Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Ora's Amazing Herbal - Natural Skin Care Your Skin Will Love

I received a sampling of products at no cost in order to facilitate this review

I had the opportunity recently to try a selection of products from Ora's Amazing Herbal and want to tell you about these handcrafted goodies that are, just like the name says.....amazing!!

Ora's Amazing Herbal is a family owned business that came about when the owner wanted to find a more holistic & natural approach to her daughter's eczema after her physician suggested steroids & antibiotics. She headed to her herbal medicine cabinet and started her research....and the herbal salve was developed that she began giving as gifts to friends, family and teachers --- who then wanted to buy more....and more....and, just like that, a business was born!


I tried two of their eight flavors of beeswax based Lip Balms in Earl Grey and Chai Spice.  These balms went on smoothly and didn't pull at my lip like others I've tried.  They each had a very unique scent & taste to them and I liked that they were unlike the "usual" flavors you'd find in a store.  These balms are paraben free, gluten free, and are not tested on animals! (Yay!!) These sell for $3.99 each or you can buy a three pack sampler of Basil Rosemary, Vanilla, and Minty Cocoa for just $10.99!! That's a great deal for lip balms slow infused with "herbs and love"!!


Ora's All Purpose Salve is perfectly scented with rosemary, thyme, tea tree, and thuja (which is cedar leaf) and is useful for anything from softening your cuticles to moisturizing dry cracked skin...it even acts as a first aid ointment for scrapes, mild burns & bug bites. I love that it's non-greasy, fast absorbing, and really comforting. I loved using it on my elbows as a moisturizer. You can also use this on tattoos, although they also sell an herbal salve especially for tattoos which I thought was pretty cool! The All Purpose Salve sells for $8.99-$18.99, depending on the size!


Lastly, I tried their All Natural Body Powder in both Vanilla and Blissful Earth.  I have to tell you, I am in love with their Blissful Earth Body Powder and will be purchasing this in the future!  It has such a wonderful scent...it captures all the wonderful scents of a walk through the woods...and you can really pick out all the layers of fragrance...from the lavender to the clary sage.  I think this powder would be great for both men & women - and the scent lasts for a very long time which I thought was great. The Vanilla powder is very subdued & mellow in fragrance, but is just as cooling & soothing as the Blissful Earth without such a pronounced scent.  These powders are kaolin clay based, so they're talc free, grain free, and gluten free. In fact, they're free of synthetic ingredients all together! These powders sell for $10.99 (2.5oz) and an unscented version is also available!

Aside from the above mentioned products, Ora's Amazing Herbal also offers a number of gift boxes with an assortment of products sure to put a smile on anybody's face!

These products were all packaged very well and I think they're very reasonably priced considering you are getting all natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients in products made by an ethical eco-friendly company who cares about the environment and the people, plants & animals that inhabit it.

You can order Ora's online or check to see if there's a store near you that carries their line!   You can also connect with them socially on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to be the first to find out about any specials and new products!

xoxo,
Gigi





Disclaimer: I received a sampling of products at no cost in order to facilitate this review.  My review is based on my own opinion of, and experience with, this brand and products. Yours may differ.


The Ultimate Mother's Day Giveaway! $600 in Prizes! Continental US Only 18+ Ends 5/1

Welcome to The Ultimate Mother's Day Giveaway!

 

 
 
 
I'm so happy to be taking part in this giveaway! Mother's Day is a special time to celebrate the important women in our lives. Whether it is your Mom, Grandma, Mother-in-Law or a friend, they each hold a special place in our hearts...and we all try to find just the right gift for all the wonderful women who mean so much to us!
 
This is why this giveaway is so awesome -- 'Life of a Southern Mom' and 'Sweet Southern Lovin' have teamed up with an amazing group of sponsors, co-hosts and blogger friends and  one lucky winner is going to win SO many presents!! Something for everyone on your gift giving list...and maybe a treat for yourself too!
 
Ready to find out more?
 

 
The Ultimate Mother's Day Prize Package includes:
 
A Mother's Day Necklace and Pendant. This Mother’s Pendant is one of the most personal Mother’s Day gifts you can give, and it is one of our most popular pieces in the line! The pendant reads: “A mother holds her children’s hands for a while...their hearts forever...” This piece may be personalized with up to three children’s names, or with a mother’s monogram. Valued at $62
 
Mary Kay's Bella Belara Eau de Parfum and The Rainbow Collection Bow Tie for a boy or The Rainbow Collection Headband for a girl. Valued at $43
 
Double B Embroidery's Monogrammed Beach Bag. Valued at $30.95
 
Ergo Chef's 3-pc Duo Tongs in three sizes and colors - 9” comes in black & green, 12” comes in black & green 15” comes in red, Pro Series 8-in-1 Kitchen Shears and a manual FastEdge sharpener. Valued at $164.99
 
Pictures On Gold Build Your Own Sterling Silver 2-Picture Heart Locket. Valued at $200
 
Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes. These simple, three-step process combines Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers to create the appearance of having incredibly thick and long lashes. Valued at $29
 
It Works! Wraps - Tighten, tone, and firm in as little as 45 minutes!! Valued at $25
 
FragranceNet.com Gift Certificate sent via email for $50
 
Keshima Premium Makeup Brush set with Leather Case - comes with the 5 essential makeup brushes; Angled Blush Brush, Eyeliner Brush, Powder brush, Eye shadow Brush, and Blending Brush. Valued at $89.95
 
Jennifer at Life of a Southern Mom had the opportunity to review several of these products for herself. Read her reviews below.
 
Michelle at Sweet Southern Lovin had the opportunity to review Pictures On Gold Build Your Own Sterling Silver Necklace. Head over here to read her review.
 
**Giveaway Details**
 
April 17th – May 1st at 11:59PM EST
 
Open to Continental US residents only. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
 
Prize: One lucky reader will win the Ultimate Mother's Day Prize Package valued over $600!
 
**How to Enter**
 
Enter using the Entry Form below. By entering you agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions listed on the Entry Form. All winning entries will be verified. Winner will receive an email from Jennifer at lifeofasouthernmom@gmail.com and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
 
Good Luck and thanks for entering!!
 
xoxo,
Gigi

 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclosure: My Fab Fit Forties did not receive any compensation for promoting this event. Sponsors are responsible for prize fulfillment. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed by, affiliated with, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google or any other social media platform. If you have any questions or would like to see your product featured on Life of a Southern Mom contact Jennifer at lifeofasouthernmom@gmail{dot}com.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Review: Send a Sweet Treat with FruitBouquets.com

I received a product at no cost in order to facilitate this review

I want to tell you all about a fantastic treat I received in the mail yesterday from FruitBouquets.com and let me just "spoiler alert" this review right now.....I was thrilled with what I received!

(photo: fruitbouquets.com)

After deciding on the Egg Hunt fruit bouquet, I was told it would arrive the next day from a local shop (same day delivery is also available)....so I was super excited when the doorbell rang and a giant box was waiting for me!

I opened it up and inside, very carefully packaged & wrapped (with a chill pack on the inside of the box to keep the fruit cold) was my fruit bouquet!





Everything was in place an safely secured to the base box. The cellophane wrap was tied neatly with ribbon and there was a nice hand-written card attached.


So "enjoy, indulge, and share" was just what I intended to do! I unwrapped this lovely bouquet and was really impressed it was identical to the photo from their website!


The bouquet I received contained cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, grapes, oranges, and strawberries - both plain and deliciously dipped in Fannie May white chocolate rolled in sprinkles! All on wooden skewers secured into a yellow pail. In between the fruits, kale to add a little greenery! It was full, fresh & lush!

Each fruit was perfectly cut -- no piece had any discoloration, pieces of rind still attached (except the oranges of course), or looked anything less than fresh & juicy!!




I loved that even the back of the bouquet - where some places might skimp - was just full of fruit too!


The large pineapple pieces were cut out in cute flower shapes and the chocolate covered strawberries were truly decadent!



This bouquet gets five stars from me from a perfect delivery to packaging to quality of product! This "Family Fun" bouquet serves 3-6 and sells for $64.99! You can also have a mylar balloon attached for an additional $5.00) 

This would make a fantastic centerpiece for your holiday table -- or as a gift to brighten up anyone's day -- and bonus, it's such a healthy gift.  Especially at Easter, with all the chocolate & jelly beans that will be going around, fresh fruit would be such a refreshing option to have on hand too....and why not give a gift that's not only pretty, but nutritious!

FruitBouquets.com was launched in 2011 by 1-800-Flowers and has a full selection of gifts for every occasion you can think of - and in every price range! You can shop by occasion, best sellers, or size....ranging from "Just For You" which is 1-3 servings to "Big Party", which serves 10+ -- prices start at just $34.99!

Not only will you find edible fruit arrangements like the one I received, you'll  also find chocolate dipped apple slices, apricots, blueberries, cherries & more! Even jalapeno peppers covered in Belgian chocolate!!

Socially, you can follow Fruit Bouquets on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest

If you're looking for a thoughtful, healthy gift for friends, family, co-workers....or just to treat yourself....look no further than FruitBouquets.com and their same-day delivery option!!

xoxo,
Gigi

***Update: Now that we've finished this whole arrangement, I disassembled it and in the bottom of the pail (where there would usually be a Styrofoam sponge to hold water that the skewers/stems would be stuck in.....it was an actually head of iceberg lettuce.  So every single thing in this bouquet was natural...talk about a green gift!!! AND....the cute bucket is completely reusable.  It's about to get reincarnated as a kitchen utensil holder!! Love this even more!

Disclaimer:  I received the above bouquet at no cost in order to facilitate this review. My review is based on my own experience with, and opinion of, this brand & product. Yours may differ

Review: Total Colon & Detox 7 Day Slim System by Elite Gold Solutions

 
Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
 
Let me preface this by saying no two people have digestive systems that work exactly the same, so what works for one person might not for someone else.

Having said that...you know I love talking poop...from toilet stools to align our colon to getting colonics...fiber to cleanses, I am all about anything that will help us more effectively rid of toxins that build up in our bodies which can bring along an array of health issues.

I tried Elite Gold System's Total Colon & Detox 7 day slim system, which is an herbal based colon cleanse containing the following:

Acidophilus, Acai, Psyllium Husks, Fennel Seeds, Ginger, Bentonite Clay, Cascara Sagrada, Goldenseal, Pumpkin Seed, Buckthorn Root, Licorice Root, Rhubarb, Citrus Pectin, Cape Aloe, Aloe Vera, Cayenne Pepper, Senna, Oat Bran, Prune Juice, Flax Seed Oil

 This product states you may expect the following while using:

• Rapid results for digestion, elimination
• Natural weight loss to look great naked!
• Relief from occasional constipation, gas and bloating
• Improved health and appearance inside and out
• Better absorption of nutrients
• Increased energy, mental alertness

My experience with the product (which I took for 7 days and with tons of water - even more than usual)

*I didn't see anything happen for the first two days, then it slowly started..by day 5, we had a little extra action, but by the morning of day 8, I was back to normal. Nothing really rapid or notable to report

* I lost .08 pounds

* I did notice by day 5, it did help with bloating of the tummy

* I didn't feel any more or less energized

* I did like that it was gentle and non-irritating

* I really liked that it is an herbal based product

* I like that they offer a money back guarantee if you don't lose weight

I did not feel like this.....but I like her pants!
 
Maybe my expectations were a little high - not that I want a colon cleanse that makes me make my husband run out to buy a 48 pack of toilet paper and an ice pack or one that makes me unable to leave the bathroom for a week, but I experienced very little change from my normal bathroom routine...and again, I'm sure others have tried this and have had amazing results, but I'm here to give my experience with this product and for me, it was just okay.

xoxo,
Gigi




Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. My review is based on my own experience with, and opinion of, this product --- yours may differ.

"Vegan Beans from Around the World" Book Review & Giveaway (2 Winners!) - US/Can Ends 5/2

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book at no cost in order
to facilitate this review which may have affiliate links

In a recent recipe post, we touched on how amazing beans are for you, so I thought it would be a great time to tell you about the book Vegan Beans from Around the World: 100 Adventurous Recipes for the Most Delicious, Nutritious, and Flavorful Bean Dishes Ever - by Kelsey Kinser.

This softcover book is 130 pages full of tips on the how & why of soaking beans, the pros of both dry & canned beans, and why beans are an important part of a diet (especially if you're Vegan) - followed by 75 wonderful recipes! I do wish there were photos, but that's just a personal preference - I like to see how close I am to what my dish should look like!!

I used to be one of those people who got scared of the thought of a recipe that called for dry beans...but really it was the unknown - and the fear that it was a really complicated process....but now I use dry beans quite often - especially when I make 16 Bean Crock Pot Soup and my Lentil Meatless 'Meatloaf' ---- and the process of prepping dry beans for use really isn't hard at all (you know I'd tell you if it was) - it just takes a little menu planning ahead (you won't be quickly whipping up any soaked beans!) -- but it's worth it as far as quality & taste goes!

Kelsey's book is full of some fantastic recipes.....dishes you'll be familiar with like 'Refried Beans' & 'Boston Baked Beans'....and lots of really interesting new ones to add to your cooking repertoire like 'Valencian Minted Fava Salad', 'Jamaican Peanut Porridge', and 'Brazilian Black Beans with Seitan'.

The recipe I'm going to try out this weekend (stay tuned for pics/how to) is 'Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas'....that just sounds like a fabulous snack!

Inside, you're going to find recipes for soups, salads, snacks, side dishes....main dishes, drinks & desserts.  She has covered everything! None of the recipes are extremely complicated and they use ingredients that you can find at any grocery store. (Recipe pet peeve....when it uses such hard to find ingredients, you have to either specialty order online or travel to 'Little India' or 'Little Cuba' in the closest biggest city to you to track down what you need!!)

"Vegan Beans from Around the World" is published by Ulysses Press and retails for $15.95

You can connect with Ulysses Press on Facebook and Ulysses Press on Twitter

Now if you think this book is something you'd like to own (it would also make a great gift for the Chef in your life!), just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!! Only one entry per person/email/IP please.  Winner will be randomly selected and then contacted via email after winning entry is verified.  Winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is drawn.

This giveaway is open to both US & Canada and will end on May 2, 2014 at 11:59pm.

Good luck!!

xoxo,
Gigi

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book at no charge to facilitate this review. My review is based on my own opinion of, and experience with, this book. Yours may differ. This post may contain affiliate links. My Fab Fit Forties is not responsible for prize fulfillment

10 Fantastic Recipes Featuring Strawberries (quite the healthy lil' nugget!!)


I saw our grocery store was having a fantastic sale on strawberries, so I stocked up & started looking for some new dishes to make with these scrumptious little berries........and, thank you Pinterest, I found no shortage of great recipes from around the web. 

Strawberries are a great source of fiber - and that fiber means that you'll feel fuller quicker - and stay feeling full & satisfied .....so if you're feeling a snack attack coming, reach for a few of these berries! That fiber will also help keep your digestion on track!

They also help with your blood pressure (heart health!), boost your immune system and help your eyesight as they are FULL of Vitamin C (136% of your RDA in one cup!) - you'll also find they are loaded with Potassium, and Magnesium to help keep your bones strong.

So...what are we waiting for....let's eat some strawberries!!

Here are 10 fantastic healthy(ish) ideas I found with links to the original recipe!!

Strawberry Avocado Honey Lime Salad

Peanut Butter, Strawberry and Banana Quesadilla
Recipe on: Texanerin Baking

Strawberry Sorbet Sensation
Recipe on: Taste of Home

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
Strawberry Baked Oatmeal
Recipe on: Inspired Taste
 
Strawberry Mango Salsa
Recipe on:  Damn Delicious
 
Pretty in Pink Grapefruit Strawberry Smoothie
Recipe on: Babble
 
Dessert Crepes with Ricotta, Berries & Kiwi
Recipe on: Julia's Album
 
....and, last but not least, how CUTE is this for Spring/Easter? Strawberry 'carrots'!! These were available at Harry & David (currently unavailable) ----- but (between you & me) these look super easy to make with some orange colored vanilla candy melts from the craft store!!
 
 
 
I am having a hard time deciding what to make first......but I think the grilled cheese is yelling calling my name!! What looks great to you? Do you have a favorite way to use strawberries??
 
xoxo,
Gigi

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

K-Cup Deal (In-Store) at Dunkin Donuts


I popped inside Dunkin Donuts while my husband dropped off the Meanie for an oil change & some tinkering at the garage next door.  While I was waiting on my coffee, I looked over and saw that their limited edition K-Cups....I saw the Peppermint Mocha and Pumpkin flavors.....were on sale for just $5.99 for a 14 pack!

Now I don't know if this is a nation-wide sale or if it was just this store trying to get rid of extra boxes.....but I thought it was worth mentioning if you're a fan of these flavors -- could be time to stock up! At $.43 a cup, you can't beat the price, so pop by your local DD soon!

Happy shopping!

xoxo,
Gigi