Thursday, February 28, 2013

MIKAROSE Sponsor Spotlight Review

This picture does not do any justice to the beautiful top that I got to review from MikaRose and I will show you better pictures of it in a few minutes but wanted to start with how wonderful the material feels and how soft and girly it felt.
As most of my readers know, I haven't been feeling too good lately and am in the process of running alot of tests and next week I will be put to sleep so that they can do some invasive procedure to figure out what is going on in my whole digestive system so I haven't really felt good enough to be trying things on plus I would have hated myself if I had gotten sick while wearing it.
I also did not want to wait to do this review/giveaway because I wanted some lucky woman to have the $50 GC to spend at MikaRose for Easter, if that is what she wants to use it for. So, I decided to do it now, so that the option is out there if you need a new top or dress to wear for Easter. The event is called Spring Fever and it starts on March 1st and ends on the 15th.
Look at how beautiful the collar is and I hope in this picture that you can see the tiny little beads that are woven in throughout the top. That is the main reason I loved this one so much and wanted to have it so that when I do get better, hubby has promised me a night out to eat anywhere I want to go.
You see, our Anniversary was on the 13th, which is the day before Valentine's and we always make it special for double the reasons, but this year we just stayed home and ate some leftovers or something Mike picked up, I guess. I honestly can't remember and that is an awful thing to say. But, we will get our day even if it has to wait until May 1st, my birthday and then his is on the 12th of May! Yes, we are both May babies so we always have double celebrations in February and May.
I can tell you that is was mighty hard to pick something out at MikaRose because there was so much I wanted. They have a little bit of everything from a handbag, to tops, dresses, accessories and skirts! Here is what my shirt would have looked like if I could have worn it when the picture was taken. Of course, this model is wearing the Navy Blue version. Still not quite big enough but please go check it out.  Just click on the picture and it will take you to the page that this top is on.
The name of the top is called Beaded Top and here is the description of my wonderful top: 
The Beaded Top is certainly original. The neckline is adorned with woven fabric detail and gorgeous small beads. The fit of this shirt is perfect to tuck in or wear over any skirt or pair or of pants.  
The Beaded Top is a must-have that will truly highlight your beautiful face. Fit: True to size, use knit chart, click for size chart Total Length: XS-22", S-22", M-22.5", L-22.5", XL-23.25", 2XL-23.25"  
Please check our store listing page to see if a store near you carries Mikarose by clicking here Colors: Navy, Rose Fabric: Shell: 95% Viscose, 5% Spandex Machine...
They have so many different styles of tops to choose from along with the awesome skirts or pants to wear with them. I have never ever been a skirt fan so it's either been dresses or pants with me. I think the only time I wore a skirt is if it was part of a set that had the top, skirt and jacket all together or one of those silky long sleeved cardigans.
Otherwise, I stay away from skirts. My body is what I guess is pear shaped and my hips are too big to be wearing a skirt, especially one like the model up above is wearing. Never in my life have I been able to pull that off! Even in my younger years, that would have been impossible.
Here was another one of my choices and even though it's a weird green, it spoke to me because of it's totally new style and it's called a Begonia Bag:
What do you think? I think it would have made an awesome Spring Bag and then a Fall Bag! It is a crossbody type bag and I have been leaning more and more into those trying to rid myself of the big bags that I seem to gravitate to. Has something to do with the extreme pain I am in along the shoulders and shoulder blades so my doctor has advised me to get rid of the big bags and go smaller and carry less! Do you know how hard that is for a woman who has always had a big bag that holds everything?
The only dress that I really thought might look good on me was this one called Jackie and it's on the Clearance table so you might want to check it out!
Since my health has gotten so bad, the only clothes I am comfortable in right now are leggings and soft stretch jeans that don't bind my stomach. Right now that is doctor's orders also. I am not allowed to wear anything tight that could cause the stomach contents to come up so I have become a housecoat/gown person at home and a leggings girl when I am on the move. Gosh, I hope this doesn't last too long!
Oh, and this was on my list, too! I thought this would have made an awesome Catch Up Dinner from Valentine's Day and Birthday all rolled into one. It is absolutely gorgeous! Maybe I can get hubby to spring for it! This is the Renee Lace Dress. Wow, isn't that too cute!
I found this in the About Us section:
Mikarose is a clothing company that specializes in modest, elegant and fashionable dresses. Our company's idea evolved when the owners realized how difficult it was to find modest dresses in today's market.  
We are sure you have had similar experiences when looking for a modest dress. After many frustrating outings, we formed Mikarose. Our goal is to provide an extensive line of modest dresses, without having to sacrifice style.  
You will be able to wear our line to a broad range of functions: from everyday events to corporate parties. We hope to not only meet the needs of women looking for modest wear, but all those who are seeking elegant dresses. 
Hey, I totally get it! I am so tired of going into stores where the dresses are so low it's embarassing or so short you don't dare risk bending over. I watched the Emmy's and the Oscar's this year along with getting People magazine and the star's are really taking short to a whole new level and the plunging necklines leave nothing to the imagination.

And they wonder why they can't keep a man? Well, when you show everything you got all at once, what more does he need to come back for?  You already gave it all away in that package you wore. So, I for one, am glad to see a sensible company like MikaRose come along that knows what needs to be shown and what needs to be kept under wraps until the right time. Go and check them out and see what else they have in store for you!

Connect with MikaRose several ways:

Mailing Address:
223 West Bulldog Ave. #113
Provo , Utah 84604
Phone:  (801) 221-4880
Fax:      (208) 441-4811

MikaRose will be giving the winner of my Spring Fever Giveaway Event a $50 GC to spend however you wish! Open to the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone! The event starts on March 1st and ends on the 15th.
 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 you.  

YumEarth Naturals Sour Beans Sponsor Spotlight Review

Do you love Jelly Beans? I do and I love all the different flavor combinations that you can get from them also! There are so many that it would be impossible to list them all, but you will love some of the facts I am about to give you on these yummy jelly beans that will make your heart sing and your children happy to have found a good product that they can snack on!

Why do I say that? Well, let's see for instance:

**They are Fat Free
**They are Nut Free
**100% Daily Vitamin C
**Gluten Free
**Less than 70 Calories per Pack
**Made with Real Fruit Juices
**No MSG **Dairy Free
**Soy Free **No Artificial Dyes
**100% Natural Flavors
**Tree Nut Free

And the list can go on but I will let you discover all those when you try them yourselves. As you can see from the picture below, they look just like the regular ones you buy in the stores that are loaded down with sugar, calories and fat.

Here are a few questions asked about Allergies in the making of their snacks:

1: Are any of the major allergens, including peanuts or tree nuts, used in your product? 
No, plus our plant does not produce anything with tree-nuts or peanuts.

Cross Contamination?
Our facilities are free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, sesame, shellfish, and eggs. The equipment is thoroughly washed before making YummyEarth organic candy, but the equipment is not cleaned between flavors, so please know there is a risk that a trace amount of berry juice from one flavor may touch another flavor during production.

Organic Tapioca Syrup?
We stopped using Tapioca Syrup in 2008, so any mention of tapioca syrup on any of our bags or packaging would mean that the bag is either up to 5 years old or we have not yet updated the packaging via a reprint, but please know that we are removing the mention of Tapioca Syrup on all reprints of our packaging as we do reprint them from time to time because we do not use this ingredient.

Questions about Safflower Oil or Citrus Oils?
The safflower oil we use is highly refined so it does not contain any allergen proteins or pollen that would cause an allergic reaction.

Razzmatazz Berry - No Safflower, No Orange, No Lemon

Cheeky Lemon - No Safflower, No Orange, Lemon Yes
Orange Squeeze - No Safflower, Orange Yes, No Lemon
Wet-Face Watermelon - Safflower Yes, No Orange, No Lemon
TooBlueberry Flavor - Safflower Yes
Very Very Cherry - Safflower Yes
Googly Grape - Safflower Yes
Mango Tango - Safflower Yes
Pomegranate Pucker - Safflower Yes
Roadside Root Beer - Safflower Yes

Questions about colors: YummyEarth is colored naturally with fruits, vegetables and roots (NO FOOD DYE #4 or #5 or Blue Lake...).

High Fructose Corn Syrup?

We do not use high fructose corn syrup in any product. The most frustrating thing about high fructose corn syrup, in our never humble opinion, is that it insidiously appears in foods we do not expect to see sugar in, such as bread, ketchup, salad dressings, yogurt, etc...which causes the body to crave ever more sweet things in foods you do not expect to be "sweetened". We do, however, expect our candy to be sweetened and we share our candy with our families in moderation and know that it has sugar in it.
As you can see, each bag can pack quite a bit of little bags of beans to hand out to your children or friends. Of course, this bag is the bigger bag that has 50 smaller bags per each bulk bag and the one that will be given away in my Spring Fever Giveaway Event is only a 10 snack pack bag, but it will get you hooked on the good quality of a snack that doesn't have to hide behind artificial flavorings to make you want them more.
Besides the Sour Beans, YumEarth also has lollipops, gummy bears, fruit snacks and drops. You can buy in small packs or in bulk. An interesting fact I found is that shipping is only $2.99 and for orders over $39 the shipping is FREE!
They also make gift items that you can send to someone you love or send them to your home for your loved ones. One of the main reason's that you might want to think about that is this:

YumEarth organic Artisanal Candy is Silver Award winner at the most prestigious national food competition at the famed NY Fancy Food Show. These twist wrapped drops are packed in old world candy shop bags and finished with chocolate grosgrain bows. A perfect indulgence or gift.

The flavors that they have for the gift bags are made in the flavors of:

Wild Peppermint, Hopscotch Butterscotch, Roadside Root Beer, Very Cherry and Pomegranate Pucker.
Here's a little info on the company themselves in the About Us:
How'd you become interested in candy making?
My friend Sergio was feeding rice pudding to my 15-month-old, Jonah, and we imagined that soon he'd begin asking for candy. We dreamt aloud of inventing an organic lollipop that tasted so good our children would ask for it instead of 'chemical candy'—with all that artificial garbage. We spent months developing a recipe and perfecting the production process; two years later YummyEarth candies are selling out inthousands of stores nationwide and in 20 countries. Apparently, a few other parents also feel the same way!What's in your lollipops and candies?

Wanting the very best ingredients for our children, Jonah and Rose, Sergio and I chose organic. But we took it a step further, sourcing our ingredients from around the world to use which we feel are best in class. Citric acid made from Israeli sugar beets instead of genetically modified corn; bright red coloring from purple carrots instead of artificial red dye; real pomegranate extract for our Pomegranate Pucker lollipops and candy drops. Organic pumpkin and black currant is also used to create the vibrant colors. We really have fun with the recipes and truly make the candy for our children and families first—we aim to wow them.

Connect with YumEarth Naturals several ways:


Remember that the winner of my Spring Fever Giveaway Event will get one bag of the Sour Beans to try for themselves! And if you don't win this one, I have another bag of something else to give away later on in one of my Green Earth Day Events later on in April. I decided to split them up so that 2 different winners can try these awesome snacks. The event starts on March 1st and ends on the 15th, in plenty of time for you to get before Easter gets here. Open in the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

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 you.

Ecco Bella Skincare Sponsor Spotlight Review

I was very fortunate recently to get to try 2 more products from one of my favorite skincare lines, Ecco Bella.
This time I was sent:
**Leave on Invisible Exfoliant & Blemish Remedy
**Night Rebuilder Cream for the Face
You will love each one of these products as much as I have come to depend on them. Let's start with the Leave on Invisible Exfoliant & Blemish Remedy.
First off, I want to share this information with you so that you don't freak out and think that just because this is a leave on exfoliant that it will harm your skin.
Here is what Ecco Bella has to say about this product:
You'll be glad to know that it has 6% Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and 2% Salicylic Acid and a pH of 3.5-4. AHA products that wash off, or with a pH higher than 4.0 do not exfoliate. This one has a pH of 3.5 and you leave it on. Salicylic acid goes deeper into the pores to smooth skin and safely dry up blemishes.
I chose this product because it has the dual properties that everyone can use. It is an exfoliant but it can also help women with blemishes and/or smooth out our pores. I don't know about you, but as I have gotten older, the pores seem to be getting bigger or it could all be in my head, but whenever possible, I try to use products that help tighten those pores or at least cover them up for me for awhile if I have somewhere to go.
There are different directions for what you are trying to use it for and here is how it works:

Directions for Blemish Treatment. Shake well. After cleansing and toning, apply to affected area in a thin layer one to three times daily. To avoid excessive drying, start with one application daily and gradually increase. It really does work and I know this because my granddaughter has a little acne and I let her use some.  The Ecco Bella claim is true: Dries up blemishes in 24-48 hours!

Directions for Exfoliating.
Use daily or as needed. Leave on and let dry. Follow with Age Antidote Day Cream SPF 15 or Night Rebuilder.

You can even use this on your body if you have those bumps, roughness and blemishes anywhere on your face and yes, use it on your body too! I have some on the top part of my arms and I am experimenting with it but trying not to use too much because I do need it for the pores on my face also. I can always cover up my arms, you can't hardly cover up the face!

Now, let's move on to the Night Rebuilder Cream:

I love products that work while I sleep so that is one of the huge reasons I wanted to try this one and I love it! If you do nothing else, this is one product that you will want to invest in. It is for sensitive skin, is water-free, preservative-free and 50% organic. It features VitaminCells, powerful age-resisting antioxidants that are time-delivered while you sleep. Did I not tell you that you would love this awesome product!
I have sensitive skin sometimes (it comes and goes and I never know when it's gonna strike). I can wear something for months and then one day, poof! It makes my eyes burn and water and then I have to take everything off because I don't know which one did it. Very inconvenient.
Another reason that I love this product is how you use it and what it does for you:
Every time you wash your face, you wash away the precious ceramides that bolster the structure of your skin. Night Rebuilder Cream replenishes those precious ceramides, building firm skin night after night. Use it the daytime too! Gluten-free. Vegan. Not tested on animals.
Remember earlier when it said to put this on after the Invisible Exfoliant? Well, this is the product. You will want this double action to give you  the best possible face in the morning to look gorgeous. I love this duo and I have a feeling I will be getting more of both when I run out. They are a powerful duo to have and you will love them as much as I do!
The last ingrediants in this awesome Night Rebuilder are lutein, lycopene, astaxanthin, beta-carotene, CoQ10, Vitamin C, and super full-spectrum Vitamin E with all 8 tocopherols and tocotrienols. You'll love that it is also enriched with ceramides and hyaluronic acid, for intensive rebuilding.
Ecco Bella has so many more products that I know you would love. I have gotten to try several of them at a time every 4 or 5 months and I always choose something different so that I know what will work for me and what won't. I haven't run across any products yet that don't benefit me somehow.
They have fragrances, body lotions, hair care products, room mists, cosmetics and even Vegan products! There is also alot more skincare items that you can choose from also. I wish I had all the time in the world to tell you about them but if you will put Ecco Bella in my Search box on the right side of my blog, there will be several reviews I have done already on some products from Ecco Bella that will give you a good range of what they have and what they can do.
They offer a 100% Guarantee and they offer free shipping in the States and they will ship Worldwide but there will be a charge for that. You also have a 90 Day Return policy that if you don't like something or it doesn't do what it should or if for some reason you are sensitive to the ingrediants and need to change the product or get a refund.
Here is a little something I copied from their About Us so you know a little about them:
Since 1992, Ecco Bella has been known as a pioneer in the natural beauty field. Back then, it was virtually impossible to find organic materials for our products, but I persisted. Why? Because by using organics we not only purify our bodies, we also support ethical farmers who need and appreciate our business. Ecco Bella products are 50%-70% organic! They not only benefit both you and the planet, they are a delight to see, smell and use.

When you use any Ecco Bella product, know that because of both my activism and my caring for you, I will do my best on your behalf!
Connect with Ecco Bella several ways:

Mailing Address:
623 Eagle Rock Ave
Suite 381
West Orange, NJ 07052
Phone:   1-877-696-2220

Ecco Bella has been kind enough to offer the winner of my Spring Fever Giveaway Event the Invisible Exfoliant & Blemish Remedy! The event starts on March 1st and ends on the 15th. Open to the U.S. only.  Good Luck Everyone!

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 you.

Mineral Hygenics Blush & Lipstick Sponsor Spotlight Review

You guys know that I love Mineral Hygenics because I have had them here so many other times but I gave them a break in the last few months but they are back and they have an awesome blush and lipstick to give away along with a makeup brush.
They are the coolest company with some of the best mineral makeup and I knew you would appreciate some new Spring colors for the Spring Fever Giveaway Hop that starts on March 1st and ends on the 15th. Yes, that means the winner will receive the same set that you see above! Cool, huh? Oh, and by the way if you would like to get 10% off of your purchase, use this code for the next 3 months (cupoftea)! Enjoy!

The brush is called an Angled Blush Brush:
The Angled Blush Brush is hand made and perfected with soft-tapered bristles. The natural fibers are contoured and shaped to fit perfectly in your cheek to beautify your look.  You will love how this brush feels on your skin and how perfectly it blends in your blush to make it appear effortless. This is one brush you will definitely want to keep and use as often as you can.
I chose the color Bliss as my blush because it is a little bit of everything. It can be used as a light bronzer or a little bit of color brushed here and there to give me a radiant and glowing complexion instead of a pasty white one. I do not get out in the sun, so I have very pale white skin and have to be careful when choosing colors. They have to be smooth and natural looking or I can wind up looking like a disaster!
Well, that didn't come out too good of a picture! Sometimes, my camera can be right on and at other times, it can make things either appear too light or too dark so here is what the color looks like on Mineral Hygenic's site:
Wow, that is a big difference, isn't it?  Well, now you can see why I said it could be used as a blush or a bronzer depending on how much you put on and how well you blend it in. I tend to go very light on everything and thought that the Bliss Blush looked the most natural of the colors that could possibly be a bronzer also.
Then lastly, I choose the color Citrine in the Lipstick because, again, I wanted to look natural and not made up like some character in a horror show.
I chose this color because it has a peach base and doesn't really look as orange as the above picture makes it out to be. It's really hard to buy makeup online and I normally only do it after I have used it or tested it in a store, but on this one I went on blind faith.
Citrine is a peach based lipstick that is a warm nude with gold toned coverage and a soft, sheer apricot shimmer that I thought would work well with the Bliss Blush. The Citrine Lipstick is specially formulated to be free of synthetic dyes and colorants, these colors work with your own lip color to look natural and it's the most natural lipstick available!
And it works very well with the very light tinted moisturizer I use now. Yes, I said tinted moisturizer. I have finally accepted the fact that as I have gotten older, liquid makeup that teenagers or young women use is not the kind of makeup I need. I need makeup that softens my face and the colors I chose from Mineral Hygenics do just that.
They have 4 other colors to choose from if you aren't into natural looking makeup like me, so have no fear, you will get to choose your own colors because I know and so does Mineral Hygenics that not everyone else may not have the same light complexion that I have or they may desire darker colors just because that is what they like to wear. And that's okay.
You will absolutely love all of Mineral Hygenic's products and I hope that you will read some of the testamonials that people have written in to them about how their makeup has worked out for them. If you have never used mineral makeup before, just follow the directions that will come with your order. 
Plus they have online help also to show you which colors will go with your complexion. At the bottom of each page of their website you will see pull down boxes that help you with every step. I did want to copy this for you so that you will feel confident in Mineral Hygenics:
Mineral Hygienics is the most natural cosmetic a woman can wear. They are loose powders formulated from crushed minerals extracted from the Earth with no fillers added.
  • Does not contain harmful chemical additives, harsh dyes, or man-made fragrances – thus limiting the risk for skin allergies
  • Completely free of irritants such as talc, bismuth oxychloride, dyes, parabens, mineral oil, salicylates, carmine, synthetic fragrances, methylparaben, petro-chemicals, and many other questionable chemicals commonly found in other make-up
  • Non-organic, inert materials don’t allow mold or fungus to grow, extending the shelf life far beyond most other types of makeup
  • Ingredients adhere to the skin’s surface and are not absorbed – so you can have full day coverage without it clogging your pores or building up within your body
  • Natural ingredients are recognized by our bodies
  • Synergistic blends capable of replenishing, revitalizing, and protecting skin
  • So gentle on the skin, it is recommended by Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, and Estheticians after plastic surgery, dermabrasion and skin resurfacing
  • 100% chemical-free natural protection from the sun’s damaging rays

Connect with Mineral Hygenics several ways:

Mailing Address:
511 Bailey Avenue
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone:  1(866) 628-1038

Don't forget that you will get Mineral Blush or Bronzer along with the Angel Brush in the Spring Fever Giveaway Hop that begins on March 1st and ends on the 15th. Open to the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

Then on Green Earth Day, they will be giving the Mineral Lipstick away in the Earth Day Giveaway that begins on April 6th and ends on the 20th.

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 you.

Blue Steel Hearts & Butterflies Bracelet Sponsor Spotlight Review

I have just recently been able to review this awesome bracelet above called Hearts and Butterflies from a company called Blue Steel.

Here are some specifications on the bracelet for your info:

**Metal: Surgical Grade Stainless Steel
**Stock Number: SSBM-0264
**Dimensions: 8.07 L x .16" W
**Can be sized? No
**Color: Silver and Gold

I love the new Toggle styled bracelets because they are easier to work with and I should know because of the RA and the Fibromyalgia, some days my hands are swollen and I can't get them to work right so it is awesome that I can just slip that little slender cylinder thing they call a toggle into the round whole on the other side and there you have it! Ready to go in no time!

I am also very fond of gold as my number one source of jewelry but with the price of gold going up and getting worse, I was especially drawn to this bracelet because it mixed the two of them together. I like that because now I have gold and silver rings that I can mix match with everything. Same thing with earrings.

But, this past February 13th was our 14th anniversary and the next day was Valentine's Day, so my sweet husband got me this ring which is not gold, like he usually gets. The other bad luck that came was at first he got the earrings but the backs were so awful the earrings tipped over on my ears and I said no way with that kind of money you spent.

He said that they had a necklace or a ring for the same price and the saleslady said he could come back and exchange them if I didn't like them. I only wear my journey necklace so I told him to get the ring. Here is what it looked like and I know what you will be thinking when you see it:

Yes, it does look like the one that Kate Middleton is wearing somewhat from Princess Diana and I have always loved it and it's the one time that I really have truly loved a silver ring. I scolded him though when I found out how much it was but the store was having a half off sale plus he had an extra 20% coupon, so instead of paying $650 for the ring, he only paid a little over $275. I would have otherwise made him take it back.
We did not get each other much for Christmas this year and mostly gave to our families instead so he said this was to make up for all of that. I normally get a nice piece of jewelry for Christmas so this past year, he fooled me and gave it to me now. So, now that I have the silver ring, I can wear my new bracelet along with it and it won't look funny.

I have lots of gold bracelets and leather bracelets but not many silver ones. I think I only have one other and I love it also. I guess it is true what they say, the older you get, the broader your mind gets and you are more willing to accept things that you were too silly to accept when you are young.
Only explanation I can think of for me anyway, because silver is just as pretty as gold! Won't ever snub my nose at silver again, I promise. Back to Blue Steel, I have other pieces that I got to review for different events down the road but thought this one was appropriate for now.

Because the Giveaway Hop is called Spring Fever, to me that means the butterflies come back along with many other types of insects and birds but the butterflies are the most beautiful so that is why the Hearts and Butterflies bracelet is in the Spring Fever Giveaway. Don't you think it makes perfect sense now?
Here are two other bracelets I thought about but nixed because I loved the gold in the one I got:

Right now Blue Steel is having a sale on all jewelry that has hearts on them, so you can get some
really great deals! You can click on the box below and it will take you right there!
They are also offering 25% off of their New Collection and I saw a few pieces in there that I wouldn't mind having myself! These weren't there when I chose what I wanted, but I think what I got is pretty spectacular so I don't think I would change it even if I could. I did okay for myself and love all the pieces I got and can't wait to show you what else is in store in later events. 
And just remember, they have other types of jewelry also, not just bracelets. I focused on those today because that is what the prize is gonna be. But they have some awesome rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants and even sets where you can get 2 pieces that match.
They have a 30 day return policy that you can return items for whatever reasons and they have free shipping on orders over $100 and in this economy, every little bit helps. And also remember that there are some items for men, so don't count them out!
Oh, almost forgot, they have a Facebook Giveaway every day! Don't forget to go and enter! Just click on the box below:
Connect with Blue Steel several ways:
Mailing Address:
8615 Commodity Circle Suite 15
Orlando, FL, 32819
Telephone number 1-800-450-8067
Don't forge that Blue Steel will be giving away the Hearts and Butterflies Bracelet in my Spring Fever Giveaway Hop that starts on March 1st and ends on the 15th. Open to the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

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 you.  

Leap Into Books 2013 Giveaway Hop **Closed**

 Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop
February 28th to March 7th 
Co-hosted by Jinky is Reading
Welcome to Mary's Cup of Tea and the Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop!
I have two books that I think you will enjoy reading as much as I did.
1.)  One Moment in Time
2.)  Lasso The Stars

Open in the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

Nexxus Youth Renewal Hair Care System Review

I have very dry hair and skin for that matter, so it takes a special kind of shampoo and conditioner to help me control the dryness. I have shoulder length hair and at first I just got a little dab which almost covered my hair but I like my hair to be fully lathered so I probably used more than what you would if you have normal or oily hair.
I loved the fragrance as soon as I opened the bottle. Totally awesome!
I rinsed my hair and then put on the Youth Renewal Conditioner and left it on for the remainder of my shower. I do this with all my conditioners but this is the first time I did not have to fight the tangles in my hair as much as I used to. I did add a little more and twisted my hair up in a bun to make sure the shower did not wash it all off.
I used the Lift and Blow Dry Spray and then used the hair dryer halfway thru. I always let my hair dry the rest of the way by itself to keep it from getting even drier.  I would have loved to have had the serum to put on, but I used one that I have had for awhile and it worked well with the Nexxus system.
My hair stayed fresh and clean smelling for almost 3 days!
That is a huge thing for me because I have Fibromyaglia and RA so I tire very easily and to have products that help me make the most of my personal cleaning routine, is a good day in my book. Plus it helps to keep the hair from getting even drier the less I wash it. I loved turning my head every so often and getting a whiff of the wonderful fragrance that they put in their products.
Can't wait to try the rest of them!
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 you. I am a BzzAgent and I was given this toy by them to do a review.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

French Illusions Book Review

I have another fascinating, sometimes romantic with a twist of a mystery mixed in the pot. It is a good book to curl up with on a rainy or snowy day and just enjoy being able to sit and veg out for no reason at all!

Here is an excerpt from the book:
In the summer of 1979, twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic contracts to become an au pair for an wealthy French family in the Loire Valley. To secure the position, she pretends to speak the language, fully aware her deception will be discovered once she arrives at her destination.  
Based on the author's diary, French Illusions captures Linda's fascinating and often challenging real-life story inside and outside the Ch√Ęteau de Montclair. The over-bearing, Madame Dubois, her accommodating husband, Monsieur Dubois, and their two children are highlighted as Linda struggles to adapt to her new environment.  
Continually battling the language barrier, she signs up and attends classes at the local university in the nearby town of Tours, broadening her range of experiences. When she encounters, Adam, a handsome young student, her life with the Dubois family becomes more complicated, adding fuel to her internal battle for independence.
Don't know what would pressure someone into taking a job in another country and doesn't even know how to speak their language was really shocking to me, but it's just a book, so I can't really say one way or the other how this would have worked in real life.

Somehow Linda was able to convince the family to let her stay and be the Au-Pair of their children on the condition that she learn to speak French. The two children were cute and the girl, Charlotte was very rebellious.

The family had another baby girl named Jocelyn after Linda went to work for them. So, it ended up that between caring for the children, Linda worked 12 hours most days doing all kinds of domestic chores. Her room was so cold that she had to sleep with 3 and 4 layers of clothes on and sometimes, even that didn't get her completely warm.

She begins some French classes at the University and liked her teachers and classmates, especially Adeela and Adam. Adam was so awesome to be around even for just a few hours. Linda had to start figuring out ways that she could see him on her strict schedule.  Adam's friends told her that she needed to leave that place.

She really loved the baby, Jocelyn and Antoine but barely tolerated Charlotte. The mother, Madam DuBois was very rude to Linda and never had a kind word to say about anything, right or wrong.

What will she choose to do? I am gonna let you read the book to find out. I left out alot of important info here and there and then of course most of the last of the book so that you have something to look forward to when reading.

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 you.

Are You Returning to Work?

I ran across another article that I thought the Moms who are facing the choice that no matter how much they want to stay home, they need the money and they have to get back into the job force. I was sent this material that came from 30 Must-Read Blogs for Moms Who Are Returning to Work .
You all know that I am a grandmother and that my daughter is grown and on her own and I normally don't get too involved with how other Mothers raise their children or make the decision to go back. But, what I do care about is, that if you have to make that choice, then I want it to be well thought out and with all the information available before you make a life changing decision.
I did not copy the whole article as I don't want any issues with repeating other's posts or works so I only grabbed a few and the link above will take you to the "real" article that you can read so that you are well informed.
Plus, I have decided to contribute somewhat to my blog instead of just being a Product Reviewer who holds Giveaways also. I would like to think that I am a help to some of you and I know we have talked at great length about my illnesses, but that is not all of me, there are layers upon layers of me that I would love to share and so I will be doing that now from time to time and I hope some of these articles will help you make better informed decisions.
Good Luck! I applaud all the Mother's out there who have to do it all!

Moms Returning to Work from Maternity Leave

Maternity leave, no matter how long the duration, will go by in the blink of an eye. Leaving your baby with a stranger and not being able to monitor her constantly will be hard. However, with the right planning and support, you can return to work safe in the knowledge that both you and your baby are in good hands.

■My Top Five Maternity Leave Tips
■20 Tips For Working and Breastfeeding
■Five Guilt-Free Tips for Returning to Work After the Baby
■Leaving Your Baby: Childcare Options That Are Right for You
■The Back-to-Work Guide for New Moms

Employer Support for Moms Returning to Work

Your employer has an important role to play in helping you integrate back into the work place. There are a number of ways in which your employer can support you. If you need retraining, reduced or flexible hours or your child has special needs, you should speak to either your employer or human resources department.

These five blogs will help arm you with the confidence and knowledge to approach your employer for help.

■Presidential Debate: What Do Working Moms Need From an Employer?
■U.S. Lags Behind in Support of Working Mothers
■Action Step 14: Employer Support
■Pumping in the Workplace: Rights of Breastfeeding Moms
■5 Things Employers Should Know About Breastfeeding

Career Advice for Moms Returning to Work

An obvious concern for moms returning to work, especially those who have been out of work long term, is how their career path is affected. Some moms may want to continue on their previous path, while others may want to move upwards or sideways into a different department, or take a reduction in hours.

It’s often hard for moms to decide which way to go for fear that it won’t work out. Another concern for moms returning to work is whether they will be able to adapt to all the changes in processes since they were last part of the workforce. It is for these reasons that moms returning to work will benefit from career advice.

■Mothers Returning To Work – How To Boost Your Confidence
■My 6 Best Gutsy Tips for Working Moms (Besides Pick a Partner Who Makes Great Margaritas) ■Four Stress-Less Tips for Working Moms
■Advice for Working Moms Juggling Career and Kids
■Working Moms: Five Tips For Success

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 you. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

JOW Pain Relief Topical Gel Review

I recently got a another new topical pain relief gel to try called JOW Pain Relief. You know me, anytime I see those, I try to get one because of all the problems that I have and now hubby is having some back and neck issues also, so we both need as much help as possible.

Especially Mike since he is still working and I am not. I was proved disabled back in April 2008 but of course, I was out of a job since December 2004 and it took me that long to fight for my disability.

So, as I was saying, I have got to find ways to help Mike more than me because he has no choice but to work with me drawing my little disability check, we would never survive if he had to go on one also.

I get the creams and pills or what nots for him to try and some do and some don't. Some will work for a little while then stop. But, even prescription meds will do that, I should know!

I did try this one myself because clumsy me, last Friday while getting ready to go for a doctor's appt, and Mike was telling me to hurry (he took a day off) I got in a hurry and tripped myself up in the bathroom (we have ceramic tiles on the floors) and I landed on my left side with my wrist and shoulder takeing the brunt of the fall.

I was so scared that my knee replacements would break or come thru the skin, I didn't think about protecting anything else. So, now my shoulder and left wrist hurt like the dickens which makes it harder to type so I get about 2 posts down and have to stop.

Once I get this one down, I will. Actually, I got 3 done this time so I am really hopping along. Of course, I don't sleep at night either, so that is another reason I am getting sleepy too! But, back to the JOW, I applied it to my left shoulder and it seemed to help and it really doesn't hurt as much as my wrist.

See, I had to do a test to see if it would help so I only used it on one area and not the other. I can definitely say that the shoulder is feeling alot better than my wrist so once I finish this, I will apply some to my wrist also.

According to their site this is why JOW works:
Jow Pain Relief is an all natural, herbal formula based on ancient methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A specific combination of herbs soak for several months to allow the healing properties to extract into the liquid. Once the herbs are strained, the result is an effective answer to pain.
These are the herbs used in JOW:
Mugwort, Dragon's blood, Burred tuber, Frankincense, Safflower, Myrrh, Peach Kernel, Red peony root, Zedonary rhizome, Ox knee root, Chinese angelica root, Himalayan teasel root and Borneol.
According to their site and the bottle, it is saying to only use the relief gel no more than 3 times a day. I guess the herbs must be pretty potent plus you want to make sure you don't have any allergic reactions to any of the herbs used in this pain relief cream.

Well, it looks like all the stores that sell this product are either in New York or New Jersey but they do have an online order site so if you think you would like to try this cream, just go to JOW's website and hit Buy Online! You will get a bigger bottle than I did to review so don't be alarmed at the cost. The bottle you will be getting is alot bigger than mine.

If this does help my wrist once I stop and apply, I will definitely tell hubby about it and we will be ordering one of the bigger bottles because at this point, I really need to try and come off as many pills as I can. I take one too many and need a  cosmetic bag to carry all my meds if we are going somewhere.

It says on the bottle that it is good for arthritis, injuries, joint and muscle pain, stiffness, carpal tunnel, swelling, bruising and achy feet. Well, I definitely have some of those if not all! I did have a surgery on my right side for carpel tunnel but it cure it and I rarely have any problems with that. Now, if only the knee replacements had worked as well!

Connect with JOW several ways:

Mailing Address:
Jow Pain Relief L.L.C.
P.O. Box 1019
Pearl River, NY 10965
email us:
Fax: 1-(630)-733-5270

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers..

Tree Hut Tropical Mango Shea Sugar Body Scrub Review

I gotta tell you that I love sugar scrubs to the max and Tree Hut has some of the best around! Now, they have a new scent called Tropical Mango and if you eat Mango's and know how they smell, then this sugar scrub is exactly like that!

It is a very nice clean refreshing scent that doesn't overwhelm and leave no heavy perfumery smell behind. I am sensitive to alot of fragrances and can get massive headaches but this is one scent I won't have to worry about at all!

They have made a whole line of the Tropical Mango that includes a body lotion, body wash and shea body butter. So, from start to finish, you will smell like exotic mangoes because you are layering on all of the different attributes of mangoes to accomplish the goal of smelling sweet and innocent and exotic all at the same time!

They have even made a travel kit for you to take with you so that you won't have to carry every single full size bottle or jar with you! Isn't that fantastic!

The ingredients in the Tropical Mango are rich in Vitamin A (beta-carotene) and contains powerful anti-oxidants for younger-looking skin. The amazing fruit also helps in regeneration of skin cells and restoring skin elasticity.

So, on top of smelling good, having great feeling skin, you are also helping to make your skin look younger and feel younger! Can't beat those odds in my book!

Here are the benefits of using Tropical Mango Sugar Scrub:
  • Certified Organic Shea Butter: skin repairing & moisturizing, anti-aging, promotes elasticity
  • Mango Puree: packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, prevent drying of the skin and formation of wrinkles, healing and protective
  • Safflower Seed Oil: deep moisturizer
  • Evening Primrose Oil: rejuvenating and anti-aging agent
  • Sweet Almond Oil: improves complexion and retains natural sheen
  • Avocado Oil: reduce sun damage/age spots, hydrates
  • Macadamia Seed Oil: excellent skin moisturizer and protector, High in essential fatty acids for dry skin and scarring, effective antioxidant
  • Orange Oil: supports collagen formation, detoxifying, repairs sun damaged skin
  • Paraben Free and No Formaldehyde donors
  • Made in the USA
  • Not tested on animals

  • Along with Mangoes, the Sugar Scrub has Evening Primrose, Safflower Seed, Sweet Almond, Avocado, Macadamia Seed and Orange oil to give you the right oils and ingredients to exfoliate your skin and to have it feeling silky smooth afterwards.

    To complete the total feeling of smoothness, I would apply the extra rich lotion or the Shea Body Butter to ensure that my skin stayed super smooth all day long! Remember, they have the Travel Kit so you don't have to take the full size lotion with you. Tuck your mini version in your handbag for touch ups!
    This extra thick body butter, infused with certified organic Shea butter, Cocoa butter, real Mango puree and Safflower Seed oil, was designed to soften rough skin, giving a deep moisturization to soften rough skin, giving a deep moisturization to those problem areas that surface over time, like mine. My elbows and the bottom of my feet stay so dry and cracked all the time.

    They have alot more scents to try besides this one and the list is way too long to name them all but believe me when I tell you that you will find the right scent for you. They have just about a little bit of everything so you shouldn't have a problem at all finding the one for you.

    Here is a little background history on Tree Hut:
    Tree Hut started from humble beginnings in Farmers Branch, Texas. We made our first body butter with a simple goal: create an amazing product that does what it says. To follow it up, we made sure that each product was amazing by asking our customers what they thought before we ever sold it. And as it turns out, our customers know best, allowing us to make amazing products for over 10 years.

    And because our loyal customers have helped us grow, we put even more focus on making fantastic products for your body. We’re still a small company, so we make sure that you and finding your natural beauty comes first.

    How They Make Their Products:

    We all know the benefits of natural ingredients, which is why we source ingredients from all over the world from Certified Organic Shea Butter to coconut shells imported from the Polynesian Islands. Every single Tree Hut product contains an array of natural oils and extracts to bring out the beauty of your skin.
    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.