tested ideas for establishing a good bedtime routine with young children and tips for reading aloud to children at bedtime.

Smooth Viking Review

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Soften Your Beard: Protect yourself against beard dandruff and keep your beard hair neat, smooth, soft and tangle free with our Beard Oil. And if you’re tired of having an itchy beard, our Beard Oil also helps to nourish the skin to aid in stopping the itching commonly associated with beard growth.

 Style Your Beard: Our Beard Balm provides superior hold and shaping that can tame even the most beastly beards. Our special formula of Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Beeswax, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, and Castor Oil, will help hold in moisture and make hair follicles appear thicker for an improved appearance and texture.
 Soften Your Beard: Let’s face it, no one enjoys dry brittle beard. Soften those parched strands with our all-new Beard Conditioner, which helps repair dry beard hair by nourishing it with hydrating ingredients – such as Shea Butter, Mango Butter, and Argan Oil – to keep it growing healthy, strong, and super soft.

Being a girl, I never think about care needed for a beard. However, since I know how much care regular hair needs, I suppose I should have thought about it at one point.

I received a free sample from Smooth Viking in exchange for an honest review.

Being a girl, I don’t have a beard to sample, so I gave the balm, conditioner and oil to a friend of mine who has been sporting a beard the last few months and happened to have a birthday in March.

I was impressed by the list of natural ingredients including vitamin e and argan oil which is fabulous.  My friend really liked how soft and nourished his facial hair was.

I really am impressed by Smooth Viking, and I recommend them!

Pick up your own here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aag/main?ie=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfilled=1&isCBA=&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&orderID=&seller=A2YJ7T63R9H58F

Senna

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Instanatural Essential Oils

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I, like many others, enjoy the various benefits of essential oils. So I was thrilled to work with Instanatural on this review of two of their essential oils. I was supplied with lemon and peppermint essential oils in exchange for review.

InstaNatural’s Peppermint Essential Oil is a multi-purpose oil that cools, energizes and refreshes the body and mind. This steam-distilled oil is extracted from dried or fresh leaves from the Mentha Piperita herb, giving it a sharp, menthol fragrance. Its pleasantly sweet and minty aroma makes it a premium choice for aromatherapy to improve the mind and lift the spirits.

 Our Lemon Essential Oil is extracted from the rinds of lemon, which lends its fresh citrus fragrance. This cold-pressed oil has a strong bright scent that is both refreshing and uplifting. Its astringent and purifying properties also make it a great aid to help cleanse and tone the skin, while delivering a boost of Vitamin C antioxidant benefits.

Both of these essential oils are very potent. The bottles are huge for essential oils. Oils are one thing that gets very expensive fast. I’ve seen very small bottles for 50 or 80 dollars. Lemon and peppermint are both very versatile oils and can be used in many different recipes and for many different uses.

I am so impressed with these oils, I would highly recommend them.

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Book Review Postage Stamp Garden

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This classic gardening bestseller (over 500,000 copies sold) uses ecologically friendly, intensive biodynamic methods to produce large amounts of vegetables in very tiny spaces. Revised for an all new generation of gardeners, the 40th anniversary edition includes brand new information on the variety of heirloom vegetables available today and how to grow them the postage stamp way.

     To accommodate today’s lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That’s exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables–for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.

When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, and intercropping, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water, and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.

I have been pretty thrilled with this book. It is like the more old-fashioned “how-to” kind of guides that I just never seem to see anymore.  It is well-written, easy to follow, easy to use, and straightforward. It is full of diagrams and easy to use instructions. It is a practical guide.  This is a book that I can use over and over again for years to come.

Book Review The Search for the Shadow Key

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I love sci-fi and fantasy literature, so I was really intrigued by Search for the Shadow Key, I am excited to be reviewing it in exchange for a free copy.

I enjoy books like Percy Jackson and Harry Potter and I enjoyed Search for the Shadow Key. I know some parents are very concerned about content of what their kids read and watch, and I feel like this is a great book to recommend for those who like fantasy and the fight between good and Evil.  The book is well-written with an original and interesting premise.

Book #2 in a trilogy from fantasy author Wayne Thomas Batson explores the concept of dreams and their effects on us.

Fourteen-year-old Archer Keaton discovers he has the ability to enter and explore his dreams. He is a dreamtreader, one of three selected from each generation. Their mission: to protect the waking world from the evil lurking in the Dream.

The Nightmare Lord has been thrown down, but his throne is no longer empty. Rigby Thames has taken up the evil mantle with Kara Windchil as his queen. Now the only living dreamtreader, Archer Keaton finds himself on the outside of two worlds looking in. Dream Walking Inc. is taking the world by storm, allowing Rigby to build an unstoppable empire. Worse still, Rigby has unleashed the Tendrils, shadow people who can cross over into the waking world. As Archer’s family and friends begin to disappear, unexpected help comes in the form of the Wind Maiden, a mysterious angelic being who seems to know how Archer can rescue his loved ones and defeat the new Nightmare King. But the cost may prove too dear for Archer to pay.

Steeped in epic fantasy and intrigue, this second book in the Dreamtreaders series teaches kids important Christian values such as being a light in the darkness, resisting temptation, and keeping your faith, even when you feel like you’re standing alone.

Youth Express Eye Serum

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I am thrilled to be working with instanatural on this sponsored post.

InstaNatural’s Youth Express Eye Gel provides absolute care to the eye area. It is enriched with Plant Stem Cells, Hyaluronic Acid, Matrixyl 3000, Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil to help with dark circles, puffiness and sagging skin. This blend of powerful ingredients increases elasticity and enhances the tone of your skin to provide a firm, plump appearance.

Key Ingredients:
Plant Stem Cells: Helps mitigate premature signs of aging
Matrixyl 3000: Tightens and firms the skin
Hyaluronic Acid: Moisturizes your skin deeply
Other ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Aloe, Vitamin E, Amino Acid Complex Cucumber Hydrosol and more

I really like this serum so far. I like the fresh, light, crisp, cucumber scent. The serum is clear and goes on easily without residue.

It feels refreshing and I can feel the product working to slightly firm my skin. I have some forehead wrinkles that I hope this product will help

It has ingreadiants that I look for in a product like aloe, vitamin E, and jojoba oil.

I would recommend this product!

You can order it on Amazon or at http://instanatural.com/collections/skin-care/products/youth-express-eye-gel

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Dead Sea Mud MAsk

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The first time I ever tried a mask was in high school. I was in a personal culture class. It was a rather archaic class where we learned outdated rules about skin care and fashion. Anyways, I had to try a clay mask, and I didn’t really care for it. Too bad I didn’t have this Dead Sea Mud Mask back then.

InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask is an all-natural detoxifier and purifier that comes from the renowned and sacred Dead Sea. More than a million visitors each year flock to this extraordinary body of water in the Mediterranean, which contains many minerals beneficial to the skin, such as magnesium, sodium, bromine, potassium and calcium.

Once applied, this mud mask treatment starts working to absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. It is great to expunge acne, pimples and blackheads. It also helps to restore an even skin tone for a smoother complexion. When used as a body treatment, the mud mask can soothe and relieve muscles aches and pains.

Whether used on the face or the body, our Dead Sea Mud Mask is a superb in-home spa treatment that will reveal more vibrant, refined, healthier skin.

I have tried several of Instanatural’s products, and although they all come through, with glowing colors. However, this mud mask may well  be my very favorite. I have used many different clay type masks and this is far and away the best one I’ve used. I am really thrilled with this. 

My skin feels very clean after use and I don’t leave it on for the full length, I think if I did, it would peel my rather sensitive skin.

I also have to mention that I was really excited and impressed by the generous amount of product there is in this container. The tub is huge and pretty darn near full to the brim, since I only need a little at a time, I will be able to use it a long time.

This is the only mud mask I want to use. You can order it at Amazon or here:
http://instanatural.com/collections/body-hair/products/dead-sea-mud-mask

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Book Review Bread Revolution

I have read and reviewed many a cookbook in my day. I have been wanting to try more bread and cake recipes to expand my baking repertory. So I was excited to be able to review this book in exchange for a copy.

I was a little taken aback by this book by the start. I read the long introduction about the author’s mission in writing this book. The author talked about the Gluten free movement. I have a close friend with celiac disease who has been in the emergency room several times due to anaphylaxis. So when talk of the gluten movement comes up, I tend to get a little defensive. Not really the best first impression.

I then started reading the recipes and honestly, I got really overwhelmed fast. This book is definitely for a more advanced baker looking for a challenge. This is not a book for someone like me, who just wants ideas for stuff I can throw together quickly and make in a crockpot.

The author focused on sprouted oats and sourdough starters. Not the kind of things I am into baking. I can recommend this book to advanced bakers.

Senna

101 Secrets for Your Twenties

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I am a younger type person and I like reading self help books, who doesn’t need to improve themselves a little? So I was interested in “101 Secrets For Your Twenties” by Paul Angone

I wasn’t sure if I would get anything out of  this book, but I really enjoyed it. It is fresh, modern, humorous, and real. The book is fun and easy to read. I used to read a great deal of Dave Barry, and this book reminded me a lot of his humor.

I felt like there was actually good advice in it, that the reader, if they were being honest with themselves, can relate to and maybe even apply to their own lives.  Things like, don’t check “Facebook When You’re Depressed” and “Your Parents are Your Always Ally” may sound obvious or cliché but I found this book fun and helpful.

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