Taking a Twist on Hairbands the Damage Free Twistband

 I received several samples for review.  I was not compensated in any way, all opinions are my own and freely expressed.

image Normally I prefer reviews be just that, my opinion, but honestly there is not too much to say about a hair band, is there?  I will be upfront – hair ties that are tight and rubber band like do give me headaches, they pull on the roots of my hair, I experience breakage, etc.  When I opened the delightful little carton for review I was not that impressed.  When I stepped into a local boutique and saw similar items priced at $14 for 3 I was even less impressed thinking “WOW! How can I put a review together that does not discuss that these are 300 times the cost of hair ties you can pick up at any convenience store, or even *Gasp* the one buck shops?” But then I gave them a try.  I may not personally spend $3 on one hair tie but I can honestly say the Twistband is not your average hair tie.  I would bet that the headbands are also quite nice – not the squeeze your brain out of your ear feel I normally get.  I could even see them being perfect for babies if you go in for adorning your little miss with bows – a flower or bow could easily be sewn on.  The company also offers shoelaces, gifts, customization and limited edition pieces.  These could easily become the new collectible for fashionistas.

Right now they are offering free shipping, loyalty points and even a monthly subscription service. These would make a great gift at baby showers, bridal showers, for the yoga lover in your life, as goody bag stuffers, giveaways and incentives! Check out a little more on how this woman owned company got its start:image

Meet the Founder: Jessica Frandson

Like all great inventions, Twistband was born out of necessity. After having a baby, Jessica Frandson grew tired of having her hair tugged by the little one and quickly learned the least painful hairstyle for a new mom was a ponytail. She made sure to always have her hair up and kept a second band on her wrist as a backup. Traditional hair bands hurt her head and her wrist, so she twisted a soft piece of elastic trim to hold back her hair, thus creating the first Twistband. A few weeks later she was looking to write down a phone number and in the absence of a notepad, she wrote the number onher Twistband, and the custom message Twistband was born. In 2009 she officially launched the Twistband brand and began selling the product at retail stores nationwide. Jessica serves as the president of Twistband, overseeing all aspects of the emerging brand.

All about Twistband

We all remember the days of the hair scrunchy. Easy to wear, enough styles to match any outfit, and they slid comfortably on your wrist between wearings. But as style evolved, our once-beloved scrunchy became a fashion “don’t,” creating the need for a new breed of hair accessories. Elastic bands tug on hair, cause headaches and can leave dents in your hair when you take it down. But with the introduction of the Twistband that is all about to change.
Twistbands are ponybands and headbands made of elastic trim. They stretch to support any hairstyle, yet are slim and sleek enough to wear on your wrist when you want to let your hair down. Twistbands are available in a variety of colors, patterns and fabrics to complement any style. And with prices ranging from $5-12 for a set of three you can have one in every color!
Twistbands are offered in a wide range of styles and collections to suit anyone or any need, including couture and fashion, athletics, toddlers through tweens, and licensed and branded logos and messaging. In addition to the fashion Twistbands sold at retail, the line is also available for corporate and promotional branding. The ponybands and headbands can be printed with logos or messages, making them a perfectly unique and stylish way to spread your word.
Twistbands provide a slew of uses beyond a hair accessory. Wear it as a bracelet; wear a branded Twistband to make a statement; commemorate a bachelorette or birthday party with custom-printed bands … the uses are endless!


Price Range: $3-$12

Being Active Everyday is Easier with Music

image Truly, it is easier to be active with music – it speaks not just to our souls, but to our muscles.  The right type of music can entice even a tired body to wiggle, and giggle.  Music is mood enhancing and can be positively uplifting during routine workouts.  Research supports that the tempo of music has motivational properties so why is it then that more people are not dusting off the mp3 device and taking to the trails? Donning headphones or relays can be a real pain.  It seems the only things that stay put are heavy and burdensome while the ones that come with most of our favorite (insert vowel)devices are just plain useless.  They slip out of your ears without provocation and are uncomfortable even when they manage to stay in the ear.  Even worse they lack the ability to transmit the quality of sound one expects.

Enter Sol Republic Relays. In-ear Relays offer the benefits of a sports headphone but have amazing style that looks great anytime. With Relays, they introduced FreeFlex™ technology, which is wrapped around the new i5 Sound Engine. FreeFlex enables Relays’ universal fit and makes them easy to put in your ear and stay there regardless of how intensely you move. Relays deliver the sound and style to keep you going whether you’re commuting on the Max, running after work or pushing through to meet a deadline.
I love Relays because they just fall right in, without needing adjustments or fidgeting, and they are easier to use than most earbuds. The lightweight, low-profile design is the perfect teammate for any sport, but Relays stay put without the cumbersome, heavy clips or bulky bands that are standard on most sports headphones. From the streets to the trails, the train to the slopes, Relays keep up with you and your music without sacrificing amazing sound or style.
For sports and outdoor use, Relays are water and sweat resistant, and have a clip-on cable that ensures the cable won’t ever get caught.  I can’t tell you how many times I have had earbuds ripped from my ears while lifting free weights – it is actually an embarrassing occurrence, especially when my players comes crashing to the ground!

No need to change headphones when commuting or working because the easily accessible mic and phone control lets you seamlessly stay in touch. Adjusting volume or switching tracks is easy and essential for finding the right song for the next step of your day.
Like all other SOL REPUBLIC in-ear headphones Relays are part of an exclusive “Ear Tips for Life” program so you never have to worry if you lose your ear tips. SOL REPUBLIC is the only manufacturer that will replace your ear tips anytime they are lost, misplaced or if you simply want a different size. Relays ship with four different size ear tips for the perfect fit as well as a carrying case to keep them protected when not in use.
SOL REPUBLIC Relays are available now in Black for $79.99 at Verizon Wireless: and and will be available nationwide in Black & White, Horizon Blue and Lemon Lime at leading nationwide retailers in February 2014.

So that is the fitness, exercise activity side of these little guys, now let me get really real with you.  I am currently finishing up the last half of my training as a Primary Montessori Guide, having recently moved to Portland from Chicagoland, and confined to one fourth the sized living space my family of five is accustomed to. I have a decent amount of classwork for this and the accompanying Masters degree in Education. This would not be a problem if we were not on the third floor of an apartment building with no way to send the kids “safely out to play” (since the nearest park is several blocks away.) My children experience bouts of excitement and of course sibling rivalry like all children – agreeing with Montessori theory and principles does not make me immune from parenting mistakes – and when this happens the cacophony that ensues can be debilitating. I just plus the Sol Republic relays into my computer, pop the buds into my ears and instant silence, or relaxing ambient sounds.  Concentration I am back!  I’m not sure that this was the intended design purpose but what mother can deny noise cancelling ear buds!*

*My husband is always present, I do not recommend using anything that does not allow for a child to be heard when needed, this is merely a way for me to remove auditory distractions from my focus when I am not the one in charge.  

I received a pair of Sol Republic In-Ear Relays for review.  I was not paid in any way for this review and the opinions expressed are given freely.

Natural Medicine Cabinet Burn, Insect Bite and Pain Relief with Zim’s


I recently received samples of Perfecta Products- Zim’s® Advanced, Zim’s Crack Cream and Zim’s® Arnica Max. I was not compensated in anyway and the opinions expressed are completely my own.  Zim’s Advanced Crack Cream with Hydrocortisone is the latest in naturally-based first aid products that help with a host of skin care issues including rashes, insect bites, eczema and psoriasis. For some reason in the middle of October here in the Pacific Northwest it is a feeding frenzy for mosquitoes. Maybe its the sudden onslaught of rainy days creating standing water that hatches the little larvae, I have no idea but I do have three dozen mosquito bites that are the itchiest things ever!  Amazingly three days into a scratching nightmare my samples arrived and I can’t sing the praises of the Crack Cream enough.  It is a thick cream with IMG_6400[1] a mellow earthy smell, absorbs right into the skin and does not leave a chalky residue.  It is very effective in eradicating itchiness, and I think it may even shrink or constrict the venom area.  I originally used the cream on only one leg so I would have a control group (my other leg) and in by the next day the large red welts were tinnier specks on the leg I used Crack Cream, they were no longer vexing me but the other leg was still itchy.

Thank goodness we have not has a call yet to use the Zim’s Advanced Gel with Acemannan to help treat cuts, scrapes, abrasions and burns. Although it would be a great product to have around if you have toddlers like I do.  Last month my daughter stuck her hand into a tiny Ikea lamp that my teenage son has on his desk, it caused quite a burn we had to use an OTC chemical cream, I would have much preferred something like this, with arnica for the pain and aloe vera for the healing and soothing.

Zim’s Advanced Gel with Acemannan will be available in a 3-oz. version and Zim’s Advanced with Hydrocortisone will be available in a 3-oz. cream form as well as a 3.25-oz. continuous spray.  
“We are not just about cracked skin anymore,” said Perfecta Products, Inc. Director of Marketing & Sales Mark Smith.”Our new Zim’s Advanced items are designed to meet consumers’ request for more natural-based products. We have combined science and nature to create superior products.”
In addition to Zim’s Advanced, Perfecta Products will also release Zim’s Arnica Max. Zim’s Arnica Max includes a proprietary blend of Arnica and Aloe Vera which includes organic Aloe, natural Menthol and Arnica. It will be available in 4-oz. gel and 3-oz. roll-on.

Arnica is one of the most popular homeopathic medicines and used by many athletes and weekend warriors worldwide. This week I have been observIMG_6399[1]ing in a Montessori classroom as part of my program for certification as an AMI Guide and my Masters of Education.  The constant sitting and then hunching over to write about children’s movements in my journal has left me with a stiff neck.  In the mornings I slather on some of the Arnica Max gel and I am good to go for six hours of sitting. It does have a faint menthol smell, but that dissipates after application, unlike more medicinal smelling rubs and balms.

“Perfecta Products has been a leader in the use of arnica and other natural products in the topical analgesics category. We have been using it in our products for more than 60 years,” said Smith. “We felt it was important to bring out a new product specially formulated using maximum arnica to provide temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscle and joints associated with simple backache, arthritis, strains, bruises and sprains.”

Zim’s Arnica Max will be sold in stores and through online retailers by the end of the year. It is positioned to provide better value and better savings for customers and bigger margin for retailers. The 4-oz. gel or 3-oz. roll-on at a suggested retail price of $9.99 offers a significantly lower cost per ounce than the leading brands of Arnica topical products. I would suggest keeping these bottles somewhere out of the reach of children, although they are natural, and the Crack Cream is organic, they still are very easy to open and squeeze out – even if your child isn’t a risk taking taster of non-food products these can still be messy fun when squeezed, trust me on this one!

The Zim’s® line offers a number of different over-the-counter solutions for pain relief, skin and lip care. I have never tried the lip balm and am a big fan personally of products for lips that do not contain menthol or mint, little lips seem to be more sensitive and my kids scream when their chapped lips are exposed to most products.  The $7.99 Vitamin E stick can get very expensive when lost regularly  by three kids, so the Zim’s $1.99 stick seems like a steal. . The Zim’s product line aims to expand consumers’ options for quality topical products. To learn more about the Zim’s product line and Perfecta Products Inc., visit For more information about the products, feel free to check out their website or Facebook page

About Perfecta Products, Inc.™

Based in North Lima, Ohio, Perfecta Products Inc. is the national manufacturer and distributor of the Zim’s® product line, a dynamic line of naturally-based consumer products. The Zim’s product line features different over-the-counter solutions, formulated with naturally-based herbal ingredients, for pain relief, skin care, lip care, elder care and first aid. Perfecta Products, Inc. was founded over 60 years ago to help cement workers with their dry, cracked hands and feet with its flagship product, Zim’s Crack Creme. Today, Perfecta Products’ brands can be found in nearly every major retailer in North America. For more information, visit or call 800-319-2225.

Natural Summer Products to Keep You Looking and Feeling Super

I received samples of products in order to complete this review.  I was not compensated in any way and the opinions expressed are given freely and my own.

Summer finally rolled into our area and with it the need to keep hydrated both internally and externally – we all want to be comfortable in our skin. Don’t you want to look, feel and smell your very best? Check out some of the great new finds for summer.

Comfort starts with how we feel about ourselves and our bodies.  In the last year I have undergone a lot of changes to health and found that I can not eat all of the things I used to love: including wheat, garlic and onions.  When I do my stomach and intestines lead a revolt against me that has me curled in a fetal position and lacking sleep.  That’s when I grab for juices or cleanses.  I am not a fan of juicing – it leaves you with no fiber and lots of sugar, and I don’t believe that the population needs to cleanse but when my intestines are freaking out I like to go with something very basic with one or two ingredients that I know I can eat and get nutrients from without any of the inflammation.

Enter Kaeng Raeng 

Unlike other cleanses, you can eat as many raw fruits and vegetables you’d like over the course of the detox, and you don’t have to change your exercise image routine.  Created by certified personal trainer Lindsay Reinsmith, Kaeng Raeng means “be healthy, be strong” in Thai. Each Kaeng Raeng pouch is a full meal replacement and contains more than a full serving of fruit and fiber, 15g of lean non-GMO protein, probiotics, essential amino acids and vitamins, so you can detox without depriving yourself of important nutrients—or of flavor.

Kaeng Raeng is vegan, gluten-free, caffeine-free, eco-friendly, and contains no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, laxatives or stimulants. Celebs such as Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Silverstone and Lauren Conrad are all fans. I followed the mixing instructions and even added a little extra water but there was an overall too earthy taste for me with the flavors not shining through enough.  I also wound up with a paste in the bottom of each water bottle I used – it was nasty – like mushy flaxseeds.  Other than the taste and texture at the bottom, it was quite filling and not unbearable. Again, I used it when I needed to eat “clean” for me – with a guarantee of nothing new to over stimulate my system, I don’t recommend using cleanses to lose weight or stay healthy – those goals should be achieved through moderation and a healthy lifestyle.

Along with IBS can come dehydration, especially in the summer.  My younger son also has epilepsy and as part of his treatment we need to be sure he does not overheat or become dehydrated, that is where SOS+ steps in. In a nutshell SOS is a “drinkable IV,” the only drink to use the World Health Organization’s oral rehydration solution standard to provide the right balance of electrolytes and sugars for optimum hydration. It comes in single serving packets that are simply added to water, creating a drink with mild lemon flavor.

The Science Behind SOS

image SOS is a complex, specially formulated blend of sugar, sodium, potassium, citrate and magnesium. When fluid arrives at the first portion of the small bowel SOS activates the body’s sodium/glucose co-transport system when one molecule of sodium is pulled from the small intestine into blood vessels by one molecule of glucose. Due to osmotic forces, water is absorbed because it follows sodium.

Many sports drinks attempt to hydrate and fuel, but higher sugar levels often leads to GI distress. Sugar increases osmolality (the measure of solute concentration), and instead of pushing water into the blood vessels, it pulls it into the gut, causing bloating or even diarrhea.  For this reason SOS has only 25 calories per serving and a low osmolality of 230 Osm/L to more effectively transport water into the body.

SOS does have a very mild lemon flavor, it can be hard to get children to drink because it is quite salty tasting.  I could not trick mine to believe it was lemonade, but when they were thirsty after running around they definitely enjoyed sipping this, especially handy to keep around during flu season to keep everyone hydrated.  It is of course great for athletes and to use before, during and after exercise to keep yourself hydrated.

After Workouts Stay Sexy

image With the weather warming up, people flock to the gym to get that beach body that’s been hiding all winter long. Rocking a summer body is in this summer, but those intense workouts can have you sporting a not-so clear complexion. The combination of warm weather and sweat can make skin even more breakout prone, which is not on any summer check list.
M3K’s Bare Face & Fabulous Face Wash/Toner and Make-up remover is a must have for summer facial routines. Bare Faced & Fabulous face wash is packed with wonderful supernatural ingredients such as Goji Berry, Acacia Berry, Aloe Vera, Grape Seed Extract, Peppermint Oil, Ginko Biloba Leaf and much more. This three-in-one foaming cleanser comes in a convenient no spill pump and is ideal addition to anyone’s gym bag.

I have been giving this a try over the last week and was instantaneously a fan of the pump and foam.  I hate leaving facial bars in the shower to get mushy or attract errant facial hair from the hubs shaving. The first time I used this cleanser though I was disappointed by the smell, it was very medicinal and smelled much like over the counter acne products.  Then I took I shower with my kids in the bathroom, they touch everything and pulled my cleanser off of the tub ledge and it rolled to the floor – getting all shook up.  That did the trick.  With a shaken liquid the foam that comes out smells of peppermint and leaves your face feeling tingly and toned.  My skin has been looking brighter too.

Don’t Smell like a Workout

Would you ice an organic, low sugar cake with store bought tub frosting? No. Then why would you take such good care of yourself, eating, exercising and cleaning your body with the best products only to spritz on anything other than natural fragrances? Your scent should be as gentle on your body as the rest of your self care routine. Step into the smell of Pure Natural Diva. You can even test drive the smells with a sample set.  I received a sample set and immediately my inner diva slapped a little Diva on.  It was too cloyingly vanilla in its scent for me – but I’m not used to a pure vanilla botanical and may have slopped on instead of slapping on.

Natural was my favorite scent probably because of its notes of ylang ylang with hints of rose, along with the dilating scent of grapefruit.image

Elixir was a favorite of my children who used almost the entire vial – which could definitely be too much when first applied.  Before it evaporates it has the smell of household cleaner, but once on the scent lightens up into something unique and subtle, very familiar though I could not place the notes individually it reminds me of cooking smells – not quite the smells of baking like vanilla or cinnamon, but more like those of my favorite Indian restaurant – maybe jasmine?

I did not receive Pure but it is listed as sensually uplifting, like sunny day in a mixed field of lemongrass and Lavender. Notes include uplifting cassie, soothing chamomile, lemon, lime and an Egyptian neroli. I am a big fan of lemongrass so I may have to snag my own trio sample once we land in Portland so I can try it out.

Sponsored Win a Kitchen Makeover From Your Food Photos

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

image Dishwashing isn’t a chore around our house considering that wonderful modern invention the dishwasher does all of the work.  There is nothing more disappointing than having to rewash dishes that just went through a complete pot scrubber cycle – and we own a dual drawer brand new dishwasher.  I must admit that I am a fan of frequenting the discount store variety of detergents and even when I spend a few dollars more on the name brand guaranteed to get your plates pristine I am still not happy with the outcome. To make matters worse our top drawer also suffers from buildup of brown residue and at times a stench – not really a place you want to rely on to wash your dishes or eat from. Our dishwasher is supposedly a high efficiency so I am always shocked that its takes 2-3 hours per cycle to run our dishes through and then they come out with either food or soap caked on.

I gave the Cascade Platinum samples I received a try. They have an increased enzyme power that lets them deliver a tough food cleaning better than Cascade Complete Pacs for sure.  We have in the past tried the Complete Pacs and my boys are not known for rinsing their dishes before loading – something that caused a problem.  I switched us out to Cascade Platinum and even sticky mac n cheese residue didn’t last on my dishes. I definitely did not see any of the soap or hard water residue that we would get when using other brands.  As for our dishwasher? Well it didn’t get any worse and it actually smelled better.  I am certain if I took up the long arduous task of taking apart the racks to clean it, it would stay clean while using Cascade Platinum and at $.29 per dose it makes it a time and money saving proposition to just use a better product in the first place.  Honestly, who has the time to prewash, dish-wash and then rewash dishes? And what is the point of a dishwasher if it doesn’t do its job??

I’m not big into entertaining since we are in the middle of a move but it can be quite embarrassing to have someone over for a meal and provide them a delicious dinner on a dirty dish. Now, more than ever, people eat with their eyes, and the evidence is all over sites like Facebook and Instagram. With that in mind, Top Chef judge and editor of Food+Wine magazine, Gail Simmons, has partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation.

· From prep to plating: It’s more than just a great-tasting recipe, but also perfect presentation. Sparkling dishes, shining flat ware and spot-free glasses truly let you put your best food forward with culinary creations that pop!

· Gail recommends impressing with a Platinum Presentation: “The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.”

Learn more about Cascade’s partnership with Gail Simmons by viewing videos available on the Link to the Cascade Facebook page: and Cascade YouTube page:

Are you into impressing others with photos of your food on social media sites such as Instagram? You can get in on the clean action too! Before you send a photo of that green smoothie or vegan salad, slap a #MyPlatinum and @MyCascade on it to enter to win (you must register too, please view all contest details)

The Cascade “My Platinum” contest is a four-week Instagram contest encouraging fans to upload photos related to the weekly contest themes. Show off how sparkly Cascade makes all your pots, pan and plates!

· Visit the contest landing page ( for information on how to enter and submit images:

·Each week will have a 6-day entry period where Instagram users can enter the contest with their #MyPlatinum Photo. Cascade will choose two weekly winners and one final grand prize winner after the entry period has ended. Please be sure to include both the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade in your entries to the contest!

· Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-6/9)image

Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!

· Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-6/16)

Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware! 

· Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-6/23)

Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!

· Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-6/30)

Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!

Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-6/30)

I would love to win the kitchen makeover, but as of next week I will be kitchen-less for a while.  Even though I don’t know where my new kitchen will be I know I will use Cascade Platinum for stuck on, grimy dishes that need a complete cleaning.