Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Waking of Grey Grimm by Tony Bertauski

If you like books that make you really stop and think- look no more. I just read The Waking of Grey Grimm by Tony Bertauski and what a ride!

Ms. Bertauski’s characters were believeable and the story was told from different perspectives and timeframes. It centers around a teen named Grey Grimm, who has disappeared into what’s called “the Maze”, a contest played inside your brain. The lucky ones survive to enjoy their riches. The not-so-lucky? Well, if they live it’s not pretty. As Grey’s mom tries to get her son back before he is consumed forever, we see just how far people will go before they’ve gone too far. And things aren’t always as they seem.

I loved how the story didn’t go in a straight line but at times would veer seemingly off course, only to find out later that what was happening brought everything into focus. Or did it? This is one of those stories that can’t be read when there are a lot of distractions or you’ll miss a key bit of information you’re going to need later. Pay attention- it’s worth it!

My Mother’s Quilts by Ramona Richards

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I have really enjoyed reading My Mother’s Quilts by Ramona Richards. It’s a book of devotions centered around the author’s mother’s quilts and the stories behind them. Each devotion has a scripture reference, a quilt pattern with a color picture included, and a prayer starter. The stories were rich in history, showcasing colorful patterns of the quilts that had been handmade for centuries by her mother, grandmother, and other family members. Each quilt brought out a lesson based on scripture that would carry her faith forward and honor the memories of her mother and grandmother. She often wove historical references into the devotions, such as including a quilt that had been designed and pieced in the 1840’s using a Carolina Lily as the design. The quilt had been buried during the Civil War to keep it protected from thieves. What had once been bright red and green was now rust and brown. The history had been passed down in her family and finally, the quilt was donated to a museum for safekeeping and to allow the story to continue. The biblical reference was Deuteronomy 4:9, which is a reminder to keep track of our past and repeat the stories often, lest they be forgotten in time. We are to share with our children and our children’s children.

This lesson was brought home by sharing the quilt with the museum so that everyone who visited the museum could hear of its story and preserve it in the hearts of others.

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Each devotion is written in such a way. A scripture reference, a devotion tied to a quilt, a picture of the quilt, and a prayer starter to tie it all together. Ms. Richards did a wonderful job with each of her devotions and the book is a pleasure to read from start to finish. It’s a wonderful way to relax and spend time with the Lord.

My Mother’s Quilts by Ramona Richards is available for purchase on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/My-Mothers-Quilts-Devotions-Needlework/dp/1617956120/ref=cm_cr-mr-img

My Mother’s Quilts by Ramona Richards was provided free of charge by FlyBy Promotions for the purpose of review. That being said, all of the preceding opinions are my own and not reflective of Ms. Richards, FlyBy Promotions, or any other entity.

A Merry Christmas Wedding Mystery by Anna Celeste Burke

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Georgie Shaw and her hunky detective boyfriend Jack Wheeler are back and chaos is soon to follow. The soon to be married couple are surprised, and not in a good way, by the demands of her boss Max Marley that she wear a hoop skirt to get married in. Is this another of his famous publicity stunts? The couple decide to confront him face to face with the issue so they head out to Marley World, where madness ensues. How much trouble can a wedding be? Well, apparently plenty if you work for Max Marley and plan on getting married on one of his sets. This book is funny and still manages to carry off a legitimate mystery plot at the same time. I love the author’s take on her characters and this book doesn’t disappoint!

Vremi’s Straight Chillin’ Ice Cube Trays

 

I love cold drinks but I’m not fond of our ice maker. The ice cubes have a nasty freezer taste that I really don’t like and I end up drinking something warm rather than use the ice cubes. Funny thing is, our ice maker has limped along since we moved into the house 14 years ago and it has finally given up on us. Perfect time to get new ice cube trays.

 

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I got a set of Vremi’s Straight Chillin’ Ice Cube Trays and right off the bat I fell in love with them. They are a bright, cheery blue and green color, and they’re made from premium food grade silicone. The cool thing I really like is they are so super easy to get out of the tray. The tray is flexible so you can twist it, but they recommend you pop single cubes out by pushing up on the bottom. This makes it convenient if you decide to use the trays for gravy cubes or baby food leftovers, even juices.

 

I was really happy to find out that the Straight Chillin’ Ice Cube Trays from Vremi have lids on them so they don’t absorb freezer odors or get anything else mixed into them by accident. These also make stacking much easier. Each tray makes 21 cubes and they’re really cube shaped. They measure 1.3 inches on each side. They look really cute in a drink glass and they’re the perfect size for my kidlet’s glasses. And the trays are safe in the dishwasher, so cleanup is a cinch!

I am really happy with my Vremi’s Straight Chillin’ Ice Cube Trays. I would totally buy them again!

Vremi’s Straight Chillin’ Ice Cube Trays can be found online at:

https://www.amazon.com/Vremi-Silicone-Ice-Cube-Tray/dp/B01H7BF1DA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1484886222&sr=8-1&keywords=Ice+cube+trays+with+lids

I received this product at a discounted price or for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My review is a reflection of my experience with the product. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am not associated with the seller in any way.

 

Xtava 5-in-1 Satin Wave Curling Iron and Wand Set

 

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This is my new favorite hair tool set, the Xtava 5-in-1 Satin Wave Curling Iron and Wand Set. This set consists of the base handle, a 1.25″ barrel, a 1″ barrel, a .75″ barrel, a .7″to 1″ wand and a .3″to .75″ wand. The 2 barrels have clips to secure the hair while curling. The wands spiral from the large diameter to the small diameter with no cool tip so there is also a protective glove, plus there’s a zip up heat protective bag to store all of the pieces in when not in use (and cooled down).

 

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This set is easy to use. Simply choose which tip you want to use and push it into the handle. My only issue is that there were no directions for changing the barrels so I kept trying to push in the barrel and twist to lock because there was a lock/unlock icon on the side of the handle. There is no lock function- just push the barrel into the handle. Then heat up to your desired temperature for your hair type. Temps range from 250ºF-300ºF for delicate or fine hair types, 300ºF-375ºF for normal hair, and 375ºF-410ºF for thick, coarse, or natural hair types. The temperature is in easy to read bright green LED numbers right on the handle. It only takes about 90 seconds for the iron to come up to temperature and you’re good to go. If you are forgetful like I sometimes am, it’s nice to know that there’s a build in 60 minute automatic shut off. Switching is simple- just allow the iron to cool down, then pull the barrel off and put on the size you want, then you’re ready for the next great curl!

 

 

The barrels are made from Ceramic Tourmaline, the handle is a good quality feeling handle, and the bag is really nice. The cord is an extra long  8’10” with a 360 degree swivel.  It all comes in a very stylish looking black box. Altogether, this set as well as their other products looks and feel very upscale. I am really happy with Xtava’s 5-in-1 Satin Wave Curling Iron and Wand Set and I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.

 

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The Xtava 5-in-1 Satin Wave Curling Iron and Wand Set can be found online at:

 

I received this product at a discounted price or for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My review is a reflection of my experience with the product. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am not associated with the seller in any way.

 

WiFi Hidden Mini Camera Power Bank from Icemoon

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I have been intrigued by the idea of using WiFi operated cameras to keep an eye on things. I can see where they would be useful in many applications, such as; watching to make sure a sitter is actually keeping an eye on their charge, protecting a vulnerable area from trespassers, watching for movement at the entrance to your home, as well as many others.

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I got a WiFi Hidden Mini Camera Power Bank from Icemoon and it includes the power bank with an HD 1080p WiFi capable camera, a charging cord, an 8 gig Micro sd card and a mini disc for hooking the device up to your computer or laptop.I’ve been trying to get it hooked up for days now. I began by using the directions included in the box with the device. Unfortunately, the directions leave a lot to be desired. I spent quite a while trying to decipher them, then decided to try the disc. I’m not really sure what the purpose was for including the disc because it really didn’t help me get any farther than I already was. I am not a tech genius, but I do find that I am more savvy than most when it comes to computing and electronics. But this little device has been a tough nut to crack.

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I was able at one point to get the camera operational. It had a fairly nice picture in a mid- darkened room. I could view what was going on from my phone while it was happening. It has a red light and a yellow light that flash while recording. This is pretty noticeable and I can’t imagine it not being obvious that there was something flashing. It also has 2 small white lights, kind of like a flashlight, but very small and not very powerful that I could tell. I wasn’t sure exactly what they were for. I like that I was able to unplug the camera and move it and it would still record. I shut it down and then attempted to start it up. Back to square one. I spent another 45 minutes trying different combinations to get it working again.

All in all, this device, when working, takes good video. I am not sure about the playback because I was never able to get it to replay. And it seems to need to be completely reinstalled in order to use it again. I can’t give it a very good rating at this point, but I will continue to work on it and see if I can decipher how to get it to work properly.

The WiFi Hidden Mini Camera Power Bank from Icemoon can be found online here:

https://www.amazon.com/icemoon-Wireless-Security-Activated-Cameras/dp/B01HZBB230/ref=sr_1_1?s=gift-cards&ie=UTF8&qid=1484632915&sr=8-1&keywords=WiFi+Mini+Camera+Icemoon
I received this product at a discounted price or for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My review is a reflection of my experience with the product. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am not associated with the seller in any way.

Blue Squid Face Paint Kit for Kids

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The Face Paint Kit from Blue Squid is superior cosmetic grade non-toxic and completely hypoallergenic, with no parabens and will work on even the most sensitive skin. It is water based so all I had to do was wet the paint to the consistency I needed and then apply. I did my son’s face for a video contest and it was really easy to work with this paint. I would only need to reapply more moisture as needed when I worked with a large area. I am used to using a lot of paint crayons and I like them but for big areas I prefer something that I can apply with a sponge, get in and get out!

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We love doing characters for various plays or just painting faces for fun. I’ve tried a number of products and the newest one is the Face Paint Kit from Blue Squid. This is an awesome kit that includes 14 different colors of face paint, 4 different sized sponges for applicating paint, 2 brushes for applying fine lines, 2 glitter gels in silver and gold for accenting designs, and a packet of 5 stencils for quick party fun!

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To see how well it works in action, I am including the Youtube link so you can see his video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzwNstINe4A&index=1&list=FLncQ8ft5OkvYULjOEwJdTZg

It’s easy to paint with The Face Paint Kit from Blue Squid. Their color selection makes it easy to do most designs with ease, but if you want more colors, you can easily mix them for new and custom shades. If you don’t feel comfortable painting by hand, use the stencils that Blue Squid has included in the kit. These only take seconds to use. They’ve even included an online resource guide so you can watch videos and learn new techniques.

I like that The Face Paint Kit from Blue Squid doesn’t crack after applying. Sometimes a paint will crack, especially on the face with all of the muscles that move, but he was able to talk, sing, etc. and it stayed nice until he was ready for clean up. He used a warm soapy washcloth as directed and it removed the paint quite easily.

The Face Paint Kit from Blue Squid can be found online here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J5NX860/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1_w

I received this product at a discounted price or for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My review is a reflection of my experience with the product. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am not associated with the seller in any way.

 

 

Xtava Twist Curling Wand with 1″ to 1.5″ Barrel

 

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The next product from the Xtava line that I tried out is the Xtava Twist Curling Wand – The Xtava Twist Curling Wandis a Tapered Clipless curling iron with a 1 to 1½ inch diameter Tourmaline Barrel. I really like the sleek, stylish look of this curling iron but what really counts is how well it works and what the features are. So let’s get down to it.

 

 

First impression of the Xtava Twist Curling Wand is the clipless feature. I’ve never used a clipless iron before but I loved the tapered barrel and thought I could at least give it a try. It’s a little intimidating at first and it takes some thought to figure out how best to use it. I showed it to my kidlet and she immediately fell in love with it, so she did the learning while I watched. The Xtava Twist Curling Wand includes a heat-resistant styling glove and has a cool tip for ease in twisting and handling the iron.

 

 

I plugged in my Xtava Twist Curling Wand and it lit up immediately. It shows the temperature while it is turned on and its LCD display is large and easy to read. It heats to 22 different settings, from 200ºF-410ºF. It only takes about 90 seconds to fully heat up, so you can plug it in and not have to wait long to start using it. It has an 60 minute automatic shut off function so if you get distracted it won’t stay on. I love that feature! And the Ionic ceramic & tourmaline technology combine to offer smooth, silky, and frizz-free curls for most any hair type- even color-treated, dry, or damaged hair. This iron creates bouncy curls while smoothing the cuticle and locking in the curl.

 

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The Xtava Twist Curling Wand comes with a 8’10”, 360° swivel cord for ease of use without tangling. It includes a heat resistant carrying case for storage or travel. My kidlet loved how her hair came out but had a little bit of trouble handling the iron, especially on the ends. But all in all, the price is very affordable and I would recommend the Xtava Twist Curling Wand for anyone looking for a new curling iron.

The Xtava Twist Curling Wand can be found online here:

https://www.amazon.com/xtava-Twist-Curling-Wand-Professional/dp/B01LXS1OXQ/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1483846549&sr=8-1&keywords=Conical%2BCurling%2BWand%2B1-1.5&th=1

I received this product at a discounted price or for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My review is a reflection of my experience with the product. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am not associated with the seller in any way.

 

 

Girl of Fire by Norma Hinkens

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Girl of Fire by Norma Hinkens

 

I recently received an Advanced Reader Copy of Girl of Fire by Norma Hinkens. I’ve just recently begun to read her books and I thought the first book I read was good. Wow, I could not put this book down! I had a love/hate relationship when I finished the book. I loved the book so much I wanted it to last forever/ I hated that the book was done and I wanted more! Thankfully, the is Book 1 in a 3 part series called The Expulsion Project.

This book begins years into the past as a group of scientists plot to protect their infant children by jettisoning them off of the planet for a new chance at life on new planets. Fast forward as our main character, Trattora, is intrigued by a ship of oremongers who come looking for supplies to repair their ship and any kind of ore that they can sell. Trattora is the adopted daughter of the chieftain and expected to take the reins as the future ruler of her planet, Cwelt.

Velkan is the serf of the ship’s captain, Sarth. Trattora takes them on a tour of the planet hoping to learn more about Velkan and why he seems familiar. She’s mesmerized by the ship and the idea of being able to travel but her planet doesn’t have a fleet. While they’re away, a enemy ship threatens to take over the planet and imprison her tribe. Trattora devises a plan to go with the oremongers to sell a sample of ore that could possibly earn enough to fund a fleet to protect her planet and her family.

I’d love to share the rest of the story because it’s so awesome but that would be cheating you out of a great read. This is listed as a sci-fi, dystopian thriller trilogy with a whisper of romance. I would say it’s every bit of that and more. The characters and plot meld together nicely and are easily believable. A 10 out of 10, must read, stay up late kind of book!

Girl of Fire is available for pre-order  at a discounted price on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Fire-Expulsion-Dystopian-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01MRUL6U5/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483421378&sr=8-2&keywords=Girl+of+Fire

Hurry before it goes up!

I received an ARC of this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My review is a reflection of my experience with the product. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a positive review. I am not associated with the seller in any way.

 

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