December 30, 2012

The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians by William Walker Atkinson and edited by Clint Marsh

The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians was originally published by Magus Incognito 1918. It was just a pen name for the author and publisher William Walker Atkinson, who wanted to give his generation the information about Rosicrucian ideals and occult concepts. The current generation has Clint Marsh who has been passed the torch to share with all of us this same book, with a forward written by him to help us better understand the text.

Book Description
The Rosicrucians are a truly “secret society” whose philosophy has come to light at different points in history. In the 1600s they issued a set of manifestos calling for an enlightened revolution that would reshape society into a more democratic ideal. Even the American Founding Fathers were influenced by these manifestos.

Writing as Magus Incognito, William Walker Atkinson reintroduces a new generation of readers to the Rosicrucian ideals, as well as to a myriad of connections between occult concepts as varied as alchemy, reincarnation, the astral plane, auras, Eastern and Western mysticism, and the “evolution of mankind” among seven esoteric versions of planets in our solar system.

There are more than two dozen organizations of Rosicrucians, with local groups in nearly every state—more than 100 in all—and half a million or more followers. Interest continues to be high in this group.” – The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians

My Thoughts
The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians is a book that shares the history of the Rosicrucians, including what they believe, and explains the connections that they have to esoteric concepts such as alchemy, reincarnation, auras, the astral plane, mysticism, and much more.

Although the book was originally written and published in 1918, it is still relevant for people today, nearly 100 years later. That is a rather amazing feat for a book that is based on both scientific and spiritual beliefs. The Rosicrucians are a secret society that people want to know more about, and many continue to want to join today. This book can give you the information that you seek, but it isn’t all written there for you to easily believe. There are many things you have to discover for yourself, so not all answers will be clearly written out for you to learn.

Overall, I think that this is an excellent book on the secret society of the Rosicrucians. If you want to learn more about this group, and what they believe, I definitely recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians, Weiser, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 21, 2012

Dec. 21, 2012 - Polyvore Style

Dec. 21, 2012

December 20, 2012

Faery Craft by Emily Carding

Faery Craft by Emily Carding is a charming book that looks into the faery realm, and the people who are drawn to it. It is a guidebook on all things faery. It isn’t too focused on beginner ideas of the faery, and not too advanced for beginners to be lost on the subject. It really is a perfect balance for both beginners and advanced faery explorers to enjoy this book.

Book Description
Weave the Enchanted Realm of Faeries into Your Life 

Working with the Faery realm is not about escaping from reality—it is about engaging with it on every level. Prepare to embark on a spiritual journey unlike anything you’ve ever known! Faery Craft is a comprehensive guide to the modern Faery lifestyle and an essential handbook to human-faerie relations. Brimming with practical and spiritual advice, you’ll discover how to use Faery magick, create altars, and find a Faery ally. Learn about proper etiquette, find your unique gifts, use the Faery zodiac, explore Faery festivals around the globe, and much more.

Enjoy nearly 200 beautiful photographs alongside original art, poetry, and meditations, as well as interviews with renowned Faery authors, artists, and musicians. R. J. Stewart, John and CaitlĂ­n Matthews, Brian and Wendy Froud, Linda Ravenscroft, S. J. Tucker, and Charles de Lint are all featured in this glittering introduction to the fae and the people who love them.” – Faery Craft

My Thoughts
Faery Craft is the type of book on faeries that I absolutely love. It is loaded with information, art, exercises for us to try, and personal experiences. Carding writes with such passion that it really made me as a reader become involved in the book, and want to try out these exercises too.

The book is divided into brilliantly designed and outlined chapters including: knowledge, connection, trust, honour, magick, joy, inspiration, and balance. I enjoyed them all, and found the knowledge chapter to be especially interesting because the fae may not be who or what you originally thought after reading this important chapter.

This is a beautifully crafted book about faeries. It has everything I’d want out of a book about faeries including history, personal accounts, interviews, poetry, artwork, photos, and so much more. I love this book, and if you are interested in the faery kingdom, I think you will like it, too. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Faery Craft, Llewellyn, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 18, 2012

Impossible Realities by Maureen Caudill

Impossible Realities by Maureen Caudill is a more scientific approach to paranormal phenomena. The author comes from a very scientific background, so even discussing such topics seemed outlandish to her, until it started happening to her. If you are interested in learning more about spoon bending, telepathy, reincarnation, remote viewing, and much more - be sure to read this book!

Book Description
Impossible Realities is the first book to examine the science behind psychic and paranormal activity. A former Defense Department expert on artificial intelligence, Maureen Caudill provides evidence for a wide range of paranormal phenomena.

Impossible Realities presents a wealth of anecdotal and empirical evidence to prove the existence (and power) of:
  • psychokinesis (most famously spoon bending)
  • remote viewing
  • energy healing
  • telepathy, animal telepathy
  • precognition
  • survival after death
  • reincarnation

Caudill presents the strongest case yet for bringing paranormal phenomena from the margins into the realm of the normal and credible. This is a book both for true believers and skeptics alike.” – Impossible Realities

My Thoughts
Impossible Realities is the type of book that can be life changing. If you are unsure of the paranormal possibilities in our very own reality, this book could shock you into seeking out the truth for yourself, and finding some truly awesome things in the process.

The topics in the paranormal realm included are: psychokinesis, remote viewing, energy healing, telepathy, animal telepathy, precognition, survival after death, and reincarnation. Each one is discussed to explain what it is, and also gives anecdotal and empirical evidence of each.

My favorite portion was the one with animal telepathy. Anyone who has had animals in their life knows that they can communicate with you. They can tell you things with more than just their barks or meows. I also enjoyed the spoon bending chapter, I just wish the author had taught us how to do it, too.

I really like this book. I’ve read many paranormal books, and this one that offers more a scientific focus on it, which I can appreciate. Paranormal enthusiasts will be drawn to reading this book because it offers a different perspective on the topics than many of the other books on the topic provide readers with. Skeptics that actually read it, may end up questioning some of their previous “beliefs” about the paranormal field. So no matter if you are a skeptic or a die-hard believer of the paranormal, I think if you have an interest in this topic, you’ll enjoy reading this book, too. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Impossible Realities, Hampton Roads, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 13, 2012

Diet for a New America by John Robbins

Diet for a New America by John Robbins is an eye-opening book about the food industry, and is quite possibly a life changing read. This 25 year anniversary edition of the book is a good reminder (or perhaps introduction) to the food we eat and the correlation it has to our health.

Book Description
Originally published in 1987, Diet for a New America awakened the conscience of a nation with its startling examination of the food we buy and eat — and the moral, economic, and medical price we pay for it. Drawing a clear line connecting America’s factory farm system with disease, animal cruelty, and ecological crises, Robbins makes perhaps the most eloquent argument for vegetarianism ever published. Robbins walked away from his family’s business — the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire — to pursue his dream of promoting a healthy society that practices “compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem.” In Diet for a New America he presents both a disturbing portrait of our current system and a vision for the future that will educate and empower readers to change.” – Diet for a New America

My Thoughts
Diet for a New America focuses on being vegetarian because of the unethical, and quite frankly disgusting ways meat eaters (and dairy consumers) get their food. Most people don’t know (or want to know) the way slaughter houses work, animal cruelty, disease, and other hard facts about the food system.

This book is a slap in the face, eye-opener that really does make me consider only eating plants and cruelty-free raised animals. However, I do like meat, and those free-range, happily raised animals are rather pricey. I’m not saying I wouldn’t buy those, just that for my budget right now, I can’t do it all the time.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent book that really has me thinking about food and how we get what we eat. Anyone interested in living healthier should definitely read this book (even if you don’t want to fully go vegetarian).

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

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop by Reginald Bakeley is a complete manual on how to identify fairy creatures, track them down, defend yourself, and banish them from your home. Bakeley explains how not all fairies are created equal, and even those cute flower fairies aren’t quite as innocent as you may think.

Book Description
Help is on the way! In the tradition of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl, Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop shows how to banish those pesky dark fairy creatures who are ready to thwart every last pleasure, be it gardening, country hikes, or even getting a good night’s sleep.

In this charming guide, “fairy hunter” Reginald Bakeley offers practical instructions to clear your home and garden of these unsettling inhabitants, and banish them from your chicken coop and kitchen cupboard forever!

In Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop readers will discover: Why a bustle in one’s hedgerow may be cause for alarm. Why a garden fumigator may come in handy on evenings at the pub. Why a toy merchant, a butcher, and a Freemason are among your best allies in the fight against the fey.

Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop is the only complete manual on how to identify, track, defend, and destroy those bothersome brownies, goblins, dwarves, scheming flower-fairies, and other nasty members of the fairy realm.” – Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop

My Thoughts
Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop is a fun read about serious defense against the fairy realm with considerable wit and humor. Friends and enemies of the fairy kingdom will find amusement in this book, and perhaps a trick or two to use in dealing with fairies.

As a fond lover of the fairy realm, I don’t exactly like the antics of capturing and getting rid of the fairies, but I do agree there are some that should not be allowed to run around in one’s home or chicken coop. I certainly wouldn’t want to eat an egg from a chicken that was actually a goblin, would you?

Overall, I found this book to be very witty, and written very well. I liked it, and I think if you also enjoy fairy stories, or perhaps have a hidden evil fairy in your house you want to get rid of, you’d like it, too.

* Thank you to the publisher of Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop, Conari Press, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 11, 2012

Mermaids 101 by Doreen Virtue

Mermaids 101 by Doreen Virtue is a book all about mermaids, dolphins, Atlantis, and the connections they share with us. If you are a fan of Doreen’s and are interested in this subject, this is a book you’ll want to check out.

Book Description
Mermaids are powerful and graceful inhabitants of the waters who can teach us about harnessing the unconscious mind's ability to attract, create, and manifest . . . while having a fun and playful life! In this latest entry into her best-selling 101 book series (which include Angels 101, Archangels 101, and Fairies 101), Doreen Virtue gives you the fascinating history of mermaids and mermen from Atlantis and beyond. 

You'll read about people's true experiences with mermaids, and learn how you can unleash more manifestation power by tapping into your inner merperson. You'll also see images of ancient and modern mermaids, including photos and descriptions of men and women who wear neoprene mermaid tails and swim in oceans, pools, and lakes alongside whales, dolphins, and other wildlife. Mermaids 101 is a wonderful reference guide for anyone who is fascinated with this magical underwater world.” – Mermaids 101

My Thoughts
Mermaids 101 is a book by Doreen Virtue that I have been waiting for years to read. I knew that she loves mermaids and has featured them as a topic in other books of hers, such as Earth Angels. I’ve loved mermaids since I was a kid, and The Little Mermaid was something I could watch on repeat for days on end. So, this was a book I was really quite excited to read.

Doreen focuses on mermaids, dolphins, and Atlantis in this book. She asks the questions of if we all originated as merpeople, explains the aquatic ape theory, tells of incarnated dolphins amongst us, the difference of mer-deities, and shares many stories of people who have encountered mermaids or are a type of incarnated mermaid here on Earth.

The book is in full color, which is really nice because there are many pictures included in this book of Doreen and her friends that go “mermaiding” with their swimmable mermaid tails. It is also in hardcover, which I like more than paperbacks to keep it in good condition for longer. Mermaids 101 isn’t a large book, so it can easily be read in one sitting.

As a very big fan of Doreen Virtue, I am quite sad to say that this book does not live up to my expectations of her as an author. It isn’t a bad book, but it isn’t the top quality I am used to getting from her books. It felt more like a story and photo book of her and her friends in their swimmable mermaid tails. She does offer good information about mermaids, but it isn’t as in-depth as it could have been. The thing this book is missing most is the lack of guidelines of how to work with mermaids, which is likely what people wanted most from this book.

Overall, if you are a Doreen Virtue fan that really enjoys reading stories of other people’s experiences with mermaids, you’ll like this book. If you want to read more about mermaids (and not the stories), the first half of the book, would be the more interesting part to this book for you. I hope that Doreen writes a more complete book about this subject without all of the personal experience stories she filled this book up with.

* Thank you to the publisher of Mermaids 101, Hay House, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

December 10, 2012

Live Second by Doug Bender

Live Second by Doug Bender is a religious daily devotional that makes those who practice it put God first in their lives, and themselves second. There are 365 readings and prayers to put the readers on the right path every day of the year. Are you reading to start living second?

Book Description
Athletes and actors, models and musicians, pastors and politicians … many have stepped forward, looked in the camera, and proclaimed, “I am second.” But most in the I Am Second movement are not celebrities. They are ordinary people—and they’ve come to the simple realization that when God comes first in their lives, everything makes sense.

But living second is not easy. It takes grit and humility, submission to God’s will, a willingness to listen and serve, an openness to God’s healing and call.
Live Second is a daily guide to help you. With 365 readings, prayers, actions steps, and an invitation to join other Christ-followers online, what you hold in your hands is a tool built with truth, scripture, and a sure path to put Jesus first every day.

The Christian life is not meant to be easy, just worth it. Live Second is exactly what you need as you become the new, inspired, God-honoring creation he made you to be.” – Live Second

My Thoughts
Live Second is an inspiring and motivational devotional book that can be used each day of the year. If you want to start it on a random day and not January 1st, that is fine. If you want to open the book randomly and use that day’s devotional, that works too. The point is to just read it and do it!

Putting God first in your life isn’t always an easy change to make, especially in the “me first” society we live in. It will be a difficult path for some to take on, but so rewarding! Learning to put God before yourself and to be a better person is what living is all about. It isn’t about who has the coolest new thing or keeping up with anyone else. This book reminds us all of that.

This Live Second Movement is just what the world needs right now. This book can help anyone to be a better version of themself. I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of Live Second, 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.

December 8, 2012

Hanes Fashion Tights Review

Hanes Fashion Tights are the latest in new hosiery for Fall 2012. If you want to update your tights, get some new ones that are fashionable, or just update a classic style, be sure to check out these newest ones from Hanes!

Vintage lace inspired this set of tights, but they are very fashionable right now. I absolutely love these tights with a black dress or skirt, but if you are more daring, I’m sure they’d look great with colors too!

This fashionable pair of tights is an update to the fishnet look. The small circular knit pattern is classy and gives a texture look to your legs making this appropriate to wear with just about anything.

The chevron pattern on these tights make you look very fashionable and can seriously update an old look, and give extra dimension to a boring one. I like these with something plain because the pattern is quite noticeable and gets enough attention on its own.

These tights are extra sheer and have “run resistant technology” which means – less runs! I absolutely love this technology. It works, and updating a classic that goes with everything is always a huge bonus!

I love all of these fashion tights from Hanes. Each one is distinctive and can be worn to create a whole new look in my wardrobe. I highly recommend all of them, so find which style fits your personality most and give them a try for yourself!

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

December 5, 2012

Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the latest keyboard featuring high-speed, whisper-quiet keys, adjustable backlighting, G-keys, and more. If you are looking to replace your standard model keyboard to improve your gaming, this is one you seriously need to check out.

Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyword
Tactile high-speed, mechanical keys – The mechanical keys on the G710+ deliver gaming-grade responsiveness and tactile feedback superior to rubber-domed keys. With an actuation force and distance of 45 g and 4 mm, respectively, the keys are optimized for rapid command entry. Plus, the keys have been tested for durability to a 50 million cycle life.

Whisper-quiet keys – Quiet, non-clicking key switches and a built-in dampening ring underneath each keycap significantly reduce the distracting noise coming from your key presses without sacrificing responsiveness.

Adjustable dual-zone backlighting – Easily locate keys – even in low light. The entire keyboard is backlit in white LED light and adjustable to one of four brightness levels plus “Off”. For better visibility of the WASD and arrow keys, their brightness can be adjusted independently from the rest of the keyboard.

6 programmable G-keys – With three macros per G-key, you can configure up to 18 individual functions per game, including single key presses, complex macros or intricate LUA scripts. You can also create macros on the fly.

110 anti-ghosting keys – All 110 keys of the G710+ are calibrated to prevent anti-ghosting. Press and hold multiple keys simultaneously without fear of missing or unexpected key presses.

26-key rollover – With 26-key rollover, press almost any number of keys plus modifier keys (Control, Alt, Shift) in any order and get exactly what you entered.

Instant media access – Convenient, one-touch controls give you instant access to volume control and media playback.

Game/Desktop mode – No accidental interruptions – you can disable the Windows/Context Menu keys when you play.

USB pass-through – Easily connect your mouse, headset or other USB device via the Hi-speed USB (2.0) pass-through instead of searching for your computer’s USB port.

Removable palm rest – You’ve got extra support when you need it. Or simply detach the palm rest when it’s in the way.

Durable tilt legs – The G710+ has superior durability in all aspects – and its tilt legs are no exception. The durable tilt legs provide stability and comfort even in your most intense gaming sessions.” - Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyword

My Thoughts
If you are a serious MMO gamer, you know that the extra upgrades for your computer setup are well worth it when it comes to gaming. A new gaming mouse can make you move with ease on long gaming sessions, and the extra G-keys help you to do things faster. A new gaming keyboard can help just as much, and should definitely be considered when upgrading your computer.

The Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is everything it says it is. The keys are extremely fast, quiet, and they light up (if you want them to), so you can play in the dark and still easily locate your keys. You can also use the USB connector on the keyboard to insert your mouse to make the wires less confusing. The palm rest is a nice addition to the keyboard, and it is easy to remove if you don’t need or want it for your keyboard. The G-keys are also very easy to program for your specified demands in the games you play.

I really like this keyboard. The keys are much quieter than any keyboard I have used before, which is very nice. I also like how I could make the “WASD” keys brighter to find easier when using these to move in a game. There is just the right amount of G-keys for me, and they are easy to locate when needed.

The only thing I really didn’t like about this keyboard is that you don’t have the option to change the backlight color. The different levels of brightness is nice, but I would have fallen completely in love with this keyboard if I had the option to choose what color the keys and backlight area were able to be set to. White is boring.

Overall, this is a great gaming keyboard. If you don’t mind that the keys only light up white, you’ll enjoy it tremendously for your gaming. I definitely 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.

December 3, 2012

Miraculous by Kevin Belmonte

Miraculous by Kevin Belmonte takes a look at stories about miracles that have taken place in our world. Miracles are everywhere, we just don’t always remember them from human history, or see them occurring around us today.

Book Description
For thousands of years, the hope of heaven has called to people through miracles. When we stop to consider their stories, God’s voice calls to us as well.”
In our age of constant innovation, technological achievement, and the sad tendency to see ourselves as the captains of our fate, we may be tempted to make little time for miracles, or give little credence to them. But to live our lives without a sense of the miraculous is to live impoverished lives. Our word for miracle comes from the Latin word mirari, “to wonder.” And well might we wonder when we consider the nature of miracles and their purpose.
It is here that a grand conversation beckons. God has been our help in ages past. He is our hope for years to come. To learn of holy events and people—supremely, to look upon the Savior—is to see the power of God, and how He has always sought to draw us to Himself. He is our eternal home. Miracles point the way there.
Look at a night sky, studded with numberless constellations of stars. Each is a celestial shard of glory—bestowing glimpses of the eternal. Miracles in Scripture are like the stars. They, like the heavens, declare the glory of God.
In these pages are scenes and lives touched by eternity, settings of almighty declaration, moments marked by deliverance, by mercy, or visionary unfoldings of God’s divine intent.
Kevin Belmonte provides learned insight into the profoundly important history of miracles. Miraculous is a richly researched text of wondrous things that have taken place from ancient times to the present.” – Miraculous

My Thoughts
Miraculous is a very well-researched text about miracles. Belmonte focuses on biblical miracles that can be found in scripture, which is found in the first half of the book. The second half of the book focuses on miracles that have happened to some historical people in more recent history, including George Washington.

This book isn’t a light and easy read about miracles as I thought it would be. It is aimed more for those that have a strong background of scripture and appreciate many historical notes and a strong bibliography.

Although it is highly focused in a more academic way than light reading, I did enjoy the miraculous stories. I wish that he had included more modern miracles than focus on so many in biblical history though. Overall, it is an okay read, but not something I’d want to go through again.

* Thank you to the publisher of Miraculous, 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.

December 1, 2012

The Lumineers “Ho Hey” – Simple yet Amazing

I haven’t posted a song on here for a while, but this song made me want to share it with everyone. Everyone needs a good pick-me-up, feel-good, loving song every now and then, right? Well, this one by The Lumineers called “Ho Hey” is just that.

I first heard it on the CW show Hart of Dixie last year I think, and I’ve loved it ever since.  What do you think of it?