icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: February 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Product Review~Smooth Viking Beard Conditioner

My son recently reviewed three products from Smooth Viking Beard Care.  For this review, we are focusing on Smooth Viking's Beard Conditioner. This Beard Conditioner softens and hydrates your beard, making it more soft and not itchy. It strengthens from root to tip, encouraging new growth while repairing what's already there. It is all natural and made in the USA.  The ingredients are:
*Shea Butter
*Mango Butter
*Sweet Almond Oil
*Argan Oil
*Olive Oil
*Coconut Oil
*Essential Oil

Here is my son Nick, 23, and his beard that was used to try out the Smooth Viking Beard Conditioner.  He liked the Beard Conditioner and thought it worked great.  He says it smells good, but not too strong of a scent.  He liked to put it on while he was still in the shower, to let the steam work it in.  He says this was the product he used most of the three he tried, and it really made his beard soft and more manageable.  Also, since you use so little at each application, the container lasts a long time.

You can purchase your own Smooth Viking Beard Conditioner at Amazon.  The great thing is they offer a no questions asked money back guarantee!  Be sure to also check out Smooth Viking on Facebook.

*I received a sample of this product in exchange for my honest review. 

Product Review~Smooth Viking Beard Oil

My oldest son has a short beard/goatee and had never used beard products, so I was excited for him to try some products from Smooth Viking Beard Care.  The first product he tried was Smooth Viking Beard Oil.  This oil is 100% natural and Vegan friendly, containing a premium blend of nourishing ingredients:
*Avocado Oil
*Sweet Almond Oil
*Moroccan Argan Oil
*Olive Oil
*Pumpkin Seed Oil
*Castor Oil
*Jojoba Oil
*Vitamin E

Here is the beard the Smooth Viking Beard Oil was used on-my handsome son Nick, 23.  The Beard Oil is his favorite product of the three he tried.  It helps his beard not get itchy and uncomfortable.  It gives it a healthy, shiny hair look-not at all greasy.  He loves that you only need a few drops, so this bottle will last a very long time.  He says you just have to be careful when you apply the oil to your beard, or you will have shiny skin around your beard.  So if you aren't careful applying it, be ready to wipe your skin off (unless you like the shiny skin look). 

I think it's great that Smooth Viking Beard Oil is all natural-no chemicals or additives.  It is very affordable as well, since you only use a few drops the bottle will last.  You can buy your own bottle of Smooth Viking Beard Oil at Amazon.  Be sure to visit Smooth Viking's Facebook page.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book Review~Still Life by Christa Parrish

Book Summary: A tragic plane crash. One woman who lost her husband. Another who gave up her seat for him.

Adah spent her first twenty-five years with her family as part of a fringe religious sect. Her only contact with the outside world was through customers at their farm store. Then she met Julian, a photojournalist who'd come to document their lifestyle. They eloped mere days later and Adah was thrust into a completely new life as a wife, city-dweller, and an individual allowed to make her own decisions. But she has no idea who she is.

On her twenty-sixth birthday, Julian plans to fly home from an assignment to give her her first-ever birthday present. He's thrilled when Katherine Cramer gives up her seat so he can make the flight. But the plane crashes and everyone on board is killed, including Julian.

Adah is completely at a loss, with no friends and no marketable skills. When Julian's last photographs are published, her life erupts into chaos. She begins travelling-with Julian's camera for a companion-searching for answers to who she is and what she really wants.

Meanwhile, Katherine must live with the knowledge of why she gave up her seat-to extend her affair one more night. She recognizes her survival as a second chance to save her marriage. But is it too late?

When Adah's and Katherine's paths cross, they discover that there's still life ahead for both of them.

My Thoughts: This is the second book I've read by Christa Parrish-I read The Air we Breathe a few years ago. I enjoy her style of writing, and Still Life was no exception! I read the book within a few days because it was so hard to put down.  The characters drew me in, and the short chapters made it so easy to say, "Just one more chapter!", and then I would realize hours had passed!  Still Life was a  unique story, and I found myself very curious about Adah's past in the cult.  I would love if the author would write a story about Adah's childhood. 

While reading about Julian dying because he talked Katherine into trading seats really made me think about that type of situation.  Should the surviving person feel a sense of guilt?  Would he have died anyway that day because it was his time?  Lots of great questions to ponder! 

I came to the end of Still Life wanting more!  I want to know what happens next.  I would be grateful if author Christa Parrish would write a prequel about Adah's childhood and a sequel! 

About the Author: Christa Parrish is the author of five novels, including the 2009 ECPA Book of the Year Watch Over Me and the Christy Award-winning Stones for Bread. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, writer and pastor Chris Coppernoll. They have four children in their blended family.

I received an e-copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Product Review~Nutrigold Vitamin C Gold

I take several vitamins daily.  I'm not the best at eating healthy, and I'm also concerned about my immune system.  I went through a period when my immune system was not working properly, and during that time I learned how important Vitamin C was for my system.  I've been taking Vitamin C ever since.  Now, since receiving and learning about Nutrigold Vitamin C Gold, I realize that all Vitamin C is not the same!

Did you know that most of the Vitamin C sold is either synthetically modified or made from GMO corn?  Well, Nutrigold Vitamin C Gold is 100% natural, organic source of Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids from organic certified berries and fruits.  It is corn-free, wheat-free, made in the USA, and certified free of GMOs, additives, artificial ingredients, preservatives, and allergens.  Each capsule delivers 400% of daily value of Vitamin C (240 mg) and 45 mg of Bioflavanoids. 

Vitamin C supports immune, heart, vision, and prenatal health, as well as supports healthy aging.  Nutrigold (www.nutrigold.com ) offers a 100% money back guarantee.  You can purchase your own bottle of Nutrigold Vitamin C Gold at Amazon.

My Thoughts: Above is a picture of the Nutrigold Vitamin C Gold capsule in my hand.  It's an average size pill-I've seen bigger and smaller.  For someone with difficulty swallowing, this size may be a problem.  I personally don't have a problem with swallowing pills, so it was fine for me.  There was no aftertaste after swallowing the vitamin.  I had no problems at all and feel that I am getting much better Vitamin C than I was before.  I am very impressed with Nutrigold Vitamin C Gold being 100% Organic and food-based, and coming from fruits and berries.  It is a high quality, superior product. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Product Review~AYL StarLight 330 LED Lantern

I recently received a great new lantern-the AYL StarLight 300 Lumens Ultra Bright LED Lantern.  This lantern is great for camping and other outdoor and indoor use.  It is the most reliable lantern on the market, using LED bulbs with an output of 300 Lumens, giving you over 100,000 hours of use!  It has three lighting modes-low, high, and flashing strobe. 

The AYL Starlight Lantern is lightweight and water resistant-it has a hook on the bottom so you can hang it anywhere.  The lantern weighs only 14.6 ounces!   It comes with a removable convex reflector cap that provides 360 lighting and that can also be removed to allow for more focused lighting. It is reinforced with plastic and rubber molding to keep moisture out.  There is also a green LED indicator light so the lantern is easy to find. 

We are looking forward to using our lantern for camping!  It's a great compact size, but it puts out a lot of bright light!  I was very impressed.  The picture above shows my new AYL Starlight 330 Lantern in our 1968 camping trailer-don't you love those aqua colored appliances?  I have to tell you, though, this lantern comes in handy in emergencies!  We had a plumbing problem under a bathroom sink-now, this is a TINY space.  My husband took the AYL Starlight 330 Lantern under the sink with him, and it lit up the area very bright so he could replace the pipes.  I also appreciate that the lantern takes everyday D size batteries, so no expensive fancy batteries to go find. 

You can purchase your own AYL Starlight 330 LED Lantern at Amazon. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Product Review and GIVEAWAY!!! Purex PowerShot Laundry Detergent

Do you love doing laundry?  I didn't think so-not too many people enjoy doing their laundry.  It always feels great when it's done though!!  Purex, in my opinion, is the leader in high quality, affordable laundry products.  Purex is the only brand I use for my family.  Well, once again, Purex has come out with a new product to save us all some much appreciated time!  Check  out this easy, quick new way to wash your laundry-Purex PowerShot Laundry Detergent.

New Purex PowerShot is so easy to use-just open the cap, flip the bottle upside down to deliver one super concentrated dose of detergent.  Then you just flip the bottle back upright and the PowerShot engine has automatically refilled and is ready for the next dose!  Easy, peasy!  This formula has 50% more stain fighting power  than regular Purex liquid detergent.  Purex PowerShot is available in Purex's most popular fragrances, Mountain Breeze, and Natural Elements Linen and Lillies. 

I'm loving new Purex PowerShot-it's just so easy.  My adult kids are in heaven with it-the least amount of work, the more they like it!  I'm even thinking of starting my youngest doing his own laundry with PowerShot-I don't have to worry about him pouring half a bottle of detergent in the dispenser!  I love the fresh, clean scent of Mountain Breeze, and my clothes are clean and fresh. 


Purex is hosting an awesome sweepstakes to celebrate the release of new PowerShot!  Three grand prize winners win a Whirlpool washer & dryer set. 300 second-place winners will receive a bottle of PowerShot.  Share & enter the sweepstakes & get a $1 off coupon.  Click here to enter for your chance to win! 


TWO of my readers will each win a coupon for a free bottle of Purex PowerShot! This contest is open to US residents age 18 and older, no purchase necessary. I will randomly draw the winners on 2/18/15 and email the winners that day.  The winners will have 48 hours to email me back or a new winner will be chosen.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex PowerShot detergent in exchange from a product review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Enter the Heart of Adventure Sweepstakes Now!!

Enter the HEART OF ADVENTURE Sweepstakes from Author Dani Pettrey!
In SABOTAGED, the fifth and final book of author Dani Pettrey’s award-winning Alaskan Courage series, Kirra Jacobs and Reef McKenna experience the high stakes of Iditarod search-and-rescue when Kirra’s uncle, a musher in the race, goes missing.

Kirra and Reef put aside their differences to search for him, but what they discover is harrowing: Frank’s daughter Meg has been kidnapped, and Frank must do the kidnapper’s bidding or Meg will die.

Soon Kirra, Reef, and the entire McKenna family are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl’s life, but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

To celebrate their epic race, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the HEART OF ADVENTURE SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.

Timeframe & Notifications:
This giveaway starts February 2, 2015 and ends February 22, 2015 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Monday, February 23, 2015, and announced at DaniPettrey.com.

During their cross-country hunt for answers, Kirra and Reef stop to rest at a gorgeous mountain lodge in Denali that holds special memories for Reef. This prize offers you a chance to build your own special memories, with a luxurious lodge getaway for two.
Our Grand Prize winner will receive: A $250 gift certificate to Hotels.com, good for reservations at lodges and hotels across the Continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, and numerous International locations

Heart of Adventure Sweepstakes Second PrizeSECOND PRIZE:
In the Alaskan Courage series, Kirra is the proud owner of Nanook Haven, a rescue shelter for sled dogs. In real life, animals need rescue as well, and this prize will allow you to give a special gift to support an organization like Kirra’s.
Our Second Prize winner will receive: A $150 donation in your name, to the animal rescue, shelter, or veterinarian of your choice

Heart of Adventure Sweepstakes Third PrizeTHIRD PRIZE:
In SABOTAGED, Kirra and Reef take shelter in a snow cave while hiding from a man determined to put them on ice– permanently! Luckily, Kirra has a survival kit, to help them make it through the sub-zero temperatures.
If you prefer a little more romance and a little less suspense in your survival kit, this is the prize for you.
Our Third Prize winner will receive: A $100 value sweetheart survival pack. This gift basket includes double chocolate raspberry cake, smoked salmon, brie cheese and crackers, and a wide variety of gourmet snacks

How to Enter:
Go to http://www.danipettrey.com/heart-of-adventure-sweepstakes/ and complete the entry box, anytime between February 2 – 22, 2015.

Good Luck!  Please come back and let me know if you are a winner!

Book Review and Giveaway~Sabatoged by Dani Pettrey

Get your copy of SABOTAGED by Author Dani Pettrey!
Book Summary:
Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now paired together on Yancey’s search-and-rescue canine unit, they begin to put aside old arguments as they come to see each other in a different light.
Then a call comes in from the Iditarod that will push them to their limits. Kirra’s uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing. Frank’s daughter has been kidnapped. In order to save her, the man must use his knowledge as a mechanical engineer to do the kidnapper’s bidding or she will die.
Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl’s life, but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

My Thoughts: I have read several of Dani Pettrey's books, including the first four books in this Alaskan Courage series.  I fell in love with this series in the first chapter of the first book, and have been hooked ever since!  The author is so talented in her beautiful descriptions of Alaska, her ability to keep you on the edge of your seat with twists and turns, and developing the characters so well that you feel like you know them personally by the time the story is over!  I have always had a love and fascination with Alaska, which was what originally drew me to this series.  This fifth book, Sabatoged, focuses on Reef and Kirra, both strong but afraid to open up after difficult pasts.  I've enjoyed that each book focuses on a different couple, with a different mystery, yet all tied together through the McKenna family.  Although I highly suggest reading the entire Alaskan Courage series, I think that you could read Sabatoged by itself without feeling like you weren't understanding who the characters are.  Trust me, you don't want to deprive yourself of these five books!

About the Author:   Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the romantic suspense series Alaskan Courage, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and her latest release, Sabotaged. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their daughters, son-in-law, and super-adorable grandson.

To learn more information about Sabatoged, including a link to purchase your own copy, visit Dani Pettrey's website.  There are some fun things there-you can read an excerpt from the book, listen to a story soundtrack, meet the characters, and enter the Heart of Adventure Sweepstakes!  Later today I will be posting all the information on this great sweepstakes on a separate blog post. 


One winner will receive a paperback copy of Sabatoged!  Open to US residents 18 and older.  No purchase necessary.  Odds of winning subject to number of entries. Contest opens 2/10/15 and ends on 2/17/15 at 11:59pm MST.  Winner will be drawn randomly on 2/18/15 and notified.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email or another winner will be drawn. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review~Clara's Wish

Lizzy Ryder is a young Amish woman of marrying age.  She dreams of finding the perfect Amish man to spend her life and begin her family with.  Her best friend Clara is very ill.  Lizzy makes the daring decision to contact Lizzy's wayward brother, Zack, to inform him of her illness.  Zack had left the Amish church and had no contact with his family.  Zack quickly returns to the Amish community out of concern for Clara.  As Lizzy and Zack spend time together caring for Clara, they both begin to have feelings for each other.  But Lizzy wants to live Amish and Zack doesn't.  Can they have a life together?  Will Clara survive her illness?

My Thoughts: Clara's Wish: An Amish Christmas Romance written by author Beth Shriver, is a beautifully written Amish romance.  It shows the importance of family and friends, made even more special by the Christmas season.   Throughout the book, Zack is working through conflict within his family and in himself.  The seriousness of his sister's illness overshadows the feelings stirring within him for Lizzy, but he can't ignore them.  I enjoyed the extreme close friendship shared by Lizzy and Clara, more like sisters.  The three main characters were well developed and I felt like I knew them personally by the end of the story.  Clara's Wish is a perfect book to curl up with on a quiet weekend. A sweet bonus at the end of the book are several yummy recipes to try, as well as an excerpt from the author's next book, Love's Abundant Harvest.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Charisma House in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Wordless Wednesday~Taco Tongue!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Product Review~Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Cups

I have a new favorite product!  It is Simple Baker Premium Silicone Baking Cups/Cupcake Liners.  I'm not completely new to using silicone baking products-as a gift I had received a silicone loaf pan a few years back, and have used it a handful of times.  I liked it, but wasn't thrilled with it-it didn't hold its shape well, and was difficult to clean.  Well, these Simple Baker Baking Cups are a completely different experience-I love them! 

These baking cups are 100% pure grade silicone, BPA free, non-stick, and stain resistant.  They are safe in the oven up to 475 degrees, dishwasher top-rack safe, freezer safe, and microwave safe.  They come in six vibrant colors-four each of pink, purple, green, yellow, orange, and blue.  Each cup holds 2.5 fluid ounces, and measure 2 5/8 inch diameter and 1.25 inches tall.  You can put the cups in a muffin tin, or just on a baking sheet.

I am so impressed with the Simple Baker Silicone Baking Cups.  I made cupcakes, and put the baking cups loose on a baking sheet.  They came out great!  They baked nice and evenly, and when cooled the cupcakes popped right out of the baking cups.  There was almost no cake residue left in the cups!  I washed half of the baking cups on the top rack of the dishwasher, and soaked the other half in soapy water.  Both ways of washing worked great! 

I love the bright, cheery colors!  I was amazed that they are freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe.  They cleaned up very easily. The only negative I could see from using these baking cups instead of the paper cups, is that if you were serving guests, some people like the paper baking cup to hold on to so their hands don't get messy.  For my family's use, that is not an issue at all.

This picture shows how easily the cupcake came out of the baking cup, with hardly any cake residue.  I'm definitely only using my Simple Baker Silicone Baking Cups from now on when I bake cupcakes or muffins!

You can purchase your own sets of Simple Baker Silicone Baking Cups at Amazon.