Beauty Box 5: Your Link to Pink

Pink may not be a typical color for Autumn, but it has become the color for October. As you may well know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Like most women, it’s a very important cause for me, not just as a woman, but as someone who has numerous family members that have been effected. My mother-in-law & multiple aunts have all survived this monster health issue.
To celebrate survivors everywhere, Beauty Box 5 is in a Pink State of Mind! Now, I need to point out that due to postal issues, I didn’t receive my box until the 22nd, but it couldn’t be helped. Regardless, there’s enough of October left to enjoy our Beauty Box!
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As you may have guessed, every item included is pink! First up, we have the neatest looking Kabuki brush I’ve seen. Ferro Cosmetics brings us the ‘Pink Rhinestone Kabuki Brush’. So soft that you’ll want to cuddle it, this brush works very well with Mineral Foundation. It holds the powder well & evenly distributes it. Although it has an MSRP of $25, for the quality of the brush, I’d say it is easily worth the money. Plus, with its unique color theme, it’s simply cool to use.

20151021_130742Happy Hands has included their Makeup Cleansing Cloth. With just water, it wipes impurities such as your make-up away. I’ll agree that it is gentle to the skin. I did have a bit of a hard time removing darker eye makeup without leaving behind a ‘shadow’ of it. It comes with an MSRP of $3.99 which is pretty close to the amount one would spend on makeup removal cloths from other manufactures which are disposable & supply more than one cloth.

20151021_130811Styli-Style’s ‘Perfect Pout Long Lasting Lip Balm’ definitely goes on smoothly. I’d call the color ‘vibrant’, for sure. A little too vibrant for me. Perhaps it was the particular shade of pink. It looked very 1980’s on me. Hopefully, not everyone would have the same experience. It’s competitive with an MSRP of $4.99. As for its long-lasting claim, it lasted as long as the majority of balms of tried which is, it stayed put until I ate or drank.

Knotty Hair Ties are simply adorable! They give that youthful feel without making you look like you tried too hard. Very feminine with their ‘Think Pink’ theme, they don’t snag or knot. My hair is beyond ‘fine’ & they stayed put for me. I’d say they’re a perfect stocking stuffer for the girls in your life. With an MSRP of $4, they’re affordable & comfortable- two of my favorite qualities!

Nubar finishes up our Pink box with a Nail Polish Mini. Again, the color was simply not for me, but Nubar does produce quality polishes in general. I would recommend it for a Breast Cancer event such as a mani/pedi session for chemotherapy patients. It’s also feminine & easy to apply. It’s MSRP is $4.99, making it an affordable way to show support.

Beauty Box 5, a monthly subscription service, provides a box of 5 products, delivered via USPS. For $12 a month, each month brings a fabulous surprise directly to you. No driving. No fuss. In October’s box alone, there are 4 FULL sized products. Add it all up. You’d have paid way over $12 to try these products.

With the holidays approaching, a subscription would make a terrific gift. Visit http://www.beautybox5.com. You’ll find full product info as well as how to order your own.

I received the aforementioned products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

 

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find a family not impact by bullying. Whether or not your child has been directly impacted, they no doubt know someone who has been bullied.
I’ve spoken more then once about the bullying that both my youngest son & I experienced. Start early to teach kids that it is not okay to bully and if you are the one being bullied, don’t be silent! We have to lose the mentality that it’s just a part of childhood or kids being kids.
To their credit, two specific companies are doing their part to education & support anti-bullying efforts.
Mother Trucker & Co. – 10% of all limited edition Anti-Bullying hat purchases (“Don’t Be a Richard” and #bekind) in October will be donated to Pacer.org

Move over boys! There’s finally a truckin’ hat with just the right cheeky attitude for those high-spirited women on your holiday list! Taking a totally new spin on trucker hats, the Mother Truckers (www.mothertruckerco.com) are cool must-have accessories with lively, sassy and fun-loving messages befitting any proud woman wearing them.

Baby’s Brilliant – A portion of all in-app proceeds during the month of October will benefit Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center in honor of National Anti Bullying Month. Their new book, It’s Alright to Look Different, is a perfect fit for any anti-bullying features you’re working on. The Baby’s Brilliant App offers a variety of educational and entertaining videos and music for the parent on the go. Created by a busy mother of three, the app introduces babies to the world around them in an enriching and playful way, teaching them concepts like letters, numbers, colors and relaxing them at nap time and bedtime. Invest in your children and a good cause at the same time. http://www.babysbrilliant.com

*All info on the companies was provided by their PR.

Where the Wild Roses Grow: Willow Rose

Emma Frost #10
Best-selling author Emma Frost takes a much needed vacation, to Ireland, with her long-time boyfriend, Morten. Checking into a quaint bed & breakfast, the two believe they’ll have time to themselves, child-free. Despite the beauty of the town of Enniskerry, Emma & Morten will not have a relaxing vacation.

During a leisurely walk, Emma & Morten discover a body. Found floating in the water, one could easily discern it to be a typical drowning, most likely accidental. But, in Emma’s world, things are rarely as they appear. Closer inspection reveals that the corpse is carrying a unique item. Between her teeth is a single, red rose.

For whatever reason, Emma feels compelled to delay her relaxation & find justice for this young woman. No one seems to know anything &, honestly, no one seems to care too much. So when a second body turns up that mirrors the death of the first young lady, Emma decides it’s up to her & Morten to figure it out.

Under the guise that she’s simply writing a book about the deaths, they dive in headfirst. What they didn’t count on was the depth to which the town of Enniskerry will go to in order to hide its secrets. Residents are determined to protect things that aren’t known to the general public. Justice in this case will require Emma to go head-to-head with a shady Police Inspector, grieving families, & even the local Church. Is she in too deep this time?

I was thrilled with this installment of the Emma Frost series. Mystery & suspense take center stage in this one. I also appreciate that Willow Rose utilized a very unique plot that was based on actual events. After readers finish the novel, they’ll be equally stunned by that fact. Willow Rose has also toned down on the sex & violence quite a bit in this work. Previously, these two elements came close to overshadowing her talent. Thankfully, the true value of her writing abilities are evident in ‘Roses’.

An enjoyable read, I give it a full 5 star rating.

The Valentine Children’s Summer Adventures :Dianne Sibéal Donahoe

timthumbIntroducing a Foreign Language to children can be great fun for them but daunting to parents. Combining story time with introducing new, foreign words can often be the best of both worlds. During the elementary years, even the smallest child will sit & look at pretty pictures. In ‘The Valentine Children’s Summer Adventures’, Dianne Sibéal Donahoe has provided a forum for introducing simple French words while capturing children’s attention with large, colorful illustrations.

Together, you’ll meet the Valentine children along with their farm animal companions. Each page brings everyday words in French & English. Predominately, the book is in English. Every new word is accompanied by the correct pronunciation is parenthesis with its meaning. If you found French troublesome in High School, take heart. These are very easy to pronounce for you and your child.

Young readers will enjoy the tales of events in the Valentine’s lives. They are part of a large family & we meet them all. From beekeeping grandparents to a little bird who needs glasses, each chapter has its own adventure. My personal favorite is the horse, Puccini, who loves opera & adores the children. Also included are two sister cats, a loving bird family, & of course, tales of an enchanted city.

While it could technically be called a chapter book, it isn’t lengthy & about 50 pages total. This includes illustrated, full pages. It is completely family friendly for all ages. If you’re looking for either a foreign language intro book for your homeschool reading corner or a fantastic new book for bedtime, this may be the one for you.

Full info is available through http://www.diannedonahoe.com/.
Picture belongs to the author. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

“Learn, Absorb & Praise Classic Collection” From Graham Blanchard

The greatest gift you can give to your children is instilling in them a love for God. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it’ we’re told in Proverbs 22:6. How true! In my opinion, the second greatest gift you can give your kids is a love of reading. When you have a way to combine the two, you’ve hit the proverbial jackpot.

Graham Blanchard, a Christian publishing company, knows these to be fact as well. Starting early is key. I read to my kids from the day we brought them home as infants from the hospital. Quality board books get babies & toddlers acclimated to the reading process.
By combining sound Biblical principles with beautifully illustrated board books, caregivers can be confident that their little ones are learning & enjoying themselves.
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Malice in Christmas River: Meg Muldoon

A lot of people in Christmas River will be on Santa’s naughty list this year. Newlywed Cinnamon has branched out from piemaker to instructor by offering pie making classes. While waiting to leave for her postpones honeymoon trip, she tries to teach the secrets to baking the perfect pie. However, if we know anything of Christmas River, it’s that nothing stays quiet for long.
During one of her classes, two housewives rekindle their long-simmering feud. Words & pie fly- right in front of a newspaper reporter. Instead of showcasing her pies, the women become the focus. Both are the wives of men running for mayor. Without even trying, Cin ends up smack in the middle of the drama. But, that isn’t her only brush with recent drama.
Kara, her lifelong best friend, hasn’t been herself lately. Distant & moody, Kara seems discontent with everything in her life. Cin thought that finding John was the answer to Kara’s problems; however, Kara’s pushing John away. All Cin knows is she has to get to the bottom of what’s bugging Kara? Even her best friend will have to take a backseat when Daniel, Cinnamon’s husband, is badly injured while patrolling the rodeo.
According to all involved, it was an accident. An unattended bronco got lost & Daniel was caught in its path. While he lays in the hospital, Cinnamon worries that someone intentionally let the horse loose. Being Sheriff can lead to having many enemies. Who could be that upset with Daniel?
This installment in the series has definitely a hodge podge of events. Of the three main events, any of them could be its own plot. It was nice to see the character development of Kara. She’s been the Robin to Cinnamon’s Batman & we knew very little about her. Now, it seems she’ll take a more active role in upcoming books.
Once again, we see the inept police department having to be helped along by the Sheriff’s wife. Daniel is portrayed as, essentially, a one man police force. It concerns me any time I read of our law enforcement community being portrayed as bumpkins. They may not all be roses but they get enough bad press. I don’t know of any officer who’d jump every time his boss’s wife said to jump.
The storyline with the mayoral candidates’ wives was good. In all honesty, it would’ve been the only ‘mystery’ in this book. It really spoke to the ‘malice’ in the title. Both sides were believable & made up a substantial portion of the plot. All in all, it was a decent read with less mystery than simply fiction. It’s a 3 star rating from me.

The Codex: Daniel Patterson

Readers first met Zack Cole when he searched Guatemala for an elusive Bible. Now, he’s trading sultry jungles for chilly temps. Greenland’s Ice Sheet has almost completely melted. Being that it’s rare enough to only happen every hundred years, the ground underneath is unchartered territory. No one knows what might now be exposed. Zack’s grandfather was enamored with the area & believed there were huge archaeological discoveries to be made. To honor his memory & seek adventure, Zack enlists the help of longtime friend, Father Giovanni. Giovanni agrees to bankroll the expedition. However, he adds a stipulation. If Zack wants to go, he will have to be accompanied by an assistant. But, this assistant is also Giovanni’s niece.

Preferring to work alone, a reluctant Zack takes Sydney with him. Little does the duo know that they’re about to make one of the biggest archaeological discoveries in recent history. Unfortunately for them, they may be the only two to know about it. Facing death, a deadly local legend, & some unscrupulous fortune hunters, God will have to intervene in order to keep them alive.

‘The Codex’ is a fantastic blend of history, mystery, & action. Daniel Patterson, again, has chosen a historical path that is unique. I loved the locale & it’s cultural history. Zack plays the flawed hero wonderfully while his novice sidekick keeps him grounded. Sydney is a tough cookie with a lot of heart, a lot of faith in God, & a quick wit. At times, they make reckless choices but, in the excitement of the discovery, it’s almost expected.

It isn’t an incredibly long read, but it’s full of action. All the historical references fit into the plot without feeling forced or boring. It added a nice element through the plot. I’m hopeful that Daniel Patterson will give us another in this series very soon. If he keeps writing 5 star novels like this, then I will remain a huge fan of his work.