Thursday, July 31, 2014

Smart Fab Fabric

Details: Smart Fab is a disposable art and decoration fabric, colorful, durable and easy to work with, endless creative possibilities, and an excellent choice for schools.  Smart fab fabric is super easy to cut, sew, paint, staple, fold and glue.  The colors don't fade, while the fabric is strong but very flexible, and will not fray.  Indoor and outdoor use and most importantly recyclable.  Smart fab rolls are available in 3 sizes and 15 colors: 48"x 40ft, 48"x 120ft, 36"x 600 ft.  Smart fab cut sheets are available in 2 sizes and 3 color variations: 9x12 (for a 45 sheet pack) and a 12x18 (for a 45 sheet pack).

Disclaimer: 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.

My Review:  Let me tell you, this product had me so impressed just by reading about it.  As a school teacher I'm always looking for creative supplies to use in my classroom, as well as creative tools my students can use for school projects.  I love all the beautifully bright fun colors, perfect for any holiday, event, bulletin board or what have you.  Just by going on to Smart Fab's website they give you project ideas, lesson plans, and how to directions to make some super cute ideas.  For my review, I was given a sample size of Orange, Sky Blue and Dark Pink smart fab rolls.  These sample sizes are the same as what you can buy except the length and width of these sample rolls.  I was also given a free color swatch book, which I just love because let me tell you I'll be keeping it on hand throughout my school year so I can get holiday colored fabric rolls, and sheets for my class.  I'm such a creative person that when I'm given a limited supply of anything super fun, I tend to save it and just not use it, so coming up with a cleaver idea on how to test and use this fabric was actually hard for me...but what I chose I'm very pleased with.  Here is what I have found out: this fabric really doesn't fray, is easy to paint or use markers one (but with colored fabric only specific colors work best), can be sewn.  I love it, and once school starts I'll be able to let you know if my students like it as well, but I'm sure they will.

What I created: I made a bulletin board, using the sky blue smart fab as the background, and some of the orange and pink flowers are smart fab, but not all of them.  I also made 16x20 pin boards for each of my kids for school to use along with fun colored wipe off boards.  Lastly I made simple aprons the kids can wear during messy activities.

Pros: awesome product, great company, claims are true

Cons: none

My Rating: Thumbs UP

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Derma Roller Skin Treatment

Details:  Diva d'or Derma Roller has 540 micro needles roller, is a professional skin treatment, fine titanium needles, strong ergonomic handle, by UV/Gamma sterilized.  6 Step directions: cleanse skin twice before use, Use with a topical application of a hydrating serum and perform treatment at night, roll up and down the skin 3-4 times, then go diagonally across both ways, treatment should take 5-10 minutes to be repeated 2-3 times a week, apply a hydrating serum or moisturizer and massage into skin after use.  Caution avoid eyes and lips.  Can be bought online on amazon.

Disclaimer:  I received a complimentary product in exchange for product reviews that are honest, non biased.  And a month of product testing for best honest results.  I only recommend products that I personally test, try and deem worthy.

My Review:  Let me start off with letting you know I have never heard of or tried a product even close to this before.  I was really worried that it would hurt, that it wouldn't work, that it would cause more damage than good.  After reading so many positive reviews, I knew that I really needed to give this product my full attention, follow the directions to the "T", and really being positive about seeing results.  I worked this product for a whole month, it wasn't always easy to remember to do after all it takes 5-10 minutes to use.  But after using it more and more those 5-10 minutes go by quickly.  I focused my attention on my forehead and the soft skin on my cheeks near my nose where my pores are in bad shape.  The results of my cheek skin is that nothing really changed.  I ended up getting a really good pore cleanser and that did the cleaning and pore eliminating that I wanted instead of this derma roller.  On my forehead I have sun wrinkles from being a hard core life guard during my high school and early college years.  So I really wanted to see these wrinkles go away, or at least minimize.  And after a whole month of true focus I can honestly say that they aren't as bad as they used to be.  So that was a good result!

When I used this product I realized that you can push too hard, you can push not hard enough, I have learned that my skin does and doesn't like being pricked by tiny little needles every other day.  The first 2 weeks using this I pushed to hard, it hurt, my skin was red and a little puffy, and tears came to my eyes after every use.  I was ready to quit, then I read all the positive results and thought I better give it another try.  After the last 2-3 weeks, I rolled my skin more, but with less pressure, my eyes didn't tear up, my skin was still red, but not puffy.  It no longer hurt.

Pros: it is a tool that works, but it takes patience and time

Cons: you can press too hard and hurt yourself

My Rating: Thumbs up and Thumbs down]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shell Memory Game for Kids

Details: Thinkfun's Shell Game is for children ages 8 and up to adults.  Single player game of swapping the shells to solve memory puzzles.  60 challenges from beginner to expert level.  Shell game includes: 6 sea shells, 6 hermit crabs, 3 ocean stones, 60 spiral bound challenges, instructions and solution manual.  "Thinkfun is the world's leader in addictively fun games that stretch and sharpen your mind.  From lighting up young minds to creating fun for the whole family, Thinkfun's innovative games and mobile apps make you think while they make you smile."  4 Step setup/ play process: set up Hermit Crabs and Ocean stones in the Start position, cover the crabs with a shell, swap the Shells following the arrows from position to position trying to get to the End position without looking.

Disclaimer:  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.

My Review: I think originally I as Mommy was more excited about this memory game than my children were.  Growing up, my family had a lot of time to play games together, so we played tons of board and card games.  Memory was one of those popular games with my family.  We did all kinds of memory games: cards, math, sequences, Simone Says, etc.  Now that I'm grown, married and have children of my own, I'm also getting involved with my kids and playing board games, card games, active games, thinking games, silly games, educational games etc.  I love Thinkfun games in general.  I have been able to have a good selection of games from them, and have enjoyed every game.  This Shell Game is a new fun unique twist on memory.  My 7 year old loves the magic "cup and pom pom ball" trick, so I thought of him when getting this game.  Let me tell you, he loves this game even more.  Its the perfect game for a single player who loves thinking, solving problems, finding solutions to puzzles, and loves to test their memory.  I'm very impressed!  The levels from Beginner, intermediate, advanced to expert really are excellently thought out, and really help boost your memory, and thinking skills.  I've played some and really do have to focus in order to "win".  This will be a fun game for when my youngest gets old enough to play it.  I am going to recommend this game, I see it as a great time filler for teachers, home school moms who home school multiple children.  One negative is that this game isn't fun once all the levels have been won.  In one day my 7 year old completed all Beginner levels.  Once he's won all 60 levels he won't want to play again, but I'll be able to pass this onto my younger child.

Pros: my son loves this game, I love this game, I love Thinkfun products, fun, educational, well thought out

Cons: not a long lasting game

My Rating: Thumbs Up and Down


Monday, July 28, 2014

Manicure Monday: Nail Polish Brand: Milani

I love nail polish! I love having beautiful, creative, fun nail designs on my toenails and finger nails.  I love when nail polish brands come out with more fun, creative, helpful ways to use their polishes.  One such company is Milani.  I have some of their glitter polishes, that are just so beautiful, because their glitter is bright, brilliant, and rich in colour.  I have one of their beautiful yellow polishes, and then I found some awesome new Milani polishes, they have skinny long detail brushes.
Milani Glitters

Milani 101: Lemongello
Milani: 709: Green Sketch, 708: Yellow Design
Now that I have found these new designing brushed Milani polishes, the next thing to do is to use them.  So enjoy the following technique, its a hand painting, learning to control long bristled brushes, as well as learning to control skinny brushes with nail polish on them.
Polishes used

First layer of colored polish: brown is a great accent to the 

lines, painting straight lines is hard, especially with long skinny brushes
once you master this technique you can expand your talents.
So I did straight lines on the smaller toenails, and a curved line on the big toenail.

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Growing Up Chart

Details: The Victoria Chart Company's "My Growing Up Chart" is a reward chart for children from 4 years of age and up.  Their motto is to "Encourage and praise for positive child development".  Perfect for children of elementary school aged children.  Their charts have customization, a complete reward program/ kit, and reusable.  They even have a matching app for iphone/ apple tech products.  Charts come with plastic reusable stickers with pictures, and even some that you can write on to customize it for your child's need, a wipe of pen, numbered stickers 1-20, gold star stickers that say "Good Job", an 8 row laminated chart, kit tips, and tricks for how to have this chart work best for you, your family and child, and of course the chart itself which is 11"x 25".  The Victoria Chart Company has all kinds of charts: bedtime, homework, behavioral, potty training, etc.

Disclaimer: 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.

My Review:  I love chore charts, job charts, reward charts.  It's great to give the child a sense of responsibility in a form they love.  It's also wonderful for them to visually see how well they are doing.  This visual praise is a real confidence booster.  As a Mom to children who are in Elementary school, I find visual charts that children get to see, touch, and interact with help keep the school environment calm, organized, and positive.  As a Mom, my children beg to help out around the house, beg to earn
allowance, and want to generally help Mommy.  But I personally find it hard to remember to give them something to help out with, or forget to give them their allowance, and then end up forgetting how much they earned etc.  So these charts help me stay organized, and on track as well because its something my kids want to use and love to use so then I see it as much as they do.  As a Home school teacher, my children don't normally have home work, but sometimes we take a really long time getting through our school day because the kids aren't having a happy day, or I'm not having a happy day, so having a chart that I can use to help us be happy and have fun while working on our school work helps keep our home peaceful, happy, and positive.  Over all, I'm very pleased with this chart, and happy to have had this opportunity to test, try and review it.  I recommend this product, because it is reusable, the stickers are easy to move around versus tiny little magnets on charts that I've had in the past.  And most of all I love that my 4 year old can use this and know what it is and how to use it without knowing how to read!

Pros: easy for kids to use, fun for kids to use, easy for parents/ teachers to help with, reusable, wipe clean charts

Cons: none

My Rating:  Thumbs Up

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Organic Rosehip Oil

Details: Skin Daily Skincare Solutions 100% Organic Rosehip oil, Premium grade cold pressed, 1 fl oz bottle.  Directions: keep refrigerated to prolong freshness.  Skincare directions: apply 2-3 drops to your finger tips and gently massage into freshly cleaned and dry skin.  continue to massage until fully absorbed by the skin. Rose hip oil is good to fight against scars, sun damage, sun spots, acne, stretch marks, Eczema, Psoriasis, dermatitis, as well as dry nail and hair.  It is a very potent antioxidant that helps restore and hydrate your skin.

Disclaimer: 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.

My Review:  This is the first time I have ever used Rose Hip oil.  I saw that it had great benefits to your face and skin and wanted to test those benefits out.  As I used this for many weeks I noticed that my facial skin was softer, smoother, and complexion was clearer.  I didn't use this daily because my skin is sensitive to oils, so I went with an every other day to every 3 day program.  Even with this usage I found good benefits to my skin.  I did feel that when I used this product and then went out into the sun, my face burned more easily causing more sun spots, dirtier pores, and more breakouts.  So I highly suggest if you use this, even if it is thoroughly absorbed into your skin, to please use face sunscreen so you don't burn.  I have to be honest, when using this product I swear it made my skin more yellow...but it could just be me.  Yes, the oil is yellow-ish-orange.  And the oil smells strongly, not a nice smell, and not a bad smell, just a strong earthy smell.  So make sure you only use the few drops recommended so you don't smell.

When using this product I only stuck to using it on my face, but after seeing the positive benefits for my skin, I am now willing to try using this on my 4 year old's Eczema, my nails, and my husband's dandruff dry scalp hair.  Yes, its truly amazing to see how one little product can be beneficial to so many issues.  I'm so impressed with this product, because my skin is so sensitive, I either end up with a break out, it not working, or something negative with more skin care products.  Do I believe that it worked because it is organic and all natural?  YES!  I honestly do...I am moving into a more natural way of living as quickly as our budget allows, and as quickly (usually slowly) as I can find products I really do want to try like organic all natural shampoo and conditioner.  So in this instance I highly recommend this product for all the needs you might have.  It actually works, even if you only use it every 3 days or so.

Pros: WORKS, doesn't clog pores, doesn't cause a break out, tons of uses for this product

Cons: it doesn't smell nice, smell is strong

My Rating: Thumbs Up

Monday, July 21, 2014

Manicure Monday: Accessory Matching: Mint Chevron Skirt

 Hi everyone, its Monday again.  That means it time for another Nails with Zing nail art design.  This one was super fun to do.  I bought some fun new tools to help me with my nail art, and so I got to try them out today for this Manicure Monday post.  Enjoy~ Nails with Zing
Mint Chevron Maxi Skirt
Sally Hansen Xtreme Nail Polish: Mint, LA Colors: Black,
NYC Matte Finish, Sinful Colors: Rise and Shine

Step 1, 1 semi thick layer of Sinful colors first, then 1 thin layer of Sally Hansen
and mix two colors on the nail (my mints weren't the same color
as the mint in the skirt so I created it.
These are my new tools! I love these!

I put one on each little toe except my pinky toe
which currently doesn't have a toe nail
Make sure your base nail polish is completely
dry before using stickers or this will happen
Once the first layer of black is done I then added the second layer.
So your toes look like this

Then came the big toe.  These little stickers aren't long enough across
my big toe so I reused the ones from my little toes

Finished product!
Just some final thoughts: with these stickers you can re-use the stickers 2 times, because they don't tear and they peal off easily.  I did have to touch up, but not that big a deal!  This is a super cute look for fun and cheap.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Robot Turtles Programming/ Coding game for kids

Details: Thinkfun's Robot Turtles, the game for little programmers.  Introduces basic coding concepts to preschoolers.  2-5 players, ages 4 and up.  A fun way to learn code.  4 levels of play: Basic game play, unlock obstacles and lasers, unlock write program, unlock function frog.  Great game to grow with.  Simple to set up, easy to learn how to play, same goal to win, but endless possibilities to program your turtle to work on.  The most backed board game in kick starter history.  Includes: game board, 4 robot turtles, 4 jewel tiles, 36 obstacle tiles, 4 bug tiles, 4 code deck with 44 cards each.

Disclaimer: 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.

My Review:  This whole idea of teaching young children how to code or program games is brand new to me,  I have seen adult friends, adult siblings, adult professionals code or program games, websites etc.  So when I was offered this opportunity to play this board game with my kids to have them learn coding, to have them learn programming I thought it would be very interesting.  First of all, I love the name Robot Turtles, my boys play this game every day for at least an hour with or without me.  I am glad its a four player game.  I like the fact that each turtle is individual, a different color, with matching jewels and bugs.  My boys love using the "bug" eraser, the ice lasers, and the stone walls to block each other.

Let me just say right now that we spent like 2 hours initially, learning how to play the game according to the rules given.  We started with the basic rules and then slowly added the ice walls, the stone walls, the lasers, the boxes etc.  But after that 2 hour game, we were totally bored.  I didn't like being the only one making noises, and being the only one who could move the turtles.  So we changed the rules and made some permanent changes for when we play the game.

Our rules: each player makes their own noises, each player moves their turtle.  Each player takes turns helping build the board (adding the ice walls, stone walls, boxes).  Making these much needed changes makes the game more fun for my kids, and more bearable for me to play for long periods with them.  My four year old doesn't sit still for anything really, so to have a game that says 4 year olds can play, its rules really need to be a little flexible so that your younger children enjoy playing and the older children don't get bored either.  One other suggestion I have for making this game better is if it could be a 6-8 player game too, maybe in the future because its more fun with more players.  And if you can have more things your turtles have to maneuver against to get to their jewels. But over all its cool.

Pros: 4 year olds can actually play and understand really well, older children have fun as well, love the whole idea of the game

Cons: no cons just the suggestions mentioned above.  

My Rating: Thumbs up

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On Hummingbird Wings Book Review

Details: Lauraine Snelling is a national best selling author.  Her book On Hummingbird Wings about a successful older sister who lives in New York.  Her younger sister has always been Mother's favorite, because she stayed close to home, got married, and gave their Mother grandchildren.  But when a phone call that comes in from the younger sister about Mother, dying the older sister who's heard this many times before wonders why or if it really could be real this time.  As the older sister comes home to California she finds her Mother's beloved yard, garden and flowers wilted, brown and dead.  This just might be the sign she was looking for with her Mother really dying or not.  Can determination, brand new friends and loving warmth bring back the dead plant life and raise her Mother from her death bed or has it gone on too long?  Can a New Yorker make it work for herself here in sunny happy rural California?  Will the handsome neighbor really be a nice guy?  Can family be so important that is changes life priorities enough to bring unknown happiness into someones life?  Lauraine Snelling tackles all these questions in a wonderful novel.

My Review: I bought this book at the Dollar Tree while on vacation.  I wanted something fun, light, and entertaining to read.  This was the perfect fit for what I wanted.  The book started well, then got a little slow, then was a page turner to the end.  It was nice that it was written in this way, because it allowed me to enjoy my book, put it down when I needed to, and not obsess over the characters and their lives.  It was really nice not to live in a book while reading it, but to just read and enjoy it.  I highly suggest this book to whomever loves to read.

Pros: excellent, enjoyable, lovely

Cons: none

My Rating: Thumbs Up