Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fuzzy Heads Review

I was recently sent one of these Fuzzy Heads to review and I thought that they were absolutely adorable! They come in such a wide range of colors and sizes that I am sure you will find one that suits your child to a T! I got the Lil Fuzzy Pink Penny (9" tall) to review and it's the perfect size for my niece. It can be used as a very convenient pillow no matter which size you get! So, in reality, you are getting a toy to play with and a pillow that will make them have happy dreams while they sleep or nap away!
Here is Pink Penny's Bio:
As a young FuzzyHead, Pink Penny from Pensacola had an eye for fashion. She got to travel with her family a lot and was able to attend various fashion shows. “My mom taught me how to sew and I learned how to make clothes for my dolls. I enjoy spending time with my mom sewing and talking about fashion.” My Dream: Become a fashion designer and create a line of clothes for girls.
It truly is something that a little girl would love to have with her whether on her bed or as a travel pal, especially if she is nervous flying in a plane or really is cranky during car trips. If you are like me, I can't afford the video cams that lets kids watch movies in the car, so I have to rely on the old fashion things like coloring books, puzzles and toys to keep them occupied. It's very soft to the touch and has no offending odor. I just hate when I get a stuffed animal or other product and it has a chemical scent!
Main Features:.
  • Approximately 9” tall x 3” in diameter
  • Covering: 100% Polyester exclusive of decoration
  • Filling: 100% Polyester
  • Machine wash cold. Tumble dry low.
  • No Chocking hazard
  • Designed in USA
  • Made in Mexico
  • Ships within 3 to 5 business days
  • Can also be bought in size 24" tall or 16" tall
  • They all have distinct names just like my Pink Penny

You can also get a book that is all about the Fuzzy Heads going on a Safari to Africa. I thought that was rather cute to go along with the Fuzzy Heads and they also have their own bookmarks to match!

Just a quick note to let you know that they have received several really nice awards and here are just three of them that I thought you might be interested in:
The 2013 Creative Child Awards Program consisting of moms and educators has awarded the FuzzyHeads with the 2013 Plush Toy of the Year.  
The FuzzyHeads receive a Mom's Choice Awards in the toys, puzzles, and games category.
2012 Top Toy of th e Year FuzzyHeads receive 2012 Top Toy of the Year from Creative Child Magazine.
About Fuzzy Heads:
At FuzzyHeads, we have a passion for design and innovation.  Our line of ultra soft character pillows such as FadeAway Frank and Pink Penny are focused on family, fun and learning.  We create unique, high quality products that make learning fun - our FuzzyHeads adventure book series and whimsical bookmarks.
The FuzzyHeads line of products is designed in the US and is available online and in stores.  Irresistibly cute and simply adorable...FuzzyHeads are sure to inspire hugs, smiles and giggles. We hope that you and your loved ones enjoy the FuzzyHeads as much as we do.  That's our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
Connect with Fuzzy Heads:

Mailing Address:
Plaid Squirrel, Inc.
P.O. Box 866601
PLANO, TX 75086
Phone:  888-899-1172 ** Fax:  972-236-0098
Facebook | Twitter |

The awesome folks at Fuzzy Head will be giving the winner of Summer Sweeping To Win Giveaway Event their own choice of color of the 9" tall Fuzzy Head that I just reviewed. The Giveaway Event starts on August 1st and ends on the 15th. 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 yours.

Libre Tea New Glasses Review

I think everyone knows by now how much I love the Libre Tea products they have come out with three new designs! Aren't they gorgeous? I do have to admit that mine did not come in time for me to review it but I know because of all the ones that I have reviewed in the past that these will still be the same great quality and will be even more gorgeous now that you can get them in colors! I had chosen the Starburst which is the teal color one and I can't wait to see it!
They will come in:
The Libre Life Collection is a medley of inspiration –  
The Starburst Turquoise has an inspirational, pretty, blue and green palette. We are all stars when we enjoy tea moments and especially when we really settle into a tea moment to contemplate our connections to our cosmos – it only takes a concentrated minute. 
Lively Leaves Lime is fun, fanciful and full leafed! The variety of greens and our inspired leaf patterns just dance on this style of the Life Collection and truly with so many kind of teas both hot and cold to celebrate the traditional ‘leafers’ will enjoy the playful nature.  
Serene Black Brush for every occasion – just like the ‘little black dress’ that goes everywhere so does our new Black trimmed Libre tea glass. Its serene and delicate pattern of light brush strokes and small clusters of pale blossoms invites you into a tea moment every time you gaze at it. And now truly, a tea moment with basic black – anytime, anywhere. And with the new masculine black, the men are going to want it as their best ‘to go’ tea drinking tool.
The Libre Life Collection will be available August 1st in Canada and the United States. They hold 14oz/420ml of your favorite beverage on-the-go or relaxing at home.
And just like the older glasses, these will work the same way as before. At the top of the glass is a diffuser built into the mug. You fill up the container with your hot water and you put your loose tea in the diffuser at the top. Then slowly turn the bottle upside down and let the tea seep and then turn back to original position and you have tea (hot or cold). The leaves stay in the filter or diffuser and the best part is the leaves can be used again so you don't waste any leaves!
Sometimes, it is the cleaning up process that is what I don't like but all I did was empty the filter and used warm sudsy water and cleaned out the mug and it was ready to go again. The neat thing about Libre is that it can go with you because of the screw on top. You do not have to worry about spilling your tea.  
The reason behind Libre tea glasses is that it is better for our planet because loose leaf tea has a much smaller eco-footprint than teabags. Unlike ‘bagged’ tea, loose leaf tea is sold by weight, easy to dispose of and biodegradable. It also requires minimal packaging, unlike bagged tea, which requires significant packaging resources and generates considerably more waste with its bags, boxes and plastic wrappers.

I also did not know that loose leaf tea is sold by weight, only two to three grams are required for every cup, making it much more cost-effective than pre-packaged teabags. So, it makes good sense to take your Libre glass wherever you go and by doing so, you are helping our environment. The less mess we produce the less impact on our planet.

Here is what I found out on the About Us page:
Thanks for being curious! Libre tea glasses are brought to you by Energetic Marketing – we are committed to sustainable people and planet practices, excellent customer service and engaging tea moments ‘for all to enjoy and relax with’.

My journey began in 2006, when I visited China and enjoyed many tea tastings. I traveled to many gardens and temples and loved all the opportunities for tea moments.

Tea, for me, is symbolic of an ancient ritual celebrating the secular as sacred. It is a space to take a breath, reconnect with oneself and the world. It is a time to stop to enjoy life, people and the planet and remembering the joys that life has to offer.

I’ve posted some of my tea moments on Flickr at Libre Tea. I hope you’ll join in and share yours. Inspiring tea moments is my mission – I welcome any comments or ideas and value your input to give these tea moments shape and meaning.

Connect with Libre Tea several ways:

Mailing Address:
1304 – 400 Gower Point Rd
Gibsons, BC, Canada
V0N 1V0

Libre Tea will be giving the winner of my Merry Christmas Giveaway Hop that starts on November 28th and ends on December 8th, their very own set of 3 Libre Life Collection glasses!  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 yours. 

Newman's Own Organics Products Review

I know by now you guys should know all about Newman's Own Organics and if you don't, please stop by their website or go to your grocery store and look in the Natural Food Section or the Organic section and you will find some of their foods to try out. I know that they might not carry all of them, but my store tries to carry as many as possible.  
They have an incredible line of products for those who are trying to go organic or who already are. I think I have tried just about everything that they make so far except for their coffee's and the organic green tea. That is still something that I would love to try and some day I just might get to, but from the products that I have tried, I haven't found one yet that didn't have a great taste and tasted fresh and that means a lot to me!
I can't stand stale food or food that just somehow doesn't taste right and I bet you don't either. You won't have that problem with Newman's Own Organics. Below are a few items I thought I would tell you about since these will be the items in my Sweeping Summer To Win Giveaway Hop Event coming up in August. Of course, Newman's Own Organics is pretty famous for slipping in a few extra's, so you might get something a little different than what I have below. 
Family Recipe Cookies, has a new look to them and a new flavor they added that includes the familiar favorites Chocolate Chip, Orange Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Chip cookies, along with Oatmeal Chocolate Chip (7 oz.), Ginger Snap (6.5 oz.) and now Spelt Ginger Snap (6.5oz).
I haven't tried the new Spelt Ginger Snaps but if they are like all of the other cookies, they will be awesome. I think we all know what Ginger Snaps taste like sorta but I am not sure what the spelt means unless it's the ingredient that they made them with.
I can tell you that the one that took me by surprise the most was the Orange Chocolate Chip cookies. I thought, orange? really?, but then after eating about 2 of them, I knew that they would become one of my favorites. It's hard to describe and you really don't taste the orange that much because of the chocolate chips. And that is another thing, all of their cookies are filled to the hilt with whatever ingredient that they put in them.  So, there were lots of chips, just like I like them!
I also loved the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip because I have always been an Oatmeal kinda girl and love Oatmeal Raisin cookies, especially when they are still warm! I try to make all of my cookies at home soft and not hard.  Never had thought about putting chocolate chips in them and I think I will leave it that way so that Newman's Own has bragging rights on that one and when I want a bag, I will just go get one! No sense in baking if you can't make them any better than you can buy them.

The Double Chocolate Chip cookies are out of this world and I would really recommend these to anyone who is a chocolate freak! Who wouldn't love a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips! It will satisfy that deep feeling of wanting something totally sinful. My other pick is the regular Chocolate Chip cookie if you are a traditional kind of person who wants the basic chocolate chip cookie. All the cookies are mini versions of the biggies but they pack a powerful flavor. Most of the cookies are about 140 to 150 calories for 5 cookies and that isn't bad considering what some of those other brands cost in calories!
Organic mints in four flavors have been added to Newman's Own Organics' product line. The Cinnamon, Ginger, Peppermint and Wintergreen varieties are packed in eye-catching 1.76 ounce tins with colorful cover designs designating their flavor. They carry the USDA organic seal on the back ingredient panel.

I have to admit that Peppermint and Spearmint are my two favorites while Mike likes the Red Hots the best and my best friend took the Ginger mints home with her. They were a little too hot for me but I have acid reflux and a bladder problem where I have to watch the spicy aspect of food so I thought it would be better for me not to have those around to tempt me to try one. She said they were totally awesome if you are into Ginger flavored anything.

All flavors in both the tins and rolls are made from organic sugar, organic corn syrup, gum arabic and natural flavors. Three pieces (2.0g) contain ten calories with 2g of sugar and no total fat, sodium or protein.

We have tried Newman's Own Organic Black Tea in the past and loved it for making iced tea and for a cup of hot tea, mostly me, Mike drinks coffee but he does love a good sweet tea if made right. Well, you don't have to worry about that with Newman's Own Organic Royal Tea. I love it either way and so will you.

Did you know this: According to the Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed well over 50 billion servings of tea in 2006; which is over 2.25 billion gallons? These are the three types of tea that Newman's Own has:

**Organic Black Tea – 100 count of 2g double chamber tea bags in individual paper envelopes; suggested retail price, $3.99.

**Organic Green Tea – 40 count of 2g double chamber tea bags in individual paper envelopes; suggested retail price, $2.99.

**Organic Family Size Black Tea Bags – 22 count of 6.3g double chamber tea bags—perfect for preparing iced tea; suggested retail price, $2.99.

I did not know this the last time I reviewed their tea but this is where it comes from:
“We’re delighted to have found the Harris Tea Company. A family run company for the past 67 years, Harris Tea Company has over 200 years of tea procuring and blending experience. They know the tea plantations that our tea is sourced from, so we are able to offer quality organic tea to our consumers at reasonable costs.”
About Newman's Own Organics:
Newman's Own Organics was established as a division of Newman's Own in 1993, and became a separate company in late 2001. The sale of Newman's Own Organics products generates money for the Newman's Own Foundation to give away.  
Since 1982 Paul Newman and the Newman's Own Foundation have donated more than $350 million dollars to educational and charitable organizations worldwide.
Connect with Newman's Own Organics:

Mailing Address:
PO Box 370
Aptos, California 95001
Phone:  (831) 685-2866
Facebook |

The awesome folks at Newman's Own Organics will be giving the winner of my Summer Sweeping To Win Giveaway Hop a prize package worth $30 that will have a little bit of everything I just told you about. Of course, you might get something extra also! The event starts on August 1st and ends on the 15th. Open in the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

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.  

QT Performance Diamond Flat Iron Review

I have a really awesome looking flat iron to share with you that is going to the winner of my Summer Sweeping To Win Giveaway Hop! Now, I didn't get to review one, they are just offering to give one away so I can't tell you personally how it performs, but I will tell you a little bit about it. Sorry it's going to sound a little technical. It's called the QT Performance Diamond Flat Iron from Flat Iron Experts.
The Features:
  • Advanced Diamond & Ceramic technology
  • Infused diamond plates glide smoothly for a comfortable, tangle-free styling experience
  • Heated diamond infused plates protect hair from pulling, sticking, or snagging
  • Diamond and ceramic plates are exceptional conductors of heat
  • Built-in Ion Generator that emits 5 million negative ions per cubic centimeters
  • Negative ions maintain the natural shine while reducing frizz
  • Far-infrared heat emission for faster styling and provides a soft, smooth finish
  • Adjustable heating temperatures up to a maximum 450°F (232°C)
  • Heats up within 30 seconds
  • Extremely durable, ergonomic handle
  • Non-slip, rubberized exterior for easy handling
  • Long, 360° swivel cord to prevent tangling while styling
  • Made in Korea
  • One year limited warranty
One of the things that caught my eye when I was reading about it was how it treats the hair. I have dry hair and tend to lean towards frizzes, so this really is a main concern of mine, so I always take notice when I see something that helps make my hair look better.

Check this out:
Advanced Diamond/ Superior Ceramic Heat Technology:  The perfect combination in advanced hair styling technology of the glistening diamond plates compounded with Ceramic heaters will ensure smooth glides in the styling and increasing the natural source of negative ions and far infrared heat.  This will ensure the following results:
1. Preserve more moisture within the hair shaft
2. Eliminates frizz and close the cuticle to create smooth and shiny hair
3. Causes less damage to the hair cuticle during styling
I read a good bit of the reviews on this flat iron and everyone seemed to love it. I really didn't expect anything else coming from Flat Iron Experts. They are always on top of the game with some of the best hair styling equipment and hair care products. I haven't reviewed any in awhile so maybe later on this Spring, I can introduce you to some. In the meantime, check out their site and see all the brands that they do carry, for instance, Macadamia Natural Hair Care
I love those products and I am getting quite low so that should tell you how much I think of them. I love the Healing Oil because it tames my hair in seconds and leaves it silky and shiny. You just can't beat Argan Oil, can you?

About Flat Iron Experts:
Flat Iron Experts have been in the hair and beauty industry for over 8 years. We continue to be one of the best and most reliable online beauty shops today.

Our team of qualified hair care consultants will always provide you with their expertise. Our goal is to ensure that you will find the perfect styling tool best for your hair.

As an added bonus, we always give out FREE stuff!
Connect with Flat Iron Experts:

Phone: (888) 283-1491
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google Plus | Blog | Newsletter (bottom left side)

The really nice folks at Flat Iron Experts will be giving the winner of my Sweeping Summer To Win Giveaway Hop the flat iron that I just told you about! The Giveaway Event starts on August 1st and ends on the 15th. 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.

The Infinity Program Book Review

I have a really fascinating book to share with you today called The Infinity Program written by Richard H. Hardy.

Jon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole. Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways—Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry.  
What Jon doesn’t know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer. Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office’s Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions. Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.
Purchase your copy on Amazon. 

I really liked this book and it kept me captivated all the way to the end. It is somewhat technical in the computer geeky like language so I did have to glance over all of those words as they mean absolutely nothing to me, but if you are a programmer or other techie kind of person, this book will probably fascinate you on a whole new level.

I just enjoyed it for another reason and that was mystery, drama and romance, although it was one sided for quite awhile, it finally took hold in the end. The story went somewhere that I wasn't expecting it to near the end but afterwards I got to thinking about it and for Harry it made sense.

For Jon, it was a lonely time that he spent reflecting back on his friendship with Harry and somewhere along the way he reconnected with Lettie, although it doesn't say how and that was the only misgiving that I had about the book. I like things tied up in neat bows and not telling me how Lettie found Jon puzzled me seeing as how when they vanished they were being sought by the government. Otherwise, you will love these two men who have nothing in common who bond over a super duper computer that ends up taking over their lives.

Happy Reading!

What the Author Says:

I worked for an IT company for twenty-six years.  When I first started, the CEO of the company warned me about the programmers, "Watch out for these guys.  They're the orneriest bunch of people in the world!"

While there was some truth in what he said, I soon learned that I not only respected the programmers, I liked them too!  I saw them blow up and walk out the door over a point of logic and react to criticism like a mother who had just been told that she had an ugly baby. I saw them working 36 hours straight, absolutely ecstatic when they had a breakthrough, or banging their heads against their desks when they failed.  They were passionate, intense, and larger than life.

I decided to write a novel about people like these.  Not the same people, but imaginary characters filled with intense passion and bubbling over with that odd mix of logic and irrationality.  I called the book The Infinity Program.  It was published by the Camel Press on April 1, 2014.  It's about a systems programmer who meets his ultimate challenge when he encounters a sixty million year old alien information system.

About the Author:

Richard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His family later moved to England and then on to America. Most of Richard’s career has been in Hi Tech, where he was soon promoted from technical writer to Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Infinity Program is Richard’s first published novel. He and his wife live in New Hampshire.

You can find Richard online at

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.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The New Reality Book Review

Title: The New Reality
Author: Stephen Martino
Publisher: Light Messages
Pages: 333
Genre: Thriller
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Alex Pella, an acclaimed neuroscientist and the hero of the new medical thriller, THE NEW REALITY, finds himself racing across the globe to find a cure for a rapidly spreading illness threatening to end all of humanity. To combat this worldwide pandemic, Pella and his colleagues must use modern science in an attempt to decipher a code hidden by God within the original pages of the Bible. 
THE NEW REALITY is the first book in a projected trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist Stephen Martino. With his mixture of medicine, politics, biblical riddles, and futuristic science, Martino joins such masters of the medical thriller genre as Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and Robin Cook. 
Martino’s villain is a deadly retrovirus accidentally unleashed on the world in the year 2080, a time when no country is financially equipped to deal with such a disaster. It’s up to Pella and NIH expert Marissa Ambrosia to lead the search for a cure while fending off an elite foreign military unit sent to stop them. The scientists, guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, traverse ancient lands in an attempt to solve a biblical riddle and save humanity from total extinction. 
Martino says he wrote THE NEW REALITY “more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown’s) THE DA VINCI CODE or (Crichton’s) JURASSIC PARK. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.” 
In THE NEW REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation. 
The Bible Code, Martino explains, does exist and was discovered by Dr. Eli Rips, a mathematician in quantum physics. The code has been confirmed by mathematicians at Yale, Harvard, and Hebrew University, as well as by peer-reviewed mathematical journals and the Pentagon. The code, Martino continues, is found in the original Hebrew version of the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, and only in its untranslated, Hebrew form. 
All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE NEW REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation if they are not properly addressed today."
My Thoughts:
This was an amazing drama filled with lots of action from the moment I started reading the first page. It was quick and easy to understand even with all of the medical talk and knowledge. The author did a great job in not losing me like sometimes can happen with too much medical information and long words.
Thrown into the mix is a crazy dictator who wants to control the world and believes that he has what it takes because a very rich man and his company has control of almost everything and every country in the world and he makes the dictator think he's on his side when he really has other plans for this man. He also has a really super crazy wife who doesn't really care about anyone but herself and her husband to some degree. All she see's and wants is power and money. Bad combination!
While Alex is trying to save the world from this horrible disease, he meets an interesting woman and while they don't act on their attraction for almost the whole book, it's there nonetheless and makes a great side story to an otherwise very tense situation.
It's a very good book and can't wait to read the next one!
Happy Reading!
Book Excerpt:
“Off to work again?” Suzan asked, both half-kidding and annoyed.
Her husband seemed oblivious to the question. Because he labored three weeks of double shifts and returned home from work only four hours prior, she thought he was going to at least have the rest of the this day off. Clearly that was not the case. With so many of his coworkers getting sick, it left only a handful of dedicated employees to man the local factory.
“They’re working you straight into the grave,” Suzan added. “They only care about money and not their employees. I don’t know why you let them do this to you. Look at you.” She pointed the dishtowel towards him. “You are an old man and your body can’t do this anymore.”
She was right. Berk was going to be 65 next month and his youthful vitality had been quickly dwindling over the past few years. As arthritis in his back and neck set in, he could do less physical activity, causing him to gain weight. No longer a strapping young man, he had acquired a large gut and two extra chins in the process. Berk’s jet-black hair had also grayed precipitously since putting in all these extra hours at work.
“You worry too much,” he cajoled with a cherub-like grin.
In fact, Berk had been the one doing most of the worrying. He was concerned not only for himself but also for his friends and family in this small town of Yakakoy. Located in western Turkey just off the Aegean Sea, the town’s sole means of sustenance was its local factory. With fewer healthy employees remaining, it left only a handful of people to keep the business alive.
“If I didn’t do the worrying, who would?” Suzan scoffed, while washing the pots in the sink.
Suzan was a sturdy woman, full of life. Accustomed to the hard work of living on a farm as a child, she had grown strong both physically and mentally. Though fifty years of age, she still retained her youthful glow and joked about marrying such an old man. She always responded that he was young when she married him, and now look what happened.
Berk tried to leave without his wife noticing, but she held out her cheek, expecting a kiss before his departure.
“I have to be at the factory,” he curtly responded, while attempting to open the door.
“Oh, no honey. You’re not leaving until you give your wife her proper goodbye.”
Suzan grabbed Berk’s wrist. To her surprise it felt warm and clammy, almost as if she were holding a wet snake.  She then realized how red her husband’s face appeared. It was as if he fell asleep in a tanning bed and forgot to wake up for a day.
Berk looked down, not knowing what to say to his wife. They both had witnessed at least half their town come down with the same condition. Whenever someone developed these symptoms, they were immediately whisked away, never to be seen again. Over the past six months Yakakoy had slowly dwindled down to a fraction of its original population. Berk hoped that if he continued working no one would notice his declining health. Failure was not an option for him, and the last thing he ever wanted was to be forced to leave his dear wife and town.
“They’re not going to take you away, honey!” Suzan blurted with authority. “They will have to get through me first. Now you go upstairs and get some rest. You probably just have a fever from working too hard. I’ll tell the factory that you sprained your ankle and will be there in the morning.”
Berk knew excuses would not suffice. If anyone missed work or was late, the town police would immediately come to the house. With so many people in Yakakoy becoming mysteriously sick, the Turkish government had become adamant about removing anyone from the town with signs of The Disease.
The Disease is what the people called it. Since its appearance almost a year ago, it first spread quickly through Greece and Turkey, afflicting more of its population than either government cared to divulge. Scientists could give it no other name. No pathological organism for this new scourge could be found. Neither bacteria, virus, protozoa nor other infectious agent was ever discovered. Even rare pathogens such as prions, similar to those causing mad cow disease, were investigated but without any success.
Now as new victims began cropping up all over the world, humanity lay helpless at the mercy of The Disease. Without knowing the cause of this scourge or having any idea about the mode of its dissemination, humanity stood at the precipice of mass extinction. To prevent global chaos, there remained a total media blackout on the situation. All the general population of the world knew was that The Disease had been mostly confined to Turkey and Greece. Those that understood the truth were forced to secrecy.

About the Author:

Stephen Martino holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a neurologist in New Jersey. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to educate the local community and healthcare professionals on the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke. THE NEW REALITY is his first novel.
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.  

Wild Iris Ridge Book Review


Welcome to my tour stop for Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne. This is an adult contemporary romance published by Harlequin.
The tour runs July 21-31 with reviews, author interviews and guest posts.

Wild Iris Ridge_author photo
Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne
Release: July 2014
Imprint: Harlequin HQN
ISBN: 978-0-373-77859-1
Pages: 352
A big-city, high-powered advertising executive and a small-town firefighter learn that no matter where you started or what you’ve lost, if you open your heart, you can find joy and love again. WILD IRIS RIDGE is the latest book in USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s charming Hope’s Crossing series. Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common. And it's likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan's late wife, Jessie—and Lucy's best friend—who'd brought them together in the first place.  
And since Jesse's passing, Brendan's been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he'll steer clear of her. She's always been trouble with a capital T. Lucy couldn't wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city.  
But now that she's back in Hope's Crossing to take care of the Queen Anne home her late aunt has left her, she figures seeing Brendan Caine again is no big deal. After all, she'd managed to resist the handsome fire chief once before, but clearly the embers of their attraction are still smoldering…
My Review:
You will definitely love this romantic novel between two people who are trying their best to not be attracted to each other and because of their love for Jesse.
It's hard for Brendan because he has children to care for and Lucy has always been independent and lived a carefree life up to now. The temptation of being near Brendan however, will test her willpower and her patience with herself.
If you love the tension that comes from two people trying their best to avoid each other, all the while wanting to give in to the imagined passion, then you will love this story! It's got everything you love in one of the most romantic but still sad love affair because they both have lost a best friend that they are trying hard to honor.
Happy Reading!
Best-selling author RaeAnne Thayne

Author bio:
USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. This led her to a fifteen-year career in journalismas a newspaper reporter and editor.
But through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best, romance, and has since published more than 40 titles. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children.
She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website,

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.

The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane Book Review

Title: The Teashop on Lavender Lane
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Pages: 352
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

When it comes to men, sisters don’t share!  
After a fake food poisoning incident in L.A., Bailey Sterling’s dreams of becoming a caterer to the stars collapse faster than a soufflĂ©. Now Bailey’s face is in all the gossip rags and her business is in ruins. But the Sterling women close ranks and bring her back to Icicle Falls, where she’ll stay with her sister Cecily. 
All goes well between the sisters until Bailey comes up with a new business idea—a tea shop on a charming street called Lavender Lane. She’s going into partnership with Todd Black, who—it turns out—is the man Cecily’s started dating. It looks to Cecily as if there’s more than tea brewing in that cute little shop. And she’s not pleased. 
Wait! Isn’t Cecily seeing Luke Goodman? He’s a widower with an adorable little girl, and yes, Cecily does care about him. But Todd’s the one who sends her zing-o-meter off the charts. So now what? Should you have to choose between your sister and the man you love (or think you love)?
Purchase your copy on AmazonBarnes & Noble | Harlequin Books | iTunes | Goodreads |

You will love this complicated love story about three sisters and one of them has two men after her, but before long that changes as Bailey comes back into town and goes into partnership with Todd in the Tea Shop that is on Lavender Lane.

You have to love it when it's between sisters but to be fair, Cecily is also seeing another man whom she isn't too wild about but I wonder if she is really looking? I know that for some odd reason, we women tend to like the bad boys, and that just might be our downfall. Hopefully, Cecily will learn and take the time to get to know Luke and see that he really is a good match for her.

The other sister is pregnant and happy, so no triangle there, just the other two and I think that's enough of situation that the third sister doesn't need to be in the drama too.

Happy Reading!
About the Author: 
Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children.
Writing since 1989, Sheila’s books have been printed in several different languages and have been chosen for book clubs such as Doubleday as well as for Readers Digest Condensed books. Her best-selling novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a movie and appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network, and her novel THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS has just been optioned for film and is slated to be a Hallmark movie later this year.
Her novel ANGEL LANE was named one of Amazon’s Top Ten Romances for 2009.
When she’s not making public appearances or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.
Her latest book is the women’s fiction/romance, The Teashop on Lavendar Lane.
Connect on her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Newsletter | Contact Form | Videos | Other Books |

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.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Last Letter Book Review


A Father’s Deceit
A Husband’s Betrayal
A Loved One’s Death
A Mother’s Choice
A Daughter’s Resentment
A Time to Forgive

For every daughter who thinks she knows her mother’s story…

Katherine wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t found the last letter…

Katherine Arthur’s dying mother arrives on her doorstep, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget.

When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown.

Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie’s husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty — a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine’s world apart. Now, seventeen years later, Katherine has found the truth — she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it’s too late?
My Review:

Wow, this book has it all! And for it to have happened why back in the 1800 and 1900's is both riveting and shocking considering all that happened to this family. I guess you tend to forget that drugs have always been available and that men have always tended to have affairs when married, so I guess it shouldn't have shocked me, but it did.

I think what struck me the most was how Jeanie was able to pull herself together through all of it and never let on to anyone, especially her children how deeply hurt and how deeply their father had hurt her and humiliated her. As children they may feel certain slights and snide remarks but they do not carry the true shame that a woman of that time must have felt to the core of her soul. I don't know if I would have been able to bear what Jeanie went thru, especially the final and most humiliating night of her life, when her youngest daughter Yale was born and a lie was born from that one single night that lasted a lifetime.

Now, Jeanie's children are grown and she is dying and needs help from her oldest daughter, Katherine but Katherine is so wrapped up in what she believed happened when in reality she has no clue at all what her mother went through to protect them.

I have to admit that I really get bitter and feel quite strongly about willful children who judge their parents without knowing the full story and although some of this might have been Jeanie's fault, it's hard for me to understand how Katherine could think her druggie father has no blame in this situation and her mother is the monster, when in fact, her father is the animal and deserved everything he got.

No matter what your take is on this story, it will definitely leave an impact on you. It's full of emotions, drama, deceit, shame but along with that it shows you the true meaning of a mother's love for her children and her will to survive no matter what. And it will leave you with the thought of a fragile woman who found the courage to be a tiger when it mattered the most and hopefully, when The Last Letter comes to Katherine, she will finally understand her mother.

Happy Reading!
About the Author

A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen's debut novel, The Last Letter was garnered multiple awards in 2011.  Her second novel, After the Fog (Silver IPPY), was a category finalist in the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards.

Her third novel, Love and Other Subjects, earned a Silver medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival. Recently, Kathleen has released the her first romance novella, Home Again (Book One).

Book Two, a novel-length work in the Endless Love series called Return to Love, will be released in May, 2014. Books Two and Three in the historical fiction series that started with The Last Letter are nearly complete and should be released by fall, 2014.

Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Groovy Lab In A Box Giveaway**Closed**

getting groovy
The Groovy Lab in a Box is a neat box subscription service to do for your kids because it enables your child to think outside the box and it is so different than science class or school in general. The box service is great for homeschoolers for during the school year and beyond and also great for parents that want to give their child an edge in school.
To read more about this review head on over to Economical Mommy
If you would like a chance to win a one month subscription to Groovy Lab in a Box make sure to enter below. It is open to US residents only and 18+ years of age. The giveaway starts on July 29th at midnight and will go until August 7th at Midnight.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sweet Lullaby Laundry Detergent Review

I have a great new laundry detergent I wanted to share with you from a company called Attitude and they have this amazing new detergent that is for babies and well for us too if you want to be wrapped in softness and smell good called Sweet Lullaby! They do have some other scents available also if you don't happen to like Sweet Lullaby such as pear nectar and citrus zest.
Main Features of Sweet Lullaby:
  • Free of carcinogen ingredients and by products (IARC group 1 & 2)
  • Free of 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, tested by independent laboratory
  • Certified eco-friendly by EcoLogo, the most recognized certification in North America
  • CO2 neutral: no contribution to climate change
  • Fragrance free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Vegetable-based and biodegradable (OECD 301)
  • Free of EDTA and NTA
  • Designed to work in both HE (High Efficiency) & Standard machines
  • Not tested on animals
  • Vegan product
  • Septic tank safe
  • Made in Canada
It's a very sweet and natural smelling laundry detergent that even us adults wouldn't mind having our laundry smell like, or at least, I don't! I even used it on Mike's work clothes and never heard a peep out of him, so it must have passed the muster! You can get it in a bundle with the Fabric Softener but for some reason I didn't get that, just the laundry detergent, but that's okay, because this was such a delight to use, I am sure the Fabric Softener is just as awesome.
The Sweet Lullaby detergent and fabric softener are both hypo-allergenic and formulated especially to your baby's sensitive skin but I know it works just as well on adults also since that is what I used it on and haven't heard a peep out of anyone so they must not have anything to add. I especially like the fact that they are making all of their products cancer free and that is a good thing no matter what age you are!
It didn't take much to do a load so please be careful when you are pouring out the liquid. I always go small and then add if I have to until you see what the right dose is for you and your loved ones. I checked out all of the clothes and the towels when they came out and as far as I could see, all the stains and the odors were absent, so that told me while it's gentle, it's also powerful enough to get rid of the tough stains and odors.
My husband has to wear work uniforms to work and they work outside all day so you can imagine the sweat that he has on his clothes in this Georgia humidity when he comes home and this laundry detergent took care of it all! It even washed some of Charlie's towels that we use to dry him off when he gets a bath and I used it to wash a few of his favorite plush toys that he plays with and he had no problems. Sometimes the other detergents can cause him to choke a little, but Sweet Lullaby worked just fine!
Attitude has a lot of other products to choose from also and I am hoping to be able to check some more of them out too. They have bath and body products such as shampoos, conditioners, hand soap, body wash, body lotion, bubble bath and even deodorants! Now, if you are serious about getting away from harmful products for your family and reduce the chances of getting cancer, this is definitely one way to go!
About Attitude:
ATTITUDE is manufactured using 100% renewable energy and we plant trees to compensate our inevitable greenhouse gas emissions. This is how we contribute to the fight against climate change.  
We use HDPE #2 plastic for our bottles because this is the easiest plastic to recycle. Bottles are pre-washed, crushed into flakes or pellets and washed again. These flakes and pellets can be used to produce new packaging or new products.  
We do everything we can to offer you the greenest products in the world. The EcoLogo® certification is proof of our environmental leadership.  
We love animals and we would never do anything to hurt them! Our policy is very clear on animal testing: we DO NOT test ingredients or finished products on animals.
Check out how to save money using the Attitude Discount Program! 

Connect with Attitude:

Mailing Address:
5605 De Gaspé, Suite 401
Montreal, QC, H2T 2A4 CANADA
Phone:  +1.514.509.7225
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.

Azure Naturals ULTIMATE VITAMIN C Serum Review

I have found another very cost effective Vitamin C serum from Azure Naturals called Ultimate C Skin Repair Serum that won't cost you an arm and a leg like most other expensive serums out there on the market. You can get this amazing Vitamin C Serum on Amazon for just $19.95!

Main Features:
  • Made in the USA
  • Highest Quality Natural and Organic Ingredients Available: 98% Natural, 72% Organic.
  • Contains No Alcohol
  • No Parabens
  • Gluten Free
  • Plant Based
  • No GMO's
  • Cruelty Free and Never Tested On Animals
  • Key Ingredients: 20% Vitamin C + Vitamin E + 11% Hyaluronic Acid + Ferulic Acid.
  • Also contains Organic Aloe + Advanced Amino Complex + Organic Jojoba Oil.
I don't know how you like to use your skincare products but Azure Naturals included both the dropper and the pump with their Ultimate Vitamin C Serum so no matter which way you like to get yours into your hands ready to use, its there either way. I like the dropper best because it's easier to control how much I get and if I get too much, all I have to do is squeeze it back into the bottle. It doesn't take much to spread all over your face and neck so use sparingly until you get the hang of how much you need. 
The Ultimate Vitamin C Serum will boost your production of collagen, which increases your skin's rate of cellular renewal. This improved cellular turnover will make your skin's texture visibly plumper and will firm your skin. Which is why I learned long time ago from several beauty magazines that models keep their serums and gels in the fridge so that they are ice cold when applied to help speed up this plumping action. If you don't have a serum handy, they use ice cold water splashed on their faces to immediately shrink their pores making their skin look flawless. It's not meant to last all day, but it works in a situation where you need to look your best for a little while.
But, with consistent use of this Vitamin C Serum you will start to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It is also perfect for your sun damaged skin. They have combined all three of the most powerful anti-oxidants available into one serum which is the Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E and when they are combined, you will get eight-fold antioxidant protection, a 96% reduction of sunburn cells, and prevent the formation of new free radicals in sun exposed skin. This will fade age spots and dramatically improve discoloration leaving your skin looking smooth and radiant!
This Vitamin C serum should be applied twice per day, once in the morning and at night. If you can only use the serum once, then it's best to do so in the morning. Vitamin C serum will help protect you against future sun damage and other environmental stressors, but please use a sunscreen also! Vitamin C Serums can make some people a little more sensitive to the sun so it's best to be on the safe side.
Your skin's texture should start to improve with the first application, but give your skin at least 30 days of consistent use to see the optimal results. Remember, it took you awhile to get those fine lines and wrinkles, so it will take time to reverse some of the damage, be patient. Some people may take up to 6 or 8 weeks to see really dramatic results and within 6 months is when you will see the maximum effects. They do recommend that you use either their moisturizer and retinol on top of the Vitamin C Serum, but if you don't have those, then please use a good moisturizer to get the best results.
If for any reason, you don't like the way this Vitamin C Serum isn't working, they have an excellent guarantee. Check it out:
We are so confident that we have created the best Natural and Organic skin care products available we back all of our products by a 365-day, 100% Hassle-Free, Money Back Guarantee. If you don't absolutely love any of our products we will give you a full refund, including shipping, no matter where you buy the product!
About Azure Naturals:
Our mission at Azure Naturals is to provide premium quality facial skincare and anti-aging products using the finest natural and organic ingredients available, without the premium price or attitude! We use potent plants, organic ingredients, and 100% natural essential oils. We are committed to protect the environment and follow animal friendly practices. Our customers are looking for healthier and more youthful looking skin and we will endeavor to make sure each customer is 100% satisfied with their results. The solutions that we develop will always be designed around these elements. We appreciate those who decide to join with us to take the journey and return to your youth!
Connect with Azure Naturals:

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.

Ageless Derma Stem Cell and Peptide Anti Wrinkle Cream Review + Giveaway**Closed**

I know you guys have seen me review other Ageless Derma products on my blog before and this is a new product that I have tried before and loved it! I was so very excited to be able to try it again and this time I get to offer it as a giveaway too so that one of you can see how unbelievable this cream works! It's called the Stem Cell and Peptide Anti Wrinkle Cream.
According to Vogue magazine, film stars such as Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow and Helen Mirren all enjoy the dazzling results of using the apple stem cell extract. And this Anti Wrinkle Cream has that same technology in this cream, so you should feel comfortable using this cream and expect to get some pretty amazing results. They even passed out these wonderful products during the Daytime Emmy Awards!

I am still using mine and don't have the results in yet, but I did take the pictures off of their site to show what it can do when it's used consistently and according to the directions, which is to use twice a day, in the morning and at night. Try to make sure you put it on a clean face and pay special attention to the crow feet area and from between the brows and on the forehead.
These positive effects were further confirmed in a study of women from ages 37 to 64 who used a stem cell extract enhanced cream. After only a month of twice daily application, 100% of the participants demonstrated measurably reduced wrinkle depth.

The above pictures show what happened in some tests that they did: 

This product improves skin tone and elasticity. 23 volunteers aged between 39 and 74 applied Matrixyl 3000 to half of their face twice daily for 2 months. On the other half of their face, they applied a placebo cream. The skin that received Matrixyl 3000 showed a significant decrease in wrinkle density, depth, volume roughness compared with the placebo cream.
I love that this product has a top that when pushed down gently will give you just the right amount that you need and you won't get more than you need. It's cool to the touch and really feels good going on. It has a lightly scented smell similar to roses. Or at least that's what I thought it smelled like. I was glad because I have used some creams that smell so much like chemicals it gave me a headache, but this one did not, so that was a relief!

The ingredients in this product is also very impressive. Ageless Derma Stem Cell and Peptide Anti Wrinkle Cream uses an apple stem cell extract called PhytoCellTec that has demonstrated 100% effectiveness in measurably reducing facial wrinkles. Because of that, you will get a more smoother, silkier, firmer and brighter skin. Just remember to use twice daily and see what happens around the 2nd month mark. I can't wait myself!

I won't list all of the ingredients but here are 3 more to give you an idea of why it works so well:

Argireline reduces the depth of wrinkles in the face, especially in the forehead and around the eyes, by attenuating muscle contraction. In one study, 10 healthy women applied a 10% Argireline cream twice daily for 30 days. At the end of the study, their wrinkles had decreased in depth by an average of 27%, with some women seeing a 50-60% decrease in the depth of wrinkles.


Syn®-Coll is an effective and needle-free alternative to collagen injections. This product is a small peptide that mimics that body’s mechanisms to produce collagen. In in vitro testing, Syn®-Coll increased collagen synthesis by 119%, and when applied as a cream twice daily by 60 healthy volunteers, wrinkles saw a 350% improvement after 84 days compared with the placebo cream.

Vialox Powder

Vialox Powder significantly reduces muscle contraction as an injection-free alternative to Botox. Volunteers who used a cream containing the powder twice daily saw up to 49% reduction in wrinkle size and 47% reduction in skin roughness after 28 days.

They have some other skincare products that will also aid in your skincare regimen along with mineral makeup products that can also give you a boost, so go over and check out what other products that Ageless Derma has at their disposable. If you live in the Hollywood area, you can take advantage of their Medical Spa and other Spa services. Gosh, you guys are lucky to be able to do that!

About Ageless Derma:
At Ageless Derma, we believe we are making something special happen. Our line of physician grade skincare products incorporate an important philosophy: promoting overall skin health by delivering the most advanced biotechnology and ingredients to all of the skin's layers. An attitude that still resonates with our founder, Dr. Farid Mostamand, today nearly ten years after he began his journey to provide the best skincare options for people who want to have healthy and beautiful looking skin at any age. 
By the way, they are having a sale right now and if you would like to save 20% off, use the code: Ageless to save 20% off of your purchase!
Connect with Ageless Derma:

Mailing Address:
1741 W. Romneya Drive
Suite B
Anaheim, CA 92801
Phone:  877-603-3762
Contact Form | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google Plus | Newsletter (left side of page)

The really awesome folks at Ageless Derma will be giving one winner this very same anti-aging cream that I just reviewed! Open in the U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.