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.

Can NOT leave out Girl Scouts

     Okay, so if any of you have children in Girl Scouts, you know that it's not necessarily free.  However, on the application, there is a super important box for parents who need it to be.  Girl Scouts of America provides financial assistance to any child who can't afford the membership fee.  And of course, sometimes there are dues and if your troop requires it (thankfully ours do not) there are the uniforms.  There is also time invested in cookie sales, etc throughout the year and the gas involved in that.  But let's look at the pay-out.
     This was the only year that Punk got to be in Girl Scouts.  other years I didn't have a working vehicle at the time of sign-ups.  But this year ALONE:
     1.  She went on a hike through trails at the local lake and had a picnic.  Almost did it twice, but the black flies were ridiculous.
     2.  Went to an old-fashioned sock hop, sisters included.  It was a super fun time for them.
     3.  Spent the night with her mom (me) at the Museum of Science in Boston.  Granted, this one did cost me some money because we weren't a part of the previous fund-raising efforts.  I believe it cost us $83 to go to Boston from Maine and spend the night.  HUGE savings and well worth it.  I also brought spending money, which was optional.  We totally could have brought our own food and skipped the souvenirs and it still would have been amazing.
     4.  She went to a local art museum.
      5. Then she went to Sweet Frog for Ice cream afterward.
      6.  She participated in at-site cookie sales, helping her to gain confidence and interact in a healthy way with the general public.  This is huge because all of my kids are pretty shy in most situations.  Plus, it was 80's themed, so that's awesome in itself.  Who doesn't love a good costume party outside of Walmart?
     7.  Received coupons for free kids cones at the local ice cream shop for all of the kids in the house!  We used this in combination with the store's Dollar Days Mini Golf to get a super cheap fun time out this week.
     8.  Received a free family pass to the local lake.  This runs you $45 if you buy it yourself, so it was a huge blessing to have full year access to the lake.  We may or may not plan to go at lunch time because there is a free lunch program at the lake all summer long for anyone under 18.
     9.  Got to ride in a limo to a salon where she got her hair and nails done.  That day they also went to McDonald's, a local park, and had a photo shoot with yours truly.  It was a great day for them.
     10.  Learned recipes for organic smoothies from the lady at the local farmer's market and energy bites.
     11.  She painted art to hang in the house.
     12.  She planted herbs.
     13.  She made her own hula hoop (no photo for this one... her sisters lost her hoop).
     Other opportunities that she missed were making teacher's brunch (completely forgot about this one when the day came) and this awesome Frozen themed event.  It says $3, but it was free due to being sponsored by a local company... or something like that.  We didn't make it because our van went into a ditch on the way.  Darn ice patch.
     So even if we did pay the $15 membership fee, it would have paid for itself many, many times over, as you can see.  Luckily for us, we were able to get financial assistance.  So if you have a daughter, I highly recommend Girl Scouts, as it is a low cost/free way to get kids involved in lots of ways and in lots of areas.

20 June, 2015

Alphabet Photo Tour!

     The concept of this free summer activity is a pretty simple one, but it can be altered to be more difficult or more fun.  The idea is that you get a camera and find items that start with each letter of the alphabet and take a photo of each.  This can be made more difficult by making it a competition between 2 or more groups of people to finish first.  It could also be made more fun by making it a scavenger hunt on the go and finding these things around town.
     We chose to do it in our yard over Memorial Day Weekend a couple years ago and some of them were a little hard to find.  Here's what we got:
Airplane ride-on toy
Bouncy Ball
Clouds, of course
Easter bucket
Junk pile
Lawn chair

Quench... it's a stretch
Rainbow.  Do ya see it!?
"X" marks the spot.  Totally cheated on this one

     Alas, no "Z".  I intended at the time to get a photo of Boog after he feel asleep, for "Zzzzz", but didn't for some reason. When we play again, we will set a time limit.  Each photo will be worth 1 point and each photo that depicts a double letter word, such as "bouncy ball", "green grass", or "elephant ear" will be worth 2 points.  And any 3+ letter photos, like "rusty red roof" would be worth 5.  We might also split into teams or do it in a store or something to shake it up.  I think the game has a lot of potential to be fun, especially if prizes are involved.  Free prizes, of course... like getting to choose what movie to watch that night.
     Have you ever done an alphabet themed scavenger hunt?  How did you play it?  Any ideas for shaking this up some?
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