Review/Giveaway: Sticker You Custom Labels (Can/US) (09/04)


I was recently given the opportunity to sample some personalized labels from Sticker You. This company has an AMAZING online store which enables you to create custom made labels, decals, window clings, stickers or temporary tattoos. You think of the occasion, they have the product you need to make it truly your own. I was floored by the number of products that they offer. Having to choose one to review was difficult!

I reviewed some custom made vinyl labels which I made for kitchen use. One thing that I love to do is bake and cook for friends and family. A favorite gift around the holidays is to bake cookies, squares or bars and box them up in cute containers. It is always much appreciated, especially for “hard to buy for” relatives. The finishing touch is a customized label which shows that the baked creation is all YOURS!

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This is the container which I selected. It is soon to be filled with chocolate chip cookies and double chocolate chip cookies. (These are the favorites around our house!)

Another great idea that I saw on the Sticker Me site was jam jar labels. This was the first year that I ever tried making homemade jam, and at the time I did not have any cute labels. Next year, I will get some custom made jam jar labels from Sticker Me to dress up my creation.

If you are planning a wedding, then you should definitely check out Sticker Me’s offerings which can help personalize your big day. You can design your own custom made wine bottle labels or monogrammed labels for some cute party favors. Truly, your imagination is the limit.

If your school aged child is prone to losing their books, toys or clothes, you can also pick up some really cute personalized name labels to keep their stuff from going missing.

Check out Sticker Me’s online store for all their product offerings!

The generous folks at Sticker You are offering one of my winners a gift code! You can win 2 pages of custom made vinyl sticker labels in our new giveaway! Enter below, and good luck!


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.


Book Review: Time Out Of Joint


I recently read a book of historical fiction entitled “Time Out Of Joint: The Story of a Family” by Dorothy Shefer-Venson. The book is a work of fiction, but based on historical documents which came out of Germany during World War II. The story centers around the Von Dornbach family, who are a thriving Jewish family living in Hamburg during the early years of the twentieth century. After the First World War, the political climate begins to change with the formation of the Nazi Party, and so too the fate of this family becomes much less certain.

The family consists of the patriarch, Robert, a successful tobacco merchant and his wife and children. His daughter Grethe is a free spirit who rejects the traditional life of a young Jewish girl, and travels to Paris to live a bohemian life with her boyfriend Roman. Siegfried, the eldest son, is a promising young man who is suddenly struck with meningitis in his teens. Though he survives, his health, both physically and mentally, never quite recovers. The youngest child, Hermann, is a sensitive soul who prefers the pursuit of music to that of his study books. The parents are trying to steer their children into solid, traditional roles against the tides of change which are swirling all around.

The tone of this story is somber, and it was sometimes hard to read. It reminds us of a time during which horrific events caused the deaths of millions of innocent people. It is hard not to root for this family as they struggle to surmount incredible odds. Knowing that the facts of this book are rooted in reality only adds to the emotional impact of this work.

I genuinely liked this book and highly recommend it to people who are fans of historical fiction. It is definitely a book which packs an emotional punch. The characters, though they inhabit circumstances vastly different from my own, are achingly human and face the same types of insecurities that we all face.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

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.


Product Review: Foxbrim Hyaluronic Acid Serum


I recently had the opportunity to sample a new serum from Foxbrim. This particular facial serum contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). jojoba oil and green tea. Also of particular importance is the fact that this formulation contains no additives, fillers or parabens. And this product is NOT tested on animals. All good things indeed!

This company is very certain of its consumers satisfaction with this product. They are guaranteeing your satisfaction, or they will refund your purchase price 100%. That is an offer that you don’t see very often.

The idea of a facial serum is to moisturize, clarify and brighten your complexion by infusing it with vitamins and nutrients. It acts a base over which you can add your daily moisturizing cream.

I have been using Foxbrim Hyaluronic Serum for a few weeks. It has been incorporated into my nighttime cleansing routine. First I wash my face and remove my makeup. Next, I use a toner to remove any traces of extra dirt, oil or cosmetic product. After my face is dry, I apply a small amount of the Foxbrim serum to my face and neck. Then, after a few minutes to let it soak into my skin, I apply my nighttime moisturizer.

The consistency of this product was more like a gel than a traditional serum. You use an eyedropper to dispense the product from the glass bottle. It very easily absorbed into my skin. There was no stickiness or residue. Also, there was no detectable fragrance to this product.

I really liked Foxbrim Hyaluronic Acid Serum. I found that it was a really nice formulation in texture, and it makes my skin look great. The texture of my skin looked more even and bright. I would have no hesitation in recommending this product to others.

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.


Review/Giveaway: OXY Emergency Acne Vanishing Treatment Wipes (CAN) (08/16)


It is a common misconception that acne is a condition that only affects teens and young adults. Not true! While it is more common in the younger set, it can happen well into adulthood. I am a living testament to that! While I had horrible acne in my high school and college days, it has improved greatly. However, I still get breakouts, which is incredibly annoying!

Acne pimples are caused by bacteria which live in the upper reaches of the skin. The glands which provide oil to our skin become filled with bacteria, and inflamed. This creates the redness which we often see, and the “white” portion is the pus which the bacteria produce.

As a pharmacist, I see people of all ages who are looking for solutions to their acne problems, and OXY products are among the most common ones that I recommend. I was happy to see a new product that is being offered! OXY now makes Emergency Vanishing Treatment Wipes. They come in a compact little package, 30 wipes in all. These wipes contain benzoyl peroxide, which is the strongest acne fighting ingredient which you can purchase without a prescription. Benzoyl peroxide acts as a topical antibiotic to kill the bacteria which cause the blemishes.

OXY Emergency Vanishing Treatment Wipes use an advanced encapsulated technology that controls surface oils and works throughout the day to fight breakouts. The formula does not use alcohol, so when you use the wipes you will not feel any burning or dryness.

I tried these wipes when I had a breakout of pimples on my face and neck. Typically, I would use a wipe at night after I removed all my makeup. I dabbed the area really well and went to bed. After I woke up, I definitely noticed that the blemish looked smaller in size. The pimples cleared up quickly and left no scar. So that to me was a definite success!

Each package of OXY Emergency Vanishing Treatment Wipes contains 30 medicated wipes, and the package is resealable. It is a very compact product, and fits easily into your hand. It would easily fit into a purse, backpack or gym bag. You can find this product throughout Canada at all major pharmacies, mass merchandisers and grocers.

The kind folks at Mentholatum Canada are offering one of my Canadian readers an OXY/Phisoderm prize pack which consists of: the OXY Emergency Acne Vanishing Treatment Wipes, OXY Emergency Spot Gel, OXY Emergency Cleanser, Phisoderm Cleanser UP, and Phisoderm Cleanser DOWN. (ARV $50)


Good luck in our giveaway!

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.




Product Review: Roaring Springs Paper Products


Hard to believe the summer is half over, and the “back to school” sales have already begun. Wow! In some jurisdictions, kids are already back to school.

Even though I am no longer a student, I have always loved shopping the back to school sales. I am a junkie for new pens, highlighters and notebooks for my home office. When I learned that I would be reviewing some paper products from Roaring Springs, I was so excited!

The Roaring Spring Paper Company is an American manufacturer of paper products based out of Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania. They have an extensive selection of paper products including notebooks, file folders, binder accessories, legal pads and much more. Many of their products are made from recycled and sustainable paper.

One of the products I received is the CrossOver Multi-Function notebook.


It is a spiral bound notebook which can be used to take notes in both portrait or landscape mode. Both sides of the page have lines on them. A backlight effect creates a grid pattern which is useful if you are making graphs or designs. The pages are also perforated, which is a great benefit if you need to detach a page without making a mess. The cover is made of a sturdy cardboard and the pages are made from recycled paper.

Another product that I received was the Genesis Premium 5-Subject Notebook. It too is made from a sustainable sugarcane fiber paper. It has several useful features which would be useful for a high school or college student. All the pages are perforated for easy detaching. The cover is made of a durable vinyl, and the notebook is divided into five sections. Inside the notebook is a double pocket which is useful for putting handouts or small notes from class. This notebook is a good size, 200 sheets total.


Genesis 5-Subject Notebook

In the same product line, I also received a Genesis 1-Subject Notebook which was much the same as the 5-Subject Notebook. It had 80 pages, perforated paper, an interior double pocket, and one important feature for me: beautiful lilac colored recycled paper! I loved the color of the paper, it really appealed to my girlie side! And it’s just a little bit different from what you would normally see in a notebook. Thumbs UP! Incidentally, you can also get this notebook with light blue, pink, and light green shades of recycled paper.

Genesis 1-Subject Notebook

Genesis 1-Subject Notebook


Lastly, I received two Color Me notebooks.

ColorMe Notebook

ColorMe Notebook


These notebooks are designed for children. They have a black and white printed “color me” picture on the cover which your child can fill in and make their own. The lines in this notebook are wider to accommodate little kid hands. My own children loved these notebooks, and each of them confiscated one for their own use and colored the covers in.

I was really impressed by the quality of the Roaring Spring notebooks that I received. The covers are durable and would be a really good fit for elementary, secondary and college level students. They are also perfectly awesome for the home office user like me! I like that this company is based in North America, and that they have a commitment toward using recycled paper in their products.

If you want to learn more about Roaring Spring products, check out their Facebook page! There you can get interactive, and win some of their fabulous paper products!

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.


Review/Giveaway: Azure Naturals Ultimate Retinol Serum (08/04) (US)


What is a girl to do? The ravages of age wreak havoc on a girl’s face, and it seems like there’s always a “cure” that some company is purporting to be the next big thing. It’s easy to become skeptical.

However, if you read health publications that talk about aging skin, you will often read about the beneficial effects of retinol. This is not just the opinion of random skin care “experts”, there are actual scientific data which back this up. Ask a dermatologist if retinol will help the skin, and you will likely get a positive response.

A sentence from an article written in an online medical journal to which I subscribe reads: “Topical retinoids have been shown to improve the texture and fine lines of photodamaged skin” (citation can be accessed here)

When I was sent a sample of Azure Naturals Ultimate Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Serum to review, I was thrilled. I have long been a user of retinol containing products, and it was great to have a new one to add to my regimen! I had never used a facial serum that contained retinol before. Other anti-aging ingredients contained in this product include hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

I used this product at night, according to the label’s directions. I washed my face first using a mild (soap-free) cleanser. After patting my face dry, I applied the Azure Naturals Ultimate Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Serum. I waited about five minutes or so to allow the serum to absorb into my skin. After that, I applied my night cream.

This product absorbed into my skin really well, and did not cause any irritation at all. One of the side effects of some prescription grade retinol type products is that they can cause some redness and burning of the skin. However, this product produced none of these side effects at all. You can feel great about using this product as it uses a high concentration (2.5%) of retinol which gives your skin moisture, and helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even around your eyes.

I loved this product, and will continue to use it faithfully. My skin looks and feels great!

You can purchase Azure Naturals Ultimate Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Serum on Amazon.

The folks at Azure Naturals are generously offering one of my U.S. readers a bottle of Ultimate Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Serum to try. Enter our giveaway and good luck!


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.

Product Review: Nature’s Best Eye Treatment


I recently received a bottle of Nature’s Best Eye Treatment to sample. It’s easy to see the fatigue in a working mom’s eyes, just look at those big black bags! It’s impossible to get rid of them totally, but taking care of the delicate skin around the eyes is really important. A little bit of preventative maintenance (like moisturizing) can help try to mitigate the effects of aging.

The Nature’s Best Eye Treatment comes in a lovely package. It is a one ounce (30mls) bottle. You lift off the silver lid, and the product is dispensed by a pump. A small amount of the gel is all you need. I found that dispensing one pump of the gel was enough to cover the area around both eyes.

The product itself is a gel, colorless, and unscented as far as I could tell. It is non-irritating which is essential for the area around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is very thin, and so it is really important that an eye serum not contain any irritants.

The gel contains vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant that reduces the effects of damaging free radicals on the skin. The product is designed to help refresh the skin, protect it from the effects of ultraviolet radiation, pollutants, and free radicals on the skin. Vitamin C has also been shown to help smooth out the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines.

I used this product every evening after cleansing my face. I applied a small amount around the eyes using my baby finger. It absorbed very quickly. I found that after using this product for a few weeks, my eyes look brighter and less tired. That is a definitely plus for this busy mom!

You can purchase Nature’s Best Eye Treatment on Amazon.

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.

Product Review: Nature’s Best Body Lotion


I was recently sent a bottle of Nature’s Best Shea Butter and Japanese Green Tea Body Lotion by Mystelic Beauty to sample. I had never tried out this product before, but I had actually been looking for a nice moisturizer to use after I shave my legs, so it actually arrived at the right time!

This product comes in an 8 oz (240ml) pump bottle. The lotion is white, like most others, and delicately scented. It is not a very strong scent, but it’s something to be aware of if you have someone who is allergic to fragrance.

I used this body lotion for two different purposes: for application to my legs after shaving, and for application to my hands right before I go to bed. When I used this product, I noticed two things. Firstly, it was nicely scented but not in an overpowering way. It was not a typical “female” type fragrance, and this product could be used by either men or women. Secondly, I noticed that it absorbed nicely into my skin without living as greasy residue. Also, it did not sting when it was being applied. It’s amazing how often that I buy a moisturizer for dry skin, and I go to use it, and it actually stings when it goes on! This product was non-irritating and very smooth to apply.

I also applied this lotion on my younger son’s legs. He has eczema, and we have to moisturize his legs all year long or he tends to break out into red, irritated rash. When I used this product on him, it went on nicely, and there were also no complaints that it stung going on.

This lotion is formulated with shea butter, which is a very hydrating ingredient that can be used on many different skin types. Also among the ingredients are vitamin E and green tea, which are both anti-oxidants to reduce the effects of free radicals which can damage the appearance of the skin.

I really liked this product, and would highly recommend it for dry skin. It can be used for adults and children, men and women alike. You can purchase Nature’s Best Body Lotion on Amazon.

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.

Product Review: Nature’s Best Face Lotion


I recently tried out a product called Nature’s Best Face Lotion by Mystelic Beauty. It contains Vitamin C, which I know is a key ingredient for the maintenance of healthy skin, so I was very excited to try this product out.

First, I must comment on the packaging. It is a simple, very elegant looking bottle. I had it set out on my counter beside two other products in the same line, and all three of them lined up together looked lovely. You lift off the top (silver) lid, and simply use the pump to dispense a small amount of lotion.

The smell of this product was amazing! It was very delicately scented, not heavy in the least. It is a very light citrus scent. The smell did not linger, but it was very nice as I was applying the lotion.

I used this lotion as a part of my bedtime facial cleansing/moisturizing routine. First, I used my cleanser, then my vitamin C serum, then my retinol serum, and lastly the Nature’s Best Face Lotion to top it all off. The lotion itself is not heavy, it easily absorbs into the skin, but does not clog the pores. When I woke up in the morning, you could feel how soft my skin felt, and it was a very nice sensation!

Vitamin C is a huge part of my skin care regimen. Scientists have long known that vitamin C is a scavenger of free radicals, even when it is applied to the skin. The sunshine vitamin is also good for smoothing out the complexion of the skin and reducing the appearance of scars.

I am a huge fan of this product, and will be using it for a long time! It is a great product, and is not just for women. It can also be used by men who have dry, irritated faces. It is a non-irritating product, and an excellent moisturizer.

You can purchase this product on Amazon.

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.


Book Review: Postcards From the Hedge


I recently finished reading the book Postcards From The Hedge: Seasons in a Suburban Garden by Jill Appenzeller. This is a work of non-fiction. It is a book which spans the seasons in a single year, vignettes which are framed through the leafy lens of the author’s ever-changing suburban garden.

I must first disclose that I am not a seasoned gardener! I have a garden, and it is a bit “rough around the edges” to tell the honest truth. I must also say that the bulk of the work (like 95%) that goes into my amateur garden is done by my hard-working spouse who is happiest when he is outside.

The author is obviously a very keen gardener, and she seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of many species of grasses, trees and flowers. Many Latin species names are sprinkled throughout. If you are a gardener, then these names are probably fairly familiar. However, for the novice like me, the names went over my head.

However, it’s not really the point of the whole book. Really, the author talks about many different life experiences, and they just happen to be framed by the lens of the garden. It’s really a book of reflections, observations and humorous anecdotes about the author’s life at home. The experiences are universal and are ones to which all of us can relate.

One of my favorite stories is one in which the author meets the 4-year old boy who has just moved in across the road. He goes running scared from a few honeybees in the yard. The author instead uses the experience to teach the boy about the function of bees, how they help her garden, and why we need them around. It’s a sweet story, and one of those things that happens in life which you can’t plan for, but which bring immeasurable amounts of joy.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a light, enjoyable read, perfect for reading on the beach. It was a perfect companion to a lazy summer’s day. The themes that Appenzeller addresses are universal, no matter what your station in life, or whether you have a garden or not. She talks about the satisfaction that comes from hard work (the beautiful flowers in her garden!), and how hard it is to just stop and enjoy a day’s work (the proverbial idea that one should stop to smell the roses!).

I received an e-copy of this book to read, and I read it on a very early model Kindle, so I didn’t have any illustrations or photographs. I think the book would be really nicely complemented by some visuals.

You can purchase Postcards From the Hedge: Seasons in a Suburban Garden in either e-book form or hardcover version on Amazon.

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.