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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Product Review: Poppy Austin Rosehip Oil, 2 Fluid Ounce

Product Review:

Poppy Austin Rosehip Oil, 2 Fluid Ounce

A little dab will do you! This Popply Austin Rosehip Oil will last forever. You don't use much at all and the moisture goes on and on all day long! Works great with or without makeup!

I love that this product is pure and organic - and better yet, there's no perfumey smell. Even if you are outside in the elements, your skin feels like you just stepped out of the shower. Even at the end of the day you feel youthful and even hydrated. Awesome product and a fabulous price!

Link to my Amazon Review:

Amazon Product Link:

Product Description:
  • Muti-purpose; Our luxurious yet 100 per cent organic, toxin-free, and naturally occurring rosehip seed oil is one of nature's most effective skincare treatments; Applied topically, it is perfect for returning your skin's youthful glow by combating the signs of premature aging; Poppy Austin rose hip oil will directly tackle wrinkles, laughter lines, crows' feet, age spots, brittle nails, hyper-pigmentation, radiation and sun damage; It is an incredibly powerful and multi-purpose skincare remedy, used to restore moisture balance and combat dryness; It will also fight eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, calm rashes and burns, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and acne scars
  • Stunning results; Enjoy plump, fresh, rejuvenated skin, deeply penetrated with high levels of vitamins a, e, and c; Your complexion and skin tone will radiate with youth as our rosehip oil calms and moisturizes your entire body with it's smooth, light texture; Regular users of rosehip seed oil report a silky bloom-like finish to their skin and celebrities such as Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Victoria Beckham are avid fans of this wonder ingredient; Such is the versatility and effectiveness of pure organic rose hip oil, it will help your skin to retain moisture without creating an excess shine; This is vital for people living and working in harsh air-conditioned environments
  • Fast acting; This lightweight organic moisturizer will quickly absorb into your skin, leaving no oily residue; Within a few minutes, Poppy Austin rose hip seed oil will already be working it's magic, feeding your skin with vital fatty acids and antioxidants, helping to protect against free radical damage whilst keeping your skin supple and moist; Whether you use this product as preventative therapy or as a restorative treatment, you can expect to see visible improvements in your skin as little as 48 hours after first use; A gentle, all-natural remedy, our premium rosehip oil is suitable for all ages and skin types; It is particularly effective on sensitive, allergic, and problem skin
  • Finest quality; Poppy Austin rosehip oil is made by hand and responsibly sourced, using only the very finest organic rosa rubiginosa seeds and triple filtered for maximum purification; Each batch is harvested in small quantities and cold pressed using traditional extraction techniques; Poppy Austin has the strictest qualification standards of any natural cosmetics company and only the very best batches are approved for sale; We are also committed to education in both wellness based beauty and naturally occurring ingredients; This product has just one, rosehip seed oil; It is free from paragons, fillers, alcohol, artificial colors and fragrances with nothing added or taken away during production
  • Beautiful you; Your skin will look it's very best when it's cared for like a fine silk and allowed to age with grace and elegance; At Poppy Austin, we passionately believe in the idea of embracing your natural beauty and enhancing what you have without fighting against it with painful cosmetic procedures; There is no such thing as a flawless or perfect completion, but with the right all-natural skincare regime it is possible to look your mesmerizing best with super-soft, supple and hydrated skin that is free from imperfections and impurities; Rosehip oil is the perfect tonic to premature aging and the stresses and strains our of modern day lifestyle; Try it today for a beautiful you

Why I Use Amber Teething Necklaces

I get asked this question ALL THE TIME so I'm here to answer the following:

"Why is your son wearing a necklace?"

And here's the scoop in our household:

Short answer:

It's a baltic amber teething necklace that naturally helps reduce inflammation and pain from teething. He has 9 teeth (one of which is a molar) and we haven't had to use Tylenol and there haven't been any sleepless nights. I swear by these!

Long answer: (see above and add): Baltic Amber teething necklaces are made from fossilized tree resin which contains "succinic acid". The heat from our bodies helps release this acid into the skin and it's a natural anti-inflammatory. For a baby who is teething, this is going to reduce the drool and help with painful gums. We consider our necklaces to no longer be effective at the 6 month mark. They can still be worn because they look cool, but you'll want to add a new one to get the anti-inflammatory benefits. My son has two on right now and one is new and the other just looks amazing and has an intricate design. You shouldn't let baby wear them to bed (even with a safety clasp), and they are NOT made to be chewed on. Make sure you buy the right size so they aren't too big or too small. Obviously, too small would be uncomfortable, but too big would allow them to pull and chew. They come in 11-11.5 inch and 12-12.5 inch. You can even buy adult sizes, bracelets for baby, bracelets for adults, etc...

If you are local to me you'll find these gorgeous and beneficial necklaces at the following retailer:

Green BayBeez LLC
109 North Wisconsin Street
DePere, WI 54115

Fresh From Scratch Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe is not fast or easy...and you could make it faster and easier by using canned pumpkin, BUT...our judges agree these muffins are amazing and worth the time!


1 small/medium size pumpkin (you need 2 1.2 cups of pumpkin)

3 farm fresh eggs (beaten)

1 3/4 cups sugar (raw unbleached is best)

1 stick of butter (real butter...salted or unsalted, you choose)

3 Tablespoons of vanilla (we like alcohol free, natural vanilla but there again it's your choice)

2 1/4 cups unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 cups raisins

optional: walnuts


If you are using fresh pumpkin start here:

Cut your pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and stringy insides (throw those away or save for a different project). place both pieces in a greased shallow baking dish outsides down - so they look like bowls sitting in the pan. Cut your stick of butter in half and place each half in half of the pumpkin. Add 3/4 cup of your sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon (splitting it between the two sections of pumpkin). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes. Let cool and proceed to the next steps.

Scoop pumpkin and all the juice into a large mixing bowl. Be careful not to loose any of your butter because you won't be adding any more butter or oil to this's all right there already. Use a potato masher to make the pumpkin a bit smoother. Now add 3 eggs, and remaining amount of sugar (1 cup) and mix until the lumps have disappeared. Now add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix again. Finally you can add the raisins (and optional nuts if you wish). Bake at 350 degrees and check after 11 minutes and every minutes thereafter until they are done. You can check them by inserting a toothpick.

These are fabulous without any frosting, but if you have a sweet tooth you could add a cream cheese frosting for some extra yumminess! ENJOY!!!

If you are using canned pumpkin:

Combine 2 1/2 cups of pumpkin, eggs, sugar, butter (melted), and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until the lumps disappear. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix again. Lastly you'll fold in the raisins and optional nuts if you wish. Bake at 350 degrees and check after 11 minutes and every minutes thereafter until they are done. You can check them by inserting a toothpick.

These are fabulous without any frosting, but if you have a sweet tooth you could add a cream cheese frosting for some extra yumminess! ENJOY!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Raw Organic Unfiltered Shea Butter Review

Raw Organic Unfiltered Shea Butter Review

I love many things about the Organic Raw Shea Butter but the nicest part is it's totally unscented, unaltered, and not tampered with. I can use it without worrying about overpowering smells, harsh chemicals, etc...and if I'm in the mood I can add some essential oils and use it on myself or the children as a safe treatment for stuffy noses. This is a great product, whether you're using it as it is or using it as part of a DIY project. It's completely customize-able!

Link to Amazon review:

Product Description Organic Raw Unrefined Shea Butter From Ghana- Ivory.

• 16 oz (1lb) of Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter from Beauty By Shea is made with extra care to ensure you receive the purest Raw Shea Butter. Beauty By Shea Organic Shea Butter is double filtered, first in Ghana, and then at our US Lab where it is manufactured into our 1lb bricks, packaged into our heat sealed bags, and sent straight to Amazon thereby preserving the natural richness, and purity of the shea butter for our customers.
Beauty By Shea 100% Ivory Organic Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter is imported directly from Ghana, and is 100% pure and natural, nothing else added!
Naturally rich in essential vitamins for beautiful skin, Beauty By Shea Organic Shea Butter will nourish your skin with Vitamins A, E, F & K. Use this Beauty By Shea Organic Raw Shea Butter daily and often for beautiful, moisturized, luminous skin.
Raw Organic Unrefined Shea Butter is perfect for topical use on skin and hair, and the perfect essential ingredient for homemade lotions, soaps, conditioners and more!

Product URL:
Hashtag: BeautyByShea

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Workout DVD with Julie Schoen Review

Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Workout DVD with Julie Schoen Review

My review: This prenatal yoga workout is excellent and is a soothing way to start the day, limber up achy mommy joints, and help with the lower back pain that always seems to accompany pregnancy. You can definitely tell this was put together by moms for moms - it's encouraging and very well thought out!
Link to Amazon review:

Product Description:

"A beautiful at-home yoga practice for all expecting mothers..."

Julie Schoen, certified pre-natal yoga instructor, author, and founder of and Mommy Does Yoga, leads mommas-to-be on a beautiful 60-minute yoga session, keeping women active, comfortable, and relaxed during all stages of pregnancy.

An active vinyasa flow weaves modified yoga poses together to create a workout that feels good while still being effective at keeping and creating muscle tone. Bookended by a soothing meditation and relaxing restorative poses, Mommy Does Yoga's Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Workout is the best thing expecting women can do for themselves and their babies.

Hashtag: #PrenatalDVD

Amazon Link:

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Sign...I am NOT a Complete Failure as a Parent

As most of you know I'm Christian, a Wife, and a Mother ( that order). Most days I feel like I've failed at all three of those jobs. Usually I feel that way right about the time the sun comes up. Before I roll out of bed I have an idea of how I want the day to go. Within minutes I am headed off course. I let curse words slip every now and again, I forget playdates and sports practices, I lose someone's favorite socks or burn the eggs (that is on those days when I've remembered to pick up eggs).

Today was no exception and I cannot begin to list all the things that went wrong. Fortunately for me, I was raised by a total and complete optimist. Even though I know I've fallen short, I generally look at the positives and figure if no one is hospitalized by the end of the day we have successfully accomplished what we needed to for that day. Some days that is all I can ask for. I would love to send a Christmas letter talking about how my children never talk back, always eat organic food, and I would love to include a photograph with matching outfits, brilliant smiles, and absolutely no bumps or bruises. That's not who we are though. Right now I'm trying to remember if anyone brushed their teeth before bed and our youngest has a bruise under his eye that might lead a stranger to believe he was punched in the face by a sibling. That is of course not the case...but perception is everything.

I digress...what I really wanted to share was a quick story about my children and how they constantly surprise me and always bring immeasurable joy. Really...they do...even when I'm yelling, there is still a smile hiding back there somewhere.

This evening, I allowed the older children to stay up past their bedtime. I needed their help because we had been without internet for several days and I needed to get work done in my office. After homework was done I asked if they'd play with our youngest (who turns 1 in a week) so I could work. They eagerly agreed. I should probably explain that my office isn't downtown or upstairs office is completely open to the rest of the house so I can easily eavesdrop while still concentrating. The children were 'playing house' in the living room. I heard my daughter speaking in a soothing voice to her 'son' and as she came home from work she hugged her 'husband' and asked him in a very concerned and engaging tone 'honey - how was your day?'

This went on for nearly a half hour. There was no yelling, no smarmy tone, no sarcastic comments...there was love. She read a book to her 'son' and rocked him in her arms. My oldest son sat on the couch next to his 'wife' and they chatted about the rainy weather and the garden. They decided they should plant an apple tree.

I sat at my desk beaming with pride. My parenting goal was to never yell or lose my temper. Most days I feel like all I do is yell...and yet as I listen to my children I realize they see a side of me I would like to see more often. They see me as gentle and nurturing. They don't see my failures and shortcomings...and this gives me hope for their futures and my own. As  I tucked them in bed and we said our prayers I said a special thank you to God for sending me a message and reassuring me I have not failed as a parent.

Good night and God Bless!

May our paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and moments that make you smile ear to ear!


Winter WOW! Blog Tours - NOW BOOKING BLOGGERS!!!

Grab Your Calendars!
I have three VERY exciting WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tours I can’t wait to start booking and I hope you’ll be part of the excitement!

Dates:   November 10th through December 10th 2014
Author:  Linda Appleman Shapiro

Title:   She's Not Herself: A psychotherapist's journey into and beyond her mother's mental illness

(Amazon Link:
Genre:  Memoir, Mental Illness
Audience: SHE'S NOT HERSELF was written to appeal to a wide range of readers from anyone who has grown up in a family fraught with the destructive power of hidden stressors -- mental or physical -- as well as students of psychology, teachers, patients, and the professional community of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers. I believe that all readers will gain insight regarding family dysfunction, the destructive nature of secrets, and patterns of behavior that are set in motion -- as many professionals believe -- as early as in the womb. Without it being simply a first-person account of survival, the reader experiences me as I move from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. They experience me as I try on various professional hats and ultimately train to become a psychotherapist. After years of trauma, I move beyond it and gain the ability to forgive without forgetting and do so with courage and, I hope, dignity. That is what I hope readers will be able to do for themselves, as well.

Book Description:  On the surface, her childhood seemed normal—even idyllic. Linda grew up in the iconic immigrant community of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, with her parents and a gifted older brother. But she spent her days at home alone with a mother who suffered major bouts of depression. At such times, young Linda was told, "Your mother…she’s not herself today." Those words did little to help Linda understand what she was witnessing. Instead, she experienced the anxiety and hyper-vigilance that often take root when secrecy and shame surround a family member who is ill.

She’s Not Herself is a journey to make sense of the effects of multi-generational traumas. Shapiro is ultimately able to forgive (without forgetting) those who left her to fend for herself—and to provide readers with the wisdom of a seasoned psychotherapist who has examined human vulnerability in its many disguises and has moved through it all with dignity and hope. The result is a memoir of love, loss, loyalty, and healing.

Guest Post Topics:

Writer topics -- 
1- How to write without my psychotherapist's voice. That is, how to tell my story by showing my family in action -- creating dialogue, describing details regarding how we looked, what our neighborhood and particular house was like . . . In short, how not to analyze but how to show without telling the particulars of our family's struggles, challenges, and successes.
2- How to decide what to write about and what to omit in order to create a flow vs. an overflow of information.
3- Why opt to write a memoir rather than a book of fiction in which much of one's story can be written as fiction?
4- How to write about very sad and challenging experiences and still leave the reader feeling hopeful.

Non-writer topics:
1- With mental illness coming out of the closet and constantly being in the news these days, personalizing what it is like to live with a person suffering from a mental illness, is allowing today's readers to be much more educated and able to seek help for themselves and loved ones thatn when I weas growing up in the 40s and 50s.

2- The importance of not stereotyping anyone who suffers from mental illness.
3- How to know what behaviors to recognize as being worrisome and why wishing them away will be counter-productive. Taking action is always necessary to avoid people from falling through the crack, not receiving help and opting to commit suicide, not knowing how to help themselves get rid of their demons.  
4- Despite the fact that we still do not have enough funding for mental health, we certainly are far better off when we know where to seek help and how to advocate for oureselves or a loved one who needs professional help. 


Author Bio: Linda Appleman Shapiro earned a B.A. in Literature from Bennington College, a Master’s degree in Human Development/Counseling from the Bank Street College of Education, a Master Certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming from the NY Institute for N.L.P. and further certifications in Ericksonian Hypnosis and Substance Abuse/Addictions Counseling.

Shapiro is also a contributing author in the casebook, Leaves Before The Wind: Leading Edge Applications of N.L.P.

In private practice as a psychotherapist for more than 30 years, Shapiro served as a senior staff member for 10 years at an out-patient facility for recovering addicts and their families. As an Oral Historian, she has documented the lives of many of New York’s elderly for more than 30 years.



Dates:    November 17th through December 17th 2014
Author:   David W. Berner

Title:    Any Road Will Take You There: A journey of fathers and sons


Genre:   Memoir,Family, Parenting
Audience:  Any Road Will Take Your There is a book for everyone, but especially  for men who are father's and, and of course, sons. Mothers who want their father's or husband's to think about the connections with their sons. But I've also had women read and love this book. I think it's about the familial connections. 
Book Description: A father sets out on a 5000-mile road trip, the one he never had the guts to take as a young man, the one he hopes will spark a new chapter in his life. But the once-delayed journey now takes on new meaning when he’s forced to confront his family’s unsettled past, and face the reality that every man, including his own two sons, will eventually compare his life with the fathers who came before him.
Chicago writer, David W. Berner, takes to the road for a journey he hopes will rekindle a level of inspiration. After re-reading Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD, the iconic American road trip story and the book he cherished as a teenager, he finds himself confronting an unexpected examination of his place in the world and the most important role of his life – fatherhood.
ANY ROAD WILL TAKE YOU THERE: A Journey of Fathers and Sons is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story told with humor and grace, revealing the generational struggles and triumphs of being a dad, and the beautiful but imperfect ties that connect all of us.

Guest Post Topics:

1. The unique connection between fathers and sons
2. The allure and redemptive nature of road trips
3. Writing about your life, choosing what to write about. 
4. How to balance the story with what can be the sometimes the intrusive nature of writing about family.
5. About being the Writer-in-Residence at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando. 
6. How to incorporate reflective moments in memoir or creative nonfiction. 
7. Writing about the living and writing about the dead. How to be true to both. 
8. How to be a disciplined writing --- writing like you workout. 


Author Bio:  David W. Berner-the award winning author of ACCIDENTAL LESSONS and ANY ROAD WILL TAKE
YOU THERE-was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he began his work as a broadcast journalist and writer. He moved to Chicago to work as a radio reporter and news anchor for CBS Radio and later pursue a career as a writer and educator. His book ACCIDENTAL LESSONS is about his year teaching in one of the Chicago area's most troubled school districts. The book won the Golden Dragonfly Grand Prize for Literature and has been called a "beautiful, elegantly written book" by award-winning author Thomas E. Kennedy, and "a terrific memoir" by Rick Kogan (Chicago Tribune and WGN Radio). ANY ROAD WILL TAKE YOU THERE is the author's story of a 5000-mile road trip with his sons and the revelations of fatherhood. The memoir has been called "heartwarming and heartbreaking" and "a five-star wonderful read."

David can be found online at:

twitter ---  @davidwberner
twitter -- @anyroadbook




Dates:      December 1st 2014 through January 1st 2015

Author:    Sandra Hurtes

Title:     The Ambivalent Memoirist: Obsessions Digressions Epiphanies


Genre:    Memoir
Audience:   Writers, Journalers, anyone with a story to tell or a story they aren’t sure is worth telling
Book Description:  In The Ambivalent Memoirist Sandra Hurtes asks, "Where is my place?" She's a single and childfree woman at midlife, whose parents were Holocaust survivors. Through writing, teaching, knitting, and yoga, Sandra searches for her place, one that is devoid of the trauma of her parents' past.

Guest Post Topics: Not available just yet

Author Bio:   I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to immigrant parents who survived the Holocaust. My parents' lives--before and after the war--informs much of my writing and to a large degree my life. My first published essay, "A Daughter's Legacy," helped me to loosen my parents' expectations and begin to shed my sense of responsibility to heal them.
My essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Poets & Writers, Women in Judaism and numerous other publications. My essay, "The People We Love and Create" won an American Jewish Press Award. In 2009 I compiled my essays into a collection On My Way to Someplace Else. I've taught nonfiction and essay writing in continuing education and private classes. Currently, I teach English Composition at John Jay College.


 Sandra can be found online at: