Floral Racerback Maxi Dress from ZZER



I love getting a new dress for the summertime and the Floral Racerback Maxi Dress from ZZER screamed pick me! I am totally in love with it! It’s a cotton/spandex blend so it’s comfy with some stretch to it. It’s got a racerback with an A-line design and it’s maxi length. I’m 5’8″ and it’s hard to find actual maxi length dresses but this one fit to a T and went down to the floor. Plus, and I like this, it’s got invisible pockets. You really can’t see them and they don’t take away from the line of the dress, but they sure come in handy. I loved the patterns that were available but the navy and pink one won the draw! You can get this Floral Racerback Maxi Dress from ZZER for a steal at Amazon here:





Helonge Fitness and Sports Activity Tracker



I am so glad I got this fitness tracker. It was such a cinch to get going, compared to the one I had before. I read the directions and just charged it, then paired it with my phone and everything else just fell into place. Super easy to figure out and everything works just like it should. It’s adjustable and has a nice big display so I can read it without having to wear reading glasses. Getting old is such a bummer! I had surgery and walking is an integral part of my healing- this makes me accountable. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have gotten it, lol!



I love that it tracks all of my sleep patterns, heart rate, and even gives me a little buzz if I’ve been sitting for too long. That one is especially nice! I can go on my phone and see my daily or weekly tracking at a click and even see my sleep patterns for up to a year!

I really like this tracker. It’s sleek design looks good on my wrist and it’s easy to justify the price- at about a quarter of the price of a Fitbit, it’s a great deal! Even better, if you are interested in one, I got a coupon for 30% off and it can be shared. Just enter HELONFT2 in the code box when you place your order! Here’s the link:

Helonge Fitness Tracker



Bulgarian Lavender from First Botany Cosmeceuticals



I love scenting my home with essential oils and a diffuser, plus I use oils for a host of  natural remedies. I find it to be very effective in a lot of applications. In reading about essential oils, I would surmise that Lavender is the most widely used oil, either as much as or close to peppermint oil. I have tried French Lavender Oil and I really enjoy it, but I decided to expand my horizons and try Bulgarian Lavender from First Botany Cosmeceuticals.  Bulgarian Lavender is different from French Lavender in a few ways. First of all, French Lavender comes from the high elevated areas of France in the mountainous regions, while Bulgarian Lavender comes from lower altitudes in Bulgaria. So while both are lavender, the Bulgarian Lavender is more woodsy in scent than the French Lavender. Not a huge difference for most, but it’s a nice change when using in aromatherapy blends.




Lavender is used in a multitude of ways. It’s relaxing properties make it perfect for diffusing or spraying as a room freshener, but also for wearing in a necklace designed to hold oil. It can also be very calming when used as a massage oil. It relieves muscles and reduces pain when used in a bath. It can be rubbed gently into the temples and certain points for relief from headaches and, for some, migraine relief. It’s very useful for skin care, relieving sunburn, treating age spots and wrinkles, and it’s also said to be useful for treatment to kill lice and their eggs. There are many more uses besides what I’ve listed. I have enjoyed using this oil with Rosemary in my diffuser. We’ve been using it daily and really love it!

Bulgarian Lavender from First Botany Cosmeceuticals can be found online here:


I purchased 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.



Tortured Teardrops- Hits the Mark!


tortured teardrops


This is the third book in the Teardrops Series by PD Workman. I am impressed with her style and delivery of this series. She has brought our character Tamara through some serious issues in the first two books but if you haven’t read them first, this would still be a good book on its own. Tamara is in juvie, where she is serving a sentence for murdering the 2 children of her foster parents, the Bakers. But Tamara has undergone some serious problems since her time with the Bakers, and her world seems to be unraveling around her. Ms. Workman takes us through the ups and downs of living in the fishbowl of juvenile detention and the gritty lack of humanity that so many take on in order to survive. This book deals with a number of sensitive issues with believability and a kind of in-your-face honesty. I find myself cheering Tamara on when she makes good choices and becoming saddened when she is, again, victimized by those around her. Definitely read this book!


Ozeri ZB20 WeightMaster II 440 lbs Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Change Detection


Ozeri ZB20 WeightMaster II 440 lbs Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Change Detection

I love this scale! It’s got a large LCD display so it’s easy to read- even for people with trouble seeing well. And it has weight tracking function, so it keeps track of your weight and BMI (Body Mass Index), and tells you what your weight loss or gain is since your last weigh in. The screen will be green if you have lost weight and red if you have gained. My husband and I have both been using the scale and it keeps a separate track of each of our weights. It can keep up to 8 records at a time. It comes in either black or white- I chose white because it goes well in my bathroom. It’s very sleek and modern looking and weighs under 4 pounds so it’s easy to move around.  It also has non skid feet so it won’t slip around when you go to stand on it. The other thing I really like is that it has Microban technology. This protects users from passing any bacteria back and forth, as well as keeping stains and odors at a minimum. It’s a very nice looking scale and it keeps accurate results- I’m very happy!

I purchased 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.



Ozeri Artesio Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set


Ozeri Artesio Electric Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

This is the nicest looking set and I love having both a pepper grinder AND a salt grinder!  Of course, if you don’t want or need a salt grinder, you can use them for any spices that you prefer. I like having kosher salt when I’m cooking because I think it enhances the flavor of my dish so this is perfect for me.  I like the size and shape of the grinders- they’re easy to hold with one hand and operate, and the clear container Makes it easy to see how much is left in the container. It holds a nice amount of product without holding so much that it will not stay fresh. The ceramic grinder does a nice job of grinding and it’s pretty easy to adjust the grind to your favorite size by turning the grinder over and moving the little lever at the bottom either to the right for larger or to the left for smaller. And another nice option to this set is that each grinder has a built in automatic light that comes on when you hold the button in to grind. This way, you can easily see your food and know just how much salt or pepper you are grinding and where it’s going. I really like that!  The only drawback to these grinders that I found is that they each need 4 AA batteries to operate. It seems like a lot of batteries, but I am hopeful that the grinders will last for a long time on one set. And Ozeri chose to put their name on the grinder in a prominent spot so it’s very visible. Other than that, I am very happy with this set and envision making a lot of meals taste better!




I purchased 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.



The Summer of New Beginnings: A Magnolia Grove Novel by Bette Lee Crosby

The Summer of New Beginnings: A Magnolia Grove Novel

by Bette Lee Crosby

Summer of new beg


This was such a fun book for me to read! I love stories with family relationships and how they change and grow in them. This was definitely one of those. The Briggs family has their share of problems, like all families do. But when Mr. Briggs dies suddenly, it leaves Meghan feeling responsible for taking on the family business in her father’s footsteps. She had looked forward to college followed by a career as a journalist, but felt that taking on the family business would keep her connection with her father alive.  Then there’s her sister Tracy, who’s headstrong and rebellious. Tracy leaves her family and moves away with her boyfriend Dominic, who refuses to marry her but wants her to live with him instead. The book follows the lives of the family as they just try to make sense of their lives and how they change like quicksilver, smooth sailing in one moment and chaotic in the next. This is a slice of real Americana, served with humor, wit, and a few tears as we come to know and love the Briggs family. I can’t wait for the sequel!

The Summer of New Beginnings can be found at Barnes and Noble here:


And be on the lookout for:

A Year of Extraordinary Moments (A Magnolia Grove Novel)

by Bette Lee Crosby


Year of

This title will be released on October 16, 2018.



ARM & HAMMER™ Slide™ Clumping Litter Review

My kitty is my sweetest buddy! She knows me inside and out. I can’t hide my real feelings from her- she can always tell how I am doing. If I am sad or in pain, she comes and snuggles up with me. I know there are comfort animals that are prescribed by doctors and I understand why because Kiki always makes me feel loved. I can only hope that I make her feel loved as well.

One of the ways I like to make her day is to make sure she has the best place to do her business. She has a self cleaning litter box which is great for both of us- as long as it works. Sometimes, when I’ve tried a new kitty litter, it would gunk up and then the motor wouldn’t clear the litter from the tray into the waste box. It would harden into a cement-like chunk and I’d have to scratch and scrape to get it loose again. I try to remember the litter brands that don’t work so I don’t have to deal with that again but sometimes I forget.



I got a box of ARM & HAMMER™ Slide™ Clumping Litter from Smiley360 and I’ve been using it in Kiki’s litter box (shhh, don’t tell her). This litter is awesome! It does all the clumping that I’d hope for, so odors and stray bits of poo are contained. It also goes through the machine easily because it’s in clump form rather than wet soggy litter. And I don’t smell kitty box- that’s a big plus for me!



I think a real pleaser for me is that fact that ARM & HAMMER™ Slide™ Clumping Litter doesn’t stick to the sides or the bottom of the litter box. No more chiseling out cemented on clods of kitty litter for me! On to better things!



I purchased 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.



Murder of the Maestro Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery #6 by Anna Celeste Burke

murder of the Maestro

Ms. Burke’s tales are always entertaining and full of colorful characters and this one doesn’t disappoint. Right from the start, she takes us on a wild ride as the book opens with our favorite sleuthing couple, Georgie Shaw and Detective Jack Wheeler, being awakened with a predawn call from her boss who bemoans the fact that his close friend and business associate is missing. He asks Georgie to look into it, since it reflects on the Marvelous Marley World. Dave Rollins, the Maestro, who had just celebrated his retirement the night before, had indeed vanished and someone had left his home in a mess. While investigating the area the next morning, the police found the remains of the Maestro, who had been slammed on the back of the head and then had fallen or been pushed off the cliff and down to the beach below. Why would someone want to kill the Maestro? And why does his assistant pretend not to know how to contact his family and friends? Who stands to gain from his death? His ex wife? His kids? His old Jazz partners? This is the 6th Georgie Shaw mystery and it’s every bit as fun as the first 5!


Read a sample or order your copy now! Murder of the Maestro can be found on Amazon at:


I purchased 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.



The Star Movie

“Full of humor and heart” – Huffington Post

“The Star is destined to become a classic!” – The Dove Foundation

Golden Globe® Nominated for Best Original Song by Mariah Carey & Marc Shaiman


The Tale of Faith and Friendship Includes Six Sing-Along Videos from Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Kelsea Ballerini, A Great Big World, and Kirk Franklin

Includes a Dance Along, “How-to” Crafts Video and Much More!

Available on Digital February 6 and On Blu-ray + DVD + Digital on February 20

CULVER CITY, Calif. (January  2018) – From the studio that brought you
MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN & CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS comes the timeless tale about faith, friendship, and the importance of believing in yourself.
AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Animation’s THE STAR arrives for the first time on Digital on February 6 and on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital February 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The heartwarming animated comedy follows a small but brave donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”), who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth (voiced by Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”), a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Friends From College), a dove with lofty aspirations, along with three wisecracking camels voiced by Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Bo and his new friends follow the star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told.

Rounding out the all-star voice cast including Gina Rodriguez (“Jane The Virgin”) as Mary, Zachary Levi (“Chuck”) as Joseph, Grammy® Award-Winner Kelly Clarkson as Leah the horse, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) as Zach the goat, Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible) as Thaddeus the dog, Gabriel Iglesias (Coco, Ferdinand) as Rufus the dog, Patricia Heaton (“The Middle”) as Edith the cow, Emmy® and Tony® Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse, and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as King Herod.

THE STAR is filled with more than an hour of engaging bonus materials including the “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends,” a dance along to “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World, plus a collection of fun lyric videos that will have you singing along to the inspiring music from THE STAR. Families can enjoy crafting and baking with “how-to” videos “Star Mason Jar Votives” and “Sweet and Sparkly Stars,” and they also can go behind-the-scenes to explore the amazing talent who bring these characters to life. In “Faith All Year Round,” renowned pastor and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin delivers a fun and engaging children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and keeping the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day.

THE STAR is directed by Academy Award® nominated writer/director Timothy Reckart, screenplay by Carlos Kotkin, and story by Simon Moore and Carlos Kotkin. The film is executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook. The Star is presented by AFFIRM films and Sony Pictures Animation in association with Walden Media, Franklin Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company. The uplifting theme song, “The Star” by Mariah Carey and veteran songwriter Marc Shaiman was also nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. “The Star” song is now available on The Star: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which assembles new music from a bevy of powerhouse superstars.

Bonus Materials Include:

• Star-aoke: Sing-Along with Bo & Friends: In this all new song, sing along with your favorite characters including Bo, Dave, Ruth and the unforgettable camels
• “Life Is Good” Dance-Along: Shake your tail feathers and move your hooves in this fun dance along
• Lyric Sing-Along Videos: Enjoy the eclectic and inspiring music of THE STAR with these colorful lyric videos that allow you to sing along with your favorite recording artists:

  • “The Star” by Mariah Carey
  • “Can You See” by Fifth Harmony
  • “Children Go Where I Send You” by Kelsea Ballerini
  • “We Three Kings” by Kirk Franklin
  • “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World

• Sweet and Sparkly Stars: Create star-themed cookies to be enjoyed year round
• Star Mason Jar Votives: Let the light of THE STAR shine with this simple yet stunning craft
• Faith All Year Round with DeVon Franklin: A children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and how to keep the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day
• An All-Star Cast: Meet the stars of the film and explore the exciting voice cast who bring these amazing characters to life

THE STAR has a run time of approximately 86 minutes and is rated PG: for some thematic elements

GOLDEN GLOBE® is a registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.



Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.



Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies—with the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village available on digital and Blu-ray now; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD; the inspirational The Star currently in theaters. Next will be Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation from director Genndy Tartakovsky in July 2018; and the groundbreaking animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse from the minds of Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018. The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. In 2007, Surf’s Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film; a sequel entitled Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is now available on digital and DVD. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new Open Season: Scared Silly now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, was founded in 2002. Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.

Website: http://www.sonypicturesanimation.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonyPicturesAnimation
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sonyanimation
Tumblr: http://sonyanimation.tumblr.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/SonyAnimation



AFFIRM Films produces, acquires and markets films that inspire, uplift and entertain audiences around the world. Since releasing its first theatrical film-The Kendrick Brothers’ drama, Facing the Giants in 2007, AFFIRM Films has released numerous quality faith-based films including Soul Surfer, based on the inspirational true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton; When the Game Stands Tall, the sports drama inspired by the story of the De La Salle Spartans; War Room, which hit #1 on the domestic box office chart; Risen, which followed the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer; and was the faith-based marketing partner with Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures for their films Miracles from Heaven and the #2 faith-based film of all time, Heaven Is for Real. AFFIRM Films also released All Saints in August of 2017. In partnership with Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures AFFIRM Films released the animated film The Star on November 17, 2017, the story of the first Christmas from the perspective of the animals in the stable. AFFIRM will next release Paul, Apostle of Christ on March 28, 2018. AFFIRM Films is a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. AFFIRMFilms.com

Staci Griesbach Jamie Falkowitz-Tancredi
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Falkowitz PR
(310) 244-6903 (818) 606-2652
Staci_Griesbach@spe.sony.com Jamie@FalkowitzPR.com

#TheStarMovie #FlyBy

tasty meditation

Tales from a Gluten Free Kitchen

My Life. One Story at a Time.

Writer | Book Reviewer | The Southern Planner | Organizing | Time Management | Travel | Technology


My life, My Kids/Grandkids , My Thoughts & Ramblings

Mimi's Marks

My Views and Re-views of Great (and not so great) Products ... and sometimes life in general!

The Girl with Book Lungs

Live and breathe books.


Mainly reviews of products, with a few personal blog posts.


"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

*Stephanies Blog*

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

Confessions of Invictus

A Crunchy City Gal Mama


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product reviews for the modern mom


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Learning to live outside the box