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

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Did You Know That January is Hot Tea Month?

I thought I'd review our love of tea here on Review This Reviews and also share with you the teas I enjoy during my day.

Enjoying a cup of hot tea as January is hot tea month
The tea pictured is Arbonne's Detox Tea, click this link to purchase.

The authors on this site do seem to enjoy their hot tea and you can check out Cynthia's hot tea article to learn more about the different types of tea available.

I used to enjoy several mugs of black tea a day and an occasional green tea, but these days I enjoy herbal teas - which tea lovers will (correctly) say aren't actually teas, but herbal infusions.

Which teas do you prefer to drink?   I would love to know in the comments.

My Daily Teas - Whatever Month of the Year it is!


I start every day with a mug of Arbonne detox tea which I absolutely love.

If I'm meeting a friend during the day I will choose peppermint tea as my drink of choice as it's available at most cafes these days.

I used to have peppermint tea every afternoon, but these days I only drink it occasionally as January in Queensland, Australia (where I live) is pretty hot so I tend to drink a fizz stick instead.  Sometimes I do feel like a hot drink and I will switch between my usual peppermint or a Twining's Spearmint and Peppermint tea..

Other teas I may have are from Arbonne's holiday tea range (I'll probably enjoy them more in our winter months though).

At night I enjoy Twining's Chamomile and Honey tea.   You may have noticed that I am partial to Twining's teas, my husband even brought me a couple of their cold infuse teas to try, but this is hot tea month so we'll talk about them on another article.

More Tea Please!


Let's have a look at what some of the teas our other Review This contributors enjoy:

Cynthia reviews Aveda Comforting Tea which sounds absolutely delicious.
Barb enjoys Lifestyle Awareness teas and reviews a couple of them for us - Immunity Now & Serene Slumber.

Of course you also need to be able to make tea which brings us to Barb's Tea Kettle review.

I have written a review on gift ideas for tea lovers which enjoys some gorgeous tea pots and fun tea infusers, check that out here - Best Gifts for Tea Lovers.

So if you're not a tea drinker already, why not try a few different ones this January in honour of Hot Tea Month?   If you do (and I hope you do) then be sure to come back and let us know what ones you've enjoyed.

Of course there's one thing any cup of tea is good with and that's a great book!


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, December 28, 2019

Reviewing The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

Today I'm reviewing The Forgotten Village, a novel by Lorna Cook, if you're thinking that you haven't heard from this author before then I'm not surprised as this is her first novel, but she has a new novel that will be released in March 2020.

Book Review of The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook
The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook

I picked up this book as it is set in Dorset, England where I grew up and I was intrigued by the snippet on the back as it is set in the village of Tyneham where I was never able to visit, but my mother finally got to see it last year. 

This novel has two stories interweaved throughout: that of Lady Veronica in 1943 and that of Melissa set in 2018.   Tyneham is actually the 'forgotten village' mentioned in the title - although it is apparently titled The Forgotten Wife in Canada and the US which isn't as compelling a title in my opinion.

Tyneham - Real World History


Post Office Row, Tyneham, Dorset - the forgotten village requisitioned by the MoD during the second World War
Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa/2.0)
In 1943 the villagers of Tyneham were given a month to pack up and leave their village.   The 225 residents at the time were led to believe that they would be able to return after the war had ended.   Being a village on the coast the Ministry of Defence wanted to use the village in it's war efforts and the villagers left as patriots.

When the war ended, however, the requisitioned village was not returned to the original owners and is in fact still owned by the Ministry of Defence.   It has now been made accessible on some weekends when the Ministry of Defence isn't using it for training purposes.

Surprisingly there are several villages in the UK that suffered similar fates (I had always believed Tyneham was the only one).

Fictional Tyneham


In the book Melissa is on holiday in Dorset when she sees that the forgotten village of Tyneham is having it's grand re-opening (this never actually happened).   She visits and comes across a photograph of Lady Veronica and Sir Albert Standish (this family and the people are all fictional) which intrigues her.   She also meets a television historian (yes there is a romantic angle to the book) and they both try and find out what happened to the Standish couple as they appear to have disappeared.

The Two Stories in the Novel The Forgotten Village


This book weaves through Lady Veronica's life in 1943 as they prepare to leave the village as well as Melissa's life as she tries to find out what happened to Lady Veronica (and falls in love at the same time).

If you enjoy a little romance, glimpses of Dorset and historical novels then you will enjoy this book.   I found that although I put it down to go to bed I was lying awake wondering what had happened so much I ended up getting up again and finishing the book before going back to bed at some ungodly hour!

The only bit that I didn't really enjoy was when Melissa refers to her parent's relationship which I feel was an unnecessary aspect to the book, although I can see why the author thought it needed to be there.   Personally I got aggravated by her contemplating her parent's relationship especially as they weren't actual characters in the book.

I would definitely recommend reading this and I can't wait to see what the new book is about.

The author says this about her book -

"The Forgotten Village doesn’t attempt to delve too deeply into the intricacies of the requisition of Tyneham. I’m not sure I wanted to give readers a history lesson. Instead I hope I’ve written a well-paced story of love both lost and found, great sacrifice and how all is not forgotten even though it often appears to be. "

Meanwhile before heading to your local library or bookstore be sure to check out all of our book reviews (we do love to read on Review This Reviews!).


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, December 14, 2019

Reviewing Lego City People Pack #60202

As you can probably tell Lego City is my favorite of all the Lego themes, but there is often a drawback to them - a lack of minifigures.   This is particularly true in the Lego City Airport.   Sometimes buying minifigs can be expensive which is why I'm so happy that Lego City have started to make People Packs.

LEGO City People Pack – Outdoors Adventures 60202 Building Kit (164 Pieces)
Lego City People pack Outdoors Adventures Building Kit #60202 on Amazon


There's more than one Lego City People Pack available, but I've decided to review set number 60202 - the Outdoors Adventures Building Kit.  Let's have a look inside the box ...

What Do You Get With the Lego City People Pack - Outdoors Adventures Building Kit?


Say Cheese! and check out the egg, isn't it cute?
The main thing is 14, yes 14 Lego people aka minifigures!   There are a few other neat things in the set as well though including a very cool tent, dinghy, rock face, motorcycle and eagle!   As a photographer I also love the camera.

This really is an exceptional way to build your minifig collection up and is a great addition to other Lego City sets.

Pieces of note include the motorcycle which has thicker wheels than usual as it's a dirt bike so is really cool.   The baby minifig is just cute and you don't see many baby minifigs, in fact this is the only one I can recall seeing.   The eagle is a lovely touch as well (although I'll admit I do love birds in general so I may be a little biased!)

If this set doesn't appeal to you definitely keep your eyes out for the other Lego City People Packs as they are a must buy once you have a few other Lego City sets.   A perfect way to keep all of your Lego City more playable, different characters means different scenarios so let your child's imagination run away with them.

Happy building and maybe I'll bump into you in the Lego section of the toy store!

More Lego City Set Reviews



Lego City AirportReviewing Lego City Airport
Fancy going on a trip? Lego City Airport is the gateway to destinations around the world so why not visit and let your imagination run wild.


Lego City Fire Station ReviewLego City Fire Engine Review
All Lego Cities around the world need a fire station and this one is where the heroes of Lego City work out of to keep citizens safe and to even rescue Mr Muffins from a tree!


Reviewing Lego City Construction SiteReviewing Lego City Construction Site
Lego City is full of hustle and bustle as it swells in size, there always seems to be more buildings being done which is what keeps the Lego City Construction Site so busy and hard at work.






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, November 30, 2019

Reviewing Lego City Airport | Lego City Set #3182

Lego City has grown so much since it's inception in 1969 that it needs an airport like this one -
lego city airport 3182
Lego City Airport from Amazon

This Lego City set includes an airplane, airport terminal along with arrival & departure signs, crew and passengers.   It has a revolving door which is pretty neat, a VIP lounge, a baggage claim area and a check-in area complete with an x-ray machine.

There is even a baggage cart in this set to allow you to transfer the bags from check in to the airplane and from the airplane to the baggage claim area.

There are 5 lego mini figures in this Lego City Airport set and they are a pilot, flight attendant, steward, service man and passanger.

Lego City Airport #3182 on Amazon
The Lego City Airport #3182 set contains 703 pieces and has great playability after the building is completed.   Personally I love all of the little details like the soda machine and the computer behind the ticketing counter.

Now although I feel that this is a great set and would be loved by any Lego fan the biggest disappointment to me is the lack of mini figures.   Honestly if I went to an airport and found I was the only person there to catch a flight , well that's never happened!   Luckily when it comes to passengers you can use mini figures from other sets.

Let's look at airport staff next.   You do have a pilot and stewardess so that's good and I have been on smaller planes where that is all the staff, but in the actual airport?   That's a different matter.   We have one person to do passport control, check baggage, issue tickets, answer any enquiries, work in the control tower etc.   When it comes to outside there is only one person to drive the baggage out to the plan, load the plane, check the engine and fill up the fuel as well as signalling the plan to direct it when taking off and taxi-ing in.

Having said all this about the mini figures I guess it's a great excuse to buy some more!

There are lots of Lego City sets available and I do have to admit that Lego City is by far my favorite theme:



Lego City Fire Station - Reviewing Lego Set #7208
Lego City Fire Station - Reviewing Lego Set #7208
This Lego City set contains 662 pieces and once completed provides hours and hours of fun (much like the rest of the Lego City range). The fire station is fully manned with a whole shift on duty at any given time


Reviewing The Lego City Construction Site Set
Reviewing The Lego City Construction Site Set
Lego City is a hive of activity as new buildings have been approved by council - have you seen everything that's happening on the Lego City Construction Site? It's lots of fun with Lego Rollers, Lego Cranes, Lego Dozers and more 


Check out our other Lego reviews here - Lego Reviews on Review This Reviews.




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, November 16, 2019

Reviewing The Lego City Construction Site Set

Lego City is a hive of activity as new buildings have been approved by council - have you seen everything that's happening on the Lego City Construction Site?   It's lots of fun with Lego Rollers, Lego Cranes, Lego Dozers and more all working hard out.

"Lego City Construction Set" fun with Legos
Buy Lego City Construction Set from Amazon here!

If you don't have any of the myriad of Lego City Construction sets that are available then you'll be missing out on all of the excitement.

If you can only have one Lego City Construction set then you should get the Lego set #7633 pictured above.

This is a big set containing 898 pieces which will give you 3 different vehicles and 5 minifigures.

Lego City Construction Set
You can see the crane in action in this image.   The Lego Crane actually measures 17" long and 13" high.

Whether your child (or you, no judgements here, I love Lego!) gets more fun out of building this crane or playing with it is debatable.   In my mind it's way better than the old Tonka crane my brother had when we were growing up!!

Another fun inclusion in this set is a moving elevator which you can see in the image below.   It's a lot of fun to send your minifigs up and down on that!
Lego City Construction Set
As well as the three vehicles (crane, digger and truck), the modular apartments to build and the minifigs themselves that you can see in the images there are also a few other cool accessories in this set.   These things include little handheld radios for the minifigures (which will certainly make it easier for them all to communicate should one be up the elevator for example.   There are also shovels to help the workers dig on the site and lots of other fun construction related tools.

As I've mentioned that are lots of other Lego City Construction sets available to choose from so if you don't want such a big set then be sure to check out some of the others.

My little cousin loved getting the digger set for Christmas so that comes highly recommended,a although sharing it with his brothers did NOT happen!

It is lucky that I reconsidered getting this set for the three of them to play with.   Although they usually share toys happily the digger was such a hit it took about 12 months before the others were allowed to touch it!


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, November 2, 2019

Lego City Fire Station - Reviewing Lego Set #7208

"Lego Set 7208" "Lego City Fire Station" "Lego Fire Station"
Buy Lego City Fire Station here!


For new readers, I used to review Lego sets years ago and my favorite range was definitely the Lego City range.   I even had an alter ego called Leo who has made a surprise appearance on Review This Reviews while reviewing the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery set.

Now I know that all things fireman related are always popular with children and I can relate as when I was younger my dad was a fireman so I got to ride in a fire engine for real and even go down the fire pole (yes it is as fun as it looks!).   It's no surprise then that the Lego City Fire Station would be a popular set.   Why don't we review it now?

Lego City would not be complete without a fire station and they have a great one with Lego City Fire Station (7208)!

This Lego City set contains 662 pieces and once completed provides hours and hours of fun (much like the rest of the Lego City range).   The fire station is fully manned with a whole shift on duty at any given time - this means that you get not 1, but 5 firemen minifigures which is just fantastic in my opinion.

The set also includes a fire truck that has a ladder which actually rotates - just what you need to rescue people from the top of a burning building.   There is even a cat and a tree that it can fit in so that the fireman can 'rescue' it.

No expense has been spared by Lego City in making sure their fire fighters have everything they need including a second vehicle which is a much smaller one that's ideal for their rescue work.

There are lots of little inclusions in this set which are fun like a coffee machine, a television and a table with a computer.  I always think that it's often these little extras which are important when it comes to playing with the set after it's been built.


Lego Fire Station Set
Lego City Fire Station with a Fire Engine & Fire Rescue Truck


Now once you've got the Lego City Fire Station you can rest assure that the citizens of Lego City will all be safe, but I'm a great believer in that you can never be too careful so if you wanted to you could get more fire sets such as a fire fighting helicopter to keep any bush fires on the outskirts of the city under control!   If you want to check out all of the Lego City fire sets then you can find the best selecion at - Lego City Fire Sets.


A Couple of Warnings for This Lego City Fire Set

The first one is that once they have this fire set many children will then request one of the Police Station sets (unless they already have them that is)!  I mean do you know of any cities that have a fire station, but no police station?

The other thing to be aware of with this set is that once it's built it shouldn't be moved.   The downside is that it's not built on one of the larger base plates so when you try and move it you'll find it breaks and has to be rebuilt.   What this means is if you have room build it in situ so that your child can play with it where it is, if you don't have room then build it on a tray or something that it can be carried on.

Lego Sets Stimulate Children's Minds & Imaginations

Lego sets are great for children as the process of building the set stimulates their mind into figuring out how to build it whether your child chooses to follow the instructions or try and figure it out on their own.   Actually putting the set together is good for their fine motor skills which is invaluable.

Lego also helps a child to learn patience and perseverance as they have to take their time to build the set before they can play with it.

Once a set is built Lego keeps giving as now it's time to play and there's nothing like a Lego City set to stimulate a child's imagination and they can spend hours playing with them.

What Do You Think Of Lego?


Do you think Lego sets make great gifts for children?   Or do you enjoy them yourself?   If you love Lego yourself or have a Lego fan to buy for then why not check out all of our Lego Reviews.


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, October 19, 2019

Reviewing a Multi Vitamin & Mineral in Powder Form

Arbonne's whole food multi vitamin & mineral supplement in powder form "dissolvable multi vitamin"
Purchase here
It doesn't matter how good a diet you have when food doesn't have the same level of nutrients in it as it did when our grandparents were our age.   This is one of the reasons why I've always thought of taking a multi vitamin and mineral supplement as a form of insurance - nutritional insurance so to speak.

The other reason is (although I know I've been writing about good nutrition a lot over the past year) because sometimes I don't make the best nutritional choices, I'm only human!  I have a sweet tooth and I also love me a cheeseboard!   Having said that I have been making much more healthier choices over the past 18 months as I've shared with you.

Why Did I Stop Taking a Multi Vitamin?


Now for years I took a multi vitamin and mineral tablet every single day, but I actually started to have problems swallowing them.  The tablets are so big, I can still swallow them if they're the right shape, but when they changed the tablets I used to take and the bottles were dark (which I realise is to keep the integrity of the ingredients intact) and the blister packs were shrink wrapped I just stopped getting them.

Luckily I discovered Greens Balance and this gave me lots of vitamins and minerals each day and I really noticed the difference when taking it.

So Do I No Longer Need a Vitamin & Mineral Supplement?


I still felt that a multi vitamin would've been a good idea, but I was eating well and took greens balance every day along with a good quality protein powder and fizz sticks.   When Arbonne introduced their whole food multi vitamin and mineral supplement I was really happy that it was in a powder form.

I tried it with water first as it was supposed to be tasteless - nothing is tasteless and although I couldn't say what it tasted like I wasn't overly happy with it.   I do have a protein shake at lunch time though so I diluted it in my shake and I couldn't taste it - mission accomplished!

My husband doesn't drink a shake so I got him to put it in a little tropical juice drink that he enjoys drinking and he liked it as well.

How Do I Feel After Taking This Supplement for a Couple of Months?


I don't feel a lot different, but everyone I've been working with has been really sick over the last few months and I haven't been so who knows if it's the multi vitamins or the greens balance or a combination.

What I can report is that I forgot to take them over a long weekend and I did notice my energy levels weren't as high as usual (but I also wasn't doing very much which could have made that difference).

In conclusion I don't know if a multi vitamin and mineral supplement makes a lot of difference, but I do like to take one as a form of nutritional health insurance.  I definitely recommend this powder form over a tablet as I believe it gets absorbed easier and it's a lot easier to swallow than some of the multi vitamin tablets I've had over the years.

Do you take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement?


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, October 5, 2019

Reviewing FlexClip, a Free, Online Video Maker

How to make videos for social media sharing for FREE!
When it comes to social media it really seems as though video is king, but how can you create videos to promote yourself without buying expensive video equipment and having to learn new videography skills?   You use an online video maker!   I have tried a few different online video makers and have found they all have pros and cons, today I'm going to talk to you about FlexClip.

FlexClip are a completely free video maker which is awesome, but they also offer 2 other plans - basic and plus which offer better quality videos, longer videos and the ability to do more projects - they also allow you to add a custom watermark.

I love the fact that you can use it for free and see if you like it before committing to buying a plan.   The other thing I love is that when you make a video it doesn't include a watermark as many of the other free online video makers do.

Making a Video from Stills 


Now I am only reviewing using this to make videos from still images, but you can use it with video which I haven't had a chance to do yet.

So the actual making of the video is pretty simple and it tells you exactly how to do it BUT one of the biggest problems I felt with the program was that I could not find out what size images were best to be used.   They have lots of articles for you to read for help, but there doesn't appear to be a search function for you to simply ask the question you have which is a shame.

They list common FAQs for you to search, but when your question doesn't appear in there it is a little disheartening.

My first video was for my Arbonne business and you can see that I should've used different sized images.


What I really liked when I made this video was adding the music, there was a lot of Christmas music available for me to use.

The music that is available is definitely something that I think is good as other online video makers that I have used have not had as many different options as FlexClip.

As I enjoyed making that video I quickly turned around and made one for the offline business I work with, I still hadn't found what size images I should be using so used ones that I thought should be okay - I think they worked.

I used a different text style in this video and there are quite a few different options to use when adding text as well which I think is another positive.


I used both of these videos on Facebook and the quality seemed really good on there.

Adding Backgrounds to Images

I did have a play around and found that where I have images that aren't really the best size for this program I could add a colored background which really seemed to help.

Video Templates


FlexClip also offer a number of video templates which look great and depending on your business you may like to use them.   I have used video templates in the past, but I usually prefer to create my own initially when trying out a platform.

There are definitely a couple of the templates that I could see myself using in the future though.


My Thoughts on FlexClip


I really had my reservations when I first used it because I couldn't get an answer to my image size, but I did like all the other features and I think when I use it more I'll naturally get a feel for the size that works best anyway.

I am keen to try uploading videos and editing them (I only have my phone for taking videos so that could be interesting!) and when I do that I will review that aspect and link to it from here.

I would definitely recommend trying the free version and love, love, love that it doesn't have their logo on your videos as it looks so much better when sharing.   I am also seriously considering purchasing one of the plans as I think it's great for promoting for bloggers, zazzlers, affiliate marketers, social marketers as well as brick and mortar businesses.








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, September 21, 2019

Make #selfcare FUN with this Pink Clay Face Mask!

Let me review this absolutely gorgeous face mask that you just have to try, but first ...

Arbonnes Rescue and Renew Face Mask featuring French Pink Clay
Louanne showing Arbonne's Rescue & Renew Face Mask in Action!
Yes you can smile while wearing a face mask, you know I'm going to go off on a tangent for a moment and tell you a true story.   For many years when I was young I thought that if I dare smiled (or talked) while I had a face mask on it would crack my face!   Now I can imagine you all laughing at young teenage me let me talk about this awesome face mask.

Now I have talked about Arbonne's Cellular Renewal Mask in the past so you are probably wondering why I'm talking about yet another one so let me explain.  The best way I can think of it is that the cellular renewal mask is more like a scrub for people who shouldn't be using an abrasive scrub anymore.   Yes I'm getting on in life and after the age of 30/35 you really shouldn't be using an abrasive scrub but should try something like the cellular renewal mask instead.

Now whatever age you are anyone can appreciate a creamy French pink clay mask and Arbonne's Rescue & Renew mask is a really dreamy one.   I love this mask because it's one just about anyone can enjoy using.   My 18 year old daughter loves using it, my 50 year old self loves using it and my (don't tell her I revealed her age!) 71 year old mum loves using it.   To me if you can get three generations loving the same mask you're doing something right!

Arbonne's Rescue & Renew products are known among their consultants as our spa range because with a few of these products you really can create a spa like experience in your own home.   I love nothing more than soaking my feet in the Detox soak while wearing a face mask and laughing and talking with my daughter.

My daughter loves putting on the face mask with friends as they talk and laugh and binge watch horror movies on sleepovers.

I think there's just something about having a luxurious feeling face mask that makes you feel good and getting close friends around for a bottle of wine, good conversation, lots of laughs and a face mask just sounds like heaven - don't you think?

So what makes this face mask so much better than other clay masks?   For starters it's made with a French pink clay formula which pulls out all the impurities in your skin making your skin look and feel better.   There are also added botanicals such as dandelion, tumeric and ginger root, these botanicals help to detox your skin, and promote radiant looking skin which is what we all want.

The face mask also contains rosemary oil which helps to hydrate the skin (very important to keep your skin looking younger and more radiant).  There are also some self-neutralizing acids to help brighten the appearance of your skin tone.

The best thing about this mask is that it comes with a 45 day money back guarantee which means you can buy it, use it a few times and if you decide it's not for you send it back - you can't do that with many face masks can you?


This Gorgeous Clay Mask is a Great Christmas Gift Idea


Now I talked about this mask as being a wonderful Christmas gift idea during my Christmas in July event in my Christmas Shopping List Facebook group.  At the time I was just talking about the regular face mask, but it is also featured twice in Arbonne's 2019 Festive Line.   Now if you like these two gift ideas please grab them quickly as the Christmas line ran out extremely fast last year.


These cool holiday ornaments are available to purchase separately and include mini versions of some of Arbonne's popular products including the face mask which I can imagine on quite a few people's Christmas tree this year.   I just love this idea and will be giving the face mask and mascara to a number of young ladies on my Christmas list.

Arbonne's Clarity Facial Christmas Set for the Holidays

This is another set that I think will be among the first to sell out as it features the awesome clay mask along with a headband and an exclusive Detox All Over Mist.   This set is the only way you can get the mist that sounds absolutely divine.

Will you be trying this luxury face mask?  



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, September 7, 2019

Reviewing National Fruit and Veggies Month!

Did You Know That September Was National Fruit & Veggies Month?

Image adapted by Lou16 from a Pixabay image

I must admit it took me by surprise, but it's great that we have months where we can check out healthy eating habits.   March is National Nutrition Month and now we are encouraged to be good in September and make sure we eat all of our fruit and veg.

I'll be honest some days it's hard to get all of those serves of fruit and veg - do you find the same?   I do have a few sneaky ways in which I increase my vegetable intake though and I'm going to share them with you here.

  • Greens Balance
  • Spiralized Veggies
  • Hidden Veggies
  • Bulking Out Meals

Greens Balance - My (not so) Secret Weapon!


I love this product it's a powder that provides a serve of fruit and veg in one scoop and it's from 37 different fruit and veg which means you're eating a rainbow.

I usually take mine mixed in a drink, but I know some parents will put a scoop in things such as Bolognese to ensure that fussy children will get some fruit and veg.   I'm actually thinking of making some muffins or pancakes with the Greens Balance on St Patrick's Day next year!

Find out more about this super nutritional booster on my post - Reviewing Arbonne's Greens Balance.


Spiralized Veggies - Reducing Carbs & Adding Veg!


I first heard of spiralized zuchinni/courgette and thought it was an awesome idea and a great way to get my half a plate of vegetables when I just wanted to eat some Spaghetti Bolognese!  Once I brought my own spiralizer I discovered that you can use it on any number of vegetables.

My daughter is all grown up now, but I can imagine her wanting to eat her veggies (especially if she helped spiralize them) when they were in spirals as they just seem more fun!

If you're trying to cut back on eating pasta it is certainly a great compromise, check out my full review - Reviewing A Vegetable Spiralizer.


Hidden Veggies - Sneakily Getting the Veggie Count Up


There are lots of ways in which you can sneak vegetables into your diet from muffins to meatballs and so much more.   These are ways designed to get vegetables past picky eaters, but I love it as just ideas to increase my vegetable intake.

Check out some of these links:


Another way of disguising both fruit and vegetables is by making smoothies or even smoothie bowls.


Bulking Out Meals with Vegetables


Did you know that beans, lentils and chickpeas count towards your serves of vegetables a day?  I tell you that because I love using beans, lentils and vegetables to bulk out my meals.

When my daughter was young and we were a one income household I looked for ways to bulk out our meals, this budget inspired move also had healthy consequences as our vegetable intake increased!

Ideas I implemented included: 

  • Adding a tin of white beans to tomato soup and blending it up (this could count as a hidden veggie).
  • Adding green beans to lamb satay.
  • Adding chickpeas to a chicken curry dish my husband liked.
  • Adding frozen mixed vegetables to tuna pasta bake.
  • Adding spring onions and corn or onion and peas to potato bake.
  • Adding extra beans to chili (I have some recipes that call for black beans in which case I will also add white beans as they take on the flavor nicely and I have some recipes that don't ask for black beans, but I add them anyway!).
  • Adding zucchini to a number of different dishes (if it's in season it goes into just about anything from bakes to chili, shepherd's pie to stews).
  • Soups and stews can be a great way to add lots of vegetables to including any vegetables that are in the fridge (to avoid waste), any frozen veg or tinned veg.

There are countless ideas that can be used to get your vegetable intake up so let me know what your 'secret' way to increase your vegetable intake is.




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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Reviewing Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea

Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea - Arbonne's Detox Tea
Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea photo by Louanne Cox
I was first introduced to Arbonne's Essentials Herbal Tea as part of the 30 days to healthy living program which literally changed my life.   Since finishing the 30 days program I have continued to drink this tea every day for two reasons: it tastes good & it's good for me.

This tea is part of Arbonne's Essential range and is just called herbal tea here in Australia, but in some other countries it goes by the name detox tea as it works on the eliminatory organs.   Let's have a look at exactly what is in this tea -



The combination works really well with the flavor as dandelion root can be bitter on it's own and yet the combination of licorice root adds a sweetness and the peppermint stops that sweetness from being too strong while adding a refreshing flavor.   Basically it works to create a delicious tea that is lovely to drink on it's own.

Personally I drink mine in the morning as I just like to have a hot drink first thing, but as it's a caffeine free tea many people choose to drink it before going to bed.

A little tip from me - I drink a mug of this tea and I will keep the tea bag and make two mugs out of the same tea bag which means that my box of 20 will last me 40 days if I drink it just once a day.

Dandelion Root - What Are The Benefits


Dandelion's are highly nutritious and have been used for centuries,   Dandelion root is dried and used as a tea, in fact the first time I tried it the root was made into a granular form and you made it up like instant coffee - I found it way too bitter on it's own (mind you I was still a teen with a very sweet tooth!).

It is high in a soluble fibre called inulin that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy intestinal bacteria which are essential for your gut health.

It's been promoted as helping to support your liver for many years (one of the reasons I was first introduced to it years ago was as a liver tonic).

There are many other benefits often cited for dandelion root including anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant levels, helping the digestive system, the list goes on.   I personally believe it's been included in the tea because it helps support and protect the liver as well as aiding gut health.

Peppermint Leaf - Benefits


As you may already know I love peppermint tea and used to drink it every afternoon.   I will admit I don't drink it every day now, but I do still have it regularly and it is always in my cupboard.   I talk more about it below.

Why drink peppermint teaWhy Drink Peppermint Tea
I love the taste of peppermint tea, but that's not the only reason I drink it, peppermint tea also has a lot of benefits including aiding digestion and helping with concentration which is why I enjoy it after lunch when working.

Parsley Leaf - Health Benefits


I first tried parsley leaf tea in my early 20s as it was touted as being great for kidney health (it's use as a diuretic doesn't appear to have been tested by scientists however so I'm not sure where I got my information from).   It was very easy to make, but at the time I didn't really like the taste and my husband wasn't very impressed with me using the parsley in my tea instead of him using it as a garnish!

It turns out that the dried form of parsley (used in this tea and other commercial herbal teas) contains 17 times more antioxidant properties than it's fresh form (reference)

Parsley is high in antioxidant nutrients and is also believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and hormone levels.

Elder Flowers - A Traditional Heath Tonic


I must admit I don't recall ever trying elderflower tea although I had heard of it as it was traditional health tonic drunk in the UK.  I may very easily have been given it without remembering.

This tea is traditionally drunk to keep colds and flus at bay and a study published in the Online Journal of Pharmacology and PharmacoKinetics in 2009 backed up the effectiveness of elderflowers in treating the flu.

It appears that the anti-oxidant levels in elderflowers combined with it's anti-viral properties work really well to keep the immune system healthy.

This could be part of the reason why my immunity has been really good for the past 18 months since taking this tea daily.

Sweet Fennel - The Health Benefits


I first came across sweet fennel tea when I was working in a Health shop in my 20s, we used to recommend breastfeeding mothers drank it if their babies had colic and we had very positive feedback on it's effectiveness with the local midwives regularly sending new mothers to us.

With this experience I'm not surprised to find that it's known to improve digestion, is anti-spasmodic and can relieve symptoms of IBS.   It also helps keep your liver and kidneys healthy while boosting immunity, reducing inflammation and balancing hormones.

Licorice Root - Sweet & Healthy


Did you know the Egyptians used licorice root tea as a cure-all concoction?   This tea has been used for centuries by the early Europeans and the Chinese for it's health benefits.

Today licorice root tea is used to promote digestive, respiratory and adrenal gland health and you will find it included in herbal tea blends that promote both bronchial wellness as well as cleanse and detox.

Summing Up My Daily Herbal Tea


I have taken this tea every day for the past 18 months except for 2 weeks when I was on holiday (I think it's good to take a break occasionally when you're regularly using herbs).   I have made a number of lifestyle changes and have attributed my results to using the whole range of the 30 days to healthy living program that Arbonne have.

When I look at the individual benefits of the ingredients in the herbal tea I can see how they have applied to me.   In all honesty I don't believe a tea alone can do all this, but in conjunction with other changes I have found the following has happened to me personally -

My hormones are more balanced (I am going through menopause and the symptoms (crankiness, night sweats, hot flushes, etc) have abated.

I have an autoimmune disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and haven't even had a little flare up, plus I've been able to go back to the gym with no problems for the first time in decades.

My immune system has dramatically improved - I had been getting sick constantly before starting this tea, I can joke now that someone just had to sneeze in a 10 block radius and I'd get the flu, but it actually did feel like that was happening at the time.

There are lots of other things I could say, but I will just mention one thing if you want to try the Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea and you don't like it Arbonne have a 45 day money back guarantee, so try it for a couple of weeks and if you don't like it send it back!


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Saturday, June 15, 2019

The How & Why of Chia Seeds

why to add chia seeds to your daily diet and how to do so
Adapted from a Pixabay image
Today I"m going to review how I use chia seeds and why I use these powerhouses of nutrition (a slight hint there) in my daily diet.   First though, what exactly are chia seeds?   They are actually the seeds from the chia plant (Salvia hispanica) which is a plant native to Mexico and Guatemala.   The name chia is in fact the ancient Mayan word for strength and they were a staple food for both the Mayans and Aztecs.

The chia seeds 'strength' comes from it's nutritional contents.   For such a little seed it packs a mighty nutritional punch.  They contain a large amount of fibre, quality protein, omega 3 and several essential minerals and antioxidants.

It certainly seems like something cool to add to your diet right?  The only question now is how.   I brought some chia seeds to use last year, but before I got a chance to use them my husband brought me home a chia pudding to try.   I did NOT like it!   I then left the chia seeds in the cupboard unopened, I'm sure some of you can relate to that happening!

So what changed?   As many of you know beginning January 2018 I embarked on a journey to reset my health, fitness and lose some of my excess weight.   At the beginning of the year I was looking at the chia seeds and thought - I'll pop a teaspoon into my morning protein shake.   This was upped to 2 teaspoons in my shake.

Now to be honest I couldn't tell you if it was helping my health at all, but it certainly wasn't hurting it and you can't really beat good nutrition.

Around this time my daughter was following a fitness guru on Instagram and brought home some chia seeds because she was going to put a tablespoon into a liter of water every day and drink them.  Her face when I opened the cupboard and showed her that I already had chia seeds was priceless (any mom to a teen will appreciate that moment!)

Last month I was on holiday and at the hotel they offered a buffet style breakfast - one of the offerings was a small bircher muesli in the bottom of a shot glass filled with yogurt and topped with chia seeds (about a teaspoon of them).  I had one with my breakfast every day I stayed there and it was delicious - might be time to try chia pudding again!

We are now entering winter here in Australia which means porridge season and this past week I have been adding a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds to my oats and almond milk before cooking it.   It tastes delicious.

If you're baking for a vegan, chia seeds can also be used as an egg substitute (I haven't tried this yet).   You simply add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water and leave to sit for 20 minutes.

Now you know both how to use chia seeds in your diet and why to use them - will you be getting some anytime soon?


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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Have You Heard of 3D Floor Decals?

3D floor decals
Purchase from Amazon
Today I wanted to review what I think is an awesome home decor idea that I wish I'd found some time ago.  3D floor decals look - AMAZING!  I have only just seen them and they have given me so many ideas especially for children's bedrooms which is why I wish I'd seen them years ago.

Of course these decals aren't specifically for children's bedrooms, they can be used anywhere.  I do think that they could really be fun and help spark their imagination.  Imagine if your child loves adventures and so has to hop across the room avoiding falling into a fiery pit - he or she would feel like a real life adventurer.

If your child loves everything about space, imagine one of the decals below on their bedroom floor, they could wake up and imagine that they were actually in a spaceship.   These decals are self adhesive and removable which makes them a great way to add some fun to a room that can be changed as your child's likes changes from dinosaurs to the wonderful world of the ocean and more.

3D floor decals are a great idea for children's bedrooms
Purchase these decals from Amazon
Of course, just because they are floor decals doesn't mean you can't also put these decals on the wall.  I have seen some ocean inspired decals with sharks seeming to leap out of the ocean put on the wall above a bed   Now I'll be honest I wouldn't sleep that well with a couple of sharks above me, but apparently there are ones with dolphins as well which I would love!

These 3D floor decals aren't just for kids there's some really lovely designs for nearly every room in the house depending on what type of things you like.   I have seen some nice ones that feature suspension bridges over forest tops (or a fiery crevice like above), along with fish pond inspired ones that would be very peaceful in a relaxation room or your home office.

Have you seen these 3D floor decals before and where would you use them?


More Ways to Incorporate 3D Elements in Your Home Decor

I'm not the first person on ReviewThis to talk about 3D elements in your home decor, one of our home decor experts, Barbara has written a few articles showing you how to incorporate 3D tablecloths along with some wall decals.   Let's have a look at a few of her articles ...


Wild and Funky 3D Tablecloths for Special OccasionsWild and Funky 3D Tablecloths for Special Occasions
3D Tablecloths are another fun way of adding a fun element to your room decor that you can change out depending on the occasion or the mood you want to project.

How to Visually Increase the Size of Windowless RoomHow to Visually Increase the Size of Windowless Room
In this article Barbara talks about using 3D decal on the walls to make your room seem bigger while also adding quite a bit of personality to a room - is there nothing these decals can't do?

Three Affordable Ways to Visually Increase the Size of a RoomThree Affordable Ways to Visually Increase the Size of a Room
Two of the three ways Barbara explores here use 3D decor from wall decals (again, they are THAT good!) to 3D drapes. It seems that 3D is the way to go with your home decor!



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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Reviewing the Green Ogre Drink

The Green Ogre Drink - a healthy alternative to your morning coffee
The Green Ogre, photo via LouannesNation
I came across a variation of this drink towards the end of 2018 beginning of 2019.  I adapted the recipe using products I was able to get here in Australia (where I live) and so was 'born' the Green Ogre Drink.   I should also mention that these products are also available in the US, Canada, UK, NZ & Poland as well.

If you follow me on instagram you would have seen me regularly post about this drink as I have it every day.

I would like to have everybody in the world replace their morning coffee with this drink for 30 days.  I think everyone would benefit from it.

Why Should I The Drink Green Ogre Drink?


I should mention here that I am not a doctor or a medical professional, but I believe it can do a lot of things for you such as -

What's the three ingredients in the Green Ogre Drink
  • increased energy
  • increased focus and concentration
  • improved skin
  • and it could even lead you to both time and financial freedom!
Let me break it down for you ...

The Green Ogre drink uses 3 different Arbonne products (this means it's cruelty-free, vegan, gluten free, kosher & non-GMO), the products are - Greens Balance, Mind Health & Fizz Sticks.

We've talked about Greens Balance before as a good way to get more fruit and veg into your diet.   Imagine being able to get 2 servings of your fruit & veg in place of your morning coffee!   Last year I was following a couple of people on Instagram as they did a shot of Greens Balance every day for their skin health and they were really happy with the results.  This was obviously not a controlled scientific experiment, but it does make sense that taking a supplement that includes 37 different fruit and vegetables would help make your skin clearer doesn't it?

Mind Health includes phosphatidylserine & vitamin B12 both of which helps improve your focus and concentration which is the reason so many people feel the need for a coffee in the morning.

Fizz Sticks are the third ingredient and they contain caffeine to give you a boost of energy along with B vitamins which also helps boost your energy levels.

Fizz Sticks also contain chromium which helps to balance your blood sugar levels.  If your blood sugars are balanced then it's easier to keep your energy levels balanced.

Not All Caffeine is Equal


Now some people say, but hang on why take another caffeine drink to replace one that I know I like?  This seems like a fair question, but not all caffeine is created equal.

Let me explain the differences and why you should be substituting the Green Ogre drink for your first coffee of the day (note I'm not saying give up coffee completely, it tastes delicious after all!)

When you drink coffee the caffeine you're ingesting is acidic which can lead to inflammation in your body (not a good thing), the caffeine also causes you to crash after a while which is often when you grab for another coffee or a hit of sugar, or both!

The caffeine in the fizz sticks is derived from both green tea and guarana and the difference is that it is a more alkalized version of caffeine aka it won't cause inflammation in your body.   I've also noticed that it sustains your energy levels much more effectively so that you don't get that 'crash' that has you reaching for another caffeine hit.

I can't speak for you personally, but I've found that I don't need a drink mid-morning to keep me going when I have a green ogre drink.   I do take a fizz stick in water in the afternoon however, usually between 2.30 & 3.30pm which is a long time after my 8.30 - 9.00 am Green Ogre fix!

Are You Up for the Green Ogre Drink Challenge?


I'd love to hear from anyone who's up for swapping out their morning coffee for a Green Ogre Drink for 30 days - I would love to cheer you on and listen to your thoughts.

I do have to close with a warning though - after 30 days you may find you don't want to go back to your morning coffee, I've found I just don't want to live without my Green Ogre drink in the morning!



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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Do You Send Easter Cards?

cute vintage easter cards, fun easter cards and easter cards for dog lovers
There are some absolutely gorgeous Easter cards available and living away from our family it is nice to exchange cards at this time of the year.   There are lots of different cards to choose from including bunny cards (which I love) and bilby cards - the Easter bilby delivers our Easter eggs as bunnies aren't allowed in my state!  There are also a myriad of vintage cards, chick cards and religious cards.

Do people still send these cards though?  It seems more and more that people are just sending greetings through social media and e-cards which is such a shame as it really is nice to receive a card through the mail.

Let's have a look at some of the beautiful cards that are available to send Easter greetings to your friends and family around the world.

Cute Vintage Easter Cards

I do love cute Easter cards and some of the vintage designs really lend themselves to cuteness


I do love this one as it looks like the rabbits are begging the little girl for Easter eggs!  At least that's what I see when I look at this fun and cute card.   There are lots of other cute vintage cards that are based solely on bunnies, but I do like seeing a little girl in this one.

Custom Easter Cards That are Gorgeous

I know as a mum that when our children are little they really like personalized things and the idea that the Easter bunny would leave them a personalized card, well .....


My parents lived in a different country to us so my daughter was always sent an Easter card and a gift - I remember one year she was sent a gorgeous bunny soft toy that actually smelled of chocolate.   For years that chocolate aroma lingered, she loved that bunny!

I think a custom Easter card like this one would put a smile on any child's face.


Fun Easter Cards for Dog Lovers

There are lots of different Easter cards featuring dogs to choose from including gorgeous Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Dachshund and even this cheeky looking Boston Terrier -


I'll admit I'm a dog lover from way back and as far as I'm concerned I am and always will be a dog mum!   I would absolutely love an Easter card that gives a nod to one of my 'babies' and I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

I could not believe the variety of different dog breeds that are represented in Easter cards, definitely pop on over to Zazzle and have a look you will not be sorry!

Which Style of Easter Cards Do You Like?


So which type of Easter card is your favorite.   I could be here for hours looking at cards which is why I have only added a few, but I have to say I love cute Easter cards whether they are modern or vintage. 

Before I go let me ask you two questions - do you send Easter cards?   What type of Easter cards do you like to receive?

Happy Easter!


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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Girls Night Out - A Novel

Girls Night Out - A Novel of friendship, lies and resentment
Girls Night Out - A Novel
Today's review is about a book by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Girls Night Out takes place in Mexico where 3 estranged friends (Ashley, Natalie & Lauren) are having a girls getaway to heal old wounds.

Of course the wounds can't be healed quickly or there would be no book to read! We find out gradually the reason behind the rifts between all three friends as the book progresses.

The chapters show the events from the different girl's perspectives and are titled - The Day After, Natalie or Three Days Before, Ashley.

The book begins with Natalie waking up in wet clothes on the beach and feeling very hazy about the night before which had been their girls night before they were due to head home. Going back to the room she'd been sharing with Ashley there's no sign of her. Lauren also hasn't seen or heard from Ashley since the night before, Natalie can't remember what happened that night except for fragmented pieces and so the mystery is set up.

As the book weaves through the trip we find that none of the girls have been completely honest with each other and the secrets and resentments come through as we hear their stories.

What happened to Ashley? You'll have to read the whole book to find out, but I do have to say when we finally get there, it was totally not what I thought it was going to be.

If you like a bit of a mystery and sifting through women's relationships then you may enjoy this book. I have to be honest and say that I didn't find any of the characters to be very likable, this may have been deliberate, but it did really highlight how some friendships can become toxic over time. 

Even though I didn't particularly like the three ladies, I still couldn't stop reading the book until I had finished it as I needed to know what had happened!

I read this book as a free book through my Amazon Prime membership and if you enjoy reading and watching movies/television shows (such as Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan and The Widow) then you should really consider getting Prime. I also notice that it is one of the free books available on audible which is something I have been considering getting.


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