September 27, 2010

Get Positively Beautiful by Carmindy

Carmindy, from TLC’s What Not to Wear just came out with a new book about looking beautiful. She is an artist with makeup and I wish she was my very own personal makeup artist fairy. Her new book, Get Positively Beautiful takes me just a little closer to looking my best, thanks to Carmindy.

Book Description
“According to a recent study, only 2% of women describe themselves as 'beautiful.' (Dove Global Study 'The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report', 2004) The media instructs women how to 'look ten years younger,' 'cover up wrinkles,' or 'get fuller, plumper lips.' And even makeup products play off women's insecurities, promising to conceal perceived flaws, define cheekbones, or make eyelashes fuller and longer. The underlying message? That there's something inherently wrong with the way women look and that they have to spend time, money, and energy keeping up with all the ways they should 'fix' themselves.

In GET POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL, makeup artist Carmindy from TLC's hit program What Not to Wear shows you how to change your mindset from negative fault-finding to a positive beauty philosophy. You learn how to find and focus on your best features and how to combat negative thoughts about your appearance. Carmindy demonstrates easy makeup techniques for eyes, brows, lashes, lips, cheeks, and skin, and how to adapt looks to different weather conditions and 'beauty moods.'”

- Get Positively Beautiful by Carmindy - Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts
Carmindy is one of my favorite people on What Not to Wear. Her makeup transformations on the people on the show are amazing! I would love to have a consultation with her myself, but it just is not likely to ever happen. Her books are the next best thing though, so I was really happy to be able to review her new book, Get Positively Beautiful.

In this book, Carmindy really empowers women of all shapes, colors, ethnicities, etc., to really embrace themselves. I love this because I also think everyone should stop comparing themselves to others and embrace their own best features. Sure, we all wish we could look like a certain celebrity, but that just isn’t going to happen (and would be rather scary if we could).

Another favorite section of mine is where Carmindy shows a picture of herself when she was eleven years old and was teased and her self-esteem was brought down from school bullies. I can relate to this, too. Also, the piling on of makeup to hide what we thought was our imperfections at the time. Very real, very honest.

Get Positively Beautiful gives tips and solutions to your eyes, skin, cheeks, lips, tools, what to carry in your makeup bag, what to wear for each season, and even what to wear for your mood.

I found this book to be an invaluable resource for beauty information by the Queen of Beauty herself, Carmindy. I highly recommend this book to everyone who needs a little (or a lot) help with makeup, or even those who just want to play with it and get some really good ideas.

Thank you to the publisher of Get Positively Beautiful, Center Street, part of the Hachette Book Group, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 26, 2010

The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff Review

The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff package is a new package of items that revolves around cars. It doesn’t just add new cars though, it also has new clothing and décor – and the ability to even name your car!

About the Game
Shift gears and take your Sims for a spin with The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff. For the first time ever in a stuff pack, your Sims can get new cars along with furnishings, décor, and apparel in four distinct vehicle-themed lifestyles. Will your Sims embody the speed demon way of life? Or cruise in classic luxury automobiles with the top down? Will they rebel against the establishment in pin-up girl dresses and rockabilly tough guy attire? Or pursue a life of intrigue with spy-themed, sexy apparel and automobiles? Whatever their lifestyle, The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff takes your Sims on the rides of their lives!

• Give your Sims the rides they’ve always dreamed of—and the lifestyles that go with them.
• Enjoy four all-new styles of fashions, furnishings, and vehicles: Racing, Intrigue, Rockabilly, and Classic Luxury.
• Create the ultimate garage to house your Sim’s professional race car or hot rod.
• Deck out your Sim’s house in luxurious accessories to match their sleek new, luxurious rides.

My Thoughts
The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff package is a new fun set of items that revolves around cars. Sure, some may think the cars available already would be just fine and they may not need this package. That may be true, but the cars added into this stuff package are (in my opinion) much better and really goes with the many different types of Sims there are.

I started browsing cars before buying one, and I ended up buying this Racing car and a few others just to mess around with. I have my Robert Pattinson Sim dressed up in his racing gear and driving around in this new vehicle:

The new styles added with this pack are the Racing, Intrigue, Rockabilly, and Classic Luxury. With each theme new décor and clothes were added. My favorite part was of course, the clothes! I tried my Sims out in many new clothing options, but my favorite was this cute Retro style dress from the Rockabilly theme.

Overall, I think this stuff package is well worth the money. It adds enough new content to be worth it price-wise versus the items available in The Sims 3 Store online. I recommend it to all those that play The Sims 3!

Don't just take my word for it though, check out this Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff trailer:

* Note that you must have The Sims 3 base game already installed on your computer in order to play this.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff, Electronic Arts, and Gamers Gate for providing me a digital copy of this game and allowing me to review it. All experiences and opinions expressed are my own.

Mandala Coloring Kit Review

The Mandala Coloring Kit from Dover Publications is a fantastic collection of Mandala related coloring books, stickers, and even fun temporary mandala tattoos. If you just enjoy looking at them, or perhaps use them to become inspired, this is for you. If you don’t know what a mandala is, that is okay too.

This Dover Original Mandala Coloring Kit includes:
• Mandala Designs Coloring Book — 44 images
• Mystical Mandala Coloring Book — 30 illustrations
• Mandalas Stained Glass Coloring Book — 16 perforated sheets
• 24 stickers
• 4 large tattoos
• 11 x 16 Color Your Own poster
• Crayons

So, what is a mandala? A mandala is a Sanskrit word that means circle. It is a sacred art that is used in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Mandalas are also considered to be symbols of the cosmos and are said to inspire those that gaze on them, and in this case, color them in too.

Here is what my mandala looks like after I scanned, printed and then colored in with crayons:

When getting coloring books that are amazing like this one, I suggest scanning or copying what you want to color before coloring it in. Either color on the copied page you printed out, or save the original “clean” copy to your computer, so you can use it again!

The Mandala Coloring Kit is a really fun set for people of all ages to enjoy coloring in, or for artistic projects. You could do so much with these mandalas - your imagination is really the limit on what you can use them for. For samples from this set, click here.

Dover offers free samples sent directly to you each week – sign up!

Thank you to Dover Publications for providing me with the Mandala Coloring Kit for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 25, 2010

Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond

Weight loss and having more natural energy is something that I think most people are striving towards. I know that I am, and most I encounter on a normal basis would agree to this too. The whole “diet” and weight loss world of products that are more harmful than good can make things a bit confusing though. Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond address these issues with an approach that they say will give you more energy, lose weight, and not even have to count calories.

Book Description
“It's the program that shatters all the myths: FIT FOR LIFE the international bestseller that explains how to change both your figure and your life. Nutritional specialist Harvey and Marilyn Diamond explain how you can eat more kinds of food than you ever ate before without counting calories...and still lose weight! The natural body cycles, permanent weight-loss plan that proves it's not only what you eat, but also when and how, FIT FOR LIFE is the perfect solution for those who want to look and feel their best. Join the millions of Americans who are FIT FOR LIFE and begin your transformation with:

• The vital principles that bring you permanent weight loss and high energy
• The FIT FOR LIFE secrets of timing and food combining that work with your natural body cycles
• A 4-week meal plan, menus, shopping tips, and exercise
• Delicious recipes and more.”

-Fit For Life by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond – Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts
Fit For Life originally came out in 1987, and looking through my Mom’s old books, I discovered she actually has a copy of this very book. After reading it, I asked her if she ever tried this approach to weight loss. She explained that she remembered the system in the book but said that it was complicated and not being able to have caffeine and such was just too hard for her. She did however like the part about eating fruit in the morning, and she says she did lose some weight from being on the program.

Before reading this book, I had never heard of “Natural Hygiene” or “Food Combining.” I’m clean and combine foods at meals, but that has nothing to do with it. Reading more about that and natural body cycles really had me interested in this plan though. Especially the eating only fruit and fruit juice before noon. I like fruit, who doesn’t, right?

The four week plan included in Fit For Life is something I actually do want to try out. It seems like it could be easy to follow, and with a few substitutes I should be able to actually eat most of the foods. If it does make me healthier, lose weight, and have more energy, I think this is something I could stick with.

Overall, I found Fit For Life to be extremely informative and gave me a new approach to losing weight and being healthy. I recommend this book to all those who are also in the quest for becoming healthier.

Thank you to the publisher of Fit For Life, Wellness Central, part of the Hachette Book Group, for providing me with a copy for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 20, 2010

Strike a Leg – Hanes Silk Reflections Tights Review

Fall fashion is one of my favorite times of year for fashion. It allows for cute dresses, jackets, pants, sweaters, and much more. I wouldn’t wear tights as pants as Lady Gaga in tights, as shown below… but she makes it look good and has even perhaps brought tights back into being “cool.”

As an added bonus, you could easily create a Lady Gaga Halloween costume if you have a pair of tights, big black sunglasses, heels, and a wacky dress and/or an interesting bathing suit!

Lately, I’ve been wearing more of the leggings instead of tights look. However, when I was given the opportunity to try out the new Hanes Silk Reflections Sheer Tights, I was quite excited!

I tried out the Hanes Silk Reflections Lasting Sheer Tights Control Top in plum. They were true to size by the size guide, and I had no problem pulling them on (or off) and somehow even managed to not get any runs in them (I always worry about that with my nails).

I wore these plum tights with a dress that had many colors in it, one of them being a plum shade. While the color wasn’t overbearing, it really did make the outfit look quite fashionable. The control top panty also made my dress look better on me, and really, who wouldn’t want that? It has also made me start heading to the tights department in the store to look for more fun and fashionable tights to incorporate into my wardrobe.

Overall, I am very happy with these new tights by Hanes and I recommend them to everyone that wears tights OR leggings – it is a nice change!

These tights are available in black, gentle brown, granite, nude and plum; sizes AB, CD, EF, GH, IJ; SRP: $10.00; in the hosiery section at department stores nationwide.

Disclaimer: I was given these tights to try out for review. I was not paid or told to write about them positively. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

Cookbook Review: Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

This may not come as a surprise, but I love love stories, and I love food. Not being able to eat certain things that contain “gluten” is no fun. However, reading about the love story in Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is fun, and quite tasty if you try the recipes too. This is a book that reads as a memoir and a cookbook for all those that need to be gluten-free – it is a win-win.

Book Description
“The first cookbook from the author of Gluten-Free Girl and

Combining tempting recipes with an authentic love story, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef is a narrative cookbook for anyone who loves food.

A must-have for those who need to eat gluten-free, this cookbook offers irresistible stories and plenty of mouth-watering meals. From the authors of the much-loved food blog, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, the book includes evocative photos, cooking techniques, and 100 chef-tested recipes that are sure to give joy in the belly.

Illustrates the working day of a talented chef and what he does to put delicious food on the plate.

Contains great-tasting recipes that everyone can cook and eat.

Meant to be read cover to cover.

Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef inspires anyone who has to eat gluten-free to say yes to the food he or she can eat.”
– Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

My Thoughts
Gluten-free Girl and the Chef was written by Shauna James Ahern (the gluten-free girl) and Daniel Ahern (the chef). This is a unique cookbook that shares their unique love story while also sharing delicious recipes for all those that live a gluten-free lifestyle.

The recipes in the cookbook aren’t exactly what I was expecting. It includes more of the “chef” style recipes than things someone just cooking at home would perhaps prepare. There were however, many recipes that are easy to prepare and are quite delicious. Some of my favorites include: Gluten-free Pasta, Gluten-free Crackers, Aioli, Seared Shrimp with Garlic-Almond Sauce, and Multigrain Waffles.

Overall, I enjoyed the Gluten-free Girl and the Chef cookbook. It is a fabulous book to read for a love story and also find new recipes to add to a gluten-free diet. I recommend it to all those who also need to eat gluten-free.

Thank you to the publisher of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, Wiley, for providing me with a copy for review purposes. All opinions and experiences are my own.

September 17, 2010

Cheap Cabernet by Cathie Beck

A good book is like a fine (or in this case, cheap) wine. You want to curl up and enjoy it. Cheap Cabernet by Cathie Beck is just the book to enjoy with a glass of wine at the end of a day. It is her memoir about friends, family, life, and living in the moment.

Book Description
“I didn’t know that people come into our lives, and sometimes, if we’re terribly lucky, we get the chance to love them, that sometimes they stay, that sometimes you can, truly, depend on them.

Cathie Beck was in her late thirties and finally able to exhale after a lifetime of just trying to get by. A teenage mother harboring vivid memories of her own hardscrabble childhood, Cathie had spent years doing whatever it took to give her children the stability—or at least the illusion of it—that she’d never had. More than that, through sheer will and determination, she had educated them and herself too. With her kids in college, Cathie was at last ready to have some fun. The only problem was that she had no idea how to do it and no friends to do it with. So she put an ad in the paper for a made-up women's group: WOW . . . Women on the Way. Eight women showed up that first night, and out of that group a friendship formed, one of those meteoric, passionate, stand-by-you friendships that come around once in a lifetime and change you forever . . . if you’re lucky.”
– Cheap Cabernet

My Thoughts
Not knowing exactly what life is going to throw at you is something I can relate with. Sure, Cathie Beck and I have lived very different lives, by my age she was married, had a husband walk out on her, had kids, jobs, and plenty of more worries in life than I can say I have had. However, her truth about everything with her wit and wisdom of looking at it now, really let her capture those moments in such a real, honest way that everybody can relate to (at least to some degree).

Cheap Cabernet captures the very real aspects of the friendship between Cathie and Denise. Even though they didn’t know each other for a “long” time, they became closer and really meant more to one another than either of them could have known at the time.

Cathie was in need of friends and started a women’s group called WOW. Denise was the member she was really looking for in the group of friends she made. My favorite story the author shared with us about their friendship was their trip to Jamaica and Cuba. It showed fun times, but also the very real ways friends (when spending too much time together) get on each other’s nerves.

Even though I would have liked more stories about Cathie’s life during the time the book was written, it is a memoir, so she does include quite a few stories about her life growing up and after she was left to be a very young single mother in New Orleans. These stories about her life does help to show you where she was in her life, and how she became who she is.

Cheap Cabernet is really one of those stories that once you read, you’ll continue to think about. It makes the reader think and acknowledge relationships in their own life. It will have you laughing, crying, and hopefully able to make you appreciate relationships in your own life. I highly recommend it, especially when being read with a glass of cheap cabernet.

Thank you to the publisher of Cheap Cabernet, Hyperion, for providing me with a copy for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid for the review, or to write in favor, or not in favor of this product.

September 15, 2010

The Hardest Blog Post To Write

This has been a really hard week for me.

As I’ve posted a few times before, my dog hasn’t been doing well. She had been having seizures off and on for the past six months or so. We had her since she was a puppy, for 15 years. Even though my family and I knew the day would come when she would pass on to heaven, it didn’t make it much easier when it actually happened.

After an excruciatingly hard exam on Monday night, I did what I usually do when I come home… had dinner, talked with parents, gave my dog a big hug and held her for a few minutes, then checked stuff related to work and school online while watching a little TV.

Well, not too long after I went upstairs I heard my dad calling me saying our dog died.

I flew down the stairs and was in shock. We cried, held her for a last time, said goodbye, etc. It is a bit of a blur and honestly too hard to think about again so soon.

I’ll try to write more again, maybe next week. I have a couple reviews I have ready to post later this week, which I hope to get up, if not I hope everyone understands that I just really am going through the motions of everything right now.

September 14, 2010

37 Things to Know About Grammar by Matteson Claus

Grammar is confusing, annoying, and perhaps getting worse as the new IMing and texting generations grow up. 37 Things to Know About Grammar by Matteson Claus tries their best in this book to help all of us with these 37 basic things about grammar.

Book Description
“If just the word “grammar” makes you cringe, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. In 37 Things to Know About Grammar, Matteson Claus takes an irreverent look at common grammar gaffes and gives you the tools to slay your grammar gremlins.

• Puzzle out your verb tenses while you hang out with pirates.
• Parse your prepositions with camel-riding bank robbers.
• Conquer parallelism during a discussion of vampire viscera.
• Learn how to corral your commas while Petunia chomps a clerk.
• Avoid the dreaded sentence fragment and still have fun with Dick and Jane.
• And more!

Also included in this handy reference tool are lists of the most commonly misused and misspelled words. This is the book for people at work and leisure so spooked by the grammar gremlins that they’ve heard a bump in the night every time they put pen to paper. Until now.”
– 37 Things to Know About Grammar

My Thoughts
This is a hard review for me to write. Mainly because of the fact that it is about grammar, and I’m a little bit scared I’ll make mistakes. Okay, so I know I will. I’m not perfect, and grammar isn’t easy. There were probably mistakes in those sentences already, oh well. I’m doing my best!

Even though I don’t make big mistakes when it comes to grammar (I hope), I have been known to make some that could have been avoided. 37 Things to Know About Grammar did help refresh my memory of some of these basic, and not so basic rules to grammar.

When in serious doubt about something, it is a great reference guide to just grab and figure it out. Spell check does not work with grammar very well, which you hopefully knew already, right? This really does make it a very effective tool for students, and even writers (like me) who sometimes just don’t remember all the little grammar annoyances that the English language throws at us.

I recommend 37 Things to Know About Grammar by Matteson Claus for everyone who needs to write things often, and perhaps don’t want to be too grammatically incorrect. Not necessarily a “fun” read because it is about grammar, but it is very readable and easily understood.

Thank you to the publisher of 37 Things to Know About Grammar, Turner Publishing, for providing me with a copy for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid for the review, or to write in favor, or not in favor of this product.

September 13, 2010

Yes To Carrots: Hair Care Review

I have absolutely fallen in love with Yes To Carrots. It is by far my new favorite beauty company. If you haven’t heard of them yet, or perhaps have and haven’t yet given them a try, I urge you to do so. Here is my latest Yes To Carrots review on their hair care products, which after a long summer of beating your hair up, could probably use too.

Yes To Carrots: Daily Pampering Hair Care Regimen
MSRP: $15.99 (reg. $17.99)
Available at:

The Yes to Carrots Daily Pampering Hair Care Regime includes the Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo and Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner. Both bottles are 16.90 fl. oz. and unless you use an extreme amount each use (which is not necessary), it lasts for quite a long time. The Yes To Carrots shampoo cleanses and moisturizes your hair and scalp with Dead Sea Minerals. The Yes To Carrots conditioner nourishes, and softens you hair to tame even wild locks. This hair care regimen is for “Normal to Dry” hair and it worked fabulously for my “in between types” hair.

Yes To Carrots: Hair and Scalp Moisturizing Mud Mask
MSRP: $8.70 (reg. $12.99)
Available at:

This Hair and Scalp Mud Mask is part of the “Normal to Dry” hair care too. It contains Dead Sea Mud, Dead Sea Minerals, and is Paraben Free. It says that it is used to “keep your temptress tresses nourished, moisturized, soft and tangle-free.” This isn’t something that is used with each shower. I use it once a week and am seeing really beautiful hair as a result. I’m noticing it to be stronger, much healthier, less fly-aways, and is just generally behaving like I want it to (which is quite nice).

Yes To Tomatoes: Daily Volumizing Hair Care System
MSRP: $15.99 (reg. $17.99)
Available at:

The Yes To Tomatoes Hair Care System is for the “Limp, Fine, or Thin” hair types. It includes the Yes To Tomatoes shampoo and Yes To Tomatoes Conditioner in bottles that are 16.90 fl. oz. As the product name says, it did actually seem to make my hair thicker and gave it that extra oomph to make it more noticeable. I loved it!

* Thank you to Yes To Carrots for sending me the products reviewed for the purpose of the review. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

September 8, 2010

51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged by Michael Batshaw

Love. Marriage. Kids. It is what most people seek in a relationship. Getting engaged is a big step towards this perfect marriage that most people have built up in their head. However, nothing in life is “perfect” and there are many things you should know before saying “I do.” 51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged by Michael Batshaw is the book that simply puts these things to know before making the big leap.

Book Description
“Have you found The One?

51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged offers the insights and techniques necessary for a successful engagement and marriage.
Michael Batshaw gives you the tools to determine if your partner is the right one for you, and if they are the right one, how to keep it that way.

Some of his advice:
- Beware of the person of your dreams
- Couples who do everything together cannot survive
- Couples that don't argue are in trouble
- Hollywood gets it wrong
- The truth of the moment is not the whole truth”
– 51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged

My Thoughts
TV, movies and even books often put marriage and love in a dramatically over-romanticized way. This leaves people who perhaps haven’t been married, wanting what they saw in a made-up couple on TV. Sure movies and books like The Notebook and Twilight are great, but real life isn’t quite like that, even though many wish it were.

51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged by Michael Batshaw lets us in on everything we should know before getting engaged. I’m not married and never have been, so perhaps I don’t know about that side. I do however know from reading and learning in this book that there are so many things that people really should know before making such a life changing decision.

Some examples of what Batshaw explains is, how if you think your partner is “perfect” that they really aren’t and could even be like someone who hurt you in the past. Also, don’t put that person on a pedestal because nobody is perfect. Arguing is normal. Sex is important, but if it isn’t the “best” it can improve – but it won’t save your relationship. Sharing activities is important, and much, much more!

I think that for me, it really showed me that marriage is much more than just “love” or “lust” and these 51 things really help show what is important before getting engaged. I highly recommend this for anyone thinking about getting married – even if you are single. At least then, you’ll know what you’re looking for when the time comes before it is too late.

Thank you to the publisher of 51 Things You Should Know Before Getting Engaged, Turner Publishing, for providing me with a copy for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid for the review, or to write in favor, or not in favor of this product.

September 4, 2010

The Shopping Diet by Phillip Bloch

The Shopping Diet by Phillip Bloch is a plan to get your finances in place as well as taking care of your closet. For many women, a big portion of money goes in there in the form of too-tight, sale, clearance, really just random merchandise never to be seen again. Phillip is saving all of us with this book which has a plan so easy, anyone can follow.

Book Description
"Stop me before I shop again!"

“When the clothing budget is tight, when you have to squeeze every dollar and stretch it further, it's time to go on The Shopping Diet. But don't worry! This diet won't deprive you of having a fashionable and up-to-date wardrobe—in fact, you will find exciting ways to look fantastic, make more of the clothes and accessories you already have, and come out ahead with the one thing that's always in style: more money in your wallet!

Whether you're an impulse shopper, whether you shop out of boredom or other emotions, or if "the tough go shopping" has always been your motto, you may feel that you simply have to shop—that there are never enough clothes, or the right clothes, to make you feel complete, confident, and in control. But in tough economic times, there is a better way—a whole new lifestyle of evaluating your true wardrobe needs, making smart choices, and changing your spending habits from the inside out. The results? More time (no more Saturdays spent wandering the mall aimlessly), more space (your closet makeover will turn that priceless piece of real estate into your favorite go-to boutique!), and more cash (or, if you prefer, less credit card debt). Now that's being in control!

Premiere celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch's unique and thought-provoking approach to looking great for less gives you fascinating insights and practical solutions to the very real problem of overspending that affects millions of people.”
– The Shopping Diet

My Thoughts
As a reformed Shopaholic, I loved this book! I admit that I’ve bought many things in hopes that maybe one day those Diesel heels would be more comfortable, maybe that CK dress on clearance would fit (“If I just lost 5 lbs), a multitude of black tees (but in different styles), etc. If you have ever been here, or are in that spending cycle, stop right now and buy The Shopping Diet.

The Shopping Diet is a book that really everyone that ever shops could benefit from reading. Phillip Bloch teaches you easily what style type you are (don’t worry if you aren’t just one style, I’m not either), how to organize your closet and edit it to make it look like your own boutique, where to shop for amazing deals and much, much more!

I highly recommend this book for everyone wanting help in this area. If you read it and follow Phillip’s plan, you will be glad you gave it a try.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Shopping Diet, Gallery Books for providing me with a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 3, 2010

Fairies Fun Kit

Looking for a fairy fun kit that is perfect for girls of all ages? The Fairies Fun Kit from Dover is just what you’re looking for. Fairies are fun and really make most girls and women smile.

This Fairies kit includes 2 coloring books, including a “stained glass” edition (which if hung in a window is amazing)! It also has 2 sticker paper dolls with beautiful costumes, 6 glitter tattoos, 52 stickers and glow in the dark poster of an enchanting fairy.

You can color these in with various mediums or even scan them on the computer to reuse again and again. This is what I did with one from the stained glass book after I scanned it on the computer and colored in digitally:

Coloring in fairies is fun and actually helps me ease stress from a long day. If you haven’t colored for a long time, give it a try (if not with this set, then pick out another, Dover has a huge variety to choose from).

The paper dolls in this set are so cute! It really brought me back to days when I was a kid and played with paper dolls. That is how I learned to “draw.” Of course, they weren’t the best drawings, but it was fun.

Even if you don’t collect fairies, this is a present that would be great for someone in your life – a daughter, niece, granddaughter, cousin, friend, etc. I highly recommend it for everyone who wants to add in some fairy coloring to their life!

If you like free samples, then sign up to get new ones each week from Dover!

Thank you to Dover Publishing for providing me with this set for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

September 2, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Review

I’m a big fan of the Microsoft Office products. Ever since I had to use them in high school computer classes, I’ve found fun uses for them out of school. I always write in Microsoft Word, make plans and schedules in Excel, and use PowerPoint generally just for school related things now, though I have made interesting slide shows with it just for fun.

Microsoft Office 2010 is the newest Office product available. Some may wonder what the big difference is if you already have it, or are using something else. Well, as a writer, blogger, student and overall organized person, I can tell you what I loved about it – as well as the cool new things that may be your “must have” component of it.

Access 2010
With Access 2010 you can build databases easier than in previous versions. I played around with this, but for what I use Office for; this has never been an area I use often. It would be great for those with businesses though.

Excel 2010
Excel makes it easy to sort lists of data and analyze what you’re sorting through. For me, I use it for finances as well as Blog lists. Once you get the hang of how to use Excel, it is a breeze (and very well worth the time to figure out).

OneNote 2010
OneNote is new for me. It allows you to put all of your “ideas” into one area. It allows users to share ideas and brainstorm from different locations. This is perfect for those businesses that have people working from different parts of the country, or even those who work at home on some days.

Outlook 2010
Outlook is used as a way to view your e-mail. It hasn’t ever really been something I use, but it has been some vast improvements on how contacts are setup and is generally just easier to use in this version of Microsoft Office 2010.

PowerPoint 2010
PowerPoint has become the standard way that teachers have started to give notes for their students. Some professors allow students to download them, and having PowerPoint really does help with this (not just the free viewer). Many also require presentations, which PowerPoint makes it very easy to use and visually appealing for your presentation. This upgrade of it does make it easier to use and the new tools simplify your presentation so it doesn’t look as mismatched as some in prior versions (of course this all depends on how it is being made).

Word 2010
I use Word the most. The new layout and tabs threw me for awhile. I liked seeing it all in one area with dropdown menus. However, after adjusting to this new way to use Word, I love it! The upgraded picture editing inside word is fantastic. There are also so many new formats that you can choose from when creating a new document, geared for what you want to use it for. Word 2010 is easier to use and this upgrade really is worth it.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the versatility of the Office products and the wide range of things that you can use the product for. I think that it is an essential tool that each PC should have. If yours doesn’t have Microsoft Office, try it for free – you have nothing to lose!

Try Microsoft 2010 Free!
Microsoft is allowing anyone to try Microsoft Office 2010 for free at:

Thank you very much to Microsoft for providing me with a complimentary copy of Microsoft Office 2010 for review purposes. All opinion, experiences, and thoughts are my own. I was not paid to write anything positive or negative about the product.

September 1, 2010

Giveaway Winner for Pillsbury Sweet Moments!

The giveaway for the Pillsbury Sweet Moments is now officially over. I used randomizer to determine the winner, and the winner is Courtney Michele! I will be contacting you right now to get the details on where to send your prize.

Thank you to MyBlogSpark and Pillsbury for allowing me to review and giveaway this prize pack. The products, prize pack, information and additional prize pack to give away were all given to me from Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark.