Friday, January 23, 2015

Murder in Paradise & a Giveaway!

Welcome to the Florida Keys! Get ready to go on vacation and lose yourself in this action packed read.

Overlooking the waters of the Biscayne Bay sits a mansion where all hell has broken loose.

Madison Westin has found herself and her bombshell best friend, Fabiana Merceau, caught up in deep trouble—yet again. This time, Fab is implicated as the only suspect in a high-profile double homicide on a beautiful private island. The girls have to act quickly and quietly, searching for a way to set the record straight and secure Fab’s freedom. Along the way, Madison must choose between two men, evade an ever-watchful mother, and dodge shady criminals as they try to solve a Murder in Paradise.

Murder in Paradise, is the fourth novel in Deborah Brown's Paradise series, can be read as a stand alone book.

My Review

Madison Westin is at it again! But of course, so is her best friend Fab. I really loved how we got to learn more about her & her sordid past. Of course it had to be because of a couple of murders, but that's to be expected now whenever Madison is involved. 

Throughout the murder investigation though, I was more enthralled by the good cop, bad cop acts of both Zach & Creole. They both seemed to have their moments that made you want to root for them & I have to admit that I was Team Zach from the beginning. But after an ending like that, Team Creole all the way! 

 Oh & that murder that Fab found herself smack dab in the middle of... Yep, I didn't see that one coming at all! Which of course made me go back & read the entire thing again to see if I just missed it completely, or if it was just written that good. It was just written that good!

Available to buy from.....

""The series is addictive, hot, fun, can't-put-em-down reads." 

"Great as stand-alone reads, but they're like won't be able to devour just one!" 

 "Reminds me of Sin City: everyone leads a double life, women pack handguns, all have secrets, and nothing is wholesome."

Read an Excerpt here
About the Author
I've been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer... and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find Deborah on the following sites.....
 Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads

Also available in the Paradise Series

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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Friday, January 16, 2015

Fun Friday: DIY T-shirt Infinity Scarf

The other day I grabbed a t-shirt out of my closet & noticed it had a hole in each armpit & on one of the sleeves. I was about to cut it up in pieces so my hubs could use the material for rags in the garage, when I suddenly thought about infinity scarves. Yep, right then was when I decided to save my old t-shirt from becoming just another garage rag & decided to give it a new life as an infinity scarf. And it only took my about 30 seconds to make it happen! 

Simply take an old t-shirt, cut below the armpits and above the bottom seam, then stretch it out as much as you can. You may get a better stretch if you treat it like a resistance band & step on it while pulling it up as far as you can with your hands. Either way, it's that simple!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Gorton's & SparkPeople presents: #RealisticResolution & a Giveaway!

**Disclaimer: I have received products to try from Gorton's & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.

Gorton's Seafood is always a fave to pick up when we're out grocery shopping. Especially the Simply Bake & Grilled varieties, particularly the salmon & tilapia. Not only are they both so incredibly simple to prepare, but they taste great! 

The Roasted Garlic & Butter Simply Bake Salmon is by far my favorite! I love the convenience of simply placing the single serve oven bags in a pan, and tossing them in the oven. That's absolutely it! No need to mess with seasonings or remembering to flip the fish. 

Add a side of sweet potatoes & some roasted asparagus & dinner is complete! (With minimal effort I might add.)

And as if I couldn't love Gorton's any more, they have teamed up with SparkPeople to bring you the Realistic Resolution Challenge! Head on over to SparkPeople & sign up to receive daily tips & easy ways to stick to those resolutions for good! You even earn 5 sparkpoints for each daily challenge you complete! 

And don't forget to enter the Gorton's Eat Smarter Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $5,000 cash Grand Prize! 

One lucky winner will receive a Prize Pack from Gorton's, to help them get started on their #RealisticResolution! 

• 2 full-value product coupons
• an insulated tote
• the SparkPeople cookbook
• the Spark book
• the SparkPeople Boot Camp DVD

The giveaway will conclude on at 12:00 a.m. est on Tuesday 1/20/15. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter & in a separate blog post which will be published no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday 1/20/15. Winners will also be notified via email & announced on the Smith and Blessings facebook page. Winners will have 24 hours to submit information for distribution of product. If 24 hours has lapsed, a new winner will be picked & then will also have 24 hours to submit their information. Smith and Blessings is not responsible for product shipment.
 *Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Gorton's Blogger Giveaway 

Save now! Click HERE to print your coupon for $0.75 OFF any ONE Gorton's Grilled Item.

Keep up with the latest from Gorton's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Messy Monday: Homemade Dish Soap

It seems like I am forever running out of dish soap. Even when I stock up, I swear it disappears in an instant. So of course I had to figure out how to make my own. 

*Note: This isn't the creamy kind of dish soap that I'm accustomed to buying, but it gets the job done. 


• 1/3C. grated castile soap
• 1½C. boiling water
• 3Tbsp. Borax
• 10-20 drops tea tree oil (or other essential oil)


• Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl to combine. 
• Carefully pour into an old dish soap container, soap dispenser or glass jar.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Snacktastic Saturday: Peppermint Oreo Bark

I made some Peppermint Oreo Bark as part of the kids Christmas gifts for their teachers, the librarians, the secretaries in the office & the principals. There was just a little left, and little pieces at that, so we decided to use it as a topper to our hot chocolate. To say that my kids loved it would be putting it mildly. And since I just so happened to have a gazillion mini candy canes left (along with enough chocolate chips and Oreos), we decided to whip up another batch.


• white chocolate chips
• semi-sweet chocolate chips
• Oreo cookies
• mini candy canes


• Line a baking sheet with waxed paper (you can tape the waxed paper down to keep it from moving if you'd like).
• In a microwave-safe bowl heat semi-sweet chocolate chips, in 30 second intervals & stirring after each, until melted & smooth. 
• Spread the melted semi-sweet chocolate onto the waxed paper. 
• Sprinkle with crushed or chopped Oreo's & refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
• In a microwave-safe bowl, heat white chocolate chips, in 30 second intervals & stirring after each, until melted & smooth. 
• Carefully spread the melted white chocolate over the Oreo's. 
• Sprinkle with crushed mini candy canes & refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
• Break into pieces to serve. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Work It Wednesday: Workouts with Autumn Calabrese

Autumn Calabrese is my go to trainer on the 21 Day Fix! So since it is "Work It Wednesday", I figured that she could be your go to trainer too! 

Here are a few of my favorites...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray

**Disclaimer: I have received products to try from Evian Spray via BrandBacker & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.

When you think of Evian, chances are you think about natural mineral water in bottles to drink. Particularly since Evian's natural mineral water, which is known for its journey that starts as rain and snow high atop the French Alps after which it filters for over 15 years through glacial rock and sand to a deep underground catchment just outside the town of Evian-Les-Bains, France, seems to have been around forever. So it may take you by surprise (or it may not) when I tell you that Evian also makes a facial spray from their natural mineral water. 

Evian Facial Spray was originally introduced in France in 1962 at the request of doctors for use on burn patients. It was the first facial water spray in France and was introduced as the first facial spray in the United States in 1978.

This dermatologically tested and hypo-allergenic facial spray is by far the most refreshing thing I have ever applied to my face. The Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray is made of pure, soft, natural mineral water with a totally unique mineral balance, and contains a neutral 7.2pH; making it extremely compatible with the human body. This spray is suited to all skin types, even those with the most sensitive skin can use it. 

Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray can be used in several ways. In the morning and evening, after cleansing to remove excess cleanser and harmful tap water, (wait a few moments and pat excess dry before applying moisturizer to seal in the added hydration), to help set your makeup, (hold the can twelve inches from the face and spray for 2-3 seconds in a circular motion for a lighter mist - doing this will allow the skin to be rehydrated and refreshed without removing makeup and also helps improve the performance of all color cosmetics), after shaving as a replacement for toners or after-shave lotions, after sports or working out (my favorite way to cool down!) & after swimming to help remove ocean salt or pool chlorine. It's even safe for use on babies bottoms (it is pure water after all). And the 1.7oz. container is TSA approved for air travel! 

I have to say that I never would have thought that I would love a product like this as much as I do. Particularly this one because it is genuinely pure. It's just what I need after a great workout to help cool down & it's one of the first things I go for after I wake up in the morning. And I really have noticed a difference when I "set" my makeup (even though I don't really do my makeup very often).

Keep up with the latest from Evian Spray on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Vitamin C Facial Toner & Eye Gel from InstaNatural

**Disclaimer: I have received products to try from InstaNatural via BrandBacker & am simply sharing my personal opinion which may vary from yours. I was not compensated for this review.

InstaNatural is quickly becoming one of my favorite beauty lines. I've had the pleasure of trying several of their products & none of them have managed to disappoint. Actually, quite a few (if not most), have already replaced my usual brands. 

InstaNatural offers a range of beauty products focused on using natural & organic ingredients. 

This Hyaluronic Acid Serum can be used twice daily after using a toner (if applicable).
 Premium Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum

I've raved about my love of Hyaluronic Acid in the past, but this serum takes my love affair to a whole new level! Hyaluronic Acid works wonders on your skin. It is used for moisturization (it can sustain up to 1,000 times its weight in water), as well as protecting your skin from harmful UV rays and to help reverse the look of aging by strengthening & firming your skin. 

I've been using this for a short while now & I've noticed some big changes. Most notably on a few patches where my skin tends to dry out much easier in the winter months. Usually I can put the red blotches that eventually appear from having itchy, flaky skin, at bay for a few weeks, but they always appear eventually. But since I've been using this Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Green Tea, Vitamin C & Jojoba Oil; my skin has been amazingly hydrated! 

Cleanse face & them lightly spray Vitamin C Toner, allowing to dry before applying moisturizers & serums.

Pore Tightening Vitamin C Facial Toner

This all-in-one hydrator is leaves your skin feeling refreshed like non other! Each pump helps to neutralize free radicals & neutralize the skin (Vitamin C), purify oily skin & tighten pores (Witch Hazel). Better yet, that a toner will actually allow your skin to absorb moisturizers & serums more effectively. 
I was never really big on toners for some reason, but now I couldn't imagine my beauty routine without one. I think that's mostly because this particular one is in a bottle with a spray pump, vs. one without. And the scent, although slightly orange-y, is also mixed with the antibacterial scent of Tea Tree Oil (one of my favorites!). Let's not forget that it really does help my skin absorb moisturizers & serums, reaping the full benefits. 

For optimum results, use twice daily.

Youth Express Eye Gel

  Enriched with Hyaluronic Acid, Plant Stem Cells, Peptide Complex & Matrixyl 3000; this clear gel helps to dramatically enhance the tone of your skin surrounding your eye. 

Not only am I a fan of how cool the gel feels when I apply it around my eye area, but I'm also a fan of the brighter tone I have around my eyes. I used to always have a darkness, mostly underneath my eyes, but in the couple weeks that I've been using this, the area seems to have lightened up. It's also made a difference in the crow's feet that were just starting to settle in, by making my eyes appear more firm & plump. 

All InstaNatural products come with a 100% LIFETIME SATISFACTION money back guarantee! Not to mention FREE STANDARD SHIPPING on all orders over $25! 

Keep up with the latest from InstaNatural on Facebook, Twitter & Google+. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Think It Thursday: Goals for 2015

Happy 2015! I know we all try to make resolutions & we all pretty much fail at them, myself included. But this year, I'm making goals. Now I know that you're probably thinking that there's no difference, and in a way, you're right. But after all of these years, I think that "resolutions" are just goals that you set that you never intend to fully carry out. Why that is, I'm not sure, but it makes sense. 

A way to help guarantee that I obtain my goals for 2015, is that I kept them realistic. Like, really realistic. And I jump started myself on the right track during the last week of 2014. I can't even begin to tell you how much that helped! 

•Finally lose all the baby weight that I've been carrying around the past 3 years, plus what I wanted to lose before. 

•Become a Beachbody coach & help others while I help myself. 

•Remodel/redecorate the house without spending a ton of money. 

•Take a family vacation. 

•Make the most of the time I have with my little brother before he ships off for Naval EOD training. 

•Switch to a clean eating diet for both myself & my family. 

•Finally be able to do a handful of inverted yoga poses. 

•Be happier, take the time for myself & remember to breathe.