Showing posts with label lou16. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lou16. Show all posts

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Reviewing Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla Tea

I absolutely love my tea which is why I thought I would review another tea staple in my life - Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla.

Reviewing Twining's Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla tea - a relaxing blend
Photo from Pixabay
I am a big fan of Twining's teas and have actually written about their peppermint tea previously.   As much as I enjoy a good coffee, tea is the staple drink of my life.

Every day starts with a mug (I don't really do tea cups unless I have a pot to top it up from!) of Arbonne tea and when I get home from a busy day at work nine times out of ten I'll have a mug of Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla tea.   I usually also drink this tea before going to bed, except for the odd nights I made myself a Milo.

Chamomile as a herb is known for it's relaxation properties and I do remember the first time I tried it, it was made from actual dried chamomile flower (like the photo above) and it had a back taste that I really didn't like at all.   I have tried various brands several times over the years both as a loose tea and in a tea bag form and I haven't been able to stomach the after taste of the Chamomile.

A couple of years ago I tried a Spiced Apple and Chamomile blend from Twinings which I didn't mind so when the Twinings teas were on special again I thought I would try the Chamomile, Honey and Vanilla - I haven't looked back!

I don't know if my taste buds have changed as I've gotten older or if it's the addition of the honey and vanilla flavours, but I thoroughly enjoyed this blend and, as I've said, it is now a staple in my life - in fact I think I have four boxes in my cupboard as I write this!

If you want a caffeine free tea (complete with relaxing properties) to drink before going to bed I can really recommend this one.

There are quite a few tea drinkers that write for Review This Reviews and you can check out their reviews right here - Tea Related Reviews.

Have you tried this tea blend before?






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Stranger, a TV Series

I would like to review a British television series called The Stranger and I can easily do it in one sentence.   Go and watch it right now!

Harlan Coben's The Stranger a Netflix series
The Stranger (British TV Series) - image adapted by Lou16
from a photo on Pixabay.com
Want more than my bossy sentence?   Well I must admit the trailer for this series looked good and certainly peaked mine and my husband's interest, but the series itself totally outshone our expectations.  It is based on a book by American author Harlan Coben and after watching it I am definitely going to start reading some of his books.

The series has a British cast that if you watch many British shows you'll probably be very familiar with.   There were lots of actors that I recognise from different shows that they've popped up on.   The main star of the show is Richard Armitage who as an actor first came to my attention in the British spy series Spooks, although he has a number of other credits to his name.

Another star is actress Siobhan Finneran who has appeared in several British television shows over the years, but I particularly liked her portayal of  a police detective in The Moorside (available through Amazon Prime).   In this show she, again, plays a detective.

I would also like to mention two other stars of the show - Shaun Dooley and Jennifer Saunders.   I will be honest and say that I felt both of these actors were not (in my opinion) on their best game, but the story was strong enough that they didn't need to be better.   As a fan of Shaun Dooley since I watched Married, Single, Other years ago (a great British drama series) I was a little disappointed in his acting.   I've also loved Jennifer Saunders since her French and Saunders days, but I didn't feel that her acting was to the standard of the rest of the cast.

An actor that was amazing was Paul Kaye, I absolutely hated his character, he played it perfectly

This series is what I call bingeworthy.   We started watching it on a Sunday night and were only going to watch one episode - 3 episodes later we had to turn it off as we had work the next day.   The following night we had things on and decided to just watch one episode before bed...we watched two and it was very hard to get up the following morning.

Luckily the third night we had nothing on and the series only has 8 episodes so we managed to finish it!   I recommend watching it when you have 8 hours to spare because you may not want to stop.

The main story line is very interesting as it's about a stranger approaching someone with details of a secret.   What keeps it enthralling is not just wondering about the stranger, but all the intricate little threads that the writers have kept running through it.   The book was adapted by screenwritter Danny Brocklehurst and he has done an amazing job.

The suspense was kept up with all these surprising things happening - as an example at the end of one of the episodes someone walks into their workplace and is greeted by their workmates.   That doesn't sound very cliffhangerish now does it?   However it made my husband and I both sit up as we hadn't anticipated that happening!

The ending of every episode has you wanting more and that is exactly why I loved it.

I did see that Danny Brocklehurst and Harlan Coben co- wrote another Netflix series called Safe so I am definitely going to put that one on the must watch list!

One of the great things about winter is definitely cold nights watching some great shows/movies with my hubby.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Why You Need a Fun Beauty Headband

I'm going to review for you today why you actually need a fun beauty headband such as this one pictured -


Peace signs and a fun black and white headband makes waiting for your facemask to dry go faster
Peace signs, laughter and a fun headband may not make your clay face mask
harden any quicker, but it passes the time nicely!

Now I don't wear make up very often so I don't need a beauty headband to keep my hair off my face while doing that, but I do love a good face mask.

I have actually written about my favorite face masks on here already from my fun clay face mask to my 'face never felt so smooth' cellular renewal face mask.   I would also like to tell you a little bit about double masking, but that can wait.

You need to have a beauty headband to keep your hair off of your face as your hair doesn't want to get covered in your face mask!   It's also handy to use one when you're cleansing, toning, treating and moisturising your skin.

Why would you grab a boring headband? - you deserve so much more, now maybe you want something glitzy and glam, but I recommend something fun because laughter is good for you and if you can't enjoy a little fun while having a beauty treatment in your own home - when can you?

It should come as no surprise to anyone who's read my cow onesie review that I love injecting fun into my life where I can.   At the moment I have two different fun beauty headbands that I use - the one featured above and the one below.   However I have just discovered a unicorn one on Amazon!   Oh my goodness, that is going on my Christmas list!


Face mask and pout all with a fun ears headband
This photo was for a face mask and pout friendly competition on instagram, as I've said
you only live once so why not have fun!  Don't you love the ears on this headband?

So where do you get these fun fashion headbands?   Well you can check out the selection online at Amazon - there are some great ones or keep an eye out when you're at the mall.   I got my two at a local cosmetics store.   If you're self conscious then I recommend online, the girl seemed to think I'd grown an extra head when I told her they were for me - she'd asked if I was buying them for my daughter!

Don't forget to have fun in your life, even while doing mundane things like treating your skin (a few pouts or peace signs don't go amiss either LOL!)   I'm sure I've read many times that if you're happy and enjoy life then you'll live longer and I challenge you not to have fun (or at least crack a little smile) while wearing a unicorn headband, pink furry fox ears headband or some other fun headband!

Do you have a fun beauty headband?   I'd love to know what ones you have.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Why I Love My Cow Onesie

Today I'm going to review a polar fleece cow onesie for adults and tell you why it was my best birthday gift.   I also love the presentation (kudos to the shop assistant for folding it this way).

My Cow Onesie folded up
My cow onesie all folded up!

So I recently celebrated another trip around the sun and this year my husband surprised me with a few gifts in the morning.  One of them was my absolute favorite for a number of reasons the main one being I had never asked for one and yet it's perfect!   That gift was the cow onesie pictured above.

When I unwrapped it I was like a kid again, I thought he'd got me a fun, novelty cushion to start with and then I realized what it was and I was so excited!   I love that it was a cow because I have a soft spot for cows and because it's just fun!

More Reasons to Love My Cow Onesie


If you're not into cow onesies there are lots of others ones to choose from (to be honest I would've been just as excited to get a unicorn onesie too!).

Polar fleece onesies mean they are lovely and warm which is just perfect for winter.   Here in Australia we are predicted to be heading into a very cold winter this year, so warmth is very important.  

If you have young children you can all wear onesies for a family movie night and have a lot of fun as your favorite animal.   Just in case you didn't realize I do think these are a lot of fun!

If you have a pet they will love snuggling up to you, my dog loves snuggling up all the time, but the cow onesie really won over my fur grandbaby - my daughter's kitten was not straying from her nanny once she felt the polar fleece!

All pets seem to love polar fleece so a polar fleece onesie means extra cuddles
Pets love polar fleece so a polar fleece onesie is just asking for lots of
cuddles - meet my grandfurbaby, Simba!

Back to my onesie, it has a hidden  zip in the back so that you can sit on the toilet without having to get undressed!   

It also has a tail which I thought was a lot of fun (that might just be me though!).

Onesie's with hoods just seem to me to be even warmer and I love putting the hood up as I'm curling up on the couch watching something on television such as House on Haunted Hill or Jack Ryan.

I do recommend going one size up than you'd normally wear as the idea is to be comfy which is easier if you keep the onesie more roomy.

Cow Onesies are Fun!
PIN ME!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Haunting of Hill House Reviewed

I have just finished the Netflix television series The Haunting of Hill House that Esquire coined as a spookier version of This is Us.   Not exactly how I would describe it!

The Haunting of Hill House, Television Series, Reviewed


I should also note that it is available to watch on Amazon Prime in the US (not sure about other markets), so if you don't have Netflix you can still watch it.

The series is based on the 1959 Gothic horror novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson.   I had actually watched the 1999 movie The Haunting that was also based on this book and although the critics panned it, I enjoyed it as I love psychological horror movies.   By the way, the series is very different to the film so it doesn't matter whether you've seen it or not.

It has been very hard to get my husband to watch any suspenseful or psychological horror films with me over the past couple of decades so when I saw this series I knew I would have to watch it by myself.   I stayed up late at night watching it and I loved it.

The series runs through two timelines (which is where the connection to This is Us comes from), the first is of the Craine family's childhood as they live in Hill House as children before their mother commits suicide in the house.

The second timeline is of them as adults and they are brought together when their youngest sister goes back to Hill House to commit suicide.

Each episode reveals to us how the different family members were impacted by their childhood in the haunted mansion.   I found I was eager to keep watching the next episode.   The youngest twin Nell was haunted during her childhood by the bent neck lady and in the episode aptly named the Bent-Neck Lady there is a surprising twist that I wasn't expecting as to the identity of this lady.

I was a little disappointed by how the season ended, but if I'm honest I'm not sure that I would've been happy with any ending.

I think the actors were perfectly picked for their characters and acted their roles really well, I found myself completely drawn into the series.  I recommended it to my daughter and my husband told her that he didn't need to watch it as he'd listened to my commentary, ' don't go, oh you had to go there didn't you?', I do not recall having that conversation with the television, but it is very plausable!

If you can sleep after watching supernatural dramas that are full of suspense then I thoroughly recommend this one.   Apparently they are bringing out a second season based on another family and another house.   I'll be honest I probably won't watch that one as I feel like this was a one season show. 

Definitely worth a quiet night in and a big bag of popcorn.

More Television Series | Mini Series to Enjoy


If you don't fancy this television series I can also recommend the following shows (although please note I've only watched one season of Shetland):

Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)Thirteen (2016 TV Mini-Series)
This mini-series starts with a young 26 year old woman running out of a house for a payphone and claiming to be a girl called Ivy who was last seen 13 years ago. Is it really her and what has happened over the last 13 years?


Good Omens 2019 TV MiniseriesGood Omens 2019 TV Miniseries
David Tennant and Martin Sheen are absolutely outstanding in this adaptation of Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman's book Good Omens. Even if you've never read the book you will love the writing and the chemistry between these two characters representing good and evil.


Upload, an Amazon Prime TV SeriesReviewing the Amazon Prime TV Series Upload
This dark comedy is based in the year 2033 where death doesn't always mean it's all over. If you have the money you can choose to upload your consciousness and memories into a virtual 'afterlife' where you can stay forever


Shetland Series ReviewedShetland Series Reviewed
Shetland is a crime drama set in the picturesque Scottish Shetland Islands, the main character is DI Jimmy Perez who's also a single father. The scenery is beautiful and the plots are full of twists which make them very watchable.


Reviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC MurdersReviewing Agatha Christie's the ABC Murders
The ABC Murders is definitely one of Agatha Christie's best novels, this adaptation does take some liberties that a purist may not like, but it is still an enjoyable mini series to watch.


The Widow Series ReviewedThe Widow Series Reviewed
This series starts with English widow seeing a news article where she believes she spots her late husband alive and well in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of course this leads to her flying out to DRC in search of him, the series has twists and turns, suspense and action and is thoroughly recommended.


Reviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV SeriesReviewing Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - The TV Series
Jack Ryan is a character who was born in a novel by Tom Clancy, the son of a Baltimore cop and a nurse who serves as a marine before becoming a history teacher and finally joining the CIA. A few of the books were made into blockbuster movies and now we have a television series.


And Then There Were None - The Mini SeriesAnd Then There Were None - The Mini-Series
Based on an Agatha Christie novel this is one of her darker novels and is based in the 1930s around a nursery rhyme called 10 Little Indians/10 Little Soldiers. It will keep you guessing right up to the end.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Reviewing Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Every Mother's Day people are looking to get something special for their mother.   While flowers and chocolates are a common standby, there are other ideas so let's have a look at a few.

Flowers aren't the only gift you can give your mum on mothers day


Gifts for the Mum's Who Love to Read


Obviously if their favorite author has released a book then grab them a copy, or if you've heard of a new author that you think they'd like this is an ideal time to make that introduction!

There are other things that would be good for book lovers though one of our contributors has reviewed an amazing range of gift ideas for people who love big books.

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Gift Ideas

Your mother might be a regular at her local library in which case a library book would definitely not go astray.

Gifts for Tea or Coffee Drinking Mothers


Don't all mothers drink at least one of these?   You could buy them some specialty coffees or teas or even a coffee machine.   Another idea which always seems to be a winner is a mug.

Mugs for Mum Ideas

There are lots of different gift ideas for coffee lovers such as these coffee slippers.

Mothers Day gift ideas include these coffee slippers
Women's Coffee Slippers - Perfect for the Coffee Loving Mom

When it comes to the tea drinking mother then we have some great gift ideas right here -

Gifts for Moms That Enjoy Wine


You can get some beautiful wine glasses including the fun Lolita collection that I'm sure any mom would love.   If they already have wine glasses covered then maybe they need some wine pearls ...

Wine Pearls - Chilling Wine in Style

Of course some nice wine to go with it is bound to be appreciated!

Spa Gift Ideas for Your Mother


Maybe you want your mother to feel special and a spa day with you just isn't on the cards.   Why not give her some of Arbonne's beautiful spa range so that she can have a spa experience in her own home.

Arbonne's Rescue and Renew products, beautiful for creating a spa experience in your own home
Arbonne's Rescue & Renew Product, perfect for a day spa at home


One of the products in their spa range is the French pink clay face mask which feels absolutely divine, you can read about it here:

Have Fun with this Pink Clay Face Mask

Essential Oils for Your Mum


Following on from the spa idea is essential oils, if your mum loves essential oils then she may have her own selection, but I'm sure she would be happy to get some aromatherapy jewelry or a diffuser.   If she's interested (or you think she would be) in aromatherapy then you could get her a few essential oils.

Some great essential oils for a beginner includes lavender, lemon and peppermint (I use ones from Arbonne, but just make sure that any you purchase are 100% pure essential oils).

Why I Love My Aromatherapy NecklaceWhy I Love My Aromatherapy Necklace
I love my aromatherapy necklace, it's something I had been thinking of getting for a while, but it was actually my daughter who finally brought me one as a gift. Let me share my review with you and let you know how I wouldn't be without this now.

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the HypeAn Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the Hype
I received a HoMedics brand of essential oil diffuser as a gift and I love it. It's easy to use. The rotating colored lights gives the room a lovely ambience as well. Read my review to see what my hesitation on getting one was and why I think it lives up to the hype.

Lava Stone Bracelet ReviewLava Stone Bracelet Review
These bracelets are fully adjustable due to the sliding knot and are surprisingly affordable. Lava stones can be used as a wearable oil diffuser. They also make a very attractive fashion accessory.


Gift Ideas for Mothers Who Love a Puzzle


If your mother enjoys jigsaw puzzles or Sudoku then I have a few gift ideas she may enjoy right here:

Wooden Puzzle Compartment BoxesWooden Puzzle Compartment Boxes
The boxes are offered individually with different designs to choose from. The workmanship is beyond outstanding. You would never know just looking at the box that it is also a fabulous puzzle with secret compartments inside.

A Novel Gift for a Sudoku FanA Novel Gift for a Sudoku Fan
I think this novel gift idea for Sudoku fans is even more apt in 2020! It is ideal for a mom that has a sense of humour as well as a love of this numerical puzzle, I know my mum would get a laugh out of it.

Reviewing Ravensburger Puzzles Over 2000 PiecesReviewing Ravensburger Puzzles Over 2000 Pieces
Ravensburger is a brand of puzzle that I can count on for quality. With over 2000 pieces in these puzzles they are ideal for a mother who is serious about her jigsaw puzzles (although you may want to measure her table beforehand to make sure it will fit!


More Gift Ideas that Moms Will Love


Of course I love a comfy pair of PJs, a dressing gown or a warm pair of slippers when it comes to comfy and practical gift ideas.

Scarves are also a great gift idea and I know I've got a few for my own mother over the last few years.   During the 2020 pandemic a group of people that I work online with have started to show off their scarf selections by way of big hair bows.   I couldn't resist joining in!

Me trying out a big hair bow for the first time!

Beautiful Affordable Scarves Make Great Gift Ideas

If you can't be there with your mother this Mother's Day then why not look at getting her a lipstick to brighten up her day so that she can smile anyway!

I absolutely love the feel (and look) of Arbonne's Lip Duos which I've reviewed here:

Reviewing Arbonne's Lip Duos

What Will You Be Getting Your Mum This Year?


I've actually gotten my mum something from Arbonne this year (I can't say what in case she reads this) for a couple of reasons.   The first is that I think she'll love it (the most important thing after all).  The second is that I could log into my online account, order something for her and get it shipped straight to her door even though we live in different countries.   That is what I call convenience.






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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Reviewing Arbonne's Lip Duos - The Best of Both Worlds for Lipstick Lovers

Now I should start off by saying that I generally don't wear much make up.  When I do get the urge to 'doll myself up' I tend to just stick to a CC cream, lipstick and sometimes a lick of mascara so it does seem strange that I'm reviewing Lip Duos!

Arbonne Lip Duos - Matte and Gloss lipstick in one


When it comes to lipstick though I must admit as soon as I tried Arbonne's Lip Duos I was hooked.   This weekend Arbonne have launched 17 new products including 2 new Lip Duos.   This has made the colour selection a lot more rounded in my opinion as it was lacking in the pinks before.

Arbonne's Lip Duos - Pink Matte Lipstick & Pink Lip Gloss in the one stick
The two new colours

Why are Lip Duos Better Than Lipsticks?


I think Lip Duos are way better than lipsticks because they are (as the name suggests) doubled ended.   One end is a matte lipstick while the other end is a gloss, in my mind as someone who doesn't wear cosmetics very often this gives a lot more choice.

I usually prefer a matte look which these provide, my daughter however prefers a gloss look which these also provide.   You can also use the gloss end over the top of the matte for a really finished, deep look. 

I always had quite full lips when I was younger, but as I age I have noticed that they have become thinner and these lip duos are ideal if you have thin lips.

Lip Duo's Minimize the Look of Thin Lips


Choose from the selection of colours available in the Lip Duos (or get all of them so you have variety).   Apply the matte lipstick to your lips and then take the gloss and simply apply it on the Cupid's bow of your lips and down into a point in the middle of your lower lip, similar to the shape of a love heart.

How to add gloss over matte lipstick to make the lips seem fuller
Image from Pixabay adapted by Lou's Designs


As this is adding gloss to what is the fullest part of your lips it 'fools the brain' of anyone looking at your lips into thinking they are fuller.   It's a tip I was taught as a teenager when I didn't need to use it, but I'm grateful that I remembered it and that the lip duos make it easy to apply.

Lip Duos are So Easy To Apply


Using a lipstick when you're not used to it sometimes doesn't give an even line (in my case anyway), back in the day I always used a lip liner, but that was when I wore make up all the time.   I have never mastered applying lipstick with a brush so that idea was out.

When I got my first lip duos (2 years ago) I discovered that they come with these cool applicators that are simply a breeze to apply - I really don't think you can mess these up!

The new addition to the collection look like a lot of fun, but if you're not a pink girl then that's okay there are plenty of others to choose from.   My favourite (at the moment, I'm waiting to try the two new ones) is Jasmine.   Which colour do you like best?



Oh and I forgot to mention these are vegan, cruelty-free, paraben free, mineral oil free and feel absolutely gorgeous on.

BTW, Yes, I am an Arbonne Consultant!


If you are interested in any of the Arbonne products I've reviewed please reach out to me either via Messenger or DM me on Instagram, I'd love to talk about any products that you want more information on as well as make sure you get the best deal possible.

Here's a few reviews you may have missed:


Reviewing Arbonnes pink clay face maskMake #selfcare FUN with this Pink Clay Face Mask
Arbonne's Rescue & Renew range is basically like having a day spa set in your home and my favorite 'member' of that set is the face mask. Formulated from French pink clay I have one word for this face mask - heavenly!

Reviewing Arbonne Essentails Herbal Tea one of the products from the 30 days to healthy living programReviewing Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea
Known in some countries as herbal tea and others as a detox tea this is a drink I have every day as it's formulated with herbs that help to support my body. It also happens to taste really nice, I even know a few people who do not call themselves tea drinkers who now enjoy this beverage.

Reviewing Arbonne's Prepare & Endure by Phytosport - a vegan sports supplementReviewing Prepare & Endure by Phytosport
Arbonne's Phytosport Prepare & Endure is a vegan, non-caffeinated pre-workout. The formula provides your body the energy it needs for optimum performance from amino acids, B12 and a botanical formulation of cayenne, ginseng and tumeric.

Keeping soreness at bay with Phytosport's After Workout Supplement - a reviewHow to Keep Post-Workout Soreness at Bay - the Easy Way
Arbonne's Phytosport range includes a post workout supplement called After Workout. This supplement includes BCAAs which are taken to help your muscles knit together quicker and so reduce muscle soreness post-workout.

Reviewing Arbonne's RE9 Advanced Cellular Renewal MaskReviewing Arbonne's RE9 Advanced Cellular Renewal Mask
The active botanical ingredients in this face mask are pineapple and papaya and these fruits are used because they are a natural source of AHAs. This review will tell you what AHAs are and how they work, but from a lay person's perspective they just mean silky smooth skin with a WOW factor!

Tea Tree Oil and it's usesReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
I have been using Tea Tree oil for over 20 years now and absolutely love it. In this article I share different ways you can use the 100% pure essential oil around your home as well as for your skin and other ailments.

Reviewing Arbonne's Multi Vitamin & Mineral powder supplementReviewing a Multi Vitamin & Mineral in Powder Form
Now I don't know about you, but I am convinced that tablets are just getting bigger and bigger in fact my last multi vitamin tablets looked like horse tablets (as my mum would say!), when I heard that Arbonne had released a multi vitamin & mineral in powder form I just had to try it and then review it for you!

Reviewing the Green Ogre drink - a healthy drinkReviewing the Green Ogre Drink
The Green Ogre Drink is a health drink that I have every single morning. It is basically made up of four different Arbonne nutritional products and water and I enjoy it instead of a morning coffee. In this review I talk about what I believe it does for me as well as going through the ingredients for you.

Reviewing how to reboot your body with Arbonnes 30 days to healthy living and beyondReviewing How to Reboot Your Body
This review talks about my experience with Arbonne's 30 days to healthy living and beyond plan. I think this nutritional plan is amazing and it is the reason that I have become such a keen ambassador for Arbonne products. My body was certainly 'rebooted' on this program and I am far from alone in my findings.

Reviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend - essential oils for concentrationReviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend
I absolutely love essential oils and have been using them for years (way before I had heard of Arbonne). I was really keen to try their blends and this one is one that has been formulated to help provide clarity and focus. I review the different oils that have been used in the blend and what properties they each bring.

Reviewing Greens Balance by ArbonneReviewing Greens Balance by Arbonne
I am sure that your mom told you to eat your greens, I know mine did. Greens Balance by Arbonne provides a serve of fruit and veg from a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetables. It is great to add into your food, take as a shot or in a shake as I know many people struggle to get enough serves of fruit and veg in their day.

Why Fizz Sticks Should be Part of Your Emergency KitWhy Fizz Sticks Should be Part of Your Emergency Kit
If you're wondering what fizz sticks are they are basically a natural energy drink. Now you may think well I don't need them in my emergency kit, but what if you have no electricity or any way to make yourself a coffee, then add the stress of whatever emergency situation you're in (perhaps throw in a young family), you need a quick and simple way of getting caffeinated (and staying hydrated) enter fizz sticks.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Reviewing Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas

Over the last couple of years I have found myself reading more and more personal development books and one that I read earlier this year is Lucky Bitch: A Guide for Exceptional Women to Create Outrageous Success by Denise Duffield-Thomas.

An easy to read, law of attraction style of personal development book

I had never heard of this book until it literally fell off the library shelf in front of me!   I took that to be a sign from the universe that this was the book I needed to read even though the author, Denise Duffield-Thomas made the title such a mouthful.   I'll just refer to Lucky Bitch: A Guide for Exceptional Women to Create Outrageous Success to Lucky Bitch for the rest of this review.

I loved this book, the author believes in the law of attraction and it is basically this that she talks about, she does so as though she were sitting down with a coffee (or cocktail) and talking to you as a friend.   I have found a number of law of attraction style books hard to read, but this one was so easy to read I finished it a lot quicker than I normally do.

I also have a copy of this book in my shopping cart ready to purchase when I do my next book order.

So, why do I like it and what makes it different to the hundreds of other law of attraction style of personal development books?


  • It's very easy to read, more of a chatty form of book than a stuffy one.
  • It has very actionable steps for you to take with lots of examples.


Denise and her husband actually won a competition to become honeymoon testers travelling the world for six months which is where the 'Lucky Bitch' comes from.   She shares the techniques she used to ensure that it wasn't luck as in chance that led them to winning, but the law of attraction.   She left nothing to chance and worked hard.

I loved the fact that she didn't make it seem woo-woo and that all you had to do was say your gratitudes every morning and daydream about what you want in your life.   Let's face it I know that's not actually what some books say, but it's the impression that you can be left with.

Denise breaks it all down in Lucky Bitch so that you know if you really want something then harnessing the law of attraction can be done by anyone, but it does entail working and believing it's possible.

I love utilizing my local library to get books to read, but when I discover one that I can easily devour and learn things from I go ahead and buy my own version and that is what I will be doing with this one.

The only thing I was worried about was as I was reading and not wanting to put it up I thought I really should be taking down notes.   I then decided that no, I would enjoy reading the book through and then I could re-read it with a notebook.   I made a wonderful discovery at the end of the book -

Personal Development Book Review of Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas
A great find at the back of the book!


It's almost like she anticipated people devouring the books without taking notes and has a synopsis of tasks for you to do at the back, broken down by chapter.

Do You Enjoy Reading Personal Development Books?


Not everyone enjoys reading personal development books and I have to say that a few years ago the idea that they would be a regular part of my life is something I wouldn't have believed.   I used to think that they were good for some people, but not me LOL!

I actually read at least 10 pages a day out of a personal development book every morning now (this one I also read in the evening - the first time I had done that) and I have found them to be really good for my mental well being.

I am very intrigued to know how many readers also enjoy reading this style of books, I'm thinking there's quite a few considering how big the personal development section in the bookstore is.

Here's a couple of the personal development books I have reviewed here on Review This -

The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson


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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Reviewing Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders Mini-Series

Agatha Christie Mini Series - The ABC Murders
Yes, that's a grown up Ron Weasley
playing a Scotland Yard dectectiv
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I have to put my hand up and say I'm an Agatha Christie fan from decades back and one of the books that I liked was the ABC Murders, I loved the twist in this novel.

Adapting a book to a mini-series always presents challenges in keeping true to the author for their fans while also ensuring it works well for today's audiences.   I feel that when they adapted And Then There Were None they really captured that well.   In this case I feel conflicted.

As I said I enjoyed this book immensely, but having finished the three part mini-series I'm not sure if I liked it or not!   I was intrigued with the casting of John Malkovich in the role of Hercule Poirot and I think he makes a surprisingly refreshing change to David Suchet or Peter Ustinov.

The problem for me was that key elements of the story was changed, one of the key players wasn't in the mini-series and two of the other players had totally different roles, in fact I was very surprised by a certain death that occurred.

While watching it the thing that I really didn't find added anything to the mini-series was flashbacks that Poirot was having to his time before arriving in the UK and at the end you see what role he supposedly had before leaving Belgium which is completely at odds with the character Dame Christie created.

If I wasn't as familiar with Hercule Poirot I might not have minded the liberties taken and it may have added something, but I'm not sure.   It has left me feeling very conflicted about whether or not to recommend this series.

When it comes to one of the main characters lodgings in London, the series certainly makes them a lot seedier than my imagination created in my mind as I read the book.

I was grateful that they didn't change who the killer was because at one point I thought they were going to make it a different person which would've been insane (in my opinion).   I did like the reveal after the murderer was revealed.   Instead of the almost iconic Poirot gathering of the characters for his big reveal they went with the power of television to give flashbacks of key scenes.

Do I recommend this series?   I really am conflicted so I will just say if you are an Agatha Christie purist absolutely not.   If you haven't read the book then I think you might enjoy this.   I would be intrigued to know your thoughts if you do decide to check this miniseries out.

If you've not heard of the ABC Murders before then it basically starts with Hercule Poirot getting letters from someone who signs himself ABC ..... and then the murders begin. 

The first is Alice Asher in Andover, the second is Betty Barnard in Bexhill, you get the idea.   Next to each murder victim a copy of London's ABC (the famous railway guide) is left opened at the appropriate letter.   Each destination is one that has a connection with Poirot and the letters are addressed to him almost taunting him to participate in the murderer's 'game'.

The story is set in 1930s London and the backdrop shows the rising fascist movement and anti-immigrants movement which adds to the bleakness that accompanies Poirot's traumatic flashbacks.


The ABC Murders on Amazon Prime
Click here to get the ABC Murders on Prime Video

 
Now I watched this on the ABC channel in Australia (which I thought was kind of ironic!), but I could've watched it on Amazon Prime.   I do love Amazon Prime and have enjoyed watching shows such as Jack Ryan and Good Omens on there.




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Saturday, March 7, 2020

March Really is a Month to Celebrate!

There are so many month long celebrations to enjoy in March, let's take the time to review a few of them.
Celebrating lots of National March Holidays

Women's History Month


March is Women's History Month.   There are lots of ways to celebrate this, but we can point you towards two ideas right here!   Try reading the book When Women Ruled the World based in Ancient Egypt, which Bev reviews right here.   Alternatively if you prefer watching a movie Bev has also reviewed Hidden Figures.

If you're celebrating Women's History Month (or should we call it Women's Herstory Month?) then please let us know how in the comments below.

Irish American Heritage Month


It stands to reason that March is Irish American Heritage Month as it does encompass St Patrick's Day.   Although the Feast of St Patrick has been celebrated for centuries, the St Patrick's Day parades and global celebrations as we know them have been majorly influenced by Irish Americans.

From eating traditional Irish food, or enjoying a tipple or two there are lots of ways of celebrating Irish American Heritage month - let us know if you're celebrating any Irish roots in the comments below.

National Nutrition Month


March is National Nutrition Month, which I wrote about last year - here's a few ideas  on how to celebrate National Nutrition Month.

We have lots of articles on this site for improving your nutrition.

National Craft Month


March is also National Craft Month which is something a number of the contributors on this site celebrate.  Cynthia has written about National Craft Month and links to stores that belong to other 'crafty' contributors.   You will find a number of articles on this site about various crafts.

If you enjoy crafts, please comment below and let us know your favorite craft.

Health Observations in March


March is also the month for a lot of different health related things such as:


  • Endometriosis Awareness Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
  • National Brain Injury Awareness Month
  • National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
  • National Kidney Month
  • Trisomy Awareness Month
  • Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month
  • National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month


Other March Observations

There are a few other month long celebrations in March including (but not limited to) the following:


  • Optimism Month
  • National Foreign Language Month
  • National Ethics Month
  • National Celery Month
  • National Frozen Food Month
  • National Peanut Month
  • National Umbrella Month
  • National Music in our Schools Month


I'm surprised that March isn't the National Month of Tea Parties as when I hear the expression mad as a March Hare it makes me think of the Mad Hatter's tea party from Alice in Wonderland!  I hope you've enjoyed looking at what special observations are celebrated this month.


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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Reviewing Pancake Recipes

Pancake Day isn't very far away and I can remember as a child being very excited when this date came around.   As an adult I don't get quite as excited, want to know why?

Protein pancakes - photo by Lou16


I grew up in the UK and the only time I remember ever eating pancakes was on Shrove Tuesday - everyone seemed to eat pancakes then!  Mum would make what I now think of as crepes and we would squirt on lemon juice (definitely not fresh in those days but in a little plastic bottle!) and sprinkle on sugar.   We would then proceed to roll them up and eat them - quicker than my poor mum could make them!

I should mention that this was for our dinner, it was unthinkable for us to have pancakes for breakfast!

Fast forward a few decades and with the take over of the world by McDonalds and their hotcakes along with the internet where recipes for American style pancakes were easy to find and I do enjoy pancakes throughout the year and for breakfast!

The drawback to pancakes whenever I want is that I no longer feel that excitement for Pancake Day when it comes around!

The Best Hotcakes My Husband Ever Made


Not long after we brought our first home in New Zealand the fast food giant, McDonalds opened up just down the road.   My husband popped down to get me hotcakes for breakfast one Sunday and then for the next couple of years that was my Sunday breakfast!

We moved to Australia over twenty years ago and he has cooked hotcakes a few times using a couple of different pancake mixes from the supermarket (similar to the Stonewall one Cynthia reviewed).   About five years ago I brought him the cookbook Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone and in this book my mum and I were about to feast on some delicious hotcakes.

If you don't have time to grab the book then I've found the link to the recipe and a video (you will not regret making these!) on the foodnetwork for you - https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/hotcakes-with-delicious-blueberry-compote-recipe-2041480


The Best Hotcakes I Make Are Healthy Ones!


I have in the last couple of years discovered a few different pancakes and my favorite are protein pancakes like the ones featured in the photo at the top of the page.   These pancakes are simply delicious, healthy and I get to eat them as one of my meals when I'd doing the 30 days to healthy living and beyond plan.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes You NEED To Make!

Ingredients

1 scoop Arbonne chocolate protein powder 
1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
125 ml unsweetened almond milk (I prefer to use either the Vitasoy or the So Good brand)
1 tbsp coconut flour
2 eggs

Directions

Simply mix all of the ingredients together well and then let stand for 10 minutes.   Letting it stand is very important, I can't remember why I was told that, but I've also done this and my hotcakes have turned out really well so why risk it?

Make sure you have a hot pan, I usually use coconut oil to cook them in, but that's not essential I know some people use rice bran oil or a butter and oil mix.  I use a ladle to put my mixture into the pan and I do them the size of a Macca's hotcake, I also only cook one pancake at a time.
When there are a quite a few bubbles showing on the top of the mixture it's time to turn the pancake over and cook the other side.

Serve with your usual toppings.   I usually take a scoop of Arbonne's vanilla protein powder and mix it with coconut yogurt to a thick cream consistency and layer them with that and whatever fresh berries I have.   It's like eating cake, but it's healthy for you!

Healthy Pancake Recipes for Children


I really don't think there was any nutritional value in the pancakes I had as a child, but the chocolate protein pancakes above would certainly fill a child up with some good quality protein without them realizing it.

Another idea for them is Hulk Pancakes!   You could call these Shrek Pancakes or Monster Pancakes depending on what they like.   These are basically protein pancakes with a serve of fruit and veg ....

1 scoop Arbonne vanilla protein powder
1/2 tbsp (which is about 1/2 a scoop) Arbonne's Greens Balance
1/2 tsp baking powder
125 ml milk of choice (I'd use almond milk personally)
1 tbsp coconut flour
2 eggs

Mix all of the ingredients together and then allow to sit for 10 minutes before cooking in a hot pan.

You could also try these Green Smoothie Pancakes which include spinach and bananas.

Banana Pancakes are often a hit when it comes to healthier pancake choices.

Here are two other healthy pancake recipes which I haven't tried yet, but are on my to eat list.

White Bean Pancakes
Linseed & Walnut Pancakes

Will you be eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?



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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Reviewing the Perfect Valentine's Day Card

What is it that makes the perfect Valentine's Day Card?   Do you know?  I do!


the perfect valentines day card


What makes the perfect Valentine's Day card is YOU!   Knowing and caring for your special person means that whatever card you choose will be the perfect Valentine's Day card.

There can be so much pressure on new couples around February 14th as they try and find the perfect card, the perfect gift or the perfect date.   I've even known someone who always broke off his relationships (if he happened to be in one when February began) just so he didn't have to deal with Valentine's Day!   Luckily he has now settled down with the love of his life and they don't celebrate Valentines Day at all.

My husband and I don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day as it's only a week after our wedding anniversary, but when we first started dating we did and I couldn't tell you what gifts I received, but the cards were the important thing.  My husband always says he's useless at choosing cards (and I must admit I do wonder where he goes sometimes until I open them up!), but he always finds one that says the perfect thing (for me that is) or a blank one when he's feeling like writing me a few paragraphs about what I mean to him.

So what is the perfect Valentine's Day card?   It's the one that shows the person you care for how much you care by either knowing what they love or by expressing your feelings for them or both.

If the person you love enjoys poetry by the likes of Poe then they may appreciate a Gothic Valentine's Day card, if you first bonded over the Walking Dead or on a Zombie walk then check out some of the Zombie Valentine's Day cards available.

Maybe your partner is a math geek or loves the Doctor in which case one of these Geeky Valentine's Day cards might be up their street.

If I was purchasing a card for my husband this year then any dog Valentine's Day card would be a winner, but this one would probably get him misty eyed -




If my daughter was getting her partner a Valentine's Day card (and I suspect they will be) then she'd probably get either a car one or one like this -




Would you guess they both love boxers?   Whereas my hubby is a total sucker for any Staffy type of dog.

The perfect Valentine's Day card is one that says I know you, or I'm listening to you.   So what type of Valentine's Day card would be perfect for the special person in your life?


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