Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cascadian Farm Organic New Product Is Introduced: Protein Granola {Review & Giveaway}

As a blogger for Small Planet Foods, I was recently given the opportunity to sample Cascadian
After opening the pouch of Dark I poured some on napkins
to show texture. Very crunchy.
Farm's new product - Organic Protein Granola in Dark Chocolate and in Apple Cinnamon flavors.

Earlier this year, Cascadian Farms announced their first pea protein product, chewy bars with organic pea protein which I reviewed. Now they have added another product to their pea protein line-up: Protein Granola, available in Dark Chocolate Coconut and Apple Crisp flavors! Made with milk protein and plant-based pea protein, it delivers a whopping 10 grams of protein per serving. The Dark Chocolate Coconut will satisfy any sweet-tooth, while the Apple Crisp has a fruity taste with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

My favorite is the Dark Chocolate, but then you see I have an on-going love for chocolate. It is made of crisp rice, dark chocolate and coconut flakes which make this granola an irresistible combination! Terrific! Now we have a new way to snack on healthy food.
  • 10g of Protein per Serving
  • Made with Pea Protein
This is another good product that I recommend.

GIVEAWAY: Cascadian Farms has graciously set aside a couple pouches of their brand new product Organic Protein Granola for one of Chat With Vera's readers. Use the Rafflecopter entry form below to try and win this nice giveaway. Begins July 31 & ENDS August 21 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I received two pouches of the Cascadian Farms Protein Granola as part of their blogger/review program. I was not compensated for this review. Opinions expressed are my own. Product information was sourced from the producer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ageless Derma Retinol And Vitamin K Eye Cream Review


What I think about the product..... Ageless Derma Retinol and Vitamin K Eye Cream

Doesn't it look pretty
on my counter!
First of all this product is designed to be used at night. It is to be applied gently around the eyes. So that is how I have been using it. I admit I did try it the first day during the day and the reason for this was to be able to ascertain whether or not I could see irritation to the skin or if it felt like an irritant to my eyes.  Good news! It was fine. 

As we age we notice that our eyes betray our years more readily than the rest of our face. Mornings are especially bad for our eyes as far as looking their age. I have noticed now after using the Ageless Derma Eye Cream that in the mornings my eyes absolutely do not look as old. Now this is not a fountain of youth, but it is a real help in my opinion.

I have found, too, that here at the height of my own personal allergy season when my eyes itch and water and itch more (need I say more itching), that this product has not aggravated the situation. I fully expected it to be an irritant because my eyes were already irritated from the allergies, but not so! Wonderful!

I think this is a nice product and I believe it does enhance our appearance.

You can find it HERE on Amazon.com

Product Information (from product website)


Ageless Derma Eye Cream is a powerful new anti-aging treatment that helps to prevent and reverse the signs of aging. Its unique formula combines Retinol, the purest form of Vitamin A, with Vitamins C, E and K to soften the appearance of dark circles, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture around the delicate eye area.



Dark circles are bruises that appear when the delicate capillaries under the eyes get damaged. Vitamin K is excellent at healing broken capillaries, getting straight to the source of dark circles, and also adds volume to the skin to add further protection. Vitamin C, meanwhile, strengthens the walls of blood vessels, making them less visible and less likely to break in the future, while Vitamin A, and particularly the dose provided by Retinol, effectively reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

In order to test the effectiveness of cream containing 2% vitamin K and 0.1% retinol, vitamin E and vitamin C, the cream was given to 57 Japanese adult volunteers who suffered from moderate or severe dark circles and wrinkles around their eyes. To prove the cream’s effect for a wide range of users, researchers ensured that both men and women were in the sample of volunteers, with ages ranging from 22 to 57 years old. These volunteers applied the eye cream to their lower eyelids twice a day for 8 weeks. Using before and after photographs taken at 0, 4 and 8 weeks, the volunteers, and a physician, evaluated the benefit of the treatment.

After 8 weeks of use,  81% of participants said that the cream had been effective, making a visible difference to the bruises and wrinkles around their eyes. While using this cream for a relatively short period, many volunteers found that their dark under eye circles disappeared entirely, and others found that their visibility decreased. Physicians involved in the study therefore declared the Cream to be moderately effective at treating dark circles, even after a short period of use.  


  • Ageless Derma has placed a Retinol, the purest form of Vitamin A, in their age-reducing eye cream.
  • Ageless Derma Eye Cream targets dark circles, puffy eyes, and wrinkles around the eyes, such as Crow's feet
  • British Journal of Dermatology, today's skin care formulations using Retinol are just as effective at eradicating wrinkles as prescription-strength retinoids are
  • A clinical research study performed at Nippon Medical School reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed that a cream containing 2% Vitamin K combined with 0.1% Retinol and Vitamins E and C worked to reduce under-eye circles and wrinkles in 81% of subjects
  • It may well be the solution to a hope for an eye cream for wrinkles that has existed for a very long time: one that works on both dark circles under eyes and wrinkles simultaneously.
Check the ingredients here: http://www.agelessderma.com/ingredients-detail.aspx See them on Facebook

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

EmFACEize Fortified Daily Defense Cream by Protégé Beauty


EmFACize Fortified Daily Defense Cream
arrived in this cute little pouch! A touch of luxury.

It is wonderful to have the opportunity try products that are good for our skin and I count it a privilege to have been chosen to review Protégé Beauty products. Today we are looking at their EmFACEize Fortified Daily Defense CreamEmFA.

I found this to be a desirable product to use twice daily for protecting and helping my skin to look its best. For the two weeks I used the product, I enjoyed it and found it comfortable on my skin leaving it with a softness and a bit of a glow. Nice!

Is it a magic bullet? No, those really don't exist. But will it help you to look your best? I think it will. I can recommend this product.

Be sure you read through the tips below! They are super good for anyone desiring to take care of their skin to know.

Product Description

Experience The Anti-Aging Power Of Vitamin E + Collagen + Hyaluronic Acid
Most Users Find Their Skin to Feel Softer and Smoother After Just One Week!
You Won't Find A Higher Quality, More Potent & Effective Daily Face Cream On The Market
EmFACEize is an Advanced Anti-Aging Daily Defense Cream Formulated to Moisturize & Protect Against Signs of Aging
EmFACize Fortified Daily Defense Cream
is a semi-liquified cream.
UV Damage: Enriched with Vitamin E and Lycopene, which Together Fight Against Damage Caused by UV Rays
Let the Sun Shine on Your Face!
Wrinkles & Fine Lines: Specially Formulated with Collagen, Pomegranate Seed Oil, and Avocado Oil that Work to Smooth Out Difficult Age Indicators and Bring Back Elasticity.
Be Beautiful at Any Age!!
Dry Skin: The Unique Combination of Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil, and Almond Oil will Instantly Relieve Dryness, and will Lock in Moisture to Keep Your Skin Supple All Day.
Feel Your Skin's Texture Come Closer to Being Smooth as Silk!
EmFACEize is GUARANTEED to Help You Look Younger AND Prevent Signs of Aging
- Made WITHOUT Parabens, Sulfates or Phthalates
- EmFACEize is Formulated for People of All Ages, Skin Types and Sensitivities
Made in the USA at Our Advanced FDA Certified Facilities. Our Face Cream was Not Tested on Animals.

Tips on using EmFACEize Fortified Daily Defense Cream:

  • Wash your hands- It's easy to forget to wash your hands before you wash your face. Do your best to remember because even though you're washing your face, you can still transfer dirt and bacteria onto your washcloth where it might stay and find its way onto your face. Definitely wash your hands first if you’re just applying moisturizer because you don’t want to end up with dirt or bacteria on your face or in the jar. Eek.
  • Warm water & steam- Wash your face with warm water as you normally would. Next plug your sink, draw a super-hot bowl of water, put a bath towel over your head and hang out over the sink for 3-5 minutes. That will trap steam and open your pores even more.
  • When to apply- The best time to apply EmFACEize is when you’re just getting out of the shower or right after you've washed your face. It’s simple– when your pores are more open, the skin will absorb more moisture.
  • Applying makeup- After you apply your EmFACEize, blow-dry your hair or get dressed. Then come back and do your makeup. You want to give your skin ample time to soak it up!
  • Neck, chest + hands- Sometimes in our daily rush, we forget to moisturize beyond the face. We have delicate skin on our necks, chests and hands which need love, too! I love to exfoliate all 3 at least once a week and I have to say– it makes a huge difference!
  1. After shower or cleansing, start with an analysis by looking closely and touching your skin. Do some areas feel drier or more taut than others? Is there more redness, irritation or flakiness around your nose or chin? Remember, you don’t have to treat your entire face the same way.
  2. Start by warming up a quarter-sized dollop in between your fingers. This step is really important to activate the ingredients with the heat of your body temperature so it melts into your skin more.
  3. Target the driest areas with the most amount of cream by applying it directly to the area with your fingertips in patting and swirling motions.
  4. Now that we’ve given extra TLC to those areas, we can take care of the whole face and neck. Warm up more cream between your fingers and start with your cheeks using upward patting and sweeping motions. You want to gently massage but never pull your skin or use downward motions.
  5. Continue with circular motions across the forehead.
  6. Finish with upward strokes all over the neck and don’t forget your chest! If you’re a side sleeper, the creases you wake up with in the morning down your chest will eventually become wrinkles if you don’t treat that area too

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman {Review + Giveaway}

About the book: Spring has arrived in Middlebury, Indiana, and Amber Wright can see profits in sight for her collection of Amish artisan shops—until she receives a call that Ethan Gray is dead. Hurrying over to A Simple Blend, she finds a single hole in the front window and Mr. Gray dead from an apparent heart attack. All the money is still in his register. Hannah Troyer takes over the shop’s duties, and she and Amber become fast friends as well as amateur sleuths. The police believe Gray’s death to be a by-product of vandalism, but Amber and Hannah aren’t so easily convinced.
Old Testament clues that don’t add up, a neighbor who is pulled into the midst of the investigation, a town with secrets to hide, and blossoming romance—all will combine to push Amber and Hannah into unfamiliar roles in order to solve a mystery and bring peace to the Amish community.

My thoughts:  Authors who have the ability to bring their readers into a locale, associate with the people living there, and become immersed in their lives from book to book to book are authors of noteworthy achievement. Vannetta Chapman does this again and again and again.

In Murder Simple Brewed the locale is an Amish tourist attraction. A village of shops. Employees are not all Amish, though, and the atmosphere is typically touristy, shopper friendly, and peaceful in an Amish sort of way.

There are Amish employed in the village and one of these is Hannah. The manager of the village shops is Amber. The story begins in a relaxed manner somewhat akin to the atmosphere we would expect in the Amish tourist village. It is relaxed until the unforeseen happens – Ethan dies suddenly and under confusing circumstances.

As the story unfolds, characters and their ups and downs and their kindnesses and meanness come to the forefront. While not totally unexpected, we are somewhat surprised at the climax and intensity of the ending. But I’ll never tell, you’ll just have to pick up your own copy of Vannetta Chapman’s faithful story of sweet suspense spiced with a bit of young and old romance.

GIVEAWAY:  The author has graciously reserved a copy for one of Chat With Vera's readers to win through a random drawing. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Begins July 29 & ENDS August 19 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Murder Simply Brewed from the author in exchange for my review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Boy Who Thought He Was a Teddy Bear by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Susan Varley (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9781561452705

About the book: With a little help from three meddling fairies, a  young human baby falls under the care of three roly-poly teddy bears, Big Teddy, Middle Teddy, and Little Teddy. The teddy bears are eager to care for their new charge, but what do they really know of little boys? With only the best intentions and a lot of love, the bears set out to raise him, instructing him in the ways of teddy bears.

Soon, the transition from boy to teddy is nearly complete. He dresses like a teddy. He sits on shelves and sleeps in cupboards. He walks like a teddy. He is cuddly like a teddy Then one day, a knock on the door turns his teddy bear world upside down. Now he must accept that he belongs to the human world. But will he still be able to hide in cupboards, play in the woods and go on picnics? Will he still be cuddly? The answer may lie in the big bear hug he gets from his loving mother.
My thoughts:  The author and publisher have introduced this delightful story as a "fairy tale." I guess that is because the little boy is spirited away by three fairies into the woods and into the care of three teddy bears. 

This is a "boys" take on the beloved Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  It is sweet, cute, and the illustrations are lovely. The story is told in simple narrative with repetitive types of phrases. The British seem to have a real knack for telling a story and for illustration.

This little book is illustrated with pen and ink artistry that is awash in soft colors. The book begins a bit scary in that the boy is taken right out from under the nose of his mommy. But it soon resolves that he is being well taken care of by the three bears. His mommy soon finds him - you know mommies never give up on lost little boys - and he learns to readjust to living without the teddy bears and life with mommy.

This is a good book for school and public libraries and will charm many a child.

GIVEAWAY: The good folks are Peachtree Publishing are providing one copy for one of Chat With Vera's readers to to win. Begins July 27 & ENDS August 18 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Author Jeanne Willis was born in St. Albans, England, and has published many outstanding children's books. 

Illustrator Susan Varley is one of Britain's foremost picture book artists. She was born in Blackpool, England, and has enjoyed drawing and sketching for as long as she can remember.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Peachtree Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

I frequently hear the question, "Do you moisturize your face?"

I frequently hear the question, "Do you moisturize your face?" Sometimes it is asked directly to me in relation to inquiries about my own skin, and sometimes I hear it asked in general to several folks at a time. I did not begin applying moisturizers to my face until my late 40s or early 50s. I wish I had done so earlier. My aunt was a cosmetologist and when she died at 90 had no wrinkles in her face. She thoroughly believed in the adage she preached..... "Cream you face every day with some cream no matter the price. Just cream your face!"

So I now cream my face twice a day with the best products I can afford. The following is an excellent article written and posted on "How Stuff Works" and I thought I would share it with my Chat With Vera readers.


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.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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. 


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.

ABOUT AZURE NATURALS - ULTIMATE VITAMIN C Serum

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 Tomoson.com. 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.


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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
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.

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

PURE PREMIUM RAW ORGANIC YACON ROOT SYRUP from Life & Food (Review & GIVEAWAY Opportunity )


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.

LIFE & FOOD 100% PURE RAW ALL NATURAL YACON SYRUP PRODUCT INFORMATION

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.

DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. 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.  

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.  

 * $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.
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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!

* FREE BOOK *

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.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Foxbrim Advanced Formula Vitamin C Serum - All-Natural and Organic (review)



My thoughts on Foxbrim Advanced Formula Vitamin C Serum.....

I have used the bottle of Foxbrim Advanced Formula Vitamin C Serum for around two weeks now. I have been using other Vitamin C Serums for a short while and I am finding that Vitamin C serums are a go-to  face care product to incorporate into my daily routine.

Foxbrim's serum is working like a charm to produce a glow to my face and the pores seem smaller and the skin tighter (that is a good thing). Let's just say, this is good stuff. I have enjoyed using it and can recommend it to my readers.

Product Information (provided by Foxbrim)

Foxbrim provides you the most Advanced and Complete Vitamin C serum on the market. Are you ready to Glide your Hands over Smooth Supple Skin?
  • Foxbrim's Unmatched Advanced Formula puts the HIGHEST QUALITY All-Natural and Organic Ingredients to Work For You. 
  • Achieve That Youthful Glow! 
  • Reduce and Diminish Fine Lines and Wrinkles. 
  • Soothes and Hydrates Under-nourished skin.
Here are a few tips with you for proper application of Vitamin C Serum provided by the Foxbrim folks:
  • Use a gentle cleanser to wash face and decollete (neck area)
  • Be sure to use lukewarm water when rinsing off face or cleanser
  • Apply 4-5 drops of the serum onto the palms of your hand and rub hands together prior to application
  • Apply serum evenly while face and neck are still slightly damp
  • Wait a few moments to allow the serum to soak in completely
  • Apply your preferred moisturizer
  • Serum should be applied twice daily for best results
  • Ensure proper storage of the serum - in a cool, dry place with bottle completely sealed
Getting the glow has never been easier.

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

Food Should Taste Good® Brown Rice Crackers (Review & Giveaway)


 I recently had a  blessing dropped right at my door. The good delivery folks left me a box and inside were four boxes of Food Should Taste Good® Brown Rice Crackers. This is one of the products now being offered by the folks at Food Should Taste Good®.  Their core belief is that good food should taste good! End of story! And they are managing to turn out quality, good tasting snack products for us to enjoy.

They are fun-loving folks, too. you can sign up for their newsletter for recipes, sweepstakes, and other fun stuff.

Today I want to tell you about how much my husband and I, as well as our visiting grown daughter, have enjoyed these new brown rice crackers.  We have found them to be crisp, thin, and with either bold or delicate flavoring. Each of the four "flavors" is distinctly different and delicious.

I think perhaps the Sea Salt is my "most favorite" of the four with Pepper Corn Blend a close second. We found all the flavors to be delicious.

I ate them with my homemade chicken salad and some locally produced pimento cheese spread (really like homemade). These combinations were great. I wish I had some cream cheese on hand to slather on them. What a great combination!

Now let's look at just what is special about these crackers beside simply tasting good. 
  1. All natural recipe featuring sesame seeds, tomatoes, quinoa, amaranth, basil, flax seeds, tamari, pink/white/green/black peppercorns, and/or red bell peppers (ingredients vary with each specific cracker).
  2. Certified Gluten Free
  3. Certified Kosher
  4. Cholesterol free food
  5. No MSG
  6. 0g Trans Fat
  7. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  8. 13 g Whole Grain
  9. NOT made with genetically engineered ingredients
Now just those facts alone (taken from the packages) is enough to incite you to run to the store and grab one of each flavor. 




















Now the good news is that Food Should Taste Good® is providing one of Chat With Vera's  readers their very own package of Brown Rice Crackers. The GIVEAWAY begins July 17 and ENDS August 11 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA addresses only.
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DISCLOSURE:  I was provided one package of each flavor of Brown Rice Crackers by Food Should Taste Good® as a participant in their blogger program. I was not compensated for this review. Opinions are my very own. The winner's prize will be shipped directly to the randomly chosen winner by Food Should Taste Good.

Final Trimester by Dianna T. Benson (Review & Giveaway)

  • Ellechor Publishing House, LLC
     (June 23, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937844752
In this first book in the Quidley Triplets Series, author Dianna T. Benson hurdles the reader into a bizarre tale of suspense involving paramedic Jodi Duncan as she encounters young women who are in the third or final trimester of their pregnancy as they die. Unable to help these the babies they are so near delivering, Jodi spirals into a virtually uncontrollable emotional situation.

As paramedic Jodi Duncan navigates her world of responding to the emergencies of others, she begins to discover connection between her dying patients. In so doing, the possibility that there is a serial killer on the loose becomes a nightmare for the detective assigned the case, Nate Quigley, and Jodi. So begins the pursuit of truth as to the real situation in each of these untimely deaths.

Dianna Benson has again proven to be a skilled author and weaver of fiction as real as the files of the local police station or headlines of the local newspaper. The story is suspenseful, sad, frightening in intensity, and surreal in emotional psychosis.

Watching or reading the news, we learn of psychopaths that engage in the kidnapping and abuse of young women to satiate their own sick perversions. Final Trimester reads like the back story of one of these terrible news happenings. This is a work of fiction but alerts the reader to be ever diligent for traces of behavior that might lead to a situation where young women are being used and abused. And in this story’s case, murdered.

Final Trimester is book one in the Quigley Triplets Series. So the promise of more exciting reads awaits fans of Dianna T. Benson. We can’t wait, Dianna!

Is this a book to hand a teen? I probably wouldn't. Is it a good read and one to be shared? Yes. This is a good, clean read but pretty intense.
Read: What Makes Author Dianna T. Benson Write?
by Dianna T. Benson here on Chat With Vera.
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DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Final Trimester from the author in exchange for my honest review. The giveaway winner's copy is also provided by the author and will be shipped directly to the winner by the author.