Friday, May 29, 2015

HomeEco Plant-A-Bottle Review!

When a wonderful lady who works with me gave me a piece of a Wandering Jew, I didn't think it would survive. I literally threw it in a cup of water and waited for it to die. It's not that I didn't like's just that I'm horrible with plants. Animals...I can do. Plants...for some reason...I have a black thumb.

To my extreme surprise, the plant not only lived, but THRIVED! Since it had made it through my harsh treatment of sometimes forgetting to add water to the cup, I figured it could stick around. BUT I felt the pressure of getting it to live and taking care of it! I knew that I would have to be SUPER nice to it to get it to live.

Around the same time, I saw a promotion come up for HomeEco's Plant-A-Bottle. I was interested because it could very well make my plant experience easier. Soon, I had my own set of four of the stakes, free to review.

The first thing that I noticed about the stakes is that they're made of bisque-fired clay. This is very smart. Bisque-fired clay is very porous and therefore, would allow the moisture to pull through it. However, I needed to see it to believe it.

The purpose of the Plant-A-Bottle is to turn any bottle into a large water supply that will deplete as the plant needs it. However, because I have cats, I won't use this with a bottle. They'll knock it over, water and dirt will go everywhere, and I'll swear that they're all going to the pound (even though that never matter how much they hurt me or ruin my things). It's not worth the potential mess. So...I've decided to use them by filling the reservoir with water, and leaving it at that. You can use it either way!

As the dirt dries, it pulls the water through the fired clay-body and to the plant roots, as it needs it. I saw it in action, and can say that the water DOES soak through. Because the process is so slow, you don't have to worry about your plant drowning. You also don't have to worry about missing a day of watering. If you decide to water, the dirt becomes moist and additional water isn't pulled out of the stake. It's literally a supply-and-demand system!

 They're also very durable. I've dropped one and it didn't even come close to breaking!

I really love these stakes! I can't wait to get more plants so that I can use them all!

If you're looking for an eco-friendly, efficient, and hassle-free way to water your plants, I would highly suggest Home Eco's Plant-A-Bottle system! See my video review below and get your set here!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Jammy Jams Brings the BEST in Lullabies!

Another review that I'm sharing on my personal page tonight because I know a lot of you are new mothers or expecting! This review is too sweet to keep to my review page and I think a lot of you will like it!
I saw this product and knew that I had to have it! If nothing else, I can use it in my classroom with the kiddos since it's calming, adorable, and it's all music that I can appreciate as an adult!
Lullaby music can be boring...drag on...all start to sound the same. It's especially hard for me to keep focused on it when I don't know any words.

Enter: Jammy Jams. The Jammy Jams label produces albums that are soothing instrumental (xylophone) versions of popular music. I sampled a wide selection that included the Billy Idol "Rock the Cradle" album (which included songs like "Rebel Yell" and "White Wedding"), "Lullabylooza - 90's Alternative Goes Lullaby" (think Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Cure), and "Once Upon A Rhyme - Lullaby Renditions of Hip Hop" (which includes Run DMC, Outkast, and 2Pac).
Those options were the ones that Gage and I selected. There's SO many others, including various versions of the Hip Hop albums, a baby Headbanger's album, Pop albums, 80's, Christian Contemporary, and even specific artists only (like Lady Gaga!).
I really love these albums! They're so much fun and I wouldn't go crazy hearing them over and over! I love that they're clear enough that you can hear the words inside of the instrumentals and not just the background music (sometimes that can make it hard to figure out the song).
My personal favorite was the 90's Alternative because it brought back memories of my bus rides to school during my elementary years. As an adult, I also tend to listen more to this genre than any other. It's exciting to know that I could share this music with my baby and not have to worry about the harshness of some instrumentals and some of the lyrics!
Here are some of the album covers! You can check out the selection ! ‪#‎jammyjams‬

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vita Sciences Maxasorb B12 Cream Review!

In my product review journey I've discovered a LOT of supplements that have made my overall health better. From energy boosts to focusing to hair growth, I've tried them all. One thing that I was interested in, but not sure of where to start, was reinforcing my immune system. Working around kids leads to sickness...quite often. I've heard of the Vitamin C remedy, but I wanted something more (as I'm already getting Vitamin C through a multi-vitamin). The more I researched, the more I became convinced that B12 is exactly what I needed!

As a vegetarian, there are certain vitamins that I need to get through means other than my food. B12 is one of these, and is highly suggested for nursing mothers, vegetarians, people who drink and smoke a lot, and elderly people.

The most noted benefit of B12 is the energy gain. It allows the body to convert carbs to glucose. Glucose is the sugar in grapes that cause them to be a sudden burst of energy. The body processes it quickly, and puts it to use immediately.

B12 is also fantastic for skin, hair, and nails. When you pick up a supplement for this purpose specifically, you will see it listed. It fortifies hair follicles and gives skin and hair a healthy glow.

The most interesting benefit I found was as a depression-fighter! Who knew that B12 would help to relieve stress and balance out the body? I'm all about feeling better! Along those lines, it also helps with blood pressure, which plays into the entire digestive and cardiovascular systems.

As for my experience with the product, I have to glides on smoothly, is scentless (to me, husband didn't report smelling it), and absorbs quickly. I can't say as to my actual blood pressure, vitamin absorption, etc. but I did notice a re-energized feeling the same days that I tested it.

Pick up your bottle here (  and get on your way to better health!

Fuse Essentials Lingerie Bag Review!

I HATE getting a really nice top, washing it, and then immediately regretting it. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why my lace-based tops kept getting little rubber bands all over them. In order to wear the top, I'd have to spend an hour trimming and yanking the little strings in order to be able to wear it. After this happened to two of my tops, I finally made the connection that it wasn't the clothes, necessarily, as much as it was my need to be more careful about washing them. I began to hand-wash these items, but I would eventually get absentminded and throw the top in the washer. I didn't really thing about it, but I knew that I needed some sort of something to help prevent this. When I was selected to review Fuse Essential's Lingerie Bags, I immediately thought of my lace-based tops.

The set that I reviewed had four bags total: 1 small, 1 medium, and 2 large. I noticed right away that it was very easy to see where the zipper was due to the pink material. The bag itself is soft, white mesh. It's not typical, large, jersey-type mesh. It's much, much finer. It's almost hard to see the holes, actually! As far as capacity goes, I would say that the large bag could easily fit one of my bulkier jackets. The small, obviously, could work for bras and underwear.

I threw in my favorite kimono that had an entire lace back into the medium bag and hoped for the best.  There was plenty of room left over. Much to my delight, when I pulled it out of the dryer, it hadn't suffered a single bit of damage. The best part was: none of those annoying rubber strings!

If you're looking for a great way to protect your lace-based clothing items, you NEED this set of bags!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Yellow Mountain Imports Royal 48 European Wood Chess Set Review!

In my journey as a new teacher, I've had a lot of successes and failures. From projects to classroom management to keeping a class pet...I've done it all. I'll spare you the details of the ups and downs and just get to it: I can't stand when my fails come at the expense of my budget. Whether it's buying too much of something, or getting supplies that are NOT good quality (I had to throw away 100 pencils one year because they were AWFUL and wouldn't sharpen no matter how we tried!), I hate to fail in that department because at that point, it's about the school's budget and our funding. I know it seems small, but that weighs on me, because I know how hard it can be to get materials!

That being said, when I can REVIEW a product for my classroom, I jump on the opportunity. This way, I can test something, form a solid opinion, and decide if it's best for my classroom/worth our budget money. I've tested pencils, markers, chalk, sketchbooks, and everything else I can get. But today, I'm introducing not only my favorite classroom review item, but my favorite item PERIOD that I've received to test. My Elementary Gifted and Talented students got to test out this set (since they are our school's chess team) and they LOVED it. They were in complete awe at the detail and quality of the chess set.

ToysNGamesEtc on Amazon produces a 48 piece wooden chess set. I didn't know what to expect upon being approved for this set, but I had a suspicion that it would be on the smaller side since wooden chest sets are more expensive to make than the flat, rubber mat ones. When the set arrived and I unboxed it, I literally had my breath taken away. Even at it being made out of wood, I didn't expect it to be NEARLY as nice! I noticed first that the box was about half the size that I expected it to be. Sliding it out of the box revealed that it folded in half and acted as it's own storage for the pieces.

The detail on the board is excellent! Even the outer edges (the side that would face you, not on the surface) are intricately detailed. The latches that hold the board shut in it's storage position are detailed, sturdy, and beautiful.

Upon opening the board, I noticed that the pieces were delightfully unlike any other chess pieces I've seen before. They are very obviously hand carved, from nice, solid wood. They are smooth, without any flaws or splinters. They fit perfectly into the storage spaces and their bottoms are covered in felt. This allows the pieces to glide easily across the board.

My favorite detail (other than the edge of the board) is the fact that the King and Queen pieces have accents of the opposite color on them. This ties the scheme of the board together, as does the burning of the letters and numbers around the perimeter of the board into the white squares.

The pieces are VERY beautiful and I can't believe that this set is so affordable. I love the fact that this set is handmade (in Poland) without using child labor. It seems to be extra messed up that companies would force children to work tirelessly and dangerously over something that another child would carelessly play with. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about that with this set!

 I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have! Do you have favorite games? If so, have you looked into a handmade version of the set?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Smart Weigh Digital Kitchen Scale Review!

Before getting married, Gage and I were holding off on investing in our kitchen utensils and devices until we saw what we would be getting. Now that we've used everything and have an idea of what we want to do, we're slowly getting additional things to help with our cooking. The biggest pain in the butt has been trying to keep up with measuring cups. However, when I was selected to review Smart Weigh's kitchen scale, I had no idea that this free product review would be so convenient! I expected that I would be able to weigh in ounces and I also expected to be able to track my hedgehog's weights, but I didn't expect the scale to be able to tell me how many cups of liquid I had just based on weight! It measures both milk AND water! I'm so stoked about this feature! It's the thing that REALLY made me fall in love with the scale! 

Besides measuring in so many different units, the scale is REALLY sharp looking! I expected nothing less after reviewing Smart Weigh's bathroom scale. Their designs are very futuristic, sleek, and modern. They're beautiful! The actual surface for weighing is thick, crystal-clear glass and the base is silver colored. The LED display is sharp and bright, and I have no issues reading it. The buttons operate smoothly and there's no doubt about what setting you're on. It's very easy to operate and understand. 

I keep my scale beside the kitchen sink, so I know it's been exposed to moisture. I won't say you should dunk it in the sink...but it's holding up fine in the splash zone/high humidity of the sink area. 

Overall, I'd highly recommend this kitchen scale if you're looking for a new one or even looking for a device that does it all! It fits with nearly any kitchen decor, and is sure to last for years! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Exinoz USA's Short USB Cable Review

At my house, there's never a charger to be found. We've got a TON of them, but it seems like we always lose them or misplace them until we don't need them. I'm pretty sure we're micro-usb cord hoarders at this point! I was offered the opportunity to receive Exinoz USA's charging cable in exchange for my honest opinion, and I jumped on it! The more the merrier!

When I received my charging cable, I first noticed that it is, in fact, very short. I wouldn't put it over four inches, if that. However, it is VERY sturdy. It's not flimsy and I don't feel like it will wear out any time soon. The USB part fits very snugly into my computer/battery bar (I use it primarily for that, because it's short) and the micro end goes into my phone smoothly and without issues.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this USB cable, especially if you're a battery bar user and are tired of having short cables wear out after a month or two!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

AWESOME Tire Gauge!

I recently received a free product sample of an AWESOME mechanical tire gauge! In the past I've had issues getting them to work, but I've found this one easy to apply and easy to read. I didn't have any difficulties! The gauge fit easily in my hand, wasn't hard to hold onto the tire, and was very easy for me to see with my crappy eyesight! I love how the gauge is large and red and allows for it to be found very quickly in my glove box. It's a great value for the price, and definitely worth the investment because you're not going to lose it easily!

"Six Force-Multiplying Insights" E-Book Review!

I recently read an interesting book about how to apply different concepts to my life to create a more productive, all around whole-er "me". It's really interesting and I really loved seeing how others such as Bill Gates have applied it to their own lives. It's an interesting read for sure, and really makes you think about how you can slightly alter the way you act, your attitude, and your interactions with others to improve. I'd highly suggest checking out "Six Force-Multiplying Insights" if you're interested in learning the secrets that some of the most successful people in the world have latched onto! I received this e-book free for review, and I wasn't sure what to think. However, it quickly caught my attention and the more that I read, the more that it made sense! The more I thought about the aspects, I examined the positive parts of my personality and realized that I had already been using them. Additionally, the aspects that I need help on, I can now identify and know how to work on them! The only thing that I would change about the e-book is that the quotes at the end of each insight seem to go on for more pages than the actual explanation of the insights themselves. Overall, though, a very interesting read! 

Clearview's Headlamp Shines Light on Awesome Opportunity!

Property of Ashleigh Mayes-Davidson 2015
If you're even remotely familiar with my personality, you're not surprised to hear that I'm a little extreme. I always "go big or go home" in everything: my art, my written papers, my love of animals...everything! When I picked up film photography about six months ago, I decided that urban exploring was something that I wanted to get into since the grain and contrast of black and white film lent itself so well to the subject matter. After a few times of exploring with no preparation, I decided that I needed to gather a few items to make the exploration easier (and safer). When I was offered the opportunity to review Clearview's Headlamp, I was super excited! I've always wanted to use this type of light, and now, I could have a practical use for it! Sure it's cool on its own...but when you can use it actively, it take on a whole new light...(get it??)!

The very first thing that I noticed about the headlamp was that the light is small. However, after turning it on, I realized that the size is deceiving. This light can shine BRIGHT! The LED aspect of this lamp is AWESOME because it's a huge amount of light in a small, compact, lightweight source.

The next observation that I made was that the band is elastic AND adjustable with a buckle so literally ANYONE can fit it! The material is lightweight, soft, and breathable while holding the light firmly in place. I didn't experience any slipping or falling or pain in using the headlamp.

The bonus light that goes on the back is fantastic, too! I don't use mine on the back personally. I use it as a hand light and I think it works marvelously! It's just as bright as the headlamp and is very easy to hold.

Overall, the entire lamp is very easy to assemble and wear. It's very handy for when you're exploring dark buildings and other places because of it's awesome range and shine power! I'd highly suggest it if you're looking for a quality item at a great price!

Comment below for your chance to win your own Clearview Headlamp Set! What would you use this awesome tool for??

Friday, May 15, 2015

Knight Visor Driving Glasses Review

Sometimes I see something that I'm DYING to try, but I'm hesitant to jump because I'm not sure if the product will work as awesomely as it looks. Sometimes, companies can make their product look insanely cool, but when push comes to shove, there's really not a whole lot to set it apart. I've never used night vision glasses before, but I do know one thing: I hate driving at night, I'm not that great at it, and it makes me nervous. I really had nothing to lose when I had the opportunity to try the product for free.

Here's the promotional image: It's really awesome. You can probably see why I was hesitant. There's nothing wrong with having awesome promotional material, but typically companies that put a lot of effort into having extra cool ads are trying to compensate.

I can honestly say that Knight Visor glasses don't fall into that category. I started using these glasses about an hour before sunset. Even in the daylight, they made everything sharper and clearer and eliminated glare. They worked so well that I wasn't sure how they would work in opposite (dark) lighting. As the sun went down, the light levels and the way the road looked kept changing, and the Knight Visor glasses kept up. There was no point where I thought "Nah. The road looks better without them.". The trip I took was three hours one way, and I kept them on the entire time. In fact, when I stopped for gas, I didn't realize for a long while after I left the station that I didn't have my headlights on. They make things THAT much easier to see.

I should also point out that I have bulky, thick-framed glasses. They fit perfectly on top of these. My husband also used the glasses for driving, reported similar results, but he DOESN'T have glasses and they fit him perfectly too.

The clip that comes with the glasses is very convenient for keeping up with them and fits perfectly on my visor without damaging it or pinching it too tightly. The case that the glasses come in is amazing quality! The zipper moves smoothly and effortlessly and the case is covered in a fine mesh. It's easy to keep track of and there's plenty of room in the hard case for everything.

They're lightweight, so you barely notice they're there. The nose and ears are comfortable. The ear pieces are lined with a rubbery grip and the nose is lined in a type of plastic foam.

Overall, I'm rating this product five stars because it really works! I won't be driving without these guys ever again!

Le Bleu Bean Espresso Cup Review!

I've recently been introduced to the concept of Espresso. For some reason, I assumed that it was just like any other coffee. There are little pods that you can get for the Keurig to make specifically Espresso, but now that I've received my first Espresso cup, I realize that the Keurig verion is 1. probably weaker and 2. actually closer to a double drink that a single.

When I received Le Bleu Bean's Stacking Espresso cup, I was immedately confused due to how small it is. I assumed that it would be the same size as a regular coffee mug. However, It's not. It's very small, due to the potent nature of Espresso. Laugh at me for not knowing this naturally if you want, but hey, I'm all the wiser and more cultured now. ;)

Le Bleu Bean's espresso cup is very cute! It's small, it's convenient, and it's quality. Let me explain: the convenience comes in the concept of stacking mugs. The top of the box that houses the mug looks like a Lego. This allows for other units to stack right on top of each other. All you have to do is wash and dry your mug and you've automatically got a place for it to go. It makes for a really cool, modern looking display next to your Espresso maker.

Quality comes in in the construction of the unit and the construction of the mug. Both are very well-built. The mug itself is heavy with thick walls and a thick handle. The plastic unit isn't flimsy and has no sharp edges or corners. The cup fits perfectly inside without much wiggle room, yet it is very easy to slide out. I can't comment on the units connecting, as I was only sent one free product sample.

Overall, I really like this little guy! I'm not sure that I'll end up with a whole collection of the, but this unit is great quality and convenient. I would definitely look into getting more if I were big into Espresso and had people over for coffee.

Retseliney Natural Skincare Products!

Hello, hello, again, everyone!!

I'm getting ready for bed after a LONNNNG week from HELL. I'm not kidding when I say this. I had to get a sub at one point this week to take care of some personal business, and SEVERAL of my kids got detention. ONE even got sent to the office for a PADDLING! WHAT?! They're never THIS badly behaved, but something is in the end-of-the-school-year air that has them acting CRAZY!

So basically, TGIF. I need this weekend to recharge for next week.

Today I felt so dragged down and exhausted that I couldn't wait to get home. When I got home, I realized that I couldn't truly rest because I felt so disgusting. Today it was sunny, about 80* or more, and RAINING. Downpouring, to be exact. So my and gross. I hate the feeling.

As someone with super oily skin, I felt disgusting all day.

A student came up to me today and say "Oh my God, Miss Mayes. You look super sick.". Thanks, kid. I just didn't wear foundation due to my oily skin and the humidity. Way to make me feel good about myself. ;) Oh well, I wasn't upset!

So when I got home, took care of business, and turned into a vegetable for a bit, I decided it was time for a shower. I can't explain the good a shower does me. Seriously. I feel like a new person when I get out!

This shower was especially awesome because of a couple of Retseliney products that I got to try out for free! One is the Advanced Exfoliant Cream and the other is the Potent Antioxidant Mask.

The Exfoliant Cream is my FAVORITE. I've had issues with cystic acne, and it's erased it. Seriously. No more nasty under-the-skin bumps for me! On top of that, it's getting rid of all of the dirt and oil that build up by polishing it away (it has a fine, fine grit without using those awful plastic beads!). My oily skin has been far less oily after I use the cream, and that is giving me more even makeup application and healthier skin! I love this stuff! A little goes a long way so this jar will last forever!! It's not too rough on my sensitive skin, either!

The Antioxidant Mask is great too! It leaves my skin glowing and hydrated (but not oily). It's great for dry patches that have been polished away by the Exfoliant Cream. The label warns that it may tingle. I have super super sensitive skin so I won't was intense...but it didn't hurt and it wasn't unbearable. The mask goes on evenly and smoothly and comes off easily.

Overall, I really loved these products! They've helped my skin drastically!

Check out my video review!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Selfie Stick Makes Selfies Easy!

For some reason, I'm extremely late to the selfie stick party! I've heard of them, but I honestly had no idea how they work or how to use them! I could see the convenience, and, as a daily selfie-taker, I could definitely use one! My biggest issue is trying to get my entire outfits in my photos, but not having long enough arms. :P When asked if I would review a free sample product of Francois et Mimi's Selfie Stick, I had to try it!

Here's a photo of what the selfie stick looks like. I'm having issues getting my phone to upload my photos of the product AND that I've taken, so this will help you visualize for now! The stick is very easy to assemble, with different heads for different sizes of phones and GoPros/any camera with a tripod mount on the bottom.

The things that I like about this selfie stick are that it extends to be VERY long. In fact, it extends to be 39"! That's a far reach! The collapsing is very smooth and easy, but sturdy enough that it doesn't slide back in when you're trying to take your picture. The handle is a rubberized grip that doesn't slip around. It's got a texture to it, so you're not going to drop it easily. I did have to adjust my handle a little, because the button icon wasn't lined up exactly over the button. Easy fix, not a big deal, but I wanted to mention it to anyone who might have the same problem and think it's broken! Once I got the alignment right, It took pictures perfectly every time! There's no delay in the shutter, either, so you don't end up with blurry pictures.

The attachments that allow you to attach your phone are lined with a rubbery foam. This allows it to grip your phone more accurately, which keeps it from falling out and hitting the floor! There is a screw on the side of the head of the stick so that you can tilt your phone or camera forwards or backwards. Attention has been paid to every detail and adjustment that you could ever want! I really enjoy using my selfie stick and at a price tag of under $10, I highly suggest you get one too! Find yours here!

The Forsaken (The Children of Cain Book 1) Review!

I've recently reKINDLED my love of reading by shopping on Amazon's Kindle Store. As a kid, I always made it my goal to read 100 books per summer. When I actually got into trouble, I had my Harry Potter books taken away (yes...I'm THAT generation!). When Twilight took the world by storm, I was there...soaking up every word. The Series of Unfortunate Events books held me captive until I finished them, and the Percy Jackson books caused my heartrate to quicken in excitement. With so many amazing authors and fantastic stories absorbed in my lifetime, I consider myself hard to please when it comes to books. I read them, always, but often I know within a chapter or so if I'm going to be happy with my decision.

As someone addicted to her Kindle, I've downloaded MANY of the free books put out by new authors looking to make a name for themselves. More often than not, sadly, I'm not super impressed. However, when offered a free review copy of The Forsaken (The Children of Cain Book 1), I was excited. I loved the somber, dark feeling that I got from reading the title. I was intrigued and immediately loaded it up onto my Kindle. I set to reading right away, and I'm SO happy I did. Sometimes you discover a story and you can't believe you haven't read it yet after having it waiting on your for weeks or months. This is one of those stories.

I really, really don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I will give the basics. The story opens with Gwen, running towards - she doesn't know what - and away from - again...she has no idea. A close brush with danger leaves her in the hands of strangers who deliver her to a hospital to deal with her severe frostbite and various other ailments. She's then left to the custody of the local Catholic orphanage, where her path crosses with Adam/Raven (she renames him). She has great difficulty fitting in, and soon realizes that she and Raven are meant for each other (as friends...Gwen is 5 at this point and Raven is a few years older). Extremely advanced for her age, Gwen intimidates and even scares the other children. This is due in part to her unusual eyes. She and Raven soon begin to discover the sides of themselves that they always knew existed and set them apart, but didn't quite know about yet.

Again, I hesitate to give away too much of the story, but there are several conflicts at the orphanage, which lead to the odd pair becoming runaways and living on the streets for years, using their unusual powers to survive.

Once the pair are detained, they are split up, and all seems lost for Gwen. She enters an institution-like school (like medical institution) and pretends to be on her best behavior until she is sent to a foster home that, appearing perfect from the outside, is actual horror and hell. As she struggles to fit into middle school culture, she deals with aggression, abuse, and trying to protect a new "little sister" that she has come to love.

The entire book is a total treat. It's an adventure that you seriously don't want to miss out on. I can see this series being optioned for a movie in the future, and I will fangirl like crazy!

 Between growing to love and understand the characters, to watching them develop, and mature physically, to feeling their emotions and fears, it's not hard to be absorbed completely into the story. The language is beautiful and detailed and the story flows so smoothly! There's not a boring moment, and your heart is yanked along for the ride. At the end of book one, I don't feel satisfied. I want MORE of this series!! I'm SO excited to be able to jump right into book two and see what happens next. Review coming soon!!

Snag your copy of Book 1 of The Children of Cain series here!