May 31, 2013

Book Review: Haven - A Stranger Magic

So I couldn't wait to read Haven: A Stranger Magic and I can assure you it definitely did not disappoint. I downloaded the book for my kindle, but it never even made it there. I opened it up on my pc to read while I "worked" on some blogging. I thought it would be a nice break in between typing up stuff and editing photos. Let's just say that I've been typing up and editing photos today because they never got done yesterday. Once I got started reading I couldn't stop, it had caught me.

The books starts off pretty quickly with you meeting Sam Dolcome, who is a seemingly ordinary teenager. At 13 his life is just regular, everything is regular for him. His frustrations about being just a regular kid are really prevalent throughout the book. It's almost a restlessness inside himself that just wants more. In a way it's no different from any other teenager who feels that they can take the world head on and conquer it. There is a major obstacle in that whole idea though...a secret. A secret that Sam's mother has kept from him and from his older sister Sarah.

Sarah is another great character who I think most people would love to hate. She is the typical popular girl with the typical attitude to go along with it. She is rude and mean to everyone and anyone and yet because of her looks she gets away with it. Now don't think that Sarah likes it that way because she really doesn't. You find that she is just as lost as Sam is and just wants to be a regular girl. She is far from regular though and I don't mean her pretty looks. Let's just say that water, anger, and her equals no bueno.

Another key player in the story is Travis who seems to have a great nose for chocolates. Seriously I thought I had a thing for chocolate. Travis is a bit of a geek, loves sci-fi and has a touch of ADD. He and Sam are best friends, which we all know its great to have friends especially when you're being chased by a horde of spiders.

Towards the end of the book D.C. Akers finally reveals the secret and why the kids' mother wants so desperately to keep it that way. There is some dark people coming and I know it'll only get better so I'm waiting for book two to be finished. This was a great story that was well written, the characters are well developed and likeable, the story is believable as well. I know its a story about magic, but D.C. Akers does a great job of really bringing it to life. It's a story that could take place in my neighborhood which would be totally cool.

Now while I did get my copy to review for free you can purchase Haven: A Stranger Magic over on And... it's only $0.99! Seriously it should be worth so much more because its a great book.

About The Author:
Like many who enjoy the fantasy genre, Akers started reading it as an adolescent. He was fascinated with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Bram Stoker's Dracula. He currently enjoys reading works by Dean Koontz, Heather Brewer, J.K. Rowling, and Rick Riordan.
Akers enjoys creating a fantasy world with compelling storylines, while injecting humor and a touch of drama into the action as he did with his first book Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries, which has received rave reviews.
"I start every story with this thought: Where can I take my audience now? To me it's about the journey, the escape into a world filled with the fantastic and the unexpected. There is nothing like an adventure that takes you further from reality with every turn of the page."
D.C. Akers was born in Texas and attended Crowley High School. After spending several years working in accounting, Akers began to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a writer.

Facebook: FACEBOOK:
Twitter: @DC_Akers

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

nuNAAT GOGO Giveaway 06/01-06/26

nuNAAT GOGO (Give One, Get One) Giveaway!
Enter for your chance to win TWO sets of nuNAAT’s NAAT Treatment Curly products (link to ) – one for you and one to give to a friend! When entering, be sure to select my blog name “Infinite Dreams Reviews” from the drop-down menu so they know who sent you.

The nuNAAT NAAT Treatment Curly collection (link to ) is great for naturally wavy or curly hair in need of frizz reduction, added body, and defined curls. It’s made with Cupuaçu Butter for intense hydration and super antioxidants, plus Keratin protein for strengthening hair back to its healthy, natural state.

The winner will receive the following products with an estimated retail value of $50:
-        2 NAAT Treatment Curly Shampoo
-        2 NAAT Treatment Curly Conditioner
-        2 NAAT Treatment Curly Hair Mask
-        2 NAAT NAAT Treatment Curly Leave-In

TO ENTER: Visit the nuNAAT Facebook page

CONTEST DATES: June 1 - 26, 2013
Only ONE entry PER PERSON, PER DAY will be accepted.
Winner will be chosen at random and announced June 27, 2013 by e-mail. If response from winner is not received within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.
PRIVACY: Your email will not be shown and will be kept private.
ELIGIBILITY: Giveaways are open to readers 18 years or older with U.S. or Canada shipping addresses only (no PO boxes). For my international readers, you may enter and if you win, we can send the prize to person of your choice with U.S. or Canada shipping address.

No purchase necessary to enter or win.

May 30, 2013

Giveaway: Sample Filled Box

My sample box is overflowing so you guys can win some great samples for yourself! I've got a little bit of everything and as USPS says if it ships! So enter the rafflecopter below and you could win a box of your own.

May 29, 2013

Book Review: Joyland by Stephen King

I walked to get my mail a few days ago and inside a large envelope I found Stephen King's newest novel: "Joyland". I was pretty stoked as Stephen King happens to be one of my favorite writers. He's a classic writer in his own right and some of his novels will never be forgotten. Joyland surely won't disappoint and has a feeling of a great 70's murder mystery novel. It's starts off with the main character - Devin Jones who at 21 was recovering from a broken heart. He finds a summer job at Joyland, an amusement part that has an unsolved mystery - a murder.

For most of the beginning of the book it focuses on Devin's summer at Joyland. The emotions he goes through having lost his first love, and his meeting of "The boy in the wheelchair and his dog".  This story seems to have it all so it's definitely a book that you'll want to pick up and read. Stephen King definitely delivers with another great novel. I couldn't put this book down after I read the first page. I normally don't get into murder mysteries that much, but with Kings' great writing style there never seemed to be a dull moment. So who killed the girl in Joyland? Well you'll just have to read the book and find out.

You'll be able to get your own book on June 4th, but you can pre-order at

I had a car, but on most days in that fall of 1973 I walked to Joyland from Mrs. Shoplaw’s Beachside Accommodations in the town of Heaven’s Bay. It seemed like the right thing to do. The only thing, actually. By early September, Heaven Beach was almost completely deserted, which suited my mood. That fall was the most beautiful of my life. Even forty years later I can say that. And I was never so unhappy, I can say that, too. People think first love is sweet, and never sweeter than when that first bond snaps. You’ve heard a thousand pop and country songs that prove the point; some fool got his heart broke. Yet that first broken heart is always the most painful, the slowest to mend, and leaves the most visible scar. What's so sweet about that? Through September and right into October, the North Carolina skies were clear and the air was warm even at seven in the morning, when I left my second-floor apartment by the outside stairs. If I started with a light jacket on, I was wearing it tied around my waist before I’d finished half of the three miles between the town and the amusement park. I’ make Betty’s Bakery my first stop, grabbing a couple of still-warm croissants. My shadow would walk with me on the sand, at least twenty feet long. Hopeful gulls, smelling the croissants in their waxed paper, would circle overhead. And when I walked back, usually around five (although sometimes I stayed later—there was nothing waiting for me in Heaven’s Bay, a town that mostly went sleepybye when summer was over), my shadow walked with me on the water. If the tide was in, it would waver on the surface, seeming to do a slow hula. Although I can’t be completely sure, I think the boy and the woman and their dog were there from the first time I took that walk. The shore between the town and the cheerful, blinking gimcrackery of Joyland was lined with summer homes, many of them expensive, most of them clapped shut after Labor Day. But not the biggest of them, the one that looked like a green wooden castle. A boardwalk led from its wide back patio down to where the seagrass gave way to fine white sand. At the end of the boardwalk was a picnic table shaded by a bright green beach umbrella. In its shade, the boy sat in his wheelchair, wearing a baseball cap and covered from the waist down by a blanket even in the late afternoons, when the temperature lingered in the seventies. I thought he was five or so, surely no older than seven. The dog, a Jack Russell terrier, either lay beside him or sat at his feet. The woman sat on one of the picnic table benches, sometimes reading a book, mostly just staring out at the water. She was very beautiful. Going or coming, I always waved to them, and the boy waved back. She didn’t, not at first. 1973 was the year of the OPEC oil embargo, the year Richard Nixon announced he was not a crook, the year Edward G. Robinson and Noel Coward died. It was Devin Jones’s lost year. I was a twenty-one year-old virgin with literary aspirations. I possessed three pairs of bluejeans, four pairs of Jockey shorts, a clunker Ford (with a good radio), occasional suicidal ideations, and a broken heart. Sweet, huh? Copyright © 2013 by Stephen King

About Stephen King: 
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

May 28, 2013


I love these biscuits, they're delish and do exactly what they say they'll do. I can tell ya one thing don't get these confused with cookies because they're not. I didn't really understand why they were called biscuits though. It's true what most of our friends "across the pond'  consider biscuits - we think of them as cookies. Whatever you call them biscuit or cookie they're still pretty darn tasty. They are not too sweet and are a bit harder than I was expecting. I like more chewy soft type cookies and such, this was hard and crisp.  

The biscuits themselves are oval shaped and you get four in the pack. They aren't too thick and at first I thought they would leave me hungry. That wasn't the case at all! After two I was already feeling a bit full, of course I had a glass of milk, but never thought I'd be full. After the third biscuit I bowed out and left the last one to be split in two by my nephews. Three biscuits and I was full and ready to go. As the house passed and when I'd normally start feeling that hunger didn't come. Nope I was still full and didn't feel like eating anything at all. Once lunch time came I hadn't even realized I hadn't snacked on a thing since breakfast. I didn't need to and it was nice. I had myself a salad for lunch and drank some water and wondered.

I wondered what was in those three biscuits that could leave me feeling so full when other breakfasts had not. Because they're made to slowly release carbs to keep your body feeling full and keep you ready to go.
Also they're made with five wholegrains, they’re rich in cereals, a source of fibre, they contain no added colours or preservatives and have a low glycemic index (GI). So far there are only five flavors of belvita in the US. Our UK friends have 6 with two different yogurt varieties. So if you're looking for a great on the go breakfast then you need to check out belvita!

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and no compensation was received. I purchased these products on my own because I wanted to try them out.

May 27, 2013

Tex-Mex Monday

Tex-Mex Monday
Spicy Hamburger Meat

So you only need a few things to make you some tasty spicy hamburger meat to either put on rice or in a tortilla. You could also throw it on some nachos as well, it would taste so yummy! You start off with one can of diced tomatoes and green chilies. I used Red Gold, but you can use which ever brand you'd like. You could even cut up some tomatoes and jalapeno if you don't like using canned. Cook your hamburger meat like you're supposed to and drain all the gross fat away. 

I like to then get the tomatoes and jalapenos and toss them right in. There was still a little bit of fat coating the pan so this kind of fries up the tomatoes and jalapenos for a more intense flavor. I actually added one fresh jalapeno because my mom likes some heat. Let it cook for about 2 minutes or so and then get your meat and plop it right in.

*TIP: This isn't always true, but I've found if you grab a jalapeno that has a bit of white "lines" on them they tend to be hotter. It's that sort of thing that has been passed down from mom to mom.

You want to mix it all up and if you want to let the meat get crispy then let it. Now this is where it's all on you. You can go and get your powdered garlic and ground cumin and use that or you can go old school. Yup get yourself a "molcajete", its basically a mortar and pestle so you can squish things up. Mine actually broke, but we saved the broken piece because its already been seasoned. If you buy yourself a molcajete make sure its stone - like the one pictured below. Get yourself one clove of garlic and a bit of the cumin add a bit of water and go to town on it. Get all your frustrations out because you want to smush it into a paste.

Tip: When or if you have a molcajete don't wash it with harsh dish soaps. Rinse it and dry it completely, but don't ever "wash" it. All that grinding of spices and stuff is seasoning it which helps..I promise!

The 20+yr old molcajete that the kids broke.
Ground Cumin (Comino), Powdered Garlic, Pepper, and Salt

Once you've added your spices - garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, add a bunch of water. You want to add enough to where the hamburger meat is barely visible. OPTIONAL: Now if you want some added color you can put just a bit of tomato sauce in it. Before you cover it up get a spoon and taste the "juice". Always taste everything so that way you can add any spices before the final product.

Now that you've gotten the taste you want you cover it up. Once it comes to a boil you lower down the heat to a simmer. During this time you could be finishing up your rice, or warming up your tortillas. Leave it on till you're happy with the "moistness" of the meat. I like a lot of juice so I leave more water in it, my mom likes a bit less so I normally serve myself and then put the heat back on. 

So that's about it, while there are no real measurements this is something that you can't really mess up. Always start off with smaller amounts of spice because you can always can't really take away.

So anyone going to try making this, or maybe you already do? I'd love to hear what you guys think!

Palmolive Soft Touch Review


I was really fortunate to be chosen to review Palmolive's Soft Touch dishwashing liquid - courtesy of Influenster. First off I am a hand washer, yup sadly no dishwasher here so I end up washing dishes at least twice a day. With having such a large household, 8 members to be exact, we go through liquid like crazy. It's been a bit difficult to find a liquid that will clean all my dishes, leave no grease, and doing in the most economical way. Dishwashing liquid can be expensive so I don't have to time to waste money on liquids that just don't work.

Sure I've tried some of those $1 liquids, but at the end of the day the bottle is half done and my hands are drier than the Mojave Desert. That's pretty darn dry! So when I got this pretty green box in the mail my heart lept, yes it really did. I've used Palmolive before, but had always stuck to the original in the green bottle. It wasn't as harsh on my hands as the cheap brands were though.

The first one I grabbed to try was the "Coconut Butter". First off the smell is amazing and it's pretty strong so you smell it while you're washing your dishes. It leaves your kitchen smelling so good afterwards so who needs air freshner? The first thing I did notice was that the liquid itself was milky and looser than the regular liquid. It kind of worried me because I wasn't sure that it would have the same grease fighting quality as the original. I grabbed my sponge and dabbed a little liquid on there. It lathered up nicely and actually was able to clean all my cups before having to add some more soap. After I was done there was still a lot of liquid left, well duh, and my dishes not only were clean, but like I said above my kitchen smelled great! Now the smell doesn't really transfer to your dishes though because I smelled them. Especially the plastics which tend to hold any god awful smell. Nope there was no smell as the soap washes off completely leaving everything squeeky clean.

Next up was the Vitamin E which was actually pretty hard to use because the OCD person in me was going crazy. Use a new bottle when you still have a whole bottle sitting right there on your kitchen counter?! Oh the humanity, what a world....what a world. I took some deep breaths and got my sponge ready for some Vitamin E soft touch. Like its coconut butter brethren it too was milky, but creamy at the same time. The scent is much lighter than the coconut butter which kind of made me sad. I mean you see that pink color and you think of either something really fruity or really floral. Sadly it was neither and wish it had smelled a bit stronger. Now I had some high hopes for this one because it's got the Vitamin E in it. It must make your hands feel so soft like a baby's bottom. It too performed much like its distant cousin regular green Palmolive and left my dishes clean and sparkling. But did it do any better than the coconut butter on making my hands soft? Not really, actually they were pretty much the same which isn't really a bad thing. It does what it says it would do, make your hands softer. Or at least softer than they would normally be if you used regular soap. 

This was the one that I ended up giving to my sis in law. I think out of the two I preferred the coconut butter because the smell was just so good.  I'm not saying that the Vitamin E was subpar just that I favored the other more. That's all, nothing bad to see here folks. Oh and let's not mention to the SIL that I used the soap. She did mention it looking "low" like someone had used it, but no one would ever gift something that had been used...right? 

A back shot of the bottles - Tough on Grease!

Now I don't want you to think that these dishwashing soaps are supposed to replace your handy dandy lotion, because they won't. No don't expect some miracle to happen and that your hands will be transformed each time you use Soft Touch. That's not what they're saying - they're saying compared to other REGULAR soaps Palmolive Soft Touch will leave your hands feeling softer -- which they do. My hands weren't all completely dried out making me slather on mounds of lotion. I just needed a little dab here and there, which for me is a great improvement. Also compared to other premium brands Palmolive is really affordable. I normally go crazy and stock up buying at least 8 bottles when  get the chance. It's a great soap and Palmolive Soft Touch is a great soap too with a little extra kick.  They also come out with great coupons to help you save when buying their products. Influenster included 5 in my box which I shared 4 of them with family. Well I had to keep one so I could try out the last variety in the bunch: Soft Touch with Aloe. 

Want your own bottle of Palmolive Soft Touch? Then head on over to Walmart and buy yourself a bottle...or more.

Have you tried Palmolive's Soft Touch dish soap and have a review of your own? Then feel free to go HERE and leave your own review! 

Disclaimer: I received these products for the sole purpose of reviewing them. All opinions are my own and no further compensation was received. 

May 24, 2013

Where Are the Dinos? Review

I was very fortunate to be able to share this book with the kiddos. I received it through my kindle as an ebook. The colors are so vivid and definitely meant to catch a little ones eyes. The words are typed in a big easy to read font, perfect for young readers. The story is engaging and is a really fun way to learn about rhyming words.

Throughout the book the question is asked, "Where are the Dinos?" Well sadly I don't think they're having a great party somewhere. The kids don't need to know that yet, all I know is they had fun reading this book. Even the older kiddos checked it out and did the fun activities at the end of the book.

 Yup, there are lots of fun facts and activities at the end of the book to keep the fun going. I printed out a few copes of each page so we could all do them. I even did them! Who knew that dinos lived over 160 million years ago? And I thought I was old.

About the Author:
Julia Dweck has 20 amazon e-books all aimed towards elementary school children. They're all fun educational books with a range of genres: from humor to fantasy, but all of them fun. I think its really important to make learning fun for kids. Julia has a background in elementary education which is why she is so great at writing books geared towards them. She has worked with some of the leading artists in the world of children's literature. She has also worked with Penguin Young Readers, a publishing house a lot of us recognize.

More Info:
You can find more of Julia Dweck's books here at her website: JuleLoves2Write.
You can also purchase her books over on Julia Dweck Books

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as a gift from a giveaway. I was not asked to do a review nor was it required of me. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received or given.

Uglee Pen Giveaway

by Dr James Lee

The UGLEE pen is the Ultimate grip pen made by Dr James Lee. Dr James Lee has his BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and his MD from Stanford University School of Medicine. While in college he found out real quick how uncomfortable all the writing could be with regular pens. He used all different types, materials, and shapes and still none worked well for him so he decided to come up with his own. It took Dr Lee 8 pen obsessed years to create the UGLEE pen! He must have a very patient and understanding wife, although the way I love pens I'd be right in there trying them all out!

The UGLEE pen weighs only 11 grams, which is less than 1/2 ounce. The shape fits perfectly into your hand, for a better grip and feel. The UGLEE pen also features the smoothest ink system known, better than roller ball, gel ink, or fountain ink pen!

Now, I suffer from arthritis and a little carpel tunnel so writing has become an issue for me. I actually love to write though and even write my reviews on a paper before typing them up. It makes me feel like I'm able to really put down what I think without all the extra mistakes. Also it gives me a chance to edit my work before it gets posted here. I have been using the UGLEE pen and notice that I'm able to write more longer. I don't have the immediate strain that I get from other pens. It's comfortable to use and I actually don't think its that ugly. I like the rubbery type grips on the pen, I think it gives it character. It also has a little glitter mixed into the dark rubber, glitter! It's a pen after my own heart and has become my favorite pen to use.

So if you're like me and love to write then you should definitely look into getting an UGLEE Pen!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

May 23, 2013

Achievements and More...

The last photo of my brother and his kiddos.

I may not have given birth to them but every thing they achieve comes back to me, at least I think so. Before my brother died I never imagined I'd be "mom" to 4 kids. When they first arrived they were failing and in bad shape - both mentally and physically. I definitely could deal with the physical aspect, better nutrition was definitely needed.

Damion and his first place UIL medal.
I knew things were bad when the first thing the kids said as I was feeding them lunch..."We get to eat more than once?" I was a little dumbfounded because I didn't understand what they were talking about. What did they mean eat only once? Yes apparently they normally ate only cereal, all day unless their mother decided to buy them fast food. They had lived in a hotel and slept on the floor. They talked about how they helped clean up the rooms for extra money. I was amazed and a bit guilty. Had I not done everything I could as their aunt to make sure they had a good life? We had helped their mother numerous times with food and money, but every time we saw them...they looked fine. They looked happy and healthy, but they weren't.

Their family was disjointed completely disfunctional and I had no idea. My oldest nephew, Richard, lived with his great grandma. The youngest, Damion (pictured to the left) lived with his grandma and believed his brothers and sister to be his cousins. The two in the middle - Edward and Amathyst, stayed predominately with their mother. They were the ones to bring everything to light. With the school constantly calling about them everything came to a head when they showed up on our doorstep. We -my mother and I,  had no clue what was happening as we sat their speaking to the CPS caseworker. Edward was mentally disturbed...wait what? My "daddy" was mentally disturbed and I didn't know. What were they talking about, when I had him he was well behaved. A little angel with its ups and downs but never disturbed. He had hit. kicked, punched his teachers and broken a window. His mother received money because of his problems and yet she didn't send him to counseling. We were brought the oldest and the youngest a couple days later and that started the journey.
Edward receiving his award for most improved on the clarinet.

Fast forward almost 4 yrs and they have come so far. Richard has been on the honor roll since he came to stay with us. He has all AP classes and apart from his teenage hormones he is doing well. Amathyst is flourishing in her Mariachi class playing the violin and singing. She gets nothing but As & Bs and well has a little attitude, but nothing unmanageable  Edward, who had the hardest time, is on the A honor roll and has been for years. He plays the clarinet in the band and was accepted to play on the symphonic band that goes out and performs in bigger events. He has really found his spot with band and I really do believe that it has helped him to become a better student. Damion has surprised me the most. He was just this sensitive - very sensitive little boy. He was shy and had little confidence because he had been so sheltered. He didn't really know how to interact well with other kids, especially his brothers and sister. Fast forward and he is winning awards and really becoming a huge leader in his own right. He joined the "Leader In Me" program and I would definitely recommend it to other parents.

My niece posing in her newest outfit I bought her.
I think one of the bigger changes has been in myself. I was 10yrs old when I first told my mom I'd never have kids. She kind of laughed and said those things would change when I got older. I grew up with 4 brothers, just like my niece, and was actually a bit sheltered. Of course now when I look back on how many of my friends got pregnant at an early age...I'm quite thankful. I saw all my friends having babies, getting married and thought, that's just not for me. When I hit my mid twenties and my grandparents asked me when I was having babies, I shrugged. I'm not 32 and those feelings have not changed, although I do take care of my brother's children I don't ask them to call me mom. They have a mom and had a dad, that sort of thing will never change. They do make cards thanking me for everything and that's nice. I do get filled with pride when they bring a good grade home or a citizenship award. I'd like to think that I'm making a difference for them and that they'll appreciate it. I guess only time will tell.

Damion being silly and cheering his brother on.

May 21, 2013

nuNAAT's GOGO Giveaway - Starting June 2013

nuNAAT is at it again and hosting another GOGO giveaway, this time it's for all you curly gals out there. Yup they are giving away their NAAT Treatment Curly Collection beginning next month! Are you excited because I sure am. Keep your eyes peeled and your hair hydrated ladies.

nuNAAT GOGO Giveaway:
NAAT Treatment Curly collection

For naturally wavy or curly hair in need of frizz reduction, added body, and defined curls.

Made with Cupuaçu Butter for intense hydration and super antioxidants, plus Keratin protein for strengthening hair back to its healthy, natural state.

Collection includes:
- Shampoo
- Conditioner
- Leave-In
- Hair Mask

Retail Value: $25 per set
(total giveaway value: $50)

You can check out my review on nuNAAT's Brazilian Keratin right HERE.

May 20, 2013

$50 Express GC Giveaway

So I would love to shop at Express and get some super duper cute clothing, but unfortunately they aren't very big gal friendly. Now that being said their sizes do go up to XL on some items. They have some super cute shoes and their jewelry is nice as well. That outfit would be my dream outfit to fit into when I reach my weight loss goal. So what about you guys what would you buy if you had $50 to spend at Express? Would you go for a super cute dress or maybe you're a tee and jeans gal like myself. Or you could just spend it on jewelry and maybe a handbag or too, if you like those types of things.

Win $50 Gift Card to Express!

How to Win: Just enter into the rafflecopter below and complete what you'd like. Yup that easy! Keep in mind you are not required to follow me on Facebook as that is against Facebook policies. If you would like to follow then you get those entries.

Who Will Win: One lucky person will win - all entries are verified. That person will have 48hrs to respond before I choose another winner.

**In order to vote on Picket Fence just click the link in the rafflecopter. It'll take you to a page - once there copy the url and paste it into the entry on rafflecopter.

May 14, 2013

Children's Book Review & Giveaway

Children's Bookset

So while I was shopping at HEB for my monthly groceries I came upon these really cute children's books. I loved how they were illustrated, all by different people. They had a pretty big selection of books but I opted for the more well known ones. I chose 8 books that I thought most of us had read growing up. They're all great to help get the kiddos to bed, spend some time with them, and for them to get better with reading.

First up is the Gingerbread man illustrated by Gail Yerrill. If you don't know what the book is about well its about an old woman who wants to eat a tasty treat so she bakes a gingerbread man. Well I know I wouldn't want to get eaten and neither did the gingerbread man because he jumped up and ran away. This is a classic story retold by Louise Martin and will definitely get your little one laughing.

The next story on the list is Rumpelstiltskin which is illustrated by Erica-Jane Waters. I loved the vivid colors she used in the book. They are definitely eye-catching and will grab your little ones attention. If you aren't familiar with the story its about a miller who told a huge tale to the king about his daughter. His lies put his daughter in a pretty bad spot, but Rumpelstiltskin comes to her rescue? Be careful what you ask for.

The third book is Beauty and the Beast illustrated by Jacqueline East. The story isn't the same Disney story, in this version the girl is named Beauty and she has two sisters. Her father is a merchant who loses everything and gets lost in a forest only to be confronted by the Beast. I thought it was a bit iffy on the message though - she refuses to marry him until the very end when he turns into a human. Maybe beauty is skin deep, at least thats what I got from it.

I absolutely adore the illustrative work by Polana Lovsin. The story is the same one we all grew up with. I think the illustrations definitely bring this story to life. If you aren't familiar about the story its about a little duckling that is ridiculed about his looks. Everyone sees his "ugly" gray feathers and he feels horrible about it and hides himself. Well once he grows up he finds out he wasn't so ugly after all.

Little fact: a baby swan is actually called a cygnet, but I don't think "The Ugly Cygnet" would sound sa good.

The cute illustrations done by Erica-Jane Waters makes you almost forget the fact that Hansel and Gretel is about a witch that wants to eat children. I mean seriously some children's books are so out there, but it made sure you stayed close to home. For those of you who don't remember the story - Hansel and Gretel's step-mother take them into the woods and leave them because they can no longer care for everyone in the family. The meet a witch at a gingerbread house and have to fight for their lives.

Jack and the Beanstalk is another story that sort of strays from the story I remembered. This version Jack meets the giants wife who helps him while he is basically stealing from her husband. The story ends the same though with the giant dying after Jack cuts the beanstalk down. This version is illustrated by Gavin Scott whose drawings are bit more rough with a childlike look to them.

Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs is the 7th book that I'll be giving away and its illustrated by Jacqueline East. This story stays true to the stories I grew up with as well as the Disney story. Evil stepmother jealous and crazy goes after poor Snow White for being "fairer" than her. Handsome prince comes to kiss her and voila she wakes up and they wed. We all know the story and I for one am still waiting for my handsome prince to come whisk me away to some palace far away.

The Princess and the Pea was actually a story I didn't really remember ever reading. I know I heard of it a couple of times but didn't really remember it. Apparently princesses' have very sensitive backs because she could feel a teeny tiny pea underneath tons of mattresses.                                                  

May 6, 2013

Book Review Plague Nation by Dana Fredsti

Plague Nation by Dana Fredsti


Sequel to the thrilling zombie novel PLAGUE TOWN. The undead have been defeated in Redwood Grove, CA, but reports of similar outbreaks are coming in. What seemed to be an isolated event is turning into a pandemic. The last thing Ashley Parker wanted when she went to college was to join the military, but she is one of a select few who are immune to the virus. Gifted with enhanced speed, strength, and senses, she’s recruited by a shadowy international organization that’s existed for centuries, its sole purpose to combat the zombie threat.

Dark secrets begin to emerge, and when an unknown enemy strikes, Ashley and the other zombie hunters—known as “wild cards”—embark on a desperate mission to reach San Francisco. If they fail, the plague will sweep the nation unchecked. And the person she cares for most may die. Or worse.

My Review:
So I was very excited to get this book because I loved the first book, Plague Town. Ashley Parker is a kick-ass character and I really like her, so was excited to see what happened to her next. I also wanted to see what would come of her relationship with Gabriel. Things between them seemed to have cooled off though, but I'm sure it isn't all over for them. Plague Nation is full of zombie action with Ashley and the other wild cards traveling to try and reach a new lab - their old lab was destroyed. Wild cards are people who were somehow immune to the plague that turned everyone else into zombies. Sadly not everyone makes it to the end, but obviously not everyone is going to live in a zombie apocalypse.

The book was a bit repetitive in the beginning - fight zombie, kill zombie, fight zombie, kill zombie, but towards the middle is when you get that - WHAT? moment. Someone is trying to stop Ashley and the wild cards from finding a cure to the virus. Yup there are some very evil humans that see nothing wrong with the whole world going down in one zombiefied boom.

Overall this book really delivered and was a great match to Plague Town -which I absolutely loved. While some of the pop culture references blew me off, honey boo boo...really; they didn't kill the fun. It was filled with a funny, strong, wise-cracking heroine just trying to save the nation...or world. Yup I'm sure the next book will end up being Plague World - and hopefully Ashley and the rest of the wild cards will finally bring an end to the zombie virus.

You can also check out my review to the first book in this series: Plague Town

May 5, 2013

Review: Ellagee Nail Polish

Ellagee Nail Polish

These are my first two "homemade" polishes and they're both by ellagee. I really had to push myself to buy polishes that were not made by a major company. I'm always worried about the quality of the polish, even when seeing other reviews. I'm so glad I decided to try out Ellagee's polishes first though because they were awesome.

Pay no attention to the typo!!

The first polish I tried out was "Party Like It's 1999" it was a black/grey holo polish with red, blue, green, and yellow glitter inside. Sadly the glitter was very hard to get and I ended up only getting some here and there on my nails where were not very visible because of the dark base. I was okay with that though because I loved the base by itself, it is so much more colorful in person than shown in the photos. 

The second polish was "Fly Me To The Moon" and was pretty typical glitter polish. It covered nicely and even on its own - below was two coats, it looked great. I went for a polish that I knew I would really like and wouldn't be too far a stretch from what I would normally get.

Hadn't noticed the polish on my middle finger - doh!


Overall I was really impressed with the wear of the polish - about 5 days, the colors - which were nice, no bleeding of the glitter, and the ease at which they went on. The polishes were super smooth, no chunky mess and they're pretty affordable at $8.50 a pop. I bought the two pack and it came in a cute little box which I thought added a sweet touch. If you're looking to buy some homemade polishes but are wary about the quality, try out ellagee! She will definitely not disappoint and shipping was great.

Check out these links:
ellagee Facebook
ellagee etsy shop