November 30, 2012

Hanes Boot Liner Tights Review

Hanes Boot Liner Tights is the latest in new hosiery for Fall 2012. If you wear boots and still want to wear tights or leggings, this is the type of tight you want to try.

Product Description
Silk Reflections Blackout Convert-A-Tight delivers maximum opacity for a sleek, slim look. The Comfort Stretch™ Panty with no bind waistband provides the ultimate in comfort. The unique style can be worn as a tight or a legging.” – Hanes Boot Liner Tights

My Thoughts
In the Fall and Winter seasons, I love to wear tights and leggings with my boots. The problem usually comes when I try to wear those and then also a pair of boot socks. It doesn’t usually end up looking very sleek or fashionable, and ends up bunched up in my boot.

Hanes has a new Boot Liner Tight that provides blackout coverage like a legging would, while still being comfortable, and has a ribbed foot part to help fit with boots better. I tried these on with my favorite pair of boots and was amazed by how much better it felt wearing these instead of big boot socks. They didn’t bunch up after hours of wear, and the tight stayed comfortable all over. The blackout tight is truly blackout and looks like a legging, it isn’t sheer at all.

Hanes has once again combined fashion and comfort. If you like to wear boots with tights or leggings, I highly suggest these for your wardrobe.

* Thank you to Hanes for providing me with the product for review. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

Madly in Love with Me by Christine Arylo

Madly in Love with Me by Christine Arylo is more than a self-help book, it is a self-love book that gives you back your self-esteem and so much more. In today’s fast paced world that is pushing women and children to be perfect, do more, have more, and be things that are unattainable, learning how to love yourself can change your life more drastically than you can even imagine.

Book Description
Most of us know that loving ourselves would be a good idea, but we have no clue what that really means. Self-love feels too vast, too esoteric, and frankly like something you should keep under wraps.

This breakthrough book on self-love changes all that by taking you beyond the idea of loving, valuing, and caring for yourself into daring acts that will help you experience it. Christine Arylo provides practical, fun ways to explore and embody the ten branches of self-love every day and in every part of your life. Reading this book is like receiving permission to treat yourself as a best friend would. Imagine having the power to:

• Give to yourself first, without guilt
• Shower yourself with loving words instead of criticism and comparison
• Go for your dreams with conviction and courage
• Choose the situations and relationships that make you happiest
• Discover and explore your deepest thoughts and desires — and act on them” – Madly in Love with Me

My Thoughts
Madly in Love with Me is a book that I think everyone should read. Most people tend to criticize themselves, put themselves last, and go after goals that others have set for them. Women especially tend to lose themselves along the way, and Christine Arylo found a way to teach women how to find themselves again – and start loving the person they found.

The tools and suggestions for us to do in the book are inspiring. I especially enjoyed the “Me Art” which let me express myself creatively. There is also “Daring Acts of Love” which are short invitations that let women get out of their comfort zones and into their love zones. “Me Moments” asks questions much like a BFF would to help guide you to your true desires and goals in your life.

This book is truly amazing and can be life changing for those who read and use it. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Madly in Love with Me, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 29, 2012

Modern Magic by Kirsten Riddle

Modern Magic by Kirsten Riddle is a refreshingly simple take on magic for modern times. There are no complicated ingredients, spells you have to memorize, or any of the other things that make it a little bit too “woo-wooy” for modern people to want to attempt. If you want an easy to read and fun book about magic in a modern way, this is the book for you!

Book Description
Taking a wholly original approach to self-improvement, the innate magic within each person is harnessed in this spiritual survival guide that reveals how to utilize everyday routines and surroundings in becoming a better version of oneself.

Offering a modern appeal and quirky sense of fun, newcomers to the practice of magic or those hesitant to commit to a new lifestyle will find the book to be a relaxed, welcoming aid that will inspire confidence in the art.

The author also takes on existing rituals and magic from different eras and nations and adapts them to the contemporary reader. Enchantment as part of the everyday and the incorporation of common objects into magic, including modern technology, is clearly explained. The book provides instructions on how to manifest what is needed to fulfill desires and needs, and for individuals to fully embrace the creative and contemporary aspects of themselves.” – Modern Magic

My Thoughts
Modern Magic is written simply and to the point. It is fun to read and nothing about it takes too long to understand. It is spiritualism and magic in a very condensed and fast approach that people can relate to. Don’t think that what you’re getting isn’t just as powerful as long rituals or ancient spells though, it is, when done with passion and purpose.

I enjoyed reading this approach to magic and spiritualism, and find it to be very true to what I believe in as well. It can be used with everyday activities and items, and it doesn’t have to be drawn out and complicated to get magical results. If you want a modern book of magic, this is the one for you. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Modern Magic, Findhorn Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset Review

Are you looking for a gaming headset that will last for your long gaming sessions? Well, look no further because I found the perfect gaming headset for everyone from serious MMO gamers to casual gamers. The Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset offers comfortable padding, surround sound, wireless connectivity, programmable G-keys, a noise cancelling microphone, and much more!

Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset
2.4 GHz wireless connectivity – Designed for a lag-free, interference-resistant connection with a range up to 40 feet – so nothing stands between you and victory.

7.1 surround sound – Advanced Dolby technology delivers a detailed sound field that lets you hear your enemies before they see you.

Three programmable G-keys – You’ve got one-touch command over music, voice morphing, chat clients and more.

Adjustable, memory foam-lined headband – Creates a personalized fit to fend off fatigue.

Plush, noise-isolating ear pads – Ease pressure points and seal out unwanted noise.

Laser-tuned drivers – We analyze each acoustic element – magnet, coil and diaphragm – to optimize the drivers and pinpoint unwanted distortion, so you hear only rich, clear audio.

Noise-cancelling mic with auto-mute – The microphone reduces annoying background noise for clear, intelligible voice commands, and automatically mutes when you rotate it up and out of the way.

Microphone mute light – The microphone tip glows red when muted.

On-ear audio controls – Adjust volume and microphone mute on the fly – don’t fumble for controls in the heat of battle.

Painless recharging – Recharge using the universal micro-USB cable – even while you’re still playing. When charging is complete, wrap up the cable inside the charging base.

Batteries built for battle – With up to 10 hours of battery life, this headset can get you through the most epic gaming sessions.

Adjustable audio settings – Tweak surround sound settings and equalizer levels using the included software.

Real-time voice morphing – You can select from six voices – troll, mutant, alien, giant, cyborg, and space squirrel.

Plug and play setup – Don’t worry about unplugging or rearranging your speakers. Just plug the wireless adapter into the charging base or a USB port and you’re ready to play.” – Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset

My Thoughts
When playing MMOs, people often use Ventrilo or TeamSpeak to communicate vocally with their teammates. Many gamers chose to use a headset and mic combo to do this with. It gives the gamer privacy if others live with them, and the mic helps to make their voice come through better for others.

As a MMO gamer, I use Ventrilo, and I’ve gone through a few headsets that never lasted very long. I have also tried using a separate headset and the internal mic on my laptop, and also a separate microphone. This worked for a while, but it got rather annoying for using for extended periods of time.

After using the Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset for about a month so far, I am pleasantly happy with it, and have had absolutely no problems with it. It was extremely easy to setup and use. If you want to listen to something without the headphones, all you do is unplug it from the USB slot. It really couldn’t be any easier.

It is a comfortable headset to use when it is wireless or plugged in to charge the battery. The cords coil up when not charging, so they don’t get in the way and make my desk look messy. The sound is fantastic, and the mic works flawlessly, too. I have fun using the space squirrel voice morphing on my friends, and it also makes me laugh when hearing it for myself.

Overall, I really like this gaming headset. It is comfortable, has amazing sound quality, and is quite durable. If you are looking for a headset for gaming, this is the top of the line quality you’re looking for. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure: Thank you to Logitech for providing me with the product for review. All opinions, experiences, and thoughts about the product being reviewed are my own.

November 26, 2012

Review of The Sims 3: Supernatural

The Sims 3: Supernatural expansion pack brings more of the paranormal to The Sims 3 game. If you have wanted to play as a fairy, witch, werewolf, vampire, or zombie, this is an expansion pack you won’t want to miss out on!

Game Description
“Enter the mysterious town of Moonlight Falls where strange things happen by the light of the moon. Create supernatural beings from menacing werewolves and cackling witches, to mischievous fairies and more intriguing vampires. Then stalk the night, use your wand to cast spells, claw the furniture and more. You can mix dozens of elixirs that can turn Sims into zombies or transform them into gold. Share your enchanted brews with any friends who have The Sims 3! Spooky surprises are in store for you in the world of The Sims 3 Supernatural!

Play as supernatural Sims: Create witches, wizards, werewolves, more intriguing vampires, and fairies, each with their own magical abilities, traits, and interactions.

Explore the town of Moonlight Falls: Discover what mysteries and abilities are revealed by the light of the full moon. Will your Sims freak out or become more powerful?

Hone your magical crafts and share the enchantment: Learn to cast spells and find rare ingredients to brew elixirs, so you can charm or hex your Sims’ lives. Send your magical elixirs to any of your friends’ games who have The Sims 3. Your Sims can hone their psychic abilities and build a career as mystic fortune teller.

Discover supernatural items: Race around the arena on your broomstick, visit the gypsy caravan, or preen in front of your magic mirror. Even awaken the classic character of Bonehilda, the quirky skeletal maid. With tons of new enchanted objects, what will happen next?

Deck out your home in gothic style: Add a secret lair with the sliding bookcase door and fill your home with creepy new furniture.

Zombification: Mix a special elixir to create shuffling, brain-hungry monsters of your very own. Chomp on other Sims to spread the love and wreak havoc. Don’t fret, you can always concoct an elixir to change your Sims back.” – The Sims 3: Supernatural

My Thoughts
I had been waiting for a supernatural or paranormal type of expansion to The Sims 3 since it was first released. I love everything having to do with the paranormal, so when I heard about the release of this expansion pack, I was beyond excited. After finally being able to play it, I am pleasantly surprised with everything, and am still having a lot of fun with it.

Fairies have been the playable life state I have really wanted to play. When you “Create-A-Sim” you can pick the type of fairy wings your fairy will have, and everything else you’d normally be able to choose for your new Sim. They can fly around, grow plants well, build charisma faster than normal Sims, and can use their magic for good, or be mischievous and use it for bad.

Witches and wizards brew potions, duel with other witches, ride around on a broom, and they too can use their magic for good or bad. Having a family (or school) of witches in your game makes it more fun than just having a lone witch in the town, but to each their own.

Werewolves are an interesting type of Sim to play. They live slightly longer than regular humans, hunt collectibles, and gain athletic skills faster. They are also hairy, howl at the moon, and can be moody and start fights often. It isn’t my favorite addition to the game, but if you are creating a true paranormal town, you’ll need to throw in a few token werewolves. I only wish they were able to be as hot as Alcide in True Blood.

Zombies move slower than other Sims, but try to attack the other Sims in town to eat their brains and turn them into a zombie, too. They aren’t a favorite of mine either, but I’m not a big zombie fan.

Vampires have been in the game since The Sims 3: Late Night expansion pack, and they are also included with the “Supernatural” expansion as well. Nothing too big has changed with this supernatural creature, but it is still extremely fun to play, and an expected add-on for this game to add too.

The new town with this expansion is called “Moonlight Falls.” It is a truly supernatural town that is beautifully designed and one of my favorite towns to play in now. The new supernatural themed clothing and items are all fun and enhance this expansion pack even more. I absolutely love this game, and consider it the best expansion pack that they have released for The Sims 3 so far. I highly recommend it!

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

November 23, 2012

Dukan Diet: Day 1

Black Friday is today. It is also the day I decided to start the Dukan Diet. I didn’t go shopping today (there is serious madness around here when shopping today) so I thought it would be a good day to start my diet. I’ve heard Wednesdays are supposedly the best day to start a diet, but the day right before Thanksgiving I’d think would be terrible.

I’ve been restricted on the foods I can eat for a long time now. I can’t have gluten, so that cuts out a lot right there. As I was looking for a diet plan to follow that has had a lot of successes, I came across the Dukan Diet.

I remember hearing about it around the time Prince William married Kate Middleton because it was rumored she was on the Dukan Diet to lose weight before their wedding. Not that I think she needed to lose any weight at all, but whatever, we can’t all be skinny and married to princes either, can we?

The diet features four plans to help you lose the weight and keep it off. I’m planning on staying in the “Attack Phase” for ten days. I don’t know if my willpower will keep up for that long, but I am going to try. It is basically all meat and nonfat dairy for those days. Thank God I can at least have coffee with Splenda and skim milk. Without that, I don’t think I’d be able to do it.

Day 1 is almost over and it has been “okay.” I had some deviled eggs, ham, bacon, the oat bran galette, chicken, and hamburger patty. I miss vegetables and rice already.

I’ll check in with everyone on how I’m doing with the diet randomly. This isn’t turning into a dieting Blog. If you are also on this diet, how do you like it? Any big weight loss success for you so far? Please share!

November 20, 2012

Hanes Convert-A-Tight Review

Hanes Silk Reflections – Convert-A-Tight is the latest in new hosiery for Fall 2012. If you want a versatile look for your wardrobe, this tight can easily become a legging, creating two different looks with the same item.

Product Description
Silk Reflections Blackout Convert-A-Tight delivers maximum opacity for a sleek, slim look. The Comfort Stretch™ Panty with no bind waistband provides the ultimate in comfort. The unique style can be worn as a tight or a legging.” Hanes Silk Reflections – Convert-A-Tight

My Thoughts
I love wearing leggings and tights in the Fall and Winter seasons. They keep my legs warm, and make my outfits look stylish. This new style that converts a tight to a legging has me really excited because now I can use the same pair to create two different looks.

It is also really very easy to change from the tight to the legging, and when wearing it either way, nobody would ever know your little convert-a-tight secret, unless you tell them of course.

When wearing it as a tight, you just slide it on like any other tights. Put your toes into the toe pocket and they look like normal tights. When wearing as a legging, you put your toes through the opening in the foot. You then fold the toe pocket under and adjust the legging to the length you want it at.

This style is available in black that is actually a “blackout” look which provides maximum opacity for your legs. I really like this because it is warmer, and it also makes the legs look slimmer. The Comfort Stretch™ Panty with no bind waistband is also slimming while still being comfortable.

I love this Convert-A-Tight. It is fashionable, comfortable, and affordable. My only wish is that they come out with options for other colors for this style one day. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to Hanes for providing me with the product for review. All opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night by Jeanie & David Gushee

Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night by Jeanie & David Gushee is a daily devotional prayer book for Christians. If you need help with praying each day, this is just the type of book that can help you find a good prayer for each morning and evening.

Book Description
Yours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night gives a framework for prayerful devotions with a morning and evening prayer for each day of the year. The prayers have been selected to reflect the seasons and the liturgical calendar. They are intended not to replace your personal, spontaneous prayers but to serve as a springboard for them.
Editors Jeanie and David Gushee have collected inspiring contributions from Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox sources; from all continents; from the Old Testament; and from each century of Christian history. Yours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night will enhance your commitment to God and personal connection to the Christian tradition and the Church universal.” – Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night

My Thoughts
I try to make time each day to pray, but in all honesty, it doesn’t seem to always happen. I never found anything that would make me get into a good habit of praying each day at a certain time, until I started using this book. It is designed for each day of the year for you to pray in the morning with the first prayer, and then later in the evening with the second prayer for the day. The prayers featured in this devotional aren’t too long, but long enough to get something out of and reflect on your life with each one.

Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night is a very good prayer book for Christians. I enjoy using it to help guide my prayers. If you need a little guidance or help praying each day, this would be a great book for you to read. I also think it would make a very nice gift for a Christian to receive as well. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review as part of their Book Sneeze program. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 16, 2012

The Last Frontier by Julia Assante

The Last Frontier by Julia Assante is a very powerful book that can fully transform your thoughts and beliefs about the afterlife. She magically weaves scholarly facts with religion and personal accounts of the afterlife. If you are curious about what happens once we die, or if you want to try to make contact with someone who has already passed on, this book could help answer some of your most important questions about the other side.

Book Description
Knowledge of the afterlife can trigger dazzling transformations in body, mind, and spirit. It unleashes our authentic selves, radically resets our values, and deepens our sense of life purpose. From it we discover that the real nature of the universe is the very essence of benevolence. In this comprehensive work, Julia Assante probes what happens when we die, approaching with scholarly precision historical and religious accounts, near-death experiences, and after-death communication. She then presents convincing evidence of discarnate existence and communication with the dead and offers practical ways to make contact with departed loved ones to heal and overcome guilt, fear, and grief.” – The Last Frontier

My Thoughts
The Last Frontier is a very well written book exploring the afterlife and our fears about death. If you have ever lost someone close to you, or been ill to the point of near-death yourself, the thought about life after death probably crossed your mind more than once or twice. You may have been scared to die, curious about what happens next, and maybe even sought out evidence or literature about the subject. The fact is, nobody knows for certain. We’re all still alive. However, special people in the world such as Julia Assante are able to help ease the mind about it with her ability to communicate with the other side. Another big shocker here: we can all start this communication with loved ones who have passed. Assante helps explain how to do so in this book, which I found to be an excellent guide.

I admire Julia Assante’s work in this book, and her scholarly background (she earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University), as well as her skills communicating with the dead. She writes with a passion and knowledge that many in this field often fail to portray. I enjoyed this book very much and if you are curious about the afterlife, I think that you will enjoy it too. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Last Frontier, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual by Julie M. Simon

The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual by Julie M. Simon is a self-help book that looks at overeating and problems with weight gain in a different way than most “diet” books out there. As an emotional eater, you may not be able to lose the weight the same way another person can. With this program, you can learn how to fix your emotional problems and shred the extra weight you gained over the years.

Book Description
Despite our best intentions, many of us find ourselves routinely overeating at meals, snacking mindlessly, or bingeing regularly. As emotional eaters, we turn to food for comfort, soothing, distraction, and excitement. There’s a disconnection fueling our eating, robbing years from our lives, and we know it. We’re tired of restrictive diets that lead back to overeating, and we’re ready to try something different.

Therapist and life coach Julie Simon offers a new approach that addresses the true causes of overeating and weight gain: emotional and spiritual hunger and body imbalance. The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual presents five self-care skills, five body-balancing principles, and five soul-care practices that can end overeating and dieting forever. You’ll learn to nurture yourself without turning to food, to correct body and brain imbalances that trigger overeating, and to address your soul’s hunger. Weight loss, more energy, improved health, and self-esteem will naturally follow.” – The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual

My Thoughts
The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual is the type of diet and self-help book that people who emotionally eat need to read. People who eat for emotional reasons can go on a diet and exercise program and lose weight, but often they end up right back where they were before because the underlying problems weren’t ever addressed and fixed.

Julie M. Simon wrote this book based on her “Twelve-Week Emotional Eating Recovery Program” that addresses weight gain as part of an emotional and spiritual hunger and physiological imbalance. Treating someone’s problem in this way treats the whole person, not just the number on a scale, and I for one really appreciate this philosophy and outlook on it.

This book doesn’t offer a quick fix to a lifelong weight problem, but it does help the reader to see their life differently, especially in relation to their eating problems. If you have struggled with your weight and are need of some help, this may just be the book that can help you with it. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 15, 2012

Elegy For Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear

Elegy For Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear is the ninth follow-up book in the Maisie Dobbs series. The setting is London, England, during the period between the World Wars. The main character is Maisie Dobbs, a female private investigator who solves crimes, and has a personality that could easily make her way onto a television series.

Book Description
Early April 1933. To the costermongers of Covent Garden—sellers of fruits and vegetables on the London streets—Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a near-magical gift for working with horses. So who would want to kill him . . . and why?

Maisie Dobbs's father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, and she remembers Eddie fondly. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death. Maisie's search for answers on the working-class streets of Lambeth leads her to unexpected places and people: to a callous press baron; to a has been politician named Winston Churchill; and, most surprisingly, to Douglas Partridge, the husband of her dearest friend, Priscilla. As Maisie uncovers lies and manipulation on a national scale, she must decide whether to risk everything to see justice done.” – Elegy For Eddie

My Thoughts
As someone who is just now being introduced to the series, I was a little bit wary of starting with this book. Jumping into a series and not reading the first books can be off-putting, but Winspear writes beautifully, and is able to still tell the story marvelously without having to read the previous books in the series. The only drawback to starting with the ninth book in the series (and liking it) is that I now want to read the previous eight books.

Although Winspear does tell an excellent story, some of the plotlines are a bit too predictable. This doesn’t make for the novel to be any less liked by me, I just had hoped it would be a bit more mysterious. I won’t give any of those predictable plotlines away here though, because you may not see it coming and that would be a shame for you to not be surprised by it. For spoilers, check out someone else’s review.

The characters, setting, and overall story were very enjoyable. I found myself getting lost in the story after just a few minutes of starting it, and I did enjoy it right up to the ending. If mysteries or crime novels are your thing, this is a book I think you’ll enjoy. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Elegy For Eddie, Harper Perennial, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Snap by Patti Wood

Snap by Patti Wood is all about first impressions and why they are so important, and often very hard to change. Think about the first time you met someone that you liked right away, or instantly disliked very strongly. What were they doing? How did they treat you? What were they wearing? Where were they standing or sitting while talking to you? All of these things (and many more) make up our first impressions. Find out why they affect us so quickly and have such a lasting impact in this book.

Book Description
From business meetings to social events to first dates to job interviews, we all encounter new people every day. Our ability to read body cues and convey the right first impression drives the success and quality of our personal and professional lives. Body language expert Patti Wood, a sought-after consultant and speaker to Fortune 500 companies, helps businesses and individuals stand out, create profitable relationships, and thrive in competitive circumstances. Now she brings that knowledge to our daily lives, offering practical and proven guidance on accurately interpreting body cues and creating impressions both in person and digitally. In Snap, you’ll learn how to:

• Use your voice and body language to convey confidence and charisma, authenticity and authority
• Immediately discern people’s hidden agendas 
• Make the best impressions via email, phone, video conferencing, and social networks
• Convey and interpret signals of likability, power, credibility, and attractiveness 
• Use nonverbal tools to spot true integrity or recognize charming frauds 
• Attract the best matches in business and romantic partners 
• Recognize how you really look to others” – Snap

My Thoughts
Snap is a very interesting book. I can remember many occasions where I met someone and felt an instant connection with. I can also remember many people I’ve met over the years that I never wanted to see again, and strongly disliked upon first meeting them. Many of these snap judgments based on first impressions worked out well for me, and possibly saved me from danger a few times.

Reading through this book showed me that some of those bad impressions were possibly just caused by a bad day the person was having, or their own insecurities when meeting someone new. Maybe I also gave them a bad first impression. We can’t go back and change that snap judgment, but we can always work towards fixing it, if it is important to us to do so. It will take time, but it can be done.

This is a very well written and easy to read book. You can use it to make sure that your first impression is as good as you can make it. You can also use it to decipher the hidden clues behind why you instantly like or dislike someone you just met. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Snap, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 13, 2012

Men of Sunday by Curtis Eichelberger

Men of Sunday by Curtis Eichelberger is a real look at football and faith in the NFL. It focuses on the how the coaches, players, and families involved in it deal with the temptations that the NFL brings with it, and faith.

Book Description
Step into the locker rooms and living rooms of NFL players and personnel to see how a close relationship with God guides football’s biggest stars.
Compiled from dozens of interviews, Men of Sunday marks the intersection of two Sunday traditions: faith and football. Inspired by the league's "systemic shift" toward embracing Christianity, Bloomberg writer Curtis Eichelberger shows how God is a source of comfort when facing the unique challenges of life in the NFL and the everyday challenges of maintaining strong families and building character. Hear in their own words how the NFL’s greatest rely on their faith to overcome drug abuse, family crises, injuries, and temptations resulting from fame and fortune.
 Featured personalities include
·         New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson
·         Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers
·         Former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Mike Singletary
·         Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis
·         Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy
·         San Diego Chargers pastor Shawn Mitchell
·         Danisha Rolle, wife of former Tennessee and Baltimore defensive back Samari Rolle
·         And many more

Men of Sunday's readers—"normal folks . . . who go to church on Sunday, come home to root for their team, and who live a righteous life . . . most days"—will learn to tackle their own obstacles by trusting the Lord.” – Men of Sunday

My Thoughts
Men of Sunday isn’t a simple book about football and faith. It does obviously focus on how the people involved within the NFL use faith as a tool to keep them grounded and away from temptations thrown at them, but it also shows how faith can help people involved in any professional sport to stay grounded.

Football is a violent sport, and many people wonder how someone with such faith could be in such a sport. This book takes a look at that, in a way you may not expect. The players become celebrities and role models, even though they are just playing a game that they love. Often players that don’t have faith or ones that are too tempted by groupies, riches, and drugs, stray very far off of their moral path along the way. Faith can be intercepted back into their lives though, and make for some amazing last-minute touchdown transformations.

There are inspiring and uplifting stories in the book, and also heartbreaking ones. Each story featured in the book is worth reading and will give you a new outlook on the NFL. I highly recommend this book for fans of the NFL.


* Thank you to the publisher of Men of Sunday, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review as part of their Book Sneeze program. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 12, 2012

Skincare for Girls: When to Start and What to Use

When is the right time to start a skincare routine for girls? Well, there isn't a set age for this, and that varies from girl to girl. Starting young (pre-teen) is the best way to go. It gets the girl in a daily routine that she can continue throughout her life, and keep her skin looking young for many years to come.

Natural Beauty Products for Girls
No matter what age a girl is, she should be using natural beauty products. The more organic and chemical free the product is, the better it is for their skin. Look for products that don't have parabens, sulfates, DEA, phthalate, and any added dyes or unnatural fragrances.

Makeup removal and gentle facial cleansers are likely the first beauty products a girl will use on her face. Young skin shouldn't be exposed to the harsh ingredients found in many cleansing products, so be sure to use gentle or sensitive skincare for girls.

The Best Cleansers for Girls and Teenagers
Willa - Start Fresh Foaming Cleanser - $11 
Neutrogena - Extra Gentle Cleanser - $6.49 
Burt's Bees - Sensitive Facial Cleanser - $10 

SPF Moisturizer
Girls of all ages need to make a moisturizer with SPF a part of their daily routine each morning. Protecting skin against the sun's powerful and damaging UVA and UVB rays is a must. A lightweight, oil-free option that doesn't clog pores leading to acne is the best option for young skin prone to breakouts.

The Best SPF Moisturizers for Girls and Teenagers
Physicians Formula - Healthy Wear SPF 50 Tinted Moisturizer - $14.95 
Willa - Face the Day SPF 30 Tinted Face Protection - $14.50 
Burt's Bees - Radiance SPF 15 Day Lotion - $18 

Natural Acne Treatment 
Acne fighters are one of the most important products for skincare for girls. Blemishes are embarrassing for girls of all ages, and when it happens to girls and teenagers, they want it gone fast. Look for products that won't clog pores, cause excessive drying or redness, and contain 2% salicylic acid.

The Best Acne Treatments for Girls and Teenagers
Willa - Take Action Acne Spot Treatment Click Pen - $10.50 
Burt's Bees - Natural Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment - $10 
Neutrogena - Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel - $7.99 

Beauty products for girls and teenagers should be simple. They don't need a huge amount of skincare products for their young skin. Getting them started with the cleanser, SPF moisturizer, and proper skincare routine will help them to have younger looking skin as they grow older. All of the products suggested in this article can be used for girls and women, so no matter the age of the girl, their natural beauty will shine through.

* Prices for the suggested products were taken from each of the company's websites on November 5, 2012. Price and availability is subject to change after this date.

November 10, 2012

The Heart of Money by Deborah L. Price

The Heart of Money by Deborah L. Price is a book to help couples with their financial issues. Money is often a touchy subject for couples, and this book helps to ease the subject matter to help both individuals with their money as a couple.

Book Description
Money issues have long been the number one cause of relationship disharmony and divorce, yet when it comes to identifying and changing unhealthy money patterns and behaviors, many couples feel helpless. Money coach Deborah Price has taught thousands of people how to work together to resolve money conflicts and create a financially empowered future. In these pages, she presents strategies and tools for creating financial intimacy while learning to communicate about money issues calmly and reflectively, rather than reactively. With inspirational stories and practical techniques and exercises, this book will help you and your partner:

• learn the language of financial intimacy and talk about money in a healthy and empowering way
• recognize and change unhealthy money patterns
• identify which of the eight money types apply to each of you and understand the impact they have on your life, your relationship, and your finances
• build a mutual sense of financial security and confidence
• work through setbacks and challenges to make your relationship stronger than ever before” – The Heart of Money

My Thoughts
The Heart of Money is packed with strategies and exercises for a couple to do that focuses on their finances. The overall message that I got out of it was that money should be talked about in a healthy and positive way, even if there are financial problems that need to be dealt with.

Deborah L. Price (what a perfect last name for her) writes this book with compassion and understanding. She truly wants to help people push past and fix their financial issues, especially when it comes to relationships. She is authentic and the suggestions and tips she shares with us in this book can really help. There are many real life examples of how the author’s clients were helped by these tips, and it is highly encouraging as a reader to see this.

Overall, I think that is a very good book to read for couples that need to have that conversation about money and their finances. I think that single people could also benefit from reading it too though, and they’ll be better prepared for that conversation about money in their next relationship.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Heart of Money, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 9, 2012

The Amazing Story Generator by Jason Sacher

The Amazing Story Generator by Jason Sacher is a fantastic book for writers who sometimes need a writing prompt to start a story, or to just push their writer’s block out the window. This is a flip-book that generates an almost endless amount of ideas for your next short story, novel, artwork, or anything else you would use it for creatively.

Book Description
The Amazing Story Generator creates thousands of different story prompts! This flipbook for writers and other creative types allows users to randomly combine three different elements to generate a unique story idea. With hundreds of settings, characters, and plots to mix and match, the possibilities are just about endless. Packed with colorful, wacky, and engaging prompts, this is the perfect tool for jump-starting fresh new short stories, novels, scripts, screenplays, and improv sessions.” – The Amazing Story Generator

My Thoughts
The Amazing Story Generator is a fun book to use to help think of a new writing idea. As someone who has had writer’s block more times than I can remember, this is book I am very happy to have and use to kick writer’s block to the curb. I only wish I had this book for the past ten years.

There are three sections you can flip through to find a creative writing project idea. You can do it with your eyes closed for a surprise, or you can flip through it to find something that inspires you. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

Examples of writing prompts I flipped to:

  • Ignoring the advice of friends, the world’s tallest woman gets trapped inside a popular TV show.
  • On New Year’s Eve, an unsuccessful comedian is transported to another galaxy.
  • A thousand years from now, a North Korean scientist leads the charge against a zombie army.

Overall, I think this is a very helpful and creative tool for writers, artists, and anyone who wants to be creative. It is especially useful for those with any form of writer’s block. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Amazing Story Generator, Chronicle Books, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

November 7, 2012

The Magical Path by Marc Allen

The Magical Path by Marc Allen is an excellent book that can help all of us achieve the life of our dreams. It is filled with affirmations, visualizations, meditations, and much more.

Book Description
This extraordinary work presents a series of simple, powerful tools that anyone can use to find a short, effortless route to success and fulfillment. You will discover tried-and-true techniques that deliver quick results. In fact, these shortcuts to success are so simple, accessible, and effective that you will quickly call them magical. Marc Allen developed these tools over several decades, and refined them over many years in a series of life-changing seminars. The results have been wonderful, even miraculous, for a great many people. 

Work and play with any part of this book and you’ll start seeing remarkable things happening in your life and in your world.” – The Magical Path

My Thoughts
The Magical Path is truly a book that everyone can use, no matter what religion you are. If you can read, this book can work for you. The affirmations are perhaps the easiest way to start bringing this magic into your life. All you need to do is use one of the affirmations included in this book, or write one of your own. Visualizations aren’t hard, but it does take more concentration. Same with meditating. If you are a beginner, start with the affirmations and work your way up.

You don’t need any extra tools to use with this book. If you want to elaborate on the exercises, and put up the affirmations around your home, you’ll need a few extra things like post-its, a notebook, or whatever creative tools you’d like to use with it.

Marc Allen weaves magic in his words throughout this book, and if you read it and use it, I’m sure it will bring magic into your life as well. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Magical Path, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.