Friday, November 30, 2012

Pure Aloe Vera Cream Giveaway ends TONIGHT!

Don't you hate those pesky cooking or curling iron burns? 

Have some flyaway hairs that need to be tamed? 

Don't miss out on this great chance to win a jar of pure aloe vera skin treatment cream from Made From Earth!

Giveaway ends TONIGHT at 11:01pm CST! 

Bloggers: Looking to go Pro?

I've been contemplating the switch from Blogger to Wordpress for some time now. I started this blog way back in 2009 as a promotional tool for both of my Etsy jewelry businesses, but it has grown into something beyond my wildest dreams!

Back then, I had different needs then I do now. Now, I need a platform that will be reliable and accommodate my ever growing website; that includes pictures, traffic, ads....For those of you in my shoes, it's finally time to admit it to yourself: Blogger just ain't cuttin' it anymore!

Especially now that I hear bloggers aren't able to post pictures due to insufficient space? Since when was THIS decided?!

Anyway, this all is a roundabout way of introducing you to one of my good friends and a service she provides. Say hi to Vanita of After Bedtime Blog!

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Vanita is quite the superwoman.

Not only does she have the daily duties of a wife and mother of four, but she has several blogs, a thriving WAHM business, and now she's working and consulting with woman like us, helping us reach out true potential as social media, SEO, and entrepreneurial geniuses!

Which brings me to my next point: Awesome. Sale. Opportunity!

For a limited time, Vanita is offering her services to those bloggers who wish to go pro at an impressive discount.

Her Going Pro Blogger Sale includes:

-Move up to 300 posts from Blogger to Wordpress, which includes redirection of old site to new, Wordpress instillation and configuration on host server.

-1 year free access to Wordpress and SEO training.

-A premade theme installed and configured onto your Wordpress site.

-6 months of free hosting for one website (optional bonus)

This is a $272 package for only $100!

If you're interested or want to learn more of this fabulous opportunity, make sure to head HERE or contact Vanita directly.

I wouldn't think about it too long, though! Once she's booked up, that's the end of the sale so it's a first come, first serve kind of deal.

Disclaimer: I'm an affiliate of Vanita and her services. All opinions expressed above are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Health Update Thursday(11/29)

Boy oh boy, am I sicker than a dog today! 

Apparently last night wasn't my night; I ate some bad corn pudding, woke up around 2am and had to rush to the bathroom, pillow and blanket in hand, and spent the next 3 hours on the bathroom floor. Of course that means I really didn't get much sleep, but once my mom got wind of what happened around 7 this morning, she made me rest. Low and behold, my exhausted, achy self fell alseep and slept until 3pm this afternoon!

Now the corn pudding is just my intuitive guess. The fact that I'm so sick today could be one, two, or a multitude of different things. I haven't really been doing a daily jig as of late anyway, so the bad corn pudding was just icing on that cake.

I should feel lucky and blessed that I've been doing so well the past couple of weeks, especially since I've been able to spend more time at the boyfriend's house, go out shopping with the family, and hang out with friends.

And I REALLY do.

When you're chronically ill and have to live your life day by day, you learn to just take opportunities as they come and deal with everything else later.

Unfortunately, I think 'later' has caught up to me.

On top of everything else, I'm someone who feels they need to stay busy, so I have so many things going on at the moment I can't think straight! That's to my own detriment because I'm a type A personality and I tend to stress out pretty easily, which causes me physical body pain...

I definitely need to take up some meditation and visualization exercises to keep that under control!

A lot of rest, keeping up with my daily stuff, eating right and taking it day by seems to be in my immediate future.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

McEachran Homestead Winery in Caledonia Illinois

It was just my mom and I on my birthday two weeks ago, so what on earth where we supposed to do, just the two of us, for the whole day? Everything seemed so overdone and cliche; movies? No. Bowling? Eh. Shopping? Not in the mood.

It was my dear mother (with a little help from Facebook) who brought up the idea of going to a wine tasting at the local winery her and my dad recently discovered. I had been wanting to go, so you bet I jumped at the chance!

Who knew we had a winery about 20 minutes into the country here in Caledonia, Illinois? Apparently not us until just recently.

McEachran Homestead Winery is officially recognized by the state of Illinois as a Sesquicentennial Farm, which means this particular piece of agricultural property has been owned by the same family for at least 150 years!

A little background behind McEachran Homestead Winery:

"The McEachran Homestead was settled in 1857 by John McEachran, the great-great-grandfather of Herbert Greenlee, the current 85 year old owner. John immigrated to northern Illinois from Scotland and settled in what was known then as the Argyle Scottish Settlement."

When first founded, the original farm had 160 acres of land. All these years later, the McEachran farm has now expanded to have 285 acres, two of which are dedicated to their beautiful vineyard which holds around 19 different varieties of grapes.

That's not even counting the other acres dedicated to the fruit they grow for their fruit-based wines and the corn and soybean that are their main crops!

I had never been here before so I really didn't know what to expect. From the outside, it looks like a huge country barn, but step through the doors to the inside, it's the coziest, quaintest little place you'd ever have the pleasure of being in!

One of the things that really caught me off guard is the fact that this was a two story building and I saw something I don't normally see: a chair lift. Not many people would pay much mind to it, but being handicapped myself a lot of the time, it really touched me that this piece of equipment was included.

My mom and I settled at a table and were waited on right away (one of the good things about a small place like this one). We quite enjoyed our waitress, too; she took such good care of us! We were informed of the history of the farm and winery, what their food specials were for the day, and of course the wine they had ;)

First order of business: wine tasting. 

Currently McEachran has two wines currently, both of which we were able to have a wee sample of. The first one we tried was called Outer Space Red, which was made from the Mars variety of grapes, hence the creative name.  

The second we tried was called Marquette which was a fruity rose wine. 

Not only did we get to try some of the wine, but we also had some samples of their wine slushies in Autumn Red and Apple Cider. 

All the wine and wine slushies were exceptionally fabulous by the way! When we ordered or meal, I chose a glass of the Outer Space Red because 1.) I loved it with a capital L and 2.) I figure it suited me with the name and all. 


By the way, did you know that if you eat a cracker in between tasting different wines, it helps cleanse the palette so you can appreciate each wine to it's fullest potential? Neither did I! 

Our food arrived and I quite enjoyed it! Of course both my mom and I just ate the pulled pork out of the sandwich, leaving the bread behind (oh, but it looked like such delicious bread...), but we thoughtfully enjoyed our lunch none the less.

Then, I not only got one birthday surprise, but two:

Firstly, this little gal affectionately named by the staff Callie, showed up to extend her birthday wishes.....

Poor little thing was just abandoned on their doorstep one day and hasn't left since! She was nothing but skin and bones when I went out to give her some lovin.' Sweetest, friendliest little girl though! 

I would have scooped her up and taken her home if I could. 

Secondly, I got a birthday treat....


This had to have been by far the best birthDAY I've had in awhile! Got to explore something new, learn a little about some local history, and tasted some delicious wines (a bottle of which came home with Moi as a birthday present).

I can't wait to go back! If you happen to be in or around the Caledonia, Illinois area, the McEachran Homestead Winery comes with a high recommendation from yours truly!

Connect: & Libre Tea Holiday Promotion! and Libre Tea have teamed up to bring their loyal customers and fans a unique opportunity for the holidays! 

From November 20th until December 15th*, when you purchase any Libre tea glass for yourself or to give as a gift, you'll receive a voucher for one free month of online yoga classes from!

Seriously, who doesn't love extras, especially with the holidays right around the corner? This deal definitely has me pondering upon who I can buy a tea glass for ;)

Do YOU know anyone who would enjoy and benefit from this freebie? 

If so, head over to Libre Tea and start shopping! 

* Closing date applies to online purchases; availability in retail locations may extend beyond December 15th.

Disclaimer: I wasn't provided anything in exchange for posting the above post. All opinions expressed above are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. This information is strictly for the enjoyment and benefit of my readers. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

34 Healthy Living eBook Bundle *Review & 48 Hour Sale*

What happens when a bunch of different natural and holistic, health-conscious, homesteading, cooking and baking folks get together and offer 34 of their unique and highly informative downloadable eBooks to you? It's completely awesome!

Now take those 34 various health and wellness downloadable eBooks, regularly a $300 value and offer them in a big ol' bundle for $29 for two days only...

Seriously?! I'm no rocket scientist, but you better jump on that!

On November 26th and 27th (today and tomorrow) ONLY, you can get 34 different ebooks on various subjects like real food recipes, simple living, gardening, pregnancy, and natural health, a $300 value, for only $29!

As you might remember, I recently (recently being within the last two weeks) did a post and giveaway, all thanks to the kind people behind Nourishing Days blog in regards to their two-day-only sale, which starts today BTW!

I was lucky enough to receive the same bundle that I gave away and was asked to do a review of sorts; in all honesty, I didn't even put a dent in the 34 eBooks in the bundle! I did however get to skim through a majority of them and I'm going to quickly review 5 of my favorites....


Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur of Frugal Granola was quite the informative read if, like me, you're looking to getting into herbal healing. It not only has 44 pages choked full of at home remedies you can easily put together yourself for any sort of ailment ranging from the common cold and cough remedies to different herbal teas to even 'Mama's Passion Bath Salts,' Michele also attaches easy to follow visual guides with each recipe that lets you know how to use the remedy for it's intended purpose, what to do if you need something quickly, extra warnings, and even a little extra room to put your own notes! 

Definitely an eBook if you're looking for an easy way to get started with herbal healing! 

Must I explain why this ended up in my fav 5 list? Smart Sweets: 30 Desserts to Indulge your Sweet Tooth by Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship has some pretty amazing sounding (and looking I might add) recipes for any person with that undeniable urge for sweet treats. It doesn't matter who you are, if you enjoy a little sugar now and again I have no doubt you'll find a recipe you'll enjoy in this eBook! What I really liked about this particular recipe book is, while easy to use with it's visual 'Time Needed', 'Real Food Rating' and 'Cost' scales with each recipe, Katie has also included and clearly marked gluten free, dairy free, and egg free variations when applicable.

This next book is definitely something both my mom and I need. Heck, I personally believe it's something EVERYONE and their dog should read because we are definitely a society that puts way too much importance on material things! Simple Living: Thirty Days to Less Stuff & More Life by Lorilee Lippincott from Loving Simple Living is all about, you guessed it, living the minimalist lifestyle. With 63 pages covering how to simplify your life one step at a time, the author walks you through how to change things in your life ranging from the tangible, like your junk drawer, to the people in your life to even your everyday routine, diet and monetary spending habits. 

Lorilee definitely breaks down the minimalist life for you and how you can achieve it within 30 days!

Like herbal healing, I've wanted to experiment with making my own beauty products just for the sheer fact of if I make them myself, I'll know what's actually IN them! My Buttered Life, the gift edition by Renee Harris of lets you easily break into making your own beauty products with her wonderful writing style, charts with ingredient recommendations and where to purchase them and of course the 5 fold rule: 5 easy recipes with 5 ingredients! With each recipe you'll find the purpose and advantage of the product, troubleshooting ideas for if something goes arrey, the cost to make that particular product, links to how-to videos and even people's frequently asked questions. 

I can honestly say Renee has pretty much everything covered in this eBook of hers!

I unfortunately have a black thumb. That doesn't mean I haven't wanted to grow beautiful and tasty things for myself and my family though, and you know what they say: practice makes perfect! What happens if you have no land to grow a garden on though? Apartment Gardening: A Practical Guide to Growing Vegetables in Small Spaces by Jami Leigh of Young Wife's Guide is the eBook you've been looking for! I must admit after skimming through this book, I can honestly say I think this book has the most information I've come across. It has all sorts of information on how to garden and not just for small spaces either. This eBook would be perfect for those who would like to start, but have no idea WHERE to start. Not only that, but there are also chapters on how to preserve what you've grown so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor all year long.

I was even quite impressed she included a chapter all about GMOs since I know a lot of people are in the dark about them.


Those are just five of my favorite books out of the 34 different books you'll be getting if you order this incredible eBook bundle! I haven't even touched on a lot of the real food recipe, the health and beauty and the pregnancy books either. 

Just as you thought this deal couldn't have gotten any better, wait for it....IT. JUST. DID! 

If you purchase the 34 assorted healthy living eBook bundle for $29 in the next two days, you'll also receive approximately $70 of extras from companies such as Earthpaste, Cultures for Health, Wise Choice Market Store, Hard Lotion and more. You can view all the companies and extras you'll be receiving HERE.

Honestly, I would gladly pay the $29 for all that you would be getting, especially with the $70 worth of freebies that have been added.

Not only was I provided 34 eBooks that range from different topics that I, myself, am very interested in and can't wait to learn about, but I've been introduced to so many new people and incredible blogs through this experience. 

That, my friends, is priceless.

Disclaimer: I was provided the download link for all 34 ebooks courtesy of Nourishing Days. All opinions expressed in the above post are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated.

Mailbox Monday(11/26)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


Gotta love me some Pamela's Products!

Thanks to a recent holiday giveaway they had, I won an assortment of new gluten free baking mixes PLUS a signed apron from Pamela herself.

Did I mention there was also a lime green spatula and blue and black polka dot ribbon?! 

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I was lucky enough to work with Glee Gum in the past, so when given the chance to work with them again, I was beyond excited!

My Make Your Own Gummies Kit came in the mail and just like a little kid, I can't wait to use and review it ^.^

I received a lovely birthday card and special gift from my dear friend and cyber mother, Marie, a.k.a Dolly of XmasDolly!

She's such a sweetheart ^.^

Thank you again CM; pamper myself I shall!

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I am SO excited for this review opportunity, you all have no idea!

Thanks to Blue Angel Publishing, I get to review their newest oracle card deck that just came out; the Kuan Yin Oracle ^.^

You best keep an eye out for THAT review!

What did YOU get in the mail this week?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Support Small Businesses Today 11/24!

If you're like me, any sort of Christmas or holiday shopping hasn't even gotten started yet. Not for lack of trying mind you, but things come up; for me, it's mainly lack of money that's hindering my shopping experience!

Today though, is one of those days you should venture out, explore and support some independently owned stores around your area.


Today, November 24th, is Small Business Saturday!

A little more about Small Business Saturday:

"Since its inception three years ago, Small Business Saturday occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year as a way to support the heart of America's economy.  This year Small Business Saturday falls on November 24th, and shoppers can show their community support by shopping at local, independently owned businesses that create jobs, boost the economy, and help preserve neighborhoods in their towns."

Did you know that small businesses make up more than 99.7% of all employers, employ about 50 percent of all private sector workers and create 75 percent of the net new jobs in our economy? That's a pretty hefty chunk of jobs today! 

As a small shop owner myself, I truly appreciate the holiday and what it strives to do for local economies, small shop owners and communities all over the world.

I'm proud to support my local independently owned businesses today and every other day! 

Are YOU?

Disclaimer: I wasn't provided any compensation for the above post. All opinions and expressions above are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Information contained in the above post is strictly for the benefit of my fans and readers as well as to support Small Business Saturday.

Gifts for Music Lovers under $50 {Kayla's Holiday Picks}

I'm starting a new segment for the holiday season starting today and running through December 22nd called Kayla's Holiday Picks! 

Every Saturday will be a selection of gifts under $50 for a specific person or persons in your life, all revolving around healthy, natural, unique products of course ;)

This week: Gifts for Music Lovers


 Piano Scarf and Glove Set from Nature's Jewelry

$37.95 + $7.95 S&H = $45.90

 Band in a Box from The Land of Nod

$29.00 + Free Shipping = $29.00

Personalized Christmas Ornament from Ornaments and More

$6.95 + $4.95 S&H = $11.90

Boombox T-shirt from Headline Shirts

$24.00 +  Free Shipping = $24.00

 Sheet Music Earrings from VisitingCINDERELLA on Etsy

$16.00 + Free Shipping = $16.00

Disclaimer: I received no compensation for the promotion of the above products. Products and companies included in the above post were selected by me for the benefit of my readers in regards to the holiday shopping season. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today is a day to be thankful

To be thankful for friends and family.
To be thankful for a roof over your head
To be thankful for good food in your tummy. 
To be thankful for all that you have and all that you'll receive in the future.   

Being thankful goes beyond tangible objects though; it's a state of mind and well being. You wake up and choose to be thankful for another beautiful day on earth spent around people who love you and whom you love in return.

Of course it goes without saying you should keep this state of mind all 365 days instead of just today, but we'll focus on today for now ;)

I wish you a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by good food, loving company and of course a beautiful November day to enjoy it all!

I'm taking today off to spend with the people I love most. 

Lets eat turkey!

P.s. Isn't that fruit turkey adorable? You can find that recipe and more cute DIY ideas on Clean & Scentsible Blog!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Unique Gifts at Karma Kiss *Review & Giveaway*

With the holidays coming up, people are going to be looking for an innovative and unique gift shop to, of course, find innovative and unique gifts to give to their friends and family; I mean who wants to be the one who gives that super lame gift that's joked about for years to come?

Definitely not I.

Thanks to companies like Karma Kiss, you can find so many interesting things that are bound to be a hit with anybody!

About Karma Kiss:

"From our earliest days of Bubble Watches™ & Blowfish Alarm Clocks, Karma Kiss has been providing gifts of best quality, unique style & genuine thoughtfulness with our savvy customers in mind. Today we are proud to share that our products have been featured in memorable Hollywood films (Down To You, Little Miss Sunshine, Twilight) and popular publications such as Real Simple, Rachael Ray, Family Fun, O Magazine, New York Times & many more!"

With a vibrant and inviting website, you'll find it a pleasant experience to shop at this online store! Not only that, but you can find all sorts of goodies on Karma Kiss from toys and games to apparel and accessories to even unusual gifts and home decor!

For this particular review, I was able to choose a few things that tickled my fancy and from there, the staff at Karma Kiss picked something from the list I put together that they were able to send.

I was lucky enough to get the absolutely adorable Owl Sound Keyring with LED Light!

Ya'll know how much I adore Owls ;)

First off, the "shopping" experience was a ton of fun. I enjoyed browsing all the different type of products Karma Kiss had to offer and was really blown away by the sheer variety of unique gifts.

The shipping was fast and easy, which is always a plus, especially with the holidays approaching!

Now onto my Owl.

When I initially added the cute little guy to my potential-item list, I didn't realize he actually made noise! So you can imagine my surprise when I pressed his little button and scared the bejezzus outta myself when he hooted. LOL

Also, not to self: do not, I repeat, do NOT, sit face-to-face with this seemingly adorable keychain and press the button. Mr. Owl will show no mercy to those who accidentally blind themselves with his LED light!

I'd rather not admit how many times I accidentally did that...

Moving on.

The only thing that I found to get a little annoying at times was the continuous noise the keychain made when you held the light on for extended periods of time. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, but if you're easily annoyed, you might want to keep shopping.

Other than that, being lightweight and compact, this little gem would be the perfect stocking stuffer, don't you think?!

Doesn't he look like a superhero with LED powers?!

If you plan on doing some holiday shopping, some things to keep in mind about Karma Kiss and their products:

*They provide a $6.99 flat shipping rate for all orders under $45. All orders over $45 receive free shipping!

*30 day easy return policy if on the off chance, you're not satisfied with your purchase. 

*They have a feature called Weekly Deals where for 48 hours only, you'll get 40-88% off their product of the week!



1 winner will receive the same Owl Sound Keyring with LED Light that I reviewed! 

{The Rules}

1. You MUST use the name and email you want to be contacted with in the Rafflecopter.

2. Contest will run from Wednesday, November 21th, 2012 to Wednesday, December 5th, 2012.

3. Open to US residents only, 18 years or older--Sorry everyone else!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's 2 mandatory entries + 55 possible extra entries which = 57 entries total!
Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I was provided a product from Karma Kiss in exchange for this honest review. All opinions expressed in the above post are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. This contest is open to US residents only, 18 years or older and will run from Wednesday, November 21th, 2012 12:00 pm central standard time until Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 11:01 pm central standard time. The winner will be chosen through and be contacted within 24 hours of the drawing. You'll then have 48 hours (2 days) to claim your prize and send me all applicable information-If I haven't heard from you within that time frame, I will be forced to choose another winner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bordeaux Wine & their new Wine Selection Tool

In regards to the holidays, or really any special occasion for that matter, I've never really been invited to somewhere I've needed to bring a host or hostess gift. No doubt there will come a time where a thoughtful gift would be greatly appreciated and when that time comes, I better stop up to the gift-giving plate!

There are certain gifts you can never go wrong with and a good wine is definitely one of those gifts.

If you're like me however, you have no idea what the heck you're doing when it comes to picking and choosing wines!

Thanks to Bordeaux Wines and their new wine selection tool, the task couldn't be easier. Just watch the video below which shows you how easy it is to choose your bottle of wine...

Did I forget to mention that there are 100 bottles of wine to choose from all from a price point of $9 up to $35? Now that's what I call a gift ANYONE can give regardless of the occasion or your budget!

If wine is your thing or you have a party coming up and lack a perfect host/hostess gift, give Bordeaux Wine's Wine Selection Tool a go!


If you're a wine drinker, what's your favorite type of wine?

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for the above post. All opinions expressed above are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. This post and information contained in it is strictly for the benefit and enjoyment of my readers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Made From Earth Pure Aloe Vera Cream *Giveaway*

When people think of aloe vera, they automatically think of Summer. They think sunshine, sandy beaches, and of course, the dreaded sun burn. Ouchies!

I'm very well acquainted with Mr. Sunburn. We've been going at it for years with our love hate relationship; he apparently loves my very fair skin and easily burnt complexion and I hate him and the way he makes me look like a boiled lobster.

What some people don't realize (me included until I started looking and researching into all my healthy living stuff) is aloe vera isn't just for sun burn. You can use it a multitude of different ways:

-Soothes regular, everyday burns induced from cooking or that blasted curling iron
-Tames that frizzy hair before air drying or using a harsh blow drier
-Doubles as a shaving cream to get a smooth, close shave
-Helps promote healing in various infections
-In place of an oil-free moisturizer (especially if your prone to pesky acne or breakouts)

So as you see, there are MANY a way to use Aloe Vera cream-You just got to get a little creative and adventurous with it ;)

I certainly hope YOU'RE ready to be adventurous because I've teamed up with Dolly of XmasDolly so we can bring one lucky reader an awesome giveaway prize courtesy of Made From Earth....


1 winner will receive a jar of Pure Organic Aloe Vera Skin Treatment!

{The Rules}

1. You MUST use the name and email you want to be contacted with in the Rafflecopter.

2. Contest will run from Friday, November 16th, 2012 to Friday, November 30th, 2012.

3. Open to US residents only, 18 years or older--Sorry everyone else!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to head over to the lovely Dolly's website and check out her fantastic review of the Pure Aloe Vera skin treatment cream!

Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for the above post. All opinions expressed in the above post are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. This contest is open to US residents only, 18 years or older and will run from Friday, November 16th, 2012 until Friday, November 30th, 2012 11:01 pm central standard time. The winner will be chosen through and be contacted within 24 hours of the drawing. You'll then have 48 hours (2 days) to claim your prize.