Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dr. Loretta's Lavender Cleanser Sponsor Spotlight Review

Oh, have I found a new skincare company, but I also found a new facial cleanser that is made especially for my dry skin and it is in my favorite scent! Yes, you guessed it right, Lavender! I just love that smell! It can help calm me when nothing else works or at least takes my mind off of things for a few while I sit back and bask in the scent.

The name of the company is Dr. Loretta, now how simple can that be to remember?

Here are the benefits of using this particular cleanser:
  • Promotes skin softness and smoothness
  • Replenishes skin moisture
  • Lavender, Rosewood, Geranium, calm and cleanse
  • Ideal for dry, sensitive, sunburned or laser treated skin
  • Designed for use with or without water

  • Another reason why this cleanser is so neat is that it works without water! Yes, you can clean and then wipe off your face with a tissue or you can use water too if that is what you prefer. The reason that they did this was because sometimes we use hot water which dries out the skin, so this way, they are helping us keep our skin more hydrated.

    A great makeup remover for even waterproof eyeliner and mascara. This product is formulated with Vitamin E, Lavender Essential Oil and Aloe Vera to soothe skin while replenishing moisture. Designed for use with water or as a tissue-off cleanser. Formulated for very dry, sensitive or mature skin.

    And the good thing is it is good for all skin types, whether you have dry, mature, red, sensitive and Rosacea-prone or red skin. So, this one pretty much covers just about every skin type but still play it safe and use a small amount the first time and test on the back of your hand.

    She has alot more products than just this cleanser. There is a whole barrage of products on her website so you should find some time and go over and see what all you can find! Gosh, just the name alone should make you feel better, Dr. Loretta.  Don't know what the last name is but I guess that doesn't matter because we call Dr. Phi., Dr. Phi?
    The bag at the top of the screen is their indication that they have full blown regime's that you can get and follow and won't ever have to worry about which product needs to go where and how often.  I know I am guilty of this, but sometimes, I think I put too much on and then in the middle of the night I will rub my face and I will feel it rubbing off, so that is not what you want to happen. Then the product is on your pillow, not your face!

    Here's a little bit of what I found out about Dr. Loretta:
    Dr. Loretta Skincare was founded in 1993 by board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD.

    A board certified dermatologist since 1982, Dr. Loretta began her career in the 1970s, working in a dermatology research laboratory at Harvard Medical School where she was fortunate to have spent time with Dr. Fitzpatrick as he was developing what is still considered the gold-standard of skin typing among dermatologists, the Fitzpatrick Skin Type classification.

    Cumulatively this education and experience led her to become the renowned and respected Doctor that she is today. As she explains, "I believe that the benefits of good skincare, practiced on a daily basis, can keep our skin clear and our appearance younger in every decade of our lives!"

    Born in New York City, she is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York, Downstate Medical College of the State University of New York, and she did her dermatology residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she served as Chief Resident in Dermatology.

    Dr. Ciraldo is a Voluntary Professor of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where she is Director Emeritus of the Appearance Center for Cosmetic Dermatology. She is also a past president of the Miami-Dade County Medical Association.

    For nearly two decades, she has formulated skincare for her own patients and acted as a consultant for other skincare lines. All the while, she has continued her private practice specializing in cosmetic dermatology. She continues to lecture and teach physicians on cosmetic dermatology and skincare advances.

    She is the recipient of the Physician Communicator of the Year award from the Florida Medical Association. Dr. Ciraldo is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation of physicians and remains active in medical school and residency programs.
    Connect with Dr. Loretta several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    3961 SW 47th Avenue
    Davie, FL 33314
    Toll Free: (877) 768-4050
    Fax: 954-587-4344

    Dr. Loretta has been kind enough to let the winner of my Winter's Coming Giveaway Event Blog Hop that starts on November 1st and ends on the 15th, have the same cleanser I just reviewed! You will love this cleanser! Open to the U.S. only.

    Disclaimer: 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. Sponsor Spotlight Review

    Wow, have I got a handbag to tell you about! Of course, the way the site works, you won't see the color I got which was black, but it is the same one as above. It's called the Joy Satchel from BagBlaze.

     I did have some pictures on my camera of the bag and the darn battery ran down and for whatever reason, charging it up did not help. I guess we will be going for a new battery tomorrow. This has been a comedy of sorts of errors. First the internet went down yesterday off and on and then went back off last night and then half of today so now, here I am racing like a mad woman trying to get my reviews done for the Winter Wonderland Giveaway Blog Hop that starts at midnight. What a mess!

    When you click on the link above it will show you all the colors available and you can even see what the inside looks like and the sides of the bag. I wasn't sure at first that I wanted that one, but in the end, decided it might be all right and oh, my, it's a good thing I went ahead and got it! It is beautiful. It will be half leather, half velvet with the silver piping going all over the place.

    Here are the details of the Joy Satchel:

    Velvet fabric w/ Metallic Print
    Faux Leather Trim
    Zip-top closure Silver-tone hardware
    Detachable Adjustable Shoulder Strap
    L 14* H 9 * W 6.5 ( 6 D )
    The one above is called the Viola Hobo and it's very professional looking so I thought I would show you some of the other styles. I picked mine mostly for pleasure but this one speaks to the woman who has a nice position and office job and needs one that looks serious.

    This is how BagBlaze works and I think it is such a neat idea that they came up with and wish more companies would do this for the working girl or mom who has to watch her pennies but wants to look hip and modern:

    **Take Daily Blazing Handbag Deals Head to the site and check out our incredible daily deals
    **Get handpicked styles Our Style Experts customize a collection of handbags to fit your fashion everyday.
    **You choose what to buy Choose only the styles you want for just under $39.95 each.
    **Shipping is FREE and exchanges are a breeze!

    And don't forget, you get free shipping both ways if for some reason the bag is not what you expected. You also earn 1 point for every dollar you spend so you could get free handbags in the process. A pretty good deal if you ask me on top of the daily deals that they do!

    I liked this one just for the color and the fun factor and it's called the Lallie Tote and comes in a variety of colors:
    Here is what BagBlaze has to say about what they do:
    Bag Blaze is the online shopping destination for those who want quality handbags for up to 70% off retail! We give our customers unbeatable deals on fabulous handbags each and every day - making bagblaze the best and most trusted choice for finding the lowest prices on 100% fashionable items!  
    With incredible designs, super low prices and friendly customer service, we strive to be the top choice in the online shopping scene! BagBlaze offers quality brands and products at affordable prices, all carefully selected by our staff of professionals. From our wide range of products, customers should be able to find the fashion and lifestyle items that best fit their personal needs.  
    Our experienced and dedicated customer service team ensures that our customers enjoy a hassle-free shopping experience with BagBlaze. Our team pledges to provide superior support before, during, and even after the shopping process, and to deliver the highest possible customer satisfaction.
    Connect with BagBlaze several ways:

    Mailing addresss:
    456 Shatto Pl Suite 6
    Los Angeles, CA 90020
    Phone: 1-855-678-6323

    BagBlaze has agreed to let the winner of my Winter's Coming Giveaway Blog Hop choose their own handbag! Whoopee! The event starts November 1st and ends on the 15th. Open to the U.S. only.

    Disclaimer: 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.

    Lilla Rose Mutli Flexi Sponsor Spotlight Review

    I know you guys have seen me review Lilla Rose products in the past. I had the great fortune last year to have run across some Lilla Rose products that were either on sale or my representative got at great prices. This flexi is a mini that would be great for small children or women who have light hair or are growing their bangs out and want to use it as they would a bobby pin to hold bangs back or any hair really that is in their way.

    Depending on your hair's thickness, you could use it for a small ponytail. If your hair is really thick it would make an awesome half swept up hair pulled in the back. I am going to show you some other sizes that I have that I use for ponytails.

    This flexi is a larger size than the multi colored flexi and here is how I was able to wear this size and if you have a child then they can wear the top flexi the same way.

    I also had some of Lilla Rose's bobby pins in my hair to catch the few stray hairs that where not long enough to reach back that far. There is so much you can do with the products from Lilla Rose. They have videos that you can watch to get different ways to fix your hair in lots of possible ways.

    See what I mean about all the different ways you can fix your hair? There is alot you can do and Lilla Rose sells all kinds of sizes of flexi's along with bobby pins, hair sticks, hair bands, you pins, o-rings along with seven different sizes of flexi's. They have a special flexi each month in addition to their normal stock.

    Here is what October's looks like:

    If live in her area you can see her first hand and look at all the flexi's she has to offer:
    FKSCC (Fort Knox's Spouses Club) Holiday Bazaar on Friday, November 2, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and  
    Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Harmon Hall (across from Burger King).  
    All you need is a photo I. D. to enter Fort Knox. Dickens of A Christmas in Vine Grove on December 1st from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
    This multi flexi is the one that will be in my Winter's Coming Giveaway Blog Hop that starts on November 1st and ends on the 15th. Open only to the U.S.

    Disclaimer: 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.

    Tea Gallerie Sponsor Spotlight Review

    I have the pleasure once again to review a few teas from Tea Gallerie and would love to tell you about them today! I got to review 2 teas this time:
    1.)  Gunpowder (which is a green tea)
    2.)  Blueberry Dream (which is a caffeine free tea)
    Now,  I have to admit, I love green tea and when I find one that I really like, I will stick to it if at all possible.  Gunpowder is one such tea. It is almost like Jasmine Pearls but not as big or neat looking but it does the same thing. Organic gunpowder green tea is a special tea rolled in the shape of a gunpowder pellet.  If you are into teas that have a this smokey taste to their flavor, then this is the tea for you!
    For me, this tea comes the closest to what I think the finer dining Chinese restaurants have. I am sure it's not the same tea, but it sure is close enough. Oh, and one more thing, since they didn't look as big as the Jasmine Pearls, I made the mistake of putting too much in my tea seeping cup and I got a really dark tea that required just a little more sugar than what I like to put in my tea because I had to balance it out! So, use very little for one cup as it expands ALOT when you more the hot water on the tea leaves to soak! 
    Now, the next one that I got to try was the Blueberry Dreams. It is a really like, sweet tasting tea to me.  Actually, Tea Gallerie has it listed under their Dessert Tea Main Menu so if you want to browse that section, that is where you will find teas in the same category as this one. It is their single-estate South African Organic Rooibos that is known for its distinctive red color and they blend it with blueberries and flowers to make this a dreamy herbal treat!
    I drink my tea's mostly at night while everyone goes to sleep and I have the house to myself and will either sit down and read a book or get on the computer and do my reviews/giveaways or read emails. They come at an alarming rate of 200 to 300 a day and it takes up alot of time. So, I have gotten into the habit of having to skip alot of the newsletters or I would never get anything done!  I know one day I missed checking them and by the time I did the next night there were almost 500, and that is just too crazy!
    Can you see what they were talking about with the smooth redness and then the touch of blue in there also? That reminds me of Lavender! That is also another good tea to try sometime also.
    Gosh, Tea Gallerie has a large selection of teas to choose from that it would be hard to list them all here, so I hope that you will you take the time to browse thru it all and see all the wonderful sounding teas that they have to offer.
    Their selection ranges from black teas to green, white, herbal, oolong, herbal, pu-erth, mate, kid's teas, pregnancy teas and his & hers teas. So, there is a little something for everyone. I have done really extensive reviews in the past on Tea Gallerie and if you want to read more in depth about them use the search box on my site and just type in their name and you will get to re-read some of the past ones.
    I will be reviewing 4 more teas in the weeks to come because they are putting 2 bags each in both giveaways so you haven't seen the last of them yet! They truly do have some of the most selective and fragrant tea that I have ever had, so you can't go wrong on this company when you want a tea that has something extra special for yourself or for guests after dinner!

    Tea Gallerie also sells a scone mix that they say is to die for along with all kinds of tea pots and tea accessories to make your drinking hot tea or iced tea the best possible experience. I hope you go and look around to see what you might like either in the teas themselves or the tea pots and accessories!

    Connect with Tea Gallerie several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    7297 Ronson Road, Suite B
    San Diego, CA 92111
    Phone:  800.409.3109
    Tea Gallerie has been kind enough to offer the winner of my Winter's Coming Giveaway Blog Hop the same 2 tea's that I just reviewed! It starts on November 1st and ends on the 15th.  Thanks so much Tea Gallerie! Open to the U.S. only.

    Disclaimer: 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. Images were provided off of Tea Gallerie's site as my camera is on the fritz again!

    Original Sprout Sponsor Spotlight Review

    I bet most of you have heard of Original Sprout and the wonderful products that they have. They are so very unique in that they are natural products that use no chemicals that can harm us or our families and I think that is why they have been so successful.  Because I have reviewed so many of their products already, I am just going to highlight a few of them for you, just so you get a sense of who they are and what they do for us, as consumers.

    Let's start with their Scrumptious Baby Cream.  I can tell you right up that it is a heavenly smell of yummy, fresh, clean and all baby. It does have a slight smell of baby powder but not overwhelming, more on the clean fresh spring day than baby powder. It really is hard to describe because it is everyone's imagination of what you want it to smell like. I just know that the Scrumptious Baby Cream is one of my new best body cream's to use when I first step out of the shower and I bet once you smell it, you will think so too! Scrumptious Baby Cream has organic botanicals & nourishing emollients to help sooth away itchy eczema & dryness. Your skin is left ultra soft, supple and nurtured. Restores moisture without a waxy or greasy residue. It can be used on all skin types including Sensitive Sprouts. You can use this cream also even though it's made for your baby!

    Here is a list that tells you why they are Worry Free:

    •Free of Phytoestrogens Lavender & Tea Tree, Phthalates,Clove & Musk
    •No Soy, Gluten, Honey, Peanut or Dairy
    •No Nanoparticles or Titanium Dioxide
    •Parfum with Natural Extracts
    •100% Vegan & Cruelty Free
    •E.U. Compliant Ingredients

    This what Original Sprout's products will do:

    •Leaves Skin Soft, Moist & Smooth as Velvet
    •For Babies, Children & Adults
    •Nurtures Delicate Skin
    •Gentle pH of 5.5-6.5
    •No Greasy Residue
    •For All Skin Types
    •For Face & Body

    Here is another one of their products that I realy love and that is the Hair & Body BabyWash for your hair and as a body wash all in one!

    It also makes it alot simpler if you do have babies or infants because it means less products to open and close so you can keep your hands on your baby at all times which means less accidents in the tub or sink.

    You and baby will both be soft and clean with this little miracle body wash along with getting rid of dry skin! Your hair and baby's will be frizz free and your head & body will thank you for the rich emollients. Rinsing will be easy, too because of their extra gentle bubbles!

    Here are the benefits of using this product:

    •Leaves Hair & Skin Clean & Ultra Soft
    •Gentle pH for Skin & Hair of 6.0-7.0
    •Naturally Helps Clear Cradle Cap
    •For Babies, Children & Adults
    •Soothes & Clears Dry Scalp
    •Rich in Moisture
    •Gentle on Eyes
    •Easy Rinse

    And here is what you won't miss:

    •Free of Phytoestrogens Lavender & Tea Tree, Phthalates, Clove & Musk
    •No Soy, Gluten, Honey, Peanut or Dairy
    •No Nanoparticles or Titanium Dioxide
    •Parfum with Natural Extracts
    •100% Vegan & Cruelty Free
    •E.U. Compliant Ingredients

    If you have wavy hair like me or even very curly hair or your child does, then you are going to need this detangler! You will fall in love with their Miracle Detangler, especially if you or your children have hair that is hard to comb, like mine. I used to load my hair up with conditioners and hot oil treatments trying to get it to be smooth and comb freely.

    I think this product is probably the one I needed most to fix my problem of detangling. It will make tangles release immediately making combing effortless. Will leave your hair silky, soft & naturally fresh. Combing is fast, painless & safe. Glide through hair with organic & natural ingredients. Can be used at any time for a freshly washed feeling or to calm your frizzies!

    The benefits of Miracle Detangler:

    •For Babies, Children & Adults
    •For All Hair Types & Textures
    •Helps Prevent Breakage
    •Gentle pH of 4.5-5.5
    •Instantly Detangles
    •Effortless Combing
    •Leave-In Treatment

    I guess by now you understand why I loved them so much! I can't wait for you to try them and see what you think. They have alot more products than what I just got thru telling you about so be sure to go by and rummage around and see what all you would like to have. If you have children with skin or hair problems, I would definitely recommend these products and I bet you will see a difference almost immediately.

    There was way too much information on all of the products for me to copy here but if you go to the Health Studies tab and read what is in there and why Original Sprout won't use those chemicals and additives in their products, you will understand why. I was really shocked to read some of the reports on that page!

    I found this little bit of info under the Founder tab section:
    Inga Tritt founded The Original Little Sprout® in 2003 and Original Sprout in 2007. The name Little Sprout was inspired by the birth of her daughter Maya. Inga was born in Germany and grew up in Montecito, California. Her love of nature, art and architecture led to a successful career as a master stylist. Wanting to be a full time mom led her to selling her salons & spas and moving to the country, where she now lives with her family.

    Our founder delighted in her newborn daughter's thick hair. Wanting to use the safest bath products led to her trying natural baby shampoos. To her surprise, all the shampoos wreaked havoc her daughter's hair and sensitive skin. To remedy the problem Inga created the first of it's kind, ultra moisturizing natural baby bath & styling products. The benefits of being a master stylist with professional experience & a mother with real life experience culminated into Original Sprout, a globally trusted natural family brand.
    Connect with Original Sprout several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    1202 Puerta Del Sol
    San Clemente, CA 92673
    Phone: 1-888-805-2229

    Original Sprout has been kind enough to offer the winner of my Winter's Coming Giveaway Blog Hop package that starts on November 1st and ends on the 15th, a $50 GC to shop and get whatever your heart desires. See, now you do have to go and look around and gaze at all the wonderful sounding products for you and your child! Open to the U.S. only. Good Luck!

    Disclaimer: 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. Images were provided by me and the cranky camera!

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Lady Grace Book Review

    I have the sequel to the book I read awhile back called The Angel and The Brown Eyed Boy written by Sandy Nathan. If you loved the first book, you will definitely love this one, I know I sure did.

    Here is an excerpt from the book:
    When the earth blows up at the end of The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy (Tales from Earth's End 1) that was it, right? The characters go off in all directions, nevermore to be seen. Not exactly. In Lady Grace, a few survivors of the nuclear holocaust make their way back to Piermont Manor, Jeremy Edgarton's ancestral estate.  
    The radiation is gone and it's finally safe to go home. What awaits them makes their worst dreams look like Bollywood frolics. Right away, they find out that evolution can work for evil as well as good. Going home requires a battle more deadly than any they've fought.  
    The returning characters appear from everywhere, in ways you'd never believe. Some of them you've met before; some are new to Tales from Earth's End. Bud Creeman and Wesley Silverhorse, characters from author Sandy Nathan's novel, Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, drop in from the year 2015, thousands of years before the time of Lady Grace. Bud and Wes provide needed Native American skills and spiritual power.  
    Shining through it all is Lady Grace, a phoenix rising from the devastation of her civilization, unrecognizable as the person she once was. It was a new world, 
but was it one that permitted love?
    This was a nail biting kind of book because you never knew where the danger was gonna cone from and it skipped about 1,000 years into the future from when the boy and his friends went up into the spaceship and then time up there is different and they don't know how long they have been there but they know it's been awhile. The crazy thing is, that they did not grow older, only younger (for the old people, not the boy and girl).

    Jeremy discovers what they really want them for and that is to populate their planet because for whatever reason they can't have children anymore so they took Ellie when she was younger and she had a mother ont his planet but she is just as creul as the other people. When Ellie gets pregnant, I mean she really gets pregnant! She can have like a 1,000 babies all at once and they won't let Ellie & Jeremy keep not a one. Jeremy gets really pissed off at them and they get back at him by throwing him back on earth, near his home.

    But, no one is there. The nuclear bombs killed just about everybody. Well, not quite if you read the first book, the village people who surrounded Jeremy's family estate, are the ones who get to use the bomb shelter since the crazy man who blew up everyone a day earlier than he was suppose to, so none of the special people, smart people like doctors and scientists made it to the shelters.

    But the villagers have done awful things to each other in captivity that long under ground. I won't say all the things that they did or I would ruin this book for you. You seriously need to go and read this book! What an imagination Ms. Nathan has to think up all of this stuff! I think I stayed up all night to finish it because I wanted to know what happens and so will you.

    Happy Reading!
    Disclaimer: 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.

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    Taste of Nirvana Real Coconut Water Review

    I have to tell you that I was really excited about getting to review some of these Coconut Waters because I had heard so much about them and I really wanted to know what they tasted like. I was so excited the day that they both arrived.

    They sent the:

    1. Real Coconut Water
    2. Real Coco Aloe Water

    So, imagine my suprise and disappointment when I read on the back of the bottle that each one had 600 grams of potassium!!! I just about had a heart attack. I can't even take 85 grams of potassium let alone 600! I never once thought about coconut having potassium but the more I learn about food and drinks, the more I realize that we are putting it in just about everything.

    I was so disappointed but I still wanted to make sure that I got a review and I knew my friend loved coconut and so I called her up and said she could come and get them and then tell me about them. I have I.C. (there's a long name that I can't spell, but basically, it is chronic bladder pain brought on my ingesting too much potassium)! They don't know why and haven't found any cure other than I have to watch every little gram of potassium! I do have about 4 pills I have to take every day because it's very hard to find anything that doesn't have potassium.

    Even the plainest cereals have it (Cheerios) but it is low enough that if I don't get it from anywhere else, I can have a bowl for breakfast. It's just not fair! I have given up so many foods! Can't have bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yogurt abd the list goes on and on. They even put it in crackers and that is what I used to eat when I would get queasy on my stomach but now, I have to do without.

    Anyway, my friend said she loved the Real Coconut Water and that the Coco Aloe was okay but that it would have been better without the chunks but it didn't stop her from finishing both of them. She is really more into the health kick as far as foods and drinks. I have had to give up watching calories. I have to eat whatever I can find that has low potassium, no matter how high the calories. She said she made a coconut cake one night and poured some of the juice into her batter instead of using the milk I think she said, and it made the cake taste really good.

    Well, see, there goes another thing I won't be having for Thanksgiving! I always get a big piece of coconut cake because Mike hates it so it's the only time I get it. I guess now that I know coconut has that much potassium, even the coconut cake is history! It really really isn't fair! I wished now all those years I starved myself to stay slim and sleek at 105 to 110, I wish I had ate whatever I wanted if I had known when I got older that everything was gonna turn on me. That is basically what they think is happening.

    My body is fighting itself thinking it's the enemy and won't hardly accept any of the nutrients and because I have RA, the inflammation is fueling the irritation that the potassium starts. But for those of you who love coconut like me, my friend said you will love the Real Coconut Water. She said the Coco Aloe would take a little getting used to but once you did, it might not be so bad. We just didn't have enough for her to get used to it but she really raved about the Real Coconut Water.

    I noticed that they had other items also that you could get like a BBQ Sauce and then some tea products? They have Real Green Tea Latte, Real Thai Latte Coffee and Real Thai Tea Latte. I don't know, those sound either spicy hot or may have the high levels of potassium too! But, for those of you who have no issues like I do, I bet those sound like heaven to you. 

    I know it did to me until a few years ago when all this hit the fan!  So, go and enjoy and think of me when you are drinking one of those drinks or eating something wonderful with that sauce. Oh, I just thought of something, I guess that means no more pina coladas at the beach! Dang it!

    Here is a little bit of History I found out about the company:
    Nirvana Foods & Commerce International Co., Ltd was founded in 2003 with the mission to provide the best tasting beverages using Thailand’s resources. Implementing GMP and HACCP practices when we first opened our doors, we have been recognized and hold certificates from Moody international.  
    With over 25 years of experience producing milk tea and coffee beverages in the United States. We have knowledge in producing ready to drink coffee, teas, coconut water, functional health drinks, and energy drinks. We currently produce all these drink items under the brand: TASTE NIRVANA.
    Connect with Taste of Nirvana several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    20250 Paseo Robles
    Walnut, California 91789
    United States
    Phone: 909.598.4300
    Fax:     909.598.4344
     Disclaimer: 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.

    Goose Valley Natural Foods Rice Review

    I recently got to reveiw some really new and interesting wild rice combinations from a company called Goose Valley. I have always loved rice for as long as I can remember. For me it was a huge staple of my when I was single and living by myself. It was either Weight Watcher's frozen meals or I would make a huge pot of basmati rice and I would have that for days for supper in different ways.

    Sometimes I would eat with lima beans and dill on top, salsa and sour cream mixed together and poured over the rice to make a sorta mexican like rice, or I would just eat it plain with Butter Me Not! I think that is how I actually kept my figure down below 110 to 108 from my early twenties to my middle thirties. Life sure does change once you hit those middle thirties!

    But anyway, the three rice mixes that I got to review from Goose Valley were:

    1.) Basmati Wild Rice Fusion (Heart Healthy & Gluten Free)

    2.) Rice and Bean Fusion (same as above)

    3.) Family Reserve Natural Wild Rice (it's really black looking rice)

    I really liked this one the best. It is a nice flavored rice with veggies mixed in and you can add whatever else you like to it and we did. Instead of using water to cook the rice with I used cans of Chicken Broth and then mixed in a can of water to give it a more flavorful taste. We ate this rice with some grilled pork chops and it really came out quite good.

    You can season to whatever suits your fancy but I am trying to limit mine and Mike's intake on salt so we used very little of it and used garlic and pepper instead. I wish I had the pictures that I had taken of each rice that was cooked. But if you rememeber back at the end of August or beginning of September my other laptop fried it's insides and along with it a year a half of pictures!

     I knew I should have backed them up but kept putting it off and then I lost all the pictures. Of course, then getting sick further delayed this review but this morning I resolved myself to get it done with several others because this week is gonna get wild with the start of the Christmas events.

     But seriously, if you aren't sure if you like mixing rices with things and want to play it safe, this one is the one to try first. It is just right for just about everybody and won't weigh you down like some other rices will.

    Now then, this one is the Rice and Bean and Mike made this one and something you have to know about Mike and that is the hotter it is the better he likes it! He constantly forgets that I have the chronic bladder pain and cannot eat spicy or hot foods but he goes and does it anyway and then I am left to my own defenses. I wasn't feeling too great the day that he made this one so it really didn't matter. He kinda made a mixture between a chili and a Mexican dish.  Not sure what he was going for but he claims he loved it, so to each his own.
    I would have just left it alone because it had all kinds of spices and herbs in the package and I would have just added some ground beef or pulled apart chicken and put it on top of the rice but that is not what Mike wanted and he ended up putting some Rotel tomatoes in there that sealed the fate of that rice! I would not touch it with a ten foot pole! That Rotel tomato stuff they have is really hot and I am not crazy!
    So, he ended up eating that batch all by himself for the next 2 or 3 days. I bet this would have been good cooked with some polish sausage and that is what I had in mind until he went and ruined the whole thing, but, at least he took the initiative to make his own meal when he saw I was not feeling good, so I let it go.
    Now, this is the one that has those really dark rice kernels. Can you see them? Almost reminded me of black licorice! What sets this rice apart from the others besides the color is that it is high in fiber and in protein. It is also 100% Grade A Natural Wild Rice.  I have to admit I saved this one for last because I really wasn't sure what to do with it. I mean, who eats black rice? 
    So, what I did was make the rice as per the directions and then I took half of the rice and used it to help make a nice and unique stuffing.  Then the other half of the rice I served with rotisserie chicken and the stuffing. I did add some Himalayan Pink Sherpa Salt that I had gotten to review also and it really did bring out the flavors just like I thought it would.  I cooked the rice in half water and half chicken broth but with diced onions and diced garlic to give it a nice flavor.
    I think this rice would be awesome in tacos, burritos and maybe a few other Mexican recipes. But it went really well with the rotisserie chicken and I had some really dark black beans that we put on top of the rice and it actually came out pretty good.
    They do have some other flavors of rice to try besides the three that I got to review so if you want to know what other flavors they have, take a trip over to their website and see what all they have and you will be surprised at some of the things you will learn, just like I did the first time I went over.
    This is what Goose Valley says about the Nutrients in Wild Rice:
    Wild rice has important vitamins and minerals that play a role in keeping us healthy including the B vitamins, calcium, folic acid, iron, lysine, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin E. Wild rice is a good source of fiber and protein while low in calories, fat, and sugar. Wild rice does not contain harmful fats, sodium, or cholesterol.

    The U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the My Pyramid Program have placed grains as the foundation of a healthy balanced diet. They recommend that we eat between six and ten ounces of grains a day with half of our servings from whole grains, such as wild rice. According to the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy, people who eat three daily servings of whole grains may lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

    Connect with Goose Valley Natural Foods several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 219
    Burney, CA 96013
    Phone:   (617) 914-0126
    Fax:       (617) 536-8535

     Disclaimer: 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.

    Beaded Royalty Bracelet Review

    I hope you guys can see this bracelet really well because it is AWESOME! Alicia with Beaded Royalty made me this bracelet and it represents Fibromyalgia! I had always wanted one because other people had Awareness Bracelets but I didn't have one. Of course, I have so many health issues, I guess I would need several. But I think RA is in with Fibromyalgia if I am not mistaken.
    I don't even know if they make an IBS one or an IC one (chronic bladder pain). I think they could just name one an autoimmune disorder and it would cover all of my problems. Because everything I have is autoimmune so that would work. But, I really love this bracelet, so I don't care that it only represents Fibro and RA. I love purple as you can see from the colors in my blog!
    Hopefully, this one will give you a better view. I was trying so hard to get the butterfly in on the picture, I did not think about the color of the gems. They are not a light lavender color but a deep rich wine colored purple so that is why it is showing up darker.
    I think it is one of the prettiest bracelets that I have! It is totally inspiring and awesome all in one.  I love that she put the butterfly in there because sometimes, that is exactly what I wish I could do, fly away and be soaring above with no worries or problems. I am not sure but maybe the butterfly does represent freedom?  Okay, this will be the last view of my bracelet. I thought I would show you some of the others from her site so you can see all the different things she can do!
    The next one I thought I would show you is the Cancer Bracelet since that is also a very common illness and it's truly sad that we even have to have these tokens to remind us of what is going on in our families lives. I had hoped by now we would have made better strides at solving the issue of cancer, but it still persists, like an old horsefly that won't leave you alone! It is 2 strands and I think it is awesome in it's own right, don't you?
    And then I saw this really beautiful Family Birthstone Necklace that I thought was fitting because it will always keep the ones you love the most closest to your heart by wearing it.  I think it would work for all sorts of families. It could be a husband, wife and children. Or it could be a Mom and all of her kids, or it could be a group of long time friends who each got one to remember their friends later on in life. Or it could be a child's who wants their sisters and brothers only on the necklace. There are endless possibilities and that is what makes these kind of gifts so fascinating!
    Oh, and just so you know, she makes more than what I have shown. I grabbed these earrings because they match my bracelet! I just might have to go back and get them because they are so cute! Besides these earrings, you can get just about any cause bracelet out there made, you can get survivor bracelets, Mom bracelets, Daughter bracelets, Grandmother, Christian, Scriptures, Purity, School colors, Charms, Messages and Birthstones.
    So, Beaded Royalty has more than just Awareness Bracelets and you really need to take some time to look around and see what you like! You won't be sorry!
    And then as my last choice that I wanted to show you, it is the Psalm 23 bracelet and I thought how appropriate to end my review on a prayer bracelet that is known round the world whether they want to acknowledge it or not. God is always in the house so I never tempt fate and say he's not, because he most assuredly is. I have had several very strange and sometimes frightening things that have happened to me since I was just in grade school thru now that defy logic as to how I manage to still be here.
    I have stories that would scare the crap out of you if you knew them all and my friend's keep telling me I need to write a book.  I don't think I need the attention nor the aggravation of what that book might bring so it's best left unsaid. Later on if members of my family wish to tell them, that is their right, but not while I am alive! So, here is the Psalm 23 bracelet that is so elegant and peaceful:
    The Psalm 23 Bracelet above is based on the 23rd Psalm - The Lord is my Shepherd:

    The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures (green);
    He leads me beside quiet waters (blue). He restores my soul;
    He guides me in paths of righteousness (white) for His name's sake.
    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I fear no evil (black), for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff (brown), they comfort me.
    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
    You have anointed my head with oil (yellow); my cup (purple) overflows.
    Surely goodness and loving kindness (red) will follow me all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
    PSALM 23
    Here is a little bit about Beaded Royalty that I thought you should know:
    Here at Beaded Royalty, we are committed to being the very best in the business. To that end, we have established a number of unique characteristics that set us apart from the competition.
    • We offer rounded letter beads in our sterling silver beaded bracelets that are more comfortable to wear. They convey a sense of classy elegance that you won't see anywhere else.
    • We use "Heavy" 49-strand nylon-coated beading wire so your bracelet won't stretch out or relax over time. 
    • We offer a Perfect Fit Promise. If your bracelet doesn't fit, return it within the first 15 days and we will resize it free - you don't even have to pay return shipping!
    • We offer FREE USPS Priority Shipping on all orders over $99 within the continental US. We also offer several international and expedited shipping options for those needing their orders more quickly.
    • We are the ONLY custom sterling silver jewelry company to offer a brand ID tag. It adds so much to the classy elegance of each piece!
    Connect with Beaded Royalty several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    2721 Donnington Drive
    Plano, TX 75093
    Toll-Free: 888.876.0784 or local (717) 968-0860
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    Disclaimer: 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.

    G.H. Cretors Popcorn Giveaway **Closed**

    I found another popcorn company that you are gonna love! It's called G.H. Cretors and I have never heard about them, have you? I wasn't too sure what to expect but when they got here, they actually didn't look too bad and of course I went for my favorites!

    Here are the flavors we got to try:

    1. Just the Cheese Popcorn
    2. Just the Caramel Popcorn
    3. Chicago Mix Popcorn
    4. Kettle Corn Popcorn
    5. Caramel Nut Crunch Popcorn

    I have to admit that my favorites were the Kettle Corn, Just Caramel and the Caramel Nut Crunch! Of course Mike liked the ones that had a little heat in them like the Chicago Mix and the Just Cheese. We have had alot of popcorn in our lives and caramel always beats them out. But this one had a little twist on the caramel by adding the nuts and it just seemed that it just made it go from a great popcorn treat to 100% awesome! Give me toffee and nuts anytime and I will be happy!

    Wow, this one, the Caramel Nut Crunch was really the big hit with all of us when we took our first bite, we were hooked but good! This was really an awesome popcorn and we went thru that bag in record time! Oh, and did you know that all of their popcorns have No Gluten and are NON-GMO's! They are also considered all natural and Kosher so I happy to say that it looks like they pretty much got everybody covered unless you are allergic to corn, then I don't think you better try any of these.
    And then if you prefer your popcorn without nuts, then this one titled Just the Caramel Corn is gonna rock your boat! It is one of the better Caramel popcorns in awhile.  They make the Caramel Corn just like their Great Grandpa did- in old-fashioned copper kettles, one batch at a time.  They use 100% natural ingredients to create the crunchiest, fluffiest popcorn you will ever taste!
    This one was Mike's favorite because he likes all that cheesy stuff and I take it by spells, but mostly I have to stay away from eating too much of it because for some odd reason, the cheese disagrees with me and I don't like the stomach cramps so I take a small tiny handful just enough to test it and it was as good as they get, but I let Mike have this bag all to himself.

    Here is what is in G.H. Cretor's Popcorns:

    **We use Brown Rice Syrup
    **No artificial flavors or colors
    **No gluten ingredients
    **Made with fresh creamery butter
    **We use natural sweeteners
    **We use locally grown Non-GMO popcorn

    I can tell you without a doubt, that if Kettle Corn were left anywhere in the house for me to find, I will and I will eat every last kernel of corn that is in that bag! That is one reason I resist buying it because I know I would eat the whole bag and that is not good for me at all.

    I had my cholesterol checked a few months back and it is kinda high so I have been eating more Multi Grain Cheerios when I get a hunger attack, but sometimes, it just won't go away unless I eat sometthing sweet. So, I do have a few simple little chocolates like peppermint patties to slowly eat so that it squashes that hunger for something sweet, especially chocolate!

    Here's a little bit about their History and how they started:
    It all began in 1885 when Great Grandpa Cretors invented the popcorn machine and our family began perfecting the art of popping corn. His modern machine appeared at the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893, and for five generations we’ve been following in his corn-popping footsteps, taste-testing recipes around our kitchen table.

    Today we make all of our products just like Great Grandpa did. We cook all of our caramel in old fashioned copper kettles, one batch at a time. We melt real cheddar cheese to just the right temperature before pouring it on the fluffiest popcorn you’ve ever tasted!  
    And we add our perfectly roasted nuts to our caramel recipe at just the right time to bring you the best tasting product you’ve ever had.
    We’ve learned a few things in five generations but what has remained the same is our dedication to a great tasting, all natural products that you can enjoy with your family the way we enjoy them with ours.
    Connect with G.H. Cretors several ways:

    Mailing Address:
    3898 Sunset Avenue
    Waukegan, Illinois 60087
    Phone:   877.263.7000
    Contact Form | Facebook | TwitterPinterest | Newsletter Sign Up (bottom left side of page)
    G. H. Cretors has been kind enough to offer one winner the same bags that I got to review! You are gonna love these popcorns! Open to the U.S. only.