Belitae Fresh-C Vitamin C Serum

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


If you read any women's magazines or watch any health related television, then you've surely seen an emphasis on Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for improving aging skin. Belitae Fresh-C vitamin C serum is a good choice for a Vitamin C Serum. 

The one major drawback of Vitamin C serums is the fact that Vitamin C degrades in light, and quickly!

The FRESH-C Vitamin C Serum is formulated with the proven highly active form of Vit C called "STAY C-50". This Vitamin C is converted to Ascorbic Acid by your cells providing the added benefit of remaining fresh in the bottle until absorbed by your skin.

Vitamin C can help stimulate collagen production, reduce spots and age marks, and brighten your skin.

I used it for 2 weeks before writing this review and found it to be very helpful. It does feel sticky, which is not what I'm used to in a facial product, but it goes on smooth enough and completely absorbs into your skin, not leaving any stickiness on my face.

The biggest benefits I have seen are an increased thickness to my skin, a slight reduction in wrinkles, a huge improvement in hydration (no more dry patches!) and a significant decrease in my freckles/age spots.

I am a huge fan and I would buy it again.

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

HangerJack Review


Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

My children cringe whenever we walk past the organization section of any retail store because I always have to stop and look. I am obsessed with storage bins, organizing, etc. Yet, I'm one of the most disorganized people....

Either way, I still love it. And when I saw this picture of the HangerJack being used in a garage, I knew I had to try it:


I detest clutter, and the idea of getting everything off the ground and up onto the walls is exciting to me. We have a few hooks that do the job well enough, but the HangerJack can do a few things that the hooks can't do.

The first thing it does is look decent. Hooks work but are a little aesthetically lacking.

This is what the HangerJack looks like:

The second thing that makes it different is it's ability to fold down (and out of the way!!)

You can use it to hang up bikes, shovels, leaf blowers, hoses, extension cords, small ladders, skis, camping supplies....or you could use it to hang clothes on hangers:


What did I think of it? 

I thought it was pretty awesome. It looked nice, was easy to assemble and is extremely useful. I wish it could hold more than 50 lbs, but realistically, I don't know that I have anything over 50 lbs that needs hanging.

I would definitely buy it again.


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

Vertical Tactical Grip Review

Friday, April 4, 2014

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Are you in the market for a Tactical ForeGrip?  If you are, you don't have to spend a ton of money to get a high quality foregrip that's built to last.

We had the opportunity to review the Vertical Tactical Foregrip. It's a high quality, but inexpensive, item that can make all the difference to your aim and comfort while shooting.

This particular foregrip is under $20 (you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Foregrip-Vertical-Tactical-Foregrip-Warranty/dp/B00J6Q33HQ/ref=cm_cr-mr-title) and is built to last.

As you can see from the photo above, it really has only a few parts. You might pinch your skin between some of the parts during assembly, but if you're careful, the entire process from set up to use should be really easy.

All in all, if you are looking for a quality foregrip at an affordable price, I would definitely recommend this.

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

Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
In the past month, I have read 2 books on healthy skin. Both of them recommend vitamin C serum for improving the tone and health of your skin. I recently had the opportunity to review Nature's Best Vitamin C Serum and am hopeful for good results.

The ingredients are high quality, it goes on smoothly, and it has a high concentration of vitamin C.

I have only been using the product for a few weeks, but I already feel like my skin is thicker (a big deal for pale thin skinned people like me!) and fuller. My skin is prone to becoming dull and riddles with little lines. This serum seems to plump my skin up, maybe temporarily, but I like the aesthetic effects.

It also smells good and comes in an appropriate (light proof and air tight) container. I would highly recommend it.

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

The Grow Your Own Food Handbook

Monday, March 31, 2014

Want to grow your own garden but don't know how to get started? The Grow Your Own Food Handbook is a "start to finish" guide on how to grow just about anything that's easy to grow in most North American backyards.

I wish I had this book when I first started out gardening. It really takes you through the beginning to the end. From soil preparation to harvest.

For someone like me that has been gardening for years (sometimes unsuccessfully!) there isn't a lot of new information. I've conducted thousands of google searches regarding garden topics/issues, read a ton of books, and had a lot of hands on experience.

But with all that knowledge, I would say this book is a very complete guide. My only recommendation - allow it to get ruined.

That means: bring it out to the garden with you. Hold it open with a rock and let it teach you every step of the way. Let it get full of mud and ripped a little.  I know that sounds sacrilegious, but I think it would be the best way to learn. Personally, I would have read it, ran outside to get started, forgot something, ran back in the house, washed my hands, read it again, moved on to a new step, had a question, ran back into the house.... Great for calorie burning, horrible for progress.

If you are starting a garden this year - congratulations and good luck. If you need a guide to help you every step of the way (or even in just one area like exact directions on how to plant, water, and feed each type of plant) then you'll get a lot from this book.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and no compensation was received. If you are interested in receiving my (read but not really "used") copy of this book, send me an email. If it has been 30 days or less since I posted the article, I may still have the book. I do not keep most review items but give them away to readers, strangers, and charities. I abhor clutter, so I don't keep them for long. Most items are claimed quickly, but it's always worth an email if you are interested.



Edible Mushrooms: Safe to Pick, Good to Eat Book Review

Sunday, March 30, 2014

When I received an offer to review "Edible Mushrooms: Safe to Pick, Good to Eat" I was instantly interested. I love mushrooms and have tried unsuccessfully to propagate my own.

I also read foraging guides and feel like I know a lot about wild plants - but almost nothing about mushrooms. I thought this book would be a good guide to identifying safe mushrooms - but I was wrong. It was SO much more.

This book is my hands down favorite book of the year. It's straight forward. The pictures rock! It's both fascinating and absolutely scary at the same time!

I give away 99% of the books I review (to blog readers, friends, strangers, charities) because I do not like clutter and I feel like sharing the love (even for books I really like,) but I HAVE to keep this book.

This book would be a great field guide to identifying most edible mushrooms. It also makes a great coffee table book. Imagine the conversations that would start when someone opens up this book - a look of awe and fear in their eyes.

You can't imagine it, because you haven't looked inside. But once you do, you'll see what I mean.

The only drawback? I just finished this book while there is snow on the ground and I want to go out looking right now. I will most likely never eat a wild mushroom (until I find a local guide that can assure it's safety) but I want to hunt out their locations and know everything about them. I know where many wild food and medicinal plants are located in our area that would prove useful in an emergency situation. I have no plans to use that information, but I am so happy to have it.

Bottom line - this is a great book. I am keeping it. If you have slightest interest in mushrooms, you will probably like it. If you don't have an interest in mushrooms, I recommend you read the July/August 2013 Discover Magazine article on the amazing world of mushrooms and you just might change your mind. Or look up the nutritional benefits of mushrooms and you'll probably appreciate them a lot more.

* I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions expressed are my own.

Taste of Nature Bars Review

Sunday, March 23, 2014



We had the opportunity to review Taste of Nature bars and I am embarrassed to say we ate them all in one day. They are so much better than "granola bars" or any of the bars on the market. I would absolutely pack these on a hiking trip, vacation, and for after school snacks.

I am also replacing my usual "emergency stash" of granola bars with these.

Why do I like them so much?
Obviously, the ingredients are everything you would hope for in a healthy snack. Each bar is 100% organic and contain ingredients like nuts, honey, fruit.

Looking at the bars, you can see each individual ingredient. You can see the honey, the nuts, the pomegranate pieces, etc.
And most importantly, they taste amazing!!!

What would I change?
They are not sold in my state!! Not at stores anyway. Since I have tried a few of the flavors, I will buy them in larger packs on Amazon (hello Canadian Maple Forest!)

Would I buy these?
Yes. I will be buying them. Even though they are not super long term storage foods, I will be replacing the granola bars in our emergency preparedness storage with these. I will just have to rotate them more frequently.

The plus side - we will actually want to eat these instead of suffering through dry granola bars because they are about to expire.

What type of flavors do they come in?
California Almond Valley
Canadian Maple Forest
Himalayan Goji Summit
Brazilian Nut Fiesta
Persian Pomegranate Garden
Quebec Cranberry Carnival
Niagra Apple Country
and many more!


*We received complimentary samples for review purposes. No compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

Advanced Mineral Perfecting Concealer Review

Friday, March 21, 2014

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


I am no stranger to concealer. Nature blessed me with very dark under-eye circles and skin that stays red for hours after any irritation. Oh the benefits of being light skinned...

I have been using concealers since my teen years, and I've tried almost every type. Sticks, wands, yellows, greens, minerals, and more.

Advanced Mineral Perfecting Concealer is reportedly used on many sitcom sets by head makeup artists.  Who wouldn't want the chance to conceal like a celebrity? So I sent in my skin tone and the Advanced Mineral Perfecting Concealer arrived on my door.
What did I think?
I was surprised at how much it resembled and behaved like most other concealers I have ever used.

Did it cover my dark circles and red splotches?
Yes. It did a fine job covering my imperfections.

Did it cake or dry out?
No. It stayed put and did not get cakey.

What makes it different?
I was wondering this myself. In application, it felt and looked like every wand concealer I have ever used. The big differences were: 1. It did not get cakey. This is HUGELY important. 2. It contains Vitamin E, grapeseed oil, shea butter, and hylaronic acid - all hydrators, so it may be beneficial for skin.

Would you buy it again?
Yes. I liked it. I wasn't "blown away" by it, but it worked and I like that it has quality hydrators in it, so it might actually be beneficial to my skin while I'm wearing it.

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

Bulu Box Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
These days there are subscription delivery boxes for almost every need - educational activities for kids, cosmetics, and even health/fitness. The Bulu Box is a subscription box for health and wellness.

Each month, you will receive a Bulu Box with 4-5 vitamin and supplement samples for around $10 with free shipping. When you are finished with the samples, you can rate them and earn points (that translate into dollars) to use on full size product purchases.

I received a Bulu Box for review on this blog. Here is a look at the box I received:
What did I think of the box? 
I have never used a subscription box service, so this was the first one to arrive on my door. Initially, I was kind of unhappy with the size of the samples and the selection. There was only one item I would use, and one that my husband might use.

Even though this box did not do it for me, I like the idea of trying smaller sizes before you commit to buying a large package of something.

Was it worth $10?
Maybe. If you would have bought a whole package of the energy sticks, it would cost $65. What if you didn't like them and spent $65 on the whole shebang? It would be much better to try it for $10 and find out that way whether you liked it or not.

You can review the products you tried and earn points. Each product review is worth 10 points, so the 6 in my box would net 60 points or $6 off a full size product at Bulubox.com. You could do this every month and use the points you earn to get full size versions of the products you love at a discount.

Would I sign up for a bulubox?
No.  I wouldn't purchase any subscription box service. Even though I have purchased many full size products, only to be disappointed; I really, really do not like the mystery aspect of getting a box full of random products. I like to be in control of the products I buy, and not knowing what is coming is too much for me. Yes, one month might be an unbelievable assortment of great things, but I can't take the chance. I'm just not a gambler. I'm also not any fun, so make up your own mind.

If you would like to try Bulu Box, use the following codes to save even more:

  • Purchase a 3 month subscription and get your first Bulu Box FREE with code: JUMPONIT3
  • Purchase a 6 month subscription and get your first 3 months FREE with code: JUMPONIT6
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Self Sufficiency - Growing your own livestock, even in an urban environment

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Be prepared for anything, and you'll be ready for everything. - J.S. Mullens


I have regular conversations with people preparing for all sorts of disasters - economic, nuclear, weather changes.... Even the media seem to be preparing us for some sort of catastrophe with all of the recent zombie and apocalypse related movies and television programs.

In the case of a major incident, what would be your main vulnerabilities? In the northern United States, our biggest concerns would be warmth and food. We have an almost endless supply of water (snow all around, lakes and rivers galore, many deciduous trees constantly respiring.) As long as we can make fire (to purify water) and protect ourselves from others (marauders, soldiers, new governments), our biggest issue will be staying warm and securing food.

Today, I am going to focus on the aspect of acquiring food. I have previously mentioned and highly recommend you familiarize yourself with the local wild foods in your area. You should always carry a knife, bandana, and a source of fire (at a minimum) so you can make use of those resources no matter where you find yourself. If possible, you should grow your some of your own food - outdoors or in windowsills. You should keep a well stocked pantry and collect seeds (for sprouting and growing.)

All of that is well and good, but eventually your pantry will empty. In the north, we have winter for almost 8 months, and at least 1 month of cold/wet spring. That leaves only 3 months of potential growing season. So what happens when your pantry runs dry and it's the middle of winter?

How do you procure high quality food? You can and will most likely need to hunt. Unfortunately, this is not a consistent source of food for an urban or even suburban dweller. Plus, you won't be the only one hunting these scare resources.

What if you could raise your own livestock? Most municipalities limit the ability to raise traditional livestock - including small animals like rabbits, bees, and chickens.

After watching a documentary about life in Peru, I may have come across the answer. Guinea Pigs. The mountain people of Peru, have free-range guinea pigs living and breeding in their homes. They feed them hay and produce. The pigs run wild and free throughout their dirt bottom homes. Every evening, they kill one pig for each family member.

Maybe you are thinking it's gross or wrong to eat something so cute and fuzzy as a guinea pig?
Is it wrong or gross to eat the flesh of any other animal? Chickens, rabbits, cows, pigs, fish? Every animal is cute, fuzzy or otherwise innocent.

In Peru, guinea pigs (called Cuy) are a traditional food. They eat them in restaurants and eat them at home. They are larger than a rat, but smaller than a rabbit, so one pig is the perfect size for a human meal. Plus, like rats and rabbits (also rodents) they multiply readily and subsist on easy to grow vegetation.

Now, in American, the majority of us do not have dirt bottom houses and the idea of hundreds of Guinea pigs roaming the house is quite horrible. But in a disaster situation, this would be a sustainable source of meat.

My initial thought was to buy one guinea pig for each of my children and have them raise it. The idea was that none of the pigs would meet each other unless we were in the midst of a catastrophe, and then their role would be to mate and reproduce. We would then "farm" them and create a supplementary food supply in our own home.

After further reading, I learned that a sow can give birth to 1-5 babies at a time and have multiple litters each year. I learned that they can eat almost all leafy greens and fruits, and sparingly eat vegetables. Great, because those are all easy to grow or forage. I also learned that Guinea pigs can live as along as household cats or dogs. It all sounded great....until I learned that if a Guinea pig sow has not had a baby before the age of 8 months, parts of her reproductive system seal themselves together and birth becomes very dangerous and likely fatal.

So in a sense, you need to find a female that has been bred before or you need to begin breeding before she reaches 8 months old. This obviously creates problems as nobody in a "non-emergency" wants to have a gazillion Guinea pigs.

The solution? At the first sign of an emergency, when everyone else is buying the grocery stores out of bread and peanut butter, I will head to the local pet store and buy every single Guinea pig, all of their aquatic antibiotics, and as much timothy hay as I can squeeze into my car. Plus cat food (for our cat, lol.)

My children were disappointed in this revelation as they have always dreamed of Guinea pigs (and I have not) but this may give you something to think about if you are in or considering preparing for a catastrophic event.