Monday, July 25, 2016

Good Earth Beauty Exclusives - products in which you can luxuriate [Review & Giveaway US/CANADA]

~~ Made in the USA ~~
Don't you just love it when you find products that are made of ingredients that are natural and not something that a chemist needs to interpret for you? Don't you just love it when those products actually feel good on your skin and make it look better?

I do!

And I also love it when the products don't "break the bank" and empty my purse of those extra pennies I've stashed away.

With Good Earth Beauty Exclusives you'll find products that are natural, cruelty free and made exclusively for Good Earth Beauty and only available from them! No chemicals or synthetics - just the good stuff.

Honey Almond Buttercream Body Wash $15.00
Body Wash Honey Almond Buttercream - see it @ Good Earth

Scrumptious and foamy natural body wash moisturises and softens, while nourishing even the most sensitive of skin types. Infused with organic milk and nourishing honey, it cleanses and refreshes while being gentle enough to use every day. Scent Description: This comforting scent is a rich, creamy blend of luscious, golden honey and buttery almond with just a touch of sweet buttercream frosting. Free of: parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene glycol, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors. Handmade with love in the USA by Good Earth Beauty Exclusives in collaboration with Mod Perfumery.

My thoughts: Bathing with this Honey Almond Buttercream Body Wash is a sensory experience akin to being in grandmama's kitchen when she is up to her elbows making wonderful sweet cakes liberally frosted with delectable buttercream icing. It has been quite awhile since I've filled my own kitchen with the aroma of such sweet treats, but this body wash certainly has awakened those memories.

The body wash is a delectable product that lathers liberally. My skin felt amazing during washing and afterward. The fragrance was different from that which I normally have used in that it makes me think of sweet eats. I can thoroughly recommend this product to Chat With Vera readers as a quality product that is a pleasure to use.

Now I realize the squiggly of lotion looks like a worm.
Rest assured! It is not. It is just some of the lovely lotion
I wanted to show you. Hand Cream $11.00
Hand Cream Rose - see it @ Good Earth

Our lavish, modern floral hand cream repairs dry skin and cuticles, leaving behind the perfectly elegant scent of rose. To heal cracked skin, you only need a small drop of this cream, which has aloe, macadamia-seed and olive oils, and shea butter. It's deceptively thin for such a hydrating formula, and it leaves hands soft and supple for the entire day. Free of: parabens, pesticides, petroleum, propylene, glycol. phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors. Handmade with love in the USA by Mod Perfume for Good Earth Beauty.

My thoughts: This is absolutely lovely! I feel as though I have a bouquet of beautiful and fragrant roses right beside me when I massage a bit of this delightful hand lotion onto my hands. It also leaves my hands feeling soft and satiny smooth. I love that it is a natural product made of Aloe and a wonderful blend of various oils. I can highly recommend this lovely product. It comes in "rose" and also a "Day At the Beach" fragrances.

Lavender Vanilla Lip Balm $4.99
Lip Balm Lavender Vanilla - see it @ Good Earth

A Good Earth Beauty Exclusive - soothing and moisturizing - helps heal chapped lips - comes in a convenient sized .25 oz tin. Made by Good Earth Beauty Exclusives. Ingredients:
Organic sunflower oil, organic shea butter, beeswax, organic cocoa butter, natural flavor oils

My thoughts: This tiny little tin (.25 oz) is packed with nourishing and soothing ingredients and I have found that it is a real treat to use it. My lips seem to peel and crack very easily and I have found that some things work and some just don't do a thing to help. This Lavender lip balm is truly a balm for my lips. The lavender is very, very subtle but the impact on my lips is absolutely not subtle. It is great. I can highly endorse this little product. Great to keep in your purse, your pocket, or wherever it is convenient for you to use at a moments notice.

I have loved trying these three products and now one of Chat With Vera's readers can win the same three products (but in the scent of their choice) to enjoy. Isn't that super nifty?
Prize: hand cream. body wash, & lip balm or lip scrub, in choice of scents
Begins 7/25
ENDS 8/15 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA

a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review. Shop here for products

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson [Giveaway]

What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father's intentions---both for her and the gemstones---are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie---a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family's deception begins to unravel.
Begins July 22
ENDS August 7 @ 12:02 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Watch for Chat With Vera's review coming soon!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

HOLY GROUND video w/ lyrics

DEEP SHADOWS (The Remnant Series - book One) by Vannetta Chapman [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9780736966535
Harvest House Publishers
$14.95 Paperback
A dystopian novel

My thoughts: Vannetta Chapman has again honed her skill as an author and brought forth another engaging read for her avid followers. She has deviated from her tried and true Amish novels into an altogether different contemporary story embracing the frightening possibility of a world gone amok amidst the aftermath and continued horrors of a massive solar flare that wreaks havoc on all things electric.

In Deep Shadows you meet an array of interesting people of all ages and temperaments. And each of them is impacted by this perilous situation. Seniors in the senior home are dying. Banks and gas pumps don't work. Cars don't work. Medicine is in short supply and the possibility of acquiring more virtually non-existent. Food? Can you imagine.

The small town has an emergency plan and immediately begins to implement it. Long term? They must plant "victory gardens" just as was done during WWII. Water? They have at hand a wonderful spring bubbling up from the ground. Many towns don't have that.

Faith is stretched and tested as are folks' nerves and tolerance. And as I read I began to think about "what if" this really should occur. Or what if something akin to this should occur. Are we, am I prepared? 
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The characters were well developed and the storyline flowed well. The plausibility of the town's survival plans implementation and how to exist in a world without technology was well worked out and believable. 

About the book: All It Takes Is One Night to Plunge the World into Darkness

Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe—until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology. 

Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn't changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.

Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority—to keep Shelby and her son safe—could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.

As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby's faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.


Begins July 19
Ends August 9 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate this review on behalf of the author and publisher. Opinions are my own & I was not compensated.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hometown Tourist - Living & vacationing in North Carolina

Some folks call them "staycations" and the term means "You stay at home. You don't go on a trip. But you have a "vacation." Does that seem dreary and boresome to you? It would to some folks, but it can be made fun.

I've lived in several areas of North Carolina during my life so we're going to take a brief look at what you could do if you lived in these areas of North Carolina.

First - Wilmington - 

This is a historical city of the Old South. Actually the history goes back to pre-Revolutionary War era. Wilmington is nestled at the mouth of the Cape Fear River and on the Atlantic Coast. Beaches in the area include: Wrightsville, Carolina, Kure. The Civil War Fort Fisher can be visited and you can see the famous earthen works. There is also a wonderful aquarium there. You can also go aboard the USS North Carolina which is a World War II destroyer.

The "Riverwalk" along the banks of the Cape Fear abbuts to historic buildings that now hold wonderful restaurants, shops, and things of a unique nature. Truly a wonderful place to stroll.

USS North Carolina
You can see restored historical homes, swim in the Atlantic, take a boat ride along the Cape Fear and generally just have a wonderful time.

Then we travel inland to the middle of the state to the Triangle area - includes: Chapel Hill (where I lived), Raleigh, and Durham

There are 3 major universities in these three cities: The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University-Raleigh, and Duke University-Durham. These are beautiful campuses with much to visit and see. There are museums and historic homes to visit. And if you live in the area, there are parks, swimming pools, and events that you can "staycation" at.

So you see, you can stay at home in the comfort of your own home. Pack a picnic. Go swimming. Go for stroll through the park. And do all sorts of things. You see, "I like calling North Carolina home!"

NOTE: Pictures borrowed from online websites promoting Wilmington and North Carolina.

Imagination Time for kiddies and a fun launch of book 3 "Return" in the Journey Trilogy by Aaron Becker [Books #1 and #2 Giveaway]

In honor of Book #3 in the Journey Trilogy by Aaron Becker, the good folks at Candlewick Press have graciously provided books #1 and #2 in the series for a giveaway here on Chat With Vera. Now about the two books in the giveaway, here is a bit about each of them.....

JOURNEY - A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book

Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination — and unexpected friendship.

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

QUEST - Aaron Becker, creator of Journey, a Caldecott Honor book, presents the next chapter in his stunning wordless fantasy.

A king emerges from a hidden door in a city park, startling two children sheltering from the rain. No sooner does he push a map and some strange objects into their hands than he is captured by hostile forces that whisk him back through the enchanted door. Just like that, the children are caught up in a quest to rescue the king and his kingdom from darkness, while illuminating the farthest reaches of their imagination. Colored markers in hand, they make their own way through the portal, under the sea, through a tropical paradise, over a perilous bridge, and high in the air with the help of a winged friend. Journey lovers will be thrilled to follow its characters on a new adventure threaded with familiar elements, while new fans will be swept into a visually captivating story that is even richer and more exhilarating than the first.

RETURNJourney Trilogy Book #3 releases August 1, 2016

Just in case you're not familiar with "wordless books," here is a Guide to Reading A Wordless Book.

Now you can have some fun with Journey and Quest by purchasing your own and pre-ordering Return. Here is some activity fun that you can use in the meantime.

Also, one of Chat With Vera's readers in either the United States or Canada will win a prize package
of one hardcover copy of Journey and Quest. What fun!
One Hardcover Copy of Journey & Quest
Begins July 1 Ends July 22 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to US & CANADA addresses.

Watch for Chat With Vera's review of RETURN

DISCLOSURE: Prize is provided by Candlewick Press and will be shipped directly to the winner by Candlewick at the conclusion of the contest/giveaway.

Zacchaeus and Jesus (Flipside Stories) by Dandi Daley Mackall, Lisa Manuzak

One of the first things I expect out of a children's Bible storybook is authenticity. I simply can not condone treating the Bible with anything less than truthful presentation and authenticity. I also believe that some leeway is allowed in the art so that it can be appealing to the child. 

In this "Flipside Stories book" the author has accurately portrayed the story of Zacchaeus as he struggled to see Jesus and how Jesus reacted to that particular event. Quite unique for a children's book. 

The coloration of the illustrations is deep hues of browns, greens, and blacks with white sparsely utilized. While not your typical color scheme for children's picture books, it works well in this story.

The story is in rhyme and I simply can't say enough about the importance of using rhyme to engage a child's attention and to aid in recollection of the story itself. Super! 

This story, though, has a special line on each page that is especially appealing to me. Example: On the Jesus side of the story, the single lines of text carry the theme of Jesus came for lost sinners.
"God sent Me to those who were lost."
"I was looking for those who were lost."
"Zacchaeus, the one who was lost."....... 
"I think that I'd like to see Jesus."
"I must find a way to see Jesus."
"I climb down so I can meet Jesus."
So to me, while the story is being taught in delightful rhyme with engaging illustrations, the key is God seeks the lost and the lost need to seek to see Jesus.

A really good opportunity to share this story and these truths with children ages preschool through eight.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Blog Network reviewers program to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.