Friday, July 31, 2015


OZ Naturals products are made in the USA, and have quickly become a trusted brand for those looking for extremely effective products that actually deliver on their claims.

My thoughts:  I have had the pleasure of reviewing several items in the Oz Naturals skin care line and found them all pleasant to use, non-irritating, and they seem to deliver on natural methods of caring for one's skin.
The Sea Infused Herbal Moisturizer is a different looking and feeling moisturizer. First of all it is a tan color which differs from usual moisturizers. It has a scent that seems out-doorsy, natural, and different. It has taken a bit of adjustment to me, personally, since this is so different. The moisturizer is a liquid/cream (meaning not quite as stiff as many moisturizers). I can easily over-dispense the product onto my hand, so I am careful. It doesn't take much to cover my face, neck, and chest area.
I cleanse my face, apply serum, and then apply the Sea Infused Herbal Moisturizer. It is important to wait for each product you apply to dry before applying the next. This is true, too, if you wish to apply makeup after your skin care routine. Makeup goes on very well and lasts well during the day when using the Sea Infused Herbal Moisturizer.

I can see this product being used by men and women, adults or teens.

The price is certainly affordable at roughly $25 per tube and will last quite awhile. I can recommend this for those who wish to have a natural moisturizer. I also recommend any other Oz Naturals products. (Use the search option and find my reviews of other Oz Naturals products.)

SEA INFUSED HERBAL MOISTURIZER (product information provided by manufacturer)

Research shows that aging skin is the result of more than just years spent on the earth. Exposure to environment elements like sunlight, smoke, and air pollution are the major causes for photo-aging in skin. Our toxic environment leads to the formation of lines, wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, and to more serious skin issues such as dermatitis. A comprehensive nutrient moisturizer can help prevent photo-aging and the onset of more serious skin conditions. Topical Vitamin C has now been shown to provide up to eight times the skin's natural protection from UV damage, protecting your skin from the sun in ways that sunscreens can't, preventing photo-aging and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles...promoting positive skin health. Therefore, when used in conjunction with a sunscreen you truly have full protection from UV rays!

OZ Naturals Products.....

  • Proudly Made in the USA
  • Vegan Formulas
  • FDA-Registered Facility
  • Kosher Certified Materials
  • No Animal Testing, Sustainable Raw Materials & Practices
  • Biodegradable Products
  • GMP Compliant
  • In-House Quality Control Systems & In-House Shelf Life Testing
  • Natural Products Association Alliance Wind & Solar Energy

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product from Oz Naturals in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for the review.

Coming soon "Monster Needs Your Vote"

I'm looking forward to another of the "Monster Needs..." books. Coming VERY SOON is Monster Needs Your Vote.

In case you're not yet familiar with these books, run to your favorite store or library and snag a copy of any or all of the "Monster Needs..." books and start enjoying.

The Monster Needs Your Vote story will help parents and teachers teach young readers about the voting and election process here in America. In addition to this really fun book, the creators, Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb, along with the publisher, Mighty Media Press, have provided lots of goodies for you to download and use in the learning process.

There are Presidential Facts and First Lady Facts, vocabulary words, qualifications for being president (some great information), and activity sheets. CLICK HERE to get this FREE fun stuff. 

And be sure to watch Chat With Vera for a review.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff & illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

About the book: Discover how Benjamin Franklin’s scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer’s mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true moment in history.

The day Ben Franklin first set foot in Paris, France, he found the city all abuzz. Everyone was talking about something new. Remarkable. Thrilling. Strange. Something called Science!

But soon the straightforward American inventor Benjamin Franklin is upstaged by a compelling and enigmatic figure: Dr. Mesmer. In elaborately staged shows, Mesmer, wearing a fancy coat of purple silk and carrying an iron wand, convinces the people of Paris that he controls a magic force that can make water taste like a hundred different things, cure illness, and control thoughts! But Ben Franklin is not convinced. Will his practical approach of observing, hypothesizing, and testing get to the bottom of the mysterious Mesmer’s tricks? A rip-roaring, lavishly illustrated peek into a fascinating moment in history shows the development and practice of the scientific method—and reveals the amazing power of the human mind.
My thoughts: As an introduction to non-fiction, this picture book captures the essence of many things. The illustrations are humorously droll. The artist uses reds, browns, and burnt sienna to give richness to the compartmentalized illustrations.  The typesetting lends emphasis and French eloquence, Merci beaucoup.

Young readers will learn....

  • That Ben Franklin was an American Statesman, an inventor, and a scientist.
  • That a method of healing in France was debunked by Ben Franklin using the scientific method.
  • The origin of the word MESMERIZED.
Young readers will enjoy this delightfully informative and educational story as Ben Franklin goes about the eloquently fashionable French Court debunking with the scientific method. This foray into the realm of non-fiction will leave young readers asking for more. Desiring to learn more. Looking to their librarians, teachers, and parents for more opportunities to learn about words, history, science.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by the publisher, Candlewick Press, to facilitate this review. Opinions are just mine. I was not compensated for this review.

Tea With Vera

Won't you pause in your busy day and enjoy a cup of tea with Vera? To learn about the tea brewed in each of these lovely tea cups in my collection, please see my review of Enjoying Tea's products. CLICK HERE 
Lovely tea cup is served in a family heirloom

Filtering Tea Mug compliments


A favorite tea cup - lovingly gifted
to me by my grandaughter

Lovely amber tea brewed in beautiful clear glass
collectible mug 

Fragile tea cup lovingly brought to me from
Vienna by my daughter

A son-in-law thoughtfully brought this tea cup
back to me from a trip he made to London!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Daisy Saves the Day by Shirley Hughes

About the book: Daisy Dobbs has a mother and little twin brothers, but she lives far from them, serving as a maid in a big house owned by two refined old ladies. Daisy scrubs floors and sweeps stairs, washes dishes and peels potatoes. And sometimes she makes mistakes—like hanging the ladies’ red bloomers out the window for all to see. But in the evenings, Daisy sometimes has a moment to herself, which she uses for her favorite thing: borrowing books from the big house’s parlor. When disaster strikes in the form of a kitchen fire, and Daisy’s quick thinking saves the day, the ladies reward her in the best possible way. With atmospheric text and engaging illustrations, Shirley Hughes gently reminds us that reading is a gift to be treasured.

My thoughts: The treasured illustrations of Shirley Hughes grace the pages of Daisy Saves the Day bringing this sweet character to life for young readers. In the early 1900s two elderly spinster sisters live in London and Daisy is taken in as the young scullery maid. Up to this point, Daisy had lived at home with her "Mum" and twin brothers, caring for the twins while Mum worked. Daisy went to school and loved to read. But the time has come for Daisy to help with earnings.

She works very hard for the elderly sisters under the watchful eye of cook and maid who are ill-tempered sorts. The weariness of Daisy is shown in the charming art of Shirley Hughes. And the dreaded lost feeling of homesickness that overwhelms young Daisy when evening draws upon her.
If you don't purchase your own copy of Daisy Saves the Day, be sure you find one in a library and enjoy it. The stories and art of Shirley Hughes are not to be missed!

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Enjoying Tea is a Company for Affordable Luxurious Teas, Tea Sets, and Tea Cups [Review & Giveaway]

I have long enjoyed a nice cup of tea to relax with or to simply warm myself. Tea has been a staple in homes for centuries. There are many types of teas and from many countries.

My personal preferences are varied. I enjoy green tea and spicy Chai. Oolong and black teas are also wonderful. I enjoy my tea hot and I enjoy my tea ice cold. I'm a southerner and for my ice tea I prefer it strong, dark, and very sweet. While I can drink unsweetened tea - hot or cold, I do prefer to add some sugar.
After opening the shipping container, these were the lovely
boxes. Can't wait to open! More on tea!
Since I enjoy tea, the Enjoying Tea company is right on target as a good choice. Their selection is varied and suited for most any taste preference. They also carry a beautiful line of tea accessories - tea pots, tea sets, cups and mugs - there is a plethora of wonderful items.
Just look at all these wonderful choices of
tea I will get to enjoy & tell you about .....
I have the opportunity to review some of their teas and a beautifully crafted ceramic filtering tea mug. This is such a pleasurable opportunity. See this beautiful Ceramic Bird Filtering Tea Mug here.  "It comes with its own lid and a removable infuser that allows ample room for tea leaves to expand and provide full infusion of the leaves. There is a picture of cherry blossom flowers and birds on the body of the mug. Cherry blossom and bird symbolize beauty and peace."
This beautifully crafted and artistic filtering mug is just wonderful! Cherry blossom and bird symbolize beauty and peace.
Jasmine Dragon Pearl steeping
in filtering mug. More on their
lovely tea cup collections!
I began with the Jasmine Dragon Pearl (Imperial Long Chu) tea. "This green tea has a unique shape of a pearl and comes from the Chinese of Fujian. These hand rolled pearls consist of both leaves and bud. This tea has a sweet flavor with a flowery jasmine aroma." This is a very enjoyable green tea!

Jasmine Dragon Pearl brewed

Next, I brewed Vanilla Chai. Oh! This is an absolutely wonderful Chai. The spices are perfectly suited for my taste and the touch of vanilla is superb. "The Vanilla Chai is a top grade Indian tea. This delicious tea includes black tea, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, calendula, and daisy. When brewed this full body tea produces a spicy and creamy vanilla flavor. Superb with milk and sugar.

Chai is so prevalent in India and Sri Lanka that it could be called the National drink. Chai is brewed with milk and a mixture of spices. Each recipe can be different depending upon the spices used. Indian spiced chai is often referred to as Masala Chai. The word chai literally means tea in Hindi. Our chai is mixed from real Indian spices and top grade Ceylon black tea. The quality of the tea elevates this chai to a new level."
Lovely Vanilla Chai. Just right! Most folks drink their Chai with
milk, but I enjoy it either way. Here it is shown sans-milk. 
(Note: teacup was gifted me and is from Vienna.)
Oolong tea is always a treat. This Organic Slimming Oolong is light and refreshing. "The slimming organic oolong tea comes from China. When brewed, this tea offers a smooth taste, nutty flavor, and a sweet lingering aftertaste. This tea is also great served chilled. Studies have shown that this tea has weight loss benefits."
Organic Slimming Oolong
Can you tell I'm enjoying tea time in my house? Next was the interesting Zhejiang Silver Needle. I'd never seen tea in this form before. Interesting! "This white tea with a white downy appearance comes from the province of Zhejiang. The Silver Needle, highest quality white tea, is picked during the spring before the buds open to preserve its tenderness. Exquisite and delicate, Silver Needle has a fresh, sweet fragrance and produces a pale yellow brew."
Zhejiang Silver Needle - Lovely white tea and absolutely delectable. 
(Note: teacup was gifted me by a granddaughter 
and is shaped to see a loving heart.)
As you might have guessed, I'm taking several days to sample these teas and brew them in some of my favorite tea cups. Today's tea is English Breakfast Black Tea. This is tea in a traditional, tried and true form. "This is a classic blend of Sri Lanka Ceylon flowery pekoe (FP) black tea. Although usually served in the morning, it is the perfect refreshing and invigorating tea for any time of the day. When brewed the English Breakfast produces a bright, full bodied, and amber tea." I'm sitting here after dinner, and after cleaning the kitchen, and enjoying a lovely cup of this English Breakfast Black Tea.
This lovely amber tea is English Breakfast Black Tea &
is served in a delicate tea cup brought from England as a
gift to me by my son-in-law.

Ceramic Bird Filtering Tea Mug
I have been enjoying my tea in lovely tea cups of my own, but there are so many lovely tea cups on If you love tea and if you love serving it in lovely tea cups (or with a full tea set with pot and cups), be sure you check them out!  NOTE: Ceramic Bird Filtering Tea Mug comes with its own lid and a removable infuser that allows ample room for tea leaves to expand and provide full infusion of the leaves. There is a picture of cherry blossom flowers and birds on the body of the mug. Cherry blossom and bird symbolize beauty and peace.
Delicate in taste and color, the
Dragon Well GreenTea (Lung Ching)
is served in a family heirloom.

Often I find green tea bitter and sometimes "fishy" tasting. I was pleasantly surprised by the  Dragon Well Green Tea, (Lung Ching). I enjoyed this green tea and found it light and aromatic. "This extraordinary green tea comes from the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. The flat leaves are harvested in early spring when the leaves are full of aroma."

Served in a lovely glass mug that showcases
the beauty of this Earl Grey Black Tea.
Today I have enjoyed the Earl Grey Black Tea. "This tea is made from top grade orange pekoe Ceylon black tea scented with the elegant fragrance of bergamot. The Ceylon tea is grown at the altitude of 7000 feet above sea level from the Sri Lanka region. When brewed this tea produces a bright coppery color liquid with a piquant and refreshing taste." Earl Grey Black Tea is always in good taste to serve (pun definitely intended). Often, though, I find that the bergamot overshadows the tea which is a mistake. Tea should taste like the tea it is. Flavors and enhancements should take a quite backseat. The Enjoying Tea Earl Gray Black Tea is absolutely perfect. The color is beautiful. The taste of top quality black tea and not bitter. The flavor and fragrance of bergamot subtle and perfect.

Sencha, (Japanese Green Tea)
The last tea in the sampler is the Sencha, (Japanese Green Tea). "Sencha is a traditional Japanese steamed green tea with a soothing taste and fresh green scent that makes it a perfect everyday treat." I was careful to steep this green tea just three minutes and remove the leaves immediately. For this tea I felt it wise to use a tea infuser that I could easily lift out. I enjoy the health benefits of green tea and this Japanese Green Tea is lovely.

Ceramic Bird Filtering Tea Mug here &
Top Seller Tea Sampler
Begins July 28 & ENDS August 19 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. 
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary tea sampler and filtering tea mug to facilitate this review by Enjoying Tea Inc.. Opinions are mine alone. I have not been compensated for this review. The giveaway prize will be provided and shipped to the winner by Enjoying Tea Inc.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Direct Hit By Mike Hollow

ISBN: 9781782641278 
$14.99 | Paperback
Lion Fiction
About the book: The jagged blast of high explosives rips through the evening air. In the sky over East London the searchlights criss-cross in search of the enemy.

On the first night of the Blitz, a corpse is discovered in a van in the back streets of West Ham. Detective Inspector John Jago recognizes the dead man as local Justice of the Peace Charles Villers. But then a German bomb obliterates all evidence.

Villers was not a popular man, both powerful and feared. As the sirens wail, the detective must start matching motive to opportunity--and it doesn't help when his boss foists an intrusive American journalist on him.

Jago soon discovers the dead man held many secrets, some reaching back to World War I. A lot of people wished Villers dead--and an air raid is a good time to conceal a murder.

My thoughts: This is not a fast paced action novel. The style is a bit plodding and yet very readable and one that makes the reader want to read on. The way the story is written, characters drawn and fleshed out, and the setting of London during the Blitz all lend authenticity and readability to Direct Hit.

Students of World War II history will recognize the Blitz as a major event in Hitler's war on Europe and England. London is a city beset with the life-toll of shortages, air raid sirens blasting, fear brought about by their involvement in WWII. Also running through society at this time is the strong under-current of brooding and breeding communism.

Amidst war and social unrest, life goes on for Detective Inspector Jago who is embroiled in finding who murdered Mr.Villers. During his investigation he uncovers a variety of criminal situations.

As a reader that enjoys historical fiction, it was a good read to see how Mike Hollow described London during these treacherous days. This story only covers a short period, but each day is eons long as the clock of war charts their course.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Kregel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions herein are mine alone. I received no compensation for this review.