buzzoole code Socially Connected Consulting: 2012

Create. Engage. Grow Your Business

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! I'm hoping to bring you more reviews and giveaways in the 2013. Posting this past year has been a challenge for me because of the immense changes and challenges in 2012. 2013 will be a fantastic year for you and me! We have to claim it! Take care and see you in 2013!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bloggers Wanted ~ Seeing Double! Keurig Vue 700 Event


Seeing Double! Keurig Vue 700 Event

Prizes: Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System + K-Cups

Event dates: 1/7 - 1/20 and 1/21 - 2/3

Free Blog Event! Sign-up here, BLOGGERS WANTED

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Post by Mark Victor Hansen: Computers help reveal innate intelligence

Ten years ago, Kaiser Elementary School was run by Mrs. Chris Jurenka. My kids used to go to that school. The students were really diverse in culture and language. They also had kids who had some kind of learning disability because of which they were really quiet. Mrs. Jurenka spent $150,000 to get computers installed in her school. Each child with a learning disability had a computer in front of him. The next thing you know, these kids were interfacing with the computers. Soon, through the computers, they were sharing their feelings and were actually able to express themselves. The program was further expanded to teach all the kids English. This was a major success too.

Another, more recent, instance I can recall is one of this boy who was featured on 60 minutes. This little kid was inarticulate. But with a palmtop, he openly voiced his desires, feelings and wants. All it took was a palmtop – and I think that shows us something really important.

Kids with learning disabilities are not quiet because they’re not intelligent. They’re quiet because they have no real medium through which they can communicate. Computers are actually solving this problem. Kids can interface with computers really easily, irrespective of their disabilities. You can see their true intelligence through this interaction – you can see what they think, how they feel, what they want and so much more.

Moreover, this technology is not one that only a few people can afford. Computers today, are within everybody’s reach, even if you think that they’re out of your budget. Public libraries are free over most of U.S, Canada and Europe. Each public library has sections dedicated to computers. So if you want to use one, you’re absolutely free to walk in and use it. Computers aid many kids in overcoming the barrier of communication. Once this barrier is eradicated, the kids are able to shine and their true genius becomes apparent.

For more information go to:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coming Up on The Elements of Review

Well this year has flown by. I wanted to update you on a couple of things happening on the blog. I have signed up for the December Blog Hop being organized by Bloggy Moms.

And I'm excited to tell you that Dermagist has kindly offered me another product to try and review.  There will also be another Dermagist giveaway. So stay tuned!

Will be reviewing more products in the near future as well.

I would like to wish everyone happy holidays.  Can't wait for 2013! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And the winner of the Dermagist Skin Tone Correction System is......

a Rafflecopter giveaway Congrats to her. I will be sending Neha an email. She will have 48 hours to respond to that email. If she doesn't respond in 48 hours, I will pick another winner. Thank you to all who entered the giveaway!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rachael Ray Cookware Giveaway

Welcome to the Give Thanks Rachael Ray Cookware Event!

Hosted by Mom Blog Society and Mom to Bed by 8

Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Capri's Coupons, Swank Savings, and My Vegan Gluten Free Life!

The stylish two-tone gradient exterior on the Rachael Ray Porcelain 10-piece set adds color and style to any kitchen. This cookware heats quickly and evenly, reducing "hot spots" that can burn foods. It will look lovely in your kitchen as you cook Thanksgiving dinner. Or will make a great gift for the foodie in your life. A long-lasting nonstick interior allows food to slide off and makes cleanup quick and easy. The rubberized dual-riveted handles are comfortable and oven safe to 350 degrees. Watch your foods cook without having to remove the lid to keep moisture locked in. Comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

  • Number of Pieces: 10
  • Includes: 2-qt. Saucepan with Lid, 3-qt. Saucepan with Lid, 6-qt. Stockpot with Lid, 8.5" Skillet, 1-qt. Saucepan with Lid, 10" Skillet
  • Features: Clear Glass Lid, Riveted Handle, Nonstick Coating
  • Pan-Pot Material: Porcelain
  • Handle Material: Rubber
  • Lid Material: Glass
  • Finish: Enameled
  • Baking cooking surface: Nonstick
  • Care and Cleaning: Oven Safe up to 350 degrees, Hand-wash Only
  • Warranty Description: Lifetime Limited Manufacturer Warranty

One lucky reader will receive a Rachael Ray Porcelain II Orange 10pc Set!

Giveaway ends November 15th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Dermagist Skin Tone Correction System Giveaway


After spending a lot of time in the sun this summer without the proper skin protection, my skin had some dark spots on it that I needed to get rid of.  I received a free sample of Dermagist's Skin Brightening Accelerator and the Skin Brightening Agent. I've been using it for a month now and my skin is now looking much better.  Those dark spots that I couldn't get rid of have disappeared.  My skin tone is even and brighter.

The Skin Tone Correction System is very easy to use.  First the skin is cleansed with the Skin Brightening Accelerator. The Brightening Accelerator cleanses and exfoliates. Then the Skin Brightening Agent is applied to the skin. The Brightening Agent treats the hyper-pigmentation.  The first time I used it I felt a slight tingling sensation. There are no harsh chemicals to worry about.  I felt confident using this product on my skin.  I'm very happy with the results and I recommend the Skin Tone Correction System if you want to have clear, brighter and firmer skin.

Learn more about at and Facebook!

Dermagist is giving away 1 Skin Tone Correction System to one of my readers.  The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.  Giveaway will end November 14, 2012 at 12:01 am. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Skin Tone Correction System from Dermagist.  I was under no obligation to provide a positive review. I received no compensation for this review.  The opinions are my own. Results may vary.

Saturday, October 27, 2012 Review


I'm currently doing the Go Fit Gals 6 Week Shape Up plan. It's a great plan with good food and challenging workouts. On the plan I do the workouts provided on certain days. On other days I'm required to do a cardio workout of my choice. Lately I find myself heading towards the computer instead of my DVD player. Instead of doing one of my 80 plus workout DVDs I go to YouTube where I can find Fitness Blender. Fitness Blender has hundreds of full workouts. From Barre to HIIT to kickboxing. You name it they have it. I have done several so far. My favorites are the Standing Abs and Kettlebell Cardio HIIT. I plan to do more in the next few weeks. And I plan to do their Fitness Blender’s 8 Week Boot Camp – Functional Strength Training Program starting in January 2013.  For more information you can find out more information at, Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

iPad3 Holiday Giveaway Event

Welcome to the iPad3 Holiday Giveaway Event!

Hosted by Mom Blog Society
Special thanks to our lovely co-hosts Mom to Bed by 8, Thinking Outside The Sandbox, Moms Living Thrifty and Food N Service for their help bringing this giveaway to life!

Apple iPad Wi-Fi 16 GB – 3rd generation

Pick up the iPad and suddenly, it’s clear. You’re actually touching your photos, reading a book, playing the piano. Nothing comes between you and what you love. To make that hands-on experience even better, they made the fundamental elements of iPad better – the display, the camera, the wireless connection. All of which makes the third-generation iPad capable of so much more than you ever imagined. Everything you do with iPad, you do through its large, beautiful display. And when the display is better, the entire iPad experience is better. The Retina display on the iPad features a 2048-by-1536 resolution, 44-percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1-million pixels – in the same 9.7-inch space. That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad and a million more than an HDTV. Those pixels are so close together, your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance. When you can’t see the pixels, you see the whole picture. Or article. Or game. In ways you never could before.

Product Features

  • 9.7 Retina Display; 2048 x 1536 Resolution
  • Apple iOS 5; Dual-Core A5X Chip with Quad-Core Graphics
  • 5 Megapixel iSight Camera; 1080p Video Recording
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n); 16 GB Capacityes: 1 x Headphones – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm, 1 x Docking / port replicator – 30-pin dock connector
  • Up to 10 Hours of Battery Life; 1.44 lbs

One lucky reader will receive an iPad 3 Generation {16Gb, Wi-Fi}!

Giveaway ends November 1st at 11:59pm, open worldwide, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Give Thanks Rachael Ray Cookware Giveaway-Free Blogger Event

Thanksgiving Give Thanks Event is hosted by Mom Blog Society.

Prize: Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel II Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-Piece

The event dates: 10/31 - 11/14

Free Event ~ Sign-Up Here

iPad3 Free Blogger Opportunity


iPad3 Holiday Event is hosted by Mom Blog Society.

Prize: iPad3

The event dates: 10/4 - 11/1

Free Event ~ Sign-Up Here

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweetener

 NECTRESSE(TM) Natural No Calorie Sweetener, 40 Count

Nectresse is a natural no calorie sweetener from the makers of Splenda. Nectresse is 100% natural made from monk fruit extract and molasses.

I'm a Splenda girl. I've been using it for baking and to sweeten my drinks for years. I was really happy to see that there was now a natural product. To me it tastes sweeter than Splenda. I found myself using less packets of the Nectresse compared to Splenda. It doesn't have an aftertaste. I haven't baked with it yet.  So far I've just put the Nectresse in my coffee and tea.

Check out for a coupon and samples.

I received the samples of Nectresse from Smiley 360.  I was under no obligation to provide a positive review.  The opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Blogs To Riches VIP Giveaway

Blogs To Riches Club is having a grand opening party and you're invited!

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.

Sponsored by Mompreneur Mogul.

Come and see what all the buzz is about and enter to win a VIP membership to the exclusive Inner Circle at "The Club". Prizes valued at over $2,600.   From Lisa Cash Hanson, the author of "Get Famous The Most Amazing Mom Bloggers Resource On The Planet" (one of the most talked about blogger’s resources), comes the hottest new blogging community on the planet, the Blogs To Riches Club.   Blogs To Riches Club is the exclusive, invitation only blogging, business and entrepreneurs community. It's free to become a member but openings are limited.   If you want to learn how you can live the life of your dreams, be energized, enjoy more financial freedom, overcome obstacles, expand your influence and have fun, the Blogs To Riches Club is the place for you.   Let your blog do the work and make money while you enjoy the freedom of living the life you've always dreamed of!   Listen as Lisa shares exclusive details right here!
  This giveaway features one of the most talked about groups in the Blogs To Riches Club, The Inner Circle At "The Club".   The Inner Circle is where bloggers come to really go deep and grow their business and blog like never before. It's the Mastery Coaching Club where Lisa reveals never before seen strategies she's used in her own business.   In the Inner Circle, Lisa will be sharing exact email pitches, top resources, methods used to launch her first book, how she made money blogging in the first two weeks and more.   Check out the demo video of the Blogs To Riches Club.
  Lisa has been featured on Yahoo!, named Circle of Mom’s Top 25 Mom Tech Blog & Blogtrepreneur’s Top 40 Mompreneurs to follow on Twitter. She is the founder of Mompreneur Mogul, an award winning blog where business and inspiration meet. Her weekly newsletter is filled with tips for those who want to make money blogging and get media attention for their blogs.

Enter to win prizes valued at over $2,600!

Grand Prize

One year VIP membership to the exclusive Inner Circle of the Blogs to Riches Club and a private mastery coaching session with Lisa Cash Hanson.

Other Prizes

1 six month and 2 three month VIP memberships to the exclusive Inner Circle of the Blogs to Riches Club.
Open Worldwide.
Ends at 11:59pm EST on September 19th, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway   Disclosure: Lisa has achieved some amazing results and she is sharing her strategies with you. However, individual results will vary. Blogs To Riches Club, Momprenuer Mogul, and Lisa Cash Hanson are not promising you riches. Your success is up to you.

Bloggers, join a group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.

If you'd like to hear about all group giveaway and hop events open for blogger sign-ups, subscribe to Giveaway Promote's weekly group giveaway events and hops newsletter.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quick Post-Happy Labor Day!

Just wanted my readers to know that I haven't gone anywhere. Just adjusting to life back in Vancouver. Really enjoyed being in Chicago for eight weeks. Already planning my next trip to Sweet Home Chicago. Anyway, I will be reviewing products and having more giveaways soon. Stay tuned! Until then Happy Labor Day! Kelly;-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Winner of the Stim-U-Dent Giveaway is......

Congrats to the Brianna and thank you all for entering. a Rafflecopter giveaway I will notify the winner via email and the winner will then have 48 hours to respond. If the winner doesn't respond within 48 hours I will choose another winner.

The Winner of the CVS Protein Powder Giveaway is....

Misses G! a Rafflecopter giveaway Congrats and thanks for entering! The winner has 48 hours to collect her prize. If she doesn't collect the prize within 48 hours I will choose another winner.

PrintRunner Stickers Giveaway

Welcome to the PrintRunner Sticker Set Giveaway

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.

Sponsored by PrintRunner.

PrintRunner is a full service high quality printing company located in Chatsworth, California. was established with little more than a small press and a dream. Ten years later they have become one of the foremost quality printers in Southern California. Their commitment is to provide the best value and high quality full color printing at an affordable price.

Three entrants will win a set of 250 custom standard-sized (2" x 3.5") stickers from PrintRunner.

You can have your own design in full-color (4 color process) or in black and white. Stickers will be printed on a premium sticker stock and are ready to be shipped in 3 business days.

This giveaway is open in the United States. It will end at 11:59pm EST on August 26th, 2012.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers, join a group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.

If you'd like to hear about all group giveaway and hop events open for blogger sign-ups, subscribe to Giveaway Promote's weekly group giveaway events and hops newsletter.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Vera Bradley Travel Set Giveaway

Welcome to the Vera Bradley Travel Set Giveaway

Hosted by Giveaway Promote.
Sponsored by RockStarMomLV.

RockStarMomLV is a luxury travel and lifestyle resource dedicated to highlighting events, people and places on the Las Vegas Strip and community that appeals to the sophisticated local and tourist, with or without their little entourage.©

Enter to win this Vera Bradley Travel Set.

One person will win this Vera Bradley travel duffel, satchel and matching umbrella in the Doodle Daisy pattern.

Includes: The Grand Traveler ($120 ARV), The Hipster ($60 ARV), and Umbrella ($34 ARV)

Vera Bradley Grand Traveler

Vera Bradley Hipster

Vera Bradley Umbrella

This giveaway is open in the United States and Canada. It will end at 11:59pm EST on August 12th, 2012.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bloggers, join a group giveaway event like this one! Sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Giveaway Promote.

If you'd like to hear about all group giveaway and hop events open for blogger sign-ups, subscribe to Giveaway Promote's weekly group giveaway events and hops newsletter.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Stim-U-Dent Giveaway

Toss the floss!  My dentist is always telling me I need to floss more.   After a check-up I'm usually good at flossing for a few weeks and then it kind of stops.  I've found an easier way to get reduce the plaque between your teeth.  It's called Stim-U-Dent from the Natural Dentist.  Stim-U-Dent are wooden cleaning tools designed to fit between teeth and stimulate gums to fight gingivitis.

The great thing about Stim-U-Dent is that you can do it anywhere.  I like to use it while watching tv.  And I've gotten into the habit of using SUD after meals.  I was given a free sample of Stim-U-Dent and I'm giving away a pack to one of my readers.  The giveaway ends  August 13th 2012 12:01 am.  It's open to residents of the US and Canada.  Just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CVS Vanilla Whey Protein Powder Giveaway

CVS Whey Protein Powder Drink Mix Vanilla

I really like this protein powder and I'm giving away a 1 pound bag of the vanilla flavor. It tastes great and has 140 calories and 25 g of protein per scoop. Love making smoothies with this CVS Protein Powder. It's really easy to enter. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway ends August 13, 2012 at 12:01 am and is open to residents of the US and Canada.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Favorite Things For The Week Ending July 21st

CVS Whey Protein Powder Drink Mix Vanilla

Was very happy and excited to find that CVS has a whey protein powder.  I bought a bag of the vanilla.  It has a nice flavor even without adding anything to it.  Of course you know I love to add fruit to my protein powder.  My favorite way to make a protein shake was to mix a handful of blueberries, a 1/2 cup of mango, half of a frozen banana, a half cup of  Blue Diamond Almond/Coconut Milk and either a whole scoop or half scoop of powder.  I tried a packet of the chocolate CVS Protein Powder too.  It was just as good as the vanilla.  Easy to mix and dissolves easily. There's also a Cookies and Cream flavor.  I would have tried that too, but they didn't have a sample packet.  The best thing about this protein powder is that it has 25 g of protein and 140 calories per scoop.  So, I can use a half a scoop and still get a nice amount of protein.

My next favorite thing is something I mentioned above.  The Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond/Coconut Milk.  Delicious and low in calories.  Only 60 calories per cup. Love adding it to my protein shakes and oatmeal.  Really great product.

My last favorite thing is something I found while shopping in Walgreen's.  Good Food Made Simple Frozen Oatmeal.  I was intrigued and decided to buy it.  Very happy with my purchase.  It's easy to make and tastes great.  Didn't have to add anything to it.  Tastes great straight out of the microwave, but of course I added my two faves from above to make it a great post-workout meal.  I tried the Brown Sugar flavor, but it also comes in original, fruit and berries, and Vermont Maple.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Favorite Things For The Week Ending July 14th

Sweet Potato Ice Cream

This week I indulged in some of my favorite things...sweets.  I'll admit I'm addicted and I will never turn down a cupcake.  This week it's a sweet filled favorite things. First is Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pie.  I have passed by this place many times.  Since I'm always on a diet I never go in.  I always say the next time I'm in the neighborhood I will drop by.  Well, that next time was on Wednesday.  I went in there with my mom while we waited for the kids to get out of camp.  We were greeted as soon as we walked in with a friendly smile and a hello.  The gentlemen behind the counter offered us a sample of the sweet potato ice cream.  Since it was 90 degrees outside we couldn't pass that up.  It was creamy, smooth and full of flavor.  I decided to try a slice of pie with the cream cheese frosting.  It didn't disappoint. It was very good. Jimmy Jamm has sweet potato cakes, cookies and bread.  Stop by Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies at 1844 W 95th, Chicago. (773) 779-9105 Hours are Mon-Sat 10am-7pm. Check out Jimmy Jamm on Facebook.

Cookie Crazy made with Oreo®
Cookie Crazy Oreo Cheesecake
Next is Eli's Cheesecake Cookie Crazy Oreo Cheesecake. I went to the Taste of Chicago with my mom and kids on Thursday. I go to the Taste every year. Recently with the changes made to the Taste I haven't been too happy with it, but the bright spot to me every year is Eli's. I always end my day at the Taste of Chicago with a slice of Eli's Cheesecake. This year I tried the Oreo. It was thick, rich and just out of this world delicious. You can't go wrong when you put Oreos and cheesecake together.

Party Trays
Jewel cupcakes

Lastly, is the red velvet cupcakes from Jewel.  Yes Jewel the grocery store.  With all the cupcake shops around Chicago we sometimes forget that the grocery store can have excellent products made right under their roof.  I always get the kids' birthday cakes from Jewel.  They taste great and are reasonably priced.  Every Friday at Jewel is cupcake Friday.  You can get 3 cupcakes for $1.99.  You usually pay at least $3 a piece at some cupcake shops. They have several flavors, but my favorite is the red velvet.  The cake is moist, but doesn't fall apart. The icing is really the most important thing to me for a great cupcake.  This icing is just the right amount of sweet and not too sticky. Check them out at your neighborhood Jewel.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Favorite Things For the Week Ending July7th

Floral Cherrynova™ Natural Body ButterA few things I've tried tis week that I wanted to tell you about. I received a sample of gud Floral Cherrynova Natural Body Butter from Burt'sBees. The scent is amazing and it made my skin feel like velvet. The scent lasts all day and I've gotten many complements about it. For more information go to

Next favorite thing is the Lipton Iced Green Tea Packets with Honey.  I tried the Blackerry Pomegranate.  It was a lot better than I thought it would be.  Really delicious.  It's just five calories per packet.  I put it in my bottle of water and shook it a couple of times.  It mixed well. Nice for on-the-go.  Especially in this hot weather!  There are several other flavors including Mango Pineapple, Peach Apricot and Black Currant Raspberry.  Check out for more flavors!

Vi-shape® Nutritional Shake Mix: 15 Individual Packets

And my last favorite thing for this week is Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake Mix.  Always on the hunt for the perfect protein powder I received a sample of this one.  The sample flavor was Sweet Cream Flavor. It was creamy and delicious with just the soy milk I added, but with fruit it was fanatastic.  It's a meal replacement shake that has 12g of protein and vitamins including A, C, D & B12. It is also according to the package supposed to help boost metabolism. Vi-Shape is gluten and lactose free.  Go to for more information and other products.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Winners of the Sculpt Dynamics DVDs are.......

a Rafflecopter giveaway Congrats to Sherri, Kayla, Debbie and Lauren! I will be sending you all emails. You will then have 48 hours to respond to the email. If you do not respond within the 48 hours I will have to choose another winner. Once again congratulations!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Purely Bulk Supreme Seeds

Hemp seeds

I've been hearing for a long time about how chia seeds are so good for you. Because of this I've been wanting to try chia seeds for a while because of the anti-oxidants, omega-3s and other health benefits.   I've been eating flax seeds for a couple of years now.. Flax seeds have omega-3s and fiber. So imagine how I happy I was to find a product with flax and chia seeds.

Purely Bulk Supreme Seeds from the package: Supreme Seeds are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber.  Not only does it have flax and chia seeds, but also hemp and sesame.  Hemp seeds have omega-3s, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and is a good source of protein with 20 amino acids. Sesame seeds are a good source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper and manganese.

Because Purely Bulk Supreme Seeds are so full of good things I put it in everything. Including smoothies, oatmeal, salads, soups, stews, muffins and pancakes. I am so happy I found this product.  I bought it in April and use about 3 tablespoons a day.  I still have about 1/3 of the package left.  You can find Purely Bulk Supreme Seeds at  and

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Purely Bulk Soya Protein Powder

Soy Protein Powder

I love to have protein smoothies after my workouts.  I'm always on the hunt for protein powders to put into my smoothies.  I was on the website and found Purely Bulk Soya Protein Powder.  I decided to try it because it was reasonably priced at $8.19.

This was a nice protein powder.  It has 12 g of protein per serving.  It mixed easily in smoothies, soups and oatmeal.  There is a mild pleasant flavor.  It doesn't overpower your food or drink. I used Purely Bulk Soya Protein Powder every day and it lasted 4 weeks. So, I would recommend this protein powder. You can find  Purely Bulk Soya Protein Powder at  and

Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting College Textbooks Couldn't Be Easier!

Textbook rentals is a great idea! The best thing I've ever done in my life was to get a college degree and of course marrying my husband and having our children.  The university I attended was expensive.  The courses were expensive and so were the textbooks.  Every semester I would sign up for my classes and then head downstairs to the bookstore along with hundreds of other students looking for my textbooks. It was sometimes frustrating because there were times the textbooks wouldn't be available or if they were the price tag would make me want to cry.  I remember paying 95.00 for one textbook!  I knew at the end of the semester I could sell it back to the bookstore and get half my money back, but sometimes they wouldn't take it back because the instructor would be using a different textbook the next semester.

Nowadays students have another option, they can rent textbooks. Textbook rentals couldn't be easier.  You search for the textbooks using the barcode, author name, keyword or title.  Rent the textbook using the easy to navigate website, receive the textbook shipped to you for FREE and you can send back the textbook rentals for FREE of charge in the envelope provided to you.  What could be simpler?! And you know as a college student there is enough stress with your classes.  At least you know getting your textbooks can be stress free.  I wish we had this when I was in college. Check out their website for easy textbook rentals!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You Can Make Eczema and Psoriasis Disappear with Flexitol

Flexitol Review

My daughter has really bad eczema and it seems to flare up in the spring and summer. I've tried many products to treat it. I wanted something natural without steroids. I went on the website to search for a new product. I decided to try Flexitol because it's said to treat eczema and psoriasis with a blend of homeopathic ingredients, herbal extracts and essential oils. Flexitol doesn't have cortisone, steroids, parabens, nut oils and coal tar.

Flexitol makes eczema and psoriasis disappear!

This is a great product. I noticed a change in my daughter's skin the very next day. The redness was gone and her skin was smoother. She had less itching and dryness which meant less scratching and damage to her skin. I use Flexitol on my daughter's skin every day.

My daughter doesn't like the scent. To me it's not bad. It kind of smells like tea tree oil to me. But the scent goes away within a few minutes of application. It blends in quickly and easily. Not greasy at all. I highly recommend this product. Flexitol is also available at Amazon.

Disclaimer:  I received no monetary compensation for this review.  The views are my own and results may vary.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sculpt Dynamics With Sylwia Wiesenberg

Tonique is unique and basic. Tonique was created by women for women. The Tonique lifestyle is not to deprive yourself. Sylwia believes you can have what you want just in moderation. Just eat less, but enjoy everything. Sylwia Wiesenberg is a mom of two and understands what it's like to have a body that could look a little better. She wants you to feel confident. Sylwia feels a woman should be a bit selfish and take the time to take care of herself. Take some "Me Time." Even if it's just spending an hour a day working out with her. A woman should take the time to escape and reflect on herself. During this time you should involve movement.

 "Make yourself number 1!"-Sylwia

I've been doing Tonique workouts off and on for two years. I really love her positive personality. You can feel her passion for fitness and movement come through the screen. Sculpt Dynamics is a mixture of cardio and sculpting like many of her other workouts, but there are some differences. First the music is mostly jazz. Something you don't usually hear in a workout DVD. Second, there is a lot more dancing in the DVD than usual. Third, there's one DVD for the cardio sculpting of the entire body and another DVD just for the arms.

"Your goal should always exceed your expectations!"-Sylwia

Sylwia's workouts are always challenging. You don't need to use dumbbells or weights.  If you do she recommends you use 2-3 pound weights. She works every muscle in your body in many different angles. Sculpt Dynamics is definitely an advanced workout. She doesn't have a modifier. Listen to your body. If you find a move too difficult modify it yourself, dance or walk in place. Some movement is better than nothing. Most of her workouts focus on the lower body. I think that's why she has a separate DVD just for the arms this time. You still get a cardio workout during the arms DVD. Just not as much as disc 1.

Check out ToniqueFitness on YouTube!

I liked these workouts. Disc 1 is the cardio sculpting for the whole body. You are sculpting your body and getting your heart rate up at the same time. Disc 1 is two hours. I haven't done the entire DVD on one day. I usually split them into 2. Disc 2 is 40 minutes and is just arms sculpting. Like I said before you do get a cardio workout with this one as well, but most of the DVD is focused on the arms. Sometimes she doesn't cue you to let you know when to change from a single to a double in the exercise for example. So,you have to keep your eye on the screen.

Sylwia cooking and working out on Windy City Live!

I contacted Sylwia because I wanted to review and giveaway her latest DVD. She didn't offer just one DVD, but 4 DVDs for me to giveaway to 4 of my readers. She's such a sweetheart! Thanks Sylwia;-)  You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Giveaway ends June 25, 2012 at 12:01am EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The winner of the Jeanette Jenkins Bikini Bootcamp DVD is.....

a Rafflecopter giveaway Congrats to Wendy! I will send you an email. You will have 48 hours to claim your prize. If you have not claimed your prize in 48 hours I will pick another winner. Thank you for participating in the giveaway;-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bare Minerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum

Active Cell Renewal Night Serum

I received a free sample of the Active Cell Renewal Night Serum from Bare Escentuals.  I've used the makeup in the past and really liked it.  So I was anxious to try this product. All I had to pay was the shipping. Since I live in Canada the shipping was 13.00 but well worth it. Active Cell Renewal Night Serum from the package: Is clinically proven to help maximize cellular renewal and boost moisture levels, so you wake up to firm, beautifully radiant, younger-looking skin. I used  the serum at night. After cleansing I applied a pearl-sized amount to my face and neck. I would then apply my nighttime moisturizer.

 I love this serum!  Let me say it again! I love this serum!  I noticed a change in my skin the very next morning. It was smooth, soft like velvet and my skin glowed.  Yes, it glowed! The more I used it the more I couldn't wait to wash my face at night and put it on. I told my mom that my skin has never looked this good.  I received this 0.10 fl. oz sample on April 11, 2012.  I just used the last of it last night.  I turned the bottle over and hit the bottom making sure I got every last bit of it out.It's very light-weight.  You don't need a lot like I said before.  It's not greasy and melts into your skin very quickly.  You don't have to worry about it leaving any residue on your pillow. Just ordered a full-sized bottle.  Can't wait to start using it again.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oils
Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
Tropical Traditions sent me a sample of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.  I use coconut oil in cooking, making smoothies, for skin and hair care. There are literally hundreds of ways to use coconut oil.    It gives my hair and skin moisture and sheen.  I love the flavor. It adds a lovely coconutty flavor to some of my favorite recipes. I mix it in oatmeal, puddings and french toast. Check out the video below to find other ways to use the Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

Coconut Banana French Toast

Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is certified organic and traditionally made coconut oil.  It's the best coconut oil I have ever tried.

Tropical Traditions will provide a free quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one of my readers.  You can enter the giveaway by using the rafflecopter widget below.  The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S and Canada. Check out their website they're always having special offers and sales.

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Free Blogger Sign-up Opportunity-$100 Amazon GC Giveaway!

  This is a free blogger sign-up opportunity from Beautifully Bella Faith!
Open to: Worldwide
Sign Ups: Will be accepted until May 29th. 
Event Dates: May 30th - June 7th
This is a completely free blogger opportunity. The gift card will be sent to the winner straight from me. 
You can include your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Email, RSS and GFC. You can include as many links as you like. 
I am requiring that you post about this blogger opportunity on your blog so we can make the most out of this. You don't have to write much. Just the picture and link would do, along with a sentence or two about the blogger opp. 
All participants will receive an e-mail with HTML code and Rafflecopter code the day before the giveaway starts.
Sign-Up Here!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jeanette Jenkins Bikini Bootcamp DVD

Bikini Bootcamp DVD

Jeanette Jenkins was born and raised in Canada.  She is now internationally known as the Hollywood Trainer.  She has been featured on the Dr. Oz show and The Doctors. She's also been featured in Fitness, Shape and Health magazines. Her roster of clients include Serena Williams, Robin Thicke, Tia Mowry, Christina Applegate and Kelly Rowland. Ms. Rowland was also featured in her Sexy Abs DVD.

If you are looking to get bikini ready then Bikini Bootcamp is the  DVD for you. There's a 5 minute warm-up with some great music. I found myself wanting to dance during the warm-up.

Cardio Camp is the next section of the DVD.  The Cardio Camp is 28 minutes and is broken down into 5 circuits.  She teased me with the first circuit.  I said to myself 'Oh this is so easy.  I got this!'  Then starting with the second circuit it's like she flipped a switch and we were off and running.  It includes kickboxing and plyo. My two favorite types of cardio.  Next it was time to do some strength training. Chisel Camp is 25 minutes and was fun and challenging. I used 8-10 lbs dumbbells for the two circuits in the Chisel Camp. Jeanette recommends 8-10 pound dumbbells for circuit one and 3-5 pounds for circuit two. My heart rate stayed elevated through both Cardio and Chisel Camp.  I needed Lebron's headband during this workout.  Tons of sweat pouring down my face. I burned an average of 9 calories per minute while doing Cardio and Chisel Camp!

Jeanette is cheerful and a great motivator.  Whenever she said "Don't rush it." I felt like she could see me through the screen. Her cues were good. I was able to keep up. She also had moves in this DVD that I had never seen in any other DVD.  And if you follow my blog Beauty, Fitness & Health...Oh my! you know I have well over 60 workout DVDs. I love being challenged with new moves!

The next section was the Ab Camp. It's only 9 minutes.  I wondered to myself 'How am I going to get a complete abs workout in nine minutes?'  Well, she found a way with six tough moves.  With two of the exercises you use a 10 lbs dumbbell.  We did the exercises 2 times through and hit the lower abs and obliques.  Two problem areas for me.

The DVD ends with a relaxing stretch that lasted for eight minutes.  I really loved it and felt energized at the end.  This is a great overall DVD to get you ready for summer.  I will be giving away 1 copy of Bikini Boot Camp to one lucky winner.  The giveaway ends May 19, 2012 at 12:01am. The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter. Thanks Jeanette for providing the DVD to giveaway;-)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bio Oil

Bio Oil

I have extremely dry skin especially in the winter.  I've tried many body lotions.  They work for a while but don't last very long.  I need something to keep my skin hydrated all day.  I originally bought Bio Oil for the scars on my legs left from me scratching my dry skin. Bio Oil according to the package can be used scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, aging and dehydrated skin. It contains Vitamins A & E, Calendula, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile Oils.

So I started using the Bio Oil mainly for the scars, but I decided to use it in place of my body lotion for my dehydrated skin. My skin drank it in immediately.  It's not greasy and has a nice light scent. I was pleasantly surprised by that.

The first time using it I noticed that I didn't have to reapply it later in the day.  It kept my skin hydrated, smooth and soft. I've using it on a regular basis for five weeks and my skin doesn't get dry or crack anymore.  The scars have faded.  I will continue to use Bio Oil.  I've actually bought another from before I've finished the first one. Great product!  I highly recommend it.

The winner of the Jari Love Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore DVD is.....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nivea Visage Aqua Sensation Eye Cream

Aqua Sensation Eye Cream
As I have gotten older I have noticed the bags and the skin darkening under my eyes.  I decided to try the Nivea Visage Aqua Sensation Anti-Shadow Eye Cream.  From the box: Nivea Visage Aqua Sensation Eye Cream enriched with Magnesium, Ginseng and Cucumber Extracts, invigorates the eye area with the cooling sensation of moisture.

This cream delivered on it's promises.  The area under my eye is firmer, no puffiness and the skin tone is lighter. The cream keeps my eye area hydrated all day long.  The cream itself soothes my eye area with the cooling sensation and blends in quickly.  It's not greasy or heavy at all. It comes in a tiny jar, but I've been using it for four weeks and still well over a 1/2 of the jar still left. Love this eye cream and will continue to use it. Check out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Some tasty mango ice cream

Guest post written by Millicent Patrick

Most of the time when it comes to ice cream, I like to go with the classic vanilla and then load up on sprinkles, chocolate syrup and a few other toppings. But I just got an ice cream maker on sale and I've been feeling a little more adventurous about ice cream. Meaning, I'm trying out all kinds of ice cream recipes with my ice cream maker.

At first I started out making some regular old ice cream flavors. Then I started getting more daring with what flavors I wanted to make. When I was on an ice cream recipe online expedition, I saw some info on debt consolidation and decided to click here to get some help with it.

I found a recipe for mango ice cream and I couldn't resist trying it out for myself! I have to say, it was even better than I expected and I think that I'm going to have to stash this recipe so that I can make it again in the dead of summer when it's really hot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream

Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream
I have been using Garnier skincare and haircare products for several years now.  So, I was happy to see this new cream.  I bought this cream myself from and tried it out for 3 weeks.

From the box: Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream is enriched with revitalizing Grape Water Extract, this oil-free formula helps to maintain skin's moisture barrier and protects skin from external aggressors like the drying effects of the sun and wind. It's oil-free, non-comedogenic, allergy tested, gentle to skin and non-greasy.

Well, I love the scent and the cream is very refreshing and just melts into the skin.  Not greasy at all and it made my skin feel soft. I like that it has Grape Water Extract which has antioxidants to protect dry skin from harsh environments and vitamin E to soothe and condition the skin. the only problem was it didn't keep my skin moist all day.  I found myself reapplying the cream by midday. So, I will use this cream along with my favorite Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Regenerating Moisture Cream because I like the ingredients and it did make my skin feel good.  Just didn't keep it hydrated all day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jari Love: Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore

Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore

I'm a big fan of Jari Love's workouts especially her Get Extremely Ripped 1000 .  I like the combo of the cardio and strength training.  I'm a cardio girl.  I could do cardio all day long, but I realize the importance of strength training for women especially the older I get.  What I like most about Jari's workouts is that she uses science to determine what exercises to do and in what order.  It called Get Ripped 1000 because supposedly you can burn at least 1000 calories doing the workout.  I used My Fitness Pal to determine calories burned. For the 68 minutes I worked out I burned 674.

That being said I really liked this workout.  It's like the other Get Ripped 1000 workouts in that you do strength training for about 3 minutes and then you do cardio for about 5 minutes. Each cardio and strength track is broken down into sets.  The cardio is usually 4-6 sets and the strength is 3-4 sets. I used 8 pound dumbbells with this workout.  I had been using mostly 10 pound dumbbells this week, but since this was a new workout I wanted to be safe and use the eights. I surprised myself because I was able to use the eight pound dumbbells during the tricep kickbacks.  A couple of months ago I was using only three pounds.

I was able to keep up most of the time with the eight pound dumbbells, but on the Leg and Shoulders track I could have gone down to five for the lateral raises. The music in the workout DVDs is something I usually don't pay any attention to, but Jari always has uplifting music to keep you motivated.  In the Straddle Run track I believe I heard 'Can You Feel It' by The Jacksons. During the Burpee track Country music was playing.  That Burpee track was murder.  I actually had to stop the DVD and rest.  Burpees are not my friend.  I was already sweating a lot and after that Burpee track I was drenched.

There was a lot of sweat going on.  Even during the Abs tracks (there are two of them because I did the entire workout) sweat was getting into my eyes.  The last Abs track was lead by Laurie who has been with Jari since the beginning.  She did a great job leading us through that track.

The DVD includes:
Complete workout (what I did) 73:51
Workout 1 30:00
Workout 2 30:00
Cardio Workout 48:06
Weights Workout 42:51

I'm curious to see how if at all the Cardio and Weights Workout are different from the Complete Workout when done separately. Jari does use a step bench in this workout like in previous DVDs, but she does offer a modifier and all the exercises can be done without the step.

I will be doing this workout again and again.  Jari was so nice to send me an extra copy to giveaway.  One lucky person will win a copy of Get Extremely Ripped 1000 Hardcore. I will make this giveaway very simple. You can enter using the widget below. The giveaway ends April 30, 2012 at 12:01am EST. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.  The winner must claim their prize within 48 hours. Please allow 2-4 weeks to receive your prize.  It's open to persons living in the US and Canada.  Good luck!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jillian Michaels Whey Protein

Vanilla Whey Protein Powder

As you all know I'm a big fan of Jillian Michaels.  For the past 2 weeks she's been kicking my arse during my 30 Day No Repeat challenge.  I was on the website ordering some things and I saw that they had whey protein powder by Jillian Michaels.  I didn't know she even had a whey powder.  So, I decided to order a can.

I was so excited when I got it.  I ordered the Vanilla Cream Shake flavor because vanilla is easier to mix with a variety of things. She has a chocolate flavor too. I found the taste to be okay.  I could taste the vanilla flavor.  It was not an overpowering flavor.  It didn't taste like a shake, but it didn't taste bad to me either.  The powder mixed well into my foods.  I bought the can about 3 weeks ago and I used the last of it today.

My favorite ways to use the powder was to mix it with strawberries, a banana, a cup of coconut milk, water and some ice cubes.  Also I like to add some to my oatmeal with some fruit and ground flax seeds.Each scoop has 100 calories and 15g of protein.  No artificial sweeteners, preservatives, flavors or colors.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.

I received a copy of Socialpunk from the author to read and review.  This is my honest review. I enjoyed reading Socialpunk. The characters are well developed.  Monica Leonelle paints the events and characters so vividly it's almost like you're watching a movie in your mind.  There is a nice balance between the good and bad characters.  In this story much like in real life you feel you know someone, but there are many layers to peel back before you discover who they really are.

Being from Chicago I really liked that she uses my hometown as the setting for the story. She mentions L train stops and landmarks that I'm very familiar with.  My heart raced and I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book. I barely had time to catch my breath before something else happened. At the end she left me wanting more!

Socialpunk is great for those looking for a unique, fast-paced, heart racing thrill ride. Socialpunk is the first book in a trilogy and I can't wait to read the others. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Click the link below to enter the contest. You could win an iPad and more!

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY   Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire ( and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit ( If you are a blogger and would like to participate in the Socialpunk Blog Tour here's the participant sign-up form.You can follow Monica on Twitter @monicaleonelle !


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unicoi Art Studio

Fish in the Ocean

It's that time of year when parents start looking for summer activities and camp for the kids.  I'm in the midst of doing this right now.  We plan to spend a lot of time in Chicago this year. One year I put my son in Chicago Park District camp, but it ended the first week of August so we still had 3-4 weeks of summer vacation left. I like to keep my kids busy and active when they aren't in school.

artwork from unicoi art studio
Chicago Skyline

 That year we found Unicoi Art Studio and they were able to take him a couple of days a week.  It's located in the Roscoe Village area of Chicago.  They have been providing art activities for kids since 1999. Unicoi has art classes daily, camps during the school year, winter and summer. I found the teachers there to be friendly, patient and caring.  I felt comfortable leaving my son with them.  My son loved going there.  Not only would I put him there during the summer, but he would go during the school year and take a class once a week.  The classes are affordable.  I couldn't believe how much my son grew as an artist.   I was amazed at what he was capable of doing.  So, if you are looking for activities for your kids this summer check out Unicoi Art Studio.  Unicoi's summer camp is from June 11-August 31st. You can Like Unicoi on Facebook.  They were also on WGN Morning News.  My son is the one with the curly hair standing next to Ana;-)  The art work you see in this post is his.  He has many more wonderful works of art he did at Unicoi too!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh My!

*raises hand* I confess I love sweets!  Cakes, cookies, candy, it all!  I was watching my favorite QVC host David Venable last night on his show 'In The Kitchen With David.' He is the ultimate foodie.  And of course on his show last night he had on some of the 'How did I go this long without this?' items. At the end of the show he had on a blogworthy cookbook.  It's called Cupcakes, Cookies, & Pie, Oh My!  by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. This cookbook has the cutest and most fun recipes I've seen in a while. You can make cameras out of brownies and shoes out of cupcakes.  Instead of going to a fancy bake shop and paying a lot of money for someone else to do it for you.  It's DIY!

cookbooks karen Tack

The pictures in the book are so colorful.  David pick the right book to present for Spring.  This is the perfect cookbook to make Easter or Mother's Day treats.  You can have fun making treats with the kids during spring break or during one of those rainy April days.  And for the kids' birthday how cute would it be making frog cupcakes or little sheep for a birthday theme?!  Check out this cookbook and other cookbooks in David's cookbook corner.And you can watch 'In The Kitchen With David' on Sundays at 12pm ET and Wednesdays at 9pm ET on QVC.