Author Archives: Carrie
It’s important to exercise several times a week year-round, but once winter blows in, it can be hard to work up any motivation to step outside. Between dreading being cold and not wanting to pile on all of those extra layers, it can feel like a chore just to make a run to the grocery store, let alone go outside for exercise. Sure, it’s warm and cozy inside, but if you bundle up and head outdoors, you’ll save a bit on your heating bill and get in a great workout, too.
1. There are still multiple modes of transportation in the wintertime – the car isn’t your only option. You walk or bike throughout the rest of the year, and the winter doesn’t have to be any different. On a particularly mild day, pull on a few layers and walk to work or the store – you’ll get in your workout for the day while helping the environment. Every energy expert knows that one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by finding alternative modes of transportation.
2. Exercising in the winter helps you burn more calories because your body has to work extra hard to keep itself warm. Your heart will work harder, too, improving your endurance.
3. Studies have shown that a walk in nature can improve your mood and get rid of stress. During the winter, a lot of people suffer from some sort of seasonal depression. Plus, since the days are shorter and many of them are overcast, exposure to sunlight is low. Making a point of getting outside to soak in whatever sunlight is available is extremely important to revving up your mood. Plus, when you workout, your body produces endorphins, which make you feel happy.
4. So many people catch a cold or get infected with the flu during the winter because everyone’s cooped up together indoors without any fresh air circulating. By getting outside, you’ll reduce your chances of being exposed to those germs. Plus, exercise improves your immune system, which means that when you are exposed to viruses, your body will be better equipped to fight them off.
5. A lot of people have difficulty sleeping during the winter and seasonal depression can make people feel even more sluggish and exhausted. When you exercise and keep your energy level up throughout the day, you’ll have an easier time sleeping at night.
6. When you spend time outside, you improve your attention span and memory. Being in nature is akin to meditating, according to a University of Michigan study. Cognitive performance improves, whether it’s warm and sunny or overcast and chilly. Every age can benefit from a workout for the brain!
7. The wintertime is full of obstacles – but in a good way! From snow to ice, maneuvering over and around those obstacles help workout muscles you may not normally use. Plus, you’ll improve your balance. For adults, this results in better fitness. For kids, playing outside in the winter looks like an exciting obstacles course – they can climb up snowy hills, go sledding or ice skating, or build snow forts.
When exercising outside during the winter, protect your hands and feet well. Wear light layers to stay warm without getting too hot.
Hey yall! I’m here today to introduce you to a revolutionary new concept in laundry detergent. How many times have you been trying to pour a dose into the cap, only to overpour, miss, or spill all over? I can’t be the only one. Now with Purex PowerShot, you don’t have to worry about any of that!
New Purex® PowerShot detergent simplifies the laundry routine by taking the guesswork of measuring. Purex® PowerShot is the only bottle that automatically dispenses the right amount of super concentrated formula with 50% more stain fighting power in every drop.
Here’s how it works:
I have to say, this detergent is definitely so easy to use! One flip is all you need for most loads. No squeezing, no trying to fill to a hard-to-see line in the cap.
Once you are done pouring for your load, the next dose automatically fills the chamber for the next! This detergent has all the cleaning power and fantastic scent you already love from Purex, now in an easier to use format.
Be sure to enter this amazing giveaway, open until March 31!
Three grand prize winners will receive a Whirlpool® Washer & Dryer set
300 runner-up winners will get a free bottle of NEW Purex® PowerShot™ Detergent
We’ve known for a while that the waters of the Dead Sea have some sort of beneficial effect on skin. The salty water and earth of the Sea have been used in tons of beauty products lately, such as scrubs, soaps, toners, and more. I got the opportunity to try out a Dead Sea Mud Mask from InstaNatural, as well as an Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer!
Manufacturer Information about the Dead Sea Mud Mask:
InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask is an all-natural detoxifier and purifier that comes from the renowned and sacred Dead Sea. More than a million visitors each year flock to this extraordinary body of water in the Mediterranean, which contains many minerals beneficial to the skin, such as magnesium, sodium, bromine, potassium and calcium. Once applied, this mud mask treatment starts working to absorb excess oil, dirt and toxins from the skin. It is great to expunge acne, pimples and blackheads. It also helps to restore an even skin tone for a smoother complexion. When used as a body treatment, the mud mask can soothe and relieve muscles aches and pains. Whether used on the face or the body, our Dead Sea Mud Mask is a superb in-home spa treatment that will reveal more vibrant, refined, healthier skin.
This mud mask is a huge jar, and I can tell that it will last me a very long time! Just from one use, this is all that was removed…and I could have gone with less, as I think I put it rather thicker than it should have been.
The texture is not unlike that of chocolate pudding, to be honest, although there are some small bits that don’t offer much in the way of grittiness.
There’s not really any scent to be noted. Upon first putting the mask on, I noticed a cool tingling. I liked it quite a bit. My main issue was that as the mask went through the process of drying on my face, it began to itch. This irritate me to the point where I definitely had to wash it off before the full 15 minutes was up, but I think my skin may be more on the sensitive side.
I did feel an immediate softness on my face after using the mud mask. I think I will be most interested in using this mask on the rougher parts of my body, such as elbows and feet!
I had heard of retinol before, but I was never really sure what its’ benefits were. That’s why I was excited to test this moisturizer.
Manufacturer Information about the Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer:
Harness the extraordinary power of retinol with InstaNatural’s Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer… perfect for night and day. InstaNatural’s restorative cream contains a robust formula of handpicked ingredients designed to improve your complexion. Retinol (Vitamin A) promotes healthier skin and helps to reverse the signs of aging, while Vitamin C & Green Tea strengthen skin to protect against external aggressors that cause damage. In addition, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil & Shea Butter deeply moisturize the skin to provide long-lasting hydration.
Using InstaNatural’s moisturizing cream daily will help to transform older, damaged skin into a healthier and youthful appearance by: diminishing the appearance of wrinkles & fine lines; reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, such as sun spots, age spots and dark spots; helping control breakouts and reducing blemishes, restoring firmness and elasticity of skin, evening skin tone & texture; and delivering ultimate moisturize for soft, supple skin.
I love that this moisturizer dispenses from a pump, and one pump dispenses just enough to cover my face. The texture is perfect, not too thick but not too thin. It glides easily on the face and take very little time to absorb. I began to feel that my face was softer and more hydrated after only a couple of uses. One important thing to mention about using a facial product with Retinol–being out in the sun can lead to more damage. So, I will be using this as strictly a night time moisturizer.
Best of all, InstaNatural offers a 100% money back guarantee for all its’ products.
**DISCLAIMER: I received free product from the company above to test for this post. No other compensation was given, and my photos and opinions are my own. Powered by BrandBacker.
Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast (February 17 to 18, 2015) for the second book in “The Maisy Files” mystery chapter book series by Elizabeth Woodrum, “Maisy and the Money Marauder”. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Book 1, you can grab a Kindle copy for FREE from Amazon February 17 and 18, 2015!
About the Book
Title: Maisy and the Money Marauder (The Maisy Files, Book #2) | Author: Elizabeth Woodrum | Publication Date: February 17, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 90 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 12
Summary: Lunch money has been stolen at West Valley Elementary, and everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective in on the case. With a cherry lollipop in hand, her fedora, and her trusty notebook, Maisy steps into her black-and-white mystery world to search for clues. Join Maisy on her quest to unmask a thief in Maisy and the Money Marauder.
PLUS, Grab a FREE Kindle Copy of Book 1, Maisy and the Missing Mice
from Amazon February 17 and 18, 2015.
The Buzz About Book One
“Maisy and the Missing Mice is a fun chapter book featuring a smart and sassy tween girl as the title character; a solid and interesting plot featuring age-appropriate intrigue and suspense; and some terrific writing that carries the reader on a journey as a detective uncovering clues and solving the mystery of who stole the missing mice. I highly recommend this book as a read aloud book for children between the ages of 6 and 10 or for independent readers between the ages of 7 and 12 who love to read mysteries.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
“Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It’s a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box.” ~ The Children’s Book Review
“The delights from this book start with the cover art and continue with a fun story that is well-written.” ~ 5 Star Review, R. Johnson, Amazon
“My name is Kat. I am 9 years old. I would rate this a five because I like everything about it, the mystery the most. It was fun to read. My favorite part was the mystery and the end. I love this book so much. I think other kids would love it too because it has mystery and most kids would like mystery books. Most mystery books have a good mystery. I would love to read the whole series.” ~ 5 Star Review, Heather A., Amazon
“What an Amazing book. I totally love it. I admire the author dedication for writing an incredible book. While reading this book, it was very clear that author understand kids. I’ve always been an avid reader and this book is one of the best books I have read in 2014. This book grabs my attention from the very start of the book and couldn’t put it aside till I finish it.” ~ 5 Star Review, KristinT, Amazon
“I knew I would love this book simply because I knew it would remind me of the mystery books I read in my childhood. I really love how much trust the teachers and community as a whole put in Maisy. She is well deserving of their admiration as the way she finds clues and finds the mascot for the school is well thought out. This is a story any child would love to read. I hope Maisy continues to solve mysteries…” ~ 5 Star Review, Josh, Amazon
About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum
Elizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children’s series, is the first series that she has published.
As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.
* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: March 16, 11:59 pm, 2015
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Elizabeth Woodrum and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
The Camelot Kids
by Ben Zackheim
Middle Grade Fantasy
What happens when Merlin tries to save the world with 150 teenage descendants of The Knights of the Round Table?
In The Camelot Kids, Ben Zackheim, author of the bestselling Shirley Link series, tells the exhilarating story of Merlin’s quest to save the modern world by recruiting 150 teenage descendants of The Knights of the Round Table. Getting 150 teenagers to do anything can be tough. Even if you know how to handle them. Merlin has no idea how to handle them.
Luckily, Merlin finds Simon Sharp — a natural leader, but not a big fan of the Camelot myth. In fact, his parents, both obsessed with King Arthur, died in a plane crash on their way to an archaeological dig. So when Merlin tells him that he’s a descendant of Lancelot, King Arthur’s strongest warrior, Simon is skeptical and not receptive in the least. And that’s just the beginning of a story that will leave readers thrilled, wanting more and entirely convinced of the brilliance of Simon Sharp.
In the same way that magic is the code that holds Harry Potter’s world together, chivalry is the code, the foundation and the social dynamic of The Camelot Kids. Chivalry is, in a sense, real-life magic, and it is the real-life code Simon and the other teenagers learn to live by.
MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Simon is a 14 year old orphan living in New York City. He lost his parents 2 years ago, when their plane crashed on one of their weird quests to find the lost kingdom of Camelot.
When Simon is one day taken in by his curmudgeonly uncle, he discovers that what his parents were searching for did in fact exist…and Simon is a very important part of it. he is quickly thrown into a world filled with trolls, wizards, dragons, and danger at every turn.
While I enjoyed this story for the most part, it took quite a little while to get off the ground for me. The exciting action and Simon learning the truth about himself doesn’t happen for a while, though intriguing things do pop up in the beginning. There are so many questions that don’t get answered until towards the end of this 500 page book.
Simon himself is not my favorite character in the book. He’s so very serious for a 14 year old, and very very skeptical. Though, I guess perhaps I shouldn’t fault an orphan for being this way. I much prefer Simon’s new wizarding friend Maille Rose. She’s smart, fiery, and has a way of doing what she wants no matter what the consequences. They make very complementary friends.
The author does a great job of making the reader feel as if he or she is entering the magical kingdom of New Camelot at the same time Simon is. It’s an enchanting place where both fun and trouble lurk. You also get to know the cast of characters, and either liking or disliking them right away.
At times I had a bit of trouble keeping up with who was fighting whom, who was the enemy, and who was being betrayed. I feel like as an adult this shouldn’t happen to me with a middle grade book, but there you have it. Hopefully the kids to whom this book is targeted won’t feel the same way.
I would be interested in seeing what the future holds for New Camelot, now that the first book has gotten into the heart of the action.
About the Author
Zackheim’s storytelling chops span TV (Nickelodeon), Games (Sony), Books (Shirley Link) and screenplays (Chester Yang, an Austin Heart of Film Festival semi-finalist script). Parents.com and Edward Hemingway have both highly recommended Shirley Link as a great book for Middle Graders.
Title: The Kingdom Within
Author: Samantha Gillespie
Series: The Kingdom Within Series #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy Romance
Princess Meredith’s eighteenth birthday is fast approaching, but unlike other girls, she is not looking forward to it. Upon her coming of age, she is to marry the prince of Alder, the most powerful kingdom in the world. Though the idea of marriage to a complete stranger is appalling, she knows she has no choice. Without the marriage contract, Stonefall’s alliance with Alder will be lost, and her people will be safe no longer; Theros, King of Talos, has set his eyes of conquest on Stonefall and he wants Meredith dead.
Connor, an elite soldier entrusted with Meredith’s safety, arrives at the palace just as things begin to take a turn for the worst. Together, they will embark on a journey of survival, in which Meredith will find that the only thing she never prepared for was falling in love.
Samantha Gillespie is a creative, helpless romantic who was born in Mexico, where she grew up with her family until they returned to the States at age eleven. An avid reader from a young age, Samantha finally gave into her passion for writing, making her debut with The Kingdom Within.
Samantha considered pursuing a degree in English Literature while in college but despite her family and friend’s encouragement, she opted for a more practical career in Business. Now, with the publication of her first book under her belt, she occasionally hits herself on the head for it. Samantha currently lives in Houston, TX, and besides being a sucker for romance, she has a soft spot for helpless kittens, and all things Pride & Prejudice.
I’m usually not big on hanging random pieces of art in my home…my walls are covered with photos of my family. But when I got the chance to try out a photo on canvas from FulcrumGallery.com, I was thrilled and quickly set about choosing my piece!
Fulcrum Gallery is an easy website to navigate. The photos are vivid, and the search function works very well. The pictures you can choose from are also divided into tons of sections that you can browse; you can browse by room, type of art, artist, or even color.
I had just made my first trip to Bourbon Street, and loved it–so much that I decided I wanted a piece of New Orleans on canvas in my home. This is the photo I chose.
Once I knew what I wanted, I then had to decide on the format. Luckily, Fulcrum Gallery lays out all your options for you very clearly, along with prices.
My canvas is 27″ x 9″, and wrapped on a wooden frame.
The canvas was shipped quickly and packed very securely, and arrived in perfect condition. I was definitely very satisfied with the quality of the photo and the vibrancy of the colors–it’s all very true to life.
I hung the canvas in my bedroom with 2 anchored screws. I know the frame is quite sturdy, and this won’t be going anywhere anytime soon!
I had a fantastic experience ordering color photography from FulcrumGallery.Com, and the piece I chose really complements my home. The website always has a sale of some sort going on, and here’s the best part: if you don’t love what you’ve ordered, there is a no questions asked, 100% satisfaction guaranteed return policy! But I have a feeling you will love your canvas print as much as I do.
Probiotics have been all the rage ever since Activia yogurt came out several years ago. The goal of a probiotic supplement is to help keep your stomach and digestive system healthy.
I decided to try out Zenwise Labs’ Super Strength Probiotics for myself and see if the probiotic movement is worth its’ weight.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health. Zenwise Labs’ Super Strength Probiotics contains 10 natural probiotic cultures that assist in the body’s digestive process. These probiotics also serve to fight and protect against harmful bacteria to promote a healthy immune system. Each serving of our probiotics contain 15 billion live probiotic cultures to ensure a natural digestive balance.
Contains 15 Billion CFU to promote digestive and intestinal health
Promotes a Healthy Immune System
Improves mood and energy levels
Relieves stomach discomfort
The capsules are rather average in size, larger than a painkiller but smaller than a multivitamin. I had no trouble swallowing the pills at all.
Over the weeks that I have been using Zenwise probiotics, I do feel that my stomach has been more healthy. I have been having mild IBS for years, and these probiotics seemed to help keep my number of flare ups to a minimum. I also love that the capsules themselves are all vegetable–your body is not ingesting anything it will have trouble digesting.
I think along with a healthy diet, probiotic supplements have a place in my everyday routine. I’m glad I got to try out Zenwise Labs’ excellent version.
FTC Disclosure: I am being compensated for this post by Reebok. My opinions are my own.
To all the athletes out there who spend their days bloody, muddy, and sore, not for bright lights or money, but to simply be the best version of themselves: This is for you.
Sometimes a little bit of crazy is a good thing. It’s that extra push that keeps you at the gym after everyone else has thrown in the towel, that urge to go for one more lap, or that mental alarm clock that drags you out of bed in the morning to get out there and train. That little bit of crazy is what sets the tire flippers, rope climbers, and 5 A.M. runners apart from the crowd.
And it’s not just about being able to lift more, run further, and jump higher. It’s about pushing your own personal limits, expanding your mental and social strength, not just your physical strength. It’s about being a harder worker, a more mindful person, a better human. Reebok designs gear that’s forged from these ideals and stands up to non-stop punishment.
See what it truly means to Be More Human. Then get more at http://Reebok.com/BeMoreHuman.
Here are the results from my human score test:
Be sure to get yours here!
If you’re anything like me, you love to smell great and get excited when new perfumes come out every season…but you don’t really want to drop $60 or more on a huge bottle you might never finish!
Luckily, Scentbird is here to help! For only $14.95 a month, you can try a new perfume delivered to your door, without having to shell out for a big bottle.
How does it work?
Answer a few quick questions to create a scent profile with a queue of fragrances to look forward to receiving in the coming months.
Every month, the scent of your choice will come to your doorstep. Price includes shipping and you can cancel anytime. It also makes a fabulous gift!
The scent I chose to receive was just released a short time ago, but Scentbird had it int heir stock of over 350 fragrances. I picked DKNY MyNY.
My chosen perfume took about a week to arrive, and it comes in a chic black mailer envelope that you will be happy to see every month.
For the first month, your scent comes with a velvety black storage bag and the outer case, which you will change out as you get new fragrances.
The case is a bit larger than the size of a lipstick tube. You simply twist up, and the spray pump is revealed for you to apply your perfume! No worrying about spilling in your purse.
Inside the inner case is your glass vial. This is labeled with the name of the scent. If I had one thing I’d change about Scentbird, I would like a way to find out what the scent is without having to pull it out of the bottle…maybe a small tag or something?
I love this fragrance, even though it’s a bit spicier than I would have thought. I’m quite pleased with my Scentbird experience overall!
MORE INFO ABOUT SCENTBIRD:
Product size: 0.3oz/8ml (about the size of a rollerball- this is waaaay more than a sample) of the perfume of your choice.
Go to www.scentbird.com and answer a few quick questions. Scentbird gets to know your scent preferences in minutes.
The recommender suggests a personalized list of scents to try. Create your “perfume calendar” (think Netflix queue) and choose the scent you want each month. Change every month or keep a favorite. Manage your queue to edit the order or add new fragrances (New Designer and Niche scents are added monthly). Enjoy! Shipping is free and you can cancel anytime.
Scentbird would like to offer readers a 25% off code for their first order! Simply use code SCENT25 to get 25% off your first month.