Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Find the Art You're Looking for at FulcrumGallery.com

Whenever I see paintings and art, it always brings back fond memories of art class in middle school and high school. I always loved sketching, painting and working with different mediums. It was a lot of fun and a great way to relax. I was absolutely terrible at it, but it was fun nevertheless. I remember working on a painting in art class for a couple of days and it was supposed to be a dinosaur from the Jurassic era. I came home with it and proudly showed it off to my parents. They told me that I did such a great job painting a camel. I knew I was a pretty horrible artist so we laughed about it when I told them it was actually a dinosaur and it still got hung up in my room.

Thankfully, now, I don't have to paint my own paintings to hang up in my home because FulcrumGallery.com has so many beautiful paintings to choose from. Their site is amazingly easy to use and everything is so well organized. There are a several different ways to sort through the myriad of options available. If you're looking for a particular color scheme, FulcrumGallery.com allows you to sort by color. If you are looking for art for a particular room, FulcrumGallery.com has that covered too. Being able to sort and organize the kind of art you're looking for really puts you in control of your choices. I was fortunate enough to be able to choose and review a piece that I really liked.

I chose this painting:

Some things I really liked about working with FulcrumGallery was:

I was really impressed with how fast my painting got here. FulcrumGallery.com really keeps you updated with your order and shipping throughout the entire process.

Another thing I really liked was the customization. I was able to choose my frame, my medium and the type of glass on the painting. It was all very personal and it made me feel like I was important to the company.

The quality of the painting and the frame is superb. The painting is obviously printed on high quality paper and the frame is made of sturdy wood. The use of high quality materials is reassuring and it feels very durable.

I once again have to boast about the organization of the site. It's so remarkably easy to use and there is bound to be a piece for anyone. They not only have paintings, but also photographs and the sheer volume of pieces to choose from makes it hard to pick a favorite.

I would say the only con is that it is a little bit pricey, but you get what you pay for: high quality paintings and workmanship.

I am so happy to have been able to review a piece from FulcrumGallery and I know I will be a repeat visitor on their site. I would recommend Fulcrum Gallery to anyone who would love to spruce up their home or office with a new painting or photograph.

*Disclosure: I was provided with a painting in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are unbiased and my own. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Taking a 2-Week Challenge with Pond's

Recently, @Influenster gave me the opportunity to try @Ponds Rejuveness and Clarant B3 moisturizers as part of their program. I was very happy to try both as they claimed to remove fine lines and wrinkles and leave behind radiant, luminous skin. Now who wouldn't want that? #SeeForYourself #contest

Influenster challenged me to a 2-week challenge to see how well the Pond's Rejuveness would work in removing fine lines from my skin. Now that the 2 weeks are over, this is what I thought: overall I would have to say Pond's does a great job with diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, however there were a few issues I had.

1. I was left with noticeably radiant skin. After 2 weeks I really found that my skin looked more radiant-I had that great glow to my skin instead of a somewhat luster I had come to expect. I'm very pleased with how well Pond's worked on my skin in terms of radiance.

2. I also felt my fine lines were diminished. I had a few lines near my eye area and while they made me look distinguished and wise (that's what I tell myself), they weren't really me. After 2 weeks of using Pond's, they don't seem very obvious to me any more. While I'm not saying they have disappeared, they definitely aren't in your face any more and I feel with another couple of weeks of using Pond's may make another significant reduction.

3. The scent after a couple of days. Note that I say a couple of days (you can read about that below). However, after a couple of days, I found the scent to be light, mild, fresh and faintly reminiscent of sandalwood. Sandalwood is one of my personal favorite scents so I was pretty happy with the scent and think it feels great on my skin.

1. The scent when I first opened the jar. I don't know if it was a fluke or this is just the way it was, but when I first opened the jar, there was a really strange smell coming from the cream. I'm not even sure how to describe it, but it was very raw if that makes any sense. It was a really weird smell and I couldn't wear the cream on the first day. When I checked the next day, the smell had almost completely faded, but I could still smell a bit of it. On the third day, the smell was completely gone and I actually found the smell was really nice. I wore it then and it was perfectly fine.

2. Not enough moisture. I find that when I wore it on a very dry day, it didn't have enough moisture to keep my skin hydrated. On more humid days, it was fine, but on dry days, my skin got very dry. I needed to use an extra moisturizer in order to keep my skin from becoming too dry.

All in all, I was very happy with Pond's Rejuveness and Clarant B3. They really did work like the claims advertised. The one thing I would improve is their hydration power and that weird smell in the beginning (or was that just me?), but overall Pond's has done a really great job of coming up with a fine lines/wrinkle reducer.

*Disclosure: I received this product for free from Influenster in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Party Featuring Sleep

The one thing I thought I'd never write was the words "party" and "sleep" in the same sentence. Of course if it's a dull party, sleep might just be the best option. In fact, I remember this one time...I diverge-back to the topic at hand. Thanks to Tryazon, I was given the chance to host a "Let Mom Sleep" Party. It involved a small sleep monitor called a Beddit and numerous pairs of Dearfoam slippers.

Before I hosted my party, I tried the Beddit for a week; the sensor sticks to the mattress beneath the sheets and plugs in into an outlet. You simply connect it to your smartphone via Bluetooth (it's compatible with the iPhone 5 and above as well as many Android devices), configure and press the start sleeping button when you're ready for bed. Voila! The next morning you hit stop sleeping on your phone and it gives you all the info you need about how well you slept. This is what one day's worth of sleep monitoring looks like:

Pretty cool isn't it? Of course I used the day that I slept the best so everyone can't see what terrible numbers I got otherwise. Guess I needed some sleep improvement, which I always knew, but didn't really know how I could improve. The beddit not only tells you your sleep score, but gives you tips for improvement. A few of mine were: don't go to sleep until you're tired, Be consistent with the times you go to sleep and get up around the same time everyday including weekends. It turns out this was pretty good advice; after following it I ended up with this nice, shiny 98!

Beddit recommends that your sleep score be over 85 and if it's not, to look at where you're losing points. A lot of mine were on waking up frequently during the night and *sigh* snoring. I never believed my husband when he told me I snored; well now he has proof and he knows it. Ugh beddit, why must you be so observant?!

All kidding aside though, I love the Beddit and how well it works. It tells me a bunch of sleep stats which are pretty interesting to know. I also get tips and get to see if I get enough sleep each night. Another feature I thought was pretty cool was the deep sleep feature. I can actually see when I'm going into deep sleep! In the night overview chart, I can tell at what times I went into deep sleep and how long I'm in it. That's just too cool! You can check out the Beddit and read more about the science behind it at Beddit's website.

Anyways, after my long rant about the awesomeness of the Beddit, I'm going to just give a quick summary of the party I had. Each gal (and guy) who came to the party got to take home an super awesome goody bag featuring Dearfoam slippers. Those super soft, super comfy slippers were a hit with everyone and they were all pretty excited when they saw the slippers. Everyone tried them on and wore them for the rest of the day. Visit Dearfoams website to check out their new Spring line and more slippers.

I even managed to get a picture of a few people wearing their Dearfoams. Anyways, I have to thank #tryazon for this amazing opportunity as well as #dearfoam and #beddit for providing such an amazing party pack. This party was a hit because of the great new and innovative items we all got to see.

*Disclosure: I received a party pack with Dearfoams and a Beddit for free from Tryazon in exchange for hosting a party and sharing on my social media. However, all opinions are mine. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Customer Service Spotlight: Olay

Every once in a while, I will come across a company with either terrible or wonderful customer service. This time it seems Oil of Olay is in the spotlight.

A few days ago, I called Olay's customer service to inquire about a prize that I had won from Allure Magazine's August giveaway. To my consternation, they had no idea what I was talking about and I was transferred from department to department with no sign of ever figuring out what was going on. I took it all in stride and explained my situation repeatedly. Finally, I got to a customer service rep who told me there was no such giveaway and I was wrong. I'll admit I grew frustrated and told her I was a long time customer and that I wasn't going to buy Olay any longer if this was the kind of treatment I would get. She, in a very casual manner said, "Okay, that's fine". I was livid! In my mind, she could have at least checked or asked me to send her the link to the giveaway or the winner's list as proof. Either of these would have been fine. I would have even been okay with a "I'm sorry, but we can't fulfill it", so that I'd at least have an explanation. However, being transferred from person to person and finally being told I had no idea what I was talking about and saying I don't really matter as a customer was the last straw. I hung up the phone by angrily pressing end call, wishing that I had an older model phone so that I could angrily slam the receiver down.

I then wrote to Olay on their Facebook page and told them about my experience. I received a message a couple of days later with a promise to make things right. They assured me that my experience would not be taken lightly and that the views of one rep did not represent the views of their company. Today, I received a package from Olay with 2 of my favorite full size Olay products and another full size Olay product that I had wanted to try. They also included a handwritten note(!!!) expressing how much they appreciate having me as a customer. This, ladies and gentlemen, is exemplary customer service! I would never have expected that a company as large as Olay would take my comments personally and make sure that I as an individual was happy with their service. I was wrong-Olay absolutely went above and beyond what I felt was necessary. Having been a 10+ year customer of Olay's, I feel like my loyalty is appreciated by them and that they will do whatever they can to keep me as a customer and to keep me happy. I'm absolutely blown away by their commitment to their customers! 

I am now an Olay customer for life and can honestly recommend them to everyone. There aren't a whole lot of companies who will listen to you and ensure that they make things right. With both high quality products and an exemplary customer service team, Olay really is the whole package. 

*Note: Olay neither expected nor requested this review. It was done wholly based on my own inclination to promote their superb customer service and products. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Versatile Multi Use Argan Oil

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Argan oil has always been one of my favorite products because it is so versatile. You can use it on hair, nails, skin-it's literally a jack of all trades. I was given the chance to use Argan Oil by Adovia skin care. I've used some of their products before and have been pleased with them so I had high expectations for the Argan oil as well.

According to their site the Argan oil is 100% cold pressed organic oil. They also mention a list of other benefits:

  • Argan oil contains a high concentration of skin-loving fatty acids and Vitamin E to moisturize skin and provide a layer of protection against environmental irritants and sun damage. This oil is gentle enough for all skin types and can be used on the entire body, including the delicate skin on the face and neck.
  • Argan oil is one of nature’s most effective age-fighting skin superfoods. It absorbs quickly and cleanly, leaving no messy residue behind, and restores skin’s elasticity and vibrancy. It diminishes the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles by plumping the skin and improving its ability to retain moisture.
  • Argan oil can be used to strengthen dry, brittle nails. Its softening properties make it an ideal cuticle ointment, effective in healing cracked cuticles and promoting the growth of strong, healthy nails. Simply massage the oil into your cuticles twice a day to restore moisture and strength to your nails.

So does the Argan oil by Adovia Skin Care live up to it's claims? I can definitely say it works incredibly well on hair. My hair is usually pretty dry and can get super frizzy if left untamed. However, after a couple of drops of Argan oil, it's texture and smoothness is remarkably improved. It also doesn't feel like an oil field in your hair; I've tried other oils before which leave your hair oily and greasy-not cool. Argan oil isn't like that. It left my hair shiny and smooth without being oily.

I can also attest to it's nail revitalizing properties. While I don't have dry, brittle nails, my cuticles sometimes get a little dry and look terrible. Argan oil solved that problem; with just a couple of drops applied onto the cuticles, it really helped their appearance.

Unfortunately, I haven't tried Argan oil on my skin, but I will have to soon.

All in all, I would say Argan Oil by Adovia Skin Care is a good investment to make in terms of beauty products. Being that it is so versatile and that you can use it on so many different things, it's a great value and you can't go wrong with it's moisturizing and revitalizing properties.

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

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Personalize and Customize your Favorite Artwork at FramedArt.com

Seeing different artwork always reminds me of a funny story that happened to me a few years ago. I had gone to a garage sale near my house to see if I could find something nice. An abstract art painting caught my attention and as I was looking at it, the lady running the garage sale told me I could take it for free because she needed to get rid of all the stuff she had in her house. I was thankful and brought the painting home with me and hung it up in my dining room. It looked nice and the color matched the room so all was well. A few months later, we had a family over who we had met through a common friend; we had only spoken a couple of times so we were still getting to know each other. As I was setting the table, the lady looked at the painting I had hanging on the wall and complimented me on the artwork. She spoke about how the mood of the painting set a somber tone and how each spot of paint was a reminder of the contrast of human emotion. I nodded my head and smiled. After about 5 minutes, she said, "Okay, I'm going to be honest, I just made that all up. I have no idea what I just said". We both laughed and I told her I got it at a garage sale for free so she didn't have to try to impress me with her knowledge on abstract art. It definitely broke the ice though and we are great friends now! 

So what's the point of this somewhat long story? Regardless of what the artwork is, it's always a great conversation starter. That's why I was so excited when I was contacted by Cassidy from FramedArt.com to review one of their pieces. There are so many paintings and artwork at FramedArt.com that it was so hard to choose. Eventually, I found just the piece I was subconsciously searching for-this beautiful peacock portrait. 

It's 15" X 19" and looks great on my living room wall. Working with FramedArt.com is easy and I had a lot of fun picking out the painting I liked. 

1. Variety: There are so many different art forms that you can choose from. Abstract, traditional, fine art, photography; they've literally got it all. 

2. Customization: You can customize the kind of print you want. I chose framed canvas, but you can have it laminated, framed, choose the type of glass you want on top. There are so many different ways you can customize it to your needs. 

3. Quality: I've gotten prints from other companies before and they've been somewhat lacking. Not so with FramedArt.com. The quality of the print I received is supreme-it's high quality and the frame is also solid wood. They do not cut corners when it comes to high quality art. 

4. Packaging: A lot of times, this is overlooked. When I received my box with my painting, I could tell they took care to wrap it up well and ship it safely. The painting had been securely packaged so as to avoid mishaps and accidents. 

5. Customer service: This is another overlooked aspect of businesses. I think a product is only as good as the people who back it up. FramedArt.com has great customer service. Cassidy was there for every step of the order process and made sure I got everything in a timely manner. I was very happy with how I was treated. 

6. Easy to use website: One of the things I hate about online shopping sites are if they don't have the ability to filter. It drives me insane! However, FramedArt.com allows you to filter by print, frame, subject, size etc. They also allow you to sort by a variety of different characteristics. I love this! I like to organize things and this is one way I can organize my thought process as I choose a painting. 

1. Price: It can be a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. These are high quality art prints, which may cost a lot more elsewhere. With the deals and clearance FramedArt.com always seems to have, you could really get a great piece of art for a real steal. 

My experience with FramedArt.com has been wonderful! Browsing through the site, ordering and receiving my painting has been easy and fun to do. The painting is of high quality and looks amazing on my wall. I truly would recommend using FramedArt.com to buy art-you can't go wrong!

To browse or buy go here

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*Disclosure: I was provided with a print of my choice in exchange for a review. No other compensation was provided. Please note that all opinions are my own and are unbiased.