Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Clairol Natural Instincts Hair colour

I recently received a box of Clairol Natural Instinct Hair colour for free as part of a BzzKit from BzzAgent.   If you haven't heard of BzzAgent, check them out!
I have been colouring my hair since I was 14.  My first experience ever was using Clairol Natural Instincts in a shade of strawberry blonde.  Since then my hair has been every shade from bleached blonde to midnight black.  I have had excellent dye jobs and some really awful DIY experiences.
For the past 6 months I have been consistently keeping my hair the same colour.  It was like I had finally found a colour that I enjoyed, and decided to stick with it.  I've been using the exact same shade every 6 weeks without fail.
When I received my box of Natural Instincts, I opened it with an optimistic mind.  How would it compare to my new tried and true formula?  Would it be a DIY success of disaster?
I am happy to report that it is a 100% success.  The colour was easy to mix, and only had to stay in for 10 minutes.  I don't have any greys yet (knock on wood), so I can't report on how well it would work to cover grey, but it did tidy up my root line and was a very close match for the salon colour I have been using.
Overall, I'm very happy with this, and I will use it again!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bum Rush the Commons

Bum Rush the Commons by Joseph Starr is a cautionary tale full of action and espionage.  Set in the not too distant future, water is now at a premium.  The world is experiencing a freshwater shortage on a massive scale.  The American army has been scaled down to next to nothing, and China is the new superpower.  The Chinese government is willing to go to extreme measures to get a hand on some of America's freshwater supply, including using their military for a full scale invasion.

I enjoyed the idea of this story, although I felt that the author could have gone into a bit more detail about what caused the water shortage in the first place.  Also, if there were a worldwide water shortage I would expect more famine, yet other than having a scaled down military force, America seemed largely unaffected.

This story made me reflect a lot on how dependent we are on the decisions of our leaders.  A leader with the wrong motives can get a whole nation stuck in a hole that is very hard to get out of.  We need to raise questions about our leaders' actions, and never stop or settle.

This book is a quick read and a very interesting story.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about conspiracies.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Last Orphans

I was lucky enough to be offered an advanced copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I'd like to take a second to say that I am very impressed by the publisher of this book.  It is the first time that I have ever heard of Clean Teen Publishing, and I appreciate what they are doing.  They are offering disclosure about the content of their books, similar to the disclosure ratings you will see on TV or video games.  They do not censor the work, but tell you honestly what you are getting into before you get into it (such as this book contains drugs, violence, sex, foul language, etc), that way you can decide if a book is appropriate for yourself or your children before you read it.  Kudos to them for that.

The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris is an apocalyptic story in which all of the adults in the world have died sudden and violent deaths, leaving only children and teenagers alive. The survivors struggle to find safety, the older ones taking charge of the younger. Many parts of this story were very graphic and violent, describing in detail the deaths of the adults and bloodied corpses.  

The premise for this story is intriguing, making me wonder what would happen in such a world. Parts of it were very sad, as an adult with young children I couldn't help but think what would happen if my kids were in this scenario and it did pull on my heartstrings.  I couldn't help but think throughout the book, what is happening to the babies.  The young ones who are too young to walk or open doors, left to starve to death in the homes.  It was only alluded to briefly, closer to the end of the book, but it was a thought on my mind throughout the story. 

My favorite character in the book was Tracy.  This girl is tough as nails, doesn't take crap from anyone and is a hero.  I love reading books that have strong female characters who think for themselves.  Tracy is definitely one of these women.

This book had me gripped right to the very end.  It was fast paced, full of action and very descriptive.

I will definitely be reading the next part of this series to see what happens to these orphans.

The Peterson Gang: Unlikely Friendships

I recently had my first experience of reading a book that someone I know had written.  This experience really showed me how much an author pours their heart and soul into every book they write, putting a little piece of themselves on every page.  It definitely gives me a new appreciation for all of the work that authors do.

The Peterson Gang: Unlikely Friendships by Muriel Chesterton is a story that follows the lives of a group of friends that met in secretarial school after the war. I really liked this book because I found the characters genuine and easy to relate to.  They are normal people.  They laugh, cry, have adventures and obstacles, love and heartache.  I feel like I am sharing such a personal part of their lives and really get to know them.

My favorite character is Ben, I love how he is who he is, take it or leave it. He sticks to his guns even if his choices may not conform to what people expect of a young man his age. He doesn't want kids, and there is no changing his mind.  This was so interesting to read, because having three children myself I don't often get to think of how life is for people on the other side of the fence who have no children and no desire to ever have any.  I adored how Doris didn't try to to change Ben's mind, it shows how strong they both are by living their lives the way they want to live them and not how they are expected to live them.  I also enjoyed Ben's little quirks, like his neatness. A place for everything, and everything in it's place. It reminds me a lot of someone I know, and was a pleasure to read. 

I look forward to seeing what happens to the Peterson gang in the next parts of this series.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Little Prince

I love it when I get a chance to read a book that has been on my 'to-read' list for a while.  When I end up finishing the book, I usually end up thinking 'why didn't I read this sooner?'.  This is one of those books.  The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry is classified as a children's book, but I think that people of all ages can take away from this story.

The little prince is a beautiful story, one I would love to share with my kids, and one that I would love to re-read myself.  I am interested in reading the French version of the story, to be treated to the beautiful prose in it's original form.
It is a great story, because you can take from it whatever you like.  It can either be a whimsical tale of a prince who flew to Earth then returned to his home to be with his flower.  Or it can be a story so wrought with meaning and emotions that it takes many readings to wrap you head around it.  I love a story like this, because each time you read it, you gain a new perspective on something.
As a parent reading this story, it puts the innocence and imagination of my children into the spotlight of my mind so that I can make sure I appreciate it more, and stop being so concerned with other matters of consequence.
Everyone should read this book.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Prayer Heeded

After finishing A Silent Prayer by Samreen Ahsan last week, I had to pick up the sequel so that I could see how the story would end.  I must say, I was not disappointed!

In A Prayer Heeded, the story of Adam and Rania continues.  They must develop their relationship based on complete trust.  Rania's troubled past is always hanging over her like a dark cloud, and she is afraid to hope that Adam could be the one to save her from that.  If he is the one, he will have to have faith, something that is not easy for a former atheist to do.

This is a beautiful spiritual romance.  Adam and Rania are soulmates, but they have many obstacles that they must overcome in order to truly be together.  Adam must overcome his stubborn refusal to believe in things he cannot see.  Rania must put her complete faith in Adam, and after all of the abuse that she has been through, will she be able to do this?

Reading this novel left me with warm fuzzy feelings.  It is nice to read a story about all consuming love that is spiritual and emotional.  This book series has won numerous awards, and I am very glad to have had the chance to read it.  If the author has managed to be so successful on her first published works, I am very excited to see what kinds of things we will see from her in the future.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Silent Prayer

I was given a free ebook copy of 'A Silent Prayer' by Samreen Ahsan in exchange for an honest review.

Adam Gibson is Toronto's most eligible bachelor. He is rich, young, sexy, and a notorious womanizer. He sees Rania walking outside his office building, and is absolutely smitten. But Rania is different from all of the other women he has been with. She is not interested in any type of relationship, and her strong beliefs forbid her to have relations with any man other than her husband. She is modest and very spiritual. As she and Adam develop a friendship based on trust, they fall in love. There is a darkness to Rania however, that she is afraid to reveal to Adam. The story ends in a cliffhanger, to be continued in book 2.

It is so refreshing to read a love story where people remain true to their personal boundaries. There is still magnetism and attraction, the story is still steamy even though there is no sex. This is an amazing love story about two people from different spiritual and cultural backgrounds growing together. There are many spiritual/paranormal events that are left unexplained at the end of the story, presumably to be explained in book 2. Once I started reading this book, I truly had a hard time putting it down. I will definitely be reading book 2.

My only criticism is that the story ended in a cliffhanger. I enjoy books that are able to stand on their own and am not a huge fan of the 'to be continued' endings that seem popular right now. I understand why authors do it, it is just frustrating as a reader to have to wait to get your hands on book 2 to see what happens, especially if you are as engrossed in Book 1 as I was with this story.

I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this book so that you can see for yourself.  I can see why the author has won so many awards for this book series.  Book 1 is only .99 cents on amazon.com right now, I hope you love it as much as I did!