October 16, 2015

#ImpressManicure Salon Quality for Busy Moms

Can I let you in on a little secret? Come closer, I don't want everyone to know this because it's kind of embarrassing. But the truth is...

...I've never had a salon manicure.

I know, right? I may be the only woman on the planet who has never had her nails professionally done.

Since gel nails are all the rage now, I've been tempted a few times...but simply couldn't justify the expense. When you're a retired Baby Boomer on a fixed income, you have to be careful about where your money goes. And salon manicures just aren't a priority for me.

That doesn't mean I don't love my nails! I'm lucky that my nails grow really fast. Since I do a lot of work on my computer, I must keep my nails fairly short for the keyboard, but now and then I'll let them grow out and polish and buff and they look like a million bucks. :)

But I still am envious of those with perfect gel manicures.

That's why I was so excited to try new Impress Salon Quality temporary nails.
These nails are absolutely awesome!! Not only do the nails themselves look superb, but the glue that holds them to your fingernails is outstanding. It really makes a tight bond that lasts for days and days.

When they said these nails will last up to a week, I said "no way".

Well, guess what? Way.

I've had mine on for five days as of today and they are just now starting to show signs of weakening. The bond is so strong you can literally trim, file, and shape the artificial nails after you've applied them. I'm bad about using my fingernails as tools. I didn't think about the chance of breaking one off until after I'd opened a couple of cans of cat food. You know, the ones with the ring pull thingie. I just shoved my nail right under it like always, and pulled the lid off. And then I remembered my false nails. But what do you know...it didn't seem to faze them a bit.

Which is just a testimonial to how strong Impress nails are, and how well they bond to your natural nails. Impress-ive, to be sure!
- Simply peel backing and press on
- No drying time and no mess
- Safe on natural nails
- Mega gel shine
- UltraHold Technology keeps nails on
- $7.99 / Walgreens
- www.imPRESSmanicure.com

They come in a variety of sizes and styles and colors. I was lucky to get the French manicure set (which I love!). You can't tell from the photo, but the white tips are quite large and very squared-off. I'm not a fan of squared-off nails, so after applying them, I trimmed them about half, and gave the edges a soft rounding. Perfect! They don't interfere with my keyboard computer work at all, and the smaller white tip looks so much more natural than the larger white tip. Round instead of square looks more feminine, too, in my opinion.
I would suggest trimming the nails to your desired length before applying them, though. I didn't have any trouble doing it after the fact, but it does take about thirty minutes for the glue to completely set, so you risk damaging the bond if you're not careful. And should you accidentally mess one up, there are extras in each set. Twenty-four pieces in all, which means you're likely to find just the right size for your nails.

They do come in different sizes, so be careful what size you purchase. For teens and women with tiny hands, the small size works fine. For "mature" women with average hands, medium is better. And for large hands/nails, there's a large size as well. At first I tried the small size and found only three or four nails that actually fit me. So I moved up to medium size and was able to find eight that fit perfectly. The other two left just a bit of my natural nail showing on the edge--not noticeable with French manicure, but possibly noticeable if you're wearing colored nails.

But at $7.99 retail, you could easily buy two or three sets, in each size, and then you're sure to find ten that fit your nails perfectly. Since these are temporary and only last about a week, they won't replace salon gel manicures. But at $7.99--about one-fifth the cost of a salon job--it's definitely a bargain. Got an important date or engagement coming up, and no time to get to the salon? Grab a set of Impress Salon Quality nails and you'll have gorgeous nails in about thirty minutes!

{Disclosure: I received samples gratis courtesy of Impress and BrandBacker to facilitate my review, but my opinions are my own.}

May 28, 2015

My favorite new brand of natural products - Xlear

It's one thing to talk about natural products and how they help the environment. It's another thing to see a company actually doing something.

Meet my favorite new brand of natural products - Xlear
Xlear, Inc. is committed to providing consumers with the health benefits of xylitol, a naturally occurring sweetener, by manufacturing all-natural, health-enhancing products. Some of these include: Xlear® Nasal Spray, an award-winning, patented saline and xylitol solution; a complete line of dental health products under the Spry Dental Defense System® brand; XyloSweet®, raw xylitol crystals used as a sugar substitute in cooking, baking, and general consumption; and Spry Gems, a growing line of healthy, xylitol-based mints with leading pH values.

I received an Xlear oral care kit to try out through my association with #momsmeet.

I'll be honest, I'd never heard of Xylitol until I tried the Spry Gems. Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from natural sources. It is also produced in the human body as a by-product of a normal metabolism. Xlear xylitol is of the highest quality possible. It is a pharmaceutical grade, meaning it must be more than 99.95% pure, and is made from non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) corn fibers. It does not contain any of the corn grain, and it is tested to ensure that no corn allergens, mycotoxins, or corn proteins of any type are in the product.

This fantastic natural ingredient has so many benefits for us. The addition of xylitol to saline nasal sprays, neti pots, and positive pressure bottles has been shown to make them more effective at helping to prevent ear infections in children, sinus infections in adults, and asthma and allergies in people of all ages. Xylitol helps the body's natural cleansing process to clear away allergens, asthmatic triggers, and other harmful bacteria. Xylitol is also one of the newest, easiest, and tastiest ways that people can improve oral health. Research done in widely different conditions confirms that xylitol use may reduce tooth decay.

How does it do that? Because products sweetened with xylitol create an unwelcome environment for bacteria. Study after study continues to show that bacteria simply don't stick well to teeth in a xylitol-rich environment and that it may reduce the risk of decay in the tooth enamel. Xylitol is recommended by dentists, periodontists, pediatricians, and many health organizations and health professionals worldwide as a sweetener for anyone concerned with dental health.

Wow. Who knew?? Well, YOU do now, and so do I. So if you're looking to add natural products to every area of your life, don't forget oral health. Don't forget Spry and Xlear!

Spry Oral Rinse is one of my favorite Xlear products. It doesn't sting like many mouth rinses. Alcohol is a good germicide but it burns and can dry out mouth tissue. Spry Oral Rinse takes a more natural approach to oral health by using a xylitol-rich, low-alcohol, and pH-neutral formula. It also uses a mix of natural flavorings and herbal extracts such as aloe vera, chamomile, and echinacea to help soothe irritated mouth tissues. Spry Oral Rinse is available in Cool Mint, Spearmint, Wintergreen, and Cinnamon flavors, and retails for $6.99 each.

Another favorite product is Spry toothpaste. I love the taste, not too sweet, just right. And my mouth feels so fresh and clean after brushing. Spry Toothpaste consists of 1/3 xylitol, which provides 20-25% of the recommended dosage per day. Xylitol also increases mineral absorption into the enamel of the teeth, resulting in greater protection with a clean, fresh feeling that really lasts. Spry Toothpaste retails for $5.99 each.
I really love love LOVE the bamboo toothbrush! Talk about sustainability! One of the most-used household items in any home is an individual's toothbrush. Dental experts report that toothbrushes should be replaced at least 4 times a year, if not more frequently. With over 320 million Americans, that's a lot of toothbrushes in the trash. Worldwide, people add billions of toothbrushes, and the environment-harming materials they are made of, to landfills across the globe. The Spry Dental Defense bamboo toothbrush was developed to address this problem. Organically grown bamboo makes an excellent toothbrush for a number of reasons. No pesticides or chemicals are used in its cultivation, making it an all-natural, sustainable, biodegradable, and eco-friendly alternative to the more-common materials that will take thousands of years to break down. Naturally anti-microbial, bamboo also helps protect the mouth from unfriendly bacteria and other microbes so you can brush with confidence. Retail price $3.89.

If you're adding xylitol to your daily defense regimen, might as well add gum and mints too, right? Xlear Spry Gum has a flavor profile that exceeds regular chewing gum with the added benefit of xylitol. Spry Gum is available in four natural flavors: Spearmint, Wintergreen, Cinnamon, and Peppermint. 12-piece pack of Spry Gum retails for $2.29.

Xlear Spry Gems are naturally sweetened with 100% xylitol. Spry Gems combine the benefits of xylitol with natural flavorings and calcium to create a pH-balanced formula for advanced oral health. Spry Gems are available in Berry, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Spearmint, and Lemon Cream varieties. 40-count Spry Gems retail for $2.19.

Xlear is a soothing nasal spray that helps to alleviate congestion due to allergies, cold, flu, and sinusitis. It does this by being much more hyper-osmotic than a traditional saline nasal spray, meaning it draws moisture in and keeps the nasal passages and sinuses more moist and clean than saline alone. It also incorporates xylitol, a natural product that has been shown to decrease bacterial adherence in the nose. This health-promoting combination is designed to aid in the relief of irritation caused by pollutants, allergens, and germs in the nasal passages. Not only does this solution enhance the body’s natural defenses, but it also increases the amount of water, which enables our immune system to be more effective. When used twice a day, Xlear nasal spray not only hydrates the sinuses and nasal passages but it also helps to wash away airborne contaminants and pollutants that lead to many common upper respiratory problems. Unlike many prescription or medicated sprays with unwanted side effects, daily usage of Xlear Nasal Spray is non-addictive and will not damage tissues. One 1.5 oz. container of Xlear Nasal Spray retails for $14.99 and will last 2-3 months with daily use. The Xlear Nasal Spray Economy Pack contains three .75 oz. squeeze bottles and retails for $18.99.

I'm completely sold on all the Xlear and Spry products! If you'd like to try some of these for yourself, for a limited time you can purchase the Xlear Care Kit at a greatly reduced price. The kit contains 1 1.5 fl. oz. Xlear Nasal Spray, 1 3-pack 1.75 fl. oz. Xlear Nasal Spray, 1 tube Non-Fluoride Peppermint Toothpaste, 1 bottle Spearmint Oral Rinse, 1 40-ct Lemon Creme Gems Mints, 1 40-ct Cinnamon Gems Mints, 3 packs 12-ct Peppermint Stronger Longer Gum, and 3 packs 12-ct Spearmint Stronger Longer Gum. That's a $65 value, for only $25! (plus s&h) Use coupon code SAVE50 at checkout to get this amazing deal, but hurry, it's only good until June 30.

Learn more about Xlear, Spry, and xylitol at Xlear.com. Visit them on Facebook and Twitter too.

{Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.}

#DesignYourAir with new Renuzit Pearls!

You know the brand name Renuzit means long-lasting fresh scent for your home. Now that long-lasting fresh scent comes in beautiful new containers of pearls!

Renuzit Pearl Scents act as an odor neutralizer and air freshener, but they also add another depth of beauty to your home. This new look was designed to accent and highlight your home decor as well as provide long-lasting freshness.

I found the perfect place for my sample of Renuzit Pearl Scents. The bathroom, of course!
It looks so elegant sitting on the counter, don't you agree? And the smell is heavenly!

I can't get over how lovely the "pearls" look. The top screws on and off and is perforated in a beautiful design to allow air to flow freely. But the pearls are so pretty I want to show them off.
Of course it goes without saying that you'll want to keep these out of reach of children. Little fingers might find the pearls too hard to resist!

Anywhere in your home is the perfect spot for Renuzit Pearl Scents. Try one of the five brand new scents today!
- Blue Sky Breeze
- Serenity
- Sparkling Rain
- Tranquil
- Seductive Pineapple

Visit Renuzit on Facebook
Beautiful Air By Design - #PearlScents

{Disclaimer: I received a product sample to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

Snuggle up to new #FreshSpringFlowers Snuggle!

Have you tried new #FreshSpringFlowers Snuggle? Get a $.50 off coupon while supplies last! http://h3.sml360.com/-/59b7

I love when my laundry is not only soft but smells great too! New Fresh Spring Flowers Snuggle turns laundry into aromatherapy! :-)
The scent is so fresh and pleasant, and it really lingers on your laundry. My towels are so soft and fluffy, and delicately scent the whole bathroom.
And clothing maintains that fresh scent, even hanging in the closet or concealed in drawers. Not too overpowering, just light and fresh.

And it lingers for a long time. So you know the next time you reach for a towel to Snuggle up with someone special, it's still going to have that soft, fluffy feeling, and a fresh scent as if you just laundered it. What a lovely thing to share with your family!

{Disclaimer: I received a product sample to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

May 17, 2015

Computer crash lifesaver! #HDDS1BSUSB30SuperSpeed

Raise your hand if you've never had computer problems.

Unless your computer is brand spanking new, I'd be willing to bet every single one of you has had computer problems at one time or another.

Now, how many of you have had computer crashes where you lost data from an old hard drive?

Mm-hmm...that's what I thought. Just about everybody who's had a computer for any length of time has experienced data loss.

If you're a writer or store your other creative work on your hard drive, this can be devastating. You'll be just about desperate to retrieve that old data from the hard drive of the broken computer you just replaced.

What to do?

Until now, you had to pay dearly to a data retrieval service. Or cross your fingers and hope your brother or nephew or cousin is computer-savvy enough to finagle a way to get those files for you.

But you don't have to be at the mercy of outside help anymore. What you need is a portable SATA / USB hard drive reader. Luckily, these are now affordable and easily available at a number of online retailers like Amazon.com.
I recently had the chance to try the Liztek #HDDS1BSUSB30SuperSpeed single bay hard drive reader. Man, is this thing fast! When portable hard disk readers first became available, they were slow because they were governed by the USB port speed. But now with USB3, that's no longer a problem.
This gadget couldn't be easier to use. If you're even a little bit familiar with computer "innards" and know what a hard disk drive looks like, you're in business. Just remove the old hard drive from the dead desktop or laptop, pop it into this reader, attach to your new desktop or laptop via USB, and voila! You are able to read the old hard drive and retrieve data you thought you'd lost forever.
Liztek HDDS1BS USB 3.0 Super Speed to SATA Single Bay has a side-loading design that supports standard 2.5 and 3.5 inch SATA hard drives. Easily connects to computer with Super Speed USB 3.0 with transfer rate up to 5 Gbps (pending devices). Portable and easy to use Plug & Play, Hot Swap, no tools and no drivers needed. Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, & Mac OS X with USB Port. You get the Liztek USB 3.0 Single Bay HDD Docking Station, USB 3.0 data cable, power adapter cable, user's manual, plus a no-hassle 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
And the price? Right now it's only $22.95.

Wow. Data retrieval services can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. But for the price of a meal, you can have peace of mind knowing that if your computer dies (or should I say when, because It's. Going. To. Happen.) you'll be able to retrieve manuscripts, projects, priceless photos etc. from your old hard drive. And you'll be able to do it yourself.
The times really are a-changin'...

{Disclaimer: I received a sample product to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

Feel like a makeup pro with Xtava #makeupbrushes

If you're like me, you've got tons of makeup products. Foundation. Mascara. Eyeshadow. Eyeliner. Blush. Concealer. And brushes.

Oh yes. Brushes.

It seems every makeup item needs its own brush, doesn't it? That huge brush that works so well for applying finishing powder to your face is absurdly big for applying eyeshadow. And vice versa.

So you need all those brushes. But how many do you actually use?

When I'm prowling through my makeup collection, I skip right over all the odd brushes because there are only a couple I actually use. So why do I have all the rest? Because you never know when you'll need a particular brush for a particular makeup effect.

But scattered haphazardly in my collection is really hard on brushes, so even though I'm hanging on to them, they really should be tossed out because the bristles are probably bent into deformed shapes by now.

Enter Xtava #makeupbrushes! I love the neat case that comes with these brushes. Keeps everything handy, but saves the bristles from becoming deformed or damaged. And so easy to pop into your luggage for travel.

But what I really love is the versatility of these #makeupbrushes. I can safely throw out some of those old brushes I've been hoarding over the years, because there's a brush for every need in this Xtava collection.

And so easy to handle and control! I feel like a real makeup professional when I use Xtava #makeupbrushes. If you're tired of sorting through old brushes you probably will never use or need again, treat yourself to an update. Try the Xtava makeup brushes set.

And you'll feel like a makeup pro too!

{Disclaimer: I received a sample product to facilitate my review. No other monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

May 3, 2015

CushionCare Memory Foam Coccyx seat cushion is a lifesaver! #CushionCarePromotion

I am amazed at the difference this product has made! My office chair is comfortable when I first sit in it, but after a little while it feels like I'm sitting on a hard bleacher seat at a ball game or something. Not comfortable at all. I keep shifting and twisting, trying to get comfortable, to no avail.

But when I received this cushion I put it right to work, and I could tell almost immediately that this was what had been missing from my normal office chair. See that little groove at the back? You'll want to make sure that groove is situated over your tailbone as you sit on the cushion because that's what alleviates pressure on your spine, which is what causes muscle fatigue and aches and pains.
I have to position the cushion so that it just hits the backs of my knees as I sit down, which puts the groove right where it's supposed to be. But that's all the adjustment needed. After that, I'm good for hours of sitting at my desk without discomfort. If I get up for more coffee or something, I have to reposition it again, otherwise my tailbone won't hit the right spot, but that's a small price to pay in extra effort for the marvelous benefits gained. I'm sold on this cushion! Only wish I'd found it years ago!

It's a great investment if you spend a lot of time in your chair. It's portable too, so take it along for seminars and meetings. You'll be the envy of all your associates!
And another feature I love is the removable washable cover. Now coffee spills are not a problem. I simply replace the soiled cover with the included free cover, and toss the dirty one in the wash. Easy peasy!
{Disclosure: I was provided a sample product to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}