Saturday, December 31, 2011

Women's Bean Project Review & Giveaway**Closed**

I don't know how many of you have heard about this company called Women's Bean Project, but if you haven't, I am going to tell you a little bit about them. This review & giveaway is a little different than I normally do and here is why:

I had won a gift box from Women's Bean Project from another blogger and in the box was a bag of their cornbread and Toni's 10 Bean Soup. We absolutely loved it! We loved it so much that I ordered some more from them and somehow, someway, there was a mistake and I got shipped the order twice.

The very nice people at Women's Bean Project only charged me once and I offered to send the 2nd one back but the manager said no, keep it. Because of that, I am going to give away 2 bags of their awesome cornbread mix! I wish I could give away a bag of the soup but I only had ordered 2 bags, got 2 bags free and last month not thinking clearly, I gave a bag of soup and a bag of cornbread to a friend to try. Then I have made the soup & cornbread and I am in the process right now of making another soup and cornbread.

Once I do that, I will only have 1 bag of soup left and hubby likes it too much to part with. I had ordered 3 bags of cornbread and received 6 bags so that is why I am able to give 2 away. By the way, they also have a gluten free cornbread for those of you who need to have gluten free products! So, if you love cornbread, you will absolutely be in love with Women's Bean Project's cornbread! Toni's 10 Bean Soup Mix is also the bomb! I mix in some onions on top of what the recipe calls for and my husband loves it! That is what we will be eating tomorrow as I am in the process of cooking both the cornbread and the soup tonight.

Since this is a giveaway that I am doing personally it will be a little different but I thought I would still give you a little information about Women's Bean Project and give them some of the credit. I hope you will take just a little bit of time and check them out and their awesome products because they are made by women who could use all of our support and that is one reason why I placed an order after tasting their products.

Women's Bean Project is a non profit organization that helps women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. They help train women in their gourmet food production company. Don't you just love that concept?

Here is a little bit of info that I took from their website to better explain what they do:
Basic Needs Immediately after intake, our focus is to facilitate each woman's access to services to help her meet her Basic Needs, such as:
•Child Care
•Health Care

Life Skills Weekly life skills classes support growth in self confidence and personal responsibility and impart crucial tools needed for employment:
•Goal Setting
•Planning and Organizing
•Health Promotion
•Self Esteem
•Computer Classes
•GED Classes
•Job Search Techniques
•Resume Preparation

Fundamental Job Readiness Through work in our hands-on food manufacturing business, women learn the skills that employers say they are not getting in entry level applicants:
•Attendance and Punctuality
•Problem Solving
•Respect for Authority
•Quality Control
•Positive Attitude
•Willingness to Learn

Throughout the course of six months, we work with program participants to help them discover their capabilities and interests. As they approach the end of their training, participants will decide whether to further their education, access more training through another community nonprofit, or search for a new job.

Women's Bean Project graduates have found jobs at many businesses including Wells Fargo Bank, The Colorado Trust, St. Joseph's Hospital, Safeway, Old Country Buffet, Denver Health Medical Center and Marriott's Residence Inn.

If you know of a woman or women who need help here is how to go about doing it:
For a Program Application, please click here. Complete the application and fax, Attention: Eme Barnes, to 303.292.9072 or drop off at Women's Bean Project, 3201 Curtis Street, Denver, 80205 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
I sincerely hope that you go and learn about them and this wonderful project. Please check out some of their great products while you are there. I haven't tried out anything else yet besides the soup and the cornbread but if they are as good as those two products, then they are going to be awesome!

And lastly, if you know of any leads or opportunities, please contact us by phone at 303-292-1919. The women that have been trained by this company would be most appreciative to find a job. They are trained for 6 months at the Women's Bean Project and are ready to go to work.

One reader will win 2 bags of Women's Bean Project Golden Cornbread mix! Open to the U.S. only. Please be aware that I have no control over how Rafflecopter has set up the new forms. It does not always give me the option to add space for answers. When that happens, just leave a blog post comment and I will see it. I check them before and after. I love reading your comments so all of them will be taken into account. No one will lose based on not being able to leave a comment on the Rafflecopter.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Purex Laundry Detergent Review

I was very lucky recently to be able to get a new bottle of Triple Action from Purex to review. I got the Mountain Breeze fragrance which is one of my favorites. I am more into natural smells because all that perfume stuff interferes with my own perfume and then you have a clash of smells! If you have never tried Purex, you are in for a treat. I love that it is inexpensive and it really does get the job done! Your clothes will be clean, bright and white. I don't know if you have also tried the Purex Crystals as your softener yet, but they are totally awesome! I love the Lavender fragrance the best and my clothes come out smelling so absolutely fresh and clean.

Purex has so many different kinds of laundry detergent products to try depending on what you want. If you are sensitive to laundry detergent, Purex has a Free & Clear product that will give those of you with sensitive skin/allergies the same product that the rest of us use but without all the chemicals that may cause you problems. Sometimes, in the spring when pollen is so bad here in Georgia, I will switch to the Free & Clear just to help keep my allergies in check.

Purex is introducing the new & improved Triple Action formula that delivers the same promise of having clean, bright and white clothes at half the price of other brands with a new and improved brightening power. This new formula like all of Purex's current detergents has been specifically formulated to work in both traditional and High Efficiency (HE) washers. Be on the lookout for them to be offering samples to this new and improved formula sometime in 2012.

On the fun side, Purex is always offering special promotions, giving us all the chance to win neat prizes. I love that they are things that we, as moms and women, need and can always use. You can enter to win a bottle of the Purex Crystals Tropical Splash or if you need a washer & dryer, then go and sign up for them. Also, when you enter for the Tropical Splash, it will tell you where in your neighborhood you can find it.

I love to tell a little background on the companies that I review and I did not know that Purex has been around for 88 years!

Here is a snippet I found under their About Us page:
The Purex brand was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1922 and, for 88 years, has been known as the laundry brand that consumers trust to provide the most value for the money. Over the years, the company has grown from a single product—liquid chlorine bleach sold in amber pint jars—to the almost two dozen laundry products sold under the Purex brand name today. Moreover, along the way, Purex has been a leader in sustainability and developing eco-friendly products.
Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me and the famous cranky camera.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Skoy Review & Giveaway **Closed**

I have got a great little cleaning item you are going to love to use. It will save you some money also because it can be used more often than your paper towels and that product is called Skoy Cloths.

They are biodegradable and can be used multiple times in your kitchen, bathroom and on most surfaces in your home or office. Use them in place of paper towels, sponges or washcloths. They are made from natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp that is made in Europe.

 Skoy cloth is a chlorine-free product using water-based colors and inks. They did an independent composting test and found that the Skoy cloth breaks down in about 5 weeks. And here is where the money part comes in: one Skoy cloth is the same as using 15 rolls of paper towels! If you place 15 sheets of paper towels on top of each other, that is how absorbent the Skoy cloth is! It's like getting a wash cloth, sponge and paper towels are rolled up into one fantastic little cloth that lasts a very long time!

Another good thing about Skoy cloths is that it dries quickly and that means less time for bacteria to grow. I don't know about you, but I have used sponges or wash towels to wash dishes or clean up and after a few uses it really starts to smell funny and that smell gets on my hands also so after I clean up, I have to wash my hands! What is wrong with that picture? Well, after cleaning something, I shouldn't have to clean my hands too! So, to keep that from happening, Skoy recommends that you regularly microwave the Skoy cloth. It is also dishwasher and washer/dryer safe also.

Keeping your Skoy cloth clean will keep it germ free and healthy. Best part is the colors that they come in! I really loved all four colors that mine came in and so will you! Go to the Use/Care section to see other ways to keep your Skoy cloth clean and smelling great.

Skoy cloths will be available for sale at The Container Stores beginning in the early 2012 in the U.S. and in Canada they can be found at London Drugs. They are trying to get Bed Bath & Beyond and WholeFoods to carry them so please start asking your local stores for them and maybe that will give them the incentive to start supplying them. You can buy them online at Skoy or on Amazon. Another great way you can get them is thru your local school's fundraising program. The schools get to keep 40% of the profits and you get a great product. For more information check out their Fundraising section.

Here is how Skoy started and I thought it was a pretty neat story:
The idea originated when Michelle was living in Europe in the late 90’s. She discovered a product that was similar to the SKOY cloth and it was just amazing. Over time she found the cloth to be indispensable. When she moved back to the US, she realized that the use of a sponge was inadequate and the excessive use of paper towels, wasteful. Michelle searched and searched for a similar cloth and nothing even compared; nothing was of the same caliber. This is when Michelle introduced the cloth to Karen. She immediately fell in love with it and could not imagine cleaning with anything else.

Looking for a name proved challenging. After looking for a long time, we found a word that is the philosophy of our business. Skoj (pronounced Skoy) is a Swedish word that means: “just for fun”! What a perfect word for our business. In other words, we wanted a business that we could have fun doing and at the same time would bring fun to the kitchen. With really cool designs we think we have accomplished this, while still doing our part to take care of the Earth.
Connect with Skoy by several options:

Mailing Address:
129 Hummingbird Hill
Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone: 1-800-990-4757

Skoy has been gracious enough to offer one reader her own four pack of Skoy cloths! You are gonna love these babies! Open to the U.S. and Canada.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mate Factor Yerba Mate Tea Review

I have a new company to tell you about and also a new form of tea that I had not heard of until I stumbled across this company somewhere while researching tea companies called Mate Factor. Here are the flavors that they sent me to try:

1. Mocha Mint
2. Dark Roast
3. Fresh Green
4. Chai

I decided to try the Fresh Green first because that is usually my favorite and because it is a more common tea and most of the time it is fairly consistent and it is hard to mess up a good basic green tea. The difference here is that these teas are made from Yerba Mate which is grown in Brazil and is 100% Organic and is dried immediately upon picking using an art form that they perfected so that their tea is smoke free. I have to admit I did not have a clue what Yerba Mate is so when I took my first sip my immediate thought was, I am drinking a form of coffee! It is alot darker than your regular tea and has a decidedly different taste than tea, or at least it did for me. It is alot stronger and more powerful which I guess is why they call it an Energizing Tea!

It tasted good, I was just not used to tea that way and once I took my time and really appreciated the whole process that they go thru to get their teas, it all made sense why it was so different. You can use honey, agave or any form of sweetener that you typically use with your tea. If you want a more unique flavor try adding milk or you can make it cold. Just make sure that whatever way you choose, let the tea bags seep for at least 5 minutes.

Next I chose the Mocha Mint tea to try. This drink is more of a social like tea or even after dinner instead of coffee. Again, this tea is great whether hot or cold. It is rich in flavor with Roasted Carob, Yerba Mate, Peppermint and Roasted Chicory. It is a pretty dark tea so you may want to lighten it up with a tad of creamer or your favorite milk. Or you can experiment and find new flavors to enrich your experience. I think out of all the teas I was sent from Mate Factor, this one was my favorite. Also remember that each tea bag is double the size of regular tea bags so you get more flavor than the smaller ones.

The Dark Roast was almost as dark as coffee and has a very heavy like flavor to it. They actually made this one to be an alternative to coffee that is smoother and gentler than coffee. Here are the benefits of this tea:

•Energizes and Sustains you throughout the day
•Combats Fatigue and Sleepiness, Promotes Mental Clarity
•Long Lasting Effects
•Free from the Unpleasant Side Effects often associated with coffee

Yerba Mate is one of nature's best resource of antioxidants and one cup will boost your immune system. It is rich in chlorophyll, vitamins A, B, C, E, magnesium, potassium, iron, pantothenic acid, and much more. You can also buy this tea in loose leaf bags to be used in your coffee maker or french press. You might want to add a creamer or milk to this one to tone down the darkness of the tea.

I then tried the Chai Tea and the ingrediants in this tea are Green Yerba Mate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Ginger, Cloves, Chicory and Black Pepper. It is a combination of traditional Indian Chai spices with Fresh Brazilian Yerba Mate. It is a very spicy and bold taste. I had to let my friend finish this tea because it was a little too spicy for me. Remember my chronic bladder problem? Well, extremely spicy foods or drinks are off limits so one sip and I knew I better pass this one on. But if this is your forte, then you will love this tea as my friend did. There are several more flavors to try at Mate Factor and I hope you go and check them out and see if some of the other flavors sound as good as these do. If you "Like" them on Facebook you will get weekly exclusive specials. They do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides along with practicing fair wages to the people of South America.

Here is some of what I learned about Yerba Mate and I did copy this from their site so there would be no misquotes:
The yerba mate plant, which is really a tree, is an evergreen from the Holly family that grows in the subtropical forests of South America. The yerba mate tree, from the Aquifoliacae family, stands between 6 to 8 meters tall, being able to reach even 15 meters. There are many different species in the family, the Ilex gender having more than 550, the holly plant included, 280 species found in South America, 60 of which occur in southern Brazil. Only 3 species though are used in the mate industry (I. paraguariensis, I. angustifolia, I. amara), Ilex Paraguariensis being the most important. The mate plant, due to the widespread genetic variety of the Ilex family, may have white or light purple stems, and thick waxy leaves that may present dented or smooth edges.

The amount of xanthene alkaloids in the leaves of maté is believed to be directly related to the quality of the soil. This influences the flavor of the yerba mate giving it a milder taste. This flavor varies from region to region, the soil of southern Brazil presenting drastic variations in mineral content, texture, and organic mass. The tendency though, is for the cultivated maté to have a stronger bitterness, and probably higher xanthene content. The native trees, which grow in the nitrogen-rich topsoil of the Paraná Pine forests, tend to have a milder bitterness, characterized by a stronger leafy flavor. Obtaining the right balance of these is the secret to having a stable, fresh tasting yerba mate.
You can connect with Mate Factor several ways:

Mailing Address:
The Mate Factor LLC
12 Old Charlotte Hwy Ste F
Asheville, NC 28803
Phone: (800) 656-3668
Direct: (828) 255-8300

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me and my cranky old camera!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Butler Bag Everyday Tote Review

I was very blessed to be able to review Jen Groover's Butler Everyday Tote Bag recently. We had hoped to do a giveaway but they ran out of bags so maybe next time around I will get to have a giveaway. I was really looking forward to posting a giveaway and to see who won because it is such a great bag for those of us who carry alot of stuff in their bags! I know I do and I keep saying I am going to empty it and sometimes I do then will get a new lipstick or two and before you know it, the bag is filled up again!

But, seriously, this bag is ultra soft and I swear it smells just like a new car! If you have ever had a brand new car, you will know which scent I am talking about. So far, when I have gotten a little bit of dust or dirt on my bag, just a washcloth dampened and it comes right off which is nice.

Butler Bag's are made with Genuine Napa Leather. It has 2 zippered pockets on the outside (which is where I keep my coupons for easy reach), a privacy zippered pocket on the inside (where I keep all those store's club cards) and the inside has all these compartments so that you can organize all of your belongings into their own little niche. For instance, I put all the lipsticks and glosses in one pocket, all the nail products in another, more club cards in one, business cards in one, checkbook in on one side, wallet on the other side, mirror and compact foundation in one and keys in another. There is also a place for my cell phone!

Gosh, I could go on and on but you get the idea. It has a zippered closure with gold hardware and the bag comes in three colors:

Black, Expresso and Caramel. I got the Black Tote because I usually wear more blacks & whites than anything else. The Everyday Tote runs #215.00. See what I mean about the compartments?

They have a smaller bag called the Convertible Clutch and it comes in two colors: Ocean Blue and Daisy Yellow. They have a handle drop and the straps are removable. They have the same compartments on the inside except that they are smaller and fewer as this is a smaller bag. These look like they would make a great gift for the teen in your life.

I don't know what gave Jen Groover the inspiration to make these bags but I must say she was doing all of us a favor by finally coming up with a pocket book that really helps us keep track of things in our hectic lives! I wish I could show you a few more styles but when I went on their site, they had sold out of some of the other styles and these were the only two bags left to choose from. See what I mean when I said they had sold more than they thought they would and then could not let some of us have one for a giveaway. Maybe next year I will have better luck at getting one to give away. Because I really think this is a bag all of us can use. Especially if you have small children and need to keep up with things. This might help with the small things so maybe you wouldn't have to tote around a diaper bag all the time. What do you think?

Although they could not furnish a bag for a giveaway (had to leave some for shoppers, which I understand) so they have given me a code that is worth $130 off of the price of the Everyday Tote which is normally $215, the code is 130MCT. You will also receive a free gift with each bag purchased. You can choose between a Bangles Jewelry Organizer or a Butler Beauty (folding mirror). Just make a note of it in the Comments section of the shopping cart.

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by Butler Bag because my camera just could not get that good inside shot. It kept coming out blurry.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Burger King Crown Program Review & Giveaway**Closed**

I have a new program to tell you about at Burger King called the BK Crown Program. I was very fortunate to be chosen to be a part of a great campaign to help our children better understand things like our Environment, Wildlife and Education. In each Kid's Meal there is fully interactive box that includes a BK Crown that they can wear on their heads while playing the many games, puzzles and other activities that can include the whole family. Each box has a special code that you can go on the BK Crown website and let your child choose which charity they would like Burger King to contribute to. We chose the Wildlife Charity because we are animal lovers but everyone gets to have their own say and really all of them are worth while causes.

While you are at Burger King you will find lots more games for the kids to play and they can win prizes! You will find the Happy Feet toy selection and movie trailer to look at while you are there also. This is where your children can play all kinds of games and just have the best time. The BK Crown Program Play Program will delight all ages. I was very surprised at how many activities they actually had online for the kids to play. They earn Crowns as they play or solve a puzzle which can help them win prizes! Sounds like alot of fun will going on and their is a Parents tab that adults can go to and monitor what their child is doing and to also help them in selecting a prize. Oh and don't forget to register your child in the Birthday Club for a free hamburger Kid's Meal on their birthday.

Another neat thing is they have a $9.99 BK Family Bundle meal which includes a Whopper sandwich, Whopper Jr. sandwich, two small fries, two small soft drinks and a Kid's Meal! Pretty impressive, right? When we went to Burger King we tried one of their new sandwiches called the Chef's Choice Burger. It is a Cheeseburger with smoked bacon, lettuce, red onions, ripe tomatoes and their original grill sauce on an artisan bun. Of course, we also got fries and drinks. My husband prefers Coke but I got their Sweet Ice Tea (I am from the south)!

I did notice one thing while on BK's site though. They have this Your Meal box off to the right and you can click on food items and have it dragged over to the box and it will tell you how many calories, how much fat, how much cholesterol, etc is in your meal when you get done adding all your food items, you will know how many calories you ate or will eat along with all the other information. Now, that might be enough to scare some people off from eating, but, for others it could mean choosing the right options to keep your calorie and fat intake in the right range. All in all, our experience was pretty darn good.

Burger King has been so gracious as to offer one reader her/his own $25 Gift Card to come out and try some of their new items or your favorite originals. Open to the U.S. only.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Fifth Woman Book Review

Wow, have I got a book for you guys! I wasn't too sure about the book at first but I have to be honest and say once I read the first chapter and about a few pages into the second chapter, I was hooked! I normally read the real hard core mystery thriller where alot of things are described in graphic detail and this book was nowhere near that BUT it grabbed my attention anyway because of the mystery factor. I love being able to try and solve the mystery while I am reading. I will try to figure out who did it and why. If you like that type of book, The Fifth Woman will satisfy your every whim! It was a fast paced, different scenarios popping up at every turn and just plain fun to read. This is the first book in a triology series and I can't wait to read the 2nd book already! Here is an excerpt from the back of the cover:

Naked and dead, the body of a high roller was found in a Vegas hotel suite. He was insured for twenty million dollars.

Ten years later during an ordinary audit, Rick Morgan, Chief Audit Executive for the insurance company learns of the extra ordinary death benefit. At first he's curious, but with facts being cold, vauge or missing, his gut tells him there is more. Digging into the past with the help of Vince, a former homicide detective, a bizarre puzzle emerges. Which piece is the mysterious disappearance of the former United States Congressman, the fatal car wreck that left three little girls orphaned or the FBI who wants the investigation stopped?

Gathering the pieces, someone is always a step ahead. But who? The elegant, conservative Human Resource VP? The playful, sexually starved Branch Manager? The gorgeous woman with a secret past? The stunning but shrewd corporate attorney? Or the mysterious woman in San Francisco?

"Not everything is as it appears to be" -- a motto Rick must remember when putting the pieces together...all twenty million.

This book will keep you guessing but one thing I found almost hilarious was that they have painted Rick as this playboy kinda guy who has no trouble jumping from one woman to the next without feeling any guilt whatsoever! In real life I would hate him but in a book with a story like this one, I rooted for him to find the truth. All in all, he meets and interacts with 5 different women, all of whom could be and end up being, except for one that we know of, involved in the cover up of the twenty million dollars being issued to a man who dies in a Las Vegas hotel of a heart attack, but who just one year earlier, passed a physical exam and deemed completely healthy and took out a twenty million dollar life insurance policy. Rick is the one who stumbles upon this curious fact and wants to get answers of how this could have happened.

He is seeing the Human Resource VP, a very beautiful woman named Caroline, but at the same time he disappears to San Francisco quite a bit and only his secretary knows he sees another woman while he is there. Caroline all of a sudden decides to quit her job and move to Atlanta and takes a job there and asks Rick to come with her. Unfortunately, for her, he does not want to give up his job or the woman in San Francisco. But her real reason for leaving goes deeper than that. She is somehow implicated in this cover up with the twenty million dollars and does not want to answer any questions. She does truly love Rick but he really does not love her.

Rick works during the week but come Fridays, he jets or drives down the coast to San Francisco and Los Angeles in his quest for answers about that twenty million dollars. He hires the uncle of his Administrative Assistant because he is a retired homicide cop who can dig deeper into things that need answering. While flying one weekend he meets another woman on the plane and they start seeing each other until her actions become questionable and Rick starts to ask questions. Then that woman also has to vanish before Rick gets answers to his probing questions.

Along the way there is trouble with a branch of the insurance company in San Francisco. He meets another woman named Kathy who is the Branch Manager and they proceed to have an affair also. They get roughed up a bit while out driving one day and it is obvious it has something to do with the case Rick is working on but it is enough to scare Kathy away, leaving Rick to wonder what the heck is going on? Do you see the pattern? Every which way Rick turns he meets a new and more beautiful woman who tries to sidetrack his investigation but Rick is like a dog with a bone, he just won't let it go.

His investigation takes him where he never dreamed it would end up but in the end he decides to let it go and the people responsible for the deception are not arrested, actually, Rick tells no one the real story and just drops the whole investigation. The book ends with Rick going to see his "other woman" in San Francisco where he suddenly is confronted with another shocker.

We will have to wait for the second book to come out to find out what that is and who is this mysterious woman that he keeps leaving other women for. I am most excited to read the next book because it really grabbed me and held my attention and that is saying alot when I normally read serial killer type books or supernatural books. I hope that gives you a little insight into how rare it is for me to like a book that is so different than those that I read. I sure do hope I get to review the second book so that I can find out what happens to Rick and the woman in San Francisco!

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me and my sometimes cranky camera but it was all me with no copied pictures.

Scentsy Review

I was blessed again by a Scentsy rep when I received a plug in warmer and a pack of Vanilla Cream Scentsy Bar to use in the warmer to keep my home smelling nice and pretty. I had no idea what was being sent so I was a little apprehensive that it would be something I liked but I was worried for no reason, as Ingrid Campbell picked out something that was both pretty but smelled awesome!
I have always seen Scentsy around but have never been able to buy any due to my living on Disability so I just figured I would never get to experience some of the enthusiasm as other people had over Scentsy. Well, now I have experienced their products and I have to admit they are pretty darn good. Vanilla Cream is such a light airy scent that it does not overpower my home in the least.

I do have a dog named Charlie, who is a Yorkie, and I can just about say that you will not smell any dog or any other kind of bad smell in my home due to Scentsy fragrances. Also, dogs are pretty sensitive to smells and Charlie has sneezed when I burn some types of candles but he hasn't sneezed yet with the Scentsy smells. So, if you have a dog in the house, I don't think you will have any problems with allergies.

They have some awesome plug in warmers in Christmas scenes that are absolutely adorable. If that isn't your cup of tea, then any of the regular plug in warmers will be something that you can love. My favorites are the large warmers that sit on a table and you plug them up and burn the scentsy bars in the top. I love lavender scents and Scentsy does have that one so I got one pack of lavender and it is so calm and relaxing. You can get their warmers in mid size, premimum mid size, full size and premimum full size. Each one costs a little more but they are so worth it!

One of these days I would love to have one of the Scentsy Buddies! If you don't know about them they are the cutest looking stuffed animals that come with their own special scent. My favorite is Ribbert the Frog! Isn't he the cutest thing? Once you get your Scentsy Buddie you get a scentsy pak and put it inside the zippered pocket in the back. Now, you have a wonderful smelling stuffed animal that you can set anywhere you need an extra boost to eliminate any odors or to keep them at bay. And no one has to be the wiser unless you spill the beans! Go check out all the Buddies they have!
For your info: If you order before the 19th, you still have time to get your order back before Christmas. Did you know that they have a Scent of the Month? I didn't so I found out something new today. There is also a Clearance section to help you save money but still get a good quality product. So please go and take a look at everything that Scentsy has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

You can connect with Ingrid Campbell several ways:

Shop her Scentsy Store

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me except for the Scentsy Buddie which I took off of Ingrid's site.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hammond's Candie's Review

I have a great company to tell you about called Hammond's Candie's and the delicious pretzels and dips that they have. You will really fall in love with their decadent dips! Here is what I was sent to review:

1. Chocolate Dipping Pretzels
2. Grandma's Apple Pie Dip
3. Chocolate Cherry Cordial Dip

Wow, I was so amazed at these dips and I would never have thought of such an idea to make actual sweet dips to use for pretzels or really any kind of chip that suits your fancy. I checked on their site and besides the Chocolate Pretzels they have Cinnamon Pretzels (which I bet would have been super with Grandma's Apple Pie!) and All Natural Salted Pretzels. They also have other flavors of Dips such as: White Chocolate Peanut Butter (YUM), Pumpkin Pie, Luscious Lemon Drop and Chocolate Peppermint Patty (I could have done some serious damage with this one because I love York Peppermint Patties!)

We tried the Chocolate Cherry Cordial Dip first with our pretzels and even though chocolate covered cherries is the last thing I would personally buy, my husband, Mike loves them! So, I pretty much let him have full control over that jar. I did try a few of the pretzels and the Chocolate Cherry Cordial Dip and it really was not that bad, but now remember, I don't care for this flavor so don't go by what I say because my husband loved it! He pretty much ate the whole jar by himself. So, if you love the chocolate cherry thing then you will love this dip, I promise.

The one I liked the best was Grandma's Applie Pie. I would have loved to try the dip with the Cinnamon Pretzels as I bet that would have made the experience even better but it was still pretty darn good. But what was even better for me was putting Grandma's Apple Pie Dip on nice hot biscuits! We had gotten up one day and made biscuits for breakfast and I was going to use my regular strawberry homemade jam when I decided to try the dip instead. It was awesome!

I like it better on biscuits than I do on the Chocolate pretzels. It sorta tastes like Apple Butter but not as thin. Grandma's Apple Pie Dip is alot thicker and more favorable than Apple Butter. But it sorta gives you an idea of what it will taste like.

Gosh, besides what is listed above they have Cotton Candy, Peanut Brittle, Gourmet Popcorn, Rocky Mountain Crunch Mix, Butter Toffee Peanuts, Ribbon Candy, Wrapped Hard Candy, Nostalgic Candy, McCraw's Flat Taffy, Puffs Sticks and Stirrers, Pillows and Straws, Gift Tins and Jars, All Natural Candies, Art Candy, Marshmallow Caramel, Chocolate, Lollipops and Candy Canes!

Whew, that was a mouthful to say! They even have an Oops! Candy section where I guess candy gets broken and you can get it in bags. Which, if you don't mind your candy canes being broken, it makes sense to get the bags, more for your buck!

You can even order according to what holiday it is like Christmas, Easter, Valentine's, Halloween, Patriotic and Hanukkah Candies. You can also get Wedding and Baby Shower Candies. If you need something custom made they can do that also. They can even make you special Gift Boxes to give away to someone special in your life.

Check out the Birthday Party section where you can have your child's party right there at the factory. If you live in the Denver area you can take Factory Tours or if you plan on being in the Denver area make sure to leave room to stop by.

Here is a little bit about how Hammond's Candies started and please go check out the rest of the story on Our Story section:

In 1920, after several years of learning the candy business, Carl T. Hammond, Sr. founded Hammond’s Candy Company in Denver. He was inspired to become an entrepreneur after creating his first original candy, Honey Ko Kos, chocolates topped with shredded coconut. In his first few years in business, Carl did it all: He developed the recipes, made the candy, sold the candy, and was his own office staff. Eventually, he hired someone to manage the store while traveled the West, selling his candy to other stores.

Business boomed during the “Roaring 20s.” While the Great Depression brought many changes, Hammond’s went right on selling candy, because even in those extremely trying times, people could usually find enough money for the simple and sweet pleasure of candy…but if people were going to buy it, it had to be good. Carl's motto was "Nothing is more important that quality." This focus on quality kept Hammond's modest factory on Platte River Street open, and making a profit, throughout the entire Depression.

In the 1930s, a friend of Carl’s invented a delicious confection: A bite-sized, soft marshmallow surrounded by succulent caramel. Carl loved the product, and purchased the recipe to produce in his factory, naming it the “Mitchell Sweet” after his friend. The Mitchell Sweet became the signature candy in the Hammond’s line, and this remains the case today.
You can connect with Hammond's Candies by several ways:

Mailing Address:
5735 N. Washington Street
Denver, CO 80216
Toll Free: (888) 226-3999
Party Booking: (303) 333-5588 X110
Fax: (303) 333-5622

Hammond's Candies has kindly offered to give (3) Winners the same package that I received. Please be aware that you will have to sign up for their email newsletter and that they are requiring me to give them a list of all entries so that they can verify that you signed up for the newsletter. So, please, if you want to win this package, you must sign up for the newsletter. After the giveaway is over I will furnish them the information and once they verify who is signed up for their newsletter then they will let me draw the (3) winners. You will have to be patient as I don't know how long this will take. I wanted to inform you ahead of time how this giveaway is different than any other I have had and wanted you to know up front you may have to wait longer to receive your prize. Thanks so much for participating in this giveaway. Open to the U.S. only.

That Special Touch Review & Giveaway **Closed**

I have a new company located out of Atlanta, Georgia I would like to introduce to you called, That Special Touch. I met Leslie while visiting Dawsonville's Moonshine Festival back at the end of October. I wanted to do both of my new companies that I found at the Moonshine Festival together so that they compliment each other.

So, that is why you see 2 companies back to back whom I think both are awesome. They are similar but offer different unique products that are truly amazing and worth every penny! Leslie is such a nice easy person to talk to and I loved talking to her that day in October. She told me after all the festivals were over she would send me products to review and she kept her word! That right there tells you she is a truthful and thoughtful woman.

I also loved the fact that she included my husband, Mike in the review process. She had told us both that she had a soap and lotion called, Temptation, for men and she would be sending him both for him to try. I thought that was wonderful! He was truly excited also because no one has pointedly sent something just for him, yes, we as a family try things, but nothing was 100% his, so he was doubly impressed. Leslie sent him a Temptation soap and lotion.

It has a nice crisp clean smell that reminds you of fresh air. Mike loved the soap so much that it is gone! He used that bar of soap every day until it finally disappeared. He uses the lotion every night before going to bed. He has dry skin and itches alot at night so he started using that to help with the itching and the dry skin. Now, he does not have that problem. He is one happy camper.

I tried the Lavender soap and lotion and I know this is no surprise to alot of people who know me. I absolutely love Lavender and so when I was talking to Leslie and telling her all sorts of things, I guess she remembered that and sent me the Lavender set. Now, her Lavender soap is very faint and light scented so I think just about anyone will be able to wear the lotion or use the soap.

It is actually lighter than Mike's Temptation and we thought that one was very clean. Normally, most companies pack a hefty wallop of lavender in their products but not Leslie.

I think she did that so that people who are sensitive to smells could use her products. I loved the body lotion the best. She calls it Sweet Lavender and that is exactly what it is! Sweet!! It still has the classic lavender smell but with a slightly sweet like smell that is fresh and clean. When I put it on it disappears pretty quick into the skin leaving a wonderful scent on my hands. I can't stand for lotions to be so thick that your hands feel slippery and well, just loaded with butter like substance that gets on just about anything you touch! That Special Touch's lotion is light and feels silky to the touch. You would really love her version of Lavender!

This is the Green Tea Soap and Lotion Combination

And this is the Cucumber/Melon Soap and Lotion

I lost touch with Leslie from That Specail Touch and haven't recieved anymore emails from her and I have reached out numerous times to find out some information from her so that I could pass onto you about how to read about her products and how to order from her but for some reason I am not getting any word from her. I debated on what to do and decided that I would at least keep up my end of the bargain and give the two above sets away even though I have no links to offer any of you to go and search for information.

So, one winner will win the Green Tea Combo and one winner will win the Cucumber/Melon Combo. Open to the U.S. only.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nellie's All Natural Laundry Nuggets Review & Giveaway **Closed**

I have a new company I want to tell you about called Nellie's All Natural Laundry Nuggets! This is actually my first review into laundry products so I was really pleased to veer to something that I have not done in the past. I was sent the 36 Load size and have used about half of the bag. I was very pleased to see that my clothes still came out clean and smelling fresh. I am not one of those people who like smells in my laundry. I do love fabric softners that have "fresh" and "clean" smells such as linen or lavender. So, this product was right up my alley. I love that it is all natural and white, meaning no colors were added to change the laundry nuggets into a blue or green. I have always loved the gel packs for dishwashers and now we have something similar for the laundry! They can be used in hot or cold water, it makes no difference. Your laundry will come out clean every time.

You can also get this product in a larger size, 50 Loads Special Edition. I think this would be the best bet if you have a larger family. Since it is just me and my husband, the 36 Load is perfect for us. I still have a little over half a bag left so it has helped me save quite a bit of money. With powders or liquids, I think we all probably put more in then what it calls for, so in effect, you end up using more and buying more. You can also get the Laundry Soda that is hypoallergenic, leaves clothes soft, fresh and residue free. Either one of these options would be great depending on what you need.

There are other products to try such as Oxygen Brightner which is like a bleach in that it helps get whites cleaner. It is colour safe, septic tank safe and environmentally safe to use. They also have dryerballs. They will help you have less lint and wrinkles. It also reduces dryer time by 25% and that saves you money. These balls will last up to 2 years and it is toxic free and environmentally free. Only thing is they cannot be used with scent sticks.

In summary, I think you will really like these nuggets. Give them a try and see what you think. You can find them on Nellie's All Natural and on these sites:

Mailing Address:
Nellie's all Natural
#114-2455 Dollarton Hwy
North Vancouver, BC
Tel: 604 984 2855
Toll Free: 888 984 7471

Lash'M Lash Gel & Double Trouble Mascara Review

  1. I was really excited about these next two products because I have very thin eyelashes and eyebrows. So, when Lashem asked me to review their Eye Gel to help make your lashes grow along with their Double Trouble Mascara, I was so over the moon! And yes, it does work on eyebrows also! I have about decided I need to go to a Derm's office and have them test me to see if I have that condition where you lose hair because my hair has gotten thinner, my eyebrows, eyelashes and I don't have to shave under my arms anymore and my legs maybe once every two weeks! Which I don't mind the legs or the under arms but the eyebrows and eyelashes definitely need all the help that I can give it.
Here are the benefits of using Lashem Eye Gel on both the eyebrows and eyelashes:

1. Eyelash boosting formula.
2. Protects your lashes and is designed to help improve the overall condition and appearance of eyelashes. 
3. Especially formulated to deliver essential proteins, vitamins and rejuvenating ingredients that can nourish the structure of lashes, while adding shine and appearance. 
4. It is ideal for women and men with brittle, weak, thin or short eyelashes. 
5. Helps amplify volume by strengthening and rejuvenating lashes. 
6. Helps promote lash flexibility and durability. 
7. Adds moisture and shine to lashes and improve elasticity. 
8. Can also be used on eyebrow. 
9. Great for lash extension users! Help those broken, brittle lashes.

Make sure you don't have on any makeup when you are using this product along with contact lenses. You can use this twice a day but I had a hard time doing that so I used it at night. I have a bad habit of rubbing my eyes while awake so doing it at night was best for me. I am sure it is a slower process doing it only once but I still saw a nice difference. I love that I did not have to have a prescription and that it did not come with the side effect that the one that does require a prescription.

In case you haven't used any of these kinds of products, all you do is swipe it along the base of your eyelash just like you do when putting on eyeliner. Just imagine that you are putting on eyeliner. Same thing with the eyebrows, just swipe across like you were using eyebrow liner.

Now, what I really loved about my Lashem products was the Double Trouble Mascara! Both ends of the tube open up so that you get two mascara brushes! Yes, you heard me, you can use either end to put on this fabulous mascara. You use the volume wand for long and bold voluminous effect and the length wand to expand your natural lashes. The lengthening fiber mascara helps extend to the tip of the lashes without clumping and doesn’t irritate your eyes. For best results, apply the volumizing black mascara first, and then finish with the lengthening fiber black mascara.

Here are the benefits for using Double Trouble Mascara:

1. Define and smooth lashes for an even application without clumps. 
2. Flexible cotton fibers wrap around each lash like a tube to help thicken and curl lashes.
3. Build length for an instant lash extension effect.
4. Nourish and hydrate for longer, thicker, voluptuous lashes. 
5. Volume fiber enhance lash growth for a bolder look. 
6. Formula is easily removed, which is great to use on sensitive and fragile lashes.

I can tell you that using both of these products have helped me with my hair loss problems as far as the eyebrows and eyelashes. I have never wanted big thick eyebrows, just enough to give a little definition and that has been a great success. If I can keep the eyelashes that have grown since using this product, I will be happy. I would recommend both of these if you want to improve the eyebrows and eyelashes. By the way, from now until December 30th you can get both of these for $35.00!

I thought you would be interested in reading Lashem's Brand Mission :
Our goal is to empower women with natural and safe products that enhance natural beauty with anti-aging preventative eye care products. LASHEM is about improving the signs of aging, not to encourage women to vastly change their appearance. Love the way you are and you'll live a healthier and happier life.
Connect with Lashem:

Phone:  (800) 710-0915

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by images from Lashem except for the top one which I took. It is the canvas bag that the products came in.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dale & Thomas This N That Sampler Review

Oh, I am in heaven now! I was extremely happy when I got my This N' That Sampler from Dale & Thomas Popcorn! Here are the flavors I got to try:

1. Hall of Fame Kettle Corn
2. Dales Caramel
3. Twice-As-Nice Chocolate Drizzle Corn
4. Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Drizzle Corn
5. Chocolate Chunk n' Caramel
6. Southwest Cheddar Chipotle
We will start with Mike's favorite, the Southwest Cheddar Chipolte. It is on the hot side so I wasn't able to test taste this one because of my bladder condition but I can tell you that Mike ate the whole bag in one sitting! He said it was a good thing I did not try to eat it because it was a little too hot for me. But he loved it! He likes anything that is hot or has hot peppers on or on them.

My favorite was the Twice-As-Nice Chocolate Drizzled Corn! Oh, my it was so darn good! It has chocolate and white chocolate drizzled all over the popcorn. On top of that it tasted almost like there was real butter mixed in with some sweetener for the few popcorn that missed the chocolate drizzle. I am wondering if maybe they start with the Kettle Corn and then add all the flavors. Doesn't matter, because this one will definitely be on the top list of everyone I know! All the popcorn are fresh and crunchy. You can also taste the good quality chocolate that is used to drizzle over the popcorn.

Next we tried the Chocolate Chunk & Caramel and this was another huge hit! We love Caramel popcorn so if you like Caramel popcorn, you are gonna love this one! It looks like it starts out as a caramel popcorn and then the Chocolate is drizzled on top of the Caramel. It must be drizzled on and packaged while still a little warm because they formed some pretty good looking chunks in there! Which we loved by the way! Nothing worse than to get small little crumbs of popcorn so the size of the popcorn was a really nice surprise!

We each took a handful of the Hall of Fame Kettle Corn. I really love Kettle Corn and Mike is kinda wishy washy on Kettle Corn so he gave it a so so verbal opinion but in my opinion it ranks right up there with some of the best! I used to not like Kettle Corn but my taste buds have improved with age and now it is one of my favorites. It is still the traditional popcorn with a sweet added in. Perfect! And just as crunchy and fresh as all the others have.

Mike's other favorite was the Peanut Butter n' White Chocolate Drizzle. He liked it because it was sorta like a sweet and salty like taste. I guess the white chocolate gave it the sweet taste and the peanut butter gave it the slightly salt taste. When you add both of them together it is kinda the same effect you get with a Payday candy bar. Some of you might not remember those but it also mixed sweet with salt. So, that is the best analogy I could think of so that you can get the whole picture. I don't know how they got the right amount in each bag but it is truly awesome!

Then we tried Dale's Caramel and what can you say about the classic? It was super good! Caramel is our favorite way to eat popcorn and we only get it during the holidays. I absolutely think that this classic gets better each year! It is hard to mess with a tried and true recipe and Dale and Thomas definitely have this one down pat. It has just the right amount of caramel without going overboard on the sweetener. You will love their caramel popcorn!

Gosh, Dale and Thomas have so many ways you can order their wonderful popcorn that you will surely find something for everyone. They have holiday samplers, holiday tins, holiday baskets, holiday gift boxes and specialty items. You can get them in either 6 bags or 12 bags. They are also Gluten Free so everyone can enjoy their popcorn! They also have a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed as long as you let them know within 90 days.

Connect with Dale and Thomas Popcorn:

Mailing Address:
One Cedar Lane
Englewood, NJ 07631
Phone: 1-800-767-4444

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by images from Dale and Thomas Popcorn.

Believe Like A Child Book Review

Okay, guys, I am taking a little detour on the dark side with this next book called Believe Like A Child. I normally don't read a true story or in this case a partial true story but I was compelled to read this heartbreaking story. I had talked about it so much that my best friend read it after I did and we compared notes and here is what we thought about this wonderfully written book by Paige Dearth.

Remember, I always start out with the excerpt from the book or what is on the back cover:

Alessa is just seven years old when her uncle rapes her for the first time. As the years pass, his sexual appetite becomes more voracious and his perversion more twisted, until the abuse has become almost a daily ritual, with the unspoken involvement of the girl's mother. About to hit rock bottom, Alessa manages to break away from her new tormentors and finds refuge in a shelter for homeless and abused women.

Wherever she goes, however, trouble keeps seeking her out, until she meets three people who change the course of her life forever. Though Alessa's bittersweet journey is perpetually frought with challenges, she does, nevertheless, manage to find fleeting moments of joy along the way. But as she begins to settle down, a ghost from the past comes to haunt her again, threatening to destroy the very foundation of her small world and plunging her back into an abyss of despair, until she makes her final bid for escape.

At the age of sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself at the mercy of her real-life monster, with no relief in sight. She flees her home to escape this hell, only to find herself descending into a more dangerous one. Alone and helpless in the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more human predators who want to take over her life and devour her.

This story sent shudders thru me! I am a very lucky woman as I have never been in any situations like this and I thank God all the time for that small miracle. What really upsets me the most is that this girl's mother knew what was going on and she did nothing because her brother paid her $750 a month to live there. Her excuse was that she needed the money to keep her family up, but at the expense of her daughter? Really? This is no mother in my opinion! She needs to be charged with accessory to rape or more. When Alessa tried to get her mother to help her all the mother did was call her a liar and a pig and she threatened to beat her to death.

Finally, at age fourteen, she has a best friend named Rhonda, and Rhonda's mom Zoe. She loves both of them because of the love that is shown to her. So, when tragedy strikes, it devastates Alessa. One night while over at Rhonda's house a woman shows up accusing Zoe of sleeping with her husband. Zoe tells her she did not know that the man was married but the wife pulls a gun and shoots Zoe and Rhonda. Zoe is not seriously hurt but Rhonda dies. Poor Alessa's mom makes matter worse by coming to the hospital and calling Zoe a whore and shouting and causing a scene. She is forbidden to ever go to Zoe's house again.

When Alessa is almost 17 her parents go to Atlantic City and leave her alone with the uncle. The uncle said he was having some friends over and that Alessa was expected to have sex with all of them! She escapes and runs to Zoe, who gives her $2,000 and some clothes that belonged to Rhonda. She went to North Philly and got a job at at Dollar Store and met a new friend named Tasha. One night while walking home she was attacked by a gang of boys and was raped by one of them. Before the others could rape her, Tasha's brother shows up with a gun and his gang and they rescue Alessa. Tasha's brother then killed the boy and then cut the other boy's penis off then poured kerosene over him and set him on fire! He also went to the Dollar Store and made the manager put Alessa on the day shift.

Unfortunately, he wanted more also. He got her to dance in a strip joint in the beginning and then later he wanted her to do more. He started charging men to be with Alessa because he had become addicted to cocaine and needed the money. With Tasha's help she was able to escape to a homeless shelter where whe met a little girl named Lucy who had been sexually abused by both parents. Alessa found them both a warm place to stay and she started back dancing to earn momey. One night while walking home they are both stopped by yet another gang that wants Lucy. Alessa tells them to leave her alone and take her instead.

Lucy was sent to a nearby restaurant and the gang raped and beat Alessa so bad she had broken arms and legs. After several hours Lucy got scared because Alessa had not come so she called a social worker that both of them knew and the social worker called the cops and they found Alessa unconscious and nearly dead. She was taken to a hospital and stayed there for about a week. The social worker found them a place to stay and got her set up with a therapist who helped Alessa heal, both emotionally and physically. Alessa finally came to understand the true meaning of love and knew that the hell of a life she had had was finally over. She married the therapist and the both of them raised Lucy. She was finally free!

I left alot of stuff out because it is so tragic and heartbreaking and I urge you to read this story of a girl who in the end found a way to set herself free. Parts of this story is true up to the point of running away. From that point on this story is fiction, but it is still haunting and it makes you understand that this can really happen. I pray for all of those girls and women who are out there right now fighting this battle. I hope someday this will no longer be an issue but it will continue to be until we face it head on and deliver the justice that these girls and women need!

Believe Like A Child is available at Amazon

Connect with Paige Dearth:
E-mail Paige at

Mary Bearden personally reviewed this book. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me and my sometimes cranky camera but it was all me with no copied pictures.

Beautyfix Review

I have a new kind of company to tell you about called Beautyfix. It has a new concept that I thought was pretty fascinating and would allow you to try alot of products that you might otherwise not be able to because of the cost. This is what they do: you get to choose about $400 worth of products every season for just $49.99! All you do is complete a Beauty Profile and their panel of experts will choose all the products they think would be good for you.

Then you get to choose 8 products from that list! And the best part is you don't get sample sizes, these are deluxe and full size products! Can you believe it? I don't know how they do it but I got some pretty good products to try from their recommendations. Here is what I received in the mail:

1. Murad Active Radiance Serum
2. SkinMedica TNS Lip Plump System
3. Chella Enzyme Exfoliating Creme Mask
4. Elizabeth Grant Biocollasis Complex
5. Murad Absolute Bronzing Boost
6. Replenix 3x Smoothing Serum
7. Replenix Power of Three Cream
8. Replenix Eye Repair Cream

Now, I waited and used all of the above products for several weeks to make sure I saw some improvements before I wrote my review. I know sometimes we get rushed into doing reviews before we sometimes see results but this time I really wanted to make sure these were good products for me because frankly, if this idea works, I would love to continue doing this. I mean, really, can you get 8 really good products somewhere else for $49.99? If you can, then please let me know!

I have always liked Murad's products and the Active Radiance Serum was everything I had hoped it would be! This is a potent Vitamin C application that has about 50 times the amount of topical Vitamin C and it will give you nice smooth skin with a wonderful glow! It will even out your skin and just make an overall evenness and healthy glow.

Active Radiance also protects your skin against the environment while it is helping increase the collagen and increase the skin's clarity. You will notice that your skin will be more firmer in about 15 minutes. For maximum results use daily after cleansing and toning. Then once you apply the serum, wait a full minute to give it time to dry before applying your moisturizer and/or sunblock. I gave this product an A+!

SkinMedica is usually available from a dermatologist's office and I was very surprised that Beautyfix was able to get this product. I have used one or two of their facial products before but not the lip system. The TNS Lip Plump System has two tubes in each box. One tube you put around your lips to help smooth fine lines and diminish imperfections while the other tube is the lip plumper that you apply directly to your lips.

I have very thin lips and need all the help I can get! This duo helped me to have slightly more fuller lips and helped with the lines around my mouth. I would urge anyone to try this if they have the same problem as I do.

Next is Elizabeth Grant's Biocollasis Complex. This is a very light silky smooth serum that helps with anti-aging while speeding up your skin's repair process. It has Torricelumn that intensively moisturizes and repairs your skin with plant stem cells. As a result, your skin appears plumper, firmer and smoother, with fewer visible wrinkles and fine lines. You will love this creamy serum as it goes on! It really does feel like silk caressing your face.

I chose the next 3 products from the Replenix line because I figured if I did a system that each compliments each other it would really make a difference in my skin and I was not wrong!

Let's start with the 3x Smoothing Serum which has 0.3% dosage of retinol that evens tone and texture while diminishing the signs of aging. It also has 90% green tea polyphenols to combat environmental damage and help improve the overall appearance of our skin. I really was wowed by this little baby!

The Power of Three Cream from Replenix contains green tea polyphenols that equal about 500 cups of tea! This helps by refining the texture of your skin, smoothing wrinkles and combating premature aging. I have dry skin and it devoured this cream instantly!

It also made the pores shrink, which I have large ones and really needed this product just for that reason. It will also calm inflammation while the caffeine energizes the skin and boosts the effectiveness of the formula.

Lastly, the Eye Repair Cream from Replenix is a cooling and soothing cream absorbed instantly into your skin, immediately energizing tired-looking eyes. The effects of the potent 90% green tea polyphenols could be seen after a couple of weeks, making your eye area more luminous with less visible fine lines and wrinkles. This one will make you a believer of eye creams! I could see the cream disappear the minute I put it on!

I used the Chella Enzyme Exfoliating Creme Mask to remove dead, dull skin to reveal a glowing complexion. The mask is a combination of lactic acid enzymes, sugar cane and apple extracts work together to gently remove excess sebum and dead cells. It encourages cell turnover for more youthful-looking skin while smoothing skin to help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamins E and B5 help restore moisture to keep skin supple. The result (if the product is used once per week) is a softer, more evenly toned and brighter complexion. You will be surprised by this product because it is so different in that it is a very creamy liquid that is gentle to all skin types. Leave on for at least 10 minutes then rinse off.

Now, the Murad Absolute Bronzing Boost is the only product that I don't think I fully understood when I chose it. I had thought that it was a liquid bronzer when in fact it is an all over cream that gives your whole face a bronzed look while also protecting against the sun.

This Bronzing Boost was a little too dark for me so I only used it one time. For those of you who like to look bronzed all over, this would be the product for you! It has sweet almond and jojoba oil infused into the formula, so it will keep your skin moisturized and supple. With this Bronzing Boost you can skip your moisturizer, bronzer and SPF!

Overall, I loved this new experience and I hope I can do this again! Oh, and every time that you complete 2 product surveys they will give you a $25 Gift Card to use on a $50 purchase on!

Go and see what products they would recommend for your type of skin at Beautyfix. Also, for every 5 friends you recommend to Beautyfix, your next kit will be free and you are allowed 5 kits per season.

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. The photo's used in this review were provided by me and my sometimes cranky camera but it was all me with no copied pictures.