Book Review- DeNiro

Robert De Niro is one of the living legends of the silver screen. I enjoy reading about people’s life and history, so I was very excited to get to review DiNiro by Shawn Levy.

Levy is a seasoned writer having penned several biographies.

Mean Streets, the Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, the Deer Hunter, and Raging Bull all have made a lasting impression on audiences as well as critics. Movies like Meet the Parents have become ingrained in our culture.

This biography is extremely through.

The author writes of DeNiro of great respect and admiration

Although it is a little slow in the introduction, the book picks up when we start to learn more about the parents that DeNiro knew, we learn about his fathers struggles with his identity, his mother’s entrepreneurial spirit,

I loved reading about his first acting classes. At the New School in 1953, where he got his first taste of the theatre as the Cowardly Lion in the wizard of oz. He would later forgo public education for acting classes which shaped the man we know.

I have to admit when I think of Robert DiNiro, of get the image of that “tough guy” who can intimidate everyone. This portrays him as guarded and deeply personal.

My favorite things were DeNiro’s quotes. I really enjoyed hearing his world view and his reminiscing’s on his life and career.

Book Review- Learning to See Creativly

Completely revised and updated throughout, Bryan Peterson’s classic guide to creativity helps photographers visualize their work, and the world, in a whole new light by developing their photographic vision.
     Fully revised with 100 percent new photography, this best-selling guide takes a radical approach to creativity by explaining how it is not just an inherent ability but a skill that can be learned and applied. Using inventive photos from his own stunning portfolio, author and veteran photographer Bryan Peterson deconstructs creativity for photographers. He details the basic techniques that go into not only taking a particular photo, but also provides insights on how to improve upon it–helping readers avoid the visual pitfalls and technical dead ends that can lead to dull, uninventive photographs. This revised edition features a complete section on color as a design element and all new photographs to illustrate Peterson’s points. Learning to See Creatively is the definitive reference for any photographer looking for a fresh perspective on their work.

There are tons and tons of how-to books out there to teach technique and how to use your creative tools like paints, brushes, and cameras.  However, this book teaches a much more important and more difficult tool to master: the creative eye.

This book is super helpful for helping to hone your creative eye and revamping your art.  Anyone who needs a challenge to vamp up and refresh your photography and build a better portfolio.




Impress nails are Perfection!!!

When I was in high school I would occasionaly treat myself to a tips manicure. Not a real tips manicure. I hate those. I hate how much they cost, I hate how theylook. I hate how long they take. I hate how much they hurt. I hate how much they hurt to peel off. I hate how thin and awful my nails look and feel after.
My manicures were from the drugstore. 5-8 bucks, a little glue and voila! Pretty nails!
The downsides? I never completely got used to them and I was always having trouble opening things and other everyday issues.
I haven’t worn them in years. So when I had a chance to review a free set from impress, I was very intrigued.


Through innovation and revolutionary technology, imPRESS Manicure initiated a new category and developed into a standalone brand. The innovative PSA, (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive), eliminated key barriers such as nail damage, ease of application, and product reliability while UltraHold™ technology introduced a safe-on-nails adhesive, ending the need for glue and acetone-soak removal. ImPRESS is perfect for women with busy schedules and younger women who can’t afford weekly salon visits. Women in every generation enjoy imPRESS Manicure because there truly is something for everyone. From the French Manicure to elaborate designs, women rely on imPRESS Manicure as an alternative to nail polish—without dry time or smudges and dings.
Simply peel backing and press on

– No drying time and no mess
– Safe on natural nails
– Mega gel shine
– UltraHold Technology keeps nails on
– $7.99 / Walgreens

These nails are hands down, without a doubt phenomenal. They are the perfect press on nails. They took about 2 minutes to apply and are comfortable and not at all cumbersome. They don’t hinder typing or texting at all. They are just perfect!

I will buy these nails without hesitation or question. I love them!

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics


I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Oh my gosh, this book is amazing.
Sometimes with books like these, it takes a chapter or two for the authors to get to the meat of the situation. Not this time. They jump right in and get started with amazingly helpful information.
I was so impressed by the authors passion, knowledge, research, and information. They include everything form legal issues and copy right to color theory.

The passion the authors have for comics and art jump off of the pages.
save yourself a ton of research and grab this book.

Living with Intent Review

(I received a sample copy in exchange for an honest review)

“I’m trying to meditate one day but urgent thoughts keep intruding. Don’t forget to take cupcakes to school! I have to prepare for my presentation for the wellness conference! Is that lunch with the other moms tomorrow or next week? My to-do list is stampeding through my mind, trampling any chance of tranquility. I feel overwhelmed, yes, but there’s more: I feel…guilty. Guilty that I’m taking on too much, guilty that I’m not doing anything well, guilty that I’m giving short shrift to my kids, my husband, my job. And what about you, Mallika? a quiet voice asks. How are you shortchanging yourself?”

Living with Intent is a chronicle of Mallika Chopra’s search to find more meaning, joy, and balance in life. She hopes that by telling her story, she can inspire others with her own successes (and failures) as well as share some of the wisdom she has gathered from friends, experts, and family along the way— people like her dad, Deepak, as well as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Weil, and Dan Siegel. She also provides a practical road map for how we can all move from thought to action to outcome. Each chapter is devoted to one step on her journey and another piece of her INTENT action plan: Incubate, Notice, Trust, Express, Nurture, and Take Action. Chopra’s insights and advice will help us all come closer to fully living the lives we truly intend.

I think everyone can relate to the above experience. We want to be everything to everyone and then somehow we end up exhausted of out own wholeness, inner peace and true joy.
Mallika Chopra was having trouble balancing her life when she came up with the idea of Intent.
I greatly enjoyed this book. It is jam packed full of helpful information and relatable anecdotes.
Chopra offers very useful tips and easy ways to remember to look at the bigger picture of life and be the best person you can be in your life.

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review)

Book Review- Sorry, I’m Not Sorry


(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review)

When I ordered this, I thought it was like a self help style book. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is instead a juvenile fiction novel.

I enjoyed this book so much, I read half of it in one sitting. This is a book series I would be happy to recommend to my students.

The story is told from the point of view of a girl who got suspended from school for bullying. She has a character arc that is emotionally engaging. I really, really was so annoyed with her, thinking about what an awful brat she was, and then you start to learn more about her and understand why she lashes out so much. I can’t wait to finish it.

I had a little bit of a hard time keeping track of the characters a little just because I am being brought in more at the end of the story (this is the third book in a 3 book series.)

I still enjoyed it and it stands well on it’s own!


Book Review- On Shifting Sands

22798875I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review)

Long before anyone would christen it “The Dust Bowl,” Nola Merrill senses the destruction. She’s been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died, leaving her to be raised by a father who withholds his affection the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain. A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher, didn’t bring the escape she desired. Now, twelve years later with two children to raise, new seeds of dissatisfaction take root.

When Jim, a mysterious drifter and long-lost friend from her husband’s past, takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions until a single, reckless encounter brings her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage. For months Nola withers in the wake of the sin she so desperately tries to bury. Guilt and shame consume her physically and spiritually, until an opportunity arises that will bring the family far from the drought and dust of Oklahoma. Or so she thinks. As the storms follow, she is consumed with the burden of her sin and confesses all, hoping to find Russ’s love strong enough to stand the test.

This is historic fiction with a very modern feel. If you enjoy lifetime movies you will greatly enjoy this book. It is an easy read and very human. I personally had a little trouble connecting with the character. It isn’t bad by any means, just not my cup of tea. I know many women who would adore this book and not be able to put it down. It just didn’t hold my interest. This would make for a nice summer read.


Book Review- Princess Grace


Sticker books girls will love! The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 reusable stickers—perfect for girls 4-8.

The Princess Parables come to life through age-appropriate puzzles, activity pages, and 50 colorful and reusable stickers in the friendly and fun Princess Grace’s Sticker and Activity Book featuring Grace, her four princess sisters, and their friends.

Join Grace and her sisters in some creative and interactive fun with 16 pages of stickers and activities that are sure to please, featuring her father the king and her special animal friend Poppy the kitten.

This book is just so sweet and beautifully illustrated! I was thrilled to give this to my niece, she absolutely loves it! It is for girls 4-8 and is full of activities and comes with tons of fun stickers! I definitely recommend this without hesitation.

Sleep Aid Review


(I received a free bottle in exchange for a review)

This is a very gentle yet effective product dericed from many years of formal western medical training as well as centuries of Chinese medicine. This was a great product that has helped improve my sleep! I will be buying this again!

East meets west in this fabulous sleep aid!

Natural sleep supplement calms your mind, so you can wake up refreshed…but not drowsy.

Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs and essential minerals in Restful Sleep™ help to:

– Calm and quiet a restless mind and body
– Promote a full night’s restful sleep
– Nourish chi to bring harmony and balance into the body
– Promote calm throughout the day
– Restore vitality to the spleen and heart organ systems

Can’t fall asleep? Wake up several times during the night? Trouble feeling rested even after a full night’s sleep? Oftentimes an overactive mind is what keeps us from getting a full—and good—night’s sleep. But did you know your spleen is KEY to healthy sleep? That’s why Dr. Yan Ping Xu, certified practitioner of Oriental medicine and board certified herbalist, developed safe, non-addictive, Restful Sleep natural sleep supplement to help restore balance to your spleen’s—and whole body—chi (energy) so you can have a full night of restorative sleep and wake up refreshed, never drowsy.

Great sleep starts in the spleen…

Restful Sleep natural sleep supplement is based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine belief that sleep issues start with the spleen. That’s right—not the brain. Because in traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s believed that when you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s your spleen’s chi that is off balance. In fact, in Chinese medicine, the spleen is a VERY important organ that every other organ in your body relies on. Here are just a few ways the spleen is central to your body—metabolism, digestion, even circulation—all of which can have an impact on your sleep.

The bottom line is, when your spleen chi is out of balance, you can experience worry, fatigue, anxiety, and restlessness—all of which can contribute to a poor night’s sleep! The good news is you CAN get your spleen’s—and your whole body’s—chi back in balance, and Restful Sleep can help.

Ancient Chinese herbs restore and rebalance chi for a good night’s sleep

The ancient herbal blend that the Chinese have been relying on for thousands of years to remedy sleep problems by rebalancing chi is called Yi-Fang. Restful Sleep’s formula uses the same exact Chinese herbs in Yi-Fang that have been used for over 2,000 years! And to make sure the herbs are pure and top quality, Dr. Xu personally selects each herb on her yearly trips to China, then makes sure each herb is processed, purified, and sterilized to remove any toxins—all done right here in the U.S.A.

Essential minerals absorb overnight, for overall health

But, not only has Dr. Xu included ancient herbs to rebalance your spleen chi, she’s also included modern-day nutrients to help prepare your body to accept the herbs. This includes calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

These nutrients help the herbs absorb into your body more efficiently so they can get to work even faster. And the best part is—unlike other traditional Chinese herbal remedies where you have to make some kind of herbal concoction or mix with tea (and the smell and taste can be awful)—she’s put all these potent herbs and Western nutrients into one daily dose of easy-to-take capsules!

Getting the most out of Restful Sleep

Restful Sleep provides a gentle, restorative sleep. It doesn’t knock you out like other sleep remedies. Dr. Xu knows that most people can’t sleep because they can’t stop thinking, so she created Restful Sleep to work like an “off switch” to a hyperactive mind. If you’ve have not been sleeping well for years, it may take a short while to achieve great sleep so you use it consistently for best results. Dr. Xu tells her patients to “keep taking Restful Sleep and in a couple of weeks you’ll see that you are sleeping longer and better than you have in years.”

A full night’s sleep, without the drowsiness

Restful Sleep natural sleep supplement provides the exact herbs your body needs to bring the spleen, heart, and entire body into harmony so you can switch off your mind and turn on a great night’s sleep—without waking up drowsy!

Plus, for even more calming of the spirit and help to balance your mood—both key for achieving a good night’s rest—try Dr. Xu’s Serenia alongside Restful Sleep. Taken together, these two botanical blends provide optimal support for a balanced mood, relaxed mind and body, and a great night’s sleep!

About Dr. Yan Ping Xu

As the popularity of and demand for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and herbal remedies continue to grow throughout the country, Dr. Yan Ping Xu brings to Healthy Directions a passion for healing based on years of experience studying TCM with deep roots that reach as far back as the Ming Dynasty.

Shanghai born and American educated, Dr. Xu is a highly respected and internationally recognized clinician. She is a Licensed Acupuncturist, certified practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and board-certified herbalist. At her state-of-the-art clinic in Boca Raton, Florida, Dr. Xu regularly treats world-famous sports figures, celebrities, politicians, and their families, as well as other doctors and health care professionals.

Dr. Xu grew up studying the classical botanical formulas of the Ancient Chinese Dynasties, which are treasured for their healthful, preventative, and anti-aging benefits. During her course of clinical practice, Dr. Xu observed that almost every person she treated was overscheduled and stressed, with their energy reserves and adrenal systems depleted and their immune systems overtaxed.

Working with some of America’s top chemists and scientists, Dr. Xu began to create her own vitamin formulas for patients, which included some of the most successful ancient traditional Chinese remedies found in every medicine cabinet in China, but modernized to meet the needs of today’s American lifestyle.

In China, Dr. Xu studied under Dr. He Jin Shen—the first Traditional Chinese Medicine PhD in China—to use TCM in the treatment of thyroid disorders. She also studied at the Yue Yang Hospital’s stroke and cancer units for integrative herbal medicine to enhance and support patient treatment. Dr. Xu has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and earned the Golden Touch Award from the Florida College of Natural Health in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Every year Dr. Xu returns to China for advanced training in various traditional Chinese medicine specialties and subspecialties from some of China’s most respected doctors, and in some of its greatest hospitals. On every trip she also examines the fields and farming techniques where many of the botanicals and herbs used in her formulas are grown.

Get yours here:

Get 20% off with code SAVEREST

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Book Review- Spinster


I love to read about female empowerment and I am a feminist. So I was excited to receive this book for free in exchange for a review.

The title of this book Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own. From the title, I was expecting a little more empowerment scattered throughout, but I didn’t really feel that come across. I expected more of taking the term spinster and making it a powerful title.

This book kindof reads like an informal essay or a very formal diary. The paragraphs don’t flow very evenly into one another, rather the author has a new thought she expresses with every few sentences. It certainly isn’t bad, it just isn’t my cup of tea. I had a hard time relating to her stories and her journey.  I think this book is best for women aged 40+, it would also make a nice piece for those who want to read a page or two before bed.