Graphic Design, Fashion, Beauty, Food, and Being a Mom


October 2014

Body Merry Hyaluronic Acid Serum + 2.5% Retinol Serum and Pro-A Serum—Product Reviews

I was given the opportunity to try two amazing hydrating serums from Body Merry. I’m constantly searching for a product that can hydrate the dry spots of my skin without making it greasy, too.
First, I tried the Pro-A Serum.
Here’s what Amazon says about it, so you know what I was expecting:
MAXIMUM STRENGTH RETINOL: This 2.5% retinol serum will let your skin truly sink in all the goodness and power of Vitamin A. It effectively addresses wrinkles, fine lines and spots, while also improving the overall texture and tone of your skin.
NATURAL & ORGANIC: The addition of Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid provides the much needed hydration so you can reap the benefits of Retinol, without having to suffer any dryness or irritation. Organic Green Tea works its charm as a powerful antioxidant.
NO HARSH CHEMICALS: The formula does not contain any harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulphates or Phthalates. No fragrances or alcohol.
MADE IN USA + CRUELTY FREE: The serum is made in the USA in an FDA registered and GMP compliant facility. It is not tested on animals.
MANUFACTURER GUARANTEE: Body Merry’s products are backed with a 90 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you don’t like this serum, just contact us and get a full refund. You don’t even need to return the bottle.

This serum didn’t have any weird colors or scents, and felt very nice on my skin. It soaked in quickly, without leaving it greasy, though by the end of the day my oily spots were a bit more shiny than normal, so I switched to using this only at night, so that I could reap the benefits without shininess.

I love a satisfaction guarantee! With that, you can’t really go wrong. This serum is on sale right now for only $22.95, and is eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime.

Second, I tried the Hyaluronic Dew Serum, which I decided isn’t exactly easy to say out lout. This serum also was nicely unscented, without any added color. It retails for only $15.99 on Amazon, and is eligible for Amazon Prime, too! You could order them together and get both at once. I really liked the glow that this serum gave to my face. It made my skin bright without being shiny, so I use this one in the morning.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to put moisture back into their skin, so if you think it’s for you, hop on over to Amazon and check it all out!

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


Carginia Cambogia Pure Extract 80HCA

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Recently I was given the opportunity to try Garcinia Cambogia for free! I was really excited, because I’d heard about it on Dr. Oz…but I still didn’t know much about it. So I went to Dr. Oz’s blog to get some information about it. Disclaimer: this post is in no way endorsed by or affiliated with Dr. Oz…I simply used him to get some info. Here’s what I found!

garciniaWhat Is Garcina Cambogia Extract?

Garcinia Cambogia is a small, pumpkin-shaped fruit, sometimes called tamarind. Though native to Indonesia, it is also grown in India, Southeast Asia, and West and Central Africa. It has long been used in traditional South Asian dishes, including curries and chutneys. Many also use the fruit for curing fish and preservation.

Adding this ingredient to meals is considered to be effective in making meals more “filling.” In some villages in Malaysia, garcinia is used to make a soup that is eaten before meals for weight loss because of garcinia’s appetite-blocking abilities.

This plant offers one of the least expensive herbal supplements on the market. The ingredient from the rind of the fruit could hasten your weight-loss efforts. The natural extract is called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), and researchers claim that HCA can double or triple one’s weight loss.

With proper weight-loss efforts (dieting and exercising), the average person taking HCA lost an average of four pounds a month.

Garcinia may also be great for emotional eaters. Those who participated in the study showed an increase in their serotonin levels; hence, it may also improve mood and sleeping patterns.

How Does Garcina Cambogia Work?

The HCA extract from garcinia cambogia supplement aids in weight loss by doing two things: It helps to block fat, and it suppresses your appetite.

HCA blocks fat by inhibiting a key enzyme that your body needs to make fat from carbohydrates: Citrate lyase. Usually carbohydrates or sugars that are not used immediately or stored in other forms are converted into fats. When HCA inhibits citrate lyase, the fat-making process is halted and the production of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides decrease.

HCA also suppresses appetite by increasing serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that makes you feel good. It’s a target of many antidepressant medications. Having low levels of serotonin may make you feel depressed or anxious; it drives many people into emotional or reactive eating. By increasing serotonin levels, HCA improves mood and suppresses the drive to react to stressful situations with food. As you eat less, your body senses this and it releases stored fat in your fat cells.

Many studies have shown promise. One randomized placebo-controlled study followed 60 obese persons for 8 weeks. With a calorie-restricted diet (1200 kcal/day) and an HCA dose of 1320 mg/day, the experimental group lost an average of 14 pounds (compared to 6.1 pounds in the placebo group). The participants also noted reduced appetite.

Is It Safe?

The plant and its fruit have been eaten safely for years. The HCA extract is also likely safe in normal amounts.

However, don’t take this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are taking a diabetic medication (like insulin or glyburide), talk to a doctor before taking this to make sure this is right for you, otherwise this supplement may allow your blood sugar to fall even lower than normal.

Those taking a statin (a cholesterol-lowering drug) should use this supplement with caution because it can increase the risk of harmful side effects, like rhabdomyolysis or muscle degradation. Those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia shouldn’t take HCA because of the risk of worsening dementia.

How Much Should I Take?

You can buy garcinia cambogia extract in health food stores or online. When looking for a supplement, look for “garcinia cambogia” or “GCE” with at least 50% HCA (active ingredient potassium). Some experts believe that the newly available HCA potassium salts are more effective than the other HCA formulations.

Take 500-1000 mg before each meal, and make sure to take no more than 3000 mg total per day.

When looking for supplements, make sure you can see and review the list of ingredients. Do not purchase if you can’t see any ingredients. Furthermore, there should be no fillers or artificial ingredients.

With no other changes, you may lose 2-4 pounds within one month. However, it is highly recommended that the person taking HCA also find time for moderate exercise a few times a week and eat properly portioned meals. Let the power of the HCA supplement work along with making healthier choices.

Also, understand that no pill is more effective than maintaining a regular exercise regimen and a healthy diet.

Okay guys…after all that mumbo jumbo, I’d like to tell you about my experience! I received my Garcinia from NutriNatures LLC, and purchased it on This is an all-natural supplement with no fillers or other weird junk. I take 3 pills about 1/2 an hour before eating, and honestly…I feel full quicker…and less likely to cram a bunch of dessert into my mouth after dinner, too!

I lost a couple pounds in the last month, and I think that if I commit to eating better and exercising just a bit more, I’ll see even more results! I’m so excited!

I like this particular brand of garcinia because it’s so nutrient-packed. If you want to try it, click HERE to buy on!

As always, stay beautiful and think divergently!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using <a href=”; rel=”nofollow”></a>. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Vino Aria Wine Aerator and Pourer—product review!

This. Is. Amazing! First…I should admit that I’ve been drinking a bit more wine than usual. I blame the Vino Aria Wine Aerator! I like wine because of the mellow feeling that it provides, but I’ve never really loved the flavor of red wine. It’s just a bit too bitter for my tastebuds. A wine aerator solves that problem, but many of them leak or are difficult to use. Vino Aria gave me their wine aerator to try for free, and I absolutely love it!

First, the packaging that it came in was lovely. This would be a GREAT gift to give someone. It’s got the company name engraved on the metal band between the pourer and the pretty petal-shaped spout, and a tapered neck that fits perfectly into every bottle that I’ve tried. It fits so well that I’ve managed to not make any messes while using this, which is a miracle because a: I’m a klutz and b: I was semi-intoxicated. 😀

I did a side-by-side comparison of wine poured directly from the bottle and wine poured from the bottle through the aerator. The wine poured through the aerator smelled sweeter and less ‘alcoholic’ to me, and sure enough, had a more subtle, sweet taste to it. I could actually taste the flavors of the wine. (This is why connoisseurs ‘swirl’ wine in the give it some air.)

I rate this 10/10 for myself, or as a gift for someone who likes wine! If you’d like to buy it, go HERE

For a limited time only, the price is discounted, so to get it for only $19.77, act now!

Here’s what the company has to say about their product:

Consumer Top Choice, LLC, is celebrating the launch of a red wine aerator by offering an introductory discount. Vino Aria Aerator, designed by Consumer Top Choice LLC, features a unique design that fits wine bottles and provides exceptional scent and enhanced flavor to each glass of red wine. The aerator features a petal design, complete with laser engraved logo and silver ring, to create a sophisticated look perfect for daily use or special occasions. Each Vino Aria Aerator is comprised of an acrylic spout and rubberized core, which offers strength and quick-drying capabilities for long-lasting use.

Vino Aria Aerator helps cut down on bitter notes or puckering often associated with red wines. Unlike other wine aerator designs, Vino Aria fits snugly into the mouth of any wine bottle for effortless use and provides an ample amount of oxygen into each pour to aerate and boost flavor. The perfect fit reduces the risk of leaks or drips – two common complaints associated with alternative aerators. Through the aeration process, wine is exposed to oxygen to trigger a level of oxidation and evaporation – select compounds within red wine are oxidized and evaporated with aeration, leaving bitter notes behind and leading to a more fragrant and flavorful glass of wine.

Some of the common methods of aeration include allowing wine to breathe in the bottle or swirling it around in a glass – both of which require a wait time or possible spillage. The Vino Aria Aerator and pourer allows wine drinkers to enjoy the maximum flavor without the use of additional equipment, wait time or awkward hand movements. Wine connoisseurs everywhere will appreciate the simple process – the gift wine aerator is necessary in any wine bar. Additionally, each Vino Aria Aerator is protected under a lifetime guarantee to ensure quality and exceptional customer service.

Thanks for reading! I have GIVEAWAYS coming soon soon soon!
Stay Beautiful & Think Divergently!

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

And the Idiocy Continues- Ptsd Service Dogs 1075 radio

This is just sad…

Inside A Brilliant Mind, Reviews and More

Sadly, I have more to report on this whole business of the veteran and his service dog being kicked out of a Kernersville, NC restaurant last week. A local radio station, 1075 KZL, has decided to run a “spoof” about services dogs this morning on their Jared and Katie in the morning show. A civilian dog was shown in the below picture and the man, who has already suffered enough prior to this, and a mockery was made of both the man and the entire service dog industry. A foolish tactic on the part of the radio station, and a lax marketing department are to blame, I am sure. 1075

To add more insult to injury the station posted this pic on their facebook page and of course people being who they are have started the running of their mouths in complete ignorance of the disease and of service dogs in…

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Lifeguard Portable Charger—Product Review

Hey friends! Today I am reviewing a product that I was TRULY EXCITED to get to try for free! It’s a ‘portable charger’, which allows you to charge your cell phone, iPod, or other portable electronic devices without being stuck to the wall!

lifeguard charger
What a nice box!
I absolutely LOVE being able to have my phone near me at all times. I hate missing important texts from family or friends, or important emails…the problem is that about the time I’m getting out of school and going to pick up kids, my phone is DEAD. This usually leaves me scrambling to my car charger to plug in my phone so that I don’t miss any texts about my kids and their whereabouts, then leaving my phone in my car while I run errands and grocery shop so that my phone can get a bit of a charge.
All of this is a thing of the past! All I have to do is remember to charge my portable battery overnight with the cord that it came with (i plug it into the usb on my laptop while I charge my phone next to my bed). While I sleep, my phone’s battery charges as usual, but so does my amazing lifeguard! When I get ready to leave the house in the morning, I just unplug the lifeguard, and pop it and its convenient cord into my purse or my backpack, and around the middle of my day, when my phone starts to die, I pull out my portable battery and get my phone started charging!
I have seen a lot of other portable chargers..some better, most worse than this one. I think it’s a great value for the money. I don’t need a charger that will charge my device 5x on one charge or push a charge through in 5 minutes for super-speedy charging….(though those features would be GREAT for camping trips next summer!). This battery is perfect for me. It charges my phone at about the same speed as it would charge it if it were plugged into the wall, with a HUGE added benefit: I’m not waiting for my phone to charge anymore. It’s always next to me, so i’m never waiting for that full charge anymore. Either it’s charged, or charging. No more dead phone! With the lifeguard portable charger fully charged, I can charge my cell phone 1 1/2 times….or charge my phone, and help a friend to prevent theirs from dying while we hang out.
I use this EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It has replaced the charging cords I used to carry around with me, and I love this because the cord that comes with it is short (you really don’t need a long cord with a portable charger), and doesn’t get caught on stuff. So…the verdict? I absolutely love this product, and if for some reason I break this one, it dies, or I give it to my daughters for their tablet that’s always dying…I’ll be buying another Lifeguard Portable Charger on Amazon HERE!
My rating? 10/10. I am in love with this! I can’t wait to see how it works with the new phone I bought today 😀
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday Favorites!

My pledge you you is that every Friday, I’ll come to you with one of my favorite things…not stuff I have to review…but stuff that I want to tell you about!

Today’s Friday Favorite: Dole Smoothie Shakers

dole shakers and bottled waterThese are yummy!! I grabbed a couple the other day in the frozen juice section at the grocery store…and I’ve been back once every couple of days since to get more! They’re super easy, and kind of fun. I just pull the ‘bottle’ out of the freezer, let it sit for a few minutes (the container says 5…I am NOT patient!), then break up whatever’s still in a chunk with a butter knife (again, instructions say to use a spoon, but I’m a rebel, and the knife is longer). Then i pour in juice of my choice, shake it up for as long as I want to, and I’ve got a smoothie – without having to wash the blender! 😀  Today I tried adding in sprite with my orange juice…and it tasted AMAZING.

There are a few different flavors, mixed berry, strawberry, strawberry banana, and my favorite, Mango!!! 😀 This is my new favorite lunch…I stop by the house to let the dog out to go potty, and have just a few minutes to whip something up to get me through my day. Ta-Da!

What I Did Today: Music Video Shoot!

I’m loving Yin Zip!


Today I was given the opportunity to shoot a music video for up-and-coming young artist. She’s Yin zip, born Isabella Lewis in January of 2001, and she’s a refreshing young new rapper out of Lincoln NE.

Sounds Like: Nikki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Snow Tha Product, Chanel West Coast, KREAYSHAWN

Label: Young Elite

Manager: Angela Lewis

It was amazing to work with this young artist today! She’s incredibly hard-working for a 13-year old girl, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I remember being that age, and I certainly did not have the work ethic that Yin Zip does, working for over 7 hours straight today, with multiple hair/makeup/wardrobe changes. By the end of the day, I was tired and hungry, but I didn’t care, because Yin Zip isn’t the type of girl to complain. She wants to work hard, and I love that!

Here’s a link to download Champion…

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The Difference Between Men and Women (Color-Coded)

I had to reblog this one. She speaks the truth!

Cordelia's Mom, Still

BlindsAs any wife/girlfriend can tell you, most men have absolutely no concept of colors, except in connection with a specific sports team.

Case in point:  I was out walking the dog on a nice summer day and passed a house that had recently changed ownership.  A young woman and her husband/boyfriend were in the driveway, and each was holding a set of window blinds.  I overheard the woman emphatically [p.c. version of conversation] tell the man, These are ivory, not white. I told you I needed white!

When I started laughing, they both looked at me with daggers in their eyes, and I quickly walked away.  But what I would like to have told them is that my husband and I had the exact same conversation just a few days before that.

Color WheelI’ve come to the conclusion that men, unless they are artists or interior…

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Dr. Song Rosehip Oil—Product Review

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I was recently given some of Dr. Song’s Rosehip Oil to try! I love organic products, so I jumped at this opportunity!

Here’s a little bit from their Amazon page:

100% Pure USDA Certified Organic Virgin Rosehip Seed Oil
Specially processed to preserve its natural cosmetic qualities, which includes containing high amounts of essential fatty acids, particularly linoleic and linolenic.
Bottled in glass and comes with a no hassle 365 day money back guarantee!! You don’t even have to return the bottle!

I did some research on Rosehip Oil to learn about its benefits, and here’s what I found on the wiki page:
It is commonly used in skin care products. It is commonly used for a variety of skin conditions, including dermatitis, acne and eczema, for mature and sun burnt skin as well as brittle nails and wrinkles. Rose hip oil is also frequently used to heal scarring and diminish photo-aging.[2]
It quickly absorbs into the skin replenishing moisture and creates a protective barrier on the skin to help prevent dehydration.

First, I want to mention that this comes in a BIG 4. oz  pretty glass bottle with a dropper. It’s really nice! I expected rose hip oil to smell like…well, roses. But it doesn’t. While it has a scent to it, it’s not a bad scent, and doesn’t overpower my perfume or change the way it smells. It also absorbs into my skin quickly without leaving it greasy. I hate having to stand around half-naked waiting for lotions or serums to dry!
I’ve been using this rose hip oil in two ways:

First, I’ve been adding it to my shea butter recipes to help lock moisture into the skin without any added greasiness.

Second, I’ve been applying it to the stretch marks on my belly, and one of the scars on my hand. I’ve noticed a difference in the appearance of these marks/scars. My scar has lightened considerably, and my stretch marks have become slightly less ‘deep’-looking, and my skin is smoother. WIN! It’s not a miracle cure, but after twice-daily applications, my skin, in general, has a more even tone.

If you want to buy it, click HERE! It’s on sale for only $14.99 on Amazon!

I rate this product 9/10, and would definitely recommend this to anyone who has issues with dry skin, or wants something a little cheaper than the rest of the ‘scar creams’ on the market.

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

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