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Book Review: Like A Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Here is the official description:

He Stole the Work She Loved.

Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?

It’s all her uncle’s fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she’s reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte’s future–the only proper future for a woman–is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.

Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he’ll soon change his mind…and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society–a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.

Things aren’t perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She’ll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she’s most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?


My Thoughts

This book was a very humorous piece of historical fiction.  Charlotte Withersby has spent the majority of her life working at her father’s side as a botanist, having lost her mother at a young age. She seems perfectly happy continuing to do that, but her uncle, The Admiral, insists that she come out into society and find herself a husband. The setting is England in 1852, so it seems that Miss Withersby doesn’t have much choice in the matter. The hilarity ensues as she is thrust into society without any sense of what is and is not socially acceptable. While her father has hired a young man to take her place, she sets out to convince her father to bring her back by finding a potential husband that she believes he would not find acceptable. I don’t want to give away what happens but you definitely find yourself rooting for a specific candidate for her affections. There is romance involved but it doesn’t overtake the whole book and became gushy or sappy.

Siri Mitchell is a great writer. I’m not sure if she has a history in botany herself, but her descriptions were definitely convincing. Very well-researched to say the least. I definitely plan to look into more books by this author and I definitely encourage you to pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.


What To Do if Your Hands are Duct Taped

Hopefully this knowledge never comes in handy, but I just wanted to share with you this link to a video of how to escape if your hands are duct taped.

Check it out! Maybe I will try it myself.

Easy Escape Trick

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Product Review: Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream and More

Well, I have received some more skin care products to review. If I keep using all these things, I suppose I am going to have the best skin in the world!

Anyway, I was offered the chance to review Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream for review via I was provided the product for free but opinions are my own.

The nice folks at Body Merry also offered to send me two additional products to review so I’m going to try to include all three here!

Body Merry Age Defense Eye Cream

Body Merry Age Defense Eye CreamSAM_0356

This eye cream is intended to be a solution for any and all eye concerns you may have, such as dark circles, wrinkles, puffiness, crow’s feet, fine lines, dryness, sagging, or bags. Some of the ingredients included are: Vitamins C + E+ B5, Peptide Complex, Amino Acid Emulsification, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Antioxidants, MSM.

Of course the area around the eye is very delicate so the company avoids using harsh chemicals and use many natural and organic ingredients instead. Some of these are: Aloe, Rose Hip Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Cranberry, Licorice, Sunflower Oil, Borage Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Lavender, Calendula, Chamomile, Witch Hazel, Cocoa Butter, Cucumber, and Green Tea. Lots of good stuff!

How to use

Here are the tips and directions on how to use the product.

Clean and completely dry the skin. Only a very small amount is needed for both eyes and the pump bottle it comes in is designed to give you the right amount.  You can then use your finger to dab the cream under the eyes to the cheekbones, at the outer corners and underneath the brows, and eyelids as well. Move in a circular fashion, pressing gently. You can also use the cream as a face and neck moisturizer and on your hands as well.

Body Merry suggests using the product twice daily, morning and night and they recommend giving at least 6-8 weeks to see the effects.

What I think:

I have not been able to use the product for a full 6-8 weeks, so I am not prepared to give a complete answer on the results yet. However, I have not been disappointed so far. The smell is very pleasant. I’m not sure quite how to describe it, but it is definitely a natural smell, and not a chemical scent. It has a very light feeling and cool to the touch.

I love that it can be used as a moisturizer for the entire face and hands as well.

I will definitely let you know when I have been using it longer

Hyaluronic Dew Serum

Another product I received was Hyaluronic Dew Serum with Vitamin C and Green Tee. This is a natural and organic anti-aging face serum for wrinkles and fine lines. The goal is to give your skin a youthful, bright and even complexion. The product is paraben, sulfate and phthalate free.  It is also made in the USA and is cruelty free.


This is a blue glass bottle that comes with a dropper. Body Merry recommends that you test a small area of your skin first, to test for any allergies and if you have sensitive skin, start by using the serum every other day. It is also recommended that you use your daily moisturizer on top of the serum. Some say that it is also helpful for dark circles under the eyes. Again, 6-8 weeks is recommended for results.

This product definitely leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day long and gives a glowing look without looking greasy.

Cellulite Defense Gel Cream

The last product, I will admit, I haven’t really had a chance to use much yet. Also, I don’t really feel the need for it because it’s not a big problem that I deal with, but is probably a good idea to use, even as a precautionary measure.  It is the Body Merry Cellulite Defense Gel-Cream.


Only a thin layer of the product is needed. The directions say to massage the cream with your hands using upward strokes until it is completely absorbed. If you already have a massager or cellulite brush, you can use that as well. The product does need to be stored in a cool dry place and please wash your hands after use.

This product is recommended to be used twice daily, morning and night, and once again 6-8 weeks for results.

Here is a product description:

“Combat cellulite with our unique Caffeine + Retinol + Seaweed formula. This gel-cream has a strong caffeine content with the optimum level of retinol (0.4%), as recommended by experts. For good measure, we’ve also added potent natural and organic ingredients such as algae extract, kelp, coconut oil, japanese green tea leaf extract and cayenne. Like all our products, it is free from harsh chemicals such as parabens, sulfates and phthalates. The gel-cream consistency is designed to spread over large areas and it absorbs quickly into your skin. The cream is infused with a refreshing 100% natural ‘mint – green tea – lime’ fragrance, that barely leaves a trace once fully absorbed. In a nutshell, Body Merry’s Cellulite Defense Gel-Cream is your ticket to visibly reducing the appearance of unwanted bumps and lumps and getting skin that feels and looks tighter, smoother and younger!”

The product has a minty scent and to be honest, kind of looks like tapioca pudding. Many people have reported that their skin is noticeably firmer and tighter after use.


Overall, I would say that Body Merry is a great company. I love that they use natural products and have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I look forward to checking out more of their products in the future, and will definitely keep you updated if there are any dramatic changes or improvements.

DVD Review: The Identical

I received a DVD of the movie The Identical, via FlyBy Promotions for the purpose of review. The opinions are my own and are not influenced by any company.


To start off, I will share the description that came with the disc:

The Identical, Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, Seth Green, and Blake Rayne is a redemptive movie about a young man, the son of a preacher, who rejects his father’s desire for him to join the ministry and instead embarks on a career as a rock singer. As he struggles to pursue his dream and rise to stardom, he finds love, pain, success, failure and ultimately uncovers a hidden family secret that reveals who he really us. The Identical is a captivating story about a family restored and a life discovered that lifts your soul and warms your heart.

Now, I suppose this may be a bit of a spoiler, but since it happens at the beginning of the movie, I don’t feel that bad sharing it with you. A poor young couple gives birth to twins. When a traveling preacher comes through town and shares that his wife and him are unable to have children and have had several miscarriages, the couple makes a tough decision. Deciding that they barely have the means to support themselves, they end up giving one of the boys to the preacher and his wife to raise. Hence the name, The Identical. Get it? See, it’s not that bad of a spoiler.

Blake Rayne, the actor playing both of the twins as an adult, has a very Elvis-like look and sound (though they do mention Elvis in the film so he’s not supposed to BE Elvis). I also noticed the similarity in the fact that Elvis himself was actually born a twin.

I won’t tell you which is which, but one of the men has great success in the music industry, while the other has the same talent and actually ends up eventually performing as, basically, an impersonator of the other. Of course people always point out the resemblance. The whole movie you keep wondering if  they will discover the secret. I won’t tell you that either.

I thought it was interesting to see Ray Liotta in the role of the preacher, considering some of the other films he has been in, such as Goodfellas.

The movie is definitely family friendly and is rated PG. The music is great as well. The story spans several decades and the music sounds like hit music you would have heard at that time but is actually brand new music written just for the film.

The DVD also includes bonus content such as the making of the film, behind the scenes and deleted scenes as well.

If I hadn’t watched the bonus features, I wouldn’t have realized that the film is actually a family affair. The director is Dustin Marcellino. His father Yochanan and grandfather Jerry Marcellino co-wrote the songs, and I believe were producers on the film as well. There is also another Marcellino that I saw in the bonus features. I believe he is the brother of Dustin and co-produced as well.

Overall, this was a good film. It’s nice to come across a movie with big-name actors that is something you could watch with the entire family and not be embarrassed by anything inappropriate. The acting was believable and the music was very convincing- made you feel like you were really in that time. I do wish somewhat there was a little less of an Elvis similarity. I don’t know, that’s just me.  I would definitely recommend the film to others.

Check out the trailer here.

Also here is the movie’s official website.

Massive Duct Tape

I already shared this on my Facebook, but since I like to blog about duct tape, I decided that I’d better share it here as well.

Last week we stopped at Uncle Stan’s Military Surplus for no particular reason and guess what I found.

duct tape

Massive rolls of duct tape! And only $8.50 each! Now they obviously didn’t have a huge collection of different colors and designs. But I did find a designed roll that I had never seen before for only $2.50.

So if you are in need of bulk duct tape, try military surplus stores in your area.

Valentia Even Glow Serum Review

I recently received Valentia’s Even Glow Serum via  Tomoson for review purposes. The product was provided to me for free but the opinions are my own.

My apologies if this post looks strange. I posted from my phone and will fix on the computer later!


So, first, what should you know about this product?

Well, in addition to 20% concentration Vitamin C, there are a few other key ingredients, such as:

Organic  Rosehip Seed Oil and Organic Sea Buckthorn Oil: These promote skin hydration and are full of antioxidants.
Resistem(Plant Stem Calls): Promotes Skin Detoxification and protects from environmental stressors
Hyaluronic Acid (Botanical): This is a moisturizing agent that also activates collagen production
Green Tea Extract: A potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant benefits

How to Use It?

Since the serum is made of natural ingredients, it is possible that they may separate, so the company suggests that you turn the bottle over and shake lightly for 1-2 seconds. Apply a small amount to a clean, dry face daily. Allow the product to dry completely before applying moisturizer or makeup. Valentia recommends only using the product once per day.

The goal is softer skin, fading of fine lines and wrinkles and an even skin tone. Valentia suggests that you may have wait for up to 4 weeks for results.

My Thoughts

While I have had the product for a while, the holidays took over and I will admit that I haven’t used the product every day. However when I have used it, I have definitely noticed softer feeling skin and a more moisturized feel. It has a pleasant, but not overpowering citrus smell and the fact that you only have use a very small amount at a time means the bottle will last for quite a while. I definitely plan to continue using it in order to see more results.

My New Toy: Sizzix Vintaj Bigkick

I got a new crafty toy for Christmas that I want to tell you about. The Siizix Vintaj Bigkick Embossing and Shape-Cutting Machine.

Sizzix Vintaj BigkickYou can use it to emboss and etch designs into metal blanks to make fun jewelry. I don’t have any of the metal dies yet but you can also use it on paper, fabric and other things. I got a couple of embossing folders and tried them out on aluminum foil. One is a brick print and the other a wood print.

Sizzix Embossing Folder

Sizzix Embossing Folder

I also decided to try it out on duct tape. I made a small sheet of white duct tape and put it in the middle of one of the embossing folders.

sizzix embossing folder

Then you put the whole thing between the clear cutting pads.

Sizzix Cutting Pads

Stick the whole thing into the machine and then turn the crank until it comes out the other end.

Sizzix Cutting Pads

And ta-da! Embossed duct tape. I will post more projects once I have more accessories!




Things To Come- New Duct Tape
houndstooth duck mustache duct tape

Merry Christmas!


I promise I am going to be posting more duct tape projects soon! Here are some of the duct tapes I got at Christmas time.