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

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.


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, 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?



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, 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?


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, January 25, 2020

Reviewing The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

In a nutshell The Slight Edge is about applying the principles of compound interest to your life or at least that's how I understand it!

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
Photo by Lou16 featuring the book & my Green Ogre Drink!


If you had told me a few years ago that I would be reviewing personal development books I would have thought you were nuts.  In my mind personal development books were great for some people, but I didn't need them - I'm sure a few of you can relate to this!

It was really during 2018 that I started reading these books and mainly because they were being recommended to me by a very positive and supportive network of friends that I had.   I have struggled with a few of them and loved others.   If you're new to the world of personal development reading I think you will love this book.

The first personal development book that I found the most beneficial was The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, this was mainly because you read a chapter a day and there were tasks to do each day.  This is a great introduction to personal development.

I have found quite a few great books to read, but I had missed The Slight Edge for some reason (even though it had been recommended to be several times) so when I saw it on the end display at my local library I snapped it up.

The way Jeff Olson writes makes this book very easy to read and the slight edge he talks about is so, so simple to apply.   As he explains how little steps every day works you realize just how simple (note I said simple not easy) having success at whatever you want is.

I realized that there have been many times in my life where I have applied the slight edge and it has worked, but I also realized how many times I have done the opposite.

As I said at the beginning of this review I really think the slight edge is the same application as compound interest except it's about your life not money.   Jeff talks about a couple of fables in the beginning and one of them I have seen repeated online in different forums as a great example of compound interest.   In fact I used the story to explain to my daughter about the importance of saving money from her pay every week (I started my own super fund when I was 19).  It's a story about an old man and his two sons, let me know if you've heard it (or a variation of it) before.

An old man called his two sons in to see him and gave them both a choice they could choose$1 million which he would give them in 31 days or they could choose 1 penny which would double each day and at the end of the 31 days he would give them that amount.

One son took the million dollars, but the other chose the penny.   At the end of the first week the penny had turned into 64 pennies, but by day 31 (and the power of compound interest) the penny had exceeded $10 million.

I really recommend The Slight Edge as it really does just make total sense and really makes you think about the actions you take every day which turn into habits.   I will add that I have added The Slight Edge to my shopping cart for the next time I place a book order something I never do when I have already read a book through my library.


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, 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.




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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!


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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.


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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?


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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.








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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?  



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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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