Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash (Review & Giveaway)

As a member of a product reviewing group, I have had the privilege to review for Dial®, a brand under the multi-armed Henkel group. Today we are looking at a new Dial® Body Wash – Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash. On a previous review, I looked at another of Dial’s Coconut Water body washes and was very pleased with it. My anticipate was on high level at the opportunity to try the new Coconut Water Mango.

When I have time and opportunity for a refreshing soak 'n read evening, I like to add a bit of body wash to my water. It provides a bit of the bubbly and a refreshing fragrance that enhances the relaxation. I have done this with the new Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash and was not disappointed.

Next was bathing with it. Again, no disappointment. It is fragrant, cleans well, lathers beautifully, and does not leave my skin feeling dried out or taunt. I'm supposing all this is because it is a hydrating body wash. So I have another good product that I can now recommend to my Chat With Vera readers.

I’m hosting a sweet little giveaway where two (2) of my readers will receive one (1) coupon for a free bottle of this new Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash.

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From Dial®......
Coconut water is a leading trend known to be rich in antioxidants and electrolytes that help provide replenishing hydration. Mango is known for being nutrient rich and adds a touch of tropical freshness.
At Dial®, we understand how hard it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle. With our new Dial®  Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash, we want to help you along the path to healthier skin.
DISCLOSURE: The Dial® brand provided me with a sample of Dial® Coconut Water Refreshing Mango body wash in exchange for a product. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Azure Naturals ULTIMATE VITAMIN C Skin Repair Serum Professional Strength (Review + Giveaway)

I have been using the Azure Naturals Ultimate Vitamin C Skin Repair Serum for a week now in my face care routine. I use it twice a day. I always apply it to cleansed skin and allow it to dry.  I then apply a moisturizer and allow that to dry as well before applying whatever makeup I am wearing that day.

I have found that using vitamin c serums has provided my skin a nice healthy glow and the skin appears tighter (not drawn, just a healthy tightness). The pores are less noticeable as well. My eye area simply does not look as tired now that I am using this, too. Although I am careful not to get the serum close to the eye.

I use a dropper full placed in the palm of my left hand. Using my right finger tips, I spread the serum evenly over the entire face, chin, and neck areas. I use a light, circular motion as I spread the serum.

I think Azure Naturals has a good product and it is one I can easily recommend to my Chat With Vera readers.

GIVEAWAY - 2 Winners will be chosen - each winning 1 bottle of Vitamin C Serum. Begins July 23 and ENDS August 9 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Do you want to purchase Azure Naturals Ultimate Vitamin C Skin Repair Serum? You can use the PROMO code AZUREBLG for a 30% discount. This expires July 30th.  CLICK HERE.

Product information (provided by Azure) .  .  .  .  .  .

Azure Naturals provides high quality facial skincare and anti-aging products using natural and organic ingredients whenever possible. We are committed to delivering the finest skin care system and making sure that our clients are 100% satisfied with the results. Our customers are looking for better health and better skin and the solutions that we develop will always be designed around these elements. We appreciate those who are taking the journey with us to return to your youth.


VITAMIN C WORKS! Our serum will increase cellular renewal by boosting the production of collagen and elastin. Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, and Vitamin E are all powerful anti-oxidants that when combined can provide up to eight-fold antioxidant protection, 96% reduction of sunburn cells, and prevent the formation of free radicals in sun exposed skin. Our serum is intentionally designed to be thin, but not greasy or watery. This is the optimal consistency for a Vitamin C serum and allows the potent ingredients to deeply penetrate your skin to repair sun and other environmental damage, while boosting production of new collagen and elastin.

WHY AZURE NATURALS? Our ULTIMATE VITAMIN C is 100% guaranteed to be the fastest working and most effective Vitamin C Serum on the market today. Compare our ingredients to similar product from Skinceuticals, Obagi, and PerriconeMD. Not only will you find we have superior organic and natural ingredients our Vitamin C serum is $80 to $130 less expensive per bottle! More expensive does not mean it works any better! If you don't care about wasting money, you should still buy our product because it works better! You can donate $100 you save to charity!

HOW DO YOU RECEIVE OPTIMAL RESULTS? Just like exercise, it is very important to use your skin care products consistently. VITAMIN C serum can be applied twice per day in the morning and at night. If you only use the serum once do so in the morning. Vitamin C serum will help protect you against future sun damage and other environmental stressors, but it is definitely not a substitute for sun screen! Your skin’s texture should start to improve with the first application, but give your skin at least 30 days of consistent use to see the optimal results. Follow with our ULTIMATE HYALURONIC Moisturizer, ULTIMATE RETINOL, or another good moisturizer. Our Vitamin C serum is safe for all skin types and conditions including dry or irritated skin, wrinkles, fine lines, dull complexion, acne, and eczema, etc. You should not experience any dryness, but if you do you are most likely applying too much of the serum. If you have dry skin start slowly, especially around any areas that are prone to dryness. You can begin to apply more serum gradually as your skin adjusts.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE! Made in the USA With The Highest Quality Natural and Organic Ingredients Available: 98% Natural, 72% Organic. Contains No Alcohol, No Parabens, Gluten Free, Plant Based, No GMO's, Cruelty Free and Never Tested On Animals! Key Ingredients: 20% Vitamin C + Vitamin E + 11% Hyaluronic Acid + Ferulic Acid. Also contains Organic Aloe + Advanced Amino Complex + Organic Jojoba Oil.

ONE YEAR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: We (Azure) are so confident that we have created the best Natural and Organic skin care products available we back all of our products by a 365-day, 100% Hassle-Free, Money Back Guarantee. If you don't absolutely love any of our products we will give you a full refund, including shipping, no matter where you buy the product!

DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy L. Cambron (Review & Giveaway)

About the book: A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz---and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl---a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

My thoughts:  This story from the horrific pages of World War II is set in Austria and encompasses the lives of Austrian non-Jews capturing the intensity of life and its fragility during that sad period in the world’s history. A beautiful and masterfully talented violinist, young Adele is the child of a high ranking Austrian officer in the Third Reich. Her powerful father and Führer loving mother have no patience with anything or anyone who does not follow the German Führer’s mandates.

Author Kristy Cambron says, "This is my
great-grandfather's violin, which
he played for Henry Ford at his barn dances
in Northern Michigan! Our family's
love of the violin goes way back."

This new author has written a captivating story that fully embraces the of beauty of spirit of those who are downtrodden and imprisoned revealing the horror that is their daily life. 

The life of Adele in the German prison camp is cold, hard, and emotionally charged. I was not aware that musicians were used in the camp to play marches and other pieces as prisoners were unloaded from trains and separated into groups for work or death. They played as prisoners marched to their daily work details. They played as prisoners were marched to be executed. The emotional toll on the musicians was tremendous as they watched mothers and children, young, old, frail being sent to their deaths as they, the musicians, played.

The book is actually two stories and two time periods intertwined. In both stories the plan of God is being worked out in His perfection.

A beautifully written book.

GIVEAWAY:  One of Chat With Vera's readers has the opportunity to win a copy of Ms. Cambron's new book. Giveaway copy is provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and will be shipped to the winner by Litfuse. Begins July 23 & ENDS August 13 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.

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About the author: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from Indiana University and received the Outstanding Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana. Purchase a copy: CLICK HERE

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of The Butterfly and the Violin by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing and the author. No compensation was received for this review and I was under no obligation to write a positive review. 

Monday, July 21, 2014


100% Pure Raw Organic Yacon Root Syrup 8 oz. ,
Low Calorie Sweetener. Certified Organic.
50% FOS, Prebiotics, Metabolism Boost

My thoughts on the product: When given the opportunity to try Yacon Syrup for myself, I investigated it to see what could be found about it online prior to agreeing to participate. Once I convinced myself that it would not be harmful and would perhaps be beneficial, I decided to request my bottle.  I have now used it for over a week. These are my findings….
  1. I have not used it as a sweetener for beverages as I am partial to the way I now prepare my beverages and the sweeteners I use.
  2. I have not used it as a syrup to apply to pancakes, etc., because I rarely eat them.
  3. I have ingested one teaspoon twice a day prior to or following a meal (usually lunch and dinner). This is following the company's recommendation.

My Results:

  1. I may have lost one to two pounds, although this may be noticeable due to normal fluctuation in weight. The jury is still out, but I am hoping and perhaps this will be a real plus to using Yacon Syrup.
  2. I have noticed a slight laxative effect thought it does not cause a problem. I have not sensed gastric difficulties using the syrup.
  3. I found the taste to be similar to molasses or old fashioned cane syrup. In other words it is sort of thick but pours. I may eventually try it in my morning coffee. We shall see.
I am glad to have participated in reviewing this product and deem it worth anyone trying to see if it would be beneficial themselves.


Our Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) Syrup is sourced from naturally grown organic Yacon fields in the country of Peru. We use the HIGHEST quality Yacon plant to make a premium pure syrup formula.

Yacon syrup has shown to remains low in calories and low on the glycemic index scale. This is due to the fact that the sugar contains high levels of oligofructose (inulin), a form of sugar that is not metabolized readily by the human body. For this reason, Yacon is ideal for diabetics and acts as a great alternative to conventional low calorie sweeteners.
  • 100% pure Yacon syrup has shown to assist in weight management, increase fiber intake and promotes good bowel function.
  • Other benefits include: Lowers blood sugar. Prevents and controls hyperglycemia (over activity). Restores renal activity. Is a powerful Antioxidant.
  • High in prebiotics and probiotics, this syrup contains up to 50% of FOS (fructooligosacharides). It has been found that consumption of FOS does not increase blood glucose, and helps boost your bodies metabolism.
  • Naturally grown and sourced from the fields in Peru. Organic certified by our manufacturing specialists.
  • 100% pure raw organic syrup formula with no added preservatives. Bottled and tested in a FDA certified GMP facility in the USA.
GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:  The following link is for a giveaway opportunity that Life & Food is offering for their Yacon Syrup. Be sure you check it out. If you are one of the chosen to win, let me know here on Chat With Vera. Click Here for the Life & Food Giveaway Opportunity (Note: They ask you to write a short review of the product on after you use the product.)

Life & Food Website

DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

"Flight of the Mite" by Grayson Smith & illustrated by Alana Kyle [Book Blast & $25 Amazon Gift CarGiveaway)

Flight of the Mite Title: Flight of the Mite
Author: Grayson Smith 
Illustrator: Alana Kyle 
FPublication Date: 2013 
Publisher: Peppermint Toast Publishing: Independent 
Pages: 32 
Recommended Ages: 3 to 8

About the Book: A tale of wonder and imagination, Flight of the Mite is a children's read-aloud picture book, written by Grayson Smith and illustrated by Alana Kyle. As a tiny mite stares in wonder at the nighttime stars, she becomes certain that if she were only able to travel to them, she would meet a world of wondrous creatures. She determines to build a flying contraption, and through persistence, ingenuity, and wise counsel, journeys to the nearest star. There she encounters the Others of her dreams and finds herself on an adventure where she learns that her imagination is her most important tool! This story of imagination, courage, and determination is perfect for the little mite in your life! Flight of the Mite is the first book published by the independent small press, Peppermint Toast Publishing, out of New Westminster, British Columbia. Peppermint Toast Publishing strives to work with emerging authors and artists towards the high-quality and environmentally-friendly publication of children's picture books and literature, in profit-sharing partnership with local charitable organizations.  

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Amazon (Canada)

Peppermint Toast Publishing is happy to be contributing $3 from the sales for each copy of Flight of the Mite sold, going to help sick kids get better at BC Children’s Hospital. Visit their Online Store to purchase your copy!

The Buzz About the Book

Mother and Son Review by MDBR: "Flight of the Mite is a delightful, rhyming picture book featuring an adorable little mite who dreams big as the main character; a magical story underscoring the importance of imagination in children's development; and absolutely gorgeous and whimsical illustrations. I highly recommend this book to children ages 3 to 8 and I think it would be a great choice for reading aloud to children in a classroom or library setting."
"This is our new favourite story to read and will be a book that we will be keeping to pass down to future member of our family." ~ Raincity Parent

"This wonderful piece of children’s literature is well crafted and appropriate for children and adults, the message is clear, embrace diversity, ones weakness may actually be strength. The most interesting and entertaining part is that there is a consistent rhythm and rhyme to the story, keeping the powerful message light and playful." ~ Active Lee Dadding

" I have read the sweetest story!...The combination of these two talents [i.e., the author and illustrator] working together has left us with a sweet rhyming story about a little mites big imagination." ~ Moments in Mommyland

"I recently received a new children’s book to review called Flight of the Mite. So of course I went to the best critic in the house – my 4 year old son[...]. We sat down to read the story together and discovered a delightful tale about imagination and discovery... The illustrations are delightful and [my son] insisted that we stop to discuss some of them along the way. There was more than one “wow!” over a picture of the mite climbing a dandelion." ~ Prenatal to Parenting
Grayson Smith
About the Author: Grayson Smith was born in Alberta, but attended a boarding school in Germany for 11 years. After high school, he attended SFU, where he obtained a degree in Criminology and met his beautiful wife, Linda. Throughout university, Grayson wrote stories when he should have been paying attention in class. After completing his degree, he became a police officer, and still enjoys that job thoroughly. As of 2012, Grayson gets to re-envision the world through the eyes of his baby son, Josiah. Writing is a wonderful way for Grayson to express the silliness and vagary that simmers beneath his well-practiced outer layer of respectability and professionalism. 

Alana Kyle, Illustrator

About the Illustrator: Alana Kyle was born and raised in the Lower Mainland. As a small child, she was sweet, quiet, and frequently lost inside her own head. Ever since she was young, she was motivated by her love of artistic creativity and attention to detail, and remains captivated by storybooks and imagination. Alana attended and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and also obtained a three-year diploma of Illustration and Design from Capilano University. She works as an illustrator and graphic designer, and lives in Coquitlam.  

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Twitter | Goodreads

Facebook (Peppermint Toast Publishing) | Facebook (Flight of the Mite)

 * $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: August 19, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Grayson Smith and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"What If...?? by Jessica Barondes [Book Blast, Free E-book, & $100 Amazon or PayPal Giveaway)

What if...? by Jessica BarondesPublication Date: January 7, 2014 
Publisher: Sense and Sensability Press 
Pages: 145 | Recommended Ages: 10+ 
Summary: Life is complicated for the average tween, but try being the smallest girl in 7th grade and navigating the choppy waters of middle school without a mom. Such is the plight of Penelope “P” Ziegler, until she decides to take matters into her own hands and find a wife for her hopelessly quirky dad. Despite Dad’s objections, P is sure—with all her heart—that there’s a woman out there who will make them both very happy!


You can grab your FREE COPY (electronic) of What if...? by Jessica Barondes from July 18 to 22, 2014 from Amazon. Just click on the book cover below.

The Buzz About the Book

"What if...? is a bittersweet and sometimes comical tale of a tween girl, P, who must come to terms with the loss of her mother as she navigates the world of dating, puberty, school, and friendships. P will absolutely warm your heart and the ending is guaranteed to leave you teary-eyed. While I sometimes felt that the themes were more appropriate for teens, I also came to realize that tween girls will also really enjoy reading about the world that they are just on the cusp of entering. *shudder* Ages 10+." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"What a treat to fall in love with a character from the first second you begin to read her story. P has wit, charm, pluck, charisma--and a lot of things to learn. I totally loved her voice, world, friends and the many ways in which she drove her father Georgy insane. Full of laughs and love this charming book is a wonderful read--no matter what your age." ~ 5 Star Review, Blue, Amazon

"This is a charming and delightful read from start to finish, filled with characters you really care about, especially the unique girl "P" at the center. You don't have to be in this age group or life situation to relate to the sweet and heartfelt story about wanting the best for those you love. It's timeless and inspiring and may bring a tear to your eye!" ~ 5 Star Review, Susan A., Amazon

"Witty, intelligent and edgy coming-of-age book for girls (and parents!). This little book is a real gem. I bought it for my nieces too in hopes that they will appreciate their moms more! (and give their dads a chance to be a true hero, like the dad in this book!) I would bet that school libraries, teachers, parents and girls will rate this book a favorite for years to come." ~ 5 Star Review, Louann B., Amazon

"I was absolutely enchanted from the first page. This book made me cry! It was delightful. The story so sweet and the characters endearing and so real. By the time I got to the end, I just wanted to burst out in applause. This book is a joy to read at any age but perfect for the "tween" reader." ~ 5 Star Review, Jen W., Amazon

"Both my 11-year old daughter and I loved this wonderfully written book. Charming and exciting from beginning to end, this book is a real treasure." ~ 5 Star Review, Susan L., Amazon
Jessica Barondes
About the author:  Jessica Barondes grew up in La Jolla, California and now makes her home in Los Angeles with her husband Ben and their teenagers Jonah and Ellie. Jessica is also a screenwriter whose credits include Little Secrets, Lucky Seven, and Wish Upon a Star, a Disney Channel classic, which was a winner at the Heartland Film Festival. Jessica is currently working on several new movie projects and is an associate producer of the new family film Cowgirls n' Angeles: Dakota's Summer.  Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: August 16, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Jessica Barondes and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services

Friday, July 18, 2014

Turtlemeter - Bath Toy with Built-in Thermometer by Ozeri

I raised five wonderful children and bath time was always such a pleasant and joyful time. Kiddies love to splash, dip 'n pour, float boats and critters, and simply have a grand old time.

I remember running the bath water trying to be sure I didn't get it too hot or too cold for them. I know we swim in pools, the ocean, and ponds and the water is cold, but we watch our little ones that they don't get too chilled. In the bath, we test with our hand or our elbow to determine if it feels lukewarm to warm. But how many of us check the water while Johnny or Susie is splashing about to see if it has chilled down to where it might be too cold.

Our little ones depend on us to keep them clean, fed, clothed, happy, and comfortable.  This delightful Turtlemeter is a working-toy (I've just coined a phrase/word). It is adorable floating in the water and instantly registers the actual temperature of the water. Look at the pictures I took of it.
Blue indicates that the water temperature is too cold. 
Green indicates that the temperature is just right.
Red indicates that the water is too hot.
I simply can not wait for our youngest family member to be able to go home from the NICU and have her mommy bathe her. When she is old enough to enjoy the Turtlemeter as a toy, I am sure it will become a favorite.

If you need a shower gift or something for that younger one in your life, I can recommend this as a fun, useful gift and I found it for $12.95 in several locations on the web.

About the product:  

  • Introducing the "Turtlemeter," safe and fun for child and mom, a happy bath for your little one!
  • Instantly Activates in Water, Floats Naturally and Fully Submersible.
  • Fun and Safe Bath Toy that doubles as a Bath Thermometer.
  • Checks the bath Water temperature every second and display it in Fahrenheit on an easy-to-read LCD.
  • Display Water Temperature with 3 Screen Colors: Blue for Cold, Green for Just Right, and Red for Hot
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary Turtlemeter from Ozeri in exchange for my review. I love it and can easily recommend it to my readers. I was not compensated for this review.