Hi, my name is Candy in Austin, TX and this my blog to rave (and sometimes rant) about books, movies, products, services or just whatever strikes my fancy. I love when people comment on my blog, so feel free to agree or disagree or maybe I inspired you to try something?

Disclaimer: I do get some of these books/products for free for doing an honest review. Yes, those are affiliate links and I could be compensated if you purchase through them. It\'s always small and it always goes to my kids college funds.

17 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Mondaynoon Women’s SWAROVSKI ELEMENT Crystal ‘Look of Love’ Charm Tennis Bracelet 7.67″

Mondaynoon braceletFor us girls that like a little understated sparkle

Wow, I was really surprised when I opened this. The way it’s packaged and presented is really tasteful. I’m not a girly girl, but I do like to dress up now and then and I like something sparkly each day. Just enough to make the girl in me sing, but the kid-wrangler in me not laugh at the thought. I got this in purple, my favorite color, and it’s gorgeous. I felt like I was opening something really special. The bracelet itself is really easy to get on, by yourself (yes, I know!) and fits my wrist very well. I have thin wrists so sometimes things look weird or hang too loose on them. The way this is designed is that while it’s loose, it doesn’t look weird and droopy and it’s obviously designed for different shapes and sizes in mind. I really appreciated that!

The beautiful purple against the silver, in this setting is just perfection. It’s not too flashy or gaudy. It’s simple and elegant, which is just how I like my jewelry. I’ll be wearing this with a black dress for a party later this month, it’s just perfect!

Highly recommended for the ladies that like sparkly things with class.

Note: I was given a review sample of this product at no cost to me. It does not affect my reviews, as they are always balanced and honest.

This Mondaynoon Languishing Austrian Crystal Tennis Bracelet will add a little sparkle to your day!It is the ideal accent to any outfit, dressy or casual. Also perfect as a wedding gift, birthday gift, memorial day’s gift or the adult gift, it is really very wonderful. We ensure that each product is smooth with no defect, error is less than 0.33 mm, slightly more refined processing, caress your tender skin.

Rating: ★★★★★

15 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Lenox Nutcracker Snowglobe Ornament

snow globeBeautiful, but missing a little detail that would have made it 5 stars

I love Lenox and have several pieces around my home. When I saw this, I knew it was a perfect addition to our tree. Overall, I’m very happy with this item, but not as jazzed I would have expected. It falls just a little short of the usual Lenox craftsmanship. I absolutely love the idea of a simple snow globe (because who doesn’t love snow globes?) surrounded by the beautiful porcelain. Where this one falls short is the detail of the nutcracker. I held it up to my husband and two teenagers asking them what they thought it was. It took each of them quite a while to discern that it was, indeed, a nutcracker. It’s just missing the details I would have expected.

Having said that, it’s not a bad ornament and I’ll proudly display it on our tree, it’s still absolutely stunning, just don’t look too close. I also liked the simple packaging. Overall, a winner.

Lenox offers a truly legendary collection of ornaments that has been a treasured part of American holidays for generations. Unmatched quality and hand craftsmanship result in exquisite collectibles that bring a special glow to your home. No other gift expresses the joy of the season more than a specially-chosen ornament for the people who mean the most to you. Best of all, this remarkable collection is created by Lenox, the name more closely associated with holiday entertaining than any other. The confidence that Lenox has in the unmatched durability of every product they offer is backed up by a lifetime breakage replacement policy to guarantee many years of enjoyment to each customer. Enjoy a winter wonderland as a holiday fantasy comes to beautiful life in this miniature snowglobe. Crafted of Lenox porcelain, this ornament includes a lustrous gold rope with tassel for hanging and comes beautifully packaged in an iconic seasonal red box to make a perfect gift.

Rating: ★★★★☆

10 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Evenflo Feeding Advanced Milk Storage 5 Ounce Bags, 20 Count

evenfloPumping mom and daycare provider approved.

I have a working mom friend that is nursing so when I saw these, I knew I had to get them for her. It’s a lot of work pumping every day, trying to keep up with what the baby needs while in daycare. Anything that can make that whole process a little easier makes a huge difference. She loved these bags. We were both a little hesitant because the material seemed really thin, but it held up really nicely to us pouring warm water into it and generally not being very nice, tossing it around, etc. (Hey, don’t judge, pumping is hard work, I wouldn’t trust it to that liquid gold until I was sure either!). After using them for a couple of days, they are winners. She says they are easy to use on her end and the daycare provider loved that there was a spout to help decrease spills. I just wanna know where these were when *I* was a pumping mom! A spout would’ve been HUGE.

Evenflo Feeding’s Advanced 5 fl. oz. Milk Storage Bags are perfect for collecting, storing and freezing your precious breast milk. Our eco-friendly bags have 30% less material, reducing waste. They are made from a durable, high-density military grade material for extra strength, but are thinner for quicker freeze thaw times. The special design and wider seams allow for a stable, self-standing position when filling and a secure seal with a SafeZip dual track zipper for storing. The perforated, tear-off top creates a convenient pour spout when transferring milk from bag to bottle. Our bags also include adapter holes that easily attach to most standard neck breast pump adapters. Made in the USA. We are honored to support you on your breastfeeding journey. For over 30 years, Evenflo Feeding has created and continues to develop products to help you along the way. You may feed challenged at times, but remember you are a strong and capable mommy who can achieve your breastfeeding goals! Good luck to you, mom, as you continue on your amazing adventure of motherhood!

Rating: ★★★★★

08 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Crystal Wash – Wash Balls – Laundry Detergent Alternative – All Natural

crystalwashCut down on your laundry soap use.

I have to say, I was fairly skeptical of these. However, they do get the job done.

Our first use was with a London Fog raincoat. My husband had managed to get ketchup all over the lapel and on the inside. It was totally soaked in and crusty. Oh, did I mention he did this two years ago? And it sat in the trunk of his car, in Texas, for all that time.

So into the washer it went along with both Wash Balls. When it came out: No ketchup, no stain. Basically, it looked like new.

The next test was daily usage. We’ve been using them for 2 months now and they are doing a good job. For the adults in my house, the Wash Balls do a good enough job to keep our clothes fresh and clean, including our whites. The kids, however, well…. I find that I still need a little detergent (about 1/4 of what I used to use) to completely kill the “teenage feet funk”.

Overall: 4 stars. We still use a little soap, but no where what we used to

Crystal Wash started from a desire to change the way we wash clothes… by naturally cleaning our clothes, saving us money and enhancing the longevity of our clothes.Everyone has to do laundry and the average household goes through gallons and gallons of laundry detergent a year. What if you could wash your clothes as effectively as laundry detergent without using any of the chemicals, dyes, perfumes or detergents? And even better – what if you simply didn’t need to spend money on laundry detergent anymore?

Crystal Wash is a new proven technology that will last for up to 1000 loads of laundry. Using the power of Bio Ceramics from the earth, you can naturally clean your clothes as effectively as laundry detergent and it is better for your skin, the environment and more gentle on your fabrics.

Rating: ★★★★☆

03 December 2015 ~ 1 Comment

Nature’s Miracle Allergen Blocker – Dog Grooming

Natures Miracle Dog ShampooMy dog must be the anti miracle

This was just okay. I like the way it smells after my pet’s bath, but either my dog is just extra smelly or this stuff just doesn’t last. After a few hours, he just smelled like a dog again. A clean one, but just a dog. We did notice that more dander came off in the bath, but not an extreme amount. Maybe my dog just has tougher hair. I dunno. If I was having a party and wanted a super fresh dog, I might use it right before folks came over, but well… dogs smell like dogs.

Nature’s Miracle Allergen Blocker Dog Foaming Shampoo neutralizes inanimate dog dander allergens on your dog and deodorizes your dog’s coat.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

01 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

DC Super Heroes Origami: 46 Folding Projects for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and More!

dc comics origamiPerfect gift for the teenaged or adult super hero fan!

This is absolutely perfect for the adult or teenaged super hero fan on your list. I was quite impressed with the quality of the paper that is included as well as the instructions, which were very detailed and easy to follow – IF you take the time to really pay attention. This is not a quick craft for you and your kids. This is most definitely for the super hero dork dude on your gift list. My husband and I fit that bill and we had an absolute blast playing with these one evening when we had “date night” but didn’t want to actually go out. We ordered in and sat around and did origami (we’ve been married over 20 years, and we loved that we could do something together, have fun and have a conversation). Awesome project book!

What happens when you combine Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League with the art of origami?  You get the most incredible collection of paper-folding projects ever assembled. These 46 models, meticulously designed by internationally renowned origami master John Montroll, are guaranteed to amaze. With clear, step-by-step diagrams and instructions, simple squares of paper transform into Batarangs, S-Shields, Invisible Jets, Green Lanterns, and so much more. Also included in the back of the book are 96 sheets of specially illustrated folding papers to make your DC creations truly come to life. When you fold these models, your friends will believe youre the one with super powers.

Rating: ★★★★★

25 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Geeky Chef Cookbook: Real-Life Recipes for Your Favorite Fantasy Foods – Unofficial Recipes from Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and more

Geeky Chef CookbookFor the geek in your life that has everything…

You know that one super geeky friend that has all the geek toys already? We all have one on our list. Birthdays and Christmas come around and that friend sits on the list begging to be scratched off and you scour all the usual suspects, think geek, Amazon’s “everything” lists… and you cannot find something they either don’t already have or that just isn’t geeky enough.

This is the answer to that. Even if your friend doesn’t “really cook”, they will still love this – and hey, they might find a recipe they enjoy. Highly recommend this one. It lent itself to lots of laughs and lots of fun.

Geek out with recipes inspired by books, movies, television, and video games!You’ve conquered comic con. You binge watch Star Wars regularly. Now, it’s time to get your geek on in the kitchen!

Cassandra Reeder loves to cook, and she’s a bona-fide mega-geek. Comic-lover, avid gamer, and sci-fi and fantasy lover, she started The Geeky Chef in 2008. She creates real-life recipes for all the delicious foods you’ve seen in your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV shows, and video games. From Game of Thrones and the Hunger Games to Doctor Who, the Legend of Zelda and the World of Warcraft, this book features over 60 recipes and photos that you can re-create right in your own home for the geek in your life. Finally learn to create Butterbeer and Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter. Indulge in the Lemon Cakes from Game of Thrones. Sip from a bowl of Plomeek Soup from Star Trekand enjoy with Peeta’s Cheesy Bread from the Hunger Games right in your kitchen! Fantasy foods are fantasy no longer…

Rating: ★★★★★

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05 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

LEADCIN Titanium Stainless Steel Men’s Bike Chain Bracelet 8.66 Inches Length, Silver and Purple

braceletOverall nice quality bracelet

Very heavy duty and high quality, nicely colored, but packaging is not ideal. This Stainless Steel Bracelet, out of the box, is very shiny and does not smudge much. The purple color is very nice, and is light enough as to not look strange. The packaging was a bit frustrating, as the plastic on the bracelet itself was somewhat difficult to rip off, but once i did get it off, it looked rather nice. This bracelet is very heavy, and feels like it has some substance to it, but the clip took me a while to figure out, but that is likely just because of my lack of experience. The gift box is simple, with square patterns in a black box, with some padding. Over all, this bracelet is very cool, and i will give it a 4/5.

This is fashionable titanium stainless steel bracelet for men
The bracelet secures with a fold over clasp for easy wear
Unique bike chain design, stylish and shine
Perfect for any occasion, best gift for his birthday, Father’s Day
Material: Titanium stainless steel
Length: 22 cm/ 8.66 inches
Width: 10mm/ 0.39 inches
Quantity: 1pcs
Net Weight: 55g/ 1.94 oz
Color: Silver and purplePacking Including:
1 x Men Bike Chain BraceletWhy choose Titanium Steel Jewelry?
Titanium is also called 316L stainless steel. It is always known widely for its cold light texture and brightness which is wide range of uses. As to its characteristics, it is resistant to acid and alkali without discoloration, allergy or deformation. It is always used in medical science, luxuries, expensive watches, pens and industry etc

Titanium Steel jewelry does not tarnish and oxidize, which can last longer than other jewelries. It is able to endure a lot of wear and tear. And it is amazingly hypoallergenic. Such advantages make it a more popular accessory.

Rating: ★★★★☆

27 October 2015 ~ 1 Comment

STAINMASTER Cozy Pillow Pet Bed

dogpillowSoft and easy to clean

Our 20 pounds terrier mix loves this bed. If he is not inspecting his people or protecting the backyard, he is sleeping, laying, or chewing on his bed.

Did I mention that he sheds quite a lot? And is a very messy chewer? Luckily, the outer cover comes off the bed for very easy cleaning. For small spills, we can usually just wipe it off and call it good.

Overall: 5 stars. I’m a little jealous!

The STAINMASTER Cozy Pillow pet bed is made with premium fiber technology that provides long lasting support and comfort that your pets deserve. The cover is made of a durable fabric that is easy to clean and is machine washable and dryable. Choose from an assortment of different sizes and colors, including chocolate brown, khaki and olive. Care instructions: To wash, remove the cover and machine wash the cover separately in cold water only. Do not use bleach or strong detergent. To dry, use delicate cycle or gentle setting with very low heat. Reshape as needed.

Rating: ★★★★★

21 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Elite Platinum EPC-678SS MaxiMatic 11-Function Digital Pressure Cooker with Stainless Steel Pot, 6-Quart

cookerLots of functionality, easy to clean!

With two working adults and 3 busy, growing and (always) hungry kids, it can be difficult to make sure dinner is ready on time. We find that we end up using the microwave, oven, stove, and sometimes a griddle just to get one meal ready. While we didn’t have any room for an extra appliance, we needed something else that would give us a hand.

The MaxiMatic is small enough that it doesn’t take much counter space. It is light enough that you can move it to a pantry or closet between uses.

So far we have used it to make a soup, cook a pot roast, and to steam broccoli. In all 3 cases the MaxiMatic did its job well.

If you have a modern style, stainless steel kitchen, this little baby will look right at home!

Overall: 4 stars. Multi-purpose cooking appliance. Lots of functionality, easy to clean.

Maxi-Matic U.S.A has been an established provider of small kitchen electrics and other various household items for more than 25-year. The company has grown from exclusively marketing the Pillsbury line to developing its own brands which are carried by all major U.S. retailers today. Over the years, the company has added many more products to its portfolio and earned a reputation as a “Can Do” company.

Rating: ★★★★☆