Sunday, September 18, 2016

Safe, fun Face Paint Natural Non-Toxic from Good Earth Beauty [Giveaway]

Fall Festivals and special events call for fun products and one that kids love universally is having really bright, cute designs painted on their faces. They love butterflies, wings, colors, sparkles. And Mommy wants their kiddies to have fun but to have fun in a safe non-toxic way.

The folks at Good Earth Beauty have several face painting kits for you to choose from. They one they sent me to look over is "Angel Fairy Princess" ($9.99) which is sure to be loved by all those little princesses you know. Other kits include: Boy stuff, animal stuff, scary stuff....
Angel Fairy Princess Natural Face Paint from Elegant Minerals

If you're going to do a lot of facepainting, they have larger kits than this little sampler. But you can have lots of fun with these small kits.

Want it now? Find it here! Free shipping! 10% discount with code CEB10 


Winner can choose the $9.99 kit of your choice
Begins September 18
ENDS October 8 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
No children can enter, though this is for kid's fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product information - Face Paint Natural Non-Toxic Halloween

Finally a natural, non toxic face paint! Great for kids, great for Halloween - lead free, dye free, no micronized minerals. Each palette kit includes: 5 x face paint colors, 1 x Small Brush, 1 x 5pc Applicator Set, 1 x Glitter Bag,1 x 211 Geisha White Oil-Controlling Powder (goes on clear), 1 x Natural Vegan Facial Bar

Angel Fairy Princess: White, Purple, Hot Pink, Gold, Aqua, 6pc Applicator Set

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary produt to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated. Prize is provided by and shipped to winner by Good Earth Beauty.

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog Written & Illustrated by Lisa Papp [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN13: 9781561459100
Ages 4-8 - Hardcover $16.95 
My thoughts: Oh to my! This book is stunning! The pictures and soft colors are simply enchanting. And the story is so sweet and so very much a reality for so many children. (Hmmm... I've used "so" so very many times that perhaps .... well, you get the idea)

Madeline Finn could be so many children across the world. Children who are shy about reading and children who simply have a difficult time reading - either silent reading or reading aloud. Reading aloud to others can be particularly difficult and troublesome for some. No matter the reason for the difficulty, they simply have a hard time.

And it hurts. It hurts not to get a gold star for good reading. It hurts when the snickers and giggles come from classmates. It just hurts to struggle with words.

In this sweet and breath taking beautiful book, dear Madeline Finn gets taken to the library by Mom after a particularly difficult week of school. Madeline is not happy. Madeline doesn't like to read. Madeline doesn't want to read. And the librarian knows all of that and yet she gets Madeline to go along with her to a special room. In that special room there are lots of children and lots of different dogs and the children are reading to the dogs. Madeline is asked if she would like to read to the large white Library Dog who doesn't have a child assigned. Madeline agrees. The reading begins, slowly, with some mistakes, but the Library Dog just waits patiently and without criticism and Madeline is able to continue.

This story speaks so much to my heart. I was shy in school. I was sort of a reluctant reader. I had difficult reading aloud (remember reading circles). I had great difficult getting in front of the class and doing anything! So I quite understand Madeline.

I don't know about the reality of Library Dogs, but I do know that patience is a magical worker for a multitude of difficulties. I heartily recommend this book for homes, classrooms, and libraries everywhere. It can educate young readers to be patient with themselves and with others.

Purchase the book - click here

On another note, when I was a child, our family had a dog named Bonnie, too. Madeline's Library Dog's name was "Bonnie." 

About the book: Madeline Finn DOES NOT like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream truck.

Fortunately, Madeline Finn meets Bonnie, a library dog. Reading out loud to Bonnie isn't so bad. When Madeline Finn gets stuck, Bonnie doesn't mind. Madeline Finn can pet her until she figures the word out.

As it turns out, it's fun to read when you're not afraid of making mistakes. Bonnie teaches Madeline Finn that it's okay to go slow. And to keep trying. And to get support from a friend.

BEGINS September 18
ENDS October 10 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Peachtree Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are just mine, alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

FIRAA 5 in 1 Ultrasonic Pest Repeller - Plug In with Electromagnetic Ionic AC Socket & Night Light Electronic Repellent

My thoughts: We don't have a problem with major pests but we do have some "silverfish" and spiders and I don't like anything that creeps and crawls. I also don't care to be spraying insectisides around in my house. So the Ultrasonic Pest Repellers are very enticing to me. My husband has previously bought a couple for us and I tried another brand through a review program. The opportunity to review the Firra was very appealing to me simply because it looks like a much higher quality piece of equipment that those we've previously used.

I am really impressed with the quality of this little pest repeller. It is designed to do more than produce ultrasonic sounds that the critters don't like. As can be seen from the product information the ultrasonic sound is inaudible to people and most pets and the electromagnetic vibrations further irritate the pesty critters. If they aren't happy in your home, then they will leave. Sounds good to me and sounds bad to them!

Firaa Pest Repeller installed in my home. Blue montion
sensor night light, extra AC outlet on right side,
alternating indicator lights (yellow/red/green).
Also, this gadget has an ionic control that helps to remove pollutants and odors from the air that attract pests. None of my other gadgets had this.

Two other nifty features unique to the Firra are a soft blue motion sensor night light and an AC socket so you can still plug a small device into the outlet. I also love that this runs solely on your electric power and does not require batteries.

There are good instructions and information provided in an insert leaflet with this product. Another plus.

As their material states, it takes several weeks to realize control and results will vary. Frankly, I think it is well worth the money to use these since they have no harmful effects on people and pets and the possibility to repel the pesty insects is a given. Please note: this device does not kill the pests, it repels them.

Product information (provided by Firaa) - 5 IN 1 Functions: Click Here for more information and/or to purchase

  • ULTRASONIC SOUND - emits loud siren like sound that is inaudible to humans but incredibly loud to pests to drive them crazy!
  • ELECTRO-VIBRAWAVE - electromagnetic vibrations are sent to give pests no rest at all and to drive them out
  • IONIC CONTROL - removes pollutants and odors from the air that attracts pests
  • AC SOCKET - don't lose a socket, this allows you to plug in small devices
  • NIGHT LIGHT - a light sensor activated night light automatically switches on when it becomes dark

Do They Work?

An internet search will show you that yes these do work but results vary and there are no guarantees. That's the truth that most sellers won't tell you.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary product to facilitate my peresonal opinion in this review. Opinions are my own, alone and I was not compensated.

Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund [Review & Giveaway]

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound 
that saved a wretch like me. 
I once was lost, but now am found 

My thoughts: Many in Christian circles consider "Amazing Grace" to be one of the most moving hymns ever written. Also, many know some of the story behind the life of the hymn's author, John Newton, and how he penned the words after surviving a virtually unsurvivable storm at sea and coming to the relization that his survival was in accord with God's amazing grace. But few know about his life leading up to that event and the lovely young woman who powerfully and graciously influenced his life, Polly.

This is Polly's story, but the main character is surely John Newton. The book opens when John is 17 and Polly a bit younger. He is smitten with her. But being so young, unemployed, and not a man of faith, he is definitely not suitable material for marrying the sweet Polly - at least in Polly's father's opinion.

John's adventures have him avoiding gainful and respectful employment, being kidnapped (by a press gang - for the King's navy), traded for a better seaman, a slave and in chains along with the Africans who he had previously enslaved. He was brutally beaten and then whipped on ship for his punishment. Still God pursued him.

Told in Jody Hedlund's beautifully written and flowing story style and painstakingly researched for authenticity, Newton and Polly is a book you won't want to miss reading. It's a good book. But not only is the story enthralling, it brings to us the story of God's redemptive powers and his amazing grace in the pursuit and protection of sinners. Newton's story is that we can not sink so deep into sin that God's grace can not lift us in redemptive power.

I heartily recommend this book.

About the book: Now remembered as the author of the world's most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father until the night he hears Polly Catlett's enchanting voice, caroling. He is immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John's reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe."
Begins September 17
ENDS October 9 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review of my personal opinions. I received no compensation. Winner's giveaway copy is to be provided directly to the winner by the author or publisher.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

God Bless Us Every One (A contemporary Christmas carol) by Eva Marie Everson (Christmas Novella) [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: I love that the setting of God Bless Us Every One is in my home state of North Carolina. The little town of Testament (fictional) is nestled in the mountainous area of Morganton (a real place). The characters are real, down-to-earth folks with real life issues, real likes and dislikes, real stuff happening in their live.

This contemporary story runs a bit parallel to Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"; in fact each chapter begins with a meaty quote from Dickens. The reader will soon learn that Charlie's (female protagonist in story) father, John, is in prison. Note please that Charles Dickens' father's name was John and he was imprisoned in debtor's prison when Charles Dickens was a boy. Hmmmm.... getting the point?

As the story progresses, our modern day Charlie gets to know her father in his present day surroundings - a homeless shelter. Can she forgive for his past? 

Love that Charlie and her childhood crush, Dusty are reunited and strike up a great friendship (errr.... relationship). But the sweet nugget at the end doesn't entail Charlie and Dusty. You'll have to read this delightful novella to find out just what that was.

God Bless Us Every One rates a 4 or a 5 star for Christmas novella reading.

About the book: A timeless classic can change the future.

Charlene Dixon---called Charlie by family and friends---is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the head-mistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up dreams and returns to Grandma Esther, who raised Charlie as her own.

When Charlie arrives---broken and confused---Esther immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school's Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. When Charlie disapproves of having to work with Dustin Kennedy, the seventh-grade English teacher, Grandma Esther encourages her to take a deeper look at why the book by Charles Dickens had been written in the first place and what the book could teach Charlie about the needs of the children in their own community.


BEGINS September 6
ENDS September 20 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE:I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher to facilitate my review. Opinions are my own, alone. I was not compensated for this review.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Bear Who Wasn't There: And the Fabulous Forest by Oren Lavie & illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch

My thoughts: Often books written, illustrated, and published in Europe are a bit different from those of American origins. That can be refreshing. It is interesting as an adult to see various styles from America, Europe, England, Australia, and even Asian counties. It is also good to expose children to different styles and types of publications.

Oren Lavie's The Bear Who Wasn't There and the Fabulous Forest is one of those not-so-typical books. It will require a different type of parent or adult to purchase this publication for a child. Those who step out of the box of the ordinary and branch out to the quirky, non-realistic, thought provoking book that is filled with bold and unusual art will acquire it or read it to a child and will be the ones who open the seed pod of insightful thought for the child.

Will the young child grasp the "outside myself" tone of The Bear Who Wasn't There? Probably not. But it will surely tickle their imagination and mom and dad will surely gain a deep chuckle at some of bear's thoughts and quirky answers.

Bear wasn't "there" but an itch was there so the itch scratched itself upon a tree. The more it scratched the larger the itch became until it was bear. Now, I really don't think that this is delving into "creation" and an "out of nothing" theory. It is simply a nonsensical intro into getting bear into the story and into the forest that was, at that point, a single tree.

The story progresses as bear wanders deeper into the growing forest. He meets several other critters in the forest and these meetings give a sense of "Alice in Wonderland" deja vous.

The story teaches that you are you, yourself. It teaches you to be happy. It teaches you to accept yourself as "handsome," lovely.

The illustrations are very focused on the forest and its growing density. There is a good variety of foilage and though the book is primarily in deep greens, black, tans, and browns there are small spots of color that brighten the pages. I love the different look of this art and appreciate that each artist has his or her own style or styles and they utilize their specific talents to bring life to the text the author has composed for a story. This is a good combination of story and art.

About the book: A magical, lyrical picture book debut from acclaimed composer and playwright Oren Lavie, illustrated by beloved German illustrator Wolf Erlbruch.

One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he's looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he's very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, the Lazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he's been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear—and handsome too!

As whimsical as Winnie-the-Pooh and as wryly comic as Klassen's bear who wants his hat back, The Bear Who Wasn't There joins a select crew of unusual bears who have captured the imagination of children for generations.

Wolf Erlbruch is one of Germany's most renowned illustrators; his work is respected and loved around the world. Among his many awards, Erlbruch received both the Gutenberg and the German Children's Literature Award, as well as a Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award. His previous book, Duck, Death and the Tulip, sold more than 100,000 copies and was published in nineteen countries.

DISCLOSURE: I received an ARC Early Reviewer's copy from in a contest. I freely give this review of my own opinions without compensation.

Devera Naturals ~ SNOW FLOWER CRÈME and MIRACLE EYES [Review & Giveaway]

The world of cosmetics is vast, confusing, intriguing, compelling, entrapping, alluring..... and lots of other things that one's mind conjures. Simply said, ladies are particularly prone to delve into cosmetics to enhance and beautify themselves. It was true in ancient times and it is true today.

The products available for us to use for our beautification can be high dollar or home made and they can break-the-bank and still do nothing for you, or you can spend a little and achieve wonderful results.

The story behind the Devera line of skin care product is compellingly touching and especially moving to me. You see, it involves a family struck by breast cancer and how a natural line of products brought good, quality skin care and beauty to a cancer survivor. That product line's history begins with old world secrets from Switzerland that were passed down to the founders of DeVera. Click here

Now a look at two of the Devera Naturals products I had the grand opportunity to try....


Edelweiss plant stem cells have created a new generation of anti-aging products. Edelweiss plant stem cells have been shown to decrease wrinkles by up to 15% in 22 days. Devera Naturals has combined this breakthrough ingredient with Goji Berry Extract for immediate and long term smoothing, lifting and firming.

My thoughts: This facial skin créme has a distinct scent which is not a perfumery type. I can't identify it, but assume it is from an ingredient or combination thereof. Not unpleasant nor overpowering and fades quickly, just different. The skin takes on (mine does) a matte appearance with the use of this créme rather than the shinny, oiled or "dewy" look of other crémes . The feel of the créme is pleasant throughout the day. With continued used I can only expect softening of wrinkle lines (Oh! Those devilish "gifts" of aging!). My skin feels good, soft and supple when I use this and there are absolutely no irritating elements to it.

The lovely Edelweiss flower is a major player
 in this face skin créme


Give this age-defying eye cream one hour and it will reward you with superior hydration and fewer fine lines, thanks to Edelweiss plant stem cells, Goji Berry Extract, hyaluronic acid, and marine extracts which smooth and firm the delicate eye area, while green tea and cucumber reduce puffiness and dark circles.

My thoughts: This is an absolutely lovely eye cream. Totally non-irritating. Refreshing. Silky feeling to the eyes upon application. Refreshing to the skin around the eyes after application and through the day.

I love it.

As a retiree I wear less makeup than during my work years. So Snow Flower Créme and Miracle Eyes with just a touch of blush pretty much completes my day-to-day look.

Where to purchase these products.....  "Since the establishment of Devera Naturals, we have experienced success  connecting with recovering cancer patients at post mastectomy boutiques and hospitals across the country." Please note that many of these vendors are located in cancer center boutiques which may attest to an endorsement that breast cancer patients may be able to beneficially use these products during and after treatment. CLICK HERE

Devera Naturals products contain only naturally produced ingredients and are 100% natural. Maintaining the ‘pure is best’ philosophy You can count on their products will never include harmful ingredients - parabens, petroleum, petroleum derivatives, pesticides, phthalates, or synthetic dyes, colors, or fragrances

One Chat With Vera reader will win these 2 Devera Natural products - "Miracle Eyes" and "Snow Flower Créme"

BEGINS September 14
ENDS October 5 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate this review of my honest opinions without compensation. Giveaway prizes will be provided and sent directly to the winner by Devera Naturals. Value of prize ~ $80.