Monday, July 27, 2015

The House on Sunset Street

According to Domestic Violence Statistic, "Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten." Most of us will experience or know someone who experienced domestic violence. This book provides a realistic, and often scary, portrayal of domestic violence that engulfs readers from page one. Fischer wastes no time by detailing the last brutal attack that almost took her life. After the initial pages my stomach knotted and threatened to throw up my dinner. I was uncertain if I could finish the book due to the vivid, graphic details. This upset me. How could I even think of not reading this book? This is based on experiences someone lived through and survived. I owe it to Lindsay Fischer to read this story of survival. Also, I knew I had to read on to educate myself on a subject I knew very little about. Once my stomach settled, I naively and harshly I wondered how the relationship got to that point. 

Fischer's narrative weaves details of Sarafina's personal life including her story of being torn between two careers she loves-teaching and writing. In the midst of her professional turmoil, Sarafina begins a budding relationship with Mike. My skepticism in the beginning of the book turned into understanding as Sarafina falls for Mike. Fischer eloquently deceives readers by making Mike seem like the perfect gentleman for Sarafina. He possesses confidence, charm, and charisma with a beautiful physique. Before I knew it, I was falling for Mike along with Sarafina. He even supports her when she leaves her teaching career to pursue writing. The first verbal and physical lashings from Mike shock readers just as much as the protaganist. How can this be the same Mike from earlier in the book?! The nightmare continues for pages as readers grapple with the downward spiral that becomes Sarafina's life. 

I cherish the perspective Fischer provides on what it is like being in an abusive relationship. Fischer's writing corrected my misconceptions about domestic violence, but without admonishment. As one that has not experienced domestic abuse personally, I will be forever grateful for the raw, emotionally-charged narrative that taught me the many facets of abuse. Fischer's narrative educates by simply explicating her experiences. What I love most about the story is that it is one of survival. I learned that leaving the abuser is just the first step on the long journey of healing. Again, naively, I believed Sarafina would heal relatively quickly after leaving the abuse. Fischer unabashedly kills my false hope as she details the internal war that wreaks havoc on survivors. The invisible, internal struggle is one that often cannot be conquered alone. I thank Fischer for the plethora of resources she provides readers. Above all else, readers learn to speak boldly and act swiftly in life. Fisher ends profoundly by stating, "My hope for my readers is simple: that you find yourself in a place to speak out about the injustices you face. Our stories don’t define us, but they shape where we head. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s the worst. It’s not about how you got here or why you stayed, it’s about why it shouldn’t have happened."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

#Lemonoil review

I got to try a HUGE 4 oz. bottle of lemon oil for free to review from Lift Care and Tomoson. Here are some facts and uses provided by Lift Care on Amazon. 
  • (5X FOLD) EXTRA STRENGTH Lemon Essential Oil is the most powerful and fresh traditional lemon fragrance that is quite energizing and uplifting. You can diffuse Lemon Oil when trying to clear a room of the smell of the cigarette smoke and other unpleasant aroma. The HIGHEST QUALITY AVAILABLE, premium concentrate taken from the peel of ripe fruit via cold expression.
  • HUGE 4 OZ BOTTLE-lasts for up to 60 days of daily use. More potent concentration means less drops per use.
  • INTRODUCTORY LOW PRICE-Refreshing feelings of purity and cleanliness describe the savory fragrance of lemon oil. STRONGER AROMATHERAPY AND LONGER LASTING FRAGRANCE. Fights illness and fatigue.
  • NATURAL DISINFECTANT-Lemon oil deploys antiseptic effects on fresh minor infections of the skin, including acne. 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!
  • Lemon Oil is a potent skin lightening agent. Freckles and age spots etc. ALL NATURAL, NO CHEMICAL DILUTION!     
  • *According to the University of Minnesota, "Application Method. An essential oil that is safe when applied in one way may not be safe when used in another way. Some oils are considered safe if inhaled, and yet may be irritating if applied to the skin in concentrations as low as 3-5%. Thyme, oregano, clove, and cinnamon bark essential oils are examples of this. Several of the citrus oils, such as bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, and angelica, can cause phototoxicity (severe burns or skin cancer) if there is exposure to natural sunlight or sun-bed radiation following skin applications, whereas this would not result from inhalation." Bottom line, if you plan on using these oils topically, always dilute them!

I discovered a couple of different uses that I started loving. First, I like to sprinkle a couple of drops onto cotton and place on top of my humidifier. This gives my room a refreshing scent without an overpowering scent. 

Next, I filled a travel sized bottle with lemon oil and water to carry around for a natural energizer. I like to dab some on my yoga towel before and after my workout to provide an energy boost. I like to keep the mixture in my fridge for an added cooling effect.  
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone that wants an all natural way alternative to products with chemicals.  What other oils should I try?

Emerald Class Matcha Review #Midorispring

I was lucky enough to try the Emerald Class Matcha tea for free. Life and Food on Amazon is an amazing company. I love that they post helpful tips and answer questions consumers may have. I've wanted to try Matcha powder for awhile because of the health benefits. This is a list of FAQs and reasons to buy from the company.
FAQ 1. What is Emerald Class Matcha and how is it different?
Emerald Class is considered our medium grade Ceremonial Matcha. It is ideal for beginner matcha drinkers, and inspired chefs to use in their kitchen creations. Emerald Class is NOT a culinary grade matcha, but is moderately priced, while sustaining great quality tea powder which allows for multiple usage. Perfect for smoothies, pastries, and favorite dishes. 
There are different ranges within the Ceremonial matcha category. For example, Ceremonial grades can range from the most premium (Gold Class) quality to the lowest and most economical. During production the tencha leaves are sorted by colour (darker green to lighter green). Unlike culinary grade matcha, the Emerald Class uses a blend of mid-range quality tencha leaves. All of which is grounded using a traditional Mikage stone grinder.
Emerald Class Matcha comes in 100g size packed in a food grade aluminum pouch inside our premium quality aluminum tin. It is certified Organic, Kosher & Vegan. (GMO, Gluten, Soy, Dairy Free)
FAQ 2. I'm a first time Matcha drinker and I find it bitter.
We understand some people do not like the taste the first few times they try Matcha, but it is similar to the same initial experiences with coffee or tea, after a few shots, you may come to love it. If you still do not like the taste, we suggest adding a bit of raw honey, or turn it into a Matcha inspired latte or smoothie. When brewing traditionally, please adjust water and Matcha amount to your liking.

  • BODILY BENEFITS ✪ Our Emerald Class Organic Matcha is rich in antioxidants, with greater than 137x the EGCG levels that of regular steeped tea. Organic Matcha has been shown to help (1) Increase energy levels (2) Help reduce stress and improve mental alertness (3) Support metabolism and help with weight loss (4) Support immune system and helps reduce inflammation. (5) Help the body cleanse of harmful elements.
  • TRUSTED CERTIFICATIONS ✪ Certified USDA Organic by NOP Via OCIA International Agreement, JAS Organic Certified by OCIA, OU Kosher Certified, VEGAN.ORG Certified. In addition, All Midori Spring Ceremonial Grade Organic Matcha is also GLUTEN FREE, GMO FREE, and contains no pesticides, soy, wheat of any kind.
  • PRACTICAL PACKAGING ✪ Our packaging is formulated to maintain optimal freshness and practical handling. The Matcha is packaged in a food grade pouch inside the storage tin. The size of the pouch and tin have been carefully selected and tested for most practical handling. Matcha should be kept in the pouch (pinch to keep air out) with the lid sealed to maintain freshness once opened. It is highly recommended to store Matcha in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.
  • 100% QUALITY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE ✪We at Midori Spring believe in our products 100%. However, our customers are important to us. If you are not 100% satisfied with our product, please contact us immediately for a full refund or exchange. We are here for any questions or concerns.
I decided to try this in a smoothie since I love Green Tea Frappucinos. I paired my powder with almond milk, stevia, and ice for a pre-workout snack/energy boost. I was pressed for time, so I used my shaker cup to mix the ingredients. I have to say, the taste was strong, but I liked it I knew I was getting health benefits with an all natural energy boost. I got through my tough cardio bootcamp class with no problem!  
I especially love the MIdori Spring recipe page. I never would use Matcha powder in chocolate chip cookies, but I can't wait to try them. I imagine the combination of green tea and chocolate would pair well together. Let me know your experiences with Matcha powder. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tombox/Swaagbox Review

Hi, everyone! 
I received a free Tombox to review for my blog. I'm so happy I was chosen as this box is a fantastic deal! Get your first box for $8 when you click here.. To begin, subscribers take an in-depth quiz to determine the best products to be sent. Here are the payment options for Tombox.  

Let me take you through what I received in my box! First, I love the packaging. The box labeled "beautiful" contained all of the products. Nice touch, Tombox.
 My first item was this delicate lip brush. The bristles are so soft. I couldn't find the brand name, but I do appreciate getting the brush.
 This is why I love subscription services like Tombox. I get to try items I would normally never buy for myself. The ring came packaged in a bag to keep it safe. This silver ring is fashionable and goes with many outfits. I like that the ring itself is flexible so most ladies will be able to wear it.
 For me, the ring fits best on my middle finger. Please excuse the grown out nail polish.
 The next item is an ankle bracelet with summer-inspired charms. Again, this is a piece I normally would not choose for myself, but it is a perfect accent to a summer outfit.
 I chose these because they are my favorite brand of tampons. Subscribers may choose to get tampons or pads when they subscribe.

This Cargo shadow retails for $16; that's the cost of one box! The shadow is silky and blends easily.  This full size is quite a large size for an eye shadow. I blended out the shadow, but you can see how pigmented it is.

 The next item is a liquid liner from Skone in black. The retail value is $15. I love the way it glides on and stays in place.

The Real Chemistry Peel is a fabulous product. I love getting samples of this because the full size retails for $48 on their website. The peel is interesting because you apply it, leave it on for 20 seconds, then rub your face. The product will ball up, essentially taking off dead skin and impurities. My skin is soft and not irritated after this peel.
This Be a Bombshell lip crayon is in the color Shameless. The retail value is $16. I did not swatch this because I already have one. The color lasts a long time without drying out my lips. 

Styled by Hayadi Pure Happy Smooth Smoothing Keratin is the next product in my box. According to the Styled by Hayadi website, this product Weightless smoothing Keratin infused styling lotion. Seals the cuticle and controls frizz, visibly improving the appearance of hair immediately. When used with heat, shine and smoothing are intensified. "
The last item is a Maybelline New York Color Show nail polish in Urban Utopia ($2.99). I am a sucker for limited edition items, and this one is no different! The color is unique and beautiful for summer. I do not have any other color like this one. Again, thank you, Tombox for breaking me out of my everyday routine!
Overall, Tombox is an excellent value! Not only will subscribers get feminine products, they also get an assortment of jewelry, skincare, haircare, and makeup products that well surpass the subscription price! Thanks for reading! Please comment below with what you think of Tombox!