buzzoole code Socially Connected Consulting: 2013

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year from The Elements of Review!

Toronto New Year's Eve

Wishing you all a very blessed and prosperous New Year!  Thank you for stopping by my blog!  I really appreciate it.  I'm hoping to bring you more reviews in 2014.  I would like to do more foodie reviews.  We are moving to Toronto and I'm excited to be returning to a big city.  So I hope to be exploring the Toronto food scene and of course doing reviews of some of my favorite products. 

Happy 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from The Elements of Review!

Sorry the blog has been quiet for the past few weeks but we wanted to take this time to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thoughts, Observations and Ramblings about the Midseason Finale of The Walking Dead

Usually after watching Talking Dead I'm able to process that night's episode. Last night everyone on the show were so emotional and discussing their feelings about what happened I just felt like there wasn't enough time to process everything. The Talking Dead should have been two hours long.  I would like to know what you thought about the Midseason finale.

                                                        **spoiler alert**

If you haven't watched the show please stop reading now. Watch the show and then come back and tell me what you thought. I would love to hear your opinion!
I want your opinion!

The episode started off slowly, but then took off running. It went by so fast, I was trying to live tweet while doing breathing exercises. I've never been so nervous about a TV show in my life! Honestly I thought we were going to lose a lot more of my favorite characters. I knew Hershel was gone, but it was tough seeing him die in such a brutal manner. So happy the Governor is dead. While Lily was sitting on top of the RV she could already see the flaws in the Governor's plan, but it was too late. Her daughter Megan's death was incredibly sad. I'm glad she had the final say with the Governor.

I have some questions. Why didn't Michonne stay and help Rick? Who drove the bus away? What happened to Lily's sister? Where's Judith (lil Asskicker)? I had a thought about the last question. What if Carol came back and she is with Tyreese and the kids?! Gasp! That would be something because remember Rick and Daryl never had a chance to tell Tyreese that Carol killed Karen.

Speaking of Carol. I thought Rick was wrong to banish her. He should have brought her back to the Council and let them decide. Carol was a huge asset to the prison. Like most moms she did so many things (big & small) around the prison.  It was a mistake to let someone that valuable go. Daryl took it a lot better than I thought he would. Maybe because he respects Rick. Ok enough of my rambling. I want to know your thoughts. Let's process this together! By the way, I was looking at a blog post I wrote 3 years ago about the first episode of The Walking Dead . It's amazing how attached I have become to the characters.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving From The Elements of Review!

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving. Every Thanksgiving I watch this episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. This is one of the funniest segments in history from one of the most underrated sitcoms. Oh the humanity!

Friday, November 22, 2013


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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Subscription Box Giveaway!

Hosted By: 
Co-Hosted By: 
1 winner will receive a 1 Month Subscription of Flicker Box
1 winner will receive a  1 Month Subscription of Square Hue 
1 winner will receive  a 1 Month Subscription of Healthy Surprise 
2 winners will receive a 1 Month Subscription of
About Flicker Box 
Having candles around the house is a must for me this time of year! And if you love candles then this box is for you. Every month you get a curated box of artisan candles made right here in the US. All beautifully hand made. 
About Square Hue
Every month you will get 3 full size bottles of nail polish.  They are “5-Free” Clean which means they do NOT contain Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, Camphor or Formaldehyde Resin. They are also made right here in the USA which is awesome.  
About Healthy Surprise
Healthy Surprise delivers healthy snacks right to your do every month.  
You never have to worry about getting anything that isn't good for you because you will know that they are
always natural, gluten free,vegan, soy free, corn free, and wheat free.
They help you discover the best products in sports nutrition and they have three different sized packs. The Lightweight, The Heavyweight, and the Heavyweight XXL. 
They also give $10 vouchers to their members every month to use in their store. So if you find something you like, or already know what you like, you can buy the full-size version. They also  have gift subscriptions (in two sizes) and month-to-month options, as well as 3 and 6 month options at discounted rates. 
Open to the US Only, 18+
Your The Elements Of Review is not responsible for prize fulfillment. My opinions are 100% my own and may differ from your own or even those stated in this post. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Keurig V600 Giveaway!

Hosted By:
Co-Hosted By:
1 Keurig V600 with Vue Packs 
(arv 169.99)
About the Keurig V600
The Keurig Vue V600 Brewing System lets you customize your own cup of coffee, tea and more. Brew stronger, bigger, hotter and with more choices than ever before. The V600 has a  black and white touch screen and Custom Brew Technology Vue which makes sure that your beverages are brewed to your liking, giving you great results every cup and every time. And your choices are nearly limitless. In addition to coffee, tea, hot cocoa and iced beverages, Vue brews delicious cafĂ© and specialty beverages as well.  You can make a cup of joe for your Dad and then make a cup of tea for your Mum and if the kiddies want some hot chocolate you can do that too.  It is really versatile and a great addition to the kitchen.I love my Keurig and use it every day!  
This giveaway is open to the US Only, 18+ 

Disclosure: The Elements of Review is not responsible for prize fulfillment. My opinions are 100% my own and may differ from your own or even those stated in this post. Out of the Bags is responsible for prize delivery. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blogger Opportunity: Subscription Box Giveaway



            Hosted By:
            Out of the Bags
            Sponsored By:
            SquareHue, Healthy Surprise and Flicker Box

  •                 1 November Box from SquareHue (arv $19)

  •                 1 Starter size box from Healthy Surprise (arv $32)

  •                 1 Month Subscription to Flicker Box (arv $33)
                Event Dates:

    •                 November 17th -December 1st

    •                 Open to U.S Only
                  Participation Requirements:

      •                 Limit 2 blogs per person

      •                 Link Announcement or if you wish not to announce the giveaway then please pay $5

      •                 Click here for the Link announcement html

      •                 Promote at least 3x times a week.  Top Referer will receive a free Co-Host spot.
                    Signup Here

        Thursday, October 31, 2013

        Happy Halloween from The Elements of Review

        This is my favorite time of year.  I love gray, cool days. In Vancouver for a couple of weeks we had some foggy mornings.  I thought for Halloween I would share some of my pictures with you. 

        I took these pictures while walking around my neighborhood in Vancouver.  I thought they looked eerie.  Perfect for Halloween!

        You can't really tell from these pictures but it was kind of difficult to see and it felt like we were walking through pea soup.  So creepy and beautiful at the same time!

        Have a happy and safe Halloween!

        Thursday, October 17, 2013

        Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil Review

        I'm a Julep Maven.  I receive a new box of goodies every month.  For the month of  September I received the Bare Face Cleansing Oil.  I was excited and skeptical about it.  I really wanted to try it, but I was scared that it would clog my pores and cause breakouts.

        Well, I've been using this cleansing oil for the past six weeks.  I use it twice a day and I've only used 1/3 of the bottle.  I haven't had any breakouts.  My skin feels great after using it.  So soft and moist. I was surprised how easy it was to rinse it off of my face.  Bare Face doesn't leave any residue. It has a light scent of pink grapefruit.  Bare Face contains Rose Hip Oil (natural source of vitamin A and C.), Malvaceae Lipid Extract (long lasting hydration),Green Coffee Bean Oil (a natural anti-inflammatory) and Grapeseed Oil (a natural antioxidant).

        I love this product and I highly recommend it for any skin type. Visit to find out how to become a Maven and get your monthly box of goodies ( a $40.00 value) for only $19.99.  You can also follow them on Twitter, Pinterest and like them on Facebook.

        Monday, September 23, 2013

        Nisim F.A.S.T Shampoo and Conditioner

        I have always had a difficult time growing my hair past a certain length.  When I heard about  Nisim looking for bloggers to try their shampoo and conditioner I jumped at the challenge.  The first time I tried Nisim F.A.S.T Shampoo and conditioner was after attending a concert at a casino in early August.  I came home smelling like an ashtray. We were there for four hours and there were many smokers in attendance.  The very next day I washed my hair with Nisim F.A.S.T Shampoo and Conditioner.  It made my hair feel really clean and smell great!

        Nisim F.A.S.T Shampoo and Conditioner have no sulfates, parabens or DEA.  It is fortified amino scalp therapy for maximum length in a short amount of time.  Since that first time in August I have used the Fast Shampoo and Conditioner several times.  I notice that my hair feels stronger and has less breakage. My hair usually gets a certain length and starts to break off.  It's not doing that this time. I will definitely start using it more often to have more significant growth.  Find out more about Nisim F.A.S.T here:

        Be sure to visit Nisim's website at to find out about their other products.  You can also like them on  Facebook and follow them on  Twitter.

        Disclaimer:  Nisim sent me free full size bottles of F.A.S.T Shampoo and Conditioner.  I am under no obligation to provide a positive review.  The opinions are my own and results may vary.

        Friday, September 13, 2013

        Brown Sugar Bakery Chicago Review

        Brown Sugar Bakery Review

        For months I wanted to go to Brown Sugar Bakery.  The pictures of their cakes on Facebook had me salivating every time they would post them.  I finally got my chance my last week in Chicago.  When I entered I marveled at the selection and how large the cakes were.

        Brown Sugar Bakery
        Huge cake a Brown Sugar Bakery!

        Brown Sugar Bakery Chicago
        The Menu

        I decided to try the cupcakes.  Unfortunately the cupcakes were not marked.  So I had to ask the lady behind the counter what some of them were.  There were so many I didn't want to ask about each one.  I think that's a waste of  the customer's time and the staff's time as well not to have the items identified.   I decided on three of them.  The lemon, vanilla caramel and the chocolate.

        Brown Sugar Bakery

        The cupcakes were so delicious!  All of them were large, bigger than cupcakes I've had from other bakeries.  They all had a thick layer of frosting on top.  The cake was moist.  A melt in your mouth moist.  It was definitely worth the wait.

        The only other complaint that I have is that they put my cupcakes in big styrofoam containers.  I didn't drive there and I didn't go straight home after buying the cupcakes.  The cupcakes moved around and most of the frosting ended up on the stryrofoam.  That was really disappointing.

        Brown Sugar Bakery Chicago
        My cupcakes after traveling around Chicago for 2 hours.

        Despite the bakery items not being marked and the styrofoam containers I would highly recommend Brown Sugar Bakery.  The cakes were worth the wait! Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook! Brown Sugar Bakery is located at 328 E 75th st Chicago 773-224-6262.

        Wednesday, September 4, 2013

        Flecks Coffee Review (Chicago)

        My last week in Chicago I tried to fit in some places I've been wanting to go to for a long time and Flecks Coffee was one of them.  On the South Side of Chicago there aren't many coffee houses.  I was really happy when this one opened up.  I wanted to make sure I went there to support it.

        White Chocolate Frappe

        I loved the decor. It's bright, clean, modern and has some beautiful artwork on the walls.  I ordered the White Chocolate Frappe. The person behind the counter seemed to be unsure on how to make it low cal.  The drink was very good. Rich, creamy and chocolatey!  I felt comfortable sitting there sipping my drink.  I didn't feel rushed.  I'm hoping to go there again next time I'm in Chicago.  I would love to try some of the other items on the menu.


        Flecks Coffee has free Wi-Fi and a new expanded menu. It is also a great place to host a small event. Find out more information about Flecks Coffee on Twitter and Facebook. 343 East 79th St. Chicago, IL

        Monday, September 2, 2013

        Trending Authors of Summer iPad Mini Event!

        When it comes to summer reading indie authors offer a refreshing alternative to predictable plots from big name writers. Here’s a list of ten titles from trending indie authors, pick your favorite and vote on Facebook.

        In a time of uncertainty, Nova Rose created a fantasy epic of high adventure spanning 1500 years with its unique mythology and characters--of which Galdin is the final book--where the lowliest of people overcome impossible odds to save the land they love. 

        Reviewer Comments
        This book had me hooked right from the beginning and kept me going through to the end. You find yourself quickly immersed in an intense new world and the characters are both compelling, identifiable, fresh, interesting, and mysterious enough to keep your attention. The plot is exciting and does a good job of creating an intricate believable world while keeping up the action. Very well crafted story.

        Be sure to follow the author on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest publications.

        Special Price Cut Book was $5.49 and is now available for $0.99

        A top-ranked Amazon thriller sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

        More About The Book 
        A fast-paced thriller centered on a brutal, time-obsessed serial killer. The expression "killing time" rarely means murder, but here, the victims of a serial killer must pay for time they've wasted, often with both their money and their lives. In a brutal scene from the opening chapter, an entire family is murdered after a stranger invades the family's home and accuses the patriarch of wasting his time. Veteran cop Max Larkin is on the case. Unfortunately, he's also been assigned a new partner; though she's green in the field--she has "very sad eyes" and prays upon arriving at the first crime scene--she gives the hardened old detective a new perspective he never knew he needed. But as the serial killer claims more victims, a pattern emerges that neither Max nor his new partner can ignore. With brisk pacing, Thiede's debut brims with action, violence and, occasionally, emotion. Though the book takes a while to find its heart, procedural fans will feel right at home. Larkin feels like a guy worth rooting for, despite filling the shoes of the beaten-down, grizzled, old loner cop trope a little too well. His interactions with his new partner, plus the twists and revelations regarding his past, give him enough of a pass to get readers invested in the story and looking forward to his next outing. Larkin's story doesn't break any boundaries, but it'll keep crime and thriller fans wrapped up in its twisting plot, fast pace and memorable detective. Plenty of shock value and a charismatic, if formulaic, male lead. - Kirkus Reviews

        Read more about the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

        Lee Fishman has written an action-packed thriller that's a story for our times, a story of America the hard way! 
        More About The Book
        What’s it like to be on your own in a new country? While Rija, a young wife and mother, confronts the challenges of her new life in America with gritty determination, her husband, the charming Josef, takes off. Falling into a life of crime, he hooks up with the Russian mafia and turns up with piles of cash and trouble at just the wrong time. The action starts early and keeps building. This is a great beach read!

        If you don't like just plain old vanilla and want something different, read, Reluctant Gods III - Reset from the series that transcends fiction fantasy by crossing genres into romance, humor, science fiction, and mystery and is sure to entertain while you enjoy the best of summer.

        Reviewer Comments
        I loved Reluctant Gods III-Reset! As a science fiction fan, I couldn't have asked for more. It covers so much of what I enjoy reading about, with a story that keeps you interested through the end. My husband didn't want to read it by the description at first, but I urged him to just try it. It's now one of his favorites! He's even gone back and read the first two in the series, although you can keep up even if you haven't. I did read them first and am glad I did. Personally, I like to know the in's and out's of the stories that I read, so I just had to read the others first. - 5 Star Amazon Review

        Slum is a page-turner that's been called an intoxicating love story and a tale of hope for a dying child, played out by a wealthy New Yorker and a poor ex-stripper from a Caribbean slum. 

        Reviewer Comments
        From Clarion Reviews: "Enticingly entertaining... Julianna and Robert are well-drawn, credible characters... descriptions of the slum are evocative, realistic, and insightful... safe to assume that the realism in the novel emanates from Dan Carroll's firsthand knowledge and experiences in the slums."

        Special Price Cut .99 cents on Kindle, iBookstore, Nook 

        “Powerful novel … extraordinary magic in making his readers as eager as his protagonist in uncovering the truth and thus effectively creating pervasive fear and suspense … sure to keep you up late against your better judgment - don't say I didn't warn you.” Norm Goldman, Bookpleasures/The Examiner 

        More About the Book
        “Author Avraham Azrieli wades into controversial waters with his fifth novel, "The Mormon Candidate." His main character, Ben Teller, is a photojournalist who, with his motorcycle has joined the Marine Corps Veterans' Annual Ride in Washington, D.C. when a terrible accident results in the death of one of the bikers. Suspicious by nature, he senses that Hinckley's death was not an accident. His investigation leads directly into the political nest of the man running for president of the United States, Joe Morgan, a successful businessman and active LDS member. Throughout the novel, details are revealed about the daily practices and social beliefs of members of the Mormon Church. A well-written page-turner, this is an entertaining novel.” Kel Kanady,Mercury News

        You can also find Avraham Azrieli on Good Reads and Library Thing.
        Special Price Cut E-book is now $2.99. Paperback is $13.49.

        For the first mystery from Ritch Gaiti he has attained some excellent reviews on a socially significant mystery that is far more than a casual read. (Amazon 4.7 –23 reviews) 

        Reviewer Comments
         “…masterfully conceived, dramatically atmospheric…Highly recommended.” Literary Aficionado “…a home run with fiction lovers… keeps the reader guessing until the very end.” Pacific Book Review

        The book provides much needed insight into how to manage a long and successful career in the Information Technology field from an author who has spent twenty-four years working as an IT tech in many environments. 

        Reviewer Comments
        Being a go to Tech by Warren C. Zabloudil is a great how-to and self improvement that should be read by not only anyone going into the IT (information technology) field but any service-based career. Mr. Zabloudil uses a common sense approach pointing out the ins and outs that will make you the individual (or team leader) that everyone looks to when their computer systems are down. The book brings up several good points that we may have heard before but not in as clear and precise as Mr. Zabloudil puts it in this book. He points out how different types of attitudes can affect performance and steps that should be taken to change your outlook when going into a job or dealing with management. You will be shown the importance of listening, documenting, understanding, communication and time management. - J. Wallace 5 Star Amazon Review

        In his debut novel for adults, bestselling MG/YA author Jeff Gunhus (known for his Jack Templar Monster Hunter books) has won outstanding reviews for his supernatural thriller which has drawn comparisons to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Come see why this novel is consistently on the Amazon horror bestseller lists. 

        More About The Book
        Gunhus deliver a taut supernatural thriller...the powerful Nate Huckley terrifies, and the assorted cast of human antagonists add to the white-knuckle tension. All the chops of an action-packed horror tale. - Kirkus Reviews
        Special Price Cut The book is now on sale for 99 cents. 

        When Richard Corbett bought a modest flight school at the Modesto, California airport in 2007, he thought his dreams had come true. This from a man who’d made a career out of fulfilling his life’s admittedly lofty ambitions. 

        More About The Book
        Up, Up, and Away is an interesting story about a man who wanted to participate in free enterprise, and worked hard to make his business dreams a reality, but what he got instead was simply un-American. Running up against blatant corruption holding hands with Modesto government (no surprises there), Richard Corbett did all that he could to play by the rules. Unfortunately for him, the rules only apply to those who don't already have city officials in their pockets.

         Special Price Cut $9.99

        Now that you've ready about these wonderful authors, make sure to place your vote today for a chance to win an iPad Mini from Reader Spoils!

        Ready For Your Chance To Win?
        Children Teaching Mama is excited to offer you a chance to win this amazing prize thanks to Reader Spoils
        Enter To Win An iPad Mini
        One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries to receive a 16GB white iPad Mini valued at $339.99! To enter, complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to vote for your favorite book AND come back for daily entries! Good Luck!
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        Open to U.S. Readers Only.
        Ends on Sunday, September 15th at 11:59pm

        Friday, August 30, 2013

        My Kind Of Foodie Town-Chicago

        Took this pic on the way to Streetfood Artistry from the L train

        As many of you know I'm from Chicago.  I love Chicago.  For me it's the perfect city.  So when I knew I was going home this summer, I made it a point of making sure to try some new foods.  I tried to get to as many places as I could. The weather was perfect this summer.  Not too hot or cold.  Made traveling around the city quite easy.  Unfortunately time got away from me and I ended up not going as many places as I would have liked.

        Jerk 312 Fries

        Puffs of Doom Puffs

        I won a ticket to StreetFood Artistry.   I was excited to go because I wasn't able to make it to the Taste of Chicago this year.  I was a little disappointed that the free ticket didn't include a wristband so I could partake in drinking alcohol and that there weren't more food trucks.  One of the food trucks I did like there was Jerk 312.  I tried the delicious spicy jerk fries.  They were spicy, but not so spicy that I couldn't enjoy them. The Fat Shallot had a a grilled cheese with caramelized onions and spinach.  That was really good.  I only got a half and wished I had gotten a whole sandwich.  The lemon gelato from Gelato D'Oro was refreshing.   Puffs of Doom is a great idea, but I wish I liked them more.  I tried the maple bacon vanilla and peach cobbler.  The peach cobbler wasn't sweet enough for me.  The maple bacon vanilla was ok. I think they would have tasted better warm too.

        The Fat Shallot Grilled Cheese

        Before my husband and I went to see Book of Mormon which was awesome, we went to an old favorite My Thai. I had the pineapple curry shrimp.  It was delicious. Lots of flavor and plenty of shrimp.  What I love about My Thai is that it's never difficult to get a seat, the food is served quickly, it's inexpensive and good.

        Gelato D'Oro Lemon Gelato

        Of course I did have some deep dish pizza.  I went to my favorite place Giordano's where it's called stuffed pizza.  I had the stuffed spinach.  It's like eating a piece of heaven.  Giordano's is my favorite place to have pizza.
        My favorite pizza stuffed spinach from Giordano's!

        I took the kids to Home Run Inn after the last day of camp.  The kids had chicken and burgers.  I had the Wild Rice Orzo salad.  It has wild rice, orzo, nutty wheat berries, cranberries, corn niblets, toasted almonds and bell peppers dressed in a red wine vinaigrette sweetened with Stevia.  It was good, but I think it would have been better served warm.  

        I managed to catch one food truck in the Loop.  Flirty Cupcakes never lets me down.  The kids had the oreo cupcake.  I had the Beached Coconut.  It had a thick layer of sweet coconut frosting.  The cupcake was moist.  Loved it.  
        Beached Coconut Cupcake

        Went to lunch with my friend Paula at Kikuya Japanese restaurant in my favorite neighborhood Hyde Park.  I had the combination platter with salmon teriyaki and California roll.  The salmon was a bit charred the way I like it.  The teriyaki sauce was perfect.  I wish it included more vegetables. California roll was delicious. 

        Summer isn't over.  If you are a foodie and are coming to Chicago there are still many foodie events to attend.  Just check out The Local Tourist events calendar.  Also Chicago Gourmet is September 27-29.

        Not sure if we will be going home next year. The next time we go to Chicago I want to try more restaurants and food trucks.  I would like to spend all of my time doing that!  A Foodie's dream!