Sunday, April 26, 2015

Subscription Services~ Love With Food Haul & Review (April)

This is my favorite subscription service to date!  As I shared in my previous Love With Food post I saw this company all over Facebook, but did not check out the website until I saw an unboxing video by CoffeeBreakWithDani.  Her video looked so good!  I have to say that at two boxes now I love this company, what they stand for and what they send my way!

So just to share the important information:

  • For every box you buy they provide a meal to a child in need or 2 meals if you buy a larger box.
    • I purchase the gluten free box so my box provides 2 meals to children in need.
  • Thus far the company has provided over 400,000 meals
  • As you accumulate points you can get food items for free
    • You receive points in a variety of easy to do methods
  • If you like items in your box they sell them at their online store
  • They have 3 boxes to chose from for your home and now have 3 boxes to chose from for your office. (price varies by box selection)

If you are interested, and I mean hello first box can be FREE or 50% off if you get the gluten free box (you do pay shipping) then please check the company, their website, how they give back and more HERE

So now that you have some important information lets get to the yummy part..what I got in this month's box!!  I am not discussing each item the box had, but just some that stuck out to me!
Look at how packed this box is!  Both boxes have been this full of products, coupons, gift cards etc.  It is truly a fun treat to open the box and see all the goodies!  I did not take a picture, but one brand I want to discuss is the PopCorners.  They provided two bags (different flavors) and I am so glad.  I had heard of the brand, never found it in a local store and they were the first thing I tried!  The chili one was to much for me, but my mom loved it.  The kettle flavor though..my goodness it might be the favorite chip type snack I have ever tried. so good and so smart to provide different flavors!
If you like almond butter you have to try it.  If you have family or friends that are hesitent to try almond butter get this one.  I had family try it on toasted bread with local honey..rave reviews!
The chips were out of this world great.  The hummus was pretty bland.  I like my hummus to have a bit of a taste and this was sadly lacking.  However, the concept of a snack box, the quinoa chips were wonderful!
Everything I have found and had from this brand is just delicious.  As a snack or cereal I loved this product! 
So fun and so good!  It had just enough sweetness to make it a treat, but not overly sweet to where I felt like it was to much.  The packet was the perfect size for taking it travel/work/snacking! 
My favorite for this box in terms of a sweet.  It was lemony, crunchy, desserty, and more.  I was beyond happy they put two bars in there because the next day I was like umm where is that second bar! So refreshing and good.  I will purchase this and look into more flavors from this brand. 
This was good, but not my favorite coconut water to date.  I had to have it extremely cold to drink which was not practical for when I tried to take it with me in the car for running errands.  I have had a hard time getting into coconut water though so I think people should definitely give it a try.  What do y'all think about coconut water?  I love coconut milk, just the water is a bit much for me!!

So those are some of the products, but not all...seriously this box was packed!  I am enjoying tasting so many items that I do not have adverse reactions to and sharing them with my family!  I also am already wondering about next month..what will it be, what all will I love, etc.  They do have a sneak peak video  for those that are interested but still hesitent!

Do you get this box? Another subscription snack box for gluten free or dairy free individuals? What are your favorite snacks?

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Touching Base

Hello~

I just wanted to leave  quick message regarding my lack of posts the last little bit.  I have been helping my dad out: taking him to doctors and the  last few days been with him at the hospital so I have not been on the internet much.  (He is healing nicely and coming home soon!)  While sitting with him and helping when I could I have read quite a few books that I need to review and finished some items that were gluten free to share with y'all as well!
Thank y'all for checking back to my page to see if I have shared anything, the kind emails asking if everything was okay and the tweets and messages sharing your new finds! It has meant a lot to see the caring, compassion and friendship that has been extended to my family and me. Above is a picture of two of my little girls.  I routinely take pictures and send them to friends, family and my IG account so I hope they bring a smile to your face today!

Hope to share and/or post more later today or this weekend:)

Always,
Meghan

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Love Series Complete Set~ Now Available!! Giveaway included

***SPECIAL RELEASE WEEK PRICE OF 99 CENTS*** The entire series is together for a limited time. This box set includes the complete Love Series - Let Love In, Let Love Stay, Let Love Heal, Let Love Shine, Let Love Be, and Let Love Live. From New Adult to M/m Contemporary Romance, there's something in here for everyone. Laugh, cry, and fall in love with the couples of this bestselling series.

NOW AVAILABLE
Excerpt 2 – Let Love Live
A deep breath of air fills his lungs and he looks at me. Something dances in his eyes. With a trembling hand, he brushes my hair out of my eyes. “If someone would have told me that you’d walk into my life and turn it completely upside down, I’d have told them they were crazy.” He drags my hand into his and brings it up to his mouth. “For far too long, I was far too happy to keep everyone on the outside. And then you came along, and for the first time in so long, I felt something.”
“Me, too.” Tugging at our hands, I bring them to my mouth, feeling the shaking in his hands relax marginally.
“I was too afraid to let myself love anyone, thinking that I’d lose them somehow. The fear of loss kept me closed off from my own life. And now, with you…it’s not like that,” he pauses, looking for the right words. “What I mean is,” he clarifies, focusing his deep blue eyes on mine, “that with you, it’s not about being afraid of losing you.”
“I’m that easy, huh?” I joke. The look of growing frustration on his face tells me I’ve misunderstood him, and that now is not the time for jokes.
“No, that’s not what I mean. I’m petrified of losing you. When you fell yesterday, the only thought I could put together was one of sickening concern. What if he hits his head? What if he’s permanently injured? What if he blacks out and never comes back? But then, when I saw you were okay, the only thought going through my head was that there was no way in hell I could ever go through the rest of my life without you.”
His words cut through me. Stripping me bare, they reflect the exact same way I feel about him.
“You see, with you, the thing that scares me isn’t the thought of losing you. What scares the shit out of me is not having you in my life in the first place,” Dylan says, softly.
He lowers his face to mine, cradling my jaw, and searching my eyes. “I love you, Conner. You brought me back to life simply by just being here. And I don’t ever want to picture a life that you’re not a part of.”
With the softest of caresses, he strokes his thumb against my lower lip before pressing his own in the same spot. As his forehead rests against mine and our breaths mingle in the small space between us, I inhale him. This sweet, angry man who turned everything I thought I knew about my own life completely upside down.
“I’m not as good with words as you are, but know that I love you, too.”

With hands and hearts joined, we fall asleep, a sense of peace that, before this moment, was foreign to both of us, covering us like the warmest of blankest on the coldest of nights.

About the Author:
Melissa Collins


Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream. Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.


GIVEAWAY


Friday, April 17, 2015

Blog This by Cami Checketts, book review

General Information
Genre: Clean Romance/ Thriller
Publisher: Birch River Publishing
Published Date: September 12, 2013

Book Summary (Per Barnes & Noble)
Will protecting children throughout the world cost Natasha her own family?
Devastated by the loss of her brother, Natasha Senecot works to expose the dangers of Matthew Chrysler's violent video games, succeeding in bankrupting and humiliating him.
Chrysler retaliates and sends a hit man after her. Natasha is forced to fake her own death to protect her children, but after witnessing another tragedy, Natasha won't hide any longer.
In a race against time, can Natasha expose Matthew Chrysler before his assassin murders her family and shatters her world?
My Thoughts
A very easy, quick and at times thought provoking read.  I enjoyed this story immensely and quickly (as in as soon as I finished it) moved on to its sequel.  That review is coming:) This story is action packed and does not slow down from cover to cover.  The way that CC connects all the plots and throws in some serious whoa twists made this a book that should be on the top of your TBR stack if you like thrillers, romance, or suspense.

Normally when I read that someone loved the "bad" guy I am like what, how, really!  But here I feel there is two levels of bad guys and one of them, aka the assassin, is one of my favorite (actually the favorite) character in the story for me! Hello that is why I zoomed on to read the next book by CC.  Another reason I enjoyed this book is that the word choices, the way the story came together, the development of the characters all helped me visualize this story as a movie in my head.  I could see this on Hallmark or a TV series that many would enjoy.  Tying in the idea of a blogger being at risk was a very creative way to put a new spin into a thriller genre story and I am glad I found this book and reviewed it!

Important Links

Links to Purchase this Book

Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Love Series Complete Box Set by Melissa Collins, Cover Real and more


***SPECIAL RELEASE WEEK PRICE OF 99 CENTS*** The entire series is together for a limited time.  This box set includes the complete Love Series - Let Love In, Let Love Stay, Let Love Heal, Let Love Shine, Let Love Be, and Let Love Live.  From New Adult to M/m Contemporary Romance, there's something in here for everyone.  Laugh, cry, and fall in love with the couples of this bestselling series.

PRE-ORDER NOW AVAILABLE


Excerpt
There was a group playing quarters on the island and another group lining up shots on the breakfast bar – so not my scene. I just shrugged my shoulders, opened the door, pulled out a bottle of water and, when I turned around to walk back outside, I face-planted into a wall of solid muscle.
“Hand me one?” His voice was smooth and... gruff at the same time. Red-faced, I turned back around and got him his water, glad for the cool respite that the opened refrigerator door offered.
“Here you go.” I could not peel my eyes away from his mouth as he moved the bottle to his lips. They were perfect - beautiful and full in a completely masculine way. I watched, completely fascinated, as his throat moved, downing the water in three or four large gulps. He wiped his mouth with his forearm and I couldn’t help but let my eyes travel up the rest of his arm to his biceps and shoulders – those were the same as his lips – perfect. Amazingly, gorgeously, utterly, divinely perfect. Muscled and tanned, his arms were mouthwatering.
My knees wobbled. My heart thudded. Thousands of butterflies spread their wings in my belly.
“Thanks…” he stared blankly at my face for a minute and I couldn't help but wondering if he liked what he saw. He cleared his throat and roused me from my little daydream where the gorgeous boy is mesmerized by the maybe-a-little-above-average looking girl. That’s when I realized he was asking for my name.
“Maddy. Sorry, my name’s Maddy." I nearly choked on my tongue to get my freaking name out.
  
About the Author:
Melissa Collins
 Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gluten Free on College Campus?!?!?!?

I was on Facebook today and saw an article via the GFAF Wellness Events page that shared some incredible news.  The University of Connecticut has opened up a gluten-free bakery on campus.  I have a strong background with higher education, loved my time at my university (go Seahawks!!) and stay active in following student affair trends, so I was thrilled to see this development.  I think it is a great stride for those with food allergies that this school is taking the step of having a dedicated facility to create these dishes for all of the dining facilities rather than just offer processed or pre-made gluten free items.
picture is from the mentioned article.
You can find the link to the article here.

Did you have trouble with gluten in college?  I was not aware of my intolerance to gluten at that time.  Everyone just thought I occasionally had upset stomach's, headaches, body aches, etc. as part of being over-tired, over-worked, etc.  I imagine it is very exciting and calming to know that schools are starting to embrace the need for food options to those with an allergy or intolerance.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Olive Tap, product review

One of the products I received in my blogger swag bag that blew my mind was this elegant beautifully packaged duo from The Olive Tap.  This company is located in Ballantyne area of Charlotte NC.  They carry a wide selection of gourmet olive oils, balsamic vinegar's and other artisan products.

I was immediately impressed by the packaging and marketing of this product.  The bottles were very elegant and the ingredients were top quality.  At the GFAF Wellness Event I enjoyed the variety of flavors that they had at their table, the knowledge that the woman at the table was able to provide and the experience of learning all the different options available that could be done with these oils and vinegar's!

Since I got home I have used my goodies to create a dip for some of my Luce's Gluten Free bread (ahmazing), as a marinade for some baked chicken, and a salad dressing!  I am a huge fan of the two products I was given to try, which is very impressive because I have traditionally not been a big fan of oil and vinegar mixes at restaurants.
* All pictures are taken from The Olive Tap Ballantyne website, except for the bottom one.  That is my picture of what I received in my swag bag.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode, Book Review

General Information
Genre: YA/ Dystopian
Publisher: Diamond Patch Press
Published Date: March 10, 2015
Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
Treena is nervous for Rating Day.  A single number will brand her forever- a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space.  Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together.  But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life and boyfriend back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy.  Doesn't sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead.  And then there's Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes.  Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation's future.  Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers - and the terrible war that rages within her heart. 

My Thoughts
I am always hesitent to pick up a dystopian story, just because I have a hard time creating the new world in my head.  I am glad I pushed past that concern I have and gave this story a chance.  The blurb sounded engaging, the book cover was interesting and I was intrigued! I love the writing style that Rebecca Rode(RR) utilizes in this story.  From the beginning I did not enjoy the top-rated bf, but I felt I needed to because of how Treena felt towards him.  RR really brought to life the struggle that Treena experiences with the changes, the confusion, the emotions towards others, etc.  I enjoyed the little twists throughout the story with certain characters, especially another political prisoner that we meet!  While I liked Treena, my favorite character was Vance.  The detail RR gives us readers in describing his conflict and pain is outstanding.

I knew I was enjoying the story, but I did not realize how much until two things happened.  The first was I reached the end of the story and kept hitting for the next page on my Ipad because I needed/wanted to know what happens to Vance, Treena, NORA and more! Then, the second thing was I was still thinking about this story line 4 days after finishing the book and reading another story. I would recommend this story and just add a little advice to not read to quickly because the next installment is not out yet and I am typing this review thinking what happens!

Important Links

Links to Purchase this Book

Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Udi's Chicken Florentine Frozen Skillet Meal, Review


Tonight we were in a rush, got home late and just were not feeling the drive to make that home cooked meal.  I am thinking (and knowing at least for my family) that this is somewhat of a common occurrence.  Well tonight I remembered that I had recently found the Udi's Gluten Free Frozen Skillet Meals in my local grocery store!! If you do not know, I live in a very small town (which I love), that does not have many gluten free items (which I do not love..aka #thestruggleisreal).  So when I went grocery shopping last week and found all this Udi's goodness I just had to purchase some to try it out AND to support my store offering this brand!!
*side note~ this option does have dairy, so for those of us dairy intolerant people beware!

Due to the dairy part I just tried a few bites (Bad I know..but I love how Udi's always tastes AND I had to try a new GF pasta for me..) and then had a delicious tuna salad for the rest of my dinner.  This serves two and my family and I (just from my few bites) LOVED it!!  It is extremely easy and fast to prepare and looks, smells and tastes delicious within only 11 minutes of starting to cook!

Information regarding this item is listed below (per the company's website)

Description

DIY meal: 1 pan + 10 minutes. Gluten free fusilli tossed with seasoned grilled chicken, cream, spinach & fire roasted tomatoes.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS:   GLUTEN FREE FUSILLI PASTA (WATER, BROWN RICE FLOUR, POTATO STARCH, TAPIOCA STARCH, EGGS, EGG WHITE, SALT, XANTHAN GUM), GRILLED SEASONED WHITE MEAT CHICKEN (CHICKEN WHITE MEAT, WATER, POTATO STARCH, SEA SALT), WATER, CREAM, SPINACH, FIRE-ROASTED TOMATOES, PARMESAN cheese (CULTURED milk, salt, enzymes), ONIONS, BUTTER, WHITE WINE, corn starch, extra virgin olive oil, romano CHEESE (PASTEURIZED SHEEP MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES), cream cheese (PASTEURIZED CULTURED MILK AND CREAM, SALT, STABILIZERS [XANTHAN AND/OR CAROB BEAN AND/OR GUAR GUMS]), sugar, sea salt, SPICES.

Contains:  EGG, MILK

Have you tried any of the Skillet Meals from Udi's?  What is your favorite Udi's product?  Do you have other GF/DF products like this to recommend? Let me know lovelies!

Gwynnie Bee~ A Clothing Subscription Service~ Review

So on Facebook you always see those Sponsored ads right?  Well I saw them for Gwynnie Bee all the time, but I never clicked on it...until I did!  I am part of a great weight loss and health group of women on Facebook.  You name the issue and the group has or will talk about it.  One such thing is as we are losing or gaining or plateauing in our weight loss journey is what are some options for clothing since plus size clothing is down right pricey!

Several options were shared, a clothing exchange was even created, but one I also wanted to learn more about and have enjoyed for 2 months now was Gwynnie Bee.  In brief, GB is a rental company for plus size clothing (sizes 10-32), with an option to buy at a reduced price if you love the item.  Sounds great right!

When you go to the website you choose a plan and then create your closet from a vast selection of clothes.  While you are looking for clothes there are reviews, size suggestions, etc. to help you out.  This is so much fun because I have used this to try on new brands, styles, trend, etc. that I would probably never try if I had to purchase it from the get go.  Once you sign up and have clothes in the closet the fun begins!  They will send you an email when they ship your product out, tell you which item from the closet was selected and when you should expect to receive it in the mail (typically it has been 2 days for me.)  Then when you get it in the mail..enjoy!!

I have received my packages thus far in a box or a bag depending on if I was receiving 1, 2, 3, or 4 items at a time.  The pictures in this review are from when I received two items.  I received a box (they do ship to PO boxes) and when I opened it I immediately saw some lovely purple tissue paper wrapping up my clothes.  I thought the little bee sticker was adorable!  I mean I love all the little touches this company has provided with their services.  The picture to the left is a sheer black tank/tunic with decorative holes around the collar, hem and down the back.  I wore it with a blank cami underneath and loved it!  I did not purchase it however, but I did not enjoy how much of the cami it showed from the underarm area.  But never fear, Gwynnie Bee has your returns covered as well!  In the box that the shirt came in they provide a pre-paid envelope.

When you are ready to return your item(s) you just put it in the envelope, take of the seal to the sticker, seal the clothing in and voila! they are ready for the post office.  After that I take them to the post office and have them scan the pre-paid part so that I could have a receipt and so the tracking information would go live.  Then I return to Gwynnie Bee website, mark it down as being shipped back and wait for my next closet items!



Monday, April 6, 2015

Subscription Services ~ Love With Food Review (March)

Finding new brands of gluten free food or snacks is incredibly hard where I live.  I see many on blogs that sound great, but they are not carried in my local stores for me to try.  I have checked their websites but most are a buy in bulk situation which is not ideal when I have not tried the item out.  So I had seen this company's ads on Facebook, but did not check them out until recently.  What changed was I saw several unboxings online at the vlogs I follow and I was impressed with what they received.
Love with Food might just be my favorite subscription service.  It is a company that mails snacks to your house/office/address once a month.  But that is not it.  For every box you buy they provide a meal to someone in need.  That's right, they are a company with a community and helping others purpose.Then, beyond giving back, if you like a product in your box they offer many of the products in their online store!  Additionally they have a points system in place where the more you review, share, etc. the more points you get.  The more points you get the more you can exchange for products..aka..can eventually get products for FREE.

I got my first box for 50% off, if I had stuck with the standard (not glutenfree) box I would received the box for free and just paid shipping. So I bet you are wondering..what did I get!

These were amazing!  I went to purchase them, but they had already sold out on the website (seriously they were goooddd) 
I am not the biggest potato chip fan, but these were pretty good.  I think if I had my mom's homemade onion dip these would be amazing.  They were crunchy, not greasy, held their structure and both my parents loved them. 
Sadly I did not like this at all.  I appreciated getting to try it, but it was more almond than dessert for me.  However, my mom loved it and wants to buy them in the future. 
I was not sure what to expect with a carrot orange combination, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I do not think I would purchase it on my own, but it was good and refreshing. 
Yum.  I was so happy there was two bags in my box because I was like no I want more! I took these to work with me and they were a perfect snack between classes. 



Absolutely my favorite item in this box.  This granola was sweet, but not overly so.  It was easy to eat and I loved that I knew what all the ingredients were! I am purchasing this one again and again and again.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Luce's Gluten Free Artisan Bread, Review

Easy to make, easy to store and delicious to eat!  If you are looking for a way to have fresh, gluten free and free of many other common allergens (differ based off of which bread product) then you need to check out Luce's Gluten Free Artisan Bread.  I have tried the Classic Sourdough and the New Italian.  Both were fantastic and consumed (quickly) by my entire family!

Along with the taste, ability to eat bread and not get ill, and the knowledge that the two breads I tried were also dairy free, I love how easy this company has made it to actually bake bread.  The package comes with everything you need except for the bowl for mixing, the spoon for stirring, the spatula for forming your loaf, the water for the dough and the oven.  Seriously, all you have to add is water (at least for the two types of bread listed above.)  Additionally Luce's has other bread selections such as Flatbread, Buckwheat, Rye and Pancake Mix.  The website is extremely user friendly with very tempting pictures of each of the products.  I quickly was able to find out what allergens each of the products were free of, the nutritional information for each and the actual ingredients.  This information is also on the packaging that held the goodies to create my loaves of bread!  

When the 85 minutes were up and I walked back into the kitchen, my goodness the smell was divine.  It was warm, inviting and delicious!  I heard my parents from another room saying when can we cut into it and it smells so good!  I made us wait for the recommended time, but I did take a picture when I first opened the bag from the oven.  How amazing is this!!  After opening the bag, enhaling all the yummy smell I could I set it out on the cooling rack so that it could settle and that we then could partake in this gluten free treat!

Have you tried any of Luce's breads?  Which ones were your favorite?  Have you tried any other breads that are gluten-free, potentially dairy free and can be made at home? (I mean having that fresh baked bread smell in your kitchen is the epitomy of homey and warm right?!?!)



In the Garden of Thoughts: The only place you can find the power to be your best self. by Dodinsky~ Book Review

General Information
Genre: Self-Help, Gift Book, Inspirational
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Published Date: February 24, 2013

Book Summary: (Per Amazon)
Now a New York Times bestseller!
"This is a book that makes one reflect, and the messages will help the person who has suffered judgement, has been put down, has been or going through great obstacles in life, has fears holding them back, is down in life and so forth. I think everyone can relate to these positive thoughts." -Library of Clean Reads 

"Dodinsky's gentle wisdom and wit are like a breath of fresh air." --Karen Salmansohn, bestselling author of How to Be Happy, Dammit!

A perfect gift book for all occasions or just-because.              

Beloved by hundreds of thousands from every walk of life and in every corner of the world, Dodinsky strikes the perfect balance of delightful whimsy and powerful emotion, inspiring you with the power to be your best self.

My Thoughts:
I received this book as a gift at Christmas time.  I have slowly worked my way through each saying, on days when I am reflecting on events, thinking of motivational quotations, etc., and finally finished this book.  I enjoyed the appearance of the book, the illustrations and the sayings.  At first glance I would say oh this is a children's book, but as I read it, I realized this was a book with lessons for all ages.  Depending on the day, the mood, the events taking place one could and I believe would take different meanings from the expressions displayed on each page.   I also thought it was the perfect length and I enjoyed that the sayings did not all relate to the same idea or issue.  This way it was ideal for flipping through the book and browsing the thoughts/sayings until one jumped out at me.

Important Links:

Links to Purchase Book:

Have you read this book/author?  What do you look to for motivation or inspiration on a regular basis?

Lush 'Haul" and Review

The other day my mom and I took a day trip to Charlotte, NC so that we could have fun, shop a bit and go find the Lush store that is closest to us!  After almost finishing my message bar from my first Lush purchase I was ready to go try more items and replenish what I had purchased initially!   If you want to know more about my first purchase and/or the Lush brand check out my post here.

So this time my mom wanted to try some products and we both knew we wanted to buy some products.  I must say I walked into the store and I loved it.  Every minute was an experience in being pampered, learning and smelling so many great things.  We walked in, were immediately greeted and had a sales person asking if we needed anything.  I shared it was the first time to a store, that I only recently had been introduced to Lush and that I had sensitive skin and some allergy/intolerance issues.  She was fantastic.  She got a consultant, introduced me to her and also got my mom her own consultant so that both of our individual needs could be met!  My consultant was awesome.  I told her about how I react, that I wanted to try to some products and that I was confused by some products.  We talked some more and then she went to get items to show me 1)how to use and 2)how they smelled.

 I enjoyed almost all of them.  The one I did not enjoy was the Grass shower gel.  The smell was not that pleasant (though she told me it might not be & to give it a chance as we built on that we the Rose Body Conditioner).  So that part did improve, but my health issues to wheat popped up and my arm started turning red almost immediately.  So the Grass was a no go for me:(  BUT every other product we tried was great and I know now to stay away from the products that have wheat in them. (I know that should have been an obvious one for me).  My mom was given the shower gel Flying Fox and it smelled amazing!  What really impressed me though was that after we tried everything, since my arm was still red and itching, I asked if I could have samples to take home and try individually to see if I was reacting to anything else.  They were so nice and gave my mom and me samples of everything we tried!  We took home samples of Flying Fox, Dream Cream and Ro's Argan Body Conditioner.  As we were checking out I asked what was all the items I saw discussing Ocean Salt and my consultant just made another sample and said try it I think you will love it!  The customer service, knowledge  and understanding about skin/health issues was fantastic!

So, I know how is this a haul if I just got samples.  Don't you worry lovelies!  I still purchased message bars, toothy tabs and a fresh face mask!  I am in love with everything I purchased.  I purchased the following items:

BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask
Massage Bar YES YES YES
Sparkle Toothy Tabs
Massage Bar Tin

I love all three products, but I must say I still enjoy the scent of the Pearl Massage Bar more.  I did not purchase another one while I was there because they were sold out of that massage bar.  However, I am not fully out of the one I previously purchased so I currently use both, just one at night and one in the morning after my shower.  I also am a HUGE fan of the toothy tabs.  It is amazing how different, in a positive way, my mouth feels after trying this tabs out for 3 weeks now.  I do enjoy the Fresh Face Mask, but I think next time I will try another one.  I have had a hard time getting all the seaweed off my face and while my face is calmer, I do not really notice much of a difference.  I have found three others on their website that I plan on asking about when I return next time!

My mom also made some purchases.  She has told me several times that they are incredible, but that she is enjoying her message bar the most, especially on her leg muscles when she gets back from work each day!  She purchased the following items:
Love Lettuce Face Mask
Massage Bar Wiccy Magic Muscles
Atomic Toothy Tabs
Message Bar Tin

Overall we had a fantastic experience learning, shopping and having a fun mother-daughter day at Lush and in Charlotte!  I can't wait to continue using what we purchased and going back to replenish and/or try new things!  I saw on some of the vlogs I follow a few products that I can't wait to try such as:
Lovely Jubblies
Buffy or Aqua Mirabilis
Mint Julips lip scrub

Do you have a wishlist or next purchase list for Lush? Or any brand?  Let me know!

*all pictures were found via bing image searches.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Barksdale Organics~ Part 1, Review


Luxurious.  Pampered.  Special.

All words that came to mind when I opened up my swag bag from blogging about the GFAF Wellness Event a few weeks ago.  I have discussed in previous posts how generous I thought the vendors, presenters, Nikki and others were.  One such vendor, who was extremely generous, was Barksdale Organics.  They gave a vast array of samples to try out from their line.  Let me tell you how excited I was when I saw the bag from them!  I pretty much squealed with joy.

I have sensitive skin and currently am on a quest to find some skin care products that I enjoy, that smell great, but that most importantly work on my skin. Work on my skin..what do I mean?  I mean clean it, help remove toxins, work on skin aging concerns and (this is huge) does not cause me to have rashes, turn red, have hives, etc.  Yes, you guessed I am that lucky gal that has reacted to many brands out there due to chemicals or fillers or some lovely item in it.  Hence, me starting the quest for a natural or organic skin care regimen!

Barksdale Organics carries a "full line of Homeopathic Skin Care Products manufactured from Earth's Natural Salts, Minerals, Muds and Cold Pressed Nut and Plant Extracts from Morocco, Ukraine, Nepal, Tibet, Jordan and Israel."  I enjoyed their website because, while some of it is still under construction as it says "coming soon", it still was very user friendly, appealing, soothing to the eye and because of the company goal to "use only natural homeopathic ingredients." One last detail for this Part 1 post is that they keep the inventory in Laurens, South Carolina USA.  I loved seeing that it was so close!

Not only did I squeal because of the samples and the variety within the samples, but also because they have products for DOGS!!!  Yes, my furbabies will get to try out some products as well.  I already applaud this company for thinking of the animals and their needs.  I love pampering my little chi's and anytime I can improve their health or give them a little TLC I am ready and happy!  We just went to the puppy spa a few days ago, but when I post again on Barksdale Organic be ready to hear about the puppy products as well!!

If you notice above, the title states Part 1.  In this post I wanted to share about the company, that I am going to be using the samples and tell you a bit about 1)why I am so excited to try them out 2)share what I will be trying.  After I have tried the samples for a while I will post a Part 2 where I discuss my thoughts and reviews on them!  I can already tell you that they smell AMAZING.  There are even products here that I usually do not enjoy certain smells and these smell great! Seriously, I checked the name several times, called my mom and asked her if I normally like that smell, etc.  Mind blown! But I digress.

Here the items I will be using:

  • Hair Conditioner with Sea Buckthorn
  • Obliphica Shower Gel
  • "Leave on" Argan Hair Cream
  • 100% Dead Sea Salt
  • Dead Sea Mud Mask
  • Exfoliating Gel with Vanilla & Patchouli 
  • Rose Body Butter (loving how this smells!)
  • Musk Body Butter



The items my little ladies, and my parents little man, will be trying: (seriously makes me so happy)

  • Moisture Rich Shower Cream with Obliphica for Dogs
  • Hair Conditioner with Obliphica for Dogs
Have you tried this brand?  What were your thoughts?  Favorite items?  What other brands if any would you recommend that I try next? Thanks!!

*Picture is from here *Logo picture is from here * Puppy picture is my little furbabies!!