28 June, 2015

Trilane Retinol and Vitamin C Squalane #Anti-Aging #Moisturizer #Review

     Boy, am I in need of an eye doctor visit.  I get these "migraines" that don't even come with pain, but they make it super hard to see, like looking through bad heat waves for a half hour or so until it goes away.  They're becoming more and more frequent.  They're so frustrating and they make me squint worse than usual while I try to focus through it, and I'm a pretty bad squinter to begin with.
     The proof?  My nice squint lines.  Ugh.  I've heard it called "elevens", but as you can see, it's not two parallel lines like most, but one deep line that is a bit more noticeable.  Then of course I also have all my forehead wrinkles from squinting all the time.  They don't bother me so much yet, but I'm still pretty young and I'm sure they will bother me more over time.
     So when I had the chance to try a sample of Trilane Retinol and Vitamin C Squalane Anti-Aging Moisturizer, I was definitely interested in the opportunity.  Big apologies to Healthy Directions for dragging my heels a bit on telling people what I think of it.  I intended to get to it sooner, but life got in the way.
      My very first impression was that it was essentially oil.  It felt and looked like baby oil without the scent.  I almost didn't want to even try it because I didn't want my face to break out.  But I did try it because that's my job.  *wink*  I rubbed it onto my face and neck as directed.  It felt a little greasy and I wasn't sure that I liked the feeling.  However, it didn't feel heavy or anything, I only felt the greasy feeling when I touched it with my hands.
     After several days of using it, I was surprised to find that not only was my face not broken out, but that my skin looked healthier and younger.  I wish more photos were taken of me on a regular basis, so I could show the difference better, but it's definitely a better look.

      Okay, so notice how in the first one, my skin looks very dry, but in the second one, it doesn't?  And no break-out?  Pretty cool.  I haven't had much luck in the past with moisturizing and not causing my skin some irritation.  But this one doesn't at all.  I'm kind of blown away by that.
     I haven't noticed a huge difference in my lines and wrinkles yet, but I'm feeling really optimistic about it.  Overall, I'm not sure if I would or wouldn't recommend this product over other anti-aging products, but I would recommend it as a moisturizer.
     Until December 31st, readers of Just 10 More Minutes? can save 20% off their first purchase of Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C sold by Healthy Directions on Amazon.com. Pretty neat, huh?
     How do you keep moisturized?

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

21 June, 2015

MacX Video Converter Pro #Giveaway

     For the last few years I have been telling my kids that I will make them discs with music videos and such on them to watch whenever they want to.  The idea is to make Boog and Baby Bee some educational but fun video discs with nursery rhymes and such, Make the older 3 a disc with music videos, and make a few family geared ones with movie shorts or something.
     Problem is that I couldn't figure out just how to get it done.  I mean, I'm not ignorant when it comes to techy stuff, but it's certainly not my forte either.  But I do know that this giveaway would definitely be the tool for the job.  But since tech talk isn't my forte, I'm gonna let the website description do most of my talking for me.  So check out just what this giveaway entails:

MacX Video Converter Pro - feature-rich, high quality and blazingly fast video converter for Mac OS, iPhone, iPad and iTunes.

Convert HD M2TS MKV AVC TS To iPhone iPad Android
Built in 320+ video codecs and 50+ audio codecs, MacX Video Converter Pro brings you an all-in-one solution to convert HD & SD videos among MKV, M2TS, AVCHD, H.264/AVC, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, 3GP etc, so that you can play videos on iPhone 6/6 Plus/5S/5C/5, iPad Air 2/Mini 3/iPad 2/3/4, iPod, Android. Optimized kernel tech guarantees 83X fast speed and high quality image. Free to customize videos: cut, trim, crop, merge, add subtitle and watermark etc. 

Download Online Videos, Make Photo Slideshow, Record Screen
Works for online video: download online videos from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Vevo, Dailymotion, and 300+ video sites in one click. Make funny photo slideshow, and create video gallery by recording on-screen activity freely.

     Yup, that's right, here on Just 10 More Minutes? we'll be giving away 10 licenses for MacX Video Converter Pro.  This giveaway is for MacOS only.  Sorry Windows users, trust me, I feel your pain.  I envy whoever wins these.  So without further ado... let's get started!
     To enter, just complete the steps in the RaffleCopter below.  That's it, super easy!

Abigail and the North Pole Adventure #Book #Review

     I've been thinking for a while now how awesome it would be to have a theme night or theme week each month when my family would just immerse ourselves in another culture.  Decorate the living room, eat only cultural dishes, learn a few words in that language, maybe learn a dance or dress the part, maybe a craft or two... how fun that would be!  Can you imagine easting fish and fry bread while we sit in our suede winter coats in our cardboard igloos?  Awesome!
     And of course we would take the time to read up on that culture.  Luckily I acquired some pretty amazing encyclopedias from my grandmother and a ton of other super helpful reference books, but they can be a bit old for the younger kids.  Young kids want to learn without being overwhelmed. 

     That's why I really like Abigail and the North Pole Adventure, written by Tali Carmi and illustrated by Neda Fuchedzhieva.  It's geared for younger kids and helps them learn about the Eskimo lifestyle in a fun and easy way.  The book teaches kids about where Eskimos live, how they keep warm, and where they find their main source of food.  It even shows what kind of animals they live with.
     The book is about a girl named Abigail.  Her grandparents own a magical bike and book that she uses to explore different areas of the world.  This time, she chooses to explore the North Pole.  While there, she learns about the culture, makes friends, and gets to help a little polar bear out of a dangerous situation.
     To be honest, at first I thought the idea of a magic bike was a little weird, but then I realized that it's not any more weird than a magic dragon scale, like in Dragon Tales, or a magic tree house, like the popular kids books my daughter reads.  So I got over that idea pretty quickly and just enjoyed the adventure.
     The illustrations are a little more simple than older children's books, which help smaller kids to focus without the visual clutter.  I definitely feel like it's a great way to introduce different cultures to young children, and that's something I definitely want to do with my kids.  So I recommend this book to pretty much any families with children.
     Have you ever celebrated different cultures at home?  What is your favorite way to celebrate?

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

15 June, 2015

Terry Treetop and the Little Bear #Book #Review

     We've lived in our home now for almost 7 years.  In that time, we have had flocks of turkeys cross our yard each morning for months on end, we've had racoons and skunks grace us with their presence each night, we've had deer, bobcats, hawks, and other wildlife.  For the last couple years we have had a flock of pigeons in our yard, among many other birds who stay and come back each year.  We have no lack of wildlife here.  This week we have had a first though, and I wish I were here to see it, as it would have been my first ever sighting outside of a zoo.  A black bear walked across our front yard and into the woods.  A BEAR!!!  In our front yard!    I think it might have had something to do with the can of tuna that was put out for our missing cat.  It kinda makes me want to put out more tuna.
     Of course we told the kids so that they would be very careful and stay together and away from the tree line.  We always make sure that they know about the dangerous animals that we see.  They spend a LOT of time outside playing and we don't ever want to discourage that, but it's very important that they know how to be aware of their surroundings when living so close to the woods.
     This newest book of ours came at just the right time for our little missed encounter.  Terry Treetop and the Little Bear, written by Tali Carmi, is about a little redheaded, freckled, outdoorsy kid named Terry.  Terry is so happy that it's springtime, and as he's looking around and taking it all in, he sees a little bear cub come into his yard.  He wants to play with the cub until he sees that the cub isn't alone.  Mama Bear is close by and doesn't trust humans.  As she gets the young bear to head into the woods, the baby ends up getting trapped and is in need of help.  Terry is just the boy for the job and teaches Mama Bear that maybe little humans aren't so bad after all.
      There are several things I like about this book, besides being a cute children's book.  First is the illustrations, colorful and engaging, my kids are drawn to that style art and so am I.  Second is the storyline.  Terry knows that he needs to help animals and treat them with respect, but he also knows to be cautious when dangerous animals are involved.  It's a wonderful story for my kids and for any family.
     When I first saw this book, I thought it looked familiar, and that's because I already own the e-book Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg, from the same series.  That book is pretty cute as well and also shows Terry helping animals.  I think this whole series looks like one I would be happy to own for my family and at only $1 per book, you really can't go wrong.  I definitely recommend it!

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Fabness 10x15 #Canvas #Review

Streaker finding frogs at the lake, 2015.
     I am so glad that summer vacation is here.  No more waking up at 6am and running around like a headless chicken looking for clean pair of underwear or that missing notebook.  No more struggling to make sure the kids are in bed early enough for ample sleep before said early morning.  No more stressing about missing the bus or worrying about the kids coming home with yet another complaint about the way X, Y, or Z treated them at school or on the bus that day.  No more, just fun.  And this year, we are planning to definitely work on our 365 list from a couple years ago.
Enjoying our season pass to the lake, compliments Girl Scouts of America, 2015.
     For our family, it also means photo time.  Photo shoots are just the start.  The kids do tons of fun things in the summer that I can't wait to capture.  Things like hikes, sports, playground, parks, camps... we fill our summer vacation right up.  I think when my kids move out, they'll each have a whole bookshelf full of photo albums to go with them.  I have so many ideas for what I want to do with these photos.  My latest idea is to print out a canvas of each of the kids, then surround that canvas with smaller prints.  Kinda like this, times 5:
Image result for big canvas surrounded by small
Photo Via: MotherEarthNews.com
     My hallway would look amazing!
Punky during a Girl Scout Photo Shoot after a day of pampering.
     I think I'm definitely going to go with a  quality printer for those canvases.  I've tried out a few canvas printers and I think, although all of them were pretty nice canvases, that I'm gonna have to go with Fabness on this project.  Fabness seems slightly better quality than others that I've tried, and they have constant deals going on.  Just in the month or so since I've become an affiliate, I've seen at least 4 different deals for various days.  I believe there was one for Memorial Day, one for Father's Day, a couple others for various things.  These sales all run anywhere from 60-83% off!  Right now, there is a sale for Father's Day for 70% off  canvas prints with free shipping if you use the code DADSDAY2015.  Make sure you use that code if you want the free shipping!
Baby Bee at the shed for a photo shoot, 2015.
     After the winter finally ended this year, we were so excited to see grass that we decided to do a shoot.  While doing the shoot, we tried some places that we don't normally use and we realized that the old shed out back makes an EXCELLENT prop.  The spring shoot is the set that I am deciding to go with for my hallway canvas project.  I need to take a photo of Boog to match the rest of the set, but for now I will work with what I have.
     When I signed up for the Affiliate Program, I had the chance to receive a canvas for free to test out and tell people about.  I decided to go with a photo of my oldest daughter, The Big One.  It is one of my favorites of her ever taken.
     The very first thing that I noticed, besides how quickly it came in the mail, was the awesome framing and canvas quality.  It feels like the canvas itself is a thicker material than others.  The frame feels more sturdy and less likely to break or weaken.  There are 21 staples in all connecting the canvas to the frame.  The canvas has care instructions printed right onto it so you don't have to hold onto a paper for forever or worry about forgetting how to take care of it.
     The second thing I noticed was the level of detail.  As I held it and looked at it, I noticed a strand of hair across The Big One's face that I didn't notice before, even while editing the photo.  I also noticed one of those gross "sleepy seeds" in the corner of her eye that will forever bug me.  Point is, the detail in a Fabness canvas print is amazing.
     The next thing that I noticed was that the hanger was hanging from a baggie by a staple in the frame.  It went in super easy with slight taps from a hammer.  All you have to do is line up the little dot of the hanger with the middle marker line of the canvas to make sure everything is centered.  As you can see, I didn't realize that and just eyeballed it.  It's slightly off, but I just hang it from a different tooth.
       Overall, I think that the canvas is definitely worth the purchase.  The one I got was 10x15, usually $72.  With the 70% off Father's Day sale, it is knocked down to about $21.60.  I think any photo loving mom should check it out for sure.  I'm so glad that I did!
Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

04 June, 2015

The Animal Game #Review

DISCLAIMER: I received this product free in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.
     When The Big One was 14 months old, she knew how to talk, could point to pretty much every body part, and could do flashcards like no one's business.  It wasn't long after that she could tell you every shape's name.  I spent all my free time talking with her and teaching her.  Now that I have 5 kids, I just don't have free tome anymore.  Boog is 2 1/2 and doesn't know his colors yet, animal names, only just learned his sister's REAL names.  He's not at all slow to learn, I just never think to teach him.
     When I do get the urge to help my kids learn new things, I like the concept to be fun and simple.  With Baby Bee, we traced invisible letters with our fingers in the air.  With Streaker, we wrote the alphabet every Sunday in the church pamphlet while the pastor did his morning welcome.  I did different things with different kids, depending on what they liked.
     When I was introduced to the Animal Game by Christine Alexandria, I thought the idea behind it was a pretty cute one.  Farmer Johnson needs help finding his animals so that he can put them into the barn for the night.  He asks you to help find an animal based on a couple clues about the animal.  The clues are geared probably for a 3 year old, though the description on Amazon says ages 2-6.  I think most 6 year olds would be too old for this book.  However, my very newly 5 year old did enjoy this, even though it was a bit easy for her.
Baby Bee loves Piggies, so the first animal of the book captured her interest.
     Boog found some animals, and couldn't find others.  This book doesn't come in print that I can tell, but it is printable and can also be read at the computer, so we will go back to it often.  It only takes a few minutes to read, which I love because even on busy days I can help him learn.  Soon he will know his colors and animal names and even what sound they make.
     Boog and Baby Bee both liked the game quite well and Boog even threw a fit when I put the game away to work on some photo edits.  He fussed until I printed a page of the book out for him, which he loved.  I think this game book is kinda cute and definitely exciting for preschoolers.  You can find The Animal Game HERE.  Christine Alexandria also wrote the book A Trip Through Space, which you can find HERE.
     What fun learning games do you play with your kids?

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
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