Category Archives: Product Reviews

Welcome to September

Bonus points if you can tell me what that’s from.

Anybody?

Ok, I’ll tell you. It’s from The Fantasticks, the first musical I ever saw. My mom and not-yet-stepfather were both in the show in community theater. That’s how they met. I was just a munchkin, and remember almost nothing about the show but that song. Funny how vivid some memories can be, right?

Here’s the song, in case you’re curious.

Happy September, friends.

So that last post was a doozie, wasn’t it? Not exactly happy fun town. But real, and honest, and to a point, just what I needed. There’s power in sharing and reaching out for help, even if it’s on a completely open and exposed forum like blogging. Or maybe that’s my ego talking. Either way, I feel better.

And it’s September. Which….really, is the unofficial start of fall. Right?

Right. I mean, pumpkin beers are out. Totally fall.

I know, I know. Who am I? I actually said to Jimmie a few days ago that I was ready for it to get cold. Blasphemy.

Usually I love summer, can’t wait for it to get here, don’t want it to end. Ever. I love the heat, the sun, the clothes, and the possibilities. But this summer has been a tough one, and frankly I’m ready to see it go. I’m ready for fall, I’m ready for layers and cooler temps and turning leaves. Maybe it’s that longing for the West that seems to have taken hold of my heart. Maybe it’s because I’m ready to put these last few months behind me. Maybe it’s that super cute vest I finally bought myself.

Maybe it’s fall.

I have ideas. Taking the majority of a week off work to do nothing…to just be….was needed. I didn’t do much of importance or excitement. Instead, I took care of myself. I did things I wanted…if I wanted. And by the end of the week I felt refreshed, refocused, and ready to face another week.

I colored, with the most gorgeous coloring book and pens.

?

This, friends, is the work of Johanna Basford. She’s got two books out, this one and Secret Garden, and a third coming out in October. They’re coloring books for adults, and they’re amazing. It took me a while to get this one – it’d been on my radar for months – because it took so long to come back in stock. It was worth the wait, and worth every penny. All $10 on Amazon. Buy it here. (No, I don’t get anything for this. Just being helpful.)

The pens are Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. Not going to lie, they were a splurge, but they were worth every penny also. I even ordered a second set in “nature” colors. They don’t bleed, they’re very fine tips, and the ink is pretty close to the cap color. They even come with a handy dandy built-in stand.

Linda and I had a picnic of epic proportions. I take credit for nothing but the wine (imagine that). I needed the girl time more than I knew.

picnic

I also worked on my gallery wall, figured out my 1980s sewing machine, read some books, and actually ate things that were good for me.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad – just tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a splash of olive oil and garlic powder. I was too lazy for the balsamic reduction.

It was productive, cathartic, and restorative, and now I have a plethora of blog ideas and life ideas and all sorts of other ideas floating around. From floating away to floating around. Huh.

I still have moments of darkness, and I’d be lying if I said I was back to normal. I’m not. I’m still struggling most days, and my anxiety has reared its ugly head again. But, I’m working on it. I’m exercising again (and in the mornings too!) because I need to stay sane. I’m looking at things with a creative eye again, seeing possibilities where before I saw problems. And I’m blogging. That’s a win right there.

Here’s to September.

Zoe's Corner: K9 Joint Relief

Zoe's CornerThis post should probably be called Lucy’s Corner – no, no, no, NOTHING has happened to the Zoester. But Lucy has gotten far more use out of this product than Zoe. So….ZoeLucy’s Corner?

A couple months ago we reviewed Pet Doctor’s Hip and Joint Supplement (read that review here). Then, we had another opportunity to try a second glucosamine supplement through Tomoson. Because we have 4 old, large, pupperoos, we’re all about trying products in exchange for a review. Supplements aren’t cheap, and it’s always a toss up whether you spend the money on something relatively untested or not. So we appreciate the review opportunity – and you can expect to see a couple more in the next few months. I figure this will help you make informed decisions too, right?

Right.

Anyway, back to ZoeLucy. Zoe’s in one of her picky eater phases, which is why Lucy has been the tester this time around. (I’m having to feed my dog WHOLE TURKEYS just to keep her from looking all skeletal on me. The things we do for love.) Lucy is 9, a husky mix, and our sweetest, hyperest dog.

Coleman Weatheredge TentLucy’s pretty healthy, other than a weird compulsion to eat the pads off her feet. Sigh. But she’s a large breed, and she runs over everyone and everything, so it’s just a matter of time before arthritis sets in. (Though to be honest, I don’t know that she’ll ever “go slow.”) So she gets to be our test puppy for K9 Joint Relief.

K9 Joint Relief contains glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, the trifecta for any decent joint supplement. This is a maximum strength formula, and is one of the highest combinations I’ve seen. Like most supplements, we need a ton for Lucy, but with a large dog that’s what you’d expect. Pricewise this is a little higher than some of the others, but still a reasonable $38 on Amazon.

One of the things I find interesting with this supplement versus others is that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. I’m not sure why that is, and frankly, I don’t trust it, so my bottle has been parked in the fridge. I’m sure it’d be fine, but I’m used to having it in the fridge anyway, so that’s where it is.

Lucy seems to be doing just fine on it. She wasn’t exhibiting symptoms before, so I can’t see any visible improvement, but I don’t have any reason to think it’s not doing exactly what it says it is! If I could get Zoe to eat it, then we might know….I’ll work on that.

You can check out K9 Joint Relief’s website, or purchase a bottle through Amazon. Don’t forget to shop AmazonSmile to have a portion of your purchase donated to the charity of your choice!

Happy Summer!


LC SummerYeah, yeah. Technically it’s still Spring. Details.

It’s warm, and to me, that means it’s SUMMER!!!!!!!!!! And besides, we’re past Memorial Day, which is really the unofficial start of summer anyway, right?

Speaking of Memorial Day, we tried to go camping. It was a beautiful weekend, and we were all excited. We packed up the truck, loaded the pups, and had all these awesome things planned to do. Like playing board games. Eating hamburgers. Napping. You know, the important stuff.

Unfortunately, Karma thought it would be funny if I came down with the plague while camping. I suffered through 2 nights, taking every medication known to man, before I finally admitted defeat. To his credit, Jimmie tried to get me to leave after like 7 hours, but I refused. I was going to beat it!

Karma’s laughing now, because a week later I’m still semi-sick. Which is a bit of a drag.

May has been a busy month. I’ve got about 6 things to catch you up on, but I’m working backwards because that’s more fun. Also because yesterday we went out on the lake and I tried this new sunscreen and I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. Seriously. You’ll see why in a minute.

But first, can we just stop for a moment and admire my handiwork? I push-mowed this last week, friends. All by myself. Gorgeous, right?

PushMowedYardIt was a workout I never want to repeat, so I’ve found someone to come mow the yard for us. Jimmie’s 100% on board with this plan. And before you give me grief about hiring out yardwork instead of getting a workout….you’re looking at, oh, a third of the yard? And it took me an hour and a half. No thank you. Once was more than enough.

Yesterday was another gorgeous day, and I wasn’t about to let a little bronchitis stop me from enjoying it. Case in point.

WattsBarLakeI mean, really. That shouldn’t even be legal. Look how gorgeous that is. Swoon.

Anyway, there really wasn’t much that was remarkable, other than the sunscreen – which I needed to review anyway, but which probably could have waited for a more interesting post if it hadn’t been so…..so.

OzNaturalsSunscreen

Oz Naturals was kind enough to send me a bottle of their Anti-Aging Mineral Sunscreen for review. It’s SPF30, all-natural, and vegan-friendly. The main ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, and it’s supposed to be non-irritating.

I’d never used a zinc sunscreen before, but a few things I read said it was good for sensitive skin. This stuff is more than I’d normally pay ($18). That said, I’m getting really over breakouts, so I’m willing to spend more if it works.

The first thing I have to point out is that the packaging is inconsistent. You guys know by now how much stuff like this bugs me. The box said to wait 15 minutes after applying before sun exposure. The bottle itself said wait 3 minutes. Argh. Either way, I didn’t follow directions because I put it on while on the boat…..cause I’m a rule breaker.

This sunscreen has no smell, which makes me kinda sad because I like sunscreen smell. At first it’s fairly normal sunscreen consistency. Not at all greasy, which is nice. Then you start rubbing it in, and realize that it’s pretty tough to rub in. And it leaves an incredibly white cast to your skin.

ZincSunscreenI put it on one arm, and then because I wanted to give it a fair shot, my face. And this, my friends, is why I couldn’t wait to tell you about this sunscreen. Meet Casey the Joker.

ZincOxideSunscreenThis photo is unedited. I hope you appreciate the honesty here.

So this sunscreen makes you look like a freak. BUT. I feel torn about it, because my arm and face felt great the entire time we were outside. They never felt hot. They never felt like they were burning. And sure enough, I didn’t get one speck of sun wherever I put this stuff.

I had regular Coppertone on the rest of me, so thankfully I don’t have a weird tan.

And, bonus, my skin hasn’t broken out – and with every other sunscreen, it would have by now. So Zinc Oxide definitely works. Now if I can just find one that doesn’t make me look like a freak. I’ll definitely keep this sunscreen, and use it on places that don’t matter…like my feet. Or the dog. The dog who had the time of her life yesterday.

HappyLakeZoeI absolutely adore this picture. I’m framing it and hanging it at work. She’s so happy!!!

If you’re interested in the sunscreen, Oz Naturals has a promo code at the bottom of the Amazon page.

What have you been doing so far this summer? What do you have coming up? Any recommendations for a Zinc Oxide sunscreen that doesn’t turn you into a ghost?

Gift Guide: Pop Chart Labs


Hellllo friends! It’s been a hot minute, hasn’t it?

I’m back from Montana and Shaky Knees and I’ve got oh-so-many things to share with you that I’m brimming with excitement. Can’t you tell? Brimming.

But first things first, I want everyone to know that I’m AHEAD on my Father’s Day shopping this year. (Nevermind that I totally missed his birthday and his card is still sitting on my table. Ahem.) Ahead.

A few weeks ago I received a really awesome poster from Pop Chart Labs in exchange for review. I’d never heard of them, but as soon as I saw their posters I knew I had to have one. I’m such a geek for anything even remotely resembling an infographic, and these posters are freakin’ awesome.

I got to choose, and because I wasn’t really thinking much besides “what’ll look cool in the house?” I chose the Giant-Size Omnibus of Superpowers.

Superpowers print

So before I tell you about the graphics, I’ve got to mention the product itself. These are a little pricey – for me – at about $30. I think the Superpower one is $35. But, as soon as I saw it, I realized….this is not your standard run of the mill Spencer’s poster. These things are printed on heavy 100 lb archival stock paper. In English, that means you’re getting something that’s art gallery quality. It comes packaged in a nifty little test tube, and each print is individually signed by the artists.

How cool is that??

Back to the Superpowers poster. This thing is the ultimate comic book fan gift. I mean….wow. It’s even fun for those of us who aren’t super fans. According to the website:

In its 3rd iteration, this is the universe’s most extensive charting of superpowers. The sprawling taxonomy of over 200 superpowers and 600 superheroes and villains spreads over six square feet. Powers from the mighty (Super Strength and Immortality) to the meek (Open Any Window) to the weird (Infinite Mouth Storage) are charted, along with the characters that wield these awesome abilities, spanning the past 75 years of comic book history from the giant publishers like Marvel and DC to indies like IDW, Image, and Dark Horse. And all of it is rendered in a design that pays tribute to the great cosmic covers of the Bronze Age of comics. ‘Nuff said!

Here’s a closeup:

Pop Chart Superhero CloseupSorry it’s blurry. My battery was dying and I’m too lazy to take a better one.

I had a lot of fun finding characters I loved, and then finding new ones I’d never heard of. Will o’ the Wisp? Junkpile? Yes, please.

We framed ours – in a ratty old poster frame – to make it look even more impressive. No, it’s not on my living room wall.

I like the Superpowers poster so much that I bought one for my dad for Father’s Day. He’s a camera buff, so I knew this one was perfect.

Pop Chart Cameras

There are coffee posters. Beer posters. Pasta posters.

For the music lovers, there are guitar posters. Rap name posters. Music note posters.

Cat posters, dog posters, sports posters, literature posters, shoe posters, flower posters.

Really, just check them out.

And let me know which one(s) you buy!!

Buy Pop Chart Labs posters on their website. Make sure you check out their housewares too – super cute stuff!!

Zoe's Corner: Pet Doctor Hip and Joint Supplement (Advanced Formula)


Zoe's CornerAww, my darling! Look at that face!! Isn’t she the sweetest?

Truthfully, that picture is at least 5 years old and she’s nowhere near as spunky most days. Sadness. But she’s my heart and I love her and I spoil her rotten. Which means that I’m willing to do a lot for her to keep her as healthy as possible.

Zoe’s 13, which is so amazing and so terrifying all at the same time. But, she’s in perfect health. Yeah, she’s got some doggie dementia, but other than that, she’s fit as a fiddle. Well, besides the arthritis.

A couple years ago we started the dogs on glucosamine supplements because our vet told us it would help with the arthritis pain. Just like humans! We had our dogs on a different brand for a while, but it was always a struggle to get them to eat their food once we’d poured the glucosamine on it. Happily, a few months ago there was an opportunity through Tomoson to review the Pet Doctor’s Hip and Joint Supplement, and we were able to snag some!

We’re pretty picky with our glucosamine. A lot of formulations are pretty weak, or they don’t include chondroitin and MSM. You really want the three ingredients together – glucosamine rebuilds cartilage, chondroitin lubricates the cartilage to keep it flexible, and MSM reduces inflammation in the joint. Cartilage + lubrication + no inflammation = happy puppies and less arthritis pain. Again, just like humans.

Only, you know, with more feet.

Anyway, we’ve tried tablets and we’ve tried other liquids. This is the first one that my picky eater will eat!

While it’s not a miracle, we do notice a difference when Zoe isn’t on glucosamine. She’s not quite back to puppy antics, but she’ll run and play, and she doesn’t have as much trouble getting up. Sure, she still struggles with stairs, and she’s running a lot more slowly these days. (The same could be said for me, to be fair.)

I’m pretty impressed with this glucosamine. The bottle is huge, and the price is reasonable ($25 for 32 ounces, which has lasted us 2 months and counting). My only wish is that it came with a marked cap, so I don’t have to use a measuring spoon. It would be much easier to just measure in the cap and pour, since the “spout” is fairly large and the glucosamine comes out quickly. It’s easy to overfill a measuring spoon. As with all liquid supplements, it needs to be stored in the fridge, but the bottle fits really well in the bottom of the door. I like that it’s not taking up valuable fridge (ahem, beer) space.

You can purchase the Pet Doctor’s All Natural Liquid Glucosamine – Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs through Amazon. Don’t forget to shop AmazonSmile to have a portion of your purchase donated to the charity of your choice!

Product Review: Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion

Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion 

Foxbrim’s Vitamin C Lotion is the lightweight, effective and natural solution for dry and under-nourished skin. Create eight-fold antioxidant protection while lightening sun spots and discoloration. Powerful antioxidants Vitamin C and Green Tea work in concert with Jojoba Oil + Shea Butter for natural moisture. Panthenol + MSM work to effectively restore and strengthen skin.

• Effectively lighten spots and discoloration
• Reduce wrinkle formation and existing wrinkles
• Refine and even skin texture 
• Promote skin cell turnoverKey Ingredients include:
+ Vitamin C (15%)
+ Aloe Vera
+ MSM
+ Shea Butter
+ Jojoba Oil
+ Green Tea
My Thoughts

This is the 4th Foxbrim product I’ve tried. I loved the first three. This one though? I’m actually not a fan.

I’ll be the first to admit that part of my lackluster review of the Vitamin C lotion might be because I genuinely LOVE the Ocean Mineral/Seaweed Complex Lotion (they changed the name recently). But the Vitamin C lotion just….didn’t do much for me.

Yes, it does moisturize my skin. I’ll give it that. But I get absolutely no brightening, no smoothing, and no noticeable lightening of dark spots. Now, maybe it doesn’t work on acne scars – maybe it only works on brown spots. If that’s the case, I’m the wrong person to review it, since I don’t have brown spots. As far as a moisturizer goes, though, this one is just so-so. I don’t think it’s as moisturizing as the Ocean Mineral Lotion, and it certainly doesn’t smell as good. The consistency is somewhat thin. If you don’t like thick moisturizers, you’ll probably be fine with it. Me, I like them thick and lotiony.

I don’t hate this product, but I don’t love it either. I’d go with the Ocean Mineral over the Vitamin C – both are roughly $15, and the Ocean Mineral lotion is a much better product, in my opinion.

I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

Product Review: InstaNatural Essential Oils


InstaNatural Essential Oils

About Lemon Essential Oil:
Lemon Essential Oil is extracted from the rinds of lemon, which lends its fresh citrus fragrance. This cold-pressed oil has a strong bright scent that is both refreshing and uplifting. Its astringent and purifying properties also make it a great aid to help cleanse and tone the skin, while delivering a boost of Vitamin C antioxidant benefits.

Ingredient: 100% Pure Cold-Pressed Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus Limon)

About Peppermint Oil:
Peppermint Essential Oil is a multi-purpose oil that cools, energizes and refreshes the body and mind. This steam-distilled oil is extracted from dried or fresh leaves from the Mentha Piperita herb, giving it a sharp, menthol fragrance. Its pleasantly sweet and minty aroma makes it a premium choice for aromatherapy to improve the mind and lift the spirits.

Ingredient: 100% Pure Steam-Distilled Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha Piperita)

About Lavender Essential Oil:
Lavender Essential Oil is a steam-distilled oil that relaxes and rejuvenates the body and mind with a fresh floral aroma. This essential oil is extracted from the oil glands of the Lavandula Officinalis plant, which gives the oil its sweet herbaceous fragrance. Our Lavender Essential Oil’s clean and serene aroma makes it a perfect companion for aromatherapy to help ease the mind.

Ingredient: 100% Pure Steam-Distilled Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula Officinalis)

My Thoughts

I’m a little slow to get on the essential oils train. Not because I don’t think it’s a good idea, but mostly because I’ve been too lazy to do the research on them. And frankly, because essential oils tend to be expensive. (And we all know I’m cheap.)

As it happened, I didn’t actually get to try the lemon oil because it was sold out when InstaNatural ran the promotion. It’s now back in stock, and I’m thinking about picking it up to give it a try.

When I got the Lavender and Peppermint oils, to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them. I knew I could use them for massages with the coconut oil I’d gotten. So I tried that first. A few drops of the oil mixed with the coconut oil was plenty. Of the two, Jimmie and I both preferred the peppermint, but the lavender was nice too.

Then I did a little reading, and found out I could clean with the lavender, and that peppermint is good for congestion. And good for focusing. I decided to use the peppermint oil as I would perfume, and dabbed a little on my wrists before work. I couldn’t smell it, but I swear I got more done that day than the entire rest of the week. We also tried the peppermint in our humidifier. Again, we couldn’t smell it. Whether it worked or not, we’re not sure.

What I can tell you, though, is that peppermint absolutely works for congestion and coughing. Both Jimmie and I use it just about every night. We put a drop or two on either our sinuses or our chests (be careful and don’t get too much near your nose as it’s super strong) and within minutes we’re breathing easier. Both of us have horrible seasonal allergies, and while the oil doesn’t make them go away, it absolutely lessens the stuffiness. And I find the scent relaxing, oddly enough.

I need to find more uses for the lavender. Any suggestions?

Since this is my first experience with essential oils, I can’t tell you if InstaNatural’s are any better or worse than other brands. That said, the bottles are ENORMOUS. They’re 4 ounces, which is actually the same size as a tube of Alba sunscreen (odd comparison, I know, but I just bought some yesterday). And they’re $20. Considering a microscopic bottle at Earth Fare is between $11 and $15, I think this is a pretty freakin’ good deal. Right now the choices are Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon, but I’m hopeful they’ll come out with more soon!

I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

Let the Camping Season Begin!


I know, guys, I know. I promised less fluff and more substance. Weeeeeeellllllll, there’s not been a terrible ton of substance lately. I actually feel like I’m in a pretty good place, which means there’s less to write about. Or at least, less substancy stuff to write about.

All in all, things are good. Busy, but good.

That’s a win, right?

And in exciting news, it’s finally warm enough to go camping!!!!!

So you may remember that last year we camped several times, with our adorable orange tent.

Coleman Evanston TentIt’s a Coleman Evanston 4-person tent, complete with a little porch, and it’s awesome. It’s also close quarters with an air mattress, two humans, and two dogs. I love it, but I’d been bugging Jimmie for a while that we needed something bigger….i.e., taller. Mostly so I could A) get up in the middle of the night without having to roll over Jimmie on the air mattress, and B) stand up to put my clothes on.

You know, important reasons.

I consider us fortunate in that there’s a Coleman outlet store about an hour and a half from us. I’m on the mailing list, and every so often they have a pretty good sale. We get all our gear from them – the prices are good, the quality is great for what we need, and they’ve got a pretty decent warranty. I’d love to buy gear from REI, but I also like to eat, so….Coleman it is.

Anyway, a couple months ago they had a sale, so we headed over. And they had this most amazing tent on sale for $100. It’s 16×10 feet, and sleeps 10 people. It’s way more tent than we’d ever possibly need, but at that price, we couldn’t pass it up. Ever since, I’d been dying to use it, so last weekend when the sun finally came out we loaded up the tent and the pups and headed to Bandy Creek.

Coleman Weatheredge TentIsn’t she beautiful?! Seriously, more tent than we ever need. But amazing.

We actually took all four pupkins this time….we’d been wanting to try it with all of them for a while, and figured the tent was enormous enough that worst case scenario we’d just put them all in there and let them sleep all day. They were actually really great!! Zoe barked a little, and tried to escape once (twice), but we both agreed it was nice having them all there with us. And much easier than getting a dog sitter. We still need to figure out the tie-out situation, since they kept getting tangled up, but that was our fault, not theirs. The worst part honestly was squeezing them all into the truck.

Waiting on Jimmie - Luka and Katie were already napping in the back, while Zoe and Lucy took photos with me.

Waiting on Jimmie – Luka and Katie were already napping in the back, while Zoe and Lucy took photos with me.

So here’s where I should fess up….guys, I hate being cold. Despise it. And since it’s March, even though it was sunny during the day, it was like….45 degrees at night. I made Jimmie take a heater. AND IT WAS WORTH IT. Sure, he made fun of me endlessly. And I looked ridiculous. But I stayed warm. Well, mostly.

CampingThe weekend was fun, but actually kind of exhausting. We didn’t eat very well….partly because we were lazy, and partly because I forgot to pack the spatula for burgers, eggs, quesadillas….basically everything we’d brought with us. The park ranger came to my rescue though, and let me borrow one, so we at least could eat the burgers. Yum.

Camping DinnerI’d gotten a battery-operated lantern from Intervine Technologies through Tomoson, and was stoked to try it out during our trip. We’d been on the hunt for one for a while – we have a nice propane lantern, but that gets a little expensive and you can’t take it in the tent. We did pick one up at the same time as the new tent, but it’s a little big, so when I got the Supernova 3o0 I was pretty excited.

Intervine’s Supernova 300 Camping Lantern (click on image to go to the product on Amazon)

This guy is fairly small – about the size of my Nalgene water bottle. It’s got a handle on top and a hook on the base, so there are lots of options for hanging it from things. Sadly, the one they sent me didn’t work. When I reached out, they were super friendly, and sent me not only a brand new lantern, but a new base to try with the original lantern, and one of their other products, the Halo lantern.

So their customer service is awesome. What about the products?

Well, the Halo is super cute, and super tiny – about the size of a hamburger bun. I love the clip on the top. It’s got a soft green glow light, which is nice, and then a couple of mega-bright LED settings. For something so small, it’s amazing how bright the thing is. It’s also rechargeable, so you never need batteries. If I’d known it existed, I’d probably have bought one, even though it’s like $25 on Amazon.

The Supernova? Wellllll….that one’s not so easy. It’s also superbright. 300 Lumens, to be exact. Like, blindingly bright. Since the one we took camping didn’t work, I can’t tell you how bright it is outside…but in my house, it’s like the Batman beacon. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, it’s such a royal pain in the ass to use that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Intervine claims the design uses a special seal to prevent moisture from getting into the battery compartment. That may be true, but what it means is that 5 out of 6 times when you put the base on, the lantern doesn’t work. Basically, the prongs on the inside of the base that touch the batteries get moved around, and if you don’t get the damn thing perfectly right, nothing happens.

I consider myself of above-average intelligence, and Jimmie is even smarter than I am. If the two of us had this much trouble with it, there’s clearly a design flaw. (And yes, we followed the directions EXACTLY….all 6 times. And it worked once.) The thing is $35….which is way too much for a finicky lantern, in my opinion. If Intervine can solve that issue, I think they’ve got a great product.

But anyway, back to the camping.

Luka Glow LightLuka had a wonderful time, though we both decided he’s kind of a baby. Well. Ok. Not kind of. He is a baby. But check out his glow stick. Pretty sweet, huh?

We didn’t do much – I took like a 4 hour nap one day. I colored. I read. We played board games…..especially Takenoko, which is the most adorable fun little game ever. Basically, there’s a panda that eats bamboo shoots. It’s awesome. Just trust me.

TakenokoAnd then we came home and I took another 4 hour nap. Camping is tiring, friends. I had all these grand plans to take a walk with the dogs…..that didn’t happen. I was going to read a lot. That also didn’t happen. We’ve already talked about how our grand meals didn’t happen.

But, it was nice to get away and relax and be outside. And to just spend time together. And to not have to worry about anything or do anything or be anywhere.

We’ve got several things coming up in April and May, so it’ll probably be Memorial Day before we can get back out there, and I’m ready.

Does your spring and summer include camping plans?

Product Review: goPure Fractionated Coconut Oil


goPURE Fractionated Coconut Oil

The Fractionated Coconut Oil offered by GoPure is considered an all-natural type of carrier oil that is able to easily absorb into your skin, which makes it a go-to option for all types of topical therapies. It offers a feather-light emollient, providing a soothing barrier, without the risk of clogging your pores, and is ideal for dry or otherwise troubled skin. It provides the skin with a non-greasy, silky smooth feel, unlike the other vegetable carrier oils currently available. It is completely soluble with all types of essential oils and is odorless and colorless, which means it will not stain any fabric it comes in contact with. It also has a prolonged shelf life, which means it will not go rancid and is designed for topical use only.

  • The fractionated coconut carrier and massage oil by GoPure creates a barrier on your skin, but does not clog your pores. Provides a light-weight and non-greasy finish. It is composed of 100 percent natural Carrier Oil or pure base.
  • The shelf life, with proper storage conditions is indefinite. The product needs to be stored in a cool location, out of the direct sunlight.
  • Ideal product for massage therapy due to the ability for the oil to remain in liquid form provided by the fractionating process.
My Thoughts

I loooooooove coconut oil. That’s been a recent thing – I wasn’t really familiar with it until about a year ago. I’m still learning, but I’ve yet to find something I can’t use it for. I’d never even heard of fractionated coconut oil, though. Turns out, it’s coconut oil in liquid form.

I was a little disappointed when I first opened this – I wanted the coconut smell! This oil has zero fragrance. That’s nice if you’re using it as a carrier oil for essential oils, but kinda boring if you’re just using it straight from the bottle.

I first used this as a moisturizer, but wasn’t super impressed. It felt good, but didn’t do much for my skin. Then I used it as a massage oil, and was totally blown away. The oil is super smooth and silky, but never greasy. It warmed up nicely, and a little goes a long way. My skin felt moisturized for hours after the massage. It’s not as thick as other massage oils….because of that, I wasn’t expecting much. But what it lacks in thickness it definitely makes up for in longevity. I paired it with a couple of essential oils (more on those in my next post!). I didn’t “mix” them – I should have, but I didn’t have a spare bottle to pour it in. So I did drops of coconut oil, then drops of essential oil. Not perfect, but it worked.

My only complaint is that, like most oils, the bottle leaks. I don’t know that there’s any way to fix this, but it’s still annoying!

You can buy goPURE’s fractionated coconut oil on Amazon for about $16. The bottle is huge, and the price is much better than what you’ll pay for other massage oils. I can’t wait to find other uses for it (not that I mind the massages!!) Definitely give it a try!

I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.

Product Review: Foxbrim Seaweed Complex Lotion

 

Time for another Foxbrim review! If you remember my last Foxbrim post, you know I was really fond of their products. The trend continues!

Foxbrim Seaweed Complex Lotion 

Foxbrim’s Seaweed Complex Lotion takes your daily lotion to the next level. The life of the ocean is bottled for perfect and healthy beauty. Nature continues to hold the key to true beauty. Seaweed Complex Lotion utilizes phytochemicals, polysaccharides and 90+ minerals and micro minerals to bring the restorative and youthening elements of the ocean to you in a bioavailable format. This light and fresh lotion will create balanced and nourished skin. Rapidly restore firmness to tired and worn skin. Boost collagen production while filling in existing wrinkles. Amazingly, anti-radiation properties found in this complex protect from daily and long term sun damage and progressive aging of the skin. 

Key Ingredients Include:
+ Phytochemicals – Effectively prevents premature aging of the skin. 
+ Polysaccharides – Essential building block for skin repair and renewal. 
+ Organic Spirulina (Blue Green Algae) – Reduce skin inflammation while boosting antioxidants and defending against free radicals. 
+ Hyaluronic Acid – Unmatched natural moisturizer for plump and smooth skin.

My Thoughts

The first thing I have to say about this is that it smells like a man’s cologne! Seriously. The product was initially designed for men, but women started requesting it, so they rebranded it as a gender neutral product. But, it’s still got a manly scent! I love it though – the scent fades after about 15 seconds, so it’s honestly not an issue. And it makes me think of Jimmie.

 This is a nice, lightweight moisturizer. It feels great going on, and keeps my skin hydrated all day. I haven’t noticed anything amazing in terms of reducing inflammation or renewing my skin, but that’s ok. I wish it had sunscreen, despite the claims that it protects against sun damage (call me a skeptic!). It’s gentle and hasn’t broken out my skin, so for that alone it’s a winner.

This is the third Foxbrim product I’ve tried, and I’ve been really pleased with all of them. It’s nice to see smaller skincare companies doing well, making quality products, and gaining a following. If you’re in the market for new skin care products, give them a try!!

I received this product free in exchange for my honest review.