Showing posts sorted by date for query tea. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query tea. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Did You Know That March is National Nutrition Month?

March is national nutrition month
Image courtesy of Pixabay
As National Nutrition Month, March seems a good time to review ways to increase your nutrition in your daily life.   Most people do not consume the recommended nutrients every day to keep their bodies running in peak condition, so let's look at ways we can fix this.

Of course you could use March as an excuse to give your body a reboot aka a spring clean for your body instead of your house!  This is a great way to start creating your healthy habits.

You may think that's a bit too much so let's look at other things you can do -

  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Reduce your sugar intake
  • Reduce your processed foods
  • Increase your fruit and veg intake


We've all heard these comments before haven't we?   The problem is how and where to start so lets's go through them all one by one.

How to Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Now if you only drink one cup of coffee or tea a day then you are probably okay, but I know many people drink a LOT more than that.  The problem with drinking too much caffeine whether it's from coffee, tea, cola drinks or energy drinks is that caffeine can cause the depletion of certain nutrients such as vitamin B6.   Not only that but it also interferes with your body's ability to absorb essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

It can be had to cut back as a lot of the time we grab these drinks out of habit, one way that I've gone down from 10 mugs a day to 1-2 a week is by using Fizz Sticks.  Let me tell you more ...

I like to drink what I call a green ogre drink on my way to work and I find that it gives me the same effect as my morning latte that I used to grab on my way to work at my previous job.   If you start off by just replacing one coffee with this I think you'll find you won't need your next one as quickly because you don't get the espresso crash as the effects of the caffeine from coffee wears off.

If you enjoy having a cuppa when you get up or after dinner then try a few caffeine free teas instead such as these -

Why Drink Peppermint Tea?Why Drink Peppermint Tea?
I love the flavour of peppermint so I'm probably biased as to why you should drink peppermint tea! However it does have a lot of benefits from aiding digestion to helping with concentration.


Review of Lifestyle Awareness TeasReview of Lifestyle Awareness Teas
Lifestyle Awareness is a brand of organic tea and this review focuses on just two of the teas in the range - Immunity Now and Serene Slumber. These teas have medicinal benefits to them as well and we can all use help with boosting our immune systems!



Or I do enjoy a cup of Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla before going to bed on a cold night.

If you're more of a soda drinker or you feel like you need an energy drink to keep you going then Fizz Sticks are definitely something that you can substitute for them.   You will find that the effects last a lot longer so that you don't need to drink as many. They come in four different flavors and contain a lot less sugar as well as being a lot healthier in other ways too.

How to Reduce Your Salt Intake


Too much salt can adversely affect our sodium/potassium balance and let's face it everywhere you turn you're being told to cut down salt aren't you?

Salt is one of those foods that are often in hidden in the foods you eat, one product that is usually high in salt is commercial stock (especially the convenient stock cubes).   A simple way to deal with this is to make your own vegetable stock, it's very easy as you can see here - how to make veggie stock - and you can make big batches to freeze down.   Using this you can monitor exactly how much salt you add to your food.

Reducing the amount of processed foods will help a lot (more on that later) and reading labels to build your awareness will be quite a shock to you.

How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake


Sugar is empty as far as nutritional value goes and it's also addictive.   I would try and use other products to sweeten things for example when my daughter was younger I would half the amount of sugar a recipe called for to make sweet muffins and throw in a mashed banana to use for sweetness instead.

If you or your children like using flavored drinks instead of water then why not look at putting cubed watermelon in your water pitcher as this fruit contains electrolytes.  Berries or citrus are also great ways of  adding flavor.

Looking on sites such as Pinterest can help with ideas for sugar free or low sugar recipes and I find myself using dates, bananas, apples and even maple syrup in my cooking as a way to keep the sweetness while raising the nutritional value of a dish.

How to Reduce Processed Foods


Processed foods can be devoid of many nutrients as well as containing high amounts of sugar and/or salt - this is especially so with low fat processed foods.

Now I'm not saying you have to totally embrace the whole food movement (although it's really great!), but being more aware of what you're eating is a good place to start.   The best way to reduce processed foods is to start cooking a few things from scratch.

Now with our busy lifestyles it can be hard to imagine cooking everything from scratch so I would recommend starting with one meal a week and cooking double quantities, one lot for that meal and one lot for the freezer which means the next week you have your 'new' meal plus the frozen meal from the previous week.

Snack foods can be the biggest fall down for many households when it comes to processed foods so I like to make sure I have fresh fruit available and have vegetables such as carrot sticks prepared and ready to eat.   I also find making protein balls or bliss balls a great idea.

How to Increase Your Fruit & Veg Intake


We're all told to increase our fruit and vegetables, but how?  If you're starting to cook more from scratch and having it as snacks as well you will find that you start to increase your intake.

I try to throw extra vegetable into my meals when I'm cooking them for example when I cook a lamb or beef satay I will always add green beans.   I also add diced zucchini (courgette) to a number of dishes as it takes on flavors really well.

Another easy way to add vegetables into your diet is by using it to substitute some of your other foods for example use a spiralizer to make vegetable 'pasta' or using cauliflower or broccoli in place of rice.

Another thing that I do is I have a scoop of Greens Balance every day - this contains a rainbow of fruit and veg - and this can be taken on it's own, popped into a protein shake (or the green ogre shake above) or even added into something when you're cooking such as bolognaise.

I did see someone added the greens balance to banana muffins for her fussy child and he ate them because he was told they were made from monsters!

If you don't like eating breakfast or you have a child that doesn't like eating in the morning or at lunchtime then why not try a shake or a smoothie bowl - it's a great way to add in berries and other fruits as well as spinach, kale or a good old scoop of greens balance.

Reviewing Smoothie Bowl RecipesReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Essentially a smoothie bowl is a thick smoothie served in a bowl with different toppings and it is delicious. You can have a myriad of different flavors and there's really no rules as to what you can pop on top


Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe ReviewedTropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed
The tropical fruit smoothies taste really good and they are very easy to make. Simply gather your favorite tropical fruits and the blender and you have a quick and healthy snack for breakfast, lunch or after dinner!


Healthy and Delicious SmoothiesHealthy and Delicious Smoothies
Feel more energized and healthier by adding a smoothie to your day, from tropical fruit to green smoothies and so many other recipes in between.



baby step ways to improve your nutrition for national nutrition month and beyond


So, Over to You


What are you going to do to improve your nutritional intake this month?




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Sunday, March 3, 2019

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the Hype - Don't Hesitate to Get One

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to all the Hype
I've been waiting to review this Christmas gift. It's March now and since the holidays I've used it daily.

I'm ready to blurt out an all caps YES to this product.

Here on ReviewThis the essential oil queen is Lou16, so today's review of the HoMedics Diffuser is strictly from the non-expert, user only, perspective.

AND I LOVE IT.

Lou16 has written quite a bit about essential oils and I've paid attention.

Thanks to my kind Step Daughter's Christmas gift, I've not only tried it, but feel the need to use it every day! The operative words here are 'feel the need', because it's the first thing I do when I enter the family room now.

What I Love About It

The general consensus of essential oils is that they help with stress. In fact, you can read further detail about the benefits in Lou16's article, 'How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life'.

I'm sure I'm using too much oil. I believe the box says to put 5 or 10 drops into the water. Honestly, I forget what it says. The aromas are so relaxing that I put as many drops as needed to fill the room with the gorgeous relaxing chosen scent.

Essential Oils DO NOT Smell Like Chemicals or Sprays

This was the main reason I avoided buying a diffuser - thinking the scent would be similar to an air freshener.

Was I wrong.

The essential oil drops go in a water compartment inside the diffuser. There's absolutely nothing chemical smelling about it. The aroma is magnificent.

My Favorite Essential Oils
My HoMedics Diffuser Beside the TV


Peppermint, Lemon, Orange and Eucalyptus. More than likely I won't try anything with a flowery aroma .. that's not up my alley.

AND yikes, I've used five bottles since Christmas. Yah I'm over doing it. Whatever, can't help it, love it.

The Most Aromatic Essential Oil Winner

Is …. drumroll ...Peppermint.

I use quite a few drops, maybe 15 or more. When people come into our house I usually hear "wow, what smells so amazing". Yep, it's the peppermint oil in the diffuser.

Get this, I hate peppermint, to eat it that is.

Apparently I was a colicky baby and mom used to put peppermint on my soother to calm me. Well thanks to that little solution, I grew up hating the taste of peppermint. Spearmint and wintergreen are fine, love to eat those, but still can't stand peppermint.

The subconscious mind is truly powerful, because strangely enough, the one thing peppermint I now love is it's aroma from essential oil. I don't even like peppermint tea (although I drink it from time to time), or to smell peppermint candies. However, in essential oil, I find it soothing, calming and I swear it makes my head feel clearer.

Guess what, I'm out of peppermint essential oil and am currently using 'orange'. It's really nice too, but for me, peppermint is king. I love lemon everything, and had anticipated loving lemon the best, but nope, it's my second fave.

What Kind of Diffuser Do I Have

The brand given to me was HoMedics. It's easy to use. The rotating colored lights gives the room a lovely ambience as well. The picture above shows it positioned next to our TV. That way, I not only smell it, I see the lovely lights when watching the tube.

Featured below are a few HoMedics Diffusers & Essential Oils

Scroll to see them all. The first diffuser featured is closest to the one I own.




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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Why Fizz Sticks Should Be Part of Your Emergency Kit


Energy Fizz Sticks from Arbonne
Earlier this week we were on Cyclone Watch which was the perfect time to review what was in our emergency kits and also got me reflecting on previous occasions when we've been without electricity.  There are the obvious things that can be added to your emergency kits and the not so obvious, but I am positive that Fizz Sticks should be added to your emergency kit if they're not already part of it!

What Are Fizz Sticks?


Fizz Sticks are basically a healthy energy drink.   They provide an alkaline form of caffeine which basically means you get the energy, but it's more sustained and doesn't cause the caffeine crash that you sometimes get after your double espresso has stopped 'working'.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my fizz sticks.  Every morning I have one in my Green Ogre Drink and I usually have another fizz stick on it's own in the middle of the afternoon.

Why Should a Fizz Stick be in an Emergency Kit?


Well firstly there should definitely be more than one!   The reason why I believe they are vital to most people goes back 12-15 years when we were without power for 4 whole days (we're usually very lucky and rarely lose power for longer than a couple of hours).   I remember that the house we lived in didn't have gas as there was no lines in our street at that time.  This meant we had no means of cooking ... or making tea and/or coffee.

In those days I was a 10 mug a day tea drinker and my next door neighbour lived on coffee - we were very cranky!   We drove 30 minutes to a newer McDonalds as they had their own generator just to get our hot beverages of choice! 

Part of your emergency survival kit should always include 3 days worth of water for everyone in your family so you can simply mix your fizz stick with water and let caffeine induced crankiness stay away so you can concentrate on more important things!

What's in Your Emergency Kit?


Apart from water you should always have a first aid kit, flashlight, lantern, matches, chocolate (this article explains why), playing cards, radio, cash, important documents.

Read more about what to put in your emergency kit here - Best Emergency Survival Kits

Whether you live in an area that experiences earthquakes, cyclones, blizzards or other natural disasters or whether you don't you really should keep an emergency kit as you just never know.   Weather patterns seem to be changing globally so be prepared to keep your family safe and in all seriousness do keep a stock of fizz sticks on hand - they're available in four different flavors.


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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Reviewing Prepare & Endure by Phytosport - A Vegan Pre-Workout Supplement

Arbonne Phytosport Prepare & Endure - a non caffeine, vegan pre-workout drink
Phytosport Prepare & Endure
When you're training for an event or just working out the one thing you don't want to do is find your energy flagging part way through.

Enter the world of the pre-workout supplement, there are basically two different types of pre-workout those with caffeine and those without.

Arbonne's Phytosport Prepare & Endure is a non-caffeine pre-workout, so how does it give you energy?   

Basically this formula includes the amino acids arginine, glutamine and carnitine for optimum performance as well as B12 for energy and their own patented botanical formulation of cayenne, ginseng and tumeric.

My Personal Thoughts on Arbonne's Pre-Workout Supplement


I do like the Phytosport range although I didn't initially use the Prepare & Endure, but I have decided to take up running at the age of 49 (yes, probably a little crazy!) and so gave myself 5 weeks to go from not running to doing a 5km event.   I thought it was time to see what the Prepare & Endure was all about.

After 2 weeks I can honestly say that the day I forgot to take my Prepare & Endure was the only day I didn't manage to finish what was on my program to do.

As an Arbonne consultant I have held a couple of taste testings of the Phytosport range at my gym and the Prepare & Endure is a popular choice as far as the flavor goes.  Personally the flavor isn't my favorite as it's orange and pineapple, but what I do like is that it doesn't taste overly sweet like some of the pre-workout drinks are.

It does include some sugar in the form of cane sugar and there's a very good reason why cane sugar is used as it contains electrolytes.   

I mix my sachet up with 500 ml of water (it's recommended to use between 250 - 500 ml) and I usually start sipping it about 30 minutes before I start working out and continuing to drink it throughout my run.

More Details on How Prepare & Endure Works


When you combine the amino acids arginine & glutamine in a pre-workout you'll find it helps to increase your performance if you're using weights and attempting to build muscle and strength.   There have been some detractors over recent years, but a study by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that not only were they able to train longer before becoming exhausted they were also shown to recover quicker between workouts.

As far as athletic performance (aka my running) carnitine is the winner in my opinion.   This amino acid has been popular with both athletes and weightbuilders since the 1980s and for lots of good reasons.  When I first heard about carnitine it was in the 90s when I managed a health food store and we sold it as a fat burner to weightlifters.

There are lots of different ways in which carnitine is invaluable as a pre-workout supplement - 

  • Fat metabolism
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Aids in recovery
  • Protects your brain from stress while also increasing adrenaline levels so that your motivation levels stay high while exercising
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves your skin
  • Burns visceral fats
For more information about carnitine - Fitness and Power

More Phytosport Products


I use the Prepare & Endure in combination with Phytosports After Workout.   There is also a third supplement called Complete Hydration which I also love.

But I NEED A Pre-Workout with Caffeine!


If you feel that you really need to have a caffeinated pre-workout then you can try what I used to use which was combining Phytosport Complete Hydration with an Arbonne Fizz Stick in 1 litre of water.  I found this worked really well (although I'm now preferring the Prepare & Endure).   

The Fizz Stick contains caffeine derived from green tea and guarana, the added bonus with this is that it's a more alkaline caffeine (as opposed to the acidity found when it's derived from coffee beans) and it's more stable so that you don't experience the caffeine crash.





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Sunday, December 30, 2018

How to Clean Silver & Other Metals

An unexpected product that cleaned our silver
like nothing ever has!
For the past thirty-five years I've cleaned our silver using an electrolytic cleaning plate. I bought the plate in 1980's. It's a common and popular way to clean silver.

An electrolytic cleaning plate works with hot water and a water softener, Calgon. I've never used another water softener with it, only Calgon.

I wanted to clean the silver today and was out of Calgon, so thanks to google I tried baking soda and Borax with the cleaning plate. Neither worked very well. 

My husband, the car cleaning fanatic saw me struggle trying to clean the silver and jumped in and said, "I have a product that will clean that". When he demonstrated it, I was shocked at how amazing it worked!

Get this, he used Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish for All Metals. He uses it to clean many items, including the rims on the car wheels. He swears by it.

The best way to explain this product is to show you via the photos featured below:

Our Silver Tea Set was Severely Tarnished
(The photo is blurry because it's cropped from a larger photo)

Unfortunately I hadn't cleaned our silver tea set all year. By the time the holidays rolled around, the tea set was a mess. As mentioned above, I used the electrolytic cleaning plate but it didn't work well because I was out of water softener. However, the electrolytic cleaning plate has NEVER cleaned the silver like this.

Here's Our Tea Set after Hubby Used 
Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on it!

This is not an exaggeration, our set has never looked this clean! It looks almost new now. Hubby didn't just do this quickly though, he was thorough. Check out the photos below for the steps to follow.
He Used a Toothbrush to Clean the Pieces
Where Intricate Areas Need Detailed Attention

I had already attempted to clean the above piece using the electrolytic cleaning plate, but it just didn't come clean without Calgon. So again, hubby used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on it. He detailed it using a toothbrush.

Here's the finished result! 

I'm shocked at how amazing the Mag and Aluminum Polish works! Our silver hasn't looked this clean for years.

Here's a Close-up of our Polish
Step by Step How-to Instructions:
  1. Apply polish on the surface with a microfiber cloth
  2. For detailed hard to clean areas use a toothbrush
  3. With the toothbrush work the polish into all the crevices and tight spots
  4. You can put a cloth over the toothbrush to help get into the tight spots
  5. Let it dry for three or four minutes
  6. Then remove the polish with a microfiber cloth, keep using multiple cloths if they get too dirty
  7. Repeat until the product is cleaned
  8. When done, give it a final polish with the microfiber cloth
  9. The final step is to clean the silver with a little bit of dish soap and water. Give it a quick wipe down, then dry it. You don't need to submerge the pieces in water. Just dip the cloth in water, wipe the silver piece, then dry it thoroughly.
Note, my husband cleaned our silver tea set and five other pieces in just over two hours.

If I had to choose between an Electrolytic Cleaning Plate and the Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish, it's the Mag and Aluminum Polish all the way!



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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Reviewing How To Reboot Your Body

reviewing how to reboot your body
The end of the year is often a time for reflection  and our New Years start off with  promises to ourselves of keeping good habits, kicking bad habits, taking time out for gratitude and other things.

This year I started my January by doing Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond plan and I felt fantastic on it.   This plan is a great way to basically give your body a reboot!

I will be 'rebooting my body' again in January 2019 and I'm going to review the reasons why as well as the what, whys and hows of the plan.

Why I Love The Basic Principles of The 30DTHL Plan


There are three principles behind the plan as I see it -
  • First foods that are often allergenic, acidic or hard for the body to digest are eliminated - don't worry it's only for 30 days!
  • Second, you nourish your body with good, clean food and quality supplements.
  • Thirdly you support your body as it goes through it's rebooting process.
Doesn't that sound good?  This was what attracted me to this plan as I had discovered over 10 years ago that a certain food could cause my Rheumatoid Arthritis to flare up and yet other foods that cause other people to flare up didn't appear to affect me.

The idea of eliminating and then (this plan does include the words and beyond) re-introducing the different foods gradually so that you can see how they may or may not affect you, this idea is one that I think is brilliant.  Everyone is different, but I do think that everyone would benefit from a reboot at least once so that they can find out how different foods affect them.

I also love how the importance of nourishing your body correctly is handled.  This program provides you with protein powder to use twice a day leaving you to only have to prepare one meal a day (and snacks).  Initially I was a little unsure how I felt about this, however if I had to prepare three meals to the proportions recommended and not including processed foods I would probably not have lasted the whole 30 days.

We live busy lives and that's what Arbonne gets.   The protein powders are specially formulated (and by the way all of the products are vegan, gluten-free & kosher) and although I was skeptical about them filling me up they really do!   If you don't want shakes that's fine as you can cook with the protein powder too and there are recipes available for protein porridge, pancakes and lots more ideas.

Personally I love making up a shake in the morning as I find it quick, easy and filling.   On the weekends I will often treat myself to a smoothie bowl -

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/reviewing-smoothie-bowl-recipes.htmlReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
A smoothie bowl is essentially a thick smoothie that is served up in a bowl with a variety of toppings. It is delicious and feels like a decadent treat while also being a very healthy choice.

Gently supporting your body in a delicious way with their herbal tea and body cleanse is also great.   If you live in the US, Canada or the UK you also get what they call Digestion Plus to take every day and this works wonders on your gut health which is really important.

Who Needs to Reboot Their Body?

I think most of us need to reboot our body at some point so that it's working efficiently.  I think of when my internet connection is dropping out or just seems to hang, the first thing I do is hit the reset button on my wifi router and 99% of the time that's all it takes.

So why would you need to hit the reset button on your body?  Well let me list a few symptoms that may show your body isn't working as well as it could be -


signs you may need to detox
  • Bloating
  • Bad Breath 
  • Feeling Tired
  • Dry Lips 
  • Insomnia
  • Sore Muscles 
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Low Libido 
  • Brain Fog
  • Skin Breakouts 
  • Headaches
  • Depression 
  • Gas
  • Skin Rashes 
  • Low Energy


What Do I Get with the 30 Day Pack?


When you order the plan you will receive 2 x bags of protein, 2 x boxes of herbal tea, 2 x boxes of fizz sticks, 1 x bag of fibre, 1 x box digestion plus*, 1 x box of Body Cleanse and 1 x tub of Greens Balance.

*Only available in the US, Canada & UK

You also get access to a private coaching group on facebook, a downloadable recipe book, 30 days worth of meal plans (both vegan and non-vegan plans) and you can message me any time.   I've actually done this plan a few times so can help with any questions you have.

30 days to healthy living and beyond - rebooting your body the healthy way
30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond

Changes I Have Personally Experienced


When I did my first 30 days to healthy living I found that I had lost 5kg (11 lb), I had lots of energy, I wasn't experiencing any mood swings (I am menopausal and these had been quite bad), my hot flushes had stopped, my sleeping had improved, my energy levels were really high and (as a total surprise) I was no longer sore or stiff in the morning when I woke up.

Now that last point was a big surprise to me as I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis approx 16 years ago.  I had come off of my medications about a decade ago and had been managing my condition with diet & lifestyle.   I had accepted, however, that I would be stiff in the mornings and sometimes a little sore - a combination of RA and getting older.   I have discovered that while doing this plan that was no longer the case and hasn't been all year!

Now I'm not claiming that this will work for everyone, but I can't think why you wouldn't give it a try!

What Happens After the Reboot


Part of the health reboot is eliminating certain foods for 30 days, now if you want to maximize the effect of this plan you need to gradually reintroduce these foods one at a time over the following few weeks.   This way you can pinpoint which foods (if any) effect you.

Foods can affect you differently as you age as well.  When we get older our bodies produce less digestive enzymes and this is why when I was on an elimination diet over a decade ago only one food seemed to effect me.   I now know that I have to reduce how often I eat other foods too.

The other thing that will happen after you've been making your clean meals for one meal a day (most people have dinners, but you may have chosen lunch) is that it's much easier to make your second meal as well.   I admit that a number of people I know actually continue to have a smoothie for their breakfast after finishing the plan.   In my case it's because it's easy, yummy and keeps me full!

Interested in Learning More?


Contact me via messenger on my Facebook page or leave a comment below and I'll get back to you with more information including how to order it at a discount.





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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Reviewing How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life

how to use essential oils to enhance your life every day
How to use aromatherapy in your life
I think everyone should have a little aromatherapy in their life and it can be enjoyed in so many different ways.

You can use essential oils as air freshner or in cleaners around the home.  You can diffuse them or use them in massage oils.  You can also add them to your skincare and so much more.

Let's have a look at just how you can add them into your life easily, safely and get maximum enjoyment all at the same time.

First you have to think of ways that you would enjoy using them and get an oil that can multi task for you.  I always think that tea tree, lemon and lavender oils are good ones to start with because they can be used in so many different ways.

Once you are used to using essential oils regularly you can start to expand your aromatherapy collection and venture into oils such as Roman chamomile, jasmine, lime, geranium and rosemary to name a few that I love.

Getting Started Using Essential Oils


For anyone getting started with essential oils I highly recommend joining this facebook group - Using & Enjoying Essential Oils with Louanne - as a disclaimer it's one I've just started myself!

The most common use of essential oils in the home seems to be as an air freshner.  I use a difuser that I plug in (I used to use an oil burner that you would use tea light candles in, but I worry about fires these days!).  If you don't want to invest in a difuser in case you don't use it then rice is your friend.

Using Rice in Place of Pot Pourri

You know the little 'bowls' of pot pourri people have around the place, well you can add uncooked rice to a small container and then add a few drops of essential oils and you have the same fragrance carrier.  It should go without saying that you must not cook the rice once you've used it like this!

I'm relatively new to this concept as I only heard about it a few months ago, but it works really well!

Carpet Freshner Too!


If you have carpet you can also freshen up the smell in the room by creating your very own natural version of 'shake n vac'.   All you need is baking soda and your favorite essential oil, I like lavender or one of the citrus oils.

For each cup of baking soda you can add 5-7 drops of essential oils and shake it up really well (it can clump sometimes so I have heard it suggested that you use a whisk to mix it up before adding to a container ... I have never done that!

I use an old carpet freshner (a generic shake n vac powder) container as it already has the holes for you to shake it out of - doesn't get any easier!

While we're talking about carpets - do you have a bag in your vacuum or do you have a bagless one?  I have a bagless vacuum at the moment, but when I had my old bagged vacuum cleaner I would put 2-3 drops of tea tree, lemon or lavender oil into the bag each time I emptied it, you could smell the fragrance every time you turned the vacuum on.

Household Cleaners Using Essential Oils

There are lots of ways you can incorporate essential oils into your cleaning routine besides using it on your carpet.  You can make your own multi purpose cleaner, window cleaner, use it in the toilet cistern and many more.

I love using it in the toilet cistern and have been doing this for years - I add 6-10 drops of tea tree oil into the cistern and every time you flush the toilet you get a faint whiff of tea tree oil, when you stop getting that whiff (or once a week) you add 6-10 drops again.

I am sure that it makes the toilet easier to clean as well, but I may be imagining that!

Years ago where I worked had lino flooring and we would often get black marks left by people's shoes - we simply added a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to a cloth and wiped it on the mark - gone!

There are lots of recipes for cleaning products to be found online that use lemon or tea tree oils.

Aromatherapy to Help With Sleeping

So many people have problems sleeping and this is something that aromatherapy can really help with from pillow sprays to having a diffuser in the bedroom.

On my facebook group I have a great recipe for a pillow spray that you can use, but you can also just add a few drops of lavender and/or chamomile oil to a hankerchief and take that to bed with you.

Using a diffuser is a great idea to help with sleeping.  Many years ago I worked with a lady who's daughter used to get so stressed out at college that she couldn't sleep (she also suffered from asthma).  She brought her a diffuser and a relaxing oil blend and instructed her to use it at night - not only was she able to sleep better, her asthma also seemed to improve.

Of course a lovely relaxing massage before going to bed is also a great way to help you sleep, you may have to take times with your partner as to who has the massage though!

Beauty Uses for Essential Oils

You can use essential oils to make your own beauty products or add them to your existing beauty products to enhance them.

There's not enough time to go into all of the uses for these, but the more common ones you can use is to add a few drops of lavender oil to a hand cream, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a shampoo and to add a drop of rose oil to a face mask.

Gift Ideas with Essential Oils


If you have essential oils on hand you can find lots of ways to incorporate them into fantastic gift ideas such as -


  • bath bombs
  • facial sprays
  • hand creams
  • cuticle oil
  • lavender eye pillows


Ready to Get Started?


You could buy these essential oils one at a time or if you want to get started right away then we have a special set that is an economical way of getting the three must have essential oils to start along with another pillar essential oil and some blended essential oils.

Holiday Set of Essential Oils


They are all sent to you in a box which is great because essential oils should be kept in a dark cool space ideally.


More articles on Aromatherapy which I'm sure you'll enjoy -


Reviewing an Essential Oil Holiday SetReviewing an Essential Oil Holiday Set
Arbonne have just brought out their holiday range for 2018 and this year it includes a gorgeous essential oil set. If you're interested in using essential oils then this is a great way to start your selection.

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree OilReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
Over the years I have used tea tree oil in many ways, from household uses to medicinal uses and there are lots of other uses that I haven't tried. Tea Tree oil has antiseptic properties and is both a germicide and a fungicide

Reviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend Reviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend
This blend of oils contains basil, rosemary, frankincense, bergamot and lemon. The combination of these oils helps to clear the mind and uplift your emotions which is perfect for increasing your focus and productivity

How To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil EverHow To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil Ever
There are so many recipes for DIY cuticle oil that they would make your head spin, but many of them used so many ingredients that it just seem such an effort so when I found a simple recipe with only 3 ingredients ..

Reviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve StressReviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve Stress
I thought it would be handy to showcase which aromatherapy oils are the best to help relieve stress and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle to make stress a thing of the past.

Using & Enjoying Essential Oils with LouanneUsing & Enjoying Essential Oils with Louanne
A facebook group where we can talk about essential oils and how to incorporate them into your life.





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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Reviewing an Essential Oil Holiday Set

Purchase here!
Arbonne have just brought out their holiday range for 2018 and this year it includes a gorgeous essential oil set.   If you're interested in using essential oils then this is a great way to start your selection.

The set comes in a gorgeous holiday themed gift box which makes it a perfect gift for someone who is interested in aromatherapy.

Let's have a look at what's included in the set...

What's in Arbonne's 2018 Essential Oil Gift Set?


The set features all of Arbonne's single essential oils which are lavender, lemon, peppermint & tree tea as well as two of Arbonne's combination blends - Harmony & Focus.

I believe that if you're starting your aromatherapy journey then the first three oils you should get are lavender, lemon and tea tree so this is a perfect set.

Arbonne's Essential Oil Holiday Set
Arbonne's Essential Oil Holiday Set


Lavender Oil


Lavender oil is the absolute Queen of essential oils, it's referred to as 'a first aid kit inside a bottle' because of how many things it's really good for.   Now essential oils should always be diluted before being used on your skin EXCEPT lavender oil - it is powerful enough to do a whole heap of things while being gentle enough to be able to use neat.   I should note that I do still dilute it personally.

Some of the common ailments that can be relieved with lavender oil include headaches (find out how in my article on naturally relieving headaches), stress relief, insomnia, insect bites and burns.

It can also be used for making bath bombs, you can add a drop to your hand cream for a beautiful fragrance and it also combines with lemon oil to make a cuticle oil - find out more here.

Around the house you can make your own carpet deodorizing powder simply add a few drops of lavender oil to baking soda as well as using it in these ways -



Lemon Oil


Lemon oil has lots of great things going for it, the citrus scent is very uplifting and it also has both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which means that as soon as any viruses start doing the rounds I pop a few drops of lemon oil into my diffuser to ward them off!

It's also a great essential oil to help you stay alert, perfect for long trips in the car, when working overtime or studying.

More ways to use lemon oil ...


Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is so soothing and refreshing I absolutely love it!  When one of my late friends was going through chemotherapy he was suffering from really bad night sweats and asked if there was any natural products I could recommend.  I told him to try adding a few drops of peppermint oil to a cool bath and see how that worked - I did caution him that as well as cooling properties peppermint was also invigorating so he may find he couldn't sleep afterwards.   It worked really well to cool down his body so he was able to sleep.

Peppermint is more commonly used to help muscle aches and pains (diluted in a carrier oil or ointment base) or to help with a sinus headache.   Now I have seen a lot of places online suggest putting a drop of oil on your fingers and massaging your sinus points - please do NOT do this.  The only oil that can be used neat in this way is lavender oil, always dilute peppermint oil.

If you do suffer from sinus problems including headaches I would get a small roller bottle and add a carrier oil with a few drops of peppermint oil in it and keep that with you so that you can apply it throughout the day.

Peppermint oil is also regularly used in a foot bath as it's cooling on swollen feet and also helps with foot aches.  When I worked in a health food shop we had concrete floors which meant at the end of the day (especially on late nights) my feet were often sore so I would add a few drops of peppermint oil into my foot spa and rest my feet while enjoying a cuppa and a few chapters of a good book when I got home.

Tea Tree Oil


Now I love using tea tree oil, and have actually written and article extolling it's uses ...

Tea Tree Oil UsesReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
After being introduced to tea tree oil over twenty years ago I have embraced a few different ways of using it, let's review just a few uses for this potent essential oil.


Harmony Blend

The Harmony Blend smells divine, it's been blended together to help give you a sense of harmony and I think it does that very well.  It includes uplifting citrus oils like orange, tangerine & grapefruit which I always call the happy oils as they really do raise the spirits.  Also included is lavender for it's relaxing properties along with essential oils like rosemary, eucalyptus to really help you feel grounded.

This is a great blend to add to a bath or a diffuser to really create a spa like atmosphere in your home.  It's also good to use in a massage oil or even to pop into your favorite body lotion.

Personally I think it's lovely to pop into an aromatherapy necklace if you have one as it would be a lovely aroma to inhale throughout the day and keep you feeling centered.

Focus Blend


If you're having problems with focusing on the task at hand, then perhaps you need some focus blend!  I have written a post all about how and when to use this blend -

Focus Oil Aromatherapy BlendReviewing Arbonne's Focus Blend
Arbonne's Focus blend is a combination of pure essential oils that aid with focus and concentration, excellent for students, people who have problems focusing and for long car journeys.



If you're not as keen on aromatherapy or you already have these oils then why not check out some of the other holiday gift ideas that Arbonne have to offer as there are some lovely things available and of course we've reviewed lots of other gift ideas for you too.


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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Gifts Reviewed on Review This!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This!


 Gifts Reviewed on Review This!
We all buy gifts for many different occasions.  The Contributors of Review This frequently review the gifts they have purchased and given, as well as gifts they have received and loved.  Therefore, you will find a wide range of recommendations by exploring our gift reviews, for a wide variety of recipients.

Whether you are searching for gift ideas for women, men, children, friends, co-workers or even pets, you are sure to find some excellent suggestions on Review This!  

From birthdays to Christmas gifts, Father's Day, Mother's Day, anniversaries, and even gifts for communions, these gift reviews and more, are all included.  There are reviews for specific personal preferences like "Gifts for Tea Lovers" or "Gifts for a Vegan Teen" that make it easier to identify what someone will like.  

Most often, you will find the gifts we have reviewed are unique.  They are not the items you normally see listed in the gift category of many shopping sites.  Yet, they are the items we have given or received that have made a bit hit with the recipients.  We hope our reviews make your gift shopping easier and fun.  Don't be surprised if you find a few things you want yourself.



Welcome to Our Gift Library of Reviews!



A Preview of the Pinterest Board - Gift Reviews 

There are dozens of gifts reviewed on Review This!  This small board features the most recent 50 reviews. 




Links to Additional Pinterest Gift Boards from Review This! 


Birthday Gifts Ideas & Suggestions

Christmas Gifts

Gifts for Mothers

Gifts for Fathers

Valentine's Day Gifts

Easter Gifts



Gifts Reviewed on Review This!

For a written list of the gifts reviewed on Review This, please visit our Site Director and select "Gifts" from the "Fast Click" category tabs on that page.




Read More Product Reviews at
ReviewThisGifts.com  





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Monday, August 13, 2018

I Can Only Imagine - Movie Review

The Bart Millard story.
I Can Only Imagine is a movie that was recommended to me by one of the young people I work with. That speaks volumes alone. If one of my work children tells me that a movie meant something to them, I watch it as soon as possible. And I'm here to tell you that you should consider watching it as soon as possible. This is a movie about pain, abuse, life, choices, anger, and eventual forgiveness.

I Can Only Imagine is a movie based on the life of Bart Millard; his abusive father, runaway mother, his hopes and dreams, and the anger that he can't release.


I Can Only Imagine The Movie


Bart Millard is growing up in a rural area. His father is abusive to both Bart and his mother. The abuse is both physical and verbal. Mr. Millard shames his son during what seems like every waking moment - pushing him to follow in his high-school-star football footsteps.

I ache from the irony of an abusive parent pushing a child to be like them.

Mrs. Millard drops Bart off at camp, which becomes the best week of his life. Only to return to find that she has left the family. Leaving Bart to learn to navigate living with his father on his own.

Bart attempts to become a football star too. He outgrows his dad physically. But is still finding his own way as an emerging adult. We hope that he outgrows his dad emotionally. But he waivers and also begins to hurt the ones he loves. 
The Very Best of MercyMe album

Clearly, he eventually finds his way and it leads to the record hit crossover song I Can Only Imagine by the group MercyMe. 

The messages of the story (and song) are far greater than the number of records and movie tickets sold. It is a powerful story of those who struggle, of real relationships, and how to find your way.

Cast: J.Micheal Finley, Dennis Quaid, Trace Adkins, Madeline Carroll, Cloris Leachman and more. 



My Personal Take


This is a Christian movie. Should that keep you away from watching it if that's not "your thing"? No. A resounding no. I probably would best be categorized by others as a non-believer. This movie is full of real human experiences. And how to be a better person. Don't limit yourself based on genre.

This is a movie about redemption.

Redemption:
  • the action of saving or of being saved from sin, evil, or error
  • the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt

Which of us don't have debts (the relational debts that are a part of being human) that need to be cleared? 

There are lessons in his story. And one of those lessons are that what we experience as children can be the baggage we carry with us for the remainder of our lives - impacting us in ways we don't want to be impacted.

There are no eloquent tel-prompter type monologues. The conversations are simple and real. Too simple according to some negative reviews. I did not share that opinion. 

In my opinion, people of the Christian faith and things related to that faith are currently the victims of the bullies. I truly believe some of the negative reviews online are based on the reviewer's personal feelings about faith rather than on the movie itself. And interestingly enough, seem to parrot what mean Mr. Millard would have said.

This may not be your cup of tea. That's okay. It definitely touched me. And at least one young person I know, who liked it enough to recommend it. My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough. I wanted more. More details about the journey.

Good thing there is a published memoir by Bart Millard. I'm ordering it today.


The Movie on Amazon





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Monday, July 30, 2018

Reviewing Northern Lights by Nora Roberts

Reviewing Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
I enjoy books written by Nora Roberts, specifically the romantic suspense books that she writes. Northern Lights is at the top of my list of my favorite books. Recently, I've been so tired that it has been difficult to concentrate on new material and find myself stuck reading the same paragraphs night after night. I decided to read something familiar and that wouldn't require so much concentration but couldn't find my print copy of Northern Lights. I looked to the internet for a digital copy. Because Nora Roberts is a prolific writer, with well over 200 titles published, I found that this book may be lost among them so I decided to highlight one of my favorite stories by this author.


Northern Lights in Lunacy, Alaska


Ignatious Burke (Nate) is a Baltimore cop who accepts a job in Lunacy, Alaska. The baggage he brings, that doesn't fit in his carry-on bags, includes the trauma of watching his partner die on the street in Baltimore. Nate can't shake those feelings of guilt. So he accepts a job in a tiny, remote Alaskan town. So remote that he arrives by small plane.


"Strapped into the quivering soup can laughingly called a plane, bouncing his way on the pummeling air through the stingy window of light that was winter, through the gaps and breaks in snow-sheathed mountains toward a town called Lunacy, Ignatious Burke had an epiphany.
He wasn't nearly as prepared to die as he had believed." - excerpt from Northern Lights 

As you would expect, in Lunacy, there is a cast of eccentric characters. To be expected as the 500+ residents of Lunacy refer to themselves as Lunatics. Nate's job duties include, but are not limited to, Moose versus vehicle incidents, taking care of drunks, and watching over his quiet little town. Quiet until the remains of a body - clearly murdered - is found preserved in an ice cave.

The murder victim is Meg's father. 

Meg was born and raised in Lunacy, is a bush pilot, and is quite able to fend for herself. She lives with her dogs, outside of town. Meg is described by some reviewers as unlikable and cold. I describe her as efficient. She is not needy or clingy. Meg begins in a casual physical relationship with Nate but over time it begins to become a more meaningful connection. 

Like small town life, the story line is in no rush. Other reviewers refer to the story line as a "gradual climb" and a "slow burn". I agree and I would add that it is comfortable. When Meg's father's body is found the story begins to become more tense and we begin to find reason take a closer and more suspicious look at the many eccentric residents of Lunacy.  

Who has killed Mr. Galloway - keeping the secret for all these years and walking the snowy streets with the unsuspecting Lunatics of Lunacy, Alaska? And now that the body has been found, who will the killer go after next in order to cover his/her/their tracks?


Additional things to consider about Northern Lights  


Because I am recommending a book that won't be everyone's cup of tea, I feel I should add a few side notes and warnings.  

  • There is a bit of "gore" (there's been a couple of murders after all - one in Alaska and one on Baltimore). 
  • There is profanity. 
  • There are a couple of sex scenes (4 sex scenes for a total of 10 pages is what another reviewer counted). 
  • This novel was written years ago, about a setting years before that (published in 2004, with a journal entry in the book dated February 12, 1988). It is not PC by some standards today.
  • There is also a review that reports a dislike for how the Alaskan residents are portrayed. 
This story will not be everyone's style. It is mine. I like gritty and a bit of gore. Swearing typically doesn't bother me. I tend to like my fiction slightly caricaturized - after all, why read a story if the character is as mundane and boring as I am? And finally, I am very familiar with people who talk, think, and behave just like the people of Lunacy. So this level of alleged political incorrectness was not shocking to me. But I have read a couple of reviews (out of hundreds) in which readers seemed to be significantly triggered so I felt I should give this bit of information in the interest of full disclosure.

If you are curious, but not sure about the story, Amazon provides a sizable "look inside" sample. If the story sounds intriguing but you aren't quite sure, take a peek at the Northern Lights free sample. 

I enjoyed this story, characters, and setting very much. I have read this book multiple times and have it downloaded to begin again. In my opinion, reading about snowy Alaska during the tired, heat-wave days of summer is a great escape. 




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Saturday, July 28, 2018

How To Make The Easiest Cuticle Oil Ever

How to make the easiest cuticle oil ever
Photo's by Lou16
Today I'm going to review how to make the easiest cuticle oil ever. Once you see how easy it is you'll wonder why you haven't always made your own DIY cuticle oil!

Don't use a cuticle oil? You're not alone, it's a step many people miss out when they do their nails at home. I must admit, but cuticles were in pretty bad shape and I would just rub my hand cream into them and think 'oh well, that's just my cuticles!'

This year I've decided to treat myself my getting my nails done once a month (well it's about every three weeks, but my husband thinks it's a monthly thing LOL!) and I do love it when they pop on the cuticle oil at the end. My cuticles are looking much better, but they would look even better if I used it a little bit more often.

Now I like the idea of using natural products and not having some of the additives that you find in some skincare/personal care products being present. I also know that lemon oil is great for softening cuticles, I just had to look for some cuticle oil recipes ...

There are so many recipes for DIY cuticle oil that they would make your head spin, but many of them used so many ingredients that it just seem such an effort. Using sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil and about 5 different essential oils just seemed a lot for me to recommend to people, after all we don't have all these ingredients just lying around the house do we?

Well I found a recipe that used olive oil and just two essential oils and I changed the essential oils (based on my own aromatherapy knowledge, and on what I had on hand) and I've come up with the easiest cuticle oil ever -

How to make the easiest DIY cuticle oil ever - every thing ready to begin - olive oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, bottle and funnel

Easy DIY Cuticle Oil That Your Nails Will Love!


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 drops pure lemon essential oil
2 drops pure lavender essential oil.

Simply mix the ingredients together and keep in a bottle, I recommend seeing if you can find a nail polish style of bottle with a nail polish brush to keep it in (they didn't have any at my local store) or even a roller bottle.

These type of bottles will made it easier to apply, but aren't essential.   As you can see from my photo I just used a test tube style bottle (as I had it on hand) and I use a Q-tip to add the oil around my nails. I will let you know, however, that I have some roller bottles on order.

Lemon oil is fantastic for softening hard skin which is why it's a perfect addition to a cuticle oil. Lavender oil is a very nourishing oil, softening and just great for skin. The combination of these two oils works fantastically to help keep your cuticles looking fabulous and as an added bonus, using a cuticle oil after a manicure actually helps it stay looking beautiful for longer something I've only just found out!

                                                                                                                                                              
EXTRA TIP - if you take vitamin E capsules then simple pierce one of them and squeeze the contents into the cuticle oil.  It will make the oil even more moisturizing and rich (a much cheaper alternative to adding vitamin E oil!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
It's very important that you use pure essential oils and not synthetic ones when making your own skincare as each essential oil brings it's own benefits and fragrant oils don't have these benefits.

I love to use Arbonne's essential oils when available, if I'm after an oil that they don't have then I make sure that the one I buy is 100% pure essential oil.

Aromatherapy Isn't Just About DIY Skincare!


You can use essential oils for lots of different things, here's a few articles that you might find interesting ...

How Aromatherapy can Help StressHow Aromatherapy Can Help Stress
Aromatherapy has proven to be very successful at helping to relieve stress, simply by using certain essential oils stress and conditions caused by stress can be alleveiated.

Essential Oil Room Humidifier and DiffuserEssential Oil Room Humidifier and Diffuser
Using essential oils in a humidifier or diffuser can add a lovely atmosphere to a room as essential oils can really help to work on your emotions from relaxing you or making you more upbeat.

Reviewing Uses for Tea Tree OilReviewing Uses for Tea Tree Oil
The herbaceous fragrance of tea tree doesn't begin to hint at how many uses there are for this essential oil from medicinal to beauty to household uses this is one very versatile essential oil.


How to make the easiest cuticle oil with only 4 ingredients
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